Sunday, July 24, 2016

WHAT DID JESUS LOOK LIKE? Useless Body Parts? The Elephant Bird. Update.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

WHAT DID AND DIDN’T JESUS LOOK LIKE?

“What image comes to your mind when you think of Jesus? Many imagine Jesus as artists have drawn Him, but is such an image supported or contradicted by the Bible?

Few people spent more time with Jesus Christ than the 12 disciples. Of those 12, three men formed His closest inner circle—Peter, James and John. They spent thousands of hours with Him—walking from town to town, socializing, eating meals and listening to Him teach.

Now imagine if those three men were raised from the dead today and shown traditional artistic images of Jesus (statues from Catholic churches, portraits from Protestant churches and maybe one or two movies about Christ’s life).ew people spent more time with Jesus Christ than the 12 disciples. Of those 12, three men formed His closest inner circle—Peter, James and John. They spent thousands of hours with Him—walking from town to town, socializing, eating meals and listening to Him teach.

Would they recognize the pale, long-haired man wearing a white robe portrayed in so many of those images? Or would they look puzzlingly, wondering who that man was supposed to be?  

In all likelihood, their reaction would be the latter! They would have no idea who was in the images and would likely tell you that nobody in their community looked anything like that.”  .

Complete article at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/who-is-jesus/what-did-jesus-look-like/

Jesus looked like an average Jewish man of His time

WHAT DID A FIRST-CENTURY JEWISH MAN LOOK LIKE?

This bust of first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus shows that men of the time commonly wore short hair.This bust of first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus shows that men of the time commonly wore short hair.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sculpted busts show it was common for first-century Roman men to wear short hair. Paul even said it was a shame for a man to have long hair.

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An Evolutionary Fantasy

Useless Body Parts?

“Did chance evolution leave us with unneeded vestigial body parts— or did a Creator carefully design every part of us?

As it turns out, there are uses for body parts previously assumed to be useless!”

Cells and chemisty formulas in a visual graphic.agsandrew/iStock/Thinkstock

The more research and study that’s done in the natural world around us and in understanding our bodies, the more obvious it becomes that evolution fails to account for the complexity and resiliency of life—life that God created.

If you sat down and counted all the cells in the human body, you would find more than 10 trillion (10,000,000,000,000) cells. About 12 billion of these are nerve cells linked by more than 10 trillion connections. The body’s cells make up groups of systems that work together to sustain life—the skeletal system, the muscular system, the digestive system, the nervous system, the reproductive system and the cardiovascular system.

All of these systems have subsystems. For example, the muscular system has involuntary and voluntary muscles. Involuntary muscles work without our conscious effort—such as the cardiac or heart muscle. Voluntary muscles are muscles that we have to think about to use—like a bicep muscle that helps us to pick up things.

Not only do the systems in the human body perform specific tasks, but they also work together to improve the work of each system. For example, the skeleton provides the framework to support the body and to protect vital organs. It also provides mobility to the body and produces red and white blood cells that move energy through the body, fight infection and remove waste material.

Are these “vestigial organs” really useless body parts, or did a Creator God Himself design them with important roles to play?

Despite how impressive and complex our bodies are, proponents of Darwinian evolution have long insisted that parts of the human body are useless. They assume these so-called “vestigial organs” are just leftovers of man’s evolutionary process that serve no useful bodily function.

A Discovery News article several years ago featured a list of supposed “useless” parts in the human body without any follow-up or consideration as to what value these body parts could have. Are these “vestigial organs” really useless body parts, or did a Creator God Himself design them with important roles to play? Let’s give them a closer look.”         Complete article at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/an-evolutionary-fantasy-useless-body-parts

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The Elephant Bird

imageAn Amazing Fact: Around the 1600s, early Arabian and Indian explorers began returning from the coast of east Africa with accounts of birds that were twice as tall as a man and three times as big as an ostrich. Naturally, their stories were scoffed at … until they brought evidence: eggs up to three feet in circumference! They were the eggs of an Aepyornis—a giant flightless bird found only on the island of Madagascar. Today the Aepyornis is better known as the elephant bird because of the stories Marco Polo told of a bird so strong that it could lift an elephant.

Though now extinct, the elephant bird was the largest bird that has ever lived. Scientists estimate that it stood 11 feet tall and weighed 900 pounds. By comparison, an exceptionally large ostrich might reach 9 feet and 300 pounds. By the time the French settled in Madagascar in the 1640s, the elephant bird had already become very rare. The last sighting of a live elephant bird was in 1649. The natives’ histories on Madagascar describe the elephant bird as a shy, peaceful giant.

It was likely driven to extinction by people raiding its nests for the extraordinary eggs. In fact, its eggs were even bigger than the largest dinosaur eggs. One of the largest intact specimens is 35 inches in circumference around its long axis, and probably had a capacity of more than two gallons. Some biologists have calculated that these eggs were as large as a functional egg possibly could be, meaning the eggs of the extinct elephant birds were the largest single cells to have ever existed on Earth.

Many people thought the elephant bird was just a myth until they saw the undeniable evidence. Unfortunately, in spite of the obvious biblical evidence, some people still think that the devil is a mythical beast with goat hooves and a forked tail. But the Bible makes it clear that the devil is real—and a formidable foe. Peter describes him as a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Yet the devil can be resisted! Peter also warns us to be watchful, vigilant, and steadfast in our faith and promises that eventually “the God of all grace” will “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle” us (1 Peter 5:9, 10).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9

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Update:

The days fly by so fast, and are crammed with things to do, so it is difficult to remember everything that happens.  We did some more work on the extra outlets and lights for the new kitchen, as well as getting things ready to go to the consignment shop and things to be donated.  Two mornings were spent taking my disabled neighbor for his doctor appointments, so Roy and I didn’t work those days.  Anyway one was Roy’s birthday and so he spent it with his family.

Finally, my new passport arrived from England, so that I could use it as an ID instead of waiting the expected six months more for my Green Card.  But first it had to be taken to Houston to be certified by Homeland Security, so I had an appointment to do that.  The day before my appointment, my Green Card arrived.  It had been expedited, so one afternoon was spent in Social Security Office’s waiting room.  I might hear about my increase in Social Security next week. 

Two afternoons were trips to Conroe to get some banking business done with someone who won’t use the branch of the same bank in our hometown of Willis.  They had sat in our branch for over an hour waiting to see a banker, BUT hadn’t signed in, therefore they didn’t get seen in turn, so they don’t like that bank!  That’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face, and a big waste of time and gas going the extra 24 miles.

As I was going down the steps of the fifth wheel, a gust of wind caught the door and the sharp bottom metal corner cut my right hand between my thumb and first finger.  It wouldn’t stop bleeding for quite a while.  It is difficult to cook with bandages on, as they get wet and are very unsanitary, so I have been using some vinyl hospital gloves on that hand.  But the glove gets all sweaty and wet inside so I can’t wait to get it off.

That really became important when the pastor’s wife was sick with a cold and I had to ramrod the potluck again.  One of the elders who usually hewlps me was out with a cold, too As I am a certified Food Manager I know that I must wear a glove over a bandage when preparing food for other people.  I use a dish brush, so I didn’t have to put my right hand in water to wash the few pots, pans and serving utensils.

The Bible Readings were Psa.103, 104, Num. 33:1-36:13, Jer. 2:4-28, James 4:1-12.  We were given homework to read Psa. 105!  It is during the Teaching that the last of the preparations of the potluck have to be made, like putting the garlic bread in the oven, puting the cooked veggies on the buffet, and getting the salads out of the fridge.   I couldn’t hear all of the Teaching through the loud speaker in the kitchen as one of the kids was talking to me, but it was more about Prophesies, Signs of End Times.

As usual, the car was like an oven when I left the church, as it was another hot TX day.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

World Religions: Why Are There So Many? The Imposters. Update.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

World Religions: Why Are There So Many?

“Where did all the world religions come from? Do all good people receive the same reward, or is there only one way to eternal life?

World Religions: Why Are There So Many?

“Many of us did not choose our religion. Most likely, we were born into a family that guided our religious understanding, or we were brought up in a country that shaped our beliefs and patterns of worship.

Yet proving that our belief is correct compared to others can be a daunting task. Factions and divisions exist within every religious group, large or small. Millions have been slaughtered over the centuries in the name of “righteous warfare,” as various religions battled any who believed differently.

Religion is supposed to be the way to peace in this life as well as the path to a peaceful afterlife. But life here on earth has not been peaceful. The history of religion confuses many, even causing them to turn away from religious beliefs altogether.

This is true of many who lived through the butchery in the name of God in World War I. Troops on both sides—many belonging to the same denominations—prayed for victory, presumably to the same God.

The attack on faith worsened with the next generation, which fought World War II. How could a religion that comes from God cause and condone such suffering? Hitler thought he was serving God by persecuting the Jews. The destruction of faith has been an unspoken fatality of war.

Do you realize that there is an evil spirit that would love to have you and everyone else stop believing in God? Evil spirits are popular themes in entertainment today, but few people realize that such spirits truly exist. If you are unaware of this invisible force working against the true faith, notice this warning:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil [the chief evil spirit or demon] walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Hold your ground!

How do you hold your ground in this spiritual battle if you are not even sure about your faith? The first step is to determine that God truly exists. The next step is to determine whether He has provided us with any means of guidance. That is, has our Creator told us what He expects of us? Has He told us why He created us, where we are going, what our ultimate potential is? Has He revealed a way of life for the present, as well as one that prepares us for the afterlife?

If we truly seek God, we can prove to ourselves that God exists. Likewise, we can prove that the Bible is His revelation to mankind. God inspired various writers over 1,500 years to record in Scripture what He wanted us to know. The Creator miraculously caused the preservation of these inspired manuscripts, so that humankind would have the knowledge we require to fulfill the purpose of our existence.”

Complete article at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/the-church/world-religions/

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The Imposters

An Amazing Fact: “The common cuckoo bird is known as a “brood parasite.” A brood parasite is a bird that will trick another bird into raising its young. For example, the female cuckoo will spy on the nest of a small bird, such as a reed warbler. At the appropriate moment, the cuckoo hen flies down to the reed warbler’s nest, pushes one of the eggs out of the nest, lays an egg, and flies off. The whole process is achieved in only about 10 seconds. Amazingly, the cuckoo egg very closely resembles the eggs of their chosen host. The dedicated reed warblers unwittingly incubate, feed, and raise the young imposter, usually at the expense of their own genuine young. A cuckoo may visit as many as 50 different nests in a breeding season, each time leaving one of its own eggs for others to hatch and care for.

The cuckoo chick typically hatches before the natural ones and then commences to push the other eggs out of the little nest. One of the tragedies of nature is when you see a pair of reed warblers working themselves to death to satisfy the voracious hunger of a fat cuckoo chick that might be three times their size. Meanwhile, if the other eggs have managed to hatch, the starving little warbler chicks are usually pushed out of the nest by the cuckoo chick!

Many people do not realize that the devil, like the cuckoo bird, has laid an egg in the Christian church that has been hatched, adopted, and fed until it has grown bigger than life. The Bible says Satan’s ministers can “transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:15). And Jesus warned about “false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

That’s one reason it’s so important that we avoid trusting in other humans, no matter how “good” they seem. Even a person of good intentions may lead you in the wrong direction. Prominent leaders can err, and have often failed to live up to what is right. In the words of the old hymn—“I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” Only God is worthy of our complete and total trust.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15”

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Update:

Still working on the guest house bit by bit.  Roy can’t do as much as he would like because he suffers from Acid Reflux and is steadily losing weight.  He is going to have esophagus surgery next month.   Also taking my other neighbor for his doctor appointments.  There have been so many things going on around here.

My foster cats had to be taken into the next town, Conroe, to get their annual rabies shots.  They hate going anywhere and it was not easy to get them in their carriers.  A crawling dive under the bed to scruff a cat is not easy for me, especially when there are two of them.  Dropped some more things off at the consignment shop and donated more to another thrift shop.

We live in the country, but Moe, the lost dog, was picked up in the city of Willis by the dog catcher.  I found him on Petharbor.com where I have been looking for him for the last three months.  The neighbor who owns him and I went straight to Conroe and picked him up.  We never thought that we would see him again, and my prayers were answered.  Now he will be micro-chipped in case he gets stolen again.

For the Sabbath, the Bible readings were Num. 30:2-32:42, Jer. 1:1-2:3, Matt. 5.33-37, and the Teaching was about “Love is a Fullfillment of the Law”.  Then lots of good food and fellowship in the dining hall.  As I don’t really care for rice, I am so surprised when I take a crockpot full of a rice and meat dish and it is gobbled up just about right away.

It was terrible getting in the hot car afterwards, even with the sunshades up on the windsheild and both side windows, as it was a very hot day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Be a Person of Principle. Spider-Silk Dairy. Works of the Flesh.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”.  Late again, as it’s Tuesday.

Be a Person of Principle, Part 3

Honesty  “The world sees dishonesty as a spectrum: from white lies to outright deception. Is God’s view on honesty equally complex?

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YouTube:    https://youtu.be/0mTM2Ln8o0A

Transcript

[Steve Myers] “We’ve been talking about how to be a person of principle. To do that, there’s a number of principles to live by. I’ve kind of titled these the “no matter whats”. No matter what, we have to obey God if we’re to be someone that’s called out of the ways of this world. No matter what, we have to have confidence and trust and faith that God will do what He says He’ll do. It’s a promise. So we have to, no matter what, trust God, despite our circumstances.

There’s another principle to this whole concept – that no matter what, in our behavior we have to be honest. No matter what. No matter what, honesty is showing that we’re striving for that ultimate standard – the stature of Jesus Christ. And this is a challenge. It may seem obvious, okay, we can’t lie, we’ve got to be honest. But the problem is our world around us is not in that mindset at all.

I was reading through a number of different surveys – in fact, you could Google them on the internet – that talk about the number of times the average person lies. You might be astonished to see some of those numbers. One study I read said Americans lie, on average, thirteen times a day. Thirteen times a day, average. Average. In fact, in one survey that I read, 91 percent of the people said they lied regularly. Now I suppose the problem with that survey is you can’t tell if they’re telling the truth or they’re actually lying about lying. But nonetheless, I think we’ve all experienced this very thing, that there are problems with truth in our culture today, and we can’t venture into that area at all. God’s called us out of that world. And so we have to be honest, no matter what.

There’s a wonderful proverb that deals with this in Proverbs 11:3. Here’s what it says: “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.” Now, it’s said a little bit differently – the Living Bible says this, in verse 3: “A good man is guided by his honesty; the evil man is destroyed by his dishonesty.” So we’ve got to make a choice every single day to be that honest person, no matter what. That’s what God’s called us to, that no matter the circumstances, no matter the reasons – white lies are just as unacceptable as any other kind of lie. We must be honest. We can’t be – well, like a story I heard about the politicians. Someone said, “Well, I think when I grow up I’ll go into politics because then I won’t get in trouble for lying.” Now, wait a second. You do get in trouble for lying. Lying has consequences.

I was reading a survey about lying and the effects even of what lying has on your health. It was a survey that was done at Notre Dame a couple of years ago. And they had a group of people, that they said, “Okay, you just be normal. Tell the normal lies you normally do.” Then they had the other group that they studied, that they told them, “Do your very best not to lie at all.” And so over a period of time they studied these two groups, and you know one of the things that they found? Those that tried not to lie had better health. They had less stress in their lives, their blood pressure was lower, they had less problems overall physically than the lying group. So that’s kind of an interesting thought, when you consider even the effects of lying. It can affect our mental health. It can affect our physical health. So no wonder God said don’t lie. Don’t lie. And He made it one of the big ten, one of the big Ten Commandments. And so, it’s important, if we’re to be a person of principle, no matter what, be honest.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/be-a-person-of-principle-part-3-honesty

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Making Spider Silk

An Amazing Fact: “One of the most amazing materials in nature is the light, flexible, yet incredibly strong compound spiders use to catch unsuspecting insects. It’s spider silk. Pound for pound, the threads produced by these little arachnids can hold more weight than the most sophisticated manufactured materials. The silk in a spider web is an extremely strong substance that has a tensile strength of 300,000 pounds per square inch and is both stronger and lighter than compounds based on steel.

For a long time people have known about the impressive properties of spider silk, and some have dreamed of being able to create it, perhaps the way that the ancient Chinese learned to produce silk from silkworms. But unlike the gentle silkworm, spiders are aggressive, territorial, and not easily domesticated. Up until now all attempts to synthesize spider silk have failed, but a new venture involving gene-splicing is showing considerable promise.

A Canadian company, Nexia Biotechnologies, appears on the verge of manufacturing a substance similar to spider silk through a surprising method, using the milk of goats. Researchers put the spider silk gene into milk animals, since there are close anatomical similarities between the silk-producing glands of spiders and the milk-producing glands of these mammals. The scientists spliced the spider silk gene into cells taken from the mammary glands of goats. The silk genes worked with amazing efficiency in the mammary cells, and Nexia scientists were soon producing high-quality spider silk.

Now the challenge will be to mass breed these transgenic goats and extract the pure silk protein from the milk and spin it into fabric. If the new stock of genetically altered goats produce as expected, Nexia will have the beginnings of a spider-silk dairy. The product, called “BioSteel,” may soon be used for a variety of applications, from medical sutures to artificial tendons or ligaments. It could be used to create lighter and stronger bulletproof vests, and even for the coatings of space stations to protect them from micro-meteorites.

It’s interesting to consider how many of man’s inventions have been plagiarized from the amazing creatures God has designed. The most amazing fact is that many people think all these wonders of nature have evolved by chance!”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psalms 104:24

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Works of the Flesh

Galatians 5:19-21

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The works of the flesh are actions and attitudes that are diametrically opposed to God’s ways. They violate the letter or the intent of God’s holy, just and good law (Romans 7:12).

The works of the flesh are the natural, default setting in this evil age (Galatians 1:4), but without repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ’s awesome sacrifice to provide for the forgiveness of our sins, these works will keep us out of the pure and righteous Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God will be governed according to God’s law of love, summarized in the 10 Commandments. Under God’s rule, eventually the works of the flesh and their natural consequences of suffering and death will be removed (Revelation 21:4-8; 22:14-15).

For more about the Kingdom of God, see our inspiring booklet The Mystery of the Kingdom. For more about the works of the flesh, see our blog series beginning with “Fighting the Works of the Flesh: Adultery.”

More to read
“Christ Lives in Me”
A Sure Hope
A Spirit of Power, Love and a Sound Mind
Strangers Become Family
Pentecost and the Birth of the Church

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Update:

Roy and I worked some more on the wiring in the new kitchen in the guest house.  We split up one circuit which had too many outlets on it, and fished the wires down for the under-cabinet lights.  We also planned the sewer part of the plumbing, and got the fittings ready.  We spent one whole morning getting things ready to take to the consignment shop in Conroe.  We were cleaning, mending, polishing and Old-Englishing lots of items which will be dropped off when I take my SPCA foster cats for their annual rabies shots in Conroe. 

We also installed the air conditioner in the part of the guest house which will be the new bedroom.  The inside wall dividing it and the living room isn’t built yet, so when it’s not too hot we just use that smaller air conditioner.  It’s a lot quieter and more economical than the big one which will be for the living room and new kitchen.

We also did a bit of work on the Arctic Fox Fifth Wheel that is for sale on my side lot.  I was glad that we did as a man who lives down the road saw it and is talking about buying it. It looks enormous. He had just lost his Arctic Fox Fifth Wheel in the recent floods.   I know that I will never drag a great big thing like that around, and anyway, I would rather have a Park Model, they aren’t so tall and foreboding!

I made some of the ancient grain, farro, ground beef and veggies in a recipe called Italian Style Farro, for the church potluck.  One of the ladies who doesn’t cook had given me lots of farro for the potlucks.

The Bible readings were Prov. 8: 22-33, Num. 25:10-30:1, 1 Kings 18:46-19:21 and John 7:1-31.  The Teaching was about The Gospel Differences in their descriptions of the End Times.  How it was foretold in Genesis 19 about the similarity to the times of Lot and the End Times spoken of in the Gospels.

Since they cut down the trees, there isn’t a shady spot in the church parking lot.  I put sunshades up on three windows but the car was still uncomfortable when I was leaving, as it was a very hot day.