Archive for September, 2020


September 30, 2020

Hold on to your hat! October is known for stock market crashes and quadrennial “October surprises” in the political realm, both with profound consequences for our nation.  Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch says the USA has “… always been a ruckus republic.” We come to October this year with more ruckus, rancor, rioting, disunity and urban destruction than I’ve seen in my lifetime. Now added to that chaos is a proposed sea change of a seat change in the third branch of our national government—the Supreme Court. To replace a deceased liberal, religiously non-observant Jewish lady, who considered the constitution a “living document” (read “malleable at the majority will of nine professional lawyers”), the President has nominated a God-fearing Catholic mother of seven who is a conservative constitutional originalist. Such a move would solidify an originalist majority for the SCOTUS for years to come. The WSJ calls it “…perhaps a hinge moment for the judiciary…reviving core constitutional principles in American law and life.” That would be such a wonderful blessing after this dark age of a judicial branch usurping the legislative branch’s duties and creating civil rights out of egregious wrongs that God abhors. If past is prologue, the democratic opposition at the confirmation hearing will plumb new depths of incivility and character assassination, an appalling spectacle for an electorate heading to the polls in a nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln addressed the ruckus, rancor, rioting, and disunity of his age with a quote by Jesus Christ: “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:25). It did not, and in the run-up to the ensuing Civil War, he said,

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.”

Will our 21st century divisions lead to civil war or will a merciful God grant these tenuously United States of Gomorrah yet another chance? I believe it is up to the remnant that is the family of God to save this nation, and His promise and instructions in 2 Chronicles 7:14 are crystal clear. May the same Holy Spirit of the Triune God who drove Abe to his knees do likewise with us.

“…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”


September 27, 2020

We took a delightful excursion across heartland America this week after months of mostly mandated hibernation.  We met some dear friends from Columbus for a picnic at a park about an hour-and-a-half drive east of our home in north suburban Cincinnati. The weather could not have been more perfect—bright sun and clear blue skies. We stayed off the freeway and stuck to two-lane roads across rolling hills, lots of trees with the first flecks of fall colors, and farmland filled with corn and soybeans nearly ready for harvest. All of God’s rural tranquility and beauty and abundance was a powerful anti-depressant for this old country boy after the daily news of recent months. “For the earth is [still] the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (1 Corinthians 10:26). That fullness was on display in the thousands of acres of withered cornstalks heavily laden with grain, marking the end of the growing season for corn, promising a bountiful yield in return for the farmer’s investment. It reminded me that the end of my growing season draws nigh as well, as is plain by the withered stalk I see in the mirror when I step out of the shower, but my yield is a pittance for God’s immeasurable investment in me. The weeds and bugs of sin have stunted my return. If heaven had to be earned I would be in big trouble. But, thanks be to God, it does not.  

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

That is the best anti-depressant of all, and no one can take away my joy (John 16:22). 

See you in church.


September 21, 2020

Politics is a blood sport and never has it been more publicly so than this election season. A judge has now been judged by the highest court and we are about to witness a replacement skirmish scaling new heights in carnage—more blood than a Roman Coliseum activity director could ever dream of. The arena sand is soaked with the blood of millions of dismembered little people. Ravenous lions stalk about looking for more when out of the tunnel strides a God-fearing All-American mother, adorned like Lady Liberty and holding high in her right hand the scroll of the US Constitution. On behalf of my country, reeling under the bloodlust of haters, and millions of voiceless preborn souls, my fervent prayer to an angry God is that by His grace Mom, like Daniel, will overcome the lions.

“…with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:16).


September 20, 2020

“It is a sad thing to die like a fool, as they do that anyway shorten their own days, and those who make no provision for another world.” (Matthew Henry)

A substantial percentage of people shorten their own days by their lifestyle choices—drugs, alcohol, dietary and activity habits. Poor lifestyle choices are a result of a lack of education and/or a lack of will. That applies even more importantly to a lack of provision for another world. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (1) “…[God’s] invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world  in the things that have been made. So they [mankind] are without excuse” (2). Man is a master of self-delusion. No one even seeks God (3), until God gives him a new nature and new eyes to see His truth. “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (4).

Don’t die like a fool. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (5).

See you in church.

1) Psalm 14:1, 2) Romans 1:20, 3) Romans 3:11, 4) John 3:3, 5) Matthew 7:7


September 13, 2020

I heard somewhere that the NFL season began this week, but all anyone is talking about is the national anthem. I used to care about that game, even found it thrilling moving an odd-shaped ball around a patch of grass at great risk to life and limb. Back before an overdose of politics and money ruined the game, I grew up in a multi-generational family of football fanatics in a Midwestern agrarian culture where it was the soul of community life in the autumn. In my high school football playing days I was a Friday night quarterback and Dad was a Monday morning quarterback. It was the busiest season of the year on the farm—harvest time—but he never missed a game, home or away. I always wondered how an interior lineman at the University of Iowa in his day gained his quarterbacking expertise, but I valued my life too much to ask. If I had a bad night I could not stay out late enough—and it sure better not be past curfew—to avoid his critique delivered in incredulous tones.  “What were you thinking…third and long calling an off tackle slant…?   Couldn’t you see that receiver was covered like a blanket before you threw that interception…?” A good Friday night, on the other hand, meant he’d be sound asleep and I could collapse into bed basking in glory without confrontation. And Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning were met with silence, the highest praise I ever got from my old man. I learned to relish the silence and, at his SRO funeral service, I learned that, in spite of his substantial accomplishments, Dad’s humility would never allow him to gloat, even over his own sons. Long after he was gone Mom told my brother and me that behind the stony game night façade and 6-cent cigar he was bursting with pride for his boys. I also learned, years later, that God is sovereign. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without His will, so Monday morning quarterbacking my own failings in life is as futile as Dad’s late night second-guessing, unless the angst-ridden “if only…” is replaced by “…if it had not been the Lord who was on my side…” All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord…. (Romans 8:28), even the self-inflicted hard knocks. My 20/20 hindsight has clarified God’s truth. I’m still striving to measure up to Dad’s humility, motivated by another truth: “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation” (Psalm 149:4).

See you in church.


September 11, 2020

The nation is aflame—by the hand of a Righteous God in western woodlands and by the hands of evil men burning the heart out of our cities. The flames of hatred consume our politics and I fear the flames of forges are recasting plowshares into swords. I am old and full of years and I long for the city of God, the heavenly kingdom where no flames will exist except those of love. How long, O Lord?  

“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?’” (Numbers 14:11)


September 6, 2020

In the providence of God I was recently given the opportunity to voice one of the dominant concerns of my heart—how my grandchildren will find their way, that is, God’s way—in this Romans 1 world. I was asked to record a video presentation to the students of Liberty Bible Academy, and the subject could be, “Whatever is on your heart.” I immediately went to my keyboard and made these old arthritic fingers fly for two days compiling life lessons learned to share with my grandkids’ generation, then texted two of ours who live nearby and the videographer, and arranged a time to meet for a recording. Perhaps you, too, have grandchildren who might, God willing, be warmed by the heat of this ancient heart aflame. 

“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he has done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16).

“Conversations with JD Wetterling” created for the students of Liberty Bible Academy, Mason, Ohio, grades 5 through 12. Produced by Tyler Parker.

See you in church

%d bloggers like this: