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Friday, November 30, 2007

Hurricane Season Ends Today

Too bad hurricane season is not like deer season, or moose season for my Alaskan friends! People rejoice on opening day and mourn its passing. And the season always opens with hunters hoping this will be the year when they get the big one!

On the other hand the opening day of hurricane season (June 1) is dreaded and the close of hurricane season (November 30) is celebrated. The season always opens with coastal dwellers hoping this will not be the year of the big one!

Why can't hurricane season just be open a few weeks like most hunting seasons. In fact during hurricane season it is the hurricane doing the hunting. I am certain the season is open way too long. I think the Federal government should hold hearings on why hurricane season is open so long. I think there must be some undue influence peddling going on at National Hurricane Center. In fact if we cannot get any sense of justice from Congress then we should file a law suit and see it through all the way to the Supreme Court to see if a six month hurricane season is Constitutional. Surely the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment has some application to hurricane season. After all, no one in the plains states have to worry about hurricane season. I think we need equal protection and the season should be shortened. Surely with Alito and Roberts on the court we can have our Constitutional right to privacy (the uninvited visit of a hurricane) and our equal protection (along the lines of what people in Nebraska enjoy) restored by the decision of the High Court. Someone somewhere should give us some relief either legislatively or judicially by shortening the season. I will never believe it is fair that we have just a few weeks to hunt deer or moose (again for my Alaskan friends) and hurricanes have six months to hunt us. Where, my friend, is the justice in that!

I think it should also be noted that since Katrina and Rita two years ago the Bush administration in its war against major hurricanes has had some major success. The threat has been greatly diminished the last two years and one can only imagine what would happen if Mrs. Clinton is elected President. No doubt she would press for legislation to send out the hurricane hunters and then veto the bill when it came to her desk! Then again Giuliani was for Hurricanes when he was mayor of New York and now he is against them running in the Republican primary. Romney may be a good choice. You know he would not want a hurricane force wind blowing through his hair. Then again I am sure that we could count on Tancredo to close the borders to all hurricanes. I don't know, I am not convinced any of then would be good hurricane fighters! Besides we have another six month hurricane season to endure before any of them are elected.

Maybe we will all be blown away before we have to vote. I can live with that but only if it applies to Nebraskans as well.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Misleading and Deceptive Title!

Probably most of you have heard of the toddler who became known as Baby Grace. Her body was found in a plastic container in Galveston Bay about a month ago. Well they have finally identified the little girl and have two suspects in custody, The girls mother and her step-father.

It is a tragic story that is made worse when you see articles like the one found here.

Notice the title: Lawyer: Discipline Lead To Girls Death

When I read that I think to myself how could discipline lead to death??? I have six children and have disciplined all of them including spankings and none of them have ever been close to death. How could this be??

The answer is in the first line of the story, "The stepfather of a 2-year-old girl lost control and beat her to death because she wouldn't say "please" and "yes sir," an attorney for the girl's mother said Wednesday."

It was no discipline that lead to death, but she was beaten to death. Unfortunately too many people want to draw a connection between discipline and beating. They do so in order to undermine the liberty of parents to legitimately discipline their children. This is why the State of Massachusetts is considering legislation banning corporal punishment.

A sentence in the middle of the article gives the actual reason for death. "Trenor said the girl was beaten with leather belts, had her head held underwater in a bathtub and then was thrown across a room, her head slamming into a tile floor."

"Beaten with leather belts", "head held under water in a bathtub", and "thrown across a room, her head slamming into a tile floor" is the cause of death not discipline.

The article goes on to say, "Instead, Zeigler grew increasingly enraged as he spanked Riley and she kept forgetting to do things the way he wanted."

Again the problem is not the disciplining of children but the lack of self-control found in the adults in her life.

Could it be that her step-father was not properly disciplined as a child thus he exhibits no self-control as an adult? Just wondering?

The associated press writer, Liz Austin Peterson begins her article with editorializing in the title and thus creates bias in the minds of her readers in what is supposed to be a news story. Just the fact mam, just the facts!!

I think most of her readers would have been able to discern from the article the cause of death and my guess is that few of them would have concluded it was from discipline.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If God Left Us?!

The following is from a message by Thomas Watson entitled, "Four Sad Evils" preached in 1663.

It is one of the best things I have read in a while and clearly sets forth the absolute necessity of humility in the believer. While I do not agree with the Calvanistic position of Thomas Watson I certainly agree with the primary thrust of this short quote.

As the Apostle Paul said, "But by the grace of God I am what I am: . . . ." May we always remember this and lift our hearts in praise to his grace, mercy, and goodness revealed in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now for the quote:

"The sins of the ungodly are looking-glasses in which we may see our own hearts. Do we see a heinous, impious wretch? Behold a picture of our own hearts! Such would we be--if God left us! What is in wicked men's practice--is in our nature. Sin in the wicked--is like fire which flames and blazes forth. Sin in the godly--is like fire hid in the embers. Christian, though you do not break forth into a flame of scandalous sin--yet you have no cause to boast, for there is as much sin in the embers of your nature! You have the root of all sin in you, and would bear as hellish fruit as any ungodly wretch--if God did not either curb you by His power, or change you by His grace!

Why might not God have left you--to the same excess of wickedness? Think with yourself, O Christian--why should God be more merciful to you, than to another? Why should He snatch you, as brand plucked out of the fire--and not him? How should this make you to adore free grace! What the Pharisee said boastingly, we may say thankfully--'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers, etc.'

If we are not as wicked as others--we should adore the riches of free-grace! Every time we see men hastening on in sin--we are to thank God that we are not such! If we see a crazy person--we thank God that it is not so with us. When we see another infected with the plague--how thankful are we, that God has preserved us from it! Much more when we see others under the power of Satan--how thankful we should be, that this is no longer our condition!"

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. - Titus 3:3

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our Entertainment: The Cultivating Of Holiness - Part 3

APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLES TO READING MATERIAL

Review of the principles relating to entertainment.

Romans 12:9 – Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Abhor – Detest utterly, have a horror of.
Psalms 101:3 – I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.
1 Thessalonians 5:21,22 – Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Romans 6:19 – Simple concerning evil.
Simple – Without a mixture of evil, innocent.
Psalms 119:37 – Refrain from beholding vanity.
Job 31:1 – Covenant with my eyes to not look upon a maiden.
Philippians 4:8 – Think on these things.
Proverbs 17:15 – Condemning the just and justifying the wicked.
Romans 1:29-32 – Do these things and have pleasure in them that do them.
Ephesians 5:15,16 – Redeeming the time.
1 Corinthians 15:33 – Evil communications corrupt good manners
Communications – Communion, companionship, intercourse.
Romans 14:23 – Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.


The virtue of reading.

1Timothy 4:13 - Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Paul understood the vaule and virtue of reading and encouraged the young preacher Timothy to that end.

2Timithoy 4:13 - The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
Paul wanted his cloak, his books and especially the parchments. He wanted that which would compfort him physically, his cloak. He wanted that which would occuply him intellectually, the books. He especially wanted that which would challenge him spiritually, the parchments.

Proverbs 13:20 - He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
You may ask what this has to do with reading. It has everything to do with reading because there is more than one way to walk with wise men. We can walk with wise men through the things they have written. This affords us the added luxury of walking with wise men who lived long ago. I personally love to walk with Spurgeon in his sermons.

Ecclesiasties 12:12 - And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Fact is there are more books than we can ever read. So we can afford to be "picky". We should only read good books and books that challenge us intellectually and/or spiritually. We should read books that educate us.

Acts 19:19 - Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Obviously not all books are good books. Once these people were saved that gathered their book dealing with the occult and burnt them. They did not confiscate others book but burned their own. Having determined they were bad they did not sale them or give them away, they desposed of them. In this case fire was the chosen means of disposing of the ungodly books.

Guarding our reading.

Be careful about novels. Be cautions about a diet of reading that consist mainly of fiction. As the years have gone by I have come to realize that nothing is as exciting as a true story. It seems to be more prudent to read about real events and real people rather than fictional chracters and events. With fiction you have been exposed to a good story. With non-fiction you have been exposed to a good story and been educated about real people, places, and events.

Romance books should be avoided. I cannot think of one good reason to read romance books. By their very nature they arouse the passions and make real life seem dull and unattractive. They tend to create a thirst that can only be quenced by stronger material. Even Christian romance books should be avoided.

In our reading we should be concerned about some of the same areas that concerns us with movies and television: language, ungodly behaviour extolled, biblical values trampled, Sexually suggestive or explicit material.

Good reading.

The Bible. This is the one book with which we can never go wrong. It will challenge us intellectually and spiritually. It will give us the story of some of the greatest men and women that ever lived. I will open the mysteries of life to us and lead us to everlasting life in the world to come and abundant life in the world now present.

Sermons. I would admit that this is probably an acquired taste but one that is well worth developing. The thing to do is find an author of sermons that you enjoy and you find challenging and then you can try others once you develop a taste for reading sermon. Some authors that I have found very challenging when it comes to sermons is Spurgeon, F B. Meyer, Tozer, and recently Ryle.

Theology. Again this probably requires an bit of effort to acquire a taste for it but again it is a worthwhile effort. Granted, There are many authors who have doe theology a great diservice in the way they have presented the material, that is in a purely academic tone. Theology should be alive and impact our lives. A good writer on theological topics will capitalize on this reality. There is nothing better than reading a book that causes you to see things in a different way, and make connection you have never made before.

Apologetics. In a world that is quickly becoming increasingly agnostic/atheistic apologietics is an important area to do some reading. Again, some of this reading can be very difficult but then again some of it can be challenging and helpful. I think it is important to have a basic understanding of apologietics of the Christian faith so that we can answer the legitimate questions of those who have been influenced by the anti-christian culture, raise questions in the minds of the true agnostic/atheist, and most important to have our own faith strengthened.

History. Our people are woefully undereducated when it comes to history. There is more that happened in the past than any one person can know, but we should strive to be ever learning. I have generally focused my attention on American history and Religious/Baptist history. These are my two areas of interest. But there is always something exciting to read in the area of history. When we read history we are reading about true things that really happened and people that really lived. My favorite author in this area is David McCullough. Unfortunately he has only written a few books, but the sparsity of material is made up for by the engaging narriative in which it is presented. Who would ever think you could write a book about a bridge and it be interesting. David McCullough did that with the Brooklyn Bridge.

Political/economic philosophy. It is in reading in this area where one begins to understand the difference between a pure Democracy and a Republic. The origin of liberties. The role of government. The right to property and wealth. The concept of legal plunder and many other priciples that have a direct impact on us today.

Educational. I suppose this would include all of the above and is the reason I encourage the reading of non-fiction. We are by nature ignorant creatures, we should not be satisfied with not knowing.

Does my reading material encourage me to abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good?
Does my reading material cause me to set evil things before the eyes of my imagination?
Is my reading material in keeping with abstaining from the appearance of evil?
Does my reading material allow me to remain simple concerning evil?
Does my reading material encourage the beholding of vanity?
Does my reading material incite lust?
Does my reading material encourage thinking upon things that are virtuous?
Does my reading material condemn the just and justify the wicked?
Does my reading material cause me to take pleasure in those things that are against God?
Is my reading material a good use of time?
Does my reading material put me in contact with evil communications that will corrupt good manners?
Can I enjoy my reading material with the certainty that it does not offend God?


APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLES TO VIDEO/COMPUTER GAMES

Computer/video games are subject to the incremental introduction of worldliness.

Pong. You probably have to be almost 40 years old to remember that. It was just a little ball that was batted back and forth across the screen with two paddles controlled by two knobs that were held by the two players.

Pac Man - Most of us over 25 or 30 remember Pac Man. The little guy that made his way through the maze gobbling up little dots and assorted other things that appeared for points.

Video games that encourage role playing. Anyone that can remember either of those and has any familiarity with the moder video games knows they have come a long way and it has not generally been in a good direction.

Back in the mid 80’s when dungeons and dragons was popular most discerning Christians recognized the dangers of role-playing. With the introduction of video games far too many have compromised their discernment.

Would you let the person, in which your child/adolescent is playing the role, in your home and fellowship with your child for 2, 6, 8, hours a day???
Do we really want our children/adolescents playing a role that by its very nature is contrary to the person of Jesus Christ?
Do you want them playing that role in real life? If not why do you let them do it in make believe?
Children and even adults can lose their grip on reality by playing these kinds of games.

Videos games with increasing sexual exploitation, scantily clad women.
Videos games with an emphasis on violence, killing, blood, gore.
Driving a car is fun and games and not a serious responsibility with lives at stake!

At least it gives the kids something to do??? This is extremely bad reasoning to allow something in the way of entertainment?

We allow characters in our home that we would never allow in person.
We allow language to be used in our home that we have banned under all other circumstances.
We allow immodesty in our homes that in other venues would cause us to blush.
We allow violence in our homes (blood and gore) that would violate our sense of decency in real life.
We allow immorality to be paraded before our children that we say we are against.
We allow the ridicule of the things that we hold dear.
We allow the atrophy of the intellectual powers of our families in contrast to our stated position that we are to be getting wisdom and with all your getting get understanding.

It has been realized that gaming can easily become a form of psychological addiction.

Addiction:
The person needs more and more of a substance or behavior to keep him going.
If the person does not get more of the substance or behavior, he becomes irritable and miserable.

Folks we need to be honest about how connected our children are to these games. We need to be honest about their power to influence. Every video/computer game you allow your children to play is teaching them something.
Is it teaching them what you want them to learn?
Is it molding their character into what you want it to be?

Too many kids spend too much time hitting on a keyboard or a hand held controller! We need to guard our video/computer games.
Honestly examine their content.
Honestly examine the nature of the game (role-playing).
Honestly examine the amount of time spent. Parents control it.

Does my video/computer game encourage me to abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good?
Does my video/computer game cause me to set evil things before the eyes of my imagination?
Is my computer/video game in keeping with abstaining from the appearance of evil?
Does my video/computer game allow me to remain simple concerning evil?
Does my video/computer game encourage the beholding of vanity?
Does my video/computer game incite lust?
Does my video/computer game encourage thinking upon things that are virtuous?
Does my video/computer game condemn the just and justify the wicked?
Does my video/computer game cause me to take pleasure in those things that are against God?
Is my video/computer game a good use of time?
Does my video/computer game put me in contact with evil communications that will corrupt good manners?
Can I enjoy my video/computer game with the certainty that it does not offend God?

You say this is what I do for relaxation and fun. Even what we do for relaxation and fun must be submitted to the scrutiny of God’s word.


THE APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLES TO THE INTERNET

The benefit of the Internet.

An unending source of information.
A great source of news that makes having a TV for that purpose unnecessary.
Personally research any topic.
An opportunity for ministry.
A great tool for communication.

The dangers.

Time waster
Surfing the Internet is risky business
Using the internet to compensate for boredom is a recipe for disaster
Pornography is a real problem on the internet
On line relationships can be a real issue and problem
Unless you know the people in real life you do not and cannot know for sure who they are or what they are about.

Guarding our Internet usage.

Does my Internet usage encourage me to abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good?
Does my Internet usage cause me to set evil things before the eyes of my imagination?
Is my Internet usage in keeping with abstaining from the appearance of evil?
Does my Internet usage allow me to remain simple concerning evil?
Does my Internet usage encourage the beholding of vanity?
Does my Internet usage incite lust?
Does my Internet usage encourage thinking upon things that are virtuous?
Does my Internet usage condemn the just and justify the wicked?
Does my Internet usage cause me to take pleasure in those things that are against God?
Is my Internet usage a good use of time?
Does my Internet usage put me in contact with evil communications that will corrupt good manners?
Can I enjoy my Internet usage with the certainty that it does not offend God?

