Sunday, January 8, 2017

Turning Points. Major Challenges Facing America. Problems With Dry Pet Food. Update.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

A green road sign with the words "Turning Point: Just Ahead".“Our hope is that all nations might experience some kind of positive turning point and not experience the continuing, escalating problems we have brought on ourselves due to turning from God.

Stockfresh

God offers each of us a turning point, nationally and individually.

Taking a page from former President Ronald Reagan, Trump pledged to “drain the swamp in Washington” and “make our government honest again.” While many of his campaign promises appear to be clear examples of overreach, a number of his cabinet appointees indicate that he is deadly serious about changing the ways of Washington and altering the trajectory of the nation.

And the trajectory of the nation certainly needs to be altered!”

More at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/turning-points

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Major Challenges Facing America

This is a tough message to accept, but America without God holding back the storm is in a very dangerous place.

“After a very bitter and long election, Donald Trump takes office at a critical moment in American and world history. As he takes office he faces many challenges.

America’s role in the world has dramatically changed over the last eight years, a fact recognized by foreign policy experts. Its historic and prophetic role could be turning in a different direction. Let’s look at a list of those challenges.

• Russia has been aggressively extending its reach and influence. It seized the Crimean Peninsula and other parts of the territory of Ukraine and has been engaged in a low-intensity war with that nation for several years. Russian planes have buzzed U.S. Navy ships in the Baltic Sea. NATO and American aircraft have been harassed by Russian aircraft.

Russia’s backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has prolonged Syria’s civil war and the suffering of its citizens. American diplomatic efforts regarding the conflict have been frustrated by Russia’s involvement.

When Europe has faltered, Russia has been quick to exploit its weakness—desiring to see a fractured European Union rather than a unified bloc of nations.

Given past history, Russia has reason to fear a powerful and cohesive Europe. However, provoking Europe into a reactionary posture, given the stress it has from the massive influx of immigrants from the Middle East, could lead to ominous developments.

• China’s relationship with America is changing. China seeks to replace America’s longstanding influence in Asia. It is rapidly expanding its navy and its interests with regional neighbors like the Philippines and Australia. China wants to be the arbiter of relations between Asian Pacific nations.

Disputes with Japan over joint claims to Pacific islands aggravate the historic bad blood between the two nations. If armed conflict were to arise between the two, America would be treaty bound to support Japan with military force.

China holds more than a trillion dollars of U.S. debt. This fact handicaps America’s ability to effectively deal with serious issues like Chinese cyberhacking and the creation of a hostile business environment for American companies.

Despite diplomatic smiles, China wants to assert itself as the dominant world power. World leaders wish that China would rein in North Korea’s nuclear program. The unstable rogue regime of Kim Jong Un is China’s client. It suits China’s interests to give North Korea a long leash. No one knows how much control and influence China has with North Korea. One wild action could create a nuclear conflagration that could spin out of control.

• Radical Islamic terrorism has not disappeared. ISIS, Iran and al-Qaeda have grown in their capacity to attack global targets. Their ability to strike is wider and deeper than it has been for years.

Over the last eight years America’s economic debt has doubled to nearly 20 trillion dollars. This huge, incomprehensible figure represents another significant national security threat. You don’t have to be an expert to look at this and wonder what keeps America economically viable in the world. The unrecognized fact is that God is, for the time being, keeping America strong and prosperous in spite of this and many other glaring problems.

imageGod is the “angel in the storm” who continues to watch over the United States of America. The long and prosperous history of the nation is testimony to God’s enduring faithfulness to His promises to create this single great nation in the modern world.

While nations like Iran, China, Russia and North Korea and desperate terror groups like ISIS plot and wish to dislodge the United States from its position as the dominating world power, the fact is that they cannot until God removes His hand of blessing from America.

America and its new president have a moment of reprieve. There is time to hear a message of hope and to turn to God in heartfelt repentance.” 

Excerpt from: “A Prophet, a President and a People” at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/a-prophet-a-president-and-a-people

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Update:

imageIt has been really cold this week, this morning it was 19 deg. when I got up.  Now that’s cold for these parts.  We have been really focusing on insulating every little space in the mini-house (guest house). 

One day we had all the water lines hooked up, but when we turned on the water, there was a leak in the back yard, so it will have to wait for a warmer day when the ground isn’t frozen.

We went around with some loose fiberglass insulation and poked it in every little crack.  We even wrapped the returns of the windows with 1/2” foam board so now one can feel that there is no draft coming in from the sides of the windows. What a difference!  As windows are installed with a space around them to allow for getting them level and plumb, we made sure that they were wrapped so that each side was even.  Some had to be shimmed out, and some had to be wrapped with narrower foam board.  Now when we put up the paneling it will all look even. This extra insulating can cause excessive humidity to form in the house from cooking and bathing, but there are fans and a dehumidifier for that.

My foster cat, Napoleon is getting very friendly and loving, and I have finally found a wet cat food that he will eat.  It isn’t the best, but it is a start. 

“Additional Problems With Dry Food

On a dry food diet, a cat's urine becomes overly concentrated which leads to feline lower urinary tract disease.

Dry food as it is initially manufactured would be of no interest to a cat. It must be sprayed with flavorings and their accompanying odors to interest the cat in eating it. An entire industry has arisen to manufacture such sprays for this biologically inappropriate food product.

Dry food can be contaminated with mold, fungus or mycotoxins due to improper grain storage.¹¹ As kibble is unlikely to be made from the highest quality grain — perhaps grain not fit for human consumption — it is a further concern. Dry food should never be moistened with water, as it creates an ideal soup in which mycotoxins can proliferate.”     From: http://feline-nutrition.org/health/species-inappropriate-the-dangers-of-dry-food

So that is why I felt it was so important to get Napoleon eating wet cat food.  Even ‘people food’ would have been better than a diet of all dry, but he wouldn’t eat it.

Having made a big pot of farro, grass-fed beef and veggies, I loaded it into a crock pot for the church potluck.  As I was leaving the pastor’s wife called me and said that Pastor Bobby was sick so he wouldn’t be there, and that the water was frozen at the church.  Elder Jeff is very capable of conducting the service which he has done many times before.  But with the toilets inoperable until they thawed out, he wanted to cancel the meeting.  I asked the Pastor’s wife if she really wanted to let the Devil have our Sabbath cancelled over a few frozen pipes, and she said that she really wanted us to have the service.

I keep water here for emergencies, so I said that I would bring several 2-gallon jugs of water and two 1-gallon buckets.  If you have nearly a gallon of water and pour it from a height, it will flush a toilet.  I was tired by the time I had loaded ten of the 2-gallon jugs full of water, plus the food that I had prepared, so off I went, in 19 deg weather.  The faucet in the dining room had thawed out, so water could be drawn there and carried across to the church.  It imagewas a good thing we didn’t cancel because some people even came in that nasty weather all the way from Houston. 

It was so cold that for the first time in about 25 years I wore my black ‘beaver’ fur coat.  A lot of little nylons had to die to make that ‘fur’!

The Bible readings were Gen. 44:18-47:27, Eze. 37:15-28 and Heb. 1:1-6.  The Teaching was about New Year Commitments and Using Time Wisely.

My helper had to go out of town on Friday and I haven’t heard from him yet.  He was supposed to work today.

 

 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Substance Use Is Not the Answer. Self-Inflicted Snares. Choose Your Own Adventure. Update.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”;

Substance Use Is Not the Answer

Looking for a way of escape through alcohol, drugs or other substances is no escape at all.

An upclose photo of a man's face.Kychan/Unsplash

“The reason that some people are seeking a temporary high is that they are void of God. They are going to the wrong source who they hope can fix whatever they are going through.

Recently a photo was published of a man and woman passed out in the front seat of their car. Their backseat passenger was very alert, awake and alone: He was the 4-year-old grandson of the unconscious woman.

