Saturday, February 28, 2009

What More can I Say?

I found these passages in a book that I am reading for school. I hope that they are as beneficial to you as they are to me. I have kept the original spelling.

"Hume, and other sceptical innovators, are vain men, and will gratify themselves at any expense. Truth will not afford sufficient food to their vanity: so they have betaken themselves to error. Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull."

"I added that this man said to me, 'I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.' Sir, he must be very singular in his opinion if he thinks himself one of the best of men, for none of his friends think him so."

"Sir, that will not do. We cannot prove any man's intention to be bad. You may shoot a man through the head, and say you intended to miss him; but the judge will order you to be hanged. An alleged want of intention, when evil is committed, will not be allowed in a court of justice."

"So far is it from being true that men are naturally equal, that no two people can be half an hour together, but one shall acquire an evident superiority over the other."

"Well, Madam, and you ought to be perpetually watching. It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying, that there is so much falsehood in the world."

"The heathens were not easily converted, because they had nothing to give up; but we ought not, without very strong conviction indeed, to desert the religion in which we have been educated. That is the religion given you, the religion in which it may be said the Providence has placed in you. If you live conscientiously in that religion, you may be safe. But error is dangerous indeed, if you err when you choose a religion for yourself."

"But, Sir, as to the doctrine of necessity, no man believes it. If a man should give me arguments that I do not see, though I could not answer them, should I believe that I do not see?"
-Samuel Johnson

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave...

Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll:
Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of their soul...

For thee, who mindful of th' unhonored dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate,
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
"Oft we have seen him at the peep of dawn,
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woeful, wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopless love.

"One morn I missed him from the customed hill,
Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree.
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he.

"The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne,-
Approach and read, for thou canst read, the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.

The Epitaph

Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth,
A youth to Fortune and Fame unknown:
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Misery (all he had) a tear,
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.

No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bosom of his Father and his God.
-Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mourning my Blindness, for the One

My hands gave in again
To turn my mind again
To all the things that caused the One
To crush Himself for me

The old man cackled with delight
My Soul gave out a cry
That He should see me, beloved outcast
His sacrifice defy

A love incomprehensible
The Eyes of man mayn't see
The Lord of Love, a sacrifice,
Was scorned and shunned by me

Oh, wretched man, what glorious mercy
And grace, that poured out THE Heart
For me,
When, knowing all that comes and goes,
My denial He did foresee

We play the game
And spend our unearned light
To serve a master who scorned
The One, and yet WE HAVE THE GALL



Your time is not wasted in reading this, if it causes you to think of the Author rather than the author. Hope this helps someone.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meditations of a Restless, Joyful Heart

"Our heart is restless until it rests in you." -Augustine

This last small group was the best one that I can remember. We managed to stay on topic the entire night, and our discussion was profitable for all parties involved. We determined that meditation, while not interchangeable with prayer, is still necessary for prayer. The heart and mind must first be focused on Him before true prayer can be offered. Meditation on Him should naturally lead you to pray to and praise Him. Also, "pray without ceasing" refers to a continual attitude of prayer; it is physically impossible to pray without ceasing. As achieving total Christlikeness is unattainable in this life, so is prayer without ceasing. BUT!!!!! Just because we cannot reach these things does not mean that we are not to strive earnestly for them.

We know that trials often accompany the Christian faith. However, we do not always commit to seeing God's plan for us in them. James 1:2-4 tells us that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness or endurance. We need to look beyond the pain that our flesh sees and see the reward and strength that comes from testing.

Never take your small groups for granted. These are the people that you can always come to for help and for guidance. Don't make the mistake I did of hiding in the background not sharing. You only get out what you put into it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Original Iron Men

"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17, ESV)

Christianity today has taken a major hit from its lack of desire for accountability. As Timothy tells us, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires". If teachers and pastors no longer preach to the people the need to uphold each other in love and good faith, how will people see that there is still a need for Christian fellowship? In order to stay strong, we need to be faithfully uplifting one another in prayer and in our face-to-face conversations. We are to be the "original iron men", and be continually sharpening each other.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Spark in the Dark, or A Case for Life

            One of the most serious moral and ethical crises facing our nation right now is the debate over abortion rights.  For many, abortion enables a practice of unrestricted sexual indulgence without consequence. The basis for many of the pro-abortionists’ arguments is, “The fetus is part of the woman’s body, right? So doesn’t that mean that she should have the right to choose what she does with her own body?”

            The fault with this line of reasoning lies in the reasoning itself; the fetus is a complete human being, although it is unable to support itself or make its own decisions. If you listen to a pro-abortionist long enough, you will notice a continual reference to the baby as “the fetus”. This is an attempt to clear his own conscience, as well as an attempt to justify the selfish slaughter of a defenseless human being. Conversely, if we were to say that elderly people are getting in the way of the “more useful people”, would this justify the deaths of countless senior citizens who were done away with simply because they were no longer wanted? The answer is no. Even from a logical standpoint, no one would consider this an option for “population control”.

Why then would anyone be able to rationalize the murder of an unborn child? Notice that I say “child” rather than “fetus” or “embryo”. This is because the unborn child is still, very simply, a child. The only difference is viability. The psalmist says in Psalm 139:13 and 16, “For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb…Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”

            If we are to begin saying that the child’s parents have the right to dispose of him because a baby would be an inconvenience, what is to stop us from applying that line of reasoning to any other age or genre of people? This exemplifies a patent lack of willingness to take responsibility for actions. One of the best summaries this argument can be given is this quote from Rev. Jesse Jackson:

“What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually? It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind-set with regard to the nature and worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth."


Given eternal consequences, perhaps Reverend Jackson’s “hell on earth” is a comfort zone in which pro-abortionists prefer to operate.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Plant your Feet Firmly, Pt. 1

I'm sorry about the major lag time between posts. I've been finding that Bible study takes up my blogging time, but since I don't have school today, I thought that I would take the time to do something about the lag.

Recently, Pastor Higgins preached a sermon on how we are to stand up for and evangelize our faith. As a general rule, I don't share and evangelize nearly as much as I need to because I don't appreciate others making fun of me for my faith in Christ (major pride issue for me!!). However, as I started to think about what he (SKH) had said, I started to think "Why am I not defending my king? So many of us will stand up and rant at others when they bash on our favorite sports team (movie, band, etc.), but as soon as there is an opportunity to defend our faith, a lot of people (me included) will most of the time just not say anything to avoid altercations with others. The matter at hand is not that we don't care enough of our faith to defend it (most of the time), but that we are too afraid of having our pride injured to say anything that might get us ridiculed by others.

The only thing that I can think of to remedy this is to put aside our pride and take a stand on the faith in God, and take a moment to set our priorities straight. If we don't defend our Lord and Savior, how are we any different than the rest of the world that Christ wants us to be set apart from? What distinction do we give our faith if we stand back and do nothing when we could be witnessing to someone? Think: God will make provisison for the salvation of those that He wants to save. What if you are that provision for just one person? If you stand back and say nothing when someone is doing something that is against God's moral law, if you are one of the chances that person was allotted, that person may be losing an opportunity for salvation.

It may not be their only opportunity, but we have been commanded
to take the gospel to all men. How are we honoring the Great Commission if we don't do or say anything that gives evidence of our saving faith in the One True God?

A song that I believe goes along with this post is DC Talk's What if I Stumble.

Think about it. Later days.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

God's Faithfulness

Today, our message was about how God will be faithful to bless those who are faithful to praise Him. This was a great lesson about how our lives will be better with Christ's praise on our lips. When we are stagnant in our appreciation of Him, we are temporarily "out of touch" with God. He waits only for us to pray for forgiveness and we are "back in the loop". The Lord's faithfulness is what protects us from sin, Satan, and eternal death. The amazing thing is that He, the perfect Lord, would protect us even though we, as sinners, have fallen short of His perfect glory. He loved us enough to send His son to be crucified, and though our sins are forgiven because of Christ's death, He wishes that you would repent and have faith in Him, and then, and only then, can we truly be in fellowship with Him. If we do not give our lives over to Him, we will have to spend eternity apart from Him in the lake of fire after we die. Then there will be no more chances at faithful repentance. If we repent and have faith in God, we will spend eternity with Him in heaven. I strongly urge any non-Christians reading this to accept Christ as their Savior and repent of your sins. He is waiting for you.

Two songs that might go well with this are Todd Agnew's "Grace Like Rain" and Jars of Clay's "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet".


From now on, when I post, I will state my message, then, if possible, a song that I think goes along with my post and a quote. If I am successful, I think that you and I will both benefit. Thank you