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"We'll leave the Light of Christ on for ya"

May 2022 - Thoughts from Jim


This is an old poem that I have always loved, and thought it well worth sharing again, to give hope to all who need the touch of the Master’s Hand in their lives:


'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin, But held it up with a smile.

"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried, "Who'll start the bidding for me?"

"A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two? Two dollars, and who'll make it three?"

"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; Going for three…" But no,

From the room, far back, a grey-haired man Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then wiping the dust from the old violin, And tightening the loosened strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet, As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer, With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said: "What am I bid for the old violin? "And he held it up with the bow.

"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two? Two thousand! And who'll make it three?

Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice, And going and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried, "We do not quite understand.

What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply: "The touch of the Master's hand."

And many a man with life out of tune, And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine, A game — and he travels on.

He is "going" once, and "going" twice, He's "going" and almost "gone."

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought By the touch of the Master's hand.

-Myra Brooks Welch


Have a Wonderful Month of May,

Jim Poll, Minister

April 2022 - Thoughts from Jim


Happy Resurrection Day! This month we celebrate Easter, the most amazing Holy Day ever seen since the beginning of time! Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son had met an ugly and horrible death on a rugged cross after living a sinless life. He was God in the flesh, and when he died on that cross, he paid the price for the sins of all mankind. He was the perfect lamb of God. Animal sacrifices used in the Old Testament could never take away man’s guilt, but only the perfect man, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, could cover our sins. He who knew no sin took on the sins of the world and died as the perfect sacrifice. His blood washes the most horrible sinner completely clean, if that person decides to repent of his old life, confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and be immersed to wash away his sins and to receive the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).


But the most amazing event of all time is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead! Nothing like this has ever transpired in history. His resurrection is what gave his disciples the motivation to stop hiding in a locked room, and instead proclaim the good news that there is new life for those who follow Jesus Christ, and we who have named Jesus Lord and Savior will also one day live again for eternity in the presence of God. We will enjoy heaven with all those who have chosen to repent and follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We no longer need to fear death. We will live with Him in perfect peace where there will be no sin, no sorrow, no crying, no pain or anything negative. What an amazing transformation for any of us to enjoy. The vilest offender who truly believes will find everlasting joy if he turns to God. What an amazing event.


Have a wonderful Easter season! Be sure to worship our Lord and Savior on that day and every Lord’s Day!


May God Richly Bless You!!

Jim Poll, Minister

March 2022 - Thoughts from Jim


Last Sunday I was invited by some friends to go out to eat after Church. That seemed like a great idea to me, so I went, had a nice meal, and got better acquainted with these very nice folks. We enjoyed a delicious meal, had some good fellowship, and were headed to our vehicles, when I made a mistake. I stepped toward the curb with my left foot but did not notice that there was a small 2” difference in the height of the concrete just before the curb. I was thrown off balance, and suddenly was falling. I was able to get my right foot on the pavement in front of my car, but the momentum was too great, and I fell in front of my car. I was embarrassed, but basically uninjured. I had a little bit of road rash on my left knee, but no harm to my slacks or my body. It is embarrassing to fall down when friends are near.


A passage of scripture came to mind: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Falling happens unexpectedly and can cause quite a bit of damage to those of us who are older. We need to be a bit more careful as we age. A bigger problem than physical injury would be spiritual injuries to our soul.


In 1 Corinthians 10: 1-11, there are warnings about taking care of our spiritual lives, so we don’t make the mistakes the Israelites made when on their way to the promised land. Several times they stumbled causing the destruction of many. Let’s take care of our spiritual lives as carefully as we take care of our bodies as they age. Be careful of careless thoughts that may cause you to stumble.


May God Bless You on Your Journey!

Jim Poll, Minister

February 2022 - Thoughts from Jim


Happy Valentine’s Day!!! A few years ago, I was invited by a friend to help deliver flowers to people on this special day. It took a few hours, but it was enjoyable to see the delight on the faces of the recipients as well as their co-workers (when delivered at the workplace). We delivered a wide variety of flowers and plants that were all lovely. It seemed that these gifts were unexpected but greatly enjoyed, because they were gifts of love.


