Hopeful Memory

Hopeful Memory

Memory is a beautiful thing. I put together an eighty-page book, recording the photographic record of our Alaskan Cruise in 2017 celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary. The process itself allowed me to re-live the entire trip. While it was certainly a lot of work (culling around 2,000 pictures and putting them in a chronological narrative), the experience made the task a real joy. I joked to Tina that, hopefully, even when our memory began to fail, the book would help us remember this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

My comment, however, reveals the other side of memory – the tragedy of forgetfulness. I’m known for my absent mindedness. I tend to be so focused on a task that I can forget the other things I have temporarily moved to the periphery. While embarrassing, I would not really describe such lapses as “tragic.”

We have seen the tragedy of forgetfulness, though, in many of our older friends and family members. Sometimes our brains age faster than our bodies and a lifetime of precious memories slowly slip away.

We have seen the tragedy of forgetfulness in many due to neglect. Sometimes we forget to acknowledge those who have helped us. It is said that, as a culture, we have lost the art of writing thank you notes. I believe it is more than that: we are living in a culture of entitlement where people believe they deserve the kind generosity and gifts of others. They see it as their “right.”

This contributes to the greatest tragedy of forgetfulness — when we deliberately refuse to acknowledge the goodness of others. This is a faithless forgetfulness. God’s people have often been guilty of being faithless in their recognition of God’s gifts. In fact, there are stern warnings against it.

Deuteronomy 8:11-18

Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God…
12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down…
14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God….
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
18 But remember the LORD your God….

I’ll say more in my lesson.


By | 2023-05-27T10:52:11-06:00 May 27th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Faith Of Our Fathers (Mothers)


 Since last summer, we have been celebrating our 65th anniversary in this area, culminating in this homecoming service today. The Boise Church of Christ actually came into being in the Spring of 1940 (established by two women meeting in their homes 83 years ago). The church grew to around 240 by 1956 and built this building in 1957. The first service in the new building occurred July 28, 1957.  Below is an excerpt from the following week’s bulletin, dated August 4, 1957:

God has blessed us beyond measure and we should be so thankful and appreciative of our fine new building. Let us make it only the beginning and with love and zeal filling our hearts, let us push onward toward the mark of the high calling. Brethren, we’ve just begun. There are no limits.  If God be with us, who can be against us.

 Our opening day in the new building was an inspiring one with a morning attendance of 427 and approximately 350 at the evening service, to hear the wonderful messages brought to us by Bro George Benson, President of Harding College, Searcy Ark., and Brother Batsel Barret Baxter, of Nashville, Tenn.  It was a privilege to have such able men come and be with us in our efforts….

 Now we would like to voice our deep felt appreciation to the building committee who spent so many hours working and planning and carrying out those plans so that the building is the fine accommodating thing that it is.  And next, to the women who spent so many hours in hard work. We believe it was all the work of love and our building as it is would not have been possible without Your help. There were many more who gave their time and their money and we would like to thank each and every one for the efforts that have been put forth.

 Brother John York arrived this week to start his work with us here. Let us welcome him and his family, and encourage his efforts with our willing cooperation….

Do you believe in the providence of God? Let’s put our trust in God, nothing wavering and give him the glory.

 The Elders (Ivan Harris, Harvey Evans, Dallas Harris, Paul Swearingen, Hale Miller, Orie Henson, and Leo Smith) – Dated August 4, 1957

We have a proud legacy. Let’s continue to carry it out in ministry to the souls in this area.

—   Joey



What happens when you put a small-town conservative Church of Christ boy with an urban-raised Pentecostal girl?  You get Kevin and Elise Hooper!  They met through the BSU Campus Ministry of the Boise Church of Christ in 1996 and were married on July 5, 1997.  They have seven children: Corban (23), Micah (21), Eliana (17), Gideon (14), Evangeline (10), Everly (6), and Emeline (3).  Their first daughter-in-law, Natalie, joined them by marrying Corban in September 2019.

