Posts by The Southwesterner

Posts by The Southwesterner

Couple hold hands, family psychology support

What Does My Family Owe The Church? – Bill Burk 

Certainly, the concepts of sacrifice and duty seem odd to a culture that often asks, “What’s in it for me?” Even among God’s people, as it relates to loyalty and service to the local church of Christ, the attitude of “meet my needs or else…” is found far too often. Consumerism has had a profound effect upon Christendom and the church. When people begin to search for a church home seldom do they look for the place where the truth…
Silhouettes of people walking on city street

Known – Kevin W. Rhodes 

The information age and the rise of social media have created a new layer of identity for individuals. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and online gaming have all made it possible for people to build a persona online that sometimes has little to no resemblance to real life. The deception that once fell within the purview of online dating websites has gone mainstream— so much so that creating completely fictional characters for the purpose of fooling others has turned into sport. However,…
Storm on ocean

Bid Me Come Unto Thee – Tom Wacaster

Over the course of a few short years, the twelve men whom Jesus had chosen began to grow and mature into the material that God could, and would use to proclaim the gospel to a lost humanity. The more time they spent with Jesus, the stronger grew their faith. Their courage often amazes us; their weaknesses puzzle us. Consider the background of the request Peter made as expressed in the five words of the title of this article. The twelve…
Wooden doors

Opening To Opportunity – Brian R. Kenyon

When “opportunity knocks,” what is our reaction? Sometimes we are fearful. Sometimes we ignore it. Sometimes we do not even realize it is present. Unfortunately, opportunities do not always return when missed. Let us learn about opportunity from Paul’s statement to the Corinthians:  But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries (1 Corinthians 16:8-9).  The word “door” is often used as a metaphor for opportunity…
Individuality going a different opposite direction

Courage – Clay Bond

The Bible is a book that is filled with accounts of courageous men and women, people who faced down danger and death with lion-like boldness (Proverbs 28:1). Turning to our Old Testament we can read the story of Gideon, who had the courage to turn away from the false religion of his father. He threw down the altar of Baal and built an altar to the true and living God (Judges 6). We might also read of Esther, who had…
Young lamb looking at camera

4 Admonitions from Jesus to Shepherds – Andy Baker

Though he was not an elder at that time, Jesus could see Peter’s future and know that he was ready to sacrificially follow Him—and part of that would be in shepherding the New Testament church (see 1 Peter 5:1-5). In John 21, Jesus gives Peter four charges that are worth an eldership looking at carefully, and also for a congregation to look and see if their eldership is actually doing these things. #1—Feed My Lambs: give attention to the young…
Bold black question marks on paper cards

The Nature Of Truth – Ronnie Scherffius

One of the most profound questions ever posed to Jesus by mortal man was asked by Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38). While this question was likely asked by Pilate with a sarcastic tone it is nevertheless a question that continues to reverberate. By definition, truth in a general sense is “what is true in any matter under consideration as opposed to what is false.” In reference to religion, the term denotes “what is true in things appertaining to…
Church decoration

Missing Worship – Jody L. Apple 

Last Sunday was the first time that I missed worship and Bible study on the Lord’s Day in quite a long time. I missed it in two senses: first, I missed in the sense that I wasn’t there. Because I was still recovering from a cold with fever, chills, etc., I wasn’t physically able to attend. And second, I missed worship in the sense that I wanted to be there but I couldn’t be.  I feel all too often many…
rocks and mountains

Moses Strikes the Rock – John Haffner

The Lord used Moses to rebuke Pharaoh, to liberate the Israelite nation, and to lead them on their journey to the Promised Land. In our Bibles, we find Moses among some of God’s most faithful (Hebrews 11:23-30). However, Moses was not without sin. Perhaps the most well-known occasion comes from Numbers 20. The Israelites arrived at Kadesh without water and they were thirsty. The people complained about their condition. The congregation reached such a level of distress that in their…
Sheep grazing on green pasture in mountains

4 Admonitions from Jesus to Shepherds – Andy Baker

Though he was not an elder at that time, Jesus could see Peter’s future and know that he was ready to sacrificially follow Him—and part of that would be in shepherding the New Testament church (see 1 Peter 5:1-5). In John 21, Jesus gives Peter four charges that are worth an eldership looking at carefully, and also for a congregation to look and see if their eldership is actually doing these things. #1—Feed My Lambs: give attention to the young…
Church People Believe Faith Religious Praying

4 Reasons We Know the Church is Important to God – Andy Brewer

It seems to be a belief that is growing more and more prevalent all the time. People see the importance of God, they see the importance of a relationship with God, and they see the importance of a connection of some form to Christianity; but despite it all, they see absolutely no need to have any connection with the church. Their mantra is “give me Jesus but not the church.” The church holds no value to them whatsoever. In their…
P-k-199-teddy-0123wf

“And They Were Astonished” – Tom Wacaster

Near the close of His earthly ministry our Lord made one final journey to Galilee. His first stop on that tour was in Nazareth, the city where He grew up. Matthew’s record of this visit to Nazareth appears in 13:54-58. Upon entering into the city it is said that our Lord “taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished” (13:54). Should that surprise us? Do you recall that moment recorded by John when the officers were sent by…