4/18/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Butterflies and promises


Butterflies and promises

"May the Lord deal with me ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."
Ruth the Moabite

There's so much betrayal of trust in the world that you might think we'd all be cynics by now. Believing no one, insisting on pre-nuptial agreements, pages of fine print and a list of witnesses the length of a football field—that's pretty much the order of the day in some cultures.

In light of all that, isn't it a grand kick in the head to discover that the bus you run to catch is packed full of "trusters". Supermarkets are jammed full of them, they're bringing up coal out of the mines and fixing your televisions; they're hanging off roofs and swinging on chandeliers; they're writing you a speeding ticket or cutting your hair. Everywhere you go they're popping up or out or in or over or across or back again. They're everywhere! Praise God they're everywhere! They know the horror stories, know their own limitations and the shaping power of a glib and shrewd society. They look at the world with steady eyes, fully aware of the shiny veneer and the gold-plated promises, missing nothing; and then as if the world was made of solid oak they give their hearts away. They mortgage the only hearts and lives they have because someone says to them: "I'm not very smart, I'm not good-looking and I may never make my mark in this world; but I love you. Yes...I do, I...love you, and if you'll come with me I'll never leave you!"

They hear that and they trust! They deserve to be honoured with our faithfulness because they've earned it with their "yes!" And it's precisely because of their noble-spirited trust that they suffer incredible heartache when that trust is trampled in the dirt. Their emotions are savaged but their whole view of the world takes a battering as well and that adds calamity to tragedy. Believing that somehow right is stronger than wrong they defy the jeering world and are run over by a juggernaut. The more cynical among us aren't hit as hard by treachery because we don't commit a lot—we know better, you see. Still, while we don't get badly hurt we aren't greatly loved or blessed and, perhaps what's worse, we never love gloriously. We shrewdly grab the shiny metal and turn down Aladdin's lamp because we've seen too many poor souls mangled beyond repair by the callous and the glib.

In Puccini's opera, Madam Butterfly, Cio-Cio-San is a sensitive fifteen-year old Japanese girl who's swept off her feet by Lieutenant Pinkerton, U.S.N. She turns from her traditional religion and marries the sailor who makes her believe she's the only one in the world he wants. Despite the bad record of marriages with "visiting foreigners" and despite the fact that the marriage has an "out" clause, Butterfly believes in Pinkerton with all her heart. He sets her up in a fine house, promises her that he will come back and take her to America, and goes back to sea. It's only later she discovers she's going to have his child—a child he doesn't know about.

He's gone for three years, she misses him beyond words, she's having a hard time financially and socially but far worse than all that, there's a lingering dread. But when her devoted maid Suzuki tries to persuade her of the worst, she rages against her and says that Suzuki lacks faith, that she simply doesn't know Pinkerton! At that point, full of faith and smiling, seeing it all with her trusting heart, she sings the beautiful aria One Fine Day.

Hear me! One fine day we'll notice a thread of smoke arising on the sea—In the far horizon, and then the ship appearing; the white trim vessel glides into the harbor, thunders forth the cannon. See you? Now he is coming! I do not go to meet him. Not I! I stay up on the brow of the hill, and wait there...and wait a long time. But never weary of the long waiting. From out of the crowded city there is coming a man, a little speck in the distance, climbing the hill. Can you guess who it is? And when he's reached the summit can you guess what he'll say? He will call "Butterfly" from the distance. I without answering, hold myself quietly concealed, a bit to tease him and a bit so as not to die..."Dear baby wife of mine!" "Orange blossom!" The names he used to call me when he came here. This will come to pass as I tell you. Banish your fears, for he will return. I know it!

The American Consul, Sharpless, arrives with a letter saying that Pinkerton has married in the U.S.A. and is returning with his wife. Sharpless tries again and again to tell her but he can't bring himself to do it. They're interrupted by the arrival of the young prince Yamadori who wants to marry Butterfly but she insists she's already married to the only one she'll ever love and, on the basis of what Pinkerton had promised, she turns down security and dignity for her child and herself.

