The moon hid behind the cloud to avoid seeing it

You’ll enjoy this story. By folks we know. Or thought we knew.

So then there was the time….. – Not That Y’all Care.

#essays, #families, #life

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3-10-2015 One-Way Life

Zechariah 12:1 NKJV: “Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.” Each one of us has an individual spiritual part within that is who we really are. We die when this spirit leaves our body: “The body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26 NKJV).  “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7 NKJV).  There is no return of our spirit to the earth, in any form, and we only pass this way once for there is no second chance after this life. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV), not another life on earth.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#death, #die, #dust, #judgment, #life, #spirit

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3-9-2015 Is It Your Time to Die?

Some think “when it’s your time to die, there’s nothing you can do about it.” David wrote: “LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah Surely every man walks about like a shadow” (Psalm 39:4-5 NKJV). To “measure my days,” means we should count our birthdays to remind us “how frail” we are. This expression does NOT say, “God has predetermined the length of every life,” BUT we need “to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NKJV). We should “number our days” but nothing says that God has our days numbered!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#death, #die, #life, #our-days

Hugh's News & Views (Winter)

AND THEN IT IS WINTER

Three days ago I celebrated another birthday—number 77. I have passed the proverbial threescore and ten years and am approaching the added ten that come by reason of strength (Psalm 90:10). I do not know if I have entered the “winter” of life, but if I have I hope it is still early winter. I do not feel “old” (though admittedly there are some days when I feel older than I do on other days!) My doctor continues to give me a clean bill of health every year during my physical check up. I am on no prescription meds of any kind, and have never spent but one night in the hospital in my entire life. (No, I was not born in a hospital, but neither was I born in a log cabin!)

I do not know the author of the following essay, but it speaks to all regardless of our age. I commend it to all of my readers for this, the last “News & Views” of 2014. Read it slowly and reflectively. Continue reading

#aging, #hughfulford, #life, #time

The vacuum of a miracle-less life

The origin of life? It’s all natural says the “naturalist”. Nothing too special. Just a game of odds, that’s all. And by no means a miracle! Highly evolved nothings…I mean animals – that’s what we are.

And what of the emotions that we feel? Only chemicals it is said. Nothing is real. It’s only a reaction. And the love for your child? Only a deep functioning desire to see your DNA passed along. After all, that’s all an animal wants to do. And we’re just highly evolved animals anyways.

And the tears that get shed from the loss of loved ones? They’re not real either. Just a response to the lessening of your chances for survival. That’s where it came from! It’s all thanks to the gift of evolution. Survival of the fittest, and you’re not “as fit” as you once were.

I hear it from time to time on television. Scientists who believe in evolution but yet they use the word miracle. I believe it happens when they let their guard down and their humanity shows through. But of course if pushed on the subject they would say the use of the word miracle is only a figure of speech; much in the same way that an atheist uses God’s name in vain. The animal must take the place of the human to be rational after all. Everything has a natural explanation. Right? It has to! So says the unbeliever.

Thus we are brought to the results of a miracle-less life. Nothing but a vacuum! A heart that becomes like the black-holes that are adored.

Now I’m not saying that all atheists have no emotions. That’s not my point. My point is that the emotions that are as real as the nose on our face, to an honest atheist, do not matter because they are not real. They have no point outside of the forces of the evolutionary train pushing us forward on tracks that cannot be escaped. Tracks that go nowhere.  Tracks that take away our person-hood. Tracks that take away the reality of emotions. Tracks that take us away from miracles. Tracks that take us away from hope. Tracks that take us away from our Creator!

Don’t get pulled into the vacuum that says it’s all naturally explainable. It can’t all be explained – at least not through man’s science, because man’s science doesn’t even know all of the questions!

But there’s still that question of where did we come from? And so the atheist pushes on, looking for the answer that they already have. Looking for an answer, or rather a question that fits the answer that they have already accepted and given to others to be accepted. And yet the question remains, “What’s the point of finding an origin of life that has no effect on the way it all ends?” Is evolution actually looking for its own beginnings?

