Monday, July 27, 2015

Repetitious Prayer. Christian Budget. Muffin Tin Eggs. Update.


For "Scripture Sunday": 

How to Avoid Repetitious Prayer

"Jesus cautioned against praying “vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7). Do you find it difficult to avoid repeating the same words in your daily prayers?

Here is one idea for avoiding repetitious prayers. (Click here to download PDF.)

How to Avoid Repetitious Prayer

Early in His ministry, Jesus gave His disciples a model prayer so that they would know how to talk with the Father. It is part of the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 6:5-15).

“The Lord’s Prayer” was a teaching tool

Jesus did not want His disciples simply to recite what He told them. Obviously, the disciples would have done that, if that was all there was to praying! They perceived there was more to it by seeing Jesus’ example over the years, and they asked for additional guidance.

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1).

Seeing Jesus’ example prompted one disciple to ask Jesus (on behalf of them all) to review His instructions. Luke records Christ’s answer in Luke 11:2-4.

This has inappropriately come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer,” instead of “the Lord’s model for praying.” Jesus said, “In this manner, therefore, pray” (Matthew 6:9, emphasis added throughout).

Christians still struggle with prayer today"

Complete article at:


Christian Budget

"Budgeting is a helpful and wise way to manage your money. There are biblical principles that can help you develop and use a Christian family budget.

Christian budget

What does the Bible say about managing money and a Christian budget?

Most people are familiar with the term budget, and many understand that budgeting is a smart way to keep track of their money. But how many actually use a written budget as a part of their personal or family finances? Not very many.

Budgets are required

Small and large businesses have and live by their annual budgets. Budgets help businesses know where they are, what they need to accomplish and where they can change to improve their financial standing. Therefore, budgets are required by boards of directors, shareholders, banks that give business loans and, in some cases, even the government as a qualification for certain types of programs. A budget is required because it makes good financial sense.

Does it also make good sense for our families? When it comes to individuals or families, there is a greater tendency to let the budgeting thing slide. It may be seen as too much trouble or just not necessary—and as a result, many families find themselves in serious financial difficulties. Sadly, a major factor for the failure of marriages today is financial problems.

How many individuals and families truly understand how to budget? Of those, how many have a balanced Christian budget? We use the term Christian budget due to the fact that there are sound scriptural principles that you can find in the Bible that can help you and your family become successful in managing your finances.

Christian budgeting

Throughout the Bible, God gives us important principles for life, including how to handle money and finances. So let’s consider a few pertinent scriptures:

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to want” (Proverbs 21:5, New Revised Standard Version).

A budget is nothing more than a plan for saving and spending money. It includes where the money will come from and how much to expect, as well as what expenses that same money will be used to meet. A good budget takes care of all the regular and important bills—like rent or mortgage, utilities, food, gasoline and insurance—and allows for the unexpected or occasional expenses.

With budgeting, when the paycheck comes in, the family already knows how much of this check needs to be set aside to meet the bills coming due, and how much is available for extras—perhaps dinner out and a movie. Everything is planned for and covered.

To live without a budget often leads to shortsighted decisions: “If I have money right now, I can spend it right now. So if I want new clothes today, and I have the money today, why not spend it? The rent isn’t due until next week, so I’ll worry about that then.”

In the terms of the verse we just looked at, this kind of thinking is “hasty.” This describes a person who jumps at a purchase without a plan and without thinking through the consequences.

Unless you are one of those rare individuals who makes more money than you can spend, you will need to develop a plan for where your money goes or it will slip out of your hands. Sometimes it will disappear in small amounts that add up quickly, maybe a candy bar purchase here, a newspaper there, a cup of coffee or some fast food. Supermarkets, convenience stores, fast-food chains and so forth are all successful in squeezing money out of you, especially if you have no budget—no plan. After all, it is only money, right?

Biblical financial principles

So we can see that it takes a plan to make our funds stretch to meet all our needs. This is where a Christian budget becomes a useful tool to receive God’s blessings as wise financial stewards. Through proper planning, it is possible to have a balanced budget and to have a reserve for unplanned expenses.

God’s Word, the Bible, is filled with principles of sound financial management.

Wise King Solomon wrote: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations. When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself, and the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field; you shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household, and the nourishment of your maidservants” (Proverbs 27:23-27).

The principle is that of a wise overseer. It isn’t always easy to wisely use and manage family assets. It will require not only planning, but self-discipline to stay within the budget. It will probably involve putting off some purchases until later or deciding against others entirely. But men and women who can wisely and carefully manage their resources can successfully see to it that the family needs are met.