The safety director in Cleveland, Ohio, who released the photo said he and others wanted to send a strong message to addicts. They should find safe places for their children when using debilitating drugs. I can add to that: The adults need to get help!

Seek God. Don’t go for a temporary fix that will only get worse and wreak havoc on your family, your children, others and yourself.

More than 30 million Americans are currently struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism. Fatalities, traffic accidents and injuries related to substance abuse take thousands of lives each year, not to mention the accidental overdoses that occur more frequently among prescription drug addicts. In April this year, my son-in-law lost a distant cousin and her husband. They were hit head-on by a man who was drunk and going the wrong way on the interstate.

In the month of August Cincinnati, Ohio, police saw a staggering 200 overdoses. Eight people could not be saved. Besides those who die from overdoses, there are other victims—children, like this 4-year-old grandson—who reap, arguably, much worse consequences. Children who face being taken away from their parents, and if not taken away, abused, neglected or exposed to harmful drugs themselves. Three-month-old C.J. from Dayton, Ohio, was born addicted to heroin and spent his first month in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Miami Valley Hospital. The infant was on a morphine drip for that first month. What a terrible way to start life.

In most cases, children (and animals) who end up in foster care are from drug-addicted parents who can no longer care for them. Many grandparents and other relatives have to take on this additional responsibility.

Why does this happen? Because people are looking for an easy way out or a form of escape, not thinking about all the people around them who are affected, including their children.

Recovery Connection lists 10 reasons people abuse drugs. Four of them that affect young and old alike are:

1. Feelings of emptiness.  People are looking to fill a void.

2. Experimentation. Sometimes people are just looking for an escape from boredom; so they experiment with drugs to get a temporary high.

3. They make you feel good. They can help you relax from the temporary pressure of life for a while.

4. Peer pressure. Everyone wants a sense of belonging, so they feel use of drugs or alcohol does this. You can read more here.

While working on this article, I talked with Don, one of our delivery men. Don walks with a limp. I never knew why until our conversation recently. He told me that in 1993 he was hit by a drunk driver. His neck was broken, and he lost part of his leg. He is in pain every single day. Don is a victim of someone seeking a temporary fix, a temporary high, with no thought of anyone but themselves.

Because of so many overdoses occurring, police, teachers and workers in the medical field are armed with Narcan, which revives a victim after an overdose.

This temporary fix is no fix at all! Don told me that he knew a guy who worked in an emergency room that treated overdoses. One night they revived an overdose victim, and no sooner had the doctor turned his back that the patient already started trying to shoot up again for his next high.

While people will need treatment to overcome this drug and alcohol addiction, the real fix is turning to God for help. He is the one who needs to fix the empty heart and heal their broken soul. If you have a problem with drugs, get help, but turn to God for complete emotional healing. His fix is not temporary!

The reason that some people are seeking a temporary high is that they are void of God. They are going to the wrong source who they hope can fix whatever they are going through. Seek God. Don’t go for a temporary fix that will only get worse and wreak havoc on your family, your children, others and yourself.

God made us to be incomplete without Him. Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew11:28-30).

All the things you use to fill the void—drugs, material possessions, whatever else—will never make you complete. It is only as good as your next high. Fix your empty hearts with God! And seek medical help! Lay down those temporary fixes. Get the medical help you need, and do it with God. Do it for the sake of your family, your children, and for yourself!

Here is the number for American Addiction Centers. Get help today! They are experts in addiction treatment: (888) 970-8544 .”

From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/substance-use-is-not-the-answer

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Self-Inflicted Snares

Psalm 9:15-16

The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; in the net which they hid, their own foot is caught. The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah.

“Talk about poetic justice! David describes how God’s enemies set traps for God’s people, but the enemies end up trapping themselves. This reminder of God’s ultimate justice counteracts our natural discouragement and feelings of unfairness when it seems the enemies have the upper hand.

