For "Scripture Sunday":
Earth Day and Common Sense
"Common sense and practicality will outlive political movements and trendy packaging of any color, including "green."
"Green" articles pop up everywhere! Some are practical, while others are political.
They cover everything from how to conserve resources to how to be more "earth friendly." The launch of this latest flurry of environmental emphasis in the U.S. press seemed to coincide with the release of a major film documentary proclaiming the theory of global warming.
April 22 was the annual Earth Day celebration in the United States. The holiday was created by 1960s American legislation. On Earth Day an insert in my local newspaper, produced by USA Weekend, outlined a collection of tips to make a home more eco-friendly. Articles suggested ideas for recycling materials, planting organically, saving water and replacing less energy efficient appliances.
Although the packaging is recent, the practical ideas behind conservation are not. In the era of American history known as the Great Depression, a massive stock market slide in the fall of 1929 precipitated nearly a decade of poverty and penny pinching for average citizens. My grandparents lived through this era, and the practicalities they learned as children stayed with them throughout their lives.
They grew a half-acre garden in their backyard to produce the bulk of their vegetable and fruit needs for the year—the epitome of eating locally. Grandma canned and froze her fruit and vegetables, raised chickens and used chicken manure to fertilize the next year's garden.
Grandpa didn't waste anything and would turn off the hose if one of the grandkids decided to play too long in the sprinkler. They built most of their home and outbuildings themselves and reused scraps of metal and wood whenever they served the purpose. My grandparents primarily used renewable resources such as trees, which grow back.
My grandparents were being "green," but they didn't call it that then. They called it "common sense." Living within your means, conserving your resources and taking advantage of nutritious whole foods God created to be eaten from the land was the sensible thing to do. Their generation faced hard times and needed to be self-sufficient.
God instructed humankind, through Adam and Eve, to tend and keep the earth and to have dominion over all the creation (see Genesis 2:15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it). But there is a definite line between common sense conservation and extreme environmentalism.
Extremism tends to venerate the creation above the Creator. This breaks the first of the Ten Commandments: Have no other gods before the true God (see Exodus 20:3Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Ultimately the creation belongs to God, and He will use it or dispose of it as He wishes. To learn more about that, read "Superdisasters: Growing Weather Danger."
Quite amazingly, in the course of future events the earth itself will be recycled by incineration to make way for a new earth of far greater quality and splendor. Our task now is to tend and keep the earth and care for others in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ and the ultimate renewal of the planet." From: http://www.ucg.org/commentary/earth-day-and-common-sense/
Becoming a Better HUSBAND
"Husbands and future husbands have a great responsibility. How can we do a better job in this essential biblical role?
Disclaimer time. I’m not claiming to be a great husband. As my wife and I celebrate the 27th anniversary of our engagement this week, I marvel at her patience and support and endurance through my mistakes and quirks and sins. I also know that I need to improve. Hence this Bible study.
As far as the hokey acrostic, well, the Bible used acrostics as memory aids, and maybe this one will help me remember these seven points.
So, what does the Bible say about husbands and becoming a better one?
“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
Showing honor is important in all relationships (1 Peter 2:17) and should be learned in the home as we honor our father and mother (Exodus 20:12). Honor is especially important—and difficult—in the marriage relationship. It’s easier to show honor to someone you rarely see. But when we see our mates at their worst state and when our little quirks and differences begin to grate on each other over time, it is more difficult to always show honor and respect.
God made us men crave and need honor. So by the principle of the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), we should also give honor.
The same goes for help. God made women to help men (Genesis 2:18), and He would expect us to help our wives as well. Helping our wives is another way of showing them honor.
Okay, that may sound like an impossible task. Physics genius Stephen Hawking has pondered the secrets of the universe, but says that women “are a complete mystery.”
But the apostle Peter instructs husbands to “dwell with them with understanding” (1 Peter 3:7).
The Nelson Study Bible explains it this way: “A Christian husband should be intimately aware of his wife’s needs, her strengths and weaknesses, and her goals and desires. He should know as much about her as possible in order to respond in the best way to her.”
God created sex to strengthen the marriage bond. It is part of making two people into “one flesh,” and it is intended to be a pure, honorable relationship with no shame (Genesis 2:24-25; Hebrews 13:4). But Satan and his society have done their worst to pervert and tarnish sex and marriage.
Our wives must know that we will do nothing to hurt them or cause them shame. Sex is not about self-fulfillment, but about tenderly and patiently caring for your mate.
I’m not talking about 007, but about a gluelike bond. When the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, He asked if they hadn’t read, “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:5-6).
“Leave means ‘to abandon’; joined to means ‘to be glued to’” (Nelson Study Bible). We must build a strong, unbreakable bond with our wives. This doesn’t mean we should be inflexible. In fact, this strong bond requires the utmost flexibility and gentleness.
Always be faithful
Marriage is a commitment and a covenant with our wife and with God. We must always be faithful in every way, even in our minds (Matthew 5:28).
Never fail to love
We must not give in to the marriage killers that suck love out of marriage: envy, pride, rudeness, self-seeking, being easily angered, thinking evil or being entertained by sin (including pornography).
It’s interesting that in his description of what love is, Paul listed all these things it is not (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
Delight in her always
Express your devotion, admiration and desire; rekindle the romance (Song of Solomon 7:6; Proverbs 5:19). Life isn’t all about fun and entertainment, of course, but God encourages rejoicing and giving joy to others. A husband should bring happiness to his wife (Deuteronomy 24:5).
We must endure the trials of life, but we should also enjoy! Celebrate the blessing of marriage often!"
Posted by Mike Bennett on April 19, 2012. Mike Bennett asked Becky to marry him April 19, 1985, and is extremely grateful she said yes! He wants to let the world know how wonderful life is with her in his life!
For more about marriage and being a husband, see:
“Who Can Find a Faithful Man?”
The Toughest Challenge: http://cogwa.org/man-blog/entry/the-toughest-challenge
and Miracles of Life!
On This Day:
Dachau liberated, Apr 29, 1945:
"On April 29, 1945, the U.S. Seventh Army's 45th Infantry Division liberates Dachau, the first concentration camp established by Germany's Nazi regime. A major Dachau subcamp was liberated the same day by the 42nd Rainbow Division.
Established five weeks after Adolf Hitler took power as German chancellor in 1933, Dachau was situated on the outskirts of the town of Dachau, about 10 miles northwest of Munich. During its first year, the camp held about 5,000 political prisoners, consisting primarily of German communists, Social Democrats, and other political opponents of the Nazi regime. During the next few years, the number of prisoners grew dramatically, and other groups were interned at Dachau, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies, homosexuals, and repeat criminals. Beginning in 1938, Jews began to comprise a major portion of camp internees.
Prisoners at Dachau were used as forced laborers, initially in the construction and expansion of the camp and later for German armaments production. The camp served as the training center for SS concentration camp guards and was a model for other Nazi concentration camps. Dachau was also the first Nazi camp to use prisoners as human guinea pigs in medical experiments. At Dachau, Nazi scientists tested the effects of freezing and changes to atmospheric pressure on inmates, infected them with malaria and tuberculosis and treated them with experimental drugs, and forced them to test methods of making seawater potable and of halting excessive bleeding. Hundreds of prisoners died or were crippled as a result of these experiments.
With the advance of Allied forces against Germany in April 1945, the Germans transferred prisoners from concentration camps near the front to Dachau, leading to a general deterioration of conditions and typhus epidemics. On April 27, 1945, approximately 7,000 prisoners, mostly Jews, were forced to begin a death march from Dachau to Tegernsee, far to the south. The next day, many of the SS guards abandoned the camp. On April 29, the Dachau main camp was liberated by units of the 45th Infantry after a brief battle with the camp's remaining guards.
As they neared the camp, the Americans found more than 30 railroad cars filled with bodies in various states of decomposition. Inside the camp there were more bodies and 30,000 survivors, most severely emaciated. Some of the American troops who liberated Dachau were so appalled by conditions at the camp that they machine-gunned at least two groups of captured German guards. It is officially reported that 30 SS guards were killed in this fashion, but conspiracy theorists have alleged that more than 10 times that number were executed by the American liberators. The German citizens of the town of Dachau were later forced to bury the 9,000 dead inmates found at the camp."
Britain's Prince William weds Kate Middleton, Apr 29, 2011:
"On this day in 2011, Great Britain’s Prince William marries his longtime girlfriend Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. Some 1,900 guests attended the ceremony, while another 1 million spectators lined the streets of London and an estimated 2 billion people around the world watched on television.
The couple, who once married became the duke and duchess of Cambridge, honeymooned in the Seychelles, before returning to Wales, where William resumed his duties as a helicopter pilot."
This morning's program on WGN:
Genuine, God-centered revival involves vital changes in one's thinking and actions. Learn how you can experience true spiritual renewal. Watch this program, read the transcript and request the free Bible Study aid booklet "Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion" at http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/christian-living/revival
Watch Beyond Today on WGN America on Sundays at 8:30 AM EST. (Find a station in your area - http://www.beyondtoday.tv/stations )
Usual slow start on a Saturday, drinking coffee, tending to emails, chatting with my daughter, but then some other phone calls delayed me, and it became a mad scramble to be ready for church on time.
Jay and I both enjoyed the service, and it was a lovely day.