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.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Terrorist attack at Orlando. Why Does God Allow Evil? Making Wise Politicians. Update & Fifth Wheel.

 

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Muslim terrorist carries out most deadly shooting in U.S. history

“In the wake of the June 12 terrorist attack at an Orlando gay night club, we need to consider what’s happened. Many call it “senseless violence,” yet there is in fact a sense to it that is quite disturbing—as is the failure of many to admit that.”

Police report to shooting in Orlando.City of Orlando Police Department

Police respond to the June 12 shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, Fla., in which more than 100 patrons were gunned down by a Muslim male who had proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State.

“The largest terrorist attack in the United States since 9/11 of 2001, and the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, occurred June 12, 2016, at a gay night club in Orlando, Fla. A radical jihadist who swore allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) gunned down 49 people and injured another 53 before he was killed by police. ISIS quickly took responsibility, calling the perpetrator “an Islamic State fighter.” The attack followed calls by ISIS leaders to carry out attacks on non-Muslims during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Yet when President Barack Obama spoke in response immediately after, he would not refer to what happened as Islamic terrorism, following his established pattern, and used this as an opportunity to declare the need for more gun control.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump quickly said the president should resign if he could not identify the country’s enemy here. He also leveled criticism against his Democratic opponent in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton, for similarly refusing to make the identification—though she then said she could use such terminology but did not want to label the whole religion of Islam.

Regarding Obama not mentioning the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said, “He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable” (CNN, June 13, 2016).

The attack has thrown the progressive left into a quandary. Had a “right-wing Christian” perpetrated this act, it would have been used to vilify all conservative Christians who want to deny gay rights. But as it was a Muslim, great effort is made to distance him from “authentic Islam”—lest the left’s alliance with Islam against traditional Christianity be put in jeopardy. The shooter was portrayed as a troubled, unbalanced person—but what Islamic terrorist is not? The real problem is that, while those like him are in the minority among Muslims, they still constitute a sizable number of people—perhaps millions.

This should be a wake-up call to those on the left. Radical Islamists are not their friends. In a number of Islamic countries, homosexual behavior is punishable by death and gays are routinely jailed and/or executed. Commentator Mark Steyn said: “The arithmetic isn’t that complicated. The more Islam the fewer gays … In the end, you have to pick and choose which squares you want in your diversity quilt” (SteynOnline.com, June 13).

While we obviously do not agree with the lifestyle of those who were attacked, we stand outraged and saddened over this murderous attack. And we pray for a world of peace and right understanding under the rule of the Kingdom of God.” (Sources: CNN, Fox News, SteynOnline.com.)

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Hard Questions

Why Does God Allow Evil?

Although this question has puzzled many people, the crucial answer is offered in the pages of the Bible.

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/pl-RGqftrk4

Transcript

[Gary Petty] “Do you have some hard questions you would like to ask God? I know I do.

Unfortunately, many people have become disillusioned because of what appears to be inconsistencies with what the Bible teaches about God. They question how a loving God can allow children to starve or why He doesn’t stop senseless violence. Why does God allow evil?

The result of this spiritual disenchantment is that more and more people are deciding that the Bible is a myth, or even worse, a book filled with dangerous superstitions.

If we really want to understand the God of the Bible, we must be willing to honestly face these issues. Deal with the hard questions.

If you’ve become disillusioned because God seems unreachable, arbitrary, unfair, let’s reason together and look at “Hard Questions: Why Does God Allow Evil?”” 

Video and complete transcript at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-television-program/hard-questions-why-does-god-allow-evil

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Making Wise Politicians  (Dry humor here)

From:  “How to Avoid Toxic Metals and Clear Them from the Body”

“Until we can clean up the planet and our act, we fortunately do have a “dirt cheap,” stop-gap way of coping with metal toxicity. That solution is diatomaceous earth. The only caveat is that diatomaceous earth used for human or animal detoxification must be food grade. To detoxify with diatomaceous earth, dissolve less than one teaspoon to one tablespoon for every 100 pounds of body weight in a glass of pure water and drink before bed over a period of months or years. “……….

“…….In conclusion, we propose to treat the cause and not just the symptoms of heavy metal toxicity. To wit, this election year, we vote for detoxification with diatomaceous earth for politicians as well as all those in elective and appointed offices, including judges, police officers and FDA officials. If candidates were required by law to be free of mercury, cadmium, lead and other metal toxicities that affect their mental capacities, we could have more confidence in their leadership and appropriate use of power. Sanity regarding environmental and dietary exposure to toxic metals would, could and should become an inalienable right.

At the very least, it would be great to have an election where candidates avow to to get the “dirt into” themselves and not dish “dirt on” their opponents!”

More at: http://www.westonaprice.org/environmental-toxins/mad-as-a-hatter

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Update:

Roy and I have made a bit more progress in the guest house.  But nothing that really shows.  Before we fill in the big old skylight with sheetrock that currently has a 4’x 6’ piece of Lexan there, we went up to that attic, moved the Lexan aside and pushed overboard all the rolls of carpet that were stored next to the skylight onto the floor of the guest house.  That was the quickest and easiest way to get that carpet downstairs.  Someone is coming to buy some of it.  There is one roll of carpet left up there, the very lovely Axminster carpet that I will be laying in the bedroom when the walls are finished.

We found a beige seamed rug that exactly fit the back of my van, so we installed it.  Now that all the back seats are out I have 4’ x 8’ of space, so the carpet makes it easier to load and unload things like plywood and sheetrock.

Then I acquired a Western style couch with matching loveseat and ottoman.  For staging my house for sale it would look better than my taffeta Old Rose couch.  So we cleaned the Old Rose couch with the carpet shampooer attachment, then we loaded it into my van and took it to the consignment shop for sale.  Then we cleaned the carpet where the Rose-colored couch had been.  The next day the Western couch arrived so we cleaned it.  Then we cleaned the rest of the carpet.  There isn’t any room for the loveseat and ottoman right now, so a friend is storing it for me.

As the carpet that was in the guest house is up for grabs, too, we tore it up with the padding, and put it all outside in the carport ready for the folks to come and get what they want.  So now there are bare floors in the new bedroom and the old living room in the guest house.  Much better to work in there.

On Saturday 25th, the Bible readings were Num. 19:1-21:35, Jud. 11:1-33 and John 3:9-21.  The Teaching was about “Knowledge” from Daniel 12:4 and how our knowledge has increased over the years.

The big pot of farro, beef, and veggies that I took to church which was liked, and I was able to keep some to feed Roy the next day. I try to feed him lunch before he leaves as he is so skinny from an esophogus problem. There are a lot of foods that he can’t eat, but he does better on organic and non-processed food.  He is going for surgery soon.

Friday, I went to the newly-rented apartment of some friends from church.  They have just hung up their keys after 15 years of fulltiming.  I bought their lovely 2008 29’ Arctic Fox Fifth Wheel, Silver Fox Edition. 

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Two slide-outs, spacious rear kitchen.

 

 

 

 

It isn’t what I really want, but as it was in my yard for me to sell for them, I figured I DSCF1106might as well get it, as it is in such nice condition.  Now, I am really in debt!!  I hope that I can sell my house soon, or I will have to sell the fifth wheel.

Then on July 2nd. the Bible readings were Psa.100, Num. 22:2-25:9, Micah 5:6-6:8, and 2 Peter 2.1-21, and the Teaching was about “Life’s Purpose.”, and I took a big pot of skillet-buttered cabage with onions and carrots, which all disappeared. 

One of the other dishes brought for the church potluck, chicken in tomato sauce, wasn’t all eaten, so they gave it to me for my neighbor.  I had to do an emergency stop on the way home.    Fortunately, I had the food in a cardboard box, but some of the tomato sauce splashed on my new beige rug in the back of the van.  While we were sorting out which shampooer to use on that rug, we got engrossed in straightening out a bunch of stuff in the storage area, and that looks a lot better now.  Tuesday, when the consignment and donation thrift shops are open, I can take a lot of the stuff that we sorted out.  Hopefully it won’t take too long to empty out this house, as long as I keep clearing out stuff each day.