Saturday, May 31, 2014

Start linkin

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* 8 Numbers Identity Thieves Want to Steal From You -- "You probably realize that identity thieves are after your email addresses and passwords, but that’s not all they want."
* “Baptists, Just Without the Baptisms -- "A task force of Southern Baptist ministers reports its finding on the sect's declining rate of dunkings, saying, 'We have a spiritual problem.'"
* Franklin Graham Is the Worst Thing to Happen to God in a While --"In a speech at the Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall, Graham made it his business to remind the audience of pastors about the people God hates."
* Highland Baptist to perform same-sex marriages -- "...Deacons have decided Louisville's Highland Baptist Church will perform marriages for same-sex couples, though the full congregation has not voted on the issue."
* Study: King Richard III maligned as hunchback -- "Richard III died in 1485, the last English king killed on a battlefield."
* The scoliosis of Richard III, last Plantagenet King of England: diagnosis and clinical significance -- "Richard III was king of England from 1483 to 1485, after declaring his nephew, Edward V, illegitimate."


"Genealogy, begins as an interest, becomes a hobby, continues as an avocation and in the last stages, is an incurable disease." -- copied

"One who feels no pride in ancestors is unworthy to be remembered by descendants." -- copied

"Movies may not reflect reality, but they powerfully condition what we desire, expect and feel we deserve from it." -- Ann Hornaday

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." -- John Roberts

"There is more real pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness in half an hour with God...than in all the delights of sin, all the lusts of the flesh, all the pride of life, and all the amusements that the world has ever devised..." -- J. C. Philpot

"God wants you to love people more than He wants you to fix people." -- Steve Brown

"You can't bed with skunks and expect to smell like roses." -- Traditional proverb

"You have to remember that babies are fresh from God." -- Sue Hillman (foster parent)

"Truth is still truth, even if no one believes it."

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dueling politicians

* A future American president’s deadly duel -- "On this day in 1806, future President Andrew Jackson nearly died in a duel when he killed his opponent, a fellow plantation owner."

No less than the blood

Ye are bought with a price. - 1 Corinthians 6:20

"How deep, how dreadful, of what awful magnitude, of how black a dye, of how ingrained a stamp must sin be, to need such an atonement--no less than the blood of him who was the Son of God--to put it away." -- J. C. Philpot

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
   Robert Lowery

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lotsa Links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* 11 Healthiest Foods in the World -- "Grown without chemicals and loaded with nutrition, these 11 foods will keep you (and the planet) healthy for life.
* Blaming NRA over killings shows no amount of laws enough for anti-gunners -- " amount of 'gun control', for which California has been hailed as a leader by citizen disarmament groups, will ever be enough for them."
* British court orders Richard III to be buried in Leicester -- "Britain's High Court ordered on Friday that king Richard III should be buried in a cathedral in Leicester, the city where his remains were found under a car park two years ago."
* Doctors Think Emergency Room Visits Are Going To Explode Under Obamacare -- "One of the major selling points of the Affordable Care Act was its theoretical potential to reduce costly emergency room visits, given the law's access to coverage.
* In a final videotaped message, a sad reflection of the sexist stories we so often see on screen -- "Movies may not reflect reality, but they powerfully condition what we desire, expect and feel we deserve from it."
* Is Gay Marriage Unstoppable? -- " Justice Scalia’s world, people get gay-married. In Justice Kennedy’s, gay (and straight) people get married. The distinction is subtle but makes a tremendous difference."
* Pakistan woman stoned to death by family for marrying man she loved -- "All the suspects except her father escaped. He admitted killing his daughter, Cheema said, and explained it was a matter of honor."
* Remains of 40 Confederate soldiers discovered in Virginia cemetery -- "Their remains sat, unmarked, in shallow graves at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Va., for decades."
* Sharia Law Interrupts a Woman's Wedding -- "Seventeen women were detained for several hours. The team of men who held them gave the reason as listening to loud music and not wearing Islamic dress."
* Sharing Finances in a Marriage: 5 Stats You Should Know -- "Here are a few statistics on marriage and finances, some of which may surprise you."
* Sudanese Christian shackled while awaiting death sentence, husband says -- "Meriam Ibrahim, 26, who is eight months pregnant, was sentenced to death last Thursday after being convicted of apostasy."
* The Kissing Cousins of Divorce and Heresy -- "As a pastor of more than 20 years, my heart breaks every time I hear of a couple splitting up."

