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Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 16, sermon number 931, "Three precious things.""His promises are precious because they tell of exceedingly great and precious things."We have promises in the Bible which time would fail us to repeat, which for breadth and length are immeasurable; they deal with every great thing which the soul can want: promises of pardoned sin, promises of sanctification, of teaching, of guidance, of upholding, of ennobling, of progress, of consolation, of perfection.In this blessed book you have promises of the daily bread of earth, and of the bread of life from heaven; promises for time, promises for eternity; promises for yourselves, and promises for your children; all these are like the leaves of the tree, and Jesus is the goodly cluster; or, if you will, the apple of gold hidden among the foliage of promises. You have so many promises that all the conditions and positions of the believer are met.I sometimes liken the promises to the smith's great bunch of keys which he brings when you have lost the key of your chest, and cannot unlock it. He feels pretty sure that out of all the keys upon the ring some one or other will fit, and he tries them with patient industry. At last—yes—that is it, he has loosened the bolt, and you can get at your treasures. There is always a promise in the volume of inspiration suitable to your present case.Make the Lord's testimonies your delight and your counsellors, and they will befriend you at every turn. Search the Scriptures, and you shall meet with a passage which will be so applicable to you as to appear even to have been written after your trouble had occurred; so exactly will it apply that you will be compelled to marvel at the wonderful tenderness and suitableness of it. As if the armourer had measured you from head to foot, so exactly shall the armour of the promise befit you.The promises are precious in themselves, from their suitability to us, from their coming from God, from their being immutable, from their being sure of performance, and from their containing wrapped up within themselves all that the children of God can ever need.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Cheque-book of the Bank of Faith, January 2, Pilgrim Publications."And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." Romans 16:20We are evidently to be conformed to our covenant Head, not only in his being bruised in his heel, but in his conquest of the evil one. Even under our feet is the old dragon to be bruised.The Roman believers were grieved with strife in the church; but their God was "the God of peace," and gave them rest of soul. The arch-enemy tripped up the feet of the unwary, and deceived the hearts of the simple; but he was to get the worst of it, and to be trodden down by those whom he had troubled.This victory would not come to the people of God through their own skill or power; but God himself would bruise Satan. Though it would be under their feet, yet the bruising would be of the Lord alone.Let us bravely tread upon the tempter! Not only inferior spirits, but the Prince of darkness himself must go down before us. In unquestioning confidence in God, let us look for speedy victory."SHORTLY." Happy word! Shortly we shall set our foot on the old serpent! What a joy to crush evil! What dishonour to Satan to have his head bruised by human feet! Let us by faith in Jesus tread the tempter down.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 51, sermon number 2,927, "Love at leisure.""Love your Lord now." Let such words as these be upon your lip, “Lord, I am not worthy to be called by your grace. I am not worthy to be written in thy book of life. I am not worthy that thou shouldest waste a thought on me, much less that thou shouldest shed thy blood for me.I do remember now what I was when thou didst first deal with me. I was cold, careless and hard towards thee, but very wanton and eager towards the world, giving my heart away to a thousand lovers and seeking comfort anywhere except in thee. And when thou didst come to me, I did not receive thee.When thou didst knock at my door, I did not open to thee, though thy head was wet with dew and thy locks with the drops of the night. And, oh! since through thy grace I have admitted thee, and thou and I have been joined together in bonds of blessed union, yet how ill have I treated thee!O my Lord! How little have I done for thee! How little have I loved thee! I could faint in thy presence to think that if thou didst examine me and cross-question me, I could not answer thee one of a thousand questions thou mightest ask me.Thy book accuses me of negligence in reading it. Thy throne of grace accuses me of slackness in prayer. The assemblies of thy people accuse me that I have not been hearty in worshipping. There is nothing, either in providence or in nature, or in grace, but what might bring some accusation against me. The world itself might blame me that my example so little rebukes it; and my very family might charge that I do not bless my household as I should.”That is right, dear brother, or sister. Sink; go on sinking; be little; be less; be less still; be still less; be least of all; be nothing.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 41, sermon number 2,432, "Kept from iniquity.""The tongue is a very sharp instrument, it cutteth like a razor, and pierceth even to the bones."If men blow out the candle of a Christian's reputation, God will light it again; if he does not do so in this life, remember that at the resurrection there will be a resurrection of reputations as well as of bodies: “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”It is, after all, of very small account what is said by men whose breath is in their nostrils. “They say. What do they say? Let them say.” Let them say till they have done saying; it little matters what they say.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 37, sermon number 2,207, "Redemption through blood.""Do you ask—'How is it that there should always need to be redemption by blood, in order to the forgiveness of sin?' I call your attention to the expression, 'Redemption through his blood.'" Observe, it is not redemption through his power, it is through his blood. It is not redemption through his love, it is through his blood. This is insisted upon emphatically, since in order to the forgiveness of sins it is redemption through his blood, as you have it over and over again in Scripture. “Without shedding of blood is no remission.”But they say—they say—that substitution is not just. One said, the other day, that to lay sin upon Christ, and to treat him as guilty, and let him die for the unjust, was not just. Yet the objector went on to say that God forgave men freely without any atonement at all.Of this wise critic I would ask—Is that just? Is it just to pass by breaches of the law without a penalty? Why any law at all? and why should men care whether they keep it or break it? It was stated by this critic that God, out of his boundless love, treated the guilty man as if he were innocent.I would ask—if that be right, where is the wrong of God's treating us as innocent because of the righteousness of Christ? I venture to affirm that pardon is needless, if not impossible, upon the theory that the man, though guilty, is treated as if he were not guilty. If all are treated alike, whether guilty or not guilty, why should anyone desire pardon?It were easy to answer cavillers, but they really are not worth the answering. It is to me always sufficient if I find a truth taught in Scripture: I ask no more. If I do not understand it, I am not particularly anxious to understand it: if it be in the Scriptures, I believe it.I like those grand, rocky truths of the Bible which I cannot break with the hammer of my understanding, for on these I lay the foundations of my soul's confidence.Redemption by blood is here linked with forgiveness of sins, and, in many other Scriptures we find it plainly stated. It is so. Let that stand for a sufficient answer to all objectors.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from John Ploughman's Pictures, page 41, Pilgrim Publications."He is a walking barrel, a living drainpipe, a moving swill-tub." Drinking cold water neither makes a man sick, nor in debt, nor his wife a widow, but this mighty fine ale of his will do all this for him, make him worse than a beast while he lives, and wash him away to his grave before his time.The old Scotchman said, “Death and drink-draining are near neighbours,” and he spoke the truth. They say that drunkenness makes some men fools, some beasts, and some devils, but according to my mind it makes all men fools whatever else it does.Yet when a man is as drunk as a rat he sets up to be a judge, and mocks at sober people. Certain neighbours of mine laugh at me for being a teetotaler, and I might well laugh at them for being drunk, only I feel more inclined to cry that they should be such fools.O that we could get them sober, and then perhaps we might make men of them. You cannot do much with these fellows, unless you can enlist them in the Coldstream guards.He that any good would win  At his mouth must first begin. As long as drink drowns conscience and reason, you might as well talk to the hogs. The rascals will promise fair and take the pledge, and then take their coats to pledge to get more beer.We smile at a tipsy man, for he is a ridiculous creature, but when we see how he is ruined body and soul it is no joking matter. How solemn is the truth that “No drunkard shall inherit eternal life.”
