From Ben Fronczek... Every Day Offers us a Second Chance

Every Day Offers us a Second Chance

Every Day Offers us a Second Chance

Now that the year is coming to an end, many of us have a tendency to think back over the past 12 months and reflect on the good times and the bad, our successes and failures, our personal times of growth, and unfortunately our  shortcomings or times of personal failure. And as we do this we may even experience an array of feeling and emotions; from a feeling of thanksgiving, and satisfaction, to feelings of disappointment in our self knowing that we probably could and should have done better. And today I want to address these feelings of personal disappointment in our self.

If we are honest with our self, even the best of us realize that somewhere along the line, we fail now and then in our relationship to God. And I don’t know about you but this bothers me more than anything else. And it’s probably not the best way to start a New Year, all down and depressed.

If we are honest and have a humble spirit you may even have a list of personal failures and you may be very disappointed in yourself knowing that you should have done better as a Christian. There seem to be so many ways for us to mess up. (List some examples) Read Ephesians 4:17-5:5
Its one thing to think back over the year and second guess things that you did at you job, in your business, whether you should have bought something or not, whether you should have spoke up about something or not. There may be a hundred other things we did, or decisions we made over the past year that we now question, but nothing pulls at the heart string of a Christian like knowing that he or she failed our Lord in some way.

I am not sure where some of us got the image of God being an old angry man with a long beard ready to zap us from out of existence for each error we make, but it did not come from the Bible.
If anything the Bible lets us know that our God is one who will forgive those who are humble and repent. He took a murderer by the name of Moses, and turned him into a great national and spiritual leader. He took an adulterer and murderer like David, and used him to write many of the Psalms to strengthen and encourage the people of God. He took a woman who had been married and divorced five times and was now living with a sixth man and turned her into the first evangelist to go into Samaria. He took a guy who was determined to eradicate and destroy His church and turned him into one of the greatest evangelists and church builders of all time. He even took some of us, and turned our whole life around compared to what we once were. Our God is a God who will forgive humble ones who know that they have messed up and asked for His forgiveness and favor. 

Today I would like to read a story from the Old Testament that shows just how forgiving and merciful our God can be if we truly repent.

Read: 2 Chronicles 33:1-11 

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5 In both courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
7 He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 8 I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the land I assigned to your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and regulations given through Moses.” 9 But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.”

Here in our reading, we read about King Manasseh, who had the opportunity to be a great king and have the greatest impact because he was the longest reigning king. He ruled for 55 years. His father had been a king who loved the Lord and did a lot in leading the nation back to serving God.
But as soon as Manasseh got the opportunity, he undid everything his father had spiritually tried to do for the nation. Manasseh spent most of his 55 years doing evil in the eyes of the Lord. He worshiped idols, tried talking to dead people through witches and sorcerers, he sacrificed his sons as human offerings to idols, he put to death innocent people who challenged what he was doing.

The account of Manasseh in 2 Kings tells us he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood. Tradition tells us he had the prophet Isaiah sawn in half.

Manasseh was full of pride. He did not have to answer to anyone. He did not apologize to anyone for anything he did. He could care less about God. But one day, God decided enough was enough. God sent the King of Assyria to invade Jerusalem. Manasseh was captured, and they put a hook in his nose and chains on his hands and feet and led him away as though he was some wild animal.
This former king was thrown into some Assyrian prison. All the riches and power of which he had boasted now meant absolutely nothing. None of the many idols he had made and created could do much to help him. His situation was hopeless, and he was helpless. Talk about someone who messed up.

It was probably in the dark of the prison, where Manasseh remembered, that the God of Israel, was a second chance God. And now look at what happens in this story;

Read 33:12-17 

12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.
14 Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah.
15 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. 16 Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17 The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.”

This murderous, lying, abuser of people, finally humbled himself  before our God and then prayed. There are a lot of people who do not understand how big the heart of God is. Maybe even some of us actually believe it’s possible, if we have done something so bad, God may not love or forgive us. The encouraging news I have for you and me today is that when this evil man humbled himself before God, God was willing to forgive him and had a new plan for his Life, and likewise even though you may have messed up some this year, if you have the right heart God will forgive you put His plan to work in your life this up and coming year.

Manasseh, whose life was a complete moral and spiritual disaster, got a second chance from a loving God who gives 2nd chances. And then he spent the rest of his life trying to lead his people back to God. There’s not a soul here who can go back into the past and change what was said or what was done, but all of us have the opportunity in God to make a positive difference in what takes place from here on out. So what if you’ve blown it for the past year, or two, or even for the past twenty years, or past 40 years. You don’t have to end up a failure in God’s eyes or even your own. I know its hard to live a perfectly sinless life. Even the strongest believer has weaknesses and occasionally fails. Sin is a reality we must all face. It seems that no amount of faith or love for Jesus can make us immune to failure or guarantee that we will not sin. The apostle Paul understood and said it this way in Romans 7:21-25

  So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

The only hope that we have is because of grace and mercy Jesus our Lord is willing to show us.  He will give even the worst failures a 2nd chance., but we have to have the right attitude. John wrote in 1 John. 1:9 

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Isn’t that what you want?  I therefore encourage you to take life one day at a time. And when your feel tempted, seek God’s help. And if you do fail, learn from those people of old, like David, and Manasseh, Samson, Paul and so many others. Humble yourself before our Lord, leave the past in the past, trust in our awesome God, and He will lift you up.
Partly based on a sermon by Rick Gillespie- Mobley
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... AIDS and just suppose

AIDS and just suppose

Here’s a piece of wonderful news. Cheap antibiotics may cut the deaths of children in poorer countries by as much as 50%.

If 100 doctors from Mars came to help Africa they could laugh in derision at the HIV=AIDS theory and still cut 50% of the deaths of children in Africa simply by giving them the common antibiotic co-trimoxazole as prophylaxis (prevention).

Here are two Zambian children, one is HIV antibody positive and the other is not, but both are in reasonable health and fortunate enough to have "adequate" necessities. Co-trimoxazole will take care of their infections. HIV is irrelevant! They both got similar infections and the same antibiotic cures both. If they don’t already have it the same antibiotic prevents it in both.

The World Health Organization announced on the BBC news today (19/11/04) that co-trimoxazole has been so effective that they called a halt to tests in Zambia because they’d seen enough and there’s no point in proving it further. That this common antibiotic has been effective when used as preventative medicine against pneumonia and serious infections has been known for years.

But it was only this morning that WHO announced that they’re now advising a change in treatment of children with HIV antibodies. No more poison chemicals— cheap antibiotics. Well, well, what do you suppose has led to that revelation and revolution? Why are they in such a hurry now to change their drug advice?

This means, of course that WHO is not going to treat HIV in these children (since antibiotics don’t treat viruses). They going to treat old diseases with old medicine and continue to pretend that they’re battling the HIV/AIDS plague. Oh well, at least the kids will get the benefit.

In future days some historian will write this entire HIV=AIDS thing up as a combination of greed, ambition, self-serving research, gullibility and a flat refusal by the leading AIDS advocates to admit they got it wrong!

Suppose I jumped up and claimed that I knew what was causing some bizarre deaths from infection in the homosexual and recreational drug-taking community (suppose I called the deaths AIDS). Suppose I said it was a virus that caused AIDS and I gave it a name (HIV).

Suppose after twenty years and multiplied millions of dollars invested in research I still haven’t established a physical connection between the virus that I’d picked on and the condition that I said it caused.

Suppose in the meantime I started selling very expensive drugs that were extremely toxic, drugs that I admitted were no cure for the condition that I had proposed. Just suppose I called them AZT or some such thing.

And suppose that these chemicals were ruining the health of those that were taking them. 

Suppose that the chemicals I was selling to millions was so destructive that I had to put a warning on the "bottle" saying that this stuff could maim or kill you but that it would at least have crippling side effects.

And suppose a growing and significant body of leading scientists had been telling me for years that the virus I claimed was causing the entire problem still wasn’t known to be a threat to anyone’s life or health.

And suppose I was faced with the dilemma that those taking my chemotherapy were dying, right, left and center while thousands with the virus (but well-fed and cared for) were living full lives without any health problems whatever.

What might I do? I might weaken my toxic cocktail and the result would be that the patients aren’t killed as quickly as the stronger stuff killed them. That way my patients would live longer and I could claim, "See, we’re getting better at treating this ‘disease’ because the people we’re giving these chemicals to are not dying as quickly." That way the gullible would think I was finally getting to grips with this "disease" when in fact I was only killing my patients more slowly.

Suppose to make my case for the viral plague theory I picked on countries where people had been dying for half of forever with a whole swarm of old diseases and infections resulting from severe malnutrition, lack of good sanitation, lack of antibiotics and lack of devoted expert nursing and medical teams. Suppose they had been dying of these "old" diseases long before I dreamed up my viral plague theory and suppose they continue now to die of the same "old" diseases except that I have given them a new name and claimed a phony cause.

Suppose one day documents were leaked that showed that my expert advisors (scientists on my payroll or in my "club") had been expressing serious doubts about my claims about the virus and the condition I insisted it led to and about the useless compounding of the problem with poison. And suppose a large number of families decided to sue me.

But suppose that over a number of years I had the gut feeling that litigation might be a real possibility and suppose that I was no nearer proving any connection between the virus I’d picked on and the "plague" I said it caused. I might shrewdly make a couple more moves. I might shred and wipe out every memo that proved that such warnings were given. Still, I’d worry because it’s hard to totally cover anything up. (I’d sneer when people mentioned this kind of thing and mutter "more conspiracy theories." You remember, the way the tobacco people did before they were exposed.)

My second move might be to take the toxic chemicals (AZT and its kin) off the market. Yes, the chemical poisons that I sold to many millions, the poison packs that I’d hounded governments into buying to give to their people.

But why would I want to do that? The answer’s obvious. The quicker I stop dispensing this killing poison the fewer people I’ll kill. And—and this is critically important—people will eventually forget that I’d been selling that killing stuff. When the matter is raised I’ll say, "Oh, that, we haven’t used that in years. That’s in the past. Just look at how much good we’re doing now."

But how could I all of a sudden take these poisons off the market without people smelling a stink? I would need a way to cover my tracks. I’ll become a hero by "discovering" that antibiotics do a "better" job than the poisonous chemicals that I have been selling; poison chemicals that may well lead to litigation that would cost me billions of dollars. (Of course I’d laugh if someone suggested that possibility; you remember, the way the tobacco companies laughed at litigation before the courts made them pay till they bled.)

I’d be careful how I phrased my public announcements. I would say that the antibiotics would "buy more time" for those with HIV antibodies. The truth is the antibiotics would buy more time for those suffering with old diseases that were around since forever; diseases that I have never shown are caused by HIV. But I’ll be careful to say the antibiotics will buy them "more time" against HIV and AIDS.

I’ll even be able to say, "We have learned how to cut AIDS deaths by 50%." People will look at me with awe and gratitude (in that frame of mind they’re less likely to think of litigation).

When I say we have learned to cut "AIDS" deaths by 50% (in places like Africa) with a simple antibiotic, people will somehow think that we’re really dealing with the alleged AIDS virus when everyone knows that antibiotics don’t deal with viruses. (But people keep forgetting these things so it’s a shrewd move just the same. Keep their thinking wooly.)

When I say we’re cutting "AIDS" by 50% that hides the fact that I still haven’t shown that what I call HIV hurts the immune system or causes what I call AIDS.

The huge 50% cut will he hailed as wondrous and people will be so pleased that "AIDS is finally being beaten" that they’ll not notice that I could have cut the deaths (in places like Africa) by 50% all along if I hadn’t been selling my poison chemicals and doing research on my pet theory that HIV=AIDS.

