From Jim McGuiggan... Why do we have children?

Why do we have children?

Why do we have children? Make up your own list. I suppose the list would include things like, "Because we had sex and she got pregnant (but we can fix that with an abortion)." "Because we loved each other and this was the natural outcome of our love for each other." "Because we just love kids." "Because we were going through a tough time in our marriage and thought a baby would stabilize things." "Because we got married and isn’t the purpose of sex to produce children!?" "Um...never really thought about it." "I didn’t plan on it, they just came." And on and on and on.

And when some thoughtful child, maybe a bit insecure or wondering what life is all about, comes asking, "Why did you have me?" the answer is...? Asking a Christian this question is not the same as asking it of a non-Christian. The answers might come out the same though it’s clear that they shouldn’t. To ask a Christian, "Why do you have children?" and "Why do we (Christians) have children?" is not the same question because the second one implies that there is a distinctively Christian reason for having children.

That there is a distinctively Christian motivation for having children doesn’t alter the fact that there may be numerous motivations for having children nor does it mean that Christians and non-Christians don’t share some of them. But if there is a distinctively Christian reason for having children that would be the one they would want to focus on (though not to the exclusion of others).

Taking it that there is a distinctively Christian reason for having children does that mean every Christian knows it and has acted on it? The answer’s clearly no. But this wouldn’t mean that Christian ignorance renders God unable to do his work in the world through Christians. For pity’s sake, isn’t he always carrying on his work of blessing and redemption even in the face of our disobedience so why would our ignorance keep him from doing his marvellous work?

I think Genesis 18:17-19 is a critical text for Christians. ( I should already have said that ancient Israelites had a distinctively Israelite reason for having children.) Here’s the text: "Then the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham shall surely become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." [I've bold faced two purpose clauses.]

The central actor in the text is the Lord himself. He is the revealer, he is the chooser, he is the moral exemplar, he is the one that promises and the one that fulfils the promise. That's what the text insists. But this Lord doesn’t operate in a vacuum nor does he show himself outside of history—he works within history and through specific events and people. In this case it’s Abraham and (secondarily) his children. There are two critically important "so thats" that support the "for" in verse 19 that speaks of God's over-arching purpose. The first "so that" concerns God’s reason for choosing him. He chooses him "so that" he will direct his children after him to walk in the way of the Lord. The second links the purpose of the Lord with Abraham’s obedient response. No, it’s a bit stronger than that. They aren’t only linked; Abraham’s obedient response to direct his children is the method by which God fulfils his promise to Abraham. Read the text again.

This is where the children come in. God is the first actor, Abraham the second and the children are part of the whole unfolding drama. The text says, "he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." Let me say it again: the means by which God blesses Abraham and brings about the blessing of the world (see Galatians 3:8 and other texts) is the obedient response of Abraham and his children.

You understand that their obedience never (and especially in this text) becomes anything other than the means by which God accomplishes his redeeming purposes. It isn’t a quid pro quo arrangement where God does them a favour and they do God a favour. The initiative is always of and remains with God. It is God at work through Abraham and his children to fulfil his promises. But in this text as elsewhere it is always God through Abraham and his children!

So why did Abraham have children? (Why did God give Abraham children?) The text is clear. It isn’t so that he can count their heads and see that he has become the father of a grand nation—they’re not merely an end in the blessing of Abraham. They are with him a means to the blessing of humanity. Of course God means to bless them so they’re not to be seen merely as means to an end but they do have a mission and a destiny.

And why do Christians have children? For the very same reason. The blessing of Abraham in Jesus Christ goes on and on (see Galatians 3:26-29) and the children of Christians are to bear witness to each generation of the redeeming and blessing work of God that will be brought to an abiding and glorious completion.
Christians have children not only so they can love them, not only because they hunger for them as potential mothers and fathers, not only that they can enjoy life with them (all true!) but also that they can provide witnesses for God in every generation.

"Ah, there they go again, these Christians. They take the spontaneous joy out of life and turn it into a religious duty." So a critic might respond, but the response would be from "outside the Christian box". There is no destruction here of joy, affection or any other lovely possibility but there is a deepening and an enrichment of the lives of both parents and children.

Let thoughtful children be told in a rich, wise and certainly gospel-centred way that they have a destiny and see if it hinders or narrows them in any sinister way. Tell them that the world is in need of rescue and blessing and that God has come in Jesus Christ to do that and they are alive to bear witness to that. Tell them, "You have a destiny and a mission. You are in the world as God’s blessed child to help him redeem the world." Tell them that along with all the other fine things you’ll tell them and not only will you be telling them the truth you will be giving them something that won’t fade and something for which many in future ages will be eternally grateful for. And when they have their children they will tell them the same thing and so we have the never-ending story. And can those of us who didn’t know anything about this sort of thing still tell our children, "We had you so that God would have witnesses for him when we are gone"? Of course, for while we may not have known we aren’t unhappy that God always knew.

And when some poor well-meaning soul is telling his/her children that they were destined to be a movie star, a famous athlete, a pop star or some such thing—end of story!—you won’t regret having been part of Genesis 18. Christians speak to their children of pleasure and joy, of hope and assurance, of heaven and hell, of forgiveness and uprightness but we say nothing (or nearly so) of destiny. There is so little talk about our place in the divine drama—why we are alive and who we are.

Whatever else is true, having children is to be expressed as part of our living our lives out under God and in Jesus Christ.

Finally, in point of fact many of us choose not to marry or to have children, and given healthy reasons that’s all right with God too. See

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

Elders, Deacons, Timothy, and Wine by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Elders, Deacons, Timothy, and Wine

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Paul’s instructions pertaining to the qualifications of elders and deacons have created misunderstanding regarding the use of alcoholic beverages. Elders are not to be “given to wine” (1 Timothy 3:3), while deacons are not to be “given to much wine” (1 Timothy 3:8). Translations further obscure the matter by their variety of terminology. The ASV has “no brawler” (vs. 3) and “not given to much wine” (vs. 8). The NIV has “not given to much wine” (vs. 3) and “not indulging in much wine” (vs. 8). The NASB has “not addicted to wine” (vs. 3) and “not addicted to much wine” (vs. 8). So the question is: does 1 Timothy 3:8 sanction moderate alcohol use?
The phrase in verse three consists of two Greek words (me paroinos) and, literally translated, means “not beside, by, or at wine” (Vine, 1966, p. 146; Robertson, 1934, p. 613). The phrase is enjoining abstinence, and perhaps even the act of situating oneself in the presence of people and places where the consumption of alcoholic beverages is occurring. The ASV translated the expression “brawler” to emphasize the violent behavior that proceeds from the use of alcohol. Calling for elders to be abstinent is consistent with other terms used in the same listing: nephalion (1 Timothy 3:2)—“free from intoxicants” and “abstinent in respect to wine” (Perschbacher, 1990, p. 284), and sophrona (Titus 1:8)—“of a sound mind, temperate” (Perschbacher, p. 400), “soberminded” (Moulton and Milligan, 1930, p. 622), “self-controlled” (Arndt and Gingrich, 1957, p. 810). Elders must refrain from the use of intoxicants, and they must not associate with places and people who do use them.
In verse eight, the four words used to qualify deacons on this point (me oino pollo prosechontas) are literally translated “not wine much occupied with” (cf. Perschbacher, p. 352; Spain, 1970, p. 64). Does the use of the word “much” mean that deacons may imbibe a moderate amount of wine? At least three alternative interpretations are possible.
First, when Solomon said, “Do not be overly wicked” (Ecclesiastes 7:17—NKJV [“overwicked”—NIV; “overmuch wicked”—ASV]), did he mean to imply that a person can, with God’s approval, be moderately wicked? When Peter noted that pagans do not understand why Christians do not engage in the “same excess of riot” (1 Peter 4:4), did he mean moderate rioting was appropriate? In other words, language can forthrightly condemn an excessive indulgence or great amount of an action without implying that the action is permissible in a lesser amount or to a lesser degree. One cannot assume that what is unlawful in excess is lawful in smaller amounts. We can refer to a person’s frequent involvement in a certain activity (e.g., adultery) without intending to leave the impression that a more moderate participation in the action would be proper. Albert Barnes addressed this point succinctly:
It is not affirmed that it would be proper for the deacon, any more than the bishop, to indulge in the use of wine in small quantities, but it is affirmed that a man who is much given to the use of wine ought not, on any consideration, to be a deacon (1977, p. 148).
The word in verse eight translated “given to” (KJV, NKJV, ASV), or “indulging in” (NIV), or “addicted to” (RSV), is prosecho. It is used elsewhere in 1 Timothy (1:4) and in Titus (1:14) to refer to those who “give heed to” (KJV), or “occupy themselves with” (RSV), or “pay attention to” (NASB) Jewish myths. Who would draw the conclusion that Paul intended to encourage Christians to give some attention to Jewish myths, just not too much attention?
Consequently, Paul was spotlighting an individual who is known for drinking freely of alcoholic beverages. He was saying that no such person should be put into the eldership. A parallel would be to make an observation about a person who carouses and parties every night—“do not put such a man into the eldership!” But the speaker hardly would mean that one who parties less frequently, say on weekends only, would be acceptable. Paul no more intended to suggest that leaders in the church who use small amounts of alcohol are suited to their role than Mosaic law would have permitted priests to do so (Leviticus 10:9). Barnes commented: “The way in which the apostle mentions the subject here would lead us fairly to suppose that he did not mean to commend its use in any sense” (1977, p. 144).
A second possibility is that the terminology that Paul used was a loose form of speech (Bacchiocchi, 1989, p. 250). Both Greek and Hebrew manifest such tendencies. For example, “three days and three nights” was a loose form of speech used in antiquity to refer to two days and a portion of a third (Bullinger, 1898, pp. 845-847; Robertson, 1922, pp. 289-291). Later in the same letter, Paul instructed Timothy to “use a little wine” for his stomach and infirmities (5:23). It is not a foregone conclusion that the “wine” Paul commended to Timothy was inebriating, since evidence from antiquity exists to suggest that he was referring to the addition of grape juice to Timothy’s drinking water for medicinal purposes (see Lees, 1870, p. 374). Even if, however, Paul meant for Timothy to add fermented (i.e., intoxicating) juice to his diet, he nevertheless implied: (1) that Timothy had been abstinent up to that point; (2) that the quantity he was now to add to his diet was to be “a little”; (3) that the juice was to be diluted with water; (4) that its use was strictly medicinal in nature—not social, casual, or recreational; and (5) that it took the directive of an apostle for Timothy to introduce its use into his life and body. [Incidentally, one must not automatically assume that it was the wine that possessed medicinal properties. The wine may have simply been the antiseptic means to purify the polluted water that Timothy had been drinking by killing germs and bacterial organisms, thereby reducing their ill effect on Timothy’s fragile stomach—in which case, Paul was not commending wine; he was commending a method for cleansing contaminated water]. If Paul sanctioned the use of alcohol only on the qualifications that it was in small quantities, and that it was for medicinal purposes, why would he then turn right around and sanction deacons drinking alcohol in larger amounts—avoiding only excess?
The inconsistency of this viewpoint becomes exceedingly apparent when one compares Paul’s instructions to different Christians:
Elders (1 Timothy 3:2-3)—abstain (nephalios); don’t even be near it (me paroinon)
Deacons (1 Timothy 3:8)—drink moderately (me oino pollo)
Wives (1 Timothy 3:11)—abstain (nephalious)
Aged men (Titus 2:2)—abstain (nephalious)
Aged women (Titus 2:3)—drink moderately (me oino pollo)
In view of these inconsistencies, “much wine” must be a loose form of speech intended to express complete restraint in the use of wine.
A third possible interpretation of this verse concerns the meaning of the term “wine.” Unlike the English word (which always connotes an alcoholic beverage), the Greek word oinos is a generic term that includes all forms of the grape (cf. Lees, 1870, pp. 431ff.). The term oinos was used by the Greeks to refer to unfermented grape juice every bit as much as fermented juice. Consequently, the interpreter must examine the biblical context in order to determine whether fermented or unfermented liquid is intended. In light of this realization, some have suggested that Paul instructed the elders to refrain completely from alcoholic beverages, while deacons, on the other hand, were being instructed to engage in a moderate use of nonalcoholic grape juice. At least three lines of argumentation are evident for this interpretation.
First, in the Old Testament, the generic Hebrew term that is equivalent to oinos is yayin. Some passages praise the ingestion of yayin (Song of Solomon 5:1; Psalm 104:15; Ecclesiastes 9:7), while others condemn it (Proverbs 20:1; 31:4). The only plausible explanation is that the former is a reference to grape juice, while the latter is a reference to grape juice that has been transformed into an alcoholic beverage.
Second, only in Timothy and Titus is the word “much” used—as if the secret to pleasing God lies in the quantity of liquid ingested. If fermented juice were intended, the same distinction surely would have been made in the Old Testament. No such distinction is made. But if nonalcoholic grape juice is intended in Timothy and Titus, the intent of the qualification shifts from the level of intoxication to the matter of liquid gluttony. In that case, Paul intended to require moderation in the intake of nonalcoholic liquids.
Third, biblical warnings against the excessive intake of food and liquid are legion (e.g., Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:20; 1 Corinthians 11:21-22; Titus 1:12). Solomon even applied the principle to honey (Proverbs 25:27). To understand Paul to be enjoining moderate use of a good gift from God (i.e., grape juice) is consistent with the context that is riddled with references to self-control, temperance, and moderation (e.g., 1 Timothy 3:2,11). It also fits the social conditions extant in Greco-Roman culture in which intemperance was rampant.
In addition to the above considerations, one must keep in mind that even if it could be proved that God sanctioned moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages in the Bible, it does not follow that God sanctions drinking modern “wine,” since the wine referred to in the Bible was unlike the wine of our day. Wine in antiquity was far less potent. One would have had to ingest large quantities in order to receive even minimal alcoholic content. The ancients typically had to add drugs to their drinks to increase their intoxicating potency. In light of all these considerations, the view that maintains that deacons may drink moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages is precarious, dangerous, and biblically unsubstantiated.


