Pearcey Report

Pearcey Report

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Standing Fast

Recently, I read a book entitled “Holding Fast”, the gripping story of one’s faith in the midst of trial.

Extremely well written, it seemed lacking in one respect. It lacked a clear articulation of The Faith.

Upon reflection, this seems to be representative of the current religious climate: strong on subjectivity, weak on objectivity.

The Faith is objective.

My experience of The Faith is subjective and reflective of my personal paradigm of understanding, orientation, etc.

This trend away from the objectivity of The Faith has been developing over the past few hundred years til at the moment, the antipathy is bordering on the vicious.

‘Course, we now call the vicious “post-modernism”, but it is vicious nonetheless.  Euphemisms do have a way of disarming and confusing things.

It's tolerance warmly embraces the sympathetic while savagely attacking the antithetic and has successfully lobbied to establish the antithetic as “hate crime”.

My personal take is this has come about through ignorance of and the failure to personally embrace The Faith.

What Jude penned in the late first century is still of import in our generation…we are to contend for The Faith.

Are you able to articulate The Faith?

Or are you satisfied to respond with the phrase of the defeatist hymn, “You ask my how I know He lives, He lives within my heart”?

Small wonder we are apologetic pushovers!

The Apostle Paul admonished the saints at Corinth to stand fast in The Faith.


Ezekiel, Ezekiel, Ezekiel

For the past two weeks, I have been unable to get this biblical prophet off my mind!

I have awakened every morning thinking of him.

What gives?

He was contemporary with Jeremiah, who was at least 20+ years older.

He was also contemporary with Daniel.

He was born during the reform movement under Josiah, undoubtedly experienced the ministry of Jeremiah, the death of Josiah, the agony of the first deportation to Babylon, and then deportation with Jehoiachin in 597 BC.

All of this by age 25!

After 5 years of captivity among Israelites harboring a false hope of restoration and subject to the ministry of false prophets, Ezekiel, son of Buzi of the family of Priests is visited by God.

Talk about a paradigm shift!

Through his ministry, we are privileged to see God’s utilization of this man as a pedagogical device.

Though we do not see the same words as those of young Mary, we do see the same obedient conduct.

Thoughts cross my mind: am I currently a tool in God's hand?

Am I willing to be a tool in God’s hand in my generation?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Stimulating Read

Just read Holding Fast.

This is a gripping tale of the triumph in the midst of and over the tragedy told by one who experienced the sustaining power of grace throughout.

It is the story of Karen James

As one reads, he or she begins to feel as if actually present, feeling the anxiety, anticipating the next call, grappling with issues of The Faith albeit in a relatively shallow manner.

The story has so many threads one may persue…

One may revel in the excitement, spirit of daring and measured risk-taking of Kelly James, without such men and women would we have ventured to the Moon or across Australia’s outback? Yet, there are three kids who will continue to venture into their lives without the presence of a Dad, not to neglect Karen herself!

As a believer, these are the very tensions designed by our Sovereign God to be wrestled with during our tenure under the New Covenant.

By no means do I want to cast a shadow on Kelly’s actions/passion; other than to note he is not an exemplar!

Karen’s record is not meant to be a theological treatise. It is an anecdotal testimony of her perception of sustaining grace.

But, again though she is not an exemplar, she is without a doubt to be commended for her fidelity during the trial.

At the same time, one is moved to thank God for the fellowship of the saints in her experience!

Being an ENFJ, I admit to using up a few tissues during the read. But following every resort to tissues, I would have to put the book down and ask myself, aside from my physiological/subjective response, what of theological substance is being presented?

My answer: very little.

Do I, would I recommend the book? Certainly. Every believer’s testimony has value and this is Karen’s.

She is to be commended for sharing with us.

My thanks to her.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The Apostle Paul admonished us to be thankful.

He also alerted us as to the first step downward in a move from one’s intuitive awareness of God.

In his writings he informs us that those who depart from God and their intuitive awareness are thereby darkened in their understanding. From then on, nothing makes sense, everything is unfair, and they are:”victims”.

Life, for them leads them to Solomon’s conclusion.

But for those who bow beneath the awful hand of God in Christ, life takes on another dimension.

Though, as a result of their bowing, it does not logically follow they are provided with answers, their confidence is in The One who controls all things according to His plan.

Their heart is at rest, irrespective of external circumstance.

Paul refers to this as “…the peace that surpasses understanding…”

So, today, I am thankful. For:

My faithful and awesome wife of 50+ years.

My five children, all of whom, to the best of my knowledge, are part of Christ’s fold.

My fourteen grandchildren, many of whom, though at the moment, not all, own Christ as their King.

My six great-grandchildren for whom my prayer is: come to yield to Christ, whom to know is Life Eternal.

Am I not a blessed man?

To be thankless, is to be stupid!

Thank You, Lord!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Can you say “tool”?

I doubt it.

Too many are wont to say or think “saviour”, in small case “s”.

But, President-electOBama, and every other self appointed political “saviour” is just that, self appointed.

Seems to me, since Adam, every driven individual on the political scene is a “saviour”. He or she is convinced their solution is the one which will usher us into “nirvana”, finally!

We, like sheep, believe them!


The Saviour manifested Himself and completed His task over 2 millennial ago!

Nothing remains to be done, in terms of individual salvation!

But, in terms of societal salvation: mercy, how much remains to be done!

And to think that He, the sovereign God of Creation has left it in our hands to work out-good grief! Can you believe it?

OBama is only this generation’s tool.

He may well be a subtle tyrant.

He may be less than that.


You’re obligation and mine is to function, in terms of the New Covenant, as Shamgar of old!

Are you up to it?

I wonder…

Sorrow and her Sisters

In preparation for a class on Proverbs at church, I re-read a message I shared back in ’86 entitled “Sorrow and he Sisters”.

My focus was taken from Psalm 119:71 & 75.

In my reflection, I asked, what might God be endeavoring to teach us via sorrow?

Surely, in His economy, it is not pointless!

Then, and presently, I hasten to admit, my personal experience is vicarious.

For most of my life, it has been my blessing to enjoy good health. In the providence of God, I have been favored with 50+ years of marriage to the best thing that ever happened to me, outside of Salvation!

I have also been blessed with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, many of whom own Christ as their own, and, thankfully, none of whom either reject or scorn Him, and all of whom bless my life beyond measure!

In the years that have ensued, be it in my life, theirs, or the lives of those with whom I have been privileged to associate, I have learned of the “sisters” of Sorrow.

I suggested seven;

Glory of God

Then, I came across this poem:

He sat by a fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore,
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.

He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And He wanted the finest gold
To mould as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems with a price untold.

So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Tho' we fain would have said Him 'Nay,'
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
And it melted and passed away.

And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright,
But our eyes were so dim with tears,
We saw but the fire--not the Master's hand,
And questioned with anxious fears.

Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a Form above,
That bent o'er the fire, tho' unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.

Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment's pain?
Ah, no! but He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.

So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat,
Than was needed to make it pure.

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

Thank God for Sorrow and her Sisters

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Seems to me, the Bible is quite clear: God created Man and sustains him (and this creation) by the word of His Mouth.

Nowhere, in 1500 pages of fine print, sans pictures, can one get the impression God created and stands aloof from it, as the Diest would suggest.

Far too many passages suggest His intimate involvement, much to our dismay given our first parent’s succumbing, in what seems to be minute detail.

Our immediate response is, “…does that make me an automaton…”?

No, it makes you (and me) creatures. Creatures who, as the Apostle Paul declared on Mars Hill about 2 millennia back, “…live, and move, and have our being in Him…”. And, perish the thought, he was quoting one who did not adhere to Christian thinking?

A creature.

Does that bother you, humble you, make you feel less than a god?


In contradistinction to sticks, stones, water, and the Animal kingdom, you have been blessed by this Creator with Rationality! You are not instinctually driven, but seem to have choice. You are, Imagio Dei.

