Wednesday, February 25, 2015

From Slavery to Freedom – The First Published African American Woman

 The poetess Phillis Wheately (1753 -December 5, 1784) was the  first African American woman to be published.   In 1761  at the age of 8,  she was brought here from Africa on a slave ship  and was sold  to the  Wheately family  of Boston.    The family  gave her an extraordinary education for any woman of that  time, much less a slave,  and  by the time she was 12,  Phillis was reading Greek,  Latin, and classic literature.   She also attended church with the family where she was introduced to the Gospel. 
Recognizing that Phillis had a  gift  for poetry her master’s wife encouraged Phillis to write.  This drew  the attention and support  of  Selina Hastings, the Countess of Huntingdon to whom  Wheately’s  book of poems was dedicated.      
At the age of 17  Phillis wrote a eulogy for George Whitfield whom she had heard preach at her church.  This piece gained widespread acclaim and  you can read it HERE.    At the age of 20  Phillis  was emancipated by her master.  
Although she rarely wrote of herself she speaks from her   heart in the following poem.
                         On Being Brought from Africa to America”
 Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
"Their colour is a diabolic dye."
Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,
May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.
To  learn more about this remarkable  woman  please listen  to  Dr. Stephen Nichols 5 Minutes in Church History

Sunday, February 22, 2015

He Shall Reign Forever!

 Happy Sunday friends!     The world  has become such  scary place for Christians,  hasn't it?   The evening news can be so disheartening.    Even so,  we have every cause for rejoicing!     Our GREAT God is still on His throne and one day (soon I hope)  He will return and make everything right.
  ‘Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,   “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15
“Be of good courage, my brethren;  the consequences of redemption are not left in jeopardy.   Those results which God has purposed will, to the last jot and tittle, be fulfilled. "Men shall be blessed in him."    
It is not to me a question whether Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to God; she shall do it, though I may not live to see it.   It is not to me a question whether the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ;  they must become his.   Let us work in this confidence, and believe every promise in this blessed look.    If we get down-hearted and full of fear,   we are unworthy of our Lord.   If we served a temporal prince with limited power, we might talk with 'bated breath; but the banner that gleams on high, above our ranks, is the banner of the Lord God omnipotent, and the shout that shall be heard at the last, is this:
 "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."
 I ask you,—Is it not very natural that he should reign?  If he really be omnipotent, are not all the certainties as well as the probabilities, in favor of his universal dominion?  Must he not reign?   Yea, saith the Spirit, "He shall reign for ever and ever." "Men shall be blessed in him."   There is the tone of full assurance about this blessed prophecy; wherefore, let us rejoice and praise the name of the Lord.”


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tips For Slow Readers

By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” 
Charles Spurgeon  
Hey, not everyone can read like D.A. Carson,  so I'd like to give a shout  out  to people with reading challenges,  since  I’m one  of them.    My struggle  to concentrate  has been a source of  constant frustration  for decades,   thanks to a health issue.    Oh,  I can read as fast as the next guy,   but my mind  wanders  like a dog  that's been let off  its leash!      
Since I love to read,   here’s  a few things that help me to get 'er done.
  •  I get the most from reading  first thing in the morning before I get too distracted with the day’s activities.  Underlining and  taking notes help with concentration,  and reading aloud can  also help.
  •  I don’t  compare myself to other readers.   We don't need to feel inferior if we  can’t keep pace with our friends.
  •  I choose what I read carefully.  It would be nice to read  a wide variety of  opinions and genres,   but when reading is a struggle it helps to prioritize.   For example,  I don't bother with  books I know I will disagree with.    I might scan them for reference,   but I figure that's  what book reviews are for!  
  •  I  don’t always have to read the whole thing  (obviously, this won't fly for  students).   The literature police are not going to come after us if  we  don’t finish a book.     When I get a new book  I scan it first.    If  I'm pretty sure I'll like it I’ll read it from cover to cover.   If it’s just so-so,  I’ll hit the chapters that interest me most or maybe even just read the conclusions at the end of  each chapter.   
  •  And last but not least.  When it comes to my  #1 priority, my Bible,   I gave up  marathon Bible reading programs years ago.    I  get more accomplished when I read the Bible at my own speed..   There are times when reading large swaths works for me and there are times when a chapter will have to suffice.    When my kids were young,  I was happy to read anything at all!   The important thing is that that we comprehend  and correctly interpret what we do read.     
 The Scriptures are  God’s only means of communicating with us today.   Therefore,  it’s more important to thoroughly digest a small portion of His word  than  to read  large sections and not remember a thing. 

 I you have anymore thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to hear them~

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bad Moon Rising

Call me simple minded and ignorant if you will,   but I believe  God went out of  his way to tell us that he created the world in six literal days.   I also believe to say otherwise  is an attack on the literal interpretation of Scripture and that there might be no end to where it will lead.    What truth will be sacrificed  next  on the altar of "scientific" reasoning?    The miracles?   The resurrection?   History has a way of repeating itself doesn't it?     "I see a bad moon rising - I see trouble on the way.. " 
Cameron Buettel at Grace to You has written an excellent  article on the subject.

The Genesis Crises 

"Most of us are familiar with politicians who obfuscate simple questions with complex political answers. Who can forget Bill Clinton’s “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”? Unfortunately, obfuscation exists in the realm of theology as well. God may not be “a God of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33), but there are scores of biblical scholars, theologians, and pastors who insert plenty of it into the first few chapters of Genesis. 

Evangelicalism abounds with theologians who don’t know what the meaning of the word “day” is. The Hebrew word for day, yom, appears more than two thousand times in the Old Testament and would attract virtually no debate were it not for six specific appearances in Genesis 1. But those six days of creation are now at loggerheads with modern scientific dating methods. Rather than stand firm on the biblical account, church leaders acquiesce to unprovable theories and confuse the clear and consistent biblical teaching on origins. 

A History of Skepticism 

A French naturalist of the 1700s, Comte de Buffon, scoffed at the six days of creation and the straightforward biblical genealogies that dated the earth around six thousand years old. He said it had to be much older—about seventy-five thousand years old. Since that day, scientific dating results have followed the same trajectory as the American debt ceiling. By 1862 it was 100 million years;  by 1913, 1.6 billion years. Today the estimate sits at 4.5 billion, but it will surely change again as soon as someone comes up with a better, more convincing guess.

The truth is, science can’t offer us one, comprehensive answer for how we got here. There are lots of acceptable theories—except, of course, the plain reading of the Genesis account.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Are You Tired of Fighting For Truth?

"You are tired!  I am sorry for you!  I am not tired yet.  I have fought for the Bible for most of my life...  And now you are weeping!   Never mind.   Weep for the right things.  Weep because the truth of God is being thrown away and what will our world do without it?     Men will never find other moral standards that they will build society on, never doubt that...  
You cannot imagine what it is like when men turn away from God.   The thought should make you go cold...  I have fought for the truth of the Bible for thirty years. But are you tired already?   How can you be?   How do you dare?"
Hans Rookmaaker (1922-1977):  Modern Art and the Death of a Culture
This interesting Dutchman became a Christian while reading the Bible during his   imprisonment  for  distributing anti-Nazi leaflets.   He later developed a lifelong friendship with  Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri.  Learn more here:  Art and the Christian Mind: The Life and Work of H.R. Rookmaaker