Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snowball fight!

You’ve been hit!

Welcome to the 2011-12 snowball fight. Since we are getting our first snowfall of the year, let’s have some fun. Copy and paste this and email to anyone on your contact list. The only rule is that the person you send this to you cannot hit you back.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

An arrow released

“Sad” day today. H is moving 70 miles away, to the town of her birth and home of my older two children. She won't be far, but she won't be here. Psalm 127 speaks of children as arrows in a quiver.  It is time to let this one go and pray/trust that God will direct her to His chosen target.  Since she will be nearby, we will see her often, just not every day.  And she gets to spoil the niece and nephew more often as well.

My favorite picture of H as a little girl.
So, P will have to put up with her two 50+ parents on her own. At 17, she thinks she'll be moving out next year, but I doubt it.  There are many things involved in leaving home, which she has not yet realized.  If she is ready next year, then I will gladly shoot the last arrow from the quiver in God’s will.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Post 101

I just realized that I have reached a “milestone”: I have 100 posts! To celebrate (which I should have done on my last post, since it was #100) here are not-quite 100 unrelated thoughts.

  1. Since baseball is not a timed game, why is it called a “time out” when the coach wants to talk to the pitcher?
  2. When the “occupy” protesters are done complaining about not having a job, will they refuse to clean up the mess they are making in various city parks, even if they are offered an hourly wage to do so?
  3. And why are they protesting at Wall Street, when it is all the corporations represented on Wall Street that provide jobs?  Perhaps they should go to Washington and tell the Congress and President to remove hindrances to jobs, like over-regulation and high corporate taxes.
  4. Why does the President think he needs to go give a speech to promote his economic recovery plan, when doing so costs millions of taxpayer dollars? A word to the press: point out to him that he could cut his own budget by those millions by staying in the White House and speaking from there. 
  5. Why do so many people complain about colder weather in the fall, when they were looking forward to it in August?
  6. And why do these same people blame the TV weather person for weather the latter cannot control?
  7. And why does the TV weather person take credit for good weather?
  8. Also, why do TV weather personalities act like nannies?  They tell us, “Put on your coat since it is cold.” Or, “Grab your umbrella, it’s going to rain today.” We can decide for ourselves.
  9. Has anyone missed the NBA, since it is not playing ball this season because of a lockout?  I didn’t either.
  10. Is it hockey season too?  Hmm, baseball ending, hockey starting, football half-way through. It must be October.
Okay, so I only could muster 1/10 of 100 thoughts. But hey, Game 7 is on now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thoughts on worship music

One of the topics that seems to get people going is music in the church.  Some churches sing only hymns, some only modern choruses, some only the Psalms.  Really, it matters not to me what a church sings, as long as the people enter in to true worship.  We sing a mixture of choruses and hymns, and are small enough that individuals request songs during the meeting. Many times, the Spirit of the Lord seems to pick the music, as someone will testify that all the songs spoke to his/her needs of the moment.

Anyway, I have been reading a biography of John MacArthur lately, written by Iain Murray.  In it, the Murray has a chapter dedicated to several objections to MacArthur’s ministry.  There is even a section on music in the church.  I find it refreshing that John MacArthur has a balanced view, not proclaiming that either form of music is best, only that the song leader must remember that many people will remember the words to the songs after they have forgotten the sermon.  The author quotes from O Worship the King, written by MacArthur, Joni Eareckson Tada and others. They write,
Like it or not, today’s songwriters are teachers, too.  Many of the lyrics they are writing will soon be far more deeply and permanently ingrained in the minds of Christians than anything they hear their pastors teach from the pulpit. How many songwriters are skilled enough in theology and Scripture to qualify for such a vital role in the catechesis of the people? (1)
Earlier in the biography, Murray quotes MacArthur saying, “I am convinced that the downgrading of worship, Scripture, and theology will ultimately usher in serious doctrinal compromise.” (2)  To me, that means that if all we sing are Scripture choruses, we miss out on the depths of theology in the older hymns. But by the same token, if we only sing the hymns in a dry, staid manor, we miss out on the emotional aspect of worship the great God and Creator.  Try singing “My Jesus, I love Thee” without any emotion.  Or, my favorite “And Can it Be” by Charles Wesley in a monotonic way.  It cannot be done by one who is in tune with God.

(1) John MacArthur, Joni Eareckson Tada, Robert and Bobbie Wolgemuth, O Worship the King (Wheaton, IL, Crossway, 2000) pp. 12-13
(2) Quoted in Iain H. Murray, John MacArthur, Servant of the Word and Flock (Edinburgh, Scotland, The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011) p.188

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thoughts on how it used to be

It’s hot.  The weather icon on this computer says it is 99°F.  It’s September and we are getting a l;ate summer heat wave.  It always get hot around Labor Day, doesn’t it?  What did folks do in the old days when it got this hot?  Surely they endured and took a break in the shade, sipping well water or something.

