For “Scripture Sunday”:
“Our hope is that all nations might experience some kind of positive turning point and not experience the continuing, escalating problems we have brought on ourselves due to turning from God.
God offers each of us a turning point, nationally and individually.
Taking a page from former President Ronald Reagan, Trump pledged to “drain the swamp in Washington” and “make our government honest again.” While many of his campaign promises appear to be clear examples of overreach, a number of his cabinet appointees indicate that he is deadly serious about changing the ways of Washington and altering the trajectory of the nation.
And the trajectory of the nation certainly needs to be altered!”
Major Challenges Facing America
This is a tough message to accept, but America without God holding back the storm is in a very dangerous place.
“After a very bitter and long election, Donald Trump takes office at a critical moment in American and world history. As he takes office he faces many challenges.
America’s role in the world has dramatically changed over the last eight years, a fact recognized by foreign policy experts. Its historic and prophetic role could be turning in a different direction. Let’s look at a list of those challenges.
• Russia has been aggressively extending its reach and influence. It seized the Crimean Peninsula and other parts of the territory of Ukraine and has been engaged in a low-intensity war with that nation for several years. Russian planes have buzzed U.S. Navy ships in the Baltic Sea. NATO and American aircraft have been harassed by Russian aircraft.
Russia’s backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has prolonged Syria’s civil war and the suffering of its citizens. American diplomatic efforts regarding the conflict have been frustrated by Russia’s involvement.
When Europe has faltered, Russia has been quick to exploit its weakness—desiring to see a fractured European Union rather than a unified bloc of nations.
Given past history, Russia has reason to fear a powerful and cohesive Europe. However, provoking Europe into a reactionary posture, given the stress it has from the massive influx of immigrants from the Middle East, could lead to ominous developments.
• China’s relationship with America is changing. China seeks to replace America’s longstanding influence in Asia. It is rapidly expanding its navy and its interests with regional neighbors like the Philippines and Australia. China wants to be the arbiter of relations between Asian Pacific nations.
Disputes with Japan over joint claims to Pacific islands aggravate the historic bad blood between the two nations. If armed conflict were to arise between the two, America would be treaty bound to support Japan with military force.
China holds more than a trillion dollars of U.S. debt. This fact handicaps America’s ability to effectively deal with serious issues like Chinese cyberhacking and the creation of a hostile business environment for American companies.
Despite diplomatic smiles, China wants to assert itself as the dominant world power. World leaders wish that China would rein in North Korea’s nuclear program. The unstable rogue regime of Kim Jong Un is China’s client. It suits China’s interests to give North Korea a long leash. No one knows how much control and influence China has with North Korea. One wild action could create a nuclear conflagration that could spin out of control.
• Radical Islamic terrorism has not disappeared. ISIS, Iran and al-Qaeda have grown in their capacity to attack global targets. Their ability to strike is wider and deeper than it has been for years.
Over the last eight years America’s economic debt has doubled to nearly 20 trillion dollars. This huge, incomprehensible figure represents another significant national security threat. You don’t have to be an expert to look at this and wonder what keeps America economically viable in the world. The unrecognized fact is that God is, for the time being, keeping America strong and prosperous in spite of this and many other glaring problems.
God is the “angel in the storm” who continues to watch over the United States of America. The long and prosperous history of the nation is testimony to God’s enduring faithfulness to His promises to create this single great nation in the modern world.
While nations like Iran, China, Russia and North Korea and desperate terror groups like ISIS plot and wish to dislodge the United States from its position as the dominating world power, the fact is that they cannot until God removes His hand of blessing from America.
America and its new president have a moment of reprieve. There is time to hear a message of hope and to turn to God in heartfelt repentance.”
Excerpt from: “A Prophet, a President and a People” at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/a-prophet-a-president-and-a-people
It has been really cold this week, this morning it was 19 deg. when I got up. Now that’s cold for these parts. We have been really focusing on insulating every little space in the mini-house (guest house).
One day we had all the water lines hooked up, but when we turned on the water, there was a leak in the back yard, so it will have to wait for a warmer day when the ground isn’t frozen.
We went around with some loose fiberglass insulation and poked it in every little crack. We even wrapped the returns of the windows with 1/2” foam board so now one can feel that there is no draft coming in from the sides of the windows. What a difference! As windows are installed with a space around them to allow for getting them level and plumb, we made sure that they were wrapped so that each side was even. Some had to be shimmed out, and some had to be wrapped with narrower foam board. Now when we put up the paneling it will all look even. This extra insulating can cause excessive humidity to form in the house from cooking and bathing, but there are fans and a dehumidifier for that.
My foster cat, Napoleon is getting very friendly and loving, and I have finally found a wet cat food that he will eat. It isn’t the best, but it is a start.
“Additional Problems With Dry Food
On a dry food diet, a cat's urine becomes overly concentrated which leads to feline lower urinary tract disease.
Dry food as it is initially manufactured would be of no interest to a cat. It must be sprayed with flavorings and their accompanying odors to interest the cat in eating it. An entire industry has arisen to manufacture such sprays for this biologically inappropriate food product.
Dry food can be contaminated with mold, fungus or mycotoxins due to improper grain storage.¹¹ As kibble is unlikely to be made from the highest quality grain — perhaps grain not fit for human consumption — it is a further concern. Dry food should never be moistened with water, as it creates an ideal soup in which mycotoxins can proliferate.” From: http://feline-nutrition.org/health/species-inappropriate-the-dangers-of-dry-food
So that is why I felt it was so important to get Napoleon eating wet cat food. Even ‘people food’ would have been better than a diet of all dry, but he wouldn’t eat it.
Having made a big pot of farro, grass-fed beef and veggies, I loaded it into a crock pot for the church potluck. As I was leaving the pastor’s wife called me and said that Pastor Bobby was sick so he wouldn’t be there, and that the water was frozen at the church. Elder Jeff is very capable of conducting the service which he has done many times before. But with the toilets inoperable until they thawed out, he wanted to cancel the meeting. I asked the Pastor’s wife if she really wanted to let the Devil have our Sabbath cancelled over a few frozen pipes, and she said that she really wanted us to have the service.
I keep water here for emergencies, so I said that I would bring several 2-gallon jugs of water and two 1-gallon buckets. If you have nearly a gallon of water and pour it from a height, it will flush a toilet. I was tired by the time I had loaded ten of the 2-gallon jugs full of water, plus the food that I had prepared, so off I went, in 19 deg weather. The faucet in the dining room had thawed out, so water could be drawn there and carried across to the church. It was a good thing we didn’t cancel because some people even came in that nasty weather all the way from Houston.
It was so cold that for the first time in about 25 years I wore my black ‘beaver’ fur coat. A lot of little nylons had to die to make that ‘fur’!
The Bible readings were Gen. 44:18-47:27, Eze. 37:15-28 and Heb. 1:1-6. The Teaching was about New Year Commitments and Using Time Wisely.
My helper had to go out of town on Friday and I haven’t heard from him yet. He was supposed to work today.