Tonk Talk by Mark T. Tonkery
God has always worked through His people who say, “With God’s Help, I can!” For forty years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness because ten men said, “we can’t.” The wilderness of Arabia was scattered with the bones of thousands of Israelites who agreed with those two men who said, “we can’t.” “We can’t” makes excuses and challenges every attempt. Out of those thousands of Israelites who came out of Egypt, only two went into the land of Cannan, we still remember those two men: Joshua and Caleb. These men had faith in God and said, “we can, with God’s help!” “We can” made a way! “We can” attempts every challenge!
Paul was another man of faith who said, “I can.” In Php. 4:13 Paul stated, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Paul like Joshua and Caleb is remembered for saying, “I can with God’s help!”
Today, Christ calls His church to action. We are commanded to “go” into all the world, to seek, save, and serve. We too are given a choice as those Israelites were given. We will either be remembered as a person who said, “I can with Christ help” or forgotten because we responded to God with “I can’t.” Which one will you be?
Camden Ave. Church of Christ will host our next Bible Bowl Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, starting at 9:00 a.m. The questions will be all multiple choice and cover the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. All ages from 1st grade through adults are welcome to participate.
BENEFITS OF A BIBLE BOWL
Bible facts are learned. The Bible is the only source of study. Students learn the assigned materials thoroughly.
Foundations of faith are enlarged. Knowledge of God's Word serves as the foundation for building Christian faith and character.
The kingdom of God is strengthened. By reinforcing each student in Bible knowledge and skills, the Bowl dedicates itself to the improvement of the church both now and in coming generations.
Results are long-lasting. Youth is the prime time for determining life's priorities. Knowledge of the Scriptures equips young people for Christian service throughout their lives.
Peer appeal accompanies Bible learning. Bible Bowl is a high point of the year for participants, combining fun, travel, fellowship, and learning.
Christian fellowship is promoted. Young people enjoy fellowship with other Christian young people from the area.
Family Bible study is encouraged. The program provides an excellent opportunity for family interaction in the study of the Bible.
Churches of all sizes may participate. Churches of all sizes and of varying social and economic backgrounds realize benefits. (Author Unknown)
A young man who enlisted in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, took his watch repairing kit with him. While in camp, he did considerable business. Finally, the order came to strike camp and prepare to go to battle. The young man replied, “But I can’t go, I have twelve watches to repair, and I have promised them by Saturday evening!
How many of us who have “enlisted in the Lord’s Army” are doing the same thing? How many of us are so busy in “civilian pursuits” that we have neglected the very purpose of why we are in the Lord’s Army? Many times, like the soldier repairing watches, we forget why we are in the Lord's Army.
Paul reminds us as soldiers of Christ what we are to be doing in 2 Tim. 2:3-4, explains, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” Paul teaches that our purpose as soldiers of Christ is “to please the one who enlisted us,” that is Christ, and not to get “entangled in civilian pursuits.”
So how are we to please our Lord and not get “entangled in civilian pursuits”? The following are at least five things we should strive to do to please Christ: First, stay in fellowship with God and one another. 1 John 1:7 states, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Second, keep telling others about Christ. Mark 16:15, Jesus commands,“…“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Third, keep worshiping the Lord. John 4:24, tells us, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Fourth, keep growing in Christ. Eph. 4:15, reads, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” Last, be a servant, find someone to help, and participate in a ministry, as Col. 3:23, instructs, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”.
As Christians may we never forget who we serve and the reason we serve in the Lord’s Army. In Christ, Mark T. Tonkery
“Join forces with Christian Soldiers the world over. Fight the good fight of faith, under the direction of our Commander and Chief Jesus Christ. Soldiers of the Cross unite! We will defeat the enemy! Eternal victory is ours in Jesus!” (Copied, author unknown)
What does Memorial Day mean to you - the beginning of summer vacation, bar-b-ques in the back yard, family get-togethers, the running of the Indianapolis 500? All kinds of things happen this holiday weekend.
But it would be good for us to pause and think about what Memorial Day really means, for its very name, "Memorial Day," calls us to remember.
This day that has been set aside for Memorial Day started near the end of the Civil War. Some people in the South decided to place flowers on the graves of soldiers who had given their lives for the Confederacy. By 1868 the practice of placing flowers on graves had spread both north and south and was being called by almost everyone, "Decoration Day." Then, after WW 1 it became a nationally recognized Memorial holiday when our country pauses to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy in this country.
We understand by doing this that living in this country is a wonderful privilege, and it came this way because a tremendous price was paid by many who gave their lives that we might live in this land and enjoy the privileges that are ours. We need to remember that. (Adapted from a sermon by MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER BROWNSVILLE, TX).
As important as it is to remember those who gave their lives so we in America can enjoy the freedoms we have we also need to realize there is something else even more important to remember. 2 Tim. 2:8 tells, “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” Paul is reminding us that Christ is human (seed of David) and fully God who was raised from the dead. This is essential for us as Christians to always remember and never forget.
I hope this weekend as we enjoy the beginning of summer activities we will pause and remember those individuals who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom in the United States. But most of all I hope we each remember the love, sacrifice, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and remember Him each day we have the breath of life.
Written by Mark T. Tonkery
Years ago, I drew the assignment to teach a Ladies’ Bible Class on the subject of motherhood. I felt imminently qualified! After all—I had a mother! I had also observed my wife being a mother to my two children. Now, all I had to do was to go to the appropriate verses in the Bible and I could advise all the mothers in the class on how to do their jobs better!
Naturally, I turned to Proverbs 31. "The Worthy Woman." Even as I announced the text, a young woman in our class audibly groaned. Her reaction surprised me. She was a very faithful and dedicated Christian. She was a preacher’s daughter and a deacon’s wife. She had two pre-school-aged children and was working a part-time job outside the home. In the eyes of many—she had it all and did it all!
When I inquired about her reaction she said, "whenever I study that passage it makes me feel like a failure." Immediately, the rest of the class chimed in! "The expectations are too high." "The work is too demanding." We don’t get any help from our husbands!" "Our friends who work outside the home look down on us." "Stay-at-home-moms get stuck with all the volunteer jobs at school and in the church." All of a sudden, I realized just how unqualified I was to teach this class. It was exactly the reason that Paul instructed "older women to teach the younger women." (Titus 2:3-5) You can study it in a class, but until you "walk the walk" you really aren’t prepared to "talk the talk."
In the years since I have grown through the study of scripture and of life to more fully understand the importance of the role played both by mothers and fathers. There are several things about Proverbs 31 that need to be understood for it to be fully appreciated.
First, these words were written by a mother to her son (King Lemuel)! (Proverbs 31:1) They were written to guide him in his quest for a wife. So we know, right away, she was speaking of an ideal wife. Few women could live up to every quality described in this passage.
Second, most scholars believe this description to be a summary of the life-role of a mother and a wife. Obviously there are times in our lives where the most "pressing" needs take the greatest "precedence." A woman with small children doesn’t have time to "make sashes" or "plant a vineyard!" At other times in her life she is more free to "buy a field and stretch out her hand to the poor!" Paul gives credence to this view when he lists the qualities of a widow who is worthy to be supported by the church. She was to be "well reported for good works; having brought up children, lodged strangers, washed the saint’s feet, relieved the afflicted and followed every good work." To qualify—she had to be at least 60! (I Timothy 5:9-10)
What I do believe that Proverbs 31 does emphasize is relationships. A wife and a mother’s true virtue is revealed in how she deals with the relationships God entrusts her with. Relationships that can and should be prioritized! They are—in order of importance: First, her relationship to God. "A woman who fears the Lord shall be praised." Second, her relationship to her husband. "The heart of her husband safely trusts in her. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." Third, her relationship to her children and in making a home for her family. "She brings her food from afar. She is not afraid of snow for her household. Fourth, her relationship to those she serves as she serves God. "She stretches out her hands to the poor. She opens her mouth with kindness and wisdom." Fifthly, she takes care of herself. "She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen."
The truth is all of these relationships emanate from one. She loves God! Her love of God shows itself in the fruit of her good works.
So, to all wives and mothers, there is good news to be had. God doesn't expect you to "have it all" or be able to "do it all." Do what you can—when you can. Enjoy each season of your life. In doing so, God will be pleased and those who are most important in your life, your family, will be blessed.
"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." (Author Unknown)