Space may be one big vacuum, but the plug got pulled and the miracle of life began, not by chance but when in the beginning God….(Genesis 1:1).

Related Article:

#atheism, #creation, #life, #miracles

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(#202) The Proverbs of Solomon-30:11-14-Generation D(estroyed)

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 30:11-14: “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. 13 There is a generation-oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.”

After Jacob had worked 14 years to “earn” his wife, his father-in-law, Laban, said, “I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake” (Genesis 30:27). “Experience” is a great teacher, and often, a hard teacher. It has been truly said, “Happiness will never come to those who do not appreciate what they already have.” “A generation” without the experiences of life becomes (v.11) Loveless; (v.12) Hypocritical; (v.13) Arrogant; and (v.14) Cruel, and will need few enemies, for it will self-destruct. Children whose world consists of a video screen, whose mind is filled with make-believe, and whose heart seldom connects with real people, have no experiences to help them grow, and become slaves who serve without conscience! It is a lost generation that never sees “the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied” (Ecclesiastes 3:10).

Verse 11: Those who disrespect the two who gave them life will not appreciate The God, His plan, and the life they have been given, “For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God” (1 Corinthians 11:12). Although the prevalence of divorce and single-parenthood has shattered the “DNA” of marriage, and taught successive generations this disrespect, those who turn to God’s Way will start a new generation of parental respect. It is when sin abounds that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Verse 12: It is difficult, almost impossible, for one to see one’s own sins. To such a generation, God send Jeremiah to say: “’For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,’ says the Lord God. How can you say, ‘I am not polluted’” (Jeremiah 2:22-23). The Apostle Paul wrote: “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4). Any generation that is known for major problems with drunkenness, irresponsibility, sexually-transmitted diseases, drug abuses, recklessness, and hatefulness (Titus 3:3) has its hands full and should not be pointing fingers at the previous generation(s)! Jesus Christ condemned those who “outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).

Verse 13: Jesus Christ described this attitude when He said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:29-33) While a generation may protest against their parents sins, it becomes guilty of its own sins, many of which are even worse than before (1 Kings 16:25)!

Verse 14: The cruelty is seen because they don’t care about the “poor” and “needy.” Selfishness is so narrow-minded that it cannot admit, nor allow, others to benefit who have greater needs. Jesus Christ said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14)!

A generation may be changed if enough of them “are converted and become as little children…Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). Obeying the command to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” will let a soul “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:38, 40).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #bible-study, #christianity, #experience, #generation, #god, #jeremiah, #jesus-christ, #just-a-minute, #life, #love, #marriage, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom

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(#181) The Proverbs of Solomon 26:18-19-Impractical Jokes

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 26:18-19: “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, Is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, ‘I was only joking!’”

A “madman” is a person who is out of control because he/she isn’t bothered by moral restraint, sympathetic feeling, or consideration for others. Anyone who indiscriminately “throws” around “firebrands” (or torches, bombs), “arrows” (or bullets, missiles), “death” (or ieds, drones, or other instruments of death) leaves a path of burned, wounded, or dead people! It does not excuse such behavior by simply saying, “I was only joking!” So-called “reality” TV shows that see “what people would do” set a standard of lies, deceit, and trickery that hardens the consciences of their audience against good judgment and sympathy. When angels of God warned Lot that Sodom would be destroyed for its perversions, “Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, ‘Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!’ But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking” (Genesis 19:14). When something is taken as a “joke,” then the responses to it are not real, and in their case, they died because of it!

Christians are not to participate in such madness: “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:3-6). Such behavior doesn’t become a Christian. What is condemned is: “filthiness” which is behavior without morals; “foolish talking” which is empty conversation that shows contempt or ridicule; “coarse jesting” which is the double-entendre, underhanded, turned meaning of words. All of these are what worldly comedy, practical jokes, and other types of madness are made of. Christians can have “fun,” just not like “a madman.”

Do not be deceived by “empty words” that say otherwise, God will hold each individual responsible for his/her behavior on: “the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” (Romans 2:16). No joke!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #good-judgment, #joking, #life, #madmen, #morals, #practical-jokes, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom

Morning silence

rain

Silence
Of morning's birth,
No baby's cry awakes
The dawning light of tender life,
But clouds laden with cares
Dropped in the dark
Their tears.

—JRMatheny

#christian-poetry, #life

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(#164) The Proverbs of Solomon 24:3-6-Wisdom Builds Houses and Lives

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 24:3-6: “Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Building a house is an illustration of applied wisdom: the dream is expressed, detailed plans are made and then followed. Every house follows this procedure, therefore every house is an expression of wisdom. “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4). “Wisdom” shows the thoughtfulness of the plan; “understanding” shows the application to the materials; “knowledge” completes the details of the plan in building a house.

When wisdom is applied to life, itself, it’s a strengthening exercise that makes one “strong.” A truly “wise” person first “knows” what should be the right course of action; second, realizes his/her personal, individual responsibility in “war;” third, knows to gather various opinions from “counselors” (advisors) to see if there may be other factors to consider.

“Knowledge” gives “strength” to overcome many situations when “fools” don’t know what to do: “They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed” (1 Peter 2:8).

“War” should not always just be associated with violent conflict between nations, but also with the spiritual “war” each one of us must fight: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12).

It does no good to just follow the majority opinion, for the majority is not always right, as those who recommended sailing against the inspired prophetical advisory of Paul (Acts 27:9-21) found out!

Another proverb teaches this same principle: “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).

A wise man/woman will build a strong house, preparing for the storms of life by obeying the wisdom of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24-27).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #houses, #knowledge, #life, #lives, #proverbs, #strength, #strong, #understanding, #wisdom

there she stood in the doorway…

In Proverbs 9, two ladies call out from high places in the city. They invite those lacking understanding to dine with them. One of the ladies has prepared the meal she offers; the other has stolen hers. One lady does not seem to mind if people know about your visit; the other wants to keep it a secret. One offers wisdom; one offers pleasure. You must dine with one of these women. Choose wisely. They may both mean well, but one of them will kill you.

For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you. (9:11)

‘Stolen water is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is sweet to a man.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. (9:17-18)

Lord, deliver us a daily dose of discernment and decision-making power: the discernment to distinguish between these two ladies; the decision-making power to accept the right invitation.

#choices, #death, #dinner, #invitation, #life, #pleasure, #proverbs, #solomon, #wisdom

PRACTICAL FOR LIVING!

One evening, as I was leaving our seasonal Winter Shelter, one of the guests asked me of my perspective on religion as compared to certain practices he had observed. Part of my response to him was that religion — as it is expressed in the Scriptures — is not merely ritual, but is practical. It relates to accepting God’s authority for life, good living and helping to meet the needs of others. The questioner then responded, “You are doing that.”

Someone has said, “A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help others.” [original source unknown]

The fact that living a life pleasing to God is more than ritualistic observance is made clear through various passages of Scripture. For example, in response to a questioner seeking to justify himself (Luke 10:29), Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan. (Luke 10:30-35) The priest and the Levite appear to have been too focused on their ceremonial cleanness to help one who had A REAL NEED. To press the point we read. . .

“(36) Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” (37) He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “YOU GO, AND DO LIKEWISE.”” (Luke 10:36-37 ESV)

On another occasion, when Jesus’ disciples were accused of plucking heads of grain while walking through a grainfield on the Sabbath, Jesus reminded the
faultfinders of David and his men having eaten the bread that was only lawful for the priests to eat. That bread was there was to MEET THE NEED at the time. (Mark 2:23-26) By the time of Jesus’ walk on earth, the “doctrines” of work on the Sabbath had been meticulously defined by the teachers of the law. However, in addressing the practicality, Jesus went on to state. . .

“(27) And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”” (Mark 2:27 ESV)

There are a number of other places Jesus addressed what was done on the Sabbath when He Himself was accused of healing on the Sabbath. In those cases Jesus drew attention to what His accusers were willing to do when it came to their own personal property (i.e. Matthew 12:11-12), exposing more interest in themselves than in being willing to reach out to meet the REAL NEEDS around them.

Perhaps one of the most concise and clearest statements comes from James where we read. . .

“(27) RELIGION THAT IS PURE AND UNDEFILED BEFORE GOD, THE FATHER, IS THIS: TO VISIT ORPHANS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR AFFLICTION, AND TO KEEP ONESELF UNSTAINED FROM THE WORLD.” (James 1:27 ESV)

Living a “religious” life before God and man is both practical and holy. Purity of life is an issue to be taken very seriously. However, our interaction with others and willingness to MEET REAL NEEDS is also of extreme importance. Are we not glad we have a Heavenly Father aware of and willing to provide for both our spiritual and physical needs? May we be mindful of that with regard to others as we live through each day God provides.

Have a great day PUTTING THE ASSETS OF HEART, EAR, AND HAND TO WORK TO THE GLORY OF GOD! – Carl Hanson

(“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org)

Related Articles:

#christian-living, #christianity, #god, #life, #living-the-faith, #practical-lessons, #religion, #service, #serving-god

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(#127) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:17-How To Choose A Friend

 

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”

Genuine friendship doesn’t waver. “A friend” will always be there for you and will not abandon you when your money, fancy clothes, expensive gifts, or other “freebies” have run out! Anyone who leaves you when you are in hard times never was your friend to start with! Those who make a big show of being your friend are getting ready to renounce your friendship or to take unfair advantage of your friendship! “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him” (Proverbs 27:14). A sage quote says: Too many of the footprints on the sands of time were made by heels. True, friends are made when we are friendly. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). We must be “a friend” to expect to have friends! A true friend:

1. “Loves at all times,” under all circumstances, regardless of our frailties;

2. NEVER will use our friendship for his/her own selfish purposes or advantages;

3. Always tells us what we need to know for our own good. Jesus made this clear when He described His friendship with His disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:13-15);

4. Sticks closer and is quicker to help than even blood relatives! Often “friends of the family” began with our parents, and we should respect and keep them, in addition to our own. “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away” (Proverbs 27:9-10);

5. Will be shared with other friends, as John indicated: “Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name” (3 John 14).

Are you a “friend of God” as Abraham was by his faith and works (James 2:21-24), and by our obeying God’s works today (Mark 16:16)?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #faith, #friend, #friendship, #life, #love, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom

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(#125) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:13-Many Happy Returns

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:13: “Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.”

There are only four ways to payback deeds: 1) Good for Good; 2) Evil for Evil; 3) Evil for Good; or 4) Good for Evil.

1) While a good gratitude level, it is doing what would be expected from anyone: “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6:32-34).

2) This human response may “feel good,” but is totally contrary to God’s example in Jesus Christ, “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Other proverbs repeat this principle: “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil;’ Wait for the LORD, and He will save you” (Proverbs 20:22); “Do not say, ‘I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work’” (Proverbs 24:29).

3) This is the way to curse one’s own future, household, job, friendships, or eternal destiny.

Everything God Created “was very good” (Genesis 1:31), but Adam and Eve repaid Him by violating His rule in sin (“through one man sin entered the world,” Romans 5:12).

The southern kingdom, Judah, gave God evil for good: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.’ Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward” (Isaiah 1:2-4).

The history of the Jews’ dealings with God’s Prophets justified His destruction of their Nation in A.D. 70. “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16; also Matthew 21:33-46).

4) The superior method is: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:18-21).