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

"Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country."
For more Memorial Day History see the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs site.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The use of the voice

"When man was created he was blessed in many ways above other creatures; one blessing in particular was the voice with which to speak, and sing hymns of love and adoration to the Creator. He who uses not the voice given him, deprives himself of much pleasure, and is guilty of the sin of omission. Nothing short of the use of the voice to the fullest extent will suffice." -- "B. L. Vaughn, Singer and Instructor in Vocal Music" (Benjamin Lewis Vaughn, 1885--1912)

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Edge of Links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* 19 Words That Will Make People Like You More -- "First impressions can lead to lasting impressions."
* How to See Yourself as the Web Sees You: 5 Tips -- "Searching for yourself on the Web is not just an activity of the vain and shallow. It is an important tool in managing your career and your personal life.
* Mega Church Pastor: Obama Legacy is that He Destroyed the Experiment Called America -- "I do not recall in my lifetime anything remotely close to what we are seeing. For the law enforcer in Washington D.C., the chief in America, to tell the Attorneys General across the states that you don’t have to enforce the law if you don’t like it. That is beyond anything I was taught in school. Rule of law and consent of the governed has been lost."
* Pope Francis says half of marriages today are invalid -- "To much fanfare in the press, Pope Francis has started a 'dialogue' about the Catholic Church's marriage practices."
Researchers Who Provided Key Evidence For Gluten Sensitivity Have Now Thoroughly Shown That It Doesn't Exist -- "Since gluten is a protein found in any normal diet, Gibson was unsatisfied with his finding. He wanted to find out why the gluten seemed to be causing this reaction and if there could be something else going on."
Scientists Rebut White House Global Warming Claims -- "The scientists do not have any affiliation with any particular organization and have worked together pro bono for several years."
The actress who helped Lincoln defeat the Confederacy -- "Pauline Cushman donned disguises, dodged death and secretly slipped behind enemy lines as a Civil War spy."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tulips, Roses, Poinsettias and Lilies: a veritable theological garden

Several years ago I posted on Calvinism and other acrostics. Since that time I've noticed a few other theological acronyms blooming. Here's some of the old and new.

The oldest and most established flower, of course, is the Tulip.
The Five Points of Calvinism

Others that have appeared in the soteriological hot bed, though not necessarily flourished, include:

* “Roses” (an Alternative to TULIP)

Two different Daisies (one of which sounds more like a caricature of Arminian theology than a flower planted by an Arminian)
* The Five Points of Arminianism
* DAISY: The 5 Points of Arminianism

The Lily
* Malcolm Yarnell's Lily

Lilac (an "Arminian" list also crafted by a Calvinist)
* The Poisonous Petals of the Arminian LILAC

As if Calvinism needed another, there is always the Aster:
Absolute predestination
Specific atonement
Total inability
Effectual calling
Reliable promise

Perhaps the best supported of the new acronyms is the Poinsettia, sporting many more than the traditional five petals.
* Doctrinal Statement -- "Poinsettia: a new flower in the soteriological garden"

