Tom Tom 07-28-13

Sometimes in discussing life in general, especially among Christian folks, someone will ask the question… “Are you liberal or conservative?”  Not an easy task to answer that question.  In some areas we need to be liberal and in others we should be conservative.  Liberal with our service to the Lord, liberal with our love for our fellow-man, liberal with our finances toward the church, liberal with the time we devote to family…and the list continues.  In other areas we should be conservative.  Conservative in regard to our following of Bible principles in our manner of life, conservative in our reckless spending of our money, conservative in the offering of advice to folks who didn’t ask for our advice, conservative in our meaningless promotion of self to the exclusion of others worth…and the list goes on.

Was Jesus a liberal or a conservative?  If he lived physically in Hammon Oklahoma, would he be a Republican or a Democrat?  Kind of a silly question and the answers are equally silly…right?  Some folks love to put people in little boxes in reference to how we think they believe or act.  Be careful about using scriptures to pigeon hole certain people.  Does scripture address Jesus’ political leanings? It may be surprising to learn that it does not.  In fact, the only time Jesus himself addresses the matter is in John 18:36.  He told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”  The language could hardly be any clearer.

Jesus had a strong economic philosophy? In the parable of the laborers who all received the same wages, he taught that all people who submit to the will of God will receive eternal life. In the parable of the talents, he illustrated the classic free-market enterprise system.

In social issues, Jesus consorted with sinners. He dined with sinners, talked to women, reached out to the Samaritans. To the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said, “Go, and sin no more.” (Jn.8:11). In a spiritual vein, Jesus said: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (Jn.14:15). In the sermon on the mount he said, “Not everyone that says Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father.” (Matt.7:21).

QUESTION… Is the Hammon Church of Christ liberal or conservative. ANSWER… We are just Christian folks doing God’s Will to the best of our ability. In some ways liberal and in others conservative. Label us if you must…but be careful with your descriptive phrases! That might label you?????                  

                                                                                            …TOM

Tom Tom 07-21-13

TomTom

 

What causes folks to quit…quit living faithful Christian lives, quit being faithful for every worship opportunity, to quit a marriage…the list goes on.  Some folks are quitters! They lack staying ability to the long haul.  I have known lots of folks in my life that went strong in the Lord for a time and then quit.  With most of them it was a slow gradual process that brought about them quitting. With some, the quitting came about because they changed friends, with others they changed jobs, or with others their health took a turn for the worse.

The Christians of Galatia were going through a quitting process. The reason that some gave was the false teachers that had come in and confused them.  They did not know who or what was right any more and they were thinking of leaving the truth that Paul had taught them. Paul heard of their condition and quickly wrote a letter by the Spirit’s inspiration, to help keep them from falling (1:6; 3:1,4; 4:11, 19; 5:7; 6:9).  Paul wanted them to know that if they quit the church they would be quitting God or forsaking God (1:1-6).  God was the one who was powerful enough to raise Christ from the dead. He is the one who created them. He gave them every blessing they had ever enjoyed. He did not leave them alone, but tried to direct their lives.

If they quit the church, they would be forsaking God’s Grace (1:6) Grace = God giving us favor that we do not deserve. The emphasis in the book of Galatians is on Grace (1:3,6,13; 2:9, 21; 5:4; 6:18).  If they quit the church they would be forsaking the Gospel (1:7-9). There is only one true gospel…many imitations, but only one gospel. Many will be lost at the judgment (Matt.7:21-23).

If the Galatian Christians gave up on the Church, they would be giving up on the Christ who died for them. It’s a serious thing to forsake the Church.  This Christians needed to awake to understanding the nature of the church. These Christians needed to know what they were doing when they forsook the One who died for them. Where would we go if we left the church?

 

                                                                       Tom

TomTom 07-14-13

What do you like about the Hammon Church of Christ? That it is STRONG, in the Faith? What do you like about the Hammon Church of Christ? That we sincerely love one another.  I can name a lot of reasons that I like this church. Hopefully, the preaching and singing lift this church up in a lot of folks hearts and minds.  If you had your choice within ten churches of Christ in the brotherhood, would the Hammon Church of Christ be in that top ten? Would it be in first place?

One thing that lifts up this church for me is our children, our youth. We have beautiful talented children and youth.  I am so very proud of our children. I look forward to them being in the assembly.  When the families are absent who have the children or young people…a big hole is left in the assembly. Is there anything that we can do to make them happy to be a part of this church?  Do we encourage them enough? Do we provide things in our classes and worship times that include them and make them feel important?  Are we training them to be Bible Class teachers, song leaders, young men to wait on the Lord’s Table, help get the count of the services, help to mow the grass…the list goes on.  Our youth must know that we count on them and that when they are absent…we miss them. Let’s all help families to bring up their children in the admonition of the Lord. (Eph.6:4)

Set a good example to our children and teenagers.  Encourage them to sing, help them find the numbers in the hymn books. Encourage them to listen to the sermon. (You might even encourage them to take the bulletin and follow along in the sermon outline.) Parents, prepare your children at home for the worship and study time.  Tell them why we baptize, why we sing without an instrument, why we partake of the Lord’s Supper.

I’m so very thankful that you worship with us on a regular basis here at the Hammon Church of Christ!

…Tom

Tom Tom 6-30-13

TOMTOM
We all are faced with decisions that only we individually can make. Many, many times the decisions that we make either boost our productivity or stop all activity. Some times we even wonder after the decision has been made…why did we choose the course of action that we choose. The prophet Joel in chapter 3:14 speaks of being in the “valley of decisions.” We have all been there and done that. Daily we come to the valley of decisions. It is a wonderful experience if the decision made helps to enable you to rise and climb the mountain of faith. But, sadly enough, it is a shameful thought if one weakens in this valley and goes down, down, down into the cavern of doubt, fear, and failure.
Decisions are far-reaching. Sometimes it seems an insignificant matter to decide on a course of action in little things, and yet the outcome may mean success or failure, happiness or misery, life or the never-ending state the Bible calls “the second death.”
With our youth…sometimes the decisions look like this: “Shall I sneak around and do this even though my parents disapprove? Shall I go to this place of questionable reputation? Shall I drink intoxicants or be an abstainer? Shall I become a Christian or wait?” These and other decisions are difficult to make for our children, that we have raised, hoping that they would always make the right decisions.
For those of us who are a little older…our decision making time sometimes catches us off guard. “Shall I accept this position that might interfere with my Christian responsibility? Shall we move to another town or state? Shall I be firm with my children, or let them have their way? Shall I be strong in the Lord, or be a weak and indifferent Christian? Shall I sacrifice principles? Shall I study the sacred scriptures and meditate upon them day and night, or shall I let the dust accumulate on my Bible? Shall I tell a nasty story or hear one?”
Joshua, in the “valley of decision” becomes the shining example of the ages, as we read his immortal words: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
…Tom