Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Providence and Preservation

The following arguments prove that the sources have not been corrupted. (1) The providence of God which could not permit books which it willed to be written by inspiration (theopneustois) for the salvation of men (and to continue unto the end of the world that they might draw from them waters of salvation) to become so corrupted as to render them unfit for this purpose. And since new revelations are not to be expected (after God has recorded in the Scriptures his entire will concerning the doctrine of salvation), what can be more derogatory to God (who has promised his constant presence with the church) than to assert that he has permitted the books containing this doctrine to become so corrupt that they cannot serve as a canon of faith? (2) The fidelity of the Christian church and unceasing labor in preserving the manuscripts; for since Christians have always labored with great zeal to keep this sacred deposit uncorrupted, it is not credible that they would either corrupt it themselves or suffer it to be corrupted by others...
Francis Turretin, in Institutes of Elenctic Theology

Hence, the providence of God hath manifested itself no less concerned in the preservation of the writings than of the doctrine contained in them; the writing itself being the product of his own eternal counsel for the preservation of the doctrine, after a sufficient discovery of the insufficiency of all other means for that end and purpose. And hence the malice of Satan hath raged no less against the book than against the truth contained in it.
John Owen, in Of the Divine Original, Authority, Self-Evidencing Light, and Power of the Scriptures

Monday, August 30, 2021

A bondman in Egypt

“And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee.” Deuteronomy 15:15
Say, my soul, canst thou ever forget the wormwood and the gall of that state of nature, from which the Lord thy God brought thee? Figure to thyself the most horrid state of captivity which the world ever knew; and what could the whole be, bounded, as it must be, by the short period of human life, compared to the everlasting vassalage of sin and Satan, in which thou didst lay when Jesus passed by and brought thee out? No galley-slave, chained to the oar, could equal thy misery, bound with the chain of sin. No duration of misery, bounded by time, equals that endless state of woe to which thou wast exposed. 
Thou wast a bondman to the power of sin, to the love of sin, to the desire of sin, to the punishment of sin; a bondman to the law of God, to the justice of God, to the displeasure of God, to the threatenings of God; a bondman to thine own guilty conscience; a bondman to thine own corrupt lusts, not one lust, but many, serving, as the apostle saith, “divers lusts and pleasures, hateful, and hating one another;” a bondman to Satan, a willing drudge, wearing his livery, delighted in his service, though full of sorrow, vexation, and disappointment, and his wages sure death; a bondman to the fear of many creatures among the inferior creation, many of whom had continual power to vex and distress thee; a bondman to the fear of death, hell, and a judgment to come!
Was this thy state, my soul, by nature and by practice? And hath one like the Son of Man brought thee out? Precious Jesus, what shall I say to thee, what shall I say for thee? What shall I render to the Lord for all the mercies he hath done to me, and for me? And dost thou say, Lord, that I may remember that bondage and thy redemption! Oh may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I forget thee, thou Author of all my joy, and all my happiness! Nay, if I do not remember thee, and prefer thy love more than wine. In life, in death, and to all eternity, may my soul hang upon thee, as the bee upon the flower; and let the fragrancy of thy name be as ointment poured forth.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Now the green blade riseth

1. Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

2. In the grave they laid him, Love who had been slain,
Thinking that he never would awake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen: 
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

3. Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
Jesus who for three days in the grave had lain;
Quick from the dead the risen One is seen:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

4. When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Jesus’ touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been: 
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain was written by John Macleod Campbell Crum (1872-1958), and was first published in the Oxford Book of Carols in 1928.

