Uncategorized

/Uncategorized

Love INC (In The Name Of Christ)

Galatians 6:9-10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people,  especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Love INC is one of the ministries we support in our effort to “do good to all people.” Love INC is short for Love in the Name of Christ and we provide a home for their Boise executive offices and Care Center in our east wing. Vic Clapp, one of our deacons, is on the Love INC board and is our liaison with the organization. Up until her surgery, Tina Gafford served as their Office Administrator. Vicky Knapp is their Abundant Living Coordinator. Jeff Deaton is their Director of Operations/Care Center Coordinator. Their Executive Director, Honi Deaton, will be headlining our concert tonight. The following are a few facts from their website: boiseloveinc.org

Partnership with Churches

Since the beginning of the Love in the Name of Christ movement in 1977, Christ has been central to bringing together a broad base of Christian churches in a community to minister to the needs of that community.

Vision

To See Christian churches united in purpose and fully engaged in actively living out their faith by lovingly serving people in need in their communities.

Care Center

The basics of Love INC is to provide assistance to our community using resources that are provided within Love INC, or by directing people to the needed resources that are provided by local  churches, organizations, and charities.

Abundant Living

The Abundant Living Program is founded on Biblical principles from a holistic perspective. Participants learn not only money management skills but skills that affect every aspect of their lives. Our approach is through community classes given in a non-judgmental, loving, and relationship building environment. Our goal is to educate, encourage, and empower participants towards a life changing transformation. Our hope is that participants will discover that Jesus came so that they may have life and have it abundantly.

While going through the Abundant Living Program, participants can earn food distributions, haircuts, Christmas gifts, oil changes, gas cards, and other resources to assist in reducing their  spending while paying off debt. On average, graduates reduce their debt by $7000.00 while participating in the program.

Our End of School Celebration tonight is co-sponsored by Love INC. They will be providing a concert and information about how we can be involved in Love INC and those in need can take  advantage of their resources.

By | 2024-05-19T00:05:03-06:00 May 18th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

I Hate Mother’s Day!

I Hate Mother’s Day!

I hate Mother’s Day, but it’s not because I don’t have a great mother; I do! In fact my life has been filled with a number of wonderful, giving, nurturing, godly women. Starting with my mom, Marion Jo Gafford, who is 83 and has been the standard by which I measure all women. She was the glue that held our family together. She was my first Christian mentor.

Next, her Mom, Roxie Ann McGough, was an example of generosity. She worked menial jobs, when she did not have to work, just so she could buy all her grand-children Christmas presents. I also must mention all those great holiday dinners she prepared.

My paternal grandmother, Rubye Johns Gafford, was a spiritual mentor for me throughout my life and my biggest cheerleader, when I was called to preach. She still influences my thinking.

My mother-in-law, Betty Hester, is probably the best mother-inlaw a man could have. She has been lavishly generous with my family and children and has masterfully walked that tightrope between providing assistance without interfering.

Finally, my wife, Tina Marie Gafford, has been an awesome mother to our children. She has been a loving, devoted, generous, Christian mom both when we were all together as a family and
even now as they have begun their own lives.

It is also not that I’m too cheap to honor my Mom. I take seriously the biblical mandate to care for one’s parents. I care for my mom the best I can, long distance, and arrange other hands-on resources to take care of the needs I cannot. I delight in the opportunity to send her roses and provide gifts whenever possible.

Why do I hate Mother’s Day? I guess hate is a strong word. It is not so much that I hate Mother’s Day as it causes me a lot of discomfort. There are things that I hate about Mother’s Day.

  1. I hate that Mother’s Day is not always a happy holiday for many. Some may not have had a happy childhood or an ideal mother. Others may be grieving the loss of their mother. Others may be dealing with the heartache of infertility or other things that have kept them from the joy of motherhood. Still others, may be grieving over children that have passed or children that have left God and are lost.
  2. I hate the commercialism of Mother’s Day as a manufactured holiday. Sure it’s great to have a memory jog to do what we should be doing throughout the year, but this is a cash cow for florists and card makers alike. This sets up high expectations for mothers who are often disappointed by thoughtless children.
  3. I hate trying to come up with appropriate Mother’s Day messages. I am sensitive to the fact that God should be the center of our worship and messages should be God-centered at their core. There are only so many biblical texts that can accomplish the tasks of honoring mothers without diminishing our focus on God. It can be done, mind you, but it often challenges my creativity and biblical integrity.

