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Kilgore folks know Travis Martin as the co-founder and longtime chairman of the Kilgore Boys & Girls Club and Kilgore Lions Club member, as well as a major supporter of Kilgore ISD and Kilgore College athletics.

Every human life is equally created by God the Father through our biological parents, objectively redeemed by His Son Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, and subjectively sanctifiable by the Holy Spirit’s work through His Word and Sacraments. And so, every human life is equally valuable to God, as every human life should be equally valuable to us.

Recently our 7:00 p.m. Wednesday Midweek Bible Study, “Salvation History is Our Story”, has been studying Jesus’s extended teaching in the upper room on the night when He was betrayed. I had previously preached and led studies on portions of what is sometimes called Jesus’s “Farewell Discourse”, but I had not previously looked at it so carefully and holistically.

As many church-goers, streamers, and downloaders will hear tomorrow, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday”), Jesus identifies Himself as the Door of the Sheep, Who came that the sheep may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:1-10). Do you feel as if you abundantly have life?

Its 2020, and we all want clear vision. I’ve noticed a plethora of signs and advertisements from businesses, non-profits, and even churches who are seeking a “2020 vision” for the future.

Much has changed regarding the coronavirus since both my column March 7 and my colleague Rev. Will Wilson’s column March 14. Cases and deaths have increased. Markets have gone even lower. Food and other supplies are scarcer. Restrictions are tighter. More churches have completely shut-down or gone completely online.

Much has changed regarding the coronavirus since both my column March 7 and my colleague Rev. Will Wilson’s column March 14. Cases and deaths have increased. Markets have gone even lower. Food and other supplies are scarcer. Restrictions are tighter. More churches have completely shut-down or gone completely online.

Much has changed regarding the coronavirus since both my column March 7 and my colleague Rev. Will Wilson’s column March 14. Cases and deaths have increased. Markets have gone even lower. Food and other supplies are scarcer. Restrictions are tighter. More churches have completely shut-down or gone completely online.

A poll out this week suggests that less than 80 percent of U.S. Roman Catholics believe in the devil and that, of those, less than 80 percent (about 62 percent of the whole) believe the devil is not merely a personification or a symbol of evil but actually a fallen angel. Yet even those numbers are better than the quarter of American Christians surveyed more than a decade ago who said that they totally accepted the Bible’s teaching about the devil.

Its 2020, and we all want clear vision. I’ve noticed a plethora of signs and advertisements from businesses, non-profits, and even churches who are seeking a “2020 vision” for the future.

Colossians 1:19 and 20 read like this: “For in him (Christ) all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Paul, here, speaks of Christ’s incarnation (vs. 19) and Christ’s crucifixion (vs. 20) as the means through which God effects reconciliation. That is to say, reconciliation not just for us but for the whole of creation.

This Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, is the 47th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which gave women a constitutional right to abort the lives of children conceived in their wombs. That right may or may not withstand future Supreme Court scrutiny, such as that in a case related to a controversial Louisiana law, which will be heard in March of this year, by what is thought to be a more-conservative Supreme Court than that which heard its last case.

I recently listened to a convocation address given by the president of my undergraduate alma mater. One line of his speech jolted me: “The Bible is actually very clear that we come to know the will of God through our minds and not our emotions.” In other words, in all things spiritual the head has supplanted the heart. I believe that our culture, in many respects, feels the same in the privileging of the cognitive over the emotive in all aspects of life. Being “emotional” is considered a mark of immaturity while those who are more intellectually inclined are seen as more sophisticated and urbane.

Kilgore folks know Travis Martin as the co-founder and longtime chairman of the Kilgore Boys & Girls Club and Kilgore Lions Club member, as well as a major supporter of Kilgore ISD and Kilgore College athletics.

Every human life is equally created by God the Father through our biological parents, objectively redeemed by His Son Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, and subjectively sanctifiable by the Holy Spirit’s work through His Word and Sacraments. And so, every human life is equally valuable to God, as every human life should be equally valuable to us.

Recently our 7:00 p.m. Wednesday Midweek Bible Study, “Salvation History is Our Story”, has been studying Jesus’s extended teaching in the upper room on the night when He was betrayed. I had previously preached and led studies on portions of what is sometimes called Jesus’s “Farewell Discourse”, but I had not previously looked at it so carefully and holistically.

As many church-goers, streamers, and downloaders will hear tomorrow, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday”), Jesus identifies Himself as the Door of the Sheep, Who came that the sheep may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:1-10). Do you feel as if you abundantly have life?

Its 2020, and we all want clear vision. I’ve noticed a plethora of signs and advertisements from businesses, non-profits, and even churches who are seeking a “2020 vision” for the future.

Much has changed regarding the coronavirus since both my column March 7 and my colleague Rev. Will Wilson’s column March 14. Cases and deaths have increased. Markets have gone even lower. Food and other supplies are scarcer. Restrictions are tighter. More churches have completely shut-down or gone completely online.

Much has changed regarding the coronavirus since both my column March 7 and my colleague Rev. Will Wilson’s column March 14. Cases and deaths have increased. Markets have gone even lower. Food and other supplies are scarcer. Restrictions are tighter. More churches have completely shut-down or gone completely online.

Much has changed regarding the coronavirus since both my column March 7 and my colleague Rev. Will Wilson’s column March 14. Cases and deaths have increased. Markets have gone even lower. Food and other supplies are scarcer. Restrictions are tighter. More churches have completely shut-down or gone completely online.

A poll out this week suggests that less than 80 percent of U.S. Roman Catholics believe in the devil and that, of those, less than 80 percent (about 62 percent of the whole) believe the devil is not merely a personification or a symbol of evil but actually a fallen angel. Yet even those numbers are better than the quarter of American Christians surveyed more than a decade ago who said that they totally accepted the Bible’s teaching about the devil.

Its 2020, and we all want clear vision. I’ve noticed a plethora of signs and advertisements from businesses, non-profits, and even churches who are seeking a “2020 vision” for the future.

Colossians 1:19 and 20 read like this: “For in him (Christ) all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Paul, here, speaks of Christ’s incarnation (vs. 19) and Christ’s crucifixion (vs. 20) as the means through which God effects reconciliation. That is to say, reconciliation not just for us but for the whole of creation.

This Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, is the 47th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which gave women a constitutional right to abort the lives of children conceived in their wombs. That right may or may not withstand future Supreme Court scrutiny, such as that in a case related to a controversial Louisiana law, which will be heard in March of this year, by what is thought to be a more-conservative Supreme Court than that which heard its last case.

I recently listened to a convocation address given by the president of my undergraduate alma mater. One line of his speech jolted me: “The Bible is actually very clear that we come to know the will of God through our minds and not our emotions.” In other words, in all things spiritual the head has supplanted the heart. I believe that our culture, in many respects, feels the same in the privileging of the cognitive over the emotive in all aspects of life. Being “emotional” is considered a mark of immaturity while those who are more intellectually inclined are seen as more sophisticated and urbane.

As I wrap up my sermon series at the church on the Ten Commandments, I ask which one is the hardest for me to keep? By the way, none of us obey any commandment perfectly. We all break them, all of them, in one way or another.

“I cannot be an optimist, but I am a prisoner of hope.” These words spoken by Dr. Cornel West of Harvard Divinity School obviously assume a conceptual difference between optimism and hope. What is the difference? Are Christians called to be optimists or people of hope? Can we be both, or should we choose one over the other?

In connection with a televised town-hall on LGBTQ+ issues earlier this month, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said that he was in favor of revoking the tax-exempt status of churches that oppose same-sex “marriage”. Aside from the arguments for and against churches’ in general having such tax-exempt status, the federal government’s denying particular churches’ tax-exempt status because of what they teach or do certainly seems to be contrary to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution’s prohibition of “establishing” one religion or permitting another’s free exercise.

A Sixth-Annual Symposium in Kilgore will take up the topic “Christianity as it relates to the LGBTQ+ Community”, and everyone is welcome to attend the free event, Sunday, November 3, 2019, from 3:00-5:00 p.m., in the Devall Student Center Ballroom on the campus of Kilgore College (1116 Broadway Boulevard, between Nolen and Elder Streets, in Kilgore, Texas).

Once again taking up the mantle of St. Francis of Assissi, the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will welcome pets and their owners for a special blessing this weekend. The saint’s annual feast day falls on Oct. 4, and the members of the 314 N. Henderson Blvd. church honor the patron saint of animals and the environment with a Saturday morning outdoor service for their furred and feathered companions.

We all want success. We all want to be successful students, employees, parents, grandparents, and the list goes on. Those of you who own your small business, you want it to flourish and thrive. In our world, success is usually indicated by measurable outcomes such as good grades, job promotions and raises, and children who go to college to make a nice family. We preacher types are not immune to this world’s way of quantifying success.

God made clear, already in the Old Testament, that the life of flesh was in the blood and that He gave it on the altar in order to make atonement for souls (Leviticus 17:11). So, there should be little surprise that, in the New Testament, Jesus’s blood sacrificed on the cross is said to reconcile us to God (Colossians 1:20). The many bloody sacrifices under the old covenant pointed forward to the single bloody sacrifice under the new covenant in Jesus’s blood (Hebrews 9:12-414; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

God’s written word never ceases to be relevant. I encountered this truth first-hand while preparing my sermon on Matthew 25:31-46. This passage depicts Christ as both judge and king who separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep are placed on the right, signifying their righteousness. The goats are moved to the left, signaling their condemnation.

Although Genesis 6:5 can rightly suggest that in some sense things could not get any worse, our society seems to be sliding more towards lawlessness. Consider first the standoff last month in Philadelphia where six officers were shot by a gunman while crowds of onlookers taunted, shoved, and threw things at the police. Consider second a school curriculum with anti-police rhetoric proposed last month by the California Department of Education (but eventually withdrawn). And, other examples abound.

Aside from whatever other heart trouble any one individual might have, the real heart problem from which we all suffer is a moral evil so great that we ourselves cannot understand but which ultimately only the Lord can diagnose, as expressed in His Word (Jeremiah 17:9-10; confer Luke 16:15; Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23).

For more than a decade, East Texas residents have been a part of the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child, which helps millions of children in need through gift-filled shoeboxes. Alex Nsengimana, who received a shoebox gift as an orphan during the height of Rwanda’s genocide, is coming to Longview on Wednesday, Aug. 28, to share how this gift, just like those packed here locally, changed his life.

God’s written word never ceases to be relevant. I encountered this truth first-hand while preparing my sermon on Matthew 25:31-46. This passage depicts Christ as both judge and king who separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep are placed on the right, signifying their righteousness. The goats are moved to the left, signaling their condemnation.

At the risk of this column’s being mistaken for one by my syndicated Kilgore News Herald colleague Dr. Roach, I encourage everyone to take care for themselves, their families, and their pets in our August East Texas heat! Especially those who work outside should drink extra water and, when they can, take breaks inside air-conditioned spaces. And, after several fatalities nationwide, apparently not to leave either family members or pets in turned-off cars does not go without saying.

As we discussed in a recent Midweek Bible Study, the passage almost sounds like it is meant to be funny. After Jesus heard Martha and Mary’s sending to Him that his friend Lazarus was ill, St. John’s Gospel account essentially tells us that, “since” Jesus loved them, He stayed two days longer where He was before going to Lazarus. We might ask, “Who does that?” In this case, apparently Jesus did!