Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 9, 1960
NUMBER 6, PAGE 11a,14b

From A Preacher's Note-Book

James W. Adams, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Killed With His Own Poison

In Southwest Texas where I was reared, there is a species of cactus known by the Mexicans as "tasajilla." (I cannot vouch for the spelling.) It is made up of long jointed stems having extremely long thorns with wicked points. In that section there are also many rattlesnakes, enemies of man and beast, some attaining a length of six or seven feet. This venomous reptile is, however, also plagued by enemies. One of these is a longlegged bird known popularly as a "Road-runner" and by the Mexicans as a "Paisano." It is commonly seen running across and along the highways of Southwest Texas. It has long black legs and beak and is mottled gray in color. Many rattlesnakes are executed by this innocuous looking creature.

The execution takes place in the following fashion: The bird will find the snake asleep; he will carefully gather a supply of the little spine-like joints of the "tasajilla" bush and with them build a fence or corral around the sleeping snake; having finished the fence, the bird will then fly at the snake and scream at in a high-pitched tone characteristic of the "Road-runner"; the snake will awaken and try to crawl away, but the spines of the "tasajilla" fence will prick his belly and he will draw back; the "Road-runner" will continue to fly at the snake and draw back quickly all the while uttering its shrill cry; the snake will strike and miss and be rewarded for its effort by pricking its tender underside on the "tasajilla;" finally, the snake will become so enraged and frustrated that he will bite himself and be destroyed by his own venom.

As in much of nature, there is a lesson for man in this circumstance. All of us, even Christians, are two-fold beings — body and spirit, animal man and spiritual man, carnal mind and spiritual mind. The animal nature of man, prompted by lust and passion when not controlled, is filled with deadly venom much as the rattlesnake. The Devil and his emissaries are well aware of this fact, hence constantly seek to arouse in the Christian this sleeping, deadly beast. Worldly men and false brethren are often tools of Satan in his efforts to destroy God's children. Finding they cannot seduce God's people otherwise, they will resort to persecution, innuendo, defamation of character, and misrepresentation of many species in an effort to stir up the Christian's animal passion and cause him in fighting back to destroy himself with his own poison.

Christian's must oppose evil and false doctrine within and without the church, but let us take care! The Devil and his emissaries are not limited as to weapons, but the Christian must not employ "carnal weapons" (2 Cor. 10:4.) in his warfare. Let us not in anger and frustration generated by this fact destroy ourselves. Let us humbly and meekly bear the onslaughts of the wicked employing only truth as our weapon in withstanding his attack. Bitterness, hate, evil-speaking, innuendo, misrepresentation are the "carnal weapons" of the evil one. Faith, truth, loyalty, purity, and works of faith are the armaments of Christians. With these God can and will give us the victory! (J.W.A.)


I know not what tomorrow may unfold, Or where the roads, as yet untrod, may lead;

While time and tide move onward, ever bold, With no cessation in their daily speed.

The yesterdays I cannot readorn, Or bygones years I never can relive,

And future happenings are yet unborn, I have today — a gracious gift — ornate

But now is ever here with much to give.

With four and twenty golden hours that shine, Reflecting joyous moments that await

Beneath the skies divine. And this is mine To use and cherish as I wend my way,

With thanks to God, for giving me Today!

Stick Them With The Pins

Most churches these days have inaugurated the "zone system" in their visitation programs. To help in activating this system a map of the city is secured, marked off in zones, and pins stuck in the map to show the location of the various members who may live in the zones. In the April issue of Nuggets, there is a story which suggest how we might better employ the pins.

A small business man was in trouble with his sales. He had confidence in his products, was reasonably sure his prices were fair, and he had a large number of salesman assigned to what should be productive territory. He decided to call in an expert to give him an outsider's viewpoint.

After he had gone over his plans and problems, the businessman took the sales expert to a map on the wall and showed him brightly colored pins stuck wherever he had a salesman. Looking at the expert, he asked, "Now for a starter what is the first thing we should do?"

"Well." replied the expert, "the first thing is to take those pins out of the map and stick them in the salesmen."

We think this would be a wonderful idea in the work of the church. We live in a day of super-organization. Everything is systematized and organized. Churches of Christ are just now really getting into the organizational craze so long featured by denominationalism. The mechanics of operation have become so heavy as to literally become "the tail that wags the dog." What we really need instead of "more and better organization" is to take the pins of our organizationalism and stick them in the worldly-minded, half-hearted, half-converted members of the church. This is but to say that if we spent our time converting men instead of organizing "our brotherhood" and "our churches" the Lord's will might be done on earth as it is in heaven. (J. W. A.)

Lord, Take Away Pain

(Author Unknown)

The cry of man's anguish went up unto God

"Lord, take away pain!

The shadow that darkens the world

Thou hast made,

The close, coiling chain

That strangles the heart, the burden that weights

On the wings that would soar,

Lord, take away pain from the world

Thou hast made,

That it love Thee the more."

Then answered the Lord to the cry of His world —

"Shall I take away pain,

And with it the power of the soul to endure,

Made strong by the strain?

Shall I take away pity, that knits heart to heart,

And sacrifice high?

Will ye lose all your heroes that lift from the fire

White brows to the sky?

Shall I take away love that redeems with a price And smiles at its loss?

Can ye spare from your lives that would climb unto mine The Christ on his cross?"

(From Nuggets, April 1960.)

Mulvane Church of Christ Fourth at Arkansas Mulvane, Kansas

April 15, 1960 Dear Brethren:

We, the elders of the above Church of Christ, wish to make the following statement concerning charges and accusations which have been spread abroad against Brother Judson Woodbridge, who has been preacher for this congregation for more than ten year.

Brother Woodbridge has been accused of splitting this congregation. The congregation has been divided, but not by Brother Woodbridge. One member, in rebellion against the elders, demanded that Brother Woodbridge be fired. When his demands were not complied with, this rebellious member attempted to have the elders put out. He held meetings in his own home and in other homes, and carried his campaign to neighboring congregations. When the elders in presence of the deacons, appealed to him to repent of his evil conduct and confess them before the congregation, he told them, "You were voted in as elders and would be voted out."

The contentious member was withdrawn from, after which he continued his campaign against the elders and Brother Woodbridge, to draw away disciples after himself, and eventually he and some followers formed another congregation.

Brother Woodbridge, in all his preaching and teaching, has adhered to the truth of the scriptures. He has not been "carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of hand, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive," but in contrast, has been diligent to "preach the word" and to "hold fast the form of sound words." He has held strictly to the scripture in teaching concerning caring for those in need, in proclamation of the gospel, and has not been carried away into institutionalism, sponsorism or modernism.

We have proof of these statements in written and tape form and suggest that any who have heard of these accusations which have been widely circulated by some who have not concerned themselves enough to inquire of us concerning their truthfulness or falsity, make inquiry of us and learn the facts instead of joining in the campaign or reputation assassination which has been carried on by some who have made no effort to learn the truth or falsity of the charges.

Yours in the cause of Christ Signed

Geo. E. Smysor W. W. Giles