For "Scripture Sunday":
But first this:
What Are "Inversions," and Why Should You Care?
"President Obama is heading to Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where he's calling for a kind of "economic patriotism" that's based on investing in the things that we know grow the economy for everyone (like education and job training) — not protecting wasteful loopholes for a few at the top.
And he's calling attention to one kind of corporate merger deal in particular — called an "inversion" — a word you might be seeing in a lot of news headlines lately.
It's not the most intuitive name for a corporate tax loophole, so we're going to break it down for you.
Q: So what exactly is an "inversion"?
A corporate "inversion" is what happens when a U.S.-based multinational with operations in other countries restructures itself so that the U.S. "parent" is replaced by a foreign corporation — and usually one that's in a country with a lower tax rate than the United States. As a result, on the whole, this means that corporate income tax that would otherwise be paid to the United States ends up going overseas." More at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/24/what-are-inversions-and-why-should-you-care?
Four Gifts You May Not Want … but Absolutely Need!
"Everyone likes to receive a gift. But what about the gifts you’ve been receiving all along and didn’t appreciate? How can we make the most of them?
Why is it that some people seem to rise above difficult circumstances, while others get stuck? Many factors go into making or breaking a person. But consider this: everyone has challenges that arise throughout his or her lifetime. But instead of viewing these challenges totally negatively, we can view these things as gifts.
How we view these gifts, though, and how we respond to them, will shape our lives forever.
The gift of adversity
Hard times are a universal part of life; there’s no way to avoid them. Just as we push our body through tests of endurance to see what it can handle, our personal character is also revealed through adversity. We come to see ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, when life is at its hardest. If we welcome tough times because we understand that they are a necessary part of learning, then we handle them differently.
The Bible teaches us that we can “count it all joy” when we face the adversity of trials, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3).
The gift of suffering
Adversity often brings with it some form of suffering. Our attitude, however, plays an important role in how it will shape us. If we feel that life has treated us unfairly and allow seeds of frustration to put down roots, then resentment, anger and bitterness will be the final result.
Consider these words in 1 Peter 2:19-20: “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.”
When we suffer because of a poor choice we made, we can consider what to do differently next time and patiently endure the painful consequences. But if we suffer wrongfully, we need not dwell on the unfairness of it. Learn the lesson and move forward.
The gift of hard work
We could all accomplish great things, if they didn’t require so much effort! Unfortunately, too many of us don’t want to work for things; we want what we want, but only if it comes easily. Yet have you noticed that we often don’t place as much value on things that have been given to us freely? It is only through applying ourselves wholeheartedly to a task that we gain the benefits that come from it.
Read our article “Hard Work” for a biblical perspective on a proper work ethic.
The gift of failure
So you’ve tried and failed—now what? Do you throw up your hands and declare it a waste of time? Or do you look for the opportunity hidden within that setback? Success rarely occurs without first failing, often many times! In fact, the sooner you fail, the faster you get to figure out what you’ve done wrong, correct it, and try again.
Consider those who are known for their successes and how many times they tried before achieving that success: the Wright brothers, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Walt Disney (just to name a few).
There is much to be gained from experiencing these four gifts. Here are only three of the numerous benefits that can result:
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks. Imagine a rubber band for a moment. Its very purpose is to be stretched and pulled out of shape.
Consider the story of Joseph. He was a young man who was badly treated by his older brothers, sold into slavery, wrongly accused of sexual assault and then thrown into prison for several years. What happened after that is a beautiful example of how a person can reach beyond his own painful experiences to make a positive impact on others. Joseph demonstrated incredible resiliency in all he went through. Read Genesis 37-45!
We, too, are often stretched out of our comfort zones by situations that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable and even painful. But we need not be broken by these situations. We can be elastic—we can recover!
Compassion is a deep awareness of the suffering of others, coupled with a desire to help. It involves action. If, in our suffering, we turn inward and ruminate on “Why me?” then we miss the opportunity to make a positive difference for someone else.
Joseph was also an excellent example of compassion. Not only did he have concern for all those who would be affected adversely by an approaching famine (Genesis 41:34-36) but also on his brothers who were the cause of his suffering (45:15; 50:19-21).
We talk a lot about wanting to be happy. Happiness is a short-term feeling that often relies on things not fully in our control. For example, we may say, “I’ll be happy when I have a new job” or “if only I had someone who truly loved me.”
Contentment, however, doesn’t depend on future events; it is satisfied with the here and now.
The apostle Paul understood this. “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:11-12, English Standard Version)
Do you long to come out of your current circumstances a better person? These four gifts—adversity, suffering, hard work and failure—are what you need to grow to your fullest potential.
There are no shortcuts, so don’t look for them! Instead, embrace life’s trials and challenges as the opportunities that they truly are.
To learn more about how to deal with the problems we all encounter in life, read our article “Coping With Anxiety.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/blog/four-gifts-you-may-not-want-but-absolutely-need/ By Debbie Pierce.
Paul explains racism quite clearly:
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:27-29).
A Ruthless Terrorist
An Amazing Fact: "In the next 24 hours a ruthless terrorist will be responsible for nearly … … half of all the homicides in North America. … half of all the people who will die on the highways. … half of all the people who will be admitted to the hospital. … half of all the people who will incarcerated in jail or prison. … half of all the people who will be involved in domestic violence. … half of all the nation’s birth defects.
His chemical attacks will cause untold misery and sorrow to thousands of families. Sadly, the government is looking the other way because this terrorist is paying them hush money. Worse still, even many professed Christians are defending and harboring this cold-hearted terrorist. Who is this deadly villain who is devastating our homes and nation?
Alcohol is the one responsible for all this hardship and tragedy. God wants us to have healthy, happy lives, and He has repeatedly warned us against alcoholic beverages. The Bible says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).
Samson’s mother was warned not to drink wine or similar products, because her yet unborn son was to be set aside in service to God. Similarly, John the Baptist was set aside for a special purpose. When he was conceived, his father was told, “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink” (Luke 1:15).
The same guidelines apply to us because we’ve all been set aside for a special purpose. We’ve all been chosen by God as ambassadors for Christ. Only in soberness can we reflect Jesus’ love to others.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." - Proverbs 23:29-32
Not much happened this week, but everybody seemed to be busy and it went by quickly. I took Jay to town to cash his check on Thursday, and took another neighbor the next day to cash hers. I made sure that she bought pet food, tea and coffee as she has been cadging off me for the last two weeks. All these folk have more money coming in than I do, but they are broke in a few days. But they will drive to the store every day for cigarettes at over $5 a pack, and wonder why they are broke. I make my little pension last, and even when I did smoke, I didn't spend much on them.
I listed some 'Lots of 100 Aloe Vera plants' for sale, and some sold, so I have been getting them ready to ship. That still leaves me with at least 1,000!!
Now that I am fostering a large dog, I try to take her 'walkies' whenever I can. I drove her down to the lake to run free in the field there, but she just wanted to get back in the car. Maybe she thought that I was going to dump her.
I am supposed to get another foster cat. Apparently, 8 years ago I fostered little "Lovie" and her 2 siblings for 25 days. I just don't remember them, and I know that I didn't name them. She is being returned by her adoptive parents, they don't want her anymore. It took them long enough to find that out! But thankfully they are returning her to us, as per their SPCA adoption contract. We will make sure that she has a good home again.
My little Siamese rescue, "Purrcy", who was taken to be on display in our Cat Habitat at Petco, has been adopted. They have got a live one there!! He is a very busy little cat, and makes beautiful doilies out of a roll of toilet paper if he gets bored.
Neither Ray nor Jay went to church yesterday, both had medical issues. I made a red potato salad with celery, red onion, Greek yogurt, spices and cranberries for the potluck. The cranberries turned it pink, so it looked more like dessert.
The Bible readings were Numbers 19-22:1, and Judges 11:1-33. The talk was about How The Apostles Preached. It was pointed out that in nearly all their sermons they mentioned Christ's suffering and then then his resurrection. That was the message the Apostles were trying to get across, the resurrection then, and ours in the future.
It has been great to have the luxury of a few cooler days.