Today is my spiritual birthday. On this day back in 1971 I was united with my Lord. Many dates are important to me, but none so defining as today. I am who I am because of the decision made that day. Not made, actually, but realized. The desire was present long before that.
My baptism should have happened earlier than at 14 years of age, but my timidity as a youngster held me back. When, that is, if I write an autobiography, it will make for an interesting story. I was the tenth of 10 responses that Sunday morning in the Stonewall church building, set among the Arkansas cotton and soybean fields. The preacher, who normally preached calm and positive lessons, decided a strong dose of hell was needed to jar loose a group of unmoved youth. He was right.
When all the other motivations are in place, and maybe when they’re not, fear is a great motivator. Fear of “the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” Mt 10.28 NET, especially.
• Our third precious grandchild was born yesterday afternoon, after a day and a half of agonizing waiting. It might have been a bit tough on the mother in labor, too. This is our oldest son’s first. Our second son forged ahead with two. We hope to visit the newest family addition before long.
• The FPress website is down. Again. Methinks we’ll be moving from our host server when the account expires. Isn’t technology a wonderful thing, when it works?
• By coincidence I ran into this yesterday, George Washington’s first inaugural speech as president.
… there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the oeconomy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity: Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained …
This year’s inaugural speech will have a different sound, no matter that the oath will be taken with a hand laid on two Bibles. No doubt remains in my mind that the original Project of the founders is lost forever. Next republic? (This is not politics, but morals.)
• Allow me to put before you a couple of our sites you ought to sign on to: Believing Prayer (because few will do it) and Gospel Progress (because few contribute to its progress). When you do, it will help save me from getting cynical or skeptical or some other bad attitude.
• And here’s a little item that one good sister has gushed over: “I Seek Him First.” You’re welcome to share it around, stick it in a church bulletin, or make a fancy image out of it, as long as you link back to the main site, of course. I mention it, because I just know you’ll want to reproduce it somewhere.
• Enough self-promotion, don’t you think? On to the Permanent Earth Society. Recently, two people expressed, in separate moments, their belief that the earth would continue on, basically, forever. These aren’t JWs either, just regular folk, ignorant of God’s revelation. I’ve been getting shocked looks when I tell, and show, otherwise. People apparently think I take on the appearance of a freak show or wild-eyed radical when I say that God will destroy the earth and universe.
I’m not sure why that’s true. SciFi and other futurists love to talk about reality in other dimensions. But such language is futurist and cool, besides being speculative and non-threatening, while talk of heaven and God and the end of time is a throwback to Neanderthals. I’ll choose the low foreheads, thanks very much, as I march upon the city with my end-is-near sign hoisted high.
“And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever”, says John to Christians whose eye has been caught by the tinsel of materialism and the wink of immorality, 1John 2.17 NET. Not that it will sometime pass away, but is already in the process of passing away.
We read this passage last night, among others, in our Bible reading group here at home. It caused some eyes to bug out. I hope it caused some minds to consider repentance. May God grant it.
Because I want others to have, as I did back in 1971, that Defining Day of baptism and turning a life over to he who is able to save for eternity.