For Scripture Sunday”:
A View of a Grasshopper
Are you a grasshopper or is your problem a grasshopper?
Transcript: “In the Old Testament, we have the story of the ancient Israelites as they come up to the very edge of the Promised Land. Moses sent in 12 spies to check out the land that God had promised to give to them. They come back. Ten of the spies come back and say, "We can't go. It's too frightening. The armies there or the soldiers there are so great that in their eyes we're just like little grasshoppers." The other two spies say, "No, this is the land that God has given to us. We must go forward. We must go there and God will take care of us."
You know, when we look at life we have two choices in life. We face the struggles. We face the things that are in front of us that seem so great that we can't overcome. Well, when we face those things there's two ways to look at it - one is that you're just a little grasshopper, that this is too great for you, that you can't get through what's in front of you or overcome what's in front of you. Or we can look at the promises that God makes us in the Bible. We can trust that He is our Father, that He loves us, that He's going to take care of us, and like the two spies who said no, let's go to the Promised Land because it is God who is taking care of us.
Next time you face a serious situation in your life, ask yourself, "Am I approaching this as a grasshopper, or am I approaching this with trust and faith in Almighty God?”” From: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/christian-living/view-grasshopper
What's the Worry?
“Anxiety surrounds us. Jesus instructs us on how we can deal with it.” "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to your stature?"
The Answer to the Madness
“How is your world right now? How is it working for you? If you're like many people, it sometimes seems overwhelming and frightening. We all have so many concerns these days. We have to care for our families, putting food on the table, shuffling bills, shuffling time. We have concerns about our shrinking paychecks with the rise of taxes, pay cuts and perhaps even job loss. Add to that the rising cost of health insurance or maybe even health issues. Not only are we concerned with our own debt, but the national debt hangs over us. Will our nation go under with all the debt? Will we lose our freedoms?
It seems everyone is at war with one another. We have to be politically correct in how we speak. Lawsuits prevail. Everything must be put in writing because people don't keep their word. No one seems to be able to come together to solve the big issues we all face. And then we have to worry about our safety, protecting our prosperity and our most prized possession, our children.
While the news media adds to our fears with negative reporting, they are followed by seemingly endless commercials capitalizing on our fears while recommending solutions to counteract our uncertainties. They offer special medications, antacids, identity protection. On and on the list goes. Referred to as "fear appeals advertising," such commercials are often successful. The reason is simple explains, Todd Van Slyke, an advertising instructor at the Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg. "Fear appeals strike a nerve with people who have doubts about things or do not know about things. They play on our inherent fears of the unknown or that something is going to kill us. This is why scare tactics are stunningly effective."
Living in this crazy world makes you just want to pack up and move to an island. But wait—that costs money. Is there a genuine solution to all this madness, rather than medications or "Calgon Take Me Away"? Aired years ago, a television commercial for Calgon Bath Beads took advantage of our stresses by explaining that if we took a relaxing bath in their product, we could lose our cares. If only it were that simple.
But there is good news! There is an answer to the madness we feel, and it is written for us in the pages of the Bible. The Bible shows you what to do when faced with the emotions of fear, alarm and confusion.
The apostle Paul wrote, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). Also Jesus said: "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:31-34).
Turn to God with all your heart and ask Him to give you His peace. Pray and study the Bible. Discover God. He can deliver you from the anxiety, worry, stress and fear. Despite everything going on you can live in peace knowing God will take care of you. The only side effect you will receive from seeking God is peace in this crazy world!” From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/answer-madness/
“So Long as He Is a Man Who Loves God”
“Watching the news about the search for the next pope raised an interesting question. If you are searching for someone who loves God, what should you look for?
The resignation of the current pope, Benedict XVI, and who will replace him have been topics of much discussion.
This is the first time a pope has resigned since Gregory XII in 1415—that is close to 600 years ago. A conclave of cardinals will select a new leader for the Roman Catholic Church.
One Catholic I saw interviewed said that he would support the new pope “so long as he is a man who loves God.”
How do we know who loves God?
What makes a man “a man who loves God”? How would we know for sure? What questions should one ask before choosing to follow his lead, example or teachings?
These and many more questions have challenged people over the centuries.
The Catholic Church has changed dramatically since its establishment by its founder, Constantine, in A.D. 325 when he took the religion of Christianity and made it the official state religion of the Roman Empire. It was after this that it became known as the Roman Catholic Church.
Jesus and the apostles gave some very clear guidelines that all should consider before determining that an individual is a man of God or even “loves God.”
Jesus said in the Gospel written by Matthew that we would know people by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20). He warns of false prophets who will deceive many people, and He advises us to look to the fruits of their lives as well as their teachings.
Later the apostle Paul encouraged the members to follow him as they saw him following Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). If someone does not follow Christ’s teaching and example—as recorded in Scripture—we should not follow that person.
The only source of truth
All Christian churches call the Bible “Holy” and regard the Scriptures as “sacred.” But with all the divergent doctrines, it’s clear that they can’t all be following the Bible. What does the Bible tell us about what a person who loves God will do?
Peter wrote in a very profound manner to the churches, and a careful reading of his two letters gives a great deal of information about what a man who loves God should be like. As an example, read and study 1 Peter 5:1-4.
This is a model of leadership, teaching and example we can all follow and support.
Paul encourages us to “test [or prove] all things” and to “hold fast [to] what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Surely this applies to our personal beliefs and whom we follow.
One of the clearest tests of our love for God was explained by Jesus Christ Himself. The apostle John recorded Christ’s words: “If you love Me, keep My commandments. … If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 14:15; 15:10).
So those who love God will obey all of God’s commandments. Yet most churches and Christian leaders today teach that the Sabbath commandment is a burden and reject it. John, however, points out that God’s “commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
These are just a very few of the signs we should look for before deciding whom we will follow.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/blog/so-long-as-he-is-a-man-who-loves-god/
This morning’s sermon on WGN TV:
Christ's Second Coming: Can You Believe It?
Opinions vary widely as to whether Jesus will return or has already. What is the real truth?
On This Day:
United States Geological Survey created, Mar 3, 1879:
“Congress establishes the United States Geological Survey, an organization that played a pivotal role in the exploration and development of the West.
Although the rough geographical outlines of much of the American West were known by 1879, the government still had astonishingly little detailed knowledge of the land. Earlier federal exploratory missions under men like Ferdinand Hayden and John Wesley Powell had begun to fill in the map, yet much remained to be done. Congress decided to transform the earlier system of sporadic federal geological explorations into a permanent government agency, the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
From the beginning, the USGS focused its efforts on practical geographical and geological investigations that might spur western economic development. Since the vast majority of the nation's public land was in the West, the USGS became one of the federal government's most important tools for encouraging the exploitation of western natural resources. Congress appointed Clarence King, a brilliant young mining engineer and geologist, as the first director. King, who had previously done considerable work for western mining companies, viewed the USGS as a tool for aiding further mineral exploitation. As a result, the first major reports produced under King's tenure concerned the economic geology of two important mining districts, Nevada's Comstock Lode and Colorado's Leadville silver district.
King's attempts to aid western mining won him praise from both mining companies and western congressmen, but King was eager to make his own fortune in the mining business. He resigned as director in 1881 to pursue what he hoped would be more lucrative opportunities. John Wesley Powell, a bold geologist-explorer who had led the first American explorations of the Grand Canyon, succeeded King as director.
Powell extended the work of the survey into new areas like paleontology and soon became controversial for his bold assertion that much of the arid West would remain unsettled without large-scale irrigation projects. The direct and plainspoken Powell was so closely associated with the USGS during his 14-year term as director that many people have mistakenly believed he was the first director of the agency. Despite his expansion of the survey's mission, though, Powell never abandoned the practical economic emphasis established by King.
Subsequent directors of the USGS also remained true to King's early focus on aiding the economic development of the West, providing topographical and geological maps that have continued to prove essential to the mineral, agricultural, and hydraulic development of the region to this day.”
After my daughter’s Saturday phone call, I readied for church. Jay was really going this time, so Misty and I went to get him at 10.00am so that we could go to the morning service at the Conroe Church of God.
It was great to see them at that church again, I haven’t been there for a few weeks, as I usually go to the closer one in Willis. We arrived early, but Jay didn’t want to go to the Bible Study. The sermon was by a visiting pastor from Galena Park, (Houston) about Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. He was an arousing speaker, and Jay really seemed to be taking notice, and took notes instead of nodding off! He hadn’t had a drink for 48 hours, and said he felt very good.
First Sabbath of the month they have their pot-luck, but we didn’t stay for that. The Willis church has one every week, so with missing Bible Study and the potluck, it always seems such a long way to go for just the service at the Conroe church. I feel like I have missed out on something, mostly the fellowship of the wonderful folks.
I am no longer a foster mom, as Misty and Satchmo are mine. Kenya called to tell me that Miss Priss was adopted. As the people were already approved, she went to her new home yesterday.