Monthly Archives: November 2010

Garmin lifetime map discount code

If you have a Garmin GPS you are probably considering the “lifetime maps” option.  If you have found this page you have probably already checked out some of the alleged “discount codes” for Garmin’s lifetime map updates and been disappointed.

On “cyber Monday” I got the Garmin lifetime maps for all my Garmin GPS units for $69.99 each.  No waiting for some “scratch off card,” no questions about whether a merchant would send out what was advertised…these were “hassle free” lifetime map updates at the cheapest price on the net.

I found this deal by logging into my Garmin account and selecting the number of lifetime map updates I wanted.  When I went to the “checkout” part of Garmin’s web site, each map was automatically reduced to $69.99.

If you are looking for the “best deal” on “Garmin lifetime map updates,” see if the Garmin site still has this same promotion.

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Tragedy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Chann Lork, our missionary in Cambodia, first alerted me to the tragedy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, that occurred just a few days before Thanksgiving.  It was a national holiday, the three-day water festival, and Chann says it was like the day of Pentecost when the crowd came together in amazement and started spreading rumors at the commotion of the apostles speaking in tongues.  What happened at the festival has been described as “mass panic.”  Officials investigating the tragedy “found that the natural swaying of a suspension bridge ignited fears it would collapse among an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 people on the structure. In frantic efforts to escape, the crowd pressed and heaved, crushing hundreds of people and leading some to dive off the span into the water” (AP, 11/29/10).  Apparently, people began voicing fears that the bridge was going to collapse under the weight of the revelers, and as word spread the rumors escalated.  In the end, 351 died and 395 more were injured (ibid.).  The bridge never collapsed.

Observers of human behavior know how all-too-common this sort of thing is.  There was an old Andy Griffith episode about rumors and gossip, where gossipers transform Barney’s cut finger into him shooting himself dead in less than three hours.  I have seen the same thing in church life, where hearsay and “talebearing” allows a sickness or situation to grow much larger than life.  While these, like old Barn’s situation, can be more humorous than dangerous, there are other times where not getting the story right can be fatal.

Many people build their entire worldview around claims, assertions, and beliefs that are entirely untrue.  Sometimes, that worldview breeds fear and trembling.  I have known people who are certain their dead ancestors were going to pay them a visit, and that prospect was terribly unnerving to them.  People who believe they have seen ghosts and apparitions get obsessed with them and can become irrational.  Others who believe that demon possession happens today, that buy into a premillennial view of the end times with the apocalypse and period of tribulation concepts, that hear doomsday predictors boldly claim the world will end on a specific, imminent date, and the like live in and sometimes spread fear. 

It is a fearful thing to consider going to the Judgment without the blood of Christ covering our sins (cf. 2 Th. 1:7-9; Mt. 25:31-34; Heb. 10:31).  Too many fail to be frightened at the consequences of their continued disobedience.  Yet, others are needlessly frightened or frightened about the wrong things.  They worry about things over which they have no control.  They fail to put their trust in God and His word, and so they are ripe for futile fears.  We rightly consider the tragedy in Cambodia to have been needless and costly, but so is holding on to any belief that is without biblical foundation.  “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1).

Neal Pollard

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Calvary, Not Bethlehem

It happened almost 2,000 years ago; but the residual effect is still with us today.  Every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper we are reminded of that moment in history when the sins of mankind were laid upon the back of our Savior and the Son of God bled and suffered on Calvary that you and I might live.   But for some reason men have a desire to celebrate the birth of Christ rather than His death.  We decorate our houses with glittering lights, wrap our presents in pretty paper, and sing holiday songs for approximately 28 days, and then go on our merry way wishing each other a Happy New Year until the next “black Friday” when the latest gadgets and electronic marvels hit the shelves of Best Buy and Walmart.   While the birth of Jesus is most certainly a significant historical event, it was not God’s wish that we celebrate the birth of Jesus once a year, but that we remember His death once a week.  Every time we break the bread and drink the cup we are reminded of Calvary!  The late Johnny Ramsey so eloquently captured the idea:

 On a hill far away that old rugged Cross beckons lost mankind to a nobler pursuit of life. Out of the depths of despair and ruin untold comes a clarion call from heaven that provides salvation for wayfaring men estranged from God to come back home to the Father who runs to meet the prodigals once enveloped in the pig-pen of iniquity.  The compelling love of the One who died for all (2 Cor. 5:14) draws us to a richer, fuller and purpose filled life that responds to the suffering Savior in obedience, gratitude and loyalty (The Words of Truth, April 25, 1997).

