Sunday, November 22, 2009


Hi Kids! Thanksgiving is coming up and I am thankful that MY WORK is picking up! I have been doing some projects close to home... but soon I will be going back to LINEVILLE, Alabama... and I LOVE it over there!!! It's near Lake Wedowee, and I have been working over there off and on for a few years now.. Lineville is a small town.. you know what I am talking about- The TOWN SQUARE, THE traffic light( singular), the small country churches... it's SO relaxing... There's not a LOT of Yankees over there... you know what that means: People say Hello , wave, and talk to you for no particular reason( shocking.. I know)... It's so refreshing... A while back I was working in Lineville and I decided to drive into town and try out the MEXICAN restaurant(singular) in town. I pulled in the gravel( plural) parking lot and walked into the painted block building. My beautiful mexican wife has prepared several THOUSAND authentic mexican meals for me through the years.. so I was ready to give the Lineville Mexican Restaurant a try..ya NEVER know.... also I was looking forward to practicing my southern flavored Spanish with the servers...I walked in and saw a beautiful young lady sitting behind a counter- She had long black hair, dark complexion- "allright- I thought, she HAS to be Mexican.. I get to practice the old espanol today" I smiled, walked toward her and said ," Buenas Dias".!!!!.. and what happened next... almost gave me a heart attack... I heard a voice.... a southern voice... ( even more southern than mine- if thats possible).. She said" well Hey there- how YOU??? Now... think COUNTRY, think CAUCASIAN, think HILLBILLY( think Clay Callaway)... thats the voice I heard coming from that lovely Hispanic lady... She showed me to my booth, and told me about the chicken enchilada special( SPAY-shul.. she said)... Now most of the time THAT LOVELY SOUTHERN accent is telling me about FRied chicken, biscuits, grits, and gravy.. it AINT telling me about enchilada" Spay-shuls"- Her voice was lovely... I soaked it all in... ordered and asked her about her "story"... YES her parents are from Mexico- her dad came to Lineville to work - and SHE was born there, grew up there, went to school there- the only Latin girl in Lineville. Naturally she picked up the southern drawl of her hometown.. in her home they still speak spanish( mexican accent) but with the customers... its all SOUTHERN!!... I enjoyed the enchiladas... but more than anything I enjoyed hearing her story... I went away thinking about this experience... Her raven hair and dark complexion was a reminder of those proud warriors who suffered the invasion of the men from Spain - men who changed their language and their culture. HER southern accent told the story of another "people" who were also proud warriors- They TOO were invaded.- by men from the NORTH who changed their culture and way of life... and Yes... the YANKEES had SOME success.We have become "UNFRIENDLY"... LOTS of southerners DO'nt say Good Morning or HELLO. they wo'nt ask "HOW YOU"? or HOW'S Your FAMILY?..But the INVADERS did'nt completely conquer us... - SOME OF US held onto our beautiful southern drawl.... " Next time you are in LINEVILLE, ask for the Enchilada SPAY-SHUL"....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

King David Danced a Mean Electric Slide( thats why His wife was Jealous)

Many of you know the story of King David of Israel. He threw a mean sling-shot and he worked magic with his lyre. His songs were healing balms for the melancholy soul of King Saul - and his Psalms are with us today. Everyone likes to talk about the episode with Bathsheba- The Rich King , the OTHER woman, the AFFAIR. The "young and the Restless" ain't got nothing on the David and Bathsheba story... yep- we know our King David stuff... but I want us to think about the "dancing episode"... Do'nt remember that one.???. well, here goes.. David and His men were bringing the ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem..The people were singing, The cymbals were ringing, the timbrels were timbreling.. and they were praising the Lord with loud music-( David and his Posse didnt lead worship at the Presbyterian Church in Jerusalem- they musta been pentecostal)- The Bible tells us that "David danced before the Lord with all his might, and David was girded with a linen ephod". Now David's wife, Michal was looking from her window and she saw her husband, The KING of Israel dancing without his KINGLY WARDROBE, leaping and jumping, like a COMMONER... it says that Michal"despised him in her heart"- so after offering sacrifices, David passed out party favors to all the people: A cake of bread, some meat, and a flagon of wine( you dont have to bring your own bottle to King David's parties... he a swinging host). After receiving their goody bags, everyone went home to check their facebook status.... and King david went home to check on the MICHAL status... and it was a big dis-like symbol from her... She Nagged him about" getting down with the people", she said that he UNCOVERED HIMSELF- David "let his hair down" , threw off the kingly robes, and started praising the Lord with his dance... Michal was a stickler for decorum and propriety.. Michal do'nt allow no dancing praise around here.. well, David did'nt care what Michal do'nt allow- gonna do his dance anyhow! and he told her so...David said" IT was BEFORE THE LORD... and you ai'nt seen nothing yet... at NEXT weeks party... I'm doing the electric slide... so there..." I LOVE this story of David and HIS dancing... Now in FULL disclosure, I have to say that I do NOT believe DANCE is supposed to be an element of a "New Testament Worship service- you and I will "argue" about this later( in another blog-lol)... I just like to focus on the dancing!!! Maria and I have been doing a lot of dancing lately... mostly with my friends from my youth( High school friends) and we are having a wonderful time... when we dance, the concerns of life are put upon a shelf... if only for a while- - we throw off our Kingly Robes of formality... and we put on the linen ephod of joy and happiness... we become like children... is'nt it funny.... children express their joy by dancing... and how do WE( the brilliant adults) respond," You stop that now... you are acting silly"... Our wise little friends are trying to teach us something.It does'nt matter if you look silly( or if you are old, or overweight, or not graceful,...i.e. past 40 -can I get a witness???).The lesson is this- "If you are happy and you know it clap your hands( and move your feet)....."- OH yeah !!!thanks Kim for teaching Maria and I the "to the left to the left" dance... maybe NEXT time.... The Electric Slide..

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Barbara Walters is My Professor( man, I am so smart)

Hi Kids! it's me again- YEP, things are kinda slowin down here on the farm. Most of the crops are gone- we still are picking Peppers but The corn stalks are dry and ready to be used for decorations ! REFORMATION DAY is soon approaching... which character is your child going to dress up like??? Luther?.... or Calvin??..... I am thinking about going as the Bad guy, ERASMUS- His costume is easy, I just gotta find a monk's robe and a copy of the Vulgate and I'll be ready to fill my bags with candy.. I am so excited ... yep.. things are not as busy lately. Maria and I went to Birmingham for the Callaway Family Association meeting last week and we had a wonderful time. I did NOT take John Calvin's laptop with me so NO INTERNET for FOUR DAYS( Idid'nt even miss facebook.. not in the least, I can quit anytime I want, I only do it recreationally...ok Ya got me.. I was miserable).. well... no internet means ya gotta find an electronic screen of some sort to stare at.. so I looked desperately around the Motel 6 room and I FOUND IT.. yep.. my old friend , The TELEVISION was waiting there for me. The continuous splash of colors and noise baptised me with comfort.. the TV shaped void in my heart was filled with images , information, and endless chatter- and for a little while I was happy... I was really happy the day I channel surfed and landed on " The View"....yep.. The Show started by Barbara Walters . You all know it- It's the Show hosted by a bunch of Bossy women that appeals to Bossy women... well.. I was good to see Barb again- I grew up watching her. She told me the news when I was young.. and I liked her.. and then as I got a little older, I started noticing that Barb( and a lot of her friends on TV) started telling me WHAT and HOW to think.!! Their "air" of intellectual superiority slapped me up side the head through the Tv screen. Why... during the George W. Bush administration, Barb even told me how RIDICULOUS President Bush's religious views were.. Barb constantly belittled, laughed, scorned, ridiculed, and scoffed at GW's belief in a PERSONAL GOD that you can TALK to, a GOD that has revealed Himself thru His Son Jesus Christ, a God who speaks to your heart through His Word and through yearnings in your heart. Barbara told me that NOONE ..(.especially the President) should be making decisions based on conversations with God, spiritual feelings, and the like.. she urged GW and ALL of us to think RATIONALLY and leave the "spiritual stuff" aside when we are making decisions- and BOY did they all laugh... Barb and her TV friends yucked it up every day about all this "faith" talk from GWB.... well... THINGS MUST HAVE CHANGED... because the day I visited Barb and the View they were talking to one of Ms. Walter's friends,... and this lady has a UNIQUE gift, a unique belief.. Barb's friend TALKS to dead people.. yep.. it's true .. and Barb must have changed her VIEW on Spiritual "things" because she cautioned the audience that her friend really believes this stuff .. it's very precious and dear to her .. so.. we must respect her.. and we should'nt laugh.. or make fun.. it's like her faith. It's brought peace and harmony to her life and to the life of her family. so we should repect her.. even if we disagree... Thanks Barbara.. for teaching me so much.. I'm so smart now.. I know WHICH beliefs to laugh at.. and it'sALL because of you.. in closing.. I gotta say it WAS really cool at the end of the show when Joy Behar asked the Dead talking lady how Michael Jackson is doing now..... Good News Kids.. MJ is a-ok... he is watching all of us.. and he is happy... Hey are yall laughing about MJ??? ya better watch it... I'm calling BARB.....

Monday, October 5, 2009

WHERE HAVE ALL "MY" CHILDREN GONE?(long time passing)

It happens about every three years... without fail- someone.. or some THING comes and takes them away. My wife and I have to say good-bye.. and it's tough- sometimes we have them for 3 or 4 years... and then they vanish... Maria and I are starting to get used to this strange thing that happens... ( well, not REALLY)... you see one day, we are hearing wonderful stories about dolls, jet-planes, boat rides, birthday parties, puppies, and kittens. The "boo-boos" on elbows and shins are proudly displayed as red badges of courage -" Mr. Callaway, I went ALL the way to the top of the monkey bars- and I was'nt even afraid!" They tell me about their friends at school and in the neighborhood- they tell me what's going on at home( yep... they tell me everything- so watch out!)We laugh together ..and we get "watery eyes" together..... and THEN??? they disappear... they go away never to return... I think of them often..- There is one little girl in particular that I could always count on for a laugh and a tear- One day, we were doing the lesson on King David, and when you're teaching 6 and 7 year olds, you have to be creative when you are explaining the sin of adultery... so I said ," King David walks around on his roof after sleeping all day, and he sees a beautiful woman down below at her house . He thinks to himself," She's beautiful, I think I will take her from her husband and make her my wife.." before I could finish my pasteurized, G-rated, version of David's fornication, that little girl raised her hand and said, " That was'nt the ONLY thing he was thinking Mr. Callaway!!!-He was also thinking" OH BABY!!!"... needless to say , I turned my face away so that she could'nt see me smile- I held my laughter back, and continued with the lesson.. besides- she was right.. David PROBABLY was thinking OH BABY!!! The Honesty and transparency of my little friends brings laughter. but this little girl also brought me tears when she told me one day, " Mr. Callaway, It's hard when you are little and your parents don't want to stay together"...Watery eyes.. mine and hers... This little friend of mine went away with the others... sometimes in the hallways of the church I see older children that look like them.. they are taller, their voices sound different, the clothes they wear are different from what my little friends wore... and besides.. they CA'nt be my little friends.. my young friends always shouted to me across the hall, " hey Mr. Callaway", they'd wave and smile.. they'd run up to me and hug me... these boys and girls that I see now across the hall??? well..They hardly ever talk to me,,,they are busy talking to their friends... they look almost grown up... I bet they NEVER talk about puppies and kittens and jet planes.. uh oh.... watery eyes...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mrs. Hubbard's Spider Lily( the REAL reason Flowers are Beautiful)

I drove up to my friend Ann's house so that I could do some work at her house- when I turned into the driveway, there IT was... standing tall and straight.. like a skinny soldier standing at attention- green and thin was the stem..but at the top was a crown- a crown made of reddish finger- like petals.and yeah.. They DO KINDA LOOK LIKE SPIDER LEGS!!. curled upward and outward- like a hand that is about to catch something... and IT did..... I ran in and just started speaking to Ann.. no hello- no good morning, no asking" How are you today?( yep.... it's true . I was acting like a yankee... marching in and making statements, with no regard for the mood of my listener).. I looked at her and said," Ok.. the flower with the red skinny petals at the corner of the... " before I could finish my exciting story about the lovely flower that caught me, she spoke," That was from Mrs. Hubbard, it's called a Spider Lily".... Funny is'nt it??? First she mentioned WHO gave the bulbs to her.. then it was on to the"common " name of the plant , then on to the species... I started thinking about flowers and plants.. and what really makes them beautiful. Flowers are beautiful because they remind us of people that we have known and loved- Remember the flowers that you recieved when your child was born... your friends celebrated that joyous day with you , even if they were unable to visit you at the hospital... and everytime you seeTHAT KIND of rose, you remember that day. You remember the love that you felt from your friends who rejoiced with you! The shrubs and plants that are given to us from someone's garden are beautiful because of the history that we Share with those green and flowery friends- Ann began visiting Mrs Hubbard many years ago... she saw those Spider lilys as they magically appeared through the years. The plants and shrubs at Mrs. Hubbards home grew... and grew.. just like the friendship between a hardheaded, witty, southern lady and her equally witty and winsome yankee neighbor. The" roots" grew deep- ... and became strong...- so did the plants and shrubs!!!...Mrs. Hubbard passed away many years ago.... but every so often, a skinny green stem pops up out of nowhere, stretches her finger-like petals toward the sky and shows off her bright colors...and Ann thinks of Mrs. Hubbard... .

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Hello again blog fans, existentalists, luddites,and Jonas Brothers fanatics- it's me again, the agrarian agitator stirrin up the kettle again. Out here on the farm, the harvest has been plentiful and we've been cookin up somethin special, so I thought I'd share some of it with you. Today we are going back in time again. It's another trip back to the early church in Jerusalem. Today we will visit the First Church of Jerusalem( I LOVE those Guys). The year is a.d. 68- and some frightful things have been happening- Lets join the Elder's meeting in progress-

Elder James- Ok men, I call this meeting to order. Things are really looking good! The Praise Team is looking good in their new tunics- I LOVE the new Lyre player that we have now- He is really drawing in the young people. He used to play at Nero's Palace and he was part of the " Let's Fidddle and let Rome Burn "tour- I understand they really packed out the coliseums.... so things are good in the music department- Elder Simon is going to give us a report on some disturbing news

Elder Simon- Yes Brothers, some of you may aware of some books that have been "making the rounds" in the congregations of Christ Followers all over the Empire- It seems that a Brother in the Lord has been stirring up things a little.. He has written some books that seem to imply that being part of a local organized Body of Believers is... well... dare I say it.... OPTIONAL!!??? YES thats right ... He is a gifted writer- and some of the books that he has written are filled with lots of GREAT points about God ALWAYS LOVING US, NEVER FORSAKING US, JESUS IS ALWAYS WORKING IN OUR LIVES-NO MATTER WHAT!!! So, sometimes this guy is right on... but in ALL of his works, he leaves you with the feeling that it's ok( and even preferable) to "bail Out"of what he calls," ORGANIZED RELIGION"... yes, thats right... He has LOTS of his readers thinking that the "institutional" church with it's leaders, worship services, mission efforts, organization, is not God's plan for his people. He criticizes the local church in a round about way in all His writings... My question to you is.... what do we say to our members who are getting excited about this guy's books???

Deacon Simeon- You know ... I read this guys books.. and I gotta say. I really enjoyed, " Yeshua Loves Me"! It was a great reminder of God's unconditional love. But, I must say... lots of his writing is very "anti-church" - no doubt. SO, I have been thinking... HOW DID THIS GUY MISS THE TRUTH about the LOCAL ORGANIZED BODY OF BELIEVERS. We ALL know that the Apostle Paul's letters to the churches are universally acknowledged as SCRIPTURE BY ALL the CHURCHES- The Apostle Peter reminded us in one of HIS letters that Pauls writings are inspired. Well, in SO MANY of Pauls letters, he reminds believers everywhere what they are supposed to do about ELDERS, DEACONS, what to do with the OFFERING, How to OBSERVE the LORD's SUPPER, Things to remember about Baptism,how to implement church discipline, things to do in a WORSHIP SERVICE... I mean this sounds VERY ORGANIZED to me... I think I have figured out the attraction and fascination with this guy's books- You must remember that LOTS of people who are on this anti-church "wagon" have been hurt ... yep. they've had a bad experience with some one at a local church. so naturally this mentality appeals to them. You see it's SO MUCH EASIER to go down to the Jerusalem Starbucks and sit around talking to your friends about Jesus. No committment, No committees, No Elder Board, No Worship "team", it's so LAID back and RELAXED.... it's the perfect atmosphere for great conversation and friendship.... but it's NOT A PLACE TO GROW IN YOUR FAITH. You see, it's true that at the coffee shop, noone is going to get upset because the LYRE player is twanging the strings a little too loudly in the Praise Band... and noone is going to get angry because their favorite Psalm was not sung at the worship service, and not one single argument is going to occur because Miss Martha wants the children to have unleavened "goldfish" for Sunday School snacks... yep.. your right... but here's some OTHER THINGS that ARE NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AT THE COFFEE SHOP: The HOLY Word of God is not going to be expatiated upon by a teaching ELDER- ONE that has been set apart for the ministry by the laying on of Hands, The SACRAMENTS of the LOrd's Supper and Baptism are not going to be observed, The BIBLICAL practice of CHURCH DISCIPLINE is NOT GOING TO BE OBSERVED, .... ALL the things that HELP us to grow are missing with the Coffee Shop Christianity Crowd.... Noone has to be STRETCHED..or . challenged...- as the old folks used to say.. there's no "iron sharpening iron" ( but I will have a double mocha Latte,,, and Please.... NO DOCTRINE )You see the Lord KNEW what he was doing when He planned for us to be in a LOCAL organized body with Leaders. He wanted us to grow... he didnt WANT us to be laid back.... He wants us to be STRONG... IN HIS NAME, we are to be salt and light in EVERY AREA of society... we are to march forward in the power of the Holy Spirit... The POWER is given to us thru the sacraments - and the SACRAMENTS HAVE ONLY ONE HOME, You can "find" them at the local assembly of believers.... They ain't at the Jerusalem Starbucks.... ok guys, thats my report- lets go down to the Judea Java Juice shop- I'll have a double expresso with a shot of MYSTERION.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

CHICKEN MANAGEMENT?( and No- I am not talking about the COLONEL)

Hi again blog fans, supralapsarians, pre-trib dispensationalists, and Hannah Montana fans! It's that time again... yep's time for some of those ramblings from the rural renaissance man, some observations from the agrarian agitator- do'nt be angry.. I just wanna stir things up a little- and get us to thinking bout some things. So, slide your straight back chair up.. a little closer.a little more.. closer.. there.... ok now feast on some crumbs from a poor man's table... Lately , I have been thinking about some of the ways people are choosing to deal with the tough economic times...we are ALL in this together-WE see whats going on . These tough times are going to turn out to be a tremendous blessing for lots of folks.. yep.. I said it( well, actually I typed it)..cause you see- Businesses, institutions of learning, churches, organizations( ok.. you get the idea .. right???) are going to have to make some changes if they intend to grow.. or even survive.. of course managers,bosses, leaders have ALL the pressure squarely on their shoulders. They want to survive, they want to produce, they want THEIR bosses to be pleased with their work.. so... some of them resort to creative ways to manage people.. some times bosses try what SAM WALTON called " Chicken Management"!! in other words, make sure that everybody acts CHICKEN when the boss , manager, crew leader, principal, head master____ ( insert in this space the guy that makes you really nervous when he drives up)is around- you know ...make the employees AFRAID of you- their FEAR will make them WORK harder because they wanna see the angry guy happy... Sam Walton knew that "chicken management" does not work... FEAR paralyzes people.. IT is IMPOSSIBLE for a person to do a good job when they are uncomfortable.. and yet some institutions bring in the guy that curls up his lip like an angry Elvis, rules by intimidation,fires the body guards one day, then buys them a cadillac the next day-he plays little head games with his "inferiors".. oh yeah the BIG guys like him because for a little while it works.... things look good.... but chicken management kills morale, hurts production, and destroys team"spirit"..good, responsible workers start bailing out... they are not willing to pay the price ...Its ALL so sad... I know LOTS of great bosses, leaders, managers, principals,head masters,______( insert here the guy that you are GLAD to see drive up).. they make you feel comfortable! They know how to lead and manage. I have a friend named Jake who is a great boss to his employees. He took a college class for Business Administration and the first day the professor asked everyone to raise their hand if they wanted to be " Business majors so that they could boss people around and tell them what to do".. well, several of the students raised their hands, and the professor promptly told them that if they raised their hands, they didnt need to be in his class" because being a BOSS is really about SERVING OTHERS, being a LEADER is really about being a SERVANT... You equip people to use their talents, you encourage them in their abilities, you serve them by HELPING them to serve others. Servant/Leader...??? yeah.. that's it.. Servant Leader... like I said my friend Jake is a great servant leader.. I know LOTS of good bosses.. most of them really did'nt have to take a course, read a manual, or go to a seminar so that they could be good managers... most of them are effective leaders because they had a great servant leader who encouraged them.. in fact a lot of them learned from the Same Man..He's the Ultimate SERVANT LEADER.. Some of you might Know Him.... so any way the bottom line is :STOP the chicken management, stop the intimidation, serve people, love people, encourage .. I know what some of yall are thinking, " wow, Clay- this is all just common sense..." oh really??? is it?????Is it REALLY??? -- well Friends, thats about it for today- I hope you enjoyed the crumbs off this poor man's table.. oh yeah be sure to clean up after yourself.. and you BETTER do a good job.. or I am going to curl up my lip like an angry Elvis- no cadillac for YOU!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Here we go again Blog-fans, Marcionic Dualists, neoplatonists, and race fans... it's time for another trip back in time to the Early Church in Jerusalem. It has'nt been long since Jesus ascended to the Throne in Heaven- Paul's letters are being accepted as Scripture and the early believers are attempting to worship in Spirit and in Truth.. So lets crawl in the Delorean, load up the flux capacitor with some plutonium... and lets go...

Elder James- Ok, everyone , I call this meeting to order- I want to congratulate the music ministry on the recent changes that were made- The Praise singers are FINALLY getting color-coordinated on the Tunics.. it really helps to create the mood...uh.. for Worship.. and I really like the way that you installed the giant scroll on the wall of the church so that everyone can see the words to the Psalms and spiritual songs.. I know there have been some complaints from some of the older members! They say that we are'nt singing enough of the OLD Psalms.. but lets throw one or two old ones in and keep em satisfied...

Deacon Simeon- uh.. Elder I do'nt want to interrupt but some of the congregants are saying that they miss using the Song scrolls that we have in the pews..! It was easy for them to learn the tunes to the songs.. you know some of our people read music.. and the Hymnal scrolls were working out good for lots of folks..some of our people are learning to read music and it would really be helpful if...

Elder James- Ok Deacon, we will take all that into consideration- ok lets move on.. as everyone knows the recent economic downturn in the Empire has hit us all... our attendance is down.. we've gotta do something to bring in the people... I recently heard about a congregation that bought one of the old coliseums from Caesar - they refurbished it, they are packing the place out.. and the really surprising thing is this... The Teaching Elder Jo-el NEVER mentions SIN, The blood of Christ, Holiness of God.. or really any thing that resembles scriptural teaching about the atonement.. He mostly reminds people to stay "positive", do'nt worry,be thankful, and they will be happy.. thats really about it.. and MAN, He is filling that coliseum every Sunday... when he was asked by a reporter from the Jerusalem Times if Jesus was the only way to Heaven.. he danced around that question so skillfully, you would have thought he was a Philadelphia Lawyer.. Cicero would have been proud.. now I am NOT saying we go as far as this guy to soften our message.. but maybe we should just lighten up a little....Would anything be wrong with easing up just a little ??? Would it???

Sunday, August 16, 2009


J. Gresham Machen would'nt fare very well in todays world of cool hip Bible teachers- He probably would'nt wear a brightly colored Hawaiin shirt in the pulpit- heck- he probably would'nt be able to "put on" that sparkly white TV preacher grin for more than a second... much less for an entire church service-and todays sermons that show us "How to Be a 5 star personality for God's Glory " would never come from his lecturn or pulpit.. he was'nt a cool hip dude... Machen was a SCHOLAR.. a visionary, and a defender of the TRUTH of God's Word.He was a Professor of New Testament at New Testament at Princeton Seminary until 1929. Machen left that seminary in obedience to the Biblical command to seperate from unbelief, and he founded another. He helped launch a new Presbyterian denomination after being expelled from the mainline Presbyterian Church because he took a stand for inerrancy, infallibility, Virgin Birth, Sola Scriptura,and the importance of Christian education- In a previous post, we saw that Machen encouraged Christian schools for two reasons: Maintenence of American Liberty- and the Propagation of the Faith. Many Christians do not realize that in the19 20s and 30s, attacks upon Christian education were occuring at an alarming rate-Laws were enacted in some states that prevented Parents from educating their children at Home or in Church affiliated schools- Machen did not sit on the side-lines. He encouraged Christian parents to become involved in the POLITICAL/ JUDICIAL ARENA. These Christian families answered the call.. what did they do??? They contacted their representatives, the hired Lawyers, they worked together to make sure that their CONSTITUTIONAL rights were not being violated. They wanted to make sure that future generations would not be denied the right to HOMESCHOOL and/or start Christian Schools. Are'nt you glad that the Christian parents in the past sacrificed so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy today?? They did'nt sit around waiting for the RAPTURE- They did'nt try to "shirk" their responsibility of being salt and light by saying ," are'nt things going to get worse before Jesus comes back??? .. You do'nt polish the brass on a sinking ship-Is'nt Jesus' kingdom a SPIRITUAL KINGDOM- we are'nt supposed to get involved in "political stuff" are we????" NO- THEY DID"NT SAY THESE THINGS... The Christian parents of yesterday knew that JESUS IS LORD of EVERY AREA OF LIFE.. The WORD of GOD IS THE STARTING POINT FOR EVERYTHING WE DO!!! Many Christians today subscribe to an eschatology of DEFEAT-" we ca'nt change the world, we are'nt supposed to change the world, besides I am really busy reading the "LEFT BEHIND" SERIES...and oh yeah.. I do'nt have time to get involved, I am doing a study on "10 Reasons Jesus is coming in 2010".. BLAH, BLAH... it goes on and on- and the really sad thing is that this week- BECAUSE OF THE ACTIVISM OF CHRISTIANS OF THE EARLY 1900s - hundred's of thousands of Christian young people get back to their studies in CHRISTIAN schools and Homeschools, they will have a BIBLE lesson, and their BIBLE lesson will be seasoned with a smattering of neoplatonism, a dash of Manicheanism( google it.. spelling might be wrong- sorry- I'm only a High School graduate) , and they will wash it all down with a huge glass of pre-trib defeatism.ALL MEANT TO TEACH THEM THAT TRYING TO CHANGE THE CULTURE IS FUTILE.. they will be taught that things are supposed to get worse, there is nothing you can do to change the culture, The Rapture is happening soon!! DEAR READER... do you see the IRONY in this??? I am glad that the Christians of the 1920s and 30s did'nt believe in this "gospel" of Defeat... if they had believed it, we would'nt have our Christian school and home schools where we have these enlightening Bible lessons that tell us that we should'nt try to change the culture.. hey wait a minute........ ok , sorry yall.. I can tell by the old clock on the wall that it is time for me to sign off now... MORE ABOUT MACHEN and Education later.... besides.. the new LEFT BEHIND movie is on.. I gotta watch..

Monday, July 13, 2009


One of the benefits of being self-employed is that I can take a day off pretty much when I want( God had to heal me before I found this out- I used to think I had to work ALL the time- more about this in another blog).. so the othe rday I took a day off and took my son John Calvin to the local Jr. College so that he could SEAL the DEAL-he took the entrance exam, convinced the Religion professor that Presbyterians named John Calvin are kinder, gentler calvinists, and he filled out a ton of paperwork.. SO I think he got in... !!! While all this was going on, I decided to go to the local chickfila and Chill.. and relax.... or as the young people say," CHILLAX"( Those young people better stay off my lawn, I hear em talking and I have picked up some weird words from them) so there I was enjoying my coffee, chillaxin and in walks one of my good friends- he is a teaching Elder( ok my Baptist buddies- He's a PASTOR).. and we talked about all the wonderful things that God is doing in the life of his church!! AND we talked about the challenges.. ministry is HARD WORK... we need to pray for those that shepherd the local flocks... so I prayed for my friend before we said goodbye- we prayed for each other- our prayers were kind of similar. We thanked God that He is our Father, we thanked Him for HIS blessings .. and then.... we downed a HUGE GLASS OF THE HARD STUFF- yep... we asked God to "REMIND US THAT EVERYTHING WE GO THROUGH IS USED BY HIM TO MAKE US STRONGER IN OUR FAITH.. and let me tell you something... those"thankful for trial and tribulation cocktails " kinda burn going down.. they taste yucky- we do'nt deal with hardship very well9 Hey Lord, It's kinda uncomfortable here.. could I have a pillow, and one of those coconut drinks with a little umbrella?).. so I drove away feeling REAL spiritual- FAST FORWARD TO NEXT DAY- I am trying to get started on new project in Newnan, drive to get material, get to Newnan, discover I LOST my phone, drive back to ALL the places I had been that morning, looked for phone- didnt find phone-wentto AT&T place to get NEW phone, couldnt get phone because my NAME is NOT on account, called Maria to come to AT&T, Got new phone, went outside to see ANTIFREEZE pouring from my truck- went to Parts store, got part, went back to fix truck, I am trying to put on new hose and HUGE rainstorm crashes down on me, I am soaking wet( Baptizoed??).. I jump inside truck.. and all of a sudden I see an image in my mind- It's me and my Friend at the chickfila, praying for each other, and the first thing I think is this: " IF I GET THIS TRUCK FIXED, I AM GOING TO MY FRIEND'S HOUSE AND PUNCH HIM IN THE NOSE.. and HOPE HE PUNCHES ME BACK....What were we thinking?? what were we praying??? well.. then I started laughing uncontrollably... now I mean LAUGHING.. not a "sniker" not a "chortle"- I am talking FULL BLOWN was HOLY LAUGHTER, see my charismatic friends, you ai'nt got nothin on us baptised, catechised,sanctified presbyterians.. we got Holy laughter too.. and It's all because GOD SHOWS up when our vehicle breaks down and we are stranded, He shows up when we lose our phone with all our business contact numbers, He shows up when we are caught in a rainstorm, or a LIFESTORM- the REAL ONE, you know when the bad test result comes back from the lab, when there is not enough money to pay the bills, in THOSE storms there is'nt any laughter... but He still shows up , He taps us on the shoulder and says:: I will NEVER leave You,All things work together for good for those that love me,Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ"I will comfort you like a mother comforts her child"... these promises are ours... we have to TRUST HIM, HE will susutain us- He "proved" His love for us more than 2000 years ago- the tomb is empty-whatever HE tells us, we can believe... for sure.. and Oh yeah- NEXT TIME I have a little time to kill, I am going to hang out at Waffle House- all the "name itand claim it" preachers hang out there...

Monday, July 6, 2009


I 've been thinking( I know what YOU are thinking- uh oh.. NOT AGAIN) and I have decided that Sarah Palin is GUILTY- yep.. I said it... I mean come on... ALL the media attention on the Governor of Alaska?? She HAS to be guilty.. and when the prestigious MSNBC tells me that she's guilty.. something has to be going on..So .. I did some thinking and I have come to the conclusion that INDEED SARAH IS GUILTY.. so Now That I've got her in my courtroom.. I'm going to do me some "charging" and "pronouncing" ( and later some Ciphering)-here goes:

I Charge Sarah Palin(hereafter referred to as SP) with the crime of believing in The Triune God of the Universe who has revealed Himself in The Savior of the World- Jesus Christ

I charge SP with believing in the sanctity of Marriage and showing her belief by being married to the SAME man for all these many years

I charge SP with being 100% pro-life- she loves her children- and she chose to allow her Downs child to live, when other women in her position would have opted for an abortion

I charge SP with the hideous crime of loving her daughter that conceived a child out of wedlock, for encouraging a culture of Life, and displaying unconditional love in a challenging situation

I charge SP with the unspeakable acts of working hard, getting an education, wanting to serve her community and her state, looking for ways to save taxpayers money,and in additon to these barbarous acts- she has the unmitigated gall of reminding all public servants that they work FOR the PEOPLE!

I charge SP with believing that the God that she worships created the world and everything in it- for this unspeakable crime- she must surely be held accountable

I charge SP with holding the archaic belief that TRUTH is NOT relative

I charge SP with "shaking up" the status quo, enraging the liberal media, shocking the GOP, angering the pundits, confusing Karl Rove, Mike Huckaby, Charles Krauthammer, and ALL the others,and turning the political world upside down

I charge SP with "connecting" with AMERICA, being epistemologically self-concious( ok.. philosophy majors- do your homework), and becoming a thorn in the side of SO MANY who HATE HER

I charge SP with being a bright and shining star- a breath of fresh Air

I, therefore, in light of all the evidence , do find Sarah Palin 100% Guilty as Charged-

whats the 'SENTENCE" going to be??? well..... we shall see.... we shall see...

Sunday, July 5, 2009


If you happen to be living on planet earth, you probably have noticed that LOTS of so-called celebrities are dying... and how could you NOT NOTICE?We are being bombarded with news of EVERY DETAIL of their lives.. or should I say deaths.. isnt it strange.???.Human beings die..we are ALL headed in that "direction".. but we act like something unusual has occurred.." He( or she, ) has died... THAT ca'nt be!!! Well... YES IT CAN... part of the shock is our deification of anyone that we have EVER seen on our TV screen .. - We expect our "stars"and "idols" to be super - human.( you mean the guy that did the "moon walk" could really die?). yep thats part of it.. but MOST of it comes down to this- When one of our "idols" dies, we are reminded of our mortality... and THAT makes us uncomfortable.. we do'nt want to think about it... the really strange thing is that we NEED TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE SOMETIMES.. yep, I said it( Ok, my hedonist friends, you know I love ya- but I gotta break it down for ya).. when we are uncomfortable, or faced with difficulty, tragedy, tribulation,sadness, obstacles_________-( insert your yucky situation here in the space provided)- we tend to DO A LOT of thinking.. now I know that morbid introspection is not healthy.. but sometimes we need to THINK about what's important! The late theologian Greg Bahnsen in his last sermon put it this way:" Death helps to focus the mind"He also used the sermon to talk about those that live their lives in defiance of God, those that have no regard for spiritual things:Cornelius Van Til said, " In vain they seek to die the death of the righteous".. what does this mean??? - that the unbeliever seeks to die the death of the righteous?? I think it means this: They are grasping for SOME MEANING to existence; they are looking desperately for something that validates their life.. you know what I am talking about... " Yeah, Michael Jackson was pretty messed up with those kids, he hated who he really was, he thought that he could be fulfilled by living a Disneyland existence... but HEY He was an AWESOME singer, dancer, and he sold MILLIONS of albums..." Do you see what we do??? we look for something to hang onto.. some goodness.. some virtue... some accomplishment that gives meaning to everything they did...but we do so in VAIN... because this game of stacking up their good deeds on one side of the scale- and their bad deeds on the other.. it never works.. and deep in our heart of hearts , we KNOW this... We still feel empty and sad when we think about our idols leaving this earth.. no matter how many times we listen to "Off the Wall", we are unfulfilled.. we are still faced with the awful truth, that one day the Bell will toll for us... but we can have hope.. we can die the "death of the Righteous" it's NOT OUR righteousness, it is given to us by a Gentle Sheperd who washes us with His blood, and clothes us with HIS righteousness- it's not about any GOOD WORKS that we do... it's about what HE has DONE on the cross. He offers you this FREE gift...and remember.. " Death be not proud though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, but thou are not so..."(I wonder if John Donne ever danced, I wonder if HE ever did the "moonwalk" ... I will ask him when I see him.. because ONE DAY I will meet Donne.. IN ANOTHER LAND... NOT NEVERLAND- it's really FOREVERLAND!)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

WHY WE SING"JESUS LOVES ME" IN MY CHURCH( and it's NOT because it has a good beat-and is easy to dance to)

Today we had a GREAT TIME in our Children's Church worship time! In our Church , we do'nt do a "babysitting" time, we do'nt watch veggie tales during Children's Church( although, the CHRISTMAS EPISODE IS THE BEST)- nope... we "do "WORSHIP.. we teach the children K-2nd grade about the regulative principle of Worship( the BIBLE alone tells us what the elements of Worship should be...), we teach them the distinctives of our reformed Faith- along with the Apostles Creed, The Catechism, Singing the OLD HYMNS- singing the new PRAISE SONGS( psst....hey do'nt tell anyone but One time I taught them a D.C. TALK RAP song), and we have a message, that's right -a little sermon.. and the "theme" of EVERY message is this: JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW- YEP.. that's it... now I know what you are thinking: you are thinking: "hey... where's the stuff about supralapsarianism??, the continuity between the covenants?? the stuff about the sacramental view of the Church??? this IS CLAY CALLAWAY'S BLOG, is'nt it? HONEY, there's something wrong with our computer! Call Shane- I think we have a virus!!... yeah THAT'S WHAT you are thinking.. but relax ...YOU ARE at the right blog.. but like the young people say- I just "broke it down for ya brother" you see... all the BIG WORDS in our discussions about THEOLOGY are just another way of talking about the MOST WONDERFUL , PROFOUND, and yet SIMPLE MESSAGE in all the WORLD- JESUS LOVES ME!!!I LOVE THAT SONG... in Fact, we sang it today... "For the Bible tells me so" yes.. it tells ALL of HIS children( no matter what age)... He Loves you..." Little Ones to HIM belong" NOW THAT LINE TOTALLY ROCKS( as the young people say... are'nt you glad I am "down with" the young people?)Little ONES TO HIM BELONG!! We were singing that song this morning and "my" children's church kids were singing with ALL their might... I could'nt help thinking how blessed those children are be in a Church that teaches them something SO POWERFUL: They can LOVE JESUS, believe in Jesus, trust in HIM.. no MATTER HOW YOUNG THEY MIGHT BE!They are learning the BIBLICAL truth that GOD works through families to call HIS children unto Himself. God will be our GOD and the GOD OF OUR CHILDREN- The promise is unto us and to OUR CHILDREN and to as many as the Lord will call.. ok you get the idea??? Jesus is OUR GOD and the GOD of our kids.. there.. I said it( well..actually I typed it) what a JOY it is to see these little ones growing up LOVING JESUS with ALL their heart, really believing and KNOWING that HE is their Savior, knowing that He DIED for THEM... and SADLY some adults hear these precious little souls praying to their heavenly Father, talking about how they Love Him, and how he is THEIR FRIEND... and deep down inside these "rationally minded" adults THINK," Now is'nt that "CUTE"??well... at least MAYBE ONE DAY they will grow up and REALLY UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL"We sort of "wink" and smile when they tell us that they love HIM..." and those prayers for the sick pets??? We smile and pray with if JESUS REALLY CARES ABOUT EVERY THING IN OUR LIVES.. but NO... we really do'nt believe THAT do we?? we ADULTS think that we REALLY KNOW JESUS.. if ONLY these children knew JESUS LIKE WE KNOW HIM!!! We are just kinda playing a little game with this " Jesus Loves Me" stuff..... WELL.... ARE'nt WE????Because you see...if we "got it" like our children "get it" .. we would know and BELIEVE the message," Jesus Loves Me".. the amazing truth that HIS LOVE is a gift... we ca'nt do aanything to earn His favor... He will never Leave us.. He cares about EVERYTHING IN OUR LIFE- He died on the Cross for our sin and we are going to live with him forever- Dear reader- our children "get it"... but sadly some of us do'nt, especially some in the REFORMED community- some of our Brethren who sail on the Sea of Sovereign Grace with us are riding in a leaky boat... they are sinking... and their children are jumping overboard.... because the GOSPEL of GRACE is not being lived out- The children in some of these fellowships are ALWAYS in turmoil.. always wondering if they are "among the elect".. they are constantly thinking about themselves.and WHAT THEY DO( uh oh... we are starting to seek refuge on the ISLAND oF GOOD WORKS.-watch out for the filthy rags of righteousness) and they so afraid that they are not exhibiting the true marks of a believer( spare me the scripture about "examining yourselves to make sure you are in the faith- I will address that in another post)the children of these"hyper-calvinists"can never rest in Jesus' love... I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I HAVE PRAYED FOR SOME OF THESE FAMILIES... The morbid introspection of their parents is passed down to the children( well at least they are covenantal in one sense)... always wondering... always afraid...always hoping that ONE DAY they will REALLY be able to say that they love Jesus.. one day they MIGHT reach that Mysterious age of "accountability"( By the way- not in the BIBLE) when they can TRULY say that they LOVE JESUS... Dear Friends... do'nt do this to your children... do'nt discourage them from believing that Jesus LOVES THEM, and that HE is their GOD... One day some parents took their children to Jesus so that he might Lay hands on them and bless them... the disciples rebuked them...I bet it happened like this... ( hey this is MY BLOG... grant me a little creative license) Here's the scene a little over 2000 years ago-

Peter-" Hey John, we have a problem with some of these folks in the crowd and I am starting to get really angry... I ca'nt believe these people want to bring their children to Jesus so that he can bless them.. they are acting like Jesus cares about their children.. I mean I know they believe that Jesus is from God.. and THEY believe in Him.. but bringing their CHILDREN TO HIM?? Give me a bREAK!

John-" Hey Peter, tell the people that Jesus does'nt have time for CHILDREN.. they ca'nt really love HIM.. they do'nt understand who Jesus is.. why.. some of those kids are just babies.. what good would it do to bring them to Jesus"

Thomas-" I doubt that any of these folks have studied theology"

Judas- " Hey if the adults wanna go get blessed by Jesus, they can drop their kids off at our little daycare service- we could charge a few denari for snacks for the tykes... we could really use the money..."

James-" ok... ok .. I say we let the kids go get blessed by Jesus.. but ONLY THE ONES who can properly explain what Sin REALLY IS.. and show by their works that they have true faith"

Andrew- " I wonder if any of these people have read Rabbi Spurgeons little tract- " Bring your children to Jesus for Blessing- but only when they are old enough to be immersed"

Matthew-"Man, I thought I had a stressful job before I got this disciple "gig" !- but trying to get people to understand Jesus's feelings toward their children???- this is worse than trying to help someone fill out a 1040 form with no w-2s"

well... this discussion went on and on and the scripture says that Jesus became INDIGNANT now This word" Indignant is POWERFUL-.. this is the ONLY TIME IN SCRIPTURE that THIS LEVEL OF ANGER is ATTRIBUTED TO JESUS.. NOT when he threw out the money changers... not when he rebuked the pharisees, NO WHERE ELSE!!!Dear Reader, Jesus rebuked the disciples and said" Let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them -for to such belongs the KINGDOM OF GOD" .. He took them up in his arms and blessed them...." Dear Christian Friends, Jesus Loves your children.. and let me tell you something EVEN MORE PRECIOUS-THEY KNOW IT... and they LOVE HIM.... Rest in that Promise... what are you going to do with the very words of the One who died for us:?? " for to such belongs the kingdom of God" You can try to explain it away with all your Weust's Keys to the Greek... you can dust off Spurgeon and hold him up as a great Calvinist who knew the truth, .Granville Sharpes rule aint gonna help you explain away his love for your children... Rest, dear friends... rejoice in His LOVE for our little ones.. you can forget all these words that I have written here.. but do this one thing... the Next time your kids are singing "Jesus Loves Me" ... think about the words... be blessed by His promise...Sing it together as a family... It's a great song- and by the way.. it does have a good beat.. and it IS easy to dance to... but most importantly.. it's a great way to remind ourselves that His LOVE for US is a FREE gift.. it's not about what we do.. it's about what HE has done- The Bible TELLS ME SO!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whats the Big Deal??( Letterman was only joking.. right?)

You've heard havent you??? it's been on Foxnews and EVERY other news station ... David Letterman made a crude joke about Sarah Palin's daughter... and LOTS of folks were outraged... and thats SO SAD.- it's sad that they got angry about that joke... ok... let me say it this way.. it's SO SAD THAT it TOOK THIS INCIDENT TO ANGER THEM.. I mean , if you stop to think about it( please think about it, it will make my blogging worthwhile- sorry... Mr. Camus said I needed to be authenticated) , I think you will agree that our culture has become so crude and coarse- it's been that way for a while...I think it was when our good friend , the television came to live in all our homes! Well, he certainly helped us to be creative with our crudeness. All of us have learned lots of humorous ways to be vulgar. You know , we 've learned to laugh at those who are having a hard time. We chuckled at our leaders when they fell into sin- We REPUBLICANS felt like we had struck comedy gold when President Clinton committed adultery... and while we were laughing... a wife was heartbroken because her husband had lost the battle with his flesh one more time, a young girl 's heart was torn apart because her Dad had betrayed the family, and a hurting, confused young woman who was reaching out for affection and affirmation saw her name turned into a description of a sexual act ... funny stuff huh??? hilarious... but hey.. there's nothing wrong with a few laughs is there???.. well YES... in FACT there is.... especially when there's nothing funny ... say like when your so called "witty comments" come down to this: treating WOMEN like OBJECTS to be laughed at, to be joked about, reduced to sexual playthings- and even if they are not YOUR playthings... you think it's funny that SOMEONE else is "playing" with them.. or could be... WOW are'nt we cool and clever??? A LONG time ago a Leader of a great people was being a little lazy... sleeping during the day. He got up from his nap , walked around on his roof.. and saw a woman bathing. His FIRST thought was to treat her like a THING... yeah thats right ... he was thinking,' Man, I got an itch that needs scratching- she'll do quite nicely... I need to get her up to my place for drinks- a sloe gin fizz will help to take the edge off)... Now you know who I am talking about.. yep.. it's King David.. and the woman was Bathsheba.. we've heard the story a million times.. but there's a guy that gets left out of the story...You see, David told one of his servants to find out about this beautiful woman that he saw- Here's the man's report," Is'nt this Bathsheba, The DAUGHTER of Eliam, and The WIFE of Urriah the Hittite" Do you get what this man was trying to get David to see.????.. Maybe( ok just maybe)he was trying to say, " KING DAVID, this woman has a name, she is not JUST a BEAUTIFUL BODY, This woman is SOMEONE's DAUGHTER, This Woman is SOMEONE's WIFE, and YOU WANT to treat her LIKE a plaything, to use her to satisfy your lust, you want to treat her like an object..." well, this man who gave David this report just disappeared... he is'nt mentioned again... but what wisdom is displayed in those couple of verses!!! We know what David did... and the consequences of his actions. I am certain that there was lots of laughing going on that evening when Bathsheba came up to the King's palace.. everything was so funny... I wonder what Eliam was thinking when he heard that HIS DAUGHTER was seen with the KING on the roof that evening. He knew what was going on.. I bet he was'nt laughing... I wonder if the servants who "fetched" Bathsheba for David were joking.. I bet they were... laughing about what was going on in the King's bedroom...hey.. there's nothing wrong with a little laughter is there... It's just Bathsheba... SOMEONE's wife- SOMEONES daughter.... go ahead... laugh.!!!...lighten's only a joke ... What's the Big Deal??

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

MY COMMENCEMENT SPEECH TO THE CLASS OF 2009( if anyone had asked me to give one)

OK... I HAVE to admit... no institutions of higher learning( or lower learning.. or even in- the middle learning.).. asked me to speak to their graduating class... to be honest with ya... I have been busy laying stone on a cabin in Alabama, stripping floors at Grace Christian Academy.and packing herbal wormer for the goat supply business.. not much time for speech making.. so EVEN IF YOU HAD asked... really.. it did'nt hurt my feelings, I had nothing prepared.. and I ALSO was busy trying to decide which wheel barrow to use on next weeks project... ok enough about me.... here's the "charge" to ALL the Jesus Followers who are moving on to the next level- Thanks to my friend Pastor Louis Wilson who inspired this "speech" with his sermon," The American Dream without God is a Nightmare"

Congratulations Class of 2009- and thank you for the opportunity to talk with you today! Today is your graduation.. . you ( and your parents) have said things like," MAN, I am glad this is finally over...I never thought this day would come".. Well , IT'S HERE ! CONGRATULATIONS!Now,we can talk about the fact that this is the beginning of the rest of your life... this is a milestone... this is the end of one chapter of your life- and you are about to turn the page on another-. SO many commencement speakers say things like: study hard at your next institution of Higher learning, believe in yourself, work hard, go to college so that you can BE SOMEBODY, get a good education so that you can get a good job and make a lot of money... you've heard it.. Parents have said these things to their children for generations... and those PARENTS ARE SO MISGUIDED.. ( ok kids.. respect your parents.. just make sure they read THIS SPEECH.. they'll be ok)... Now it IS TRUE that you need a good education.... and it is true that you need to study/work hard... ( I bet you figured out where I am going with this have'nt ya??) THE REASONING BEHIND these admonitions is wrong... First of all... no matter what you do after this graduation YOU ARE ALREADY SOMEBODY!!! YOU are a Child of the KING.. you have been created with a soul that will never, ever die. He sent HIS SON to die on the cross for your sins- HE LOVES YOU... the scripture says that he "rejoices over you with singing" , " He Will comfort you like a Mother comforts her Child"... sorry my republican Brothers... Jesse Jackson is CORRECT.. I AM ( YOU ARE!) somebody!!! No matter if you are "Sophie the washwoman" or the CEO of a huge corporation...SO NOW THAT YOU KNOW THAT.... it's time to take your eyes OFF YOUR SELF!!!Your response to your "somebody-ness" should not be sitting around all day practicing Rose-colored introspection... Your response should be THANKSGIVING.... ok ... NOW we are moving in the right direction.. are ya with me.?? Yep.. you got it now.. I can feel it.. now you know that YOUR KING came to SERVE.... uh oh... I am liking that word," SERVE".. in fact lets park it right here for a moment.. because thats the REASON that you need to study hard/work hard/ go to college.. etc... so that you can help people, SERVE OTHERS... You can HELP MORE PEOPLE if you continue your education... MANY MORE DOORS OF ministry will be opened to you if you take advantage of every opportunity to grow .God will use it to mold you into the person you are supposed to be. Maybe the BLESSING of our recession is going to be clear in the days to come... yes.. I said BLESSING... because the way it looks now... a College degree is no guarantee of a great job, lots of money, or prestige...things are tough... they might get worse... who knows.??. we are in God's hands... we do not know what will happen.. but we KNOW WHAT WE ARE TO DO.. We are to LOVE OTHERS.... SERVE OTHERS.Maybe we will stop thinking about the things that pass away.. Maybe our economic down-turn will help us to look "up" and to set our affections on things that are eternal... maybe..! Well..... study hard... but do'nt worry.... there isnt a test.... well in a way there is... more to come.. later...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

" DOES HE FEEL THE NAILS, EACH TIME I FAIL?"- or Church signs: clever lines that rhyme? or Bad theology time after time???

I look at 'em.. well.. it's more than "look at 'em" it's more like "look for 'em".. I enjoy reading the signs of the churches that I pass on my way to wherever..lately I have been driving back and forth to a job that is pretty far away.. down little country back-roads- so I pass a LOT of old country churches. I love them! Sometimes , the signs tell me: " Established in 1873" , or " Gospel Singing This week- All are invited". "Pray for Our Nation" is a popular "posting"- and a GOOD ONE- we need to pray... without ceasing!You can always tell when a community is about to vote on the sale of Alcohol- That's when the CREATIVE stuff gets put on the sign..." Be not decieved- Wine is a mocker"... I saw one church sign that tried to get the voters to think WWPD- What would Paul Do? They summed it up like this :" PAUL VOTED NO".( I actually think Paul would have voted NO to using that Store brand Grape Juice for Communion- ca'nt you guys spring for some WELCH'S?). cool stuff.. you gotta admit.. Here's another one: " Walmart is not the ONLY SAVING PLACE", or how bout,"This is not your Aunt Gertrude's Church" ( hey !!!!wait a minute...MY AUNT GERTRUDE was a baptized, catechised, and sanctified Presbyterian- I WANNA GO to her church, thank you very much)... sometimes these signs make us smile, or laugh, or even CRINGE... yep sometimes the most blasphemous lines are posted on these structures ... like this one, " He feels the Nails, every time I fail" This is probably the worst.. because it goes against the very heart of the Gospel; The TOTAL PRICE was paid on the Cross- remember" It is FINISHED" ? This idea that Jesus suffers( or is sacrificed) over and over again for our sin is nothing short of heresy.. Dear Reader, IT IS DONE... The Lord Jesus took ALL of The Father's wrath upon Him , HIS blood was poured out and the Price was paid... there is NOTHING you can do to add to that payment- If you trust in Jesus alone for salvation, you need to get your eyes off yourself.. and look to Jesus... " stop thinking about what YOU DO.. it's not about that.. it's ALL about what HE HAS DONE...Once an old man at an airport was being witnessed to by some young enthusiastic college students. They were convinced that if someone was a true Christian, they would know the time and place when they trusted Jesus. They asked the elderly gentleman, " Sir, WHEN you were SAVED??" the old man thought for a minute.. scratched his head and said, " I think it was about 2000 years ago"!!! Dear Friends, this gentleman was SO right.. that's when it ALL happened... That perfect Lamb was slain and He secured the salvation of HIS people- Thats when we were saved.. and thats when He felt the nails... but He felt so much worse than the nails.... HE felt the Wrath of the Father.... for us... I LOVE those Church signs .. but sometimes I want to stop and "re-arrange some of the letters" how bout this... " Jesus Said........ It IS FINISHED" hey, I know it does'nt rhyme.. but it's a beautiful message, the most wonderful message that has ever been proclaimed...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

" The Shack" Part Three( More Mysterion Please)

I was thinking about my friend, Harold recently- He was the FIRST Christian brother who tried to tell me about Mysterion. You see , Harold and I were members of a church that was having some struggles( news alert- that happens sometimes) Some disagreements caused a rift between a couple of the Elders- and it was bothering Harold( by the way, I NEVER called him by his first name- he was older than me.. and I AM a southern boy- he was a MR. )Well, One Saturday night I was at Harold's house and we were talking about the recent problems at our church and he remarked, " You Know, we are having Communion at Church tomorrow.. and I really believe that God is going to do something miraculous.. and heal the relationships of those men" You see, Harold KNEW something.. He knew that God does something special for us when we celebrate HIS SUPPER.. it is a nurturing, faith strengthening ordinance- and that God wants to use that time to heal us and to meet with us in a special way.. it's a MYSTERY-mysterion.. or a Holy Secret that God reveals to His people. I did'nt know about "Mysterion".. I thought that Communion was just memorial... an empty symbol that just reminded us of Jesus' sacrifice.. I did NOT know that God wants to use it strengthen, heal , and nurture us.It's not only a Gospel Mystery, holy secret- It's also a Sacrament( more about this later).Thats the problem with so many believers today- they do'nt have a SACRAMENTAL VIEW of the CHURCH- thats why SO MANY are running to " The Shack" and all the books that seem to "bash" organized "religion"... They ARE looking for something that helps them to "connect" with God on a deeper level, they are longing for a "taste" of Heaven in this life, they know that their worship time at the church has not "fed " this hunger... so they run to and fro looking for something else.. they sense that something is mising at "church" and THEY ARE RIGHT.. and We( the Elders) of the local Churches are to Blame.. we have not properly encouraged a Sacramental view of the church. The Word, Sacramentum can refer to a Pledge, a downpayment, a sample, an oath, or a Holy Secret. In Reformed circles, we refer to Baptism and The Lord's Supper as sacraments. Augustine said that they were" Visible signs of an invisible grace" We believe that there is something special that happens when we participate in the sacraments. Remember when Paul told the church that they better be careful about celebrating communion( do'nt be using grape juice... not really.. just kiddin) Paul told them that their improper attitude caused some to "be sick.. and even some have fallen asleep( died)... DEAR READER.. if this was an EMPTY SYMBOL ,.do you think that people would be getting sick and dying??? NO... it is not empty.. it is filled with POWER... and it is one of the ways that God uses to strengthen us, to empower us, and to heal our wounded souls.. we in the Reformed Churches have said that we believe these things .. but we have not shown it by our actions... many in Presbyterian churches in this country celebrate communion only 4 times a year! Is this acting in accordance with the admonition of Jesus to " celebrate this often until I Come" ??Is this consisitent with the teaching that "we are feeding upon Christ SPIRITUALLY" with the Bread and the Cup- If We think "sacramentally" we will begin having Communion more often in our local churches... Believers will be strengthened by God, the "thing" that they have been longing for will be in their hands. as they feed upon Jesus and he gives them more Grace, more power, and a sense of His prescence.THIS IS WHAT"S MISSING... and we ( Elders, Pastors, leaders) are to blame... We MUST TEACH the truth about Communion, and we MUST observe it often- we told people that Worship at the local Church is the time when they will be strengthened and fed... and we have given them only appetizers: A few really upbeat modern sounding "praise songs", some "special music", a little of the Word, and a closing hymn... we leave them hungry...they go away yearning for more and we deny them the great feast that Jesus wants to give them- a SPIRITUAL FEEDING upon his BODY AND BLOOD"( Ok Bible scholars, I am NOT talking about transubstantiation NOR Consubstantiation.. GOOGLE some of this stuff- it will be fun).. NO WONDER people are TIRED of going through the motions. No wonder that they are longing for more... When God's people are FED and strengthened by the Sacraments(along with the WORD, and Prayer), they will experience the "more"... they will have a supernatural sense of HIS prescence..Their souls will be healed... and they will be equipped to "work through" the challenges that we face in loving each other with a forgiving, agape love.... THOSE ELDERS that Harold was praying for??? They eventually reconciled... I Believe the seeds of healing were planted that Lord's Day during Communion.... and Harold???? well.. he went to be with the Lord many years ago... and He is havingTRUE Communion with the One who gave His Body and Blood so that we might be forgiven and live forever... it's a Holy Secret.... but God has told you ALL about it... He spoke to us through His Son many years ago... and he is still speaking ... He is whispering this Holy Secret, this mysterion; to you right now... can you hear Him???

Sunday, May 3, 2009


In last weeks episode, we saw that all the fuss over " the Shack" was really unfounded- it's a Novel.. and I reminded you that YES, the author wrote the book as a way to deal with the questions, "Where is God when things are tough?- and "Does God REALLY love me?" The author did some creative maneuvers to show us that God is RIGHT THERE with us no matter what, AND YES , HE LOVES US WITH ALL OF HIS LOVE! I told you in part ONE that I enjoyed "The Shack".. SO.... here's part two- if you are going to read the book, you might want to change the channel.. because I have got to get a little specific about some things- do'nt wanna spoil it for ya!.. ok, I will look away for a sec.... ok..back...- I warned you-here goes:The Writer of the Shack ( and lots of other Authors I have been reading lately) have "problems" with "organized Religion".. you have heard the arguments: Too INSTITUTIONALIZED... too much like a business,,, blah , blah... People ran to "the Shack" because they believe that the "traditional", organized Church is too much like.. uh... well.. it's too much like an ORGANIZATION... but I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU- we ca'nt escape the fact that THE BIBLE TEACHES AN ORGANIZED CHURCH- yep.. I said it( well, I actually typed it) .. Now Dear Friend, you are going to have to do some work here for me, help me out - get your Bible out.. and research this.. remember Gentle Jesus , Meek and Mild?? He taught that believers would be part of an ORGANIZED group that would NEED to EXERCISE DISCIPLINE( ok.. I will "give you this one: Matthew 18).. yep that's right.. brothers and sisters WILL SIN( disappoint each other, gossip, go on EGO TRIPS in the Church... ok .. think about that person at Church that did YOU WRONG... insert their SIN here_______.) SO... Jesus says that you have to work together to RESTORE your brother and THAT TAKES ORGANIZATION... yep.. we gotta work together- ALSO be sure to read ALL the scriptures that TALK ABOUT: ELDERS, DEACONS, directions on HOW to USE MONEY THAT'S Collected, directions on how to observe the LORD's Supper, How to obey THOSE THAT ARE OUR LEADERS in the CHURCH( ok.. another free one - Hebrews 13: 17)... WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE Happening DURING A WORSHIP SERVICE!!!SOUNDS uh... well.. sounds ORGANIZED to me- (I am glad that these guys writing these books criticizing organized "religion"are not against ORGANIZED PUBLISHING FIRMS who publish their books.. we'd miss out on some good reading..). Get the IDEA???Dear Friends, The NEW TESTAMENT IS CLEAR : Believers are supposed to be part of a LOCAL body that meets together for Worship, they are to have "leaders" : Teaching elders, Ruling Elders, Deacons,.. SORRY FRIEND.. having coffee at Starbucks with fellow Jesus followers, talking about " The Shack" is NO SUBSTITUTE for the ORGANIZED,LOCAL BODY of Christ- !Friends, we are going to have problems with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are still sinners. Why do you think that the New Testament is filled with admonitions about LOVING each other, being patient with each other, forgiving one another?? It's all part of HIS plan. It did'nt start with Constantine helping Christians build cathedrals after legalizing Christianity.. really it did'nt... .It's all in HIS WORD.. and thats another thing.. ( I'm "ranting" huh?).. The author says that we put God in a box- by insisting that OUR PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION of the BIBLE is correct. He says that we should'nt do that.. we are "putting God in the pages of a Book" .. but let me tell you something friends.. the writer of the Shack presents the TRINITY in HIS novel.. WHERE DID HE GET THE IDEA for this ONE GOD IN THREE PERSONS?? HIS INTERPRETATION ??? HE APPEALS TO SCRIPTURE TO TELL US WHAT GOD IS LIKE!!! why should we trust his interpretation of this doctrine?? the Jehovah's witnesses have THEIR own ideas about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...The writer believes the "Traditional" "orthodox" teaching of the Trinity that is taught in the Scripture AND was "formulated" at the Council Of Chalcedon( 451 a.d.- thanks Mr. Mac).. Wait.. whats that word?? COUNCIL?? sounds like an ORGANIZED meeting to me.. with leaders... and an agenda....can anything good come out of organization?? Dear Friends.. We MUST work together as believers.. in Worship, in service, in ministry, AND IN formulating what we believe about the Bible... . I am so Blessed to be a member of a Church that has a Confession of Faith.. it's not enough to say " I believe the Bible"- EVERYBODY says that.. we have to discover what we believe about specific doctrines and join with like-minded believers.. it's essential for our growth and for the growth of the Kingdom... I KNOW exactly what so many Shack "fans" are saying when they complain about "traditional" Church services being dead, cold,and powerless- believers have not"connected with God" in a meaningful way"In the NEXT installment( sorry, ...) I will tell you HOW THE LOCAL CHURCH MISSED THE MARK, what needs to be done to bring power, meaning and life-giving GRACE back to the local congregation. ok... here's a hint: " MYSTERION" ... yep that's your clue.. and remember Greek students : Granville Sharp's Rule is very helpful when you leave " the Shack"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Do you remember??? It was'nt too many years ago. Everyone was warning us about the EVIL Harry Potter.. Remember Harry Potter wanted to take over our minds and make us worship MAGIC and The Devil... Man, They( you know , "They" do'nt you?) said that NOONE should read it.. TOO DANGEROUS- all those witches, and warlocks, and magic talk. I remember being at a friends house one evening. We were all just hanging out with our kids, watching TV.. it was a great family night with friends. We watched " The Wizard of Oz" on TV.. some of the Little ones enjoyed listening to " Sleeping Beauty" before Bed.. and some of the older kids were telling us how far they had gotten in " The Chronicles Of Narnia".. it was a great night.. and then , some one mentioned the dreaded " P" word- POTTER... well, before you could say "ding dong the Witch is dead", one of the adults launched into a diatribe against HP.. Man, I was so scared , I did'nt even read it... I heard SO many scary theories about how my mind was going to be exposed to all sorts of terrible influences... I had no Idea that I would hear similar warnings about a book called "the Shack": " Heresy" is the word I heard most often! Now I am an ultra-conservative Presbyterian Elder- Jesus ONLY-Virgin Birth- ok... just think of ALL the "check List words " that scream EXCLUSIONARY to the liberal evangelicals and insert them next to Clay Callaway.. You get the idea??? So one evening , I was thinking about re-reading " The Lion , the Witch, and the Wardrobe" and FORGET about " The Shack".. but I could'nt.. I had to see what the Buzz was all about.SO I read it... I was afraid.. and my fears were confirmed... in a good way. NOW, I want YOU to read it.. so I am not going to go into great detail with this review- do'nt wanna spoil it... so here goes- " The Shack" is a NOVEL.. ok it's not a book of Systematic Theology.. The main character , Mack visits GOD in " The Shack" so that he can be reminded of something.. and that something is that no matter what you have gone through, GOD LOVES YOU and HAS NEVER FORSAKEN YOU! NOW I know you are saying.. " WOW , Clay.. sounds so deep.. well.. it IS and we all need to be reminded of this profound truth.. The Reformer Martin Luther said that "Christians should preach the Gospel to themselves every day" Simple and yet so profound.. we need to remind ourselves of the wonder of it all.. Thats the message of " The Shack". Now , the author uses some creative ways to help us to "get it" . lots of people were frightened by this "creativity"and starting throwing the "heresy" word around.. especially when the author was heard in an interview, supposedly denying the Penal Substitutionary Atonement( google it)..The author, William P. Young, had several tragedies in his life.. This book is a product of his "working Through" the "where was God?" question. Remember that as you read it. I enjoyed the story..My faith in the Sufficiency of Scripture has not wavered because I read " The Shack", If anything- it has been strengthened.I KNOW what the Bible teaches about God's omniscience, His Immutability, His Sovereignty, - I can read a novel that at times seems to question my views about these attributes- without apostasizing.. really I DID! If you decide to read this book, watch out. Lots of people are screaming.. telling us that we should'nt read this author because some of his views on God are suspect.. let me tell you something.. the APOSTLE PAUL read NON- CHRISTIAN authors.. and QUOTED them. Epimenides was a 6th century religious reformer( not a Christian) and Poet that Paul mentioned in Titus 1:12.- Man, I hope "Epi" did'nt have any witches in his poetry..Paul was'nt afraid of Epimenides.. Paul knew the truth... All of the C.S. Lewis fanatics who proudly recommend his works need to go back and read some of his musings that at times sounded like "open Theism"( google it")- He talked about Budhists who were "living so in harmony with the Spirit of Christ" that they might be in Paradise with us who are Christians."He would not pass your litmus tests".Many of the Early Church Fathers that we quote had some wacky( yep, I typed wacky) views.. but we appeal to them as an "apologia" for our doctrinal distinctives- Origen was certainly a neo-platonist. Tertullian believed that the 70 weeks of Daniel were fulfilled by the FIRST advent- sorry , Pre-trib rapture" friends.. Tertullian would not enjoy your church movie night screening of "left Behind" .. although , I am sure that he would have loved Kirk Cameron...Ya get my point? NOT EVERY WRITER is going to agree with our view of "orthodoxy".. but you know what?? we can still read them.. we can look for kernels of truth in their works.. God can use so many things to teach us... even stories written by authors who are "un-orthodox", neoorthodox, or just plain unbelieving!!! I can se that my "review" will require at least two more installments,so stay tuned to this channel- NEXT, I will address some of the inconsistencies of the story... but let me say this: DO'nt Be Afraid to go to the Shack.. Harry Potter's not there...There's no Lions, Witches, Wardrobes, Wizards, ( oh I forgot.. they're ok.."- sometimes) but I tell you what you will find there.. a good story that reminds you of some Good News; Your Heavenly Father Loves you ; No matter what is going on in your life- He has never and WILL never forsake you; He became a Man and kept the Law for His people and suffered the punishment due to your Sins... that's not a "scary" story.. that's the most calming, healing story that has ever been written, and it was written in RED

Thursday, April 23, 2009


" If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family-anything you like-at a given point in it's history, you will always find that there was a time before thatpoint when there was more elbow room and contrasts were'nt quite so sharp; and that there is going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time,coming to a point,getting sharper and harder" C.S. Lewis- "That Hideous Strength"

Do you agree with this??? I would like your thoughts!!! Discuss this amongst yourselves... I have given you a great topic!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009


A few days ago the "adult"film actress Marilyn Chambers died. She was 56. Her body was discovered by her daughter.Like MOST of the individuals in her industry, she battled drug and alchohol addiction. At this writing , the cause of Death is unknown- WHAT A SAD STORY! Most men in their 40s and 50s know who she was and what made her famous.. and thats another Sad Story.. that so MANY knew SO MUCH about her- Now this is a "family Friendly", reformed Christian blog.. so I will spare you the details of her career.. google the name and you will be shocked.. or maybe you wo'nt be shocked( The possiblity that you wo'nt be shocked is ANOTHER SAD STORY)! Marilyn Chambers became famous for her involvement in the "world" of Pornography- an industry that treats Women as objects !IT glorifies some of the most degrading and horrific acts known to Mankind- and yet ... we heard about Marilyn when we were growing up.. She was on TV shows, talking to Tom Snyder on the Nightly colorcast,being interviewed by "mainstream" journalists"! There she was.. smiling.. talking about how "liberated" she felt doing what she did on film. Everyone was laughing( was'nt that HILARIOUS that she was the girl on the Ivory snow Box.. and then she became an x-rated star!!)it was the nervous laughter that sends a message. Here's the message:," Well, we KNOW WE really should'nt be talking about this kind of thing.. it's REALLY not a healthy view of sexuality... but hey.. we have got to get this ALL out in the open.. it helps us as a society to freely and comfortably talk about these things.. if only we talk about it a little more.. we are sure we will get COMFORTABLE!" WELL, we talked about it- we were exposed to images on Television that helped us to "lighten up"! We became so sophisticated... the Porn industry became a multi-billion dollar industry. Millions of women have been subjected to abuse and humiliation.. and millions of men( and women) have struggled with an addiction that tears apart the very soul. Marriages destroyed, Careers ruined , lives lost.. ALL of this because we became DE-SENSITIZED.Thats the REAL SAD STORY!. the "things" that used to make "us" cringe , have now become so "matter of fact" , SO MUCH a part of OUR LIVES! One if the most popular shows for TEENAGE girls a couple of years ago was the program, " the Girls Next Door", which chronicled the life of Playboy Founder , Hugh Hefner and his THREE live-in girlfriends( who were all about 60 YEARS YOUNGER than Hugh-baby).....there we were again.. watching, laughing,( that nervous laughter?? nope.. not anymore) We have become so NUMB.. we drown out any remnant of a conscience with our noise... and our toys.. we do'nt want to think about the way that WE have compromised. we do'nt want to think about what is right or wrong. Just have Fun, Life's too short, Eat Drink and be merry... Be merry,... that's what Marilyn Chambers and all the other porn actresses tried to do.. but it did'nt work! I remember Tom Snyder asking Marilyn about her belief about GOD and if she believed- or thought about the afterlife- She replied that She just did'nt think about that"kind of thing". I think that her reply was a lie.. just like all the lies she told about the joy and liberation she felt doing pornographic films. She tried to numb the pain with drugs and alchohol.. deep inside, She KNEW that what she did was wrong- it was not a healthy way to live- and WE KNOW that our compromising is wrong.. this "mainstreaming" of unhealthy sexual imagery has left us enslaved, empty, and broken. Behind many Doors in America, families are suffering because we have "lightened up". Children are being neglected and abused because we became "sophisticated" about Sexuality! The SAD STORY is that WE did this to ourselves.. we turn away from our Creator who wants to give us a healthy view of sexuality- that it is a beautiful gift from God to be shared between One man and one woman.we do'nt want HIS guidance.. we are so sophistcated.. we have "lightened up"... thats the REAL Sad story...Marilyn Chambers left a daughter, I pray that SOMEONE who knows the Savior will come into her life... and show her what real love is.. and what it TRULY means to Live a Life of Liberation.. ONE SAD STORY jus might have a happy ending.. or a happy beginning

Thursday, April 9, 2009

" LETS MAKE A DEAL( Carol Merril, Where are you? It's Easter)

Husain Ismael Jabar is an Israeli -Arab who lives in the village of Abu -Gosh near Jerusalem! Jabar is a businessman and every year at Passover he gets a GREAT DEAL on all the leavened products in Jerusalem. As everyone knows, only UNLEAVENED products can be kept in the house, business, store, etc. during Passover! Jabar helps out his Jewish neighbors!He purchases ALL LEAVENED PRODUCTS( any product derived from flour of the five species of Grain) for approximately $20,000! The amazing thing about this deal is : ALL these leavened products in all the stores,businesses, homes, restaurants, etc. are worth in excess of 150 million dollars! Better than E-bay, huh?? He does'nt even pay for shipping, well, actually he does'nt even have to go and move it to his warehouse.. he just hands over a check for 20 grand to a Rabbi ;they give him a paper saying that he is the owner of ALL that is Leavened- and he sells it all back to them at the end of passover- Let's make a Deal! ( hey Monty, I'll take what's behind door number 3- I hope it's a year 's supply of Bagels).. yep, it's a pretty good arrangement that they have going with Mr. Jabar- ALL THE leavened products are gotten rid of( well, in a way), just as the Jewish Law commands. This is called Mechirah and it's the way that the devout "dispose of" their leavened products without.. well... without having to lose anything- The families sign over their leavened products to the Rabbi's who in turn sign them over to Jabar- at the end of Passover, Jabar gives it all back, paperwork signed, checks swapped- everyone is Happy! The DEMANDS of the LAW are satisfied, Yahweh is pleased that they got rid of the unleavened bread( in a way,, they really did.. did'nt they??),Man, that was a great Passover- My conscience is clear- I bet Jehovah really ,really loves me a lot now! ...... You know when I first heard this reported on NPR, I laughed inside a little, "those Jewish families, playing their little game with God.. acting like they are GIVING UP something to show THEIR's like they are God. all the while saying.. Yep, we are doing what we are supposed to"!A little paper shuffling and all is right with the Kosher world" I started thinking though... I AM JUST LIKE THOSE PEOPLE... I play my little games with God-thinking that if i do SOMETHING- He will be pleased with me! He will love me more.. and not be angry with me.... a little paper shuffling, pretending that I am really doing good.. uh.. "what's that???, no these are not LEAVENED bread crumbs on the front of my shirt.. I do'nt know what you are talking about.. nope.. not me"... the PROBLEM is that ALL this thinking is about WHAT I DO!!! AND THATS THE PROBLEM! I can play my little games, I can go down the "checklist", I can strive to earn HIS FAVOR.. but the truth is.. He LOVES ME!!! Because of the CROSS, my SINS were paid for.. JESUS DIED FOR ME!! I ca'nt do anything to make him love me more or me LESS, I already have ALL of HIS LOVE! He ROSE again to free me from Sin and death! I do'nt have to play any games, or try to earn His love... He is RISEN.. He is Risen Indeed!!!.... Allright Carol Merrill, show us whats behind Door # 3... could it be an empty tomb??

Saturday, March 21, 2009


The other day I saw a banner at a local church that announced the following: " Classic Worship-11:A.M." Now I KNOW what these dear Brethren are trying to do... they are trying to reach out to the community - they want potential visitors to know that at 11:00, there's going to be Hymn singing, offering, preaching, closing hymn, prayer, etc...- in other words: If you are looking for the "old-fashioned" worship time- this is the place to be! I understand their motives.. these are good people.. they want people to feel comfortable coming to visit! They want to reach people with the Gospel. That's admirable!!...but this makes me wonder.. Has it REALLY come to this?? Do we look at Worship as something that we package and promote like a product??? You've seen the signs: "traditional worship, Contemporary Worship, Willow Creek style worship, Blended Worship".. it goes on and on... what ever happened to what we Presbyterians call," The Regulative Principle of Worship"? The BIBLE ALONE instructs us in the elements of Worship. Now, I realize that there are different ways to implement those Biblical Elements.. but what are we saying when we have different "style" services geared toward the various "tastes" of our potential visitors and current members.. Is this like the Buffet at the restaurant," Choose from Hundreds of items at our Mega -Bar"??? Dear Reader, the Elders of the local Church need to decide what they are going to do with the REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE... and YES that does EXCLUDE A FEW THINGS... One thing that it DEFINITELY EXCLUDES is DRAMA during the WORSHIP SERVICE... yep , I said it... ALL those little skits that you have seen during the service ... they should'nt be there! Am I saying that the Church should not be "capturing the ARTS " for Christ?? no way ... THE CHURCH NEEDS to INVADE EVERY AREA of CULTURE... but it is NOT to be done during Worship... do it at a SEPARATE Gathering... All this innovation; all these polished, practiced, focus group driven attempts at finding a "worship Style" that makes people feel "comfortable"... is nothing more than salesmanship AND showmanship. SO much of it depends upon the way it "looks", the "atmosphere" that is created, How "hip" and "cool" is the MUSIC???? Dear Reader.. do You ever think about what we have done to WORSHIP??? The Vision statements of our churches are crafted as if we are actually creating a "catch-phrase' for a product!.... Let's return to the VISION of the Apostles.... WORSHIP is to be done according to SCRIPTURAL PRECEDENT! NOT according to the marketing strategies of the World! well, excuse me , I'm getting a little Thirsty.. so I'm going to get a drink- I think I 'll have a Coca-cola Classic... I am glad they stopped making that NEW coke... but wait there's Caffeine free coke, diet coke, coke zero, cherry coke, ... wow SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Many of us are familiar with the story of the patriarch Abraham! In Sunday School we learned about the way that The Lord called him unto Himself! We all have heard the story of the "confirmation of his faith",when God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac on the altar. We have seen the paintings of Abraham raising the knife in the air- only to be stopped by the Angel of The Lord, the Lord Himself provided a ram for the sacrifice- Abraham told Isaac that God would provide and HE DID!!The life of Abraham was filled with examples of God's provision in difficult situations! God told Abraham that HE would be the Father of many nations... but FIRST Abraham had to learn that he was first and foremost a Father to his children.. and that God had a very special job for him !

Speaking of Abraham, God said, " For I have KNOWN HIM in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised."

Many read this verse and say," OK OK.. God is God and of course HE KNEW all about Abraham.. ok he KNEW HIM.. He was intimately acquainted with him,, and...etc.etc.".. Now ALL THAT is true.. but what we need to remember is that in the Hebrew,, this phrase" KNOWN HIM" means so much more that just "Befriending " someone.. or knowing everything about them.. It actually means " LOVED BEFORE-HAND" In other words... The Creator of the universe "set HIS LOVE" upon Abraham.before HE ever created him... but lets look at the REASON for this " LOVED BEFOREHAND" Blessing that Abraham's!! " It was " IN ORDER THAT he may command His children and His household after him, that they may keep the way of the Lord.." Here it is my friends, COVENANT THEOLOGY.. the special place of priviledge that the children of believers occupy! Dear Reader, God was telling Abraham, " YOU ARE MINE, YOUR CHILDREN ARE MINE, I am STARTING SOMETHING HERE... I LOVED YOU BEFOREHAND so that you can teach your children ALL ABOUT ME" All of us who are members of the Body of Christ need to learn from this revelation to Abraham- Christian Father , it is NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY of the youth pastor, the Sunday School teacher, or the Children's minister to "lead your child to Christ" it is your privilege to do this!!! YOU are the one who should teach them to pray, and to share the Word of God with them in family worship.... It is your calling to pray with and for them.. and to talk of The things of God "when you are sitting down, when you rise up, when you are walking on the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up" God will use this to draw your child unto HIMSELF! Christian Father, do not miss this opportunity to teach your children the MOST IMPORTANT truth in ALL THE WORLD! You worry and you stress out over whether your child is doing good in school, or is going to get into a good college and get a good job... but have you made it clear to your child that THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is to KNOW THE SAVIOR and to know that He has paid for the Sins of ALL HIS PEOPLE ! He calls us His people and HIS FRIENDS... He LOVED US BEFORE- HAND!!!and THAT is Good news!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009


The sun is shining, the trees are budding, and soon it will be time for that yearly ritual- SPRING CLEANING!! You know how it goes! ALL the nooks and crannies that you "let Slide" are calling for your attention!The closet where you have been " piling stuff up", the secret place under the bed where you have been sweeping dust, the way up high shelf where SOMETHING is GROWING ( not sure what it is,,, but it's probably UGLY)... all those places need to be taken care of! Cleaned up and cleaned out.. OH I KNOW.. you feel pretty good about yourself, do'nt ya.. Hey , you "managed the mess" for a LONG TIME! You knew how to handle it. You knew what to"let slide" and exactly how to do it!After all, you work hard, you have so many OTHER responsibilities that occupy your attention... but reality steps in when you try to start your cleaning...- that stuff that you piled on top of the other stuff, it is REALLY difficult to clean now.and .. that closet?? oh yeah, you stacked SO much stuff there.. that you can'nt even open the door with out causing an earthquake.. and that ugly stuff that is growing on that top shelf.. it's taken on a life of it's own.. it might be hard to "KILL"!!! Maybe you should have dealt with all of this before NOW!!! Dear Reader, many of us who are Christ followers are guilty of sweeping TOO MUCH stuff under the rug.. there are problems in our families that we have not dealt with! HUSBANDS, is there something in your life that is preventing you from loving your wife as Christ loved the Church?? Is your wife your BEST friend?? or do you look to your co-workers to fill that "role"???do you look to your "buddies" to fill some kind of "void" in your life?Do you and your wife just live in the same house.. and each of you "does your own thing"?? If that is the case, then something is lacking.. remember.. you are ONE FLESH.. God wants to heal your realtionship so that you can live a life of love and fullfillment!Maybe you noticed something .. but you swept it under the rug.. you stacked it in that closet.. You were working a lot .. and your wife got busy with HER friends and her activities..She spends more time with her "friends" than she does with you. and NOW... well. you just decided that things are the way they are.. and...there's other things that need your attention..Dear Reader, deal with it now.. do'nt put this off!

Maybe you are a leader in ministry and well... you know the old saying," you know where ALL the Bodies are buried".. and you let them lie there too! You know about relationships in your Church or ministry that are NOT HEALTHY and you let it go... you shove it under that rug... You better be careful, that thing on that top shelf is growing.. it's taking on a life of it's know about those things that are being done out of a spirit of manipulation and self-interest.. the evidence is there.. but you look the other way.. and think," I HAVE TO let that go.. I ca'nt perform miracles".Maybe you are not a leader. but if you are a member of the Body of Christ, it is your responsibility to go to your brother or sister in a spirit of humility and admonish them privately.. always following the steps of Matthew 18.. But " I ca'nt do that. that will make things worse"" hey there's a little more room in that closet keep stacking..... Dear Reader, before you accuse me of being negative and "works" oriented.. let me encourage you.. our HEALING in ALL these areas is ALL about GRACE! Jesus wants to heal us.. he will ALWAYS LOVE US NO MATTER WHAT.. but think of the joy and freedom that will be ours if we let him clean out those closets, and sweep ALL the dirt from under that rug.. are'nt you tired of living with the KNOWLEDGE that ALL THAT stuff is there and it is unhealthy.. ??Run to Christ and he will give you Rest" Would'nt it be nice to just rest??Jesus will do the cleaning for you.. just ask HIM.. He's really good with the Closets, under the bed, and the corners.. he NEVER Misses a spot.....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Start A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL?? Not ME- I'm Waiting on the Rapture!

Many in the Evangelical community today have never heard the name, J. Gresham Machen. He was a scholar, a theologian, a Follower of Christ, and a visionary of the highest order. Machen was professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary until 1929. He left the seminary in obedience to the Biblical command to seperate from unbelief, and he founded another. He was expelled from the mainline Presbyterian Church because he believed in such things as inerrancy, infallibility,Virgin Birth, and Salvation by Grace. Machen was a brilliant writer and his thoughts on education were prophetic,and profitable-for many reasons.

Machen taught that there were several reasons for Christian Schools, but the two thatwere the focus of his writings were American Liberty and the propagation of the Christian Faith. Machen warned us in 1934 that the government was seeking to monopolize the educational system.. and he warned that the centralized bureaucracy was dangerous.. and was against the ideals of the U.S. Constitution. Machen taught that parents have the RIGHT to bring up their children in accordance with the dictates of their conscience and NOT in the manner prescribed by the State!Many people in 2009 do not realize that in Oregon in the 1930s a law was passed making it mandatory that ALL children attend PUBLIC schools! In Nebraska, a law was passed forbidding the teaching of any language other than English,even in PRIVATE schools, until the child was too old to learn them well! No Latin,!!!Think about it Classical Education lovers- they could still do the Logic and rhetoric... a TWO-Vium????)No Greek, Hebrew- You get the Idea!In New York, a law placed private tutors under State control!! Machen believed that Christians should and would fight against these encroachments upon freedom.. He predicted that thousands and Thousands of students would be educated at HOME AND in Christian Schools.. and He was right .. it is happening.. but let me ask you to think about something, Dear Reader.. HOW did it happen?? The answer is very simple: Christians got INVOLVED.. ( dare I say it??) in the political/legislative process.. these laws were struck down because Christians hired Lawyers, "irritated" their representatives, and influenced the culture! They did not retreat.. they did not express the defeatest mentality that says," Hey, arent things supposed to get worse for Christians?? You know Jesus said that His kingdom was a"spiritual" Kingdom, we are'nt supposed to try to CHANGE SOCIETY.. are we??? I think the rapture's going to happen real soon- you do'nt polish the brass on a sinking ship! Brothers and Sisters.. because those Christian parents decided to take a stand,, we have young people who are being educated at Home and In Christian Schools - and they are learning that The Word of God is OUR starting point" for all discussion about EVERYTHING! There is NO neutrality. the Bible is the ONLY infallible Rule of Faith and Practice( all of Life)Those Believers left us a great inheritance that we enjoy today... and just think they could have sat in their Pews, behind the walls of their Churches, staying out of the political arena,arguing about whether Arch-duke Ferdinand was the Beast of Revelation, and waiting for the "rapture"...... but they did'nt!!!!think about that tomorrow when you drop your child off at your Christian school.. or start your homeschooling day.. just think about it...and oh yes... we are PROBABLY living in the last days... look at all the stuff on the news.. rapture probably soon.. what's the use of trying.. to do anything???