Sunday, August 31, 2014

Invitation to Youth

Young people, all attention give,
While I address you in God’s name.
You who in sin and folly live,
Come, hear the counsel of a friend.
I’d sought for bliss in glitt’ring toys
And ranged the luring scenes of vice;
But never knew substantial joys,
Until I heard my Savior’s voice.

He spake at once, my sins forgiv’n,
And washed my load of guilt away.
He gave me glory, peace, and heav’n,
And thus I found the heav’nly way.
And now with trembling sense I view
The billows roll beneath your feet,
For death eternal waits for you,
Who slight the force of gospel truth.

Youth, like the spring, will soon be gone,
By fleeting time or conqu’ring death;
Your morning sun may set at noon,
And leave you ever in the dark.
Your sparkling eyes and blooming cheeks
Must wither like the blasted rose;
The coffin, earth, and winding sheet
Will soon your active limbs enclose.

Ye heedless ones who wildly stroll,
The grave will soon become your bed,
Where silence reigns and vapors roll
In solemn darkness ’round your head.
Your friends will pass this lonesome place
And with a sigh move slowly on
Still gazing on the spires of grass,
With which your graves are overgrown.

Your souls will land in darker realms,
Where vengeance reigns and billows roar,
And roll amid the burning flames,
When thousand thousand years are o’er.
Sunk in the shades of endless night,
To groan and howl in endless pain,
And never more behold the light,
And never, never rise again.

Ye blooming youth, this is the state
Of all who do free grace refuse;
And soon with you ’twill be too late
The way of life and Christ to choose.
Come, lay your carnal weapons by,
No longer fight against your God,
But with the gospel now comply,
And heav’n shall be your great reward.

This hymn may have first appeared in Starke Dupuy’s Hymns and Spiritual Songs, though I haven't seen a copy. It appeared in Joseph Hillman's The Revivalist in substantially the same form as above. We sing it in The Sacred Harp to the tune MISSION (p. 204. 1991, 2007 & 2012 editions).


I have 159 unread e-mails in my inbox. What wondrous love is this!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Recommending Instant Publisher

I have used a printing/publishing company called InstantPublisher for 8 printing projects since 2005. They have done very good printing work, at a fair price and with a fast turnaround. One thing that prompted me to put up this post is that I noticed one person who had a bad experience with Instant Publisher posting complaints around the internet. I don't doubt that this customer (of course it could even be a competitor!) had a legitimate complaint (although even his complaint indicates that InstantPublisher tried to make things right as best they could). Nobody's perfect! One of his main complaints was not getting the books printed fast enough. Instant Publisher does advertise that they came have books printed and shipped in as few as 5 to 7 business days. But the customer must understand that this is best case scenario. How many books you order and how busy they are at the time you order all factor into the equation. I noticed that over the course of nearly ten years I had an order shipped in 4 days, while another took 17 days -- not business days and including the Christmas & New Year's holidays. I find that my orders averaged 10 days from placement to shipment. I think that's a pretty good record. I highly recommend Instant Publisher for folks who want good quality, good pricing and fast turnaround.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

This and that

"The question 'Can God build a rock so big that He can't move it?' is a logical absurdity.
The omnipotence of God as stated in the Bible never means that God can do anything imaginable. It means that God can do everything logically possible and in accordance with His character and will. There are many things that God cannot do. He cannot cease to exist. He cannot sin." --  Ben Simpson

* 13 Facts You Never Knew About Bonnie and Clyde -- "They kidnapped Bonnie's undertakers."
* How to Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet Without Destroying It -- "You’re in love with those gorgeous bird’s-eye photos of dreamy cast-iron skillets, but you’re terrified of actually owning one."
* Seasoning Cast Iron: Do I Really Have To Do That? -- "There are certain labor-intensive recipe phrases that can make the most diligent cook roll her eyes."
* Will Drinking Vinegar Actually Boost Your Health? -- "Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard about the much-touted health benefits of vinegar..."

"Gamaliel believed in God and had enough confidence in God to leave God's work to God (Acts 5:34-38). To think that you must vanquish through your efforts alone is an atheistic idea." -- Bart Barber

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What'cha linkin' about?

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

* 4 Things You Can Say to Make Your Boss Hate You -- "Whether you realize it or not, there are some key phrases that will make any boss instantly crazy."
* 13 Tips for Getting More Reading Done -- "Sometimes I feel like I should be reading one book when I actually feel like reading something entirely different."
* Dear Traditional Worshipers, -- "We keep tradition because it’s worth doing. Because it anchors us. Because it’s bigger than us. Because it reminds us that we’re not alone. Because it keeps us honest. Because it helps us avoid thinking that this worship thing is all about us."
* The Deadly Facts about Water

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I apologize to my readers for a lot of blog inactivity lately. Haven't had much afternoon/evening time to spend on it. Will try to get back on a regular schedule, Lord willing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Linking it up