 The real impact of Christianity is not found in a manger one cold December morning.  In fact, evidence suggests that our Lord was born in the early to mid Spring rather than the dead of winter.   The heralding angels, the shepherds, and the wise men all played a part in ushering the Lord and Savior into this world.    We cannot, yea would not diminish the importance of that moment when Mary gave birth to the incarnate Son of God.  Without His birth there would have been no life; and without His sinless life there would have been no value in His death beyond that of ordinary mortal men.  However, it was not His birth, but His death that provides hope. It was His death that unleashed the power of heaven to save men from their sins.  It was Calvary, not Bethlehem, to which the eyes of lost humanity must turn for hope.   It was Calvary, not Bethlehem where the price was paid for the sins of humanity.  It was Calvary, not Bethlehem, where God’s law was fulfilled, divine wrath was satisfied, and the fountain of life was opened and from whence has poured forth the cleansing blood of our Lord for almost 20 centuries.   Yes, all this happened at Calvary, not Bethlehem!

by Tom Wacaster

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Tobacco and a chimpanzee

As a little child, I remember learning and loving a song we would sing at Vacation Bible School time and sometimes during the weekly Bible class time.  You may know the song: 

Don’t drink booze, don’t drink booze,
Spend your money on a pair of shoes.
Please don’t smoke, please don’t smoke,
Feed your tobacco to a billy goat.
Please don’t curse, please don’t curse,
I can’t think of anything that’s worse.
Be polite, be polite,
Always treat other people right.
Worship God, worship God,
Don’t go Sunday with a fishing rod. 

Even as a tyke, I knew I was being indoctrinated about the perils of using alcohol, tobacco, and curse words as well as the need for courtesy and faithful attendance.  It so happens that I could see the logic in the lesson it taught. 

The Associated Press reports that Omega, a 12-year-old chimp, has developed a nicotine addiction from his cage at a Lebanese zoo. Omega has not had an ordinary life, even for a chimpanzee in captivity.  He began life as an entertainer in a local restaurant (you can’t make this stuff up!), where he smoked cigarettes until he was too big and strong for that gig.  The last 10 years have been spent at the zoo, where he waited for those moments when a visitor would toss him a cigarette inside his cage.  Animal rights activists are rescuing him, putting him on an Emirates airline flight, and relocating him to a sanctuary in Brazil where it is presumed they will try to rehabilitate him and break his smoking habit.

Omega cannot be held responsible for an unhealthy choice he cannot possibly weigh and rationalize.  Tobacco is an addictive substance, providing a short-term pleasure and creating a dependency that increases with continued use.  He is not made in God’s image (cf. Gen. 1:27), and he has no heaven to gain or hell to lose (cf. Matt. 25:31ff; 2 Cor. 5:10).  We, on the other hand, have been given stewardship over time, money, talents, and other resources, including our bodies (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  There are a myriad of choices we make that can harm those bodies, from overeating to drug abuse to tobacco use.  We do not want to make deliberate choices that wear down or weaken those bodies in which we are to be found wholeheartedly serving the Lord.  The list of poor health conditions related to the effects of long-term, regular smoking is very long. 

Beyond that, we should not want to be enslaved to anything or anyone other than our Lord and righteousness.  How sad to see a chimp reduced to taking a drag from a used cigarette.  Sadder still is to see people made in the image of God reduced to nervous, distressed, agitated messes for want of another smoke.  Let us work not to let cigarettes or any other earthly thing make a monkey out of us!

Neal Pollard

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Accused of strangulation

Tonight I met up with someone who has been accused of strangling another person. 

As this alleged strangler told me his story I could not help but contemplate his behavior and appearance.  He was not using curse words; his body was not riddled with tattoos and there were none of the “tough guy” signs I would expect to find on an accused strangler.  In fact, everything about this young man made him look like a model citizen.  Why would the police send out three officers to arrest someone who had such a clean-cut appearance and such a pleasant demeanor?

After finishing his story the accused strangler told me he was innocent.  He said the person who called 911 and claimed he had strangled her was a liar with a vendetta. 

I do not know whether this accused strangler is being railroaded or not, but God knows.  According to 1 Cor. 4:5, the Lord will one day return and He “will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall each man have his praise from God.”

Maybe some who read these words have some “secret sins.”  If so, God knows what these things are and these things will be exposed at the end of time.  It is better to deal with “secret things” now than to have them exposed at the Lord’s return.

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The beauty of a scar

The following story by Lih Yuh Kuo appears in “Chicken Soup For the Soul”:
     A little boy invited his mother to attend his elementary school’s first teacher-parent conference.  To the little boy’s dismay, she said she would go.  This would be the first time that his classmates and teacher met his mother and he was embarrassed by her appearance.  Although she was a beautiful woman, there was a severe scar that covered nearly the entire right side of her face.  The boy never wanted to talk about why or how she got the scar.
     At the conference, the people were impressed by the kindness and natural beauty of his mother despite the scar, but the little boy was still embarrassed and hid himself from everyone.  He did, however, get within earshot of a conversation between his mother and his teacher, and heard them speaking.
     “How did you get the scar on your face?” the teacher asked.
     The mother replied, “When my son was a baby, he was in a room that caught on fire.  Everyone was too afraid to go in because the fire was out of control, so I went in.  As I was running toward his crib, I saw a beam coming down and I placed myself over him trying to shield him.  I was knocked unconscious but fortunately, a fireman came in and saved both of us.”  She touched the burned side of her face.  “This scar will be permanent, but to this day, I have never regretted doing what I did.”
     At this point, the little boy came out running towards his mother with tears in his eyes.  He hugged her and felt an overwhelming sense of the sacrifice that his mother had made for him.  He held her hand tightly for the rest of the day.
     In a similar manner, Jesus Christ bears a scar — many scars, in fact.  There are those who find that somewhat embarrassing (“You mean to tell me you worship a man who was crucified?”).  However, realizing that his ugly scars are the result of his efforts to save me, they suddenly take on a special beauty.
     Those scars led Thomas to say, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).  They lead me to say the same thing.  I’m so thankful that something so ugly and horrible has taken on such beauty, because of the great love that Jesus Christ had for me.
     “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5).

