Sunday, March 31, 2019

Mardi Gras: Should It Be on the Christian Calendar? Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Mardi Gras: Should It Be on the Christian Calendar?

“Mardi Gras is marked by wild parades and raucous parties in places like New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro. So in what way is it connected to Christianity?

Mardi Gras-Should It Be on the Christian Calendar

How much do you know about all the various holidays and celebrations throughout the year? If you study into them, you’ll find a lot of them have religious roots in the ancient pagan world and several more have a circuitous connection to paganism.

What about Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is considered to be the culmination of a festive season leading up to Lent (another custom not taught in the Bible but recognized by even more churches). Mardi Gras is purposely designed to commemorate frivolity, carousing and sin, but is considered in many quarters to be part of the Christian calendar.

History of Mardi Gras and its pagan roots

Most historians believe Mardi Gras was brought to the Americas by the French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville in 1699, but the origins of Mardi Gras go back much farther. According to, the day was celebrated in some fashion from ancient times:

“According to historians, Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.”

So we begin to see that this raucous celebration has its rudimentary foundation in the pagan world of old.

What is Carnival?

Literally, Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” which is celebrated to signify the last day of eating meat and, on a larger scale, of partaking of life’s joviality prior to Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday begins the Lent season, which ostensibly leads to what is known as Holy Week, culminating in Good Friday and then Easter Sunday.

Mardi Gras is closely related to the celebration of Carnival. The All Ah We website  has this to say about the origins of Carnival:

“Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, the followers of the Catholic religion in Italy started the tradition of holding a wild costume festival right before the first day of Lent. Because Catholics are not supposed to eat meat during Lent, they called their festival, carnevale—which means ‘to put away the meat.’ As time passed, carnivals in Italy became quite famous; and in fact the practice spread to France, Spain, and all the Catholic countries in Europe. Then as the French, Spanish, and Portuguese began to take control of the Americas and other parts of the world, they brought with them their tradition of celebrating carnival.”

If one were to do a simple word search in an online Bible search engine, typing in “revelry” or “carouse”—two words frequently used in correlation to Mardi Gras—you would pull up quite a number of scriptures telling us not to conduct ourselves in such a manner.To the average person celebrating Mardi Gras, such disorderliness may appear not only harmless but quite enticing.

What does God say?

What does God have to say about such matters, or does He even care what Christians do in celebrations? Notice just a few scriptures to guide us in the direction of God’s thinking.

The Bible instructs us in Deuteronomy 12:29-31 and 18:9-14 not to adopt practices steeped in paganism. God means what He says. Even celebrations that remotely reflect some of the ancient practices are geared toward lowering a person’s inhibitions and toward increasing acceptance of immorality.

Earlier we noted that Mardi Gras was linked to the Roman celebration Lupercalia. An Internet search quickly ties the god Lupercus back to Tammuz (and eventually Nimrod). In discussing false worship, the Bible calls the sight of women weeping for Tammuz an abomination. Please take note of what the Scriptures reveal about God’s anger about Tammuz celebrations in Ezekiel 8:13-18.

In the New Testament, Christ set a ground rule for worshipping God in a righteous way in John 4:22-24. If one were to do a simple word search in an online Bible search engine, typing in “revelry” or “carouse”—two words frequently used in correlation to Mardi Gras—you would pull up quite a number of scriptures telling us not to conduct ourselves in such a manner. The apostle Peter gives one such powerful observation in 2 Peter 2:13-15 where we read of God’s condemnation of those who find pleasure in carousing in daytime and have “eyes full of adultery.”

God wants us to hate sin, put it away and truly repent. Mardi Gras promotes an enjoy-sin-now, repent-later attitude that is the opposite of true repentance.

God wants Christians to worship Him. He wants us to celebrate, but He wants us to do it correctly—the way He has instructed us to. We are to be joyous and festive on religious days, but we are to do it on days He has designated.

To learn more about the festivals taught by the Bible that address sin and repentance and occur during the time of Christ’s death and resurrection, see our articles on Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As the apostle Paul said, “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:8).

You can learn more in the section “Holy Days vs. Holidays.”


Does it Matter Which Holidays You Celebrate? 


This week was more raking, burning and mowing again, just the joys of ownership!

A German friend knew that I was looking for a twin size sleeper sofa, (Hide-A-Bed), and brought one to me from an estate sale, so I had to pay for it   He kept on saying that it was 3 feet wide, when I asked him on the phone. The trouble was that it wasn’t a twin size, it was a full size.  He had wide and deep mixed up!  So it is too wide for the mini-house, just no room for anything else, so I have had to list it for sale.  I have had twin size ones before, but lost one in the house fire and another in the flood of 1994. 

Last week at the church potluck the Cheesy Bok Choy went down so well that I made some more this week and it disappeared, too.  Also I made a Chicken Sausage Impossible Pie, which disappeared pronto, too.  My expensive digital Breville toaster oven had died, so I had to crank up my big old convection wall oven, and I think it cooked it better. As for digital things, they seem to break down faster than the good old dial kind.  

I also made a Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper Salad both organic and peeled, so not to cause indigestion.  Other people had brought different salads, so they didn’t all get eaten up, so I was able to bring some home for myself. 

The Bible readings were Psa. 92, Eph. 3:14-19, Exo. 6:2-7:13, Exe. 28:25-29:21, Acts 7:17-22 , and all of Matt. 12. The Teaching was about “The Afflictions of The Righteous”.  One was Paul and he went through a lot.  Keep on walking in a way to be called His people.

We thought winter was over, but while we were eating our Sabbath potluck, it started out warm and then turned into a cold windy day.

Monday, March 25, 2019

What Are Ash Wednesday and Lent? Where Is Lent in the Bible? Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

What Are Ash Wednesday and Lent? Does the Bible Tell Us to Celebrate These Days?

“After Mardi Gras comes Ash Wednesday and 40 days of Lent. Did the early New Testament Church observe these days?

A block letter sign that spells out the word "Lent".Enterline Design Services LLC/iStock/Thinkstock

“The Bible does teach the importance of fasting and self-examination, but it does not teach a 40-day period called Lent or an Ash Wednesday of putting ashes on the forehead.

The Bible does not mention Ash Wednesday or Lent, and the early New Testament Church did not observe these days. Here is how the BBC Religion page describes Ash Wednesday and Lent:

“Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent for Western Christian churches. It’s a day of penitence to clean the soul before the Lent fast.

“Roman Catholic, Anglican, and some other churches hold special services at which worshippers are marked with ashes as a symbol of death and sorrow for sin…

“The Christian churches that observe Lent in the 21st century (and not all do significantly) use it as a time for prayer and penance. Only a small number of people today fast for the whole of Lent, although some maintain the practice on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. It is more common these days for believers to surrender a particular vice such as favourite foods or smoking” (BBC ).

Lent is counted differently by those of the Western Catholic tradition and those of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. “ The western church excludes Sundays (which is celebrated as the day of Christ’s resurrection) whereas the eastern church includes them. The churches also start Lent on different days. Western churches start Lent on the 7th Wednesday before Easter Day (called Ash Wednesday). Eastern churches start Lent on the Monday of the 7th week before Easter and end it on the Friday 9 days before Easter. Eastern churches call this period the ‘Great Lent ‘” (BBC ).

Various biblical events and customs are referred to by those who celebrate these days. The Bible mentions people mourning in sackcloth and ashes. The Bible also talks about repentance and fasting, and the number 40 is prominent in various biblical events.

“The justification for the Lenten 40-day preparation for Easter is traditionally based on Jesus’ 40-day wilderness fast before His temptation by Satan ( Harper’s Bible Dictionary, ‘Lent’; Matthew 4:1-2; Mark 1:13). The problem with this explanation is that this incident is not connected in any way with Jesus’ supposed observance of Easter. The 40-day pre-Easter practice of fasting and penance did not originate in the Bible” (The Good Friday—Easter Sunday Question ).

Some have suggested that Lent may be connected to earlier, pagan holidays. In Ezekiel 8:14, the prophet in vision saw women weeping for the pagan god Tammuz. “It has been suggested by some scholars that the practice of ‘weeping for Tammuz’ was the actual origin of Lent, the Roman Catholic 40-day period of abstinence prior to Easter (starting after Mardi Gras, ‘Fat Tuesday,’ on Ash Wednesday). Consider that the name Easter itself is derived from Ishtar, the ancient Babylonian fertility goddess and Tammuz’s mother”. (See the Bible commentary on Ezekiel 8 for details. )

The Bible does teach the importance of fasting and self-examination, but it does not teach a 40-day period called Lent or an Ash Wednesday of putting ashes on the forehead. These customs appear to have pagan origins, and are not practiced by the United Church of God. We seek to follow the customs and practices of the early New Testament Church as described in the Bible. For more on the biblical religious festivals, such as the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the spring, see God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind .”     



Where Is Lent in the Bible?

The Bible shows the truth behind popular customs like Lent.

Transcript of YouTube:

[Steve Myers] Christianity has now entered the Lenten season. Mardi Gras is passed, Fat Tuesday into Ash Wednesday, and now the Lenten season is recognized by much of the Christian world. But when you check out what your Bible has to say about Lent, you’re not gonna find anything. It’s a man-made tradition, and when you recognize what God thinks about counterfeiting his way, it’s a very serious thing.

There is a powerful passage in the book of Colossians, Colossians 3:23. This is what God inspired Paul to write. “These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” You see the problem with false Christianity, made up Christianity, false traditions, they do a disservice to God and dishonor him. And when you really check out the basis for these practices, you’ll find them rooted in false beliefs, paganism.

I hope you’ll take some time to check it out. If you’ll search on our website, just type in the words “Lent,” and you’ll find a number of articles where you can get into the details of how Lent is an imposter, how it is fake, how is it a counterfeit to what the true God wants us to observe. So check it out, I think you’ll be surprised by what you find.” From:


Well, finally the van is inspected.  I had been putting it off since the fiasco of last year with a new ignition switch, oxygen sensor, catalytic converter and electrical ground problems that had cost so much.  At least the engine light didn’t come on this year.

Just been a week of more raking pine needles, pine cones and burning them.  Some of each house, the main house and the mini-guest-house, were pressure washed to get the green algae off the north sides.  We also de-winterized the house, and took all my pots of aloe out of the green house and put them outside.  We haven’t uncovered the outside rows of aloe yet, just haven’t had time.

Even though I had hurt my tailbone, I still went to the YMCA and did the yoga and senior exercises.

Oreo, my 14 year old little skinny foster cat, is gradually eating and putting on a little weight.  A steady diet of diluted canned cat food twice a day, and little raw chicken liver every other day, has really helped her. Now, she even ventures out onto my screen porch, my “catio”!  She loves it here, and a foster mom who took care of her for a while came to see us.  Oreo stuck close to me, she wanted to stay here.

For the church pot luck I made Cheesy Bok Choy, and it went like hotcakes.  

The Bible readings were Phil. 1:9-11, Exo. 4:18-6:1, Isa. 55:12-56;7-8, Act. 7:35-37, and all of Matt 11.  The Teaching was more about The Messiah Our Advocate.

An electrician came and gave me an estimate for the few things that still need to be done in the mini-house, and he will be here to do it in a few days.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Prophecy: What Lies Ahead for You and Your World? Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Prophecy: What Lies Ahead for You and Your World?
Prophecy: What Lies Ahead for You and Your World?
  • Kingdom of God

    Kingdom of God
    What is the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven? When will it come? Where is it? Why is the message of the Kingdom of God called good news?
  • Revelation

    Can the mysterious book of Revelation—the last book of the Bible—be understood today? What does it mean for your future?
  • Understanding the Book of Daniel

    Understanding the Book of Daniel
    Does the book of Daniel have any significance for us today? Or is it simply a good book for children’s stories like “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”?
  • End times

    End Times
    Where are we in Bible prophecy? Is this age the time of the end? Can people calculate the date of Jesus Christ’s return to this earth?
  • Prophets

    Was Nostradamus a true prophet? How can you tell a true prophet from a false prophet? What does God have to say about true and false prophets?
  • America in Prophecy

    America in Prophecy?
    Many small nations are mentioned in Bible prophecy. Wouldn’t God also address a major world power like the United States of America in prophecy?
  • 12 Tribes of Israel

    12 Tribes of Israel
    What promises did God make to the 12 tribes of Israel? What were His plans and expectations for them? What is the significance of these things today?
  • Middle East

    Middle East
    Bible prophecy is heavily focused on the Middle East. It is destined to be the focal point of end-time conflict—and of the Kingdom of God beyond!



The post for last Sunday was all ready, but it is in my laptop, then a lot of things happened and I couldn’t post it.  So now this quick one, hopefully with a lot of Bible info.  One thing which has really hampered me this week is that I hurt my tail-bone and it hurts to sit down and even worse getting up.  So I didn’t go to the YMCA for the Yoga and Senior exercises. I did a lot of standing this week and cooked a lot of veggies that I had been given, including two great big Bok Choy.

I bought a used fridge for the mini-house, it is 5’ tall but only 24” deep, so it doesn’t overpower the space like the deeper, taller one did.

My new 14 year old foster cat arrived, a full grown skinny bag of bones weighing only 4 lb called “Oreo”.  She has to have thyroid and heart medicine rubbed inside her ears twice a day, and she wouldn’t eat. Her previous foster-mom had been force-feeding her with a syringe (without a needle, of course), and poor little Oreo didn’t like that, and nor did I. 

I wanted to get her eating by herself, so I bought her some KRM (Kitten Replacement Milk, that is for orphan kittens) which she would lap up a bit from time to time.  Gradually, she ate some Greenies, a nutritious cat treat, and then a couple of days later I took her to the vet for her twice monthly thyroid blood test, and they also gave her a B12 shot.  They said that she looked a lot better now as she was allergic to something at her previous place where her nose and sinuses were so messed up that she had to have a humidifier there.  She hasn’t shown any signs of that here. 

Poor little black and white Oreo, had been in a cattery, in a cage, with no home life for 12 years, and my SPCA boss wanted her to know what it was like to be in a loving home, being individually loved, and sleeping on someone’s bed.  That is why I was given the privilege of caring for her.  She is really loving it here, and last night she crawled up on my bed and slept there, purring. Finally, she is eating a little canned food, (Wellness, the best), diluted with water, so I hope when she goes back for her next thyroid check in two weeks, that she will have gained some weight.

As usual, we have been battling the winter scattering of pine needles and pine cones.  I heard that the pine cones will really do a number on a mower blade, so we have been raking and picking them all up before it was mowed.

Then more battling with this desktop which kept suddenly restarting like there had been a power failure, and I was frantic to save my pictures which I thought had gone into Google Drive but they hadn’t.  I need My Pictures to earn money by selling stuff, and if this computer dies, then I need my pictures in my laptop.  Finally, we got them on a thumb drive, so now Maybe I can get them in the laptop. Well, not me, I will have to get my neighbor to help me, as I don’t know how to do that. 

I am just an old great-grandma who all she knew when she was given a computer was how to type so I have had to teach myself how to work it to sell things to help pay the bills.  In the beginning, I knew how to sell stuff on eBay, but didn’t know how to write an email !  So, after a few weeks, I went to the library for them to show me how to do that. 

As I had some stew meat, I made a Beef and Barley Stew with organic veggies for the church potluck. Then there were the usual salads, lasagne, other beef dishes, pies, cookies and fruit.

The Bible readings were Prov. 8:1-17, Exo. 2:23-4:11, Isa. 40:11-19, Acts 10:9-28 and all of Matt 10.  The Teaching wa about The Readiness in The Believer.  About the desire to do something and then the preparation.

It was another ‘no-heat-nor-air-needed’ day.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Answers About The Genesis Flood. Lessons from the NASCAR "Spotter". Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Questions and Answers About the Genesis Flood

“The Genesis Flood is one of the most fascinating accounts in the Bible and also one of the most challenged. This blog post looks at some common questions that are asked about the Bible’s account of a global flood.

Noah’s Flood, as it’s commonly called, is one of the best known stories in the Old Testament. Yet in modern times many question the validity and historicity of Noah and the Flood. Is the Genesis account of the Flood an outlandish myth that could not have really happened?

Let’s look at some of the common questions asked about the Genesis Flood.

Question 1: Was the Flood really a global flood?

The Bible uses very descriptive terminology to describe the magnitude of the Flood. “The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered” (Genesis 7:18-19, emphasis added throughout).

Notice the phrase “all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.” This literally means that the highest peaks around the earth were completely submerged. Remember that water seeks its own level. The only way for the highest mountains to be completely submerged would be a global flood.

In verse 20, we read this added detail: “The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.” Though we don’t know how tall the mountains stood in Noah’s time, the Bible is clear that they were completely covered by water.

Question 2: Is there evidence of the Flood outside of the Bible?

According to the book of Genesis, humanity was reestablished from a single place (the mountains of Ararat in modern Turkey). Genesis 10 describes the repopulation of the earth from that area by the offspring of Noah’s three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Since the post-Flood civilizations sprang from this common source, then you would expect that stories of the Flood would spread with them. The farther they got in time and distance from Noah, the more we would expect the details to morph and change. This is exactly what happened! Stories about a flood that destroyed mankind are found in many civilizations, from the Sumerians to Native Americans.

Since the post-Flood civilizations sprang from this common source, then you would expect that stories of the Flood would spread with them.Many doubt the accuracy of this story because of geologic dating methods. This topic is complicated and beyond the scope of this blog post, but I recommend you read the article “Geologic Dating Methods: Are They Always Accurate?” In short, modern scientific dating methods have often been shown to be incorrect.

Consider this: A high percentage of the rocks near the earth’s surface are sedimentary, which means they were formed through the solidification of sediment, usually deposited by water. This is exactly what we would expect if the earth was covered by water for a period of time. During and after the Flood, there would have been a massive movement of water, causing erosion and sedimentary rocks. In fact, many sedimentary rocks include fossils in them, which we would expect from a rapid burial in sediment due to a sudden flood.

Question 3: How did Noah get all those animals on the ark?

Skeptics have claimed it would have been impossible to fit all species of animals found on earth today inside the ark. But there are some things to consider.

Remember that Genesis says God created different “kinds” of animals (Genesis 1:11-12). Many of those “kinds” of animals have become varied as they reproduced and adapted to the different climates of the earth. But not all of today’s thousands of different species would have had to have been placed on the ark.

For example, there are many species of cats today, but it seems only one pair of cats would have had to have been saved on the ark. The variety of cats we have today would have descended from this one pair. To learn more about the animals taken on the ark, read “Clean and Unclean Animals on the Ark.”

Feeding this large group of animals would have been a challenge, but not impossible. Today there are many examples of animals that hibernate in the winter. Remember, the Flood was a supernatural event brought about by God Himself because of mankind’s evil. God could have caused many of the animals to simply hibernate through the Flood, which would mean they wouldn’t have needed to be fed every day. Many dangerous animals (such as snakes and bears) hibernate, which would also have kept those on the ark safer.

But regardless of the exact number or whether or not some went into hibernation, note this important point: The ark that Noah built was huge!

Feeding this large group of animals would have been a challenge, but not impossible.In Genesis 6:15 God gave specific instructions for the dimensions of the ark (in cubits). Most scholars believe the ancient cubit was roughly equivalent to 18 inches. That would make the general dimensions of the ark 450 feet in length, 75 feet in width and 45 feet in height. It also had three decks. There was a lot of space for the animals, and God could have also brought younger animals to the ark, thus taking up less space.

God was very strategic in His instructions to build this huge barge, so it’s probable that the selection of the animals to fit within the ark was just as strategic!

Question 4: How did Noah gather all the animals of the world?
Continued at:


Lessons from the NASCAR "Spotter"

“Daytona 500 recently kicked off the season. What can be learned from the crucial role of the spotter?

Transcript of YouTube:

[Steve Myers] “The NASCAR season has begun. Daytona 500 recently happened. And now, we are off and running. In fact, it is interesting, when you look at NASCAR and the millions of people that love NASCAR. There are some intricate things about the races that occur that really have drawn my attention into the idea of racing. And one of those things is not just this crew that works on the cars during the race. There is an important member of the crew that isn’t in the pit with them. It’s known as the spotter.

The NASCAR spotter actually overlooks the race. And what they do is they watch for challenges, difficulties, maybe a little smoke coming out of that engine, maybe the tires that might be having problems. They stay in constant communication with the crew in order to help that driver do the very best that he can in order to finish that race in pole position, number one.

And so this spotter is so critical to the success of the racer. And if you begin to think about that in a spiritual sense, we have a spiritual spotter who wants us to do the best in this spiritual race that we’ve been called to. In Psalm 121, it speaks to this idea of God being our spotter. It says, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help.”

You know, God is looking down on our life and He wants to help us. He wants to stay in touch with us and communicate with us. The question is, will we listen to His direction, His guidance, like the NASCARs listen to their spotters?

He goes on in Psalm 121, “The Lord is your keeper,” verse 5, “The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun won’t strike you by day, nor the moon by night.”  Because we’ve got a God who cares about us, who loves us and wants the very, very best for us.

And so like the spotter in that race, we have God’s direction. We have His guidance. But, of course, we’ve got to listen to Him. We’ve got to stay in constant communication with Him.

Psalm 121 ends like this, “The Lord shall preserve your going in and your coming out.” And so as we look at Him like that race, like that spotter, our loving God cares for us. And so let’s make every commitment in our lives to listen to Him, to stay close to Him, to watch for His guidance in our life.

And like that spotter in the NASCAR races, our spiritual spotter will lead us and will guide us as we submit our lives to Him.”



The really cold weather (to us Texans) has surely put a damper on any outside activities.  I had acquired some 24” tall metal garden border fencing, so Zack and I tried to stick it in the ground outside my hedge so that people couldn’t walk into my back yard from the main road behind me.  I will be so glad when the subdivision replaces the fence.  Even wearing two pairs of gloves, it was so cold that we had to quit.  He did get the mower going and mowed my straggly front yard, but then he had to quit that, too.  Everyone around me seems to have come down with a cold, except me. 

My computer keeps on acting up and shutting down suddenly, so I keep on losing my work. Google Photos and also Google Drive are leaving us, so I have been in a panic about getting my pictures into a cloud so that I can access them from anywhere before this computer breaks down.   One of the used flat screen TV’s that I just bought suddenly got that “Black Screen of Death”, so  I am very vary of all this new trechnology now. 

I thought My Picture were going into Google drive, but they weren’t.  I tried putting them on an external drive, but my old, sick computer wouldn’t recognize it nor a flash drive.  I was so upset that I spent most of my time this week trying how to figure out how not to lose all My Pictures as I have several hundreds of photos of the things I have for sale listed in there.  I had to find a way to get to My Pictures from my laptop.  Finally, I got them in DropBox, so I hope that I can access them now.  

I made Cincinnati Chili for the Sabbath potluck.  It has lots of seasoning in it, including chocolate, and is served over spaghetti pasta.  Now that was a hit!  Other dishes were BBQ and lasagne.  All beef dishes this week!

The Bible verses were Exo. 1-2:22, Isa. 27:6-13, Heb. 11:23 and all of Mat. 9.  It was the pastor’s turn to give the Teaching and it was more on “The Messiah, Our Advocate” , this time on Righteousness. It was a warmer day, so now they were running the air conditioning in the church.  Back to wearing a coat for me!

 The weather is finally decent for several days.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Get Up! What Is "Armageddon"? Key to Happiness. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Get Up!

“We have all experienced a fall from time to time.

Don’t get discouraged, the failure is not in the initial fall—failure is in not getting back up!

Babies learn to walk by falling until the sense of balance develops. But they would never walk at all if they did not get up after they fell. The Bible tells us the righteous man falls seven times (Proverbs 24:16). That informs us that he has gotten up again and again. We learn about this lesson, but we sometimes fail to apply it to ourselves when we fall. We often are mired in bemoaning the fall rather planning to get up
Mary Pickford was a writer who wrote, “There is always another chance.” This thing that we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down. Sometimes we feel that our fall cannot be repaired—like Humpty Dumpty. But our Creator is full of mercy and understanding and waits for us to get up. One example was the terrible sin of King David in his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. But David got up from that fall, was forgiven (though punished) and once again found grace from God (2 Samuel 12:13). Don’t get discouraged, the failure is not in the initial fall—failure is in not getting back up!”  From:

What Is "Armageddon"?

The subject of Armageddon has sparked mystery ever since the apostle John recorded the book of Revelation. Learn the truth about what will happen at Armageddon.

Transcript of YouTube:
[Darris McNeely] “What do you hear when the term Armageddon comes to mind? Is it a final battle between the forces of good and evil that has been portrayed in many different ways? Or perhaps is it even a popular movie by that name a few years ago about an asteroid that was going to hit planet Earth and just blow the earth to pieces? The idea of Armageddon represents something that is a very important lesson for all of us to learn about the Bible, what it does say as opposed to what we think that it might say. In Revelation 16, we have the one place in the Bible where this term Armageddon is mentioned. Let’s read it and get the context and understand what is said here.

The setting is the time of the tribulation and the events leading to the close of the age that are portrayed in the book of Revelation. And beginning in verse 12 of Revelation 16 it talks about an angel pouring out a plague upon the land and the kings of the East being prepared and brought into actually the land of Israel. The land of the Bible as the map here shows. John writes here, “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs going out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet,” figures and an image of Satan, the devil that are mentioned here. “They are the spirits of demons, performing signs which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
So there is a battle, but let’s look at what it says in verse 16 then, “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.” The one place in Scripture, Revelation 16:16, where the term Armageddon is mentioned. Now, closer look at what it says here, and what it really means. It’s pointing us to, not to an event, but actually to a place, and the place is Megiddo, or the mountain of Megiddo, which is actually in the valley of Jezreel, far to the north of Jerusalem, in the land of Israel today. You can go there, you can see it. I’ve actually been there a couple of times. It’s an archaeological site. Tel Megiddo, the place of Megiddo. And it is a place that’s been inhabited for quite a long time. It actually was the topic or the setting for a very famous novel written a number of years ago called ‘The Source’ that told the story of civilization that grew up and lived around in that area. But Megiddo is a place. And the scriptures are saying that armies that are gathered at this time of the end just prior to Christ’s return are gathered in the place of Megiddo. And then what happens as we know from other scriptures, especially in the book of Joel, the third chapter, these armies then move south to Jerusalem, several miles to the south and a little bit to the east. And that is where this final battle takes place in the valley…of the Kidron Valley next…and within Jerusalem at the return of Jesus Christ.

And so the place called Megiddo or Armageddon is actually a place. Not necessarily an event, though there is a battle that does take place between the armies of the earth and Christ at His return.
Now, here’s the point that I think is larger for us to think about today. As I said, Armageddon is a place not an event. Culture, preconceived ideas about what the Bible tells us show sometimes that we may be wrong. Apply this to a lot of other ideas that you might have about Scripture that you’ve either been taught or you think you know from whatever source that has taught you is not always the matching up to be the truth.

Challenge some of the other assumptions, some of the other ideas, some of the other beliefs that you might have about what the Bible really does teach and you’re going to be in for a surprise. This is just one example. But it helps us to understand that the Bible does hold a great deal of understanding and truth for us.”     From:

New Study Reveals a Key to Happiness

Pew Research group recently found that “actively religious” people are happier than those who are not.
Transcript of YouTube:
[Darris McNeely] When was the last time you heard something that really made you happy, something that gave you a great deal of joy? Pew Surveys recently did a survey, and they found that actively religious people are much more likely than those who are less religious to describe themselves as very happy. It was a very interesting poll. They did this in other countries as well, found that people in Japan, it held true there. More faith, greater happiness. In Australia, that was one of the bigger gaps right there to show that more people were happy in a group that were with faith and had faith than those that did not. It’s interesting. Regardless of what one believes, again, you could look to a nation like Japan, that is not a Christian nation, and then one like America, that is predominantly Christian, and this holds true.

And I got to thinking about that. How much more joy, how much greater joy might one have if one really knew the full truth of God and His kingdom and the plan and the purpose of God? There’s a scripture that I think bears this out. It’s in Matthew, chapter 13, talking about the sowing of the seed of the gospel upon different types of ground, the way that it is received by various people. And when it comes to those who receive the Kingdom of God and begin to bear fruit, in verse 20 of Chapter 13 in Matthew, it says, “He who received the seed, which is the seed of the gospel, on stony places, is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.” (Matthew 13:20)

The Word of God, the knowledge of the truth about the Kingdom of God can cause someone who is on a stony piece of ground and what that is really talking about is people who are coming from a background without a lot of faith, where that seed is less likely to bear fruit. But when people receive it, it gives them great joy. The truth of the Kingdom, the truth of God’s purpose and His plan of salvation, when you come to know that, that can provide even greater joy. This survey bears out that faith does bring a greater amount of happiness. True faith brings even more. Think about that and seek the Kingdom of God and the true faith of God.”  From:

Not much new this week, just more studying and listing stuff for sale. Zack and I burned more pine needles in the barrel and got rid of the burn pile by the road forever.  We also sanded the table we are redoing with 220 grit and applied the second coat of poly. 

As I was going into Conroe anyway for a doctor appointment, I donated a couple of boxes of clothes and things to The Assistance League.  These ladies take turns and donate their time to running this nice clean thrift shop.  I know that this organization really helps people at no profit to themselves because I know one of the ladies. Not all of the so-called charity thrift shops distribute to those in need as expected, but make personal profit from the merchandise.   My doctor wasn’t feeling well and didn’t really address my concerns about my thyroid, so I might be firing her!

A lot of my time this week has been cooking.  Having gone through the rationing in England, I can’t stand to see food wasted.  I had acquired a lot of veggies so I cooked them and froze them in Mason jars.  Lots of spinach, red cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, organic potatoes, baby bok choy, I even cooked and froze Romaine lettuce I had so much of it.  .

For the church’s potluck I made Sante Fe Pasta, it is really Sante Fe Penne, but I didn’t want to use up my penne made of red lentils, so I used whole wheat spaghetti instead: .  I had plenty of non-GMO corn, black beans, spinach, tomatoes etc, to make the recipe.  I also cooked a bison steak, sliced it, served it in gravy and that was all eaten up at the potluck.
The Bible readings were Gen. 49:28-50:26, 1 Kin. 2:1-12, 1 Pet. 1:1-9 and all of Matt. 8. The Teaching was about The Everlasting Covenant.

My desktop computer is back but it often shuts down all by itself and it is getting more aggravating each day.