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February 2005 Blog Archives

Monday, February 28

6:40 AM When I boot up my computer at home, this is what I see on my monitor. It was where I was raised. Anybody been to Kailua Beach on Oahu? 

6:39 AM The Dow Blog is now a big Machen fan. Welcome to the club, Darrell.

Trivia question: How do you correctly pronounce "Gresham"?  

6:35 AM HORSE TALK: Had a nice long talk yesterday with a gent on a neighboring farm who is as big a fan of horses as I am. In fact, this part of southern Virginia used to be HORSE country. We plan to trial ride together once the weather improves, and he will show me all the good paths through the woods behind our farm. Seems he likes to air his horse out as much as I do mine, so looks like we'll make a good team. Can't wait to get back into regular riding, especially since I will be "horseless in Ethiopia" this summer.

6:31 AM The Nascent Church: "When the church was very young, it had no buildings. Let us begin with that striking fact. That the church had no buildings is the most noticeable of the points of difference between the church of the early days and the church of today. In the minds of most people today, 'church' means first a building, probably something else second; but seldom does 'the church' stand for anything other than a building. Yet here is the fact with which we start: the early church possessed no buildings and carried on its work for a great many years without erecting any." Ernest Loosley, When The Church Was Young.

6:29 AM I've been busy all weekend preparing an essay on the usage of the term "pastor" in the New Testament. I'll publish my findings later today, Deo volente.

6:25 AM Special hello to Lewis, Ben, Van, and the 19 others I met at Hebron Church yesterday. You are to be congratulated for sticking together through thick and thin. What a  wonderful group of people you are. I can assure you that your Savior loves you very much and, by the way, so does this Bible teacher.

6:23 AM HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! to the chicks who hatched out yesterday at Maple Ridge (my son's farm). Here's what I wrote about your big brothers and sisters:

I can’t wait to greet Blackie and Brownie and Whitie and Chatter Box and Little Feather (who loves to fly up and roost on my arm) Baby Chickensand all the rest of our grown-up hens and roosters. Entering the hen house I will loiter quietly near the mother hens, whose delicate eyes are glazed over with maternal bliss. I’m careful not to disturb their pacific and protective labor. The “peep peep” of several dozen chicks is the only sound to be heard—unless one gets too close to a sitting mama.

Yes, we enjoy our horses, our goats, our cows, but the chickens are probably our favorite animals to watch.

6:20 AM Just got an email from a man who heard about DBO through Doug Phillip's ministry:

I first came across your website several months ago when you were mentioned by Doug Phillips on his website.  Since I trusted, respected, and admired Mr. Phillips so much, I figured that you must be a pretty good guy.  Not only are you a pretty good guy, I have found someone that more closely shares my beliefs than anyone I know.

There is so much that I want to say, but it would take too much time.  I'll share more with you later.  I share your views on government, Southern heritage and the War for Southern Independence, family, and most importantly, on the state of the church and the need to go back to the New Testament model.  I am still learning about these matters and you are one of my primary teachers.

Thank you for who you are and what you stand for.  Take care, God bless, and I will write again soon.

My wife and I began this year by asking God to do wonderful things in people's lives, and it's great to see Him do more than we could ask or imagine. Soli Deo Gloria.

6:17 AM Who will succeed John Paul? What challenges will he face? Read Pope Hopefuls.

The next pope will have to address a host of complex issues that have grown more and more contentious during John Paul II's reign. They include power distribution within Catholicism, the role of women and the laity in the church of the 21st century, the church's stance on complex bioethical questions, and its role in the process of globalization. In many parts of the Catholic world, the answers being urged by the faithful depart significantly from those offered by the leadership. How the next pope responds to these challenges will have broad consequences for secular politics and contemporary culture wars, in which the Catholic Church--the world's largest religious denomination, with one billion members--is still an important player.

6:15 AM The new Bible Belt.

Christian Voice is just one of several similar groups planning to more high- profile tactics. Next month, the MediaMarch organisation plans to present Tony Blair with a 120,000 signature petition demanding tougher obscenity laws.

“There is righteous anger out there. The good people in this country have been completely ignored for too many years, and that is going to change by hook or by crook,” said MediaMarch founder Miranda Suit.

“We want to see the birth of a British Bible Belt to provide this country with the firm moral guidance it so clearly needs.”

6:13 AM Here's an actual testimony that age-integration works, even in churches where everybody says it can't. (Pastors, please read!)

My husband is a pastor and we started a church in Colorado in 2001. While we had never read anything on this subject, the Lord led him in a similar way. At 9:30 am someone (whoever got there first) opened the church and put on coffee. By the time we arrived with our 6 children, the folks were already fellowshipping over coffee and some goodies. We started worship service at 10:00 am, with everyone worshipping together, young and old-and nursing mothers right there in the assembly or in the next room within earshot, wherever THEY felt most comfortable. We sang A LOT! We had a loooong fellowship break (not just enough for a verse or 2 of "The Family of God." He taught and the messages were rich and nourishing and were not short! Afterwards we had a fellowship lunch EVERY Sunday (something we were told would "not go over out here" when we first moved out to Colorado). After we finished eating, we all cleaned up, together. Usually there was no hurry because doing the dishes alongside another was almost as fun (maybe even more fun) as eating with them. There was so much more opportunity for the gifts of the body to be used than just the Pastor or the singers. We also regularly took the Lord's Supper before the meal. Although this seems to most to be intriguing, the most compelling thing about it was that the people LOVED it, as did we. The bond of love and fellowship that church has is something I've never been a part of before. I must add that there was much discipling done in everyday life and Sundays were the icing on the cake. We loved Sundays! While we were very reverent, we were not formal, just one big happy Christian family!

Go here for more.

6:10 AM George Warnock wrote ("Feed My Sheep"):

The purpose of all ministry that proceeds from the exalted Christ is to so minister the Truth that the sheep of God's pasture might come into direct, unhindered personal union with the Lord. Ministers of the New Covenant are not to be "mediators"—as Moses was, or as Jesus is. They are rather "servants" (Greek, "doulos" or "bond-slave") Slaves have no right to call anything their own... not even the ministry that God gave them… It is simply a trust that has been given into their care. They make disciples for Christ, but they must have none of their own.

Let us hear that again:

We make disciples for Christ and have none of our own!

6:05 AM God is always looking for a few good men to rebuild His temple:

If ever the house of God needed a rebuilding upon its proper foundations, that time is today. Do we need to recount the ways in which the church is fallen down? Temporal preoccupations (buildings and money). Worldly power models (one-man leadership). Degenerate theology (cheap grace, lawlessness). Rampant subjectivism (if I feel it, it’s real). Worst perhaps is that the church today thinks it is rich and has need of nothing when it is in fact wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. (Rev. 3:17)

Sunday, February 27

4:30 PM The latest essay on our home page is by Mrs. Cindy Rollins and is entitled The Costs of Bearing Children.

8:53 AM Need a bit of refreshing about Gondar, the city where Azanou's village is nearest? Go here for an overview. Gondar was once the capital of Ethiopia. Below: Gondar's famous castles sitting 7,500 feet above sea level.


Azanou lives in the Falasha village just outside of Gondar. According to the Lonely Planet guide book, "A visit to the 'Falasha village,' about 6km out of town, can't be called worthwhile; there's only a handful of Falashas left after the mass emigration to Israel." Yet somehow Becky and I were strangely led to make a special visit there. Now we know why.

ethiopia140.jpg (258074 bytes)

May I continue to urge my Internet family to pray for Azanou as he travels to Addis this Thursday?  

Saturday, February 26

7:16 PM From the weekend mailbag:

G'mornin. Welcome back. Although I guess your site has been back up for
a few days. But whenever I clicked on it, I continued to get your last
entry as the one from last Sat. This morning I did a "reload"
and---PRESTO!----several new entries. I guess I should have done it days
ago....  I'm praying for Azanou. Also I think we should have a really strong, committed and concerted prayer crusade for Terry Shiavo. This is a crime and a sin. I think her "husband" should picture himself in her condition with his paramour in charge of allowing or withholding his nourishment. I'm putting her at the top of my prayer list. I hope many others will do the same.

To which I say: Amen. 

6:25 PM My good friend Lee Shelton of Ever Vigilant comments on two essays about our modern Constantinianism:

Dear Dave,

I had just finished reading Stephen W. Carson's latest article, "The Constantine Trap," before reading "Why I Publish DBO."  I think you touched on something quite profound when you mentioned the Constantinian mindset that has gripped America.  If that doesn't describe perfectly the current state of affairs, I don't know what does.

Thanks for your hard work and for reminding us why sites like yours are important.

In Christ,

Lee Shelton

Thanks for writing, Lee. Here's another essay that is remarkably parallel to Mr. Carson's excellent piece.

6:12 PM Here's to Rachel on launching her new blog. Welcome, and God bless!

6:10 PM My in-laws are taking my wife out to an Ethiopian restaurant in Dallas tonight. You bet I am jealous! If you've never tasted Injera and Wot you are really missing out. Hot and spicy. And then there's the Ethiopian coffee. Well, have a great time yall. As for the bachelor pad, we're having -- what else -- "Chinese" food.

6:05 PM Today my son and I had a great time going "junking," and we brought home tons of stuff, including old broken-down chairs, doors, bed frames, and tables, which Nathan will restore and put to very good use in his house. We also stopped in Boydton and visited the old Randolph-Macon College site (ante-bellum) and marveled at the beautiful construction. Sadly, the buildings are now in disrepair and several floors have already collapsed. While driving through Southside Virginia we also meandered through two houses dating back to the 1790s -- both in restorable condition. What a great day of goofing off and just "enjoying."

10:20 AM DBO's Weekend Assignment: I am completing an essay entitled "Pastor As Metaphor." It's based on an inductive Bible study of passages in which the Greek term for "shepherd/pastor" is used in the New Testament. See if you can detect a pattern in the following usages (this is a complete list):

  • Matt. 9:36: But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

  • Matt. 25:32: All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

  • Matt. 26:31: Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
           ‘I will strike the Shepherd,
           And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

  • Mark 6:34: And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

  • Mark 14:27: Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
           ‘I will strike the Shepherd,
           And the sheep will be scattered.’

  • Luke 2:8: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

  • Luke 2:15: So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

  • Luke 2:18: And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

  • Luke 2:20: Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

  • John 10:2: But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

  • John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

  • John 10:12: But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.

  • John 10:14: I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

  • John 10:16: And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

  • Eph. 4:11: And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers….

  • Heb. 13:20: Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant….

  • 1 Pet. 2:25: For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

All right, students. What conclusions can you draw from these texts? My thoughts on Monday!

10:18 AM What, then, is "ministry"? Some thoughts from Phil Lancaster:

One way for the church to escape the distortion of its identity and return to a more biblical definition of its life would be to redefine ministry. This word generally refers to some programmed response to a perceived need. Children need training, so the church has a Children’s Ministry. Music is part of worship, so the church has a Music Ministry. People need a ride to the meeting as an incentive to get them there, so the church has a Bus Ministry. And each ministry has a Minister or other ministry leader to head it up. But is this the only way ministry can occur?

Perhaps parents could be discipled with a view to training their own children, as Scripture says they should (Gen. 18:19; Eph. 6:4). Perhaps each man could come to the worship service prepared with a song to suggest for congregational singing (1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19). Perhaps the person who needs a ride to the church meeting could catch a ride with another family and then have dinner with them afterwards (Acts 2:46).

8:44 AM Aaah, the little joys of life. My puppy doggie just came walking up the long gravel driveway from my son's farm to Bradford Hall, then traipsed up the front porch steps to be greeted by daddy. Time for a bit of romping, he says!

8:15 AM Update on Azanou: Things are getting exciting! Next Thursday he flies from Gondar to the capital of Addis Ababa for his eye assessment, which will determine his priority for a cornea transplant in his right eye (the left is useless). A doctor friend of ours will accompany him on the flight (Azanou's first) and he will be met in Addis by a church leader who will care for him the entire time he is in the capital (about two weeks). A Lutheran College where I spoke last November will be providing room and board for them. The assessment will take place at the Melenik II Hospital under the supervision of a Christian ophthalmologist. If a decision is made to operate, Azanou will go back to his village to await his surgery. He will have to be ready to fly back to Addis at a moment's notice.

So far we have received $679.92 in contributions from Carmon's readers. Contributions have come from North Carolina, Michigan, Alabama, Oregon, Washington, California, Georgia, Virginia, Texas, and Tennessee! A heartfelt "thank you" to all. Thank you especially for your prayers that Azanou will respond to the precious love of the Lord Jesus and receive spiritual sight.

It is absolutely amazing for Becky and me to stand back and watch the Lord handle all the details, in many cases using people we've only met via the Internet.

If any children would like to write a letter to Azanou, I would be happy to forward it to him. Just send it to me at Bradford Hall, 2691 White House Road, Nelson, VA 24580.

7:44 AM I just learned that there is a Confessing Church Movement within the Presbyterian Church (USA). It is committed to "proclaiming the historic Christian confessions of the Reformed faith." Currently it numbers some 1,310 churches. Here's more information.

7:40 AM I will be the guest speaker at Hebron Christian Church in Nelson, Virginia this weekend at both 10:00 and 11:00 am.

7:30 AM The disease of Evanjellyfish Christianity.

7:14 AM I was reminded of this great verse over at Tulip Girl this morning:

Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

7:04 AM Pat Buchanan on our promise to democratize the world:

Giddy with excitement, the neocons are falling all over one another to hail the president. They are not conservatives at all. They are anti-conservatives, and their crusade for democracy will end as did Wilson’s, in disillusionment for the president and tragedy for this country. 

6:23 AM Here's welcoming Matthew McDill and his family to the blogosphere. I like what I see! Matt is a wonderful husband and father and a pastor with an unquenchable passion for God.

6:17 AM John Stott:

Either we are unfaithful in order to be popular, or we are willing to be unpopular in our determination to be faithful. I very much doubt if it is possible to be faithful and popular at the same time. I fear we have to choose.

6:15 AM Please join me in praying for John Paul.

6:12 AM The latest addition to our home page is Ultimate Freedom. It is a beautiful story of the difference Jesus makes in the life of ordinary men and women. In the words of F. W. H. Meyers:

Is there not wrong too bitter for atoning?/ What are these desperate and hideous years?/ Hast Thou not heard Thy whole creation groaning,/Sighs of a bondsman and a woman's tears?

Yes, He is there, and He has heard! 

6:10 AM Our website was down for five days and I received several emails from those who were undergoing, as they put it, severe withdrawal. I very much appreciate all who wrote, but folks, that's nothing compared Go To PHONECO's Bargain Pageto what I've being experiencing. Yesterday I emailed my wife in Texas twice and spoke with her on the phone three times. Now that's withdrawal!! You'd feel the same way if you were married to the most beautiful and wonderful Southern belle who ever trod earthly sod  --  a Proverbs 31 Woman in every possible way. And I'm not biased. If you knew Becky, you would have to agree!

6:06 AM I agree with what Kristen says about my favorite New Testament epistle, the Book of Hebrews. I believe there is no place where we can learn so much about, and have so much light cast upon, our Great Priest (I call Him the greatest "catholic" priest who ever lived), as we do in that great Cathedral of Christianity known as Hebrews. A priest who offered a better sacrifice in a better sanctuary and inaugurated a better covenant -- what more could a lost sinner like myself want? He is my soul's desire -- my One and Only Savior and Lord!!

6:03 AM JP hits it squarely on the head:

The Death Clock

There is no better way to sugar coat this title. March 18, 2004 at 1:00pm. At this time, the feeding tubes are to be removed from Terry Shiavo. I am not sure I grasp this whole story. At the very least, on a moral standpoint, the husband gave up his right to be the provider of Terry when he decided to move on with his life with another women, he should have no say in the decision of whether or not Terry's life is to continue. I know that adultery in the military is punishable under the UCMJ. Is there any accountability of this nature in civilian sector, can her parents use that as a case to be the sole care taker of Terry? Mr. Shiavo already broke his vows and his marriage commitment, God is aware of that. Is there any legality to this in the civilian courts? We as Christians need to continue to hold hands and come together as one booming voice in continuation of prayer and support for Terry . Pray for her soul, pray for Mr. Shiavo, pray for her parents and pray that another stay can be issued. That is the least we can do for her. I know that God has His arms wrapped around Terry. We all hope that Mr. Shiavo has a change of heart and allows her live. Why is he fighting so hard for this? Why does he not allow her parents to take care of her? What is he gaining out of this? I can think of many reasons, but I will not judge him. I do not know for sure....God does.

Friday, February 25

5:19 PM Our newest contributor essay: The Heart of Hearth and Home.

8:15 AM Here's the latest addition to our home page: Why I Publish DBO.

7:40 AM Our friend JP over at EnterMyMind is considering a career change and is asking the most important question in life: "Lord, how can I glorify you in all I do?" I'm praying for you, brother. I've been where you are several times, and I can assure you that your Shepherd loves you and will faithfully guide you in the path you ought to go. God bless.

7:38 AM "Jesus Christ is the absolute monarch and sole legislator. A plurality of elders with equal authority and responsibility in each congregation and with no authority beyond their local congregation oversee the affairs of the local church under Jesus, the chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). All children of God throughout the world are brothers and sisters in Christ -- with no clergy or laity distinctions -- but each congregation must be autonomous, working within the framework of the simple organization described in the New Testament."


7:35 AM Check the Bush Scorecard.

7:32 AM Schism.

7:30 AM Yes, Jesus IS God!

᾿Εν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.

7:27 AM Die Zeit asks: "Aber wo genau verläuft die Grenze zwischen begründeter Furcht und hellem Wahn?" Good question.

7:25 AM Kudos to Mr. Michael Marlowe for a fantastic website dedicated to Bible Research. Greek students will find this page especially helpful. Below: Codex Vaticanus with a marginal note that reads: "Fool and knave, can't you leave the old reading alone and not alter it!"

Note p. 1512 Detail

7:20 AM Meet the man who surfed while Pearl Harbor was being attacked.

7:18 AM Luther may have sounded the trumpet for the Reformation, but it was Calvin who orchestrated the score by which it became a part of Western civilization. We both lived in the same European city for a time (Basel). It was here that Calvin published his Institutes at the ripe old age of 26. Click here to read his marvelous commentaries.

7:15 AM Mr. Jim Day, editor of the St. Louis MetroVoice, will be publishing several DBO essays in his Resurrection Issue for April.

7:12 AM Prepping your spring garden? These thoughts are for you:

Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, and most noble employment of man. George Washington

Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.
Daniel Webster

7:10 AM I just bought my Texan father-in-law this book. Hmmm, I wonder how quickly I can get him to loan it to me. (By the by, isn't that Franklin Street photo of Lee awesome?)

7:05 AM Weblogs are the wave of the future. It's amazing for me to realize just how much I've come to rely on them for inspiration and news, and how much I enjoy adding my 2 drachma to the conversation. Then to think how the Lord Jesus uses them to increase our awareness of needs and causes that deserve our support -- it's almost too much to fathom. Interesting blogs are starting up every day, but people will always have their favorites (I certainly have mine; you folks know who you are). Yet there's still plenty of room for more (yes, Greg and Jeremy, I have you in mind).

7:00 AM A very special hello to the fine ladies at the following sites and a big "thank you" for linking to Carmon's Party for Azanou. If there were others I've failed to mention, please forgive me. I appreciate you, too.

6:55 AM Here's a novel idea (.pdf): Church for the churched. I like novel ideas.

6:49 AM Terri does not have to be starved to death. I have written Governor Jeb Bush of Florida on behalf of the helpless. If you haven't done so yet, here's his address:

Actually, before she starves, she will die of dehydration:

"What will probably kill Terri is dehydration because it's much quicker than starvation," Stevens said. "To starve to death takes eight to 12 weeks. You can die of dehydration in anywhere from three to five days to two weeks."

Stevens said the amount of fluids in Terri's system when her gastrostomy or "feeding tube" was removed and whether she receives any fluids by mouth will determine how long she lives.

Initial effects of the lack of hydration will include:

Extreme thirst;
Nausea and cramping;
Dry skin, becoming wrinkled as fluids are drawn from the skin to hydrate the organs.

6:45 AM So there are only 6 days to go until my wife returns from Dallas. Last night's bachelor menu: Hamburger Mixed with Chicken Soup. Previous night: Pancakes. Tuesday night: Chinese Pork over Rice. Tonight's supper menu: Haven't thought that far ahead.

6:40 AM From the DBO Homepage: Evan Black on Terri Schiavo and marriage. Evan has a great blog: it's interesting, it's transparent, and it's aesthetically appealing. It also exudes the love of Christ. What more could you ask for?

6:35 AM Carmon and Company raised over $1200 for Azanou during Buried Treasure's 1000 Posts Party on Monday. A huge tip of the kepi to Frau Friedrich for her stamina (and her many interesting posts), to her readers for their generosity, and to the Lord Jesus for giving all of us the joy and privilege of sharing this cup of cold water in His name. Truly "it is more blessed to give than to receive." Now let us pray for Azanou as he takes his first plane trip on March 3rd and has his pre-surgery assessment in Addis Ababa. We'll keep you posted on his progress.

Again, THANK YOU, Carmon.


6:30 AM WE'RE BAAAAAACK!! (I think). I apologize to you, my ever-patient readers, for the goofy things you've been finding on my site these past few days (no, not my essays  --  I'm talking about seeing question marks where quotation marks used to be, etc.). I'm still having problems uploading to my web host's new server, but I've been working feverishly on this problem and will not rest until everything is back to normal. Thanks to Jerry Lassetter for his outstanding help! The Lord has a good purpose in all of this, as He does in everything He allows. At any rate, thanks for your patience, and for your encouraging emails. You are quite simply the greatest web audience a blogger could ever ask for!

Sunday, February 20

8:55 AM Please bear with us as we have been having trouble with our server. Some of our pages are not appearing on our site, even though they have been uploaded. This may take a few days to correct. Thank you.

Saturday, February 19

3:46 PM It's had more than 5,000 house churches spring up in less than two years. Guess where? Meanwhile, millions of American Christians have followed their Chinese brethren into house churches and unincorporated churches.

3:07 PM Truth from Nazi Germany:

The exclusion of the weak and insignificant, the seemingly useless people, from a Christian community may actually mean the exclusion of Christ; in the poor brother Christ is knocking at the door. We must therefore be very careful at this point.

Dietrich  Bonhoeffer, Life Together

2:58 PM Brother Greg (my Rocky Mount pal), this one's for you.


For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh,
not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of
the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put
to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised
God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should
glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from
God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written,
“He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” {1Cor1:26-31}

This is to certify that the bearer hereof ________________ has been chosen, from the bottom of their class. Not wise, mighty, nor noble, but "foolish" "weak" and "base". Accordingly he/she is hereby qualified as God leads, to begin their ministry of confounding the wise and prudent. Moreover, having no excellence of his/her own, he/she is equipped with the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus their Lord. For whom they have suffered the loss of all things, that they may "win Christ". For the Father has chosen to pour this treasure into such "earthen vessels," that the excellency of the power may be of Him. (see 2 Corinthians 4:7) Furthermore, the bearer hereof, having no wisdom of his/her own, is the recipient of Christ as their only source of Wisdom. In their weakness He is strong. They have learned what it means to be crucified through weakness and yet alive by the power of God. (2 Corinthians 13:4) They glory in their weakness that the power of Christ may rest upon them.
                                                    Hue Mility

2:37 PM Update: My mother-in-law goes home today after her successful hip replacement surgery on Tuesday. They had her walking that afternoon. Thanks to all who prayed. Meanwhile, the Bachelor pad (Bradford Hall, VA) is hanging on by its fingernails in the absence of the reine de la maison. We've had more Chinese food (made with our secret ingredient, of course), and tonight the plat du jour will be Spaghetti. (I don't why I'm in a French-speaking mood today.) Cheer up, boys, only 12 days to go!

2:35 PM The ground has finally dried out enough to permit a ride on my Thoroughbred. Alas, it was too wet to gallop, but Traveler needs to learn there are other gaits anyway. 

2:32 PM Use it or lose. The Constitution, that is. 

Are there enough patriots in this land who understand the Constitution’s timeless value and are willing to get involved in the struggle to assure that its limitations on government are restored to full force and effect? If so, the future looks bright. If not, America’s flickering lamp of liberty will one day blow out.

2:30 PM Go Uganda!

10:35 AM "Once you drink of this new wine you can never go back to the old. Would you choose a burger and fries at the drive-up window over turkey, potatoes, and dressing at a warm family feast?"

Read Beyond McChurch. (Sorry for the allusion to a fat [sic] food establishment, but it was unavoidable.)

10:29 AM Mrs. Carmon Friedrich of Buried Treasure Books (shown here with her husband Steven at the Saint Louis Uniting Church and Family Conference) will be blogathoning all day Monday. Let's pray for stamina (for both of them). I already know the blogging will be superb.

Friday, February 18

1:45 PM Yesterday on this blog I linked an essay on Paul's stake in the flesh, little knowing that today I would be decimated by a sinus headache (and forced, once again, to rely on Christ's strength to manifest itself in my weakness). What I can do is to pray for Ethiopia, for Azanou, and for the deteriorating situation in Eritrea, a country just to the north of Ethiopia:

Eritrean authorities have arrested another 31 Eritrean Christians in towns north of the capital Asmara over the past 10 days, news agencies and persecution watchdog groups reported yesterday. The latest police sweeps brings the total to 187 arrests for “illegal” Christian activities in Eritrea since the beginning of January.

While in Ethiopia last November we heard rumors of a renewed war between these two nations. Still, we must leave everything in the hands of the Great Helmsman, who shall steer the ship aright.  

8:15 AM Spurgeon once said, "The very motto of a Christian should be, 'I serve.'" When Caesar went on his wars, he marched with his soldiers, slept where they slept, thirsted if they thirsted, and he was always in the heart of the battle fighting beside them. I sit at the keyboard this morning to confess from my inmost being my gratitude to Carmon and her readers for joining Becky Lynn and me in sharing the love of the Lord Jesus with a boy in faraway Africa. Neither God nor man will care to lift up a person who lifts himself up, but both God and men unite to honor the sacrifice of humble service. May the Lord bless you, Carmon, and may God magnify His grace in the life of our precious Azanou. Most sincerely yours, Dave.

UPDATE: Thanks also to Kim for her post. I am beginning to feel that the Potter's hand is working overtime in this matter. He deserves all the glory and praise for the loving response of His people. Again, Kim, my deepest thanks for the link -- and for your awesome site.

7:59 AM The demographics of homeschooling:

  • Home school parents have more formal education than parents in the general population; 88% continued their education beyond high school compared to 50% for the nation as a whole.
  • The median income for home school families ($52,000) is significantly higher than that of all families with children ($36,000) in the United States.
  • Almost all home school students (98%) are in married couple families. Most home school mothers (77%) do not participate in the labor force; almost all home school fathers (98%) do work.
  • Home school students watch much less television than students nationwide; 65% of home school students watch one hour or less per day compared to 25% nationally.
  • The median amount of money spent annually on educational materials is about $400 per home school student.
  • The distribution of home school students by grade in grades 1-6 is consistent with that of all school children. Proportionally fewer home school students are enrolled at the high school level.


7:27 AM Have the apostle Paul's remains been discovered?

Thursday, February 17

7:27 PM I have just fallen on my knees to kiss the Son and to cry out "Jesus Is Lord!" and to thank my Heavenly Father, the Father of lights, from whom all blessings flow, for His mercy and grace toward the Philadelphia 5. Amid temptations sore and strong and trials fierce and bitter, the Word of God has prevailed, and we again feel ourselves able to do battle and to bear reproach, because of the assurances of help that we find in our God, in our Bibles, and in the unconquerable strength of the Spirit of Jesus.

Lobe den Herrn, O meine Seele!!!

6:45 AM Grace is enough. I repeat: Enough!

Dear friend, whatever thorn you are bearing today—whether it be physical suffering or opposition to your ministry—Satan has desired  to use it as a source of great discouragement and as a hindrance to your work. Please remember that, just as the Lord Jesus graciously made provision to sustain Paul in the midst of his thorn, so God’s grace is available to you this very day. Christ’s message for you is this: “My grace is sufficient; My strength is independent of human ability; My might is displayed in human weakness; and My will is performed despite infirmities of the body or soul!”

6:36 AM "Here’s the attitude that brought victory to Curtis: Focus on what you have to do, do the best you can, and be satisfied with the results—whatever they are." Or, as Jim Elliott said, "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt whatever you consider to be the will of God for your life." Amen.

6:23 AM America is a fleeting actor on the stage of history. Walter Lippmann put it this way:

When Shakespeare was alive, there were no Americans; when Virgil was alive, there were no Englishmen; when Homer was alive, there were no Romans.

Let us, then,

focus on eternal things.

Wednesday, February 16

5:28 PM Thanks to all of you who expressed an interest in our Reformation Tour. It has had to be postponed until September, but the itinerary will be basically the same. I will post details as soon as we have finalized the dates and the cost. If you would like further information in the meantime, please call Reformation Tours and ask for Rowena.

Toll Free:1-800-303-5534

5:24 PM Dr. Stan Monteith has asked me to be his guest on his Radio Liberty radio program tomorrow night at 11:00 pm EST. The easiest way to listen is online by going to the Radio Liberty website. You can also listen to the program via shortwave at 5.835 or 7.535. Perhaps some of you will call into the program tomorrow night. I'd love chatting with you! 

5:14 PM David Wells on the bane of easy-believism.

Until a person has experienced the Spirit relayed consciousness that he is a totally depraved sinner, he can never exercise a saving faith in Christ. It is absolute folly to tell an unconvicted sinner to merely believe in Jesus and expect him to be saved. Before a person can be saved, he has to realize that he is lost. This conviction comes from the Holy Spirit. To sweeten the gospel for the sake of numbers by de-emphasizing the sinfulness of man is unscriptural and ungodly!

5:12 PM I am not one who believes that Reformed theology and personal evangelism are mutually incompatible. The charge that Calvinism is fatalism is absurd on its face, yet that position continues to be promulgated by people who should know better. This essay by Tom Ascol should be required reading for anyone wanting to objectively engage the debate.