Another unexpected gift of love was given many years ago by our Father in heaven – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Not only was it unexpected, but it has been greatly enjoyed by those who received that gift. Jesus brings hope, joy, and abundant life to all those who receive this amazing gift. He brings us from darkness into light, from despair to rejoicing, from death to life.


Flowers are a bit costly, but the gift that God gave us is beyond measure. It cost Him his only begotten son, and cost Jesus horrible suffering and death on a cross, the sinless Son of God who took on himself all our wicked sins. He became the perfect sacrifice to give us the unexpected and priceless gift of life everlasting! May we resolve to show our gratitude by obeying Him and putting His will first in our lives. See you Sunday.

Don’t forget Sunday School at 9:30. Chapter 14 in Core 52.


May God Richly Bless You,

Jim Poll, Minister

January 2022 - Thoughts from Jim


Happy New Year!! Here we are at the beginning of a new year, when we can make new starts in various areas. I am not good at making New Year’s Resolutions, but I do want to make better efforts in some areas in my life.


I want to start walking a mile or two every day, to become more physically fit, and to help burn off those extra calories that are just piling up in various places on my body. These places are difficult to hide and are not very attractive. Those places are called fat. They are not helpful, and they do not make me feel good about myself.


In I Corinthians 9:27, Paul tells us, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” The word discipline can also be translated “bruise”, which means that Paul was willing to work much harder than he already had to make certain he would not fail to reach his goal of living a life worthy of his high calling. May we make that extra effort every day to be faithful examples of committed Disciples of Christ.


May God Bless You Richly,

Jim Poll, Minister

December 2021 - Thoughts from Jim


December is the time our thoughts turn toward Christmas, and we celebrate the birth of Christ, our Savior. This one event is the most significant event in the history of the world. Many other religions have been started by individuals who claim to be “prophets” of God, but only Jesus claimed to be God Himself. He lived a sinless life, which no other person of sound mind has claimed. Jesus said, “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28) And in verse 30, he said, “I and the Father are one.”


So Jesus himself was claiming to give eternal life to his followers, and shortly after that he claimed that he and the Father were one, the same essence, or God himself. I once gave a ride to a hitchhiker when I had a youth ministry in Erie, IL, who claimed to be the exiled prince of Norway, but it was obvious he was not. He was deluded and probably mentally ill.


But Jesus gave many evidences that he had the power of God within him. He gave a blind man sight, raised a widow’s son from the dead back to life, as well as his own friend Lazarus, who had been dead for four days. With a word or touch, he healed men and women who had been crippled or ill for many years. Demon-possessed individuals who could break chains with superhuman strength were delivered from Satan’s power by a simple command of Jesus.


Christmas is a fresh reminder to us of the amazing love of God for all of mankind. Jesus came to earth to live a sinless human life, and gave us the most wonderful gift of all time, the gift of eternal life in His presence, to experience greater joy than we have ever known for an eternity. Please join me in celebrating joyously this wondrous gift that we have been invited to be an active part of!


Have a Joyous Christmas!

Jim Poll, Minister

November 2021 - Thoughts from Jim


What a beautiful time of year, as our eyes are drawn to the beauty of the leaves as they change colors and to the progress of the farmers as they finish harvesting their crops. Just a glance around reminds us of the bountiful blessings of God. Yes, some of us have experienced various losses, which are always painful, but God stands near us at those times, and comforts us, and we have seen many more gifts of love and joy from His hand on a never-ending basis.


Every day we can observe the wonderful presence and comfort of God. We know that God is good, and we recognize His precious gifts such as a bountiful harvest, reasonably good health, loving families, faithful friends, plenty of food to eat, comfortable homes to enjoy, and churches in which we can honor Him for his generosity to us.


“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Psalm 103:2-5. Let’s remember where all these good gifts come from… our Father in heaven who loves us, cares for us, and showers us with all these amazing gifts!!


Have a wonderful month as we give thanks to our Loving Father in Heaven!


Thankful for You,

Jim Poll, Minister

October 2021 - Thoughts from Jim


Hello, friends! I hope you are in good health and are enjoying the fall weather. There are a lot of fields that have been harvested so far, but the rain has slowed things a bit this past week. Hoping for good yields for the farmers and that they will be able to finish soon!


The farmers coffee at Church on Friday mornings is going well. Coffee is available from 8:00-10:00 a.m. and there is usually a good turnout. I have enjoyed my visits with the men who attend, and doughnuts or other treats occasionally appear, which are enjoyed by all. Come by and enjoy the fellowship!


We started an adult Sunday School class in September at 9:30 on Sunday mornings. We are using a book, Core 52, which helps us gain a basic knowledge of the Bible. Each chapter takes only 15 minutes to read, and we are having good participation with plenty of discussion each week. This is going well, and if you would like to join us, you would be most welcome!


Recently I heard a friend at a funeral say, “I haven’t gone back to church yet,” and another person said, “I haven’t either”. Fear of Covid is the reason many stopped attending last year, and it certainly is easier to watch church online. Church online is good, but the fellowship with believers is better, and following Jesus’ example is best. “And as was his custom, he went to the Synagogue on the Sabbath day.” (Luke 4:16) If you have serious health issues, church online is the solution, but if you are healthy, please come join us!


Your Brother in Christ,

Jim Poll, Minister

September 2021 - Thoughts from Jim


Hello friends! Here we are in September, and already some combines are harvesting corn. Isn’t it wonderful to see the work that was done several months ago come to fruition as the grain is harvested and will be used in various ways to provide food for animals, people, and in so doing provide income to provide for the men and women who have diligently worked for this yield?


In the same way, we need to invest in the planting of the seed of the Gospel in the hearts and minds of people in our community so that it can grow and produce a harvest of eternal life in the lives of all who allow it to grow in them and produce much fruit. Those who have fertile soil in their hearts will see God’s love grow and bring healing to damaged relationships and broken hearts and quench bitterness towards others who have been unkind and hateful.


We serve the God of Love who has demonstrated the ultimate gift to each of us through His Son, Jesus Christ. As we observe the bountiful harvest of grain, may we pray for the bountiful harvest of souls and consider what an amazing difference that would make in every life and in every community.


May God Bless You richly this fall!

Jim Poll, Your Minister

August 2021 - Thoughts from Jim


What? Another onslaught of Covid? Just when we thought things were getting better and masks were no longer required, a variant has come around to cause more problems. What can we do to help lift our spirits and find inner strength?


I always find help in God’s Word. Paul, when he was in prison, wrote some encouraging words in his most difficult time. In Philippians 4:4, we read, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!”


That seems an odd thing for a man in prison to say, especially when he was isolated from his friends, but this entire letter of Philippians has a theme of thankfulness and rejoicing. I find it uplifting and encouraging to read, and it has some excellent advice about how to find peace in the most difficult times. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6,7)


This seems strange, but we can put our anxiety aside if we will remember to give thanks for even our most difficult circumstances. Giving thanks reminds us that God is in charge, and that He will bring good from this event. And His peace will guard our hearts and our minds during this impossible situation.


Paul also in the next verse tells us to focus our attention on the positive. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Phil. 4:8) Focusing on the best things will bring God’s joy and peace into our hearts.


Thanking God for You,

Jim Poll, Minister

July 2021 - Thoughts from Jim


Unanswered questions. No doubt many of us have dealt with these. We seek God in fervent prayer for those who have been afflicted with physical ailments that seem to last forever. We pray for these dear friends, asking for healing and health, but the illness lingers on, and problems continue. And so, we wonder, “Why?” But no easy answer comes, and the pain and illness continue.


I just finished reading through the book of Job and was reminded how much this righteous man lost in one horrific day. His huge herds of livestock were stolen by enemies or died in fires, his servants killed, and all ten of his children died in a tragic tornado when they were eating a meal together. Financially and emotionally, he had unimaginable losses.


But Job was a man whose trust in God was so complete, his response to these devastating losses was, “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” He chose to honor God with thanksgiving rather than blame. And when he was stricken with painful boils all over his body, he did not blame God, even when his wife urged him to “Curse God and die!” Job’s response was, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”.


Job was an amazing man with a grateful heart. May we learn from this example to give thanks to God for all things He allows to come our way.


May God Bless You Abundantly!

Jim Poll, Minister

June 2021 - Thoughts from Jim


Hello! Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the warm weather! Time keeps flying by. The good news is that the Covid restrictions are basically done now. If you have been keeping yourself home for all this time, I hope that you will consider coming back to worship with us at Tallula Christian Church. If you have had your vaccination shots for the Covid virus, you should be okay. If you are unsure about it, you can still wear a mask when you come. We are trying to be very careful as we worship to make you as safe as possible.


I’m sure you will want to see how our kitchen renovation is looking. Hopefully we will be able to use it soon and it will be a really nice improvement for the church as we move into the future. Come enjoy the fellowship together. There is no substitute for gathering together as a body of Christ to encourage one another and to work together as the body of Christ. We need you, and you need us.


May God Bless you this month. We hope to see you this month as we gather together. Please keep praying for God to lead us in powerful ways to reach out to those in our community who may be unchurched. Hope to see you Sunday! You are dearly loved!


Your Brother in Christ,

Jim Poll, Minister

May 2021 - Thoughts from Jim


I love the month of May. This is the month of new beginnings. It is wonderful to enjoy the delightful signs of new life around us as the grass turns green and lush, tulips and daffodils add brilliant reds and yellows, dogwood and red bud trees present their beautiful pinks and whites, and farmers begin planting their crops. The outside temperature is warmer and we love getting out to enjoy that sunshine.


The second Sunday in May brings Mother’s Day, when we honor the women who suffered intense pain to give each one of us our new beginning in life, and who taught us strong values as they loved us, washed us, fed us, disciplined us, and gave unselfishly of themselves so that we might become men and women of integrity. They gave a huge amount of time and effort to give us all a wonderful opportunity to build lives of integrity, opportunity, and joy. I’m so glad we take a special day to honor our wonderful mothers who gave us our very first start in life, and especially for those who taught us to honor and serve our God.


May is the month when many High School seniors receive their graduation diplomas after completing their 12 years of public education. This ceremony is called a “Commencement”, which is the beginning of their adult lives. They will face multitudes of decisions regarding their behavior as adults. Let’s pray for them to choose wisely. May God give them His direction and purpose!


In this month of May, please join me in remembering that Jesus Christ is the reason for new life spiritually. He gave His life on the cross to grant us new life for eternity. Honor Him at Worship on Sundays.


Your Brother in Christ,

Jim Poll, Minister

April 2021 - Thoughts from Jim

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying our spring weather. Easter Sunday was very nice. We rejoiced to have several guests attending, and we remembered loved ones who have already entered into eternity by reading their names and ringing the church bell for each family. It was a very nice way to honor them and what they have meant to all of us.

We also are making good progress on remodeling the kitchen. New paint on the walls, new flooring, a new stove to install, and new cabinets that have been ordered and should be arriving at any time. There is now a pass-through from the fellowship area into the kitchen where items can be set on the counter and reached from inside or outside the kitchen. Many thanks to Lynn Sill for helping plan these improvements and overseeing the job. It will be a fine tool in serving our Lord!..

We were delighted to have Lynn and Kay Sill come forward Sunday to make Tallula Christian Church their Church home. We are thankful for their love for the Lord and for their willingness to join us as we serve Jesus Christ. I am looking forward to meeting others who would like to join us as we serve God in this area.

May God Richly Bless You during April!!

Your Brother in Christ,

Jim Poll, Minister

March 2021 - Thoughts from Jim

I am writing to you today from Hemet, California, where the temperature has been in the 70’s and the sun has been shining brightly most days. It has been wonderful to visit friends here that I have known since college, and another friend that I have known for over 20 years. The bond that ties us together is our faith in Jesus Christ, and that is very precious to all of us. In fact, that is the one thing that ties us together as nothing else could. We all know that we will one day enjoy a rich fellowship in the presence of Jesus Christ, as we gather around His throne to praise Him for satisfying the deepest needs of our hearts and souls.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NASB)

But since we are not yet in heaven, we still have a lot of work that needs to be done. We need to let the love of Christ shine through us as we deal with friends and neighbors who may not yet know the joy of a relationship with Jesus, and we definitely need to let our political leaders know when they propose legislation that is in opposition to God’s clear teaching.

Have a great month this March. Praying for God to be honored in all our lives!

May God Bless You Richly,

Jim Poll, Minister

February 2021 - Thoughts from Jim

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (I John 4:7-10)

As we enter the month of February, it seems normal to look towards Valentine’s Day and think of love. I’m sure many wives will receive a bouquet of beautiful flowers, or a box of delicious chocolates, a lovely card, or a special evening out for supper. Those events will be a reminder of how much love couples have for each other, and those thoughts need to be shared with one another from time to time, as a reminder of how much we love those dearest to us. Genuine love is best when expressed freely and openly to those who are loved. That is how God taught us to love one another.

His love was the greatest gift any of us could ever hope for and brings with it an eternal home in heaven, living for eternity with our loving Creator. May we do our best to reflect that amazing and perfect love to every person we come in contact with, and by doing so, we will reflect the amazing love of God to all those around us.

For those of us who are single, may we find joy in sharing God’s love with others who may be lonely, discouraged, or fearful. A kind greeting, a word of encouragement, a silent prayer offered on their behalf will never return void! You may make another’s day wonderful with a small expression of kindness!

May God Bless You Richly!!

Jim

January 2021 - Thoughts from Jim

Greetings in this new year of 2021. All of us are a bit weary of the trials of 2020, with the frustrating inconveniences of social distancing, isolation of folks, including those in hospitals and nursing homes. It has been difficult for all of us. It is tough when families have a loved one in the hospital and are not allowed to be with them to comfort them and assist them. It is hard for those who are in nursing facilities who are not allowed to have visitors from church or family. I don’t particularly like wearing a mask into stores, gas stations, or businesses. My glasses always steam up!

One good thing is that there is now a vaccination to help prevent Covid. Let’s hope and pray that this will signal the ending of this pandemic.

The best news, though, is that God is still on His throne, and He will give us strength to endure through every trial. We have learned how important being together as a body of believers really is. I miss seeing friends from Church, and I’m sure everyone feels the same. But we can still find encouragement from God by reading His Word on a regular basis. It always gives me a sense of peace when I do so. I will start through the Bible again this week and read through it again this year. I hope you will join me in doing so. Please also join me in praying for our family in Christ locally and throughout the world! Thank you!

May God Bless You Richly in 2021,

Jim Poll, Minister



December 2020 - Thoughts from Jim

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace..” Isaiah 9:6, 7 (NASB)

This passage was written about 750 years before the Birth of Jesus Christ, so God’s plan of salvation for those who would accept it was in effect hundreds of years before Jesus appeared in Bethlehem. In fact, it was in effect in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. So, this awesome gift of God’s Son, Jesus, was planned for mankind since the beginning of time.

What a privilege for us to celebrate the birth of Christ this month and to consider the awesome love of our Almighty God for this priceless gift that allows us to be in fellowship with God Himself.

May we give God the Glory this month for his indescribable and priceless gift of his only begotten son, Jesus Christ!

May God grant you love and peace as you honor Him this month!

Jim


November 2020 - Thoughts from Jim

Here it is November already. The year 2020 has been a difficult one in many ways. We ushered the new year in with news of a deadly pandemic which has changed the lives of everyone to some degree. Churches, schools, sports, businesses, and life as we knew it were closed down for several weeks. We were told to stay home except to go out for necessities. We were not allowed to visit friends who were hospitalized, nursing homes were closed to visitors, and still are. I remember going to a Walmart nearby to buy some groceries and was surprised to see the frozen foods section with empty shelves. The first time in my life I had ever gone to a store to see that many food items were completely sold out.

We have been through a lot this year, and nothing seems to be normal. People still are staying home a lot, and when we go out, masks are the norm. We have had a presidential election where results are still not known several days after we voted. There is much uncertainty in every area of life.

But this is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, and I have noticed when reading the scripture, that Thanksgiving is always appropriate, because God is still on His throne, and He is still in charge. I would like you to think about these words from Philippians, written by the apostle Paul while he was a prisoner, facing death.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:1, 4-7 (NASB)

Let’s remember to give Thanks to God in every circumstance, and His peace will guard our hearts and minds.

May God bless you,

Jim