I guess we are not as hardy as they were.  The schools around here that heave not gotten air conditioning are all closing early this week, including where I teach.  It was 86° inside my classroom the last few days, and  understand it was warmer at the elementary schools.  So, we got out at 1:15 yesterday and 11:00am this morning. I remember riding my bike to school, and not worrying about the heat.  Of course, I don’t remember if it got to 100° this late in the year when I was young. And there is a lot more humidity here than in Arizona, so if it did get this hot, we didn’t feel it as much.  Or we ignored it.

Now I see why schools in the old days did not start until later in September, or even October.  Not only was it cooler, but the children were needed on the farm to help with the harvest.  Now, their are fewer farms, and the farmers don’t require the extra hands as much.

So, if you are reading this and you are older than 40, tell me something you remember from “the olden days”.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How verbal are you?

Here is a vocabulary test I tried out, and was surprised at how well I did: Test Your Vocabulary.  You get two lists of words- the first tests your broad vocabulary level, with words like; the second your narrow vocabulary.  I am in the 45th percentile for adults over 18 years, with a vocab of around 26,000 words.  I did not think I was that verbal.

How well can you do?  Try it, then come back and brag about (or humbly admit) your score.

HT: First Thoughts blog

Friday, July 8, 2011

Grandson update

He’s now 5 weeks old.  Isn't he adorable?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The power of God in the storm

We had quite a storm Monday morning.  Winds at over 70mph tore through the area, downing many trees, including one in our yard.  We praise the Lord we were all well, though we lost a couple hours of sleep, and the electricity was off until this morning, about 36 hours total.

Storms are interesting in their display of the power of God.  This one had the strong winds and lightning that seemed to be a constant strobe light.  It took me a while to realize the power was out because of all the lightning.  All I could think was (and I know it is cliche, but it fits here): AWESOME!!!

Here are a few pictures of the damage and limbs we had moved to the street.  We thank our neighbors and their lawn tractors for moving the largest ones.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are you dressed for the wedding?

We went to a wedding last weekend.  It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have seen (and I have been to a lot of them).  A young man came to the wedding dressed in shorts, t-shirt and ball cap.  My first thought was that he should realize this is a wedding and not a ballgame or picnic. I know the young man, and have only seen him dressed up on a few occasions, one of them being his own wedding.   

My thoughts turned to this passage from scripture:
But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’  (Matthew 22.11-13 NKJV)
Concerning the young man above, I'll leave it to others to decide if his attire was an offense, as I know he is dressed for the most important wedding of all.  When Jesus returns, and we celebrate the wedding supper of the Lamb, the only garment the King of Kings will allow will be the one He supplies: The righteousness of Christ.

Are you dressed for that wedding?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


A Grandson!!!

Born Tuesday, May 30, 2011 @ 9:45pm, a 8#5oz, 19½ inches gift from the Lord (Ps. 127)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thoughts on the end of the world

This came in an email yesterday.  Excellent thoughts on the recent miscalculation of a misguided preacher.


Mark LaCour

"Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (2 Thess. 2:1-2).

Harold Camping isn't the first preacher to be a "victim" of bad math. Jonah had the number of days to judgment correct, but God mercifully extended the deadline. Hananiah shortened the number of years of judgment, and it cost him his life (Jer. 28). But bad "accounting" methods don't produce false prophets -- arrogance does. While Harold Camping and his faulty "math" has exposed him for who he is, don’t think for a second God hasn't used him. Notice a few ways:

First, God has used him to show the world how foolish it is to date the future. It's one thing to "look for the blessed appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior" (Titus 2:13), it's another to circle a date on a calendar and hour on a clock. The former emphasizes our desire to be with Christ, the latter our desire to be seen as someone important with inside knowledge from God.

Second, God has used him to harden people in their arrogance. More than one atheist has patted himself on the back that he's more "enlightened." While he correctly assizes Camping as foolish, he mistakenly generalizes from that foolishness there is no return of Christ at all (2 Pet. 3:3ff.) And God uses Camping's foolishness to harden the atheist with that effect (2 Thess. 2:9-10). Laughing at the "fool on the hill" doesn’t equate to every Christian being a fool. We’re just not on the hill.
Third, God has used him to discipline well-meaning but gullible Christians to always test the prophetic. Rarely is naivete built on immaturity alone, but pride. People giving up jobs, spending their retirement, working/preaching long hours to get the message out is disheartening, but the rebuke should be evident -- humble yourself and listen to others outside your own circle. "The naive believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps" (Prov. 14:15) -- a consideration that requires being teachable from others (Prov. 9:4, 16).

