Sunday, December 10, 2017

Pearl Harbor. President Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital. Jerusalem In Prophecy. Temple Mount. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

December 7th Is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance DayI hope you didn’t forget the “Day of Infamy”, Dec. 7th. 1941.

While this defining moment in US history is commemorated in many cities all across the country, it occurred so long ago that few youngsters know how the events unfolded on that fateful day.

7th December Pearl Harbor 1941.

December 7th Is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day


President Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

by Erik Jones - December 6, 2017

“President Trump has announced that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and will move the U.S. embassy there. Now the world holds its breath.

President Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Palestinians play cards during President Trump's televised speech in the West Bank City of Nablus, Dec. 6, 2017. 

“On Dec. 6, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will now recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. Along with that announcement, he made it known that he would direct the U.S. State Department to fulfill one of his campaign promises—to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

President Trump is actually responding to an act passed by Congress in 1995, which recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and required the president to move the embassy. Since then, every U.S. president has temporarily deferred fulfilling that requirement because of the perceived risk it would pose to peace efforts between the Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinian ambassador to the U.K. has said that this decision would be “a kiss of death to the two-state solution.”

The danger of this decision

President Trump had been warned by multiple world leaders of the danger this move poses. It has been condemned by almost every world leader who has commented on it. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned of “dangerous consequences.” The Palestinian position is that East Jerusalem would be the capital of any Palestinian state.

Scholar Aaron David Miller summarized the concerns about President Trump’s decision this way: “The problem is that Israel has declared the entire city to be its eternal and undivided capital, including the eastern part of the city where many Palestinians reside and where the Palestinian Authority hopes to establish a capital once a Palestinian state is created. If Trump asserts that US policy is that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, it would be tantamount to saying that Washington now recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the entire city. If he simply says that just West Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, he risks alienating the Israeli government by suggesting that the eastern part of the city isn’t included.”

The fear is that this will not only make an unlikely peace agreement even more unlikely, but that this could ignite a new wave of violence.The fear is that this will not only make an unlikely peace agreement even more unlikely, but that this could ignite a new wave of violence. The Palestinian Authority says it will not lead those under its authority to violence against Israel because of the decision, but Hamas (which controls the Gaza Strip) has said the decision will “open the gates of hell.”

Jerusalem is the world’s most dangerous powder keg, and today’s announcement may provoke a new wave of violence—”  Continued at:


What does the Bible say about Jerusalem in prophecy?

Jerusalem in prophecy“With tensions between Christians, Jews and Arabs, what lies ahead for Jerusalem? Will peace come? What does the Bible say about Jerusalem in prophecy?

Jerusalem in prophecy: Conflict ahead

The Scriptures reveal that at the time before Christ’s return to earth, this region of the world and the city of Jerusalem will once again be in turmoil and conflict. The fragile balance of peace that currently exists will be destroyed.

The prophet Daniel was inspired to write that, at the time of the end, the Jews would resume animal sacrifices and that a religious power called “a little horn” would arise (Daniel 7:8, 11, 21-22; 8:9-10). With his influence and control over the civil government—called the “beast” in Revelation 13:1-4—this man will use the army of the beast to stop these daily sacrifices (Daniel 8:12) and set up an “abomination of desolation” on what appears to be the Temple Mount (Daniel 12:11; Matthew 24:15).

In a long and detailed prophecy, Daniel also prophesied of a conflict that would occur between the “king of the South” and “the king of the North” at “the time of the end” (Daniel 11:40). Jerusalem is going to be caught in the middle of this battle. The prophecy reveals that the “king of the North” is going to “enter the Glorious Land”—a reference to Palestine. This king and his spiritual adviser will take control of the city of Jerusalem.”

Excerpt from:


Temple Mount: Its History and Future

“The Temple Mount was an important location in the history of Israel and Judah. This same area is prophesied to play a major role in the end times and beyond.

Temple Mount

The biblical history of the Temple Mount—a leveled area on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem—began long before the construction of the first temple. About 900 years before the first temple, Abraham was told to go to Mount Moriah (the Mount of the Lord) to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:2, 14).