In almost every instance, absent the Gun of the “…powers that be…”, you act freely. In those actions, you feel as if you are “…in charge of your destiny…”!

Then, voila, it comes crashing down.



The answer is, biblically, rational…”…He works all things after the counsel of His will…” .

Creatures are not, Ultimately, in charge. He is.

It is at this crucial juncture your temporal destiny lies.

Will you respond as a creature….or as a rebel…?

Therein lies peace of mind, without the assistance of pharmaceuticals.

Psalm 119:165

Monday, November 17, 2008


Have you ever watched the conduct of fish in a bowl?

As you observed them, did you wonder if they thought themselves to be free?

Did you wonder “do they know what water is”, while they are observing your “antics”?


They are content in their environment and any thought as to the environment never enters their mind, til you jerk them out!

Similarly, I wonder, do we ever really acknowledge our status as creatures til we are “jerked out of our environment”?


We intuitively believe we are in control of everything til we are “…jerked out…”.

We believe, as the serpent suggested in the beginning, “…you will be as gods, determining…”

Such “jerking out” may come with the birth of a child with massive birth defects; it may come as a spousal defection; it may come when you, in contra-distinction to all you have been taught “play the fool”, or in those situations when you are a “victim” of circumstances.

Whatever the circumstance, it is apparent to you, “I am NOT in control!”

Frightening, eh?

At such times, one is well advised to utter, as Mary did, “…be it unto me…”.

IMHO, real spiritual growth does not begin til one acknowledges “creatureliness”!

Til then, it seems to be a competition between supposed deities!

How’s that for a manifestation of Eph. 3?

Christian Anarchy

Recently, I came across the writings of Vernard Eller in the context of researching Home Churches.

As I perused the web site for Home Church Central I discovered the archive of his writings. In so doing, I also discovered my purchase of his Christian Anarchy back in ’88. Back then, I only worked my way through Chapter 1 and, being grossly mistaken in my understanding of Anarchy, lost interest and book marked my last read!


Over the past 20+ years, I have come to embrace the “Minarchist” position, politically, wrestling with how it comports with The Faith.

Though I may be premature, my initial take is, The Faith, politically and religiously, is anarchist and therein lays its power and influence!

Eller speaks of the various “arkys”, i.e. powers, be they political or religious. Each seeks to utilize “imposition” versus persuasion!

“Imposition’ via indoctrination: i.e. “Oath of Allegiance”; Pledge of Allegiance; “obey the State”, etc. In the church, we see the same pressure via Statements of Faith, membership commitments, etc., all of which arte far more explicit than the NT.

Mercy, how that smacks of POWER, i.e. imposition. And we all know the impact of POWER, be it political or religious.

Anyway, at the moment my focus is: how does one develop a New Covenant Shamgar?

What is the new Covenant “ox goad”?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

21st Century Shamgar

How long before we disabuse ourselves of the governmental mantra that “they” are there to protect us?

“They” typically arrive after I have been abused and violated.

Semper Paratus

Monday, November 10, 2008

In Retrospect

Outside of my memories of the days in USMC, my early days in The Navigators, and my days battling the gates in the anti-abortion issue, I have subsequently had little sense of intense camaraderie.

In each of those circumstances I sensed a commitment such as implied in this motto:

If I falter, push me on.

If I stumble, pick me up.

If I retreat, shoot me.

It may be suggested the motto is more fitting or suited for the young and idealistic.

Probably so; but, somehow, there seems to be something within which resonates in the breast of every man. At least those who still claim to have chests!

One is led to wonder if this lack or absence is symptomatic of the wimpiness of present day Christianity?

Christianity need not look to the Corps, French Foreign Legion, or to the Israeli military for its model of commitment.

Mercy, no!

We look to Paul, Ignatius, Athanasius, and a host of other saints down through the ages of church history who did not count their lives dear unto themselves…

Soon, and very soon, similar days may be upon us.

One wonders what history will record?




Me genoito!

No, in the shadows we will see an army of Shamgars rise, resist, educate, motivate, empower, and multiply to the glory of God, the advance of the kingdom, and the consternation of the "...powers that be...


In their respective generations they will be anathema.

But, in the annals of the kingdom's advance they will be counted among the ""

Fools for Christ's sake!

Seps Exertus

Semper Fidelis

Frater Infinitas

Happy Birthday, USMC

Semper Fidelis!

Fifty three years ago, I signed in blood on the dotted line and joined this fraternity.

No regrets; much appreciation and many fond memories!

Happy Birthday, USMC!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Golden Handcuffs

The Church and the World walked far apart
On the changing shores of time,
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.

The came the offer of Golden Handcuffs, though, quite naturally, they were not referred to so crassly. No, they were called benefits to enhance ministry.

“Come, give me your hand,” said the merry World,
“And walk with me this way!”
But the faithful Church hid her gentle hands
And solemnly answered “Nay!

Initially, the church commendably says, No.

I will not give you my hand at all,
And I will not walk with you;
Your way is the way that leads to death;
Your words are all untrue.”

But, the process is one of wooing, not demanding. It is a process of adjusting the terms of consideration.

“Nay, walk with me but a little space,”
Said the World with a kindly air;
“The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there.

Your path is thorny and rough and rude,
But mine is broad and plain;
My way is paved with flowers and dews,
And yours with tears and pain.

The sky to me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe.
There’s room enough for you and me
To travel side by side.”

And the church thinks, “there’s truth to what is being suggested”. Things are difficult and making them better could well enhance and advance to cause of the gospel, so

Half shyly the Church approached the World
And gave him her hand of snow;

And the loss of a non-negotiable comes about not as a result of a frontal assault and pitched battle, but something as easy as a simple “adjustment”, read: compromise.

And the old World grasped it and walked along,
Saying, in accents low: “Your dress is too simple to please my taste;
I will give you pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair.”

Now the topic shifts to one of adjustment to things as they really are, read: cultural adjustment, contextualization.

The Church looked down at her plain white robes,
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.

“I will change my dress for a costlier one,”
Said the Church, with a smile of grace;
Then her pure white garments drifted away,
And the World gave, in their place,

Beautiful satins and shining silks,
Roses and gems and costly pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crisped in a thousand curls.

“Your house is too plain,” said the proud old World,
“I’ll build you one like mine;
With walls of marble and towers of gold,
And furniture ever so fine.”

So he built her a costly and beautiful house;
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there
Gleaming in purple and gold.

Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,
And the World and his children were there.
Laughter and music and feasts were heard
In the place that was meant for prayer.

There-were cushioned seats for the rich and the gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
But the poor who were clad in shabby array,
Sat meekly down outside.

“You give too much to the poor,” said the World.
“Far more than you ought to do;
If they are in need of shelter and food,
Why need it trouble you?

Go, take your money and buy rich robes,
Buy horses and carriages fine;
Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food,
Buy the rarest and costliest wine.

My children, they dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win
You must do as they do, and walk in the ways
That they are walking in.”

So the poor were turned from her door in scorn,
And she heard not the orphan’s cry;
But she drew her beautiful robes aside,
As the widows went weeping by.

By now, the church is too caught up in the new reality. The right kind of people are coming by, the church begins to believe she is becoming relevant, and does not recognize the paradigm shift which has taken place.

Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church
Walked closely hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.

Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,
“I am rich and my goods increase;
I have need of nothing, or aught to do,
But to laugh, and dance, and feast.”

The church never admits this aspect. She engages in mission trips, local social ministry involvement, never realizing she looks like every other statist agency, save for the fact, at times, religious words and a few hallelujahs are heard, here and there. And, here ministry activities are always greatly appreciated by the State, her “walking partner”!

The sly World heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,
And mockingly said, aside:
“The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;
And her shame is her boast and her pride.”

Thus was the battle lost. It wasn’t something blatant, obviously offensive undermining the church’s mission and calling.

It never is.

It is always an obscuring of focus on a non-negotiable, what I refer to as “…the point of the wedge…”

Once the wedge has entered, separation is effected and the battle lost.

The angel drew near to the mercy seat,
And whispered in sighs her name;
Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,
And heads were covered with shame.

And a voice was heard at last by the Church
From Him who sat on the throne:

“I know thy works, and how thou hast said,
‘I am rich, and hast not known
That thou art naked, poor and blind,
And wretched before my face;’
Therefore from my presence cast I thee out,
And blot thy name from its place.”

(Matilda C. Edwards)

The poem focuses on the poor and the widow, obvious concerns in the era of the poem’s author.

But, in my brief lifetime, I believe I have seen the manifestation of two significant wedge points: church incorporation via 501C3 and the issue of the Sanctity of Human Life (SOHL).

Under the 501C3 rubric, the church became an agent of the state.

Under SOHL, the church acknowledged her submission, willing to negotiate a non-negotiable.

And only the angels could tell them, apart

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It Is Over-Finally

Shipwrecked on God and stranded on omnipotence.

Years ago, I heard this phrase in the context of a believer, Vance Havner, speaking as to his current status following his wife’s translation to heaven.

Shipwrecked on God and stranded on omnipotence.

That describes, precisely, my present posture regarding our supposed involvement in participatory government.

The will of God is now known, relative to the highest office in the land. Barak Obama is our President.

What that means is anybody’s wildest guess.

Is it a blessing, a curse, or a combination of both? I suspect there are hosts of folk in each of the positions.

From my perspective, is it probably the latter.

But, for me, there is one obvious obligation: I am to pray for him. This I will do, daily.

The primary objective of that prayer is the well-being of the believing community.

The content of the prayer is not stated explicitly; simply its goal.

I do rejoice in the election of an African-American, as I would have rejoiced had we seen a woman in the second highest office in the land.

Only in America, generally!

But, ultimately, my allegiance and focus is on the King of Kings and His program for humanity.

Sooner or later (as it has in the past), this will find me at cross purposes with our government.

Someone far wiser than me referred to government as a beast needing to be chained. Another said it was a “dangerous servant and a fearful master”.

As a believer, I am obligated to wrestle with the statements of the Lord Jesus and his Apostle , Paul.

I am obligated to “render” and to “submit”; the parameters of which are not in Caesar’s court.

Ain’t that a beach!

How much easier it would have been had I been presented with a “laundry list” of actions!

I do pray President-elect Obama would experience an epiphany on the Sanctity of Human Life and reject, categorically, FOCA.

If he doesn’t, I trust it is not in God’s sovereign plan I become a “drag on society” and need to be “put down” for the sake of those following me!

Shamgar! Where are you?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Soon, and very soon!

Just two more days and it will be history.

Two more days and it will be all over!

At that moment, we will experience the end of the governmental distraction commonly referred to as The National Election cycle.

This is the time in our national psyche when we are led to believe we actually we have a say in our governmental circumstance.

That it really is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

We are bombarded with the importance of the individual vote and our civic responsibility in exercising that option.

If you are a Christian, even more weight is added to the argument! Thank you Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson!

Well, if you believe that slice of propaganda, you evidence the fact you are in all probability a product of Public Schooling!

That slice of fantasy ended in 1861, IMHO.

As one who was seduced by that mentality for too many years, let me rise to say, “…forget it…”

Why continue to participate in a charade?

Regardless of one’s vote, the elite within the Beltway has done and will do what is “best” for us peons. They know what is best, for they are numbered among those seemingly gifted to guide the rest of us.

Somehow, it reminds me of the election process in the old Soviet Union or the other host of dictatorships around the world!

For me, personally, I choose to register my dis-satisfaction via abstinence.

I determined to cease participation in the charade a number of election cycles in the past.

To be honest, I had faint hopes when Ron Paul attempted to run within the system but, when I saw how the clones and media treated him, the handwriting was on the wall!

The elite are currently in charge and will continue til they wreck this country.