For "Scripture Sunday:
I hope my Live Writer and Blogger have made up their tiff, and I don't have to copy this all over in Blogger. It never looks the same.
A Child's Worth
"That hat meant a lot to me, but what was I saying to the kid who crushed it?
I was in Oakhurst, California, working at a United Youth Camp during my vacation the last week of June.
I was the water supervisor and lifeguard down at Bass Lake and every one of the 174 campers visited "Fred's World" at least twice during the week. Speed boats, skiing, inner tubes and great water--being located at the lake all day was nice duty...long hours but nice duty.
In the hot seat
When I returned to my lifeguard station after one lunch break I found that one of the young fellows had grabbed my seat. I chased the little rascal away with a good-natured grin. I had one of the best locations for visibility, and seemingly the only comfortable chair on the lake front. It figured that one of the fellows would try to snatch it from me.
Arrgh! That hat had been with me for years and years. It had traveled with me everywhere--Alaska, Hawaii, the West Coast, the East Coast, down the Florida Keys and aboard cruise ships... I loved that hat!
Why, I took that little #$%^& aside and beat him sens... well, no. That may have been an immediate impulse, but instead I grumbled loudly for a bit letting everyone know I wasn't the happiest of souls. Then, putting emotion aside, my sanity took over.
I did take the young fellow aside. Having seen his face fall while I was emotionally grousing over his mistake, I wanted him to know that he was worth more than the hat ever would be, and I apologized for my error. I wanted him to know that sitting on my hat was a mistake, but the hat was "just a thing" (my favorite phrase) and I valued him more than any old twisted and formed straw fedora. We make mistakes, we learn from mistakes, we grow from mistakes, but we are not our mistakes.
I also realized it's similar to driving defensively. I should have expected someone might sit in my chair, so I should have placed the hat and glasses out of harm's way. Lesson learned.
What's it worth?
Another lesson learned: By our reactions we sometimes give children the message that they are not worth a glass of spilled milk, a misplaced sock, a broken window or a crushed hat. Very quickly they pick up the message about their worth compared to what's important to their parents and other adults. If we act as if the world came to an end when milk is spilled, what do we do for an encore if something serious were to occur?
Kids make mistakes--that's a simple fact. After guiding two young people to age 22, I can rightly attest this to be true. It happens. Kids goof up. It's normal. But that doesn't remove them from the list of the most valued resources on the planet!
A misplaced sock, broken window, spilled milk or crushed hat is not the end of the world. What is important is that the child knows that he or she is valued unconditionally.
This was a lesson in perspective and understanding. I have a usable but damaged hat (yep, I'm still wearing it) that enjoys a deeper history, and, in spite of the mistake, that young fellow knows I value him--more than just a hat.
We need always to keep in mind that mistakes of young people may inconvenience us, distract us and disappoint us, but their mistakes should not diminish their value in our lives.
Our response to their mistakes needs to be in tune with what's needed to help them understand and grow. Our young people need to know, through our words and deeds, that they are worth all the time and energy it takes to work with them and encourage them. They should know through our unconditional love that they are worth more than an old, well-worn, well-traveled hat."
The Ten Commandments in the New Testament
The longest chapter in the Bible is an extended praise of God's Word and law. "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble," it tells us. "I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands. I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly" (Psalm 119:165-167, NIV).
If only the whole world would view God's law in that light! But, to our shame, the Ten Commandments have been rejected as the standard of human behavior by our society. Even many who profess to follow Christ today treat them as irrelevant because they have been taught that God's law was abolished at Christ's death.
Yet God's Word tells us that His law is "perfect" and His ordinances "are sure and altogether righteous" (Psalm 19:7,9). Accordingly, the enthusiastic author above again affirmed, "I will always obey your law, for ever and ever" (Psalm 119:44, NIV).
Does it matter whether we obey the Ten Commandments?
Finding the answer
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could ask Jesus Christ if keeping the Ten Commandments is still necessary, especially to receive eternal life?
Actually, that is not as difficult as it may seem. That question was directly put to Jesus, and the Bible preserves His reply for us. "Now behold, one came and said to Him, 'Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' So He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments'" (Matthew 19:16-17). That is about as clear as one can be. Jesus said that He expects any who desire to receive the gift of eternal life to keep God's commandments.
The person then asked exactly which commandments Jesus meant. Did He have the Ten Commandments in mind, or was He referring to the many extra-biblical dictates taught by other religious leaders?
Jesus left no doubt. When asked which ones, Jesus responded: "You shall not murder," "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "Honor your father and your mother," and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (verses 18-19).
He briefly recited half of the Ten Commandments. He then quoted another command, from Leviticus 19:18, that summarizes the intent of the Ten Commandments and confirms the validity of the rest of the law. He was clearly referring to the law of God, not to the restrictions added by certain other religious leaders (Matthew 15:1-3).
Many people have heard that Jesus abolished the Old Testament laws. Here again Jesus gives us His own direct response:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17-19, NIV).
Again, Jesus spoke clearly and to the point. God's law has not been abolished, and, according to Christ's own words, anyone who teaches so is directly contradicting Him and is in serious spiritual trouble." More at: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/ten-commandments/ten-commandments-new-testament/
What I Love About The Sabbath
"Why is the Sabbath day special to me and my family? And to God! Let me start with a story:
One foggy night, so it goes, a U.S. carrier was sailing off the coast.
Seeing a light in the distance, the captain of the ship called over the radio and said, “Please divert your course 15 degrees south to avoid a collision.”
A voice came over the radio in reply, “We recommend you divert your course 15 degrees north to avoid a collision.”
The captain said again, “This is the captain of a U.S. Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.”
In defiance, the voice on the other line said, “No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.”
Frustrated and angry, the Navy captain said once again, “THIS IS A UNITED STATES AIRCRAFT CARRIER - WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!!”
This time, he heard in reply, “We are a light house. It’s your call.”
The message from the lighthouse
While it’s a humorous story, the message is an important one. We had better heed lighthouses. They provide a light and a place to direct ships to a safe harbor.
Every seventh day, Saturday, my family and I set aside our weekly work and keep the Sabbath. We meet together with those who share this understanding at a religious service as we come to worship God on the day he instructed us to keep holy (Exodus 20:8-11).
My family and I consider the Sabbath as a spiritual lighthouse, for it is a day the Creator made special and on which we remember the spiritual light He provides while we rest from our labors. It also reminds us of a place to seek a safe harbor in a stressful world and to spiritually refresh ourselves.
Finally, the Sabbath is a place to fellowship with like-minded people, who respect the spiritual light and instruction that God turns on every Sabbath for us to remember and honor Him." From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/what-i-love-about-sabbath/ by Mario Seiglie
The program on WGN TV this morning
Who Is Jesus?
Was He really the Son of God or merely an imposter as a recent article in an American newsmagazine implied? Learn the vital truth."
On This Day:
Congress investigates Reds in Hollywood, Oct 20, 1947:
"On October 20, 1947, the notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communist influence in one of the world's richest and most glamorous communities: Hollywood.
A small group known as the "Hollywood Ten" resisted, complaining that the hearings were illegal and violated their First Amendment rights. They were all convicted of obstructing the investigation and served jail terms. Pressured by Congress, the Hollywood establishment started a blacklist policy, banning the work of about 325 screenwriters, actors and directors who had not been cleared by the committee. Those blacklisted included composer Aaron Copland, writers Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, playwright Arthur Miller and actor and filmmaker Orson Welles.
Some of the blacklisted writers used pseudonyms to continue working, while others wrote scripts that were credited to other writer friends. Starting in the early 1960s, after the downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the most public face of anti-communism, the ban began to lift slowly. In 1997, the Writers' Guild of America unanimously voted to change the writing credits of 23 films made during the blacklist period, reversing—but not erasing—some of the damage done during the Red Scare."
Libyan Dictator Moammar Gadhafi is Killed, Oct 20, 2011:
"On this day in 2011, Moammar Gadhafi, the longest-serving leader in Africa and the Arab world, is captured and killed by rebel forces near his hometown of Sirte. The eccentric 69-year-old dictator, who came to power in a 1969 coup, headed a government that was accused of numerous human rights violations against its own people and was linked to terrorist attacks, including the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland.
After more than 40 years in power, Gadhafi saw his regime begin to unravel in February 2011, when anti-government protests broke out in Libya following the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia earlier that year. Gadhafi vowed to crush the revolt and ordered a violent crackdown against the demonstrators. However, by August, rebel forces, with assistance from NATO, had gained control of Tripoli and established a transitional government. Gadhafi went into hiding, but on October 20, 2011, he was captured and shot by rebel forces."
After Wendy and I had our usual Saturday morning phone call, I tended to my animals, and got ready for church. I had seen Jay the day before when I was visiting his mother, and he said that he wanted to go too.
This was going to be a crowded Sabbath, as one of the congregation member's whole family from Georgia was visiting the area for the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34) which is being held at Trinity Pines Conference Center on Lake Livingston. (Most scholars would agree that the Feast of Tabernacles is symbolic of Christ’s Second Coming when He will establish His earthly kingdom.) The visitors came to the church from Trinity, TX, (about an hour away), in the chartered bus which had brought them all the way from GA.
The little church was full, and the Bible reading was Exodus 33 and 34. We had our usual song service, and then the visiting family enthusiastically sang four more hymns for us, accompanied by a drummer, (the church drums were there, he just brought his sticks), tambourines, and washboards. Our guitarist was trying to keep up with them. Then special prayers were said for those who needed them, and for those who could not be with us, due to sickness.
The sermon was about how The Lord wants to dwell, or tabernacle with us, citing many verses out of the Bible, examples: Exodus 25: 8-9, 29:45-46, 1 Kings 6:13.
The potluck was a banquet of tasty organic food, good brisket, beef stew, macaroni casserole, potato salad, lots of veggies, salads and pies, etc. Some of us sat outside to eat in the nice weather, as the dining hall was packed.
It was a great day.