They won’t notice that we could have cut 50% of these deaths without ever having spent a penny on research into the HIV virus.

They won’t notice that we could have cut 50% of African and other deaths if the "words" HIV and AIDS had never been invented and the half-baked theory had never been spawned.
They won’t notice that the common antibiotic that we’re now hailing to the skies has been around for years and that it’s prescribed for opportunistic infections, pneumonia, toxoplasmosis and the like whether or not people have HIV antibodies.

They won’t notice that if the world woke up tomorrow and humanity had lost all memory of the existence of the HIV=AIDS theory that we could still cut 50% of the deaths in areas like Africa with antibiotics.

And this will really put the icing on the cake. I will tell them that the main advantage of the antibiotic treatment is that it is a fraction of the cost of present poisonous treatments. See what I will do for all the poor, suffering millions?

Most people will be so relieved with the fantastic news that they won’t ask why I hadn’t been using cheap antibiotics for years. (Besides, if they bring those questions up I’ll talk my way around them by throwing statistics and epidemiological studies at them. That’ll shut them up.)

And while I keep their minds on the battle with a viral plague that I’ve invented the nations will not be able to see that the greedy stockpiling of resources like food and medicine and equipment and seed is what’s killing these poor people. And while I keep their minds on the battle with a viral plague that I’ve invented the nations will not be able to see that war lords and warmongers are the real cause of the bulk of all the deaths in these impoverished countries. And while I keep their minds on the battle with a viral plague that I’ve invented the nations will not be able to see that their sick colonialism in earlier years that used the locals as menial laborers and didn’t help them to become capable and self-governing has generated the poverty, disease and desperation that devastates these poor.

©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... Two Kinds Of Teaching (1 Timothy 1:3-7)

                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                     Two Kinds Of Teaching (1:3-7)


1. Paul wrote First Timothy to guide one's conduct in the house of God
   - 1Ti 3:14-15
   a. Note that the church serves as "the pillar and ground of the
   b. It is imperative our teaching reflects that responsibility

2. Now let's read from 1Ti 1:3-7...
   a. Paul reminded Timothy of the charge given him
   b. Concerning some who evidently were not teaching as they should!

3. In our text we note "Two Kinds Of Teaching"...
   a. There is that which causes disputes
   b. There is that which produces godly edification

4. What makes the difference?  This question should concern...
   a. All those who teach or preach God's Word
   b. All Christians, who as students by their personal study or
      comments in classes:
      1) Can contribute to the rise of disputes
      2) Or develop thoughts which result in godly edification

[Let's note the difference between the two, beginning with...]


      1. Not content with the simple gospel and doctrine of Jesus Christ
         - cf. Ga 1:8-9
      2. Ignoring the charge that we "teach no other doctrine" - 1 Ti 1:3
      3. Delving into that which is "new"
         a. New in the sense of new revelation, not supported by the
         b. For old truth may be often be new to us who are still

      1. It is easy to become interested only in intellectual arguments
         a. Focusing more on argument rather than action
         b. Failing to make application of what we teach or study
      2. In such case our teaching and study become 'idle talk' - 1 Ti 1:6
         a. Against which Paul also warned Titus - Tit 1:10; 3:9
         b. Which James described as 'useless religion' - Jm 1:22-27

      1. Disputes are easily caused by those who:
         a. "desire to be teachers of the law" - 1Ti 1:7
         b. Seek to impress others with their 'knowledge' of the Word
            - contra Jm 3:13-18
      2. Knowledge is not without its dangers
         a. We can be motivated more by pride than a sincere desire to
            serve God
         b. Without love, knowledge simply puffs up rather than truly
            builds up - 1Co 8:1-2

      1. Often the most dogmatic are the most misinformed!
      2. Like those "understanding neither what they say nor the things
         which they affirm" - 1Ti 3:7
      3. Yes, we must stand fast in the defense of the truth...
         a. But "a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing"
         b. Let's be sure that we truly know and understand what is

[Such are the attitudes and motives that contribute to disputes among
brethren.  Now let's consider...]


      1. Godly edification is that "which is in faith" - 1Ti 1:4
      2. Of course, faith comes from the Word of God - Ro 10:17
         a. Godly teaching that edifies (builds up) comes from God's
         b. We must let the Word of God be the basis of our thoughts and

      1. Paul wrote "the purpose of the commandment is love" - 1Ti 1:5
         a. A love for truth certainly
         b. But also a love for God and man! - cf. 1Jn 4:20-21
      2. The desire should not be to just win arguments
         a. Our approach will therefore be different - 2Ti 2:24-25
         b. Because we are trying to win souls from the snare of Satan!
            - 2Ti 2:26

      1. Paul wrote that our goal should be love "from a pure heart"
         - 1Ti 1:5
      2. The goals of our teaching and study must be pure and not
         defiled by:
         a. Trying to show how clever we are
         b. Seeking to show what great debaters we are
         c. Wanting to embarrass the ignorance of our opponents
      3. Our desire must be pure, seeking to lead people closer to God

      1. Our goal should be love "from a good conscience" - 1Ti 1:5
         a. Which comes from first applying the Word to ourselves
         b. Like Ezra the priest sought to do - cf. Ezr 7:10
      2. Yet one can easily stray - 1Ti 1:6; cf. 1:19,20
         a. Especially when they do not practice what they preach
         b. And when they expect others to do what they themselves do

      1. Our goal should be love "from a sincere faith" - 1Ti 1:5
         a. Where we really believe what we teach or say
         b. Not simply engaging in an intellectual exercise
      2. Where what we are seeking is a living faith:
         a. To which we commit our lives
         b. And produces works of love to the glory of God  - cf. Ga 5:6


1. So what kind of teachers or students are we...?
   a. Those constantly engaged in disputes, wrangling over words?
   b. Or those engaged in godly edification?

2. Let's be sure that our teaching and Bible study is always that which
   a. Love
   b. A pure heart
   c. A good conscience
   d. A sincere faith

Of course, this is not possible without Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
in our lives.  Have you accepted Him as Savior and obeyed Him as your
Lord by responding to the gospel of Christ...? - Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38;

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading December 22

Bible Reading   

December 22

The World English Bible

Dec. 22
Micah 5-7

Mic 5:1 Now you shall gather yourself in troops, daughter of troops. He has laid siege against us. They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.
Mic 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, being small among the clans of Judah, out of you one will come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.
Mic 5:3 Therefore he will abandon them until the time that she who is in labor gives birth. Then the rest of his brothers will return to the children of Israel.
Mic 5:4 He shall stand, and shall shepherd in the strength of Yahweh, in the majesty of the name of Yahweh his God: and they will live, for then he will be great to the ends of the earth.
Mic 5:5 He will be our peace when Assyria invades our land, and when he marches through our fortresses, then we will raise against him seven shepherds, and eight leaders of men.
Mic 5:6 They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in its gates. He will deliver us from the Assyrian, when he invades our land, and when he marches within our border.
Mic 5:7 The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples, like dew from Yahweh, like showers on the grass, that don't wait for man, nor wait for the sons of men.
Mic 5:8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who, if he goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is no one to deliver.
Mic 5:9 Let your hand be lifted up above your adversaries, and let all of your enemies be cut off.
Mic 5:10 "It will happen in that day," says Yahweh, "That I will cut off your horses out of the midst of you, and will destroy your chariots.
Mic 5:11 I will cut off the cities of your land, and will tear down all your strongholds.
Mic 5:12 I will destroy witchcraft from your hand; and you shall have no soothsayers.
Mic 5:13 I will cut off your engraved images and your pillars out of your midst; and you shall no more worship the work of your hands.
Mic 5:14 I will uproot your Asherim out of your midst; and I will destroy your cities.
Mic 5:15 I will execute vengeance in anger, and wrath on the nations that didn't listen."
Mic 6:1 Listen now to what Yahweh says: "Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear what you have to say.
Mic 6:2 Hear, you mountains, Yahweh's controversy, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for Yahweh has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel.
Mic 6:3 My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me!
Mic 6:4 For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage. I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
Mic 6:5 My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of Yahweh."
Mic 6:6 How shall I come before Yahweh, and bow myself before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Mic 6:7 Will Yahweh be pleased with thousands of rams? With tens of thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my disobedience? The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
Mic 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Mic 6:9 Yahweh's voice calls to the city, and wisdom sees your name: "Listen to the rod, and he who appointed it.
Mic 6:10 Are there yet treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and a short ephah that is accursed?
Mic 6:11 Shall I be pure with dishonest scales, and with a bag of deceitful weights?
Mic 6:12 Her rich men are full of violence, her inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their speech.
Mic 6:13 Therefore I also have struck you with a grievous wound. I have made you desolate because of your sins.
Mic 6:14 You shall eat, but not be satisfied. Your humiliation will be in your midst. You will store up, but not save; and that which you save I will give up to the sword.
Mic 6:15 You will sow, but won't reap. You will tread the olives, but won't anoint yourself with oil; and crush grapes, but won't drink the wine.
Mic 6:16 For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab. You walk in their counsels, that I may make you a ruin, and her inhabitants a hissing; And you will bear the reproach of my people."
Mic 7:1 Misery is mine! Indeed, I am like one who gathers the summer fruits, as gleanings of the vineyard: There is no cluster of grapes to eat. My soul desires to eat the early fig.
Mic 7:2 The godly man has perished out of the earth, and there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; every man hunts his brother with a net.
Mic 7:3 Their hands are on that which is evil to do it diligently. The ruler and judge ask for a bribe; and the powerful man dictates the evil desire of his soul. Thus they conspire together.
Mic 7:4 The best of them is like a brier. The most upright is worse than a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen, even your visitation, has come; now is the time of their confusion.
Mic 7:5 Don't trust in a neighbor. Don't put confidence in a friend. With the woman lying in your embrace, be careful of the words of your mouth!
Mic 7:6 For the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
Mic 7:7 But as for me, I will look to Yahweh. I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.
Mic 7:8 Don't rejoice against me, my enemy. When I fall, I will arise. When I sit in darkness, Yahweh will be a light to me.
Mic 7:9 I will bear the indignation of Yahweh, because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my case, and executes judgment for me. He will bring me forth to the light. I will see his righteousness.
Mic 7:10 Then my enemy will see it, and shame will cover her who said to me, where is Yahweh your God? Then my enemy will see me and will cover her shame. Now she will be trodden down like the mire of the streets.
Mic 7:11 A day to build your walls-- In that day, he will extend your boundary.
Mic 7:12 In that day they will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt even to the River, and from sea to sea, and mountain to mountain.
Mic 7:13 Yet the land will be desolate because of those who dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.
Mic 7:14 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your heritage, who dwell by themselves in a forest, in the midst of fertile pasture land, let them feed; in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
Mic 7:15 "As in the days of your coming forth out of the land of Egypt, I will show them marvelous things."
Mic 7:16 The nations will see and be ashamed of all their might. They will lay their hand on their mouth. Their ears will be deaf.
Mic 7:17 They will lick the dust like a serpent. Like crawling things of the earth they shall come trembling out of their dens. They will come with fear to Yahweh our God, and will be afraid because of you.
Mic 7:18 Who is a God like you, who pardons iniquity, and passes over the disobedience of the remnant of his heritage? He doesn't retain his anger forever, because he delights in loving kindness.
Mic 7:19 He will again have compassion on us. He will tread our iniquities under foot; and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Mic 7:20 You will give truth to Jacob, and mercy to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.
Dec. 22
Revelation 5, 6

Rev 5:1 I saw, in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals.
Rev 5:2 I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to break its seals?"
Rev 5:3 No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look in it.
Rev 5:4 And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look in it.
Rev 5:5 One of the elders said to me, "Don't weep. Behold, the Lion who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome; he who opens the book and its seven seals."
Rev 5:6 I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
Rev 5:7 Then he came, and he took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
Rev 5:8 Now when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Rev 5:9 They sang a new song, saying, "You are worthy to take the book, and to open its seals: for you were killed, and bought us for God with your blood, out of every tribe, language, people, and nation,
Rev 5:10 and made us kings and priests to our God, and we will reign on earth."
Rev 5:11 I saw, and I heard something like a voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands, and thousands of thousands;
Rev 5:12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed to receive the power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!"
Rev 5:13 I heard every created thing which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever! Amen!"
Rev 5:14 The four living creatures said, "Amen!" The elders fell down and worshiped.

Rev 6:1 I saw that the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as with a voice of thunder, "Come and see!"
Rev 6:2 And behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow. A crown was given to him, and he came forth conquering, and to conquer.
Rev 6:3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come!"
Rev 6:4 Another came forth, a red horse. To him who sat on it was given power to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. There was given to him a great sword.
Rev 6:5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come and see!" And behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a balance in his hand.
Rev 6:6 I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenix of barley for a denarius! Don't damage the oil and the wine!"
Rev 6:7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see!"
Rev 6:8 And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him.
Rev 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had.
Rev 6:10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, Master, the holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Rev 6:11 A long white robe was given to each of them. They were told that they should rest yet for a while, until their fellow servants and their brothers, who would also be killed even as they were, should complete their course.
Rev 6:12 I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood.
Rev 6:13 The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind.
Rev 6:14 The sky was removed like a scroll when it is rolled up. Every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains.
Rev 6:16 They told the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,
Rev 6:17 for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"

From Gary... Transforming the illogical to clarity

Question: What part of making yourself at home includes cleaning the kitchen??? 

 The two concepts seem not to go together, but if you are at home- do you clean your kitchen?  Now, this 1950's lady is speaking to guests of course and is either playing with them or being sarcastic. But sometimes unlikely thoughts do go together.  Suppose the person to whom she is speaking really DOES LOVE TO CLEAN?  Then, this would make sense.  Or, if she is speaking to a relative, who just moved in- again, this would make sense!  But, this is probably just sarcasm; designed to "zing".  Oh, how I know about that one- I am married to the queen of zingers!!!  She loves the "got ya" and honestly- SO DO I.  It adds spice to our relationship and keeps our marriage from ever being boring.  But, I wonder, what if there is a serious situation going on when this is said, what then?

Consider the following:

2 Corinthians, Chapter 12
  14  Behold, this is the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I seek not your possessions, but you. For the children ought not to save up for the parents, but the parents for the children.  15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more abundantly, am I loved the less?  16 But be it so, I did not myself burden you. But, being crafty, I caught you with deception.  17 Did I take advantage of you by anyone of them whom I have sent to you?  18 I exhorted Titus, and I sent the brother with him. Did Titus take any advantage of you? Didn’t we walk in the same spirit? Didn’t we walk in the same steps?  19 Again, do you think that we are excusing ourselves to you? In the sight of God we speak in Christ. But all things, beloved, are for your edifying.  20 For I am afraid that by any means, when I come, I might find you not the way I want to, and that I might be found by you as you don’t desire; that by any means there would be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, whisperings, proud thoughts, riots;  21 that again when I come my God would humble me before you, and I would mourn for many of those who have sinned before now, and not repented of the uncleanness and sexual immorality and lustfulness which they committed.

The apostle Paul had to do something difficult- reprove, rebuke and exhort the Corinthian Christians to repent.  He does a bit of word-playing with them in vss. 15 and 16 (like happens in the picture) but addresses the seriousness of the situation later on (vss. 20ff.)  Paul has shown them his love (vs.15) and now they need to show him repentance.  Or else they would cause him more suffering and humility by their stubbornness.  Sounds complicated, doesn't it?  Well, human relationships are!!!  Bottom line is... Corinthians, clean up your kitchen!!!  I wonder who else this might apply to???  OK, put down your cup of coffee and ---  THINK ABOUT IT!!!