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Lies on Sunday Morning

The following is an excerpt  out of a book from George Burder, 1840.  Not sure where I got it but it so fits today’s worship music:

“The prayer that Paul now offered was sincere.  He had prayed often with his lips, now his heart prays.  There is a great deal of sin committed by some people in their prayers.  Like the hypocrites of old, “they draw nigh to God with their mouths and honor Him with their lips, but their heart is far from Him.”  Christ charged the Pharisees with doing this,…Paul was one of this sort before his conversion but now he drew near to God with his heart.  Nothing deserves the name of prayer unless it comes from the heart.  It is not words that make a prayer, it is desires,  the felt desires; of the heart made sensible of its state and its wants.”

“There are more lies told in our churches and meetings than at our markets.  What sad hypocrisy is it for the set of gay [happy], proud wanton people, to cry- “Lord have mercy upon us!  Christ have mercy on us! Incline our hearts to keep these laws,” etc, while they neither feel the want of mercy nor wish to obey the will of God.”
A. W. Tozer wrote, “Christians don’t tell lies.  They just go to church and sing them.”
Remember this next Sunday morning during worship.  Look at the songs you sing heartily, with hands raised to your Savior.  A lot of them are prayers to God, with emphatic statements “I will…, I want…, it is my desire…, I give…”    Really?  Are these really heartfelt desires of your heart?  Or are you praying lies to God and portraying falsehoods to your fellow Christians?   Only you and God know for sure, but be careful that you don’t sing with your lips, but your heart is far from God.



Wisdom for the day

There is a huge difference between being totally committed to Jesus and being completely surrendered to Him.  Which are you?

There is no substitute for paying attention.

Knowing, believing and doing are directly connected.  Not doing?  Then you don’t really know or believe.

Tragedy, pain, suffering and sorrow are only the gift wrap of some of the best gifts God gives.

One of the hardest disciplines for meaningful conversation is to listen and see both with our ears and with our eyes.  This cannot be done through any form of technology, only face to face.

At the very least, to fear God is to take Him seriously.

Your thinking will determine your affections.
Your affections will determine your focus.
Your focus will determine your feelings.
Be very careful what you feed your mind.

Woodworking Tips and Tricks: removing broken screws

Of all the tricks I have learned in my reading over the years, these two are probably the simplest but the most useful in a very bad situation.  One of the most frustrating things to happen when installing hinges or some hardware is to have a screw break off flush or below the surface, especially just as the project is being completed.  This especially applies to chair repair, where broken screws are a regular diagnosis. It’s not so bad if there is a little nib sticking up you can get a vice-grips on, but to look in that hole and see a tiny bit of shiny metal down there is enough to make you go turn off the light and take a walk.  And then you come back later, and the problem is still there.  What are you going to do?  Chisel them out?  Throw the whole thing in the street and start over tomorrow (have threatened to do that many times…)?

The worst part is you can’t leave that bit of screw in there.  The hardware needs all the screws, if nothing else, for looks.  And you usually can’t move the hardware to a new spot. But there is hope!  There are actually several easy ways to get this screw out.

If the screw is a #10 or larger, then here is what you do.  You very carefully drill a small hole down the middle of the screw.  (This will only work with non-case hardened screws.  If it’s a black bugle head sheet rock screw that broke, which happens often, then you will have to go to solution two.) This will take some patience and some skill.  Take your time with this, don’t rush it; it can be done.  You may have to start with a very small bit and then move up to a larger one.  (If you break off the bit in the screw, then to go solution two.)  Then take a nail a little larger than the hole, grind or file a long tapered square on the end and hammer this into the hole in the screw.  The idea is to get as much of the nail jammed into the screw as possible.  This may take several tries.  Then take a propane torch and heat the end of the nail (careful not to burn the wood with the torch!).  The heat will transfer down the nail and char the wood (yes, smoke will come out) around the screw to the point that either you can easily twist out the screw with the nail or just pull it out.  You may have to drill out the charred hole a bit and fill with a dowel to get the wood back to the place where it will again hold a screw.  I have done this at least 3 times and know it works great, and have kept the evidence to prove it.

If the nail is #8 or smaller, is a case-hardened screw that can’t be drilled or you broke off the tiny drill bit in the screw, here is solution number two.  You are going to make a tiny hole saw.  Go to your golf buddy or a golf repair shop and get a broken golf club shaft.  These are usually made from stainless steel, very hard, the walls of the shaft are very thin and taper from large to small, giving you a choice of sizes.  Cut a 2-1/2″ long section from the shaft at the diameter of about 5/16″.  Plug one end with a piece of wood so you don’t collapse it in your drill.  On the other end, with a small Dremel grinding stone or cutoff wheel, grind some teeth on the open end.  These need not be fancy, they just need to work.   You don’t want a lot of small teeth like a regular hole saw, but maybe just 5 or 6 large teeth. The sharper and larger the teeth are, the better they will clear chips and actually work.

Now chuck the cutter in your drill press and drill a hole a piece of 1/4″ plywood.  Clamp the plywood down so it doesn’t skate all over the place.  This will test the cutter to make sure it works and make a guide to use for drilling out your screw.  Now clamp the guide exactly and directly over the broken screw.  Using a hand drill, drill out the screw with a slow drill speed, clearing chips often.  Now make a dowel the right size and glue it in the hole, sand if flush and put in another screw in.  This method will enable you to rescue your project and no one will know the difference. I have used the same hole saw many times and it has saved me many times.

Small #4 and #6 brass screws are famous for breaking off and I have found that predrilling a pilot hole the thickness of the core of the screw or a fraction larger (dia. inside the threads) helps keep these screws from breaking off.  Also, a bit of paraffin on the threads before driving them in helps reduce the friction it takes to put them in.

