6/3/14

From Jim McGuiggan... "YOU COMIN'?"


"YOU COMIN'?"

Jesus is to blame. The Christ of the cross is to blame. If it weren't for him I might be able to find some peace but he and his cross disturb me and won't let me be content with what I see when I look within and around me. If your loved one is quadriplegic you know that in many ways he or she isn't physically able to help you care for them and in some sense you adjust to the situation—you expect nothing and in that respect you aren't disappointed. If you truly believe there's nothing better to be hoped for in this world I suppose you might rage in your hopelessness or eat, drink (or starve) and die tomorrow; but if hope were dead would there not be some kind of resignation, a reluctant, numbed acceptance of things as they are? Maybe, but would that not be better than vainly hoping? Is that not what the old Greek story means to say in the story of Pandora's "box"—when she opened the forbidden box everything in it escaped except...hope. And it became the source of torment to all because they could never be content with things as they are.

In an early essay Bertrand Russell said that because we know the truth of human existence—that it's a pointless accident—we must face it and build a future on "unyielding despair." Well, it's into this world, with all its pain, loss, disappointment, loneliness, cruelty, entrenched evils and invincible selfishness that Jesus came, making claims and promising much.

In the first century he offended the Romans and their view of power and empire. He offended the Greeks and their view of God and wisdom. He offended the Jews and their view of God's faithfulness and their place in his purposes. And he continues to scandalize us all to this day. Don't you know I'm talking about the real Christ and not the one we hear about in so much preaching. Or the real one we don't hear about in so much preaching. The one who's hidden under ceaseless explanations of what this or that verse means, who's hidden behind the patter of the wise who handle all the "difficult questions" people ask, the one who's buried under the same unending calls for us all to be morally better—as if we hadn't heard this call ten-thousand times. Christless moralizing with the usual Bible verses thrown in to prove we're different from the secularists who preach the same Christless moralizing—and who now and then use Bible verses.

There are people who care nothing for him—and never did—they're not affected by him. The crass hedonists who think life's a one way ticket so, to the degree that they can manage it, they party the nights away. Maybe towards the end they think of "fire insurance" (though even that's not of great concern now). The world can't be made better—certainly not in their lifetimes—so why worry about it? Get what you can as quick as you can, throw a handful of coins in the direction of the world's needy during a big public musical concert and get back to the usual partying.

They ignore the churches with their inner squabbles. [That might be a smart thing!] Or, they listen for a while to their squabbles and discover how pathetic they are in the face of the world's great needs and wrongs—before they go back to the partying. Not a bad philosophy that; a happy life and an endless sleep at the end.

The Jesus of the cross disturbs those who hear him. Here are three general areas. There's the state of the world and the church and our own personal situations.

If you hear him, Jesus is too stubbornly real and we can't get away from him. Not that we're trying to, you understand. We neither try to nor want to get away from him but being in his presence and listening to his kingly promises that are written in blood can make us impatient with the chaotic, oppressive, confused, rebellious and cruel world. Why hasn't his sovereignty transformed the world already? As sad-spoken Matthew Arnold said, in the beginning, the tide of faith was fully in and covered the earth like a garment. But now, he said,—it would appear—all we hear is the faint sound of its "melancholy long withdrawing roar" as it retreats and leaves bare the naked shingled shores of the world. Sometimes we sorely want the present King of Kings to show himself more powerfully—more powerfully, that is, in the more common understanding of power. We'd like him to obliterate all the oppressive structures of the world—structures that we have neither the desire to destroy nor the strength to do it, supposing we had the desire. And why would we desire it, aren't we the ones that build them? The state of the world seems to "prove" that the Christian's claim that Jesus is Lord of Lords is sheer nonsense.

And when we look at the church as a whole and consider how pathetic and weak it is, how self-serving, as it fine-tunes its theology and gorges on rich truth and wants more to gorge on while a world of Lazaruses starves. Not content to draw lines of fellowship in places where the heart of the gospel is attacked, many church leaders insist on keeping us all in separate pens based on the flimsiest differences and they call it "defending the faith." We pay our ministers to "stand for the truth" if they're willing to stand for the truth that we pay them to stand for. In a world of tortured and tormented, sick and oppressed, humiliated, blind and despairing fellow-humans in their thousands of millions and our latest inner-church crusade is what? IS WHAT?