If Noah, a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet. 2:5), had concentrated his preaching on the 120 years God was to put up with mankind before the flood (Gen. 6:3) the unbelievers wouldn't have been caught off-guard when the flood came (Lk. 17:26-27); and two, he could have "dragged his feet" in building the ark, knowing he had 120 years. He did neither. He left the calendar -- and the math to God. So should we. There’s too much building yet to be done.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To post or not to post...

...that is the question.
Whether ’tis worthwhile to write, (hoping someone will read)
Or leave things unsaid that no one will see.

There are times when I have time, and times that I don’t;
I just wish that when I have the time, I had something to say;
Instead of thinking of something to say when I have no time.

My dad always said, “The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest mind.”
I know he was right, as I cannot remember what to say if I don’t write right away.

So the purpose of this post is only to say,
“I have the time, but cannot think of something someone else has not said.”

Stay tuned.  Exams are coming up at school and I’ll have plenty of time to write after that.

(My apologies to the Shakespeare lovers out there.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Corrie Ten Boom on the Pretribulation Rapture

A friend sent this in an email.  Enjoy! (For the original post, click the title and go to “Files from Toni” blog.) 

Corrie ten Boom Warns Against Pre-Tribulation Rapture False Doctrine.

Many Christians are unaware of the warning written in a letter by Corrie ten Boom where Miss ten Boom warns against a pre-tribulation rapture false doctrine. A  Dutch Christian and a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust concentration camps. Corrie spearheaded a rescue operation in Holland that helped hundreds of Jews escape the Nazi extermination camps, and travelled all over the world as an ambassador for Christ telling her story. In her worldwide travels Miss ten Boom met with many Christians abroad. Many in the Suffering Church were enduring persecution just as she had. She met with Church leaders of the underground church in China. There she became aware of what had happened to the Chinese church in 1949. At that time Mao Tse Tung was bringing China into communism. The American missionaries had left the country. Chinese Christians entered into a time of intense persecution. 

During that period the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine had been the accepted teaching. But there was a problem. And it turned out to be a serious one. This Biblically unfounded doctrine had not prepared the Chinese Church for witness under trial. Christian believers were interrogated and brutalized under the Red Guard. Many fell away from the faith in those times.

Corrie ten Boom’s story is told through her book The Hiding Place, and the motion picture released by the same name in the 1970s. 

Corrie ten Boom went home to be with her Lord April 15, 1983, but her inspiring testimony for Christ will endure.

Following is the letter Corrie left warning against a pre-tribulation rapture false doctrine that Christians all over the world, and especially in America need to take very seriously.  In this capacity Corrie ten Boom has earned the right to be heard. She is eminently qualified to present this special word of warning to the Western Church.


The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers. 

Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from Heaven to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will change. 

My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room. 

We may have been the Lord’s only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate. 

Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” for I have found where it is written that Jesus said, 

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things
and I will be His God, 
and he shall be My son.”
This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world. 

Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick.

“Yes, the Lord will heal me,” Betsy said with confidence. 

She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day. 

It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy’s death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus. 

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation that the Christians will be able to escape all this.  These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days.  Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.

In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated- raptured.”  Then came a terrible persecution.  Millions of Christians were tortured to death.  Later, I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly:

“We have failed..
We should have made the people strong for persecution,
rather than telling them Jesus would come first.
Tell the people to be strong in times of persecution,
how to stand when the tribulation comes,
to stand and not faint.”

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation.  There is no way to escape it.  We are next.

Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.” Then I write it down and learn it by heart. 

When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing could be any worse than today.” But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy. 

“If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye;
for the spirit of the glory and of God resteth upon you;
on their part evil is spoken of,
but on your part He is glorified.”
I Peter 4:14

I found myself saying, “Hallelujah! Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!” 

In America, the churches sing, “Let the congregation escape tribulation”, but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone, more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation. 

Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered. 

The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking, “Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?” 

The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I told them a story out of my childhood. 

When I was a little girl, I went to my father and said, “Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”
“Tell me,” said Father, “when you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket?  Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”
“That’s is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength.  Our Father in heaven knows when you need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.  He will supply all you need just in time.”

My African friends were nodding and smiling. Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing, 
“In the sweet, by and by, 
we shall meet on that beautiful shore.” 

Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed. 

I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago. 

But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life. 

How can we get ready for the persecution? 

