Monday, January 23, 2017

Is God Shaking Our Nations? Leafy SeaDragon. Update.


For “Scripture Sunday”:

Is God Shaking Our Nations?

Don’t forget God is in charge of events we see happening in our world today. 

Video at:


[Darris McNeely] “America has a new president and a new administration and so many people around the world are wondering exactly what that will mean for world affairs and America’s role in the world. I was reading an article the other day about what will face the new president when he comes into office – issues that are already boiling with changes among the nations that are taking place. Europe and Russia, for instance, and Russia’s incursions into the Crimea and the Ukraine and the Brexit issue that is unravelling the European Union and the potential for more. And we look at Asia, we see China and its rise in power and influence, and a realignment of many of the power structures and of course the Middle East is always in the news and a great deal of turmoil there. These are all issues that are going to be facing world leaders and especially the new American president.

It reminded me of a scripture that —I’ve been pondering over a couple of scriptures, actually, from the prophets Haggai and the prophet Habakkuk that we have been talking about in our Beyond Today live appearances, “America: The Time is Now”, and in Bible studies here that we have also taped for Beyond Today . And the role that God has – and He says that He has among the nations and as we look at turmoil among the nations, realignment of various power blocks in today’s world, we shouldn’t be surprised and we should be actually instructed because of what God says from His holy word about His hand in world affairs.

In the book of Haggai, the prophet Haggai makes a statement in a very interesting prophecy that is given to the Jews in the years when they returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Haggai chapter 2 and verse 7 – God says, “’I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I’ll fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:7). And again, in verse 20 and 21 and 22, God says, “I will shake heaven and earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms” (Haggai 2:21-22). That’s the book of Haggai, chapter 2. A very interesting prophecy that God makes there about His role in the world – that he can actually shake the nations. Doesn’t something like that sound about like what we read today in our headlines, as we look at today’s world scene?

The earlier statement that God made about that, it’s from the prophet Habakkuk where, in chapter 1 and verse 5 of Habakkuk, God said to the prophet, “Look among the nations and watch and 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 works in the nations. He did then and ever so much more now. In fact, the apostle Paul gave us a very, very interesting bit of information to help us put this all in perspective in Acts chapter 17, where he says of God that “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth”, and about the nations he says, “He has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26).

This is encouraging and it’s also very enlightening but comforting to help us understand that God is in charge of history, that even turmoil among nations, like we are seeing in our world today, need not cause us to be so overly fearful or concerned, but to understand that there is a God who is in control of history. He determines when nations rise and fall. He determines when they will be powerful and not so powerful. There’s larger hands, there are larger issues working today. And as we look around at our world and we try to figure it all out, don’t forget the unseen hand from history that is the hand of God upon the world, as we find evidence here from these two prophets and the apostle Paul.”   From:


Leafy SeaDragon.

imageAn Amazing Fact: “The leafy seadragon is a marine fish in the same family as seahorses and is found along the southern and western coasts of Australia. It gets its name from its interesting appearance. This sea creature has the ultimate camouflage outfit! It has long, leaf-like appendages growing out all over its body. These protrusions don’t help it to swim but are simply for helping it hide from predators. The leafy seadragon does have pectoral fins on its neck and a dorsal fin near the end of its tail, but these fins are transparent and difficult to see. As it slowly moves about, it has the appearance of floating like seaweed. This illusion helps it blend in to its environment. It can even change its color to match its surroundings.

The name for this fish comes from its resemblance to the mythical dragon. Seadragons grow to be about 8 to 10 inches long and mostly eat plankton and small crustaceans. They have long, pipe-like snouts like the seahorse, through which they suck up small bits of food. Unlike the seahorse, seadragons do not have curled tails that can hang on to objects. They actually don’t move very much and have been observed staying in one place for up to 68 hours.
The greatest threat to these beautiful creatures is man. Some people catch them to use in alternative medicine. Others simply are fascinated by them and capture them to put in aquariums, though they are difficult to maintain. Pollution has negatively hurt these little fish, and they are now officially protected by the government of Australia.

In fact, the leafy seadragon is the official marine emblem of the state of South Australia.
The Bible speaks of another dragon that is a master of camouflage. Satan does not directly reveal himself but uses a variety of means to hide and deceive. From Eve in the Garden of Eden to our day, the devil is seeking to lead us astray through trickery. Jesus warns us, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders
to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand”
(Matthew 24:24, 25). As the coming of Jesus moves closer, look carefully at the claims of Christians.  Not everything you see is truth.”

And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Genesis 3:13



This week we have mostly been working on the attic floor, and the kitchen cabinets.  The attic carpet is back down and everything is back in it’s place.  The cabinets were a bit more complicated.  I had bought the 12 feet of Formica back when we were just going to redo the kitchen where it was.  Now that the kitchen had to be moved, the Formica will have to be cut, and used around the corner of two walls instead of one straight wall.  We wanted to make sure that the longest piece was cut exactly to fit, so we have put down the plywood base for the front wall countertop.  Then what Formica is left over will be for the side cabinet that holds the cook top.  Hopefully we will get that done this week.

Roni, the crazy lady from down the street has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and is still in the hospital.  So now I have her two cats here and will take care of them until she comes home, which probably won’t happen.  The cats will be spayed and I will foster them until they are adopted.

A great big pot of spaghetti with a really meaty sauce was my contribution for the church potluck, and I steamed some chunked new potatoes then roasted them in olive oil.  We also had a big pot of chicken and dumplings, as well as many other dishes, so we were all well fed physically, and then spiritually.  Even the gal who will only eat organic and the vegan girl were well catered for.

The Bible readings were Exo. 1:1-6:1, Isa. 27:6-28,29:22-23, Matt. 23:31-39 and the Teaching was about Divine Ownership.

The weather has been warm again, very un-winter-like, but before Spring gets here it will probably freeze again for a couple of days.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What Do You Share? Lessons From the Parables. Update.


For Scripture Sunday:

What Do You Share?

“A recent study reveals some interesting truths about the way we share news across social media. Do you just share whatever without even realizing what’s behind it?”



[Steve Myers] “We know that Christians are supposed to be sharing kind of people, but what do you share, especially when it comes to the things you may see on the internet?

It was an interesting study that was done by Columbia University and the French National Institute. What percentage of links that are shared on social media do you think have never actually been read? People are sharing links, but do you think they’ve read the article behind the headline? Do you know what percentage of people do that with never reading?

They found in this study fifty-nine percent of the people who shared a link never really read the information behind it. In other words, people retweet the news without ever really reading it themselves. And on top of this, what they found that was also interesting – this determines what news or so-called news gets circulated. And they’ve also found that it’s impacted political things; it’s impacted cultural things; it’s impacted people’s perspective and reshaped those things. And yet, the information behind the headlines was never really understood. And so that’s a scary thing. One of the study’s co-authors said this: “People are more willing to share an article than to read it.”

That can be a pretty scary thing when you think about it. Do we do that? We’ve got to be really careful, especially as Christians, not to be doing that. We don’t want to fall into this majority of people who just share whatever without even realizing what’s behind it.

I think there’s a proverb that connects with this. It’s in Proverbs 14:15. Here’s what it says: “The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps.” Now, we may not even believe the headline, and if we read the article, we certainly not believe it, or maybe we would. But the point gets to the heart of the matter. We want to think more deeply. God wants us to think deeply, not just on the surface, not just with a sound byte, not just with a headline. Let’s be sure we don’t fall into that problem and be prudent people that really consider our steps, consider our shares, and we’ll be better people for it.”



Lessons From the Parables

Are You a Wise and Watching Christian?

“Matthew 25 records Jesus Christ’s parable of the wise and foolish virgins. What lessons did He intend us to learn from it?

A flame burning bright via a wick in oil.Kevin Finneran/Unsplash

“Are you a wise and watching Christian?

Have you ever run out of gas and found yourself stranded on the side of the road? Once I was rushing to a meeting when we ran out of gas. The irony was that we had just pulled out of a gas station where we had stopped to make a phone call. We drove a mile down the road when the car sputtered to a halt. It was frustrating, but I learned a valuable lesson.

This reminds me of a song from the 1970s titled “Running on Empty.” The song’s theme was that we get very busy and don’t know we may be close to empty in a lot of ways. Could you or I be “running on empty”?

On several occasions Jesus Christ told His disciples to “watch” for His coming because we wouldn’t know the day or the hour. Learning the fine art of “watching” that we might follow His instruction requires that we not run out of gas. We have to learn to watch the gauge.

How do we learn to wait and watch?

One of Christ’s parables gives us the key to learn how to “watch” and to be ready when He returns in glory. Known as the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, it’s found in Matthew 25.

The previous chapter, Matthew 24, is a very detailed prophecy Jesus gave about the world events leading to His second coming. This parable is a continuation of the prophecy, telling us what we must do in light of what He says about His return. So let’s look at this parable to understand how we can watch and wait with godly patience for the coming of the Lord……”

Rest of article:


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A tiny green plant coming out from the ground.

Lessons From the Parables: The Smallest of Beginnings

“It is mid-December, and the woods next to my home are settling into a winter sleep. The last leaves are clinging to bare tree limbs. Bushes and shrubs are trimmed back and prepared for the next season of growth. What looks like a dormant landscape around my home conceals a deeper cycle of life that is preparing in a few months to spring once again from the earth and dazzle me with beauty, wonder and joy. Nature never rests. Life continues moving forward.”

A set of Jesus’ parables about small beginnings gives us an important insight into the Kingdom of God.   More at:


Painting illustrating a father welcoming his son home - prodigal son

Lessons from the Parables: Hope and Restoration - the Story of the Prodigal Son

“As he did every day, the father walked from his home to the small hill where he could look down the road and see for several miles. He always thought, and hoped, that he would see a familiar figure heading his way.

His thoughts were always the same—a mixture of longing, of hope and of regret. When he failed to see what he'd hoped, he would turn and go about the business of the day. There was always work to be done. But there was also the empty place created by the one who a long while back had chosen to leave and go far away from his home.

What can we learn from Jesus Christ's parable of the prodigal son? In a world of broken relationships, it teaches us a lesson of deep love and hope.”  More at:



My helper was out of town for several days which slowed down the rebuilding of the guest house, but now we have gone back to work on the kitchen cabinets.  The kitchen is now in a different location, but we are still able to re-use most of the cabinets.  Some of the lower cabinets were ruined when the renter let the sink leak and it rotted out the bottom of the cabinet, then the floor, then the joists below, then the termites came up and destoyed that whole wall.  After replacing seven floor joists, putting in a new floor and rebuilding the wall we were able to continue. 

The old front wall upper cabinets will fit very well in the new kitchen, but the big quandry was the left-hand side cabinets where the stove will be.  The 39” lower cabinet that will hold the stove-top needed to be exactly centered under the 30” upper bridge cabinet holding up the ventahood, so that will mean the filling in of two 4+” spaces on either side of the upper bridge cabinet.  We are toying with the idea of making them into slide-out spice cabinets.  Some of the 39” lower cabinet is having to be rebuilt, so we took the chop saw and table saw over to the guest house and set up a good workshop over there.

We thought we had all the new water lines glued up correctly, but when we turned it on again, we had a couple of leaks.  But one was the Pressure Relief valve on the water heater.  It was old and needs to be replaced.  As I have to go into Conroe to pick up the new exhaust fan for the bathroom when it comes in, I can get one then.  I didn’t want to use the old bathroom fan as it is so noisy, so I found one that is 1/2 a sone.

Another project that had to be done while the weather is nice, is to put back the plywood floor in the attic of the guest house.  Several parts had been taken up to put in new wiring.  Unfortunately, whoever did it, didn’t mark where each peice went, so it took a couple of mornings of piecing it together like a jigsaw.  Once we get that finished, just a little bit to go,  we can sweep the floor and put the carpet back down. 

Still had computer problems and had to go back to my old one.  The “New” refurbished one wouldn’t load Open Live Writer, my pictures were in such a mess that I couldn’t put them in my ads, and it wouldn’t be friends with my printer.  Hence the delay in writing this.

I came across a recipe for cooking rice in a bowl in my pressure cooker, and it turned out well, so I made rice, grass fed beef and veggies in a beef broth for the church potluck.  Also I made a green soup with some left-over gluten-free noodles, peas and broccoli in a clear vegetable broth.  It was just made as an afterthought, but it was very popular.  We also had a big crockpot full of deer meat donated by Gary, and I was even able to bring some home to share with my neighbor.

The Bible readings were Psalms 116 and 117, Gen. 47:28-50:26. 1 Kings 2:1-12, and Phil. 2:12-17.  The Teaching was about “Murmerings”  see Num. 14:27, about complaining.  Complaining is not done by belieivers.  A murmuring person is not pleasant to be around.  Be content.  We were also reminded of a brother who is undergoing some very painful treatments because his body was terribly burned in an accident at his work.  Now he really has something to complain about, but he doesn’t.  We have a lot to be grateful for, and we need to say thanks every day.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Turning Points. Major Challenges Facing America. Problems With Dry Pet Food. Update.


For “Scripture Sunday”:

A green road sign with the words "Turning Point: Just Ahead".“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!”

More at:


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.

imageGod 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:



imageIt 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:

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 imagewas 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.



Sunday, January 1, 2017

Substance Use Is Not the Answer. Self-Inflicted Snares. Choose Your Own Adventure. Update.


For “Scripture Sunday”;

Substance Use Is Not the Answer

Looking for a way of escape through alcohol, drugs or other substances is no escape at all.

An upclose photo of a man's face.Kychan/Unsplash

“The reason that some people are seeking a temporary high is that they are void of God. They are going to the wrong source who they hope can fix whatever they are going through.

Recently a photo was published of a man and woman passed out in the front seat of their car. Their backseat passenger was very alert, awake and alone: He was the 4-year-old grandson of the unconscious woman.

The safety director in Cleveland, Ohio, who released the photo said he and others wanted to send a strong message to addicts. They should find safe places for their children when using debilitating drugs. I can add to that: The adults need to get help!

Seek God. Don’t go for a temporary fix that will only get worse and wreak havoc on your family, your children, others and yourself.

More than 30 million Americans are currently struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism. Fatalities, traffic accidents and injuries related to substance abuse take thousands of lives each year, not to mention the accidental overdoses that occur more frequently among prescription drug addicts. In April this year, my son-in-law lost a distant cousin and her husband. They were hit head-on by a man who was drunk and going the wrong way on the interstate.

In the month of August Cincinnati, Ohio, police saw a staggering 200 overdoses. Eight people could not be saved. Besides those who die from overdoses, there are other victims—children, like this 4-year-old grandson—who reap, arguably, much worse consequences. Children who face being taken away from their parents, and if not taken away, abused, neglected or exposed to harmful drugs themselves. Three-month-old C.J. from Dayton, Ohio, was born addicted to heroin and spent his first month in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Miami Valley Hospital. The infant was on a morphine drip for that first month. What a terrible way to start life.

In most cases, children (and animals) who end up in foster care are from drug-addicted parents who can no longer care for them. Many grandparents and other relatives have to take on this additional responsibility.

Why does this happen? Because people are looking for an easy way out or a form of escape, not thinking about all the people around them who are affected, including their children.

Recovery Connection lists 10 reasons people abuse drugs. Four of them that affect young and old alike are:

1. Feelings of emptiness.  People are looking to fill a void.

2. Experimentation. Sometimes people are just looking for an escape from boredom; so they experiment with drugs to get a temporary high.

3. They make you feel good. They can help you relax from the temporary pressure of life for a while.

4. Peer pressure. Everyone wants a sense of belonging, so they feel use of drugs or alcohol does this. You can read more here.

While working on this article, I talked with Don, one of our delivery men. Don walks with a limp. I never knew why until our conversation recently. He told me that in 1993 he was hit by a drunk driver. His neck was broken, and he lost part of his leg. He is in pain every single day. Don is a victim of someone seeking a temporary fix, a temporary high, with no thought of anyone but themselves.

Because of so many overdoses occurring, police, teachers and workers in the medical field are armed with Narcan, which revives a victim after an overdose.

This temporary fix is no fix at all! Don told me that he knew a guy who worked in an emergency room that treated overdoses. One night they revived an overdose victim, and no sooner had the doctor turned his back that the patient already started trying to shoot up again for his next high.

While people will need treatment to overcome this drug and alcohol addiction, the real fix is turning to God for help. He is the one who needs to fix the empty heart and heal their broken soul. If you have a problem with drugs, get help, but turn to God for complete emotional healing. His fix is not temporary!

The reason that some people are seeking a temporary high is that they are void of God. They are going to the wrong source who they hope can fix whatever they are going through. Seek God. Don’t go for a temporary fix that will only get worse and wreak havoc on your family, your children, others and yourself.

God made us to be incomplete without Him. Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew11:28-30).

All the things you use to fill the void—drugs, material possessions, whatever else—will never make you complete. It is only as good as your next high. Fix your empty hearts with God! And seek medical help! Lay down those temporary fixes. Get the medical help you need, and do it with God. Do it for the sake of your family, your children, and for yourself!

Here is the number for American Addiction Centers. Get help today! They are experts in addiction treatment: (888) 970-8544 .”



Self-Inflicted Snares

Psalm 9:15-16

The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; in the net which they hid, their own foot is caught. The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah.

“Talk about poetic justice! David describes how God’s enemies set traps for God’s people, but the enemies end up trapping themselves. This reminder of God’s ultimate justice counteracts our natural discouragement and feelings of unfairness when it seems the enemies have the upper hand.

Thankfully, God is also a God of mercy, and the enemies of God—sinners, which all of us have been—can be forgiven and released from the traps of sin” (Romans 5:10; 6:6-7).

To learn more about God’s ability to forgive, read “What Is Forgiveness?


Choose Your Own Adventure

Make choices every day that lead toward the ultimate goal: the Kingdom of God.

A young woman reading a book while walking on path lined by trees.Samilla Maioli/Unsplash

“God, who created us to live our choose-your-own adventure life story, makes it evident which decisions He is hoping we will make.

Books ignited my imagination when I was growing up. The turn of each page brought new worlds to dive into and fascinating people to meet. They spurred my love of adventure that catapulted me off the page and into explorations of my own.

One type of book I read often as a kid was the “choose your own adventure” story. At the end of each chapter, the reader was given a choice. For each choice you made at that juncture of the story, you turned to a particular chapter. It made me feel as if I was actively participating in the unfolding of the plot.

The decisions we make on a daily basis clearly have great impact. They set the course of our lives and have the ability to affect how our children, our families, our friends and our coworkers make decisions.

Often, and usually hilariously, I made a choice that would lead to something like, “Unfortunately, taking the land route to your destination led to a giant boulder rolling down the hill and crushing you to death.” (It seemed to parallel my playing the Oregon Trail computer game where my party of pioneer settlers always seemed to contract dysentery or have our raft bashed to pieces while floating down the Columbia River.)

No matter. Recovery was simply as easy as restarting the game or making a different choice at the end of each chapter.

Recently I was thinking how life is really one big choose your own adventure story. At key points in our lives we make choices that lead us down different paths, some good and some bad. But ultimately, there are only two paths that we can take: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God is giving everyone an opportunity to live a life of making better choices, some now and some later (2 Peter 3:9; 1Peter 4:17; Revelation 20:4-6; Matthew 12:41-42).

We all have to make the daily choices that lead us closer to one final destination or the other. God, who created us to live our choose-your-own adventure life story, makes it evident which decisions He is hoping we will make. His words echo down to us as strongly as they did when He first spoke them to the ancient nation of Israel, whom He wanted to be a model nation for the rest of the world: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy30:19).

The decisions we make on a daily basis clearly have great impact. They set the course of our lives and have the ability to affect how our children, our families, our friends and our coworkers make decisions. “  Rest of article at:



While it was cold we mostly worked inside the guest house, stapling up more of the batt insulation and then the foam board insulation over it on the walls.  We don’t need to finish out the walls just yet, just trying to get it comfortable for working in there this winter.

The weather turned warmer so Roy, my helper, was able to slide under the guest house and tie in some more lines to the 4” drains.  They are all done except for the sink drain in the imagekitchen.   Then another day we capped off several places where we had stubbed out the water lines.  They are the ones that don’t have to hooked up right away, like the sink in the greenhouse, the water for the little 3/4 bathroom which will be off the laundry room, and the laundry room itself, as I still can use the laundry in the big house. I have an extra little sitz tub/shower out of an RV that will fit in there.  It will be handy to have that little tub just off the laundry room anyway.

My new foster cat arrived, a great big gray 16 pounder!  His name is Napoleon, and he is a very laid back, slow moving, sweet cat.  But his nails look like the talons on an eagle and he catches them in things when he walks, but he wouldn’t let us cut them.  He had been locked up in a room since his “Mom” was taken to the hospital, so he is very reluctant to wander around the house.  But he does sleep on a corner of my bed some of the time, and rubs against me, and loves on me, so I guess he likes me.  But little Purrcy was taken back to the Cat Habitat at Petco, because they were a cat short in there, so he didn’t stay here very long.  He was a live one!  A really darling little guy, and I miss him, but not his antics!

Napoleon won’t eat any canned food, and a dry-only diet is SOOO bad for a cat.  It eventually messes up their kidneys.  (It isn’t that great for a dog, either.) I tried to buy him some refrigerated food, “FreshPet”, it comes in a 1 or 2 lb pouch of little soft tasty morsels, and my other foster cat loved it, but that refrigerated case was out of order at the store, so they didn’t have any.  He drinks an unusual amount of water, so I hope his kidneys haven’t already been damaged.

The sweet little dog that was taken to the owner’s daughter’s place last week was picked up by her drunken owner, and two days later she dumped the dog back in my subdivision.  The little dog got loose from there, and ran all the way to my house.  She ran up to me just as happy as she could be, wagging her tail so hard that her whole body wagged.  OK, enough is enough. I had to step in and do something about this poor little dog that had been abandoned three times that I knew about.  She was taken to the vet for shots and a check-up, then she went to an SPCA trainer who will housebreak her, get her spayed and the sweet little dog will be adopted by responsible people. 

I had kept some of the lamb meat from last Sabbath before making the lamb bone broth, and made it into ‘Dirty Rice with Lamb and Veggies’ for the church potluck.  I also took ‘Roasted Squash and Onions’.  Both crockpots were empty when I brought them home. There was a lot of good food and fellowship, as usual. 

The Bible readings were Gen. 41:1-44:17, 1 Kings 3:15-4:1, and Acts 7:9-16.  These are mostly about Joseph, the Pharaoh’s dream, and how Hewbrew Joseph became a high muckety-muck in the land of Egypt.  The Teaching was about how the new year is just a marker of time, and how we can make resolutions at any time of the year to change our lives.

The weather was great, and it was a wonderful day.