Bill Irby's blog

The End Is Near!

     I remember seeing signs on the roadside with “The End Is Near” written in a white paintbrush font on a dark background that made the words look like a promotion for a science fiction movie. I learned later that the signs were probably put up by religious people who believed that the Lord was about to return just any minute. Of course, Jesus was rather clear on the subject of the timing of His return and thus the end of time in Matthew 24:36; “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

How Do You Do What You Do?

     How do you do what you do? Perhaps you’ve asked your wife or your mother this question during the hectic Christmas season. Maybe you asked your dad this question when it dawned on you how hard he was working to keep the family going. And then there are the super busy kids at school or a teacher (if you are a kid in school) or the people you work with every day that seem to just “get things done.” Isn’t it amazing what some folks are able to do?

Just a Little Light

     One of the things we found ourselves doing a number of times when our boys were young was going underground. We went to Ruby Falls and Cumberland Caverns and a big underground lake with albino fish. There was a common element to each experience. At some point the guide would shut off all the lights and show us how dark it was underground. This was accompanied by nervous cries from some of the children (not mine). After our eyes had become accustomed to complete darkness the guide would then light a candle or turn on a small flashlight.

How Do We Know?

     Way back when I was being encouraged to study church history I found that a man named John Locke (who was born in 1632 in England) had substantial influence on the study of how people come to know what they know. I think my first exposure to him came in a class at Freed-Hardeman in connection with some of the Restoration Movement preachers in the 19th century. Later I read most of his philosophical work and his own comments on the reasonableness of Christianity. He meant by that expression that Christian faith was rational, in which he was correct (see John 8:32).

A Thankful Attitude

     The uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Like many of my compatriots I love Thanksgiving for many reasons, chief among which are the family getting together and, of course, the food. There is just something about the turkey and the dressing and the cranberries and all of the other nap inducing delicacies that come along this time of year. It is just great.

Moral Adventurism

     Like my chronological peers I came of age in a time of tremendous societal change. One of the primary areas of that change was the realm of sexual morality. People were questioning what was right and wrong that area of behavior. Probably half the population (the male half) took the position that there was no right or wrong.

Raising the Common Denominator

     We all know the expression, “the lowest common denominator.” It is depressing to say but crudeness does seem to be popular these days. People act harshly wherever they are. It is not unusual to hear folks raging at each other in traffic, in the store, at school and even within their homes. Violence and mean spiritedness seem to have become acceptable forms of self-expression. The cultural common denominator seems to be getting lower and lower.

Do You Have A Plan?

     A long time ago I bought my first Day-Timer. A friend of mine in LaGrange used one and I had been looking for a way to keep up with my schedule as well as a record of my activities. Over the years it has been a faithful companion and the record keeping has been a big help on a number of occasions. Of course, I have to remember to write it down and I’m still capable of momentary brain failure, but overall that device helps to keep me on track.

We Are Not Animals

     Recent events continue to remind us that our society has lost its moral direction. The seeds of this dissolution were sown and fertilized many years ago but a very rapid decline in public moral order has taken place over the last sixty years. Civility has grown rare, for many people there are no standards of personal morality, and violent solutions to everyday problems are increasingly embraced. Sad to say, people are behaving as animals.

Where Are You?

     When I was a small boy we lived in a series of rented houses in Virginia and North Carolina. One I remember well was in Washington, North Carolina. It seemed huge to me then but I suppose we’d call it rather normal now. There were times in those days that I felt like hiding out and there was a perfect place to do so, a storage area that was built into the wall of the staircase. I could crawl in there and be by myself. It was a fine place until my mother said, “Bill, where are you?” I found that it was always best to answer her.