The Lion’s Den

This morning I was listening to some older Guardian during my Bowflex workout. Guardian is a Christian rock band who was very popular in Christian music circles in the 90’s. During the workout I came across the classic “Lion’s Den”. The story of Daniel and the lion’s den is a little more Daniel_lions_denengaging now, because we are studying Daniel in our Wednesday night Bible study.

The song by Guardian was written by Steve Taylor who is a masterful lyricist. The music is excellent, released in 1995, even now, it’s a pleasure to listen to. Especially while working triceps.

Here are the lyrics:

Once upon a time, in churches of old
The Velcro age had yet to unfold
Flannel was king and Sunday School knew
How to make those Bible heroes, stick like glue
How to make ’em stick with you

Flannel graph lions, mounted and mean
The Prophet Daniel in between
Head toward heaven, sturdy and true
A man of God who did not fear the gods of men
He didn’t fear the lion’s den

Every age at every stage
Lions rage
Pray, stand your ground
They’ll lie down

Dumb struck, I was shaken and stirred
He wouldn’t kowtow, he kept God’s word
Teacher said, “Son, this could be you
If you put your trust in God and not the praise of men
You won’t fear the lion’s den”

And if we play by lion’s rules
We start lionizing fools
God wrote the book, He’ll fortify
And like the eagles we will fly
We’re gonna fly

Late one night in a fever dream
The Prophet Daniel came to me
“Sir,” I said, “I’ve lost my nerve
I lip serve God and put my faith in Godless men
I fear the lion’s den”

Then he said, “Who says I’m not a feline-phobe?
Who says I wasn’t ready to wet my robe?
Faith is tough, boy, but God gives grace
So take deep breath, head up, set your face like flint
And stop being a wimp”


Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Here is the a video with the music:

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Posted by on September 5, 2015 in Daniel, Guardian, Lion's Den


Morning Needs

I truly love the collection of Puritan prayers found in “The Valley of Vision” published by Banner of Truth. This morning my bride and I read this one in particular. It was so sweet tomorning fog me I had to share it with you. Whoever you are. Enjoy, and be blessed as I was.

Morning Needs

O God the author of all good, I come to Thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events.

I step out into a wicked world;

I carry about with me an evil heart.

I know that without Thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned,

however harmless in itself,

may prove an occasion of sin or folly,

unless I am kept by Thy power.

Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe.

Preserve my understanding from subtilty of error,

my affections from love of idols,

my character from stain of vice,

my profession from every form of evil.

May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Thy blessing, and in which I cannot invite Thy inspection.

Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments.

Give me neither poverty nor riches.

Feed me with food convenient for me,

lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord?

or be poor, and steal, and take Thy name in vain.

May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Thy will.

Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it,

to improve my talents, to redeem my time,

to walk in wisdom toward those without,

and in kindness to those within,

to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians.

And to Thee be the glory.


Are We Headed For the Lions Den?

I believe it is a sad day for this country I love and live in. Unless you live underground and have had no connection with the outside world until now, you know that Friday June 26th, daniel-friends012015, yesterday, our nation’s highest court legalized homosexual marriages in all of the 50 United States. Yes the social media and the blogs are all a buzz from this news. So, since I haven’t written anything from this blog in quite some time, I will do so now, and plug in my brief thoughts.

I have a passion for the subject of Christians living in the secular world and how I believe we are called to do so. I will pose this question: As a follower of Christ are we to interact at all with the government, laws of the land, and the state?

I am currently involved in a bible study of the book of Daniel, and this book speaks to this very thing of the righteous interacting with the secular. Daniel and his friends would not participate in the kings delicacies because it would defile themselves before God. They were men of integrity, and thus worked within the government, they were to submit to, in order to change the law so they would not be ordered by the law to dishonor God and participate in the king’s delicacies.

The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs. (Daniel 1:5-9)


I believe I am also called as a child of God, created in the image of God, and thus responsible to the commands of God. We are created by a God of order (1 Cor. 14:33); therefore we also seek order through governmental structures. So we work in the secular, as did the apostle Paul, and as did Daniel and his people, to influence the darkness as much as we are able.

One last point:
The favoring justices of the Supreme Court admitted that it was their belief that the agenda of the gay community was not to further an agenda to force churches to recognize, or perform, gay marriages. But I do not believe it this to be true. I believe, along this “slippery slope”, we will see just that in less than a decade.

Like the heading asks, like Daniel, “Are we headed for the lions den”?

Soli Deo Gloria!


B.B. Warfield, The Last of the Princeton Theologians

Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (November 5, 1851 – February 16, 1921) was the principal of Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921. He is considered the last great Princeton theologian before WARFIELD-Benjamin-B.-Ipsenthe split in 1929 that formed Westminster Seminary and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

In 1887 Warfield was appointed to the Charles Hodge Chair at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he succeeded Hodge’s son A. A. Hodge. Warfield remained there until his death. As the last conservative successor to Hodge to live prior to the re-organization of Princeton Seminary, Warfield is often regarded as the last of the Princeton theologians. The post-Warfield Princeton became more liberal and progressive in it’s approach to theology. The once solid conservative seminary began the downward slide like a kid on a freshly waxed amusement park slide.

During his tenure, his primary thrust (and that of the seminary) was an authoritative view of the Bible. This view was held in contrast to the emotionalism of the revival movements, the rationalism of higher criticism, and the heterodox teachings of various New religious movements that were emerging. The seminary held fast to the Reformed confessional tradition — that is, it faithfully followed the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Underpinning much of Warfield’s theology was his adherence to Calvinism as espoused by the Westminster Confession of Faith. It is sometimes forgotten that, in his battles against Modernism on the one hand, and against revivalism on the other, that he was simply expressing the Reformed faith when applied to certain situations.

It was Warfield’s belief that the 16th century Reformers, as well as the 17th century Confessional writers, were merely summarizing the content and application of scripture. New revelations, whether from the minds of celebrated scholars or popular revivalists, were therefore inconsistent with these confessional statements (and therefore inconsistent with Scripture). Throughout his ministry, Warfield contended that modern world events and thinking could never render such confessions obsolete. Such an attitude still prevails today in many Reformed churches and Christians who embrace Calvinism.

For additional resources, I’ve added links to some writings by B.B. Warfeld and a couple of free books offered by

B.B. Warfield bibliography.

Free books

The Emotional Life of Our Lord

The Power of God Unto Salvation


Mike Rowe Responds

The following is taken from Mike Rowe’s Facebook page:mike_rowe_pencil

Off The Wall

Kyle Smith writes…

Howard Dean recently criticized Gov Scott Walker for never finishing college, stating that he was “unknowledgeable.” What would your response be on college as a requirement for elected office?

Hi Kyle

Back in 1990, The QVC Cable Shopping Channel was conducting a national talent search. I had no qualifications to speak of, but I needed a job, and thought TV might be a fun way to pay the bills. So I showed up at The Marriott in downtown Baltimore with a few hundred other hopefuls, and waited for a chance to audition. When it was my turn, the elevator took me to the top floor, where a man no expression led me into a suite and asked me to take a seat behind a large desk. Across from the desk, there was a camera on a tripod. On the desk was a digital timer with an LED display. I took a seat as the man clipped a microphone on my shirt and explained the situation.

“The purpose of this audition is to see if you can talk for eight minutes without stuttering, blathering, passing out, or throwing up. Any questions?”

“What would you like me to talk about,” I asked.

The man pulled a pencil from behind his ear and rolled it across the desk. “Talk to me about that pencil. Sell it. Make me want it. But be yourself. If you can do that for eight minutes, the job is yours. Ok?”

I looked at the pencil. It was yellow. It had a point on one end, and an eraser on the other. On the side were the words, Dixon Ticonderoga Number 2 SOFT.

“Ok,” I said.

The man set the timer to 8:00, and walked behind the tripod. He pressed a button and a red light appeared on the camera. He pressed another button and the timer began to count backwards. “Action,” he said. I picked up the pencil and started talking.

“Hi there. My name’s Mike Rowe, and I only have eight minutes to tell you why this is finest pencil on Planet Earth. So let’s get right to it.”

I opened the desk drawer and found a piece of hotel stationary, right where I hoped it would be. I picked up the pencil and wrote the word, QUALITY in capital letters. I held the paper toward the camera.

“As you can plainly see, The #2 Dixon Ticonderoga leaves a bold, unmistakable line, far superior to the thin and wispy wake left by the #3, or the fat, sloppy skid mark of the unwieldy #1. Best of all, the Ticonderoga is not filled with actual lead, but “madagascar graphite,” a far safer alternative for anyone who likes to chew on their writing implements.”

To underscore the claim, I licked the point. I then discussed the many advantages of the Ticonderoga’s color.

“A vibrant yellow, perfectly suited for an object that needs to stand out from the clutter of a desk drawer.”

I commented on the comfort of it’s design.

“Unlike those completely round pencils that press hard into the web of your hand, the Ticonderoga’s circumference is comprised of eight, gently planed surfaces, which dramatically reduce fatigue, and make writing for extended periods an absolute delight.”

I pointed out the “enhanced eraser,” which was “guaranteed to still be there – even when the pencil was sharpened down to an unusable nub.”

I opined about handmade craftsmanship and American made quality. I talked about the feel of real wood.

“In a world overrun with plastic and high tech gadgets, isn’t it comforting to know that some things haven’t evolved into something shiny and gleaming and completely unrecognizable?’”

After all that, there was still five minutes on the timer. So I shifted gears and considered the pencil’s impact on Western Civilization. I spoke of Picasso and Van Gogh, and their hundreds of priceless drawings – all done in pencil. I talked about Einstein and Hawking, and their many complicated theories and theorems – all done in pencil.

“Pen and ink are fine for memorializing contracts,” I said, “but real progress relies on the ability to erase and start anew. Archimedes said he could move the world with a lever long enough, but when it came to proving it, he needed a pencil to make the point.”

With three minutes remaining, I moved on to some personal recollections about the role of pencils in my own life. My first legible signature, my first book report, my first crossword puzzle, and of course, my first love letter. I may have even worked up a tear as I recalled the innocence of my youth, scribbled out on a piece of looseleaf with all the hope and passion a desperate 6th grader could muster…courtesy of a #2 pencil.

With :30 seconds left on the timer, I looked fondly at the Dixon Ticonderoga, and sat silently for five seconds. Then I wrapped it up.

“We call it a pencil, because all things need a name. But today, let’s call it what it really is. A time machine. A match maker. A magic wand. And let’s say it can all be yours…for just .99 cents.”

The timer read 0:00. The man walked back to the desk. He took the pencil and wrote “YOU’RE HIRED” on the stationary, and few days later, I moved to West Chester, PA. And a few days after that, I was on live television, face to face with the never-ending parade of trinkets and chochkes that comprise QVC’s overnight inventory.

I spent three months on the graveyard shift, five nights a week. Technically, this was my training period, which was curious, given the conspicuous absence of supervision, or anything that could be confused with actual instruction. Every few minutes a stagehand would bring me another mysterious “must have item,” which I’d blather about nonsensically until it was whisked away and replaced with something no less baffling. In this way, I slowly uncovered the mysteries of my job, and forged a tenuous relationship with an audience of chronic insomniacs and narcoleptic lonely-hearts. It was a crucible of confusion and ambiguity, and in hindsight, the best training I ever had.

Which brings me to the point of your question, Kyle.
I don’t agree with Howard Dean – not at all.

Here’s what I didn’t understand 25 years ago. QVC had a serious recruiting problem. Qualified candidates were applying in droves, but failing miserably on the air. Polished salespeople with proven track records were awkward on TV. Professional actors with extensive credits couldn’t be themselves on camera. And seasoned hosts who understood live television had no experience hawking products. So eventually, QVC hit the reset button. They stopped looking for “qualified” people, and started looking for anyone who could talk about a pencil for eight minutes.

QVC had confused qualifications with competency.
Perhaps America has done something similar?

Look at how we hire help – it’s no so different than how we elect leaders. We search for work ethic on resumes. We look for intelligence in test scores. We search for character in references. And of course, we look at a four-year diploma as though it might actually tell us something about common-sense and leadership.

Obviously, we need a bit more from our elected officials than the instincts of a home shopping host, but the business of determining what those “qualifications” are is completely up to us. We get to decide what matters most. We get to decide if a college degree or military service is somehow determinative. We get to decide if Howard Dean is correct.

Anyone familiar with my foundation knows my position. I think a trillion dollars of student loans and a massive skills gap are precisely what happens to a society that actively promotes one form of education as the best course for the most people. I think the stigmas and stereotypes that keep so many people from pursuing a truly useful skill, begin with the mistaken belief that a four-year degree is somehow superior to all other forms of learning. And I think that making elected office contingent on a college degree is maybe the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

But of course, Howard Dean is not the real problem. He’s just one guy. And he’s absolutely right when he says that many others will judge Scott Walker for not finishing college. That’s the real problem.

However – when Howard Dean called the Governor “unknowledgeable,” he rolled out more than a stereotype. He rolled a pencil across the desk, and gave Scott Walker eight minutes to knock it out of the park.

It’ll be fun to see if he does.


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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in leadership, Mike Rowe, Politics


Believing In Spite of the Evidence

I came across the following definition of Faith and Trust while researching something mentioned in Dr. Albert Mohler’sBriefing” podcast this morning. 20140822_183216

Faith is believing the truth. For faith to be faith, we must have a reason to believe.

Trust is nearly the inverse of faith, and God requires it as well as faith. It is believing in spite of the evidence.

I was researching these definitions while trying to grapple with a line of thinking presented by a “musical collective” known as Gungor. This line of thinking and belief system seems to be trending in the “Christian” music world, and in modern evangelical circles. The line of thinking is that we don’t need to actually believe the biblical text as it refers to creation, the flood, Jonah and the big fish, etc in order to accept the teachings of Christ and believe in Him. In so doing they are willing to accept that Jesus did the miracles the text describes but they are unwilling to accept the obvious miracles God did in creation and the others mentioned above.

As I was thinking through all of this I began reading some of the comments in reference to the “What We Believe” page of the Gungor website. I’d like to post these comments here. I believe they are relevant, and sum up the way I think about faith. I trust in the biblical text; it contains all the information about God that He desires for us to know.

Ashley writes:

I hear the questions and the struggles to know what all of this means. But it really comes down to a simple question: Am I willing to trust God when He clearly tells us in His word who He is (that doesn’t mean every detail about him is perfectly known, but He gives us a clear knowledge of His heart, character, perfection, plan and faithfulness to call us back to Himself).

If I’m willing to make the choice to trust Him, there will still be times of confusion and bewilderment, but His word IS the authority to guide me in seeking Him and walking with Him through the ups and downs and wildernesses of life.

If I’m not wiling to choose to trust Him, then all of these very deep questions about belief and meaning and which authority trumps which – become very disorienting. Everyone becomes their own answer and goes after what works for them, and order, logic, truth and beauty become meaningless to us because in our minds and hearts we have made powerless the common denominator to all existence. That is God’s loving lordship over everyone and everything in this world. And my place is simply to trust my Father and obey Him, even though most of the time I don’t feel like I understand.

Andrew writes:

That is pretty much what I’ve been thinking while reading this whole thing. I constantly struggle with my ability to understand aspects of God, creation, His timeline, and so forth. But when it comes down to it, the fact is, free will or not, I do not have the ability to understand fully all that which is presented in the bible as fact. I earnestly want to, but I alone cannot. Furthermore, the issues with the Garden of Eden, the flood and the Arc, Jonah and the whale, the world and all thing which inhabit it in a matter of a week versus evolution- these are things that naturally will be conceived as preposterous to the human mind. We don’t know the reason for these occurrences or why God chose them to be in the book described as, “His word”. But they are there, and for good reason too, that we can rely on since God has them in there. If these things are considered so outrageous, than what about a virgin being impregnated with the Son of God? What about every single miracle Jesus performs in the New Testament? Some of them are just so beyond what I could ever imagine seeing! Walking on water?!

My point is, why should some be taken as within the realms of God’s power and others not? Especially when we cannot even begin to conceive all that which is in His power. “Lean not on your own understanding…” Why? Because we don’t have the ability to fully comprehend mighty power with which God moves and all the He is capable of. If we believe the Bible to be the word of God, then we should take it as that 100%. Even what we do not understand through and through, because God says too. And just have faith in God. And let go, and patiently wait for Him to reveal what He sees fit for each one of us to understand when He sees fit to provide those revelations. Because, if we don’t, we end relying on our own intellectual capabilities to seek and provide us answer to the hard questions for us, rather than fully trusting God and His plan, and His timing.
This was not to be this long. I just wanted to say, faith is so very powerful, as is relying on God fully for understanding and comprehension rather than figuring out some possible alternative to the truth out of impatience and intellectual arrogance. But, then again, in the grand scheme of things, does it matter individually whether we perceive the infamous “stories” of the Old Testament as just that, stories? Or does it speak volumes of our inability to have a faith like a child? I don’t understand a lot of things myself, but pray for God to reveal His truth on things He wants me to understand, and to provide me peace and faith like a child for that which He deems unnecessary at this point in my walk. And in that way, He helps me keep my concerns on what truly matters-loving as He loved, receiving His grace and mercy daily in my life, and relying on Him for and in all matters of my life believing that He will finish the work He began on me so that I can serve Him out love, through love- thus growing my knowledge of Him, my love for Him, and fueling my desire for obedience to Him and serving through actions of love.

I recommend listening to the podcast referenced above and then going to the Gungor Music web page and read about their faith and some thoughts on Christianity which are trending these days.

Please pray for Christ’s Church today, that this trend will be short lived. Because eternity is at stake.

Soli Deo Gloria




Happy Father’s Day brothers.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, arrow_bowchief
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them! (Psalm 127:3-5)

I am indeed a blessed man.

Happy Father’s Day brothers.

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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Father's Day, Psalm 127


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