They are in full-time ministry with the Midvale and Weiser Churches of Christ; two small, rural congregations about twenty miles apart in western Idaho. On December 31st, Kevin marked 25 years in full-time ministry, which has included youth ministry with the Boise Church of Christ, and associate ministry with the Cross Tower Church of Christ in West Jordan, Utah. They have been in rural Idaho since 2011. Kevin holds a BA in Christian Ministry through Austin Graduate School of Theology, sings with a community choir, and serves as Vice President on the board of directors for Love, INC of Washington County.  Elise home educates their children, which is a full-time job she has been committed to for 19 years.

Kevin enjoys hiking, basketball, reading, hunting for and harvesting firewood, watching movies, and listening to Mike Rowe tell stories. Elise loves to read, write, cook, sew, make her home beautiful, and teach her children.

By | 2023-05-06T23:09:22-06:00 May 6th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Does It Mean To Be Disciple-Making?

What Does it Mean to Be Disciple-Making?

Matthew 28:18-20  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”




  1. Going
  2. Baptizing
  3. Teaching


Luke 19:10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

  1. How Do You Go About Finding the Lost?
  2. Three Popular Models…
    • Attractional
    • Missional
    • Personal


  1. We Tell the Good News (Romans 10:17)
  2. They Respond in…



Ephesians 4:11-16  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,  12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up  13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Blessings! Joey

By | 2023-04-22T23:40:30-06:00 April 22nd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Does It Mean To Be Christ-centered?

What Does it Mean to Be Christ-Centered?

Colossians 2:8  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.


  1. By Hollow & Deceptive Philosophy
  2. By Human Tradition
  3. By the Basic Principles of this World


Colossians 1:15-18  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

  1. He is the Image of the Invisible God
  2. He is the Firstborn over all Creation
  3. By Him all things Were Created… by Him and for Him
  4. He is Before all things, and in Him all things Hold Together
  5. He is the Head of the Body, the Church
  6. He is the Beginning and Firstborn from the Dead.
  7. In all things He has Supremacy


Colossians 2:3-10 In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…  8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.  9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,  10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

  1. All the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge
  2. Nothing Else Left – “He is Over Every Power & Authority.”


Colossians 3:1-5  Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

  1. FOCUS: Set your Hearts/Minds on things Above, NOT on Earthly things.
  2. ACTION: Put to Death Whatever Belongs to Your Earthly Nature.


Blessings! Joey

By | 2023-04-15T22:55:41-06:00 April 15th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Because He Lives…

Because He Lives…

Happy Easter!  While we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ every Sunday, today is still special because it is the actual anniversary of that momentous event!

The song, Because He Lives, eloquently articulates our hope in Jesus.

An Empty Grave is there to Prove my Savior Lives

(Verse 1)
God sent his son. They called him Jesus. He came to love, heal and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Jesus, indeed, came to love, heal, and forgive. He was crucified and buried in a tomb, but he did not remain there!  He rose from the dead on the third day.  That empty grave is there to prove our savior lives!

Matthew 28:1-6  After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.  5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

This Child Can Face Uncertain Days Because He Lives

(Verse 2)
How sweet to hold a newborn baby and feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance: this child can face uncertain days because he lives.

One concern every prospective parent shares is the kind of world their children will have to face.  This song affirms that because of Christ, his accomplished work, and resurrection from the dead our children have a future.

This hope is shared by every one of us as well. The chorus affirms that we have hope, courage, assurance, and purpose because he lives!

Because he live, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, He holds the future. And life is worth the living, just because he lives

Jesus proclaimed this assurance to his disciples in John 16.

John 16:33   “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I’ll See the Lights of Glory and I’ll Know He Reigns

The third verse addresses our greatest fear of all – death.

(Verse 3)
And then one day, I’ll cross the river. I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory, I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know he reigns.

Death is never far from our thoughts.  Every wrinkle, every pain, and every illness is a constant reminder. Sadly, there are times when it becomes even more real as we say goodbye to someone we know and love.

It is also natural and human that we fear death. As far as our experience tells us, death is final. We have never seen someone come back from the dead; they are gone as far as we can discern.  We fear that as we breathe our last, all that we are will disappear into nothingness, but Jesus came to free us from our fear of death.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57   55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Because He Lives walks us through our last moments of life. There will be pain and suffering. Our bodies struggle against the inevitable. We trust that God’s promises are true, but we know them only by faith and not sight (2 Corinthians 5:5). “What will happen next?” we think. Then it’s all over. We cross the river. The silver cord is severed. The golden bowl is broken. The pitcher is shattered at the spring and the wheel is broken at the well (Ecclesiastes 12).

Light fades from our eyes. Ambient sounds grow dim. The touch of our loved one’s hand gives way to nothingness. What happens next?  Are you a Christian? You will open your eyes again! You will see the lights of glory in the presence of Jesus himself, Because He Lives!

Live in Hope of Glory! Joey

By | 2023-04-08T22:40:20-06:00 April 8th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It’s All Good! God Will Give You Peace!

It’s All Good!  God will Give you Peace!

Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians to a church that was in danger of losing its joy.  There were many things for them to be sad and worried about.  Their founding missionary was being held prisoner in Rome.  He had already lost four years of his life and ministry locked away from the general public.  They were concerned that his trial before Nero might result in his execution.

This would be enough to make them sad in and of itself.  However, they had their own worries.  Philippi was a Roman colony and there was a lot of support for the emperor.  Nero commanded an almost god-like devotion; he was called Lord and Savior.  The Christians at Philippi would have refused to acknowledge him in such terms.  This would have, at the very least, caused ostracism and brought on economic reprisals, but at the worst could have subjected them to charges of treason.

I can see how they might have longed for the days when they could safely reside under the legal umbrella of Judaism.  I can even understand the temptation to leave their freedom in Christ and embrace the burdens of circumcision and other legalistic rituals for safety’s sake.  Perhaps, this was behind the internal unrest caused by Euodia and Syntyche. There was selfish ambition and political posturing going on between and because of these women.  Maybe their disagreement was over competing strategies of dealing with Roman persecution and conformity (for self preservation) to a more “Jewish” lifestyle.

Paul addresses all these worries by pointing them to the cross.  Jesus, who was in the form of God, voluntarily took on the form of a servant to die on the cross for our benefit.  Because of his obedience, God exalted him.  Our obedience as Christians is to take on a cruciform (i.e., taking the form of the cross) life/death and embrace suffering as participation in the sufferings of Christ.  God will reward our obedience with our participation in the exaltation and resurrection of Jesus at the last day.

Paul recognized this in regard to his own sufferings and encouraged the Philippians to follow his example, For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Paul also directly addressed their worry and peace of mind in our lesson text for Sunday (Philippians 4:4-9).



By | 2023-04-01T22:26:34-06:00 April 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

History Of The Philippian Church

History Of The Philippian Church

In our Sunday messages, we’re taking a brisk walk through Philippians during the month of March.  I’ve shared a good bit about the letter in my articles, but I haven’t really mentioned much about the beginning of the church.

The history of the Philippian church begins in Acts 16:11-40.  This church was formed around AD 49 from a “ladies Bible class” that met down by the river each Sabbath for prayer.  There was no synagogue in the city so Paul and his entourage met with these “god-fearing,” gentile women.  Lydia, a wealthy (?) merchant from Thyatira, was baptized along with her household.  She invited Paul and his group to stay in her home which was probably more akin to a villa.

We don’t really know how long Paul and his companions (Silas, Timothy, and Luke) stayed in Philippi, but during this time they established a close friendship with this small community of believers.  The eventual departure of Paul, Silas and Timothy was the direct result of Paul casting out a divining spirit from a young slave girl which was followed by imprisonment, an earthquake, the conversion of the jailer, and the anxiety of the town officials when they realized they had beaten and imprisoned an uncondemned Roman citizen.  Luke remained with the Philippian church and does not resurface again in Acts until 20:1-5 when Paul returns to Philippi (4-6 years later).  Apparently, Luke remained in Philippi for a number of years.

Paul visited Philippi at least three more times previous to this epistle (1 Corinthians 16:5; 2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 7:5; Acts 20:3) and two following (1 Timothy 1:3; Titus 3:12; 2 Timothy 4:13).  His deep affection for the church is echoed in his extravagant testimony about them,

1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.  2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,  4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.  5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.

