Friday, December 31, 2021

Freedom Starts Today

 What a great reminder as we enter a new year!

Friday, December 24, 2021

The Meaning Of Christmas

 Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 23, 2021


Many years before my introduction to the Columbia Record Club, (8 Records for a penny!) I received for Christmas the Jackson 5 "ABC" recording on cassette. My Uncle Ricky and Aunt Theresa who gave me this wonderful gift probably couldn't have dreamed the journey this little tape would take me. 

First a little context, I was around 10 when I received this wonderful gift and I had already been experimenting with my cassette recorder which was a gift given to me the previous Christmas. I would put my recorder next to my Dad's huge (or so it seemed at the time) Fisher speakers in our living room and record the Top 40 with Casey Kasem. The quality was not all that great, with the variables of the FM radio reception and my inexpensive microphone but I was starting to expand my musical environment and that was the key. I had been taking piano lessons for around 4 years and due to my gift of almost perfect pitch I could pick out songs from my recordings and dissect their composition. It seems so foreign to look back now but at that time there was no MTV, no Walkmans or iPods, stereo equipment was beyond my allowance and odd job capabilities, no VHS tapes, Live concerts were out of the question (too expensive combined with dubious influences) and I didn't know anyone who played a musical instrument other than the piano. But all that changed when I could listen to the pristine arrangement of the song ABC coming from the 3" speaker in my tape recorder. Unlike the radio, I could stop the song, rewind it to listen in greater detail, and this allowed me to start picking up the parts of the song that I had never been aware of before. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

A Story of Two Graves

In a cemetery located in a Civil War battlefield, you will discover an interesting sight. All of the graves but two in Jones Cemetery face East to West. But there are two graves marked by two white gravestones that face North to South. Why?

During my visit to Parker's Crossing Battlefield last summer, I asked one of the guides in the visitor center if they could explain this discrepancy. Here is their reply . . . 

You don't have to be a history buff to appreciate Reverend John Parker who died in 1864, but makes his point in eternity. Reverend Parker had a cabin located in Parker's Crossroads, in West Tennessee. Reverend Parker was a passionate unionist, fiercely opposing southern secession. However, in late 1862, after Union forces placed a cannon right in his front yard, he demanded that the Union commander remove it, saying that his house would become a target for the Confederates counter strike. The Union commander refused. After the commander's refusal to move the cannon, Dr. Parker switched sides, and supported the confederacy. 

So when he and his wife were buried in Jones cemetery, Reverend Parker's final wish was to be buried with his head facing the south and his feet to the north, so that 'when the angel Gabriel sounds his trumpet', he could rise and kick the Yankees behinds all the way back to the North!

You've got to love a man with a cause . . . 

Friday, December 03, 2021

Why Did Jesus Christ Come To The Earth?

Why did Jesus Christ come to the earth? 

He proclaimed His mission in public on a regular basis, to eliminate any doubt as to why He chose to remove Himself from perfection and take on all the weaknesses of His creation. But He also did this so that His voice was prominent in the noise of the day.  

Jesus was, among other things, concerned with where we get our information. Now this may seem odd, coming from a time before the invention of social media and such. Yet mankind has always found a way to communicate to the masses and that was no less true in the days of Jesus. We read that “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria” (Matt. 4:23–24, emphasis added).

There’s a key distinction here that we can miss. Jesus teaches—he gives instruction or advice on how to live. But he also preaches, or proclaims. Today we associate preaching with churches and telling people what to do. But preaching wasn’t used that way in Jesus’ time. It wasn’t even a religious word. It was a “news” word. Jesus went around announcing that something had happened. And it wasn’t just news; it was good news. That’s what the word gospel means. 

So what is this good news that Jesus himself proclaimed? His gospel message was simple, that the kingdom of God is now, because Jesus has brought it from Heaven to Earth through the incarnation of God to man. The good news is that all men now have access to the kingdom of God, and it is not a far off gift - it is something we can claim now. 

But Jesus didn't just desire us to claim access to the kingdom of God, He desired that we, His people, would extend the kingdom to all the earth.