For “Scripture Sunday”:
Leaving a Digital Legacy
“Technology allows us to leave a digital legacy at our grave marker. But in the end, who really remembers us?”
Is God Listening?
“Cell phones provide an interesting analogy to the question: Is God listening? Sometimes it seems like God is not listening. But communication is a two-way street. Have we checked our end of the connection?
With widespread problems blanketing the world, many wonder: Is God listening? It seems there is no end to the cultural divisions, economic woes, health problems, food crises and wars ravaging our planet.
The truth is, God is aware of the problems going on, whether people pray to Him or not. He knows and sees everything. But today it seems like we could use His assistance more than ever. So where is He? Does He not hear our pleas for help?
“Can you hear me now?”
Cell phones provide an interesting communication analogy. I find it funny to watch people walk to different parts of their house, business or anywhere asking, “Can you hear me now?” They are hoping to get a better connection with the other person. People will go to crazy lengths to be heard, from standing on chairs, to going up to the highest point of a hill or even hanging out of a window.
Do we put in extra effort in trying to be heard by God?
Actually, God has no trouble hearing our words. However, there are reasons that He will not always answer (Isaiah 59:1-2; Psalm 34:15).
An example of communication breakdown
Consider the example of King Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 36. God saw great problems in Judah, so He told the prophet Jeremiah to write down the impending judgments that were going to come on the nation. God was hoping that by hearing all the adversities that would be coming because of their disobedience to Him, they would have a change of heart.
Jeremiah’s scroll was taken to King Jehoiakim. The king was warming himself near a fire when the scroll was read to him. After hearing some of God’s words, the king took a knife, cut off that part and cast it into the fire.
Now since the scroll with Jeremiah’s prophecies was burned and destroyed by King Jehoiakim, did that mean that judgment was stopped? Since the king did not want anyone else to hear of the impending correction, did it not happen?
No, judgment still came on him and his people. All the things God was saying through Jeremiah came to pass. In fact, God had Jeremiah write them down again and add even more (Jeremiah 36:28, 32). If we don’t want to hear God’s words, it does not mean they will not happen.
Are we listening?
God gives us warnings so we can change and hopefully avoid the calamity ahead. He doesn’t warn us to taunt us, but rather He warns us out of love. He wants the best for us—even if it means correcting us so a more severe consequence will not happen to us later on. God gives us these warnings, hoping that we will see we have strayed from His paths and change our ways.
Stopped their ears
Zechariah also wrote about a breakdown of communication between God and man. “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear” (Zechariah 7:11). Verse 13 shows the results of the people’s unwillingness to hear God: “Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen.”
The more important question is not “Is God listening?” But rather, it is “Are we listening?” We need to listen more, not God. Why should He listen to us when we have rejected Him?
Does this mean He rejects us forever? No, when we choose to turn to Him, He will welcome us with open arms.
Listening and obeying
God would rather have us change ourselves and make the right decisions than bring punishment down on ourselves. However, the only way to change ourselves is to listen to God and accept His help. We cannot do it on our own, though we have tried time and time again. If we could, our world would not be in the chaotic mess that it is in.
We need to come to realize that the problems have come because of our lack of listening to God and then obeying. We cannot just listen and do nothing. God gave us His Word and commandments so we could do what is right.
What God was saying to King Jehoiakim was not pleasant and happy news, but it could have led to repentance and good results. However, the king was unwilling to hear what God had to say.
We have to ask ourselves, are we like that? Do we only want to hear the good things? Are we going to follow King Jehoiakim’s bad example or are we going to listen? If we are unwilling to listen, then judgment will still come. We cannot stop the consequences of our previous actions by our own doing.
We need to start listening better to our Creator. He has the answers to all the problems out there, and we can find them by praying to Him for guidance and diligently studying His Bible. We must choose to turn to Him and listen to Him.
God is on the other end of the connection saying, “Can you hear Me now?””
From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/blog/is-god-listening/ by Adam Sanders - August 26, 2012
Sabbath—Oprah says “I Stand Corrected!”
“When one of the richest and most powerful people in the world publicly says, “I was wrong; I stand corrected,” you tend to take notice. I recently heard a rather amazing statement like this on a TV show. The host was interviewing a young man, DeVon Franklin, a Hollywood film executive; but the discussion focused on his religion.
“I just learned,” the host said, “… all these years I thought the Sabbath was Sunday. I’ve been going to church. We say, ‘Worship on the Sabbath,’ … and you corrected me. You say, Sunday is the first day of the week, Sabbath is Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. I stand corrected.”
This remarkable admission was made by none other than Oprah Winfrey. Wow! How refreshing and admirable to hear such a powerful person openly admit his or her ignorance and publicly state, “I stand corrected!”
She says this around minute 2.00
But then a lot of questions starting popping up in my mind. “Why didn’t she know?” was the first. That question wasn’t targeting Oprah’s lack of knowledge, but her lack of being taught! Why aren’t people—especially churchgoers—told the truth by their religious mentors, their spiritual guides, about something as important as “which day is the Sabbath of the Bible?”
Maybe it’s because, as I heard one say, “Oh, I’ve always known Saturday is the Sabbath, but it’s just not important anymore!” Others argue, “The day you worship on doesn’t matter, just as long as you worship God in your heart.” Really? Is that true? Is that in the Bible, or is it human rationalizing?
What you can find in the Bible are the 10 Commandments, given directly from God. Did you know that the fourth one says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”?
The Bible and history show that Jesus remembered the Sabbath, the apostles remembered the Sabbath, the New Testament Church remembered the Sabbath for several centuries. Not only did they remember the day, they remembered the part about keeping it holy!
So what happened? How did the day of worship for mainstream Christianity get changed from Saturday to Sunday? Did God change it, or did humans? Did God say it wasn’t important anymore, or did humans? Does it make any difference?
Well, let me ask you this: Does it matter if a human, even a religious leader, stands up and says, “Hey folks, I’m changing the Fourth Commandment. Never mind that God gave it. Never mind that He instituted the Sabbath all the way back at creation. Never mind that this is not a change based on Scripture or biblical authority. We’re going to change it!”
That’s what happened! Does that make a difference to you? More important, does it make a difference to God?
Oprah Winfrey was big enough to listen and learn, and even say, “I stand corrected.” What about you? You can find out the truth about the Sabbath right here on this website. And, if you’re like Oprah and didn’t know that Saturday was the Sabbath of the Bible, maybe it will make you wonder, “What else is in the Bible that I haven’t been told about?” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/sabbathi-stand-corrected/
How It Happened...
“About 100 years before Christianity, Egyptian Mithraists introduced the festival of Sunday, dedicated to worshiping the sun, into the Roman Empire. Later, as Christianity grew, church leaders wished to increase the numbers of the church. In order to make the gospel more attractive to non-Christians, pagan customs were incorporated into the church’s ceremonies.
The custom of Sunday worship was welcomed by Christians who desired to differentiate themselves from the Jews, whom they hated because of the Jews’ rejection of the Savior. The first day of the week began to be recognized as both a religious and civil holiday. By the end of the second century, Christians considered it sinful to work on Sunday.
The Roman emperor Constantine, a former sun-worshiper, professed conversion to Christianity, though his subsequent actions suggest the “conversion” was more of a political move than a genuine heart change. Constantine named himself Bishop of the Catholic Church and enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in A.D. 321.
Note that Constantine’s law did not even mention Sabbath but referred to the mandated rest day as a “the venerable day of the sun.” And how kind he was to allow people to observe it as it was convenient. Contrast this with God’s command to observe the Sabbath “even during the plowing season and harvest” (Exodus 34:21)!
Perhaps the church leaders noticed this laxity as well, for just four years later, in A.D. 325, Pope Sylvester officially named Sunday “the Lord’s Day,” and in A.D. 338, Eusebius, the court bishop of Constantine, wrote, “All things whatsoever that it was the duty to do on the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week) we (Constantine, Eusebius, and other bishops) have transferred to the Lord’s Day (the first day of the week) as more appropriately belonging to it.”” More at: http://www.sabbathtruth.com/free-resources/article-library/articletype/articleview/articleid/916/pageid/1097.aspx
When Is the Sabbath Day to Be Kept?
“The Sabbath begins Friday evening at sunset and ends Saturday evening at sunset.
Our convention of starting a new day at midnight is an arbitrary, humanly devised practice. God, who created the heavenly bodies and set them in motion to mark the passage of time (Genesis 1:14) counts time differently—from evening to evening.
We see this indicated in the creation account in Genesis 1. After dividing day from night, God tells us that "the evening and the morning were the first day" (verse 5). "Evening" is mentioned first, followed by "morning." God describes each day's creation in similar terms (verses 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
In the Bible, evening began when the sun went down (Joshua 8:29, 2 Chronicles 18:34, Nehemiah 13:19, Mark 1:32) and at that time a new day began. Regarding His Sabbaths, God commands that they be observed "from evening to evening" (Leviticus 23:32) This was the usual way at that time of calculating the beginning and ending of days (Exodus 12:18)
In New Testament times, days were calculated the same way. Mark 1:32 records that, after the sun had set, marking the end of one Sabbath, crowds brought many ailing people to Jesus to be healed, having waited until after the Sabbath to come to Him. The Gospel accounts also record that Joseph of Arimathea entombed Jesus' body before evening to keep from working on an approaching annual high-day Sabbath (Matthew 27:57-60 ; Mark 15:42-46 Luke 23:50-54 ; compare John 19:31)
God, Creator of the Sabbath, determines when the day begins and ends, and it was observed from sunset to sunset throughout the Bible. His Sabbath begins Friday evening at sunset and ends Saturday evening at sunset.” From: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/sunset-sunset-gods-sabbath-rest/sabbath-beginning/when-sabbath-day-be-kept/
This morning’s sermon on WGN: “Living in Modern Babylon.”
“Learn how you can remain faithful to God while confronting the confusion, rebellion and corruption of our present age.”
On This Day:
Congress renames the nation "United States of America", Sep 9, 1776:
“On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress formally declares the name of the new nation to be the "United States" of America. This replaced the term "United Colonies," which had been in general use.
In the Congressional declaration dated September 9, 1776, the delegates wrote, "That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words 'United Colonies' have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the "United States."”
Japanese bomb U.S. mainland, Sep 9, 1942:
“On this day in 1942, a Japanese floatplane drops incendiary bombs on an Oregon state forest-the first and only air attack on the U.S. mainland in the war.
Launching from the Japanese sub I-25, Nobuo Fujita piloted his light aircraft over the state of Oregon and firebombed Mount Emily, alighting a state forest--and ensuring his place in the history books as the only man to ever bomb the continental United States. The president immediately called for a news blackout for the sake of morale. No long-term damage was done, and Fujita eventually went home to train navy pilots for the rest of the war.”
Jay didn’t call me, he had been in Houston with one of his ‘friends’, so I didn’t count on him going to church.
I hadn’t used Friday, the ‘Preparation Day’, wisely, and I was nearly late getting ready for church. For a while I thought I might forego the morning service in Conroe, and go to the afternoon one in Willis. But I rushed along the wiggle-waggle country roads to the one in Conroe.
After the usual prayers asked from the congregation for anyone who needed prayer and comfort, the Praise Team lead us all in some songs of praise. Then there was a video about the mountains mentioned in the Bible, and how we can climb and persevere, too.
The talk was about judgments, and what are good judgments and which are bad. Proverbs 3.21-22 “My son, preserve sound judgment, do not let them out of your sight, they will be life for you…” And the famous Matthew 7.1-3 “Judge not, that you might not be judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”
After the Closing Song and Prayer, we all hung around talking for a while, they only have potlucks on the third Sabbath of the month. It seemed like it was over so quickly, and then I realized that when I go to the Church of God in Willis, I usually leave here as soon as Prime has been picked up midday to go to Adoption Day, so I get to the church early and I can be there for the Bible Study, too. But I just prefer to go to church in the morning even though it is three times as far away.
The service was too short, but the fellowship was great yesterday.