By David Sproule

Every so often it is good to be reminded of some key fundamental truths that are life-changing when you first hear them (and realize them) and ought to be life-changing every subsequent time that we hear them (and consider them).  Think for a moment:  Who did Jesus love and for whom did He give Himself?
Jesus loved and gave Himself for His own unbelieving brothers, who ridiculed Him (John 7:5; Mark 3:21).  Jesus loved and gave Himself for His neighbors, who were offended at Him (Mark 6:3).  Jesus loved and gave Himself for Herod the Great, who had tried to kill Him as an infant (Matt. 2:16).  Jesus loved and gave Himself for Herod Antipas, who killed His best friend, John the Baptist (Matt. 14:1-12), and later treated Jesus Himself with contempt (Luke 23:11).  Jesus loved and gave Himself for Herod Agrippa I, who killed one of His inner-circle friends, James (Acts 12:1-2).

 By Mike Riley

A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the Native American said, "I hear a cricket." His friend said, "What? You must be crazy. You couldn't possibly hear a cricket in all this noise!" "No, I'm sure of it," the Native American said, "I heard a cricket." "That's crazy," said the friend.
The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes beneath the branches, and sure enough, there was a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed. "That's incredible," said his friend. "You must have super-human ears!" "No," said the Native American. "My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you're listening for." "But that can't be," said the friend. "I could never hear a cricket in all this noise."

By Mike Riley

In today's digital world, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the abbreviated terminology that accompanies today's fast-paced, youth-oriented electronic communication. For example, in the "Instant Messaging" (IM) world, the text-message language, "laughing out loud" becomes "lol." The phrase, "By the way" becomes "btw." And regrettably, some people are using "omg" for "Oh, my God!"

This last phrase seems to be on the lips of many who receive startling news. But as Christians, we need to stop and think before we utter this or any other phrase that flippantly uses God's name (cf. Exodus 20:7).

 By David Sproule

Being consistent is one of the hardest things for a person to do. When a child is in school, often their behavior when the teacher is out of the room is not consistent with their behavior when the teacher is in the room. That translates to the adult life, when behavior while the boss is out of the office is not consistent with behavior while the boss is in the office. Consistency is tough!
Parents also struggle with being consistent. It is difficult, sometimes, as a parent to be consistent in how, when and why we discipline our children. Sometimes, we are not consistent in how we handle situations. Sometimes, we are not consistent from child to child in what we allow or what we do not allow. Consistency is tough!
This is also true as a Christian, as a preacher and as an elder. Our human struggles with consistency do not vanish when we are baptized or when we take a leadership role in the church. All Christians struggle from time to time with being consistent in their behavior. We do not always behave the same "outside the church building" as we do "inside the church building." We do not always handle situations, trials or mistreatments consistently. The way we deal with a matter one time may differ from how we deal with it again later.