For "Scripture Sunday":
Thoughts on a historic day
"No matter what our people decide about morality, it does not change what God says in the Bible is right and wrong, sinful or righteous.
Will you be overwhelmed by social change and sin and give in what the majority feel is acceptable? Or will you continue to stand firm in your convictions and continue to live by a righteous faith defined by God?
There once was father who looked on his sick child and didn’t know what to do. He knew if the child didn’t get better soon, he would die. The child hadn’t always been sick. He was born healthy. He was loved and nurtured, put into a home that was safe and filled with everything the child would need to grow and develop into a mature adult.
But one day he developed a fever. Further symptoms developed. A cough along with pain. Doctors were consulted. Medication was prescribed. For a time it went away. Strength was regained and life went on.
But in time the sickness came again. This time specialists were consulted. Further diagnosis was made. The sickness, some said, was throughout the body, from the head to the feet. The child was very sick, and unless there was something dramatic he would not get better. He could die.
In desperation the father took the child in his arms as only a father can, and he slowly lifted the child up toward God. In earnest pleas the father described to God what was wrong and asked God “why” and “what” would be done. “My child is desperately sick,” he cried. “Please, dear God, look upon our family and heal our beloved child.”
Today, I feel like this father. Not because my child is sick, but because I see my nation wracked with sickness from its head to its feet and in need of healing. I won’t put the headlines in front of you at this time. You read the news and already know the great moral and spiritual issues facing the United States of America.
I’m like this father who looks around and sees a people suffering the impact of spiritual sin; of a broken moral law. America is suffering the result of breaking the Ten Commandments of the Eternal God.
Today instead of pointing out the specific sins, I feel like turning to a little-known biblical prophet named Habakkuk. Habakkuk broke the mold of Old Testament prophets by taking the condition of his fellow countrymen and lifting them up to God in a sincere plea to notice the problem and help him see a way through to better days. The first four verses of the book named for him describe the violence, the injustice and spiritual condition of a nation called by God’s name, supposedly “one nation under God.” They had lost their way and did not know why. Habakkuk pleaded for them, for their life.
God’s answer to Habakkuk is this: “Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you” (Habakkuk 1:5).
God was doing something larger than the prophet could understand at that moment. He was working among that nation, and there were even bigger changes coming. God’s firm and loving judgment was on the horizon and would sweep over the nation of Judah. “Habakkuk,” God was saying, “hold on to your hat—it’s going to be a bumpy ride!”
Habakkuk had to resign himself to this new reality. He had to live by the righteous faith he personally knew and let God do what He was going to do.
No matter what our people decide about morality, it does not change what God says in the Bible is right and wrong, sinful or righteous. Nothing has changed as far as God’s spiritual teaching is concerned. The question to Habakkuk and to us is: “How will we continue to live?” Will you be overwhelmed by social change and sin and give in what the majority feel is acceptable? Or will you continue to stand firm in your convictions and continue to live by a righteous faith defined by God?
The world is changing. America is not the same nation it once was. I can only present the case to God, much like a father might present his sick child, and ask God’s direction and light to guide us into the future. May God yet bless America in spite of current moral and spiritual condition."
Article and comments at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/a-cry-for-my-nation-thoughts-on-a-historic-day
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
I haven't written anything lately because nothing has really happened yet. I gave Ray an eviction notice because he was so far behind with the rent in my guest house. He took off again the next morning, without a word, and took the sweet outside black cat with him. I hope that she will be happy.
But, as he didn't pay the light bill at his disabled son's house, the son has been staying in the guest house, using the electricity which is in my name! It took a month for an agency to finally help the son by paying his light bill so he could move back to his own home. I am still cooking his father's food for him, as he doesn't know how.
We moved all my furniture and appliances out of the guest house, and Ray's living room stuff is all piled up in one end. The bedroom is still full of his things. The appliances had to be hosed down before they could be stored, and we have to do quite a lot of repairs. Now maybe we can take up the kitchen linoleum and replace that. So we are still just waiting to have the place emptied out with nothing in the way. No one knows when Ray will show up again, and he doesn't answer his phone, not even to his son.
The 17 year old cat was moved to a different foster home because I couldn't bear to hear her crying. She had to be locked up in a large cage as she peed on my floors and carpet. They are going to try a different diet and see if that helps her kidney troubles caused by being fed dry cat food all her life.
So now I just have one foster cat, Nala. She is a white cat with black splotches, which are commonly called "moo-cats". She is a spoiled brat-cat, and we are very close. But because of my age, she needs to be adopted or she will be an old cat looking for a forever home.
I 'bought' the Dodge van out of the repair shop, it was getting too hot to drive the Puddle Jumper into town. On it's first trip, Jay and I loaded it down with items to go to the consignment shop and to be donated. Getting more and more stuff out of here. For it's second trip, Jay went to church with me and everyone welcomed him back.
This week the Bible readings were Num. 19:1-21:35, Judges 11:1-33 and John 3:14-21. The Teaching was 'Turn Away from Idolatry'. Mostly about Baal and all the things that can be idolatry, including money! Anything that one considers of more importance, before God, can be called an idol.
The potluck was great. I took an Asian cucumber and carrot salad with sesame oil and sesame seeds. The pastor's wife had brought a very tasty, tender, big crockpot of lamb. Then we always have lots of salads, different veggies, legumes and garlic bread.
We have had some storms, but now the weather is getting hotter each day!