Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hallelujah! (silently)

Linda Ervin made me aware of this.

Prophetic Wisdom

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.

The prophetic vision is the word of the Lord given to instruct people what God requires of them, as well as giving knowledge about himself and his promises. When there is no such word, people will naturally do what is "right in their own eyes." There are no warnings by which to restrain their behavior. There are no promises to motivate them to do what is right. There is no instruction to give them understanding as to what is right and wrong.

Testimony and Law

Testimony and Law

12/28/14          D. Marion Clark


The message of Psalm 78 is straightforward: Each generation is to teach the next the deeds and commandments of God so that they will be faithful to him and not stray away. Most of the psalm is a history lesson of how this lesson was not carried out. Instead of exhorting one generation to be like the previous, it is a warning not to be like the generation of their fathers. Their fathers were anything but the Greatest Generation.

What was to be the solution to turning things around? Teaching the next generation.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Of Discipline

Proverbs 29:17

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.

The purpose of discipline is not to keep your child under control, but to give him opportunity to develop the good character that he is capable of. He is born in sin. If left to his own devices, he will develop selfishness, rebellion, meanness, and other such traits. Discipline is the means to correct these tendencies and to help him to find the blessing of virtuous traits.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Dreamer

Given my name, I suppose it is fitting that I should be given dreams from the Lord. I did not grow up having such dreams. Certainly no one ever said of me, “Here comes the dreamer.” I was a carpenter in keeping with my father’s trade. I worked hard; I was no daydreamer. I followed as faithfully as I knew the Law and feared the Holy One. I tried to do what was right.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

When the Wicked Increase

Proverbs 29:16

When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall

When the wicked increase in number and power, transgression increases. As the wicked rise, they are more emboldened to sin, as well as having the liberty to sin. Furthermore, their transgression encourages others to sin who had felt restricted under the rule of the righteous. Their transgression leads others astray who follow their example because of their being the leaders and because they seem to demonstrate that their transgression will go unpunished. Indeed, not only does the transgression seem to go unpunished, but the wicked seem to prosper precisely because of their transgression. Others fall into sin by fighting against the wicked in an unrighteous manner. They lie and cheat, claiming the ends justify the means.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pull Out the Handkerchief

Welcome, Zella!

Happy and Cheri Perkins are happy to report the birth of a new granddaughter by their daughter Amanda. Welcome, Zella! Zella was born 7lbs, 6ozs. She is named after Happy's grandmother.

Crockpot Candy Peanut Clusters

Crockpot Candy Peanut Clusters       from the kitchen of Cathy Hoyle

Place in bottom of crockpot:
1 16oz dry roasted peanuts
1 16oz lightly roasted peanuts

The Rod and Reproof

The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

It would seem that reasoning and instruction would give wisdom to a child. Such things do give wisdom when the heart is inclined to learn. But a child is not so inclined because he is born with the malady of being a sinner. As such, his heart is inclined to do as he pleases, which leads to rebellion and folly. Children are born with varying dispositions. Some show strong self-will, while others have an even temperament and are ready to please others. Whatever the disposition, they act according to what pleases themselves, and they will carry their dispositions to sinful extremes.

Monday, December 22, 2014

To Us a Child Is Born

In this Advent season we have been looking at texts specifically speaking of Christ being born. In Galatians 4:4, we read of Christ being “born of woman, born under the law,” and learned that by doing so he was able to free us from having to fulfill the law in order to be saved. He did that work on our behalf. In Philippians 2:7 we read that he was “born in the likeness of men,” and so set an example for us of humility. Now we come to our final text this morning. Let’s see what the text has to teach us about Christ being born.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

RED VELVET CHEESECAKE   from the kitchen of Gale Prince

This is a Southern Living recipe and is great for Christmas parties because of the red and white colors. Serves 8-10. Prep time: 20 minutes, Bake: 1 hour, 25 minutes, Stand: 1 hour, Chill: 8 hours

1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/ cup butter, melted
1 T. granulated sugar
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 T. unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. distilled white vinegar
2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring

The Poor and Security

Proverbs 29:14

If a king faithfully judges the poor,
his throne will be established forever.

There is a consistent message throughout the Bible that the measure of a person's integrity, of his faith even, is found in the way he treats the poor. God hates the oppression of the poor; indeed, he is their defender against oppressors. The righteous person is one who gives to the poor and, as noted here, a righteous king is one who treats the poor with justice.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Incarnation - Spoken Word

Educators' Forum

Educators, I want to hear from you. Yes, you! If you have been involved in education in any capacity, I want you to come to the Educators' Forum on January 14 (Wednesday) at 10 a.m. in the church. The agenda? I want to see what happens when educators with wealth of experience, knowledge, and skills get together in one room with the freedom to discuss whatever comes to their minds. Who knows what the Holy Spirit, the greatest of all educators, might do. No class lesson plans to prepare. As a former school principal, I will keep order! No registration required, but if you do plan to come, it will be helpful to know how many to expect. Call into the church at 484-0600.

Using Light

Proverbs 29:13

The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
This may be the case of a debtor meeting with his creditor. Whatever the case, one person has control over the other. The oppressor or creditor "owns" the poor man, who is under his power. It is the prerogative of the oppressor to extend or withhold mercy.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Real Meaning of Christmas (backwards)

The Ruler's Responsibility

Proverbs 29:12

If a ruler listens to falsehood then he is listening to wicked counselors. And if he cannot distinguish the false from the true then the wicked will rise and multiply. Much depends on the ruler's ability to discern.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Good News

 I have never been so scared in my life. And I have had reasons to be frightened in my profession. What, with long hours in the wilderness night protecting my sheep, there have been enough times when a lion or a bear has attacked my sheep. I did my best to run them off, but I’ve neither the courage nor the strength of David who slew them by himself. You’ve seen lions and bears in zoos at a distance. I tell you, it is far different to be confronted by one and hear his growl. Your hairs stand on end, and it takes a brave heart to keep from shaking or running.


Proverbs 29:11

This is not a distinction between being demonstrative and reserved, as though the one who expresses emotions is foolish and the one who expresses little is wise. Rather it is a distinction between one who does not exercise discernment and the one who does.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

20 Things to Say More Often

Having trouble thinking of what to say? Here are some ideas.

Bloodthirsty Men

Proverbs 29:10

Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
And seek the life of the upright.

Why such hatred? Because the blameless reveal the depravity of the wicked’s souls. Simeon said of Jesus that he would be a “sign that is opposed…so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-5). This is why the bloodthirsty men of Jesus’ day put him to death. He exposed and pronounced judgment against their hypocrisy and cruelty. His own blameless life shamed their pretensions. His purposeful life showed up their fruitless lives. They hated him for being what they were not.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nora Gipson Funeral

Cheryl Andrews' mother, Nora Gipson, passed away at her home on Sunday, morning December, 14, 2014. The visitation will be held Wednesday, December 17, 12:00 PM - 1 PM, at Sandy Springs Chapel, 136 Mt Vernon Hwy, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. The funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM directly following the visitation.

Good Pull Overs

What would you do with a thousand dollars?

Foolish Argument

Proverbs 29:9

If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
The fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

The fool has no interest in wisdom. He may enjoy words, but only as toys in which to enjoy foolishness. When a person tries to reason with him, the fool treats the effort as nothing more than a game of words which he believes he always wins. And he does. For if the purpose of an argument is to win over the other, the man of reason always loses against the fool. The fool is not only unconverted but believes he has out-done the wise man, for it is the wise man who always gives up first.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dousing Scoffers

Proverbs 29:8

Scoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.

Like a pyromaniac, scoffers like to stir up trouble. They get their kicks out of causing a commotion. It is fun to them to see a city aflame with angry words, gossip, and slander. Somehow their ego is stroked to think that they started it all. They are the perverted image of the artist and the builder who delight in what they construct. Scoffers delight in what they destroy.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting It

Proverbs 29:7

A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.

The wicked man just doesn't get it. His brain does not comprehend the concept of justice. To him, the winnings go to the rich and the powerful. Life is about getting to the top and staying on top. To him, this is the ways things are. Indeed, it is his code. He does not complain about not being treated mercifully. He doesn't expect anything to be given him. He doesn't assert his rights. Instead, he tries to play the system of beating rivals. He might get angry if he loses, but he doesn't think of appealing to justice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

At the Vets

While the Hand Bell Choir entertained at the Oconee House (see below), others of us headed over to the Veterans' Home in Milledgeville. No bells, but there was piano and a male quartet of "interesting" voices. Then the vets favorite activity - Bingo!

It is a treat to see the blessing that both groups bring to their respective retirement homes.

Festive Hand Bell Choir

Reindeer and elves headed over to the Oconee House today to enchant their audience with hand bell music.

Need to Borrow a Baby Walker

I need to borrow a baby walker  for my grandson David, who will be visiting us for a week beginning the day after Christmas. Call or email me at the church.

To Sing and Rejoice

Proverbs 29:6

An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
The wicked create their own trouble. Because they deceive, steal, and commit violence, they expose themselves to the same troubles. They create enemies. Even the traps they lay for others, often end up being their undoing.

But the righteous are often free of what plagues the wicked. They typically do not make enemies. There may be enemies, but such foes exist because of their own wickedness, not because the righteous had done them wrong. The righteous has friends and the just arm of the law on their side, providing further protection. They do not worry about what the law will do to them.

Their greater reason for being able to sing and rejoice without fear is the peace of their conscience. They do not wake up in the morning worried about the repercussions of their actions from the night before. They do not worry about what friend has turned into an enemy. Indeed, their singing and rejoicing is done in the presence of their many friends.

The greatest reason for the singing and rejoicing is the status the righteous have before God. For righteousness is not ultimately about keeping all the rules, but of walking with one's Lord. To know him, to walk under his blessing, is to be blessed indeed. Do you have a song to sing today?

A Proud Father

I know it was a foolish thing to say. Believe me, I know. I can’t forget that day. Without an angel, it already had become the greatest day of my life. I had been chosen by lot to burn incense on the golden altar for that day’s services. I had served more than forty years without the lot ever falling my way. And that’s it. Once chosen, you are never given opportunity again. It is literally a once in a lifetime experience. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Asparagus Bacon Wrap

Asparagus Bacon Wrap    (from the kitchen of Marilynn Sowell)

Snap end of asparagus (do not cut the ends; snap the ends).

Place 3 stalks together and wrap 1/2 piece of bacon around.

Bake at 400 degrees around 15 minutes or until bacon is brown.

Bake on grilled pan so bacon grease can drain.

(Officially taste tested by Marion Clark)

This Isn't About My Intellect

This poignant piece is written by a college student from my previous church. How does a young person stay the course? She gets it.

this isn’t a philosophical argument.
i don’t have a good premise, and i think that the fact that this will contain fallacies only backs up what i write.
i’m sure you’ll find a logical or illogical argument here, and that’s okay.
i know that you can view the world through those structures, but i’m not right now.
in this post, i’ll make many assumptions, use over-used phrases, and define none of my terms.
i am all about loving complicated theology, but this contains none of that.
i am also highly resenting these disclaimers.

