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Friday, December 29, 2006

New Year's Resolutions For The Culture

1. Resolve to keep our pants pulled up.

2. Resolve to quit showing our belly-button.

2. Resolve to quit exposing the top part of our rear-end.

3. Resolve to have more resolve to win the war on terror.

4. Resolve to not play our music so loud in our car.

5. Resolve to be careful about our language in public.

6. Resolve to educate ourselves about the political realites in this country.

7. Resolve to gain a basic understanding of economics so we will vote for the right people concerning things like tax policy and the minimum wage.

8. Resolve to remove the legal protection for killing unborn children.

9. Resolve to quit running red lights.

10. Resolve to quit looking to government to fix every problem.

11. Resolve to refrain from exalting sports and hollywood figures.

12. Resolve to read the bible.

13. Resolve to devote some time to spiritual contemplation.

These are just a few things I thought would be good resolutions for the culture.

Monday, December 25, 2006

If You Are Not As Wicked As Others

The following is from a message by Thomas Brooks entitled, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ. It is a bold and somewhat shocking declaration of our corrupt nature. It is very important that we remember the principle that he is expounding in this short excerpt.

"By the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Corin. 15:10

Whatever evil you behold in other men's practices, realize that you have the same evil in your own nature.

There is the seed of all sins, of the vilest and worst of sins--in the best of men. When you see a drunkard--you may see the seed of that sin in your own nature. When you see an immoral man--you may see the seeds of immorality in your own nature. If you are not as wicked as others--it is not because of the goodness of your nature--but from the riches of God's grace!

Remember this--there is not a worse nature in hell than that which is in you, and it would manifest itself accordingly--if the Lord did not restrain it!

There was one who was a long time tempted to three horrid sins: to be drunk, to lie with his mother, and to murder his father. Being a long time followed with these horrid temptations, at last he thought to get rid of them, by yielding to what he judged the least, and that was to be drunk; but when he was drunk, he did both lie with his mother and murdered his father.

Why, such a hellish nature is in every soul that breathes! And did God leave men to act according to their natures, all men would be incarnate devils, and this world a total hell. In your nature you have that that would lead you . . .
with the Pharisees--to oppose Christ;
and with Judas--to betray Christ;
and with Pilate--to condemn Christ;
and with the soldiers--to crucify Christ.

Oh, what a monster, what a devil you would be--should God but leave you to act suitable to that sinful and woeful nature of yours!"

By the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Corin. 15:10

Sunday, December 24, 2006

And Two Paths Crossed

A while back someone asked how my wife and I met, I believe it was Zan. I have been trying to concoct some story about a moonlit night on the French Rivera. You know, something about the shimmering water lapping at the bank of the river as it made its way slowly past the juncture where two paths crossed, two lives melted into one. But.........our story is actually a lot plainer than that, but it is our story. We will have to save the French Rivera for another time??

Michele and I are from different backgrounds. She is a Kansas girl by birth (and Texan by choice). She was raised in rural Kansas in a small (very small) town with dirt roads. See if you can find Seward on a map. It is there. She was not raised in a Christian home and came to know the Lord through the influence of her married sister and brother-in-law. I believe that was at the age of 19 or 20. I, on the other hand, am a Texas boy by birth and choice. I was born in Houston, Texas and mostly raised on the Texas Gulf Coast in the town where I now live after having lived for eight years in the Dallas area. I was raised in a Christian home where we went to church and believed the Bible. I was active in ministry from an early age. I came to know the lord at the age of seven and surrendered my life to gospel ministry at the age of 14. I was raised with three brothers of which I am the oldest. Michele was raised with one sister of which she is the youngest.

Our paths crossed in Dallas Texas. We had both moved to Dallas to attend a small Independent Baptist College in that city. It was actually in the Oak Cliff section of town. She arrived on the scene about a year before me. I arrived on the scene in August of 1981. That put us at the same school. As it turned out we ended up at the same church as well. She had just moved her membership from the church that was responsible for the school to a church on the other side of town close to Seagoville. After visiting several churches in the area my membership also ended up in the church that was over by Seagoville. (southeast Dallas)

The school and the place where we lived were about a 30 minute drive from church. At the time there were quite a few students who were going to school there in Oak Cliff and attending the church over by Seagoville. The result was a lot of carpooling. I never really liked to ride, I liked to drive and still do. Consequently, I was often taking three or four folks with me especially on Wednesday evenings. There was at least a couple of occasions when Michele was among that number. One Wednesday evening as we were returning from church (me, Michele, Shelly, and Mike) the girls got to complaining about my driving. I was threatening to make them walk the rest of the way home. Of course I would never have done that. It was all in fun. If I remember correctly I actually pulled over to the side of the road and offered to let them get out Hehe! Of course my driving was not that bad. I didn't think so. In retrospect they probably had a point. Anyhow......... Michele was sitting with Shelly in the back seat and apparently she did not think it was funny. I had no idea at the time that anyone was taking anything seriously..........dropped everyone off and went home.

Well, a few days after that Michele caught me on the sidewalk between classes and between buildings and said she was sorry for being mad at me?? I didn't know what she was talking about?? She explained and we ended up on that day sitting on the stairs at the dorms spending about two hours talking. It happened to be November 5th. We remember this because November 5th was the day I was saved as a seven year old boy. It is my spiritual birthday and also the day where two paths crossed.

Well after we went our separate ways I thought that was nice. At the time I was working at a warehouse that shipped products for Sweetheart cup. The hours were like from 4 to 11 PM. That night when I got back to the dorms there was an envelope on the coffee table in the front room. I took it to the bedroom to read it and it was from Michele wishing me a happy spiritual birthday. I think she "accidentally" dropped it in perfume before she gave it to me. I thought, in the words of Jimmy Stewart on It's A Wonderful Life, "hmmmmmm, very interestin' situation"

I believe it was the next day or maybe the day after that that I went to her place of employment which happened to be a bridal shop and asked her to to accompany me to dinner that weekend. She agreed. Yeeehawwww! That was early November. We were engaged at the first of January and married at the end of May. We were married seven months after we met.

Michele says that she did not like me at all to begin with and that the Lord simply changed her heart toward me, boy is she ever lucky???!!! Good thing she was listening to Him she could have got stuck with some jerk.... Of course I say and have told the kids from the beginning and anyone else who will listen that she chased me down. And she did!! Down the sidewalk at that little school we were attending. Her response is that I didn't run very fast. If you were to ask our kids how we met I think they would probably tell you that Mom chased Dad down and he did not run very fast. Truth is I didn't know I had any reason to run at the time, and by the time I did it was too late!

We were married May 28th 1982. I was 19 and she was 22.
Sara was born March 19 1983
Caleb was born February 16 1985
Olivia was born March 16 1987
Daniel was born December 28 1989
Kimberly was born August 20th 1992
Lydia Rose was born November 23rd 1996

So we have six children, one son by marriage, one daughter by marriage, three grand kids, one dog, two cats, two birds, and flowers planted all around. We have many friends scattered all over the world, a wonderful church of which I have the privilege to Pastor.

My wife and I have the best relationship of anyone I know. I love to shop not for shopping sake but because I love to be with her and occasionally there is a store that I really like. We both like junk stores. We are friends. We don't always agree, sometimes she is wrong?? We talk, we read, we love to celebrate anniversaries, next year will be 25! Yipeee! I lead in our home and she is a faithful and loving help meet. I love her and shower her with as many good things as I can and she respects and honors me.

