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That has been the headline this past week since a crazy man stockpiled weapons and planned an attack on unsuspecting and innocent concert attendees. There can be no political, legal, or moral justification for such a heinous act and I would not downplay the wrong done here by even the smallest fraction. At the last word I heard, 59 people were killed and almost 500 wounded. Hundreds of families were touched by fear and confusion and the stories of heroism under that withering fire from above are almost as numerous as the accounts of people perishing while holding hands or running with loved ones. What catches my attention about the headline however is not that this action was not indeed “pure evil”, but that our culture seems to think that label only applies to the murderer, the one who does something much, much worse than I would ever do.

No one in Las Vegas it appears seems to see the “pure evil” in gambling. US News & Money reports; According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, an estimated 2 million adults in the United States meet the criteria for “pathological gambling,” and 4 to 6 million are considered “problem gamblers.”  The form of covetousness is destroying lives, families, finances and morals at an astounding rate and still it is called recreation and just plain fun. Organized crime is so caught up in it that just a few short years ago ALL FIFTY STATES made it illegal. We are more tolerant now though. And the siren song of money for the state or city, meaning less taxes, has lead us back down the path of accepting what we know is harmful.

Likewise few would refer to alcohol as “pure evil” yet the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse says, Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems . This legal, taxable, recreational drug is the cause of deaths, fights, property damage, unplanned pregnancies, birth defects, increased law enforcement costs, increased insurance rates, and the list goes on and on. It is nothing but pure evil in a can or bottle that we only laugh at.

Do we need to quote statistics on drug use, abuse, and deaths or the cost to our families, neighborhoods, and communities that comes along with drug use. Or what about the sensuality, fornication, and adultery that is really the tag-line under gambling and drinking in Las Vegas and is tied up together with it. Vows, families, and morals are broken every day in “Sin City” and they have made it into an “entertainment empire.” Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton was interviewed about his show proceeding as usual the next night after the slaughter and I believe I quote him correctly in saying, “The show must go on. Las Vegas is Las Vegas after all.”  The commentators and others agreed. So much for tender compassion for 59 people murdered in their city. But I guess we should be used to it.  Almost that many are killed in Chicago EACH WEEKEND and nothing is done.

Pure evil comes in many forms and you don’t have to murder 59 people to be involved in it, used by the devil, serving the god of this world. In the end however, every little service to Satan moves our society toward pure evil and the day when the Lord will say, “Enough.”


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On the Road Again

colombiamap2Well I’m testing out the blog again, as I get ready to head for Columbia, S.A. so please bear with me. I’ve been invited to accompany Matthew Allen and Jason Schofield from the church in Kettering, OH on a two week church leadership conference. It seems that after 38 years there are over 80 congregations of New Testament Christians in Columbia and now there is a desire to move up to the next level and appoint biblical shepherds. We will be teaching and holding afternoon panel discussions on this topic in order to serve and encourage the Colombian Christians toward this goal. If I can figure out how to work this blog from my phone I’ll update it, otherwise I’m pretty sure I can facebook a little info. I solicit your prayers. Mac


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Who Says We Don’t Celebrate Christmas?

I don’t know about you but I get tired of people asking, “Why don’t you celebrate Christmas in the church of Christ?” I’d like to know who it is that’s going around telling people that. Why just this past week I was outside in the cold stringing little green mini-lights around some little green mini-trees in front of my house. I usually hang some from the house, but thought I’d do something different (and easier) this year. There’s a little tree in the den and holiday wrapped packages have already started appearing around it. The conversational topic of “What are we having for Christmas dinner?” has already come and gone this year and a trip to be with family has already firmed itself up. I think i’m celebrating Christmas.

Now if the question is, “Why don’t you celebrate Christmas in the church of Christ?” then I can see the logic of asking and it is easily answered. Since we’re trying to be a new testament church and the new testament says nothing about celebrating his birth, but everything about celebrating his death each Lord’s day, the ‘church’ doesn’t celebrate Christmas. There’s nothing biblical about “the church” celebrating Christmas and anyone who thinks there is needs to come up with book, chapter, and verse as to why “the church” should be saddled with this celebration that God chose not to mention.

If the question is, “Why don’t you put up a nativity scene as your Christmas decoration?” then once again, the question is easily answered. My nativity scene would just look kind of bare. There wouldn’t be any wise men in my nativity scene because the Bible teaches they never made it to the manger scene of Jesus’ birth. When they visited our Lord, they visited him in THE HOUSE where the family was staying and as long as two years after his birth according to what they told King Herod. There also wouldn’t be any shepherds in my nativity scene coming in from the field to visit baby Jesus because in December it is winter in Israel and the shepherds wouldn’t have been out in the fields in the first place. This imaginary business about Jesus being born in December really messes up a good manger scene, doesn’t it? With no wise men, no gifts in boxes and bags, no camels, no shepherds, and just a hungry donkey with a baby in his feed box at the wrong time of the year for such an event to have even taken place, it just doesn’t seem worth the trouble to put up such an out of place manger scene.

But never let it be said that I don’t celebrate Christmas. I’m out there buying gifts, planning meals, taking holidays and commercializing with the best. I’m just not dragging my Lord and Savior into imaginary scenarios and man-made spiritualizing. Now, let me get back to my Christmas celebrating.   Rom. 14:5-6.



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Test post #5

Obviously this is a test for me, attaching a blog, or rather moving a blog, MORNING COFFEE, to be attached directly to the new Spiritbuilding site. If you were tuned in last year about this time we announced some “new” news coming. That news was the roll out of a new Spiritbuilding site. We have wrestled with it for almost a year now, apologized for mailing charges, ignored template problems, etc until it was either change the template or pull the last of my hair out. We chose the former.

Soooo, this is the fifth test, and the first try of opening this blog up. All you experienced bloggers out there quit snickering as we try and get this old man, er, I mean this old site up to speed.


Btw. the heading pic and the full pic below is just a “look pretty” to make the site more personal.