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Author Archives: Dr. Larry Dixon

About Dr. Larry Dixon

Seminary professor, teaching systematic theology and other topics. Grandfather, wicked tennis & table tennis player, loves playing chess on letsplaychess.com. Please check out the ten books I've written. "The heart cannot rejoiced in what the mind rejects as false!"

Time for a Great Cartoon! (Life’s Tragedies)

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“Unbearably tragic” — Do those words sometimes describe what you are going through? We might overuse the word tragic. Some teenage girls might call a broken fingernail tragic (some teenage guys are too self-absorbed to see anything as tragic!). Real tragedies are a burned-down house, a daughter’s broken engagement, a son’s near-fatal car accident (all of which my family has experienced).

Without the Lord, I don’t know how anyone deals with the tragedies of life! He is our Rock. He is our Comfort. He is the One who sustains us and gives us peace when life is falling apart around us.

I grew up on the King James Bible and I love the verse which says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee” (Is. 26:3). Please notice:

1. “Perfect peace”: Not a tad of calmness or a trace of tranquility, but perfect peace.  Not a peace we manufacture through positive thinking.

2.  “whose mind is stayed on Thee”:  Focusing on Him instead of our present calamity!  Valuing Him above all other matters in life.

3.  “because he trusteth in Thee”:  Trust is not a once-for-all injection of spiritual adrenaline.  My trust in the Lord is tested every day.  Sometimes by small matters; occasionally by large, punch-in-the stomach circumstances.

How about you? Right now?  Is your life more like a new crayon Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 6.40.05 AM“lined up in order, bright, and perfect”?  Or more like “a bunch of ground-down, rounded, indistinguishable stumps, missing their wrappers and smudged with other colors”?   Don’t stand there, immobilized and lamenting your situation.  Allow the Lord to paint the picture He wants to paint with the colors that you have.  Right now.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in tragedy

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon (Technology)

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 8.48.02 PMFrankly, I agree with Hobbes.  We don’t seem to be able to manage the technology we’ve got!  I’m grateful for the incredible features of my smart phone, but cell phones, it seems to me, are producing a generation of impolite, discourteous, sometimes dangerous, individuals!

It bugs me as a university professor to be passed on the campus by a student looking at his cell phone who doesn’t bother to lift his or her head and say “hello.”  That’s impolite.  And dumb.  He or she just might have me for a class someday!

How many people do you see on the highway who are either talking on their phone or are — God forbid! — texting while driving!  My son blows his horn at such drivers, but I’m afraid that doing so will distract them further, causing an accident.  For a great commercial showing the danger of distracted driving, check out this video.

I went out to lunch with one of my colleagues a while back — and he was on Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 6.00.58 AMhis phone the entire time!  Now, if he were working with a family whose mother was in ICU, that would be one thing.  But these appeared to be routine texts.  I felt like chopped liver.  And I don’t even like liver.

What to do?  Don’t trash your smart phone.  But don’t allow it to ruin relationships, especially those that are right in front of you!  (I discussed this problem a couple of weeks ago — see my post.)

Here’s a prayer for all of us and our technology:

“Lord of technology, you know how addictive all of us are!  Thank You for incredible inventions and terrific technological advances that allow us instant contact with anyone anywhere!  Please, Lord, keep us from viewing our new powers as more important than people made in Your image.  Re-teach us, Father, basic principles of civility.  And help us to serve You, rather than our toys.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2016 in technology

 

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Time for a Great (?) Bumper Sticker: Hell!

I am fascinated by the bumper stickers some Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 5.56.19 AMpeople put on their cars.  Yes, at traffic lights I sometimes pull out my phone and take a picture of the car in front of me.
I am also a firm believer in a real hell.  I know it’s not popular, but the truth that some will spend eternity separated from the love of God is clearly taught in the Word.   This bumper sticker certainly grabs one’s attention, doesn’t it?  I doubt the expression “STOP, DROP & ROLL” makes any sense to today’s generation (which is normally not required to practice hiding under their school desks in preparation for a nuclear strike from the Russians).

But I’m concerned more about the tone of the bumper sticker.  I believe we are to warn people to flee from the wrath of God, but does this message accomplish that?  What do you think? By the way, I have a pastor friend who refuses to put any bumper stickers on his truck.  He doesn’t want to be a negative example of a Christian by his driving!

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2016 in witnessing

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon: Monsters Under the Bed?!

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I don’t think clearly when I’m hungry, either! How about you?

What are the monsters under your bed?  Have they identified themselves?  Are they hungry for your soul?

The monster I am thinking of today is . . . FEAR.  What things keep you up at night?  What anxieties work you over as you are trying to get some rest?  Our culture suggests that fear is only a negative emotion, something that stifles our creativity and inhibits our success.

The Bible has a lot to say about fear.  For example, it says that “the fear of man brings a snare.” (Prov. 29:25).  Here is the verse in the New King James:  25 The fear of man brings a snare,  But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”  There is an alternative to fearing man —  it is trusting in the Lord.

There is plenty to fear in life — but I can choose to trust in the Lord.  My hope and faith must not be in fallible man (especially in myself), but in Him!  HE is to be feared, for “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction,” we read in Proverbs 1:7.  We are told in Psalm 111:10 that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.  To him belongs eternal praise.”

When I properly fear the Lord, I can relinquish to Him my expectations Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 6.14.15 AMand my anxieties.  And — I don’t have to look under my bed at night!

 

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2016 in fear

 

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If You Could Have Dinner with Anyone . . . (Family)

What a fascinating interview! (Loved the last line of one of the children:  “What are we having for dinner?”)  Our culture seems to be strategically targeting families and their time together.  Whether it’s racing to sporting events, dance or art classes, or some form of scouts, our children — and our grandchildren — are at risk of missing a critical time for family conversation — dinner!

What ideas have helped you as a mom or dad to safeguard that time with your children?

Please post your comments!

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in family

 

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Time for a Great Quote: C.S. Lewis on Happiness

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Posted by on May 18, 2016 in happiness

 

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Time for a Great Joke (sleeping in)

On a Sunday morning, a mom went to her son’s room to wake himScreen Shot 2015-07-03 at 6.47.57 AM for church.

“I’m not going,” he announced.

“Why not?” Mom asked.

“I’ll give you three good reasons. First of all, I was up really late last night. Second, I don’t like those people and, third, they don’t like me,” he said.

“Well, I’ll give you three good reasons you WILL go to church,” said Mom. “First, you need to go to church. Second, you’re 48 years old. And third, you are their pastor.”

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in ministry

 

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