Apples of Gold

Apples of Gold contains articles to help you draw closer to God and grow in your worship of Him.  It is our desire that these truly will be words "fitly spoken" to encourage you in your walk with the Lord.

Gift Exchange

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

Christmas in America is synonymous with the exchange of gifts. Often the gift giving begins with shopping. “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving) got its name from the retail industry. So many people made Christmas shopping a priority after Thanksgiving that large stores moved from the red (loss) to black (profit) on the day after Thanksgiving year after year. Thus the name, “Black Friday.” Shopping is just the tip of the iceberg for many, however, since wrapping and delivering or mailing the gifts often takes as much time and energy as the shopping.

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Thankful for Laughter

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

As Thanksgiving nears, it occurred to me that one of the gifts God has given is humor! We’ve all heard, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Did you know it is based on scripture?

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

There is no doubt that laughter helps us forget our sorrows for a moment and adds enjoyment to life. So, have you laughed today? Have you helped someone else to laugh? It is a great way to be a blessing and encouragement to others. A little pun or funny story can lift spirits and lighten the heart that is aching. Share some mirth today and thank God for humorsmiley.

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Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

What is more important, attending church or sleeping in, a dentist appointment or a shopping trip, going to visit family or staying at home?

Every day we make decisions based on our priorities. Often times we feel that the only people affected by our choices are those closest to us, usually our immediate family members. No doubt they are impacted the most dramatically by our choices, but the ripples often go farther than we think!

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Spirit and Understanding

Rob Finch
Written by Rob Finch

 “… I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also.”  I Corinthians 14: 15b

This verse captures the essence of a mandate about how music is to function in the church and in our lives.  It is first of all to be a product of the Spirit.  That indicates that it is to be generated by and controlled by the Holy Spirit.  If it is generated by the Spirit, it will reflect accurately the character of God.  It will not be man-centered in its message or performance.  It will draw attention to Christ and not itself.  Secondly- it will be a tool that will produce greater spiritual understanding and knowledge of God.  There will be substance and truth in its message.  When music that is full of the truth in its message, styling and performance is filling our thoughts – it will truly provide the basis for joyful meditations as we are filling our minds and spirits with truly spiritual thoughts and reflecting on the Truth.

What Pleases God?

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

Do we make God happy? Pleasing God should be our first priority in life! Consider what the Bible says about pleasing Him:

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