Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"They"

The ubiquitous "They" have done it again.  This time they have hijacked my church.  Please understand that no one, but no one including Satan himself can hijack The Church, the Body of Christ.  Jesus said, "On this Rock (the confession that Jesus is the Christ) I will build my Church and nothing can prevail against it."

I am writing here of the congregation of people who refer to the earthly building and its organization as "their church."  Many of these people belong to The Church, some do not.  That judgment is reserved solely to the One whose blood was shed for the remission of our sins.  I have attended this church for more than three decades.  I was baptized in the baptistry in that building, dunked by the pastor who was in the water with me.  That practice has been exchanged for a dunking in a horse tank placed on stage, presumably to save the pastor from the inconvenience of having to change his/her clothes.  That's okay; it is not solely what I am "on" about.

Note that I referred to a "stage."  That is the area once known as a platform on which stood a pulpit from which the minister delivered the Word.  And where is the altar, or mourner's bench?  There once was an organ and a piano on the platform as well.  They have been replaced by a drum set and wires and amplifiers and electronic instruments of one sort or another.  And the lighting.  One cannot have a weekly rock concert without adequate lights and background.  Huge screens on which is projected the seven-word choruses which are sung over and over serve as backdrop.

The pews are gone. In their place there are beautifully padded sturdy, comfortable chairs.  The hymnals are gone.  Charles Wesley, Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts.  All gone.

How came these changes to be?  It is my opinion that no person or group of persons set out deliberately to hijack the church.  Like most change, short a violent explosion, the theft took place incrementally, the planning resulting in unintended consequences.  Then one Sunday morning we arrived to worship and discovered that our church was gone.  We mourn for it, but praise God! Jesus is still on the throne and He is still in love with His bride.  He will shepherd her, guide her to safety with Him for eternity

Now the issue is, being in the habit of corporate worship on Sunday mornings, where to?
 
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  --Jesus Christ

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black and White, and Black


 A few days ago I was on about short pants and how I so looked forward to starting school because that was the marker for my becoming a "man" and wearing long pants.

I found this picture of Little David before he started school.

So that your trip over here won't be a total washout, I include this snapshot of our black hollyhock.  This flower is truly as near black as any I have ever seen.  Here, as you can see, it is strongly back-lighted and the camera picked up the red undertones.

Be blessed!  I know I am.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ouabache State Park '17



That's us, down there on the left.

We managed to get in a truncated camp out at Ouabache State Park last Tuesday and Wednesday, drove home on Thursday.  The weather was absotively perfect for camping.  That doesn't always happen.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Mid-America Show 43

Time again for the visit to the Mid-America Threshing and Antique Show.  This is the 43rd annual edition.  This year's featured machinery is by Allis-Chalmers.

Allis-Chalmers Company was formed in 1901 by the merging of the Edward P. Allis Company, manufacturer of steam engines and mining equipment, with Fraser and Chalmers, makers of mining equipment, along with Dickson Manufacturing Co. and Gates Iron Works.  They currently manufacture farm equipment, heavy construction equipment, generators and engines, stuff marketed worldwide.




Really old.
 
Not quite so old, but restored.
Besides A-C, there were many other marques represented.
These labels were on the tractor below.


And what's this?  My guess: Someone loves his wife or his daughter, or someone loves herself more than they love the tractor.  Nicely restored machine, though.

I have attended many editions of the MTA show here in Tipton.  But then it is close by.

2010

 2013 

2013


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Donkey and Lion


Now when the prophet who brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God, who disobeyed the command of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to him.” Then he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it.  He went and found his body thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey.

Continuing to read in I Kings 13 we see the lying prophet on his way to the site of the demise of the man of God at the tooth and claw of the lion. Picture the scene.  The man of God dead in the road, the lion and the donkey standing beside him.  Though the donkey would normally be prey for the lion the lion did not bother the donkey.  They stood calmly after the kill.




Here's a thought.  The lion was a symbol of Judah, a symbol of strength and power.  The donkey has long been representative of self-will and stubbornness.  To this day we call a foolish and stubborn person an ass.  So here we see the man of God choosing to ride (self-will) rather than to walk in the way (God's will), sadly to a horrible end.

Anyway, that was free of charge.

So the prophet put the corpse on the donkey and took him back to Bethel, had him interred in his own tomb, and directed his sons to bury him beside the bones of the man of God when he died.  The prophet of Bethel mourned the death of the man of God.  Did he experience remorse for what he had done to him?

The rest of the account of Jeroboam's reign, his losses in battle to Judah, and his end can be found in II Chronicles 13. 

The prophecy of the man of God concerning Josiah was fulfilled three hundred years later.

Prequel

Friday, August 11, 2017

New School Year, New Clothes



In our town, the little guys and gals are off to school this morning.  Fellas and girls alike are affecting the latest sartorial "styles."  I remember when my children were tots the challenge of getting them togged for the beginning of a new school year.  Naturally we wanted our children to be appropriately clad for the occasion, but the challenge came in the attempt to garner sufficient resources.  We managed.

Yet remembering much farther back in time I recall my own venture forth into the new thing called "school."  I faced it with much trepidation, fears soon warranted, but the one thing I was excited about was that when school started I would get to wear long pants!  No more stupid short pants that screamed "little kid."

Today, seven plus decades later, I am observing the styles.  The boys are looking thus:

Ranger shorts










And I still would not be caught dead in such attire.  (But they are emulating their daddies.)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trumpy Bear and Melissa

Just saw (again) the ad hawking "Trumpy Bear."  At the lines, "God bless America, and God bless Trumpy Bear," I found myself on my feet, hand over my heart as I heard the strains of the National  Anthem playing in my head.  Couldn't help myself.  Laughed maniacally.  Couldn't help myself.  Then I sobered up and realized how totally unfunny the whole thing is.

But it got me to thinking about a post I made here last November in which I explained that in good conscience I could vote for neither of the leading candidates.  Now were you to ask me after the fact who I voted for I would tell you the ballot is sacrosanct and I am not obliged to tell you.  However, of my own free will I am going to tell you anyway.  I, along with 43 of my fellow-Hoosiers voted for Melissa L. Kelly.

I think I made the wiser choice.

 With his very own certificate of authenticity; i.e., it is a real stuffed ripoff.