Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favorite Things in 2013

Wow! Once again, I find myself saying and hearing, "Can you believe that this year is almost gone?"

For me, this has been a very quick or fast year. I do realize in reality it hasn't been any faster or for that matter slower than any other year. They have 365 or 366 days depending upon what we call 'Leap' Year. The time is the same but the feeling of rapidity is present.

As like many I had many ups and downs, blessings, and heart-aches this year. All in all our gracious Lord and Savior has been very good to me this past year. First and foremost in His long-suffering and grace with this sinner, yea, the chief of sinners.

For my previous final posts in the old year, I have written thank you notes to those of you who have read this blog, I have written poems, and I have tried to at times "wax eloquent." This year I thought I would do a favorites lists, 13 favorites things about 2013.

1.  My Favorite Moment:  Being asked to become the teaching pastor of North Kelso Baptist Church and to volunteer in the replanting of  this church that had closed last year.

2.  My Favorite Movie:  The Jesse Stone Series

3.  My Favorite Book:  The two volume biography of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Iain Murray

4.  My Favorite TV Series:  Burn Notice

5.  My Favorite Opportunity:  Driving to Modesto, CA and having Thanksgiving dinner with my 82 and 80 year old Father and Mother.

6.  My Favorite Surprise:  Finding and having a phone conversation with a dear brother that I went to Bible College with and lived in the same duplex setting. He was led to give us a car he was trying to sell for groceries when my car "blew-up" on the way home from work one day. I hadn't seen or talked to John since around 1980 or 1982.

7.  My Favorite Bible Book:  The Epistle of Paul to the Romans. I spent all of 2013 meditating and devotionally reading this letter. I may do it again in 2014.

8.  My Favorite Football Team:  The 13 and 3, NFC West Champs - The Seattle Seahawks

9.  My Favorite Graduation Notice:  My granddaughter, Madilynn N. Metcalf turned 18 this December and will be graduating from high school in June of 2014. She has applied to the UW. 

10.  My Favorite Girls:  Shannon received a city of Vancouver award, promotion at work, Sonja was hired at what she calls her "dream job", Sharon was promoted at her work in Illinois, and Stacy is alive and well in Arizona.

11.  My Favorite Birthday Girl:  Irene, my beloved wife of 40 + years turned 60 on the 29th of December.

12.  My Favorite Pastor: Past his 40 year mark at the Coal Creek Community Church. He was also diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. He remains faithful and a great example and inspiration to me.

13.  My Favorite Expectation:  That our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would have come for His bride, the Church in 2013.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Do Not Waste the New Year (Part 1)

SERMON           GMT13-008
 SERIES:            Topical – New Years
SUBTITLE:        Do Not Waste 2014
SCRIPTURE:     Romans 13:11-14
SUBJ:                  making the most of 2014
SUMMARY:       Don’t waste the new year of 2014

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank You Lord for Phillip P. Bliss

(From the Files - Re-posted from 29 Dec 2009)
Posted One Day Early to Accommodate "Sunday's In the Study"

On this day, December 29th, 1876 a passenger train crashed when the trestle bridge it was crossing collapsed near Ashtabula, Ohio. Ninety two people died in what became known as the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster. Among the number of passengers who died that day was Philip P. Bliss. 

You may not know who Bliss was but you certainly know his hymns. Bliss was an accomplished composer, conductor, gospel singer, and evangelist. He wrote many hymns, some which you still sing today – that is if your church or fellowship still sings hymns.

Among the hymns that Mr. Bliss wrote are; Almost Persuaded; Hallelujah, What A Savior; Wonderful Words of Life; and Let the Lower Lights Be Burning. Thank God he also wrote the music to one of the most precious poems ever written. A man named Horatio Spafford wrote the words to It is Well with My Soul after receiving a telegraph that the ship his wife and daughters had been traveling on had sunk, and that his four daughters had drowned at sea. Philip Bliss wrote the tune to those words that we love and sing today.

How did he die? He actually survived the crash and had made his way out of the passenger car that he and his wife had been traveling in. While waiting rescue the passenger car caught fire and he went back into the flaming car to rescue his wife. In God’s sovereign plan both died in the fiery car and neither body was ever found.

The Bliss’s were survived by both of their two sons, George and Philip who at the time were aged 4 and 1 respectively. Eventually a monument was erected in Rome, Pennsylvania in Bliss’s memory.

By the way, one more fascinating piece of information, though neither body was found, his traveling trunk somehow survived both the crash and the fire. Inside the trunk was the manuscript for a song that he had written. However, no music for those lyrics was found in that trunk. 

Soon afterwards as providence would have it, a man named James McGranahan wrote the music which allowed Thomas Edison to make it one the first songs ever to be recorded. Oh, what was the name of that song, you ask? It was I Will Sing of My Redeemer. 

