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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.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I Only Spent $32.00 At The Bookstore

Today my wife and I drove across the county to a Fry's Electronic store that had 19" flat (thin, or what ever you call them) screen computer monitors on sale. I justified the purchase and am presently enjoying the new look. That was the first time I had ever been in a Fry's. The place was huge. Big enough to have a huge model of the space station hanging from the ceiling. It was just a few miles from NASA. You know, "Houston, we have a problem," Houston, the eagle has landed." So the theme of this Fry's was NASA all the way. We looked around for a short time and then left before I ended up with more than a computer screen and the free (with the mail-in rebate) Cannon printer. I will probably go back some time when I have more time to look around and maybe a little money to spend.

Well, by then it was time to eat and since I was with my precious wife I thought it would be a good time for an extemporaneous date. While we were considering where to eat my wife remembered a Half Price book store that we frequent when we are on that side of the county. She asked if we had time to stop and look and I said, "I guess so"???

We were only there for about 25 minutes or so, but I managed to find several things of interest.

Texas Baptist by Harry Leon McBeth
Eusebius: The Church History
Two copies of The Bad Popes, one for me and one for my son.
George Muller of Bristol by Arthur T. Pierson (biography) Probably read it in family devotions when we finish with the book on John Wesley.
Democracy In America by Alexis DeTocqueville (Remember him Zan) Have the correct spelling now. It is a huge book. Small type and 758 pages.
The Prophet Muhammad by Barnaby Rogerson (biography)

These books will be added to my two shelves of "to read books".

Oh, the joy of books. I'm so glad my dear wife suggested the book store excursion. Just think of what I would have missed. Unfortunately I cannot forget what I passed up???

(Actually, as I think about it I believe the Fry's store we went to is in neighboring Galveston County. Yes, that's right we live a mere 45 minutes from Galveston Island. You know, Galveston, O, Galveston," something about the fair winds blowing!)

Giving Til It Hurts?

Once there was a widow woman, she gave everything she had......which was 2 mites and she gave more than the rich men. How is this? It was because of how much she had left over after she had given. The rich men really didn't give all that much because they had MUCH left over. It didn't really affect their lifestyle, it didn't put them in a pinch, they had plenty left to spend on themselves. The widow woman didn't have anything left. She gave until it hurt.

Do WE ever give until it hurts? Do we ever give so much that it makes a difference in the way that we live? I am not talking about the tithe....I'm talking about what we give over and above what is definately expected of us. Things we do for others...things we give to others.

I read this quote the other day....Inviting somebody to eat leftovers is not the same as inviting them to the feast. It's easy to give away things we do not want. The things we have no use for. Like the bag of ties I gave to some man off of freecycle. It didn't cost me anything to give those away...nobody here wanted them.

I had a little boy in class one time tell me that he would share a whole truck full of candy. I asked him if he would share the candy if he just had two pieces. He had to think on that one for a minute and wasn't so quick to say he'd share it just the same. Adults are no different...we are just more 'cool' about our non-sharing spirit.

What a pitiful thing for me to only be able to think of ONE thing that I gave away that actually cost me something. It was a blanket. One of my sister-in-laws gave it to me many years ago. It wasn't really very pretty. It was a light tan with that silky stuff around the edges. BUT, it was WARM. I would wrap it around myself in bed and always be assured of a warm night. I don't know what it was made of, but it sure did the trick. We made a trip to Mexico one November and I left it with a family that had very little material items. They probably didn't even have a heater in their little house. If they did, the warm air would go right out the roof anyway. So, now when it gets cold in our house, I think about that blanket. I don't begrudge the people that have it now, I am just sorry for my small gift to just one family that actually cost me something. It so far, has been something that I haven't been able to replace. It's good for me though! Too bad I can't make a whole long list of things that I've done for others that has put ME in a pinch.

It snowed here in South Texas a few years ago on December 24th. The snow did NOT come from the North, it amusingly came from the South! This means the people that had my blanket were probably VERY cold. Much colder than I was. We have a heater, lots of other blankets, lots of coats, AND a roof.

God loveth a cheerful giver ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Let's make sure that we are not cheerful because we calculated just how much to give so we would not be uncomfortable 'after' the giving.
Just HOW much do we have left over?

One Foot In Hell

The following is from a message by Horatius Bonar entitled The Three Crosses.

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43

The saved thief is a specimen of what the cross is appointedto do. Sin abounding, grace super-abounding. What is yon cross erected for? To save souls! See, it saves one of the worst; one who had done nothing but evil all his days! What does that blood flow for? To wash away sin! See, it washes one of the blackest! What does yon Sufferer die for? To pardon the guiltiest! Not merely to save from hell, but to open Paradise to the chief of sinners--to open it at once; not after years of torment, but "today." Today "with Me." Yes, Jesus goes back to heaven with a saved robber at His side!

What an efficacy in the cross! What grace, what glory, what cleansing, what healing, what blessing--at yonder cross! Even "in weakness" the Son of God can deliver--can pluck brands from the burning--can defy and defeat the evil one! Such is the meaning of the cross! Such is the interpretation which God puts upon it, by saving that wretched thief. See how near to hell a man may be--and yet be saved! That thief, was he not on the very brink of the burning lake--one foot in hell; almost set on fire by hell? Yet he is plucked out! He has done nothing but evil all his days--down to the very last hour of his life; yet he is saved. He is just about to step into perdition, when the hand of the Son of God seizes him and lifts him to Paradise!

Ah, what grace is here!
What boundless love!
What power to save!

Who after this need despair? Truly Jesus is mighty to save!