Later Pinkerton does arrive, but with his wife Kate. He learns of the child and is torn with grief at the agony his selfishness has caused. As soon as Butterfly enters and sees Kate, she senses who she is, and when the woman confirms it Butterfly's world collapses. She sets her house in order, arranges for the little boy's future with Pinkerton and all alone, broken-hearted and beyond comfort, she stabs herself and dies.

Only a silly story? Hmmm, do you think so?

The biblical Ruth took it all seriously and wouldn't walk away from her calamity-ridden mother-in-law even though the older woman urged her to go back to her familiar and secure world. The young Moabite made this unforgettable commitment (1:16-17):

Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord deal with me ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.

The good news is that there are tens of thousands who say to one another, "I can't be sure of the world or what they will do; I can only be sure of me and what I'll do. I will stay!"
Landon Saunders put it like this, "Marriage is two people looking deep into each other's eyes and saying: 'Others may come and go in your life but I never will. If you get sick, I'll care for you, feed you, bathe you; I'll do anything for you except leave you. I will never leave you.' "

To give our solemn promise is a gallant and profoundly serious thing. It alters the world for us because it shapes the future; it says some things are no longer options for us. But it doesn't only change our world—it changes the world for those who take us seriously. They too see the world and the future differently because they believe some things are certain. And on that promised future their present world is shaped—they live in the light of that.

I know some lovely people who are as distressed as I am at times about the state of the world, about terrorist threats, about the global economy, about the restlessness of the nations, about spiraling crimes rates and deteriorating health. It's all that uncertainty, don't you see. But if I were to ask them if they were sure that their beloved would always be there, the answer would come back decisive and immediate, "Oh, always and always, come what may."

Now that's something to be sure of.

From Kyle Butt, M.A. ... Turmoil in Scotland Over A.P. Books





http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4735


Turmoil in Scotland Over A.P. Books

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

Many of us were shocked to read an article featured on the front page of Scotland’s The Daily Record that ran on September 6, 2013. The article was titled: “Parents’ Outrage as Extremist US Religious Cult Hand Out Creationist Books and Preach to Kids at Scottish School” (McGivern, 2013). The “extremist US religious cult” under discussion is the church of Christ. The article caused quite a stir, as you can imagine, and provides a case study in unfair, unbalanced, biased reporting, which we will analyze later in this article. Before doing so, consider the background of the events that elicited the article.
Last year Alex Gear, a native of Scotland who preaches at the West Mains church of Christ in East Kilbride, Scotland, visited north Alabama. He gave reports to various congregations, including the Stony Point church of Christ in Florence, AL where I am a member. After meeting Alex, I invited him to my office and asked if any of our Apologetics Press materials could help in his ministry. Alex chose two of our books: How Do You Know God Is Real?and Truth Be Told: Exposing the Myth of Evolution. He said he could use about 500 copies of each book. He explained that he had been volunteering as a chaplain in two of the primary schools in Scotland and would like to give the children a copy of each book.
The shipping and printing costs were rather expensive, to the tune of about $5,000, but one of our donors offered to cover the entire cost of the project. We shipped the books to Scotland over the summer, and Alex had them ready to give to the students when the school year began. The books were not “sneaked” into the school in any way. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The head of the Kirktonholme Primary School in East Kilbride, Sandra Mackenzie, had invited Alex to be a volunteer chaplain at the school approximately eight years ago. Alex and several college students from the States had done numerous projects to help the school and the students over the last eight years. Two weeks before the books were distributed to the children at Kirktonholme, Alex presented the books to Sandra Mackenzie for her approval. Mrs. Mackenzie approved the books to be given away free of charge to the students as a part of the system’s religious education classes, and neither she nor Alex did anything illegal.
When the books were given to the children, a few of the parents at the school complained that their children should not have been exposed to the teaching about God and Creation. They were angry and began to cause a stir. One of those parents happened to be Paul Sanderson, a prominent member of the Scottish Secular Society. From that point, The Daily Record picked up the story and created quite a brouhaha.

