Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Labor Day Look at God's Sabbath. A Gift From God. Sola Scriptura. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:  Early because of the storm.

A Labor Day Look at God's Sabbath

"In It You Shall Do No Work"

“Labor Day was instituted to honor those who work. At the very beginning of creation God set apart a special day to honor His rest. Learn why the Sabbath command can be a blessing in your life.

A young man watching the sun set from an observation deck.Jordan McQueen/Unsplash

You can reap the benefits of God's Sabbath every week!

According to the United States Department of Labor , Labor Day was created to honor the contributions that workers have made to the social and economic well-being of America. President Grover Cleveland first made it a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day is the first Monday in September, falling on Sept. 5 this year. As an American college student myself, it makes a nice transition from working full-time to going back to classes for the year, giving summer one last hurrah.

God’s “work week” is a marvelous schedule that works. He pushes us to work hard at our jobs and various other responsibilities throughout the week, and then gives us the seventh day off to both relax and focus on Him.

Here’s an odd question: Have you ever stopped to consider God’s perspective on labor, or, as we might say today, “work”? It’s interesting to think and read about. God actually expects us to work for most of the week. In Exodus 20:9 we read God’s command that for “six [out of seven] days you shall labor and do all your work.” He also encourages us to work with passion and diligence: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Work is important and allows us to do many honorable things in life, such as provide for our families, grant help to those in need, and leave an inheritance for our children.

Are we then to work and slave away at all times? Certainly not! God understands that we aren’t tireless robots who can run all seven days of the week. He tells us—commands us even—to take the seventh day off!

Let’s return to Exodus 20 to get the rest of God’s important directive: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God . In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:9-10; emphasis added). God wants us to take the seventh day off so bad that He makes it the fourth requirement in the most well-known section of His law: the Ten Commandments!

But there’s still more to the story besides not working! What are we supposed to do with these 24 hours of seemingly free time? The core of God’s Fourth Commandment is this: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy .” (Exodus20:8; emphasis added).

One important way that we keep this day holy is by resting instead of working, as we already mentioned. Another significant way we honor the Sabbath is by attending church services, which are a holy convocation appointed by God Himself (Leviticus 23:3). Going to church allows us to converse with and encourage others who believe as we do and to worship and learn more about God and His truth. Please click here to find the congregation closest to you.

God’s “work week” is a marvelous schedule that works. He pushes us to work hard at our jobs and various other responsibilities throughout the week, and then gives us the seventh day off to both relax and focus on Him. This “recharge day” doesn’t come around just once a year; you can reap the benefits of God’s Sabbath every week! As you prepare for fall and for the upcoming holiday weekend, remember to always put God first and keep His Sabbaths holy. Have a blessed and restful Sabbath and Labor Day weekend.

For a more in-depth look at God’s instruction to keep the Sabbath, how to keep it, and its plethora of benefits, please reflect on the following writings:

Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest our extensive booklet investigating the seventh-day Sabbath as it is mentioned throughout the Bible, from beginning to end.

“The Fourth Commandment: Key to a Relationship With Our Creator” a look at the Sabbath as a command from God, demonstrating its deep importance to you individually.

“The Benefits of the Sabbath” this article examines just a handful of the many benefits that you can experience right now by keeping God’s Sabbath.”





The Reformation: A Return to the Bible?

“The Protestant reformers claimed they were restoring Christianity back to its biblical roots. But were there things they forgot to reform?

The Reformation: A Return to the Bible?

A copy of Martin Luther's translation of the Bible into the German language. 

October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s reputed action of nailing his “95 Theses” to the church door in Wittenberg (where he was a professor of theology at Wittenberg University). This document criticized certain practices and doctrines of the Catholic Church and is considered the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Luther claimed that the Roman church under the popes had moved away from the truth of the Bible.

To Luther’s credit, his 95 Theses highlighted many legitimate issues with the Catholic Church of his time. However, if the pope had heeded Luther’s critiques, would that have returned Catholicism to the Christianity of the Bible?

The truth is, Martin Luther and the Reformation he began continued to embrace many prominent nonbiblical doctrines that the church they were protesting had adopted hundreds of years earlier.

One of the most prominent unbiblical doctrines Protestants maintained was regarding Sunday as the Christian day of worship. To learn why the biblical Sabbath isn’t Sunday, read “Was the Sabbath Changed to Sunday?

Double standards

Since the Reformation, Catholics have criticized Protestants for the double standard of rejecting Catholic tradition by claiming they relied on “Sola Scriptura” (Latin for “Scripture alone”) while maintaining many doctrines based entirely on tradition, particularly the observance of Sunday.

Notice these quotes from Catholics:

  • “The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her Divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. … But the Protestant says: How can I receive the teachings of an apostate Church? How, we ask, have you managed to receive her teaching all your life, in direct opposition to your recognized teacher, the Bible, on the Sabbath question?” (The Christian Sabbath, fifth ed., published by The Catholic Mirror of Baltimore, 1893, pp. 29-30, emphasis in original).
  • “Q. Is the observance of Sunday, as the day of rest, a matter clearly laid down in Scripture?
    “A. It certainly is not; and yet all Protestants consider the observance of this particular day as essentially necessary to salvation. To say, we observe the Sunday, because Christ rose from the dead on that day, is to say we act without warrant of Scripture; and we might as well [incorrectly] say, that we should rest on Thursday because Christ ascended to heaven on that day” (Stephen Keenan, Controversial Catechism, 1846, p. 136, emphasis added).
  • “If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church” (letter from Albert Smith, chancellor of the Baltimore Archdiocese, Feb. 10, 1920).

Secular history and the Roman Church agree on this point: It was the Catholic Church that changed the Christian day of worship from the seventh day to Sunday—not the Bible.

    Restoring the true Sabbath

    Both Protestants and Catholics ignore the seventh-day Sabbath, instead observing the unbiblical Sunday. Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers criticized some Catholic abuses and doctrines, while maintaining many others. Catholics and Protestants alike would benefit from going to the Bible and reading what it reveals about the Sabbath, instead of relying on their own unbiblical teachings.

    To learn about the seventh-day Sabbath and why it should be kept today, read “What Day Is the Sabbath?


    The problem with Sunday, Sola scriptura.

    “Martin Luther and his contemporaries claimed this Latin phrase, meaning “Scripture alone,” was the basis for their efforts to reform Catholicism and reject the authority of the pope and Catholic tradition.

    Unfortunately, a major problem arose: they couldn’t fully agree on what and how to reform. Some wanted to move fast with sweeping reforms; others wanted to move slowly. Some wanted limited crosses and icons; others believed all icons were wrong. Some believed in infant baptism; others, only adult baptism. Some believed the Eucharistic bread was Christ’s body; others believed it represented Christ’s body. The disagreements went on and on, which is why there are thousands of Protestant denominations today.

    But, despite these divisions, there is one belief the reformers almost unanimously agreed on. In this, they did not break with the Roman Church: They upheld Sunday as the day of worship.

    But maintaining Sunday created a huge problem Protestants still live with to this day. Simply put, it fundamentally broke with the concept of sola scriptura. The Bible shows that Jesus, the apostles and the early Church all observed the seventh-day Sabbath (Luke 4:16, 31; Acts 17:2-3; 18:4). So, if one was to rely solely on Scripture to decide doctrine, one would worship on the seventh day. (You can learn more about the biblical case for the seventh-day Sabbath in our video series “The Sabbath: A Gift From God.”)

    To find the origin of Sunday worship, one has to consult extrabiblical history, which shows Sunday was gradually adopted (by some) beginning in the mid-second century. The first written evidence of Sunday worship is from a document written by Justin Martyr around A.D. 150. One of the primary motivations for the change to Sunday was a desire to not appear “Jewish.” In fact, early in its history, the Roman Church even imposed a weekly Saturday fast to show “contempt for the Jews” who observed the Sabbath as a feast (Kenneth Strand, ed., The Sabbath in Scripture and History, 1982, pp. 137-138).

    In A.D. 321 Constantine the Great officially established Sunday as the day of rest throughout the Roman Empire. Constantine had been a devout sun worshipper most of his life, which might help explain why he enshrined dies solis (the day of the sun) as the official day of worship.

    Secular history and the Roman Church agree on this point: It was the Catholic Church that changed the Christian day of worship from the seventh day to Sunday—not the Bible. To see more evidence of this, read “When and How Did the Change in Worship From Saturday to Sunday Occur?”   




    Even though I just posted last Wednesday, more has developed since then.   On Wednesday evening about 7.00 pm a young (45) lady rang my door bell asking if she could have a drink of water and use my phone.  I took her some water and an old cordless phone outside, and then her story came out.  She had just arrived by plane from Florida, and was hoping to see her daughter in TX on her 16th. birthday.  A relative of her ex-husband said that he would bring her to Willis as he was going to visit a neighbor of mine.  They had words and she was stranded. Later,  Gary from our church, and I met the young man, and he said that she had tried to tell him what to do in his own truck, which didn’t go down too well.

    Her FL phone wouldn’t work here for some reason, and her tablet wouldn’t work here because I don’t have WiFi.  She camped on my porch with all her stuff, charged up her tablet in my outlet and was getting eaten by skeeters, even though I had furnished her with some skeeter spray.  So she begged to come in.  Reluctantly, I let her in.  (What is a follower of Jesus (Yeshua) to do?  See Matthew 25:35.) 

    She spent all that evening and the next day trying to get in touch with people by Messenger on Facebook on my computer as her phone numbers were all in her non-working phone. She had a nasty, name-calling argument with her mother on the phone, and didn’t honor her at all. (Honor your mother and father:  Deuteronomy 5:16 and Mark 7:10 )  I fed her several times, and she stayed another night on my couch.  Someone was supposed to send money to her by MoneyGram to Willis, which they never did.  Eventually, her mother agreed to come from Lake Palestine, TX to come to get her.  It took her elderly mother, who works full-time, two hours to drive here, and then there is the two hour drive back.  I was so sorry for her mother being talked to like that.  This gal was a very disruptive, argumentative gal and was upset because I just have Windows 7 and don’t have a smart phone, WiFi, cola or cigarettes!  (My needs are simple) My neighbor let her have some cigarettes, and she drank juice and coffee. She said that she had stepped back into 1920!  She said she was a Christian, but was upset when I had the Les Feldick “Through The Bible” Bible study on TV.  Wow! Talk about being ungrateful and griping because free things aren’t the way she liked them.  It taught me a lesson, that no good deed goes unpunished.

    I know I shouldn’t have let her in.  I was nervous, anxious and on tenterhooks all the time she was here.  Three neighbors came by, so they were looking out for me.  I thank the Lord that she didn’t harm me. I should have offered to dial the number through a closed door and told her to get water from the outside faucet. 

    The kittens are getting two meds twice a day and another once a day.  Have you ever tried to give a cat a foul-tasting liquid?  Be armed with a big towel and wrap the four sharp corners up really tight.  Then poke the needleless syringe at the back of their throat, and plunge the plunger.  I have to do this for one more week, poor little things, but they are so forgiving like most animals, and still want me to play with them.

    I am writing this early in case the power goes out, as the storm is here. It has been raining gully-whompers.  Not much wind, but the roads below here are flooded. 

    The churches around here have cancelled Sabbath services so that folks won’t try to go through deep water to get there.  There are lots of Church of God sermons to be seen online.

    So far we have water, power, internet, TV and phone, and I have lots of drinking water put up and many two-gallon plastic jugs full of water for washing, etc.  A one gallon bucket of water poured quickly from a height will flush a toilet.  My only worry is my freezer and deep freeze if the power should go out, but I have big dry ice packs in them, so they should hold a while.  My van is still in the shop, he thinks it is three bad injectors, but wants to look at it closer.  I hope it will be safe there.

    So that is how things are going on this drowned out Sabbath Day!

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017

    What’s the Bible For? Everybody Ought to Know. Sacred Name: Does God Have Only One? Update.

    For Scripture Sunday”:  Late again!

    What’s the Bible For?

    2 Timothy 3:15-17

    “And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    The Holy Scriptures available to Timothy as a child would, of course, have been what we call the Old Testament today. The apostle Paul and the New Testament Church held the Old Testament in high esteem and quoted from it often in sermons and writings. The Old Testament revealed much about Jesus Christ, including both His first and second comings, and the salvation that is available because of His sacrifice.

    All Scripture, which Peter later showed included Paul’s writings as well (2 Peter 3:16), was breathed—what we call inspired—by God. What is the Bible useful for?

    • Doctrine—teaching us God’s will.
    • Reproof—conviction or proof of wrongdoing.
    • Correction—setting us straight.
    • Instruction in righteousness—disciplining or training.

    The Good News Translation puts it this way: All Scripture “is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed” (verses 16-17).

    For more about what the Bible can do for us, see “Why Study the Bible?


    Everybody Ought to Know

    An Amazing Fact: “The Bible contains over 100 different names or titles for Christ. Here is a small sample: Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David, Great High Priest, Light of the World, Bread of Life, Lord of Glory, Great Shepherd, Advocate, Morning Star, Heir of All Things, Lamb of God, True Vine, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Alpha and Omega, Chief Cornerstone, Prince of Peace.

    Jesus’ countrymen often debated about who He was. Although their ministries overlapped, some people believed that He was John the Baptist. Even Herod trembled to think that Jesus might be John the Baptist returned to life after Herod had him executed.

    Another thought was that Jesus might be Elijah, the prophet whom Moses had spoken of, or still yet another historical prophet.
    When Jesus asked His disciples who they believed He was, Peter spoke with conviction, saying, “You are the Christ.” Peter recognized Jesus as the Messiah, something he could not have known unless God had revealed it to him.

    For 2,000 years people have argued about who Jesus is. For Christians, there is no doubt and no debate. We have overwhelming evidence, in Scripture and in our own lives, that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Righteous One, the Deliverer, the precious Savior of the world.

    And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. Mark 8:27-29“


    Sacred Name: Does God Have Only One? 

    “Is there only one sacred name for God, as some believe? Many supporters of this view have been influenced by what is known as the “Sacred Name Movement.” 

    Sacred Name: Does God Have Only One?

    Moses asked God an interesting question during the famous burning-bush encounter. “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13).

    God said that His name is “I AM,” which probably puzzled Moses initially (Exodus 3:14). This name expresses God’s eternal existence. He wasn’t created by anyone or anything—He’s the “Self-Existent One,” as this name has been properly understood.

    Then verse 15 provides the name that the Israelites would use for God, “YHWH” (this is one commonly accepted English transliteration of the four Hebrew consonants). This name is often pronounced “Yahweh,” though, since its vowels are not known, its pronunciation is unknown. God highlighted this name by saying,This is My name forever.”

    These four Hebrew letters are known by scholars as the tetragrammaton—from the Greek “tetra” (four) and “grammaton” (letters). The New King James Version translates this proper name with capital letters, “LORD” and “GOD,” in the Old Testament.

    The Sacred Name Movement

    The Sacred Name Movement is commonly traced to the early 1930s and the Assembly of Yahweh church organization. Adherents also claim that the only sacred name for Jesus is “Yeshua,” which is how some transliterate Jesus’ name from the Hebrew language of the Old Testament.”

    More at:



    Well quite a bit has been going on.  But not much work in the mini-house.  We installed some doors on the bridge cabinet over the kitchen sink and window. We picked up some 2 x 4’s and we framed up the wall between the living room and bedroom, and ran some of the wiring in that wall.

    On Friday morning, my helper Roy changed the back 3 plugs on my minivan as it was misfiring and AutoZone’s computer said that was the problem.  In the afternoon as Roy had two days off and was going to build a deck and ramp for his friend who has two broken legs, I took him there with his tools to the other side of Willis.   But my van nearly didn’t make it back.  It was missing, belching smoke, and just wasn’t running right.

    tHE good news this week is that my 9 year old foster cat, Gertrude, was adopted to a very loving home and settled down right away.  My other foster, Puddin’ is very happy here, and she doesn’t want to go back to the Cat Habitat at Petco, for a while.  

    On The Sabbath, Saturday, another lady who lives near me picked me up to take me to our church, so I couldn’t take any food, but there was plenty anyway.  The Bible readings were Num. 33:1-36:13, Jer. 2:4-28, 3:4, and James 4:1-12 and the Teaching was about Being a Follower who Brings Special Blessings, and learn to listen to the still small voice. 

    AfDSCF1654-001ter I returned from church, my daughter, Wendy, arrived with her dog “Spock”.  I was to babysit him for the night while she visited some relatives nearby.   He is used to being crated on some occasions, so I borrowed this one and after a couple of barks and howls that didn’t get him free, he settled down and slept through the night.  So I had no worries about him spending a couple of hours in the crate the next day.  I had walked him and he had done what he was supposed to do and happily went back in there.  This was a trial run as I had offered to take care of Spock for a couple of weeks while my daughter went to see relatives in WA state.

    My helper Roy had Saturday off as usual, and he was off on Sunday too, because Jay, Hans and I were going to see Perry Stone of Perry Stone Ministries in our little town of Willis, TX at the Faith Family church.   Jay had Hans park sideways over a culvert, it was the only parking space for blocks.  We were kinda disappointed with the whole thing at that church.  The foyer was like a concession stand at a movie theatre with coffee, lattes, other drinks and things for sale. Then a great long table of books and stuff, with crowds of people buying them.   Then 40 minutes of very loud live rock and rap type music, religious topics I think, but the words were not clear.  They must have known they were going to be loud as earplugs were offered!  Then a video of Perry Stone offering CD’s and DVD’s for sale.  This all went against the grain for me, as The Church of God never sells any of their literature, it is all absolutely free.  Jesus said “Freely you have received, freely give”.  

    One point that Perry made, stuck with me.  Atheists have to acknowledge the birth of Jesus every time they write the date!  2017 AD!  Then Perry talked about Logos and Rhema.  but he was talking so fast that I could hardly understand him.  Then he went on about how he met his wife, prancing back and forth on that stage.  We wanted to leave before tDSCF1658-001he exiting rush as we wanted to make sure that Hans didn’t run off into the culvert getting un-parked. 

    Back in our subdivision, they dropped me off first so that I could take care of Spock and my little kittens.  But Spock had busted the catch on the crate, got out and torn up a lot of things in my house.  I didn’t say a word, but just took him out to pee, and then tended to my kittens.  Wendy arrived and cleaned up the debris.  So I won’t be babysitting him again!

    One of my little foster kittens was getting weak and skinny, so I had him in a different cage and tried to feed him DSCF1680-001special food to help him gain strength, but on Monday my SPCA boss said that he should be seen by the vet.  So, with no running van, my dear helpful neighbor, Chris, another SPCA fostermom, took me and the little kitten into Conroe. The Vet did several tests, one came up negative for FIV and Felv, thank goodness, but a fecal showed he had an intestinal parasite that it already had when I got the kittens.  The vet prescribed meds for it and the other three kittens, even though they are fine.DSCF1676-001

    Then on Monday Roy just didn’t show up or call and later told me that he had been asleep all Monday.  Then on Tuesday his daughter brought him all groggy and tired.  He did manage to slowly work a bit, had lunch and then plopped down and sprawled fast asleep on my couch as he has done so many times before.   I had agreed as part of his pay to feed him lunch, but he would fall asleep after eating it, and would be really grumpy when I tried to awaken him.

    DSCF1640-001Today, Wednesday I had had enough.  This morning he flopped on my couch and he said he didn’t have to work today as I was taking my van to be repaired so he would stay there and sleep.  He said that he was sleepy because he had eaten too much sugar, but I am not stupid and made other assumptions.  He had promised that he wouldn’t lollop (British: to loll) on my couch any more and have those nasty moods, so I asked him to go decorate someone else’s couch.  He said that he would get up and sort out his tools that he had left lying around, but he hadn’t moved by the time I had to leave. 

    One of the great guys, Gary, and his wife from our church came and they followed my van to a mechanic in Conroe.  And there my van sits until they have time to look at it.  But when they drove me home a couple of hours later, Roy was still fast asleep, draped on my couch, so Gary told him to leave and not treat me like that.  So Roy left on his bicycle.  I know he is a good retired contractor and does good work, but I was so tired of him and his scruffy friends dropping by here.  I don’t care if my mini-house isn’t done yet, it was not worth the stress.

    So where do you find good help these days?

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    There’s a Proverb for That: “I’m Awesome, Just Ask Me”. What Is a Human Being? Not Merely Outward. Update.

    For “Scripture Sunday”:  Sorry, late again!


    There’s a Proverb for That: “I’m Awesome, Just Ask Me”

    “This kicks off a series of posts on practical and relevant wisdom from the book of Proverbs. We will begin with the issue of pride and arrogance.

    There’s a Proverb for That: “I’m Awesome, Just Ask Me” 

    “We are always looking for answers to problems. We look to scholars, scientists, researchers, philosophers, self-help gurus and religion for answers. Though it is not necessarily a bad idea to consult some of those sources, thankfully for Christians, there is an entire book of the Bible filled with practical wisdom for everyday life in the 21st century—even though it was written thousands of years ago!

    That is the book of Proverbs. The wisdom contained in this book is invaluable for us as human beings, and it covers a wide variety of topics. In this series, we will explore the wisdom from Proverbs applied to modern societal problems, controversies and roadblocks.

    If we think there’s nothing wrong with us, we have something wrong with us

    Politicians like to talk about their strengths and make even their weaknesses still sound like strengths (“I guess my greatest weakness is that I care so much”). The “know it all” personality is alive and well, creating a culture of looking down on others who may not know everything about everything. Just look at comments on YouTube videos and online news articles for evidence of people who think they “know it all” and who aggressively put down people who they feel know nothing. Self-righteousness can be detected in all ideologies.

    But God has a different expectation. He says He “resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Since we should be seeking God’s grace and not His resistance, humility should be an issue we are very concerned about! Thankfully, there’s a proverb for that!

    Proverbs and Implications
    1. Proverbs 13:10: “By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.”

    “Know it all” personalities are not the most popular people for good reason. It is very hard to be likable and listen to other viewpoints if we think we are always right, all the time. Since we should be seeking God’s grace and not His resistance, humility should be an issue we are very concerned about! This brings strife into relationships and makes for awkward and drawn-out conversations. Being well-advised doesn’t mean we believe every viewpoint we hear, but we respect and listen long enough to make wise judgments about them.

    Implications: We must take time to actually listen to other people’s perspectives, especially those whose opinions are different from ours. We may still disagree afterward, but a humble person will at least listen and be open to learning, while pride is thinking we already have all the answers. If you struggle with listening to others, try this strategy: Do not respond in conversation until counting 5 seconds in your head after they have spoken. This can help you to take the time to think about what the other person said.

    2. Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

    To err is human, and those who think they rarely (or never) err should consider that this thinking is flawed and dangerous. Many who have issues with pride give platitudes to this effect, saying, “I’m not perfect, but …” and then proceed to describe how perfect they think they are. This is dangerous because it is not true. No human being is perfect, and all will make mistakes (Romans 3:23). History shows many examples of prideful and haughty people eventually falling (consider Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Saddam Hussein, to name a few).

    Implications: Instead of only glorifying our strengths, we should also identify and admit our weaknesses. Whenever we criticize others, we should consider our own imperfections and issues. Many Shakespearean characters never recognized and dealt with their fatal flaws (pride often being one of them), which never turned out well. Let’s strive to be wiser than fictional characters like Hamlet and Macbeth.

    3. Proverbs 21:4: “A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin.”

    Self-righteous thinking, condescending remarks, looking down our noses at others—these are not just personality quirks. They are sins. Yes, there are times that require confidence in our strengths and bravery to use them, but when we demonstrate these traits constantly, unnecessarily and artificially, they become arrogance and pride.

    Implications: View pride as any other sin that God hates, not just as an undesirable character trait (which it is as well). Since pride is so hard to see in ourselves, we need a team made up of friends and family whom we can go to and ask honest questions about ourselves: “How often do I ask about you? Do I constantly praise myself? Do I come across as a know-it-all?”

    Yes, asking these questions could bring some uncomfortable answers. But, considering how serious the Bible is on this subject, would it not be better to be uncomfortable than to face the consequences of pride?