Thankfully, God is also a God of mercy, and the enemies of God—sinners, which all of us have been—can be forgiven and released from the traps of sin” (Romans 5:10; 6:6-7).

To learn more about God’s ability to forgive, read “What Is Forgiveness?

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Choose Your Own Adventure

Make choices every day that lead toward the ultimate goal: the Kingdom of God.

A young woman reading a book while walking on path lined by trees.Samilla Maioli/Unsplash

“God, who created us to live our choose-your-own adventure life story, makes it evident which decisions He is hoping we will make.

Books ignited my imagination when I was growing up. The turn of each page brought new worlds to dive into and fascinating people to meet. They spurred my love of adventure that catapulted me off the page and into explorations of my own.

One type of book I read often as a kid was the “choose your own adventure” story. At the end of each chapter, the reader was given a choice. For each choice you made at that juncture of the story, you turned to a particular chapter. It made me feel as if I was actively participating in the unfolding of the plot.

The decisions we make on a daily basis clearly have great impact. They set the course of our lives and have the ability to affect how our children, our families, our friends and our coworkers make decisions.

Often, and usually hilariously, I made a choice that would lead to something like, “Unfortunately, taking the land route to your destination led to a giant boulder rolling down the hill and crushing you to death.” (It seemed to parallel my playing the Oregon Trail computer game where my party of pioneer settlers always seemed to contract dysentery or have our raft bashed to pieces while floating down the Columbia River.)

No matter. Recovery was simply as easy as restarting the game or making a different choice at the end of each chapter.

Recently I was thinking how life is really one big choose your own adventure story. At key points in our lives we make choices that lead us down different paths, some good and some bad. But ultimately, there are only two paths that we can take: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God is giving everyone an opportunity to live a life of making better choices, some now and some later (2 Peter 3:9; 1Peter 4:17; Revelation 20:4-6; Matthew 12:41-42).

We all have to make the daily choices that lead us closer to one final destination or the other. God, who created us to live our choose-your-own adventure life story, makes it evident which decisions He is hoping we will make. His words echo down to us as strongly as they did when He first spoke them to the ancient nation of Israel, whom He wanted to be a model nation for the rest of the world: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy30:19).

The decisions we make on a daily basis clearly have great impact. They set the course of our lives and have the ability to affect how our children, our families, our friends and our coworkers make decisions. “  Rest of article at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/choose-your-own-adventure

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Update:

While it was cold we mostly worked inside the guest house, stapling up more of the batt insulation and then the foam board insulation over it on the walls.  We don’t need to finish out the walls just yet, just trying to get it comfortable for working in there this winter.

The weather turned warmer so Roy, my helper, was able to slide under the guest house and tie in some more lines to the 4” drains.  They are all done except for the sink drain in the imagekitchen.   Then another day we capped off several places where we had stubbed out the water lines.  They are the ones that don’t have to hooked up right away, like the sink in the greenhouse, the water for the little 3/4 bathroom which will be off the laundry room, and the laundry room itself, as I still can use the laundry in the big house. I have an extra little sitz tub/shower out of an RV that will fit in there.  It will be handy to have that little tub just off the laundry room anyway.

My new foster cat arrived, a great big gray 16 pounder!  His name is Napoleon, and he is a very laid back, slow moving, sweet cat.  But his nails look like the talons on an eagle and he catches them in things when he walks, but he wouldn’t let us cut them.  He had been locked up in a room since his “Mom” was taken to the hospital, so he is very reluctant to wander around the house.  But he does sleep on a corner of my bed some of the time, and rubs against me, and loves on me, so I guess he likes me.  But little Purrcy was taken back to the Cat Habitat at Petco, because they were a cat short in there, so he didn’t stay here very long.  He was a live one!  A really darling little guy, and I miss him, but not his antics!

Napoleon won’t eat any canned food, and a dry-only diet is SOOO bad for a cat.  It eventually messes up their kidneys.  (It isn’t that great for a dog, either.) I tried to buy him some refrigerated food, “FreshPet”, it comes in a 1 or 2 lb pouch of little soft tasty morsels, and my other foster cat loved it, but that refrigerated case was out of order at the store, so they didn’t have any.  He drinks an unusual amount of water, so I hope his kidneys haven’t already been damaged.

The sweet little dog that was taken to the owner’s daughter’s place last week was picked up by her drunken owner, and two days later she dumped the dog back in my subdivision.  The little dog got loose from there, and ran all the way to my house.  She ran up to me just as happy as she could be, wagging her tail so hard that her whole body wagged.  OK, enough is enough. I had to step in and do something about this poor little dog that had been abandoned three times that I knew about.  She was taken to the vet for shots and a check-up, then she went to an SPCA trainer who will housebreak her, get her spayed and the sweet little dog will be adopted by responsible people. 

I had kept some of the lamb meat from last Sabbath before making the lamb bone broth, and made it into ‘Dirty Rice with Lamb and Veggies’ for the church potluck.  I also took ‘Roasted Squash and Onions’.  Both crockpots were empty when I brought them home. There was a lot of good food and fellowship, as usual. 

The Bible readings were Gen. 41:1-44:17, 1 Kings 3:15-4:1, and Acts 7:9-16.  These are mostly about Joseph, the Pharaoh’s dream, and how Hewbrew Joseph became a high muckety-muck in the land of Egypt.  The Teaching was about how the new year is just a marker of time, and how we can make resolutions at any time of the year to change our lives.

The weather was great, and it was a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Christmas Tree or Not? 3 Reasons I Stopped Keeping Christmas. Updateimageimage


For this “Scripture Sunday”, which is also December 25, known as Christmas Day:

Jeremiah 10

A Christmas Tree or Not?

Is Jeremiah 10 really talking about a Christmas tree, or something else?
https://youtu.be/Bv26fCqbJrI Jeremiah 10 really talking about a Christmas tree, or something else?
Transcript
[Darris McNeely] “The question has come in from a Beyond Today viewer regarding Jeremiah chapter 10 and what it says about bringing a tree in and decorating it with gold and silver, and whether or not that is talking about a Christmas tree.

[Steve Myers] It says some interesting things when you actually read what it says there in Jeremiah chapter 10. And it starts out I think in an amazing way in verse 2 by saying, and this is God talking, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles.’” Some versions say heathens. And then He goes on to say, “The customs of the peoples are useless. They’re futile. One cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with an axe. They decorate it with silver and gold. They fasten it with nails, hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright like a palm tree. They cannot speak” (Jeremiah 10:2-5).  So what exactly is it talking about? Some of those things, especially if you look at the holiday decorations start to sound pretty familiar.

[Darris McNeely] Matches up pretty closely, doesn’t it, to what might, what is a Christmas tree and what Christmas decorations of gold and tinsel on a tree that’s been cut down from the woods, at least in the traditional way, brought into a home, set up, and around which gifts are spread. It is very, very plain, and matches up with this. Now, some commentators on Jeremiah chapter 10 say that this is talking about a form of idolatry where a tree is cut, but then it is cut into a totem or an idol from that, and the axe is actually a skilled artisan carver that makes this into something different from and therefore cannot be applied to the idea of a modern Christmas tree. But I think that the fact that Jeremiah here is talking about avoiding the practices of the heathen that then become idolatry and a part of worship that replaces something that is truthful was something that is wrong and pagan in place of God. I think that it still refers to what is being described here.

[Steve Myers] Absolutely applies in the sense that if you look into some of the practices of the pagans during this day, they did worship trees. They worshiped all kinds of things. They had a god for just about everything you could imagine. So when you look at the trees, especially at this time of the year, they’re looking at the life that a green tree would bring. And that was a common practice back in that day as well.

[Darris McNeely] Yeah, they were cut. They were used in the middle of the winter time because they supposedly didn’t die, still had life in them, and to represent the life that people wanted to gather around at this time of year in the darkest part of the winter. Those trees were a part of the practice of the ancient world, and yes they did migrate into other parts of the world including Northern Europe from which our modern customs in the United States and the Western world regarding a Christmas tree eventually were adopted. And yet they were still connected with pagan ideas and worship that did migrate from the exact part of the world Jeremiah is talking about where anciently green trees, evergreen trees, were even used in the winter time as a part of this type of worship.

[Steve Myers] And I think that’s such an important point. Can you adopt a pagan principle? Can you adopt something from the Gentiles or heathens, those that don’t know the true God, and somehow try to use that to honor God? Well, He says right here don’t learn that way. Do not do that. That is not a way to honor God by adopting some other practice, and try to call it Christian. He says that’s unacceptable. You can’t do it.

[Darris McNeely] And so you’re left with the question: does it really matter? And the answer is it does matter. And truth does matter and our worship and our relationship with God, we should worship Him in spirit and in truth and not according to the ways that are adopted from heathenism or paganism. That’s what the scripture says. It does matter.”
From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/jeremiah-10-a-christmas-tree-or-not
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"Keep not the way of the heathen."
EXCERPT FROM GOOD OLD TIME RELIGION. IS THE CHRISTMAS TREE IN THE Bible?

Have you ever wondered why the whole world cuts down a tree and brings it into their home during the Yule season?  There is a reason.  You might not want to know it though. The real history behind the "Christmas" tree is as shocking as finding out that your uncle Frank, whom you love dearly, was a serial killer years ago, but he is a sweet old man now.  If you don't like hard truths, please stop reading now.

THE HISTORY
William Sansom, in "A Book of Christmas," states that human sacrifice originated during the winter solstice, which falls around December 25th.  He says, “The giving of presents, particularly candles and dolls, called Sigillaria also derives from the insistent origin of human sacrifice at this time of year......Winter solstice traditions included giving dolls to children. Scholars believe that the term doll is derived from the word idol and may specifically refer to the “dolls” or clay effigies that were placed under evergreen trees in the home, imitating the actual sacrifice of children made under a grove of evergreen trees.

THE EVERGREEN TREE
The words “green tree” (evergreen tree) are used 10 different times in the Bible in connection with idolatrous worship and, in four cases, with child sacrifice. Sun worship or Baal worship required firstborn children to be burned alive by “passing through the fire to Molech” under a grove of evergreens.

Stop and think about the fact that thousands of years ago, the whole world worshipped the sun.  Firstborn children were sacrificed under green trees (stayed green all year) and this is specifically mentioned in the Bible!  Read Isaiah 57!
Isaiah 57:5 Enflaming yourselves with idols, under every green tree slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks...”

Jeremiah 10 certainly does sound like a description of the modern Christmas tree! But rather than commanding us to put a tree in our house, it says, “Thus says the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; (the winter solstice of December 25th) for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain, for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and gold, they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it moves not....” Jeremiah 10:2-4

In fact, the whole book of Jeremiah mentions the solstice god Baal or Baalim 13 times altogether and it is in connection with sun worship that God is stating, “learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (The signs of heaven that he alludes to is the December 25th winter solstice!) Sun worshippers were astronomers who clocked the movements of the sun, moon and stars as part of their religion. The winter solstice was fear provoking to them.....and that is how human sacrifice began

Can it be a coincidence that scriptures directly place child sacrifice and the evergreen tree in the same context?  People who want to say, yes Christmas may have pagan origins, but we have "Christianized it," need to remember that it was a time of child sacrifice.  That can never be sanitized or made acceptable!  It would be like saying yes, old uncle Frank was a serial killer, but he was nice to me and he went to church, so he was a great man in my book.  That just doesn't fly.  Neither can we keep a holiday that is so evil with a clear conscience before God.  His admonition concerning the matter, if that matters to us, is "Keep not the way of the heathen."
Several paragraphs were excerpted from our article "Good Old Time Religion"    www.thechurchesofgod.com
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3 Reasons I Stopped Keeping Christmas

If you profess Christianity, now is a good time to consider why Dec. 25 is kept so fervently by so many, yet is totally devoid of New Testament support.

3 Reasons I Stopped Keeping ChristmasMy wife and I have been married for 50 years, and we still treasure some photographs—taken in an obviously Christmas setting just a few months after we met. Like people in many parts of the world, we realize that Christmas celebrations are generally memorable family occasions.
So why ever would a Christian choose not to celebrate Christmas?
Well, my wife and I stopped celebrating it many years ago. Here are three major reasons we decided we could no longer keep the popular holiday.
1. We don’t know when Christ was born.
Several dates have been proposed for the birth of Christ, but Dec. 25 is by far the most common. However, there is no biblical evidence to support this date.
Philip Schaff in History of the Christian Church makes the following comments:
“The only indication of the season of our Saviour’s birth is the fact that the Shepherds were watching their flocks in the field at the time, Luke 2:8. This fact points to any other season rather than winter, and is therefore not favorable to the traditional date. … The time of pasturing in Palestine (which has but two seasons, the dry and the wet, or summer and winter) begins according to the Talmudist, in March, and lasts till November, then the herds are brought in from the fields, and kept under shelter till the close of February” (Vol. 1, Apostolic Christianity, A.D. 1-100, p. 127).
Some insist that even though we do not know the exact date, Dec. 25 is as good a date as any to celebrate Christ’s birth and have a good time.
But what is the ancient history behind Dec. 25? How, when and why did Dec. 25 festivities become Christianized?
2. It was celebrated in pagan Rome.
Dec. 25 was part of Saturnalia celebrations held in pre-Christian Rome with uninhibited lawlessness. During that period nobody could be prosecuted for damaging other people’s property. Even worse was the tradition that each year an innocent person was forcefully selected by mob rule to be considered an “enemy of Rome.” He or she was mercilessly murdered on the concluding day of their festival, Dec. 25.
Wouldn’t connecting Jesus Christ to the date of vile pagan celebrations be an abomination to Him?
“The festival began [on Dec. 17] when Roman authorities chose ‘an enemy of the Roman people’ to represent the ‘Lord of Misrule.’ Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman” (SimpleToRemember.com).
There is clearly no basis for celebrating Christ’s birthday on any date, but even if there were, would He or His Father pick the explicitly heathen Dec. 25?
3. Jesus warned about human traditions.
Jesus Christ warned the Pharisees of His time to reconsider their futile “traditions”—and He commands all Christians to do likewise.
“Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Matthew 15:6-9, emphasis added throughout).
The Old Testament is filled with warnings specifically about mixing pagan traditions with the worship of the true God and the Old Testament is filled with warnings specifically about mixing pagan traditions with the worship of the true God: “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’” (Deuteronomy 12:30).
God also said, “You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things” (verse 4). Christians should not worship “according to all their [pagan] abominations” (Deuteronomy 20:18).
Church leaders, sacrificing their own professed Christianity, succeeded in converting large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue their old customs. But, sadly, they ignored the above warnings against such blending.
Jesus was never in Christmas
This time of year, we often hear the phrase Put Jesus back in Christmas! But, as we have shown, Jesus Christ was never in Christmas! God never made Dec. 25 “holy” as only God can.
On the other hand God did make holy seven annual holy days in the Bible, and Jesus Christ has center stage in every one of them. Each holy day enlightens us further about Jesus Christ’s role in God’s plan of salvation.
To learn more, view our short videos in the “Feasts of the Lord” series on the Learning Center at LifeHopeandTruth.com.


Another article: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/does-christmas-make-jesus-happy/
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Update: 

The weather did a quick turn around and now it is in the high 70’s!!  We installed the heat/air in the guest house, even though my helper wasn’t feeling well.  He has an addiction to eating cereal right out of the box, so I call him a “cereal killer”!   He had eaten a lot of Raisin Bran that someone gave me to donate.  He didn’t read the ingredients because he said he used to eat that all the time.  He used to have acid reflux all the time, too.  The first ingredient is whole grain wheat.  When he eats wheat or gluten he gets terribly sleepy, and doesn’t even know that he has been asleep, sitting up, for hours.  This isn’t narcolespy, it is more like hypersomnia. Then the acid reflux starts and he can’t keep anything down.  We had to quit work after an hour and a half one morning because of that.  I have been so careful to get him gluten-free ingredients for lunch then he goes and does that.   He was sick for over two days.  You really are what you eat, and everything starts in the gut.

Purry, my adorable foster cat arrived from the Habitat, and was put in my bathroom which would become his head-quarters until he got used to the sounds and smells of a household.  I call that getting him “house-ified” for his new home.  He had never been loose in a house before in his whole little life.  I knew that he was a busy little boy, so we took up the rugs in my bathroom, and taped down a big piece of kitchen carpet.  He could have ‘skid’ the rugs and made it so that the door would be jammed shut.  BTDT!   It took him one day to untape and move the carpet, but being firm it didn’t jam up the door. He just loved the freedom of not being in a cage, and adapted very well, which I knew he would, as he is a very adaptable, happy little boy.

Then I heard that Purrcy will not be going back to the habitiat right away, so he will stay here.   After one day he also had the freedom of my bedroom, and the next day the whole house.  He has been very good and hasn’t jumped up on the kitchen counters.  He has settled down into a very calm little man, but still prefers his own little bed in my bathroom.  Another foster cat arrives tomorrow, a 12 year old gray male.

The little dog is becoming more and more difficult to care for, she can now climb over my gate.  This is the dog that chewed up my Ethernet wires when she first arrived.  Even though my living room is scattered with doggie toys, she chews up anything when she is in the house alone, so I had to bring a big cage into my living room.  When she figured out how to open the door on one big cage, and tore up the floor in it, I had to bring in a different one.  I only put her in there when I wasn’t able to watch her, so she and the cat, Purrcy had a great time chasing each other around the house.  No animosity, no one had told them that they were enemies.  A tired dog is a good dog.  But she wouldn't let anyone know when she wanted to go out, so I would take her out on a schedule, but she wouldn't pee and waited to pee on my carpet.
  
The dog’s owner had never inquired about her, said thank you, never offered to pay for her board, or food, so after 5 days, legally she belonged to me.   I had dewormed the dog, given her monthly heartworm and flea preventative,  I could run her through the SPCA system, get her spayed, vaccinated, treated for heartworms, foster her and find her a new home.  But if I can’t contain a dog in my fence, it is too much liability and expense for the SPCA, so I sent her to her owner’s daughter, where the dog used to live.  I hated to do this, but I don’t have “Muggins” written on my forehead. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/muggins   I try to help when I can, but enough is enough.

I had made some quinoa for my helper’s lunch as it is gluten-free, but he wasn’t feeling well, and didn’t appreciate it, so I made it into “Cajun Quinoa ‘Dirty Rice’ with ground sirloin, canned diced tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and a lot of Cajun seasonings.  That crockpot was nearly empty by the time the church potluck was over.  One elder had brought a whole lamb simmered in a big crockpot, it was very tender, and he gave me the remains to make Lamb Bone Broth.  He knows that I will cook something in it for the church potlucks.  It might be brown rice, farro, freekeh, beans, lentils, or something else.  I’ll save most of the meat, add some veggies, and make a lamb stew for the potluck.

The Bible readings were Gen. 37:1-41:25, Amos 2:6-3:8, and Acts 7:1-16.  These about Joseph, his coat of many colors, and his being sold to Egypt.  The Teaching was about “Canopy of Blessings”, about how God shelters his people.

The last Sabbath we had been so cold in the church as the heater couldn’t keep up, but this Sabbath the AC was so cold that even the people who are hot all the time, complained. Can’t please all the people all of the time.


Eat your hearts out, Northerners.  Yesterday it was a high of 80°, now how about that for a late December Day?