First we need to feed on the Word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives. 

Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History, but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God. 

We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.  In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other.

But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting. 
The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian’s life. 
Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also. 
But then I read the Bible and I am glad. 

When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down. 

“Though He shall slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Job 13:15
for I know that to all who overcome, 
He shall give the crown of life. 

- Corrie Ten Boom - 1974 

H.T.: Christine D.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sensual Worship

I received this the other day as a daily devotional from Mack Tomlinson.  I think it is a good to remember that in worship, we are to please God and not man.  Keep that in mind as you peruse this post. 

When interest in the churches begins to centre round the visual and the sensual, it is commonly a sign of impending apostasy. By ‘sensual’ I mean that which appeals to the senses of man (sight, smell, hearing), as opposed to ‘spirit’, that is, the capacity that belongs to those born of the Spirit of God. Hence the antithesis, ‘sensual, having not the Spirit’ (Jude 19). ‘Sensual’ is also translated ‘natural’ or ‘worldly’; the meaning is the same. It does not take regeneration to give the sensual or the aesthetic a religious appeal to the natural man or woman.

In the Old Testament the people of God were, in measure, taught by their senses as God imposed the form of worship. As a check against any misuse of that means of teaching, no additions to or subtractions from it were allowed. But with the finished work of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit, a momentous change took place. The church was raised to the higher privilege of worship in ‘spirit and truth’ (John 4:24). She belongs to the ‘Jerusalem which is above’ (Gal.4:26).

In the words of John Owen, ‘the naked simplicity of gospel institutions’ was established in the place of ‘the old, glorious worship of the temple’; Levitical choirs, incense, vestments, etc. — all were gone. 

In the words of Richard Bennett, long a Roman priest, ‘The ritual, symbolical richness of the sacramental life of the Church, to a great extent, meets the human need for transcendence.’
 It does no more than that.

The observation of W. H. Griffith Thomas, writing on ‘Spiritual Worship’, is true:
"It is the universal experience of Christian people that the more the senses are attracted, fascinated, and occupied, the less room there is for the action of the soul. The teaching of Christian history points very clearly to the fact that simplicity of outward ceremonial has been usually unaccompanied by the reality of the inward spirit of worship."
This is where the neglect of church history and Scripture has serious consequences for many contemporary evangelical churches. In the 1960s, at a time when the churches were losing their hold on young people, it was believed that a new way of renewing contact with them was to be learned from the contemporary culture. Music appeals to all, and why not make use of the new style of music and accompaniments which had become so popular? After all, music has to be neutral, so why not make it an ally?

Some put it more strongly. James Ryle ‘prophesied’ that ‘God is getting ready to anoint Christian musicians with the same anointing that was given to the Beatles’, and he attributed to God the words, ‘I had a purpose, and the purpose was to usher in the charismatic renewal with music revival around the world.’

Few warning voices were to be heard. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was almost alone in the 1960s in England when he warned against ‘the increasing tendency at the present time’ to use music to produce emotion; the justification being that music can make people happy, and when people feel happy they will find Christianity more acceptable. When an older generation sometimes expressed misgivings at the change this thinking had brought into public worship, they were told not to put their wishes before those of the outsiders whom the church needed to win.

Few saw the danger pinpointed by Lloyd-Jones: the impression of music on natural feelings was being confused with spiritual truth: ‘Because it [music] is performed in connection with a religious service or by Christians, people imagine and persuade themselves that they are feeling the truth. But they are not. This feeling has no direct connection with what they have believed.'

With this new departure came a flood of musical innovations into evangelical churches worldwide. The instruments of the old temple worship, as well as others, were restored, and with ‘music teams’, ‘music directors’, public worship has undergone a transformation.

It would be a mistake to say the change has come simply from the initiative of evangelicals. The Roman Catholic Church is no less involved, and in her case the new thinking was not new at all. It was under the Papacy, in the later Middle Ages, that the Church first commonly took up the use of instrumental music. At the time of the Reformation, Erasmus complained of the Roman Church:
"We have brought into our churches a certain operose and theatrical music . . . as I think was ever heard in any of the Grecian or Roman theatres. The Church rings with the noise of trumpets, pipes and dulcimers; and human voices strive to bear their part with them . . . Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled."
The Reformers rejected the paraphernalia of musical accompaniments, not because they did not appreciate the place of congregational song in the worship of God but, on the contrary, because they wanted its restoration to New Testament simplicity. In the words of Calvin: ‘In gospel times we must not have recourse to these, unless we wish to destroy the evangelical perfection, and to obscure the meridian light which we enjoy in Christ.’ Far from having any right to claim the support of Scripture for what Rome had introduced, he further says: ‘Now that Christ has appeared, and the church has reached full age, it were only to bury the light of the gospel, should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation.’