The Daily Record Article

Mark McGivern, the author of The Daily Record article, made a number of blatantly false, outlandish statements and insinuations. First, the title of the article accused the church of Christ of being an “extremist US religious cult” (McGivern, 2013; Note: In the on-line version, he changed the title to read “sect” instead of the original wording of “cult.”). Anyone remotely familiar with the church of Christ knows that, first, it certainly is not based in the United States. In fact, it was founded in Jerusalem in the first century, spread throughout the world in the centuries that followed, and can now be found across the globe. Since each congregation of the church of Christ is autonomous and self-governing, there is no “base” for the church. One would be just as accurate to say the church is based in Africa, or Scotland, or New Zealand, as to say it is based in the U.S.
Second, the church of Christ is not an extremist cult. Even those fair-minded journalists who read the story, who are not members of the church of Christ, understand the falsity of the cult accusation. For instance, sports writer Bill McMurdo penned an article in response to the Record titled “Extreme Prejudice.” In that article he stated:
The Record has been on a “crusade” of late, denigrating a church in East Kilbride… According to the Record, the Church of Christ is an “extremist US religious cult.” Well, the bad news is that this church has already infiltrated the highest levels of government. We have actually had a British Prime Minister who grew up in this “cult” and who was influenced by it. Not only that, but this Prime Minister was responsible for leading the nation in a critical time of war. I am referring to David Lloyd George… Not bad for someone from an “extremist US religious cult” eh? Another epic fail for the Record (McMurdo, 2013).
He went on to include a statement from the West Mains congregation in which they stated: “The Church of Christ has a rich heritage dating as far back as 1669 in Britain. The Church of Christ is considered a mainstream church throughout the British Isles” (McMurdo). McMurdo ended his article by stating that Secular Scotland seems to be targeting the church, noting that their agenda, which “incorporates persecuting people who have an active faith is deplorable” (2013). The church of Christ cannot in any legitimate way be call an “extremist US religious cult.”
In addition, the Record put a picture with the article of a college student named Jared Blakeman. His face was painted to look like Jack Sparrow from the Disney movie Pirates of the Caribbean. The insinuation was that this was part of the “ministry” of the West Mains church. The truth, however, was that the picture was taken from Jared’s Facebook account. The face painting was done at a community fun day and had nothing whatsoever to do with anything that was ever done in the school. The posting of the picture was a devious ploy to make the church look bizarre and cultish.
Furthermore, the article insisted that by giving the books to the children, the church of Christ was trying to brainwash the kids. To “prove” this point about brainwashing, the father of one of the five-year-old children was interviewed—Paul Sanderson. It just so happens that Sanderson is a key player in the Scottish Secular Society. He said that when he took the books from his son that his son burst into tears. The Record then quotes him as saying: “I think it’s fair to call it brainwashing because when I took them from him he started crying. When I asked him why he was crying, he said the man who gave them to him told him they were really, really important.” Notice the argument Sanderson made. The members of the church are brainwashing his child because they gave the child free books that they said were important. The father of the child took the books away, refusing to allow him to read the books, and the child starts crying. This, he concludes, proves brainwashing. (I suppose the banktellers who hand out free suckers to “unsuspecting” five-year-olds are brainwashing them into eating suckers. I’ve seen very few kids relinquish those suckers without some crying involved.) Needless to say, such “penetrating logic” falls far short of proof of brainwashing. In fact, let’s turn the tables and ask this question. Who is more guilty of brainwashing: a person who attempts to give children access to information that they may have never been exposed to, or a parent who forces his child to learn evolution and censors any material to the contrary? Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

Additional Fall Out

After the Record article, numerous other media outlets picked up the story. The Scotland Herald ran a piece on it; the Scotsman published an article (Gardner, 2013); the Telegraph out of London put their two-cents in (Cramb, 2013); numerous individual bloggers and media pundits chimed in, and even The London Times. The head teacher at the school, Sandra MacKenzie, was contacted and asked why she allowed such a thing to happen. She did not back down, but insisted she had done nothing wrong, and stated: “Whilst I appreciate that not every family in our school are practising Christians, I was only too happy to accept this generous gift on your behalf. I hope you will all accept it in the spirit with which it was offered.” As a result of the events, Mrs. Mackenzie and one other teacher at Kirktonholme have been reassigned to different duties while a “full investigation” is underway of their activities. Furthermore, Alex Gear and the West Mains church of Christ have been informed that they can no longer volunteer or work with the school.
Michael Glackin, from The London Times, called me Friday, September 13, and asked me if I would be willing to go to Scotland and publicly defend the teaching in the books that were donated. I explained to him that Apologetics Press stands behind all of our materials and I would be more than happy to defend the truth of Creation in Scotland if the opportunity arose. I further explained that the scientific evidence is firmly on the side of Creation. He quoted me as saying: “What the authorities in Scotland seem to want is for children to be given only one side of the argument. Kids are being forced to learn evolution. These people insist on teaching only evolution and yet we are accused of brainwashing, that doesn’t make sense” (Glackin, 2013).
Denominational minister David Robertson had an interesting piece on the whole ordeal. He is not a big fan of the church of Christ, but he assessed the situation based on the freedoms that are being restricted by the secularist in this case. He stated:
All you need is one militant atheist parent complaining that a teacher or chaplain is a “creationist” or a “homophobe” and the witch-hunt will begin. Why are the media not warning about the danger of militant secularist groups, or indeed militant homosexual groups like Stonewall? In every corridor in my daughter’s school there are Stonewall posters, “some people are gay, get over it.” Fair enough. But where are the “some people are ex-gay, get over it,” or even the “some people are Christian, get over it” posters? Why are these groups infiltrating and indoctrinating our children…. When the secular elites can call a militant mob to stir up hatred and fear, and rely on the compliance of both the tabloid and broadsheet press, I guess we all have to wonder—who is next? What will happen to anyone who dares to challenge the new absolutist state morality? (Robertson, 2013).
Indeed, it seems evident that we are witnessing what will happen to anyone who dares teach the truth in a world of secularism.
Let us be reminded that such opposition to the truth is nothing new. Jesus explained that the world hated Him, and His followers can expect the same treatment (John 15:18). The apostle Paul explained “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Christ’s apostles were commanded by the Jewish leaders to never preach again about Jesus, yet they defied such an unrighteous injunction and continued to preach the truth to all who would listen. When they were accused before the authorities, Peter and the other apostles simply said: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). The Jewish authorities beat them and warned them to stop preaching about Jesus. But the Lord’s followers left the assembly “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:41-42). Let those of us who are Christians determine to pray for the Lord’s Church in Scotland, that this situation will turn out for God’s glory and the spreading of the truth. And let us all be unswerving in our determination to spread the truth of the glorious saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in spite of any human opposition.

References

Cramb, Auslan (2013), “Head Teachers Removed in Row Over ‘Creationist’ Church,” The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10307520/Head-teachers-removed-in-row-over-creationist-church.html.
Gardner, Claire (2013), “Sect’s Preacher Spent 8 Years at Primary School,” The Scotsman, http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/sect-s-preacher-spent-8-years-at-primary-school-1-3081113.
Glackin, Michael (2013), “Scots Head Teachers Removed from Jobs in Creationist Dispute,” The London Times, September 14.
McGivern, Mark (2013), “Parents’ Outrage as Extremist US Religious Sect Hand Out Creationist Books and Preach to Kids at Scottish School,” The Daily Record, http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/parents-outrage-extremist-religious-sect-2254926.
McMurdo, Bill (2013), “Extreme Prejudice,” Bill McMurdo’s Weblog, http://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/4299/.
Robertson, David (2013), “They are Coming to Get Your Children,” Solas, http://www.solas-cpc.org/uncategorized/1846/.

