For “Scripture Sunday”:
The Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, coronation portrait, June 1953.
“This year people around the world will recognize Queen Elizabeth’s sapphire jubilee. Her reign is the latest episode in the long history of a special throne.
Feb. 6 marks the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne of Great Britain.
Celebrations of the queen’s sapphire jubilee were held throughout the Commonwealth, including a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London. She is considered the monarch reigning over 16 nations and the titular head of the Commonwealth of Nations (which includes 52 sovereign states). She is deeply respected by many around the world.
Never before in British history
Since the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II and took the throne, a jubilee in celebration of 60 years on the throne has only occurred twice: for Queen Victoria, who reigned over Britain and the Empire for 63 years, and for Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. Elizabeth is now the first British monarch to reach her sapphire jubilee!
The start of the queen’s reign
King George VI died in February 1952; and as is the custom, his firstborn child succeeded to the throne. Princess Elizabeth was just 26 years old and married to Prince Philip. They had been blessed with two children by then, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
So her long reign began. The date of her coronation was June 2, 1953 (it took that long to prepare).
A huge turnout
If you watched the celebrations five years ago in June 2012, you saw hundreds of thousands of people (who braved somewhat miserable weather) line the banks of the River Thames and watch a flotilla of a thousand boats of every possible kind pass under Tower Bridge and salute the queen. By any standard, this event broke many records.
Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, would have been impressed with her legacy of family. Four generations of royals enjoyed these four days.
An ancient throne
In biblical history there is something very special about the throne that Queen Elizabeth is custodian of. The line of occupants goes back for many centuries past William the Conqueror. In fact, it goes all the way back to King David of the nation of Israel.
In Genesis 12 a promise was given by God to Abram (later Abraham) that through him all families of the earth would be blessed. This promise was expanded on and passed down to the following generations.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (later named Israel) would produce the descendants that would inherit the promises. Jacob had 12 sons who became the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel. Then two of his grandsons were given very specific and special blessings.
Promised birthright blessings
The birthright blessings were passed onto Ephraim and Manasseh—two of Israel’s grandsons (Genesis 48:17-22). Manasseh would be a great single nation and Ephraim’s descendants would become a company of nations. When was this fulfilled in man’s history?
We believe that the United States represents Manasseh today, and the company of nations is represented by the United Kingdom and the British Empire (now Commonwealth) that together make up the part of the world that the queen is head of.
King David was appointed by God to rule Israel, and he received a promise from God that there would always be a ruler on the throne (2 Samuel 7:12-16).
A careful study of the Bible and history shows that this throne is actually the one that Queen Elizabeth occupies today. It is the throne of David.
A prophecy in Jeremiah 30:9 tells us that God will resurrect David to be king over all 12 tribes of Israel. This time he will rule under Jesus Christ, who has promised to return to become King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the Kingdom of God on earth (Revelation 11:15-18).
A lesson for us all
At a coronation the sovereign is anointed (following the command given by God in 1 Kings 1:38-40). This practice has been followed by the English for over 1,000 years.
A thread throughout the queen’s reign has been her deep sense of duty. She has carried out her responsibilities with sincere dedication, supported by her husband, Prince Philip. Many have commented on her self-discipline and devotion to her position. One commentator said that this came from the sense of vocation she felt having been anointed at her coronation—in other words, realizing this was from God.
Lord Horatio Nelson said at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 that “England expects that every man will do his duty.” It seems Queen Elizabeth was raised to think that way, and perhaps all of us should pay careful attention to our personal responsibilities as well.
God keeps His promises
Now Queen Elizabeth has passed Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch. How much longer will she serve Great Britain and the Commonwealth as queen? The lives of our leaders are in God’s hands. But we can rejoice, knowing that God keeps His promises, and the greatest one is that He will send the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, back to this earth to establish His Kingdom forever and ever.”