The hymn meter is 11. 10. 10. 11. and the hymn is commonly set to Noël Novulet (or French Carol), a 15th Century French melody. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

In other words, endogamy and exogamy

  • antwacky, adjective. Old-fashioned, quaint; antiquated, outmoded, out of date (apparently an alteration of antique).
  • cockatrice, noun. A mythical reptile with a lethal gaze or breath, hatched by a serpent from a cock’s egg. Also, a venomous snake mentioned in Isaiah 11:8.
  • endogamy, noun. The custom of marrying only within the limits of a local community, clan, or tribe. Compare with exogamy.
  • exogamy, noun. The custom of marrying outside a community, clan, or tribe. Compare with endogamy.
  • etymon, noun. The linguistic form from which another form is historically derived.
  • freemium, noun. Originally: an incentive, such as a free gift, given by a business in order to persuade customers to pay for other goods or services (rare). Later: a business model, especially on the internet, whereby basic services are provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for.
  • genteelness, noun. The quality of being genteel.
  • gentleness, noun. The quality of being gentle.
  • gentlefolk, noun. People of high birth or rank. Also: people having the characteristics traditionally associated with high social standing; courteous or honorable people.
  • goombay, noun. A goatskin or sheepskin drum with a round or square top that is played with the hands.
  • gumbo, noun. A stew or thick soup, usually made with chicken or seafood, greens, and okra or sometimes filé as a thickener; okra; soil that becomes sticky and nonporous when wet.
  • henatrice, noun. A female cockatrice.
  • longueur, noun. A tedious passage in a book or other work.
  • oik, noun (British slang). An uncouth or obnoxious person.
  • ophiolatry, noun. ‘The worship of serpents.
  • oppo, noun. (slang) Opposite number. Also, occasionally: a sweetheart, partner, or spouse.
  • outlier, noun. A person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system; a person or thing differing from all other members of a particular group or set.
  • ovulite, noun. A fossil of ovoidal form and uncertain identity. Obsolete. rare.
  • ovulate, verb (used without object). (Biology) To produce and discharge eggs from an ovary or ovarian follicle.
  • parafango, noun. A medicinal bath of volcanic mud and paraffin wax.
  • pseudosopher, noun. A sham or spurious philosopher; a person who falsely believes himself or herself to be wise.
  • psyops, plural noun. Military operations usually aimed at influencing the enemy’s state of mind through noncombative means (such as distribution of leaflets). Short for psychological operations.
  • staycation, verb, intransitive. To holiday at home or in one’s country of residence.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Data leak exposed 38 million records, 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.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

In other words, Proper Nouns

  • Ausgangstext, noun. The original, initial, or source text of the Scriptures; the one ancestor of all the extant Greek copies.
  • Confessional Bibliology, noun. The position that accepts the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts used by the framers of the major post-reformation confessions, which they called “authentic” and “pure”, as the preserved text of the Bible.
  • Jenny Greenteeth, noun. The name of: a female supernatural being or creature said to lurk beneath the surface of (esp. weed-covered) ponds, ditches, etc., waiting to pull in and drown those who venture into or near the water.
  • Manhattanhenge, noun. A phenomenon in which the sun rises or sets in alignment with the streets that run east to west on the street grid of Manhattan, New York City.
  • Nowheresville, noun. A largely unknown or uninteresting place, esp. a small, rural town; (also figurative) obscurity, insignificance, limbo; Also, Nowhereville.
  • Owczarek, noun. Any of several breeds of sheepdog originating in Poland; a dog of one of these breeds.
  • Solon, noun. Athenian statesman and lawgiver. One of the Seven Sages, he revised the code of laws established by Draco. (often lowercase) A wise lawgiver.
  • Synoptic, adjective. Taking a common view, specifically in reference to the similarities of the first three Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. (often lowercase) Forming a general summary or synopsis, or affording a general view of the whole.
  • Tom Tiddler’s ground, noun. A children's game in which one player, designated ‘Tom Tiddler,’ tries to catch the others who run on to his or her territory, marked by a line drawn on the ground, crying ‘We're on Tom Tiddler’s ground, picking up gold and silver,’ the first, or sometimes the last, caught taking the place of the pursuer.
  • Tropic of Cancer, noun. The parallel of latitude that is approximately 23¹/₂ degrees north of the equator and that is the northernmost latitude reached by the overhead sun.
  • Vesak, noun. A major Buddhist festival commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, observed on the day of the full moon in the month Visākha (April–May).

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

More about RSV and KJV

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible has more influence in the timeline of “KJV Only” than has been reckoned. After its release, there was a flurry of writing that favored the King James Version over the Revised Standard Version (not necessarily KJVO in itself). Much of the language and rhetoric of the so-called KJVO “movement” may be found in part or in whole in this RSV controversy. 