The night before that terrible railroad accident at Ashtabula... Bliss told his audience, "I may not pass this way again." Then he sang a solo entitled, I'm Going Home Tomorrow. This proved to be prophetic of his own home-going.

Happy 60th Birthday to my loving wife of 40 years, Irene H. Metcalf of Kelso, WA! (December 29th)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fearing the Fire A Flawed Foundation?

In a recent fellowship gathering the conversation
moved to flawed presentations of the gospel. I suggested one of the biggest problems that looms before the sharing of the gospel is the motive to become saved or to become a Christian.

I suggested that merely or simply praying the "sinner's prayer" to escape or be rescued from hell was quite possibly an improper motive for salvation. I maintain that merely wanting to go to heaven or wanting to escape hell may not be sufficient reason to trust Christ. I also suggested that unless the Holy Spirit regenerates an individual, that individual will not come to Christ.

The reason I think that wanting to go to heaven or wanting to escape the fires of hell is insufficient is that they do not address the real issue. Rarely, does one who desires to escape hell have the desire to saved from their sin and to be transformed into the image of Christ. In other words, many who "embrace" the gift of salvation (not necessarily the Savior) do not want to forsake their carnality or their sinfulness.

I was certainly poo-pooed if not censured for my thought process. Naturally, this is OK with me since I have had some differing ideas with fellow brothers whom I love dearly. It was nice however to come across this quote on Christmas Eve by one of my hero's of the faith and favorite dead guy, Arthur W. Pink:

"The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness." 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Christmas Day Message For All

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this."  (Isaiah 9:6-7, ESV)


"...as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness..." (Hebrews 3:8, ESV)


"Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we (you) may not perish." (Jonah 3:9, ESV)


"Repent therefore and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out..." (Acts 3:19, ESV) 


"For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  (Romans 10:23, ESV)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Poem for You!

Twas the Night before Christmas (Take Two)
Written by Gregg Metcalf

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through heaven
Not an angel was singing, not even the one named Evan
The cherubim were all packed and were waiting to send
A multitude of heavenly hosts to a town called Bethlehem

Mary and Joseph were all snug in the manager
On this dark night nothing could ever be stranger
For the Holy Spirit of God came there to hover
As a young Jewish maiden was to become a mother

The time had now come for Mary to deliver
The child formed by the great heavenly giver
It seemed the quiet of this once silent night
Would only be broken by sounds of delight

When out in the fields there arose a heavenly host
Praising God with great words which did boast
Of his glory to the highest in all of the creation
Peace on earth and good will to every nation

The glory of the Lord shone bright around them
As the angels brought glad tidings to Bethlehem
Do not be afraid was the message they heard
All these things had been written in God’s word

The moon on the stalks of wheat in the field
Dancing along as the moonlight gave yield
When, what by the listening ear was heard
But words of comfort which were not slurred

A figure in shadows appeared so lively and quick
 The young mother sensing this might be a trick
With a message to the land this shadow came
Bringing words of joy to all the tribes by name 

Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Dan
Naphtali, Asher, Issachar, Judah, to the man
To Zebulon, Simeon, Reuben, Gad he spoke
The time has come to now throw off the yoke

This babe laying here in swaddling clothes
Is the sign which God himself has chose
He has come to save his people from sin
And to bring good news to all of them

When the angels returned to heaven on high
The shepherds made haste and did fly
To the town where this thing came to be
Which the Lord had allowed them to see

The shepherds found the babe in a crib
With no room at the inn they had to ad lib
A pleasure it was to visit this tiny family
The shepherds worshiped in great jubilee

The babe was wrapped in swaddling tight
To keep away the chill of this dark night
A pillow of hay gave rest to his head
Unbecoming for a King was this bed

The baby’s eyes did twinkle and shine
He neither gave whimper nor whine
His cheeks were like roses in bloom
Since safely delivered from the womb

As the shepherds saw him they made known
Of all they knew of this blessing on loan
All who were privy they too were amazed
And with one voice their God was praised

As the shepherds prepared to depart
Mary pondered what was in her heart
They were singing filled with great joy
Having been led to see this baby boy

All these things were brought forth by God
Since he had chosen to bless this vile sod
He says to each one of us with great delight
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night

Monday, December 23, 2013

The True Meaning of Christmas

The True Meaning of Christmas
(Brian K. Walters)

In todays’ day and time,
it’s easy to lose sight,
of the true meaning of Christmas
and one special night.

When we go shopping,
We say “How much will it cost?”
Then the true meaning of Christmas,
Somehow becomes lost.

Amidst the tinsel, glitter
And ribbons of gold,
We forget about the child,
born on a night so cold.

The children look for Santa
In his big, red sleigh
Never thinking of the child
Whose bed was made of hay.

  In reality,
  When we look into the night sky,
  We don’t see a sleigh
  But a star, burning bright and high.

  A faithful reminder,
  Of that night so long ago,
  And of the child we call Jesus,
  Whose love, the world would know

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas: The Most Unlikely Event to Take Place

SERMON        GMT13-007
SERIES:          Topical – Christmas
SUBTITLE:     Christmas:  The Most Unlikely Event to Take Place
SCRIPTURE:  Micah 5:1-5
SUBJ:               The Unlikeliness of Christmas
SUMMARY:    Christmas is the most unlikely event ever to take place due    to the accompanying components

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Best Description of Christmas Yet!

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us." We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!
John MacArthur

Friday, December 20, 2013

How Do You spell W O N D E R F U L?

You have heard the expression, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?"

This sentence often contained in what is called "The Four Spiritual Laws" has many flaws in and of itself. However the second biggest problem I see with it is the fact that have you ever noticed that God spells wonderful differently than we do?

God seems to spell wonderful, d e a t h. As in my death, my death of self-denial. Thanks be unto God that He provides sufficient grace, and the requisite faith to become as a kernel of corn that dies in the ground in order to produce a harvest.

I know that God has come to give life and life with an abundance. (I heard yesterday a definition given by a sweet little girl - that means gobs of life?) Nevertheless, gobs of life or not, as pilgrims we are called to:

  • deny self
  • take up my cross daily
  • follow Him
Happy 18th birthday to our oldest granddaughter, Madilynn N. Metcalf of Vancouver, WA! We love you pumpkin!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Commentary On A "Wounded" Duck

It amazes me that so many people, many purporting to be Christians seem to be shocked, dismayed, angry, and bedazzled over A and E's decision to "suspend" Phil Robertson from "Duck Dynasty."

Do these people ever read their bibles? If they did they would discover that mankind is sinful and depraved. Therefore, nothing that a human being does should surprise them. Secondly, Paul made it clear that before Christ returned men would grow  far more sinful in behavior. 

More importantly, Christ is still on the throne! God is still sovereign and is still working out His eternal purposes. A and E simply decided to exercise their "rights" and made a decision in-line with their practice, philosophy, programming, and promoters. 

Most of you know that I am no fan of Duck Dynasty. I can't believe the support it has had in the so called Christian community since they practice and preach baptismal-regeneration. However, Mr. Robertson had a right to speak his convictions. He had to know the parameters in which he could make his opinions known. He had to know the consequences that he faced. I applaud him for his courage, for his convictions, and for his comments. 

A and E demonstrated their "convictions." They had every right to do so. I don't know why so many "believers" think that this country should be so sanitized. We as Christians are strangers, pilgrims, and non-citizens traversing this world on the way to the kingdom of God. This world and this country will never be fully sanitized or for that matter "Christian" until Christ returns and roots out and destroys all evil and wickedness.

A and E's decision should not be of any surprise or dismay to any bible believing Christian. If anything it shows us how far behind we may be on preaching the gospel to every creature. Let's focus on being the salt and light we are called to be as ambassador's and witnesses for Christ.

Let me close this commentary with a quote from Terry Delaney:

"Query: How is A&E suspending Phil any different than a church not performing a same-sex marriage? Both are protecting their respective belief systems. Phil's freedom to express himself has not been infringed upon. His boss, A&E disagreed with what he said and therefore they disciplined him. If you don't like it, then speak with your remote and your money. We cannot expect the world to ever adhere to biblical principles."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Trees and Forrests

Martin Lloyd-Jones once wrote of the Roman believers:

"...they have lost their balance and have developed a kind of lop-sided Christianity. This is indeed an all-important matter in connection with the Christian life. One of the greatest dangers is to be so absorbed in, and concerned about, particulars and details as to forget the whole."

--from Liberty and Conscience, 
Exposition of Romans 14:1-17, 
page 205

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Man Christmas Almost Forgot


Series:  Topical-Holiday / Christmas

The Man That Christmas Almost Forgot

Matthew 1:18-25

1A  The Person of Joseph

2A  The Pledge of Joseph 

3A   The Problem of Joseph

4A   The Prophecy for Joseph

5A  The Performance of Joseph

Sunday, December 8, 2013

How To Give A Gift To Jesus


Series:  Topical-Holiday / Christmas

How to Give a Gift to Jesus
John 12:1-8


A.   The Purpose of Gifts
B.    The Problem with Gifts
C.   The Preciousness of Gifts

Mary’s giving was characterized…

1A  By Opportunity 

2A  By Activity

3A  By Creativity

4A  By Spontaneity

5A  By Gallantry

Saturday, December 7, 2013

What Are You Counting On?