For more about Britain in prophecy and the royal family, read:
3 Romantic Alternatives to Valentine’s Day
“As Valentine’s Day draws near, many will celebrate romantic love. But what about true love? Here are three ways to escape the superficiality of Valentine’s Day.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, millions of people have already made plans for romantic getaways, ordered flowers or chocolates and started writing valentines. For the holiday that is supposed to epitomize romantic love, it is very materially based and commercialized.
Can a married couple express true love in better ways than heart-shaped chocolates and bland, poorly worded cards? You bet!
Origins of Valentine’s Day
Where does real romance that is related to true love come from? A solid, healthy relationship. The old adage of “we could talk for hours” should still be one of the most romantic things to us. Before we discuss the meaningful alternatives to Valentine’s Day, consider why we should seek alternatives in the first place. Valentine’s Day is based on a very bizarre, ancient fertility festival called the Lupercalia. This festival was celebrated in mid-February in ancient Rome. The ancient Romans would sacrifice an animal on the Lupercalia and then use the hides to whip females in order to supposedly increase their fertility.
Another component of the festival was matchmaking. Males and females would be paired up at Lupercalia by a lottery and then would remain partners for either the duration of the festival or for a year.
The Roman church later replaced the Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day in honor of a martyr named Valentine. But the popular celebration maintained the romantic and sensual elements of the pagan festival.
The fact that Cupid, a Roman god of love, is associated with this day is even more proof of its deep roots in ancient Roman paganism.
Marriage is a beautiful institution created by God, and there are much better ways to build and celebrate it than a celebration like Valentine’s Day!
Here are a few ideas to celebrate your love for your spouse—without doing it on Valentine’s Day!
1. Get romantic at unexpected times.
Though anniversaries are great times to celebrate your love for each other, romance does not have to be tied to a calendar date. Giving gifts, writing meaningful notes and going on romantic getaways are all great for a marriage—and they can be done at any time of the year! In fact, these things are much more meaningful when they are spontaneous and done out of sincere appreciation and love.
It is somewhat shocking that so many people wait until a holiday inspired by fertility rites and a Roman god to actually show how much they love their mates. We are told not to worship God through pagan practices (Deuteronomy 12:31), and we also should be careful to not degrade love by mixing it with perverse paganism.
Gifts and romantic gestures done at unexpected times and for no other calendar reason will always be greatly remembered and treasured by those receiving them.
Ideas: Be consistent with little gifts, candies or gestures throughout the entire year. Plan something with lots of “us” time involved that is not tied to any specific date. Just do it because it’s good for the marriage!
2. Talk to each other every day.
Yes, it may sound simplistic—but it is actually a huge thing! It’s important to speak to one another.
Where does real romance that is related to true love come from? A solid, healthy relationship. The old adage of “we could talk for hours” should still be one of the most romantic things to us. The wonderful thing about the giving of gifts and the dinners, trips and adventures together is the closeness that should result from them. This closeness is mainly shared through conversation.
No, not from a three-line French poem that someone memorized to impress a date. No, not the seemingly wonderful wisdom of “be my valentine” (meaningless, if you think about it!) scratched on cheap candy. It comes from real words and the development of a connection between two people who truly love each other.
Ideas: Have a set time every single night where the television, computer, phones and everything else are turned off—so you can talk with the person you love. Walk and talk. Eat and talk (not at the same time!). Sit and talk. Exercise and talk. Whatever you are doing, make sure talking is involved.
3. Put 1 Corinthians 13 into practice every day.
It’s nicknamed the Love Chapter for good reason. This chapter comprehensively lists what love is and what it isn’t. We can use this chapter as a daily, monthly or yearly project to improve our marriages. God wrote the book on love, so His Bible should be the primary place we go for guidance in expressing proper love within marriage.
Here are some ways 1 Corinthians 13 can be put into practice to improve our marriages:
- Love suffers long: When our mates do something that really bothers us, we should let it go or work on improving the problem together.
- Love is kind: We should do something kind for our mates without being asked—often.
- Love does not parade itself: We should be sure to tell our mates how much we love them privately—we don’t need to use Facebook to demonstrate our love for our mate!
- Love is not puffed up: We should always be ready to admit when we’ve done something wrong.
- Love does not behave rudely: We should make sure our marriage is characterized by considerate behavior toward each other.
- Love does not seek its own: We should willingly and joyfully do something we have no interest in, but our mate enjoys.
The Love Chapter, though about a much deeper love than just romantic love, is filled with guidance on how to treat the love of your life. Read it often.
One 24-hour period involving candies and ancient fertility symbolism does not come close to the fulfilling and meaningful love God wants us to enjoy.
Isn’t it time for you to ditch Valentine’s Day and demonstrate true love God’s way?”
To learn more about how to build a happy marriage, read our study guide “5 Keys to Improving Your Marriage.”
Put the Numbers in Perspective - Islamic Terrorists...
...murder more people everyday than the KKK has in the last 70 years (26 since 1945).
...killed more Americans on American soil than the combined militaries of Japan and Nazi Germany in WWII.
...slaughter more people everyday than were killed during the entire Salem Witch Trials (12).
Nothing has been done to the guest house this week. Never saw my helper again, even though he called and said he would come by on Friday to pick up some of his stuff, he never arrived.
As I didn’t have a helper, I was busy doing different reseach on the computer, taking care of animals, and helping Roni, the neighbor with pancreatic cancer. I cooked her some homemade organic food, and took some food for the cat that is still there. One day Roni had the cat she calls ‘Squeakers’, in her arms, knowing that the cat needed to be vaccinated and spayed. So we popped her in a carrier and she is now here in a third cage that my neighbor SPCA foster mom had loaned me. I needed one more with a side door as mine had Stripes and Speckles, Roni’s other cats, in them. Squeakers is not used to being in a cage, but she has the shy temperament where she would find the most inaccessible place to hide if I let her loose in the room. As she is pregnant, she might not show herself again until she had multiplied! She is scared of people, but she lets me pet her and has let me hold her. So, for now, she has to be caged so that I know where she is and can give her the deworming meds for 3 days. Still trying to think of a better name for her.
Stripes and Speckles had their neutering surgery and are recovering nicely. They had to be caged for several days so that they wouldn’t jump up or down on things and hurt their stitches, but then they were allowed to be loose and play in my house. Later in the week they were taken to stay in the SPCA Habitat inside Petco, Conroe for a month. SPCA volunteers go daily to tend to the cats in the Habitat. They are on display there for adoption, and cats usually get adopted during that time. Both are really sweet kitties and will be a great joy in their adoptive homes. My favorite, Speckles just loves it there. All the attention from the shoppers is right up her ally. If they don’t get adopted while they are in the Habitat, then they go back to live with their foster parents. Each animal has it’s own webpage, too, so sometimes they get adopted that way.
So I still have the great big cat, Napoleon, Squeakers and the ‘come-along’ bobcat-looking cat that lives on my front porch, he is called “Rumpy for “Rumpelstiltskin”! Napoleon is more work as he is messy, scattering litter and food all over my bathroom. That’s where my little electric ‘broomstick’ comes in handy.
Some of the research I have been doing is about the glycemic levels of sugar and sweeteners. This was because I saw one of the younger ladies at the church putting FOUR spoons of sugar, THREE spoons of Coffeemate (ladled with HFCS) in her coffee, and then eating donuts. No wonder she is pudgy! She surely will be riddled with health issues if she carries on like that.
“Sugar-containing foods in their natural form, whole fruit, for example, tend to be highly nutritious—nutrient-dense, high in fiber, and low in glycemic load. On the other hand, refined, concentrated sugar consumed in large amounts rapidly increases blood glucose and insulin levels, increases triglycerides, inflammatory mediators and oxygen radicals, and with them, the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses,” Dr. Ludwig explains.
