12/28/13

From Ben Fronczek... Things that Sabotage Our Success – Part 4 – Distractions


Things that Sabotage Our Success – Part 4 – Distractions 

(By Ben Froncek)
Opening Reading: Luke 10:38-42  
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (NIV)
This past week I read a story someplace on the internet (I can’t remember where) about a young woman who dreamed of becoming a great violinist. She knew how important it was to be dedicated to the art and practice every day but for some reason at first she did not seem to have enough time to practice like she wanted to. You see, after she got up in the morning she had a routine where she would eat her breakfast, exercise, shower, do some light housework like make her bed, put away her dishes, start a load of laundry, sweep or vacuum the floor, pay any bills that may have come, put out the mail, check her email and face book accounts, call her mother, run to the store for groceries and so on. By that time she was ready to eat lunch, then  fold the laundry, go out and get the mail and go through it… And before she knew it either the day was almost over or she had no energy to practice her violin the way she needed to.

So she became frustrated because she thought that she would have more time to practice living on her own than she did living at college or in her parent’s home. She realized that she was even more distracted and was continually being sidetracked from doing what she needed to do to reach her goal.

After thinking about it, she realized that her everyday routine and these distractions were sabotaging her future and she knew that she had to make some changes. From that point on she decided to dedicate the first two hours of each morning to her music and violin; and so those other chores had to wait until after her practice time was complete. And because of that change she went on to become a great musician.

As you have seen in this series of lessons, there are all kind of things that can sabotage or even short circuit our success. It may be because of our own ‘Stinkin Thinkin,’ when we start doubting our own ability or whether we even deserve anything better that what we already have, or even our own unwillingness to change our particular routine and get out of those unproductive ruts. Last week we talked about the danger of thinking we have to wait on or for others to accomplish our goals. I also talked about the danger of listening to those naysayers in our life and letting them discourage us.

Today we are dealing with a very familiar problem; the distractions in life.

You may really, really want to do something, or accomplish something just like this young lady who had a dream of becoming a great violinist. You may have the ability, the talent, the drive, the support from family and friends, but somehow we allow all these other things in life to consume our time and trip us up.

In our opening reading today we read a story about two women, Mary and Martha. And what did the text say about Martha who was all agitated because her sister Mary wasn’t running around like a chicken with her head cut off like she was? The text says that Martha was distracted. Distracted from what, to do what? She was more consumed with the housework and preparation of food for her guests than with spending quality time with the Lord Himself.

We can get sidetracked or distracted by all kinds of things; some good and also by things that are not so good and which may be sinful.

We wonder where our time goes and why we can’t seem to make time for doing and learning new things, or achieving new goals. There is all kinds of busy work and chores we can get caught up doing like our violinist and Martha. But there are also other things that absorb some of our limited time. For example listen to these updated statistics:


The average American over the age of 2 spends more than 34 hours a week watching live television, says a new Nielsen report — plus another three to six hours watching taped programs. In fact, adults are exposed to various screens — TVs, cellphones, even G.P.S. devices — for about 8.5 hours on any given day, according to a study released by the Council for Research Excellence. It’s been estimated that American people spend about 1/3 of the time awake plugged into some kind of screen.
Couple that with the time you spend at work, and then doing household  chores we all have to do, time we spend checking in or on family members (whether paying them a visit or calling them on the phone), time we take to eat and take care of our bodies, and time we take to rest and sleep, no wonder we don’t have time to accomplish anything new, exciting or great.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Lost time is never found again.”

The Bible is literally full of examples of people who allowed themselves to get distracted or be sidetracked by things causing them to get off track or sink.

Peter wanted to walk on water, but after he took his first few steps on water after leaving the boat heading toward Jesus, we read that he was distracted by the wind and the waves. He took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink.

In my younger days I hung around a friend who raised champion hunting dogs. When they wanted to train a young Beagle to become a Field Champion, they would run it with a mature seasoned beagle. Why? Because the older beagle would stay on course and follow only one rabbit trail. You may have heard stories where a young hunting dog would start off following one animal’s trail to be sidetracked by another animal’s trail that crossed their path. It would continue to jump from one scent and one animal to another. But a seasoned dog will stay true to that one course.

