Sunday, January 13, 2019

US Paying More for Illegal Immigrant Births Than Trump’s Wall. Time Spent Wisely. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

The Illegal Immigration Crisis—No End in Sight

“As debate between those who want secure borders preventing illegal immigration and those who want open borders rages on, the crisis continues to grow.

A border crossing.Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters/Newscom

The immigration issue has stoked the growing fires of division.

Nothing paints the divide of the culture war more starkly than the debate over illegal immigration. People in the United States and many other nations debate this issue continually, ideologically split into one of two camps—those who feel that unrestricted immigration is good for their nation and those concerned that it’s being inundated by waves of people skirting the rules in coming into the country illegally, saddling the nation with enormous and unsustainable costs.

As polarization over the issue increases, so does the rhetoric. U.S. President Donald Trump, whose 2016 election resulted in part from his strong stand on immigration, shocked many with his recent announcement that he is considering an executive order that would end automatic unrestricted “birthright citizenship” for babies born to illegal immigrants on U.S. soil (a practice allowed in fewer than one in five countries around the world).

On the other side, the radical left in America has reacted to strong enforcement actions by the U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security with calls to abolish it.

The changing face of immigration

50211443_382746605818178_2205747967451725824_nThere’s no denying that the United States was built on immigration. The ancestors of the vast majority of people in America came to its shores from many other nations, seeking economic and religious freedom and a better life. Regardless of whether they stepped off 17th- or 18th-century sailing ships onto the Virginia or Massachusetts shore, or passed through Ellis Island in the 19th or early 20th century, they arrived legally. In time, many came through a process that required they learn English, understand America’s form of government and pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag.

For legal immigrants, that process continues. But the past 40 or so years have witnessed millions coming to the United States illegally, bypassing a legal immigration process developed over a long time.

Drawn to a land of peace instead of turmoil, one governed by the rule of law rather than the whims of despotic dictators, with a rich economy offering opportunities not available in their native countries, illegals unwilling to “go to the end of the line” cross into the United States relatively easily through thousands of miles of virtually unprotected borders. After arriving, they soon avail themselves of many social services on offer and find menial jobs in America’s vast underground economy.

Making matters worse is the prospect that some could be terrorists or potential terrorists driven by a fanatical hatred of the nation extending to them the hand of security and opportunity. (Keep in mind that Islamic terrorists have killed more than 3,000 Americans in nearly 20 attacks on U.S. soil.)

The immigration issue has stoked the growing fires of division. Many feel compassion for the pitiful plight of millions oppressed in nations around the world and want to open the gates wide to any and all comers. Others see this as a tidal wave threatening to undermine and sweep away the very freedoms and opportunities that have always drawn in immigrants from abroad.

Of course it’s right to want to help, but the concerning threat here is very real—not only to America but to other countries around the world, such as Britain, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, India, Brazil—and the list goes on.

Former U.S. president Ronald Reagan warned more than 30 years ago, “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” Governors of several southwestern U.S. states recognize the threat, with former Arizona governor Jan Brewer echoing Reagan: “A nation without borders is like a house without walls—it collapses. And that is going to happen to our wonderful America.”

A costly problem

No one really knows how many illegal immigrants are in the United States. Estimates run between 11 and 13 million, making the illegal segment about 4 percent of the population. However, a Yale University study released in September 2018 puts the number much higher—between 16 and 30 million. Either way, Census Bureau and Department of Homeland Security figures show the number has increased rapidly from about 8 million in 2007, peaking around 2016. Stepped-up border enforcement and deportation efforts by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have tamped down increases since then.

Many illegally entering the United States view the country as “the Promised Land,” so to speak, where they can get government-provided food stamps, free health care and free or subsidized housing. These services, of course, are not free. The most recent figures from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) put total federal and state costs of providing for illegal immigrants at more than $134 billion per year.

The estimated $19 billion per year illegals pay in federal and state income taxes does little to offset this cost. Put in simpler terms, each illegal immigrant costs U.S. taxpayers almost $8,000 per year, year after year.

….. Of course, border enforcement—or lack thereof—is also inextricably linked to drug trafficking. The same Mexican crime lords who smuggle drugs across the southern border also smuggle human beings. Most illegal drugs sold in the United States come from Mexico, and heroin is making a huge comeback. In 2017, the last year for which figures are available, more than 72,000 Americans died of drug overdosesthat’s nearly 200 a day and more than all U.S. deaths from the Vietnam and Iraq wars combined.”      Continued at: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/the-illegal-immigration-crisis-no-end-in-sight

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Time Spent Wisely

“Our lives fly along at a fast pace.

An older man.Gus Moretta/Unsplash

It’s far better to use our time wisely and be productive so that we will not be looking back with regret.

Five, 10 and then 20 years are gone in a flash. Knowing that helps us appreciate the value of each day. Time is not to be wasted in idle inaction or just drifting along with whatever comes to us. We must all make the most of our own time—it has to be a conscious decision. Lost years are never regained.

Let’s review two important passages of advice from the Bible. One tells us that poverty and need is a result of not using time wisely (Proverbs 6:10). The second passage tells us we need to remember our Creator when we are young and full of energy before the difficult days come and the years in which you have no pleasure (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Many people say “if only” or “I should have” or “I wish I could do that over again.” Life does not let us turn back the clock. It’s far better to use our time wisely and be productive so that we will not be looking back with regret.”  From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/this-is-the-way/time-spent-wisely

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Update.

Well, selling the sofa that was in the house and the matching loveseat that was in the mini-house, made big spaces in each place.  Zack and I moved a daybed that I have had stored for years, into my living room so at least we have something to sit upon.  DSCF2349

Then, as there was room in the mini-house, we put the dining nook set together, and I listed it for sale.  There is no way I could have used it as pictured, I need just a small table and a couple of chairs. We haven’t quite finished working on the table, but we will have to hurry as there have already been inquiries about it.

My foster cat, Gracie, went back to her ‘Mom’ and their home which has been repaired since the fire.  It took about 10 months to repair it, maybe I was better off when mine burned to the ground in 1989, because it didn’t take us that long to build a whole new house!  Though a small one, granted.  I think it was stress from the fire that made Gracie chew on cardboard boxes because she quit that. It seems strange not to have a cat in the house.

On Thursday I had my other eye done. A neighbor of Jay’s took me.  This cataract surgery seemed a lot easier than the first one.  No “cement-being-scraped-off-glass” sounds this time. Friday was the post-op follow-up, and my SPCA friend took me. I was trying to spread my ‘nuisanceness’ around so as not to bother one person too much! 

On Saturday I drove 10 miles to the church myself, but I did have another driver with me, Jay, even though he doesn’t have a license.  After the first eye surgery, I asked the nurse when I could drive and she said as soon as I felt that I wouldn’t be mowing down pedestrians.  There are no sidewalks on the freeway or country roads to the church, so there were no pedestrians for me to scare!

Because I didn’t know if I would even be able to get to church, I didn’t cook anything for the Sabbath potluck, so I grabbed some organic lentils and quinoa that were already cooked, added some seasonings and veggies, and took it in a little crockpot.  Then I grabbed a red velvet cake that was in my freezer, and so that at least contributed to the desserts. Neither weighed that much as I am not supposed to carry more than 5lb for now.

Jay and I arrived safely and I was able to drive OK.  The Bible readings were Gen. 37:1-36, Jer. 38:1-13, Mat. 3:13-17 and all of Mat. 1.  Our pastor has decided that we need to read more of the New Testament in church.  We cannot separate the Jews (Old Testament) and the Christians (New Testament) because Jesus was, and is, a Jew.  The Teaching was about Divine Requirements and we should be doers of The Word, not just hearers, and have inward righteousness.