I’ll say more in my lesson

— Joey

By | 2024-05-12T00:41:31-06:00 May 12th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It Is Not Good For Man To Be Alone

It is Not Good for the Man to be Alone

Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 2:4-25 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. …. 7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust  of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. …. 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”. …. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘for she was taken out of man.” 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

In Genesis 1-2 we find two accounts of creation. The first is general; it speaks of the universe being spoken into existence and the filling of the earth with vegetation and life, culminating in humankind. The second is more specific; it relates in detail the creation of Adam and Eve, their relationship, and placement in the garden.

In this more detailed account we learn that Adam was created before Eve and made to see that he was alone. Adam was male, but had no female counterpart as did all the animals. This is where we find God exclaiming, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

Herein, we find the first mention of humanity’s need for connection and companionship. While this certainly can be generalized to the need we all have for each other, this account is much more  fundamental and specific. It speaks of our need for a “helper suitable.” Maleness was not adequate for God’s ultimate creation; maleness must have its counterpart, femaleness, to accomplish  God’s grand plan. This binary arrangement features both the sameness of male & female (bone of my bone), but also the differences (she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man, Genesis 2:23-24).

We’ll discuss the implications of this on Sunday.

— Joey

By | 2024-04-21T01:05:04-06:00 April 21st, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Two Are Better Than One

Two are Better than One

There was a man all alone;

he had neither son nor brother.

There was no end to his toil,

yet his eyes were not content

with his wealth.

“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,

“and why am I depriving myself

of enjoyment?”

This too is meaningless—

a miserable business!

Two are better than one,

because they have a good return

for their labor:

If either of them falls down,

one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

and has no one to help them up.

Also, if two lie down together,

they will keep warm.

But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,

two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:8-12

In Ecclesiastes, the Teacher is searching for meaning, but he only finds meaninglessness around every corner. A major theme is that work/toil is meaningless. In chapter two, he enumerates all  that he has worked for and achieved, but none of these things brings him the meaning he desires. Not only do these accomplishments fail to satisfy, he is tormented with the thought that when he dies they will be left to someone who has not worked for it.

He is almost schizophrenic in his thinking. On the one hand he suggests that taking satisfaction in one’s work is as good as it gets. However, he feels no satisfaction in his own work.

In chapter four, he suggests that a man who has no heir, business partner, or brother to share in his labor is in the same situation. He is alone, toiling away, for nothing. It is also meaningless.

This is where we find the beautiful “Two are Better than One” poem. It speaks to the human need for relationships. Join us Sunday as we discuss our need for relationships.

— Joey

By | 2024-04-13T19:21:54-06:00 April 13th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Our Responsibility To Leadership

Our Responsibilities to Leadership

We have already spent four weeks in describing the work and qualifications of both elders and deacons. These lessons are archived on our website and YouTube page; I recommend that you view them there, if you missed them. We discussed the responsibilities of Shepherds.

  1. Shepherds oversee every aspect of the work of the church, both physical and spiritual; it is their responsibility and one for which they will be held accountable.
  2. Shepherds also serve as pastors; they shepherd the spiritual needs of the flock. Their responsibility is to see that the flock is well-fed and protected from false teaching, secular philosophy, and the negative influences of the world.
  3. Shepherds serve as elders, older men who arbitrate disputes and make spiritual judgments. It presumes that older, Christian men have the wisdom and respect to make the hard decisions to lead the church where it needs to go.
  4. Shepherds also have the authority to delegate their responsibilities to helpers that can assist them.

Deacons are one group of special helpers to which the elders delegate tasks. It is an error to believe the Shepherds oversee the spiritual and the deacons oversee the physical. The Shepherds  oversee all of the churches’ work – spiritual and physical. The deacons assist the Shepherds in both these areas as the Shepherds see fit. They serve at the will and request of the Shepherds. The  number one responsibility of deacons is to be faithful in the tasks assigned to them.

Just as leadership has responsibilities toward us, we also have responsibilities to them. While most of these scriptures refer only to the Shepherds, they also apply to deacons as they are delegated agents of the elders.

  1. We are to obey our leaders and submit to their authority. We are to obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden (Hebrews 13:17).
  2. We are to respect and honor them (1 Timothy 5:17-20).
  3. We are to give them the benefit of the doubt (1 Timothy 5:1).

Regarding the work they oversee, we are to support it and the cause of Christ, with our time, talents, money, prayers, and enthusiastic participation. Leaders will be held accountable to God for  how they lead the church; you will be held accountable for how you support them in their work.

Joey

By | 2024-04-06T19:15:52-06:00 April 6th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Exalting His Ressurrection

EXALTING HIS RESURRECTION

Dan Jenkins*

The central event in the history of mankind is the resurrection of Jesus. Without it, death is the victorious enemy of all mortals. Without it, death comes, and all our dreams, aspirations and future plans come to a screeching halt. It all ends. When Job faced this problem, his heart was full of questions.

Job looked at his life and said, “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue” (Job 14:1,2). His despair is sent in many of the verses which follow. “But man dies and is laid away; indeed he breathes his last and where is he? … So man lies down and does not rise. The heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep.” He then asks the ultimate question. “If a man dies, will he live again” (Job 14:14)? Without a revelation from heaven, death wins!

Hear the words of Paul when he affirmed that the appearing of the Savior “…abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). There are glimpses of the  resurrection in the shadows of the Old Testament, but the gospel brought by Jesus brings this truth out of that shadow. We now understand so clearly that the time will come when all that are in the grave will hear His voice and come forth (John 5:28-29). But there is more. God has given us assurance of this truth by raising His own Son. He entered into Hades (Acts 2:31) and returned from that realm having “the keys to Hades and death” (Revelation 1:18). His resurrection answers Job’s question and forever removes the bondage of the fear of death from the hearts of the saints (Hebrews 2:14-15). In Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, he tied the fact of our resurrection to the fact of Jesus’ resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).

How will this happen? When those who are in the grave hear His voice, they will come forth in an incorruptible, spiritual body. Because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, even the bodies of those who are alive will also be changed. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised…” (1 Corinthians 15:52). How quickly will this happen? In the twinkling of an eye. How long will it take? Just as long as it takes you to bat your eyes!

Jesus has been raised, and by this we know that we shall be raised. His resurrection is the foundation of Biblical truths. We live in bodies that are mortal—subject to death. We live in bodies that  are corruptible—they are aging and decaying. “When this corruptible has put on incorruption and this mortal has put on immortality, then death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). God  hasten that day!

*Dan Jenkins is an acquaintance of mine and has ministered with the West Palm Beach Lakes Church of Christ (Florida) for over 40 years. —Joey
By | 2024-03-30T13:55:25-06:00 March 30th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Scriptures On Unity

Scriptures on Unity

1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Psalm 133:1 A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!

Philippians 2:2 Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Romans 12:4-5 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of  another.

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Ephesians 4:1-6 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, …

Acts 4:32  Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Galatians 3:26-28 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither  slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Psalm 133:1-3 A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

John 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

Philippians 1:27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

By | 2024-03-24T02:32:17-06:00 March 24th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

I Want My Way!

I Want My Way!

There was once a couple of parents who were concerned about their son. He was well-passed the age of talking, but had never uttered the first word. They took him to specialist after specialist but the tests were always negative. He was perfectly healthy, physically and emotionally, but year after year past and no talking. Finally, one evening at the dinner table, the boy spoke. He pointed at the broccoli on his plate and said, “I hate this.” The parents were obviously overjoyed. “Son,” they cried! “You can speak! Why have you waited so long to say something?” In a strong clear voice, the little boy said, “Well, everything was OK up until now!”

