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Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Arrogant Patriarch - by Frank I. Snyder

"The Angry One" by F. Hodler

Here is an article I found online awhile back.  I recently received permission from the author to republish and distribute it as he is very burdened about this problem and trend in the Lord's church.  I am thankful for his generosity as I also feel there is a great need to get the word out.  I have already published it at the Home Maker's Corner, but decided to copy the article in its entirety here too.

This article goes well with the post a few weeks ago on "Spiritual Abuse and Those Who Crave It", and I would add that there are a good number of pastors who sadly fall into this category of the arrogant patriarch as well.


The Arrogant Patriarch

by Frank I. Snyder
Original article.

Over the years I have met a generic person. I know this sounds a bit strange and the term “generic” may be a bit confusing, so let me explain. A generic person is not one person, but a kind of composite of people who share characteristics or traits. So this person is a composite of certain traits in people. These people are not all the same. They are different in many ways but they do share commonalities.

This person is ageless. One would think that this person would typically be “old” simply because we expect some of these traits from older people. Surprisingly, though, the people that have fit this generic description are not confined to the older generation. They are often younger people. Perhaps that is why they have caught my attention so readily. They have not been what most folks would typically consider “old.” I have witnessed these traits in people as young as 15. Most of them, however, have been between 17 and 55, the majority in their 30’s and 40’s.

This person is also genderless. I have witnessed these traits in both men and women.    I will concede, however, that most of the ones who have evidenced these traits have been men. But please understand that I refer to this person with masculine pronouns more for convenience sake than to imply that these traits are only witnessed in men. Hence I have called this person the “the arrogant patriarch”.

The traits of the arrogant patriarch are as follows:

A confidence in his own intelligence: I do not mean to imply that he is intelligent. He may be very intelligent. But what defines him is his belief in his intelligence. Sometimes he is neither intelligent nor educated but still believes he is intelligent. Along with this comes a certainty about his views and opinions being correct.

I have encountered this phenomenon in a man with a PhD from Harvard and a man that was illiterate. The PhD, a professed born again Christian, questioned the biblical account of Creation and other accounts and justified abortion to the 9th month gestation. The illiterate man insisted to me that the Bible was full of errors. When I challenged him to show me one, he left the room. Then his wife whispered to me that he could not read. But that did not stop him or the PhD from rendering an absolute opinion. These folks tend to have an opinion about most topics. He is so certain and confident about his viewpoint because he believes in his own intelligence.

The student /teacher dynamic: This trait is more felt than easily defined. But the subtle idea conveyed by him is that he is the teacher (or should be) and you are the student. He may not actually say that he is the teacher and you are the student. He is not necessarily abrasive. He just acts like he is (or should be) the teacher. It is connected with his belief in his intelligence. Some folks will readily accept him as the teacher simply because they are swayed by his manner. He believes he should be in charge and acts like it. This in part leads to the next characteristic of the arrogant patriarch.

The tendency toward conflict with others: Conflict comes with others because he tends to act upon his belief in his own intelligence. He believes that his viewpoint is the correct one and his decisions are the best. Therefore, it is only natural that others should do what he suggests or do things as he would do them. Any other way is deficient. When conflict with others arises because of this, it is not his fault. Other people are just too sensitive, or are jealous or threatened by his superior giftedness. The problem always resides in others. It could not be in him.

The inability to follow: This guy is often perpetually unemployed or he is in business for himself. The reason for either circumstance is that he just cannot work for someone else. If he has a job, he is often in conflict with his superiors or disdainful of them. In a church situation, he is someone that has difficulty recognizing the leadership authority of a pastor (Hebrews 13:7, 17). Typically, he embraces the plurality of elders viewpoint in church governance, not because he believes it is biblical, but because it fits his personality. Complete equality in authority means less infringement on his independency. The truth is he is no more in deference to a plurality of leadership than he is to one leader.

One such man with whom there had been persistent issues in a local church was asked if he could follow the pastor’s leadership. His reply was, “A man is not a pastor because he says he is. He is a pastor if he is pastoral.” And who determines if he is pastoral? The patriarch. He was saying that if the pastor met his expectations, (the only correct criteria), then he would recognize his leadership. The problem is that all pastors have flaws and given enough time, the patriarch will find them. It is his justification for ignoring the counsel of a shepherd and following his own judgment. In his mind, he does not need pastoral leadership.

The tendency to pontificate about one or select Biblical topics: Often this person “goes to seed” on some area of theology or biblical interpretation. Often he becomes an expert on some biblical topic such as prophecy, family living, evangelism, election, living by grace or the nature of the church. It really does not matter what the topic might be, for he has mastered it. He is an expert and people who do not agree are ignorant or willfully rebellious against what he knows to be the truth. He outguns those who are ignorant of or not as studied in areas where he is a specialist. He rarely will deal with someone as studied as he. This, of course, confirms his belief in his opinions and ultimately his superior understanding.

A desire to limit exposure of his family or comrades to only his views: This trait appears virtuous as certainly all family heads, leaders and loyal friends should desire to protect those close to them from error. But this goes further than that. For when a family member, friend or loved one begins to be swayed by opinions other than the patriarch’s, he will often begin to resent the intruder’s influence. He will take steps to withdraw his family or friends from opinions he deems to conflict with his leadership. He will pull his child out of a class, require his family to sit only with him, or withdraw his family and go to another church. Sometimes no church is good enough because, to him, they are all in error or bound by unbiblical traditions. So he may form his own “church” where he is the pastor and where people can get the truth. If he stays in a church, he stays on the perimeter of involvement so as to retain control of information. This person will often home school / home church his family so as to “protect” them. But it really is not about protection of his family. He is protecting his patriarchal position.

A condescending attitude toward the opposite sex: If a man, he treats his wife or women in general not just as the weaker vessel but as the lesser vessel. If a woman, she tends to regard men as generally stupid and needy and takes a condescending attitude toward them. A man tends to think of most women as inferior beings by design and regards his role not just as protector but as director. Whether a man or a woman, this person tends to want to control the partner either by force of will or manipulation – all of this because of a basic belief in his superiority and of the partner’s inferiority. This is not to say that the patriarch does not love or care for the individual. He very well may love them. He is still manipulative and controlling.

These are seven common characteristics of this generic person that I have referred to as the arrogant patriarch. If you are one of them I am sure that you will not have kindly thoughts toward this writer. If you are not one of them, beware. You could easily become such.


Micah 6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sew Happy Friday - Tutorial for A Silly Goose Quilt from MSQC

Here is a really quick and easy way to make a crazy "flying geese" quilt from Jenny Doane at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  This would go together very fast if you used larger squares.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

From Mom's Collection - A Little Lie by W. D. Vincent

Excerpt from "Gossiping" by Daniel Ridgeway Knight

We were very busy last week and had company over the weekend, so I am sharing another poem with you today.  This one tells about a little lie and what became of it.  It is very thought provoking.

A Little Lie

A little lie was born one morn,
A feeble fib so white and small,
It seemed too weak a thing to live,
Too innocent to count at all.

Continue Reading.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

From Mom's Collection - Ebenezer

Photo: Kingston, Tenn. circa 2005

1 Samuel 7:12  Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.


"Hitherto, the Lord hath helped us" -
He hath brought us all the way;
He has saved, provided, guided,
Cared for us each passing day.

He's the same today, - forever,
He is faithful to His own;
He will keep His Word and Promise,
'Til we reach the heavenly home.

By His grace we shall not falter,
But to Him we shall be true;
To His word we'll cling forever,
And His Will we'll seek to do.

Soon the conflict will be over,
Soon His blessed face we'll see,
Soon the saved will be with Jesus
Through the long eternity.

Let this hope forever comfort,
Let His smile be our reward,
Let us work for Him together
Serving only Christ, Our Lord.

R. L. M.

1 Corinthians 7:23  Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Friday, January 22, 2016

How to Make Half Rectangle Triangles for Quilting

This tutorial at the Modern Quilt Guild web page shows how to make a Half Rectangle Triangle.  (Actually, you’ll be making two at a time.)  These are different shapes from what quilters do a lot of the time, but this tutorial makes it easy and gives very clear instructions.  They can be used for a variety of patterns, and mixed with other pieces for even more combinations.  I really appreciate the simplified methods that modern quilting has developed, both for modern quilts and to make familiar patterns easier.

Go Here for the Tutorial.

Photo property of Latifah Saafir.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Spiritual Abuse and Those Who Crave It

Some time back my dad and a family friend were discussing the strange and disturbing problem of abusive pastors.  Our friend, a pastor himself, told my dad that he had had a lady in their assembly come to him and suggest that he should be a lot harder on them than he was.  She somehow seemed to think that they "needed" to be beat up spiritually for their own good.  Our friend was puzzled and disturbed and definitely did not comply with her wishes!  This confirmed something he already thought - that the reason that there are so many abusive pastors is because the people want abusive pastors.  If they would get up and leave those churches, if they would fire those pastors, if they would speak up and tell "God's man" that he was out of line, there wouldn't be many of these monsters afoot.  The horrifying reality is that the people like it!

And no wonder.  God said that Israel had reached this point thousands of years ago.

Jeremiah 5:30-31 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

We might still wonder, though, how this state of affairs came to be.  Why do people like to be spiritually abused and mistreated by their pastor?

Continue Reading.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Feel Good Friday - Akim Camara Playing Violin with Andre Rieu Orchestra When He was Three

This boy is a lot older now, but this particular concert was so cute I wanted to post it for your enjoyment. :-)  [Note: I have no control over the ads that may appear.]

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recipe: Mary’s Banana Cake

This recipe evolved as my mom and I made it together.  I had three overripe bananas in my fridge and I wanted to use them up.  She had come over one afternoon in December to say “hello” and offered to help.  Or did I ask her if she wanted to?  Anyway, we got it made.  :-)  I actually started out with a recipe from somewhere else, but I changed it so much that I’ve decided to change the name too.

This makes a heavier cake due to the ingredients, but it makes a very nice snack cake or dessert.  (Truth: My family had it with brunch one morning. [grin]   What's the point in being grown up if you can't decide to have cake for breakfast?)

Mary's Banana Cake

Whisk together in a medium bowl:
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Cream together in a large bowl:
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. butter
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. milk
3 eggs

Add dry ingredients to this and mix well.
Beat in:
3 medium bananas, mashed (should make 1 heaping cup)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir in:
1 C. chocolate chips
(You may add 1/2 C. of chopped nuts if you wish.)

Line the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides well.  Pour in batter and bake at 350F (175C) for 30-40 minutes or till a golden brown color around the edges and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
Completely cool.


Whip together till light and fluffy and spread on cake:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbl. butter, softened
1 2/3 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

I did not freeze any of this cake, so I don’t know how it does in the freezer.  I would imagine that it would freeze well as most cakes tend to do, but due to its heavy consistency it would probably be better fully thawed before using.

The color in this picture isn’t very good, but I thought it was interesting to see the swirls of banana in the cake.  It would make a good snack cake without the frosting too, if you prefer.  Yes, I did take out a slice before frosting it because this was an experiment and I wanted to see how it was right away. :-)

We got this enamel plate at an old fashioned “five and dime” store in Fredericksburg, Texas where we went for a little vacation in October.  The enamelware was a bit pricey, so I opted to get one dessert/salad size plate just for this purpose – photographing food for the web page. :-)  Isn’t it pretty?  I love the color!

The Enchanting Rose

Sunday, January 10, 2016

What About the Refugees? Part 3 – The Missionfield Next Door

(Painting:  "In Cairo" by Joseph Farquharson)

There has been a lot of worry and fear in various places about the possibility of Syrian refugees (to say nothing of “illegals” from Mexico) arriving “here.”  Stories of their alleged evil intent, of possible “terrorists” among them and other horrors have spread.  Some things that have actually happened somewhere have been represented with doubtful accuracy as “normal” behavior for “those people.”   But, what is the mind of Christ?  What does this mass migration mean to the child of God who is entrusted with the precious words of life?

Continue Reading.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Evening Song – In My Heart

This old John Peterson song came to mind recently and I hope it blesses someone else too. :-)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Card Making: Save the Used Christmas Cards

I like card making.  I haven't done nearly enough of it for a long time now, so this year I want to try to get back to it.  It is very enjoyable and refreshes my creativity, I think. :-)  Plus, they don't have to take very long and when you're done you have a handmade card to give someone.

Since we're just past the holiday season, I wanted to talk about recycling holiday cards into other greeting cards.  Even those of us who don't celebrate Christmas sometimes receive cards that are recyclable, so this applies to everyone.

First of all, check the envelope. Sometimes they are lined with really nice gold or metallic paper that can be used to cut out smaller pieces.  Also check both the envelope and the card for background prints that could be used for another purpose.  Then notice if there are features, parts of or whole pictures that you can cut out which won't be necessarily "Christmassy".

The card above is one that I made by cutting out just one section of a Christmas card and an edge.  I trimmed along the graphic to give it the flowing look and then added a strip from the edge of the card. Finally, I added hand drawn art work that would compliment the recycled graphic.  This card made a nice winter birthday card (and it was one of my favorites, too, I might add).

This card was made from a Christmas card also, as far as I can recall.  I cut out the picture of the pine trees and added it to a blue card.  The decoration along the bottom was made by cutting white paper or velum on both edges with decorative scissors.  As you can see I had a little trouble with it, but this is a recycle project, and isn't about being perfect. :-)  You can make different looks depending on where you place the scissors as you start to cut.

I also made the snow sparkle by "painting" glitter glue on just the snow areas of the picture, which you can see better in this picture.

One thing I do recommend when making cards from recycled photos is that you write on the back that it is a "recycled design."  This way people will know that you are using someone else's photography. I'd also be careful about reselling things like this.  It would be good to check about laws and rules relating to copyright before selling much like that. :-)  I'm not familiar with such things myself as I never sell my cards - so far.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Australian Memories - Cocoa Tree

An interesting sight at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt. Coot-tha was the cocoa tree.  This was inside a glasshouse (green house).  We visited Australia in 2013.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Monthly Challenge – January 2016

“A Pleasant Corner” by John Callcott Horsley

Well, this marks our second year of monthly challenges.  I had enough positive response here and on Facebook to convince me that we should go on, and since I’d written around 24 ideas down, it looked like we should be able to make it through another year.  Of course, I may add some new ones along the way as well. :-)

We emphasized reaching out to others in November and December, so this month we’re going to do something more personal.


Do a craft project with someone else - or alone.


Read a book you’ve been meaning to read.


The craft project can be anything you enjoy.  I recommend doing something with at least one other person if you can, just for the fellowship and growth that comes from working together.  But, if you prefer to work alone, that’s OK too.

The book can be any type – entertainment, educational, spiritual, etc.  The point is to pick something that you really want to read.  There is a satisfaction in reading something that you have been putting off and this month may be a good one in both hemispheres – here because it’s generally colder outside, and in the south because it so hot.  :-)

[Photo: My mom years ago when we lived in Arizona.]

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Evening Song – I Will Give My Life


Psalms 96:7-9  Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.  O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.


Friday, January 1, 2016

"New Every Morning" - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

This is a good reminder for beginning the year.  The old problems, the new ones; the old joys, the new ones - God's compassions and mercies are new every single day for whatever it is we have to face this year.  Every. Single. Day.  Let's take this with us as the constant promise that He meant it to be.

"New Every Morning"

Yea, "new every morning," though we may awake,
Our hearts with old sorrow beginning to ache;
With old work unfinished when night stayed our hand,
With new duties waiting, unknown and unplanned;
With old care still pressing, to fret and to vex,
With new problems rising, ours minds to perplex;
In ways long familiar, in paths yet untrod,
Oh, new every morning the mercies of God!

His faithfulness fails not; it meets each new day
With guidance for every new step of the way;
New grace for new trials, new trust for old fears,
New patience for bearing the wrongs of the years,
New strength for new burdens, new courage for old,
New faith for whatever the day may unfold;
As fresh for each need as the dew on the sod;
Oh, new every morning the mercies of God!

By Annie Johnson Flint

Lamentations 3:22-24  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.