So you no longer need to despair if you break off a screw (stay at this woodworking thing long enough and you eventually will and despair is the feeling exactly).  I would suggest you go get the golf club shaft ahead of time and stash it in a handy place where you can find it.  And maybe wrap a copy of these instructions around the shaft so you don’t throw it away while cleaning the shop.

Hope this has been helpful!

Wisdom for the day

Usually the question is phrased, “How many people will be in heaven because you told them about Jesus?”  But we absolutely avoid the question, “How many won’t be there because I didn’t?”

Everything you need you got a long time ago.  The rest you bought because of discontentment.

Don’t expect others to be at the same level of maturity that took you years of sin and rebellion to achieve.

If what you chase ends when you die, it won’t satisfy you for long while you are alive.

“God blessed me with that.”  Really?  Or did you go into debt to bless yourself at God’s expense?

When was the last time you thought clearly, independently and uninfluenced by secular culture.   How would you know?

Book Quotes: Gods at War by Kyle Idleman

More quotes from the convicting book, Gods at War by Kyle Idleman.

Idols are not defeated by being removed but by being replaced

We tasted everything until nothing had taste anymore.

Every hunger ultimately leads back to Him.

Sex is beautiful until it loses it’s spiritual context.

“Obsession” is an idolatry word.

When something good becomes a god, the pleasure it brings dies in the process.  Pleasure has this unique trait: the more intensely you chase it, the less likely you are to catch it.

Pleasure, pursued for it’s own sake, evaporates before our eyes.

[On porn] It’s the laying of our souls on an alter before a god who only wants to consume us.

Wisdom for the day

If you continue where you are aimed, where will you end up?

The problem isn’t, “I don’t have enough money.” The real problem is, “I don’t have enough contentment.”

Day-old bread has very little nutrition; only “daily bread” will help us.

Of all the commands of Jesus, probably the one most broken by Christians is: “Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth.”

When was the last time a twenty dollar bill said to you, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Exceeding the speed limit is a passive form of rebellion and anarchy against God and man.

Can you truly call yourself a follower of Jesus if you consume more of your income for your own comfort and pleasure than investing in the lives of others?  He lived a selfless life.  How about you?

Notes on looking for a Biblical Church part 11

Notes on looking for a Biblical Church part 11
To start this series, go here.

  1. Leadership with depth of spirituality

This should probably be #1 in this list.  This goes with #9.  Deeply spiritual men are hard to find.  I know the term is hard to define, but when you meet one, you will know it.   These men are marked by humility, acknowledging readily and openly their sin and weakness in brokenness and repentance.  Their total dependence is on God, relying completely on the power and infilling of the Holy Spirit to do the ministry God has called them to do.  They admit there is nothing in themselves that makes their service of any use, and at times, may not even want the job, feeling they are inadequate for the task.  They use their spiritual gifts, not natural talents, to fulfill their God-given calling.  The outcome of this may cause a tension in their being, because it most likely goes against what they have learned of what works in the world’s marketplace.

These men will inspire you just simply with who they are.  Their lives will challenge you to live more carefully in the footsteps of Jesus, in repentance and humility .   Paul said for others to follow him as he was following the Master.  How many in leadership dare say that today?  But these are very the men who should be elders in the local church.  They should be the ones who preach every Sunday. They should be the ones who are making the decisions that affect the local Body, spiritual and otherwise.

So I am looking for spiritual men who can challenge me to be more like Christ, to combat sin in my life, to become more of the godly husband and father I need to be.  I have heard it said that a congregation will spiritually rise no higher than the pastor.  After spending my whole life in the church, I want to be challenged to be more than I am now, and that can only come from men who are already there.

Why is it that “Bible” studies are mostly attended by women?  Where are the men?  Have men been so marginalized in the church that they are now depending on the women to be spiritual leaders, not only in the church but at home, so they don’t see the need and just stay home?  Yes, for some reason, women were created more sensitive to the things of God, but where does that leave men?  Are we relegated to playing catch-up all the time, leaving the spiritual training of fellow believers and our children to the women, especially our wives?  I’m looking for a church where men are seekers after God, who want to be challenged by His Word by study and self-examination , who seek to live Godly lives and want to humbly lead their families and their church in righteousness and holiness.


Well that’s my list.  All of these points are Biblical and needed, in my view, to have a Biblical church.  From your experience, can you see why it’s so hard to find one?   Do you have a similar list?   Where has your church compromised in its quest to become bigger and better and user- friendly?  What Biblical compromises have you had to make to attend there?

As a side note, we have indeed found a place to call our church home. I have a check mark in my little notebook beside every one of these notes that this church body fulfilled, and that was only after our first Sunday there. All of what I have listed here is met in the leadership and the people, and after several months there, attending just about everything they have to offer, I am more convinced they fit the criteria I set out to find.  I have intentionally not mentioned this until now and will not tell where it’s located unless asked directly and personally, because I do not want this to become a cheap puff-piece of advertising for this Body of Believers.   It’s not why I have shared this.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us”.  Eph. 3:20

This verse has direct application to our search.  When we sat through that first service, I could not believe what I was hearing, seeing, and experiencing.  I thought for sure that we were going to have to compromise something Biblically essential to finally find a place to call home.  I pulled out my little notebook and went through the list…it was all there that morning.  Is this possible…is this really happening?  My wife and I wept during that first service, and looked at each other after it was over, knowing what the other was going to say.

“Thank you, Jesus, for your grace extended to us in our search, for it is truly over.”

Now we can get on to fulfilling what God has in store for us in our new home, becoming more like Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and serving others in His Mighty Name with the meager offering of our broken selves on the altar of selfless servanthood.


The full text of this series can be found here.  It’s 10 pages printed out.