Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Looking Back on 9/11; Looking Forward to Christ’s Return. A Penny A Day. God’s Desire. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Looking Back on 9/11; Looking Forward to Christ’s Return

by Mike Bennett - September 11, 2019

“Sometimes we must look back on the traumas of the past. But this reflection should propel us forward. We can celebrate a promise of good news ahead!

Looking back on 9/11: A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center (U.S. Navy photo; Wikimedia Commons).Looking back on 9/11: A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center (U.S. Navy photo; Wikimedia Commons).

As the anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, rolls around, many of us can’t help but think about what we were doing and how we heard about the planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

The terrifying televised images of that day seem seared into our minds, though the passing of the years has blurred the edges for some of us.

Since then, there have been many more terror attacks around the world: Bali, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Mumbai, Paris, Brussels, Sri Lanka—and the list goes on.

There have also been a few wins in the war on terror, such as the elimination of Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda’s leadership ranks were thinned and that group may have been driven further underground, but there seems to be no lack of new, willing recruits for suicide bombings and other acts of terror.

God’s warnings of evil end-time attitudes

God warns that the last days would be filled with violent and destructive attitudes. The apostle Paul writes that people would be proud, unloving, unforgiving, without self-control, brutal, traitors, headstrong and haughty (2 Timothy 3:1-4).

But terrorists and violent attitudes are not the only things God warns about. In this same passage He describes other attitudes that are also displeasing to Him. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, despisers of good and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

He also warns of hypocrisy, as people have an outward show of religion, but deny God’s power and secretly or openly live lives of sin—disobedience to God’s good and beneficial law.

Many times in the Bible God warns that terror would come upon sinful nations and wicked people, leading up to a time of trouble worse than the world has ever known (Deuteronomy 32:25; Psalm 73:19; Jeremiah 15:8; Matthew 24:21). This time of Great Tribulation is also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble because it affects the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel (Jeremiah 30:7).

Why remember?

Anniversaries of some terrible events are long remembered, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attack on Pearl Harbor. We remember out of respect. Sometimes we are encouraged to remember to be on guard lest such things happen again.

Sometimes terrible events wake people up to want to examine their lives. Seeing how fleeting our physical lives are can spark an interest in the eternal. Too often this spiritual awakening is short-lived, though anniversaries can bring these thoughts to the fore again.There are many good reasons to look back, especially if remembering will help us change and then move forward on the path God wants us to take.

There are many good reasons to look back, especially if remembering will help us change and then move forward on the path God wants us to take. Because God’s way is not just about looking back. The gospel message—the good news God wants us to believe and live by—is also about looking forward.

Looking forward

In the cosmic scale of things, the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God that follows (called the Day of the Lord throughout the Bible) will soon be over. The unprecedented time of trouble will bring humanity to the very brink of mutually assured destruction, but Jesus Christ promises: “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).

The elect are God’s chosen servants, those who do what He says and love His appearing (John 15:14; 2 Timothy 4:8).

Christ’s faithful followers yearn for the soon-coming day described in Revelation when the seventh of seven trumpets sounds. Then a proclamation will be made in heaven: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

Jesus Christ will return to the earth and stop the annihilation of the human race! He will end the downward slide into evil—and the suffering and misery it produces.

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).

His government—the Kingdom of God—will begin a whole new age of peace, joy and fulfillment.

He will restore the earth to an Eden-like paradise and will heal those who suffer: “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. … Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isaiah 35:1, 5-6).

The return of Jesus Christ and the restoration of the Kingdom of God on earth is the best news ever!”  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/looking-back-on-9-11/?

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A Penny A Day

“Wise seniors told their grandchildren that if they do not respect the penny, then they do not deserve the dollar.

A young man in a suit walking across a road.Alejandro Escamilla/Unsplash

The real poverty humans experience is that of the heart. That is often irreparable. That is the bank account to which we need to continually add a little each day to maintain a good balance.

They also said a penny saved is a penny earned and there were many more words of wisdom given to the young. This world seems bent on gaining wealth by any means. Greed is rampant, but happiness and contentment are seriously missing from life. A lack of wealth is something we can repair through hard work and thrifty living. However, no matter how hard we try, there are ups and downs in this world.

The real poverty humans experience is that of the heart. That is often irreparable. That is the bank account to which we need to continually add a little each day to maintain a good balance. Jesus told us to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven where moth, rust and thieves cannot destroy it (Matthew 6:19-20). When our heavenly bank account is healthy, our earthly bank account will not be as important because our priorities will be right and our frame of mind positive.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/this-is-the-way/a-penny-a-day

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Daily Bible Verse Blog

God’s Desire

1 Timothy 2:4

… who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

In the preceding verses, the apostle Paul encourages us to pray and thank God for everyone, including leaders in authority over us. We can pray that the leaders will allow us to lead peaceful lives, and also that they would allow God’s Church to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom. God’s ultimate plan is to reach everyone with that message of hope and truth—that message that tells us how we can be saved from the death penalty of sin and be given the opportunity for eternal life (John 3:16).

However, the Scriptures and experience show that not everyone has been reached with that message today or at any time in history. But that does not mean God has failed. He has the power to resurrect and plans to bring everyone back from the dead. The wonderful biblical truth of the second resurrection is the real answer to how God’s desire will be fulfilled. See our article “Resurrections: What Are They?

This article also explains that God will not force anyone to be saved. It seems a few will reject God’s loving desire and offer and will choose eternal death instead. But we believe that the majority will learn the truth, see God’s desire and great love, and choose salvation—choose eternal life in the Kingdom of God.”  From:  https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/gods-desire-

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Update.

Another great week here in the little city of Navasota, TX, except for a trip to Hempstead to renew my expired drivers license.  My granddaughter, Michelle had been to a seminar in nearby College Station, so when she came to visit me she also took me to Hempstead.

We had to wait quite a long time outside the office in a long queue, in the heat. At least they had provided a shady awning for us to wait under. Being young she was getting impatient, but after an hour or so it was finally my turn to go inside.  The building’s capacity was only 30, and after another wait, I was finally seen, thumb-printed and photo taken.  Then for some reason my new green card wouldn’t “confirm”, whatever that is.  So I have to wait five days for it to be confirmed and then go back.  I understand that everyone has to get a new license with a gold star on it now.

Here at the apartments this week we had Bible Study, bingo, and a Wellness Program (about nutrition).  I usually go to any functions to try to meet my neighbors.  All that I have met are so sweet.  But a big HUD inspection is coming up and everything else is being postponed until that is over.  Our maintenance man for these 48 apartments was fired because he just couldn’t focus, and they have had to pull other maintenance men from other apartments to try to catch up on the list of over 100 things that needed to be repaired.  I had a list of several things that didn’t work properly when I moved in a month ago, and gradually they are getting fixed.

My neighbor and I studied in her apartment on Friday morning again to prepare for this week’s Bible lesson that we would be having at church.    The service had the week’s quote from Ezra 8:22. “The gracious hand of or God is on everyone who looks to him”.  The Teaching was “What is Your Vocation?”.  How everyone has a skill that can be put to use to praise and witness. 

For the Sabbath potluck I made meatless spaghetti with a Field Roast that I ground up to look like ground meat, but it is made of grains and veggies. https://fieldroast.com/product/celebration-roast/  It was popular and I was told it was tasty, so that made my day.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Dealing with Difficult People. Mind Your Steps. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Dealing with Difficult People

“They’re everywhere: on the road, at work, in the grocery line, at church and even in our own family. How can we respond to difficult people in a godly way?

When we think of difficult personality types, we can be quick to attach a label: bossy, rude, know-it-all, phony, whiner, judgmental. These and other words are used to describe and categorize others. Perhaps these labels have even been used on us.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists some additional labels that professional health-care providers use: antisocial, obsessive-compulsive, narcissistic and passive-aggressive, to name a few.

Unfortunately, while they may be helpful in terms of treatment, labels can also prevent us from truly understanding individuals.

See the human being

People are more than the labels attached to them. Labels can keep us from truly getting to know a person and finding out how unique and complex he or she really is. No two people are alike, nor are they motivated or shaped by the same things.

Imagine that each person you come in contact with is a puzzle for you to put together. Usually when assembling a jigsaw puzzle you have all the pieces as well as a picture of what you are constructing. But what if you had the picture, but not all the pieces? What if you didn’t even know what pieces were missing or what to look for?

When therapists see new clients, they ask them lots of questions so they have as many pieces of their puzzle as possible. Therapists don’t want to assume anything, and they need to be able to put the difficult parts into a meaningful context. This helps them understand and empathize with the unique individuals these people have become.

In personal relationships, however, we are hampered by social norms and a person’s desire for privacy. What is acceptable in a professional setting becomes nosiness in any other.

So how do we truly get to know and appreciate someone—especially when that person is difficult to be around?

Live by the Golden Rule

We start by realizing there is One who already knows everything about each and every one of us. God sees the complete picture; He has all the pieces; and He truly understands us. His love and compassion for us are not defined by how easy we are to get along with. He loves us despite our difficult parts, and He sets us a beautiful example of how to do the same with others (Romans 5:6-8).

In Matthew 7:12 Jesus tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated, otherwise known as the Golden Rule. This is not always easy to do, because our natural tendency is to retaliate when we have been hurt by the words or actions of another. “Fair is fair,” we might tell ourselves.

But true Christianity is about rising above what our human nature wants to do. It is about living as Jesus lived, for He came to show us a better way. That’s why He shared these words:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away” (Matthew 5:38-42).

This is not to say God expects us to allow someone to abuse or beat on us, or to allow someone to take our possessions. Rather, He is addressing the human desire to retaliate or take revenge. As much as we might think it is right to “make things even” with someone who hurt us, that is not what we are expected to do. Instead, we are instructed to leave the vengeance to God, who always knows exactly what is best (Romans 12:19).

Give to others what they DON’T deserve

If God were to give us what we deserve, what would we receive? Since we are all sinners, we are all deserving of death (Romans 6:23). Yet God, in His infinite love, paid the price of our sins through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. He gives each of us an opportunity to have eternal life at the perfect time.

God loves all of us, and He expects us to treat others as He treats us. That’s why He says, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28, emphasis added throughout).

With God’s help, these four action steps—love, do good, bless and pray—are possible, no matter how challenging someone may be.

Don’t antagonize

Each of us has “trigger points” that, when set off, can and will bring out the worst in us. When we understand this about someone else, we should avoid pushing his or her “buttons.” Don’t get into pointless debates or arguments or bring up inflammatory subjects (see 2 Timothy 2:23).

We should choose our words carefully.

Everyone knows that you don’t throw gasoline on a fire to put it out—you’ll have an explosion or a raging inferno on your hands! Yet how many times do we inflame a situation with our words? Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” And in Romans 12:18 Paul writes, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

Change the subject as necessary. If that doesn’t work, perhaps you can politely excuse yourself from the conversation. At other times it may be necessary to be frank and say, “Let’s talk about something else.”

Look in the mirror

Astute observers have noted that we are all somebody else’s difficult person at least occasionally.

Sometimes the reason people rub us the wrong way can be found by simply taking a good look at ourselves and our own motivations. Some people may, at least outwardly, remind us of past hurts, which can dredge up painful memories. It’s easy to be defensive, until we stop and ask ourselves why we are reacting in that way. In doing so, we may gain some insight about ourselves that will help us in the future.

Look for the best in everyone

Remember, you don’t have all the pieces to this person’s puzzle. There are things about this person you don’t know and/or don’t understand. But God does. He can help you be kind and patient until you discover things to appreciate about the individual.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4 we read that love is patient and kind. We are not naturally that way, but God is. Go to Him in prayer and ask for Him to reveal to you what you need to know—to help you be around this person, to treat him or her with the patience and kindness with which God treats each of us.

Be realistic

Some people are truly damaged, and that damage often spills over and touches others. It may be that their wounds will not be healed in this lifetime, which means that we have to accept the reality and the limitations of who they are.

But though they may never change, we can, by changing our outlook toward them and our way of responding. We should think about the way we usually interact with them. Is there a different, gentler way to respond? Can we replace defensiveness with compassion? Sometimes being polite may be the best we can do, but that’s better than retaliation. Politeness goes a long way in getting along with difficult people.

When all else fails, walk away

There comes a time when it’s necessary to distance ourselves from some people—those who for whatever reason always want to antagonize or even harm you. Minimal and even no contact may be the best option in certain situations. God doesn’t expect us to stay in abusive relationships (Proverbs 22:24; also see our article “Toxic Friendships?”).

He does, however, want us to develop His mind to help us to interact with everyone in a more godly manner in the future.

People can be difficult, no doubt, and how they live may tend to bring out some of the worst in us. We need to remember that our natural reaction is not always the best way to respond. God gave us a better way—a kinder, more patient, loving way—to view and interact with others. It’s His way, and it needs to become ours as well.

For additional information about learning to treat others more as God does, see “How to Be a Good Neighbor” and the articles in our section “The Fruit of the Spirit.” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/friendship/dealing-with-difficult-people/

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Mind Your Steps, Part 1

“How much do you think about the steps you take? What we do can have long term implications.

Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/QEX67TX_rUg

[Darris McNeely] “If you see right here, I’ve not just swollen my leg and grown bigger, but I’ve actually injured my leg. I’ve torn a calf muscle. Six weeks of rehabilitation with this boot on, and a very very tender calf as I ripped the muscles in my calf. So I’m into a period of rehabilitation and it’s made me think a lot about every step I take. I have to be very careful to not step improperly, to put too much weight on my right leg. I can’t go up steps easily, I use a cane. And in all of this time, I have been rehabbing, and I have been very mindful about my steps.

Now, it’s got me to thinking about another spiritual application of this very thing. And that is how we are to be mindful about the steps of our life, in everything that we do everything we say, and the consequences of that. Because I have to be very careful now how I step. But you know what? You and I should be very careful with the actions we take, the steps we take with our life.

There’s a scripture in Psalm 17, beginning in verse 4, that talks about this. Psalms17:4-6, we can read, it says this, “Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.” Because of God’s teaching, the Psalmist is saying, “I’ve kept my paths clean, right.” He says, “Uphold my steps in Your paths that my footsteps may not slip.” Great advice, praying to God. I have kept my paths from the destroyer and to God, he says, “Uphold my steps in Your paths that my footsteps may not slip. I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God.”

It’s good advice. It’s a good prayer to me. You know, some decisions you and I make are lifelong. They have long term consequences. The job you take, the career you pursue, the person that you marry has lasting implications for the success and the happiness of your life. Get advice, get counsel, take God as your help in that.

Do what it says here to ask God to uphold your steps in His paths, that your footsteps may not slip. I’m thinking about every step that I take these days as I rehab my calf and just let it have the time to heal. Think about the steps that you take in your life and make sure that every one of them is sure.””  From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/mind-your-steps-part-1

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Update

I am getting to know my way around this little city, and it is so neat. Lots of antique shops and Victorian homes.  Wide tree lined roads which remind me of the historical homes in Galveston.  Also, still staying busy, so much, that I have lost some weight.  But I do walk more here, like going to the mail box, to the Community Room and laundry.   I am not scared to walk around here, it just feels safe. Still sorting my things out, donating more things, and taking more things to my storage in Navasota.  And still missing some things, which must have been put in my storage in Willis.  I am hoping to get there soon.  I just have to make up my mind to make the trip there and back with the sun hurting my eyes, especially on the way back driving into the sun, though wearing the big sunglasses the eye clinic gave me does help.

I don’t know why my eyes are so sensitive to the bright light, even the overhead lights bother me, so I have table lamps in strategic areas. The management said that the light bulbs must not be changed to lower wattage, they are energy efficient ones supplied by the light company.  Wendy, my daughter, came to visit and helped me put up room darkening shades in my living room and bedroom windows which are pummeled by the afternoon sun.  Thank goodness that I am in an “end” apartment so I have a another window on the side in my kitchen, or it would be like being in a cave.  My storm door feels like an oven in the afternoons, and I have to put on sunglasses every time I go outside, to stop the glare of the white concrete pathways.  Fortunately, my van is shaded by a big tree.

This was my fourth Sabbath at this church and another great service.   I made German Potato Salad, and we had an array of delectable dishes and a good feed. Our pastor, who is also a chaplain at a hospital in Houston, gave his sermon in the last of a series on the subject of grief. The five stages are: First there is Denial, then Anger, then Bargaining, then Depression, then Acceptance.  He is always smiling, though he sees a lot of that every day.

Monday, September 2, 2019

A World Going Insane. The Daily Challenge. I'll Be Happy Tomorrow. Update.

For Scripture Sunday”:

A World Going Insane

“Sometimes I think the world is going crazy. The rest of the time I know it is.

Police tape at a crime scene.kali9/iStock/Getty Images Plus

So much that we see around us is indeed a kind of insanity—thought processes and actions that defy rational explanation and make no sense.

