Eulogy For Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense.

Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn’t always fair. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge.)

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well-intentioned and overbearing regulations were set in place: Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. Two stepbrothers, My Rights and Ima Whiner survive him. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone


                                                   The Lord’s Day
                                                     Aurice Mick
The greatest day in all the week to a child of God should be the Lord’s day. This is the day “the Lord hath made.” It is the day the Lord planned for his followers to worship Him. We do not read anything in the Bible that would indicate that wants only a part of this day. We do have every reason to believe that He expects us to use all of it in service to Him. Where anyone got the idea that he could use only an hour or two of this day and please the Lord I do not know. I do know that some other-wise good people have this idea and the Lord gets very little of this day He said was His.

Why, for instance, would people refuse to worship Sunday night? Is this not part of the Lord's day? Do we not love the Lord as much on Sunday night as we do Sunday morning? Is this service not as important as the morning service? As good as our attendance is, compared to others, there are still many people who never come to worship God except during the morning hour. Yet the Bible says for us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:24-31). This would include any assembly.

Can a teacher of God’s word be a proper example and refuse to attend Sunday night? Teaching is done by the way we live as much as by what we say. Surely no one could get the idea that the day is very important to one who used only a minor portion of it in serving the Lord. If every pupil followed the example of his teachers would we have services at all on Sunday night? Can one who is supposed to be a leader, an elder or deacon, set a proper example and refuse to be present Sunday night? What kind of leadership would we call that?

Inasmuch as those who are selected to direct the affairs of the church are supposed to be examples, if one followed the example of those selected would he be present for all services? Can a parent afford to be absent Sunday night? It is no wonder that children sometimes grow up to have little respect for the church when they have seen so little of it in the lives of those charged with the responsibility of bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Fathers do not always feel their responsibility in the matter of training their children, but if you have noticed the Bible always addresses the fathers when instruction is given in this matter. How can a father expect his child to be loyal when he is only partially loyal himself?

Can we afford to say to the world that this service is not important? Surely that is what we say when we prefer association with those who are not members of the church to attending services and inviting them to go with us. What other example are we setting when our neighbors know we prefer staying home Sunday night to worshiping God? When people are not converted to Christ we are prone to blame those who are leading the church, perhaps the preacher, when in reality there is not enough teaching anyone can do to overcome the bad example we set before those we would convert to Christ. When enough of the Lord’s people realize that serving the Lord is really important, the world will take notice and follow.

Do you suppose an article like this ever helps anyone? We always hope it will but we write realizing those who need to consider these things most are not people who read these articles. But, we keep trying.

Editor’s Note: Jesus said that we are to put the church (kingdom) first (Matthew 6:33). Nothing is more important than the Lord’s Day! We should plan to arrive early and stay late! Why? Because it is the Lord’s Day! We are assembling to worship and enjoy fellowship with our Christian family. How many members of your Christian family are you taking time to speak to and spend time with on the Lord’s Day? Don’t make plans that cause us to rush away after services or that cause us to rush in at the last minute on Sunday afternoon. We should love to be at Lay Lake with our Christian family every possible opportunity. Do you know, really know each member of your Christian family? Why not?   

                                           Happy Holidays To All!

