Who needs words???

Please click on the above link to view.

Larry, Moe and Curly Joe- comedians I remember from the late 50's and early 60's.  The link that I entitled "More than just words" shows a variety of clips, but no dialogue- just slapstick!!! And sometimes you really don't need words to convey messages.  Take for example the visions found in the books of Daniel and Ezekiel.  How do you explain the unexplainable?  And what if you could not use words to explain something you had seen?  Such was the problem of Paul...

2 Corinthians, Chapter 12
 1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. For I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.  2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I don’t know, or whether out of the body, I don’t know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven.  3 I know such a man (whether in the body, or outside of the body, I don’t know; God knows), 4 how he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in my weaknesses.  6 For if I would desire to boast, I will not be foolish; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, so that no man may think more of me than that which he sees in me, or hears from me.  7 By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively.  8 Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  9 He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.
I can only wonder what Paul saw and heard, but it must have been something very, very special.  So marvelous that its greatness that Paul was given his famous "thorn in the flesh" to prevent him from being excessively exalted.  The three stooges were the masters of slapstick and whatever language you view the video in makes no difference at all- you will will still get the message; comedy at its finest.  Likewise, we understand the wonders of heaven (s) by Paul's description (even though Paul didn't actually describe it).  Today, take a moment to think of what Heaven might actually be like; its wonder, glory and the supreme God of all creation who dwells there.  And if you think about it long enough, I guarantee you will not be able to describe it in words.  Humm, I wonder if our experience in heaven will be accompanies by music??  And will the three stooges be there?  Whatever awaits, I know I will be happy-- who needs words!!!

Bible Reading, Dec. 23

Dec. 23
Nahum 1-3

Nah 1:1 An oracle about Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
Nah 1:2 Yahweh is a jealous God and avenges. Yahweh avenges and is full of wrath. Yahweh takes vengeance on his adversaries, and he maintains wrath against his enemies.
Nah 1:3 Yahweh is slow to anger, and great in power, and will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. Yahweh has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
Nah 1:4 He rebukes the sea, and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan languishes, and Carmel; and the flower of Lebanon languishes.
Nah 1:5 The mountains quake before him, and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, yes, the world, and all who dwell in it.
Nah 1:6 Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the fierceness of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken apart by him.
Nah 1:7 Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knows those who take refuge in him.
Nah 1:8 But with an overflowing flood, he will make a full end of her place, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
Nah 1:9 What do you plot against Yahweh? He will make a full end. Affliction won't rise up the second time.
Nah 1:10 For entangled like thorns, and drunken as with their drink, they are consumed utterly like dry stubble.
Nah 1:11 There is one gone forth out of you, who devises evil against Yahweh, who counsels wickedness.
Nah 1:12 Thus says Yahweh: "Though they be in full strength, and likewise many, even so they will be cut down, and he shall pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more.
Nah 1:13 Now will I break his yoke from off you, and will burst your bonds apart."
Nah 1:14 Yahweh has commanded concerning you: "No more descendants will bear your name. Out of the house of your gods, will I cut off the engraved image and the molten image. I will make your grave, for you are vile."
Nah 1:15 Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, Judah! Perform your vows, for the wicked one will no more pass through you. He is utterly cut off.

Nah 2:1 He who dashes in pieces has come up against you. Keep the fortress! Watch the way! Strengthen your waist! Fortify your power mightily!
Nah 2:2 For Yahweh restores the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel; for the destroyers have destroyed them, and ruined their vine branches.
Nah 2:3 The shield of his mighty men is made red. The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the pine spears are brandished.
Nah 2:4 The chariots rage in the streets. They rush back and forth in the broad ways. Their appearance is like torches. They run like the lightnings.
Nah 2:5 He summons his picked troops. They stumble on their way. They dash to its wall, and the protective shield is put in place.
Nah 2:6 The gates of the rivers are opened, and the palace is dissolved.
Nah 2:7 It is decreed: she is uncovered, she is carried away; and her handmaids moan as with the voice of doves, beating on their breasts.
Nah 2:8 But Nineveh has been from of old like a pool of water, yet they flee away. "Stop! Stop!" they cry, but no one looks back.
Nah 2:9 Take the spoil of silver. Take the spoil of gold, for there is no end of the store, the glory of all goodly furniture.
Nah 2:10 She is empty, void, and waste. The heart melts, the knees knock together, their bodies and faces have grown pale.
Nah 2:11 Where is the den of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion and the lioness walked, the lion's cubs, and no one made them afraid?
Nah 2:12 The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his caves with the kill, and his dens with prey.
Nah 2:13 "Behold, I am against you," says Yahweh of Armies, "and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions; and I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers will no longer be heard."

