Monday, March 13, 2017

What a powerful song!

I've been listening to my collection of Carter Family songs recently and I heard this last night. What a powerful song! Oh how we need this to happen today!! You can hear them sing it here

When first I heard of a people who claimed
This old time religion was real
I says, “I'll go down take a look at the crowd
It's just the weak minded I feel”

But something got a hold of me
Yes something got a hold of me
I went there to fight but on that night
There’s something got a hold of me

I walked right down peeked in at the door
And the devil says, “Don't you go in”
I says, “I’ll go in for that will not hurt
And sit as far back as I can”

But something got a hold of me
Yes something got a hold of me
I went there to fight but on that night
There’s something got a hold of me

About that time he got up to preach
And he looked right down upon me
He told everybody how mean I had been
Don’t think he thought much of me

But something got a hold of me
Yes something got a hold of me
I went there to fight but on that night
There’s something got a hold of me

They sing and shout and they all clapped their hands
And they all got down on their knees
When the fire fell from heaven it fell upon me
And then I fell to the floor

But something got a hold of me
Yes something got a hold of me
I went there to fight but on that night
There’s something got a hold of me

So now I've learnt and no need to doubt
That the old time religion is real
I have a spirit I'll never forget
That something got a hold of me

Yes something got a hold of me
Yes something got a hold of me
I have a spirit I'll never forget
That something got a hold of me

Something Got A Hold Of Me, written by A. P. Carter

Friday, March 10, 2017

My MRI experience

this is our destination. downtown Charlotte
1. I was ferried up there and back by Dennis Davis. Thank you, Dennis!

2. I had indicated that I just might be slightly claustrophobic so they gave me Adavan (to relieve anxiety). This was why they said I needed a driver. Adavan begins working quickly and I started to feel good. I also began having a hard time walking straight and following orders – Dennis several times grabbed my arm and said, “It is this way.” And let me tell you, Do Not lean forward while on Adavan because the tendency is to keep on falling forward!

the machine. you lay down on the flat bed-like thing and they insert you into the giant ball. it is always on
and the room is magnetized constantly, I had to stand at the door to take this photo

3. They led me to the machine itself and said, “Lay down here.” He then asked if I needed a blanket? (“It is kinda chilly, so he got a sheet. Perfect); How about a washcloth on my face? (I am felling good, Sure). Do you want ear plugs (it is loud) or ear phones to listen to Pandora? Can I pick the music? Sure, what would you like? George Kahumoku (classic Hawaiian hula music). That’s what I got! Although the machine is so loud that it is difficult to hear.

4. I’m ready so they slide me into the tube and I’m there for 20 minutes. It is very loud! And I would like to say I felt every ray they shot into my shoulder and body, but that may have been the Adavan!
At one point the noise subsided and I could hear a woman’s voice, “How are you doing? We’re getting a little movement, can you stop breathing?” Again, that may have been the Adavan. I was slid back in for more of the same. Then she came on and “Almost done. Six more minutes.”

5. Then it was over! Twenty minutes is not that long. They pulled me out of the tube, removed the sheet and washcloth, and told me I could now stand up. I asked them to help me get up; they did. “OK, you can sit there for a while and get you bearings before you try to get up. And just to let you know, we have wheelchairs if you feel you need them.” I was standing up by this time and I declared, “Whatever else happens, I am walking out of here.” And I did.

It is really too bad that the MRI only diagnosis problems and doesn’t cure them! I probably could have done this without the Adavan, but the Adavan felt good. Everybody told me I had to have a driver because of the Adavan. But I can tell you, I could have done it. I have driven, let me just say, you would be shocked and scared for me if you knew some of the conditions I have (safely) driven under!!

It’s over and now I await my Tuesday visit to the Doctor to explain the results of this test, which are probably going to be surgery to repair the rotator cuff. Wednesday we leave for New Mexico for a ten day trip out west, hanging out with Erica & Dan so surgery will most likely be the last week of March of first week in April. Everything seems to be moving quickly now.

One final note. The doctor’s office said I would be in “la-la land” all day and told me today not to drive all day. I was a little disappointed. I was introduced to la-la land, but we really didn't hang out . . .

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The night I spent in a New York police station

The other day I was asked if I could pick my grandson up from school on Friday. Half-jokingly I replied, “Unless I'm in jail or the hospital I think so.” It’s funny how your mind (OK, my mind) works - that reminded me of the night I spent in a police station in New York.

My brother Sean and I were living with our sister on her farm in Copenhagen, NY. I went up there to work on the farm. I was 18 and lazy, and it turns out farm work is hard. So after only a few days I said, “I’m outta here.” I talked Sean into leaving with me and we left to return to Nashville, TN. We set off, hitch-hiking our way to the Canadian Border. Yes, you’re right, that was the wrong direction! But our plan was to enter Canada, hitch-hike across to north of Detroit, then head back south. We stopped at Thousand Island Park for a swim and then made our way to the border.