See how near a man may be to Christ--and yet not be saved. The other thief is as near the Savior as his fellow--yet he perishes. From the very side of Christ--he goes down to hell. From the very side of his saved fellow--he passes into damnation. We see the one going up to heaven--and the other going down to hell. This is astonishing--and it is fearful! Oh, what a lesson--what a sermon is here!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Prayer: The Royal Gate

The following is from a message by Thomas Brooks entitled Heaven On Earth. The message was preached in 1667.

Pray without ceasing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

A man may always pray habitually; he may have his heart in a praying disposition in all states and conditions--
in prosperity and adversity,
in health and sickness,
in strength and weakness,
in wealth and wants,
in life and death.

The Christian needs . . .
divine mercy to pardon him,
divine grace to purify him,
divine balm to heal him,
divine favor to comfort him,
divine power to support him,
divine wisdom to counsel him,
divine goodness to satisfy him.

Our daily weaknesses,
our daily needs,
our daily fears,
our daily dangers,
our daily temptations, call for our daily prayers.

Prayer is the royal gate by which the Lord enters into the heart-- comforting, quieting, strengthening, quickening, and upholding it.

By prayer--
faith is increased,
hope strengthened,
the spirit exhilarated,
the heart pacified,
the conscience purified,
temptations vanquished,
corruptions weakened,
the affections inflamed,
the will more renewed,
and the whole man more advantaged.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Count Your Blessings

I appreciate Thanksgiving because it provides the motivation to take some time and reflect on all for which I have to be thankful. Mine has been a good life! When I reflect on my past and present blessings I stand amazed at God's goodness on my behalf. I thought I would share with you some of the things for which my heart is filled with gratitude this thanksgiving.

I am thankful that God saw fit to save my wretched soul. Because of His grace I have peace, joy, contentment, the promise of heaven and the hope of eternal life.

I am thankful for my King James Bible. I have found it to be my wisest counselor, my truest friend, my chart and compass, and more than capable of establishing my way.

I am thankful for my parents. For a Mom who was always home and who was always available. Who always had an ear to listen and through whose encouragement I accomplished some things I would not have otherwise. For a Dad who faithfully provided and gave me the heritage of a solid work ethic. For knowing how to do everything and always being willing to help. I'm 43 and I still think my Dad can fix anything. I am thankful for my parents instilling in me a reverence for the Word of God and a commitment to his church. They have through the years taught me the meaning of sacrifice through their own spirit of giving.

I am so very thankful for my wife of almost 25 years. She is my friend, companion, travel partner, counselor, help meet, critic, and lover. She has made my life more rich than I could have ever imagined. We are truly kindred spirits! She is godly, holy, gracious, committed, witty, eclectic, wise, beautiful, and mine!

I am thankful for my children. All of them. Sara my firstborn who has become quite a mother and homemaker. Her husband John who works hard, takes the family to church, and enjoys the kids. Caleb my firstborn son who is proving himself the man everyday. His wife Heather who has made our lives richer and funner. Olivia who is the wisest, godliest, most committed young lady I know. Daniel who is zealous about every undertaking. Kimberly who is multi-talented and sharp as a tack. Lydia who is naturally joyful and has a passionate love for animals and the outdoors. I love being a father to these great kids and I especially love to harass and irritate them as they can all bear witness.

I am thankful for my three grandchildren. I think grandchildren add an element of dignity and gravity to one's life that can be derived from no other source. It is amazing and a blessing to see one's children's children. I only wish I could see them more often and enjoy their silly antics.

I am thankful for the people in my church. Although a small church we have a group of people who are committed to the Lord and desire to please him. They are not perfect people but they are good people by the grace of God. I count it a privilege to minister the Word of God to them and an honor that they willingly allow me the opportunity. I would not trade my people for another set any where in the world. It is a joy to minister to and with them.

I am thankful for P. D. Taylor who invested his life in me as a young preacher. He exercised patience and sacrificed time and energy to do the hard work of equipping me for the ministry. He more than any other person has influenced my ministry. He taught me what it means to love people although I have not mastered it as he has. The Lord used him to instill within me a love for sound doctrine. He is in most respects my father in the faith.

As I sit here in my study I am thankful for my computer. I am thankful to live in an age where we have such tools to make our lives more productive than they ever could have been just a few years ago. I am thankful for my library. I am thankful for all the mementos that I am surrounded with that remind me of friends, travels, missionaries, and God's goodness to me.

I am thankful for the opportunity that I have had to travel. While no doubt others have traveled much more than I, I would never have dreamed as a boy growing up in Freeport that I would have been privileged to visit the places I have. The mission field in Mexico (three times), Panama, and Ghana (two times). I've been blessed to visit Alaska, New York City (World Trade Center and then ground zero, Central park, Little Italy, China Town, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island), Philadelphia (Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin's grave, Betsy Ross' house, the liberty bell), West Point, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Mt. Vernon and the grave of George Washington, Washington DC (three times) and all the monuments. The White House, the Capital, Arlington National Cemetery, the Lee House, The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, The Library of Congress, etc.... If some one had told me I would be able to visit all these places plus others I would have been doubtful. I thank God for the opportunity, my life has been enriched accordingly.

I am thankful for health and energy.

I am thankful for corrective lenses.

I am thankful for reliable transportation.

I am thankful for a comfortable house and bed and pillows.

I am thankful for plenty (more than enough) food to eat.

I am thankful for late fall, winter, and early spring on the Texas Gulf Coast.

I am thankful to be an American citizen and a born and bred Texan.

I am thankful for the American soldier past and present who have been the true defenders of our liberties.

I am thankful for the ability to read.

I am thankful for electric lights and running water.

I am thankful for air conditioning.

I am thankful for a time to give thanks.

Psalms 100:4 - Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Attitude Of Gratitude

The following are a couple of things that may help us get in the proper frame of mind for genuine thanksgiving.

This first story was sent to be several years ago by a good friend. Some of you may have seen this but I never read it without being reminded of how the ability to be thankful is more a matter of perspective than things we possess. The title of this short story is Poor Folks.

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a poor family. On their return from their trip, the Father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"It was great Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the Father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me what did you learn from the trip?" asked the Father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

The boy's Father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

The second item I want to share is from a little book entitled The 77 Habits of Highly Ineffective Christians. It is written by Chris Fabry and provides an interesting perspective on 77 areas of Christian living and how to maintain a steadfast mediocrity. I think you will find the following thought-provoking.

Habit #13 - Be Thankless

In all my years of analyzing truly ineffective Christians, I have yet to find one who has been thankful for anything. This is a hallmark of spiritual inadequacy.

If you were to sit down right now and list the blessings in your life, no matter what circumstances you are in, you would no doubt need reams of paper and a stack of pencils. This is why I say never, ever sit down and list the blessings in your life. It can only lead to thankfulness, which you must spurn.

Do not be thankful for God's faithfulness. If you see a miraculous answer to prayer, quickly forget it. Do not record it or tell others about God's goodness.

Do not be thankful for current material blessings like a roof over your head and food on the table. Do not compare yourself with those in the world who do not have such blessings. Instead compare yourself with the few who have bigger dwellings with better furniture and more attic space.

Do not be thankful for your spiritual blessings. Do not be thankful for God's word, but whine that you would rather live in the Old Testament days when you could hear the audible voice of God.

If you are single, desire a spouse and do not be thankful for the freedom you have. If you are married, pine for singleness and do not be thankful for the provision God has given you.

Remember, it is much easier to keep the fire of thanklessness going when you stoke it with an attitude of ingratitude.

Action Point: Make a list of the things you're not thankful for today and share them with a friend.

Ineffective Hymn: Count Your Problems

When upon Life's pillows you are lying down,
When you are in comfort and without a frown,
Add up all the negatives you think you see,
And you'll be surprised at just how mad you'll be.
Count your problems, name them one by one.
Count your problems, scorn what God has done.
Count your many problems, make the list real long.
Count you many problems while you sing this song.

May God give us grace to have grateful hearts.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 - In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Book Review - Speaking Of Books

Speaking of Books is edited by Rob Kaplan and Harold Rabinowitz. The subtitle is The Best Things Ever Said About Books And Book Collecting. It basically comes down to this, If you love books you would find this book an enjoyable experience. For me it was just fun to read. The collection of quotes about books was interesting and sometimes just plain funny, especially the chapter on borrowing and loaning books. For people who love books I think you would find it interesting what other have had to say about books, book collecting, and reading.

It is very easy to read. The chapters are all relatively short. The book itself comes in at 244 pages. This is somewhat deceiving because the pages are mostly filled with quotes with what appears to be triple space between each quote. So really there is a lot of empty space. It averages about three to four quotes per page. Although you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, this book has a very appealing dust jacket. The pages are laid out nicely and the font is distinguished. Each quote is properly attributed and there is a list in the back giving all the authors who are quoted.

Let me share with you some of my favorites under their assigned chapter.

The Pleasures of Buying and Owning Books

The one best and sufficent reason for a man to buy a book is because he thinks he will be happier with it than without it. - A. Edward Newton

Wear the old coat and buy the new book. - Austin Phelps

Is there any excitement to compare with the opening of a fresh parcel of books? - William Targ

What To Read

The easiest books are generally the best, for whatever author is obscure and difficult in his own language certainly does not think clearly. - Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield

Idle reading debilitates and corrupts the mind for all wholesome reading. - Frederic Harrison

Never judge a cover by its book. - Fran Lebowitz

Choose an author as you choose a friend. - Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon

Life being very short, and the quiet hours of it few, we ought to waste none of them in reading valueless books. - John Ruskin

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. - Henry David Thoreau

The Influence of Books

Do you want to get at new ideas? Read old books. Do you want to find old ideas? Read new ones. - Edward Bulwer Lytton

The pen is mighter than the sword. - Edward Bulwer Lytton

What literature can and should do is change the people who teach the people who don't buy the books. - A. S. Byatt


When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes. - Desiderius Erasmus

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore! - Henry Ward Beecher

Bibliomaniac: A victim of the obsessive-compulsive neurosis characterized by a congested library and an atrophied bank account. - Maruice Dunbar

It is far more seemly to have thy Studie full of Bookes, than thy Purse full of money. - Lohn Lyly

The Pleasures of Reading

Of all human relaxations which are free from guilt, there are none so dignified as reading. - Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges

What a convienent and delightful world is this world of books! --if you bring to it not the obligations of the student, or look upon it as an opiate for idleness, but enter it rather with the enthusiasm of the adventurer. - David Grayson

Woe be to him that reads but one book. - George Herbert

The pleasure of reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books. - Katherine Mansfield

I know not how to abstain from reading. - Samuel Pepys

What Books Do - And Don't Do - For Us

A real book is not one that is read, but one that reads us. - W. H. Auden

Reading maketh a full man; conference maketh a ready man; and writing an exact man. - Francis Bacon

Books do not make life easier or more simjple, but harder and more interesting. - Harry Golden

The right book annihilates time. - Holbrook Jackson

I cannot live without books. - Thomas Jefferson

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. - William Styron

All Those Books . . .

You can never be too thin, too rich, or have too many books. - Carter Burden

That one should possess no books beyond his power of perusal - that he should buy no faster than as he can read straight through what he has already bought - is a supposition alike preposterous and unreasonable. "Surely you have far more books that you can read" is sometimes the inane remark of the barbarian who gets his books, volume by volume, from some circulation library or reading club, and reads them all through, one after the other, with a dreary dutifulness, that he may be sure that he has got the vaule of his money. - Joh Hill Burton

If anyone asks you if you've read all those books, it means you don't have enough books. - Chaim Grade

There are 10,000 books in my library, and it will keep growing till I die. This has exasperated my daughter, amused my friends, and baffled my accountant. If I had not picked up this habit in the library long ago, I would have more money in the bank today; I would not be richer. - Pete Hamill

Any man with a moderate income can afford to buy more books than he can read in a lifetime. - Henry Holt

I wish to have one copy of every book in the world. - Sir Thomas Phillipps

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. - Anna Quindlen

How To Read

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. - Francis Bacon


A little library growing larger every year, is an honourable part of a man's history. It is a man's duty to have books. A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life. - Henry Ward Beecher

The great consulting room of a wise man is a library. When I am in perplexity about life, I have but to come here, and, without fee or reward, I commune with the wisest souls that God had blessed the world with. - Gerorge Dawson

Every library should try to be complete on something, if it were only the history of pin-heads. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Good Books And Bad

That is a good book that is opened with expectation, and closed with profit. - A. Bronson Alcott

The covers of this book are too far apart. - Ambrose Bierce

One always tends to over praise a long book, because one has got through it. - E. M. Forster

The only trouble with this book is that its covers are too close together. - Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

A book that funishes no quotations is . . . no book-it is a plaything. - Thomas Love Peacock

The Comfort Found In Books

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier. - Kathleen Norris

Muddling among old books has the quality of a sedative, and saves the tear and wear of an overwrought brain. - Sir Walter Scott

Lending And Borrowing Books

For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book to its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his member blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails. . . - Anonymous "curse" on book thieves from the monastary of San Pedro Barcelona

Never lend books - nobody ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are those which people have loaned me. - Anatole France

The owner of a country house was showing some visitors over a superb library. "Do you ever lend books?" he was asked. "No," he replied promptly, "only fools lend books." Then waving his hand to a many-shelved section filled with handsomely bound volumes, he added, "All those books once belonged to fools." - Frank Hird

Everything comes t' him who waits but a loaned book. - Kin Hubbard

You borrowers of books - those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves, and creaters of odd volumes. - Charles Lamb

For some reason a book borrower feels that a book, once taken, is his own. This removes both the memory and guilt from the transaction. Making the matter worse, the lender believes it, too. To keep up apperances, he may solemnly extract an oath that the book be brought back as soon as possible; the borrower answering with matching solemnity that the Lord might seize his eyes were he to do otherwise. But it is all play. Once gone, the book is gone forever. The lender, fearing rudeness, never asks for it again. The borrower never stoops to raise the subject. - Roger Rosenblatt

There is no spectacle that is as terrifying as the sight of a guest in you house whom you catch staring at your books. It is not the judgemental possibility that is frightening. The fact that one's sense of discrimination is exposed by his books. Indeed, most people would much prefer to see the guest first scan, then peer and turn away in boredom or disapproval. Alas, too often the eyes, dark with calculation, shift from title to title . . . . Nor is that the worst. It is when those eyes stop moving that the heart, too, stops. The guest's body twitches; his hand floates up to where his eyes have led it. There is nothing to be done. You freeze. He smiles. You hear the question even as it forms: "Would you mind if I borrowed this book?" - Roger Rosenblatt

Books And The Young

You may perhaps be brought to acknowledge that it is very well worthwhile to be tormented for two or three years of one's life, for the sake of being able to read all the rest of it. - Jane Austen

Education begins by teaching children to read and ends by making most of them hate reading. - Holbrook Jackson

Any kid who has two parents that are interested in him and has a house full of books isn't poor. - Sam Levenson

Reacing is the scourge of childhood because, in a sense, it creates adulthood. - Neil Postman

What Books Can - And Cannot - Teach Us

A single conversations across the table with a wise man is better than ten years' study of books. - Anonymous Chinese saying

To read without reflecting, is like eating without digesting. - Edmund Burke

There is nothing more injurious to the faculties than to keep poring over books continually without attempting to exhibit any of our own conceptions. - Thomas Carlyle

What one knows best is . . . what one has learned not from books but as a result of books, through the reflections to which they given rise. - Sebastian-Roch-Nicolas Chamfort

It is vanity to persuade the world one hath learning, by getting a great library. As soon shall I believe every one is valiant that hath a well-furnished armoury. - Thomas Fuller

The best service a book can render you is not to impart truth, but to make you think it out for yourself. - Elbert Hubbard

It is one thing to own a library; another to use it wisely. - Sir John Lubbock

Reading does not make a man wise; it only makes him learned. - W. Somerset Maugham

In vain do they boast of full libraries that are contented to live with empty heads. - Sir William Waller

Authors And Their Readers

That writer does the most, who gives his reader the most knowledge, and takes from him the least time. - Charles Caleb Colton

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. - Dr. Samuel Johnson

In reality, people read because they want to write. Anyway reading is a sort of rewriting. - Jean-Paul Sartre

Collectors And Collecting

To be proud of having two thousand books would be absurd. You might as well be proud of having two topcoats. After your first two thousand difficulty begins, but until you have ten thousand volumes the less you say about your library the better. Then you may begin to speak. - Augustine Birrell

It is because the passion for books is a sentimental passion that people who have not felt it always fail to understand it. - Andrew Lang

Book-collectors are buzzards who stretch their wings in anticipation as they wait patiently for a colleague's demise; and then they swoop down and ghoulishly grab some long-coveted treasure from the dear departed's trove. - A. S. W. Rosenbach

Books Forever

My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read. - Abraham Lincoln

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

You can't tell a book by its movie. - Louis A. Safian

Education . . . has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading. - George Macaulay Trevelyan

I like a thin book because it will steady a table, a leather volume because it will strop a razor, and a heavy book because it can be thrown at a cat. - Mark Twain

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. - Mark Twain

Never let is be said that you allowed a book about books to usurp the power of the books themselves. - Daniel J. O'Neill

It is a fun book for book lovers.

Book Rating ****

Oh, by the way while on a field trip this past Saturday with the wresting team from a local high school I realized I was only a few miles from a great used bookstore that my wife and I had visited on our anniversary celebration back in June. I took advantage of my close proximity to that location and made my way over to browse through his large selection of old and new books. Came away with only three.

The Indomitable Baptist. It is a narritave of the Baptist's role in shaping American history.

Christian Doctrines by J. M. Pendleton. It is a basic theology book from a Baptist author.

Readings in the History of Church Thought. It is a book that consist of a wide range of readings on a equally wide range of topics from church history.

Good day and happy reading!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

One More Sunday

Next Sunday will be my last to teach 'the girls' for a season. Olivia is in training and she will be their new teacher. At our church we put the boys upstairs and the girls are downstairs for one class on Sunday mornings. The ages are in the classes are ages 2-12. I have found it a fun challenge to keep that many different ages of children interested in what I was teaching.

Quite a few years back I developed nodules in my throat from 'over' singing. I cannot sing or read out loud easily. I am limited in what I can has also been hard to teach sometimes, but I enjoyed doing it, so I didn't want to stop. I can't carry a tune, but the girls have always been very forgiving. When I squeak, we laugh, and just go on! These past few months I have had trouble on top of trouble with my throat, so I thought it a good idea to stop teaching while I still HAD a voice.

It is a sad thing for me to quit. I love all the girls in my class, they are the daughters the women I love. We do not have a class for the girls because we are worried that they are not learning the Bible in their own homes, we just do it for something special. I do not do flannelgraph and we stopped using crayons a long time ago! I have made up my own lessons for many years and I was always on the look-out for something to teach the girls that would help them in some way. I hope I have done that for them.

I get a lump in my throat when I think about this, but I'm going to write it up anyway. Here are some things I've done with the 'girls' in the past years:

I find poems about aprons, snowflakes or sheep and put them to a tune. I also have lots of verses, mainly out of Psalms and Proverbs that I put a little piano tune to that the girls have learned. It has been a really neat thing to hear them hum the tunes that I have made up! I read the verse in Matthew about Solomon not being arrayed......then we sing: Never grow a wishbone daughter, where your backbone ought to be....and why take ye thought for your raiment? consider the lilies of the field........... I also put a tune to this: A home-keeper am I, this is my task, to make one little spot, all snug and warm, where those so bruised, and beaten by the day, may find a refuge, from the night and storm, from the night and storm. I think the all time favorite is singing......Go to the ant though sluggard.....well, maybe Olivia will sing on key with them and they will all sound like little birds!
I loved pictures of bees, beavers and ants because I would tell the girls to be busy like them.
I have a whole tea-party in a file and I show the girls pictures about how they are to act when they visit others. Just take ONE chocolate and only ask for water and don't chase the chickens if the hostess takes you to her back yard.
OH! It's hippity hop to bed! I'd rather stay up instead! BUT, when father says MUST, there's nothing but JUST, go hippity hop to bed. We talked lots about getting into the fridge without permission, too.
Also, if mother is busy and you need a drink, pull up a chair, next to the sink.
Leave mother alone,,,,,when she's on the phone! I've got pictures of clocks and watches and ask the girls, "what time is it?" Time to be nice, to be helpful, to be kind, to be humble? !!! We talked lots about being a delightful daughter.....I made up a song to the tune of " I'm A Little Teapot" that talks about a delightful daughter never letting sass come out of her spout! We talked about modesty, gardens, creation, God Never Sleeps Or Slumbers, missionaries, being thankful every day of the week and did Psalm 23. I had a great picture of a baby that was just crying its eyes out and I would show it to the girls once in a while and tell them to not act like that. I made up a little booklet about respecting your elders..this would mean to never sit on a chair if an older person is standing up...always let them go in the door first. I found wonderful pictures of things 'keepers at home' can do!!!! I had lots of little booklets about jobs and staying busy. I loved to teach lessons on being idle! I would bring a bag of goodies from the house and let each girl hold something as I taught them about staying busy as a wife and mother......AND daughter. I would put embroidery hoops, measuring spoons, diaper pins, quilt patterns and paintbruses in the bag. THEN, I would show pictures of things that happen when we ARE idle.
I cut pictures out of old Bible books I find and put them on construction paper. Then I would go to the Bible and write down exactly what happened and teach the girls that way. I have a picture of a man fishing an ax head out of the water!!! I have lists of "S" things in the Bible........and then we would have a quiz. I read Wee Lambs from Rod and Staff to the girls, they loved them. We talked about putting kitties down when mom says it's time to go and sticking tongues out. I have a picture of a clean fountain, a dirty fountain and we talked about our mouth and our words and our hearts. We sang songs about having a merry heart and and and and. Well, it's over with for a while for me. I'm going to miss them on Sunday mornings. Oh, I will still see them all the time, but it won't be the same. I remember one morning....all 6 of the girls had on white socks and the exact same kind of shoes. I took a picture of it!
I can't wait to see them grow up and be keepers at home and love their husbands and LOVE to clean their bathrooms and grow zinnias and make quilts and fancy bread and have lots of their own babies! And maybe even hang diapers on a clothes line.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Never Nurse A Child For The Devil

The following is from a message by William S. Plumer entitled The Ten Commandments.

The heart of your child is corrupt, and all your teaching and example will be lost without God's blessing. You cannot change the heart, renew the will, or wash away the sins of your child. God alone can impart to him a love of the truth, or give him repentance. You may use your best endeavors--but all will be in vain without God's Spirit.

A mother of eleven pious children, who being asked how she came to be so much blessed, said, "I never took one of them into my arms to give it nourishment, that I did not pray that I might never nurse a child for the devil."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Tyranny Of Taxation

Another quote from The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution for your thoughtful consideration! This is from the chapter entitled The Logic Of Rebellion. The following quote is from a pamphlet by John Dickinson. The author suggests that it was the most influential pamphlet published in Amercia before 1776.

"Nothing is wanted at home but a precedent, the force of which shall be established by the tacit submission of the colonies . . . If the Parliament succeeds in the attempt, other statuets will impose other duties . . . and thus the Parliament will levy upon us such sums of money as they choose to take, without any other limitations than their pleasure."

Insert the word "Congress" for "Parliament" and you have the modern day application of the argument.

He was arguing that although the taxes being levied, for example the stamp act, were relatively small that was the most dangerous kind. His argument is that because they were so small "they would be more easily acceptable to the incautious, with the result that a precedent would be established for making still greater inroads on liberty and property."

Someone said, "The power to tax is the power to destroy." It was not until February 3,1913 when the 16th ammendment to the Constitution was ratified that Congress had the power to levy taxes on income. They argued that it would be a small tax, I think it was around 1%. But now they had the power.

The 16th ammendment needs to be repealed and that would quite naturally place most governing in the context of the States where it belongs. Well.........its a thought!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I get a C-

I didn't do very well last month. I made a commitment not to complain about the weather, and I complained anyway. I do not care one little bit for the month October down here on the coast. The days can be: warm, lukewarm, humid, still and gray, hot and humid, lukewarm and humid and MAYBE a few cool days here and there. Then when a cool front does blow in, it blows all the allergens and ragweed from Kansas and Oklahoma right into my nose.
I compare South-Texas Autumns with the ones I grew up with. I lived in Kansas most of my October things got frosty, chilly, nippy and just plain cool. If I could JUST forget that, I might do better. When I talk to my mom in October, I should just avoid the weather.
I also think of going up North in October. If we do go North, we always do it in Autumn. The leaves up there are glorious. (on OR off the trees) Our leaves down here don't fall off the trees sometimes until the end of February. We have trucks that spray for mosquitos, they have trucks that pick up leaves. If I ever move to New York, I want to work in Central Park Leaf Control.
I am a sun-shiny person. I try very hard not to be what I call 'driven' by the weather. I drag around on the ugly days and dance around on the pretty ones. I can sew 3 jumpers, clean a closet, do school, clean a bathroom on a day when a cool wind is coming in our windows. On those ugly October days, I can hardly push the button on my coffee-maker.
I do have some consolation though......November, Radishes and Avocados.
I always know that November is coming which usually means more cool days than those draggy depressing lukewarm humid days. (Our garage floor can look like it was literally sprayed with the water hose it is so humid.)
I planted radish seeds in September and I have picked about 15 beautiful radishes.
I also have an avocado tree that is bearing big fruit, and lots of it.
Well, I can be brave now. October is over and it IS November.
If you ever want to come visit us, do not come in October. Come in March.

Public Announcement

I have invited another author to my blog!

She is my wife of 24 1/2 years. Someone had mentioned a few weeks ago that they would like it if my wife wrote occasionally. I thought it was a wonderful idea for she is a godly woman with much wisdom and charm. So it has taken some coaxing but she agreed. I think because I sent her the formal invitation to sign on.

She will add a dimension to this blog just as she has to my life. She will add a touch of humor that is impossible for me to duplicate. She is much admired in our home and highly regarded in our community. She has three children already that have risen up and call her blessed and three more moving in that direction. She has a husband that praises her in the gates. She has raised two daughters, one who is effectively managing her domestic concerns with three children and one who is more than prepared to assume that role. She has raised one son who is proving every day that he is a man of God. She is raising one more son and two more daughters.

I have no idea how much she will post here or what she will post about. What I do know is that it will be worth reading. She is a no-nonsense woman with a flair. She makes friends by just looking at people and gives no quarter when it comes to the truth! She is content, satisfied, and happy!

I trust you will find her as engaging as I have for almost 25 years. She is a well of wisdom and a woman of conviction, she too is fullypersuaded!

Corruption And Freedom

I started reading a book a couple of nights ago entitled, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. It is written by Bernard Bailyn. Last night I read a very interesting chapter entitled Power and LIberty: A Theory of Politics. When I finish reading the book I will attempt to give an overview of this chapter but for now I simply wanted to share a quote, without comment, that really caught my attention. Make of it what you will!

In 1762 Charles Carroll of Carrollton wrote from his home in Maryland to a friend in England that the English constitution was,

"hastening to its final period of dissolution, and the symptoms of a general decay are but too visible. Sell your estate in England and purchase lands in this province where liberty will maintatin her empire till a dissoluteness of morals, luxury, and venality shall have prepared the degenerate sons of some future age to prefer their own mean lucre, the bribes, and the smiles of corruption and arbitrary minister to partiotism, to glory, and to the public weal. No doubt the same causes will produce the same effects, and a period is already set to the reign of American freedom; but that fatal time seems to be at a great distance. The present generation at least, and I hope many succeeding ones, in spite of a corrupt Parliament, will enjoy the blessing and the sweets of liberty."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Book Review - Eternal Impact

A couple of days ago I finished a book entitled Eternal Impact - Investing In The Lives Of Men.The book was written by Phil Downer with Chip MacGregor. Phil is a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and professionally was a successful lawyer. The book seems to indicate that he is now, at least when the book was written in full time ministry. The book was published in 1997 by Harvest House Publishers.

It is a book that basically addresses issues of discipleship. For someone who is familiar with the principles involved it is a good refresher and certainly serves to refocus one's attention. The first part of the book is better than the end. I found myself getting increasingly board as the book went along. That is not a good thing for a book! The book comes in at 298 pages and I found myself basically scanning the last couple of chapters because I was ready to move on to something else. I read this book mostly after going to bed at night.

The book is divided into three major sections composed of about 100 pages each.
Part One - Investing in the Lives of Men
Part Two - Living with Power
Part Three - Making a Difference

The first section was the best, at least for where I am. It was a very forceful reminder that the best thing we can be doing is investing our lives in the lives of others. In eternity that will really be all that matters. It will not matter how much you made, or how much you accumulated. All that will matter is how many did you leave behind who had espoused the cause. It was a needed reminder for me.

The second section was also good giving some practical material about the kinds of things we are attempting to do with those we disciple. He has six chapters that are helpful in reminding us what we are trying to do with our "Timothys". The chapter titles are:
Fostering Commitment
Encouraging Obedience
Establishing Devotions
Developing Character
Surviving Adversity
Knowing God's Will.
He deals with each of the topics thoroughly and as best I can remember appropriately.

The third and last section was the least compelling for me, but others may find it to be different for them.

Overall it is a book worth reading, especially the first section. For those who have no familiarity with the concept of discipleship it would be most helpful.

Following are several quotes from the book:

If we Christians would stop all the bickering over the color of the pew pads, we could get out into the battle and see what life is really all about. It's time we stop focusing our lives on success and begin to focus on significance.

If success is just a feeling you get when you reach your goals, significance is making a difference in the lives of people over time.

The definition of "finishing well" is not merely living our lives free of indictment, but leaving behind a legacy of men set upon a course to reproduce themselves in the lives of other people.

Meaning in life comes from leaving a legacy of godly people!

Since there is no glory in making disciples, it doesn't get much attention. Discipleship is a relationship, not a program, so most churches don't know what to do with a disciple-maker. It doesn't appeal to short-term thinkers or those who need regular recognition as they minister.

It takes mature people to change the world.

I began to understand the concept that Jesus has called us to serve, not to star.

Our job is to be faithful regardless of the apparent response.

Jesus didn't just give the twelve a set of directions; He offered them an example to follow....the Lord held them accountable.

The Lord didn't set up programs; He prepared some people.

You can't transform the world until you transform a person.

Christ understood the importance of shaping a handful of mature believers over a crowd of immature church-goers.

If you want to wait until you glow in the dark with righteousness, you'll spend your entire life marking time.

Keep in mind you're setting up a potentially lifelong friendship.

We've got to decide now that , if we want our lives to be significant, we must pursue people.

Sometimes we expect men to be committed and loyal when they've never seen those qualities modeled in their families, professions, or marriages.

One of the things that has become more and more clear to me over time is my walk counts more than my words.

Men today aren't looking for answers but for examples.

But Christ doesn't expect me to be faultless - He expects me to be faithful.

When we look at others as tasks, we are not only ineffective disciple-makers but run the risk of injuring others' spiritual lives.

We're all bound up in who won the game, how much our new car cost, the taxes we owe, or the squabbling in the church. We miss the pure joy of celebrating the work of God in the lives of people. Instead of getting this tremendous, profound, eternal blessing of having spiritual children and knowing they walk with God, we're spending our time on other issues. example will drown out your words.

We are after disciples not decisions.

Relationships are what change people not prescriptions.

All of that from the first section.

Churches have failed to challenge people over the years, expecting little and receiving exactly that.

The Scriptures aren't just a general account of good ideas, but an owner's manual for Christians.

Without the discipline of obedience, you can find yourself in serious trouble amazingly fast.

It's amazing how the lack of absolutes has caused men and women to live in a dream world. They think they can escape the certain consequences of sin by denying its existence. But sin is a bad deal; no one sins and gets away with it. Every sin you commit impacts your character.

God is holy, and He isn't going to make any special exemption from justice for those who find the consequences of sin too inconvenient to believe.

A man involved in secret sin is a fugitive, continuing in sin until he's caught.

But keep in mind God brings tough times to create tough people.

Sometimes in our culture people equate "forgiveness" with "fantasy"; God can forgive you of the most heinous sin, but it's fantasy to believe your life will go on as though the sin never happened.

When Ron asked me about his marriage, I told him his happiness was not God's first concern. Ron's holiness was what the Lord was most concerned about.

God is more concerned about the condition of our hearts and our obedience than He is about our feeling good.

The touchtone of your faith will be if you can look at your Timothy and say, "I don't know why it happened. But I trust God just the same."

That was from the second section.

My colleagues at work didn't know I cared for them; they just thought I wanted to convince them.

That was from the third section.

The book is worth reading just for the first section, and you will find the second section helpful, and for others the third section might be more appealing than it was for me.

Book rating **

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Literacy Problem

My wife recently brought home a book from one of her bargain hunting expeditions entitled, Speaking of Books. It is a book about books. The subtitle is The Best Things Ever Said About Books And Book Collecting. It is mainly a book of quotes about books. It is edited by Rob Kaplan and Harold Rabinowitz. It is one of those book that for me is just fun to read. It is interesting to see what others have said about books.

I attempted to confiscate this book and keep it all to myself, but my dear wife insisted on it being placed in the front room where others could examine it at leisure. I acquiesced. If it comes up missing some day I do not know what happened to it, and don't go snooping around in my study!

I really enjoyed the chapter on loaning and borrowing books. I laughed out loud at some of the quotes. I will be sharing some of my favorites in the near future.

For now I want to share one quote that really caught my attention. I ran across it last night before church as I was perusing the introduction. It set forth a problem of illiteracy that is rarely if ever consider.

"The literacy problem isn't just that there are too many people who don't know how to read, the problem is that there are too many people without the requisite patience to endure an entire book!"

Too true and too bad!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good Morning America

Welcome to a world where Nancy Pelosi will, in just few days, be Speaker of the House of the United States Congress.

Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco liberal. Pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, anti-gun, higher taxes, more pervasive government. Punish the rich and enslave the poor. Redistribution of wealth. The ascendancy of legalized plunder. It is socialism at its finest!

I can only hold out hope that Harry Reed will not become the majority leader in the Senate!!

Republicans in many respects squandered the opportunity to lead. People went out and voted for them to govern and push foward a conservative agenda and they did not. Some people probably stayed home. What's the point if there is no marked difference in the way the govenment is run?? I have not been pleased with the Republicans on several issues. I only voted because I knew I would be less pleased with Democracts on those same issues plus many more. Not really a great and inspiring reason to vote. I hate to vote against, I would rather vote for. Such was not to be the case this time. Obviously many people did not take the time to vote against?!

I can only hope that a Ronald Regan may be lurking in the shadows somewhere.

In times like these it is good to remember that it is God who rules and governs in the affairs of nations. He sets up kings and deposes them.

God bless America, God bless George Bush, and God bless the American Soldier!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Biblical Love

The following is by A. W. Pink. I ran across this yesterday morning and I believe it almost perfectly expresses my sentiment on the matter. Our churches would be healthier if there was more practicing of genuine Christian love. I believe these are some thoughts that are worthy of sober consideration by all!

Love is the Queen of the Christian graces.

It is a holy disposition given to us when we are born again by God. It is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. True spiritual love is characterized by meekness and gentleness, yet it is vastly superior to the courtesies and kindnesses of the flesh. We must be careful not to confuse human sentimentality, carnal pleasantries, human amiability and affability with true spiritual love.

The love God commands, first to Himself and then to others, is not human love. It is not the indulgent, self-seeking love which is in us by nature. If we indulgently allow our children to grow up with little or, no Scriptural discipline, Proverbs plainly says we do not love them, regardless of the human sentimentality and affection we may feel for them.

Love is not a sentimental pampering of one another with a loose indifference as to our walk and obedience before the Lord. Glossing over one another's faults to ingratiate ourselves in their esteem is not spiritual love. The true nature of Christian love is a righteous principle which seeks the highest good of others. It is a powerful desire to promote their welfare. The exercise of love is to be in strict conformity to the revealed will of God. We must love in the truth.

Love among the brethren is far more than an agreeable society where views are the same. It is loving them for what we see of Christ in them, loving them for Christ's sake. The Lord Jesus Himself is our example. He was not only thoughtful, gentle, self-sacrificing and patient, but He also corrected His mother, used a whip in the Temple, severely scolded His doubting disciples, and denounced hypocrites.

True spiritual love is above all faithful to God and uncompromising towards all that is evil. We cannot declare, 'Peace and Safety' when in reality there is spiritual decay and ruin! True spiritual love is very difficult to exercise because it is not our natural love. By nature we would rather love sentimentally and engender good feelings. Also many times true spiritual love is not received in love, but is hated as the Pharisees hated it.

We must pray that God will fill us with His love and enable us to exercise it without dissimulation toward all.

Philippians 1:9 - And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Benjamin Franklin's Toast

I have read this a couple of other places in the past and I just came across it again in The Journal, a Summit Ministries Publication. I thought you might enjoy the wit of Mr. Franklin the elder stateman at the founding of our Republic.

While Benjamin Franklin served as ambassador of the United States to France, he had occasion to be at a dinner in Versailles with foreign dignitaries. The minister of Great Britian proposed a toast to King George III likening him to the sun. The minister of France proposed a toast to King Louis XVI likening him to the moon. In response, Benjamin Franklin stood up and toasted:

"George Washington, Commander of the Armerican armies, who like Joshua of old, commanded the sun and the moon to stand still, and they obeyed him."

Feeding Sheep Or Amusing Goats?

I read the following at It is part of a message by Charles Spurgeon. I appreciate his views on this subject and agree with his assessment.

An evil is in the 'professed' camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has developed at an alarming rate. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments!
The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel'.

No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people, or because they confronted them? The 'concert' has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the apostolic Church to the world? "You are the salt of the world", not the sugar candy; something the world will spit out, not swallow.

Had Jesus introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His teaching, He would have been more popular. When "many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him," I do not hear Him say, 'Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow; something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it! Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!'

No! Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them!

In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the 'gospel of amusement'. Their message is, "Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them... Don't touch their filthy things..." Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, 'Lord, grant unto your servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are'.

No! They did not cease from preaching Christ. They had no time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down; that is the only difference from today's church.

Lastly, amusement fails to effect the end desired. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God's link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer! The mission of amusement produces no converts!

The need of the hour for today's ministry is earnest spirituality joined with Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.

Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods!

Amen and Amen!!

Sunk Deep In The Mire

The following is from the life and letters of John Angell James. I have separated the sentences of this short portion so we could have the luxury of reflecting on each statement! I unfortunately fine myself in agreement with this assessment. I wish it were not so, but I am afraid it is. In fact it is more true of me than I generally care to think, but surely that would be a good place to start. How about you??

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.