Covenant Eyes is an excellent accountability program for internet usage. A report is sent as often as is designated to as many people as you want. They can see everywhere you have visited and how many times and how long. Questionable sites are highlighted at the top of the list. You can go anywhere but someone will see everywhere you have been. If someone attempts to remove the program the accountability partners are notified. We have the program both of our computers and the cost is $9.00 a month.


These are all important issues to consider.

Entertainment is stimulus. It causes to us to think about things. If our entertainment is causing us to think about things that are contrary to virtue it is the wrong kind of entertainment.

On what does our choices of entertainment cause us to think?

I started with entertainment because it has a direct impact on other areas of separation. Our entertainment influences the way we think and see the world. The way we think determines the way we behave. As I have closely considered the issues of separation I have become convinced that many people cannot or will not grasp the principles that come to bear on separation because of their entertainment choices. They spend hours a week watching worldly TV and movies. They spend hours more listening to the world’s music with its sensual beat and emphasis on rhythm. They spend hours on video/computer games that at bare minimum deprive them of time that could be used to cultivate virtues. And now we have the Internet to round out our diet of worldly carnal appetites. Having a couple of generations that have gorged themselves on the world’s entertainment it is no wonder that separation is becoming a relic of past generations. So, now it is not only the unbeliever who scoffs at a believer’s separation convictions the carnal, worldly believer has also taken up the mantle, belittling and scoffing at any pretense to perfect holiness in the fear of God.

What we expose ourselves to in the name of entertainment and amusement is of no little consequence. It will largely determine the degree to which we are willing to pursue holiness. It will dictate our appetite for righteousness. Jesus said, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Not those who hunger and thirst after the latest movie, CD, or video game. In either case what we hunger and thirst after is what we will be filled with and what we are filled with will be manifested in our lives.

Is there anything you are unwilling to give up that is keeping you from pursuing holiness?

It is blindness of the first degree to think that the Bible has no principles whereby our entertainment choices are to be governed. Most people just do not care. They know what they like and they have no interest in having their choices of entertainment challenged, even on the basis of God’s word.

We have devoted several posts examining the clear principles of Scripture that lend themselves to application in the area of entertainment. Having set forth the Biblical premise for the examination of the options available to us for entertainment the responsibility is now ours to see how our entertainment choices measure up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Be Acquainted With The Whole Range Of Sensual Desires

The following is from a message by Richard Baxter entitled, "The Sinfulness of Flesh-Pleasing

"Be acquainted with the whole range of sensual desires, and pay attention to them, and watch them in all their extravagances. Otherwise, while you are stopping one gap, they will be running out at many more. I will here briefly set some before your eyes:

1. Watch your appetites as to food and drink--both quantity and quality. Gluttony is a common sin. The flesh enslaves men most--by the appetite; as we see in drunkards and gluttons.

2. Take heed of the lust of uncleanness, and all degrees of it, and approaches to it; especially immodest embraces and behavior.

3. Take heed of ribald, filthy talk, and love songs, and of such sensuous snares.

4. Take heed of too much sleep and idleness.

5. Take heed of taking too much delight in your riches and lands, your buildings, and delectable conveniences.

6. Take heed lest honors, or worldly greatness, or men's applause--become too great a pleasure to you.

7. And take heed lest the success and prosperity of your affairs do too much please you--as the rich fool.

8. Take heed of an inordinate pleasure in your children, relations, or nearest friends.

9. Take heed of a delight in vain, unprofitable, sinful company.

10. Take heed of fineness of apparel--to set you out to the eyes of others.

11. Take heed of a delight in romances, novels, useless news--which corrupt the mind, and waste your time.

12. Take heed of a delight in any recreations which are excessive, needless, devouring time, discomposing the mind, enticing to further sin, hindering any duty--especially our delight in God. They are miserable souls, who delight themselves in such unprofitable things--as cards, and dice, and theaters, and immodest dancing."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Psalms 95:2 - Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Things For Which I Am Thankful:

Salvation – As of November 5th I have been saved 37 years
Call to the ministry – As of July 3rd I have been called to preach 30 years
I am thankful for the King James Bible
I am thankful for the Baptist church

I am thankful for my wife of 25 years

I am thankful for all of my children, their respect, love, and devotion
Sara who always said she was only going to have two children and is expecting her fourth
John who has proven to be a better husband than what I expected
Caleb who is all you could hope for in a son
Heather who I count as one of my own
Olivia who is deserving of a strong, disciplined, spiritual man
Daniel who has more gusto than just about anyone I know
Kimberly who is our gifted and talented child
Lydia who is my baby and deserves to live on a farm

I am thankful for my grandchildren those living here and in heaven

I am thankful for my parents
I am thankful for my brothers and sister

I am thankful for Bro. Taylor

I am thankful for books
I am thankful for not having delivered my last pizza, Lord willing
I am thankful for the insurance that is provided through my bus driving
I am thankful for computers
I am thankful for the Internet
I am thankful for my study at home
I am thankful for my van
I am thankful for a perfectly good leather recliner that someone had set out and we picked up
I am thankful for a big desk
I am thankful for reasonably good health
I feel good nearly all the time
I am thankful for our church camping trips

I am thankful for the opportunity to pastor one of the Lord’s churches
I am thankful for each member of my church
Their special gifts and talents that keep this ministry growing and functioning
Their commitment to this church
Their faithful attendance
Their vigorous support for and love toward your pastor
Their love for truth
Their love for preaching
Their patience with me

Psalms 26:7 - That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Second Ammendment Case Before The Supreme Court

"Gun-control organizations seem worried that the Supreme Court will agree with the D.C. appellate court that the Second Amendment affirms an individual right to keep and bear arms. Such a ruling would seriously weaken the nationwide web of gun control laws enacted over the last 40 years, and groups like the Brady Campaign (formerly known as Handgun Control, Inc.) know it. Brady spokesman Paul Helmke admitted in an Associated Press article on October 4, that his organization suggested that D.C. not appeal the issue for fear of losing.

As with all matters before a court, the outcome of D.C. v. Heller is not certain. But it seems that the planets are lining up for champions of the Second Amendment. There is no longer any doubt that the founders meant it to affirm an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the so-called collective right of the states is a fabrication. If the amicus brief of the American Academy of Pediatrics is any indication, the gun ban movement has not only run out of steam, it has run out of credible arguments for denying D.C. residents, and other Americans that most natural of rights — the right to self defense."

The preceding is taken from an article on nationalreview.com by Timothy Wheeler.

Just the past week the High Court has agreed to hear arguments in the case District of Columbia vs. Heller. A District Court recently struck down a law banning the ownership of handguns in D.C. The District of Columbia has appealed the decision. I believe the High Court will hear arguments in March with a decision expected in June. This will likely place this issue front and center for the upcoming Presidential election. This will not bode well for Giuliani who has a record of being against handguns. It would be interesting to know if he carries one??

The second amendment states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

I honestly do not know what makes this so hard to understand especially when you consider that most of the Revolutionary Army was manned by men bringing their weapons from home to fight off British tyranny and oppression.

The amendment acknowledges:

Security is maintained through the bearing of arms.
Freedom is maintained through the bearing of arms.
The people are to be equipped to be called on by the State for its defense.
The right to keep and bear arms is a right of the people.
And what is so hard to understand about, "shall not be infringed."

I am a strong supporter of the right of the people to keep and bear arms for defense. I do not personally own an arsenal. I do own sufficient firepower to provide protection for my life and property. I don't anticipate ever having to use it and would only do so under the most alarming of circumstances. I would never shoot someone to kill them but I would shoot them to stop their aggression and violation against persons or property.

The right to self-defense is a basic human right and I do not want the government stripping me of the tools needed to provide a reasonable defense. I hope the High Court will get this right and come down on the side of personal liberty!

The rest of the article by Timothy Wheeler can be read here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No Longer A Pizza Packing Preacher

That's right. If you have closely observed my header you will notice that the part about me being a Pizza delivery man is no longer there. It has been there for 17 years........

That's right for 17 years I have delivered pizza for Dominos. "Nobody knows like Dominos how you like pizza at home."

I have delivered Pizza because the church I pastor is small but I might add growing with young couples with children. Praise the Lord.

To be quite honest I started driving a school bus a couple of years ago in order to get out of the pizza business. Several reasons.

1. Reduced delivery area meant fewer deliveries.
2. Increasing fuel cost.

Bottom line: delivering pizza was not as lucrative as it once was.

But I did deliver pizzas for 17 years. Most of the people working there when I quit were in diapers when I started.

When I started there were no computers in the store. I saw it go from writing the order out to punching the order in on a keyboard to touch screen.

When I started I was only a few years older than most people that worked there, some were even older. I was 28. When I quit I was a grandpa, and people were calling me Mr. McEntire!

When I started we did not have conveyor ovens we had two chest ovens stacked one on top of the other. They would hold six large pizzas a piece for a total of twelve in the oven at the same time. You had to spin them around to get them to cook evenly. You had to alternate the placement of the pizzas because when you took a pizza out that spot will be relatively cool. That was called oven tending. Now they go in one end of the conveyor oven and come out the other and they call that oven tending. Their is no tending to be done. Just take it out when it gets to you.

The store I worked out of in Freeport, yes for all 17 years was remodeled twice. Two different owners, although I worked for the same owner for 16 of those years.

I wore four different uniforms.

The small pizza became the large pizza, and a smaller pizza that we did not sell at the time became a medium pizza. The original large pizza came back a few years later as an extra large pizza. There were a few astute customers who realized the pizzas were smaller. Good for them.

I have worked for eight different general managers, more assistant managers that you can shake a stick at, and more mangers in training than the stars in the sky and the sand of the seashore.

I wish I had a nickle for every box I have folded. I surely would be well on my way to being independently wealthy.

I have seen the work ethic of young people deteriorate dramatically in 17 years.

When I went to work there my brother who was an assistant manager at the time trained me. Since I have worked there my father has worked there, and both of my sons, one is there tonight. My sons have been mowing the yard at Dominos since my oldest son was about eleven. He is almost 23.

I was not involved in one accident while driving. I had one citation for speeding in an area where they had put up new signs indicating the speed limit was 20????(not a school zone)

I worked until 4:00 one morning and that was enough!

Yes, I still love pizza and could eat it several times a week! Pepperoni, hamburger, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, extra cheese on original crust, please! (jalapenos sometimes)

I was never robbed. When I delivered to suspect places in the dark I made it a point to walk in such a way to send the message: "Do you really want a pizza that bad!"

I have had naked children come to the door, drunks unable to count money, men in their underwear, women hide behind the door disrobed (one time at a motel room), a bra thrown over the door, people wait for their penny change, a $50.00 tip, children keep the tip money, smell dope ten feet before you get to the door, threatened by dogs several times, people unintentionally give me too much money, several people give me ten or more dollars in change (and not all quarters, not even mostly quarters) and it is not enough (yes I always counted it), and they don't bother to put it in a bag (would they do that at the grocery store?), countless people say, "did you bring me a pizza?" I always wanted to say, "Well, did you order one?"

I brought home lots of pizza!

I have, Lord willing, delivered my last pizza and I am no worse for the wear! Can't say the same for all the cars I have driven.

Old pizza men never die, they just fade away!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Three Hundred Posts

Let me take the occasion of this 300th post to thank those of you who take the time to periodically read what I write here. Some who read here agree, some do not, I am thankful for all who read. I don't even expect everyone to agree with everything they find here. We can't all be right ;-)

I started blogging because I love to write. I like to express opinions. I like to approach controversial issues. I enjoy making an attempt to be thought-provoking. And.....well.....I'm fullypersuaded about a lot of things.

As I look back over my labels I see that most of my posts are under the heading of personal (67)

From their in descending order filling out the top 10 are:

2. Holy Living - 43
3. Christian Living - 42
4. Doctrinal - 25
5. Politics - 24
6. Cultural Issues - 21
7. Book Reviews - 17
8. Spurgeon - 16
9. Evangelism - 14
10. Ministry - 11

This is not counting the miscellaneous category which had 12.

As I consider these different topics I think the emphasis accurately reveals my view of the Bible and its relevance to the believer. I believe the Bible addresses the relevant questions of our day either by precept, principle, or pattern. The Bible is not just a book that is suitable for theological discussion but it is also suitable for real life discussion. There are many who accept the Bible as authoritative in doctrine but not for life. I have never really been able to figure out how we separate what we believe from how we live!

2 Peter 1:2-4 - Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

He has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. This is where the majority of my posts have been directed; holy living, and Christian living. Why? Because I believe God has an interest in our life and godliness! He has given us all we need to live life as it ought to be lived, that is unto glory and virtue. And all of this is made possible through our knowledge of him. And where might I ask do we get our knowledge of him? If not from the Bible then I would be at a loss as to where. Where are we to find these exceeding great and precious promises? In the Bible! What is the purpose of our growing knowledge of him and these great and precious promises? That we might be partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lusts.

I don't know about you but I am not enough of a partaker of the divine nature, I am still to bound to my lusts and the corruption it creates. Thank God for a Bible that expresses to me the will of God, promises me the power of God, assures me of victory through God, and warns me of the fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God!

Consequently I make no apology for applying the Scripture to every aspect of daily living. I am not wearied with seeking the mind of God on a matter in the pages of the Holy Oracles. In fact I am delighted to have access to the words of one who knows everything so I am not dependent upon the words of those who know nothing, including myself!

This is the framework from which this blog is presented and that is likely to remain true.

Thanks for reading and for those of you who have commented a double thanks, even those who have disagreed. For those of you who have linked to my blog I am humbled and the traffic it creates is appreciated!

Keep reading even if you never comment. Where you think I got it right be glad. Where you think I am a fringe lunatic be assured the feeling is mutual ;-)

Off to 301........

Directing Traffic



This is Homer playing football with the guys. He and his wife were saved earlier this year and are being discipled by a man who I won to the Lord ten years ago who has since surrendered to preach. Homer and his wife are some of my spiritual grandchildren. It is such a blessing to have them in the services and see them being so attentive and responsive to the Word of God. Their testimony as to what God has done in their lives is as good as it gets. They are already reaching out to family and friends with the gospel.

Here he is directing his receivers but more importantly he is now being equipped to direct his family in the ways of the Lord and direct others to faith in Christ alone for salvation.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 - For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

I Love Brazos Bend State Park

Saw these two American Alligators on a walk I took Saturday morning. I didn't realize it at the time but I now think they were taking an aggresive stance toward each other. See their mouths open?


Now do you see their mouths open?



How about now?


Well, how about now?


Which would you rather ride? A wild bull or a wild alligator???


I told you. They were not too happy with each other for some reason. I watched them fight in the water for about three to four minutes. Numerous pictures of which this is one. I almost took my video camera but decided not to lug it along. I should know better than to leave it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Has Not The Spirit Of Obedience

"Whether men understand us or not, we are bound to obey God in everything. No command which He has given can be so unimportant that we are at liberty to disobey it at our pleasure. When the finger of God points out the way, no place is left to us for human preference. And when we know the will of God, we are not only bound to obey for ourselves, but also to teach others to obey, so far as they are brought under the influence of our instruction . . . .The man who can disobey God, because the thing commanded is of minor importance, has not the spirit of obedience in his heart; and the man who, knowing the will of God, forbears to declare it, because the weight of human authority is against him, fears men more than God."

JOHN L. DAGG Pages 299-300 A Treatise on Church Order

(Charleston, SC: S.B.P.S., 1858).