For "Scripture Sunday:
"Egypt’s importance stretches over thousands of years and will continue through the end of this age.
In the last 4,000 years or more, there have not been many nations that have so caught the attention of the rest of the world as the nation of Egypt. The world famous pyramids are among the many structures that have endured over thousands of years of time, affirming the important role this nation played in the Middle East.
Egypt was one of the first to develop into a powerful, scientifically advanced nation of builders, designers, craftsmen, lawgivers and sadly, idol worshippers. Its history was hundreds of years old when Babylon and Assyria were forming, Greece was a group of warring cities and Rome was just a little village.
Egypt was quite isolated, and therefore may have escaped some of the attacks from foreign nations. The deserts on both sides and the life-giving Nile that flowed from the far distant reaches of the south allowed Egypt to develop on its own. There were many internal battles and turmoil as areas were united under one ruler or another, and the nation did expand outwards to a limited extent, but judging from the incredible amount of time and effort it took to build the enormous temples, stone images and the many lesser pyramids as well as the famous three, it seems we are looking at a history of a ruling class, who were completely involved in preparing for their afterlives and the future that they believed would come and less involved in actually living for the moment.
Egypt is mentioned throughout the Bible
In the Bible, Egypt first shows up in Genesis 12:10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
See All.... At the moment when God was dividing up the nations on Earth after the flood of Noah's time (Genesis 11:7-9 See All...), it seems He placed people in Egypt. Though the name “Egypt” does not show up until this point in scripture, it is described as the land to which Abraham traveled. It was a land of plenty and, since there already was a Pharaoh (Genesis 12:15 See All...), it is clear that Egypt was somewhat organized as a nation shortly after the flood of Noah’s day. It was the land from which Abraham traveled when he and Lot came north to the area of the Negev Desert (Genesis 13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
It seems that Abraham had prospered greatly while in Egypt. He lived about 400 years after the flood, and one has to wonder exactly how and why the great pyramids were constructed and why a burial place was chosen that was above the water level of the Nile. Did Egyptians remember the flood? The Nile is known to have flooded each year, bringing rich soil and added moisture from Africa to ensure abundant crops in the land of Egypt.
Today Egypt is in turmoil. There is a population of about 85 million who depend on the regular flow of the Nile. Most are of the blood of Ishmael. The number of the true Egyptians of old is not great. The true Egyptians of old have never regained the position of power within their own land let alone in the world. That was one part of the burden God placed on them – that others would rule over them (Zechariah 10:11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. See All...). Greeks, Romans, French and others have ruled Egypt. Presently the rulers are of Ishmael and the dominant religion by far is Islam.
Egypt is so crowded that any disturbance can become a disaster. Poverty is rampant, education is lacking and the preoccupation with religion is shackling the people. They do not know of any other way to live, and God has not yet chosen to make them His people. He will though, and in scripture He calls them “My people.”
Egypt still has a role to play in history. Few lands have been mentioned as often as Egypt in the Bible. Before the time of God's blessing, more of the burden they are carrying has to be completed. There is still to come a great time of war and turmoil in which Egypt will be overrun and will suffer greatly. There will be a time of trouble that will be worse than anything the world has ever known and Egypt will not escape (Matthew 24:21-22 See All...).
Long after Israel had left Egypt and God had placed a heavy hand on that nation, Ezekiel states that God will act against Egypt again (he wrote more than a thousand years after Israel had left in the Exodus). He wrote that he would diminish them so they would never again rule over another nation (Ezekiel 29:14-16 See All...). Again and again we note that God has an ongoing interaction with this nation. We can also see the continued interaction between Egypt and Israel. There seems to be a fascinating link between them."
Complete article at: http://www.ucg.org/bible/egypts-burden/ article by Robert Berendt
Accepting the Unacceptable
What we see and hear can change who we are.
"The other day I sat down and watched an old television show called The Dick Van Dyke Show. It was a show I had watched as a child, and I had forgotten just how funny it was. My teenage son also joined me and when it was over he said it was one of the best shows he'd seen. The comedy was simply based around every day events taken to the extreme and it was hilarious.
The best part was what we didn't see.
Violence, murder, evil, sex, and foul language have overtaken the airwaves today. This is Satan's world right now and he loves negative influences that work against what God stands for.
Over the years, we have been gradually spoon fed more and more of it. We have come to accept what we see, as normal and every day. We no longer turn away from it because it is so common. Proverbs 8:13 See All... says , “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (KJV ). God hates evil! Hate is a strong word to be taken seriously.
3 John 1: 11 in part also tells us that we should “follow not that which is evil, but that which is good.” You may argue that simply watching something on television or hearing a song on the radio is not the same as doing evil, but if we are to emulate Jesus Christ then shouldn't we do as He would do? If God hates that which is evil, then would Christ have anything to do with it?
