Monday, June 29, 2009

Congratulations Zach & Rachel

Tonight, June 29, 2009, at Buda, Texas, Zach Vaughn and Rachel Noteboom entered into marriage covenant together. May God bless them with a long and loving relationship.

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife." Genesis 3:24

Saturday, June 27, 2009


outspoken: bold; vocal; vociferous
plain-spoken: straightforward; open & sincere; using simple, direct language
unspoken: not said; silent

The above traits of speech may be taken at times as good or bad, deserving respect or annoying. One will probably appreciate someone who is outspoken for his side, but not so if on the other side. To be plain-spoken, straightforward & sincere, might be generally looked on as a good thing -- unless someone is sincerely telling us something we don't want to hear. Some people we had rather be seen and not heard, yet we can still be annoyed by someone's silence.

In God's work we ought to be bold, outspoken, but surely some people are just loud and obnoxious. In God's work we ought to be straightforward & sincere, plain-spoken, using simple direct language. A little tact may not hurt, but we should say what we believe plainly so that in the end everyone understands where we stand and what we believe. We shouldn't be silent, unspoken, about the good news. But we can also learn that we don't have to express our opinions about everything. We don't have to tell everything we know -- some things are better unexpressed (swift to hear; slow to speak).

Friday, June 26, 2009


Fauxbourdon (also: Faux bourdon) – French for false bass – is a technique of musical harmonization used in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, particularly by composers of the Burgundian School. In its simplest form, fauxbourdon consists of the cantus firmus and two other parts a sixth and a perfect fourth below.

In plainsong, this term implies simple three part harmony, the plainsong being the top voice, and the two other voices each, respectively, a sixth and a fourth below the plainsong. This practice may have evolved from the English faburden, or vice-versa.

From Wikipedia

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Election sovereign and free

HYMN 117
L. M.
Election sovereign and free. Rom. 9:20-23.

Behold the potter and the clay,
He forms his vessels as he please:
Such is our God, and such are we,
The subjects of his high decrees.

Doth not the workman's power extend
O'er all the mass, which part to choose
And mold it for a nobler end,
And which to leave for viler use?

May not the sovereign Lord on high
Dispense his favors as he will,
Choose some to life, while others die,
And yet be just and gracious still?

What if, to make his terror known,
He lets his patience long endure,
Suff'ring vile rebels to go on,
And seal their own destruction sure?

What if he means to show his grace,
And his electing love employs
To mark out some of mortal race,
And form them fit for heav'nly joys?

Shall man reply against the Lord,
And call his Maker's ways unjust,
The thunder of whose dreadful word
Can crush a thousand worlds to dust?

But, O my soul! if truths so bright
Should dazzle and confound thy sight,
Yet still his written will obey,
And wait the great decisive day.

Then shall he make his justice known,
And the whole world before his throne
With joy or terror shall confess
The glory of his righteousness.

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

St. John's Day

On June 24th, our neighbors to the north celebrate St. John's Day. In Quebec, the festivities occur on June 23 and June 24. This is/was originally a religious holiday in the Roman Catholic Church. This was a holiday honouring the patron saint of French Canadians -- (St.) John the Baptist.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two years later

On the Tuesday after Father's Day, June 19, 2007, my mother-in-law, Shirley Hunt, went missing. Two years later she is still missing. Family, friends, law enforcement, et al. have done what they could, but we still don't really know anything more than we did then. She had Alzheimer's and walked away from home.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Belshazzar poems

Interesting poems I happened across on the internet:

Belshazzar had a Letter
Belshazzar had a Letter—
He never had but one—
Belshazzar’s Correspondent
Concluded and begun
In that immortal Copy
The Conscience of us all
Can read without its Glasses
On Revelation’s Wall.

