Sunday, January 26, 2020

What I Learned From Andy Dalton, Quarterback. The Bee’s Knees. Think Before You Act. Update.

What I Learned From Andy Dalton, Quarterback for Cincinnati Bengals

“Andy Dalton’s character and the way he handled adversity deserves to be mentioned. His actions are rare today, especially in sports.

An American football on a grass field.Ben Hershey/Unsplash

We all go through setbacks or even feel like we have been benched. Sometimes we are not treated fairly, but how do we respond?

As we all know we are at the end of the football season, with the Super Bowl just ahead of us. While I do not care for sports at all, this has been an interesting year for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals had a very bad year. With a new coach, Zac Taylor, and with no wins to their credit, it looked like they were headed to their 12th loss, which would had been referred to as the “dirty dozen.”

However, they managed to pull off a win by beating the New York Jets on Sunday, Dec. 1 with an amazing score of 22 to 6. To get to their first win, there were some bumps for the nine-year quarterback Andy Dalton.

Normally I would not be writing about football but Andy Dalton’s character and the way he handled adversity deserves to be mentioned. His actions are rare today and especially in sports.

After a record of 0-8 at the beginning of the season, Dalton was told he would be benched on his birthday. “Happy Birthday Andy, but you have been benched, go eat your cake on your bench,” as I have been kidding with people around me. Of course, it was not a laughing matter for Dalton and I am sure it was humiliating. What was inspiring for me was to watch his amazing example throughout this ordeal.

Dalton did not get mad and quit, instead he got out there, encouraged and worked with the quarterback and his teammates for the next three games. As reported by WCPO Cincinnati, Dalton said he “wanted to be bitter when Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor benched me during week 9 so the coach could see if rookie Ryan Finley could reinvigorate the offense. It took me a day or two before I realized that was not going to get me anywhere.”

Of course, Dalton had no idea whether he would return to play the lead quarterback for the Bengals. However, he still pushed on and set an outstanding example not only for his team but also for all us to watch. In the face of all the adversity, Dalton kept his faith, his trust in God, and maintained a positive attitude! Even Dalton’s coach, Zac Taylor, who benched the quarterback, noticed Dalton’s attitude.

“Just his veteran leadership, his presence, his character, he stands for all the things you want in a player. And, so for him, when he’s the backup quarterback, he’s thinking ‘I didn’t get to finish with a win.’ You felt terrible for that part of it. So, for him to come back and lead us the way he led us and get this win is just… you know, it says a lot about his character and the adversity he’s overcome,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “He just kept being the leader through it all.”

“I didn’t know why it was happening, but I knew God has a plan for me,” Dalton said. “He has a plan for my family and my life, and I had to trust and believe in that. This is just part of my story and part of something I’m going to be able to relate to people on a different level now than I probably could not have before. Initially it was tough, but I wasn’t going to let the circumstance really get to me.

“At the end of the day, that’s not who I want people to see me to be, and that’s not my character,” he added. “That’s not what God has called me to be.” Dalton relied on his faith to get him through those rough few weeks before he was brought back as quarterback.

We all go through setbacks or even feel like we have been benched like Dalton. Sometimes we are not treated fairly, but how do we respond? Do we continue to trust God knowing that He is in charge of our life no matter what direction or situation we may find ourselves? Dalton had no idea he would ever be playing again for the Bengals. However, when he did come back, he came back with a major win for his team.

Dalton’s faith in God even through adversity reminded me of my favorite scripture found in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (New International Version).

While Andy Dalton did not know what his future was when he was benched, he knew that God was in charge of his life. In addition, while going through his trial, he went on to help and encourage his teammates.

Let us all learn from Andy Dalton’s amazing example. To persevere when we have setbacks that we do not understand. To set a positive example for those around us to learn from. To know that God is indeed in charge of our life for our good and for the good of others around us.

Of course, our future is far greater than being a starting quarterback on a football team; as our goal is to be in God’s great Kingdom.

In the meantime, we will have to go through highs and lows before we get there. How will we respond when we are hit with the lows? Always know that God will see you through it. And people are watching to see how we respond.”  From:


The Bee’s Knees and Cat’s Pajamas

“The cat’s pajamas, the bullfrog’s beard, the elephant’s adenoids, they all pale in comparison to the bee’s knees.

As bees are responsible for at least 70% of the world’s agriculture by way of pollination, a world without bees would largely mean a world where many humans go hungry. It would mean a world where plants are not able to reproduce, and where the animals that eat them would die out in just a few years.

Domestic and imported fruits and vegetables dependent on pollination include

  • avocados
  • soybeans
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • celery
  • squash
  • sunflowers for oil
  • cucumbers
  • citrus fruit
  • peaches
  • kiwis
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • melons

According to Sustain, the Alliance for Better Food and Farming, “for crops such as blueberries and almonds, the honey bee plays an essential role in pollination of commercial crops, with around 80% of the US crop said to be dependent on honey bees. Honey bees can also pollinate clover and alfalfa, which are fed to cattle, so there are implications for the meat and dairy industry too. And that is not to mention the huge range of manufactured food products made from all these ingredients.”

Even as a hypothetical, a planet without bees is a frightening concept, but the fact is, we may be approaching that stage faster than many realize. While dangerous neocontid-based pesticides have increased in use over the last few decades, and agricultural claims around the world expand into lands ripped from nature by clear-cutting and deforestation, the world has meanwhile lost almost 90% of its bees.

As Albert Einstein once said, “If the bees disappear, humans would have 4 years to live.” To that extent, humans better get their five years plans in order, or find a way to save the bees.

As Greenpeace maintains, the latter shouldn’t be considered out of reach. There is still time to save the bees from extinction, despite their dwindling trajectory. The conservation group suggests banning the seven most dangerous pesticides (including nicotine-based substances), preserving wild habitats where bees live, and advocating for ecologically-minded agricultural practices.

Source: Pixabay

The most prolific methods of farming today are also the most detrimental to our environment, Greenpeace reports. Mono-crop planting reduces ecosystem diversity, and in turn, decreases insect populations. Ecological farming involves planting a variety of crops that are complementary to the environment, fertilizing with natural composting systems, rather than harsh chemicals, and leaving out the dangerous pesticides altogether. The yields from such methods may be less than current industrial-scale operations provide, but the long term risks are greatly reduced.

As pollution and the potential for soil loss from wind and water erosion decrease, and pollinating insects find work to be done on farms once more, the bees will have a good reason to return.

Learn more about the implications of a planet without bees in the video below.”



Think Before You Act

A run-in with a rattlesnake brought an important lesson about how our brains work.

Transcript of YouTube:

[Gary Petty] “A number of years ago, when my son was a teenager, we were hiking in the Chisos Mountains in Texas, and we had hiked up about 7,000 feet. We’re coming down, we’re both tired, and we’re walking along, both of us have our heads down as we’re walking down this very steep trail, and I suddenly heard a noise. And I stopped. And he ran right into the back of me, because he was looking down also, and he said, “What’s wrong?” And there was a split second, I’m trying to think what’s wrong, and then I realized what it was. And I looked down, and there was about a four-foot rattlesnake rattling and coiled, and I was about to step on it.

Now, what’s interesting there is how the brain works. I actually went afterwards and read a book on how does the brain work, because I didn’t think, “Oh, a rattlesnake.” All I did was feel fear. I heard the rattle, I knew that’s not right, and I felt fear. I then thought, “A rattlesnake.” Now, think about what would have happened if my brain worked the other way. What if the cognitive part stepped in first? And I woulda heard a rattle and said, “Ha, that sounds like a rattlesnake. I wonder if it’s a western rattlesnake or an eastern rattlesnake.” I would have stepped on the rattlesnake. But the fear stopped me. And then the reasoning part of my brain kicked in. It’s amazing because that means we’re designed to survive. You know, when you’re in a car and you’re driving and a guy starts to swerve over, you don’t say, “Hey, look, that guy is swerving into me.” You react, usually out of fear, and then you say, “Wow, he almost swerved into me.” Now, between those two things that happen in your brain, it’s just a millisecond, but it’s very important which happens first. The emotion causes you to react, and then the reasoning tells you what to do.

Here’s the problem. Every time you’re in a confrontation with someone or in conflict or in argument, what’s the first thing that happens? Anger. Feeling the need to defend yourself. Maybe just being resentful. Think of all the things that happen the moment we’re in conflict. What do we do? We have the feeling first, and then what happens is reason kicks in. How many times have you’ve been screaming in your head, “Don’t say that,” but you say it anyway? Because you know, the reasoning part of your brain is saying, “This is wrong. Don’t do this.”

