It's all about 'things' today:
You can't take a U-Haul through the Pearly Gates!
What Are You Worth Without Your Money?
"Are you only as important as your paycheck?
When the bank has failed, the account is empty, the electricity is off and the computer is useless—what are you worth?
In an affluent world that measures accomplishment by currency, the society around us often loses touch with basic human worth and fixates on financial résumés. We live in that world, too, and absorb the thought currents that surround us.
What if we lived in a society that wasn't based purely on a system of financial wages? What if we lived in a society that valued work and the fruits of physical and agricultural effort above hard currency?
Sounds like something from Karl Marx, right? Thankfully no—try again!
Picture a government that is instructed by a just and peace-inducing moral code. One that cracks down on people who prey on others for financial greed and conduct business using the age-old robbery called usury—extremely high interest rates.
A society that is based on free enterprise, but that prevents the downward spiral of generational poverty with laws that periodically emancipate those in significant debt. Not only that, but a society that values increased agricultural yield while preserving the genetic integrity of plant and animal life.
Sounds like the green movement, right? Not quite—but keep trying!
How about a world with minimal illness and physical deterioration as the result of positive behaviors and dietary codes allowing the human body to achieve the highest level of good health? How about a system of belief that produces the maximum level of happiness and joy-filled living ever witnessed on the earth?
Sounds like the latest best-selling book on finding spiritual and physical perfection, right?
Wrong—the truth is, all of the above descriptions are derived from one source—the Bible. The Word of God outlines a future society that far outshines what humans have ever imagined, and it's been sitting in the words of the prophets of God for thousands of years!
Remarkably, this foretold society will soon exist, lasting an entire millennium—inaugurated by no less than the return of Jesus Christ to the earth! To learn more about that time please read "The Wonderful World Beyond Today…A Return to Eden."
True personal value?
What does all of this have to do with measuring personal value?
A society, like the one described above, creates positive currents of thought. People are prized for their contributions—in both effort and finance—to each other and to the higher power—God.
However, if all of this is in the future, how then do we apply that same sense of value now?
This is the part that requires changing our thinking processes and stepping out of the mainstream by reading, understanding and following the law of God in the Bible. The Ten Commandments that God gave the ancient nation of Israel and that Jesus Christ taught to those who followed Him are designed to produce the positive outcomes listed above.
When we value God, by following His ways, He promises certain blessings, not because we're so great that we deserve them, but because God values us. He made our lives possible. He loves His human creation. In fact, He loves us so much that He is willing to bring all who have ever lived and will ever live into His spiritual state of existence as His family—now that is value!
Simply put—your worth is in the eyes of God."
A commentary by Amanda Stiver From: http://www.ucg.org/commentary/what-are-you-worth-without-your-money/
Pawn Star Christians
"Would we recognize that treasure in the field or the pearl of great price? Or do we place too much value on the wrong things?
"One of my favorite TV shows is Pawn Stars on the History Channel. The show focuses on a pawnshop in Las Vegas owned by the Harrison family. People bring in items to pawn or sell for cash. You name it—they've got it. What I find most interesting, though, is how much each item is worth.
Often the would-be seller brings in an item he or she believes is worth thousands of dollars only to be offered far less. Sometimes what the customer is trying to sell is a fake and worthless. An object on which the seller placed so much value has no real value at all.
However, once in a while someone brings something in and finds out that it is worth far more than ever imagined. That individual had no idea such a valuable item was in his or her possession.
To succeed at their trade, the owners of the pawnshop meticulously determine what each object is worth. If they make too many bad decisions, the business would fail. Their livelihood depends on it. That's why they are Pawn Stars.
What's it worth to you?
Are we Pawn Star Christians or are we like the uninformed individuals walking into the pawnshop?
Here's what I mean. We all place value on different parts of our lives. We have jobs, education, family, friends and hobbies.
These are all important, but you may have noticed that I left one out—Christianity.
One of Jesus Christ's students, Matthew, wrote about an analogy Jesus used comparing the Kingdom of Heaven (or Kingdom of God) to a treasure in a field. A man comes across that treasure and realizes the great value. He sells everything he has so that he can buy the field and the valuable treasure it contains.
Then Jesus used a second analogy. A man is out looking for pearls and finds a pearl that he realizes is of high value. And once again, this man sells everything so that he can possess it. (Matthew 13:44-46  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. See All...).
Know your merchandise
Let me ask again—are we Pawn Star Christians? Would we recognize that treasure in the field or the pearl of great price? Or do we place too much value on the wrong things?
Just as running a pawnshop is the Harrisons' business, Christianity should be our business. They need to properly appraise merchandise to be successful, and we need to properly value all aspects of our life to be successful Christians. If we put high value on the wrong things, we will fail in our occupation as a follower of Christ and not reach our ultimate goal of the Kingdom of God.
In our fast-paced, live-for-now world, it's easy to overlook the most valuable part of our life. Jesus Christ tells us that we can possess this most precious treasure of all, but first we have to recognize how much it is worth.
We don't want to be like some of those misguided Pawn Stars customers. We can't afford to place too much value on the wrong things some of which may even be counterfeits.
Let's learn to properly appraise our lives and be Pawn Star Christians." A commentary by Paul Hadley. From: http://www.ucg.org/commentary/pawn-star-christians/
Parents try to give good gifts to their children.
"To many people these gifts come in the form of an object, toy or money. There are greater gifts by far that surpass anything we can buy for our children. One of those truly great gifts is natural gladness of heart. A person once noted that gladness of heart is to the soul what healthy is to the body and what sanity is to the mind. It is the test of normalcy. Gladness of heart cannot be purchased, but it can be passed on by example and by teaching correct values.
Paul noted that Jesus had filled the hearts of the believers with food and gladness (Acts 14:17Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.See All...). Gladness is born by learning to be content with the life we have while we are also striving to improve ourselves and preparing for eternal life. It was one of the greatest gifts God gave to Christ that Jesus passes on to us. Paul wrote that God anointed Jesus with the oil of gladness (Hebrews 1:9Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.See All...).
May that oil flow over you in great abundance and be seen to all in that which you do (Isaiah 61:1-3  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. See All...). February 16, 2012 From: http://www.ucg.org/this-is-the-way/good-gifts/
Today's show on WGN, in case you missed it:
"What is really important? Does it have anything to do with the material things we seek and own? Discover the amazing truth."
"Is it taking over your life? If you let it, it will take over. What is it? Stuff, things, material possessions! They're out to take over your life! Have you gotten caught up in our buy-it, get-it, got-to-have-it-now society?
Watch Beyond Today on WGN America on Sundays at 8:30 AM EST. (Find a station in your area - http://www.beyondtoday.tv/stations
On This Day:
Thomas Alva Edison patents the phonograph, Feb 19, 1878:
"The technology that made the modern music business possible came into existence in the New Jersey laboratory where Thomas Alva Edison created the first device to both record sound and play it back. He was awarded U.S. Patent No. 200,521 for his invention--the phonograph--on this day in 1878.
Edison's invention came about as spin-off from his ongoing work in telephony and telegraphy. In an effort to facilitate the repeated transmission of a single telegraph message, Edison devised a method for capturing a passage of Morse code as a sequence of indentations on a spool of paper. Reasoning that a similar feat could be accomplished for the telephone, Edison devised a system that transferred the vibrations of a diaphragm—i.e., sound—to an embossing point and then mechanically onto an impressionable medium—paraffin paper at first, and then a spinning, tin-foil wrapped cylinder as he refined his concept. Edison and his mechanic, John Kreusi, worked on the invention through the autumn of 1877 and quickly had a working model ready for demonstration. The December 22, 1877, issue of Scientific American reported that "Mr. Thomas A. Edison recently came into this office, placed a little machine on our desk, turned a crank, and the machine inquired as to our health, asked how we liked the phonograph, informed us that it was very well, and bid us a cordial good night."
The patent awarded to Edison on February 19, 1878, specified a particular method—embossing—for capturing sound on tin-foil-covered cylinders. The next critical improvement in recording technology came courtesy of Edison's competitor in the race to develop the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. His newly established Bell Labs developed a phonograph based on the engraving of a wax cylinder, a significant improvement that led directly to the successful commercialization of recorded music in the 1890s and lent a vocabulary to the recording business—e.g., "cutting" records and "spinning wax"—that has long outlived the technology on which it was based."
After the foster mom who lives near me had picked up Prime for Adoption Day in her 4-wheel drive Jeep, Misty and I went to get Jay.
It had poured rain most of the morning and the road to the freeway had high water. But the rain let up enough that the road drained, so Jay and I could get to the church in Huntsville, TX, about 20 miles north on the I-45 freeway.
It was a small, friendly congregation. For half an hour before the service, the Pastor went over the Prayer List, and everyone was handed a 4-page copy of it naming all the people who needed prayers, and their ailments. Some people on the list were as far away as Canada. Maybe they were previous members, or relatives of members, and the Pastor mentioned them all.
The message for the day was "Myth or Truth – Do I Have To Go To Church To Be a Christian?". He spoke very well on the subject quoting many places in the Bible which says that we need to go to church for the fellowship and learning. During the week, he is a prison guard at Huntsville Prison, so he was pretty eloquent and loud at times to emphasize points.
Jay said he really liked that church, and the service, better than the other ones that we had been to, and would like to stay for their potluck meal next Saturday.