This location was near the village of Salem, which later became Jerusalem (Joshua 18:28; 2 Chronicles 3:1). It was here that Abraham came to give a tithe to Melchizedek and was “blessed by the better” (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7:1-4, 7-8). This particular location seems to have already been chosen by God for His future temple.

Coming forward 400 years to the time of Moses, we see in the Song of Moses a reference to “the mountain of Your inheritance, … which You have made for Your own dwelling” (Exodus 15:17). At the end of the 40 years in the wilderness, God commanded through Moses that Israel should “seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place [habitation in the King James Version]; and there you shall go” (Deuteronomy 12:5).

When God first began working with the Israelites, His place of dwelling was a portable tent, called the “tabernacle” (Exodus 25:9; 26:1). It was the location for worship on God’s annual holy days, where God “put His name” (Deuteronomy 12:5).

Over the years, this tabernacle moved to various locations, including Kadesh, Gilgal, Shiloh, Nob and Gibeon. After approximately 400 years of the tabernacle being moved from time to time, a permanent temple of stone was built for God in the city of Jerusalem—the site being chosen by God Himself (Psalm 132:13; 1 Kings 11:13; 14:21; 2 Chronicles 33:7).

Acquiring the future Temple Mount

When David became king over all of the tribes of Israel, one of his first tasks was to capture and secure the stronghold of Zion from the Jebusites and rename it the City of David (2 Samuel 5:7-9). By capturing the stronghold of Zion, David gained control over the very strategic areas of the city and the citadel. Jerusalem then became the center of Israel and Israel’s capital. This made it possible for David to later negotiate the purchase of the area that would become the Temple Mount.” 

Continued at:



“Palestinian protesters opposite Israeli heavy machinery on Sunday after a tunnel across the Israel-Gaza border was discovered.” CreditMahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images



Hans is back from his trip to The Holy Land. He showed me lovely pictures fron Israel, Jerusalem, Petra, and Jordan.  He brought me a beautiful grey and red, soft, polyester scarf with a hanging tag saying “Jerusalem”.   The design on it was a Paisley pattern, which is Scottish, (though it did originate in Persia eons ago), and the tiny tag said “Made in China”.    The Chinese probably distribute these with tags for every tourist city.  It is lovely, but I wish he had been wearing his glasses when it chose it and seen that tiny tag.  He forgets a lot of things, and that I had asked him to bring me a cheap Star of David necklace.

Zack, my neighbor and I moved some stuff out of the mini-house to make more room for working.  I had three microwaves in there for sale, so we put them on some shelves and used the roll-around table that they had been on, for a working table.  We needed it to make the curve on the counter top that goes in the mini-house kitchen.  It will be to the right of the doorway as you go in the kitchen, so a curved edge will eliminate a hip-catching square corner.   We cut a curved piece of plywood, to follow the curve and another to make it the right thickness the same as the 1 x 2” that would be on the edge.  We smoothed it with the belt sander, and filled in any ‘holidays’ with wood putty.  Now it will be ready for the Formica.

Jay acted like he was sober, so he worked on installing the door between the living room and kitchen for two mornings.  But the second morning he was defintely hepped up or hyperactive, and so I ddn’t have him come the next morning.  Hyper people make me so nervous, I had enough hyperactivity with my youngest son.

The following morning Zack and I quietly worked taking out the shims which Jay had installed that made the door jam have a curve, and reset the hinges so they wouldn't be in a bind.  

Jay is like "The little girl who had a curl, right in the middle of her forehead.  When she was good, she was very, very good, and when she was bad she was horrid"   (Longfellow)

When he is thinking straight he can do a lot of good work, but when he has been imbibing or pill-popping…..that’s a different story.  His biggest problem is that he lies to himself… he thinks that he can stop at two beers and that they won’t affect him, but even the next day he is still under the influence.  Alcoholics delude themselves!

I have advertised for someone else, but no one suitable has shown up yet, and I have to get the mini-house done.

We had snow on the ground for a while on Friday!  Here in South TX!  Many photos were posted and ‘oohed’ and ‘wowed’ upon.  I took pictures of it here with my phone, then accidentally deleted them off my Micro SD card.

For the church potluck I made Mexican Cabbage. That was because I had a jar of salsa that was way too spicy for me and I didn’t know what to do with it.  I just dumped it into some cooked cabbage.  Several folks at church like spicy foods, so they loved it. 

