Bring A Friend
The University church is planning a very special day on Sunday, October 26. We want to share that day with all of our friends. We invite everyone to come worship with us Sunday morning. We have classes for all ages at 9 a.m. and our worship hour begins at 9:50 a.m. Spread the word and let's have a wonderful day of worship together!
From the desk of Josh Creel
“When you’re dumb, you better be tough.” That’s the motto for Jeremy Calvert and his farm. Jeremy is a year or two younger than myself, but speaks like a man twice his age. I guess a life lived with one’s hands in the dirt and face exposed to the elements will do that to a person. I have no idea what kind of education he has, other than he graduated high school from tiny Cold Springs in Cullman County, Alabama. I have no doubt that Jeremy would have done well in whatever field he chose to turn his attention. It just so happens that he turned his attention to the field. He knows a lot. Just by looking at some soil, he knows what crop will do best. He knows exactly when something should be planted, and when it should be harvested. He knows when and how to rotate his crops. He knows how much to charge for his produce, setting a price that gives the consumer a good deal, while giving him enough to provide for his own family.
Jeremy also knows that, “when you’re dumb, you better be tough.” He’s made enough mistakes to realize that mistakes carry consequences. And if a mistake is made because good advice was ignored, well that’s just dumb. I imagine that Jeremy frequently reminds his young son, James, of this truth. James is only 11 years old, but is already proving to be quite the farmer. But he has much to learn. He will learn much by listening to his father’s advice, but if he chooses to not listen, then he will learn the hard way, the tough way. And as Jeremy says, “when you’re dumb, you better be tough.”
Jesus said something similar to Paul on one occasion. In fact, Jesus’ first words to Paul were, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads,” (Acts 26:14). Oxen are notoriously stubborn and don’t move just because a man shouts at them, or even strikes them with a whip. They will kick back in rebellion, which is where the goad came in handy. The goad had a sharp end that the farmer extended toward the back feet of the animal. When the ox rebelled and kicked back, he would kick against the goad, harming himself in the process. In effect, the Lord was asking Paul, “why are you hurting yourself?” Rejecting God’s ways, rebelling against Him and not heeding His word will only lead to mistakes, and mistakes have consequences. Jeremy has it right, “when you’re dumb, you better be tough.”
"That They May Be Saved" by Steve Patton
“Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” (Rom. 10:1)
The heart of the apostle Paul ached for the lost who were near and dear to him. He wrote he had “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” for his brethren in the flesh - the Jews (Rom. 9:2). He even said he would be willing to be “accursed from Christ” for their sake if it would result in their salvation. Paul knew and understood the horror of being lost. Only by God reaching out to him on the road to Damascus had his life been turned around so that he might know salvation. No wonder he was so intent on saving the lost.
The heart of every Christian should burn with a like passion for lost souls, especially those near to you. They should be on our hearts and minds daily. If we are concerned about their souls then we will be looking for ways to reach them with the gospel.
Do you pray for the lost souls you know? Paul did all the time. I wonder if we believe in the power of prayer when it comes to saving the lost. We are charged with working to save the lost, teaching, exhorting, inviting - whatever we can do. But we must also trust in the Lord to providentially work in the lives of others. Pray for opportunities to teach. Pray that lives will be influenced by the Word and by the lives of faithful Christians. But also pray that God will open their hearts through His Word and providential work so that they will listen to our efforts to save them (see Acts 16:13-15). We have a great opportunity this month with our Bring A FriendSunday to see God at work. Let Him use you as His tool to influence someone to hear the Gospel of Christ. And pray daily for these lost souls.
Faith of our Fathers by Steve Patton
“Seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1)
My 101 year old aunt Hart’s funeral this past week in Booneville, TN was special for several reasons. A faithful Christian all her life, she was known for her good life and her great Bible knowledge. Bobby McNatt, who taught the adult class at Booneville for years, said he never worried about getting stuck in the class because aunt Hart could always get him out of it. Her mind was lucid and sharp to the day of her death.
But I also got to return to ‘my roots.’ In this beautiful little valley outside of Lynchburg my mother and her siblings were born and raised. My grandfather, Clarence Ashby, served as an elder in the church until his death at age 71. Uncle Truman (my mom’s brother) would later serve as an elder till his death in his 80’s. It was at a Sunday morning service of this church that my dad saw my mom for the first time. He went home and told his brother he had seen the girl he was going to marry that morning. I can still remember the funerals of both of my maternal grandparents in that building as a boy. And the most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen is located behind the building.
As we laid aunt Hart to rest I thought about the blessing of my heritage. We should never take for granted the influence of our ancestors. I am a 3rd generation Christian. Three generations have now served as elders, two as evangelists. How fortunate I am to have that family history. I have thought about it a lot this week. Be thankful for the righteous influences who led you to where you are today. God has been good to us and has seen that we had the opportunity to know him through these influences. May we strive to pass on that heritage.
Role Models by Josh Creel
Charles Barkley was one of the greatest basketball players of his time, perhaps of all time. Whether in person or on TV, millions of people watched him play night after night. He wasn’t your prototypical basketball player, being short for his position and a little on the heavy side for someone who needed to jump high (his nickname was the Round Mound of Rebound). He had a rebellious streak, getting into fights on the court and rarely holding his tongue. He made millions of dollars, much of it coming from lucrative endorsement deals with Nike and other companies. His most famous commercial was known for one line, “I’m not a role model.” Millions of fans, millions of dollars, not a role model.
And he was right. Lately the news has been saturated with stories of high profile athletes doing horrendous things. Domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, drugs, DUI, etc. Big, powerful men who are idolized by scores of kids across the country, kids who hang their posters on the walls of their bedrooms, watch their games, buy their jerseys and shoes. But they are not role models. I don’t mean to throw every athlete under the bus. There are many who do try to do the right things, recognizing that so many are watching their every move. But something is very wrong in society when role models are chosen based on their ability to swing a bat,or run with a ball.
“Train up a child in the way he should go…” (Proverbs 22.6). You will note that the passage says “train”, not “teach.” Training our children involves instruction, but that’s not all. Training involves showing, giving examples, setting the pattern for how a person interacts with others, how a person follows His God. As a parent, I’m to be the role model. It doesn’t matter that millions of people aren’t watching my every move. All that matters is that the eyes of my two little boys are watching. I’m the role model.