Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Holy Day Satan Hates Most. Day of Atonement ~ Yom Kippur For Kids. Update.

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The Day of Atonement starts tonight at dusk.

The Holy Day Satan Hates Most

“The devil doesn’t like any of God’s holy days, but the Day of Atonement is particularly onerous to him. How should Christians today view this day?

The Holy Day Satan Hates Most

The devil doesn’t like any of God’s holy days, but the Day of Atonement is particularly onerous to him. How should Christians today view this day?

When I was young and just learning to celebrate God’s annual holy days, the Day of Atonement was difficult for me to appreciate. While all of God’s commanded assemblies are collectively termed “feasts” (Leviticus 23:2, 4), the one observed on the 10th day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar—the Day of Atonement—had no feasting at all!

Instead of enjoying nice food and drink as our family did on the other holy days, this day was a day of afflicting our souls by fasting. This meant we were not to eat food or drink liquids for a full 24 hours (Leviticus 23:32; Esther 4:16).

While I recall a minister teaching that this holy day was a time for feasting on spiritual food, that explanation didn’t help my empty stomach. As a tall, skinny youngster with a rapid metabolism, going without food and drink for this length of time was … well, unpleasant to put it mildly. My soul truly was afflicted—which was and is the intent of fasting.

When the seemingly extra-long day finally came to an end and my spirit revived as I ravenously partook of food and drink, I can remember feeling relieved that it would be a whole year before we would observe this day again.

So I quickly learned the “being afflicted part of the Day of Atonement. What took me a little longer to learn was the positive meaning of this day for me and all of mankind. (Parents who are teaching their children to observe the Day of Atonement should do so by letting them fast for only part of the day—gradually longer each year until they are old enough to do it for the full 24 hours.)

The positive side of the Day of Atonement

One of the great meanings of this holy day is found in its name. It is a day when atonement is made. To atone for something means to make amends, reparation, restitution or compensation for something. This day teaches us that humanity will be offered atonement for its sins and given a chance to be reconciled to God.

While Christians, who have been called to repentance now, can be forgiven of their sins whenever they repent (1 John 1:9; Acts 3:19), the Day of Atonement focuses on how the amazing blessing of the reconciliation of the world to God will be offered after the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, once Jesus Christ has returned. This most generous and undeserved gift of reconciliation is made possible by Jesus Christ.

The Bible teaches that the result of sin is death and that everyone has sinned (Romans 6:23; 3:23). As such, we all deserve death. The forgiveness of our sins upon our repentance is made possible because Jesus gave His life in our stead. God the Father “made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

As the Scriptures note, Jesus “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). We are “reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10).

When we come to understand the magnitude of this astounding gift of reconciliation and forgiveness that will be offered to the whole world—which we are reminded of on the Day of Atonement—this holy day takes on profound meaning. What an amazing blessing God is offering to humanity!

Emphasizing just how significant it was to observe this holy day, God told the ancient Israelites that anyone who didn’t observe the day by fasting or who worked on it would be “cut off from his people” (Leviticus 23:29-30). Observing this day was obviously very important back then and still is today.

Fasting helps us realize that the meaning of the Day of Atonement is critical to our future and the future of the whole world. Physically, we are reminded that we can’t survive without food and drink. Similarly, without the forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God, we have no spiritual future!

Why Satan hates this holy day

As our adversary, Satan constantly works to deceive us and to get us to sin, which sabotages our relationship with God (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9). Because he is actively trying to keep humans from becoming members of God’s eternal family, Satan certainly isn’t pleased with a holy day that pictures our reconciliation with God.

In addition to the overall meaning of reconciliation with God on the Day of Atonement, there are two more aspects of this holy day that likewise anger Satan.

First, fasting done right, that is, in genuine humility, draws us closer to God and causes Satan to shy away from us. As James explains: “‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. … Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:6-8, 10, emphasis added).

It must be especially infuriating for Satan to see humans humbling themselves before their Creator—so much so that he can’t stand being around such conduct. And if he can’t bring himself to be around humans who are drawing close to God, he doesn’t have the opportunity to work against them as he normally does.

Thus, the meaning of our reconciliation with God includes the departure of Satan from us. This departure, of course, is only temporary. Satan will soon be back to do his dirty work and to try to deceive us if he can. But for one day—the Day of Atonement—Satan loses a lot of his influence on those who humble themselves before God.

The bad news for Satan is that this holy day pictures a time when he will be restrained from deceiving people for 1,000 years. There is still one more meaning behind the Day of Atonement that is good news for humans and bad news for Satan. The bad news for Satan is that this holy day pictures a time when he will be restrained from deceiving people for 1,000 years.

