October 29th, 2014

Goin' to California with an achin' in my heart

Spend my days with a woman unkind
Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine
Made up my mind, make a new start
Goin' to California with an achin' in my heart
Someone told me there's a girl out there
With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair

Took my chances on a big jet-plane
Never let 'em tell ya that they're aw-ooh-all the same
Hoh, the sea was red and the sky was grey
I wonder how tomorrow could ever follow today-hee
Mountains and the canyons start to tremble and shake
The children of the sun begin to awake
Watch out

It seems that the wrath of the gods got a punch on the nose
And it's startin' to flow, I think I might be sinkin'
Throw me a line, if I reach it in time
Meet you up there where the path runs straight and high

Find a queen without a king
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings, la-la-la-la
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
Tryin' to find a woman who's never, never, never been born
Standin' on a hill in the mountain of dreams
Tellin' myself it's not as hard, hard, hard as it seems
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

the American nightmare

Time Fragment
1986 graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson Miss.-we moved to Houston Texas Fall of 1986
(My minister internship at Covenant PCA Houston, Texas with Dr. Joey Pipa Jr. 1986-1988. Joey left for Calif. and I looked for a call and never received one. I remembered the Lord using these two books to keep me from cracking up. The books were these two "Waking From The American Dream: Growing Through Your Disappointments" by Donald W. McCullough and "God's Waiting Room: Hope In The Midst Of Uncertainty" by Rick Yohn. )
1991 We left Texas and moved here to Holland July 1991-we have lived in this house from July 1991 till October 29, 2014

It is 7:49 AM Wednesday morning in the flow of my Life time. Yesterday morning I dug out of a box of sermon cassettes a sermon I preached at Covenant Presbyterian Church in America January 27, 1987 on First John 2:29; 3:1 "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him" 1 John 2:29;3:1. I did not listen to all of the sermon because Carol came home from visiting one of her uncles (this uncle is 93 years old-his wife died soon after they had celebrated 70 years of marriage).

I thought my sermon was not bad-it was not a smooth delivery, but it had heart. I did sprinkle throughout the sermon Reformed Theology which was where I was at back then. I did mention though in the sermon Franciscan mysticism. When we lived in Houston doing my ministerial internship I got into Christian Spirituality/the Contemplative Life.

I did my internship between 1987 and 1989 at Covenant PCA. But when I finished my internship we did not leave Houston till 1991. For three years I looked for a call from a PCA church or any conservative Presbyterian church to get ordained and begin my life as a Teaching Elder. I spent three years searching but there was nothing. I could not find the Church. Where was the Church? Where did the Church live? What was the telephone number of the Church? I was left absolutely alone those years in Texas. But I had my wife and kids. I had our dog Mack and my books to keep me going down the road of death.

Finally Carol and I decided it was time to leave Texas and move to Holland Michigan to raise our kids and be close to her family. By this time Carol's Dad had died and her mother was a widow. Well more could be written but it has all been written about here in the past.

I have nothing to do today super important. Existence keeps on decaying. No way out.

Time Line

January 24, 1987 sermon reflections on 1 John 2:29; 3:1

It is 9 o'clock AM Wednesday morning. I dug out my diaries from the years 1986 and 1987 so as to read what I was doing and thinking back in January 1987 when we were in Houston Texas. I wanted to read what my thoughts were before and after preaching that sermon on First John 2:29; 3:1.

I will quote from my January 1987 diary.

"January 24, 1987

It is 8:30 Saturday morning. A grey day outside. I am still waking up. I am going to work on my sermon this morning. What a better way to face another day.

"If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteous is born of Him. SEE how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him"
First John 2:29; 3:1

Tonight I want us to look at First JN 2:29;3:1. I want us to see the great love of God the Father for His elect children. And how a consideration of that wondrous love should effect our Christian walk.

The First Epistle of John has been my study for awhile. This short letter is a very beautiful piece of writing. The more I study this letter, the more I am amazed at its depth. I believe one could study and reflect upon this short letter all his life and never exhausts its depth (truly it is holy Writ!). I want us tonight to look to reflect on these verses from this profound letter.

One thing I want to say here at the beginning is that I do not plan to go into the Gnostic controversy addressed in this letter. I want to look at First John 2:29;3:1 in a devotional manner. To ponder for awhile the love of God the Father and how that tremendous love ought to effect our lives as the children of God.

In First John 2:18-29 John warns his flock of many antichrists "Children it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour" (1 JN 2:18). The antichrist were seeking to tear the body of Christ apart by spreading false doctrine. How are the children of God to withstand the assaults of these antichrists? They are to "abide in Him" to keep a personal relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ. And to keep the teaching they heard from the Apostle. The apostle John also mentions that these Christians had received a special anointing of the Holy Spirit so as to have a real heart knowledge of the Truth "But you have a anointing from the Holy One"

Verse 28 is the conclusion to a section started at verse 18 of chapter 2. In verse 29 is a beginning of a new section. In verse 29 we read "If you know He is righteous, you know that one also practices righteousness is born of Him." The apostle John has repeatedly stated that if we profess to be the children of God we will be like our heavenly Father. In verse 29 John once again states that if we know God the Father to be Righteous we will practice righteousness. All those "born again" will practice Righteousness. If we who are Christians will practice righteousness it is because we ant to be like our heavenly Father. Just like the Lord Jesus when He walked on the earth acted righteous because He was the only-begotten Son of God. By the Lord acting righteous showed He was the Son of God so also us. We show the world that we are children of God by being righteous-by practicing righteousness.

What does it mean to practice righteousness? To be holy as our heavenly Father is holy. To walk in obedience to the commandments of our heavenly Father. (1 JN 2:1-6)

The apostle John in verse 29 mentions regeneration "born of Him". If we are regenerated we will be righteous like our heavenly Father. Here we see the origin of the new birth, regeneration is traced to God the Father. In John 3 verse 1 we have the mentioning of the new birth in chapter 2:29 causes the apostle John to stop and consider the love of God displayed in our regeneration-being born again.

Lenski writes in his commentary on First John 2:29 "John could say that everyone that is born from him, every child of his, is also righteous; but he reverses this and says much more. Our being righteous proves that we are born from him, and our doing the righteousness is the perceptible evidence of our birth. By it we can judge in regard to the mysterious and the intangible fact that a spiritual birth has occurred in us. . ."

the evidence of the Divine begetting


Maybe after point 4 I should say something before going directly into the Applications.

We have looked at the fact that if we are truly children of God-born of God will we be righteous. Righteous conduct is the evidence of being born of God.

The apostle John says in chapter 3 verse 1 "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us" John tells his spiritual children to "Consider what wonderful love!" In verse 29 John had mentioned the New Birth. The apostle John in considering that the Father would stoop so low to love sinful men so as to call sinners to be children of God causes him to stand in amazement. Notice that John does not merely say that the Father loved man, but that He has given love, which is much stronger way of declaring the fact. God did not merely show love; He has actually imparted love to man.

The love of God transforms those who believe into children of God. They are "called" God children-this is their reputation. ("The Letters Of John The Apostle: An In-Depth Commentary" by Donald W. Burdick "1 John 3:1 "See how great a love of the Father has bestowed upon us." The mention in the preceding verse of being born of God stirs within John a deep sense of amazement, which he expresses "See how great a love" a Greek aorist imperative calling for immediate action "Look (at once) at the kind of love. . ." The word bristles with urgency and excitement, and all the more so when followed by a Greek word originally meaning "from what country," this word came to be a stronger synonymn of a Greek word meaning "of what kind." It commonly expresses amazement and wonder at the nature of the item being described. One of the disciples used it when calling Jesus's attention to the greatness and the magnificence of the temple building and the stones of which they were constructed (Mark 13:1). Similarly, John here exclaims, "Consider what wonderful love!" pg. 229, 230)" end of sermon reflections from my January 1987 diary.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

November 1986

It is now in the flow of my life 10:46 AM late Wednesday morning.

Since I got down the box containing my diaries from Years 1986 and 1987 I thought I would look through them. It seems in November 1986 we moved from Carson Mississippi to Houston Texas. I will quote from the entry November 19, 1986 Carson, Miss.-

November 19, 1986
It is 12:05 Wednesday afternoon. A cloudy windy Day. A typical Wednesday. The morning was spent in getting stuff ready to load on the truck. We got a lot of stuff to move.

I am sick today, tension is mounting. I did not sleep practically at all last night. Bethany and I went to the seminary and I took pictures. A typical Wednesday morning. Nothing spectacular in the mail, a letter from the folks. So Here I sit listening to a tape on Evangelism & the Doctrines of Grace. I will close to wait to Eat lunch.

It is 3:30 cold gray afternoon. I am sick with a bloated gut. My belly is going crazy due to this move. I should stop eating and fast. The lunch meal really hit me. Bob stopped to give Caleb his favorite Civil War book. Bob likes to give stuff away. He stayed for our afternoon meal-talked to Carol. We did not read the Bible. I am very tired from not sleeping last night. I did the dishes listening to tape #1 History of Preaching by Iain Murray. I listened to the three part series by Murray about a year ago. Powerful messages for preachers. I am going to copy the messages to send to Bob Bass, Pat Paas and Bill Pols Jr.. Also a set for myself to listen at least once a year. It is cold. My body is out of it due to my ulcer.

Nothing else to report. We move in Four days.

I hope into get the book ,"The Christian In Complete Armour" today. I read a little of the book this morning. A great book. Gurnall really sets forth the character of God as Being gracious and tender merciful to His elect sinners.

"Question 1. But how comes Satan to this principality? . . . Answer 2. God permits this his principality, in order to the glorifying of his name in the recovery of his elect from the power of this great potentate. What a glorious name will God have when he hath finished this war, wherein, at first, he found all possessed by this enemy, and not a man of all the sons of Adam to offer himself as a volunteer in this service, till made willing by the day of his power! This, this will gain God a name above every name, not only of creatures, but of those by which himself was known to his creature. The workmanship of heaven and earth give him the name of Creator; providence of Preserver; but this of Saviour. Herein he doth both the former; preserve his creature, which else had been lost; and create a new creature-I mean the babe of grace-which, through God, shall be able to beat the devil out of the field, who was able to drive Adam, though created in his full stature, out of paradise. And may not all the other works of God empty themselves as rivers into this sea, losing their names, or rather swelling into one of redemption? Had not Satan taken God's elect prisoners, they would not have gone to heaven with such acclamations of triumph. . ." pg. 133 William Gurnall

The afternoon is going by. I need to REST.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

a biblical theology of mystery

It is now in the flow of this day 2:49 PM Wednesday afternoon. I am down in the lower level writing on my Samsung lap top computer. The day thus far has been quiet. It is too cold and wet to go anywhere today. I have been wandering the house and reading Will Self's new novel "Shark". I have these other writings by Will Self in our library-

"Junk Mail" essays by Will Self

"Cock & Bull" a novel by Will Self

"The Quantity Theory of Insanity And Other Stories" by Will Self

"Dorian" a novel by Will Self

"Umbrella" a novel by Will Self

"My Idea of Fun" a novel by Will Self

"The Book of Dave" a novel by Will Self

In the mail this afternoon I received a used book I had ordered titled, "Darconville's Cat" a novel by Alexander Theroux.

The UPS man delivered a book I had pre-ordered months ago titled, "Hidden But Now Revealed: A Biblical Theology of Mystery" by G. K. Beale & Benjamin L. Gladd. Beale is one of my favorite New Testament scholars/theologians. I have almost all of Beale's books in our library.

Well I suppose I will go back to reading "Shark" a novel by Will Self.

Will-Self.com internet website

"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory" First Corinthians 2:7
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

calling card

I have been writing lately about my ministerial internship at Covenant PCA in Houston Texas back in 1986 to 1988. We moved to Houston TX November 1986. I suppose I did not officially start my internship till January 1987. I did my ministerial internship over a two year period of time because I had to do it part-time. Covenant PCA could not pay us any money so Carol worked full time. When Carol was not working I fulfilled my internship requirements like visiting church members at hospitals, going to Presbytery meetings, house visitation with Rev. Pipa Jr (the minister I did my internship under). I preached once a month from the Epistle of First John. I taught Adult Sunday School classes and participated in Mission Conferences etc. I also went with a fellow church member once a month to visited Christians on Death Row Huntsville TX.

There came a time after two years where I had to renew my license so as to continue teaching/exhorting at Covenant PCA. By the time my two year internship was over I had become very disillusioned with being a gospel minister in the PCA/Covenant PCA especially. I did go through the process of being examined by a group of PCA ministers in a back room at Covenant PCA. These ministers asked me several questions and I answered them honestly. These ministers after I left the room voted not to renew my license to exhort. I found this out after I had left the church and gone home. Joey called me at home told me, but encouraged me to come back to the church and explain some of my answers to the ministers questions more in-depth. Over the phone I told Joey I was tired of the whole business. I was tired of being something I was not. But I did go out that following week I have these calling cards made so as to reaffirm to myself that I did personally believed I was called to be a soul doctor/spiritual director. (no one was going to close my mouth-that I would not go silently to the grave)

Dr. Joey Pipa Jr.

Years later I took classes to become a Spiritual Director and during the course of those classes I realized I was not called to be a Spiritual Director either.

Christian Spirituality

These calling cards have been mainly used for book markers. I do not think I have ever given anyone one of these cards.

So these days I believed I am called to live a simple Christian life. I am waiting it out.

(I should add that we were in Houston five years. I did look for a call for three years after my two year internship. There was no Church. No one at Covenant PCA offer to help us. I could tell you many stories about our time in Houston TX, one of the worst times of my Christian life. But it was also a time when I came to see there is no such thing as the American Dream. I came to see that the Christian life is one of suffering.)

calling card
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative