For "Scripture Sunday":
Speak The Truth In Love.
"What we say and why we say it has a huge impact on our relationships. Can telling the truth ever have bad results? Is it okay to lie for a good reason?
“Is it OK to lie for a good cause?” was the question asked in a recent TED conversation. The answers that came in were interesting.
One replied, “In my opinion the basis for moral action is loosely speaking to ‘maximize others’ well-being/minimize the harm you do to others.’ A rule such as ‘never lie’ is thus in my opinion not in itself the basis for moral action, but rather almost always a direct consequence of trying to be moral in the first sense. Lying can in my view therefore sometimes be moral.”
But can it really?
Another person quoted a religious figure who provided a more traditionalist conclusion: “It is a sin for someone to lie. When he lies for a good cause, i.e. to save someone else, this is half a sin, because the lie is for the benefit of his fellow man and not for himself. However it is also considered a sin; therefore, we should keep it in mind, and not fall into the habit of telling lies for insignificant things.”
So, is it okay to lie for a good cause? What does God say about lying and truth and our motives?"
Read More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/communication/speak-the-truth-in-love/ By Ralph Levy
Marriage Builder - When Your Spouse Complains
From Jimmy Evans: "Early in our marriage, Karen and I had an enormous amount of anger between us. We fought all the time. We couldn't talk about anything because it almost always led to a fight.
That's a dangerous way to live in a marriage. Chronic anger causes severe health problems. Did you know people in bad marriages actually have shorter life spans? Anger consumes our energy and wears us out.
How do you deal with anger in your marriage?
First, don't deny it. In Ephesians 4: 26-27, the Apostle Paul says that we will be angry. When this happens, admit it. Don't bottle it up. Suppressing anger may feel helpful in the short term, but unexpressed anger can be devastating. The pressure will build and build until you explode.
Cultivate an atmosphere of honesty within your relationship, so you and your spouse both feel free to complain and express anger. You have to be able to share anything with each other. I've counseled individuals before and one person will tell me something important about their thoughts or feelings.
I'll ask, "Have you told your spouse that?" They'll answer, "Oh, no. They'll go ballistic." What that means is the atmosphere in their home is not safe. They aren't free to complain because that kind of honesty can be dangerous to their marriage.
Allow your spouse to be angry. But when your spouse does offer a specific complaint, you must respond in a healthy way.
Don't get defensive. The best customer relations counters are the ones that take back a defective product and replace it with no questions asked. It's easy.
That's the kind of attitude we need in marriage. Defensive behavior makes it difficult. It makes a spouse feel they don't have a right to complain. In fact, defensiveness is a major predictor of divorce.
Early in our marriage, Karen would tell me something that was bothering her. She would explain that there was a problem and I would respond, "No, you're the problem. If you would just get your act together, everything would be fine." That is not helpful.
Don't let your anger "age." Paul told the Ephesians not to let the sun go down on their anger. He meant that anger should be dealt with immediately. If you let it age—if you let it simmer and stew—it gets worse. It begins to fester.
Long-term anger turns into contempt. It turns into bitterness. It becomes poisonous and hardens your heart to whatever made you angry in the first place. Don't hide your anger in hopes that it will just go away. It turns toxic.
Don't stonewall. This is when communication totally shuts down. It's a response that means you're not willing to talk at all. "Do not talk to me about the children. Do not talk to me about money. Don't talk to me about my behavior."
A marriage with no communication is a marriage that's in trouble. We need to be able to complain to each other. We have to talk things out—but we have to do it without getting defensive, throwing a fit, or insulting each other.
Dysfunctional families don't talk. Functional families are honest and work things out when one spouse has a complaint. What kind of family is yours?"
An Amazing Fact: "Not all garbage ends up at the dump. In fact, Earth’s largest landfill isn’t on land at all. Every year millions of tons of plastic and other floating garbage is washed, blown, or dumped into the Pacific Ocean. It comes from rivers, boats, and populated beaches around the coasts of the great sea. Gradually, a constantly revolving whirlpool of ocean currents and wind gather and push these items into a virtual vortex of trash. This forms a floating rubbish convergence zone bigger than the state of Texas.
This galaxy of garbage, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, stretches more than a thousand miles across the central North Pacific Ocean. It is found in ocean space between Japan and California, while hovering a few hundred miles north of Hawaii. There are places where this tangled mass of nets, bottles, and bags is so thick you can walk on it, but most of the garbage patch is a minestrone soup of rubbish. Despite its continental size, the patch is not visible through satellite photography because most of its contents are a snow of plastic confetti suspended beneath the surface of the ocean.
This swirling synthetic sea presents a deadly minefield of debris. Each year thousands of ocean-going birds, fish, and mammals are killed trying to survive near this growing gauntlet of garbage. Turtles eat the plastic bags, thinking they are jellyfish. Birds eat the plastic particles, thinking they’re fish or shrimp, then starve because the indigestible polymers give them the false sensation they are full.
It is estimated this nebulous, floating junk yard, also called the Pacific Trash Vortex, may contain over 100 million tons of debris, and it’s growing every year. While it is the largest, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not unique. It is only one of five gigantic gatherings of garbage found among the seven seas of the world.
Did you know the Bible says that God will cast our sins in the depths of the sea? But the good news is that they don’t float! “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. - Psalms 104:25
In the Animal Kingdom:
Help Save The Majestic Monarch Butterfly
"Don't let this North American crown jewel slip away. Urge the EPA to come up with a monarch butterfly rescue plan.
The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable and revered butterflies in all the world.
Each year, the monarchs begin a remarkable journey when they fly north to lay their eggs—some as far as 3,000 miles. For three brief generations, each lasting only one or two months, the monarchs mate and breed. The fourth generation of butterflies then returns to Mexico where they hibernate in a remote forest for six to eight months, until it is time to repeat the process.
It is a process that has continued uninterrupted for 250,000 years, but the last 15 years have seen dwindling numbers.
In the US, modern pesticides are killing milkweed, a primary source of nutrition. In Mexico, illegal loggers destroy their habitat.
Monarchs are the only known species of butterfly to migrate each year, seeking abundant food in the summer and warmer climates during the winter. Unfortunately, modern pesticides are killing milkweed in the U.S., a primary source of nutrition, while illegal loggers destroy their habitat in Mexico.
Take Action: Urge the EPA to intervene. http://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/trs/petition/MonarchButterflies
It has been another cold week. Not much outside work going on. Three stray feral cats that have taken up residence here have been going into the enclosed canopy carport and using it as their personal litter box. They thought that it was much better than doing it out in the cold I suppose. We sprinkled the ground with paprika one day, pepper the next, which seemed to work, and next we will try mothballs. I furnished them with a real litter box and litter, and one did use it. We can't trap them, they are too clever. The situation might get out of hand if they breed, so we will have to do something with these two females and one male.
One big thing happened this week. The person who used my credit card that was stolen in the robbery, was finally arrested. They were found with some 'controlled substance', too! So now we, you and me, will be supporting them for a while. I wish there were some way of retrieving the things that were stolen. I had lost almost all the pictures of my kids when they were little in the house fire and then the flood. The only ones that I did have were stolen in the robbery as they were in my checkbook case, which I left at the house while I was in hospital.
Jay and I went shopping on Wednesday and picked up some 2x6's for the ceiling in the greenhouse extension to the storeroom. We also got some bargains at the thrift shops. I got some lovely sweaters, and Jay got some winter shirts.
Something went wrong with Ray's car, so I took him to the doctor on Friday. The doctor sent his prescription to CVS. We went grocery shopping and got a few parts at Lowes waiting for the prescription to be filled. When Ray called them, they said it would be another hour, and then it was another half-hour. So we just dawdled around Conroe most of the day.
On Sunday, Ray and I took this computer out into the workshop, opened up the big workshop door, then opened up the computer and gently blew the dust out with the compressor. Then we moved the computer desk and everything back to it's old place in front of the patio door that leads to the screened–in porch. We moved my sewing machine back to where the computer was, and oiled it. I might get some sewing done now.
Jim, the mechanic down the street, finally made the diagnosis that Ray's car needed a coil pack, so I took Ray to get it, Jim installed it and all is well now.
Ray and I went to church bundled up in several layers, as it was cold and rainy. They can't keep the chapel very warm as it is an old building with not much insulation. The Bible readings were Deut. 6:5, Psa.139, 145, Exo. 1-6:1, Isa 27:6-28 and Jer.1:1-2:3. The Teaching was about the 'Destructiveness of Sin'.
The potluck was good as usual. We never know what the members will bring to the dining hall. We had salmon hors d'oeuvres, salads, turkey chili with turkey sausages, turkey meatloaf, beef enchiladas, beef tacos and fixin's, and lots of different veggies. Pumpkin pie, cake and cookies for dessert.
I had wanted to watch one of my favorite shows 'As Time Goes By' on PBS at 7.00pm, but fell fast asleep. It had been a happy though tiring, rainy day.