Sunday, November 30, 2008


"What we need to learn from these survey results is that our moral infrastructure is unsound and in serious need of repair. This is not a time to lament and whine but to take thoughtful, positive actions."
This quote is from Michael Josephson, founder and president of The Josephson Institute, a Los Angeles-based ethics institute. His group recently conducted a survey of almost 30,000 high school students in 100 randomly selected schools across America.

"The survey found that 35 percent of boys and 26 percent of girls — 30 percent overall — acknowledged stealing from a store within the past year. One-fifth said they stole something from a friend; 23 percent said they stole something from a parent or other relative."

They also found that cheating in school is more prevalent than in past surveys. Sixty-four percent of students admitted cheating on a test in the past year and 38 percent did so two or more times. 36 percent plagiarized an assignment, 42 percent admitted lying to save money.

Even so, "93 percent of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77 percent affirmed that "when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know."

The article, (on yahoo news), quoted several educators who suggested that the students should not be made "scapegoats." These students face greater pressures, more competition, busy lives and anxiety about their futures.

I think the whole thing is ironic. Since the 1950's our society has systematically worked to make secular humanism the basis of the educational system. Now they are dismayed because students cheat and steal and lie. But based on secular humanism, who says that cheating and stealing and lying are essentially "wrong?" These young people are simply "adapting" to their environment so that they can survive and thrive. It is pure Darwinism.

Apart from a moral absolute (such as Creator God decreeing what is right and wrong according to His own holy character) who can say that cheating and stealing and lying are wrong?

We cannot teach moral standards to people in an amoral society. There is no political or educational or societal solution to this. The only solution is a spiritual solution - and it can only be applied on an individual basis, as people, one by one, accept God's right over their lives and the salvation from sin that Christ offers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving #5

I am thankful on three stories.

The family is together. The babies are darlings, now sleeping peacefully upstairs.

On this floor, Christmas music is playing, and my daughter is singing along with her amazingly beautiful lyric soprano. Lola and BJ are enjoying a cup of chai together at the dining room table.

The boys, Darren and David, are assembling and exploring a new board game, downstairs.

I praise God for the day. I praise God for my dear family. I praise God for the chance for us to all be together for these few days.

God is good and so kind.

Peace on you.

Thanksgiving #4

On Thanksgiving Day my daughter and her family will arrive for the weekend. Do you think we are eagerly anticipating that? For SURE!

So, what will life be like while they are here? Well, with a three year old and one year old, it is bound to be messy. We will have noise and confusion. We will have some laughing and some crying (mostly from the little ones). We will have toys strewn about and pies baking and food cooking. The kitchen will be crowded with people - then with pots and pans. There will be lots of setting up, picking up and cleaning up.

Do you like the sound of it - or not? It will be a little bit crazy, I'm sure. But through it all we will be united in love. We will talk, and work, and remember, and plan, and laugh, and cry, and wonder, and discuss. Above all we will love each other.

I will try to snuggle the grandchildren - when they let me. Sometimes I will protect them - other times I will protect the dog from them. All because of love. I will pick up toys. I will pick up children. I will change dirty diapers. I will help in the kitchen. I will tease (as if I could not.) All because of love.

This glorious messy fantastic disruption of routine is a great blessing. It helps us focus on our relationships in these fleeting moments of life. We will come away with happy memories to sustain us when life has returned to normal routines.

Praise God for His many blessings!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving #3

(Luke 18:11-12) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’
Thanksgiving can be a mask for pride. People can express thanks as a way of bragging. "I thank God that I am so good. I thank God that I am so smart. I thank God that I am so wonderful."

Genuine thanksgiving, however, comes from our sense of unworthiness and inability. It is an "attitude of gratitude" that bubbles up in praise to God.

