Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Friday, July 31, 2009

Death of the Permanent Record

Columnist Bob Green of the Chicago Tribune has a theory about what's wrong with the world. He blames it on what he calls the "Death of The Permanent Record." He recalls that grade-school children once lived in fear of having their bad behavior noted on The Permanent Record. Because of this, people learned in their youth to stop before they did something deceitful or unethical. They didn't stop because they were so good but for fear of having their actions written down.

Today, according to Bob Green, people have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a permanent record. In fact, they believe no one has a right to keep track. Green says that with today's emphasis on our rights to privacy, if a school child were ever threatened with something going on his permanent record, he would probably file suit under the Freedom of Information Act and gain possession of his files before recess.

Bob Greene is on target. The fear of consequence is still a valid deterrent to abhorrent behavior. I remind that you that God is keeping a permanent record. Your sin will find you out. The only way to expunge your record is through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus.

One of my favorite songs was written in 1865 by Elvina Hall, titled, “Jesus Paid it All.”

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in me thine all in all.”

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16


"Every choice carries a consequence. For better or for worse, each choice is the unavoidable consequence of its predecessor. There are no exceptions. If you can accpet that a bad choice carries the seed of its own punishment, why not accept the fact that a good choice yields desireable fruit?"”
~ Gary Ryan Blair

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Good Quotes

I have always enjoyed good quotes. Here are a few:

“In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”
~ R.G. Lee

“Secure sinners must hear the thundering of Mount Sinai before we bring them to Mount Zion. Every minister should be a Boanerges, a son of thunder, as well as a Barnabas, a son of consolation.”
~ George Whitfield

“We Christians too often substitute prayer for playing the game. Prayer is good; but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is nothing but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism … To your knees, man! And to your Bible! Decide at once! Don’t hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God. Quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying, and cowardly excuses. Enlist!”
~ C.T. Studd

“No man knows the brightness of the gospel ‘till he knows the darkness of those clouds which surround the law of the Lord.”
~ C.H. Spurgeon

“A zealous man feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach and work and give money, he will cry and sigh and pray.”
~ John C. Ryle

“Does it grieve you my friend that the name of God is being taken in vain and desecrated? Does it grieve you that we are living in a godless age … But we are living in such an age and the main reason we should be praying about revival is that we are anxious to see God’s name vindicated and His glory manifested. We should be anxious to see something happening that will arrest the nations, all the peoples, and cause them to stop and to think again.”
~ Martin Lloyd Jones

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“One single soul saved shall outlive and outweigh all the kingdoms of the world.”
~ John C. Ryle

Friday, July 24, 2009

Be Vigilant

No matter what side you are on in the current health care legislation you should be alarmed. This current issue shows one of the greatest challenges with our current political process.

Our elected leaders are failing in properly representing those who have elected them. When they fail to even read the legislation they are voting on, they have failed us. When they fail to consider the real cost of any bill (remember the stimulus package), they have failed us. When they fail to join us in the result of the legislation (their own healthcare and retirement), they have failed us. When decision making is more about opinion polls and the prospect of re-election than the welfare of their constituents, they have failed us.

Words like irresponsible, absurd, self-indulgent, foolish, etc… all come to mind. Any leader has abdicated his right to lead when he fails to perform his duties diligently, honestly, and thoroughly. The expediency of an issue does not negate the responsibility of the decision. I will be the first to agree that health needs reform but a bad decision now does not improve the problem but rather enhances it.

A bill that includes tax payers providing for taxpayers paying for abortions and requiring end of life counseling for those 65 and older is a bad bill. Those opposed to abortion should not be required to pay that bill. Government mandated “end of life” counseling will only lead to taxpayers paying for euthanasia. The current bill is not about the improving of our health care it is about the government controlling quality of life and the ending of life. It is a bad bill.

Surely, our nation has leaders who can address the health care crisis without providing a process for the government to decide who lives and who does not.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Wonderful English Language

I received the following from my brother-in-law, David C. Hall, Jr. It illustrates the challenge of communicating the English language.

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes; but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes. One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice; yet the plural of house is houses, not hice. If the plural of man is always called men, why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet, and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet? If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those, yet hat in the plural would never be hose, and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren, but though we say mother, we never say methren. Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him, but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.

Communication can at times be challenging. Because words do mean something when we use them we should use them carefully and with clarity. While this true of our everyday conversation it should be particularly true of our sharing the gospel.

Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Rom 10:13
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."
~Author Unknown

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why Not?

My good friend and co-laborer in the Lord Dr. Ronald Fullerton recently asked me to give him ten reasons as to why saved people do not win souls. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. They do not believe in the horribleness of hell. They say that they do. However, a genuine belief in hell, a place where there the fire is never quenched and the worm dieth not, would drive us to the task of soul wining.
  2. They do not know how. Our people must be taught to be soul winners.
  3. They are not properly inspired. People must be challenged regularly from our pulpits to win souls. They must see the consistent efforts of their pastor in soul winning.
  4. They are afraid of what others might say about them. Our people must be taught to worry more about what God thinks about them than what the world thinks about them.
  5. They do not properly reverence and love God. If they genuinely loved and reverenced our Lord they would be eager to do what He has commanded them to do.
  6. They do not care about others. Sadly, many professing Christians simply do not care about the lostness of those around them.
  7. They do not have a relationship with God, they are lost themselves. People who know not God cannot influence others who know not God to know God.
  8. They are too busy. When you are too busy to win souls you are too busy!
  9. They are not filled with the Holy Spirit. The filling of the Holy Spirit drives us to the task of personal soul winning.
  10. They do not believe in the sweetness of heaven. Those who genuinely believe in a sweet heaven that will be ours for a long eternity will desire above all else to share that eternity with their friends and family.

The scripture clearly teaches that every twice born believer is enlisted by the act of conversion in the army of soul winners. Soul winning is not an option in the New Testament it is a mandate. Join in the world’s greatest work, soul winning, today.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“We are praying for sinners to come to God; God is pleading with saints to go for sinners.”
– Unknown

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Learning from History

Many of the challenges of Baptist life are educational in nature. We must train our people to know, understand, and live out the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. When people do not understand who we are, where we have come from, why we exist, what we stand for, and where we are going we have failed educationally.

As I observe life in our Baptist churches and our beloved Southern Baptist Convention I am persuaded that much of our confusion comes from a lack of understanding of who Baptists are historically. The issues of polity and theology that many of our churches face could be solved with proper training concerning our Baptist History. While, I recognize we must look to the future, we can only do so as we correctly understand our past.

Wednesday evenings in July I will be teaching on “Church History and Baptists.” It is important that Baptists understand from “whence we have come.” There are many who seem to think that there has never been a generation that faced the challenges we face today. Many of the challenges that Baptist face today are not new but rather former challenges dressed in new clothes. One of our greatest weaknesses is our lack of historic perspective. Either we learn from history or we are destined to make mistakes based on a faulty understanding of our past.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.

~ Aristotle

Saturday, July 4, 2009

65 Years

This past week I accompanied Ruthi to the Hall family reunion and celebration of her parent’s 65th wedding anniversary.

Ruthi’s parents have been in Christian ministry since 1944. Her father, Dr. David C. Hall, was ordained, June 3, 1943, at the age of 16 and pastored some of Southern Baptists historic great churches, including North Phoenix Baptist Church, Phoenix, AZ and Kelham Avenue Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, OK.

Their family now numbers 49 with 2 sons and 2 grandsons preaching the gospel. They possess the enviable testimony of a life well lived, a Savior well served, and a family well reared.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

Ps 127:3-5
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord : and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

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