Monday, October 29, 2007

Samuel Davies Southerland


Samuel Davies Southerland

born 3:15 AM 10/29/2007

weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 oz

20 1/2" long

He is such a blessing. Samuel is named for the Revolutionary War preacher and missionary to Virginia during the mid 1700's. He was also a president of Princeton University back when it was the College of New Jersey. Davies is described as one of America's greatest preachers. He saw many souls come into the Kingdom under his ministry. Though I had heard of him before this year, I was reminded of him through the Jamestown 400 Treasure Hunt. Samuel Davies played a part in the hunt as the answer to the question about a "prophet" who declared that George Washington would play a very important role in his new country...before Washington became famous.

My prayer for Samuel is that he would touch many lives and call forth God's elect from the four corners of the Earth. Like his namesake, Samuel will be used mightily of God in His Kingdom.

Friday, October 26, 2007

GOSPEL SONNETS - Chapter 2 - Section 1

By Ralph Erskine
Chapter 2

SECTION I. – Of a LAW-WORK, and the workings of legal pride under it.

So proud’s the bride, so backwardly disposed;
How then shall e’er the happy match be closed?
Kind grace the tumults of her heart must quell,
And draw her heav’n-ward by the gates of hell.
The Bridegroom’s Father makes, by’s Holy Sp’rit,
His stern command with her stiff conscience meet;
To dash her pride, and shew her utmost need,
Pursues for double debt with awful dread.
He makes her former husband’s frightly ghost
Appear and damn her, as a bankrupt lost;
With curses, threats, and Sinai thunder-claps,
Her lofty tower of legal boasting saps.
These humbling storms, in high or low degrees,
Heav’n’s Majesty will measure as he please;
But still he makes the fiery law at least
Pronounce its awful sentence in her breast,
Till through the law(1) convict of being lost,
She hopeless to the law gives up the ghost;
Which now in rigour comes full debt to crave,
And in close prison cast; but not to save.
For now ‘tis weak, and can’t (through our default)
Its greatest votaries to life exalt.
But well it can command with fire and flame,
And to the lowest pit of ruin damn.
Thus doth it, by commission from above,
Deal with the bride, when Heaven would court her love.
Lo! now she startles, at the Sinai trump,
Which throws her soul into a dismal dump,
Conscious another husband she must have,
Else die for ever in destruction’s grave.
While in conviction’s jail she’s thus inclos’d,
Glad news are heard, the royal Mate’s propos’d.
And now the scornful bride’s inverted stir
Is racking fear he scorns to match with her.
She dreads his fury, and despairs that he
Will ever wed so vile a wretch as she.
And here the legal humour stirs again
To her prodigious loss, and grievous pain:
For when the Prince presents himself to be
Her husband; then she deems, “Ah! is not he
Too fair a match for such a filthy bride?”
Unconscious that the thought bewrays her pride,
Ev’n pride of merit, pride of righteousness,
Expecting Heav’n should love her for her dress;
Unmindful how the fall her face did stain,
And make her but a black, unlovely swain;
Her whole primeval beauty quite defac’d,
And to the rank of fiends her form debas’d;
Without disfigur’d, and defil’d within,
Incapable of any thing but sin.
Heav’n courts not any for their comely face,
But for the glorious praise of sov’reign grace,
Else ne’er had courted one of Adam’s race,
Which all as children of corruption be
Heirs rightful of immortal misery.
Yet here the bride employs her foolish with,
For this bright match her ugly form to fit;
To daub her features o’er with legal paint,
That with a grace she may herself present.
Hopeful the Prince with credit might her wed,
If once some comely qualities she had.
In humble pride her haughty spirit flags;
She cannot think of coming all in rags.
Were she a humble, faithful penitent,
She dreams he’d then contract with full content.
Base varlet! think she’d be a match for him,
Did she but deck herself in handsome trim.
Ah! foolish thoughts! in legal deeps that plod;
Ah! sorry notions of a sov’reign God!
Will God expose his great, his glorious Son,
For our vile baggage to be sold and won?
Should sinful modesty the match decline,
Until its garb be brisk and superfine;
Alas! when should we see the marriage-day?
The happy bargain must flee up for aye.
Presumptuous souls in surly modesty,
Half saviours themselves would fondly be,
Then, hopeful th’ other half their due will fall,
Disdain to be in Jesus’ debt for all.
Vainly they first would wash themselves, and then
Address the fountain to be wash’d more clean.
First heal themselves, and then expect the balm:
Ah! many slightly cure their sudden qualm.
They heal their conscience with a tear of pray’r;
And seek no other Christ, but perish there.
O sinner! search the house, and see the thief
That spoils thy Saviour’s crown, thy soul’s relief,
The hid, but heinous sin of unbelief.
Who can possess a quality that’s good,
Till first he come to Jesus’ cleansing blood?
The pow’r that draws the bride, will also shew
Unto her by the way her hellish hue,
As void of ev’ry virtue to commend,
And full of ev’ry vice that will offend:
Till sov’reign grace the sullen bride shall catch,
She’ll never fit herself for such a match.
Most qualifi’d they are in heav’n to dwell,
Who see themselves most qualifi’d for hell;
And, ere the bride can drink salvation’s cup,
Kind Heav’n must reach to hell and lift her up:
For no decorum e’er about her found,
Is she belov’d; but on a nobler ground.
JEHOVAH’S love is like his nature free,
Nor must his creature challenge his decree;
But low at sov’reign grace’s footstool creep,
Whose ways are searchless, and his judgments deep:
Yet Grace’s suit meets with resistance rude
From haughty souls; for lack of innate good
To recommend them. Thus the backward bride
Affronts her suitor with her modest pride.
Black hatred for his offer’d love repays,
Pride under mask of modesty displays:
In part would save herself; hence, saucy soul,
Rejects the matchless Mate would save in whole.

(1) Gal. ii. 19.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This is a tired subject. How sad it is that every October sincere Christians need to give reminders to their fellow believers on the evils of halloween...

Regardless, I did just that in a Toastmasters speech today. I gleaned much of my material from the following website:
A Puritan's Mind

Bottom line...reject this evil holiday. "Reformation Day" is a much better "alternative" (if such a thing is needed):
Reformation Day 2006

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life

And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them. And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.
(2Ch 22:7-9)

We see here God’s “Wonderful Plan” for Ahaziah. The scripture says that the destruction of Ahaziah was “of God.” In other words, God providentially ordained Ahaziah’s destruction.

Consider this:
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
(Rom 9:21-22)

So, how then, can I make the claim, “God has a wonderful plan for your life?” We must ask ourselves this: It is “wonderful” according to whose purpose? You see, God is not a created being put here on behalf of man. Rather, we are created beings put here on behalf of and by God. We know that all of God’s plans are just, and that all of God’s plans and purposes *will* be fulfilled. Man is not able to thwart the will and purpose of God.

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
(Rev 15:3)

God’s ways are not our ways. If we had our way, we would always be happy, healthy, and wealthy. There’s nothing wrong with desiring health for ourselves and our loved ones. Likewise, abundance is generally much less nerve racking than poverty. Yet, we should be careful never to let these human desires for health and wealth trump our desires toward God.

Let us have the attitude of Job as he strived to “maintain his own ways,” he still placed utter trust in God, and in His sovereign plan for Job.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
(Job 13:15)

The next time you hear a mega church or TV preacher declaring “God has a wonderful plan for your life…” take it with a grain of salt. There’s likely a bit of deception in his message. What he wants you to think is that “God really wants to bless you, if you will only let Him. One way you can let Him, is to ‘sow seed’ into my ministry.” Rest assured that the most likely person to “get rich” with this “plan” is the preacher himself.

When thinking of your material needs, let us look at Paul’s response to such matters.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
(Php 4:12)

The secret is contentment in your circumstances. Holiness is not determined by your success or your poverty. It is not determined by your health or your sickness.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(Mat 6:33)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One Year as a Blogger

It was exactly one year ago today that I launched my blog. I started with our Family Vision Statement.

A lot has happened over the course of this past year. I’ve read many times of fathers leaving journals to their children. I’ve found this blog to be a modern representation of that concept. By leaving this digital record of my thoughts, my children will be able to see where their father stood on issues, both political and theological. They will be able to have a lasting record of comments from friends, acquaintances, and perfect strangers. To the extent that I put family pictures in my blog, they’ll have a digital scrapbook…though in many ways I think it’s best for that to be a little more private.

I hope to be able to look through the annals of this blog and witness my own spiritual growth.

While I haven’t posted to the blog daily…I’ve tried to at least keep it somewhat up to date.

Stay tuned for more opinionated columns about Christianity, family matters, and other highly important issues of which we should all be aware.

Friday, October 05, 2007

What is the Chief End of Man?

Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. – Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 1

When I learned of the Doctrines of Grace, and I moved away from an Armininan point of view, several key points of understanding in my Christian walk opened up to new revelations. This point is one of those realizations. Why do people “accept Jesus Christ?” Isn’t it because they would rather spend an eternity in Heaven rather than an eternity in Hell? Dear friend, most likely that was my initial reason for accepting Him. This is an entirely selfish reason. I believe it was Spurgeon who declared that we should serve Christ even if He were to send us to hell. We should serve and worship Him anyway, because He is deserving of all service and praise. We are all deserving of Hell. It is His grace alone that purchases our salvation. I saw this video today at Scott Brown’s blog. I believe it speaks powerfully to the issue.