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, 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

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 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 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, it's it's 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 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

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,

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:

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).