Thursday, August 28, 2008
Today the sad news came down that the public schools in Clayton County GA, the county of our residence and the public school district in which we reside, have lost their accreditation. According to reports, Clayton County schools are the first in the nation in the past 40 years to lose accreditation, failing to meet eight of nine improvement mandates. (Read more).
This is tragic news, as many of the children in our neighborhood - children who spend many afternoons playing in our yard; children we have come to know well and to love are going to school everyday not knowing their future or the status of their education simply because the grown-ups, those who are suppose to be responsible, were anything but responsible and risked squandering the children's education for their 0wn personal, financial, and political gain. Though our children are not enrolled in the public schools, my heart still breaks for those who are. If this is not a strong argument for school choice, I don't know what is. I pray for the sake of these children that responsible grown-ups can get this thing together. God help them.
Monday, August 18, 2008
This past week, I hit upon an idea. I decided to create a blog on which to publish a few of his articles. I invite you to take a peek at Banging It Out. My brother does not claim to be a Christian, though some of his writings have a spiritual element to them. Mostly, however, his writings are worldly and secular. In this they reflect his current state of mind. However, of late I have been reading a hint of morality and thoughts of the providence of God in his letters. Maybe the Lord is working on his heart. At least, let us pray that He is.
Nevertheless, my brother remains an enigma. Even while in prison he continues to produce and look forward to the day when he is paroled and get a second chance at making a positive impact on society. Until then, I admire the fact that he is still banging on that keyboard.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
1. Ask someone else for the use of their phone. We do this all the time don't we. When we seem not to have a signal, we ask someone else if they have a signal and then we may even ask to borrow their phone. In other words, ask someone else to pray for you and with you. Inform others that you don't appear to be getting through to God. Tell them to make a few calls for you. The biblical admonition to pray for one another and with one another is one of God's ways of getting us through the dead spots. It also reminds us of our need and love for one another (Jam. 5:16; Col. 4:3).
2. Keep moving - dead spots are not forever. Sooner or later, as you know, you will reach a place where you have a good signal. Don't just resign yourself to that dead spot, but keep moving until you find the area where you can make the call. God has not shut the lines of heaven to you. Nor is He out of service. Believe that He is willing and able to answer. You must keep moving in faith and trusting that one day you will get through because dead spots don't last always. Have faith in God! (Mark 11:22; Luke 12:28-32) . Be not dismayed because God cares for you! (Dt. 31:8; Isa. 41:10; 1Pet. 5:7)
Beloved, if God can raise Jesus from the dead, surely he can get you through your dead spot. So take heart and be reminded that the triumph of the gospel is also the triumph over apparent dropped calls to heaven.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
1. The Sovereignty of God. God changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings—Daniel 2:21.
2. My mother—thirty-nine years of public service as an elected local public official.
3. The President of the United States. Without a doubt the most difficult, public, and fascinating job in the world—wouldn't want it for anything.
4. The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
6. The American Civil War (or "The War of Southern Rebellion"). America at its worse and yet determined to be its best . . . An awful war for a great cause . . My favourite period of American history.
7. Abraham Lincoln. The man met his moment, and no president ever met it better. (Read the entire article)
For more on this idea, read this review from Comment Magazine of How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read. I am not advocating an end to reading books - no way. But I find it interesting that the internet is making it more and more possible for us to talk intelligently about books we have not read. Is this a good thing? Are we getting too much information about a book before we read it and thus not leaving much for our own investigation?
Monday, August 11, 2008
Believe it or not, I have been looking for a little, non-intimidating book to give to new believers (or those who think they are) that will challenge them with their understanding of salvation and encourage them if they truly have been converted. Lo and behold, I had it on my shelf for sometime now, but did not know it. I would encourage you to get a copy of this book. It will not be easy to find (I have tried the normal book sources and they do not have it). Nonetheless, if you search the internet you can find a copy. I am pretty sure you will find your efforts worthwhile.
BTW, let me know if you find a place to get multiple copies fast. Also, do you know of any other little books that cover the nature of our salvation in a terse yet encouraging fashion?
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Correct me if I am wrong, but did not Paul say, "We preach Christ and him crucified?" Can we preach Christ and not mention Christ? Can we proclaim the faith and not proclaim the Author and Finisher of that faith?
Robert Smith in Doctrine that Dances writes:
As Jesus admonished that the Scriptures be searched because they testify of Him (John 5:39), preachers of Christian doctrine make Christ the heart of their preaching. If the Bible is read backwards, one will see that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). This means that in the mind of God, Calvary was a forethought and not an afterthought. God did not react to the fall of Adam and Eve, but rather He pre-acted before the the fall of Adam and Eve. The Old Testament proclaimed that Christ is coming. The New Testament announced that Christ has come and will come again. (p. 23)
Graeme Goldsworthy in Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture writes:
Is it possible to preach a Christian sermon without mentioning Jesus? I want to avoid simplistic answers here. Perhaps I can put it another way: Why would you even want to try to preach a Christian sermon without mentioning Jesus? Is there anywhere else we can look in order to see God? To see true humanity? To see the meaning of anything in creation? (p. 115).
While the temptation in preaching will be strong to proceed directly from, say, the godly Israelite to the contemporary believer, this method will inevitably produce distortions in the way we understand the text. There is not direct application apart from the mediation of Christ....While, no doubt, the direct approach will produce nice thoughts and, to a limited extent, even edifying ones, we simply can not afford to ignore the words of Jesus that the Scriptures testify to him. (p. 116)
Christ without Christ? Friends, where there is no Christ, there is no church. This is a sad and growing trend around here. May we stand firm upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. And may we preach it from every text of God's revealed Word.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Too funny not to laugh. Too sad not to cry.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
where they go?
I still love her so.
I sit and I wonder sometimes
How she still loves me.
Sometimes late at night
Oh, when we're bathed in the moonlight
She comes to me and makes it right
And I recall
Like a rock
I see it in her face
Like a rock
Even in my mistakes
Like a rock
Her love is still great
Like a rock
Like a rock
She's there thru thick and thin
Like a rock
She's a lover and a friend
Like a rock
And I'd do it all again
Like a rock
Oh, Like a Rock!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
- The God of Salvation. Who is He that saves? Is salvation based in the Word of God? Will God go back on His word or forego His promises? Jonah 2:9; Jer. 31:3; 32:40; Isa. 43:3;
10:8-10; 2Cor. 1:20-22 Rom.
- The Goal of Salvation. Why does God save us? What is the goal of salvation in this life? How are we to understand the term “eternal life?” Isa. 43:7; 45:25; John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47, 51.
- The Grip of Salvation. Do we hold on to God or is God holding on to us? In other words, “Who’s holding who?” Should I understand my salvation in my own hands or in the hands of God? Matt. 18:12-14; Jn. 6:39-40; Jn 10:27-30; Rom. 8:35-39.
- The Grace of Salvation. Can I out sin the mercy and grace of God? Does not the blood of Christ redeem me from all my sin? Rom. 5:17, 20-21; 8:31-34; 1Jn. 1:7.
A Debtor to Mercy Alone by Augustus Toplady
A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on,
My person and offering to bring.
The terrors of law and of God
With me can have nothing to do;
My Savior's obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view
The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is yea and amen,
And never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
Not all things below nor above
Can make Him His purpose forego,
Or sever my soul from His love.
My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in heaven.