Nah 3:1 Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. The prey doesn't depart.
Nah 3:2 The noise of the whip, the noise of the rattling of wheels, prancing horses, and bounding chariots,
Nah 3:3 the horseman mounting, and the flashing sword, the glittering spear, and a multitude of slain, and a great heap of corpses, and there is no end of the bodies. They stumble on their bodies,
Nah 3:4 because of the multitude of the prostitution of the alluring prostitute, the mistress of witchcraft, who sells nations through her prostitution, and families through her witchcraft.
Nah 3:5 "Behold, I am against you," says Yahweh of Armies, "and I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.
Nah 3:6 I will throw abominable filth on you, and make you vile, and will set you a spectacle.
Nah 3:7 It will happen that all those who look at you will flee from you, and say, 'Nineveh is laid waste! Who will mourn for her?' Where will I seek comforters for you?"
Nah 3:8 Are you better than No-Amon, who was situated among the rivers, who had the waters around her; whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was of the sea?
Nah 3:9 Cush and Egypt were her boundless strength. Put and Libya were her helpers.
Nah 3:10 Yet was she carried away. She went into captivity. Her young children also were dashed in pieces at the head of all the streets, and they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
Nah 3:11 You also will be drunken. You will be hidden. You also will seek a stronghold because of the enemy.
Nah 3:12 All your fortresses will be like fig trees with the first-ripe figs: if they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater.
Nah 3:13 Behold, your troops in your midst are women. The gates of your land are set wide open to your enemies. The fire has devoured your bars.
Nah 3:14 Draw water for the siege. Strengthen your fortresses. Go into the clay, and tread the mortar. Make the brick kiln strong.
Nah 3:15 There the fire will devour you. The sword will cut you off. It will devour you like the grasshopper. Multiply like grasshoppers. Multiply like the locust.
Nah 3:16 You have increased your merchants more than the stars of the skies. The grasshopper strips, and flees away.
Nah 3:17 Your guards are like the locusts, and your officials like the swarms of locusts, which settle on the walls on a cold day, but when the sun appears, they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.
Nah 3:18 Your shepherds slumber, king of Assyria. Your nobles lie down. Your people are scattered on the mountains, and there is no one to gather them.
Nah 3:19 There is no healing your wound, for your injury is fatal. All who hear the report of you clap their hands over you; for who hasn't felt your endless cruelty?

Dec. 23
Revelation 7, 8

Rev 7:1 After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree.
Rev 7:2 I saw another angel ascend from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea,
Rev 7:3 saying, "Don't harm the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads!"
Rev 7:4 I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel:
Rev 7:5 of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand, of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,
Rev 7:6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,
Rev 7:7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,
Rev 7:8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
Rev 7:10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
Rev 7:11 All the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before his throne, and worshiped God,
Rev 7:12 saying, "Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
Rev 7:13 One of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?"
Rev 7:14 I told him, "My lord, you know." He said to me, "These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb's blood.
Rev 7:15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, they serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them.
Rev 7:16 They will never be hungry, neither thirsty any more; neither will the sun beat on them, nor any heat;
Rev 7:17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shepherds them, and leads them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Rev 8:1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
Rev 8:2 I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
Rev 8:3 Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand.
Rev 8:5 The angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake.
Rev 8:6 The seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Rev 8:7 The first sounded, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. One third of the earth was burnt up, and one third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Rev 8:8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great burning mountain was thrown into the sea. One third of the sea became blood,
Rev 8:9 and one third of the living creatures which were in the sea died. One third of the ships were destroyed.
Rev 8:10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch, and it fell on one third of the rivers, and on the springs of the waters.
Rev 8:11 The name of the star is called "Wormwood." One third of the waters became wormwood. Many people died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
Rev 8:12 The fourth angel sounded, and one third of the sun was struck, and one third of the moon, and one third of the stars; so that one third of them would be darkened, and the day wouldn't shine for one third of it, and the night in the same way.
Rev 8:13 I saw, and I heard an eagle, flying in mid heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe! Woe! Woe for those who dwell on the earth, because of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels, who are yet to sound!"

Proverbs, Wisdom Regarding Alcohol, Mark Copeland

                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                        Wisdom Regarding Alcohol


1. A serious problem today involves the consumption of alcohol...
   a. More than thirty percent of Americans at some time in their lives
      has had an alcohol use disorder - Bridget Gant, National Institute
      On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
   b. Nearly 100,000 people die every year of alcohol-related causes
      - Dr. James C. Garbutt, medical director of the Alcohol and
      Substance Abuse Program (UNC at Chapel Hill)
   c. Alcohol is more dangerous than some illegal drugs like marijuana
      or Ecstasy and should be classified as such in legal systems
      - Professor David Nutt, Bristol University
   d. Alcohol is blamed for more than half of all visits to hospital
      emergency rooms - ibid.

2. The Book of Proverbs warns against the dangers of alcohol...
   a. Whether in the form of wine or strong drink
   b. With the potential of leading one astray - Pr 20:1

[What further wisdom can be gleaned from Proverbs concerning alcohol?
Let's see...]


      1. A warning against those who love wine - Pr 21:17
      2. A warning against spending time with winebibbers and drunkards
         - Pr 23:20-21
      -- Alcohol has been the downfall of many businessmen

      1. It can lead to woe and sorrow, contentions and complaints,
         wounds without cause and redness of eyes - Pr 23:29-30
      2. It is seductive, and can destroy one just like the seductress
         - Pr 23:31-32; 5:3-5; 6:24-26
      3. It can alter your senses, leading you to say things you'll
         later regret (e.g., "office parties") - Pr 23:33
      4. It gives a false sense of security, exposing you to great
         danger (e.g., "driving drunk") - Pr 23:34-35
      -- Alcohol has destroyed many lives, both those who drink and
         innocent ones who cross their paths

      1. Which is why kings and princes were to abstain - Pr 31:4-5
      2. It is better reserved for the dying and devastated - Pr 31:6-7
      -- Alcohol is not for those who would be wise

[Indeed, "Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is
led astray by it is not wise." (Pr 20:1).  Because of such warnings,
and with the serious problems with alcohol in our society, let's review
what is said about...]


      1. Drunkenness
         a. A work of darkness, not an element of the armor of light
            - Ro 13:11-14
         b. Conduct that not repented of will keep one out of the
            kingdom of God - 1Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:19-21
         c. Conduct suitable for church discipline - 1Co 5:11-13
      2. Social drinking
         a. We are to dedicate ourselves to doing the will of God, not
            the lusts of men - 1Pe 4:1-2
         b. Thus we are to abstain from drunkenness, revelries, drinking
            parties - 1Pe 4:3
         c. Though we should expect others to think ill of us for
            abstaining - 1Pe 4:4
      -- The popular and common use of alcohol has no place in the life
         of the Christian

      1. Concern for the weaknesses of others - Ro 14:14-18
         a. Are we willing to destroy the one for whom Christ died?
         b. Are we more interested in righteousness, peace, and joy in
            the Holy Spirit?
      2. Willingness to forego wine if a stumbling block to others - Ro
         a. Do we know someone who struggles with alcohol abuse and
         b. Do we love them more than any presumed right we may have to
      3. Evidently Timothy had chosen  to forego wine for such reasons
         - cf. 1Ti 5:23
         a. Paul prescribed that Timothy drink wine for medicinal
         b. Wine was often used to purify water, yet for some reason
            Timothy had abstained
      -- The Christian must prayerfully consider the role of influence
         regarding alcohol


1. What is wisdom regarding the consumption of alcohol...?
   a. In view of the warnings found in Proverbs?
      1) It can lead to poverty
      2) It can destroy lives
      3) It impairs judgment
   b. In view of the teachings found in the New Testament?
      1) Prohibitions concerning drunkenness
      2) Concerns regarding influence on weaker brethren

2. What is wisdom in light of the problems of alcohol abuse in our
   society today...?
   a. Shall we flirt with the seducing effects of alcohol?
      1) Alcohol can be tempting and easily ensnare the unsuspecting
      2) If one in three have succumbed, might not we?
   b. Shall we be insensitive to the weaknesses that many have regarding
      1) Alcohol is the number one drug problem we face today
      2) If one in three have problems with it, dare we become stumbling
         blocks to them?

It shouldn't take the wisdom of Solomon to see that Christians should
take the dangers of alcohol seriously and be proactive in helping
themselves and others to remain free from its clutches...!