Pray Without Ceasing

Hi there!

Today I added the following excerpt as an ‘update’ to my Categories/Posts  “Pray On The Potty” and “Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter”.  The full article from which the excerpt was taken can be found at http://utmost.org/thinking-of-prayer-as-jesus-taught/ . Here goes:

“The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops.

Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. “Pray without ceasing…”— maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.”

End of excerpt. The “pray without ceasing” quote came from 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Until later,

Fred

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Foods And Additives To AVOID Like The Plague!!

Hi, there!

I received an article today from a health website I subscribe to  ( http://www.naturalnews.com/ ) and wanted to pass this valuable information along to you. I have edited Number 2 at the Post “You Are A Temple Of God: Helpful Health Hints” to include this article from http://www.naturalnews.com/046237_pesticides_GMOs_food_toxins.html :

Pesticides

Over 400 pesticides are licensed for use on America’s foods, and every year over 2.5 billion pounds are dumped on croplands, forests, lawns, and fields. In a single meal, a person could easily consume residues of a dozen different neurotoxic or carcinogenic chemicals.

Yet, the Office of Pesticide Programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not include the potential for multiple exposures to the same pesticide when calculating permitted residual levels of a given compound. EPA scientists have found that, at any time, if these residues were totaled, they would exceed 500 percent of the daily-allowed intake.

Furthermore, these chemicals have not been tested for human safety, and the EPA does not have a scientifically acceptable method for determining the risk for multiple exposures.

Growth hormones

Bovine growth hormone (BGH) is a genetically engineered, synthetic version of a hormone naturally produced by cows. Its purpose is to increase a cow’s milk production by as much as 25 percent. It is estimated that BGH is injected into 30 percent of all milk-producing cows.

The FDA’s approval of BGH was in large part due to a Monsanto Corporation (the manufacturer of BGH) study of rats that had been fed milk laced with BGH. Originally, the FDA reported no traces of BGH were found in the rat’s blood, but it was later found officials from FDA never read the entire report and it was found that 20-30 percent of rats did have traces of BGH in their bloodstream and some developed thyroid cysts.

It’s become difficult to avoid BGH because the FDA does not require labeling of BGH laced products. In fact, Monsanto helped sponsor federal legislation (which passed) that prevents milk producers from labeling their products as being free of BGH, even when they are.

Additives

Approximately 2000 food additives – artificial colors and flavors, stabilizing agents, texturizers, sweeteners, and antimicrobials are permitted in America’s food supply. Studies show that some additives may be carcinogenic, such as various food dyes, including Yellow Dye No. 5, which is found in breakfast cereals, soft drinks, ice cream, candy, bakery products, and pasta.

Additives to avoid include aspartame, bromated vegetable oil, BHA and BHT, MSG, nitrites, saccharin, sulfites, and various food dyes.

GMOs

The proliferation of genetically modified organisms is another example of the devastating effects agribusiness has had on our food supply. These foods break down the fundamental genetic barriers and permanently alter the genetic code of the plant by combining them with the genes of dissimilar and unrelated species.

Scores of companies are now using gene-splicing technology to produce never before seen genetic combinations. According to a survey of field tested crops conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 93 percent of genetic changes are performed to make food productions and processing easier and more profitable, and only 7 percent are done to improve nutrients or taste.

If you have food sensitivities, your next serving of corn, soybeans or tomatoes may be a kind of Trojan horse, bringing unsuspected allergens and toxins into your body. It’s even more alarming to know that there has been almost no safety testing and since the altered substances are not listed on food labels, there is no way of knowing which foods contain them.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.healingthebody.ca/reasons-food-is-hurting-you/

End of article.

Here is an article concerning the extreme danger of GMOs:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/06/genetic-modification.aspx

End of article.

Your best bet is to consume as much ‘organic’ food as is possible and available. It may cost a little more, but as the old saying goes: “pay the farmer or pay the doctor”.

Certain  organic and real ‘natural’ foods as well as certain food supplements are said to help eliminate the above mentioned toxins from our bodies. You might want to do a Google search on this subject.

And, of course, you should check first with your health practitioner to see if you are suitable to try or use any suggestions or recommendations made in any Post here.

Hope to see you later.

Fred

NOTE: Any information quoted here is either from other websites or  other sources at my disposal, including my own experiences. You should double check and verify any information you intend to use personally as data from websites can be in error as can that from my sources at home.

That said, I make ever effort to verify the information from the different websites and sources I use at home before presenting it here.

 

Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter

Hi, there!

We all have had those times in prayer when we felt like nothing was accomplished, and even felt somewhat guilty because of our seemingly fruitless effort. We couldn’t “get spiritual” in our frame of mind and/or there was that constant bombardment of unsolicited thoughts. This is abundantly true especially in the early stages of our Christian journey.

If we are persistent in a faithful walk, these problems will be taken care of by the Holy Spirit….not only in time, but at the present:

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness ; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”. Romans 8:26

Even if we struggle often in prayer, rest assured that what is necessary and has to be said to the Father and Christ Jesus on our behalf is ALWAYS automatically taken care of by the Holy Spirit within us (again, Romans 8:26!!). Never feel as though you have to “perform” in any prescribed manner when praying formally or informally. The MOST IMPORTANT consideration here is that we are going to Them, however feeble our efforts may be.

And, Christ Jesus, Himself,  is ALWAYS there making intercession (“pleading”….Concordant Literal New Testament) on our behalf on every front. Romans 8:34

Let’s not forget Matthew 6:8: “for your Father does know those things that you have need of before your asking Him.”.

Finally, a prayer of thanksgiving is an excellent approach when coming before our Father and Christ Jesus. Just start thanking Them for any and everything that comes to mind….not only the “good stuff” they give us but for our least and worst trials, as well as our failures. Those failures should lead us to depend on Them more than ever!

Sometimes, as brought out in the Post on “God’s Silent Treatment”, it is good that we just come to Them in silence. If monkey chatter persists, usually repeating in our minds or verbally “Lord”, “Lord God”, “Father”, “Jesus” or similar words will keep the intrusive thoughts at bay.

And, your position in formal prayer should not be an issue: my favorite is lying in bed where I am very comfortable. (You might want to reference the Post “Pray On The Potty”)

The most important consideration is that we are coming to Them, giving Them our attention….as such, They and the Spirit within us will take care of the rest!

I would like to leave you with these words about prayer from Oswald Chambers that can be found at http://utmost.org/thinking-of-prayer-as-jesus-taught/, along with his other 364 daily entries. Here goes:

“The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops.

Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. “Pray without ceasing…”— maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.”

End of excerpt. The “pray without ceasing” quote came from 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Later, in Christ,

Fred

Lazarus and the Rich Man

Hey, there! There are so many takes on Luke 16:19-31 about Lazarus and the rich man. Many, if not most, believe that it is just another parable while a good number have no doubt it is a real story. After all, a real place is mentioned (“hades” or “hell”, as the KJV has it) and even Abraham and Moses are in the picture.

If it is real, it certainly shows that there is not only consciousness after death but that sinners and unbelievers can even be in “torment” until the Great White Throne Judgement and after.

Let’s look at these verses step by step and see how they hold up to what the other scriptures say, and not just depend on our human reasoning and logic, tainted as they may be by false, religious traditions we have encountered in the past.

It is extremely important that we realize we are dealing with the “soul” of the rich man and the “soul” of Lazarus….so, what the scriptures say about the “soul” apply here. The entire person composed of the (human) spirit, the (human) body and the (human) soul is NOT under consideration….only the “soul”.

At death, ONLY the “soul” actually makes its way to “hades” (or “hell” as the KJV has it). “Hades” [ or “hell” as the KJV has it] is best defined as the  “unseen” and that is the destiny of the soul when a person dies (Psa.9:17; Acts 2:27,31).  On the other hand, the “spirit” returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) and the “body” returns to the soil (Genesis 3:19 and others). All 3 (body, soul,spirit) go their separate ways when a person dies.

In this narrative about Lazarus, we are exclusively dealing with “hades” (or “hell”, as the KJV has it) and the “souls” pertaining to the rich man, Lazarus and Abraham. And, please also keep in mind the REAL “hell” (or, as it is properly translated,”hades” in Greek and “sheol” in Hebrew) is NOT the fire and brimstone fantasy concocted by false traditions and misguided religious organizations but is best described and defined by the Concordant New Testament Greek-English Keyword Concordance  as “unseen”….or, “not perceptible by any senses, imperceptible”. Please reference the Post on “Hell” for further clarification.

This brings us to our first clue: the rich man asks for some water to cool his tongue in verse 24.  Oops….no tongues are allowed in “hades” (or “hell” in KJV)!!! If this was a real story, after the rich man was entombed,  the tongue would have remained with the body and eventually decayed physically (“returned to the soil”). Only the “soul” can make its way into “hell” or “hades”. This definitely is starting to look like a parable!

Next, Jesus NEVER taught the “crowds” spiritual truths and realities except by parables:

“Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables, and He would not speak anything to them without a parable”. (Matthew 13:34)

This story of Lazarus is being told to a “CROWD” of Pharisees (Luke 16:14)! Utt oh, this pretty much clinches it….we are obviously dealing with a parable.

But, let’s continue.

This doesn’t mean that Jesus did not teach His “disciples” in parables, because He did (Luke 16:1). But, He also taught them  spiritual truths and realities WITHOUT parables such as the “sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5:1 and Luke 6:20: “and His disciples came to Him”. He never taught the “crowds” (non-disciples) in “plain language”, ONLY in parables (Matthew 13:34).

Another major reason this is obviously a parable is attested to in 3 other scriptures in the Bible, or 3 other “witnesses”, if you will.

The following 3 verses clearly show that there is no consciousness for a person when she or he dies (or “sleeps”) ….much less memory, various actions, plans, etc.. You can reference the Posts on “Death” and “Hell” if you like.

Psalm 6:5: “For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks?” (New King James)

Psalm 146:4: “His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish.” (New King James)

Ecclesiastes 9:5: “For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing” (New King James)

Coupled with this is the fact that the “soul” does not and cannot experience “life”, sensation, etc. unless and until there is the joining of the (human) spirit and (human) body first: “Yahweh Elohim formed the human out of soil from the ground, and He blew in to his nostrils the breath of life; and the human BECAME A LIVING SOUL.”. (Genesis 2:7….emphasis mine….Concordant Literal Old Testament, Rotherham’s and The Companion Bible are all similar in properly translating it “soul”).

And, the soul is actually in the blood: “for the soul of all flesh, it is in the blood” (Lev.17:11, Concordant Old Testament and Companion Bible). Where there is no human blood….there is no human soul (or, life, consciousness, etc.).

As a side note: This is why animals and humans can be said to have a “soul”….because they have blood flowing within them. Even though plants, vegetation and the like are “living organisms”, they are never said to have a “soul” because they have no blood….meaning, they have no consciousness nor any type of feelings. If you chop a tree down, rest assured it feels no pain!

Now, when the combination of these 3 elements (spirit, body, soul) is dissolved at death (as in Psalm 146:4 above) the soul returns  to where it was before it became a “living soul” when the human body and human spirit merged….i.e., back to  total unconsciousness (Psalm 6:5 and Ecclesiastes 9:5).

There are quite a number of additional factors which also show the story of Lazarus is dealing with fiction (a parable) to reveal a (Holy) spiritual truth but I will just mention one other. Notice in Luke 16:1, Jesus starts that PARABLE with “and there was a rich man”; and, notice in this PARABLE about Lazarus He also begins in verse 19: “and there was a rich man”.

Bottom line: This is a dramatic and FICTIONAL PARABLE to illustrate a (Holy) spiritual truth and reality that the Pharisees would have no clue of grasping. The parable was meant to illustrate that truly evil, sinful people, who have their hearts set on living in darkness and without God, WILL NOT CHANGE….even, if someone from their family literally came back and told them about their sad mistakes and illusions, and about what lies ahead for them in the way of punishment.

Later, in Christ,

Fred

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