Arndt, William and F.W. Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Bacchiocchi, Samuele (1989), Wine in the Bible (Berrien Springs, MI: Biblical Perspectives).
Barnes, Albert (1977 reprint), Notes on the New Testament: Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus and Philemon (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Bullinger, E.W. (1898), Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1968 reprint).
Lees, Frederic R. (1870), The Temperance Bible-Commentary (New York: Weed, Parsons, and Co.).
Moulton, James and George Milligan (1930), Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-literary Sources (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982 reprint).
Perschbacher, Wesley J., ed. (1990), The New Analytical Greek Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Robertson, A.T. (1922), A Harmony of the Gospels (New York: Harper and Row).
Robertson, A.T. (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville, TN: Broadman).
Spain, Carl (1970), The Letters of Paul to Timothy and Titus (Austin, TX: Sweet).
Vine, W.E. (1966 reprint), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell).

From Mark Copeland... The Parable Of The Wicked Vinedressers (Mark 12:1-12)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

            The Parable Of The Wicked Vinedressers (12:1-12)


1. Reviewing the events of the Last Week recorded by Mark so far...
   a. Sunday - The triumphal entry and brief visit to the temple - Mk 11:1-11
   b. Monday - The cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the
      temple - Mk 11:12-19
   c. Tuesday - The lesson of the fig tree and the authority of Jesus
      questioned - Mk 11:20-33

2. As we continue our study with chapter twelve, it is still Tuesday of
   the Last Week...
   a. In the temple, Jesus begins to speak in parables - Mk 12:1
   b. Matthew records a trilogy of parables, while Mark just one

[Mark records the parable of "The Wicked Vinedressers" (Mk 12:1-12), its
meaning quite clear...]


      1. The vineyard immediately brings to mind Israel
         a. The figure of a vineyard referring to Israel was well-known
            - cf. Isa 5:1-7
         b. But here it is not Israel as a nation per se...
            1) Rather, "the special advantages and opportunities which
               were given to the people as the chosen seed" (W.M. Taylor,
               The Parables of Our Savior)
            2) For later Jesus explains the vineyard (or kingdom of God)
               will be given to others ( "a nation producing its fruit") - Mk 12:9; cf. Mt 21:43
      2. The man who planted the vineyard is God
      3. The wicked vinedressers represents Israel’s leaders - Mk 12:12
         a. Their chief priests, scribes, elders, and their followers - cf. Mt 21:45
         b. Therefore, the physical nation of Israel as a whole
      4. The servants who were sent in behalf of the landowner
         represents the prophets
         a. As a nation, Israel rejected many of her prophets - cf. 2Ch 36:15-16
         b. Note the plaintive cry of Jesus over Jerusalem later on - cf. Mt 23:37
      5. The landowner’s son is Jesus Christ Himself

      1. To help them see why God would be just
         a. In bringing condemnation upon Israel
         b. In giving the blessings of Israel to those more deserving
            - cf. Mt 21:43
      2. Their rejection of Jesus had been foretold - Mk 12:10-11; cf. Ps 118:22-23
         a. The "builders" were the religious leaders of the nation
         b. The "stone" they rejected was Christ
         c. Yet, this stone would be made a "chief cornerstone" by God
            1) In which God would build something new, i.e., the church - cf. 1Pe 2:4-10
            2) Where both Jew and Gentile are members of God’s household - Ep 2:19-20

[The main lesson of this parable can be summarized in the words of Ps 2:12...

