For “Scripture Sunday”:
What's Happening to Fathers?
“Father's Day is now celebrated by numerous nations on the third Sunday of June. So we may appropriately ask: What changes are occurring in the family role of fathers?
In recent decades Americans have migrated from television programs like "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it to Beaver," in which fathers were greatly respected, to sitcoms where the father is the target of ridicule as a bumbling, incompetent, out-of-touch, dysfunctional member of the modern family.
It has been humorously suggested that the norm of sitcoms goes something like this: Mom is smarter than Dad. The kids are smarter than mom. The dog is smarter than the kids. The cat is smarter than the dog. And the mouse is smarter than the cat. This may provide entertainment and laughs but what kind of toll has loss of fatherhood taken on the family, which is the basic building block of a nation?
What is a father? What does he do? Why is he important to the family? Traditionally, fathers have fulfilled four major roles: progenitor, protector, provider and patriarch.
God created us male and female with the instruction to, "Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28) He designed man and woman to need each other to fulfill this responsibility (1 Corinthians 11:11-23)
The father begets the child; the mother bears it. However, modern science has made it possible to have children without a father. Sperm banks, and perhaps eventually cloning, threaten to redefine the procreation process. So fathers are no longer needed in this traditional sense.
In earlier times it was man (protector of wife and children) against the elements. Men stereotypically have greater strength and stamina than women (1 Peter 3:7). This is by God's design. He equipped the man for his role as family protector.
But modern technology has eliminated or reduced many of the former dangers, making life safer and more comfortable. Protection comes from a wide variety of sources as varied as insurance to air bags or policemen to pepper spray.
What has happened to fathers? Their protection is not needed in the same way as in earlier times. Will we continue to understand and appreciate fathers as protectors?
The responsibility to work and earn a living to provide for one's family is fundamental to God's way of life (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12) and (1 Timothy 5:8) For generations the typical scenario involved the husband/father working to provide a living for his family. The wife/mother kept the household going, which often entails harder and longer hours than does outside employment.
Then someone discovered that if both husband and wife sought employment, the family would have more income. But this became a Frankenstein monster as the two income family became the norm. This meant that mom and dad both had to work to make ends meet, often to the neglect of the children who became known as "latchkey kids."
Since women, in many cases, began working only to supplement the family income, they were willing to work for less money. So now it is often easier for mom to find a job than for dad, with many fathers becoming "house dads" while mom works outside the home to provide for the family out of economic necessity. We are left to wonder, what has happened to fathers?
The Bible offers a patriarchal model for families, with the husband and father as the head of the household (1 Corinthians 11:2) assisted by the mother as a competent domestic manager (1 Timothy 5:14) (Titus 2:5) A wise father respects, appreciates and honors a mother's wise and competent daily administration of the home (Proverbs 31:10-31)
The family unit forms the basis of God's plan as well as humanity's relationship with Him as our Father. Unfortunately, even this basic family structure is widely challenged and often rejected today. Some children today live with two parents of the same sex.
What kind of impact does all this have on the family? Statistical studies indicate that "children who live absent from their biological fathers, on average, are more likely to be poor, experience educational, health, emotional and psychological problems, be victims of child abuse, and engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological mother and father" (theparentingchat.com).
The crisis of fatherhood is a major factor in the demise of civilizations and happy, stable families. You owe it to yourself and to your family to find out what the Bible teaches about how to have a happy, successful family.”
Be careful what comes out of your mouth, and what you put in it.
"Don't tell a lie, Don't believe a lie, and Don't live a lie."
“Studies show that 98% of us are tempted to lie or cheat? What does God say about this?”
Clean Up Your Language?
“Would you curse your father and mother? Then why curse God?”
Words That Help, Words That Hurt
Our tongues can do a world of good...or evil.
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver). Saying the right thing at the right time and in just the right way can be inspiring and helpful. But this is not what we hear or say every day. The Bible warns of the opposite extreme:
"Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell... But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:5-6 )
Let's strive to speak the helpful, encouraging words!” From: http://www.ucg.org/this-is-the-way/words-help-words-hurt/
Words That Hurt; Words That Help
“There’s power in the tongue, to be pleasant or poisonous.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a saying that many of us recited as children. But is it true? Do words have the power to affect us?
Negative and hurtful words have had their effect on society. Many murders, fights, divorces, suicides and much unhappiness have been directly caused by the choice of someone’s words.
On the flip side, positive and encouraging words can inspire, create happiness, promote good relationships and help produce stability and peace. The right word is like a golden apple in a silver setting (Proverbs 25:11A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. See All...).
Words do have power—choose them carefully.”
“Communication can bring great benefits, if you get past the great challenges.
"How often misused words generate misleading thoughts," a minister said as he began his sermon. Ministers try very hard to be understood, but probably all have experienced questions that show their words were completely misunderstood.
Misused words can be words whose meanings are not precise enough to convey a thought properly. Misleading thoughts are the result of the hearer "guessing" what the full meaning was.
Communication between two minds that are full of different experiences and that have a slightly different grasp of language is fraught with danger. Sometimes we catch ourselves expressing a thought wrongly or incompletely, but all too often we hurry on as though nothing happened.
James addresses this problem in chapter 3 of his epistle. He says the tongue is hard to tame, and we know that the untamed tongue leads to gossip, slander, angry words or even lies. But James also said, "My brethren, these things ought not to be so" (James 3:10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
See All...). God offers us help to use our words properly, if we make the effort.” From: http://www.ucg.org/this-is-the-way/misused-words/
God Demands More of Our Words
Do you find it challenging to speak up in a group? To write something in a card?
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver,” states Proverbs 25:11
Words that are perfect for the occasion promote stunning impact with lasting value. Is that impact good or bad?
For mean-spirited impact, remember the 1988 vice-presidential debate between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle. After Quayle stated that he had “as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency,” Bentsen pounced on him with, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” Bentzen had zinged out the perfect put-down most people dream of scoring, and when Quayle had no response, it sealed his political fate.
Truly, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.See All...).
Paul taught in Ephesians 4:15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
See All...: “Speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
Applying Paul’s instructions to our words, God demands that all of our words must not only be true, but also must meet His standard of showing love to Him and our fellow man. We are responsible to every member of the body (all mankind eventually). For each and every word, are we building up and promoting love? Or are we tearing down and hindering?
In a fascinating book called ‘Words That Work—It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear’, Dr. Frank Lunz writes: “You can have the best message in the world, but the person on the receiving end will always understand it through the prism of his or her own emotions, preconceptions, prejudices, and preexisting beliefs. It’s not enough to be correct or reasonable or even brilliant. The key to successful communication is to take the imaginative leap of stuffing yourself right into your listener’s shoes to know what they are thinking and feeling in the deepest recesses of their mind and heart.”
The first resurrection may not be that far off, when in the twinkling of an eye, we become members of the God family—you and me suddenly expected to have every word we say or write be God-like. God’s words are described in Psalm 12:6The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.See All...:
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” James said in his “tongues chapter” (James 3) that we need “the wisdom that is from above” which is “first pure” and “willing to yield” (verse 17). James said to ask God for this wisdom (James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Rejoice, fellow wordsmiths! We can “speak the truth in love” right now with God’s help.” From: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/god-demands-more-our-words/
“Our bodies are amazing gifts from God. How does He want us to take care of them?
We live in a world that hurries and hurries to get things done. Everything is fast-paced, including the way we eat. Fast food is so convenient, and prepackaged foods and microwaves cut preparation time dramatically.
Although we seem to be getting more done, is all of this really good for our bodies?
The food we choose to eat is increasingly becoming unhealthy. Often, the news is warning people to avoid eating recently recalled food items contaminated with bacteria or revealing new research about the side effects of various food additives.
Beef Products Inc.’s ammonia-treated beef.
For example, a couple years ago, The New York Times published an article titled “Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned” where it explained that some beef was being treated with ammonia to reduce the rate of E. coli. This beef in particular was being sent to very popular fast-food restaurants as well as school cafeterias.
The article expressed concerns both that the level of ammonia required to kill bacteria was very high and that the company concerned had cut back on that level because of complaints (increasing the chance of bacteria).
The healthiness of fast food itself is also a major concern. Consider that a double quarter pounder with cheese from McDonald’s with just a small order of fries represents 47 percent of your recommended daily calories, 62 percent of your daily sodium intake and, most shocking, 85 percent of your daily fat intake. Make it a medium order of fries and you’re up to 60 percent of calories, 68 percent of sodium and 103 percent of fat!
Certainly putting this into our bodies on a regular basis makes us more at risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, etc.
What does God say?
So what does God say about how we treat our bodies? The apostle Paul explains that we should be aware that our bodies are an amazing gift from God! He tells Church members, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Our body is a gift from God. During this temporary life, we should show respect to God by striving to take care of it. Verse 20 explains, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Our body is God’s body; therefore we are to treat it in a respectful and healthy manner with balance and wisdom.
Getting enough rest
Giving our body enough rest is also an extremely critical part of keeping healthy. So often, people work so much that they do not have time to catch up and let their bodies have enough rest. It is such a busy world.
Thankfully, God gave us His Sabbath as a day of rest! Mark 2:27 explains that God made the Sabbath for us. He knew we would live extremely busy lives. Also, God was the One who created the human body. He knows that we need our rest. The Sabbath day is a day to let our body relax and to focus our attention on God. It certainly is something to be thankful for!
Whether it be in what we eat or how we sleep, properly treating our body is so important that we are instructed to do so in the Bible. By treating our body with care by feeding it well and giving it rest, our physical life can be longer and healthier.” From: http://cogwa.org/teen-blog/entry/to-your-health
"Have you ever found yourself in a patch of the loveliest and most delicious berries you have ever seen?
The pail in your hand is begging to be filled and your hands are already in motion. One of the greatest moments of joy comes when the berry picker takes a whole handful of berries and fills his mouth with them—enjoying the wonderful flavor and a deep feeling of satisfaction. One problem with this scenario though is that unless we put the berries into the pail, it will not be filled. We have a dilemma—to eat or not to eat. It has been said that real discipline is when you pick strawberries without eating any. Most of us would fail the test.
Many people I know can get by with just sampling a few berries here and end there. Discipline of the self is an important part of a successful life. Controlling the amount, where and how we eat speaks volumes about our character. The Bible has something to say about that in Proverbs 23:2. (2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.)
We don't need to learn the extreme forms of discipline that often rob us of happiness, and the Bible warns against asceticism, (practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline), but we ought to understand the value of self-discipline and learn the balance that benefits life."
On This Day:
Statue of Liberty arrives, Jun 17, 1885:
“On this day in 1885, the dismantled State of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America, arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases. The copper and iron statue, which was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland, became known around the world as an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.
Intended to commemorate the American Revolution and a century of friendship between the U.S. and France, the statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi (who modeled it after his own mother), with assistance from engineer Gustave Eiffel, who later developed the iconic tower in Paris bearing his name. The statue was initially scheduled to be finished by 1876, the 100th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence; however, fundraising efforts, which included auctions, a lottery and boxing matches, took longer than anticipated, both in Europe and the U.S., where the statue’s pedestal was to be financed and constructed. The statue alone cost the French an estimated $250,000 (more than $5.5 million in today’s money).
Finally completed in Paris in the summer of 1884, the statue, a robed female figure with an uplifted arm holding a torch, reached its new home on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor (between New York City and Hudson County, New Jersey) on June 17, 1885. After being reassembled, the 450,000-pound statue was officially dedicated on October 28, 1886, by President Cleveland, who said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” Standing more than 305 feet from the foundation of its pedestal to the top of its torch, the statue, dubbed “Liberty Enlightening the World” by Bartholdi, was taller than any structure in New York City at the time. The statue was originally copper-colored, but over the years it underwent a natural color-change process called patination that produced its current greenish-blue hue.
In 1892, Ellis Island, located near Bedloe's Island (which in 1956 was renamed Liberty Island), opened as America’s chief immigration station, and for the next 62 years Lady Liberty, as the statue is nicknamed, stood watch over the more than 12 million immigrants who sailed into New York Harbor. In 1903, a plaque inscribed with a sonnet titled “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus, written 20 years earlier for a pedestal fundraiser, was placed on an interior wall of the pedestal. Lazarus’ now-famous words, which include “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” became symbolic of America’s vision of itself as a land of opportunity for immigrants.
Some 60 years after President Calvin Coolidge designated the statue a national monument in 1924, it underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration (which included a new torch and gold leaf-covered flame) and was rededicated by President Ronald Reagan on July 4, 1986, in a lavish celebration. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the statue was closed; its base, pedestal and observation deck re-opened in 2004, while its crown re-opened to the public on July 4, 2009. (For safety reasons, the torch has been closed to visitors since 1916, after an incident called the Black Tom explosions in which munitions-laden barges and railroad cars on the Jersey City, New Jersey, waterfront were blown up by German agents, causing damage to the nearby statue.)
Today, the Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most famous landmarks. Over the years, it has been the site of political rallies and protests (from suffragettes to anti-war activists), has been featured in numerous movies and countless photographs, and has received millions of visitors from around the globe.”
Vancouver bridge collapses, killing workers, Jun 17, 1958:
“On this day in 1958, a bridge being built to connect eastern and northern Vancouver in western Canada collapses, killing 59 workers. The bridge, known as the Second Narrows Bridge, was finally completed in 1960 and, in 1996, it was renamed Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to commemorate the people who lost their lives during its construction. The disaster was the worst involving a bridge in Canada's history.
The bridge was being assembled by Dominion Bridge Company over the Burrard Inlet and was 175 feet above the water at its highest point. At 3:40 p.m., one of the structure's steel spans buckled suddenly, causing the entire structure to collapse. There were 79 workers, almost a third of them painters, on the bridge at the time. Most were earning $3.85 an hour, about $25 in today's money.
Twenty people survived the long fall, with fishermen pulling them from the water. Colin Glendinning, a worker who survived the collapse, recalled the fall, You know what I was thinking? 'Oh God, I wish I had a parachute' -- I really did. The fall tore off Glendinning's ear, broke his leg, and permanently damaged his lungs. He later returned to work on the bridge, only to break his other leg a year later.
A subsequent inquiry blamed the tragedy on a calculating error by one of the engineers who lost their lives in the collapse. However, some survivors believed that sub-standard construction materials were to blame.
A vigil honoring the victims is still held at the bridge every June 17.”
Today’s program on WGN: What is the Kingdom of God?
Misty and I went to get Jay, and then after I dropped her off here, we went to church. The sermon was about angels, and the Bible says that sometimes they are among us, but we don’t even know it.
I stopped at the mail boxes on the way home, and my daughter had sent me a Father’s Day card, because as she said, I had to be both mother and father to her. Wasn’t that sweet!
When I got home, I found that the automatic litter box in Sadie’s cage had stuck. Personally, I think the thing is more trouble than it’s worth. Sadie has been mad at me ever since I wouldn’t let her out of that great big cage, because her ‘Mom’ told me not to. Sadie was calmly laying on her bed, but when I went in to fix the litter box she lashed out at me, and I got blood all over my pink dress, the floor and door. It really hurt when I put my hand under the faucet to see how bad it was, but I quickly slapped some peroxide and bandaids on my wounds, and went back in there to fix the litter box. She obviously doesn’t want me in her space. I wondered why her ‘Mom’ said that I might need to take a cardboard barrier or something when I had to get in the cage to tend to Sadie’s needs. Now I know why! What a change of character.
Some ‘Awesome” and Oxyclean’ got the stains out of my dress, but I am going to be hampered with bandages on my swollen hand for the next few days.