Thursday, December 31, 2009

Forgetting Those Things Which are Behind...

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those
things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press toward
the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus"
(Philippians 3:13-14).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Thursday, November 5, 2009


Friday, October 9, 2009


Monday, September 28, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Worlds Without End

After a 13-day retrofit by Atlantis astronauts and a rigorous month-long checkout and calibration, the Hubble Space Telescope is back in service with the first photos scheduled for release mid-day tomorrow. The following link contains images of worlds previously revealed.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” Hebrews 11:3.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Using God

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cast Not Your Pearls before Swine

A believer with the maturity NOT to tell her story on the TODAY show:

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Taking the Bible Literally

Heard a story this morning of a woman who took the Bible literally. Her son tried to convince his eighty something, King James embracing, live-alone mother that she didn’t need to enter into her closet and shut the door to pray; “God would understand.” But as soon as he left, as a moth to a flame, she made her way to her secret place. Years had taken family and friends, but in her closet she continued what time and circumstance could never end; her sweet hour of prayer.

And as the hour ended, she reached for the door knob to help herself up. It came off in her hand! She spent that night in the closet and most of the remaining day until her son’s unanswered calls prompted his return. Quickly searching, he found her in the all so familiar place.

Perhaps she should have taken her son’s advice. Perhaps she was taking His word far too literally. But then she may have never been rewarded with so long a night communing with the Father.

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

An Experiment in Socialism

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (Thessalonians 3:10).

Excerpts from the Ellis County Observer:

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that… socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment…." All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that. (College Economics Class Experiment in Socialism, Ellis County Observer, April 13, 2009)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Comforter

Have you ever had to leave someone you cared for? Perhaps you told them: “I won’t be here but…” some common friend will. On their last night together Our Lord told the eleven that He had make preparation. That He would send a Counselor, a Teacher, a Comforter to abide with them forever. And He has done the same for us today:

“… If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you….

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you….

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me….

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you….

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come…” (John14-16).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Elisabeth Elliot Continued…

Her Mama taught her right: "No, you don't chase boys. You keep them at arm's length."

And you know, it works!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jim Elliot’s Epilog

Jim Elliot’s epilog in the words of his wife:

… I never dreamed of going there, and I couldn’t imagine any way in which it could possibly work out for a woman with a baby to go in and live where five men had been killed. But it was obviously the providence of God that happened to put me in a place where I would not normally have been.

Two Qichua Indians—a very friendly tribe—appeared one day at a missionary’s home where I was visiting and said, “We’ve got two Auca women at our house. Do you want to come and see them?”

I had to make up my mind very fast because they said, “We left home when the sun was over here and the sun’s up here now and we’ve got to be home when the sun’s over here. If you come, you come with us now.”

So that’s the way it happened. I just set off down the trail with them on a six-hour walk and met two Auca women when I got there. Nobody could understand a word they said. We didn’t know why they had come; we didn’t know what in the world to do with them—but that’s a long story. They came and lived with me for almost a year.

During that year, I was able to learn enough of their language to know that they were telling me, “When that palm fruit gets ripe, we’re going home. And we want you to come with us.”
So I said, “Will your people kill me as they killed my husband?” They just laughed, put their arms around me, and said, “They’re not going to kill you. You’re our mother, you’re our friend.”
… I went to live with them for two years, which opened the door for many other people to work with the Aucas. Many of them became Christians; in fact, all five of the Aucas who did the killing became Christians. (Elisabeth Elliot, Woman on A Mission, Touchstone, January/February, 2001)

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.... be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Revelation 2:10-11).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

He is No Fool

Jim Elliot was a young man compelled to take the gospel to those who had never heard. His last opportunity in the jungles was with the Auca Indians. His ministry came to an end on January 8, 1956; his mutilated body was later found floating in the Ewenguno River. A verse from his journals expresses the essence of his conviction:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Sunday, July 12, 2009

He Shall Teach You All Things

Our Lord confided with His own that last night together:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance , whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
The same applies today regarding the Comforter; the Holy Spirit “shall teach us all things.” And how does He do this? It appears by bringing to our remembrance words of the Word i.e., the words of our Lord.

But how can this be possible unless we have likewise burned His words into our minds as those who reclined at table with Him that last night. Or like the two on the Emmaus road:

“Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures” (Luke 24:32)?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

His Return for His Own

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Thirtieth Day of May

Still remember those quiet summer mornings of the thirtieth day of May. My brother and I jumped out of bed and run barefoot through dew covered grass to the bridge that stared up like two giant eyes from our valley. It was always covered with small pink roses on that day. We quickly cut them and placed them in water filled mason jars, sometimes the ones used for catching lighting bugs the night before. Next the ever-perennial tiger lilies that grew along the stone fence encompassing the front yard. Then the iris garden; loved the fragrance of the lavender. Finally the peonies with stems so long and blossoms so pretentious they required a bucket rather than a jar. And then we run upstairs to get mom and dad from bed for our annual “pilgrimage” to Forest Llewellyn.

Remember passing Memorial Park; so quiet the thirtieth day of May. Cumberland Academy with its towering steeple once stood within its confines. In earlier days, other than the court house, it was the city’s only place of worship. Here, the godly Joseph Baldwin first conducted his Normal School, and the less than godly Union Colonel John McNeil situated his artillery on that mount, savaging a largely unarmed contingent of the Confederacy during the Battle of Kirksville. Sadly, something more than history was lost when Cumberland Academy eventually burned to the ground. An obelisk, flanked by mute ordnances, later inherited the tranquil solitude. Although inscribed with the names of those who never returned from the war to end all wars, more names were added as years went by, replacing the remembrance of those forgotten. Here restless tumult had been replaced by silence, interrupted only by the sound of a mourning dove or the laughter of children on the thirtieth day of May.
“Albert L. Holmes” reads his headstone in the family plot that bears his name. Knew so little of him other than his milling shop on Franklin that, a hundred years after his death, still remains, and his house of ten gables exactly one block away. I happened across the 1911 History of Adair County just today: “Mr. Holmes was the most extensive contractor Kirksville has ever had.” “He build very many of the business houses and dwellings of the town.” “Among the public building erected by him are the Baptist church, Christian church, Cumberland Presbyterian church, M. E. Church…” all in Kirksville, the City of Churches.

His daughter Essie who kept his records lies nearby. Paged through her massive ledger today inscribed with lavender ink and pin. Her entries span childhood through Normal School; her final entries include that period of the 1899 “cyclone.”

Beside her, Orie J. Smith who shared her father’s passion for wood and brick and stone. Northeast of the city he setup a single narrow scaffold sixty-four feet high on the center of a sixty-four foot locus on the ground. Secured redundantly with anchor and tether, it perhaps engendered a spectacle reminiscence of the image setup by an ancient king on the plains of Babylon. Orie spanned the space from pinnacle to earth beginning with a single precarious member at the will of the wind. In recent days the completed structure was again at the will of the wind as massive doors, undisturbed for almost a hundred years, were ripped from their tracks and the fields covered with debris.

Essie met her husband after dismissing her class at Benton School one winter day. Quickly recognizing a blizzard as an opportunity to rescue the fair “damsel” as she floundered in the snow, Orie by chance happened by with his horse drawn sleigh . And a short distance from these two lay Jacob, their child forever six.

And then my mother led the way to a place only she could find. Dolly came home from school one day all wet and cold and talking strange: “I reached and touched the fingers of God” she said. After going to sleep that night, things were not the same. As she grew more ill, her desperate mother searched and bought the only doll the little house would ever know. And just before she went to sleep one last time, my mother remembered Dolly singing “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells….” A short time later all her things were burned… except the little doll. Her mother put it in a drawer never to be opened. And my mother could never forget her mother crying as the little body was laid to rest in a grave without a stone.

Before returning, my brother and I sometimes visited a mass grave on the Forest side. One of my father’s early memories was of an honor guard firing a volley in remembrance of Twenty-Six Confederate soldiers. And of he and his brother, oblivious to the significance of the occasion, gleefully running to pick up shell casings. Pearl Harbor and Buna all too soon altered that innocence.

In recent years, a second monument appeared revealing a truth long latent in that trench. The day after the battle, by order of Colonel John McNeil, fifteen captives were tried, convicted, and shot where the old Wabash Depot once stood. And on the third day, Colonel Frisby McCullough was court-martialed on contrived charges, found guilty, sentenced to be shot, and with the apparent consent of McNeil, “paraded up and down the streets of Kirksville amid the jeers and shouts of joy of the Federals.” However, at his request as an officer, he was given one concession, to conduct his own execution: “What I have done, I have done as a principle of right. Aim at the heart. Fire!” However, his executioners failed to comply. And as a second volley was being prepared, he continued from the ground: “May God forgive you this barbarous murder.”
A remembrance of the City of Churches on the thirtieth day of May.

"And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.... But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep" (Act 6:15-7:60). 

Monday, January 12, 2009

It Happened Again Last Night

“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16-21).