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Search For Her As For Hidden Treasures

With the Bible in your hand and a commitment to obedience in your mind, you hold the treasure map to the greatest treasure the world has ever known, eternal life. If you search for her as for hidden treasures, you will find the ultimate treasure.

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The Bleating of the Sheep and the Lowing of the Oxen

By: Zach Collins Date: August 20th, 2021 Growing up, my father and mother gave me a chore list. A staple of many childhoods. It was posted on the refrigerator door, next to the photos of family, friends, and the magnetic tourist souvenirs from all the locations that my mother had visited in her travels. The list was clear and specific, complete with obligations that I could understand and obey every single week. As most children, after I completed the chores on the list, I received payment in exchange for my work. It seems that twenty dollars went much further in my childhood! As I reflect upon the list, I realize that, at the core of this list, was a form of parental training. My mother and father were attempting to prepare me for the “real-world”, where men and women alike are given certain job responsibilities that they are expected to fulfill. One specific moment comes to my mind: As I was doing my chores, I was tempted to only do half the chores on the list in order to see if I could pull the wool over my mother’s eyes. Sure, I realized that I would be short-changing my mother and father, but I figured that I would still get paid my twenty dollars at the end of the week and everything would work out for the betterment of myself. When it came time for payment, my mother would ask, “Did you complete your chores for this week?”, knowing that …

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To Our Seniors

To our seniors,  Someone once said, “You can’t move forward without saying goodbye to the past.” It was once observed that we spend 18,720 hours of our life in school, that is, from kindergarten until our last day of our senior year in high school. In those hours, you have become accustomed to a set schedule in your life, which has been cultivated within you as a byproduct of school. Please excuse the oversimplification when I make this statement: You are about to experience the largest seismic change in your life to-date. This does not mean you should not look forward to this change, as it comes with freedom and a newly acquired happiness found in experiencing the unknown. However, you are responsible emotionally, physically, and spiritually for how you respond to this change. You are also responsible for where you are spiritually when the next stage of life comes! I want to provide you with four truths, learned through experience, which I wish someone had relayed to me when I underwent the same seismic change in my life.   You will be forced to make new friends. That is not to say that you will no longer speak to your friends from high school, but with a change in your stage of life comes a change in your social circle. You will experience many people, from all walks of life. Some will build you up, while some will attempt to influence your walks of life. When choosing new friends, …

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Mary, the Disciple of Christ

John recorded by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in John 19:25, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” Our mothers deserve more recognition than one day a year for the unending love, selfless compassion, and priceless lessons they have brought to our lives. Each day, we ought to consider the beauty which “a woman who fears the Lord”, (c.f., Proverbs 31:30), brings not only to her family but to the church of our Lord. There are many greatest examples of a biblical mothers, but perhaps Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the greatest example of all. When we think of Mary, it is likely that much of what comes to our minds is steeped in ancient legend, rather than scriptural fact. We sometimes create a portrait of Mary in our minds as a young woman, serene and confident in her motherly role in raising the Son of God. However, as we explore the scriptures, we will notice that the scriptures paint a much more human and compelling picture of Mary, the mother of Jesus. What does the Bible teach us about Mary, the disciple?  Mary was the first disciple to suffer for the cause of Christ. Think in terms of the first-century: A poor young Jewish girl, betrothed to a carpenter, who “magically” becomes pregnant. Though she had been visited by the Angel Gabriel and told that she would conceive a child through the power …

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Answer The Door

         The story is told of an older woman. She had run out of money and did not have the means to pay any of her bills, including her rent. In her moment of need, the landlord was unwilling to show mercy. She began to threaten the older woman and told her, if she could pay her rent soon, she would be evicted. It was in the middle of winter, and her cable, water, and electricity had been shut off. She only had a few candles to keep her warm! One cold day, she was warming her hands over the candle when she heard a knock at the door. However, the woman was afraid to answer the door as she thought it might be her landlord coming to collect the rent which she did not have the money to pay. So, she blew out her candle and quietly waited in the darkness for the landlord to leave. Two weeks later, she ran into her friend at the store where she now worked. She found that the knock on the door had not come from her landlord, but her friend who was bringing her a check with enough money to pay her rent and all her debts. In her moment of need, if only she had opened the door, her friend would have paid all her debts. However, because she did not answer the door, she found herself in the dark.            The words of Jesus to church at Laodicea …

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I Am Right, You Are Wrong!

Can I begin with a personal anecdote? In writing this article, I was humbled as it challenged me on every spiritual and emotional level.  I suppose it is human nature to become frustrated toward a specific person or group of people whose beliefs differ from our own. Daily, I am frustrated by the brazen actions of those who openly support abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, and false doctrines. While I am frustrated toward other actions and lifestyles that are condemned by the word of God, these four specific issues appear to be at the forefront of the spiritual and political polarization within this great nation. Each day, I study my Bible and see the error of these ideologies – sometimes feeling as Isaiah did with Jezebel, alone and helpless to fight against them. In speaking from personal experience, it is quite easy to direct my own personal frustrations toward these issues onto certain individuals, who either embody or advocate the ideologies that most irritate my spirit. In those moments, I find it easy to resort to the instinctual comeback that appears to be embedded in all of humankind, “I am right, you are wrong.” However, in my moments of vexation, I fail to realize that it is not the sinner that should be at the focus of my frustrations but rather the sin. It is in my empathy toward the sinner that I recognize they are a victim of sin much like myself. The difference is: They continue to cling to sin …

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The Priceless Bible

By: Zach Collins In 2012, a Bible given to Elvis Presley at his first Christmas in his home in Graceland in 1957 was auctioned off in London, England. It was evident that Presley had used the Bible, as the book was filled with his handwriting and notes that he taken throughout the years. In fact, outside of the words of Jesus in Luke 9:25, when Jesus considered the cost of discipleship, Presley had written in the margins of his Bible, “For what is a man advantaged if he should gain the whole world and lose himself or be castaway.” I don’t know about you, but I agree with that statement. Of all people, did not Elvis Presley have money, fame, and anything the heart could desire? Yet, Presley understood, even if he gained all the pleasures this world had to offer, it would not bring him true fulfillment. When the auction was concluded, the Elvis Presley Bible sold for $94,600 to a collector. As I examined this story, I found the selling price particularly interesting. Clearly, the price reflected the worldly sentiment that the value of the book was determined by the person who owned the book. Now, I understand the whole “celebrity” thing. If a celebrity touched it or sat upon it, the value increases in the eyes of the world. However, do you find it ironic that, from the world’s perspective, the value of this Bible was increased by the owner of the Bible? Let’s explore this thought …