Tuesday, September 15, 2020

David's Digest: Be Watchful of Wrath

James 1:20 - "For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

In every interaction with our fellow man, especially about religious subjects or God's word, there is the matter of the discussion (ie. the topic), and there is the manner of how it is brought forth. The manner is just as important as the matter, because if the manner is improper, the matter, and thus the purpose of the discussion, is lost, and even Christ's character of humility, that we are to emulate (Matt 11:29), is marred.

Puritan Thomas Manton in his most excellent work "A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James" cautions us to be careful how we bring forth truths, where an improper manner defeats the purpose, and causes more conflict.

You can listen to all of verse 20 here:


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Thomas Manton - James Commentary


From Thomas Manton:

Verse 20. - For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Here he renders a reason of the last clause [vs. 19: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:], why they should take heed of this indignation and rising of their hearts against the word, because the wrath of man would hinder them from attaining that righteousness, and accomplishing that duty, which God requireth in his word.

...

Obs 1. From the context, the worst thing that we can bring to a religious controversy is anger. The context speaks of anger occasioned by differences about the word. Usually no affections are so outrageous as those which are engaged in the quarrel of religion; for then that which should bridle the passion is made the fuel of it, and that which should restrain undue heats and excesses engages them. However, this should not be.

Christianity, of all religions, is the meekest and most humble. It is founded upon the blood of Christ, who is a lamb slain. It is consigned and sealed by the Spirit of Christ, who descended like a dove. Both are emblems of a meek and modest humility; and should a meek religion be defended by our violences, and the God of peace served with wrathful affections, and the madness of an evil nature bewray itself in the best cause? Christ's warfare needs not such carnal weapons; as Achish said, "Have I need of madmen" (1 Sam. xxi. 15), so hath Jesus Christ need of our passions and furies? Does the God of heaven need a "tongue set on fire of hell?" (James iii. 6.) Michael the archangel was engaged in the best cause against the worst adversary, with Satan about the body of Moses; and yet the purity of his nature would not permit him to profane his engagement with any excess and indecency of passion: "He durst not bring against him a railing accusation" (Jude 9).

And as the wrath of man is unsuitable to the matters of God, so it is also prejudicial. When tongue is sharpened against tongue, and pen against pen, what follows? Nothing but mutual animosities and hatreds, whereby, if we gain aught [anything] of truth, we lose much of love and goodness. Satan would fain [be glad to] be even with God. The devil's kingdom is mostly ruined by the rage of his own instruments, and you cannot gratify Satan more than when you wrong the truth by an unseemly defence of it; for then he [Satan] seems to be quits [even] with Christ, overturning his [Christ's] kingdom by those which are engaged in the defence of it.

Briefly then, if you would do good, use a fit means. The barking dog loses the prey: violence and furious prosecution seldom gain. Those engage most successfully that use the hardest arguments and the softest words; whereas railings and reviling, as they are without love, so they are without profit. Be watchful: our religious affections may often overset us.


May God grant we be meek and lowly, as Christ tells us to learn from Him, even in our approaches with others when we have the truth on our side, and may He grant we always represent Him well wherever we are or with whomever we are engaged in interactions.

-- David

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2020's 4th & 5th Chick Hatchings

The Lord has graciously granted our 4th and 5th chick hatchings of 2020! Both have some interesting stories...

This first mommy I believe was hatched last year, and when older last year was attacked by a hawk! I was able to get out there quickly to scare it off, but she was lying on the ground looking dead. When I picked her up, I realized she wasn't, and took her into our brooder barn to a place of hopeful recovery. Well, she recovered from the initial shock, but couldn't walk very well. But over the next few days, God granted she continue to recover, and by His graces she did fully! From all this, I called her "Hawk Girl". :)

And so, when she got broody this year, I thought it'd be great if after all that, she hatched out some chicks, and again by God's graces she did! She hatched out 6 initially, but one didn't make it past a couple of days, but the other 5 are still going strong today! I call her "Hawk Mommy" now. :)

And here she is with her chicks:

4th 2020 Chick Hatchlings
More 4th 2020 Chick Hatchlings


Now, one day, Sue walked into our camper and down the stairs under the desk, there was a mama chicken and 2 chicks! What? And then we found the nest -- up the stairs of the 5th wheel, into the bedroom, in a nook next to the bed. We think she got spooked by a cat, and that's why she was down stairs. I still want to know how she and 2 little tiny chicks made it down the stairs! :)

Anyway, there were quite a few eggs left, and one was starting to hatch, so we gathered her up and the eggs and put them all in the brooder barn to see if she needed to finish. In monitoring the chick process, the one wasn't continuing to hatch, and another was also hatching but didn't seem to be making progress, so I decided to go ahead and help, even though apparently it's supposed to weaken the chicks we've heard, but also, if you don't get them out of the shell, they won't make it. I got them mostly hatched, and put them back in the nest, and we waited to see what happened.

Well, those 2 ended up making it ok, and another hatched after! And so, she ended up with 5 as well! What a nice special gift from God!

And here they are:

5th 2020 Chick Hatchlings
More 5th 2020 Chick Hatchlings


And this is a video of each group, including when we found camper mommy initially, and a catchup addendum to them all as of today:



We are very grateful to the Lord for granting these chicks, for sparing Hawk Mommy last year, and to bring her this year to perpetuating the flock, for the special camper chicks gift, and for their continued health and safety!

-- David