We got turned away.

From the Canadian Border.

I must be one of three or four people ever denied entry into Canada!

So, we headed south again and hitch-hiked our way to North Syracuse. About 95 miles. It was hard to catch a ride that day, maybe it was my shoulder length hair. By now it was night and we couldn’t go any further, so we found a grocery store that had closed for the day. We unrolled our sleeping bags on the dark side of the store and went to sleep.

In the middle of the night we were rousted by the police: “Get up! You can’t sleep here!”

We entreated him to let us stay at the police station because we had nowhere else to go. And that’s where he took us! We spent the night in our sleeping bags on the floor of the North Syracuse Police Station. Six o’clock the next morning the officer behind the desk said, “Wake up! Get outta here!”

And that’s what we did. We decided that hitch-hiking wasn’t working (and the officer may have warned us about it, as in, “And don’t let me catch you hitch-hiking”) so we bought bus tickets to Bellefontaine, OH, where another sister lived. We arrived with no money. She wasn’t expecting us and wasn’t particularly pleased to see us. But that and what followed are for another day.

So, yeah, I spent the night in the police station in North Syracuse, New York. And the funny ending to this tale is I will not be able to pick up my grandson from school because I will sorta be in the hospital that day – I will be having an MRI. They suggested I take Adavan to help me handle the close quarters of the MRI and, in the words of the lady helping me make the appointment, I “will be in la-la land all day.”

Monday, March 6, 2017

I made a fire and sang!

I made a fire tonight and while I was enjoying it these songs just rose within me and I began to sing. Join me!

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
And all that is within me
Bless His holy name (2x)

He has done great things
He has done great things
He has done great things
Bless His holy name

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
And all that is within me
Bless His holy name

<>< <>< <><

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so
I'm redeemed, I'm redeemed
Praise the Lord!

<>< <>< <><

I was lost in sin when Jesus found me,
But He rescued me, all glory to His name!
And the cords of worldly pleasure bound me,
Till He saved me from sin and shame.

’Twas a glad day when Jesus found me,
When His strong arms were thrown around me;
When my sins He buried in the deepest sea,
And my soul He filled with joy and victory.
’Twas a glad day, O hallelujah!
’Twas a glad day He claimed His own.
I will shout a glad hosanna in glory
When I see Him upon His throne.

<>< <>< <><

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Boy, was that convicting!

A couple of days ago I wrote about the exhortations to cleave unto the Lord, to continue in the grace of God, to continue in the faith, and I listed all the occurrences of the word "continue". When I was studying the verses, I noticed that one, Colossians 4:2, used a different word than the rest, an unrelated word. I found that interesting so I did a search. Boy, was that convicting!

The word means to persevere (in anything). There are a group of verses where it means:

to give constant attention to a thing

and that thing is the same in all the verses!

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication

Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer

Col. 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving

As I said before, that was convicting! What does it mean to continue in prayer? This is what struck me - more than now; I need to pray more, a lot more than I do now.

Adam Clarke has a wonderful comment on this verse
Continue in prayer— This was the apostle’s general advice to all; without this, neither wives, husbands, children, parents, servants, nor masters, could fulfill the duties which God required of them.
All might, power, and life come from God; his creatures are continually dependent upon him for all these: to earnest, persevering prayer, he has promised every supply; but he who prays not has no promise. How few wives feel it their duty to pray to God to give them grace to behave as wives! How few husbands pray for the grace suited to their situation, that they may be able to fulfill its duties! The like may be said of children, parents, servants, and masters. As every situation in life has its peculiar duties, trials, etc.; so to every situation there is peculiar grace appointed. No man can fulfill the duties of any station without the grace suited to that station. The grace suited to him, as a member of society in general, will not be sufficient for him as a husband, father, or master. Many proper marriages become unhappy in the end, because the parties have not earnestly besought God for the grace necessary for them as husbands and wives. This is the origin of family broils in general; and a proper attention to the apostle’s advice would prevent them all.

Well, I'm convicted.

Monday, February 13, 2017

While the preacher was preaching

I went to church yesterday. The pastor is going through The Book of Acts and yesterday he preached from 11:17-24. The teaching reached a crescendo with v 23:

Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

This is a wonderful and powerful verse. As I was meditating on the phrase, cleave unto the Lord (after all, he asked us, What does cleave unto the Lord mean?) other passages in the book of Acts came to mind.

I went to Acts 13:14-43, which is Barnabas and Paul in Antioch in Pisidia. At the conclusion of the sermon we read:
43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Next, I turned to Acts 14:21-23, in which Paul and Barnabas returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

This is so cool. Barnabas is involved in all three incidents and Paul in two. Here is a clear apostolic (Barnabas and Saul were called by the Spirit and commissioned by the church, Acts 13:1-4) exhortation, one that we don’t hear much today:

cleave unto the Lord • continue in the grace of God • continue in the faith 

These are three different Greek words, but they all have the same root and mean: remain, continue, persevere, hold fast. The Apostles felt it necessary to persuade and exhort new believers to continue in the faith, to continue in the grace of God, to hold fast to the Lord. I thought to myself, If the Apostles thought it was important to exhort new believers this way, perhaps we should as well.

Then this morning I looked up other verses with the word continue :

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.

1 John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

These are things we don’t hear very often, if at all, but which were obviously important to the Apostles and the Spirit who inspired them! Continue. Don’t simply begin, but continue. Begin the race and finish the race. I will leave it to you my readers to meditate on these occurrences of continue and then determine the significance of continuing and consequences of not continuing, but I will exhort you,


You’ve begun, now run the whole race!

You’ve made a good start, be sure to finish!

Anyway, that’s some of what I got from the teaching time yesterday.

Don’t you dare quit!
You • Keep • Holding on!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What I learned (part 3, Conclusions)

I introduced this series by saying:

I recently read the book, The Fundamental Christian Faith by Charles Augustus Briggs, D.D., D.Litt.. In his explanation of this phrase in the Apostles Creed: suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, he observed:

“The verb πάσχω (pascho) is not used of the sufferings of Christ by St. Paul; but it is characteristic of the First Epistle of Peter, the Epistle to the Hebrews, Luke's Gospel and the Book of Acts.
The noun πάθημα (pathema) is used of Christ's sufferings in 1 Peter; also Hebrews; and by St. Paul.”

I was intrigued! I had never noticed that so I decided to investigate. I looked up all the occurrences of both πάσχω (pascho) and πάθημα (pathema). He was right. As I read through the verses I was really blessed by what I saw. I thought I would share the results of my search as well as what I learned.

In my last two posts I looked at suffering the noun (πάθημα pathema) and suffering the verb (πάσχω pascho). Today I want to summarize what I’ve learned.

The author was correct when he said, “The verb πάσχω (pascho) is not used of the sufferings of Christ by St. Paul.” But, even though Mr. Briggs had a D.D. and a D.Litt.(and I have no Ds in my degree at all!), I discovered he was mistaken in his second assertion, “The noun πάθημα (pathema) is used of Christ's sufferings ... by St. Paul.” Paul, in fact, did not use pathema to refer to the sufferings of Christ!

Mr. Briggs was referring to 2 Corinthians 1:5, For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. Paul does use the expression, “the sufferings of Christ”, but this is clearly not speaking of what Christ endured, but of what Paul is enduring for Christ, the sufferings those who believe in Christ experience on his behalf.

What is the significance of this? Nothing. Only I discovered a D.D. D.Litt. was wrong!

Seriously though, if Paul did not refer to the sufferings of Christ in his epistles, how did he speak of them? He spoke of the cross and of Christ crucified (except in Hebrews, if you accept his authorship). What is the significance of this? It seems that when addressing a Jewish audience the apostles spoke of the sufferings of Christ and when addressing Gentiles they spoke of Christ crucified. I confess I don’t know why. Jesus spoke of the cross and crucifixion, and Peter spoke of Christ crucified in Acts 2 and 4.

Why did Christ suffer?
As the Apostle Peter put it, Christ also suffered for us…Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:21, 24) Amen! That is the gospel.

Suffering for Christ
The other note on suffering and Christ is also best expressed by Peter (4:1-4)
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

I noticed that suffering for Christ is to be expected. It is the norm. And this is especially true for those involved in ministry. We have taken the references to suffering and applied them to sickness and relationships and other difficulties experienced by people in general. But, as I pointed out, the sufferings of Christ are the sufferings or afflictions we endure because of our faith in Christ and our obedience to him; afflictions which would vanish as soon as we no longer believed or obeyed. This is persecution. In addition there is the tribulation we experience as we wrestle with the devil, the flesh, and the world; which would also cease if our faith and obedience ceased.

Paul is in full agreement with Peter when he expresses his goals as a believer: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship [participation in] of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

And again: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Yes, the sufferings of this present time, affliction, persecution, tribulation, struggle, and spiritual warfare, are nothing when compared with the glory to come. Amen.

As I read this I must ask myself: Am I suffering for Christ? 

If No, Why not?

If Yes, Am I rejoicing, inasmuch as I am a partaker of Christ's sufferings?

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, 
not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake