Thursday, June 25, 2009


I posted this little collage of names figuring that everyone would get it. Perhaps some explanation may be in order. What I am trying to convey is the idea that falling into sin or even diving headlong into sin knows of no political, ideological, or evangelical exemptions. The names listed in this collage are all fairly familiar names. Most of these folks are or were our "leaders" of some sort or another. Many, many more familiar and unfamiliar names could be posted here. However, "gotcha" is not the proper response of any political party, or ideological or religious group. It is certainly sad when our leaders fall in this manner, but it IS comforting to know that as a nation we all still seem to know this behavior is unacceptable.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fair & Balanced

"I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration!" says President Obama. I suspect that "fair and balanced", when all others are swooning, means.."attacking".

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Imprecatory Prayer

In the news recently we heard about a SBC pastor who was actually using the "imprecatory" Psalms to pray for the demise of President Obama and many others whom he specified by name. Quoting from Americans United, "The Rev. Wiley Drake is on the warpath again — and this time, he has really gone too far...... Before appearing on Alan Colmes’ radio show June 2, Drake had issued a statement that his imprecatory prayers for the death of slain Kansan Dr. George Tiller had been answered. He said that he "absolutely" believed that God wanted Dr. Tiller dead." To AU’s (no friend of Christ) credit they did make this statement: "But it’s important to note that while Drake’s statements are scary and outrageous, not all Southern Baptists agree with him." Not all?... I would venture a guess that 99.9% do not agree with Drake.

Here are some examples of imprecatory prayer in the Psalms:
Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave. (Ps 55:15)
O God, break the teeth in their mouths. (Ps58:6)
May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. (Ps 69:28)
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. (Ps 109:9)

The question of the day: How are Christians to pray the imprecatory prayers of the Psalms? And even...should we pray the imprecatory Psalms? Like the disciples of the first century we ask, “Lord teach us to pray”. We do have some direct instruction from our Lord regarding our enemies and the enemies of God. He says, “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:28) And..Paul.. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (I Tim 2:1-2) Based on these two verses alone, as Christians, we are permitted to pray for our enemies, to bless them, and to seek their conversion. This would certainly eliminate any personal prayer for particular or specific vengeance. So how do we pray for the defeat of our enemies?

Our Lord gives us the answer in what we call the Lord’s Prayer. It says..”Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”. If we are truly praying for the Kingdom of God to come, and His will to be done, this entails the sure destruction of all those that would come against God and His Kingdom, including Satan and any of his followers. However, we have no clue about who may be personally and permanently committed to the Kingdom of Darkness. Therefore, we can only pray for their conversion and let God work out any vengeance. Had he been there, Rev Drake may have prayed for the demise of St Paul at one point in his life. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rom 12:19b) Rev Wiley Drake is 99.9% of Southern Baptists know!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gone Fishin'

My son sent me these pictures taken during a recent fishing trip at Lake Fork in Texas. He estimated these two bass at around 8 lbs. and 4 lbs. Not too bad! He won the "autotropaeum" for his efforts. (that means he gave himself a trophy)

(click photos to enlarge)

Now, I’m not sure he’s quite ready for the kind of fishing displayed in this video. These fellas don’t look like they’re about to throw these catfish back into the pond.

Monday, June 1, 2009


We recently completed the Book of Job on our journey of reading through the Bible in 2009. In James reference is made to the "patience of Job". Two Greek words are used throughout the New Testament for two different concepts most generally translated "patience". The one we are all most familiar with is "hupomoneo" which Strong translates as "cheerful endurance, constancy, continuance, waiting. Isaiah 40:31 in the Septuagint uses the same Greek word for "they that WAIT upon the Lord..shall renew their strength..." In my particular case this would be the ability to cheerfully sit at a stop-light for 2 minutes without maligning the electronic controls. Remember, during his afflictions, when Job said, "I wish I had never been born"? (Job 3:3) The cheerful or hopeful attitude of patience in Job was influenced by his circumstances. "...pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance". (Rom 5:3b)

The other Greek word is "makrothumia", which Strong translates as "longanimity, forebearance, fortitude, and longsuffering. Recently, my wife and I were the "prayer persons of the week" at the Church we attend. A lady sitting next to me leaned over and asked how she could pray for us. By this I assumed she meant to ask if there was anything in particular or specifically that she could pray about for us. After a few moments of contemplation I handed her a note requesting she pray for us as Paul did for the Colossians in Chap 1 verses 10&11, "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness." That is continual "spiritual maturity"!

The word makrothumia (longsuffering) is most often used as an attribute of God. Therefore, it is not surprising that it would also be listed as a fruit of the Spirit. Theologians would call this one of the "communicable" attributes of God. Certain attributes of God cannot be shared, such as His "aseity", His "self-existence" or His "infintitude". Other attributes are shared such as love, mercy, grace, and longsuffering. L. Berkhof defines longsuffering: "It is that aspect of the goodness or love of God in virtue of which He bears with the froward (stubborn) and evil in spite of their long continued disobedience". In 2009 Paul’s question is still applicable, "..despiseth thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Rom 2:4)

Before I retired, I worked for a major banking firm. Occasionally we would come accross a term in loan documents known as "forebearance". Forbearance in the banking business means "the act of declining, for a period of time, to enforce the legal right to require payment of a debt". God’s forebearance or longsuffering with us resulted not in an extended period to repay, but in the full payment and satisfaction of the debt through faith and repentance. It was Augustine that prayed, "command what you will, and grant what you command". Isn’t that exactly the way God deals with us? God commands, "thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart..", which we cannot do unless God grants to us a new heart. What God commands, God grants. ) "A new heart also will I give you..’ Ez 36:26 "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast". It is a God-given faith that produces works in the grantee. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:10)

Paul tells us how makrothumia is worked outwardly when he says that it is part of the love without which all else is meaningless: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (I Cor 13:4-7) As patience (hupomoneo) relates to things and circumstances, longsuffering (makrothumia) exhorts us to cherish and show love to God and to one another, endlessly.