For “Scripture Sunday”:
This Mother's Day, Give Wild Moms a Hand
“Make your backyard a safer place for wildlife families. Just like human moms, wildlife moms will do almost anything to help their young thrive. For wild moms, this means creating a safe nest or den, finding food, fending off predators, and teaching their young to find food and escape danger. It's no easy job, but we can help lighten their load.
Mourning doves build a strong foundation of twigs for their nests of grass, weeds, and rootlets. iStockphoto.com
Dad Robin steps in, helping mom feed their hungry nestlings while she takes a much-needed break! iStockphoto.com
For several months after leaving the den, raccoon kits stay with mom for protection and guidance. iStockphoto.com
Barn swallow moms tend nestlings in mud pellet nests, tucked in the eaves of barns or under bridges.
A tree swallow mom builds her nest safely tucked inside an abandoned woodpecker cavity in a snag. iStockphoto.com
Woodchuck young are dependent on mom through early summer; most disperse at the end of summer. John Hadidian/The HSUS
Among other natural materials, Hummingbird moms need to gather plant down to insulate their nests. iStockphoto.com
A chickadee mom needs soft fibers like wool, hair, fur, feathers, and moss to line her cavity nest. Sarah Ellis.
Check for rabbit nests before mowing, and if you find one, leave grasses tall in a swath around it. iStockphoto.com
Make your yard safer
Wild animals have plenty of natural hazards to deal with—don't add to their worries.
Start by keeping cats indoors and keeping dogs away from nests.
Help birds out by offering some nesting materials.
Plant native wildflowers and grasses to provide some extra food.
Be cautious when cleaning up your yard. Check grassy areas for rabbits and turtles before mowing, and check trees and bushes before trimming so you don’t down or expose a nest.
Learn how to recognize when an animal needs help, and keep the phone number for a local wildlife rehabilitator or clinic handy.” More at: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/mothers_day.html
Fifth Commandment: Honor Your Father and Your Mother“The Fifth Commandment says: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” The first four commandments define how God wants us to show love for Him. This Fifth Commandment begins a series of six commandments that show us how to love other people—starting from our earliest years in the family.
In a way, the Fifth Commandment connects the two sections, since God reveals Himself as our loving Father. No father deserves honor as much as our Heavenly Father! Yet the Bible shows that humanity, and even those chosen to be God’s people, have often failed in showing that honor and respect to our Creator God.
This Fifth Commandment helps us see how learning respect and honor in the family setting helps prepare us to show honor to our ultimate Father.
Paul expands on this subject of family relationships with commands to both children and parents: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (verse 1). A smooth functioning society and happy relationships are based on respect and obedience to authority. It is much easier if we learn this early in life—without requiring the harsh taskmasters of boot camp, prison or being fired.
The vital parental role
The apostle Paul also commanded parents: “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). To the Colossians Paul added, “Lest they become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). Parents must not shirk their teaching role, but must do it in a way that is encouraging and doesn’t provoke their children.
The “training and admonition of the Lord” is explained more fully in the book of Deuteronomy. God told parents: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).
The parental role (http://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/parenting/parenting-advice/) is a vital one, and it is challenging. It is worthy of respect.”
Complete article at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/honor-fifth-commandment/
A Lesson About Life From Mary
“We can learn a significant lesson about human life (and its implications for abortion) by examining the most unique pregnancy in all of history—the birth of Christ to a young woman named Mary. Some of the main elements we see in today's debate about abortion are found here.
Let's look at it in the New Testament book of Luke, where Christ's birth is announced: "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!' . . .
"'And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus' . . . Then Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I do not know a man?'" (Luke 1:26-34 See All...).
This pregnancy was unplanned by Mary. She was a young woman with no sexual experience. She was "betrothed," similar to our modern form of engagement, to a man named Joseph. While the two had committed to each other, the formal wedding had not taken place. In that day and culture such a pregnancy out of wedlock held lifelong consequences. Mary was on the verge of becoming a single, unwed mother consigned to a life of poverty and shame, or possibly being stoned to death. First-century Israelite society was less forgiving than our modern cultures. The temptation to terminate the pregnancy could have been strong.
Joseph, her husband, had some initial doubts and embarrassment. Matthew's account tells us He "was minded to put her away secretly"—to break their betrothal agreement and cancel their upcoming marriage—because he did not want to bring embarrassment on the family.
But after the appearance of an angel to him in a dream as he slept, Joseph accepted that Mary's pregnancy was of God in fulfillment of a divine plan (Matthew 1:18-25 See All...). He may not have understood every detail, but he accepted his role. By accepting this, his life was forever changed. He accepted responsibility for the life of a son who was not biologically his. Joseph's act was one of the most noble that a man, a true man, can do. He accepted the role of fatherhood.
Mary's decision to keep the child growing in her womb also says something to a modern mind. In Luke's account, after Mary learns her life has been turned upside down by this unexpected event, she accepts her role and says to the angel, "Let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38 See All...).
Notice these words: "Let it be"—simply let it be.
What if today, so many who become pregnant, for whatever reason, would simply say, "Let it be"—out of respect for God, life's Creator?”
More at: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/lesson-about-life-mary/ Article by Darris McNeely
Crossing the Red Line—Now What?
“Can you imagine another war for America? It seems that our nation has grown weary of recent date because of Afghanistan and Iraq. So now what’s up with Syria?
Recently President Obama declared that it would be crossing a red line if Syria used chemical weapons. He called it a “game changer” and promised that there would be swift consequences. We now have indisputable evidence that chemical weapons have been used by the government of Syria against their own people.
The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday, April 29: “Israel has clear evidence of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army using chemical weapons against rebels, a senior diplomatic source said on Monday.”
America seems stymied by the latest civil war in the Middle East. It is sad whenever anyone dies, but the harsh reality is that a few hundred were affected by the chemicals unleashed by the Syrian army compared to the thousands that have been killed in the civil war already. Yet the leading nations of the world have done little to stop the bloodshed. The Syrian death toll is at least 70,000, mostly civilians, innocent men, women and children, who are not involved in the fighting. And on top of that, another 500,000 have sought refuge in Jordan.
An online news agency, “The Washington Square News,” in an opinion piece this week, clearly laid out the problem that America faces: “Any call for U.S. intervention implies an assumption of superiority based on the idea of American exceptionalism. But many argue that the United States is not superior, and that we have no right to meddle in other countries’ affairs. The American government has jurisdiction over its 50 states, not the world.”
The article concludes, “As a nation that has claimed to be the flagbearer of democracy for over 200 years, the United States and its ideals are now being put to the test. What is incontestable is that lives will be lost regardless of the path we choose to pursue, but nothing will improve if we remain idle.”
Whether the media is in favor of U.S. involvement in Syria or not, liberal or conservative, all recognize that President Obama has backed himself into a corner by his statements about the red line. Here is a report [by Ed Morrissey commenting on a Meet the Press program] from NBC News: “This is the reverse of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous axiom, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’ In this case, Obama spoke loudly while unsure of whether to pick up a stick at all. That has some inside and outside of the US worried about American credibility in other conflicts, specifically with Iran.”
Is America standing by, watching another humanitarian disaster? Will Syria become like Rwanda in the 1990s or the genocide in Darfur, or even worse? With no end in sight, who can predict the number of people who will be killed or displaced before the problems are resolved? 1 million, 2 million or more?
Is there a red line, as President Obama has announced? Everyone agrees that without strong moral leadership in the world, these most difficult disputes and wars will not be solved. If America fails to act, the only remaining superpower will be diminished and, at some point, completely dismissed. If some nation or group of nations doesn’t act soon, it is clear that thousands more will die or be displaced.
The world is watching Syria. And the world is watching America. Is America willing to provide the moral leadership that could change things in Syria?
Whenever leadership is uncertain, a vacuum is created and someone will fill that void. Who will it be? The world is watching and waiting. If America fails to act, rest assured, others will not. And what will be the outcome? How many will die? How many nations will be dragged into the dispute before it is over? The situation in Syria is desperate and getting worse by the day. Who will show the moral leadership to bring it to a halt? How long will this go on before help arrives? The only answer is that we must wait and see.
On the Mount of Olives shortly before His death Jesus Christ admonished His disciples to “watch and pray.” This would seem to be appropriate advice for His disciples almost 2,000 years later.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/crossing-the-red-line-now-what/
The program on WGN TV this morning:
The Spirit of Liberty
“The Minutemen of old responded swiftly to defend liberty. In our age of spiritual crisis are you responding to God's call?”
On This Day: Imagine the pain that this mother and father felt when:
Body of Lindbergh baby found, May 12, 1932:
“The body of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh’s baby is found on this day in 1932, more than two months after he was kidnapped from his family’s Hopewell, New Jersey, mansion.
The crime captured the attention of the entire nation. The Lindbergh family was inundated by offers of assistance and false clues. For three days, investigators had found nothing and there was no further word from the kidnappers. Then, a new letter showed up, this time demanding $70,000.
On May 12, a renewed search of the area near the Lindbergh mansion turned up the baby's body. He had been killed the night of the kidnapping and was found less than a mile from the home. The heartbroken Lindberghs ended up donating the home to charity and moved away.
The kidnapping looked like it would go unsolved until September 1934, when a marked bill from the ransom turned up. Suspicious of the driver who had given it to him, the gas station attendant who had accepted the bill wrote down his license plate number. It was tracked back to a German immigrant, Bruno Hauptmann. When his home was searched, detectives found $13,000 of Lindbergh ransom money.
The main evidence, apart from the money, was testimony from handwriting experts that the ransom note had been written by Hauptmann and his connection with the type of wood that was used to make the ladder. The evidence and intense public pressure was enough to convict Hauptmann. In April 1935 he was executed in the electric chair.
Kidnapping was made a federal crime in the aftermath of this high-profile crime.”
Jay had told me that he was going to go to church, so Wendy and I cut short our Saturday morning phone call, so that I could get ready to go to the morning service at the Conroe church.
But I couldn’t get hold of Jay, he wasn’t answering his phone, and his mother told me that he had got really drunk the night before. So I stopped rushing around and took my time to get get for the afternoon service at the Willis church.
Misty and I went down to Jay’s early for our morning walk, just in case he would go to the afternoon service, but he looked terrible, and said that he wasn’t going.
It was Bible Trivia, like Jeopardy, instead of Bible Study, and we all had a good time with that. My team won.
Someone had made a great video of pictures of the mothers in the congregation with their children and grandchildren, Each mother, including me, was given a Mother’s Day pin by the little children.
The sermon was about “What Do Christians Believe”, and it was mostly about how the Bible is the inherent, infallible Word Of God. He quoted many Bible verses where that is reiterated. The elder did touch on the fact that ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’, prayers in schools, and ballgames, have been lost along the way. Also how it was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 that a virgin would give birth to Immanuel, so why do some dispute that?
The potluck was great as usual, and I enjoyed my afternoon.
In the evening Jay called me saying that he needed to be ‘saved’ from himself. He was having to stay at his house, as his mother wouldn’t let him in hers. He gets really bored when he is by himself, and he had got into some cherry vodka which really messed him up. When he gets like that he keeps on pounding on his mother’s doors and windows, so she can’t get any rest. He wanted to come here and sleep on my couch, and promised to shut up. I went to get him, and as usual, things didn’t work out the way they should as he prattled on and on about nothing. Then he left, walked to the store for beer, and presumably back to his house.
He did say that he should have gone to church yesterday.