--Emily Dickinson (1879)

The Feast of Belshazzar
"Keep for thyself the guerdon and the gold-
"What God hath graved, God's prophet must unfold ;
"Could not thy father's crime, thy father's fate
"Teach thee the terror thou hast learnt too late
"Hast thou not read the lesson of his life,
"Who wars with God shall strive a losing strife ?
"His was a kingdom mighty as thine own,
"The sword his sceptre and the earth his throne
"The nations trembled when his awful eye
"Gave to them leave to live or doom to die
"The Lord of Life the Keeper of the grave,
"His frown could wither and his smile could save
"Yet when his heart was hard, his spirit high
"God drave him from his kingly majesty,
"Far from the brotherhood of fellow men
"To seek for dwelling in the desert den ;
"Where the wild asses feed and oxen roam
"He sought his pasture and he made his home,
"And bitter-biting frost and dews of night
"Schooled him in sorrow till he knew the right,
"That God is ruler of the rulers still
"And setteth up the sovereign that he will :
"Oh! hadst thou treasured in repentant breast
"His pride and fall, his penitence and rest,
"And bowed submissive to Jehovah's will,
"Then had thy sceptre been a sceptre still
"But thou hast mocked the majesty of heaven,
"And shamed the vessels to its service given,
"And thou hast fashioned idols of thine own
"Idols of gold, of silver, and of stone ;
"To them hast bowed the knee, and breathed the breath,
"And they must help thee in the hour of death.
"Woe for the sign unseen, the sin forgot,
"God was among ye, and ye knew it not !
"Hear what he sayeth now, ' Thy race is run,
"The years are numbered and the days are done,
"Thy soul hath mounted in the scale of fate,
"The Lord hath weighed thee and thou lackest weight ;
"Now in thy palace porch the spoilers stand,
"To seize thy sceptre, to divide thy land."

He ended and his passing foot was heard,
But none made answer, not a lip was stirred
Mute the free tongue and bent the fearless brow,
The mystic letters had their meaning now!
Soon came there other sound the clash of steel,
The heavy ringing of the iron heel
The curse in dying, and the cry for life,
The bloody voices of the battle strife.

That night they slew him on his father's throne,
The deed unnoticed and the hand unknown ;
Crownless and sceptreless Belshazzar lay,
A robe of purple, round a form of clay.

-- Edwin Arnold (ca. 1852)

Friday, June 19, 2009

New tax idea

Most politicians seem to never meet a tax they don't like. One of the new ideas in the House Ways and Means Committee to fund government-run health care is a 10 cent tax on a can of soda pop (coke, soft drink, etc.). Perhaps they should check with the President.

Recently President Obama said that no family earning less than $250,000 would see its taxes increased by "a single dime." Anybody out there earning less than $250,000? Any of you ever drink a cold soda? If so, so much for that no new taxes plan. You will see an increase.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Bible makes Baptists

"The Bible makes men Baptists. At a certain wicked town in one of the Southern States, some ministers of different denominations once held a revival. Most of the preachers were Baptists; but talent was on the side of the Pedo Baptists. As a result of the meeting 60 persons professed conversions. Some of those were men of fine learning. Some of them afterwards reached great distinction as servants of their native State. At the close of the services it became a question among the ministers, 'How shall we advise the new convents as to church connection?' It was decided to tell them that as Christians they would make a public confession of Christ, and to give them no further advice. The converts were diligent in searching the Scriptures, and every one of the sixty was immersed a Baptist. This is only one of the many similar cases. Is not the Bible a Baptist book?" -- George D. Benton

(Copied from the Landmark Southern Baptist forum. The above quote is from the article "The Bible a Baptist Book" which was in The Alabama Baptist newspaper on May 24, 1887. We do not recommend ecumenical revivals, but found it interesting that these folks, reading the Bible with an open mind, were made Baptists.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Teen Outsmarts Doctors

Several weeks ago I made a post on A boy, religion, parental rights and government intervention. I think the following article makes a nice follow-up, and indicates that the doctors aren't always right. Shouldn't folks have the right to take the information that doctors provide and make their own informed decisions?

When doctors didn't give A high school senior at a Washington state high school, Jessica Terry, studied her own tissue samples and correctly diagnosed herself -- a diagnosis doctors had missed for several years.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Zion Hill Singing

The Zion Hill Memorial Sacred Harp Singing will be held the third Sunday——June 21, 2009——at the meeting house of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church. The building is located off FM 840 on County Road 368, southeast of Henderson, Texas. We will be using the 2006 Cooper Revision of The Sacred Harp. Singing will start at 10 a.m. and we usually close around 3 p.m. Dinner on the Ground served by the church and community. After the close of the singing we will have a planning session for the East Texas Convention.

For a map with directions from Henderson, click

Come join in, and help us to sing.

Mk 10:47,48

Mercy, O thou Son of David!
Thus blind Bartimaeus prayed;
Others by thy grace are saved,
Now to me afford thine aid:
Many for his crying chide him,
But he called the louder still;
Till the gracious Savior bid him
"Come, and ask me what you will."

Money was not what he wanted,
Though by begging used to live;
But he asked, and JESUS granted
Alms, which none but he could give:
LORD remove this grievous blindness,
Let my eyes behold the day;
Strait he saw, and won by kindness,
Followed JESUS in the way.

O! methinks I hear him praising,
Publishing to all around;
"Friends, is not my case amazing?
What a Savior I have found:
O! that all the blind but knew him,
And would be advised by me!
Surely, would they hasten to him,
He would cause them all to see."

John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gospel baptism by Rittenhouse

"Gospel baptism, in itself considered, although of the greatest importance to the child of grace, has no power to change from nature to grace, or to turn from darkness to light. It cannot purge the conscience from dead works, or afford any conceivable benefit to a natural, unrenewed man. What then is it? As an act of obedience to Christ, it gives evidence of the gracious and loyal state of its renewed subject as the "answer of a good conscience towards God."

"Is there in baptism a sign of death? Is it a burial and resurrection? Then in the subject that has right to it have its antitype. It is a language, and speaks in a voice that is understood, and finds an answer in the conscience of every renewed soul. As was said of Him who instituted it, it speaks with authority and not as the scribes.

"The administration of this ordinance, as a church ordinance, carries conviction of its divine authenticity to the mind of every unprejudiced beholder, and meets a response in the experience of ever gracious subject. It does not, however, present itself as a task for the subject to perform, but rather the mind is involuntarily led to ask for baptism. There has been a death of former enjoyments. Our former notions about getting religion and serving and pleasing God so as to get to heaven, and our prejudices against the Gospel method of salvation have all expired. We are dead to the law by the body of Christ. Our love of the world, and our satisfaction in the things of the world have given up the ghost. With our former associates we are ready to part. They have become strangers to us. In our feelings we are thus brought to the liquid grave – to the water side. The blessed Jesus has led the way. A company of saints are on the other side. We recognize them as our kindred, as loving friends and relations. Perhaps a solitary companion, a sympathizing friend, is about to enter the stream, and then we shall be left alone. What is baptism now? Among all the things that may be desired there is scarce anything that may be compared to it. Now it is a privilege to the administrator, a privilege to the candidate, and a heavenly season to the church. The candidate comes right. Christian experience has taught Christian baptism. Gospel baptism declares Christian experience. The candidate in the observance of this ordinance preaches the faith of Christ.

"While baptism may thus be considered as a fit and lively emblem of that experience of the Christian affecting his more outward life and conduct, the ordinance of breaking bread may be considered as an emblem of that internal communion with God, and living by faith upon Him which are hidden from public view. Christ is preached in this ordinance also. In these significant emblems the nature and ground-work of the Christian’s hope in all its distinguishing features are set forth. In fact, there is so much of Christ in a Gospel church, in her members, in her doctrine and in her ordinances, that the house of God becomes a home for all those that love Him. It is a fit and desirable place for all His children. However there may be places to stay at, there is no other home. However they may be induced to tarry at other places for a night, in this place alone out of all the earth, do they desire to dwell forever. The wants of the children of God are similar. They have mutual joys and sorrows. Loving one another and sympathizing with each other, they love to dwell together. They love their Father, and He has prepared a home for them. The provisions of His house suit them. They are abundantly satisfied with the goodness of His house, even of His holy temple.- Psalm 65:4. To such characters a Gospel church is presented to view, and they are encouraged to take up their abode in it. The Lord has made it their duty as well as their privilege to follow Him in this way. He has given them directions with regard to shewing their faith in Him, and with the keeping of these things He has connected great reward."
– From "Gospel Church and Gospel Ordinances", the 1859 Circular letter of the Baltimore River Association, written by Elder R. Rittenhouse (Daniel L. Harding, Moderator; Isaac P. Hellings, Clerk.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Numerical gaffe

"And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." -- U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama in an interview with a French television station

Even if one takes high estimates of America's Muslims, the United States is not in the top 30, but creeps into the top 40. Michael Goldfarb points out "There are more Muslims in tiny Jordan than there are in the United States, and twice as many in Syria."

"According to [Don] Surber, the US has an estimated three to eight million Muslims, less than one per cent of the world's total and less than at least 23 other countries.

"The average claim for the US Muslim population is about six million. The precise figure is difficult to get because it's not included in US census data and many put the figure at much, much less.

"But even if we assume there are six million Muslims in the US, that makes it only the 34th biggest Muslim country in the world..." -
From Toby Harnden's blog

Obama Nation's Low View of Christianity by Robert Knight

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The talking dog

A guy is driving around the back woods of Tennessee and he sees a sign in front of an old shanty-style house: "Talking Dog For Sale." He knocks and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador Retriever sitting there.

"You talk?" he asks. "Yep," the dog replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says "So, what's your story?"

The dog looks up and says, "Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded several medals. I wanted to help America, so I interviewed with the the CIA. In no time at all they had me traveling around the world and hanging out with spies and world leaders. After all, no one figured a dog could eavesdrop. I proved to be one of their most valuable spies for a decade. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger. So, I decided to settle down. I got married and had a mess of puppies. Now I'm just retired."

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

"Ten bucks," the guy says.

"This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him for just ten dollars?"

"Because he's a liar! He never did any of that stuff!"


Monday, June 08, 2009


Holleman Cemetery, Smyrna Church and Oak Flat community annual homecoming will be held at Smyrna Baptist church building on Sunday June 14 (d.v.). Starts at 10 a.m. There will be singing, fellowship and food. Donations are received for the upkeep of the cemetery.

A History of Smyrna Baptist Church, 1873-2008: 135 years in three southern Rusk County communities is a republishing and updating of J. W. Griffith's Centennial + 5 published in 1978. The book contains 116 pages, with history of the church, people and some additional pictures not in the 1978 work. The link above will allow a viewing of the first 20 pages of the book.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Word today

Though I really couldn't find a good definition, here is the word for today, Pandevotionalism. According to Daniel Clark (Ten Thousand Tongues, 1994) "Pandevotionalism...asks us to join Nature's worship of God. Humans are part of Nature, Nature is part of God, and the part worships the whole. The unavoidable implication: human life is best when we live within Nature's design and stop trying to improve on it."

Believe it if you can.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

In the traditional wedding month

...of June, President Barack Obama proclaimed Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month and former vice-president Dick Cheney supports homosexual marriage.

Nevertheless, the Bible, tradition and logic (common sense) favor marriage between a man and a woman.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Birds that neither sow nor reap

If birds that neither sow nor reap
Nor store up any food
Constantly find to them and theirs
A Maker kind and good;

If man provide eke for his birds,
In yard, in coops, in cage;
And each bird spends in songs and tunes,
His little time and age;

What care will man, what care will God
For wife and children take?
Millions of birds and worlds will God
Sooner than His forsake.

Roger Williams
A Key Into The Language of America, 1643.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Paul: The Separated Apostle

Paul: The Separated Apostle, by T. David Simpson

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace.” Galatians 1:15

Paul was separated by God
Paul claimed: “when it pleased God, (He) separated me” (Gal 1:15). Separation came not upon the condition of his will but of God’s. The interjection of man’s will into election before time, justification at the cross, or effectual grace in experience is false doctrine.

Paul was separated from false religion
The apostle quoted Isaiah saying, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Cor. 6:17). His subject was not morality or marriage, but truth in opposition to error. False doctrine has to do with people: “them”. The gospel, the faith, is a single and settled body of truth. Determining the characteristics of the faith and departing from error is not an option. It is what believers do!

Paul was separated to the gospel
The apostle announced he was: “separated unto the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1). His perspective and preaching were limited and purposeful: condemnation by a representative; justification by a Representative (5:12-19). Those who reject Paul’s gospel of forgiveness, redemption, and justification, not only by, but at the cross, consider him narrow. He didn’t vacillate but declared the gospel to which he was separated.

T. David Simpson, From Shreveport Grace Church Bulletin -- February 15, 2009