For “Scripture Sunday”:
Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame?
“Should accusations of steroid use keep a retired player from Baseball's Hall of Fame”
Who’s to Blame?
“When you find yourself in the midst of some difficulty, what is the first step to take in dealing with the problem? If you’re like many people, the first step is to figure out who can be blamed—as if assigning blame will somehow solve the problem.
The nation is in the midst of the greatest economic crisis in our lifetimes, yet instead of solutions, we hear an unending stream of accusation and blame. Republicans blame President Obama and the Democratic leadership who are failing to trim spending and act responsibly. The Democrats, in turn, blame the Republicans because they left the economy in such a mess. And, while the charges and countercharges fill the news, the economy continues its downward rush.
When horrific acts of violence occur—school shootings; domestic violence; random, drive-by killings—the media quickly turn to asking who is to blame. Gun-control fanatics blame gun manufacturers and dealers and anyone who wishes to own a gun for any reason. Militant gun owners and their advocates blame the violence of Hollywood movies and video games. And, amidst all of the blaming, sales of all sorts of rapid-fire munitions have exploded so that many thousands more of these weapons are in the hands of people who are ill-equipped and trained to use them.
If it were not so tragic and dangerous, the childishness of this approach would be laughable. Young children often concoct amazing excuses to avoid accepting responsibility for mistakes they have made. In children it can be humorous; but even then, we teach them the importance of honesty and accepting responsibility for their own actions. Too many people have come to view themselves as victims of the bad decisions of others instead of as people who have the power to choose how their lives will be lived.” Video and More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/whos-to-blame/
Why America’s Government Isn’t Working
“Does the American government really focus on or trust in God? Many Americans are frustrated about the current leadership. What is the real cause of humanity’s problems in government? What is the real solution?
America’s government has been the topic of many conversations for a long time now. Many people are just tired of politics—from the deeply divided presidential campaigns to the non-cooperating Congress.
Many Americans don’t have confidence in our current leadership. The 11th-hour solution to the fiscal cliff was only a bandage at best, as this issue will have to be addressed again in only a few months.
Congress doesn’t seem to have the courage to face America’s ever-increasing national debt. But isn’t the behavior of the elected officials representative of those who elected them?
One nation under God?
When the United States was formed, the founding fathers placed great importance on God’s laws and morality in government.
George Washington, America’s first president, said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion” (The Washington Papers, edited by Saul K. Padover).
This does not mean that America has been a truly righteous nation. We believe God blessed America, not because it was a righteous nation, but because of ancient promises He made to Abraham. However, God has always taught that continued and increased disobedience would lead to His blessings being taken away and would bring curses instead.
It is quite clear that God has been removed from public places today. In President Washington’s day, public officials got in trouble for not involving God. Today officials get in trouble if they seriously mention God.
Biblical morality is rarely taught today. It is considered old-fashioned and out-of-date. But is it mere coincidence that the more our morality decreases, the more our problems increase? America is no longer one nation under God.
Years ago, America was one of the most respected nations on earth. But as we have continually rejected and abandoned God, is He removing some of those blessings?
Not the first time God has been removed
A long time ago when God brought the Israelites out of enslavement in Egypt, He promised them national greatness if they followed His laws.
But history shows that they didn’t want God to be their leader. Ancient Israel’s heritage was a pattern of following God, then forgetting Him. And this pattern produced a heritage of blessings and cursings.
Israel’s determination to do things their own way came to a head during the time of the prophet Samuel.
“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, … ‘Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations’” (1 Samuel 8:4-5).
This request greatly upset Samuel. Yet God told him to give them a king, “for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” (verse 7).
The results of removing God
God went on to tell Samuel what Israel’s kings would do to their citizens, including a heavy burden of taxes (1 Samuel 8:11-17).
Some of these things still happen today. Who will pay more taxes and how much is a big dispute in the fiscal cliff dilemma today. How many special perks do government officials have at the expense of the citizens?
God went on to say to Samuel that once the king enacts all these things, the citizens would cry out because of the burdens (verse 18).
Are Americans crying out today?
Can America’s problems even be fixed now?
Just looking at our nation today, we can see the results of government without God. But some believe that it is too late now. As someone once told me, “We have swum too far out now. We can’t make it back.”
And that’s easy to believe with an economy in shambles. America has ever-increasing debt with ever-decreasing growth potential. The future doesn’t look good. But God says He can fix all of our national and personal problems if we turn to Him.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Even though we’re in water over our heads, God can still rescue us if we repent and wholeheartedly seek Him.
The future of America’s government
God says that He ultimately decides who gets into power. And many times He even allows unqualified people to be in power (Daniel 4:17).
Yes, sometimes God gives us what we deserve instead of what we need when we reject Him. Unless the American people repent, our economy will fail. National disasters, diseases and tragedies will continue to break us.
The Bible says America—just like the ancient Israelites who rejected God—will finally suffer military defeat and end up in captivity, a period referred to as the “time of Jacob’s trouble” and the Great Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:4-7; Matthew 24:21-22).
All because we have turned our backs on God.
But after we have learned our lesson through captivity, America’s descendants will repent and be rescued by Jesus Christ. Then they will again be a nation, but this time ruled by His government. During this time under Christ’s rule, this “new” nation of Israel will be the model nation of the world.
“In those days [during Christ’s rule on earth] ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man [one of the 12 tribes of Israel], saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:23).
And God will be with you and me today if we honor God and keep His 10 Commandments.
So, regardless of what our government does, let’s follow God in our personal lives. Only He can be our refuge in the troubled days ahead.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/why-americas-government-isnt-working/ by Tim Groves - January 9, 2013
The program on WGN this morning was: Change Your Life Story
“Are you following your own rules and obtaining terrible results? Maybe it's time to let God change your life's direction.”
On This Day:
Iran Hostage Crisis ends, Jan 20, 1981:
“Minutes after Ronald Reagan's inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis.
On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to New York City for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran. The Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's political and religious leader, took over the hostage situation, refusing all appeals to release the hostages, even after the U.N. Security Council demanded an end to the crisis in an unanimous vote. However, two weeks after the storming of the embassy, the Ayatollah began to release all non-U.S. captives, and all female and minority Americans, citing these groups as among the people oppressed by the government of the United States. The remaining 52 captives remained at the mercy of the Ayatollah for the next 14 months.
President Jimmy Carter was unable to diplomatically resolve the crisis, and on April 24, 1980, he ordered a disastrous rescue mission in which eight U.S. military personnel were killed and no hostages rescued. Three months later, the former shah died of cancer in Egypt, but the crisis continued. In November 1980, Carter lost the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan. Soon after, with the assistance of Algerian intermediaries, successful negotiations began between the United States and Iran. On the day of Reagan's inauguration, the United States freed almost $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, and the hostages were released after 444 days. The next day, Jimmy Carter flew to West Germany to greet the Americans on their way home.”
After Wendy’s Saturday phone call, I quickly got ready, as Jim the mechanic was going to take me into our town at 9.30 to get the parts for my van. He was late, so I walked Misty around and around on my lots, as I had the house phone in my pocket, and didn’t want to get out of range.
We hadn’t been back from town very long, when it was time for Chris to come to pick up Miss Priss for her first time at Adoption Day. We were ready and waiting, and Chris dropped me off at the church on her way to Conroe Petco. I still didn’t know how I was going to get home.
Bible Study was the last lesson in the study book about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Key Text: 1 Cor. 12: 12-26
The sermon was about Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament. Malachi means ‘my messenger’. The gist of it was ‘all that matters in the end, is the honor that you have brought to God and your parents.’ There are several couples in the congregation who live north of the church, either at New Waverly or Huntsville, and so Vince and his wife brought me home after the pot-luck.
Chris returned with Miss Priss, and she said that Miss Priss was even getting used to being there at Adoption Day and coming to the front of the display cage to be petted. Chris didn’t have any trouble getting her back in the carrier which was our biggest concern for the day.