Monthly Archives: December 2009

May you and yours have a blessed and happy new year in Christ…


…as for me and my house, a quiet one (as quiet as 5 kids will allow anyway).

My desire for the coming year is to continue to use modeling as a vehicle to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the Cross, on behalf of a hopelessly lost humanity, through regular posting of Scripture, personal testimonies and trusted links to other sound teachers and brethren.

Blessings, grace and peace, Br’er Shaygetz

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From Larry Thompson’s blog…


December 22, 2009

O Holy Night, or abolitionist theme song?

This song is a standard for Christmas Eve church services and programs. It is an old Christmas standard, plus lends itself to dramatic presentation.

However, like many songs we sing, including some in our hymnals, the words we know to this song are not the original words.

The original text to this song, or “carol” if you prefer, was written in French as a poem in 1847 by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure. It was titled “Mi­nuit, chré­tiens, c’est l’heure so­len­nelle”. Here are the lyrics, translated into English.

Midnight, Christians, it’s the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin

And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,

Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
It’s for all of us that He is born,
That He suffers and dies.

People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

These words are Biblical. (Although my Arminian brothers might squirm a bit.) They deal with incarnation, original sin, God’s wrath on sin removed by the Savior, humility before God, worship and celebration of salvation.

But, you say, I never heard these words! That is true, because someone changed them before you heard them.

That someone was John Sullivan Dwight, an American Transcendentalist , Unitarian and abolitionist.

A Unitarian does not believe in the deity of Christ. He believes Jesus was a prophet and good man, but not God or God’s son.

The Transcendentalists came out of Unitarianism, stressing the inner essence of man as capable of finding and celebrating truth and beauty and unity with all mankind. (It reminds me of my hippy friends in the ‘60s and ‘70s, all carrying around their paperback copies of Walden Pond.)

In short, Dwight was not a Christian, not a Trinitarian and not a believer in Jesus as savior in the orthodox sense. Therefore, he did not translate the lyrics, but changed them and adapted the thought to his philosophy.

Given Dwight’s religion and philosophy, you can see why he changed the reference from ending God’s wrath on original sin to “the soul felt its worth”. In other words, Jesus showed us our worth, rather than our need for salvation. This may be why this song is so popular today, it says Jesus came to raise my self esteem.

Much of the English lyrics are abolitionist. Though the original had a reference to slave and brother, it has greater emphasis in Dwight’s version.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

There is nothing about atonement, or turning away the wrath of God, but in universal brotherhood and the defeat of slavery. At least it does not tell me I should “fall in love with Jesus”.

Wednesday’s Word, Acts 2:36-42…


Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Lionel HO scale Alco FA in American Freedom Trains colors…



…bringing my “Christmas Train Mondays” to a close for this holiday season.

It’s a Frankenstein creation, using a shell from one friend, a mechanism from another and repaired with the technical help from a third. The paint has some minor dings, many were removed by carefully scraping the blemish with an Xacto knife until the white paint came through.

A fine runner, it will pull my “Spirit of ’76” themed train for many years to come…

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I do have two of the five original Lionel Freedom train cars, but they don’t take too kindly to 14″ radius curves…

Psalms 116


I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.

Praise ye the LORD.