    Plenty more where those came from

    Proverbs has plenty to say about pride and arrogance, to the tune of at least 17 different wise reminders. The few mentioned here, however, provide the overall gist of the matter: Pride and arrogance are serious character flaws that will unnecessarily isolate us from other people and ultimately lead to our undoing.   When that lure comes looking for us, remember there’s a proverb for that” 


    For more insight into pride and how to fight it, read “Overcoming Dangerous Emotions: Pride” and “3 Ways Pride May Be Infecting Your Life.” 
    Read the next blog post in this series: There’s a Proverb for That: “We Are the 99 Percent”


    What Is a Human Being?

    “Are humans just the highest species on the food chain—the product of blind chance? Or is there a real purpose for our existence—an incredible human potential?

    What is a human being?

    Why do humans, of all physical living things, have the intellect, curiosity and self-awareness to study ourselves?

    Many seem to believe that humans are simply the most developed species in the animal kingdom. Most also assume that human beings, like the animals around them, are products of a long evolutionary process.

    But is man an animal? Did he evolve, perhaps from primordial slime? Or from microscopic particles on a piece of rock hurled to earth from some far-away planet?

    Only the Bible contains the true and complete answers to the origin of man.

    Are human beings unique?

    What is a human being really? Why do we alone among all physical living things possess the intellect to study ourselves? Why do we have unique abilities to think, plan and carry out plans? Why do we not follow the patterns in the animal world of repeated predictable behaviors?

    Human beings clearly are not limited to the mindless repetition of animal behaviors or the lifestyle of ancestors passed down through hundreds of generations with almost no change. Man is a thinking, creative being.

    The animal kingdom

    No matter where you live, you are probably familiar with birds, so let’s take a quick look at them. Birds build nests the same way their parents did. They tend their young the same way their parents did. Those that migrate fly the same, often remarkable, distances to winter in foreign lands—the same places previous generations have always wintered.

    <p>We don't find birds seeking to design new, different kinds of nests.</p>

    We don't find birds seeking to design new, different kinds of nests.

    We don’t find birds seeking architects or decorators to design and build them a new, different kind of nest. They don’t consult travel agents to find a better vacation spot.

    Mammals are much the same. They live a life characterized by routine behavior and little variety within a species. Even though they can be taught simple responses through repetitious training, they do not think as a human being does.”     

    Continued at:


    Not Merely Outward

    An Amazing Fact: “Before the 1930s, diamonds were rarely given as engagement rings.

    Egyptians worshiped the circle as a symbol of eternity. They plaited rings out of reeds and gifted them to symbolize everlasting love. They wore them on the third finger of their left hands because they believed the vein of that finger traveled directly from the heart. The Greeks learned this tradition from Egypt, passing it to Rome and beyond. But it wasn’t until a diamond cartel coined the best advertising slogan of the 20th century for the hardest substance in nature, convincing us that “a diamond is forever.”

    In the Bible, a king’s ring symbolized his authority. Rings were given to trusted servants (Genesis 41:41, 42), to potential mates (Genesis 24:22), and in celebration (Luke 15:22). Like today, jewelry and fine clothing were also used simply for beauty (Ezekiel 16:11–14). Of what purpose are the gems and bright colors God created except to lend beauty? We express ourselves through our wardrobes, homes, and landscapes. But self-expression goes awry when we rely on clothing, hairdos, houses, cars, gardens, and gadgets for our value (Ezekiel 16:15).

    Swinging the pendulum in the other direction, Puritanism shunned the use of superfluities like jewels, color, and modern technology. But Peter’s balanced approach, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward” (1 Peter 3:3), ensures that the beauty of your character matches—or exceeds!—that of your person or possessions.

    In Haggai, God promises His people a ring as a sign of being chosen (Haggai 2:23). But even better, God adorns us with the “garments of salvation” and the “robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10). It’s okay to surround yourself with beauty, but don’t let it replace the beauty of salvation.    

    But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. Job 28:12-18



    If I don’t write it down, I have trouble remembering what we did each day, I just know that we, my helper and I, stay busy each morning.  Then I am busy working my job in the afternoons.

    There is now an outlet in the back wall of the upper cabinet for the toaster oven and microwave, and the under-cabinet lights are installed with a regular wall switch.  The switches on those lights are difficult to find sometimes when you are in a hurry, and often you have to bend down to find them.   Having them on a wall switch makes it easier.

    Another old wooden shelf unit was torn apart and the lumber is being cut, painted and used for the kitchen shelves.  

    Out in the carport, Hans has been sanding the big shelf unit that will go on the back wall of the bedroom, and we need to bring it inside when there are strong folk around.  Then it can have a final sanding, stain and poly.  Just a few more studs added to the wall between the living room and bedroom, and the wall will be built enough that maybe the bedroom carpet can be installed.  Once that is in, that big shelf unit can be put in place.

    A phone box has been wired into the bathroom, so that a phone is available in emergencies.  Oh, don’t think “I take my cell into the bathroom for emergencies”.  Usually, a cell phone does not tell 911 where you are, and if you can’t speak you are are often anonymous.  A land line shows them immediately.

    We spent many hours (at least three) fixing my old table saw, but finally found a way to make it stay together.  We need it for many things still to be done around here.

