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Welcome to the Antrim Church of Christ Web Site
You Prayed for What?! PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 15 April 2012 12:00

Have you ever seen a football game where the guy gets the ball and promptly runs to the wrong end zone? Or a basketball game where a player gets disoriented and sinks one in the opposition's basket? Although in some ways it's funny (as long as it wasn't an athlete on your team that made the faux pas) isn't it really more painful to watch than humorous? Well, assuming you aren't a really cruel person. :-)

Oddly enough, this situation came to mind when I read a Scripture quoted in Hank Hanegraaff's book, Christianity in Crisis: The 21st Century. He used a different translation and didn't include the first verse and a half, but for the purposes of this article:

Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, "Who is the Lord?"
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God (Proverbs 30:7-9, English Standard Version).

Now, I don't know about you...but when I pray for God's blessings I generally am a bit more ambitious than that...and Agur son of Jakeh's words seemed to be those of someone praying against himself. Sure, he didn't petition to be poor, but praying against riches? Seems like someone scoring for the other side...for his enemies who don't want him to be successful.

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How Soon We Forget PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 08 April 2012 12:00

It probably comes as no surprise that leaving my home of eight years in Antrim, New Hampshire has, to varying degrees, been emotionally painful. As a whole my mind is busy on other things, but when it is allowed to slow down (for instance, early in the morning or late in the evening) a certain level of depression and regret can set in. I've also found that even reflecting on inconsequential items back home in that small town can bring those feelings to the forefront. For example, this afternoon at work, as I thought about walking across our springtime-wet dirt driveway to the mailbox across the street, the sadness set in because, for all intents and purposes, I will never do that again. That existence is gone.

However, as I was driving home tonight, I also recalled how a few times snuggling with Augie I thought to myself, "If everything in my life went terrible from now on, this would be enough." Perhaps you've had similar experiences? The day your beau went on bended knee and asked you to marry him? The moment that you held your newborn child for the first time? The occasion where you finally completely escaped work, e-mail, and cell phone and napped on that exotic beach?

The time which you couldn't have asked to be more perfect...?

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"Whose Damsel is This?" PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 01 April 2012 12:00

The first time I visited a Half Price Books was last year in Arlington, Texas. Like Radio Shack, it's the kind of store I like to stop in whenever I see one, but generally I don't buy anything. It's not because there is nothing I'm interested in, quite the opposite. Instead, if I were to buy everything that caught my eye at a Half Price Books I'd soon be broke.

This past Saturday, however, I couldn't help but purchase a rather large Bible. First, the price was right—only $4.99. Of course, value is relative...$4.99 wouldn't actually be a great deal for some mass-market paperback versions. However, when it is "the only Bible of the twentieth century designed and illustrated by a single artist, renowned bookman Barry Moser" that includes 232 pieces of his artwork and is printed on "high opacity 50-pound Glatfelter paper" (with a Smyth-sewn binding)...well, then it is both a beauty to behold and a steal.

And now it's mine. :-)

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Last Updated on Thursday, 12 April 2012 23:17
The Gospel for Hair Bands PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 25 March 2012 00:00

I'm not entirely sure, but the first time I heard Europe's "Wish I Could Believe" was while listening to the Internet radio station XERS earlier this year. Having an ear for songs that speak to spiritual topics, this portion of the chorus caught my attention:

Cause I, wish I could believe in God
So I can move ahead
I know I can't believe in God
Time to move ahead

Now, I can't say that the rest of the song "fits" the transcendent searching of that refrain, but I think we can all appreciate the longing contained in "I wish I could believe in God."

And we Christians naturally wonder what is preventing the lyricist from believing in our Lord...and what exactly makes him so confident he can't?

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I'm Sorry if I Offended You PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 18 March 2012 12:00

Although there are myriad other reasons to be aggravated with politicians and government leaders, perhaps one of the most annoying is how they apologize. First, they are unlikely to actually admit they did anything wrong—for instance, they don't say, "I'm sorry I said something really stupid." Instead, they proffer an equivocation like, "I'm sorry if what I said offended you."

You are sorry if what you said offended me?! So, calling me a <fill in the uncivil word or phrase here> is not itself actually offensive or wrong?! Instead, I just took it wrong?!

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Last Updated on Sunday, 13 May 2012 17:52
This Means War! PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Sunday, 11 March 2012 01:00

Has there ever been a time in your life where you woke up in the morning convinced you couldn't face the day? Perhaps a distressing situation at work that has gone on-and-on, and you can't take another minute of it? Perhaps the overwhelming grief of loss from the death of a person or of a relationship? Perhaps unbearable physical pain? Perhaps...

Whatever the reason, have you ever awoken one morning unable to countenance that day's battle?

If so, maybe you were lucky enough to have someone who could give you a pep talk—words that either let you see things weren't near as bad as they appeared...or at least let you see beyond that day to a better one.

And often there is nothing superior to a great pep talk to inspire you to fight on. Just imagine you were a foot soldier back in World War II. You had plenty of reason not to look forward to your future, whether bullets were going to be whizzing past your head that specific day or not. Plenty of reason to not want to climb out of bed any morning...assuming you were lucky enough to have actually slept in a bed the previous night.

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Last Updated on Friday, 06 April 2012 15:14
Three Strikes You're In PDF Print Email
Written by Alan Fahrner   
Thursday, 08 March 2012 23:33

Growing up in Canaan, New Hampshire without a whole bunch of pocket change, baseball was something that entertained my friends and me because it didn't take more than a ball and a glove to enjoy it. Well, it generally was better if there were at least two gloves. :-)

I suppose just like cricket in other countries, watching baseball is an acquired taste. Many, perhaps most, people find it a bit slow and boring...whereas I can still remember, with a bunch of my buddies, closely listening to a game on a portable AM radio (in our tent made out of black 30-gallon trash bags) as the Red Sox and Yankees went into extra innings. It was the antithesis of boring to us. (Bad news, the Yankees won that game. Good news, as we left the tents to go sneak around town in the middle of the night, we discovered a glow-in-the-dark fungus exists in New England.)

So, do you enjoy baseball? Hate it? Can put up with it, but won't tune into it on television if there are other options?

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