For Scripture Sunday:
An Amazing Fact: "The common cuckoo bird is known as a “brood parasite.” A brood parasite is a bird that will trick another bird into raising its young. For example, the female cuckoo will spy on the nest of a small bird, such as a reed warbler. At the appropriate moment, the cuckoo hen flies down to the reed warbler’s nest, pushes one of the eggs out of the nest, lays an egg, and flies off. The whole process is achieved in only about 10 seconds.
Amazingly, the cuckoo egg very closely resembles the eggs of their chosen host. The dedicated reed warblers unwittingly incubate, feed, and raise the young imposter, usually at the expense of their own genuine young. A cuckoo may visit as many as 50 different nests in a breeding season, each time leaving one of its own eggs for others to hatch and care for.
The cuckoo chick typically hatches before the natural ones and then commences to push the other eggs out of the little nest. One of the tragedies of nature is when you see a pair of reed warblers working themselves to death to satisfy the voracious hunger of a fat cuckoo chick that might be three times their size. Meanwhile, if the other eggs have managed to hatch, the starving little warbler chicks are usually pushed out of the nest by the cuckoo chick!
Many people do not realize that the devil, like the cuckoo bird, has laid an egg in the Christian church that has been hatched, adopted, and fed until it has grown bigger than life. The Bible says Satan’s ministers can “transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:15). And Jesus warned about “false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
That’s one reason it’s so important that we avoid trusting in other humans, no matter how “good” they seem. Even a person of good intentions may lead you in the wrong direction. Prominent leaders can err, and have often failed to live up to what is right. In the words of the old hymn—“I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” Only God is worthy of our complete and total trust."
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
- 2 Corinthians 11:14-15
The Holy City
"“The Holy City” is my favorite hymn. It was written by Frederic Weatherly in 1892 with music by Michael Maybrick.
This hymn is so popular and well-known that everyone knows, without even hearing the hymn, that the “Holy City” itself is a reference to Jerusalem.
Today Jerusalem is the capital city for the nation of Israel and at the center of the Arab/Israeli conflict. It is a city divided into quarters, each with its own unique culture. There is a Jewish quarter, an Arab quarter, a Muslim quarter and an Armenian quarter. The modern city of Jerusalem has a population of close to 1 million people, but the old city occupies a very small section with a total area of only one-third of a square mile.
It is amazing that this small city has so captured the world’s attention. When asked why, one author made the bold statement that it was because of the prominent role Jerusalem plays in the Bible. In fact, the Bible has much to say about this tiny city.
Jerusalem as a city has been around for more than 3,000 years, having been established as the first capital of the Israelite kingdom by King David back in 1004 B.C. Twice the city was completely destroyed—in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians and again in 70 A.D. by the Romans. Sadly, the temple built by Solomon was destroyed on the ninth day of Ab on the Jewish calendar in 586 B.C., and the second temple was also destroyed on the same day, the ninth day of Ab in 70 A.D. by the Romans.
On May 14, 1948, Israel became a sovereign state. This set off a series of wars with their Arab neighbors that resulted in Jerusalem being annexed from Jordan in the Six-Day War of 1967.
In 1980 Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital city. This set off outrage in the Arab community.
Why would the world be so concerned with such a small and ancient city like Jerusalem? It is located approximately 27 miles inland from the coast. It has no natural resources and, from a geographical perspective, has no strategic value to anyone. Most of it is built upon the ruins of previous structures. Yet Jerusalem is the only city that has ever been set up with its own special covenant by the United Nations.
In the Bible, we read in Zechariah 12:2, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples.”
Zechariah 14 tells us that Jesus Christ will return to the Mount of Olives, which is just across the Kidron Valley from the Old City. Christ Himself promised that He would return to this area with His saints at the time of the resurrection.
The hymn “The Holy City” begins with these words: “Last night I lay a sleeping. There came a dream so fair, I stood in Old Jerusalem beside the Temple there.” And the hymn ends by quoting from Revelation and the future world of peace. It seems that Jerusalem, which means city of peace, will finally live up to its name.
If you are at all interested in the fulfillment of prophecy, then you will take note of the city of Jerusalem. As goes this city so will go the world.
Jerusalem is a type of barometer for future world events, according to the Bible. Christ told His disciples to “watch” world events. Jerusalem will be one of those areas that bear watching.
For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Jim Franks." Video at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/jerusalem-the-holy-city/
Jerusalem in Prophecy
With tensions between Christians, Jews and Arabs, what lies ahead for Jerusalem? Will peace come? What does the Bible say about Jerusalem in prophecy?
The results of the sinus CT-scan showed that I still had an infection, even though I had already been on steroids for it. So another round of antibiotics was prescribed. I think that I am starting to feel better.
We have been working on the fences and doing some other repairs around the place, but it is a long way from being ready to put up for sale.
Yesterday, a playmate for Nala my foster cat arrived, but so far, she hasn't come out of her hiding place. Sometimes it takes a while. She is a tortie named Chelsea who has just spent a month in our SPCA Cat Habitat at Petco, but didn't get adopted. I don't know why, as she is a gentle, loving cat like Nala. I am hoping that Chelsea will be a good playmate for Nala, who won't leave me alone and wants to be played with or petted all the time. She misses her former playmates.
Ray and I enjoyed the church service and potluck yesterday.