Sunday, December 14, 2014

When Was Jesus Born? Who Started It? Update.

 

For "Scripture Sunday":

Beyond Today -- When Was Jesus Born?

image "Did His birth occur on December 25th? Can we even know when Christ was born? And, should we really be celebrating His birth?

Watch this video: http://youtu.be/XiVgLInIRJ4  
or read the transcript and request the Bible study aid "Jesus Christ: The Real Story" at:  http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/jesus-christ/when-was-jesus-born

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Who Started It?

"Who started Yuletide worship of sun, mother and child?

Who Started It?

Source: Scott Brady

"She was beautiful, powerful, and devious – a perfect foil for the ancient serpent’s deceptions. Her husband Nimrod had made himself king over the migrants who came into the new land of Sumeria, a very rich alluvial plain in which things grew quickly, but wild beasts also multiplied and became a constant menace. The people had no weapons and they needed protection. Nimrod invited them to live together in one place and built a wall all around it to protect them. (The points expressed about the background to Nimrod and Semiramis are found in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews.)

He became their king, a warrior king who built an army and taught men to make and use weapons, and he led them on profitable hunts to provide meat. Business was good, so he built other cities as populations increased, but he had a problem.

People still worshipped the One true God and looked to Shem, the son of Noah, as the man of God and leader of their faith. Faith was a powerful thing and Nimrod wanted that power, but how would he turn the people’s faith toward himself? His beautiful, scheming wife Semiramis provided the answer. She began to laud her husband Nimrod as their great provider and protector. We don't know exact details, but there are abundant examples in history from which we can draw such conclusions. (Bible verses about Semiramis; Bible Tools.org)

The Devil, that most subtle of deceivers (Genesis:3:1) and god of this world (2 Corinthians:4:4, Ephesians:6:10-12) is most likely the ancient source that inspired them (many people are tempted of themselves (James:1:14). This gave Satan an in and he cunningly inspired them to worship him as the Sun god, the source of knowledge and of life for all things on Earth. He backed up this idea by performing signs and wonders as people were converted to this new faith. It effectively turned people’s hearts to pleasure and to worshipping their god as they pleased. It was heady stuff and men and women of all kinds responded in droves.

It all made Shem very anxious for the people. He was very angry with the man who had brought about this growing apostasy and he acted at once to execute the self-proclaimed king and high priest of the Sun god. Ultimately, he had Nimrod's body cut in pieces to be distributed to the various civic centers as a dire warning of what would happen to others who had been deceived into forsaking the Creator by worshipping idols and demon spirits. (See Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews ).

Semiramis knew better than to openly defy Shem, but developed a mystery religion with herself as high priestess. Her followers used secret signs and symbols so as not to let on. She led them in worship of the god of love and fertility and took many lovers in her conquest of men. She then became pregnant and when she gave birth to Tammuz (meaning ‘son of life’). Semiramis daringly presented him at the Winter solstice as the son of Baal, the long expected Seed of the woman forecast in the Garden of Eden. Most likely everyone on Earth at that time knew the prophecy given to Adam, Eve and the Serpent before they were cast out of Paradise, because Noah and his family spread the gospel after the Flood. Satan used this knowledge to help thwart the coming truth that was to come.

Semiramis also had caused Nimrod to be venerated as a god after his death. She said he was made one with the "Sun in Heaven". She said that her son Tammuz had been supernaturally conceived in her womb by him, thus claiming to be "that" woman. Her child then represented new birth and the possibility of resurrection for all who believed. As the sun regained strength and rose up after the Winter solstice, so would mankind experience rebirth after death. After Tammuz died by being nailed or bound to an evergreen tree, she wailed for him until he was restored to her. Women of many nations thereafter wept for Tammuz, even in Israel. (Ezekiel:8:14) So began the worship of mother and child.

Meanwhile, the men of Babel were busy building a huge tower to reach high into the sky and make them famous and their city the foremost in the world. They planned to stay there in that place and not spread out and replenish and fill the whole earth as God had commanded. The Lord came down to see for Himself what they were up to and saw that they were of one evil mind and working together they would invent and create things far too quickly. People had corrupted themselves before and managed to pollute everything in the old world. They shared only one language, so God miraculously confused their ability to communicate, which forced them to move out in groups, each group bound by a different language and so they went about establishing separate lands of their own.