It was great to see the family with a new baby that hadn’t been there for a while, as they were back in town for a couple of days.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Three Ways Pride May Be Infecting Us All. Compliments. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Three Ways Pride May Be Infecting Us All

“The Bible specifically warns us to avoid pride and arrogance. How do we recognize and purge this dangerous and infectious sin from our lives?

Three Ways Pride May Be Infecting Us All

“The late New Testament scholar John Stott said, “At every stage of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is the greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.”

He also said, “Pride is more than the first of the seven deadly sins; it is itself the essence of all sin.”

God reveals that He considers a proud look and a proud heart to be an abomination (Proverbs 6:16-17; 16:5). God also inspired Solomon to write, “Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).

So, why does God hate pride so much?

The Bible defines pride as arrogance, haughtiness and conceit. Pride emphasizes the self over others, and it rejects God’s greatness.

Pride occurs when sinful human beings subconsciously aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him. Pride contends for supremacy with Him.

Pride takes innumerable forms but has only one end: self-glorification. That’s the motive and ultimate purpose of pride—to rob God of legitimate glory and to pursue self-glorification, contending for supremacy with Him. The proud person considers himself better than other people, and even seeks to glorify himself instead of God, thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to receive.

A proud person has a distorted view of himself, not accepting Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 1:26, 29: “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. … that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

Putting ourselves in the place of God is truly prideful, but pride also includes deciding that we know better than everyone else when we should be esteeming others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Even comparing ourselves too favorably over others would be prideful and certainly is not wise to do (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Ungodly and hateful pride is a growing reality in the modern world. Instead of emphasizing personal responsibility and gratitude, this world emphasizes self-worth and self-centeredness. From the time when Lucifer developed pride because of his beauty (Ezekiel 28:17) to today, when modern political candidates and celebrities flaunt their greatness, the entire span of history shows us how infectious and dangerous pride can be.

Pride can also affect us in subtle ways. It is always lurking in the background of our lives, and we might not even be aware of it.It’s no wonder God listed pride as something He hates and inspired multiple scriptures to be written showing why all humanity should overcome it. We are even told, “God resists the proud” (James 4:6). This alone should be a warning that pride has to go.

But pride can also affect us in subtle ways. It is always lurking in the background of our lives, and we might not even be aware of it.

Three ways pride may be infecting us

1. Social media.

Facebook and other social media can be amazing tools for staying connected with friends and family. However, social media can also be a breeding ground for personal pride. Here is one way pride can reveal its ugly face on social media outlets:

Constantly checking to see how many people liked or commented on something we posted, or how many “hits” we receive, and feeling upset if “not enough” people responded.

Challenge: Review past posts and comments and see how much attention we tried to pull toward ourselves. Also, we could go through our personal photo albums and see if we have an excessive number of “selfies” posted.

2. Conversations with friends.

There’s nothing like getting together with friends and having great conversations. But what happens when pride creeps into our conversations? It is easy to spot in others, but much harder to see in ourselves. Notice these examples:

One-uppers: Trying to beat the stories or experiences other people are relating (“My day was worse” or “I had a bigger problem”). This is an attempt to bring the focus back on us, no matter what other people are saying.

Conversation dominators: When one person dominates a conversation to the extent that the other person cannot get a word in edgewise. Conversation should be give-and-take, not just give.

Know-it-alls: Never admitting wrong and always pointing out wrong in others. Unfortunately, too often this goes beyond just conversation and turns into a full lifestyle of pride. It is very important to have the ability to admit when we are wrong.

Challenge: Ask a friend or family member—someone close enough to us to be honest despite hurting our feelings—to answer this question gently but truthfully: “Do you sometimes think I’m being arrogant or boastful in what I say?” If we are not comfortable doing this, we can still try to evaluate our own conversations.

3. Our spirituality.

Jesus Christ warned against pride in our own spirituality (Matthew 6:1, 5). Though Christ wants us to practice righteous living, He doesn’t want us to live righteously just to attract attention to ourselves or appear righteous to others. Constantly calling attention to our personal righteousness is an easy way to fall into pride (the epitome of unrighteousness).

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus constantly corrected the Pharisees for practicing religion just to be seen by others.

The most famous example is in Luke 18:9-11: “Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.”’” (For more details, read our article “The Pharisee and the Tax Collector.”)

Challenge: As we post things online or speak to others, we need to keep this instruction in mind: “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2).

A hard road

Pride is not an easy sin to overcome, mainly because it is so easy to see in others, yet so painfully difficult to see in ourselves. Benjamin Franklin once stated: “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

Seeing the danger that pride brings—destruction (Proverbs 16:18)—should make us that much more eager to fight against this sin at every turn.

One of the best ways to deal with pride is to replace it with an attitude God constantly emphasizes in the Scriptures—humility. “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).

Another antidote to pride is to remember to give thanks to God (Colossians 3:15-17). Being thankful to Him helps us to realize that everything we have—including our lives and our blessings—comes from God, and He deserves all the credit and glory.

So, let’s crush insidious pride in all of its forms and replace it with humility and thanksgiving!”  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/sin/three-ways-pride-may-be-infecting-us-all/  No more “It’s All About Me!”

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Compliments

“What is the difference between compliments and flattery?

Friends hugging each other.Courtney Prather/Unsplash

“An honest friend will love and respect you without the flattery.

One of the definitions of a compliment is “delicate flattery.” We appreciate compliments that are given in sincerity and with no hidden motives, but they often make us feel uncomfortable because we are not certain they are genuine. Human interaction can sometimes be complicated.

There are times when we want to tell the truth to a friend, or what we perceive to be the truth. That can be costly because we can lose a friend. Still, the wounds of a friend are a true showing of love. Choosing our words and comments carefully is important. A faithful friend may compliment you in truth, but he will also risk your friendship by being honest with you. An enemy who really does not care will not hesitate to flatter or be deceitful (Proverbs27:5-6). “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”

Flattery is a form of false love that does not actually show care about the person to whom it is directed. The motive for flattery is usually an attempt to gain something. It may bring ruin to someone else, but that is not the concern of the flatterer. We are often prone to flattery because we want to feel loved and respected. An honest friend will love and respect you without the flattery.”  From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/this-is-the-way/compliments

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Update.

Zack. my neighbor came and worked a couple of days so we got some more stuff done.  If I am here by myself, I spend most of my time on the computer, listing stuff for sale, or learning as much about the Bible and functional nutrition as I can.

The dining booth that I have for the mini-house had a couple of deep scratches on the table, so it was sanded down, stained, but not finished yet.  We fixed the upholstery hose on the carpet shampooer and cleaned the loveseat and ottoman again that had just come out of storage because it smelled musty.  Then sprayed it to make it smell better.  I have them, and the matching sofa and rug listed for sale as I won’t be able to use that whole set in the mini-house.  I just need a loveseat that is a hide-a-bed.

The rain was coming and my French drain hadn’t been dug deep enough, so a guy came and did that, just in time, because it poured and poured for a couple of days.  We also replaced and re-anchored the tie-downs on the motorhome’s canvas carport. The last few years of sunshine had rotted the ropes.

This week was another trip into Conroe to the eye clinic getting ready for my next cataract surgery on Thursday.  My daughter, Wendy won’t be coming to take me this time as she has a new pup and can’t leave him crated for very long.  Jay went with me into Conroe so that he could go thrift shopping and we both bought a few clothes.

Tried to do some laundry but the old Kenmore washer didn’t spin out enough water.  Either it won’t kick into high speed spin, or the pump is shot, so I’ll have to put my original Roper washer back in place when I have some help.  I really like the Kenmore that was in the mini-house better, so I will take it in to be fixed.

I cooked brown rice in ‘the rinsing and pasta style’ of cooking, to get the arsenic out, and added some seasonings, organic chicken and veggies for the church potluck, and it was all eaten up.  There were also tacos with all the fixin’s, roasted chicken, lots of veggies, salads, (potato and coleslaw) pies and cookies.

The Bible readings were Gen. 35:12-36:43,  Isa. 43:1-7, and Mat. 11:25-30 and the Teaching ws about ‘The Faithfulness of Yahweh (God)’. 

There had been so much rain at the church that we couldn’t walk on the soggy ground between the sanctuary and the dining hall and had to go a long way around.  But at least only our feet got wet as the rain had stopped for the day.

Well, a family just came and bought the sofa, loveseat, ottoman and rug, so I can pay people to help me for a few more days.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Jesus’ Childhood. Patterns of Behavior. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Jesus’ Childhood

“There is only one biblical reference to Jesus’ childhood—a curious record of family trauma when Jesus was 12. What does this story tell us about Jesus?

The only story in the Bible of Jesus childhood is the time He stayed behind at the temple (temple model photo by David Treybig).

The only story in the Bible of Jesus' childhood is the time He stayed behind at the temple.

John 21:25 tells us that there were so many remarkable incidents in the life of Jesus Christ, that if they were all written down, the number of volumes would be beyond measure. What He accomplished in the 3½ years of His ministry is astounding. Thankfully, we have four Gospel writers who record a great deal of what took place, including specific details surrounding His birth.

Interestingly, Luke’s account of Jesus’ life tells of something that took place when Jesus was 12 years of age. No other Gospel writer includes this story or mentions anything about Jesus’ childhood. There is much we can learn from this fascinating story.

An exceptional Child

Luke 2:40 gives a summary statement describing Jesus’ development from infancy to age 12: “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”

Jesus experienced a natural maturing process similar to any growing boy, but He was especially endowed with God’s Spirit and grace from birth so that He was far advanced beyond other 12-year-olds when it came to grasping the Word of God and spiritual principles.

We also see that Jesus was reared in a devoutly religious home, as shown in the next two verses. His family faithfully followed God’s instruction concerning the annual religious festivals. The story we are exploring involves a family pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the annual feast of Passoverand Days of Unleavened Bread and what took place shortly after.

Interestingly, social scientists today have confirmed the benefits for children growing up in a religious environment. Dr. Pat Fagan is the director of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion and senior fellow at the Marriage and Religion Research Institute in Washington, D.C. After compiling the findings of over 100 independent social scientists over the last two decades on the effect that church attendance has on the lives of kids, he said, “When policymakers consider America’s grave social problems, including violent crime and rising illegitimacy, substance abuse, and welfare dependency, they should heed the findings in the professional literature of the social sciences on the positive consequences that flow” from faithful church attendance (Rob Kerby, “Church Kids Less Likely to Divorce or Live in Poverty,” www.beliefnet.com).

Jesus’ family life

Learning at an early age that there is a God and that each person is made in His image provides a healthy atmosphere for well-adjusted children. Joseph and Mary furnished a home centered on God’s love, His commandments and His way of life, which is undoubtedly one reason God selected them to provide His Son’s early childhood development.

Luke 2:43-44 begins to give some interesting insight into the dynamics of this special family. After the festivals, as the family caravan was a day’s journey from Jerusalem on their way toward home, it was discovered that Jesus was not with the group. How could they have gone so far without realizing this?

First of all, Jesus must have been a boy who had earned His parents’ confidence and trust. Joseph and Mary were obviously relying on Jesus to act in a responsible manner during the trip home from Jerusalem. They had learned by this time that their oldest child was a very reliable, capable and dependable youth. Had He been unpredictable or immature, then they would have felt the need to oversee His whereabouts more closely. But apparently they had no reason to expect anything out of the ordinary.

Joseph and Mary assumed He was traveling with another family or relatives and didn’t inquire as to His whereabouts until later that day. This was understandable behavior on their part since there was no way they could have envisioned anything other than reliable conduct from their Son and a normal trip home to Nazareth after the Passover festival.

They were startled to find that He was not with the caravan; and then, filled with concern, they spent the next day traveling back to Jerusalem amid great consternation hoping to find Him safe.

Found in the temple

It appears it was on the third day after the festival that they found Him in the temple area. He was not playing with other boys, lost or even scared to be on His own. He was instead involved in serious discussions with some of the learned teachers of the law in Jerusalem, “both listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46).

Rather than being annoyed by one so youthful, these intelligent men were astounded by Jesus’ questions and responses and, most importantly, by His grasp of deep theological topics. Luke’s account says, “All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers” (verse 47). Truly they were in the presence of a very divinely gifted young man.

Once He was located, Joseph and Mary were relieved to find Jesus safe. Yet at the same time they were bewildered by their Son’s surprising behavior and seeming lack of appreciation for the anxiousness He had caused.

Mary took the lead in asking what it all meant. It seems Joseph remained quiet for the moment and allowed her to speak for them both. Perhaps it is because Jesus was conceived in her womb or, being a woman, she was the one more emotionally distraught after the days of searching, but Mary now sought an answer from her Son.

Jesus’ mother showed wisdom and self-control in that she first inquired about her Son’s intent. She asked in verse 48, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”

Many parents would automatically allow their frustration or anger to dictate their action and might lash out at their child for causing such distress, but she apparently knew her Son had never been irresponsible or rebellious and so she sought an honest understanding of what He was doing.

Jesus responded to His mother’s inquiry by saying, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (verse 49). Jesus did not give prior warning that He intended to remain in Jerusalem. Perhaps He hoped, that Joseph and Mary would conclude that He had important work to accomplish and that they would not worry when He turned up missing.

Spiritual understanding

Jesus must have had some very profound conversations with His parents growing up. His mother would have related the story of His birth and what Gabriel said when he appeared to her nine months prior to His birth. Jesus also had His Father’s Spirit without measure (John 3:34). He had a strong grasp of His own purpose for being on the earth. The zeal to please His Heavenly Father and do the work of God would have burned strongly in Him even at this time in His young life.

So, perhaps Jesus felt His parents, on this occasion, would consider all this and that it would allay any anxiety concerning His whereabouts. Of course, parental concern for their 12-year-old was so strong that they were not fully able to understand what He said to them (Luke 2:50).

Now that His parents had returned for Him, Jesus knew He would later launch into His life’s work and undertake His Father’s business. But for now Jesus determined to return to Nazareth and continue to be subject to Joseph and Mary (verse 51).

Jesus’ Heavenly Father did not intend His Son to begin His great public ministry for another 18 years. By then He would be ready to face the greatest challenge any man could ever face.

Why did Luke record this event?

There is a reason God inspired Luke to record this amazing account in Jesus’ childhood. We see from this circumstance that this extraordinary family went through life experiences as any normal family does, with real feelings, emotions, cares and sometimes confusion felt by family members, including Jesus’ brothers and sisters (see John 7:3-4).

All three of the key players in this account showed godly responses to the circumstances they faced and ended up maturing as individuals. Joseph and Mary had much to ponder concerning their Son and His special gifts, and Jesus grew in understanding of His role as a son and emerged with a greater grasp of God’s will for Him. Yet, through it all, no one sinned and the parent-child relationship was strengthened not damaged.

What guided these three individuals are the principles found in God’s Word, the Bible. They were also helped by the Holy Spirit that came from our Heavenly Father.

If you would like to learn more about God’s purpose for your life and how that Spirit and truth can guide your life, then continue to explore the information found on this website. We hope you do.”

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/who-is-jesus/jesus-childhood/?

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 Patterns of Behavior

“In this rapid-pace society, it is difficult to build strong, lasting business or personal relationships.

