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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Phillip's Phunnies - Say It Again, Sam

A merry heart does good, like medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Sometimes you hear someone say something and you have to hear it again to be sure you heard it correctly the first time.

Lost in Translation

Did you know that in Japanese, tofu translates roughly into whale snot?

Germinate: To become a naturalized German.

The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."


Exercise daily. Eat wisely. Diet with unstinting discipline. ... Die anyway.

When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire.

To kill a circus in one blow, go for the juggler.

A dead writer of music is de-composing.


What phobia is a fear of being asked "Who goes there?" ... Friendorphobia.

What is fear of meeting a fat man in a red suit in a confined room for hanging clothes? ... Santaclaustrophobia.

What is fear of the force? ... Obiewancanobieaphobia.

What is fear of people named Phoebe? ... Phoebiaphobia.

Old Soldiers Never Die...

Old math teachers never die, they just become irrational.

Old school principals never die, they just lose their faculties.

Old teachers never die they just lose their class.

Old gardeners never die they just vegetate.

Old pilots never die, they just get more turbulent.

Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.

Old lawyers never die they just lose their appeal.

Old judges never die they just slur their sentences.

Old skiers never die -- they just go down hill.

Old quarterbacks never die, they just pass away.

Old skydivers never die, they're just more down to earth.

Old musicians never die, they are just disconcerted.


What do you call a fly with no wings? ... A walk.

Archives? Is that where Noah kept his bees?

If you are a sheep rancher on the move, do you carry your livestock in a ewe-haul truck?

What did the Russian call his pet rodent? ... Comrat.

A baby sardine was happily swimming in the ocean near its mother when it saw its first submarine. The mother sardine quickly reassured her frightened offspring. "Don't worry, dear. That's just a can of people."

A financially strapped cowboy was considering mortgaging his white horse. He was in loan danger as he went to see the loan arranger. He better do it pronto, or it might be a hearty "bye ol' Silver!"

Think About It

Are part-time band leaders semi-conductors?

My rechargeable batteries are revolting.

Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you.

Do you ever get tired of sleeping?

Prison walls are never built to scale.

Applying mascara in a car can cause whipped lashes.

Some musicians can be sharp, which is not natural.

If a lawyer can be disbarred can a musician be denoted or a model deposed?

For plumbers, a flush beats a full house.

And Finally

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

There's a difference between good sound reasons and reasons that sound good.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Sermons - January 21, 2007

Here are two new messages preached by Jonathan today.

The first, a message titled A Shock Sabbath Healing!, is taken from Mark 3:1-6 and serves as the third message in the series Evangelistic Ministry. More than a gospel presentation this is a look at how Jesus responded to the sin and hatred of religious leaders and self-righteous traditions. Filled with hardness and hate, religious leaders lay a trap for Jesus Christ. He is not prevented from healing a man in need, nor from exposing the sin in the hearts of the leaders. The application then is found in asking the question, "Are we in any way like these religious leaders?"

This evening's message, titled Four Firsts is taken from Genesis 2:4-25 and is the second message in the series Genesis. Genesis 2 is an in-depth look at the sixth day of creation. These four firsts are the first Eden, the first Man, the first Woman, and the first Marriage.

Here we see the garden of Eden - a paradise created for man, and we see the detail of Man and Woman's creation, and the divine institution of Christian Marriage. What was it like for Adam and Eve back then? What does it mean to be made in God's image? What is God's definition of Marriage?

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Being Like Minded

The second message in the series Set Your Mind on Things Above is taken from Philippians 2:1-5. This message, titled Being Like Minded, shows us from the text that true unity comes from being like minded.

Many today are making appeals for unity but not many are calling for agreement about the Word of God and agreement in the way we live! We see though that there cannot be true unity unless we are like minded in the church - and being like minded must come from mutual submission to the Word of God. Unity comes from obedience. In order to have one mind, to be like minded, we must think alike. This works its way out in our being comassionate, loving, caring, merciful, and being willing to serve one another.

Are you striving to be like minded? If not, you are hindering unity within the Body of Christ.

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Nehemiah's Single-Mindedness

This series was preached for the new year in 2005 but is applicable to us today. We start in the book of Nehemiah where we learn about his single-minded desire that God be glorified through His people and the rebuilding of the City of Jerusalem, it's walls, and the Temple. Chapter 9 especially teaches us valuable lessons for the New Year. Whether we are hoping that the new year is better than the old, or whether we face new trials and tribulations, this we know - in trying times we must remember our God.

