Sunday, February 17, 2013

Papal Speculation. North Korea. Russian Meteor. Where Did Cain Get His Wife? Better Is Little. Read the Bible to be Smart. Monopoly. VW Beetle. 72 Hours to Chaos.


For “Scripture Sunday”:

Papal Speculation and More on North Korea

Papal Speculation

The last African pope was Gelasius I, who was pope until he died in 496. The last African pope, Galasius I (pictured), was the pope who abolished Lupercalia. Why coincidental? Lupercalia is the Roman festival to which Valentine's Day owes its heritage.

“A couple of gleanings from today's Financial Times merit BT Media's attention.

Amid speculation of who the next Pope will be, early bets are being made an African may get the nod – the first African in more than 1500 years, is mention of how vigorous is religion in sub Saharan Africa. A Pew Forum on Religion In Public Life 2010 survey showed that more than 75% of Africans felt religion was "very important" in their lives. Of Christians in Africa, 80% attend church once a week. Having just visited Kenya in East Africa I was struck at the number of churches and religious schools. The influence of many religions, including Islam, was evident. Our hotel in Ogembo was next to a mosque and we had a 4:00 a.m. wake up call each day when the faithful were called to prayer.

The strong African belief in the Bible as the literal word of God provides a fertile soil for the true gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. We always see strong interest in our message from this region. Religion may not be doing well in Europe but in Africa you find believers and seekers looking for a message of hope and meaning. Life in those regions is very hard. The truth of the gospel gives meaning and dignity for a people looking to make sense of a complicated world.

The other comment in today's paper sheds more light on North Korea's latest nuclear test, which we mentioned yesterday . David Pilling references an article in the Jerusalem Post suggesting "Pyongyang may have tested this week's device on behalf of Tehran in the presence of Iranian scientists." The nuclear connection of North Korea and Iran, two of the world's most dangerous states, should frighten leaders into action. If this and other reports are true we may be seeing Iran closer than anyone suspects to having nuclear capability and the means of delivering a weapon upon any foe they choose. When this happens it will be a major foreign policy fiasco for the United States, which has sought to contain the problem by economic sanctions.

Iran has ignored all threats and efforts to stop its nuclear goals and appears very close to having what it wants. Iran's religious and political leaders do not take President Obama seriously and they continue to march forward. The linkage of Iran and North Korea is a dangerous step against the stability of Middle East and Asia.

Bible prophecy shows armies coming from the region east of the Euphrates River in the events preceding the second coming of Jesus Christ (Revelation 16:12-16). Understanding events in this region is a key to this passage of prophecy.”   From: by Darris McNeely, February 15, 2013


Giant Meteor Strikes Russia

“Earth is sheltered from most meteors that head our way. Every once in a while one hits the earth and reminds us Who really is in charge.”

Transcript at:


Where Did Cain Get His Wife?

“After being banished for murder, the Bible says that Cain has a wife and starts a family. How could that be possible? Where did Cain’s wife come from?

In Genesis 1:27 we read that God created Adam and Eve. The second chapter includes a second perspective of this event, explaining that God made Adam first and delegated to him the responsibility to name all living creatures (verses 19-20). This task emphasized that no creature in all creation was a suitable mate for Adam.

It was then that God dramatically created Eve, a perfect match for Adam, forming her from one of Adam’s ribs (verses 21-24)!

Eve: mother of all living

Not until Genesis 3:20 do we learn that Adam named his wife Eve—and why. The verse says he chose that name, because she was “the mother of all living” (emphasis added throughout). So, the Bible reveals that this husband and wife (they were married, Genesis 2:25) were the parents of all humans. (This eliminates the possibility that Cain’s wife came from another family.)

Next, in Genesis 4:1-2, we are told of the birth of Cain and then Abel—in quick succession, it would seem. (Some commentators even suggest that they were twins.) Verse 25 announces the birth of Seth after Abel’s death. A cursory reading might make it seem like all of these events occurred relatively quickly; and there is no mention of daughters.

This chapter deals mostly with a tragic homicide—the first in history—when Cain murdered his brother Abel. God did not administer the death penalty, but rather exiled Cain from God’s presence. We are told Cain then went to “the land of Nod,” where he and his wife started a family (Genesis 4:16-17).

The brief biblical account leaves us with a mystery: Where did Cain get his wife?”     More at:


Better Is Little With …

Proverbs 15:16-17 Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.

“Many of the Proverbs are designed to help us gain perspective, and they can help us set priorities in our lives. Solomon shows here that wealth and abundance are not the most important things. Proper reverence toward God and love are essential to real happiness, even if we have few material goods.

This passage does not say that it is wrong to have treasure and delicious food. But it does show that trouble and hatred can ruin any enjoyment of those material things. Thus the wise person will avoid the temptation to put money ahead of family. He will avoid the shortcuts to wealth that lead to trouble. He will put priority on God and relationships.” From:


Read the Bible to be Smart

Read the Bible to Be Smart

Source: Thinkstock/Comstock

“In recent months I've been seeing news articles about how the U.S. public school system is changing.  Classic literature is being cut for technical manuals.  Soon 70% of all books in our public school system will be non-fiction.  The idea is to produce people ready for the workforce.  Our children will soon be reading text like "Recommended Levels of Insulation" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the "Invasive Plant Inventory" by California's Invasive Plant Council.  A teacher is quoted in this article as saying, "I'm afraid we are taking out all imaginative reading and creativity in our English classes."

Of course our greatest moral and educational source, the Bible, isn't taught in school anymore.  In Invitation to Classics, the authors write :  “Once we recognize the classics' lyric beauty, their aching tragedy, their probing intellectual inquiry, their profound imagination, sympathy, and wisdom, we see that their capacity to restore is fundamental to our continuing liberty and vitality.”

Without the Bible and great classic literature to teach us sympathy and wisdom, what is to become of the next generation?  Are people lacking in these traits really going to be better workers?

I was struck also by something I read recently in the book Read the Bible for Life by George Guthrie.  He provides a quote from The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, in which E.D. Hirsch writes:  “No one in the English-speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible.”

Mr. Guthrie also brings up a survey I found fascinating:  “In a 2005 survey 98% of high school English teachers suggested that students who are biblically literate have an edge academically over those who are not, and in 2006 English professors from the top universities in the United States agreed that "regardless of a person's faith, an educated person needs to know the Bible," saying that the Bible is "indispensable" and "absolutely crucial" for a person who wishes to be considered well educated.”

In the Bible, Paul tells Timothy to keep studying scripture, which he had known since his childhood and had learned from his mother and grandmother (see 2 Timothy 1:5)

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Paul also tells the church at Thessalonica to "prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21)  Do we know our Bible? Are we teaching our children the Bible?

As our schools (and our society) continue to grow further and further away from God and righteous behavior, we need to set the example of turning to the Bible as our moral compass. Do we blindly believe what our teachers and leaders say, or do we do as the Bereans (see Acts 17:11) and search the scripture daily to educate ourselves in the truth?”   From:   by Darlene Lausted


Life Lessons: Monopoly

Life Lessons: Monopoly

Source: Hasbro

“Remember the game of Monopoly? The goal of the game is to collect all the properties of a particular color and then build houses and hotels on those properties.

Remember what is was like when you landed on someone else's property and they owned a hotel. You would pay out all your money, sell off your houses and then have to mortgage your properties. If you landed on a second hotel you would most likely lose your properties and go bankrupt. You were then out of the game.

The child's game of Monopoly has an important lesson for adult life. When you spend more than you make and buy on credit eventually you lose. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
See All...: "The borrower is servant to the lender."

The best way to get out of debt is to first get control of your money by learning how to budget and then living within that budget, even if it means lowering your standard of living.

This way you can break the oppression of being a servant to the lender.”    From:


This morning’s program on WGN TV:  72 Hours to Chaos

Transcript at:


On This Day:

Beetle overtakes Model T as world's best-selling car, Feb 17, 1972:

“On this day in 1972, the 15,007,034th Volkswagen Beetle comes off the assembly line, breaking a world car production record held for more than four decades by the Ford Motor Company's iconic Model T, which was in production from 1908 and 1927.

The history of the VW Beetle dates back to 1930s Germany. In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany and announced he wanted to build new roads and affordable cars for the German people. At that time, Austrian-born engineer Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951) was already working on creating a small car for the masses. Hitler and Porsche later met and the engineer was charged with designing the inexpensive, mass-produced Volkswagen, or "people's car." Hitler's plan was that people could buy the cars by making regular payments into a savings stamp program. In 1938, work began on the Volkswagen factory, located in present-day Wolfsburg, Germany; however, full-scale vehicle production didn't begin until after World War II.

In the 1950s, the Volkswagen arrived in the U.S., where the initial reception was tepid, due in part to the car's historic Nazi connection as well as its small size and unusual rounded shape (which later led to it being dubbed the "Beetle"). In 1959, the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach launched a groundbreaking campaign that promoted the car's diminutive size as a distinct advantage to consumers, and over the next several years, VW became the top-selling auto import in the U.S. In 1998, Volkswagen began selling the highly touted "New Beetle" while still continuing production of its predecessor. After more than 60 years and over 21 million vehicles produced, the last original Beetle rolled off the line in Puebla, Mexico, on July 30, 2003.”



After Wendy and I had our Saturday phone call catching up on all the family news, I leisurely got ready for church.

Chris picked up Miss Priss at noon to take her to Adoption Day at Petco.

Jay was going to go to church with me, but begged off at the last minute.  He said he had to catch up on some little jobs that he hadn’t done for people during the week.  I reminded him that Friday is called  ‘Preparation Day’ in the Bible, and that he should have got all that out of the way.

I dressed in several layers of clothes, as it is usually so cold in the church when they have the AC on.  Bible Study was very interesting, it was about The Miracles in the Holy Land. Joshua 3:6-17.  How the Ark of the Covenant was carried by the priests across the Jordan River, and the waters held back “in a heap” to let them cross. (v.16)

Next, it was about the Fall of Jericho. Joshua 6:1-21.  How the Lord had the troops and people march quietly around and around the sturdy walls of the city for seven days, and then at the sound of a trumpet they would all shout, and the walls came tumbling down.  And then about The Day the Sun Stood Still. Joshua 10:12-14.

The sermon was about Hananiah’s False Prophecy. Jer. 28:10, and the Rich Young Ruler, Luke 18:18.

The church didn’t have the air conditioning on this time, so I wasn’t freezing, and stayed for the great pot luck.  Some of the members were going to have a overnight camp-out on the church grounds. They have walks in the woods studying nature and a campfire.  Most of them were going to sleep in tents, but they said I could sleep in my van.  I really wanted to be there for that, but I had to get home for Misty and the cats. 

When Chris brought Prissy home, she said that Priss was more comfortable about being at Adoption Day this time.  She even let a couple of people pet her, and she didn’t bite them!  She thinks she is giving loving bites, but doesn’t realize that people’s skin leaks upon sharp tooth contact.

Ray came over to talk to Chris about the cat habitat, and he played with Prissy.  Maybe she is learning, as he said that she didn't bite so hard yesterday.

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