    The van has been acting up, like it is misfiring.  AutoZone’s computer says it needs a tune-up, so I will have to sell some more stuff to pay for that.

    Now I have 4 little foster kittens that I rescued from a street corner. They are eating on their own, but not doing as well as I would like.  They have had their flea prevention, de-worming and first shots, and after their second shots they can go to be neutered as long as they are free from FIV and Felv. and are at least 2 lb.  They are so cute. One tuxedo, one siamese and two calicos.

    Having been given a lot of cucumbers, I found a Julia Childs’ recipe for Baked Cucumbers and Chicken for the Sabbath church potluck.  Also, I took Buttered Carrots.  There was also brisket, cornbread chili pie, butter beans, green bean casserole and several other dishes.

    The Bible readings were Num. 30:2-32:42, Jere. 1:1-2:2, and Matt. 5:33-37, and the Teaching was about The Difference between the Gospels and Revelation.

    As the big heavy shelves were out of it, it was a lot lighter than we thought, so we brought the big shelf unit inside, and Hans finished sanding the ornamental trim around the top yesterday.

    Sunday, August 6, 2017

    Avoid Repetitious Prayer. How to Pray. Prayer From the Heart. Jericho: Archaeological Findings. Update:

    For “Scripture Sunday”:

    How to Avoid Repetitious Prayer

    “Jesus cautioned against praying “vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7). Do you find it difficult to avoid repeating the same words in your daily prayers?

    Here is one idea for avoiding repetitious prayers. (Click here to download PDF.)

    This is a simple, but highly effective way to avoid that frustrating experience. Emphasize a different main subject on each day of the week.

    How to Avoid Repetitious Prayer


    Early in His ministry, Jesus gave His disciples a model prayer so that they would know how to talk with the Father. It is part of the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 6:5-15).

    “The Lord’s Prayer” was a teaching tool

    Jesus did not want His disciples simply to recite what He told them. Obviously, the disciples would have done that, if that was all there was to praying! They perceived there was more to it by seeing Jesus’ example over the years, and they asked for additional guidance.

    “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1).

    Seeing Jesus’ example prompted one disciple to ask Jesus (on behalf of them all) to review His instructions. Luke records Christ’s answer in Luke 11:2-4.

    This has inappropriately come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer,” instead of “the Lord’s model for praying.” Jesus said, In this manner, therefore, pray” (Matthew 6:9, emphasis added throughout).

    Christians still struggle with prayer today

    In prefacing His instructions about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave this challenging counsel: “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 6:7).

    What is challenging about that? Don’t just recite Jesus’ model prayer, the prayers written by other people or the prayers written by churches for their followers. Pray original prayers.” 

    Continued at:


    How to Pray

    “It is universally understood that Christians should pray.  But what should we say to God? Do we know how to pray? How does God want us to pray?

    Jesus said we should ask our Father for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done—which includes praying for the work of His Church to be done. We are also told to ask for our daily needs, for forgiveness and for deliverance from “the evil one” (Satan).

    How to Pray

    When we wonder about prayer, it should be reassuring to know that even a disciple of Jesus asked Him for instructions about how to pray.

    “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1).

    Simply stated, prayer is our means of communicating with God. As with any personal relationship, interaction with God matures as we spend more time with Him.

    As the Lord’s disciple indicated, prayer is something that does not come naturally to us—it is something that needs to be taught. The inspired Word of God provides the answers to some frequently asked questions about how to pray.

    To whom should we pray?

    Elijah and others in the Old Testament prayed to God. The apostle Paul made references to praying to God in both of the epistles he wrote to the Christians living in the pagan city of Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:13 and 2 Corinthians 13:7).

    Jesus taught His disciples to pray to “our Father” (Matthew 6:6). Jesus Himself told the gang that arrested Him in the Garden of Gethsemane that He could pray to His Father right then and be rescued (Matthew 26:53).

    After His resurrection, Jesus told Mary Magdalene not to cling to Him because He had not yet ascended to heaven. He told her to tell the others that He was ascending to “My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” (John 20:17).

    Continued at:


    Prayer From the Heart

    “The Bible gives many examples of what is most important to God when we come to Him in prayer. He wants us to pray from the heart. How do we do that?

    Prayer From the Heart

    Man was created to need God. But mankind today in general has not known the true God and His revealed way of living. Man has generally failed, leading to all of the evils and suffering we see around us.

    Even those who have tried to live as close to God as they could have done so imperfectly. Yet even if imperfect, the benefits of a relationship with God far exceed anything offered by this world.


    To have a relationship with God, we have to keep in constant communication with Him through prayer.

    The Bible is full of examples of the people of God talking with Him. For example, many of the psalms were actually prayers, and many of those were by David, the great king of Israel. (Consider Psalms 3, 4 and 5, to mention just a few).

    There are many types of prayer mentioned in the Bible, but one common factor in prayers that helped build a relationship with God is that these effective prayers were heartfelt.

    The Bible records many examples of prayer from the heart. First, let’s look at one prayed by Hezekiah, king of Judah, in the Old Testament.

    Hezekiah’s heartfelt prayer

    The first prayer we will examine is found in 2 Kings 20:1-3. When the prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah that he would die, Hezekiah reacted to the message with a supplication found in verse 3. Hezekiah reminded God of his efforts to walk before Him with a loyal heart. It seems he might have wanted to say more to God, but emotion overcame him and he broke down in tears and cried bitterly.”

    Continued at:



    An Amazing Fact: “Archaeological findings in the Middle East sometimes reveal surprising evidence linked to biblical accounts. The ruins of the ancient city of Jericho contain collapsed brick walls, including a small section of wall still standing, which might reflect the story of Rahab!

    In the 1950s, archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon conducted extensive exploration and research in the ruins of the ancient city of Jericho. She concluded that the city contained no evidence of the destruction recalled in the book of Joshua. But later researchers reexamined her work and found that her dating was incorrect. When the correct dates were applied to the findings, collapsed brick walls were found surrounding the city exactly as we would expect.

    And what about the story of Rahab? The book of Joshua records that Rahab’s home and family were saved from destruction when she followed the instructions of the Israelite spies and hung a scarlet cord from her window. Interestingly, a short stretch of the city’s mud brick wall was left standing with houses positioned against it. This portion of the wall was even on the north side of the city, a short distance from the hills to which the spies escaped.

    In today’s skeptical world, it can be easy to doubt the words of Scripture in the face of cynicism and doubt. But God’s Word stands true. Increasingly, the stories of the Bible have been linked with archaeological evidence, revealing that these passages are far more than stories and legends. We can trust that God Himself has spoken to us through His Word. His message for us, from stories of instruction to words of comfort and hope, has been preserved for thousands of years.”  

    And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. Joshua 6:5



    Cabinet-rebuildAfter lowering several of the mini-house upper kitchen cabinets, we have been adding shelves above them at the same height as the tops of the cabinets that could not be lowered, to keep continuity in the kitchen design.  On the big upper cabinet on the back wall where we had to cut the doors to accomdate the microwave and toaster oven, we just raised the doors to the top of the shelf above, and made it look like part of the cabinet. 

    We did the same thing to the cabinet above the range hood.  Some of the shelves, we will just make doors to match the others.  I wish that I had caught the guy who was installing the porthole windows when he had his own ideas and raised them.  That is what made all the upper cabinets the wrong height, as the porthole was too high.  We actually found my original mark on the outside wall, where the first porthole was supposed to be.

    DSCF1649-001We also added some permanent and temporary shelves under the deep window sills on the back wall of the bedroom, so that we can house some of the items that we use every day while the building is ongoing. Mostly different sizes of screws, nails and caulk on this one, so far.  Hans is still sanding on the great big 6’ tall, 17” deep, 40” wide shelf unit that will be going in between those window sills.  We should be bringing it in from the carport any day soon.  Then we will stain and polyurethane it and all the shelves and all the window sills.

    Jay, my neighbor’s son, said his cold was too bad to go to church, so I went on my own again.  Not many in attendance this week because of one thing or another.  It was so cold in the chapel that my sinuses acted up, my head stopped up, and even when I donned a cardigan and a jacket, I was still cold.  I have never been able to find a place in there where the AC isn’t blowing artic air on me.  They could hang meat in there.  Why do people want it blowing on them that cold? The light company says that the economical AC temperature is 78F, so that is where I keep mine at home.  Each degree below that equals at least $10 a month, and I am on a strict budget.

    This time I didn’t know what to take for the church potluck, and I had to make it on Thursday as I would be taking my neighbor to the doctor on the Friday afternoon.  That’s my usual “Preparation Day” when I cook for the potluck, wash my hair, choose and lay out my clothes, purse, shoes, all getting ready for the Sabbath. That gives me more time on Saturday, before church, to talk to my daughter on the phone.  So I cooked some organic boneless chicken thighs, added some already cooked organic potatoes, carrots, spices and called it Chicken Stew. 

    I had intended to buy some 2 x 4’s for building the wall between the living room and bedroom in the mini-house when I was taking Zach to the doctor in Conroe.  Then Friday midday he comes here and calls them to postpone his appointment as he doesn’t feel well.  So that plan was dashed, as I won’t make a special trip to Conroe for just one thing, especially on a Friday.  So as Roy had spilled food and drink splotches on my carpet, Roy shampooed it so that it would be clean for the Sabbath.

    The Bible readings were Num. 25:10-30:1, 1 Kings 18:36-19:21, and Rom. 11:2-32, and the Teaching was about Giving Thanks, Praise and Acknowledging the Wisdom of The Lord.

    DSCF1652-001My crockpot of Chicken Stew was well received, as was my other crockpot of Rutabagas.  We also had some chicken patties, Chili Pie, pinto beans, broccoli, several salads, including green, potato, pea and cole slaw.  Pies, fruit and cookies were there for dessert.

    Jay wanted to work, and Roy didn’t, so Jay and I put the new white canvas cover over the frame of the motorhome RVport today.