The small families scattered from Babel and became fully fledged nations, but unfortunately took with them the pagan worship of mother and child as they had learned from Semiramis. Thus began many counterfeit faiths spread around the world and even today cause so much confusion.

Whatever else we might say about the devil, he is industrious and clever in his opposition to God and the only church founded by Jesus Christ. This article simply illustrates some of the basic truths of Revelation 17, especially with regard to mother and child and the whole pantheon of gods and false worship.

Semiramis appears to be the source that started it all in human history, inspired by the devil who backed her up with visions and mirages. It all began more than 2000 years before Jesus Christ was born of Mary and it is no wonder that there are so many pagan parallels with modern Christianity. The counterfeit religion is that of the great deceiver and god of this world who actively blinds mankind to the truth, (2 Corinthians:4:4) but we are not ignorant of his designs (2 Corinthians:2:11). Satan has convinced so many that they are righteous in their false code of beliefs as they worship God.

History says Nimrod was the first mighty one ‘deified’ after the Flood. He was represented by a winged bull and called the ‘father of the gods’. His wife Semiramis became the ‘mother of the gods’ and Queen of heaven. The characteristics of that initial Chaldean mystery religion which she founded were: rejection of our Creator God, denial of His commandments, refusal to acknowledge Him as the source of all life, and a paranoid desire for self-exaltation – the making of God in man’s image! ‘You shall be as gods’ the Serpent told Eve, but in effect he became their god, the one whom they obeyed. (Romans:6:16). Little have men in all history realized that the devil could deceive them into worshipping him and his counterfeit churches.

For more information on what God truly wants us to celebrate, request the free study aids, Holidays or Holy Days: Does it Matter What We Observe? and God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise for all Mankind .

From: http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/who-started-it/       article by George Carter

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Update:

Last week's propane saga didn't end by going back to the propane place where I had bought the new pigtail, as they were closed two days in a row, and no one even answered their phone. 

Our local hardware store tested the pigtail for me, and it was good.  But they said that sometimes the gaskets in the gas bottles go bad, so that is probably why mine was leaking.   I took an empty gas bottle to Krogers and exchanged it, as I knew it would have had it's gasket checked.  It costs more to get an exchange bottle because you don't get as much propane as getting one filled, so that is why I don't usually do it.  Jay and I hooked it up, doused it with soapy water, saw no bubbles, so I am using it.   I'll have to get the other bottle's gasket looked at.

During any slack moments, Ray has been refurbishing a chrome RV two-burner propane gas cooktop.  It had been stored for many years and had rusted. It took quite a bit of sanding to get it smooth again. The top is now white, and the underneath is done in Rustoleum's Hammered Silver spray paint.  He had repainted the house's propane cook top with white High Heat Engine spray paint, he does that every few years to freshen it up, so he used up the rest of the white engine paint on the two-burner one.

While he was at it, he sanded and repainted an RV vent-a-hood that I have for sale.  It was just done with white spray paint, high heat paint is not needed for that.

The weather has been wonderful.  No heater or AC needed.  Windows and doors open most of the time, and just a smattering of rain now and then.

We did a bit more to the greenhouse extension on the storeroom, and when we went shopping on Wednesday, we bought some 2x6's for the ceiling joists.

As my house is going to be for sale, I wanted to install the concertina sides onto the bedroom window air conditioner, to make it look neater.  That means someone, Jay, has to be on the outside to hold it up, while Ray and I installed the concertina sides.  Then Jay cut some foam board and white paneling and put them on the outside.  Now it looks a lot better inside and out.  ( I do NOT like central AC)

On Friday, which we call Preparation Day, (preparing for the Sabbath, the day of rest) I made a ground buffalo and veggie pie with a pastry top for the church potluck.  I didn't want any pastry on the bottom as that usually just turns into a soggy mess.  Also, I took some roasted zucchini.

Roger and I went to church, our favorite one on FM 1097. Jay didn't go as he said he hadn't slept all night, and didn't want to fall asleep in church. The readings were Psalm 115, 118, Gen.37:1 - 40:23 and Amos 2:6 - 3:8. 

The teaching was "When The Time's Right".  How everything is done in God's due time, because he knows best how to make us appreciative for what we get.  He delays some things to let our faith grow.  Undergoing tough times strengthens us. Such as when Abram (before he was Abraham) had to wait a long time for his promised son Isaac to be born to aged Sarai (before she was Sarah), and even took matters into his own hands and begat Ishmael through Hagar, his wife's Egyptian servant.  Gen. 16, and 17.  Abram should have waited for God's timetable. 

The potluck was great, as usual, and my dishes were quickly eaten up, even though there were several meat dishes. There are always lots of veggies, and I 'OD' on them, especially the Brussel Sprouts.

It is so mild for December that it has been a 'tank top and shorts' day.

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pearl Harbor. God Is Calling - Will You Answer? Why Do You Celebrate Christmas? Top 10 Reasons Not To Celebrate Christmas. Update.

 

For "Scripture Sunday":

God Is Calling - Will You Answer?

"God is calling you to a special relationship with Him like no other. Answering that call will change your life, enriching it in the present and leading you into eternity!

A young person reading a Bible.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kermit Tyler's response to one telephone call changed the course of history.

A man operating a new technology called radar telephoned Tyler's workplace about a strange, massive blip on the screen. The switchboard operator told the caller that there was nothing he could do about it and that no one else was in the office on a Sunday morning. It was then, however, that the switchboard operator saw Lieutenant Tyler there, so he informed him about the radar blip.

Tyler knew there was a flight of planes due to arrive at a nearby airfield. He went to the telephone and told the radar operator, "Well, don't worry about it."

The date was Dec. 7, 1941, and the blip on the radar screen was the first wave of Japanese planes on their way to bomb the unsuspecting and unprepared U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, bringing America into World War II.

Has your answer to a call, or not answering a call, ever affected your life? Let's direct our attention to the most important call a person can receive."  More at: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/god-calling-will-you-answer/

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Why Do You Celebrate Christmas?

"I found I could not ignore these facts: Christ never instituted Christmas, never celebrated it and never taught it. So, why was I doing it? What about you? Why do you celebrate Christmas?

At 12 years of age, I wondered what Christmas was all about. Where did it come from? Was Jesus really born on Dec. 25? Why were there so many blinking lights and brightly decorated trees if Christmas was all about a humble little baby in a manger? And why would everyone exchange gifts between themselves when wise men brought gifts for Jesus?

I anticipated Christmas because it meant a gift for me, no matter how small it was. My parents didn't have a lot of money in those days, so we would draw names out of a hat and buy a gift for one of our parents or siblings. I would have to ask for the money from Dad and then buy a tie or a pair of socks or something practical. Every dime counted.

I marveled at my friends' Christmas trees, 6 feet tall and trimmed with lights, silver streamers and a star on top. Our Christmas tree was very small, placed on a lamp table, and adorned with a few streamers and perhaps topped with a small star.

Mom pointed out that Christmas was more about Jesus Christ, and Dad always took us to Christmas Eve church services. Christmas then wasn't like our modern commercialized Christmas. Still, I wondered, why did we celebrate Christmas?

 
Christmas and commercialism

In early America, the city of Boston outlawed the celebration of Christmas (1659-81). "Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings". Washington Irving's writings (1819) about a peaceful, warm-hearted Christmas holiday became life imitating art. He reinvented Christmas in America. Finally, Christmas was declared a federal holiday in 1870.

In the mid-20th century, commercialism began to dominate the Christmas season and businesses began advertising it in early December. Recognizing that early advertising worked well, U.S. retailers began to promote Christmas right after Thanksgiving. Today, businesses start advertising for Christmas in early to mid-November.

