And take…the sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17


Volume 21, Number 39

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
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All sing last Wednesday

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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rich Brooks

Aaron Bass
Shane Bass
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Teach Your Children Respect
Joe R. Price

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1–3, NKJV)

Dr. Leonard Sax, practicing physician and author of “The Collapse of Parenting,” wrote in the Wall Street Journal (Dec. 17, 2015), “Kids are not born knowing how to be respectful. They have to be taught.” He tells of his patient “Kyle,” who “was absorbed in a video game on his cellphone, so I asked his mom, ‘How long has Kyle had a stomach ache?’ Mom said, ‘I’m thinking it’s been about two days.’ Then Kyle replied, ‘Shut up, mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about.’ And he gave a snorty laugh, without looking up from his video game. Kyle is 10 years old.”

One source of such disrespect comes from devaluing parents. According to Dr. Sax, “America’s children are immersed in a culture of disrespect: for parents, teachers, and one another. They learn it from television, even on the Disney Channel, where parents are portrayed as clueless, out-of-touch or absent. They learn it from celebrities or the Internet. They learn it from social media. They teach it to one another. They wear T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like ‘I’m not shy. I just don’t like you.’”

Parents, train your children to respect you by being respectful to one another, and to others. Train them to honor you by placing value on God, on faith, and on every human being. Children can only be respectful by learning it. So, be respectable – especially when the culture does not value it. 

-Sword Tips #1714


What is Karma?
R. J. Evans

It seems that the word “karma” has become a common expression in the American vernacular. We might hear someone say, “Oh, karma will take care of that.” Some time back, a man was working on my computer. After he finished repairing the problem, his closing words to me were “Good karma.”  At times, the word is even used among Christians. Some Christians innocently do not realize it, but by using this term they are adopting a false philosophy that is most certainly contrary to biblical teaching.

Thus, what is karma all about? The word karma actually means “action, work, or deed.” It is a false theological concept that is founded in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. It ties in with their false doctrine of reincarnation. Karma in the present affects one’s future in the current life as well as in future “reincarnated” lives.  If you are kind and nice during this lifetime, you will be rewarded by being reincarnated with a pleasant life in your new earthly body. However, if you live a life of selfishness and evil, you will be reincarnated into a miserable, less-than-pleasant lifestyle in the next one. The word of God rejects the doctrine of reincarnation, and therefore, does not support the idea of karma.

Just one passage of scripture is sufficient to disprove this false philosophy. Hebrews 9:27 states, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after that the judgment.” This means that humans are born once and only die once. There is no endless cycle of life and death here on earth. Also, this scripture states that after death we will face the judgment, meaning there is no second chance, like there is in reincarnation and karma. We have one opportunity to live, and God desires that we obey and do His will, and that is it!

Yes, Galatians 6:7-8 says that a man will reap what he sows. Ultimately, the reaping will be eternal in nature – “corruption” or “everlasting life” (v. 8). Often, depending upon the nature of sin or faithful service – consequences or blessings are enjoyed while here on earth. But unlike karma, God doesn’t always promise justice here on earth (2 Thess. 1:6-7), and He doesn’t promise a carefree life for those who are righteous (Jn. 16:33; Heb. 11:35-40). For example, many righteous people that we read about in the Bible suffered greatly, such as Job, Joseph, and the Apostle Paul; also, many evil men lived the good life such as the rich man in Luke 16:19-31. There is simply no reference or indication that we will be reincarnated into another life here on earth, based on how we are presently living before death. Thus, after death, and when all men will be judged (Matt. 25), it is either eternal suffering in hell or eternal life in heaven with Jesus. (He died so that we can live righteously in this life in order to live eternally with Him.) Notice carefully what Jesus said in Matthew 25:46: “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Therefore, we can see that the concept of reincarnation and karma is incompatible with what the Bible teaches about life, death, and sowing and reaping of eternal life. Let us all, as Christians, refrain from using the word “karma” in our everyday conversations. “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11).


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

Rejoice, All Who Trust in the Lord
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 5:1-6

1. Jesus taught disciples not to lose heart (faint) in prayer (Lk. 18:1).
2. Like Paul, our requests should be made “with all joy,” Phil. 1:4 (4:6).
3. Psalm 5: A morning prayer.


  A. Christians Dedicate Ourselves to Prayer, 1 Thess. 5:17; Matt. 6:9; 7:7-11; 1 Jno. 5:13-14
  B. David’ Morning Prayer. Prayed early/depended on God, Matt. 6:11; Lk. 11:5-8; Dan. 6:10.


  A. We Can Pray Confidently When We Shun Wickedness, Heb. 4:16; 1 Pet. 3:12; 1 Tim. 2:8; Mal. 1:7-8, 9-11; Jas. 1:5-8.


  A. The Church is God’s Holy Temple, Eph. 2:21-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-5.


  A. Faithful Distinguished from Wicked, 5:9; Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 3:9-19, 23.
  B. Our Escape is Through Faith in Christ, Rom. 3:20-24.


  A. Trust God and Rejoice because God Protects Us, Rom. 8:31-32.
  B. Love God’s Name and be Surrounded by His Shield, Eph. 6:10-13. (Col. 3:17)


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

Christians Should Be Good Communicators
Joe R. Price

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:25-32

1. Good communication is crucial to good relations.

2. We must work to improve ourselves as communicators, Eph. 4:29-32.

A Good Communicator Will…

  • Prov. 10:11: Help rather than be cruel
  • Prov. 10:12-13: Speak from a good understanding of his/her topic, people, etc., Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 4:31
  • Prov. 10:14: Speak from knowledge, Col. 1:9-11; 1 Cor. 8:1-3
  • Prov. 10:18: Not be deceptive, Eph. 4:29
  • Prov. 10:19: Be judicious with his words
  • Prov. 10:20: Reflect upright heart
  • Prov. 10:21: Have the welfare of his listener(s) in mind, Col. 4:6; Prov. 15:7
  • Prov. 25:11: Meets needs of others with careful words, Eph. 4:15
  • Prov. 25:12: Speak helpful words (27:6)
  • Prov. 25:13: Be reliable in counsel and trustworthy of others, Jas. 5:12
  • Prov. 25:14: Not exaggerate to advance himself in the sight of others (Job 12:1-2)
  • Prov. 26:17: Know when not to speak, 1 Pet. 4:15
  • Prov. 26:18-19: Know that inappropriate humor hinders communication, Eph. 5:3-4
  • Prov. 26:20-22: Not tell tales, but will speak to the person who needs to hear his words, Matt. 5:23-25; 18:15
  • Prov. 26:23-28.....not use deceptive, flattering words, Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Pet. 2:3
  • James 3:1-6: Exercise self-control, knowing the power of words and accountability for them, Matt. 12:36-37


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Is Civil Disobedience Sin?
Joe R. Price

Evidently men’s shorts are getting shorter. “Men’s shorts today are inching further up the thigh. Men are flashing their legs ‘in kind of an aggressive way,’ said Ryan Robison, 31, an inventory planner in San Francisco” (“Can I Wear Shorts as Short as John Wayne’s?,” The Wall Street Journal, Jacob Gallagher, August 13, 2019). It seems shorts that used to hit the knee or just below are now hitting mid-thigh.

Men should realize that women are not the only ones who can dress immodestly. Men can, too. God took care to clothe the priests of Israel (men) in a way that prevented exposing the thigh: “And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness (bare flesh, footnote); they shall reach from the waist to the thighs” (Exo. 28:42). Clothing that exposes the thigh is, by definition, uncovering one’s nakedness (see Isa. 47:2-3 for confirmation of this definition).

Fashion does not set the boundaries of modesty. Neither does the weather. Those boundaries are set by God in His word. Shamefastness and moderation (discretion, sobriety, self-control) are the character traits that ensure the selection of clothing that corresponds to decency and godliness (1 Tim. 2:9-10).

Parents, begin teaching your children from an early age that modest clothing reflects godliness and pleases our heavenly Father. If you dress your children without regard to modesty when they are young, that is the sort of clothing they will expect to wear in their adolescence.

Lest we overlook an obvious fact, skin tight leggings and “painted on” pants do not reflect godliness, either. And, shirtless men are also immodestly (un)clothed.

Out of shame, Adam and Eve covered their nakedness, but it was God who clothed them (Gen. 3:7, 21). We cannot cover ourselves with little more than fig leaves, leaving our nakedness exposed, and expect God to be pleased. Be careful to clothe your nakedness and profess godliness. 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  08/19/2019

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