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

* 11 Smells That Are Slowly Disappearing -- "Nothing can trigger a memory so unexpectedly as an aroma."
* Ferguson and the Quest for Racial Justice -- "The violent scenes from Ferguson, Missouri, are not what most Americans expected to see in 2014 America."
* It is Well that War is so Terrible -- "There is something about the quote that is too good to be true."
* Mystery over massive Alexander-era tomb unearthed in Greece -- "Archaeologists have unearthed a funeral mound dating from the time of Alexander the Great and believed to be the largest ever discovered in Greece..."
* Sunday Schooling Our Kids Out of Church -- "But what is our ultimate call?  To create programs?  Or to raise disciples?"
* Supreme Court: Was gay marriage settled in 1972 case? -- "...a few judges think the Supreme Court provided the answer more than 40 years ago: yes."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Today's quotes

"When unscrupulous men are presented with disagreeable truths that they cannot deny, scriptural truths that they cannot overthrow, or scriptural conclusions they cannot resist, they will often attempt to discredit the speaker of truth in an attempt to influence public opinion away from a rational investigation or consideration of those truths presented." -- Vince Hardy

"It’s none of our business to tell another government what form of government they should have." -- (Then Senator) Warren G. Harding

"The gospel of Christ is not just something you believe in once and then move on with your life. No, the gospel of Christ IS the way of life." -- Dave Miller

"The loss of a child is always unnatural." -- James White (at least it seems so, though the fact of our sin nature testifies otherwise)

"When moved by a right spirit, the Truth is always spoken and received in the love of it; for it is only then that the heart of the Lord’s servants is found inditing a good matter." -- Jeremiah Taylor Moore

"Sometimes you make changes. Sometimes changes make you." -- Unknown

"Gamaliel believed in God and had enough confidence in God to leave God's work to God (Acts 5:34-38). To think that you must vanquish through your efforts alone is an atheistic idea." -- Bart Barber

Dwight McKissic relates that his mother often said, “Make sure that you don’t hand the devil the stick to hit you with, because he will sure use it.”

"For those trying to hold to the standards given to us by Christ and His apostles, it's becoming a harder and lonelier road for them to walk." -- David K. Mattingly

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Use of church facilities

* Family says Tampa church canceled funeral because son was gay -- "The family asked for Evans' funeral to be held at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa...T.W. Jenkins, pastor at New Hope was not aware that Evans had a husband or was gay until members of his congregation saw the obit and called to complain. They did not think it was right to have the funeral at their church."

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church is taking an online beating. On August 1st this church canceled a man's funeral service that was to be held at their building the next day. Without a doubt it is hard on a grieving family to suddenly find out they must find a new venue for their memorial service. New Hope has been painted as not only homophobic, but also heartless. Surely they erred in not getting all the facts before agreeing to host the funeral. But do those who asked them to allow it share no blame? It never entered anyone's mind to not ask that the funeral be held in the auditorium of a church that believes homosexuality and homosexual marriage are sinful?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Think on these things

The death of Robin Williams is a solemn reminder that happiness is not what it always appears to be.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Startin to link again

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

* 9 Secrets Your Debt Collector Doesn’t Want You to Know -- "...many take unfair and illegal advantage of debtors because many debtors lack basic knowledge about their rights."
* Civil War Moments: The Story of the Great Locomotive Chase -- "Andrews led a group of 22 men into Georgia in the early spring of 1862. On April 12th they approached a locomotive that had stopped at the town of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) for a lunch break."
* Seven Warnings for Church Leaders Who Use Social Media -- " media is a two-edged sword. It can be used for good or great harm...Be wise. Be gracious. Be kind. And be Christ-like."
* Town’s 1910 racial strife a nearly forgotten piece of Texas past -- "The 1910 Slocum Massacre [is] remarkable more for the inattention it has received than for its remembrance."
* The 1910 Slocum Massacre: An Act of Genocide in East Texas -- by E. R. Bills

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Two Seas

The Two Seas: A Parable of Giving and Hoarding.
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."

1. There is a sea which, day by day, 
Receives the rippling rills
And streams that spring from wells of God, 
Or fall from cedared hills;
But what it thus receives it gives 
With glad, unsparing hand.
A stream more wide with deeper tide 
Flows to a lower land.
But doth it lose by giving? Nay! 
Its shores of beauty see--
The life and health and fruitful wealth 
Of Galilee!

2. There is a sea which, day by day, 
Receives a fuller tide,
But all its store it keeps, nor gives 
To shore nor sea beside;
What gains its grasping greed? Behold! 
Barrenness round its shore.
Its fruit of lust, but fruit of dust 
Rotten from rind to core:
Its Jordan water turned to brine 
Lies heavy as molten lead;
Its dreadful name doth e'er proclaim
That sea is---Dead!

