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The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

By Garrett Ashley Mullet
Christian, husband, father of seven;

Author of 'And This Is Why We Homeschool,' available now in paperback and Kindle E-reader from Amazon.com.
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Flying Dinosaurs and What Counts As Imposing

The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

Flying Dinosaurs and What Counts As Imposing

The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

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The Asian Saga by James Clavell
Yesterday marked the conclusion of over 250-hours of listening over probably 4-years of my going through James Clavell's 6-part historical fiction series known as 'The Asian Saga.' Spanning internally the years 1600 to 1979, and set in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Iran by turns, the stories all add up to one thing - a compare and contrast of East and West, and the beauty and horror of what happens when they meet.
35:23
October 19, 2021
Do Not Be Anxious About Anything
With so much in flux at present, it is easy to find our understanding taxed. What has recently been, what is now, and what may soon happen - all is complicated and disputed and controversial.  Given this and other related facts, Philippians 4 is on my mind this morning, particularly the fourth to seventh verses. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Note here how Paul says the peace of God surpasses all understanding. That is, the peace of God is better, fuller, richer, and more valuable to us than our own ability to understand in terms of its capacity to guard our hearts and minds. But this introduces another question. What are our hearts and minds being guarded from? For at least one answer, anxiety. Stress, worry, and fear are mind-killers. Discouragement, despair, and depression can make us fruitless and ineffective in living the life of faithful obedience to God and love for one another which is ours in Christ by God's design. And as Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us, "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." That is to say, our very lives depend on our hearts and minds being guarded by the peace of God in Christ Jesus. And part of how this happens practically is that we remember in our thinking that "the Lord is at hand." And besides this, we let our requests be made known to God rather than being anxious. Continuing on further into Philippians 4, we see also that what we choose to fix our attention on in life matters. For this reason, Paul instructs thinking on "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise."
47:45
October 17, 2021
Carl R. Trueman and The Failure of Evangelical Elites
Concerning the question of the extent to which evangelical Christianity can be made palatable and respectable to mainstream American culture in our day, there is an oft-played out conflict between those on the one hand who want to winsomely get and maintain as much influence by having as little direct conflict as possible, and on the other hand those who insist we must call sinners to repentance all the more the greater their prideful embracing and affirming of those sins. Exploring this subject as excellently as usual is Carl R. Trueman in the November 2021 issue of First Things. In his piece, 'The Failure of Evangelical Elites' Trueman writes: "Let me put it bluntly: Talking in an outraged voice about racism within the boundaries set by the woke culture is an excellent way of not talking about the pressing moral issues on which ­Christianity and the culture are opposed to each other: LGBTQ+ rights and abortion." And here we come to the crux of the divide between respectable establishment type evangelical Christians and those who are cast into the outer darkness as deplorables.  Bitter clingers are we, with our guns and Bibles, believing in Young Earth Creationism and antiquated ideas of right and wrong, truth and falsehood. On the wrong side of history are we, supposing direct confrontation is the only winning strategy sometimes. Meanwhile, the winsome Evanjelly crowd is able to get and secure respectable positions in academia, politics, and publishing companies. But the cost is twofold: for one, they must keep their peace and hold their fire when it comes to the pressing litmus test issues near and dear to the Left; for another, they must pile on in diatribes - usually subtle, but often enough not-so - against professing Christians who are clearer, bolder, and more courageous. Everyone in American Christendom does the cost-benefit analysis. But some of us conclude that friendship with the world is a poor tradeoff for enmity with God, and we conduct ourselves accordingly. Meanwhile, others conclude that removing all the offense from the gospel can somehow make the gospel message and testimony of the Church better, purer, and more fruitful.  Trueman finishes up his piece pointedly. "Harkening to Jesus’s words is not an excuse for sloppy scholarship any more than it is an excuse for indifference to injustice and evil. Nor does it justify treating with contempt those with whom we disagree. Christians who act despicably should not complain when they find themselves despised. But Jesus’s warning surely reminds us that we do not need to take our cultural despisers seriously; still less ought we to side with them against those who actually share our faith. Christianity tells the world what it does not wish to hear. We should not expect to be embraced by those whose thoughts and deeds contradict the truths of our faith. Nor should we seek to make our faith more palatable, lest the salt lose its savor." Amen to that.
44:22
October 16, 2021
Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther
Having just finished up Martin Luther's 1525 work, 'The Bondage of the Will,' I am struck by the utter lack of concern that father of Protestantism showed for what we would consider good manners in contending for what he held to be good doctrine. Today we play more pattycake than contending, it seems. But Luther was operating in a very different context, and it is important to mark his bravery in taking his life in his hands disagreeing not a little but a lot and at-length with the Roman Catholic status quo. There is no doubting his erudition and eloquence, nor his boldness. Yet I wonder if he got a little carried away sometimes, and whether his legacy would have been more helpful had he moderated his tone a little. Nevertheless, tedious questions of tone aside, it is hard to disagree with the force of ferocity of Luther's arguments from the Scriptures and from reason regarding God's Sovereign choice versus what so often is called "free will." Does man have this thing? Can he, even? Or must God get all the credit for man having any ability to choose whatsoever, and is that how we must make sense of what the Word says about predestination, election, foreknowledge, and forechoosing on God's part? More because of the strength of Luther's reputation and reasoning than despite them, I am still trying to decide what to make of these things in their particular mechanics and detail. Nevertheless, reading Luther is food for thought which I would recommend to any serious scholar of church history or this question of man's ability to choose.
37:43
October 14, 2021
Flying Dinosaurs and What Counts As Imposing
Dovetailing off my last episode, #227 - 'Preparing Our Children to Defend Against Atheism,' let's read some comments left by listeners yesterday and respond to them a bit more fully.
35:23
October 12, 2021
Preparing Our Children to Defend Against Atheism
My neighbor two houses down, JP Chavez was recently listening to a different podcast in which William Lane Craig was being reacted to.  There was a video clip of Craig – a Christian apologist with a more formally academic and philosophical type bend – being asked about the first eleven chapters of Genesis, and Craig was doubting that the first part of Genesis is to be taken as literally true. The striking thing the reactors pointed out was Craig’s tone, and that he seemed to be trying to appease atheists in academia who point to things like the first eleven chapters of Genesis as why they can’t take the Bible seriously. Science has allegedly debunked the claims about origins made in the Bible, et cetera. Now it does seem as though that kind of atheism isn’t quite as prevalent these days compared with years ago. But there are at least two kinds of atheists.  The first kind of atheist I would call the scientific atheist. In this camp belong those who say that modern Science has debunked the claims of the Bible, therefore we must reject the Bible and God as invalid.  The second kind of atheist I would call the moral atheist. And in this category are those who say that the God of the Bible is a villain, and that those who believe in God and the Bible are oppressed and oppressive by virtue of their faith. The question JP asks is this, if he will forgive me for paraphrasing him:  'Which kind of atheism do we need to spend more of our time and energy trying to equip our kids to defend against?'
55:30
October 10, 2021
Topical Exposition
Topical or expository - which type of preaching is better? This was among the chief topics of discussion this past week in one of the private message groups I am a part of. In the course of the discourse, from the comments of the other men engaged, and from pondering privately to myself, it seems there is some overlap.  On the one hand, every expository message has a topic - even when a sermon is part of a series going through a book of the Bible. The topic just so happens to be chosen by the text itself.  On the other hand, even every topical sermon should be expository - literally exposing the original intent of meaning in the passages considered. The question then seems to be one of where the emphasis is placed. And as with so many other subjects, what we stress as of chief and primary importance does in the end turn out to make a great difference. Being overly simplistic, we may be tempted to look at these sorts of things as being either one way or the other rather than both ways. But the challenge is in holding these two things in our hand at the same time in the proper proportion and relationship to one another. And the struggle is the glory.
28:46
October 9, 2021
Awkward Silence
What goes into making silence awkward sometimes?
26:45
October 8, 2021
Charlemagne by Johannes Fried
Exactly four months ago, I started Johannes Fried's biography of Charlemagne, the man often referred to as "the father of Europe." Yesterday I finished the work. The man, if not his treatment by Fried, reminded me of Constantine the Emperor by David Potter. And it makes sense to consider these two emperors together.  In both Constantine and Charlemagne, we have heads of state who endeavor to combine Christian Church and the governing of the state in ways which stand out in history as transformative. Their legacies echo through the centuries, even though their ways of thinking about themselves and their roles seem so foreign to us in our modern, Progressive, secular humanist context. But it would be overly simplistic to project too much on the likes of Charlemagne from our current mode of thinking and organizing. While it may be inescapable that we interpret him through the hindsight of twelve-hundred-years, we should take care to not throw babies out with bathwater, or relegate his aspiring Christian governance to shrewd political calculation and self-promotion. Charlemagne thought very differently about his responsibilities as king and emperor in large part due to the influence of Augustine's City of God. Moreover, the situation facing Charlemagne was like that which confronted Constantine, one where violent and depraved pagans threatened Christendom with not secularism but a form of rule informed and guided by cruel, capricious, and merciless mythologies. "The father of Europe" was not faced with a choice between sophisticated secularism on the one hand or Christian theocracy on the other - not with Viking raids from the north and Muslim conquests to the south. Moreover, we do well to consider what else a Christian ruler could have done in those circumstances. Perhaps even our forebears saw matters more clearly than we do in our day. When threats from communist China and radical Islam still threaten us, our leaders slough them off on the presumption that godlessness in the West will prevail due to technological superiority, or some innate supremacy in renouncing religion.  What if Charlemagne had the right of it, though? At least in some important ways, though certainly not all respects, I think he did. Nature abhors a vacuum, and Charlemagne understood this in light of a Christian faith which was sometimes of questionable sincerity and certain imperfection. And we for our part would be wise to study him to glean lessons from an large-scale attempt to apply Augustine to the task of ruling a people.
42:42
October 7, 2021
Where Rights and Responsibilities Intersect
When we find that our freedoms are being challenged and curtailed at every level these days, the cost of objecting comes readily to mind. Too seldom do we consider also the cost of not objecting. To insist on retaining our God-given rights is not conceited or selfish. Rather, in order to fulfill our responsibilities before God, we must retain our rights. The two - rights and responsibilities - are intimately and inseparably codependent.
34:30
October 6, 2021
Will Durant and The Life of Greece
Having just finished The Story of Civilization, Volume 2 by Will Durant this week, let's talk about The Life of Greece. Did the Jews make up Ecclesiastes as a way of keeping up with the Greeks and their philosophy? Durant says they did. But the fact that Durant claims such is borne of what C.S. Lewis calls "chronological snobbery," as well as a bias to invalidate the truth of God's Word. If only the self-impressed scholars of the last century would concede that their framework for understanding the ancient past is an impediment. Perhaps then they would be able to consider alternative theories to the prevailing view that the Bible is borrowed from greater, richer, more sophisticated neighbors of the Jews, the Hebrews, and the ancient Israelites. Why can it not be that what we read in God's Word actually happened? And why can it not be that the borrowing and modifying happened in the opposite way to what the likes of Durant suppose? If all ancient mythologies have some kind of global flood myth which resembles the account of Noah in Genesis, it is not the Jews who borrowed from everyone else. Nor is it self-evident that some committedly secular psychological explanation accounts for a bug in the human subconscious which gave rise to such stories in diverse places. We would be wiser to suppose that if all the ancients pointed more or less to events at the outset of human history, something actually happened which they all have some vaguer or clearer memory of. And what if rather than the Greeks borrowing from the Jews, the wisest of the Greeks were like those the Apostle Paul encountered on Mars Hill as having an altar dedicated to "the unknown god"?  The truth is that the truth being sought more fully, yet still in some measure of futility, by the Greeks, and later by the Romans, compared with other peoples, was used by the Most High God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to prepare the world for the arrival of the Messiah through God's chosen people Israel, and that the conditions were by design prepared beforehand for the gospel to go forth to all nations at that time.
38:03
October 3, 2021
Ron Paul Institute YouTube Channel Accidents
Yesterday, within the course of a day, the Ron Paul Institute YouTube Channel was deleted from the platform. An appeal was made, but automatically rejected. No explanation was given other than "severe or repeated violations of our community guidelines." Dr. Ron Paul, elected to Congress a dozen times, took to Twitter to ask for help.  So Chris Pandolfo writes for The Blaze a follow-up story - 'YouTube says Ron Paul Institute's channel was removed by 'mistake,' is now reinstated.' Funny how these "mistakes" never happen to Democrats or those on the political Left in this country.
32:28
October 1, 2021
Let No One Despise You for Your Youth
The Apostle Paul's letters to his younger disciple Timothy have been on my mind a lot in recent months. In this episode, I want to ponder and explore a selection from the first epistle to Timothy. 1 Timothy 4:12-16 reads, "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers." As for many young Christians, this passage has been an encouragement to me since my late teens and early twenties. And it reminds me of Elihu from the book of Job. In Job 32:1-6, we find this gem. "So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger. And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered..." I would encourage you to read the totality of Elihu's remarks in Job. And see if you can find in what follows them when God steps into the narrative to answer Job any rebuke of Elihu for all of what he says or how he comports himself. I could not when I was a young Christian man, married with children in my early twenties a decade-and-a-half ago. That is why Lauren and I named our second son Elihu. Taken together with what Paul tells Timothy, we find that older men are not always wiser for their years. And younger men not only can serve as a good example to all - including older men. They ought to, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. This can lead to conflict. And sometimes when older men feel threatened or challenged by younger men - even just by their example - they act out in confusing and irrational ways. But this is all the more why we do well to heed the wisdom of Proverbs 22:1. "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold."
34:13
September 30, 2021
On Whether Perception Is Reality
I have always hated the phrase "perception is reality." Similar to "the customer is always right," it is too flattering, and too easily turns into an excuse to take the path of least resistance when mishandled.  Yes, to a certain extent, we can cultivate and shape perception. And we have a responsibility to be clear in communicating in all the ways we possibly can the truth. So if we have been careless about giving the wrong impression, a reminder of the need to rectify that is appropriate. But what worries me is that we all are too content with our perceptions - or moreover feelings - going unchallenged. We are too addicted to being entertained, and quickly. And when all of this is combined with believing that most people are inherently good, that truth is subjective and ultimately unknowable, what we get in the end is a recipe for everyone affirming everyone else's unreality until the jig is up and we destroy ourselves. What would be nearer the truth and healthier would be to say that our initial impressions of a person, place, or thing certainly inform how we perceive additional information as it comes in. But also, we need to grant that a lot of factors can contribute to a poor first impression. This is to say nothing of confirmation bias and groupthink, or the tendency of some people to claim their perception is such and such as a way of masking their real agenda and motives. But all the same, and considering all these things, we as Christians do well to look to the example of Jesus. How much responsibility did Jesus take for the perceptions - or perceived perceptions, if you want to get even deeper - of the teachers of the Law? He confronted them, and warned the crowds about them who came out to hear him teach and to see him heal and forgive. Jesus said they had eyes but did not see, and had ears but did not hear, and that they heard and saw without understanding, all the while claiming they understood. Whether anyone approached Jesus and told him "the perception is" in so many words, Christ did handle that same tendency in the more wishy-washy among us to placate when we should contradict. Sometimes similarly that is what we too must do if we are to fear and obey God rather than men.
36:25
September 29, 2021
Why We Beat Around the Bush and How to Stop
"Stop beating around the bush, and just say what you mean." In our current social and political circumstance, this feels harder than ever. People are too easily offended, and the truth is not rightly understood or prioritized. Cancel culture would have us all bowing and scraping and praying to the mob to not destroy our careers and social lives. But the truth must enjoy an unwavering commitment from Christians because we serve and worship a God who commands such. Moreover, Christ our Savior calls himself not only true in some general sense, but "the Truth." Like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah in the Old Testament book of Daniel, we can in our day expect to be plotted against, resented, and persecuted for excellence in word and deed. Yet there is a God in Heaven who sees and rewards those who faithfully serve him, and those who are unwavering in their obedience to the Most High will never be put to shame.
33:41
September 28, 2021
Ministry of Reconciliation
"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation." - 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (ESV) This is a direct consequence of the gospel. And reconciliation is predicated on at least one party having been sinned against, and at least one party having sinned against the other. In the case of the macro level gospel message, God is the one sinned against, and we are the sinners who have transgressed the holy standard of conduct. Put another way, we have loved him poorly or not at all. And in having failed to love the Lord as due, the gift of salvation is entirely about God having extended the olive branch to those who were his enemies to make them right - to restore and reconcile us to God in Christ. This being the macro, the implications are inescapable. When we are sinned against and have opportunity to forgive wrongs, we do not only have the option to forgive as we have been forgiven. We have a duty. After all, this is the ministry that has been given to us in Christ - the ministry of reconciliation. 