Often in troubles and trials we forget about God, except to think of Him as a way of escape. But in truth, as we study His character and His attributes we see that no matter what we face He will always be with us. The difficulty for us is found in that we need to learn to look past the winds, waves, and uncertainty and focus our attention on Him and His name. He must be our focus. He must be the center of our attention. He must be the priority and He must have the preimminence in our thinking.

Nehemiah sets an example for us by being single-minded when it comes to seeing the glory of God, even in trying times.

Here then, introducing a series titled Set Your Mind on Things Above, is the first message taken from Nehemiah 9 titled Nehemiah's Single-Mindedness.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Phillip's Phunnies - Technology & Texas

A merry heart does good, like medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

An archeological dig by Scottish scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1000 years. After intensive study, the press reported:

Dig Uncovers Scottish Telephone Network from 1000 Years Ago

Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed, English scientist focused on a dig that revealed finds that were announced in the press with a front page story stating:

English archaeologists have found traces of 2000 year old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a thousand years earlier than the Scots.

One week later, Texas newspapers reported the following:

After digging in West Texas, Texas scientists have found absolutely nothing. They have concluded that 5000 years ago Texas inhabitants were already using wireless technology.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

God's Providential Exception: The Barren Womb (Part 2)

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - Isaiah 54:1
“Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD.

Daily Scripture Reading - Philippians 4

Puritan Catechism
Question #49 - Which is the fourth commandment?

Answer - The fourth commandment is, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (Ex 20:8-11).

Devotional Thoughts
We have seen that while barrenness has at times been the result of judgment for sin, the overall idea that barrenness is a curse simply cannot be substantiated from Scripture. There are many godly women throughout the Bible who were barren. In exposing this false belief we have even seen that many who were barren later were blessed with children. God had His purposes for their barrenness, even if it was only for a little while.

But what about those who are barren and never have children? Are they cursed? Does God hate them? Have they done something wrong to deserve this? Why are they barren?

There can be no other answer than that God is sovereign, as since He is God we must trust Him. On the surface that sounds simplistic and even trite. Who am I after all to suggest that if a couple is barren that they should just trust God and His purposes?

While it is true that I know first hand, by experience, what it is for a family to go through this dark Providence as I have no children, it is not who I am that matters. Far beyond that, there is the truth - this is what the Bible tells us and that settles is as the only answer to our questions. God is sovereign and if He has chosen that a woman is to be barren and even remain barren then there is nothing that anyone can do to change that. But then, if this is what God has decided, then this is His will, and His will always works for our good and His glory. The gifts He gives us are always good. Even if we fail to see that these are gifts!

The question is not whether or not barrenness is a curse. The question is this - is the woman who is barren walking by faith and not by sight? Is she trusting God for everything, in every area of her life? Is she honoring and glorifying God, learning to be content wherever she finds herself?

And for her husband - does he pray for his wife and with his wife about all of these things? Does he encourage her and love her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her? Does he sympathize and empathize, and grieve with her when she hurts and feels a loss? And does he take her to the Word of God to lift her eyes to the cross when she feels that God has done this to hurt or punish her?

Our last point before looking at a few specific ways to apply this lesson is a point that I have saved intentionally for last. A foundation had to be laid before we could even understand this point. This last point runs contrary to our “natural” way of thinking. Whatever we confess, we know this to be true, barrenness is so associated with sin or a curse that it is difficult to accept by faith what the Bible really says. For we see that if we lay aside our preconceived notions, we find that the Bible tells us that:

Barrenness is a Blessing

At this point you are either nodding your head in agreement or you are sure that I am crazy. How can barrenness be a blessing? I am glad you asked! Are you ready to learn the truth, and by that truth to be set free from the false beliefs and expectations that the world, the devil, and our own flesh hoist upon us?

Remember Psalm 113? We read it yesterday. When we apply Psalm 113 and Psalm 127 we learn that it is up to God to build the home. We cannot build without Him and unless He builds, there will be nothing built. God creates life in the womb, fashions the body and soul of that baby, and brings about the time of birth. God knows our days before we are born, He knows all our thoughts and words before we think or speak. He sets the boundaries of our life.

Can we trust Him then that He will bless us as He sees fit? It is true that children are a blessing from His hand, but can we really say that barrenness is also a blessing? When we compare the two - having children and being barren - we naturally think that one has been blessed while the other goes without being blessed. But that simply is not true.

Psalm 113:9 tells us that God grants the barren woman a home like the joyful mother of children. What is the difference here? God gives us each joyful homes! He creates families as He sees fit. And whether that home includes children or not it is still God who has "granted" that joyful home.

We also learned in Proverbs 30:16 yesterday that the barren womb never says "Enough." There is always a yearning for children. However, can we be content and satisfied and fulfilled even while still desiring something else? Yes we can, when we have the right perspective and really desire the right things. Think about it this way - we know that heaven will be wonderful. We will see Jesus. There will be no pain, sorrow, or sin. And we will live forever in God's presence. So knowing how wonderful heaven will be, can we desire to see Jesus and be with Him and at the same time be content and satisfied while here on this fallen world?

We are told that we can be and should be content. We are also told that we can be satisfied. How? How can we be satisfied when the barren womb never says "Enough"? Jesus tells us that we can be fulfilled, we can be satisfied, if we are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

Matthew 5:6 tells us, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." When we deeply desire, as if our lives depended upon it, to be right with God, then we will be satisfied. True satisfaction comes from God, from being right with Him, from having our sins forgiven and being righteous and holy. So while the barren may desire children, there can still be contentment and satisfaction found in walking with God.

We also find from Isaiah 54:1, 5, 17 that the barren are told to sing and rejoice. Why would a barren woman sing and rejoice? Because she will never know the pain of seeing her children stray from the Lord. This is serious. There is nothing more painful than for a parent to see their child walking in sin and suffering the judgment of God as a result. And the truth here is that if we are barren then we will never know what it to have our children be rejected by God.

We see then that God alone builds the home and He tells us that there are reasons to see His will as a blessing. We are even told that there are reasons that the barren can rejoice! And if we are looking to children for true and lasting satisfaction then we have missed the truth that only God can satisfy and only those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled.

We must then take JOY in our heritage from God, Christ’s imputed righteousness. He has made us right with God, and that exceeds all other blessings on this earth. This can also applied as there is the hope of a future promise of fruitfulness. In Galatians 4:27 Paul applies Isaiah 54:1 and tells us that in Christ we are not desolate (desolate = deserted) and that we will never be rejected by God.

In light of the coming judgment of the world for sin then we see that we have been blessed no matter what has happened in our lives and families if we only know Christ. (Luke 23:26-31).


To apply what we have learned, we must admit that barrenness is most often an opportunity to experience blessing and not a curse! We see these blessings in barrenness:

  • Barrenness shows us that God is sovereign in the birth of every child. He is not only sovereign, but has a purpose in the birth of every child. Look at those in the Bible who were previously barren but whom God blessed with children. What did their children do for the Kingdom of God?

  • Barrenness gives us an opportunity to truly trust God to build our home and family.

  • Barrenness gives us an opportunity to be satisfied by God.

  • Barrenness reminds us that we have cause to rejoice, for we are never left desolate if we are in Christ!

  • Barrenness gives us a motivation to witness. It reminds us that many will be lost (and many will lose children) in the coming judgment for sin when Christ returns.

Can you rejoice today, right where you are, whether barren or not? If you have Christ, that is enough. And wherever God has you, you are blessed in Him. If you find yourself as part of God's providential exception, do not dwell on what He has not given you, instead thank Him for what He has given you - His Son!

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

Directions Against Sinful Desires and Discontent by Richard Baxter
Satisfaction in God by Cotton Mather

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

God's Providential Exception: The Barren Womb (Part 1)

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - Proverbs 30:16
The grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not satisfied with water— and the fire never says, “Enough!”

Daily Scripture Reading - Psalm 113

Puritan Catechism
Question #49 - Which is the fourth commandment?

Answer - The fourth commandment is, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (Ex 20:8-11).

Devotional Thoughts
We have asked the question "Why were we created?" and while the answer was brief and not nearly as in depth as it could have been we have seen that we were created for fellowship, stewardship, and worship. God created us to worship and glorify Him, to fellowship with Him, and to care for His creation and act on His behalf in the world. In looking at an even more specific follow up question, we are now examining the question, "Why were we created male and female?"

We have started to answer the question by showing first that God created us male and female for Lifetime Partnership. The second part of our answer is that God created us in His image as male and female so that we might have a Lineage through Parenting. This then introduced three statements that we have been studying:

1. God's Purpose for Children
2. God's Plan for Parenting (Part 1, 2, 3, and 4)
3. God's Providential Exception: The Barren Womb

The third statement will be the focus of today's devotional. God has made us male and female for a number of purposes, but the exception to what we have been studying is that in His Providence at times God ordains that a couple will not have any children. This has been viewed a as stigma by some and as a blessing by others. There are those, albeit without a Biblical worldview, who have decided that they do not want children and so have chosen barrenness by their own actions. And there are always those who deeply desire to have children and yet are never satisfied.

It is the prevailing view in the world, and sadly in many churches today, that children are a burden, a choice, an inconvenience, or an infringement on our freedom. And so many have been fooled into thinking that they can control their fertility through everything from drugs to mutilation (surgery) that we are killing ourselves and our children all in the pursuit of barrenness! And yet, there are those who want children and who have a right view of children - but for some reason, God does not open every womb.

Even as a barren woman may come to accept her barrenness and count it a blessing, trusting in an all knowing and all loving God, and learning to be content where she is with how things are, even then a barren woman will tell you that the desire for children never really goes completely away. Proverbs 30:16 tells us that the barren womb is one of the things on this earth that never says, "Enough." The barren womb is never completely satisfied with the lack of bearing a child.

Why is that? Simply put, because God made us to be fruitful and multiply! And the desire to not have children, or to kill our unborn children is unnatural. That is not the way God designed us. So let us look then at the truth behind God's Providential Exception: The Barren Womb.

God Alone Opens and Closes the Womb

When examining this topic we must begin with the undeniable truth of Scripture that tells us plainly that God alone has hte power to open and close the womb. If a child is conceived and born it is because God has created that life, formed that baby, and even caused the delivery of the child. If the womb, on the other hand, remains barren and childless, that too is by God's design. He alone is sovereign over life.

Consider these examples from the Old Testament:

Isaiah 44:2, 24; Genesis 20:18; 29:31; 30:2, 22; 49:25; 1 Samuel 1:5-6; Job 31:15; Psalm 139:13; Isaiah 66:9; Jeremiah 1:5; Exodus 23:26; Deut 7:14

Barrenness as a Curse

Because God is sovereign in the conception and birth of every child many are quick to assume that barrenness is a curse from Him upon a woman or a family. The inability to have a child is seen as something unnatural, something even unholy. There were several barren women in the Bible who were looked down upon because of their barrenness, as if they had brought it upon themselves. Let us take a look though at several verses that give us a Biblical perspective.

According to Genesis 20:18 and 2 Samuel 6:23 there are instances when God has caused barrenness as a result of sin, as a curse or a punishment.

Hosea 9:11-14 is even more distressing, as a curse is prayed for upon enemies of God and it is said that they will be barren or will miscarry. This was a direct result of their sin against God.

But is this always the case? Is barrenness or miscarriage always a judgment, a curse from God because of sin? A simple look at the whole counsel of the Word of God proves that these were the exceptions and not the rule! In fact, if we take the time to look at just a few people in the Bible we see that there are those who are barren who are not cursed or being judged for their sin. We find that they are barren so that God can prove His power and glorify Himself!

Patriarchs and Prophets

A look at the Patriarchs and Prophets reveal to us two very vital facts in our study . First, barrenness is not always a curse. Secondly, if God so desires it, the barren with give birth! He is after all in control, remember.

Let us look at these who were barren for the glory of God and those who were barren and later gave birth in extraordinary circumstances. Here are a few summaries:

Genesis 11:30; 21:1-7 – Sarah is barren. She is old. And according to the promise of God and by His power she gave birth to Isaac. She was beyond child bearing age, in her 90s, and she had a baby according to God's plan and for His purposes.

Genesis 25:21– Rebekah was barren and yet as she and Isaac pleaded with God and trusted Him, in His time and according to His plan she gave birth to Jacob and Esau.

Genesis 29:31; 30:1-2; 22-24– Rachel was barren and her barrenness was a source of strife in the family. And after seeing other children born to her husband from other wives God finally opened her womb, twice. Consider the fruit of her womb, so to speak. Joseph was used of God to preserve the nation of Israel and the world around the middle east as he was elevated in the Court of Pharaoh and implemented a plan to deal with seven years of famine. And her second born, Benjamin is no less significant. One of his descendants wrote most of the New Testament! His name was Saul, and was later changed to Paul.

Judges 13:2-3; 24 – Manoah’s wife was barren but later, as God ordained it, she gave birth to Samson, a mighty man and a judge over Israel.

1 Samuel 1:1-11 – Hannah was barren and so grieved that as she prayed a priest thought she was drunk! And yet according to God's plan in answer to her prayer, her womb was opened and she gave birth to Samuel, the prophet who anointed Kings in Israel.

Luke 1:5-7; 13-17; 24-25; 57-58 – And then there was Elizabeth. Also barren. No children and aging. And after Gabriel brought the news to her husband, she conceived and gave birth to John the Baptizer, the one who fulfilled prophecy and came to announce the coming of the Messiah.

As we conclude today it might be tempting to look at this and say that these women were not really barren for they all eventually gave birth! While it is true that they did give birth, it is also true that before God gave them children they were barren. One way to look at it is to see that indeed, all women are barren until God opens the womb. Remember, only God is able to open and close the womb.

Tomorrow we will take the time to see that the Bible actually presents a case for barrenness being a blessing. That runs so contrary to the way we are taught to think about it that it might take a minute to sink in. So be sure to stay tuned as we will finish this lesson tomorrow.

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

Deliberate Childlessness: Moral Rebellion With a New Face
by Dr. Albert Mohler

Recommended Songs for Worship

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Notable Hymns

A favorite feature on Jonathan Hunt's blog finds a review of Notable Hymns. Here is how Jonathan intruduced the series:

As often as possible, I hope to post here some little-known, or perhaps forgotten, and possibly even recently-composed, hymns and psalm versions from my collection of books, but especially from Psalms and Hymns of Reformed Worship, which is the in-house hymnbook at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. First issued in 1991, this hymnbook revitalised the tradition of having psalm versions, metricals, paraphrases, and/or expansions, for all 150 psalms in a seperate section, like CH Spurgeon did in his Our Own Hymnbook. As Phil Johnson remarked on his blog (you would have to scroll back through the archives to 3 July), traditional worship is not dead, but very much alive.

I did think of writing a long para about modern worship here, or CCM as it is known. But a million things have been written, and more forcefully than I could. I will link some good articles on the subject at a later date.Call me old-fashioned, but I stick with hymns and psalms, written in whatever age, that are profound, doctrinally rich, and reverent. It is to introduce you all (whoever you are!) to some of these that I will post here.

Here then are a few Notable Hymns:

Notable Hymns I
Notable Hymns II
Notable Hymns III
Notable Hymns IV
Notable Hymns V
Notable Hymns VI
Notable Hymns VII
Notable Hymns VIII
Notable Hymns IX
Notable Hymns X
Notable Hymns XI
Notable Hymns XII
Notable Hymns XIII
Notable Hymns XIV
Notable Hymns XV

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Sermons - January 7, 2007

Two new sermons from Jonathan today:

The first, from this morning's service, is titled Fearful Felix and is taken from Acts 24:25. A mighty govenor is filled with fear when Paul speaks to him of Righteousness, Self-Control, and Judgement to come. How do we feel when we are faced with these things?

From this evenings service we have the first message in a new series of studies taken from the Book of Genesis, titled appropriately In the Beginning. Here we have a straightforward review of the first week in the history of time, taken from Genesis 1:1-2:3.

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Worldly Minded and Non-Attending Members

Originally Published in The Baptist Trumpet—December 1936

By Elder E.C. Mahurin

A Brother asked what the trouble was with religion. The various denominations were all mentioned and a great falling away was noticed by all of them. Here is the answer at least in part that was given. First of all, we have become selfish, sensual, covetous, lovers of worldly pleasures more than lovers of God and his service. Sunday amusements hold a tight grip upon us. We are prayerless, seldom read the Bible and more seldom ever practice what it teaches. Frankly, as I view the matter, our people’s condition is serious.

There were but a few of our members present today. The day was a little blustery, but a long ways from being a bad day. After we dismissed, some of the brethren asked how many would have been there if there had been as much as five dollars at stake. I suspect about all of us would have been there. Jesus says where our treasures are there will we be also.

Not long ago a gentleman began to tell me something about some legal proceedings that were likely to come up in court. After listening a while, I told him he could save it all and tell it to the judge. (I was not personally involved). Some times I think of telling some of our excuse-making non-attending members to do the same thing. Tell it to the Judge.

Nine times out of ten we can be at our meetings if we really want to.

