Archive for August, 2021


August 29, 2021

This meme triggered a timely nostalgia attack this week–I needed a place to hide out from the shameful, sorrowful events on this vale of tears. It was my favorite pastime as a restless teenaged country boy at the wheel of a rusted out ’51 Ford. I formulated and fleshed out my life’s hopes and dreams to the sound of tires crunching gravel and a muffler that had outlived its usefulness as I meandered down country roads going nowhere in particular. By God’s grace a surprising number of those aspirations came to pass.

I still indulge in drives in the country on quiet two-lanes. It’s a great escape from the deluge of dismal daily news distressingly beyond my control of late. But I know who is in control, and I can meet with Him on back country roads, marvel at His magnificent creation, and ponder with thanksgiving all that He has done for me. It’s my answer to Luther’s question, “What will you do in the mundane days of faithfulness?” God speaks in such mundane moments.

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

He speaks from the pulpit, too. See you in church.


August 22, 2021

Who would have the audacity to edit “the greatest sermon ever delivered on the North American continent” based on the above scripture? Someone whose feeble mind needs shorter sentences to follow the brilliant thought of its author, the great theologian, Jonathan Edwards. 

It’s been twenty-five years since I edited Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, delivered July 8, 1741. It has consistently been one of the most visited pages of my author website. Every year since, I have revisited it and found myself profoundly moved, thinking, “Never has this message been more timely.” This year, with my country codifying and celebrating the sins of Romans 1, Christian churches and families under more attack than I’ve seen in my lifetime, and our government’s monumental malfeasant disaster in Afghanistan that has emboldened our external enemies and outraged our allies, its timeliness has taken a quantum leap. Never have American sinnners given God more reasons to be angry. Surely His wrath is building like roaring flood waters behind a precarious dam and only “the mere pleasure of God” keeps it from bursting.

The following are some key excerpts followed by a link to the entire sermon and a free ebook of it. Do your soul an eternal favor this Lord’s Day–“take up and read”:

“I am dwelling on this awful subject so that unsaved people in this congregation might be awakened … Almost every natural man that hears of hell fools himself into thinking he shall escape it. He flatters himself in what he has done, what he is doing and what he will do to insure his safety. Everyone figures out in his own mind how he will avoid damnation, and convinces himself he’s a pretty smart guy and his schemes will not fail … But foolish people miserably delude themselves…”

“The many and continual experiences of men throughout the ages prove that apparent health and safety do not mean that their next step will not be into another world … Unsaved men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak they will not bear a man’s weight, but no one can see them. All the means of taking sinners out of this world are in God’s hands, and they are universally and absolutely subject to his power and determination …”

“[Hell] is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath that you are held over in the hand of God, whose wrath is as provoked and incensed by you as any of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath licking about it, and ready at any moment to burn it in two. In spite of that you have no interest in Christ the Mediator, and nothing with which to save yourself, nothing to keep away the flames of wrath.”

“Oh sinner, think about the fearful danger you are in.”

See you in church.

“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”


August 15, 2021
Colorado National Monument

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22–23).

I believe, with Augustine (A.D. 354-430), and with sound scriptural warrant, “Once saved, always saved,” but that doesn’t preclude me feeling born again with the dawn, especially when the dawn comes up like thunder as it did this day of our Lord over our rig perched on the rim of the Colorado National Monument. You cannot experience the true joy of a sunrise until you’ve experienced the Son-rise in your heart–your spiritual rebirth (John 3:3). I’ve routinely arisen before dawn since my youth on a midwestern farm, where our Sovereign God saw fit to bless me with the Son-rise in my heart. I see new mercies every morning: a new day to hunger and thirst after righteousness, a new day to proclaim what the Son of God has done for my soul, and one day closer to eternal glory in the presence of my Savior.

In the fullness of my years, after a dark night, when the aches of arthritic old bones too long horizontal drive me from bed to find relief in the vertical, there comes the glorious dawn, when the Son proclaims to the world through His surrogate, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Indeed, the Apostle John attests, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not [and will not] overcome it”
(John 1:5).

One day soon “morning will break eternal, bright and fair” for those who are in Christ. They “will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light” in everlasting glory. All else will weep and gnash their teeth in darkness without end. When the roll is called up yonder, will you be there?

See you in church.


August 8, 2021

She lives alone in a beautiful brick one-story home atop a lush grassy hilltop a hundred yards off a busy up-and-down, tree-lined street in the wooded hills of north suburban Cincinnati. Massive trees form the borders of the manicured acreage, blocking the view of anything else man-made. As I drove up the curving drive to her home I felt like I was back in the country of my youth rather than the middle of suburban sprawl. She smiled and waved from her covered swing in the yard near an enormous stately oak tree planted by her husband shortly after they were married. It was a sunny and bright and perfectly temperate summer afternoon, a scene from Fried Green Tomatoes, without a hint of the feisty ostentation. I joined her on the swing, just big enough for two, and  presented her a gift from the Dorcas ladies at church. It was two beautifully handcrafted quilts and I asked her to choose one. Her short-term memory is not what it used to be, but she still knows what she likes–she chose one without hesitation.

It was my first visit to this dear widowed saint, a longtime member of our church, so I was loaded with interview questions to learn more about the little lady renowned for her sunny disposition, love for Our  Lord and penchant for memorizing scripture. I learned she raised four children on that little piece of paradise and now has 14 grandchildren and 45 (and counting) great-grandchildren. She now shares that idyllic hilltop with a son and family who built a home opposite hers atop the knoll, allowing her to stay in her home with family close at hand. This old country codger confesses I lusted mightily for her lifestyle: an ideal agrarian ambience yet with all the essentials of old age just a very few minutes away, not least our beloved church within a mile.

After an hour of cordial conversation I read some scripture and a brief commentary and we had a sweet season of prayer to our Sovereign God.

This world is increasingly alien to me. An epidemic of incoherence has swept the culture, and descriptive adjectives like “insane…disintegrating…imploding” are no longer hyperbole. I have never felt Rev. Dr. Carl Truman’s comment more deeply than I do these days: “It should be the Christian’s natural state that the times are out of joint and that we do not truly belong here.” But I found a hallowed refuge on a sunny summer afternoon, in a covered swing on a grassy knoll with a 92-year-old saint in communion with our Lord and Savior. Surely the presence of the Lord was in that place. Dear Father, I pray that by your grace this ministry gave as much as it received.

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).

See you in church.


August 1, 2021
Sunsets top left clockwise: Ridge Haven, NC; Mississippi River at Nauvoo, IL; Siesta Key Beach, FL; Patagonia Lake State Park, AZ; Marathon, Florida Keys; Cape Blanco, OR.

“Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.” Eat, drink, be merry…, the pagans say.
For a child of God it’s just a prep,
And our Sov’reign Lord guides every step.

“Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the years.”
Mountaintops, valleys, great joy and tears.
Almighty God’s plan e’er time began:
Live for His Glory—by Grace you can.

By Grace has God brought us safe thus far,
His Word and Spirit are our lodestar.
Such abundant blessings we’ve received,
A lifetime only God could conceive.

Revelation says he’s coming soon.
Then for eternity we’ll commune
With the Triune God who made us all.
Won’t you join us? Please answer His call.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

“And behold, I am coming soon.
Behold, I am coming soon…
Surely, I am coming soon.”
(Revelation 22: 7, 12, 20)

See you in church.

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