This is one of the most difficult things we all have as human beings, is that little, little split amount of time between emotion and reason. So what we have to learn to do when we’re interacting with each other is, when we have an emotion, a strong negative emotion with somebody, before we say anything, make yourself stop. Now, I’ve met people who do this, and it’s sort of interesting. Because someone will say something, you know it was hurtful, you know it made them angry or it just made them feel bad, and yet, there’s a few seconds where they sort of look down, and you could see they’re thinking. And then they’ll look up and they’ll answer. Now, their answers still may be, “You know, that was wrong. That hurt my feelings,” but there’s a certain edge off of it. And the reason why is they let that little bit of time stretch out. And in stretching it out, they let the reason catch up, and now, they have more control of what they’re actually saying and doing.

This is one of the most important things we need to learn to do. And in that little time, in between the emotion and what happens, the reason kicks in, the biggest thing that could help us is to know the Scripture. Daily reading that Bible so that what happens in between the emotion and the reason and the response is a scriptural answer, a prompt from God that comes into your mind and says, “This is what you should do,” or “Don’t do this,” or “Here’s how you handle this. This is what Jesus would have done.” It’s there. If we’re not in that Bible every day, well, we’re just being driven by that emotion or what’ll happen is we’ll let a little time happen, but we’ll start to use our own reasoning to defend ourselves. We’ll self-deceive ourselves. What we have to do is have the Bible there, have that knowledge, that wisdom from God there, there in our minds so that it pops in and becomes the prompt.

So next time you’re about to get into an argument or someone has really hurt you, and you know, you’re gonna respond with crying or whatever, before you respond, take a few seconds. It’s like they tell children all the time, you know. Put your hands together, take a couple of big breaths. Well, do that mentally. Calm yourself down. And in that time period, let the Bible, let God tell you what to reason and reason out your response. You’re gonna find you’ll have a whole lot less negative conflict. And even if the other person doesn’t do that, you’re gonna have better control of yourself and be happier yourself.”  From:



Because I have moved, I had to get a new health insurance that is good in Grimes County.  A while ago they sent a nurse to check my blood pressure etc, but they really wanted my doctor to see me.  So on Wednesday I was examined and blood tests were ordered.  So in between walking the dog for sometimes up to 45 minutes before she will pee, and all the other things that one has to do,  I went to the “vampire” and let her (pun intended) take some of my blood.

As I had been so busy with the dog, and other things, I didn’t have time to cook anything for the church potluck, so I bought some different flavored Mexican concha at our local Brookshire Bros. grocery store. Conchas Mexicanas! I have mentioned before, our congregation has two simultaneous services, one in English and one in Spanish, but we all eat together in the dining hall.  I cut them up into thin slices and arranged them in a round container, and they were quickly eaten up.

The sermon was about “Resolutions”, and given by an elder, as the pastor wasn’t there for the Sabbath on Saturday.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Beliefs Have Consequences. Don't Freeze!. Update, I have a Critter!

For “Scripture Sunday”:  Better late than never!

Beliefs Have Consequences

Evolution leaves mankind blind to our purpose, wandering and wondering in the dark.

Up close photo of a brown

Did this cow put itself together? Apparently so, if Darwinian evolution is to be believed.

As a high school student decades ago I remember a radio personality ridiculing the theory of evolution with the catchphrase, “Did we come from scum, or did we climb from slime?”—parodying the idea that life emerged from some algae-laden pond. His phrasing had a clever ring to it, as evidenced by the fact that I still remember it years later.

At the time I was intensely interested in science. I won my school science fair’s highest award three years in a row, once for creating a set of three-dimensional, full-color cutaway models of various kinds of cells.

I still remember researching and working on that project and being amazed at the complexity of the microscopic marvels of blood cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, skin cells, plant cells and more. Electron microscopes were just beginning to reveal that cells were not merely simple blobs of matter, but were in fact highly refined structures beautifully designed for their purpose.

Except, we were told in our biology books, they weren’t really designed at all. And they didn’t have a purpose. In fact, they were nothing more than the product of chance and countless random accidents over an unfathomable period of time.

But what I saw sure had me fooled. I had never seen anything that worked so well put itself together out of nothing!

And then there were the cattle. Every year we raised a steer to provide meat for our family with three boys, and we consumed a lot of beef and beans. After my older brother left home, it fell to me as an eighth-grader to help my father kill and carve up that year’s steer.

To put it mildly, it was not a pleasant task. But the yuck factor was considerably compensated for by the opportunity to examine, up close and personal, how a large living creature was put together—the skeletal structure, the various internal organs, the protective outer hide, the digestive system, the blood veins and arteries, the intricate nerve system, and even a natural built-in fly swatter in the form of a highly efficient tail.

It sure looked like an intricately designed system to me. But again, I was fooled by my own eyes. The biology books assured me it had all put itself together out of nothing!

I speak facetiously, of course—but just barely. Only a few years earlier the U.S. Supreme Court had banned the Bible and prayer from public schools and much of public life. At my own school those rulings were pretty much ignored, and students continued to pray and meet for Bible studies every day before classes started. No one then ever worried about serious school violence, and school shootings were unheard of. This was even though some students in rural schools like mine had rifles in gun racks in their trucks or a pistol under the car seat, usually for shooting snakes.

What a different world we live in today. We are now well into a second or even third generation of schoolchildren who’ve been educated without the Bible, prayer or acknowledgment of God as part of their formal schooling. And sadly, it shows.

For decades now, in spite of its many flaws, Darwinian evolution has been taught to schoolchildren as fact. They’ve been educated to believe they’re simply highly developed animals. So why should we expect them to behave differently than animals?

With God removed from the picture and school kids taught they’re just another kind of animal, is it any wonder our schools today see so much bullying, violence, casual sex, teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease, along with an unprecedented epidemic of young male mass killers?

Is it any wonder human life is so degraded and devalued when abortion is so commonplace? After all, we’re told those tiny human beings are just lumps of tissue, of even less value than animals, to be discarded when it’s no longer wanted or convenient!

The sad fact is, beliefs have consequences. History is littered with the bloody debris of that reality.

Margaret Sanger was a firm believer in eugenics—ridding the human race of what she considered less-desirable specimens. You might say she wanted to streamline the evolutionary process, to make it more efficient. And she did. She founded Planned Parenthood a little more than a century ago. In the decades since, the organization has been responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of babies through abortion and “emergency” contraception—making the organization one of history’s most prolific mass killers.

Adolf Hitler similarly believed in enforcing a kind of “evolution” as government policy. He ordered the extermination of millions of members of cultural or ethnic groups deemed undesirable in death camps so he could purify the earth for the superior Aryan master race to rule in a planned thousand-year Germanic empire known as the Third Reich.

Darwinian evolution has as its foundational premise “survival of the fittest.” And tragically, that mentality has taken root again and again in hateful ideologies all over the globe, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Isn’t it about time we woke up and acknowledged its evil fruit?

In this issue we examine some of the more recent discoveries highlighting the theory’s fatal flaws. Evolution leaves mankind blind to our purpose, wandering and wondering in the dark. We hope you’ll read these articles carefully—and realize that yes, beliefs have consequences.”  From:

Discern magazine:


Don't Freeze!

“What spiritual lesson can we draw from the process of hypothermia?

Transcript of YouTube:

[Steve Myers] I was reading the story of a man who got lost in the blizzard and he was in trouble and as it got colder and colder, he was trying to figure out how to stay warm. And this article was kind of interesting in pointing out what happens when you are stranded in a blizzard and you’re trapped. And this man was literally beginning to freeze to death. Now you would think when that happens you would be cold. But in fact, this article went to point out that when you begin to freeze to death, you actually feel warm all over and you lose that sensation of being cold.

I found that really interesting that it is a medical fact that when you get to a certain point, you start to feel warm instead of feeling cold and it actually begins to feel good. And so what the medical journals say is that you actually begin to fall asleep and you can’t wake up because it feels good. It feels too good when you’re freezing to death. Isn’t that an oddity? But that’s really the medical facts. I got to thinking about that a little bit. You know, we are in this blizzard of a world and if we’re not careful, we can begin to freeze to death and not even notice it because it can feel good according to this world’s standards. But you know, God tells us, watch out.

The apostle Paul reminded the Ephesians in Ephesians 5:14. He said this, “Awake you who sleep arise from the dead.” You see, we have that tendency in this world to just be taken in by it all and we can go to sleep spiritually speaking, but he says, “Wake up and Christ will give you light. See, then you walk circumspectly not as fools, but wise redeeming the time because the days are evil.”

Now this has a connection to God’s Holy days as well. Awake, wake up. Don’t allow yourself to be frozen to death and feel good by fitting into the standards of this world, we’ve got to be different. And so he says, wake up, rise from the dead, turn to Christ and look how you live, watch how you live. So he says walk circumspectly. That’s one of the mistakes that people often do. If they end up in a blizzard and they’re lost, they’ll lay down and then they have that tendency to go to sleep. Well, we can’t lay down spiritually. We have to keep active, keep doing and keep growing more and more Christ-like in our behavior, in our character.

And so when you think of these types of things, wake up and keep walking that Christian walk. And as we do that, we recognize the world that we live in and we’re striving then to be more Christ-like. So don’t fall asleep.” From:



I didn’t get to the Bible study here at the apartments on Sunday afternoon, I was with my daughter Wendy on a road trip to Richmond, (TX that is!)  She went to get an American Eskimo dog.  She always wanted a fluffy white dog, like a white Pom, and here he was.  He was beautiful, outgoing, smiling and a happy twinkle in his eyes.  Then we saw another one cowering in a pen in their garage, and the man said it was Buy One Get One Free.  I scooped up the little shivering little white female Eskimo dog and she melted into my arms, so glad to get away from the four rowdy kids.  They said that they just kept her in their backyard.  Even though I didn’t want a dog, I just couldn’t leave her there. 

After I got to know her, I discovered that she had obviously been yelled at for soiling their million dollar house and thinks that going to the bathroom is a bad thing.  She is terrified to let anyone see her do that.  I don’t have a fenced yard and she wasn’t leash trained, but that just took a day.  Getting her to “go” when on a leash is still an ongoing thing.  She will only go when I am not looking at her.  Because of that, I am having to keep her in a big crate which fortunately I had in my storage. She is taking up a lot of my time tending to her, but I am used to rescuing abused animals and I am giving her all the love and understanding that I can. She looks like a little white Fox, so I call her Foxie.

That is one thing about a cat, you don’t have to house break it!  They go to a box as second nature.

As I had some dried cherries, I soaked them overnight and then made them into a Crustless Impossible Cherry Pie with some Bisquick, for the church potluck.  The sermon was “Here I am Lord”.

So here I am, getting a little scared doggie at ease around living with people, and hopefully she will be a really happy, well-adjusted little girl one day.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

What Are Your Priorities For 2020? Christian Priorities: Putting God First. Update.

Happy New Year, 2020 Is Here

Christian Priorities: Putting God First

“Establishing the correct priorities in our lives is vital for our success as Christians.

Christian Priorities: Putting God First

German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe grasped the importance of priorities. He said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

Stephen R. Covey in his bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People put it this way: “As a longtime student of this fascinating field [of life and time management], I am personally persuaded that the essence of the best thinking in the area of time management can be captured in a single phrase: Organize and execute around priorities.”

He also wrote: “One of my favorite essays is ‘The Common Denominator of Success’ written by E.M. Gray. He spent his life searching for the one denominator that all successful people share. He found it wasn’t hard work, good luck, or astute human relations, though those were all important. The one factor that seemed to transcend all the rest … [was] putting first things first” (1990, pp. 148-149).

Setting the right priorities is vitally important for success.

And, it turns out, not just for material success.  The Bible sets priorities that lead to eternal life. 

The Word of God tells us that it is vital to put our priorities in the right order and then carefully cultivate each one with zeal and enthusiasm.

Consider three of the most important eternal priorities.

Christian priority No. 1: God must come first

When God gave the 10 Commandments at Mount Sinai, He thundered these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2-3).

God does not want us to place anything before Him. His desire is that we worship Him and Him alone. He must come first in our lives.

The Bible tells the story of two sisters, Mary and Martha, who were loyal friends of Jesus Christ. When Christ visited them, they wanted to serve Him in the way each considered was most important. Let’s pick up the story:

“A certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’

“And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:38-42).

Serving others is highly commended in the Bible, and it is certainly not wrong to serve. But in this instance priorities were an issue. Listening to Christ’s teachings was even more important than food preparation.

How do we demonstrate that we truly love God and want to put His teachings first?

The apostle John provides the answer: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). The evidence that we love God is our striving to keep His commandments.

“He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him” (1 John 2:4-5, emphasis added).

We have to be honest with ourselves. Are we putting our personal relationship with God first, or are we allowing other aspects of our lives to come before the worship of the true God?

Priorities that are in error

The Bible records an incident in which Peter, James and John, who Christ was calling to become His disciples, had their priorities right: “So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him” (Luke 5:11).

On the other hand, the Bible records examples of people who had distorted priorities, and who actually rejected Christ’s offer to become one of His disciples. Read Luke 9:57-62. Apparently, physical comfort and prosperity were of greater importance to some. For others, taking care of family matters was more crucial than supporting Christ in preaching the gospel.

None of their excuses were of themselves wrong. Is it wrong to stay with a father until he dies or to devote an extended period of time to saying farewell to family members? Certainly not! However, Christ was teaching an important lesson: God was not first in their priorities. 

Frequently it is difficult to choose between the affairs of this world and Christ’s teachings. Christ stated: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate [love less by comparison] his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26-27).

Christ did not mean we should stop caring for each member of our family. He was simply teaching that we are to put Him first in our lives. Leaving God out of our planning is unwise (James 4:13-16).

Remember Christ’s words: “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Once we have set following Christ as our top priority, there is no going back (Hebrews 10:37-39).

Christian priority No. 2: Develop godly, righteous character

What is godly, righteous character?

A well-known educator in religious matters, Herbert W. Armstrong, wrote the following definition of perfect character: “It is the ability, in a separate entity with free moral agency, to come to the knowledge of the right from the wrong—the true from the false—and to choose the right, and possess the will to enforce self-discipline to do the right and resist the wrong”

In his book The Death of Character, James Davison Hunter wrote: “Does character really matter? The collective wisdom of the ages would say it matters a great deal. In both classical and biblical cultures—civilizations that have been so deeply formative to our own—people well understood there to be a direct association between the character of individuals and the well-being of the society as a whole. Individual character was essential to decency, order, and justice within public life. Without it, hardship was not far off. … Indeed, much of the history of the ancient Hebrews can be told as a story of blessing for faithfulness to God—abiding by God’s standard of holiness—and punishment for abandoning those standards” (p. 4).  Mr. Hunter cites Deuteronomy 30:15-19 as support for his statements. 

Our will or God’s will?

When it comes to important decisions, whose will usually takes priority in our lives? Is it our self-will or is it the will of God?

The apostle Paul admonished Christians to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

To be led by the will of God is to embody the character of God—to become like God.

Christ set the perfect example

Christ taught His followers to pray often that God’s Kingdom be established, and that “Your [the Father’s] will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). He said He came to earth to accomplish and carry out His Father’s will (John 6:38).

Even when faced with a horrifying trial of physical pain and mental torment, Christ prayed, “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).

Overcoming our selfish nature and replacing it with God’s character should be uppermost in our minds. As Christ taught: “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Christian priority No. 3: Seek first the Kingdom of God

In His Sermon on the Mount, Christ taught some of the most meaningful principles of Christian living in the entire Bible (Matthew 5-7). One of these is: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [mentioned in the previous verses] shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

This verse not only summarizes the first two priorities—focusing on God and His righteousness—but it brings to our attention the importance of the Kingdom of God.

What is the Kingdom of God?

It is the perfect and just government of God that will be established over the earth at the return of Christ, when “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).

Don’t forget these priorities

  1. God must come first.
  2. Develop godly, righteous character.
  3. Seek first the Kingdom of God.”




Well, the weather is so nice that my neighbors are outside BBQ-ing.  I was offered some, but it is sausage made from pork and I don’t eat that. (Lev.11)

There were the same great Bible studies as last week, Sunday afternoon and Friday morning, but now we are studying in the book of Daniel on Fridays to be ready for the Bible study at church the next day.   I made another Impossibly Easy Apple Pie for the church potluck and took that big pie dish home, licked clean.

Because I sold my burgundy loveseat, that made room in my storage unit, so Joe, my helper and I put together two of my shelf units which had been broken down for the move.  Now we were able to put things on the shelves so we can see what is there, and are gradually getting the unit organized.  So I took photos of more items to list on Craigslist.  Then I sold the burgundy runner rug, so things are getting gone.

Finally, my little British pension check showed up at the new bank, but still problems with Social Security, my check didn’t arrive there.  So that means another trip into Bryan.

The theme on this week’s church flyer is Happy New Year and 2 Cor. 5:17:  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new”.  The Message was also about the new year, “Sing A New Song” and centered around Psalm 96.

In Houston, an 89 year old lady came out of the eye clinic with her eyes still dilated, passed CVS, was doing a u-turn into the sun, and did not survive smashing into ongoing traffic.  I am hoping to be her 10 year old cat’s new “Mom”.  Be Alert!  See how accidents can happen, any time, any day.