Describing this future event, John wrote: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:1-3).

With Satan restrained and unable to deceive people, everyone will have the opportunity to clearly understand God’s way of life, repent of his or her sins, and receive salvation. This is wonderful news for humanity.

For Satan, however, it is surely going to be a time of frustration and anger because when he is restrained, he will be helpless to prevent thousands upon thousands of people from reconciling with their Creator and receiving eternal life.

A clearer perspective

As I grew older, it became easier for me to fast, and I learned what great news the Day of Atonement represents for us humans and what bad news it represents for Satan. I still miss food and liquids when I fast, but I now observe this holy day with respect and understanding. And to be honest, I enjoy it just a bit more knowing what it means for Satan and why he hates it so much.

If you’d like to learn more about this festival of God, see the article “The Day of Atonement” and the booklet From Holidays to Holy Days: God’s Plan for You.

Sidebar: Two Goats and the Day of Atonement

Under the Old Covenant with ancient Israel, a special ceremony involving two goats was prescribed for the Day of Atonement.

One of the goats was killed as a sin offering, and the high priest would go into the holiest part of the tabernacle and sprinkle some of this goat’s blood on the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:15-16). This goat and the ritual associated with it prefigured the New Covenant means of reconciliation with God—the sacrifice of Jesus, who would pay the penalty for our sins.

The high priest would lay his hands on the second goat and confess over it all the sins of the people. Then it was released in the wilderness (Leviticus 16:21-22, 34; Hebrews 9:7). This goat represented Satan and his deception of people (1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:9).

The placing of sins on the goat’s head indicates Satan’s role in leading people into sin. The Day of Atonement pictures the future binding of Satan for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3).

For further study of this unique ceremony, see the article “Leviticus 16 and the Day of Atonement.””  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/day-of-atonement/holy-day-satan-hates/

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Atonement: The Root of the Problem

“Atonement, a holy day observed by God’s people since ancient times, pictures an essential step in God’s plan for humanity: the binding of Satan the devil. With his influence removed, our broken world will be given the chance to heal and seek a relationship with its Creator.        See video at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/learning-center/video-series/feasts-of-the-lord/atonement-the-root-of-the-problem/?

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EEI-Logo-600-3

eei-happy-fall-festival-season

“With the observance of the Feast of Trumpets last week, the fall festivals are underway!

These forward-looking festivals remind us of the hope and joy to come as outlined in God's plan for humanity. This month we focus on the new creation to come and the beauty of New Jerusalem. Enjoy our two new resources!

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All Things New Whirlybird game

Enjoy this creative take on the classic schoolyard game and learn about the seven "no mores" once God makes all things new.

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Flip the Flap Tree of Life

Familiarize your family with the special, life-giving tree mentioned at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis and at the end in Revelation.

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Feast Favorites

Check out our favorite Feast resources: The Feast Travel Journal book, the A to Z Bible Coloring Pages, or puzzles, mazes and more in the Feast Travel Pack.

Have a wonderful Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles!

Join other parents, grandparents and guardians to discuss how they are using the EEI Parenting Manual to teach their children in our Facebook Group.”

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/learning-center/youth-development/

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Update.

The week started out with me prepping for a barium x-ray.  I didn’t realize that it was going to be the same prep as for a colonoscopy.  So only liquids on Sunday and Monday ready for the x-ray on Tuesday.

The special little Brazos Transit bus took me there and brought me back, along with some other patients.  You have to book the bus at least 2 days ahead, but it will take you door to door.  I have never seen such service, and Medicare pays for it!  I can also pay them to take me shopping to the big grocery stores in the next town too, or even to my daughter’s home.  I hope to do that next week.

Wednesday we had the annual inspection here at the senior apartments. The management sent out notice of intent to enter. They want to see that we are not storing things in the utility closet that houses the water heater and heat/ac unit, and safety things like that. They check the smoke alarms, make sure we don’t have cords running across the floor, or furniture in front of egress windows, etc.  Some seniors aren’t quite ‘with it’ any more, and have to be monitored.

My darling little cat, Evie, seems to be doing well without any hyperthyroid meds.  I just feed her the best food I can get here, Wellness canned, and she doesn’t throw up any more, wake me up in the night or cry to be fed, like a lot of the cats mentioned on the Feline Hyperthyroid Group.  And just like my vet said, they don’t seem to do any better with the medicines.  She loves to curl up with me, and she is my little treasure, so I would do anything to keep her as happy and as healthy as I can.  I hear about, and see pictures of, so many cats just going down to literal skin and bones with that disease, but there is no way that I would let my little one suffer like that. 

