1/3/14

From Ben Fronczek... James (Part 5) Listen More, Speak Less, and Stay Cool


James (Part 5) Listen More, Speak Less, 
and Stay Cool

I have really enjoyed preparing lessons from the Epistle of James because for me it talks about practical aspects of how to live everyday as a Christian.     And the message from James which we will look at today is probably one of the best known passages that James penned; not only by Christians but also by non-Christians as well. Why is it so well know and probably memorized by so many; because it contains simple truths that everyone can understand and appreciate.
Now what verse am I referring to? 
James 1:19-20 which says, 
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

If you have been following this series of lessons that I have been doing here from the epistle of James; I have been trying to look at the letter from the perspective of James being the stepbrother of Jesus and someone who grew up in the same household as Jesus. Jesus was the older brother and so James probably wrote from a different perspective than other in scripture.

So as we look at and consider this text, I cannot help but wonder if growing up with Jesus led him to this conclusion; that, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

I would like to think that time spent with Jesus led him to this conclusion.

As we discussed before, Jesus and James were part of a sizable family. We know that Jesus had at least four stepbrothers and a number of stepsisters. And if it was like any other family, especially with that many siblings in tight quarters, it probably got pretty hectic and loud at times. Boys will be boys and girls will be girls and so I can’t help but imagine that there were times where there were clashes that happen like in every family from time to time. “Mommy James took my dolly.” “No I didn’t, Jude did.” “Yea Jude, wait till I tell Simon and Joseph that you were playing with our sisters dolly.” “Don’t you dare, I was just looking at how it was made! “  “Give me my dolly, give me my dolly now. Mommy, tell Jude to give me my dolly.”

And then as the years passed by, and all those hormones began to flow, that household probably like so many of our households it had its share of sibling fights and arguments.

But in all that, where was Jesus? Did Jesus argue with His siblings? Probably. Can one argue without sinning? Of course. Some call it a discussion or debate. Sin shows it head when certain attitudes show their head. Arguments become sinful when they go beyond debating and cynical, self centered agendas show their head. Is getting angry a sin? Again it depends on why we are angry, and then what we do once we are angry.

Later we read how Jesus got angry at the Temple and even made a whip and turned tables over, driving out the moneychangers and those selling animals; but He never crossed the line into sinful behavior. He argued and debated with the Pharisees and teaches of the Law. There were times when He even condemned them, yet through it all He did not sin; and again it had everything to do with why He was doing it, and His heart condition.

When we see someone hurting the innocent, or others perverting truth or doing evil it’s not ungodly to get upset and angry about those things.      James has much to say about wrong attitudes that lead to fights. 
In chapter 4 he writes; 
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”  

So back to our verse in chapter 1 where James writes 
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” 

Here James instructs how we should live our life in relation to others. He makes 3 suggestions here in this text…  (Notice the order… their order is important)

#1. Be quick to listen. 

I think most argument are the result of someone not listening, or paying attention to what’s going on or what someone says. Too many of us have selective hearing, or we hear what we want to hear and ignore the rest and so we don’t get the whole story. This causes arguments.
How well do you listen? How many times have you heard, “But that’s not what I said.”?
Or how many times do you catch yourself saying, “I don’t remember you saying that.”?

Dale Carnegie who wrote  How to Win Friends and Influence People , said that you can make more friends in two weeks by becoming a good listener than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.
I would like to believe that Jesus was a good listener and He did not jump to conclusions or get angry simply because He didn’t take the time to listen. And I believe He’s still listening today.
There are businesses who actually train their employees, Techniques to Improve Listening to others more carefully as they speak. Why, because most of us don’t listen very well when others speak and sometimes it’s critical that really listen carefully.
Now James is telling us that this is important, #1 in preventing arguments.


#2 Then he tells us to be “slow to speak.”                                                                         
Boy doesn’t this get us into trouble. We just can’t wait to put in our two cents and give our opinion. We are so anxious to share our wisdom that some of us interrupting others as they speak. We are not only bad at listening, we don’t even want to give the other person a chance to speak or complete a sentence. And sometimes what we say does more harm than good.
A guy came to his pastor and said, “Reverend, I only have one talent.”
The pastor asked, “What’s your talent?   
The man said, “I have the gift of criticism.”    The preacher was wise and replied, “The Bible says that the guy who had only one talent went out and buried it. Maybe that’s what you ought to do with yours.”

Can you imagine Jesus interrupting or butting in as others shared their thoughts and feelings? I can’t, He loved them too much to do that.

Love? Yes love. Can you think of a greater expression of love than taking the time to listen to a person, and really hear what they have to say, not interrupting them but patiently waiting to share your opinion when they are done, or maybe not even saying anything all?

Do you remember what Paul wrote concerning love in 1 Corinthians 13, he wrote, 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Sometimes the kindest, most loving thing we can do is let another speak, and let them unload, paying attention to them and just keeping quiet.                        I like what Solomon wrote in  Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

The third thing that James tells us in our text is:
#3, That we should be  ”Slow to become angry, 

(Why? Because…)

20man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

Do people feel like they are walking on egg shells around you because your fuse is so short they never know when you are going to blow up? James is telling us that if you are like, you have a problem and it’s not something that God wants to see in you… especially as a Christian.

You not only put those around you on guard, you also rob yourself of the and peace tranquility you should have because you are always getting angry.

If anyone should have been angry all the time if should have been Jesus; and rightfully so. Look at how we have treated His creation. Look at how mankind treats others. Look at the wars, the crime, the injustice, the neglect; look at how some take advantage of the innocent.  If it was you or me we’d probably be a lot like James and John who wanted to call down lightening and zap people. We would have been zapping people left and right in anger because of how they destroy and pervert what is good.
But there was more Love in Jesus than anger. I believe James saw that growing up with Him. I believe Jesus was not only a good listener, I also believe He chose His words carefully and He was slow to anger. He probably didn’t let every little thing set Him off

As James wrote, anger does not produce the kind of righteousness that God wants to see in us. I believe He would rather see love, patience, and mercy than hostile anger in us. Anger closes and hardens our heart.   We need to let go of it. If we don’t, we can become bitter a miserable.

Do you have what can be considered a short or hot temper? Ask God to help you in this matter. Picture how Jesus chose the emotion of Love over anger and ask Him to help you do the same. And, if there is a good reason to get angry, be careful not to let it lead to you sin. Two wrongs don’t make it right.  A Loving attitude is powerful and more pleasing to God and more important to others.

For more lessons click on the following link:

http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... Duesberg and Bird-Flu Armageddon

Duesberg and Bird-Flu Armageddon

A number of us asked renowned virologist, Peter Duesberg, about the near-hysteria in the media concerning the coming Bird-flu pandemic. What follows was his brief and blunt response. No wonder the power-brokers and the money-makers in the pharmaceutical world and science journals want to keep this man quiet. Check out his website at duesberg.com.
"The reason why the Flu was so successful in 1918 was primarily the "terrain", namely the millions of immuno-deficient hosts and hostesses starved and stressed by 4 years of war.

Secondly, one can speculate that the 1918 flu strain may also have been a "new" recombinant to the 1918 population and thus more successful than a more established seasonal strain may have been. As I found in 1968, flu, unlike practically all other animal viruses, has multiple RNA segments, equivalent to multiple chromosomes and thus can readily form new recombinants--this is why we have seasonal flus, but have measles, mumps, polio, pox etc. only once in a lifetime.

Thirdly, the odds that the Centers for Disease Control alias World Health Organization ever predicts an epidemic prior to its arrival are not good. In the past several years they have predicted numerous epidemics or "pandemics" such as the flu, the hanta-virus, anthrax, the rotavirus, the Ebola virus, the West Nile virus, "mad cow" epidemic, the Sars-virus epidemic, an epi-pandemic of "random, eg. heterosexual non-drug user-AIDS"—but none of these ever materialized (see, Inventing the AIDS Virus, Regnery publishing, Washington DC, 1996). The last one that came close to an epidemic was polio in the 1950s and that was not predicted by American public health scientists.

Fourth, the currently hyped prospective Flu pandemic has long missed its chances. It has been hyped almost daily in the San Francisco Chronicle [and everywhere else—jim mcguiggan] since last November. But all that happened was a dead chicken in Nigeria, a hamster in Germany, two sick (dead?) kids in Turkey, a euthanized swan in Sweden, several dead or euthanized chickens in Iraq (yes Iraq!), etc. That is not the pattern of a potential killer microbe. All "new" killer viral or microbial epidemics of the past have spread exponentially within weeks to months and then declined exponentially owing to the induction of immunity or death of susceptible hosts--take Albert Camus' "The Plague" as a classical example.

The current Flu propaganda is thus a mix of ignorance and and self-interest and an exploitation of general ignorance. Exploitation, that is, by the CDC, WHO, the vaccine, pill and test-kit manufacturers of our universities and pharmaceutical companies who must sell their ageing vaccine stocks before they decompose and their Tamiflu pills before the summer. And there’s our "science" journalists, who need to fill their daily columns.

But despite hyping dozens of microbial Godots—no Godot has come since polio. People are just too well nourished these days, and thus have optimally maintained immune systems for microbes to attack more than just the fringes of the ever growing human herd. That in fact is their historical share.

The 150 million+ Flu pandemics are hype for fund-raising by the ever more costly science/health armies in search for real enemies. Their success is based on the invisible monsters of the microbial epidemics of the (earlier) times, when nutrition lacked vitamins, proteins and sanitation or was lacking all together—and on the never failing microbial and viral horror fantasies of our science writers, politicians and Hollywood producers."
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Mark Copeland... Physically Fit, Spiritually Alive (1 Timothy 4:7-8)


                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

               Physically Fit, Spiritually Alive (4:7-8)

INTRODUCTION

1. Many people place great emphasis upon physical well-being...
   a. Note the number of gyms, tennis courts, swimming pools, health
      clubs
   b. Seeking to improve the quality of life, as well as the quantity of
      years

2. For some, physical exercise comes close to being a religion in of
   itself...
   a. I've personally known runners to admit as such
   b. Sunday for them is a day of sport, not worship

[Physical exercise and well-being has its place, but must be kept in
perspective.  One passage that helps us to do this is our text (1 Ti
4:7-8).  Note first what we can learn about...]

I. BODILY EXERCISE

   A. DOES PROFIT A LITTLE...
      1. Makes for a well-rounded development - Lk 2:52
      2. Enhances the use of our "instruments of righteousness" (bodies)
         - Ro 6:12-13
      3. Extends the time we can glorify God - 1Co 6:19-20
      -- There is some value for a healthy routine of physical exercise

   B. DOES HAVE LIMITATIONS...
      1. Beauty is deceitful - Pr 31:30
      2. Attraction can be incongruous - Pr 11:22
      3. Strength will eventually fail - 2Co 4:16
      -- Physical exercise alone cannot meet all our needs, and will
         eventually fail us

[There is another exercise of which our text speaks, which those
concerned with true fitness do well to consider...]

II. GODLY EXERCISE

   A. DOES HAVE PROMISE FOR THE LIFE THAT NOW IS...
      1. Daily renewal for the inner man - 2Co 4:16
      2. True peace, joy, and hope - Ro 14:17; 15:13
      3. Winsome personality - Ga 5:22-23
      4. Extended family - Mk 10:28-30
      -- These are wonderful benefits that godly exercise offers in this
         life!

   B. DOES HAVE PROMISE FOR THE LIFE TO COME...
      1. Eternal life in the age to come - Mk 10:28-30
      2. Everlasting fellowship with God - Re 21:1-7
      -- Here is where godly exercise truly excels over bodily exercise!

[Both bodily exercise and godly exercise therefore have their value.
Understanding their respective values should help in...]

III. MAINTAINING A HEALTHY BALANCE

   A. WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT...?
      1. In expenditure of time?
         a. Some health officials recommend exercising 30 minutes a day
         b. Do we spend an equivalent amount of time in prayer, Bible
            study, or service to God?
      2. In expenditure of energy?
         a. Physical fitness often requires a great expenditure of
            effort
         b. Are we willing to make similar efforts in our service to
            God?
      -- Do we spend as much time and energy exercising ourselves unto
         godliness as we do engaging in various forms of bodily
         exercise? - cf. 2Co 4:16-5:1

