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Don’t Forget To Check In

By Don Loftis | 08.15.18

Many of us remember 50 years ago, when most telephone calls beyond 20 miles were long distance, and you had to pay extra money for each one based on the number of minutes you talked.  My mother and her mom had a system to avoid charges.  My mom would call at 10:00 every night.  She would let the phone ring twice and hang up; it simply meant that everything was OK.  If she had bigger news, she would let it continue to ring, and my grandmother would answer.   Our prayer life ought to share some resemblance to that “ancient” practice.  There are times we need extensive and lengthy conversations with the Lord.  We must not short cut prayer, when we are facing a relationship crisis or the devil is working overtime with temptations.  Seasons [...]

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The Danger Of Aggressive Behavior

By Don Loftis | 08.08.18

Last weekend a brawl was caught on film at the New Red Apple Nails Salon in Brooklyn, NY.  A customer refused to pay $5.00 for the stylist’s work on her eyebrows.  The ensuing verbal altercation led to pushing, punching, and chair tossing.  The customer’s grandmother was hit by a broom and sprayed with finger nail polish remover.  The store is still closed, while other patrons protest outside the facility, desiring that it be permanently closed.   We are amazed at how such a turmoil could take place in a salon.  Yet, it happens every day on the highways, as angry motorists rage at those with whom they share the road.  It happens at ballgames, as parents assail umpires or coaches.  It happens in domestic disputes over trivial issues that sometimes cannot even be accurately recalled. [...]

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To Change Or Not To Change

By Don Loftis | 08.01.18

There is no denying that we live in a time of transition.  We are bombarded with changes in politics, transportation, medicine, technology, and religion.  These may make us uneasy, or even fearful, but the reality is that change is inevitable.  Some will prove to be good and others bad, but change is the one consistent part of every generation and every culture.   Because we know that Jesus is unchanging (Heb. 13:8), and that our faith was once and for all delivered to us (Jude 1:3), we are very cautious about religious change.  The Bible informs us in three places to not add to or take away from God’s message.  We must be committed to preach and defend an unchanging message.   Yet, we do need to remember that there was a time in the [...]

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Why I Believe

By Don Loftis | 07.25.18

Peter challenges his readers (I Pt. 3:15), “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”  Our belief in God is grounded in faith, because none of us have seen Him.  However, true faith is built on undeniable evidence.  Let me suggest three of many reasons for my faith in God as the creative higher power.   First, and the most impressive, is the visible evidence in the world around us.  The vastness of our universe and the orderliness of the entire cosmos defy any explanation other than intelligent creation.  Likewise, the minute details of atomic structure and the complexity of human DNA demand a designer.  Both the telescope [...]

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At Just The Right Time

By Don Loftis | 07.18.18

It was a rainy evening in late 2008, as Josh Marino sat on the cement steps outside of his small apartment on base at Fort Riley, Kansas.  His injuries sustained while deployed near Baghdad had left him isolated, fearful and depressed.  He had a suicide note typed on his computer, a knife placed by his bed, and his last cigarette in his mouth.  This was the last night he intended to battle PTSD.  As he smoked, a scrawny wet kitten emerged from the bushes and curled up next to him.  Josh cried; the kitten purred.  While he fed the starving kitten, a new sense of purpose and hope was born in a deeply scarred soldier.   Most of us have never experienced an “emotional hole” that deep, but most of us have faced discouragement or [...]

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When Minding Our Own Business Isn’t Enough

By Don Loftis | 07.11.18

It was fairly early on a Friday morning, as Simon was making his way toward Jerusalem.  He was minding his own business, likely headed for some special activity associated with the Passover Feast.  Maybe his mind was filled with memories of his distant African home in Cyrene (Libya) or worries about his two sons, Alexander and Rufus.   Whatever his thoughts were, he was just minding his own business, when his day and life were forever changed.  A soldier leading an execution party out of Jerusalem compelled him to carry the cross of a man named Jesus.  Luke’s account says they “seized” him, while Matthew and Mark state he was “pressed into service.”  Apparently Jesus was moving too slowly, and Simon’s assistance was needed.  Unknown at the time, Simon aided the Son of God; he [...]

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I Can’t Live Without It

By Don Loftis | 07.03.18

Jim Faughn recently brought to my attention a new widespread fear known as nomophobia.  Typical symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, and accelerated heart rate.  If not addressed, it can lead to diminished concentration, moodiness, insomnia and relational isolation.   My online dictionary defines nomophobia as “the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power.”  In short, nomophobia is the fear of losing the ability to access instant information and communication.  Few of us would want to dispose of  our cell phones or e-mail, but this new fear is indicative of the addictive qualities many things possess.   I wonder if many people have a fear of [...]

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Don’t Walk Away From The Real Thing

By Don Loftis | 06.20.18

It is always easier to start something than to complete it.  Diets, Bible reading plans, marathons, and college degrees are all examples.  It has been said that anyone can get married, but staying married a lifetime is quite an accomplishment.   After 65 years of marriage an elderly man was asked what the secret was to their successful marriage.  He said, “You know there were some really tough times along the way.  A couple of times the easy thing would have been to quit.  But every time I looked into her eyes, I knew she was the real thing.  She was the one that I loved.”   During Jesus’ ministry there were many who followed Him.  Some among the crowds must have been curiosity seekers and others hoping to witness or experience a miracle.  After [...]

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Changing The World

By Don Loftis | 06.13.18

Sometime ago, I was visiting with a mother whose children were playing in a different area of the house.  As we were talking, I heard this familiar dialog: “Quit,” … “Give it back.” … “I had it first!” … “No, I did!” … “Stop!!!”  Mom, in a very firm tone, said, “Children, play nicely.”  Amazingly, the fuss was over and peace prevailed — for a while.   Kindness in our treatment of others is an essential element in building good relationships at every age.  The Bible speaks clearly: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).  “Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Col. 3:12).  “Love is patient, love is kind” (I Cor. 13:4).  Yet, having read these (and [...]

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Whose Fault Was It?

By Don Loftis | 06.06.18

A number of years ago, noted radio commentator Paul Harvey told the strange story of Eric Edmonds.  This Virginian suffered from severe obesity and consulted with a surgeon, who surgically stapled Eric’s stomach to limit the quantity of food he could eat.  However, on the second day after surgery he found a refrigerator in the hospital and ate so much food, that he tore the staples loose.  A few weeks later, Eric sued the hospital for having a refrigerator that was unlocked.   Eric copied a pattern of blaming others that went on often in the Old Testament.  Adam sinned and told the Lord that it was because of the woman that had been given to him (Gen. 3:12).  When Moses discovered the golden calf that his brother had made, Aaron said, “You know the [...]

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