Sunday, August 30, 2015

"," Said Booker T. Washington

Character, not circumstances, makes the man.

I think I have learned that the best way to lift one's self up is to help someone else.

The world cares very little what you or I know, but it does care a great deal about what you or I do.

You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.

I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love, and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred. I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak.

No one can prosper who learns not that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Atheists spread, and other links

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

Atheists Spread Anger Where There Is Peace -- "Do you realize how angry and self-loathing you would have to be to actually make it your life’s work to pull people away from peace and goodwill?"

Did Religion Make the American Civil War Worse? -- "Faith may have inflamed the conflict, but one lasting legacy of the war may be the toll it took upon American faith."

The 5 Tiers of Homeschooling -- "Christian homeschoolers are an eclectic group. We hold varying viewpoints on many subjects, and embrace many styles of living."

I enjoyed the Atlantic article about religion and the Civil War/War for Southern Independence/War Between the States. I think it is a worthwhile. I was a little confused, though, by the author's assessment of Lincoln's religion. Initially he wrote, "Even a man of such modest religious visibility as Abraham Lincoln, who never belonged to a church and never professed more than a deistic concept of God. But later says, "Lincoln was certain that 'God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet'." I'm no expert on Lincoln and his faith (or lack thereof), but it seems curious to label a man a Deist who believes that God intervenes in the affairs of men. Doesn't the Deist's god usually not concern himself with the affairs of men? I wonder if it is possibly missing that Lincoln basically believed the theology (of God) that was taught by the church of his birth even though he never was a member? Maybe someone with more knowledge of Lincoln can answer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

God is bigger and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources.

"God is bigger than any lines we can draw." -- Reba Riley

"Let your trials make you better, not bitter." -- copied

"Whenever the Gospel is so hashed and cooked up that it becomes palatable to the taste of human wisdom, it ceases to be the Gospel that Paul preached." -- Sir Richard Hill

"How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self replication capabilities and coded chemistry?" -- Antony Flew

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Free, free, free!

Salvation is a free gift! The people of God are: 

  • Freely loved, Deuteronomy 7:6-8 
  • Freely chosen, John 15:16-19, Eph. 1:4 
  • Freely accepted, Ephesians 1:6 
  • Freely adopted, Eph. 1:5, Gal. 4:5-6 
  • Freely reconciled, II Cor. 5:18-20 
  • Freely justified, Romans 3:24 
  • Freely saved, Ephesians 2:5-8
(copied, author unknown)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

We get rain when we need it

I haven't posted any recent news from the community of Sandy Valley. Mostly, it's been hot and dry. Which reminds me of an old resident named Jim. Jim lived and died in Sandy Valley on the very farm where he was born. Jim was altogether a simple country farmer. Not a pastor or a theologian who would parse meanings to suit the situation. Not a city slicker with no understanding of the effect and importance of rain. A farmer who depended on the rain to survive. His life and livelihood was the farm and farming. But he would not shave his belief to fit his convenience or what appeared obvious to others. 

One particularly dry August, Alton Dove stopped by to see Jim. Alton was also a farmer. The conversation naturally turned to the drought. 

"It sure is hot and dry," said Alton. "We sure do need some rain." 

Jim replied flatly, "We'll get the rain when we need it." 

Aghast, Alton inquired whatever in the world did Jim mean? "Surely you can see we need rain! The ground is parched and turned to dust; the crops will fail if we don't get some rain." 

"Neither man nor ground nor crops decide when we need rain," Jim explained. "Only God decides that. We'll get rain when we need it." 

"Well, I guess God thinks we need a drought," harrumphed Alton sarcastically. "Indeed it does looks that way," 

Jim summed up. "We'll get rain when we need it."

Monday, August 17, 2015

Time, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources.

"Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn't seem to be working." -- Anonymous

"History has always been a series of pendulum swings, but the individual doesn’t have to get caught in that." -- Robert Johnson

"Every person you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them." -- H. Jackson Brown

"Although I am a sinner, yet I despair not; for Christ, who is my Redeemer and my righteousness, liveth. In Him I have no sin, no fear, no sting of conscience, and no fear of judgment; for in Him there is no condemnation. I am indeed a sinner as touching this present life; but I have a righteousness of God which is above this life, who is Christ my Lord. In Him I rejoice!" -- Martin Luther

"Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art." -- Claude Debussy

"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul." -- Johann Sebastian Bach

"There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." -- Johann Sebastian Bach

"When you hold a grudge, you want someone else’s sorrow to reflect your level of hurt but the two rarely meet." -- Steve Maraboli

"If a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade." -- Tom Peters

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Son of God

In Friday's links I posted Was Jesus the Son of God? It's Complicated by James D. Tabor. I always include a disclaimer with my links, but want to follow up with this further "disclaimer".

When asked the question, "Do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God," Tabor concludes that answering is quite complicated. Certainly the Bible is no Kindergarten reader, and an eternal God who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient is a wee bit more than we can truly comprehend. But the gist of Tabor's piece is that he doesn't believe that Jesus is the Son of God in the way the question is posed -- and that does call for a little subterfuge. The three words "son of God" can (and does) have different meanings -- even in the Bible. Don't let anyone use that to confuse you about what the New Testament clearly claims for Jesus -- He is eternal God incarnate who died to take away the sins of the world, rose again for our justification and is alive in heaven. If folks like Tabor don't believe the New Testament claims, that's one thing. To claim the New Testament doesn't proclaim the divinity of Jesus is quite another.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Unintended consequences, and other links

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Should it bother us?

"It should bother us as a society that we have use for aborted human organs, but not the baby that provides them." -- Michael Wear

Monday, August 10, 2015

Old Books on Google, et al.

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

Here are some interesting, and sometimes unusual, books and articles that I found online:

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Merritt’s Misunderstanding and Barber's Remonstrance

Southern Baptists cozy up to GOP after pulling back 

Merritt’s Misunderstanding -- Jonathan Merritt’s recent RNS article, “Southern Baptists Cozy Up to GOP after Pulling Back” entirely misunderstands, I think, the nature of what happened with the Ben Carson matter earlier this year and with the SEND North America conference. At least, as someone who had some involvement in the former matter, I can say that Merritt’s analysis misses the mark on what I was trying to do. This wasn’t about political parties.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Ode to Joy, and other links

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

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Two Ships from Southampton

On August 5, 1620 two ships set sail from Southampton, England -- destination America, the New World. Many of the "The Pilgrims" had been living in Leiden, in the Netherlands and hired the Speedwell to bring them to Southampton. There they met the Mayflower, a ship that had been hired in London. This ship was about 80 feet long on deck, and 100–110 feet long overall. There were several false starts on the voyage, due to the Speedwell leaking and needing repair. After docking twice, finally at Plymouth, England, they decided to leave the un-seaworthy Speedwell behind.  The Mayflower probably had about 65 passengers in the beginning, but after the Speedwell's unfortunate demise, they stuffed 102 passengers and about 30 crewmen abroad. The Mayflower left for America alone, departing on September 6. At this time the Pilgrims had left England, they had already been living on board the two ships for almost a month and a half. From that time the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean took 66 days till they sighted Cape Cod (Massachusetts, well north of their intended landing) on November 9th. The difficulties of the voyage included mostly sea-sickness in the beginning. Later they encountered many very treacherous storms. There were two deaths on the journey.

Nearly 300 years later, April 10, 1912, the remarkable, massive and "unsinkable" RMS Titanic set out on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. The ship was over 882 feet long. Her maximum breadth was a little over 92 feet and her total height was 104 feet. She was the largest ship afloat at the time. On this maiden voyage the ship included about 885 crew members and carried over 1300 passengers -- about 1/3 of her capacity. Five days out to sea -- early a.m. April 15, 1912 -- she collided with an iceberg and sank into the North Atlantic Ocean. Over 1500 met their fate in those icy waters, and some survivors died afterwards. The unsinkable ship that sank remains one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in modern history.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Soda drinks are mostly unhealthy

An interesting article about drinking sodas is found HERE

"...cutting the habit is harder than you think - not only is caffeine addictive, but so is aspartame. 

"Diet soda may even hook you worse than regular soda, because artificial sweeteners don’t quite satisfy the body like sugar does." -- From "Infographics claiming soda is unhealthy are mostly true"