I have often found myself listening to an old song from my teen years. The music begins to play and I think to myself, oh I love this song! I begin to sing along to the lyrics when suddenly I realize what the song is about and I am appalled. “What? This song is about adultery...drugs, murder, or whatever?” I ask myself. I wonder how I had never realized what the song was about before. Is it just that I never really listened or was it that I didn't care? Honestly, I cannot tell you why exactly, but I am sure it is that I now have God's Holy Spirit working with me, which helps me to be more aware of what to accept as good.
Psalms 34:14 See All...says, “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Departing from evil is not only physical. Evil comes in many forms. We must protect our minds as well. If we continuously watch programs that show grisly murders, we can become accustomed to it. Personally I don't want to grow accustomed to something like that."
More at: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/accepting-unacceptable/ article by Lorelei Nettles
"Are we grateful for what we have, or are we consumed with desire for what we do not have?
There is a story that, in the 1920s, a reporter asked the fabulously wealthy John D. Rockefeller, “How much is enough?” Rockefeller’s reply, after a moment’s thought, is said to have been, “Just a little bit more!” Now, the story may or may not be true. It does, however, illustrate a characteristic of human nature. People are never quite satisfied with what they have now.
When we look back over recorded human history, so much of it is dominated by wars and struggles over land, wealth and power. One group of people desires what they do not already possess, and they are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their ends, including fighting and taking it by force. God inspired James to remark on this trait. James wrote, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war” (James 4:1-2 See All...).
James uses a word here that bears some examination. There are several Greek and Hebrew words that are translated “covet,” but all carry the meaning of an extraordinary desire to have something. Often, the word “covet” is used to refer to wanting something that belongs to someone else. A clear example of this is found in Exodus 20, where the tenth commandment forbids coveting: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:See All...).
The commandment is itself interesting, as it follows nine other commandments that, by and large, have to do with actions. This command has to do, not with actions but, with what we think. It has to do with wanting more than what we have; wanting more than we have been given. When we covet, what we have seems inadequate. We can see this principle in action at the very beginning of the Bible, when the serpent skillfully deceived Eve. Eve lived in a beautiful, perfect world, free of sin, worry, and trouble. What more could she want? Satan tempted her with the same thing he wanted. He wanted to be like God. His message to Eve was that no matter how good she had it right now, she was inadequate. Eve needed just a little bit more to be happy. God, he said, had something that she should have. “…God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5 See All...).
Eve, seeing that the fruit looked okay physically, allowed herself to covet what was God’s alone to have. That covetousness moved her to sin against the word of God. Her eyes were opened, but this did not bring her happiness, any more than winning the lottery or becoming a dictator today is a recipe for happiness. All of the examples in the Bible and in the world, however, are not enough to keep us from always wanting what we don’t have."
More at: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/enough/ article by Katherine Rowland
High and Holy Places
AN AMAZING FACT: "The bristlecone pine is the oldest living single organism on our planet. One tree called “Methuselah” is estimated to be 4,789 years old. Its location in the White Mountains of eastern California is undisclosed to protect the tree from vandalism.
Bristlecone pines are a group of small trees believed to live for about 5,000 years. There are three species: Rocky Mountain (Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona), Great Basin (Utah, Nevada, and eastern California), and the Foxtail (California). They grow in isolated groves at or just below the tree line. Because of high winds, dry soils, and cold temperatures, seasons are very short and the trees grow very slowly. The bristlecone’s wood is dense and resinous, so it is resistant to pests like insects and fungus.
These special trees can remind us of a Bible verse about the Lord: “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15).
Perhaps we can learn from the humble bristlecone pine. It can live at such a high elevation because it stays low and close to the rock, sending its roots deep down so it can hang on during the storms that strike the mountain. We, too, can come close to the “High and Holy One” when we are humble. When you are blown about by winds of strife, bow down like the bristlecone pine. Send your roots deep down into Jesus and hang on to Him as you grow slowly and strongly."
KEY BIBLE TEXTS: Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. - Psalms 92:13
Names for Saturday in Many Languages Prove Which Day Is the True Sabbath
"Which day of the week is the biblical Sabbath? It is clear from the names for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, in many languages.
Which day of the week is the biblical Sabbath? Many are confused over the issue, but such confusion is unnecessary. Not only is the answer plain from history and the Bible, it is also clear from the names for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, in many languages.
For example, the Spanish word for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is sabado— the same word for "Sabbath." In fact, in more than 100 ancient and modern languages the seventh day of the week was named "Sabbath" or its equivalent. Following is a list of names for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, in 24 languages in which the root word Sabbath is still easily recognizable.
