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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



The little fourteen verse book of 3rd John reminds us that every Christian will be a blot or a blessing, but no Christian can be just a blank. Every one of us has influence on others for the cause of Christ either good or bad. In 3rd John three men have the attention of the apostle John. He commends the good being done by two men by the names 'of Gaius and Demetrius (3rd John 1,12). Gaius is noted for lending support and aid to preachers and teachers of the truth and is commended as a "fellow worker for the truth" (verse 8). Gaius reminds us that we don't all have to do the same thing, but we do have to do what we can. If we can't preach or go to a mission field, we can pray for and financially support those who can. Demetrius is commended because he has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself." Demetrius reminds us that our impact for the cause of Christ at home or school or on the job and in the church is maximized when we walk the walk and don't just talk the talk. John declared that if you polled the church about Brother Demetrius, everybody would give a good testimony about him. Even the truth itself is personified by John as giving Demetrius the thumbs-up on his Christian walk. In great contrast, John describes a third brother named Diotrephes in 3rd John 9-11"I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words." Diotrephes reminds u that no one in the church is useless. Even the worst of us can serve as a bad example!

A cleverly written article of unknown origin reminds us that every member matters and has an effect, whether we work properly, or improperly. Read carefully and thoughtfully: "Xvxn though this kxyboard is an old modxl, it works quitx wxll xcxcpt for one kxy. I  havx wishxd many timxs that it workxd pxrfxctly. It is trux that thxrx arx forty-onx kxys that do function wxll xnough, but just onx kxy not working surx makxs a diffxrxncx! Somxtimxs a congrxgation is likx this kxyboard not all thx mxmbxrs arx working propxrly. You may say to yoursxlf, "Wxll, I'm only onx pxrson. I won't makx or brxak a projxct." But it does make a diffxrxncx bxcausx any projxct, to bx xffxctivx, nxxds thx participation and coopxration of xach and xvxry mxmbxr. So, thx nxxt timx you think you arx only onx , pxrson and that your xfforts don't mattxr, rxmxmbxr this kxyboard and say to yoursxlf, "I am a `kxy mxmbxr' in this congrxgation, and I am nxxdxd vxry much!" Xvxry mxmbxr mattxrs!

Dan Gulley
Smitvhille church of Christ