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Peace Prior to Persuasion

Published by: Sam Crabtree
August 26, 2015

These posts are not making a case against good, air-tight arguments. I’m just saying something else comes first, prior to making defenses of intellectual (even biblical) positions. What comes first? Things like this: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:17–18). Truth and solid arguments are served well when the things on this list come first and permeate the interactions.




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Prior to Speaking ...

Published by: Sam Crabtree
August 25, 2015

In the delicate interactions between a husband and a wife, a wise husband gains a hearing before saying what he has to say to her. Otherwise whatever he says may just roll off her back. I am pointing to the crucial importance of drawing a wife which is very distinct from compelling a wife.




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Truth Not (Yet) Spoken

Published by: Sam Crabtree
August 24, 2015

Not all things that are totally true belong in the mouths of certain individuals.

Consider: The Lord said, “this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13). Apparently they are saying right and true things, but God doesn’t “hear” them because their behavior gives the kind of evidence that disqualifies them and devalues their speech. Until their hearts are near, their words are cheapened and not gladly heard by the one to whom they say them.




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Two Outdoor Weddings in One Weekend

Published by: Sam Crabtree
August 18, 2015

I presided at two outdoor weddings this past weekend.
One was on a lakeside farm—under a heat index advisory, with blistering sun and tropical humidity. Everyone was dripping. Men were shedding their sport coats and loosening their ties. Women were fluffing their skirts and waving the printed programs as fans. Shade was prime real estate. Even with sunglasses there was a lot of squinting. Coolers full of bottled water on ice were available to try to beat back the oppressive heat.




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42 Years and Counting

Published by: Sam Crabtree
August 10, 2015

Leading up to the 42nd anniversary of our wedding last week, I jotted down a list of books that I have read over the years about marriage. From memory I was able to list 36 books. 

It has been my belief and practice for married persons—especially husbands—to always have reading material on their active reading shelf about marriage. 

After 36 books, plus uncounted articles, sermons, and retreats, wouldn’t a guy think he’s learned enough? No. We are lifelong learners in many areas, and marriage is one of them.




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What John Baumgartner Prayed

Published by: Sam Crabtree
July 16, 2015

On the Sunday following the Friday on which the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling on so-called gay marriage, Bethlehem member John Baumgartner prayed the following at the Sunday morning prayer gathering at 8:45 (the public is always invited).




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Fooled by False Leadership

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Jason Meyer
Date Given: 
April 25, 2015

I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.

Happy Birthday, Vicki!

Published by: Sam Crabtree
March 31, 2015

Yesterday, March 30, was my bride’s birthday.

I have been married to her 13 years longer than I knew my dad. (In fact, I have known my children several years longer than I knew my dad). At this point in my life, my dad’s influence has plateaued, if not declined, whereas Vicki’s influence continues to deepen and widen.

How does she influence me?




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80 Civilizations

Published by: Sam Crabtree
October 31, 2014

“J.D. Unwin, a British social anthropologist who spent seven years studying the births and deaths of 80 civilizations, reported from his research that every known culture in the world’s history has followed the same sexual pattern: during its early days of existence, premarital and extramarital sexual relationship were strictly prohibited. Great creative energy was associated with this inhibition of sexual expression, causing the culture to prosper.




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Today Vicki Is Married 41 Years

Published by: Sam Crabtree
August 4, 2014

I have found favor from the Lord. How can I say such a thing? Answer:

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.—Proverbs 18:22

It is not nepotistic fawning over my wife for me to praise her. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). A woman who fears God is to be praised. Praise is what you do with a woman who fears God.

So indulge me, while I give three reasons to praise the woman with whom God has favored me.




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