Follow Through

At Braden or Blake’s practices you will hear at least one coach telling the batter to “Follow through.” This means that the batter needs to continue his swing and not stop in the middle of the swing. Go all the way through to the other side with the swing is what is meant. A half-hearted effort results in a bad hit or even a total miss. God’s people in the Old Testament were told to go through the land of Canaan and wipe out its inhabitants. They were to kill all the inhabitants and to tear down their idols and destroy them. We know this did not completely take place – they did not follow through.
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Retraining Your Mind

The other day I was talking with a man about hitting a baseball. He showed me how to he taught people to hit and it was different than what I had been taught and had taught my sons and others that I have helped coach. This gentleman made an interesting comment when he said, “We have to untrain muscle memory and teach it this new way.” That is not an exact quote but that is the gist of it.
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The Basics of Baptism

Baptism is a touchy subject for many people. There are so many differing view points on it that most people refuse to talk about it with friends for fear of causing a riff in their relationship. However, it is a biblical subject of great importance for the salvations of men’s souls so it must be addressed. The best way to approach it is to ask basic questions and then find the answers in God’s word.
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Events Leading Up To The Cross (pt 3)

After all of this, we see one of the greatest understatements in the history of man: “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him” (John 19:1). Friends, we will never know the pain and agony Jesus underwent as that flagrum was lashed against His back. This cruel instrument had several braided thongs of different lengths. At the end of each thong was either a metal ball or some sharp, jagged object such as a piece of bone. There was no limit to the lashes that could be given. In no way am I promoting the movie The Passion of the Christ, having never seen the whole movie, but I did see the scene where the actor portraying Jesus was scourged. If the scourging of Jesus was anything like what was depicted in that movie, it was horrific. History tells us that scourging was called the “little death” before the “big death” of the cross. Words cannot possibly describe the suffering Jesus underwent during this process.

After this, Jesus was taken and mocked by the soldiers. A thorny crown was placed on the head whose blood vessels had already broken. These thorns were normally and inch long with a needle-sharp point at the end. His clothes, having been placed back on him were then removed and a robe of purple was placed over his raw and bleeding shoulders and back, later to be taken off after the blood had dried to it. Jesus was then commanded to carry His cross to Golgotha. Unable to bear the burden because of the tortures of the night and morning, Jesus fell beneath the great weight. Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the cross the rest of the way to the place of the skull. Then our Lord was nailed to that cross.
I am well aware of the fact that I have not done justice to the suffering our Lord endured before He was ever nailed to that cross. Words do not do justice in describing the great sacrifice Jesus endured so that we would not have to do so. You see, Jesus died for us, the just for the unjust (Romans 5:6-8). How can we not love the One endured so much just to get to the place where the crucifixion would take place?

Jesus began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.

Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.

Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King.

Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons.

Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.

Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.

Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.

Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.

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Events Leading Up To The Cross (pt 2)

Judas now comes into the Garden with his mob. They take Jesus and bring Him to the high priest’s house, who was Caiphas. As one studies the various trials through which Jesus went and does so in light of the laws of the land, one quickly comes to the conclusion that the trials were a mockery of justice and highly irregular, if not illegal.
Wayne Jackson, in a two-part article entitled “The Theological Implications of the Trial of Jesus,” has gone into great detail about the violations of Jewish and Roman law that took place during the trials of Jesus. In the second installment of this series of articles br. Jackson listed twelve violations that took place and wrote that other authors have suggest there were as many as twenty-seven violations that occurred. We will just note a few that br. Jackson mentioned in his article which can be found at It is interesting that there were no formal charges brought against Jesus. There was no type written warrant for the arrest of Jesus as was mandatory under Jewish law. In fact, the Bible says a “great multitude”came to arrest Jesus. The word “multitude” means “a casual collection of people” (#3793, Online Bible Greek Lexicon). This was a mob action not a judicial action.
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Events Leading Up To The Cross (pt 1)

When reading about what took place before our Lord was nailed to the cross, one is amazed at the fact that He was able to sustain life to make it to the cross. Jesus was fatigued mightily, treated shamefully and beaten unmercifully. All of this took place before the first hammer blow to the spikes that went through His wrists.

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Some Worthwhile Things

There are a multitude of things on which we can spend our hard-earned money. There are many things that are very worthwhile efforts to which we can send our money. I want to mention a few of them to you.

The first thing is right here at West Walker. When was the last time you increased your contribution? Hopefully, it was the last time you received an increase in what God has prospered you (1 Co. 16:2). Requests are made of the congregation nearly every day to help financially in some worthwhile effort. The more we as members give, the more works the congregation as a whole can support.

Another worthwhile thing is right here in our county. Indian Creek Youth Camp is one of the best camps in the world when it comes to benefitting our young people. More people are baptized in one summer at camp than in all the baptistries in Walker County combined in one year. The camp has just begun a fund raising effort for some much needed work at the camp. There is a need for the help of brethren who have a love for young people and a love for the camp to step forward and aid the camp in this endeavor. If you would like to know more about how you can help just ask me or Randy.

Another worthwhile effort is GBN. I was recently informed that two souls were saved as a result of their watching GBN on their satellite TV. More money is needed to finance this wonderful work. They need individuals to help them stay on the air. They have made cut backs in the staff and how they operate so that they can continue broadcasting daily.
The Memphis School of Preaching is also in need of support. Recently, two apartment buildings were built on the campus of the school. These are large enough to house all the students and their families. They were built at a cost of 3.5 million dollars. All but $900,000 has been paid off. Individuals and congregations are being asked to help retire the remaining debt.

All of these works, and many others, are being done in order to help bring glory to God. Can you find ways to help one or more of these works? You may not be able to help financially, but you can definitely help with your prayers.

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Have You Been Watching GBN?

A few weeks ago, our elders informed us that West Walker is now a monthly supporter of the Gospel Broadcasting Network (GBN). Not only are we monthly supporters, but we also made a very generous one-time donation to this wonderful work.

Have you been able to watch any of the broadcasts? If you have DirecTV or Dish Network one hour a day every day you can watch “Good News Today.” On DirecTV at 7 AM on channel 323 you can watch this program. If you have Dish Network, as my family does, you can watch this program at 11 AM on channel 9407.

On this program you will hear the gospel presented to a lost and dying world. The host, br. Jim Dearman, starts out with a devotional period consisting of a reading of God’s Word, a gospel hymn sung during a showing of God’s wonderful creation and comments about the passage of scripture that was previously read. After this segment there is a visit to Tom Holland’s porch. Br. Holland tells a story and then makes a biblical application. After this there is a commentary segment where br. Dearman takes a news story and discusses it in light of what the Bible teaches on the subject of the news story.

In the middle of the program there have been different dvd programs excerpted for our viewing. The “Searching For Truth” dvd which deals with matters of salvation has been shown frequently. Another dvd program that has been shown has been about Restoration history and it has been very interesting. Also shown has been a tremendous show on GBN called “Out With Doubt” produced by Apologetics Press. This program deals with establishing faith in the Bible and God and is valuable for all ages. Other programs have been shown as well.

The show closes with a segment where Bible questions are answered. Several great topics have been dealt with during the segments I have been able to watch. All in all, this is a program that has the potential to change people’s lives by introducing them to the gospel in a unique and biblical way.
I pray that you are taking the time to watch this program as you have opportunity. My family records the program on our dvr and then we watch it as we can in the evening. It may be that you have cable instead of satellite. Please take the time to write your cable company and ask them to add the GBN network to your cable viewing. You can also watch this network online at

Please pray for this tremendous effort that it may be instrumental in the conversion of many souls for Christ.

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The Tounge

There is much talk in the world today of weapons of mass destruction. Nations are spending untold millions of dollars to develop weapons that destroy in better and faster ways than the weapons of their enemies.

What nation would not give such vast sums of money for a small weapon that had the power of a sword (Psalm 64:3); the swiftness and accuracy of an arrow (Jeremiah 9:8; the effectiveness of fire (James 3:5-6); and the potency of a deadly poison (James 3:8)? A small weapon so powerful as to have the power of death and life (Proverbs 18:21)? Surely, every nation on the face of the earth would pour out their national treasures for a weapon of such potential devastation.

Sadly, this weapon has been fully developed for thousands of years and is still in frequent use. You and I know this weapon to be the tongue. James, by inspirations, wrote:

“Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell…But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:4-6, 8).

The tongue is the most terrible weapon known to man. It has the power to kill: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21). A tongue used for evil is one of the things that God hates (Proverbs 6:17). The improper use of the tongue has brought down nations: “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen; because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory” (Isaiah 3:8). Sins of the tongue are listed in the charges brought against the Gentiles by God (Romans 1:29-32). Eventually, improper use of the tongue can, and will, condemn someone for eternity (Revelation 21:8).

What makes the tongue such a tremendous weapon is that it can be used in so many different ways. It can lie, blaspheme, spread rumors, make false charges, boast, malign, slander as well as other sins. This weapon can be, and is, used in a multitude of ways and for a variety of purposes.

How can we control this fierce weapon to which nearly everyone has access? The only way one can control the tongue is to control the mind that oversees the tongue. Jesus said, “But those things that proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man…” (Matthew 15:18-20a).

Christians are to be those who have control of the mind. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). According to Strong’s, “renewing” means, “complete change for the better.” One’s mind is renewed by the Holy Spirit: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). This renewing of the Holy Spirit is brought about by a study of the sword of the Spirit, the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

God has given us examples of the devastation the tongue can cause(Isaiah 3:8), commands against committing sins of tongue (James 3), and warnings about the ultimate destination of those guilty of unforgiven sins of the tongue (Revelation 21:8). God’s word is our only defense against the sins of the tongue. It is the only weapon we have been given to battle against the tongue. It is the only tool we have to tame the tongue.

This tongue can be used for good when tamed. James tells us that we can bless God with this tongue (James 3:9). One whose tongue is under control will dwell in the tabernacle of the Lord (Psalm 15:1-3). It can bring health (Proverbs 12:18). Solomon wrote: “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23). It is the tongue that is to be used in the proclamation and defense of the gospel. No greater use of the tongue can be found than that.

The tongue may cause more people to lose their souls than any other tactic of Satan. Many a Christian has ruined his reputation by a loose tongue. As someone has wisely said, God gave us two ears and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we talk. We should pray the prayer of the Psalmist daily: “Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue” (Psalm 120:2). And we should probably add in our prayer, “Especially from my own.”

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