Ministers Blogs

Ministers Blogs

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

I first met him in 1968.  I loved him from the start. He was an inspiration to all who knew him.  He had a smile that never quit.  His humility and sweetness were so evident. I believe it was true that he had no enemies. All who knew him loved him. We just knew him as "Hud" McGee. His likeness and image speak to me even now after all the years.


I finally asked him, "Hud, you have so many friends, how do you do that?"  His answer came in an expected humble and quiet way.


"Well," he said, " through the years I have tried to make as many new friends as possible, and I've done all I could to keep all my old friends, too."  Is that a profound answer?  Well, maybe and maybe not.  Perhaps the profundity lies in its simplicity!


Friends are such a valuable commodity.  Friends, to me, are worth more than all the money and wealth in the world.  My friends keep me going.  I couldn't make it without them.  I want to make as many new friends as possible. And I don't want to lose even one of my old friends.


Thanks "Hud," for the lesson! I hope to see you again, old friend!  - Tom Butterfield


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Remember when novels used to end with, “And they lived happily ever after”? I venture to guess that rarely, if ever, has a marriage been entered into with a desire for less than “happiness every after.” Charlie, a teenager, asked his uncle Ted, who had been married for more than 50years, what was the secret to a happy marriage. Uncle Ted answered, “You can be happy in your marriage if you choose to be happy.” Here are a few rules that will help marriages become happier: 


1. Make a decision to be happy. 


2. Think kind and happy thoughts about each other. 


3. Choose to say positive things to each other. 


4. Choose to have fun time together. 


5. Always keep the forgiveness door open. 


6. Choose to send out positive vibes to each other. 


7. Choose to be optimistic even in tough times. 


8. Choose to be kind and courteous to each other. 


9. Keep conversations cheerful and open…listen. 


10. Remember each day is the first day of the rest of your life. 


11. Live with the end in view. 


12. Get up on the “right side” of the bed. 


Happiness in marriage is a choice that originates inside the heart. It doesn’t depend on external trappings or circumstances.


J.J. Turner


Helping them get to Heaven

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Fred B. Craddock tells the following story:

"At Fannin County Hospital, ministers take turns being chaplain for the week. I took my turn, and the week I was on watch, there was a baby born. Not a lot born in that little bitty thirty-bed hospital. But I went there, it was about nine oclock in the morning, and I saw all these people gathered, looking through the glass. There was that little bitty new baby, and it looked like a clan of people gathered around. I said, "What is it, boy or girl?"

"It’s a girl."

"Whats the name?"


"Well, is the father over here in this group?"

"No." Looked back over there, and leaning against the wall, was a young man.

He said, "Im the father."

I said, "Babys name Elizabeth?"


"Beautiful baby." She was squirming – you couldnt hear through the glass – but she was squirming and red faced, and all like that. I thought maybe he might be concerned, and I said, "Now, shes not sick. Its good for babies to scream and do all that. It clears out their lungs and gets their voices going. Its all right."

He said, "Oh, I know shes not sick. But shes mad, preacher." I said, "Whys she mad?" He said, "Well, wouldnt you be mad? One minute youre with God in heaven and the next minute youre in Georgia."

I said, "You believe she was with God before she came here?

He said, "Oh, yeah."

I said, "You think shell remember?"

He said, "Well, thats up to her mother and me. Its up to the church. Weve got to see that she remembers, cause if she forgets, shes a goner." (Craddock Stories, p.127)

We might not agree with the young fathers thinking totally but he does state an important truth about his young daughters future; if his daughter is ever to have a home in Heaven it is up to him and his wife and the church to help her get there.

This is what the Bible has been telling us all along in Ephesians 6:4, it reads, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

And as a congregation of Gods people it is our goal to help children get to Heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

This is why we at the Camden Ave. Church of Christ offer weekly Bible School, Vacation Bible School, encourage Christian youth camp, and do what we can for our youths spiritual life by offering other spiritual activities. We want to do our part in helping our children go to Heaven. But parents must do their part in seeing the importance of these spiritual activities and getting your children to these spiritual opportunities.

If we do not help our children get to Heaven, who will? Think about it!

Mark T. Tonkery

Suggestions For Successful Prayer Life

Thursday, January 25, 2018

1. Pray Immediately Upon Rising - In what better way can we begin the day than by thanking God for His protection and care during the night and by asking for his guidance during the new day? Prayer at the beginning of the day is an insulation against evil throughout the entire day.

2. Pray Before Every Meal - God has provided for our needs in such a bountiful manner! The least we can do is express our gratitude as we sit down to enjoy each meal. In these days when we eat many meals in crowded public restaurants, a few moments of silent prayer often must serve for the audible prayer which we pray around our tables at home.

3. Pray At Set Times - The ancient Jews, and others, reserved specific periods each day for prayer. We find it helpful, too. These regular times serve as reminders and help keep the busy world from crowding out our periods of communion with God. One woman uses her dishwashing time for prayer.

4. Pray When You Are Discouraged - Most of us dont need much encouragement to pray when we are discouraged or when we face some special problems. At such times prayer comes naturally. It is comforting to know that God listens to our prayers in times of crisis. The Christian has the privilege of leaning upon the Lord in times of difficulty.

5. Pray When You Are Happy - It is easy to pray in times of crisis...and equally easy to forget to pray when life is running smoothly. Christians need to thank God for their happy and prosperous lives.

6. Pray With Your Whole Family

There is something wonderful about a prayer in which both children and parents have a part. Let it be one united prayer, with each member of the family contributing a few sentences about those things closest to his heart, beginning it with the smallest child who is old enough to say a prayer. Then go from child to child and on to parents, until finally the father closes the prayer with the final "amen."

7. Pray Immediately Before Retiring - After the cares and toils of the day the child of God needs to talk with his heavenly Father. There are blunders to be confessed, sins to be forgiven, and there is gratitude to be expressed for the blessings of the day. Sleep will be sweeter if we have committed ourselves to the Lords loving care.

8. Pray Fervently - James says, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much in its workings" (James 5:16), Christ commended the importunate widow for her persistence (Luke 18). We must feel deeply the things we say to God, and must say them earnestly, fervently in full faith.

Batsell Barrett Baxter

"Peace on Earth"

Friday, December 22, 2017

Ironic! Several years ago, at Christmastime it was reported that two dozen gunmen had seized Town Hall in Bethlehem, holding the local governor at bay. Of course news of violence, radical religious extremism and unrest are daily news from this part of the world, And yet, two thousand years ago, an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in this same land and announced. "We bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord...and there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill to men" (Luke 2:9-14).

I have been asked "Whatever happened to this promise of peace? If the coming of Jesus into the world was meant to bring peace - it certainly never happened! War, crime, civil unrest and rebellion continue to prevail in the world."

My answer is: "Jesus did bring peace!" How do I know? "He brought peace to me!" Jesus promised peace, not to the world on a wholesale basis, but to each individual who loves Him and will keep His word. (John 14:23) He said "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

The reason that man is troubled and afraid is because he has been alienated by sin from the God who loves and has created us. "Your iniquities have separated you from your God and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2) Thomas Aquinas correctly stated that man "cannot rest until he rests in Thee." The purpose of Jesus’ coming into the world was to die on the cross - so the just penalty for our sins could be paid. Once our sin had been atoned for by the blood of Jesus - God was free to offer us forgiveness and reconciliation. By the sacrifice of Jesus, God "reconciled all things to Himself...having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled." (Colossians 1:21-22)

Because of the cross of Jesus, I am at peace with God. No longer do I have to be worried about the sins of my past - they have been forgiven! No longer do I have to fear the Judgment - I am justified by the blood of Jesus. Because of Jesus, I have a relationship with God that is based upon love and characterized by hope and the assurance of salvation.

Because Jesus came, not only do we have peace with God, we are also at peace with ourselves. Sin is such a destructive force in the lives of every man. Whether we realize it or not, the sinner is tormented by the guilt of how his actions have hurt both God and his fellowman. Jesus not only offers us peace with God, but He also teaches us to live in peace. In Isaiah 48:18 God lamented, "Oh that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river."

Living by God’s commands not only will bring peace in our own life, it will also allow is to live in peace with one another. I have seen countless examples of dissention between neighbors, families and friends that have been resolved peacefully because the spirit of God prevailed. Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)

I recently saw a bumper sticker that said it all: Know Jesus - Know peace. No Jesus - No peace! The only way for man to have true peace with God, himself and his fellowman is by obedience to the gospel. That is why the scripture says "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things." (Romans 10:15)

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