Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sacred Harp Saturday

What: Sacred Harp Singing, using 2006 Cooper Book
When: Saturday, October 2, 2010
When: 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. (dinner served at noon)
Where: Smyrna Baptist Church, 5 miles west of Mt. Enterprise


Come one, come all; come ye, come y'all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Don't know much about religion?

Some old song admitted, "don't know much about history." For what it's worth, a new Pew Forum Survey says Americans "don't know much about religion".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Hymn by John Kent, number 1093 in the Gadsby Hymnal.

1. How welcome to the tempest-tossed,
Amidst the storm’s career,
While horror spreads from coast to coast,
Is some kind haven near!
2. But far more welcome to the soul
Is that secure abode,
(When terrors o’er the conscience roll)
The Rock prepared of God.
3. Jesus, arrayed in mortal form,
Of whom the prophets tell,
On his dear head, O what a storm
Of awful vengeance fell!
4. To him, my only Hiding-place,
Let me for shelter fly;
The storm of death draws on apace,
And who can say how nigh?
5. In that dread moment, O to hide
Beneath his sheltering blood!
’Twill Jordan ’s icy waves divide,
And land my soul with God.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Edwards and Whitsitt

Directly opposite of Morgan Edwards, who lamented that the kind of reasoning used to deny anointing the sick with oil would lead Baptists to discontinue every positive rite, Whitsitt believed the abandoning of things like feet washing and anointing the sick with oil should lead Baptists to abandon immersion and strict communion as well.

"The crowd this evening filled aisles and gallery, and the Baptists must receive a position in the respect of the citizens such as they have never held before. I am half disposed to look with better favor upon them, although I can perceive no good reason why they should retain either immersion or strict communion. Still they do retain them, and it would be destructive to say aught against either of them. The time is coming, far off perhaps, when both will be abolished.

"Both of them are according to the Apostolic model--at any rate immersion is beyond any question the Apostolic mode--but so are foot washing, the holy kiss, the anointing of the sick with oil and numbers of other items that have fallen into disuse in deference to changes in time & season. Why hold to those when these are rejected?" – From Whitsitt's diary (1886), Vol. 2, pages 10-11, as cited in W. H. Whitsitt: the Man and the Controversy by James H. Slatton, Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2009

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sacred Harp this weekend

Saturday September 18, 2010
Pasadena Singing—2nd Annual
First United Methodist Church
1062 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, Texas
Starts at 10 a.m.
(1991 Revision)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Pediatric Alzheimers"

Having a little experience with folks with Alzheimer's, I find it sad to learn there is a childhood version, known as Neimann Pick Type C. Please watch this video.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Christ the substance

HYMN 12 C. M.

Christ is the substance of the Levitical priesthood.

The true Messiah now appears,
The types are all withdrawn;
So fly the shadows and the stars
Before the rising dawn.

No smoking sweets, nor bleeding lambs,
Nor kid nor bullock slain;
Incense and spice of costly names
Would all be burnt in vain.

Aaron must lay his robes away,
His mitre and his vest,
When God himself comes down to be
The offering and the priest.

He took our mortal flesh, to show
The wonders of his love;
For us he paid his life below,
And prays for us above.

"Father," he cries, "forgive their sins,
For I myself have died;"
And then he shows his opened veins,
And pleads his wounded side.

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

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sluggard, et al.

The sluggard.
Prov 6:10; 24:30; 22:13; 20:4; 1 Cor 9:24; Luke 13:24

The wishes that the sluggard frames,
Of course must fruitless prove;
With folded arms he stands and dreams,
But has no heart to move.

His field from others may be known,
The fence is broken through;
The ground with weeds is overgrown,
And no good crop in view.

No hardship, he, or toil, can bear,
No difficulty meet;
He wastes his hours at home, for fear
Of lions in the street.

What wonder then if sloth and sleep,
Distress and famine bring!
Can he in harvest hope to reap,
Who will not sow in spring?

'Tis often thus, in soul concerns,
We gospel-sluggards see;
Who if a wish would serve their turns,
Might true believers be.

But when the preacher bids them watch,
And seek, and strive, and pray,
At every poor excuse they catch,
A lion's in the way!

To use the means of grace, how loath!
We call them still in vain;
They yield to their beloved sloth,
And fold their arms again.

Dear Savior, let thy pow'r appear,
The outward call to aid;
These drowsy souls, can only hear
The voice, that wakes the dead.

John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779

Time Enough by Daniel S. Warner

Time enough, the sluggard cries,
He thinks the season’s slow;
Yet time enough, he hopes, and dies,
And sinks to endless woe.

Time enough, the fool exclaims,
And mocks his awful doom;
Then cries, when bound in icy chains,
“Oh, must I go so soon?”

