For “Scripture Sunday”:
Egypt Erupting Reveals Growing Unrest in the Muslim World
Protesters in Cairo, Egypt, collect rocks to throw at the advancing police (iStockphoto). Despite peace talks, the recent violence in Egypt makes peace seem like an impossible dream. What can bring peace to the volatile Middle East?
“Just this week over 600 people were killed in protests in Egypt. Since President Mohammed Morsi’s removal from power July 3, about 900 people have died in Egypt’s violence. More deaths are sure to follow.
And this is just Egypt.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed nearly 8,000 lives since the year 2000. In Syria, the death toll has topped 100,000 in their bloody civil war. No peaceful solution is in the foreseeable future. Al-Qaeda has developed a strong base in the Arabian Peninsula (a geographic area with many ungoverned areas) and is believed to be planning attacks on embassies or other Western interests in the Middle East and North Africa in the month of August.
Why so much violence in this area? Why the Middle East?
Some 4,000 years ago God promised a son to the patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah (Genesis 15:1-4). But as time went on, Sarah became impatient and persuaded Abraham to have a child by her maid Hagar (Genesis 16:1-3).
But soon after Hagar was pregnant with the child, who would be named Ishmael, stress began to build between Sarah, Abraham and Hagar (verses 4-6).
More than 13 years later, Abraham and Sarah had a child together, just as God promised. They named him Isaac. But now the tension grew worse, and Sarah had Abraham tell Hagar and Ishmael to leave (Genesis 21:1-2, 8-11).
God foretold the future of Abraham and Hagar’s son Ishmael. God said that Ishmael would “be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man. And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” (Genesis 16:12).
Many of the Arab peoples are descendants of Ishmael. God said that Ishmael and his descendants would become great in their own right (Genesis 21:17-18); and indeed the Arab countries are rich in oil reserves, the source of their wealth today.
The descendants of Isaac include the Jews and many living in America, Britain and other European nations.
So the tension that began between these two half-brothers centuries ago continues to this day. And, as God foretold, violence would follow the descendants of Ishmael.
This is partly why the Middle East has a long history of conflicts and violence.” More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/egypt-erupting-reveals-growing-unrest-in-the-muslim-world/ By Tim Groves - August 16, 2013
Recent Terror Alerts
“Terrorism is still a major threat to the world. Witness closure of US embassies and consulates around the world. Is there a spiritual reminder as well?”
Video at: http://youtu.be/vfZn7s-4Zn8
Bible Misconceptions: Test Your Knowledge
“Ironic, isn’t it? In our modern world, in which so much information is so easily available, along with the information come many common misconceptions.
Here are a couple of examples: “Christopher Columbus discovered America.” Truth or misconception? In fact, it’s far more misconception than truth. When Columbus landed in the New World in 1492, it had already been “discovered” by at least one other explorer prior to him; the Norse explorer Leif Eriksson had arrived on the shores of the Americas at least 500 years earlier.
Here’s another one: Mexican Independence Day is on May 5, or Cinco de Mayo, right? Wrong! No, Mexican Independence Day is on Sept. 16, the day Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1810. Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on that date in 1862.
There are so many other misconceptions in so many areas of life. Those are just a couple of examples from history.
But here at Life, Hope & Truth, one of our goals is to publish the truth about the Bible, a book that has been subject to many common misconceptions. So, let’s try something here. Let’s do a “pop quiz” on some Bible basics to see just a few of the misconceptions. This quiz won’t be complicated—but it may be surprising.
Okay, so here goes: question No. 1. True or false? Jesus was born in late December.
Now, question No. 2: when Jesus was born, He was visited by some men from the east. The Bible tells us it was three wise men. True or false?
Here’s another one: the apostle Peter was unmarried and celibate. True or false? That’s No. 3.
And here’s No. 4: the Bible speaks of purgatory as a destination when sinners die. That’s No. 4.
No. 5. Ready? Adam and Eve ate an apple in the Garden of Eden.
Okay, so let’s move on to No. 6, and see how much you know about the prophets. Ready? Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Got that one? Now No. 7. A little more challenging. True or false: the book of Jeremiah contains more prophecies of the Messiah than any other book of the prophets. What do you think?
Now let’s move on to No. 8. True or false? The New Covenant was instituted by the apostle Paul.
Almost done. Here’s No. 9. Moses was a Jew. True or false?
And finally, here’s question No. 10. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” was first uttered by the apostle Paul.
So, how did you do? The answers are easy—all 10 are false.
Now let’s run through them, and give the right answers.
Question No. 1. No, Jesus was not born in December. In fact He wasn’t born in the winter at all. For an explanation of this, please see our article titled “The Birth of Jesus” on the Life, Hope & Truth website.
Question No. 2. While it’s true that the baby Jesus was visited by wise men from the east, the Scriptures don’t say how many. The number “three” is no more than a guess, a tradition, and likely wrong.
Now question No. 3. The apostle Peter was married. 1 Corinthians 9:5—where he is called “Cephas”—tells us so.
Now, No. 4. Purgatory is nowhere even mentioned in the Scriptures, Old or New. No, not once.
No. 5. Adam and Eve ate a fruit, to be sure, but the Bible only refers to it as a fruit from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6).
Now No. 6. Jonah may have given a dose of indigestion to a great fish, but it is nowhere identified as a whale.
No. 7 now. No, it’s not Jeremiah whose book features all those prophecies of the Messiah. The book of Isaiah has as many as 20 messianic prophecies. Jeremiah doesn’t even come close.
Still with us? No. 8. The New Covenant—a much debated subject. But no, it wasn’t introduced by the apostle Paul. Jesus Christ, when He passed the wine to His disciples on the Passover evening, invited them to partake of His “blood of the new covenant,” symbolically represented by the wine.
Okay, so now here’s No. 9. Moses was an Israelite, but he was born of the tribe of Levi, not of Judah. All Jews are Israelites, but not all Israelites are Jews (Exodus 2:1-10).
Finally, No. 10. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” It is found in a speech given by the apostle Paul, but in fact he’s quoting from the words of Jesus Christ, recorded in the book of Acts, chapter 20 and verse 35.
So how did you do? There may be some Bible experts out there, and maybe also some who were surprised by the answers. Whatever the case, we can see that misconceptions aren’t limited to world history. In fact, the most important misconceptions are the false ideas about the Bible.
We invite you to visit this site often, but be prepared to be surprised about what the Bible really says!
For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Ralph Levy.”
“We leave a legacy every day with each life we touch. What legacy are you leaving behind?”
Video at: http://youtu.be/yELr7FRJcx4
An Amazing Fact: “In the year 1800, about 90 percent of Americans were farmers. By 1900, that number dropped to a little over 40 percent. Currently, only about two percent of Americans are farmers.
The rich farmer in Jesus’ parable was apparently neither satisfied with nor thankful for the riches he had. (Luke 12:13-21) He wanted more. He displayed no concern for others. He was self-absorbed and coveted a life of luxury and ease. Most tragic of all, he showed no interest in God who had blessed him with so much.
Jesus said, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” There is no future in a covetous life. Any treasures that a covetous person manages to accumulate might give him a false sense of security, an illusion of invincibility. But riches can’t protect him from disaster, they can’t save his life, and they can’t give him lasting joy or an eternal future.
Real wealth isn’t found apart from God. The spiritual life is what matters most. Only God can give us the eternal treasure of life with Him in His kingdom of love.”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. - Luke 12:15-21
The program on WGN TV this morning:
Times of Refreshing
“Although we live in an agitated, fearful time, God's annual Feast of Tabernacles proclaims a soon-coming, peaceful new age.”
On This Day:
Genghis Khan dies, Aug 18, 1227:
“Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who forged an empire stretching from the east coast of China west to the Aral Sea, dies in camp during a campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia. The great Khan, who was over 60 and in failing health, may have succumbed to injuries incurred during a fall from a horse in the previous year. His final resting place remains a mystery.
Genghis Khan was born as Temujin around 1162. By 1206, Temujin was the leader of a great Mongol confederation and was granted the title Genghis Khan, translated as "Oceanic Ruler" or "Universal Ruler."
Khan promulgated a code of conduct and organized his armies on a system of 10: 10 men to a squad, 10 squads to a company, 10 companies to a regiment, and 10 regiments to a "Tumen," a fearful military unit made up of 10,000 cavalrymen. Because of their nomadic nature, the Mongols were able to breed far more horses than sedentary civilizations, which could not afford to sacrifice farmland for large breeding pastures. All of Khan's warriors were mounted, and half of any given army was made up of armored soldiers wielding swords and lances.
The Mongol empire continued to grow after Genghis Khan's death, eventually encompassing most of inhabitable Eurasia. The empire disintegrated in the 14th century, but the rulers of many Asian states claimed descendant from Genghis Khan and his captains.”
Yangtze River peaks in China, Aug 18, 1931:
“On this day in 1931, the Yangtze River in China peaks during a horrible flood that kills 3.7 million people directly and indirectly over the next several months. This was perhaps the worst natural disaster of the 20th century.
The Yangtze River runs through southern China, one of the most populated areas on Earth. The region's people, most of whom lived at subsistence level, depended on the river for water for their personal and farming needs. In April, the river-basin area received far-above-average rainfall. When torrential rains came again in July, the stage was set for disaster. The Yangtze flooded over a 500-square-mile area. The rising waters drove 500,000 people from their homes by the beginning of August.
As the waters continued to rise in the first half of August and even more rain fell, the rice fields that dominated the landscape were swamped, destroying the crop. Major cities such as Wuhan and Nanjing depended on this rice and, without it, people in the cities starved to death. In addition, typhoid and dysentery were rampant due to the polluted river. The millions who died from this flood perished from starvation and disease, many after the flood waters had receded.
Much of the disaster may have been averted if flood-control measures had been followed closely. The Yangtze carries large amounts of sediment, which accumulates in certain areas of the river and must be cleared regularly. However, with much of the area's resources devoted to civil war at the time, the river was neglected.”
First, I would like to thank all of you for your birthday wishes on FaceBook. I can’t believe that I have managed to live 78 years, especially without any medical issues. My blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol is OK, my bones don’t ache, and I don’t have to take any kind of meds. Big Pharma would go broke if everyone was like me! So many, younger than I, suffer from all kinds of ailments or have already passed. I don’t think that I feel any older than I did in my 40’s and 50’s, and still do the same things, like climbing ladders, etc! Once again, thank you for thinking of me.
After my daughter’s Saturday phone call, and tending to my critters, I leisurely got ready for church. Then I took Misty for a walk around here. As soon as the foster mom who lives near me picked up Nala for Adoption day, I left and arrived at church just in time for Bible Study.
The Bible Study was about The Day of Pentecost mentioned in Acts 2:1-13 which occurred on the Feast of Weeks, the fiftieth day after Passover on which Jesus was crucified.
The Feast of Weeks was one of the three Jewish festivals that every male Jew living within a certain distance from Jerusalem was legally obligated to attend. According to rabbinical tradition the Feast of Weeks celebrated the anniversary of the giving of the law at Sinai, following Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery.
The sermon was given by our pastor, Anthony, was about “Understanding the Signs of The Times”. In Matt 16:1-12, Jesus said to the Pharisees and Sadducees - “Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.” Then to His disciples He said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Verse 12: Jesus did not mean bread, he meant the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Our pastor said that we can hardly escape the leaven of the corrupt media of our day. Everything has to be sensational, and we have a worldwide epidemic of personal drama, which feeds on two things: Distribution and Division. These are most important for Satan to spread his leaven. The parable about the rich farmer (above) was also mentioned, to show that we should not put emphasis on worldly goods, as our first thoughts should be for the Lord. There was a lot more to the sermon, about Circumstances and Timing, which was also interesting.
The grass and plants have all greened up nicely since all the rain the day before. That cooled things down so I had the windows and doors open for a lot of the day.