A young woman sitting on a boulder.     Katie Drazdauskaite/Unsplash

It takes courage to love others, but the dividends are huge. We tend to avoid being hurt by others and often wear our protective coat. Pain also develops character in us, so do not even be afraid to show godly love.

Here is something gleaned from a book on marriage by Dr. Ed Wheat that can be applied to every-day behavior. Strive to be your BEST:

B—Be a blessing to others; be a help where possible.

E—Edify. Build up others rather than tear down.

S—Share yourself with others; be vulnerable (it can be risky, but it deepens and bonds real relationships).

T—Touch others; don’t be afraid to give a warm handshake, a pat on the back or a hug when appropriate.

It takes courage to love others, but the dividends are huge. We tend to avoid being hurt by others and often wear our protective coat. Pain also develops character in us, so do not even be afraid to show godly love. Love suffers long, is kind, does not envy, does not parade itself and is not puffed up. It bears all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

We can make the BEST a part of our daily lives. One danger we face is expecting a reward or sign of appreciation. Do the right thing and walk on by without seeking payment. It takes courage and wisdom, but the greatest action we can take is love.” From:    https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/this-is-the-way/patterns-of-behavior

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Update.

Same old thing, using any spare moments listing stuff for sale and trying to get people to come and look at it.  The weather hasn’t co-operated at all. 

Jay did come and work one day, and we replaced some old treated boards on the bridge over the ditch.  Then we tackled a big dent in the driveway which kept on collecting rain, which made it worse.  Jay dug some of it out to make a rectangle, made a form, and we mixed up three bags of cement and smoothed it out.  I didn’t drive on it for several days, so it is great now.

The next day was Christmas, and even though I don’t celebrrate it, I did go to Luby’s with some friends. When I returned home I had two separate visits.  First, Michelle, one of my granddaughters, and then her father, my son, Kevin and his fianceĆ© Dora.  That was so great of them to remember this old lady. 

About then, my eye that had the cataract surgery, felt different, I don’t know if that is normal, it feels like there is constantly something in my eye.  But doctor’s offices aren’t open during the holidays.

The loveseat, ottoman and rug which my friend had stored for me smelled of dog …she has seven of them.  So Zack, my neighbor and I got my carpet shampooer out, and got to work.  As that furniture is in the mini-house we turned on one of the water heaters, the little one under the kitchen sink, but we couldn’t get any hot water for the shampooer.  OK!  Now what!  Found out that the water lines to the faucet were crossed under the sink.  We will have to fix that. The rug was cleaned, but there was something wrong with the upholstery part of the shampooer, and so we knew we would have to fix that, too. Things go in threes, so then the clothes dryer wasn’t drying properly.  Oh! “The Joys of Ownership”.

A friend came by and we tried out the new Panda Express Chinese restaurant in town, Willis, TX, that is. 

The next day, my van had been loaded with boxes and boxes of stuff from the storage place that my friend is emptying out, we took it all to the Women’s Center in Conroe. Then stopped at a Mexican restaurant on the way back.  Truly Mexican, and I don’t speak Spanish, but I ate a good meal there, even though the waitress didn’t bring me exactly what I wanted. 

So I ate out three times in one week, that must be a record for me. As usual, I was not impressed with eating factory farmed food and veggies with Round-Up,  I prefer to cook and eat my own organic food.  When I got home I cooked grass-fed ground beef, with a lot of organic potatoes, carrots, onions, with a bit of organic brown rice and seaonngs, for the church potluck.  That went over very well, and there was none left.  The pastor and his wife were there, nearly over their colds, but the elder who plays the guitar was out of town visiting his folks, so we had taped music.  

The Bible readings were Gen. 34:1-35-11, Nah. 1:12-2:10, Mat. 5:38-48. The Teaching was about “The Christian Calling.”  1 John 2:12.

There weren’t many at church maybe because it was a cold, dreary, rainy day, but for those who attended it was a happy day.