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Sunday, January 29, 2023

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 163

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I do this, not because I'm a powerful prayer warrior, but because I'm not. Murray was. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go hereHis book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is here. As usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.

O Lord! Reveal to us, we pray Thee, how with all the hosts of heaven, and with Thyself the Son on earth, and with all the men of faith who have glorified Thee on earth, obedience to God is our highest privilege, because it gives access to oneness with Himself in that which is His highest glory—His all perfect will. And reveal to us, we pray Thee, how in keeping Thy commandments and bearing fruit according to Thy will, our spiritual nature will grow up to the full stature of the perfect man, with power to ask and to receive whatsoever we will.
O Lord Jesus! Reveal Thyself to us, and the reality of Thy purpose and Thy power to make these Thy wonderful promises the daily experience of all who utterly yield themselves to Thee and Thy words. Amen.

 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Women of the Bible - Abigail

Women mentioned in the Bible: Abigail: This blog, God willing, will muse about important women mentioned in the Bible, over the next several posts. Scripture quoted will be from the World English Bible, public domain, and is in this color.

Even though the culture generally relegated women to a subservient role, and they seem to have seldom been consulted about important decisions, there are a number of Bible women who did take various leading roles.

I am not going to mention any woman from Revelation, or Song of Solomon, because they may not have been actual historical women.

In English alphabetical order, the first such woman is Abigail. Most of her story is in 1 Samuel 25. Abigail was married to a fool, but a rich one. Her husband, Nabal, refused to show common courtesy to David and his men. Abigail found out about this, and took it upon herself to calm David down, by bringing food to his band. She told David that he shouldn't attack Nabal, because that would harm David's reputation. When Nabal learned about this, he got sick (a stroke?) and died. David took Abigail as his own wife, one of a few such, at that time. There were more later.

Years later, a couple of David's sons by other wives rebelled, and tried to take over the kingdom from David. It doesn't seem that Abigail's son, by David, Chileab, tried to do this, even though some of his half-brothers did. Perhaps the wisdom of Abigail, who defused the situation with Nabal, trained her son to also be a peacemaker.

On the day I began this, the weather person on a TV station we watched was named Abigail. Many of the names of important Bible women are in use today. Some, like Jezebel's name, are seldom or ever used. Abigail is used frequently.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Damage to pre-Flood structures?

Graphic from Wikimedia Commons

One way of evaluating the claims of Answers in Genesis (AiG) that there was a world-wide Flood in Noah's time, is to look for flood damage to ancient structures.

Going to the AiG web page, and entering “when did the Flood take place?” the answer given is approximately 2348 B. C. 

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built about 2560 BC, and the great Sphinx about 2500 BC, according to this web page: https://www.worldhistory.org/timeline/Egyptian_Architecture/, both before the Flood. See also the Wikipedia page on the Great Pyramid, and the one on the Sphinx. I have found no evidence of flood damage to either of these structures, and if there was any, AiG would have emphasized it. So there was not a world-wide flood, or the supposed dates of their construction are incorrect. AiG disputes the timeline used above: (https://answersingenesis.org/archaeology/ancient-egypt/were-the-pyramids-built-before-the-flood/) and claims that the dates for the Egyptian structures would have been after the Flood. I’m not an expert on Egyptian ancient history, and can’t evaluate AiG’s claims on this point. However, if AiG is correct, a post-flood civilization, capable of amazing feats of planning and building, would have had to arise in Egypt quickly, presumably from a small subset of Noah's descendants.

The Megalithic Temples of Malta were built from about 3600 to 2500 BC. (https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Megalithic_Temples_of_Malta) There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of flood damage or deposition. 

Here's a post that considers a number of questions related to the Flood.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Sunspots 920

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:


Christianity: A Christianity Today writer says that the American church should celebrate diversity, not shun it.

Computing: The US State Department is changing fonts/typefaces, and not everyone is happy about it.

Gizmodo gives us a primer on ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence tool.

Education: (and computing) a Gizmodo author argues that teachers should adapt to writing generated by artificial intelligence, rather than trying to stamp that out.

Finances: NPR tells us why the price of eggs has gone up so much.

Politics: A writer for The Conversation analyzes Florida Governor DeSantis's injustice denial.

Science: Gizmodo reports that the amount of artificial light at night is rapidly making it more difficult to see stars.

NPR reports that we may be choosing the wrong kinds of stones to skip across water.

According to the MIT Technology Review, an alligator gene has been added to catfish, making them more resistant to infections. (Lots of catfish are eaten in the US).

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 162

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I do this, not because I'm a powerful prayer warrior, but because I'm not. Murray was. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go hereHis book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.

The one thing He commands us as His branches is to bear fruit. Let us live to bless others, to testify of the life and the love there is in Jesus. Let us in faith and obedience give our whole life to that which Jesus chose us for and appointed us to—fruit-bearing. As we think of His electing us to this, and take up our appointment as coming from Him who always gives all He demands, we shall grow strong in the confidence that a life of fruit-bearing, abounding and abiding, is within our reach. And we shall understand why this fruit-bearing alone can be the path to the place of all prevailing prayer. It is the man who, in obedience to the Christ of God, is proving that he is doing what his Lord wills, for whom the Father will do whatsoever he will: ‘Whatsoever we ask we receive, because we keep His commandments, and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.’

Blessed Master! teach me to apprehend fully what I only partly realize, that it is only through the will of God, accepted and acted out in obedience to His commands, that we obtain the power to grasp His will in His promises and fully to appropriate them in our prayers. And teach me that it is in the path of fruit-bearing that the deeper growth of the branch into the Vine can be perfected, and we attain to the perfect oneness with Thyself in which we ask whatsoever we will.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Sunspots 919

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:



Environment: NPR reports that highway traffic was significantly less during the first part of the pandemic, but is increasing now.

NPR also reports that Exxon researchers knew, decades ago, that climate change was going to occur, but the company claimed that this was not so.

NPR reports on using a 3-D printer to make a 2-story house.

Gizmodo reports that the natural gas industry is paying TV hosts to influence people to use propane, and that some of that money comes from government funds for education.

Health: The Conversation on the health benefits of marriage.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 161

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I do this, not because I'm a powerful prayer warrior, but because I'm not. Murray was. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go hereHis book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24.  

Let us take home the lessons. Now we know the great reason why we have not had power in faith to pray prevailingly. Our life was not as it should have been: simple downright obedience, abiding fruitfulness, was not its chief mark. And with our whole heart we approve of the Divine appointment: men to whom God is to give such influence in the rule of the world, as at their request to do what otherwise would not have taken place, men whose will is to guide the path in which God’s will is to work, must be men who have themselves learned obedience, whose loyalty and submission to authority must be above all suspicion. Our whole soul approves the law: obedience and fruit-bearing, the path to prevailing prayer.
And with shame we acknowledge how little our lives have yet borne this stamp. Let us yield ourselves to take up the appointment the Saviour gives us. Let us study His relation to us as Master. Let us seek no more with each new day to think in the first place of comfort, or joy, or blessing. Let the first thought be: I belong to the Master. Every moment and every movement I must act as His property, as a part of Himself, as one who only seeks to know and do His will. A servant, a slave of Jesus Christ,—let this be the spirit that animates me. If He says, ‘No longer do I call you servants, but I have called you friends,’ let us accept the place of friends: ‘Ye are my friends if ye do the things which I command you.’


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Sunspots 918

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:



Computing: Gizmodo reports on an app that is designed to differentiate between human-written and ChatGPT output.

Gizmodo also reports that a company is trying to find lawyers who will let their artificial intelligence entity argue a case before the Supreme Court.

Politics: (and Sports, and Health) Anti-vaxxers are blaming COVID vaccination for Damar Hamlin's collapse, during an NFL game, and claiming other problems experienced by athletes, according to Gizmodo.

The Conversation has an article on Netanyahu's attack on democracy in Israel and the West Bank.

Science: The Scientist reports that some animals are changing their shape in response to climate change.

The Scientist also discusses microgenes -- tiny sections of DNA that are, in some cases, unique to humans.

Gizmodo reports that an organism that consumes viruses has been found.

Gizmodo also reports that the US Department of Agriculture has approved vaccinating bees. (Bee populations have declined in recent years, partly due to an infectious disease.)

And Gizmodo reports that stars which are at the edge of our galaxy have been identified.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, January 08, 2023

With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray, excerpt 160

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I do this, not because I'm a powerful prayer warrior, but because I'm not. Murray was. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go hereHis book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24. 

‘I chose you,’ the Master says, ‘and appointed you that ye should go and bear fruit,’ much fruit (verses 5, 8), ‘and that your fruit should abide,’ that your life might be one of abiding fruit and abiding fruitfulness, ‘that’ thus, as fruitful branches abiding in me, ‘whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you.’ O how often we have sought to be able to pray the effectual prayer for much grace to bear fruit, and have wondered that the answer came not. It was because we were reversing the Master’s order. We wanted to have the comfort and the joy and the strength first, that we might do the work easily and without any feeling of difficulty or self-sacrifice. And He wanted us in faith, without asking whether we felt weak or strong, whether the work was hard or easy, in the obedience of faith to do what He said: the path of fruit-bearing would have led us to the place and the power of prevailing prayer. Obedience is the only path that leads to the glory of God. Not obedience instead of faith, nor obedience to supply the shortcomings of faith; no, but faith’s obedience gives access to all the blessings our God has for us. The baptism of the Spirit (xiv. 16), the manifestation of the Son (xiv. 21), the indwelling of the Father (xiv. 23), the abiding in Christ’s love (xv. 10), the privilege of His holy friendship (xv. 14), and the power of allprevailing prayer (xv. 16),—all wait for the obedient.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Sunspots 917

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:


Christianity: A new year's prayer from Celeste Charlene.

