For “Scripture Sunday”:
Newsweek's cover asks, "Who Was Jesus?".
“It raises more questions that erode faith. Given that people are looking for understanding and hope you have to ask, "where can you find faith?".”
God, Science and the Bible: DNA Discoveries Demonstrate Divine Design
“Recent discoveries about DNA—including the finding that so-called "junk DNA" is anything but—once again clearly points to a supreme Intelligence having imbedded an incredible multifaceted code in our genes.
When first discovered, scientists believed that DNA was a somewhat simple genetic code filled with what they termed "junk DNA," useless bits assumed to be evolutionary remnants from our supposed ancestors. But now they have found the code to be astoundingly complex, multilayered and even bidirectional.
On Sept. 5, 2012, The New York Times reported: "The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as "junk" but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave . . .
The astounding complexity of the DNA code was the main reason Sir Antony Flew, the late world-famous philosopher who had been the leading atheist in England, renounced his atheism a few years back and accepted the existence of a divine intelligence behind it all.
He wrote: "What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together" ( There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, 2007, p. 75).
Let's see some of the examples of the incredible complexity of the DNA code……” Complete article at: http://www.ucg.org/science/god-science-and-bible-dna-discoveries-demonstrate-divine-design/
Is Drinking Alcohol a Sin?
“Alcohol is the oldest and most widely used drug in the world. What does God think about the use and abuse of alcohol? Is drinking alcohol a sin?
Most people realize the terrible damage that abuse of alcohol can cause. Human laws regulate alcohol, and God strongly condemns drunkenness as sin. But is all use of alcohol sinful?
Some should abstain
First, realize that some people with a propensity to alcoholism should abstain from alcohol. This does not prove that all use of alcohol is wrong. There are many aspects of life that some people should avoid because of the problems they can create. For example, it is not sinful to eat salt, yet after heart surgery or when facing other specific health problems, a doctor may advise a patient to limit salt intake. Also, some people are born with or develop sensitivities to gluten, dairy products, sulfur, eggs, nuts, fish or other food items. Such foods are not wrong, yet those individuals must avoid them.
Likewise there are people who must avoid alcohol because of the damaging results in their lives, and there are others who choose for their own reasons to refrain from drinking alcohol. To be sure, there is nothing in Scripture that commands people to drink alcohol—but does the Bible forbid all use of alcohol? Is drinking alcohol a sin?
When alcohol isn’t sin
Sin is defined in the Bible as “lawlessness” or, as the J.B. Phillips translation puts it, “Everyone who commits sin breaks God’s law, for that is what sin is, by definition—a breaking of God’s law” (1 John 3:4). So we need to ask if God created a law forbidding the use of alcohol. If so, then we could easily conclude that drinking alcohol is a sin.
There are a handful of scriptures that some people believe do exactly that. Let’s look at a few examples:
- Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
- 1 Timothy 3:8 says, “Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine.”
- Isaiah 5:11 says, “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; who continue until night, till wine inflames them!”
A careful examination of these and other verses that may be used reveals a common theme: God clearly condemns the abuse of alcohol. Overindulgence—long-term or even just occasional—is forbidden by the Creator. However, we do not find a wholesale condemnation of any use of alcohol.
Jesus Christ warned men to be careful to avoid “carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life” (Luke 21:34). And Paul wrote that among the “works of the flesh” that men are to avoid is “drunkenness” (Galatians 5:19-21). In both cases, the term “drunkenness” is used. It means excessive use of alcoholic products.
When alcohol becomes sin……” Complete article at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/health/is-drinking-alcohol-a-sin/
Alcohol Use and Abuse
“Many people talk about needing a drink. But for the alcoholic, even one is too much. The misconceptions surrounding alcohol use and abuse can be confusing.
“I sure could use a drink.” This is often said at the end of a hard day’s work, a good fitness workout or when under emotional stress. An individual may say he needs a drink because he knows alcohol is a mood changer. And he knows the change is almost immediate.
If the reaction to alcohol were to take several hours, it would not be as appealing. In fact, it is the speed of mood change that increases the risk of alcohol abuse.
Being well-informed about the facts of alcohol use and abuse can go a long way in helping us use it properly. Understanding the common misconceptions may help you avoid the dangers of alcohol abuse.
Common misconceptions about alcohol use and abuse
Misconception: A couple of drinks can’t do me much harm.
Maybe not. But then, how much is too much?……
Misconception: Big people can drink more. Right?
….It’s your liver that breaks down the alcohol…… You cannot control the rate at which your liver works. You can only control how much you drink….
Misconception: Cheers. Here’s to your health.
Toasting to health may be popular and well-intentioned. But is drinking healthy? Perhaps not…….
Misconception: I always know when to quit drinking—my speech slurs.
Do you realize how far this is down the road of intoxication? Consider these effects of different blood alcohol concentrations:……
Misconception: Sure I can drive. No problem; it’s not far to go home.
Perhaps you’ve heard those statements before. Yet the facts are clear as to how severely alcohol does impair one’s ability to drive a motor vehicle. So why does the drinker still think he can drive competently?…….
Misconception: I only drink a little when I am pregnant so it’s not a problem.
Do you know what even a little bit of alcohol can do to an unborn child?…..
Misconception: I can sober up quickly.
Only time can sober you up. Food, coffee, a cold shower and fresh air only result in a well-fed, wide-awake and clean drunk! On average, the liver can only process about one standard drink each hour.
Since alcohol needs no digestion, moments after the first sip it passes through the walls of the stomach and small intestine directly into the bloodstream. A few minutes later it reaches the brain……
Recognize the problem of alcoholism
….. Millions of people are dominated by the bottle and reap terrible consequences to their health, family, friends and job.
Is there hope for the alcoholic?
….The alcoholic also needs the loving support of family and friends. If you have a friend or loved one who is a slave to alcohol, how can you help?….
It is vital to understand the facts about alcohol use and abuse—not the misconceptions. The proper use of alcohol in moderation can be enjoyable and acceptable. But the abuse of alcohol and drunkenness will always lead to pain, sorrow, shattered relationships and destroyed lives.
For the sake of your health and for the health of your relationships, if you choose to drink, be sure that you do so in moderation and responsibly.” Complete article at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/health/alcohol-use-and-abuse/
For those who need help with addictions:
The program on WGN TV this morning: Bracing for the Beast.
Excerpt: “Not all that long ago, Adolf Hitler acquired the power, the support and the heart of the people. As early as 1925 he ran for elected office backed by the Nazi party. In the good times of the 20s the voters soundly rejected him.
But, by the beginning of the Great Depression the economy plummeted. Because of the difficult times, the German people were more open to extreme tactics to deal with the severe economic troubles that were emerging. By enticing the voters, Hitler convinced them that he and his party could solve their problems and restore Germany to its rightful place of power within Europe. So by a legitimate ballot of the people, Hitler became Chancellor of the German Republic in January 1933. With the power of charisma, persuasive flattery and alluring arguments, he came into authority peacefully.
But you know, that wasn't enough. Hitler quickly set out to take complete power. He was a master, a master at clever maneuvering, an expert at manipulating people and manipulating events. So under the appearance of protecting the people and the state, he slyly managed to suspend individual and civil liberties.
A despicable man was given honor, and respect and admiration. He seized the control of the German nation and within just a few short years, one of Europe's most cultured, most civilized nations used its resources to plunge the world into war and holocaust.
It sounds hauntingly similar to Daniel 11:21 "And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue."…
[Person 7] Oooh, let's pray to God no. Oh I hope not. I hope never, ever again. You know, that's...never anyone like Hitler was, ever.
[Steve] Never again? But what might take place if your way of life were threatened with collapse? Could you put your hope, could you put your confidence in someone that promised to bring prosperity and to save your lifestyle?
The answer is yes! It could easily come about, and actually, it will happen. A persuasive leader will emerge on the world scene. The Bible calls him the Beast. And God compares him to a ferocious wild animal with sinister intent. And he's coming! He's coming on the world scene and has powerful help from unseen, evil spiritual forces.”
Full Transcript at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/news-and-prophecy/bracing-beast
On This Day:
Southern U.S. border established, Dec 30, 1853:
James Gadsden, the U.S. minister to Mexico, and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the president of Mexico, sign the Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City. The treaty settled the dispute over the location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, and established the final boundaries of the southern United States. For the price of $15 million, later reduced to $10 million, the United States acquired approximately 30,000 square miles of land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona.
Jefferson Davis, the U.S. secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce, had sent Gadsden to negotiate with Santa Anna for the land, which was deemed by a group of political and industrial leaders to be a highly strategic location for the construction of the southern transcontinental railroad. In 1861, the "big four" leaders of western railroad construction--Collis P. Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker--established the Southern Pacific branch of the Central Pacific Railroad.”
Sit-down strike begins in Flint, Dec 30, 1936:
“At 8 p.m. on December 30, 1936, in one of the first sit-down strikes in the United States, autoworkers occupy the General Motors Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan. The autoworkers were striking to win recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the only bargaining agent for GM's workers; they also wanted to make the company stop sending work to non-union plants and to establish a fair minimum wage scale, a grievance system and a set of procedures that would help protect assembly-line workers from injury. In all, the strike lasted 44 days.
The Flint sit-down strike was not spontaneous; UAW leaders, inspired by similar strikes across Europe, had been planning it for months. The strike actually began at smaller plants: Fisher Body in Atlanta on November 16, GM in Kansas City on December 16 and a Fisher stamping plant in Cleveland on December 28. The Flint plant was the biggest coup, however: it contained one of just two sets of body dies that GM used to stamp out almost every one of its 1937 cars. By seizing control of the Flint plant, autoworkers could shut down the company almost entirely.
So, on the evening of December 30, the Flint Plant's night shift simply stopped working. They locked themselves in and sat down. "She's ours!" one worker shouted.
GM argued that the strikers were trespassing and got a court order demanding their evacuation; still, the union men stayed put. GM turned off the heat in the buildings, but the strikers wrapped themselves in coats and blankets and hunkered down. On January 11, police tried to cut off the strikers' food supply; in the resulting riot, known as the "Battle of the Running Bulls," 16 workers and 11 policemen were injured and the UAW took over the adjacent Fisher Two plant. On February 1, the UAW won control of the enormous Chevrolet No. 4 engine factory. GM's output went from a robust 50,000 cars in December to just 125 in February.
Despite GM's enormous political clout, Michigan Governor Frank Murphy refused to use force to break the strike. Though the sit-ins were illegal, he believed, he also believed that authorizing the National Guard to break the strike would be an enormous mistake. "If I send those soldiers right in on the men," he said, "there'd be no telling how many would be killed." As a result, he declared, "The state authorities will not take sides. They are here only to protect the public peace."
Meanwhile, President Roosevelt urged GM to recognize the union so that the plants could reopen. In mid-February, the automaker signed an agreement with the UAW. Among other things, the workers were given a 5 percent raise and permission to speak in the lunchroom.”
The Bible Study at the Willis church was again about the Gifts of the Spirit, and the sermon was about the difference between Theocracy, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theocracy), democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy), and ecclesiology.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiology).
The Church of God goes strictly by the Bible, so they baptize by submersion, just the way John The Baptist did it.
There is a heated outdoor pool there, and I took some pictures to give to the family.
They have their choice of being baptized there or in nearby cold Lake Conroe. They chose the pastor’s house as it was a chilly, windy day.