Friday, July 29, 2011

Speaking Engagements

Preaching the Word

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Tim 4:1-2, ESV). At Heritage Christian University, we take these words seriously, for we know the gospel of Jesus is the power God uses to save (Rom 1:16). Therefore, our staff and faculty are heavily involved in sharing the gospel of Jesus. On Sunday and Wednesday, you will find the HCU family filling pulpits and classrooms, not just in North Alabama, but wherever opportunity arises. During the summer, many faculty and staff members assist with several summer camps. We, like Jeremiah before us, have a fire in our bones for proclaiming God’s truth (Jer 20:9).

We know that you can’t be with us everywhere we speak, but we would love to see you. We also know that you would bless these fine churches with your presence. We hope to see you soon!

  • Dr. Bill Bagents, Vice Presidence of Academic Affairs, will be speaking for a Parenting Seminar at the South Haleyville (AL) Church of Christ on Friday evening July 29.

  • Dr. Ted Burleson, Associate Professor of Ministry and Biblical Studies, will speak Saturday, July 30 at the Brock Church of Christ for their Vacation Bible School. On Sunday, August 14, Dr. Burleson begins a gospel meeting with the Piney Grove Church of Christ that runs through August 18. On August 21, Dr. Burleson will join four other gospel preachers for a gospel meeting at the Hackleburg Church of Christ. On September 11, he will begin a seminar on the family at the Mars Hill Church of Christ in Florence, Alabama.

  • President Dennis Jones will be speaking at the Leighton Church of Christ on Sunday morning July 31.

  • Philip Goad, Director of University Advancement, will be speaking at the Allen Park Church of Christ in Allen Park, Michigan Sunday morning July 31. That evening, he will be speaking for the Flat Rock Church of Christ in Flat Rock, Michigan.

  • Cory Collins, Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of Ministry and Biblical Studies, will be speaking at the Sherrod Avenue Church of Christ in Florence, Alabama on Wednesday, August 24 at 6 pm. His topic will be: “The Cross: Our Only Claim to Fame.”

  • Dolly Leighton , adjunct instructor in English, has the following speaking engagements: on September 10, she will speak at the ladies day for the Church of Christ in Oliver Springs, Tennessee. From September 30 to October 1, she will be speaking at the ladies retreat for the Woodbury (TN) Church of Christ at Short Mountain Bible Camp. On October 8, Dolly will be speaking for the ladies day at the Lois Church of Christ in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

We pray that we can bless each congregation we’re blessed to serve. Stop by and be with us. Your presence will be a great blessing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


HCU and Balance

Written by HCU Alumnus Matthew Morine

As most people know, I been to a lot of churches of Chirst schools. I have even attended Denver Seminary for a Doctorate level class. So this around the block is true about me. This has caused problems, as people have written to me (and up) about how liberal I am and also how conservative I am. And some people just do not have a clue how to label me, which is just great in my mind. It is sad that we judge people totally by the school that one attended. I can totally say that there have been totally liberal people at the conservative schools and conservative people at the most progressive schools. Some people will cast you off just because you attended a certain school. At this point in my education, and from the wide range of schools I have attended, this is misjudging of people. The best thing to do is call, instead of assume. All of this, what I call balance was mostly modeled and taught at Heritage Christian University. I really have followed the lessons of this school throughout my ministry. The school is generally conservative in theology or doctrine, but is willing to do what it takes to reach out into the world. It is balanced in its approach to the issues in the church. It taught me that no matter what your view is on an issue, responding to the issue is just as important. Being right is never a reason to act wrong. People during my time there, Dennis Jones the president, Bill Bagents, and Coy Roper really modeled this approach. These guys were sound in the scriptures, but loving in the interactions with the brotherhood. I believe this spirit of the school lives on as I am friends with some of the new teachers. I believe this school and the professors really formed the way that I operate in the church. Sometimes I might take fire for this approach, but I believe that no matter how people treat me, no matter my personal understanding of certain doctrines, it never gives me the right or the excuse to mistreat my follow man. At Castle Rock, we have a saying, “You can be right, and still wrong.” HCU taught this to me. I taught a deep love for the Churches of Christ, and this spirit continues during my studies at Harding School of Theology (Mark Parker will be happy I used the new name). So sometimes I have friends on the progressive side of the church, I have friends on the conservative side of the church, and I love them all. It does not always mean I agree with everything that is happening, but it means that I will continue to be presence for good wherever the Lord leads me. People sometimes wonder where I stand, I must state clearly and yes, pridefully, hopefully in a good way, I am a Church of Christ man (no I do not understand the big “C” and little “c” debate, so I just use it anyway I feel fit to). I love my fellowship, the doctrine and teachings of my fellowship, and the love that it has given me. As someone who has not grown up in the south or in the history of the churches of Christ, I still feel a total loyalty to it. I know some will say, you should be loyal to Christ, and I feel being loyal to the Church does not mean that I am not loyal to the Lord, it is just part of the faith journey. In all that I do in the church and for the Lord, I do with the spirit that HCU taught me, of being balanced, and treating people right, no matter on the stand on the issue is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Media and the Christian

Media and the Christian

Written by HCU Alumnus Rusty Pettus

Recent studies suggest that the average student will digest 7 hours of media a day (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding). Much of this is done while multi-tasking (homework and music). This would include, TV, movies, the internet, music, talking/texting on your phone, etc.

When we think about a Biblical approach to talking about Media I like to use Walt Mueller’s 3D’s: Discover, Discern, and Decide.


The first thing we have to help our students and parents to discover what is inside our media. When I look back at the music I listened to as a kid I am amazed at lyrics. I had no idea what many of the songs were talking about because I was just singing the hook. This is true for many of our students. We need to discover what is inside any music, TV, magazine, movies, etc. In the age of the internet we can do this by a simple Google search.

The reality is that most every form of media has something objectionable in it. But I like to think of objectionable media like sugar to a diabetic. A little won’t hurt you but a lot can kill you. We can usually handle a little objectionable material but too much will make us numb and acceptable to Satan’s messages.


Discerning is the art of identifying and understanding and then practicing good judgment. When it comes to media it is the art of paying attention to the message and understanding if it is profitable for godliness. In Ephesians 5, Paul encourages us to put away our old way of living and to embrace the life God has called us to. He tells us to “Carefully determine what pleases the Lord" (Eph 5:10 NLT). This is the heart of discernment. It is like a diabetic who can quickly determine if the food in front of them is good for them or dangerous. How much can they consume before it impacts them. It is the ability to identify the message and understand its impact on our ability to think godly thoughts.


We are now at the most difficult point, deciding what we need to do. At the end of Romans 7, Paul shares his struggle between wanting to do right and doing wrong. At the beginning of chapter 8 he continues this thought with a discussion on our thoughts. Paul says that those who are dominated by sin think about sinful things while those whose minds are controlled by the Spirit think on ways to please God (Romans 8:5). This is the heart of the media discussion. If I digest 7 hours of media a day and an hour of it is filled with objectionable material how will it impact my thought life that controls my actions? How many profane words, sexual suggestions, body images, etc. can I digest before they seep into my actions and worldview? We must decide what we allow into our heart.

For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander (Matthew 15:19). Jesus says that what we put into our heart will be lived out in our life. Our media consumption is a spiritual issue as it will impact our hearts, our minds, and our actions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peru Mission Trip

Caring for Cusco

Written by Josh Looney

Student at Heritage Christian University

From July 9th through July 17th, 2011, I had the privilege of serving in Cusco, Peru on a medical mission. This campaign was led by Ramon Gonzales, a Peruvian native and 2010 graduate of Heritage Christian University. I was blessed with support from the Fairview Church of Christ, the congregations at Florence Boulevard and Cox Boulevard, and many individuals.

While there, we gave: free medical care, haircuts, children’s classes, clothing, Gospel literature, and Bible studies with those wanting to learn more. We saw around 600 people with the medical care, 200 children in the children’s classes, and around 120 free hair cuts.

Our team was made up of many people of many professions who wanted to contribute their time and talent to the glory of God. The campaign was held at the building of the Wanchaq Church of Christ in Cusco. The congregation was more than generous in their love and support in the effort.

Aside from work, we were also able to see many of the awesome sights of Peru. We explored the city of Cusco, toured the Macchu Picchu, and spent some time on the Pacific coast of Lima. Some of us even went parasailing! Peru is a beautiful country and I got to see some of the best of God’s creation. The Andes mountains lined up like a mighty choir to sing to the Lord and the Pacific coast echoed the praise!

I have been involved with many stateside campaigns since coming to Heritage Christian University in the Fall of 2008, but this was my first international campaign. My soul was thrilled to be able to interact with people of a different culture and to be with the Christians in Peru. The congregation was so warm and welcoming and it was so awesome to see how universal the Church really is. We pray that, through this effort, we have generated interest in the faith in the community and hope to see more souls added to the Church in the future.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coil on the Scriptures

The Authority of the Scriptures

Charles Coil firmly believed in the truthfulness of the Scriptures. The command of Jesus at the end of Matthew is a large part of the reason he established International Bible College (now Heritage Christian University).

In this sermon, delivered on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University, Coil speaks plainly and forcibly about “The Authority of the Scriptures.” Coil makes an important point throughout this lesson: “Our view of the authority of the Scriptures makes a great deal of difference in our lives.”

The Authority of the Scriptures -- Charles Coil

Friday, July 22, 2011

Charles Coil Lesson

How to Recruit and Train Workers for World Evangelism

Charles Coil was a leading evangelist among churches of Christ. In 1967, Coil preached a gospel meeting with the Golf Course Road Church of Christ in Midland, Texas. At the meeting in Midland, 339 responded to the invitation, including 86 who were baptized. Many believe this is the largest number of responses in history at a gospel meeting associated with the churches of Christ in the United States.

Four years later, in 1971, Coil established International Bible College (now Heritage Christian University) with a singular focus: to train effective communicators of the gospel. HCU remains committed to that singular focus. In the lesson linked below, Charles Coil tackles the importance of that focus and discusses “How to Recruit and Train Workers for World Evangelism.”

Take a listen. This lesson will bless your life in much the same way that Chares Coil blessed so many.

"How to Recruit and Train Workers for World Evangelism" -- Charles Coil

Thursday, July 21, 2011


T.I.T.U.S. Camp

Ray Reynolds
Founder & Director of TITUS Camp

T.I.T.U.S. Camp stands for Teens In Training for Useful Service. The camp was founded in 2005 after the model I found assisting the Bear Valley School of Preaching with their Future Preachers Training Camp as an Advanced Homiletics professor. Our training camp takes place on the campus of Heritage Christian University in Florence, Alabama.

TITUS Camp exists for the purpose of training seventy young people (13-19 years of age) to be better equipped for Christian service. All campers are put into a spiritually enriched environment where they are given the tools and training they need to serve God more effectively. They are assigned a topic to research the first day and encouraged to prepare a lesson to be delivered on the final day of camp. Several local churches sponsor these young people and allow them to use their talents before graduation.

Over the years, our voluntary staff has included many HCU professors and HCU alumni (Ray & Sarah Reynolds, Travis & Stacy Harmon, Jess & Lori Eastep, Travis & Whitney Creasy, Dr. Bill Bagents, Cory Collins, Dr. Ted Burleson, President Dennis Jones, Sonny Owens, Tim Spivy, Gary Marshall, Larry Davenport, Philip Goad, Mechelle Thompson, Wayne Kilpartick, Chris Moran, Micheal Jackson, Dr. Jeremy Barrier, and many others).

We each want to help these young people to grow spiritually, strengthen their ministry skills, and be equipped for Christian service. This camp is unlike other camps that just train young people in that we will find local churches where they can actually serve! We want them to use their talents immediately!

All students who attend TITUS Camp will have daily Bible classes, training classes, Homiletics, library research, lesson preparation, Christian service, "Give a Defense" (which is a challenging class to test your Bible knowledge), and team building. Two favorite events are “Manna in the Morning” (which is a devotional to get you started each morning), and “POWER HOUR” (which is our final devotional each night)! Some years we offer classes in personal evangelism, song leading, spiritual maturity, spiritual leadership, counseling, youth ministry, and other ministerial fields.

This year we allowed the kids to make bulletin boards and pillows for kids who lost everything in the tornadoes that ripped through North Alabama. We helped box up shoes for Haitian disaster relief, and we spent a day in Hackelburg cleaning up the site where they are rebuilding the church there. The kids washed and cleaned out all the church vans and counselor's vehicles. They also cleaned up the entire campus and grounds.

Also, we ask the kids for a $25 non-refundable application fee to start the application process. All other funds needed to conduct this camp comes from congregations and members of the churches of Christ. It is the greatest work that I have ever been a part of in my life. If you cut me, I will bleed TITUS Camp!


Mission Work in Peru

Mission work lies very close to the heart of the Heritage Christian University family. In this video, Travis Harmon, HCU's Director of Church and Alumni Relations, details a recent trip he took to Peru.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heritage Christian University Educating Students on Personal Finance

CashCourse® Now Available

Heritage Christian University – with help from CashCourse®, an online resource from the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) – is taking a proactive approach to improving our students’ financial well-being. We recently joined the more than 550 colleges and universities across the U.S. that are using CashCourse, a free, unbiased and noncommercial financial education solution for students and recent graduates.

Meeting a Critical Need

Living away from the guidance of their parents during college is often a time when many students make unwise financial decisions due to a lack of knowledge. Students are confronted with easy access to credit cards, and difficult spending decisions. Students need financial tools for their transition to adulthood, including saving, investing, filing taxes, paying off student loans and evaluating the financial aspects of job offers. Increasing concern over these issues has led to the joint effort between NEFE and higher education institutions to fill the gaps in financial knowledge that many college students have.

CashCourse offers a reliable resource to help young adults develop financial know-how,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of Denver-based NEFE. “Through attention to the needs of today’s college students, this program will help young adults gain the financial savvy they need to succeed in life at college and beyond.”

Tools for Financial Capability

CashCourse features unbiased content with no advertising and no connections to commercial entities. The information is written in a way college students can understand and appreciate, because NEFE received input directly from college students to determine what information they would find useful.

In addition to articles, the online resource features:

  • Worksheeets, calculators and quizzes for students to use in the classroom or at home
  • A “Budget Wizard” tool to help students manage their spending
  • An online dictionary of financial terms to help students understand the basics
  • A credit module to educate students on the importance of managing credit cards and protecting their credit
  • Many resources for college and university professionals to promote and use CashCourse with their students

For information on Heritage Christian University’s CashCourse site, please visit here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What's Right with the Church? (2)

In today's blog posting, Dale Jenkins, a member of the Board of Directors at Heritage Christian University, a gospel preacher, and a writer of an excellent blog, answers the question: "What's Right with the Church?"

What’s Good About the Church

Written by Dale Jenkins

Any article dealing with what’s good about the church should be gazed at through the lens of:

  • The reality that in the mind of God, the gift of Christ, the Pen of the Spirit and the design of the Godhead everything about the church is good, not just good, but great! There are no flaws in the heavenly design of this present bound rocket-ship to eternity (Matthew 16:16-18; Ephesians 3:10-12; Daniel 2:44-45; Acts 2:15-21, 41-47).

  • But to acknowledge that reality without being continually cognizant of the constant actuality that the church is flawed from the earthbound human side is nothing more than creating a Pollyanna outlook that will lead to a disappointment severe enough to sink your faith. I have personally been a part of eight wonderful but very real congregations from the time I became a Christian 40 years ago. Each of them blessed my life more than cursing it, and each nurtured my faith while challenging me with differing issues within them. Each at times have been remarkably encouraging causing me to soar, and each at times has disappointed me causing me to question my place in that congregation.

One of the real weaknesses I see in many in our brotherhood is an over-analysis syndrome that often leads to self-hatred. About a year ago, I attended a program on church plantings put on by one of the more progressive para-church organizations out there (Karios, I think they would agree with my adjective). It was a useful time but the highlight was one of the speakers who was not a member of the churches of Christ. He spoke of traditional strengths of the church which was rich because the things he cited as our strengths were the things that many in the room have been running away from. He talked about autonomy, about church governess (i.e. elders, deacons), about a’cappella singing, about the weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper. Then he said one of “your” real weaknesses seems to be a “self-hatred of your rich history.” I had lunch about 10 years ago with one of the leaders of the progressive movement in our fellowship. He asked how things were going in my work and as I talked about how much I loved it he said: “That’s refreshing. So many of the preachers I spend time with are unhappy with their work and hopeless about the future.” I remember thinking: “I’ve heard you speak, it is not surprising you attract those who are malcontent.” Why is it that those who seem most progressive in our fellowship are also the most malcontent? I think it begins with a desire to change to make things better - but then it doesn’t know how to stop - so it feeds itself. I get most bashed when I talk good about the church by those at either extreme. Randell Matheny said it well about ten years ago: “From their bashing of the brotherhood, some seem to hate their spiritual inheritance, preferring instead to laud religious departures from the Word” (

So with a sense of reality I want to write about what is good about the church.

Several years ago, Joe Barnett first put out a tract with the title “Churches of Christ, Who Are These People?” It was always one of my favorites and to this day is a relevant classic. I've been around members of the churches of Christ for over nearly 50 years now. I've watched them across our country and in over twenty other countries and I've noticed a few things.

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They are caring, loving, compassionate people of Christ who respond to any real need whether it be spiritual or physical (They have taken the lead in low maintenance relief efforts. Whether through the local church or para-church organizations like Disaster Relief or Healing Hands, by far the greatest amount of dollars given go to the individuals it was meant to help, not to pay marketers and for marketing plans). Witness the millions given to places like Ethiopia, Poland, Africa, India, Japan, Haiti: Find any disaster and nearby you'll find members of the churches of Christ standing with loving and meaningful support. They give sacrificially and spontaneously. They give from the oldest to the youngest. They don't like to see others hurt or oppressed because they genuinely love people like God does. Is it surprising? While we are not a “social gospel folk” our fervor for the Word has made us leaders in social relief!

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They love young people. Their biggest events in the local church and in the larger brotherhood are youth events (Lads to Leaders, Winterfest, CYC, VBS, Bible Camp, etc). We care about our children going to heaven and their faith.

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They are people who want to do right. My experience has been that members of the church of Christ want to do right. They make mistakes, sometimes gross and glaring and hard-to-forget ones, but not because the desire to do right is not there. I've never heard a single one of them say they were the only ones going to heaven or claim perfection. I have heard them say over and over that anyone who obeys God will be saved by His grace. Now, they strive for perfection, but isn't that what we all ought to do?

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They are people who are forgiving. I've seen it time and again. Just when a situation looks out of hand, repentance occurs and God's people rush to the aid and defense of the penitent one. They forgive and accept back people whom others would not. It's not just a second chance, but a third and fourth and...

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They are people who sometimes argue. They argue because they are passionate about Truth. Seldom are the arguments that I've seen engaged in the result of either side not wishing to follow God's Word, but on how to best follow the Divine Instructions. And they are patient: They may not like where someone lands but they are so slow to cut people off.

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They are not credal. Sometimes people will talk about the church being strict or narrow-minded. My experience is that since we have no creed but the Bible we offer greater freedom than most religious groups. Prove it by the Bible, and there will be no creed to keep your congregation from practicing it.

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They are people who wish to hear the Word of God held up as their authority. They get low marks sometimes in tact, an area where most are sincerely working on improving, but what they lose in tact is often made up for in sheer desire to be true to God's Word. They want to hear preachers give Biblical evidence to support what they are saying. They are sincere and simple in their pure attempt to remain true to God's teaching. Most of them are not condemning, or cruel, or judgmental; but patient and kind and searching for God's truths.

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They are people who wish to see God's Word preached around the world and will make sacrifices to see that it is done. They will give of their money, time, talent and energy to take that Word to the poorest, remotest village in the world. And they'll wear a big smile as they go.

The churches of Christ, who are these people? They are my brothers and sisters scattered across the globe. They make mistakes, but they are only human and God knows that. He also knows their intentions and their hearts. I am thankful to be a part of such a people.

The churches of Christ. Why don't you investigate further? Let me close with a few things I love about the church:

  • I love the church local. I love church autonomy. Willard Collins once said that “anything that God wants done can be done through the local church” and he was correct.

  • I love the struggling church. I love that we are aware that we are fellow strugglers.

  • I love the healthy church - that even when we struggle we still serve.

  • I love the commitment to the Bible - something worth leaning on.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meet Michael Jackson

Distance Learning at HCU

Michael Jackson serves as the director of Distance Learning at Heritage Christian University. In this video, Michael explains his role and how he can help you fulfill your educational goals.

For more information, explore Distance Learning at HCU!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Hero's Hands

My Hero's Hands

Written by Cory Collins

I asked the Lord, “How much do you love me?” He stretched out His hands and answered, “This much.”

Last Tuesday Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry became only the second living soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, the military's highest decoration, for his actions in Afghanistan. The award is given for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty." Petry, originally from New Mexico, now age 31, threw away an enemy grenade that endangered two of his fellow Rangers while he was serving in Paktya, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. He saved their lives, but the force of the blast destroyed his right hand. His body was also riddled with shrapnel.

In spite of his grievous wounds he remained calm. He put on his own tourniquet, and he continued to lead, directing his team, giving orders, and even telling medics how to treat his wounds. He’s still shaking hands, thanks to a robotic prosthesis which he is thankful to have. He said he expected to have a hook. Instead of complaining about his own loss or becoming bitter over his circumstances, Petry is just happy that he could serve his country. He humbly honors his other teammates that perished, the ones he was unable to save.

Such sacrifice, courage, and love reflect my hero, whose hands delivered me from sin.

  • My hero’s hands blessed the children. He received them, embraced them, and loved them, even when those nearby rebuked them. (Matt 19:13-15)

  • My hero’s hands fed the hungry. As He handled the loaves and fishes, they became more than enough to satisfy thousands. (Matt 14:13-21; 15:32-39)

  • My hero’s hands contacted the lepers, the blind, the crippled, and even the dead. He healed and restored each one to fullness of life. (Matt 8:3, 15; 9:25; 12:13; 20:34)

  • My hero’s hands rescued the sinking. When Simon Peter cried, “Lord, save me!” He reached out and took hold of him. (Matt 14:22-33)

  • My hero’s hands carried the cross and accepted the nails. (John 19:17; 20:25)

  • My hero’s hands reassured the doubting. When Thomas the Twin could not believe without touching, Jesus offered His hands. Thomas was convinced. (John 20:24-29)

  • My hero’s hands uplifted His followers. Jesus blessed His disciples as He ascended, so that they were filled with joy and continually praised God. (Luke 24:50-53)

  • My hero’s hands hold me tightly and securely, so that no outside force can snatch me away. (John 10:28-30)

As the Gaither song says, “He touched me and made me whole.” Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's Right with the Church?

A few weeks ago, I asked several friends of Heritage Christian University to respond to the question: "What is right with the church?" Adam Faughn, the preacher for the Lebanon Road church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, provides the answer this week. Adam keeps a regular blog; you would do well to visit often. – Justin Imel

What is Right with the Church

Written by Adam Faughn

We live in an era when there are many attacks on the Church of our Lord. Many seem to find pleasure in listing every mistake made by congregations or individuals. While there is a place for pointing out mistakes and shortcomings, we can get so caught up in that side of things that we fail to remember just how glorious and beautiful the Lord's Church is.

Think with me of just a few of the things that are right with the Church.

  • The Church has the Right Builder, Purchaser and Foundation: Jesus Christ. Jesus stated that He would build His Church (Matt. 16:18). He loves the Church enough that He was willing to purchase it, even with His own precious blood (Acts 20:28). He also stands as the Chief Cornerstone of the Church (Eph, 2:20). Other organizations are built upon sinful, frail men. The Church is built upon and bought by the perfect Son of God.

  • The Church has the Right Creed. God loves us enough that He has given "to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Pet. 1:3). We have the book from the Lord, which contains "the faith, once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 7). Other groups must vote, or wait for a board of men to decide what they will believe. Are you not grateful that we have a creed that does not change, because God does not change? If we wish to please Him, we should be grateful that He has told us exactly how to do just that.

  • The Church has the Right People. Yes, we are all sinful (cf. Romans 3:23). Yes, we will fail each other at times. I am convinced, however, that the people of God are the finest people in the world. Everywhere it is my privilege to travel, it is a joy to see people who love God and who desire to shine His love to their community and to the entire world. These are people who have found Christ, the Foundation; who have read and obeyed the Bible, the "Creed;" and who now live, trying to help others to do the same.

  • The Church has the Right Hope. One of my favorite songs is "The Christian's Welcome Home" (written by Mary Kidder). It reminds us that, though we struggle in this life, Christians are on the same journey to the great reward of heaven. That is our hope. Paul told the Christians in Thessalonica not to "grieve as others do, who have no hope" (1 Thess. 4:13). We will shed tears in this life, but we have hope, and it is the right hope: the hope of heaven.

Surely, there is more we could add to this list, but may these things remind you that there is so much that is right with the Church of our Lord. May we seek to share those "right things" with a world gone ever so wrong.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reaching Inactive Christians (2)

Reaching Inactive Christians, Part Two

Every soul matters to God. But, many of those who have been cleansed of their sins turn back to a life of sin and leave the Lord. Listen as Dr. Justin Imel teaches a class on “Reaching Inactive Christians.” This is the second of two lessons.

Reaching Inactive Christians, Part Two

Monday, July 11, 2011

Reaching Inactive Christians

Reaching Inactive Christians, Part One

Every soul matters to God. But, many of those who have been cleansed of their sins turn back to a life of sin and leave the Lord. Listen as Dr. Justin Imel teaches a class on “Reaching Inactive Christians.”

Reaching Inactive Christians, Part One

P.S. -- This is the first part of two lectures. Part Two will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Too _______________ to Die

TOO _______ TO DIE?

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

“Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth” (Joshua 23:14).

“For the living know that they will die. . .” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

“And as it is appointed for men to die once. . .” (Hebrews 9:24).

People say it in jest all the time. “He’ll outlive us all; he’s too mean, too stubborn, too tough, too rich, too poor, too nice, too important, too talented, too useless, too ignorant, too slow, or too busy to die.” Remember the line from the Tennessee Ernie Ford song, “Saint Peter, don’t you call ‘cause I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company store.” Sometimes it’s even said that a person is too young to die. We should know better.

People may surprise us with their toughness or longevity, but everybody dies. And that need not be a morbid thought. Psalm 90:7-12 takes a different view of mortality, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” We all know James 4:14-15, “. . .You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’”

Honestly facing mortality is healthy, mature, and biblical. It gives each day, each moment, value and uniqueness. It invites us to appreciate the special people who bless our lives. It urges us to hold on to God and to live each day in His favor.

My favorite science fiction characters are the Kligons. Their battle mantra is, “Today is a good day to die.” In a serious and peaceful sense, Christians can claim that mantra. It’s what Paul says in Philippians 1:19-26. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” In either case, Christ is magnified by our faithfulness. Being with Christ is key.

Except for those who remain until the coming of the Lord, all will die. We’re wise to face this truth. We have the opportunity to die prepared, ready to meet the Lord. And we all know that the only way to die ready is to live ready.

The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge

Written by Cory Collins

Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. Mark 6:30-32 (NKJV)

Stephen Covey tells about two men carried their saws into the forest to cut trees. One worked incessantly but became irritated with his partner for taking occasional breaks. How could he abandon him, with all the work that was to be done? Oh, well. He decided in his frustration that he would work even harder and show his buddy how much more he had accomplished at day’s end. But that was the strange part about it all. When the two men finished, the one who never stopped sawing had brought down fewer trees than the other! Actually, the reason was quite simple. Every time the second man left the scene, he did so in order to sharpen his saw. As a result, he achieved far more, never forcing a dull saw to do more than it could handle. He had balanced the need to be productive with the need to care for the producer.

Life can be like that. Are you too busy to read for pleasure? Have you postponed lunch with a friend … skipped breakfast … canceled a family outing or a doctor’s appointment … quit playing solitaire … felt overwhelmed by the clutter in your home or on your desk … remarked to others how busy you feel … cut your sleep time … begun doing two or three things at once … lacked the time to exercise … responded irritably when your children ask you to play or look at their projects … found there is no opportunity to pray, read the Word, and share Jesus with your family? Do you keep thinking that at some point you will be able to catch up and relax, but you never do? If so, you may not be producing as much as you think, and you may be wearing out the “saw” - yourself - in the process.

You really will fell more trees if you balance cutting with sharpening. More than that, you will actually enjoy the time you spend in the forest. Stop. Meditate. Pray. Think. Dream. Listen. Sing. Then go get ‘em!

The Dumbest Thing

The Dumbest Thing

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done? Some are unmentionable, but these certainly qualify for me:

  • When I was a kid, I wanted to know what electricity felt like, so I took the bulb out of a lamp and stuck my finger into the socket.
  • As children, we wanted to move the car from under the basketball goal and in the attempt rolled the car into the house.
  • I once looked for my glasses while I was wearing them.
  • I gashed the tallest finger on my left hand while trimming shrubs.
  • I ate some bear meat while visiting Russia. The more I chewed, the chewier it got.
  • I was the foreign guest of honor at a ceremony dedicating a school’s connection to the city sewer system in the south-south of Nigeria.
  • I once attended a Tupperware party.

Those items are both real and dumb, but none of them compare in severity with dumb things that I’ve thought and said. That sends me to James 3:8-9, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.” You know how James describes the terrible power of the tongue. It’s not just a deadly poison, it’s also “a fire, a world of iniquity,” capable of defiling the whole body.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever said? I hate to think about that because too many examples come to mind. If my memory was better, there’d be even more: cutting com-ments, discouraging words, ignorant boasts, rash promises, snap judgments, improper judgments, words inadequate for the situation, and meaningless drivel.

I don’t enjoy such memories, but they have one positive effect. They can help me gain stronger appreciation of James 1:19, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” They can help me gain understanding of Proverbs 10:19, 17:27-28, and 18:13. They can help me practice the commands of Ephesians 4:29-32, to avoid harm and to impart grace through God’s kind help.

One of my first rules in ministry is, “Don’t make it worse.” Our thoughtless words are among the greatest dangers to others. Thank God that we can learn better and put what we learn into practice. Being dumb is bad, but staying dumb is far worse.

