Tag Archives: Jew

A Good Friend is a True Blessing

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I’m not a mechanic by any means. Cars intimidate me, and I have never had the opportunity to go to any kind of shop class where they discussed engines (my high school didn’t offer shop classes). But, I’m interested in learning, and I have a pretty good ability to use tools and fix things when I put my mind to it.

Back in May, my truck started making noises and running rough. Then it overheated and started putting steam out the exhaust pipe. This was a problem, and I didn’t know how to handle it. In my estimation the truck was probably done for. I called up a friend who works on cars as a hobby, and he gave me some directions on how to narrow down the problem.

After trying a few things and replacing a few parts it was decided that the head gaskets were probably bad due to the overheating. This meant taking the top half of the engine completely apart to replace gaskets that sit on top of the block.

If I’ve lost you already, just bear with me.

My mechanic friend said he thought I had the skills to do the job, so with his advice I started taking things apart. Last May I was able in two days to take the engine apart all the way down to the head gaskets. The top half of my engine was sitting on a table in my garage.

When I went to have some parts cleaned and resurfaced I found out that my heads were also cracked. This increased the cost significantly, but again, my friend was right there giving me pointers and helping me see how to do things best.

About two weeks ago I started putting parts back together. I hadn’t taken pictures along the way, so I was very concerned that I wouldn’t know how to put everything back together. I was especially wary of my knowledge in putting all the electrical connectors and hoses back in the right places. Yet again, my friend was there to point out different things and give me advice to make the job a success.

Last saturday he came over and helped me iron out the last few problems, and I cranked the engine back up for the first time in two months. It ran on the first crank.

I am super excited to have my truck running again. I did 95% of the work, but I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do the job without my friend to guide me along the way. I can’t thank him enough.

This is a lot like life.

We are called to live our lives in and for the glory of God. We are given tasks to do that are too difficult for us on our own, but God is always there helping us as we call on him.

God is to us daily as my friend was for me during my mechanic work. He isn’t doing all the work, but He is making sure we have the skills and tools available to get it done ourselves.

How much do you rely on God? Are you trying to “do life” without Him? So many of us only call on Him when we need Him, but you know what? He doesn’t seem to mind; He comes to our aid anyway.

In Hebrews 13:5 the writer records this promise from God, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” there is great comfort and confidence in knowing this promise. With God on our side helping us along we have confidence to try big things that are beyond our experience level.

God wants to do big things through you. God wants to help you along. Look to him.

Thanks for continuing to read these articles each week. If there’s anything I can do for you, feel free to contact me at jddobbs@verizon.net or at the church of Christ office at 245-1611. You can also join in or start a discussion about this or any of my other articles at http://www.mrdobbs.org. God bless you as you look to Him for strength!

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A Boy’s Favorite Bible Story

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One of my favorite stories in the bible is the story of Ehud the “judge” of Israel. You can find the story in Judges 3.

Israel had turned away from God, so He allowed them to be taken captive by Elgon, king of Moab. The Israelites didn’t like that very much, and they cried out to Jehovah to deliver them from this new oppression. By the way, the book of Judges is all about people getting comfortable and turning away from God. Then God allows them to be oppressed, so they cry out to Him. Then He delivers them, and the cycle starts over again.

God did send a deliverer, Ehud. Ehud was a left-handed man from the tribe of Benjamin, a tribe that was known for its warriors in the bible. Ehud had made a double edged dagger about 18 inches long that he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.

The Israelites decided to send Ehud to the king with a tribute from the nation. Upon arriving at their destination, they paid tribute to the king, and Ehud sent the men away who carried the tribute for him. Ehud began to walk out and had just gotten past the statues of the Moabite gods when he turned back and said he had a secret message for the king.

The king sent out everyone from the room and Ehud approached the king to deliver his message from God. As Elgon stood to receive the message, Ehud reached in and grabbed his sword.

Now it is necessary to describe Elgon a bit. He was fat. The bible describes him as overly obese. This fact will play into this story in a minute.

Eduh grabbed the dagger and plunged it into the king’s belly. The blade came out his back, and because he was so fat the sword was lost in the king’s belly and Ehud couldn’t remove it.

Ehud then slipped out quietly and locked the door. The guards didn’t go in because they assumed the king was going to the bathroom. When they waited an embarrassingly long time to check on the king they decided to go in and found him dead. Ehud had gotten away scot free.

This event motivated the Israelites to rise up and take back their freedom, and with God’s help they did just that.

