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  • 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.

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Why Are American Public School Students Learning To Pray To Allah?

Islamic Society of Boston, Boston, MA

Islamic Society of Boston

This video was taken inside the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center – Boston’s controversial Saudi-funded mega-mosque – during a middle school social studies trip to the mosque, ostensibly taken to learn about the history of Islam first-hand. Yet the video reveals that the students are being blatantly miseducated about Islam.

Do You Prefer Heaven Without Christ?

Quoting J.C. Ryle:

“But alas, how little fit for heaven are many who talk of going to heaven when they die, while they manifestly have no saving faith, and no real acquaintance with Christ. You give Christ no honor here. You have no communion with Him. You do not love him. Alas! What could you do in heaven? It would be no place for you. Its joys would be no joys for you. It happiness would be a happiness into which you could not enter. Its employments would be a weariness and burden to your heart. Oh, repent and change before it be too late!”

The Undisciplined Mind

Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680)

Thomas Goodwin

The following article is from an essay by Thomas Goodwin which is titled “The Vanity of Thoughts.” Goodwin clearly understands that a few thoughts of faith will save us from dwelling on many unproductive cares and fears:

The vanity and sinfulness of the mind appears in a loathsomeness to enter into holy thoughts, to begin to set itself to think of God, and the things belonging unto our peace; even as loath they are to this as schoolboys are to their books, or to busy their minds about their lessons, their heads being full of play; so loath are our minds to enter into serious considerations, into sad, solemn thoughts of God or death, etc. Men are as loath to think of death as thieves of the execution; or to think of God, as they are of their judge. So to go over their own actions, in a review of them, and read the blurred writing of their hearts, and to ‘commune with them,’ at night in the end of the day, men are as loath to do this as schoolboys are to parse their lesson. . . . And therefore our mind; like a bad stomach, are nauseated with the very scent of good things, and soon cast them up again. . . . + Let us go and try to wind up our souls, at any time, to holy meditations, to think of what we have heard, or what we have done, or what is our duty to do, and we shall find our minds, like the pegs of an instrument, slip between our fingers, as we are a-winding them up, and to fall down suddenly again, ere we are aware of it; yea, you shall find, will labor to shun what may occasion such thoughts, even as men go out of the way when they see they must meet with one they are loath to speak withal; yea, men dare not be alone, for fear such thoughts should return upon them. The best shall find gladness for an excuse by other occasions to knock off their thoughts from what is good; whereas in thinking of vain earthly things, we think the time passeth too fast, clocks strike too soon, hours pass away ere we are aware of it.

The vanity and sinfulness of the mind appears in the godly, that though they entertain good thoughts, yet the mind is not, will not, be long intent on them. Some things there are which we are and can be intent upon, and accordingly dwell long upon them. . . . Such thoughts as are pleasing, the heart dwells on them; yea, so intent are we often, that they hinder our sleep. . . . But now let the mind be occupied and busied about good things, and things belonging to our peace, how unsteady is it! Which things should yet draw out the intention of the mind; for the more excellent the object is, the stronger our intention should be. God is the most glorious object our minds can fasten on, the most alluring: the thoughts of whom therefore should swallow up all other, as not worthy to be seen the same day with him. But I appeal to all your experiences, if your thoughts of him be not most unsteady, and are, that I may so compare it, as when we look upon a star through an optic glass, held with a palsy-shaking hand. It is long ere we can bring our minds to have knowledge of him, to place our eyes upon him; and when we have, how do our hands shake, and so lose sight ever and anon! So whilst we are in never so serious talk with him, when all things else should stand without, and not dare to offer entrance till we have, done with him, yet how many chinks are there in the heart at which other thoughts come in! And our minds leave God, and follow them. . . . So when we are hearing the word, how do our minds ever and anon run out of the church, and come in again, and so do not hear half what is said! So when we are at our callings, which God bids us to be conversant about with all our might; yet our minds, like idle truants, or negligent servants, though sent about never so serious a business, yet go out of the way to see any sport, run after the hares that cross the way, follow after butterflies that buzz about us.

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