An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
4 Therefore will I choose out their delusions, and I will bring their fear upon them, because I called and none would answer: I speak, and they would not hear: but they did evil in my sight, and chose the things which I would not.
5 Hear the word of the Lord, all ye that tremble at his word, Your brethren that hated you, and cast you out for my Name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
6 A voice soundeth from the city, even a voice from the Temple, the voice of the Lord, that recompenseth his enemies fully.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
Today is the notorious day when greedy people line up for hours to save a few bucks on a TV they don’t need, or can’t afford. The logic of this day has always been lost on me. Yes, I give gifts at Christmas, but I do it because of the Great Gift we were given, not because I’m obligated to buy spoiled children their heart’s desire that will be tossed aside in a matter of minutes as they go on to the next heart’s desire.
I have worked retail in my past. I managed a couple of stores, as a matter of fact. I will NEVER work in retail again! Even if I was physically able, I wouldn’t do it! People are rude, especially at Christmas. This isn’t suppose to be the season of greed! We are suppose to be celebrating the birth of our Savior, even if it is on the wrong date!
I get Torah lessons in my emails. Yes….Torah. Don’t look so surprised! My interest in the faith of ‘our fathers’ is wide ranging. Today’s lesson is about envy, and it made me think of this absurd shopping day, where people will snatch items out of another person hands, trample people just to get to the ‘big deal’, and generally act like jackasses. So, I thought I’d share it with y’all.
Then spoke the woman whose the living child was unto the king,
for her heart yearned upon her son, and she said:
‘Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it.’
But the other said: ‘It shall be neither mine nor thine; divide it.’
I Kings 3:26
This week’s Haftorah reading contains the well-known story about two prostitutes and one baby, with each woman claiming to be the infant’s mother. The two came before King Solomon, who had just been granted divine wisdom, and they awaited judgment. How was Solomon to decide? How could he possibly know which woman was the true mother?
Solomon made use of his amazing understanding of human nature. He suggested that the baby be cut in half so that each mother could have half of the baby. Of course, as we know, the baby would not have survived, but amazingly, one woman agreed to this arrangement. The other woman, however, insisted that the baby be given away rather than having the baby put to death. In Solomon’s wisdom and understanding of jealousy, he discerned that the true mother would never harm her own child. However, a jealous person would do anything to take away what another person has, even if it adds nothing to what she has!
Jealousy is partial insanity. It’s just as crazy as wanting half a baby so the other person won’t have more. What another person has or doesn’t have makes no difference to what we have or lack. Yet people will spend an enormous amount of time and energy focused on other people’s possessions – even as it has no effect on their own.
In Proverbs, King Solomon writes “envy rots the bones” (14:30b). The Sages teach that a jealous person will not only decompose naturally after death, but also unnaturally – his bones will rot as well. What kind of punishment is this and how is it connected to the trait of jealousy?
The Hebrew word for bones is etzem. However, the word also means “essence.” This is because more than any other part of the human body, a person’s bones symbolize who they are and what they are made up of. When a person is jealous of another, in reality, they are denying who they are. It’s like wanting another person’s prescription eyeglasses even though they are totally inappropriate for you. Being jealous of what someone else has is denying who you really are and what you specifically need. Jealousy decomposes a person’s essence and individuality. It is harmful and self-defeating; it makes no logical sense.
Thankfully, the antidote for this self-destructive behavior is to embrace our identity and recognize that everything in our lives is perfectly arranged for us. When we accept that truth, we won’t want what belongs to anyone else. So say this with me and feel it deep in your bones: “God has given me exactly what I need for my life today – and I am so very grateful.”
How familiar does this sound in today’s world? Sadly, way too familiar. “Share the wealth”. “Social justice”. People demanding what belongs to someone else, and if they can’t have it, no one can.
Envy is an ugly thing, of which we are ALL guilty. Personally, I have a few envies, like skinny envy, or lack of pain envy. One, partially my fault, the other? Well, that too is partially my fault, but we won’t go there.
My point? We live in a society full of ‘you owe me’ people. Even those who have, believe they deserve more because someone else has. I don’t get that logic, but hey, that’s just me. I think it’s time we all look deep inside ourselves, and find out what our ‘bones’ are made of, don’t you?
If you don’t believe in the Reason for the Season, quit celebrating, and shut up! Denying others who DO believe the opportunity to share is just selfish, and envious.
Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? Did you know there are a great many people in this country who have no clue? Yep. To many, it’s just a day to gorge on turkey with all the fixin’s and watch football, giving no thought to just why such a day is important. How many have ever read Lincoln’s proclamation? Do they teach it in schools? Well, they use to, but these days, it seems that those teaching from the Common Core playbook teach kids that Obama is like a messiah, all white people who speak out against his policies are racists, and forget TRUE history.
Have they learned why the Pilgrims, who play a large part in the reason we celebrate, left everything they knew to come to a strange new land? That they escaped religious persecution? Do they know that those Pilgrims nearly starved to death because they tried to be a ‘collective’, living as a commune? Do they know the reason they were thankful? The natives saved their bacon, taught them how to be capitalists, and after a few years, they thrived.
The original menu, on the day of giving thanks…TO GOD….that they survived, had food to harvest, isn’t the same as what we serve today. Perhaps there was a turkey or two in the mix, but the word ‘fowl’ could have been a number of different types of birds. From the Smithsonian:
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others.”
Their celebration lasted 3 days! The way we eat, then sit on our hinders, I don’t think we’d survive a 3 day feast, do you?
Back to history. In 1777, all 13 colonies celebrated, but in 1789, George Washington proclaimed 26 November as a day of giving thanks, mostly for the new nation, yet even then, it was not an annual feast. It was left it up to each individual state as to when, or if, they celebrated. A lady named Sarah Josepha Hale, of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb” fame, pushed for 40 years for a national day of thanksgiving. It wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln, “in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three“, gave his proclamation in the midst of a brutal war.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
It was set as the last Thursday in November, based on Washington’s date.
The purpose of Thanksgiving? To give praise to the Hand that has blessed us with a bounty never known in recent history, to thank Him for His intervention in man’s measly attempts, for without Him, we would never have survived as a nation. Without Him, we are dying as a nation.
Each year after, every president declared a day of Thanksgiving to be the last Thursday of November. Along comes FDR to totally screw things up. But, after much confusion, Congress stepped in and declared the 4th Thursday to be Thanksgiving, a national day to give thanks to GOD for our many blessings. Who created the turkey you consume? Who made the rain to fall so those vegetables would grow? Who gave you the hands to work with, the brain to use, in a job you if you are lucky enough to have one?
Once again, we are a divided nation. Once again, we must turn to the Almighty for healing. Once again, the battle lines have been drawn, and the war has begun. Not for man’s desires, but for the soul of this nation.
We must ask for forgiveness for our foolish whims, and beg, once again, that the Lord will heal our wounded souls. Think hard this Thanksgiving. Be grateful to the Creator for the blessings He has bestowed, and pray that those blessings that have been stolen away will be returned, through His grace.
If my people, among whom my Name is called upon, do humble themselves,
and pray and seek my presence, and turn from their wicked ways,
then will I hear in heaven and be merciful to their sin, and will heal their land
2 Chronicles 7:14 (GNV)
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not despise prophecies.
21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.
22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I will keep it unto the end.
34 Give me understanding and I will keep thy Law, yea, I will keep it with my whole heart.
35 Direct me in the path of thy commandments: for therein is my delight.
36 Incline mine heart unto thy testimonies: and not to covetousness.
37 Turn away mine eyes from regarding vanity, and quicken me in thy way.
38 Stablish thy promise to thy servant, because he feareth thee.
39 Take away my rebuke that I fear: for thy judgments are good.
40 Behold, I desire thy commandments: quicken me in thy righteousness.
Yep. A bunch based over in Bristol, TN, Family Ministries, have decided because there is going to be a new wine on the market in conjunction with Duck Commander, to cancel an appearance by Willie Robertson, head honcho and one of the ‘stars’ of Duck Dynasty.
I honestly don’t understand this obsession with some factions of supposed faith with wine. They claim to follow the teachings of Christ, but fail to actually follow his example. When He said in Luke 22:20 “…This cup is that new Testament in my blood, which is shed for you“, He wasn’t passing around Welch’s grape juice! No, He was passing a cup of wine. Granted, not the same type of wines we have today, which are much higher in alcohol content, but wine, nonetheless!
For this bunch to cancel Robertson’s appearance, that was actually a way for THEM to raise funds, which likely would have brought a pretty good crowd, says a great deal about the churches, and church organizations, today.
There are so many different denominations that have so many rules that have NOTHING to do with Biblical teachings, it just drives me bonkers! The Church of Christ, and a few others, don’t allow musical instruments. Really? Yup! Something to do with the early churches and a cappella. Let’s take a gander at 2 Samuel 6:5 – “And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all instruments made of fir, and on harps, and on Psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.” Yep, those would be musical instruments long before Gregorian chants. Of course, some folks think David was a little whacky when he danced to the temple in a loin cloth, but joy does makes folks do some odd things. He came to the Lord as the Lord had created him….well, almost. Yep, he was a sinner, but the Lord loved him anyway.
My point is, God hasn’t forbidden the imbibing of wine, or musical instruments, or dancing. Men do that. What God tells us is not to imbibe excessively, blast your eardrums, or look and act like a hootchie! Some churches take the joy out of worshiping God, and change His teachings to suit themselves, or their ideals. I honestly don’t think that’s what He had in mind! Stick to the Word, you’ve got a pretty good shot. Deviate, and you’re going to have some REAL problems.
Condemning Will Robertson for his company’s wine production, IMHO, is a serious deviation. The losses of those financial gains that Robertson would have brought in aren’t going to help their ministry.
15 And when you shall stretch out your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: and though ye make many prayers, I will not hear: for your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean, take away the evil of your works from before mine eyes: cease to do evil.
17 Learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed: judge the fatherless, and defend the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins were as crimson, they shall be made white as snow: though they were red like scarlet, they shall be as wool,
19 If ye consent and obey, ye shall eat the good things of the land.
20 But if ye refuse and be rebellious, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
If you missed the special on Thursday evening, I’m thankful to be able to have found it on YouTube. Billy Graham has been “America’s Pastor” for literally decades. At the age of 95, I guess he knows he doesn’t have much time left on earth, so he has given us a message….an extremely important message that has been shared by many, that is worth spending a half hour to watch. Watch it several times. Listen to the words. He states a very simple message we ALL need to hear, and learn.
If you want to see the panel discussion with Sean Hannity, Dr Dobson, Lauren Green, and Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, they are broadcasting the show again on Sunday, 10 November, at 7pm.
(Luke 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and hunger, and pestilence, and fearful things, and great signs shall there be from heaven.)
There’s been some interesting doings going on in the sky recently. I’m not an astronomer, nor am I a Biblical scholar, but ya know what? When I see what might be considered as warnings, I think it would be a real good idea to pay attention.
There was that big bang over in Russia in February.
Just this week, there was a fireball over California.
Yesterday, sky watchers announce that Hubble got a shot of a six tailed asteroid.
How does an asteroid get a tail? I’m just kidding. I know. I’m actually a lot smarter than I look.
1 This know also, that in the last days shall come perilous times.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, cursed speakers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, intemperate, fierce, no lovers at all of them which are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,
5 Having a show of godliness, but have denied the power thereof: turn away therefore from such.
3 Trust thou in the Lord and do good: dwell in the land, and thou shalt be fed assuredly:
4 And delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee thine heart’s desire.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord, and trust in him, and he shall bring it to pass.
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Bring forth fruit, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
2 Also the fear of you, and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the heaven, upon all that moveth on the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea: into your hand are they delivered.
3 Everything that moveth and liveth, shall be meat for you: as the green herb, have I given you all things.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, I mean, with the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
5 For surely I will require your blood, wherein your lives are: at the hands of every beast will I require it: and at the hand of man, even at the hand of a man’s brother will I require the life of man.
6 Who so sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God hath he made man.
7 But bring ye forth fruit and multiply: grow plentifully in the earth, and increase therein.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was thus, When as his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
20 But while he thought these things, behold, the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, the son of David, fear not to take Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her, is of the holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 And all this was done that it might be fulfilled, which is spoken of the Lord by the Prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is by interpretation, God with us.