I know. This seems like a really strange story to be someone’s favorite, but I read this as a boy and was fascinated that the bible would put so much detail and have so much humor in this story. I was shocked that the bible would talk about the king being fat. I was grossed out by the description of the stabbing. I chuckled at the guards thinking the king was on the other “throne”. Remember, I was just a boy when I read this.

I’m telling you the story now because I want you to see the color that is in the scriptures. So many people treat the bible like its some bland book of rules and regulations, but it is so much more! It is full of stories with excitement and humor. There is much sarcasm and laughter. There is weeping and comfort. Every emotion can be found there in the scriptures.

I read “The Hunger Games” in about a week – all three books. I was enthralled by the story. When was the last time you felt that way about the scriptures? How long has it been since you responded to a story from the bible with that sense of awe and wonder that a child has when hearing the story of Jonah for the first time?

Last week I wrote about the need for all of us to have a secure foundation of the scriptures in our lives. I hope that this week you can see just how vibrant and alive and entertaining and intense that collection of books truly is.

May you fall in love with scriptures once again – or maybe for the first time. Pick them up and read. Put yourself in the stories and watch them come alive. Listen to the messages God is trying to tell you therein. Once you meet God there, you will have a grander vision for meeting God in other places in your life.

These are not mere stories; they are history. They are true, and archaeology proves that a little more and more each year. But even though this is a historical book, it is not dull, and you can find yourself in so many stories as the characters are just like you and me.

Let’s get back to the bible. Let’s be excited once again about the Word of God.

If you’d like to talk more about this feel free to email me at jddobbs@verizon.net or comment on this article on my blog at http://www.mrdobbs.org. You can also call me at the office at 979-245-1611 extension 103. God bless you as His Word fills your heart!


Like a Good Neighbor…

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How well do you know your neighbor?

I used to live in Arkansas on a dirt road several miles out of town. Our closest neighbor was across the street but you couldn’t see our next-door neighbors’ houses. It was nice living in the country. We would watch the sun set across the fields with the deer playing in the pastures. Our family would go for walks on the dirt road, and we knew the people that lived there. In fact, except for a couple of houses at the beginning of the road, the rest of the houses were owned by the same family.

It was a safe, wonderful place to live.

When we moved to Bay City the culture of where we lived changed dramatically. We went from living in the country to living in a subdivision. We went from having acres between us and our neighbors to having only a few feet between us.

All of a sudden we lived in a place where our we had to make a quick choice on how we would live. Would we retreat into our home and act like we still lived in the seclusion of the country, or would we get outside and meet those around us? Would we embrace the idea of living in community?

We chose the latter, and it has been a wonderful decision.

It is great to know my neighbors! I can honestly say I feel safer for our family because I know the people that live around us. In fact, they aren’t just acquaintances; they are our friends. Our children play with their children. One of our neighbors is an elderly lady who is as sweet as she can be and our children treat her like their own grandma. When we go out of town our neighbors are great about helping keep an eye on our house. Getting to know each of their personalities has been a treat!

Do you know your neighbors?

When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”. But he didn’t stop there. Then he added, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Then, Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?” To this, Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan. Many of you already know this story. In telling this, he opened up the scope of who is
our neighbor.

Our neighbors are not simply the other people in your particular congregation. Our neighbor isn’t just the person living next door. Our neighbor is anyone who is in need.

Often times I hear people who balk at the idea of doing evangelism because they just aren’t “gifted” to do that. What they don’t realize is that evangelism isn’t difficult at all. All we need to do is live for Jesus and keep the praise of God on our lips. But we cannot do this in a cave (we call it a house) or even inside a fort (often referred to as a church building). We must live this way in the context of neighbors. We cannot fulfill the second greatest commandment if we are never around the ones who are our neighbors. You have been placed where you live so that you can be a missionary fulfilling the great commission (Matthew 28:18-29).

So what should you do? My recommendation is to start by something simple. Maybe make some cookies and take them to the houses surrounding yours. When they answer the door, just let them know you’d like to introduce yourself. Then, every time you get the chance, talk to your neighbors. Don’t be in such a rush to drive in and shut the garage door. Do things in your front yard. Invite them over to dinner. Maybe you could even throw a Christmas party or some other gathering where your neighbors are invited to get to know one another.

In knowing and loving our neighbors we will be fulfilling the second greatest commandment, and we will be glorifying God in the process.

May you get to know your neighbors, and may your neighborhood be changed as Jesus infiltrates our community through your hospitality.

As always, if you need anything or would like to pray about something, feel free to contact me at 245-1611 or at jddobbs@verizon.net. God bless you, neighbor!


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