“The glycemic index for sweeteners is a function of three things:
1. The amount of carbohydrate present.
2. The type of carbohydrate present.
3. The presence of other substances (soluble fiber for example) that slow metabolism of carbohydrates.
Glucose has a glycemic index (GI) of 100 and fructose is 25. Sucrose (Ordinary sugar) which is made up of a combination of these two has a GI of 65.
“Sugar alcohols tend to have very low GIs. In particular Erythritol has a GI of only 1, and it is a safe low calorie sweetener that occurs naturally in some fruits and mushrooms.
Both the natural zero calorie sweeteners such as Stevia, and the artificial ones such as Saccharin have no glycemic index. They do not raise blood sugar at all. This brings up another issue: The human body is programmed to react to the taste of sweet things.
Studies have shown that insulin is secreted by the pancreas soon after the sweet taste is experienced on the tongue, whether the substance contains calories or not. The body is fooled by the zero calorie sweetener. It expects glucose to hit the bloodstream and it gets none. This may result in increased appetite soon after.
Some studies have indicated that zero calorie sweeteners do not help reduce weight, and this may explain the reason. However this does not take into account several useful aspects of zero calorie sweeteners:
1. They do not cause a blood sugar spike and this alone is beneficial to health.
2. They are suitable for diabetics who would otherwise have a limited choice of sweet things.
3. They are harmless to teeth.
4. All things being equal they contain no calories and should be of assistance in a diet plan.”
Over the years I have found out that artificial sweetners like Aspartame, in the Blue packets, are like toxins and are so very bad for you. CSPI has also issued aspartame a rating of "avoid." Since methanol in aspartame has no natural binder, nearly all of it turns into formaldehyde in your body. Formaldehyde (which is used in, among other things, paint remover and embalming fluid is a poison several thousand times more potent than ethyl alcohol.) From: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/13/artificial-sweeteners-more-dangerous-than-y ) And Splenda (Yellow Packets) (Yes. Sucralose (Splenda) bears more chemical similarity to DDT than it does to sugar. From: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/02/10/new-study-of-splenda-reveals-shocking-information-about-potential-harmful-effects.aspx ) Some people find out that their headaches or fibromyalgia were caused by them.
Saccharin (Pink Packets) isn’t so bad, (“No chemical additive for food has been tested in as many laboratories, for as long a period, in as many species of animals (including man) and in successive generations, and yet has been found to be as innocuous as saccharin.” From: http://saccharin.org/saccharin-safety/ and it is readily available when you are out and about, but Non-GMO Erythritol seems to be a better choice to have at home: https://www.verywell.com/erythritol-what-should-you-know-about-it-89560 .
I knew that I would have to ramrod the potluck again as the pastor’s wife still has a bad knee which has put her in a wheelchair. She cannot be on crutches because of her breast cancer surgery. Some of the healthy food that I cooked for Roni got me on a healthy grains kick. So I made several ‘grainy’ dishes for the church potluck. Wheatberry Waldorf Salad, Buckwheat with Apple and Blackberrues, Freekeh with Ground Beef and Veggies, and Chia Pudding made with flaxmilk and sweetened with ground up dates. I have previously taken dishes made with Farro and Quinoa for the potluck many times. Our vegan lady brought a delicious vegan rice dish with cashews in it. I am nuts about nuts. But as I have had a busted jaw, some nuts are hard for me to chew, so I grind the nuts up in my auger juicer with the nut butter blank in it, and mix the ground nuts with different things to make them into a spread, like cream cheese, or just put it in my yogurt.
The Bible readings were John 6:25-36, Exo. 13:17-17-16. Judges 4:4-5:31 and Heb. 13:10-21. The Teaching was about Joshua 24, but I couldn’t hear it very well with folks trying to help me in the kitchen. Maybe Winter is over as I had to run the air conditioning on the way home, as it was a much warmer day.