Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Lord's Prayer. 'Knockout' Game. Hasty Judgments. The Strange Tale of Simon the Magician. Elfego Baca. Rosa Parks.


For "Scripture Sunday":

The Lord's Prayer.  Power!!

"Our Father Who Art In Heaven.
Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.
But -- you called ME!
Called you? No, I didn't call you.. I'm praying. Our Father who art in Heaven.
There -- you did it again!
Did what?
Called ME. You said, "Our Father who art in Heaven" Well, here I am.. What's on your mind?
But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good. Kind of like fulfilling a duty.
Well, all right. Go on.
Okay, Hallowed be thy name .
Hold it right there. What do you mean by that?
By what?
By "Hallowed be thy name"?
It means, it means .. . Good grief, I don't know what it means. How in the world should I know? It's just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?
It means honored, holy, wonderful.
Hey, that makes sense.. I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before. Thanks. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in Heaven.
Do you really mean that?
Sure, why not?
What are you doing about it?
Doing?  Why, nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if You got control, of everything down here like you have up there. We're kinda in a mess down here you know.
Yes, I know;  But, have I got control of you?
Well, I go to church..
That isn't what I asked you. What about your bad temper? You've really got a problem there, you know. And then there's the way you spend your money -- all on yourself.
And what about the kind of books you read ?

Now hold on just a minute! Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at church!

Excuse ME.. I thought you were praying for My will to be done.. If that is to happen, It will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you -- for example ....
Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.
So could I.
I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I would like to, you know, be really free.
Good. Now we're getting somewhere. We'll work together -- You and ME. I'm proud of You.
Look, Lord, if you don't mind, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. Give us this day, our daily bread.
You need to cut out the bread.. You're overweight as it is.
Hey, wait a minute! What is this? Here I was doing my religious duty, And all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.
Praying is a dangerous thing. You just might get what you ask for. Remember, you called ME -- and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying.  (pause ….) Well, go on.
I'm scared to.
Scared?  Of what?
I know what you'll say.
Try ME.
Forgive us our sins, As we forgive those who sin against us.
What about Karen?
See? I knew it! I knew You would bring her up! Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories. She never paid back the money she owes me.. I've sworn to get even with her!
But -- your prayer -- What about your prayer?
I didn't -- mean it..
Well, at least you're honest. But, it's quite a load carrying around isn't it?   


You know how unhappy you are -- Well, I can change that.
You can? How?
Forgive Karen. Then, I'll forgive you; and the hate and the sin, will be Karen's problem -- not yours. You will have settled the problem as far as you are concerned.
Oh, you know, you're right. You always are. And more than I want revenge, I want to be right with You . . (sigh). All right, all right . . I forgive her. There now!
Wonderful! How do you feel?
Hmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all! In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight tonight.
I haven't been getting much rest, you know.
Yeah, I know. But, you're not through with your prayer, are you? Go on.
Oh, all right. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.
What do you mean by that?
You know what I mean.
Yeah. I know..
Okay. Go ahead. Finish your prayer.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?
No, but I'd like to know. I want to please you now... I've really made a mess of things. I want to truly behave like Christ, I can see now how great that would be. So, tell me .. . . How do I make you happy?
YOU  just did".


"What is the Lord's prayer and should we pray it?"

image   "Many people misunderstand the Lord’s Prayer to be a prayer we are supposed to recite word for word. Some people treat the Lord’s Prayer as a magic formula, as if the words themselves have some specific power or influence with God.

The Bible teaches the opposite. God is far more interested in our hearts when we pray than He is in our words. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:6-7). In prayer, we are to pour out our hearts to God (Philippians 4:6-7), not simply recite memorized words to God." Read more:


Should We Repeat The “Lord’s Prayer”

image "Another important key to understanding this prayer is explained clearly in Matt. 6:9. Notice: “After this manner therefore pray you.” He did not say to repeat His words verbatim. He said this is the manner, or outline for your prayers. Pray about these things! He said, “Pray thus,” not “Pray this."

Jesus Christ forbids us to parrot these words. Jesus Christ made it clear that our prayers are not to be “vain repetition as the heathen do” (Matt. 6:7).  Christ wants us to pray from the heart. To pray with intensity, feeling, purpose, and sincerity, and not just to repeat words.”  More at:




Senseless Violence Rises With 'Knockout' Game

"The games of youth are the training ground for adult behavior. What do violent "Knockout" games mean for the future?


The trend of violent "Knockout" games has made the news again. While youth violence is usually associated with theft or gang related revenge, a relatively new trend has emerged in which an individual, filmed by others and posted online later, attempts to knock unconscious a complete stranger with one blow. Leaving the victim potentially dead, or fatally wounded.

image  Experts explain that what is so frightening about this trend, and what is says about our culture in general, is that it stems not from excess of emotion, but by lack of feeling emotion at all. Violence as sport with anonymous victims. Life is no longer sacred, but only marginally important. (Dr. Keith Albow, " 'Knockout' Game Part of Epidemic of Senseless Violence,", November 21, 2013).

History is full of bad news about societies that indulge in senseless violence for entertainment. They usually end up explored by archeologists thousands of years later and discussed in hushed tones, eventually becoming the subject of epic movies about gladiators. The civilization suffers, and the people suffer, horribly.

But let's take a different perspective, how do you separate yourself from such a society, even while living in it? Let's explore two key points:

- Respect human life.

"You shall not murder." God lays down the law, literally the sixth commandment of the ten big ones in Exodus 20:13  - Guard your thoughts, don't dwell on excess violence in entertainment or video games.

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks," (Luke 6:45 ).

Thoughts beget words and words beget actions. Know how to say no to peer pressure that demands evil actions."  From:  Article by Amanda Stiver


Hasty Judgments.  Beauty is, as beauty does!

"Judging others based upon what they look like is a common human nature trait. It's also an erroneous one. What does God base His judgments upon?

My family and I were gathered around my mother's bedside when a young man who worked for the convalescent center entered the room. My wife tells the story far better than I could; here's what she wrote:

"As soon as he stepped into the room I formed an opinion of him. The young man had long hair pulled back in a ponytail. A large metal ring protruded from one ear. His body, though covered with a white lab coat, seemed to me thin and weakly.

I imagine you've formed an opinion of him just from this description.

Without looking in my direction he approached my mother-in-law's bedside.

"How are you today, Thelma?" he asked in a pleasant, cheerful voice that somehow didn't go with the perception I had formed of him.

Of course Thelma wasn't at all well. She had come to the convalescent center with the knowledge that her days were numbered. Her kidneys had failed and she was slowly dying. It was small wonder, then, that she had complaints. As I watched the young man listening patiently to her list of woes and trying as best he could to alleviate them my perception of him changed.

Here was a young man who genuinely cared about people. He did not have a prestigious job. In fact, he probably got paid little for his labor. Yet he was putting his whole heart into what he did, trying his best to ease the discomfort of those whose lives were drawing to an end."

I had much the same first impression of this young man. My wife and I didn't realize that when we judged this young worker because of his appearance we were failing to follow God's instruction found in John:7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

We made a mistake. Yet it's a mistake we've all been guilty of at one time or another. Judging others based on what they look like is a human trait that's hard to rid ourselves of. Of course, part of the reason we make hasty judgments is because sometimes they work; sometimes a person does reflect their character in how they look. In this particular case, however, we were able to see our mistake and changed our opinion of the young worker.

How often, though, do we make lasting mistakes because of outward appearance? Such mistakes can harm relationships, and if we voice or act on our judgment, it can negatively effect how others view the person we've judged.

The Bible tells us repeatedly that God is not a respecter of persons. He shows no partiality. Yet it's so easy for us, as physical human beings, to look on the outward appearance and decide what a person is like inside. Showing partiality to some while disdaining others.  That's pretty serious.

If we are to reflect God's character doesn't it follow that we too should show no partiality?

God looks on the heart and our willingness to serve others (1 Samuel:16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.).

If you read Galatians:3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

We know that in the world things don't usually work that way. Studies show that teachers, even female teachers, show partiality to the boys in their classes, calling on them more often than they do the girls. An attractive young woman gets faster and better service at the store than does an older person. We've come to expect that sort of treatment in the world today."   More at:   Article by Joanne Rutis, John Ruti


The program on WGN TV this morning:

The Strange Tale of Simon the Magician

"This obscure individual may have had a profound impact on what you think is true, biblical Christianity."

Transcript at:


On This Day:

Elfego Baca battles Anglo cowboys, Dec 1, 1884:

image "Elfego Baca, legendary defender of southwestern Hispanos, manages to hold off a gang of 80 cowboys who are determined to kill him.

The trouble began the previous day, when Baca arrested Charles McCarthy, a cowboy who fired five shots at him in a Frisco (now Reserve), New Mexico, saloon. For months, a vicious band of Texan cowboys had terrorized the Hispanos of Frisco, brutally castrating one young Mexican man and using another for target practice. Outraged by these abuses, Baca gained a commission as deputy sheriff to try to end the terror. His arrest of McCarthy served notice to other Anglo cowboys that further abuses of the Hispanos would not be tolerated.

The Texans, however, were not easily intimidated. The morning after McCarthy's arrest, a group of about 80 cowboys rode into town to free McCarthy and make an example of Baca for all Mexicans. Baca gathered the women and children of the town in a church for their safety and prepared to make a stand. When he saw how outnumbered he was, Baca retreated to an adobe house, where he killed one attacker and wounded several others. The irate cowboys peppered Baca's tiny hideout with bullets, firing about 400 rounds into the flimsy structure. As night fell, they assumed they had killed the defiant deputy sheriff, but the next morning they awoke to the smell of beef stew and tortillas--Baca was fixing his breakfast.

A short while later, two lawmen and several of Baca's friends came to his aid, and the cowboys retreated. Baca turned himself over to the officers, and he was charged with the murder of one of the cowboys. In his trial in Albuquerque, the jury found Baca not guilty because he had acted in self-defense, and he was released to a hero's welcome among the Hispanos of New Mexico. Baca was adored because he had taken a stand against the abusive and racist Anglo newcomers. Hugely popular, Baca later enjoyed a successful career as a lawyer, private detective, and politician in Albuquerque."


Rosa Parks ignites bus boycott, Dec 1, 1955:

image "In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks is jailed for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, a violation of the city's racial segregation laws. The successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, organized by a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., followed Park's historic act of civil disobedience.

The boycott stretched on for more than a year, and participants carpooled or walked miles to work and school when no other means were possible. As African Americans previously constituted 70 percent of the Montgomery bus ridership, the municipal transit system suffered gravely during the boycott.

On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Alabama state and Montgomery city bus segregation laws as being in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On December 20, King issued the following statement: "The year old protest against city buses is officially called off, and the Negro citizens of Montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated basis. The boycott ended the next day. Rosa Parks was among the first to ride the newly desegregated buses.

Martin Luther King, Jr., and his nonviolent civil rights movement had won its first great victory. There would be many more to come.

Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005. Three days later the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to honor Parks by allowing her body to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda."



Wendy and I had our usual Saturday phone call and she told me about the plans they have for the lot that they just bought next to their property.  Their son Tony, my grandson, is trying to decide which college to attend, or whether to go in the service.  His main interest is computers, just like my son, Peter, who lives in England.  After my son retired from a career in the service, he made computer websites into a business, mostly dealing with rare and antique books.

After I had tended to my critters, I got ready for church.  There was no sense in calling to see if Jay was going with me, as if he wanted to go, he would have called me.

At church, our regular guitarist, Jeff, didn't bring his keyboard this time, his burned fingers were healed enough for him to graduate to a steel guitar.  He said that was easier for him to play it rather than his acoustic guitar, right now.  Mary, the lady who  started coming to our little church about a month ago, accompanied him on her acoustic guitar.  Several families were absent for different reasons, so our Songs of Praise sounded a little thin, but two guitars, and enthusiasm of those there, made up for that.

The Bible readings were Genesis chapters 23-25:18, and I Kings 1:40.   The message was about 'Rest That Satisfies', about God's perpetual covenant about our physical and spiritual rest, on the Sabbath, Exodus 31: 15-17.

The pot luck was great, as usual, mostly organic food. We spent a lot of time just chatting to each other and having great fellowship.  It's such a small congregation that it is like being with a family.  Something that I didn't have as a child.  My mother took off with the neighbor's brother at the start of the war when I was 4 years old.  I was put in my father's custody, but he was off serving in the war, so I lived in different places until I was 15, and then went out to work to support myself.  So I didn't really know my parents, or have any family life.

Mary brought a lot of eggs from her free-range chickens, which were divided amongst the ladies. 

As there wasn't a chilling north wind, it felt like a much warmer day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

I loved your post today, good work putting it together. I especially liked the first part.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you, DD.