Alan Smith

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Ministry jobs: church of Christ preaching jobs

Free forum for members of the Lord’s church to post information on churches of Christ seeking ministers, preachers looking for a new work, and missionaries searching for support.

One of the preachers in my local area is looking to relocate and asked if I would help him look on the web and find sites that help preachers find congregations looking for ministers.  I found and forwarded the following sites to him; if anyone else knows of sites that might be useful to this brother, please e-mail me or post the information here.  Thank you.

Pulpit minister jobs

The Jenkins institute (“the scoop blog”)

CofC Resources

Associate minister jobs

Family minister jobs

Education minister jobs

Jobs for involvement ministers

Campus minister jobs

Jobs for hispanic ministers

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Are you the big church on the corner?

The first call of the morning involved a woman seeking free Christmas gifts for her family.  The gist of the conversation was something like this:

Caller:  “Are you the big church on the corner?”

My response:  “No, that is not us.”

Caller:  “Are you helping people for Christmas this year?”

My response:  “We are not involved in that type of work.”

Caller:  “Goodbye.”

This caller reminded me of Jn. 6:27:  “Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God, hath sealed.”

In my mind I thought  of how Jn. 6:27 could be applied to “Christmas gifts” and the verse would read something like this:  “Work not for the gifts which perisheth—temporary items like Christmas gifts, but for the gifts which abideth.”

We certainly do need to “work for food” (2 Thess. 3:10), but our primary emphasis needs to be on the spiritual part of life.  How sad that some work so hard to find free Christmas goodies but pay little to no attention to their eternal spirit.

Brad Price


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I no longer believe in God

AT THE END of her first quarter at the university, Lenora came home and announced: “I am not going to church anymore…!”
Her parents were shocked.  “Lenora, what happened?” wailed Mom.  “You have all those awards for perfect attendance!  And you’ve always seemed glad to worship God.”
“I no longer believe in God; he is a myth,” she replied bluntly.  “Dr. Phillips has taught me the truth.”
“How did Dr. Phillips teach you that God is a myth?” asked her dad.
“It really wasn’t hard.  He pointed out that apples do not grow in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.”
“Well?”  Lenora’s father was inquisitive.
“Dad.”  Lenora was impatient.  “That being true, the first story in the Bible, the creation story, is a myth.  The Garden of Eden was in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, so Eve could not have eaten an apple as the Bible says.  And if that story is a myth, what not all the others?”
“Hold on a minute, Lenora.  Let’s answer three questions.  First, do we know the location of the Garden of Eden?  No.  Second, do we know the nature of the climate in the Garden?  No.  And third, what kind of fruit was forbidden?  The Bible does not say.  The myth here is the apple.  Did Dr. Phillips read the Scriptures?”
Lenora shrugged her shoulders and walked away.  To Lenora, her dad was a good, old-fashioned man.  Dr. Phillips was her authority.  Facts no longer mattered to her.  She had decided that all truth is relative, and what she had come to believe was right for her.  Nothing else mattered.  (Robert L. Waggoner)
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:13). 
— Mike Benson

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A message from Darrel

Today I received an e-mail from “Darrel” entitled “concern.”  Darrel is troubled that our congregational web site does not teach “salvation by faith alone.” 

Darrel asked me to examine more than 30 Scriptures to prove his claim that salvation is by faith alone, but every verse he cited speaks of being saved “by faith” instead of salvation by “faith alone.”

My reply to Darrel included the following statement:  “If you could show me where ‘faith alone’ is used in the Bible to describe salvation, I would be grateful.”

So far Darrell has not written back.  Maybe he has not yet looked at his e-mail or maybe he is searching for just one passage that supports his belief that salvation is by “faith alone.” 

“Faith alone” is found just one time in the New Testament; the NIV uses this exact wording in Jas. 2:24 to say “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”

Many claim we ARE saved by “faith alone,” but God’s inspired spokesman says a person is NOT saved by faith alone.  Who will we believe—God or a man like Darrel? 

PS:  I received a follow-up note from Darrel, but he did not include a verse which says we are “saved by faith alone.” 


Without faith we cannot please God (Heb. 11:6).

We cannot be a child of God without repentance (Lk. 13:3).

We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God (1 Tim. 6:12; Acts 8:36-38).

Finally we must be baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

Have we done these things and are we living a faithful Christian life?

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