Where do I begin?"

Complete article at:



Jay and I have been doing lots of little jobs that normally Ray would have done if he hadn't disappeared.  The motion security lights didn't come on anymore, one door lock wouldn't lock, the automatic watering system for the hedge had a leaking faucet, and my mirrored sliding closet doors had lost their 'slide', and were too hard to move.

Hopefully, we have reset the motion lights, and moved the lock's striker plate to the right place.  The new outside faucet works fine, and we made the sliding door's opening taller, so they slide better.  Then there was the usual mowing, and washing the van to go to church on the Sabbath. We only work 2-3 hours a day, but we get a lot done.

DSCF0304-001 We have all the plywood cut for the new floor in the guest house, but it isn't screwed down yet, as we have to install some board insulation and tar paper under there first.  Also, in the kitchen area we have to mark the plywood floor for each cabinet so that we know where to stub up the plumbing for the sink and propane stove.  Then we will insulate the water lines under the house before we screw down the floor.  We still have to repair the walls.

After Roy's brother had picked up the rest of Roy's things, Roy showed back up.  I let him work a while on the side of the guest house, cleaning up an old lumber rack because neither Jay nor I had time to do it.  I wasn't going to let him work inside, as he might try to move in again.

Ray's things are still stacked up in the guest house bedroom, as legally I can't get rid of them yet. A mountain of winter clothes on the bed, a closet full of other clothes, and all kinds of tools and kitchen things.  Neither his son nor I have heard from him.  He did send someone to pick up all his outside plants, though.  Weird!

I am still cooking the food that Ray left and feeding it to his son, plus some of my own food, as he is not able cook.  All he knows how to "cook" is precooked dinners and processed food in a microwave!  That's not cooking, or food, in my book! 

He loves to eat apples cut with my apple cutter/corer, so I make sure I have plenty of organic ones on hand.  With his health problems he doesn't need to be eating anything doused with insecticides. 

Ray had left 2 dozen eggs, so I hard boiled some, and oven-poached the rest in a muffin tin. That's the easy way to do a mess of eggs all at once.  But I did mine in paper bake cups to keep the muffin tin clean, and I added a little something to each cup before adding the eggs.  Cheddar, Swiss, spinach, chili sauce, tomato slice, dill seasoning, basil, cinnamon, salsa, mozzarella, BBQ sauce, or what-have-you.

Jay and I went to church, and I took a homemade sliced-tomato-onion-sweet potato-cheese casserole, and he took a red velvet cake that he had made.

The Bible readings were Psa. 100, Num. 33- end chapter, we will be reading out of Deuteronomy next week, Jer. 2:4, 4: 1-2 and James 4:1-12.  The teaching was the fourth one on Idolatry, and how idolatry is greed and covertness.  Idolatry comes from wanting things more than God; money, power, prestige, fame, material things, all of which can come with the choice of careers.  So many are unhappy all their working lives chasing money, instead of being happy.

One example is:  1 Kings 21:2-22

2 Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”

3 But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.”

4 So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.

5 His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?”

6 He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”

7 Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote:

“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.

17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. 19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”

“I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. 21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free.[a] 22 I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’

1 Timothy 6:6-10 King James Version (KJV)

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

There was a quote from a movie  called “The Bucket List” that got me thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life, “Have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others?”  What about you?

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Don't be set off by greed or lust, put God first.

During the tasty potluck, we both had a lovely time fellowshipping with the other people in the congregation.  There are always interesting conversations going on in the dining hall.

While we were there, the tomato red van turned into a hothouse tomato, even with front and side sunscreens up.  Once we got the inside of the van cooled down, we didn't want to stop anywhere, but we really enjoyed the day.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Don’t Cut Corners on Kindness. Question Evolution. Don't Get Caught! Update.


For "Scripture Sunday":

Don’t Cut Corners on Kindness

"A common axiom today says that we should not “cut corners” in life. An ancient biblical law could also be summarized by a different application of these words.

God gave many commands to ancient Israel. One of the commands may be confusing to people who don’t live in an agrarian society.

Notice Leviticus 23:22: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.”

You could summarize this command as: Don’t cut corners. The Israelites were commanded not to fully harvest their crops. God wanted a portion to be left in the fields and available for the poor to glean. The biblical heroine Ruth benefited from this law (Ruth 2:2-3).

Modern application of an ancient law

But how does this biblical law for an agrarian society apply to Christians today? Most of us don’t have farms. How can we avoid cutting corners today?

The answer becomes apparent when we understand the principle behind the law. Ancient Israel was not to forget the less fortunate and poor; the citizens of this nation were to make provisions to care for them. Though most of us cannot apply it in the same way the Israelites did, we can still apply the principle today.

How can we not cut corners today?"

More at:


A Science Teacher’s Bold Confession

"Although I’m a science teacher, I don’t believe in evolution. Let me give you two reasons why.

Why should we believe gravity, or any other natural law, for that matter, just somehow happened—appeared on its own out of nowhere?

Interestingly, all scientists call these natural forces “laws,” and indeed they are consistent rules that govern all things that exist.

Even more interesting, a source long predating Isaac Newton tells us where gravity and all the other laws of nature came from! That source is the Bible.

James 4:12 tells us, “There is one Lawgiver.” That Lawgiver is the Creator God who designed and made the universe and this planet we call earth. In doing so, He created the rules that control it, both the physical laws governing the behavior of creation and the spiritual laws governing the behavior of humanity.

The complexity of nature

Mankind has a long and fascinating history of attempting to comprehend and probe nature’s complexities.

Around 400 B.C. the Greek philosopher Democritus imagined that matter consisted of tiny particles. He called these particles atoms, which in his language basically meant “indivisible,” (atomos, literally, “not cut”). Other Greek philosophers believed atoms came together to form molecules. They also thought atoms and molecules had mass or weight. It turns out they were far ahead of their time. Sad to say, other mistaken philosophical ideas gained precedence over these notions, suppressing for hundreds of years the concept of atoms."

More at:


Don't Get Caught!

"What does temptation have to do with getting caught?

Transcript at:



Still no word from Ray, but he did send someone over to pick up all his potted plants that were in the front yard of the guest house.  We moved all his things that were in the living room into the bedroom and there is so much of his stuff that it has the bedroom  piled high. Very strange for someone to just leave all their stuff.  This time he has been gone over 5 weeks now, but legally, I can't get rid of his possessions.

Somehow a rock hit the patio door on the guest house, so now it is all crazed and waiting to fall into a million pieces.  I think a weed eater did it.

The new helper, Roy didn't work out at all.  He worked on the floor for a few hours on the Monday, and then worked on his own job, mowing lawns, the rest of the week.  He always had landscaping tools spread all over the front yard and everyone thought I was having a yard sale.  I got so tired of people stopping and calling, that I asked him not to do that again.  When I went into the guest house I found out that Roy had moved a bunch of his personal stuff in at night time, and had planned on living there.  I told him that it was a construction area, not a living area.  On Monday, 12th. his niece came by and told me that Roy had been put in the hospital and it took two car loads to get the small stuff out of there.  I am still waiting for Roy's brother to pick up the large stuff, like a refrigerator and a trailer that Roy towed behind his riding mower.  0716111829-001

So back to Jay and me!   We have been cutting out the bad flooring in the kitchen/dining area in the guest house.  


When we removed 0716103146-001the kitchen cabinets we found out that Ray had let the drain leak under the sink, then that water had gone through the floor and caused termites to climb up into the wall.  Needless to say, the lower cabinets fell apart as we were removing them. 

Then when we went to remove the upper cabinets we found that they were full of canned goods.  Now who puts canned goods in upper cabinets??  As an old RVer, I know not to do that.  Anyway, so many upper cabinets are held up there with just a few screws, and aren't made to support the weight of a lot of cans.  This was so mystifying as there is a big canned goods rack built in one of the big cupboards.

Yesterday, Jay and I went to church.  I took Opo Squash and Ginger Chicken Soup, and Jay made a strawberry pie with real whipped cream, not Coolwhip.

The Bible readings were Num. 30:2-32:40, Jere. 1:1-2:3, and Mat. 5:33-37.  The Teaching was about "Trees planted by water"  Psa.1:3 and Jere.17:7-8.  Another new couple came for the first time, and I think that they will be regulars.   Everyone enjoyed the potluck, and a lot of talk and teaching was done around the dining tables.  It was so sunny that we were glad that we had put four sunshades up around the front of the van.   These are the hottest days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stop The Suffering. Paradise. Update.


Belated Posting:

Quick question, Friend?

"Congress just introduced an important animal welfare bill, and your lawmakers need your input.

Assuming that it’s NOT necessary to conduct animal testing to create gorgeous lipstick and great shaving cream, which of these things do you think we should do?

[A] Drip chemicals into the eyes of rabbits without pain relief;

[B] Force-feed mice large amounts of a chemical to see how much might kill them (also without pain relief);

[C] Kill tens of thousands of animals a year by suffocation, neck-breaking, or decapitation (again, no anesthetics or pain relief); or

[D] Use safe and effective alternatives to animal testing instead.

If you said D, we’re with you! And the animals need us to be with them.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives just introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2858), which would prohibit animal testing for cosmetics manufactured or sold in the United States.

We’re working hard to keep the pressure on your elected officials to move this bill—and other animal protection measures—forward. But we can’t do it without you. Please donate now to help end cosmetics testing on animals! Your gift will be used to help us work on this and many other legislative fronts of animal protection.

Shocking as it may be, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and mice are still routinely blinded, poisoned, or even killed just to test new cosmetics products and their ingredients.

Why is this still happening? Old habits die hard. These days, modern science has completely eliminated the need to use animals to ensure the safety of products like perfume and hair color. And the FDA doesn’t even require that animal tests are conducted to demonstrate that cosmetics are safe.

But some companies still persist in subjecting animals to hideous practices just to produce nail polish (nail polish they could produce without using animals!).

I’m writing to you today because it doesn’t have to be like this.

Will you please make a gift today—however much you can afford—to help us advocate for this bill and other critical legislation affecting animals?

Animal testing for cosmetics is heartbreaking. A large percentage of the animals used in tests aren’t even covered under the Animal Welfare Act, so while inhumane and unethical, it’s perfectly legal to perform all sorts of crude tests on them without any sort of pain relief whatsoever.

Perhaps worst of all, none of this is even necessary. Non-animal safety tests have been proven to be more effective and less expensive over the long run than animal-centered testing. And more than 600 beauty brands around the world are already using them and the thousands of ingredients already found to be safe to produce quality cosmetics.

It’s clear: humane cosmetics should be the law of the land.

And it can be, but only with your help. Please, make a gift today to help us advocate for the Humane Cosmetics Act and other important bills to defend animals. Your generous donation will also be used to support our lifesaving work in areas like dogfighting, wildlife trafficking, puppy mills, and horse slaughter.

Please, help now. Stop the needless testing. Stop the suffering.

Thank you for all you do for animals."



An Amazing Fact: "Where is the best place in the world to live? According to an annual survey of the Economist Intelligence Unit, Vancouver, British Columbia, has hit the top for the fifth year in a row. Cities are rated in five areas: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Second place went to Melbourne, Australia, and third to Vienna, Austria.

But wait a minute! The United Nations listed Norway as the most desirable country in the world in which to live, followed by Australia and Iceland. At the bottom of its list are Niger, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone, especially because of war and AIDs epidemics. Except that CNN reports that International Living magazine voted France, for a fifth year in a row, the best place in the world to live! You can get 12 months of paid maternity leave in France, guaranteed by law. Finally, Forbes shares the research of international human resource consulting company Mercer, which puts Vienna, Austria, at the top. In fact, not one place in the United States makes the list.

So where is paradise? Where is the perfect place to live? It depends. Most people are pretty happy right where they are at this moment. The environment is certainly nicer in some parts of the world than others, though toxins have touched our entire planet wherever you go. The biggest problem with finding the perfect place to live is that any place that has a human being will be imperfect, including your own home—that includes the person who looks back at you from the mirror every morning.

Paul writes about an acquaintance who apparently had a vision of paradise (2 Corinthians 12:4), also known as the garden of Eden. This special place was our first home, but our planet has undergone some changes since God first created the perfect place for us to live. Someday Eden will be restored (Revelation 2:7). When that day comes, we will have no doubts about the best place in the world to live."
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. - Genesis 2:8


A Belated Update:

Evicted Ray still hasn't shown up to get his things out of the guest house, so we are having to work around it all.  We did pile some of it up at the end of the living room, but the bedroom and utility room are still cluttered with his stuff.  Legally, I can't get rid of it yet.

Jay is having a hard time staying sober, so I have a new worker, Roy, and he wants to rent the guest house.  He is helping me tear up the floor that was damaged by Ray letting an AC drip down the wall and across the floor under the linoleum for several years. 

We took the middle seats out of my Dodge Grand Caravan, and easily hauled 4x8' sheets of plywood in it.  I can see it is going to be a useful vehicle.

Roy also went to church with me and really enjoyed our little congregation and the fellowship at the potluck afterwards.

The Bible readings were Psa.138,139, Num.22:2-25-9, Micah 5:6-6:8 and 1 Pet. 2.  The Teaching was about Unity, and to humble our hearts.  It was a lovely day.