It Died With Him . . .

~~ the quindecim

by tkbrown
He had a way no one else has;
he could fill the mundane with jazz
in a class of his own making.
Voice inflection, dry 'erh joking,
his dry humor entertained all--
rich or poor, whatever your call.
We understood his little ways--
nuances uttered in a phrase
seen and heard, sometimes with no word,
just a look, or tilt of his head.
Often, he said more than we heard--
making sense of seeming absurd.
Associations oft metered
as if to be footed and rhymed,
orated class, measure timed.

Others have tried, and they have failed
to find the finesse where time sailed
as it did wrapped up in his words.
First one--then others gave answers--
but not inciting responses
he could when wording those ripostes
in the best projection or tone--
such that the question would be known.
Even celebrity has tried
and quite miserably were failed
as global viewers turned away,
quit trying to fill that special sway.
It is time to cease and desist
efforts to fill shoes--What man, this?--
a role fades back into the mist.

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Alex Trebek was the much-loved, long-time host of NBC’s game show, “Jeopardy.” Continuing as host of the show throughout his battle with cancer, Trebek earned global fan respect. His talent as the host of “Jeopardy” was in his ability to posit answers to contestants who then responded with the correct query. Trebek had a long history in the television business where he started at the bottom and literally worked his way up through the ranks. In 1980, he hosted his first “Jeopardy” show and continued until his death in November 2020. This is the position with which Alex Trebek will ever be connected. and he left shoes that no one else will ever be able to fill or satisfy the viewing public. The recent controversy surrounding the show has, I believe, sealed the show’s fate. It will never be the same. Is it time to allow “Jeopardy” to disappear into the mist as well?

Born George Alexander Trebek in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada on 22 July 1940 to George Edward Trebek–a Ukrainian child immigrant to Canada–and Lucille Marie Lagacé, a Franco-Ontarian. He died 8 November 2020 at the age of 80 after bravely continuing to “live” through his battle with cancer. His technique as “Jeopardy” host was part of what gave the show its long-running popularity. There will never be another Alex Trebek.

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Source:

Eds. Wikipedia. (30 March 2021). Alex Trebek. “Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia.” Wikimedia Project: Powered by MediaWiki. (30 March 2021). Alex Trebek – Wikipedia.

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Image Above: @clipartpanda.com.

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Blessed are the poor. . .

“. . . the poor in spirit. . . .”

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Oftentimes, when we read the Bible, we do so with our mind somewhere else. For example, how often have we read The Beatitudes with our thoughts truly centered on the meaning of those words. Today, I decided to center my devotional upon one scripture, separated from The Beatitudes and viewed in detail according to the scriptures. For this purpose, I chose:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3 — Holy Bible: New Testament (KJV)

Matthew and Luke present scriptures that say something a bit different from the other–even though both are relating a scripture from the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. While Matthew (above) refers to “. . . poor in spirit . . .,” Luke, in chapter 6 and verse 20, says:

And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples and said, ‘Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'”

Luke 6:20 — Holy Bible: New Testament (KJV)

Granted, most who are poor are also poor in spirit because the poor are usually the downtrodden, those who are accustomed to doing without. When a poor person does without, there is usually no repercussions to anyone for allowing this to be–no one suffers other than the person who is poor. Thus, both presentations are correct. One does not detract from the other.

I decided to see what the Old Testament (Old Covenant) says about the “poor” or the “poor in spirit.”

For all those things hath mine hand made,and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

Isaiah 66:2 — Holy Bible: Old Testament (KJV)

Here, God–Himself–acknowledges that the poor person is much more likely to “fear the Lord” and strive to live according to the Lord’s word. The wealthy are typically much more inclined to focus upon the fortune amassed and the means necessary to keep it. However, being poor by itself does not grant an eternal home with God. Rather, God said, “. . . even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.”

If we are contrite in spirt, God is able to mold and shape us according to His will. Thus, the “poor” must also be “poor in spirit.” He or she must have “a contrite spirit and tremble at [His] word.” Here, I must ask myself: Do I have a contrite spirit? Do I tremble at God’s word? Even if I think the answer is “Yes,” I must study on it to know the truth. The Beatitudes are a small portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which tells us “the spirit” of those who will go to heaven. How often–when we recite these in worship services–do we look at ourselves to determine if our spirit is right with God?

In Luke 18: 9-14, Jesus tells a parable regarding differences between the haughty, self-righteous man and one with a contrite heart.

  • 9 — “And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:”
  • 10 — “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”
  • 11 — “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.”
  • 12 — “I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I possess.”
  • 13 — “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”
  • 14 — “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Thus, Jesus said, those who are haughty in spirit will be least in heaven–if they even make it there–and those who are of a contrite, repentant spirit will be in heaven.

Have we ever TRULY REPENTED of something specific we have done? Have we talked to God about it as if He were a long-lost friend whom we had wronged and were begging their forgiveness?

Each of us has, or have had, something for which we should repent with such a spirit! Others may not be aware of this sin, but WE ARE! WE know what we have done, and we know it is wrong–even if it is not wrong in the eyes of man. Are we willing to humble ourselves as this publican did–as the apostle Matthew must have done? Matthew was a publican when Jesus called him to be His disciple. Have we ever declared ourselves to be a sinner” because of our sin whether it be past or present? The cleansing such a prayer provides is beyond the imagination of most.

Reading on in the same chapter, Luke 18: 15-17,

  • 15 — “And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them; but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them.”
  • 16 — “But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.
  • 17 — “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

Infants have no sin. They are pure of heart. If they do wrong, they do not realize it is wrong, thus it is forgiven. Jesus goes on in Luke chapter 18 to show that even those who have done good all their lives may be lacking what it takes to make it into God’s kingdom and into heaven. The parable of the ruler shows how a “good person” may not have a “contrite spirit.”

Luke 18: 18-25

  • 18 — “And a certain ruler asked him saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
  • 19 — “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Why callest thou Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.”
  • 20 — “Thou knowest the commandments. Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother.”
  • 21 — “And he said, ‘All these have I kept from my youth up.'”
  • 22 — “Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, ‘Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me.”
  • 23 — “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”
  • 24 — “And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, He said, ‘How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”
  • 25 — “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

From an early age, this parable was powerful to me. I began sewing by hand at about the age of seven or eight. So, I knew how tiny is the eye of a needle! I knew, if this man had been good all his life, yet lacked the contrite spirit required to be a child of God, I must change my ways. For, while I rarely disobeyed, I was far from sinless; and it was time I look that sin in the eye.

There have been times throughout my life when I had to look deep into my soul and come face to face with God about something I had done which was keeping me apart from Him. My prayer, now, is: if anyone reading this devotional has been pricked in the heart and has need for a session of supplication unto you, God–give him or her the strength to humble self before you.

Here in the United States, we are beginning to see the first days of spring–signs of “life renewed,” which has been our subject today. Not all days here are pleasant–some reap harvests filled with pain. On those days, I try to remember–“This, too, shall pass. — Anonymous.

I hope, wherever you are, you can–at least–enjoy some of the weather bestowed upon you. Blessings!

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Sources:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Matthew 5. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Matthew 5:3 KJV – Blessed are the poor in spirit: for – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Isaiah 66:2. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Isaiah 66:2 KJV – For all those things hath mine hand – Bible Gateway

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Luke 18. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Luke 18 KJV – And he spake a parable unto them to – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: by geralt @pixabay.com.

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March 2021

~~ a calendar quindecim ~~

by tkbrown
March's April . . . 
As we float into March midst swollen banks
the forecast calls out for more days of rain.
Snowing and freezing of recent past ranks
among the worst recorded earthly pains.
Now, thawing, raining, and flooding ramp up;
predictions of severe weather winds wrap
coming days in showers and springtime temps
resembling April much more than March winds
to which we have become more accustomed.
The plowing and planting we want to tend
must wait for those winds to dry things a bit
when the soil for tilling will be more fit.
The winds with less rain blow in days of spring
when the crocus buds and the blue birds sing,
dusk temps are suited for the front porch swing.

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Photo Above: by AndreyKonstantinov@Unsplash.com.

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My Morning Do . . . Down on the Farm — IV

A Snowy Nostalgia

by tkbrown

20 February 2021 — Growing up in the Ozarks, I was so blessed to experience four distinctive seasons each year. The snows blanketing our country during the past two weeks brought back memories. Just prior to the onset of winter storms Uri and Viola, one of my siblings and I were talking about the winters of our youth bringing much more snow than we have seen in recent decades. We were a bit nostalgic about the memories associated with those snows–at times they were two feet deep or more with drifts three to four feet deep. One Christmas Eve, an older sibling drove in from another state and parked their Volkswagen in front of the house. The next morning, there was just a big hump in the front yard–no visible evidence of the car buried beneath all that snow.

Winter brought with it the excitement of holidays, snows and ice coated trees which I thought were absolutely beautiful with the sun shining through them early in the morning. Riding the bus to school, I often commented on how much I loved seeing that aspect of winter. Other bus riders could not see what I saw. I suppose, in their minds it was too early in the morning and they were still snug in bed and fast asleep. They wanted no part of my icy reveries which threatened to eject them from their warm ones.

On days when conditions were too dangerous for the busses to risk the drive to school, and on weekends, etc., I could enjoy the evidence of Jack Frost’s visit during the night. The etchings on our windows boasted designs far more intricate than most paintings. The beauty of winter escaped many, but I never missed a beat of its cold heart. I loved looking out the windows to see God’s handiwork. Even having to carry in wood and coping with one side of me getting too toasty as it faced the old wood heater while the other side froze could not diminish its value in my heart. To me, even during the season others viewed as representing death in life’s cycle, nature’s beauty surpassed any ugliness that came with it.

My heart goes out to those who suffered hardship and loss during the past couple of weeks. I understand the blessings of modern technologies have allowed many of us to advance beyond the primitive realities associated with the wood heating of my childhood. However, news of the suffering many endured due to the overwhelming frigidness of the temperatures and accompanying snows brought back memories of always being able to stoke a fire in that old wood heater or turn-on the gas heater and kitchen range even as the electricity failed us. Living on the coast and enduring a number of hurricanes, I loved being able to cook a pot of beans and rice or cornbread on that gas range for us to eat until. We never missed a hot meal during a power outage. That is one part of having less than others I have never regretted.

As the days of my childhood grew warmer and steadily longer, springtime dropped in for a visit. When the dogwoods and redbuds began to bloom, I knew spring would soon be in the air. Our springs were long enough to truly enjoy the rebirth of life associated with the cool days of fragrant, variegated greens and yellow greens. The fresh bursts of color in both nature and homestead, and the planting of seeds–as the days grew warmer–from which we would enjoy the produce over the coming year. These were fertile reminders of life budding anew. Springtime in the Ozarks is a rebirth of every aspect of living.

As school let out, days were becoming hotter and longer. Soon, summertime was in full swing. The heat–sometimes blazing heat–in luscious green surroundings seemed to embrace me with appreciation for the growing and reaping to be done. The mouth-waterin’ vegetables, fruits, and berries we harvested each year were my favorite part of livin’ off the soil. I looked forward to the watermelons, the peaches, and other produce peddled to locals by other locals because these were never locally grown in sufficient quantity. The annual hog-killin’ in late July or early August with the fresh tenderloin to follow at breakfast the next morning was usually assisted by cousins from other states. Afterward, we would all gather ’round to enjoy a feast of fresh pork and fresh vegetables from the garden. If we were lucky, the activities of this day coincided with the peach purchase mentioned above, thus prompting a bowl of peaches ‘n cream for dessert. Summertime food was always so delicious. To this day, I love the abundance of produce available during spring, summer, and fall. UUMmMmmmmm!

Fall in the Ozarks blanketed the area with bursts of color on every hillside–red, yellow, orange, and crimson mingled with green and brown–with the cedars etching a bit of evergreen and each frost increasing the browns. Vegetables that had not been harvested from the garden were brought in, preserved, and stored for winter. The Halloween Carnivals (now Fall Festivals) and Thanksgiving only added to the excitement and anticipation of Christmas ahead.

Now, we cannot forget the annual harvest celebration in a neighboring county. As we grew a little older, we could most always see a slew of people we knew at the Hootin’ ‘n Hollerin’ celebration. The Hog Callin’ contest was the most sought after prize of the day. Usually, this prize was taken by a woman ’cause she had looootts o’ practice from callin’ her husband in for supper every night.

When I was young (early childhood–preschool age), the fall also boasted an Annual Pie Supper to benefit the school. I was too young to participate, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching older sisters baking pies to be auctioned off and eaten with the highest bidder. Some of those pies were well-known and sought after–bringin’ a right-good price to compliment and redden the face of some young lass.

Then there was the Annual Talent Show. Local talent turned out in droves to assist in raisin’ funds for our school. As I mentioned above, I was too young for the Pie Supper, but Mama and Daddy were sure to sign me up for the Talent Show. I began singing at the tender age of three. The Pie Suppers and Talent Shows fell by the wayside by the time I reached school age, but I remember the fun they provided all who participated. All of the excitement added to the bliss of those fall days, which were cooler and reminded me of the holidays and winter wonderlands yet to come.

I look back on my growing-up years, and although there were bad times, I do not remember too many of them. I always felt blessed somehow to be a part of all my surroundings–family, neighbors, friends, and nature. I learned so very much from all that I experienced. You just had to be there and see it through my eyes to understand the level of nostalgia felt at times when engrossed in reminiscing those days of yore.

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Photo at the Top: by MikeGoad @pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . “Expectancy”

~~ by tkbrown

14 September 2020 — How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your expectancy of things to come?

When COVID-19 struck with force in March and April of this year, each of us had expectations of things to come. Many were about to graduate–high school, college, grad school. A number of this group were in for great disappointment when announcements were made that graduation ceremonies had been put on hold. Then those ceremonies were backed up again, then again. Some were so upset by the loss, they scheduled their own ceremony, or party. When these events were held, scheduled at the spurious demands of those who had been set aside by the virus, and subsequent illness occurred, who was blamed but the system?

When shelter in place orders were given with guidelines of groups no larger than ten were violated and illness occurred, who was to blame but the system?

When self-quarantining grew old and monotonous, governing bodies were entreated to open beaches and bars. When those requests were denied, it was demanded. The bars were not reopened, but beaches were. Who, but the system, was blamed for resultant spikes in new COVID-19 cases?

Time passed, and it was determined the fall semester would see the reopening of colleges in some areas. As the Fraternities and Sororities began to gather–weeks before the first day of classes–COVID-19 parties were held. Did those students claim responsibility for the subsequent spikes in cases? No! Not a word was said, by the students or by the system, about those parties. Very little was said about the increases in illness–until now. Suddenly, people are blaming the student parties for the resurgence of pandemic illness. Now, who would have thought it? Wait until after the younger students are in classes to blame student parties for more cases of coronavirus.

It seems our expectancy has been a bit out of whack in recent months. Perhaps the extended quarantine is what brought the conundrum about, but we really were not quarantined for that long considering the extensive and extended ramifications of the illness. Perhaps our expectancy was impacted by expectations as they existed prior to the beginning of the pandemic. Whatever the reason, we have expected miraculous treatment rates and cure rates.

No system in the world has successfully controlled the pandemic. Some have fared better than others, but every country has experienced at least one resurgence by now. Some have experienced many. The United States consists of a huge land mass when compared to most other countries in the world. Most of our state areas compare with countries elsewhere in the world. When we look at individual states, many have had moderate success in limiting cases–some initially, others with regard to resurgence. How can our national health agencies accomplish anything without the support of state and local health agencies? How can any of these agencies succeed in minimizing cases if the constituents will not cooperate?

Our expectancy of the governing agencies in our country has become exorbitant. I realize I am only one voice in hundreds of millions. However, I see a need for the constituents to begin speaking out about this. I am begging all who read this to spread the word ‘responsibility.’ Take responsibility for your actions and try to healthfully influence the concepts of responsibility in those around you. Please, lets make it our goal to survive this pandemic by being more responsible in our response to the bacteria. It is a deadly disease! I pray we all will work together on this, for it is the only way we will minimize the destruction meted out by the time a vaccine and/or/treatment is in place. Love, not only your neighbor, but your enemy as well.

Stay Well! Have a Blessed Day!