-- written by Richard Glover, from The Church Missionary Gleaner, Volume XVI, No. 182, Feb. 1889, p. 22

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Links from here to there

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

* A simple timeline of the book of Acts
* 9 Reasons Why You’re a Mosquito Magnet -- "...scientists are on the hunt to discover what makes certain people especially attractive to the tiny insects. Here are nine reasons they’ve come up with so far."
* Former IRS Official Lois Lerner Called Republicans ‘Crazies’ -- "House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp released new emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner as part of investigation examining potential criminal wrongdoing."
* Man Does Not Live by Cars Alone -- "When the social ties are loosened, material wealth becomes the main standard of well being."
* Moving In and Moving On -- "As cohabitation has grown more common, cohabiting couples have become less likely to transition into marriage."
* Pope Francis Apologizes for Persecution of Pentecostals -- "...Francis apologized for the persecution suffered by Pentecostals under Italy’s fascist regime in the 1920s and 1930s and urged Christians to celebrate their diversity and unity...Since his election last year, the pope has been reaching out to other faiths and has held talks with Protestant, Jewish and Muslim leaders."
* The Letters That Warren G. Harding’s Family Didn’t Want You to See -- "The details of the Harding-Phillips affair remained largely hidden from public view until 2009, when Jim Robenalt, an Ohio lawyer, published 'The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War.'"
* What progressives fundamentally don't get about traditional Christians -- "Progressives working towards greater public acceptance and support of LGBT rights would no doubt like to see Christians with traditionalist views abandon their old-fashioned doctrines on these matters. Or just go away. Neither will happen."
* The Importance of Eating Together -- "Family dinners build relationships, and help kids do better in school."
* Wikipedia’s Edit Wars — and the 8 Religious Pages People Can’t Stop Editing -- "On Wikipedia, the collaborative Internet encyclopedia, articles on religion become a point of serious contention."
* Would marriage for gays be a newly created right, or recognition of an old right? -- "But yet to be decided, at least for gays and lesbians, is this: just what is the nature of that fundamental right? Is it a sweeping right to choose one’s life mate without interference by government? Or is it a right that is fundamental only because it has deep roots in the traditional definition of one-man, one-woman marriage?"

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Jesus in the middle

"Jesus is absolutely in the middle.  If you want to know who God is, look at Jesus.  If you want to know what it means to be human, look at Jesus.  If you want to know what love is, look at Jesus.  If you want to know what grief is, look at Jesus.  And go on looking until you’re not just a spectator, but you’re actually part of the drama which has him as the central character." -- N.T. Wright

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Quotes on church music

"One of the things I don’t like about the church growth movement, how it creates a very homogenious congregation of approximately the same ages, and I think that has to do with the worship being fundamentally a form of entertainment, in which the congregation doesn’t do any work..." -- Stanley Hauerwas, from The Work of the People

"We are the most educated Christians in history, and yet our lyrics are considerably stupider than our much less educated Christian forebears–the people who sang lyrics by Fanny Crosby or Charles Wesley or Isaac Watts." -- John Stackhouse

"Rather than trying to get dumber than a fifth-grader in the worship service (no offense to my fifth-grade daughter), offer truth that grows my understanding of God as we glorify him." -- Bill Blankschaen

"True worship is not a fad; it never has been and never will be. True worship is eternal. Other trends come and go, but spirit-and-truth worship always has been what the Father is seeking." -- Terry MacAlmon

"Songs roam around in our heads, especially if the melody appeals to us. What is often overlooked is the serious impression music makes on people, and the teaching they are getting over and over again as they allow the song to repeat in their minds and on their lips." -- Sandy Simpson

"What you hear today in the music of the world, you will hear in the church within twenty years." -- Anonymous music professor 

"When I see an emphasis on style and method, rather than Biblical teaching in church ministries and certainly in music programs I fear that, rather than being contemporary, we are being contaminated." -- J. LaVerne Smith

Friday, August 01, 2014

Links on church music

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

* 15 Reasons Why We Should Still Be Using Hymnals -- 15 reasons, from "Hymnals allow people to take possession of the music" to "Hymnals involve tactile action" to "Hymnals give congregational singing back to the people."
* One Generation...Making the Case for Classical Christian Hymnody -- "What has happened in some sections of the Church is that THIS generation has told all the other generations to shut up and keep silent."
* Evaluating Contemporary Worship -- "Most who ask about music today seek a "traditional" service. Christian Contemporary Music is no longer the exception in evangelical churches; it is the norm."
* Misplacing Charisma: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way -- "Particularly in mainline congregations influenced by the Church Growth Movement, “contemporary worship” was a technique for reaching out—the concept of “praise and worship” as sacramental/encounter was diluted at best."
* My position on “God bless america” being sung in corporate worship services -- "The fact that it has the word “God” in it doesn’t consecrate it for any holy use, in my mind."
* My position on patriotic celebrations in Christian worship -- "When our services focus on country and patriotism, there are conflicting messages sent as to what being a Christ-follower is all about."
* New harmonies: Music and identity at four congregations -- "There's either the densely theological hymn by Wesley or Luther (gobs of words sung over gobs of chords) or the vapid pop-rock song by some cool young person (maybe five words over three chords)."
* Not Just Any Song Will Do: Three basics for choosing church music -- "Why sing songs written by fallen mortals when Almighty God has inspired 150 of his own hymns?"
* The line connecting Gaelic psalm singing & American Music -- "The Massachusetts Bay Colony Psalm Book from 1640, which Ruff found in Yale's Beinecke Library, indicated that the unusual form, with one church member calling out the first line of a Psalm and the rest of the congregation continuing to chant the text in unison, had been a common worship service in Colonial America."