Sunday, December 30, 2018

Jesus’ Childhood. Patterns of Behavior. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Jesus’ Childhood

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

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

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

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

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

An exceptional Child

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

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

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

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

Jesus’ family life

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

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

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

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

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

Found in the temple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spiritual understanding

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

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

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

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

Why did Luke record this event?

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

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

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

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



 Patterns of Behavior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We can make the BEST a part of our daily lives. One danger we face is expecting a reward or sign of appreciation. Do the right thing and walk on by without seeking payment. It takes courage and wisdom, but the greatest action we can take is love.” From:



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Christmas Celebration to Remember. Thanksgiving, Purim and Hanukkah. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

A Christmas Celebration to Remember

“When I was a child, I celebrated Christmas and believed in Santa Claus. I have long since stopped keeping Christmas. Here’s why.

A Christmas Celebration to RememberIt was the first Christmas celebration I can remember. I was 5 years old and filled with anticipation and excitement—Santa Claus was coming to our home and bringing presents for our family, including my brother and me.

Waiting for Santa
Our family was living in a remote region on the east coast of South Africa. Dec. 25 finally arrived, and we were informed that Santa was making a special trip to personally deliver our presents. You can imagine our excitement. As darkness descended, our family gathered together in the lounge for this special event. We were told that Santa would emerge through the lounge door, not the chimney.

My father finally announced that Santa was about to arrive and that he was going outside to meet him. We distinctly heard the roar of an engine. It was Santa arriving! I waited with bated breath, my eyes firmly fixed on the lounge door. Then I heard the plodding of steps. Slowly the door opened, and there he stood — Santa Claus.

Santa opened the large sack he had slung over his shoulder and proceeded to hand out gifts to everyone. He handed me the exact fluffy dog I had asked for — this remarkable individual actually knew what I wanted for Christmas!

After handing out the gifts, he announced that he still had other families to visit, and with a final “ho, ho,” he disappeared through the door. A minute later there was the sound of an engine starting up, and Santa was on his merry way. How he was able to visit everyone in one night was beyond my reasoning ability. I was so enamored by my fluffy dog that I barely noticed my father returning afterward to join the family.

A surprising discovery

A few years later my mother asked me to fetch some items from our attic. While there, I noticed a cardboard box tucked away in the corner. My curiosity was aroused, and I slowly opened the lid and peered inside. To my utter amazement, it contained the garments, and even the beard, Santa wore that evening!

Astounded, I approached my visiting grandmother with my discovery. She then spilled the beans!

The individual I had met was not Santa, but my father disguised in Santa attire. My grandma informed me that there was no such person called Santa — but she assured me that the intentions of my parents were honorable and that, more important, it was a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a time for families to spend together.

Does the Bible have anything to say about the celebration of Christmas and the involvement of the fictitious figure of Santa Claus? 

The problem with Christmas

Before we proceed, carefully consider these important questions.

Are the opinions of people more important than what God says? Should we follow our own opinions and feelings, or should we follow the teachings of God’s Word? A good starting point is Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Keep that scripture in mind as you read the rest of this blog post.”      Continued at:


This was borrowed from my son, Peter Blue’s FB page


Thanksgiving, Purim and Hanukkah

“Since so many holidays have pagan origins, some have wondered, is there anything wrong with national holidays like Thanksgiving, Purim and Hanukkah?


Since so many religious holidays have pagan roots, some have wondered if all modern holidays are suspect. What about national holidays such as Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada, and the Jewish national holidays of Purim and Hanukkah?

Purim and Hanukkah mentioned in the Bible

Though Purim and Hanukkah are not commanded feasts of the Lord, they are mentioned in the Bible. The book of Esther describes the events that led to the establishment of the festival of Purim, as God saved the Jews from destruction by evil Haman. Hanukkah was also called the Feast of Dedication, mentioned in John 10:22-23. It celebrates the rededication of the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes.

Days for giving thanks

Both of these holidays were established to give thanks to God, just as the American and Canadian Thanksgiving days are. Though some modern customs of these days may not be pleasing to God, they are not rooted in paganism and do not subvert any of the truths presented in the festivals of God.”    From: https://lifehopeandtruth.con-of-salvation/holy-days-vs-holidays/thanksgiving/



Jay and I installed the gray carpet in the mini-house living room.  I chose gray so that it would match the gray marble linoleum that is in the adjacent kitchen and bathroom.

My friend and her husband broDSCF2321-001ught over the matching loveseat, ottoman and area rug that they had been storing for me, and here it is:

DSCF2308-001It matches the couch which is in the main house.  At least we have somewhere comfy to sit now.

DSCF2319-001Zack and I fixed a louvered door which is going to be installed like a little hallway wall by the bathroom door in the mini-house.  Then we took my old mechanical “clicky” keyboard apart to clean it.  I am gradually getting it back together. Using a spare “non-clicky” one for now.  It just isn’t the same, because I learned to type on a very old mechanical typewriter when I was nine years old.

I bought a stack washer/dryer set, and had 24 hours to try it out.  We hooked it up in my garage, and the washer part worked ok, but the dryer really had something wrong with it, so I took it back.  My van is so big it can haul just about anything. This prompted a deep cleaning in the area of my garage where my washer and dryer had to be put back.  

Next time you can, unhook your dryer and get all the lint out of the back of it and the vent !!  It can be a serious fire hazard.  I am glad buying the W/D set brought this to my attention, time could have plodded along and no thought ever been given to cleaning it, until it was too late.

For the church potluck I took organic chicken, rice and veggies.  The pastor and his wife were over their colds and able to come this week, but there was a very small crowd, but at least, Jay went with me. He is really trying to stay off the beer and work here a little bit.  There are so many things that Zack doesn’t know how to do, whereas Jay and I have been working on stuff for over 20 years.  He started working here in 1994, way back when my Johnnie was still alive.

The Bible readings were Gen. 32:4-33:20, Ob. 1:1-15 and James1:1-12, and the teaching was about the difference between Hanukkah and Christmas.  Both have lights and rejoicing.

Two of my friends have switched to ‘smart phones’ and can’t do a thing with them. It’s difficult to teach old dogs new tricks, but I guess I will have to get one too, some day.