I think many of us are like that young dog that hops from on animal to another. It’s like we have A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder) or something. We start out doing one thing and we get sidetracked and start doing something else, and before you know it we wind up doing ten things and never finish the one thing we started out to do. We allow our self to get sidetracked too easily and many of us don’t manage our time very efficiently. We wind up being late for appointments, late for work, late for church, late for everything because we get distracted or sidetracked and then we wonder why we can’t learn something new or achieve our any of our goals.

Concerning getting sidetracked by things that can distract us, Solomon wrote some very wise words in Proverbs 4:23-27   Listen to what he wrote:

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 24Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. 25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.  27 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” (NLT)

So what is Solomon’s advise?                                                                                    
• #1  Determine what you want to do. Focus in on what you what to do or achieve. There is a purpose for your life and it is important to discover that purpose and not let a thousand little distractions rob you of it.

• #2  Mark out a straight, safe path, or the quickest way to get there. Drop unimportant things, even if is disappoints some people

• #3  Stick to that path and keep your eyes on the goal. Move from living life aimlessly to living you life with a purpose. Remember you are capable of doing great things with God’s help.

• #4  Don’t let petty things in life distract or sidetrack you from achieving what you really want to do.

• #5  Guard your heart and keep you heart from following any kind of evil. Why? because there are plenty of things out there to lure you away from your goal. That’s why these things are called temptations.  People spend hours and hours and sometimes a lifetime pursuing corrupt, ungodly, destructive, evil behavior or things. And that is such a waste. Many of us know people who are consumed with alcohol, drugs, or maybe even TV.

• #6  Focus on keeping the main thing the main thing.
The problem is that the main thing gets crowded out by a lot of things that are not even related to the main thing.
I can’t help but think of Paul’s words as he talked about achieving the goal of his life, and that was to become like Christ and sharing in His resurrection. Concerning this 
Paul writes in Philippians 3:12-14
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Notice the urgency and drive in Paul’s words.‘Press on’, ‘Straining’

So try not to allow too many things to sidetrack or distract you from doing what you really want to do.
I pray that this series of lesson will help you in years to come.

In closing I want to encourage you to dream and pursue some of those ideas and goal that you have. You never know, some of them may have been given to you by God Himself.
Don’t under-estimate you ability, value, or worth. Don’t be satisfied with the status que, and don’t simply settle for the rut you are in. Be flexible, and willing to try something new.
Don’t let the naysayer lead you to believe something is impossible if you know you can do it.
Trust in the Lord and His desire to bless you and help you. And remember as you pursue life, always put Him first.

For more lessons click on the following link:http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... Booze again

Booze again

Now the UK government has committed to spending several millions of dollars advertising that people not even take one drink because it’s too risky. It’s too risky because the drinker might drink more and maybe even go over the legal limit. Isn’t that great? They’ve just given the public more hours to drink (they said) to fight "excessive" drinking and now they’re spending millions of taxpayer’s money to tell drinkers not to take even a single drink if they intend to drive. They give the pubs more hours to ply their booze to drinkers and now they advertise on national television that anyone who plans to drive shouldn’t even drink one! Yes, I know I’m repeating myself. I just want to hear myself say it so I can get it clear in my mind. The figures on death due to drunk drivers have climbed and the government quite rightly want no more deaths. But the worry over increased boozing has been growing and deaths on the roads are only one of the tragic elements that generate the worry. The cost to life, limb, the economy, police presence, innocent bystanders, court cases and on and on is astronomical.The truth is, there's no way to measure the damage the booze industry inflicts on society.

So that’s what a handful of "experts" have come up with, huh? They want a crowd of friends to go to the pubs for a good time, a good time with longer hours to have a good time, and they expect them to pay attention to DON’T EVEN DRINK ONE DRINK. And a group from say six to ten will all come in one car, won't they? Yeah right! So if there's more than one vehicle there has to be more than one in the group that'll refuse to drink even one. So here we have these ones and twos, sitting there nursing their lemonade or cola while the rest get giddy with pleasure?And millions will be spent trying to sell that? Oh well. The booze industry loves these "experts".

So what’s the answer? I don’t have an "answer" that’ll fix it. I'm insisting that until we see the booze industry for the parasite that it is we’ll not look for a radical solution, or a radical part solution. We won’t dare to attempt the politically disastrous and much less will we think the unthinkable. Do you think the booze industry will stand for advertising restrictions that will bite into their profits? Do you think anyone in the corridors of power will insist that we treat booze the way we treat other drugs that are produced by pharmaceutical companies that have serious side-effects? Cannabis is outlawed and booze is advertised with government protection? Ecstasy that kills its tens (damn it!) is pursued by the government and booze that kills and maims and saddens its millions is treated like a good-natured uncle and given even more hours to spread its infection? 

A handful of people will continue to sit in some office and come up with the kind of laws and foolishness we’ve recently heard. The tobacco industry has felt the power of opposition but the booze industry? The rich bosses in the industry must laugh up their sleeves at what they get away with. They must bust out laughing--it's too hard to hold it in--in their business meetings when they think of the stupidity and gutlessness they face as the opposition. No smoking adverts on television but booze and sex, booze and elegance, booze and "the great life", booze and humour, booze and holding on to your dreams, booze and friendship, booze and happy family life—all over the screen, day in and day out.

And then some Christians talk about how harmless it is to support the booze industry with a beer or a glass of wine every now and then?

Arrrrrgggggghhhhh!
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Mark Copeland... Instructions To Women (1 Timothy 2:9-15)


                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                     Instructions To Women (2:9-15)

INTRODUCTION

1. The purpose of 1st Timothy is found in 1Ti 3:14-15...
   a. That we might know how to conduct ourselves in God's family, the
      church
   b. E.g., Paul's instruction to men regarding prayer - 1Ti 2:1-8

2. In 1Ti 2:9-15, Paul addresses the women, and gives instructions
   concerning...
   a. Their adornment - 1Ti 2:9-10
   b. Their submission - 1Ti 2:11-15

[His instructions may seem antiquated, but women seeking to please God
will do well to give earnest heed.  Consider, then, what is written
about...]

I. THE ADORNMENT OF WOMEN

   A. "IN LIKE MANNER..."
      1. Just as men are to pray 'everywhere', 'without wrath and
         doubting' - 1Ti 2:8
      2. So these instructions to women apply 'everywhere', 'without
         wrath and doubting'
      3. "The apostle had stated particularly the duty of men in public
         worship (1Ti 2:8), and he now proceeds to state the duty of
         women. All the directions here evidently refer to the proper
         manner of conducting public worship, and not to private duties;
         and the object here is to state the way in which he would have
         the different sexes appear." - Barnes
         a. "He had said that he would have prayers offered for all
            people (1Ti 2:1ff), and that in offering such petitions he
            would have the men on whom devolved the duty of conducting
            public devotion, do it with holy hands, and without any
            intermingling of passion, and with entire freedom from the
            spirit of contention." - ibid.
         b. "In reference to the duty of females in attendance on public
            worship, he says that he would have them appear in apparel
            suitable to the place and the occasion - adorned not after
            the manner of the world, but with the zeal and love in the
            cause of the Redeemer which became Christians." - ibid.

   B. "ADORN THEMSELVES IN MODEST APPAREL..."
      1. Lit., "adorn themselves in adorning attire"; the word modest
         means:
         a. "orderly, well-arranged, decent" - Vine
         b. "well-arranged, becoming' - RWP
         c. The NASB uses the word 'proper'
      2. "It does not, properly, mean modest in the sense of being
         opposed to that which is immodest, or which tends to excite
         improper passions and desires, but that which is becoming or
         appropriate." - Barnes
      3. What constitutes 'proper' apparel is further defined by Paul as
         he continues...