   B. WHICH COMES FIRST...?
      1. When conflicts arise?
         a. Sport events or exercise routines often conflict with duties
            to God
         b. Do we have the same convictions as Eric Liddell? - cf.
            Chariots Of Fire
      2. When time is limited?
         a. We only have so much time
         b. If we must cut back on some activity, will be it a spiritual
            or physical one?
      -- Do we have our priorities straight, is our emphasis properly
         placed? - cf. Mt 6:33

CONCLUSION

1. Whether young or old, physical fitness has a place in our lives as
   Christians...
   a. Taking care of our bodies, temples of the Holy Spirit
   b. Making good use of our bodily members as instruments of
      righteousness
   c. Improving the quality and length of service we can offer the Lord
      in this life

2. But physical fitness without godly exercise is vanity...
   a. The outer man will eventually fail us
   b. The inner man is the true measure of character and spirituality

Maintaining a proper balance will help us to be truly "Physically Fit,
Spiritually Alive."  Speaking of being spiritually alive, have you been
born again...? - cf. Jn 3:3-5; Mk 16:16; Ro 6:3-4

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading January 3


Bible Reading   

January 3

The World English Bible

Jan. 3
Genesis 3


Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, "Has God really said, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?' "
Gen 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, "Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat,
Gen 3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.' "
Gen 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, "You won't surely die,
Gen 3:5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Gen 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.
Gen 3:7 The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Gen 3:8 They heard the voice of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.
Gen 3:9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
Gen 3:10 The man said, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
Gen 3:11 God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
Gen 3:12 The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."
Gen 3:13 Yahweh God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Gen 3:14 Yahweh God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel."
Gen 3:16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
Gen 3:17 To Adam he said, "Because you have listened to your wife's voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field.
Gen 3:19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Gen 3:20 The man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Gen 3:21 Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.
Gen 3:22 Yahweh God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever..."
Gen 3:23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.

Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed Cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

 Jan. 3,4
Matthew 2

Mat 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 2:2 "Where is he who is born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him."
Mat 2:3 When Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Mat 2:4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Christ would be born.
Mat 2:5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written through the prophet,
Mat 2:6 'You Bethlehem, land of Judah, are in no way least among the princes of Judah: for out of you shall come forth a governor, who shall shepherd my people, Israel.' "
Mat 2:7 Then Herod secretly called the wise men, and learned from them exactly what time the star appeared.
Mat 2:8 He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and search diligently for the young child. When you have found him, bring me word, so that I also may come and worship him."
Mat 2:9 They, having heard the king, went their way; and behold, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was.
Mat 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
Mat 2:11 They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Mat 2:12 Being warned in a dream that they shouldn't return to Herod, they went back to their own country another way.
Mat 2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."
Mat 2:14 He arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt,
Mat 2:15 and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called my son."
Mat 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sent out, and killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had learned from the wise men.
Mat 2:17 Then that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
Mat 2:18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; she wouldn't be comforted, because they are no more."
Mat 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,
Mat 2:20 "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child's life are dead."
Mat 2:21 He arose and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
Mat 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee,
Mat 2:23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene." 


From Gary... The rest of the story


















This picture reminded me of the lights on Braham drive in our development.  Rather, the lights that were on this roadway.  Only one or two remain now, because after January 1st most people are quick to go back to "normal". So, Christmas and New Years are history and its time to move on with life.  So it was with the "Christmas story" in Scripture as well....

Luke, Chapter 2
  1 Now in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city.  4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;  5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant. 


  6  While they were there, the day had come for her to give birth.  7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.  8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.  9 Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.  11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.”  13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying, 
  14 “Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace, good will toward men.”

  15  When the angels went away from them into the sky, the shepherds said one to another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough.  17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child.  18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.  20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them. 

  21  When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 

  22  When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord  23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”),  24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”



  25  Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.  26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law,  28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 

  29 “Now you are releasing your servant, Master,
according to your word, in peace;
  30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
  31 which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
  32 a light for revelation to the nations,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

  33  Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him,  34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against.  35 Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” 


Jesus' birth has affected untold multitudes of people, some positively and others in a negative way.  But to all those whose hearts are revealed in obedience to his Gospel, salvation is given as a blessing.  And, as Paul Harvey would say... This is the rest of the story!!!!