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 22, sermon number 1,296, "Gone. Gone for ever.""Time is going and eternity approaching; will you never wake up?"  As time has gone so also have many persons gone to whom we might have been useful. Thousands have passed away during our short span of life. Have you not had to say, “I ought to have spoken to So and-So, who was in my employment, but he died without hope before I had warned him, and he is gone where no words of mine can ever reach him?”Oh, how many have passed away since I first began to address this audience, and if I could charge myself with unfaithfulness to you in preaching the word of God, how would I have to regret each funeral, and to remember each tomb, and say, “There lies one for whom I can render no acceptable account at last, for I have been unfaithful, and kept back the truth.”I thank God that I have not this to burden my heart. Do not let it be so with any of you.Sometimes, however, the confession of the thing gone concerns noble ideas and resolves. You had great conceptions, and if they had but been embodied in action something good would have come of them; but where are the ideas now? Were they not smothered in their birth?You resolved to do great things, the plans were thoroughly arranged, and your whole heart was eager to carry it out, but delay chilled the goodly purpose till it died of cold, and it lies buried in forgetfulness. You dreamed well, but there you stopped.As for actual work for the Lord, you had other fish to fry, and therefore you cast out your net for him. You suffered the season for activity to go by, and so your excellent ideas and resolutions melted into thin air, and they are gone.
Image result for charles spurgeon statueYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 28, sermon number 1,689, "The general convocation around Mount Zion.""An innumerable company of this blessed firstborn race can have the whole of God to be their portion for ever and ever."Our text adds to the term “general assembly” that of the “church of the first-born.” “Oh,” say the commentators, “this is tautology.” Not so. The apostle felt bound, after having used such a remarkable comparison, to call us back to the solemnity of the matter, and remind us that it is “a church” which is gathered. You and I have come to a great church-meeting, where all the saints of God are met at this moment. What makes a church? An ecclesia?These words may help you:—they are, first, a people chosen; next, a people called; then a people culled; then a people consecrated; and then a people congregated.So they do become the church of the living God; separated unto God by his electing love; called out from the world by his effectual calling; culled out by being separated through a work of grace; congregated and gathered together into one in Christ; and evermore consecrated to the divine service. This is what you and I have come to. Oh for words with which to speak our joy for admission into such a company!
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 30, sermon number 1,806, "A summary of experience and a body of divinity.""You must not be content with a reformation; there must be a revolution: old thrones must fall, and a new king must reign. Is it so with you?"  Do you tell me that you have no idols? Think again, and you will not be quite so sure. The streets of London are full of fetich worship, and almost every dwelling is a joss-house crammed with idols.Why, multitudes of men are worshipping not calves of gold, but gold in a more portable shape. Small circular idols of gold and silver are much sought after. They are very devoutly worshipped by some, and great things are said concerning their power. I have heard the epithet of “almighty” ascribed to an American form of these idols.Those who do not worship gold may yet worship rank, name, pleasure, or honour. Most worship self, and I do not know that there is a more degrading form of worship than for a man to put himself on a pedestal and bow down thereto and worship it.You might just as well adore cats and crocodiles with the ancient Egyptians as pay your life's homage to yourselves. No wooden image set up by the most savage tribe can be more ugly or degrading than our idol when we adore ourselves.Men worship Bacchus still. Do not tell me they do not: why, there is a temple to him at every street corner. While every other trade is content with a shop or a warehouse, this fiend has his palaces, in which plentiful libations are poured forth in his honour.The gods of unchastity and vice are yet among us. It would be a shame even to speak of the things which are done of them in secret. The lusts of the flesh are served even by many who would not like to have it known. We have gods many and lords many in this land. God grant that we may see, through the preaching of the gospel, many turning from such idols.If you love anything better than God, you are idolaters: if there is anything you would not give up for God it is your idol: if there is anything that you seek with greater fervour than you seek the glory of God, that is your idol, and conversion means a turning from every idol.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 20, sermon number 1,175, "Stephen's death.""It is of the greatest service to us all to be reminded that our life is but a vapour, which appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away." Through forgetfulness of this worldlings live at ease, and Christians walk carelessly. Unless we watch for the Lord's coming, worldliness soon eats into our spirit as doth a canker. If thou hast this world's riches, believer, remember that this is not thy rest, and set not too great a store by its comforts.If, on the other hand, thou dwellest in straitness, and art burdened with poverty, be not too much depressed thereby, for these light afflictions are but for a moment, and are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.Look upon the things that are as though they were not. Remember you are a part of a great procession which is always moving by; others come and go before your own eyes, you see them, and they disappear, and you yourself are moving onward to another and more real world.“'Tis is greatly wise to talk with our last hours,” to give a rehearsal of our departure, and to be prepared to stand before the great tribunal of the judgment.Our duty is to trim our lamps against the time when the Bridegroom comes; we are called upon to stand always ready, waiting for the appearing of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, or else for the summons which shall tell us that the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, that the body must return to the earth as it was, and the spirit unto God who gave it.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 40, sermon number 2,342, "A New Year's retrospect and prospect.""All gets right when the heart is right."This year, dear brethren, we shall need heart-preparation for the many duties we shall have to perform for God. Look forward to them with trust in God.Those who examine the palms of the hand, and pretend to foretell futurity, are fools; those who believe them are not wise. We cannot tell what a day may bring forth, but we know that every day will bring its meed of service. (Editors note: "Meed," is a word!)Well then, God will prepare our hearts for it. “Thou wilt prepare their heart.” I like to think that nothing shall come for me to do but God will fit me for it. I may be called to work that I have never attempted before; if so, I shall have grace given which I never had before.You may change your condition of life this year, my dear friend, but you shall be prepared for that change. You may have to emigrate to the other side of the world and find fresh duties awaiting you there; but you shall be prepared for your new sphere of service.You may be called from being a servant to be a master, or you may have to come down in the world, and from being a master, you may have to become a servant; yet, whatever God shall put before you to do, he will prepare your heart for it. Only plead this declaration in prayer, and you may expect to have it fulfilled.
by F. X. TurkBefore you get too worked up, this is not a suicide note.  What this post ought to be seen as is an end to my hiatus as it gives way to retirement.  It has gone through a couple of drafts.  I hope it says only what I mean to say and not everything that I really want to say.In the 15-ish years I have been on the internet, I have been accused of a lot of things.  Most of the time, it has been by people who did not read what I wrote.  That's just how things go, and the ignorance of other people should never stop a person from doing something worthwhile.The problem I am having at this point in my hobby-on-hiatus is that as I look at many (most) of the people who were inspired by the work done by this blog and some of my other blogs, those people are terrible. From my perspective, however, this problem has not gotten better with age: it has gotten worse.There's a hard way to see if something can be done about this, and an easy way.The easy way would be to start blogging again -- to open up this blog again and get 3-4 posts a week on the obvious problems with blogs which never post anything but the internet equivalent of this:That path would mean showing the problem and offering the solution (if there is one) to people who don't know the difference between discernment/apologetics and rumor-mongering/slander (the biblical category, not the legal charge).  It would require a staff and donors because it would also require me to do this full-time and not merely when things sort of wander into my field of vision.The hard way to confront that sort of thing looks easy, but takes more commitment to what is actually right and actually good than creating yet another parachurch organization which damages the local church and causes those who say they have faith in Jesus Christ to develop a skeptical and jaundiced view of how a church in real life works.  That hard way is to stop calling what I am doing here a "hiatus" and to start calling it a permanent protest retirement.That path means that I have some other things that need to be said clearly, and then I need to say no more.Here's what's left to be said:Way far north of 95% of Christian blogging is really just exhibitionism, either exposing one's own poor judgment and thinking or exposing others faults (usually both) for the sake of gaining attention for one's self.  I think unintentionally, I have done this.  I repent of ever doing that, and I repudiate everyone who is blogging for the sake of exposing himself or herself to gain an audience.  If you think that's only people with modest-sized blogs, or people on the fringes, you aren't reading the big blogs with any kind of wisdom or insight, or tracking how many people in Christian circles are getting famous from blogging rather than from having actual accomplishments or a decent faith and a world-tilting local church.I repent of ever, at any time, causing anyone else to fall into that trap.  If my example caused you to blog, you are doing it wrong.  You are responsible for you, but I am responsible for doing something which caused you to do wrong.  I repudiate it, and I ask you to do the same.I repent of causing anyone who was otherwise a quiet and private person to get the attention of the internet lynch mob.  I am sorry that I caused anyone to look for your name because you got 0.0001% famous by being associated with me (someone who is 0.001% famous) and because they looked for you, they made your life miserable.  I repudiate anything which caused you to live in violation of 1 Thes 4, and I confess and repudiate that I ever violated it myself.For anyone who wants to hypothesize why I would say that specifically, two notes: [1] You are definitely part of the problem; [2] Every single one of my internet friends has suffered because they have allowed themselves to be associated with me simply because they are human beings who are not even remotely perfect.  And yes: recent events in one of their lives is particularly on my mind in saying this.  It is not because someone is guilty or innocent, but the exhibitionistic hobby of some is causing his family amplified pain and shame, and God will judge the ones doing it that for it.  The only reason those people are seeking out anyone is that a person knows someone allegedly-famous and therefore they think this person is "famous" or "well-known."  That perverse definition of "well-known" in itself proves you-plural who are doing this are ineffable idiots, but saying more than that will not cure you-plural of it.  I am deeply ashamed that my bush-league notoriety has caused anyone to make bad things worse, and I repent of my part in drawing your attention to people who just wanted to laugh at my comic book clip art.A corollary to this apology and retraction is this: if you are using the internet to talk to people who do not know you and cannot know you, you are doing some of the things I did, and you probably do not understand the consequences.  I didn't.  The first consequence seems really obvious to me now: you are kidding yourself about your level of influence.  I would argue that you are actually reaching fewer people and ministering to fewer people by never actually being anywhere long enough to do something "like ministry" than you would be if you belonged to a local IBF church with 25 members who meet in a wooden shack with no modern amenities.The justification, "if I can just save one person ..." doesn't work in its gun-control incarnation, or in its justification of abortion, or any other bad idea.  It certainly doesn't work for someone who claims that the Bible is his or her highest source of authority.  The Bible never asks anyone to be a mostly-faceless, mostly-nameless shill for his own unregulated opinions -- and this a second corollary to my apology and retraction: in all seriousness, nobody is holding you accountable for your actions, and you are harming the spiritual well-being of those you are seeking to influence by proliferating a system in which there is no accountability.  You are making the local church into nothing, and that should bother you.I apologize to everyone and anyone who ever used my blogging as a substitute for having a local church, and loving real people, and being under the authority of elders and men of good faith who are in it for your good and God's glory.  I was wrong to put myself in that place, and I was wrong to let you think it was ever a good idea.I repent of exhibitionism.  I repent of leading others to it.  I repent of demonstrating the lack of accountability which exhibitionists acquire and which leads themselves and others astray.  I repent of giving that example to other and that they followed it.These things have helped create a vile culture of people who use the internet for things Christ would abhor.  I underlined this problem in an open letter to James White a few years ago (link).  Another way to see it is what we think we object to.  We get all worked up about Creflo Dollar buying a big airplane.  We ignore the dollars spent on carting around all the names on the A-List, B-List, D-List and so on down to whatever Z-list it is people have looked down to in order to find my name, as if those dollars are justified (when they are probably higher than the bank note of Creflo's airplane).  We think our version of whatever is happening here in "our part" of the internet is good and godly because we agree with it.  Then we forget that while Paul wrote letters, he didn't publish books: he lived next to people and worked with his hands for his own support so that he could gain the good reputation that he wasn't teaching them for the money.  We forget that our exposition of God's word is not nearly as valuable as God's actual word, and God's actual commandments which we would keep if we loved him.I repent of every time I did anything which made me part of that high-flying set of exhibitionists, and I repent of ever thinking it was good for me or for others.  