   C. "WITH PROPRIETY AND MODERATION..."
      1. Propriety means "a sense of shame, a shrinking from trespassing
         the boundaries of propriety, proper reserve" - Hendriksen
      2. Moderation (translated 'sobriety', KJV) means "sanity; then
         sober-mindedness, moderation of the desires and passions. It is
         opposed to all that is frivolous, and to all undue excitement
         of the passions. The idea is, that in their apparel and
         deportment they should not entrench on the strictest decorum.
         Doddridge." - Barnes
      3. The point is to avoid extremes:  "Be not the first by whom the
         new is tried, nor yet the last to lay the old aside." - Pope

   D. "NOT WITH BRAIDED HAIR, GOLD, PEARLS OR COSTLY CLOTHING..."
      1. Note that Paul is not dealing with brevity of clothing per se
         a. Rather, clothing and hairstyles designed to draw the
            attention of others
         b. Of course, drawing attention through brevity of clothing
            would violate the spirit of the letter, as well as the word
            translated before as "propriety" or "shamefacedness" (KJV)
      2. Is Paul condemning all adorning of the hair or wearing of
         jewelry?
         a. Compare what Peter wrote in 1Pe 3:3-4
            1) Both appear to be a use of the comparative 'not'...
               a) Where 'not' is not used as a literal prohibition
               b) But to compare one thing to another (not this..but
                  this)
            2) For example, look at Jn 6:27
               a) Did Jesus condemn working for food?
               b) No, He was emphasizing what is most important
         b. Sarah evidently adorned herself such that her beauty could
            not be hidden (cf. Gen 12:14-15), but her true beauty was
            adornment of a meek and quiet spirit - 1Pe 3:5-6
      3. "It cannot be supposed that the mere braiding of the hair is
         forbidden, but only that careful attention to the manner of
         doing it, and to the ornaments usually worn in it, which
         characterized worldly females. It is not to be supposed that
         all use of gold or pearls as articles of dress is here
         forbidden; but the idea is, that the Christian female is not to
         seek these as the adorning which she desires, or is not to
         imitate the world in these personal decorations." - Barnes

   E. "BUT, WHICH IS PROPER FOR WOMEN PROFESSING GODLINESS, WITH
      GOOD WORKS..."
      1. Here is where the emphasis is to be, not on outward apparel!
      2. As per 1Pe 3:3-4:  "Do not let your adornment be [merely]
         outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on
         [fine] apparel - rather [let it be] the hidden person of the
         heart, with the incorruptible [beauty] of a gentle and quiet
         spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (NKJV)
      3. Good works befits women professing godliness (godly piety)
         - e.g., Dorcas, Ac 9:36,39

[Sisters in Christ, what do men notice most about you?  Attention to
physical adornment, or your godly conduct?  Be careful not to let the
physical take precedent and block out the spiritual!  Now consider
Paul's instructions regarding...]

II. THE SUBMISSION OF WOMEN

   A. "LEARN IN SILENCE WITH ALL SUBMISSION...TO BE IN SILENCE"
      1. The word "silence" (NKJV, ASV, NRSV) - 1Ti 2:11-12
         a. Translated "quietness" (KJV), "quietly" (NASB)
         b. Found here and in Ac 22:2 ("all the more silent") and 2 Th 3:12 ("work             in quietness")
         c. Related to the word used in 1Ti 2:2 ("peaceable life")
      2. "The apostle goes on to give some other instructions to women,
         how they should behave themselves in public worship, in the
         church of God;" - Gill
         a. "he would have them be learners and not teachers, sit and
            hear, and learn more of Christ, and of the truth of the
            Gospel, and to maintain good works;" - ibid.
         b. "and he would have them learn in silence, and not offer to
            rise and speak, under a pretense of having a word from the
            Lord, or of being under an impulse of the Spirit of the
            Lord, as some frantic women have done;" - ibid.
         c. "and if they should meet with anything, under the ministry
            of the word, they did not understand, or they had an
            objection to, they were not to speak in public, but ask
            their own husbands at home; see 1Co 14:34." - ibid.
         d. "And thus, they were to behave with all subjection; both to
            the ministers of the word, and to their own husbands; - ibid.
      3. Thus women should "listen attentively to instruction, without
         attempting to teach in public" - Barnes

   B. "DO NOT PERMIT A WOMEN TO TEACH OR TO HAVE AUTHORITY..."
      1. Note that this pertains to "over a man"
         a. Compare his comments with those in 1Co 14:34-37
         b. Women may certainly teach other women, children - cf. Tit 2:
            3-4
      2. Both 1Ti 2:11-12 and 1Co 14:34-37 appear to deal with the
         conduct of women in the public assemblies and worship of the
         church

   C. REASONS AND REASSURANCES FOR SUCH CONDUCT...
      1. Reasons for the submission of women in the church - 1Ti 2:
         13-14
         a. Adam was formed first, then Eve
            1) "Man was made as the lord of this lower creation and
               placed in the garden, and then the woman was made of a
               rib taken from his side, and given to him, not as a lord,
               but as a companion." - Barnes (cf. Gen 2:7-23)
            2) "All the circumstances combine to show the subordinate
               nature of her rank, and to prove that she was not
               designed to exert authority over the man; compare notes
               on 1Co 11:8-9." - ibid.
         b. Adam was not deceived; Eve being deceived, fell into
            transgression
            1) Neither the serpent nor Eve deceived Adam; he allowed
               himself to be persuaded by Eve after she ate - cf. Gen 3:17
            2) Eve was deceived by the serpent, which she readily
               acknowledged - Gen 3:13
            3) The woman's susceptibility to deception is thus offered
               as a reason why women are not to have a leadership role
               over men in the church
      2. Reassurances for women who learn in submission - 1Ti 2:15
         a. "She will be saved in childbearing" (NKJV)
            1) "To be understood not of a temporal salvation, or being
               saved through childbearing, through the perilous time,
               and be delivered out of it..." - Gill
            2) "...for though this is generally the case, yet not
               always, nor always the case of good women. Rachel died in
               child bed." - ibid.
         b. But though subject to man, with no leadership role in the
            church, and susceptible to bearing children in pain and
            sorrow (cf. Gen 3:16), a woman can be saved as well as a man
            - cf. Ga 3:28
         c. She can be saved even in this function (childbearing), not
            by means of it - RWP
            1) Paul is not saying women must bear children to be saved,
               for he teaches elsewhere the value of the single life
               - cf. 1Co 7:32-35
            2) Yet generally speaking, this is God's creative purpose
               for women (motherhood)
         d. "Provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with
            modesty (self-restraint)"
            1) Faith, love, holiness - virtues necessary for salvation
            2) Modesty (self-restraint) - virtue necessary for submission

CONCLUSION

1. In a world obsessed with fashion and equality, it is not easy to be a
   'daughter of Sarah' today

2. But for women 'making a claim to godliness'...
   a. Their adornment will be modest and discreet, accompanied with good
      works
   b. Their service will be faith, love, and holiness, accompanied by
      submission and self-restraint

In the words of Peter, such conduct is "...very precious in the sight of
God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in
God also adorned themselves..." - 1Pe 3:4-5



Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading December 28


Bible Reading   

December 28

The World English Bible

Dec. 28
Zechariah 5-8

Zec 5:1 Then again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a flying scroll.
Zec 5:2 He said to me, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its breadth ten cubits."
Zec 5:3 Then he said to me, "This is the curse that goes out over the surface of the whole land; for everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it on the one side; and everyone who swears falsely shall be cut off according to it on the other side.
Zec 5:4 I will cause it to go out," says Yahweh of Armies, "and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him who swears falsely by my name; and it will remain in the midst of his house, and will destroy it with its timber and its stones."
Zec 5:5 Then the angel who talked with me came forward, and said to me, "Lift up now your eyes, and see what is this that is appearing."
Zec 5:6 I said, "What is it?" He said, "This is the ephah basket that is appearing." He said moreover, "This is their appearance in all the land
Zec 5:7 (and behold, a talent of lead was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting in the midst of the ephah basket."
Zec 5:8 He said, "This is Wickedness;" and he threw her down into the midst of the ephah basket; and he threw the weight of lead on its mouth.
Zec 5:9 Then lifted I up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there were two women, and the wind was in their wings. Now they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah basket between earth and the sky.
Zec 5:10 Then said I to the angel who talked with me, "Where are these carrying the ephah basket?"
Zec 5:11 He said to me, "To build her a house in the land of Shinar. When it is prepared, she will be set there in her own place."
Zec 6:1 Again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
Zec 6:2 In the first chariot were red horses; in the second chariot black horses;
Zec 6:3 in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot dappled horses, all of them powerful.
Zec 6:4 Then I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"
Zec 6:5 The angel answered me, "These are the four winds of the sky, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
Zec 6:6 The one with the black horses goes out toward the north country; and the white went out after them; and the dappled went forth toward the south country."
Zec 6:7 The strong went out, and sought to go that they might walk back and forth through the earth: and he said, "Go around and through the earth!" So they walked back and forth through the earth.
Zec 6:8 Then he called to me, and spoke to me, saying, "Behold, those who go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country."
Zec 6:9 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Zec 6:10 "Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah; and come the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have come from Babylon.
Zec 6:11 Yes, take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest;
Zec 6:12 and speak to him, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies, "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place; and he shall build the temple of Yahweh;
Zec 6:13 even he shall build the temple of Yahweh; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on his throne; and he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Zec 6:14 The crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of Yahweh.
Zec 6:15 Those who are far off shall come and build in the temple of Yahweh; and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen, if you will diligently obey the voice of Yahweh your God." ' "
Zec 7:1 It happened in the fourth year of king Darius that the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Chislev.
Zec 7:2 The people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech, and their men, to entreat Yahweh's favor,
Zec 7:3 and to speak to the priests of the house of Yahweh of Armies, and to the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?"
Zec 7:4 Then the word of Yahweh of Armies came to me, saying,
Zec 7:5 "Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month for these seventy years, did you at all fast to me, really to me?
Zec 7:6 When you eat, and when you drink, don't you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?
Zec 7:7 Aren't these the words which Yahweh proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and its cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?' "
Zec 7:8 The word of Yahweh came to Zechariah, saying,
Zec 7:9 "Thus has Yahweh of Armies spoken, saying, 'Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother.
Zec 7:10 Don't oppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the foreigner, nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart.'
Zec 7:11 But they refused to listen, and turned their backs, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear.
Zec 7:12 Yes, they made their hearts as hard as flint, lest they might hear the law, and the words which Yahweh of Armies had sent by his Spirit by the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 7:13 It has come to pass that, as he called, and they refused to listen, so they will call, and I will not listen," said Yahweh of Armies;
Zec 7:14 "but I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned: for they made the pleasant land desolate."
Zec 8:1 The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me.
Zec 8:2 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath."
Zec 8:3 Thus says Yahweh: "I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called 'The City of Truth;' and the mountain of Yahweh of Armies, 'The Holy Mountain.' "
Zec 8:4 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Old men and old women will again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
Zec 8:5 The streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in its streets."
Zec 8:6 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvelous in my eyes?" says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 8:7 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
Zec 8:8 and I will bring them, and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness."
Zec 8:9 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Let your hands be strong, you who hear in these days these words from the mouth of the prophets who were in the day that the foundation of the house of Yahweh of Armies was laid, even the temple, that it might be built.
Zec 8:10 For before those days there was no wages for man, nor any wages for an animal; neither was there any peace to him who went out or came in, because of the adversary. For I set all men everyone against his neighbor.
Zec 8:11 But now I will not be to the remnant of this people as in the former days," says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 8:12 "For the seed of peace and the vine will yield its fruit, and the ground will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things.
Zec 8:13 It shall come to pass that, as you were a curse among the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Don't be afraid. Let your hands be strong."
Zec 8:14 For thus says Yahweh of Armies: "As I thought to do evil to you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath," says Yahweh of Armies, "and I didn't repent;
Zec 8:15 so again have I thought in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Don't be afraid.
Zec 8:16 These are the things that you shall do: speak every man the truth with his neighbor. Execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates,
Zec 8:17 and let none of you devise evil in your hearts against his neighbor, and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate," says Yahweh.
Zec 8:18 The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me.
Zec 8:19 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "The fasts of the fourth fifth, seventh, and tenth months shall be for the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace."
Zec 8:20 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Many peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come;
Zec 8:21 and the inhabitants of one shall go to another, saying, 'Let us go speedily to entreat the favor of Yahweh, and to seek Yahweh of Armies. I will go also.'
Zec 8:22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations will come to seek Yahweh of Armies in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of Yahweh."

Zec 8:23 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "In those days, ten men will take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, they will take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, 'We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.' "

Dec. 28
Revelation 17, 18

Rev 17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters,
Rev 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality, and those who dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her sexual immorality."
Rev 17:3 He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of the sexual immorality of the earth.
Rev 17:5 And on her forehead a name was written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
Rev 17:6 I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered with great amazement.
Rev 17:7 The angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
Rev 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go into destruction. Those who dwell on the earth and whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see that the beast was, and is not, and shall be present.
Rev 17:9 Here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.
Rev 17:10 They are seven kings. Five have fallen, the one is, the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must continue a little while.
Rev 17:11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goes to destruction.
Rev 17:12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour.
Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
Rev 17:14 These will war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. They also will overcome who are with him, called and chosen and faithful."
Rev 17:15 He said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.
Rev 17:16 The ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and will make her desolate, and will make her naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her utterly with fire.
Rev 17:17 For God has put in their hearts to do what he has in mind, and to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished.
Rev 17:18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."

Rev 18:1 After these things, I saw another angel coming down out of the sky, having great authority. The earth was illuminated with his glory.
Rev 18:2 He cried with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and she has become a habitation of demons, a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird!
Rev 18:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from the abundance of her luxury."
Rev 18:4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don't receive of her plagues,
Rev 18:5 for her sins have reached to the sky, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Rev 18:6 Return to her just as she returned, and repay her double as she did, and according to her works. In the cup which she mixed, mix to her double.
Rev 18:7 However much she glorified herself, and grew wanton, so much give her of torment and mourning. For she says in her heart, 'I sit a queen, and am no widow, and will in no way see mourning.'
Rev 18:8 Therefore in one day her plagues will come: death, mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire; for the Lord God who has judged her is strong.
Rev 18:9 The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning,
Rev 18:10 standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For your judgment has come in one hour.'
Rev 18:11 The merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise any more;
Rev 18:12 merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all expensive wood, every vessel of ivory, every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble;
Rev 18:13 and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people's bodies and souls.
Rev 18:14 The fruits which your soul lusted after have been lost to you, and all things that were dainty and sumptuous have perished from you, and you will find them no more at all.
Rev 18:15 The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, will stand far away for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning;
Rev 18:16 saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, she who was dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls!
Rev 18:17 For in an hour such great riches are made desolate.' Every shipmaster, and everyone who sails anywhere, and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood far away,
Rev 18:18 and cried out as they looked at the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like the great city?'
Rev 18:19 They cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had their ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her great wealth!' For in one hour is she made desolate.
Rev 18:20 "Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints, apostles, and prophets; for God has judged your judgment on her."
Rev 18:21 A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down, and will be found no more at all.
Rev 18:22 The voice of harpists, minstrels, flute players, and trumpeters will be heard no more at all in you. No craftsman, of whatever craft, will be found any more at all in you. The sound of a mill will be heard no more at all in you.
Rev 18:23 The light of a lamp will shine no more at all in you. The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will be heard no more at all in you; for your merchants were the princes of the earth; for with your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
Rev 18:24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on the earth."