This isn’t about my intellect. It’s about my heart.

(go here for the rest)


Proverbs 29:5

A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.

Flattery, as used here, is a tool by which to deceive. It is the tool by which to earn favor or to hide real intentions. In this case, an unscrupulous neighbor uses flattery to set up the downfall of his unsuspecting neighbor.

The proverb raises the matter of how seemingly good words can be used maliciously. Praise, which should be a means of showing due honor and encouragement, is twisted into shallow, even devious speech. Words intended to build up others are used to either make fools of them or tear them down.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Jesus Is the Reason

by Janice Jones Fairburn

Jesus is the reason for the seaon
     He is God's gift of love;
Christmas without Him has no meaning;
     He is our redemption from above.

Moms' Night Out

Kerri Pomarolli has a new book out. Kerri is the daughter of Dick and Barbara Pomarolli. Her book is the kind that all of us grandparents love because we can say, "Now you know what it was like raising you!" and that we can read with pleasure knowing that none of it applies to us anymore, except for the occasional visits from our children who trick us with the routine, "Why don't you spend quality time with your grandchildren while we go out to a movie for the next few days?"

Potato Chip Cookies

Potato Chip Cookies (from the kitchen of Sandy Anderson)

1 c butter, softened (do not substitute)
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 & 1/2 c sifted flour
1/2 c crushed potato chips (I use the thin chips)

Born in the Likeness of Men

Philippians 2:4-11                               Born in the Likeness of Men
12/7/14            D. Marion Clark


Last week we considered what the phrase “born under woman, born under the law” signified. In the context of the letter to the Galatians, it meant that we, who were held bondage under the law because of our sins, could only be redeemed by a Savior who lived in our flesh and lived under the law’s burdens. Because he did so, he freed us from our bondage to the law in terms of having to live up to it in order to be saved.

By Justice

Proverbs 29:4

By justice a king builds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts tears it down.

The "gifts" could be bribes or, as suggested in one translation, heavy taxes. The point is that such a ruler is unjust. Furthermore, his very injustice tears down the land by which he is sustained. This is a principle that the unjust somehow cannot understand. By exercising justice, a ruler builds up the land so that his people prosper. Because they prosper, they are able and more willing to support the ruler. If they would seek first the welfare of the kingdom, everything else will be provided for them.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sizemore Pie

Here is another recipe from the kitchen of Cathy Hoyle. The recipers being posted on the blog can also be found on the church website here.

Sizemore Pie

16 oz Cool Whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz cream cheese
2 Graham cracker pie crust

Unbroken Chaplain

Russell Pupple made me aware of this inspiring story of a Catholic chaplain in the Korean war.

Loving Wisdom

He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

One is led to think of the parable of the prodigal son. He took his father's inheritance and "squandered his property in reckless living" (Luke 15:11ff). He would have thought he was spending his money to enjoy life, to experience pleasure. But his problem was not that he loved pleasure too much but that his love was misguided.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Learning to Share

Sent in by Gale Weaver.

Righteous Joy

Proverbs 29:2

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.

This proverb makes clear the impact of the righteous when they increase. It brings rejoicing. People may rejoice in the concept of righteousness and justice, but what brings out the rejoicing here is their own freedom from oppression. The wicked, in advancing their own pleasure, exact money and labor from the people. To protect their wicked endeavors, they repress any attempt to exert freedom or vindication or even to be left alone. The wicked have one goal - their own happiness - and will do whatever is needed to obtain it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pilgrim Interview

I just got off the phone for another radio interview. This was with Pilgrim Radio in Nevada. (I am still waiting for Oprah to call.) It will be broadcast next Thursday, December 11, at 5:30am, 3:30pm, and 12:30am our time (3 hours earlier Pacific Time). You can access the station online at https://www.pilgrimradio.com/#.

Little Smokies

To continue posting delicious recipes from LOPC chefs. This one is from Harley Wood.

Little Smokies:

1 pack of ittle smokies sausages
eight count can of crescent rolls
approx. 1/2 lb chopped pecans
1 stick of butter
approx. a cup and half of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

The Stiffened Neck

Proverbs 29:1

He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.

It is the stiffening that produces the break. As painful as reproof may be, it should make the person stronger; it should condition the spirit and train the mind, molding the individual to be a person of perseverance and wisdom. If received properly, reproof will shape a mind that is foolish and give that mind discernment; it will turn a rebellious spirit into one that blesses and builds up others. Reproof is healing.

A Good Story

For five years in my Florida church I presented the Christmas story from the perspective of a biblical character. I will do the same for this year's Christmas Eve service. Each Wednesday leading up to the service I will post a story to get you in the mood.

I remember the story well as if it were but yesterday.  Time does not have quite the same effect on me as it does you human creatures. My memory does not become dim like yours. It is a good story.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Wicked vs the Righteous Reign

Proverbs 28:28

When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.

When the wicked rise to power, people think in terms of protecting themselves. They hide; they take cover; they try not to draw attention to themselves, for they know that the wicked delight in mischief. The wicked think first if a person will benefit them; if not, then the wicked will be entertained by hurting that person. The wicked also are obsessed with looking for rivals. Anyone who gives the impression of being a rival is destroyed.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tea Servers


We are again in need of your 3-tier servers for our advent tea. They will be placed on the buffet tables for the sandwiches and the desserts. Please bring your server (make sure your name is on it) to the church kitchen by Sunday, December 7. Thank you for your willingness to help.