It's much easier to believe the too-rich-to-be-fully-grasped doctrines of the person and work of Jesus Christ in and as whom God revealed himself than it is to believe in the church as it church-shops its way from one assembly to another. And as we shop our first question is not, "What is your gospel here?" it's, "What programs do you have to suit me here?" "What are my rights here?" "Does this church know we're living in the 21st century?" At one end of the spectrum we have these primetime hucksters that ceaselessly beg for money to fund their programs (or other hidden things) and on the other there are churches that are offended if there's talk about sharing our wealth. Time and money is spent on leadership agendas that usually have to do with "making our church grow." Then there's the "preaching" [?]. 

And then there's the personal, bitter disappointment with oneself. There are times when you think you see real progress and then like a bolt of lightning and a thunderclap events expose your heart—it's seems as shrivelled as ever it was even after years of longing for better. Just when you think you've experienced significant growth you're brought face to face with outrageous meanness or corruption or bitterness that pours out of you. Those who know nothing of such experiences often find themselves with a smug smile of self-congratulation at their moral maturity and consistency. When our eyes focus on all this and more Jesus seems more and more distant and beyond us. And in our worst moments, Pack it in—walk away, comes to mind. Then you understand what Dorothy Sayers was getting at when she wrote:

I am battered and broken and weary and out of heart,
I will not listen to talk of heroic things,
But be content to play some simple part,
Freed from preposterous, wild imaginings...
Men were not made to walk as priests and kings.
Thou liest, Christ, Thou liest; take it hence,
That mirror of strange glories; I am I;
What wouldst Thou make of me? O cruel pretense,
Drive me not mad so with the mockery
Of that most lovely, unattainable lie!

And for a while—a day, a week, a month, a year—you sulk and snarl and prowl. Then you see him! He's always been there; you just didn't notice during that wretched period. You see him looking at you with those big eyes of his, calm and compelling, and as he moves away he looks back and motions with his head, "You comin'?" and…

Why can't he leave us alone? Why can't we who have met him leave him alone?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min. ... Sticky Business

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2250

Sticky Business

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Advances in the science of biomimetics increasingly are reported in major scientific journals around the world. Scientists have attempted to mimic various designs or processes in the biological world for centuries, and 21st-century scientists show no signs of slowing down. In fact, it appears that now, more than ever, scientists are looking to nature for inspirations for their inventions. In June 2007, the journal New Scientist announced a new self-healing glue inspired by human bones (see Butt, 2007). In July 2007, MIT’s Technology Review reported the flight of a robotic fly at Harvard University, and how the government hopes eventually to use such “flies” in surveillance missions (see Ross, 2007; cf. Lyons, 2007). Nature, an international, weekly science journal, recently highlighted another impressive, life-inspired product—a biomimetic adhesive called “geckel,” that can adhere to both dry and wet surfaces (Haeshin, et al., 2007, 448[7151]:338-341).
The term “geckel” is derived from the names of the two creatures that inspired the new versatile adhesive: geckos and mussels. (Gecko + mussel = geckel.) Scientists closely examined the gecko’s “foot pads composed of specialized keratinous foot-hairs,” which “allow the gecko to cling onto vertical and even inverted surfaces” (Haeshin, et al., p. 338). By developing “nanotubes” that mimic “the bundles of fibers that make up the hairs on gecko feet” (Bullis, 2007), scientists have produced small tape samples that can be reused dozens of time. One obstacle to “gecko tape,” however, is water. Re-usable tape that mimics “gecko adhesion is greatly diminished upon full immersion” (Haeshin, et al., p. 338). Thus, scientists turned to the mussel.
Mussels have the ability to adhere to wet or fully immersed surfaces. Northwestern University biomedical-engineering professor Phillip Messersmith observed: “Mussels can stick to anything.... They adhere to a piece of wood, which is organic. They also adhere to the skin of whales” (as quoted in Patel-Predd, 2007). Their astounding stick-to-itiveness comes from a secretion of “specialized adhesive proteins” (Haeshin, et al., p. 338). After years of study, scientists have been able to manufacture a polymer that imitates the adhesive proteins of mussels.
Now, by combining what they have learned from gecko and mussel adhesion, researchers have developed a new adhesive, complete with nanotubes and a sticky protein polymer. Geckel is sticky, reusable, and can attach both to dry and wet surfaces. Scientists foresee it being used in many things, including medical tape and electronic equipment.
Sadly, many of the same scientists who spent thousands of hours studying the marvelous qualities of geckos and mussels believe these animals just evolved over millions of years. They believe that a big bang, plus spontaneous generation, plus time, plus chance equals awe-inspiring animals that hold the key to the invention of many impressive products. Researchers are designing new products based on living creatures that supposedly were not designed. Does this make any sense? None at all. The fact is, design demands a designer. Geckos and mussels, which scientists still cannot fully imitate, were designed by an intelligent Being—“The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28, ASV). “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all...living things both small and great” (Psalm 104:24-25).

REFERENCES

Bullis, Kevin (2007), “Climbing Walls with Carbon Nanotubes,” Technology Review, June 25, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/Nanotech/18966/.
Butt, Kyle (2007), “Nature Sticks to Design,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3413.
Haeshin, Lee, Bruce Lee, and Phillip Messersmith (2007), “A Reversible Wet/Dry Adhesive Inspired by Mussels and Geckos,” Nature, 448[7151]:338-341, July 19.
Lyons, Eric (2007), “Who Makes the World’s Best Fliers?,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3436.
Patel-Predd, Prachi (2007), “Nanoglue Sticks Underwater,” Technology Review, July 18, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/Nanotech/19061/.
Ross, Rachel (2007), “Robotic Insect Takes Off for the First Time,” Technology Review, July 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19068/.

From Mark Copeland... Herod's Harassment Of The Church (Acts 12:1-25)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

              Herod's Harassment Of The Church (12:1-25)

INTRODUCTION

1. We have seen that with Saul's conversion the persecution against the
   church diminished...
   a. The churches in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee had peace - Ac 9:31
   b. The gospel had spread as far as Antioch in Syria - Ac 11:19-21

2. But then a new persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem...
   a. Initiated by Herod Agrippa I - Ac 12:1
   b. His grandfather was Herod the Great, who massacred the babies - Mt 2:16
   c. His uncle was Herod Antipas, who beheaded John, and tried Jesus
      - Mt 14:1-14; Lk 23:8-12  
   d. His son was Herod Agrippa II, who tried the apostle Paul - Ac 25:13-26:32

[Thus it was Herod Agrippa I who harassed the church in Jerusalem at
this time.  How God and the church responded to his harassment is
instructive, so let's begin with how...]

I. HEROD KILLS JAMES

   A. JAMES, BROTHER OF JOHN...
      1. Son of Zebedee, one of Jesus' first disciples - Mk 1:19-20
      2. Together with John his brother were called "Sons of Thunder"
         - Mk 3:17
      3. Part of the inner circle of Jesus' closest disciples - cf. Mk 5:37; 9:2; 13:3; 14:33

   B. THE FIRST APOSTLE TO DIE...
      1. Not counting Judas Iscariot, who died before the church began
      2. Jesus foretold James would suffer (the cup and baptism of
         suffering) - Mk 10:35-40
      3. And so Herod killed James with the sword (i.e., beheaded him) 
         - Ac 12:2
      4. Note:  James the apostle was not replaced after his death, nor
         is there any indication in the Scriptures that other apostles 
         were replaced when they died (excluding Judas Iscariot)

[Herod's harassment against the church by killing James pleased the
unbelieving Jews (Ac 12:3).  The most liked by the Jews of any of the
Herods (cf. Josephus), to further incur their favor...]

II. HEROD IMPRISONS PETER

   A. IMPRISONED BY A KING...
      1. Herod arrested Peter during the Days of Unleavened Bread, his 
         trial delayed - Ac 12:3-4
      2. Peter was therefore imprisoned, guarded by four squads of
         soldiers - Ac 12:4

   B. RELEASED BY AN ANGEL...
      1. In the meantime, the church responded with constant (fervent) 
         prayer - Ac 12:5
      2. Peter was bound by chains between two soldiers, with guards
         before the door - Ac 12:6
      3. An angel appeared, freed Peter, and led him out of the prison 
         - Ac 12:7-10
      4. Peter realized it was real, not a vision, that the Lord
         delivered him - Ac 12:11
      5. He goes to the house of Mary, mother of John Mark, where many
         were praying - Ac 12:12
      6. His arrival led to denial, then astonishment, but Peter 
         explained it all - Ac 12:13-17
      7. He gave instructions to inform James (the Lord's brother) and 
         then left - Ac 12:17   

[For some reason, the Lord saw fit to allow James to die while Peter
lived.  Peter would later die for Christ as well (as would most of the
apostles).  As for Herod, God was not done with him yet...]  

