For "Scripture Sunday":
How Christian Is Easter?
"Soon up to 2 billion people will celebrate one of the world’s most popular religious holidays—Easter. But curiously, the Bible nowhere promotes such an observance. Where did this day come from? How did it become so popular? And is it even Christian?
Where do you get your religious beliefs? Easter is the most important holiday for hundreds of millions of people. Anyone who claims to be Christian should want God to guide and lead them. But could you be misled?
I’m reminded of counterfeit money. Did you know that you could be carrying a worthless bill and not even know it? Counterfeiters are often successful because they make their fakes look like the real thing. Forgery is one of the oldest crimes in history, but it doesn’t just affect money.
Today a much greater counterfeit is so successful that most people don’t even realize they’re deceived. What counterfeit? The religion known as Christianity, as surprising as that may be! Jesus Himself warned about religious counterfeits, saying, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew:24:24).
More at: http://www.ucg.org/holidays-and-holy-days/how-christian-easter/ article by Steve Myers
LEAVE LIVE ANIMALS OUT OF EASTER
By Cheryl Conley, TWRC Wildlife Center
"Easter will be here soon. For those of us who work with animals, it’s also a time of dread. Thousands of baby chicks, ducks and bunnies are purchased every year as Easter gifts only to be abandoned or taken to shelters once the novelty has worn off. Sadly many are euthanized because homes cannot be found for them.
Some think it’s okay to release these animals into the wild. This means certain death. They cannot fend for themselves and will die of starvation, exposure to the elements or will be preyed upon by other animals. Don’t think that you can simply take the animal to a shelter either. Most animal welfare organizations are not equipped to handle animals given as Easter gifts. The only option for these groups is to try to rehome the animal and more often than not this is not possible and the animal must be euthanized." More at: http://www.twrcwildlifecenter.org/leave-live-animals-out-of-easter/
When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
"Sometimes we struggle to understand the events of our lives. When life is difficult, how can we make sense of what doesn’t seem to make sense?There are things in life that we have just accepted—difficult things, unfair things, tragic things for which we have no explanation. But the time may come when we’re forced to confront these questions. When troubles strike close to home, we may either accept the fact that we have no answers or perhaps come up with answers that may later be proved wrong. That takes us back to square one. Is it possible to find the answers we need?
What is the purpose of life anyway?
An elaborate experiment. Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived (1 Kings 4:29-30), sought to understand many of these questions. He tried to find answers to life’s enigmas by experimenting with every form of pleasure (Ecclesiastes 2:1). He tried alcohol (verse 3). He tried beautiful gardens with plenty of fruit (verse 5). He acquired vast wealth (verse 7). No CDs or DVDs were available then, but he had the real thing—live music whenever he wanted (verse 8)!
In the end, this wise man came to a conclusion well worth our consideration: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter [all the things he tried]: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Solomon’s conclusion? Even though there will inevitably be difficulties, life can make sense when we live according to God’s instruction—when we live by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/christian-living/when-life-doesnt-make-sense/ by Harris Hlazo
An Amazing Fact: "The Windsor Castle is the longest-occupied palace in all of Europe.
Windsor Castle is also the largest inhabited castle in England. It’s one of the residences of Queen Elizabeth II. She spends many weekends of the year there, using it for entertaining private and state groups. Located in the English county of Berkshire, it has a long history with the British royal family.
The castle was originally built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of William the Conqueror. It was designed after the motte and-bailey structure, with a raised mound surrounded by a ditch. A strong wall of timber and rock was created around a keep, often with a drawbridge, which led to a courtyard inside.
Towers were erected along the wall for defense purposes. In smaller castles, there might only be one tower that could house a few soldiers. Windsor began with a very simple plan, but over the last 950 years, new monarchs remodeled and created new additions. It now has three wards with the massive Round Tower occupying a central position. Many new towers were added over the years, including the Curfew, Edward III, Salisbury, Henry III, and the Garter Tower.
Windsor has survived many sieges since it was first built. In 1649 the English parliament almost voted to demolish the castle. A bill to destroy it lost by only one vote. It has been neglected and declared uninhabitable, but it now has been transformed into a luxurious palace. It has survived two World Wars. In fact, the royal family used the palace as a place of refuge during the bombings of World War II. In 1992 a large fire nearly destroyed a major portion of the castle.
In biblical times towers were built as places of refuge and safety, not just to make a fortress look nice. These strongholds could be more easily protected from approaching enemies since it placed defenders above attackers in a fortified structure. If a city wall was breached, people could run into a tower for safety. That’s apparently the picture presented to us in this proverb. God’s name is an impenetrable tower!
When Moses requested to see God, it was the Lord’s name that was presented to him. God’s name presents His character—gracious, loving, and compassionate (Exodus 34:6, 7). In other words, when we yield ourselves into God’s hands, the Lord, who is merciful, will be our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1).
Additional reading: Proverbs 18:1–12
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. - Proverbs 18:10
It has been another week of rainy days, smattered with a good day here and there. Sweaters, coats and jeans one day, then tank top and shorts the next. Heat one day, and AC the next.
Ray and I managed to sort out one of the lumber racks. Hopefully, if the rain stays away, we can sort out another one. I like to keep the lumber, and short pieces, 'filed' in size order.
The Famotidine that the dermatologist prescribed has been making my life a bit better, as I haven't had such horrible flare-ups of the hives. But, I have also been avoiding all nightshade veggies. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/link-between-nightshades-chronic-pain-and-inflammation and: https://artistamyshealthjourney.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/list-of-nightshade-veggies-and-fruits/
I do not have any chronic pain or inflammation, but the nightshade veggies just seem to make me break out in hives. I really found that out after I had some eggplant, and also some bell peppers. I have been avoiding anything with tomatoes or white potatoes in it, too, and that helps. I have been eating sweet potatoes, quinoa, bulgur, http://www.bobsredmill.com/golden-bulgur.html and other kinds of veggies.
The red Dodge minivan is at the mechanics having a new blower motor, new door lock actuators and a few other things done to it. So I am still driving old faithful, the blue Ford minivan. After getting in and out of the Dodge, I realize how much easier it is than the Ford, as it is closer to the ground. I have shrunk 2" in my old age.
Passover will be here soon, so Jay helped me move the fridge and vacuum every little place where leaven might be hiding. "You shall remove leaven from your houses"
Exodus 12:15. "Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us." —1 Corinthians 5:7 This must be where the idea of spring cleaning came from.
Yesterday, while I was at church, Nala, my foster cat, and BabyGirl, my foster dog, both were taken to our SPCA's Adoption Day, for the afternoon. They seemed to enjoy themselves. BabyGirl loves any sort of outing, and just adores it when the kids come in and play with her. Shy Nala even came out of her bed in the display cage to let a little boy pet her.
Some people found a baby possum when it's mother got killed by a car. They are bottle feeding it. I found out that it is illegal to possess an opossum in TX, but they don't want to turn it over to the Wildlife rehabilitators. I hope the poor little thing will be alright, I know I wouldn't want it! I have bottle-fed many kittens and puppies, (and people babies), but a possum…..!
The Bible readings were Psa. 91,92,93, Exo. 38:21-40:38, 1 Kings 7:51-8:10 and Rev. 15:5-8. The teaching was about Jesus being our Passover. Jesus was the wave sheath offering. The Passover is for all of us, not just the Jews.
For the church potluck I took Wheat Berry and Bulgur Turkey-Apple Stuffing, a Weight Watchers Recipe, but minus the Wheat berries. http://www.thedailymeal.com/pointsplus-wheat-berry-and-bulgur-turkey-apple-stuffing-recipe I also took a blackberry/yogurt pie made with rice milk, which I had made in a graham cracker shell. No left-overs to bring home.
The potluck was great, as usual, and we had a lot of good food, talk and fellowship in the dining hall, while it teemed down rain. After a while, I looked outside at the grass parking area and my van was sitting in 2" of water. I knew that I had better get out of there before it got any higher. Fortunately, I was able to back out around some other cars and head towards home.
No more rain in the 10-day forecast except for Thursday.