Changes coming to Forthright Press and Magazine

As of Feb. 25, Barbara Ann Oliver will step down, due to personal reasons, from the daily operations of Forthright Magazine. We will miss her presence and good work.

Thanks, Barbara, for your wonderful contribution all these years.

For now, I will resume editing of articles. We are searching for a managing editor, a volunteer position since the magazine is a free service.

Forthright Magazine has been around since the mid 1990s. It was our first online effort. Everything else we do online has grown out of it.

My son Joel has begun reworking the Forthright Press website and will take over the marketing and sales. He brings experience and knowledge to the process.

Every change is an opportunity for growth. We trust in the Lord to show better ways of serving the church and of helping others seek his way.

Practical Guide to Bible Study (Portuguese)

Jon Gary Williams wrote and published the book, A Practical Guide to Bible Study. We translated it into Brazilian Portuguese and published it in 2018.

The paperback has a full-color cover, with 101 pages, done in high-quality printing. It was printed in Brazil. We’ve had requests on how to get a copy outside of Brazil.

To order a copy of the book outside of Brazil, do this:

  • Send US$15.00 (per book copy) to our PayPal account.
  • Email us with your complete mailing address, including full zip code.

International snail mail is taking weeks to arrive, so please be patient. Contact us if you’ve not received it after two months.

For other books in Portuguese see our website for Projeto Alcance.

Practicing Proverbs, chapter 2

This is an exercise we’ve done with several chapters in the book of Proverbs for our own edification. This seven-fold list might encourage you.

  1. Wisdom (and the truth behind it) is discoverable, 1-11. We can know the truth, Jn 8.31-32. Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” has an answer.
  2. To “call out for” discernment and “raise your voice” for understanding, 3, indicate the intensity of desire for wisdom, reinforced by verse 4. The search must be real and all-consuming, or “extreme” (now a positive quality).
  3. Wisdom must enter the heart, 10. Truth comes from outside man, Ps 51.6. The popular idea of looking within oneself for truth and guidance is terribly misguided.
  4. Wisdom is a savior from evil men and immoral women, 12-19. It works powerfully in a fallen world.
  5. The marriage covenant is “made before God” 17. It is more than a contract between two people. God unites them, so it ought not to be broken.
  6. The upright who reside in the land, 21, are those who prosper and have peace by seeking God’s wisdom. See Mt 5.5.
  7. Wisdom and wickedness are two ways of life—and the only two that exist—that lead to two different destinies, 21-22. Which will you choose? 20.

Your favorite content links all in one place

The Forthright/GoSpeak team is one of the most prolific producers of spiritual and biblical content on the web. We’re grateful to work with a large and diverse group of faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.

The question is how to keep up with all that good content. Social media limits access to much content, and moving timelines and statuses can cause one to miss it.

On our website, we’ve solved that problem. Bookmark the ((feeds page)), which is updated automatically as new content by our team is published.

But don’t wait long to check back. Every day the team publishes plenty of new articles, posts, prayers, and poetry.

There’s something here for everybody.

Reader wants second copy. Why not order two copies right off the bat?

One reader hasn’t even finished the book, The Right Kind of Christianity, but already is planning on buying another copy.

I would like to order another copy to share with my congregation, since I underline and write a lot in my copy.

A great idea! Order two already, so you can make your notes in your copy and pass on the other one to someone else. Order HERE.

Time is not your enemy

Following is an excerpt from the book, Choose!

We see time as the enemy. Something we work against. Something that works against us, robs us of life, cheats us out of youth, health, and happiness. Milton called time “the subtle thief of youth.”

We consider time the upturned hourglass whose last grains of sand fall through the aperture while we watch helplessly. A fleeing rabbit to be chased and, by some miracle, trapped.

Yesterday holds a log of lingering woes and fading memories. Tomorrow appears a gathering storm or the bottomless pit of our good intentions. Today we fight a fog of uncertainty clogging along in our daily routine.

But our despair about time wastes it. The Now is where we live. This moment is not merely “all we have,” as if it were little enough, but the gift of God to enjoy, the plenitude of life’s possibilities, the flower in full bloom.

Today draws loved ones near, the present makes plans come to fruition, this moment breathes the air of all that is.

Mick Jaggar, not my favorite philosopher, said, “Time is on my side, yes it is.” He’s right, if I choose today.

The choice, then: to fritter time away by the minute and hour, or to choose today as my day to live, to shine, to love, to laugh.

Choose! makes a great personal or group study, with questions at the end of each of its 13 chapters. Get it here.

Be a voice for heavenly truth

Verification of truth can be a hard thing. When the president of a country claims his administration has built a certain number of houses, counting those constructions presents certain challenges. It’s not impossible to do, but it is difficult.

When a child claims to have done a chore or obeyed his parent, that’s easier to check. Your bank account’s balance is not so hard to discover. So verification of facts and truth can be hard or easy, depending on the claim or the affirmation made.

Many people would put the verification of biblical truth at the hard end of the scale. A few even deny such a scale exists, saying that truth in the spiritual realm is impossible to grasp.

Their answer to Pilate’s question about what is truth? Truth, they say, is whatever you want it to be. As long as you don’t make it absolute for everyone else.

This idea creates a new kind of Christianity. But it’s not the right kind. Because Jesus said the truth is knowable and verifiable, Jn 8.32. He is truth personified, Jn 14.6.

We’re surrounded, and our children are surrounded, by voices that claim relative truth. Voices sing it in music. Voices imply it on television. Voices pontificate it from political bully pulpits. Voices teach it in the schools. Voices whisper it in the night. Voices claim it all over the internet.

The Lord is looking for voices to speak up for a heavenly truth that is easy to verify. Simple to perceive. Open to investigation. Possible to identify. Necessary to live.

Lift up your voice for the truth of the gospel.

A generous family of faith

Over where it all started, on Forthright Magazine, I posted yesterday a rare editorial, “Changes afoot,” detailing a few upcoming novelties. I mention a boyhood memory:

Brotherhood evangelistic efforts, as a rule, do not ask for donations from people they are trying to reach. They seek support from within the brotherhood. I remember watching, as a boy, “The Herald of Truth,” when Batsell Barrett Baxter was the speaker, and feeling glad that, differently from denominational programs, no financial appeal was ever made on the program.

Our people have long been generous to support good works. Such generosity signals spiritual health. Let us develop that willingness to spread the Good News of Christ. Let us seek out people laboring in the fields. And let us do what money alone cannot: pray to the Lord of the harvest for more workers.

He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest, Lk 10.2.

Pray that God will produce fruit from every good effort. Pray that he will uphold the hands of those who labor. Pray that these will be faithful in their task and teaching.

And continue to grow in support of those workers, in every way.