For another dish, I had cooked several whole sweet potatoes in a crockpot but there were too many for me, so I mashed them and added some sauteed onions, red and green peppers. 

Jay had left some organic milk here, but there was no way I could use all that up.  So I made Bread Custard Pudding ( with some raisin bread that had got squashed.  I looked for the recipe which called for the most milk (1 qt) and the least eggs, (3) and that was it.  So it was made with local farm eggs which is all that I will use.  No store-bought eggs for me, they are so cruel to those chickens and their eggs have hardly any nutrition.  The farm eggs have deep yellow yolks and taste so much better.  Now that was really enjoyed, and I was asked to make more.  The pastor’s wife gave me some Eggnog which was going to be out of date soon, and asked me to make the Custard with that.  Why not? 

The Bible readings were Gen. 32:4-36:43, (that’s got a lot of begatting in it), Hos. 11:7-12, Ob. 1:1-21, Heb. 11:11-21, and Matt. 26:36-46.  The teaching was about “Everything is Built on Christ”, how He is the Cornerstone.

Jay didn’t go to church with me on the Sabbath, I didn’t expect that he would this week.  His mother, Claudia, is out of the hospital and in re-hab now.  She has GOT to get up and walk, and eat, if she ever wants to get out of there.  He was taken by his neighbor to see her today.

            Sunday, December 3, 2017

            Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas? Christmas: Should Christians Celebrate It? Update.

            For “Scripture Sunday”:

            Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas?

            “People around the world celebrate Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25. However, this date held no particular significance to Jesus Himself. But other days did.

            Some people believe it is okay to celebrate holidays originally rooted in paganism because they have now been Christianized. But is God okay with this?Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas?



            For millions of Christians around the world, the only time of the year they go to church is Christmas and Easter. These are sometimes called CEOs (Christmas and Easter Only attendees).

            According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, only 20 percent of American Christians actually attend church on a weekly basis. (The number is even lower in Europe.) Many churches report that their attendance nearly doubles on Christmas, and there is a significant spike in Google searches for “church” in late December.

            Why do people who normally don’t go to church show up on Christmas?

            Well, only those people can really answer that, but it’s likely because they see it as a special celebration of Christ’s birth, so they want to do what they believe honors Him.

            But consider this question: Does Christmas hold the same significance to Jesus Himself?

            Missing from the Bible

            To answer any question about Jesus Christ, our first (and really only) logical source is the Bible—particularly the four Gospels and the later writings of His contemporaries. When you study those documents, it’s striking that the most prominent celebration associated with Christianity is totally absent. Nobody—not Jesus, not Peter, not John, not Paul—gives any hint that he had ever celebrated Jesus’ birth in December (or any month).

            Some people believe it is okay to celebrate holidays originally rooted in paganism because they have now been Christianized. But is God okay with this?  That is not to say that the Bible doesn’t talk about Jesus’ birth, but it actually gives very few details about it. It is only covered in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Mark and John never discuss it). But if you read Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2 closely, you discover there are only a few verses that directly discuss the actual day of His birth (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7-16). The rest of these sections describe events that surrounded His birth, but did not actually occur on the same day.

            What is typically called “the Christmas story” inaccurately squeezes almost all the events described in Matthew 2 and Luke 2 into one single day in late December.

            Continued at:


            Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas? 

            “If Christ is truly the reason for the season, would He celebrate Christmas today?

            A red christmas ball ornament. Markus Spiske/Unsplash

            We can’t put Christ back in Christmas, as many seek to do, because He was never there in the first place. Misguided people put Him there. What does that mean for us?

            Most Christians assume that Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day. Most also accept that Christmas traditions like a brightly ornamented tree and a red-suited Santa are acceptable ways of honoring our Savior. Does your Bible agree with these assumptions? There’s one way to prove it: Check your Bible and the many secular sources about Christmas.

            Historical and biblical evidence clearly proves that Christmas is a pre-Christian festival. It’s not biblical, and it’s not of God. Ironically, the early Catholic theologian Origen repudiated as sinful the very idea of keeping the birthday of Christ ( The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., 1910, vol. 6, p293).

            The inarguable fact is that Christmas isn’t supported by your Bible. There is one quintessential question that remains: Would Jesus Christ participate in the observance of Christmas? And if He wouldn’t, why not?

            Was Jesus born on Christmas Day?

            The first question to ask is whether Jesus was even born on the traditional date of Dec. 25. Luke’s Gospel records the event: “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:7-8). No mention of date so far. And does this scene fit with a winter birth?

            Alexander Hislop wrote in his book The Two Babylons: “There is not a word in the Scriptures about the precise day of His birth, or the time of the year when He was born. What is recorded there implies that at what time … His birth took place, it could not have been on the 25th of December.

            “At the time that the angel announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields. Now, no doubt, the climate of Palestine is not so severe as the climate of this country [England]; but even there, though the heat of the day be considerable, the cold of the night, from December to February, is very piercing, and it was notthe custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fieldslater than about the end of October. It is in the last degree incredible, then, that the birth of Christ could have taken place at the end of December” (1959, pp. 91-92).

            Continued at:


            Christmas: Should Christians Celebrate It

            “It seems strange to ask should Christians celebrate Christmas, since it’s named for Christ. But was He born December 25? Does He want us to celebrate it?

            Christmas seems the most Christian of holidays, even taking its name from Christ. So why wouldn’t Christians celebrate Christmas? Could it be that Christ was not born on Dec. 25? Could it also be that every year many articles are written in newspapers about the pagan origins of this holiday?

            Even religious people who celebrate Christmas have written about this topic. Consider this history from the Grace to You website: “The decision to celebrate Christmas on December 25 was made sometime during the fourth century by church bishops in Rome. They had a specific reason for doing so.

            “Having turned long ago from worshiping the one true God and creator of all things, many early cultures in the Roman empire had fallen into sun worship. Recognizing their dependence on the sun’s yearly course in the heavens, they held feasts around the winter solstice in December when the days are shortest. As part of their festivals, they built bonfires to give the sun god strength and bring him back to life again. When it became apparent that the days were growing longer, there would be great rejoicing.

            “The church leaders in Rome decided to celebrate Christ’s birth during the winter solstice in an attempt to Christianize these popular pagan celebrations. For the most part their efforts failed to make the people conform, and the heathen festivities continued.”

            Many people today want to put Jesus back into Christmas, but the fact of the matter is that He was never in Christmas in the first place. Dec. 25 was a polytheistic festival based on myth.

            Is adopting pagan customs acceptable to God?

            So, what is a Christian to do with this knowledge? Should Christians celebrate Christmas? In December 2007 AP reporter Tom Breen quoted Clyde Kilough, who is now a minister in the Church of God: “It’s common knowledge that Christmas and its customs have nothing to do with the Bible. … The theological question is quite simple: Is it acceptable to God for humans to choose to worship Him by adopting paganism’s most popular celebrations and calling them Christian?”

            The Bible reveals that God does not want humans to worship Him in the same manner as the pagans worshipped their gods. Therefore, based on what the Scriptures disclose, we believe God and His Son are not pleased with Christians celebrating Christmas.

            God explicitly warned ancient Israel against incorporating pagan customs into their worship of the true God.

            “When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’

            You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).

            Later, Jesus Christ pointed this out to a devoutly religious group, the Pharisees, in Mark 7:6-9: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’  For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men. … All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”

            What’s wrong with the traditional nativity scene?

            Christians should also understand that the Bible itself reveals that many of the traditional nativity scenes are not biblically accurate either.

            Notice Luke 2:8-11: “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’

            One commentary states that, “as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, note on Luke 2:8).

            Another study source agrees: “These humble pastoral folk are out in the field at night with their flock—a feature of the story which would argue against the birth (of Christ) occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted it” (The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary, 1971, note on Luke 2:4-7).

            Concerning another aspect of nativity scenes, Joe Kovacs, author of Shocked by the Bible, wrote, “You won’t find three wise men showing up at the manger when Jesus was born.”

            This statement is based on what we read in Matthew 2:1, 11: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. … And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

            The Bible does not list how many wise men were there, and they came into the house (not manger) where they saw the young Child. So, the traditional story of three wise men coming to the manger is just not found in the Bible.

            We have to realize that just proclaiming something to be Christian does not make it so, no matter what our traditions have been or what rationalizations we may employ!

            For instance, over the decades, parents have told their children about Santa Claus. The problem is—he does not really exist, nor does he have a workshop at the North Pole. Where in the Bible does God excuse us for lying—especially to our children?

            Some also believe that there should be no problem with gift giving at this time of year. However, in his book 4,000 Years of Christmas: A Gift From the Ages (1997), Episcopal priest Earl Count ardently relates historical connections between the exchanging of gifts on the 12 days of Christmas and customs originating in ancient, pagan Babylon. He also shows that mistletoe was adopted from Druid mystery rituals and that Dec. 25 has more to do with the ancient Roman Saturnalia celebration than with Jesus.

            How do I tell my relatives?

            So, should Christians celebrate Christmas? After examining the subject, many come to the conclusion that they should not. Many then ask, “Okay, then how do I tell my relatives and family that I will no longer be celebrating Christmas?” We recommend explaining in a kind way that you cannot in good conscience continue to observe a holiday not authorized in the Bible. If they ask about giving gifts, you can respond that there are plenty of other opportunities throughout the year for honoring loved ones with gifts.

            Some relatives will accept that decision and some may not understand; so it is better not to try to change their beliefs lest they get upset. Many who recognize the nonbiblical origin of Christmas try to avoid getting into a discussion about the issue unless someone asks why. We try to follow the principle in 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” If someone wants to know more, it is certainly fine to explain the pagan origins of this holiday and God’s command for us not to worship Him in a similar manner.

            The members of the Church of God, (which sponsors this website), do not get involved in Christmas observances. Instead, we are told to honor Jesus Christ on the anniversary of His death (not His birth). See 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. Jesus Christ reminded His disciples (as they ate the bread during the New Testament Passover) to “do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).

            Jesus was born as our Savior, but He is also coming again as the great King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:15-16). The millennial reign of Christ will then begin on the earth. This prophesied event is pictured by and emphasized during the annual Feast of Tabernacles, which occurs during each autumn in the northern hemisphere (Leviticus 23:33-35). Christ told His disciples to keep this feast, as He observed it as well (John 7:2, 14, 37-39). So, instead of celebrating the Christmas holiday, a Christian should be celebrating the annual commanded festivals of God.   You can learn more about these festivals in this section on how God’s holy days reveal His plan of salvation.”    Does it matter which holidays we celebrate? Find the answers in our free booklet. Download now.




            Zack brushed some more Kilz and paint on the new wall dividing the living room and bedroom, so Jay installed the jam for the door.  He was going to hang the door, but found out that he had cut the hinges on the wrong side, so that will have to be wood puttied and redone.  He also cut too much off the bottom of this 15-light wooden door, so an inch will have to be added to the bottom and an inch cut off the top or it will look funny.  Golly, I can’t take my eyes off him for a minute.

            Ray went up on the mini-house roof and fixed a place where it wasn’t lapped right, so that should stop that leak.  I watched him this time, from the little look-out up there.   He also blew the pine needles off the roofs of both houses, so Zack had to rake them up and burn them. 

            Jay went with me into Conroe for my doctor appointment as I get this sharp pain in my left arm, and my left knee hurts me at night. The doctor’s assistant saw me, and told me some bull about the arm pain being due to the judo chops that I received on my neck 50 years ago!  Twaddle !!!   Then she said that my knee looked arthritic, and to put Bengay or similar on it. That night I rubbed some analgesic cream on my knee but it didn’t seem to make any difference.  Only I forgot and touched my eye before I washed my hands, and that did make a difference,  it stung like crazy ! 

            Recovered-001Two more kittens have been adopted out of our Cat Habitat at Petco, another foster-mom’s “Inky” and my little “Tux”, so that just leaves “Marble” out of the four kittens that I rescued.   He is a quiet, loving little guy.

            One day I spent quite a bit of time cooking some rare vegetables that were given to me.  Have you ever seen Japanese Purple Skinned White Sweet Potatoes, or purple and white carrots from Trader Joes?  We don’t have a Trader Joes around here, so I hadn’t seen them before.   The purple carrots were roasted in butter, and they shank down, but were good, so I put them in a tiny crock pot to take to the church potluck just so that everyone could have a taste.  Some people ate seconds of them, then others just didn’t like the look of them…”purple carrots - Oh, no”!  That was mostly Jay who doesn’t like anything except steak, and hardly ever eats any veggies.

            I read that the white sweet potaoes are drier than yellow ones, so I steamed them.  Then I didn’t like the skin so I took it off.  But I still didn’t know what to do with them, so I cut them up into little pieces with my French Fry cutter, covered them with some of the turkey broth that I had made, and put all that in the fridge overnight while I decided what I was going to do with them.  The next morning I got out my immersion blender and whipped the white sweet potatoes with a bit of parsley and butter. They were very popular at church, even though when cooked, they had a green tint, which might have been the parsley and Upland Cress that I put in there.  

            The great amount of yellow squash that I had bought and been given, was sliced thin with a mandolin, sauteed in a big pot, some milk added, seasonings and cheddar cheese, and I called it Cheesy Yellow Squash.  It was nummy and didn’t last long either. 

            I had several left-over Hasselback White and Sweet Potatoes, so I made them into a Twice-baked Potato Casserole.  It is not often that I take four dishes to the potluck, but I just couldn’t keep all that food in my fridge, so it was better to share it with everyone, rather than give it to the chickens.  Also, I took a loaf of Trader Joe’s Challah Bread, (Braided Egg Bread, we called it in England.), and though it wasn’t as good as the Challah that one of the ladies makes when she is here, it was very good.  We also had many other dishes, as usual.

            Jay made, and took, a big homemade strawberry pie to the potluck.  He insisted that it needed a topping, so he bought some real whipping cream because I told him that we didn’t want any of that chemically laden artificial stuff in a tub, and the squirt cans aren’t much better.   He wanted to take two pies and a bunch of homemade pralines, but I told him that the congregation wasn’t into that much sweet stuff anymore.  They are trying to eat healthy, after all our bodies are a temple of The Holy Spirit who you have from the LORD.   (19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?) 1 Corinthians 6:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

            Any way, Jay bet me $10 (not a biblical thing to do), that all the big pie would be eaten, but I won, even though the pie was delish.  Maybe it was because no one wanted to appear greedy and eat that last slice.   (Gambling is leaving to chance what you should trust to our Lord.  Christians should trust in the providence of God and not in "chance" to provide for them.  This is why gambling cannot be endorsed biblically.)

            Even after cooking all those veggies I still had several big sweet potatoes, so I just threw them in a crockpot on High while Zack and I worked in the mini-house this morning.  We were doing some odd jobs and moving things out of there to make more working room.  The potatoes were done at lunch time but Zack doesn’t like sweet potatoes, so I have enough for myself for several days.  Then I threw a bag of Trader Joe’s Potato Medley, red, yellow and purple potatoes, in the crock pot in the afternoon.  Just wash them and throw them in, so easy.   Now I can store them in the fridge and freezer, instead of the vegetable basket where they might draw fruit-flies. 

            Now, if you ever want an easy way to cope with a butternut squash, which is so hard to cut and peel, just throw it in a crock pot on low for several hours, and it will cut up nicely.  Just have the measurement of your crock pot with you, so that you will get a squash that fits in there!  One of my crock pots is oval so that is my one for butternut squash.

            The Bible readings were Gen. 28:10-32:3, Hos. 12:13-14:10 and John 1:19-51, and the Teaching was more about how the Reformation and Martin Luther’s actions 500 years ago still impact us today.


            Sunday, November 26, 2017

            Thanksgiving, Christmas—and Greed. Thanks For The Bees! Prayer.. With Thanksgiving. Update.

            For “Scripture Sunday”, Just after Thanksgiving Day:

            Thanksgiving, Christmas—and Greed

            “So, I can’t help but wonder, Am I the only person struck by this? I’m talking about the paradox of this time of the year, the approximately one month from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I just find it amazing!

            Here’s what I’m talking about: the fourth Thursday in November, the wonderful national holiday celebrated in the United States of America—Thanksgiving Day. What’s it all about? Gratitude, thankfulness, acknowledgement of divine blessing.

            Here’s what President Abraham Lincoln, sometimes referred to as the father of the Thanksgiving holiday, proclaimed back in 1863:

            “The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. … No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”

            He then went on to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.” He recommended “offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings.”

            Isn’t that wonderful? Gratitude. Humility. Recognition of God’s merciful blessings and favor. Never mind that for far too many Americans in the 150 years since that proclamation, Thanksgiving Day has devolved into little more than “turkey day,” or a day to watch football. At least it started out right, as a day of thanksgiving.

            But then the paradox. This year it didn’t even wait till “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving. For many retail establishments, it began on Thanksgiving Day itself: “Buy, buy, buy!” “Grab, grab, grab!” “Get, get, get!” Okay, so maybe it’s just because I’m a little older and bothered more by these things. Or maybe it actually is even more crass, even more aggressive this year. But this annual orgy of greed and grab seems to be more offensive and unpleasant this year even more than usual.

            An example: At a Wal-Mart store in Elkin, North Carolina, fights broke out as one crazed shopper violently grabbed and shoved in a frantic consumerist push. For what? A TV set! And it didn’t even wait till the day after Thanksgiving. It was Thanksgiving night!  And this is about gratitude?

            And so it goes on, just as it does every year, for one whole unpleasant month. Spend, spend and more spend. Stuff, stuff and more stuff. Grab and grab and grab—even with a little violence, if necessary. And for what? A day that supposedly commemorates the birth of the Savior of humanity, the One who gave His life for all humankind.

            Leave aside for the moment the fact that Christmas isn’t even mentioned in the Bible. Leave aside the fact that it has pre-Christian origins. Leave aside the fact that it’s really a pagan festivity, baptized under the banner of Christ.

            Leave all that aside, and you’re still left with that grotesque contradiction, a month ending in a holiday that supposedly epitomizes the Christian way of life, but that really seems to culminate four weeks of greed and coveting. How sad!

            Am I the only one? No, I’m really glad that I’m not. Most of my friends are aware of the non-biblical roots of Christmas, and they do their best to avoid all the commercialism and ugliness of a celebration that has become little more than one giant retail binge.

            We invite you to consider the true way of life—one of selflessness and outgoing concern, not of grab and greed—described in the pages of your Bible.   For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Ralph Levy.”       From:


            Thanks To The Bees, Food for All


            An Amazing Fact: “Bees are very social insects, and mutual feeding seems to be the order of their existence. The workers feed the helpless queen, who cannot feed herself. They feed the drones and, of course, they feed the young. They seem to actually enjoy this social act. One bee always seems ready to feed another bee, even if that bee is from a different colony.

            The bee has been aptly described as busy. To produce one tablespoon of honey for our toast, the little bee makes 4,200 trips to flowers. A worker bee will fly as far as eight miles in search of nectar. He makes about 10 trips a day to the fields, each trip lasting 20 minutes and covering 400 flowers. To produce just one pound of clover honey, the bee must visit 56,000 clover heads. Since each head has 60 flower tubes, a total of 3,360,000 visits are necessary. In the end, that worker bee will have flown the equivalent of three times around the world. And they never sleep!

            The impact of the honeybee on your food goes beyond honey. This little wonder of God’s creation is responsible for 80 percent of all insect pollination; if it didn’t do its job it would significantly decrease the yield of fruits and vegetables.

            Psalm 145 is a song of praise to the Creator. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:3). As we look at the amazing honeybee, we can join David in saying, “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works” (v. 5). When we consider the immense number of flowers it takes to make one pound of honey, it seems an impossibility, yet the Bible says, “The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing” (v. 15, 16).     Thank God for the honeybee!”   
            KEY BIBLE TEXTS
            Give us day by day our daily bread. Luke 11:3


            Continue Earnestly in Prayer … With Thanksgiving

            Colossians 4:2

            Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. …

            The apostle Paul strongly connects prayer with thanksgiving in several other memorable passages:

            • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
            • “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
            • “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

            For more about prayer and thankfulness, see “How to Pray” and “In Everything Give Thanks.”



