Wednesday, January 19, 2011


     It was on a Monday, on the nineteenth day of the month of January, in the year of our Lord 1807, at Stranford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, that Robert Edward Lee was born. His father was the famous Revolutionary War hero, Major General Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee III.  Was was a descendant of Colonel Richard "the Immigrant" Lee I (1617-1664), who arrived at Jamestown in 1639 at the age of twenty-two, and was appointed Attorney General of the Colony of Virginia on the recommendation of Sir Francis Wyatt, the first Governor of the Colony of Virginia. The Lees were one of the first families to settle in the Colony of Virginia.
     Lee entered the West Point Academy in 1825, and did not incur any demerits during his four-year course. Upon graduation in June 1829, he was commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. Lee would go on to distinguish himself during the Mexican-American War. Lee then would be appointed as Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point in 1852. In October 1859, Lee was given command of detachments of militia, soldiers, and United States Marines, to suppress and arrest the abolitionist, John Brown, and his twenty-one followers in their atempted rebellion and seizure of a federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. In 1861, during the first days of the Civil War, Lee was Abraham Lincoln call Lee to the White House with a request that he would be the Commander of the Union Army.  Lee would respectfully decline the offer. He could not see himself fighting against his home state of Virginia.
     Even though Lee did not agree with the secession of the Southern states from the Union, he would go on to serve as the Commander of the Confederate Army out of a sense of duty to his home state of Virginia.
     It was on a Thursday, on the thirtieth day of the month of June, in the year of our Lord 1831, in Arlington House, the home of the bride's father, that Robert Edward Lee would marry Mary Ann Randolph Curtis, great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, and step-great-granddaughter of George Washington. They would go on to have seven children together:  George "Boo" Washington Curtis (September 16, 1832), Mary "Daughter" Curtis (1835), William "Rooney" Henry Fitzhugh (May 31, 1837), Eleanor "Agnes" (1841), Robert "Rob" Edward, Jr. (October 27, 1843), Mildred "Milly" "Precious Life" Childe (1846). After her father died in 1857, Mary would inherit Arlington House. During the height of the Civil War, the mansion and the surrounding lands would be illegally confiscated by the United States government, and would later be made into Arlington National Cemetary.
     Lee had opposed the institution of slavery, and would free the slaves that came to his wife with her inhertance of Arlinton House at the passing of her father.
     After the Civil War,on October 2, 1865, Lee would become the President of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia.
     Robert E. Lee was a devout Christian who had a chararter that was beyond reproach.  He has come to be admired and beloved by both Northerners and Southerners.
     On August 5, 1975, at 2:12 p.m, President Gerald R. Ford, at a signing cermony of Senate Joint Rsolution 23, that posthumously (and "long overdue" in the President's words) restored the full rights of citizenship to to Lee.
     In was after 9 a.m., on a Wednesday, on the twelfth day of the month of October, in Lexington, Virginia, that Obert Edward Lee went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Psalm 95:12

     The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon

Psalm 95:12

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Not Your Cause, but a King and a Kingdom


Luke 3:10-14

     And the crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?"
     And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise."
     Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "teacher, what shall we do?"
     And he said to them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do."
     Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?"  And he said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."  (ESV)

Luke 3:10-14

"We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith which is alone"

Martin Luther

     In America, many claim to be a "Christian". Turn on the television, and you will see a young teen pop star make the claim that she is a Christian. The next time you see the same pop star she is pole dancing on a music awards program, or she's singing a racy song titled, I Can't Be Tamed. Somehow, there is a major disconnect here. They are all over the place. The person who claims to love Jesus, but is not an active member of any local congregation, or has even stepped into a church for years.  The person who is a member of a local church, but has no conviction about owning the local liquor store.  The unmarried couple, that has no intentions of marrying each other, who are living together and claiming to "love the Lord".  I could go on giving many other such examples, but there is something majorly wrong in each one that I have given. So, what is the problem here?


     In the just previous verses of the same chapter of  the Gospel of Luke (7-9), John the Baptist warns the religious leaders that they needed to show evidence in their lives that they had truly repented toward God and have come to salvation.  Their later hostility toward Jesus Christ was sure evidence that they never did, nor had any interest in doing so.
     2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that a true disciple of Jesus Christ is a new creation of God, and that the old life has passed away.  Anyone who has ever truly repented toward God, and has come to trusting the finished work of Christ as their only hope for being accepted by God, will have a changed life.
     Zacchaeus, the tax collector (Luke 19:1-10), is a perfect example of this kind of change.  When Jesus went to the home his home to dine, and salvation came to the home of Zacchaeus, the "wee little man" was willing to do even more than what the Law of Moses required to right wrongs that he did to those around him.
     Does this mean that a true Christian never sins? It does not mean that at all.  The first chapter of the First Epistle of John clarifies that issue.  The Christian will never reach any sort of level of sinless perfection on this side of eternity.
     There is a well known common saying amongst the true disciples of Jesus Christ.  It goes something like like this:

"I know that I am not the man I should be, but thank God I am not the man I use to be."


2 Corinthians 13:5

     Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you fail to meet the test!  (ESV)

2 Corinthians 13:5


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011


   I have no idea where these things kept.  Maybe, in a basement under the hospital we born. Perhaps, in some secret goverment building where the Ark of the Covenant is kept.  I have come to the conclusion that when we are born we each come with a fourty-year warranty.  Why do I say fourty years?  Because, that is when the parts start breaking down.  First, the headlights begin to grow dim.  Then, the chassis begins to weaken.  After that, the hydraulic system does not flow as well anymore. 
   The bad news is that none of us are allowed to have an extended warranty. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011


   It was on a Monday, on the sixth day of the month of January, in the year of our Lord 1919, that the former twenty-sixth President of the United States of America, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt went to be with his his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
   He had a larger-than-life personality, and he enjoyed life to the fullest.  In his lifetime, he was a member of the New York State Assembly, a rancher in the Badlands of North Dakota, appointed by President Benjamin Harrison to the United States Civil Service Commission, New York City Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary to the Navy, co-founder and leader of the First U.S. Volunteer Calvary Regiment "Rough Riders" during the Spanish-American War, Governor of New York, Vice President of the United States, President of the United States, Nobel Peace Prize winner, big game hunter in Africa, leader of his own political party, the Bull Moose Party, and explorer of the jungles of Brazil.
   Roosevelt's influence on American culture is very broad.  It was he who saved the sport of American football.  In its early years, many thought that the sport was too brutal, and should be made illegal.  As President, he convinced the representatives of Harvard, Princeton, and Yale (The Big Three) that the rules of the game should be change so that it would not be so brutal.  He developed the National Park Service that saved millions of acres of America's natural beauty.  He was the inspiration for the teddy bear and a comic book super hero, Batman.  He has been attributed to coining the phrase, "Good to the last drop" after having a cup of coffee that came from the Maxell House Hotel.
    As a child, Theodore was weak and an asthmatic, but through determination and self discipline, he trained his body to be healthy and strong.  One proof of this fact came to past on October 14, 1912 when Roosevelt was shot by a local saloonkeeper, a Mr. John Shrank,  in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during a campaign stop for the office of the presidency.  The bullet went through a steel case for his glasses and a single folded copy of his fifty page speech into his chest.  Roosevelt was admonished to go to the hospital, but he decided to give his speech since he saw that he was not coughing up blood.  He did go to the hospital afterwards so that doctors could check the wound, but it was deemed to dangerous to remove the bullet.  The bullet remained in his chest for the remainder of his life
   Roosevelt once said:

"Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering."

   By that standard, President Roosevelt, we will never forget you.

Proverbs 28:1

   The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Proverbs 28:1

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Luke 3:7-9

   He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
   Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.  And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
   Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.  Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." (ESV)

Luke 3:7-9

   The above passages record a time in the ministry of John the Baptist.  Part of John's ministry was a baptism unto repentance.
   The Gospel of Matthew (c.f. Matthew 3:7-10) records that some of those who were coming out to see the ministry John were members of the religious leaders of Israel, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  John knew that these men did not come out because they knew that they were in need of repentance in their lives.  These leaders believed that they had a privileged relationship with God because of their biological ties to the patriarch Abraham.  They also thought that they were right with God because of their own keeping of the Law of God.  Telling them that they were in need of repentance, and that they were alienated from God, and were actually children of His wrath, was an insult to them.
   Most of those around us, who do not know Christ as Savior, see themselves as "good" people.  Telling a lost person that they are sinners with wicked hearts, and are in need of repentance, and a turning to the finished work of Jesus Christ for their salvation, is a great insult to them.  But, they need to be told this.


   Again, as I pointed out in Monday's post , a person needs to be confronted by the Law before they can ever see their need for a savior.  They must hear the bad news before they hear the Good News.



   It was on a Tuesday, on the fifth day of the month of January, in the year of our Lord 1943, that George Washington Carver went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He was born a slave, but gain his freedom not long after when slavery was abolished in the United States. He became a Christian at the age of ten.
   Carver would go on to be a scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor.  He was mostly known for his discovery of  at least three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more for soybeans, pecans and sweat potatoes.
   In his lifetime, he would meet with three U.S. Presidents:  Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Roosevelt.  He would become good friends Henry Ford. 
   In 1896, he was invited by Booker T. Washington to be the head of the Agriculture Department at the then five-year-old Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, later known as Tuskegee University.  As an educator, and out of his concerns for his students' character developed a list of eight cardinal virtues for his students to emulate and strive toward:

Be clean both inside and out.
Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
Lose, if need be, without squealing.
Win without bragging.
Always be considerate of women, children, and older people.
Be too brave to lie.
Be too generous to cheat.
Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.


Ecclesiastes 9:10

   Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. (ESV)

Ecclesiastes 9:10

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.

Alexis de Tocqueville

Monday, January 3, 2011


"A life lived without any passion is an oxymoron."


Luke 3:1-6

   In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Itureaea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias of Abilene,
   during the priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zachariah in the wilderness.
   And he went into all the region around the Jordon, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
   As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
   "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:  'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his path straight.
   Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,
   and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"

Luke 3:1-6

   John the Baptist is a unique person in all of history.  He was filled with the Holy Spirit from the time he was in his mother's womb.  God would use John to prepare his chosen people, Israel, for the imminent coming of their Messiah.
   The message of John's ministry was the call to repentance.  The people of Israel had come to have a wrong view of God and of themselves as it pertains to their relationship with that God.
   No doubt John used the Law of God to confront the wayward children of Israel with the fact that their sins had alienated them from their God.  On this past Friday, I made this quote:

"The road to Mount Calvary must first pass through Mount Sinai.  Any road that bypasses Mount Sinai to get to Mount Calvary will have its end in the Valley of Hinnom."

   Before a person can be presented to good news of the Gospel (Mount Calvary), they must be confronted with the Law of God (Mount Sinai), that shows that he/she is a sinner who has broken the Law of God, and is deserving of the wrath of God.  The biggest problem of a person who does know Christ (or is known by 

him [c.f. Matthew 7:23]) is not a bad marriage, rebellious children, or even a bad economy.  That person is a sinner who is at this present moment has the wrath of God resting over him/her. (c.f. John 3:36)  The person who attempts to come to God without the knowledge that he/she is a sinner who needs to be reconciled with God through the finished work of Christ (Mount Calvary) will in the end find his/herself in Hell (the Valley of Hinnom).  Jesus is not to be seen as a kind of life coach, one who can make our lives better, or even as a moral example on how to live for God.  He must be seen as our Lord and Savior from the wrath of God.


   When we, who are believers in Christ, are witnessing to a person, we can not take for granted that the person knows that he/she is a sinner who is deserving the wrath of God.  Actually, most lost people around us believe that on the whole they are good people.  Make sure that person is confronted with the Law of God.  God uses His Law as a mirror to show a person how that person truly stands before the perfectly holy character of God.  The picture is never pretty. (c.f. Romans 3:10-18)
   Below is a video from The Way of the Master Ministries on how this can be done.


   He was born on a Sunday on the third day of the month of January, in Bloemfontein in Orange State (now Free State Province, part of South Africa), under the name of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, in the year of our Lord 1892.
   Tolkien would later go on to serve in the British Army in World War I, and in that conflict serve as a singles officer at the battle of the Somme.
   Between 1925 to 1945, Tolkien would serve as Rawlinson and Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, and from 1945 to 1959 would serve as Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at the same university.
   He became a member of an informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings, and it was there that he developed a close friendship with C.S. Lewis.
   One day during a walk together, Lewis confided to Tolkien that one of the major problems that he had with accepting the truth claims of Christianity was that there were too many similarities between the accounts that were written in the Bible and of those written in the ancient myths and legends of other cultures.  Tolkien explain to Lewis that the reason for this was that Christianity was "the one true myth."  By saying this, he meant that the accounts that were found in the Bible were the true record of things that happened, and the other stories were just variations of that one account.  C.S. Lewis would later come to put his trust in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
   Today, J.R.R. Tolkien, is mostly known as the author of  The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.  All three of the Lord of the Rings trilogy have been made into major motion pictures. As of this date, plans are underway to film a major motion picture based on The Hobbit.


   God used J.R.R. Tolkien as one of His instruments in leading C.S. Lewis to faith in Jesus Christ.  God would later use the writings of C.S. Lewis as one of His instruments in leading many throughout the world to Christ, and for the edification of His saints.
   When we bring the Gospel to the lost around us, and God uses that seed to bring a person to Christ as their Lord and savior, we have no idea how far God will use that person to bring others to salvation and into His kingdom.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Luke 2:41-49

   Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feat of the Passover.
   And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom.
   And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.  His parents did not know it,
   but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
   and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.
   After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
   And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
   And when his parents saw him, they were astonished.  And his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so?  Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress."
   And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me?  Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"

Luke 2:41-49

   From the moment He entered the womb of Mary, and throughout His thirty-three and a half years of living amongst us as one of us Jesus at every moment of that time had a certain hill just outside of the city of Jerusalem on His mind.  That hill was known as "The Hill of the Skull," Mount Calvary.  He came to die so that men may be saved.
   The Christian hymn writer, Charles Wesley spent his whole Christian life simply amazed by this one fact, and he captured this thought in one of his hymns.

And Can It Be that I Should Gain

And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior's blood!
Died he for me? who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
'Tis mystery all: th' Immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
to sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
let angel minds inquire no more.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
let angel minds inquire no more.
He left his Father's throne above
(so free, so infinite his grace!),
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
alive in him, my living Head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach th' eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th' eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.


   We who have put our trust in the completed work of Jesus Christ for sinners, should at every moment should be amazed by the fact that the Second Person of the Trinity left His throne of glory to live a life of righteousness amongst sinful men, and die on a cruel cross for their sins.


"The road to Mount Calvary must first pass through Mount Sinai. Any road that bypasses Mount Sinai to get to Mount Calvary will have its end in the Valley of Hinnom."