For "Scripture Sunday":
"The winter months should be more than just a time of waiting for the spring Holy Days. Let’s make them productive as we plan, prepare, and look for ways to help others.
There is always a sense of sadness for me as we finish observing God’s Holy Days for another year. For those of us whom God has called, the winter months can seem bleak and tiresome with the bombardment of the pagan holidays of Halloween, Christmas, New Years, and Easter.
Here in Wisconsin we are reminded of this bleakness as we face the winter weather as well. The farms and gardens are done producing for another year. The weather turns colder and windier. The daylight portion of the day shortens. There is a sense of the year being finished until we see new life and vegetation blooming in the spring.
God had the Bible recorded for us from the perspective of Israel – its location, its rhythm of life, its culture. We can glean much from Scripture if we consider this and miss much if we don’t. Even when it comes to aspects of agriculture, the Bible speaks from a perspective of what would take place in Judea. From a northern hemisphere perspective, the growing season is done for the year, but that is not true in Judea.
In the land of Israel there was still work to be done after the fall harvest and Holy Days. Farmers needed to prepare the fields for the winter planting (the ground there doesn’t freeze solid like it does here in Wisconsin). Equipment needed to be repaired and prepared before the next year’s season. Crops were taken to market, put up for storage, or preserved for future use. Around October/November there were olives and figs to harvest. Mid-winter brought the citrus harvest, and the “late rains” which helped to soften the ground for the spring plantings. Come March/April there was preparation for the barley harvest before Passover.
There is a great spiritual parallel in considering what we should be doing over the winter months. The coming months, while we wait for the spring, are a time to be active, planning and preparing ahead. In light of that, why not use this day to make a list of those things you can work on for your spiritual development this winter? Consider…
- How can I serve the congregation better?
- What did I learn this past year? What was God teaching me that I should pay more attention to?
- What study can I do over the winter to be better prepared for the spring Holy Days?
- What is my plan to get to know the local members better?
- What should I be doing to be ready as part of the Bride of Christ?
- What does God expect me to be doing now?
- What section of the Bible will I use as my winter reading project?
I encourage you to make the most of these days, and each one that follows until we are once again reviewing God’s Holy Days. Let’s do the work we need to be doing while there is time to do it (John:9:4)!" From: http://www.ucg.org/youth/vt-sabbath-focus-winter-work/
Cancer: Is there hope?
"Thousands die of cancer every year, begging the question: are there things we can do to help prevent cancer? Discover simple and effective ways to reduce your risk of cancer with Dr. Neil Nedley, president of Nedley Health Solutions, and Pastor John Bradshaw in this inspiring program."
Could You Eat on $3.37 a Day?
"A typical family using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the official name for food stamps, will have about $3.37 per person, per day, with which to buy food.
People on tight budgets tend to opt for the cheapest, most filling foods, such as white bread, factory-farmed ground beef, and ramen noodles, which are detrimental to your health.
New research found the difference between buying food for the most healthy diet pattern or the least healthy diet pattern came out to about $1.50 per day.
Bone broth, fermented vegetables, and sprouts are examples of inexpensive foods that are phenomenal for your health.
Growing your own vegetables can also save you considerable money on produce; 53 money-saving tips for buying organic are also included." Complete article at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/05/healthy-diet-pattern.aspx
Healthy Baking Secrets Revealed!
Five top baking secrets are revealed—and they include butter and chocolate." Complete article at:
An Amazing Fact: "Scientists are still mystified by how animals know when it’s time to migrate. And how do they unerringly find their way back to the same beach, stream, or feeding ground they’ve not seen since birth? Consider the green turtles that swim from their feeding grounds off the coast of Brazil to tiny Ascension Island about 3,000 miles away, which they might not have visited since they were hatched. After depositing their eggs, they swim back to Brazil!
These migratory habits of animals baffle scientists. Do they chart their courses by the sun, moon, or stars? Does the earth’s magnetic field direct them? What inner sense did God plant within every species (birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and even crustaceans) to move such long distances on a seasonal basis? Especially amazing is their return is not just to a general locale, but to a very specific spot!
The God who created all the animals of the earth and placed within them a homing instinct is the God who said to Sarah, “I will return to you” (Genesis 18:14). God doesn’t get lost. The Lord doesn’t need a GPS to find us. God doesn’t need us to wear an ankle bracelet to track our movements. Our Creator always knows where we are. God promised Sarah that she would have a child of promise. She laughed. “I am old!” she chuckled. Yet the Lord guaranteed she would have a baby.
At the appointed time the Lord returned and blessed Abraham and Sarah with a child. Just as God sets appointed times within the creatures of the earth to migrate, so the Lord sets special times for us. Are you tuned in to the God who comes to you?"
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. - Genesis 18:14
Another week of yo-yo weather. Maybe a day or two of nice, and then several where the plants had to be covered up again because it was going to freeze at night. Right now it's raining again. Soon we will have ideal weather, but it won't last long before it gets hot.
The nice days always seemed to be on the days when we had other things to do other than get caught up on the yard work around here.
The doctor visit was just a waste of time. She said that there was nothing that could be done about my red, bloodshot eye, and it is still there, but not covering quite so much of the white area. But after the doctor, Jay and I had a good time in Conroe going to the lumber yards and thrift shops. We found a new thrift shop which also takes consignments, so I see a vanload going their way soon! There I bought a cozy, soft, grey turtleneck, and after washing it, I wore it to church with some grey and maroon accessories.
Neither Jay nor Ray went to church with me. I took a crockpot full of chicken spaghetti which all disappeared. I was glad as I am not fond of chicken. I buy it, cook it, then I don't want to eat it, so I take it to the church potluck. I arrived early so that I could help the pastor's wife. No work or cooking is done on the Sabbath, but pre-cooked dishes are stuck in the oven to warm, salads brought out of the fridge, the disposable plates, napkins and plastic ware replenished etc.
The Bible readings were Psa. 98,99,100, Exo. 27:20-30:10, 43:10-27 and Phil. 4:10-20.
The Teaching was about "Punishment and Salvation". One instance is in Num. 21:4-9. The Israelites were griping about eating the manna that God had provided, so the Lord sent venomous snakes to bite the ungrateful people. They realized how unappreciative they had been for being delivered from the slavery in the hands of the Egyptians, and said to Moses. "We have sinned when we spoke against the Lord and you, Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us". So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses "Make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten and looked at the bronze snake, he lived." (NIV Bible) That was Punishment and Salvation.
The potluck was super, as usual, and we all sat around talking for quite a while after we had finished eating. There always seem to be so many biblical questions and answers that are bandied around the dining hall.
The warm grey turtleneck was great, as it was cold. The forecast said it would warm up, but it was just stayed a cold day.