            We never know when we will have a sudden freeze at night, (we have already had one short 29 deg. temperature that crept up on us) so Zack and I readied the aloe vera plants for winter.  We covered up the long, long trough of them that are planted next to the hedge where they share the same underground watering system.   Then we moved all the many pots of aloe into the green house.  This year I haven’t been advertising the aloe like I should because of spending so much time working on the mini-house, so I have more pots than usual.

            The county, or whoever, finally replaced the yellow caution traffic light on my corner, that the posts had became uprooted during Hurricane Harvey,  or there was so much rain that the poles just fell over.  Now it is slung from the tall main electric line poles and for the first time we have a street light at this junction.  Now the mini-house back door is always illuminated, so I don’t have to leave that porch light on any more. 

            My foster-cat “Puddin” never did warm up to the kittens who were here for Thanksgiving week.  She didn’t want anything to do with them. They were so sweet, purring when held, and I taught them some “Catiquette”, like not darting through doors, and not getting on tables or coutertops.  They were picked up this morning and taken back to the Cat Habitat at Petco, awaiting forever homes.  I have some of their “playthings” picked up, like torn up newspaper, little boxes that they batted around, and the cat toys, but they preferred to play with the things that they found.  Just like kids would rather play with the box than the item that came in it.  I miss them, but I am glad that they are gone, too.  Little “Tux” was a little harum-scarum, and a bundle of energy, a little too much for me, he will do well with some kids.  “Marble” was more sedate and loving, more my kind of cat.

            Jay seems to be doing alright with his sobriety, so I let him work in the mini-house, but I still have to watch him like a hawk.  He nearly cut the hole for the kitchen sink right over the sidewall of the cabinet, I stopped him after about 6 inches were cut, the sink will cover it, but Zack will have to caulk the cut to make it waterproof.  Jay installed the light over the kitchen sink, then he cut and installed the frame for the little bathroom door between my bedroom and bathroom, and the rest of the wall’s trim.  He fixed a bad spot on the drop-down-door-ramp on the lawn mower shed and has been helping quite a bit.

            Jay was still staying sober, and went to church with me on the Sabbath.  I told him that he is a “non-drinker”, and he needs to remember that.  At church they were so pleased to see him again, and Gary, one of the elders, complimented him right from the pulpit. 

            The Bible readings were Gen. 25:19-28:9, Mal. 1:1-2:7, and Rom. 9:1-31, mostly about Esau and Jacob.  The Teaching was about Overshadowing Providence and the Almighty Guardian.

            There was a great big turkey for our Thanksgiving Dinner at church.  It had been deep-fried for an hour, but when we cut into it, the dark meat was still red, so everyone had to eat around the edges.  I had made Quinoa Dressing, made with white quinoa, celery, onions, garlic, carrots, butternut squash and seasonings.  (There was another stuffing there, but it just seemed like soggy bread to me, and I don’t eat regular bread or cornbread.  Regular bread, because it isn’t made of flour anymore, just fillers, and “enriched” toxic chemicals.  Cornbread, because most corn is genetically modified with Round-Up,  unless you buy organic.)  I also made Roasted Cauliflower with black quinoa, feta and finely chopped nuts.  I also took a jar of my Homemade Cranberry Sauce, which I had strained all the skins out, (that took the most time), and I took a little crockpot of Chicken Gravy.   There was Potato Salad and Coleslaw, veggies, green salad, and several pies, homemade pumpkin and homemade apple, and some store-bought pies, too.  There was a big cake, and a pie that no-one touched, so they were frozen for another time.   

            The turkey meat was divvied up and sent home with different people, but I was given the task of making the big turkey remains into bone broth.  They all know that I will bring them something good made with the broth.  It was so big that Zack had to help me break it in half this morning before I could cook it.  One half in the slow cooker, and the other half in a pressure cooker.

            When I left the church my van did the same old ‘not starting thing’…no noise, just nothing.  The guys at church fiddled and fussed with it, cut and spliced wires to the Neutral Safety Switch but it still wouldn’t start, not even with jumper cables.  Finally, Gary happened to touch the steering wheel tilt handle, and it started, so there must be a problem in the steering column.

            While Jay was visiting his Mom in the hospital this morning, Zack and I were sanding, caulking and Kilzing the new wall between the bedroom and living room in the mini-house, and it should be ready for paint the next working day.