For “Scripture Sunday”:
Who's Watching You?
“Reports of the National Security Agency (NSA) monitoring phone calls of American citizens raise a larger question about our thoughts and the intent of our hearts.”
Discern the Times
“As interesting as the NSA spying issue is, a deeper threat is coming from China.”
Can Ethics Be Taught?
“Yes they can and the best and surest foundation is from the Bible.”
Watch archived Beyond Today Daily videos [BT Daily] at http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/daily
Who Do You Trust?
“Recently Reader’s Digest polled over 1,000 Americans to come up with a list of the 100 most trusted individuals (Courtenay Smith and Alison Caporimo, “Reader’s Digest Trust Poll: The 100 Most Trusted People in America,” RD.com).
Number one on the list was the actor Tom Hanks. I’ve enjoyed a number of his movies over the years and he comes across as a pleasant enough man, but the most trusted person in America?
I love the game show Jeopardy. Now I know why. Its host Alex Trebek is ranked as the 8th most trusted person. I like his wry wit and dignified demeanor, but a game show host the 8th most trusted person in America?
In fact of the top 10, seven are connected to the entertainment industry. What does this say about the state of our society?
I found it interesting that people who should be leaders of society and trustworthy were ranked so low. I had to go all the way to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at number 36 to find someone currently serving in government. Unfortunately Judge Judy at 28 is more trusted than a sitting judge on the Supreme Court.
Religious leaders fared even worse. Billy Graham came in highest at 67.
Business leaders caught a break with Bill Gates. He came in at number 7, although I suspect he made the list primarily for his charitable work. After him though the next most trusted business leader is Warren Buffet at number 71.
What does this tell us about our society?
First, it tells me how fixated on entertainment we are that actors seem to be the most trustworthy group in the country. Think about that! People who are paid to play a role and make us believe they are something they are not, are the most trusted in America. We feel so attached to them and think we know them so well that we actually are willing to say we trust them.
Secondly, it tells me that we have a famine of honest leadership, and that the people we should want to trust have disqualified themselves from earning it. It seems we see corruption and dishonesty at all levels of government. On top of that our political system has become so toxic that even when there is no wrongdoing each side seems intent on destroying the reputation of the other.
With all the business scandals that have occurred over the last decade it’s certainly understandable that business leaders overall are not trusted. The world of religion has also had its share of shameful conduct.
So who do we trust?
We all have people close to us we should trust such as a spouse, family members, close friends but people make mistakes and even in those relationships trust can be damaged. Some are so hurt by betrayals of trust that they go through life with “trust issues”.
King Saul brought him into his inner circle and later tried to murder him. David was also betrayed at different times by a wife, by sons and by trusted friends. He also knew what it was like to be the betrayer of trust because he had a close friend killed to cover up committing adultery with his wife.
Yet David knew where he could place his trust and put it in music. He wrote “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10 See All...)
David understood people, including himself, were not where he should put his ultimate trust but instead he needed to place his trust in God.
So I ask again, who do we trust?
If we place our ultimate trust in people we will be disappointed. However when we get to know our Lord and Creator we will find like King David did, that is where our trust belongs.” From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/who-do-you-trust/ by Paul Hadley
“No doubt one of the most incredible and despicable acts of humans was the interaction of Israel with their God after He brought them out of Egypt. The people saw God's wrath upon Egypt and rejoiced in their deliverance. They did not take long before complaints began to come in. Even after God was forced to punish them in the desert, the people still flattered Him with their mouths and lied with their tongues (Psalm 78:36-37). Their hearts were not steadfast and, they were not true to the covenant that they agreed to.
Flattery and lies seem to be a set of tools that we all possess and use at will. It is bad enough between humans, but it is beyond belief toward a loving and generous God. Before we condemn the Israelites, though, let us pause to ask how we are doing in this area. If these are tools that we use, the time has come to lay them aside and take up the tools God provides. Honest words, spoken from a sincere heart are what please God. You cannot fool Him.” From: http://www.ucg.org/this-is-the-way/flattery-and-lies/
“Learning to redeem the time. Thoughts on life.”
Assembly Required, Lions teach a lesson
It often comes easy to skip church services, but what does God require?
“It was not too long ago, that my wife and I were not attending services on a weekly basis. We only showed up about twice a month. We had several reasons for not coming, but the fact was that by not attending services regularly, we began to suffer spiritually.
When I was a small child growing up in the church, my parents used to let us watch nature shows on the Sabbath – mostly “National Geographic.” For some reason I always remember the episodes about lions. I loved watching the lions; they were so powerful, the king of the beasts.
As I continued to watch, as I got older, something about the lion shows started to bother me. They always showed the lion hunting, but it wasn’t the killing that got to me. I started to notice that when lions hunt, the first thing they do is separate the herd. What’s ideal for a lion, as with most predators is to find prey that is weak. This weakness could mean being slower than the rest of the herd, like with a sick animal, but most of the time the prey is just young. During the chase, the lion will separate one individual from the herd, the weakest member of that herd.
As a child, this really began to bother me. I mean I could see this kind of cowardly behavior coming from maybe a hyena, (my least favorite animal) but not from a lion. I had a different image of lions in my mind. Lions were to be feared and respected, but the way these massive beasts picked off the young to devour it, it just didn’t seem that magnificent to me anymore.
I think we can learn a very important lesson from the lion. One of easiest ways for Satan to destroy us is to first separate us from our “herd.” Get us one on one, feeling alone, scared, and without the protection of our spiritual family. Then he goes in for the kill.
1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour.”
One of the important reasons God gave us the command to assemble together was to protect us from the adversary who seeks to destroy us. We have a very real God, and we also have a very real enemy. If we give Satan a foothold by not keeping the Sabbath commandment and reject the protection that God offers through his church, Satan will use it to try to destroy us spiritually. That’s his goal.” More at: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/assembly-required/
The program on WGN TV this morning:
Is the Devil in Your Church?
“Is it possible Satan is closer than you think - even within the church you attend? Learn what the Bible reveals.”
On This Day:
"Mercedes" registered as a brand name, Jun 23, 1902:
“On this day in 1902, German automaker Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) first registers "Mercedes" as a brand name; the name will gain full legal protection the next September.
The 1901 Mercedes is considered to have been the first truly modern automobile. The famous Mercedes symbol, a three-point star, was registered as a trademark in 1909 and used on all Mercedes vehicles from 1910 onward.”
Even without the corpse, a murderer is uncovered, Jun 23, 1934:
“William Bayly is convicted of murder in New Zealand despite the fact that the body of one of his alleged victims was never found. Most of the evidence against Bayly consisted of trace amounts of human hair, bone, and tissue, representing a marked advance in the field of forensics.
Detectives found the missing rifles buried in a swamp on Lakey's property. Following up on a report that there had been thick smoke coming from a shed on Bayly's property on the day that the Lakey’s disappeared, investigators found pieces of hair and bones, ash, and shotgun lead in a large oil drum inside the shed. It appeared that Bayly had cremated Sam Lakey's body in this drum.
Tests of the hair and bone fragments from the drum in the shed proved that they were human in origin. Baley was convicted and hanged at Mount Eden Jail in July.”
Title IX enacted, Jun 23, 1972:
“On this day in 1972, Title IX of the education amendments of 1972 is enacted into law. Title IX prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students or employees based on sex. It begins: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." As a result of Title IX, any school that receives any federal money from the elementary to university level--in short, nearly all schools--must provide fair and equal treatment of the sexes in all areas, including athletics.
Title IX is credited with decreasing the dropout rate of girls from high school and increasing the number of women who pursue higher education and complete college degrees.”
After Wendy’s Saturday morning phone call, I quickly got bathed, hair washed, and dressed, ready for church. Another contractor, Adam, was coming to look at what has to be done to build a roof extension over my front porch.
The contractor who was supposed to have looked at it on Wednesday evening, Dick, hadn’t showed up, so I had called Adam again. Years ago, he had worked on my house at Onalaska on Lake Livingston, and done a superb job. I had called him in May, but he was going on vacation, and then had a big job to do in June.
Adam arrived, took some measurements, and said that he would get back to me on Monday, though he said that it would be at least three weeks before he could start on it.
The Bible Study was again from the ‘Stand To Reason’ series. It is about how to speak to someone about why they believe what they believe, using ‘Colombo’ tactics, where you ask “What do you mean by that?”, and “How did you come to that conclusion?” to find out what they believe. When you know what they believe, it may alert you to some flaw or contradiction to Bible teaching.
The sermon was titled “Protecting The Holy Spirit”, about Rev. 21: 1-9, 22-27 where it speaks of a holy city. Satan doesn’t want us to to go to the holy city, so we have to be on our guard against the antichrist and false prophets all the time.
As my back was hurting, I didn’t stay for the pot-luck, and arrived home earlier than usual. Just after I had let Misty out, Dick, the other contractor showed up. He said that he would start on it next week, and will bring me a list of materials today.