John T. Willis

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Jennifer Doan

The delight of my life is my students. One of my former students was Jennifer Haltom. In time, she married Darby Doan, and thus is now Jennifer Doan. They have two children, Katherine and Johanna.

Jennifer was a gifted student. She blessed me in my class. Her major was business, and after she graduated in 1986, she moved into law and now she is a lawyer with Haltom and Doan, LLP, living in Texarkana, Texas. Jennifer has been on the ACU board for several years.

Through my 15 years of teaching at David Lipscomb University (1956-1971) and 39 years at ACU, I have strongly encouraged young women to use their gifts in their own chosen fields. Those who listen succeed.

Jennifer is the only woman at ACU who became the elected SA President of the student body. The students respected and loved Jennifer. She accomplished many things during her year 1985-1986, as the records show. In more recent years, Sarah Pulin became president of the SA when an elected male was impeached late in the second semester of the year.

I honor and highly respect Jennifer and also Sarah for their vision and contributions and enduring impact on this university.

The Bible honors many women even though some peoples and ideologies and churches even today seek to reduce or prohibit women. I think of Miriam and Zipporah and Deborah and Huldah and Esther and many others in the Hebrew Bible, and of Mary and Elizabeth and Priscilla and Lois and Eunice and Lydia and Tabitha and many others in the New Testament.

I want to honor Jennifer Doan, a woman of faith and courage and vision and service for the Lord. May God raise up more women like Jennifer.

Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

Guidelines for Christian Households--Colossians 3:18-4:1

Paul and Timothy next deal with guidelines for Christian households, presented in Colossians 3:18-4:1. Very similar texts appear in Ephesians 5:22-6:9; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 6:1-2; Titus 2:1-10; 1 Peter 2:13-3:7. Colossians 3:18-4:1 is relatively brief. This section falls into three pairs of members of the household: wives and husbands, children and "fathers" or parents, and slaves and masters. This blog briefly deals with these guidelines.

I. Wives and Husbands. Colossians 3:18-19.
a. It is significant that Paul mentions wives first. Wives are to be subject to their husbands. See 1 Corinthians 14:34; Ephesians 5:22-24; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1. This is a Christlike attitude. This is "fitting in the Lord." Jesus Christ our Lord is the guide of all of life.
b. Husbands are to love their wives and never treat them harshly. See Titus 2:4. Christian husbands are not overbearing or demanding as if they were superior creatures of God. They are responsible for their wives and must live together with them in love. This is God's Christlike attitude, which Paul already emphasized in Colossians 3:14: "Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."

II. Children and Parents. Colossians 3:20-21.
a. Children are to obey their parents in everything. See Ephesians 6:1. Parents' functions are not dictatorial, but in love. In response, children naturally do what their parents guide "in the Lord." As in verse 18, "the Lord" is our guide for everything.
b. Parents are to not to provoke their children lest their children lose heart. Parents have a special responsibility to support and encourage and love their children, not to dominate over them. Thoughtless or undisciplined conduct of parents us unbecoming for Christlike living. See Ephesians 6:4.

III. Slaves and Masters. Colossians 3:22-4:1.
a. Paul gives three instructions for slaves. (1) Slaves are to obey their earthly masters. The real master of slaves and earthly masters is God through Jesus Christ. For Christians, it does not matter whether an individual is a slave [an employee, a daily worker, whatever] or a master [an employer, a CEO, whatever], because in God's eyes, all human beings are equal before God. "The rich and the poor have this in common; the Lord is the maker of them all." (Proverbs 22:2). "Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honor him." (Proverbs 14:31). Yes--human beings often abuse others, but in God's eyes, all are equal. So, for Christians, in the eyes of God, slaves or employees are on the same level as masters and employers. See 1 Corinthians 7:21-24. Paul's teaching about Philemon is a sterling example of this idea--see especially Philemon 10-16. (2) Slaves or employees are to work diligently and honestly, "wholeheartedly," not just when masters are watching over them. "Eyeservice" is beneath the dignity of Christian living. All Christians, including Christian slaves, are to "fear the Lord," that is, hold the Lord in the highest regard. This guideline is the primary principle for daily living. See Job 28:28; Proverbs 3:7; Luke 18:2, 4; Acts 10:2,
22, 35; 13:16, 26; 1 Peter 2:17; Revelation 11:18; 14:7; 19:5. (3) Slaves or employees are to put themselves into their task, as for their masters or employers, but as done for the Lord. This is a heart issue, not an external act. See Mark
12:30. In due time, God our Father through Jesus Christ will give us the inheritance God offers. But a wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality. See Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10.
b. Masters or employers are to treat their slaves or employees justly and fairly--as Christians. If this happens, whether slaves are called "slaves" or employees are called "employees," slaves or employees are equal with their masters or employers in the eyes of God. Colossians 3:11; Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 12:13, and other biblical texts make clear that in the eyes of God, there is not distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcision and circumcision, barbarian, Scythians, SLAVE and FREE, male and female. So, God through Jesus Christ obliterates and completely removes such distinctions.

This paragraph is very brief, but exceedingly important. I hope YOU will ponder over this section of Colossians often and reflectively.

Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Chinchillas are crepuscular rodens, a little larger than ground squirrels, native to the Andes mountains in South America. This name means "little Chincha" named after the Chincha people ofo the Andes, who once wore its soft and dense fur.

Chinchillas live in burrows or crevices in rocks. They are agile jumpers and can jump as high as 6 feet. Predators in the wild include birds of pray, skunks, felines, snakes, and canines. Chinchillas have various defensive tactics, including spraying urine and releasing fur if bitten. They eat plants, fruits, seeds, and small insects, but this diet could irritate the digestive system of a domestic chinchilla whose diet should be primarily hay-based.

Chinchillas live in social groups resembling colonies. Scientists call them herds. Their gestation period is 111 days, longer than most rodents. As a result of this long pregnancy, chinchillas are born fully furred with eyes open. Litters are usually small in number, predominately twins.

The international trade in chinchilla fur goes back to the 16th century A. D. The fur is popular in the fur trade because of its extremely soft feel, because they have approximately 60 hairs sprouting from each hair follicle. The color is usually very even, which makes it ideal for small garments orot he lining of large garments, though some large garments can be made entirely fromt he fur. A single, full-length coat made from chinchilla fur may require as many as 150 pelts, since chinchillas are small. People still successfully breed chinchillas domestically, but illegal hunting has almost made this animal extinct.

Some people secure chinchillas as pets. The color ranges from gray to beige to white to ebony to many other colors. Chinchillas clean their fur by taking dust baths, in which they roll around in special chinchilla dust made of fine pumice. In the wild, their dust is formed from fine ground volcanic rocks. The dust gets into their fur and absorbs oil and dirt. These baths are need a few times a week. Chinchillas do not bathe in water because the dense fur prevents air-drying, retaining moisture close to the skin, which can cause fungus growth or fur rot. A wet chinchilla must be dried immediately with towels and a no-heat hair dryer. The fur is so thick that it resists parasites such a fleas. The fur also reduces dander, making chinchillas hypo-allergenic.

The chinchilla is often used as an animal model in researching the auditory system, because the chinchilla's range of hearing (20 Hz to 30 kHz) and cochlear size is close to that of a human, the chinchilla cochlea is fair easy to access. Other research fields in which chinchillas are used as an animal model include study of Chagas disease, Gastrointestinal diseases, Pneumonia, Listoreiosis, and Yersinia and Pseudomonias infections.

The chinchilla is another example of God's amazing creations. I hope YOU appreciate and support chinchillas. Above this, I hope YOU appreciate the POWER and WISDOM and LOVE of our God, manifest every day throughout planet earth.

Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis