State of the Magazine

This issue of Watchman Magazine marks a renewal of publishing the magazine after a two month lapse. Faithful visitors to the Watchman site are aware of the fact that the last issue of the magazine was posted at the beginning of November, 1999. I want to spend a moment giving a short explanation of what was "going on" behind the scenes, and to let you know what to expect in the future from Watchman.

First, let me thank you for your expressions of concern and support. Many emails were sent, and several phone calls were made. Some were curious as to my personal health, and others expressed concern that the voice of Watchman might cease. I feel I need to apologize for giving rise to such concern. In reality, the cause for the momentary cessation of publishing the magazine was much less serious.

Basically, the reason is I got very busy, and also that I got a small case of "Internet burnout"! Additionally, my fellow editors, Larry Fain and Tom Roberts have recently relocated. Larry to Lafayette, LA, and Tom to Longview, TX. This has precluded them taking as active a part in the magazine for the past several months. In fact, Tom is at present just now getting "settled in" at Longview, and most probably will not be actively involved in the magazine for the next 2 or 3 issues. I want to express my sincere appreciation to Larry for the editing of the theme this month, Rudiments of the Gospel. His help has allowed me to get a semblance of a schedule back for the magazine, and will help to ensure that future issues of the magazine are posted expeditiously.

The publication of Watchman is basically a "one man show." I personally do all of the design work, all of the uploading and record keeping, and a large majority of the editing of the magazine. Others, I am sure, would be much more organized and efficient than me. It is however, a labor of love. So, when I began to dread the first of each month, I knew I needed to get away from it for a short while. Now, I do not want to sound like I am whining. I am constantly amazed at the workload of other preachers, and sometimes feel ashamed at my feeble efforts. I simply post this as explanation, and promise to try to do better in the future.

At present, the West Side congregation where I preach is growing. It is an exciting time. We this past Sunday had the largest attendance we have had in several years. We are looking soon to appoint men as elders, and I am at present preaching a series of sermons on the subject. There is much work to do! Too, the magazine is extremely important. All I must do is look at the email sent to see how so many are benefitting from the work our writers are doing. There is always a need for truth to be taught. But, in this format, in this time, and in this medium, Watchman serves a definite purpose.

So, I am fine. The magazine is fine. And we are thankful for the opportunity to edit Watchman now and in the forseeable future. If the Lord tarries, we will continue in the work. There is no religious significance to the year 2000, but as the new millenium begins we excitedly look forward to our time together in a study of God's word.

We Have New "Stuff"!

With this issue, we begin our third year of publishing Watchman. The magazine has undergone several changes, and there are several new things we want to note regarding this issue!

In the Steps of the Savior
Brother Harry Osborne comes on as a feature writer with this issue of Watchman. Many know that Harry is in the process of writing a commentary on the book of Matthew. An outgrowth of this study will be his monthly article under the heading "In the Steps of the Savior." His article this month, The Person of Christ: "Form of God" and "Form of a Servant", is a balanced and cogent treatment of the deity and humanity of Christ. Be sure to read it. Harry is an extremely talented writer, and you will benefit from his monthly efforts.

The Land of Jesus
Our November 1999 issue of Watchman had as its theme The Land of Jesus. It was well received. We were able to combine interesting articles on various geographical sites in and around Israel with color photography of the land. I had opportunity to travel to Israel this past year, and took many pictures. We will continue this practice of including interesting and illustrated articles of the land of our Lord in each issue of Watchman. This month Tom Roberts discusses the dichotomy between ancient and modern Jerusalem by examining the traditional sites of our Lord's crucifixion.

Solid Food
Jeff S. Smith joined our staff as the new feature writer for Solid Food with the November 1999 issue. He got short shrift from us, as we ceased publishing for two months directly after his first article was published. Jeff is an extremely talented preacher and writer. He is one of those I mentioned above that is very organized and disciplined. I can guarantee you a reasoned and well written article from his pen each month. This month's Solid Food is entitled Love, and is a thorough treatment of the subject from a Biblical viewpoint.

Larry Remains, but "Queries and Explications" is Going, Going, Gone!
We have benefitted greatly from Larry Ray Hafley's writing from the very beginning of Watchman. He, however, has chafed under the restrictions of his assigned column, Queries and Explications. This month is the final one for the column. But not for Larry. He will be writing under a new heading beginning next month. This will allow him more freedom to write on subjects he feels are important. I was the one who suggested we end the Q&A column, due to reasons mentioned in detail on Larry's page. Go there, and read his final Q&A column, Are Musical Instruments Sanctioned by God? Suffice to say that the Q&A format was a nice experiment, but that we are better served in going in another direction.

Some Things Never Change!
Though we are making many changes in the magazine, many elements will remain essentially the same. We will be able to look forward most issues to a specific theme, with varied articles written by capable men examining the subject thoroughly. We will benefit from the pens of Tom Roberts and Larry Fain as they assist me in editing and editorializing each month. Men such as Steven Deaton, Steve Wallace, Larry Hafley, Jeff Smith, Wayne Partain, Jim Robson, and Harry Osborne will write every month. And I will try to get the magazine up and out by the first of each month. But, if it is a day or so late, just chalk it up to Stan getting behind again, and come back soon.

May God bless each of you, and thank you so much for your support of our efforts to teach truth via this tool.

e-mail Stan Cox

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