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Al’s Quotes and Quips for February

  • People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” (Dagobert D. Runes, quoted in The Village Voice)
  • “Saving is a very fine thing. Especially if your parents have done it for you.” (Winston Churchill, quoted in the Cardiff, U.K. Western Mail)
  • “Even the right decision is the wrong decision if it is made too late.” (Lee Iacocca, quoted in Guided by Grace)
  • “Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.” (Ayn Rand)
  • “Advice is like castor oil, easy enough to give, but dreadfully uneasy to take.” (Josh Billings, quoted in
  • “It is impossible to go through life without trust. That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all—Oneself.” (Graham Greene, quoted in The Wall Street Journal)
  • “All right, they’re on our left… they’re on our right… they’re in front of us… they’re behind us!  They can’t get away this time!” (Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, when surrounded by 8 enemy divisions).
  • “Hard work spotlights the character of people: Some turn up their  sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” (Sam Ewing)
  • “A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in… and how many want out.” (Tony Blair, quoted in theMontreal Gazette)
  • “The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.” (William Gibson, quoted in the Sacramento News & Reviews)
  • “There may be said to be two classes of people in the world: Those who constantly divide the people in the world into two classes and those who don’t.” (Robert Benchley quoted by Steve Brown in What Was I Thinking)
  • “Of all marvelous things, perhaps there is nothing that angels behold with such supreme astonishment as a proud man.” (Charles Caleb Colton)


QUOTE OF THE MONTH: One of my favorite quotes by the late Dr. Jerry Falwell: “You will be tomorrow what you are today, apart from the books you read; what you listen to; and the people you associate with.”

Read that quote one more time…

Now consider: What books have you been reading and who have you been associating with lately?

Components of Communication

Speaking the truth in love… —Ephesians 4:15

Every time we communicate verbally it involves two components: Data and art. Data is the basic content of the message I’m trying to express. Art involves how I express it. Art is the style in which my communication is made—My choice of words, phrasing, timing, and the tone I employ. For example, Patrick Henry is known for saying, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.” Great truth spoken artfully. His words would not have had the same impact if he said, “I don’t care what the rest of you do, but I’m throwing in my lot with the revolution.” In the age in which we live, people are more influenced by the style of our speaking than by the truth of what we are saying.

Today’s text tells us to speak “the truth” (data) “in love” (art). It isn’t enough just to speak the Gospel. We must communicate the Gospel (data) and “package” it in love (art).

May God give us wisdom not only to say the right thing, but also how we say it.

Church Membership

From whom the whole body fitly JOINED together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. —Ephesians 4:16

Recently I’ve been pondering the importance of church membership. Regrettably, many fail to see the importance of church membership. To many, it is no different than being a member of some club or secular organization. Church membership is similar to a marriage—It involves a commitment. That is a good analogy. A couple’s marriage has a better chance of survival when they see the importance of their union to each other. Pre-marital counseling is all about attaching importance to the institution of marriage.

A periodical “New Member Class” will accomplish for church membership what pre-marital counseling does for a marriage. It will …

  1. Give the new member an understanding into the history, beliefs, purpose, ministries, and organization of the church.
  2. Build creditability into it’s ministry.
  3. Show prospective members how church membership will be beneficial to their spiritual walk.
  4. Help each new member discover where they “fit” in ministry.
  5. Attach importance to being a member.
  6. Reduce the number church member absentees, drop-outs, and non-commitment.

Jesus said that we need to put our light on a candlestick (Mt. 5:14-15), and that candlestick is a picture of a local church (see Rev. 1:20).

Yes, church membership is important. After Paul was saved and baptized “he assayed to JOIN himself to the disciples” (Acts 9:26). Have you joined a local church?

A Balanced Diet

“Feed the flock of God…” —1 Peter 5:2

One key to your health is eating a balanced diet. You cannot be healthy if you diet consists most of sugary, high fat, type foods. You need fruit, veggies, and foods rich in protein.

The same is true regarding your spiritual diet. A pastor is commanded “to feed the church of God” (Acts 20:28). He is to serve up a nourishing diet from God’s Word. Just as breakfast, lunch and supper serves up a different kind of menu, so each weekly service has a little different emphasis. The Adult Bible Class serves up some meat from God’s Word. The Sunday morning worship service is mostly the milk of God’s Word aimed at a widely diverse congregation at all levels of spiritual maturity. Sunday night is exhortation. Wednesday night messages are geared to encourage and strengthen.

To get a balanced diet, it is important to attend all weekly services. If one only comes Sunday morning, they will never grow spiritually. They are missing vital nutrients of God’s Word that are served up at other services.

Missing services during the week will make one WEAK! To get all God intends for you to have, don’t miss a single service. The meal you miss is probably the one you need the most.