Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Matter of Health? Influenza. Update.

For Scripture Sunday:

A Matter of Health?

“Do science and medicine help us better understand why the Bible designates some animals as unfit for human consumption?  However, theological as well as medical researchers have recognized the benefits of following the health laws of Scripture.

Raw oysters being served on a platter in a restaurant.  Sweet Ice Cream Photography/Unsplash

Are distinctions between clean and unclean meats a matter of health? Can consuming animals classified as unclean bring immediate or long-term harm to our health?

Why did God, in the Scriptures, distinguish between clean and unclean meats—the animals people may or may not eat? Is there more to the story? Can we find a health connection?

The specific reason God gave the Israelites for forbidding them to eat any unclean animals or even touching their carcasses was to “be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44-45). Here God does not distinguish between clean and unclean animals specifically for health’s sake.

However, the larger context of Leviticus and Deuteronomy includes many issues of health and hygiene. The four chapters of Leviticus that follow the listing of clean and unclean meats deal with precautions after childbirth and the means to identify and eliminate the spread of communicable diseases. So the distinctions between clean and unclean meats appear in a context of health and well-being.

Are distinctions between clean and unclean meats a matter of health? Did God reveal them as health guidelines for the ancient Israelites and, by extension, for people today? Can consuming animals classified as unclean bring immediate or long-term harm to our health?

Scholars offer their view

Many factors such as diet, genetic makeup, environment, exercise and good and bad habits affect our health. However, theological as well as medical researchers have recognized the benefits of following the health laws of Scripture.

Commenting on Leviticus 11-15, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states: “In general it can be said that the laws protected Israel from bad diet, dangerous vermin, and communicable diseases. Only in recent days have better laws of health been possible with the advance of medicine. These were rule-of-thumb laws that God gave in his wisdom to a people who could not know the reason for the provision…

“The Hebrew was not only to avoid eating unclean animals; he was not to touch their dead carcasses. Thus the laws automatically helped control vermin. Common unclean animals would be spiders, flies, bugs, rats, and mice. A dead rat in a Hebrew house was not overlooked. It was carefully taken out and buried. In an effort to avoid such problems, the Hebrew housewife would normally keep a clean house…

“It is, of course, true that some cultures have adopted similar rules out of sad experience. The [Old Testament] did not get its taboos from surrounding cultures, but some other cultures in later times adopted by experience some of these taboos…The laws were wonderfully fashioned by God for the general health of the nation” (R. Laird Harris, Vol. 2, 1990, p. 569).

Theology professor Roland Harrison writes: “The classification of animal species into clean and unclean categories (Leviticus 11:1-47) is significant because, being part of the Pentateuchal medical code, it constituted the basis of dietary regulations that are still adhered to by orthodox Jews and by those Gentiles who are concerned with maintaining good physical health.

“This categorizing is also important in view of the fact that it is unique in the annals of Near Eastern literature because its emphasis is not so much upon the avoidance of magical practices associated with certain animal species as upon the positive delineation of dietary principles intended to insure the physical well-being of the individual and the nation alike through a consistent [preventative] approach” (Introduction to the Old Testament, 1999, p. 603).

Doctors offer their view

Do the health laws of the Bible have a foundation in medical fact? S.I. McMillen, M.D., and David E. Stern, M.D., summarize their view of the laws God revealed to the Israelites: “For centuries epidemics had killed thousands of Egyptians and Hebrews. Ancient treatments rarely helped. Often the ‘cure’ was worse than the diseases. Yet here [Exodus 15:26] God made a fantastic promise—freedom from diseases.

“God then gave Moses many health rules, filling a whole section of the Bible…Moses recorded hundreds of health regulations but not a single current medical misconception.

“Thousands have died through the centuries, however, because doctors ignored the biblical rules. Finally, when doctors read and tried these guidelines, they quickly discovered how to prevent the spread of epidemics. Thus Moses could be called the father of modern infection control. Even today we are still benefiting from God’s 3,500-year-old instructions” ( None of These Diseases: The Bible’s Health Secrets for the 21st Century, 2000, p. 11).

Rex Russell, M.D., adds: “As we look at modern science and nutrition, we will find that…there is an amazing overlap between God’s original laws of clean and unclean and solid hygienic principles…Scripture and medical research agree that modern lifestyles lived without reference to God’s laws and design shorten life and hasten death” ( What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, 1999, pp. 14, 16).

Nutritionist David Meinz says that, even though we may not understand all aspects of the biblical dietary laws, we would be wise to follow them.

“Much of the wisdom revealed in the Bible now makes sense to us from our modern perspective,” he says, “but should that mean we won’t consider the areas that haven’t yet been scientifically proven?

“We’ve only discovered that animal fat is bad for us in the last 50 years. To the Christian a century ago, the directive in Leviticus 3:17 to avoid animal fat made no sense at all. Yet it’s clear to us today. What if there’s something in lobster that’s harmful to our health? What if we don’t discover what it is until 50 years from now? Do we require scientific proof before we give the Bible the benefit of the doubt?” ( Eating by the Book, 1999, p. 226).

Reginald Cherry, M.D., comments on why medical doctors and researchers have come to agree with the Bible’s instruction not to eat fat.

“Why is this prohibition against fat so important for us?” he asks. “Over 53 percent of people in large industrialized countries die of heart disease. Heart disease is most commonly caused by fat deposits that build up in the arteries, often beginning in the teenage years” ( The Bible Cure, 1998, p. 34, large-print edition).

Cultural taboos or divine revelation?

If some of the Bible’s dietary regulations have been shown to offer proven health benefits, what might that tell us about its other instructions? Dr. Cherry continues: “…The Old Testament…overflows with many revelations from God about hygiene, healthy foods, and the…prevention of diseases. As a medical doctor specializing in preventative medicine, I find the Old [Testament] fascinating and intriguing. Throughout its ancient Hebrew text, one finds many unveiled secrets and mysteries concerning what we should eat, how to avoid contaminated and diseased objects, and what natural substances can be used to effect healing…

“The Hebrews did not seek to know more about anatomy, science, or the natural order as did their counterparts in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, or Greece. Quite the contrary. Anything that might be uncovered in the ancient Hebrew texts of the Bible had to come to them through divine, supernatural knowledge revealed by God. So what we shall unearth from the Old [Testament] does not arise from human speculations on health and medicine but rather from God’s particular Word to us about his pathway of healing for us—His creation. As Creator, God knows more about our bodies, His creation, than we could ever discover either through philosophy or science…

“The lists of clean and unclean animals in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 have a significance often ignored. Far from being a catalog of food taboos based on fad or fancy, these lists emphasize a fact not discovered until late in the last century [the 1800s] and still not generally known: Animals carry diseases dangerous to man” (pp. 27, 30, 39).

Health risk to humans?

Dr. Russell asks, “What is so good about ‘clean’ meats, and what is so bad about ‘unclean’ meats?” He goes on to explain that “the flesh of clean animals such as beef, and fish that have scales and fins, is ideal for the health of humans—just as we would expect from the hand of a loving Creator…Many land animals God designed for food provide an additional benefit in that they generally eat grasses and grains that were also designed for food” (Russell, pp. 73-74).

In contrast, David Meinz summarizes the potential health risk of eating creatures the Bible classifies as unclean. “Almost all of the creatures on the unclean list are scavengers,” he notes. “In many cases they don’t hunt for their own food; they eat the dead and decaying matter of our environment. A catfish does that at the bottom of a pond; lobsters and shrimp do it in the ocean. A pig will eat anything. Vultures, almost by definition, are known for their scavenger habits” (Meinz, p. 225).

Dr. Russell notes that “an animal doesn’t have to be a scavenger to be unclean. Horses and rabbits, for example, are unclean because they do not have split hooves. Although they are considered to be good food in some countries, studies have shown that horse meat often contains viruses and parasites. Rabbits, as innocent as they appear, are the cause of tularemia (an infectious disease) in humans.

“One reason for God’s rule forbidding pork is that the digestive system of a pig is completely different from that of a cow. It is similar to ours, in that the stomach is very acidic. Pigs are gluttonous, never knowing when to stop eating. Their stomach acids become diluted because of the volume of food, allowing all kinds of vermin to pass through this protective barrier. Parasites, bacteria, viruses and toxins can pass into the pig’s flesh because of over-eating. These toxins and infectious agents can be passed on to humans when they eat a pig’s flesh” (Russell, p. 76-77).

Don Colbert, M.D., adds: “Besides being gluttons, swine are also extremely filthy animals. They will eat garbage, feces, and even decaying flesh. All that is eaten usually becomes part of the pig’s own flesh…Aside from the diseases routinely carried by swine, pork is also a very fatty meat. The toxins in pork are held especially in the fat, which is not isolated from the meat as can be the case in lean beef, but rather, it is dispersed throughout the meat” ( What Would Jesus Eat?, 2002, pp. 49-50).

Poison on a plate?

Dr. Russell’s supporting evidence for his views isn’t for the faint of heart. He writes: “In the United States, three of the six most common food-borne parasitic diseases of humans are associated with pork consumption. These include toxoplasmosis, taeniasis or cysticercosis (caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium) and trichinellosis…

“It has long been recognized that the meat of shellfish—shrimp, crabs, lobsters, etc.—is especially dangerous. Many illnesses, including instant paralysis, devastate some people every day as a result of eating shellfish.

“The largest cholera outbreak in the United States occurred in Louisiana from August through October 1986. (The symptoms of cholera are explosive diarrhea, leading to rapid dehydration, unconsciousness, hypotension and death.) What did the stricken people eat? The incriminating meals were found to include rice noodles with shrimp, pork, vegetables, mussel soup, pig blood coagulated with vinegar, and salty brine shrimp with mixed vegetables.

“Shellfish can be placed in a body of water that is contaminated with cholera bacteria, and they will purify the water. Shrimp, oysters, crab, scallops and mussels are particularly efficient at this. They filter large volumes of water every day. Sewage laden with chemicals, toxins and harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses become concentrated in those shellfish. The cause of cholera outbreaks in several areas has been traced to contaminated shrimp, crab, oysters and clams.

“Reading all this, you might not be surprised to learn that the state Legislature of California proposed a law requiring the food industry to label shellfish with a message warning: ‘This food may be dangerous to your health.’ Why? In a single year, 50 deaths and many hospitalizations were found to have been caused by eating shellfish” (Russell, pp. 78-79).

What purpose do they serve?

If such creatures weren’t designed to be eaten, why did God create them? Dr. Russell explains: “For one thing, they serve a useful role just cleaning up the place. Many unclean animals, however, notably pigs and shellfish, are unhealthy because their diet consists of society’s disease-laden refuse.

“Pigs have eaten Philadelphia’s garbage and sewage for more than 100 years, saving the city $3 million a year in landfill costs. This is a wise use of hogs. They are designed to clean our environment.

“Even when stacked in cages, piglets thrive on offal when only the pig in the top cage receives food. Farmers have increased their profits by feeding free raw sewage to pigs. Chicken farmers often keep a hog so they can dispose of dead chickens without having to bury them” (Russell, p. 81).

Some species of fish and shellfish perform a similar role in the water. Dr. Russell notes that “among commonly eaten fish, catfish…always show the highest levels of contamination in chemically polluted water. After chemical spills, local fishermen are warned not to eat catfish” (ibid.).

Even commercially raised catfish are a potential health risk, he notes. “Consumer Reports tested fish bought in multiple markets in the United States. Fish are considered spoiled when bacteria counts are greater than 10 million per gram of flesh. Nearly all catfish had counts that went off the scale at 27 million per gram, even when properly prepared” (ibid.).

Dr. Russell’s conclusion? “Although swine help clean the earth, and shellfish and catfish are ideally designed to purify the water, we don’t want to eat what they clean up!” (ibid.)

In light of such seldom-publicized facts, we can better understand and appreciate God’s words through Moses: “Observe and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 12:28).

May we all be careful to “discern between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 44:23).”  From: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/what-does-the-bible-teach-about-clean-and-unclean-meats/a-matter-of

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Influenza

An Amazing Fact: “Most people think the deadliest plague in history was the bubonic plague that killed two million victims a year. Actually, the deadliest plague occurred in the 20th century! And it started right here in the USA. It was the influenza of 1918 that hit right after World War I.

The war killed nine million men in four years, but this killer flu took at least 25 million lives in one year. In the first year, nearly 20 million cases were reported in the United States alone, accounting for almost one million deaths. That’s more than were killed during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined.

It all started on March 11, 1918, at Camp Funston, Kansas, when a company cook reported to the infirmary with typical flu symptoms. By noon, 107 soldiers were sick. Within two days, 522 people were sick, many gravely ill with severe pneumonia, the deadliest part of the sickness. Reports started coming in from other military bases. Within a week, every state in the Union had been infected by this airborne killer. In two months it spread to South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The United States had the lowest death toll. But a large percentage of the Eskimo population was wiped out in Nome, Alaska. Eighty to 90 percent of the Samoan population was infected, many survivors dying from starvation, too weak to feed themselves. The disease seemed to peak within three weeks of entering a given city, then subsided. In the end, it’s estimated 25 to 35 million people died worldwide.

Eighteen months after the disease appeared, the flu bug vanished, leaving a mystery as to its source, until March 1997, when Armed Forces Institute of Pathology researchers found specimens that 1918 Army doctors had preserved. It appears the virus started from birds, passed to pigs, and then to humans.

These are the deadliest of all viruses because when the hearty pig immune system kicks into action the virus is forced to mutate. Both the deadly Asian flu (1957) and the Hong Kong flu (1968) came from mutated pig viruses.

   
The scary part is that hog farms continue to breed pigs for food near populated areas. It could happen again! Perhaps this is one of the reasons God said people should not eat pigs. His laws are always intended to bless us.

KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.  Leviticus 11:7”

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Update.

This week has been basically devoted to cleaning the place up, getting stuff put away, thrown away or sorted to be donated.  Different agency’s thrift shops specialize in different things.  We didn’t put anything back in the 10 x 20 storage tent yet, as the refund for the wrong size roof hadn’t been issued.  Finally I contacted them, and all I got was a lousy 10%!  But I just couldn’t go through installing another canopy roof, so I am stuck with the one I have. 

As there was hardly anyone at church last week, we froze my ground beef and noodles, my mashed rutabagas, and many of the other dishes, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of time cooking on Friday.  But I did run a big baked potato through the Salad Shooter’s crinkle slicer, added some butter and seasonings, so it made another tasty, popular dish for this Sabbath’s potluck.

The Bible readings were Num. 30:2-32:42, Jer.1:1-2:3, and  Matt. 5:33-37.  The Teaching was about the Conversion of Saul, who became Paul.

Sunday, I must have got in my 10,000 steps.  A neighbor and I walked around the big flea market at Olde Security, then the two at Fostoria Road, near Cleveland.  Then to the indoor “Treasure Chest”, east of Conroe, as he was looking for good place to sell his stuff.  I must have lost some weight today!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Names for Saturday in Many Languages Prove Which Day Is the True Sabbath. The 'Feasts of the Lord' in the Book of Acts. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Names for Saturday in Many Languages Prove Which Day Is the True Sabbath

Which day of the week is the biblical Sabbath? It is clear from the names for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, in many languages.

Infographic: Names for Saturday in Many Languages Prove Which Day Is the True SabbathUCG.org

Such widespread use of forms of the word Sabbath for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is clear evidence that speakers of these languages understood which day is the Sabbath.

Which day of the week is the biblical Sabbath? Many are confused over the issue, but such confusion is unnecessary. Not only is the answer plain from history and the Bible, it is also clear from the names for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, in many languages.

For example, the Spanish word for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is sabado the same word for “Sabbath.” In fact, in more than 100 ancient and modern languages the seventh day of the week was named “Sabbath” or its equivalent. Following is a list of names for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, in 24 languages in which the root word Sabbath is still easily recognizable.

Such widespread use of forms of the word Sabbath for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is clear evidence that speakers of these languages understood which day is the Sabbath.

Likewise, the fact that in no language do we see “Sabbath” similarly linked with Sunday, the first day of the week, is an obvious confirmation that this day never was considered the biblical Sabbath until later religious leaders tried to substitute Sunday for the true Sabbath day.

Arabic: Sabet
Armenian: Shabat
Bosnian: Subota
Bulgarian: Sabota
Corsican: Sàbatu
Croatian: Subota
Czech: Sobota
Georgian: Sabati
Greek: Savvato
Hebrew: Shabbat
Indonesian: Sabtu
Italian: Sabato
Latin: Sabbatum
Maltese: is-Sibt
Polish: Sobota
Portuguese: Sábado
Romanian: Sambata
Russian: Subbota
Serbian: Subota
Slovak: Sobota
Slovene: Sobota
Somali: Sabti
Spanish: Sabado
Sudanese: Saptu
Ukranian: Subota

Download the Saturday & Sabbath - Proof for the Sabbath Comes from Many Different Languages Infographic

infographic-sabbath-saturday-proof-for-the-sabbath-comes-from-many-different-languages-black-white-print (2.03 MB)

infographic-sabbath-saturday-proof-for-the-sabbath-comes-from-many-different-languages-color-print (5.79 MB)

From: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/sunset-to-sunset-gods-sabbath-rest/names-for-saturday-in-many-languages-prove-which-day-is-the-true-sabbath

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The 'Feasts of the Lord' in the Book of Acts

“Regarding the feasts of the Lord, it is very instructive to study the history of the first 30 years of the Christian Church recorded in Scripture. What Holy Days did they keep? It's surprising how many of "the feasts of the Lord" are found in the book of Acts.

A Bible opened to the book of Acts.Tyler Olson/Hemera/Thinkstock

We do not find in the book of Acts—a chronicle of the first 30 years of Church history—that the feast days had been changed or abolished, or other days substituted in their place.

Regarding the feasts of the Lord, it is very instructive to study the history of the first 30 years of the Christian Church recorded in Scripture. What Holy Days did they keep? It’s surprising how many of “the feasts of the Lord” are found in the book of Acts.

The first mention of God’s feasts in the book of Acts is found in Acts 2:1: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” This day of Pentecost is one of God’s feasts found in Scripture.

Then in Acts 12, two of “the feasts of the Lord” are mentioned—the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread (Acts 12:3-4). Peter was miraculously freed from his chains at that time, and the Church rejoiced over this liberation. Many would have remembered that during this day, the Israelites were also freed from their Egyptian bondage.

Later Luke, in describing his travels with Paul, mentions sailing after the Days of Unleavened Bread were over, showing they had stayed to observe them in Philippi before continuing their trip (Acts 20:6).

Moreover, Luke records Paul “hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16). If these feasts were only for the Jews and abolished for Christians, they certainly would not have been mentioned as important for Paul and his party.

Finally, we see Luke mentioning another feast, the Day of Atonement, in their travels: “Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over …” (Acts 27:9). “The Fast” is referring to the Day of Atonement, the only day in Scripture commanded by God to be observed with a fast (Leviticus 23:27).

So we find not an inkling in the book of Acts—a chronicle of the first 30 years of Church history—that the feast days had been changed or abolished, or other days substituted in their place. Rather, they assumed a much greater meaning to the Christian community. The Encyclopaedia Britannica confirms this, stating that “the first Christians … continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed” (11th edition, vol. 8, p. 828).   From: https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/the-feasts-of-the-lord-in-the-book-of-acts

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Update.

More stuff has been sorted for sale and for donating this week.  The consignment shop doesn’t take some of the items that I have for sale, so I am on my own again.   DSCF2157

The company that sold me the wrong new top for my canvas carport/storage tent, and I, came to an agreement.  Even if they sent someone here to take it down, pack it and ship it back, then I would still have to pay someone to help me put up a new one.  So they are supposed to send me a refund.  Zack, my neighbor who helps me, and I did some modifications on the canopy top and added some clear vinyl shower curtains so that it wouldn’t leak. 

One day I took Lauri to the grocery store to buy her organic apples and organic cigarettes.  I bought quite a few veggies in the marked-down section, and cooked the spaghetti squash, butternut squash, yellow squash, rutabagas, turnips, spinach and zuccini when I got home.  Then I stored them in big mason jars. as I like to keep a lot of cooked veggies on hand so that I can nosh on them when I need to.  It is so easy to prepare dinner when a lot of it is already done.

I was given a great big 6 lb square slab of frozen ground beef, so I had to get a big square electric frying pan out of my yard sale items and cook it in that.  When it was all defrosted, I put it in a big pot on the stove with some seasonings and water to simmer for a while, then strained it.  The liquid was very greasy, but by putting it in the fridge, the fat solidified on the top so I could throw that out and keep the seasoned broth.  Now I had something to work with, as I don’t eat any fat like that, as “the fat you eat, is the fat you wear”.    I froze half of the cooked meat, and made the rest into beef and noodles to take to church in a crockpot.  In another crockpot I took some mashed rutabagas.  They said it was very tasty.

Due to varied reasons there was hardly anyone at church, but we had a good service anyway.  There was so much food left over that we froze it for this next Sabbath.  That will help me a lot, as the pastor and his wife won’t be there, so I will be ramrodding the kitchen again.  Then my granddaughter, Michelle’s wedding is on that day, too.

The Bible readings were Num. 25:10–30:1, 1 King 18:46-19:21 and Rom. 11:2-32.  The Teaching was “The Inseparable Messiah”. 

Not very many folks there, but it was still a good day.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

How to Forgive. Nag, Nag, Nag!. Update.

For Scripture Sunday”:

How to Forgive

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““To err is human; to forgive, divine” (Alexander Pope). This sounds good in theory, but what about serious trespasses? Can we learn how to forgive those?

Forgiving someone who has hurt or offended us is not the natural human reaction. The natural reaction is to harbor resentment and, sometimes, to try to get even. But learning how to forgive is not only the right thing to do, it is the healthy thing to do. It is also difficult in many cases.

Forgiving someone else boils down to a choice for each of us. Actually choosing to forgive others can be a very challenging thing to do, and it requires thought about some basic concepts. The following ideas can help you learn how to forgive.

Forgiving helps to heal our own human emotions

Forgiving others does not just help to heal their emotional wounds. It helps you in healing yours. According to an article on the Mayo Clinic website, the following benefits can be reaped through forgiveness:

“Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse.”

Letting go of old resentments and ill will frees you mentally to go on with your life, embracing positive emotions and experiences.

Realize that forgiving does not mean that injustice will go unpunished

Forgiving is not synonymous with excusing wrong or hurtful actions on the part of others, and it does not mean that injustice will go unpunished forever. God is the One who ultimately decides what is fair and when justice will be done.

Consider this statement from 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

In the short term, things often seem unfair. The old saying “cheaters never prosper” often does not ring true when we observe the actions of others around us. And when people do us wrong, God does not want us to take vengeance or retribution on them.

Notice the instruction Paul gave us in Romans 12:18-19: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

The fact is that God is patient and does not mete out punishment the instant a wrong is done. Note this statement from Matthew 5:45: “That you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

In His own time and manner, God will righteously judge all for their actions. When we choose to forgive another person, it does not condone wrong or hurtful actions, it just means that we have chosen to let go, move on with our lives and leave things in God’s hands.

Learning how to forgive is the right thing to do

Jesus Christ’s teachings constantly point us toward forgiving others for their offenses against us. When Peter asked how many times he should forgive someone, he asked if he should forgive seven times. Presumably Peter may have thought that number was more than adequate.

Christ responded by telling Peter to forgive “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22). The clear principle is that we should be willing to go on forgiving, and that there are no limits on how many times we should forgive.

In another passage, Christ gave the parable of the unforgiving servant. The account is found in Matthew 18:23-35. In the parable, there is a servant who is unable to repay a very large debt, so his master commands that he be sold into slavery, along with his family, in order to repay it. The servant begs for mercy and receives it (verses 23-27). Upon being forgiven, however, the servant goes out to ruthlessly collect much smaller debts owed to him, showing no mercy at all (verses 28-31).

Christ gave His own sinless life to forgive our sins! And while He was dying at the hands of His persecutors, He cried out to the Father asking Him to “forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” In verses 32-33, the master pronounces his judgment on this servant who didn’t learn how to forgive: “Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?”’ The master then had him delivered to “the torturers” until all his debts could be paid.

Jesus Christ’s example of forgiving

Christ gave His own sinless life to forgive our sins! And while He was dying at the hands of His persecutors, He cried out to the Father asking Him to “forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” This was a profound statement and example for all of us!

Many times, people cause harm without really thinking or knowing it was wrong. If a person really knew it was wrong to cause offense, he or she would have most likely not committed the act.

Notice what Paul wrote to the Corinthians after Christ’s resurrection: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

The truth of God is hidden from most people today, and the values and morals of God are not understood by most. So, a very important step in the forgiveness process is to follow Christ’s example: “Forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Ephesians 4:31-32 summarizes this very well: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Realize that harboring anger and resentment can destroy you

Here is another quote from the Mayo Clinic website about the destructiveness of harboring anger and refusing to forgive:

“If you’re unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present.”

Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians that anger can give Satan a chance to work on our minds if we do not forgive and let go:

“‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:25-26). Paul is quoting from Psalm 4:4 in this passage: “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.”  Do not let anger control you!

The healthy mind chooses to let go of negative emotions and anger.

Choose to forgive!

