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.