Archive for June 7, 2013

Evening Showers   Leave a comment

Evening showers

ease the temperature outdoors,

flood some roads,

merely increase the flow of water in others,

and cause pleasant sounds

as rain falls upon the roof,

splashes in a puddle on an earthen floor,

and hits the asphalt and founds

a thin watery coat,

one regarding which I never sour.

—–

If I had my druthers,

more days would be like this:

pleasant, relatively cool,

with from the asphalt rising a gentle mist,

and quite comfortable.

—–

I prop open a door

and two back windows

to admit the fresh air.

This weather I adore;

I do not imagine I have erred.

—–

The green plants,

watered well by nature herself,

drink from the bountiful supply

and proceed to beautify

my home, this hill,

such that I, being still,

indoors, and surrounded by bookshelves,

look out a window

and see, not by chance,

a spectacular display

which causes joy to flow;

my spirit is at play.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Arresting Man’s Attention Mid the Strife   1 comment

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Above:  Gold High Altar Piece with the Hebrew Name “YHWH,” St. Charles’ Church, Vienna, Austria

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

My great-grandfather used the term “Jehovah,” a Medieval creation.  The best English-language translation of the Tetragammaton with vowels is “Yahweh.”  His error was consistent with the time and the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Job 38, 1

Job had resented the charge of his three friend.  Their contention was so great that when Jehovah would speak a demonstration is needed to arrest attention, and to impress their minds with his power.  Then Job humbled himself and confessed his mistake.

1.  Jehovah would speak to us to impart a knowledge of himself.  Wonderful is his condescension.  We need light & strength for our troubled weak hearts.

2.  But he finds difficulties in the way.  The mind is so engrossed with other matters, it often requires some demonstration to call us to ourselves. “Be still and know that I am God” as one viewing some scene of nature’s grandeur.  “Enter into thy closet” and pray; shut out the world else though the voice speak you may not hear it.  The Indian’s ear to the ground is on point.

3.  Then the needed effect comes, strife ceases, with the knowledge of God.  This vision of Jehovah is essential to repentance, faith, and obedience.  “The Father rewards openly.”

4.  If we will habitually commune with him, shutting out the world, to speak out of some whirlwind will not be necessary.  Why not live so as to catch the softest whisper of His love?

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Christian Education   1 comment

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Above:  Moravian Sunday School, Lititz, Pennsylvania, November 1942

Photographer = Marjory Collins (1912-1985)

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/owi2001014337/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-USW3-011768-D

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

My great-grandfather wrote:

 The religious element is the best part of an education.  It is the only part that one can’t forego.

That is an overly broad statement.  I am sure, for example, that arithmetic, reading, and writing are parts of education that one can’t forego.

I come from a different time, one with a stricter separation of church and state–a standard with which I am quite comfortable.  One ought not ask the state to do what parents, guardians, and churches ought to do–and can do more effectively.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Deut. 11, 18-20

1.  It is a debt parents owe their children, to provide for the development of their faculties.  This calls for education in general, and religious instruction in particular, as our Lord commands.

2.  The true end of education cannot be reached without making the moral and religious faculties prominent and that their development.  Mere intellectual training is at best Sampson shorn of his locks.  The religious element is the best part of an education.  It is the only part that one can’t forego.

3.  Such training is not possible save in schools under the care of Christian men.  There must be a religious atmosphere.  Religion must not be apologized for nor kept in the background, but emphasized.

4.  Does religion dwarf everyone, make him narrow?  How is it that Christ is become a curse anywhere?  The Bible idea is that due recognition of him anywhere is a distinct blessing.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Prepare to Meet Thy God   1 comment

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Above:  Last Judgment Icon

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

My great-grandfather wrote:

We have only the present.  This is our only probation–death fixes the destiny of the soul forever.

I do not assume, however, that grace to do its work only while we have breath or brain activity.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Amos 4, 12

I.

Why this call?

1.  After all His efforts they had not humbled themselves in penitence.

2.  So He, the God of hosts, mighty in power, calls them to meet Him in some awful judgment, nothing but judgment left.

II.  

How may we prepare?

1.  Sin is the trouble, as always.

2.  Jesus’ blood is our only redemption.  His mercy is our only hope.

3.  So it is either penitence and mercy, or an awful judgment.

“Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light.”  Ninevah awoke and was spared.  Will you repent at the call of his spirit?

III.

When prepare?

1.  We have only the present.  This is our only probation–death fixes the destiny of the soul forever.

2.  Life is so uncertain, we can’t afford to risk delay.  Many have risked all and lost all.  Be wise in seeking Him today.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Indifferent Professors   2 comments

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Above:  A Lazy Companion (1891), by William Thomas Smedley (1858-1920)

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010717962/)

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

My great-grandfather used the word “professor” to mean “one who professes,” not one who teaches at a postsecondary educational institution.

I have become convinced that my great-grandfather shortchanged the Old Testament, spending too little time there with it as it is and rushing off instead to the New Testaments.  Both Testaments matter greatly, of course, but living with the Hebrew Scriptures in their original contexts has increased my understanding of appreciation for them.  They are far more than a prologue to the New Testament.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Amos 6, 1

1.  “Zion”–the church of God

2.  “At ease”–trusting in it for salvation; inactive, with a commission unused.  Content with church membership, folding the hands in ease and satisfaction, when so much needs to be done.

3.  Christ established the church and gave to it the work of leading the world back to him.  He commands us to go labor for him.  The fields are white unto harvest.  Dare we be content with a type of religion that does not respond to the world’s need?

4.  Jesus desires to save us and through us to save others.  Others need our efforts to save them and we need the blessing received in such service.  Such results stimulate the church as nothing else does.

5.  An attitude of indifference is utterly foreign to the spirit of genuine religion.  It indicates a state of serious lack that leads to self-flattery displeasing to God (Rev. 3, 17-18).  We must have an aggressive form of piety; else we lack the power of godliness.

He blesses many with seasons of refreshing & wants to do as much [as possible] for us, and will if we will seek Him and work.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

On Walking With God   1 comment

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Above:  Mountain Path, Lachung, Sikkim, January 1970

Alice S. Kandell, Photographer

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2011646417/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-30806

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Amos 3, 3

1.  It is God’s purpose [that] man shall walk with Him.  As in the garden, and Enoch, the pillar of cloud & fire.  Christ & the Spirit.  All these emphasize His purpose.

2.  Who shall lead or direct?  Man?  Is he able and wise enough?  Then God must, for he is competent.

3.  What conditions are necessary?  An agreement by both:  then a steady adherence thereto by both parties.  When one breaks the contract the compact or partnership is dissolved.

4.  God demands only what is man’s highest good.  He is faithful always, fulfills His promises.

5.  The trouble is man’s lack of fidelity or his rebellion.  When man is true all is peace.

But how often when He is most needed man fails to look to Him.  Can man really afford to neglect to follow Him every day?

How much better that like Enoch one walk with Him in trustful obedience daily.  How wonderfully He helps the faithful soul!

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Spirit, the Source of Power   3 comments

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Above:  Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia, Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013

Image Source = Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5879785940338178465/5879795813493062818?banner=pwa&pid=5879795813493062818&oid=114749828757741527421)

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

I have become convinced that my great-grandfather labored under some false generalizations regarding Judaism.  He has hardly alone in this.  In fact, I recall hearing some of the same mistaken statements in churches when I was quite young.  So I implore you, O reader, not to mistake me for my great-grandfather, whose opinions are not necessarily mine.  I have expressed many of my opinions at BLOGA THEOLOGICA, which links into this weblog.  I recognize my great-grandfather as obviously a coreligionist yet one compared to whose standard I am an unapologetic heretic.  I have typed over 120 of these sermon outlines already, so I have something of a grasp of his theology.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Zech. 4, 6-7

1.  This is an encourgement to do His work and a warning against self-dependence.  All Jewish history emphasizes this.  They were a constant miracle of grace.  They need Him now.

2.  “Not by might,” as an army (Ps. 33, 16).  Here is an evil to be avoided.  Men do things in business and politics by numbers.  These are in the material realm and material laws obtain; but the work of the church is in the moral realm and only moral power obtains.

3.  “Nor by power”–personal or of position.  In business men accomplish much by the power of their position, prestige, or wealth.  It may require an effort not to look at such things in the work of the church.  Many a man of might in business is powerless in religion.  Souls will not be driven or compelled.

4.  “But by my spirit.”  To quicken the conscience, fear, emotion & will, certainly none but God can do.  Men are only instruments.  We beg, warn, exhort; but can’t do more.

5.  He is our sufficiency (Acts 1, 8).  By Him we shall succeed.  The shout of victory shall ascend:  “Grace! grace!”

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT