Friday, December 30, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 6 - Denying Lawful Pleasures

This is the planned final part of this series of blog posts, and here are the previous parts:

Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials
Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness
Part 4 - Heaven My Way
Part 5 - Worldliness in Much


This is another little related excerpt I found from Thomas Manton in his sermon 6 on Genesis 24:63, of which the entire sermon you can read here:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:26.6?rgn=div2;view=fulltext
Others for want of considering the end of their lives, are so far from living as Christians, that they scarce live as men, but either as beasts, or as devils. Delight in the pleasures of the world transformeth a man into a beast, it is their happiness to enjoy pleasures without remorse, and to gratify the body; and delight in sin transformeth a man into a devil. Worldly pleasures are not bread, and sinful pleasures are poison: You that are allured by the pleasures of the world, which are lawful in themselves, you lay out your money for that which is not bread; and you to whom it is meat to do evil, you feed upon that which is rank poison; the world cannot satisfy, and sin will surely destroy.
How much of our time is spent in the things of the world, even those that might be lawful? I believe this is an important question to continue to ask ourselves.


Finally, let's look at the example of Christ, again from Thomas Manton in a sermon on Philippians 2:7, which in its entirety you can read here:
https://sites.google.com/a/oldpaths.org.uk/oldpaths/m/manton/mantonvol18/m000000012/page124sermonuponphilippiansii7philii7butmadehimselfofnoreputation:

[5.] The last lesson is contempt of the world and all the glory thereof. Christ teacheth us this lesson by making himself of no reputation in two ways—

(1.) The example of his own choice. The Lord of heaven and earth despised and neglected the glory and riches of this world. He passed through the world to sanctify it as a place of service; but chose not pomp of living, nor the happiness of it, lest we should choose it as our rest and portion: 'They are not of the world, as I am not of the world,' John xvii. 16. Those that are dearest unto God must look by crosses and trials to be fitted for another world. If a man say never so much for contempt of the world, yet live in the love of it, his saying is nothing. But Christ would be a pattern of his own doctrine. Contempt of the world is a lesson of great consequence; salvation lieth upon it: 1 John ii. 15-17, 'Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world: if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him; for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world; and the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.' Whether we are high or low, full or kept bare, it concerneth us all to learn it. Though we flow in wealth, we should be as having nothing, and sit loose from the creature. If we are poor, we must count grace a preferment: James i. 9, 10, 'Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; but the rich, in that he is made low, because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.' There is required of all an hearty preparation for, when they are not called to a patient enduring of, afflictions for Christ's name: Phil. iv. 12, 'I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.' This is of a hard digestion to a natural man. Now Christ's example is a great help to us to check our worldly desires; let us not affect greater eminency in the world than Christ had; and to check the vanity of fulness, or our carnal complacency, that it may not be a snare to us: 1 Tim. v. 6, 'The woman that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.' Christ was a man of sorrows; do you profess Christ, and yet are you addicted to vain pleasures, and not able to deny them?

(2.) As it is an argument to confirm us in the certainty of the happiness of the world to come. It were best to choose the easiest life here if we did not believe eternity, to live a life of pomp and ease. The troubles and miseries of the godly have been counted a sure argument to confirm it: 1 Cor. xv. 19, 'If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.' God would not make us miserable by our duty. And 2 Thes i. 5, 'It is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.' If the consideration of godly men's sufferings in this world be of moment to such an inference, much more the sufferings of Christ, who was not only a man good and innocent beyond example, instructing the souls, curing the bodies of so many men, but also the Son of God. His exaltation is a pledge of our happiness, and his humiliation an argument he is gone there as our forerunner.


The kingdom of the world, ruled by Satan, is the enemy of all people -- its ends, like Satan's, are to destroy souls. The carnal man, which is enmity against God (Rom 8:7), is like a cancer to the soul (Paul calls it "the body of this death" in Rom 7:24; see what Puritan commentator Dr. John Gill says about this verse), and these worldly distractions and pleasures are like sugar to that cancer, which feed it and help it grow. Why wouldn't we choose to deny ourselves these things?

The carnal man is with us until we die, Satan is on the constant prowl, and the world is continuously pulling us toward it. After going through the previous 5 parts (and hopefully the whole sermon here), and this part, I believe that surely this is something for which we should always be on careful watch, for the rest of our lives, if we have concern for our eternal welfare.

May the Lord God almighty help us to mortify the flesh, and by His infinite graces and mercies, may the things of earth during our time here ever continue to fade...
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.


Psalm 73:25-26 - "25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

-- David

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A House - Update XLVII - Kitchen Pot Hooks, Utensil Drawer, More Pantry Shelves & Indoor Elevated Water Tank

With some of the kitchen accoutrements being added, the Lord has graciously granted we continue to add some more things in getting it more functional...


Sue liked a utensil drawer and pot hooks idea, so we bought a set of drawers that fit under the counter, and I added some hooks:

Kitchen Pot Hooks & Utensil Drawer


And here are some more pantry shelves added, on the opposite side of the others this time, and with the potential for more levels:

New Kitchen Pantry Shelves


Lastly, all along the plan for the area on the north wall between the counter and the stove was to install an indoor elevated tank for water flow into the kitchen sink. After some research, I settled on a 6 gallon one with a 3/4 inch outlet, that also happens to have a self-venting cap (which I didn't realize until we got it -- bonus!).

And so, I put up a platform, put the tank on it, and ran the tubing and garden hose. On the end at first, I put a hand-squeeze garden sprayer, partially because you could set it to flow automatically, but the outlet was too small, and the flow was minimal. I then replaced that with a valve that is the diameter of the hose, and now it flows nicely, even spraying across the sink when the valve is about 3/4 open.

Here are a couple of pictures:

Indoor Elevated Water Tank

Indoor Elevated Water Tank Hose Valve


And here is a video of it in action:




We are always grateful to God for granting continued progress on the house, and for the ideas He gives us. We always pray this house will be a place of worship to Him!

-- David

Sunday, December 18, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 5 - Worldliness in Much

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

This regards sermon 9 on love of the world from a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27 from Puritan Thomas Manton, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life. I found it very interesting, beneficial and challenging.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

And here are the previous parts from our blog:
Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials
Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness
Part 4 - Heaven My Way


The below is part 5 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

The last point is taken from the reason of his heavy and sorrowful departure, 'For he had great possessions'. He had them, is that a fault? Here is no note of crime put upon him, as to his getting of them: he is not taxed with an insatiable desire of riches, nor with unconscionable means to get them; only it is said, that he was marvelously rich, and had great possessions, and therefore he went away sorrowful; so that the point will be this,

Doctrine 5: That the disease of worldliness is very incident to great persons, and men of quality.

If we have not a mortified heart, the very having an estate may prove a snare to us. I observe this, because many please themselves in this, that they have not got what they have by extortion, or cousinage [relational favoritism?], or by any fraudulent or unlawful means, that their heritage comes to them lawfully, in the fair way of providence; but if they have it, and they look not to their hearts, it will enchant them. It is not the means of gathering wealth, but the deceitfulness of it however gathered that chokes the Word. The very possession and presence, though it be not greedily sought for, nor unlawfully purchased, may enchant our minds, and render us unapt to obey Christ's commandments. Take three propositions.

(1.) Proposition: That it is possible, yea very likely that our hearts may be inordinately set upon wealth lawfully gotten;

The mind may be enchanted with a secret delight and desire to retain and increase riches, lawfully gotten. A man may be a slave to his wealth, and loathe to part with it upon religious reasons: it is very likely it will be so when men have any thing in the world.

I do not know how it comes to pass, but so it is, there is more danger in possessing wealth than in getting it; this young man went away sad, for he had great riches: and it is one thing (saith he) to refuse that we have not, another thing to part with what we have;

Covetousness is not to be determined by a greedy thirst only, but also by complacency, delight, and acquiescence of soul in worldly enjoyments. Though we would not desire more, yet if our hearts be glued to that we have already, we are unapt for the kingdom of God,

In short, it is the corruption of our nature, that we are very prone to affect worldly goods too much, and so much the more by how much the more plenty and abundance of them is enjoyed.

They that have much flax and gunpowder in their houses, had need be careful to keep fire from it; so a Christian that enjoys a great store of wealth, had need look to his heart, that corruption do not meet with it; that aversion from God, and conversion to the creature is so natural to us, that when we have great store of the world's goods, we are ready to set our hearts too much on them.

(2.) Proposition: That the gathering of a spiritual disease is very secret and insensible. Bad humours breed in the body, and are not discovered till a strain; much more distempers breed in the soul ere we are aware, and therefore the more caution is necessary:

Man is afraid of want [lack] and poverty, but who is afraid of riches?

Our greatest learning is to learn how to abound. The worldly-minded judge riches and abundance a happy condition, O blessed is the man, they will say, that is in such a case! It is the sum of every man's wish; but to be shy of the world, to suspect danger in plenty, it can never enter into their hearts: but alas! as a rank soil is apt to breed weeds, so many snares are incident to this condition, and this sort of life. Alas, they that have great and plentiful estates, how apt are they to pamper the flesh, to grow forgetful of God, slight in holy things, to be wedded to worldly greatness!

As soon as men have any thing in the world, their heads are lifted up above their brethren, and they grow proud, scornful of God's Word, slighting of holy things, and we are wholly enchanted with pleasures of such an estate, but consider not the snares that secretly are laid for their souls.

(3.) Proposition: There is no means to prevent the danger, but by the continual exercise of good works, and a prudent carefulness to improve our substance for God's glory, and helpfulness to others...your business should be how you should honour God,

A man's care should be for contracting and cutting short his desires, and how to make use of it in order to eternal life. Unless there be this constant solicitude upon the heart, it is impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.


Stay tuned for part 6, if the Lord wills!

May God grant we have a desire and ability to always be on the watch for the snares of the world, especially if we abound!

-- David

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hymn - Almighty Father of All Things That Be

Over the months, I put together another melody that I kind of liked and was able to remember. This one I would sing to Albus, the white musical rooster that used to crow the beginning of Beethoven's fifth symphony, when he would come up to me at night and want me to pick him up and set him in my lap before putting him up for the night. The lyrics were simple: "Albus, and Albus."

When that stopped, we had a hen that would stay with the goats at night, and I would carry her in from the goat field to the chicken tractor to put her up. This poor little hen's eye had turned into a grey, round orb, and I'm pretty sure she couldn't see out of it, or see well, and I believe would cause her panic. But because of that, I called her "Globey," and her lryics were "Globey, and Globey." As I would walk with her singing the song, when I would get to the held note at the end of the third stanza, I would put my mouth above her head and do a '70s stereo effect, moving my mouth left right left for each beat of the measure. :)

Here is a picture of her and her eye:

Globey's Eye


And here is a picture of Sue after Globey "let go" all over her after catching her. :D One of the fun-factors of farm life!

Globey Poo


Recently, she stopped hiding in the goat sheds at night, and started hiding in grasses in the goat fields, and we were unable to find her at night. Sadly, it appears the dogs got to her one morning, or found what was left of her. She'll be a fond memory though because of carrying her in at night, and her relation to this tune.


And so, with this one being a tune long enough to have an actual verse and chorus, and again wanting to do something spiritual with it, I set out to try and find hymn lyrics that would fit the meter of the song. Usually, you start with lyrics and write the song to it, so trying to fit lyrics to this tune in particular actually proved to be quite difficult, as the meter was not very standard (10.10.10.10.10.8.10.8), which limited it to only a few I could find, and since I wanted the words to be doctrinally correct, and the author not tied to improper doctrine.

Eventually though, I found one I could go with: Almighty Father of All Things That Be, by Ernest Edward Dugmore. With some tweaking of the original lyrics, and turning the tune's chorus meter to 10.9 instead of 10.8, I was able to acceptably fit the lyrics to the tune.

And here it is:

Almighty Father of All Things That Be

Here's a PDF:
Almighty Father of All Things That Be PDF

And this is a musical audio of the arrangement:
Almighty Father of All Things That Be MP3


It was pleasing in the end to take the "Albus/Globey" tune and have it seem to work out fairly nicely, at least to me. :)

I am thankful to the Lord to have been able to take this little song and actually find some lyrics to fit it, and I pray perhaps it might be something that brings glory to Him!

-- David

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 4 - Heaven My Way

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

This regards sermon 9 on love of the world from a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27 from Puritan Thomas Manton, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life. I found it very interesting, beneficial and challenging.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

And here are the previous parts from our blog:
Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials
Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness


The below is part 4 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

Doctrine 4: A carnal worldly man may be sorrowful, when he cannot win heaven in his own way.

When he cannot get heaven, and his own will in the world also, as this young man was, when he could not be a Christian at a cheaper rate: he departed from Christ sad, as loathe to miss this felicity, and yet loathe to pay so dear for it. There is a sorrow that worketh repentance to salvation never to be repented of, 2 Cor. 7:10, but this is of another nature, it makes a wound in the conscience, and doth no more.

And this is just the disposition of a man that hath a sense of eternity, and yet is wedded to his lusts [desires of the flesh, senses, world, not necessarily sexual in nature]: fain he would be happy hereafter, but will not leave his lusts now; so they are troubled they cannot have Christ and the world too, Christ for their consciences, and the world for their affections: they love this world, and yet would fain be saved in the world to come, and therefore are grieved when they cannot have both. On the one side they are troubled, with a sense of religion, and on the other side with a fear of losing their worldly interests:

Thus shall we be affected, till we seek God with our whole hearts.

This sorrow of the young man will give us some light as to the difference between those conflicts that are in a gracious and renewed man, and those conflicts that are in the unregenerate. There are conflicts in both, yet they differ much: in the unregenerate, graceless soul, the conflict is between conviction and corruption, conscience wrestles with their lusts, and lusts wrestle with conscience, and so men are sorrowful upon carnal, not godly reasons; whereas the conflict in the regenerate is in the same faculties, carnal reason against spiritual reason, and carnal will against spiritual will, carnal affections against spiritual affections; the battle is fought in every faculty. In the conflict betwixt the flesh and Spirit in the regenerate, the spiritual part prevails.

And here the young man yielded, and went away sorrowful: this conflict and sorrow may have a wound in the conscience, but it doth not prevail to cause them to look after heaven on Christ's own terms.


Stay tuned for part 5, if the Lord wills!

May we see the evil of the world, renounce it wholly and fully, in favor of cleaving to Christ and His commands!

-- David