41:34
September 28, 2021
Lt. Colonel George F McFarland, 151st Pennsylvania
Lt. Colonel George F. McFarland, my great-great-great grandfather, commanded the 151st Pennsylvania at the Battle of Gettysburg, successfully defending the vulnerable left flank against attack by numerically superior forces from North Carolina long enough to allow for an orderly withdrawal of the First Corps under General Abner Doubleday. As General Doubleday would later attest, "At Gettysburg, they won, under the brave McFarland, an imperishable fame. They defended the left front of the First Corps against vastly superior numbers; covered its retreat against the overwhelming masses of the enemy at the Seminary, west of the town, and enabled me, by their determined resistance, to withdraw the Corps in comparative safety. This was on the first day. In the crowning charge of the third day of the battle, the shattered remnants of the 151st Pennsylvania [...] flung themselves upon the front of the rebel column […] I believe they saved the First Corps, and were among the chief instruments to save the Army of the Potomac, and the country from unimaginable disaster.” To read more of the story, I recommend this article by Marcie Schwartz at The American Battlefield Trust titled 'Trading Rulers for Rifles: The Schoolteachers Regiment: The Story of the 151st Pennsylvania.' Lt. Colonel McFarland was severely wounded in both his legs on that first day of Gettysburg. One of his legs was amputated below the knee as a result, and the other one was permanently disabled though he kept it.  The 151st Pennsylvania meanwhile suffered a 72% casualty rate, and the two regiments from North Carolina they squared off against - the 26th and 11th - suffered the first and second greatest total losses of any regiment during the Battle of Gettysburg. That is to say, "The Schoolteacher's Regiment" gave as good or better than they got, despite holding the Union left flank. Due to the heavy losses, the 151st Pennsylvania was mustered out and sent home after the battle. And if that had been the end of George McFarland - holding the line to save the First Corps, the Army of the Potomac, and the Union - that would have been quite enough. But that was not the end of McFarland. After going home, James 1:27 may have been on the good professor's mind, where we read that "religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."  Returning to the McAlisterville Academy in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, where he had been the principal prior to raising a company of schoolteachers to form Company D of the 151st, McFarland converted the school into McAlisterville Soldier's Orphan School, and founded a printing company and a nursery. "During this same time, the Pennsylvania Legislature, after many debates passed an act accepting from the Pennsylvania Railroad $50,000 given for the “education and maintenance of destitute orphan children of deceased soldiers and sailors”. The following November of 1864, the academy, at the request of Dr. Burrowes, newly appointed as Superintendent of Soldiers’ Orphans, became the first soldiers’ orphan school effective November 3, 1864." The point of telling you all of this is two-fold:  For one, I am fascinated and mesmerized by my ancestor, and I enjoy reading and talking about him. But for another thing, I am struck by what an outsized influence one man can have when he endeavors to take a stand in mind, body, and soul. And even once his legs are shot out from under him, a man can still do great good by not giving up on the purpose of his life.
39:14
September 26, 2021
Do Nothing From Selfish Ambition or Conceit
In the ongoing pursuit of being transformed by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus rather than conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, I turn now to the question of selfish ambition. What is conceit except for supposing that we are the center of the universe, and that everyone and everything revolves around us? The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Philippi in the second chapter and the third and fourth verses, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Elsewhere, the Lord directs us to "be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." But when in the practice of fearing God rather than fearing men, those around us feel confused and even intimidated by the effectiveness of keeping our heads and maintaining our integrity, we may find ourselves in sticky situations. And as we try to balance being both wise to the schemes of others and also blameless before the Almighty with soberly avoiding anything which might be construed as selfish ambition or conceit, we will find that this is easier said than done. Yet there does seem to be a clarifying detail in that we are told to look to the interests of others. And in that is our test.  Are we imitating Christ who sometimes answered entrapping questions with revealing questions of his own? Yet are we imitating the humble obedience to God the Father even where it meant suffering at the hands of wicked, unjust men? If we are, then we can have a good conscience. And are we operating out of a genuine love for those around us - even sometimes our tormenters when we are being tormented? That may not be all smiles and handshakes and "Good mornings" when they are sinning against us. But even where we may confront them, if our motivation is their ultimate good and well-being, then we are free and can have peace in our own minds and hearts. Admittedly, again, it is a tricky thing to be wise as serpents while also doing nothing from selfish ambition. The world would tempt us to strike down Darth Vader only to become the Emperor's next disciple. But Star Wars metaphors aside, a firm reliance on the good Lord coupled with a ready willingness to wait on him and acknowledge him in all our ways will not see us put to shame. 
33:56
September 25, 2021
Why a Good God Would Allow for Evil and Suffering
The Old Testament book of Job starts with a conversation between God and Satan in which the Lord calls attention to his servant Job. “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8) In what follows, Satan accuses Job of only worshipping God because of all the good things God has given him. God has blessed him, giving him a beautiful family, status, wealth, and health. If not for these blessings, Satan says Job would curse God openly. God next grants permission to Satan to take everything from Job so long as he does not touch his person directly. Before the first chapter is concluded, Job loses his livestock, his servants, and his children. He is distraught, and he mourns. When Job gets the news from three servants in rapid succession that they alone escaped to tell him of these disasters, Job stands up and proceeds to tear his robe and shave his head. But then he falls to the ground and worships God. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away. Blessed be the name of Yahweh.” (Job 1:21) In the second chapter, Satan attacks Job’s health. And we see a repeat of the scene from the first chapter. God again highlights the righteousness of Job. And again, Satan claims Job will curse God to his face if God removes his blessings – this time keying in on the hypothetical of taking Job’s health away. As with the first time around, God gives Satan permission to test the genuineness of the faith of the Lord’s servant. The only limitation is that Satan is not allowed to kill Job. So Job is struck with sores from head to foot. Next thing you know, Job’s wife is bitterly challenging him. “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:9-10) As a point of speculation more than revelation, I wonder if Job’s wife thought to herself that her husband cursing God and dying would bring an end to their troubles. Maybe she wanted the easy way out. God Reframes The Question Job 38:1-7 (ESV) "Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
34:40
September 21, 2021
How To Disagree Agreeably
The art of disagreeing agreeably seems lost on most in our day and age. Even to use the word "argument" is taken one way - as describing fighting, bickering, quarreling, and contention.  If you do not believe me, you may be living under a rock or on another planet. But if you have access to the internet on that other planet or under that rock, do a quick image search on any search engine for "argument," and that will tell you all you need to know about how most folks understand the term now. But there is an older sense of the word which has everything to do with making a proposal using evidence, reason, and respect. As Merriam-Webster puts it in the first definition - and the one I prefer - an argument is "the act or process of arguing, reasoning, or discussing : ARGUMENTATION; b: a coherent series of reasons, statements, or facts intended to support or establish a point of view." Toward the end of MAGA - Make Arguments Great Again - consider Proverbs 9:7-9. "Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning." Perhaps it should be a relief to us to have not only permission but a command here to not correct scoffers and mockers. To tell a wicked man he is being wicked will inspire him to hurt, abuse, curse, and injure you however he can to dissuade you from doing it again. Correcting wise and good men, however, earns their respect. They will love and thank you for it. And why? Because by being corrected clearly and effectively when they need to be, you give them an opportunity to be wiser and better men.
37:00
September 13, 2021
Isaiah 3
In the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, we read a number of things which will never be expressed in Veggie Tales, flannelgraphs, or Illustrated Children's Bibles. For one, the Lord God says he is taking away support and supply from Jerusalem and Judah because they have embraced their sin and flaunted their sin, "defying his glorious presence."  Included in the list of things which will no longer be stocked are the following: bread water the mighty man  the soldier the judge  the prophet the diviner  the elder the captain of fifty the man of rank the counselor  the skillful magician the expert in charms What the people will get instead is a lot of chaos, confusion, and oppression. "My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths." It is telling here that infants oppressing the people is a sign of judgment. To be oppressed by infants is indicative of spiritual and moral decay, and a loss of the strength of character and qualities which are required to be a good parent and see children as a blessing instead of a curse. Furthermore, to say that women rule over a people reveals that men have grown weak and feckless, and no longer lead their families and homes, much less their communities and nation. By contrast, God tells us that marriage and children are to be a blessing. And we can take comfort in the tenth verse of the third chapter of Isaiah where we are promised, "Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds." In days like these, when America seems ripe for judgment - and moreover, when one could argue with merit that we are seeing evidence of already being under judgment - we do well to acquaint ourselves with passages like Isaiah 3, and to ponder the implications of righteousness for the individual, family, community, city, state, and nation. By God's grace, may we be found faithful in that day. And may it be well with us to the end of eating the fruit of our deeds.
42:58
September 12, 2021
Lincoln's Last Trial by Dan Abrams and David Fisher
Just having finished up Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency by Dan Abrams and David Fisher, I am struck by another thing. For one, Lincoln was a fine lawyer and a great man. For another, the right of self-defense is a tried and true principle of jurisprudence which endures through the ages. When a larger man publicly threatens repeatedly to whip you with the help of his friends, then stomp your face, you can be forgiven for keeping a weapon on your person and being prepared to use it in defense of your person. That is something of the lesson we should take away from the last murder trial Lincoln presided over as a defense attorney. And it is worth noting that Lincoln had something of a reputation for only taking up cases he believed in for clients he could in good conscience plead the case of. I might personally go a step beyond to say that I wonder in reading this how this last case impressed on the man who would be our nation's 16th president the justice and even necessity to defending with manly vigor life and limb when pressed, even as he came to wield in due time authority over a nation which faced an existential crisis from a class and culture of people in the South who would rather see the country torn in two than give up their superiority to some men they regarded as so many cattle. Dare I say it, we find ourselves in a similar predicament in our day - or we may shortly. 
42:54
September 11, 2021
Omnipotent Moral Busybody Announces Vaccine Mandate Plan
Three pieces to consider today as President Biden announces new requirements that Americans of companies with 100 or more employees must get the COVID-19 vaccine or else be tested at least once weekly.  Biden Plans COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for 80 Million Private-Sector Workers by Jack Phillips, The Epoch Times President Biden announces sweeping vaccine mandate for employees of large businesses; plan will affect more than 80 million Americans by Carlos Garcia, The Blaze Governors Immediately Push Back On 'Unconstitutional' Biden Plan: 'Will Fight Them To The Gates of Hell' by Ryan Saavedra, The Daily Wire Fair warning: some of the "push back" from governors here is a bit weak sauce, and carries with it what could be construed as a signal of a readiness to surrender from the outset on this despite a desire to look to constituents like a fighter before surrendering. "We don't like it either," they seem to say. "And we hope this gets defeated in the courts. But we still want you all to get the vaccine. And you should get the vaccine. But we also want you to believe we are opposed to you being forced to get the vaccine. But we also are not pledging to do anything to protect you from such forcing. But we want you to believe we would if we could. But we wouldn't even if we can right now." This then is just one more in a series of important character tests as-late. And the question in our minds ought to be one of principles and precedent - both ours as citizens, and theirs as governing officials. If 100 million Americans can have their livelihood and income and businesses threatened with abolition if they do not inject themselves and require injection of a vaccine which so many of our countrymen do not feel is satisfactorily safe, then what precisely separates this Republic from tyranny? 'Oh, ho!' you may say. 'But, Garrett. This tyranny is being exercised for our own good. Therefore it is not really tyranny after all.' But then I remind you of the quote by Clive Staple Lewis, and will leave you with it as food for thought, whether we are not in the thick of such a circumstance as he describes here. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
44:47
September 10, 2021
Trigger Warning on American Founding Documents