From Mark Copeland... A Call To Prayer And Praise (James 5:13-18)

                          "THE EPISTLE OF JAMES"

                   A Call To Prayer And Praise (5:13-18)
                                
INTRODUCTION

1. As is common in many of the New Testament epistles, we find various
   commands and exhortations as we draw near to the end of the epistle
   of James

2. In Jm 5:13-18, we find a call to pray and sing praises, with
   guidance as to what to do and when

[For example...]

I. IN TIMES OF SUFFERING, LET US "PRAY" (13)

   A. WHAT KIND OF SUFFERING DOES JAMES REFER TO?
      1. The word used refers to suffering of any kind
      2. Such as sickness, bereavement, disappointment, persecutions,
         loss of health or property
      3. Later, James will deal specifically with sickness

   B. FOR WHAT SHOULD WE PRAY?
      1. For the REMOVAL of the suffering, if it be the Lord's will
         - cf. Paul in 2Co 12:8
      2. For the STRENGTH to endure the suffering, if it be the Lord's
         will that we bear with it - cf. 1Co 10:13
         a. God may not always remove the source of our suffering, for
            it may be for our ultimate good - cf. Ps 119:67,71,75
         b. But at least He promises to help us endure it!

   C. FOR WHOM SHOULD WE PRAY?
      1. Certainly for ourselves, as implied above
      2. But also for those who may be the source of our suffering
         a. As Jesus taught in Lk 6:28
         b. Doing this can help greatly to endure the suffering

[So in times of suffering, let us pray!  It is a wonderful privilege to
pray, and a great source of comfort when afflicted.

Next, we learn from James that...]

II. IN TIMES OF CHEER, LET US "SING PRAISES" (13)

   A. THE WORD "CHEERFUL"...
      1. Denotes pleasantness, agreeableness
      2. It suggests a state of mind free from trouble--the opposite
         of affliction--happy!

   B. IN SUCH A STATE OF HAPPINESS, ONE SHOULD SING PRAISES!
      1. For singing praises is becoming of God's people
         a. Consider the attitude of David, the sweet singer of Israel -
            Ps 92:1-2; 96:1-2; 101:1; 111:1; 113:1-3; 146:1-2; 147:1;
            149:1
         b. David was a man after God's own heart, shouldn't we be also?
      2. For singing praises has the power to make a good situation
         even better - cf. Ep 5:18; Col 3:16

   C. WHY DON'T SOME CHRISTIANS SING PRAISES MORE OFTEN, MORE FERVENTLY?
      1. Are they that "afflicted"? 
      2. Hasn't God done enough in our lives to prompt us to praise Him
         fervently in song?
      3. What excuse can we possibly give for refusing to praise God 
         for His glory and goodness?
         a. We cannot use the excuse that we cannot sing
         b. God "commands" all to sing, and unless we are "mute" the
            command applies to us
         c. Fortunately, God is not concerned with how it sounds, but
            that it is coming from the heart, therefore all who can speak
            can and should sing!
      4. Heaven is described by John in the Book of Revelation as a
         place where singing praises to God and Christ is an on-going
         activity
         a. If we don't sing praises to God on earth, though able...
         b. Can we really expect to be allowed to praise God in heaven?

[Singing praises to God is just as important as praying to God!  Perhaps
our prayers would be answered more often, if we would praise God more
often!

The rest of our text deals with prayer as it applies to a special
need...]

