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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Cake Half Baked

Yesterday, Urban Meyer was officially introduced as Ohio State's new football coach. It was interesting to me that most of the talk didn't center around the past successes of Urban Meyer at Florida and Utah, but instead around why he walked away from the game at the end of the 2010 season at Florida. Meyer had walked away because of health and family reasons. During his tenure at Florida Meyer had stopped living a balanced life. He was spending to much time on football related activities and not enough time with his family. Before Meyer took this job at Ohio State he had a meeting with his family in order to get their blessing and talk about how to prevent the same problem from occurring in the future. One of Meyer's daughters even sent him a contract listing things he was to do in relation to the family if he took the job. As I have been reading and digesting this story it brings to light the importance balance can have in life. The only way to truly be successful in life is to live a balanced life. Meyer was uber successful football wise at Florida when he won two national championships, however he realized that it meant nothing to continue winning championships if he did it to the detriment of his family. Here are some reminders of ways for Christians to live a successful life through balance.

1) Balance your relationship between God and the world. It is so important for us to have balance in the way we live in the world. If we become too much in the world then we will fail to fulfill our responsibility to God in living the Christian life. If we live our lives too much away from the world then we can fail to be in the world enough to let our light shine, and evangelize and once again fail to fulfill our responsibility to God. James 4:4

2) Balance your relationship between work and the family. It is also very important as Christians to balance our relationship between work and our family. As a Christian we have a responsibility to work in a way to exemplifies our relationship to God, to work honestly, to fulfill our responsibilities at work, and provide for our families; yet at the same time we must make time for our family as we also have a responsibility to be a good Christian spouse, parent, and child. We have a responsibility to not turn our Children away from the Lord, but instead towards him. This all takes time and balance. Urban Meyer wisely realized how easy it was to start putting more emphasis on success at work to the detriment of his family, and the consequences that could come about as a result. Meyer wisely made sure that he stepped away from his responsibilities until he could find that balance. Ephesians 6:1-9, Matthew 5:14, Proverbs 22:6

3) Balance our knowledge. It is also important to make sure that we balance our knowledge when it comes to the word of God. It is important for us have knowledge of the world and in our specific profession in order to accomplish point # 2. However we must also make sure to not just know the things of the world but also the things of God. It will be impossible for us to accomplish point # 1 without knowledge of the word of God. It will be impossible to have growth as a Christian without Biblical knowledge. We must study to show ourselves approved spiritually and when it comes to our worldly Christian responsibilities. 2 Peter 3:18, 2 Timothy 2:15.

Hosea 7, in one of my favorite books of the Bible, we find that Ephraim was having trouble with balance when it came to mixing with the people of that time. Hosea said that "Ephraim [was] a cake not turned". Hosea was referring to the practice of making cakes during that time period when a rock would be heated up and the cake cooked on it. If the rock was not the right temperature and the cake was not flipped at the right time you would end up with a cake that was burnt on one side and raw on the other. Are you living your life in a way that is balanced spiritually with the things of the world  or are you living it in a way that Hosea would call a cake half baked?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Everyday!

Black Everyday?
By Michael Galloway

This Thanksgiving I made the trek home to Tupelo, MS where I grew up. I was grateful to be able to enjoy several days of family, and food. As I was there I also had some downtime and had the opportunity to read the paper and watch the news. I was amazed at the lengths that many went to in order to take advantage of Black Friday sales. I read and watched the stories of people who would stand and wait for hours upon hours for the items that they were wanting to purchase. I read of the skirmishes that took place among the dedicated shoppers as they were so committed to getting that item that they would literally fight for it. I read of a couple who decided to take advantage of Black Friday this year and one camped out at Best Buy, while the other camped out at the Ashley HomeStore. They started camping out at 3:30 P.M. on Wednesday, when the stores didn’t open till midnight on Friday. They were wanting to purchase a 42’ TV and a sofa. As I saw how committed the shoppers on Black Friday were I thought about what if Christians had the “Black Friday” mentality every day? How different would our world be? Think about it:

1) Christians would be doing whatever it took to achieve the purpose of Christianity of getting to Heaven and taking as many people with us. It wouldn’t matter to Christians what they had to go through to achieve their objectives. We would always put Christ first in our lives. Matthew 28:18-20, Hebrews 11:6

2) Christians would be “Hot” for Christ. There is absolutely no way that you could camp out overnight at a store for an item unless you had a great commitment to getting that item. When we become hot for Christ we will have actions that as a by-product show our commitment.  It is impossible to be hot if we don’t do anything. The church in Laodicea in Revelation 3, were lukewarm Christians and were described as neither hot nor cold. Christ said he would spit them out and said he wished that they would choose whether they were going to be cold or hot. Christ realized the harm to others that could come from someone who was living a lukewarm life.  What if we lived everyday like it was a Christian’s Black Friday, think about how hot we would be as Christians and the influence that we could have on our world.

3) Christians would be victorious. When it came to Black Friday those who got there first and camped out were the ones who were going to succeed in getting the deals. Why? Because they weren’t afraid of dedicating themselves to doing what was necessary no matter what others thought! That is the attitude that Paul had when he evangelized. What if we had that attitude? I guarantee there would be a great reward waiting in Heaven. Matthew 6:33.

Will you become a Black Friday Christian?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Counting Blessings!

Counting Blessings
By Michael Galloway
I saw a poem of late with an unknown author on a blog by Dale Jenkins that I thought was very thought provoking. The poem read:
Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair; I envied her — she seemed so happy, and how, I wished I were so fair; When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; she had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, a smile. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two feet — the world is mine. And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm; he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm; I said, “It’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find”; he turned and said, “Oh, thank you sir.” And then I
saw that he was blind. Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes, the world is mine.
Then, when walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue; he stood and watched the others play, it seemed he knew not what to do; I stopped a moment, then I said, “Why don’t you join
the others, dear?” He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two ears, the world is mine. With feet to take me where I’d go; with eyes to see the sunsets glow, with ears to hear what I would know. I am blessed indeed. The world is mine; oh, God, forgive me when I whine.”
Many times if you are like me you take things for granted and forget the everyday blessings that we have in life. We forget that:
·         We are blessed to have Jesus.
·         We are blessed to have a church in Elizabethtown that meets and uses the Bible as its basis.
·         We are blessed to have the country that we live in and the freedoms that go along with living in the United States.
·         We are blessed to have our friends and families.
·         We are blessed to have life, and the health to do the things in life that we do.
·         We are blessed that even the poorest of the poor in our country have more than most.
We live in a country where we are blessed physically with wealth, with doctors who keep us healthy and treat us when we are ill, we live in a world where we are blessed spiritually because we have a God that has ensured we have the choice to live for him. What a wonderful life we have. When was the last time you thanked God for your life?
 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Moral Tragedy at Penn State

The Moral Tragedy at Penn State

Penn State. Two weeks ago it would have been used as an example of an upstanding moral sports program. That is no longer true, I have watched with a sad heart the last two weeks as a gut-wrenching story has been revealed. In 2002 a graduate assistant told football coach Joe Paterno that he had witnessed former long time assistant Jerry Sandusky allegedly sexually abuse a young boy at the football facilities. It is now 2011, and a blind eye was turned to this tragedy for years. The graduate assistant told Paterno and then wiped his hands of it. Paterno told his superiors and then wiped his hands of it, until it was just ignored. Penn State has now fired Paterno, their head football coach of 46 years, their President, and several other high administrators at the school. As I have reflected on this story this past week it made me think about some things in regard to Christianity.

1) How many times do we do the minimum? The biggest story coming out of this scandal in the way it was reported by the news was not the sexual abuse that was allegedly committed. The biggest story was how Paterno did the minimum in handling this incident. All Paterno did was report it to his superiors. He never reported it the police, he never followed up to make sure it was handled; all he did was the minimum that he thought he could get away with. In the Bible the church at Laodicea just did the minimum, and it was just as bad as doing nothing. Jesus called them lukewarm, and said he would spit them out of his mouth. Rev.3:16

2) Influence takes a long times to build, and a short time to tear down. Joe Paterno was a legend at Penn State. He had built the school’s program on morality, academics, and winning. He had coached there for an unheard of 61 years. He will now be remembered through his failure to act. All of the success he had will now be tarnished by this one incident. As Christians, we can be a light to world and have our influence torn down by one incident. We have a great responsibility to always keep that in mind. Matthew 5:14

3) Failing to act can have lingering consequences. The failure of the institution of Penn State will have lingering consequences, in fact their program will never be the same . As children of God, failing to act can have devastating consequence as well. If we fail to act upon the word of God and become children of his, and if we fail to act and live faithfully according to his word the consequences will be eternal. Matthew 25:33-34.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Saved Fight!