Shall We  “Put Christ Back In Christmas?”
Ivie Powell
     Every year about this time we hear the slogan, “Put Christ back in Christmas.” This same slogan will appear on various advertisements.  Even some uninformed members of the church will echo the same sentiment.  Well, the truth is, it is impossible to “Put Christ back in Christmas,” since He has never been in Christmas!  One will search the Scriptures in vain in an attempt to find December 25 as the birth date of Christ or any other date as far as that is concerned! Scriptures nowhere assigns the exact date of our Lord’s birth. The Encyclopedia Britannica (Vol.5, p.641) states: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church, and before the 5th century there was no general consensus of opinion as to when it should come in the calendar, whether on January 6, March 25, or December 25.”
     Observe also that the Bible gives no instructions as to HOW to celebrate Christ’s birth, even if the date were known! Now, if someone says, “The three wise men conferred gifts on His birthday and this is our example to follow. First, it cannot be proved that there were three wise men. Yes, three gifts (gold, frankincense, myrrh), but the number of men is not mentioned. As far as that goes, one man could have brought more than one gift. Second, one must prove that the wise men came the day of Christ’s birth. It is purely fictional that the wise men came to the manger as most “Christmas scenes” are presented. Jesus was born in a stable (Luke 2:1-7), but Mary, Joseph and Jesus were in a house when the wise men visited them (Matthew 2:11).
     It is often stated, even by some brethren, “Well, what you say is true, but what is wrong with setting aside December 25 as the birth date of Christ?” The wrong is in establishing a religious observance without divine approval! Take note of the following passage of Scripture: “And whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians  3:17). Question: Where is the biblical authority for setting aside any date to observe the birth date of Christ?
     Furthermore, the Bible condemns the setting aside of special days in the following passage: “Ye observe days, and months, and times, I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain” (Galatians  4:10-11). The only day Christians are to observe with God’s approval is the first day of the week. At which time we remember the Lord’s death (1 Corinthians 11:23-30; Acts 20.7).
     While we are discussing the subject of: “Putting Christ back in Christmas,” it is really amazing the number of people (including brethren) who will make their “annual pilgrimage” to the meeting house on so-called “Christmas Sunday” and yes, “Easter Sunday,” but any other time seldom assemble with the saints!  Not only that, many will spend more on gifts during this season than they give to God all year!   Could it be that many will allow “Santa” to rob God of their obligation to give as they have been prospered?!  The Lord did not say to give as one has prospered (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) only on “Christmas” and/or “Easter!”
     How then, if at all, should Christians celebrate December 25? The same as they do Labor Day or Memorial Day —as just another holiday without any religious attachment! To observe this time of the year as purely social is left to the discretion of the individual. Let us always remember it is through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection that true blessings have come!
     Shall we “Put Christ back in Christmas?” How can this be done, since Christ was never in Christmas! 
Editor’s Note: Observing Christmas as a secular holiday is just as acceptable as observing Easter or Labor Day as a secular holiday.  We do need to be careful to avoid the appearance that we observe these days religiously.  For example, we should avoid stars on our cards and trees; manger scenes and anything else that is associated with Jesus birth.  We should avoid “Christmas  songs” about Jesus birth during the holidays.  We need to teach our children and grand-children what the Bible says.  Enjoy Christmas as a holiday with family and friends!
Building Up The Church 
In Bible Study And Worship
We should always be looking for ways to improve our Bible study and worship!
Prepare Beforehand.
1) Study the text or read the chapter so that you are prepared.
2) Pray that our class will be beneficial & that our worship will be pleasing to God.
3)  Pray for our teachers & those leading us in worship.
4)  Pray for our church family at Lay Lake.
5) Invite others!
Arrive Early.
1) Those who arrive at the last minute or late often are not in the right frame of mind for study or worship (driving recklessly to get there, perhaps fussing at other drivers or family members).
2) Arrive early so that you can welcome guests.
3) Be in class before time to start & have your children in class early.
4) Be in worship early so that you can clear your mind & prepare mentally to worship God acceptably.
5) Arrive early so that we will not distract others by coming in late.
6) Set a good example of punctuality.
7) Show our love for the Lord and that we are putting his church first.  Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”   Matt. 6:33
8) Arrive early in order to do things “decently and in order.”  1 Cor. 14:40 “But all things should be done decently and in order.”
9) Arrive early to  encourage our teachers and worship leaders.  They have spent time preparing and are encouraged by your excitement to be there and by your enthusiasm.
10) Arrive early so that you don’t miss important announcements in class or before worship and that you don’t miss even one minute of worship!
Participate WholeHeartedly!
1) Focus on each act of worship.  Pray in your heart as the leader “leads” us in prayer so that we can honestly say “amen” which means, “so be it” at the end of the prayer.
2) Sing with enthusiasm!  Think about the individual words and the meaning of each song.
3) Listen to every word of the sermon making application to how it can make me more pleasing to my heavenly Father.
4) Travel back in your mind to the cross  remembering Jesus’ body and precious blood.
5) Consider all that God has blessed us with (James 1:17) and give back “cheerfully & liberally”(2 Cor. 9:7).
6) Participate in Bible class!  Answer questions; ask questions; read out loud; make appropriate comments!
Before You Leave:   (Don't be in a rush to leave)!
1) Get out of your comfort zone!  Go to the foyer and speak to people as they are leaving, especially talking with our visitors and weaker members.
2) Make a note of those not in attendance and think of how we might encourage them.
3) Commit to returning to the very next class or worship period!

