Monthly Archives: May 2012

Standing in the Battle, Part 5 – Sermon Notes

The Shield of Faith – Ephesians 6:16

The following are my notes from our pastor’s sermon this morning.

I – Know what faith is.

With the shield of faith you will be able to extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. Flaming darts = discouragement, temptation, depression, disunity, etc. Our faith is not our own. It is firmly rooted in the relationship with Christ.

Faith is not positive thinking.

Great examples of faith are found in Hebrew 11.

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.

31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

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A Classic Presidential Response

This week a classic letter of response for natural disaster funds resurfaced on Twitter. The classic response was from President Ronald Reagan in 1984 to 13 year old, Andy Smith from Irmo, South Carolina, who wrote a letter to him requesting funds for a natural disaster.

Here is how the correspondence went:


Dear Mr. President,

Today my mother declared my bedroom a disaster area. I would like to request federal funds to hire a crew to clean up my room.

Presidential response:

Dear Andy:

I’m sorry to be so late in answering your letter but as you know I’ve been in China and found your letter here upon my return.

Your application for disaster relief has been duly noted but I must point out one technical problem; the authority declaring the disaster is supposed to make the request. In this case your mother.

However, setting that aside, I’ll have to point out the larger problem of available funds. This has been a year of disasters, 539 hurricanes as of May 4th and several more since, numerous floods, forest fires, drought in Texas and a number of earthquakes. What I’m getting at is that funds are dangerously low.

May I make a suggestion? This administration, believing that government has done many things that could better be done by volunteers at the local level, has sponsored a Private Sector Initiative program, calling upon people to practice voluntarism in the solving of a number of local problems.

Your situation appears to be a natural. I’m sure your mother was fully justified in proclaiming your room a disaster. Therefore you are in an excellent position to launch another volunteer program to go along with the more than 3,000 already underway in our nation—congratulations.

Give my best regards to your mother.

Sincerely, Ronald Reagan

The times, they are a changin’. In an age where frivolity is norm, I wonder what the Presidential response would be today.


This Looks Like a Good Place for a Toilet

The bible can be the source of wonderful amusement while reading through it. Today my daily reading took me through 2 Kings 10. The text describes the events of Jehu, king of Israel, and his purging of the prophets of Baal. In an effort to round up all of the worshipers of the false god Baal, Jehu proclaims that he wishes to have a grand assembly of the prophets, worshipers, and priests, of Baal. He does this by also proclaiming that whoever is missing from this assembly of worshipers of Baal will be put to death. The worshipers go into the “House of Baal” and offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. As soon as the end of the offering is made, Jehu and eighty of his guard go in and slaughter all of the worshipers. Jehu also orders the demolition of the “House of Baal” and  “made into a latrine to this day.”

Ok, my first thought was of a pile of rubble and the infamous Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbs) peeing on it. But I chose a more appropriate image as you see.

And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day. (2 Kings 10:27)

28) Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.

God is very serious about that first commandment.

Soli Deo Gloria!!


Where Have All the Wild Things Gone?

This post stems from the news of the death of Maurice Sendack, the author of the, then controversial, children’s illustrated fiction “Where The Wild things Are.” “WTWTA” was published in 1963 and came into the public eye with  
mixed feelings from parents. I remember that although my parents would not allow me to read it because it represented a misbehaving child and had scary illustrations, I had fellow students and friends who had read it. I had always been curious about monsters and scary things as a child and even to some degree today. When I saw the book in the public library at six years of age, I sat down and read through it. It was truly scary with it’s monster characters who had fangs and long sharp claws. But I also remember thinking that the ending was kind of cool because Max (the lead character) ended up back at home with supper waiting. I never did tell my mother about reading that book until I was in Jr. High or early High School. By then it was fairly tame as far as subject matter goes.

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