Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Threads of the Messiah

The Bible is bound together by threads of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He can be found on every page. There are different perspectives of our Savior which can be identified throughout the Scriptures. This is a sermon on the different messages, or threads, of the Messiah.

Delivered at Buda/Kyle church of Christ, November 30, 2008.

Click on "Play" button to stream MP3 audio:

Who Is MY Neighbor?

Sermon on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37
Delivered at Buda/Kyle church of Christ, November 30, 2008
(Preceded by Scripture reading of Matt. 22:37-39)

Click on "Play" button below to stream MP3 audio:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Still keeping on keeping on

It has been a while since I have updated this blog. I apologize for the delay, but I am happy to report that we have been so busy that there hasn't been time because of many great things that have been happening.

Obviously, the biggest thing has been the work load at school, (which has been much heavier this quarter). But, we have also been traveling a bunch, working on Paraguay plans and making further preparations. I have had many opportunities to preach lately and Andrea has been very involved with projects at WVBS and Dripping Springs. We are continuing to work with the youth at "Drippin' " and have several plans in the works.

This picture was taken while we were in Paraguay.

We appreciate all the prayers and well wishes! We hope you all have a great holiday season!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

SWSBS 2008-2009

Here is our latest picture of the students and faculty at SWSBS

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What is Truth?

Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" (John 18:38) Have you ever asked this same question?
Below is a short devotional I presented on the subject at Southwest church of Christ on Sept. 10, 2008.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Discipleship University was a success!

What a GREAT weekend! Many young people descended on Dripping Springs church of Christ this past weekend for "Discipleship University."
It was a weekend of spiritual strengthening for our youth before they went back to school.
There were many great classes taught and Brother Montgomery (pictured) brought several outstanding lessons about what it means to be a true disciple of Christ.
We had over 50 students attending all the classes with many of them coming from several miles away.
God was glorified, His Son exalted, and young lives were spiritually edified. Does it get any better than that?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stepping back in time

My grandfather used to tell me stories about how he would ride his horse to church and to work everyday when he was younger. I was always fascinated by his stories and wondered what that world must have been like. Well, I saw a place recently where one can get a taste of that era in time. As you can see in this picture, horses are still a common mode of transportation in places like Panama. There is no air-conditioning in the church building, food is cooked over an open fire, and people work from sun up to sun down. I am sure my grand father would have been able to identify with the people in Panama very easily.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The church in the Darien Jungle of Panama

I find it simply amazing that the Lord's church can be found anywhere. When I say anywhere I really mean anywhere. Take the church that is deep in the heart of the Darien Jungle of Panama. There is only one road (partially paved) that dead ends about 50 miles from Colombia. Along this route, one can find several congregations meeting in the various towns along the way.
This picture is of the congregation (and some missionaries) meeting in Sanson.
It is really heart warming to worship with brethren that believe the same thing as you, even though they speak a different language. I can't help but think about how excited Paul must have felt when he would meet various brethren throughout the regions that he traveled.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Youth Group Road Trip

This past weekend we had the privilege of taking the Dripping Springs Youth Group on a road trip to Glen Rose, TX where we checked out dinosaur tracks and fossils. We all had such a great time getting to know each other and many new friendships were made. We worshiped at the Poolville church of Christ and developed more friendships there. The weekend came to a close with one of the young ladies being baptized. God was glorified this past weekend and the spiritual lives of many young (and older) people were lifted. We are truly blessed.............

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"That Old Time Religion"

I love old church buildings. I have been in and around church buildings my whole life. But, the really old ones fascinate me. I often imagine all the families pulling up in a horse and buggy or even in Model T's. All the ladies would have on their big hats and the men in their three piece suits (or their best farmin' clothes). I picture the preacher shouting and wiping his brow from sweating while the church goers fan themselves with the bulletin pages.
Sometimes I wonder what excitement there might have been when a couple of the old time preachers would debate each other some late summer night.
Religion was more important to Americans back in those days. I would like to have seen some of that history with my own eyes. But, at least for now, I can look at the old church buildings.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Andrea gets all the good shots

Look at this great picture! Andrea snapped this as we were driving through a state park. The deer just stood there posing while Andrea looked through her viewfinder! Why won't they do that when I am looking through my viewfinder (scope)?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Keep Andrea in your prayers, please

