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Acting Like Jesus

By Don Loftis | 01.17.18

A man moved into a small town and noticed an elderly woman walking by the railroad tracks each morning.  He saw her pick objects up and place them in a large bag that she carried.  One day he asked the grocer what she was doing, and was told that she was picking up coal that fell out of the coal cars as they bounced along the track.  He was a new resident but boldly told the grocer that there was no such morning train.  The grocer’s reply revealed a true story of love: “I know.  The coal train stopped five years ago, but Mr. Simpson down at the hardware store knew she needed the coal, and that she would be too proud to ask for help.  So, every morning he takes a bag of coal [...]

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Honor To Whom Honor

By Don Loftis | 01.10.18

This past Sunday, due to health concerns, Jim Oliver stepped down from serving as an elder.  As Carl Johnson read Jim’s letter, which is reprinted inside this bulletin, he referenced Paul’s word in I Timothy 5:17 which were so fitting: “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor.”   For nearly three decades Jim has faithfully served the Lord as he helped shepherd this congregation.  His deep love was evident in the classes he taught, the leadership he provided, and the service he offered.  Jim and Bitsy love the church here in Old Hickory, and in turn, the church here loves them.   Through the past 98 years, thirty different men have served the Old Hickory church as elders.  Each of them have used their talents to serve and their [...]

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People Watching

By Don Loftis | 01.03.18

Sitting in a coffee shop in Helen, Georgia, I spent part of my Saturday afternoon watching people walk down the sidewalks of this transplanted Bavarian village.  There were families, couples and singles.  Some came in to get something warm to drink; others just walked on by.  Two thoughts passed through my mind.   First, I realized that each of those people, (likely all tourists) had their own unique stories.  Some were celebrating; others were mourning.  Some were experiencing job issues or family problems.  For some 2017 had been a banner year; for others it had been a nightmare.  Every person possessed fears, secrets, dreams, and disappointments.  They were a microcosm of us all.   Secondly, I soberly acknowledged that each of these folks had an eternal soul.  Some, I suppose, were Christians.  Others might be [...]

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2018 — Happy New Year

By Don Loftis | 12.27.17

When I was a child, if I had seen a date like 2018, I would have viewed it as science fiction.  Time passes, and it is hard to believe that most of us have celebrated as many new years as we have.   At various stages, the Jews have honored four different dates as marking a new year of activity.  The most common is that of Rosh Hashanah which occurs in the fall — not the winter.  It was celebrated with the blowing of horns (Num. 29:1), and it served as the civil (legal) beginning of the year.  It celebrated God’s creation of Adam and Eve and was used to mark the beginnings of  Sabbath years and the year of Jubilee.  This date also provided the dividing line for the yearly tithe.   We use [...]

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He Will Never Leave

By Don Loftis | 12.13.17

Jack Casey worked for years as a paramedic, and one day he was called to the scene of a traffic accident.  A man was trapped in a pick-up that was completely upside down.  Making the rescue more dangerous and urgent was the reality that the gas tank was slowly leaking into the cab.  One spark could ignite everything and kill both of them.   Jack remembered as a child fearfully facing surgery,  and having a nurse promise to stay with him all the way through it.  True to her word, she was the first person he saw as he came out of the anesthetic in the recovery room.  At great risk, he stayed with the trapped man offering him both his rescue skill and his reassuring presence.  Later Jack simply said, “I couldn’t leave him.” [...]

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Did You See It Coming?

By Don Loftis | 12.06.17

In the past several weeks, we have witnessed a large number of celebrities from entertainment, politics, news, and sports exposed for various “transgressions” through the years.  Some lost jobs; others damaged relationships; all of them embarrassed themselves.   Like cream, sin has a way of rising to the surface.  Before Israel entered the Promised Land, some of the tribes desired to settle their families and flocks on the eastern side of the Jordan River.  The deal was that their men of fighting age still had to go over with the army to gain control of the land.  Knowing the temptation to avoid the danger and inconvenience of the lengthy fight, God issued this warning in Numbers 32: “But if you do not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your [...]

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Some Advice Before The Funeral

By Don Loftis | 11.29.17

Well known singer/song writer John (Couger) Mellencamp recently shared some thoughts about death in an AARP magazine article.  Now 65, he had this to say about the final chapters of his life: “I intend to make my ending good.  I’m hoping its one of those long, lingering deathbed conversions.  A lot of people go, ‘I hope I die quick.’   Not me.  I need to put things right.”   My immediate response is to think how dangerous that attitude is.  Many die without warning.  An accident, heart attack, or stroke can end a life in the blink of an eye.  Old age is not promised to anyone.  Recognizing that conversion to Christ is the most important event in a person’s entire life, why would it be put off?  How much eternal risk should a person take? [...]

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A Wedding Party Of One

By Don Loftis | 11.15.17

Have you heard of the new wedding fad known as “sologamy?”  It is a ceremony where an individual marries themselves.  It is a formal declaration that the individual loves himself (herself), and is quite satisfied in their singleness.  Ericka Anderson, who shared this event in the presence of friends and family, said, “It means you are enough, even if you are not partnered with someone else.”   Not surprisingly, businesses have marketed soligamy in a very profitable way.  An online site called imarriedme.com offers a kit to help people with the big event.  The gold version includes a 14 K gold ring to wear, a series of self-affirmation cards, vows, and full ceremony instructions for the bargain price of $230.   I certainly do not disparage singleness — the Scriptures view it as a special [...]

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May We Never Forget

By Don Loftis | 11.08.17

The battle for Bataan in the Philippines raged for three months in the early months of 1942.  After suffering defeat, many American and Filipino soldiers were subjected to a forced march in various stages that covered nearly 100 miles.  The extreme heat coupled with brutal mistreatment by the Japanese resulted in over 10,000 casualties with about 600 of these being Americans.   Each March, a commemorative 26.2 mile march is held at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.  A few survivors from the original march still attend, but only one still walks.  Last year at the age of 99, Ben Skardon walked 8.5 miles to honor his best friends who did not survive.  He says, “My debt to Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan is heavy.  It cannot be repaid.  People ask me. ‘How [...]

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A Genius Speaks

By Don Loftis | 11.01.17

Albert Einstein was a German born physicist who pioneered work in mathematics and relativity.  After immigrating to the United States, he taught at Princeton and helped develop the atomic bomb.  Estimates of this genius’ IQ range between 160 and 190.  Outside of science, he left a quote that is representative of its own wisdom.   As the story is told, he was on speaking tour in Japan in 1922, when a courier brought a message to his room.  Realizing that he had no money for a tip, he scribbled some life advice on a piece of hotel stationary and gave it to the young courier.  The note (which nearly a century later sold for over a million dollars) said:  “A quiet modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.” [...]

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