For “Scripture Sunday”:
NFL Murder Charges and Evil
“News of a high profile arrest in the NFL can lead us to consider our perspective on sin.”
Abortion: It's About the Right Choice
“We hear a lot about abortion these days. It seems like discussions on the right to choose are everywhere. Those in favor of abortion are called "pro-choice."
I remember a story about a tree in the Garden of Eden. Choosing to eat of that tree would give mankind the right to know good and evil. Things are so different today with technology and the progress of society. We've come a long way since that day in the garden. Or have we?
I made a mistake at a very young age. I broke the law of God. It is not something that I am proud of, and certainly not something that I ever thought I would openly share with the world.
You notice, the mistake I made was mine. No one else was responsible for it. Soon after I began my walk down that path I discovered I was pregnant. I was young and unmarried, unprepared, and certainly not financially capable of taking care of a child. Now let me emphasize that while I may have made a mistake, the life growing within me was not a mistake. Life is a blessing and should be cherished.
Unlike many young girls, my view of life never allowed me to consider abortion as an option. Any choices I had made up to that point had been my own and had impacted my life. Now every choice I would make would not only impact my own life but that of my unborn child. I could feel him moving, tossing and turning inside of my body. It was like little butterflies were having a party. Two days after I felt him move for the first time, a friend of mine had an abortion. She was a few weeks further along than I was. I kept thinking that she had to have felt the movement. She had to have known that life was growing inside of her.
Why did she make that choice? Why do so many young girls make that choice? Fear. There is fear of telling parents, losing career opportunities, college, financial responsibilities; it all boils down to a fear of the unknown. Yes, I was also afraid. I was afraid of what would become of me and my child. I was afraid no man would ever want to marry me. I was afraid that I would bring my child into a financially unstable situation and we would forever be poor. I was afraid God would never want me and I would always be alone, with a child to care for.
I believe God knew my fears and He gave me the answer I had been searching for. A well-meaning older friend spent many hours trying to convince me to give my child up for adoption. While I knew it was an option for some, it was not one that I was considering. I wanted to keep my baby, to give him a home, and yes, to raise him in the truth of God. I wanted to know he was taken care of and brought up with the right teachings. This friend admonished me, telling me that children need a father and by keeping my child I would be robbing him of that special relationship.
It was at that moment that everything made sense to me. He was right that having a father was an important part of growing up. My choices up to that point had left me feeling alone and vulnerable, and I had forgotten that I had a Father who was willing and able to not only forgive me, but provide for me and my son. I had no reason to fear the future, we were His and He would care for us. He would be a Father to us both.
I made a choice to turn my back on abortion. I made a choice to give my son life. I made a choice to ask God for forgiveness and to change my life style. I made a choice to keep my child. I made a choice to put God in our lives and allow Him to be our Father. I made a choice to trust in Him and to put aside the fear. I made a choice and He honored that choice.
You see, we all sin, and we all fall short. God is willing and able to help us pick up the pieces and move on. I made some terrible choices as a young person, but with His help I made some beautiful choices that allowed a young life to grow into adulthood and now he can make choices of his own.
The next time you are involved in a discussion about the right to choose, remember that tree in the Garden of Eden. It's not about the choice itself, it's about making the right choice. Not every choice is the right choice. Some choices far outweigh others.” From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/abortion-its-about-right-choice/
Three Traits to Avoid when Looking for a Husband
“When my daughters were teens I told them to be particularly aware of three traits in a boy because these traits influence what kind of man he would become.”
Video and Transcript at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/christian-living/three-traits-avoid-when-looking-husband
An Amazing Fact: “Among Americans polled about honesty, 52 percent said lying is never justified; yet 65 percent said it was sometimes okay to lie to keep from hurting someone’s feelings. Twelve percent of adults admit that they lie sometimes or occasionally. However, when asked, “Are you a liar?” 97 percent said “No.” The three percent who admitted to lying were tested to evaluate their actual honesty and were found to be 28 times more honest than the people who denied lying.
Very few people—if any—are honest 100 percent of the time. Even Christians and other people who are committed to being honest sometimes are caught off guard and speak something that is less than the truth in the confusion of the moment—sometimes to keep from hurting another person’s feelings. Other times, perhaps, they are not completely honest with themselves.
We deal with dishonest people all the time. And all of us, at some time in our lives, have been dishonest. Many times dishonesty hurts other people; sometimes it only hurts the dishonest person.
But dishonesty always hurts God because one of His characteristics is truth. The Bible says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight” (Proverbs 12:22).
Lying comes naturally to humans. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The only way to conquer a deceitful heart is to allow God to replace it with the pure heart of our Savior. He is willing to transform us today.” KEY BIBLE TEXTS:
In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.
Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. - Psalms 120:1,2
Avoid Time Theft
Titus 2:10 Not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
“Though the context of this verse is the apostle Paul giving instruction to Christians who found themselves in the unfortunate circumstances of Roman slavery, the principles Paul teaches apply to modern-day employees.
Stealing from one’s place of work can be a temptation for employees. In recent times, “time theft” has become a major problem in the workplace. This is when employees accept “pay from their employer for work that they have not actually done” (http://timewellscheduled.com/time-theft/). Examples of “time theft” can be wasting time on personal interests and pursuits on the Internet (perhaps watching YouTube videos or browsing Facebook), spending excessive time on personal business (perhaps making nonwork-related phone calls) or taking unnecessarily long breaks.
Christians are not to “pilfer”—but are to live a life characterized by “fidelity” (honesty). Though “time theft” can seem like a minor issue, Jesus Christ taught that His followers are to show integrity and character in the little things—as well as the big things (Luke 16:10; 19:17).
To learn more about what God says on the subject of stealing, read “Eighth Commandment: You Shall Not Steal.”
It is a deadly direction spiritually. Paul wrote that those who set their minds on earthly things are on the road to destruction (Philippians 3:19). He was talking about gratifying the senses and getting what we can out of life. If we are rich in earthly things but poor in spiritual things, our lives are going nowhere. There is no place else to go after life than eternity. We do not get there minding earthly things. That is a spiritual realm.
Eternal life calls for the transformation of our physical, earthy bodies into a glorious spiritual body that never ages, gets weary or ill and has almost no limits (Philippians 3:21). Paul wrote that our citizenship is in heaven. Therefore we ought to be mindful of the things of our "country." Those things are spiritual. We can and must live in an earthly body with earthly things, but we can focus on the spiritual. In fact, we must.”
An Amazing Fact: “America’s largest landfill is Apex Regional Landfill, 20 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It has over 3,199,653 tons of garbage.
Talk about a lot of trash! The Apex Regional Landfill takes in over 9,000 tons of trash a day. Back in 2007, it was getting as much as 15,000 tons of trash a day. And, spanning 2,200 acres, the dump could keep taking trash at the same rate for the next 200 years.
It’s hard to believe, but this particular landfill is just one of many landfills that contribute to America’s burgeoning trash industry. All told, the trash industry in America does about $50 billion worth of business a year!
Perhaps just as hard to believe is what the apostle Paul considered to be trash. In Philippians 3:8 he says that he considered all things to be “as garbage” compared to gaining Christ and knowing Him (NLT). (What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.)
And Paul had a lot to cling to, humanly speaking. He was born into the right family, trained at the best institutions, and was zealous for law keeping. He had a lot going for him. Yet in the grand ledger of his life, he counted all his accomplishments as “debits” and knowing Jesus as a “credit.”
This is because he saw a vision of Jesus that made everything else in the world fade. He had been saved from his former life of persecuting God’s people. He had been redeemed from trying to earn his own salvation by performing good works. He had been granted a new heart and a new life. Thus everything else in this world was utter trash in Paul’s estimation.
What about us? Have we caught the same vision that Paul caught—thus causing all else in life to leave us dissatisfied in light of God’s glory and grace?” KEY BIBLE TEXTS
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. - 1 Corinthians 2:2
This morning on WGN TV: Change Your Life Story
“Are you following your own rules and obtaining terrible results? Maybe it's time to let God change your life's direction.”
On This Day:
Kit Carson's campaign against the Indians, Jul 7, 1863:
“On this day, the Union's Lt. Colonel Christopher "Kit" Carson leaves Santa Fe with his troops, beginning his campaign against the Indians of New Mexico and Arizona. A famed mountain man before the Civil War, Carson was responsible for waging a destructive war against the Navajo that resulted in their removal from the Four Corners area to southeastern New Mexico.”
Building of Hoover Dam begins, Jul 7, 1930:
“On this day in 1930, construction of the Hoover Dam begins. Over the next five years, a total of 21,000 men would work ceaselessly to produce what would be the largest dam of its time, as well as one of the largest manmade structures in the world.
Although the dam would take only five years to build, its construction was nearly 30 years in the making. Arthur Powell Davis, an engineer from the Bureau of Reclamation, originally had his vision for the Hoover Dam back in 1902, and his engineering report on the topic became the guiding document when plans were finally made to begin the dam in 1922.
Once preparations were made, the Hoover Dam's construction sprinted forward: The contractors finished their work two years ahead of schedule and millions of dollars under budget. Today, the Hoover Dam is the second highest dam in the country and the 18th highest in the world. It generates enough energy each year to serve over a million people, and stands, in Hoover Dam artist Oskar Hansen's words, as "a monument to collective genius exerting itself in community efforts around a common need or ideal."”
When I got up, as soon as the kittens saw me through the glass door, they wanted to be fed. They are hungry little critters. After Wendy’s usual Saturday phone call, I leisurely got ready for church, and then fed the kittens again.
The four black ones were picked up to go to Adoption Day about 12.30. I kept the little shy tabby, Tiger Lily here, as she always gets pushed out of the feeding bowl, and so I made sure she had a good meal. The black kittens are going to be harder to get adopted, I don’t know why. Black cats are considered good luck everywhere else in the world but the US. The foster mom was delayed over a doggie matter, and was late, so that didn’t leave time for me to go to Bible Study.
I had already taken Misty for her walk around here, so I picked Jay up in the van so we could go straight there.
A guest pastor from San Antonio gave the talk. It was centered around Mat 22:14 “Many are called, few are chosen.” The pastor’s message was; “So what do you want to be, called or chosen?”
He said Adam and Eve were given only one commandment, not to eat of the fruit of the tree, and they couldn’t keep that one.
Now, we have 10 commandments, so we have even more difficulty. Joshua 24:15 says “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Make your call, choose who you will serve, 2 Peter 1:10,11 “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Deut 30:15-19: “15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
The pastor really got everyone’s attention, added some interesting stories, and even Jay was really moved by what he had heard. Talked about straightening out his life on the way home.
But it was short-lived, as he got into some kind of trouble last night, and he was thrown out of his mother’s house, rude and drunk again, at 6.00am today.