Forgiving comes down to a matter of personal choice. Many people choose not to forgive because they have the feeling that the wrongdoing will go unpunished or because an injustice will never be righted if something is not done about it.

In fact, if you refuse to forgive and move on, you may actually punish yourself more than what the offending party has done to you. Consider the benefits and positive outcomes described above, and do yourself a favor. Choose to forgive!”

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/forgiveness/how-to-forgive/

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Nag, Nag, Nag

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“Jesus didn't nag, and neither should we.

The Bible tells us that words can be like continual dripping on a very rainy day.

One definition of the word “nag” is to “worry or annoy continually.” Almost all people love peace and quiet and try to escape from a continual barrage of reminders or criticisms. Too often, the word is applied to women, but men can also be nags.

The Bible tells us that words can be like continual dripping on a very rainy day (Proverbs 27:15-16). It seems true that a person who constantly finds fault, worries or urges us to do something will grate on our nerves in time, whether they are a man or woman. The problem lies in the nature and character of the one doing the nagging. Sometimes they do not realize that they are getting on everyone’s nerves. Sometimes they simply will not believe that they are nags.

The gift of God is eternal life to all who believe. Believing carries with it the responsibility to change. Every flaw within us needs to be recognized and worked with. Finding something wrong with everything and everybody is an attitude that not only needs to, but can be, changed. God would not require us to be a new person every day if it were not possible. We can start by paying attention to our words.

Stop and think before the words spill out of our mouths. When we pause and think, we can learn how to make our speech show love and concern to all we meet. We can even learn to speak with words that will make people want to listen (Colossians 4:6). When Jesus spoke, crowds gathered because His words were words of encouragement. Never once did Jesus nag. Be like Him.”

From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/this-is-the-way/nag-nag-nag

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1 Corinthians 10:10 and Philippians 2:14-15  both say “Quit Your Bitchin’!

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Update.

Well, Monday brought more ferrying Lauri around, in three different cities this time.  She wanted to take her written driving test 25 miles north at the Huntsville (TX,) office because she didn’t think it would be so busy.  She says she can’t be around cellphones because they give her a migraine.  We waited about an hour outside with everybody else, and then the officer came out and said the AC wasn’t working, so the officers and applicants were all sent to the Conroe office.  So back on the freeway for about 35 miles south to Conroe. 

At the Conroe DPS Lauri had to sit in a special area while I sat in her place in line with all the people who were texting and messing with their phones.  It took ages for them to see her as she had a PO Box for two years, but had just got her address changed to her real street address because there are so many things that you can’t do with a PO Box.  So her new address was only two weeks old, which they didn’t like, and she doesn’t get utility bills as it is included in her rent. They take getting a TX ID very seriously.

Finally, they took her picture so we could leave, so we stopped at the grocery store in Willis and then on to my house.  There Lauri had to watch a DPS video, for an hour, all part of the certification before they will give you a road test appointment.  Then the next appointment was on AUG 30th.!!  So I took her home, and will be ferrying her around some more.  Wow, I didn’t even have to go through all that to get a Commercial Driver’s License. 

Zack, my neighbor who helps me, had to mow again, the rain surely is making the grass grow.  One morning we cut down a big prickly bush that had a habit of reaching out and spiking passersby.   And somehow, spots had got on my beige living room carpet, so he shampooed it again with my carpet steamer. 

But the highlight of the week was that Diana and her husband went to the Willis church together for the first time in about a year. This is why I started this with “Forgiveness”, as I prayed some had rubbed off between them.  First, I went to the Conroe church as I had hoped to see someone there, but found out they are a “Potluck Christian”, and only go on potluck days. 

I made a chicken, new potatoes and veggies dish for the Willis church, who have potlucks every Sabbath, so I put it in the fridge at Conroe while I went to the Bible Study and service.  The pastor was away so an old friend of mine was giving the message, “To Be A Slave of Christ”.  Their services are kinda short and you don’t really feel like you have gained much unless you go to the Bible Study, too.   Then I went to the Willis church, and arrived in time for their Teaching “Hallowed”.  It was so good to see Diana and her husband both there, hopefully their troubles are over.

More of my yard sale items were sorted to take to the consignment place, and another box is ready to donate to the Women’s Center. It is going to take a long time, but as I come across things in the house that I don’t need anymore I sort it into a box, and more is getting packed each day.