Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm still Alive! :)

Well, it has been ages since I have been on here!.....I am still alive and well!.....I have just been occupied with other things and have let the blogosphere slide for awhile.
I hope that you all are doing well and that the Lord is blessing your families and your labors!
Wintertime will be upon us soon, so maybe I can get back into the groove of posting again.
Please continue to pray for us in the new church work that we are pressing forward in, here in Lewisburg, TN. Pray that the Lord would continue to guide and enable us for His glory and our good!
We have begun setting up a website for the church if you want to take a peek. There is more info that we need to add, but it is a start. So, please tell me what you think!......Suggestions welcome!
The web address is:

Monday, July 11, 2011

"More Love to Thee"

Really.....How precious is the Lord Jesus Christ to us?....Some have given, and are giving, all!!

"In 1974, a North Korean newspaper article proclaimed the government had finally killed off the last remnant of Christian believers in the country. The article claimed the last remnant was a group of twenty-nine people who literally lived under the ground. These brave believers would sleep underground during the day. At night they would leave their hiding place to collect tree roots and other things they could eat.
In 1972, it was announced that Kim Il Sung would visit a certain village, near the hiding place of these courageous Christians. Because the "Great Leader" was afraid of heights and didn't like to fly, he would need to travel by car; therefore, village leaders began to work on making a new, top-quality road for Kim to drive on.
During construction, they uncovered the hiding place of the underground Christians.
When the leaders determined that the people they had found were followers of "the God of heaven," four of them were immediately hanged. The rest were told to lie down on the road, and the officials ordered a steamroller to run over the prostrate Christians. To maximize the pain, the steamroller started by rolling over their feet and then upward toward their heads.
As the Christians awaited their death, one of them began to sing. Soon the others joined their voices. The song they sang in Korean was one familiar to American Christians: "More Love to Thee."

"More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ to
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best.
This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ
to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Let sorrow do its work, come grief or pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me: More love, O
Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be: More love, O
Christ to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

"These brave Christians had lived underground for almost two decades, choosing to follow Christ instead of a man who said he was a god. One can only imagine the thoughts of Korean officials who watched them die with such courage and dignity, and the welcome these believers must have received in eternity!"

(Taken from the book: "Restricted Nations/North Korea/ Voice of the Martyrs)

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Shades of Gray"

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."(Prov.17:22)

There is a pain that X-Rays can't detect, that blood tests can't reveal. There is a pain that an aspirin cannot aleviate, that ointments cannot soothe.

There is a pain that cannot be truly understood by onlookers unless it is experienced, in all it's foul character.

I am speaking of the pain and struggle of depression. To those who have been or are chronically affected by this tenacious foe, physical pain would be a welcome exchange! It is an enemy that is relentless in it's attacks!.....It is an enemy that paints the world of the afflicted in "shades of gray".

It is an enemy that has afflicted many well known figures, both in the secular realm and the Spirtual realm, throughout history.

This malady is also referred to as "Melancholy". We have all probably heard of persons as being of a "melancholy temperment", that is, they tend to experience seasons of gloom and down-heartedness throughout their lives and they seem to undergo these transformations without warning, or for no visible reason.

Melancholy is defined as: "a gloomy state of mind/ gloomy and depressed/ downcast,glum"

And so it is!!......That is, if words can adequately define and describe it!

This "gloomy state of mind" effects the sufferer not only emotionally and mentally, but as the Proverb states above, it "drieth the bones", that is, there are physical manifestations as well. The stress of it effects the entirety of our mortal frame, and seems to pull at every tendon and put every nerve on high alert!!

It is an adversary whose appetite is never satisfied, and which seeks to consume its victim body and soul!

I have known this "stubborn darkness" in some degree for most of my earthly life, sometimes more intimately than others, but never completely void of its foul influences and insinuations.

This inward companion taints every facet of life, indeed it does paint all in "shades of gray". It is a insatiable leach that sucks the life out of all things and continually cries in the mind, "vanity of vanities, all is vanity!"

Life and this world becomes something to be avoided. Most things seem to be wearisome tasks that must be done in order to just "make it through the day".
There is an overwhelming sense of futility that permeates all things, even those things which once brought a measure of joy and satisfaction.

This cruel disease also manifests itself in anxiety/panic attacks as it pushes and pulls at every fiber and chemical balance in the body. Obsessive thoughts often intrude. For the Christian there is morbid introspection. "Have I pleased God today? Have I done enough? Do I truly bear the marks of a Christian, or am I self-deceived?"
On and on these thoughts go as they drive the afflicted deeper and deeper into despair!

There is a desperate desire to climb out of this dark hole, but seemingly the walls are smooth and oiled, and every attempt to climb out is met with failure and the continuing vicious cycle of defeat and condemnation of mind!
Others try to help, they remind the sufferer of all the "good things" in life. Bible verses are quoted and the person is told to "cheer up"!

I don't doubt the sincerity of these encouragers, but I do certainly question their ability to really understand what this person is actually struggling with!

When you have walked through this world of "stubborn darkness", you become very sensitive and compassionate toward those who are walking that same path! Then, and only then, can you truly feel their pain and enter into their journey through the "valley of the shadow of death!"

For the Christian, there is an invisible hand that holds us up when we feel as if we cannot go on, when we feel as if this will always be my lot in life and that there is no hope!
For the Christian there is One who stands in the "fiery furnace" of affliction with us and assures us that there is indeed a better day coming and that He has endured and borne all of our afflictions and sicknesses on the cross!

For the Christian, there is a "city of refuge", a place of repose, where the battle weary soul can flee and cry with the Psalmist, "Have mercy upon me, o LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies sake."

Yes, depression is a horrible malady, a persistent enemy, but God is our strength in the midst of the whelming flood and uses even these struggles for our good and His glory!.......Do I understand the ramifications of it all?...No, but this I do believe and stand upon, God doeth all things well and He makes no mistakes, and if He is for us and has delivered up His own beloved Son on our behalf, how can we not have a hope that looks beyond these present tribulations, to that day when "the former things will not be remembered anymore!"

Depression is indeed a most "stubborn darkness", but there is a Savior who has conquered this world and all it's temporal maladies!!......So, whatever the path He calls us to trod, whether gloomy or bright, He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us and to safely bring us home!!....To Him be all glory!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Greetings and Salutations!!

Well, I feel like I have been away forever from the "blogosphere"!....I sometimes feel like the busiest man in the world!....God has truly been blessing me in manifold ways. My job is going well and the new church planting work is progressing by His grace and provision. I hope to write a few lines in coming days, as time permits, with regards to the widespread struggles in our day with "melancholy" and various other outworkings of depression that afflict so many in this land of "plenty".
Though it is certainly a land of "plenty" with regards to material "stuff", it is a land of great dearth with regards to true purpose, hope, and meaning!
The problem of depression has become epidemic in our nation and I desire to contemplate it in more detail if the Lord allows!
Please pray that He will guide my thoughts in this desire to express some personal thoughts and experiences concerning this common malady.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Still Here!!

Hello Everyone!.....I am still here. I've just been a busy fellow since being called back to work and beginning the church planting work as Pastor of Reformed Baptist Fellowship of Lewisburg!......The Lord has already blessed us abundantly!....His grace and provident care never cease to amaze me!

Hopefully soon I will have time to post something that is laid upon my heart.

Grace & Peace to you all!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Boasting in Christ Alone

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Gal.6:14)

This is quite an astounding statement when one considers the confidence that this man had placed in his own righteousness and the pride that he had in his Jewish heritage and lineage!

O how he rested in his supposed right standing before God! No doubt he often reflected on the merits of his person and work!

Recall his enumeration of these grounds of boasting in Philippians 3:5-6...."Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless,"

Like Paul, we "glory" in many things. We glory in our accomplishments, we glory in our family tree, we glory in our health and our outward appearance, we glory in our educations and our occupations, we glory in possessions. But, most tragically, we glory in our own supposed goodness as we compare ourselves with others and take comfort that "we are not like them"!

But how quickly this foundation collapses when we see God's perfect standard, when we see the Son, who always did those things that were pleasing to the Father, loving righteousness and hating iniquity in every thought, word, and deed.
As one stands in the piercing light of Holiness and purity they are utterly undone and can only cry out with Isaiah, "Woe is me"!

BUT GOD!!.......Revealed His righteousness.....He revealed His Son! He did not reveal Him as a standard for us to measure up to....He revealed Him as the standard to flee to! And, as our very source and place of righteousness!

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Rom.5:17)

Paul says it this way in 1Cor.1:30..."But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:"

In Christ I stand before God complete, accepted, righteous, reconcilled, perfected!

No wonder Paul continues on in Philippians 3:7-9....."But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"

Truly, where is boasting then? What do we have that we have not received? He made us and He bought us! If any man glories, let him glory in the Lord!

Christ is our Life (Col.3:4).....He is our all in all.....He is our salvation and our standing before a Holy God who demands that man be Holy as He is Holy!

"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness"!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Battle for the Mind

I wanted to repost this once again as a new year begins. Realizing that the onslaught and the battle for the mind has not decreased, but instead, has intensified, I felt the need to once again focus on the "front lines" of the fight.
Our society is gravely ill and in a wretched condition. On every hand, every day, we are awash in depravity, the images and words that feed the lusts of the flesh and turn the mind away from Godliness! Satan knows us well, he knows that if he can conquer and direct the mind, he has the victory.

My prayer in this new year is that our minds will be dedicated to our Lord in adoration and service and that the destroyer will find no place in them to establish a stronghold!

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Mat.22:37)

A Battle rages! The Battlefield is the mind. The objective of this battle is to conquer and occupy the part of us that is to be wholly devoted to the love of God and His glory.

It appears, many times, that this battle is very one sided. The losses seem to far outnumber the wins. Since the fall of man, the mind has become a willing sympathizer with the invading thoughts and attitudes of ungodliness.
The "carnal mind" is fertile ground for the seeds of the adversaries! (Rom.8:7)

We are bombarded daily by attacks on our eyes and ears that call to us and say..."look here" or "listen to me" or "think about this."
These subtle, and sometimes not so subtle calls, seek to draw us away from the source of peace and bring us into captivity and defeat! (Isa.26:3)

They relentlessly work to overthrow that which we have received as the regenerated people of God. That is, a renewed, holy mind that delights in the law and righteousness of God.
According to Paul we have been given a "sound mind"! (2Tim.1:7) What a contrast this is in comparison to the madness and negativity of the world and it's corruptible offerings!

This battle is wearisome and exhausting and the saints are often found groaning within themselves as the onslaught never ceases in this life. But there is a safe haven, a city of refuge! God has given us this place of peace in the midst of our fight.
What is it? Is it not the exhortation, that is not only found in Isa. 26:3 but also in the words of Phil.4:6-8?

Here I find my tower and bulwark of protection from the enemy.

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

And when I meditate upon Christ in an attitude of love and thanfulness all of the above are comprehended!