Such widespread use of forms of the word Sabbath for the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is clear evidence that speakers of these languages understood which day is the Sabbath.
Likewise, the fact that in no language do we see "Sabbath" similarly linked with Sunday, the first day of the week, is an obvious confirmation that this day never was considered the biblical Sabbath until later religious leaders tried to substitute Sunday for the true Sabbath day.
Portuguese: S ábado
By now perhaps you've realized that most of mankind has failed to obey God when it comes to His Sabbath day. Much of humanity ignores God altogether and couldn't care less about setting aside a day to honor and worship Him.
On this seventh day of each week, we should cease from our own work and allow God to work in us, building and nourishing our relationship with our Creator. We will then discover and experience the blessings of God's Sabbath rest!"
This week's program on WGN TV:
666 and You!
"This infamous prophetic number involves not only one's freedom to buy and sell but much more. Discover the important biblical facts."
On This Day:
Gene Autry, "The Singing Cowboy," is born, Sep 29, 1907:
"From the early 1930s to the mid-1950s, Gene Autry, "The Singing Cowboy," dominated the country & western genre as the biggest-selling recording artist of the era. But more than that, Autry was a phenomenally successful radio personality, movie star and businessman, too—a cross-platform creative mogul of the kind that today's pop superstars strive to be. Born on this day in 1907 near Tioga, Texas, Byron Orvon Gene Autry grew up to be one of the most important figures the country music world has ever seen.
As a boy, Autry sang in the church choir in Tioga and mastered the mail-order guitar his parents bought him for his 12th birthday. He was already an accomplished amateur and sometime-professional musician when, in the early 1920s, his family moved to Oklahoma, setting in motion the events that would make him into a star. While Autry strummed his guitar and sang casually during a quiet swing shift in the telegraph office in Chelsea, Oklahoma, in the summer of 1927, Oklahoma's favorite son and one of America's favorite entertainers, Will Rogers, happened into the office and encouraged young Gene to head to New York City to pursue a recording career. One year later, Autry did just that, landing an audition at RCA Victor that led to his first recording sessions in the autumn of 1929.
Autry's commercial breakthrough came two years later with the first of his many big hits, "That Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine." When the record sold its first half-million copies, Autry's label, American Records, presented the young star with a commemorative gold-plated copy of the disc—the first-ever Gold Record.
Autry's lasting fame, though, came from his career as the film industry's favorite singing cowboy. His first movie, In Old Santa Fe, was eventually followed by nearly 100 other films that made him one of the most popular stars in America and vastly expanded the audience for country-western music around the world.
In later life, Gene Autry owned a record label, Challenge Records, and also became the original owner of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels. Born on this day in 1907, Gene Autry died shortly after his 81st birthday on October 2, 1998."
American woman climbs Everest, Sep 29, 1988:
"Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon, becomes the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. Allison, a member of the Northwest American Everest Expedition, climbed the Himalayan peak using the southeast ridge route.
The summit of Everest reaches two-thirds of the way through the air of the earth's atmosphere--at about the cruising altitude of jet airliners--and oxygen levels there are very low, temperatures are extremely cold, and weather is unpredictable and dangerous.
In 1975, Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei became the first woman to conquer the mountain. Three years later, Reinhold Messner of Italy and Peter Habeler of Austria achieved what had been previously thought impossible: climbing to the Everest summit without oxygen. In 1988, American Stacy Allison successfully scaled Everest. About two dozen climbers died in attempts to reach the top of Everest in the 20th century."
After Wendy and I had our usual Saturday phone call, I got ready for church. Jay had said that he was going to go too, but when I heard he was at the grocery store with a beer drinking buddy, I doubted it. Sure enough, when he got home, he called me and said he wasn't going. His mother said that she had to lock him out of her house, as he was already drunk.
I took Misty for her walk around here, and then left for church in the van. But I hadn't got very far when I realized that something wrong, it wouldn't accelerate properly. Also, it felt like there was an intermittent vibration. I didn't want to be stranded on the side of the road, especially as it was starting to rain, so I turned around and came home. My thoughts were maybe that new tank of gas had water in it. I called Jim the mechanic down the street, and he took it for a test drive. He said it cleared out some when he really floored it. I usually have some 'HEET' in the shed, (wood-alcohol product that removes water in the tank), but Jay had borrowed it. The vibration didn't feel like a tire, so that will have to be checked out some more.
While my van was gone, Rich, the computer man called and said that my e-machine was ready. He said he had to deliver another computer nearby, so he said he would bring mine to me. When he brought it, it wouldn't power up, so he took it home again. Later, he called to say that something had got under the power supply, so it wasn't making contact, but it was fixed now. I don't know when I will have time pick it up.
It was a bad mechanical day!