  • For salvation, because we are ungodly sinners - saved by grace alone.
  • For your marriage, because it is a testimony to God's selfless love.
  • For your children, because they are unique creations of God - we are only God's palette.
  • For ministry, because we are unworthy to serve God and impotent in our strength.
  • For your livelihood, because our health, strength & opportunity to work are from God.
  • For your freedoms, because God raises and throws down kingdoms according to His plan.
  • For life, because God gives us every moment, every heartbeat, every breath.
(James 1:16-17) Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving #2

(1Timothy 6:17) Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
I have many pleasant memories of the Thanksgiving Holidays. I remember the large gatherings of aunts and uncles and cousins. I remember playing in the cold, then coming inside to the fragrant steamy kitchen where mingled smells of turkey and stuffing and pies and pickles made my stomach growl. I remember the tables literally groaning under the food. (There were too many people to sit at just one table - so we were placed at different tables by our ages.)

None of our relatives were rich. But we were extremely rich in our family and in our faith. We had food enough and to spare. We had people we loved and time together. Above all we had a personal faith in Christ - a confidence in Him of eternal life and blessing that is beyond this fleeting experience.

Now, I am being nostalgic - but I would not return to a past Thanksgiving for anything. We are still not rich - but still rich in family and faith. Some of our loved ones are out of our reach in heaven, but now we have extended families of our own - children and grandchildren - with whom we are making memories for the next generation.

Above all things, I pray that we will communicate our THANKSGIVING to our next generation - that they will not just love the people and the plentiful food, but also our gracious God Who " us richly all things to enjoy."

Thanksgiving is a sliver of time and many people will enjoy it. But only the people who know the one true and living God can truly appreciate it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving #1

Parents are always telling their kids to say "thank you."

Little kids are expected to say "thank you" when someone gives them a gift or a compliment. "What do you say...?" is a hint from the parent.

Older kids (through to college age) get reminders to sent out "thank you" cards. Their hint is something like, "Did you remember to send a thank you to aunt Gertrude?"

These are valuable lessons from parents about the right thing to do. Say "thank you." Send a thank you card. This is gracious living. This is good manners. This is civilized culture.

What we really need to learn cannot be taught. "Be thankful." Being thankful requires an attitude of humility, but our society encourages an attitude of entitlement.

This is precisely why little kids are not often genuinely thankful. They think that people SHOULD give them stuff. This is also why many people have no compunction about stealing. They feel entitled to more than they have... so they should be able to take it from others, even including their own family or strangers, stores or employers.

This is another manifestation of human rebellion against God. In our self absorbed pursuit of autonomy we resent God's rights over us and refuse His limits.
(Romans 1:21) because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
So how about you? Do you have a thankful heart?
God doesn't need grudging thanks - He wants grateful hearts that abound with praise.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


In the "old days" when David Andrew was in high school and Lola left for school at about 7:00, I used to make breakfast for us all and we would sit down together and eat before we took off in various directions. That was nice.

Now, Lola needs to leave for work at about 6:15 and David doesn't get up for work until about 7:30 on most days. I get up right after Lola at 5:00 and make her lunch while she showers and gets ready. When she comes downstairs I make her breakfast and sit and have coffee with her while she eats.

Lola leaves and I have about an hour for devotions before David gets up. Then I make his breakfast and sit and have coffee with him while he eats.

This is pretty much the routine for now. I don't know how long this will last - but it is nice in its own way. I get to have a nice private time with both my wife and my son before we all head off to work.

The routine lets me get good at the different breakfasts I cook... usually an English muffin and sausage patty for Lola and a 2 egg, 2 bacon and 2 toast breakfast for David. (I enjoy having the toaster pop and the microwave beep just when the eggs are ready to take off the griddle. Bing, Bang, Boom - and everything is ready. I love it when a plan comes together!)

The best thing is the conversation. We love each other and express that often. We talk about what we need to accomplish. We talk about schedules and events. We talk about difficulties and concerns. But mostly we communicate that we care about each other and what is going on in one another's lives. What could be better than this?

Maybe we will have oatmeal on Sunday?

Friday, November 21, 2008


Take a deep breath, stretch your arms, crack your neck and yawn.
What do you say as you let out that breath with a little explosion of air?

Bay-Beeee! (Lola doesn't like this one.)



Ouch! (My neck is more fragile than it used to be.)


Just exclamations!
Not explanations.
Not expletives (certainly not)
No exploitation.
Nothing explicative.
Not explicit.
Just exclamations - little explosions.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

An example of courage?

I just checked out the story of D. J. Gregory. He was born with cerebral palsy, but has not allowed his problems to beat him. The one sport he could play was golf, which he plays with a cane and a one handed swing. (And I suspect that he also plays better than I.)

Walking is difficult for him. He has an ungainly, unbalanced walk and probably tears up his feet when he walks much. Nevertheless, he decided to walk every hole of every PGA tournament this past year. So he did - over 900 miles and many falls.

What should be said about a guy like this? What a great heart! What determination! What courage! He is truly inspirational!! Wow!

Check it out for yourself.

Keep on going, D.J.!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Early Snow

When I was a kid it seems we almost always had snow before Thanksgiving. Now that we have moved up from semi-tropical southeastern Ohio to cooler northeastern Ohio, I guess that will be true again.

So I have to mop up some small puddles from my small poodle because snow sticks to his feet.

There are advantages.
  1. I don't need to mow the grass.
  2. The leaves are beyond being raked.
  3. I can easily track anything that walks through my yard. (I'm a country boy!)
  4. Tiny doesn't take so long to do his business - so we can both get back inside.
  5. I appreciate central heating.
Snow is a reminder of God's goodness.

The fresh snow is a beautiful blanket of white that covers everything. It reminds me of Psalm 51:7 "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" - that God can cleanse me of sin so that in His sight I am whiter than snow.

God is faithful and in complete control.
(Genesis 8:22) “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

I remember God's power and I am in awe.
(Psalm 148:8) Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;

With a little bit of snow he stops people and their mighty machines.
(Job 37:6) For He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth’; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Be Good, For Goodness Sake? Part III

The American Humanist Association ad says, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake." They mean that you don't need to believe in "a god" to be good.

So far, I've argued that there is no such thing as "good" apart from a God Who establishes the objective moral standard of right and wrong. Without a god "good" is a meaningless word. The individual is free to come up with his own subjective standard for his behavior.

Today I am thinking about the question, "Why believe in a god?" I think there are some very good reasons.
  1. Because this complex and interdependent universe appears to have been created on purpose. This implies a Creator Who is greater than the creation. (While the theories of evolution may be popular with those who would like to escape these implications, they actually fly in the face of all empirical evidence.)
  2. Because humans have a sense of right and wrong. This implies a Creator Who is a moral being. In fact, the human sense that life will extend beyond the destruction of his physical being, that life has a purpose beyond mere survival and that justice should be rendered against evil - these all point to God.
  3. Because the Bible, written over some 1600 years by more than 40 human authors, purports to be messages from the Creator for His human creatures. This collection is full of diversity in style, literary genre and cultural background, but is unified in pointing to Jesus Christ as the center of God's program for the redemption of mankind.
  4. Because Jesus was born 2000 years ago, claimed to be the Divine Savior, and proved it by raising from the dead after three days in the grave. This was attested by hundreds of eyewitnesses and is the best documented event of history in spite of the fact that it has been attacked continuously by skeptics from the time of Jesus to the present.
What evidence can an atheist bring to suggest that there is NOT a God? He can try to explain how the things that exist might have come into existence, but he cannot demonstrate these theories to be true.

The fact that about 99.9 percent of the world's population believes that there is some sort of God ought to give an atheist pause.

At this point he can do no better than to say, "There's probably not a god." They hope not, anyway.

God says,
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. (Psalms 14:1)
Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Be good, for goodness sake! Part II

The American Humanist Association ad says, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake." According to their spokesman, this group defines humanism as “a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.”

The British Humanist Association ad says, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." " 'Don't worry, you're not going to hell,' " said Sherine, 28. "Atheists believe this is the only life we have, and we should enjoy it."

On the one hand, atheists believe that they have a "responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity." On the other hand they believe "...this is the only life we have, and we should enjoy it" without any fear of eternal consequences.

Do you see the contradiction?

