For "Scripture Sunday":
into News & Prophecy
The Nepal Earthquake: 3 Lessons to Make Sense of the Tragedy
"Thousands have died in the recent earthquakes in Nepal. Life in Nepal will not be the same for years to come. How should this calamity affect your future?
As of this writing, over 4,400 lives were suddenly wiped out when a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Nepal this past Saturday, April 25. This number will undoubtedly rise as more bodies are recovered from the rubble. In an instant, a shaking earth destroyed buildings and roads and buried thousands of unsuspecting people going about their normal routine. Over 1.4 million people are now without food, shelter and hope.
Nepal was grossly unprepared for this tragedy—lacking buildings designed to withstand an earthquake of this magnitude and with little monetary or rescue resources to handle the aftermath of the quake.
Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy. Tragedies like this should remind us how precious life is and how quickly life can be turned upside down. It’s at times like these that we should turn to the Bible. The Bible gives a unique perspective on tragedies, including difficult lessons we must learn.
Consider these three lessons we should consider:
1. This is not God’s world.
Many see tragedies like this as proof that there is no God. They reason that an all-powerful, all-loving God would not allow tragedies like this. But the Bible shows a different way we should look at it. Tragedies don’t occur because God doesn’t care. They are a result of human beings rejecting God. Essentially, this is not God’s world!
Those who died in Nepal did not bring this earthquake on themselves. Nepal wasn’t necessarily guiltier of sin than any other country. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in a beautiful garden and interacted directly with them ( Genesis 2:8 ; Genesis 3:8 ). There were no earthquakes or other natural disasters in this garden. God was there and provided perfect protection and order. All God required of our first parents was that they live by His instructions. If they did, they would live in complete safety and happiness.
But when Satan appeared in the form of a serpent, he convinced them to reject God’s instructions and authority over their lives (Genesis 3:1-5). Because of this rejection, God removed them from the Garden of Eden and let them live in a world without His protection and influence ( Genesis 3:23 ).
All human beings have been given the same free will to choose their own way of living. God has warned that rejecting His law would bring suffering and death ( Genesis 2:17 ; Deuteronomy 30:15-20). Satan’s influence currently prevails over this world because man follows his way over God’s way ( 2 Corinthians 4:4 ). The suffering and anguish in Nepal is a result of living in a world cut off from God.
2. Unless we change, we will all perish….
into News & Prophecy
Now Is the Time to Protest
"As we view scenes of the violent protests in Baltimore, we are reminded that the United States, and world, has many unsolved problems. Is protest the solution?
Baltimore is the new Ferguson.
It all started when Freddie Gray, 25, died on April 19, 2015, a week after being arrested for fleeing police and being caught with a switchblade. Amateur videos and eyewitnesses seem to indicate that Mr. Gray was injured by police as he was being apprehended.
One video shows him being dragged into a police van while bystanders yell that his leg is broken. Mr. Gray apparently suffered a severe spinal cord injury—either before or after he was placed in the back of a police van. He reportedly asked for medical help throughout the ride, but was ignored until he was found unconscious at the police station.
Freddie Gray’s death has led to violent protests in Baltimore—including looting; burning businesses, buildings and police cars; and throwing rocks at police. The protesters claim that police brutality (directed primarily at minorities) has been happening for years—and Gray’s death has aroused years of anger and distrust seething below the surface of the black population of Baltimore.
But, of course, it’s not just Baltimore.
This same basic story has been repeated in different areas throughout the last year. The most prominent examples have been Eric Garner (Staten Island, New York), Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri), Tamir Rice (Cleveland, Ohio) and Walter Scott (North Charleston, South Carolina).
Yes, there is a problem… More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/now-is-the-time-to-protest/
The problem in the streets of Baltimore today is the effect of many wrongs committed down through history. We cannot disconnect the present from the past.
Spain Seeks to Reconcile With Jews
"In 1492 Spain expelled all its Jews. Now they welcome back descendants of those displaced.
On a lighter note:
11 Hidden Gems of the Texas Hill Country
"The Texas Hill Country is filled with hidden gems, you just have to know where to look.
The Willow City Loop is a gorgeous 20-mile stretch of road that winds through green hills of the Gillespie County. This route is perfect for motorcyclists and scenic drivers, as it offers a fun, winding drive and beautiful scenery. And, if you’re riding in the springtime, you’ll see an awe-inspiring display of bluebonnets. To find the Willow City Loop, take Highway 16 to Farm Road 1323 (another gorgeous road) and head to Willow City. The road starts there:" More at: http://www.wideopencountry.com/11-hidden-gems-texas-hill-country/
This is the skinny 17 year old foster, Phoebe, with the failing kidneys. She isn't crazy about the kidney diet that she is on, so we have had to get her other food. Anything to keep her eating. She seems happy and purrs when I pet her.
On Monday, Jay and I shampooed the upholstery on more dining chairs and a boudoir chair, then he helped me load them and boxes of items for sale into the van.
Ray's son and I took the load to the consignment shop on Tuesday when we went into Conroe to pick up some of his meds. I picked up a few groceries, as I would be taking BabyGirl, my foster dog for her appointment at the vet for her ear packing on Thursday.
On Thursday, Jay and I loaded the van with boxes and paper recycling, and the dog to go to the vet. Early in the day, at the first thrift shop where we dropped off all the paper to be recycled, I did manage to finally find some white pants that aren't jeans. Thursday wasn't cool like the day before, so when Jay wanted to go grocery shopping at Sam's and Kroger's, I had to say no. Can't do much shopping with an animal in the car on a hot day.
Ray finally came back on Wednesday, and slept a day and a half before they called him out again on Friday. While he was gone I had been in his house to feed his cats, see to their boxes, and that is all I did. I don't go burrowing around in someone else's place. He showed me his freezer, there was plenty of food, Ray's son just couldn't be bothered to cook it.
I had petted Ray's 'cat-from-hell' twice each day when I went in there to feed her, but as soon as I tried to pet her in front of Ray, she tore a piece out of my thumb! What gratitude!
While Ray was away, I made sure that Buddy, one of Ray's outside cats, kept his neutering appointment and he was in my grooming room for post-op observation. As Ray is gone so much, I asked him if it was fair to keep Buddy? Why not let him have a chance of a family who will be home to take care of him. Ray agreed, so Buddy can't go outside anymore, as he has been tested free of FIV and Feline Leukemia, diseases that cats that go outside often get. Another reason to keep cats indoors is that they kill birds, lizards and things.
So Buddy went to his first Adoption Day on Saturday. He behaved beautifully, and seemed to enjoy his outing. Now that he has been checked out at the vet he can be around my other foster cats, and not be relegated to the grooming room. He and my foster cat Nala keep on following each other around, I think they are going to be good friends. Here they are on my screen porch.
BabyGirl went to Adoption Day too, but for a different reason. A young man has fallen in love with her, and his parents who have adopted from us before, wanted to meet her. Apparently, this is a wonderful new home for BabyGirl where she will be loved and have excellent care. BabyGirl just has to have a blood test at her next ear packing appointment to make sure that there is nothing else going on in her insides, and then she can go to her new home.
The SPCA foster mom who lives near me took both animals to Adoption Day, while I was at church. The Bible readings were Lev. 16:1-20:27, Eze. 22:1-18, John 7:1-9:41 and 10:1-16. The Teaching was about 'Whoever Sins is a Servant of Sin'.
The potluck was great, as usual, and lots of laughing, fellowship and camaraderie. Thankfully, they didn't have the air conditioning so cold this time, so I don't think it made my cold any worse that day.