Sunday, September 30, 2007

3 times faith

‘The faith OF Christ’ (the faithfulness of Christ to fulfill all the conditions of the covenant of redemption by His obedience unto death on the cross) is the ground of our salvation.

‘The faith of the Gospel’ (the Gospel, the body of truth that communicates the message of Christ) is the revelation of salvation.

‘Faith IN Christ’ (the gift of faith given by God by the Holy Spirit in the new birth) is the fruit of salvation and the means by which we lay hold of Christ.

-- Excerpt from Faith, Faith and Faith, by Bill Parker, Ashland, KY in the Shreveport Grace Church bulletin - August 26th, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

That Sweet Home

"That Sweet Home," Cooper Revision of The Sacred Harp, pg. 549:

When we have crossed the stream of death,
O let us sing and praise the Lord,
For Jesus Christ the Son of God,
Came down to earth to die for me.

I love to tell of that sweet home,
O glory to the Lamb of God.

For some sweet time I'm going home,
To join the praise of endless joy,
O, this I know, I'm on my way,
To that sweet home prepared for me.

Added April 2017: This was one of my Father's favorite songs, and it seems he enjoyed it more and more the closer he got to "That Sweet Home."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In memory

September 14, 1913 -- September 26, 2007

Each of us have an appointment we must keep, a time when we will say to Death, "Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" This morning at approximately 10:15 a.m., my father, Charlie Leroy Vaughn, peacefully passed from the walks of this life at the age of 94 years and 12 days. He had long, full and good life. He left it rejoicing in the hope of eternal life. The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

My Dad was a farmer, a carpenter, and a Baptist deacon. But many people who knew him, knew him as a singer. Of all the songs he sang and loved, he requested only two to be sung at his funeral -- "That Sweet Home", no. 549 in the Sacred Harp (Cooper edition) and "How Great Thou Art".

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power through-out the universe displayed.

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

Refrain (sung after each verse):
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Southwest Texas Convention

Remember the fall session of the Southwest Texas Sacred Harp Convention will be held this coming weekend -- September 29 & 20 -- in Austin, Texas. Click above link for more information.

Jonathan -- always a bridesmaid, never a bride

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride -- this common English idiom means such a person never manages to fulfill his dreams or ambitions. He gets close, but never reaches the pinnacle. Jonathan's life was something like that. He was the oldest son of Saul, the first anointed king of Israel. As the eldest, he was the natural heir to the throne. He was the best friend of David, the anointed future king of Israel. Because of his father's sins and God's choice of David, Jonathan would ever be son and best friend of kings -- but never the king. He was caught in the middle, playing second fiddle; always a bridesmaid, never a bride. His response to this life's calling makes him a standout character of the Old Testament.

Be strong and of a good courage. Jonathan was a man of courage and bravery -- a quality of spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, pain and/or difficulties with confidence. Often in war this is called valor -- "boldness or determination in facing great danger." Jonathan exhibited courage in battle. He was a warrior and a leader. His confidence rested not in himself or his strength, though he was "swifter than eagles" and "stronger than lions". He understood the battle is the Lord's, to win with either many or few as God wills. As Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. Like David, Jonathan understood "the battle is the LORD'S." This was true of every battle Jonathan fought against the Philistines, even the battle in which "the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul's sons." The bow of Jonathan turned not back.

Honor thy father and thy mother. We know nothing of Jonathan's mother beyond her name Ahinoam. His father was a Benjamite, the son of Kish, and the first king of Israel. Saul reigned 40 years. He was a contradiction, an enigma and a madman. Despite that, Jonathan honored his father. Sure, at times he can be found at odds with him. On the occasion of "disobeying" Saul by eating honey in battle, he had not even heard his father's oath and curse. Jonathan operated by obeying God first. After being informed, he viewed Saul's curse as a military blunder and one that later led the people to extravagance in flying to eat the spoils without bleeding the animals (contrary to the law). Jonathan maintained a friendship and loyalty to David from the time of their first meeting. In spite of the fact that David was anointed king to replace Saul and Saul's madness against him, David remained loyal to Saul, never sought to harm him, and waited on God's time to ascend to the throne. Thus Jonathan's faithfulness to David is justified and he is vindicated of any charge of disloyalty to his father in his dealings with David. Despite some differences the adult Jonathan had with his father King Saul in their lives, "in their death they were not divided."

A faithful man who can find? Faithfulness or loyalty is "feeling of devotion that one holds for one's country, creed, family, or friends; faithfulness to commitments or obligations." A similar word is fidelity, which implies unwavering devotion and allegiance to a person, or principle." Caught in the middle between two men he loved -- his father Saul and his friend David -- Jonathan exhibited faithfulness in royal fashion. He was called on to play second fiddle; he himself could never rise to first position. He "divided" his loyalty well. Jonathan fought for his country, interceded for his friend in his father's madness, and died in battle fighting for and beside his father -- true to the end. He must die and David must reign. Perhaps it was his faithfulness to God that bolstered his faithfulness to the people of God and the men God anointed over them. Jonathan took it all in stride, acknowledging it as God's will.

Thy will by done. Both in battle and in life, whether in victory or in death, Jonathan resigned himself to God's will. When he went against a host of Philistines with only his armourbearer behind him, Jonathan could do so because "it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD." If God were in it, that there were only two of them did not matter; if He were not, it would not matter how many they could muster. When he cast his lot with David, Jonathan could not see all the future held. But he did it with the full understanding that he would never be king. With Joseph he could agree, "God meant it unto good."

He must increase, but I must decrease. If I have reviewed the Scriptures carefully, Jonathan son of Saul is not mentioned outside the Old Testament historical books and never in the New Testament. In contrast his bosom friend David receives mention throughout. Jonathan's role might be thought of a somewhat like that of John the Baptist, a forerunner of the coming King. Like John, his role is initially important but then fades from view with the rising of the anointed one. Jonathan's lesson for us is faithfulness -- to run with patience the race that is set before us; to learn in whatsoever state we find ourselves to be content; and to know the Lord will deliver us from every evil work; even if that deliverance should come by way of a sharp blade of a two-edged sword or the swift arrows of a bitter enemy's bow. Second fiddle sounds good when played correctly. It's not bad being a bridesmaid if it is that to which you are called.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Caught in the middle playing second fiddle

The following is not the best poetry, but hopefully captures some of what I feel when reading about and thinking of Jonathan, the son of Israel's first king, Saul.

Jonathan, Jonathan, Saul's oldest son --
You fought for your God, you fought for your king,
You fought for your country, you fought for your friend;
The loyalty you modeled is second to none.

Jonathan, Jonathan, God's soldier brave --
Fearless to battle you shunned not to go
And went with one against a host to show,
No restraint to God by many or few to save.

Jonathan, Jonathan, David's best friend --
Caught in the middle playing second fiddle,
Heir to the throne must have seemed such a riddle;
You resigned that God's will is the best in the end.

Jonathan, Jonathan, loyal to the end --
You could not be king if your friend would reign.
Loyalty to father and friend must have caused pain.
You died with your father and died for your friend
(for you must die if he would reign).

23 September 2007 (© 2007, by author) permission granted for use with proper credit and a suggested mention of this site.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Worth passing on

The following appeared in a Dear Abby column discussing the breast-feeding of babies:

"It never fails to amaze me how a society that participates in the viewing of violence, sex, mean-spiritedness and idle gossip as entertainment can become 'outraged' seeing the act of breast-feeding an infant. It's time we got our priorities straight!" -- T. P. in Manistee, MI

Friday, September 21, 2007

40 Mispronounced Words in Church Music

Continuing in the spihdit of Not reading the names, today let's consider The 40 Most Mispronounced Words in Church Music by John Yarrington. I ran across this when googling what music the church placed the most emphasis on. Please check the link above for the 40 most mispronounced words in church music. Here is one example:

"3. Spirit–SPIH-dit
"Flip the 'r' by singing 'd'. Remember that the correct pronunciation is not the same as the words meaning 'to harpoon'!"

My, my -- where do they come up with this stuff? Who makes the rules? Surely the pronunciation meaning 'to harpoon' (spear it) can be as well understood as the pronunciation describing the forced expulson of expectoration from the oral orifice (spit it)...

...Actually, though, this gives me hope. It may be that we were correct in my growing-up years when we sang Albert Brumley's "Isle mee choo in th'mornin'."

FYI: the classification 'humour' refers only to my blog post. There is no indication that Yarrington's article is anything less than serious.

I will meet you in the morning in the sweet by and by
And exchange the old cross for a crown
There will be no disappointments and nobody shall die
In that land when life's sun goeth down

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Receiving and rejecting

I collected the following verses to illustrate the right and responsibility of visible saints to receive and/or reject those who claim to be brothers and sisters in the faith. I intended to write briefly on the subject, but haven't gotten "a round tuit", so I'm posting the verses for your perusal.

Romans 14:1 - Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Romans 16:1-2 - I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
I Cor. 5:4-5 - In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Colossians 4:10 - Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
II Thess. 3:6 - Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
II Thess. 3:14-15 - And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
I Tim. 1:19,20 - Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
II Timothy 3:5 - Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Titus 3:10 - A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject
Philemon 12,17,28,29 - Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:...If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself...I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
II John 1:10 - If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
III John 1:8 - We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
III John 1:10 - Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not reading the names

In my Bible, three pages before the beginning of the book of Genesis, there is a page title "Key to Pronunciation". The information on this page explains the diacritical marks found in this King James Wide Margin Bible printed by World Publishers. It begins, "Every reader of the Bible has found the proper names very difficult to pronounce." Yes, join the crowd. We're all in the same boat. The names -- especially the Hebrew ones and most especially the loooong Hebrew ones that don't look like anything we English have ever seen -- are hard to read and pronounce. OK, so we start out sailing along in the same boat. What separates us? Different solutions to this age-old problem.

(1) Don't read the names. For example, "Number 13:3-16 -- And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel. These names I can't read are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land." I've noticed this seems to be a popular new development. In the past I can recall plenty of comments on the difficulty of reading the names, but these folks generally opted to...
(2) Muddle through the reading of the names. The person reading the Bible attempts to read the names, at least calling out sounds he thinks may be vaguely similar to how the name looks. This seems better than the above, but not as good as when we...
(3) Learn to read and pronounce the names. Most folks of average intelligence are capable of learning to read and pronounce Bible names, and become at least reasonably proficient. And if you don't get them all exactly right, just who will know anyway!! ;-D

In my opinion, the third option is a solution of integrity. It respects the fact that God both inspired and preserved those "hard to read" names in His holy word. I don't mean to imply that those who take the first option intend disrespect of inspiration. They may be trying to emphasize their own unscholarliness. I'm not any smarter than the average Joe. Sometimes my eyes cross and tongue tangles when I encounter unusual Bible names. But if we believe the words of the Bible are inspired of God*, shouldn't acknowledging that inspiration cause us to try to read and pronounce Bible names? And wouldn't even a stumbling attempt show more respect than a
"Reader's Digest" version that leaves out altogether verses and sections of the Bible?

* "The Bible is a lean book. There is no filler material in it. Every word of every book is important for our spiritual development. It is all good and it is all needed." -- David Robinson, Sow to the Wind -- Reap the Whirlwind (p. 19 Adult Quarterly, Fall 2007, B.S.S.C., Texarkana, TX)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sincerely wrong

"Lack of discernment is not necessarily a lack of sincerity or conviction -- we can have our convictions and be sincere, and yet be sincerely wrong. These are good things in themselves but this can be misleading; it takes more than sincerity and conviction to be right." -- Donald Paul Tuck, Sr., Sentence Sermon for Today, Tue, 14 Aug 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Remains of missing Fayetteville NC teen found

The sad story of Pamela Waldher has come to a conclusion, with discovered remains being identified as those of Pamela. This is the way many missing persons' stories end. But as her school debate coach Don Perkins said, "Not knowing is so much worse than the inevitable." Remember her family in prayer.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hercules Collins

"The witness of Hercules Collins as pastor, prisoner, and preacher is worthy of the closest attention in our own times. We are indebted to Michael Haykin and Steve Weaver for bringing Hercules Collins to life for a new generation." -- R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

"Devoted to the Service of the Temple": Persecution, Piety and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins is now available from Reformation Heritage Books.

Authors: Michael Haykin and Steve Weaver
Retail: $10.00
ISBN: 9781601780225
139 pages, paperback

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This day in 1814

September 13, 1814 -- Francis Scott Key writes the Star Spangled Banner.

(I think some sources give the 14th; if that is correct, let me know and I'll change it.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The leper, by John Newton

The leper. Mt 8:23

Oft as the leper's case I read,
My own described I feel;
Sin is a leprosy indeed,
Which none but CHRIST can heal.

Awhile I would have passed for well,
And strove my spots to hide;
Till it broke out incurable,
Too plain to be denied.

Then from the saints I sought to flee,
And dreaded to be seen;
I thought they all would point at me,
And cry, "Unclean, unclean!"

What anguish did my soul endure,
Till hope and patience ceased?
The more I strove myself to cure,
The more the plague increased.

While thus I lay distressed, I saw
The Savior passing by;
To him, though filled with shame and awe,
I raised my mournful cry.

LORD, thou canst heal me if thou wilt,
For thou canst all things do;
O cleanse my leprous soul from guilt,
My filthy heart renew!

He heard, and with a gracious look,
Pronounced the healing word;
"I will, be clean" -- and while he spoke
I felt my health restored.

Come lepers, seize the present hour,
The Savior's grace to prove;
He can relieve, for he is pow'r,
He will, for he is love.

John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779.
Copied from "Song to the Lamb" listserve 12 June 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Which theologian are you?

Les Puryear posted this on his blog. Some of you might find it fun to take the
Which theologian are you? quiz.

Don't be ashamed, let us know who you are! ;-D

I was surprised to wind up as a Karl Barth!

"You scored as a Karl Barth
The daddy of 20th Century theology. You perceive liberal theology to be a disaster and so you insist that the revelation of Christ, not human experience, should be the starting point for all theology."
Karl Barth 93%
Jonathan Edwards 80%
Anselm 80%
Martin Luther 73%
John Calvin 67%
Friedrich Schleiermacher 53%
Paul Tillich 47%
Augustine 20%
Jürgen Moltmann 20%
Charles Finney 20%

Monday, September 10, 2007

What verse is in "the center" of the Bible

For a long time, I have had information that Psalm 118:8* is the center verse of the Bible. I was reading last night that Psalm 103:2** is the center verse of the Bible. I decided to take my question to the internet, and today I have found that Psalm 103:1*** is the center verse of the Bible.!?!?!. So -- what verse really is in "the center" of the Bible??

Dividing the Bible by verses, we find that there possibly 31,102 verses in the Bible. Since this is an even number, technically there can be no center verse of the Bible. If we divided 31,102 by two, we get 15,551. The 15551st verse in the Bible is Psalm 103:1. But that means there are 15,550 before it and 15,551 after it -- meaning it is not exactly in the center. I suppose we could say that Psalm 103:1 and 2 are in the center. Why do so many other places say that Psalm 118:8 is the center verse in the Bible? According to John Marsh, at, "The 118:8 'center' comes from someone incorrectly identifying 118 as the center chapter and then asserting that verse 8 as the center verse of the center chapter. However, on the first point, it is easy to see that someone miscounted. 117 is actually the center chapter in the Bible. Secondly, 118 has 29 verses, making 8 the incorrect 'center of the center'."

* "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
** "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:"
*** "Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name."

Ultimately, all these verses are great verses, inspired by God and revealed to us, regardless of whether any of them are in the center of the Bible.

NOTE: I have found some sources that state the King James Bible has 31,174 verses (I'm assuming the KJV is intended in the 31,102 since it is the most common). That would change what I've asserted above. Anybody have time to count the verses in the Bible??

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Guillermina Villegas

Guillermina Villegas * was last seen in Mount Pleasant (Titus County), Texas on June 24, 1996. The case is considered by the Texas DPS as "Involuntary - Family Abduction." According to DPS, "Guillermina was abducted by her non-custodial father. A felony warrant for Interference with Child Custody has been issued."

Description at the time last seen:
Height: 3' 10"
Weight: 34 lbs.
Age Missing: 3
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black

Date of Birth: 12/4/1992
Race: White/Hispanic
Sex: Female

* Click on the link, then scroll down to Guillermina's picture.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


We were pleased with our first Sacred Harp singing in Ringgold at New Providence Primitive Baptist Church. We probably had about 35 folks in attendance and a wonderful day of singing and praising the Lord.

Swimmin' in the sea of knowledge

"You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry. Most people do." - Norman Juster

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The names and titles of Christ

The names and titles of Christ (from several scriptures). L. M.

'Tis from the treasures of his word
I borrow titles for my Lord;
Nor art nor nature can supply
Sufficient forms of majesty.

Bright image of the Father's face,
Shining with undiminished rays;
Th' eternal God's eternal Son,
The heir and partner of his throne.

The King of kings, the Lord most high,
Writes his own name upon his thigh
He wears a garment dipped in blood,
And breaks the nations with his rod.

Where grace can neither melt nor move,
The Lamb resents his injured love;
Awakes his wrath without delay,
And Judah's Lion tears the prey.

But when for works of peace he comes,
What winning titles he assumes!
Light of the world, and Life of men;
Nor bears those characters in vain.

With tender pity in his heart,
He acts the Mediator's part;
A Friend and Brother he appears,
And well fulfils the names he wears.

At length the Judge his throne ascends,
Divides the rebels from his friends,
And saints in full fruition prove
His rich variety of love.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sacred Harp in Ringgold, Louisiana

This coming Saturday, Lord willing, will be a first time Sacred Harp singing in Ringgold, Louisiana. A small but excited group of singers in north central Louisiana have put their heads together and it appears that they will have a great all-day Sacred Harp singing in Ringgold. Please consider helping us get off to a good start. Bring BOTH the Cooper and Denson revisions of The Sacred Harp. We will sing from both.

Location: New Providence Primitive Baptist Church near Ringgold, LA
Date: Saturday September 8, 2007
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Books: 2006 Sacred Harp, Cooper Edition; 1991 Sacred Harp, Denson Edition
General area map

The New Providence church building is located on LA Highway 154, about one mile east of Ringgold, on the north side of the road.

The singers in Ringgold recommend the motels in nearby Minden, LA, which is just off of Interstate 20.
Best Western 318.377.1001
Exacta Inn 318.377.3200
Holiday Inn Express 318.377.1111
Southern Inn 318.371.2880

Distance to Ringgold from:
Austin, TX - 303 miles
Birmingham, AL - 438 miles
Dallas, TX - 208 miles
Henderson, TX - 98 miles
Hot Springs, AR - 148 miles
Houston, TX - 215 miles
Jackson, MS - 177 miles
Minden, LA - 24 miles
New Orleans, LA - 250 miles
Shreveport, LA - 37 miles

Zip code mileage calculator (to find distance, enter your zip code and 71068 for Ringgold). For more information, contact me. If I cannot help, I will give you a number of a Ringgold singer to call.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Women pastors | Cultural and personal

"I have said publicly that I would not personally lead my church to hire a female pastor, would not be a member of a church where the senior pastor was female, and I have no problem personally with the BFM 2000* on this issue. However, I am honest enough to say that my discomfort is personal and cultural — and not Biblical." (Wade Burleson)

"I certainly respect your feelings of personal and cultural discomfort. I have some things that make me personally uncomfortable as well. But, that being said, if we realize it is just that personal discomfort, don’t we have some obligation to change our comfort zone? Some have made comparisons of the female pastor issue to both slavery and segregation. What if we inserted those into the statement — 'My discomfort (with ending slavery) is personal and cultural — and not Biblical' or 'My discomfort (with integration) is personal and cultural — and not Biblical'?"
(R. L. Vaughn)

Wade Burleson wrote the above comment in a blog thread called Who Should 'Have Authority Over a Man'. Burleson is representative of what some people think on the issue. Others believe that having or not having female pastors is a Biblical rather than a personal & cultural issue. In several blogs I've read online, folks have compared the female pastor issue with past issues like slavery and segregation. Wade Burleson himself made the comparsion in the thread from which I am quoting. My point is that one can't have it both ways. If you want to compare keeping women from being pastors to keeping slaves, then perhaps you should react the same way to both. Wouldn't that be consistent?

Do you view this as a personal and/or cultural issue? Is it a matter of indifference on which a Christian or church may come down on either side and still be OK?

* BFM 2000 is the year 2000 version of the SBC's Baptist Faith and Message doctrinal statement.

Update: In his blog post A Call for Intellectual Honesty and Consistency (Wed 5 Sept), Wade Burleson references my post. I am providing you a link in order that he may speak to you for himself on the issue of female pastors, slavery, etc. Though Bro. Burleson and I don't agree on the female pastors issue, we seem to agree on the need for consistency. Plain talk on the subject may also be found in Bart Barber's The Pernicious Evil of Mere Preference.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The New Normal

"Some things happen to us from which we never recover, and they disrupt the normalcy of our lives. That's how life is.

"Human nature has a tendency to try to reconstruct old ways and pick up where we left off. If we're wise, we won't continue to go back to the way things were. We must instead forget the old standard and accept a 'new normal'."

The above quote is Don Piper in his book 90 minutes in Heaven (p. 137). Don was killed in a car wreck and came back to life -- a life that is filled with nearly constant physical pain. A few pages after the above quote, Don tells about a man who lost his sight, became demoralized and bitter. A friend convinced him, rather than dwell on what he could no longer do (see), to make a list on a cassette tape of all the things he could do. After awhile, the blind man, with changed emphasis, told his friend, "there are thousands of things I can still do!"

Regardless of what we may think of Piper's book and his death/heaven experience, let's learn to cast off the atheistic and worldly philosophy -- things don't happen for a reason; they just happen. Let's move under "the new normal" that God has established for us -- whatever that may be -- to learn that in whatsover state we find ourselves to be content, and know that all things work together for good to them that love God.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


"Wisdom is the translation of head knowledge to heart action." - Copied

Psalm 111:10 - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Proverbs 2:6 - For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.