How do they reconcile the idea of "responsibility" and "ethical lives of value" and the idea they should live their lives to please themselves because there is probably no God to Whom they must give an account? (Probably?!)

There is no such thing as "responsibility" if there is no authority greater than yourself. Without an objective moral absolute there can be no absolute measure of ethics or of "value to self and humanity." Why would you forgo some pleasure because of an abstract idea of ethics or responsibility? Why would you care what might happen to humanity after you are gone from the scene? Indeed, why would you even care about extending your own life, if it means living with difficulty, pain, drudgery or restraint of your own impulses?

Christianity, on the other hand, argues that there is a God who has revealed Himself in His creation, in the human conscience, in propositional form in the Bible, and personally in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. As Creator, His standard of moral right is absolute. He is the Judge of all the earth.

But He is also the Savior of all who will call on Him.

How can atheists see this as a negative message? Only in that it means they can't do just as they please, but must conform to God's moral standards because they are accountable to Him.

To be continued...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Be good, for goodness sake?

"Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake."

So says the new "American Humanist Association" Christmas season ad for Washington D.C. buses. Spokesman Fred Edwords says, "...we are trying to plant a seed of rational thought and critical thinking and questioning in people's minds."

Now, what is RATIONAL about this point of view?

The idea that some behaviors are "good" and others are "bad" is not rational apart from some objective moral standard. Where does an atheist go for an objective moral standard, for goodness sake? We theists understand that "good" is what conforms to the moral character of God. The AHA can vote on a standard - but individuals will still have a pragmatic bias toward what is beneficial to themselves.

Maybe that is what they mean by "be good." "Do what seems good to you." Does it seem good to you to help little old ladies and to be kind to homeless people? Do it. Does it seem good to you to rob little old ladies and terrorize homeless people? Do that.

"Do good, for goodness sake." Do whatever helps you the most. Be rational. Remember natural selection - survival of the fittest and all that. Be one of the survivors - that's good. Even when it comes at the expense of the weak and vulnerable.

Christmas memorializes God becoming a man in order to save men from the penalty and power of their sin.

What rationale would an atheist propose for self sacrifice? If there is no hope of life after death, nobody who is being rational should let go of their grip on this life for anyone or any cause.

To be continued...

Friday, November 14, 2008


Friday again already! Sounds like a good day to eat fried foods - except that I eat fried foods with regularity anyway.

We are looking forward to a visit from some long time friends - Glenn & Judy Richards - on Saturday and on Sunday we will be blessed by the ministry of Mark and Cathy Fehrman.

Glenn Richard was pastor at West Endicott Baptist Church in New York when I was in seminary back in the 1980's. They took me on as an intern for the summer of 1982 and mentored us in many ways. It was a blessing that God built into those seminary years. In some ways it rescued us from burning out in seminary after that first very difficult year.

Mark and Cathy Fehrman are missionaries with EBM's ministry - Tri-M. Tri-M offers theological education for indiginous pastors and missionaries in countries around the world. It is a great program, and we are looking forward to hearing about their year abroad.

So it should be a great weekend! I don't get to preach, but I will still be blessed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Under Siege

(Jeremiah 38:4-6) ¶ Therefore the princes said to the king, “Please, let this man be put to death, for thus he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man does not seek the welfare of this people, but their harm.”
5 ¶ Then Zedekiah the king said, “Look, he is in your hand. For the king can do nothing against you.”
6 So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the king’s son, which was in the court of the prison, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the mire.
I suppose that a pastor is especially susceptible to a "siege mentality."

Part of the pastor's calling is to deal with people about their sin - and to encourage them to repent and turn back to Christ. Occasionally there are dramatic positive results. Often people are defensive, resentful and unpleasant - like in Jeremiah's case.

But I love Proverbs 18:10. When I find that I am under attack, my natural reaction is to be defensive myself and to fight back. But then I remember I have a place of safety... in the name of the LORD. I can run to Him and let Him take care of the attacker.
(Proverbs 18:10) The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sermon Planning

Praise God for His daily provision!

I've been working on my report for the semi-annual meeting tonight. In reviewing all of the things we have done - just since last May - I am exhausted. Where did I get the ideas for the sermons and the energy for the work?

Then I look at my sermon planning and come up with a worse question: Where will the ideas and energy come from for the year ahead? I can see the year stretching out before me in the infinite cells of my sermon planning spreadsheet. I have trouble with ideas for a daily blog... how will I come up with sermons?

I will study. I will read. I will meditate. I will jot down notes. I will crumple sheets of scribble and throw them toward the trash can. I will draw blanks and run down dead ends. I will be distracted and interrupted. I will be frustrated.

But a marvelous thing will happen. Each week - somewhere in the week - things will fall into place. Sometimes it will be well in advance. Sometimes it will be at the last minute. But somehow there will be sermons and lessons and reports and meetings.

Praise God! While I am undependable and completely incompetent in my own strength, He is gracious and merciful.
(John 15:4-5) Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 ¶ “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Every Thought

(Psalms 139:23-24) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
It is my natural inclination to feel threatened by the fact that God knows my innermost thoughts. I am a sinner and my heart is the origin of my sins - even the ones that never make it to the surface.

But because God can see my innermost heart, He can cleanse me of even the sins that are so deep I don't realize them myself.
(Jeremiah 17:9-10) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
It is also good to know that God sees not only my actions, which fall far short, but also knows my motives. People judge me by their incomplete picture of me in my many failures - but God knows the truth.

Praise God!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Every Word

Deut. 8:3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
It is not food that keeps us alive, but God. Obeying God - every word of God - is more important than eating.
(Proverbs 14:15; 30:5) The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps.
5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Some people believe everything they hear - but only God is trustworthy in everything He says. He is never wrong and never deceitful.
(Matthew 12:36) But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Every word we speak - every thought we think - counts. God is our judge. Fortunately, He is also our redeemer and our helper. He provides what we need to fight the spiritual battle.
(2Corinthians 10:4-5) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Good Example Of Bad Exposition

I heard an interesting sermon on the radio yesterday. I don't know who it was, so I can't give you his name.

He caught my interest with his strange paraphrase of Ephesians 5:25-33. He said something like, "Our passage this morning says, 'Husbands love your families as Christ loved the church...'" and he went on to talk about the husband's role in the family. He said the husband is the "CFO" of the family - making sure they are provided for and managed well. He talked about training children to manage their time and their money. He emphasized that children should be taught delayed gratification.

I didn't have any problem with his basic ideas about husbands taking responsibility for their families or training their children in managing their time and money. My issue is that he purported to be teaching them about Ephesians 5:25-33. (Maybe he was including 6:1-4 - it was hard to tell since after his loose paraphrase he didn't really refer back to the text.)

What he was doing was not exposition. The only connection between what he was teaching and what was in the text was that it did address fathers/husbands.

The text is all about Christ and the Church. He should have talked about how Christ gave Himself for the Church and why. He should have talked about how the church is united to Christ and what that means for our lives. In this passage the husband's treatment of his wife is the outworking of the truth about Christ and the church. If you don't focus on the basic truth about Christ, you don't have any foundation for the application to the family.

So what?
  • For one thing, he is NOT showing his people how to interpret scripture for themselves. They must look at this passage and say, "How did he get his lesson from this?" Indeed!!
  • Another thing is he has no biblical authority for what he is counseling. There is no tie between what he is saying and what the biblical passage is saying. Why should people take his word for it that the dad is to be the CFO of the family? Certainly not because of anything in particular that they found in this passage.
  • Finally, what he was teaching might have been sound counsel on how to manage your family and train your children about using their time and money, but it was trivial compared to the basic truth of the passage. What if your kids learn to handle money and time well, but end up in hell for eternity because nobody focused on the central truth of these passages?
Every preacher, myself included, is tempted to use his time telling people the things he wants to say. But the expository preacher is governed by what the text says. Exposition is the explanation of the text - not using the text as a jumping off place for my own ideas about a topic. If we do that we are disregarding the revealed word of God, we are substituting our own thoughts for God's thoughts, and we are trivializing preaching.
(2Timothy 4:1-4) I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Husband of the Year?

I like to congratulate myself for being the "Husband Of The Year." The idea is that I do nice things for my wife... that I pack her lunch, write her love notes, give her gifts, and do helpful things around the house and treat her tenderly.

I figure that Lola should think I am the best husband in the world. But no one who does nice things for his wife really deserves a prize. When we have done them all, we are still only a pale (and cracked) reflection of Christ.
(Ephesians 5:25) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Christ gave Himself to the church with infinite condescension and infinite sacrifice. He expects me to love my wife with all of my energy and imagination by giving myself to her. To do less is not really an option. Maybe some people don't, but that doesn't mean I should be congratulated for doing the right thing. What was I thinking?
(Ephesians 5:28-29) So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Being a "great husband" is its own reward. Lola is me! We are one! Any ministry to her is a ministry to myself. To serve her is to serve myself.

I'm not talking about "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine." What I mean is that it thrills my heart to bless her. It is satisfies me to see her smile. It is my delight to delight her. We are tied together in ways that I don't fully understand. If I selfishly tried to please myself at her expense I would be withering my own soul.

I love loving my wife! How I praise God for her!

What Does It Mean?

(Proverbs 29:2) When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

No one knows for sure how Barak Obama will govern. But we now know much more about how Americans think about moral and social issues - and that is frightening.

Pray for President Elect Obama. Pray for America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Italian Buffet?

I've seen a sign for a new Italian Buffet opening near my home. I wonder who wants to be buffeted by Italians? I don't want to be buffeted by anybody - not by Chinese, not by Mexicans, not by Amish - neither in my Hometown or in a Corral (Golden or otherwise.)

All of these are entirely too violent.

Gone Voting!

It is time to vote!

I am glad for the privilege and I certainly will exercise my right! They say every vote counts, and everyone gets only one vote. I hope "they" are right. One vote is just a drop in the bucket, but when you get millions of drops - you get a flood.

Remember that the government will never be our savior. Make sure your hope is fixed firmly on God. Then, no matter what the government does you will be looking in the right direction.

Get out and vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Preachers and Prophets

Ezekiel had a rough assignment.
(Ezekiel 2:3) And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.
In the ten verses of chapter two "rebellious" is the description of Ezekiel's audience five times. According to God they have historically rebelled and transgressed against Him. He calls them impudent and stubborn children.

Every preacher dreams of people responding in a positive way to the preaching of the word of God. But it doesn't take long to learn that a warm handshake and a congratulatory "Great sermon!" at the door of the church does not imply obedience to the message preached.

It is worse than that. People are rebels against God. They want to do what they want to do and they don't want anybody (including God) cramping their style. People have an amazing ability to dismiss any teaching of Scripture if it is contrary to their own feelings and they resent being hearing the truth.

God warns people to listen to those who preach the word of God to them.
(Hebrews 13:7) Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
(Hebrews 13:17) Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
But, instead of obeying the word of God, people resent hearing the truth. God has to encourage Ezekiel to hang in there.
(Ezekiel 2:6) “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


The GPS units in cars must be the brain-child of a woman. Men are too proud to admit they are lost - so they continue to drive around until they see something they recognize... maybe days later. And if you think that a man who is lost will listen to his wife tell him which way to turn, think again.

But a GPS unit is a technical toy and a marvel - so men are anxious to have one and eager to hear it's mechanical voice tell them which way to turn. Now these men are "in control" and happy to follow directions from a little plastic box. Did I mention that it gets its position from SATELLITES?

(Proverbs 1:7) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Humans (men and women) are too proud to admit that they are lost. They will just wander around until they see something that appeals to them. They certainly are NOT going to ask God for directions about how to live their lives. That is so old fashioned! That is so out of date! We don't need those "crutches" anymore - we have SCIENCE that tells us we can do whatever our little hearts desire... but then they wonder why the world is in such a mess.

Until and unless a person will humble himself before the Lord, he will reject God's directions for his life. As long as he rejects God's directions, he will keep on going in wrong directions.