Many complain that Christmas has become too commercialized and that Christ has been crowded out. But since Christmas celebrations are not mentioned in the Bible, and it was not observed by the early New Testament Church, can we really say Christ was ever in Christmas? Christ was never in Christmas.

As I studied the history of Christmas, I found that Christmas preceded Christ and Christianity by 2,000 years. I found this pre-Christian holiday actually represents a counterfeit mother-and-child concept that comes from the ancient world (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, 1959, pp. 97-98).

Jesus would not have celebrated Christmas because it can be traced back to an ancient heathen practice, not to His birth. He taught His disciples to follow God's commandments, not man-made customs:  "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew:15:8-9).

It's commendable that some want to put Christ back in Christmas—commendable but not scriptural. The fact is, Christ can't be put back in Christmas because He was never in Christmas in the first place.
The Christmas question

Christmas comes from Cristes maesse, a phrase that means the mass of Christ. But in my study of the Bible I found that Christ didn't tell us to commemorate His death (as the bread and wine of the mass are intended to) in winter, but at Passover in the spring (Luke:22:15-20; 1 Corinthians:5:7; 11:23-26). And He didn't tell us to celebrate His birth at all.

Most people blindly follow human customs and traditions, saying in effect, "Don't bother me with the facts; my mind's made up."

Let's face it. Most people don't really care whether Christmas is Christian or pre-Christian by a thousand or even a million years. They simply look on Christmas as a time to have fun, enjoy family togetherness (a good thing), have a few drinks, enjoy a good meal, pass out a few presents and then nervously wait for the bills to pile up in January. (When that happens, it makes you wonder—what's so happy about the New Year?)

But I found I could not ignore these facts: Christ never instituted Christmas, never celebrated it and never taught it. So, why was I doing it? What about you? Why do you celebrate Christmas?"

For more about the origins of Christmas and what the Bible says about it, see Christmas: The Untold Story from the booklet Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe? 

From: http://www.ucg.org/commentary/why-do-you-celebrate-christmas/

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The Top 10 Reasons Why I Don't Celebrate Christmas

"It’s that time of year again! You’ll soon be barraged by the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. Shoppers will soon go into spending overdrive, and when the bills arrive, some will wonder if it’s really worth it. Here’s a perspective from one who kicked the Christmas habit.

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Don

What's the real meaning behind Christmas?

Source: Photos.com

Christmas is a hugely popular holiday celebrated by some 2 billion people worldwide. It's become such an ingrained part of modern culture that even people in nations with little or no Christian history or tradition are celebrating it in increasing numbers.

Christmas is so big that it plays a key role in the economies of many nations. In the U.S. retail industry, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday is commonly known as "Black Friday"—not because it's bad, but because this marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and stores that have been "in the red"—operating at a loss all year—suddenly see their sales shoot up so fast that they are now operating in the black (at a profit) the rest of the year. "Black Friday" is the biggest shopping day of the year due to its Christmas sales.

Christmas is big— very big. Schools and colleges commonly take a week or longer break at this time, some businesses shut down to give their employees time off, many families plan trips and get-togethers, and some people darken the door of a church for perhaps the first time all year.

So it's not surprising that I get some pretty shocked looks when I tell people I don't celebrate Christmas. That's pretty unusual for anyone, much less someone who's been an ordained minister for 15 years and edits a Christian magazine.

So what's up with this? Why would anyone not want to celebrate Christmas like nearly everybody else? Are there valid reasons for not participating in all the holiday hoopla?

American Late Show television program host David Letterman is famous for his "top 10" lists in which he offers pointed commentary about popular culture and current events. So here I offer my top 10 reasons for not celebrating Christmas!

1. Christmas is driven by commercialism.

It's not that difficult to recognize what really drives the holiday in our age. Cal Thomas, an American syndicated columnist who often writes from a Christian perspective, acknowledged uncomfortable truths about Christmas in a December 2003 column.

"I'm not sure it's worth keeping Christmas anymore," he began, lamenting that the holiday has become a "road show of reindeer, winter scenes, elves and the God substitute, Santa Claus, who serves as a front for merchants seeking to play on the guilt some parents bear for ignoring their kids the rest of the year."…..

2. Christmas is nowhere mentioned in the Bible…..
3. Jesus wasn't born on or near Dec. 25. …..
4. The Christmas holiday is largely a recycled pagan celebration…..
5. God condemns using pagan customs to worship Him…..
6. Christmas is worshipping God in vain…..
7. You can't put Christ back into something He was never in…..
8. The Bible nowhere tells us to observe a holiday celebrating Jesus Christ's birth —but it clearly does tell us to commemorate His death…..
9. Christmas obscures God's plan for mankind…..
10. I'd rather celebrate the Holy Days Jesus Christ and the apostles observed….."

Complete article at: http://www.ucg.org/holidays-and-holy-days/top-10-reasons-why-i-dont-celebrate-christmas/

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Update:  Things have been kinda slow around here.  We put some canvas sides on the big carport canopy so that yard sale stuff could be stored in there.  The things were in the way of the greenhouse extension we are making on the storeroom.

Also, I was out of propane but when we tried to re-attach the bottle that I had filled, there was a leak. So the next day I bought a new pigtail and regulator, but it leaked, too.  So back to the LP place tomorrow.

On Tuesday, BabyGirl, my foster dog and I went to an SPCA party at Petco.  She was the star of the show, and petted by everyone.  She is so good that she can be taken anywhere.  Then yesterday, she was picked up by my neighbor foster-mom to go to Adoption Day, so BabyGirl had quite a week.

Jay had to get a new battery in his mother's truck, so he couldn't go to church.    He really wanted to go as Roger and I went to a different church yesterday, this one is on the East side of Conroe, over by DizzyDick's place.  Jay and I used to go there regularly until we found the other Seventh Day churches in Willis about a year ago.  It was great to see old friends, and I was surprised that they remembered me by name. 

This is a much larger church than the little one where we usually go.  As it was their potluck day I took a humongous crockpot of scalloped Yukon potatoes with cheese sauce and sautéed onions.  Preparing everything on Friday with just one electric hot plate was time consuming, and it took ages to circle all those sliced roasted potatoes around in that big crockpot.  The cheese sauce is added at the end.  It was all eaten in no time, so it must have been liked.

We enjoyed the service.  The Praise Team band was great, and the little gal high schooler was super on the drums.  The sermon was by a visiting elder about "Dance", from the story of the Ark of the Covenant being moved.  King David wanted to move the ark to Jerusalem.  But he had it loaded on a cart pulled by oxen. 

imageThe ark was never supposed to be moved like that, it was meant to be carried on poles through the rings on the ark. Uzzah actually touched it when he thought it was going to fall when the oxen shook it.  The Lord was angry, smote Uzzah dead, but when David danced and finished offering burnt offerings, he was forgiven. (2 Samuel 6:1-18)  The sermon was to show that we can all be forgiven our sins if we repent, go by the rules, and ask for forgiveness.

Roger said that he enjoyed going to another different church and he liked that one second best.  The one on FM 830 is third.

We were going to take a quick look at the nearby flea market, but we were so full from the pot luck that we went home and called it a day.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Flashpoint: Ferguson, Missouri. American Nurse in Quarantine Conflict. Update.

 

News__Prophecy_Blog_Header

Flashpoint: Ferguson, Missouri

Flashpoint: Ferguson, Missouri

Police in riot gear use tear gas to clear the street in front of the Ferguson Police Department after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

"Jesus prophesied, “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). Are we seeing that in the news—and in our own lives?

In the aftermath of the decision by the grand jury that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the death of Michael Brown, how much love was being expressed in Ferguson? Along West Florissant Avenue, businesses were being looted, buildings were being burned to the ground, and rocks were being thrown at reporters.

A banner proclaiming “Season’s Greetings” was being engulfed with smoke, tear gas and the sounds of gunfire. In a season when “peace, goodwill toward men” is often touted, people were aggressively cursing the police and stealing from others.

There were calls for nonviolence from government leaders—all the way up to President Obama—but to no avail. There was little love being expressed toward fellow man. And things will get worse and worse because of sin—which is the breaking of God’s laws. So, what are we to do?"       More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/flashpoint-ferguson-missouri/

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Vertical News: American Nurse in Quarantine Conflict

How does the Bible shed light on the current Ebola crisis and the understanding of an ancient medical protocol?

medic looking down

Source: freeimages.com/wax115

"Nurse Kaci Hickox, from the state of Maine, has been in a legal battle with the state over the need for her to undergo medical isolation known as quarantine for 21 days following her return from working with Ebola virus patients in West Africa. Though she claims she shows no signs of the virus, the state had asked that she be required to fulfill her quarantine through November 10 th . However, Judge Charles LaVerdiere rejected this demand and freed her from the legalities of quarantine. She is no longer required to avoid public areas (Nick Bryant, “Maine ‘Thinking Locally’ on Ebola Nurse Quarantine,” the BBC at BBC.com, October 31, 2014).

The issue of quarantine has surfaced frequently during the recent media coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Another doctor who also went to West Africa to work with Ebola patients lied about his self-monitored quarantine and was in fact in contact with the public of New York City many times (Jamie Schram and Bruce Golding, “Ebola Doctor ‘Lied’ About NYC Travels,” The New York Post at NYPost.com, October 29, 2014).

Some news sources and, indeed, some medical professionals have portrayed quarantine as antiquated and hurtful to the mental state of those who must undergo it. It’s hard to find the truth amongst all the hype. Where does the concept of quarantine, defined by isolating an individual or group of people from the larger society for a specific period of time until illness has developed and abated or until no threat of illness is present, originate?

You might be surprised to know that it comes directly from God’s word in the Bible. In the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers God gave to the ancient Israelites an enlightened approach to health and hygiene that included burying human waste and burning clothes or other items that had come into contact with infection, among other measures that prevent disease (Leviticus 13, 14, 15). He also gave Israel the concept of quarantine during times of illness or “uncleanness” as it is referred to in the Bible (Numbers 19, and Leviticus:13:45-46
). This put the needs of the many above the needs of the few and prevented spread of disease, but it also allowed those that were ill to recover away from the rest of society.

When a cure for disease isn’t available, such as in the case of Ebola at the present, then the rules of quarantine serve to protect those who are ill and the greater number who are not. Rather than an antiquated procedure, it’s important to look at quarantine as one of the gifts of understanding that God gave to ancient Israel and through them, to the rest of the world."     From:  http://www.ucg.org/youth/vertical-news-american-nurse-quarantine-conflict/

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Update:

Jay still has his cold, but we installed some more siding on the storeroom extension which is going to be a green house.  The transom window came in, and we framed up for that.

Ray and I painted the bad spots on the other side of the Puddle Jumper.

Ray, Jay and I cleaned up a trailer load of used plywood that I acquired.  We pried out all the nails  and stacked it back up on the trailer and covered it with a tarp.  We will be using the dickens out of that soon, I hope.

On Thursday, my son Kevin came to see me, and we spent a good few hours just chatting.  (Mostly about the motorcycle he was going to buy.)  When he isn't stump-grinding, he wheels and deals in land and motorcycles.

On Friday, Jay and I went to the half-price sale at Angelic Thrift shop.  My old microwave finally had died, so I bought one there, and Jay bought a 47" flat screen TV.  I also bought some very fancy light fixtures.

At church, the Bible readings were Eph. 2, Psa. 56,57,61,62, Gen. 28:10–32:3 and Hos. 12.:11-14-9.

Jeff gave us a great teaching. He called it "The Pre-eminence of Jews".  He is enrolled in several evening classes, and by coincidence in his English class there was a story about a Jewish lady who was in one of the terrible war camps in Poland.  Then in his History class there was a story about a Jewess in the 1900's, about the New York Jews.  And finally in his Musical History class wast he story about Felix Mendelssohn, a Jew. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Mendelssohn   It seems that all through history is there are stories about the Jews somewhere.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Jewish_history    I haven't made it sound interesting, but Jeff did!

Deut. 28:1 "And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth"

We all enjoyed a good potluck, and it was a great day.