For "Scripture Sunday":
Typhoon Haiyan: Where Was God?
"Residents in Tacloban, Philippines, had virtually no place to hide from Super Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8, 2013. When disasters like these happen, many wonder how a loving God can just stand by and watch thousands of lives be ripped apart physically, spiritually and emotionally." (Photo by Nove foto da Firenze/flickr.com)
"As another horrific storm claims thousands of lives, some wonder why God allowed such a tragedy, while others claim it as proof that there is no God.
By now, most of us have seen the pictures of the devastation that Super Typhoon Haiyan caused in the Philippines on Nov. 8. This latest superstorm is considered to be one the largest storms ever recorded to make landfall. Haiyan was 370 miles across, had winds peaking at well over 200 miles per hour and produced 20-foot storm surges.
Those on the Philippine Islands had no place to hide from the storm. The current death toll is nearly 2,000 lives, and is expected to be well over 10,000. More than 600,000 people have been displaced, and 9.5 million have been affected in some way. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this storm.
Where was God?
When disasters like these happen, many wonder how a loving God can just stand by and watch thousands of lives be ripped apart physically, spiritually and emotionally.
That is a fair question, especially to individuals directly affected by such tragedies.
Many never can find the answer. Some just accept the reality of the losses and cling to the belief that everything happens for a reason. But others end up rejecting the existence of a God because, they reason, if this were God’s world, He would never allow such suffering.
And, incredibly, that is the answer. There is suffering because this is not God’s world!" Rest of article at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/typhoon-haiyan-where-was-god/ by Tim Groves - November 13, 2013
Are You Going To Hell?
"Did you know that the widely accepted doctrines concerning heaven and hell are not found in the Bible? They were adopted from earlier ancient beliefs."
Does Christmas Really Honor Christ?
"If you really loved someone, would you celebrate the person with reminders of a past rival for your affection? Are many Christians guilty of dishonoring Jesus in this way?
Imagine a woman giving a gift to her husband on his birthday. Only it isn't his birthday. It's the birthday of an old boyfriend. And the gift is something she used to give that other person. It would be natural for the husband to doubt the genuineness of her love!
If someone really loved you and was trying to do something you would appreciate, it seems like he or she wouldn't throw in your face such reminders of an old flame!
But Christmas is doing this very thing with Jesus—supposedly honoring Him when this birthday and celebratory elements were formerly used to honor false gods! (Like Nimrod)
Why do you observe Christmas?
If you're like most people you'd say that you observe Christmas because it's a way of showing love to Jesus Christ. Maybe you attend midnight mass or a church service on Christmas morning. Your children might participate in a play pretending to be Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. Perhaps a Nativity scene or a giant plastic Santa Claus adorns your front yard.
To many, Christmas is a time of friends and family, the smell of freshly baked cookies and the excitement of children around a decorated tree, tearing the wrappings from gifts.
But is there more to the story? Let's look at another side of Christmas from the website Witchology.com, which bills itself as "a research and education provider specializing in the areas of Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism, Magic (Magick) and the Occult." It says this regarding Christmas:
"What is the Pagan secret that Christianity has tried to keep from you? The truth about Christmas is that it is not Christmas at all. It is the Winter Solstice, a Pagan holy day observed around the world and since time immemorial from the Native American tribes, to the Norsemen, to the ancient Romans, and today by modern Pagans, Witches and Wiccans."
The startling fact is that the information about the origins of Christmas on this witchcraft-promoting website is actually true! Christmas customs are rooted in paganism. Jesus Christ wasn't even born anywhere near December 25.
Yet most people respond to this information with something like: "I know there are some pagan and secular customs incorporated into Christmas, but these customs were Christianized. In this way we choose to show love toward Jesus."
But it's time to ask the really hard question that few want to face. Could observing Christmas actually be dishonoring Jesus?" More at: http://www.ucg.org/jesus-christ/does-christmas-really-honor-christ/
An Amazing Fact: "For the first 5,800 years of human history, if a man wanted to start a fire he had to rub two sticks together or make sparks with a flint and steel.
But in 1826, John Walker, an apothecary in England, was attempting to develop a new explosive in his lab. As he stirred this new mixture of chemicals, a drop of the substance dried on the end of the stirring stick. While cleaning the crusty lump off the stick, John wiped it on the floor and it ignited.
John made several of the matches to amuse friends but somehow missed their practical value. A man named Samuel Jones saw this demonstration and realized the commercial worth and went into a booming match business. Jones called his matches “Lucifers.”
Early matches had a number of problems. The flame was unsteady, and the initial reaction was quite violent. Also, the odor produced by the burning match was unpleasant. Lucifers reportedly could ignite explosively, sometimes throwing sparks a considerable distance. The other problem with early matches was the use of white phosphorus, which would stick to the skin. It was toxic and, therefore, banned from use in many countries.
Lucifer also refers to a beautiful and powerful angelic being who fell from heaven. Ezekiel 28 describes this brilliant cherub: “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you” (vs. 14, 15). It says of the destruction of this being, “Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you” (v. 18).
Someday Lucifer, the toxic and fallen angel, “shall be no more forever” (v. 19). He will no longer throw sin around at “a considerable distance.” His flame will be extinguished for all time." KEY BIBLE TEXTS
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! - Isaiah 14:12
The program on WGN TV this morning:
The Sabbath in History and Prophecy
"Learn about a group of people who found - just by reading the Bible - that they must keep the 7th day Sabbath."
On This Day:
The Heidi Bowl, Nov 17, 1968:
"On November 17, 1968, the Oakland Raiders score two touchdowns in nine seconds to beat the New York Jets--and no one sees it, because they’re watching the movie Heidi instead. With just 65 seconds left to play, NBC switched off the game in favor of its previously scheduled programming, a made-for-TV version of the children’s story about a young girl and her grandfather in the Alps. Viewers were outraged, and they complained so vociferously that network execs learned a lesson they’ll never forget: "Whatever you do," one said, "you better not leave an NFL football game."
The game between the Jets and the Raiders was already shaping up to be a classic: It featured two of the league’s best teams and 10 future Hall of Fame players. By the game’s last minute the two teams had traded the lead eight times. The game’s intensity translated into an unusual number of penalties and timeouts, which meant that it was running a bit long.
With a little more than a minute left to play, the Jets kicked a 26-yard field goal that gave them a 32-29 lead. After the New York kickoff, the Raiders returned the ball to their own 23-yard line. What happened after that will go down in football history: Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica threw a 20-yard pass to halfback Charlie Smith; a facemask penalty moved the ball to the Jets’ 43; and on the next play, Lamonica passed again to Smith, who ran it all the way for a touchdown. The Raiders took the lead, 32-36. Then the Jets fumbled the kickoff, and Oakland’s Preston Ridlehuber managed to grab the ball and run it two yards for another touchdown. Oakland had scored twice in nine seconds, and the game was over: They’d won 43-32.
But nobody outside the Oakland Coliseum actually saw any of this, because NBC went to commercial right after the Jets’ kickoff and never came back. Instead, they did what they’d been planning to do for weeks: At 7 PM, they began to broadcast a brand-new version of Heidi, a film they were sure would win them high ratings during November sweeps. Before the game began, network execs had talked about what they’d do if the game ran over its scheduled time, and they decided to go ahead with the movie no matter what. So, that’s what NBC programmer Dick Cline did. "I waited and waited," he said later, "and I heard nothing. We came up to that magic hour and I thought, ‘Well, I haven’t been given any counter-order so I’ve got to do what we agreed to do.’"
NBC execs had actually changed their minds, and were trying to get in touch with Cline to tell him to leave the game on until it was over. But all the telephone lines were busy: Thousands of people were calling the network to urge programmers to air Heidi as scheduled, and thousands more were calling to demand that the football game stay on the air. Football fans grew even more livid when NBC printed the results of the game at the bottom of the screen 20 minutes after the game ended. So many irate fans called NBC that the network’s switchboard blew. Undeterred, people started calling the telephone company, the New York Times and the NYPD, whose emergency lines they clogged for hours.
Shortly after the Heidi debacle, the NFL inserted a clause into its TV contracts that guaranteed that all games would be broadcast completely in their home markets. For its part, NBC installed a new phone--the "Heidi Phone"--in the control room that had its own exchange and switchboard. Such a disaster, the network assured its viewers, would never be allowed to happen again."
After Wendy and I had our Saturday phone call, I got two carriers ready. Nala and Peekers my two foster cats, were going to Adoption Day as several of the other foster parents couldn't take their animals, as they were out of town. Nala and Peekers would help boost the number of animals up for viewing. Adoption Day is just twice a month, and it is good for fosters to get used to being taken places.
Ray said that he would put them in their carriers when Chris came to pick them up at noon, as I didn't want to miss the morning church on FM 1097, and I have to leave about 10.30. Nala saw me getting the carriers out, and was getting ready to hide behind furniture, so I put her in a big cage so that Ray could get her easily.
The service was great, as usual, and the Bible readings were Genesis chapters 12-17, and Isa. 40:27 - 41:16.
Our guitarist had burned his left fingers in the job during the week, so he brought a keyboard to accompany the songs of praise. He is really multi-talented, and it made a pleasant change.
The message was about Remembrance, as we have just had Remembrance, Armistice or Veteran's Day. But this was about the many passages in the Old and New Testaments where the Lord wants us to remember HIM. Also how the Sabbath is a memorial to the creation.
Afterwards, we all went into the dining hall, and had a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner. The pastor's wife had cooked a turkey in one of those big electric portable roaster ovens, and it was so moist and tender. I can't imagine it being any better cooked another way. There were plenty of fixins, veggies, salads, desserts, homemade bread, and fellowship.
It was Ray's turn to tend to our SPCA Cat Habitat, so he was able to go into the SPCA Adoption Room, and visit with Nala and Peekers while he was there.
My bathroom door was left open while I was gone, and Ava must have ventured out of there. That gave her a chance to quietly inspect her new home while I, and the foster cats were gone. When I got home, she was really comfortable about walking right past Misty. But as soon as Chris brought the foster cats home, she scampered back into her bathroom sanctuary, yesterday.