Stanley R. Martin

Declaring the Glory of God

July has been an exciting month for stargazers. The comet NEOWISE was first discovered on March 27, 2020 by an earth-orbiting space telescope. By July 2020, this ball of ice, rock and dust was near enough to earth and bright enough to be visible under dark skies to the naked eye. Currently, this comet can be seen in the morning and evening. In the morning, it appears very low above the north-eastern horizon, and in the evening, it is visible low in the north-western sky, under the big dipper.

Thoughts of Control and COVID-19

We are in the upheaval of what many are calling a global pandemic. COVID-19 is claiming lives. Anxiety, dread, and fear are present in the hearts of many. Financial markets are teetering. This global pandemic dominates the news headlines. It comes up in nearly every conversation when we meet neighbors and townsfolk. Schools and church buildings are empty. Many businesses are closed or struggling to survive. Unemployment claims have spiked to new records. Some would say COVID-19 is controlling our lives.

For This Purpose, the Son of God Was Manifested

I received a phone call today from our local Chamber of Commerce, asking whether our congregation would consider spending some time around Christmas singing carols on the street corners among the hustle and bustle of festive shoppers.
Community outreach is near to my heart, so I welcomed the opportunity. But at the same time, it raised some questions in my mind: What is the message that should be going forth around Christmas time? Is it any different than at other times of the year? Do the carols we sing accurately promote the gospel message?

Speaking of Dying

We avoid thinking about death in our culture. We’re uncomfortable talking about it. We would rather just brush it aside with a nervous laugh and change the subject. But we can’t brush it aside for too long, because we and everyone we know will die.

Render unto God What Is God’s

We were just having a friendly conversation. The local bike shop owner and I were discussing a range of topics from current events to the weather. He suddenly changed the subject: “You know,” he said, “It is tax time, and it is a privilege to pay taxes. I want to help everyone change their mindset. If you’ve earned money, then you should willingly and cheerfully pay your taxes. It isn’t a burden.”

Migdal Edar

The gift of life in the form of a little baby never ceases to bring a sense of awe and wonder. We wait, we imagine, we hope, we anticipate, but one day it becomes a reality. The birth of Jesus was no exception. And His birth should continue to fill us with awe and wonder, particularly because it shows the hand of an Almighty God, Who through the mouths and pens of men of old, prophesied in detail about this Baby that should be born.

Putting off Procrastination

Procrastination is a great thief of our time. Its controlling grip on the hearts of men and women continues to be one of the reasons why relationships turn sour, tests are failed, businesses go bankrupt, healthy bodies are ruined, and souls are entering eternity without Christ.

Is Mutual Tolerance the Answer

Society is changing. Actions and lifestyle choices that were once thought universally shameful are now demanding a pass of tolerance. “Intolerant!” is the label folks get who don’t give in and accept these as the new norm. Conservatives and Christians many times bear that label and are snubbed for being old-school.

The Hopes and Fears of all the Years

In the weeks surrounding Christmas, we enjoy singing a wealth of hymns and carols that we usually reserve for the month of December. Even though we can sing many by heart, or perhaps because we can sing many by heart, words, and phrases rich in meaning can roll off of our tongues without touching our hearts. The lyrics to the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” specifically the words of the first verse, invite a little more thought than we usually give them.

Where is my Passport?

After months of planning and anticipation, the day had finally arrived. We were planning to take a nine-day trip to Alberta, Canada, to visit family. The excitement was running high. Preparations had been made. Food and clothing were packed. As we gathered the last few items, I remembered a very important item: the envelope of passports and birth certificates. After retrieving them from the safe, I carefully counted to make sure they were all there. One short. I counted again, but mine was missing. I rummaged through the safe, assuming it had slipped out of place, but with no success.


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