2 Corinthians 8:1-5

In Sunday’s lesson, we’ll look at Philippians 3It’s All Good! Your Gains are More than Your Losses.

 Rejoice!  Joey

By | 2023-03-26T00:21:57-06:00 March 26th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It’s All Good: Sacrifice Leads To Victory

It’s All Good!
Sacrifice Leads to Victory

Serving Christ requires sacrifice. Sometimes those sacrifices are “on the front end” of our faith and we go in with our eyes open. However, many sacrifices come further on down the road as we make tough decisions about friendships, finances, work, or recreation. Other sacrifices are forced upon us by those who do not hold our values and may even wish us harm. Paul discusses the sacrifice of Jesus in Philippians 2. Jesus gave up everything for us and we should be willing to set aside our wants – even our needs – for others!

Since I’m “breezing” through this letter during March, I thought it best to give you a little more “meat” in this article each week. We have been reconstructing the historical conditions found in the Philippian church.

Last week we mentioned, both in the sermon and the article, some “internal unrest” affecting the church. Euodia and Synteche are instructed to “agree with each other in the Lord” (Philippians 4:2). Another person at Philippi (possibly Luke), here called “loyal yokefellow,” is encouraged to intervene and help these women in their dispute (Philippians 4:3). This has not yet become a full-fledge division or schism in the church, but it has that potential; Paul wants to head things off before it affects their “witness.”

Paul addresses these issues head on in chapter two,

If you have any encouragement from being united with
Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship
with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having
the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in
humility consider others better than yourselves.
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but
also to the interests of others.
5 Your attitude should
be the same as that of Christ Jesus….
Philippians 2:1-5

This disagreement appears to be caused by selfish ambition or “posturing” as one commentator chooses to describe it. It is only human (Paul would call it “fleshly” or “of the sinful nature”) to want one’s own way and seek one’s own best interests ahead of others (Philippians 2:19-21). However, Paul’s solution is to have the attitude of Christ who did not consider equality with God a thing to be selfishly grasped, but humbled himself to become a man and ultimately die on the cross. He did all of this for us. We should have the same mindset with one another!

Rejoice! Joey



By | 2023-03-18T22:23:11-06:00 March 18th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It’s All Good: God Is At Work

It’s All Good: God is at Work!

Over the next four weeks, we will be discussing Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  These lessons have the same theme:  It’s All Good!  Today we will be learning how God’s activity in our lives is reason to rejoice – regardless of our circumstances.  However, in this article, let’s learn a bit more about the Philippian church.

The circumstances of Paul and the Philippian church give rise to the occasion of (reason for) the letter. Paul is in prison (guarded in chains, perhaps still in a rented house).  Epaphroditus was sent from Philippi with a gift (some means of financial support) for Paul.  Paul now sends him back to Philippi with this letter.  The letter updates the church on his condition, thanks them for their gift, and addresses some issues going on at Philippi (presumably as reported by Epaphroditus).  The issues deal with the suffering of the church due to opposition and some sort of internal unrest or division.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spiritcontending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved–and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Philippians 1:27-30   

Both the church and Paul are suffering at the hands of the empire for the defense of the gospel. As a Roman Colony, residents of Philippi were Roman citizens and very “pro-Rome” and “pro-Emperor.”  The primary titles for the Emperor were Kyrios and Soter (Lord and Savior); he was approached in a manner resembling a “god.”  You can see how that would conflict with our Christian perspective.

Paul reminds the Philippians that their true citizenship is in heaven (3:20) and that Jesus had obtained sole privilege to the title of Lord (2:9-11); one day every knee would bow to him.  Jesus is also uniquely the Savior (3:20). The Philippians, of course, knew this and that is the very reason they were suffering at the hands of their opposition.  As to the form of this opposition, we can only speculate.

I will discuss more about their “internal unrest” next week’s article..

Rejoice!  Joey

By | 2023-03-11T22:42:58-07:00 March 11th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments