Sunday, January 25, 2015

God's Plan for the Middle East. After Paris? The Boy Who Did Not Go to Heaven. Update.

 

For "Scripture Sunday":

God's Plan for the Middle East

image "Conflict in that region will end and peace will come, but not by any human effort. Discover the astounding truth!"

Watch this video, read the transcript and request the Bible study aid "The Middle East in Bible Prophecy".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXJWvgX2o8c

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After Paris?

image "World leaders marched in Paris over the weekend to remember those slain in last week's attack on a French newspaper. Europe is seeing extreme reaction to Islamization. Why does this matter?"

4 min video: http://youtu.be/qruStVPAfRw

Transcript:  [Darris McNeely] "I want to make another comment about the shootings in Paris last week, where Islamic terrorists barged into the offices of the French satiric newspaper Charlie Hebdo and killed fifteen people – editors and policeman – in a terrible massacre that took place there.

Over the weekend, the world leaders gathered in Paris and thousands marched in the streets in solidarity to show support for those who were killed, for free speech, and for France. I noticed that there were a number – of course, President Hollande of Paris, France, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel were in the front row.

Ironically, on either side of them was the president of the Palestinian authority, Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the other side. They were on the front row as well. Of course, all of this came out of the Middle East and the Muslim against the European situation – so to see those two on the front row is interesting.  The question is, what happens next? Where does this lead? What will France do? Their reaction is going to be critical.

There's another development that has been taking place over several weeks in Germany that kind of ties in with this. In Dresden, thousands have been marching every week, thousands of people, Germans who are protesting against the Islamization of Europe, and Germany in particular, other asylum laws that Germany has, and certain other deeper problems within the German state that they are protesting against. They are more right-wing extremists.

They are also probably marching against – with certain anti-Semitic feelings as well there. And to be fair, against them had been another segment of the German population who are protesting against these protesters. And the chancellor, Angela Merkel, and other German leaders have also been standing up against these extremist protesters within Germany, but there are a lot of them and it seems to be growing because now, this week in Leipzig, just about an hour's drive from Dresden, another group is going to be marching, a group calling themselves "PEGIDA". PEGIDA, which is a German for those who are against the Islamization of the west. And they're hoping to bring to Leipzig in Germany the same type of success that they have had in Germany, this anti-immigration, anti-asylum, sometimes even anti-Semitic problems that are there.

Where this goes is going to be very interesting to watch. What's happening behind this really is this: that extremists' reactions to Islam and other minorities, including Jews, are building within Europe. This is always dangerous in Germany, as well as within Europe, because demonstrations, protests, extreme situations like this can take different turns, grow out of control, and go completely different. Anyone who knows the history of Europe, and Germany in particular – Austria is even organizing some of these – people know that this can have some rather dark and ominous developments

In the wake of last week's shootings in Paris, anyone who understands not only European history, but also Bible prophecy understands that this has the markings of a highly complex and volatile situation and crisis that is bubbling under the surface. It hasn't erupted to create widespread change yet but there is ferment that is bubbling and where it can go, again, is yet to be seen.

Bible prophecy shows us that there will be an attack from a power within the Middle East against a European power and the reaction will totally change the face of geopolitics in Europe and the Middle East and have ramifications for the United States and other nations in today's world. That's why we watch this – these types of pushes or attacks by radical Islam in Europe are going to no doubt happen again. Everyone is expecting it to take place. And what will take place, what will happen that will yet cause a bigger reaction is yet to be seen, but it's important to understand it and it's important to watch." From: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/news-and-prophecy/after-paris

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The Boy Who Did Not Go to Heaven

"We don’t need those who claim to have these experiences to openly recant in order to know these stories are false. Common sense and the Bible give us the answers.

image Recently a boy who claimed to have gone to heaven after a car accident recanted his story. But was his reversal necessary to know his story was not true?"

http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/the-boy-who-did-not-go-to-heaven/

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Update:

The cold weather and rain kept us in quite a bit, and Jay was working elsewhere.  There is still one more piece of plywood to go up in the ceiling of the greenhouse extension, but the potted plants that are in there have been quite safe from the few freezes.

Ray and I went to church early, and had a good time talking with the others in the dining room before the service began. We have several new people, and it's always great to get to know them.  I like helping the pastor's wife get things ready, too. All the dishes are made ahead of time on Friday, "Preparation Day", but they have to be put in the oven to reheat, and the silverware, plates, glasses and napkins set out.

The Bible readings were Exo. 10:1-13:16 and Jer. 46:13-28.  This was about the Pharaoh finally letting the Israelites go.  The teaching was "Who Is God, The True God"  quoting many verses. We have two hymns at the beginning of the service and six more in the middle.  So we get lots of praising to the Lord, and air in our lungs.

When we retired to the dining hall we had turkey, meatloaf, tortillas, a cheese & rice dish, salads, and lots of veggies.  I took some fresh black eyes peas that I had cooked in the crockpot for 24 hours, and they had turned very salty, even though I hadn't added any.  The pastor's wife had some cooked ones in the freezer, so we mixed them together, and it turned out OK as there weren't any left. 

Also, I took a Trifle again, a popular British dessert. This one was a vanilla pudding mix, mixed with Pumpkin Spice coconut milk, and poured over some cake, and let it set up in a nice glass dish.  Trifles seems to be popular at our potlucks, and sometimes I make them with Jello.  People give me cake, which I hardly ever eat, so I make it into Trifle, as I know it will be eaten at church.

Each new morning comes with praise and thanks at my age, and it was another great day.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

“I Didn’t Know I Was Happy”. Is the Bible True? Antibiotic Resistance. 5 Factors That Make You Pack on Pounds. Cat In Carrier! Update.

 

For "Scripture Sunday":

By the Way With Joel Meeker

I Didn’t Know...

"In a world of discontentment, a change in perspective can open our eyes to our blessings. Thankfulness can help us realize how happy we are.

I once had the opportunity to give an audiovisual presentation to a church congregation in the Philippines. Using slides projected on a screen, I gave an overview of some of my work in the French-speaking parts of the world, including how most people in poverty-stricken countries in Africa live.

After the presentation, several people thanked me and remarked that they had thought their lives were hard. They had thought they had the most difficult lives of any in our church family, but they now realized some people’s lives were much more difficult.

They hadn’t known. They were looking at their lives in a new way, and they felt a new sense of thankfulness.

Another perspective on blessings

This caused me to reflect on our human proclivity to take blessings for granted and focus instead on things we wish we had.

Traveling in what is optimistically called the “developing world” certainly gives another perspective on many blessings taken for granted in the “developed world.”

Yet no matter where or how we live, we enjoy blessings we would do well to remember and for which we should be thankful.

“I didn’t know I was happy”

One of the moist poignant experiences I had as a young pastor in eastern France was comforting a family whose 15-year-old daughter had been killed by a drunk driver. I remember sitting in the living room of the old stone farmhouse with the bereaved parents.

At one point, the father told me simply: “I didn’t know I was happy.” He was considering the blessing his daughter had been to them. Now in anguish, he realized he’d taken his former happiness for granted.

Discontent vs. thankfulness

Our modern world increasingly pushes us not to focus on the good we have, but on things we don’t have and want. Politicians running for office assure us that we deserve more than we have and, if elected, they’ll see that we get it. Companies use slick advertising to tell us “we owe it to ourselves” to have whatever their new, improved product is. We’re manipulated not to be happy with what we have.

King David encouraged himself not to forget God’s blessings: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2). In the rest of that psalm, David went on to make a list—to count his blessings, as the saying goes.

In an alarming prophecy about the time just before the return of Christ, the apostle Paul told Timothy that one sign of that end time would be a general attitude of thanklessness (2 Timothy 3:2). This mind-set already seems omnipresent in our modern world. Paul explained elsewhere that a main reason the world has become so full of evil and suffering is that humankind in general has not acknowledged or been thankful for God’s blessings (Romans 1:21).

Thankfulness should be a part of our every prayer. It stabilizes us spiritually to count our blessings—to remember them in detail. If we don’t, we can easily forget how happy we are.

Do you know?"  From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/discern/jan-feb-2015/i-didnt-know/

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Is the Bible True?   ARCHAEOLOGY

image "The Bible claims to answer the big questions of life. How can we know it is accurate? Starting with this issue, we examine five proofs of the truth of the Bible.

Three of the most important questions in life are: Where did I come from? Who am I? And where am I going? These questions cut to the heart of humanity.

Where would you go to find the answers? Can you look to a friend, a politician, a minister? Or is there another source where you can find the answers to life’s most difficult questions?

The Bible claims to have the answers—answers that are not available anywhere else."   More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/is-the-bible-true/proof-1-archaeology/ By Jim Franks

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More important articles:

Antibiotic Resistance

image

 

image 

"Antibiotic resistance has turned into a worldwide health threat of massive proportions

Two million American adults and children are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year; 23,000 die as a direct result

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) kills more Americans each year than the combined total of emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide

Solutions include improved infection prevention, more responsible use of antibiotics in human medicine, limiting use of antibiotics in agriculture, and finding innovative approaches to treat infections."    Video at: http://video.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365345810?chapter=1"

More at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/03/antibiotic-resistance-microbes.aspx

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5 Surprising Factors That Make You Pack on Pounds

image

"Contrary to popular belief, obesity is not simply the result of eating too many calories and not exercising enough.

Antibiotics, found in medicine and non-organic meats, promote obesity by killing off beneficial gut bacteria and altering your microbiome.

Hormones and other growth enhancing drugs used in non-organic livestock also promote obesity.

Other factors fueling the rise in obesity include pesticides, artificial sweeteners, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals."     Complete article at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/12/5-surprising-factors-obesity.aspx

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Obesity Now Causes Half a Million Cancers a Year, Worldwide

image "Nearly 30 percent of the global population is overweight or obese, and this has a significant impact on cancer rates.

In developed countries, eight percent of all cancers in women and three percent of cancers in men are associated with obesity.

Compared to men, women are twice as likely to develop obesity-related cancer."  Complete article at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/07/obesity-related-cancer.aspx

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imageGetting Your Cat Into the Carrier: Blind Superman Technique getting your cat into the carrier blind superman technique  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WdvEoC3U080  This method helps make transporting your cat as stress-free as possible.

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Update:

It is one year ago today (18th) since Ray took me to the ER as I wasn't feeling 'right', and they discovered that I was having a heart attack.  So, it is also one year since I had my last cigarette!  After spending 12 days in the hospital with tubes in my neck, chest and arm, I couldn't see the sense in lighting up when I got out of there.  The cardiologist said that I was in great health overall, but the 65 years of smoking caused the blockages in my heart. Force of habit, I do reach for them when I have a good cuppa tea or coffee, then I remember that I don't smoke any more.  I don't miss them, or the mess they made.

We wanted to have a yard sale this week, it's always a good to spread out all the stuff and go through it.  But it has been too cold, so we bundled up in t-shirts and sweaters under our coats.  We did manage to get a few more ceiling joists up in the greenhouse extension of the storeroom, screwing the plywood down on top of it, as we go.  This ceiling makes more floor in the guesthouse attic.  We also brought down a bunch of boxes of yard sale stuff from up there that haven't seen the light of day for a couple of years.  Mostly winter stuff that really needs to be gone.

My foster dog, BabyGirl was taken to Adoption Day, and a family was very impressed how gentle she was with their little daughter, but they wanted a puppy.  At least it was a day out for BabyGirl as she gets very bored here, as I hardly ever go anywhere.

DSCF0088-001   SAM_2248-001

 

 

 

 

 

Ray and I look forward to going to church, and we usually leave early. Ray comes a-ringing my doorbell at least half an hour before we have to leave, and helps me load the van. We like to talk with the others as they arrive at the dining hall before the service. Now when Jay is going, which he didn't this week, we have to wait on him, and often arrive late. 

Two of the men who usually help with the Bible readings weren't there, so the pastor asked Ray to read, but he declined as he isn't used to being in the limelight.  The readings were Psa. 18, 19 and 33. The main reading was Exo. 6:2-9:35 about the plagues that God brought down on the Egyptian pharaoh and his people because the pharaoh wouldn't let the Israelites go. Then the shorter reading was Eze. 28:25-29:21 which is also about the Egyptians learning that  "I am The Lord". 

The teaching was by Pastor Bobbie and called 'Get Your Spiritual Life In Shape' with these 5 exercises:  'Walk In His Paths', 'Run With Patience', 'Stand Fast In The Faith', 'In Him We Live And Have Our Being', and 'Exercise Your Faith' with all the Bible references to these exercises.

The potluck was great as usual.  We all look forward to the fellowship in the dining hall as well as the good food.  There was stew, tacos, lasagna, chicken with quinoa, lots of veggies, salads, cookies and desserts.  But it is the talking and listening to each other, that makes it such a great day.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Speak The Truth In Love. When Your Spouse Complains. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Majestic Monarch Butterfly. Update.

 

For "Scripture Sunday":

Speak The Truth In Love.

image

"What we say and why we say it has a huge impact on our relationships. Can telling the truth ever have bad results? Is it okay to lie for a good reason?

“Is it OK to lie for a good cause?” was the question asked in a recent TED conversation. The answers that came in were interesting.

One replied, “In my opinion the basis for moral action is loosely speaking to ‘maximize others’ well-being/minimize the harm you do to others.’ A rule such as ‘never lie’ is thus in my opinion not in itself the basis for moral action, but rather almost always a direct consequence of trying to be moral in the first sense. Lying can in my view therefore sometimes be moral.”

But can it really?

image Another person quoted a religious figure who provided a more traditionalist conclusion: “It is a sin for someone to lie. When he lies for a good cause, i.e. to save someone else, this is half a sin, because the lie is for the benefit of his fellow man and not for himself. However it is also considered a sin; therefore, we should keep it in mind, and not fall into the habit of telling lies for insignificant things.”

So, is it okay to lie for a good cause? What does God say about lying and truth and our motives?"

Read More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/communication/speak-the-truth-in-love/ By Ralph Levy

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Marriage Builder - When Your Spouse Complains

image "When one spouse complains, typically the other becomes defensive. Learning to deal with complaints before they become destructive is critical to the success of every marriage."

From Jimmy Evans: "Early in our marriage, Karen and I had an enormous amount of anger between us. We fought all the time. We couldn't talk about anything because it almost always led to a fight.

That's a dangerous way to live in a marriage. Chronic anger causes severe health problems. Did you know people in bad marriages actually have shorter life spans? Anger consumes our energy and wears us out.

How do you deal with anger in your marriage?

First, don't deny it. In Ephesians 4: 26-27, the Apostle Paul says that we will be angry. When this happens, admit it. Don't bottle it up. Suppressing anger may feel helpful in the short term, but unexpressed anger can be devastating. The pressure will build and build until you explode.

Cultivate an atmosphere of honesty within your relationship, so you and your spouse both feel free to complain and express anger. You have to be able to share anything with each other. I've counseled individuals before and one person will tell me something important about their thoughts or feelings.

I'll ask, "Have you told your spouse that?" They'll answer, "Oh, no. They'll go ballistic." What that means is the atmosphere in their home is not safe. They aren't free to complain because that kind of honesty can be dangerous to their marriage.

Allow your spouse to be angry. But when your spouse does offer a specific complaint, you must respond in a healthy way.

Don't get defensive. The best customer relations counters are the ones that take back a defective product and replace it with no questions asked. It's easy.

That's the kind of attitude we need in marriage. Defensive behavior makes it difficult. It makes a spouse feel they don't have a right to complain. In fact, defensiveness is a major predictor of divorce.

Early in our marriage, Karen would tell me something that was bothering her. She would explain that there was a problem and I would respond, "No, you're the problem. If you would just get your act together, everything would be fine."   That is not helpful.

Don't let your anger "age." Paul told the Ephesians not to let the sun go down on their anger. He meant that anger should be dealt with immediately. If you let it age—if you let it simmer and stew—it gets worse. It begins to fester.

Long-term anger turns into contempt. It turns into bitterness. It becomes poisonous and hardens your heart to whatever made you angry in the first place. Don't hide your anger in hopes that it will just go away. It turns toxic.

Don't stonewall. This is when communication totally shuts down. It's a response that means you're not willing to talk at all. "Do not talk to me about the children. Do not talk to me about money. Don't talk to me about my behavior."

A marriage with no communication is a marriage that's in trouble. We need to be able to complain to each other. We have to talk things out—but we have to do it without getting defensive, throwing a fit, or insulting each other.

Dysfunctional families don't talk. Functional families are honest and work things out when one spouse has a complaint. What kind of family is yours?" 

More and video at: http://www.marriagetoday.com/when-your-spouse-complains/  and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWVP_9CNGwU#t=13

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

An Amazing Fact: "Not all garbage ends up at the dump. In fact, Earth’s largest landfill isn’t on land at all. Every year millions of tons of plastic and other floating garbage is washed, blown, or dumped into the Pacific Ocean. It comes from rivers, boats, and populated beaches around the coasts of the great sea. Gradually, a constantly revolving whirlpool of ocean currents and wind gather and push these items into a virtual vortex of trash. This forms a floating rubbish convergence zone bigger than the state of Texas.

This galaxy of garbage, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, stretches more than a thousand miles across the central North Pacific Ocean. It is found in ocean space between Japan and California, while hovering a few hundred miles north of Hawaii. There are places where this tangled mass of nets, bottles, and bags is so thick you can walk on it, but most of the garbage patch is a minestrone soup of rubbish. Despite its continental size, the patch is not visible through satellite photography because most of its contents are a snow of plastic confetti suspended beneath the surface of the ocean.

This swirling synthetic sea presents a deadly minefield of debris. Each year thousands of ocean-going birds, fish, and mammals are killed trying to survive near this growing gauntlet of garbage. Turtles eat the plastic bags, thinking they are jellyfish. Birds eat the plastic particles, thinking they’re fish or shrimp, then starve because the indigestible polymers give them the false sensation they are full.

It is estimated this nebulous, floating junk yard, also called the Pacific Trash Vortex, may contain over 100 million tons of debris, and it’s growing every year. While it is the largest, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not unique. It is only one of five gigantic gatherings of garbage found among the seven seas of the world.

 
Did you know the Bible says that God will cast our sins in the depths of the sea? But the good news is that they don’t float! “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. - Psalms 104:25

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In the Animal Kingdom:

Help Save The Majestic Monarch Butterfly

"Don't let this North American crown jewel slip away. Urge the EPA to come up with a monarch butterfly rescue plan.

The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable and revered butterflies in all the world.

Each year, the monarchs begin a remarkable journey when they fly north to lay their eggs—some as far as 3,000 miles. For three brief generations, each lasting only one or two months, the monarchs mate and breed. The fourth generation of butterflies then returns to Mexico where they hibernate in a remote forest for six to eight months, until it is time to repeat the process.

It is a process that has continued uninterrupted for 250,000 years, but the last 15 years have seen dwindling numbers.

In the US, modern pesticides are killing milkweed, a primary source of nutrition. In Mexico, illegal loggers destroy their habitat.

Monarchs are the only known species of butterfly to migrate each year, seeking abundant food in the summer and warmer climates during the winter. Unfortunately, modern pesticides are killing milkweed in the U.S., a primary source of nutrition, while illegal loggers destroy their habitat in Mexico.

Take Action: Urge the EPA to intervene. http://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/trs/petition/MonarchButterflies

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Update:

It has been another cold week.  Not much outside work going on.   Three stray feral cats that have taken up residence here have been going into the enclosed canopy carport and using it as their personal litter box.  They thought that it was much better than doing it out in the cold I suppose.  We sprinkled the ground with paprika one day, pepper the next, which seemed to work, and next we will try mothballs.   I furnished them with a real litter box and litter, and one did use it.  We can't trap them, they are too clever. The situation might get out of hand if they breed, so we will have to do something with these two females and one male.

One big thing happened this week.  The person who used my credit card that was stolen in the robbery, was finally arrested.  They were found with some 'controlled substance', too!  So now we, you and me, will be supporting them for a while.  I wish there were some way of retrieving the things that were stolen.  I had lost almost all the pictures of my kids when they were little in the house fire and then the flood.  The only ones that I did have were stolen in the robbery as they were in my checkbook case, which I left at the house while I was in hospital.

Jay and I went shopping on Wednesday and picked up some 2x6's for the ceiling in the greenhouse extension to the storeroom.  We also got some bargains at the thrift shops.  I got some lovely sweaters, and Jay got some winter shirts.

Something went wrong with Ray's car, so I took him to the doctor on Friday.  The doctor sent his prescription to CVS.  We went grocery shopping and got a few parts at Lowes waiting for the prescription to be filled. When Ray called them, they said it would be another hour, and then it was another half-hour.  So we just dawdled around Conroe most of the day.

On Sunday, Ray and I took this computer out into the workshop, opened up the big workshop door, then opened up the computer and gently blew the dust out with the compressor.  Then we moved the computer desk and everything back to it's old place in front of the patio door that leads to the screened–in porch.  We moved my sewing machine back to where the computer was, and oiled it.  I might get some sewing done now.

Jim, the mechanic down the street, finally made the diagnosis that Ray's car needed a coil pack, so I took Ray to get it, Jim installed it and all is well now.

Ray and I went to church bundled up in several layers, as it was cold and rainy.  They can't keep the chapel very warm as it is an old building with not much insulation. The Bible readings were Deut. 6:5, Psa.139, 145, Exo. 1-6:1, Isa 27:6-28 and Jer.1:1-2:3.  The Teaching was about the 'Destructiveness of Sin'.

The potluck was good as usual.  We never know what the members will bring to the dining hall.  We had salmon hors d'oeuvres, salads, turkey chili with turkey sausages, turkey meatloaf, beef enchiladas, beef tacos and fixin's, and lots of different veggies.  Pumpkin pie, cake and cookies for dessert.

I had wanted to watch one of my favorite shows 'As Time Goes By' on PBS at 7.00pm, but fell fast asleep.  It had been a happy though tiring, rainy day.