God saves believers by imputing to them the merit of Christ's perfect righteousness - not in any sense because of their own righteousness. God accepts believers in Christ. He declares them perfectly righteous because of Christ. Their sins have been imputed to Christ, who has paid the full penalty. His righteousness is now imputed to them, and they receive the full merit for it.

Dr. John F. MacArthur,Pastor
Grace Community Church

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thank God for Friends

I love friends. Sometimes I have found that the friendship has actually run in one direction – me to them. But God is so good to give us friends.

I just reconnected with a friend I haven’t seen since 1978-1979. We had a good chat on the phone last night.

Thomas Brooks is the author of one of my favorite quotes about friends:

“Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.

Martin Luther

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Paul Crouch Died

Paul Crouch died.  We were on vacation and didn't hear a thing about it. It wasn't until we returned home and I happened to see a short piece on the internet. The notice of his death caused me to stop and think for a moment.

My response was, "Wow, Paul Crouch died!" First, let me say I was not surprised that he died. The bible says all men will die and then comes a judgment. (Hebrews 9:27) Second, it is not because I have any interest, affiliation, affection, or connection to Paul Crouch.

See, my first thought was, "Where is he?" "Did he make it?" "Where will he spend eternity?" Why did I think of such things? Simply because if there were a "poster-child" for Matthew 7:21-23, I believe it would be Paul Crouch.

He was a false teacher. He was a  heretic. He preached a false gospel. I do not believe that Mr. Crouch really knew the gospel of Christ and the New Testament. I believe Crouch regularly said, "Lord, Lord!' But I do not believe he knew the Lord. Let me say, I do not know his heart or anyone's heart. I am not a judge of or for redemption. But I do know how to observe fruit and I do know how to recognize, mark, and avoid a heretic. (Romans 16:17)

What is my point? It certainly is not to cast more pain in the direction of the Crouches at this time. However, I think we can learn four things from his (life) and death.

First - Not everyone who claims to be a believer, preacher or miracle worker is truly such. Matthew made that clear - prophesying, casting out demons, and doing wonders or miracles does not justify nor demonstrate justification.

Second - it behooves us to study diligently the doctrine of salvation and to understand it as God gave it. Eternal life is to know God, the one true and living God. (The Gospel of John)

Third - it should grieve us tremendously when the Enemy is able to deceive and trap in darkness a precious soul. If in fact God never redeemed Paul Crouch in spite of his hideous doctrine, my heart is heavy with sorrow for his soul, Christ's glory, and his family.

Fourth - Life is short and it is fragile. It needs to be handled with prayer. The apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthians to examine themselves in order to be sure that they were actually believers. They were to examine the evidence and be "convicted" by it that they were of the faith. 

How about you? Do you really know Him? Has God converted your soul? Are you counting on your race, your ritual, your religion, or your results for eternal redemption. Turn from your idols to the living and true God/

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Trip

We had a wonderful get-away for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We decided to spend this Thanksgiving with my Mom and Dad in Modesto, CA.

We left Tuesday morning around 7:45 AM. We
arrived in Redding, CA around 5:00 PM just as it went dark. We choose to stay at a Motel 6 on Hilltop near the Redding Mall.

That was a big mistake! Bed was harder than a rock, next to the stairs (people went up and down all night), no microwave-coffe pot-refrigerator in the room. Horrible night. At 3:00 AM unable to sleep, both of us decided to shower, dress and just hit the road.

Arrived in San Jose, CA at Irene's mom around 9:00 AM Wednesday. Irene took her mom shopping and spent time with her. We had meat-ball soup - yes it was very good. Had two helpings! We left for Modesto around 3:00 PM.

It was 90 miles from Irene's mom's door to my folks door, 1 hour 30 minutes according to googlemaps.
Yeah, right! Didn't take Turkey day travel into consideration. Took 4.5 hours to drive 90 miles. Yes, you read it right.

Checked into Days Inn in
Modesto just down the Blvd from my folks. Fantastic room! Great place.

We had a wonderful visit with my folks Wednesday evening and all day Thursday. We followed through on our plans to have Thanksgiving at Sizzlers. Their Turkey Day
Special ($11.95) was excellent!

Left Modesto Friday morning around 7:30 AM. Drove to Medford, OR and checked into the Ramada. Another fantastic room. Another good night. Irene and I decided however that we liked
the Days Inn better than the Ramada of Medford.

Easy drive home! Arrived in Longview about 1:00 PM. Unpacked and jammied up the rest of the day and hit the sack early.

Even with the horrible night at Redding's Motel 6 and the four hour, 90 mile drive it was a fantastic trip. Our Father truly blessed us!