For Scripture Sunday":
Jesus’ Jewish Heritage
Matthew 1:17 "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations."
The genealogies of Matthew 1 and Luke 3 give context to the life of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who also was the descendant of Abraham and David. Both David and Jesus were of the tribe of Judah (verse 3), the tribe promised the scepter—the symbol of rulership (Genesis 49:10). As Jesus said, He was born to be a King, and He will rule all nations in the Kingdom of God (John 18:37; Revelation 11:15).
Jesus was ethnically a Jew and grew up with a Jewish heritage. The genealogies help to link the Old and New Testaments into the unified whole that God intended. Though Jesus argued against many human traditions that had grown up around the religion of the Bible, He always showed respect for the inspired writings of what we now call the Old Testament and the laws revealed in it. This only makes sense when you consider that Christ was the “spiritual Rock” that followed and worked with ancient Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4).
A Beautiful Monument to Failure
"I recently visited a beautiful monument to man’s frustrating inability to end war. This unintended monument to failure sits on a hillside overlooking Switzerland’s Lake Geneva. It’s called the Palais des Nations.
Last year, marked the 100th anniversary of World War I, the first fully industrialized war. Mass production of new and destructive arms, such as chemical weapons, tanks and warplanes, led to 30,000,000 soldiers being killed or wounded. Several empires fell, and even most of the victorious nations were bled dry.
“Never again,” said the mangled nations, mourning their lost generations. The proposed solution to war was to come from collective security and disarmament, achieved through a new organization, the League of Nations.
Signatory nations promised to defend each other from aggression. International disagreements would be settled before judges, not on the battlefield. Weapon stockpiles would be reduced. A new era of understanding, cooperation and peace would begin. There would never again be a world war.
In 1920 the headquarters of the League was moved to Geneva, where the imposing palace was built.
Alas, the League of Nations could not keep its promises. Member nations did not live up to their commitments when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 or when Bolivia and Paraguay went to war in 1932. It did not intervene in the Spanish Civil War or when Italy invaded Ethiopia (both signatory nations) in 1936.
It was in the Palais des Nations that Emperor Haile Selassie eloquently pleaded with the League to honor its obligations and come to the aid of the barefoot Ethiopians, against whom the Italians had used tanks, bombers and mustard gas.
As we walked through the Assembly Hall, I tried to imagine that speech, which some consider among the most stirring of the 20th century. Yet the League of Nations, shamefully, did nothing. Some members even recognized the Italian conquest. All were too absorbed in their own concerns to keep their pledges to protect the weak.
Three years later, Hitler invaded Poland and World War II began. The League had failed utterly.
Ironically, the League of Nations structures were turned over to a new organization founded in 1945 to pursue the same idealistic purposes: the United Nations. The Geneva complex, enlarged and improved, now supplements the UN headquarters in New York.
But lasting peace still has not been achieved. I’m writing this in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country with the largest UN peacekeeping presence in the world. But peace still has not come to the Congo, and wars are simmering or burning around the world.
The spiritual path to peace
Mankind seeks peace with alliances, conferences, institutions, promises and good intentions. But the root of peace lies elsewhere. Long ago, the prophet Isaiah explained, “The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:8).
War and peace spring from spiritual paths people follow. Because people don’t want to change their inner orientation, or don’t know how, wars continue and people die. (Read more about this problem, and the solution, in the January/February article “Neither Shall They Learn War Anymore.”)
The key, according to Isaiah, is justice—doing what is just, fair, right. And what is just is determined by God. True and lasting peace will only occur when all people turn to the God of the Bible and seek to fulfill His just will. This will happen one day when God “sends forth justice to victory” (Matthew 12:20).
Until that happy day, which the Bible says is sure to come, mankind will go on looking for the solution to war in the wrong places and continue building beautiful and impressive monuments to failure."
From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/discern/sept-oct-2014/monument-to-failure/ by Mike Bennett
"There are so many things that clamor for our attention and devotion: our jobs, our kids, our spouses, our hobbies—the demands and distractions of life. And we have to be careful not to let them become more important or more of a priority than our relationship with God."
"Humanity desperately needs people who don’t just talk about Jesus, but who actually walk in His steps."
Proverbs: Kind Words
Wisdom that sticks with you - straight from God's Word.
"Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit” (Proverbs:15:4, GNB).
This saying is particularly important when our words are directed at young people, since they are still forming their identity and are very sensitive to what is said about them. Colossians:3:21 says, “Fathers, don't make your children resentful, or they will become discouraged” (GNB).
There is great power in what we say, and this advice applies to all ages. Our words can regularly lift others up or, if we are thoughtless, dishearten them. There are times to speak strongly, or gravely about a situation, but it takes wisdom to know when to place the right word at the right time.
Don't let it get you tongue-tied, though! With practice and asking God to guide your words, you can become a great encourager.
Have you ever said the right thing in the wrong way and regretted it? How could you say it differently in the future?" From: http://www.ucg.org/youth/proverbs-kind-words/
Proverbs: Those Who Are Wiser
Wisdom that sticks with you - straight from God's Word.
“Conceited people do not like to be corrected; they never ask for advice from those who are wiser” (Proverbs:15:12, GNB).
"It is a tragedy that those who need advice the most are the ones who, because of their arrogance, want it the least. Yet, even for those who are wiser, receiving correction and advice (sometimes unsolicited) can be challenging. Asking God for a receptive and discerning mind is important. Be receptive to good advice, and discerning of harmful advice or unmerited correction given in a hurtful way.
On the other side of the situation, it's important to speak up when your advice may help a friend, but it's also vital to be discerning and to give advice or corrective comments in a way that is positive and constructive. It's important to wait for the right moment, when an individual has realized the need for wise counsel.
When did you last receive "corrective" advice? Did you handle it well? If not, how could you improve?" From: http://www.ucg.org/youth/proverbs-those-who-are-wiser/
It's been cold and sometimes wet, and not conducive to working outside. Jay and I went shopping in Conroe, and he came back with a very nice, used Schwinn bike. We both bought some useful things there at that thrift shop. I have been trying to cut down on storing food in plastic containers, so any time I find some that are made of glass or Pyrex, I grab them up.
On Friday, we shampooed my carpets. We got my big Hoover Steamvac down from the attic, but it seemed to leave the carpet too damp. I got the Hoover Quick and Light Carpet Cleaner out of my 'For Sale' stuff (I am selling it for someone else) and ran it over where Jay had just cleaned. It picked up a bunch more water and it was sudsy. We don't usually put any soap in the machine, as the spot treatment usually is enough. If you leave soap in carpet, just like your hair or clothes, it attracts dirt. So today Jay went over my carpets again with plain water. While he was doing that, I bathed my 55 lb foster dog, and washed all her blankies. Thank goodness she is easy to handle.
On Saturday, I went to church by myself. Jay's kids and grandkids were coming to visit him. Ray was off somewhere. The Bible readings were Psa. 123 and 125, and then Gen. 47:28-50:26, this is about Joseph in the land of Egypt. Then 1Kings 2:1-12 about the death of King David.
The teaching was given by Gary, a member of the church, who was filling in for an elder who was sick. He cited Mathew 5:1-7:23. In these two chapters are the Beatitudes, Jesus' example of a suitable prayer, 'judge not', 'pearls before swine', 'do unto others', 'beware of false prophets', 'ask and ye shall receive', 'the narrow gate', and really the whole Christian teaching in a nutshell. Gary said how these two verses had made a big difference and changed his life.
The potluck was great, as usual. We had turkey meatloaf, venison stew, beef, chicken enchiladas, potato salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, black-eyed peas, salads, and an assortment of green and orange veggies. Most of the food is organic. There was chocolate-yogurt pudding, pumpkin pie and lots of cookies for dessert.
The fellowship is one of the great anticipations of being at the church each Sabbath day.