Search for Links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* 10 Tech Terms You Might Be Pronouncing Incorrectly -- "To ensure that you don’t come off sounding silly next time you’re chatting with nerds, we’ve compiled this guide on how to properly pronounce some of the terms popular in tech and tech culture."
* 17-year-old high school student beats sitting W.Va. lawmaker in primary -- "A week before her high school graduation, Saira Blair was barely old enough to vote when she unseated a West Virginia lawmaker almost four times her age."
* A Castrated Language Is A Weaker Language -- "A castrated  or neutered language is a weaker language and a weaker language leads toward more weakness."
* Arkansas judge strengthens ruling striking down gay marriage ban -- "The state's initial appeals of Piazza's ruling were rejected on Wednesday by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which said it had no jurisdiction until the lower court's finding was finalized and formally entered."
* Coalition Of Black Pastors Speaks Out Against Gay Marriage -- "A coalition of black pastors have condemned gay marriage, saying it's incorrect to compare the fight for equal marriage rights to the civil rights movement."
* New Paltz Students Find $40K in a Couch -- "So that's why this $20 couch was so lumpy
* 'Pro-choice' Is Just a Propaganda Term -- "Pro-abortionists are fit to be tied over the Missouri Legislature's approval of a bill that requires women to wait 72 hours after first seeing a doctor before having an abortion...opponents of the bill, in keeping with the practice of pro-abortionists never to find any argument too preposterous to assert, said the longer waiting period would push women further into pregnancy before an abortion, which could increase their risk."
* School integration slipping 60 years after Brown -- "For black students, the South now is the least segregated section of America...more than half of black students in New York, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan attend schools where 90 percent or more are minority."
* What does the Extent of the Atonement have to do with Baptist Ecclesiology? -- "Wellum showed from a biblical-theological reading of Scripture, with emphasis on Christ’s  priestly office and New Covenant mediation, how Christ’s death relates to the subjects of particular redemption and Baptist ecclesiology."

Saturday, May 17, 2014

We are called Baptists

We are called Baptists. A name which was once better understood than at present, once applied exclusively to the followers of the Lamb of God, but now prostituted in many instances, as a cognomen to conceal the murderous spirit of those who “have gone in the way of Cain, ran greedily after the error of Balaam, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 11) The first man that ever bore the Baptist name was beheaded by the decree of Herod, and from the day he suffered, to the present, the history of the people to whom that name legitimately belongs, may be traced in characters of blood.
-- Gilbert Beebe, Signs of the Times, June 15, 1844

Thoughts on same-sex marriage

Some comments from a Michigan black pastors' coalition, and two links:
"The fact that American media or other factions erroneously characterize the traditional meaning of 'marriage' as being on par with the civil rights deprivations of Black Americans does not make it so."
"A person’s sexuality and sexual preferences, however, are not their state of being, or even an immutable aspect of who they are, as race is," it reads. "The truth of the matter is that it is merely activity in which they engage. The state has no responsibility to promote any person’s sexual proclivities, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise."
"All states routinely require certain qualifications to obtain a marriage license and disallow certain individuals who do not meet those qualifications. States discriminate against first cousins, for example, by not allowing them to marry. States discriminate against bigamists, polygamists, and polyamorists in the licensing of marriage, and it is within the states’ right to do so."
* Idaho Marraige ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale -- "After careful consideration, the Court finds Idaho’s Marriage Laws unconstitutional.

* The Mirage of Same-Sex Marriage -- "This indeed is a complicated ruling."

Friday, May 16, 2014

Contemplation of God by Simpson

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1)

Consider four truths: God’s love is –

Eternal – it is without beginning and end. ‘In love, having predestined us’ (Eph 1:4-5). ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee’ (Jer 31:3).

Sovereign – it is without external influence. ‘Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated’ (Rom 9:13). ‘According to the good pleasure of his will’ (Eph 1:4)

Immutable –it is without change. ‘strong as death…many waters cannot quench it’ (SS 8:6-7). ‘having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end’ (John 13:1). ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’(Rom 8:35)

Gracious – it is without condition. ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son’ (Jn 3:16). God’s definite love rested on the fulfillment of one condition: the obedience of Christ unto death. The Father was satisfied with everything concerning His Son; likewise, He was satisfied with His elect.

Christ didn’t die to make God love them; rather, Christ died because God loved them. His love sent the Son; and love moved the Son to give His life. The ultimate purpose of all God did in behalf of those chosen before the foundation of the world was for “the praise of the glory of his grace” (Eph 1:6). The imputation of Christ’s righteous work resulted in the elect being forgiven from sin, redeemed from the Law’s curse, justified from condemnation, and adopted as God’s children. John said, God “bestowed” love and “called” us His “sons”. This relationship isn’t by natural birth or human decision. It came by declaration and Christ’s finished work.

---T. David Simpson

All My Links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* 2 Big Problems with Overly Simple Sermons -- "Many sermons are a lot like popular sitcoms."
* Cameras Catch Family Cat Taking on Dog That Bit Boy -- "Roger Triantafilo said his son Jeremy, 4, was riding his bike Tuesday outside the family home when the dog bit him on his left leg."
* Campaign to turn away same-sex couples moves ahead -- "Religious freedom is more than just private worship," the measure's filers wrote. "It involves public expression on moral and social issues."
* Eat Butter, Lose Weight -- "Meet ghee, a fat-burning, paleo- and elimination-diet-approved superfood that's derived from—yes—butter."
* Fire, Faith & Forgiveness: 2010 East Texas church arsonists explain why they did it -- "Two infamous church arsonists are explaining why they waged war on East Texas congregations in 2010."
* Giant boulder nearly collides with Massachusetts church -- "The Lord just kinda said, 'That's enough.'"
* Gym Banishes Breastfeeding Mom to Bathroom -- "Two dozen mothers staged a 'nurse-in' outside an LA Fitness club to support a fellow mom who was recently asked to leave the women's locker room for breastfeeding her baby."
* Pope Francis shocks world by saying the devil exists -- "On Monday, May 12, Lauren Barbato of Bustle wrote an article stating that Pope Francis talks more about Satan than Catholic Church leaders have since 1987..."
Pope says baptism is for everyone, even Martians -- "Pope Francis on Monday declared that everyone has the right to be baptised, even aliens should they come knocking on the church's door."
* Rod and Staff Music Programs -- Workbooks, Teacher's Guides, etc. in shape notes
* Supreme Court puts its legitimacy at risk -- "...there is little doubt that the results demonstrated that the American people are becoming more disenchanted with the nation's highest Court."
* Why Theological Study Is for Everyone -- "Every Christian must be a theologian."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Philpot Devotional

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" -- Romans 8:35
      Be this never forgotten, that if we have ever been brought near to the Lord Jesus Christ by the actings of living faith, there never can be any final, actual separation from him. In the darkest moments, in the dreariest hours, under the most painful exercises, the most fiery temptations, there is, as with Jonah in the belly of hell, a looking again toward the holy temple. There is sometimes a sigh, a cry, a groan, a breathing forth of the heart's desire to "know Him, and the power of his resurrection;" that he would draw us near unto himself, and make himself precious to our souls. And these very cries and sighs, groanings and breathings, all prove that whatever darkness of mind, guilt of conscience, or unbelief we may feel, there is no real separation. It is in grace as it is in nature; the clouds do not blot out the sun; it is still in the sky, though they often intercept his bright rays. And so with the blessed Sun of righteousness; our unbelief, our ignorance, our darkness of mind, our guilt of conscience, our many temptations--these do not blot out the Sun of righteousness from the sky of grace. Though thick clouds come between him and us and make us feel as though he was blotted out, or at least as if we were blotted from his remembrance, yet, through mercy, where grace has begun the work, grace carries it on: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

J. C. Philpot (1802-1869)

Guiding Link

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* Benham Brothers Speak Out on HGTV Show Being Canned: We're Committed to Biblical Principles -- "Our faith is the fundamental calling in our lives, and the centerpiece of who we are. As Christians we are called to love our fellow man. Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying."
* Doctrinal Statement -- "Poinsettia: a new flower in the soteriological garden"
* Five items Congress deleted from Madison’s original Bill of Rights -- “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”
* Four foods that lower blood pressure -- "...consuming foods that are proven to produce significant cardiovascular benefits is a great way to prevent and treat the disorder naturally."
* Mel Brooks on Blazing New Comedic Trails in 'Blazing Saddles' -- "Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought."
* Mohler Mistaken About N.C. Marriage Law -- "...recently (Tuesday, April 29) on his daily broadcast called “The Briefing,” Mohler erroneously maligned North Carolina’s Marriage Protection Amendment."
New bid to topple Obamacare in court: Did Harry Reid bend the rules? -- "Senate majority leader Harry Reid violated the Constitution in his maneuverings to pass Obamacare, a conservative legal fund argues."
More Hispanics are leaving Catholic Church: survey -- "A growing number of U.S. Hispanics are turning away from the Roman Catholic religion of their youth and now identify as Protestant or unaffiliated with any church..."
Racial Diversity Seems to Have Become an End in Itself -- "I've thought of racial diversity initiatives as a means to an end, but Justice Sotomayor seems to view racial diversity as the desired end of public policy."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Totem Quot'em

"A love spread around: There, beauty is found." -- Shirley and Moe (elderly married couple)

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder." -- Ralph W. Sockman

"Feed your faith and starve your doubts." -- copied

"So many lives have touched mine during our years of singing; I feel blessed." -- Martha Beverly

"Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startles out wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Music is the universal language of mankind — poetry their universal pastime and delight." -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

"The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit." -- Johann Sebastian Bach

"It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself." -- Johann Sebastian Bach

Monday, May 12, 2014

Not an hireling

The horseleech has her daughters that still are crying, Give:
You must pay us for preaching, or else we cannot live.
You must give us ten dollars for every sabbath day—
It is no more than reason that we should have our PAY.
We have to write our sermons, and read them off to you—
We cannot work for nothing as the Old Baptists do.
It takes us time to study, and that you know full well—
We must be paid for learning attained at Waterville.
And now if you will give us five hundred by the year,
We'll try to read our sermons, and from work keep clear.
But if you will not pay us, we'll read no more to you;
But we will take a mission and see what we can do.
This looks not like a minister that Jesus Christ has made:
He never preached the gospel, and made of it a trade.
But when I see a preacher that will not preach or pray,
Unto the church of Jesus unless it be for pay.
It looks just like the lawyer, as I have heard them say,
Who pleads well for his client if he is sure of pay.
Now if I go to college and there do learn my trade,
In order to get money, what difference can be had,
Between me and the lawyer, I surely none can see.
And now if there is any, pray point it out to me.
But we want no such preachers to come along this way,
To peddle out the gospel, and gather up their pay.
The gospel of salvation we know was freely given,
Not to be bought with money, but freely sent from heaven.

Verses which were composed by Elder James Stewart; From a letter sent by Betsey Quint to THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES, October 17, 1842.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Brumbelow on same-sex marriage

The following was written by Pastor David Brumbelow, author of the Gulf Coast Pastor blog.

I believe Christians should oppose same-sex marriage for a number of reasons. They should do so while “speaking the truth in love.”
1. The Bible condemns it.
2. Legalization gives the practice governmental legitimacy. The government is placing its stamp of approval on homosexuality.
3. It encourages further homosexual activity and experimentation.
4. It is taught as normal and legitimate in public schools.
5. Christians are forced to give their approval of same-sex marriage or suffer the consequences. We thereby lose Religious Liberty.
6. Children struggling with sexual identity are encouraged toward homosexuality; or at least it‘s presented as a normal lifestyle. They can thereby be seriously harmed.
7. Children in homosexual marriages suffer and struggle.
8. The true meaning of marriage is re-defined.

David R. Brumbelow, by permission, originally posted HERE.

Mother's Day quotes for you

"The carnations on Mother's Day could easily represent all the babies the world will never meet." -- Sarah Arthur

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." -- Tenneva Jordan

“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” -- Jill Churchill

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” -- Robert Browning

"Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved." -- Erich Fromm

“The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant.” -- Jane Sellman

"When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway." -- Erma Bombeck

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Twins, Forgiveness, News and Views

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* 19 years after Murrah bombing, grandmother shares story of loss, forgiveness -- "The blast on April 19, 1995, killed her grandchildren -- Chase, 3, and Colton, 2."
* A Mother's Grief and Mercy -- "That has to be the most gracious victim statement I've heard in this courtroom. And I'm not so sure I'd be able to be as gracious as you are, ma'am."
* Abortion Survivor Finds Doctor Who Aborted Her Twin Brother -- "To the average observer, Claire Culwell is a beautiful, vibrant young mother who is full of life. But she carries deep down inside her an unimaginable heartache. She is an abortion survivor, who survived the same abortion that took the life of her twin brother."
* High court ruling favors prayer at council meeting -- "Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic reference to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy."
* Is It Time to Change Our Views of Adultery and Marriage? -- "In my work as a Hollywood life coach and spiritual teacher, I see many clients who are divorcing and cite adultery as the main factor."
* Michelle Knight: I forgive Cleveland kidnapper -- "One of the three women held captive in a Cleveland house before escaping last year said she forgives the man who kidnapped and tortured her for nearly a decade."
* Mother of Amish school shooter shares amazing story of forgiveness -- "Is there anything in this life that we should not forgive?"
* Twin sisters reunite after 78 years apart -- "Both women were born in Aldershot, England, in 1936. Their mother, a domestic servant, decided to give up one of the girls after their birth father fled."

More church singing

Steve Cackley called attention to the following song by posting a link to it on Facebook. It is Stream of Death from The New Harmonia Sacra, or A Compilation of Genuine Church by Joseph Funk. It is on page 276 in the 1923 19th edition. Listen. It's good. (Only has the last 3 stanzas.)

1 There is a stream whose narrow tide

The known and unknown worlds divide 
Where all must go.
Its wavelces waters, dark and deep,
'Mid sullen silence downward sweep,
With moanless flow.

2 I saw when at the dreary flood, 

A smiling infant prattling stood
Whose hour had come.
Untaught of ill, he near'd the tide
Sunk, as to cradled rest, and died,
Like going home. 

3 Followed, with languid eye, anon, 

A youth diseased, and pale, and wan,
And there alone.
He gazed upon the leaden stream, 
And feared to plunge—I heard a scream,
And he was gone. 

4 And then a form, in manhood's strength, 

Came bustling on, till then at length, 
He saw life's bound. 
He shrunk and raised the bitter pray'r,
Too late—His shriek of wild despair,
The waters drowned. 

5 Next stood upon that surgeless shore

A being bowed by many a score
Of toilsome years. 
Earth-bound and sad he left the bank, 
Back turned his dimming eye, and sank,
Ah, full of fears. 

6 How bitter must thy waters be, 

O death! How hard a thing, ah me,
It is to die!
I mused, when to that stream again,
Another form of mortal man,
With smiles drew nigh.

7. "'Tis the last pang," he calmly said,

"To me, O death, thou hast no dread;
Savior, I come! 
Spread but thine arms on yonder shore
I see, ye waters, bear me o'er,
There is my home."

[Miscellaneous Selections, Published as Supplement to the Connecticut Courant, Volume 5, 1838 credits this poem to "E. W. B. C." and the Cambridge Chronicle, Volume IV, Number 22, 31 May 1849 credits it to E. W. Channing.]

The Church Singing

9Marks Journal for May–June 2014 (Volume 11, Issue 2) deals with the topic of "The Church Singing." Here are links to some of the articles. I have decidedly distinct opinions on music, and I don't endorse all of what is written in the Journal. But the articles contain thoughtful reflection on the subject of music in the churches, which often isn't the case. It seems like a lot of church music is on auto-pilot and no one is giving it any thought!

* Five Qualities of a Congregational Song -- Matt Boswell
* Music and Meaning: Some Forms Are Better than Others -- Ken Myers
* My Congregation Barely Sings; How Can I Help? -- Jonathan Leeman and David Leeman
* Rediscovering Jesus’ Hymnbook -- Joe Holland
* Who Should Pick the Music? -- Michael Lawrence
* Why We Sing -- Jonathan Leeman

"A diet of unremittingly jolly choruses and hymns inevitably creates an unrealistic horizon of expectation which sees the normative Christian life as one long triumphalist street party..." -- Carl Trueman

Also saw this and thought it might have some interesting posts:
* Word and Music -- All things Biblical and musical – and quite often both

Friday, May 09, 2014

The Armadillo

Even baby armadillos are cute.

I've lived in the rural countryside for most all of my nearly 57 years. Yesterday morning I saw a sight I've never seen before. The baby armadillo. As I left for work, at the bottom of the hill maybe a 100 yards from my house, I saw something moving in the dim light. As I got there in my vehicle, a mother armadillo moseyed across the road with four identical little ones obediently trailing behind her. With little sight and apparently even less fear, they worried not that the driving machine might pose any threat to them. I yielded for a minute or so as they sniffed, stopped, sniffed, stopped, and stepped their way across. I'm sure the hussy was taking her children up the hill to train them in how to ravage my yard...but for now I've given them a free pass.

Biological gene replicators

"...atheism believes humans are merely biological, gene replicators trying their hardest to pass their genes on to the next generation in order to survive. What's with all the moral outrage over a female gene replicator being told to reproduce exclusively with an exceptionally aggressive male gene replicator? These two individuals are just a couple of highly evolved hominids. Do atheists get morally outraged with alpha male primates that 'rape' young female primates and add them to the 'harem' as it were?"
Fred Butler

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Link and the Linkless

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* How the 'Jesus' Wife' Hoax Fell Apart -- "The media loved the 2012 tale from Harvard Divinity School."
* Jesus' Wife and her Ugly Sister -- "Jesus' Wife Fragment: the Forgery of the Associated Fragment"
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Welcome to the Finger-Wagging Olympics -- "Moral outrage is exhausting. And dangerous."
* Mysterious Buried Artifacts Discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings -- "The Valley of the Kings was used to bury Egyptian royalty during the New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 B.C.) period."
* Solved! How Ancient Egyptians Moved Massive Pyramid Stones -- "The ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids may have been able to move massive stone blocks across the desert by wetting the sand in front of a contraption built to pull the heavy objects, according to a new study."
* The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Papyrus. Final Considerations -- "...I suspected the forgery from the very moment I saw this fragment in September 2012 in Rome, a few minutes after Karen King introduced it to us during her presentation. Ever since, my only worry has been that the scholarship might become 'infected' by such a forgery. Otherwise, I am not interested in the implications this fragment might have for contemporary Christian beliefs, had it been genuine."
* What Causes Old-People Smell? -- "The older we get, the more nonenal we produce...So if someone gives you a gift certificate to Mirai for your birthday, take the hint."

New York State Historical Newspaper Pages

A man's hobby turned into a catalogue of old newspapers.

* Fulton, NY papers -- "Search Over 26,108,000 Old New York State Historical Newspaper Pages"

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

In memory (1922-2014)

Mr. Bill Aplin of Samson, Alabama passed away early Monday morning, May 5th. He was born April 22, 1922, and was 92 years old. His funeral services were held today (May 7) at the First Baptist Church in Samson, Alabama. Burial was at Eight-Mile Cemetery (aka Mt. Gilead) in Geneva County, Alabama.

Bill was an avid Sacred Harp singer and supporter. He served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Sacred Harp Book Company for 40 years.

Obituaries can be read HERE and HERE.

Monday, May 05, 2014

That Beautiful Land on High

Pippin, Eveleta/Evaleta (December 18, 1891—May 18, 1974) was the daughter of Reverend Martin Franklin Pippin and Ella C. Deal. She married Edward R. Phillips, Jr. in 1914 in Dale County. They are buried at the Union Cemetery in Ozark. (“Evaleta” is the spelling on her tombstone). Listed "as sung by Miss Eveleta Pippin" and added to the book in 1909.

503       That Beautiful Land On High
There's a beautiful land on high,
To its glory I fain would fly,
When by sorrow press'd down,
I long for my crown,
In that beautiful land on high.

In that beautiful land I will be...
From earth and its cares set free;
My Jesus is there,
He has gone to prepare
A place in that land for me.

There's a beautiful land on high,
I shall enter it by and by,
There with friend, hand in hand,
I shall walk on the strand
In that beautiful land on high.


There's a beautiful land on high,
Where they never shall weep or sigh,
For my Father has said,
That no tears shall be shed
In that beautiful land on high.


The words are by James Nicholson, 1870 (or earlier; slightly altered). Printed with 6 stanzas in Hallowed Songs (newly Revised): For Prayer and Social Meetings by Philip Phillips with a tune by W. U. Butcher).

Sunday, May 04, 2014

News from Sandy Valley: a chicken tale

Widow Alma Popper invited the Reverend Peacock and his wife to dinner. They knew the poverty in which she lived and didn't expect much. They were flabbergasted with the vast array of dishes she put before them. The old sister had fried chicken, baked chicken, chicken dressing, and just about any other chicken dish a minister could think of. They ate until they could hold no more, then rested & visited awhile before giving the parting hand. Rev. & Sister Peacock thanked Widow Popper profusely as they left. As they walked toward the gate, two chickens wobbled around the corner and fell to the ground convulsing.

The preacher called for the widow and screamed, "Sister Popper, something's wrong with your chickens!"