Andrea is my best friend. She has been my best friend for many years now. You would think after all these years I would finally figure out why she still has anything to do with me, but I haven't.
That's what truly makes a friend - when someone knows all your secrets and quirks, but still likes you anyway!
Andrea helped save my soul. She was patient with me as I slowly built my faith in God by following her example. I will be eternally grateful to her for that (literally)!
Everyone who knows her knows how special she is. Right now, she needs our prayers. Please keep her in your thoughts.
(This picture is at the County Line BBQ - Andrea is a "foodie" and loves to try out new foods and places to eat!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

An Exhausting Week at Camp

Well, I just completed my first youth camp experience. Whew! Am I tired! We had a great week with about 160+ kids in attendance and it wasn't too hot during the day. No one got hurt, but there were some hearts pricked. There are now 5 more precious souls added to the Book of Life. Many great lessons were presented and the spirit of the camp was a very uplifting one.
Please pray for the new babes in Christ and all those that attended that they will take the things they learned and apply them to their lives.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wait for meeeee!!!

What a photograph! This was snapped by the professional photographer at the Prom Alternative. He took it when he was set up to take a picture of the Dripping Springs church of Christ youth group. Apparently, Josh Moore wanted in the picture too!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Youth Prom Alternative

Last weekend we helped host a "Prom Alternative" for the youth of Dripping Springs, Southwest, Buda/Kyle, and University churches of Christ. We started out with a wonderful dinner at an Italian restaurant, then went to the church building for dessert and entertainment. It was a great success thanks to the help of many people. It was a lot of fun and the young people told us they had a good time!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gone fishing

When Andrea and I went back home last month, I got to spend some time fishing with my buddies. Josh caught this nice size large mouth bass while we were out in the woods.

Josh and I enjoy each other's company and we're both looking forward to fishing together when we get to Paraguay - as fishers of men.

"And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men."
Mark 1:17

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Wealth of Knowledge

A few weeks ago, Josh, Cara, Andrea, and I all met in Atlanta, GA so we could sit down with Robert and Mary Martin. The Martins are missionaries to the South Pacific and have been involved in that work for more than thirty years. They agreed to answer some questions we had in regards to being new missionaries. We received advice and encouragement that was full of wisdom from their many years of experience. Several of the things which they shared with us gave us confirmation about things we had been thinking of. It also opened our eyes to some things we had not considered. We were truly blessed to have this opportunity and to be able to spend time with them. We pray we can apply the knowledge we gained from them as we progress with our plans. Please continue to pray for us! God bless.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wildflowers everywhere!

I cannot remember the last time I have seen SO many wildflowers! I am amazed at how many there are. I've always known that Texas had lots of bluebonnets (the state flower) but I didn't realize there were so many others. Andrea and I have enjoyed seeing all the different varieties everywhere we drive. As this picture shows, you can see how far they cover. We also pulled over while we were in Florida and snapped these pictures below of Josiah and Vivian picking flowers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cute or what?

I thought this was such a cute picture of some cute kids! We get to see them in just a few days.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Paraguay Missions Workshop

Andrea and I just returned from Savannah, TN where we attended the Paraguay Missions Workshop. We were blessed to be able to meet Josh, Cara, and their children there. The workshop was a great success and there were several in attendance. Many came from the different congregations that support the team in AsunciĆ³n. Josh and Vanessa Hardin were the hosts for the workshop and gave a report of the work from the past year.
One of the highlights of the workshop was a live video conference with the team members in Paraguay. We were able to ask them several questions and make comments. One really funny thing happened. The announcement was made that Enoch and Laura had picked a date for their wedding. With a surprised look on her face, Enoch's mom said, "Oh really? Is that date set in stone?" Enoch was embarrassed and replied, "Mom, stop!" It was hilarious! They had a couple of the local Paraguayan church members on the conference feed with them., too. Overall, it was a great time and we enjoyed meeting the other supporting congregations.
At the end of the workshop there was a little pop quiz and Andrea, Cara, Josh, Mrs. Dye and I all won a little prize for answering the questions!
Brethren, please pray for this work and for our continued plans for entering this mission field. God bless! - TS

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oh, Deer!

Those are the words you might say as one of these beautiful creatures steps out in front of your car! That's exactly what happened to Andrea Friday night. Everybody has been warning us to be careful on these back roads around here and we've been keeping our eyes peeled. But Andrea hit her first deer on a residential street! She said it came out of nowhere and it was just suddenly there. She was really fortunate because it only broke her headlight lens and put a small dent in the hood. Many times these accidents cause thousands of dollars of damage. Now if we could just do something to help her heartrate............

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mission Preparation

How exciting was the news about Josh and Cara being given the opportunity to go out and raise support for their mission plans?! We are excited for them!
A lot is happening in these next few weeks as related to our mission work plans. Next weekend, we are going to Tennessee for a Paraguay Missions Workshop. The following week I will be presenting our plans to a local congregation. After that, on April 26, we are meeting Robert and Mary Martin to discuss mission strategy and other missionary related information. From there, we are driving down to West Palm Beach to visit with our family and friends. As soon as I get home, I have to start my 4th Qtr at SWSBS. Whew! Can someone say, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" We're looking forward to it!
This picture is of a Jaca fruit we saw in the mercado in Paraguay. It was real spikey. No idea what it tastes like - it was too scary looking to try!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Heading back home!

When this picture was taken, it was the last time Andrea and I had been to the beach. We have been in Texas now for eight months and I must tell you, we miss the beach! Even though I am from Texas, I really grew to love Florida. My heart is there. Funny thing is, I never spent much time at the beach when I lived there. But I did like driving by it and strolling on it when I could. Andrea and I are planning a trip back to Florida in May. We're looking forward to seeing our friends and family back home. I think I might squeeze in some time to go to the beach.

Hot off the press!

Wow! We are excited about this!

My dad, Dwayne Spradlin, just had his first book published!

It is the result of several people asking him for a simple "introduction" to the Bible. He wrote it as a short read and to simply present an overview of what the Bible is about. Then, a person could begin their study of the Scriptures with a basic understanding of God's message to man.

I read it in one sitting while eating lunch! It's a great little book.
You can find it at: http://www.ketchpublishing.com/

Way to go, dad!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A touching story and joy of salvation

Here is a wonderful story I just read on the blogsite for the mission work in El Salvador. I have had the privilege of being involved with this fine work. In fact, Josh and I studied with this young lady's mother and her family when we were there.

Ralph McClurg writes:
"The photo shows Debbie and Dea and Jim helping Claudia get out of her wheel chair and take some steps. She will get a therapy evaluation on May 9 with the hopes of getting the therapy she needs to help herself more. We will help her get a better wheel chair and some exercise equipment. Her father has to physically carry her up and down some very long steps when she leaves the house because there is no ramp to wheel her up. Both of her parents are devoted to her."

Then, Ralph revealed this exciting news:
"We were thrilled last night when Claudia, a young lady in a wheel chair who has been studying with Melva, came to the hotel and said she wanted to be baptized. We have helped her previously with funds for physical therapy. She is improving physically, and last night she removed the doubt in her mind about her salvation."

Glory to God!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Shootin' up the country side!

Andrea and I hosted our first youth activities this past weekend! They turned out quite successful and everyone said they had a great time. The boys got together on Saturday and shot trap and skeet and the girls had a "coffee" on Sunday afternoon. We had a blast! (No pun intended) The picture above shows Matthew Jeansen releasing a clay pigeon for the shooter.
One of the boys, Pierce Jordan, was a little shy at first and repeatedly turned down the opportunity to have his turn at shooting. After about an hour of watching everyone else having a great time missing the targets, he finally decided to step up and shoot. Wouldn't you know it, he shot better than anybody there! He hardly ever missed and we really enjoyed watching him come out of his shell! (Again, no pun intended) It was a great day for all and we're now looking forward to many more youth events to come.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spring is Springing

Now here is something I have not experienced in almost 14 years - Spring! As I was driving home today from school, I started noticing that there were patches of green in places where I haven't seen any in several months. When I got to the house, I noticed our tree in the back yard has sprouted little leaves and flowers.
That's when it dawned on me, I haven't seen this happen since I moved to Florida! As all my friends and family in Florida can tell you, there are only two seasons there: summer, and not summer. You just don't see entire neighborhoods popping out little buds like this.
Speaking of new beginnings, Andrea and I have accepted a "position" as youth workers for the Dripping Springs church of Christ. We are really excited about the opportunity to get to work with the youth there! They have a great bunch of kids and we're hoping to implement a strong activities program for them to be able to grow in. Please pray that this effort will be successful and that God will be glorified in it! - TS

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"I AM that I AM"

These are the words God spoke to Moses when describing who He was. (Ex 3:14) They indicate that God has always existed and will continue to exist. However, this affirmation is not enough evidence for some men. For thousands of years there have been those who deny that God exists. It is a topic that has been subject to debate for just as long and continues today under the guise of evolution and science.

Can one prove God exists? Empirically, no. Or, in other words, by using our five senses, the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven. That does not mean, however, that there is an absence of evidence for God’s existence. There are many arguments one could use to build a case for God. These arguments use logic and the fundamental laws of nature as their basis for making a point.

One argument simply states that all design must have a designer. Since it can be shown that in all of nature there is design, the architect is concluded to be God. Another argument uses the logic of “cause and effect,” which states that any end result has to have an originating source. The universe is evidence of an effect, creation by God is attributed as the cause. One could also use the argument of morality. This shows man as having within himself an inherit sense of “ought” which causes him to behave differently than other animals. Since this cannot be attributed to some evolutionary cause, it is reasoned that God placed it within man.

The above are but a few of the evidences for God’s existence. These arguments rely on a person to be clear minded in his thinking. If a person opposes the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence that is presented to him will simply be dismissed. It is not difficult to understand this motive because if God does not exist, then man can do whatever he wants without fear of judgment. Men may reject that God exists, but God has declared, “I Am that I Am.” The evidence to support this claim is overwhelming.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Missing Little Things

When I moved to Florida in 1994, it wasn't long before there were little things I began to miss about Texas. I missed: Whataburger, brisket BBQ, mesquite trees, longhorns and other little things. But, mostly I missed my family.
Now, I am back in Texas. It hasn't taken long but I have now begun to miss little things about Florida. Cuban food, seafood, palm trees, alligators, and other little things. But, mostly I miss my family. My family at Palm Beach Lakes. My close friends and brethren in Christ who have become my dear family.
There are many little things I miss about home in Florida. These two little ones in this picture are some I miss the most.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Like father, like son...

My little nephew, Layne, got a brand new Cadillac Escalade for Christmas. Not a real one, of course, but a small toy one he can drive around the yard. He was all excited and drove it for about 20 minutes. He then decided he needed to get out and "check under the hood!" I wonder where he got the idea to do that? His dad maybe? It's interesting how we imitate what we see and experience. There is a lesson in here somewhere about imitating the goodness that Christ exemplified. 3 John 1:11

Thursday, January 31, 2008

WVBS on the inside....

Well, while I was on break this week, I decided to drop by and visit Andrea at her new job with World Video Bible School. She is really enjoying working there and especially being able to work with fellow Christians. Everyday she gets to spread the Gospel in some fashion or another. This picture was taken back in the editing room with chief editor, Matt Cain. WVBS is the organization that produced and distributes the "Searching for Truth" DVD. Matt is the one who shot the video and then edited it. WVBS also have many other great study aids and Bible related materials. Check them out at: http://wvbs.org/

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Andrea!

Andrea had a birthday this past Saturday! We were thinking about how we could celebrate, when we realized that there was a seminar being held at church this weekend. Dripping Springs church of Christ was hosting a segment of the "Pillars of Faith" series being hosted by Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons, both from Apologetics Press. It is a series of seminars held at different congregations about Christian evidences and how they can build ones faith. World Video Bible School was there to film the event for an upcoming DVD release. Apologetics Press is a Christian organization that is dedicated to Biblical defense against its skeptics and atheistic criticisms.
It was an excellent seminar and we really had a great time getting to know Kyle and Eric. They are really great guys! So, the rumor is: Andrea got a seminar for her birthday. The good news: she loved it! Happy birthday, Andrea!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Steppin' back in time....

I snapped this picture on the way to church in Dripping Springs last night. This is in Driftwood, TX. There are lots of little old western towns dotting the Texas countryside, but this one grabbed my attention because the old truck parked out front made me feel as if I were looking back in time!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mission Sunday 2008!

Andrea and I would like to say "thank you" to Palm Beach Lakes for their continued support of us while we attend Southwest. Thank you for including us in the upcoming Mission Sunday pyramid.
Here is a little video clip expressing our gratitude:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Quotes of the Day

Many Christians are suffering from EDD: Evangelism Deficit Disorder. - Tim Ayers

Why do these preachers come in and preach a sermonette, to a bunch of Christianettes so they can all hurry up and go out to smoke their cigarettes? - Foy Wallace

We have a paper due today? - Chacko Pullyampalill

Sometimes you need tack and sometimes you need some contact. - Johnny Ramsey

Is that true, or are you just pulling my wing? - an angel

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Three brothers

Today was a special day at SWSBS! My classmate Chance Blackmer delivered the devotional at chapel this morning, and his two brothers, Josh and Shea, came and visited during the service. Josh graduated from SWSBS in 2001 and will be giving the devotional for us at chapel tomorrow morning. It's great to see them together, so we wanted to get this picture of them while the opportunity presented itself! Josh, Cara, Andrea, and I are continuing to move forward with our plans to go into the mission field together.