I took my new neighbor, June, to some thrift shops so that she could buy some hanging over the door hook things with several hooks on them.  Then she was able to unpack some more of her things so she would have her place organized ready for the upcoming feasts.

On Friday morning the three of us went through this week’s Sabbath School study lesson ready for the next day, but just Sherry and I went to the church.  June was having the Sabbath meeting with some of her friends on Zoom.  Sherry and I, and the others there, enjoyed ourselves at the Sabbath School.  Then we went to our homes and took it easy the rest of the day.   

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Why Should Christians Celebrate the Feast of Trumpets? The Feast of Trumpets: Alarm of War, Announcement of Peace. Update. RIP

Why Should Christians Celebrate the Feast of Trumpets?

Friday evening, Sept. 18th. 2020 started the Feast of Trumpets, so it was a double Sabbath on Saturday, because it was the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

“Prophecies of the end time include trumpet plagues and the return of Jesus Christ at the last trump. What does the Feast of Trumpets mean for Christians today?

Sunrise over the crest of a hillPhilipp Reiner/Unsplash

Christ's return is announced by the seventh and final trumpet

The fourth festival of God (after Pentecost) is the Feast of Trumpets (or a "memorial of blowing of trumpets," Leviticus 23:24-25), which falls in September or October. This festival is called Rosh Hashanah by the Jews today. Ancient Israel understood that trumpets were used as a way of announcing special, very important messages (Numbers 10:1-10).

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ reveals that before His return to the earth, there will be the blowing of seven trumpets, announcing progressive stages of the downfall and overthrow of this world's kingdoms, ending with the return of Christ to take possession of the earth. Christ's return is announced by the seventh and final trumpet (Revelation 8:2; Revelation 11:15). This day also pictures the time when faithful Christians will be resurrected to eternal life at the time of the seventh trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) to reign with Jesus Christ for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-6).

Interestingly, it was around this time of year that Jesus was born—not in the dead of winter (see "Biblical Evidence Shows Jesus Wasn't Born on December 25"). And the fall feast season represents the time when Jesus Christ will come to the earth again to reign in glory.

The remaining fall feast days describe steps in the establishment of the prophesied Kingdom of God on earth and judgment of humanity after Christ's return. The Feast of Trumpets is followed by the Day of Atonement.   For more information, please read our booklet God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.”

From: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/why-should-christians-celebrate-the-feast-of-trumpets

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The Feast of Trumpets: Alarm of War, Announcement of Peace

“Trumpets are used as signals of important events, and the Bible describes earthshaking end-time events that are pictured by the Feast of Trumpets.

Feast of Trumpets

The first three festivals, Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, reenact events that have already taken place and are ongoing in the lives of Christians. The last four festivals listed in Leviticus 23 preview dramatic future events in God’s plan of salvation. All four festivals occur during the fall harvest season in the Holy Land.

The fall festivals begin with the Feast of Trumpets. Trumpets are used as signals of important events, and the Bible describes earthshaking end-time events that are pictured by this festival.

Trumpet plagues

The book of Revelation lists seven terrible plagues announced by seven trumpets (Revelation 8-11). These plagues will come in the times just ahead of us because of humanity’s sins. Consider the sixth trumpet and its announcement of a 200-million-man army preparing for a battle that will kill a third of humanity (Revelation 9:16-18). In spite of these punishments, human leaders and their subjects will continue to pursue selfish and ungodly goals and sins (Revelation 9:20-21).

Thankfully, the seventh trumpet also heralds good news: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘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).

Finally Jesus Christ will intervene in world affairs to stop humanity from self-destruction (Matthew 24:21-22). He will then begin to establish His long-promised utopian Kingdom of God.

The first resurrection to eternal life

At Jesus Christ’s return another incredible event will occur. The apostle Paul announced it this way:  “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Paul also made clear that this would occur when Jesus Christ was returning (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

The Feast of Trumpets focuses on these pivotal events that signal the end of human rule and the establishment of God’s wonderful Kingdom on earth.

Zechariah 14 and Revelation 19 recount the final battle when the evil end-time “beast” and other world leaders try to fight the returning Christ. They will prove no match to our all-powerful Messiah, and the stage will be set for the fifth step in God’s plan, pictured by the Day of Atonement.”           CONTINUE READING   From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/feast-of-trumpets/?

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Update.

Oh!  Whatever next!  My sweet little cat decided she wanted to taste what I was drinking and knocked my water glass over my cell phone.  I didn’t realize what she had done   because the placemat on my bedside table had soaked it up, so I turned on my phone, wondering why it had turned itself off.  Then when it didn’t act right, I started to investigate.  It has to be charged constantly for me to even use it, and so I ordered a battery for it, which hasn’t arrived yet, and another phone. 

The phone arrived but it is a Smart phone, and it is so smart that I don’t even know how to turn it on.  The instructions are in a tiny little book that I can’t even read with a magnifying glass, so I will have to look for them online and print them out.  But I am going to wait until the battery arrives for my old phone so that I can copy my contacts list into my computer in case any important ones get lost.

On Wednesday the foot doctor gouged the corns out of the bottom of my feet.  The last time a podiatrist that did it to me, he was so quick and dexterous that I didn’t even feel it, but this time she dug and dug and made my foot bleed. But it does feel a lot better, I don’t feel like I have sharp rocks in my shoes anymore. Now at least my several trips to get the laundry done in the club house, or shopping, doesn’t hurt.

As usual on Friday morning, June, Cherry and I went through the study book in preparation for the Sabbath School the next day, and June went with us to church. Everyone participates in that, even those who are joining us on Zoom through the laptop and TV at the church.   We always have a good time at Sabbath School, and we enjoy being there.  We just stayed for the Sabbath School because Cherry can’t sit for very long, and the sermon was going to be on FaceBook anyway.

The Sabbath started out being a happy day until my daughter phoned, thankfully I have a landline too, and said that her sweet 87 year old father-in-law had died. Though it was a relief really, because his quality of life had really declined.  Now she will be alone, still partially handicapped from her accident, during the day.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Lessons We Didn’t Learn From 9/11. Is America Mentioned in the Bible? Upate.

The Lessons We Didn’t Learn From 9/11

“Today a brand-new World Trade Center stands in the spot where wreckage smoldered 19 years ago. We’ve rebuilt, but what have we learned?

I was 11.

Mr. Dean and Mr. Blackwell had a clunky old CRT television mounted to the wall in the corner of their shared classroom. It was silver, I think, and had a VHS player.

We were in the middle of a lesson when a teacher rushed in and turned on the TV. There was smoke rolling out of a building I’d never seen before. People were panicked. They were saying someone had flown a plane into a building.

It was … surreal. I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. How could I? I lived in America. America. That sort of thing didn’t happen here. It happened in other countries, or in movies, or … somewhere that wasn’t here.

Memorializing 9/11 while forgetting the lesson

For the United States, 9/11 was the day the world stopped turning—the day we were reminded that, yes, that sort of thing can happen here. That we are vulnerable. That we can bleed.

Four years ago, I visited the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum with my wife and parents. One of the larger exhibits focused on the events and aftermath of 9/11. There, in a circular room, stood a warped and twisted support beam salvaged from the wreckage of one of the towers. Screens set into the wall were playing time-stamped news footage on a continuous loop—the same footage I had watched in my sixth-grade classroom 19 years ago.

There’s a new World Trade Center now. It’s taller, more impressive and more imposing than before. One of the new support beams bears an inscription from President Obama: “We remember, we rebuild, we come back stronger!” But that gnarled beam in the presidential library was a sobering reminder:

It happened.

We can rebuild, but we can’t undo. We can come back stronger, but not invincible. We can remember what happened, but still forget the lesson.

Could something like 9/11 happen again?

For an extremely brief window of time, the collapse of the World Trade Center towers prompted many Americans to reexamine their lives and ask some probing questions. But it didn’t last. After 9/11, Gallup reported that church attendance in the U.S. jumped from 41 percent to 47 percent. Less than two years later, that percentage was down to 38 percent. Last year it hovered around 34 percent, with 79 percent of Americans agreeing that religion is losing its influence on American life.

For an extremely brief window of time, the collapse of the World Trade Center towers prompted many Americans to reexamine their lives and ask some probing questions. But it didn’t last. The effect faded with the shock, and nothing since then has left enough of an impact to replicate it. We’ve had mass shootings, we’ve had political and civil unrest, we’ve faced multiple moral issues contentious enough to divide the nation into staunch, unyielding camps—but through it all, our nation’s churches have only become emptier and emptier.’    Continue Reading at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/15-years-later-looking-back-on-9-11/?

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Is America Mentioned in the Bible?

“I just got off the phone with a friend from Portland, Oregon. He was describing to me the extent of the wildfires that are raging out of control in that state. You may have seen the pictures of reddish orange skies from the many fires, smoke and ash. Last night I heard one commentator call the scenes “apocalyptic.” That’s biblical language!

On top of the riots and political unrest in the country we still battle such natural disasters. It raises the question, “What is God saying to the nation?” Bible prophecy shows God does send waves of warning upon a nation before judgment falls upon it. Is that what we are seeing from God? Are we seeing warnings of a coming time of judgment?

Many students of the Bible have asked, “Is America mentioned in the Bible?” The answer is no, not directly by name. But when you look at the warnings to turn and obey God or face a time of trial and judgment, you realize the message of the Bible applies to all nations, but especially to America because it has been blessed by God. America has been blessed with the physical promises God made to Abraham. America has been great because God made America great.

This adds deeper meaning to all history for all people. It gives not only understanding but hope. It draws you deeper to the Word of Truth that God gave, "That God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life." God has not only fulfilled the spiritual promise through Christ but also the physical part of the promises as well. The two are part of the true gospel of God. We may say that we are a nation trusting in God but the reality is that we are far from a nation truly under God living by God's teachings.

What should you do? 

You should do what Scripture says to do. You should save yourselves from this crooked generation (Acts 2:40). It may be too late for America but it's not too late for you. You can do something. You can turn to God. Pray to him, ask Him questions, thank Him for the blessings in your life and tell him about the things that worry you.

There's a passage from the 18th chapter of the book of Ezekiel where the prophet records the words of God to the nation of Israel. It has bearing upon our time and our people today. In verse 26 it says, "When the righteous man turns from their righteous behavior and starts doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if the wicked people turn from their wickedness," God says, "Obey the law and do what is just and right, they will save their lives… Oh people of Israel, repent. Turn from your sins. Don't let them destroy you. Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, oh, people of Israel? I don't want you to die," says the Sovereign Lord, "turn back and live." 

This is what God wants! And it is a decision that you and I can make.

A recent Beyond Today program asks the question, Has God Given Up on America? (YouTube:  https://youtu.be/oUrg8PhCakg )    I think you will find this program compelling in light of what we are currently experiencing in our land. I hope you will take a moment to watch it.”    From:  https://us1.campaign-archive.com/?e=72c729d811&u=1d04480cefc2e7c4492fe4a04&id=788a418aa4

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Update.

Like most folks, I remember 9/11 very well.   My Johnnie was in his last days, but sick as he was, he was appalled.  What we were watching that morning was unbelievable.   It wasn’t long after that, that he didn’t really know what was going on around him, he died of cancer, eight weeks later.  But we will never forget…..

Another trip to the doctor here in Navasota to get a referral to see a podiatrist to get corns removed from the bottom of my feet.  I don’t know why I get them, but I have to get really thick foam insoles from Dollar Tree so that it doesn’t me hurt to walk.  I need to walk more, I have put on about 4 pounds.

My central AC did it’s thing again, or rather it didn’t, because it quit working. I had turned it off so that cold air wouldn’t blow on my newly washed hair, but then it wouldn’t turn back on again. I tried and tried to make it turn on but had to call the office.  At least we have a maintenance man again, and he checked the thermostat.  But with a lot of moving the switch back and forth, he got it going again, and has ordered a new thermostat.  Next time I wash my hair I will just move the temperature, not turn the system off.

A new neighbor moved in across the walkway to my apartment.  Boy, when I moved in I was teased for having so much stuff, but she beat me.  She introduced herself and we started talking, so it was soon discovered that we are both Sabbath keepers.  She said she wanted to go to Sherry’s on Friday morning and join our Sabbath school study in preparation for the study with the congregation the following day.  Neither Sherry nor I had a spare current study book, so I texted the ladies from the church who were handing out veggies and fruits at an apartment complex not far from ours, they do that every other Wednesday, to see if any of them had one in their vehicle.  No, no one had one, so I helped them distribute the food, and then followed them back to the church to get the study book. 

So, on Friday morning my new neighbor, June, and I walked down to Sherry’s and we went over this week’s study together.  On the Sabbath, I tried to get the Zoom thing going on my computer for the Sabbath School, but it didn’t do right, so the three of us went over to the church in my van and participated there.  The church is only 1.2 miles away.  June said that she enjoyed it and it was very interesting. There was a laptop hooked up to a TV so we could all see the others on Zoom.  Things are loosening up here, and there were more folks at church today.