Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Outsmarting God

I know my own imperfect heart well enough to know that there have been times, when I have sinned against the Lord and have been expecting discipline from Him, that I try to manipulate that discipline (put a book in the seat of my pants, talk Him into taking fewer swats, color a picture for Him to put on the fridge before He finds out what I did). -- As if I can outsmart God when He has determined to do what needs done. My pastor points out that such an approach -- trying to "manage" God's judgment -- is likely what many conservatives are working to accomplish through their voting .... "Whether we get Trump or Hillary, one thing is certain. We deserve worse than that. We have to take up our problem with God, because He is the one visiting this plague of an election on us. And He is doing so for reasons that are righteous, holy and just. We deserve the rulers we have gotten, are getting, and are going to get. Wicked people get wicked options in their elections. The problem is not the RNC, or the DNC, or whoever else we might want to blame. We have met the enemy, as Pogo said, and he is us.

"If the hand of the Lord is upon us, the way out is repentance. We cannot manage our way out. We cannot do a little voting triage. We cannot game the system. What is happening is the judgment of God. And if God is judging a stiff-necked people, as He manifestly is, it is no solution to suggest that we try to dodge the flaming hailstones. The way out is repentance. And I don’t primarily mean repentance at the polling booth. Right repentance will eventually show up at the polls, but I am talking about the country turning back to Jesus Christ through a great reformation and revival. If you want anything else, you are desiring salvation without a Savior." - Douglas Wilson

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

More Than a Feeling

I've been impressed at how quickly a good country song can take me, in just 4 minutes, from tapping my toe to crying.  I've also stood in the edge of the ocean and, in about the same amount of time, felt the waves take sand from under my feet and bury them without any effort on my part.

Emotions are sand.  And what did Christ tell us about the house built on sand (Matthew 7:26-27)?  Too many in our culture build their worship experiences and their marriage relationships on emotions.

This World Is Not My Home; I'm Just a-Shirking Through

When some mess in our nation or in the Christian church is motivating a discussion with opposing views, I will occasionally observe someone saying, "At the end of the day, this earth is not our final destination and these worldly matters are distracting us from our relationship with God."

If a personal relationship with God is all that matters, then why are we still here? Once that relationship has been established, why not just go immediately to be with Him?

Apparently, the One with Whom we are in relationship wants to see growth in that relationship via a life on this earth. Apparently, He wants us to honor Him by how we live here on this planet, by how we seek His face, by how we heed His Word, by how we engage with our neighbors, and by how we love those neighbors through our votes (or abstentions) in regard to policies (and politicians) that will certainly affect those neighbors.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Married Man Is Wiser

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).  “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;  he who does so destroys his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32).

Got that?  A man who finds a wife “obtains favor from the Lord,” but if he sins against her by committing adultery, he “destroys his own soul.”

Now hear these words that Wisdom speaks (from Proverbs 8:35-36): “’For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord;  but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;  all those who hate me love death.’”  –  Sound familiar?  What Proverbs says of Wisdom, it also says of a wife – nearly word for word.

So it’s not a stretch to suggest that a young man gains wisdom by marrying and being faithful to his wife.  And what does that imply of a man who has the opportunity to pursue a wife but fails to do so?

For more on this, check out these links:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

From Dream to Déjà Vu

Ever had a bizarre dream? (duh) ... where you were in some location that you didn't really recognize?

Ever had déjà vu ... in a place where you're sure you've never previously been?

Now you know why:  It's probably that place you didn't recognize in an earlier dream.


(Oh, the things I can come up with when I have a bit more spare time than usual!  If you want to be further impressed, check out my syllogism on Peter Piper.)

Sunday, March 06, 2016

"Your Descendants Will Love the LORD!"

"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." -- Deuteronomy 30:6

One of the deepest desires of my heart is to see every single one of my descendants enjoying God eternally. Given the context for the above verse, God is promising His people that, if they wholeheartedly repent and obey His commandments, He will grant hearts and souls of love and life to them and their descendants. ~~ What an awesome (conditional) promise!

Monday, February 22, 2016

As long as you're tryin' to do what's right ..., right?

"In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes." -- Judges 17:6 & 21:25

This verse is not a compliment to the culture in Israel during the time of the judges. This verse shows up twice in the book of Judges as book-ends to two very strange stories that show the depravity of a culture where God, the One Who is Truth, Beauty, & Goodness, had been all but forgotten. But if the implication of those crazy stories doesn't quite convince you that "every man doing what was right in his own eyes" was actually a bad thing, then please consider the following clear instruction from Deuteronomy 12:8 -- "Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes."

Have you ever been to a church where you were encouraged to worship the Lord in your own way? Were you ever given the impression that God doesn't care so much about what you do or how you do it as long as your why (your motive) is right? Sure, if your motive is wrong, that's not good. But as long as your doing "whatsoever is right in your own eyes," well, then ....

Does God Care about Politics?

Is Jesus King of Nations? Or is He only King of individual hearts? Does God care about national and global politics?

"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." -- Proverbs 14:34

"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." -- Proverbs 21:1

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." -- Proverbs 29:2

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." -- Proverbs 33:12

Thursday, July 03, 2014

One Sam Gives Us Another

Think you’ve got it bad?  Well, for this celebration of Uncle Sam’s birthday, I’d like to tell you just a little of another Sam – a true story.

Sam was the 4th child of 12 that his mother, Mary, bore;  but he was one of the only 3 who survived past age 2.  Mary yet encouraged Sam’s faith in God;  so he married Elizabeth, a minister’s daughter who had more than just Christian faith in common with Sam.  She, too, was one of only 3 who survived to adulthood out of the 12 children born to her own mother.

Soon Elizabeth began bearing Sam’s children.  Their 1st was “a boy who lived for only 18 days.  A year later, she gave birth to a son, Samuel, who lived to adulthood.  … She gave birth to a 3rd child, a son, who lived only 37 hours.  Her 1st daughter … died after 3 months and 9 days. Her 2nd daughter, Hannah, … lived to adulthood.  Her 6th delivery … was a stillborn son.  For 19 days, [Elizabeth] lingered.  Then, at 8 A.M. on Sunday, July 25, 1757, she passed away.”  Thus were just some of the challenging circumstances in the life of a young Samuel Adams.

“Samuel Adams was the archetype of the religiously passionate American founder, the founder as biblical prophet, an apostle of liberty.  …  He was the moral conscience of the American Revolution, a man who never lost sight of the Revolution’s political  and religious goals, which for him were fundamentally intertwined.”

I’m looking forward to reading the “book about who Samuel Adams was, why he is forgotten, why he should be remembered.”  --  Samuel Adams:  A Life, by Ira Stoll.  (Free Press, New York, NY.  Copyright 2008.  Pp. 23, 8, 9, & 11, respectively.)

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Ha! That was fun.  ~  You other Dads have done it, too, right?  As I saw my 2-yr-old about to enter my office, I threw on a disguise, and he looked at me as if to say, "Umm, I think I know you, but I'm not sure I want you to get very close ...."   He was bold enough to shake my hand; and then when I pulled off the mask, he & I both laughed.

Does God do that, too, sometimes?  Something crazy in your life makes you wonder, "Is God doing this?  Or am I just the victim from some silly decision I made somewhere?"  Then when everything works out in some surprising way, God pulls off the disguise, and we both laugh.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Take me tired; I'm home.

hark Mere: Been a post since I've whiled something here, and I shouldn't probably now, since I didn't get much night last sleep.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Singing in the Shower

Singing in the Shower -- a natural reaction of the soul to getting clean. After all, didn't the entire nation of Israel sing after passing through the Red Sea?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How long halt ye between two opinions?

What will Americans do when hit by a severe drought?  Cut themselves?  Shout louder?  I can see them doing that, crying out to Baal  --  I mean, the POTUS, the IRS, HUD, NSA, or whatever name he goes by now.  And it'll likely have a similar effect to that of some 28.5 centuries ago ...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Children Play-Acting

Children can learn the value of communicating via the arts and get practice doing such when various theatrical opportunities come to town. They can participate in this means of story-telling by stepping into a story, instead of just hearing or narrating it.

But parents should read scripts before auditions. Dramatic story-telling is a great art form. And it has more value than just for entertainment. I personally learned many life lessons via radio drama growing up, as we didn't have a television until my early teen years. The best stories are those which reflect real truth. Often, the stories which stand the test of time do so because of their success in exemplifying some particular truth(s). Messing with these stories in significant ways changes the message and seriously runs the risk of propagating a lie. When our children are told that big bad wolves, dragons, and ogres aren't really bad, then they're subtly told that evil, if it really exists, is simply in the imaginations of your old-fashioned simple-minded parents since they are probably the ones who first told you that dragons, big wolves, and self-centered step-mothers are bad.

I'd much rather my child play a bad guy in a good story than a good guy in a bad story. The stories that people like (and we prove it with our dollars) are those in which the heroes and heroines most closely resemble the lovers of the Song of Solomon. The Hero in that story is, of course, the Lord and Redeemer of the universe, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Be Encouraged to Draw Nigh to God

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." (James 4:8a)  That is a promise from God that, as you desire and seek to get closer to Him, He will draw nearer to you.  So if that's what you're endeavoring to do right now: to get closer to God, then take comfort in that promise.  Your time is not wasted.

God's Word is full of promises.  God cannot break His promises.  They are guarantees -- set in stone -- "you can take 'em to the bank" -- they will not, cannot fail.  But, of course, in order to know what God's promises are, in order to become familiar with them, in order to be able to hold God to His Word when you're praying to Him, you have to be in His Word, reading His Word, memorizing His Word, studying His Word, daily, regularly.

"Heaven and earth may pass away, but God's Word endures forever." (Matthew 24:35)

Now ... Be encouraged ... in the LORD and in His Word!