For “Scripture Sunday”:
March 8, 2013
“Forty-five years ago a movie came out that makes you think about a very important event captivating the world right now. The Shoes of the Fisherman, while fictional, gave a lot of factual insight to the workings of the Roman Catholic Church and the process of choosing a new pope.
The plot climaxes when the new pope comes into power right at the tension-filled height of a world political crisis; and in his first address to the crowds in the Vatican square, he commits the Vatican’s wealth to feeding the starving millions in Asia, thus averting the outbreak of World War III. He is immediately hailed around the world as a hero, a virtual savior of humanity.
Unrealistic? Of course—it was a movie—but it still made quite an impact on me when, even as a young 16-year-old, I could grasp the profound implications if the pope ever did exercise his power in such a way.
The idea of such a time, and such a hero, arising is not implausible. Something like that, the Bible tells us, IS going to happen! It’s just a matter of when, how and who.
Some of the most fascinating prophecies are those in the book of Revelation, regarding world powers that will arise in a political and religious alliance at the time of the end. They will hold great influence in various ways over vast populations, and one of them will be a religious leader called the “false prophet.” He will be widely admired and will perform acts so powerful—even miraculous—that most people will naturally conclude that this is the man of God!
Now ponder the possibilities, the “what ifs,” for the next pope who is chosen to fill “the shoes of the fisherman” (a Catholic inference to Peter).
- What if he was one who took bold, decisive steps to repair the tarnished image of the Catholic Church by cleaning up the scandals and getting rid of disreputable priests?
- What if he was a charismatic, strong likable man who had a natural, engaging appeal to people across cultures and ages?
- What if he proved to be a master diplomat within the Catholic Church, bridging the gap between the conservative and liberal elements on many of their hot-button doctrinal and social issues?
- What if he proved to be a master diplomat on the world political scene, a key player world leaders would come to respect as a peace broker in troubled areas, especially in the Middle East?
No one can say right now that this or that particular person will immediately perform this or that particular action, like that we see in The Shoes of the Fisherman. But we can expect, someday, someone to be positioned in such a place and time to exercise powers that will alter the course of the world. Prophecy very clearly forecasts the rise of such a mighty religious leader in the last days.
You should become familiar with these prophecies, then watch very carefully for all the possibilities for how those prophecies could be fulfilled.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/the-next-pope-pondering-the-possibilities/
Watching the History Channel's "The Bible"
“What's better? The movie or the book”
The Bible - More than an App
“Most people with smartphones load them up with dozens of apps. Even the Bible has become an "app". But the Bible is far more than just an app.”
"In Egypt, Locusts Threaten Food Supply"
Source: By Bj.schoenmakers
“Really, that’s what the headline says. It sounds like something out of Exodus but right now Egypt's fragile economy faces another crisis with a gathering plague of locusts.
Several reports this week say Egypt's winter wheat crop is under threat from locusts. The nation is already under stress from the a shortage of grain that is causing hardship among the many poor who rely on bread as a staple part of their diet. Stratfor reports that without these harvests, the price of wheat will go up as the government is forced to increase imports to meet demand. Higher prices for grain are passed onto the people and this adds further strain to an already fragile economy managed by the struggling Muslim Brotherhood-led government.
Ironically, Egypt imports wheat from Russia, America and others—up to 60 percent of the wheat it consumes. In the time of the Roman Empire, Egypt exported grain to Rome. Add to this the subsidized prices people pay for grain and a real problem could erupt if the supply chain is severely interrupted.
An adult locust eats it body weight in grain each day. A swarm of locusts can contain up to a metric ton of these pests. That's a lot of chomping by one of nature's most ravenous insects. Locusts are a biblically clean food but I can't see them replacing the daily bread of an Egyptian!
The coming weeks will determine the breadth of this infestation. April is the critical month for harvesting the winter wheat crop. Several factors such as wind patterns, rain and food supply will determine how far the locusts will spread.
This is just one more problem impacting Egypt's fragile political and economic condition. Nearly three out of four Egyptians under age 30 are out of work or severely underemployed. The tourism industry, a major source of income, has not recovered from the unrest created by the overthrow of the Mubarak regime more than two years ago. The Muslim Brotherhood's control of the government has further eroded the delicate balance of power between the military and the civilian segment of the government. Egypt by any observer's evaluation is a ticking time bomb waiting to blow into another major crisis.
Egypt is the largest nation in the Arab world with the largest standing army. What happens there matters to the overall stability of the Middle East. With Iran nearing completion of a nuclear weapon and Syria still waiting to collapse into another broken state the region is a cauldron of unrest. The future of the region is still waiting to emerge from the fog of unrest that settled during the so-called Arab Spring.” From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/egypt-locusts-threaten-food-supply/
Say It Ain’t So, Joe!
“I am a great fan of baseball and have also dabbled a bit in the history of the game. One of the darkest moments is referred to as the “Black Sox Scandal of 1919.” Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds that year.
Shoeless Joe Jackson was one of the eight named as a conspirator even though his achievements during the Series could not confirm he did anything but play his best. He batted .375 and his 12 hits still stand as a Series record. He committed no errors and threw out one runner at home plate. But he and seven others appeared before a grand jury where they were indicted on conspiracy charges. All eight stood trial in a Chicago courtroom in 1921 and were acquitted of any wrongdoing. Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the commissioner of baseball, wasn’t convinced by the jury and banned all eight players from Major League Baseball for life. Today sports enthusiasts still debate whether Joe Jackson was guilty or not.
One of the most famous and oft-repeated lines in sports came out of this era. The story goes that after the eight were acquitted, as they were leaving the courthouse, a small boy came up to his hero, Joe Jackson, and said, “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” According to the story, Joe Jackson never answered, but hung his head and walked on. Most baseball historians doubt the veracity of the story, but none can deny the effect a sports star has on his fans, especially the young ones.
If we were to take this saying and apply it to our day, we would have to say:
“Say it ain’t so, Tiger!” Or, “Say it ain’t so, Lance!”
The list of star athletes who have been caught lying in the past decade reads like a who’s who of all the major sports.
The latest revelation by Lance Armstrong that he did use PEDs has created disillusionment among millions of fans around the world. How could our heroes lie to us, and why would they cheat?
Here is a man who succeeded in a battle with cancer and won seven successive Tour de France bicycle races. For almost a decade, he denied in every forum that he used any performance-enhancing drugs. But all that changed in one interview with Oprah Winfrey. When asked a series of yes-and-no questions by Oprah, Lance answered “yes” to the question “Have you ever used performance-enhancing drugs?”
The phrase “say it ain’t so, Joe” epitomizes the fall of the sports heroes, but it doesn’t stop there. Lying permeates every aspect of our society. It is ironic, but we expect that politicians and elected officials will lie to us, but not our sports heroes! It seems that the world has now turned upside down.
From Shoeless Joe Jackson to Tiger Woods to Lance Armstrong, it has been a sad tale, but these are only a few of the modern-day sports heroes who have fallen prey to lying and cheating. If we could only return to the time of innocence when a small boy uttered the words “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/say-it-aint-so-joe/
GPS, God’s Positioning System
AN AMAZING FACT: “Ancient explorers knew their exact location based on the sun, moon, and stars. Between 1768 and 1775, the British explorer James Cook made two voyages around the world, charting much of the South Pacific, using nothing more than a sextant, a simple compass, and the heavens above for navigation. For years, submarine navigation was a big problem. These secret vessels had to frequently surface to get their basic bearings, exposing themselves to enemy fire. But eventually, the U.S. Navy developed the internal marine gyro-navigation system. This sophisticated apparatus enabled subs to get a precise fix on their location even while isolated deep beneath the surface of a dark ocean.
If you don’t know where you are, you can put yourself at greater risk of getting hurt. Have you ever taken the wrong exit and ended up in a risky part of a city? GPS (global positioning system) units are becoming standard in most vehicles. Using satellite technology, they help you know your exact location. James Cook’s GPS unit was the sun, moon, and stars.
If you are going to avoid enemy fire, you need to know where you are. The U.S. Navy’s gyro-navigation system was fully proven in 1958 when the USS Nautilus accomplished the impossible. With 116 men on board, the nuclear-powered vessel became the first submarine to traverse the Arctic Ocean under the polar ice. It traveled from the Bering Strait to Iceland via the North Pole in four days. Unable to surface, had the system failed, the crew would have been doomed.
David called on God to save him from his enemies. “For strangers have risen up against me, and oppressors have sought after my life; they have not set God before them” (Psalm 54:3). David’s navigation system was turning to the Lord. He set God before him and could praise the Lord. “He has delivered me out of all trouble” (v. 7).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. - Proverbs 3:5
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. - Proverbs 3:6
This morning’s sermon on WGN TV: Who Is Jesus?
“Was He really the Son of God or merely an imposter as a recent article in an American newsmagazine implied? Learn the vital truth.”
On This Day:
The Firebombing of Tokyo continues, Mar 10, 1945:
“On March 10, 1945, 300 American bombers continue to drop almost 2,000 tons of incendiaries on Tokyo, Japan, in a mission that had begun the previous day. The attack destroyed large portions of the Japanese capital and killed 100,000 civilians.
In the closing months of the war, the United States had turned to incendiary bombing tactics against Japan, also known as "area bombing," in an attempt to break Japanese morale and force a surrender. The firebombing of Tokyo was the first major bombing operation of this sort against Japan.
Early in the morning, the B-29s dropped their bombs of napalm and magnesium incendiaries over the packed residential districts along the Sumida River in eastern Tokyo. The conflagration quickly engulfed Tokyo's wooden residential structures, and the subsequent firestorm replaced oxygen with lethal gases, superheated the atmosphere, and caused hurricane-like winds that blew a wall of fire across the city. The majority of the 100,000 who perished died from carbon monoxide poisoning and the sudden lack of oxygen, but others died horrible deaths within the firestorm, such as those who attempted to find protection in the Sumida River and were boiled alive, or those who were trampled to death in the rush to escape the burning city. As a result of the attack, 10 square miles of eastern Tokyo were entirely obliterated, and an estimated 250,000 buildings were destroyed.
During the next nine days, U.S. bombers flew similar missions against Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe. In August, U.S. atomic attacks against Hiroshima and Nagasaki finally forced Japan's hand.”
After feeding Misty and Terry their breakfasts, and then Wendy’s Saturday morning phone call, I leisurely got ready for church. Jay said that he was going too, and wanted to go to the afternoon service at the Willis Church. That’s a change, as when he does go to church, he prefers to go to the morning one in Conroe.
We got there in time to be a part of the Bible Trivia (like Jeopardy) game, and Jay was smiling all the time. I think he enjoyed that. It is on the second Sabbath of the month, instead of Bible Study, and we have fun and learn a lot.
The sermon wasn’t given by the pastor, but by one of the elders, and he went on and on. He made some good points, but kept on repeating them. Jay was getting antsy by then, as he had a 4.30 appointment. When we arrived at Jay’s house, the lady he was supposed to do some work for, drove up. We made it just in time. As we didn’t stay for the potluck, I just made myself some eggs for dinner yesterday.