Politics: Vox complains about the US Fifth Circuit Court.

Science: This year is Gregor Mendel's 200th birthday. So some Czech celebrated. How? They dug up Mendel and analyzed his DNA. (The father of genetics didn't know about DNA.)

Not much to report on today.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

With Christ in the School of prayer, excerpt 159

I know: it's New Year's Day. But I'm following my usual pattern.

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I do this, not because I'm a powerful prayer warrior, but because I'm not. Murray was. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go hereHis book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24. 

Service and obedience, these must become with us the chief objects of desire and aim, more so than rest or light, or joy or strength: in them we shall find the path to all the higher blessedness that awaits us.

Just note what a prominent place the Master gives it, not only in the 15th chapter in connection with the abiding, but in the 14th, where He speaks of the indwelling of the ThreeOne God. In verse 15 we have it: ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments, and the Spirit will be given you of the Father. Then verse 21: ‘He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me;’ and he shall have the special love of my Father resting on him and the special manifestation of myself. And then again, verse 23, one of the highest of all the exceeding great and precious promises: ‘If a man love me he will keep my words, and the Father and I will come and take up our abode with him.’ Could words put it more clearly that obedience is the way to the indwelling of the Spirit, to His revealing the Son within us, and to His again preparing us to be the abode, the home of the Father? The indwelling of the Three-One God is the heritage of them that obey. Obedience and faith are but two aspects of one act,—surrender to God and His will. As faith strengthens for obedience, it is in turn strengthened by it: faith is made perfect by works. It is to be feared that often our efforts to believe have been unavailing because we have not taken up the only position in which a large faith is legitimate or possible,—that of entire surrender to the honour and the will of God. It is the man who is entirely consecrated to God and His will who will find the power come to claim everything that His God has promised to be for him.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Sunspots 916

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*: 


Computing: Gizmodo reports that the FBI says you should be using an ad blocker.

Health: (or not) Gizmodo has published a list of the weirdest medical cases of 2022, many of them stupid things people have done to themselves.

Politics: NPR reports that Fox's Sean Hannity knew that Trump had lost the election -- it wasn't "stolen" -- but gave airtime to such beliefs, anyway.

Science: NPR says that dogs can smell time. Really.

CNN reports that two new minerals have been found in a large meteorite,

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

WIth Christ in the School of Prayer, excerpt 158

I know -- it's Christmas. But I'll just follow my normal posting pattern.

This post continues a series of excerpts from With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. I do this, not because I'm a powerful prayer warrior, but because I'm not. Murray was. I thank the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for making this public domain work available. To see their post of the book, go hereHis book is based on Mark 11:22-24. The previous post in this series is hereAs usual in this blog, long quotations are in this color. Murray's book is based on Mark 11:22-24. 

Let us seek to enter into the spirit of what the Saviour here teaches us. There is a danger in our evangelical religion of looking too much at what it offers from one side, as a certain experience to be obtained in prayer and faith. There is another side which God’s word puts very strongly, that of obedience as the only path to blessing. What we need is to realize that in our relationship to the Infinite Being whom we call God who has created and redeemed us, the first sentiment that ought to animate us is that of subjection: the surrender to His supremacy, His glory, His will, His pleasure, ought to be the first and uppermost thought of our life. The question is not, how we are to obtain and enjoy His favour, for in this the main thing may still be self. But what this Being in the very nature of things rightfully claims, and is infinitely and unspeakably worthy of, is that His glory and pleasure should be my one object. Surrender to His perfect and blessed will, a life of service and obedience, is the beauty and the charm of heaven. Service and obedience, these were the thoughts that were uppermost in the mind of the Son, when He dwelt upon earth. Service and obedience, these must become with us the chief objects of desire and aim, more so than rest or light, or joy or strength: in them we shall find the path to all the higher blessedness that awaits us.


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Sunspots 915

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to others*:



Christianity: (and Politics) A Christianity Today article strongly argues against Christian Nationalism.

Computing: (or Health) Gizmodo reports that Google is developing software to read the handwriting of doctors.

Education: (and Computing) NPR reports on ChatGPT, which will write your papers for you, among other things.

Environment: Coyotes almost never attack adult humans. There is now an explanation for the death of a hiker, by coyotes, on Cape Breton Island, according to Gizmodo.

NPR reports that Louisiana is about to replace land lost to washing away with sediment from the Mississippi River.

NPR reports on a mountain lion in the Los Angeles area, which has been there for about ten years. It was subsequently euthanized.

Humor: (and Weather) NPR reports on how some snow removal equipment is getting goofy names, and is being followed on-line.

Politics: The Conversation on bipartisan bills to upgrade the way elections are counted and reported.

NPR on how Russia has been trying to ingest Ukraine for a century.

Science: According to NPR, some scientists think that time is an illusion.

The Conversation discusses stuttering.

*I try not to include items that require a password or fee to view.

Thanks for reading.