The Widow Popper replied, "I know. They're dying faster than I can cook 'em."

Saturday, May 03, 2014

One Life to Link

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Do Probiotics Really Work? -- "...when that equilibrium is thrown off--thanks to anything from taking antibiotics (they kill all bacteria) to stress, age, even exercise--you start feeling lousy."
* 'Mummy Lake' Used for Ancient Rituals, Not Water Storage -- "...the so-called Mummy Lake — which isn't a lake and has never been associated with mummies — likely held ancient ritual ceremonies, researchers say."
* Mummy Lake Photos: An Ancient Ceremonial Structure -- Photographs
* So Are Chia Seeds Really All that Great? -- "...studies on the weight loss benefits of chia are slim (pun intended) and don't show any payoff."
* University of Alabama athlete, honor student killed in storm was ‘true southern gentleman’ who sacrificed himself -- "John Servati, who was member of the University of Alabama's men's swimming and diving team, was killed Monday night when violent storms and a tornado struck the Tuscaloosa area."
Yes, The White House Did Tell Susan Rice To Lie About Benghazi -- "No, the story is not going away."

Friday, May 02, 2014

As the World Links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* 100-Year-Old Woman Reflects on Her Late Husband -- "A photographer is helping a 100-year-old woman tell the world about her late husband on YouTube."

* Freedom to Marry, Freedom to Dissent: Why We Must Have Both -- "...we are concerned that recent events, including the resignation of the CEO of Mozilla under pressure because of an anti-same-sex-marriage donation he made in 2008, signal an eagerness by some supporters of same-sex marriage to punish rather than to criticize or to persuade those who disagree. We reject that deeply illiberal impulse, which is both wrong in principle and poor as politics."
* Freshman Shames Ivy League College with His Personal Story About ‘White Privilege’ -- "The phrase, handed down by my moral superiors, descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone, and aims laser-like at my pinkish-peach complexion, my maleness, and the nerve I displayed in offering an opinion rooted in a personal Weltanschauung."
* IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes -- "More than 2,800 workers got bonuses despite facing a disciplinary action in the previous year, including 1,150 who owed back taxes, said a report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration."
* Jars of Clay Frontman at Odds with Evangelicals Long Before Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Support -- “...Haseltine acknowledges that he has felt out of place with evangelical Christianity for some time...'I am pretty weary from years of pretending to be more of something than I am. I am tired of carrying evangelical expectations on my shoulders.'”
* New clues cast doubt on 'Gospel of Jesus' Wife' -- "It seemed real; it seemed fake; it seemed real again; now we’re back to fake."
North Carolina's New Gay Marriage Lawsuit Could Turn 'Everything On Its Head' -- "It's not yet clear how the North Carolina case will ultimately affect the debate over religious liberty."
* Opposing Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Crypto-Racist -- "Lots of people compare the opposition to gay marriage and the resistance to interracial relationships. It’s a flawed analogy. Here’s why."
* Questioning the Unanswered Cadence -- "I think of these endings as unanswered questions (What is the key? Is it the bass note, or the final chord?).  Since a sequence of chords that ends a musical phrase is called a cadence, I’ve dubbed this ending an unanswered cadence."
* Shibboleth. Casuistry. Recondite. -- "Bubble vocabulary: the words you almost know, sometimes use, but are secretly unsure of."
* The Folly of Same-Sex Theology -- "God did not create humanity and then leave us alone to engage in unbridled sexual activity with total abandon."

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Philpot devotionals: Endure hardness

"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." 2 Timothy 2:3
The child of God is not always petted, and fed upon love-tokens. He is not always carried in the warm bosom, or sucking the breasts of consolation, but he has to learn lessons to fit him to be a soldier. The soldier, we know, has to endure hardships. He has to lie all night upon the wet grass; to be pinched with hunger, parched with thirst, and nipped with cold; to make harassing marches; to hear the roar of the cannon and the whistling of the bullets, "the thunder of the captains and the shouting;" to see the flash of the sabre uplifted to cut him down, and the glitter of the bayonet at his breast, aye, and to feel painful and dangerous wounds. So with the spiritual soldier in God's camp.
J. C. Philpot (1802-1869)