Sunday, March 22, 2020

Jehovah is One (in three persons)


or: Finding the Trinity in the Old Testament

This is the sermon I delivered at ValleyView Baptist last month when I filled in for our pastor who was traveling. Yes, it is audio only, but if anything, that should be an incentive to click on it (though my voice is nothing to write home about either).

You may find the info useful if you are given the opportunity to witness to people of the Jewish faith, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims, or others who reject the Trinity as an invention of Christianity.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Blinders



Often, if we were to take time to reflect, we might come to realize that we are much like work horses of days gone by, going through life with “blinders” obscuring our peripheral vision. And even if what we can see clearly, right in our line of vision is true, what is hidden by those blinders is also a part of reality.

That might be an apt description of how I have been viewing the issue of abortion with respect to Christianity.  That this barbaric practice is the deliberate taking of the life of a child is so self-evident that, among those who claim Christianity, I have subconsciously viewed support for abortion as a red flag indicating a false profession. But now, due to the blinders momentarily slipping out of position, it has come to my attention that there are some genuine Christians who are on the other side of this issue.  

That does not mean that the truth which is right out there is broad daylight (i.e. that abortion is murder), is any less true.  It means that someone is mistaken. Deceived.  Misled. But I trust that any Christian who mistakenly views abortion rights as anything other than the “right” of a woman to have her baby murdered, will surely bow to what God’s word says on the matter once they read it.
Exhibit A. Exodus 21:22-23  “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.  But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life

And no, if you find yourself suddenly grasping at straws, this “life for life” is not speaking of the mother’s life.  That was already covered earlier, with the same penalty: “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:12) 

Just to be clear, God’s law tells us that “You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13).  God gives the penalty for murder as death.  He gives the same death penalty for causing the death of an unborn child. Given that, can you really justify, from the Bible, the taking of the life of an unborn child?  If so, let’s hear it chapter and verse.  If not, then I call on you to repent.  But on the other hand, if you cannot justify abortion Biblically, and you still will not repent, then maybe those blinders I had on were not really obscuring anything after all.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Milestone, by Any Other Name...



Well, it seems that earlier this evening, in the year of our Lord 2020, I reached somewhat of a milestone.  With little or no fanfare, I finished the flow tests on the 1100th set of Harley heads which I have ported and flowed over the last 30 years.  And, as if to mark the occasion, it seemed that they flowed unusually well.  Well enough, in fact, that I took the extra precaution of checking the SuperFlow SF600’s calibration to confirm that the figures are in fact correct.  Funny how I have never gone so far as to check the calibration when a set of heads did not meet expectations (immediately back to the porting bench instead), but I have performed the ritual a number of times when the figures were suspiciously good.  

This set of heads happened to be stock Evolution castings with 1.900” intake valves – a time tested formula.  280 cfm @ .600” lift and 28 inch test pressure.  And yes they flow more at higher lifts, but face it, they will never see a cam larger so why brag about the higher lifts? As it turns out, performing the calibration was a bit of overkill, since checking the records for the last set of similar heads revealed nearly identical results.  Oh well - calibration is never a bad thing.
BTW, set 1101 is on the workbench and 1102 is in queue.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Meditations on Psalm 119

This past Sunday at ValleyView Baptist our worship service followed a slightly different form than usual. Our pastor asked me and another deacon to each select and read two sections of Psalm 119 and to add a few thoughts, or meditations as it were. The sections I chose and my comments were as follows:  

DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.
I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.
I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. 

Psalm 119:25-32 (KJV)


The opening of this section relates the chasm between the despair of the unregenerate soul mired in the dust versus the soul that has been made alive by way of God’s word. As verse 25 puts it: quicken me according to thy word. In fact, this process of becoming aware of our desperate situation as a sinner before a most Holy God is something that we must all go through in becoming a Christian. Only when one has confessed their sinfulness and helplessness to God, will he be born again.  At that point, everything changes.  Suddenly the law of God is no longer a thing of dread, where once it was distasteful to us because it only condemned us continually. Now, being quickened by God’s word, we can, along with the Psalmist, honestly ask for understanding of God’s precepts and delight in telling of his wondrous works. 

ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. 
This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.
I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.
Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.
This I had, because I kept thy precepts.
 
Psalm 119:49-56 (KJV)


Here again we find the connection between being quickened, or given life, by the promises of God’s word.  This is where our hope, our eager expectation lies. And for the Christian, the one who has been born again by the Spirit of God working through the word of God, this also applies to how, in times of affliction, our spirit may be refreshed by God’s word, bringing us great comfort.  In verse 51 we read that though the proud hold the Psalmist in derision, he has not turned away from God’s law.  This is especially relevant today.  Every day I hear the voices grow louder not only with insults directed toward Bible believing Christians, but calls to exclude us and a Christian world view from society.  Verse 52 goes on to remind us that at such times we can take comfort in remembering God’s past judgements, but along with that comfort verse 53 also points out that one cannot help but be horrified by the wickedness of the ungodly.  Horrified, or to be "seized by hot indignation", as the ESV translates it, which is probably conveys the original meaning better in this day. In verse 54 the psalmist tells us this: “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.  And just as songs can be an expression of worship and of joy and even of sound doctrine, so should the word of God be used by us as we travel through this life as pilgrims, awaiting our entrance into a heavenly country, our real home.

I pray that you might find this edifying. May God bless you and yours in this new year!