- The truth can walk around naked; only lies must be clothed in euphemism. –Yiddish proverb
- Calculus destroys self-esteem on contact. —James Lileks
- The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every person who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do. —Albert E. N. Gray
- No matter how cynical I get, I just can’t keep up. —Nora Ephron
- Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. —Mike Tyson
Monday, June 29, 2015
Saturday, June 27, 2015
God is love but love is not God. In other words, love is an attribute of God and, therefore, genuine love is defined by God’s being. When God no longer defines love―when the definition of love is changed―a new but false god emerges. When we are told, in this current secular coup d'état, that “love wins,” it is important to understand that the definitions of both love and god have new identities. The co-opting of Christian language has long been a part of the secularist strategy to overthrow biblical Christianity. Having been immersed in the modern secular university and slathered with the gravy of pop culture, a lot of naïve, professing Christians have swallowed this argument whole. Many dogs refuse to swallow pills and so someone has marketed “Pill Pockets,” and “Hide’ems” to disguise the bitter tablets. My dog now thinks he’s getting a treat. The catch-phrase “Love Wins” is nothing but a “Hide-em.”
This hatred of biblical ethics is not new. People have long despised the law of God as that which places too many constraints on their personal liberties and choices. The problem is as old as the Garden. Sin has always been about having it our way. God needs to stop telling us what to do. We know what’s good for us. We can determine good and evil for ourselves. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah saying:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! ―Isaiah 5:20-21
Since we now have a generation that has been raised receiving whatever they want―having been fully indulged―they come to think that it is not “loving,” indeed it is positively “hateful,” not to give someone what they want. However, loving someone is not necessarily giving them what they want but rather what they need. But who’s to say what they need? Don’t they get to determine that? Well, if there is no transcendent/immanent Creator God―if Darwin was right―then it’s every man (oops, I mean “person”), for himself/herself (was that correct?). Everyone can do what is right in their own eyes. If you don’t approve of what I want then you must be a hateful person and any God that doesn’t approve of what I want is hateful as well.
Now if there is a transcendent/immanent Creator God (like the God of Scripture)―if Darwin was wrong―then He does get to tell us what’s good for us, and whatever is good for us is an expression of love even if we don’t like it at the moment.
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully. ―1 Timothy 1:5-8
God’s law is the expression of His love. “The law of the Lord is perfect…” (Ps. 19:7). Love isn’t a substitute or replacement for law. There’s never been more talk about love and at the same time more lawlessness than in our own day, and I might add, no more hatefulness. Jesus said: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). When God’s law is diminished, love is diminished. Love is the summary of all of God’s law. God’s law is what is good for us and for society—it’s what we need.
When we reject God’s law―God’s truth―we forfeit love. C. S. Lewis pointed out that there are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.” The Darwinian model of man as mere animal is reaching the end of its tether. The animal appetites drive us forward as we seek the satiation of our desire to be our own gods.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting. ―Romans 1:18-29
True love knows when to say “no.” Our current trajectory knows no limits. This kind of “love,” when consistently applied, will legalize anything and everything. Everyone will do what is right in his own eyes. Who’s to say? The unthinkable of today will become, with increasing rapidity, the thinkable and the acceptable. As Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop wrote:
…people drift along from generation to generation, and the morally unthinkable becomes the thinkable as the years move on…. There are for such people no fixed standards of behavior, not standards that cannot be eroded or replaced by what seems necessary, expedient, or even fashionable. [Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, (1979), pp. 16-17]
Thank God, love does win. That’s the good news. The gospel is the real message of real love.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. ―John 3:14-21
Monday, June 22, 2015
- The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it. —H. L. Mencken
- There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.” –C. S. Lewis
- If you can’t convince them, confuse them. –Harry Truman
- A fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. –Winston Churchill
- There is no proposition so clear that it cannot be rendered obscure and incomprehensible by a committee. –James Finnegan
Monday, June 15, 2015
- Abortion is the only event that modern liberals think too violent and obscene to portray on TV. This is not because they are squeamish or prudish. It is because if people knew what abortion really looked like, it would destroy their pretense that it is a civilized answer to the problem of what to do about unwanted babies. ―Peter Hitchens
- The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost. –G. K. Chesterton
- Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions — and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large. —Thomas Sowell
- When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. —P. J. O’Rourke
- Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism neither Hitler nor his followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy. ―Richard Weikart
Monday, June 8, 2015
- I’m not young enough to know everything. ―J. M. Barrie
- Some mornings, it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps. –Emo Phillips
- Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. –F. P. Jones
- The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. –Bill Watterson
- It’s the fellow who knows when to quit that the audience wants more of. –Will Rogers
Monday, June 1, 2015
- You can’t get good Chinese takeout in China, and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That’s all you need to know about communism. —P. J. O’Rourke
- It takes only one child to raze a village. –Florence King
- I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time. –Herbert B. Swope
- What would men be without women? Scarce, sir… mighty scarce. –Mark Twain
- Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young. –Fred Astaire
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
My wife and I attended the end-of-the-year school Award Ceremony last night for our local Classical Christian school. (Three of my grandsons are pictured above.) Honestly, my first thought when I heard that it was coming up was not one of excitement but more like concession…okay. Sitting for an hour, or an hour-and-a-half, while lists of names are called out, certificates and medals are handed out, and accomplishments are enumerated could be boring, especially when you don’t personally know most of the people getting the awards. It would be easy to justify staying home and skipping such an event since it seems so routine and unimportant, but that would be a very superficial understanding of what is actually taking place. Upon reflection, I thought about several reasons why participation in these kinds of events is so vital to our communities. Here are three of them:
First, an awards ceremony is not just about me and my children or grandchildren. We are part of something bigger that is of far more value than the sum of its parts. This event is not simply about a particular student receiving an award; it’s about the achievements of the community itself. No student accomplished anything by themselves. Every award represents family, teachers, administrators, staff, board members, donors and others coming together to assist individuals in becoming better than they would have been alone. The student is handed the tangible award but many others are also honored by that award. That student is the work of other hands as well. Our presence at the Awards Ceremony is a small way to recognize that; to honor all those who helped these students and to publicly say “thank you.”
Second, the only way the community can succeed is for all the individual parts of the community to do their share by way of self-sacrifice (which is what love is all about). Coming to the Awards Ceremony is part of the contribution. I could just have the award for my child sent to the house and not have to sit through all of that. Of course there are always a few families that slip out of the ceremony after their child receives their award, but that too misses the bigger point. By sitting through the program we are showing love as we serve one another; we are honoring the other members of our community as well as our children. We are also teaching our children (who might be indifferent, or who might not want to go to the ceremony), that it’s not all about them or us but that, as members of the community, we all have a duty toward others which transcends our personal preferences. This is one of the great lessons of life that our world is lacking (i.e., I am not the center of the universe). Selfishness is immaturity. Maturity is doing our duty toward others; loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Third, an Awards Ceremony provides the opportunity to learn. We have set before our eyes perfect attenders, academic achievers, athletes, artists, and writers. For our children and grandchildren, they learn and practice humility and poise; to stand before a crowd, to represent the community, to be gracious and confident. Younger children get to see the older students and many of them will be inspired to follow those examples. Teachers and staff are also encouraged and satisfied to see that their labors have some immediate and tangible benefits today. Parents also realize that they are not the only ones making these great sacrifices and that the sacrifices are worth it.
So, a full house at an Awards Ceremony is a lovely picture of community; a room full of loving sacrifice to the glory of God!
Monday, May 25, 2015
- The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. –Alexis de Tocqueville
- It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it. –Sam Levenson
- It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood. –Karl Popper
- If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. –C. S. Lewis
- I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. –E. B. White
Monday, May 18, 2015
- When the people fear their government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. —Thomas Jefferson
- College football is a sport that bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture. ―Elbert Hubbard
- My grandmother is over eighty and she still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle. —Henny Youngman
- Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. —Rick Warren
- The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head. —Noah Webster
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
These Mp3 files are all uploaded to the church website
and are also available as Podcasts.
NOTE: There are many other sermons and lessons available on the church website.
FOR THE WEBSITE:
Go HERE: and click the LAUNCH MEDIA PLAYER button at the bottom of the page. Then click on the SERIES column heading and this will sort the files by series. You can then scroll down and find the series and title you want. You can either click on the window at the top and listen or else RIGHT CLICK on the file and download this to your computer. For those who know how, these can be transferred to your phone.
For iPhones and iPads, go to your Podcast Icon and search for: “GCPC Nacogdoches.” This should pull up a complete list of our current podcasts. If you would like regular updates when new podcasts are available, then hit the SUBSCRIBE button.
For Android phones and devices, there are a handful of terrific apps out there that let you download and manage podcasts directly from your mobile device. Here are a couple of free apps Podcast Addict and Podcast Republic. Again, search for: “GCPC Nacogdoches.”
“Who’s to Say?” ― series of sermons (ongoing)
- The Dangers of Being Deceived – 4-19-15
- Loving the Law – 4-26-15
- Being Kinder Than God – 5-3-15
- Me or Thee? – 5-10-15
“Members of the Body” ― Sunday School Lessons (ongoing)
- Introduction – 1-4-15
- The Holy Catholic Church – 1-11-15
- The Visible and Invisible Church – 1-18-15
- The Creedal Church – 1-25-15
- The Confessional Church – 2-1-15
- The Denominational Church – 2-8-15
- The Local Church (part 1) – 2-22-15
- The Local Church (part 2) – 3-8-15
- The Local Church (part 3) – 3-15-15
- Worship – 3-22-15
- Covenant Community (part 1) – 3-29-15
- Covenant Community (part 2) – 4-19-15
- Evangelism (part 1) – 4-26-15
- Evangelism (part 2) – 5-3-15
- Membership Responsibilities (part 1) – 5-10-15