Tuesday, November 12, 2019

5 Traits Men Should Look for in a Godly Woman. Kanye West's New Album. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

5 Traits Men Should Look for in a Godly Woman

“Too often men focus mainly on a woman’s appearance when they are considering whom they will date or marry. But there are more important traits to consider.

5 Traits Men Should Look for in a Godly Woman

There is a folk tale of an elderly king somewhere in the heart of Africa. He had only one son, whom he adored. When the time came for the young man to find a wife, the king reminded his son she needed to be a woman qualified and capable of one day serving as his queen. So the young man began his search for such a woman of beauty and character.

He believed most young women would put their best foot forward if they knew he was the prince, so he chose to disguise himself as a peasant farmer. The beautiful ladies he saw around the palace regarded him with disdain, so he went on. Farther out he came across some young ladies who would stop to speak with him, but they were silly or rude, clearly not fit to be queen.

After several weeks, he came to a tiny village in the farthest reaches of his father’s kingdom. A beautiful maiden saw him looking tired and hungry, and she offered him food, water and a place to rest. He discovered she was kind, intelligent and wise.

He knew she was the kind of girl who could become a wise and helpful queen, and he wanted her as his wife. Her father voiced concern that his daughter would marry such a poor man, but the girl reasoned with wisdom and conviction, and her father relented. The prince in disguise returned home to prepare for the wedding.

Soon the young man returned, but this time as himself, the prince. They married, and years later he became king. His princess proved to be the wise and understanding queen he knew she would be, and together they ruled the kingdom with wisdom and justice.

The importance of character

The story emphasizes something too many men underestimate when looking for a mate: the importance of a woman’s character. It isn’t all about physical beauty or even personality. In describing the nearly perfect woman in Proverbs 31, Solomon wrote, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised” (verse 30).

What are a few traits of character that a Christian woman should strive to attain? What are the traits of character that a Christian man should look for in a potential wife? Let’s consider five:

1. Is she a woman of God?

What foundational element of character could be more important? In describing how the wife of a congregational leader should be, the apostle Paul wrote, “Wives must also be of good character. They must not be gossips, but they must control their tempers and be trustworthy in every way” (1 Timothy 3:11, God’s Word Translation).

Such a woman will show by her words and actions that she submits to the rule of her Creator. Her relationship with God will come first in her life, and her faithfulness will shine through everything she says and does. As Ruth famously said, “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).

This basic attitude should be the No. 1 characteristic a man looks for in a wife: a woman who is committed to being faithful to God her entire life.

2. Who has the greatest influence on her?

We all have people who have a powerful influence on us, so considering whom she chooses to be influenced by is important.

When we were children, our parents were probably the biggest influence in our lives. But as we move through adulthood, others exert a heavier influence on us. To whom does she look to the most for advice? Are these people of solid moral character? Solomon also wrote, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26).

Take a careful look at her closest friends and advisers and see what direction they influence her toward.

3. Is she tenderhearted?

Is she first and foremost attentive toward God and His laws? Is she also tenderhearted toward others, wanting to help and serve others when she sees a need? Is she first and foremost attentive toward God and His laws? Is she also tenderhearted toward others, wanting to help and serve others when she sees a need? Think of the father of the prodigal son, who saw his son coming from a long way off and “had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck [hugged him] and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).

Among the fruit of the Spirit we find kindness, goodness and gentleness (Galatians 5:22-23). These are spiritual qualities that allow us to exhibit the characteristics Paul described in Ephesians 4:32: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” 

4. Is she willing to learn and grow?

This is a reflection of her heart. Perhaps nothing reveals a person’s depth and genuine level of humility more quickly than having a heart that is teachable. Not everyone can see a need to learn more and accept instruction.

Business leaders recognize that some people have 20 years of experience, and others have one year of experience, 20 times over. A teachable person will be learning from his or her own mistakes, as well as those of others, and will be constantly growing and maturing. “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9).

5. Is she wise with her words?

Talk is cheap. Many people throw around words freely, saying whatever they believe you want to hear, but never really meaning it. Others liberally sprinkle their conversations with gossip and scintillating tales about others.

It used to be far less common for a woman to use vulgar or profane language, but that societal taboo seems long gone now. Women today are often as crass and crude as men can be in their speech.

But a woman of godly character will not allow her speech to become infected with anything that is improper or sinful.

God does not view careless and idle words as something of little consequence. The Bible instructs us to be always truthful (Zechariah 8:16) and to avoid gossip (Proverbs 20:19). Her speech should always be “with grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6). A woman who uses her words wisely and carefully will fulfill what Solomon wrote in Proverbs 25:11: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

There are many more qualities of character we can and should consider, but these are a starting point. They are also more challenging and more difficult to attain than they might seem at first glance! You won’t find a woman who demonstrates all these traits perfectly, but look for the woman who is serious about trying to.

Of course, a godly man should never ask his wife to do and be what he isn’t himself. So he must be sure to be developing godly character himself.”  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/marriage/5-traits-men-should-look-for-in-a-godly-woman/

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For further insight into male/female relationships, peruse our articles in the “Relationships” section of Life, Hope & Truth.

    

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Kanye West's New Album

“Recognizing “Jesus is King” is a great step for anyone striving to obey God. What else does the Bible say about following Christ?

Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/zT9eFi1Q7Sk

[Steve Myers] “Kanye West has a new album out. In fact, it rocketed to Billboard number one almost immediately. Of course, Kanye West probably being one of the biggest rap hip hop stars in the universe, you might say. I mean, this man has amazing influence that goes beyond the music world. You know, the title of his new album? It’s called “Jesus is King,” and when I heard about that, I had mixed feelings. In one way, this is phenomenal. This is absolutely amazing. It’s encouraging to see someone that’s in the public, especially in the music world, to identify with the fact that Jesus is King, and that’s something that should be recognized.

In fact, it has had quite an impact across the countries, had rallies, different meetings, and the Word of God, in one sense, has gone out. That is such a powerful thing. I recognize that, and I would love to see even more from Kanye West. In fact, when you think about that, I hope it doesn’t stop there, because we can recognize that Jesus is King. But when we really see what the Bible has in mind, it goes beyond just the recognition of Christ as King, that there has to be more, more than just the recognition. There really has to be a changed life in a changed perspective that goes along with that recognition.

I’m reminded of a passage that we find over in the book of 1 John, 1 John 2, this whole section of scripture talks about what goes beyond just the mere recognition that Jesus is King. So when we look at 1 John 2:3 says this, “When we recognize Jesus as King,” it says, “Now by this, we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.” So there has to be a change in our behavior, in what we do, and the way we look at the world. In fact, a little later in verse six, it says, “He who abides in Him, ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

So our goal if we proclaim Jesus as King in our life, we have to walk as Jesus walked, and that’s a past tense statement. Looking back to the way Jesus lived his life. How did He talk? How did He walk? How did He live? How did He worship? When did He worship? You see, all of those questions come to mind.

So if we declare Jesus as King in our life, we have to recognize that and live our life and worship God in spirit and truth as we proclaim Jesus is King. So let’s be sure that’s exactly what we’re doing when we say those words.””  From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/kanye-wests-new-album

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Update.

Thank you Veterans, for your service.  Thank you, just isn’t enough.

Another week of “swinging weather”.  One day it is cold and the next it is warm again.

There was Bingo at the Community Room here at the apartments and I was the only one who didn’t win anything, so the caller gave me the little plastic basket that had contained the prizes.   Though it did come in handy to carry small items like socks at the laundry.

My helper and neighbor, Joe, had gone to Bryan with me last week when I went to the Social Security office, because he needed to renew his drivers license.  They took his money and then said that he needed an eye test before he could get his license.  On Wednesday, as I was going to the Conroe area to meet my granddaughter, Michelle, I took him to the optician with the owl, America’s Best.   So he got an free eye exam with the purchase of 2 pairs of glasses for $70.00 total.   We have to back on the 20th to get his glasses, so Michelle and I can have some more time together then. 