The Saved Fight!
By Michael Galloway

This past weekend the youth took a trip to Richmond, KY for their Commit Youth Rally. While there one of the speakers told a story that I took to use as the foundation for this article. I did change the story to add some things that I felt would make it work better for this particular purpose.

The speaker told about a Roman soldier he had heard about with a shield made out of tin with the number seventeen on it. The Romans Soldier was looking for someone to fight, however before he could have a match with an opponent he believed that it was important to have someone to keep score. He found someone to Mark the score, and instructed them that this fight was to have sixteen available points in each round and sixteen rounds. He then found an opponent whom he had a quarrel with and wanted to make repent. His opponent was Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. Luke brought 13 light sabers with him to this fight although he could only use three at a time. The Roman soldier had fought in ten fights in his career and had ten wins, but confessed that he couldn’t win unless there was a fair fight. When Luke brought so many light sabers to the match the soldier decided that a referee was essential. The referee had to be someone who was big and strong enough to enforce the rules. For this match they decided to get a big, burly lumberjack who carries an axe on his shoulder and two .38’s on his waist. The lumberjack decided that he would immerse the match in rules to make sure things went well, he realized that if the opponents didn’t like it forgiveness would be given when the match went well because the it had been immersed in rules. This big burly lumberjack saved the fight by making sure that it was fair. His name was Peter and he had been in three matches himself, and had refereed twenty-one others. He realized that a good referee can save a match from disaster. He said that his style of referring can be an example of that as put he put a notch on his axe for the eighth straight match that had gone successful because of the rules that he had made sure were followed.

Obviously this story never happened, however I hope that this story will be beneficial to you remembering some of the passages in the Bible which instruct us in regard to salvation. I hope that you can share this story with someone else.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Love-Hate Relationship

My Love-Hate Relationship
By Michael Galloway
writer’s note: This is a bulletin article that will be in the church bulletin at the Elizabethtown Church of Christ this week. You may find that my article this week is an unusual article for me, however I hope that it will be beneficial to you.

I love technology, yet hate it at the same time. I hate that technology is many times confusing, difficult to use, and ever changing. I like habit and I don’t usually like change. Technology defies that. What is state of the art today may be outdated tomorrow. I have a love-hate relationship with technology because even though it goes completely against my “I want the simple way”, “I don’t want to change” habitual personality, I have learned the great benefits that I can receive because of new technology. This week I would like to share with you one relatively new thing in technology that helps me be encouraged spiritually and is one thing that I use to grow in knowledge.


I believe that blogging is underrated. Please, let me explain. Less than a year ago when people talked about blogging, I was about as uninterested as I could be! However in recent months I have realized that blogging is different than I thought, and in my personal opinion very useful. I used to think that blogging was just about people putting their “personal diary” on the internet. My thoughts were I don’t want to read their diary, and thus I don’t want to read or write a blog! I have recently discovered that most people don’t blog about their personal life, but instead about their professional lives or about things that they have great expertise in. There is blog after blog that has great spiritual content on it that I have discovered. I have my own blog that I keep up and I use the blog to follow some of my “favorite” blogs that are spiritually beneficial. Whenever one of these blogs posts something, my own blog alerts me so I know to read it! The best thing about these blogs is that they are free. Here are three blogs that I would highly recommend for you to check out (There are many other good blogs that I follow as well that I don’t have the space to recommend)!

1) This is the blog of Steve Higginbotham, who is a gospel preacher in Knoxville, TN. His blog contains a spiritual perspective on the current events going in our world as well as audio sermons.
2) This is the website of the sons of the late Jerry Jenkins; Dale, and Jeff. They have both of their blogs contained on this site as well as a downloadable new publication that they publish called Hope and Expectation that I would recommend.
3) This is the blog of a guy by the name of Daniel Dalp who attends the Washington Avenue Congregation in Evansville, IN who always has some great things to say!