         "Kiss (i.e., pay homage to) the Son, lest He be angry,
            And you perish in the way,
            When His wrath is kindled but a little.
         "Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."

So obvious was Jesus’ meaning and intent in telling this parable, that
the religious leaders’ would have arrested Him at that moment had it not
been for the people (Mk 12:12).

What application can we make from this parable?  Is there a lesson for
us today that can be drawn...?]


      1. This He had done with the nation of Israel
         a. Like a precious vineyard, God planted Israel in Canaan
         b. He blessed the nation with laws, priests, prophets, and
            other special privileges
         c. He eventually sent His only begotten Son as their Messiah
      2. What about us?
         a. Have we not received wonderful privileges from God?
         b. We enjoy free access to the Word of God, and the freedom to
            worship without fear of persecution; many in the world do not
         c. We are blessed to hear things that prophets, kings, and
            saints of old desired to hear and were not able - cf. Mt 13:16-17

      1. The history of Israel as a nation established by God
         a. They consistently murmured against God in the wilderness
         b. They turned away from God time and again during the period
            of the Judges
         c. They persecuted His prophets, and eventually rejected His
            own Son
      2. What about us?
         a. We have blessings given to us through Christ
            1) The forgiveness of sins through His blood
            2) The aid of the Holy Spirit in putting to death the deeds
               of the body
            3) The joy of fellowship in the family of God
            4) The privilege of sharing the gospel with a dying world
         b. And yet Christians often turn their back on such blessings
            1) They sin, and do not seek forgiveness
            2) They do not seek the help God gives to deal with the
               problem of sin
            3) They neglect their brethren by forsaking the assembling,
               and by not developing close relationships with them
            4) They make little or no effort to spread the precious
               gospel of Christ

      1. Again, the nation of Israel is an example
         a. They suffered forty years of wandering in the wilderness
         b. God allowed neighboring nations to be a thorn in their side
         c. They endured Assyrian and Babylonian captivity
         d. God destroyed their temple and their religion by the Syrians
            (167 B.C.) and the Romans (70 A.D.)
         e. He has indeed taken away the kingdom of God from them, and
            given it to a nation bearing the fruits of it - cf. Mt 21:43
      2. What about us?
         a. Consider the words of Jesus - Jn 15:1-2,6; Re 2:4-5,16; 3:1-3
         b. Consider what was written to the Hebrew Christians - He 10:26-31
      3. Clearly, if we do not utilize our special privileges...
         a. God will take away the blessings we have (i.e., the kingdom
            of God)
         b. And give it to someone who appreciates it (i.e., bears the
            fruit of it)


1. Truly God has given us wonderful blessings...
   a. He made us worthy to be "partakers of the inheritance of the
      saints" - Col 1:12
   b. He "has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us
      into the kingdom of the Son of His love" - Col 1:13
   c. In Christ we have "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness
      of sins" - Col 1:14
   d. He sent us apostles and prophets of His Son, whose words are in
      the New Testament

2. Let us be careful how we receive them (cf. Jn 13:20), for the next
   time the Beloved Son is sent, He is coming in terrifying judgment! - 2Th 1:7-10

Indeed, as Jesus said...

   "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required;
   and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."
                                                         - Lk 12:48

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading January 9

Bible Reading   

January 9

The World English Bible

Jan. 9
Genesis 9

Gen 9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Gen 9:2 The fear of you and the dread of you will be on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the sky. Everything that the ground teems with, and all the fish of the sea are delivered into your hand.
Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As the green herb, I have given everything to you.
Gen 9:4 But flesh with its life, its blood, you shall not eat.
Gen 9:5 I will surely require your blood of your lives. At the hand of every animal I will require it. At the hand of man, even at the hand of every man's brother, I will require the life of man.
Gen 9:6 Whoever sheds man's blood, his blood will be shed by man, for God made man in his own image.
Gen 9:7 Be fruitful and multiply. Bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply in it."
Gen 9:8 God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying,
Gen 9:9 "As for me, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your offspring after you,
Gen 9:10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the livestock, and every animal of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ship, even every animal of the earth.
Gen 9:11 I will establish my covenant with you: all flesh will not be cut off any more by the waters of the flood, neither will there ever again be a flood to destroy the earth."
Gen 9:12 God said, "This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
Gen 9:13 I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth.
Gen 9:14 It will happen, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud,
Gen 9:15 and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Gen 9:16 The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
Gen 9:17 God said to Noah, "This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth."
Gen 9:18 The sons of Noah who went forth from the ship were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham is the father of Canaan.
Gen 9:19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these, the whole earth was populated.
Gen 9:20 Noah began to be a farmer, and planted a vineyard.
Gen 9:21 He drank of the wine and got drunk. He was uncovered within his tent.
Gen 9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.
Gen 9:23 Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it on both their shoulders, went in backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were backwards, and they didn't see their father's nakedness.
Gen 9:24 Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done to him.
Gen 9:25 He said, "Canaan is cursed. He will be servant of servants to his brothers."
Gen 9:26 He said, "Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.
Gen 9:27 May God enlarge Japheth. Let him dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant."
Gen 9:28 Noah lived three hundred fifty years after the flood.
Gen 9:29 All the days of Noah were nine hundred fifty years, then he died.

Jan. 9,10
Matthew 5

Mat 5:1 Seeing the multitudes, he went up onto the mountain. When he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
Mat 5:2 He opened his mouth and taught them, saying,
Mat 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Mat 5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 5:11 "Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Mat 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.
Mat 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can't be hidden.
Mat 5:15 Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house.
Mat 5:16 Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Mat 5:17 "Don't think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy, but to fulfill.
Mat 5:18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.
Mat 5:19 Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, 'You shall not murder;' and 'Whoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment.'
Mat 5:22 But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.
Mat 5:23 "If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you,
Mat 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Mat 5:25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.
Mat 5:26 Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there, until you have paid the last penny.
Mat 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;'
Mat 5:28 but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Mat 5:29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.
Mat 5:30 If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.
Mat 5:31 "It was also said, 'Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce,'
Mat 5:32 but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.
Mat 5:33 "Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,'
Mat 5:34 but I tell you, don't swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
Mat 5:35 nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Mat 5:36 Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can't make one hair white or black.
Mat 5:37 But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.' Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.
Mat 5:38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'
Mat 5:39 But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Mat 5:40 If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.
Mat 5:41 Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
Mat 5:42 Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.
Mat 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.'
Mat 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,
Mat 5:45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same?
Mat 5:47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don't even the tax collectors do the same?
Mat 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

From Gary... Frustration, POWER and the ultimate plan

A couple of months ago, my main computer died. Caused by a software problem, it took some time, but after I reinstalled everything, it actually is better than before. But the frustration at being hindered by it still lingers in my memory. However, I learned a few more things about computing in the process and the lessons learned have improved everything I do with my machine.  Now, for the picture- well, I have had this over 20 years and I used to have a copy of it attached to my computer at work (perhaps Bruce Arnold will remember this) and would look at it often. Sometimes, computers seem like more of a hindrance than a help. Which makes me wonder.... could a person hinder (frustrate, impede, handicap, etc.) God's will? Read on...

Acts, Chapter 9
 1 But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,  2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  3 As he traveled, he got close to Damascus, and suddenly a light from the sky shone around him.  4 He fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 

  5  He said, “Who are you, Lord?” 

The Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  6  But rise up, and enter into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

  7  The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the sound, but seeing no one.  8 Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw no one. They led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.  9 He was without sight for three days, and neither ate nor drank. 

  10  Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias!” 

He said, “Behold, it’s me, Lord.” 

  11  The Lord said to him, “Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judah  for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying,   12  and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.” 

  13  But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem.  14 Here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”

  15  But the Lord said to him, “Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of Israel.   16  For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (emp. added)

So, God took the efforts of Saul (later referred to as the apostle Paul) and had a plan for him. Sounds a lot like Balaam (chapter 22) from the book of numbers doesn't it? The answer to the question posed in the first paragraph is a resounding- NO. God will ultimately use whatever you do to see that HIS will is accomplished.  But, the question still remains- I wonder if God feels like that duck in the picture (when we foolishly try to thwart his revealed word)? Hummm...  

Jeremiah, Chapter 23
 29 Isn’t my word like fire? says Yahweh; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

Be Careful!!!!