For "Scripture Sunday":
An Amazing Fact: "Some of the most devoted fathers are found in the animal kingdom. Giant South African bullfrogs are so protective of their young they have been known to attack lions and elephants while defending tadpoles.
Strangely enough, an ocean catfish is also a devoted father. He carries the eggs of his young in his mouth until they are ready to be born, which may take up to several weeks. During that time, he can’t eat a thing!
Another devoted father is the lumpsucker fish. The lumpsucker gets its name from its pelvic fins, which form a “sucker” that helps the fish attach itself to rocks. Found in the cold Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans, the lumpsucker must reproduce in the warmer water near the shore. The female lays her eggs in a tide pool, and the father lumpsucker attaches to the rocks in order to stay behind and guard the eggs while the tide is out. Staying behind in the shallow water is dangerous, however, since it exposes the father fish to gulls and other predators.
Male seahorses are so devoted that they are pregnant instead of the female: the female places her eggs into the male’s special pouch, where he fertilizes them and carries them for the next several weeks. He even develops a large, pregnant belly as the little seahorses grow. After two to four weeks of pregnancy, the father gives birth to an average of 100 to 200 young.
The red fox is also a wonderful father. Immediately after the birth of his litter, he works to provide the nursing mother with food. But, once the pups are three months old, it’s time for them to learn to find food for themselves. Fox fathers have been observed burying food near the den in order to teach their pups to forage. One biologist observed a male fox playing an ambush game with his pups, as if to teach them how to escape from the predatory coyotes.
The devotion of these animal fathers to their young is just a small reflection of our Heavenly Father’s devotion to His children. He loved us so much that He gave Jesus to die in our place, and now He calls all of us His sons and daughters: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)."
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. - Psalms 103:13
Conflict Again in Iraq, Why It Matters
Source: Darwinek/Wikimedia Commons
"It’s Sunni versus Shiite once again in Iraq and this time America is not around to keep the peace. How far will sectarian strife escalate during this round of fighting in this ancient region?
A group of Arab fighters calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) have come back in force in northern Iraq and taken control of key cities of Tikrit and Mosul. Thought to have been weakened and out of the game, this group has had a resurgence of support in northern Iraq and eastern Syria. Coupled with the utter collapse of Iraqi forces in that region, their display of force over the past few days has created the largest threat to stability and security in Iraq since the American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s government in 2003. Without American ground troops in the region, the fate of the country is uncertain. It appears that predictions of the Iraqi army's lack of preparedness, coupled with the political weakness of the country's leadership have come true. Tens of thousands of civilians fleeing their homes is the usual, and unfortunate, result of these conflicts.
This current conflict is on our mind: last week we recorded an episode of Beyond Today to air close to the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I in August. We showed in the program how the current conflicts in the Middle East—and Iraq and Syria in particular—are a result of the decisions made in the aftermath of that war. The lines of the current Middle East nations were drawn during the Paris Peace Conference after the war. The lines dividing the countries did not always take into consideration the religious and ethnic differences. What we are seeing in today’s news out of the region is part of that story.
The problem is compounded today because of a vacuum of power created by America’s reluctance to police this failed region. America is going through a crisis of confidence in its role as the sole superpower in today’s world. The American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 “broke” the fragile glue that held the nation together. Since having pulled out all troops, the country was left to police itself. Unfortunately, as this week’s events show, Iraq does not have a strong enough army and government to effectively maintain control.
Jesus Christ listed the rise of conflict among nations (nation shall rise against nation) in Matthew:24:6 as one of the signs of the end of this present age. The word nation here is ethnos and more accurately refers to ethnic strife between the smaller grouping of peoples within larger nations. These intractable conflicts are what drag larger nations into war against one another.
Bible prophecy shows the Middle East will again drag larger nations into the region. What we are seeing in Iraq today shows us how this could be done in the future. That is why what is happening today in Iraq and Syria matters." From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/conflict-again-iraq-why-it-matters/ by Darris McNeely, June 12, 2014
WHO report: Alcohol kills 1 person every 10 seconds
""It's a pretty staggering statistic, but according to the World Health Organization, it's true. One person dies every ten seconds due to alcohol.
BBC: "The World Health Organisation says alcohol abuse kills more than three million people every year and it's called on governments to do more to reduce harmful drinking."
KTTV: "That's more than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence combined. So this includes drunk driving, alcohol induced violence and all the diseases and disorders associated with alcohol."
Released Monday, the report says alcohol contributes to about 7.6 percent of all men's deaths and 4 percent of women's deaths. There's also evidence alcohol use among women might be increasing. (Via Flickr / Edwin Land)
WHO reports less than 40 percent of people drink worldwide. But, those who do, and are aged 15 years or older, drink an average of 17 liters of pure alcohol annually. That averages out to about 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per person every year. (Via Flickr / Kimery Davis)
The report also found about 16 percent of people partake in heavy episodic drinking - better known as binge drinking. (Via Flickr / B Duss)
There's actually not much good news in the report. WHO sent it out in hopes of drawing the attention of governments worldwide to help combat this issue.
Norman Giesbrecht from Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health spoke with CTV and called the report very important and timely.
"Often it's considered to be sort of a minor problem and there's lots of jokes about drunkenness and about heavy drinking and I think we need to be much closer attention to alcohol and the damage it does."
According to WebMD, heavy alcohol consumption can result in a variety of different medical conditions including liver, neurological and cardiovascular disease." Video at: http://www.newsy.com/videos/who-report-1-person-dies-every-10-seconds-due-to-alcohol/
Happy Father's Day.
I don't really know what it is like to have a Daddy. I lived with mine for a short while before the war, when my mother was still there, but he was always working. Then my mother took off when I was 4 years old, and he was called up into the Royal Air Force, so even though I was in his custody I had to live in different places, whoever had room for me. After the war he took a good position overseas, so I was still staying at various places, but I never got to know him. Divorcees don't realize how much it will affect their children, so at age 15, I got a room at the YWCA, went to school, worked at night, and supported myself from then on. I often wondered what it would be like to be part of a family and have a mother and father. Both my parents remarried and had children with their new spouses, but I didn't get to visit them very often.
Not much happened this week. Jay blew the pine needles off the roofs. Ray trimmed the hedge in the back yard. I sorted out more stuff, I just wish I had a good place to sell it all.
The little Siamese kitten, Purrcy, was neutered on Monday, and he was supposed to have a couple of days of bed rest … oh no, not him! He was up and raring to go the next day, so I let him explore my house. Chelsea doesn't like him, and hisses at him. Nala doesn't seem to mind him, but still ignores him. He is a sweet little lap cat and will be a great pet for a family.
I must have put my back out. My left knee swelled up, it hurt to bend it, and I was sore all over. Thursday, I went to the clinic looking for a doctor who did spinal manipulations. My usual doctor was all booked up till the end of the month, which is his last month there. I didn't feel like seeing some new doctor, especially after having my chest sawn open not so long ago. So I went to a chiropractor that I have been going to for many years, even though I have to pay, as he doesn't take my insurance. He carefully manipulated my back and neck without hurting my chest, so the swelling in my leg went down, and the pain in my lower back and neck went away.
Saturday, Jay and I went to our favorite little church on FM 1097, Ray didn't go this time. The Bible reading was Lev. 21-24 and Eze. 44:15-31, mostly about all the laws that were given to Moses to tell the people. The message was about how Jesus (Yeshua) is our Savior. The potluck was great, and Jay and I enjoyed our Sabbath.
I was going to take a van-full of stuff to the Flea Market, but I took care of Mindi's dogs instead, today.