Advent Tea Committee

Orange Jello

From the kitchen of Linda Witchowsky: Orange Jello

1 Lg can crushed pineapple
1 Lg box orange Jello
2 cups buttermilk
1 8oz carton Cool Whip

Put can of crushed pineapple in pot and bring to boil.

Take off burner and stir in large box of orange jello.

Set aside to cool 50 minutes.

Stir in the buttermilk and Cool Whip.

Put in favorite dish and place in refrigerator to set.

*Can sub sith sugar free Jello, low cal Cool Whip, and low fat buttermilk. For Christmas, can use cherry Jello.

Who will send me another recipe to post? Send it to marion.clark@lopc-pca.org.

Let the Decorating Begin!

Whew! I am exhausted. The Prep-Day volunteer crew is here with Judy Hubbard at the helm. I personally moved the tree that was in the narthex all the way into the storage room. I am having to rest from all of the exertion. Robert Van Delden and Burt Gerber insinuated that I was in the way, but that was after I had caught them slacking off. Tomorrow the Decorate the Church crew comes in, and Wednesday the Place Poinsettias crew finishes up the work.

Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending

The first week of Advent actually looks to the second Advent of Jesus - his return in glory. This hymn celebrates that return. Below are the lyrics. This version does not include them all and different hymnals have different versions.

Giving to the Poor

Proverbs 28:27

Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

Giving to the poor seems a bad investment if your concern is to grow wealth or maintain your present financial status. The poor cannot return money with interest, and indeed are likely not to return money at all. They have no influence with powerful or wealthy men who could befriend you because of your generosity. The money given to them or for them does not return. And so it seems preferable to avoid noticing them. Let others help.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

In the News

Not only did I make The Breeze but also the Lake Oconee News. Here is the article. Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to include the picture in which I strike a particularly handsome pose for Susie Patterson.

The Rev. D. Marion Clark joined the staff at Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church as interim pastor in October of 2014. He was raised in Kingstree, SC and graduated from the University of South Carolina. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston in1981. He has pastored churches in the Carolinas and Florida. His longest tenure has been serving as Executive Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.

Rev. Clark has edited two devotional books using the sermonsand writings of James Montgomery Boice, and has a book titled The Problem of Good. He enjoys writing and has a wonderful sense of humor. Many are enjoying his daily blog post at lakeoconeepres.blogspot.com, which features both “news of all varieties for the church family of Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church and for the lake community.”
Please make it a point to visit Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church soon. We think you will not only benefit from sound biblical preaching and uplifting music, but also the rich Christian fellowship.
Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church is located at 113 Scott Road off of Highway 44 behind SunTrust Bank. You can learn more about our church at lopc-pca.gnv or call the church office at 706-484-0600.

Born under the Law

Here is the first of three advent sermons for this season. All advent sermons can be found at http://www.dmcresources.com/advent-1.

Galatians 4:4-5


Is there anything more wonderful than the birth of a baby? Perhaps that is why Christmas, over time, has overshadowed all of the other holidays, both religious and secular. Birth is a cause for celebration, and no birth is more celebrated than that of our Lord. Though every birth contains wonder and mystery, the birth of our Lord Jesus is the wonder and the mystery to celebrate. We will be considering passages that speak specifically of Jesus being born with the intent to learn the different perspectives they bring to this joyful mystery. We will look next Sunday at what it means in Philippians 2:7 that Jesus was “born in the likeness of men.” Then we will go back to Isaiah 9:6 to consider that “for us a child is born.” This morning we consider what is meant by Jesus being “born under the law.”

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Ginger's sour cream apple pie is next on the recipe posts. Send in yours to me.

Sour Cream Apple Pie

(Recipe can be easily doubled.)

1 unbaked pie shell
¾ c. sugar (I often cut back to ½ c. sugar.)
2 Tb. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. sour cream
2 c. finely chopped apples

Friday, November 28, 2014

Of Trust and Wisdom

Proverbs 28:26

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

The proverb does not equate trusting in one's own mind with wisdom. Then in whom or what should we trust? Are we not to think for ourselves? We are to develop the ability to do our own thinking, but that very skill entails listening to others and knowing who to trust. The wise person listens to the counsel of others, especially those whom he knows to be knowledgeable and discerning. He has to make his own decision, but he does so in the context of having listened well. More to the point for Christians is that the wise person will listen carefully to God's Word. It is Scripture that he trusts foremost.

Viewing and Funeral

Visitation for Gale Prince's father, John Lester Ware is tonight from 4-8 PM at Scot Ward Funeral Home, 699 American Legion Rd., Conyers, GA. Funeral will be Saturday at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Conyers, 2100 Hwy 138, Conyers, GA. Please visit www.scotward.com for more info and to post condolences.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Breeze

I have hit the big time. There is an article and picture of me in this week's Lake Oconee Breeze.

Give Thanks

Greediness vs Trust

Proverbs 28:25

A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.

Note the contrast - greediness versus trusting in the Lord. The greedy man lacks trust. He does not trust God to provide, but more to the point, he does not trust God to give him everything he desires. Perhaps God does provide the necessities, but he wants more. He feels he is entitled to more. And he wants it now. He is impatient with the teaching that wealth should be accumulated by patient hard work and steady saving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

John Lester Ware

Here is Funeral & Visitation info for Gale Prince's father, John Lester Ware, who passed away yesterday evening, November 24. Visitation will be Friday night from 4-8 PM at Scot Ward Funeral Home, 699 American Legion Rd., Conyers, GA. Funeral will be Saturday at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Conyers, 2100 Hwy 138, Conyers, GA. Please visit www.scotward.com for more info and to post condolences.

Radio Interview

Last week I was interviewed on the Janet Mefferd Show. That interview can be accessed at this link. The interview itself begins at the 20 minute mark.


So, Ginger and I were having a delightful visit with Cathy Hoyle when she received an urgent phone call. Someone was in the grocery store and needed the ingredients for Cathy's famous Chocolate Bundt Cake. Did you think we were going to leave without the recipe? I don't think so.

With Cathy's permission I am posting it for your benefit. But, wait, there is more. Ginger wants me to start posting your recipes. Do you have a recipe to share with the church, the community, even the whole world? Send them to me and we will make recipe sharing one of the special features of this blog.

Thankful Chair

Have you sat in your thanksgiving chair today?

Parent Robbers

Proverbs 28:24

Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, "That is no transgression,"
is a companion to a man who destroys.

How would such a person justify robbing his parents? One way is to justify his motivation. His parents are unfair to withhold support, he claims; he justifies that he is taking what they owe him. His parents are unjust in the way they treat him; he argues that he is giving back the same mistreatment they give him.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Noisy Nose

That is scary...no, it's funny...no it's scary...no it's funny...

Rebuke and Flattery

Proverbs 28:23

Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.

The contrast here is between rebuking and flattering. That is essential to note, for one may think that the proverb is exalting the person who is quick to rebuke as opposed to being an encourager. The flatterer is essentially a liar; his motive is his own advantage. He flatters to win favor or to appease anger. He is thinking of himself. The rebuker's motive is to advance the cause of truth and justice, as well as to save his neighbor from calamity. The very reason he will find favor is that his motive is pure and eventually becomes recognized as such.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

Jonah 4:3-11                            Man’s Justice
11/23/14          D. Marion Clark


Parents, have you ever heard a version of this statement? “My life is so terrible, I wish I were dead!” God had to deal with such an attitude from his prophet Jonah.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Partiality and Bribes

Proverbs 28:21

To show partiality is not good,
but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.

This proverb is speaking against the taking of bribes. The second line points to the triviality of the bribe. A dishonest person is willing to take anything. His one motive is his own gain. He has no interest in fairness. Indeed, justice is a game to him. Like the board game of Life, his object is to finish with the most money.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Central Georgia Presbytery has licensed me to preach in their presbytery. So, I can finish Jonah on Sunday!

Dallas Cowboys?

Had it not been for the providence of God, we might know Jeffrey Wells as a football player rather than an opera singer. Click this link to learn more. Click here for his website, which includes his cds and video clips of performances. You will especially want to see his singing of the national anthem at the Pittsburgh football stadium.

Faithfulness vs Get-Rich-Quick

Proverbs 28:20

A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

The contrast between the character of the faithful man and the get-rich man lies in integrity. The faithful person's priority is to carry out his responsibility well. Whatever the task before him, his concern is to complete it and to finish well. Thus, he is one to be trusted to keep his word, trusted to act ethically and do quality work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Spinning Plates

I loved this guy on the Ed Sullivan show.

Worthless Pursuits

Proverbs 28:19

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits
will have plenty of poverty.

Whoever goes to work each day and labors diligently will see the produce from his labors. Whether he be the farmer who works his land or the office worker who manages his projects, if he works conscientiously he can expect fruit from his labor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On the Radio Wednesday

This Wednesday, November 19, I will be interviewed at 2:30 on The Janet Mefferd Show. It can  be accessed online at http://www.janetmefferd.com/#. This is for the book The Problem of Good.

Of Integrity and Crookedness

Proverbs 28:18

Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.

This is a common lesson in proverbs. Walking in integrity/righteousness carries with it the protection of the Lord who watches over those who fear him. The crooked/wicked will fall suddenly, disastrously because the Lord will bring judgment.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back from Habitat

I just got back from the Habitat for Humanity lunch. LOPC women provided the lunch for the workers. Fortunately I was there to oversee the preparations and service. I don't know what they would have done without me giving direction and tasting the food to make sure it was okay. There were Debbie Puppe, Jan Curtis, Barb Rountree, Susan Porter, and my wife, Ginger. Thanks go to other LOPC women who provided food. But I cannot forget Russell Puppe who prepared his award winning chili and was there serving, as well. George Rountree was there working. I was afraid he was going to hand me a hammer.

Sermon Schedule

This coming Sunday is the finale for the book of Jonah. I hope you have had as much fun and education in hearing the sermons, as I have had in preparing them. We then move into the Advent season with a series of four sermons unified by the word "born."

Licensed to Preach

Thursday I appear before the Central Georgia Presbytery in the afternoon to be examined. Did you know that I am not licensed to preach? Well, not in this presbytery. I am a member of Philadelphia Presbytery, and though I am an ordained PCA minister, I must be licensed to preach on a regular basis in a different presbytery. It is similar to a doctor or lawyer needing to be licensed in a state outside of his or her practice.

This Week's Events

I am looking over the LOPC Upcoming Events email that goes out each Friday. You do get that weekly email, don't you? You don't? Check your spam filter to make sure it is not getting moved into that folder. It's not there? Then call or email the church office, and we will get you on the list. Oh, you do get it but you haven't gotten around to reading it. Uh-uh, I've heard that one before.

Well, then - ladies, you have several activities: This morning at 10:30 is the monthly Ladies' Prayer Ministry in the church. Tomorrow is the Early Morning Ladies Bible Study at 7:30 in the home of Karen Hildebrand; then come over to the church at 10:30 for Praying Hearts and Busy Hands Ministry.

Men, you have one Bible study on Wednesday morning at 7:30. It will be at Frank Kemp's house.

Men and women, Susan Porter would love to see you Wednesday morning at 10:30 at the church for Hand Bell Choir practice. You can do it! You know you have always wanted to try.

Goodnight, Sweetheart

So, your little grandchildren are spending the night with you and can't fall asleep, or you have baby puppies that can't settle down. You look for a cd with my sermon but can't find it. What do you do? Play this video.

Habitat Lunch

One of the neat things about LOPC is the involvement of members in ministries, both in and out of the church. Today, Ginger and I look forward to joining volunteers who are providing lunch for Habitat for Humanity workers in Union Point. Two LOPC members are on the board for the Greensboro Habitat chapter - Linda Martin and George Rountree, who is chairman. Check out Habitat's website at http://www.gchabitat.com/.

No Interference

Proverbs 28:17

If one is burdened with the blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;
let no one help him.

Let no one interfere with the hand of God in bringing just retribution to a murderer. As we are told to leave vengeance to the Lord, so we are not to interfere with his vengeance. The burden placed on the murderer is from God and used by God to drive him to "the pit," translated here as death. Such an end may very well be his sentence, though it could include any form of retribution, whether it be in this life or afterwards. The point is that he must bear the consequence of taking innocent life. Justice cannot be denied.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

God's Mercy

Today's sermon. Next Sunday brings to a completion the series on Jonah which can also be found at DMC Resources.

Jonah 3:10-4:2                         God’s Mercy


When one thinks of Jonah fleeing from his assignment to preach in Nineveh, the assumption is quickly made that Jonah was afraid of Nineveh. We feel for Jonah. After all, who among us would relish the call to walk into the capital city of North Korea and proclaim judgment against it? Our text this morning reveals the real motive behind Jonah’s flight.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tribute to Soldiers Fallen in Battle

Russell Puppe sent me this moving tribute to our soldiers fallen in battle.

Prolonged Days

Proverbs 28:16

A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

The contrast here is between lacking understanding and hating unjust gain. What the ruler lacks understanding about is the privilege of rule. He regards power primarily as a means to advance his interests. And so he uses his position to gain more wealth and power by oppressing those unable to stand up against him. The righteous ruler understands that the position of ruler is one of privilege, granted to him to advance the interests of his people. He is measured by how well he protects and promotes the welfare of those under his rule.

God Bless America

Here is the debut of God Bless America by Kate Smith sung on Armistice Day 1938.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Serpent in the Bathroom

The battle against evil forces never ends, but rest assured that your pastor wages battle tirelessly and fearlessly. With the help of Yvonne and Susan (with Tammy manning support headquarters) we wrestled mightily with the snake in my bathroom, finally subduing him and casting him out of the church. Here is the wicked creature.

He had to have been at least six inches. I am still recovering from the struggle.

December at a Glance

As you mark events on your calendar for December, note these church events.

Dec 8, 6:30pm - Christmas Candlelight Tea (Women's Ministry Event)

Dec 10, 2:00pm - Christmas Celebration at Oconee House

Dec 14, 4:00pm - Christmas Cantata (Lessons and Carols)

Dec 24, 5:00pm - Christmas Eve Service

Lions and Bears

Proverbs 28:15

Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

The ruthlessness of a wicked man can be measured by the amount of his power. A wicked ruler's evil is more devastating than that of the wicked person with no or little power. The wickedness of a ruler over a poor nation is greater than that over a wealthy nation precisely because there are fewer rivals capable of standing up against him. Like a school yard bully, he is more ruthless when all the kids on the playground are smaller than he, than he would be if there were a number of strong kids standing about.

Four Chaplains

The story of the four chaplains who gave up their lives at sea.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Defenders of Freedom

Blessed Fear

Proverbs 28:14

Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

The one who fears the Lord is blessed because he has the true perspective on reality and because God will bless him for his faithfulness. Fear of the Lord is not about living in terror of the Lord, but about knowing God for who he is - Creator, King, and Redeemer. To fear God is to understand (as much as a human is able) God's attributes - his holiness, his eternal nature, his power, his mercy, etc. It is to understand that one's purpose is to glorify him. As one grows in understanding, so his fear of the Lord enriches his relationship with his Lord, so that he is filled with awe and filled with love.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Grace and Mercy

The following poem is from a book of poetry by Janice Jones Fairburn entitled His Glorious Grace.

Grace and Mercy

God's grace is sufficient for those in need
Just ask Him to supply, and He will feed
Our daily bread He gives for our meal
Clothing the flowers of the field.

Remembering Our Veterans

Obtaining Mercy

Proverbs 28:13

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Consider this proverb in light of Psalm 32:1-15:

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veteran's Week

This week we remember all our military veterans who have and still serve this country.

Raybon Graham Service and Visitation

A viewing for Raybon Graham will be held Tuesday night, 6-8pm, at Vining Ivy Hill Chapel. There will be a second viewing on Wednesday at Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home in Vidalia from 1-2pm, followed by a graveside service at 3:00 at Dead River Cemetery in Uvalda. Directions to each place, as well as an obituary and recommendation for memorial donations can be found at the Vining Ivy Hill Chapel site.

Glorious Triumph

Proverbs 28:12

When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.

When the righteous triumph, it results in good being accomplished for others. A righteous ruler is a good ruler who blesses his people. Contrariwise, when the wicked rise to leadership, then trouble goes forth. The wicked ruler uses his power to oppress, to take advantage of others for his own gain.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Believing God

Sunday's sermon.

Jonah 3:1-9


I can remember the moment when I learned one of my most significant spiritual lessons. I was sitting on the pulpit platform at Tenth Presbyterian Church. James Boice was preaching. He asked the question, “Do you know what God wants?” (Why, yes, I did want to know.) He wants to be believed. I could have learned that lesson earlier if I had paid attention to the response of the Ninevites to Jonah’s preaching.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Raybon Graham

Raybon Graham passed away this afternoon at the Coliseum Hospital in Macon from heart difficulties. Please keep his wife Norma, son John, daughter Bevin and their spouses prayer. I will post a notice when plans for a funeral service has been finalized.

A Ten!

The Lake Oconee News online and The Breeze feature a picture of George Rountree receiving an envelope of "winnings" from Doug Hesse. George captained the foursome that took 10th place in the Atlas Benefit golf tournament. 10th place no doubt represents perfection. I assume George got the envelope. Doug seems reluctant to let go of it.

10th Place

Friday, November 7, 2014


A great recitation of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" by an unlikely actor.

Found Out

Proverbs 28:11

A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.

Wealth can deceive the one who possesses it. Because he has money, he thinks he is wise, especially if he earned his wealth. His success with money gives him the illusion that he is wise in general. Thus, he may very well lose a case brought against him by a poor man. It does not occur to him that one who is poor could be clever enough to win.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

On the Wild Side

What I'd really like to know is what the deer in Harbor Club are saying.

Radio Interview

This morning I will be interviewed at 11:05 ET by Kevin Boling on his radio program Knowing the Truth. Not sure how to access it, but maybe you can figure it out at his site, www.knowingthetruth.org.

The Inheritance

Proverbs 28:10

Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.

Consider the consequences of our actions. This is where the wicked miscalculate. He digs his pit and cleverly leads the upright to fall in it. Perhaps he does so through temptation, causing the upright to walk off the righteous path; perhaps the concealment of the pit causes the upright to fall in, even as he is walking in obedience. Either way, the upright who possess the righteousness of Christ will be delivered and the wicked will find himself trapped in the very pit he prepared.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Keeping Up with LOPC Volunteers

Ginger and I are joining a group from the church at 1:30 to head over to the Oconee House. I feel that this is my lucky day at Bingo. I have heard much about the Oconee House and look forward to meeting the residents.

Here Is Love

Enjoy this stirring hymn about the love of our Savior.

Prayer as Abomination

Proverbs 28:9

If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.

This lesson is taught elsewhere.

Consider Isaiah 1:15-17:

When you spread out your hands,
   I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers, I will not listen;
   your hands are full of blood.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Giving Back

I pulled into the church parking lot in time to see an 18-wheeler backed up to the shed. Yvonne is stacking cases of cans on the ground. I go over to help. A young couple is putting the cases at the end of the truck, but they would not tell us their names. They just said in their Eastern European accents that the food was from the Lord.

Finally, Yvonne places them. They are a couple who emigrated from Russia and showed up one day a few years ago with no money and needing help. Buddy Crews (of course) helped them out. They never forgot and wanted to give back. Then off they drove away.

Preaching Jonah

When I need further inspiration to prepare my Jonah sermons, this is where I go.


Proverbs 28:8

Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.

The first line depicts the individual who charges interest to his poor neighbor who is in need. The neighbor perhaps needs money to buy seed for his crop or to purchase food. He is in a difficult circumstance and needs help for the moment to get by. The rich individual exploits that opportunity to increase his own wealth and charges his neighbor in the same way a commercial institution would charge clients.

The intent of such a person will be thwarted, so that he ends up supporting the wealth of another - the person who is generous to the poor. Compare this proverb with 11:24:
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give,
and only suffers want.

God blesses generosity to the poor. He disapproves of the miser who withholds blessing to others, and punishes the oppressor who uses his wealth to exploit the poor. We can apply this to ourselves literally in how we use our money, which we should examine closely. Furthermore, apply this principle to how we use all that we possess - our time, our friendship, the gospel, etc. Is our focus on protecting what we have or being as generous as we can be? And if our focus is on self-protection, do we not easily cross the line into exploitation? We do favors expecting favors in return. We give, expecting to receive back. We calculate the investment we will receive in whatever we do.

There is only one investment that should be on our minds - investing in the pleasure of God. Seek first the kingdom and whatever else we may need will be provided.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Radio Interview

I will be interviewed today at 2:40 pm on the Bob Kutko Show about the book The Problem of Good. You can connect to live streaming at this site: www.crawfordbroadcasting.com.

Open Doors

Yesterday we prayed for the persecuted church. In the US we are rightly concerned about encroaching restrictions on the practice of our faith, but as the writer to the Hebrews noted to the believers he was writing to, we have not reached the point of shedding blood. Many of our brothers and sisters in the faith are not so fortunate. Open Doors provides an excellent website by which to keep up with our church family who live in oppressive countries.

Thanking God

Jonah 1:17-2:10
11/2/14            D. Marion Clark


We now come to the miracle that makes Jonah famous – his being swallowed by the big fish.


17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,

Of Law Keeping and Gluttony

Proverbs 28:7

The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.

Here is a contrast of two sons - the one who keeps the law and the one who is gluttonous. Note, though, the descriptions of the law keeper and the glutton. The former has understanding; the latter is a companion of gluttons, i.e. he is swayed easily by his worthless companions. This understanding, or lack of it, is at the heart of the father's pride in one and shame in the other as can be seen in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Just Not Fair

If you felt sorry for the bulldog being harangued by the toddler, here truly is a grievous trial for a dog.

Better a Poor Man

Proverbs 28:6

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.

This is a concept that the evil men of the previous proverb would not understand. To them, and to most people, being rich is what matters. The wicked are blatant about this and thus will commit crime with impunity to get money. Most will do whatever is within "reasonable" bounds to attain wealth. What happens is that their greed inevitably corrupts them.

The blessing of the poor man who walks in his integrity is the very integrity itself. It provides him with peace of mind. It protects him from the anxiety of having to hold onto his riches or keep up with his neighbor. It allows him to focus on real pleasures, such as enjoying good relationships. He has clearer perspective about what matters. Most importantly, he is in good standing with his Maker and gains eternal riches (understanding that walking in integrity is walking in Christ).

The crooked rich man has only momentary pleasure in his riches, which he has to continually protect. He cannot be sure of his friends, nor can they trust him. It is difficult for him to see what is truly good. He is blind to his need for God. When he dies, he loses all. Pray for the crooked rich who are the poorest on earth.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Didn't He Give It to Gurley!

Georgia fans still complain about the coach's play calling in the game against South Carolina. Here is a fan taking it out on the school mascot.


Proverbs 28:5

Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.

The wicked don't get it about justice. They despise the weak who, in their minds, deserve their fate of being oppressed. They despise the righteous who must be either hypocritical or repressive. They follow the logic of natural evolution - we are animals controlled by animal instincts for self-protection and self-satisfaction, and the cleverer and stronger animals will dominate the weaker. To them, justice is a man-made idea (enforced by religious hypocrites) that has the semblance of protecting the weak, but in reality is another way for those in power to stay that way.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kairos Cookie Ministry

I know this is late, but I am finding that LOPC has lots and lots of ministry activities, so it is hard to keep up. But Kairos Prison Ministry is collecting homemade cookies to deliver to prisoners. We need them at the church by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. I know, I know, it's late to post, but if you are able and willing, here are the directions:

1. Each cookie should be approximately 2" to 3" in diameter.
2. Sealed in a Ziploc bag, 6 cookies per bag.
3. If containing peanut butter or nuts, then the bags need to be labeled as such.
4. A note in each bag expressing the love of God.
5. Delivered to the church by Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Cookies containing chocolate will need to be taste tested by the pastor.

Volunteers for Food Bank Needed

I don't know how this happened, but I am actually going to do some work on a weekday! Tomorrow (the 29th) is "Work Day" at the Food Bank on 130-A Scott Oak Drive. A delivery is being made to Harlem, Kentucky on Thursday and Friday. So volunteers are needed to pack food. If you can join Ginger and me at 9:00 a.m., email Buddy Crews by clicking the link on his name.

The Problem of Good

It has finally arrived! The Problem of Good: When the World Seems Fine without God. Fellow contributors are Ruth Naomi Floyd, Steve Lawson, John Leonard, Sean Lucas, David Skeel, Paul Tripp, and Gene Veith. Published by P&R.

The book is an introduction the doctrine of common grace. Writers and preachers often make reference to the doctrine, but this is a full-length treatment of the subject written for the layperson. The doctrine provides the key for understanding a problem that I think may lead more believers away from the faith than the problem of good, namely, how can there be such good in an unregenerate world.

Forsaking vs Keeping

Proverbs 28:4

Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.

The heroes of the wicked are the wicked. Lawbreakers admire successful lawbreakers. They think their fellow transgressors are clever and brave. To them the wicked follow their passions, which is what gives real fulfillment in life. They are those who truly follow their heart. And they are realistic about life. They understand their fellow man, that he is not to be trusted, and that the fool deserves his treatment.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fearing God

Jonah 1:5-16
10/26/14          D. Marion Clark


What do you fear? Who do you fear? What does it mean to fear? Fear is the word that keeps cropping up in our text this morning. Getting these questions sorted out will help us to understand both this passage and how we ought to regard and worship God.

Beating Rain

Proverbs 28:3

A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.

The first line is a bit unclear. It may be as the translation reads or be translated as "a poor man and an oppressor of the poor." Either way, the primary message is the effect of oppression, whoever commits it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Musical Surprises

Sunday presented two delightful musical firsts in my experience. First was the harp by Ellen Anderson. Yes, I have heard the harp in worship, but not playing A Mighty Fortress Is Our God! It was inspiring.

And then, to conclude worship with Amazing Grace. I have heard Amazing Grace in worship, but not by a bagpiper! Kudos for Susan Porter not only arranging it but keeping it a secret.

Now that I think about it, guest pianist Lauren Yarbrough surprised me with a rendition of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini Op. 43.

A delightful musical morning all around.


Welcome to the DMC News at Lake Oconee blog. DMC News has migrated south from Philadelphia to milder climes, and from the center city to the lake side. Philadelphia is a great place to live with good food and diverse cultures. But it is good to be back in my beloved south where I can say y'all with impunity and eat grits and boiled peanuts without raising eyebrows. And as much as I liked the beautiful scenes in the city, walking along the lake early in the morning is a wonderful way to begin a day.

I will be making daily weekday postings of all kinds of news and un-news. As my readers from Philadelphia will attest, you never know what will appear. The only thing they felt was missing was humor. "Marion, you are just too serious," they would say. They would also say, "Why do you call yourself Marion?"