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I Kings 5-6:38

Went looking up Cedar and Cypress (Translated as Fir in King James) and found out a lot about the Cedars of Lebanon. Although there are only about three-hundred remaining due to them being a hot commodity even before Jesus was born, the Ciders of Lebanon are the most impressive of all Cedar Trees. Of the ones still standing, about a dozen are more then 1,000 years old with the youngest being about 200. They measure 40 to 50 feet in girth and are extremely dense, growing in an altitude of more than 5,000 feet. The wood is so dense it is considered virtually indestructible. Although the wood is sweet smelling it is bitter to the taste keeping out insects.

One can see why this wood was so prized and why Solomon wanted to use it to build a temple that would represent an indestructible God who is also incorruptible.

Acts 7:1-29

Of everything, Stephen preaches/teaches about in his speech, the following has caught my imagination,

22 Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he became mighty in both speech and action.

If Moses was mighty in “speech” while in Egypt, had he lost his ability to speak “mightily” while he tended sheep in the desert for forty years after killing the Egyptian or was he using false humility? If he had indeed succumb to that “Use it or Loose It” saying, the lose would require him to rely totally on God for the words he would need to speak to the people he had been sent to deliver and to Pharaoh, very interesting.

Do we have to be brought to a place of total incompetence in the use of the gifts we think we have before God will use us? Moreover, if the gift is in our control would we give the glory to God or would we take it for ourselves: just a thought.

Psalm 127

How fitting that this Psalm that begins with,

1 Unless the LORD builds a house,
the work of the builders is useless. Unless the LORD protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good,

follows the New Testament reading that has captured my imagination and thoughts.

Proverbs 16:28-30

I heard a statement by the late Ed Cole of the Christian Men’s Network, “You can’t make peace with someone who has hate in their heart.” The three verses seem to validate his statement. So how do you influence a troublemaker and or a violent person to come to change/repent? I once tried to reason with some men who were known to be sexual predators in a Church Bible Study, but most of them were trying to convert me to their way of thinking as I was trying to convert them to the wisdom of the Bible. Any suggestions out there?

>>Like me, have you ever struggled with gossip? How have you been able to stop yourself from gossiping about others?>>

Yes, gossip is soooo easy to fall into because when we our outside of getting our value from Christ, gossip lowers the person or people we are dishing the dirt on in our eyes and in the eyes of others. We are rising ourselves up above the objects of our poison tongue by standing on their backs, which is the sin of Satan. Gossip may be hard to identify by people who are raised in families who gossip (Abnormality seems normal because it is so common), so stopping that behavior may require very severe actions. I have developed the following method, I say, “O, no—that’s not good—let’s pray for them.” The person is usually so shocked that they are stopped right in their tracks and usually hurry off or change the conversations. By the way, I have had only one person to take me up on that offer and when we held hands to pray their hands were like dead fish.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

It's so nice to see my country and its Cedars mentioned in the Holy Bible. I went last summer to Tyre and then to the mountains (which are far from Tyre by the way. Tyre is in the South and the Cedars are up north) the magnificent Cedar forests and I couldn't believe how marvelous these trees are. Now I also understand why the Christians fought for years to stay in Lebanon keeping it the only country in the area with more than a thousand churches and a Christian president. Blessings.

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