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Photo Above: by Peggy Marco @ pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . “Acceptance of Others”

~~ by tkbrown

10 September 2020 — Acceptance seems to be shunned in this day and time. The “going thing” seems to be disagreement, protests, and persecution. There seems to be a tendency to equate acceptance with agreement. This perception is not reality based. Acceptance does not necessarily mean agreement.

The news today is filled with disagreement. From domestic disputes to world organizations, disagreement seems to be the norm. While some disagreement is a part of everyday life, and while harmful values are never to be condoned, we–as Christians–are to accept the right of others to be different from us and to believe differently from us. During His life here on earth, Jesus encountered many who were different from Him, but He never ridiculed, persecuted, or punished anyone for being on a different path. He did express rage toward the moneychangers and the merchants in the temple because they were defiling His Father’s house. He did not disagree with “what” they were doing. He disagreed with “where” they were engaging that activity (John 2:13-16 — NKJV).

When He met the Samaritan woman at the well, He discussed aspects of her life–apparently in depth–but He never once ridiculed or persecuted her because of who she was. If He had gone off on a tangent, ranting, raving, and destroying her property, would He have made a positive impression upon her? Would He have made a positive impression upon any of her acquaintances whom she brought back to the well to meet Him? Through the entire event, no one fought anyone to get a point across. Jesus impressed the Samaritan woman and her acquaintances with His acceptance of who they were, not with anger and malice toward them. John 4:39 says, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.'” (NKJV) Jesus impressed upon her that He did not agree with or condone her way of life, but He never harmed her in any way.

My mother frequently referenced the old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” — Anonymous. She was right! That is what Jesus was impressing upon the multitudes as He delivered the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,'” (Matthew 7:12 — NKJV). During His time here on earth, Jesus had many differences of opinion and fact with others, but He never once addressed the issue in a harmful, ridiculing, or disrespectful manner. His responses were always short, kind, and to the point.

In today’s world, there are many different cultures–much the same as the world was in Jesus’ time. As Christians, what is the best way to lead someone to Christ: By lashing out, ranting, and raving at the difference with which we do not agree, or by quietly discussing the difference in what we believe and what the other person(s) believe? Christianity is a program of attraction, not of repulsion. Violence, ranting, and raving does not attract those who love God. We, as Christians, are instructed never to treat someone differently than we would want to be treated if the situation was reversed (John 2:13-16 — NKJV). We are also instructed to love our enemies. Again, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,'” (Matthew 5:44 — NKJV). The news today is filled with difference being addressed in many ways. The question we, as Christians, hold in our heart is: How would I want someone else to deal with me in this same situation? Food for thought in today’s world.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2)

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Sermon on the Mount

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Lesson Scripture — Matthew 5:1-20

1 — “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.”

2 — “Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:”

3 — “‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'”

4 — “‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.'”

5 — “‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.'”

6 — “‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.'”

7 — “‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.'”

8 — “‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.'”

9 — “‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.'”

10 — “‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'”

11 — “‘Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.'”

12 — “‘Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'”

13 — “‘You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.'”

14 — “‘You are the light of the world, A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.'”

15 — “‘Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.'”

16 — “‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.'”

17 — “‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.'”

18 — “‘For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot of one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.'”

19 — “‘Whosoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.'”

20 — “‘For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.'”

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Apostle Selection Completed

Lesson Scripture — Luke 6:12-15

12 — “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.”

13 — “And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:”

14 — “Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,”

15 — “Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot, Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.”

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Luke’s Description of the Sermon on the Mount

Lesson Scripture — Luke 6:17-23

17 — “And He came down with them and stood on the level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases,”

18 — “as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.”

19 — “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.”

20 — “Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: ‘Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'”

21 — “‘Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.'”

22 — “‘Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.'”

23 — “‘Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.'”

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Prophecy Related to Matthew 5:1-20

v5 — Psalm 37:11 — “But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

v6 — Isaiah 55:1 — “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

v6 — Isaiah 65:13, 14

13 —Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed;'”

14 — “‘behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.'”

v7 — Psalm 41:1 — “Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”

v8 — Psalm 15:1-5

1 —Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?”

2 —He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart;”

3 —He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.”

4 —In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;”

5 —He who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.”

v8 — Psalm 24:3-5

3 —Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or, who may stand in His holy place?”

4 —He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.”

