Sunday, November 21, 2010


Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

The word "doxology" comes from the Latin (and, ultimately, the Greek) words for "glory" (doxa-) and "word" (-logia). Its definition is "an expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service."

The words of the famous doxology above date to 1674 and are attributed to Thomas Ken. The tune, the "Old 100th," dates back another century further. But even though this is a very old piece of music, its truth is everlasting: Praise God! All blessings come from Him; all creatures benefit and should return praise; even the heavenly angels must praise Him. Much of the book of Psalms repeats this very same refrain.

Thanksgiving is this week, and gives us an annual reminder that we have much for which to be grateful. But we must praise God every day; "doxology" should be constantly on our lips and in our hearts. Let us not be negligent to praise and thank Him from Whom all has been given to us.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Michael Vick: My Thoughts, Three Years Later

Back in 2007, Michael Vick was convicted and imprisoned for several crimes related to dog fighting and mistreatment of dogs. Unlike many people, I thought he got a punishment appropriate for his crimes; furthermore, the loss of public esteem and untold millions of potential earnings heaped even further punishment on his head.

I blogged about this in August of 2007 (here and here), and pointed out that while Vick's crimes were barbaric, that they are no more barbaric than the "legal" practice of abortion that goes on daily in this country.

Vick has served his time. He continues to give speeches against dogfighting and, if anything, has raised public awareness of this vulgar activity. Now that his punishment has been served, we as citizens need to accept his public confession and allow him the opportunity to function as a member of the community--just like any of the rest of us.

Think about what God has done for us. We were wicked, vile, and vulgar sinners, deserving of a punishment for our sins. But God offered us His Son, who paid that punishment--it is done. Those of us who have accepted His offer of salvation can see that price only in the rearview mirror of our lives.

I don't know if Michael Vick is a Christian or not, but we must treat him as God has treated us: As a sinner who had a sentence to serve--and that sentence has been served.

And those abortion doctors, by the way....they need salvation, too. And if one of them gets saved and repents of his sins and turns from his wickedness, then we have to love him as a Christian brother, as God commands.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

These Kids Are Good!

Tonight was "Fine Arts Night" for me and my wife. The first part of our evening was spent at our eldest daughter's junior high band concert. There were two groups, actually: An all-strings ensemble and then a more traditional band, in which my daughter plays the trumpet.

The strings group was composed of 18 violins and violas (and for two pieces, two high school cellists joined them; evidently, there are no junior high cellists at the school). They were, in a word, good. I mean, really good. As in, most high school string groups of this size would have trouble rivaling them.

My daughter's group was composed of 34 instrumentalists, including 12 trumpets. I'm not sure if this group had fewer experienced kids, because they weren't quite as polished as the first group—but they were still good. And they've only been together for three months.

It made me glad my children go to school at BJ.

My wife and I left that venue and walked five minutes across campus to Rodeheaver Auditorium where we enjoyed a production of The Tempest by the University Classic Players. We fully expected a first-class production, and we were not disappointed. Each of us participated in a Shakespearean play while we were students at Bob Jones University, so we have some idea about what to anticipate.

The acting, staging, and special effects were all very good. The Classic Players always does an excellent job, and I am glad I could enjoy a "date" with my wife to this performance.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review: Head Stuffing Doesn't Work by Donovan Hadaway

My friend Donovan recently released this book on the Kindle platform. You can preview and/or purchase it at this link.

Donovan's main thought is related to the title of the book: A good education is not the result of stuffing heads with facts. For a teacher to be effective, he must learn some simple philosophical concepts of learning that are—all too obviously—at odds with today's political correctness and public education establishment mentality.

Donovan sprinkles (heavily) his text with humor, sarcasm, and wit. It is an easy read, but it is a good read—essentially, the kind of book all teachers should both want to read and find time to read.

I haven't finished mine yet, but I hope to complete it soon. I encourage you to get a copy as well.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why We Should Sing Hymns

A lot of people—especially those younger than me—either do not go to church or do not attend churches where hymns are sung. I think this is a shame.

There are several important reasons why Christians should sing hymns. Here are a few.

1) The Bible commands us to sing hymns (Col. 3:16).

2) Good hymns (and there are many) remind and/or teach us important doctrinal principles.

3) Good hymns encourage the soul. They can be particularly comforting in times of distress, sorrow, and fear.

4) The music of nearly all hymns is inherently good. It is the kind of music that we should be filling our minds with, and is infinitely better than much of what is called "Christian music" today.

5) Good hymns are conducive to an atmosphere of worship.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Congratulations, Michigan!

Congratulations, Michigan. You were not so "blown away" that you couldn't get to the polls and vote for the "right" kind of change. You were not so foolish as to think that more years of democrat control in Lansing would somehow be helpful. You managed to exercise your vote well.

For your efforts, you now have a Republican (if not actually conservative) governor, a Republican House, and a two-thirds Republican majority in the Senate. You have installed a Republican Attorney General, Secretary of State, two Supreme Court justices, and members of higher education boards. You sent a couple new Republicans to Congress. You installed Republican officials at a variety of other levels of government.

You are off to a good start...but you aren't done. You need to pressure your elected officials to support (i.e., vote for) smaller government, lower taxes, fewer regulations on business, and the return of authority, where appropriate, to local units of government. You need to continue to keep local citizens informed and, like yourself, active. You need to consider who is going to run for office in 2011 and 2012, and start now to prepare for the election of additional, freedom-loving, conservatives in the days ahead.

Keep up the good work.