5:10 PM I am currently trying to finish a major work that compares the Book of Hebrews with the Pauline epistles, verse by verse and word by word. I think that even a cursory reading of these letters will show that the style of Hebrews and that of the generally accepted Pauline letters is sui generis. I am considering publishing the work as a free e-book. Any thoughts?

5:05 PM The Murch family needs our help. Please pray for them and also consider sending them a check to help defray their medical bills. Thank you. Dave

7:46 AM I just had to link to this post by Evan Black on singleness and marriage. The following snippet will wet your appetite sufficiently, I hope, to read the whole thing:

If you desire to play Russian roulette with your heart, then by all means start dating. I certainly would not want to allow biblical truth to get in the way of your self-destruction. If you bring shame to my sister in Christ, however, her Daddy will get angry, and you don't want to see Him when he's angry. He will remind you Who you should be kissing.

7:25 AM Seven ducks just landed on the pond in front of Bradford Hall. Big daddy came in first, followed by his gaggle. They are now exploring the twists and turns along the edge, without any worries or cares. All creation praises His Holy Name. Why shouldn't I?

wood ducks on Beech Pond

7:22 AM I just heard from the Shepherds, whom I had the privilege of meeting at the Uniting Church and Family Conference in St. Louis. Their delightful website is:

7:10 AM A. W. Tozer at his best (thanks, Rachel, for the link):

What is generally overlooked is that Fundamentalism, as it spread throughout the various denominations and nondenominational groups, fell victim to its own virtues. The Word died in the hands of its friends. ... An unofficial hierarchy decided what Christians were to believe. Not the Scriptures, but what the scribe thought the Scriptures meant became the Christian creed. Christian colleges, seminaries, Bible institutes, Bible conferences, popular Bible expositors all joined to promote the cult of textualism. The system of extreme dispensationalism which was devised, relieved the Christian of repentance, obedience and cross-carrying in any other than the most formal sense. Whole sections of the New Testament were taken from the church and disposed of after a rigid system of “dividing the Word of truth.”

6:50 AM My radio interview with Dr. Stan Monteith, originally scheduled for 11:00 pm EST last Monday, has been rescheduled for March 8.

6:20 AM That Carmon Friedrich -- always asking for "scriptural support" and then more "scriptural support." Ya got to love it!

a womans place

6:18 AM If your syntax needs repairing, Thomas Howe can help. (Hearty congrats, brother Tom, on your new blog.)

My Photo

6:15 AM "The Constitution Party, of which I am a member, supports phasing out the current Social Security program 'while continuing to meet the obligations already incurred under the system.'  We also support the right of 'individuals who have contributed to Social Security be allowed to withdraw those funds and transfer them into an IRA or similar investments under the control of the individual contributor.'  In other words, we support true ownership of your retirement funds, not some government-defined pseudo-ownership."

Read more from John Leone and the Silverback Standard.

6:13 AM This was an encouraging post by Entdraughts. Yes, the Lord is still very much at work in weak but yielded vessels.

Graciously, the Lord has answered some of my feeble prayers. Our SBC premillenial, midtrib pastor recently preached partly on Romans 9. I about fell out of my seat. He has recently started quoting the commentaries of the late James Montgomery Boice. And even more significant, pay attention to what happened in the service yesterday. He preached on the deeds of the flesh, more specifically, sexual immorality and sensuality. It was a very hard hitting sermon where he mentioned the sins of pornography and immodesty several times. He stressed repentance as well. Then, we had communion. And, before we partook(?) of the bread, our pastor asked us to kneel on the floor in private confession of our sins. I don't remember us ever doing this in the past 9 years I've been there. Plus, we don't have kneelers! It was very powerful and reminded me that God is working in the midst of our congregation even if some would use a broad brush and call us a Southern Baptist, dispensational, seeker sensitive, contemporary-music-singing megachurch. At first glance, it may seem this way, but God is working. Let's stay on our knees and keep praying for our churches and the whole body of Christ. He is faithful. Amen.

6:11 AM Long-time DBO reader Matthew Henry sent me these thoughts on the Lord's Day:

Do We Worship On Sunday?

Now if the whole church gathers in the same place and everyone is speaking in tongues, when uneducated people or unbelievers come in, they will say that you are out of your mind, won't they? But if everyone is prophesying, when an unbeliever or an uneducated person comes in he will be convicted by all and examined by all. The secrets in his heart will become known, and so he will bow down to the ground and worship God, declaring, "God is truly among you!" What, then, does this mean, brothers? When you gather, everyone has a psalm, teaching, revelation, tongue, or interpretation. Everything must be done for upbuilding (I Corinthians 14:23-26, ISV).

I Corinthians chapter 14 is a wonderful chapter; however, it is usually overlooked for church practice among many evangelicals because it deals with the forbidden topic of speaking in tongues. I’d like to look at these four verses out of chapter 14: 23 through 26.

“Now if the whole church gathers in the same place.” Was the church not gathering in the same place all the time? Why is this stipulation on speaking in tongues? An answer is not entirely relevant to my thoughts. However, let’s assume that the whole church was gathered in the same place and everyone was speaking in tongues.

When an uneducated (unchurched?) or unbeliever came in, Paul posses the question, wouldn’t they think you are out of your mind? The implied answer is yes. So, what should the whole church do when we gather together? Paul goes on. If everyone, wait a minute, did I read that right? If everyone? Shouldn’t that say “If the pastor or teaching elder”? No, Paul says if everyone is prophesying, when an uneducated or unbeliever comes in, that person will be convicted by all. Oh no, wait a minute, did Paul say by all? He should have said, by the pastor or teaching elder, right? No, he said by all.

Paul’s words are exciting. He says, the secrets of this person’s heart will become known and he will bow down to the ground and worship God, declaring “God is truly among you!” Wow, when was the last time an unbeliever came into our church services and bowed down to the ground and worship God, declaring “God is truly among us”?

Paul again explains himself in verse 26. He says, what does this mean, brothers? It means that when we gather together, everyone has a psalm, teaching, revelation, tongue or interpretation. Everything must be done for upbuilding (or edification as other versions translate it).

If we the church truly believed that our gatherings were for upbuilding and edification, then those who came into our services would worship God. Our goal as Christians meeting together is to be edification. If done, as Paul prescribes through the Holy Spirit, it will be a worship service. For those who do not know God.

Now, I struggle with the word “prophesying” in verse 24. Many dictionaries deal with all the different usages of the word, and here it probably refers to a prophetic gift or grace imparted by the Holy Spirit to the early Christians Acts 19:6; Acts 21:9; 1 Cor. 11:4-5; 13:9; 14:1, 14:3-5, 14:24, 14:31, 14:39). However, I believe Paul clarifies what should happen when the church gathers specifying a psalm, teaching, revelation, tongue or interpretation.

How does this work out in our gathering on Sunday? I see several principles made clear by Paul.

  • All. Everyone is to be a part of what happens. Paul gives other rules for this in other places, i.e., women keep silence.

  • Upbuilding. Everything done is for edification

  • Worship. Everything done should cause the unbeliever to worship the God we serve.

Tuesday, February 15

8:51 PM Happy Birthday to Wheaton College, chartered on this day in 1860. I have the greatest respect for that generation of missionaries that Wheaton produced in the 50s and 60s, including my father-in-law and also Jim Elliott. The one went to East Africa and today is still serving the Ethiopians, the other gave his life for the Aucas of Ecuador. Both gave everything they had "For Christ and His Kingdom" (Wheaton's motto), and I praise God for them.

8:34 PM On this, my first night as a bachelor, I cooked Chicken and Broccoli for supper, Chinese style (using my secret ingredient*). My poor son will have to put up with dad's cooking while my wife is in Dallas with her mother. I'm listening to the strains of that master of Renaissance music, Gabrielli, as I try to get caught up on my emails and "house work." My main goal in life right now is to try and keep the entire house (yes, ladies, kitchen included) as clean as it was when Becky left it yesterday, though it already seems like an uphill battle. It's like those two ladies I once overheard in a grocery store. "I hate housework," said one to the other. "You spend the whole day doing nothing but cleaning, and three months later you have to do it all over again." Honey, I'll try to do better than that.

* Soy sauce, of course. Put it on anything you cook and, voila, it automatically becomes Chinese cuisine!

8:30 PM Thanks to all of you who prayed for my mother-in-law. Her hip replacement surgery today was a great success, for which we praise the Lord.

6:24 AM This is a huge problem in rural Virginia, as it is in SoCal. No, not federal red tape. The welfare mentality.

6:22 AM I just learned that two more of my books have been translated, one into Russian (Using New Testament Greek in Ministry), the other into Brazilian Portuguese (Why Four Gospels?).

6:19 AM New Testament Greek students, see if you can decipher this sentence from yesterday's BBC Greek edition. The modern Greek used in this sentence is not dissimilar to what you are learning. (Hint: The story has to do with the recent elections in Iraq.)

Για πρώτη φορά στην σύγχρονη ιστορία της χώρας, οι Σιίτες -που αποτελούν την πλειοψηφία του πληθυσμού - αναλαμβάνουν την εξουσία.

6:17 AM "When you come together ... let all things be done for edification." Worship is 24/7.

6:15 AM A little side trip over to Anita's Blog reminded me that as soon as my wife gets back from Dallas it's time to get our garden beds prepped for this summer's veggies. We'll do raised beds this year (water's no problem with us due to our well, unlike Anita's situation), but we may not have as many crops as she plants. We'll also plant a huge field of corn and expand our hay fields. I still can't believe the Lord gave us four (4!!) cuttings of hay last summer.

6:10 AM Paul Proctor on those dastardly "P" words.

6:08 AM Lessons from the apostle Paul:

He didn't dull his sword by striking it on the walls of his Roman prison.

He didn't challenge the paganism of his day by working out an "agreement" with Caesar.

He kept his message theologically distinctive to the very end, refusing to "tone it down" to the level of his contemporaries.

Instead of telling Timothy to play it safe, he stiffened his moral backbone and bade him endure hardship as a soldier, not negotiate as a diplomat.

Are you a Paul? Am I?

6:04 AM Have you ever wiped out? I mean, big time? Can you look back today and see what a blessing it turned out to be?

6:00 AM I just received this notice from the Biblical Archaeological Society:

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Bible Review


Order the Bible Review: The Archive CD-ROM by March 15 for $79.95 and receive a discount of over 10% off the regular price of $89.95.


Order now at or by calling 1-800-221-4644. Mention code E5X2A when ordering.

I mention this for the following reason. For several years I wrote a bi-monthly column in Bible Review called "Greek for Bible Readers." Those of you who are studying Greek on your own might find these columns helpful.  

Monday, February 14

11:40 AM Let's not call it divorce....

10:27 AM Update on Azanou: We are in the final stages of getting him to Addis Ababa (the capital of Ethiopia) for an eye assessment in anticipation of his cornea transplant. (I say "we," but my precious wife Becky has been doing all the work.) God has graciously provided a family with whom he can stay, and a former student of mine will be helping Azanou each and every step of the way. We have three (3!) born-again ophthalmologists working with us in Ethiopia, whom the Lord so clearly provided. After Azanou's status is determined (they rate transplant priorities from A to D) he will return to his little village in Northern Ethiopia to await surgery. Can you imagine - here is a boy who is blind from birth and who has never been out of his village before let alone traveled on an airplane or been in a hospital! Last week we received a letter from him (it took six weeks to arrive) and my dear wife practically jumped through the ceiling! To see the Lord at work in this young man's heart - it's almost too much even to speak about! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all your prayers - but don't stop praying now!

8:10 AM The coming persecution.

7:59 AM What is it about bluegrass I like so much? Maybe it's the washtub base my son plays. Maybe it's the good country folk who put up with us. At any rate, I shore do look forward to a great time makin' music next Sunday at the nursing home!

7:58 AM I thank God for this school and for this website.

7:57 AM The great Matthew Henry on family religion.

7:55 AM I have many dear cyber-friends whom I've never met but whom I esteem highly as comrades in arms. Darrell Dow is one of the choicest. He recently took time out of his busy day to share the following thoughts with me:

As to your reference to Deut. 22:5, I wrote about this (I think you may have even posted it) and said, "The law obviously made reference to clothes, but the meaning is far broader.  The intention is to maintain distinctions between the sexes.  As R. J. Rushdoony said in commenting on the text, it 'forbids imposing a man's duties and tools on a woman, and a woman's on a man.  Its purpose is thus to maintain God's fundamental order.'  That fundamental order is hierarchical and, for lack of a better word, patriarchal, and you shouldn't allow braying theologians with more degrees than sense tell you otherwise."  

As usual, Darrell beings me back to the fundamentals (although I sometimes wonder how much of my published work could be characterized as the braying of a theologian).  

7:50 AM Doug Newman, DBO contributor and editor of Fountain of Truth (one of my all-time favorite websites), writes:


I enjoyed your comments on Stan Monteith's show the other day.

Gluttons for punishment can tune in again this evening at 11:00 pm (EST). We'll be talkin' politics from a distinctly biblical perspective. I like how Doug puts it:


7:48 AM Not to beat a dead horse...

Scripture clearly places the responsibility for child rearing on fathers: "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them 1up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:14). Many parents feel that they are "doing their job" by seeing their children off to youth group on Wednesday nights. Most do little or nothing more, and thus fall far short of what God demands of them as parents. Fathers are responsible for directly overseeing their children in spiritual matters a responsibility which cannot be delegated to a youth pastor. Today we speak well of parents who support church youth activities, but they ought to have much more than a supporting role.

As a former youth pastor, I can only say I wish I had learned this lesson earlier than I did. Much earlier. Men, it's never too late to start. Let me repeat:


7:45 AM On Saturday I promised some big news. Well, I am now able to report that my wife and I are expecting again. A female Sheltie, that is. She was purchased from a breeder in Greensboro, NC, and we will take delivery in about three weeks. I imagine this will eventually make our male Sheltie a happy camper indeed.

7:43 AM If you live in eastern North Carolina, plan now to attend the Bentonville Reenactment on March 19-20. Unlike most reenactments, this event will take place on the actual battlefield. You'll find the Black family encamped with the 30th North Carolina Troops (led into battle by our intrepid bugler Nathan "Stonewall" Black).

7:30 AM Another Roman Catholic blog has hit the waves of cyberspace.

7:18 AM "When we read the Corinthian correspondence, we tend to think of Paul as writing to one congregation. Most likely several house churches were established in Corinth. Taking into account these different communities and their make up can help us to understand some of the background for the conflicts they experienced." Read more about:

Corinthian House Church Communities

7:16 AM This morning my wife leaves for Dallas to be with her mom, who will undergo hip replacement surgery on Tuesday. Your prayers for a successful operation and a speedy rehabilitation would be appreciated. I would like to add this saying of Spurgeon: "Prayer is the master-weapon. We should be greatly wise if we used it more, and did so with a more specific purpose." God bless all of you, and let me know how I can intercede on your behalf.

Saturday, February 12

6:16 PM If you read Coffee and a Muffin this morning, I hope you scrolled down far enough to see this discussion of modesty:

I didn't start wearing dresses exclusively at that point, but I only wore what was marketed to women. Later on, I became convicted that I should go to dresses because so many women these days dress the way they do because of the influence feminism has had on our choices, it rejects God's order of things. We are often slaves to what is sold in the stores. We must break away from letting our culture dictate what we wear and how we present ourselves. I feel a need to be set apart even more. Now I occasionally do wear pants. But I feel a bit of guilt about it because God has convicted me about not wearing pants. But honestly, I do not look down on any woman who does wear pants so long as they are not clingy and seductive. I'm referring to women within the church, not unbelievers. And the reason it bothers me if they are clingy and seductive should be obvious. We should have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness. The only one who we should be seductive around is our husbands, and then only when alone with them. I don't want my husband turned on by a Christian sister who shows no discretion. It's just wrong, wrong, wrong.

The verse that started it off?

Deuteronomy 22:5

"A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God."

What thinkest thou?

5:59 PM Evangelism:

You see, evangelism doesn’t take place inside of the church. The church is the body of Christ, and people there are already evangelized. Evangelism takes place outside of the church. So, by that description, evangelism is going somewhere, not staying put. Evangelism is not painting the church, or building a new building. It is not singing chippy songs that everyone dances to, or a half comedian, half bible thumping preacher. And it is not the Christian world gathering together in loose associations on the internet.

Evangelism means going to them. Going to those who don’t know Jesus, going where they are, and you know this as well as I do; most of them are not in churches. In fact, in America, no matter how much we decorate our churches, no matter how lively and fun our “worship” is, it doesn’t draw people who don’t believe. Most of the newcomers to any church attend for the first time because they already know someone going to that church gathering. This is a fact, and it will never change.

2:52 PM Evanhead is turning out to be one of my favorite sites. He has already spawned a new blog that has this worthy goal:

My one request that encompasses all my requests is that God, through Jesus Christ, would draw me closer to him and that I may learn to continually seek Him.

A warm welcome to you, Grant, and best wishes.  

2:42 PM Mark Roberts has compiled a list of blogging pastors. One of them has a great series on the book of Philippians going.

2:03 PM Thanks, Charles.

God's Yellow Pages - Let your fingers do the walking....

12:45 PM Saturday musings from Rosewood Farm:

Locust trees really do have huge thorns. Ouch!

Buying new chain saw blades saves lots of time when cutting down elm trees.

Elm is as difficult to spilt as is Sweet Gum.

Horses love Reliance 12 Pellets.

So do Boer goats and Jersey cows.

The local gas station refuses to let us pump our own gas.

It also has real windshield wiper fluid and not just water.

Country living is LIVING!

9:12 AM Tomorrow, on the Lord's Day, wherever you may assemble, remember:

You are a member of Christ's Body!

You are a king and priest unto God!

You are all brethren!

You have a spiritual gift to exercise!

Accentuate relationships!

Christianity is a great fraternity!

"Let love of the brethren continue...."

8:16 AM The "pastor" - where did he come from?

7:57 AM "War is war," she says. "The only crime is starting a war in the first place. Once it gets started, no one pays any attention to rules and regulations - it's a question of survival. That's how war is."

7:55 AM I like this blog.

7:53 AM I am currently writing a review of the reviews of my book Why I Stopped Listening to Rush. If you have a thought (kind or untoward) about the book you'd like me to consider, feel free to "let me have it."

7:45 AM Calling all blogsters who do it in Polish, Korean, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, or Greek. You can turn your blog into a book!

7:40 AM If you are a youth pastor, please don't read this. Again, stay away! Well, don't say I didn't warn you.

7:35 AM I plan to report on a BIG surprise tonight. The excitement is mounting. Hmm, what could it be? Our doggie Shiloh is all ears!

7:30 AM How about a good cup of coffee and a muffin this morning?

Friday, February 11

5:22 PM Speaking of Bible "translations":

Oh Message, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.

5:12 PM This just in:

Is that your ragged old tractor in the pic? I bet it's leaking fluids all over Mother Earth! Does the EPA know about this???

I'm surrounded by farms and farmers. When I lived near Atlanta, I was surrounded by mostly airline workers. What a difference in outlook on life and attitude! The airline folks say "The world owes me!" The farmers take life one day at a time and thank the Lord when they have a good year. Or else look for a better year next
year. I rarely hear any complaining about anything. They just accept what God gives them. Most of the farms around here are over a hundred years old and have been in families for several generations. Most unusual in this country anymore. I've been blessed by God to be allowed to live here. Very small town,
clean air, no crime, wonderful people. Often I go to have breakfast or lunch with a friend or two and when we finish, we sit and chat sometimes for a couple of  hours.
Cow 27 -- click for a surpriseDo they run us off or give us dirty looks? NO! They just keep on filling our coffee cups and smiling at us. Would that happen in Atlanta? HAH! In your dreams! Thank you Lord for Michigan!

All I can say is: Amen and Amen!

4:41 PM The struggle described in Romans 7 is, in my opinion, one all Christians face. Here's an interesting take on this highly debated text (warning: be prepared to take an in-depth look at Paul's Adam/Christ contrast in Romans 5-8):

Christian Grappe, "Qui me délivrera de ce corps de mort? L'Esprit de vie! Romains 7,24 et 8,2 comme éléments de typologie adamique," , Biblica 83(2002) 472-492.

4:40 PM Greek students: Need fonts?

4:37 PM Care to join the blogosphere? (Why should we have all the fun?)

Learn to blog, blog to learn.

Blog stands for Web-log, an informal personal Website. Thousands of people blog every day. (Blog is both a noun and a verb.) I’ve blogged for 18 months, and I’m convinced that blogs are destined to become a powerful, dirt-cheap tool for e-learning and knowledge management.

A blog is defined as a Website with dated entries, usually by a single author, often accompanied by links to other blogs that the site’s editor visits on a regular basis. Think of a blog as one person’s public diary or suggestion list. Early blogs were started by Web enthusiasts who would post links to cool stuff that they found on the Internet. They added commentary. They began posting daily. They read one another’s blogs. A community culture took hold.

In 1999, blogging software arrived on the scene, enabling anyone to post content to a Website. Generally, blog software comes with a personal Website for those who don’t already have one. The software captures your words in dated entries, maintaining a chronological archive of prior entries. In the spirit of sharing inherent to Net culture, the software and the personal Websites are usually free. Currently, blogging is one of the fastest growing trends on the Web. Nearly half a million people have downloaded blogging software.

4:35 PM "God" or "a god" in John 1:1?

4:33 PM Here are some more Greek and Latin educational links. Η μελέτη των γλωσσών είναι διασκέδαση!

4:30 PM I recently posted on the sin of Gnosticism. Read about its seeping entry into Christianity - then and now.

4:27 PM Now here's a question you ought to ponder: Is biblical betrothal transcultural?

How did Christ betroth Himself to His bride? Notice that it perfectly parallels the biblical betrothal model found in our relevant passages above. First, the Heavenly Father and Son together chose the bride (Eph. 1:4; Jn. 15:16). The Son was then sent to seek His bride (Lk. 19:10). During this time He was in continuous communication with and submission to His Father (Jn. 5:30). At the time of betrothal, Christ paid the greatest bride price in history, His own precious blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19). The bride (the church) has the choice to accept or reject the groom's offer of marriage (Jn. 3:36). During betrothal the groom (Christ) is demonstrating His love for us through words, acts and gifts, and we grow to know and love Him more and more each day (Eph. 3:17-19). Christ's love for His betrothed is a secure, permanent relationship, unlike dating around (Heb. 13:5; Rom. 8:37-39). During betrothal we cannot touch Him, but after He comes for us in marriage, we will (Jn. 14:2-3). After our processional to heaven, our marriage to Christ will be celebrated with a great wedding feast (Rev. 19:7-9).

4:25 PM No, Virginia, the book is not a dinosaur in today's cybernetic world.

I am fascinated by an Internet that is resurrecting whole generations of old books that until just five years ago were doomed to dusty graves in musty old bookstores and private libraries. It's not just the "classics" that are being revived, though, but the writings of godly, evangelical men and women whose voices have not been heard for a century or more. They are part of the "cloud of witnesses" of Hebrews 12 who encourage us, but who have been pushed to the back of the cloud. But we need their voices.

4:23 PM South KoreaI have had the honor of teaching in several seminaries in South Korea and have been impressed by the emphasis on the five solas of the Reformation in many of the churches I preached in there. I rejoice that more and more Christian parents are considering homeschooling as a viable alternative to the state-run institutions in Korea. Let's stay informed about the homeschooling movement in that country and pray for its health and growth.

11:09 AM At the turn of the last century, close to half of all Americans lived in rural areas. Over the last 100 years, the number of farmers has dropped so low that by 1993 the U.S. Census Bureau stopped counting the number of people living on farms. Well, I for one wouldn't change our agrarian lifestyle for the world. Interview being ended, it's time to go outdoors and get active. Talk at yall later!

Larger view

11:04 AM Just had a delightful hour-long interview with Dr. Stan Monteith on Radio Liberty. The conversation and questions seemed to center on the need for a new Barmen Declaration in view of the sin of statism and the heresy of nationalism so prevalent in America today. Stan is a most delightful interviewer, and if you would like to hear our next conversation please check my speaking schedule.

7:35 AM This makes "Name it and claim it" look like child's play.

7:33 AM I just added to my speaking schedule a three-part series on the church I will be presenting at the Raleigh Chinese Christian Church in Cary on April 3, 17, and 24.

7:23 AM In the ISV we made it a point to attempt to translate the Greek tenses as accurately as possible, even when we had to part company with the majority of English versions. An example is Hebrews 6:1, where the traditional "let us press on to maturity" is rendered "let us continue to be carried along to maturity" to reflect both the lexical idea behind the verb phero ("carry," "bear") and the author's use of the passive voice and present tense. So it is always a delight for me to find pastor-teachers who dig deep enough into the text to check the Greek before preaching. Here's a good example from a sermon on Hebrews 6 by Phil Newton of South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis.

7:20 AM Ray Rhodes says:

Don't Dog Me About Dogma!

7:15 AM I like William Gouge's use of the word "seminary" in the following quote:

The family is a seminary of the Church and Commonwealth. A family is a little Church and a little Commonwealth.

7:11 AM I love following the discussions about the Republican Party over at God, Family, Republic, and Scott Whiteman's latest essay on the current brouhaha at the Georgia State House makes for some interesting reading, mainly because I am a one-issue voter.

7:05 AM I received a nice email yesterday from Mrs. Julie Austin of Austin's Parenting with Purpose. Julie has a site that delights the eye, challenges the mind, and warms the heart. You'll also find a touch of humor there. If you need an entrée into her insightful musings, I would start here:

Homeschooling to the Glory of God!

Thanks, Julie, for all you are doing to encourage and promote biblical parenting and homeschooling.

Thursday, February 10

6:05 AM Lest we forget, in this heady day of nationalism and the democratization of the universe:

We are living in the days of the Barmen Declaration.

The state does not have the right to define what it means to be a Christian.

The religious community precedes, and takes precedence over, the political community in its act of self-definition.

The identification of Christianity with American nationalism is a heresy and idolatry.

God is the Savior of individuals, but He is also the Sovereign Lord of the Universe.

Christians must permeate society with the truth of the Gospel and proclaim with the Barmen Declaration, as did Bonhoeffer, "We reject the false doctrine, as though there were areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ, but to other lords – areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him."

6:03 AM Here are some of our family's hospitality strategies. What are some of yours?

  • Inviting our neighbors to our home.

  • Sharing food with others.

  • Paying attention to people when they visit (i.e., stopping what we are doing and shutting off such distractions as the radio).

  • Asking about a person’s preferences, allergies, etc. when a meal is involved.

  • Greeting people warmly.

  • Entertaining students.

  • Regularly visiting shut-ins and the sick.

  • Opening our farm to individuals and families for retreats.

  • Providing privacy as best we can.

  • Involving guests in regular family activities if they desire to participate.

6:00 AM Three responses to our thoughts on the Lord's Day

The Lord's Day. Excellent column. I remember when I was a child,
if we didn't get what we needed by sundown on Saturday, we didn't get it until Monday morning. Sunday was for worship and rest. I'm sure you will be accused of legalism for claiming a Christian "Sabbath." But I believe the Lord meant for even Christians to have a day of rest and worship. "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27

The things the Lord allows you to put on your blog, always challenge me. I grew up in a family that did not celebrate Christmas. Reading your blog and the link to fossilized customs brought back much of this discussion. When does a "custom" get so separated from it's origin that we as Christians aren't breaking God's commands by participating in the customs? For example, I've read that historically forks were designed after Satan's forks and when they were first introduced in Italy, the preachers of the day preached against them. In fact, the story goes that a lady of a town in Italy was telling everyone she was having a party and was so excited that she was going to use forks. She died three days latter and the preachers in the town said it was because she used forks.
Now, would we think of not using forks because of their pagan origin? Would we stop celebrating birthdays because of their pagan origin? I have Christian friends that do not celebrate birthdays. Christmas and Easter bring up the same situations. I think Christmas is a little easier because it has once again fallen into so great a pagan idolatry. Taking Dominion of our culture, we could bring back some of the celebrations like Reformation Day and possibly St. Patrick's day. Even Thanksgiving is probably a good one.

I just finishing reading your article on the Lord's Day; I certainly felt some conviction, so I have repented of my plans to do my income taxes this Sunday. The federal government won't mind holding on to my tax overpayment a little longer, even though the money has surely been spent already to finance "the force of human freedom."

My thanks to all who have taken the time to write.  

Wednesday, February 9

7:23 PM It doesn't matter how much people focus on getting our youth to pledge their purity as long as we refuse to deal with the more fundamental problems in our "evangelical" youth culture. I think Kristen at Walking Circumspectly would agree:

Most of the kids who signed pledges to wait until marriage to have sex...didn't.

"True Love Waits, a program sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention, is one of the most famous evangelical efforts to reduce premarital sexual activity among our youth. Since 1993, about 2.4 million young people have signed a pledge to wait until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse. Are these young evangelicals keeping their pledges? In March 2004, researchers from Columbia University and Yale University reported on their findings. For seven years they studied 12 thousand teenagers who took the pledge. Sadly, they found that 88 percent of these pledgers reported having sexual intercourse before marriage;
just 12 percent kept their promise. The researchers also found that the rates for having sexually transmitted diseases 'were almost identical for the teenagers who took pledges and those who did not.'"

I know how these "crusades," or whatever you want to call them, go. They attract youth groups to arenas for a one-night conference. A few speakers, a 'cool' band, and then the pledge cards come out. Kids who either feel like they'll be looked down upon if they don't sign or who have been emotionally piqued sign the card (and, of course, the 12 percent who kept their word). All of them are now counted in the ministry's numbers as a success. I am simply uncomfortable with that 'crusade' kind of ministry--I prefer one-on-one discipleship. I distrust glitz, crowds, and things that end quickly. I guess I have been burned.

I grieve for teenagers in this country, kids whose parents think they can raise them in the world and then drop them off at a convention for a night to learn not to have sex before marriage. I know I am totally oversimplifying, but there is a sense in which many youth groups as they exist today, and many parachurch ministries for teens--all of it is in some sense absurd, appealing to the flesh, or flitting down for the spiritual equivalent of a one-night stand. Kids need and deserve so much more.

I pray for more good soil for the sower. I pray against the schemes of the enemy to drown children (schools and media are such cesspools). I pray that people will see that what we need to do is FOLLOW JESUS and teach others to do the same.

6:30 PM Here's a book with some rather startling information - not the least of which is the fact that it's not the gimmicks we use to draw people to church that brings them in. It's - are you ready? - the doctrine, the teaching, the teachers, and the body life. Sounds an awful lot like Acts 2, and well it should. I thank God for our modern J. Gresham Machens like Phil Newton and Thom Rainer.

6:23 PM According to Scripture, it doesn’t take a 40 day formula for those who truly desire to see revival. If we simply and faithfully preach the gospel, fervently pray, and submit ourselves humbly and obediently to the leading of the Spirit, then the power of God will be manifest in His own time, just as the apostles discovered as they gathered in the upper room at Pentecost. Despite the recent hype, we need to remember that revival isn’t purpose-driven, it’s Spirit-led.

Read more.

6:10 PM Several websites and writers have decried the anti-religious bigotry on the left, but the New Evangelicalism also misses the mark in so many ways it's difficult to count them all. But this has got to be the most inane essay on evangelicalism ever written.

6:05 PM I just finished reading a few of my previous essays on church traditions, including Christmas. I quake at the evangelical church in America today for our inertia. Interestingly, a reader sent me these thoughts today:

... I have learned that Christmas is just the
tip of the iceberg as far as the pagan and unbiblical
infiltration into the assemblies of the believers.

The same reader also noted that he enjoyed my drawing of Henry Kissinger, which shows him scratching his nose - a sure sign (according to this reader) of lying.  I'd be interested in getting an expert's opinion on that one.

6:03 PM Our chapels yesterday and today featured Dr. Al Mohler of Southern Seminary. The thread throughout was God's grace and God's glory in marriage. His messages were excellent and can be heard by going to our seminary website:

6:01 PM Wednesday afternoon shout-out to Tyler for winning the (Greek) spelling bee today in Intermediate Greek class. Thanks to all who participated. And to everyone in the class: keep up the great work you are doing. Things will get a lot easier as the language becomes more and more intuitive. In Advanced Greek Grammar we worked through a section of the book of Esther in the Septuagint, and the sight reading went extremely well. The diction of a book like Esther is so similar to a New Testament writing like Mark that students can quickly see how the Greek New Testament and the Greek Old Testament are written in the same language - Hellenistic Greek. In the end, by studying the Greek of the New Testament we will be better able to understand the Old Testament as well as the church fathers who wrote in Greek (Origin, Clement of Alexandria, etc.). We have also been working on translating from English into Greek, and I want to thank all those who are memorizing (or reviewing) their vocabulary both ways - Greek to English and English to Greek. Remember, the key to being able to accurately interpret the New Testament is the ability to think to a degree in the language (not just slavishly translate the text word for word, although that's a good start). I applaud your efforts, and look forward to digging even deeper as the semester progresses.

6:59 AM When the kings depart, democracies arise. O really?

6:57 AM "My teacher told me that was stupid, that was a waste of time. I said, 'I could go out and be getting drunk like everybody else, or I could sit at home and not make a difference in anyone else’s life. Is that what I’m supposed to do?'"

Rachel was discovering that espousing strong religious convictions – even in a public school located in the Bible Belt – could make everyday life more complicated. She came to the difficult conclusion that while she cherished the history she had forged with the Broken Arrow schools, she longed to be in a school where her teachers would freely pray with her and where chapel services were the norm. For her that place was Victory Christian School.

Read the latest from Dr. Lyman.

6:55 AM Our little Baptist congregation in Basel, Switzerland was considered a sect by most Swiss. Ditto for France.

6:50 AM If it works for hamburgers.... (By the way, note the interview with Steve Atkerson, head of the New Testament Restoration Foundation and editor of Ekklesia.)

6:48 AM Woman has twins - months apart.

6:45 AM HELP, I'M CONFUSED: On Monday I ran across an interesting document. I wrote on my blog:

Believe it or not, David Black signed this document.

I received this letter in response:

If I understood your blog correctly, you signed the esa letter to President Bush. Can I ask why?

Best regards,

My response was:

David, please read the actual signatures.

David wrote back:


Mea culpa.  I didn't look closely enough. It would have seemed so incredibly "out of character" for you to endorse socialism. In fact it would have ruined my day to find out that my favorite website (yours) was not what it seemed!

Dave, God bless you and your ministry.

Best regards,


I guess one can be too subtle.

6:42 AM It is a joy to see more and more families and homeschoolers studying Greek together. A letter I received this morning warmed my heart:

Dear Dr. Black,

Thank you very much for the tape and workbook for your Greek textbook.  It has been difficult learning Greek, but something all Christians should
strive to do to better hear God's Word.  Thank you.

Eric E.

By the way, my wife (and I) have enjoyed your articles on your website.

6:40 AM Will an ailing Pope resign? Can he?

6:39 AM I call for the radical simplicity of church facilities, for there is nothing more conducive to family worship than meeting as families do in their living rooms.

6:36 AM It's not the number of people under my influence that counts, but the quality of my influence.

6:32 AM The sum of the matter:

Serve God with all your might.

Have no other ambition than to be faithful.

"As to the Lord, not to men."

Keep not back; make a full surrender daily.

Cry out for more of the Spirit's influence.

Let your life run deep and pure.

You are nobody's soldier except the Crucified's.

"Jesus Only" is our only motto.

Not I, but Christ.

Tuesday, February 8

5:35 PM The web is a wonderful place....


I just read your Scripture-Driven Church article, and wanted to say: “Amen!”

Without getting too detailed, the Lord led my family and I along with another couple in our church to the realization that the church we were “elders” in was institutionalized and professionalized to the extent that no matter what we said, we were stymied.  We asked “How did the church meet? What saith the scripture?” But we were met with “I don’t think we want to use the scripture to evaluate everything.”

For the last two months we have been meeting in our homes.  We’ve been throwing off the chains of the institutionalized/romish church.  We just concluded a study on the Lord’s Supper, and have put away the Dixie cups and crackers for a full meal, which includes bread and wine/juice, just like the feast the early church enjoyed!

Our fellowship is so wonderful, that when our friends told us Sunday they would be at the bedside of a dying relative in Texas, and would not be able to be with us this coming Sunday, we nearly wept!  That sweet time of fellowship in the Lord, with ardent study, is so precious to us.

Another wonderful work of God is happening. Since we began, the Lord has brought people to us. We have now had an evening meal with three families, and expect a fourth next week. Each one has expressed a desire to find a “true” church where God’s Word is honored, and people are in real, heart-level fellowship.  We don’t know whether they will join us, but we do know that the Lord will add to His church!

Praise God for the hearts of His elect turning to the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Head of His Church, and the Bridegroom of his beloved bride!

God bless you,

7:55 AM I had an interesting discussion this weekend with a Roman Catholic about sola scriptura. Read a debate on this issue here. A teaser:

At the beginning of the debate I laid out what I had to do.  I had to demonstrate that the Bible is a rule of faith, that it teaches it's sufficient to function as the sole rule of faith, and that it in fact teaches that it does function in that way, and I did those three things.  So what was Mr. Madrid's response?  Well, he's gone off after every other topic there is to go after.   Canon issues, . . . and "Well how do you know that" type of situations.   And well wait a minute, let's go back to what the Scripture said.  And the Scripture says, the Scriptures are sufficient for the man of God for doing the works of God. 

7:53 AM Check out these Bible study books in pdf. format.

7:51 AM Thought for the day:

Theology, not morality, is the first business on the church's agenda of reform, and the church, not society, is the first target of divine criticism.

Michael Scott Horton, Beyond Culture Wars

7:45 AM I once heard it said that there are no boring preachers. If he's boring, he's not a preacher. I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. Spurgeon once said, "Dull preachers make good martyrs. They are so dry they burn well." He added, "Christ Jesus was an attractive preacher; He sought above all means to set the pearl in a frame of gold, that it might attract the attention of the people.... It was no dull work to hear the King of preachers; He was too much in earnest to be dull, and too humane to be incomprehensible." My wife likens a good sermon to preparing a well-conceived meal: a wise householder will labor to give each one of the family a well-balanced dinner served in an attractive way.

Let's make the message attractive!

Let's keep the message practical!

Give Christ the preeminence!

Aim at the heart!

Keep the hearer under fire at all times!

Monday, February 7

6:08 PM Before construction of our horse barn begins, I must spend some time at this website.

Classic Gambrel Barn

5:56 PM Believe it or not, David Black signed this document.

5:37 PM This topic is much on my heart these days:

Suffer the Little Children.

5:32 PM Today my terrific son began restoring a two-storey ante-bellum home about a mile from our farm. I can't think of anything he'd rather be doing. He's starting out by repairing and painting the tin roof. Yes, dad helped him, mostly by staying out of his way. We patched holes and drilled roofing screws and otherwise got everything prepared for painting. The next step is for my son to rewire and plumb the structure and finish the interior with new moldings, wainscoting, etc. This is where his abilities will really shine. I am so glad he has this wonderful talent, which he surely didn't get from a dad who has a difficult time changing light bulbs.

9:12 AM Speaking of TV:

The TV is my shepherd, I shall not want anything else. It maketh me to lie down on the sofa. It leadeth me away from the Scripture. It destroys my soul. It leadeth me in the paths of sex and violence for the sponsor’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will enjoy the evil, for blood and sex they excite me. It’s cable and remote they comfort me. It prepares a commercial before me in the presence of my children. It anoints my head with humanism, My coveting runneth over.

Surely laziness and ignorance shall follow my family all the days of our lives, and we shall dwell in the house watching TV forever.

8:59 AM You are spot on, Mr. Black!

One thing I have learned from the Super Bowl, however, is how valuable my time is. This year the Super Bowl values 30 seconds of my time at $2.4 million. That amount makes me pause and wonder how valuable my time is to God. By Super Bowl standards, my time is worth $4.8 million per minute, $288 million per hour, $6.912 billion per day, over $2.5 trillion per year. The time I spend with God is even more pricey, especially considering that the blood of Jesus, shed for my sins, is the only payment that makes my time with God possible.

8:40 AM What is a Reformed Baptist?

8:17 AM The apostle Paul once said, “Neither count I my life dear unto myself” (Acts 20:24).

Life is dear in God’s sight. But Paul counted not his life dear unto himself.

Life is God’s gift to us, and we must give account of the way we live it. When we count it as His and not ours, “we lose what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose.”

Portrait of Jim ElliotThe man who uttered these words, Jim Elliot, was martyred in the jungles of Ecuador. People looked upon his mangled body, but his soul had gone home through gates of splendor. He counted not his life dear unto himself.

That is God’s way. That is the Christian way.

8:15 AM I agree with the Liberty Committee:

The Constitution of the United States is not a statement of principles or a mere expression of lofty ideals or political philosophy. It is black-letter law. Its provisions are fully operative, like any federal statute. Every action of the federal government must legally conform to constitutional rules. Every member of Congress swears to uphold the Constitution; meaning he or she swears to uphold the law.

Yet members of Congress rarely follow the Constitution. In fact, members of Congress routinely ignore or blatantly violate its strictures. As a result, most federal laws have no constitutional authority. In other words, most so-called federal laws are unconstitutional and, therefore, illegal. Respect for the constitutional rule of law must be restored.

7:50 AM PRAYER REQUEST: My wife and I are requesting prayer for a boy named Azanou whom we met in rural Ethiopia last November. He is blind in one eye and needs a cornea transplant in the other or he will go completely blind. We are arranging for him to have that surgery. Meanwhile, a doctor friend of ours who is also a believer will be contacting Azanou about the surgery and will also be sharing with him the love of Jesus. Please pray that young Azanou might receive spiritual sight by accepting the Gospel.

7:45 AM Please read this letter from Ray Moore of Frontline Ministries and then prayerfully consider writing to the German Embassy:


Seldom do we ask you to exert an  effort to contact governmental officials. This is a very important situation that has exercised the entire American home school community and also some home schoolers in other countries as well. We have had some contact with the leadership of the young home school community in Germany and they had requested prayers and support from us before this situation had come to emergency proportions. We ask you to read the reports below, pray for these families and take the appropriate actions requested.  First read 1 Peter 5: 8-10 and pray. Please take action this week if you intend to help. We would be grateful if you could circulate this memo to your network too. Thanks and Blessings.
             In His grip,
             E. Ray Moore, Jr.
             Chaplain (Lt.Col.) USAR ret
             PO Box 12072
             Columbia, SC 29211
             Tele (803) 714-1744

HSLDA brought this horrendous situation to the attention of the homeschool public first.

Requested Action

In order to help these seven homeschool families in Germany, we urge you to call or write to the German Embassy immediately and give them the following message:  "The seven homeschool families in Paderborn County should not be forced to return their children to public school. A parent's right to direct the education of his children is a fundamental right that should be protected. We request that you urge Heinz Kohler and the county school board to drop the pending fines against the families." Your decision to contact the German embassy  may determine the success or failure of the German homeschool movement.

    Wolfgang Ischinger
    German Embassy
    4645 Reservoir Road NW
    Washington, DC, 20007-1998
    tele (202) 298-4000

    The German embassy can be e-mailed from its website:

7:25 AM Copies of Bruce Shortt's new book The Harsh Truth About Public Schools can be ordered at . For bulk purchases, contact or call (209) 736-4365.

7:23 AM Monday morning shout-out to all our friends in Rocky Mount, Virginia, whose company we enjoyed over the weekend. The wedding was fantastic, and we thoroughly enjoyed worshipping in the "barn" on Sunday (including a fellowship meal and the Lord's Supper). God is doing a good work among you both to will and to work His good pleasure, and we were privileged to be witnesses of His handiwork for a few days. Blessings on all of you.

Friday, February 4

6:27 AM Acts 2:41-42 contains, in germ form, a wonderful definition of the church. Do you see it? Belief, baptism, being added to other believers, the apostles' doctrine, fellowship, the breaking of bread, prayers. We might say, then, that the church is a group of baptized believers who meet regularly for Bible study and fellowship, sharing in the Lord's Supper and mutual prayers. I note that the Lord's Supper was a prime manifestation of the church's unity as believers shared together in that symbolic testimony to the basis of their faith - the life and death of Jesus Christ. How wonderful this banquet that foreshadowed the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

Many of you already have a fellowship meal on Sunday. But is there not still something missing?

The meal is potluck, or as we like to say, "pot-providence." Everyone brings something to share with everyone else. When the weather is nice, all the food is placed on a long folding table out in the carport. A smaller card table at one end of the long table contains drinks, cups, forks, napkins, etc. A chest full of ice sits on the floor beside the card table. Kids run wildly around having so much fun that they must be collared by parents and forced to eat something. After a prayer of thanksgiving is offered, people line up, talking and laughing, to serve their plates. In the middle of all the food sits a single loaf of bread next to a large plastic jug containing the fruit of the vine. Each believer partakes of the bread and juice while going through the serving line. The smaller kids are encouraged to occupy one of the few places at a table to eat. (They sure can be messy!) Chairs for adults (there are not enough for everyone) are clustered in circles, mainly occupied by the womenfolk, who eat while discussing home schooling, child training, sewing, an upcoming church social, the new church we hope to start, etc. Most of the men stand to eat, balancing their plates on top of their cups, grouped into small clusters and solving the world’s problems or pondering some hot topic of theology. The atmosphere is not unlike that of a wedding banquet. It is a great time of fellowship, encouragement, edification, friendship, caring, catching-up, getting to know, praying with, exhorting, and maturing. The reason for the event? In case you did not recognize it, this is the Lord’s Supper, New Testament style!

6:25 AM Charles Haddon Spurgeon on children:

Give us the first seven years of a child, with God's grace, and we may defy the world, the flesh, and the devil to ruin that immortal soul. Those first years, while yet the clay is soft and plastic, go far to decide the form of the vessel. Do not say that your office, you who teach the young, is in the least degree inferior to ours, whose main business is with older folks, No, you have the first of them, and your impressions, as they come first, will endure last; oh, that they may be good, and only good!

6:23 AM Quote of the day (John MacArthur):

A woman has got to go back to that place of that beautiful submission she knew before the "fall," and a man has got to go back to the place where his commitment is simply, in love, to take that woman as if she were one with him, and render to her every single thing that he would do for himself.

6:20 AM A lesson from a Titus 2 woman.

6:17 AM Friday morning shout-out to Jeremy and Sarah who will be wedded this Saturday in Rocky Mount, Virginia. This one's for you, Jeremy.

Wednesday, February 2

6:17 AM QOTD (John Owen):

To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have "Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature." power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect.

6:15 AM Dr. Lyman has the skinny on the ol' salt-and-light argument for g-school:

A hapless blogger, with a bent for theology, titles an entry "Death to Homeschooling." Then he announces he is thinking of sending his precious little child to a g-school.

Writes Tony Jones: "But it seems to me that if we are truly committed to living a missional life, then we must enroll our kids in the public school. That is, we are committed to living lives fully invested in what I might call the 'Jesus Ethic' or the 'Kingdom of God Ethic,' and also fully invested in the society -- in fact, you might say that we live according to the Kingdom of God for the sake of society."

Mr. Fully-Invested-in-the-Society, allow me to quote the venerable Dr. Patricia Lines, homeschool reseacher. She has stated, "The hard evidence suggests that the vast majority of homeschooling families are more active in civic affairs than public school families." And, many of these families also happen to be into the Jesus Ethic, Mr. For-the-Sake-of-Society.

IOW, the more government-dependent you are, the more government-dependent you will be.  

6:12 AM As you read Time Magazine’s latest list, please keep in mind:

God takes no orders from us.

He is not the flunky of religious top brass.

A man loves himself properly only when he sees himself as God sees him, a lost sinner. There are broken cisterns aplenty, but only one fountain of living water.

Fifty-fifty Christians are a great asset to the devil.

God prefers a dedicated 300 patterned after Christ to Gideon’s 32,000.

Our Lord was always careful to stress the cost of discipleship.

There is only one Great I AM.

If we love the world the love of the Father is not in us.

Our Lord never offered bargains; He never marked His prices down.

The church is not an incubator for hatching saints; saints must first be born by the Spirit of God.

God is not only our Rewarder; He is our Reward.

Tuesday, February 1

6:23 AM Our forbears chose to preserve the scriptural ideal of liberty. We have fallen away from the ideal of the founding generation. But the movement back to limited constitutional government is accelerating in many quarters of the nation. The culture wars are intensifying between them and the ruling liberal elite. What can you do?

Build coalitions of commonsense conservatives.

Resist the liberal media.

Build alternative means of communication via the Internet.

Encourage trends toward political sanity that are already in place.

Be the patriots of today, every bit as much defenders of the Constitution as were your forefathers, and they refused to be defeated!

6:20 AM In his essay, “The Modern Threats to Religious Freedom: They Are Greater than One May Think,” William Anderson exposes the dangers awaiting America:

On the surface, it would seem that Christianity has never been stronger or more influential in this country. Not only are the president, attorney general, and other cabinet members and advisors open about their Christianity, but Christian books are on the best-seller lists and Christian popular music dominates the radio airwaves. However, for a long time, I have been intensely looking at the current scene and have concluded that (1) the political authorities have squarely targeted Christians and Christianity for harassment and are freely carrying out their agendas at the present time, (2) the historical legal protections in this country for Christianity have been eroded past the point of no return, (3) most Christians are clueless in understanding this situation, and (4) when Christians do happen to recognize dangers to practicing their faith, they tend to endorse legislative and political actions that in the long run will make things even worse for themselves and those Christians who will follow after them.

Here is one pastor who is quite aware of what is going on.  

6:19 AM The latest in Orwellian Doubletalk:

Pain-Capable Unborn Child

This is a shameful use of the language I love.  

6:17 AM N. T. Wright is still wrong.

6:15 AM Anything Ivan Eland writes is worth perusing, but this report on "The Way Out of Iraq" is indispensable reading.

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