Archive for May 20, 2013

Requiem for a House   2 comments

Family Home Circa 1908

Above:  The John Dodson Taylor, Sr., Home Circa 1908, When It Was New

Photograph Courtesy of Sharon Foster Jones, on June 14, 2012

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Today my mother, Sally Taylor, called me and told me that the family house, pictured above, will cease to exist soon.  This is structure in which my great-grandfather, John Dodson Taylor, Sr., lived; my grandfather, John Dodson Taylor, Jr., was born then lived; my grandmother, Nell Barrett Taylor, lived; my father, John Dodson Taylor, III, and my uncle, Randolph Fleming Taylor, grew up; and my sister, Barbara, and I lived for a few years.  Nobody has lived there since 2001, when my grandmother died.  The house was hardly in its best condition then, but now the roof is caving in and the local government requires the demolition of the house.  There is nothing to salvage from inside the house, for vandals have stripped it without so much as a police report to document when this happened.

This is sad news.  Yet I know that one should not become overly attached emotionally to inanimate objects, which come and go, even if they do last for a relatively long period of time.  I do harbor serious questions, though, about the degree to which neighbors were observant and the police were vigilant.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY, GEORGIA

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http://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/requiem-for-a-house/

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The Resurrection of Jesus   3 comments

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Above:  Easter Vigil, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, Atlanta, Georgia, March 30, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5861636071859841105/5861631936239543506?banner=pwa&pid=5861631936239543506&oid=114749828757741527421)

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1 Cor. 15, 12-19

1.  As his death was part of a divine plan so was his resurrection.  “I have power…to take it again.”  “This commandment received I.”  (Jno. 10, 18, also Jno. 2, 19-22 & Matthew 16, 4)  He must master even death–all of man’s enemies.

2.  Its importance can hardly be overestimated.  Paul stakes all on this fact.  It establishes all other Christian doctrine.  Man rejected & crucified him, the Father owns and approves him by raising him.

If he be not raised there follows:

(1)  Vanity of preaching; it “is vain”

(2)  Emptiness of faith–it “is vain”

(3)  Falsehood of testimony–“false witnesses”

(4)  Failure of redemption–“Ye are yet in your sins”

(5)  Collapse of hope–“They also that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.”

3.  The witnesses to his resurrection are emphatic and had no motive to testify to a delusion or falsehood, but the reverse.  It is what saved them from despair and fired their hearts to endure all things for the sake of their testimony.

Our own proof is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world.

4.  He lives to intercede for me and to give me and all men victory over sin and the grave.

Because he lives I shall live also, and be with him where his is.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

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This is post #300 of this weblog.–KRT

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Take Heed, Lest You Fall   2 comments

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Above:  Olive Tree Branches, 1916

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/mpc2005001973/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-matpc-10218

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1 Cor. 10, 12

1.  The Jews had and used the means of grace, yet perished in the wilderness–all who left Egypt save two–Caleb and Joshua.

(a)  Were baptized unto Moses–the covenant made with him–thus obligated to obey it.

(b)  “Ate of that spiritual Rock–Christ,” signified by the manna given them.

2.  But God was displeased with most of them–all but two–because they sinned.  He is never pleased at anyone’s sins; let this be settled.  And they sinned grievously (vs. 6-9).

3.  They suffered the consequences of their sin–perished in the wilderness, failed of God’s good purpose concerning them.  It was a bitter harvest from what they had sown.  Sin defeats the object and end of our existence, and thwarts God’s purpose and endeavors concerning us.

4.  They were the natural branches and we Gentiles were grafted in (Rom. 10, 17-20).    If the natural branches were cut off, will not we who are grafted in be too, if like them we sin?

5.  Wherefore let us take heed to our lives, lest resting in mere outward appearances we fall.  We can stand, for He will help us in every temptation (v. 13).

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Hurt of Evil Associations   1 comment

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Above:  Second Avenue Bridge, Spanning the Oostanaula River on State Route 101 (Second Avenue), Rome, Floyd County, Georgia

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ga0463.photos.056594p/)

Reproduction Number = HAER GA,58-ROM,2–3

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1 Cor. 15, 33

1.  In war ’tis a serious blunder to underestimate the strength of the foe.  Men are prone to do this touching evil associates.  A great harvest may grow from a small seed.

