Both my wife and I cook. Fortunately my wife is an excellent cook, always from scratch. Right now with issues with our water in the trailer and an oven that doesn't work, we are limited, but once we get those things ironed out we'll be doing great.
I run my whole farm on solar, not because its 'green', or to 'save the environment', but because it would cost $40,000.00 to get power lines brought to my property, and then a monthly bill on top of it, for use of a grid that goes out waaay too often. I use solar because its getting cheaper, and more efficient, and with a bank of back-up batteries, I can use power late enough that I haven't stayed up late enough yet to lose my power after dark.
I will probably add some wind at some point, because we get a L OT of wind, but I will probably build my own windmill, because the commercial ones are only about 25% efficient. BUt not to be green.
There are certainly interesting things to read in the apocryphal books, but except in the Catholic church, no one has ever considered them as canon or trustworthy. They certainly add strange doctrines, as well as some areas that are blatantly in opposition to Bible doctrine. As I understand, the book of Judith is about a prophet during the time of Jeremiah, who is supposedly given direction from God to tell the people that they are to stand and fight the invading Babylonian armies, while we know that Jeremiah told them to stand down and surrender and accept God's discipline, and He would protect them and the land and the temple, and bring them back. So Judith was telling them just the opposite of what Jeremiah was telling them. One is wrong.
So they are interesting, but dubious, at best, outright false at worse.
Don't know about anyone else, bt not feeling it for the new format. Maybe I'm not picking it up, but I miss the easy listing of the most recent posts, and the threads I have posted to, which seems to be missing. It seems like there's more work and searchng to find what I want to post in and read.
BUt maybe its just me. Anyone else have thoughts on the format?
I believe part of the pr OB lem is still the 'big church= success" mentality. I have felt its lure where I am, (Jim, you know our situation); I have caught myself longingly wondering why the SBC and AOG churches that flank our meeting place have such faithful attendance, and many more people, and wondering about their methods, before I catch myself and remind myself that I am just preaching the word, as we are told, and its up to the Lord to bring them in. If we are faithful in the word, and in witnessing, then we will prosper according to God's hand. So I know how it is and feel the temptations.
I remember a preacher telling a story of how he was just starting a new work, and he was advised by another pastor, who had a very large church, that if that new work, by the end of six months, was not completely self-sufficient and fully supporting him and his family, too, that he was a failure. Of course, (and I don't remember that older pastor), but having looked at his own record, he had spent years struggling himself in his forst church, so basically he was outright lying, knowing it was otherwise, but it laid this impression into this young preacher that size and money equaled success.
Another told of how he pastored in a town of about 500, and he had fully half or more of that population attending his church. he may have indeed been telling the truth, and if so, praise God, but again, it sets a mentality that unless you have the same success, you're a failure to God and in the eyes of other fellow pastors, who are ALL doing great why aren't YOU?!?. Kind of like J OB 's friends.
And this can be very alluring. But we need to understand that the time is indeed growing short, and if we get smaller, and people leave, it may not have anything to do with that pastor or the teaching, except that the teaching may be TOO true. Me, I am short and fat and not particularly good looking-kind of like a troll. Not charismatic, so anything that happens in our little work MUST be of God, because no one would think it was me. Praise God I am enjoying working closely with a young newly-saved couple who are really soaking up the truth of God like a sponge. One of the benefits of being in a small church is the personal time a pastor can spend with new converts who are willing.
But back to my original point-big doesn't always equal right. R OB Bell is now teaching tat Christianity can't remain 'relevant' if we continue to quote the Bible. And many will follow after their pernicious ways, (thanks, Jim). So be it: the Bible says it will be so, the tares separating from the wheat. We can pray for them, but if they go, let them go, because once they leave, and come back, they will be looking for more reasons to leave again.
