Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Revealing God's Plan. Christmas Is NOT For Kids. What Do You Do With Your Time? Update.

For "Scripture Sunday":

Revealing God’s Plan.

Did you know that God has a set of holy days for you to be keeping—and that Christmas and Easter aren’t among them?

Largely ignored by the world, these holy days reveal the incredible plan of God and teach us what He has in store for every man, woman and child who has ever lived. This series of 10 short videos will explore that plan and what it means for you.
Discover the Feasts of the Lord Video Series
0bfc4f51da1dafddbd3849dbe9e93931.jpg (236×177)"God has a plan, and you’re part of it. Videos include “Revealing God’s Plan,” “Somewhere to Belong,” “Hope Remains” and “From Here to Eternity: The Journey of a Lifetime.”"


Christmas Is Not for Kids

"When we really analyze Christmas traditions, we discover they teach children lessons that lead them in the wrong direction. Christmas traditions focus heavily on children, but they actually teach many negative character lessons. Discover why Christmas is bad for your kids
Christmas Is Not for KidsEven though Christmas is technically celebrated on Dec. 25 by the majority of the world, people start preparing for it months in advance. Shortly after Thanksgiving children start sending letters off to Santa Claus, who also starts appearing in stores and malls. Parents start shopping for presents on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and may start setting up Christmas trees and lights around the same time. Most popular Christmas traditions revolve around children.

There are many problems with Christmas, which we explain in detail in many of our materials. But many people will counter those reasons with the excuse: “But it’s for the kids!”
Well, here is a proposition that may be surprising: Christmas is not for kids.
Christian parents should keep in mind the instruction to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). When we really analyze Christmas traditions, we discover they teach children lessons that lead them in the wrong direction.  
Four reasons Christmas is not for kids
1. Christmas teaches children it’s okay to lie.

While children should be taught about the birth of Jesus Christ, it shouldn’t be taught alongside a holiday based on many lies about His birth. You can learn about those lies in our article “The Birth of Jesus.” Simply put, if children are taught about Christ’s birth from Christmas, they are being taught a totally inaccurate story of what really happened and when it happened!

But the facts of Christ’s birth aren’t the only lies surrounding Christmas. Christmas traditions emphasize the story of Santa who lives at the North Pole, of elves who make toys for him and of flying reindeer that help him deliver toys to the world’s children in a single night. These are all myths—lies!

Parents teach these lies while also expecting their children to be truthful. They fail to see that “harmless” lies teach children that some lies are acceptable. Instead of teaching myths, it’s much healthier for parents to teach what God says in His Word about lying and why it is forbidden in the 10 Commandments. When parents actively teach the values of truth and honesty, it Christmas Is Not for Kidsdoesn’t make sense to teach the various Christmas myths.

2. Christmas teaches children greed and selfishness.:

Complete article at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/blog/christmas-is-not-for-kids/

What Do You Do With All Your Time?

"Our time is our life, and how we spend it shapes our character, our happiness, our success and our future. How does God want us to spend our time?

We may not feel like it, but people today have more free time than ever before. For most of human history, people had to spend almost every waking moment providing food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their families. It is still that way in much of the world.

Yet, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor, Americans over the age of 15 average more than five hours of free time a day. That’s almost a third of the time we’re awake! And, according to the same report, most of that unprecedented leisure time is used for entertainment: television, surfing the Web, video games and so on.
Free time: a blessing or a curse?
The way some people use their free time gets them into trouble. Geoffrey Chaucer, in the 14th century, is credited with being the first to say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” The more modern expression that someone has “too much time on his hands” usually indicates he’s done or is going to do something stupid or wrong.

It’s important to carefully consider how we use our free time and on what we should spend it. Our lives are composed of time, so how we spend our time is how we spend our lives. How does our use of free time affect us? Are there leisure activities a Christian should avoid? Does the Bible give any guidance on how we should use our free time?
What entertains us, changes us"
More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/christian-conversion/what-do-you-do-with-all-your-time/


With Jay working elsewhere most of the time, not much has been done to the repairs in the guest house.

My granddaughter, Michelle came to visit me on Friday evening and brought her lovely old Sheltie with her.  He was her late mother's dog, and he goes everywhere with Michelle.  It was good to see them again.

On Thursday and Friday I made a big dish of oven-roasted veggies and another dish of roasted zucchini and garlic for the church potluck.  The pastor's wife was all better so she took care of most of the potluck, but I still helped her.

The Bible readings were Gen.47:28-50:26, 1 Kings 2:1-12, Matt.8:5 and 2 Tim. 4:6-8.  The Teaching was about the Day of Yahweh (God), and how we should all be prepared.

This was the first Sabbath in three weeks that I had been able to stay in the chapel and hear the Teaching.  It is piped into the kitchen/dining hall, but someone always came in to help me and would start talking so I couldn't concentrate on it.

A guy who I have hired before helped me today and we pulled up parts of the floor in the guest house attic.  This is so that we can run another electrical circuit into the new kitchen.  There is an empty space in the breaker box, so that will be used.  Kitchens always need more than one circuit!!

With Live Writer not working, I am still writing there, but copying and pasting into Blogger.  I will be so glad to get my computer back, maybe I can use Open Live Writer then.  This back-up computer keeps on freezing up, though I have managed to list some stuff, and sold some items on eBay and Craigslist though, and that is mostly why I have a computer in the first place.

It was good to be working inside as it was raining all day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

When Was Jesus Born? Hasty Judgment. Update.

For "Scripture Sunday";

When Was Jesus Born?

"Did His birth occur on December 25th? Can we even know when Christ was born? And, should we really be celebrating His birth?

December 25th is universally celebrated as Jesus Christ’s birthday. Around the world Christians celebrate the season and the day by giving gifts, being with family and friends. Even for those who aren’t Christian it’s a season of joyous celebration.

So when was Jesus born? Let’s find out. And join us on Beyond Today as we explore the many issues surrounding the question: "When Was Jesus Born?"

When was Jesus Christ of Nazareth born?
Every year, we hear Christmas carols all about the baby Jesus in the manger and the winter wonderland associated with His birth. If we look at our calendar, chances are, right there on December 25th, it says Christmas Day. The birth of Jesus Christ is said to be the reason behind the season. But of course every year people worry about the fact that Christ is not in the season. But was Christ actually born on Christmas Day - on December 25th? It’s not as clear and simple as our calendars would suggest.

If we look into it, we find that December 25th wasn’t always considered Jesus' birth date. Joseph L. Sheler of U.S. News & World Report , wrote in an article entitled, "In Search of Christmas":
"Lacking any scriptural pointers to Jesus' birthday, early Christian teachers suggested dates all over the calendar…Clement who was an early church father, he picked November 18th…A man named Hippolytus, another early father, he "figured Christ must have been born on a Wednesday…And then there is an anonymous document believed to have been written in North Africa around the year 243 A.D. which placed Jesus' birth on March 28th." (Joseph L. Sheler, U.S. News & World Report , "In Search of Christmas," Dec. 23, 1996, p. 58).

Although it is difficult to determine the first time anyone celebrated December 25th as Christmas Day, historians are in general agreement that it was sometime during the fourth century. Now this is an amazingly late date. Think about it! What this means is that Christmas - which most consider Jesus' birthday - wasn’t observed by the Roman church until about 300 years after Christ’s death. Christmas cannot be traced back to either the teachings or the practices of the earliest Christians. That sounds almost impossible, doesn’t it? But it’s true
So why did the Roman church adopt Christmas Day as the time to celebrate Jesus' birth? The reason His birthday is celebrated now, at that time, is because religious leaders of the day wanted to give a pagan festival a name change and to make it easier for pagans to convert over to Christianity.
Listen to this quote from the Encyclopedia Americana which makes it very clear:

 "In the fifth century, the Western Church ordered it [speaking of Christ’s birth] to be observed forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol [who is the sun god], as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ’s birth existed" (1944 edition, "Christmas").
More at: https://youtu.be/XiVgLInIRJ4

Hasty Judgment

"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.

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.

There are six direct statements in the Bible that say that God is no respecter of persons, and I'm sure there are many more indirect statements. If we are to reflect God's character doesn't it follow that we too should show no partiality?

Let's look at James:2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. and see just how serious God views this matter, "but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors." That's pretty serious.

In 1 Peter:1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:  we can see how God judges a person.  This scripture shows us how we should be behaving in our dealings with others
God has one set of rules for everyone. He judges without partiality. You'll find in Colossians:3:24-25[24] Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.[25]But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.  That slaves and masters receive the same reward and the same punishment. God doesn't look at human status. God judges us according to what we do, with what we have.

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: http://www.ucg.org/character/hasty-judgments/  

Update:     Late again as this is Wed. 23rd. Dec. !!

I haven't been able to download 'Open Live Writer' because I am old fashioned and just have Windows XP. So my main computer is with one of the elders from the church who is going to try to install Windows 7 on it. I don't like change, but more and more I am forced into getting rid of my old familiar XP.  This is my back-up desktop, and it is better than nothing.  That is all I can say about it!!.  So I write this in Live Writer, and then copy and paste into Blogger.  Then I have to re-insert any pictures.

Jay helped me last Sunday.  One job we did was to cut a hole in the sewer line going to the main sewer so that we could put a clean-out in it.  We found out that the line still has a lot of root growing in it,  so I'll have to rent a machine again.

Jay has had me helping on the job that he is doing.  He is taking the old masonite (cardboard) T 1-11 siding off a double wide and put the new chipboard T 1-11 on it.  This means removing the windows, re-taping them with butyl putty tape and refitting them over new siding. These are very large windows, so it takes two people.  Once they are removed, one of my jobs is to clean off all the old putty tape and put on the new, then help hold and level the window so that Jay can screw it into place.

That would be OK, but he is never ready to go when he says he will be, so I have to help him by loading their dishwasher and fixing his Mom's breakfast, etc.  Then we have to load all the tools and compressor in my van.  So I spend a lot of my time working, but not at the job site.

On Saturday, the Sabbath, Jay didn't go to church again, he was hungover, so I went on my own.  The pastors wife's van was out of commission so the pastor came with one of the elders.  There was no more room in the car as that elder works out of his car, so the wife couldn't come to church.  Anyway. she still wasn't feeling so great from her bout of double pneumonia.  I was volunteered to take care of the potluck again.  I took oven-roasted yellow squash and onions, and a sweet potato salad which I had made on Thurs and Friday.    Then I cooked several other frozen veggies and warmed up an chicken enchilada dish, and some other Tex-Mex food.    We also had a ground lamb meatloaf which was very good.

Still very confusing weather for late December.  Another 80 degree day!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

When Was Jesus Born? Part 3. The Bible Says When Jesus Was Born. Update

For "Scripture Sunday", I know, it's is late.

Live Writer and I are having a problem.  So I will have to add the pictures when I get this sorted out.
When Was Jesus Born? Part 3
Luke 2:8
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
One commentary states, “As these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, note on Luke 2:8).
The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary agrees: “These humble pastoral folk are out in the field at night with their flock—a feature of the story which would argue against the birth (of Christ) occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted it” (1971, note on Luke 2:4-7).
For more about why Jesus Christ’s birth could not have been Dec. 25 and how it came to be celebrated that day, see our article “Christmas: Should Christians Celebrate It?”"

Christmas Was Stolen from Pagans!!


Does The Bible Say When Jesus was born
"If Jesus Christ wasn’t born on December 25, does the Bible indicate when He was born?
The biblical accounts point to the fall of the year as the most likely time of Jesus’ birth, based on the conception and birth of John the Baptist.  Around the time of The Feast of Tabernacles.
Since Elizabeth (John’s mother) was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:24-36), we can determine the approximate time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5). Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year ( The Companion Bible, 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).

It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a child (Luke 1:8-13). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived (Luke 1:23-24). Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. Adding another six months (the difference in ages between John and Jesus) brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth."  At the time of The Feast off Tabernacles.

Video and Transcript at: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-television-program/when-was-jesus-born


A very late update.  Been very busy here with a sewer problem here at my house.  When Johnnie and I built the first part of the house we had installed a clean-out, but the contractors who finished this house didn't, so we were digging in the front yard trying to find the sewer.  Finally pulled the toilet in the master bath and rented a sewer machine.  Jay took time off from his job and ran it down the hole for me.  A root had grown into the sewer pipe between my house and the central sewer.  That caused back ups in both bathrooms and the utility sink in the workshop, so I had a lot of disinfecting, mopping and laundry to do.  Then on Sunday, I picked Jay up again  and we shampooed the carpets.  Hadn't been done for quite a while, so that seemed a good time to do it.  Trying to get everything put back in place took most of the evening so that is why I didn't post then.

The guest house repairs are slowly coming along.  Jay is working somewhere else right now, so I am paying anyone who isn't working elsewhere to help.  Some of them weren't any good, so I know why they aren't working!!  A crazy gal who lives down the street has been helping me with some sheetrock taping and floating. 

We had taken out one window, as that is where the fridge will be and added three windows, two little 'portholes' in the side of the future kitchen, and one wide one in the future bathroom.  Also took out a tall window and replaced it with a wide one over where the kitchen sink will be at the front of the house.  There is a great view all the way down the road from that wide window.  So that did make some repairs to the sheetrock necessary.

The little kitchen windows will be between the top and bottom cabinets.  Just little 'portholes' to see out on that side and into the adjacent greenhouse.
Then Jay needed help on the job he was doing, so I have spent some time down there.  Any other free moments I have been listing stuff for sale on eBay and Craigslist.  I have been making a lot of turkey bone broth, too!

The pastor and his wife have both been sick so I was asked to take charge of the potlucks the last two Sabbaths.  I am able to stay in the chapel for the first part of the services, then I have to put the food in the oven to warm up.  So I don't get to hear all the Teachings, even though it is broadcast in the kitchen/dining hall.

Typical Texas December…  First we had some freezing nights and then it is in the mid 70's during the day.