The Revised Standard Version did not translate the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. One of the most notable examples is the translation of Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman′u-el.” This modus operandi generated a fierce backlash against the RSV and strengthened continuing support of the KJV. This support of the KJV was likely reinforced by the publication of the Good News for Modern Man translation.

I do not believe that supporting the King James Version only is something new – history proving otherwise – but support for the KJV only probably should be divided into pre- and post-RSV.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Verses in the King James Bible with the word “scripture” or “scriptures”

There are 53 verses in the King James Version of the Holy Bible that have the word “scripture” or “scriptures.” There is one in the Old Testament, and 52 in the New Testament. They are:

Old Testament
Daniel 10:21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

New Testament
Matthew 21:42; Matthew 22:29; Matthew 26:54; Matthew 26:56; Mark 12:10; Mark 12:24; Mark 14:49; Mark 15:28; Luke 4:21; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:32; Luke 24:45; John 2:22; John 5:39; John 7:38; John 7:42; John 10:35; John 13:18; John 17:12; John 19:24; John 19:28; John 19:36; John 19:37; John 20:9; Acts 1:16; Acts 8:32; Acts 8:35; Acts 17:2; Acts 17:11; Acts 18:24; Acts 18:28; Romans 1:2; Romans 4:3; Romans 9:17; Romans 10:11; Romans 11:2; Romans 15:4; Romans 16:26; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Galatians 3:8; Galatians 3:22; Galatians 4:30; 1 Timothy 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Timothy 3:16; James 2:8; James 2:23; James 4:5; 1 Peter 2:6; 2 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:16

Monday, August 23, 2021

Broadway actress Laura Osnes, 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.

The lowest pitch of grace

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12
Take heed of setting up your stay in the lowest pitch of grace. He that hath the least grace, may have motion but not violence. It is a pitiful thing, to be contented with just so much grace as will keep life and soul together. A sick man may have life, but is not lively. Grace may live in the heart, but is sickly, and doth not flourish into lively acts. Weak grace will not withstand strong temptations, or carry us through great sufferings: it will hardly follow Christ upon the water. Little grace will not do God much service. A tree that hath but little sap, will not have much fruit. It may be said of some Christians, though they are not still-born, yet they are starvelings in grace; they are like a ship that comes with much ado to the haven. Oh, labour to grow to further degrees of sanctity. The more grace, the more strength, the more violence.
Thomas Watson, The Christian Soldier, or Heaven Taken by Storm

Sunday, August 22, 2021

I’d rather have Jesus

A song with the same title and similar message as last week’s hymn is I’d Rather Have Jesus, by Luther G. Presley. Like Miller’s hymn, it is a reflection on the worth of Jesus above all the temporal things of the world. Presley contrasts the Christian view – “I’d rather have Jesus” – with the worldly view of striving for the wealth, honor, and fame offered by things that decay. He concludes with a reference to Matthew 16:26/Mark 8:36.
Luther G. Presley (March 6, 1887 – December 6, 1974) was born in Faulkner County, Arkansas, the son of James Thomas Presley and Nancy Ann Brooks. Presley married Julia Magdaline Yingling in 1911. They had three children. After Maggie’s death, Presley married Lorena Henderson. They had one child. Lorena Presley was also a songwriter. Luther Presley died in 1974 and is buried at Saint Mary’s Cemetery near Rose Bud in White County, Arkansas.
Luther Presley wrote his first song at age 17. His best-known song likely is the spiritual When the Saints Go Marching In. Presley wrote the lyrics in 1937, and Virgil O. Stamps composed the music. Luther G. Presley also wrote When All of God’s Singers Get Home. Heavenly Highway Hymns was compiled by Luther G. Presley for the Stamps Baxter Music Company in 1956. Presley was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

1. Men strive for the wealth of this wide, wicked world,
They seek after honor and fame (worldly fame);
So lavishly sporting their diamonds and pearls, 
They put the dear Savior to shame.
I’d rather live in that bright city, 
Than to own all earth’s silver and gold, 
I’d rather have Jesus my Savior, 
Than the diamonds of a palace to hold; 
I’d rather be just a poor beggar, 
Live in a (little) shack by the road, 
Than here to own all of earth’s treasures, 
With no title to a future abode.
2. They seem not to know that their treasures will rust 
And thieves often break thru and steal (often steal); 
Contented with pleasure, they follow their lust, 
With sorrow their destiny seal.
3. What profit is found in earth’s silver and gold? 
How sad at the close of life’s day (fleeting day), 
If for the exchange one must lose his own soul, 
From heaven’s door be turned away.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

I refuse to join, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify if possible.)

“I refuse to join any group that would have me as a member.” -- Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx

“Minding other people’s business seems to be high-toned; I got all that I can do just to mind my own.” --  Hank Williams

“Genealogy, begins as an interest, becomes a hobby, continues as an avocation and, in the last stages, is an incurable disease.” -- Author Unknown

“This Bible is for the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” -- sometimes attributed (incorrectly) to John Wycliffe

“The Bible is the book of the people; and with the Bible in their hands, they will never submit to the tyranny of a spiritual despotism.” -- Life and Times of John de Wycliffe, p. 114

“You can’t talk to people about Jesus if you don’t talk to people.” -- Heard

“Facts are like a recipe; truth is the meal.” -- Adrian Rogers

“The beggars cheer for every dish.” -- Heard on the radio

“The Lord instructed many to preach the gospel, but he inspired only four to write the Gospels.”

“The God who came to us in ordinary flesh comes to us in ordinary ways on ordinary days. Too often we miss it because we were expecting something spectacular.” (Cf. 1 Kings 19:11-13)

Friday, August 20, 2021

Informed Worship links

Steve M. Schlissel, pastor of Messiah’s Congregation in Brooklyn, New York, has written series of articles on what he calls Informed Worship. Links are below. Also there is a summary reviewing Steve Schlissel’s articles and a book with some discussion of the normative and regulative principles. I am posting this to save so I can find it, as well as for readers who might find the discussion intriguing.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Regulative Principle

Where does the Bible teach “The acceptable way of worshiping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures”?

In the story of Nadab and Abihu and the offering of “strange fire” (Lev. 10); God’s rejection of Saul’s non-prescribed worship — God said, “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22); and Jesus’ rejection of Pharisaical worship according to the “tradition of the elders” (Matt. 15:1–14). All of these indicate a rejection of worship offered according to values and directions other than those specified in Scripture.

Of particular significance are Paul’s responses to errant public worship at Colossae and Corinth. At one point, Paul characterizes the public worship in Colossae as ethelothreskia (Col. 2:23), variously translated as “will worship” (KJV) or “self-made religion” (ESV). The Colossians had introduced elements that were clearly unacceptable (even if they were claiming an angelic source for their actions — one possible interpretation of Col. 2:18, the “worship of angels”). Perhaps it is in the Corinthian use (abuse) of tongues and prophecy that we find the clearest indication of the apostle’s willingness to “regulate” corporate worship. He regulates both the number and order of the use of spiritual gifts in a way that does not apply to “all of life”: no tongue is to be employed without an interpreter (1 Cor. 14:27–28) and only two or three prophets may speak, in turn (vv. 29–32). At the very least, Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians underlines that corporate worship is to be regulated and in a manner that applies differently from that which is to be true for all of life.
Particular elements of worship are highlighted: reading the Bible (1 Tim. 4:13); preaching the Bible (2 Tim. 4:2); singing the Bible (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) — the Psalms as well as Scripture songs that reflect the development of redemptive history in the birth-life-death-resurrection- ascension of Jesus; praying the Bible — the Father’s house is “a house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13); and seeing the Bible in the two sacraments of the church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38–39; 1 Cor. 11:23–26; Col. 2:11–12). In addition, occasional elements such as oaths, vows, solemn fasts and thanksgivings have also been recognized and highlighted (see Westminster Confession of Faith 21:5).

The regulative principle as applied to public worship frees the church from acts of impropriety and idiocy — we are not free, for example, to advertise that performing clowns will mime the Bible lesson at next week’s Sunday service. Yet it does not commit the church to a “cookie-cutter,” liturgical sameness.
What is sometimes forgotten in these discussions is the important role of conscience. Without the regulative principle, we are at the mercy of “worship leaders” and bullying pastors who charge noncompliant worshipers with displeasing God unless they participate according to a certain pattern and manner. To the victims of such bullies, the sweetest sentences ever penned by men are, “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to His Word, or beside it, in matters of faith or worship. So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also” (WCF 20:2). To obey when it is a matter of God’s express prescription is true liberty; anything else is bondage and legalism.
Often people confuse the issue by bringing up things that have to do with the elements of the gathered meeting, either directly or that facilitate it. The communion table. The hymn books. The box where offerings are placed. The pews on which we sit. The table on which the pulpit Bible rests. Lights help us to see the Bible and the hymn books, and a little HVAC can contribute to the comfort of being there in extreme temperatures. However, these are temporal elements of a facility in which Christians meet, and are not elements of worship themselves. We need to learn how to “rightly divide the word of truth.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Pronouncing “Jesus”

Some folks get all bent out of shape about the name Jesus being wrong. Some have gone so far as to fabricate a connection between the names Jesus and Zeus! I have heard that anything starting with a “J ”is wrong; his name must start with a “Y.” Even the “Y” advocates cannot agree among themselves.
  • Complete Jewish Bible, Yeshua the Messiah
  • Names of God Bible, Yeshua Christ
  • Orthodox Jewish Bible, HaMoshiach Yehoshua
  • Tree of Life Version, Yeshua ha-Mashiach
The transliteration from the Greek is Iesous. The Greek is pronounced as something like “eeaysoos” or “eeesoos.” This Greek spelling has developed in English as Jesus, influenced by the Latin. Interestingly, even in English, there was a distinction (now mostly lost) between using Jesus (nominative) and Jesu (usually when addressed, vocative). (You can find it is older writings.)

Words that are the same/mean the same thing are said differently in different languages. While the pronunciation changes, the person or thing does not. English speakers call our Messiah Jesus, with a “J” that sounds like “gee.” Spanish speakers call the Messiah Jesus, with a “J” that sounds like “hey.” Both of these are correct. In English the pronunciation gee-sus is correct. In Spanish the pronunciation hey-sues is correct. Same goes for whatever language in which someone is speaking. Bulgarian speakers call him Исус; French speakers call him Jésus; German speakers call him Jesu; Italian speakers call him Gesù; and so forth. All are correct in their own languages. There is one God and one mediator between God and man.

My opinion is that the pronunciation of the Hebrew a transliteration of the Hebrew name יֵשׁוּעַ has no exact equivalent in Greek or English (or most any other language), and in general the debate over “pronouncing Jesus” is a very unnecessary distraction.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Afghan Pastors Ask for Prayer, 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.

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Lord did lead them

“As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; so the Lord alone did lead them.” Deuteronomy 32:11-12 
Here learn a lesson, to form some faint idea how the Lord is unceasingly engaged in taking care of his people. If thy God condescends to represent it by such a similitude, is it not both thy privilege and thy duty to mark the several particulars of such grace and tenderness? The eagle not only possesseth in common with other creatures, the greatest affection for her young, but manifests a vast superiority over every other of the winged tribe in her management of her brood. She provides for them and protects them, as other birds of the air do; but in educating them, and the method by which she shelters them from danger, here is displayed such superior wisdom and power, as far exceeds whatever we meet with in other creatures. “She stirreth up her nest:” by which we may understand, she suffers not her young eagles to lay sleeping, but calls them forth to life and exercise. She “fluttereth over them,” as if to show them how they are to use their wings, and fly. And when she taketh them from the nest, this is not done like other birds, who carry their young in their talons, and in their haste or flight may drop them—or when pursued, or fired at by an enemy, may have them killed and herself not hurt; but the eagle beareth her young on her wings, so that no arrow from beneath can touch the young, until it hath first pierced through the heart of the old bird. 
What a sweet thought do these views afford; and what a blessed instruction do they bring!
Robert Hawker, The Poor Man’s Portion

Sunday, August 15, 2021

I’d Rather Have Jesus

In 1922, Rhea Florence Ross Miller reflected on her father’s testimony of his deliverance from the power of alcohol. She recalled how he testified that he would rather have Jesus than all the gold and silver in the world. He said he would rather have Jesus than all the houses and land that money could buy. That reflection led to what would become the well-known song I’d Rather Have Jesus.
Rhea Miller (1894-1966) was born in Onondaga County, New York, the daughter of Martin J. Ross and Bertha Pritz. In 1917 she married Howard Vasser Miller. According to the Wesleyan-Holiness Digital Library, H. V. Miller “was a minister and general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene…joined the Church of the Nazarene in 1922…[and]…served as pastor, district superintendent, and college professor until his election to the general superintendency in 1940.” Among many other things, Rhea Miller taught piano. She also wrote at least a few other hymns.
George Beverly Shea (1909-2013) wrote the music of I’d Rather Have Jesus circa 1932. He copyrighted the music in 1939. In his book How Sweet the Sound, Shea describes the circumstances in this way, his discovering a poem by the piano one Sunday.
“At the age of twenty-three, I was living at home with my parents, continuing to work at Mutual Life Insurance and studying voice. Going to the piano one Sunday morning, I found a poem waiting for me there. I recognized my mother’s handwriting. She had copied the words of a poem by Mrs. Rhea F. Miller, knowing that I would read the beautiful message, which speaks of choice. As I read these precious words: ‘I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause. I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause.’ I found myself singing the words in a melody that expressed the feelings of my heart.”
Shea’s association with Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (from 1947 to 2013) doubtless helped boost the recognition and popularity of I’d Rather Have Jesus. It has been recorded by many well-known artists, including Jim Reeves.
1. I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand:
2. I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame.
I’d rather be true to His holy name:
3. He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs.
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead:
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

Friday, August 13, 2021

A Teacher’s Union is Suing a Mother, 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.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Applying the towel

Six leadership points found in The King Who Led with a Towel – Jesus the Servant Leadership Role Model and The King Who Led With a Towel – Jesus’ Servant Leadership Values. (See also The King Who led with a Towel – The Servant Leader Applying The Towel. By Rick Sessoms and Colin Buckland)
  • Jesus’ use of the “towel” represented His whole life and leadership.
  • Jesus’ use of the “towel” revealed His perspective on positional power.
  • Jesus’ use of the “towel” teaches us to serve God by serving others.
  • Jesus’ leadership was established upon a relationship with his followers.
  • Jesus’ leadership was activated by influence, not coercive power.
  • Jesus’ prioritized His followers’ potential over His own benefit.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Religious liberty: Hughey and Wogaman

Thoughts on religious liberty, from First Freedom:

Man is made in God’s image; God is able to and does reveal himself to man; the individual is able to deal with God through the only mediator; the state has no ecclesiastical function and a church has no civil authority.

J. D. Hughey [developed] an ethic of religious liberty built on man’s creation in the image of God, the “fundamental Christian teaching of love,” and the Golden Rule.[i]

Philip Wogaman...provides three useful categories of religious freedom and then discusses briefly how the intersection of other rights might affect their exercise. “Absolute religious liberty” is the internal freedom to believe and worship as one pleases. “Qualified absolute religious liberty” is the freedom to profess or to express one’s faith verbally through social communication. He calls this a qualified liberty because “a case must be made for limiting speech which is not designed as communication of faith, knowledge, or opinion but as malicious slander or incitement to action of an illegal sort.” “Qualified religious liberty” is the freedom to act in accordance with one’s religious insights and values. He says this kind of liberty “raises problems” when it is made into an absolute. Issues like withholding medication for religious reasons, education of children, and activities that harm other people require that this liberty be restricted in some manner.[ii]

These are not only useful distinctions; they are reasonable. As we make our claims for religious liberty, and insist on them with zeal, we must keep in mind that humans are still fallen. Some people will abuse any liberty. When they do, government must step in to protect its citizens.

