By Connie W. Adams
While visiting the home of James Yates in Texas a few weeks ago, we drove out in the pasture to see a new colt. We kept circling trying to get a good picture of the frisky colt. But the mother would have none of that. She continually protected her baby by keeping herself between the car and the colt and the only picture we got was from across the pasture. My mind raced to 2 Timothy 3:3 to that context where Paul told of “perilous times” to come and listed those “without natural affection.” Here was a Texas mare which put herself in the way of any harm to her offspring while we have had over 30 million legal abortions in this nation since the fateful Supreme Court decision of 1973. Maybe what this nation needs is some horse sense!
An urgent letter from Paul Williams in South Africa tells of the need to raise an additional $1,000 a month support for Robert Buchanan who preaches in White River, South Africa. Paul has known him ever since he became a Christian and has known his wife since she was nine years old. Brother Buchanan left work as an instrumental technician to preach the gospel. Three South African churches supply support for him and one sister in the USA sends $15 a month. This totals $830 a month and is inadequate in that economy. Another $1,000 is needed and that would still amount to over $500 a month less than he was earning in secular work. If any who reads this can do something to help, please write to: Robert Buchanan, P.O. Box 2625, White River 1240, South Africa.
Ash Fork, Arizona
On our way back east from some California meetings recently, we worshipped one Sunday morning with the small congregation in Ash Fork, Arizona, on I-40 west of Flagstaff. There are four members, three women and one man. The older woman, Irene Toliver, has kept that work alive for many years. That Sunday was the once-a-month appointment for Gene Tope who comes up from Prescott to teach and preach. Many times they have no speaker but meet and sing, pray, observe the Lord’s supper, give and study a Bible lesson. Sometimes they hear a taped sermon from some faithful brother (they have quite a collection). The day Bobby and I were present, along with the Topes came a couple from Orlando, Florida, the Dillingers. With the four of them, that made ten that day. The lone male member arose to lead the singing and remarked how good it was to see such a good crowd. He said, “We get lonely here sometimes.” But they are holding fast the faithful word. I taught the Bible class, Gene preached, Austin Dillinger served at the table and the local brother led the singing. Like Lydia of Acts 16, Irene Toliver “constrained us” and the whole congregation went to her house for dinner. “No” or “Thank you, but we have a long ways to go,” or “That would be too much trouble for you” were not acceptable answers. It sure was a good day.
How sweet how heavenly is the sight
When those that love the Lord
In one another’s peace delight
And so fulfill the word.
“Dismiss Us Please”
Dismiss: 1: to permit or cause to leave Webster’ s New Collegiate Dictionary. It is evident that many do not understand what the term means, for instead of permitting an assembly to leave, we cause it to stay and stay and then stay. And this often after a congregation has stood during an invitation song, closing remarks, a closing song and for “dismissal.” There are times for prolonged prayers. This is the time to invoke the Lord’s blessings upon us as we take leave of one another. It is not the time for lengthy supplications, quoting Scripture to the Lord, half-soling the sermon and myriad concerns of the Lord’s people when they pray. The request is to dismiss, to permit or cause to leave.
The Rod of Correction
Real child abuse is a terrible blight. It must be addressed. But that does not justify the opposite extreme which argues that all corporal punishment of a disobedient child is abusive. Some are confusing “hitting” with spanking. This is a subtle maneuver to make all spanking appear brutish. I got my share of them as a boy and deserved them. And no, I do not hate my mother or my father. The Bible principle is valid: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Prov. 22:15). A steel pipe or butcher knife is a rod of abuse, not correction. The purpose of the rod in this passage is to cause a change in behavior, to demonstrate disapproval of an action. A kitchen spatula, a stick to stir paint, a keen switch, is not a rod of abuse but of correction. Those who argue that they are abusive are either ignorant of the word of God, or arrogant enough to think they know more about it than the Lord did.
I remember vividly one “rod of correction” which I received good-naturedly from my grandmother when I was about 10 years old. I thought it was funny to rush behind her, untie her apron and then run away laughing. One day I caught her on the back porch with a bucket of water in her hand. I untied her apron but was not fast enough. Quick as a flash she dumped the whole bucket of cold water on me. The soaking taught me to be careful about doing that any more. It was a wet rod of correction.
My Friend, Levy
My friend and brother, Dr. Levy Maravilla of St. Louis, Missouri passed away on March 21. Not only had he treated me many times as a physician, but he was a dearly beloved friend. For many years he served as an elder in the Hazelwood, Missouri church. He knew the Scriptures well, believed them implicitly and ordered his entire life according to them. He loved the church and he loved those who preach the gospel. He and his wife, Connie, were indeed “given to hospitality.”
Funeral services were conducted on March 24 in St. Louis by Ben Shropshire with congregational singing led by Mark Broyles. A large crowd was present, including many brethren and also a large number of doctors and other professional people who obviously respected him much. Included in that number were some Filipino doctors with whom Levy and Mark Broyles had been studying the Bible weekly.
His death leaves a large void in the lives of many. Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife, Connie, sons, David and Mike and daughter Donna. Truly, “a prince and a great man has fallen.” But we take great comfort in the promises of the gospel.
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 13, p. 3-4
July 7, 1994