46 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 9-26-16

  1. Pretty butterflies. I had three butterfly bushes in Hendersonville. They loved them. But for some reason, like the bees, they stopped coming in recent years. Nature changed for the worse during the 15 years I was there.

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  2. I think I told you while I was there how I stopped gardening because some critter would come and ruin my tomato’s and antelopes before they got ripe.

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  3. Morning Chas.
    Made myself take a walk this evening. I was good!
    Read a book by Dan Walsh called The Deepest Waters. It was fiction but was inspired by a shipwreck that took place in 1857. The story of how God rescued some of the men was amazing. A large bird attacked the captain of a ship, coming out of nowhere. The captain felt that it was a sign from God and turned his ship in the direction the bird had come from. In the middle of the night he sailed into a group of 53 men clinging to debris and rescued them all.

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  4. Careful Jo. All the world hates a wise guy.
    😉

    The Gospels tell us that Jesus had half brothers and sisters.
    That means that there are likely descendants of Mary and Joseph in the world today.
    No. Nothing special. But I would expect them to be Christians wherever they are.

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  5. So early in the day for such deep thoughts!

    Art continues to do well. So far recuperation is so much easier than with the kidney stones procedures and dealing with the cath bag.

    For all the joy the three cats have brought to my friend, Karen, now with her upcoming surgery she can’t do what needs to be done for them during her eight weeks of recovery. I may be getting another chance to see her cats come out of hiding while I help with their care.

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  6. Interesting:
    Which is more amazing? That this manuscript of Leviticus, reduced to a charred lump of crumbling coal in a fire 1,700 years ago, has been rendered readable by modern digital imaging technology . . . or that the recovered text matches up exactly — word for word, paragraph for paragraph — with Torah scrolls written today?

    http://arstechnica.co.uk/science/2016/09/scholars-use-x-rays-to-read-ancient-biblical-text-for-the-first-time/

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  7. I am reading a book called “Second Term”. I comment on it on the Politics Thread. But it, in another context mentions a point I have considered before. Why isn’t America mentioned in prophesies about the end times? USA, since around 1900, maybe before, has been the #1 nation in the world. “The City on a Hill”.
    Is it that USA is no longer a factor when this happens? Some have speculated that USA is “Babylon” spoken of in Revelation 18, and that NY City will be destroyed. However, though it has turned wicked in many ways, USA does not fit the description of the wickedness in Revelation 18. I am not ready to concede that it refers to us. NYC may be a wicked city, but it is not worse than Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and a dozen mere cities. I don’t believe it is NYC that is destroyed. Something else is happening.
    But the question remains. Why is not the US mentioned in the apoplectic writing?
    There is one real scary section in Isaiah 18:1f where the land that is divided by rivers is lamented. That describes the US almost perfectly. Mare than any other nation. We have the Hudson, Potomac, Savannah, Mississippi (which has multiple tributaries dividing the land.) etc.
    I mentioned before about the prophesies in Zechariah 12, and that this battle hasn’t happened and can’t happen as long as the Sixth Fleet is in the Mediterranean. Something has to happen for this to be fulfilled. .

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  8. I’ve been thinking about what it means to have a rebellious heart and an unwillingness to submit to spiritual authority within the church (In a good way). A wise friend who has been a Christian a long time suffers from this and it hobbles and frustrates her–though she doesn’t realize at heart what the issue is.

    We’ll see if God opens a door for me to answer the question the next time she asks me why she’s so ineffective and others have such a harsh opinion of her.

    Meanwhile, today’s Utmost says this: “The stamp of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.”

    If you asked her, she would say she does this, but her actions belie that opinion.

    The rest of the post is this one:

    “IF when you come to the altar, there you remember that your brother has anything against you, not — If you rake up something by a morbid sensitiveness, but — “If thou…rememberest,” that is, if it is brought to your conscious mind by the Spirit of God: “first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

    Never object to the intense sensitiveness of the Spirit of God in you when He is educating you down to the scruple.

    “First be reconciled to thy brother…” Our Lord’s direction is simple — “first be reconciled.”

    Go back the way you came, go the way indicated to you by the conviction given at the altar; have an attitude of mind and a temper of soul to the one who has something against you that makes reconciliation as natural as breathing.

    Jesus does not mention the other person, He says — you go. There is no question of your rights. The stamp of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.

    “And then come and offer thy gift.” The process is clearly marked.

    First, the heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, then the sudden checking by the sensitiveness of the Holy Spirit, and the stoppage at the point of conviction;

    then the way of obedience to the word of God, constructing an unblameable attitude of mind and temper to the one with whom you have been in the wrong;

    then the glad, simple, unhindered offering of your gift to God.”

    -end-

    My QOD–what are some of the indications to you that your heart may be in the wrong place vis a vis your church leadership and/or other relationships? How do you deal with them, how have you dealt with them?

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  9. I’ve taken better butterfly photos than the header, but I thought it cool to get three of them (two species) in a single photo during the most active days of late summer. The flower is sedum; the front butterfly one of our common buckeyes, the rear ones pearl crescents, a very small but very pretty species.

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  10. Michelle, it is when your emotions control your mind. I disagreed with most of those in FBCHNC about eschatology, but it was never a personal issue. You can disagree about many things and remain friends. However, that changes when it becomes personal. My parents would have a hard time fellowshipping with a person who smoked and drank, though they might be Christians.
    If there is a break in fellowship, you must determine what the fault is. If it is fixable, fix it. If not, move on.
    Years ago, I was in college, a young woman, whose parents belonged to the Church of God, said, “I’m joining the Baptist Church, They’ll let me do what I want to do.” I knew what she meant, so I wasn’t offended by her remarks about Baptist.
    She didn’t need to indulge in hypocrisy when around her parents, but she didn’t need to bring up her dancing around them. My dad left the church for years because of a trivial disagreement with another man.
    Satan will use any means to tempt someone. Your lady needs to forgive whoever is at fault, make it right if it’s her fault and then forget about it.
    If it’s irreconcilable, cut the cord and move on. Nothing good ever comes from nursing a grudge.

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  11. Chas, that is assuming they all lived and had off spring. No mention is made of them later in the NT, except for brothers. They could have all been martyred, too. I would have thought that legacy would have been shared for several generations and remarked on by someone. Interesting to think about.

    Michelle, I do believe in respecting church authority, however, I have a healthy skepticism about it. I have come to this point after seeing church leadership swallow unbiblical positions. I have come to this position after seeing terribly unbiblical teaching in the seminaries of major church denominations. This led to our leaving a church in which we were very involved. That only came after two years of working to show what was happening. We finally realized we were not helping anymore and needed to leave.

    I could write a book on our experiences since. I am very sad for the state of affairs in the Christian churches today. Many have no place for Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

    Small issues are ones to overlook or allow differences. Those things that are just to stroke our egos or our selfishness are sin and we do need to respect the authority. We are not to be divisive for divisiveness’ sake. Scripture is clear about that.

    I assume that is what is going on with the person you are speaking about, but I really would have no way to know. I pray she (and the congregation and leadership) will be able to all see the truth.

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  12. We are called to be at peace with others as much as possible. It is simply not possible to be at peace with everyone or have perfect relationship with everyone. Jesus could not do it and neither will we. That does not mean we do not love them. We are called to love even our enemies.

    When I find it difficult to ask God for His best for someone, I know I have a problem. That leads to more prayer. Sometimes, it leads to a move on my part to see if the relationship can be made better. Sometimes it leads me to let God change what needs to be changed, that is–my heart and/or theirs.

    I have 1 Cor. 13 memorized and just reciting it makes me realize how often I have not acted in love towards another. It is a good check to think about what we are doing. Of course, we can fool ourselves and justify just about anything. Thank God for His Holy Spirit!

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  13. QOD, when I am thinking nearly murderous thoughts towards somebody, I am probably there. When I notice, I try to approach the person and get it right. In one instance, when it came to my attention what the woman had done, she was dead and that was a relief as I was able to let it go, knowing God would handle it better than I would. But wait, doesn’t that mean He can handle my problem people now as well? All the more reason to swallow my pride (or lay it at His Feet) and go to the person to reconcile.

    In another, that still small Voice was speaking during the service and I knew I needed to talk to somebody. Not that I was thinking murderous thoughts but I had noticed she seemed to be avoiding me so wanted to know if I had offended her. After church, I approached her and she moved on. Again I got near, she turned and went to another conversation. This happened several times. Finally, I went to her husband and asked him if I had offended her, He looked surprised and said not that he was aware. So I let it go. Turned out she has cancer and probably was trying to avoid catching anything.

    As far as church leadership, one time in Okinawa, our new pastor gave out a form for everybody in a teaching position to sign. Not believing that I know the future, I wanted to talk to him about it and asking if saying I would try would be sufficient. (I will always be on time. I will always call each student who misses class within the next week. I will always this or that etc for a list of about twenty five items.) He simply told me if I would not sign, I need no longer show up to teach Sunday School or Bible Club. No discussion. So I no longer taught, which was fine with me. But it was not fine with the elders in the church and most of them resigned. I don’t think that played out well and I regretted my honesty but only for a moment. Division happens in churches and God uses it.

    Since then, I have made it a point to discuss my concerns with the church leadership, or keep my mouth shut. We will see how this one goes.

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  14. Our sermon yesterday was on the parable of the lost sheep — the strays, in this case, our pastor said, refer to those who are in the covenant but who are spiritually lost, who perhaps are looked down upon and feel tempted to leave by false teachers/teachings. “Just because a building has a cross on it or includes the word “church” doesn’t mean it’s a church.” It needs to have and preach Jesus.

    Our pastor also told the story of a young friend years ago — whom he’d helped lead to the faith — who called him one day and said he just couldn’t do it anymore, he wasn’t ‘good enough’ to be a Christian. (ever feel like everyone else is more “spiritually” on track than you are or ever will be? our pastor asked us rhetorically)

    “The Christian faith is tailor made for sinners.” The gospel was announced right after the fall of man in Genesis.

    The sermon went on to stress how important it is for us within the church to look out for one another.

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  15. So many people in churches (from mainlines to “prosperity” feel-good varieties) that simply don’t preach Jesus and the gospel.

    So I found the dead mouse/rat (small critter but what a l-o-n-g tail, which makes me think it may have been a young rat). I always feel bad for them when the cat brings them in to “toy” with them like that, all for her amusement and challenge.

    Today I need to call a windshield place to see if I can get that crack repaired before it grows anymore (it’s still fairly small, maybe 3 inches long, so I’m hoping it’s fixable/stoppable).

    It’s going to be a scorcher out here today, 100+ degrees.

    I’m glad to hear Art’s doing so well.

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  16. I think I have told all of you before that I used to be the most judgemental person I knew and probably any of you would have known. A series of events rounded out my corners. I may not agree with what you are doing and I will do my best to talk you out of doing what you are doing but I will no longer judge you. I have walked away from a few people but I ‘haven’t walked a mile in their shoes”.
    Now about that easy to live with thing….I could put you in touch with at least 3 people who would tell you differently. 😉

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  17. I know we had a discussion on Bibles the other day. Did we ever decide which was a good version to use for study?
    I have the ESV downloaded to my Kindle. I have a KJV, a New Oxford Annotated, and the Notetakers Bible, but would prefer to use my Kindle. I may have a smidge of a vanity problem and sometimes at night my eyes are tired and I may or may not need readers (because I would certainly not admit to using them much less use them in front of people).

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  18. I picked up my new glasses today, big difference (it’s been 2 years — they’re progressives & the reading portion didn’t change but the distance did).

    Everyone’s eyes go, eventually, I’m learning. 😦 And contact/eyeglass prescriptions get very, very complicated.

    Of course, with the corrective surgeries becoming so commonplace, glasses may be a thing of the past for future generations (although readers might always been needed as we get older).

    I’m having to do the weather/heat story today, so bringing out all those words and phrases like sizzling, blistering, (desert winds) roaring, furnace blast …

    It feels like Laughlin, Nev. out here today.

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  19. Oh, and I’ll need a new windshield, the crack is too big to repair. So I set an appt for Saturday morning. Another fun weekend for me! 🙂

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  20. Chas – The Catholics believe Jesus’ brothers & sisters were from an earlier marriage of Joseph’s. They believe that Mary remained a virgin her whole life.

    That would be the main reason that Joseph is a saint. 😉

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  21. Fifteen year old told husband he had lost his glasses and needed new ones. Husband is trusting, he ordered them. I looked and found the missing glasses on the headboard of his bed. Next to his toothbrush that he won’t use for the four thousand dollar smile. The only two items on his headboard. He has not worn them since I found them. I picked up his new glasses several days ago but have not given them to him. I will let husband. At least there is then a small chance he will wear them for a couple of days.

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  22. The Catholics believe Jesus’ brothers & sisters were from an earlier marriage of Joseph’s. They believe that Mary remained a virgin her whole life.

    I have never heard that before, and I was raised Catholic. Actually, Kizzie, many Catholics say they were his cousins, because “brethren can mean any relative”.

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  23. Peter – My husband was raised Catholic, & his uncle was a priest. That is what he was taught. I would guess that perhaps Catholics in different areas have slightly different ideas.

    I’ll mention the cousin idea to him.

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