Time enough, the sleeper dreams,
While death is standing by;
Soon lost amid eternal scenes,
He wakes to Satan’s lie.

Time enough, oh, cursed spell!
Sing not that siren song,
Ye mortals on the brink of hell,
Where time is endless long.

Poetry by Nancy Ann Goode Andrews

I've tried to act the prudent part,
In all I do or say,
But so deceitful is my heart
It often leads astray.

This promise hath been sent to me,
And doth my soul sustain,
Thy Maker shall thy husband be,
The Lord of Hosts His name.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sacred Harp defined

Sacred Harp "...singing at the top of your lungs, and from the bottom of your heart." (someone's definition)

Thursday, September 09, 2010


"Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone."

homespun –adjective: Unsophisticated; unpolished; rustic.

ennui –noun: a feeling of utter weariness and discontent

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Book burning

The Dove World Outreach Center, a non-denominational church in Gainesville, Florida, plans to burn copies of the Koran (Islam's holy book) on September 11 of this year. This is a protest of Islam as "a religion of the devil" and its part in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and its citizens.

My opinion.
The church has every right to do so if they wish (except for possible burning ordinances in Gainesville). That does not mean it is a good idea, but I defend their freedom to do so. I believe Islam is a false religion, but feel this is more of a publicity stunt than something of actual worth.

I remember one occasion of book burning in the book of Acts. But it was a burning of real substance -- people who had converted to Christianity burning their own books and leaving their past behind. This burning is one of symbolism that will probably do three things: 1. Gain publicity or notoriety for the Dove World Outreach Center and its pastor; 2. Anger Muslims; and 3. Increase sales of the Koran (I assume that the 50 some-odd members don't just have a lot of previous Korans laying around and went out and bought books for the occasion; but that is an assumption on my part).

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The truth of God the promiser

HYMN 60, L. M.
The truth of God the promiser; or, The promises are our security.

Praise, everlasting praise, be paid
To him that earth's foundation laid;
Praise to the God whose strong decrees
Sway the creation as he please.

Praise to the goodness of the Lord,
Who rules his people by his word,
And there, as strong as his decrees,
He sets his kindest promises.

Firm are the words his prophets give,
Sweet words on which his children live;
Each of them is the voice of God,
Who spoke, and spread the skies abroad.

Each of them powerful as that sound
That bid the new-made world go round;
And stronger than the solid poles
On which the wheel of nature rolls.

Whence then should doubts and fears arise?
Why trickling sorrows drown our eyes?
Slowly, alas! our mind receives
The comfort that our Maker gives.

O for a strong, a lasting faith,
To credit what th' Almighty saith!
T' embrace the message of his Son,
And call the joys of heav'n our own.

Then should the earth's old pillars shake,
And all the wheels of nature break,
Our steady souls should fear no more
Than solid rocks when billows roar.

Our everlasting hopes arise
Above the ruinable skies,
Where the eternal Builder reigns,
And his own courts his power sustains.

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

Friday, September 03, 2010

Singing in Ringgold

Lord willing, we will be singing tomorrow (Saturday September 4) at New Providence Primitive Baptist Church at Ringgold, Louisiana. To reach the church building, go to downtown Ringgold and travel east for 1 mile on Hwy. 154. The church building and cemetery are on the left/north side of the road.

We will start at 10 a.m. and sing until about 3 p.m. Cooper (2006) and Denson (1991) Sacred Harps will be used.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Medical mania

The KTBB (Tyler, TX) radio station asked for opinions this morning, "Should parents be charged in 'faith-healing' deaths?". I received no answer after the 8th phone ring, so decided to post my opinion on my blog instead.

A couple who are members of the Followers of Christ church in Oregon City, Oregon, pled not guilty to manslaughter on Monday. The charge is for failing to provide medical care to their son, who died shortly after birth. The baby was premature, weighing a little over 3 lbs. The birth was neither attended by a doctor, nor was one called. The members of this church believe in using prayer instead of medicine.

In general parents should have the right to make medical decisions for their minor children, whether they believe in prayer only, medicine only, or a combination of both. Since children are involved this becomes a very emotional issue.

We have lived in a secularized society so long that many do not believe God can heal and that medical attention is always the proper and necessary option. In cases like this one in Oregon City, most will assert that the child would have lived if he had gotten medical attention. But if we think little deeper about it we would remember that children getting medical attention die every day. Some die in spite of the medical attention, and some die from the medicines or procedures they get. Do you want to charge those parents with manslaughter too? If not, why not?

[Note: I do not endorse the religious views of the Followers of Christ church in Oregon City, Oregon, and I do not believe it is wrong to seek medical attention.]