It is a painful thing to rebuke our own brethren. Many suggestions come to our mind how we may avoid it but nothing will take its place. First of all we try to indicate the cause and here is usually the answer. I am a poor preacher. My inability to preach had caused the brethren to lose interest. They have tired of hearing my stammering and poor way of preaching and I really can’t blame them for not wanting to come. They need a better pastor and then they would be more interested, etc. But what about it when a good preacher’s brethren and churches get that way? Surely in that case the brethren are at least somewhat to blame. Then we must reprove rebuke with all long-suffering and doctrine and we must do this in love.

Show me a picture-show-going, ball-game-attending, checker and domino playing, Sabbath breaking membership, and I will show you a cold, lifeless church. These things do not lead to the cross of our Master. The do not excite a spirit of prayer, and humble devotion to him who has done much for us; and without these things we cannot have a live church.

I am willing to call God to witness this day that I have begged, pleaded and tried to warn my brethren all along about such things and I am willing for him to punish as He sees both myself and them. Whatever it takes to make us stop and know that He is God and besides Him there is no other, I pray He may give it. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Lord help me to consider my ways, repent and seek Thee with all my heart.

Written in fear but in love.
E. C. Mahurin

Elder Mahurin (1887-1950) was ordained to the ministry in 1912. He served several churches in over 38 years of ministry, among them were churches in Culp, Waco, Hillsboro, Crosbyton, Wingate, Lawn, Breckenridge, Brownwood, and San Angelo; all in the State of Texas. It is also noted that E.C. is Pastor Way's great-great uncle.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Phillip's Phunnies - Family Names

A merry heart does good, like medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Today's Phunnies is a true story! This is based on a discovery I made a few years back quite by "accident." Let me take the time to tell the story.

Years ago as a young man I met another young man and our friendship would impact both of our lives to this day. I have mentioned him and his family before. Pastor Brian Hedges and I started our friendship debating the great doctrines of Scripture. As I grew to know and love his family it was his father, Pastor Ronnie Hedges, who officiated at my wedding.

I do not remember the exact date these events I am about to share occured, but I remember it was a blustery West Texas day. My wife and I had travelled out to attend church with the Hedges family in Lawn, Texas, to sing praises, pray, and hear Ronnie preach the Word. On the way out of the church service we noticed a picture hanging in the lobby of a church. It was a picture of the pastor who had founded the church. He looked familiar, and when we looked more closely at the picture we realized that his last name was a family name. The founder of this little church in West Texas where Ronnie, and later Brian both served as pastor had been planted many years before by my great grandfather's older brother.

I had been unaware up to that time that there were preachers in our family history, but there he was, Elder E.C. Mahurin. It was a blessing to know that there was a heritage in the family where a distant relative had spent his life in service to Christ preaching the Word and planting churches. And it was especially thrilling to know he had believed and preached the doctrines of grace. He was a Reformed Baptist church planter - just like I am!

Doing a little investigating online this week I discovered a short biography for my great-great uncle that I had not seen before. The article stated:

Elder Mahurin was born in Culp, Texas in 1887. He passed from this life in October 1950 in San Angelo, Texas. He was ordained to the ministry in Culp, Texas in July 1912. He served several churches (some as pastor) for over 38 years among them were Culp, Waco, Hillsboro, Crosbyton, Wingate, Lawn, Breckenridge, Brownwood, and San Angelo; all in the State of Texas. He and Sister Mahurin were blessed to have seven children.

Elder Mahurin had the marvelous gift, in the pulpit or with pen in hand, of portraying his Lord and master in a most beautiful way for sinners to adore. Seldom would an issue of The Baptist Trumpet leave the press without one of his beautiful short articles.

Finding this snippet of information got me to really searching, for now I had the name of a magazine for which he wrote articles! I have been able so far to find 2 articles and will be posting them shortly. But before I do I have to share one more bit of information that to me is absolutely hysterical. Let me share some more family history to set this up properly.

My great-great grandfather was named Enoch Calvin Mahurin. His oldest son was also named Enoch Calvin. He is the subject if this article, my great-great uncle. He was known as Calvin. Enoch's third son was my great grandfather, named Walter Eugene. He was known all his life as Buster. So these brothers were known as Calvin and Buster.

Now when it comes to family names it is not unusual to name our children after family members from past generations. But I don't think it is quite so common to name our pets after our relatives. You see, what I DID NOT KNOW before the research I uncovered today is the fact that these brothers in my family tree were known as Calvin and Buster. So you have to laugh when you know that my wife and I have 2 cats who are from the same litter, brothers in fact, who are named, yep, you guessed it, Calvin and Buster!!

Here they are, in true character: