Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Good Lord's Day to you, friends.

We visited some friends yesterday, and the Lord blessed our fellowship, which fellowship itself was a blessing.

Due to some objections presented to me (rather, to my wife, who in turn brought the material to me), I've been studying a bit on the topic of the moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments, as a rule of life for the Christian. In my research, I bumped into Samuel Bolton, who served on the Westminster Assembly. I pass this along, hoping that it will prove profitable to others too.
Indeed, the law, as it is considered as a rule, can no more be abolished or changed than the nature of good and evil can be abolished and changed. The substance of the law is the sum of doctrine concerning piety towards God, charity towards our neighbours, temperance and sobriety towards ourselves. And for the substance of it, it is moral and eternal, and cannot be abrogated. We grant that the circumstances under which the moral law was originally given were temporary and changeable, and we have now nothing to do with the promulgator, Moses, nor with the place where it was given, Mount Sinai, nor with the time when it was given, fifty days after the people came out of Egypt, nor yet as it was written in tables of stone, delivered with thunderings and lightnings. We look not to Sinai, the hill of bondage, but to Zion, the mountain of grace. We take the law as the image of the will of God which we desire to obey, but from which we do not expect life and favour, neither do we fear death and rigour. This, I conceive, is the concurrent opinion of all divines. For believers, the law is abrogated in respect of its power to justify or condemn; but it remains full of force to direct us in our lives. It condemns sin in the faithful, though it cannot condemn the faithful for sin. Says Zanchius: 'The observance of the law is necessary for a Christian man, and it is not possible to separate such observance from faith.' And as Calvin says: 'Let us put far from us the ungodly notion that the law is not to be our rule, for it is our changeless rule of life.' The moral law, by its teaching, admonishing, chiding, and reproving, prepares us for every good work. The law is void in respect of its power to condemn us, but it still has power to direct us; we are not under its curse, but yet under its commands.
You can read the rest, and I recommend that you do that, here.

May the Lord bless His day to you, and you in His day.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Rick Warren explains why it's ok for him to do Obama's inauguration invocation:

The 54-year-old pastor and founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California told the crowd of 500 that it's unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on everything all the time.

"You don't have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand," said Warren.

Thus he throws aside his mandate, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Mat 28:19-20).

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's sure ain't easy

I'm very much impressed with the fact that it is quite the struggle for me to be good at everything I want to be good at -- some things are of course more important than others, but there remains a frustration related with each goal not achieved proportionate to the value of the goal. I find great difficulty in being a good Christian, a good husband, a good father, a good son, a good brother, a good friend, a good worker, a good neighbor, a good home-owner, a good karate practitioner, a good blogger, etc. May the Lord give me grace. I sure need it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prayer for a reconciling heart.

"My God, heal the breaches of cordiality and mutual regard which now bear heavy upon my heart; and may I know what it is to be on terms of reconciliation and amity with all, even to the worst of my enemies."

-- Thomas Chalmers, Sabbath Scripture Readings (on Acts 7).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hurts so good

Yeah, I'm sore all over. But I'm happy about it. You see, it was about two months ago that my left hamstring went *pop* during deadlifts. Since then I backed off the weights considerably, got plenty of rest, and slowly worked my way back up. Yesterday, I got back to the weight at which I injured myself, and did it 5x5 (when I was injured, it was only on the first rep of the second set). So, while I'm nowhere near my personal best, I am quite pleased to have come back from what at the time seemed like a scary injury that could have been really really bad).

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It could be worse, but...

I feel sad today. I guess I'm mourning some loses -- past, and pending.

That's all I have to say right now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Meet the New Boss...

It's a magical day. All of our hopes and dreams will come true, because the American people have chosen the man who promises to fix it all, to change everything, and to give us all hope.


"Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help" (Psalm 146:3).

Now, don't go supposing I'm bitter because my man was not elected yesterday. The fact is, I didn't have a man yesterday. My issues go deeper than the issue of which man we should vote for.
There are moral evils essential to the constitution of the United States, which render it necessary to refuse allegiance to the whole system. In this remarkable instrument [the U.S. Constitution], there is contained no acknowledgment of the being or authority of God -- there is no acknowledgment of the Christian religion, or professed submission to the kingdom of Messiah. It gives support to the enemies of the Redeemer, and admits to its honours and emoluments Jews, Mahometans, deists, and atheists -- It establishes that system of robbery, by which men are held in slavery, despoiled of liberty, and property, and protection. It violates the principles of representation, by bestowing upon the domestic tyrant who holds hundreds of his fellow creatures in bondage, an influence in making laws for freemen proportioned to the number of his own slaves. This constitution is, notwithstanding its numerous excellencies, in many instances inconsistent, oppressive, and impious.

Since the adoption of the constitution in the year 1789, the members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church have maintained a constant Testimony against these evils. They have refused to serve in any office which implies an approbation of the constitution, or which is placed under the direction of an immoral law. They have abstained from giving their votes at elections for legislators or officers who must be qualified to act by an oath of allegiance to this immoral system. They could not themselves consistently swear allegiance to that government, in the constitution of which there is contained so much immorality. In all these instances their practice has been uniform.
--Reformation Principles Exhibited (What the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America used to believe and practice).

Yet there is something to be said for the truly awful choice that was made yesterday. Comrades, did the People's Republic of the United States of America just place over them a man who's policies are virtually indistinguishable from Socialism, who had the support of such defenders of freedom as Fidel Castro and Communist Party USA? Did this nation just pick a leader that had the backing of the Nation of Islam's voice, Louis Farrakhan? Did Americans elect for themselves a man who, if he did convert from Islam, converted to a poisonous mixture of black radicalist marxism called Black Liberation Theology, which teaches "God damn America!"? Yes, I do believe this is what happened. The good news (or is it the bad news, I forget?) is that all the promised change will not take place, at least not as promised. Because liars promise us the moon, and deliver nothing but a puff of smoke.

Well, meet the new boss: Barrack Hussein Obama. Same as the old boss?

There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Big date

Last night I had a big date with two beautiful girls. I met someone yesterday who reminded me of how important it is for little girls to have an affectionate dad. So, I came home an told my two daughters that daddy wanted to take them out and spend some time together. We went out to eat at Friendly's (btw, there is NOTHING cheap on their menu!). We had a good time together.

In other news: It's election day, and I have no dog in this fight. I am particularly disgusted with the thoroughly secularist idea of the government delivering us from all of our troubles. It's like America is electing their messiah today -- "Vote for me, and I'll set you free." What an empty and hopeless promise!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Something New

Here's something new...

I got to take my wife out, just the two of us, to a restaurant, for dinner last night! It was really nice.

We dropped the kids off at Gampy's for a birthday bash for Cole. As we pulled our van to the curb, and opened the side doors, two spanish girls started climbing into the van, even pushing through my kids to get in. I noticed a van pull in behind me, and said to the girls, "Whoa whoa whoa! I think you have the wrong van, honey." And they quickly left our van and got into the other. So that's something funny right there.

Then out to eat we went. I had a succulent prime rib sandwich and a Guinness. Rachel got a crab melt sandwich (yum). Then we came home and just hung out and chilled in a quiet house.

Who knows when this will happen again?

Monday, October 27, 2008

What's new?

"What's new?" This is a question that friends and family seem to ask me a lot. I never really have a good answer for it. "Not much," is all I usually can think of saying most of the time. And I guess that's fine by me. I'm not really about "what's new." I'm more about "what's the same." I work, I come home and do the family thing. When I have time, I do some other things like read, or practice karate, or something else I enjoy. That's pretty much what I do, and it's not really new. I suppose this is one of the reasons I'm so poor on the phone, or with coming up with things to blog about. I'm content with that though. I like when things are the steady, consistent, normal. New? Well, that could be good, but that could be bad too.

Now, having said that, here's something new: My baby niece is back home from the hospital after having heart surgery, and then a staph infection, and then a minor surgery in install some kind of a port thingy. But she's home now, and that's new, and we're all happy about that.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Prayer Against Vile Affections

"Thou knowest, O God, the sin which doth most easily beset me; enable me to cast it aside, that I may ever breathe in the clear element of purity and a safe conscience. O bless me by turning me from mine iniquities; and save me from that most damning and idolatrous of all iniquities -- the iniquity of a heart charged with vile affections, and setting them on the things which are beneath; and having no affections to set on the things which are above, as to supplant or subordinate all the evil desires of an evil and accursed nature. In me, that is in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing."

-- Thomas Chalmers, Sabbath Scripture Readings (on Acts 3).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Budweiser American Ale

I broke down and bought a case of Budweiser American Ale, on a co-worker's recommendation. As you can see from the picture, it pours a nice amber color, with a nice, thick, white head, and decent lacing. It smells of... of... well, no, I can't really pick anything up to distinguish it. It just smells like beer. First taste, hmm... not too bad. I can taste some hops, though it's more of a second billing hops rather than a star of the show hops. Something of a slight frutiness, I do believe. Sometimes I like to swallow some beer, keep my mouth closed for a bit, and just breathe through my nose and see if I pick up some subtlety in the finish -- yes, there's something there. Something a little bit nutty, maybe? I had to have a second one just to make sure. Yes, I do believe I like it. One negative is that this beer made me remember some past heartache, or was that the music I was listening to? Well, I'm going to blame it on the beer. Overall, I give it a Not Too Shabby. Budweiser American Ale reminds me of Killian's Irish Red (by Coors), and I'd be interested in a side by side taste test at some point.

By no means does Samuel Adams have anything to worry about, as this will not dethrone the real king of American beers. But this is a welcomed attempt at crafting something better than the average American beer, and I'm glad to say that I will actually drink it and not just use it to rinse my beer glass.

(this is cross-posted @ the Puritan Pub)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Atheism Remix

I recently ordered Atheism Remix by Al Mohler. and I finished reading it in a couple days. It's a surprisingly short book given the subject matter -- it's less than 100 pages of text. If you're looking for a detailed refutation of the New Atheists, this isn't the book. But, if you are looking for an excellent introduction into the subject of the New Atheism, the characters involved, the cultural and philosophical shifts that got us from there to here, as well as a review (and critique) of some of the responses from the Christian community to the New Atheism, then you should really consider purchasing this book. I learned a lot myself, and I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be educated about this theater of battle in Satan's war against all things good.

As for a detailed refutation of the New Atheism, last night I started reading The Irrational Atheist, by Vox Day. It's available for free, or for whatever donation you feel is appropriate, here:

From what I've read so far, the Irrational Atheist seems to be a defensive sort of apologetic, as the author is making no positive argument for the Christian God, but the defense can be likened to the 1985 Chicago Bears defense... hard hitting and attacking defense. I can't say I agree with all the author's sentiments, but I'm kind of getting a feeling of "I probably wouldn't say that, but I'm glad someone else did." I need to spend some more time in this book, and I would like to write a review of it if God permits me the time to do so.

Back to Al Mohler... Atheism Remix is a good little book. I ordered mine from Solid Ground Books, and Mr. Gaydosh got the book to me straight away without delay (and for a couple bucks less than other folks are selling it for). Give it a read if you are so inclined.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What I did on Summer Vacation

Welp, Summer's gone. Here's a post about stuff we did this Summer (the pictures aren't great, and I don't have time to write a compelling story, but you should get the drift) --

We went camping:

We caught crayfish in the creek:

And then we ate them!
(Jesse ate them whole... head first... CRUNCH!)

We decided to "go green" by figuring out a way to save energy:

We got a bunny:
And we buried her two days later :(

We shoved kids into a dog house:

And, umm...

There's some other stuff too. For example we have a new family member (my sister-in-law, my wife's sister had a baby girl. She's still in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery. We're praying for her). But I can't sit at the computer and put pictures up all day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No sir, I don't like it.

You know what I don't like? I don't like this "New Atheism." This is not to say that I approve of the old atheism either, it's just that this latest mutation of the old godlessness is particularly ugly. The New Atheism is lead by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, and of course by the peanut gallery that buys their books, cheers them on, and assumes that the intellectual abilities of these men also belong to themselves by proxy. Christianity has always seemed irrational to the atheist, but now there is more of an edge it seems. Christianity is not only painted as stupid, but also as dangerous, threatening, detrimental, standing in the way of knowledge and progress.

Yesterday as I was driving in the car here and there, I caught bits and pieces of a local talk radio show that gave a platform to a couple of atheists who were arguing that Christians, indeed all religious people, were ultimately kooks, and basically should not be allowed to have a public face at all -- and religion should DEFINITELY have nothing to do with education and civil government.

Listeners were calling in and opposing the atheist guests. Sadly, the callers that were allowed to speak lacked the capacity and the preparation it takes to answer them. The basic "This country was founded on the Bible" arguments were trotted out and quickly stomped into a mud hole. The few times that I heard a promising argument from callers, they were quickly interrupted by the host and were not allowed to continue to build any substantial argument, the partial argument was then handed over to the atheists to dispatch in short order, much like my dog does when I drop him some of the fat from the meat being prepared for supper. For example, one caller began by pointing out the atheists that all law is an imposition of morality of some sort, and then the host cut him off and shouted, "What the hell are you talking about?" as if to pretend "I didn't understand a word you just said," and the man was not allowed to continue. The atheists then just laughed at the idea that Christians think morality should be legislated.

By the end of the show, the atheists were defending such basic human rights as sexual perversion, killing the unborn who are unwanted, and suicide. "If an adult who is suffering in pain wants to end it, who are we to say he shouldn't be able to do that?"

Hey, wait a minute... I have some questions. First, forget about suffering in pain. What if the guy's having a bad day? And why limit this to adults? Why shouldn't a 14 year old be able to off himself if he wants to? Who do you think you are to put your own limits on suicide, while denying others the option of limiting it? Second, where do you get the idea that humans have rights in the first place? Even our Christ-less Declaration of Independence founded human rights upon the Creator. Remove the Creator, and what right do you have to have the rights He has bestowed? Who granted you rights if not the Creator? Natural Selection? Marx? The government? Third, given your worldview, why should I care about a word you are saying? You yourself believe you are an accidental, purposeless, complex bio-chemical reaction whose "mind" is not a mind at all, but a secretion of what is essentially an ape-brain. I, in your worldview, am likewise. So, why call a radio show at all? Why try to share your ideas (read brain secretions) at all?

Of course, I don't believe that's what you are, and I don't believe that's what I am. So, in my worldview, your ideas are important. They are important because they are dangerous, and threatening to human life, and human dignity, and human freedom, and are criminally blasphemous against the very God that gave you the ability to think and communicate at all.

Anyway, that's my rant for the day. Readers, please be aware of this New Atheism, and have a ready answer (to sure up your own faith, to help others who may be shaken, to tear down every imagination that dares to stand against the knowledge of Christ). In the past, such a nasty atheism would have been socially unacceptable and would not have gained popularity. But things have changed, and the New Atheism books are best-sellers, and their ideas are being taught in universities, and the groundwork is being laid in the minds of children in the government schools. One does not have to spend too much time finding the effects of atheistic social Darwinism in the 20th century, and I wonder if this is not the direction we are heading towards. After all, you Christians are stupid, dangerous, and you're getting in the way.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A very cool video

The life and times of the 17 year Cicada.


I'm very thankful to God that my hamstring is very sore... but that's all. Sore like an intense workout sore, not sore like "tore the thing in two" sore. I realize that I'm going to have to drop the weight more, and warm up more. It occurred to me that it's been only a short time I've been doing 5 reps times 5 sets, and I should have dropped the weight back more before starting such a scheme. We live and we learn, now don't we?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Oh THAT can't be good!

So much like my blogging, I've been really slacking with my weight training. I took most of August off from the weights, and purposed to hit them again (at a twice a week pace) come September. Well, it's September. Monday I did squats and chin ups (5x5). I was severely sore for four days. Today I attempted deadlifts. As I did with squats, I dropped back the weight, realizing that I would not likely be able to pick up exactly where I left off. I failed at four reps my first working set. I want to do five sets of five, so I dropped 20 lbs off the bar and tried to reach five in my next set. One rep... and *~POP~*. My left hamstring. I said something I shouldn't think, repented and asked God's forgiveness, and then prayed that this wasn't as bad as it sounded. I'm sitting on an ice pack while I type this, hoping that I get another chance to deadlift again. I promise I will warm up better next time.

I'll keep you posted.


An introduction to the Tonfa, and how to choose your Tonfa:

Where to order your Tonfa (it's where I ordered mine -- I went with the tapered square style):

martial arts supplies
Martial Arts Supplies

I've ordered bag gloves from Karate Depot in the past, and their product and service is top drawer.

Friday, August 29, 2008

So, what are you reading?

I tend to read in spurts, and when I'm in a spurt, I tend to read a whole bunch of stuff at once. Below is what I've been reading (or recently finished reading):

Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices by Thomas Brooks.

Sabbath Scripture Readings by Thomas Chalmers (reading it on Lord's Days)

Faith and Reason by Ronald Nash.

Turretin's Institutes (the section against the so-called "Middle Knowledge").

A Humble Attempt in Defense of Reformation Principals by John Fairly.

Lion of the Covenant: The Story of Richard Cameron, by Maurice Grant.

What are you reading?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

1 John 2:29

If you know that the Lord is righteous, you know that every one that does righteousness is born of Him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rx: Cameron

The wait was longer than I expected, but I did bring a book that made the wait more tolerable. I spent over an hour reading The Lion of the Covenant: The Story of Richard Cameron, in the waiting room at the doctor's office.

When I was finally called back to see the doctor, I tucked the book under my arm, and walked back to the room, sat down, and put the book next to me. I went there to talk about my blood work and what it tells us about my cholesterol, and we did indeed discuss that. But after the doctor noticed my book and said it looked interesting, we spent far more time talking about Cameron, the Solemn League and Covenant, the Scottish Reformation, the Killing Times, the Westminster Assembly and the documents they produced, early American history!

My cholesterol is not all that awful, but I could stand to take some Red Yeast Rice as a supplement. The doctor expressed much interest in supplementing her reading with The Lion of the Covenant, and wrote down the title and author.

It was a good visit.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Will someone please listen to this man?

Worse things could happen...

And worse things ~have~ happened, but I'm still a bit bummed.

My angel fish died... the jewel of my aquarium is gone! Now I don't have any mid to high level swimmers in my tank. It looks empty. The angel fish taught all the other fish who's boss, and they all swim near the bottom.

Surviving are: 1 Pictus catfish, 1 Ruby/Rainbow shark, 1 Pleco, 1 black molly, 3 blood fin tetra, 2 black skirt tetra, 1 siamese algae eater, and a tiny little cory that's cute and has a mustache.

Now what should I do?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


This is the sign that hangs on the wall of my garage at my squat rack. I hung it up as a reminder to... well... not quit!

I need the reminder because of something I've been experimenting with -- 20 rep squats, aka "breathing squats," aka "man-makers," aka "super squats," aka "squats and milk" (named for the drink that helps pack on the muscle).

Here's the concept: Take a weight with which you can squat about 10 times (not 11 or 12), and stand there until you're done with 20. It just may be the hardest exercise you'll ever do. It's physically and psychologically brutal. It makes you feel like you might pass out, throw up, cry, shout things you shouldn't, and QUIT.

Reps #1 through #10, simple enough, just like an ordinary set of squats. Rep #11 can only be done after pausing a bit to get some air into you. Stand there with the weight on your back... breathe... deep and slow... and squat... #12, stand there and breathe, squat #13... etc. Somewhere around #15 to #17, your body starts getting to your mind... "What in the world are you doing? Rack that weight and be done with this nonsense! Just quit!" Then I look at my sign. DON'T YOU QUIT. It's my reminder to keep going, now matter how bad I want to give up.

It's a simple and short phrase, because at the time of the greatest struggle, long or detailed arguments are not going to register very well. Breathe... huff, huff, huff, inhale BIG and... squat... back up again... #18. "I can't do this anymore, I'm going to quit before I pass out or puke."

At this point, it is nearly impossible to reason thusly, "Jerry, if you intend to get the maximum benefit of this very difficult exercise, you need to complete the set. It is precisely these moments of great struggle that provoke the physiological response that you seek. If you continue and finish the set, your body will release growth hormones and testosterone, and your muscles will grow bigger and stronger. Also, Jerry, before you put that barbell down, you may want to consider that your heart is also getting quite a good workout from these breathing squats. I urge you to continue until reaching your original goal of 20 squats with your 10 rep max."

No, no. That's not how your brain is working right then. It's more like, "oh.... huff, huff, huff, I can't do this... huff, huff, huff, I think I'm going to die...I quit, I quit." Then, I look at my sign again... DON'T YOU QUIT. Short and sweet. Very effective. "Why shouldn't I quit? I don't understand... this hurts!!! I should quit." DON'T YOU QUIT. Ok, ok, keep going. Yes, keep going. You'll understand it later, just obey it now.

After finishing the squats, some people collapse on the floor, others go the bench and do pullovers to help breathe and expand the chest. Me, I just head towards the door on my wobbly legs and try to get as much air as I can, knowing that I just finished a very difficult thing, and I didn't quit. Now I can go have some milk and enjoy the benefits of my workout (well, after the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness becomes tolerable).

Ok, what's the point of this post? DON'T YOU QUIT!!! That's the point. Consider this workout story to be some sort of metaphor for life. Times get tough. Our patience is tried, our energy gets zapped, our faith gets shaky, and sometimes we want to quit. DON'T YOU QUIT.

Need a sign telling you not to quit? Here it is. Post it up in your memory:

"If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small" -- Proverbs 24:10.

Note, 1. In the day of adversity we are apt to faint, to droop and be discouraged, to desist from our work, and to despair of relief. Our spirits sink, and then our hands hang down and our knees grow feeble, and we become unfit for anything. And often those that are most cheerful when they are well droop most, and are most dejected, when any thing ails them. 2. This is an evidence that our strength is small, and is a means of weakening it more. “It is a sign that thou art not a man of any resolution, any firmness of thought, any consideration, any faith (for that is the strength of a soul), if thou canst not bear up under an afflictive change of thy condition.” Some are so feeble that they can bear nothing; if a trouble does but touch them (Job_4:5), nay, if it does but threaten them, they faint immediately and are ready to give up all for gone; and by this means they render themselves unfit to grapple with their trouble and unable to help themselves. Be of good courage therefore, and God shall strengthen thy heart.
--Matthew Henry.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Psalm 71:20

Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
Note, [1.] The best of God's saints and servants are sometimes exercised with great and sore troubles in this world. [2.] God's hand is to be eyed in all the troubles of the saints, and that will help to extenuate them and make them seem light. He does not say, “Thou hast burdened me with those troubles,” but “shown them to me,” as the tender father shows the child the rod to keep him in awe. [3.] Though God's people be brought ever so low he can revive them and raise them up. Are they dead? he can quicken them again. See 2Co_1:9. Are they buried, as dead men out of mind? he can bring them up again from the depths of the earth, can cheer the most drooping spirit and raise the most sinking interest. [4.] If we have a due regard to the hand of God in our troubles, we may promise ourselves, in due time, a deliverance out of them. Our present troubles, though great and sore, shall be no hindrance to our joyful resurrection from the depths of the earth, witness our great Master, to whom this may have some reference; his Father showed him great and sore troubles, but quickened him and brought him up from the grave.
--Matthew Henry.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Inter arma silent leges

(Amidst the din of arms the voice of law is unheard).

Peace is a gift from God (Psalm 29:11). It is also something we are required to search for and chase down like a hunter pursuing his prey (Psalm 34:14). What are some practical ways to pursue peace?

In the case of Asa (2 Chron. 14), we see that God granted him peace and quiet for a period of ten years. What did he do during that time of peace? He reformed that overwhich he had dominion -- in this case, his kingdom -- removing all idolatry, requiring all his subjects to obey the Law of God and to seek the Lord. A heart for reformation may be a good pre-requisite for peace. Who would not seek peace who seeks to honor the Lord?

We also find in Asa a good example of how to maintain peace in the face of conflict. Ethiopa rose up to fight with Judah. Asa called on the Lord His God, and presented the battle to the Lord as being a matter of the Lord's glory -- "O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee." To Asa, the battle he faced was not a personal issue; it had to do with the glory of the Lord God. Viewing our conflicts as being a matter of God's glory is a good way to deal with them, and an excellent way to present them before God in prayer. Will God not act upon matters of His own glory?

Thusfar, we have two general principles to facilitate peace. 1. Have a heart for reformation, seeking peace because it is during peace that reformation can be accoplished. 2. Frame any conflicts as being matters of God's glory, and not matters simply of personal interest, and present it to God in prayer as such.

But what further may we do to find peace, especially between ourselves and others? Matthew Henry provides some good advise in his comments on Psalm 34:13, 14 -- " Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." He writes,
Would we pass comfortably through this world, and out of the world, our constant care must be to keep a good conscience; and, in order to that, 1. We must learn to bridle our tongues, and be careful what we say, that we never speak amiss, to God's dishonour or our neighbours prejudice: Keep thy tongue from evil speaking, lying, and slandering. So great a way does this go in religion that, if any offend not in word, the same is a perfect man; and so little a way does religion go without this that of him who bridles not his tongue it is declared, His religion is vain. 2. We must be upright and sincere in every thing we say, and not double-tongued. Our words must be the indications of our minds; our lips must be kept from speaking guild either to God or man. 3. We must leave all our sins, and resolve we will have no more to do with them. We must depart from evil, from evil works and evil workers; from the sins others commit and which we have formerly allowed ourselves in. 4. It is not enough not to do hurt in the world, but we must study to be useful, and live to some purpose. We must not only depart from evil, but we must do good, good for ourselves, especially for our own souls, employing them well, furnishing them with a good treasure, and fitting them for another world; and, as we have ability and opportunity, we must do good to others also. 5. Since nothing is more contrary to that love which never fails (which is the summary both of law and gospel, both of grace and glory) than strife and contention, which bring confusion and every evil work, we must seek peace and pursue it; we must show a peaceable disposition, study the things that make for peace, do nothing to break the peace and to make mischief. If peace seem to flee from us, we must pursue it; follow peace with all men, spare no pains, no expense, to preserve and recover peace; be willing to deny ourselves a great deal, both in honour and interest, for peace' sake. These excellent directions in a way to life and good are transcribed into the New Testament and made part of our gospel duty, 1Peter 3:10, 11.
Peace -- let us seek it, and pursue after it. It is a matter of God's glory. We now have some practical things to work on in order to pursue peace. May God bless us by granting us the grace to pursue peace, and to obtain it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Has it really been?

Since mid-April since I posted here? Wow...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Thou in Faithfulness Hast Afflicted Me

"I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me." -- Psalm 119:75.

Still David is in affliction, and being so he owns,

1. That his sin was justly corrected: I know, O Lord! that thy judgments are right, are righteousness itself. However God is pleased to afflict us, he does us no wrong, nor can we charge him with any iniquity, but most acknowledge that it is less than we have deserved. We know that God is holy in his nature and wise and just in all the acts of his government, and therefore we cannot but know, in the general, that his judgments are right, though, in some particular instances, there may be difficulties which we cannot easily resolve.

2. That God's promise was graciously performed. The former may silence us under our afflictions, and forbid us to repine, but this may satisfy us, and enable us to rejoice; for afflictions are in the covenant, and therefore they are not only not meant for our hurt, but they are really intended for our good: “In faithfulness thou hast afflicted me, pursuant to the great design of my salvation.” It is easier to own, in general, that God's judgments are right, than to own it when it comes to be our own case; but David subscribes to it with application, “Even my afflictions are just and kind.”
-- Matthew Henry.

See also Making Sense of Suffering, a sermon by Gary Milne.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Score! (Needle in a hay stack)

I have the algae problem in my freshwater aquarium. Not the green algae that you just put a couple drops of chemicals in to kill it, but this "black" algae, which is actually a tenacious form of red algae. It's hard to get rid of.

Enter the Siamese Algae Eater -- one of the only fish known to munch on "black [red] algae." So I go to the pet store, and I find the tank where the algae eaters are held... well, let me explain something here first.

It's apparently quite rare to find actual Siamese Algae Eaters [SAE's] in pet stores, as they more frequently stock "false SAE's" and pawn them off as SAE's. The differences may be hard to pick up on at first glance (Images snagged from

<--False SAE

True SAE!-->

It's a good thing I usually read a little about things before I just dive in. Anyway, so here I am at the tank simply labeled "Algae Eaters." They all look the same... kinda dirty yellowish with a black stripe, all swimming around in an undifferentiated cloud of fishies -- except for one, sitting alone, on a rock.

"I'll take that one with the black stripe that goes from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail," I told the shop keep, as I remembered that as one of the distinguishing features of a genuine SAE, the kind that eats the algae blooming in my tank.

He's in his new home now, and sure 'nuff, he's eating that black junk like Pac-man. Wacka-wacka!

YES! I found the one genuine SAE in a field of imposters. I'm sure there's some life lesson here for us all, but I'll leave it up to you to ponder what it is.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Maybe I'm a terrorist...

Maybe you're one too?

All those laws that get passed under the guise of protecting U.S. citizens from the vague enemy called "terror," have resulted in there being so many people on the government's terrorist list to make the list meaningless to target any real terrorist threats. One of every few hundred American citizens are on the terrorist watch list? What a great argument to let me KEEP MY GUNS, because you know and I know that the government cannot protect us from so many of... well... us.

Sleep soundly, though. At least we know Osama Bin Laden (who's been dead for years) will NEVER be able to board that train from Philadelphia to New York.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

teh r34l krotty

I’m sore all over due to the supreme beating I got in karate class last night.

At the beginning of class, all the black belts were removed from the regular class and taken into “the back room.”

There I was shown some things I never saw before, and was hit, kicked, bent, twisted, and mangled. The simple self-defense moves we’ve been taught thus far were now supplemented with wicked and vicious finishing techniques.

I was kicked in the groin, swept clear to the floor, chopped on the neck causing a brief but scary flash of “nothingness,” had a thumb shoved up under my zygomatic process (a friendly though painful substitution for sticking the thumb in the eye socket), and was placed in several arm locks that I’m still not sure what they were as it’s hard to see with my face planted on the floor.

I felt like a white belt again – getting beat up by smaller dudes with greater skill, knowing there is something cool here to be learned, but feeling embarrassed at my inability to keep up with what was being taught.

Driving home I noticed my neck was slightly swollen on the right side, and when I touched my neck near where my jaw is connected, it shot pain through my jaw similar to that caused by super sour candy. Today might right arm feels bruised on the tricep (???from what exactly???), a bruise on the back of my right hand (there are a couple things that may have caused that, and my jaw and neck are sore.

I pay good money to get beatings like this, and it was fun.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sirmon, Josh's Arkansas Cousin

I have to say a big fat thank you to Josh for providing my children with a song to sing every minute of the day all day long until I can barely take it anymore.

Here's Josh putting on a ~slightly~ thicker southern drawl as Sirmon, Josh's cousin he didn't know about:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Possessing your soul

"In your patience possess ye your souls" (Luke 21:19).
Note, First, It is our duty and interest at all times, especially in perilous trying times, to secure the possession of our own souls; not only that they be not destroyed and lost for ever, but that they be not distempered now, nor our possession of them disturbed and interrupted. “Possess your souls, be your own men, keep up the authority and dominion of reason, and keep under the tumults of passion, that neither grief nor fear may tyrannize over you, nor turn you out of the possession and enjoyment of yourselves.” In difficult times, when we can keep possession of nothing else, then let us make that sure which may be made sure, and keep possession of our souls. Secondly, It is by patience, Christian patience, that we keep possession of our own souls. “In suffering times, set patience upon the guard for the preserving of your souls; by it keep your souls composed and in a good frame, and keep out all those impressions which would ruffle you and put you out of temper.”
--Matthew Henry.

"Though you are surrounded on all sides with many miseries, yet nonetheless be valiant and courageous, and bear out these things bravely." -- the note from the Geneva Bible on Luke 21:19.

Friday, February 22, 2008

(Opens creeky door)

(and blows the cobwebs off my blog)

It's still here, and looks like it still works. Looks like it could use some maintenance though. Let's try this...

It's now Friday, and the week of my birthday is coming to an end. This year I decided that instead of just celebrating my birthday, we were going to celebrate the whole family. So, we had "Family Day," and we exchanged gifts, ate our favorite foods, and just hung out together enjoying each other. It was fun, and I think we'll be adopting it as a new family tradition.

Yesterday we painted our dining room. We painted two of the walls a color called "Burnt Clay" or something like that. It's kinda like a terra cotta ("baked earth"). It looks nice. Please let me know when you're coming over for dinner, so we can put it on the calendar.

Looks like a little bit of a winter storm hit us over night. Nothing too brutal, maybe 3 or 4 inches of snow, but it looks like it's now a mixture of stuff that floats to the ground softly, and stuff that bounces off the street when it hits. Maybe I'll just stay inside today.

Ok, that's all for now... back to Facebook. :)

(closes creeky door)

Monday, February 11, 2008

'Tis Monday

This cold/flu thing is quite pesky and lingering. Some of the kids are now going through another round of it. It seems at some time some one in this home has been sick, for like a month or two. Yuck.

But in case your feeling like you're having a bad day, here's one of those stories that makes you think, "Well, I might have had a rough day, but at least my bride didn't die in my arms on my wedding day."

It'll be my 37th birthday coming up here on the 20th. My Pops gifted me with this baby:

That's a squat cage! I can squat and bench in there without a spotter, do pull-ups on the front bar, and dips on the side dip-handles. I've been experimenting with squatting recently, as it along with the deadlift are one of those total-body stressing exercises that increases testosterone levels, and makes your whole body grow big and strong. But I was doing it in a not so safe manner, thus not piling on as much weight as is necessary to really do the job. Ah, but now... I can't wait to hit those squats! For now, I have to finish my coffee and get to work. ~sigh~

Good day, all!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Prescription: A couple beers and a weight set

Hey, you don't have to tell me twice.

Physical activity and moderate consumption of alcohol are a healthy combination!

So, go ahead and have a Troegenator after karate class, or a weight lifting session, or whatever it is you enjoy doing to keep moving. It's good for you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Faith to Victory

Teach me how to rule my own spirit, O God, and to bridle my own tongue. Give me, O Lord, that faith which giveth the victory, that overcometh all things. And let me never think that I have done enough for Christ, but forget the things that are behind, and press onward.
-- Thomas Chalmers, Sabbath Scripture Readings, on Luke 17.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spurgeon not a Calvinist?

"If you have read much of Spurgeon, you know that you will read a thousand pages and not come across anything that is exclusively Calvinistic. He teaches the same gospel that is taught by so-called Arminians, like Wesley and Finney." -- Michael Pearl, No Greater Joy Ministries.

Huh? He must not read very much, or very well.

"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again." -- C.H. Spurgeon.

"What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor." -- C.H. Spurgeon.

"The doctrines of original sin, election, effectual calling, final perseverance, and all those great truths which are called Calvinism—though Calvin was not the author of them, but simply an able writer and preacher upon the subject—are, I believe, the essential doctrines of the Gospel that is in Jesus Christ." -- C.H. Spurgeon.

