Scott Gage

PO Box 3425
Fayetteville, AR 72702



November/December Issue 2006 - Volume 25   Number 6

I Liked the Old Paths


  I liked the old paths when

Moms were at home,

Dads were at work,

Brothers went into the army,

And sisters got married BEFORE having children!


Crime did not pay,

Hard work did,

And people knew the difference.


Moms could cook,

Dads would work,

Children would behave.


Husbands were loving,

Wives were supportive,

And children were polite.


Women wore the jewelry,

And Men wore the pants.

Women looked like ladies,

Men looked like gentlemen,

And children looked decent.


People loved the truth,

And hated a lie.

They came to church to get IN,

Not to get OUT!


Hymns sounded Godly,

Sermons sounded helpful,

Rejoicing sounded normal,

And crying sounded sincere.


Cursing was wicked,

Drinking was evil,

And divorce was unthinkable.


The flag was honored,

America was beautiful,

And God was welcome!


We read the Bible in public,

Prayed in school,

And preached from house to house.


To be called an American was worth dying for,

To be called a Christian was worth living for,

To be called a traitor was a shame!


Sex was a personal word,

Homosexual was an unheard of word,

And abortion was an illegal word.


Preachers preached because they had a message,

And Christians rejoiced because they had the VICTORY!

Preachers preached from the Bible,

Singers sang from the heart,

And sinners turned to the Lord to be SAVED!


A new birth meant a new life,

Salvation meant a changed life,

Following Christ led to eternal life.


Being a preacher meant you proclaimed the word of God,

Being a deacon meant you would serve the Lord,

Being a Christian meant you would live for Jesus,

And being a sinner meant someone was praying for you!


Laws were based on the Bible,

Homes read the Bible,

And churches taught the Bible.


Preachers were more interested in new converts

Than new clothes and new cars.

God was worshiped,

Christ was exalted,

And the Holy Spirit was respected.


Church was where you found Christians on the Lord's day

Rather than in the garden,

On the creek bank,

On the golf course,

Or being entertained somewhere else.


I still like the old paths the best!


("The Old Paths" was written by a retired minister who lives in Tennessee & sent by Clay Masters of Roswell, NM)

  12 24 06 Elk Ave E-Bulletin


"Going the Wrong Way? God Allows U-turns"

Acts 2:21-24-21:  “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 22  Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23  This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

Acts 2:36-38-36:  “‘Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’37  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ 38  Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

Acts 3:17-20-17:  “Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18  But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. 19  Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20  and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus.”

Acts 26:20:  “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.”

Matt. 6:31-34-31: “So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


JAMES 1:21-22-21: “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”



ABBA 1/17/2006

“Godly Influence”

I was born in 1725, and I died in 1807. The only godly influence in my life, as far back as I can remember, was my mother, whom I had for only seven years. When she left my life through death, I was virtually an orphan.

My father remarried, sent me to a strict military school, where the severity of discipline almost broke my back. I couldn't stand it any longer, and I left in rebellion at the age of ten. One year later, deciding that I would never enter formal education again, I became a seaman apprentice, hoping somehow to step into my father's trade and learn at least, the ability to skillfully navigate a ship.

By and by, through a process of time, I slowly gave myself over to the devil.  And I determined that I would sin to my fill without restraint, now that the righteous lamp of my life had gone out. I did that until my days in the military service, where again discipline worked hard against me, but I further rebelled.

My spirit would not break, and I became increasingly more and more a rebel.  Because of a number of things that I disagreed with in the military, I finally deserted, only to be captured like a common criminal and beaten publicly several times.

After enduring the punishment, I again fled. I entertained thoughts of suicide on my way to Africa, deciding that would be the place I could get farthest from anyone that knew me. And again I made a pact with the devil to live for him.

Somehow, through a process of events, I got in touch with a Portuguese slave trader, and I lived in his home. His wife, who was brimming with hostility, took a lot out on me. She beat me, and I ate like a dog on the floor of the home. If I refused to do that, she would whip me with a lash. I fled penniless, owning only the clothes on my back, to the shoreline of Africa where I built a fire, hoping to attract a ship that was passing by.

The skipper thought that I had gold or slaves or ivory to sell and was surprised because I was a skilled navigator. And it was there that I virtually lived for a long period of time. It was a slave ship.

I went through all sorts of narrow escapes with death only a hairbreadth away on a number of occasions. One time I opened some crates of rum and got everybody on the crew drunk. The skipper, incensed with my actions, beat me, threw me down below, and I lived on stale bread and sour vegetables for an unendurable amount of time.

He brought me above to beat me again, and I fell overboard. Because I couldn't swim, he harpooned me to get me back on the ship. And I lived with the scar in my side, big enough for me to put my fist into, until the day of my death.

On board, I was inflamed with fever. I was enraged with the humiliation. A storm broke out, and I wound up again in the hold of the ship, down among the pumps. To keep the ship afloat, I worked along as a servant of the slaves.

There, bruised and confused, bleeding, diseased, I was the epitome of the degenerate man. I remembered the words of my mother. I cried out to God, the only way I knew, calling upon His grace and His mercy to deliver me, and upon His son to save me. The only glimmer of light I would find was in a crack in the ship in the floor above me, and I looked up to it and screamed for help. God heard me.

Thirty-one years passed, I married a childhood sweetheart. I entered the ministry. In every place that I served, rooms had to be added to the building to handle the crowds that came to hear the gospel that was presented and the story of God's grace in my life.

My tombstone above my head reads, "Born 1725, died 1807. A clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he once long labored to destroy."

I decided before my death to put my life's story in verse, and that verse has become a hymn.

My name? John Newton.

The hymn? “Amazing Grace.”

“Almost Daily” 8/30/2006


"Amazing Grace"

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me,

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.


'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved.

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.


Through many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come.

'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.




By Pat Andrews

Many people have had a “near death” experience and most are glad to relate it to you.  They take as many forms as there are people who tell them.  I certainly do not wish to take issue with any of these, since they are so personal and subjective.  Instead, I wish to talk about some Biblical characters who had a “near life” experience.

In a “near death” experience someone comes very close to death, maybe even slightly across the line, but then comes back to this earthly life.  A “near life” experience is the mirror image of that.  Someone who is “dead in sin” comes ever so close to life eternal, maybe even catching a glimpse of it, but is then drawn back into the world of the walking dead.

The rich young ruler comes to mind.  His story is found in Matthew 19, Mark 10 and Like 18.  He was seeking eternal life, came to the only source, asked the right questions and heard the right answer, yet went away sorrowful.  He had a near life experience.

John 12:42 “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him.   But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue.”  Apparently the rich young ruler wasn’t the only ruler that came close to life but remained among the walking dead.

Who can forget old trembling Felix?  Acts 24:25 “As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now!  You may leave.  When I find it convenient, I will send for you.’”  So close to life and yet he remained in death!

Acts 26:28 “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian.’”  This may be the most famous near life experience recorded in Scripture.

Is anyone you know having a near life experience?   Could they perhaps be the one who meets you in the mirror?  Paul’s prayer is our prayer: Acts 26:29 “I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”    

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”   - Jesus

2/15/2005  Lockney, TX Bulletin