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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!"

Psalms of My Life (Psalm 68)

Psalm 68

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 7.58.01 AMA song.

May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
    may his foes flee before him.
May you blow them away like smoke—
    as wax melts before the fire,
    may the wicked perish before God.
But may the righteous be glad
    and rejoice before God;
    may they be happy and joyful.

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
    extol him who rides on the clouds[b];
    rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,[c]
    he leads out the prisoners with singing;
    but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

When you, God, went out before your people,
    when you marched through the wilderness,[d]
the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,
    before God, the One of Sinai,
    before God, the God of Israel.
You gave abundant showers, O God;
    you refreshed your weary inheritance.
10 Your people settled in it,
    and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 8.04.57 AM

11 The Lord announces the word,
    and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
12 “Kings and armies flee in haste;
    the women at home divide the plunder.
13 Even while you sleep among the sheep pens,[e]
    the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,
    its feathers with shining gold.”
14 When the Almighty[f] scattered the kings in the land,
    it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon.

15 Mount Bashan, majestic mountain,
    Mount Bashan, rugged mountain,
16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain,
    at the mountain where God chooses to reign,
    where the Lord himself will dwell forever?
17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands
    and thousands of thousands;
    the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.[g]
18 When you ascended on high,
    you took many captives;
    you received gifts from people,
even from[h] the rebellious—
    that you,[i] Lord God, might dwell there.

19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
    who daily bears our burdens.
20 Our God is a God who saves;
    from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.
21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
    the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
22 The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan;
    I will bring them from the depths of the sea,
23 that your feet may wade in the blood of your foes,
    while the tongues of your dogs have their share.”

24 Your procession, God, has come into view,
    the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.
25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
    with them are the young women playing the timbrels.
26 Praise God in the great congregation;
    praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.
27 There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,
    there the great throng of Judah’s princes,
    and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.

28 Summon your power, God[j];
    show us your strength, our God, as you have done before.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem
    kings will bring you gifts.
30 Rebuke the beast among the reeds,
    the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.
Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver.
    Scatter the nations who delight in war.
31 Envoys will come from Egypt;
    Cush[k] will submit herself to God.

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
    sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
    who thunders with mighty voice.
34 Proclaim the power of God,
    whose majesty is over Israel,
    whose power is in the heavens.
35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
    the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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FOUR DON’T’S FOR THE SERIOUS DISCIPLE (a sermon)

I preached this sermon last Sunday, friends, at our church.Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.03.19 PM  I began with the great quote from G.K. Chesterton who said, “”The more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.”  We who follow Jesus certainly need to focus on the good things God has given us.  But there are some negatives which we need to practice!

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in COLOSSIANS 2

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 67)

Psalm 67

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 5.55.15 AMA psalm. A song.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us—[b]
so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you rule the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest;
    God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 5.58.01 AM

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! (possessions)

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 5.06.44 PM
What an insightful cartoon! This strikes at the heart of Western materialism, doesn’t it? The biblical model which ought to govern our relationship to possessions is found in I Timothy 6 where we read, “17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

I see at least seven points from this text:
(1) It is okay that there is a category of THE RICH among Christians.
(2) But the rich need to be warned not to put their hope in their material wealth.
(3) One’s hope in God can be replaced by one’s over-focus on their possessions.
(4) God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
(5) Believers are to be RICH in good deeds.
(6) Believers are to be generous and willing to share.
(7) Using our material wealth carefully will lay up treasure for us in heaven.

That ought to be the elements of the Christian’s motto!

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2015 in materialism

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 66)

Psalm 66

For the director of music. A song. A psalm.Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.30.11 AM

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
    Sing the glory of his name;
    make his praise glorious.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    So great is your power
    that your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down to you;
    they sing praise to you,
    they sing the praises of your name.”[a]

Come and see what God has done,
    his awesome deeds for mankind!
He turned the sea into dry land,
    they passed through the waters on foot—
    come, let us rejoice in him.
He rules forever by his power,
    his eyes watch the nations—
    let not the rebellious rise up against him.

Praise our God, all peoples,
    let the sound of his praise be heard;
he has preserved our lives
    and kept our feet from slipping.Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.35.21 AM
10 For you, God, tested us;
    you refined us like silver.
11 You brought us into prison
    and laid burdens on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and water,
    but you brought us to a place of abundance.

13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings
    and fulfill my vows to you—
14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
    when I was in trouble.
15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you
    and an offering of rams;
    I will offer bulls and goats.

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God;
    let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
    his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
    and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
    who has not rejected my prayer
    or withheld his love from me!

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Why I am at the Emergency Room . . .

There are some tasks in life that can be life-threatening.  There’s sky-diving, being a Navy Seal, and then there’s — sowing a button on a shirt.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.47.49 AMI bought this really nice dress shirt at a thrift store the other day, got it home, and put it on for a semi-formal commissioning service at our seminary.  The left cuff had no buttons on it, so my wife had to safety-pin that cuff.  I was so glad she didn’t stab me.

Because that service was so short, I decided to wear the same shirt to graduation exercises the next day.  But, this time I committed myself to sewing a button on that left cuff (the wife was out at garage sales).

“How hard can this be?”, I asked myself.  (That’s always a dangerous question for a guy to ask).  I found a needle (“Do I need to sterilize this with a match?  Can I get tetanus if I stab myself?”) and thread and proceeded to cut off one of the two buttons from the right cuff. (Smart, huh?).

I began to sew the button on the left cuff.  I located one of the two places where buttons had been, threaded my needle, positioned the button over the place, and inserted the needle from the bottom through the cuff into one of the holes in the button.  I then proceeded to push the needle through another hole in the button down through the cuff, smiling to myself as my work was going so well.  Then I had to push the needle back up from the underside into the buttonhole.  How does one find that same hole?  Without poking oneself in the finger and contracting some deadly needle-virus?  I successfully found the same hole and went back down through another hole. When I finished, I pulled the needle out and all the thread came with it.  I had forgotten to put a knot at the end of the thread.

So, I had to do this all over again ‘cause the button fell off.  When I had the button securely fastened, I smiled and said, “That wasn’t so bad.”

I put the shirt on — and realized that I had sown the button on the wrong button hole because my left cuff was so tight my left hand couldn’t breathe.

So, I cut off the newly-sown-on button and sowed it on the correct button hole spot. Choosing which of the two button hole spots on which to sow the button probably required some careful calculations from basic calculus and trigonometry (which I didn’t have to take in college).

After I finally got the button sowed onto the correct button hole spot, it was time for me to leave for the graduation ceremonies.  As I proudly put the shirt on, my right cuff was extremely tight.

Illustration #1

Illustration #1

I had taken the wrong button off the right cuff. (see illustration #1)  My hand couldn’t breathe and has turned a strange shade of GREEN.  And that’s why I’m at the Emergency Room.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2015 in comedy

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 65)

Psalm 65
For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.

1 Praise awaits[b] you, our God, in Zion;Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 6.41.13 AM
to you our vows will be fulfilled.
2 You who answer prayer,
to you all people will come.
3 When we were overwhelmed by sins,
you forgave[c] our transgressions.
4 Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.

5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
6 who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength,
7 who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 6.44.42 AM
you call forth songs of joy.

9 You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.[d]
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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