• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,396,214 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,269 other subscribers
  • Recommended Reading

Survival Takes A Back Seat To Political Correctness

sowellFrom: The Pen of Hoover Institution economist Thomas Sowell

“It used to be said that self-preservation is the first law of nature. But much of what has been happening in recent times in the United States, and in Western civilization in general, suggests that survival is taking a back seat to the shibboleths of political correctness. We have already turned loose dozens of captured terrorists, who have resumed their terrorism. Why? Because they have been given ‘rights’ that exist neither in our laws nor under international law. These are not criminals in our society, entitled to the protection of the Constitution of the United States. They are not prisoners of war entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. There was a time when people who violated the rules of war were not entitled to turn around and claim the protection of those rules. … Bending over backward is a very bad position from which to try to defend yourself. Nobody in those days confused bending over backward with ‘the rule of law,’ as Barack Obama did recently. Bending over backward is the antithesis of the rule of law. It is depriving the people of the protection of their laws, in order to pander to mushy notions among the elite. Even under the Geneva Convention, enemy soldiers have no right to be turned loose before the war is over. Terrorists — ‘militants’ or ‘insurgents’ for those of you who are squeamish — have declared open-ended war against America. It is open-ended in time and open-ended in methods, including beheadings of innocent civilians. President Obama can ban the phrase ‘war on terror’ but he cannot ban the terrorists’ war on us. That war continues, so there is no reason to turn terrorists loose before it ends. They chose to make it that kind of war. We don’t need to risk American lives to prove that we are nicer than they are.”

The Sciences

Quoting John Calvin:

“Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ.”

Elementary Thoughts: Rebellion – Part 3

principalIn this series of articles I want to share with you, briefly, some of what I consider to be the primary causes of rebellion among the youth of our country. I have listed only five because I believe that these are the roots from which other sources of rebellion spring. I have discussed some of these at length in previous chapters and will not attempt to elaborate much further beyond what has already been said. At this point, it is important for us to focus on prevention. This must begin at the cradle.


Proverbs 17:25 says, “A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him.” Foolishness seems to dwell in the hearts and minds of some children more than others. Have you ever known a family with two or more children in which one child was the absolute model of good behavior and manners and another was an absolute terror? If you have, you probably wondered what the parents did or did not do to produce this obnoxious offspring. The truth of the matter is that the parents are probably still trying to figure that one out too. I have met many knowledgeable, loving, and attentive parents who were at a loss to explain their child’s rebellious behavior.

If you question them concerning their child’s history, you may find that their perception is often that this child was born cranky. In fact, it does seem that many children are born with unpleasant dispositions. Dr. James Dobson describes these children in his book THE STRONG WILLED CHILD. I highly recommend this book because it provides a much more thorough examination of this topic than will be provided in the few sentences I write here.

Beyond being born with a strong willed and rebellious personality, there are children who suffer from attention deficit and behavioral disorders. I recently viewed a film in which the rebellious attitudes and actions of a child left one family in constant chaos. They had successfully reared another child and were overwhelmed with guilt that they had somehow failed with their youngest. For years their family life was dominated by what they considered to be the irrational actions and emotional explosions of this child.

When the child’s teacher advised the parents that their son’s behavior seemed to indicate a need for psychological and medical testing, the parents reluctantly agreed. Finally, it was determined that the child had a severe form of attention deficit disorder. The child was very intelligent, but because of his neurological make up he had difficulty concentrating or focusing on particular tasks for any length of time. He was very easily distracted. He had great difficulty sitting still. Time and time again, his low frustration level and his inability to attend would ignite an emotional outburst that seemed uncontrollable. He would often act and react on impulse before thinking. Thus he created for himself many problems that other children his age would avoid.

The doctors working with him prescribed a medication which he was to take daily along with regular family counseling. Once the routine began, the parents reported remarkable changes. His grades in school soared and life at home was much improved.

The cause of apparent rebellion in this child’s life was medically treatable. A careful medical diagnosis along with counseling provided the strategies for helping this child live a more normal life. For many children, however, medical treatment is not the answer. When confronted with the problem of a rebellious child, we would love for the answer to be as simple as administering a pill a couple of times a day. But when the diagnosis requires us to change, the cure is much more difficult to implement. Our pride (arrogance) feels threatened. We are unwilling to accept that we may be part of the problem.

A strong willed child’s rebelliousness cannot be cured with a pill. The requirements for keeping this child on the “straight and narrow path,” however, are not beyond our ability to achieve. They are basically the same as for any child. To be successful parents, we must first focus on our own behaviors. (Continued Monday)

The Income Tax

“I don’t like the income tax. Every time we talk abouttaxes-but-its-a-digital-download these taxes we get around to the idea of ‘from each according to his capacity and to each according to his needs.’ That’s socialism. It’s written into the Communist Manifesto. Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what’s happening to him.” –accountant and Commissioner of Internal Revenue T. Coleman Andrews (1899-1983)

John Piper On Preaching

lordsdaypreacherSome of you may have little or no experience with what I mean by preaching. I think it will help you listen to my messages if I say a word about it.

What I mean by preaching is expository exultation.

Expository means that preaching aims to exposit, or explain and apply, the meaning of the Bible. The reason for this is that the Bible is God’s word, inspired, infallible, profitable—all 66 books of it.

The preacher’s job is to minimize his own opinions and deliver the truth of God. Every sermon should explain the Bible and then apply it to people’s lives.

The preacher should do that in a way that enables you to see that the points he is making actually come from the Bible. If you can’t see that they come from the Bible, your faith will end up resting on a man and not on God’s word.

The aim of this exposition is to help you eat and digest biblical truth that will

1. make your spiritual bones more like steel,

2. double the capacity of your spiritual lungs,

3. make the eyes of your heart dazzled with the brightness of the glory of God,

4. and awaken the capacity of your soul for kinds of spiritual enjoyment you didn’t even know existed.

Preaching is also exultation. This means that the preacher does not just explain what’s in the Bible, and the people do not simply try understanding what he explains. Rather, the preacher and the people exult over what is in the Bible as it is being explained and applied.

Preaching does not come after worship in the order of the service. Preaching is worship. The preacher worships—exults—over the word, trying his best to draw you into a worshipful response by the power of the Holy Spirit.

My job is not simply to see truth and show it to you. (The devil could do that for his own devious reasons.) My job is to see the glory of the truth and to savor it and exult over it as I explain it to you and apply it for you. That’s one of the differences between a sermon and a lecture.

Preaching is not the totality of the church. And if all you have is preaching, you don’t have the church. A church is a body of people who minister to each other.

One of the purposes of preaching is to equip us for that and inspire us to love each other better.

But God has created the church so that she flourishes through preaching. That’s why Paul gave young pastor Timothy one of the most serious, exalted charges in all the Bible in 2 Timothy 4:1-2:

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word.”

If you’re used to a twenty-minute, immediately practical, relaxed talk, you won’t find that from what I’ve just described.

1. I preach twice that long;

2. I do not aim to be immediately practical but eternally helpful;

3. and I am not relaxed.

I standing vigilantly on the precipice of eternity speaking to people who this week could go over the edge whether they are ready to or not. I will be called to account for what I said there.

That’s what I mean by preaching.

%d bloggers like this: