December 2018 - GraceAndWorks

It’s Christmas Time!!

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Awwwwww….The hustle and bustle of Christmas season. The lights are twinkling, the trees are decorated, the crowds are maddening, and some of us spend more than we can afford so we can enjoy the happy faces of kids, family, and friends. We all have memories of different times we have had at Christmas. I thought I’d share a couple of mine.

We lived on a farm in Western Nebraska and money was always tight. However, we always had a nice Christmas. I was some where around 8 or 9 years old this particular Christmas. It was Christmas eve and we were starting to open our presents. The first one I opened was a screw!!! Well I tossed that thing right into the pile of wrapping paper garbage. Dad did a swan dive to recover it. The next package I opened had some kind of wood thing inside. The next one had some kind of metal thing in it. I had no idea what was going on!! The last one had a gun barrel in it. Dad finally put it all together and low and behold, there was a 22 caliber bolt-action rifle. Oh, how funny it became when all the pieces were found and put together. I was totally surprised!!

The other story I want to share was the Christmas right before my Dad went to be with God. The family all gathered at my Mom and Dad’s house in Dix, Nebraska. The food and fellowship was beyond compare. Fabulous, you might say. It was a bitter sweet time knowing that Dad didn’t have much time left. Christmas eve it snowed and Christmas morning when we got up, it was spectacular looking outside. My sister and her family were living in Dallas and snow was a rare occasion there. My nephew, Kevin, had his girlfriend with them and when she saw the snow outside, she said, “Oh, look, it snowed, just for me!!” We all had a good laugh over that. The cheer and the gifts were plentiful. Good times for all. Dad joined God about a month later. Fabulous memories of that last Christmas with my dad.

This Christmas is also going to bitter sweet. It will be the first Christmas, in many years, that Peg and I will spend the holidays with out any of our family around. It’ll be quiet, but, a fun time for us. We get to share a lesson and Sermon with the Saints in Pahrump. Desert Church of Christ, in Pahrump, has been such a blessing for us, to not only work in God’s kingdom, but also cultivate long lasting friendships.

This is also the time of year that most will remember and give praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Churches will have special events to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, but, this gives everyone an opportunity to remember Him. God wants us to go to Worship services each first day of the week. We, as Christians, remember Jesus’s birth, death, burial, and resurrection every Sunday and not just on “Special” days. Will we see you in Worship this Sunday? God wants it that way.


One Body-One Faith-One Baptism-One Lord

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Old Testament prophecy told us several things about the New Testament church Coming. It told us about a new covenant. It told us that this covenant would take place in the latter days, which places it after Jesus died on the cross. It told us the church would be established in Jerusalem and spread from there, and all who believed and obeyed would be saved.
Jeremiah 31:31-35–New Covenant
Jeremiah 32:40–New Covenant
Zechariah 1:16–Place
Isaiah 2:2-3–Time/Place
Micah 4:1-2–Time/Place
Daniel 2:44–Time/Frame
Joel 2:28-32–Who believed

Jesus stated, about Himself, that upon this rock I will build MY church. This means there is only one New Testament church.
Building The Church:
Matthew 16:13-19–Foundation/Confession Jesus is the Christ
1st Corinthians 3:11–Foundation/Jesus Christ
Matthew 21:42–Foundation
Acts 4:11–Foundation/Stone
Ephesians 2:20-21–Foundation
Isaiah 28:16–Rock

The first two chapters of Acts tells us of the Church being established. This occurred 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus. As prophecy told us, it started in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and spread from there.
Acts 1:1-2:47–Church established/Day of Pentecost
Acts 11:26–First called Christians/Antioch

Ephesians 4:4-7–The Apostle Paul has this to say:
“There is ONE BODY and ONE SPIRIT, just as you were called in ONE HOPE of your calling; There is ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM; ONE GOD and FATHER of ALL, who is above ALL, and through ALL, and in you ALL. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

Our salvation depends on us getting “IT” right.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.


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If you haven’t set goals, maybe it is time. Where do you want to be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, 5 years from now, 20 years from now? Goals need to be set for money, job advancement, family, homes, cars, and life.

As I watch sports, many of them score by goals. Hockey, soccer, and basketball come to mind. The team that scores the most goals wins the game (DUH!!). My point here is, each team has goals when they enter into a game. Short term goals come from practice and getting prepared. Goals throughout the game, such as, leading at the first break and second break. Staying out of foul trouble–remain error free. Keeping other players involved. Pay attention to to the little things. If the players and team meet their short term goals, they will lead to the long term goal of winning.

In life we need the same set of goals. How much money do you want to have saved each month, each year, at the end of 5, 10, 20 years? If we set the short term goals, we will reach the long term goal of having enough money to retire. Where do you want to get in your career? I’m here now, I want to be there in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. If you can’t advance the way you want to meet financial and personal goals, you may have to seek change in where you work. What about your home? Are you in an apartment or small rental home and want to have your own home? You will need to find the price range you want, the size you want, then set financial goals for down payment and monthly payment.

You also need to set goals for your life. What do you want out of life? Do you want to just float along, or do want to have purpose? The ultimate goal, everyone should have, is a place in Heaven with God. So, how do we get there? The first advice I would give you is: take Paul’s words to Timothy in 2nd Timothy 2:15 and following to heart. 1) Study God’s Word. 2) Show yourself approved as a workman. 3) Being able to rightly divide the Word. Become educated so you know right from wrong. Not listening to false teaching, which most generally comes from pulling verses out of context to make God’s Word say what you want it to, instead of what God wants. Once you have learned what God has to say, the 2nd advice I would give you comes from 1st John 5:3-6. If you love God, you will keep His commandments. They are not burdensome. Now I’ll give you 6 simple commands to start your goals with:
1) Hear God’s Word–Romans 10:17
2) Believe God’s Word–John 8:24
3) Repent (Do away with) of your sins–Luke 13:3
4) Confess to others that you believe Jesus is the Son of God–Romans 10:9
5) Be baptized–Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38-41
6) Live righteously thereafter–Revelation 2:10
These are short term goals to help you with the long term goal of reaching Heaven. You can’t and shouldn’t expect to reach Heaven by only doing one or two of these. They ALL need to be done. They are GOD’S commands.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.