I woke up this morning to news of another mass killing, this time in Dayton, Ohio, where a 24-year-old gun-man shot and killed nine people—among them his own younger sister. Another 27 were injured, some by gunfire and many from injuries incurred while running for their lives.

Only 12 hours earlier a similarly deranged 21-year-old murdered 22 people and wounded 24 more in a 20-minute shooting spree inside a large store in El Paso, Texas.

Just a few days earlier, another young man shot and killed three and wounded 15 more at a festival in California after cutting his way through a fence to avoid security officers.

Meanwhile, an average of 56 people are shot per week, 10 fatally, in Chicago alone. In all fairness, many cities in Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela have far higher murder rates, so devastatingly high homicide deaths are a worldwide phenomenon. And this doesn’t begin to take into account the ongoing mass murders of Christians in the Middle East and Africa by those determined to stamp out Christianity.

At the same time, those of us in the West live in societies where advocates of the murder of unborn babies lecture us on human rights, socialists lecture us on economics, transvestites lecture us on human biology, and Hollywood actors and actresses with multiple children by various sex partners lecture us on virtue.

Just last week a homosexual U.S. presidential candidate (there’s a phrase I never remotely imagined I would type on my keyboard!) lectured the nation on proper Christian and biblical morals—which in his view requires yet more government redistribution of citizens’ hard-earned money.

On the heels of that, dozens of Hollywood A-listers, politicians, entertainment moguls and celebrities descended on the Mediterranean island of Sicily in more than 100 luxury private jets and yachts (one costing $400million) to stay in $900-a-night resort rooms for a three-day conference. The reason for this meeting? To discuss how to “save” the planet from climate change! (The luxury private jets alone—not to mention the many limousines, sports cars and helicopters—generated some 900 U.S. tons of CO2 emissions.)

Yes, the world truly is going insane.

What do all of these problems have in common? One is that they are all symptoms of a spiritual sickness that pervades our world. So much that we see around us is indeed a kind of insanity—thought processes and actions that defy rational explanation and make no sense. We’re entering uncharted waters where up is down and down is up, or, as the Bible puts it, people “call evil good, and good evil” and “put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).

And to anyone with any perception at all, it’s obvious things are getting worse,not better.

Why can’t we find solutions? Because these are spiritual problems, symptoms of spiritual sickness, and the solutions must be spiritual.

Why do I say these problems are spiritual? Because there is a spiritual force and power behind them. Few people realize it, but a dark and malevolent influence is working continually behind the scenes of our world.

The Bible reveals to us information we otherwise could not know because it isn’t discerned by the human senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing or smell. But it is real, as surely as you and I are real. The Bible reveals the existence of an invisible, unseen spirit world. And it records the occasional intersection of our physical world and this spirit world, with results that often terrified those who experienced it!

The Bible reveals that there are spirit beings called angels who serve God. (To learn more, download or request our free study guide Angels: God’s Messengers and Spirit Army . ) But it also shows there are evil and rebellious angels called demons who serve a powerful fallen angel called Satan (meaning “adversary” or “enemy”) the devil (meaning “false accuser” or “slanderer”). He is called a liar and a murderer (John 8:44) because that is what he does.

His influence is so great that he “deceives the whole world” and “the world around us is under the control of the wicked one” (Revelation 12:9; 1 John 5:19, New Living Translation). If you believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ based on what is written in Their holy Word, the Bible, then you must also believe in Satan the devil and his demons, whom the Bible reveals to be every bit as real!

This is why our many problems are so entrenched and unsolvable in spite of humankind’s best efforts. Without God’s help we cannot solve them. They are spiritual in nature and require a spiritual solution. Spiritual forces we cannot defeat are behind them and fill our world with violence, hatred, hostility, murder and lies.

So what is the solution? God can and will do what mankind cannot. The time is approaching when He will intervene and send His Son Jesus Christ to earth to end Satan’s reign as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4).  It’s why we encourage you to join us in praying, as Jesus taught, “Your Kingdom come!”” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/a-world-going-insane

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The Daily Challenge

God tells us that in everything we do, we should avoid this at all costs.

Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/8WgT1b0o76Q

[Steve Myers] “Here’s the BT Daily Challenge. In fact, it’s not just the BT Daily , it’s a daily challenge for every single one of us, that God inspired the apostle Paul to write about. Here’s what he said in Philippians 2:14, probably a familiar passage. Paul wrote this, “Do all things without complaining and disputing.” Now, talk about a daily challenge. This is certainly one of them. Not once in a while should we try not complaining or disputing, but he says do everything that way.

That’s a challenge, especially if you dig in to the Greek words that are used here. When he says, “Do things without complaining,” that word for complaining can mean murmuring or grumbling. Different translations will actually use those words, grumbling and complaining. Well, what is that about? I think that Greek word points to what’s happening on the inside. Because, if you’re grumbling about something, you usually aren’t understood, you know, you’re mumbling to yourself, and it’s something that’s going on on the inside. You’re thinking about something that’s really irritating you, and you’re letting that circulate in your mind. So Paul points to that as well.

But God also inspired him to write “Do all things without disputing.” And that second word, it can mean complaining, but it points to arguing and bickering and fighting. Now if that’s what you’re doing, that’s something exterior. That’s something on the outside. So I think that’s why this is really a powerful passage. Because, let’s say you’ve got control of what’s happening on the outside. Oh you look peaceful, you look nice, you seem to be getting along. But inside, you’re murmuring and grumbling and complaining. That’s not going to be helpful. That’s not the right thing to do. That’s not the spiritual thing. So here, God’s pointing out we’ve got to take care of both. It’s not just about what’s the outside, the exterior, but also what’s going on on the inside.

So, the daily challenge that we have, it’s inside out. It’s both. Both inside and outside. So, let’s do everything we can to begin to get a handle on our thinking, so that we don’t have this nice exterior while other difficult things are going on inside. Let’s put God in control of our life. And let’s pray and ask him, “Help me not to murmur. Help me not to grumble. Help me not to complain. And certainly help me not to show any of those things on the outside, to really have the mind of Christ.” That’s the daily challenge.”  From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/the-daily-challenge

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I'll Be Happy Tomorrow

“Are you an individual who does not allow joy and happiness into your life?

A woman looking out a window.Bruno Cervera/Unsplash

In order to be happy, choose to be happy today by placing God first in your life.

Do you often tell yourself you will be happy when you graduate from school or college, or when you buy a new car, find the right job, get married, have a family, make enough money, have the perfect home or retire? Instead of waiting for a certain milestone to occur in your life in order to be happy, choose to be happy today by placing God first in your life and obeying his laws. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Happy is he who keeps the law.”

Each day we have on this earth can be filled with joy and happiness, so as you are seeking these blessings consider Gods promise to you: “To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness” (Ecclesiastes 2:26). Be happy today!”  From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/this-is-the-way/ill-be-happy-tomorrow

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Update.

Well, I have a lot to be happy about.  I love it here in slow paced Navasota, and I thank God every day that I got out from under all that stuff and work that my former house and guest house entailed. Hopefully, I won’t ever have to rake up another pine needle again. Everyone here is so nice and polite, and everything is close by.  It is about 30 years since I lived in town, and I had forgotten how convenient it is.

All those materials, parts, and tools that I had were just too much now that I have officially retired, but I did bring a lot of tools with me.  Tools are always easy to sell so that will give me a little more income.  Now, I am just having to find room for what I did bring with me here to this apartment, and then cope with the things that I have stored in Willis and Navasota.  I will probably keep my little storage place less than a mile from the apartment. It is small and cheap, and I have to keep the extra things like my carpet/upholstery shampooer, dog grooming stuff, foster cat equipment, and the things that are for sale, somewhere.  I hope to foster a cat soon.

Because I am in a different county now, Grimes, instead of Montgomery, I had to get a different health insurance.  An insurance broker spent a lot of time with me, and was very knowledgeable about the local facilities and signed me up with a new health plan and a highly recommended doctor in Navasota.

For the Sabbath, I made lentils and veggies in the crockpot for the church potluck, and it was complimented.  The teaching “Do What You Can While You Can” was given by the pastor and enjoyed by both the English and Spanish speaking congregations at the same time.  Because, after Bible study, they joined us in the sanctuary and an interpreter repeated each sentence in Spanish.

The weekly afternoon Bible study in the Community Room at the apartments was about Rev. 1.   The same people seem to be there each time. A preacher from a church in Anderson comes to teach us every Sunday.