See also Free Will: A Slave, and Are You Sure You Like Spurgeon?

Say you don't agree with his Calvinism, say he wasn't the best example of Calvinism, but don't say he wasn't a Calvinist. That just makes you look ignorant or dishonest.

The Duty of Social Covenanting

by G.H. Milne.

At the time of the Westminster Assembly the people of Scotland , England and Ireland solemnly engaged in an event we can term social covenanting. Jointly they signed their names to a document known as the Solemn League and Covenant; and it was this SL&C which was at the heart of attempts to bring about a uniformity of religion in the three kingdoms. We are familiar with the religious documents that come down to us from the Westminster Assembly, but most Presbyterians forget that these important statements of biblical truth were intended to be the basis of a religious uniformity guaranteed by the subscription of all classes of society to the Solemn League and Covenant.

When these seventeenth-century citizens of the British Isles jointly and publicly committed themselves to the sentiments expressed in the SL&C they were engaging in the duty of social covenanting. A covenant is a mutual engagement by two parties agreeing to take certain actions and receiving certain promises. Such social human covenants are both civil and religious. They are concerned with a man’s duty as a citizen and his duty as a member of the visible church. While an individual can engage in a personal covenant with God, when a society does so, this is called a social covenant.

One writer has defined social covenanting: It is a solemn religious transaction in which men, with joint concurrence, avouch the Lord to be their God, and engage, in all the relations of life, to serve him by obedience to his law, in the performance of all civil and religious duties in the confidence of his favour and blessing in the fulfilment to them of his gracious promises. [1]

* But is social covenanting a duty Christians, nations and churches should engage in today?

i. This practice has seemed obvious or natural even to pagan societies. The sailors of Tarshish in Jonah’s day engaged in a public vow or covenant to the Lord: “Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows” Jon 1: 16 .

ii. The Bible also teaches the duty of social covenanting by precept. It is biblical to vow to the Lord. “Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God” Ps 76:11; God’s people are to swear to the Lord: “And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness” Jer 4:2.

iii. The Bible also teaches the imperative of social covenanting by example. “Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments” Deut 26:17-18; “So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem” Jos 24:25; “And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD’S people; between the king also and the people” 2 Kings 11:17.
Covenanting is a moral imperative and is a duty which has not been abrogated under the New Testament.

iv. There are also prophecies in the Old Testament which predict social covenanting in the New Testament era. “In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts” Is 19:18; “They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten” Jer 50:5.

v. The New Testament is not silent about public covenanting. Paul urges New Testament believers to give themselves to God: “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God…”Rom 6:13 . In his letter to the Corinthians Paul says of the Macedonian Christians that they “first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God”. This “giving their own selves to the Lord” is language consistent with the practice of social covenanting.

vi. Covenant breaking which Paul denounces in his catalogue of sins presupposes a public covenanting in New Testament times: Rom 1:31 .

vii. God described His covenant relationship with His people by the imagery of marriage. Compare Hosea 2:18-20 where the covenant relationship is expressed in marriage terms; and Eph 5:30.

An objection that these covenant references are only about an individual’s relationship with God in the Covenant of Grace is countered by the insight that the Holy Spirit envisages a covenanting of a nation in New Testament times. Isa 62:4 prophesies: “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married”. A marriage of the land implies a national betrothal of the inhabitants of the nation. That a nation formally honours God implies a public owning of the Christian faith. Psalm 144:15 affirms: “happy is that people, whose God is the LORD”.

* Social covenanting binds a person to his obligations to God

While social covenants do not add anything to the Word of God, they bind a person more strongly to commitment to that Word. An oath brings an individual under a greater obligation to keep the Law of God.

* Social covenants obligate future generations as well as the generation who first swore the covenant. Social covenants are binding on posterity or until the aim of the covenant has been fulfilled.

i. The Bible affords ample evidence of the binding nature of a social covenant upon posterity. Compare Gen 28:13 with Hosea 12:4-5: “he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; Even the LORD God of hosts”. Or, Deut 5:2-3: 2 “The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire”. Forty years after covenanting with God at Sinai, Moses declares that those who were not even born at the giving of the Law were still embraced by the covenant their fathers had entered into. See also Deut 29:10-15, where the posterity is explicitly mentioned as being included in the covenant: “Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day”.

ii. Neither is this covenant continuity only seen in the Mosaic administration of the covenant of grace. A covenant was made between the children of Israel and the Gibeonites as it is recorded in Joshua 9:15. Over four hundred years later in 2 Sam. 21:1 God states that a famine occured because of the broken covenant, which he alludes directly to in verse 2: “Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites”.

iii. The descendents of covenanters are also held responsible for violating earlier covenants.: Jer 11:10: “…the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers”.

iv. Infant baptism, of course, is an example of holding to this same principle of the continuity of covenant privilege and obligation.

v. The world even acknowledges that we are bound by treaties or covenants made with other nations by an earlier generation.

* The principle behind covenant obligations of posterity is that of the federal right of parents to take on obligations for their children. This is also a divinely sanctioned process.

i. This is seen in the case of Levi’s association with the actions of Abraham: “Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him” Heb 7:9-10.

* What, therefore, is the reason for this continuing obligation to be faithful to the covenants entered into by our fathers?

i. As we have seen, God requires it in His Word.

ii. Nations are moral persons which take on the obligations in each generation entered into by an earlier generation. While generations pass away, God who is a party to covenants remains in existence, and the nation as a moral person continues to exist.

iii. Nations as moral persons always remain obligated to obey God.

iv. Covenanting is a means to grow in holiness, and each generation needs to be sanctified and therefore rightly should use the covenants for this purpose also.

* There is great value for a society to remain faithful to past covenants.

i. Covenanting by generations succeeding the original covenanters helps to engender a greater sense of thankfulness for God’s care for a nation and society. Acts 3:28 .

ii. It increases confidence in the gracious promises of God, because a covenanter recognisers that God’s grace does not die with an earlier generation. Moses can therefore encourage the people “he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them” Deut 4:31 .

iii. Covenanting is a dynamic motive for prayer: Jer 14:21: “Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us”.

iv. Covenanting is a protective shield around the Lord’s people. Lev 26:44-45.

v. It assures a unity in the church throughout the generations if the modern church is faithful to the attainments of their fathers.

* Covenanting is an extraordinary and an occasional duty.

1. The Bible gives us various times and circumstances when social covenanting can take place.

i. When the church is apostate or apostatising: Jer 50:4-5

ii. In times of suffering: Neh 9:1,38; 2 Chr 34:29-32.

iii. In times of public reformation: 2 Kings 23:1-3.

iv. In Times of thankfulness for special deliverances: 2 Kings 11:17-20; Ps 76:11.

v. When the church and nation are lukewarm towards God: Deut 29:10-15.

vi. To strengthen the Lord’s people when they are engaging in a dangerous enterprise: Ps 44:3; Heb. 11:32-35.

vii. When the Lord is blessing us: Is 44:3-5.

viii. In times of schism and when unity in the truth needs to be asserted.

* Covenanting has a long history in New Testament times; and can be found in the times of Irenaeus, Justin Martyr and Tertullian; among the Waldenses and Bohemian brethren; in Germany, France , Switzerland, tthe Netherlands , in the early days of the American colonies ; and most notably in Scotland; England and Ireland at the time of the Second Reformation.

* In the nations planted by the United Kingdom, there is a continuing obligation to keep the National Covenant of Scotland and the Solemn League and Covenant in our present generation.

i. These covenants contain laudable and biblical ambitions which have not yet been realised. Their central focus is the complete reformation of church and society, including the absence of false religion of any sort; and the uniformity of religion in doctrine, discipline and presbyterian government throughout Britain, and by implication former colonies of Britain, like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

ii. The parties of these covenants remain; namely the nations and their offspring as moral persons; and God before whom these covenants were sworn.

iii. These covenants were sworn officially sanctioned by acts of parliaments and solemnly entered into by our forefathers. If we would not lightly renege on a treaty entered into with another nation; how much more should we be jealous of a covenant entered into with God Himself?

iv. If we love our nation and its inhabitants as we are bound to do according to the inviolable Law of God, we will want to subscribe these covenants especially in the light of God’s own view of what should happen to covenant breakers: “And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy” Lev. 26:21-25.

Andrew Symington has written of the Second Reformation Reformers: ‘The reformers of those days acted upon the principle of holding fast past attainments, advancing in reformation, and extending its blessings to others. They appreciated the privileges which were transmitted to them from their fathers, and, when threatened with deprivation of them, they stood forth in their defence, and held fast what they had. Nor did they stand still, as though they were already perfect. They mediated and planned the union of the kingdom in one happy uniformity and peace; and casting their eye abroad, they contemplated the enlargement of the kingdom of the Saviour. They were animated with a spirit of enlarged love to God, and benevolence to men upon religious principles’. These should be the sentiments of today’s believers also.

[1] William Roberts, The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism (New York: R. Craighead, 1853), 135-136.

(posted with permission from the author)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Conner (9 years old, 70 lbs), pulling 105 lbs on his deadlift:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rated PG-13

This morning I looked in my aquarium, and noticed that my old snail (a golden mystery snail) found the new snail (a black mystery snail). Now, I'm no expert, but it appears they... love... one another. The golden snail appeared to be the instigating, dominating, zealous one... he must be the male. The black snail looked disinterested, bored, and anxious to leave... must be the Mrs. I guess we'll have to wait and see if we end up hearing the pitter patter of little snails. This is exciting.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Sabbath Was Made for Man

Enable me, O God, to rightly divide the word of truth. The Sabbath was made for man, and therefore not made to suspend the exercise of his mercy and compassion -- thus steeling [hardening] his heart against the sufferings of others, and conflicting with the authority of the second great law. This were an abuse of the Sabbath, because fitted to injure the progress of our moral and spiritual education; but while we guard against this abuse, let us remember that the Sabbath has its use, and on the same principle of its being made for man, we should avail ourselves to the uttermost of all its possible subservience to the growth of our divine life, and our progress in faith and holiness.
--Thomas Chalmers, Sabbath Scripture Readings (on Luke 13).

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Hidden Potential of Friends

I got an unexpected phone call the other day, from an old friend that I haven't heard from in a long time. Wow, this is nice, I thought to myself. But, it soon became clear that something was... odd. He sounded like he was reading to me. He unnaturally, with pauses and restarts, told me how excited he was about 2008, asked me if I was making all the money I wanted to, and told me of a unique business opportunity that was so amazing that there was no way he could go over it with me on the phone, so he had to schedule a meeting with me to discuss it in detail.


I told him that I was not interested in his new business thing, but that I would like for our families to get together again and catch up on old times. He said he would make a note of that and get back to me.

Had I said I was interested in the business thing, I'd have an appointment scheduled. But since I just wanted to be friends, he'll get back to me sometime later.

Maybe it's just me, but I would be ashamed to go through my list of friends, past and present, and make contact with them only because I view them each as a unique money-making opportunity. Come to think of it, he's not the first guy to call me with something like this, so yeah, maybe it's just me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

So the new year begins...

With a head cold? I woke up this morning with pain in my nasal passages, and the beginnings of a sore throat. Yuck. So, I'm sipping some hot tea and taking Tylenol. Hopefully that's as far as it goes.

Having totally recovered from this past Friday's workout, last night I started playing around with a few things I haven't worked on much before:

The clean, and the overhead squat. The effects and benefits of the overhead squat are highly touted. Well, I tried it with a meager weight on the bar (we'll not talk about how very little), and failed after about 4 reps. Upon further research, first attempts at overhead squats will apparently make you look like a sissy. This is a personal goal for me this year, to get closer to overhead squatting my bodyweight (yeah right!)