Job 28: 1-28
What is of more value than wisdom? We all strive throughout our lives to attain true wisdom, and just when we think that we have found it, we realize that there is more to seek, and more to learn. Ultimate wisdom is found in GOD, the Father of Lights, who illuminates the path to total understanding.
Wisdom is a priceless commodity. As the scripture states, “Wisdom is not found among men; No one knows its true value”. Job 28: 13
In Praise of Wisdom
28 There are mines where silver is dug;
There are places where gold is refined.
2 We dig iron out of the ground
And melt copper out of the stones.
3 Miners explore the deepest darkness.
They search the depths of the earth
And dig for rocks in the darkness.
4 Far from where anyone lives
Or human feet ever travel,
They dig the shafts of mines.
There they work in loneliness,
Clinging to ropes in the pits.
5 Food grows out of the earth,
But underneath the same earth
All is torn up and crushed.
6 The stones of the earth contain sapphires,
And its dust contains gold.
7 No hawk sees the roads to the mines,
And no vulture ever flies over them.
8 No lion or other fierce beast ever travels those lonely roads.
9 Miners dig the hardest rocks,
Dig mountains away at their base.
10 As they tunnel through the rocks,
They discover precious stones.
11 They dig to the sources of[rivers
And bring to light what is hidden.
12 But where can wisdom be found?
Where can we learn to understand?
13 Wisdom is not to be found among mortals;
No one knows its true value.
14 The depths of the oceans and seas
Say that wisdom is not found there.
15 It cannot be bought with silver or gold.
16 The finest gold and jewels
Cannot equal its value.
17 It is worth more than gold,
Than a gold vase or finest glass.
18 The value of wisdom is more
Than coral or crystal or rubies.
19 The finest topaz and the purest gold
Cannot compare with the value of wisdom.
Where, then, is the source of wisdom?
Where can we learn to understand?
21 No living creature can see it,
Not even a bird in flight.
22 Even death and destruction
Admit they have heard only rumors.
23 God alone knows the way,
Knows the place where wisdom is found,
24 Because he sees the ends of the earth,
Sees everything under the sky.
25 When God gave the wind its power
And determined the size of the sea;
26 When God decided where the rain would fall,
And the path that the thunderclouds travel;
27 It was then he saw wisdom and tested its worth—
He gave it his approval.
God said to us humans,
“To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord.
To understand, you must turn from evil.”
I was thinking about the term fellowship. It’s purest reference is to men gathered together to pursue similar goals. In today’s climate fellowship has no specific gender reference. It is a group of individuals gathered together to pursue similar goals.
However, if you truly wanted a term to describe a group of women in Godly relationship with one another, possessing common goals and aspirations in Christ, I believe the purest representative term would be community. In community there is support and caring. There is awareness of each others needs and wants and a desire to meet those needs through Christ Jesus. Encouragement and a sense of humor is needed to keep everyone buoyant and feeling alive.
Here are some scriptures to encourage your heart today and forever:
“Only the Lord Jesus can give them this hunger for spiritual things and more of Him.” Matthew 5:6
“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” Isaiah 65:24
“Nothing is impossible with GOD” Luke 18:27
“Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” Psalm 55:22
“He staggered not at the promise of GOD through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to GOD; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform” Romans 4:20-21
Peace passing all understanding, for He cares for you
King James Version Public Domain
Luke 2: 11,12 NIV Christmas 2013/2014
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the LORD. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The Birth of Christ is a scriptural truth known by most but not embraced by many. The Christmas Holiday has degraded over time into a pursuit of new technologies or toys. Many do not know that Christmas means “Christ’s Mass”– a covenant between Jesus and ourselves. He is “The Gift”. The world’s traditional gifts such as scarves, sweaters, and mittens still hang in there but have taken a back seat to tablets and smartphones. A desirable gift to me is still a book filled with treasures and truths. The ultimate book is The Holy Bible. Within its pages rests the history and spirit of a people and their GOD. Let us give praise for the birth of our Savior who came to repair the breach forged in the Garden of Eden–to bring GOD’s people back to Himself.
Let us rededicate ourselves to the fight for souls, and the filling of spirits. We know not the day nor the hour when Jesus the Christ will come back to earth to gather His Bride the Church unto Himself–but this we do know beyond earthly knowledge, for God’s Spirit dwells in us, that Jesus is coming back for those of us who have put ourselves in His ever loving care. This church lives in the hearts of men, women, and children all over the world, and is not exclusive to traditional four walled buildings.
There are some truths that speak for themselves. Mankind is trying to forget the birth of the baby Jesus in the manger, but truth will always exert over falsehood. This Christmas season should be a time for giving of ourselves and our Blessings. It is not about the commercialism, it is about the sacrifice.
Have A Wonderful Holiday Season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version©
Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Gazing at the leaves beginning to turn
The russets and golds; the crimsons that burn
With a fire that can’t be put out
Let’s embrace the autumn with a cheer and a shout.
Great trees like lollipops sway in the breeze
As I gaze at their colors they give my heart ease
They’re symbolic of change in the air and my heart
Let’s embrace the autumn; let’s embrace a new start.
Watching the fat squirrels gathering loot
Searching my closet for snug and warm boots
Curling up close to the warmth with a book
Let’s embrace the autumn while safe in our nook, and…
As winter approaches on autumn’s hued heels
To snuggle with loved ones is just what I feel
Would do us all good if we could only try
To embrace the autumn as it passes by.
Photo Credit: environment.nationalgeographic.com
The question of what foods to eat in God’s Kingdom had become a stumbling block among the Jews and Gentiles, and the early church was suffering because of the difference of lifestyles and opinions. This was one of many challenges that the early church faced, and all was based predominately upon differences of interpretation. We as humans tend to judge easily and forgive after much struggle.
Sadly, the church today is still challenged by differences of opinion and interpretation. There are so many scripture versions as to make your head spin–and while they may all benefit the church body, we are faced with a sanctuary filled with so many different versions at a given moment that it becomes hard to read along with one another. Any area of confusion can cause division or misunderstanding. Perhaps this can inspire us to all listen to the speaker, for in so doing we all hear the same words.
Joy comes from acknowledging our differences to one another in an atmosphere of openness and trust. Prayerfully this is not a means of control and challenge, but a method of sharing in dialogue so that all may partake at the table. What is true, good, and nourishing will reveal its refreshment if we can allow others to have a right to taste different foods. The key is seeking and tasting so that truth is revealed–and as we all know, ‘the truth will set you free”.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Don’t Criticize Others
14 Be willing to accept those who still have doubts about what believers can do. And don’t argue with them about their different ideas. 2 Some people believe they can eat any kind of food,[a] but those who have doubts eat only vegetables. 3 Those who know they can eat any kind of food must not feel that they are better than those who eat only vegetables. And those who eat only vegetables must not decide that those who eat all foods are wrong. God has accepted them. 4 You cannot judge the servants of someone else. Their own master decides if they are doing right or wrong. And the Lord’s servants will be right, because the Lord is able to make them right.
5 Some people might believe that one day is more important than another. And others might believe that every day is the same. Everyone should be sure about their beliefs in their own mind. 6 Those who think one day is more important than other days are doing that for the Lord. And those who eat all kinds of food are doing that for the Lord. Yes, they give thanks to God for that food. And those who refuse to eat some foods do that for the Lord. They also give thanks to God.
7 We don’t live or die just for ourselves. 8 If we live, we are living for the Lord. And if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord. 9 That is why Christ died and rose from death to live again—so that he could be Lord over those who have died and those who are living.
10 So why do you judge your brother or sister in Christ? Or why do you think that you are better than they are? We will all stand before God, and he will judge us all. 11 Yes, the Scriptures say,
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘Everyone will bow before me;
everyone will say that I am God.’”
12 So each of us will have to explain to God about the things we do.
Don’t Cause Others to Sin
13 So we should stop judging each other. Let’s decide not to do anything that will cause a problem for a brother or sister or hurt their faith. 14 I know that there is no food that is wrong to eat. The Lord Jesus is the one who convinced me of that. But if someone believes that something is wrong, then it is wrong for that person.
15 If you hurt the faith of your brother or sister because of something you eat, you are not really following the way of love. Don’t destroy anyone’s faith by eating something they think is wrong. Christ died for them. 16 Don’t allow what is good for you to become something they say is evil. 17 In God’s kingdom, what we eat and drink is not important. Here is what is important: a right way of life, peace, and joy—all from the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God, and they will be accepted by others.
19 So let’s try as hard as we can to do what will bring peace. Let’s do whatever will help each other grow stronger in faith. 20 Don’t let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All food is right to eat, but it is wrong for anyone to eat something that hurts the faith of another person. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that hurts the faith of your brother or sister.
22 You should keep your beliefs about these things a secret between yourself and God. It is a blessing to be able to do what you think is right without feeling guilty. 23 But anyone who eats something without being sure it is right is doing wrong. That is because they did not believe it was right. And if you do anything that you believe is not right, it is sin.
Romans 14:2 any kind of food The Jewish law said there were some foods that Jews could not eat. When they became followers of Christ, some of them did not understand that they could now eat all foods.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Copyright © 2006 by World Bible Translation Center
This is a world of usage thus there exists service. The term user is applied to many applications today. Mankind delights in service. We expect others to serve us because we live in a generation of conveniences. Whether someone is paid to do that service seldom enters our thoughts. Yet, there are volunteer positions in society and paid positions. What distinguishes one from the other? A paid position comes with a salary. Volunteer positions do not. Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary defines salary as: “fixed compensation paid regularly for services”, but does compensation define the worth of the position? No. As a person who has occupied both paid and volunteer positions, I feel qualified to express that a position is not defined by whether it is compensated, but by the worth of the position in the servant’s heart. It is connected with passion, with calling, and with the ability to listen to GOD’s Holy Spirit.
The term salary has its root in the word ‘salt’. Salt has maintained an important position throughout history as a seasoning, flavor enhancer, and preservative. It is priceless to some. Jesus says in Matthew 5:13:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by man.”
A job is one thing. A calling is another. A calling never loses its flavor, its appeal, or its seasoning. This is because GOD is the salt, the flavor, and the appeal. He is the one who draws, much like the salt, upon our hearts and our spirits. By GOD I mean the Persons of the HOLY Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They do a perfect work using imperfect beings to prepare the way. This is a key point. Imperfect people do imperfect things. Does this deter GOD from using them? If that imperfect heart knows and expresses true repentance, and if they are willing to be used, GOD will use them to do His will.
Numbers 18:19 states:
“All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a covenant of salt forever before The LORD with you and your descendants with you.”
We enter into covenant with GOD when we honor those things that are worth “their salt”. Who determines their worth? GOD does. Mankind is judgmental to the extent that leaving the task of determining the worth of persons or things becomes totally subjective. What appeals to one person may not appeal to another, be it tangible or ideological. It is not our job to determine worth–this is the work of The Holy Spirit. Just imagine how much more could be done for the Kingdom of GOD if we would refrain from judging others so harshly that we make their ministry ineffective. I have had opportunity to hear and observe how others view former leaders or followers. This is a disposable generation. When someone who has served moves on it is understood that there are others who can take their place. Their ministry is placed on the table and sifted to determine its former effectiveness and how that person can be replaced. Yet, if we are all individuals made by GOD for specific purposes–how can we be replaced? Even if the task at hand requires simple skills–no one does it the same. This is not egotistical, it is logical. Does this mean that the earth will screech to a grinding halt because we have left a task behind? No, because someone will pick it up. What it does mean is that each person is unique in their approach to life and ministry. Their service, if done in Christ, should be treasured as a gift to those whom they have served. As a result–respect them and love them as GOD loves you. You are both imperfect. You may not always agree on the methods or results of a person’s ministry in Christ–but never lose sight of the fact that they have served you. Love does not dishonor nor cast out others.
One more thought. It is not mandatory to love those who have given you their time, love, and support. It is GODLY.
1 Corinthians 13
New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Revised June 25th,2014
“For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body according to the working by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself.”
Does life seem to be pressing you and prodding you until you are ready to burst your containment? I know that change comes in life and that it can be stressful, but there are some changes that try you to the fullest measure. Death of a loved one is an example. I’ve experienced this many times, but the death of my parents hit the hardest. Perhaps you struggle with a chronic or terminal illness, or have just been through a medical procedure and are waiting on the LORD for a miraculous healing. Perhaps you have lost daughters or sons in the military, have handicapped loved ones, or are just facing a change in your job or in your marriage. My family is facing the reality of a daughter leaving the nest. Stress comes in many forms. Yet, beyond this level of everyday existence that produces change, thus stress, there are some who live an even more challenging lifestyle than what is considered the norm, especially those who are constantly in the public eye.
The stress of everyday life can be over-whelming for people who live public lives. Public service can vary in scale from teachers to preachers; local officials, legislators, movie stars, rock stars, presidents, CEO’s, kings, and other persons of influence. It can become difficult to maintain family solidarity because of the revolving door of commitments and obligations. Too little resource can create a scramble to just stay alive. Too much resource can become a deterrent to depending on others, which can create a lucrative but lonely existence.
” For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Mark 8: 36&37
All of us are born with a God-given desire to produce and to be creative. It is in our nature to want to produce children and establish families, regions, countries, commerce, political societies, mores, and religion. It is also our nature to produce art, crafts, music and entertainment. Laughter and joy truly are the best medicines, and there is much joy to be found in the arts. As a testament to the importance of art, literature, music, politics, and religion as personal expression–when an invading force enters a city or country they immediately seek to steal, tear down, and desecrate the art, literature, politics, music, and places of worship. They forbid the speaking of the mother tongue in an effort to alienate the citizens one from another [divide and conquer], and those things that all hold dear are forbidden, such as sacred books. This is a controlling spirit. It’s objective is to steal, kill, and destroy. The art, literature, politics, music, and religious expression contain the heart and spirit of the people. What happens when that spirit is quenched? Where am I going with this?
“Do not quench the Spirit”
In a world that is rapidly changing and shrinking to the extent that you feel as if your personal rights and choices are being compromised, it is natural to feel angry, and confused.You can feel as if your back is being pushed against the wall. Nothing seems stable in this world. Everything is changing so rapidly that you are on a constant learning curve. New inventions and expressions crop up every day, and you are presented with so many choices as to make your head spin. So…do you give up the fight to maintain your own identity, or do you go where you can get help? At one point in time this was a simple thing. You could rely upon churches, social agencies, and government agencies to be there when you had a legitimate need. You could depend on family in a time of crisis. This is fast becoming a rarity. The cyber world has created a climate for a generation of persons who are self-contained. Some do not bother to engage the “world’ out there at all, but are content to do everything on their computers from shopping to forging personal relationships. Gaming engages our young people so completely that there is a down swing in dating and commitment. The human voice is no longer sought after as a comforting, guiding presence. Many are content to text instead of call. Companies can become so large or so busy that they employ technology to address business concerns instead of providing a human to relate to. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated an answering system is–it cannot exclusively take care of the details or questions that arise in the conduct of business. Thankfully, after much button-pushing you are usually given the option to speak to a person.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of GOD, having a form of godliness but denying it’s power. And from such people turn away.”
2 Timothy 3: 1-5
My instinct is to go to The Source that never lets me down or refuses to relate to my personal needs. That source is GOD. Despite all of the hubbub and turmoil present in this world, I can find peace and answers to my questions in my Abba Father. Jesus’ “Sermon On the Mount”, Matthew–Chapters Five through Seven, gives me the assurance of a Father who cares and provides for His children. His Holy Spirit is here on earth for those who are willing to seek him where He may be found. The world does not understand things of the Spirit because they do not possess GOD’s Spirit. The ways of Christians appear foolish to the world. If only they could understand the joy and comfort The Holy Spirit brings. It is our responsibility as Christians to model the image of Christ to this world, and to teach and exhort the way of Christ. How will they know without a preacher?
“And I will pray The Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.'”
John 14: 16&17
I can anticipate world events and understand change by reading the Scriptures.This earth is truly in its last days. Pay attention to the prophetic signs. The seasons are changing. Last winter was more like spring, and this winter was a cold, frozen terror. We are now in the midst of one of the coolest summers in recorded history. We stand at the place of supplication as we observe the Tetrach of 2014-2015 (series of blood moons) and its application to future events.
Mankind has destroyed the ecosystem in our determination to have it all our way. Now we face trying to restore what should never have been abused or destroyed. Famines, earthquakes, and other natural disasters strip whole regions of their resolve and resources.
The clock is ticking, and the technologies that will separate the believers from the unbelievers are already here. Biometric implants under the skin are being used as a practiced technology to the extent that an economic system controlled by a world domination seems possible. There is a movement underway to create a one-world currency. What will be the result? The requirement that all “patch” into the system or go without? The technology to view the Two Witnesses on the street is here. As a child I could not imagine how the whole world would see this apocalyptic event occur. Modern communications are so advanced that I can now understand. We read in the Book of Revelation that:
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Revelation 11: 3
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of GOD, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Revelation 20: 4
People are content to go from day to day searching for meaning in a failing system that demands more and more sacrifice as time goes by, and offers less and less reward for hard work. You may ask, “then where is the hope?” The Hope is in Jesus Christ who is coming for His Bride “The Church”. Understand that the event in which the church is gathered to Christ’s bosom is known as ‘The Rapture’ . There are many theories about the Rapture of the Saints. Is the church to be removed from the world prior to, during, or after the Tribulation? Scripture speaks for itself…
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so GOD will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.For this we say to you by the Word of the LORD, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of The LORD will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the LORD Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of GOD. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet The LORD in the air. And thus we shall always be with The LORD. Therefore comfort one another with these words”
1 Thessalonians: 4: 13-18
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to GOD, who gives us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, knowing that your labor is not in vain in The LORD.”
1 Corinthians 15: 51-58
The church is not a building–It is the heart and spirit of the saints world-wide who strive collectively to fulfill the “Great Commission”. Jesus gave His disciples, and all of us as His disciples, the task of living our lives in His Spirit as an inspiration to others.
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe. In My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Mark 16: 15-20
Personal choice is still there for us all. God’s arms are open to embrace His people. He does not expect us to be perfect, because only He is Perfect, therefore feel free to approach Him, surrender yourself to Him, and be accepted into The Kingdom of Heaven. Salvation is of The LORD. In this time in which Biblical events are unfolding rapidly, I believe that we must be prepared to meet The LORD in the air or remain on this earth to experience the Tribulation period. We do not know the day or the hour in which Christ will come for His Church, but I believe that He will come. I can choose to embrace those things of this world which do not feed my soul, spirit, and body– or I can embrace Christ, be full in Him, and refuse to live without hope. I choose not to live with my back against the wall.
GOD Bless You, Charlene
Picture credit: www.clipartof.com+Yahoo
Narrative Credit: Chaelwest/Charlene
©2013 Charlene’s Attic/Women Under His Wings
All Scripture quotes taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers 1992
It is so tragic to see how the degradation and confusion of one person can impact the lives of so many others. Yesterday’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut breaks my heart as it breaks the hearts of the children, teachers, and parents involved. As our nation mourns at half-staff I ask you to please pray diligently for the families of the deceased and wounded. We should be praying fervently for the family of Ryan Lanza. Also, let us not forget to continue to pray for the victims in the Colorado mall tragedy..
Stamford, Connecticut, Fire Department Honor Guard puts the U.S. flag at half staff, in Stamford (photo from an earlier event) – Photo: Amy Mortensen / Connecticut Post Freelance
Fly flags at half-staff through December 18, to honor victims of Connecticut shootings
President Barack Obama issued this proclamation earlier today, calling on Americans to remember the victims of the shooting in Connecticut, and fly flags at half staff through sunset, December 18, in the victims’ honor:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 14, 2012
Presidential Proclamation — Honoring the Victims of the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut
HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDY IN NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, December 18, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
Charlene’s Source: yahoo.com+timpanagos.wordpress.com
“And He said to the human race, “The fear of the LORD–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28 NIV
This roller coaster ride on planet Earth is a temporary one. You get on the ride at birth and you get off the ride when you die. For those of us who believe in life after death, the way that we live out our time here determines whether we enjoy the ride and/or make the ride unbearable for ourselves and others around us. It determines whether we achieve Heaven or Hell. It determines whether we dwell in the New Heaven and the New Earth.
A New Heaven and a New Earth
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21: 1-4
As we see events unfolding around violent natural and man-made disasters,we are reminded that life is fragile. Nothing is permanent on this earth–all is subject to change. The earth revolves day after day, and mankind hurries about doing what mankind loves to do most–learn and progress, yet this is not permanent; it can change. New ways of doing things emerge everyday, and unique, never-presented ideas are an everyday occurrence also. Searching for new methods and ideas is a good thing as long as it is in the area of true progress–for to invent something new based on a proven standard has no merit of its own if the original invention is still highly functional. Why reinvent the wheel?
Nothing that we do on this earth is going to stand forever. Landmarks crumble and fade away; civilizations rise and fall, and mankind still struggles on in the hope that the next era or the next invention is going to secure peace and prosperity for generation after generation to come. Each new government enters into existence with high ideals considered new and different from the former ruling state. They quickly discover that there is a reason why events unfold in a certain way. It is called lack of wisdom or poor foresight.
“For The LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”
Notably, because of both the human tendency to desire change, and the natural progression of life on earth as witnessed in natural disasters, everything has a season. This has been recorded throughout history and in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Nothing remains the same, especially in this 21st century that welcomes new innovations that come and go so rapidly. As an example, Windows 8© is now on board. Many people have not completely grasped Windows 7© yet. Each new technology eventually brings about the demise or retirement of the previous technology. Planned obsolescence works. Vinyl records bowed out to the tune of eight track tapes to cassettes to CDs to Midis to MP3 players; VCR tapes gave way to DVDs of many varied types. Now we are seeing 33 rpm records returning.
Life is hurrying along so fast that it leaves us breathless and unsure whether to jump on board the new train or to remain on the old train. I get the impression that this may not result in our own choice–life is hurrying each one of us along on a swift track that may become dangerous at any moment. It is so swift that we have forgotten how to pay attention to the important things, such as the state of our souls and spirits, as each new adventure rushes by. We get so caught up into what everyone else wants for us that we forget to think about what we want for ourselves. So here comes the question. Exactly what do we want for ourselves? This is undeniably an individual thing. Everyone, from the time that they begin to perceive the way of the world, starts to weigh and evaluate what portion is most interesting and advantageous for them. Where do I fit in? Why am I here? What’s in it for me?
It is your own attitude, perceptions, and choices that fix a value to your experiences. Even negative events are teachers. They help you to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. If you choose to learn from past mistakes you can make an effort to dodge those obvious pitfalls that make life hard to bear and which may have an everlasting influence on your future.
The concept here is of using wisdom, which is knowledge gained through either your own experiences, or the experiences of others. Wisdom guides through understanding into application. When we speak of wisdom, we speak of making wise choices based on the direct observation or engagement, or the influence of those who have gone before us. Unwise choices can lead to destruction or death. At the very least, unwise choices can cause us to have to suffer the painful consequences of our actions. Responsible people think and act responsibly.
It can be frustrating to share your life experiences with someone in an attempt to help them to avoid some of life’s obvious traps–then have them declare that they would rather learn through their own mistakes. They are not wrong in this choice, they are simply opting to disregard the wisdom born of trial and pain that is meant to be shared as a witness to others. Joy is also meant to be shared. We walk this journey in the company of others, and whatever we can do or say to make that load brighter and lighter will be beneficial.
You are never alone in this journey through life. You did not come here alone, and you will not leave alone. Why is this? Each one of us is tied into each other’s existence as either family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. Everything that we say or do affects those around us even if we imagine that our actions influence no one but ourselves. It is possible to be alone physically or mentally while performing an action, yet it does affect others because it becomes a part of who you are. You carry that knowledge or revelation wherever you go, good or bad, and others are influenced by it.
This is a generation that prides itself on being mentally and physically independent. That independence extends to all areas of life. Older mores and values are considered out-moded; new ways of thinking and doing things predominate. While mankind continues to seek and pursue avenues of life that are self-centered and not for the common good, we are faced with a growing disregard for what will help our neighbors to thrive and survive in a world that is shrinking every day and providing little hope for the masses.
Do we have an individual right to have our own way in all things? I think not. Earth has many inhabitants and there is no room for one or two individuals to dictate to all the rest. We are all in this together. What is crucial is that we seek truth, for truth sets us free. The argument could be, “what is truth?” Truth is found in undeniable standards, methods, and ideologies that have stood the test of time as producers of a happy-spirited people [if they have been willing to embrace that truth]. This truth manifests itself in a personal relationship with us all. GOD is Truth. Does this mean that every day in Christ is flooded with joy? Is there never a moment when our world seems threatened by all of the chaos around us? Absolutely not. The Christian walk can be painful. There are no guarantees found in the Word of GOD that state that sorrow, tragedy, loss, sickness, or death will not touch us. What we do find are scriptural passages that speak of a Savior who has sent The Comforter to walk with us throughout this earthly existence.
“And I will ask The Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever; The Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him, nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.”
John 14:16 NIV
To Be Continued…
All scripture quotes retrieved from Bible Gateway.com via the world wide web.
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide
We are trained from early childhood to seek only those things that bring us joy and laughter. Sorrow is not considered a positive emotion. However, without a balance of both joy and sorrow, we are missing out on the fullness of life. Life will have unavoidable sorrows, but we can be assured of The LORD’s companionship in the midst of sorrow, and equally, of joy.
In Hebrews 13:5b KJV, Jesus says, “I will never leave you or forsake you”. He is ever present in our joys, sorrows, and praise. Praise is good for our spirits and souls.
Many people go through life depending entirely on those around them to support and comfort them. While this can certainly work, what happens if you lose them? You are left floundering in a sea of pain where your reliance will be on the generosity of strangers. I personally choose to rely not only on my loved ones who surround me but also on a Living GOD who has walked and talked with me since childhood.
Yes, I know what others may say about this. I expect that they will not understand things of the Spirit because they do not possess His Spirit. Yet, Jesus loves them all equally, and because I am His –so do I. I do not require that everyone be just like me; only that I can be given validation for the things that I believe to be true and that have sustained me for decades.
It is in living life that ideas, concepts, and concretes become established. I have lived enough life while walking with my hand in His to have a knowledge of Christ’s heart. This gives me surety in a world of endless uncertainty.
“And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, GOD is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” 1 John 3: 19&20
Praise ye The LORD!!!
Sacrifice is hard, and it is not a part of the natural ways of mankind. As people, we tend to prefer the easier roads to travel, and sacrifice involves traveling the hardest roads without knowing where they may lead, just having a surety that the way will be hard. So how do we obtain the surety that our sacrifice is not in vain? We find it in clinging to Christ, the ultimate Gift of Sacrifice, where we find our joy and stability. It is through His Holy Spirit that we find the key to happiness–living for Him as our sole source of hope and strength. GOD the Father knew before the beginning of time that we would need a Savior, and Jesus, the son of GOD, volunteered to become the sacrificial lamb. Our sins can be forgiven; our hope can be restored.
Is life easy. Absolutely not. People often envy those who appear to have it all, but this is appearance only. Happiness evades those who are dependent upon the world for their identity and substance. Let us cling therefore to Him who is our everything, our identity, and our substance.
Praise Ye The LORD. Charlene
Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
10 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshippers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”[a]
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[b]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[c]
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
A Call to Persevere in Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[e] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”[f]
“But my righteous[g] one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”[h]
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Hebrews 10:7 Psalm 40:6-8 (see Septuagint)
Hebrews 10:16 Jer. 31:33
Hebrews 10:17 Jer. 31:34
Hebrews 10:30 Deut. 32:35
Hebrews 10:30 Deut. 32:36; Psalm 135:14
Hebrews 10:37 Isaiah 26:20; Hab. 2:3
Hebrews 10:38 Some early manuscripts But the righteous
Hebrews 10:38 Hab. 2:4 (see Septuagint)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Book of Jeremiah
 The Prophet Jeremiah lived during the latter part of the seventh century B.C. During his long ministry he warned God’s people of the catastrophe that was to fall upon the nation because of their idolatry and sin. He lived to see this prediction come true with the Fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezar, the destruction of the Temple, and the exile to Babylonia of Judah’s king and many of the people. He also foretold the eventual return of the people from exile and the restoration of the nation…
Jeremiah was a sensitive man who deeply loved his people, and who hated to have to pronounce judgment upon them. In many passages he spoke with deep emotion about the things he suffered because God had called him to be a prophet. The Word of the Lord was like fire in his heart–he could not keep it back.
Some of the greatest words in the book point beyond Jeremiah’s own troubled time to the day when there would be a new covenant, one that God’s people would keep without a teacher to remind them, because it would be written on their hearts
(Jeremiah 31: 31-34)
New International Version (NIV)
9 [a]1 Oh, that my head were a spring of water
and my eyes a fountain of tears!
I would weep day and night
for the slain of my people.
2 Oh, that I had in the desert
a lodging place for travelers,
so that I might leave my people
and go away from them;
for they are all adulterers,
a crowd of unfaithful people.
3 “They make ready their tongue
like a bow, to shoot lies;
it is not by truth
that they triumph[b] in the land.
They go from one sin to another;
they do not acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.
4 “Beware of your friends;
do not trust anyone in your clan.
For every one of them is a deceiver,[c]
and every friend a slanderer.
5 Friend deceives friend,
and no one speaks the truth.
They have taught their tongues to lie;
they weary themselves with sinning.
6 You[d] live in the midst of deception;
in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.
7 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:
“See, I will refine and test them,
for what else can I do
because of the sin of my people?
8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
it speaks deceitfully.
With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,
but in their hearts they set traps for them.
9 Should I not punish them for this?”
declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?”
10 I will weep and wail for the mountains
and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands.
They are desolate and untraveled,
and the lowing of cattle is not heard.
The birds have all fled
and the animals are gone.
11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
a haunt of jackals;
and I will lay waste the towns of Judah
so no one can live there.”
12 Who is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?
13 The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. 14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.” 15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. 16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known,and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.”
17 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come;
send for the most skillful of them.
18 Let them come quickly
and wail over us
till our eyes overflow with tears
and water streams from our eyelids.
19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
‘How ruined we are!
How great is our shame!
We must leave our land
because our houses are in ruins.’”
20 Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;
open your ears to the words of his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to wail;
teach one another a lament.
21 Death has climbed in through our windows
and has entered our fortresses;
it has removed the children from the streets
and the young men from the public squares.
22 Say, “This is what the Lord declares:
“‘Dead bodies will lie
like dung on the open field,
like cut grain behind the reaper,
with no one to gather them.’”
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh — 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.[e]For all these nations are really uncircumcised,and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 Good News Bible: Today’s English Version
Introduction To the Book of Jeremiah
American Bible Society: Thomas Nelson Inc. Publishers
Psalm 55 is a bold, direct statement. David speaks of putting his trust in GOD because he knows that therein is his source of strength. Imagine singing this song in the assembly!
We live in a time when The Word is being watered down. No one wants to hear the truth–they are more interested in flattery and position. GOD’s Kingdom is not designed for the raising up of men to lofty heights. He is the One who rules the Heavens.
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3
Beware of false doctrine. It is a scheme to rob you of your commitment and faith. Stand in the strength of GOD’s Word; in Christ, and allow GOD’s Holy Spirit to teach you all things. When the enemy [Satan, not people] rises up against you, call upon GOD to deliver you from the snare of the fowler. He will be faithful to do so.
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil[b] of David.
1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;[c]
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.
12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
for evil finds lodging among them.
16 As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.
120722 Editors Note on The Aurora, Colorado Shootings
Please pray for the victims and their families that were affected by the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. No one deserves to die this way. TT
There are things that occur in this world that truly sadden you, especially when they involve the shedding of innocent blood. The shooting at the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” is just an example of the many horrendous acts of terror happening everyday in this country and around the world.
You have to wonder where the line snaps in someone’s mind–allowing them to kill others in such a heartless manner. You see more and more headlines such as these, although this is the worse incident of shooting in American history. We may get some clues as he is questioned and put on trial, but I truly doubt that he understands the injustice that he has dealt out to others including a 3 month old child.
Even considering present law that says that a person is not guilty until proven so, this does not look good for James Holmes. If he is truly the killer you cannot argue the point that this was a person who had no means and no education. This was a graduate student with more opportunities for achieving his goals than many people get. So you have to ask, “what turned the tide”.? Was it too many hours of lost sleep or anger at a teacher, boss or co-worker? Whatever the reason, we find ourselves having to clean up the mess; physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I pray for strength for the families of the victims–how horrible to hear that your loved one has perished this way. Perhaps if we could step away periodically from our computer/app dominated existences to be able to relate to the loners and burdened people all around us, there could less loss of life and property. Yes, some people may not respond to kindnesses, but we can always try. It is better than seeing, hearing, and reading about atrocities such as this with the frustration of knowing that somewhere something went wrong.
This was a planned out, premeditated act of violence, and it seems as if he was going to return to his apartment and trip the bombs and devices to take out himself and the others living there.
As I said earlier, it is saddening and disheartening as you watch not only these acts of violence but also the way in which people can distance themselves from humanity until taking someone’s life seems both logical and necessary.
I believe that there is always hope, as is evidenced in the reaction of the filmakers, and their condolences to the families of the victims. There may not be a move as of yet to connect the movie to the crime committed, but since the human imagination can surpass anything that we see on the screen, I believe that the reference to “The Joker’ does form a connection between the content of the movie and the act of shooting. This is not meant to say, however, that this is specifically the responsibility of Warner Brothers. The entertainment industry creates; we interpret as individuals what we perceive from the material.
Addendum: There has been 2 million or more dollars contributed to a fund to help the victims of this disastrous shooting. Warner Brothers, who produced “The Dark Knight Rises” is among the contributors. Whatever we do in this life demands much from others. There is no such thing as being an island to yourself.
credit: Momma Cha @ jyjfantalk.com
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