For “Scripture Sunday”:
The Morning AfterNovember 9, 2012 - “Still sorting through the results of this week's election? Let Paul's advice give some direction.”
The Bible and Respect for Authority
Regardless of the outcome of the presidency, Christians are obliged to obey God by respecting government authority—the law and national and local leaders. Two of the apostles made this point in their letters.
"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities," wrote the apostle Paul. "For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God" (Romans 13:1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.See All...).
This includes the payment of taxes and other obligations (Romans 13:2-7 See All...). Remember that the Roman government of the time had its own problems with corruption and abuse of power. But such behavior does not give people an excuse to disobey the law or disrespect the authority of their leaders.
Peter gave his readers the same instruction: "Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors ..." (1 Peter 2:13-14 See All...). We are also to "honor the king" or chief ruler (verse 17). Paul echoes Peter's instruction to Titus: "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no one ..." (Titus 3:1-2 See All...). Elsewhere Paul exhorts us pray "for kings and all who are in authority" (1 Timothy 2:1-2 [See All...).
All this does not mean that we are to disobey God in situations where the law of man may conflict with the law of God (Acts 4:18-20 See All...; Acts 5:40 See All...), but even then Christians are to continue to respect government authority—even when those in positions of authority have abused their offices.” From: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/bible-and-respect-authority/
Could Washington or Lincoln Be Elected Today?“Two of our greatest presidents—George Washington and Abraham Lincoln—do you think they could be elected today?
Lincoln once made what today would be, politically, a very risky statement. On Sept. 7, 1864, he said, “In regard to this Great Book [the Bible], I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong.”
George Washington likewise once boldly declared, “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
Today such statements are politically suicidal! They sound so … religious! Extremists even! Presidential candidates would be coached and advised that such public mention of God might violate the First Amendment, step on some constituent’s toes, or violate the sensitivities of others. But in a different day, Lincoln, Washington and other presidents frequently talked about God.
Even in more recent times some presidents were still unashamed to appeal to the words of the Creator. In 1983 Ronald Reagan stated, “Many of our greatest national leaders—among them Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and Wilson—have recognized the influence of the Bible on our country’s development. The plainspoken Andrew Jackson referred to the Bible as no less than ‘the rock on which our Republic rests.’”
He went on to say, “Today our beloved America and, indeed, the world, is facing a decade of enormous challenge. … We will need resources of spirit even more than resources of technology, education, and armaments. There could be no more fitting moment than now to reflect with gratitude, humility, and urgency upon the wisdom revealed to us in the writing that Abraham Lincoln called ‘the best gift God has ever given to man.’”
President Reagan then officially proclaimed 1983 as the Year of the Bible in the United States! Would that happen today? Today we ban school prayer, force the removal of 10 Commandments plaques in courthouses and make little mention of the Bible in much public discourse. We haven’t lost the awareness of the hand of God and the need for His Word—we’ve pushed Him out!” More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/could-washington-or-lincoln-be-elected-today/
The New Normal“There’s a new weeknight television program in America on NBC. It’s titled The New Normal; and after only six weeks on the air, it is already being described by some TV critics as the “best comedy of the season.”
The network describes it this way: “These days, families come in all forms—single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors. … It’s 2012 and anything goes. Bryan and David are a Los Angeles couple, and they have it all. Well, almost. … There is one thing that this couple is missing: A BABY.” And so they begin looking for a surrogate to provide their child!
While it’s not my intention to comment on the lifestyle choices of those involved in this new TV show (that’s another subject entirely!), it’s the title of the show that I want to focus on—The New Normal.
The title of the show is actually a metaphor, a metaphor that applies to many areas of our culture today!
So what does the term “normal” really mean? Many people—when they anxiously ask, “What is normal?”—are wanting to know what is “expected,” what is “right,” what is “okay.” Many people—when they are told, “Oh, that’s normal”—are actually reassured!
The word is defined, in terms of behavior, as “conforming to common behavior in society.” But “normal” changes when societal standards change! So “normal” isn’t a constant—it’s actually a moving target!
And the most critical areas of life are those that have affected and changed who we are.
What is “the new normal” for the institution of marriage today? What is “the new normal” for sexual relationships outside of marriage? What was defined as “normal” 20 years ago is, in many cases, considered by some to be “way out of the mainstream” today!
And some would claim that all of this is progress! But the question we should ask ourselves is, “Is it really a good thing?”
Do you know where “the new normal” will take you, your children and your family? How will their world be changed when they are grown? Is “the new normal” an enlightened truth about loving people and “tolerance,” or are people confusing care and tolerance for new definitions of what is right and wrong?
God’s Word—the Bible—foretold of a time in the near future referred to as “the last days” when a new normal would emerge. The apostle Paul wrote to the Church when he said, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, … blasphemers, … unholy, … without natural affection, … despisers of those that are good, … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
And the prophet Isaiah, when discussing the changing morality on earth at the time of the end, stated, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
There’s no doubt that “the new normal” is not just a sit-com on network television. It’s actually a term that defines the changing world we live in. It is the sobering reality of humanity determining its own definitions of right and wrong apart from God.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/the-new-normal/
Tongue of the Wise.“The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” Proverbs 15:2
“What we say can have a big impact on others and their perceptions of us. A popular proverb today is “think before you speak,” and that parallels what Solomon was saying here. The wise person doesn’t try to fill gaps in the conversation with just anything that comes to mind. The wise will try to add value—knowledge that will be helpful and right.
But too often the foolish person pours out whatever is on the top of his or her head, whether it is relevant or not and whether it is helpful or not.
For more about right communication, see our section on “The Joys and Challenges of Communication.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/tongue-of-the-wise/
This morning’s sermon on WGN:
Middle East Family Feud“Ever watch families fight? It isn’t pretty. But this family clash threatens world stability. Learn why and what you can do!”
“At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.
On This Day:
World War I ends, Nov 11, 1918:
World War I was known as the "war to end all wars" because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict—the Treaty of Versailles of 1919—forced punitive terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the groundwork for World War II.”
Massive dust storm sweeps South Dakota, Nov 11, 1933:“A powerful wind strips the topsoil from desiccated farmlands in South Dakota, one of a series of disastrous windstorms that year. The drought-ridden land of the Southern Plains became known as the Dust Bowl; it was useless to farmers, and only exacerbated the economic problems of the Great Depression. Within two days, dust from the South Dakota storm had reached all the way to Albany, New York.
The cause of the Dust Bowl is still unclear. Widespread drought-which killed crops and turned the topsoil into a light powder-was undoubtedly a factor. However, some have argued that the farmers played their part by replacing native grasses with wheat and less hardy crops.
Whatever the causes, the Roosevelt administration responded to the Dust Bowl with a billion- dollar program to aid and educate farmers in soil conservation techniques that have become standard practice. After the rains returned in 1941, the region bloomed once again. Severe droughts have occurred since, but none have been as devastating as the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.”
My daughter and I had our usual Saturday morning phone call early. For some reason, I wanted to go all the way to the Conroe Church of God which has their meeting at 11.00AM, instead of going to the local Willis church in the afternoon. The paved cow trails of the curvy cross-country roads did not make for good time, but I tried to get there early so that I could participate in the Bible Study before the service. It was good to see them at that congregation again, and as usual, I received a huggy welcome.
Their Bible Study was two lessons ahead of the one we are studying at Willis, so I wasn’t prepared, but I will be when we get to that chapter at the Willis church. The subject was still about the ‘Gifts of The Spirit’, key text: Eph 2:19-22.
The subject of the sermon was “It’s Just Not Convenient”, about how so many people just do not realize that the Sabbath is supposed to be a day of praise to Our Lord, and day of rest, (except for tending your critters, of course.) Heb 4: 1-8, 9-16. Also, why Pope Constantine changed the Sabbath to Sundays in 321 AD, as they didn’t want to be like the Jews who celebrate the Sabbath on Saturdays, the seventh day, just as they were told to by God. Conroe church only have their potlucks on the third Saturday, the one Sabbath that I cannot go there as it is Adoption Day, so I came home for lunch.
Claudia had got on some sites about mold, and read some comments sent in by the public, so I had to show her that we were doing exactly what the EPA said to do, not some Joe Public. Then I did some searching myself. I found out that this big money business of remediation is not a permanent thing, as the products they use only last a few months. Most of them are based on Baking Soda, which we had already put in our buckets of wash water! Mold spores are everywhere and in so many things, you can’t avoid them. The main thing is to get rid of anything that had mold, and not to have any water leaks, or it can come back.
We still cannot see any way around taking out her sink cabinet, and replacing all the damaged wall and floor. That’s going to be a big job, and we don’t know if we will be able to do it all in one day.