Volume 39 July-August-September, 2008 Number 3

Bernice Wanous, of Pine City, Minnesota, the widow of gospel preacher, Albert Wanous, Sr., has passed from this life to her eternal reward. Albert and Bernice were long-time diligent and faithful workers in the Lord's kingdom, working primarily with churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Doing Good at the Workplace - Al Diestelkamp
Our Attitude Toward the Lost - Rick Loggin
Blinders Needed - Andy Diestelkamp
What Color is the Church? - Karl Diestelkam
Better Attitudes - Leslie Diestelkamp
A Reuben Marriage - Steve Fontenot


Doing GOOD at the Workplace By Al Diestelkamp
In writing to Titus, the apostle Paul said "And let our people also learn to maintain good works" (Tit. 3:14). He was not referring to benevolent deeds, but to the occupations we choose. Thus, Christians need to choose careers which are "good," and which meet "urgent needs." In other words, we need to do something which is both honorable and useful.

There are some occupations which do not involve the worker in evil, but might not be "useful." When I was about to graduate from high school, in anticipation of seeking employment in the printing industry, I took a tour of a major Chicago newspaper printing plant. At one point I was shown a whole department where workers were busy setting type and composing advertisements for the paper. A sign indicated we were in the "Bogus Department." I asked what that meant, and was told that some advertisers supplied their own ad makeup, eliminating the need for the newspaper company to provide that service. However, because of a union contract, they were required to hire people to set the type, compose the ads, proofread them and then destroy them. These were jobs which served no useful purpose beyond their own paychecks. The Christian will want to do something which will be beneficial to others.

The one who once chose dishonest means of making a living is commanded to "steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands" (Eph. 4:28). However, not only must we choose careers or jobs that are useful and honest, but the Bible teaches us to be diligent in our work.

The Bible was written in such a way as to be relevant for every age. While we are fortunate to live in a time and place where slavery is unlawful, that has not always been the case, and in some parts of the world slavery still exists. Therefore, we should not be surprised that the Bible has admonitions for both slaves and masters.

Though we are not faced with slavery issues, the principles within these instructions can help guide us to be godly employees or employers. If God expects....

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Our Attitude Toward the Lost
By Rick Liggin
What is your attitude toward the losttoward those separated from God because of their sin? As Christians, we are in hot pursuit of righteousness (2 Tim. 2:22); we "abhor what is evil" and "cling to what is good" (Rom. 12:9). Our attitude toward sin is that we "hate every false way," no matter what form it takes (Psa. 119:104). And to be quite honest, this approach to sin--which, frankly, is the right approach--sometimes affects the way we feel about those engrossed in sin. We get to where we not only despise the sin, but we also despise the sinner.

This clearly was the attitude of the self-righteous Jew in Jesus' day. The Pharisees were particularly bad about trusting "in themselves that they were righteous," while they "despised others" (Lk. 18:9). You can almost hear the contempt in their voices as they referred to certain "types" as "tax-gatherers and sinners" (Lk. 15:1-2; cf. 7:39).

Is that the way we see sinners? Oh, we may not be self-righteous like the hypocritical Pharisees, but do we sometimes look down our noses at those who are drowning is sin? Hopefully not! But what should our attitude be toward the lost?

As with almost everything for the Christian, the answer lies in the example of our Lord...

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It is with some trepidation that I dare to discuss the anatomy of the human body, specifically that of the opposite sex. However, as a man who is trying to be pure in thought and as a father who is attempting to raise honorable sons and daughters, I am compelled to speak up about the amount of female breast that is being exposed these days.

My wife Karen and I were at a mall this past week and were amazed at how revealing the average woman's garments were. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was the exception to see a woman who was not showing some amount of cleavage. Often these revealing garments were also form fitting and so defined and accentuated the figure as to leave little to the imagination.

A casual perusal of the clothing stores reveals why this is so. From the advertising to the stock on hand, sensuality characterizes the fashions of the day. Everything from casual to dress to formal is designed to be "sexy." One cannot go through the young women's sections without feeling as if he has entered a lingerie department. Some might say my reaction to our recent trip to the mall reflects a naivete that suggests I need to get out more often. Au contraire, I think it would be better for me to pluck out my eye (Matt. 5:29)....