III. IN TIMES OF SICKNESS, LET US "PRAY" (14-18)

   A. ADMITTEDLY, THIS PASSAGE IS DIFFICULT...
      1. Questions abound concerning it
         a. Is the sickness physical or spiritual?
         b. Is the anointing with oil medicinal or symbolic?
         c. Is the healing through providential means or miraculous?
         d. Is the healing spiritual or physical?
      2. First, I believe the sickness and healing in this passage is
         physical, though spiritual needs are taken into consideration
         a. This is in view of the phrase "and IF he has committed sins,
            he will be forgiven"
         b. This implies the sickness is physical, though it MAY be
            accompanied with spiritual sickness as well
         c. But the conditional "IF" makes it clear that the illness
            may not be accompanied by sin, which if true, would mean the
            illness is not spiritual, but physical
      3. With the assumption that physical illness is being discussed,
         then there are two feasible alternatives...
         a. This passage refers to MIRACULOUS HEALING
            1) The elders were called because they possessed the gift
               of healing
            2) The anointing with oil was symbolic, representing the
               influences of the Holy Spirit - cf. Mk 6:13
            3) The healing was miraculous
         b. This passage refers to PROVIDENTIAL HEALING
            1) The elders were called because they were likely the most
               righteous in a congregation - cf. Jm 5:16
            2) The anointing with oil was medicinal, as was commonly
               practiced in those days - cf. Lk 10:34
            3) The healing was providential
      4. I lean toward the latter explanation...
         a. The first explanation must assume that the elders in every
            church possessed the gift of healing, which is not likely
            for two reasons:
            1) We have no record of such in the New Testament
            2) The qualifications for elders did not require this gift
               - cf. 1Ti 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9
         b. In illustrating the efficacy of prayer, James uses an
            example of God PROVIDENTIALLY answering prayer - cf. 1 Ki 18:41-45
            1) God was indeed answering Elijah's prayer
            2) But God did so, providentially, working through natural
               means

   B. WITH THIS UNDERSTANDING, LET'S MAKE THE APPLICATION...
      1. In times of physical sickness, call for the elders of the church
         a. You want the prayers of the "righteous" working in your
            behalf, don't you?
         b. Notice:  You are to call for them, not wait for them to
            call on you!
         c. Have the elders pray with you...
            1) In faith (trusting in the Lord's power to heal, if it be
               His will)
            2) Fervently ("the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous
               man avails much.")
      2. Elders should not only pray, but see that appropriate medical
         aids are provided
         a. In a century where hospitals were non-existent, and
            physicians were rare, anointing with oil was a common
            treatment - cf. Lk 10:34
         b. In our present century, this would involve the elders making
            sure that the sick receive the treatment needed
      3. The sick should also confess their sins, if they have any...
         a. Verse 15 makes it clear that sickness is not always the
            consequence of sin
         b. But verse 16 and others (like 1Co 11:29-32) suggests
            that illnesses may be God's loving chatisement for sin, in
            an effort to direct us back to Him
         c. In any case, sins need to be confessed and forgiveness 
            sought if we hope to have God hear our prayers

CONCLUSION

1. However one interprets Jm 5:14-16, there is no dispute over the
   main thrust in this passage...
   a. Prayer and praise are very special privileges for the Christian
   b. There is not a time in our life when we shouldn't be doing one
      or the other
   c. We must be careful not to underestimate:
      1) The importance of praise
      2) The power of prayer

2. But to truly benefit from these two spiritual exercises, we need to
   be in a right relationship with God
   a. Which involves being open to God's Word:  He that turneth away his
      ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination.
      (Pr 28:9)
   b. And being a doer of God's will: Not every one that saith unto me,
      Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
      doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Mt 7:21)

Are we?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading April 18



Bible Reading  

April 18

The World English Bible


Apr. 18
Numbers 27, 28
Num 27:1 Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.
Num 27:2 They stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, at the door of the Tent of Meeting, saying,
Num 27:3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against Yahweh in the company of Korah: but he died in his own sin; and he had no sons.
Num 27:4 Why should the name of our father be taken away from among his family, because he had no son? Give to us a possession among the brothers of our father.
Num 27:5 Moses brought their cause before Yahweh.
Num 27:6 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Num 27:7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: you shall surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brothers; and you shall cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them.
Num 27:8 You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter.
Num 27:9 If he have no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers.
Num 27:10 If he have no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers.
Num 27:11 If his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his kinsman who is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be to the children of Israel a statute and ordinance, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Num 27:12 Yahweh said to Moses, Go up into this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel.
Num 27:13 When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered;
Num 27:14 because you rebelled against my word in the wilderness of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the waters before their eyes. (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.)
Num 27:15 Moses spoke to Yahweh, saying,
Num 27:16 Let Yahweh, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation,
Num 27:17 who may go out before them, and who may come in before them, and who may lead them out, and who may bring them in; that the congregation of Yahweh not be as sheep which have no shepherd.
Num 27:18 Yahweh said to Moses, Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him;
Num 27:19 and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and commission him in their sight.
Num 27:20 You shall put of your honor on him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may obey.
Num 27:21 He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before Yahweh: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
Num 27:22 Moses did as Yahweh commanded him; and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:
Num 27:23 and he laid his hands on him, and commissioned him, as Yahweh spoke by Moses.
Num 28:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Num 28:2 Command the children of Israel, and tell them, My offering, my food for my offerings made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to me, you shall observe to offer to me in their due season.
Num 28:3 You shall tell them, This is the offering made by fire which you shall offer to Yahweh: male lambs a year old without blemish, two day by day, for a continual burnt offering.
Num 28:4 You shall offer the one lamb in the morning, and you shall offer the other lamb at evening;
Num 28:5 with the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meal offering, mixed with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil.
Num 28:6 It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in Mount Sinai for a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Num 28:7 Its drink offering shall be the fourth part of a hin for the one lamb. You shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to Yahweh in the holy place.
Num 28:8 The other lamb you shall offer at evening: as the meal offering of the morning, and as the drink offering of it, you shall offer it, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh.
Num 28:9 On the Sabbath day two male lambs a year old without blemish, and two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour for a meal offering, mixed with oil, and the drink offering of it:
Num 28:10 this is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, besides the continual burnt offering, and the drink offering of it.
Num 28:11 In the beginnings of your months you shall offer a burnt offering to Yahweh: two young bulls, and one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 28:12 and three tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour for a meal offering, mixed with oil, for each bull; and two tenth parts of fine flour for a meal offering, mixed with oil, for the one ram;
Num 28:13 and a tenth part of fine flour mixed with oil for a meal offering to every lamb; for a burnt offering of a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Num 28:14 Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bull, and the third part of a hin for the ram, and the fourth part of a hin for a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year.
Num 28:15 One male goat for a sin offering to Yahweh; it shall be offered besides the continual burnt offering, and the drink offering of it.
Num 28:16 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, is Yahweh's Passover.
Num 28:17 On the fifteenth day of this month shall be a feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.
Num 28:18 In the first day shall be a holy convocation: you shall do no servile work;
Num 28:19 but you shall offer an offering made by fire, a burnt offering to Yahweh: two young bulls, and one ram, and seven male lambs a year old; they shall be to you without blemish;
Num 28:20 and their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil: you shall offer three tenth parts for a bull, and two tenth parts for the ram.
Num 28:21 You shall offer a tenth part for every lamb of the seven lambs;
Num 28:22 and one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you.
Num 28:23 You shall offer these besides the burnt offering of the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering.
Num 28:24 After this manner you shall offer daily, for seven days, the food of the offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh: it shall be offered besides the continual burnt offering, and the drink offering of it.
Num 28:25 On the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation: you shall do no servile work.
Num 28:26 Also in the day of the first fruits, when you offer a new meal offering to Yahweh in your feast of weeks, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no servile work;
Num 28:27 but you shall offer a burnt offering for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh: two young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs a year old;
Num 28:28 and their meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil, three tenth parts for each bull, two tenth parts for the one ram,
Num 28:29 a tenth part for every lamb of the seven lambs;
Num 28:30 one male goat, to make atonement for you.
Num 28:31 Besides the continual burnt offering, and the meal offering of it, you shall offer them (they shall be to you without blemish), and their drink offerings. 
Apr. 18, 19
Luke 11

Luk 11:1 It happened, that when he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples."
Luk 11:2 He said to them, "When you pray, say, 'Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come. May your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven.
Luk 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
Luk 11:4 Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' "
Luk 11:5 He said to them, "Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
Luk 11:6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,'
Luk 11:7 and he from within will answer and say, 'Don't bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give it to you'?
Luk 11:8 I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs.
Luk 11:9 "I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you.
Luk 11:10 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.
Luk 11:11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won't give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?
Luk 11:12 Or if he asks for an egg, he won't give him a scorpion, will he?
Luk 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
Luk 11:14 He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. It happened, when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the multitudes marveled.
Luk 11:15 But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons."
Luk 11:16 Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven.
Luk 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls.
Luk 11:18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.
Luk 11:19 But if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore will they be your judges.
Luk 11:20 But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come to you.
Luk 11:21 "When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe.
Luk 11:22 But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.
Luk 11:23 "He that is not with me is against me. He who doesn't gather with me scatters.
Luk 11:24 The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, 'I will turn back to my house from which I came out.'
Luk 11:25 When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order.
Luk 11:26 Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
Luk 11:27 It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!"
Luk 11:28 But he said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it."
Luk 11:29 When the multitudes were gathering together to him, he began to say, "This is an evil generation. It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet.
Luk 11:30 For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will also the Son of Man be to this generation.
Luk 11:31 The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here.
Luk 11:32 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, one greater than Jonah is here.
Luk 11:33 "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light.
Luk 11:34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness.
Luk 11:35 Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn't darkness.
Luk 11:36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light."
Luk 11:37 Now as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He went in, and sat at the table.
Luk 11:38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed himself before dinner.
Luk 11:39 The Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness.
Luk 11:40 You foolish ones, didn't he who made the outside make the inside also?
Luk 11:41 But give for gifts to the needy those things which are within, and behold, all things will be clean to you.
Luk 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.
Luk 11:43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces.
Luk 11:44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don't know it."
Luk 11:45 One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you insult us also."
Luk 11:46 He said, "Woe to you lawyers also! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won't even lift one finger to help carry those burdens.
Luk 11:47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
Luk 11:48 So you testify and consent to the works of your fathers. For they killed them, and you build their tombs.
Luk 11:49 Therefore also the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute,
Luk 11:50 that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Luk 11:51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.' Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.
Luk 11:52 Woe to you lawyers! For you took away the key of knowledge. You didn't enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in, you hindered."
Luk 11:53 As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him;
Luk 11:54 lying in wait for him, and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.
 


From Gary... Ancient history


I have no doubt that some of you will not know what this is a picture of; even more will not know how to use it. Times have changed. Portable typewriters have become extinct (however, you can still buy a new one, if you look diligently).  The point of this is that the current adult population does not use or does not even care if these exist!!!  Given the decline of spirituality in this country, I have to ask myself: Will there ever be a time in the U.S.A. that people do not know who God is or even care to hear anything about HIM? Right about now, you are probably asking yourself: Is Gary crazy? If it could happen before, it could happen again....

Judges, Chapter 2
7 The people served Yahweh all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Yahweh that he had worked for Israel.  8 Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yahweh, died, being one hundred ten years old.  9 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash.  10 Also all that generation were gathered to their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, who didn’t know Yahweh, nor yet the work which he had worked for Israel. 11 The children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and served the Baals;  12 and they abandoned Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them: and they provoked Yahweh to anger.  13 They abandoned Yahweh, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.  14 Yahweh’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of raiders who plundered them; and he sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.  15 Wherever they went out, the hand of Yahweh was against them for evil, as Yahweh had spoken, and as Yahweh had sworn to them: and they were very distressed.  16 Yahweh raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.  17 Yet they didn’t listen to their judges; for they played the prostitute after other gods, and bowed themselves down to them: they turned aside quickly out of the way in which their fathers walked, obeying the commandments of Yahweh. They didn’t do so.  18 When Yahweh raised them up judges, then Yahweh was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it grieved Yahweh because of their groaning by reason of those who oppressed them and troubled them.  19 But when the judge was dead, they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down to them; they didn’t cease from their doings, nor from their stubborn way. 

This passage of Scripture is a synopsis of what happened to the nation God chose.  America is a land that untold numbers came to for religious freedom and it has turned from God; can God's wrath be long in coming?  Where is a good "judge" when you need one? Or, for that matter, a portable typewriter when the power goes out...