God's Rule Book
Marvin Weir

     Isn’t it amazing that most people will accept some rule book written by men over the rule book written by God? Countless millions profess to believe in God and the Bible and then put their trust in man-made creeds. It is also amazing that these people either cannot or do not desire to see the error in their reasoning. The Scriptures plainly declare, “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ASV). It was Hosea who wrote, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will all reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).
     People who enjoy sporting events have absolutely no problem in comprehending the fact that there are rules that govern these events. After three strikes in baseball, one is declared to be “out.” Do the fans become upset and complain that this rule should be ignored in some cases? Surely there are circumstances where a batter can benefit from “four strikes” before returning to the dugout!
     In football, the team with the ball has four attempts to travel ten yards in the proper direction for a “first down.” What if, after four attempts, the running back is within “one inch” of a first down? Does the referee say, “Because this is such an important game and you have come so close to picking up the first down, I’m going to give it to you?” No. Such a statement is not made because everyone understands that the teams must abide by the rules of the game.
     Does one really believe in the games of baseball and football who will not abide by the rules of those games? Not at all! They may believe in another version of the game, but they do not believe in the game as outlines in the rule book that governs it. Why cannot people see this same truth in the spiritual realm? One does not really believe in God who refuses to accept His Word as truth on any matter.
     The players on a sports team must abide by the rules that govern that sport. The rule books for sports were not designed to conform to the players’ whims and wishes. The same thing is true regarding the Bible - God’s Holy Word. The Bible does not conform to the thoughts and wishes of men, but men must conform to the Word of God (Romans 12:2). One will not save his soul or incur God’s blessing by refusing to live by the Holy Scriptures. Man must accept the truth that his thoughts are not God’s thoughts and his ways are not God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8). Let us note some areas where men profess to follow Christ but do not abide by God’s rules.
     The majority of those who profess to be Christians believe they are saved at the point of belief. They do not believe baptism (immersion) is necessary for salvation. They conclude that “he that believeth as is not baptized shall be saved.” But the Word of God says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).
     The majority of people who profess Christianity believe there are many roads (ways) leading to heaven. But God’s Word says, “Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straightened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 ASV).
     Man believes he can join “the church of his choice” and be saved. But the Bible says “And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved” (Acts 2:47 ASV).
     Most churches today wear man-made names, honoring their human founders. But the Bible shows Christ’s church is to wear His name (Romans 16:16) and honor belongs to Him who purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28) and is its builder (Matthew 16:18).
Most professing Christians today believe in salvation by “faith only.” But God’s Word says, “Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith” (James 2:24 ASV).
     God’s rule book (the Bible) says that Christ is the “head over all things to the church, which is his body” (Ephesians 1:22-23). It also says there is only “one body” (Ephesians 4:4) and Christ promises to save only “the body” of which He is head.
     One is not a Christian and cannot go to heaven who refuses to follow God’s rule book!
















More Than A Day
Karl Fuchs
As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.
We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.
So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away.



Lay Lake church of Christ

23868 Highway 145, 

Mile Marker "23"

Columbiana, AL 35051


(205) 901-4703


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