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What COLOR is the Church? By Karl Diestelkamp

Radical, inflamatory statements from a Chicago denominational preacher, Jeremiah Wright, caused a media frenzy focusing attention on what they referred to as "the black church." The media, in its usual disregard of facts, wondered aloud if Wright was representative of people in the "black church." By "black church," they have in mind churches composed entirely, or mostly, of "black people" and dominated by a "black preacher." If there is such an entity ("something that has separate and distinct existence or conceptual reality," Webster Ninth Collegiate Dictionary, p.416) as the "black church," it certainly is not the church of Christ (Matt. 16:18).

No one can have a problem with a congregation of the Lord's people being composed of all, or mostly, black members--or white members--or any other skin color, if those are the only people who are converted to Christ who live, work, and worship in a given area. But, to separate people for the sake of having a "white church," or "black church," or any other "color" church, flies in the face of Jesus Christ who prayed, "that they may all be onethat the world may believe that thou didst send me" (Jn. 17:21). When will some people learn that the church of Jesus Christ has no "color."?

Though Jesus was sent "unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" [Jews] (Matt. 15:24), He also said, "And other sheep [Gentiles] I have, which are not of this fold [Israelites]: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd" (Jn. 10:16). He spelled that out in the commission to his apostles: "Make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:18); "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation [every creature]" (Mk. 16:15). Notice: No reference to color, or lack of color, of any kind.

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BETTER ATTITUDES By Leslie Diestelkamp
The need for better attitudes among brethren in Christ can hardly be denied, but this need should be emphasized. Many, many of the divisions that come and much of the strife that prevails must be attributed to bad attitudes. Of course, doctrinal differences do cause trouble, and these are usually blamed for almost all troubles, but perhaps most such doctrinal matters could be settled, or at least we could learn to "live and let live," if our attitudes were right. Even the following very brief suggestions could help:

1. We ought to leave matters of judgment with the Lord. It is not our responsibility to determine the decisions God will make. "Judge not, that ye be not judged,"is still a basic principle of the teaching of Jesus (Matt. 7:1).

2. Before we criticize others for their failures and weaknesses, we should consider their circumstances. Somebody illustrated this point when he said, "We should not criticize the man who limps until we have walked in his shoes."

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By Steve Fontenot

Reuben, Simeon, and Levi marriage? Now, we've heard of a "Reuben sandwich," but a "Reuben marriage"? Leah had one.

"And Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, 'because the Lord has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.' Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, 'because the Lord has heard that I am unloved' So she named him Simeon. And she conceived again and bore a son and said, 'Now this time my husband will become attached to me' Therefore he was named Levi" (Gen. 29:32-34).

"Surely now my husband will love me" cannot refer to sex--she had that.

"I am unloved"? Did not Jacob provide her housing, food, clothing? Is that not "love"? It is, and it is important. But something was lacking. There is another kind of love--a love she needed and wanted.

"Become attached"? But wasn't she married to Jacob? What does she mean? She felt Jacob was "detached." Not legally--they were married. Not physically--they had children. "Detached" - "3. Marked by an absence of emotional involvement and an aloof, impersonal objectivity" [American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition]. Is there another kind of "love"--a love of emotional attachment...? "Romance" - "1.b. Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people, especially that characterized by a high level of purity and devotion; love: They kept the romance alive in their marriage for 35 years" [Ibid].

I don't know how this may have been reflected in their culture. Today, it may be in such simple things as holding hands, enjoying a walk together, time for chitchat, a gentle touch, "sweet nothings" whispered into the earwell, you can use your own imagination.

A Reuben sandwich--good. A "Reuben marriage," i.e., "cut the romance"--not good. "Reuben," "Simeon," and "Levi"--names that stand as testimonials to what this woman (and many women today) wanted so badly but did not have. Remember men, the Lord "sees" (Reuben) and "hears" (Simeon) the "affliction" of a woman that longs for such "attachment" (Levi).

Steve Fontenot
18542 Crestline Road, Humble, TX 77396
Email: sp63@mac.com

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