The Church of Rome, in her apostasy, has long exhibited the full outworking of the danger which evangelicalism has been ignoring. But sometimes protest coming from an unexpected quarter broke the silence. Richard Bennett, after finishing his education at the Angelicum University of Rome, served as a priest in Trinidad. After all his years there, he writes,

"Protestant Christians from overseas sometimes came to services, saw our sacred oils, holy water, medals, statues, vestments, rituals, and never said a word! The marvellous style, symbolism, music, and artistic taste of the Roman Church were all very captivating. Incense not only smells pungent, but to the mind it spells mystery. One day, a woman challenged me (the only Christian ever to challenge me in all my twenty-two years as a priest), 'You Roman Catholics have a form of godliness, but you deny its power.' Those words bothered me for some time because the lights, banners, folk music, guitars and drums were dear to me. Clearly I was unable to apply the Scripture to my life where it mattered most."

The change in public worship in evangelical churches is not the harmless thing it is thought to be. ‘So long as there is good preaching’, it is said, ‘we need not be overly concerned.’ We ought to be concerned! An appetite is being fed which in the past has led to the very abandonment of the gospel. When satisfying the ‘natural’ becomes acceptable in churches, the spiritual will not long remain. As the long-time Catholic, and later Protestant martyr, Hugh Latimer, warned, ‘When candles go up, preaching comes down.’

That music has great prominence in modern society is not in doubt. Nor is it the first time that such attention has been given to music in periods of decadence. Horatius Bonar noted:
"In connection with the 'decline and fall' of the Roman Empire, a singular fact has been recorded. — When the arts were declining, — poetry, sculpture, painting, deteriorating, — religion and patriotism decaying, — music was cultivated to an extraordinary extent. Old Romans died music-mad."
Accommodating the churches to contemporary culture may increase numbers (for a time); it has never led to a spiritual awakening. Unless there is a God-given change, it is to be feared that we will see in evangelicalism a developing apostasy.

-- Iain Murray

We would take Mr. Murray's statement further--we see before our eyes apostasy already in evangelicalism; yet the true remnant of the followers of Jesus Christ will continue to seek the Lord based upon the Bible alone, by the life of the Holy Spirit, according to one thing--the pure gospel of Christ.
-- Mack Tomlinson

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Aftermath of “Snowpocalypse”

Here are a couple of pics of what the L household has now that the snow has stopped and the sun is shining (and we can see the river again!).   The temperature is 16° with a slight wind, so it is still rather cold.  But we let the dog out of the basement she has called home since Monday night.  On the porch, it feels warmer because of the sunshine and lack of wind.  She'll go back to the basement tonight, since it is supposed to drop to -10°.

NiƱa enjoying the sunshine after a day and a half in the basement.
The view from the garage.  Since I had to walk through knee deep snow to get to the shovel,  I am calling this the “Frog snow”, since to me it sounds like a frog’s croak is “kneedeep”.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow day!

I am home for the next two days due to a blizzard, the big Blizzard 2011!  Here are a few pictures we took this morning, since we really didn’t have much else to do.

So how’s the weather where you live?

A woodpecker outside our kitchen.  You can see how fast the snow is flying.

There are houses which you can normally see through the trees about 1/8 mile away.

The river is usually in view beyond the trees about 1/4 mile away.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Is this degree worth two years of your life?

While driving to work today, I heard a news story that made me wonder. It was the story of Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy, a Canandian woman who is the first graduate from a graduate program in studying the Beatles.  Don’t believe me? Read about it here.  We’re not talking about a semester class on a rock group, but an actual college major!

So, I got to thinking of what kind of career a person with an MA in “Beatleology” might pursue.  All I could come up with was museum curator or college prof teaching more young people useless info.  I mean, all the problems in the world today and this woman (she’s my age!) wasted two years studying a rock group?  And people wonder why the world is in such a mess!

I am reminded of an A. W. Tozer sermon about:

... a certain British peer who had died just a few days short of his eighty-ninth birthday.
Having been a man of means and position, it had presumably not been necessary for him to work for a living like the rest of us, so at the time of his death he had had about seventy adult years in which he was free to do whatever he wanted to do, to pursue any calling he wished or to work at anything he felt worthy of his considerable abilities.

And what had he chosen to do? Well, according to the story, he had "devoted his life to trying to breed the perfect spotted mouse."

Read the whole sermon.  You’ll see that Ms. Zahalan-Kennedy is not the first to study something useless.