III. HEROD STRUCK BY AN ANGEL

   A. EXALTED BY MAN...
      1. Angered by Peter's escape, Herod executes the guards - Ac 12:18-19 
      2. Leaving Judea, Herod goes to Caesarea (seat of the Roman
         government) - Ac 12:19
      3. The people of Tyre and Sidon appeal to him via their friend
         Blastus, his aide - Ac 12:20
      4. Giving an oration, the people praise Herod as having the voice
         of a god - Ac 12:21-22

   B. HUMBLED BY GOD...
      1. Failing to give glory to God, Herod is immediately struck by an
         angel - Ac 12:23
      2. Luke (a physician) tells us he was eaten by worms and died - Ac 12:23
      3. Josephus says that a severe pain arose in his belly and became
         so violent that he was carried into his palace where he died 
         five days later
      4. Dr. A. Rendle Short, who was professor of surgery at Bristol
         University and wrote a book entitled The Bible and Modern 
         Medicine, stated that a great many people in Asia 'harbor 
         intestinal worms', which can form a tight ball and cause 'acute
         intestinal obstruction'. This may have been the cause of Herod's
         death. - Stott, J. R. W. (1994). The message of Acts: The 
         Spirit, the church & the world. The Bible Speaks Today.
         Leicester, England; Downers  Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

CONCLUSION

1. With the death of Herod and the end of his harassment against the
   church...
   a. "...the word of God grew and multiplied" - Ac 12:24
   b. Paul and Silas would later be able to complete their ministry and
      return to Antioch with John Mark - Ac 12:25

2. From this account of "Herod's Harassment Of The Church" we learn...
   a. How the church is to react against persecution:  pray! - e.g., Ac 12:5,12; cf. Ac 4:23-31
   b. How God is able to humble governmental authorities who resist Him
      - cf. Rev 17:14

Whether it be through Divine intervention or Divine providence, Jesus as
King of kings and Lord of lords is in ultimate control (cf. Ro 13:1-4).  

As His disciples we must trust Him, even if in His wisdom it means that
some might be martyrs while others go free...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Gary... Bible Reading June 3

Bible Reading  

June 3

The World English Bible

 
June 3
Ruth 3, 4

Rth 3:1 Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?
Rth 3:2 Now isn't Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens you were? Behold, he winnows barley tonight in the threshing floor.
Rth 3:3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself, and put your clothing on yourself, and go down to the threshing floor, but don't make yourself known to the man, until he has finished eating and drinking.
Rth 3:4 It shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay down; then he will tell you what you shall do.
Rth 3:5 She said to her, All that you say I will do.
Rth 3:6 She went down to the threshing floor, and did according to all that her mother-in-law told her.
Rth 3:7 When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
Rth 3:8 It happened at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself; and behold, a woman lay at his feet.
Rth 3:9 He said, Who are you? She answered, I am Ruth your handmaid: spread therefore your skirt over your handmaid; for you are a near kinsman.
Rth 3:10 He said, Blessed are you by Yahweh, my daughter: you have shown more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as you didn't follow young men, whether poor or rich.
Rth 3:11 Now, my daughter, don't be afraid; I will do to you all that you say; for all the city of my people does know that you are a worthy woman.
Rth 3:12 Now it is true that I am a near kinsman; however there is a kinsman nearer than I.
Rth 3:13 Stay this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform for you the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman for you, then will I do the part of a kinsman for you, as Yahweh lives: lie down until the morning.
Rth 3:14 She lay at his feet until the morning. She rose up before one could discern another. For he said, Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.
Rth 3:15 He said, Bring the mantle that is on you, and hold it; and she held it; and he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and he went into the city.
Rth 3:16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, Who are you, my daughter? She told her all that the man had done to her.
Rth 3:17 She said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said, "Don't go empty to your mother-in-law."
Rth 3:18 Then she said, "Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will fall; for the man will not rest, until he has finished the thing this day."
Rth 4:1 Now Boaz went up to the gate, and sat him down there: and behold, the near kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by; to whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. He turned aside, and sat down.
Rth 4:2 He took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit down here. They sat down.
Rth 4:3 He said to the near kinsman, Naomi, who has come back out of the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
Rth 4:4 I thought to disclose it to you, saying, Buy it before those who sit here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it: but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is none to redeem it besides you; and I am after you. He said, I will redeem it.
Rth 4:5 Then said Boaz, On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must buy it also from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance.
Rth 4:6 The near kinsman said, I can't redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: take my right of redemption on you; for I can't redeem it.
Rth 4:7 Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.
Rth 4:8 So the near kinsman said to Boaz, Buy it for yourself. He drew off his shoe.
Rth 4:9 Boaz said to the elders, and to all the people, You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
Rth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead not be cut off from among his brothers, and from the gate of his place: you are witnesses this day.
Rth 4:11 All the people who were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. Yahweh make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, which two built the house of Israel: and treat you worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
Rth 4:12 and let your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the seed which Yahweh shall give you of this young woman.
Rth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and Yahweh gave her conception, and she bore a son.
Rth 4:14 The women said to Naomi, Blessed be Yahweh, who has not left you this day without a near kinsman; and let his name be famous in Israel.
Rth 4:15 He shall be to you a restorer of life, and sustain you in your old age, for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.
Rth 4:16 Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse to it.
Rth 4:17 The women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they named him Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Rth 4:18 Now this is the history of the generations of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron,
Rth 4:19 and Hezron became the father of Ram, and Ram became the father of Amminadab,
Rth 4:20 and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon became the father of Salmon,
Rth 4:21 and Salmon became the father of Boaz, and Boaz became the father of Obed,
Rth 4:22 and Obed became the father of Jesse, and Jesse became the father of David.
 
Jun. 3, 4
John 10

Joh 10:1 "Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn't enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
Joh 10:4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don't know the voice of strangers."
Joh 10:6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn't understand what he was telling them.
Joh 10:7 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep's door.
Joh 10:8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn't listen to them.
Joh 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture.
Joh 10:10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn't own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them.
Joh 10:13 The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn't care for the sheep.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I'm known by my own;
Joh 10:15 even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.
Joh 10:17 Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
Joh 10:18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father."
Joh 10:19 Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words.
Joh 10:20 Many of them said, "He has a demon, and is insane! Why do you listen to him?"
Joh 10:21 Others said, "These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn't possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?"
Joh 10:22 It was the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem.
Joh 10:23 It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in Solomon's porch.
Joh 10:24 The Jews therefore came around him and said to him, "How long will you hold us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you don't believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, these testify about me.
Joh 10:26 But you don't believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I told you.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Joh 10:28 I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand.
Joh 10:30 I and the Father are one."
Joh 10:31 Therefore Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of those works do you stone me?"
Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, "We don't stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy: because you, being a man, make yourself God."
Joh 10:34 Jesus answered them, "Isn't it written in your law, 'I said, you are gods?'
Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture can't be broken),
Joh 10:36 do you say of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You blaspheme,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God?'
Joh 10:37 If I don't do the works of my Father, don't believe me.
Joh 10:38 But if I do them, though you don't believe me, believe the works; that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
Joh 10:39 They sought again to seize him, and he went out of their hand.
Joh 10:40 He went away again beyond the Jordan into the place where John was baptizing at first, and there he stayed.
Joh 10:41 Many came to him. They said, "John indeed did no sign, but everything that John said about this man is true."
Joh 10:42 Many believed in him there.


From Gary... At the "core" of...


Two days ago, I watched the Disney movie "John Carter" again, so it came as no surprise when I saw this volcanic picture that I thought of the Edgar Rice Burrough's book "At Earth's core". Written just about 100 years ago, it still had an attraction for me and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  I can't remember all the details, but 500 miles below the surface, our hero encounters intelligent flying reptiles in a prehistoric land called Pellicular. Wow, I surprised even myself on this one, because I read it a couple of years ago.  Memory is such a fleeting thing, but it is of utmost importance.  What we remember can literally make the difference between heaven and hell.  Consider this passage from the Psalms...

Psalm 119
Psa 119:9  b Beth. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.
Psa 119:10  With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Psa 119:11  Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
Psa 119:12  Blessed are You, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes.
Psa 119:13  With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth.
Psa 119:14  I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.
Psa 119:15  I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways.
Psa 119:16  I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.

Purity is something we all have to strive for.  The best way I have found to help in this effort is to read your Bible and remember it. Admittedly, the remembering part is a bit more difficult than it used to be, but then, that is mitigated by decades of experiences. You or I may never achieve a "hero" status, but we can do, what we can do. So, do that and leave the rest up to God. He is the real HERO anyway!!!