4/15/14

From Jim McGuiggan... ON BEING TAMED


ON BEING TAMED


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s life story reads like a Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventure. Born into an impoverished aristocratic family in Lyons he was a poor student who failed the entrance exam to the Naval College. A licensed pilot at twenty-two he became an airmail pilot, flying routes over Northwest Africa, the South Atlantic and South America. He later became a test pilot and then a newspaper reporter. He had numerous airplane crashes that left him with permanent disabilities but in 1943 he rejoined the air force in North Africa and was shot down on a reconnaissance mission. Sometime later, in July 1944 he met his death on a flight over the Mediterranean. Toward the end of his brief forty-four years Saint-Exupéry’s view of humans became sadder and more pessimistic but despite that he left behind him a marvellous little book called The Little Prince which insists that the best things in life are the simplest ones and they’re the ones that involve the capacity to give and receive. This message also comes through loud and clear: If you have one genuine, loving relationship it makes the world a lovelier place to live in.

The little prince lived on a tiny planet—so tiny that you could see the sun rise and set forty-four times a day. He enjoyed taking care of his planet with its tiny volcano, a sheep, simple flowers and the baobab trees which needed special care so they wouldn’t dominate and destroy the planet.

One day, from who knows where, a seed floated on to his planet—a rose seed. He’d never seen a rose before but he watered and nourished it and it became beautiful…and vain and proud and insisted on special catering. Despite its beauty and lovely fragrance the little prince grew weary of her silly talk and self-centredness and for all her dependence on him the rose seemed to think she could do without him because she had “claws” (thorns). Naively she thought these were terrible weapons that could defeat tigers when the truth was that the sheep could have gobbled her up without even noticing there were thorns there at all.

Her speech made him unhappy and it was during one of those spells that he decided to visit other planets and make friends. His travelling and meeting with people opened his eyes to how they determined what was or was not important but one day he was astonished to walk into a garden that had thousands of roses that looked exactly like his rose. It grieved him because he now knew how little different his silly little rose was—she had told him she was the only rose in all the universe. He knew if she saw them all she would be so shamed that she’d cough terribly and pretend she was going to die and he’d have to pretend he was nursing her back to life or she really would let herself die. Somehow her uniqueness would have to be maintained.

But then it occurred to him that he wasn’t as rich as he had thought he was. He had seen himself as the possessor of the only rose in all the universe when in reality she was only one among thousands. This made him sad too. That was when he met the fox—an untamed fox.

The little prince wanted him to play but the fox said he couldn’t because he said, “I am not tamed.” And what did “tamed” mean, the boy who was looking for friends wanted to know. “It means to establish ties,” said the fox. “To me you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys…To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world.”

It began to dawn on the little prince that there was a flower out there in the heavens that had tamed him. So the boy tamed the fox, they established ties and became friends. Not long before he had to leave the fox said, “Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back and say good-bye to me and I will make you a present of a secret.”

The boy did look at them again and felt compelled to say: “You  are not at all like my rose…no one has tamed you and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend and now he is unique in all the world…You are beautiful…but one could not die for you. To be sure an ordinary passer-by would think that my rose looked just like you…but in herself she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her I have killed the caterpillars…because it is she that I have listened to when she grumbled or boasted or sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.” Then he went back to the fox.

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye…It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

No two “roses” are the same when someone has “wasted time” with one, no two lovers or friends, no husbands or wives are like any other. Love is words but it’s more than words and marriage is more solemnly joyful than vows on a piece of paper. It’s “wasting time” with each other, learning the imperfections of each other and shrouding them in mystery and intimacy as well as forgiveness when that's necessary. It’s learning the real weaknesses of each other and, in loving, hiding a multitude of sins. The little prince later confessed that he had taken the rose’s words and her shortcomings too seriously.

      One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply
            look at them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all
            my planet but I did not know how to take pleasure in all her
            grace. This tale of claws which disturbed me so much should
            only have filled my heart with tenderness and pity. The fact
            is I did not know how to judge anything!...She cast her
            fragrance and radiance over me…I ought to have guessed all
            the affection that lay behind her poor stratagems. Flowers are
            so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her.

[I borrowed this from my little book “Let Me Count the Ways”. Permission granted by Howard Publishing Co., West Monroe, LA, affiliate of Simon & Schuster.]

From Eric Lyons, M.Min. ... What Caused God?





http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2216

What Caused God?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Q.

What caused God?

A.