2.  Familiarity lessens the sense of danger, as with carpenters and railroad men.  “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,” etc.  Here is sure and real peril.

3.  Sinful suggestions are almost sure to damage one’s morals.  They are liable to grow be purposes.  Thus the devil hopes by temptation to reach men.  The sense of sin is dulled, thus the way to sin is paved.

4.  Evil, Godless associates are positively injurious.  Thus many a life has been ruined.

Parents need to be very careful to their children’s associates.

The Etowah & the Oostanaula Rivers, one clean and the other muddy, flow together at Rome & form a muddy river.  “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”  “No man liveth to himself.”

5.  The only hope of some men is for them to change their associates.  We all need the daily presence and help of the great Companion.  Know and commence with Him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Terror of the Lord   1 comment

Christ Pantocrator Moody

Above:  Christ Pantocrator, Moody

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2 Cor. 5, 11

There are two sides to every question.  God is merciful and is just.  Much is said of mercy and retribution too.  Both are real.

1.  Judgment is a certainty.  “God hath appointed a day to judge the world.”  “Our Lord shall come.”

But justice disturbs the transgressor’s conscience, and he dreads judgment.  This is not light affair.

2.  It is a day of strict justice.  He comes to reward every one according to his works–to bless the faithful but to condemn the sinner.  No deed will be forgotten.

3.  It is spoken of as a day of His wrath.  After an impartial trial, He will visit an awful doom upon the lost–cast them down to hell.  This is an awful doom where the fire is not quenched & the worm dieth not.

4.  Hence we persuade men to turn to Him while He delights to have mercy and ere life closes in darkest might.

We can’t compel but we beg, we pray you hear and heed the invitation.  While probation lasts you are free to act on your own choice.

Will you not be persuaded?  Will you not be reconciled to Him?  Come and find peace and joy in Him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Responsibility Equals Opportunity   1 comment

The baptism of the Eunuch  *oil on panel  *64 x 47.5 cm  *signed b.r.: RH 1626

Above:  The Baptism of the Eunuch, by Rembrandt van Rijn

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1 Cor. 16, 9

1.  Life’s opportunities for good are God-given.  He is sovereign and opens the way.  When He told Philip to go toward the desert He prepared the way before him.

2.  Opportunity measures responsibility.  What God makes possible for the church to perform He undoubtedly demands of her.  “A great door open unto me,” means a great responsibility placed upon me.  Let this fix itself in our minds.

3.  The church today has a great door open unto her.  Such an hour the world has never seen before.  God has gotten all things ready, unless it be that the church is not ready to improve the hour.  Great opportunities are here today.  They are thrust upon her; she has not sought them.  To save them she must do her best.

(1)  Foreign Missions a God-given opportunity.  God’s providence lays it upon the church.  Will she deny Him now?

(2)  Home Missions are important.  To convince men abroad of its power to save the gospel must do its work at home.  The aliens who come, our slums, and our country districts must be reached.

(3)  The Sunday School a great door.  Will all the church ever see it, and enter this work?  We must do it for Him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Subjection of the Body   5 comments

Lorbeerkranz_Zypern_rem

Above:  A Golden Laurel Wreath

Image Source = Andreas Praefcke

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lorbeerkranz_Zypern_rem.jpg)

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1 Cor. 9, 27

1.  The participants in the Olympian Games disciplined the body that they might succeed.  But only one could win.  In the heavenly race all may win.  By this all ought to be encouraged.

2.  In both races there are conditions to be met, rules to be observed.  Otherwise the runner will not be approved.  We can’t afford to ignore this.

3.  In the Christian life the body, as the seat of sin, which wars against the soul, is to be crucified:  is to be the servant, not the master of the soul.  Natural appetites, the afflictions–are to be subordinated to conscious right or wrong.  See Rom. 8, 13 & 7, 23; Gal. 5, 7; Col. 3, 5-11; 1 Peter 2, 11.

Christ would not invert the divine order of life by feeding his body, though very hungry, contrary to the spiritual man.  It all hinges on our Father’s approval now and at life’s close, the end of the race.

4.  One degree of grace is no absolute guarantee of another, nor of its own continuance.  Paul knew the need of subjecting the body to the soul’s interest.  He knew he must meet these conditions if he be approved at the last.  Let us lay these words to heart!  See that no evil spirit enter and spoil our lives!

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT