Thursday, July 28, 2016

Another Opinion on the the Status of the World

It is EASY to feel that the world is "Going to hell in a handbasket" these days.

Just last week, as US residents will recall, 5 police officers were sniped and killed, and several others wounded.  Two black men were killed by police officers, and a police officer was "ambushed".

Nothing too encouraging, and perhaps society is declining at a precipitous rate.  But not so fast.  Let's consider the facts:

  1. Mankind is FALLEN- it ALWAYS has been.
  2. Mankind is CREATIVE in how we express our falleness.
  3. Media makes it easier to hear of man's sin- especially the spectacular fallen types.
  4. As the Calvinists say it, mankind is totally corrupt- nothing particularly worthy in man's nature.
  5. If you are totally fallen, since the Garden of Eden, there is NO way to be FURTHER fallen.

From this I conclude, we are NOT more fallen than 10 years ago, or 20, or 100.  Man is fallen, and as I have expressed before, if you don't see that you are NOT paying attention.

G^d is NOT surprised, shocked or chagrined.  He Redeems the WORLD through Christ, and our sin is NOT capable of defeating that.

So, sad as it is, we are fallen and we cannot get up!!

Thanks be to G^d, that through our L^rd and Savior, Jesus Christ, He has made provision for our sin.

Come quickly L^rd jesus!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Road Trip- with Trailer!

One of the things I have been DREADING most, was driving to VA pulling a 6X11 U-Haul trailer whilst Brenda drove another car to permit us to return to AL.

The trip poses several Challenges:

  • Driving almost 600 miles pulling a 6x11 U-Haul trailer- and I ain’t used to pulling nothing.
  • Brenda driving almost 600 miles by herself without falling asleep.
  • Possible breakdowns, collisions, unforeseen trouble.
  • Miscellaneous.

I have to admit, I was quite apprehensive about doing all this.  We were both tired already, before we even started out.

We asked everyone we knew to pray for us.

G^d answers prayer!

We had an incredibly SMOOOOOOTH trip.  All went well, and we got more done than we planned.

Praise the L^rd, and Thanks be to HIM!!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Coincidences? I think NOT!

Many readers might realize by this point that my wife , Brenda, and I are making some BIG changes in our life.  And, I would note with great confidence, these changes have been hard, really hard!
It has been hard emotionally, physically, mentally, and some ways I can’t even put into words.  Hard!

The only thing, the only thing that has made this tolerable has been the understanding that we are in the CENTER of G^d’s will.

How could we know such a thing?

Well, there are plenty of signs this is so.  Let me list a few:
Step 1:  G^d sold our old big house in a miraculous way.
Step 2: G^d provided us a garden “lock-it-and-leave it” house.
Step 3: G^d did NOT provide any solid assurance of a new job, before I retired from my old job, but the following Monday, Memorial Day, He did!
Step 4:  G^d miraculously provided a house in a GREAT neighborhood in the new location.
Step 5: G^d allowed us to accomplish about a year’s worth of stuff done in about 6 months.
Step 6: G^d gave us a miraculously good trip of 12 hours (usually only 10) to haul our meager moving possessions
Step 7: G^d has provided in many, many small ways.  Brenda’s lost sunglasses turned up!

Maybe NONE of these impress you, but rest assured they impress me.  G^d, in His grace, has given us many small assurances, not all of which I listed.
G^d didn’t HAVE to do this, or anything else. 

But, HE DID.  G^d’s just like that!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tempus Fugit- Again!

I know, patient reader, that you may be growing tired of reading my repetitious blogs on how fast life speeds by.

But, it is a VALUABLE lesson and worth repeating.

I have been feted twice in recent weeks celebrating my retirement after 32 years at the University.  That’s 32 years, but it seems only a few weeks.
Yeah, tempus fugit indeed!  But so what?  There are some practical applications.
We ought to “redeem the time”!  We spend our time wisely, because we realize that time is a LIMITED commodity.
We have a scary variety of options as to how to spend our limited time:

But there are some OTHER options, I think better:
Scripture reading and memorization.

G^d gives us time, some of us get more than others, but we MUST be good stewards of that time.

So, how you stewarding your time on earth?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sport Betting, and What it Tells Us About How to Live

When we lived in Botswana, there was a television ad for Ladsbroke, a sport betting company in the UK.  I always thought it was a bad name, because it had the word, "broke" , in the name, and that was the most likely outcome for most of their customers.

Sport betting is big business, and I am told in Las Vegas, NV, you can bet on almost anything.

I am not a VOLITIONAL betting man.  I have studied math and statistics, and I know a tiny bit about making a profit, so betting, or gambling of any kind, is NOT for me.  But we don't always get to choose.  Sometimes we are COMPELLED to place a bet, whether or not we enter into the contest happily.

In fact, it occurs to me that LIFE is a big BET.  At some age after about 22 years, we realize that we are NOT going to live forever.  One day this life will be over.  We make a bet by our choice of how to spend these days given to us in life.

The most popular, and perhaps we think the safest bet, is to cover all the bases.  We make some small nod to religion, but we do ALL we can to maximize the pleasure in this life- just in case there is nothing beyond this realm.

But if you knew the Olympic medal count for the 2016 Olympics in advance- I'll bet you could make some serious money wagering what really is NOT a bit- it's a sure deal.  We know how the game, in this case games, come out, so it is easy to make a good bet.

Well, for all us Christians out there, we KNOW how the game comes out!  We may argue a bit about the ordering and exact nature of the end of this present age, but we do know HOW the game ends, and WHO WINS!!

When you have "insider knowledge"  you know how to wager- which is why insider knowledge is prohibited on Wall Street.

We know that Christ will reign Supreme in the end of the game.  Now, we can wager wisely by investing in those things that make us obedient to Him.

It's a safe bet!

Monday, July 11, 2016


Change is...HARD!

Not sure exactly why, but most of us dislike change.  Sure, we want a change of pace now and then, which is why we take vacations.

But BIG change- houses, locales, jobs, church congregations- those are TOUGH.

And, they tend to come at the same time, like it is for us.  As I wrote before, I retired from my beloved job at the Uni of AL on 1 June.  It is sad to see this career come to an end.

Of course there is a new beginning associated with that end.  In Aug, I will start a new teaching/research gig at Liberty Uni.  I will be like a freshman there- new buildings, new schedules, new ways of doing most everything.  I will have to suddenly, and quickly learn the new rhythm, the new philosophy, the new techniques.

You can't teach and old dog- me- new tricks.

I hope that bit of wisdom is WRONG!!  I am certainly too old to be learning so much- but I don't really have any say-so in the matter.

As I wrote before, we sold the BIG old house where we raised our terrific gaggle of kids, and moved to a garden home that we have since named, "The Vacay".

We have purchased ANOTHER garden home in Lynchburg, which for now we call the Adeline house, after the realtor's youngest daughter, overdue whilst we were house-hunting.

Lot so change.  Lots of stress for us old fogeys.

BUT, G^d is Sovereign and we feel He is directing our steps.  Obedience is not always easy, in fact is rarely really easy.

But, this too shall pass.  Before long we will be established in new patterns, and one day those will change too.

BUT, G^d is Sovereign!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Differing Perspectives

Our daughter Anna posted to Facebook a video clip of her youngest, daughter HJ,walking.  This of course elicited a large number of very sweet comments.  Below you see two of those comments:

Phil Bishop Precious Hazel is growing up so quickly! Go Hazel ! So happy you have a video of it. 

Phil Bishop We take it for granted, but WALKING is a VERY complex skill. Also the physiological adjustments required are pretty amazing. And, to think HJ has already mastered it fully!!! PAB

Notice anything odd about these two comments with the same  author tag?

Yep, the point of view is quite different.

So what?

So, one explanation is that two different people communicate through one account- which would be the CORRECT explanation.

What's really interesting to me is that the viewpoints are so DIFFERENT.

G^d made each of us individually and uniquely.  All 7.4 billion of us are unique.

What a G^d we serve!

Monday, July 4, 2016

A story I found interesting (as opposed to an interesting story)

One of my friends told me a story yesterday that I found interesting.  My buddy and his wife were not yet married, but both wanting to do Graduate degrees, her to get her MA, him his Ph.D.  They interviewed at a Uni, and she was offered a Graduate Assistantship on the spot.  He, on the other hand, got the word that NOTHING was available for him.

If you don't know about Graduate Assistantships, let me explain.  In exchange for 20 hours a week of labor in the classroom, lab, or center, the student gets:  1) Free tuition, and 2) a monthly stipend.  For these two young lovebirds, going to Grad school required they BOTH have these positions, otherwise it wasn't feasible financially.

They debated about what to do.  The guy recalled in his visit at the University, he noticed the professor had a sign hanging outside his door that had a picture of Jesus and the caption, "Have you met the One who will grade your final exam?"  The guy was a Christian, and it caught him a bit by surprise that the prof had this kind of statement hanging outside his door.  It made a good impression on the young would-be student, and he decided that he wanted to study with that guy.

To speed the story a bit, after a 3-month delay the guy and his fiancee both got Grad Assistant spots at that University, they got married and moved there.

About 5-6 years after the young fellow finished his  Ph.D. he was hired back to the Uni where he had seen that poster.  In fact, that office became HIS office. The prof was still there, so the young guy felt a bit awkward about putting up the same poster, and declined to do it.

But, one day the younger guy left his position at his old Uni for another teaching job.  When he got to the new job, guess what poster is the ONLY ONE adorning the wall outside his office?

Yep, that picture of Jesus and the caption, "Have you met the One who will grade your final exam?"

Have you?