Chris, Michelle, Joe, and I all met at Rancho Grande Mexican restaurant in Conroe, because I had won a gift certificate for four free lunches earlier in the year.  Chris brought me the four extra seats that go in my van, and some “catifying” shelves that she had been storing in her barn. I still hope to have an older, special needs cat to care for. 

The battery light came on in the van, the alternator checked good, but not the battery and so there was another expense, this time a new battery, not a rebuilt.

I took a green salad and grapes for the church potluck, and came home with two empty containers.  That was easy, I might do that again!  The theme for the week was “Be Still and Know that I am God”, Psalm 46:10. The sermon was “Talking With The King”.

Knowing that we were going to have a hard freeze I bought two big totes to house the largest pots of my Aloe Vera.  I didn’t want to bring them inside because some ants had been in them a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t know if any were still in there.  I put the other pots in on a trolley that I could take in and roll back outside.  I had sprinkled Diatomaceous Earth in and around the pots when I saw the ants and they disappeared, but you never know. 

In the mornings when the temperature is warmer I take the lids off and let them have some sunshine during the day.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

What Does God Say About Witches and the Occult? Do the Souls of the Dead Live Forever? Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”.

What Does God Say About Witches and the Occult?

Deuteronomy 18:10-12

““There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.”

God outlawed witchcraft and other pagan practices that appealed to the evil spirit realm for their power. To God, it was an abomination for His people to seek help from Satan and his demons. Still, the Israelites were enticed by these practices again and again.

This was not just an Old Testament concern. The new converts to Christianity also took the subject of magic seriously ( Acts 19:19 ). The apostle John also warns that those who practice witchcraft must repent or they will end up in the lake of fire—the second death ( Revelation 9:21 ;21:8 ).

How did Western, so-called Christian nations get caught up in a holiday like Halloween that dabbles in the darkness of evil spirits, witchcraft and the occult? See our article “Halloween: Should Christians Celebrate It?””  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/what-does-god-say-about-witches-and-the-occult/?

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Considering Halloween: The Unfruitful Works of Darkness

Ephesians 5:11

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

God’s way is symbolized in the Bible as light, and darkness symbolizes sin and evil. Many times the apostle Paul encouraged faithful Christians to avoid the darkness of Satan’s lawless thinking and evil influences. For example, he wrote, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

He also wrote to the Corinthians: “For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

The custom of Halloween, derived from popular pagan festivities to appease evil spirits, is definitely a time of darkness.

Paul continues by quoting from Isaiah 52:11 , “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

God’s people are to live no longer as the ungodly do in lewdness and greed ( Ephesians 4:17-19 ). How better to describe the risqué adult costume parties and the demands for treats of the younger crowd but as lewdness and greed?

God calls on us to draw near to Him and to resist the devil ( James 4:7-8 ). Should we not resist a holiday of darkness that celebrates evil?” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/considering-halloween-the-unfruitful-works-of-darkness/?

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Do the Souls of the Dead Live Forever?

Ezekiel 18:4

““Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.”

The word translated soul is the Hebrew nephesh, which can even refer to animals ( Genesis 1:21 ) and corpses ( Leviticus 22:4 ). The Bible does not describe humans as having an immortal soul, but as being a living soul—a living creature. As God says in Ezekiel 18:4 and 20 , human souls can die. In fact, death—eternal death—is the punishment for sin ( Romans 6:23 ).

Only God has immortality ( 1 Timothy 6:16 ), and He offers it as a gift to those who believe and obey Jesus Christ ( John 3:16 ; Romans 6:23 ).

For a study of the subjects of the mortality of the soul and hell, see our article “What Is Hell?” Understanding what the Bible teaches about the mortality of the soul provides further reason for Christians not to celebrate All Saints’ Day and Halloween.” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/do-the-souls-of-the-dead-live-forever/?

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Update.

It has been a very busy two weeks.  Including slow driving through pouring rain twice, once to Bryan to the Social Security Office, and once to Willis.  It was so cold in Bryan waiting for the Soc. Sec. office to open with the wind chilling us to the bone, that I think that is where I caught a cold.  

With the aid of my helper, Joseph, we have moved all the items from the storage in Willis to a storage here in Navasota. One day it was raining so hard you couldn’t see, then the next day the trip to Willis was in blazing sunshine.  With the sun being low in the sky this time of year, the visors wouldn’t keep it out of my eyes. They seem a lot more sensitive to bright light since I had the cataract surgery.  But at least that is all done.  Now I can start selling a lot of the stuff and empty that storage soon, I hope.

As I have so many lentils I have been trying to get them used up.  For one Sabbath potluck I made Chili Cheese Lentils, then this week I made a Lentil Loaf with shredded carrots, celery, onions and black olives in it . No meat is served at this congregation, and they seem to live a long time.  Our lady pianist is 89 years old and going strong.

The last Sabbath the theme was “His Mercy Endures Forever”  Psa. 136:1, and the Sermon was about Submission.  This Sabbath is was “This Is the Day The Lord has Made, Let us Rejoice and Be Glad In It”  Psa. 118:24, and the Sermon was about Detachment.  Phil. 3:78.  How we should be detached from earthy things.

It is so great to be in this senior apartment, they are sturdily made of brick and well insulated.  I am usually cold and my electric heating bills used to be 50% higher than my summer AC bills.  Now I am happy that I can economically run the gas furnace as much as I want night and day. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Feast of Tabernacles in Today’s World. The Last Great Day: The Final Harvest. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday” and Monday.

Celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in Today’s World

“This 7-day biblical festival gives you a preview of the coming wonderful age beyond today.

Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/0JWFfikMwHE

[Steve] Did you know there’s a biblical festival that Jesus Christ celebrated in the first century and even today, thousands of Christians still look forward to it each year?

> I think the greatest benefit of the Feast of Tabernacles is spiritual energy.

» I love it! I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

> Yes! Yes! I’m going to the Feast of Tabernacles!

[Steve] From a biblical perspective, is there significance to the Feast of Tabernacles? What does this seven-day festival picture in God’s plan? What does it mean for us today?

Could this festival that Jesus observed unlock a secret for your life?

Stay tuned as we discuss why you should: “Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in Today’s World.”

[Steve] What is the Feast of Tabernacles? Could there be a spiritual significance to the Feast of Tabernacles that you may have overlooked? Why do Christians from around the world take time away from their jobs and schools to attend this seven-day celebration?

I had the opportunity to talk to Christians who celebrate this special biblical festival called the Feast of Tabernacles.

> I”m excited about the Feast because there are so many people here of like mind, you know everybody’s got the holy spirit and when you’re out in the world, I guess doing battle in a sense on a day-to-day basis, it’s just good to come somewhere and I guess, spiritually recharge.

» God’s Kingdom—it’s gonna be so awesome, we can’t imagine what it’s like.

[Steve] Well, let’s try to imagine it from another perspective for a moment.

There was a life-changing event in the New Testament that most don’t realize has everything to do with the Feast of Tabernacles — the transfiguration.

Notice the details. Jesus said, “‘I tell you, there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power.’ Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain…a change came over Jesus, and his clothes became shining white… There the three disciples saw Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, how good it is that we are here! We will make three tents…’ he and the others were so frightened that he did not know what to say” (Mark 9:1-6).

Now what an amazing event! Exactly what was that all about? Well in a vision, the men were suddenly whisked into the future to see Jesus Christ in His glory in His Kingdom!

Now don’t miss Peter’s reaction. What did Peter associate with this vision? Remember he said: “We will make three tents.” Peter connected tents with this event!”        Continued at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-television-program/celebrating-the-feast-of-tabernacles-in-todays-world

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The Last Great Day: The Final Harvest

“After the Millennium, pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles, comes another time of spiritual harvest pictured by the Eighth Day or Last Great Day.

The Last Great Day

The Last Great Day pictures the final stage of God’s spiritual harvest.

The seven-day-long Feast of Tabernacles is associated with the 1,000 years of Jesus Christ’s rule on the earth. So continuing in Revelation 20, we come to the Great White Throne Judgment, which corresponds with the Eighth Day or Last Great Day. Verse 5 points out that “the rest of the dead” wouldn’t be resurrected until after the thousand years, which would make this the second resurrection.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:11-12).

Another view of the second resurrection

This same resurrection is described in other passages that help us to understand it more fully.

Ezekiel 37 describes a valley full of bones that God resurrects to physical life. In this passage God addresses the children of Israel being resurrected: “Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land” (verses 13-14).

During this time, pictured by the Last Great Day, God raises these Israelites as living, breathing human beings, and He offers them His Holy Spirit, which is the same as offering them the chance for salvation and eternal life. God is completely fair and merciful, so these are people who did not have a chance for salvation in their previous lives in this world.

That is why He opens the Book of Life to them—to give them the chance to be written in it! The other books mentioned in Revelation 20:12 would be the books of the Bible, opened to their understanding for the first time.

But will only descendants of Israel have this chance? No, Jesus Christ makes plain that gentiles from all ages will have their opportunity during this Day of Judgment as well (Matthew 10:15; 11:21-24; 12:41-42). And so God’s stated desire will be fulfilled: “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4; see also 2 Peter 3:9).

What an amazing, merciful plan of salvation is pictured by this Last Great Day and all seven of God’s festivals! What a wonderful future God has in store for us and everyone who will respond to Him!” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/last-great-day/?

From Holidays to Holy Days. Download Free Booklet

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Update.

Well, the cable, internet and phone went out a day after the repair man fixed it, when we had another storm.

Fortunately, I have a working laptop, as long as it is plugged in, so the Service Coordinator let me use his WiFi again.  But I had to take my printer too, because a lot of paperwork has to be ready for my appointment with the Social Security Administration next week. The repairman didn’t come back until the end of the week, so it was another week that I had to tote my big old heavy laptop and printer down to the Community Room.  But I had bought one of those shopping cats on wheels so it came in very handy for that, also for taking the laundry.  I always seem to be toting something in it.

For the Sabbath church potluck I made a Butternut Squash Pie with Bisquick and cottage cheese, no milk, and no eggs.  I didn’t think that it was as good as the Bisquick Crustless Canned Pumpkin Pie I had made the week before, but the congregation loved it.  The Sabbath theme was “Faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible”, Luke 1:37, and the Message was about The Imminent Return of Christ.  Our pastor wasn’t there, so the pastor of the Spanish congregation gave it.  He has a thick accent, and I don’t do well understanding folks with accents, but I got the gist of it.

Sunday afternoon we had the usual Bible study at the apartment Community Room, and the subject was about “The Power of Words”, how they can hurt or heal.  The pastor chose that because the week before one of the ladies had a tizzy about something, and stormed out.  It was actually a paper that she herself had written, but she wasn’t there to hear it.

Then on Sunday, I made another pie, because I was going to celebrate “The Last Great Day”, the holy day at the end of The Feast of Tabernacles, with my old church in Willis on Monday.  I used the rest of the butternut squash and made a pie with the Bisquick, eggs and milk recipe that I had used for the crustless canned pumpkin pie.  It went down very well.

The Bible readings were Deut. 14:22-16,17, 1 King. 82-21, John 7:37-39. These were chosen because they are about The Last Great Day.  The Teaching was also about that. 

For a couple of days I had a helper. He is a caregiver for one of the residents here.  We drove to Willis and brought six dining room chairs with arms and some other stuff back to Navasota.  That made a lot of space there at that storage.  Another day he got on my little step ladder and hung some pictures for me.  We had agreed on an hourly rate and I paid him more than he worked.  Then he didn’t come back, so I hired another guy and we moved some stuff around in the two storage units that I have in here in Navasota.  I had to get a bigger storage unit here, temporarily, to house the things that are in the Willis one.  I hope to have that unit empty by the following Thursday.