Everyone knows the Christian’s response to this question: God is eternal; He had no cause. Although atheists may think that this answer is a cop-out and unscientific, both observation and Revelation declare otherwise.
From what we observe in nature, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Scientists refer to this fact as the First Law of Thermodynamics. Evolutionists allege that the Universe began with the explosion of a ball of matter 13.6 billion years ago, yet they never have provided a reasonable explanation for the cause of the “original” ball of matter. An attempt was made recently in the April 28, 2007 issue of New Scientist magazine titled “The Beginning: What Triggered the Big Bang.” Notice, however, the last line of the article: “[T]he quest to understand the origin of the universe seems destined to continue until we can answer a deeper question: why is there anything at all instead of nothing?” (194[2601]:33, emp. added). The fact is, a logical, naturalistic explanation for the origin of the “original” ball of matter that supposedly led to the Universe does not exist. It cannot exist so long as the First Law of Thermodynamics is true (i.e., matter and energy cannot create itself).
Since the physical Universe exists, and yet it could not have created itself, then the Universe is either eternal or something/someone outside of the Universe must have created it. Relatively few scientists propose that the Universe is eternal. In fact, there would be no point in attempting to explain the “beginning” of the Universe if they believed it always existed. What’s more, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter and energy become less usable over time, has led scientists to conclude that the Universe has not always existed.
If matter is not eternal, however, and it cannot create itself, then the only logical conclusion is that something/someone outside of nature (i.e., supernatural) caused the Universe and everything in it. Christians call this Someone, “the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).

REFERENCES

“The Universe Before Ours” (2007), New Scientist, 194[2601]:28-33, April 28.

From Mark Copeland... Making Our Plans (James 4:13-17)

                          "THE EPISTLE OF JAMES"

                         Making Our Plans (4:13-17)
                                
INTRODUCTION

1. In the text for this study, James discusses the subject of making
   plans:

   13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such
   a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
   14 Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is]
   your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time,
   and then vanisheth away. 15  For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord
   will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16  But now ye rejoice in
   your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17  Therefore to him
   that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.
   (James 4)

2. This subject is very relevant for us today, for we all make plans of
   one sort or another...
   a. Plans for college, jobs
   b. Plans for marriage, family
   c. Plans for vacation, retirement

3. Making plans, in of itself, is not wrong...
   a. Paul often made plans in regard to his travels - Ac 15:36; 18:
      20-21; 1Co 16:5-9
   b. In fact, making plans (or setting goals) is a key to success in
      any venture we may undertake in life

4. But there is a "right" way to plan, and a "wrong" way; and James
   discusses both!

[First, let's consider the "right" way to "Making Our Plans"...]

I. WE CAN SUBMIT TO GOD'S WILL

   A. I.E., SUBMIT OUR PLANS TO THE WILL OF GOD...
      1. We can make our plans, but we should make them contingent to
         God's approval - "if the Lord wills" (15)
      2. This is what Paul did
         a. "God willing" - Ac 18:21
         b. "if the Lord permits" - 1Co 16:7
      3. Saying "if the Lord wills" assumes our faith in two things:
         a. That God does have a will for us (even in mundane matters)
         b. That God can intervene (via providence) to carry out His
            will
      4. The wisdom of making our plans contingent upon the will of God
         will become evident later, when we consider the "wrong" way to
         plan

   B. IF WE REALLY WANT OUR PLANS TO SUCCEED, THEN WE WILL SEEK FIRST
      TO DISCERN GOD'S WILL, AND PLAN ACCORDINGLY...
      1. To a great degree, this is possible, for God wants us to:
         a. Understand His Will - Ep 5:17
         b. Be filled with His Will - Col 1:9
         c. Prove His Will - Ro 12:2
      2. Of course, this relates especially to His "revealed" will
         a. Which pertains to matters right and wrong
         b. Which is found in the pages of the Bible
         c. When we know God's "revealed" will (from our study of the
            Bible), then we can act or plan accordingly
         d. Until then, the right way to plan is to show our submission
            to God by leaving our plans subject to His will
      3. There is also God's "permissive" will
         a. Which pertains to matters not right or wrong, but good and
            better
         b. Even so, we should still show our trust and dependence upon
            God in such matters by committing our plans to His Will

[Now let's look at the "wrong" way in "Making Our Plans"...]

II. WE CAN IGNORE GOD'S WILL

   A. TO PLAN THIS WAY IS FOLLY (13-15)
      1. Because life is COMPLEX (13)
         a. There are the complexities of TIME (today, tomorrow, when?)
         b. There are the complexities of ACTIVITIES (buy, sell?)
         c. So many decisions to make, so many mistakes might be made
         d. If it's possible to know God's will on any matter, that
            would increase the likelihood that our decisions and plans
            will be correct
      2. Because life is UNCERTAIN (14a)
         a. No one has a guarantee of tomorrow
            1) Whether there will even be one
            2) Or what will happen
         b. Only God can bring about what He wills for the future without
            fail
         c. Since this is true, we should certainly desire to make plans
            that are in keeping with "His" plans!
      3. Because life is FRAIL (14b)
         a. It is like a "vapor" - cf. Ps 39:5-6,11
         b. How substantial is a "vapor" or "shadow"?
         c. How quickly we can succumb to sickness or an accident
            illustrates how frail we really are
         d. It is foolish, then, to think "we" have the strength within
            ourselves to "make" our plans happen - remember Jm 1:10-11
      4. Because life is BRIEF (14c)
         a. "appears for a little time"
         b. This is something Job observed - Job 9:25-26; 14:1
         c. Since life is so short, it is important that we do God's
            will and not our own - cf. 1Jn 2:17

   B. TO PLAN THIS WAY IS BOASTFUL ARROGANCE (16a)
      1. To plan without taking into consideration God's will is to set
         ourselves up above God Himself!
      2. How could one be more arrogant than that?

   C. TO PLAN THIS WAY IS SIN (16-17)
      1. It is sin because it involves arrogance and boasting which is
         evil - 16
      2. It is sin because we who are Christians know better - 17
         a. We know what is good:  to plan with God's Will in mind
         b. To do otherwise is to sin!

CONCLUSION

1. How do we make our plans?
   a. If we plan without considering the will of God, then we are
      foolish, arrogant, and sinful!
   b. If we make our plans subject to the approval of God, then we are
      wise, submissive, and righteous in God's sight!
   c. If we endeavor to plan as much as we can within the framework of
      God's "revealed" will, then we increase the likelihood of success!

2. What about your "plans" for eternity?
   a. There is no doubt what the Lord's will is on this subject - cf.
      Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38; Ro 10:9-10; 2Pe 1:5-11;
      Re 2:10
   b. We can be certain of "success" if we submit to God's will in the
      matters of faith, repentance, confession, baptism, and living a
      faithful Christian life
   c. But to ignore it is folly in view of life's UNCERTAINTY, FRAILTY,
      and BREVITY!

Have you done "as" the Lord wills? (i.e., as "He" would have you do it?)

Note:  Parts of the material for this outline was adapted heavily
from The Bible Exposition Commentary, Volume 2, by Warren W. Wiersbe,
pages 366-370.

xecutable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading April 15





Bible Reading  

April 15

The World English Bible



Apr. 15
Numbers 21, 22

Num 21:1 The Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.
Num 21:2 Israel vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.
Num 21:3 Yahweh listened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and the name of the place was called Hormah.
Num 21:4 They traveled from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
Num 21:5 The people spoke against God, and against Moses, Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, and there is no water; and our soul loathes this light bread.
Num 21:6 Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Num 21:7 The people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Yahweh, and against you; pray to Yahweh, that he take away the serpents from us. Moses prayed for the people.
Num 21:8 Yahweh said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard: and it shall happen, that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.
Num 21:9 Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it on the standard: and it happened, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of brass, he lived.
Num 21:10 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in Oboth.
Num 21:11 They traveled from Oboth, and encamped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrise.
Num 21:12 From there they traveled, and encamped in the valley of Zered.
Num 21:13 From there they traveled, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness, that comes out of the border of the Amorites: for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
Num 21:14 Therefore it is said in the book of the Wars of Yahweh, "Vaheb in Suphah, the valleys of the Arnon,
Num 21:15 the slope of the valleys that incline toward the dwelling of Ar, leans on the border of Moab."
Num 21:16 From there they traveled to Beer: that is the well of which Yahweh said to Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
Num 21:17 Then sang Israel this song: "Spring up, well; sing to it:
Num 21:18 the well, which the princes dug, which the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter, and with their poles." From the wilderness they traveled to Mattanah;
Num 21:19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth;
Num 21:20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks down on the desert.
Num 21:21 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,
Num 21:22 Let me pass through your land: we will not turn aside into field, or into vineyard; we will not drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's highway, until we have passed your border.
Num 21:23 Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz; and he fought against Israel.
Num 21:24 Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, even to the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.
Num 21:25 Israel took all these cities: and Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its towns.
Num 21:26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even to the Arnon.
Num 21:27 Therefore those who speak in proverbs say, "Come to Heshbon. Let the city of Sihon be built and established;
Num 21:28 for a fire has gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon. It has devoured Ar of Moab, The lords of the high places of the Arnon.
Num 21:29 Woe to you, Moab! You are undone, people of Chemosh! He has given his sons as fugitives, and his daughters into captivity, to Sihon king of the Amorites.
Num 21:30 We have shot at them. Heshbon has perished even to Dibon. We have laid waste even to Nophah, Which reaches to Medeba."
Num 21:31 Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites.
Num 21:32 Moses sent to spy out Jazer; and they took its towns, and drove out the Amorites who were there.
Num 21:33 They turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.
Num 21:34 Yahweh said to Moses, Don't fear him: for I have delivered him into your hand, and all his people, and his land; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.
Num 21:35 So they struck him, and his sons and all his people, until there was none left him remaining: and they possessed his land.
Num 22:1 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.
Num 22:2 Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
Num 22:3 Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
Num 22:4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now will this multitude lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.
Num 22:5 He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they abide over against me.
Num 22:6 Please come now therefore curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
Num 22:7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.
Num 22:8 He said to them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Yahweh shall speak to me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
Num 22:9 God came to Balaam, and said, What men are these with you?
Num 22:10 Balaam said to God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying,
Num 22:11 Behold, the people that is come out of Egypt, it covers the surface of the earth: now, come curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.
Num 22:12 God said to Balaam, You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people; for they are blessed.
Num 22:13 Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, Go to your land; for Yahweh refuses to permit me to go with you.
Num 22:14 The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, Balaam refuses to come with us.
Num 22:15 Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honorable than they.
Num 22:16 They came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me:
Num 22:17 for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.
Num 22:18 Balaam answered the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can't go beyond the word of Yahweh my God, to do less or more.
Num 22:19 Now therefore, please wait also here this night, that I may know what Yahweh will speak to me more.
Num 22:20 God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, If the men have come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that you shall do.
Num 22:21 Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.
Num 22:22 God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of Yahweh placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
Num 22:23 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the way.
Num 22:24 Then the angel of Yahweh stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
Num 22:25 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he struck her again.
Num 22:26 The angel of Yahweh went further, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
Num 22:27 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh, and she lay down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
Num 22:28 Yahweh opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?
Num 22:29 Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed you.
Num 22:30 The donkey said to Balaam, Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you? and he said, No.
Num 22:31 Then Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Yahweh standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
Num 22:32 The angel of Yahweh said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? behold, I am come forth for an adversary, because your way is perverse before me:
Num 22:33 and the donkey saw me, and turned aside before me these three times: unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I had even slain you, and saved her alive.
Num 22:34 Balaam said to the angel of Yahweh, I have sinned; for I didn't know that you stood in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease you, I will get me back again.
Num 22:35 The angel of Yahweh said to Balaam, Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
Num 22:36 When Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him to the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border.
Num 22:37 Balak said to Balaam, Didn't I earnestly send to you to call you? why didn't you come to me? am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?
Num 22:38 Balaam said to Balak, Behold, I have come to you: have I now any power at all to speak anything? the word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.
Num 22:39 Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath Huzoth.
Num 22:40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him.
Num 22:41 It happened in the morning, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from there the utmost part of the people.

From Gary... My house, is a very, very fine house...


Now, I have seen round houses before; but NEVER one on the water. Even more unique is that appears that this structure is not on a river, but in a lake, bay or larger body of water. I couldn't help but think that this might be a bit dangerous and perhaps foolhardy. Now if the worst should happen... then what? My thoughts then migrated to myself and I asked the question: what if the worst happened and I died- Today?????....

2 Corinthians, Chapter 5
 1 For we know that if the earthly house of our tent is dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.  2 For most certainly in this we groan, longing to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven;  3 if so be that being clothed we will not be found naked.  4 For indeed we who are in this tent do groan, being burdened; not that we desire to be unclothed, but that we desire to be clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  5 Now he who made us for this very thing is God, who also gave to us the down payment of the Spirit. 

We all will die, that is an absolute FACT!!!  However, not everyone will be in heaven. I wish it were different, but, some things are just beyond my control. What I CAN CONTROL is what I think, feel and do!!! And like it or no, that will just have to suffice!!!  That certain someone who owns the pictured house made a conscious decision to purchase and dwell there. Today, I will make a conscious effort to echo Paul's comments and long for my heavenly tent.  I believe that God will be merciful and someday, someday I will see HIM in heaven, but frankly have not idea what MY HOUSE will look like. I will pray for one without love-handles, wrinkles and too much ear hair.  Come to think of it, I wonder if there will be oceans in heaven- if so, I have a second request.... please make my dwelling place something like the photo.... PLEASE!!!