From Gary... Canberries, Rhubarb and "Smarts"

Remember the chess victory of "deep blue" over Gary Kasparov in 1997?  It was the first time a computer won at chess over a player who had reached grand master status!!!   It didn't know much about him, so I looked him up on Wikipedia...

"Garry Kimovich Kasparov (RussianГа́рри Ки́мович Каспа́ровRussian pronunciation: [ˈɡarʲɪ ˈkʲiməvʲɪtɕ kɐˈsparəf]; born Garik Kimovich Weinstein;[1] 13 April 1963) is a Russian (formerly Sovietchess grandmaster, a former World Chess Champion, writer and political activist, considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time.[2]
Kasparov became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at the age of 22 by defeating then-champion Anatoly Karpov.[3] He held the official FIDE world title until 1993, when a dispute with FIDE led him to set up a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association. He continued to hold the "Classical" World Chess Championship until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000. He was the first world champion to lose a match to a computer under standard time controls, when he lost to Deep Blue in 1997.
Kasparov's ratings achievements include being rated world No. 1 according to Elo rating almost continuously from 1986 until his retirement in 2005. He achieved a peak rating of 2851,[4] which was the highest recorded until 2013. He was theworld No. 1 ranked player for 255 months, nearly three times as long as his closest rival, Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov alsoholds records for consecutive tournament victories and Chess Oscars."

At this point you may be wondering why this reference is on the same page as a quote from the comedian, Groucho Marx.  Well, the Marx brothers were very smart people.  I especially like Groucho because of his ad lib abilities.  This quote seems particularly arcane and frankly I had to read it a couple of times in order to "get it"!!!  No matter how "smart" you are, there is always someone smarter!!!  But, who is smarter than the smartest person?  For Gary Kasparov, it was a machine? What about you?  Think you are smart?  Are you better at one specific thing than everyone you know?  Theoretically, are you better than every other human being?  How about non-humans... better than a machine... better than God?  Consider this passage from the book of 1st Corinthians...

1 Corinthians, Chapter 1

  18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.  19 For it is written, 

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing.”

  20  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn’t know God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe.  22 For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks,  24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.  25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  26 For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble;  27 but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong;  28 and God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that are not, that he might bring to nothing the things that are:  29 that no flesh should boast before God.  30 But of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:  31 that, according as it is written, “He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”

Again, think you are smart... check out this I.Q. chart I obtained from Wikipedia...

The smartest person I have every known (R.S.@160) was outstanding among his fellow  chemists and yet could not understand spiritual matters.  Point is; no matter how smart you are, someone else is probably smarter and even the smartest person alive falls abysmally short of the Almighty!!!  For me, I still have problems comparing Cranberries, Rhubarb and Prunes!!!

PS.  For those unacquainted with Groucho; view the following items by clicking on the link ...

Bible Reading, Mar. 6

Mar. 6
Exodus 16

Exo 16:1 They took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
Exo 16:2 The whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness;
Exo 16:3 and the children of Israel said to them, "We wish that we had died by the hand of Yahweh in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots, when we ate our fill of bread, for you have brought us out into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
Exo 16:4 Then said Yahweh to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from the sky for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law, or not.
Exo 16:5 It shall come to pass on the sixth day, that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily."
Exo 16:6 Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, "At evening, then you shall know that Yahweh has brought you out from the land of Egypt;
Exo 16:7 and in the morning, then you shall see the glory of Yahweh; because he hears your murmurings against Yahweh. Who are we, that you murmur against us?"
Exo 16:8 Moses said, "Now Yahweh shall give you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to satisfy you; because Yahweh hears your murmurings which you murmur against him. And who are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against Yahweh."
Exo 16:9 Moses said to Aaron, "Tell all the congregation of the children of Israel, 'Come near before Yahweh, for he has heard your murmurings.' "
Exo 16:10 It happened, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of Yahweh appeared in the cloud.
Exo 16:11 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 16:12 "I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, 'At evening you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread: and you shall know that I am Yahweh your God.' "
Exo 16:13 It happened at evening that quail came up and covered the camp; and in the morning the dew lay around the camp.
Exo 16:14 When the dew that lay had gone, behold, on the surface of the wilderness was a small round thing, small as the frost on the ground.
Exo 16:15 When the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, "What is it?" For they didn't know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread which Yahweh has given you to eat."
Exo 16:16 This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded: "Gather of it everyone according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, you shall take it, every man for those who are in his tent."
Exo 16:17 The children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less.
Exo 16:18 When they measured it with an omer, he who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack. They gathered every man according to his eating.
Exo 16:19 Moses said to them, "Let no one leave of it until the morning."
Exo 16:20 Notwithstanding they didn't listen to Moses, but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and became foul: and Moses was angry with them.
Exo 16:21 They gathered it morning by morning, everyone according to his eating. When the sun grew hot, it melted.
Exo 16:22 It happened that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one, and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
Exo 16:23 He said to them, "This is that which Yahweh has spoken, 'Tomorrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahweh. Bake that which you want to bake, and boil that which you want to boil; and all that remains over lay up for yourselves to be kept until the morning.' "
Exo 16:24 They laid it up until the morning, as Moses asked, and it didn't become foul, neither was there any worm in it.
Exo 16:25 Moses said, "Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to Yahweh. Today you shall not find it in the field.
Exo 16:26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath. In it there shall be none."
Exo 16:27 It happened on the seventh day, that some of the people went out to gather, and they found none.
Exo 16:28 Yahweh said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?
Exo 16:29 Behold, because Yahweh has given you the Sabbath, therefore he gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days. Everyone stay in his place. Let no one go out of his place on the seventh day."
Exo 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Exo 16:31 The house of Israel called its name Manna, and it was like coriander seed, white; and its taste was like wafers with honey.
Exo 16:32 Moses said, "This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded, 'Let an omer-full of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.' "
Exo 16:33 Moses said to Aaron, "Take a pot, and put an omer-full of manna in it, and lay it up before Yahweh, to be kept throughout your generations."
Exo 16:34 As Yahweh commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
Exo 16:35 The children of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan.
Exo 16:36 Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.

From Jim McGuiggan...

Alfred Noyes' skylark

I love Alfred Noyes’ skylark. The brilliant English poet tells how it is beating its wings and breast against the wire of its cage, refusing to accept its imprisonment. All the while it sings its song into the heavens and out through the bars that can only keep its body but can’t imprison its song.
What a metaphor for all the people of the world trapped in one kind of a prison or another. There they are shut behind emotional, economic, social or physical bars, beating their wings and chests against their bars and sending their songs out into life. There they are, burdened down with the cramped and oppressive conditions in towering tenement buildings, making the long treks to and from work every day, work that crushes their souls. But ask them—hosts of them—how is it with you? and while they grudgingly admit the pain of it, they rage against it all in that healthy, cheerful rage that refuses to quit singing.
Two preachers thrown into prison, chains around the ankles and at midnight singing praise to God. Fifty-seven teachers, dragging home their tired bodies and minds for a welcome night’s reprieve before beginning another daily wrestle with students, rebuking you for even hintingthat the kids aren’t worth the trouble. Fifteen thousand, seven hundred and thirty-two social workers, sorely tempted to jack it all in, in despair at the "system" and the scam artists that use it. But give them one good result and they’re back at it again with renewed light in their eyes. Tens of thousands of misty-eyed parents...beating and flapping and...singing.
And maybe all this is cheap talk coming from someone like me whose life is fine. Maybe I don’t have the right to talk about things that others stagger under but I confess—I just can’t keep quiet. I’d love to say something that will help to keep them singing until that day when they sing about the reality they experience and not just the one that used to be or the one they dream could or should be. But people like these are burdened in part because they know deep within them that "there’s something better than this, something wondrous beyond all this." Inside them, from one source or another, they’ve been given a glimpse of the sky and can never lie down and die in pessimism or cynicism.Don’t you just love gallant people? So Alfred Noyes urges his brave little skylark:

Beat little breast, still beat, still beat,
Strive, misted eyes and tremulous wings;
Swell, little throat, your Sweet! Sweet! Sweet!
Thro’ which such deathless memory rings;
Better to break your heart and die,
Than, like your jailers, to forget your sky.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy for allowing me to post from his website, the abiding word.com.

From Mark Copeland...

                       "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                    Jesus And The Children (18:1-14)


1. One of the more touching and endearing scenes during the life of
   Jesus was when He used a little child to teach His disciples some
   lessons - Mt 18:1-14

2. For all who would be true disciples of Jesus, there are valuable
   lessons to be gleaned from  this passage

[The first thing we are taught is...]


      1. "Unless you are converted", Jesus said
         a. "You will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven"
         b. Without conversion, we cannot have our sins blotted out
            - cf. Ac 3:19
         c. And we will not enjoy "times of refreshing from the Lord"
            - cf. Ac 3:19
      2. Note that the process of conversion is passive: "be converted"
         a. I.e., it is something you must allow to be done to you
         b. It begins when we in faith submit to "the working of God"
            1) That is, in baptism - cf. Col 2:12
            2) Wherein by God's mercy we experience "regeneration",
               "renewal" - Tit 3:5
         c. It continues as we live the Christian life
            1) God continues His working in us - cf. Php 1:6; 2:12-13
            2) He will do so until the coming of Christ - 1Th 5:23-24
      -- Have you, indeed are you, submitting to the working of God in
         your life so as to be truly converted?

      1. This was the concern of Jesus in Mt 18:4
         a. For His disciples had asked who would be greatest in the
         b. Jesus used a child to illustrate the sort of humility one
            must have
      2. Paul later used Jesus as an example of humility - Php 2:3-5
      -- Those who submit to the working of God in their lives will
         produce this kind of humility necessary for salvation - cf. 
         Col 3:12-13

[The next thing we learn from this passage is...]


      1. Some think Jesus used an infant to make his point about
         humility, and is now discussing His adult disciples
      2. But the Greek word for "child" (paidion) can refer to one as
         old as twelve years - cf. Mk 5:39-42
      -- I understand Jesus to be discussing children old enough to
         believe, old enough to sin - Mt 18:6

      1. It would be better to be killed by drowning - Mt 18:6
      2. "Woe to that man..." - Mt 18:7
      3. Why so terrible?  Because it is a sin against Christ Himself!
         a. Note Mt 18:5 and consider its opposite
         b. Paul learned this lesson on the road to Damascus - Ac 9:4-5
         c. He taught this truth to brethren in Corinth - 1Co 8:9-13

      1. By doing anything to keep them from serving Christ freely
      2. Directly, by persecuting, ridiculing, opposing, or dissuading
         them from serving the Lord
      3. Indirectly, by living a life inconsistent with what we claim
         to be!
      -- Are we putting stumbling blocks before our children, even 

[The next thing we can glean from these verses is...]

      1. E.g., Seventh-Day Adventists and Members of the Watchtower
         Society (JWs)
      2. Yet Jesus, more than any other, taught the reality of an
         eternal, suffering place of torment!
         a. The word "Gehenna" is used twelve times in Scripture, all
            but once by Jesus!
         b. Elsewhere He mentions "everlasting fire" and "everlasting
            punishment" - Mt 25:41,46
         c. And so did His disciples - He 10:26-29; Re 21:8
      3. Consider the implication of Mt 18:6 and He 10:28-29...
         a. What could be worse than drowning in the sea or dying
            without mercy?
         b. Acc. to those who deny punishment after death...nothing!
      -- Dare we "water down" what Jesus and the Bible teaches about
         the destiny of the wicked?

      1. So much so, that we remove whatever is close and dear to us if
         it causes us to sin!
      2. Jesus is using hyperbole, of course, for what good would it be
         to pluck out only one eye?
      -- Sin is like cancer; sometimes "radical surgery" is the only

[Finally, we are taught in this passage about...]


      1. What this may involve, one can only speculate
         a. Many think this refers to "guardian angels" - cf. Ps 91:
         b. We do know that angels are "ministering spirits sent forth
            to minister for those who will inherit salvation" - He 1:14
      2. Our text speaks of their presence before God - Mt 18:10
         a. Which some take to refer to their readiness to carry out
            the Father's wishes (Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke)
         b. At the very least we know there is joy in their presence
            when sinners repent - Lk 15:10
         c. Will they not be dismayed when one of God's children sin,
            or is made to stumble by others?
      -- Their close proximity to God in heaven suggest the honor God
         has toward those children who believe!

      1. Jesus came to die for them, too! - Mt 18:11
      2. Jesus illustrated His concern for them with the parable of the
         lost sheep - Mt 18:12-13
      -- If Jesus was willing to give His life for them, dare we 
         despise or neglect them?

      1. It is not His will - Mt 18:14
      2. Notice:  He does not want to lose "one" of these little ones!
      -- If both the Father and Son think so highly of these little 
         ones, should not we?


1. The words of Jesus should motivate us to take children seriously...
   a. For parents:  how important to bring your child up in the nurture
      and admonition of the Lord!
   b. For teachers:  How serious and noble is your task of teaching our
   c. For all of us:  We are examples and role models, whether good or
      bad...and God will hold us accountable for the effect we have on

2. And for those who would enter the kingdom...
   a. Heed the necessity of being converted!
   b. Let the example of child-like trust and humility be a guide as to
      how we should serve God and one another!

Have you humbled yourself in obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

eXTReMe Tracker