All of this because two paths crossed! And I thank God that they did!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Rounding Up Illegal Immigrants Vs. Rounding Up Jews

The above article out of San Antonio Texas is offensive on several accounts. In my estimation the most offensive aspect of the article is the first paragraph where we are informed that

"U.S. Hispanic groups and activists on Thursday called for a moratorium on workplace raids to round up illegal immigrants, saying they were reminiscent of Nazi crackdowns on Jews in the 1930s."

The workplace raids to round up illegal are in no way reminiscent of Nazi crackdowns of Jews in the 1930's To say make such a claim is absurd and exploiting people's ignorance of the Nazis of the 1930's.

The work place raids to round up illegal immigrants is a legitimate exercise of an independent Republic to enforce its laws. The Nazi crackdown on Jews in the 1930's was the abuse of power by a tyrant/dictator against a designated portion of it citizenship. The Jews were singled out as German citizens as people that were not as fully evolved and consequently an inferior race. They were forced to live in ghettos and taken to concentration camps where they endured unimaginable abuse of all kinds. (this despite what the president of Iran and David Duke says) They were deprived of their natural rights as citizens.

There is absolutly no comparison to be made between the German Nazis rounding up their citizens for horrific abuse and the United States of America rounding up people who are in the country illegally to send them back to their country or origin!

It is hard to give any credence to Hispanic groups and activist that want to make this kind of comparison.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just a Paragraph

Winter was the testing time, the hard time of relentless cold, keening winds, and silent, endless snow. Day after day it fell, sifting down into the forest gently or driving straight across the lakes on the icy river of the wind. Imperceptibly it gathered, inch on inch, foot on foot, until the whole country was unrecognizable within the heavy swaddling. All harshness of outline disappeared beneath scrolls and buttresses of wind-carved marble. Rough ledges merged smoothly with the softer contours around them, and the starkness of leafless trees was concealed with garlands and scarfs of white. When the sun came out between storms, it was on a glittering new world of alabaster, shadowed in lavender and arched over by a sky of turquoise. It was a world new to the ear as well as to the eye. All the small sounds--the crackle of undergrowth, the fall of a pine cone, the whispering of a brook--were silenced.

From the book: The Natural World of Louise Dickinson Rich. (this isn't the best book I have ever read, but I can't seem to put it down because she talks about fireflies and leaves)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Beautiful snow! It snowed here two years ago on Christmas Eve. It was the most beautiful snow I have ever seen because it in such short supply around here. It came down in flakes the size of fifty-cent pieces and was just plumb full of sparkles. We all kept thinking that SURELY it will stop, but it snowed until about 3 the next morning. It was perfect. It could be formed into a perfect wasn't that grainy dry useless stuff.
All the kid cousins got to throw snowballs and play at PaPa and Granny's house on Christmas day. Olivia and Daniel got up early that morning and played in the dawn........they knew it would probably be a once in a lifetime deal. You should have seen the snowmen around town. People down here do not know how to make snowmen. They can't help it. They just don't have any practice.
We still have two snowballs in the freezer we saved. Proof. If somebody did DNA on the treasure in our freezer, they would know it was real snow.
If it never snows again down here, at least it did during my lifetime. It was a glorious 3 days. That's about how long it lasted.
We have pictures and snowballs............and best of all.........MEMORIES.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

And More Books.....

My wife and I spent the last two days doing some Christmas shopping in the Galveston/Webster area. Webster is by NASA. We were in a lot of shops and one mall. Found, as usual, a few books.

The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb/Morris
I already have a copy of this book so this one will be to lend out or give away.
A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson
The Rebirth of Liberty: The Founding of the American Republic 1760-1800 by Carson
God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible by Adam Nicolson

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Books, Books, And More Books

My son and I attended a safety and security training session with Dominos Pizza this morning. On the way to drop my son off at his house I saw that my wife was parked at the SPCA. It is basically a thrift store that helps support the SPCA in our area. She frequents the place which is only open on weekends and I browse occasionally, usually at the books. I stopped by to see what she was up to and whatdaya know I ended up looking at the books. For $4.00 I purchased the following:

The Army of the Potomac: Mr. Lincoln's Army
The Army of the Potomac: Glory Road
The Army of the Potomac: A Stillness At Appomattox
all of these are authored by Bruce Catton

1787: The Grand Convention by Clinton Rossiter
How The Pope Became Infallible by August Hasler
The subtitle for this one is Pius IX and the Politics of Persecution
Pictorial Bible Atlas by E. M. Blaicklock
Archaeology Of The Bible by Magnus Magnusson
Caesar and Christ by Will Durant

One day.........????

Friday, December 15, 2006

Male Or Female

Vienna, as well as most other places understand the difference. See story related to images at the following address:

I never cease to be amazed at how society inadvertently admits what most Christian and more particularly Baptist women will not. Femininity is best portrayed in a dress/skirt. Masculinity is best portrayed in trousers.

If you don't believe it tell it to the universal symbols for male and female.

Grandkids Coming

One week from tonight and the three grandkids will be here, right here. James Kelzie, Thomas, and Evelyn. Oh yea, their parents are coming too! Just one more week.

Paying For Admittance Into Heaven

The following is from Horatius Bonar's Bible Thoughts and Themes. I found it extremely interesting having attended a Roman Catholic funeral mass recently. What happened there has no counterpart in the pages of the New Testament!

Here is the quote:

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; - Titus 3:5

Ritualism, or externalism, or traditionalism are all different forms of self-righteousness; man's self-invented ways of pleasing or appeasing God, or paying for admittance into heaven. These forms of self-righteousness are a human apparatus for procuring God's pardon. They are the means by which the performer of them hopes to win God's favor--perhaps, also, man's praise--most certainly, his own esteem.

Every act, or performance, or ceremony, which honors self, exalts self, or gives prominence to self--is an accursed thing. It is an abomination in the sight of God--however religious, or sacred, or solemn, or devout, it may seem to man.

It is to self-righteousness in some form or other, that man is always tending. Man attempts to make up for this badness, or to cover it over, by works, and devotions, and ceremonies. All this is pure self-righteousness.

The religion of self-righteousness in our day consists of works, feelings, fancies, music, rites, festivals, fasts, gestures, postures, garments. It is something which gratifies self; which pleases the natural man; which makes a man think well of himself; which gives a man something to do or to feel in order to earn pardon and merit heaven. Pride, religious pride, is at the root. Ritualism is man's expression of rejection of Christ. It was self-righteous religion which crucified the Son of God. All human rites and ceremonies are man's ways of getting rid of Christ. What can all these things do? Can they save?

Can religious postures save?
Can religious garments save?
Can religious candles save?
Can religious music save?
Can religious architecture save?
Can religious cathedrals save?

No! They lead away from Jesus! They make void the cross, and trample on His blood!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Example Of Herod

Long years ago in a land far away
A tyrant ruled, his scepter held sway
He was a king, he ruled for Rome
All that he did was to sought to be known

He took James one of the sons of thunder
With the sword of his wrath the church he plundered.
The Jews of the day were sorely pleased
In the taking of Peter he hoped to appease.

In the face of Peter’s deliverance
It was difficult to keep up appearance.
When Peter, Herod could not find
He had the guards killed to ease his mind.

Herod quickly fled the scene
What he had attempted to do was obscene
To Caesarea he went to make his abode
As it turns out it was a fateful road.

With Tyre and Sidon the tyrant was displeased
The people sought him out, his pleasure to receive.
On his throne in royal apparel
He lifted his voice it went forth as a carol.

The words that he spoke, the fine oration
Caused the people to worship in adoration.
The “voice of a god,” they shouted in unison
Accolades he received it was his last act of treason.

The glory he stole from the God of heaven and earth
How it would cause him to curse the day of his birth.
The mighty angel of God brought judgment down
Before the day was up he had lost his crown.

Eaten of worms what a dreadful sight
The people in horror as they witnessed his plight
He gave up the ghost, was brought very low
All of his glory was but a show.

As the darkness descended on this tyrant’s brow
The words of the true God were on the march now.
They multiplied and grew, they continued on
Herod’s final battle could not be won.

Herod was silenced, before God he must stand
While the word of God reached across the land.
He spoke as a god or though they thought
But when all was said and done he was brought to naught.

Tyrants often against the Word of God have sided
But it is always the Word of God that ultimately abided.
A tyrant’s throne is a temporary glory
While the Word of God carries a perpetual story!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Word Of God: The Standard Of Holiness

The following is the fifth message in a series on personal separation. These messages are rarely preached in one evening but normally two or three. I see no reason to get in any hurry when teaching the Scripture. The important thing is not getting through with a message but getting through to the people. The following is given for you thoughtful consideration.

It was preceeded by the following messages.

The foundation of these previous messages is important for this one and the ones to come.

2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-7:1


PSALMS 119:128 - Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

I suppose there are numerous verses that would have been appropriate for the introduction of our thoughts under this heading. I determined for this one because it expresses in no uncertain terms what I want to be the clarion call of my life. There are several things that I believe are worthy of note in this short verse.

There is a right way and there is a false way.
God is always right.
His mind is expressed in his precepts.
Every way that is at odds with God’s way is a false way.

The important thing is that we rightly esteem these matters. We must esteem God’s precepts concerning all things to be right. Our failure to esteem it as such spells ruin for our capacity to see things, as we ought. We must esteem all that is at odds with God’s precepts as a false way. It matters not who holds to a false way. It matters not how many hold to a false way. If it is a false way it is false no matter who or how many may happen to espouse it.

When it comes to separation, or the perfecting of holiness in the fear of God, the Bible is the only place we can and should go to make our judgments. While it is to be admitted that there are times that it can be hard to discern the application of the Scripture to some of our modern day issues it should also be admitted that the problem rest within our own bosom and not the Scripture’s ability to give direction.

I think the real problem is that people do not begin with a commitment to holiness and separation in spite of the numerous exhortations in Scripture to that end. Consequently it becomes easy to argue that the Bible does not really give clear direction on the issues of modestly, gender distinctive clothing, hair lengths, language, submission, nakedness, entertainment choices, music, and a host of other things. Thus there is never a real attempt on the part of many to get the mind of God on these issues but to simply live life and not get “bogged down” in such “legalistic” wrangling.

What I hope to do over the course of this message is to direct our thoughts to the Bible and elevate its excellencies in our hearts and minds. In so doing it is my prayer that our earnest desire might be to judge the whole of our lives in the context of an inspired volume that is sufficient to give us direction for every area of this life. And may God help us that when understanding has been granted that an obedient heart would submit to the clear teaching of God’s blessed word.

Psalms 19:7-11 - The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Vs: 7 – It is perfect converting the soul.
Vs: 7 – It is sure making wise the simple.
Vs: 8 – It is right rejoicing the heart.
Vs: 8 – It is pure enlightening the eyes.
Vs: 9 – It is clean enduring forever.
Vs: 9 – It is true and righteous altogether.
Vs: 10 – More to be desired than gold.
Vs: 10 – Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.
Vs: 11 – By them the servant is warned.
Vs: 11 – In keeping them there is great reward.
Psalms 119:104 – Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
Understanding is to be gained through the precepts of God. Anything that is at odds with his precepts is a false way and is rightly hated by those who love God.
Psalms 119:9 - Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
We are cleansed by taking heed to his word. Christianity is not simply something that effect our heart it effect our behaviour. Our lives are cleaned up. We become more like God, we become more holy when we take heed to His word.
Psalms 119:98-100 – Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
His commandments make us wiser than our enemies. His testimonies give us more understanding than our teacher. The fact is God bears witness about many things in life. The question is, are we willing to accept his testimony on the issues of life? In fact in keeping the precepts of God we have more understanding than the ancients.
Psalms 119:105 – Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
It is the word of God that illumines the way we should live. Our problem is that we want light where we want it and where we don't we do not want to be bothered by light.
Psalms 119:130 – The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
By nature we are simple. It is not in man that liveth to direct his steps. It is His word that gives light, that gives understanding.
Isaiah 8:20 – To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Everything can be judged by the word of God. We do not go to the culture around us. We do not go to the lukewarm christianity all around us. To the law and the testimony is to be our clarion call.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The word of God is furnished for doctrine.
The word of God is furnished for reproof.
The word of God is furnished for correction.
The word of God is furnished for instruction in righteousness.
The mans of God through the word of God is commissioned by the Scriptures to teach his people doctrine (sound teaching), to bring their attention to their missteps, to instruct them how to correct the missteps. The man of God through the word of God is to instruct his people in righteousness. How to live righteously. How to behave holy. How to abstain from worldliness.
2 Tim. 4:1-4 – I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
The faithful man of God will not back away from and impassioned plea for holiness. He will preach the word and in doing so instruct his people how to live to please God. He will set the example in his own home and he will continually sound the alarm against the encroachment of worldliness.
Hebrews 4:12,13 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Faithful preaching of the word of God sets people as they really are before a holy God. People feel exposed under the proclamation of divine truth hearalded forth as a trumpet.
Jn. 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
We are sanctified, or cleansed, or made holy through exposure to the Word of God. Separation is the result of the sanctification process. A person who is not becoming more holy and separated from the world is not being sanctified.
John 15:3 - Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
There is a direct correlation between the word of God beings spoken and cleansing taking place in the life of the beliver.
Psalms 119:11 - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
How do we know what sin is? Sin is a transgression of the law. The Bible reveals sin. The word of God hidden in our heart helps preserve us against sin. It does so by making our conscience sensitive to it and by working in us a holy detestation of it.
Eph. 5:25-27 - Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
God’s desire is to sanctify us.
Sanctification is a cleansing process.
The cleansing process takes place through the Word of God.

Vs: 27 – The purpose of the cleansing.
Present it a glorious church.
Glorious – Splendid, noble.

The negative.
Not having spot – Stain, disgrace, defect.
Not having wrinkle - A fold (as drawing together), i.e. a wrinkle (especially on the face)
Not having any such thing.
Cleansing yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. God want us to be throughly cleansed inside and out. No spot, no wrinkle. He wants us to be glorious, glorious in holiness.

The positive.
That is should be holy.
Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Be ye holy for I am holy.
That is should be without blemish.
Blemish – Without blame, fault, spot.
2 Cor. 3:12-18 - Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
With open face we behold the glory of the Lord. Where? In the pages of Scripture. As we behold we are changed into that same image from glory to glory. As we examine the Scripture with a submissive heart we are changed by each encounter. The changes may be and often are small but they have a cumulative affect of bringing about holiness and separation from the world in the life of the believer. The change is effected by the Spirit of God. It is not something that is done in the flesh. It is a manifestation of the power of God in one’s life that they are becoming less worldly and more holy.

This is where God gives a direct command. It is either a prohibition or an injunction. Probably the greatest list of precepts is the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17).
There are many places where God specifically tells us what to do and what we should not do.

Eph. 4:26 – Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
Eph. 5:3,4 – No fornication or uncleanness.
Eph. 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things.
Eph. 5:22 – Wives submit to your own husbands.
Eph. 5:25 – Husbands love your wives.
Col. 3;9 – Lie not one to another.
Col. 3:20 – Children obey your parents.
Col. 4:2 – Continue in prayer.
1 Thess. 5:20 – Despise not prophesyings.
These are not simply "sweet" suggestions. A Christian is not obedient and has commited sin if he lets the sun go down upon his wrath. If he does not give than always for all things he is sinning. Any time we do not do what God said we are in disobedience. Any time we do what God forbids we are in disobedience.

The fact is, had God given a precept for every eventuality we would have had a multi-volume bible that would have been ponderous at best. The Bible is a remarkable book in that it provides everything we need for life and godliness in a volume that is held easily in our hands. In many cases God give principles to help govern our lives. Principles are different than precepts in that they do not necessarily deal with a specific issue. Principles are broad underlying understandings that are to provide guidance in many areas of life. They provide a platform upon which we can judge a wide range of issues. They are clearly subject to abuse and dismissal.

It is the people who say, “the Bible doesn’t say we can’t do it or it doesn’t say we have to do it” that deny the reality and application of Biblical principles.
We must cultivate a spiritual mind to be able to properly understand and apply the principles appropriately to life situations. A couple of things will help here.

1. Be thoroughly influenced by the nature of God. Be immersed in his attributes and his attribute of attributes, which is holiness.
2. Apply the principles in the light of the precepts. There are ample precepts in the Scripture that we should be able in most cases to have a clear understanding of how the principles are to be applied. The principles will never be applied in a spirit that is contrary to the precepts. The clear precepts provide a basic understanding as to how the principles are to be applied. Knowing God's mind in the areas where he speaks directly helps us understand in the areas where he does not speak quite so directly but rather in broad sweeping principles.
Heb. 5:12-14 – For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
There are several things these verses tell us.
1. Not everyone matures and develops as they ought to or as they have had opportunity to.
2. It is possible to be unskillful in the word of righteousness.
3. Not everyone has developed the capacity to discern good and evil.

Some examples of Bible principles:
Matt. 6:33 – Seek first the kingdom of God.
Rom. 12:1,2 – Present bodies a living sacrifice. Be not conformed to this world.
1 Cor. 4:2 – Required of stewards that a man be found faithful.
1 Cor. 6:12 – All things are lawful but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1 Cor. 10:31 – Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
2 Cor. 6:14,17 – Come out from among them and be ye separate.
2 Cor. 9:6-8 – The principle of sowing and reaping.
Gal. 4:17-19 – Walk not as other Gentiles walk.
Eph. 4:30 – Grieve not the Holy Spirit.
Eph. 5:1 – Be ye followers of God.
Eph. 5:11 – Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.
Col. 3:1,2 – Set your affections on things above.
Col. 3:17 – Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.

We will all be held individually responsible for how we apply the principles.

There are examples in the Bible. The O.T. especially is full of examples. The narrative portions of Scripture are instructive and impart truth. We watch what people did and see the outcome and draw conclusions. Was what they did a bad idea or good idea? Did God bless their actions are judge their actions. While examples too may be subject to abuse and disregard, it is important to recognize the role they play in helping us discern the will of God.

1 Cor. 10:11 – Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Rom. 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Clearly we are to give due consideration to the examples set forth in Scripture. We disregard them at our won peril. Even in the New Testament the Lord told some people to "remember Lot's wife." What an example we have their as to the dangers of worldliness. In conjunction with the precepts and the principles strong conclusions can be drawn as to what God desires for our lives. Examples by themselves may be a shaky foundation for strong convictions but when connected to precepts and principles the convictions have the potential to become an unassailable stronghold. It gives us the ability to become steadfast in our convictions.

Examples of Bible examples:
Gen. 3:7,21 – Aprons of fig leaves were traded for coats of skin.
Gen. 7:23 – Deliverance through Noah’s obedience.
Sara giving Abraham Hagar to wife.
Abraham lying about his relationship to Sara on two occasions and the fault being reproduced in his son a generation later.
Esau selling his birthright and then having is blessing stole from him.
Jacob deceiving his father in order to obtain the blessing and then being deceived by Laban.
Joseph’s faithfulness in the midst of very trying circumstances.
Moses murdering the Egyptian when he got ahead of God.
David covering up his sin with Bathsheba by having her husband killed in battle.
2 Peter 2:6 - And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
1 Peter 2:21 - For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Human understanding
Proverbs 3:5-8 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

No place are we more subject and is there greater temptation to lean to our own understanding than in the area of personal separation. It is hard to acknowledge the Lord when the fashion of this world and human reasoning makes such good sense. Our problems arise because we cease to acknowledge him in areas that make us uncomfortable.
Jeremiah 10:23 - O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
We do not know what we should do! We need direction! We must humbly rely upon God for understanding to order our lives in a way that will be pleasing with him. When I hear people say God is not concerned with the way you dress I know they have no discernment and they by their own profession are not concerned with what God might have to say on the matter.
1 Corinthians 8:2 - And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
So we turn again and again to Scripture for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Mark 7:13 - Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
We must be careful about thinking that tradition must be hundreds or thousands of years old. It does not take long for traditions to develop in a culture, family, or society. Everything must be weighed and examined in the light of Scripture.
Colossians 2:8 - Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
The word spoil here is not like we would say, "that child is spoiled." It is actually a military term that has reference to the plundering of a conquoring army. The "spoils" of battle. We are being warned here that we can be plundered. Philosophy, vain deceit, traditions of men, and the ruidements of the world. All of these different means by which we can be spoiled is the result of having too cozy of a relationship with the world. We are spoiled because we have not taken seriously the scriptural admonitions to be separate from the world. Thus we are influenced by the world's philosphy, we chase the bubbles of vanity, implement the traditions of men, and embrace the rudiments of this world, and we are drawn away from Christ and Christlikeness, which is holiness.
Proverbs 24:21,22 - My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
Where we are clearly warned about those that clamour for change. We should not be against change for change sake. But we should be very judicious in embracing change. If we change it should be toward holiness and not toward worldliness. God give us grace and discernment to know the difference!

One of the huge mistakes that I see people making in our day and it has a direct impact on the doctrine of separation is that they look at the Bible through the eyes of the culture instead of looking at the culture through the eyes of the Bible. The culture should not determine our understanding of the Bible. The Bible should determine our understanding of the culture.
In such a context the Bible becomes an impotent book that has some nice general ideas about how to live but nothing binding with the exception of the scandalous sins. We become comfortable with things in our lives because the culture no longer frowns upon it, it matters little that the Bible frowns upon it. You can live an unseparated life and still be found respectable. It is an unfortunate thing when believers have sunk to such a low place that they are content with the consent of their fellow man instead of steadily seeking the smile of God.
Consider the following:
Ephesians 2:2 - Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
1 John 5:19 - And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

Psalms 119:128 – Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
Job 23:11,12 - My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
James 1:22-25 - But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Vs: 22 – Must be committed to do. Our heart must be conditioned to say, “Yes Lord!”
Vs: 23,24 – The man who approaches the Word of God without a submissive spirit.
Vs: 25 – The Word of God only impacts those who look and do.
Acts 17:11 - These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
There are far too few who search the Scripture for direction and the mind of God in relation to modesty, gender distinctive dress, hair lengths, entertainment choices. They simply know what they like and how they want to live and they do not want to be bothered with anyone questioning their choices. You ask many of these people upon what premise they believe God is happy with their choices and they sit in stunned silence or mutter something about just knowing that God is OK with their choices. This is a sure sign that these folks have not spent the time searching the scripture in relation to these issues.

If we truly wish to be holy, if we truly wish to be perfecting holiness in the fear of God and as a result become more separated then we must of necessity be willing to examine the different areas of our life in the light of Scripture. We must humbly acknowledge the Scripture’s authority in our lives and be willing to submit to its teachings having examined its precepts, principles, and patterns. This we will do before the conclusion of this series.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What Ever Happened To The Presumption Of Innocence?

The following is the response that I sent to the local paper to the above editorial. People are way to occupied with sports, entertainment, making money, and the like to have any concern with gaurding their liberties. The people who are suppose to be the gaurdians of it are often times and have historically been the very ones who plunder it.

Red lights now murder charges next???

The red light cameras being proposed in Lake Jackson are a violation of one of the most basic, fundamental rights we have as American citizens. That is the presumption of innocence.

Mrs. Mintz, in her recent editorial, says they would be a good idea if, “there is a clear, convenient process by which people can protest a camera-initiated citation on grounds the vehicle has been stolen, sold or that someone else was driving.” She is arguing that if the person can prove they are innocent then the charges should be dismissed.

If the city is going to bring charges then the burden rests with them to prove the charges. Since when, in America, must a person prove their innocence? Has liberty been enjoyed for so long that people have forgotten how tyranny exercises itself.

Who wants to live under a government where the authorities can bring charges and you are presumed guilty unless you can prove otherwise? This is exactly what these red-light cameras do and it undermines a fundamental pillar of American jurisprudence. Liberty loving citizens should rise up against this abuse of power!

I for one opt for clearing the intersection before I proceed on green!

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Praises And Scorn Of Men

The following is from a Message by C. H. Spurgeon entitled, "The Exaltation Of Christ."

I have found that whenever I have yielded to the least joy when I have been praised, I have made myself effeminate and weak; I have then been prepared to feel acutely the arrows of the enemy; but when I have said of the praises of men, "Yes, what are you? worthless things!" then I could also say of their contempt: "Come on! come! I'll send you all where I sent the praises; you may go together, and fight your battles with one another; but as for me, let your arrows rattle on my mail, they must not, and they shall not, reach my flesh." But if you give way to one, you will to another.

Of What Do We Speak?

The following is from a message by Thomas Brooks, entitled Apples Of Gold. The message was preached in 1660.

Of what do we speak?? What dominates our conversation? What kind of stories do we tell? Do we speak more of the weather, the local sports team, the latest fashions, politics, etc., instead of the working of Christ in our lives??

The mature Christian is rich in spiritual experiences.

Oh! the experiences that he has . . .
of the ways of God,
of the workings of God,
of the word of God,
of the love of God!

Oh! the divine stories that old Christians can tell . . .
of the power of the word,
of the sweetness of the word,
of the usefulness of the word--
as a light to lead the soul,
as a staff to support the soul,
as a spur to quicken the soul,
as an anchor to stay the soul,
and as a cordial to comfort and strengthen the soul!

Oh! the stories that he can tell concerning . . .
the love of Christ,
the blood of Christ,
the offices of Christ,
the merits of Christ,
the righteousness of Christ,
the graces of Christ,
and the influence of Christ!

Oh! the stories that an old disciple can tell . . .
of the indwellings of the Spirit,
of the operations of the Spirit,
of the teachings of the Spirit,
of the leadings of the Spirit,
of the sealings of the Spirit,
of the witnessings of the Spirit,
and of the comforts and joys of the Spirit!

Oh the stories that an old Christian can tell . . .
of the evil of sin,
of the the bitterness of sin,
of the the deceitfulness of sin,
of the prevalence of sin,
and of the the happiness of conquest over sin!

Oh! the stories that he can tell you . . .
of the snares of Satan,
of the devices of Satan,
of the temptations of Satan,
of the rage of Satan,
of the malice of Satan,
of the watchfulness of Satan,
and of the ways of triumphing over Satan!

As an old soldier can tell you of many battles, many scars, many wounds, many losses, and many victories, even to admiration; so an old saint is able to tell you many divine stories, even to admiration. Experimental religion is far beyond mere notions and impressions. A sanctified heart is better than a silver tongue. No man so rich, so honorable, so happy--as the old disciple, who is rich in spiritual experiences.

Psalms 92:12-14 - The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Am I Wrong For Thinking Others Are Wrong?

I don't think so!

It is a matter of being logical! Interestingly we have become such a permissive society and toleration has been heralded as the crowning virtue for so long that to say anyone is wrong is frowned upon by some and soundly criticized and condemned by others. So nothing is wrong but to say someone else is wrong???? What is interesting is that those who contend that you should not say others are wrong then face an insurmountable dilemma when they find people like me who do believe others are wrong and at times will say so. Now what are they to do?? Are they to declare me wrong. To do so is to defeat their own position. Very frustrating for them!

It reminds me of one of the opening scene from Fiddler On The Roof. The men of the town are gathered and an issue comes up on which one of the men expresses an opinion. One of the other men says "you are right." Then another man states a differing opinion, and again the second man say "you are right." Then another man says, "they can't both be right," and the second man then exclaims, "You are also right." Any reasonable, logical person would see the absurdity of such a position, that two opposing views are equally right.

It is the fruit of a society who has abandoned any pretense to absolutes. Those of us who have not are a thorn in their side. In fact it is always interesting to me that those who believe in no absolutes are "absolutely" sure there are not absolutes. How can this be? Are there absolutes or not? Of course there are, they simply want us to accept theirs. But we can't of course, because they are wrong, they are in error.

Now when there are two opposing views it is entirely possible that both parties are wrong, but they cannot both be right. Logic demands this position. Of course the only way to know that one is absolutely right about anything is to know everything, all the time, at the same time. In other words the only way to know you are right is to be God. So that rules everyone out but Jesus. So how can we ever know we are right, is it possible? Well, God has revealed truth in his word. In the Bible we have the word of one who knows all things, all the time, at the same time. So if I believe his word then I can be certain of some things.

Now if you choose to believe the Bible is not God's word that is your prerogative. But know this that you will be set adrift on a sea of uncertainty and will be carried wherever the currents turn you. You, my friend, will never know anything for sure. For those of us that believe the Bible is the word of God then we have a sure foundation. Consequently we can know some things for sure. The fact that people disagree concerning what the Bible says leaves me undaunted. Again we cannot all be right.

I have had a friend discuss with me on this very blog the legitimacy of baptizing babies. My position is that babies are not to be baptized. His position is that babies are to be baptized. We are not both right. He is wrong. I'm sure he is not surprised that I think so. He would say that I am wrong. I am certainly not surprised that he thinks so. And to go a step further I am not offended that he thinks I am wrong. I would be highly skeptical if he discovered that I took a different position than him on the subject of baptizing babies and he did not think I was wrong. So....we disagree. So be it. We have argued some of the points and we still disagree. But we are not both right. We will each give account for the conclusions we have drawn from the Sacred Volume. But it would be pretending and illogical to conclude that neither of us is wrong!

There are some things I am more sure about than others. There are somethings I just don't know. It seems that some people want others to wallow in their uncertainty with them. Where I am certain, I have no problem believing others are wrong and at times and under the right circumstances saying so.

The truth is, everyone believes that those who do not agree with them are wrong. I have the courage to say so, they don't! Some have staked out such a position of absurdity that they can't say anyone is wrong. But don't be deceived. Just because they can't say it does not mean they don't believe it. At no time is this more apparent than when they face someone who is willing to say others are wrong.

Do you disagree?? That's OK you can be wrong!

The World In The Christian

"Christian! It is not the ship in the water, but the water in the ship, which sinks it. So it is not the Christian in the world, but the world in the Christian, which constitutes the danger.

Anything which dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it!"

J. Wilbur Chapman

Everything Is Superficial

The following is from the Life and Letters of John Angell James.

Most professing Christians are sunk deep in the mire of worldly-mindedness. Mammon is the wicked and shameful idol of the church. Our churches are, in my opinion, far from a state of sound healthy piety. We have but little of what constitutes the essence of experimental religion.

Everything is superficial. Our repentance, our faith, our love, our devotional habits--are all superficial!

The world has . . .
engrossed men's minds,
absorbed their feelings,
starved their piety.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Book Review: The Ideological Origins Of The American Revoution

This is the link where you can buy this book and I recommend that you do so and read it. I bought it somewhere used several years ago and it has sat on my to read shelf for that long. Too bad! Other than Frederic Bastiat's book, The Law this is the best book I have read on principles of government. This one is especially interesting because of its particular relevance to the American revolution.

If you enjoy American history you will love this book.

If you enjoy politics you will love this book.

If you enjoy the discussion of principles of government you will love this book.

I enjoy all three and now count this as among my favorite books.

It is written by Benard Bailyn. The copyright date in my book is 1967. When I first saw that I was a little concerned about the era that it came from. My fear was misplaced. My book is from the third printing by Harvard Press and at that time Mr. Bailyn was Winthrop Professor of History, Harvard University, and Editor-in-Chief of The John Harvard Library.

The book has won the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes. My copy comes in at 319 pages. This book actually originated as the General Introduction to the first volume of Pamphlets of the American Revolution. That General Introduction was expanded into the present book.

The chapters are as follows:

The Literature of Revolution

Sources and Traditions

Power and Liberty: A Theory of Politics

The Logic of Rebellion

1. Representation and Consent
2. Constitution and Rights
3. Sovereignty

The Contagion of Liberty
1. Slavery
2. Establishment of Religion
3. The Democracy Unleashed
4. Whether some Degree of Respect Be Not Always Due from Inferiors to Superiors

For those who have an interest in such things the reading is most stimulating. For those who do not have an interest in such things they probably should!

It was most interesting to see the logic and thought patterns traced throughout the revolutionary time period, beginning in the 1750's all the way through the 1770's. The transitions in thought were astounding and at times radical. The age was filled with rhetoric and shrill voices. It was an exciting time.

I honestly do not feel competent to comment on the material lest I do it an injustice. It is important reading to understand the miracle of the United States of America.

I will say this that the portion I read today was interesting in that it pointed out the inconsistency of people who were clamouring for their own liberty while denying it to others in the form of chattel slavery and the establishment of certain denominations within the respective colonies.

In fact what I read today helped push forward a theory I have. See what you think about it! The "equal protection clause" of the fourteenth amendment has been used to secure the centralization of government through the federal court system. The clause has been utilized to allow the federal courts to assume power that at one time was reserved to the states. I have read some things that raise some concerns about how the fourteenth amendment was adopted. It was a Reconstruction era amendment. I will save that for another time when I have had time to do a little more investigating on the matter.

Suffice it to say that if the War between the States had not been fought the fourteenth amendment would probably have never been a reality and we would all have more liberty today. Why was the War between the States fought. We will probably always debate that. I think that it was probably both states rights and slavery. My view at the present is that states rights was the principle, slavery was the issue. My conclusion is that it was the right principle and the wrong issue.

If the slavery question had been settled in the late 1700's we would likely not have the fourteenth amendment and the encroachment of the federal government through the Courts. My problem has always been, was there really any way to address the slavery issue in the late 1700's and bring about a union between the States? This has in my mind always seemed an insurmountable problem, until now, after reading this book. In his section on "slavery" under the chapter The Contagion Of Liberty, Mr. Bailyn establishes the real possibility, not necessarily intentionally, that the issue of slavery would have been best addressed and was most susceptible during the time when revolutionary thought was ripe. The author points out the fact that there were many voices primarily in the north but also in the south that raised the specter of inconsistency concerning demanding liberty by those who were unwilling to give it to the black man. This was a compelling argument and one that held it greatest influence during this time. In fact it was so powerful that the south was mostly silent on the question, it really had no choice. To argue for the enslaving of black men was to discredit their own clamouring for liberty. Many in the south realized this. It was a compelling and shocking inconsistency that could not be skirted.

I am coming to believe that the anti-slavery voices should have pressed the issue and pressed and pressed. I am coming to believe there was greater opportunity of ridding the land of the scourge of slavery at this early date than maybe what most are willing to consider.

One of the things that emboldens my theory is the complete demise of established religion. Most colonies had established religions. There was religious persecution in most colonies. The dominant denomination taxed others to support beliefs with which they did not agree. It was tyranny in the religious world. It was brought down. Why? Because those opposed to it would not let it drop. They pressed and pressed and pressed the issue till it was rectified. The Baptists were on the forefront of this battle. Especially in Massachusetts and Virginia. Issac Backus in Mass. was a Baptist pastor that would not let the issue rest. Mr. Bailyn is faithful to the record in this regard. The Presbyterians and eventually the Methodists also took up the banner. These were the groups that were most often consider dissenters. Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and others took up the mantle.

I would contend that if the tyranny of established religion could be dealt a death blow at this critical juncture then so could have the tyranny of enslaving the black man. If it could have it should have. Instead it was allowed to live on, and it cost us a bitter war and reconstruction and gave us the fourteenth amendment whereby we are all more of a slave than we would have been. It may be fitting retribution.

Well.......there's my theory!

Let me move on to some quotes from the book. I highlighted major portions. At times I felt like I would highlight the whole text???

"The common law was manifestly influential in shaping the awareness of the Revolutionary generation."
Most people have no idea what common law is. It is a shame that we are not more familiar with Blackstone's Commentary on the law.

"....the distance from European centers of ecclesiastical authority had weakened the force of religious establishments below anything known in Europe."

"Power always and everywhere had had a pernicious, corrupting effect upon men. It "converts a good man in private life to a tyrant in office.""

".....the preservation of liberty rested on the ability of the people to maintain effective checks on the wielders of power, and hence in the last analysis rested on the vigilance and moral stamina of the people."

"It was this great struggle that peopled America . . . . a love of universal liberty, and a hatred, a dread, a horror, of the infernal confederacy [of temporal and spiritual tyranny] projected, conducted, and accomplished the settlement of America."

"When tyranny is abroad, "submission," Andrew Eliot wrote quite simply in 1765, "is a crime.""

"Bishops have commonly been instruments in arbitrary reigns of establishing a tyranny over the bodies and souls of men." It was actually Jonathan Mayhew who wrote this.

"Corruption was at the heart of it - the political corruption built on the general dissoluteness of the populace, so familiar in the history of tyranny."

""Liberty," John Adams wrote, "can no more exist without virtue and independence than the body can live and move without a soul.""

"What counts was the extent to which representation worked to protect the interests of the people against the encroachments of government."

"The primary function of a constitution was to mark out the boundaries of governmental powers...."

"Finally, all the great rights which man never mean, nor ever ought, to lose should be guaranteed, not granted."
Read this till you understand the difference between "guaranteeing" rights and "granting" rights. Hint: governments do not grant rights they are established to guarantee them.

Obadiah Hulme wrote, "Men entrusted with the formation of civil constitutions should remember they are painting for eternity: that the smallest defect or redundancy in the system they frame may prove the destruction of millions."
Example: Our constitution acknowledging slavery. See theory above!

"Written laws do not create liberties."

In 1775 Alexander Hamilton wrote, "the sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal powers."

William Penn wrote in 1677 that, "no man nor number of men upon earth hath the power or authority to rule over men's conscience in religious matters."

Well, that is all for which I have time. Buy the book and read it! Reflect upon it and understand it!

Book rating *****

Sunday, December 03, 2006

2 Have Asked.....How Many Wonder?

In the past, two bold people have asked.......well, what do YOU do? They were asking me, the mother of 6 children, what in the world I do around the house since my kids have all been turned into some kind of slaves.

Yes, our kids help with housework, but I am hardly lying on the couch reading novels and eating peeled grapes while they are working their fingers to the bones.

There was a time when my husband told me to work out a plan where the kids would help more around the house. I think our oldest daughter was around the age of 10 at that time.

This is kind of how the flow has gone around our home:
mom: all the housework
mom: some help
mom: a lot of help
mom: clipboard and coffee most

Any time you see anybody with a clipboard and cup of coffee, it usually means he got to that position by acting a certain way. He probably didn't get there by being a lazy sloth. If you've noticed, there are more people holding a shovel than the proverbial clipboard. That's the way it has happened to our family. I have worked and worked and worked to train our children how to work, so I am constantly working myself out of a job. Any job. But it isn't just so I can sit around reading and painting my nails. Work is good for kids. Being idle and lazy is not. Working your way out of a job takes lots of time. There's really not a lot of rest on the way. He or she who thinks that you can have 6 kids with a job card and that means that nothing else needs to be said or done,,,,,well, they've probably not ever had 6 kids with a job card.

What is a job card? It is a notecard with each child's name on it and the things expected out of them daily. I have been doing it for years. I walked around the house and saw what needed to be done, then assigned each task to a child depending on their age. We have boys mixed in with girls so they never had to do many dishes or laundry. Likewise, the girls don't mow or do the garage and trash.

I made notecards for lots of reasons.
1. jobs are down in black and white
2. no excuses about forgetting
3. no excuses about not knowing what was expected
4. no excuses about not hearing
5. they can't say.....I didn't know

BUT, job cards can make monsters out of your kids. They can get the age old idea in their heads that if it isn't in their job description, they don't have to do it. That is where you have to instill serving and giving over and above what is expected. I can't say I have the corner on this yet, but I try.

Here are some of the things that have been, and ARE, on the job cards: dishes, trash, vacuuming, sweep, shut garage door in evening, all bikes in garage, clear tables, prepare meals, dust, clean bathroom, change lightbulbs, change ac filters, laundry (this includes using the clothesline), clean garage, yard trash, bookshelves tidy, piano music nice, vehicle trash, sweep outside doorwary, hang up coats and keep front closet neat, gather hangers, ice chests dried and put up clean, water plants, do cats, shake rugs, and last but not least....keep your room clean.

My husband and I don't think this is too much to expect from kids. Most of these jobs can be done one time a day in less than half an hour except for meals/dishes and laundry. Of course any job can be drug out I have learned. We won't go there in case blogger can't contain the volumes.

We are not dictators, we are parents that want our kids to know how to take care of things when they grow up. What girl wants to marry a man that can't rake, put on a roast, do a load or two of laundry, or shake a few rugs? What man wants to marry a girl that can't make a house a home and smile as she does it?

Our oldest daughter has a 4 year old and 1 year old twins and she keeps her house in order. Very snug and nice. Our next son had to gear himself WAY down when he started on a mowing crew. He was getting others in trouble because he wanted to hurry and get things done. Our next daughter manages the grocery buying, menu and most of the cooking. She also works at a library and got all high points on her 3 month check-up. Our next son is the happy employee at a mom and pop place here in town. They say he's just what the place needed except he cleaned the grill too good one day. Made it shine. They didn't exactly want it to shine. Our next daughter is cooking up a storm also. She made supper the other night and it was pretty near a 10 as you can get. She can make the house sparkle. Our next daughter, we hope, is growing up to be like her sisters.

I haven't answered the question. What do I DO?
I sew, I garden and I make an occasional pan of cinnamon rolls. I clear tables constantly, dust off school books, rotate my rabbit collection, crochet, re-pot plants because some boy ran into the silly thing and crushed it, stir my mulch with my old shovel, hang clothes on the line, pick avocados, move my bricks from place to place, fix up gardens, tear down gardens, avoid people that paint, take the dog out only to have him 'go' in the kitchen, buy books and buy books, shop in thrift stores, buy and wrap presents, find places for Lydia's horses, do yard art, feather dust dusty things that the kids miss, curtains, make purses for girls, sew jumpers and sell them, prepare school, do school with Lydia, sew jumpers and don't sell them, arrange and re-arrange the old animal cages in the garage, rake, pull weeds, plant radishes, brush hair, clean out the fridge pretty often cause Olivia doesn't like to do it, sew slits up on skirts, dust my collections, fill the squirt foam soap containers up, take Daniel to work, pick him up, take Daniel mowing, pick him up, take Olivia to work, pick her up, run to the $$ Store, go to the post office, cash checks, take Olivia to buy groceries, run off Hobby Lobby coupons, clean up coffee when I spill it and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that sweeps under the couch.

So, you people that look at me and wonder what I do all day, this might give you an idea.
Not to worry, I am not on the couch unless I am sick or we have company.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Passing On a Godly Heritage

"You only believe that because of the environment in which you were brought up."

"You only believe that because your Mom and Dad believe it"

"You only think that way because of your limited exposure."

"My Dad gave me liberty to make choices."

"My parents did not force me to agree with them."

These are statements that I have heard through my children for years now. Interestingly very few, I can't remember any, have had the courage to face the father with their scorn and contempt. Small people have small ways!

The most recent example of this is my 16 year old son who recently found some gainful employment in a small family business. As it turns out the gentleman involved is an agnostic. He has challenged my 16 year old son on everything from the credibility of the Bible, creation, separation, world religions, toleration (or the lack thereof), the way of salvation, and several other issues. I am happy to report that as of this writing my 16 year old son has effectively challenged and rebutted this college educated skeptic. My son has also expressed to him, his concern for his soul and where he is going to spend eternity.

This man on several occasion has told my son that the only reason he believes like he does is because of the way he was raised. Thank you kind sir for the complement. Our years of equipping our son has paid off. Thank God! I am really not troubled when unbelievers question the veracity of my children's beliefs based on the fact of the home they grew up in. But when the accusation comes from those who profess to believe the Bible then I feel as though a minor chord has been struck! Do they really believe the Bible and then dare to scorn the fact that my children have taken up the mantle of their parent's heritage? Do they really believe the Bible and then set themselves to vilify the fact that my wife and I have had some measure of success in grounding our children in the truth as we understand it.

To hear some people speak something has gone terribly amiss if the children do not grow up and abandon at least a portion of what their parents have claimed to hold dear. I guess my view is that if my children abandon my beliefs then something has gone amiss. If I read my Bible correctly it is a parent's responsibility to pass on a Godly heritage. Now we may disagree on just what that is, but can we disagree on the responsibility that having determined what it involves we are to pass it on?

As I have written in another place parents, particularly Dads are too quick to abandon aspects of their beliefs because they have been unsuccessful in passing it on to their children. When their children abandon it all of a sudden it was not that important anyhow. The fact is we fight an uphill battle to pass on a Godly heritage. It is not a casual approach that will effectively do this. There must be a great deal of earnestness. The law of entropy is alive and well in the spiritual realm. The tendency is for the coming generation to be less committed than the one before it. Now there are exceptions to this because at times God, as it were, intervenes to initiate a godly seed. I have been aware for many years now that my wife and I had an extremely difficult task before us to pass on our heritage to our children. Most everything is against it! Their own nature and flesh would be adverse to it. Our desire, our purpose was to raise kids who would continue in the path of holiness, separation, devotion, passion, and truth! Again, having had some degree of success I stand amazed that people who claim to believe the Bible ridicule the result and in reality the effort.

If my children had not embraced my teaching then whose? Would it be better for them to embrace the teaching of the culture around them? Would it be better for them to adopt the patterns of a worldly, carnal Christianity? Would it have been better for their peers to have influenced them?

I cannot accept the fact that if my children abandon some of the positions of their parents then they have really grown and revealed some maturity. I would hope my children would out distance their parents in piety, separation, passion, zeal, and commitment! I would be their biggest supporter in seeking to move it up a notch. I could not be happy about them taking it down a notch. I would not see that as success! I would be concerned about what that meant for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Grown children who live beneath the standards of their parents should be ashamed. There is no Biblical reason to rejoice in such a development.

Is there any Biblical basis for my position here. Well, I think the whole book of Proverbs establishes my premise. I will just give you a sampling!

Proverbs 1:8 - My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

Proverbs 2:1 - My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

Proverbs3:1-4,21-24 - My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. . . . My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Proverbs 4:10 - Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

Proverbs 4:20 - My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Proverbs 5:1 - My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

Proverbs 6:20 - My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

Proverbs 7:1 - My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

Proverbs 13:1 - A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

Proverbs 19:27 - Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

Proverbs 23:26 - My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Proverbs 27:11 - My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.

I can only hope and pray that my children will be content to "let the heathen rage" and rest content that the scripture declares them to be wise children for listening to and embracing the instruction of a godly Father and Mother. May their tribe increase and may they too bring forth a godly seed in the earth.

May they always realize the truth of Psalms 16:6 - The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

A Few Good Men

In preparing my sermon for Sunday evening I was perusing a book that I read a few years back. The title of it is, This World: Playground Or Battleground? It is a series of short editorials that were written by A. W. Tozer. Reading the highlighted portions I ran across several portions that were more than challenging. I wanted to share one of them with you.

"The most critical need of the church at this moment is men - the right kind of men, bold men. . . . We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances. Their only compulsion will come from within - or from above.

This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious acts out of mere custom, nor allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation. . . .

It (the church) must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jesus Is My What????

"Jesus is my homeboy" I saw this on a young person this morning during my daily routine. This is outrageous! It is the result of a segment of "Christianity" embracing the pop culture of our day. I readily admit I do not know what a "homeboy" is but what ever it is I am equally certain that Jesus is not one. This is just another example of a Christianity whose message is coming to Christ means staying as you are, you just have a different "homeboy."
I would be the first one to proclaim that we come to Christ as we are but I would equally proclaim that once we come to Christ we do not stay as we were. When a person believes in Christ their heart and life is transformed.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I am constantly appalled at the deterioration of the Christian message as it is increasingly influenced by the worldly culture. Whatever happened to a Christianity that changed the world? A Christianity that turned the world upside down? It is becoming increasingly fashionable to be a "worldly Christian." It may be fashionable but it is not worthy of the Saviour who bled and died to take away our sins.
The message of this t-shirt and many others like it and some no doubt worse is that you can be a Christian and not have your perspective, language, worldview, terminology, and preferences sanctified and purified. This is not a message that is in keeping with the Scripture.
To put it bluntly this t-shirt is an affront to everything that is holy and godly. It is blasphemous! I can only conclude that one of two things are true about someone who would wear such an article of clothing. 1. They do not know the Saviour. 2. They are in an environment that does not cultivate the exercise of discernment concerning right and wrong.
This is not a fitting expression for one whom the Scripture says is, ". . . holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;. . ."
Jesus is a lot of things!
He is the Saviour.
He is the risen Lord.
He is the ascended Christ.
He is God in flesh.
He is the living Word.
He is the living Water.
He is the Bread come down from heaven.
He is the Door.
He is the way, the truth, and the life.
He is the prophet like unto Moses.
He is the creator of heaven and Earth.
He is the good Shepherd.
He is the head of the church.
He is the Son of God.
He is the great I Am.
He is God of very God.
He is not any one's "homeboy" and it is sacrilegious to proclaim him as such. May God deliver us from a worldly Christianity that calls no one to repentance!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why Mobunny?

Over 25 years ago, I had a friend, (she's still my friend) call me Mo.
Quite a few years back, I started collecting rabbits. Not just any rabbits, they have to have personality. I don't care for pink rabbits with colored baskets attached to them. My family even bought me a real rabbit. I named her Amelia and called her Millie. She was a beautiful Rex. She loved to eat clover I would pick for her in the back yard. It was always fun to take her apple pieces and tops of radishes. She died a couple years ago on July 26th giving birth to her babies. Woops. There I go again. Chasing rabbits.
Because I like rabbits and my friends call me mo.......we put it together and came up with Mobunny.
Remember a long time ago when your name was all you needed? You didn't need a password, or a hundred of them, you didn't need an identity, you had your drivers license, you didn't need to call yourself anything, you were mom and your name. You didn't have to come up with something to call your blog, we didn't even know what a blog was, little lone HAVE one. E-mail, what is e-mail?
I remember setting up our first Juno e-mail account!!!! That was the first time I didn't use my real name to identify myself. That's when I needed Mobunny. Some people used their names, but I wasn't going to. That would be drab. No fun. I love to think of names and nicknames.
If you get a bunny, a kitty, a horse or a dog, just let me know and I'm sure I can help you with a name.
I have one myself that I'd like to use on a little doggie........Patchouli Ruffina.
My last dog's name was Coonrod. PaPa called him Doorknob.