Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 – Year in Review

God has done many things in the lives of our family over this past year. Some of these things we considered great blessings. Some were great challenges. Yet all came at the hand of our sovereign God who has all things under His control.

The blessing of children tops the list for our blessings this year. Our Sarah Grace was born on March 24. Also, my brother and his wife gave birth to their second son and third child, Joshua Alex on May 11. Joshua’s middle name is the same as my grandfather, Malcom Alex. Providentially he was born on “Pepaw’s” birthday. Finally, my sister and her husband arrived in Texas with their newly adopted daughter, Abbey Elena Johnson on December 24.

This year has brought us several positive changes. I took a job with Dobson Communications at the end of January. With the acceptance of this position, we made the move to Oklahoma. This opened up the change of acquiring a new home and finding a new church. The church is family integrated and holds to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. This is right in sync with where the Lord has been leading me in my spiritual walk. The church family is very loving and we have grown close in the short amount of time we have been together so far. This year, Vision Forum has continued to play a large part in my spiritual walk and in helping me to lead my family. For the first time this year, we have formed a family vision statement. See my very first blog entry to read its text and explanation.

I mentioned taking a new position at Dobson. For secular employment, I have really enjoyed it. It is quite a change from LifeWay, and my ultimate goal is to work for myself with my family. However, until the Lord opens up that door, He has blessed me with a good work environment. I have a supervisor, manager, and VP with whom I work very well. They value my contribution and have praised my efforts on the job probably more than any other employer for whom I have worked. I attended a Vision Forum Entrepreneurial conference with my oldest son this year and received many ideas on going into business with my family. Geoff Botkin gave a very good presentation on the forming of a 200 year plan. With his inspiration, I have done the same for my family. Way back in January I took a woodworking class where I learned three types of joints. I am just now beginning to acquire the tools I need to practice these skills. Whether this leads to a business endeavor or just a good hobby that I can do with my children, I think this will be a worthwhile effort.

There were also a few challenges this year. Standing right alongside our greatest blessing this year, the birth of Sarah, is our greatest challenge, the accident Sheri had in our van. In this wreck, Sheri broke several ribs and her sternum. It also caused her to go into labor. Sarah was born via emergency c-section. The other bright spot in this accident story is that we were able to get a new van since we had outgrown our other one anyway. See my blog entry on the Lord’s Provision in Transportation to read more about it.

Our youngest son, Paton, had hernia surgery this year. Sheri lost her grandfather. He was her last living grandparent. The girl’s had their rooms flooded this year with the bursting of a water line under their bathroom sink. For several days we had dehumidifiers going and big carpet fans. Finally, Sheri’s mom hit a deer with her car with Brittney in the front seat. What’s more is that the deer either got away or someone else picked it up before I could get back to get it.

We’ve had some good memories from this year. As I have done with the three oldest children, I began to teach Justin to read this year. He’s doing quite well, though he needs to practice a bit with the sound “an.” He reads it different than the way he speaks, so it confuses him. Also, we have begun to compete in the Jamestown 400 Vision Forum contest. We are having a blast with it and fully intend to win 400 gold coins in 2007 at the Jamestown celebration in June.

God’s blessings have abounded. I know we are right where He wants us for now. What 2007 and beyond holds for us, only He knows.

Monday, December 18, 2006

That’ll Never Work? Let’s Just See About That!

There’s a man of God today promoting a certain message of multi-generational faithfulness. He is the father of five sons and two daughters. This man’s name is Geoffrey Botkin. Geoff Botkin has not always been a prime example of a Christian father. In fact, he is a former Marxist. However, you could not tell that today based on his commitment to Christ and his resolve to lead his family according to Christian principles.

Mr. Botkin spoke at our church when we were attending Sovereign Grace Family Church in Carrollton, Texas. He also spoke at the Vision Forum Entrepreneurial Bootcamp in August 2006. In his messages, Mr. Botkin has outlined a “200-year” plan for his family. In this plan, he records family history, and plans out the future. Then he charges his sons to produce their own plans beginning at their marriage dates. Of course, these plans will overlap greatly. Yet, each plan will be unique as new families are formed, and the vision is passed to the next generation.

I have begun my own plan. My wife and I married in 1990. So, I did the easy part first, documenting what has happened since then! But I have also begun to plot out the future dates. My wife was not too crazy about seeing a planned “death date,” so I made a general rule that everyone in my chart who is currently living (or not born yet) will live to be 100 years old. If we exceed that, then Praise God! If not…well, that’s fine too. The point is that most of us will have anywhere from 80-100 years. This plan helps to see just how much (and how many) we can expect to influence in our relatively brief lifetimes. I have yet to find out Mr. Botkin’s exact columns that he used. His presentations were given so fast, it was hard to copy all the information. However, what I realized is that he has given a great inspiration. I can fill in my own details.

I have created this plan in an Excel spreadsheet. Down the left side of the spreadsheet, I have a row for each year including and between 1990 and 2190. My current column headings include “Family Members,” “Publications,” “Skills Learned,” “Businesses Established,” “Ministry Initiatives,” and “Historic Remembrances.” I will add new columns as I deem it necessary.

Under “Family Members,” I list each descendent of mine with their birth dates in the appropriate year, along with the date they turn 13, the date they marry, the date they turn 45, and the date they die. My general rule is that at this point, I am only planning descendents for those who have already been born. Otherwise it gets too confusing with a lack of names. When planning future sons and daughters, they are listed as “son #4.” Grandchildren are currently listed as “Justin’s #3” for example. 13 is significant because that formally marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. 45 is significant because I have arbitrarily set that age as the date that the Lord’s blessing of children stops. If God chooses to bless beyond that age, then “Praise God!” However, for purposes of planning, this is the arbitrary age. As I mentioned, 100 years is the “planned” lifespan of everyone.

“Publications” lists the books that each family member has or will publish. It is recorded in the year in which is happens, along with the month, as well as the author’s name, and possible title.

“Skills Learned” will detail things like learning a foreign language, learning to play a musical instrument, etc. The “accomplishment” date is the date whereby a rudimentary skill is achieved. Of course, these skills will improve with practice. But this plan will help us to keep focused.

“Businesses Established” help to encourage entrepreneurial endeavors, thereby ensuring a life of freedom for each of our descendents where they will not be dependent upon an employer for their livelihood.

“Ministry Initiatives” detail ways that the Lord is using each of us as His body doing His work on this Earth. We should always be found doing our “Father’s Business.”

Finally, I added “Historic Remembrances” to help us remember the “ancient landmarks” laid by those who went before us. In this column, I put anniversaries that we hope to attend as a family, such as the Jamestown 400 celebration next year. There will be many of these celebrations over these 200 years. Because of this column I already know that I want to visit Germany on October 31, 2017 for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.

I’m excited about making these plans. I realize that the plan must remain flexible. Not everyone will live to be 100. Each son or daughter may not have all the children I have planned for them. The important thing is, though, that I am teaching them to desire God’s blessings in every area of their life. It is a time of training to take dominion over this Earth and subdue it. What I do expect, however, is that every single child, and every single descendent beyond them will live a life dedicated to Jesus Christ. Every one of these children will trust their fathers to lead them in the courtship process when considering marriage. There will be none lost.

In sharing some of these goals with an extended family member, he simply shook his head, and proclaimed, “That’ll never work.” One thing’s for sure, if you don’t try, then you know you won’t receive the results. But with God’s help, I believe that I can set the expectations for two centuries to come, and that my children after me will carry this same vision forward to their descendents forever.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Lord’s Provision in Transportation

I thought I’d take the opportunity today to introduce you to our new (as of April…so “not-so-new” now) van that the Lord blessed us with.

In March, Sheri was driving our old van and was involved in a major accident. This caused her to go into labor, and she delivered our beautiful daughter by emergency c-section that night.

With the birth of our baby we were going to outgrow our old van anyway, so this took care of our predicament on how to sell it.

Though we “only” have six children, I found a 15 passenger van in Tulsa. We had moved to Oklahoma City at the end of February. It is a 2001 year model with only 10,100 original miles on it when I bought it. It has leather seating and a whopping 8.1 Liter V8. This is the same engine found in some motor homes. It’s got plenty of power, but leaves a lot to be desired in gas mileage. We get about 10 mpg.

However, this has been a huge blessing to us. I paid $8000 cash for it with money from the insurance we had on the old van, combined with our tax refund, and a couple of monetary gifts we received after our accident.

So, since we have no debt, it’s much easier to keep fuel in it. Since getting it in April it now has close to 20,000 miles on it. When the odometer rolls to 20,200 we will have put as many miles on it as it had in the initial five years it was basically setting in the original owners driveway.

We get quite a few turned heads when we are driving down the interstate, especially now that I have added two large Christian fish symbols, with six little fish following behind, on our back door.

We are praying that the Lord would help us add rear air conditioning to it, as the children in the back get hot in the summer. However, it is in very good condition, and after finally getting rid of the cigarette smoke smell, it has become quite an excellent family mover. (BTW - We removed the very back seat that seats 4 - that gave us a lot of storage space, and it will still hold 11 like that. If our family grows to where we need it or we want to take more friends, we can always reinstall the back seat.)

Oh, and by the way, the flames are just an “added bonus” to help my ordinarily very conservative wife learn not to be embarrassed by outside stuff. :-) I think the Lord must have a sense of humor. I and the children love the flames! We definitely don’t have a hard time finding this van in a crowded parking lot!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Which Type are You?

There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

There’s a beauty in homeschooling in that you can teach what you think is appropriate in all subject areas. Now, with something as objective as math, I generally follow the curriculum pretty closely. However, there is something lacking in our otherwise very good Saxon math books. My oldest daughter is doing eighth grade work now, and she has yet to learn number systems other than base 10.

When I was in seventh grade, I taught myself binary using an old Commodore Vic 20 instruction manual. Remember those? I believe it had 3K of memory. For comparison, the Atari 2600 game console had 5K, I believe. Anyway, one of the games that came with the used system I bought would sometimes fail right in the middle and give me a “Syntax Error.” What I discovered when this happened intrigued me. I found that as I typed keys after this program had failed that some of the keys displayed parts of the pictures from the games, rather than the expected characters (A, B, C, etc.) I wanted to learn how to do this, so I pulled out the manual and discovered that you could alter the character set for each letter by assigning several 8 bit codes to each letter. Where the bit was “turned on” the pixel was lit up. Where it was off, the pixel was off. This translated into the 1’s and 0’s that made up the number. In the first position was 2 to the 0 power, or “1.” In the second position was 2 to the 1st power, or “2.” In the third position was 2 to the 2nd power, or “4,” and so on continuing to 2 to the 7th power (which was 128). If I wanted any of these pixels lit up I just added that number to the grand total. This gave a number anywhere between 0-255. In no time at all, I was modifying my character fonts. In the process, I was learning a valuable lesson that I would later use in my college days, as well as on the job from time to time. What I didn’t have explained to me was the ease at which binary converts to hexadecimal. I didn’t manage to grasp that concept until after my college IBM 370 Assembler class.

Anyway, from time to time, I’ll go over a few lessons on binary with the children. To count to ten in binary, you count this way (starting at zero):

0, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, 110, 111, 1000, 1001, 1010

It’s easy when you think about it. When you count in decimal, you run out of numbers after you use up 9. So, you count: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. What comes next? There’s no single digit to represent the next number in binary, so you have to use a combination of digits to represent numbers greater than 9. So, we use 1 followed by 0, or “10.” Binary is the same way, it’s just you run out of numbers much faster. In the above example where I count to ten in binary, you start: 0, 1, then oops…we don’t have another digit, so we have to start combining, though the value is only two. So, two in binary has to be represented as a combination of 1 followed by 0, or “10.” The next number, 11, is three, then oops, we have to add another column, because we’ve used up the digits again. That’s when we get 100, which is 4. And so on…I think you get the picture.

Whereas binary uses only 1’s and 0’s, hexadecimal uses 0-9, and A-F. It is base 16. Therefore, after 9, the next digit is A (having a value of ten), followed by B, and so on to F (having a value of 15). Computers only recognize binary. But hexadecimal is a great help to programmers. The quick little conversion thing is this. Four bits (binary digits) are needed to make a single hexadecimal digit. 0000 (binary) equates to 0 in hex. 1111 (binary) equates to F in hex. Two of these hexadecimal digits make up a “byte” or 8 binary digits. Therefore, programmers have an easier type representing computer commands and values using hex rather than decimal. Knowing that each hex digit converts straightforward to a binary value, it’s easy to see why hex is the preferred notation.

For some reason, Saxon Math doesn’t think this is an important concept to pass on to my children, at least not from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Well, that’s OK. I bring the topic up from time to time. When my children want to learn programming, they’ll have a head start over all those modern “wimp” programmers who’s GUI environment fills everything in automatically. In the old days, we actually had to allocate our own memory…programmers today have it easy… I’ll teach my children programming “heritage,” not just the path of ease… (this last paragraph written somewhat tongue in cheek!)

So, of the 10 types of people, which type are you? I’ll give you a hint, there’s only two!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cancer and Children

On December 4, 2006, I described a situation that greatly illustrated my theology before and after the Lord led me according to the Doctrines of Grace. Now, just last Thursday I found out that a friend of mine has a three year old son who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer all over his body. My friend already has convictions concerning the Sovereignty of God. If anything could test your faith, it would be something this devastating happening to your own baby. This man strongly believes that children are a blessing. The Lord has blessed him with 13 children so far.

Because I have not sought his permission to write this blog about his family, I will not publish his name. However, please keep this family lifted up in prayer before our Father. Pray for God’s mercy in healing this young boy. Pray earnestly for God’s will to be done. Finally, pray, not out of “giving up,” but out of due respect to the King of the Universe, that this family will accept whatever outcome our Sovereign Lord decides in this case.

If you live in the state of Oklahoma and would like to donate blood on his behalf, please contact me and I’ll make the arrangements. If you would like to donate funds to help with their expenses, I’ll send you more information when you contact me directly as well.

Thank you for your prayer and support. Let’s have the faith that God can heal him, and that God does still heal in this modern age. Let’s have the submission to pray “Your will be done. For your ways are higher than our ways, and Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts.”


Friday, December 08, 2006

Deer and Collisions

Just a couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law hit a deer on her way back to our house after going to the store for a few things. This really tore her little Honda up pretty badly, doing about $4700 worth of damage. She was only traveling about 25 mph. Then earlier this week a friend of mine from church was traveling at 60 mph on a highway when a deer ran out in front of him. He was driving his van with his wife and six children in the vehicle. His damage was over $6800. What is the deal with these deer?! For many years I have wanted to hunt. I may just have a chance out here in Oklahoma. To date, I’ve not had a good place to hunt.

Something needs to be done, though, to relieve this obvious overcrowding of the deer population. When I hear of two people close to me, within a span of two weeks hitting deer, I can only guess that the same problem could very well happen to me. There’s not much I can do to prepare my Mustang for such an encounter, but I am seriously considering buying a heavy duty tubular steel bumper for our van. I can’t afford to lose it. In my opinion, they need to eliminate restrictions on hunting deer. Let hunters take all they want, at least for a time. Doing this would help public safety. We thank God that neither my mother-in-law nor my friend’s family from church were hurt seriously (though my friend’s wife and daughter are a little sore). I seriously doubt that removing limits from hunters would result in deer extinction. If the species actually begins to be threatened, then reinstate the limits. But for now, these deer would be much less of a public threat if they were stored in someone’s freezer.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy lives on in the hearts and minds of an ever shrinking population in America. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they awakened a giant. This was the last constitutionally declared war the United States has entered. Wars are not to be entered via executive order.

Article I. Section 8 of the United States Constitution declares in part:

The Congress shall have Power To…declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

My grandfather fought the Japanese in this war while serving in the U.S. Navy. Unlike so many others of his peers, the Lord providentially caused him to come home unharmed. If my grandfather had died in WWII, my father would not have been born in 1946, I would not have been born in 1968, and my children would not be here today. Yet, my grandfather did not cower back when his country needed him. He had a just cause for which to fight, and he had a constitutionally declared war in which to participate.

My grandfather’s Navy was a Navy that honored the one true God. In the 1940’s this country still upheld Christian principles. Now, we have “chaplains” that represent a plethora of false religions. My grandfather’s military was made up of valiant men who knew it was their duty to defend their wives and children back home. Our current military is made up of men and women who die on foreign battlefields in “wars” that have never been declared by Congress. We should hold our heads in shame that as a nation we would ever allow women to be carried home in body bags. If there are any female service members reading this, please don’t be offended. I mean you no disrespect. However, your presence on the battlefield is a constant reminder that there is a feminized man back home somewhere letting a woman spill her blood for him in his place. The U.S. military is now made up of a contingent of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” sodomites who continue to press their politically correct agenda.

The Allied forces may have won World War II. However, in our modern day the enemy is making great strides in this once great country without even firing a shot. The next time someone calls you a sexist for advocating a male only military, or the next time someone calls you a bigot for insisting that our military only support heterosexuality, you should recognize these voices as the voice of an enemy set on weakening our defenses. Unfortunately, by taking a look around, it looks like their poison has just about penetrated all of our society.

May God bless the USA and bring us back to our glory days of yesteryear when the name of Jesus Christ alone was proclaimed in the halls of Congress, in the Oval Office, and on the battlefield, and when men stood honorably and bravely ready to defend their families against foreign invaders.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Class of 1987 - CHHS

On June 9, 2007 the Cedar Hill High School Class of 1987 will celebrate its twenty year reunion. Has it really been twenty years? As senior class president I have taken on the duty of organizing this event every ten years. It seems like only yesterday I was involved in organizing the ten year reunion. Time is certainly flying. I suppose we should start planning the thirty year reunion on June 10, 2007, for if the next ten years goes by faster than this past ten years, then we’ll barely have time to blink.

It’s amazing when attending these things the wide variation of how people have either changed or stayed the same. Some of the people I knew and spoke with frequently when in high school changed so drastically I barely recognized them at the ten year reunion. I can only imagine what the twenty year will be like. On the other hand, some of them look just like they did on graduation day. Of course, I don’t think I look that much different, until I start looking at my old pictures!

If you are a 1987 graduate of Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas, please drop me an email at We are currently trying to get in touch with as many classmates as possible. I’d also like to contact some of our former teachers. A few made it to the ten year reunion. We would be honored to have you join us for the twenty year celebration. Mr. Bill Thomas, if you are reading this, please drop me a note. You were definitely one of my favorite teachers for computer programming and calculus.

Matt Herring, if you run across this blog, send me a note. You didn’t make it to the ten year reunion. I’d really like to get back in touch with you after twenty years.

We should have a good time. The event will be held at the Iron Cactus in Dallas. We have a planning committee that is organizing all the details as I write this. We’ll send out the pricing information as soon as possible, after the meal has been selected, etc. My understanding is that the Iron Cactus is a bit more relaxed than City Place, where we held the ten year reunion.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you there. Please send me an email if you are a classmate. I’d love to hear from you, and I’ll fill you in on all the details we have already.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mid-Life Crisis?

I’m no expert on what exactly constitutes “Mid-Life Crisis.” But from what I can tell, this phenomenon did not manifest itself until the 20th century. In my limited understanding of all things psychological, I think men typically experience this when their children have left home, but they don’t have grand children yet. It’s sort of a time when you’re too old to be young and too young to be old. From what I’ve heard, some guys turn to drinking. Others go out and buy a brand new sports car. Unfortunately, some may even practice adultery. Yet, what should this time in life constitute for a Christian man?

I was thinking about that today, as today is my 38th birthday. The way I see it, God did not intend for men to have a “bored” time of life when they are not actively involved in the lives of the next generation. After work today I will go home to my six children ranging in age from 13 down to 8 months. If things go the way they usually do, I’ll have a large collection of homemade cards wishing me a Happy Birthday. I love it. If the Lord continues to bless us the way He has so far, I will still be actively parenting my younger children when the first of the grandchildren start to come. In my case there will be no “gap” between the last child leaving home and the first grandchildren making their arrival. In fact, there could possibly be a very close age difference between my youngest child, and my oldest grandchild. (Maybe even a grandchild who’s older than my youngest child? That would be fun!)

Life is too short, and time is too important to waste it on material pursuits. I have so much I want to impart unto my children and my grandchildren. I have so much I want to learn so that I can, in turn, impart that into their lives as well. The time passes so quickly. It seems like only yesterday when I was a child in my parents’ home. Then it seems like yesterday when my wife and I married, and again when our oldest child was born.

I think in my case, I’ll skip my “mid-life” and simultaneously fill the roles of young daddy and wise grandfather. May the Lord grant me this desire, and may I bring Him glory in the pursuit.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Sovereignty of God

Over the last 3 years or so, my doctrine has changed radically. Though I have named the name of Christ since I was five years old, I’ve had a major shift in vision during this brief last three years. Maybe I should back up a bit to tell the story.

In 2002, my sister-in-law who had Down Syndrome was diagnosed with cancer. I believe it was liver cancer, though I’m not sure. She went downhill fast, with about six months elapsing between the initial diagnosis and her death. At this point in my Christian walk, we were involved in a charismatic church. As I am wont to do, I also read numerous resources associated with our stated beliefs. I listened to other charismatic preachers. I say that to say that I may not have gotten this mindset completely from our church at the time, but I was at least influenced in this way of thinking by this theology. I am not disparaging these teachers, though I no longer agree with them. To clarify, my understanding of this teaching was that God has provided for all our healing. Satan is committed to bringing sickness on us all. Therefore, all we needed to do to get our healing is to have faith, reach out, and “take” it. Christ has already provided for healing on the cross, according to Isaiah 53:5. Well, here I was watching my sister-in-law die a death stretched out over 6 months, and all I could see were my in-laws preparing for the worst. This devastated me because I had known Lori since she was 7 years old. She was 21 at this time. She had been like a little sister to me. In my way of thinking, the devil was attacking her and we needed to stand strong and “claim” her healing. I said some things that I later regretted, because in my theological system all I saw was a “lack of faith” exhibited by her family.

2002 was a hard year. In addition to her sister, my wife also lost her grandmother, and I lost a grandmother as well. I didn’t blame God in all this. But I also didn’t see His hand at work in it either.

Meanwhile, my children were growing older. I could see that my daughter was quickly approaching youth group age at our church. Through at least one source, and I believe several sources, I found the ministry of Vision Forum. They have some excellent teachings on the hazards of the “Christian” youth culture. I began to listen to tapes and read books on parenting according to Christian principles. We were blessed in that a majority of our church homeschooled. Yet, when it came to worship, the whole church seemed to love the age segregated model.

To make a long story short, I had some other friends in Nashville who I met with at least weekly to do ministry at a local Planned Parenthood facility. I rarely “did ministry” with others from my church (though we did do a bit of street evangelism periodically). It was difficult to ever get any of them to join me at the abortuary for a time of prayer and passing out of literature. God was leading all of us (my friends and I) in a direction of Reformed Theology. We didn’t all approach it in the same manner. Yet, all of us were shown the truths of the Doctrines of Grace. I listened to an audiobook entitled The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink. I secured a printed copy and passed it on to the associate pastor at our church. He read through part of it and quickly dismissed it. I also began to realize that the senior pastor consistently preached an Arminian message, though he never called it that.

Through a series of events we ended up attending Reformed Baptist Church of Nashville for several months during the transition year of 2005 before our short move to Dallas, followed by our permanent move to Oklahoma.

The short of it is that I have come to realize the greatness of the Sovereignty of God. There is nothing that happens outside His control. When my sister-in-law passed away in 2002, it wasn’t that Satan “won this battle” as I had thought previously. Rather, God, in His Providence, and for purposes which I don’t understand “took her home.” God did it Himself, whether directly, or by using Satan as His puppet. It doesn’t matter. Satan can not thwart God’s will. This realization has shook me to the core and shaken up many of the old ideas that I once believed.

God reigns supreme. His Word is 100% accurate and true. He can be trusted to fulfill His promises, but He has never promised we would never have to endure sickness. That is a charismatic misinterpretation of the scriptures.

It all begins to make sense when you consider that if it is always God’s will for us to be healed, and we aren’t healed, then God failed. God never fails. Therefore we know that His will is always accomplished. Who are we to feebly attempt to thwart His will?

Likewise, God is sovereign over the salvation of man. For those who advocate a “free will” as the determining factor in salvation, they greatly exaggerate the importance of man in this decision. The scripture says we are dead in sin. Dead men do not respond to the Gospel. It is only when our spirit is resurrected by God Himself that we ever respond to His call.

I can now approach life with a brand new attitude. I need not fear death, for I know that I will not die until the day God has appointed for me to die. What’s more is that if God has appointed me to die on a particular day, there is nothing I can do to stop it. When I or my family is sick, I pray for the grace of God that they are healed. Yet, if they are healed, God gets the glory, not me for reaching out and “taking” it. If they are not healed, but get over it gradually, then I accept that as God’s will. If they are healed through the hands of doctors, then I can accept God’s sovereign will in that area too.

God is sovereign over the blessing of children. Who is man to deliberately try and stop God’s blessing of children? Sure, God can override man’s feeble attempts and give a child in spite of birth control. However, how much better it is when we freely surrender this area of our lives to His control as well, knowing that He is a much better judge of knowing the number of children we should raise.

I challenge you to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in every area of your life. Live your life according to the scriptures. Share the Gospel with those you come in contact with. Pray for your sick loved ones. Pray for your unsaved loved ones. Having obeyed His commands, leave the results to God. For He controls it all anyway. He is much better at bringing His results to pass than we are.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Christian Response to Holidays

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (Rom 14:6)

Those who read my blog back in October will remember my sentiments concerning the unholy “holiday” of halloween. When speaking of this day, there is no doubt in my mind that it has no redeeming qualities and should not be practiced by anyone who names the name of Christ.

To the other extreme is the holiday of Thanksgiving. I can think of no better example of a Godly holiday than a special time of giving thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon us as a family, a church, and a nation.

Yet, this year I have been in turmoil with what to do over the holiday of Christmas. The church we have covenanted with this year does not acknowledge it. Historically, the Christian Reformers did not acknowledge it. In fact, it has very pagan roots and its Christian ties link directly back most strongly to the Roman Catholic church (of which organization I have very little regard – see my previous blog entries on that subject).

Some esteemed authors that I admire, such as A.W. Pink have written against the pagan and papal influences over this particular day. In searching out the scriptures and praying on the subject, I had just about come to the point where I wanted to scrap it altogether. However, there have been three things that have caused me to pause and consider. Two of these three things are pretty much scriptural in their approach. The third is admittedly pragmatic, but once I explain, I think you’ll understand.

First, I listened to a message by Pastor Stephen Gambill of the Reformed Baptist Church of Nashville. During our brief time at that church before leaving Nashville I got to know Stephen and found him to be a very good student of the Bible. He has a heart for serving the Lord and a determination to seek out the scriptures for the things that he believes. I downloaded Pastor Stephen’s message on this from I did not hear him speak on the topic in person. After hearing his message, the bottom line came to be that because of Romans 14, the issue of whether or not to celebrate Christmas individually should be a matter of Christian liberty. He gave plenty of other examples as to why this holiday should not be acknowledged or celebrated by the Church. Yet, on a personal basis, Christians are at liberty to either celebrate it or not.

Not wanting to hear only a single point of view on the subject, I further explored Anyone who is familiar with this resource knows that there are many excellent Reformed speakers here. I typed in a search for “Christmas” and found Albert Martin’s four part series on the subject. I actually assumed that he would make a case completely against it. I have heard him speak before and have been pleased with his handling of the scriptures on other topics. I was ready to hear basically his “counter-points” against what I had heard Pastor Stephen teach. To my surprise, he wound up saying essentially the same thing. Pastor Martin’s message came down to four statements of facts. These are:

1) There is no biblical warrant for esteeming any particular day to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2) The celebration of Christmas on December 25 has its roots in paganism and in diluted Christianity.

3) Christmas as it is celebrated in America today is a prime example of humanism and materialism.

4) God in His “common grace” has used Christmas to accomplish much good in the world.

After expounding intensely on these four points, Pastor Martin’s final analysis is that…surprise, surprise…Christians are at liberty to celebrate or not based on Romans 14. However, he does make some good points that in this celebration we are not given license to violate scriptural commands. For instance, it is a breaking of the ninth commandment to lie to children concerning “Santa Claus.” “Santa” himself is a violation of the first commandment because he is described as one having divine qualities such as omnipotence and omnipresence. In our celebrations we are not to be guilty of drunkenness or gluttony. Finally, when Pastor Martin gave this message (in 1994 I believe), Christmas day fell on the Lord’s Day, so it was his conviction that it would be a violation of the fourth commandment to use the Lord’s Day for this celebration.

Finally, my pragmatic reason is that out of love for my wife and children, I want to be able to provide them with the memories that they have grown used to, and to give them similar experiences that my wife and I experienced as children. I have wonderful memories of Christmas at my grandparents’ house. I will be the first to admit that pragmatism should never dictate our actions. Only the Word of God can do that. If I have to withhold something from my family because it is prohibited in the Word of God, I will do it gladly. However, in my opinion, the Lord has shown me that this particular holiday has not been authorized nor prohibited in His Word. Therefore, the Regulative Principle of Worship prevents it from being incorporated in the church. However, individual acknowledgement of the day is left to Christian liberty.

In that vein...Merry Christmas to you. May you shine forth the love of Christ in this season, and bring the truth of the gospel to those who may not listen to you the rest of the year.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christian Patriarchy

Today I formed a new yahoo group entitled Christian Patriarchy. If you are a Christian man who either is or aspires to be a husband and father, I would love to have you join our group. This group exists to encourage men to lead their families in the way God intends for them to.

Please visit to check it out.

Monday, November 27, 2006

So Many Books, So Little Time

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
(Ecc 12:12)

When it comes to reading, why is it that you never really appreciate the time you have to read as a child until you grow up? As a “grown-up” husband, father of six, and computer professional, I have an enormous desire to read all I can of excellent literature and spiritual subjects. Yet, now I have to choose carefully on what I spend my time reading. I have practically given up all fiction, unless it can be shown that it is very historically accurate. I’ve found that fiction works that are based on true history can be a very entertaining way to learn about the past. However, I have to be careful that the history is accurate. My recent blog entry on the Crown and Covenant series showcases my positive impression with them. I’ve also heard very good things about G.A. Henty novels, of which I hope to read someday! This standard is what has kept me from spending the necessary time to read “Christian” fiction such as the “Chronicles of Narnia” or “Lord of the Rings.”

It seems that at any given time I am in the middle of about 4-5 books. Some are read much faster than others depending upon other things that are going on in my life. Currently, I have just finished up reading (previewing actually) Harvey Newcomb’s book, How to Be a Man. This is a good book describing expectations of a man in society and Christendom. It is targeted more toward very young men (most likely “teenagers” before they were ever called this). It was written in the 1850’s, so a couple of notes of advice are a little outdated, such as the admonishment to always “leave the door open when it is hot outside” for the comfort of your family. However, in spite of some of the antiquated advice (like not allowing your servants/slaves to do all your work, noting that Southern young men routinely have this temptation in front of them), I have found it to be a good resource, and I will be having my sons read it.

I am currently in the middle of “The Confessions of St. Augustine.” I strongly desire to read Augustine’s “City of God.” However, I think I should read his Confessions first. In my opinion, Augustine is an author that every Christian should read, and I feel a sense of embarrassment that I have not yet completed his works.

For my study of the War of Northern Aggression, I am somewhere in the middle of Dabney’s biography of Stonewall Jackson. I am also in the middle of Volume 1 of Jefferson Davis’ “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.”

I have read several essays, but would like to complete reading the entire book known as “The Church Effeminate” by John Robbins. This book is about 3-4 inches thick, and I’m about ½ inch into it.

I’ve found a terrific resource known as the “Chapel Library.” It is a ministry of Mt. Zion School of Ministry, managed by Jeff Pollard. I get their “Free Grace Broadcaster” on a quarterly basis, as well as A.W. Pink’s “Studies in the Scriptures.” All of the information there is so good, I can’t pass it up.

Speaking of A.W. Pink I recently reached for his book, “Sovereignty of God” to see his opinion on a particular scripture related to the age old Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate. I’ve listened to this book in its entirety from, but I’d like to read the text as well, so I begin reading on it last night from the beginning.

Also, as I’ve explained in another blog entry, I’ve been wrapped up in the Jamestown 400 Vision Forum contest. Because of this, I’ve taken quite a bit of interest in reading history from the late 1500’s through the late 1700’s. I’ve currently began reading Captain John Smith’s 2 volume set, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & The Summer Isles Together with The True Travels, Adventures and Observations, and A Sea Grammar. I found this wonderful work available for free from the National Archives. I downloaded the text page by page, and printed it out very small in order to save paper.

In addition to reading, I listen to audio messages while driving. One of my favorite speakers is Joe Morecraft. The only problem I have with him is that oftentimes when expounding on his subject he’ll say something like this, “Let me recommend a book to you…” Of course, I always desire to look up those books.

One idea that popped into my mind one day when reading John G. Paton’s autobiography was that if an author I enjoy mentions a book that he enjoys, then I want to read that book as well. John G. Paton’s book mentions that his father met his wife while reading Ralph Erskine’s “Gospel Sonnets” aloud in a garden. This set me on a quest to find my own copy. Though out of print, I did procure one on Ebay. I have read it, and I’m now in the middle of recording it in audio book format.

Finally, I never want my “extra” reading to supplant my study of the scriptures. So, each day I follow my plan to read the Bible through in one year. Additionally, as a family, we read two to three chapters of the Bible each night in our family worship time. Also, if it is my turn to teach during our Lord’s Day service at church, I will spend extra time in the Word in preparation for that.

What amazes me is that never before in the history of the world has so much information been so readily available if one simply has the desire to read it. Yet, in general, people today seem to be so ignorant compared with Christians of old. I feel so ignorant in spite of having all these resources. If I would only expend the effort, I could learn Hebrew and Greek with the aid of software packages, and computerized Bible programs. Yet, I can’t seem to squeeze it into my busy schedule. Our forefathers, though, managed to learn these languages well using only their books as their aid. I rarely even use a Bible concordance anymore, because it’s easier just to “search” for the phrase in my Bible software. I sometimes think that for all our technology, we have just become lazier and lazier.

May we all learn to be diligent in applying ourselves to learning everything we can about the scriptures. Let us constantly renew our minds by the washing of the water of the Word. Let the things we read be doctrinally sound and/or historically accurate. Reject the temptation to seek worldly “entertainment.” There simply is just not enough time for it. Redeem the time. Carpe Diem!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Moving Violation?

Last night driving home after making a late night grocery run, something very strange happened to me. Those who know me know that one of the “sins” I struggle with is exceeding the speed limit. Even so, I’ve only received one speeding ticket in my life and I took defensive driving to remove it from my record. As I exited the interstate and began to drive down the dark winding road to my home, I noticed a sheriff’s truck pull in behind me. I suppose he saw my red Mustang and thought he’d do his part to boost the economy of Logan County, Oklahoma.

Another consideration going through my mind was that just last week my mother-in-law hit a deer on this very same road. The posted speed limit is 45 mph, until you get to the “S-curve” at which time the speed limit drops to 20 mph. During daylight hours, I never observe that sign. But on this particular night with a Sheriff’s truck tailgating me, I dutifully drove 20 mph around the curve. I should also mention that I was doing about 35 mph in the 45 zone previous to the curve. In my thinking, only an idiot would exceed the speed limit under these conditions, and prudence would dictate caution even if I weren’t being followed by my friendly neighborhood law enforcement officer. As I turned off this road onto my home street, he turned his lights on and pulled up behind me. It seems as though driving slow is an indication of drunk driving. I think it may also be an indication of obeying an unreasonable speed zone erected by your county.

I sat there in my car while he ran my license check, hoping that he would write me up for this. Alcohol has not entered my mouth in over five years when I gave it up in order to work for LifeWay. Previous to that, I did not overindulge. To this day, I’m a bit uncertain on whether it is proper for Christians to partake in moderation. But if there is any doubt, I’d rather err on the side of caution. So, I have followed the example set by such Christian missionaries as John G. Paton and opted for temperance.

If I had received a ticket for “driving slow” when I was doing 35 in a 45, and then driving 20 in a 20, I would have had a fun day in court.

Anyway, I decided to blog about this, because it may be the last time I’m ever pulled over for going too slow. {grin}

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Journey Home

Franklin Springs Family Media ( has produced an excellent video showing a family dedicated to the glory of God and the “re-integration” of their family. They start out as a typical American family with the father employed by a large corporation. Yet, by the end of the movie, they have eleven children, and they are missionaries in Israel. Along the way they spend several years on a farm in Leipers Fork, TN where they are self sufficient. They establish a rapport in the community and sell these produce to their neighbors. While this life would certainly be quite a change from what I’m used to, I look at videos like this and dream. There would be tremendous challenges, but I believe there would also be tremendous blessings. The simple fact of being able to spend every waking hour with my children is enough to inspire me to dream of one day doing something similar.

For hundreds and thousands of years our ancestors lived off the land and supported their large families. Then suddenly in the 20th and 21st centuries we all believe that everyone has to have a college degree, a professional job, and no more than three children. Everyone needs at least two cars, four TVs, a boat, a vacation home, etc., etc., etc.

I long for the simpler life where families get up before sunrise, have a family worship time, eat breakfast, work the land, break for midday dinner together, work the land again until sundown, eat supper, conclude the day with family worship once more, and go to bed early, ready to do it all again the next day. Each of these days would see the children getting their studies in while they alternate helping dad in the field, or helping mom watch the babies in the house. The pattern breaks every Lord’s Day, when they meet together with the rest of the congregation of their church for the corporation worship of the Lord. Of course, the chores will vary. Sometimes neighbors will join for supper and evening worship. But by and large, this pattern would continue day by day, year by year, decade by decade until very strong ties are formed with children and parents.

May it please the Lord to move us in this direction in His timing…if not in my generation, then in that of my children.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Why Did the Pilgrims Come to America?

The answer to this question is generally accepted to be “For Religious Freedom.” Yet, that’s not entirety of the reasons given by William Bradford in his book, Plymouth Plantation. After escaping the religious persecution in England, they first landed in Holland. Here, they were able to worship freely. Yet, Holland gave them something they didn’t expect. Their children were being influenced by entertainment and a secular culture that was working against the godly training given by their parents. Thus, they were starting to lose their children to the world. With this major consideration, the Pilgrims loaded up the Mayflower and set sail for a new world where there would be opposition from cannibalistic savages and unexpected challenges of living in a foreign land. Their trip would take them across the Atlantic crammed tightly into a tiny vessel. Yet, it was all worth it in their eyes in order to preserve their multi-generational heritage.

What are you willing to do to save the souls of your children? To what lengths are you willing to go to make sure that modern, pagan society doesn’t influence your children adversely? Do we really think that our modern American society is less obtrusive than 17th century Holland? If they were willing to set sail across the ocean in a tiny wooden boat to escape the cultural evil influences of their day, shouldn’t we at least do the minimum of ditching our televisions and bringing our children home to educate them? Sometimes I wonder if those efforts are truly enough. You can’t go anywhere in public without exposing your children to harmful influences. Billboards line the freeways promoting promiscuity, drunkenness, and materialism. Televisions broadcast their propaganda when you are simply trying to dine out as a family.

There has to be a solution to this mess. There’s no undiscovered land available to go colonize now. Yet, we must be willing to do what’s necessary to preserve a multi-generational heritage for our own children. We must persevere. Failure is not an option.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Universal Healthcare

On the evening of March 23, 2006 my wife was involved in a major auto accident. She was driving our van with all five of our children riding with her. Our sixth was still in her womb. She was following me, and I saw most of it happen. I, of course, was the first one on the scene. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to erase those images out of my memory.

My children were rushed by ambulance to the local county hospital, but my wife was transported via helicopter to OU Medical Center downtown. All of my family received very good care, and I’m happy to report that they are all doing well today, including my precious baby girl who was born via emergency c-section just after midnight on March 24.

We were blessed to have medical insurance when this happened. Even so, the deductibles, and percentages for which we were responsible quickly grew. So that today, I am still working on paying down these debts.

Now, if the same thing had happened in England the universal healthcare in place would have covered it all. Am I envious of our friends across the pond? NO WAY! I am a firm believer in the free enterprise system. My family received top notch care that night because the doctors involved made good money in providing it. The lives of my family are worth much more than every cent I am having to pay currently.

My two year old son recently had to have hernia surgery. This was only a few months after the accident. We had it scheduled and taken care of. I added that bill to the end of the ones I’m already paying. Surely I would wish that the government would pay that cost for me? Again…NO WAY! What if the government determined that he wasn’t “deserving” of that surgery since he is not a wage earner? Far-fetched, you ask? Well, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecology in the U.K. has called for the mercy killing of disabled infants. Shockingly the Church of England supports this. Click here for the article.

Now, Paton is not disabled, so he would probably pass their litmus test. Or would he? Paton is our fifth child. If the government begins paying for births, how long will it be before they say, “You’ve had enough children. We’re not going to allow him to be born.”

The fact remains that it is not the jurisdiction of the government to provide health care. Firstly, a father should provide care for his own family. If he is missing or unable to provide this, then the responsibility should fall to relatives. If there are none, or they are unable, then the responsibility should fall on the church. Now, admittedly, most churches are so involved in their building programs, etc. that they may claim they don’t have the funds to help in this capacity, but this should be the mechanism none-the-less.

Beware! With the Democratic rise to power, universal health care is just over the horizon. For some idea on how this will work, take a look at Europe. If you can’t make it over there to observe them, take a look at other government run institutions. Consider your local post office or driver’s license office. Or how about the jury system? Is anyone truly pleased with the quality of service they get there? Have any of you ever had to request a permit to build a structure on your own property? Did you enjoy the red tape you had to go through? Hang on, similar bureaucracy is coming to a hospital near you.

Hillary Clinton is inspired after this last election. During her "first term" she championed universal healthcare. She is gearing up for a 2008 presidential run. While the issue of a woman president is a topic for a future blog, we must agree that a Hillary administration would be devastating to this country. Combine it with a Democratic House and Senate, and we may as well sign up as a member of the European Union. (I hope this remains a joke.)

Universal healthcare is a bad idea any way you look at it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Discouragement of the Enemy

Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
(Ezr 4:1-6)

In this story, the children of Israel had been commissioned under Cyrus to rebuild the temple. Of course, their enemies did not like this. Their plan to stop the building finally succeeded. Here’s what they did.

