For “Scripture Sunday”:
How Much Do We Value Others?
“Do others feel valued? How much do we value them? Have you heard the story of Sarita? She believed she was worth nothing, and there was no point in trying to change things. Was there any hope for her?
Sarita would walk with her shoulders hunched and her head ducked. She was skinny, even afraid of her own shadow. Would her life ever change? Sarita grew up on the island of Kiniwata in the Pacific. Her father hardly believed that she would ever find a husband.
An astounding dowry
One day, a very skilled and smart man nicknamed Johnny Lingo noticed Sarita and wanted to marry her. The custom was to bring a dowry to the parents of the wife-to-be, and cows were the customary gift. Everyone knew that two to three cows could be given for a nice wife; four to five cows would be customary for a very nice one. So the people of Kiniwata were astounded when they heard that Johnny Lingo, without bargaining, gave eight cows for Sarita.
Weeks after the wedding, Shenkin, a shopkeeper on the island, came to deliver a gift Johnny had bought for Sarita. Shenkin could not believe his eyes! The Sarita he had known weeks before had become a very beautiful woman. She was graceful and showed inner confidence and dignity. What had happened?
Johnny had known that a woman would feel degraded knowing that a low-value dowry was offered for her. A woman would be devastated hearing other women boasting about the high price given for them.
Because Johnny valued Sarita so much, Sarita changed. Her posture and the look in her eyes showed that she had grown and blossomed. How Sarita viewed herself was the key. Now she knew she was worth more than any other woman on the island to Johnny.
This story was told in an article in Reader’s Digest (February 1988). It shows that people need to feel valued to be able to grow, blossom and bear fruit.
How much do you value people?
Everyone needs and desires to feel valued. The feeling of being devalued or diminished by someone else’s words or behavior can be very destructive. Feelings of being acknowledged and appreciated should be the norm for everyone.
How much value do you put on others?
In a May 1994 article in The Atlantic, titled “The Code of the Streets,” sociologist Elijah Anderson points out the sad and backward reasoning of today: “The extent to which one person can raise himself up depends on his ability to put another person down.”
Is this what you are practicing?
The question is, how do we treat others? Do we show that we value them? And does their behavior show that they feel valued?
Thirty pieces of silver
Jesus died for us so we might have access to the Father and to eternal life. Yet Judas was willing to accept a mere 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-15). That was the price for a slave (Exodus 21:32)!
In Philippians 2:3 Paul encourages us to “let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
We need to value others better than ourselves. How much better? It is impossible to gauge the value of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Yet that price was paid for each of us.
God values you!
Judas betrayed Jesus for just 30 pieces of silver! Is this the standard we use to value others? Or do we see that Jesus the Messiah gave His life—paying a price of greater value than the entire universe—for each of us, so we can have the potential to one day inherit eternal life? Does our attitude toward others, how we treat people who have been created in His own image, show that we understand the price that was paid?
How we treat and value our fellow human beings shows how we treat God and how much we appreciate and value the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
God is in the process of reconciling people to Himself. Are we helping in the reconciliation process by highly valuing others, or are we sabotaging it? Do we value the price that has been paid so we can be reconciled with God and have a relationship with Him?
Think about the value you put on people. In general, people respond according to the value you place on them. Think about how God values you. God calls His children a peculiar people, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, even His own special treasure. That is your value and potentially the value of every human being.
Are you responding according to the price God values you? Will you respond to God’s calling and experience true repentance?
In Johnny Lingo’s story, the islanders long remembered that Johnny gave eight cows for his wife. Every time we see another person, we need to remember why Johnny Lingo gave eight cows for his wife. And much more, we need to remember why Jesus the Messiah gave His life for us sinners.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/blog/how-much-do-we-value-others/ by Hervé Irion - August 20, 2012
More Highly Than We Ought
Jesus told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
“That does mean we ought to love ourselves. Paul also told us to think highly of ourselves—but not more highly than he ought to think (Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. See All...).
We sometimes believe that we should grovel before everyone. That is not God’s intent. He wants us to remain humble before Him, to respect all others, but also to know who we are—His children (Romans 8:17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. See All...). That is nothing to be ashamed about and yet we must not boast because all we are is a gift from Him.
Rhetta Hughes once noticed the ego of directors in the theater. She wrote: “There are two kinds of directors in the theater. Those who think they are God and those that are certain of it.” That is an example thinking too highly of oneself. We can remain both bold and humble if we fully understand and remember who we really are and how much we trust our Father in heaven. No father wants his children to grovel, and he does not want them to be boastful. Be thankful for the gifts God has given you, and recognize Him as the giver of every good gift.” From: http://www.ucg.org/this-is-the-way/more-highly-we-ought/
Work to Say Thanks
Sometimes the best gifts are those that are unexpected and undeserved.
“When I was in 10th grade, my family moved across the United States from Tennessee to Oregon. In the process of this move, I missed a lot of the first semester of school. I was a reasonably good student, so I more-or-less landed on my feet, with the exception of one class: Algebra II.
Math did not come easily to me (and still doesn’t). I had to really work at it in order to get good grades. No matter how hard I worked that semester, though, I couldn’t overcome the missing instruction. I approached the semester exam with a sinking heart, and I left the classroom knowing that I had failed it. When report card time came, I hardly dared look at my grade for Algebra II–but when I did, I was stunned! Instead of the dreaded F…or maybe, maybe, D that I expected, I saw a C.
I remember standing there in the hallway for a minute, puzzled. How could that have happened? I knew I hadn’t earned a C. I hadn’t had time to establish enough good grades to counteract that awful exam. The next day, when I walked into the math classroom, I happened to be the first student in the room. I approached the teacher and said, “Uhm…you gave me a C.” His response confirmed that there had been something beyond my work involved. He said, “I believe ‘gave’ is the operative term here.”
I had been given an immense gift; a gift I hadn’t earned. Instead of the failing grade I deserved, I had been given a reprieve; a passing grade. What would I do with it? If I had simply shrugged, accepted it, and then coasted along, that would have been no thanks at all to the teacher. Worse yet, if I had accepted it and then goofed off in class, expecting him to adjust my grade somehow, I would have thrown that gift in his face. I did the only thing a thankful student could do. I worked hard in that class. I paid attention. I did the homework. I did everything I could do to demonstrate that I was aware of his grace and kindness and that I would not waste that precious gift.
Likewise, our salvation has been given to us without our having earned it. The grade we all earn is a big, fat F. As Paul said in Romans 3:22-24  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: See All..., “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus…” All of us have stumbled. All of us have failed perfection. There’s not a thing we can do to make up now for all the things that have come before. And God has taken that report card, that clear reflection of our errors, and torn it up and thrown it away. Like my math grade, “gave” is the operative term. He gave us redemption. He extended His grace, not because we earned it, nor because we are amazing individuals, but because He took pity on us.
So what are we going to do with this gift? If we keep on doing all the things we had done before–if there is no change in our behavior–then we deny the awesomeness of the gift. We can’t earn it. We can’t make up for it. There is nothing we can give that would be commensurate.
What we can do though, is work. We can turn around and show God that we appreciate the gift He has given. We can demonstrate that we are not shrugging it off or taking it for granted. We can search out His word. We can learn to do good instead of evil. We can show our thanks by our earnest effort to bring every thought, every deed, into line with God and His ways. Let today be the day that we realize again what a great gift we have been given, and let that realization motivate us to strive for perfection, as Paul encouraged the Corinthians: “Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Cor 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. See All... NIV 84). From: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/work-say-thanks/ Article by Katherine Rowland
Soul - Do you have it?
“Do you have immortality now or not? How can you know? Two Bible passages give insight to the answer.”
The Greatest Heresy?
If you are immortal, why does the Bible talk about souls that die?
“Free Bible Study Aid: "What Happens After Death?" -- The Mystery of Death
Death is one of life's greatest mysteries. Do we really die, or do we have a soul that lives on apart from the body?
Bible FAQ: What is the "soul"?
Is the soul talked about in the Bible an immortal part of human beings...or is it something else entirely?
What Does the Bible Say About the "Immortal Soul"?
Many people think the Bible says we have an immortal soul destined, at death, for heaven, hell or purgatory. What does the Bible say?
Bible FAQ: What is the "spirit in man"?
Several verses in the Bible talk about a spirit of man that is described much differently from what many religions envision as an immortal soul. What is this spirit in man?”
On This Day:
First televised Major League baseball game, Aug 26, 1939:
“On this day in 1939, the first televised Major League baseball game is broadcast on station W2XBS, the station that was to become WNBC-TV. Announcer Red Barber called the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York.
At the time, television was still in its infancy. Regular programming did not yet exist, and very few people owned television sets--there were only about 400 in the New York area. Not until 1946 did regular network broadcasting catch on in the United States, and only in the mid-1950s did television sets become more common in the American household.
In 1939, the World's Fair--which was being held in New York--became the catalyst for the historic broadcast. The television was one of fair’s prize exhibits, and organizers believed that the Dodgers-Reds doubleheader on August 26 was the perfect event to showcase America's grasp on the new technology.
By today's standards, the video coverage was somewhat crude. There were only two stationary camera angles: The first was placed down the third base line to pick up infield throws to first, and the second was placed high above home plate to get an extensive view of the field. It was also difficult to capture fast-moving plays: Swinging bats looked like paper fans, and the ball was all but invisible during pitches and hits.
Nevertheless, the experiment was a success, driving interest in the development of television technology, particularly for sporting events. Though baseball owners were initially concerned that televising baseball would sap actual attendance, they soon warmed to the idea, and the possibilities for revenue generation that came with increased exposure of the game, including the sale of rights to air certain teams or games and television advertising.
Today, televised sports is a multi-billion dollar industry, with technology that gives viewers an astounding amount of visual and audio detail. Cameras are now so precise that they can capture the way a ball changes shape when struck by a bat, and athletes are wired to pick up field-level and sideline conversation.”
The program on WGN this morning: “Chasing The ‘Good Old’ days.”
“Nostalgia may be comforting but can it rob you of the joy of your present life and the hope God has for your future?”
It was hardly light outside, when I was out looking for the missing orange cat again. I looked mostly in my RVport, as that was one of his favourite spots. Ray was out looking for him, too. After calling and calling him, I came back in to publish this blog, feed my dog and foster cat, and get ready for church.
My daughter and I had our usual Saturday phone call, and I had trouble holding back the tears while I was telling her about Orange Glow being missing. I don’t know if it was the new medicine that was making me so depressed, too. The cat belongs to my renters, but he is loved by all of us. He would be living in their house, but Ray has a “Killer Cat” inside, and there would be war. So Orange Glow and Blackie sleep in their utility room at night, and are on their open porch and carport during the day. Every day Ray sprays water on one shady spot in his carport to keep it cool for the cats.
I tried calling Jay to see if he was going to church with me, but got no answer on his cell or his mother’s phone. So Misty and I drove down there for our walk, but couldn’t find anyone. I drove very slowly, calling the cat, and even Misty copied my calls and gave little barks as if to say, “Where are you, Booger?”, that’s the cat’s nick name. Even she likes that cat. Blackie, the other cat, was wandering around here like a lost soul without her buddy, if he had been around here we know she would lead us to him.
This time I went to the morning service at Conroe Church of God. I had picked up a newsletter for seniors in the vestibule, and there was a picture of some animals on the front. That just got to me, and the tears started flowing again. When it was time to ask for prayers for different members of the congregation, a sweet lady friend sitting next to me, asked that they pray for relief of my grief. She didn’t tell them what I was grieving over. I had said many prayers asking for help to find poor Orange Glow, and a few more couldn’t hurt.
The service was about ‘David and Goliath Revisited’. “3 lessons for Fighting our Own Goliath”, from 1 Samuel 17 and 18. It was very interesting.
On the way home, I stopped at Calico Dairy, http://www.localharvest.org/calico-dairy-M53365 and bought some real raw milk, and real farm eggs. The cows and hens are actually wandering around fields, and not stuffed in some dirty old building full of poop, and dead and diseased animals, like in the factory farms.
After I had some lunch, it was pouring down rain, and I got to work designing a “LOST” poster for Orange Glow. I made lots of copies and Ray came over and we stuck the little posters on cardboard, and laminated them, so the ink wouldn’t run in the damp air. We each said, that if the cat was dead, we could accept that, it was just not knowing that was getting to us. On the posters, a reward was offered for ANY information leading to his recovery. I said to Ray, “It would be nice if this is all a waste of time, and he comes strolling up.” Our next step was to list him on http://petharbor.com/
We both searched some more, looking behind bushes and things for the umpteenth time.
Armed with a stapler and some sticky tape, we were just getting in to Ray’s car to distribute the posters, when who should come walking up to the car, but “Booger”. We have no idea where he had been, as he came from the direction of the RV port, which we had searched many times. It was like he came out of thin air. That was a terrible 24 hours for us.
Our prayers were answered, sometimes God says ‘no’, but this time He said ‘yes’, and we got our lovely Booger back yesterday.