I repudiate the lot of it, and I urge you to stop paying people to come and tell you things you the Bible does a better job of telling you already.That's plenty to say by way of apology and retraction.  There are a few other things which ought to be said by way of thanks in spite of what has been wrought here.The first thing is to thank everyone who ever tried to see this a different way than I have confessed here and tried to use it for actual-good and not self-aggrandizement.  There are many of you.  In the times when something I wrote here or elsewhere for reasons I didn't fully understand as sinful and God used it for your good anyway, there is proof enough for me that God is good and not merely greedy for justice and making the scales even.  He used my crooked and wretched stick to draw a straight line more than once.  The times I followed a path created by people who wanted to be famous and rich and God allowed what I wrote to make you more like him rather than Him treating me like Demas -- which I would have deserved -- is evidence that God's grace is greater than human words can rightly grade or explain.Thanks to Phil Johnson, who doesn't believe any of things I have written in this post, and isn't seeking his own fame.  If he could have his own way, he'd be a one-eyed hermit casting a monocular gaze over his own back 40.  His goal has always been that people hear the word of God as preached by his pastor.  Those of you who do not know him cannot know how pure his heart is toward God's people and God's word.  You cannot know how deeply he wants people to see and to serve the savior of the world.  His intentions here have always been pure even when mine were not, and I think his ministry to archive and present the teaching of his local pastor to anyone who needs them far exceeds the teaching of the Pharisees who run Christian publishing and Christian media.  He and his family have always been my friends, and I thank him for his generosity to make anything good that has come of this possible.  I also thank him for the PoMotivators.Thanks to Dan Phillips, who also has always come at this thing with a pure heart in spite of the accusations and hard judgments of those who, frankly, could have done better by him but didn't because they didn't like him.  Their pettiness is a judgment on them, and it will be something they will answer to Christ for.  Dan, too, has always been my friend and a teller of truth to me, and he also does not see this endeavor the way I do now.  Undoubtedly, this post about the pitfalls of people being and doing what we have been and done over the years was formative in helping me see what is wrong with "internet ministry."  My hope is that he will find the fruit in his ministry that he is looking for, and that people will not just hear him preach the word of God, but that they will do what he tells them it says to do.Thanks also to everyone who would own the nickname "side-kick," because there are far too many of you to name, and I would be afraid to miss any of you.  You have been the only other reason this has not been a terrible experience.  Some will say I should call you out for enabling me; I call you out for seeing that even in my worst moments, there was a seed in all of it meant to bring joy and good humor to the problem of being all too human in a world which needs Jesus Christ.  I don't blame you for my poor judgment and my poor character and weakness.  I hope that my faults will not take root in you, and that you will forgive me if they already have.To the rest of you, good luck.  God bless you.  For the things you ought to repent of, repent immediately, as soon as possible.  For the things God really wants you to do, do them with gusto -- and remember that if what you think "God really wants you to do" is make what God has already said in his Word look somehow phony, old-fashioned, or powerless, you are doing it wrong.So what's left for me to do at this point is close up shop. The content here has been and always will be under Phil's purview, and if he would keep it as-is, I trust his judgment.  I'll be archiving all the other blogs under my name and closing them in the next 60 days; I'll be shuttering Twitter; If I do not know you personally, I will be unfriending you on Facebook (a process I have been working on since August).  I want you to forget me if that is possible, and if it is not, I ask that you forgive me and let me be at peace as I will seek to make amends by turning my back on any attention not related to people I see every day and places I go every day.  The rest of it is just bound to harm people who do not deserve it.God bless you all.  Be in the Lord's House with the Lord's People on every Lord's Day, and do your part to keep the internet barn door closed.
Image result for spurgeon in santa hatYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from Christ's Incarnation, page 103, Pilgrim Publications."Oh, you who have never worshipped the Christ of God, may you be led to do so! He is God; therefore adore Him."  We worship “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”Our faith sees Him go from the manger to the cross, and from the cross right up to the throne; and there, where Jehovah dwells, amidst the insufferable glory of the Divine presence, stands the very same Person who slept in the manger at Bethlehem; there He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.Our souls worship Him.Thou art our Prophet; every word Thou sayest, we believe, and desire to obey. Thou art our Priest; Thy sacrifice hath made us free from guilt, we are washed white in the fountain of Thy blood. Thou art our King; give Thy commands, and we will obey them; lead Thou on, and we will follow. Thou art God, and we worship Thee.
Image result for spurgeon santa hatYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from Christ's Incarnation, pages 47-48, Pilgrim Publications."It must ever remain to us the mystery of mysteries that God Himself was manifest in the flesh." God the invisible was manifest; God the spiritual dwelt in mortal flesh; God the infinite, uncontained, boundless, was manifest in the flesh. What infinite leagues our thought must traverse between Godhead self-existent, and, therefore, full of power and self-sufficiency, before we have descended to the far down level of poor human flesh, which is, at its best, but as grass, and, in its essence, only so much animated dust!Where can we find a greater contrast than between God and flesh? Yet the two are perfectly blended in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ the Saviour of the lost. “GOD was manifest in the flesh;” truly God, not God humanised, but God as God. He was manifest in real flesh; not in manhood deified, and made superhuman, but in actual flesh. Since this matchless truth is “without controversy,” let us not enter into any controversy about it, but let us reverently meditate upon it.What a miracle of condescension is here, that God should manifest Himself in flesh! This is not so much a theme for the tongue or the pen, as something that is to be pondered in the heart. It needs that we sit down in quietness, and consider how He, who made us, became like us; how He, who is our God, became our Brother-man; how He, who is adored of angels, once lay in a manger; how He, who feeds all living things, hungered and was athirst; how He, who oversees all worlds as God, was, as a man, made to sleep, to suffer, and to die like ourselves.This is a statement not easily to be believed. If He had not been beheld by many witnesses, so that men handled Him, looked upon Him, and heard Him speak, it would have been a matter not readily to be accepted that so Divine a Person should ever have been manifest in flesh. It is a wonder of condescension.
Image result for young charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The New Park Street Pulpit, volume 5, sermon number 248, "Little sins.""That thought shall carry a desire; that desire a look; that look a touch; that touch a deed; that deed a habit; and that habit something worse, until the man, from little beginnings, shall be swamped and drowned in iniquity." Little things, we say, lead on to something worse. And thus it has always been. A spark is dropped by some unwary traveller amidst the dry grass of the prairie. It is but a spark; "Is it not a little one?" A child's foot may tread it out; one drop from the rain-cloud may quench it. But ah! what sets the prairie in a blaze? what bids the rolling waves of flame drive before them all the beasts of the field? what is it that consumes the forest, locking it in its fiery arms? what is it that burns down the habitation of man, or robs the reaper of his harvest? It is this solitary spark,—the one spark—the breeder of the flames. So is it with little sins. Keep them back Oh Satan! They be sparks, but the very fire of hell is only a growth from them. The spark is the mother of conflagration, and though it be a little one I can have nought to do with it. Satan always begins with us as he did with Achan. He showed Achan, first of all, a goodly Babylonish garment, and a wedge of gold. Achan looked at it: was it not a little thing to do,—to look? Achan touched it: was not that a little thing? How slight a sin—to touch the forbidden thing! He takes it, and carries it away to his tent, and—here is worse,— he hides it. And at length he must die for the awful crime. Oh! take heed of those small beginnings of sin. Beginnings of sin are like the letting out of water: first, there is an ooze; then a drip; then a slender stream; then a vein of water; and then, at last, a flood: and a rampart is swept before it, a continent is drowned. Take heed of small beginnings, for they lead to worse. There was never a man yet that came to the gallows but confessed that he began with small thefts;—the stealing of a book at school—the pilfering, afterwards, from his master's till leading to the joining of the gang of robbers,—the joining of the gang of robbers leading to worse crimes and, at last, the deed was done, the murder was committed, which brought him to an ignominious death. Little sins often act as burglars do;— burglars sometimes take with them a little child; they put the little child into a window that is too small for them to enter, and then he goes and opens the door to let in the thieves. So do little sins act. They are but little ones, but they creep in, and they open the door for great ones. A traitor inside the camp may be but a dwarf, and may go and open the gates of the city and let in a whole army. Dread sin; though it be never so small, dread it. You cannot see all that is in it. It is the mother of ten thousand mischiefs. The mother of mischief, they say, is as small as a midge's egg; and certainly, the smallest sin has ten thousand mischiefs sleeping within its bowels.
Image result for young charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 13, sermon number 759 "Jesus putting away sin.""In the end of the world Christ was revealed to put away sin. He did not come into the world to palliate it merely, or to cover it up, but he came to put it away." Observe, he not only came to put away some of the attributes of sin, such as the filth of it, the guilt of it, the penalty of it, the degradation of it; he came to put away sin itself, for sin, you see, is the fountain of all the mischief. He did not come to empty out the streams, but to clear away the fatal source of the pollution. He appeared to put away sin itself, sin in its essence and being.Do not forget that he did take away the filth of sin, the guilt of sin, the punishment of sin, the power of sin, the dominion of sin, and that one day he will kill in us the very being and existence of sin, but do recollect that he aimed his stroke at sin itself. My Master seemed to say, as the king of Syria did of old, “Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king.” He aimed his shafts at the monster's head, smote his vital parts, and laid him low. He put hell itself to flight, and captivity was led captive.What a glorious word—our Lord put away sin! We read in the word of God, sometimes, that he cast it into the depths of the sea; that is glorious, nobody can ever find it again—in the shoreless depths of the sea, Jesus drowned our sins. Again, we find he removed it as far as the east is from the west. Who can measure that distance? Infinite leagues divide the utmost bounds of space: so far has he removed our transgressions from us.We read again that he has made an end of sin. You know what we mean by making an end of a thing, it is done with, annihilated, utterly destroyed and abolished. Jesus we here read has put sin away, he has divorced it from us. Sin and my soul are no more married. Christ has put sin away—he has borne it away as the scape-goat carried the iniquity of the people in type and shadow.He has literally taken upon himself the sins of all his people, and, stronger than Atlas, has borne the load and carried it away and hurled it into his sepulchre, where it lies buried forever. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”Sin is clean gone. If thou believest in Christ, there is nothing that can be laid to thy charge. The past, the present, the future— every sin was laid on Christ; sins of tongue, and brain, and heart, and hand, and thought, were all laid on him. Sins against men, sins against God, adultery, murder, blasphemy, everything, all were laid on Jesus.He became, as it were, the common reservoir for all the sin of his people to meet in, and then he emptied it all out by his atoning sacrifice; so that the filth of his people is removed. He has crossed the Kedron and put away the filth of sin. You and I may sing concerning sin as Israel sang concerning Egypt when the ransomed nation stood upon the shore of the Red Sea. “The depths have covered them: there is not one of them left.”
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 28, sermon number 1,652, "The singing pilgrim.""A man who is a pilgrim reckons that land to be his country in which he expects to remain the longest."Through the country which he traverses he makes his way with all speed; but when he gets home he abides at his leisure, for it is the end of his toil and travail. What a little part of life shall we spend on earth!When you and I have been in heaven ten thousand years we shall look back upon those sixty years we spent here as nothing at all: their pain a pin's prick, their gain a speck, their duration the twinkling of an eye.Even if you have to tarry eighty or ninety years in this exile, when you have been in heaven a million years, the longest life will seem no greater than a thought, and you will wonder that you said the days were so weary and the nights so dreary, and that the years of sickness dragged such a weary length along.Ah me, eternal bliss, what a drop thou makest of our sea of sorrow! Heaven covers up this present grief, and so much overlaps it that we could fold up myriads of such mourning and still have garments of joy enough to clothe an army of the afflicted. We make too much of this poor life, and this fondness costs us dear.Oh for a higher estimate of the home country, with its delights forevermore! then would the trials of a day exhale like the dew of the morning, and scarce secure an hour of sorrow. We are only here time enough to feel an April shower of pain, and we are gone among the unfading flowers of the endless May.Wherefore let us not make the most of the least, and the least of the most; but let us put things in their order, and allot to brief life its brief consideration, and to everlasting glory its weight of happy meditation. We are to dwell throughout eternity with God! Is not that our home?That is not a man's residence into which he enters at the front door and in a moment passes out at the back, and is gone never to return, as though it were a mere passage from one street to another; and yet this is about all that believers do as to this poor world.That is a man's home where he can sit down at his ease and look on all around him as his own and say—“Here will I make a settled rest, While others go and come, No more a stranger or a guest, But like a child at home.” Yes, this shows that we are pilgrims, because we are here for so short a space compared with the length of time we shall spend in the dear country beyond.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 28, sermon number 1,656, "My solace in my affliction.""The design and purpose of God are fixed, not fickle. He knows what he intends."You and I often begin with a design from which we are bound to deviate as we see something that would be better, or as we see that our better thing is not attainable, and we are obliged to be content with something inferior. But in God's case there can be no defect of judgment which would require amendment, and there can be no defect of power which would drive him from his first determination.God has a plan, depend upon it: it were an insult to the supreme intellect if we supposed that he worked at random, without plan or method. To some of us it is a truth which we never doubt, that God has one boundless purpose which embraces all things, both things which he permits and things which he ordains.Without for a moment denying the freedom of the human will, we still believe that the supreme wisdom foresees also the curious twistings of the human will, and overrules all for his own ends. God knows and numbers all the inclinations and devices of men, and his plan in its mighty sweep takes them all into account.From that plan he never swerves. What he has resolved to do he will do. The settled purpose of his heart shall stand for ever sure. Of what use could the opposition of angels or of men be when Omnipotence asserts its supremacy?As you walk down your garden on an autumn morning the spiders have spun their webs across the path, but you scarcely know it, for as you move along the threads vanish before you. So is it with every scheme, however skillfully contrived, that would arrest the fulfillment of the Divine purpose. The will of God must be done. Without the semblance of effort he moulds all events into his chosen form.In the sphere of mind as well as in that of matter his dominion is absolute. One man cannot immediately operate on the will of another man so as to change its course, although intermediately he may propound reasons which, by their effect on the understanding, may completely alter the inclination of his fellow-creature; but this is a trite proverb—“The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” God can bend the thoughts of men as easily as we can lay on the pipes, and turn the water into any cistern we choose.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from John Ploughman's Pictures, pages 36-37, Pilgrim Publications."Anger is a short madness." The less we do when we go mad the better for everybody, and the less we go mad the better for ourselves. He is far gone who hurts himself to wreak his vengeance on others. The old saying is “Don't cut off your head because it aches,” and another says “Set not your house on fire to spite the moon.”If things go awry, it is a poor way of mending to make them worse, as the man did who took to drinking because he could not marry the girl he liked. He must be a fool who cuts off his nose to spite his face, and yet this is what Dick did when he had vexed his old master, and because he was chid must needs give up his place, throw himself out of work, and starve his wife and family.Jane had been idle, and she knew it, but sooner than let her mistress speak to her, she gave warning, and lost as good a service as a maid could wish for. Old Griggs was wrong, and could not deny it, and yet because the parson's sermon fitted him rather close, he took the sulks and vowed he would never hear the good man again. It was his own loss, but he wouldn't listen to reason, but was as wilful as a pig.Do nothing when you are out of temper, and then you will have the less to undo. Let a hasty man's passion be a warning to you; if he scalds you, take heed that you do not let your own pot boil over. Many a man has given himself a box on the ear in his blind rage, ay, and ended his own life out of spite.He who cannot curb his temper carries gunpowder in his bosom, and he is neither safe for himself nor his neighbours. When passion comes in at the door, what little sense there is indoors flies out at the window. By-and-by a hasty man cools and comes to himself, like MacGibbon's gruel when he put it out of the window, but if his nose is off in the meantime, who is to put it on again? He will only be sorry once and that will be all the rest of his life.Anger does a man more hurt than that which made him angry. It opens his mouth and shuts his eyes, and fires his heart, and drowns his sense, and makes his wisdom folly.
Image result for charles spurgeon preachingYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The New Park Street Pulpit, volume 7, sermon number 367, "The Great Supreme.""In this world we seldom judge men as to character; we judge them as to rank."The poor and honest man shall go through the streets—will ye crowd to see him? A man shall wear a crown who is a perjurer—and will ye not rush out and clap your hands at him? Ye judge according to rank, and not according to character. Would God we all knew how to judge men, not according to the sight of our eyes, or the hearing of our ears, but according to the rightness of their characters.Oh, honour the Queen; God has said so in his Word. Pay deference unto authorities as ye should do; but if in aught they swerve, remember your knee must bow to God, and to God alone. If in aught there is anything wrong, though it should have a sovereign's name attached to it, remember one is your Master, one is your King, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”Ascribe not greatness unto emperors and monarchs—“Ascribe ye greatness unto our God,” and unto our God alone. In the case of those who are in the employ of masters, it is but just and right that they should render unto their masters that which is their due; but when the master commands that which is wrong, allow me solemnly to caution you against giving to him anything which you are not bound to do.Your master tells you, you must break the Sabbath. You do it because he is your master; ye have violated this command, for it is said, “Ascribe ye greatness unto God.” You are tempted in your employment to commit a fault; you are commanded to do it; you are irresolute; you waver for a moment; you say, shall I obey God or man? At last, you say, "My master said so, I must obey him, or I shall lose my employment."Remember you have not ascribed greatness unto God, when you say that. Rather say this:—“In all things that are right, I am the servant of all men; but in things that are wrong, I will not yield. I will stand up stedfast for God's right and for God's commands. Men may be my masters when they tell me to do the thing that is honest and the thing that is just, but if in aught they swerve from that, I will not break my heavenly Master's command. He is more my Master than they—I will stand firm and fast by Him.”How many young men are tempted from the path they ought to pursue by those who exercise influence upon them! How many a young woman has been turned aside from rectitude by some command which has been given her by a person who had influence over her. Take care that ye allow no man to get dominion over your conscience.Remember you will have no excuse at the day of judgment; it will be no palliation of your guilt to say that you were commanded by man to do wrong. For God will reply to you—“I told you to ascribe greatness to me, and to me only, and inasmuch as you obeyed man rather than God, you have violated my command.” “Ascribe ye greatness to our God.” Take that caution; believe it; and receive it in your daily life, and in your dealing with great and small.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from Able to the Uttermost, page 108, Pilgrim Publications."Dear brothers and sisters, our one desire is to glorify God." Now, we shall glorify Him for ever and ever; but there is a particular form of service which only belongs to this life. Are you not anxious—very anxious—that you should honour Christ here and do as much as you can? Well, you have few days—but few days.Oh, one could almost wish to live to be as old as Methuselah for the sake of winning men's souls and bringing sinners to Christ. But it cannot be. Oh, how we ought to work for Jesus, seeing He is such a Master, and deserves to have so much from His servants. And yet there is so short a space to do it in.If we are painting for eternity, oh, let us move our hands with skill and with rapidity as hearing the chariot wheels of eternity behind us. Can we afford to waste hours or even minutes?I have heard of a Puritan who used to rise and study at five in the morning. But one day he heard a smith's hammer while he was getting up, and he said, "Shall a smith work harder than a minister of God? Shall he give to his hard service more time than I give to my Lord and Master?” And he would thus chide himself, though he was one of the most industrious of men.Remember, dear friends, that you are born of woman, and that you have but few days—few days in which to bring sons and daughters to the Saviour, few days in which to save that Sabbath school class, few days, oh, preacher, in which to make this place ring with salvation, few days in which to be a shepherd to the people of God—a few days in which to call sinners and to warn backsliders.Let us live, while we live, brethren, to the utmost power and capacity of our manhood, for we are of few days.
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Golden Alphabet, Psalm 119:104, Pilgrim Publications"Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way." Psalm 119:104Because he had understanding, and because of the divine precepts, he detested sin and falsehood. Every sin is a falsehood: we commit sin because we believe a lie, and in the end the flattering evil turns a liar to us, and we find ourselves betrayed.True hearts are not indifferent about falsehood, they grow warm in indignation: as they love the truth, so they hate the lie. Saints have a universal horror of all that is untrue; they tolerate no falsehood or folly, they set their faces against all error of doctrine or wickedness of life.He who is a lover of one sin is in league with the whole army of sins; we must have neither truce nor parley with even one of these Amalekites, for the Lord hath war with them from generation to generation, and so must we. It is well to be a good hater. And what is that? A hater of no living being, but a hater of “every false way.”The way of self-will, of self-righteousness, of self-seeking, of worldliness, of pride, of unbelief, of hypocrisy, of lustfulness—these are all false ways, and therefore not only to be shunned, but to be abhorred. This final verse of the strophe marks a great advance in character, and shows that the man of God is growing stronger, bolder, and happier than aforetime.He has been taught of the Lord, so that he discerns between the precious and the vile, and while he loves the truth fervently he hates falsehood intensely. May all of us reach this state of discrimination and determination, so that we may greatly glorify God!
Image result for charles spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 39, sermon number 2,317, "Obeying Christ's orders."“Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” Do not think about it, especially for a very long time, and then wait until it is more impressed upon you, or till there is a convenient season. “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” One of the great evils of the times is that of deliberating about a plain command of Christ and asking, “What will be the result of it?” What have you to do with results?“But if I follow Christ in all things, I may lose my position.” What have you to do with that? When a soldier is told to go up to the cannon's mouth, he is very likely to lose his “position,” and something else; but he is bound to do it.“Oh, but I might lose my opportunities of usefulness!” What do you mean? That you are going to do evil that good may come? That is what it comes to. Will you really, before God, look that matter in the face? “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” At any expense, at any risk, do it.I have heard some say, “Well, I do not like doing things in a hurry.” Very well, but what saith David? “I made haste, and delayed not—to keep thy commandments.” Remember that we sin every moment that we delay to do anything commanded by Christ. Whether every moment of delay is a fresh sin, I cannot say; but if we neglect any command of his, we are living in a condition of perpetual sinning against him; and that is not a desirable position for any of Christ's disciples to live in.Beloved, “whatever he saith unto you, do it.” Do not argue against it, and try to find some reason for getting off it I have known some believers who have not liked to have certain passages of Scripture read at the family altar because they have rather troubled their consciences. If there is anything in the Bible that quarrels with you, you are wrong; the Bible is not. Come you to terms with it at once, and the only terms will be obey, obey, obey your Lord's will.I am not holding this up to you as a way of salvation; you know I should never think of doing that. I am speaking to those of you who are saved. You are Christ's servants, his saved ones; and now you have come to the holy discipline of his house and this is the rule of it, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”
Image result for spurgeonYour weekly Dose of SpurgeonThe PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 34, sermon number 2,010, "The Word a sword.""There is a style of majesty about God's Word, and with this majesty a vividness never found elsewhere."They dream—they dream that they have put us among the antiquities, those of us who preach the old Gospel that our fathers loved! They sneer at the doctrines of the apostles and of the reformers, and declare that believers in them are left high and dry, the relics of an age which has long since ebbed away.Yes, so they say! But what they say may not after all be true; for the gospel is such a living gospel that, if it were cut into a thousand shreds, every particle of it would live and grow. If it were buried beneath a thousand avalanches of error, it would shake off the incubus and rise from its grave. If it were cast into the midst of fire it would walk through the flame as it has done many a time, as though it were in its natural element.The Reformation was largely due to a copy of the Scriptures left in the seclusion of a monastery, and there hidden till Luther came under its influence, and his heart furnished soil for the living seed to grow in. Leave but a single New Testament in a Popish community, and the evangelical faith may at any moment come to the front, even though no preacher of it may ever have come that way.Plants unknown in certain regions have suddenly sprung from the soil, the seeds have been wafted on the winds, carried by birds, or washed ashore by the waves of the sea. So vital are seeds that they live and grow wherever they are borne; and even after lying deep in the soil for centuries, when the upturning spade has brought them to the surface, they have germinated at once.Thus is it with the Word of God; it liveth and abideth for ever and in every soil and under all circumstances it is prepared to prove its own life by the energy with which it grows and produces fruit to the glory of God. How vain, as well as wicked, are all attempts to kill the gospel. Those who attempt the crime, in any fashion, will be for ever still beginning and never coming near their end.They will be disappointed in all cases, whether they would slay it with persecution, smother it with worldliness, crush it with error, starve it with neglect, poison it with misrepresentation, or drown it with infidelity. While God liveth his Word shall live. Let us praise God for that.
by F. X. TurkOk, Ok. Don't get too excited people. Seriously.Watch this for about 90 seconds, because it this is where we are today as a society:The video above is loaded to start at about 1:45, which is after Dangerfield has done his "blue" routine about his relationship with his wife. The remainder of the bit is his self-deprecating "no respect" routine in which his doctor, his bartender, his wife, kids and parents all treat him with, as we can probably guess, with "no respect." While he probably didn't invent this trope, at least today he is the one best known for it because of his rapid-fire delivery, his amazing physical presence, and the undeniable dog-faced charm which he never drops. He is the character needed for the jokes to work from start to finish, even in the walk-off.So why break my hiatus -- which I am loving, by the way, and I am sorry that you miss me (follow me on twitter if you miss me that much) -- to show you 90 seconds of Rodney Dangerfield on a once-famous blog which was well know for both high-quality theology and red-hot biblically-based commentary?I have invented a parable this week, and I wanted to run it by you. In order to sort of get the full effect for that parable, I wanted you to first listen to Dangerfield to set up what I am trying to say here.So let's imagine for a minute that you work with a guy that looks and acts like Rodney Dangerfield -- let's call him Andy. When he comes to work, he wears a decent suit, nice shirt and tie, clean shaven every day. On the surface, he's just like you -- a person in the image of God, and maybe because he's a little less Brad Pitt and a little more, well, Rodney Dangerfield, Andy knows that he can't come to work looking like he's about to go to a picnic after work. He has to come to work, as is proverbially said, dressed for the job he really wants.But as he does his job, week in and week out, Randy is in a routine where he is actually using the classic Dangerfield trope of "getting no respect" whenever something at work happens. Project is due? Of course it's late - I went to IT to get them to solve the problems with my Outlook, and they told me they didn't have any confidence in me, either. Customer is unhappy? Of course he's unhappy -- he told me he wanted me to take him to lunch because his doctor said he had to lose weight, and I was so ugly he'd lose his appetite. Quality is bad? I asked Production if there were any quality issues I should know about, and they told me I was fat and a liar and that I smelled bad, too. It seemed funny at first, but Andy does it every day: everything that goes wrong around him is not only not his fault, it is draped in this complaint that everyone around him will not give him any respect.It gets so bad that you decide to take him to lunch to see what it is he thinks he is doing, and if you can help. And this is where it gets really interesting because even as you invite him to lunch, he says to you, "I know what you're trying to do, but it's no use: this is all your fault.""My fault?" you say. "How can it be my fault?""It happened before you got here, but nobody here shows me any respect. I'm convinced that there's a company policy at this point, a policy of systematic no-respect. Everybody shows me no respect, all the time. No respect. Everybody - even you."Now, this is absolutely not what you expected. You actually came to him because you could see that what was in fact happening was that this guy was making the whole company lose confidence in his performance, and as he made more of these unfunny excuses it became harder and harder to judge him according to the content of his character because his character, frankly, was not good. It also made it hard to give him the benefit of the doubt when circumstances actually were stacked against him -- because whether the issue was impossible to resolve or he just never tried, he always blamed everyone else and their lack of respect for him. You thought he was kidding at first or looking to buy time, but here it turns out that, unbelievably, he is convinced that the reason he's constantly failing is that nobody actually gives him any respect. And that lack of respect is somehow baked into the company's way of doing business."OK, hang on a second Andy," you say. "What about Randy? You know Randy, right?"TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT, FACES OMITTEDRandy, it turns out, looks like Andy -- I mean, like brothers. Like there before the grace of time and natural selection (not that we are evolutionists), you could mistake Andy for Randy from behind for sure, and maybe out of the corner of your eye."That guy?" Andy says. "He's the worst of all. He's like my Uncle Thomas. I told Thomas I was joining Gamblers Anonymous, he gave me 3 to 1 odds I wouldn't make it.""What? What's that supposed to mean?" It's a funny joke, but you have no idea where he is going with it."I'm saying that while everyone is down on me, he's actually getting ahead by using me and pushing me aside.""That's not true," you tell him. "You came here from Detroit, he came here from Nigeria. You have worked in the US all your life, he has only been here a few years -- maybe since just before college. You started here before he did, and yet somehow even though he has some disadvantages you don't have -- he had to learn the language, he had to become a citizen to keep his job, he has to live far from his family -- he's about to get promoted to the department head, and you are still in this same job because you blame other people for your condition, and he is, frankly, trying to make his own condition."When you say that, Andy gets really upset. He starts to shout at you, as if you were the one saying that there was no way for him to succeed on his own. "I can't believe you! You and your work privileges! You and Randy and everyone else around here think that it's easy to get by, but you don't know what it's like for everyone to be against you! Nobody appreciates what I do no matter what I do. And things will never get better around here unless ... " and suddenly a light goes on behind Andy's eyes. You can see the dawning of revelation as the gears turn in his head and suddenly a new idea is born in him. You watch him a a minute, and you think he has suddenly realized what you came to tell him."Unless you stop blaming other people and get yourself on the team, right?"His lit-up visage suddenly reverts to an angry glower. "Are you kidding me?! Are you serious?! That will never work," he yells. "But what will obviously work is if they fire the Boss and they put me in charge! That's what would make things change around here! In fact, I am going right now to HR to tell them that they better make me the guy running the show around here to make up for all the years of people disrespecting me, or else I'm going to sue them into the ground!"Andy marches off to the HR office, and you head out to lunch. You're pretty sure they are going to fire him when he goes up there, but you don't want to be here to see it.As with all parables, it ruins it to explain it. But: for those who have ears, let him listen.

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