5 —He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

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Prophecy Related to Luke 6:17-23

v21 — Isaiah 55:1 — “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the wters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

v21 — Isaiah 65:13

13 — Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed;'”

14 — “‘behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.'”

v21 — Isaiah 61:2, 3

2 —To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,”

3 — to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

v21 — Psalm 126:5, 6

5 —Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

6 —He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Matthew 5:1-20

v1 — Mark 3:13 — “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.”

v2 — Matthew 7:28, 29

28 — “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,”

29 — “for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

v3 — Luke 6:20-23 — (See above.)

v4 — Revelation 21:4 — “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

v5 — Romans 4:13 — “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

v6 — Luke 1:53 — “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.”

v8 — I Corinthians 13:12 — “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

v10 — I Peter 3:14-16

14 — “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled (Isaiah 8:12).'”

15 — “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who askes you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

16 — “having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

v11 — Luke 6:22 (See above.)

v12 — I Peter 4:12-14

12 — “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;”

13 — “but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed you may also be glad–with exceeding joy.”

14 — “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”

v12 — Acts 7:52

52 — “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,”

53 —who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it (Exodus 20:1).'”

v13 — Luke 14:34 — “Salt is good, but if the salt lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?'”

v14 — John 8:12 — “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.'”

v15 — Luke 8:16 — “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.'”

v16 — I Peter 2:11, 12

11 — “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

12 — “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

v16 — John 15:8 — “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be my disciples.'”

v17, 20 — Romans 10:3, 4

3 — “For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

4 — “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

v18 — Luke 16:17 — “‘And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.'”

v19 — James 2:10 — “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

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New Testament Scriptures Related to Luke 6:17-23

v17 — Mark 3:7, 8

7 — “But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea”

8 — “and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan, and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they hard how many things He was doing, came to Him.”

v19 — Matthew 9:21 — “For she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.'”

v19, 20 — Matthew 11:4-6

4 — “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see.'”

5 — “‘The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them,'”

6 — “‘and blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.'”

v20 — Matthew 5:3-12 — (See above.)

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

I apologize for the absence of a post last week. Sometimes things happen and prevent me from completing a post. I do hope you will forgive me when that happens. Thank You!

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As we begin studying the Sermon on the Mount, I would like to note, I have included Jesus’ selection of His additional six apostles as depicted in Luke Chapter 6. Luke’s presentation shows this was immediately followed by the Sermon on the Mount.

The Sermon on the Mount covers much territory and lays the foundation for Christ’s ministry here on earth. For this reason, I will divide it into several parts in order to not overwhelm you, the reader, with too much information to be digested at one time. It is important to understand how Christ’s words tie-in to other Scripture in both the Old and the New Testament.

Christ’s ministry took place under the Old Covenant until His death, we will see the vail protecting the Ark of the Covenant rent into two pieces–top-to-bottom. On the day of Pentecost, Christ’s church was established with form. Prior to this time, His kingdom is always referenced as being ‘at hand.’ After the day of Pentecost, His kingdom is always noted ‘in the present form.’ This means His kingdom was publicly established on the Day of Pentecost — when His church was established with the baptizing of three thousand souls.

Hopefully, this information will help you to ‘rightly divide the word of truth’ as we study the course of Christ’s ministry. However, do your own studying to verify whatever I mention in my notes. Do not ever take another person’s word for what the Bible says. Your salvation depends upon this one factor. The scriptures I present above are directly from the Holy Bible (NKJV). When I make a comment in my notes, verify it in the scriptures. Events noted regarding the vail and Christ’s death will be reviewed as we come to them. Study for yourself and prove all that I put forth in my writing.

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In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus’ teachings show the underdog as more likely to go to heaven than the upper crust. The underdog’s tendency is to present as more meek and merciful and to have faith that studying God’s Word and applying it to daily life leads to purer hearts and righteousness.

Jesus alerts those in his hearing of other people’s tendency to persecute and revile those who follow God–just as they persecuted the prophets. Christ suffered during His life here on earth, and many persecute Him now and deride His teachings and life as untrue. Jesus assures you, when someone persecutes you because you are patterning your life after Him and His teachings, they have their reward already.

