Is There a Piper Playing?

"It is whispered that soon if we all call the tune, then the piper will lead us to reason.  And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the trees will echo with laughter.  In a tree by the brook, there's a song bird who sings, sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiving."  Robert Plant

Overture 40 from the NYC presbytery to the GA wants to change W-4.9000 (Marriage) to read 'between two people', instead of 'between a woman and a man'.  If we (PCUSA) continue to become more and more politically correct, the piper may just lead us to reason.  My question is who will be laughing on judgment day?  Is there a song bird singing that our thoughts are misgiving?  Ezekiel (3:18,33) reminds us that God holds us accountable not only for the things we do, but for the things we do not do as well.  And the fellow whose death and resurrection we celebrated last month reminds us that we are to be held accountable for the things we do, and do not do, for the least of these (Matthew 25).  Yes, Jesus forgives, but repentance is required.  John, his cousin, proclaimed "Repent, be baptized, for the Kingdom of God is near", Jesus said "Go into all nations teaching them what I have taught you."  Did Jesus teach us to sit on the wayside thinking we're all right, we're not sinning, and we are not responsible for that?  Or did He say:

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What Kind of Tree are You?

While in Seattle last month our daughter Kathleen and I had time to explore the communities around the Puget Sound.  While traveling on Camano Island I thought I heard the trees speaking to me.  There was a time when I could sit among the trees and get a sense of knowledge, wisdom, and truth, kind of Druid-like.  As I have become busier and busier, I haven't spent much time among the trees.  Ancestral Celts were steeped in the magic of the forest.  It was far from being a place of fear and darkness as told in stories and faerie tales; it was a place of respect.  The forest provided materials for all aspects of life - timber, shelter, fuel, food, etc.  Those who knew the forest stood a better chance not just of survival, but of comfortable living.  The greater the wisdom, the greater the level of comfort.  Those who knew the lore of the forest and the paths that ran through it would also have been well aware of the less tangible dimensions of their existence.  These people would have had plenty of time to contemplate and explore the mysteries that surrounded them.

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Questions from the Peterbrian

The Department of Corrections has announced that 1000 Class-D felons will be released to save the Commonwealth money.  The DOC Division of Probation and Parole will monitor these inmates and find jobs and housing.  The Commonwealth will save 12 million dollars in this move.  Sounds like good money management giving nonviolent offenders a new chance and the Commonwealth finding them jobs and housing.

However, the Commonwealth has done a poor job in rehabilitating inmates.  Generally, released inmates are either dropped off at the bus station with a ticket to a city in Kentucky, or left outside the booking door at Hopkins County Jail to fend for themselves.  There are 157 churches listed in the Madisonville phone book.  Of those 157, I can realistically refer our inmates to two (2) churches who are willing to help.  However, these two churches have office hours from 9 to 3 Monday through Friday and those inmates who have needs are generally released at midnight or 7:00 a.m.  Therefore, the same saints are called upon to shelter, feed, and try to find other satisfactory accommodation.  I am thankful for those saints who answer the call.

Get to the point, Pete.

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Teaching and Baptizing

Matthew 28:19-20: Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.  Amen.   (KJV)

At the last Presbytery meeting one of the voting members praised the newly formed church in Murray for baptizing five members on Easter Sunday and stated that his church hadn't baptized that many in the last five years.  I must admit that I wasn't shocked or amazed; however, it did bring a smile to my face knowing that we are doing what our Lord Jesus commanded.  First Pres is reaching out to all people and teaching them the Word, sharing what He has taught us, and baptizing.

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Come Holy Spirit, Grant Wisdom and Understanding

Colossians 1:9-12  New International Version (NIV)

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light.

Footnotes:  a.  Colossians 1:9, Or "all spiritual wisdom and understanding."   b.  Colossians 1:12, Some manuscripts "us".

What a wonderful prayer for all of us!

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Kingdom Living, But Whose Kingdom?

"Tell my people of their sins! They act so pious. They come to church every Sunday and Wednesday. They seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous congregation that would never abandon the laws of God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. 'We have fasted before you!' they say. 'Why aren't you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don't even notice it!'"

"I will tell you why!" I respond. "It's because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarrelling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?"

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