1. They first tried to “join with them.”

Be wary when others who do not share your convictions offer to walk alongside you and “help” you to accomplish your goals. There should be no compromise in carrying out the Lord’s commands. When we ally ourselves with unbelievers, or even other proclaiming Christians who hold to heretical doctrine, we weaken ourselves and open ourselves up to failure.

2. They next tried to discourage them.

The scripture says that these enemies of God tried to discourage His believers from accomplishing their purpose. How often we hear this constant discouraging message today! The world will tell you that you can’t expect to raise your children with Godly expectations. The world tells you to “just wait, your teenager will rebel like all the rest.” The world, and sadly many proclaiming Christians, will constantly discourage you from living out the commands He has given us. Yet, we must be faithful to ignore these pests, and continue on building His purpose in our lives.

3. They hired counselors to frustrate their purpose.

We see here that lawyers were hired to fight against these believers’ Godly pursuits. How relevant is this for today! On every front you see the world and the compromising church trying to press legal charges against God’s elect. Yet, we see that even through this bombardment with trouble, they persevered until the reign of Darius.

4. They succeeded in getting a man in power who agreed with their point of view.

Verse 6 records that in the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus the adversaries finally had a leader who agreed with their point of view. They worked through this administration on into the reign of Artaxerxes. They convinced Artaxerxes that if the children of Israel were allowed to continue, it would affect revenues. This is what finally accomplished their purposes. Verse 24 records that the work of the house of God ceased after Artaxerxes forced them to stop.

Today, in America, a Democratic party has stepped into power. Whereas the enemies of God have previously taunted, discouraged, and hired counsel against us, they are now positioned to bring the force of law down on God’s people for simply following His commands. Yet, if you continue reading in Ezra, you will read that the people did not give up, and in Ezra 6:15 we read:

And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
(Ezr 6:15)

We must persevere. We must be willing to continue to build Christian principles into the lives of our children. We must stand firm on our rights to homeschool our children. We must not let our defenses down in standing up for the unborn. There may be some hard days ahead. But be encouraged, and trust that the Lord is faithful to complete the good work He began in you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Jamestown 400 Contest

Every since we received the 2007 Vision Forum Catalog in the mail, all the children have been poring over it. There are clues found throughout the catalog that eventually lead to the discovery of buried treasure in Jamestown, VA.

It has turned out to be much more serious than just a simple children’s game. I am currently trying to put together many letters to try and find a clue to a “secret website” that will further the quest.

This contest is certain to teach us a lot of history along the way. It is my goal, whether we are winners or not, to try and attend the Jamestown 400 celebration in June 2007. The Jamestown colony was founded in 1607 and really represents the true “founding” of our country. I think this contest, as well as the anticipation of this “homeschool field trip” will help us to learn a lot about John Smith, Pocahontas, John Rolfe, and others.

If you haven’t heard of Vision Forum, check it out at From there, you can request the catalog and start your quest on the Jamestown 400 contest. Vision Forum offers a lot of excellent material for the family, including books, CDs, DVDs, and toys. Their ministry is to strengthen the Christian family.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Daddy, I Love You

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
(Mat 18:4)

I believe the Lord teaches us volumes through the lives of our children. Not only are we taught patience (perhaps the greatest thing we are taught!), but along the way, we are also taught responsibility, leadership, and self denying love. Yet what I find most amazing are the emotions I have when my children speak to me. I like them to ask me for things, though I have to teach them not to be greedy. I really like it when they are asking for me to spend time with them, for it shows that they treasure that time. But, probably the most touching thing they can do is simply walk up, give me a hug, and tell me, “Daddy, I love you.” It is in these times, when I know they aren’t seeking any benefit of their own, except a reciprocating hug, that it just feels great to be a father. I know our Heavenly Father looks at us in the same way. Yes, He loves to meet our needs and for us to show our dependence upon Him, but oh, how it must touch His heart when we simply pray, “Father, I love you!” To spend time in His presence praising His name is time well spent indeed. Yes, ask your Father if you have need. Yet, don’t forget to approach His throne sometimes without your wish list in hand. Simply crawl up in His lap and tell Him, “Daddy, I love you.” You’ll find that your relationship with Him will strengthen as you approach Him as a little child.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Soli Deo Gloria

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
(1Co 10:31)

Soli Deo Gloria is the last sola of the Reformation which wraps up the purpose for which we do all things. Meaning “For the Glory of God Alone,” it adequately describes the reason for living. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This sola answers the eternal question of “What is the meaning of life?” Contrary to our popular culture it is not “all about me.” The only reason we were created was to bring glory to our creator. Only by fulfilling this purpose can we have meaning in our lives.

Brothers and sisters, if we would make this principle effective in our lives, it would bring great peace. If we are living to the glory of God, it does not matter if we suffer persecution. We can take comfort that we are pleasing our Lord. It is possible to find peace in the midst of the whirlwind when we are resting in the sovereign will of our God.

How can we glorify God? Again, the catechism answers this question. We glorify God by loving Him and doing what He commands. Is the thing you are contemplating doing forbidden in scripture? If so, then participating in that action can not and will not be done to the glory of God. If it is not expressly forbidden, does it line up with the “Spirit of the Word?” For instance, though the Bible does not speak to the recreational use of drugs, it does prohibit being “drunk with wine.” Therefore, we know that to use drugs in such a manner would also violate scripture. If the Bible appears silent on an issue, pray for wisdom, be open to what the scripture tells you, be open to what others are able to show you from scripture, but in the end if you can do it “for the Glory of God,” enjoy your liberty and glorify him in such manner.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sola Fide

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
(Rom 1:17)

Just as grace is the reason for our justification, faith is the means by which that grace is applied to our lives. Sola Fide means, “Faith Alone.” As Martin Luther was climbing up “Pilate’s Staircase” on his knees, he heard a voice from Heaven in his soul declaring “the just shall live by faith.”

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Heb 11:1)

Faith is trusting that God will deliver on His promises. Only by faith, can we receive those gifts that God gives us. No works of our own can merit salvation. It is by “faith alone” that we inherit eternal life. This faith itself is the gift of God. He has granted it, thereby giving us all we need for salvation. The object of our faith is Christ Himself. Place your faith in Him, and He will save. Faith alone in Christ Jesus is all we need to gain His salvation. The works will be performed, but these are not the means by which our justification is “won.” Christ Jesus did our works on our behalf. It is our faith in Him that grants us this justification. One test to see if your faith is “living” is to see if works are accompanying them.

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
(Jam 2:17-18)

So, we see that faith is the means that we apply the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Both faith and grace are the gifts of God. This faith will show itself with works, though these works are never the reason for our salvation. They are a response to our salvation.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

I have decided to take a one day break from expounding on the Five Solas of the Reformation in order to make a few comments on the election. I am living in Oklahoma now, and voted early this morning. However, there are some other interesting things on the ballot around the country that I will be interested to see how it plays out.

First of all, there is a bit of controversy surrounding Texas Governor Rick Perry. I was born and raised in Texas and lived there until moving to Nashville in 2001. Gov. Perry replaced Gov. Bush when Bush was elected President of the United States. This past Lord’s Day, Gov. Perry attended John Hagee’s church in San Antonio, Texas. During the service, Hagee proclaimed that Christ is the only way to Heaven, and that those who place their trust in other gods will spend eternity in Hell. Gov. Perry was asked if he agreed with that message. He said that he did indeed. This set off an explosion of controversy. In this compromising age in which we live, I can understand why this is controversial. Yet, I ask any of you that call yourself a Christian if you would have answered any differently? One of the basic tenants of true Christianity is its exclusiveness.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(John 14:6)

Why would anyone be surprised to see that a Christian would answer this question in this particular way? I for one, would be extremely disappointed if Gov. Perry had answered that he did not believe that. For that would have proven that he was not a real Christian at all. I wish I could have cast my vote for Gov. Perry this morning. As it turns out, I’ll have to see if my candidate, Earnest Istook, can unseat Democrat Brad Henry.

The next issue I will be watching closely is the issue in South Dakota. Pro-lifers there have boldly gotten a proposition on the ballot that will ban most abortions. It is high time that someone take the lead on this crucial issue. Since 1973, over 47 million children have been killed through legal abortion. Unbelievably, there are some “pro-life” groups who do not support this ban. It is utterly detestable that any group would take contributions from donors and purport to be “pro-life” and yet stand in opposition to such a watershed proposition. I stand behind Life Dynamics ( as an organization that is committed to “Pro-Life: Without Compromise, Without Exception, Without Apology.” The pro-life issue is a litmus test to tell who are the “true conservatives.” “Spaghetti-spined” Republicans who claim they are “pro-life with exceptions” are really “pro-abortion with exceptions.” This is an issue for which there can be no exceptions. To see the fallacy in the exception clause, ask yourself this question: If a baby were already born, would there ever be a valid reason to kill him? If not, then there should be no exceptions to the rule before birth. If a mother’s life is at risk, a doctor should do all he can to save both patients. If one life is lost, then it is regrettable, but just a consequence of medical practice. However, in no case should the goal ever be to kill a child. Period.

Lastly, there will be many initiatives across the country whereby voters will vote to define marriage to be between one man and one woman. Unfortunately, I will not be able to vote in the Tennessee election on this issue, as I have now moved out of state. This is not on the ballot in Oklahoma. There is a brutal attack on marriage in this day and age. (See my recent blog entry on this topic.) It is actually a sad commentary on our society when this issue even needs to be on the ballot. How could we, as a country formed on Biblical principles, descend so far down into the cess pool that we are now faced with perverts trying to force our children to recognize their deviant behavior as legitimate? It starts with a turning away from God’s law. There’s no end to the amount of filthiness we face as we have left behind God’s precepts. May God help us to restore this country back to its 18th century greatness.

So, I encourage you to get out and vote. Make a positive difference for this country. You can bet the “bad guys” will be out in force. As Christians, we must not sit back and do nothing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sola Gratia

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
(Eph 2:8-9)

Sola Gratia – By Grace Alone – was proclaimed by the Reformers as the answer to the Romanist claim that penance somehow could atone for your sins. God’s elect are chosen by God’s Grace alone, through no works of our own, to enter into His Kingdom. Whether the issue is the paying of indulgences, as Martin Luther spoke out against so vehemently, or whether the issue is a priest telling someone to say 15 “Hail Marys” in order to pay for their sin, the fact remains that scripture nowhere ascribes our justification or our forgiveness of sins to our own works. By grace, Christ died for His own, paying the entire penalty of sin on our own behalf. This is a glorious truth! The scripture tells us that our own righteousness is as filthy rags.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
(Isa 64:6)

How miserable we would be if we were counting on our own righteousness to provide our justification. The old hymn is correct, Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Solus Christus

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
(1Ti 2:5)

Solus Christus means Christ Alone. This great truth of the Reformation came as a result of the Roman church’s teaching that other dead saints or even Mary herself could be an intermediary between God and man. Solus Christus also affirms that Christ alone has provided our salvation, and that salvation is by no other.

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
(Act 4:10-12)

How important it is to broadcast this message to the ends of the earth in this day and age of multiculturalism! Mohammad can not save you. Mary can’t save you. Buddha can’t save you. Only through the blood of Jesus Christ can we obtain remission of our sins. Heaven and Hell are real, and Christ alone has provided the way to Heaven.

In the day and age in which we live, the name of Jesus is very offensive. I once gave an Ice Breaker speech at a Toastmasters Club in Dallas, Texas. An “Ice Breaker” speech is supposed to be a speech about ones self as an introduction to the club. Well, anyone who knows me knows that Jesus Christ is my life. As stated in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Well, because in this speech I gave my testimony as to how the Lord Jesus Christ saved me, I received the wrath of the club from the majority of the members. There were one or two Christian brothers or sisters who were silently supportive, but even they advised me that I may need to be mindful of those who disagree. I am so tired of even Christians watering down their message so as not to offend! This world is dying and going to hell and all we seem to care about is not offending them as they travel that path. On the day of judgment, it is my goal to have either converted them to Christianity (which will happen if they are part of God’s elect), or to remove all excuse from them as they try to avoid gazing into the eyes of their Judge. They will not be able to claim, “Mike Southerland never told us about You!” No, if they burn in Hell, it will be because they hated the name of Jesus, and they would not want to spend eternity with Him anyway. The Lord will ask them why they did not heed the warnings of His servants that He sent along their paths. Their honest answer would be that they were too busy trying to convince those servants not to use such an offensive name in their message.

The fact remains that JESUS CHRIST alone is the way of salvation! I thank our Reformation Fathers for proclaiming this truth loudly even in the midst of persecution over it. If they can be burned at the stake for such a message, surely I can endure some negative comments or a bit of gossip behind my back.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Sola Scriptura

Someone recently commented on my Reformation Day article that I was speaking hatefully of the Roman church. After a few private emails, I would hope that she would realize that although I have very few positive things to say of the Roman church (their advocacy for the rights of the unborn being about it), my grievance is not with individuals in that corrupt institution, but the institution itself, and that any “hatred” exhibited is directed solely against the hatred of evil and deception inherent in it.

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
(Rom 12:9)

There are five statements that summarize the grievances that the Reformers had with the Roman Church. These are known as the Five Solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), Solus Christus (Christ Alone), Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (For the Glory of God Alone).

I will purpose to speak of each of these over the course of the next five days (excluding the Lord’s Day on which day I do not intend to blog).

Sola Scriptura means “Scripture Alone.” This stance was taken in response to the Roman doctrine of the Bible plus “sacred tradition” in determining doctrine and practice (orthodoxy and orthopraxy). If tradition has equal say in determining doctrine, then how can there be any stability? It reminds me of the argument on those who would claim, “There are no absolutes!” (Is this statement absolutely true?) My point is that scripture alone is the sole authority in determining our doctrine as well as how we live our lives.

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
(2Ti 3:15-17)

Nowhere do we see in scripture to do things in worship or living simply out of tradition. From Sola Scriptura we get the doctrine of the regulative principal of worship. This Reformation doctrine says that God ordains how He is to be worshiped according to scripture. Anything that is not explicitly commanded in scripture is not allowed in worship. God has ordained the means in which He is to be worshiped, and when we presume to add to, delete from, or generally change things up, we are in error. Consider the following scriptural examples of these sins. In these passages, the Lord is angry not because they did something they were commanded not to do, but rather they did something they were not commanded to do. In a sense, they “added to” the commandments of scripture.

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
(Lev 10:1)

And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
(Deu 17:3)

And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
(Jer 7:31)

There are numerous cases where people directly violated the commands of scripture, and were punished. Yet, we do not see a single instance where God disciplined His people because they failed to uphold the “sacred tradition” which had never been written in His Word. Yet the Roman church holds this tradition to be on equal footing to the scripture! All of this tradition is man-made and subject to the total depravity in us all, including the Roman pope.

When we take the Bible as the sole authority for how we live our lives, it helps clear up so many practical “orthopraxy” issues, as well as all the orthodoxy issues we face. My Roman Catholic friend who took issue with my comments noted that the Catholic church has consistently stood for life and against contraception, whereas many modern Protestant churches have abandoned their stances in this area. While I would agree with my friend that the Catholic church has done a much better job in maintaining their stance on the life of the unborn that most modern churches, I would point out that the Reformation fathers were all very much opposed to contraception and abortion. The doctrine of Sola Scriptura does indeed show that many modern Protestant churches are apostate in this area. For if they used only the Bible as their guide, they would read that children are a blessing of the Lord, and that barrenness is a curse for which no one should desire. However, just because the Catholic church is right on this issue, this does not make up for the lack of foundation for which they build their doctrine. After all, a broken clock is right twice a day. Romanists would make a much better argument not in saying their position is right, but rather than modern Protestants are hypocritical in applying the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. At which accusation, I would have to bow my head and agree with them.

So, the answer, then, is not in abandoning Sola Scriptura, but rather to reform, once again, a church universal that has abandoned its commitment to this teaching.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Attack Upon Marriage

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
(Mat 19:4-6)

Yesterday, I sat in a Toastmasters meeting and listened to a speaker advocate the legalization of homosexual “marriage.” I put quotes around the word marriage, for the very definition of marriage confines this covenant to be between a man and a woman. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it as such:

, n. [L.mas, maris.] The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity,and for securing the maintenance and education of children.

Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled. Heb 13

1. A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.

The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son. Mat 22.

2. In a scriptural sense, the union between Christ and his church by the covenant of grace. Rev 19.

Homosexual “marriage” makes about as much sense as a “canine cat” or a “feline dog.”

One honorable gentleman stood up to oppose the young woman speaker during the question and answer portion of the meeting. He rightly pointed out the destruction carried out upon Sodom and Gomorrah when they engaged in this perversity. He also rightly acknowledged that in I Corinthians, the scripture says that those who engage in such practices shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Of course, she was quick to dismiss his comments with a reply about not being able to respond to biblical objections. Yet, the older gentleman was quite correct in his analysis of the situation. Do we, as a nation, want to test God even further by presuming to redefine the definition of marriage that He gave us? What’s even more disappointing is that I was quite certain that this particular woman had identified herself in the past as a believer in Jesus Christ. Yet, this speech reveals her lack of commitment to His cause, as well as her biblical ignorance. Unfortunately, her example is not all that uncommon.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
(2Ti 4:3-4)

I believe we are seeing this verse applied in full force today.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Be Instant In Season and Out of Season

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
(2Ti 4:2)

Mike, what have you been studying lately? What has the Lord been showing you? What’s God been doing in your life? I have a good friend in Nashville that used to ask me these types of questions frequently. This type of accountability was very beneficial to me. Sometimes these questions were hard to answer. Yet, they just provided more reasons to concentrate on the things of the Lord. I miss David’s encouragement and admiration. David’s eyes are growing dim. While many would take this as an opportunity to stop reading, this has had the opposite effect on David. Knowing that his eyesight is quickly deteriorating, his has committed himself to memorizing as much scripture as he possibly can while he still has his sight. David and I were in the same Toastmasters club in Nashville. I remember distinctly his reciting of several chapters of I Corinthians. He rarely used notes, and most all his speeches were substantive, meaning that they brought some sort of scriptural admonition to his hearers. David knew how to take what he read and apply it to real life.

David lives out the command in 2 Timothy 4:2. By his lifestyle, he encourages others to do the same. So, reader, tell me about what you’ve been studying lately in the Bible. Do you have an answer?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reformation Day

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther boldly nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenburg Chapel, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation. As he studied the Word of God, the words in Romans 1:17 jumped out at him.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
(Rom 1:17)

There it was in black and white, the just shall live by faith! The heretical popish church had devised a scheme to line their cathedrals with the gold of peasants. Over time, the heresy of purgatory had crept into the church with no scriptural warrant whatsoever. Then, very conveniently, the church had convinced the ignorant masses that if they wanted to spring their loved ones from the grip of purgatory, they needed to purchase “indulgences,” which were payments to the church. The church, then, promised to say special prayers on their behalf, etc. Sounds like an early version of a televangelist, doesn’t it? This deception had spread over all of Christendom because the Bible was not available in the common language of the people (German in Martin’s case). So only the priests could read the scriptures in Latin. It did not take long for Martin Luther to be driven into exile in order to preserve his life. During this time, he translated the entire Bible into German, thus flinging open the truth to even the common man.

The Protestant Reformation is one of the most important historical events in post biblical church history, Yet most Christians today are ignorant of it. It is my opinion that this is “by design.” As church coalitions form and ecumenical councils decry the “division” caused by sound doctrine, the modern church capitulates and climbs in bed with that great whore of Revelation to commit fornication with her.

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
(Rev 17:4-6)

Remember on this day, the blood of the martyrs spilt on behalf of Christ’s Church. Study the history and honor the heroes of the faith. Resist the urge to compromise for the sake of peace. Our Reformation ancestors died for the five solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, and Soli Deo Gloria.

Also, consider the other “holiday” that the world celebrates on this day. This too is by satanic design to keep your mind away from the great good that was accomplished by the Reformation. So, today, if someone wishes you a "Happy," followed by the name of their pagan holiday, simply reply back, "And a Blessed Reformation Day to you."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Biblical Patriarchy

In this modern, politically correct age in which we live, the whole concept of “Biblical Patriarchy” is a dirty word. It would not surprise me if my blog gets blacklisted on internet filtering software due to my use of this very unpopular concept. Yet, I submit to you that Biblical Patriarchy is the means with which God has worked with man from the beginning of time.

Even before the fall of Adam, God created woman to be a “help-meet” or a helper of the man. She was to assist him in taking dominion over the Earth. Yes, they were a team. They were to work it together. However, the ultimate responsibility for leading this new family landed squarely on the shoulders of Adam. Adam and Eve both sinned in the Garden of Eden. Those who would claim that woman is inferior because “she sinned” are simply just misinformed. In fact, the scripture tells us that the woman was deceived, but the man sinned willfully.

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
(1Ti 2:14)

Yet, through this episode, we see God’s design for leadership unfolding.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
(1Co 11:7)

Throughout the scriptures, families were always represented by the father of the household. This was the beginning of our republican form of government, and formed the basis for the American republic when our ancestors sought to form a new nation, based on the truth of scripture. It is a common fallacy (even consistently spoken from the White House) that America is a democracy. When a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, what kind of government have you given us? He replied judiciously, “A republic, Ma’am, if you can keep it.” This is important when considering the context of Biblical patriarchy and male headship within the family.

The founders of this country knew exactly what they were doing when they limited the right to vote to men. They did not set it up this way because they despised women. They did not feel that women were ignorant or were incapable of thinking on their own. They intentionally set our republic up in this manner in order to promote the concept of America being composed of family units, rather than individuals. In this way, the family was promoted as the basic building block of society. For it is through families, including a father and a mother, that children are raised properly. Our city, state, and federal office holders are/were in office to represent the “families” in their districts, not the individuals. This is the reason that the 19th Amendment was not passed until the 20th century. It was during the 20th century that our society successfully emasculated its men. It was during this dreadful century that men left their responsibilities as providers to their families. The 20th century brought with it a virulent attack on the Biblical concept of patriarchy. What is the fruit of this crusade? Women have left the home en masse. Children (what few of them there are) are being raised in daycare centers. The number and strength of sexually transmitted diseases have skyrocketed. Divorce is rampant with over 50% of all marriages ending in divorce. Of those marriages that have remained in tact, many, many are plagued with infidelity. This problem is exasperated by interoffice romances. I don’t know what the official stats are, but a quick look around my office reveals that there is roughly an even amount of men and women in the workplace in corporate America. Is it any wonder that temptation for infidelity exists when a man goes to work and spends the lion’s share of his time working with other women? Then he goes home at night only to see his wife and family for a few hours before having to repeat the same thing the next day. The potential for hazard is even greater if that same wife has been working with other men for the greater part of her day. God created man and wife to work together, not independently. We should expect to see these types of problems when we ignore His design.

Some accuse Christianity of trampling on women. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is in Christianity that women are held in high esteem. A wife is a picture of Christ’s Church. Husbands are instructed to love their wives in the same manner as Christ loves His Church. This is a very high standard indeed! Christ loves His Church with an immeasurable love. It is a love whereby He gave His own life for His bride, and took her sins upon Him who knew no sin. So, unlike Islam, which treats women like dogs, Christianity esteems women as being equal in worth and value to men.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Gal 3:28)

Yet, we can not take this verse out of context and make a claim that there are no God ordained roles for men and women. Though equal in worth and value, the scripture clearly shows the roles He has ordained.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
(1Co 11:3)

So, what is the answer to the situation we find ourselves in? We must seek to return to the God ordained ways of structuring our families, our churches, and our government. Parents should seek to return home with their families. Understanding that fathers have been given the responsibility of providing for their households, this return home should start first with mothers. Then, as God allows, the father can seek to move from a corporate culture back to a family based enterprise. Through the reintegration of the Christian family, and the reestablishment of the Biblical Patriarchal roles God has given us, we can, once again move this country in a godly direction, and preserve for our progeny, a Godly heritage. May God once again “Bless America” as we seek to follow His commandments.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Trip to the Zoo

We recently visited the Oklahoma City Zoo. It was beautiful weather. This zoo is really nice. The children had a blast.

Here's a picture of them climbing all over the gorilla statue.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Flash Cards 1.0

Today's post is a contribution from a homeschool father (me) to my children and any of your children who would like to use this program. I have coded a simple Flash Card program that runs on the internet. I know that some of my children could use the practice in doing flash cards, and this program will help them to learn the problems quickly. Currently, this program only does addition. It also only does numbers from 1 to 12. The problems are generated randomly. So, you can have problems as simple as 0 + 0 and as complicated as 12+12 with all combinations in the middle. There is a five second time period to answer the problem. To answer, you may either type it in the box and let the time expire, or hit the submit button.

Some planned future enhancements are:
1) Allow the student to hit "enter" which will do the same as submit
2) Add sound...probably a voice saying "Right!" and "Wrong!"
3) Add subtraction, multiplication, and division
4) Make sure problems don't repeat.
5) Add problems missed to the end of the list to repeat intentionally.
6) Beautifying the layout a bit.
7) Vary the number of problems in the test. It is currently set to 25.

If you have suggestions or bug reports, please leave a comment on this blog entry. This was coded in javascript and has only been tested in Internet Explorer 6.0. I tested under Firefox, and unfortunately, it's not working with that browser yet. So, I've got a bit to learn, but this is a start. I also discovered a bug in that if you finish a test, you can't simply restart. You must do a refresh on the page. I'll work to get that fixed too.

The link for the program is: