For "Scripture Sunday":
I Didn’t Know...
"In a world of discontentment, a change in perspective can open our eyes to our blessings. Thankfulness can help us realize how happy we are.
I once had the opportunity to give an audiovisual presentation to a church congregation in the Philippines. Using slides projected on a screen, I gave an overview of some of my work in the French-speaking parts of the world, including how most people in poverty-stricken countries in Africa live.
After the presentation, several people thanked me and remarked that they had thought their lives were hard. They had thought they had the most difficult lives of any in our church family, but they now realized some people’s lives were much more difficult.
They hadn’t known. They were looking at their lives in a new way, and they felt a new sense of thankfulness.
Another perspective on blessings
This caused me to reflect on our human proclivity to take blessings for granted and focus instead on things we wish we had.
Traveling in what is optimistically called the “developing world” certainly gives another perspective on many blessings taken for granted in the “developed world.”
Yet no matter where or how we live, we enjoy blessings we would do well to remember and for which we should be thankful.
“I didn’t know I was happy”
One of the moist poignant experiences I had as a young pastor in eastern France was comforting a family whose 15-year-old daughter had been killed by a drunk driver. I remember sitting in the living room of the old stone farmhouse with the bereaved parents.
At one point, the father told me simply: “I didn’t know I was happy.” He was considering the blessing his daughter had been to them. Now in anguish, he realized he’d taken his former happiness for granted.
Discontent vs. thankfulness
Our modern world increasingly pushes us not to focus on the good we have, but on things we don’t have and want. Politicians running for office assure us that we deserve more than we have and, if elected, they’ll see that we get it. Companies use slick advertising to tell us “we owe it to ourselves” to have whatever their new, improved product is. We’re manipulated not to be happy with what we have.
King David encouraged himself not to forget God’s blessings: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2). In the rest of that psalm, David went on to make a list—to count his blessings, as the saying goes.
In an alarming prophecy about the time just before the return of Christ, the apostle Paul told Timothy that one sign of that end time would be a general attitude of thanklessness (2 Timothy 3:2). This mind-set already seems omnipresent in our modern world. Paul explained elsewhere that a main reason the world has become so full of evil and suffering is that humankind in general has not acknowledged or been thankful for God’s blessings (Romans 1:21).
Thankfulness should be a part of our every prayer. It stabilizes us spiritually to count our blessings—to remember them in detail. If we don’t, we can easily forget how happy we are.
Do you know?" From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/discern/jan-feb-2015/i-didnt-know/
Is the Bible True? ARCHAEOLOGY
Three of the most important questions in life are: Where did I come from? Who am I? And where am I going? These questions cut to the heart of humanity.
Where would you go to find the answers? Can you look to a friend, a politician, a minister? Or is there another source where you can find the answers to life’s most difficult questions?
The Bible claims to have the answers—answers that are not available anywhere else." More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/is-the-bible-true/proof-1-archaeology/ By Jim Franks
More important articles:
"Antibiotic resistance has turned into a worldwide health threat of massive proportions
Two million American adults and children are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year; 23,000 die as a direct result
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) kills more Americans each year than the combined total of emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide
Solutions include improved infection prevention, more responsible use of antibiotics in human medicine, limiting use of antibiotics in agriculture, and finding innovative approaches to treat infections." Video at: http://video.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365345810?chapter=1"
5 Surprising Factors That Make You Pack on Pounds
"Contrary to popular belief, obesity is not simply the result of eating too many calories and not exercising enough.
Antibiotics, found in medicine and non-organic meats, promote obesity by killing off beneficial gut bacteria and altering your microbiome.
Hormones and other growth enhancing drugs used in non-organic livestock also promote obesity.
Other factors fueling the rise in obesity include pesticides, artificial sweeteners, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals." Complete article at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/12/5-surprising-factors-obesity.aspx
Obesity Now Causes Half a Million Cancers a Year, Worldwide
In developed countries, eight percent of all cancers in women and three percent of cancers in men are associated with obesity.
Compared to men, women are twice as likely to develop obesity-related cancer." Complete article at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/07/obesity-related-cancer.aspx
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WdvEoC3U080 This method helps make transporting your cat as stress-free as possible._______
It is one year ago today (18th) since Ray took me to the ER as I wasn't feeling 'right', and they discovered that I was having a heart attack. So, it is also one year since I had my last cigarette! After spending 12 days in the hospital with tubes in my neck, chest and arm, I couldn't see the sense in lighting up when I got out of there. The cardiologist said that I was in great health overall, but the 65 years of smoking caused the blockages in my heart. Force of habit, I do reach for them when I have a good cuppa tea or coffee, then I remember that I don't smoke any more. I don't miss them, or the mess they made.
We wanted to have a yard sale this week, it's always a good to spread out all the stuff and go through it. But it has been too cold, so we bundled up in t-shirts and sweaters under our coats. We did manage to get a few more ceiling joists up in the greenhouse extension of the storeroom, screwing the plywood down on top of it, as we go. This ceiling makes more floor in the guesthouse attic. We also brought down a bunch of boxes of yard sale stuff from up there that haven't seen the light of day for a couple of years. Mostly winter stuff that really needs to be gone.
My foster dog, BabyGirl was taken to Adoption Day, and a family was very impressed how gentle she was with their little daughter, but they wanted a puppy. At least it was a day out for BabyGirl as she gets very bored here, as I hardly ever go anywhere.
Ray and I look forward to going to church, and we usually leave early. Ray comes a-ringing my doorbell at least half an hour before we have to leave, and helps me load the van. We like to talk with the others as they arrive at the dining hall before the service. Now when Jay is going, which he didn't this week, we have to wait on him, and often arrive late.
Two of the men who usually help with the Bible readings weren't there, so the pastor asked Ray to read, but he declined as he isn't used to being in the limelight. The readings were Psa. 18, 19 and 33. The main reading was Exo. 6:2-9:35 about the plagues that God brought down on the Egyptian pharaoh and his people because the pharaoh wouldn't let the Israelites go. Then the shorter reading was Eze. 28:25-29:21 which is also about the Egyptians learning that "I am The Lord".
The teaching was by Pastor Bobbie and called 'Get Your Spiritual Life In Shape' with these 5 exercises: 'Walk In His Paths', 'Run With Patience', 'Stand Fast In The Faith', 'In Him We Live And Have Our Being', and 'Exercise Your Faith' with all the Bible references to these exercises.
The potluck was great as usual. We all look forward to the fellowship in the dining hall as well as the good food. There was stew, tacos, lasagna, chicken with quinoa, lots of veggies, salads, cookies and desserts. But it is the talking and listening to each other, that makes it such a great day.