This not humanly possible without having the inner “Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus” (1 Peter 5:14), who will “be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #deeds, #evil, #good, #gratitude, #ingratitude, #life, #payback, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom

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(#122) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:8-Why “Santa Claus” Is Popular

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:8: “A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.”

“A present” is a voluntary expression of love or concern from a friend or family member. It was given in the past, but remains as a “present” reminder of those thoughts. Truly, “it is the thought that counts.” The “present” should be received with the same appreciation with which it was chosen by the giver.

Jacob, fearful of his reunion with his brother Esau, “took what came to his hand as a present for Esau his brother” (Genesis 32:13), too much to wrap (Genesis 32:14-15)! Deep in famine and later in life, Jacob, now named Israel, thought he was dealing with a powerful man in Egypt (who was really his long-lost son!), told his other sons: “Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man-a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds” (Genesis 43:11). He believed in the proverbial truth about gifts: “A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16); “Many entreat the favor of the nobility, And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts” (Proverbs 19:6). Rarely does anyone go wrong by gift-giving. The make-believe “Santa Claus” was invented because everyone likes to receive a gift. The real Jesus Christ, however, taught that “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

The “gift of God” is for everyone who lives by God’s rule: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). “As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:19). If properly considered, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Unlike the mythical “Santa Claus,” God requires our obedience to enjoy His gifts! God blesses with “His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15), but the ultimate “gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9), so Jesus requires of “every creature,” “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #gift, #gift-of-god, #god, #jesus-christ, #life, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #present, #proverbs, #santa-claus, #wisdom, #work

The Difference Between Feel Good Politics And Medicine

As our nation continues to abandon the spiritual roots that are too evident to ignore we will increasingly, as a whole, look to the government not only as our sole provider but even our soul provider thus ignoring the true source of a nation’s vitality (think Acts 12:20-22 for a moment).

Many politicians love to take advantage of the dependency mindset. They present feel good politics as the answer. An answer that serves the few in hopes of the few becoming the majority that is dependent upon the answer provided. In other words, to give a real world comparison, many politicians (and I’m speaking worldwide here) actually encourage people to become a lifetime child. By that I mean they wish for some people to become completely dependent upon his or her parent whose role is played by the government for the rest of his or her life, thus resulting in a people who have secured the politician’s seat of power.

For example, the latest government dependency program to hit every coast of America, plus some, that goes by the name of A.C.A. (also affectionately known as Obama-care). This government program is based upon feel good politics and not real solutions. It’s a government answer to a problem that has created as many problems that it solved! It took a problem, a real problem, that approximately 15% of this nation was dealing with and made it a problem that 100% of the people have to worry with whether people realize it or not.

Don’t think that I’m just a “big government hater” who doesn’t believe in taking care of the poor. If you’re going to think something based off of these words then think of me as someone who likes to think with common sense instead of thinking with votes in mind since I’m not a politician.

The problem with insurance was that it cost too much in many situations. I myself pay more than ten percent out of my gross yearly wages (not net wages) for my health insurance at my secular job. That’s a lot; and that’s only paying for the service to be there, not what I would have to pay if something were to happen to me or my family. The cost was and is the problem for many middle-class and poor working Americans. And the A.C.A. didn’t fix the cost!!! It took the cost and supplemented it with tax-dollars!!! That’s not a solution. That’s duct-tape on a gunshot wound. On top of that the A.C.A has already inflicted itself with a gunshot wound to the foot by allowing the very people it needs (the healthy 18 to 28 year olds who don’t use insurance very much at all) to keep its book’s balanced with the older generations who use the insurance quite often for obvious reasons. How did it do that? Because it almost allows that entire group of “young people” to stay on their parent’s insurance to begin with! A group that’s not leaving home, not getting married, not starting families and, unfortunately, not working in any meaningful job. Continue reading

#common-sense, #government, #insurance, #life, #morality, #opinion, #politics, #problems