I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book and every year at Christmas time I go and take a look and that is when I realize that these names are part not of the book they’re written in; but of my very heart.

Fro each stands for someone whose path touched mine, and then left such a print of friendship that I want to touch again. And while it sounds fantastic to make this claim, I really feel that I’m composed of each remembered name.

And while you may not be aware of any special link, just meeting you has shaped my life more than you think. Fro once you’ve met somebody the years cannot erase the memory of a pleasant word or friendly face.

So, never think my Christmas cards are a mere routine of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between. For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you, it’s because you’re on that list of folks I am indebted to.

For one is but a total of the many folks they’ve met, and you happen to be one of those I prefer NOT to forget. And, whether I have known you for many years or a few; in some way you have had a part in shaping things I do.

And, every year when Christmas comes I realize anew THE BIGGEST GIFT life can give is meeting folks like you. May the Spirit of Christmas that forever and ever endures leave its richest blessings in the heart of you and yours.


Lovers of Christ Love the Church




Psalms 107

Who Do You Say I Am?

Matthew 16:15

The location of our building is not what defines our congregation. While meeting for classes and worship are very important, ‘it is also vital that we behave in a Christ-like way outside of our building.’

Jesus asked His apostles, “Who do people say that I am?”  Who do we say Jesus is to the world around us? What do our words and actions outside our building say about the Son of Man? What are we projecting to Nashville, the United States and the world?

Are we saying, “He is the Christ, the Son of the living God? What are we saying about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we walk through this world?

As Christians, we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We are to feed the hungry, give the thirsty a cup of water, invite strangers in, clothe those who are without clothes, visit those in prison. What are we doing? Are we meeting our Father’s expectations of us, who say we are His flock and His slaves?

Who are we saying Jesus is? Each of us declare our answer to this question to those around us every day of our lives. What is our answer?

Russ Gest

Sunday Night Singing 11.30.2014

Hope in Christ

About five centuries before Jesus was born, there lived in old Palestine a man named Abner. Abner, a man of many outstanding qualities, one day met with an untimely death. Upon receiving the shocking report of the passing of his friend, King David was deeply grieved. The Scriptures tell us “the king lifted up his voice, and wept. And the king lamented over Abner” (2 Sam. 3:32-33).

In reflecting upon the life of this departed soldier, David uttered these memorable words to his servants: “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?” (2 Sam. 3:38).

Last week I was reminded of these words when my esteemed friend fell to his death. He, too, was a prince and a great man, a faithful soldier of the Cross. And as David grieved and lamented at the passing of his friend, Abner, so have I grieved and lamented at the passing of my friend.

One of his fellow employees told me last Tuesday night at the hospital that he overheard my friend talking with someone about the church that morning–just a short while before his accident. What a testimony! One of his last conversations was about the church of our Lord Jesus Christ!

When we tenderly place the body of a departed Christian into the bosom of the earth, we who believe in Jesus do not leave the silent city of the dead in despair. But we depart with confident hope and trust in the promises of the Lord. Without wavering we accept the Savior’s Words: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). And with Paul, we affirm: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thess. 4:14).

Thank God for the hope He has set before us in Christ!


A.T. Pate

A Trio of Thoughts



Psalms 84:10

Isaiah 6:8

Acts 21:14


Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift”

(2 Cor.9:15)

With his mind focused on Jesus and his heart overflowing with adoring gratitude, Paul gives thanks to God for his inexpressible gift of Christ, who is able to save all men and bring them together in one church. The gospel, which Paul preached and which Jesus wants proclaimed throughout the whole world, is the “good news” of God’s unspeakable gift.

Let us notice three great truths:

1. Christ is a Gift. The Scriptures speak of God’s “unspeakable gift”. It is a gift, not a loan. It is a gift, not a purchase. The thought of Christ as God’s gift to men pervades the New Testament. “He gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “He spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32).

2. Christ is the Best Gift. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17), but towering above all God’s gifts is the gift of His Son. In this gift we see love at its ultimate. “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us …” (1 John 4:10).

3. Christ is a Gift Given to All People. At the birth of Jesus the angel of the Lord announced: “I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10). The great invitation is extended to all “that labor and are heavy laden…” (Mt. 11:28). Indeed, Christ is the remedy and the atonement for our sins, “and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world”(1 John 2:2).

Praise God for His unspeakable, inexpressible and incomparable Gift! And, because we have freely received, may we freely give and share this great Gift with others. What better gift could one give than a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ?

A.T. Pate

Psalms 2





Conversion of a Government Official




Acts 8

Seek Ye The Lord


“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon

Him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his

Way, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will

Have mercy upon him; and out God, for he will

Abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:6-7).

Isaiah, God’s noble messenger entreated his people to seek the Lord. To “seek” says Webster, means “to go in search of: to try to reach or come to; to try to acquire.” In order to receive the Father’s richest blessings, there must be a movement Godward on the part of man. There must be a yearning and longing within man to fine God and to gain his good favor. God can be found! He is available to those who diligently seek him

There will come a time when God and His mercy will be unavailable to man. The rich man of Luke 16 is an ex-ample of a man who waited too late to seek the Lord. “In hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:23-24. But, it was too late to call on the Lord; it was too late to plead for mercy.

Hence, it is most urgent that we seek the Lord while He may be found. “Behold, now is the accepted time; be-hold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

“For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that ap-peareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).

Today is the time for the wicked to forsake his sins and to turn to the Lord. Now is the time for you to surren-der to the will of Christ and become his disciple. One must do the Lord’s work while it is day, “for the night cometh when no man can work” (John 9:4).

Be assured of the divine promise that God will have mercy and will abundantly pardon. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).

O, delay not to accept the Savior’s invitation! “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall fine rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

A.T. Pate