Let me assure you, as a moderator AND one who holds a different belief on a couple issues from pretty much everyone here, though nothing fundamental, disagreement is allowed, so long as it is done with a kind spirit. Of course, we're all human here, and as such, are liable to get pricked by things that might set one off, but as long as we try to do any contentions in a godly, kind manner, we can still get along. But be aware, most are not Calvinist/Reformed here, so expect disagreement.
We also need to remember that giving 'sacrificially' means not expecting anything back, and I think that's one of the fallacies of much preaching on the subject: we are often told that as we give, we can expect God to give back. Scripture even tells us that. However, sacrificial giving, by its very meaning, is promised nothing back, and should expect nothing back-it is a sacrifice. A sacrifice is given completely and totally, and we aren't to expect anything back. When the widow woman gave of her food to Elijah, she was promised to be taken care of, and she received that which was promised to her. But the wodow who gave her mite, we see nothing of anything being given, nor of it mentioned, though she gave all she could-she expected nothing in return. THAT was sacrificial giving. Granted, in a more general sense, God promises to provide our daily bread, but thats a general promise to those who are His, and has nothing to do with sacrificial giving. Much like making ourselves a living sacrifice-we give ourselves completely to God expecting nothing in return, because we already owe Him all. If He gives back, that's great, a blessing! but we do it as a sacrifice.
Actually, doctors have repaired a severed spinal cord, using stem cell therapy. Not fetal stem cell, but stem cells taken from the patient. A lot has been done, but because it's part of alternative therapy, its poo-poo'd and ignored by medical science as a whole. They won't recognize it until the have killed enough babies and used their cells.
I just set it on the first Sunday after Pesach-it won't always match the perfect amount of days, I realize, but since we want to celebrate it on the first day, because it was on the first day that He was resurrected, and it was the first day, and after Passover, that works for us. getting all three in line, Sunday, after Passover, three days and nights, is very difficult. Though really, isn't EVERY Sunday, or first day, ultimately recognition of His resurrection? That's why the church meets on Sundays.
MAybe the point of the rods was so Laban might have some fear of Jacob, thinking he had done it? Or it might have been a case of how Abraham tried to help God produce Isaac, a little bit of him trying to help God produce the cattle, according to some myths he had picked up somewhere? We need to remember that these people really knew very little about God, didn't have a Bible to work off of, and lived among a lot of strange traditions and myths, and had to pick some up.
You all DO know that when the Bible speaks of the disciples being 'In one accord", that it was not, in fact, implying they were all crammed into the same little Honda vehicle? This is another common error in the changing usage of a word, meaning something different today than it meant 400 years ago. Man, imagine my embarassment when someone cleared THAT up for me!
Actually, I have used toe idea of the car to make the pount of what being in one accord means: if they were all piled into Peter's Honda, and started off driving, they would all be heading the same direction, all moving toward the same place-that's kind of like what being in one accord means-all of one mind, one set of goals, and heading the same direction.
Golden gates? That's in San Francisco. Actually, the gates of pearl are in the New Jerusalem, while heaven it would seem, should have no gate, for no enemy could ever enter. But if it DID have gates, I suppose the COULD be gold. But yes, agreed, a sham, parents taking advantage of their child's misfortune, to MAKE a fortune.
I am approaching that time-at 51, still too young for the senior menu, but that's okay-that wouldn't fill me for the most part. Though I wouldn't mind the cheap coffee, but still gotta wait a few years. It is weird to get older-you never really think of yourself as 'old'. I think it began to really sink in, though, when young, attractive women no longer treated me like some creepy older guy who might be making the moves on them, and rather, as a harmless older gentleman who says funny, old-man things. And while I am in no way a 'flirt', I actually COULD flirt outrageously, and would still just be thought of a 'cute', but not in the way I always wanted to be when I was younger.
A muslim connection was mentioned earlier on by John81. Interestingly, if you are familiar with the Bacha Bazi (sp?) dancing boys, this is a Muslim sect that has these boys who are trained to dance for the older men, and are normally used as well for sex by them. This will continue on until they begin to grow facial hair, at which point they are removed from the ranks, because now it is seen as homosexuality. But before the facial hair grows, it is acceptable to have sex with boys, and in many cases, seen as better than with women.
So really, Islam is okay with homosexuality, just so long as it is pedophilic homosexuality, cuz it aint really homo unless he goes through puberty first. This is why our troops overseas were disallowed by the military to speak anything against pedophilia-its part of their 'culture' and of course, culture must be respected above all.
True, but it doesn't mean that everything that happens in the heavens is a specific sign. We have had people point to the planets aligning and prophesying things, and nothing happened. There have been series of 'blood moons' before when nothing of great importence occurred. Thje more recent ones in history actualyl occurred sometimes a year or more after the events Hagee attributes them to. Just because the Bible says they are for signs and seasons doesn't mean that everything is a sign or season. Sometimes an ecplise is just an eclipse. This is the same kind of assumption that Calvinists use to say "God is sovereign, we are evil: so that automatically means we have no free will to choose to receive salvation and it is God who chooses who will live and who will die. The first part is true, the second part is not to be found in scripture and is based on man's interpretations of it. Yes, signs ans seasons, but also, the Lord will let us know WHICH signs and seasons to look for through His signs in the heavens-He doesn't leave us guessing as to which will mean something. And He has told us of ONE blood moon, accompanied by a black sun and other signs, and THOSE are the ones we are concerned with. And my belief is, it won't be a lunar eclipse that we can know is coming, but will be something unexpected, and possibly based not on and eclipse at all-perhaps an eruption of a volcano, or ALL the volcanoes? THAT would cause a red moon! Maybe the mountain burning with fire spoken of in Revelation?
I believe the job of the deacon is to take as much off of his so he can concentrate on the study of the word of God and prayer, so he can be as effectve of a pastor as possible. I have no deacons and we don't really need them with such a small congregation.