These trials are God’s method of refining our Christian hearts and skimming off the impurities each time suffering occurs and is met with a Christ-like attitude. Just as gold must be molten, allowing impurities to rise to the top to be skimmed off, we as Christians must also be refined. We must grow in Christ, increasing in our ability to forgive and move on. This is how maturity in Christ is attained–one trial at a time. This is also how our lives become a living example amidst a sea of worldly souls. Our lives become the light–beacon, if you will–leading others to Christ. This is why we are the salt of the earth.

Never be ashamed to stand up for what is right and be different. This is what Christianity promotes. This, and our faith, is what makes us Christlike–awaiting a home with Him in heaven.

There are those who, even today, say Jesus came to destroy the Old Covenant. He assured the crowd and His apostles this was not so. He came to fulfill the Old Covenant, and until all is fulfilled and heaven and earth pass away, not one iota of the law is destroyed. Anyone who breaks the commandments set forth by the law and by Jesus will never be great in heaven. In order to see heaven, Jesus said our righteousness must be greater than that of the scribes and the Pharisees.

Moving on to Luke’s presentation of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we see that just prior to this sermon, Jesus chose six more disciples to be a part of His twelve apostles. All followers of Christ were, and still are, known as His disciples. However, only thirteen have been called apostles of Christ. When Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, he revealed his enslavement to Satan, with whom he will spend eternity. Saul of Tarsus was subsequently appointed as the replacement apostle. We know Saul as Paul. He was one of the most grateful, for his sins prior to conversion had been great, and he was the first to admit this. Thus, he worked hard to teach others about Christ and His salvation.

Luke words his portrayal of the Sermon on the Mount a bit different, as we have seen in previous lessons, but it means much the same. He shows that those who have little are more likely to seek God through Christ and to be blessed. Those who have much are not interested in God’s blessings.

In the next lesson, we will continue reviewing the Sermon on the Mount. This is where the parables begin. Each teaches a valuable lesson for living the Christian life. Come back and join us in the feast God’s Word and Christ’s teachings provide, leading to the ultimate reward of a home with Them in heaven. Have a Blessed Week in Christ’s love!

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Lesson One -- Scripture: Zacharias to Have Son . . . 
Lesson Two -- Scripture: Jesus Birth Foretold . . . 
Lesson Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' Son, John, is Born . . . 
Lesson Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . . 
Lesson Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . . 
Lesson Six -- Scripture: John Begins His Ministry . . . 
Lesson Seven -- Scripture: Jesus is Introduced to the World . . . 
Lesson Eight -- Scripture: Jesus' Ancestral Lineage
Lesson Nine -- Scripture: Jesus is Tempted By Satan
Lesson Ten -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 1)
Lesson Eleven -- Scripture: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2)

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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Jesus is Tempted by Satan

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Matthew 4:1-11

1 — “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

2 — “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”

3 — “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.'”

4 — “But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”

5 — “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple.”

6 — “and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you.’ and ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”

7 — “Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

8 — “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.”

9 — “And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.'”

10 — “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve.'”

11 — “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

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Prophecy

v4 — Deuteronomy 8:3 — “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

v6 — Psalm 91:11, 12

11 — “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

12 — “In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

v7 — Deuteronomy 6:16 — “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v11 — James 4:7 — “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

v11 — Hebrews 1:14 — “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will inherit salvation?”

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Mark 1:11-13

11 — “Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

12 — “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.”

13 — “And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with wild beasts, and the angels ministered to Him.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v11 — Matthew 3:17 — “And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, ‘This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

v11 — Matthew 12:17, 18

17 — “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying;”

18 — “‘Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.'”

v12 — Matthew 4:1-11 (See above.)

v12 — Matthew 4:10, 11 (See above.)

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Luke 4:1-14

1 — “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”

2 — “being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterword, when they had ended, He was hungry.”

3 — “And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.'”

4 — “But Jesus answered him saying, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'”

5 — “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment in time.”

6 — “And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.'”

7 — “‘Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.'”

8 — “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”

9 — “Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.'”

10 — “‘For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you.'”

11 — “‘and, ‘in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”

12 — “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

13 — “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.”

14 — “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.”

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Prophecy

v4 — Deuteronomy 8:3 — “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

v8 — Deuteronomy 6:13 — “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him and shall take oaths in His name.”

Deuteronomy 10:20 — “You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name.”

v9 — Matthew 4:5-7 (See above.)

v10 — Psalm 91:11 — “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

v11 — Psalm 91:12 — “In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

v12 — Deuteronomy 6:16 — “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v1 — Matthew 4:1-11 (See above.)

v13 — Hebrews 4:15 — “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

v14 — John 4:43 — “Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.”

v14 — Acts 10:37 — “. . . that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached.”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Here, I have presented the Scriptures which portray Jesus’ forty days and forty nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness when Satan tempted Him. These Scriptures are found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. While there may be slight differences in the wording of each account of the event, these are no more than would be found if three witnesses in a court of law presented accounts of a specific incident. This is important in the fact that all three testimonials also coordinate with Old Testament prophecy related to these Scriptures and with related Scriptures in the New Testament. Thus, we have ‘rightly divided the Word of Truth’ with regard to this event in Jesus’ life.

Forty days and forty nights is a long time to be without food, but this was done to show that Jesus’ Spirit form and the angels ministering to Jesus was sufficient to satisfy His human needs. This is another example of how God takes care of those who do His will. Jesus was tempted of Satan so we can know He understands the temptations we endure at Satan’s hand.

As our High Priest, Jesus’ understanding of our weaknesses regarding temptation is important. Had He never come to Earth in human form, He could never have truly understood our weakness or the desire to give in when Satan tempts us. God realized this was a faltering point in His righteous understanding of these weaknesses in man. Thus, Jesus understanding of the tendency to give in to temptations gives Him the ability to ‘argue our case’ with God and mediate with Him on our behalf. Hebrews 4:15 tells us this was God’s plan. We can look at the Scripture presented in Romans 3:21-26 to see how this all fits together.

Romans 3:21-26

21 — “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,”

22 — “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;”

23 — “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

24 — “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

25 — “whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,”

26 — “to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

This well-known passage from Romans chapter 3 ties in to Satan’s temptation of Jesus and of man in his struggles to overcome temptation. God’s righteousness puts Him in a position of not fully understanding these trials. Through the centuries, the Jewish Law as given to Moses on Mount Sinai allowed Jesus’ forbearance and atonement (propitiation) of their sins to go back and cover all those sins that God had passed over before Christ was born. Now, God is shown to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

Jesus is now ready to begin His ministry on Earth. In our next lesson, we will see Jesus begin to select His disciples as he begins to preach and to teach the multitudes. Join us as we look closely at each account of this process as presented in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

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Lesson One -- Scripture: Zacharias to Have Son . . . 
Lesson Two -- Scripture: Jesus' Birth Foretold . . . 
Lesson Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' Son, John, is Born . . . 
Lesson Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . . 
Lesson Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . .
Lesson Six -- Scripture: John Begins His Ministry . . . 
Lesson Seven -- Scripture: Jesus is Introduced to the World . . . 
Lesson Eight -- Scripture: Jesus' Ancestral Lineage
Lesson Nine -- Scripture: Jesus is Tempted By Satan

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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My 2-cents Worth!

by tkbrown

Mom and Pop Butcher Shops Needed

I keep reading about the impact of COVID-19 on the meat industry. From my perspective, the old time Mom and Pop Butcher shops need to come back. They could work with individual beef farmers in the area to provide meat to the local regions. One region may require many of these to provide for individual communities.

To survive the severity of the virus, we are going to have to rethink some of the old ways and bring them back. This will provide local employment — on a small scale — and the meat will be butchered by local people. It can then be sold to individuals as “a side of beef” for those who have the freezer space to store it, or to the stores in bulk.

The same would go for pork and poultry. The pork can be butchered in the same shops as the beef, just on different days. The poultry can be done in a separate shop.

Think about it! I know there are people out there who can do this! I have faith in you! Come on! We all have-to pull together to get through this. Have you ever participated in a “rope pull?” One or two cannot pull it alone, it takes a whole crew. That is what this is going to take! Give it a try!

I believe it can be done! Let me know what You think!!!!!

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Image above by Public Domain Pictures on pixabay.com.

Notable Quote . . .

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

~~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Notes:     by tkbrown
Rather aptly said, even for today -- don't you think?