Of Trees and Christians


Written by Cory Collins

… that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 1 Cor 12:25-26

The phrase, “You can’t see the forest for the trees!” warns us against focusing so much on the specifics of a situation that we lose our awareness of the larger picture. How important that is. There is no forest without the individual trees. Yet each tree needs the forest as well. In the church, as in the great outdoors, it must be both “one for all” and “all for one.”

According to Richard Innes, giant Sequoia trees, also known as redwoods, often reach heights of 300 feet and diameters of 30 feet. They can range in age from 2,000 to 3,000 years; some of them were living when Jesus walked the shores of Galilee. The largest specimen, the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park, is 275 feet tall, has a diameter of 36.4 feet at the base, and has been estimated to weigh 2500 metric tons.

These majestic trees make it through raging fires, violent storms, and fierce winds. They also have a comparatively shallow root system which makes their survival even more amazing. How do they do it? They live in groves with their root systems entangled with numerous other trees. In other words they support each other. They couldn't survive alone.

The recent storms here in Alabama have driven home a powerful point. Why does a tree fall? It’s true, of course, that trees often fall because they were diseased, or their roots were weak, or the soil around them was saturated with water. Perhaps the wind and other elements were just unusually forceful, beyond what those trees could bear.

However, sometimes a tree falls because the strong tree that was next to it fell first. Exposed directly to elements it never faced before, it topples.

I have seen this happen in families. The spiritual giant, a parent or grandparent perhaps, passes away. Then other members, who are not prepared to face life’s crises head-on, without that shield of protection, flounder and fail. Their prayer life at home, their family Bible reading and discussion, and eventually their church involvement fade and fall.

In an eldership I know elsewhere, there was a humble, compassionate, mission-minded, exemplary man. The other men enjoyed the shade that his leadership provided. When he died they faced, without him, the strong winds he had helped to resist. The same thing happens in politics, business, and war. Think about al-Qaeda without Osama bin Laden.

The point? Enjoy the protection of faithful leaders! Love them, support them, and follow them. But prepare yourself for the time when that sheltering shade may be gone. Make sure that your family, and your local congregation, will not fail or fall when that time comes. And you – yes, you! – become the tall, strong tree that others need you to be!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Christian Service

Real-World Ministry

At the heart of Heritage Christian University lies real-world ministry. We don’t just expect our students to know the biblical text or the latest theories about ministerial leadership. Our students need to be able to take what they’ve learned in the classroom to preach the Word or to comfort the hurting or to counsel a teen. Thus, HCU students participate in at least two hours of a Christian service project each week. Here are the latest numbers for the good work taking place at HCU.

Total Activities 2011

  • Sermons Preached: 718
  • Classes Taught: 962
  • Led Singing: 272
  • Personal Studies: 254
  • Correspondence Studies: 272
  • Visits Made: 1,059
  • Benevolent Activites: 3,632
  • Cards/Notes Sent: 1,072
  • Youth Activities: 272
  • Articles Published: 185
  • Church/Community Service: 371

Total Responses 2011

  • Baptisms: 62
  • Restorations: 80
  • Prayer Requests: 627

May God continue to be glorified at HCU!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pornography Addiction

Facing the Pornography Addiction

Pornography and other forms of sexual addiction affect many Christians. Ben Hayes, an Associated Licensed Counselor with the Alpha Center, discusses the epidemic from a Christian viewpoint:


PowerPoint Presentation

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mission Update

Camp Ruta

Written by HCU Student Bubby Rushing

Bubby Rushing (pictured at left), a student at Heritage Christian University, has arrived back in the United States after spending time in Lithuania on a mission trip. Bubby spent time as a Bible teacher and counselor at a camp for young people. Below is a report he sent at the conclusion of the camp.

"Camp Ruta was a success; the week went great and we had no problems. The last night of the week we had some encouraging messages from the campers. One of them said, "I did not know if God was real before this camp, but now I know he is." It's so good to hear from a camper that what we are doing is beneficial. These young kids are starting from the beginning in their faith and hearing the gospel for the first time, and it is a huge blessing to be a small part of that. After camp ended we enjoyed a worship service with the Vilnius church."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Meet Mechelle Thompson

Financial Aid Options at Heritage Christian University

Mechelle Thompson serves as the Financial Aid Administrator at Heritage Christian University. Mechelle seeks to connect students with the variety of financial aid resources available to them. In this video, Mechelle talks about her family, her work at HCU, and ways she can help you.

For more information, please explore Financial Aid at HCU.