[i] J. D. Hughey, “The Theological Frame of Religious Liberty,” Christian Century 80 (November 6, 1963): 1365–68; cited in First Freedom: The Beginning and End of Religious Liberty, edited by Jason G. Duesing, Thomas White, Malcolm B. Yarnell, p. 15
[ii] Philip Wogaman, Protestant Faith and Religious Liberty (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1967), pp. 182-190; cited in First Freedom: The Beginning and End of Religious Liberty, edited by Jason G. Duesing, Thomas White, Malcolm B. Yarnell, p. 107

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

In other words, a to zizzy

  • antilegomena, noun. The books of the New Testament whose canonicity were for a time in dispute. Cf. homologoumena.
  • bearding, noun. Beard-like growth; an instance of this.
  • crowdsource, verb. To obtain (information or input into a particular task or project) by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet.
  • durative, adjective. Denoting or relating to continuing action.
  • evoke, verb. To bring or recall to the conscious mind; elicit (a response).
  • fodder, noun. Coarse food for livestock, composed of entire plants, including leaves, stalks, and grain, of such forages as corn and sorghum; people considered as readily available and of little value; raw material.
  • frequentative, adjective. (of a verb or verbal form) Expressing frequent repetition or intensity of action.
  • homologoumena, noun. The books of the New Testament acknowledged as authoritative and canonical from the earliest time. Cf. antilegomena.
  • intransitivity, noun. (Logic) A relation between elements that is not transitive. Cf. transitivity.
  • invoke, verb. To cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument; call on (a deity or spirit) in prayer, as a witness, or for inspiration.
  • irrefragably, adverb. In an irrefutable or indisputable manner.
  • magnanerie (also magnanery), noun. A silkworm house.
  • menagerie, noun. A a place where a collection of wild or unusual animals are kept or exhibited; an unusual and varied group of people.
  • odditorium, noun. A shop or venue for the display or sale of oddities or oddments.
  • paramonyms, noun. Words that sound similar and have similar meanings.
  • paronyms, noun. Words that are pronounced or written in a similar way but which have different lexical meanings.
  • roman à clef, noun. A novel in which actual people or events are represented in disguised form, as by the use of fictitious names (from French, meaning novel with key).
  • transitivity, noun. (Logic) A relation between elements so that if it holds between A and B, and holds between B and C, then necessarily it holds between A and C. Cf. intransitivity.
  • zizzy, adjective. Characterized by or involving a buzzing or whizzing sound. Now rare.

Monday, August 09, 2021

The seeds of a new nation

“The courageous Pilgrims became the seeds of a new nation. They sacrificed fortunes and endured hardships solely for the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. Prizing that liberty above life itself, they surmounted all obstacles to gain it.
“In paying tribute to them, the forefathers of this great nation, we must also acknowledge the source of their inspiration, their comfort in sorrow, the magnet that drew them 3,000 miles across the cold and stormy Atlantic waters to a country beyond the edge of civilization. It was the book that for them was supreme in all matters of faith and practice—the ‘Indestructible Book’.” 

Sunday, August 08, 2021

O, what is life? ’Tis like a flower

I became aware of the following hymn while doing genealogical research through obituaries in The Christian Index. The following obituary of Frances E. Wilson (a first cousin 4 times removed), was printed in the Index, September 9, 1847. She was only 17 years old, and died at the home of her sister and brother-in-law.


Died, at the house Joseph R. Parker, in Taliaferro county on the 15th of last month, Frances E. Wilson, daughter of Mrs. Bethena Wilson, aged 17 years and 5 months. This young lady was not a member of any church, but was for some time previous to her death penitent, and gave such evidence of a change of heart, that, while her friends are left to mourn her departure, they feel assured she has gone to rest.

O, what is life?—’tis like a flower
That blossoms and is gone;
It flourishes its little hour,
With all its beauty on:
Death comes, and, like a wintry day,
It cuts the lovely flower away.

I looked up the hymn and found it is by Jane Taylor. It has at least two other stanzas, dealing with the brevity and instability of life – and the hope of eternal life.

1. O, what is life?—’tis like a flower
That blossoms and is gone;
It flourishes its little hour,
With all its beauty on:
Death comes, and, like a wintry day,
It cuts the lovely flower away.
2. O, what is life?—’tis like the bow
That glistens in the sky:
We love to see its colors glow,
But while we look they die:
Life fails as soon: to-day ’tis here;
To-morrow it may disappear.
3. Lord, what is life? If spent with thee,
In humble praise and prayer,
How long or short our life may be
We feel no anxious care;
Though life depart, our joys shall last
When life and all its joys are past.

In his bio on Ann Taylor Gilbert and Jane Taylor, John Julian writes:

Taylor, Jane, the younger of the two sisters, was b. at London, Sept. 23, 1783. Her gift in writing verse displayed itself at an early age. Her first piece was printed in the Minor’s Pocket Book for 1804. Her publications included Display, a tale, 1815; Essays in Rhymes, 1816; and the posthumous work edited by her brother, entitled The Contributions of Q. Q., 1824, being pieces in prose and verse from the Youth’s Magazine, to which she had contributed under the signature of “Q. Q.” She d. at Ongar, Essex, April 13, 1824. Her Memoir and Poetical Remains, were pub. by her father in 1825.

The joint productions of the two sisters, Ann Taylor Gilbert & Jane Taylor, were:—

(1) Original Poems, 1805; (2) Hymns for the Nursery, 1806; (3) Hymns for Infant Minds, 1809; 2nd ed. 1810; 52nd ed. 1877. To the 35th ed., 1844, Mrs. Gilbert interspersed 23 additional hymns by herself, thereby raising the total to 93. In 1886 Josiah Gilbert revised these hymns, added thereto from the works named above, supplied the initials “A.” and “J.”, respectively, and published the same under the original title as the “Authorized Edition.” (4) Original Hymns for Sunday Schools, 1812.

[After this, Julian lists 24 hymns by Ann and 14 by Jane.]

Julian further writes, giving his opinion of Jane Taylor’s hymns:

Miss Taylor’s hymns are marked by great simplicity and directness. The most popular and one of the best is, “There is a path that leads to God.” Taken as a whole, her hymns are somewhat depressing in tone. They lack brightness and warmth.” (A Dictionary of Hymnology, Volume II, P-Z, page 1117)

This hymn appears to have achieved some popularity as devotional and funerary poetry, but is seldom found in song books. One exception is What is Life by G. W. Linton in Kind Words: a New Collection of Hymns and Tunes for Sunday Schools and the Social Circle (G. W. Linton, H. M. Teasdale, 1871). The best-known poem by Jane Taylor probably is “The Star,” often titled “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (Rhymes for the Nursery, 1806).

Saturday, August 07, 2021

After decades in woods, 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.

Friday, August 06, 2021

Repeat - come sing with us!

Repeating a post from Monday. We invite you to sing with us this weekend.

The East Texas Sacred Harp Convention, 166th Anniversary Session, will be held, Lord willing, this coming weekend – Saturday August 7, 9:30 am—3:00 pm, and Sunday, August 8, 9:00 am—2:30 pm. We sing from The Sacred Harp, 2012 Cooper Edition. Loaner books will be available to borrow. The singing location is the Henderson Civic Center, 1500 Lake Forest Parkway, Henderson, Texas. This is at the corner of State Highway 64 and Lake Forest Parkway.

Officer David Rousseau leading Wondrous Love​.

Tentative Agenda, Saturday
  • Arrive early, have coffee and snacks.
  • 9:30 am – Opening by President, Then, Sing, Sing, Sing!
  • 10:30 am – Break
  • 10:45 – Welcome by Henderson Mayor J. W. Fullen
  • 12 noon—1 pm – Dinner on the Ground
  • 1 pm—3 pm – Sing, Sing, Sing.
Tentative Agenda, Sunday
  • Arrive early, have coffee and snacks.
  • 9:00 am – Opening by President, Then, Sing, Sing, Sing!
  • 10:30 am—10:40 am – Break
  • 11:30 am – Memorial Lesson
  • 12 noon—1 pm – Dinner on the Ground
  • 1 pm—2:30 pm – Sing, Sing, Sing.
Come back next year.