The National Archives online catalogue is now putting trigger warnings on America's founding documents, according to reporting from September 8, 2021 by Emily Zanotti at The Daily Wire. Historical materials and documents - including, but not limited to our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights - which may contain "harmful language" have been given a trigger warning at the top of the page if they "reflect racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes; be discriminatory towards or exclude diverse views on sexuality, gender, religion, and more; include graphic content of historical events such as violent death, medical procedures, crime, wars/terrorist acts, natural disasters and more; demonstrate bias and exclusion in institutional collecting and digitizing policies." As the DW piece by Zanotti points out toward the end, one of the recommendations provided by a little noticed report from a National Archives task force suggesting major changes included providing context to the rotunda for the building for the National Archives in Washington, DC through 'dance or performance art in the space that invites dialogue about the ways that the United States has mythologized the founding era.' Setting aside the patent absurdity of dance and performance art in the rotunda being used to undermine and desecrate America's founding, is it too much to ask for more specificity here? What specifically is the "harmful language" being warned about by our own nation's bureaucratic recordkeepers? Where is this alleged racism, sexism, ableism, misogyny, misogynoir, or xenophobia? But then that is not first and foremost the point. And as David Horowitz has put it, "the issue is not the issue; the issue is the revolution."  The revolution here is not first and foremost about all of these forms of alleged discrimination. The revolution is about tearing down our nation's founding, and we should all be concerned by what will fill the vacuum. As a brief aside, it would be an interesting exercise to task the folks at NARA with rewriting our nation's founding documents to their likings, and seeing what they come up with. But in all seriousness, this story underscores the great need to pull our children out of the public education system, and homeschool them. Teach your children at home about civics, political science, philosophy, history, critical thinking, and theology. Teach the next generation to be able to govern when this all falls apart, because there is no sustainability to our nation being governed and ruled by persons and parties who resent and despise America. Either we select new leadership and a new government for ourselves which actually loves this country, or else it is only a matter of time before some other more self-confident and assertive nation takes us over and rules us from elsewhere.
45:53
September 9, 2021
Holding Back
There is a kind of restraint which is good, appropriate, and wise. Self-control is the fruit of the Spirit. And how we should control ourselves is toward the end of saying what is true and doing what is right, and not saying what is false and not doing what is evil. But there is another kind of restraint which is a bit trickier, and it has everything to do with fearing man. In the first case, when we are led by the Spirit, we act out of a deep and abiding love for and faith in Christ. In the second, we make tactical decisions to avoid telling the whole truth, and we falter as we endeavor to act in ways we know we ought to because there will be a cost. Dovetailing off yesterday's episode, I want to delve deeper into my own personal insecurity. And in doing that, I find that I am not taking my anxieties and worries to the Lord as I ought to be. The truth and wisdom of God's Word warns us against casting pearls before swine or giving to dogs what is holy. Dave, a good friend of mine, reminded me of this in different words recently. Christ did not always answer his accusers and detractors. And neither do we need to always. Sometimes it is better to not answer a fool according to his folly lest you be like him, as the Proverbs say.  Yet there is another way to answer a fool according to his folly which refuses to feed into his being wise in his own eyes. And sometimes that way of answering is to not give the foolish scoffer and agitator the satisfaction of any answer at all. Still other times, communicating frustration is appropriate. And that last bit may be the biggest thing I am struggling with from an interpersonal standpoint right now.  When being "nice" is so faddish and fashionable in pop-Christian culture these days, it feels sometimes as though the worst sin you can commit is to be not that. And conveying frustration, disappointment, or even sadness at the conduct of those around us is seen as not nice. To be clear, we ought not to be irritable if we are going to be loving. But there is a difference between being irritated by an objective irritant and just being grouchy all the time. All the same, one of the insights the Lord is helping me to realize when I earnestly ask him for wisdom in these trying times is that curbing my own unnecessary and inappropriate irritation necessitates doing all I can about what is actually my part in all this. And having done all to stand, I need to accept that at a certain point it is appropriate to merely stand firm and wait on the Lord in peace and satisfaction and contentment, trusting in his ultimate goodness, faithfulness, and authority.
34:19
September 7, 2021
Popularity Contests
Popularity - who and what enjoys it and for what reasons is in a constant state of flux. Today or tomorrow, trends bestow greater attention and affection for this or that person, place, or thing. And just as quickly, the critical mass evaporates or else shifts to some other. According to Wikipedia, which should itself be regarded as a kind of popular consensus encyclopedia, and the amalgam of what the online world wants to know and believe about everything, popularity as a concept stems from the Latin word popularis, or "common." In a world dominated by modernism and post-modernism, by every kind of idol and rejection of idols, what is regarded as agreed in common may change from day to day, week to week, and month to month. From one year to the next, decade after decade, popularity ebbs and flows. Yet one thing which is increasingly unpopular is to believe in the truth found only in Christ - that God is the Creator and Lord of the Universe; that the Word has been given to us to know truth from falsehood, righteousness from wickedness, and wisdom from folly. If you believe that truth, you will act and speak accordingly. And increasingly, as current trends go and historical precedent should inform us, this particular kind of unpopularity will translate into persecution. We do well, then, to not hitch the wagon of our identity to whether we are well liked by the world for following Christ. And all the more as we see trouble coming, we are wise to grapple with not fearing man, not casting pearls before swine, and not being conformed to the pattern of this world. "The fear of man lays a snare," as Proverbs 29:25 tells us. "But whoever trusts in Yahweh is safe."
45:03
September 6, 2021
Opportunity by Edward Rowland Sill
The poem 'Opportunity' by Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887) has been memorized and recited now by two of my sons - first by Solomon a few years ago for the 4H Speech & Demo Day in Sidney, Montana; second by Daniel last Fall for a more private gathering of homeschooling families here in Greeley, Colorado. Published in 1880, the Colorado city which would eventually be renamed after Horace Greeley was a mere 11-years-old when Sill wrote about the king's son picking up the blunt thing the craven had tossed away. "Go West, young man" was the admonition of Horace Greeley, and it was fitting thereby that this city would be named after a man who offered such encouragements in print to people in the East. The fuller remarks concerning westward expansion and Manifest Destiny included more fully the following compare and contrast. "Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country." This morning, though, I woke up to a comment on YouTube from some scoffer who might as well be anonymous that it is so cliché that I have seven children and live in Greeley. The specific video this remark was left on was my reaction to the second Trump Team mid-term campaign ad. It would be all the more fitting if the one who is mocking me there is from Washington, D.C. I almost hope that is the case. But undeterred, I want to think more deeply about opportunity - what it looks like, where it can be found, and what to do with it. And all the more, not less, we should remember that sometimes cravens and cowards lurk around the battle edges and fling away whatever they think unworthy. And as often as not, those things flung away end up being used by the good Lord to win great battles. As 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 says, "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God." We do well to meditate long and hard and persistently on such things, and live accordingly, in humility and confidence and by God's grace.
28:56
September 5, 2021
Labor Day Weekend
The first Monday in September looms just around the corner, and that means Labor Day in the United States. Originally conceived as an annual celebration and honoring of the labor movement in this country, Labor Day now as often as not marks the beginning of a new school year and the unofficial end of summer. For me personally this year, Labor Day Weekend caps off my first week back after quarantine for my wife's positive COVID test. And with that first week back, I find myself pensive about nearly a decade in the Oil & Gas industry. One of the biggest lessons learned in nearly a decade of working life is that supply and demand dynamics have a dramatic effect on working conditions. This holds true for commodities like oil and gas, and what price they command on the market is tied to how much people are consuming relative the amount available to consume. But this also holds true for labor. When I first moved back to Eastern Montana from Southern Ohio in 2012, the scenery and local culture were by no means the only changes. The labor markets could hardly have been more contrasting. Southern Ohio in 2012 was still lopsided from the Great Recession of 2008, with more prospective workers looking for jobs than there were jobs available. This in turn drove down wages, benefits, and working conditions, with employers knowing they could pay less and treat their employees rougher and still have workers as their employees were told to "just be happy you have a job." Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota, by contrast, were home to the Williston Basin, better known as "The Bakken" for a shale play that was booming then. Every business great and small was hard up for workers. And this not only drew job-seekers from far and wide; it also drove up wages, benefits, and working conditions, as employers were loathe to needlessly upset or offend the employees they already had for fear they would leave for a better opportunity at some other company in the area. After nearly a decade in the Oil & Gas industry, I have seen the market go up and down, and rampant speculation around the water coolers has persistently centered on how regulatory and tax environments, as well as broader economic factors at home and abroad related to supply and demand would effect the prospects of hard-working men and women and their families. Big Government types are quick to offer solutions predicated on higher taxes and more regulatory oversight. But the truth is that the best thing for labor is competition between prospective employers. When employees have options to take their skills, experience, and services elsewhere, employers bring their A-game to the process.  Labor Day 2021, I think we do well to ponder such things deeply and make the most of the decisions we make and how we relate to our working lives accordingly, whichever side of the equation in which we find ourselves.
43:09
September 4, 2021
Roe v. Wade and the United States Supreme Court
Nathanael Blake published a piece at The Federalist August 31st, 2021 titled 'A Supreme Court That Capitulates On Roe V. Wade Will Unleash A Whirlwind' in which he lays out what is likely to happen among conservatives in America if a 6-3 majority on the U.S. Supreme Court upholds rather than overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case which established abortion as "the law of the land." He is right to posit that such an outcome would implode the Republican Party, which for nearly 50-years has funded and ran its campaigns against abortion, and extracted a great deal of loyalty from voters who are incensed by the State-sanctioned mass murder which is euphemized as "abortion."  The history of the Republican Party in America is replete with moderates who care more about being "bi-partisan" than they do about staying faithful to the promises made to their constituents who elected them. Since the Civil War and Reconstruction, moderate Republicans have routinely sold out conservative causes for the sake of short-term personal comfort and deal-making with the opposition. Yet we do well to remember ourselves and remind moderate Republicans, be they on the Supreme Court or anywhere in or out of power, of what Proverbs 24:10-12 says. "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?"
39:02
August 31, 2021
Problem Solving and Troubleshooting
The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. But anyone who is unwilling to admit there is trouble is going to be impervious to calls from problem solvers to participate in the troubleshooting process. We will not solve problems we refuse to admit we have, in other words. And while this all may seem very obvious and self-evident, the current state of things in the United States of America increasingly beggars belief in the wisdom and decency of the mushy middle folks. "It's just so hard" may be true. But there's more to the story than that, and we do not make things less hard when we are more stubborn than the facts about not acknowledging or reckoning with the facts of the situation. It will be less hard to know what to do about all these things if we stop trying to play pattycake with the folks on the Left - inside and outside the Church - who with each passing day show themselves to be inept control-freaks who view themselves as the ultimate judges and arbiters of truth and justice. The Leftists among us will, if given enough time, erect golden statues of themselves and demand we all bow down and worship, or else. And when the 'or else' takes the form of very hot furnaces made for disposing of non-compliant people, we will have to know which side of the furnace we stand - whether the inside or the outside. But if there is a line - like bowing down to a golden image of the king, for instance - which the mushy middle folks will eventually refuse to cross, it is not impolite or unloving for us principled types to start asking them to tell us where specifically it is. 
46:23
August 29, 2021
Dr. Eric Mason and the Council of Philadelphia
In Episode #56, 'Reservations Regarding 'Lead' by Paul David Tripp,' I laid out my concerns with what Tripp was and was not saying in his book regarding leadership in Christ's Church.  Among the things I highlighted was a concern about the emphasis placed on eliminating "sexism."  My trepidation here should not be mistaken for a defense of sexism. But as anyone who studies the news cycle knows, particularly where politics is concerned, accusations of "sexism" these days more often than not are leveled at anyone who merely disagrees with, criticizes, or contradicts a woman when she's advancing liberal or Leftist causes. The same goes for accusations of "racism" and people of color.  Sexism and racism are actual things we ought not to embrace. But the Devil is in the details of when, how, and why. And if denunciations of "sexism" are too broad and general and stressed through repetition, theological liberals in America will seize on them as grounds for insisting on the ordination of women as overseers and deacons, in direct contradiction to God's Word. Some of the feedback I've recently got on Episode #56 led me to dig deeper and see if there was anything to confirm or refute the deductive reasoning I employed in that episode regarding Tripp's personal views on this subject. And being home on quarantine the past week-and-a-half has given me ample time to research. So I share here the results of my researches. It should be noted clearly that I have found nothing yet which states one way or the other Tripp's position on the ordination of women as overseers and deacons, whether he is supportive or opposed to it.  However, in my searching, I would draw your attention to something I found regarding the man Tripp identifies as his own pastor, Dr. Eric Mason of Epiphany Fellowship Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. More specifically, consider the curious case of a Twitter back-and-forth from 2018 in which Dr. Mason publicly called for a Council of Philadelphia to "call those who are heretics on this stuff heretics and make a move to clear the air of these false doctrines on race [and] justice like the church of antiquity." In the Tweet preceding this, Mason lets slip something else I want to draw your attention to. "We need a modern day ecumenical council on race [and] justice! We need canons and synods and creeds on this! Come to Philly and we can call it the Council of Philadelphia! Limit it to 300 key men and women pastors and scholarly secretaries. Rebuke the heretics [and] affirm the sound." (emphasis added) Reading down through the other comments, several respondents caught what I did, and seized on Mason including women pastors in his invitation. Some asked him if he had missed a comma, while others insisted as much. However, as far as I was able to see, Mason never clarified what he meant in this regard. Whether Paul David Tripp's pastor is being misunderstood here is somewhat beside the point to my chief concern with Tripp, Mason, and the whole Woke Church crowd. From this exchange and many others from leading Evangelical in recent years, it becomes clear this whole Woke business is being regarded by them as a primary issue, not a secondary one on which we can disagree. But then there is the definite possibility that Mason subscribes to theological liberalism with the ordination of women just like he subscribes to theological liberalism with regards to racial issues. It seems all the more that my initial concerns and suspicions were justified.
45:22
August 26, 2021
Reaction Videos
On the encouragement of Micah Hershberger, I did a new thing for the first time yesterday. I recorded a reaction video. You can view my foray into this internet trend here: Reaction to JD Hall on Protestia 'Podcast ALONE' Rant. In my entirely subjective and self-serving opinion, I think it's not half bad for being my first try. But you can watch and be the judge, and do be so kind as to let me know if you have any other videos you'd like to see me do a reaction to. But then you may be wondering why I am doing this. And I'll tell you - it has everything to do with the intersection of my quest to get better at communication, how and why Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, and a keen desire to bring my whole person into this effort to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. That isn't to say that every reaction video is going to be me presenting my best self. But it is to say I think we need to be looking our actual self in the mirror when we need touching up and greater discipline, rather than looking at an image of our idealized self and trying to reckon with that. Reaction videos are admittedly - at least according to some critics quoted and referenced on the Wikipedia article on the subject here, at least potentially "graceless" and "narcissistic." But then how many folks are trying to take to the reaction video enterprise with a view to loving God and their fellow man, or a public dependence on God's grace, or out of a desire to improve social graces? Now you know of at least one person - yours truly.
29:35
August 25, 2021
Episode 200
In celebration of the 200th episode of this podcast, I want to do a recap on what I have learned, am learning, and hope to continue on learning as we continue on this journey of talking about everything. First things first, communication is hard, and there is more to it than just figuring out what you want to say because how we say things is a critically important part of what in the end people actually take away. When I started out blogging in earnest in 2015, each piece of writing required read-through after read-through, with little tweaks and edits each run before it was ready to be published. So also with podcasting, though in a different way, I listen back through each episode at least once before contentedness settles in that what has been said adequately represents my actual position. All the same, things I don't mean to be taken a certain way still make it through regardless. And such is life. That is the risk we all take when we communicate or do anything. The only thing for it is to keep on refining. For now, then, here were the most popular episodes of the past 100. #175 What is Going On at McLean Bible Church - 7/27/2021 #103 Voddie Baucham's Fault Lines - 4/24/2021 #144 Making Sense of The Great Resignation - 6/17/2021 #135 American Trucking Simulator - 6/3/2021 #121 Reservations Regarding 'Lead' by Paul David Tripp - 5/18/2021
48:33
August 24, 2021
Present Yourself to God
Still being home on quarantine last night, I did not have an opportunity to deliver the second sermon I prepared for the Preaching & Teaching class at Summitview Community Church, though I did prepare a sermon. However, being home as we were yesterday morning, I did preach both the first and second sermons for class to my wife and children over breakfast, and it is a funny thing to realize that even preaching to your own family can induce feelings of nervousness. To hear the first sermon, you can go back to the episode I recorded last week titled 'The Breath of God' concerning 2 Timothy 3:16-17. But in this episode, I would like to share with you the second sermon concerning 2 Timothy 2:14-15. Here Paul tells Timothy, “Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” Feeling convicted as I did after teaching my children and wife such yesterday morning, I went back and listened to my episode from yesterday with fresh ears, and I heard myself saying some things which I was not convinced could be called "rightly handling the word of truth." So I went back and edited the audio to remove the offending part. If we are servants of God, we are not to be quarrelsome, about words or any other thing. Nor are we to embrace "irreverent babble" as Paul calls it in 2 Timothy 2:16. Rather, we are to avoid such, even as we strive to rightly handle truth and present ourselves to God as approved workers