George Washington Carver was a brilliant man. He is best known for his profound scientific research in the field of agriculture. It amazes me to think of all the products that he invented and that most of them were derived from peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other "garden-like" produce.
Carver was also multi-talented in art, music, and drama, but he gave them all up to pursue research in agriculture. While a student at Iowa State University, over 100 years ago, he explained to James Wilson, an administrator, why he was giving up his cherished work as an artist, "It would not do his people as much good as a thorough knowledge of the sciences of agriculture, which he might impart to them."
It wasn't long until Carver landed a teaching position at Tuskegee College in Alabama. He wrote these words to Booker T. Washington, president of the college at that time, "It has always been the one ideal of my life to be of the greatest good to the greatest number of my people possible and to this end and to this end I have been preparing myself for these many years; feeling as I do that this line of education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom to our people."
There is simply no way to measure all of the good that Carver accomplished for the esteem of black people. His life was exemplified by self-sacrifice, a "living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1) for the benefit of "his people."
This simple epitaph is found on his tombstone: He could have added some fame to fortune, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.
Let's now change a few words and pretend that this is our own epitaph. May each one of us fill in the blank and make a personal, spiritual application. "I, ______, could have added fame to fortune, but caring for neither, I found happiness and honor in being helpful to the Lord's Church." (Author Unknown)
Does your family go to Bible school? If not, let me encourage you to get involved with the Camden Avenue Church of Christ’s Bible school program. Bible school is an excellent way to hear the gospel and become a Christian. It will also have a major impact on one’s personal spiritual growth. Many people have benefited from the blessings of Bible school. If a child comes to every Sunday morning and Wednesday night Bible class offered, it is estimated that that child will have had over two thousand hours of teaching from the Bible by the time the child reaches nineteen years of age. George Barna reported Adults who attended church regularly as a child are three times as likely to be attending church today as their peers who avoided the church during childhood. (Taken from the biweekly e-mail from George Barna.) Do something wonderful for your family’s future. Bring them to Bible school at the Camden Avenue Church of Christ. We have a qualified and mature group of teachers that are eager to teach the Bible to you and your children. Hope to see you at the Camden Avenue Church of Christ, where you are always welcome!
By Steve Fuchs
Are you meeting your full potential? What would it take to make you successful intellectually, socially, morally, and materially? Can you be all you can be without Jesus? Sadly many think they can be complete without Jesus.
A young man who had attained much success morally, politically, socially, and materially came to Jesus and asked what he needed to do to have eternal life. (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30)
Jesus, yet living under the Old Testament told him to keep the commandments. Confident in his moral virtue he replied, “these have I kept from my youth up. What lack I yet?” Jesus replied, “If thou wilt be perfect (complete) go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor… and come follow me.” But the young man went away sadly for he had great possessions.
He had built his security in material things. He had found satisfaction in his own moral virtue. He had molded self-esteem in his political power, but none of these could get him eternal life without following Jesus!
How foolish to choose material wealth over eternal life! Maybe we need to do a personal audit before we get too hard on this young man.
On what do we spend most of our time? What do we consider to be our most secure investment? What brings us the most satisfaction in life? What dominates our conversations?
Without Jesus, we would never be all we could be. Jesus brings life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10). Any purpose we could assign to life would be incomplete without Jesus. Jesus completes us by providing all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He gives us strength to do all things through Him (Phil. 4:13). He provides us with the armor that we need to defeat our ablest enemy – Satan (Ephesians 6:10-16). He reveals the faith we need to keep us from falling (Romans 1:16-17, Jude 24; 2 Peter 1:5-10; 1 John 5:4). He gives us the crown of life in return for our faithfulness (Revelation 2:10).
Without Him I could do nothing.
Without Him I’d surely fail.
Without Him I would be drifting,
Like a ship without a sail.
Without Him I would be dying,
Without Him I’d be enslaved,
Without Him I would be hopeless,
But with Jesus, thank God I am saved!
- Mylon R. LeFevre
by Neal Pollard
Social drinking implies situations such as guests in the home, friends at a meal or bar, or business dinner or party where a typically smaller amount of alcohol is consumed. Certainly, this is an issue that often gets swept under the church-house rug, where silent pulpits, bulletins, and Bible classes turn the collective head on the subject. Well, fools go where angels fear to tread. Therefore, allow me to ask a few questions about "social drinking."
What constitutes the limit on social drinking? In other words, when does one cross the social line in social drinking? If one of the drinkers has two rather than one, is it still social drinking? Three rather than two? Four rather than three? When is it excessive? Who, of the other drinkers, is to be the judge of that (Christians are encouraged to use "righteous judgment," John 7:24)? Often, there are those in the "social drinking" crowd who try not to miss a shot, hit, refill, or round. For all the sippers, there are guzzlers, too. Yet, what makes four wrong and one right?
What positive social messages does it send? Sophistication? Success? With social drinking, what is the Christian hoping to achieve? A soul-winning opportunity? A Christ-like influence? A demonstration of the transformed life (cf. Romans 12:1-2)? Or, is it simply another way of conforming, bowing to the social pressures of a worldly-minded society? It does not edify the body of Christ (Romans 14:19). Could it rather often simply be a way to seek the acceptance and approval of secular friends, co-workers, and employers (cf. James 4:4)?
Are there negative social implications? YES! It can send a conflicting message to non-Christian or new-Christian fellow-drinkers, to whom we express disdain and condemnation for drunkenness (Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8). Also, the social landscape is changing. Social drinking, to high school and college party-goers, stretches all the way to bald-faced drunkenness. It is not uncommon to hear stories of "social drinkers" passed out or worse from drinking or even alcohol poisoning. Can we envision a soul-winner sitting down to a Bible study with a lost person with a mixed drink in hand? Or a preacher gesturing carefully during his sermon as he holds his glass of wine? Or an elder pleading with a wayward Christian to come home, laying his shot of whiskey down long enough to pray with them? Or a church fellowship, complete with the deacon of bartending on hand?
Far greater social destruction has come from alcohol than social salvation (i.e., medical benefits, etc.). The Bible does preach modernly and self-control in all things (Galatians 5:23). But, are we sure that this is a tacit endorsement of something so filled with potentially negative side-effects, socially as well as physically? Certainly, you will ultimately decide on which side of the ledger social drinking falls. But consider this a loving plea. Be careful with the precious commodities you possess as God's child--your influence, example, holiness, and righteousness. "Respect what is right in the sigh of all men" (Romans 12:17b). P.S. I have never heard of one good thing that came from alcohol.
Growing Churches have elders who are spiritual men of wisdom and vision who are deeply interested in the souls they shepherd. (1 Thes. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1-7)
Growing Churches have deacons who believe they must be servants in order to become deacons, and as deacons, they rejoice at the privilege to serve. (1 Tim. 3:8-13)
Growing Churches have preaching that exalts Christ and His word, that proclaims the “whole counsel of God,” and challenges members and non-members in a bold yet loving way to draw nearer to God. (2 Tim. 4:2-4, Acts 20:27, Eph. 4:15)
Growing Churches have an educational program that stimulates members to know more of God’s word and to better apply its truth to everyday life. (2 Pet. 3:18, Eph. 4:2)
Growing Churches regard worship as a privilege rather than a chore. The singing is enthusiastic, the Lord’s Supper is thoughtfully observed, prayers are humbly offered, and the brethren give generously as they have prospered. People bring their Bibles and study because they want to know God. (John 4:24, Ps. 116:12, Eph. 5:19, Jam. 5:16, 1 Cor. 16:1-2)
Growing Churches make visitors feel at home. Others can see the unity, warmth, and love that exists among the people of God. (John 13:34-35)
Growing Churches make a diligent effort to teach the lost and restore the fallen. (Acts 5:42, Gal. 6:1-2)
Growing Churches have young people who are cared for by the whole church and who act as examples of the faith. (1 Tim. 4:12)
Growing Churches respond to goals and challenges because every member is focused on glorifying Christ. (Phil. 2:5-11)
Growing Churches exhibit the mind of Christ by being humble, serving and obedient to the Father. (Phil. 2:5-11)
Taken from http://www.skywayhills.org/bulletin_PDF/2007_7_29.pdf