Perpetual Thanksgiving

Originally posted on preachercarter:

It is official, the day set aside to give thanksgiving is over. Turkey has been eaten and potatoes mashed. Pies and cakes have been devoured causing many to sit back in easy chairs unable to move in that gluttony has taken over thanksgiving allowing only for deep breathing and occasional sighs of relief as the mounds of food finally settle within the bodies of many. 

Now, there is no suggestion here that there should be no enjoyment of things God has provided for us. But the real attitude of Thanksgiving has little to do with the plenteous foods now being stored in refrigerators and freezers. In fact I would venture to say that attitudes of thanksgiving actually fall short of the meals that we eat. 

Let me explain. When I woke this morning it was more than evident that I did not wake under my own power. In fact I…

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Beans Done Spilled

OK, I have to tell the truth. I have been very busy these past several months. One of the things I have been working on is my book. Yes, I am about to release my second book and it is quite different than my first book Down the Via Dolorosa. This book I have been working on is now in the design phase with Westbow Press and is one sure to bring attention to Christianity at large. I have spilled the beans about this work to some and now it is time to bring it to the attention of everyone. Yes, I done spilled the beans about my next book (grammatical error intentional).

Oh, I did not tell you the name of the work. Well, it is called Academia: Through the Eyes of a Preacher. This book contains a number of my seminary essays as I worked my way through Master of Religion and Master of Divinity programs at Liberty University. Many hours of research and untold hours of other writing and studying went into this work. It contains multiple references with over four hundred footnotes. It is an academic work that will prove to be an excellent tool for any clergyman or layman that wants to sharpen his theological sword.

However, this book is quite unique. When preparing the essays I made some minor mistakes. The papers were submitted for grading with those mistakes remaining in the essays. I have intentionally kept those mistakes in this work because I want seminarians to carefully scrutinize the essays in an effort to better themselves. Now, the errors are not grave errors yet they are errors. Experts will be able to quickly point to them. So, seminarians go ahead and use my work as a source of inspiration as well as learning. Clergy members, there are untold lessons and sermons in the text of this work. So, go ahead and see where you can be stretched.

The following is a taste of one such essay. Please remember, as always this is copyrighted work with the ISBN number 9781512718300. All rights are reserved for this document as well as Academia. Please look at this excerpt from “The Nicene Creed: The Trouble that Caused It.”

Another adherent to Christ being less than Devine was Paul of Samosata. This heretical bishop espoused the notion that Christ was a created being thereby making Him purely Man and if Christ was merely man He would have no equality with the Father.[1] While this belief may not be counted as Arianism in the strictest since it certainly has the overtones of pulling Christ from the same substance as the Father. Additionally Paul’s Christological views were along the lines of Monarchianism which led to the idea of the Trinity being a Trinity of names only.[2] Subsequently Paul’s teachings were the impetus of the doctrine of Adoptionism.

This brief background provides a picture of why the church was at the point of turmoil. The very essence of God was being attacked in the Person of the Word and by extension the Holy Spirit. This heretical treatment of the Godhead was not taken lightly by some of the leading clergymen of the day. Among the dissenters of Arianism was Athanasius (c. 298-373). He was ordained as a deacon by Alexander during the time of disputations with Arius.[3] Athanasius traveled with Bishop Alexander to the Council of Nicaea where the heretical teachings of Arius were denounced.[4]

Despite the company Athanasius found himself in there was also grave opposition to his stand against heretical teachings. Saint Hilary of Poitiers was born in 315 with an uncertain Christian heritage.[5] Even though Hilary was appointed Bishop of Poitiers and eventually made a saint questions concerning his Christianity are brought to question in that he was seen as a pagan.[6] No matter the issue of Hilary’s Christianity his writings clearly show that he did not recognize Jesus as being coeternal with the Father rather clearly states that Jesus is a creation of God. In this vein Hilary states “He is not eternal or co-eternal, nor was He uncreated at the same time with the Father…”[7]

This work should be ready around Thanksgiving and will make wonderful gifts for those that enjoy good exegesis. Yes, that was a shameless plug. What can I say? I am trying to get the word out! So, sit back and enjoy the academic ride.

[1] New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11, 34

[2] Ibid.

[3] Encyclopedia of Religion

[4] Ibid.

[5] The Catholic University of Puerto Rico, The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1954)V

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid., 102

Music for the Unborn

Originally posted on sevennotesofgrace:

Source: Music and Abortion

ByMurray Campbell
Scientists have discovered that babiesin the womb, as young as 16 weeks, respond to music by ‘dancing’.
“The foetuses responded to the music by moving their mouths or their tongues as if they wanted to wanted to speak or sing,” said one of the researchers, Marisa Lopez-Teijon. The research has been published injournal of the British Medical Ultrasound Society,Ultrasound.

What this means is that babies’ cognitive faculties, creative faculties, and listening and communication skills are more highly developed at 16 weeks than previously thought.

The more scientists study human beings in the womb, the more wonder, beauty and complexity we discover. As scientific research advances, the findings increasingly demonstrate that embryos are not less human but fully human, and from the very earliest stages.

I am reminded of the words spoken by one excited mum, ‘As soon as the sound of your greeting reached…

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Our Ministry

Originally posted on preachercarter:

“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach  ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face…

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Times of Sadness

Today my mind goes back to a difficult time in my life. It is a day I will never forget. Some days just do not go away and there is good reason the for lingering of those days. This particular day I went to see my mother in a hospital in Baltimore. My sister, just a few days prior, moved my mother into her home. You see, my mother suffered with Alzheimer’s and was not in control of herself. My youngest brother, my sister and I were my mother’s primary caretakers. And, for good reason my sister thought it best to move my mother into her home where there were no steps inside. My only question to my sister was “Will she ever come back home?”

Somehow I knew that she would not return to my childhood home. I studied that two-story brick house in Baltimore for a moment reminiscing on the many things that took place in that house. I knew that things would not be the same. I knew that my mother did not have many days left and I had no idea how to handle the eventuality of her death. After all, she was my mother and she had been a strong woman. She was a feisty woman so, to see her weak in many ways was far from the norm. Yes, I saw my mother even while it was hard to see Mama. Sometimes sadness is masked by duty and responsibility. That would not matter though; as my sister drove off with my mother sadness would slowly seep out.

And there was the final hospital visit. I knew my mother was having some issues. That did not matter. I wanted to sit with her. I wanted to hear her talk. I wanted to make her laugh. The problem was that she did not talk – not to me nor my sister nor the personal attendant. She grunted a little and then choked. The nurses assumed the choking because of what she had recently drank and sat my mother more upright in the bed. I stayed with her a while longer and had to leave as I was scheduled to tutor a young lady in Baltimore County. I was going to come back; that is where my heart was. My sister would stay in touch with me as to my mother’s condition. The blood clot in her lung would see to her soon demise.

The two hour session was more than half over. My phone rang and my sister was on the other side. She advised me that there was no need to go to the hospital. It was all I could do to contain myself as I sat in front of that young lady. There was nothing more I could do for my mother and this student was in need of my services. I continued with the lesson. I needed to finish this course for the young student. I could not sit there and express my sadness. My work and duties had to prevail so that the hurt was covered by responsibility. Still, just below the surface the hurt was boiling.

There was no one else that I would allow to preach her funeral. No one else could be a personal as her son. Perhaps this was a bit selfish of me? It truly matters not because as I presented her eulogy the message was “A Sure Foundation.” The reflection only brought about more tears yet there was certain joy because my mother was certainly Mama. The hurt sometimes presents today. That is alright though, it has only been a few years and sadness is not a thing that can be easily erased. Yes, I miss my Mama which is why there are sometimes moments of sadness.

Yes, there were times of sadness prior to that. In 1976 my maternal grandfather succumbed to the results of a stroke. Other family members preceded my mother in death to include all grandparents, a niece and my father. Yet there remains another time of sadness that arose not long after my mother crossed into eternity. My great-nephew was born with dire sicknesses. I did not know him very well yet I lived with him, his parents and his brother for a short period of time. He crossing into eternity soon followed my mother. Sadness set in on top of sadness. I was asked to preach his funeral. So, I did.

Yes, I remember that five year old. He never quite got “Uncle” down so it sounded like he was calling me “Oink Oink.” Yes, even in sadness there are things that can make you smile. In hurt there are moments of healing. I was asked to preach this young child’s funeral and I preached as though it was Sunday morning. The goal was to present healing in pain. There is absolutely little we can do when we are sad except to wade through the sadness. So, in wading I preached “Time is Winding Up.” The message was not for the audience alone but also for me. It would be nice to hear my nephew once again say, “Oink Oink.”

Today I have been made sad again. You see, Hawaii was a wonderful experience for me on a number of levels. It is true that the military took me there. Nonetheless, I am convinced I was there by reason of Divine intervention. This is because I was invited to the City of Refuge soon after I arrived on the island. I quickly joined the church and became involved in the ministry in a number of ways. In doing so I had opportunity to work with the Anderson family. Pastor Anderson was an excellent pastour with four children. The oldest was David. David was a few years younger than me yet we bonded.

I choose not to forget the time there was a church picnic. David thought that he could beat me wrestling. He was a tall, lanky teenager and I a trained Marine; not so tall and far from lanky. Well, let’s just say David never pinned me. These are the types of things that come to mind when I think of a young man that became a husband and father. I had not seen him for several years before I visited him in the hospital a very short time ago. We were able to talk and reminisce. We laughed a little and eventually prayed. It was a blessing to be in David’s presence. I am not so sure they make them better than that.

David has now crossed into eternity. As these words are being penned I am cloaked in a sort of heaviness. Sadness has once again found itself around me. Yet, I am not the only one walking under the cloud of despair. I am certain Pastour Anderson, Sister Victoria and David’s siblings are having a hard time keeping tears from their eyes. Sadness is no easy thing. It pulls at your very fiber. Even so, I am convinced that in this time of sadness God is able to show himself mighty and powerful. I am certain that through this hurt and pain there will be healing. This is a time of sadness and it is my prayer that comfort and peace envelope all that mourn for David.

For As He Thinks Within Himself, So He Is

Originally posted on Armor of God:

2009-10-prayerFor as he thinks within himself, so he is. Proverbs 23:7 NASB

How do you think within yourself? To me this is a very powerful verse. It seems so simple, it’s been used for a very long time and in many different ways. ” You are what you eat” is one that comes to mind. “You reap what you sow,” another.

But for some reason it struck me another way today. For the past couple of years, I have almost turned off thinking. I am sure many of you who have been faithful readers of this blog are well aware of the change. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was in prayer constantly. I truly did exist with prayer constantly.

I am not saying that is wrong. It just is what I was doing. And that is what God wants us to do, to always go to Him in…

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