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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sunspots 641

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Christianity: He Lives argues, from the Bible, that the days of Genesis 1 were not necessarily 24 hours in length.

And He Lives discusses the importance (or not) of belief that Mary was a perpetual virgin, and the evidence for and against that idea.

Computing:Wired warns us that robots can be hacked. In other words, we don't have to wait until they are intelligent and self-aware to be in possible danger from them.

Gizmo's Freeware suggests an easy way to download YouTube videos to your information appliance.

Finance: Wired reports that California's emphasis on cutting down on Carbon Dioxide emissions, and on green energy, has not hurt their economy.

Health: Listverse reports on 10 common "health" practices that aren't really healthy, such as the use of hand sanitizer.

History: Listverse reports on 10 controversies involving monuments, all but one of them outside North America.

Humor (or Literature): National Public Radio reports that the University of Southern California and UCLA are arguing over whether William Shakespeare should be spelled without the final e.

Politics: FiveThirtyEight tells us that there are now fake polls, in addition to fake news. And, I was surprised to learn, one of the main reasons for publishing a fake poll is to make money through betting on the outcome of a political contest. Oh, dear. Here's another post on the subject from the same source.

Wired reports that Exxon agreed that climate change was real, and human activity was an important cause of it, but did not say these things in its advertisements.

Science: Scientific American reports on studies of fairness in young children, who seem to have an inborn sense of fairness.

Image source (public domain)

Monday, August 28, 2017

What God hath promised, by Annie Johnson Flint

1. God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God has not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

2. God has not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He has not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

3. God has not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep.

What God Hath Promised, by Annie Johnson Flint, 1919, public domain. 9 9 9 9. Modernized by changing "hath" to "has."

Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Repentance: with poster, from Thomas à Kempis, from The Imitation of Christ

Thomas à Kempis on repenting 
Repentance is the activity of reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs. … [It] is generally seen as involving a commitment to personal change and the resolve to live a more responsible and humane life. In other words, being sorry for one’s misdeeds. – Wikipedia.

All my sins displease me grievously: I will never more commit them; but I grieve for them and will grieve so long as I live, steadfastly purposing to repent truly, and to make restitution as far as I can. Forgive, O God, forgive me my sins for Your holy name's sake; save my soul, which You have redeemed with Your precious blood. Behold, I commit myself to Your mercy, I resign myself to Your hands. Deal with me according to Your loving-kindness, not according to my wickedness and iniquity. - Modernized from Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Chapter VIII, 1418-1427, public domain.

Some Biblical examples of repentance:
2 Chron. 32:24 In those days Hezekiah was terminally ill, and he prayed to Yahweh; and he spoke to him, and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah didn’t reciprocate appropriate to the benefit done for him, because his heart was lifted up. Therefore there was wrath on him, and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that Yahweh’s wrath didn’t come on them in the days of Hezekiah.

Job 42: 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. 6 Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Matthew 3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”
6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
11a I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I

Matthew describes the temptation of Jesus in chapter 3. This is part of chapter 4:17: From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

In Mark 6, Jesus sent the 12 out, in pairs:
12 They went out and preached that people should repent.

Mark 5:32 “… I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Luke 15:7 I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance. (also see verse 10)

Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit….” (Sermon at Pentecost. And, of course, lots of people did repent then.)

Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart isn’t right before God. 22 Repent therefore of this, your wickedness ….”

2 Cor 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world produces death.

2 Peter 3: The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but he is patient with us, not wishing that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

In addition to those mentioned above, others who repented: David (2 Samuel 12:15-23, Psalm 51); Manasseh (2 Chron 33:1-20. For some reason, 2 K 21:1-18 does not mention his repentance.); (Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:28-37); Jonah (2:7-3:3); The Ninevites (Jonah 3:4-10); Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-16); The jailer (Acts 16:22-34).

Examples of people who didn’t repent: The people of Noah’s day, and the Sodomites (2 Peter 2:4-8) (Genesis 19:1-8); Esau (Heb 12:14-17); Pharaoh; Judas, probably (Matt 27:3-19, Acts 1:21-26); The religious leaders (Matt 21:28-32).

Thanks for reading!