For "Scripture Sunday"
BT Daily: If we are not to judge others, then what are we to do when others act unchristian or evil?
"Our judgments must come from God's Word - the Bible, not our own definitions of right and wrong. If God calls something wrong then we are to judge that action, whether in ourselves or others, as wrong. We don't have the right to condemn others, that is God's prerogative."
Transcript: [Gary Petty] "This email was from T.D. He wrote, "If we are not to judge others, then what are we to do when others act unchristian or evil?" Good question, T.D.
We're not to judge, yet what if someone does something wrong. Now this is very important in understanding what Jesus meant when He talked about not judging others. We are to judge from God's viewpoint.
I mean, if God says adultery is wrong, then we can look at someone committing adultery and say that's wrong. Most importantly, we're to look at ourselves when we're doing something and say no, that's wrong because God says it's wrong. When He talks about judging others, He means that we can't pass judgment in terms of, "Okay, God finds you worthless because of your sins."
We have to be very careful, or we can't judge people on our own standards.
Now many times we do that. I mean, people sometimes will decide that drinking any alcohol is a sin. Yet, we know in the Scripture that alcohol drinking is not condemned. Abusive alcohol is condemned. So we can judge the abuse of alcohol as sin, but we can't judge someone if they choose to drink in moderation. Also, if you choose not to drink, that's okay too. We can't judge those who don't use alcohol.
So it's very important to understand. Judging has to do with God's standards of right and wrong, not our standards. And, also recognizing that everybody can be a child of God and everyone has value to God Almighty. That's BT Daily . Join us next time."
Shadows on the Earth by Darris McNeely
I like this thought. It tells me how to approach each day and to use the day to advance the kingdom in every way possible. Shadows change as the light of the sun moves across the earth. So do the times and seasons of our lives. If we are connected to God and tuned to the world as it is we can use our life to do God's will and fulfill our purpose.
I had this verse in mind in recent days as my wife and moved into a new home in a new state to take up new duties in the media department of the United Church of God. This move for us, without any exaggeration, has been a life changer.
It is the first move we have made in twenty-one years. You accumulate a lot of stuff in that time. Before the move we held a garage sale, donated items to Goodwill and gave a lot of things away. We trashed stuff that we no longer needed and thought we had things pared down pretty well. Now that we are unloaded in our new location I realize we still need to unload stuff.
I'm thinking, "why did we move all this"? "Do we really need all this stuff to live?"
So, now I am packing another box for the Salvation Army and marking items for a garage sale at the first sign of spring. And I find myself wondering just how much do I really need to live a happy life? We spend years accumulating clothing, furniture, electronics, tools and things that are "good deals, items we really need and can't pass up or things we buy that we think will make us complete and happy. We mark our identity by the value and style of our possessions.
But do "things" truly define a life? It is a mark of maturity when we can honestly ask ourselves that question.
I am not ready to sell or give everything away and live in a spare one room cabin in the woods without contact with the world. We are modern creatures of habit and comfort. I make my living with and among people who do the same. We are connected in many ways in today's world. No one I know is ready to go to a less technological lifestyle. We use technology to express the words of eternal life and teach the gospel of the kingdom of God.
But it is precisely those words of life that should define and give real meaning to life. Whatever goods we carry with us in this life should aid us in the journey to the kingdom of God. When we use the things we gather to help others learn of the kingdom we have the right balance. That is how we seek first the kingdom and can expect God to add all things to us.
David was right. We are pilgrims and strangers. We look for a city whose maker is God. I am glad to have the chance to make this major move at his stage of my life. It is clarifying. It is a bit scary. And it's a lot of fun!" From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/shadows-earth/
A Child's Worth
That hat meant a lot to me, but what was I saying to the kid who crushed it?"I was in Oakhurst, California, working at a United Youth Camp during my vacation the last week of June.
I was the water supervisor and lifeguard down at Bass Lake and every one of the 174 campers visited "Fred's World" at least twice during the week. Speed boats, skiing, inner tubes and great water--being located at the lake all day was nice duty...long hours but nice duty.
In the hot seatWhen I returned to my lifeguard station after one lunch break I found that one of the young fellows had grabbed my seat. I chased the little rascal away with a good-natured grin. I had one of the best locations for visibility, and seemingly the only comfortable chair on the lake front. It figured that one of the fellows would try to snatch it from me.
Being in my chair was not really a problem. That was, until I looked down and saw that the young man had sat without looking, and had crushed my Panama Jack straw hat and my sun glasses.
Arrgh! That hat had been with me for years and years. It had traveled with me everywhere--Alaska, Hawaii, the West Coast, the East Coast, down the Florida Keys and aboard cruise ships... I loved that hat!
Why, I took that little #$%^& aside and beat him sens... well, no. That may have been an immediate impulse, but instead I grumbled loudly for a bit letting everyone know I wasn't the happiest of souls. Then, putting emotion aside, my sanity took over.
I did take the young fellow aside. Having seen his face fall while I was emotionally grousing over his mistake, I wanted him to know that he was worth more than the hat ever would be, and I apologized for my error. I wanted him to know that sitting on my hat was a mistake, but the hat was "just a thing" (my favorite phrase) and I valued him more than any old twisted and formed straw fedora. We make mistakes, we learn from mistakes, we grow from mistakes, but we are not our mistakes.
I also realized it's similar to driving defensively. I should have expected someone might sit in my chair, so I should have placed the hat and glasses out of harm's way. Lesson learned.
What's it worth?Another lesson learned: By our reactions we sometimes give children the message that they are not worth a glass of spilled milk, a misplaced sock, a broken window or a crushed hat. Very quickly they pick up the message about their worth compared to what's important to their parents and other adults. If we act as if the world came to an end when milk is spilled, what do we do for an encore if something serious were to occur?
Kids make mistakes--that's a simple fact. After guiding two young people to age 22, I can rightly attest this to be true. It happens. Kids goof up. It's normal. But that doesn't remove them from the list of the most valued resources on the planet!
A misplaced sock, broken window, spilled milk or crushed hat is not the end of the world. What is important is that the child knows that he or she is valued unconditionally.
This was a lesson in perspective and understanding. I have a usable but damaged hat (yep, I'm still wearing it) that enjoys a deeper history, and, in spite of the mistake, that young fellow knows I value him--more than just a hat.
We need always to keep in mind that mistakes of young people may inconvenience us, distract us and disappoint us, but their mistakes should not diminish their value in our lives.
Our response to their mistakes needs to be in tune with what's needed to help them understand and grow. Our young people need to know, through our words and deeds, that they are worth all the time and energy it takes to work with them and encourage them. They should know through our unconditional love that they are worth more than an old, well-worn, well-traveled hat."
Be careful what you wish for, or be thankful for a "no."
Thank You for the "No"
We often hear stories about people who are given three wishes: anything they desire. Usually those wishes are not well thought out and do not bring happiness. In real life, that is also true. We do not always know what we really want or how to get it, let alone what to do when we receive what we have striven to obtain. Often the joy is in the great effort we put into achieving, and sometimes we find the goal we have reached is a little hollow.
Jesus gave an example of prayer to His followers (Matthew 6:9-13). This prayer is complete with appreciation toward God, a hope for the future and a request to keep us from evil and temptation. These are all things to which God would say "yes."
In our personal prayers, however, there are many things we ask for that we have no understanding about. God says "no" to us out of love and the knowledge of our blindness. When we look back on our lives, we will find prayers that we will thank God for saying "no" to. Even "no" can be one of the good gifts He gives to His children (Matthew 7:11)."
Peace of Mind
April 19, 2012 - How can you have real peace in this confusing, frustrating and angry world?
Transcript at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/christian-living/peace-mind
Christ v. Christinanity
Millions claim to be Christian. Yet why so many conflicting practices in Christianity? Can you handle the real truth? http://youtu.be/oVVzzF2dU4A
On This Day:
Former President Richard Nixon dies, Apr 22, 1994:
"On this day in 1994, former President Richard M. Nixon dies after suffering a stroke four days earlier. In a 1978 speech at Oxford University, Nixon admitted he had screwed up during his presidency but predicted that his achievements would be viewed more favorably with time. He told the young audience, "You'll be here in the year 2000, see how I am regarded then."
Nixon is most often remembered for his involvement in the Watergate scandal as president and for his Cold War-era persecution of suspected communists while serving as a U.S. senator. However, Nixon left a legacy as complex as his personality.
Nixon did not owe his success in politics to personality or charm: in fact, even many of his staunch supporters described him as cold, aloof, crude, arrogant and paranoid. President Dwight D. Eisenhower himself, whom Nixon served as vice president, claimed that Nixon would never win the presidency because the people don't like him. After proving his former boss wrong, Nixon left the office in disgrace, resigning in the face of impending impeachment. His paranoia of political sabotage by his opponents had inspired him to authorize the wire-tapping of enemies and supporters alike. Ironically, it was the conversations he taped in his own office that led to his ultimate downfall.
Despite the immense disappointment and distrust in government that the Watergate scandal inspired in most Americans, Nixon was correct in assuming that some aspects of his leadership would be judged favorably with the passage of time. These include his bold efforts to improve diplomatic relations with China and Russia, as well as pushing lasting and influential legislation through Congress. Nixon's legislative legacy includes the National Environmental Policy Act, passed in 1969, which created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. He also lowered the voting age to 18, established Amtrak, launched the space-shuttle program and authorized the formation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). During his retirement, several subsequent presidents consulted Nixon for his expertise in international affairs.
Nixon and his wife Pat are both buried on the grounds of his birthplace in Yorba Linda, California. The site is also the home of the Richard Milhous Nixon Presidential Library."
The first Earth Day, Apr 22, 1970:
"Earth Day, an event to increase public awareness of the world's environmental problems, is celebrated in the United States for the first time. Millions of Americans, including students from thousands of colleges and universities, participated in rallies, marches, and educational programs.
Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, a staunch environmentalist who hoped to provide unity to the grassroots environmental movement and increase ecological awareness. "The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy," Senator Nelson said, "and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda." Earth Day indeed increased environmental awareness in America, and in July of that year the Environmental Protection Agency was established by special executive order to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation.
On April 22, 1990, the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, more than 200 million people in 141 countries participated in Earth Day celebrations.
Earth Day has been celebrated on different days by different groups internationally. The United Nations officially celebrates it on the vernal equinox, which usually occurs about March 21."
The program on WGN this morning:
The Ten Commandmentshttp://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/christian-living/ten-commandments
Wendy and Becky had a good chat, while Carson played with the dog and cat toys. Sorry, Carson, I don't have any kid's toys!