For "Scripture Sunday":
The Wise Ant
An Amazing Fact: "Ants are the most numerous creatures on Earth. It has been estimated that the combined weight of the world’s ants is greater than the combined weight of all humans on the planet. We also admire ants for their ability to pull 30 times, and lift 50 times, their own weight. That would be equivalent to you or me out-pulling a Clydesdale or lifting an elephant. Ants understand team work too! If necessary, they will make their bodies into ladders to climb on, or rafts to float on.
Ants are also among the most organized insects. Some ant species herd aphids like domestic livestock. The ants and aphids are engaged in a symbiotic relationship in which each benefits from the other. On the one hand, the ants actually care for the aphids and protect them from ladybugs. In exchange, the ants receive nutritious “honeydew” excreted by the aphids. The ants tap the aphids with their antennae to let them know they would like some honeydew sap. Then they carry the “honey” back to the nest to feed others. While tending their flock, the ants may redistribute the aphids on the host plant to prevent local overcrowding. Before winter, these ants will even carry off aphid eggs to start a new herd of aphids in the spring.
Some ants are also farmers. Leafcutter ants from the tropical forests of Central and South America live in huge underground colonies, ruled by a single queen, that may contain as many as 8 million ants. The largest workers leave the nest and go out foraging for leaves and petals. They collect the leaves by cutting them with their sharp jaws into small pieces. They then carry the pieces back home. But they don’t eat the leaves. Instead, these resourceful insects use them to grow their own food! Back at the nest, smaller worker ants chew the leaves into tiny pieces to form large compost heaps. This compost grows the fungus on which they feed. These fungus gardens deep underground are carefully tended by tiny gardener ants.
The Bible says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6). When we study God’s creation, even the lowly ant can inspire us and give us wisdom.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. - Proverbs 6:6-8
"The ants are also included in the list of most intelligent animals on the earth and they come to number nineteen on the list. Though the ants are small, yet they have the ability to creatively withstand calamities that would wipe other species. They do different tasks like building nest and hunting for food by coordinating in massive groups. They also accommodate to their environment very well."
A Second Version of the Fourth Commandment
“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.”
In this second listing of the 10 Commandments, the Sabbath command is tied in with God’s role as Deliverer, while in Exodus 20 the Sabbath command was connected with God as our Creator. The basic command itself is the same, but the two complementary versions give us a broader view of God’s roles and the meanings of the Sabbath day. For more on the Fourth Commandment, download our free booklet The Sabbath: A Neglected Gift From God." From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/a-second-version-of-the-fourth-commandment/
Watch the latest Beyond Today video at beyondtoday.tv
August: This World Is Crazy!
"We’ve all been thinking it as we followed the news in the past weeks: conflict has flared up all around the world.
Violence on a scale that brings comparisons to the genocides of World War II. Israel is in an ongoing battle with the terrorist group Hamas, which planned to tunnel beneath Israeli communities and destroy them on the Day of Trumpets, later this fall. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are still under constant rocket attack.
Sunni Islamic terrorists in Iraq are carrying out unspeakably horrific violent acts, including genocide against Iraqi Christians, Kurds, and Yazidis, who follow a syncretic religion that involves a mixture of Zoroastrianism and Islam. This evil army seemed to spring out of nowhere, and yet is very well-equipped to attack, carrying with it much of the conflict originating in the on-going Syrian civil war.
This attitude or spirit of violence has spread to the United States, exemplified by the riots in the state of Missouri. The reaction to the death of a young black man, shot in the line of duty by a young white police officer, has become an excuse for violence and looting that threatens to destroy the stability of communities in the St. Louis area.
Only a few months ago, most of this was under the radar and seemingly unnoticed beyond the horizon. The heat of summer seems augmented this year by the heat of war.
Meanwhile, many are having a shot at temporary fame by filming themselves pouring buckets of ice over their heads in a feel-good campaign for ALS on Facebook!
Something is disconnected here. This world is crazy!
It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the many copies of the Bible online and in print offer solutions to all these problems, and yet mankind won’t go there, or to turn God for help. Instead, human beings lean on their own philosophies, most of which only leads to further conflict.
Sometimes when we say, “well, when Christ returns this will all be fixed,” it can feel powerless and far off in the distant future. Yet the confluence of world events is rapidly leading to a worldwide condition which will very plainly only be solvable by the real Jesus Christ. “Real” because there will be many who will try to convince everyone that only they have the solutions to peace and prosperity. But such religious imposters will leave only violence in their wake, just as the Nazis did in World War II.
So how can you, as a person, navigate this crazy world? A world that may seem stable (most of us can still go to the grocery store and get milk and eggs, and all the things we need without fearing for our lives). But like this summer, just over the horizon may lurk dangerous instability, unseen until we have to deal with it in our daily lives, hour by hour.
Truly the only solution is to look to God. And looking to God doesn’t just mean thinking happy thoughts, singing songs, and giving yourself a hug. It means getting into God’s word, the Bible to read and study it with the help of accurate study aids, many of which are available at UCG.org. It means praying for God to open your mind to see clearly who He is and what it means to obey him. The understanding we have as part of the true, biblical Church of God should motivate us to seek the spiritual sanity of a stronger relationship with our Creator as the antidote to this crazy world!" From: http://eepurl.com/1wPtD
Toxic Cosmetics ~ Ingredients to Avoid
"The Story of Cosmetics, examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo.
See why reading labels on your cosmetics, personal care, baby care, pet care and household products is so important to your health. This may shock you! Avoid toxic cosmetics that contain chemicals that may be harmful to your health. For more information, visit http://www.ToxicCosmetics.com
Please comment and share how you feel knowing about the toxic ingredients in cosmetics that you may be using." More at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pfq000AF1i8
The article about dealing with difficult people is very much on our minds, as we have had a spate of that around here. More about all that later, when some things are resolved.
Baby Girl went to the vet to have an epulis removed: http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/diseasesandconditions/f/Epulis.htm
She looks so much better without that pink thing sticking out of her mouth from her gums. Nala went too as she wasn't feeling so well. She has contracted that Haw's Syndrome that the other cat had that I picked up from the Habitat to take to the vet in mid-July , so she can't go to Adoption Days until she is over that. She got 2 shots.
Chris, the foster mom who lives near here took us to the vet, that was so wonderful of her. She knows I dislike going anywhere by myself in the afternoons in this heat. I always worry that the animals and I will get caught in a traffic jam and my van's air conditioning does not like that. I wouldn't want the animals to suffer.
Ray, Jay and I have been busy getting some of the RVs that are in my side yard cleaned up, hoping to sell them. Finally trying to get my motor home going again. I had to buy a new battery, but it still won't start. Might be a fuel pump. Jim the mechanic will come and look at it.
We worked some more on the closing in part of the carport in front of the storeroom. It should be able to double as a green house, as it has a great big patio door built in sideways as a window.
Jay and I went to church, and the Bible readings were Psalm 33, Numbers 30-32, and Jeremiah 1:1-23. The talk was about Baptism and Immersion, and there were many Bible quotes showing where Jesus and the Disciples went around baptizing the believers. The potluck and fellowship were great, as usual, and it was a great day.