A Number of Shareable Items

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Justification by Faith Alone

“Even if we were carefully to examine just one minute of our lives, we would find ourselves worthy of eternal death. Indeed, each one of us would discover ourselves to be sinners, not in just one area but a hundred thousand; not due to some one fault but to countless millions. Now if even we ourselves acknowledge that we are full of so many blemishes, surely God is aware of many more than we could ever perceive, because He sees more deeply than we can, as John writes in his epistle (l John 3:20). Thus, the case is settled. The verdict is that no one can be justified by the law; justification is through faith alone.” – John Calvin


The Creep of Liberalism

It was surprising to some that Dr. Tim Keller was initially invited to receive an award from Princeton, and then not at all surprising to them that the offer to honor him with an award was recalled. This is because there’s a divide at the school that goes back more than 90 years. However, looking back on this story in 2022, there’s something interesting. Princeton’s decision to go in a theologically liberal direction was sealed in the 1920’s when the theologically conservative remnant of their staff departed the school to found Westminster in Philadelphia. Now, one-hundred years later it’s become clear to almost anyone paying attention that Keller has been on a path to becoming one of the theological liberals. Oh, the irony.


Where are the Good Churches and Churchgoers?

Speaking of irony, someone who “unfriended” me on social media due to my habit of posting bold truth from the Bible once upon a time sent me a message saying, “I wish I could find a new good church! The churches in my town leave me feeling empty!”

Maybe some people feel empty because they’re not filled with the Holy Spirit in the way that they imagine themselves to be. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many good churches as we’d like. But also remember, we don’t attend church only so we can get filled up… but also so we can help to fill others up as a side benefit of corporate worship. Be encouraged. And be an encourager. Remembering that there also aren’t as many good church members as we’d like, either.


Not Walking the Talk

More irony. Here’s a Saturday evening social media post from before the lockdowns by someone who’s a member of a congregation that shut things down due to fear:

“Good morning family! If you love the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, then you already have your clothes prepared for church tomorrow. Fellowship with other born again believers is a part of the Christian experience. Salvation and growth hinge on participants who obey. Forsake not the assembly of the saints. That is the Word. Please no excuses. Give God his due. GO TO CHURCH tomorrow. If you LOVE the Lord Jesus Christ, then obey and forsake not the assembly of the saints. Go to church.”

Boy, how they changed their tune – sadly.


Work, Peace, Weather, Blue Screens, and More

THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK: See this two-minute video on how it connects with purpose and helps to bring about human flourishing.

“Blessed are the Peacemakers.” Be warned, this story and video about a good Samaritan might make you cry. (But for all the right reasons).

Global warming or Genesis flood? Which is behind these “drowned churches“?

Digital heroin” is right! Beware the blue glow.

A church sign reads: “Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.” My knee-jerk snarky retort: “Judge them because they sin the same as you.”

A meme reads: “Bibles aren’t allowed in schools anymore but are encouraged in prison. If kids were allowed to read it at school, they might not end up in prison.” My knee-jerk snarky retort: “Reading it at home would be good, too!”

Someone asks: “Who is Pete and why does everyone command his love? #ForTheLoveOfPete” The response: If you really want to know…“For the love of Pete” and “For Pete’s sake” are euphemisms developed by Christians with strong scruples about saying “For the love of God/Christ” and “For God’s/Christ’s sake”. They didn’t want to be guilty of taking the Lord’s name in vain.


Let’s Hang on to Suitable Words

I saw a video that suggests people should no longer use the phrase “special needs”. Boy, I just don’t know. I looked up words that a large percentage of people find offensive, and the list includes (among others) the words/phrases: “differently abled” – “disabled” – “feeble-minded” – “the handicapped” – “incapacitated” – “mentally deficient” – “mentally disabled” – “slow” – and of course the lightning rod word “retarded”. What identifier are people supposed to use when referring to the “special needs” population? Is there any word or phrase that won’t accidentally offend? Not everything is a microaggression. Let’s make use of the full vocabulary available to us. Full disclosure: I’m the father of a son who has been diagnosed with both Williams Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.


Closing Out This Blog Post

A few additional random items:

The Christian hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. It’s helpful for followers of Christ to keep in mind that this hope does not exist for many. For example, public schools are not Christian institutions, and in many cases are probably not administrated by Christians. I find myself often checking my heart in situations like this. We can’t change the fact that God’s enemies hate God’s Word. This is to be expected of them. But perhaps God will use us as He rescues some of these lost souls from their hatred of Him. As we do this, we should home school so as to protect our kids from soul destroying paganism.

One day, if you do well, your children will say about you what this friend of mine said: “Many of you have already heard that my dad has gone to be with Jesus. My dad (and mom) are a significant reason why I have the faith that I do. There are many things I am grateful for about my dad, but my faith is the greatest among them. RIP Dad… Well done good and faithful servant!! Until we meet again, I love you, Dad!!!”

Social media allows more people to connect. This is good. The connections are generally a mile wide, but only an inch deep. This is bad. Social media’s shallowness can lead us to see real people as mere “props to entertain us” or “viewers to be entertained”. Our shared human dignity is sacrificed in the process. So, make good use of all communications tools. But also go talk to, and demonstrate love to, someone in person today.

Only by the blood of Christ.



The blog above was first published on the original version of this website.  Since then the site has been completely reformatted and upgraded.  With this change, the blogs needed to be re-uploaded to correct corruptions that occurred with the transition in 2023.  While doing this, some additional information was added at the conclusion of many of the older blogs in a “postscript” section that might not have appeared in the first draft that was published on the first website.  Think of this new content as “bonus material”.


A String of Quips

Silly fortune cookie of the day: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is able to snap chat the occurrence, does it make a sound?”

Someone highlighted that 90% of people don’t know twenty-two common English words. It seems to me, given that only 7% of people in the world speak English as their “first language”, 10% knowing the meaning of these words is pretty impressive.

Here’s something to get you ready in a couple of months. Do you know anyone who wears orange instead of green on St. Patty’s Day?

Someone I know retweeted this, “Knowledge is knowing what to say. Wisdom is knowing whether or not to say it.” This quote should include “and when to say it”.

Final quote (and comment). David Jeremiah tweeted this from Richard Sibbes, “The way to cover our sin is to uncover it by confession.” Ah, well… I’ll trust the blood of Christ as the best way and only way to cover my sin. I encourage you to do the same. Repent and believe, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.


Reasons NFL Ratings are Down

Items from the NFL National Anthem controversy (remember that?).

Plus, the games are terrible! Yes, this is correct. And add to the sloppy/boring games the fact that fans don’t identify with teams the way they once did. Part of this is because of roster shuffles due to free agency. Part is due to fantasy football. Part is due to people moving away from their hometown rooting interests for far away jobs. Part of this might have to do with the disparity of earnings between players and fans.

Here’s a look at average NFL salaries (compared to average American salaries) over the past 50-ish years, first the average NFL salary followed by the average American salary:

1970 $23K (average American: $6K)

1980 $78K (average American: $13K)

1990 $356K (average American: $21K)

2000 $1.1 million (average American: $32K)

2010 $1.7 million (average American: $41K)

2017 $2.2 million (average American: $46K)

So, in 1970 an NFL player earned approximately four times as much as a non-NFL player. This year an NFL player will earn approximately forty-eight times as much as a non-NFL player. I’m not arguing that NFL players aren’t worth whatever they can earn. I’m simply wondering if the average person is as easily able to get emotionally invested in supporting a bunch of guys who get paid as though they win the lottery every year. (Keep in mind that the typical American is said to earn about $1.4 million dollars during their ENTIRE lifetime – the typical NFL player will earn almost that much during JUST THIS SEASON by the bye week).

Of course, fans know how wealthy the owners are, too. At the beginning of the Super Bowl era the average NFL team was worth about $5 million (with AFL teams being worth FAR less than that). Now, there are teams in the league valued at BILLIONS of dollars. The league took in more than $13 billion last year… and oh yeah, until last year the NFL never paid any federal taxes (while benefitting from publicly financed stadiums, and other local/state tax perks).

All of this potentially leads to modest levels of backlash when fans see players behave like brats and watch owners put a product out there for public consumption that isn’t as enjoyable as it used to be. One last factoid to think about… in 1967 a Super Bowl ticket could be purchased for $6.



Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner