Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays!

To My Christian Friends - Happy Holidays

To My Jewish Friends - Happy Hanukkah

To My Atheist Friends - Good Luck!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Twas the Night Before Christmas (Take Two)

Twas the Night before Christmas (Take Two)
Written by Gregg Metcalf

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through heaven
Not an angel was singing, not even the one named Evan
The cherubim were all packed and were waiting to send
A multitude of heavenly hosts to a town called Bethlehem

Mary and Joseph were all snug in the manager
On this dark night nothing could ever be stranger
For the Holy Spirit of God came there to hover
As a young Jewish maiden was to become a mother

The time had now come for Mary to deliver
The child formed by the great heavenly giver
It seemed the quiet of this once silent night
Would only be broken by sounds of delight

When out in the fields there arose a heavenly host
Praising God with great words which did boast
Of his glory to the highest in all of the creation
Peace on earth and good will to every nation

The glory of the Lord shone bright around them
As the angels brought glad tidings to Bethlehem
Do not be afraid was the message they heard
All these things had been written in God’s word

The moon on the stalks of wheat in the field
Dancing along as the moonlight gave yield
When, what by the listening ear was heard
But words of comfort which were not slurred

A figure in shadows appeared so lively and quick
 The young mother sensing this might be a trick
With a message to the land this shadow came
Bringing words of joy to all the tribes by name 

Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Dan
Naphtali, Asher, Issachar, Judah, to the man
To Zebulon, Simeon, Reuben, Gad he spoke
The time has come to now throw off the yoke

This babe laying here in swaddling clothes
Is the sign which God himself has chose
He has come to save his people from sin
And to bring good news to all of them

When the angels returned to heaven on high
The shepherds made haste and did fly
To the town where this thing came to be
Which the Lord had allowed them to see

The shepherds found the babe in a crib
With no room at the inn they had to ad lib
A pleasure it was to visit this tiny family
The shepherds worshiped in great jubilee

The babe was wrapped in swaddling tight
To keep away the chill of this dark night
A pillow of hay gave rest to his head
Unbecoming for a King was this bed

The baby’s eyes did twinkle and shine
He neither gave whimper nor whine
His cheeks were like roses in bloom
Since safely delivered from the womb

As the shepherds saw him they made known
Of all they knew of this blessing on loan
All who were privy they too were amazed
And with one voice their God was praised

As the shepherds prepared to depart
Mary pondered what was in her heart
They were singing filled with great joy
Having been led to see this baby boy

All these things were brought forth by God
Since he had chosen to bless this vile sod
He says to each one of us with great delight
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Real Meaning of Christmas!

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us." We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!
John MacArthur

Friday, December 22, 2017

Trees or Forests?

Martin Lloyd-Jones once wrote of the Roman believers:

"...they have lost their balance and have developed a kind of lop-sided Christianity. This is indeed an all-important matter in connection with the Christian life. One of the greatest dangers is to be so absorbed in, and concerned about, particulars and details as to forget the whole."

--from Liberty and Conscience, 
Exposition of Romans 14:1-17, 
page 205

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Scripture Widens and Deepens

20 Powerful Quotes from Charles Spurgeon

              “Nobody ever outgrows 
               Scripture; the book widens
               and deepens with our years.”

                                             (Charles H. Spurgeon)

Monday, December 18, 2017

There and Back!

Well, we are so glad to be back home after what seemed to be a whirlwind trip to Parris Island, South Carolina. You are probably aware that we attended our granddaughter's graduation from Marine Corps boot camp.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky and outdoorShe was assigned to the 4th Battalion, Platoon 4049, November Company. She also excelled and graduated in the top 10% of her platoon earning her a meritorious promotion to Private First Class, E2. Normal graduates graduate as Privates, E1 - so this is more rank and a little more money. They graduated in their dress blues and did she look sharp and squared away.


Image may contain: 1 person, outdoorWe woke up at 2:15 AM and got ready to leave. We picked up my daughter at her new Vancouver residence, loaded her up, and drove to the Park and Fly at the Portland International Airport. We live just across the Glenn Jackson Bride (I-205) - about 12 minutes away. The Lord was kind - there was a handi-cap parking space right next to the shuttle bench. So we parked an waited on the shuttle.

We took off at approximately 6:35 AM on Southwest Airlines. We flew to Los Angeles where we stayed on board and then flew to Houston, Texas for a transfer. Again, God was so kind, I had wheel chair service from plane to plane!

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor and natureWe landed finally in Charlotte, SC at about 8:30 PM east coast time. We drove to the motel in Beaufort, about an hour away and checked in.


Image may contain: 1 personWe awoke at approximately 5:00 AM in order to get ready to on base in order to stand in the dark and the freezing cold and wind to watch our granddaugther run in platoon formation in a run called the Motivational Run. We stood on a corner where they turn and we waited for 40 minutes or so an the company ran by but we couldn't see her. But oh well, we were there for her.

We then got breakfast and coffee and waited in a hangar for 90 minutes waiting for orientation and liberty call to begin. They had a short 30 minute orientation about what the recruits could do while on Liberty and then at 10:00 the recruits were released to family. We had her until 3:00 PM. 

We found a picnic table outside the Marine Corp Exchange and grabbed it for others did and we had a picnic in the wind and freezing cold but it was so fun. She was so sharp, we were so proud. 

Our youngest daughter Stacy, her husband Paul, and the twins (Carter and Cheyenne) drove down from Ottawa, Illinois. Sonja (Brytanny's mom), Irene and I along with Bryttany had a great picnic and hugged her almost to death

We then returned her to the barracks at the end of liberty. We drove to Hilton Head, Island where Paul and Stacy and the kids were staying and we had pizza for dinner and enjoyed seeing them all.

We drove back to Beaufort and fell into bed around 8:00 PM exhausted.


We arose around 6:00 AM and got ready for the big graduation ceremony. It started right on time at 9:00 AM and ended at 10:05 AM. The pomp and ceremony was fabulous. The National Anthem, the Marine Corps Hymn, the formations, the guide-ons, the flags all brought back memories of my time in the corps and couldn't keep back the tears.

When the final order of, "Drill Instructors, dismiss your troops" was given we grabbed her and then had to drive to the staging area where her gear, bags, and etc were staged. We loaded up and she wanted to eat at Olive Garden, after 13 weeks of Marine Corps chow she wanted Olive Garden. We drove back to Hilton Head and had the best lunch and time eve.

We said good by to our Illinois family and drove back to Beaufort. Believe it or not, with the time change, the flights, the early rising times, Irene and I fell into bed at 7:30 PM and fell asleep.


We arose at 1:15 AM and got ready. We packed the rental car (It was a Jeep Renegade & I didn't like it and don't recommend it).

Here is a tid-bit - we wanted coffee and there was a McDonald's next to the Motel. So, we whipped in the line and was the sixth car in line. It took over 5 minutes before the car at the window ever moved. Then it took another 15 minutes for the next four cars to move. Now, the car in front of us never moved, even when all the other cars did. My daughter, sweet as she is, waited until the last car left the window and then she began to honk. Finally the manager came out and had to wake up the driver. We finally 25 minutes later get to the window. The clerk slowly rang up two coffees and gave us our change. Then she said, we will put a pot on and it will be ready soon. My daughter said keep the coffee and we drove off, we had a plane to catch.  25 minutes waiting and 2.16 cents and no coffee.

We turned in the rental and boarded the plane at 6:35 AM and took off for Chicago. We changed plans and had a four hour flight to Portland. We collected our bags, loaded my Blazer and drove home.

We had a wonderful trip. We had so much fun. We are so proud of Bryttany. She had 10 days leave with family and friends, she then serves 10 days duty as a Recruiter's assistant in Portland. She then flys to Camp Geiger, North Carolina for 5 weeks of Marine Corps Combat Training.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Vancouver to Beaufort and back to Vancouver

This is our first morning back from South Carolina! Brought our brand new Marine back with us from Paris Island. Pictures and details to follow when my brain clears and the jet lag and 4 day trip wears off. Missed you guys!

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Trinity Conspires to Save the Sinner

Do not think that a decision or a prayer can or will save you. The Father draws you, the Son accepts you, and the Holy Spirit applies the work of atonement to your heart. 

Your salvation flows from three (3) aspects of Divine Will and Wisdom: 

1) Reservation: God determined to save you (election)

 2) Redemption: the Son died to save you (definite atonement)

 3) Regeneration: the Spirit decided to save you. (irresistible grace)

Thomas Goodwin puts it this way: "...God the Father rose up in heaven...'Son, yonder is a soul which I have given you from everlasting, which you died upon the cross for; now is the fullness of time for you to have mercy upon him; go take him and own him for your own, and now actually possess him." 

I beg you to stop dishonoring God by saying that through your own free will you can conjure saving faith on your own to and choose to either reject or accept and believe or repent by your own will. 

I beg you when the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit moves upon your heart, honor His Free Grace and trust in His glorious salvation.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

God's Great Design

Related image"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
(Matthew 6:10)

Thomas Watson once wrote, "The great design of God in His Word is to make us doers of His will." (Thomas Watson, The Lord's Prayer, pp. 151-156). 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Congratulations PFC Bryttany Abramson

Image result for usmc emblem

The Crucible is Over!

Recruit Bryttany Abramson 

is now

Private First Class Bryttany Abramson

Congratulations to a new member of the
 United States Marine Corps!

The Crucible is a test every recruit must go through to become a Marine. It tests every recruit physically, mentally and morally and is the defining experience of recruit training. The Crucible takes place over 54-hours and includes food and sleep deprivation and over 45 miles of marching. The Crucible event pits teams of recruits against a barrage of day and night events requiring every recruit to work together to solve problems, overcome obstacles, and help each other along the way.
The obstacles they face include long marches, combat assault courses, the leadership reaction course, and the team-building warrior stations.
Each warrior station is named for a Marine hero whose actions epitomize the values the USMC wants recruits to adopt.
The bottom line is this—the Crucible is a rite of passage that, through shared sacrifice, recruits will never forget. With that memory and the core values learned in recruit training, they will be able to face any challenges in their path.

Friday, December 8, 2017

All Hail King Jesus

All Hail King Jesus
by Gregg Metcalf
Vancouver, WA

All Hail King Jesus
 You are the One
Praise your holy name 
From God you have come
All Hail King Jesus 
To thee we now bow
Glory to our Lord and King
 Don’t delay come rule right now

Verse 1
Lowly and sitting on a donkey
You came unto your own
To the sound of glorious praise
To all the world you’re known

Verse 2
Tell the daughter of Zion’s realm
 That the her King is now near
 Come to Him all His peoples
There is no need to fear!

All Hail King Jesus 
You are the One
 Praise your holy name 
From God you have come
All Hail King Jesus
 To thee we now bow
Glory to our Lord and King
 Don’t delay come rule right now

Verse 3
 Treading on branches green
Amidst the shout and praise
Shouts of Hosanna ringing loud
Thanks to God for glorious days

Verse 4

 Blessings to David’s fair Son!
 Blessed who come in His Name
Heavens rejoicing triumphantly
As they testify to His fame!

All Hail King Jesus 
You are the One
Praise your holy name
 From God you have come
All Hail King Jesus 
To thee we now bow
Glory to our Lord and King 
Don’t delay come rule right now

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Entangled Affections Lead Us to Sin

Image result for john owenOne of my goals or purpose for producing this blog is to expose you, my readers to a wide variety of godly men and women. I desire to expose you to a variety of spiritually beneficial topics, books, articles, thoughts, and people.

John Owen (16816-1683) was an English Nonconformist church leader, theologian, and academic administrator at the University of Oxford. He was briefly a member of parliament for the University, sitting in the First Protectorate Parliament of 1654 to 1655. He was a tremendously deep thinker and prolific writer. 

Ryan McGraw wrote, "First, everything Owen wrote stands head and shoulders above most of his contemporaries. You will not find here the illustrative powers of Thomas Watson or the personal anecdotes of Richard Baxter. You will find a man who drank deeply from the wells of the best theology available at the time, who filtered this material through a brilliant intellect, and who set it on fire with the warmth of pastoral devotion. The two words that come to mind in describing Owen are precision and piety." 

Others have said that he is a most difficult read but it is well worth the effort. Therefore, this morning I give you a quote concerning temptation from John Owen with the hopes that his thoughtful insight will help you understand how improperly placed affections cloud our thinking which can lead to sin.

Temptation can also darken the mind by a sad entangling of the affections. When the affections are engaged, they have a strong influence in blinding the mind and darkening the understanding.” (John Owen)

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Emblem of Infinite Grace

Image result for clip art king nebuchadnezzarApart from the cross, King Nebuchadnezzar serves as the emblem of infinite grace. And then I do. (Gregg Metcalf)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Worship Like A Puritan

Image result for puritan worship

Critic H. L. Mencken once said, wrongly, “Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” On the contrary, Puritans read good books and enjoyed music. They drank beer with meals and rum at weddings. Puritans swam and skated, hunted and fished, and played at archery and bowling (as long as the games were not in a public tavern or on Sunday).

In Puritan worship, a prayer could last an hour or more; a sermon, two hours. In a lifetime, a Puritan might hear 15,000 hours of preaching. Failing to glorify God for all his good gifts was a sacrilege.

My point is not that we get exited about drinking a beer or bowling an afternoon away. My point is that as you gather with a body of believers today, forget for just a little while this world of instantaneous convenience. I know we have lighting fast computers, apps that do almost everything but the dishes, and appliances/machines that respond instantly.

Many believers approach God and worship in this same manner. When it comes to worship God seems to be reduced to a 7-11 type Quick Stop Market. We want to get in, received a benefit and get out. So many so called churches have reduced the sermon to 10-20 minutes and have all but removed prayer from the "order of service."

God knew that we needed good preaching and teaching. This is why He gave us preachers and teachers. The sermon is not to be some social or political speech or motivational pep talk. The sermon is to directed to our heart, to our seat of emotions, it is to motivate believers to be faithful and to stimulate Christ-like works from the heart.

Don't get me wrong, I know an hour long sermon can be as bad as a 10 minute sermon can be good. Don't shy away from good bible teaching churches that thoroughly explain a passage of Scripture and just as thoroughly exhort you to obey that passage. 

Instant church might satisfy some, but it will not develop your faith, giving you courageous convictions that will sustain you. Ask God to teach you to love the word and to love the true preaching of His Word. Don't take short-cuts. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bible Intake Plan for 2018

It is  that time of year again to prayerfully choose a Bible reading plan for 2018. December 1st begins the last month of 2017. Hopefully you have been able to fulfill your 2017 bible reading plan. If you are behind, December is the last chance to "double-down," catch-up, and complete your program.