While I generally don't go in for fictitious 'letters' from dead people, this was not bad, in that primarily it was just history spoken from a first-person persepctive. I suspect, however, that Leland would have much harsher words for churches today, particularly Baptists churches. Today, most Baptist preachers, (speaking as one myself) would not stand under such things as being dragged away from the pulpit to be whipped for preaching. We like to say how strongly we would stand in the face of death, yet we have such a pr OB lem standing when there is no such threat, how could we bear the persecution?
Hmmm. generally good advice, but it also needs to be somewhat directed.
Young Christians need to be encouraged to restrict their reading to certain authors, because they are not yet equipped to tell truth from error, especially subtle error. I will read the writings of LDS and JW leaders, because I am well-studied enough to know their errors. I do it to better be prepared to combat their evangelists. But I will strongly discourage a new believer from doing the same, because they don't yet know a lot of doctrine of truth, so it can lead to danger. I almost fell to Mormonism when I was an uneducated believer-fortunately the Lord opened my eyes and I knew not to read it any more.
However, as believer grow in knowledge and grace, no I wouldn't restrict their reading. I might tell them of certain dangers of some writers, even some good writers that might have a few odd things, but as they grow, they should be able to discern for themselves. But I will discuss whether the value outweighs the dangers. Books from Billy Graham can be very dangerous and I thought I had lost a friend and member in our church when we went head to head over Graham, because he is a fan, as it were, and I had to tell him why I wasn't.
I like your above study. But for the purpose of this part, I would say that God, in His dealings with man, desires that we understand that He is different from all other gods of the nations. He is to be sanctified in them that come nigh Him, to be treated uniquely, as He is unique in all things, and apart and separate from all His creation, and yet in close contact with it, involved in all aspects, yet still above and beyond it, as far as the heavens are above the earth.
Of course, we see man's inability or unwillingness to grasp this concept. Many claim that man created God; many Bible "scholars" insist that Jehovah was just a local cultural god, no different than any of the gods of Egypt or the various middle-eastern nations. Israel in the wilderness treated Him like the false gods of Egypt, even desiring a staute of a golden calf to symbolize Him. Later, we know that israel worshipped God, while 'secretly' worshipping all manner of beasts and creatures and birds, and the women wept for Tammuz (Nimrod), and baked cakes for the queen of heaven, (Semiramis).
Today, people miss the idea by offering up wicked rock and roll as praise to Him, or worshipping Him using pagan celebrations like Lent, Christmas/Saturnalia, Ishtar/Easter, All Hallows Eve/Samhain/Haloween, etc. Many willingly offer these blemished sacrifices, though God demands to be sanctified in them that draw nigh to Him. Many still don't understand this simple aspect of God's holiness.
Don't misunderstand me, I like your thoughts above, and agree with them-there is surely another, deeper aspect to God's holiness. yet it is more, shall we say, esoteric. Not a great choice of words. Maybe a better word is Spiritual. But as I mention this, I will quote Jesus when He said to Nicodemas, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" Or better for this subject, How can christians seek to understand the spiritual aspects of God's holiness, when they so misuderstand the more down-to-earth practical aspects of His holiness? I believe the wholesale rejection of the idea of separation has caused them to misunderstand God's separatness, His holiness.
Our young Icelandic ram was actually very nice to us, loved attention from us, but put up with no foolishness from the buck.
Unfortunately, the ram one day got spooked by something and ran head first into a corner of the pen, where the buck pinned him and beat him to death from behind. That was a $600 registered ram. A real loss. That buck went away. Rare to find a friendly ram.
That was...shocking. I mean, I have seen a young 8 month old ram I had go head to head with a full grown Boer buck again and again, and be fine, but I'd never have thought a ram could take down a bull. Granted, the sheep didn't look to good, but at least he was conscious. Wow.
Edited to add: well, on second look, it wasn't a bull, it was a cow, and she really wasn't full-sized, either, but still, she was twice the size, or more, than the ram, WITH horns, which the ram didn't appear to have. IMpressive. Wonder if the cow lived?