Isn’t that the way many of us are? We only open our mouth to complain. Little Suzie brings home all A’s and one B on her report card. Mom says, “Why couldn’t you make straight A’s.” Your spouse spends all day washing,  Scrubbing, and cleaning house, but the first words out of your mouth are “Where’s my favorite towel? You know I’m particular about my towel.” Your wife prepares you a nice meal, but you say, “You know, this meat is a little tough; how long did you cook it?”

Why do we complain. Why are we not grateful? It’s simple, I want my own way and it really doesn’t matter who I hurt, upset, or criticize. I will stop at nothing to get what I want.

As the first child born on my mom’s side of the family I was doted on by everyone—spoiled rotten. I was the center of their world and it took a lot of spankings to disabuse me of the notion that life was not about me! Every child born into this world comes in screaming for their own way.

However, do we really grow out of this self-centeredness?

Let’s put this in a church setting, Paul deals with this issue at Philippi. Philippians 2:1-5 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:

Two ladies could not get along in that church. Philippians 4:2-3 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel. Their actions were ripping the church apart and causing immeasurable harm to the cause of Christ.

Paul begs them to be united to put aside their selfish ambition and self interests. How do we disabuse ourselves of the notion we are not the center of the universe? Paul said we are to treat others better than ourselves. We  should be like Jesus and deliberately put the needs of others ahead of our own. We should put the good of the church ahead of our own wants and desires. We should put the cause of Christ ahead of our own pettiness.

Don’t be like that little boy! Use your words to bless, compliment, and uplift —not complain!

I’ll say more in my lesson!

Joey

By | 2024-03-16T23:23:00-06:00 March 16th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

As Each Part Does Its Work

As Each Part Does its Work

There is an old joke about a county crew observed working along the side of a road. The crew consisted of two men with shovels. As they proceeded along, one would dig a hole and then walk a few feet and begin to dig another hole. Meanwhile the guy behind him would fill up the hole his buddy just dug. When asked about this strange occurrence, they remarked. Well, usually there are three of us, but the guy who plants the tree is off today!

Usually, the joke is told to spotlight government dysfunction and incompetence. Truly, the more you think about it, the more dysfunction can be seen going all the way up the supervisory chain to the higher levels of leadership.

However, I want to use the story to illustrate another principle: one from , Ephesians 4:16, 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.

The context is the practical application section of Ephesians. The subject is the mandate for unity in the church. The emphasis is unity in the midst of diversity. Jesus has given leadership gifts to his church Ephesians 4:11-13,

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. 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.

Notice that each one of these gifts for leadership involve some form of teaching and training as evidenced in the purpose of the gifts, to prepare God’s people for works of service

So what we see here are the preparers (those with a diversity of leadership gifts) and those being prepared (God’s people, the rank and file of the church). Works of service and the building up of the body in unity is the result.

We all should fall into one of these two categories: leadership (preparers) or prepared members (those doing good works). If not, something is amiss with process- “the guy who plants the tree is off today!” That is the reason Paul added this line in Ephesians 4:16, as each part does its work.”

I used the story of the roadside crew as an icebreaker in my life group this week to introduce this very text. I asked everyone to tell some story about a time they worked on a team where everyone’s contribution mattered.  Stories varied, but one factor was common to them all. When people on the team did not do their job, the team suffered along with the project.

Think about this in regard to the church. When leaders don’t prepare God’s people or when God’s people don’t follow their lead, both the church and the cause of Christ suffer –there are no good works, there is no spiritual growth, we don’t become more like Christ, and the unity of the Spirit is not maintained.

Sunday will be our congregational meeting for 2024. The Shepherds will be presenting their plan for the year. Ask yourself, Am I doing my part? Will I do my part?

I’ll say more in my lesson!

 – Joey

By | 2024-03-09T23:34:30-07:00 March 9th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments