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We have had some discussion where I am about the Babylon of the Revelation. And it seems that it could very well have been Rome and its impending burning. It could also be viewed that London once burned soon after becoming the center of the commerce universe right before the Church began to undergo massive reformation in England. It certainly fits the profile of merchants with sailing vessels making their fortunes off of her.

I think Babylon goes beyond borders, however. I would argue that she is spiritual and not just bordered around Iraq. Ever since the work of the Law began, to convict us within our hearts of right and wrong, she has worked against it, to try and give us permission to make decisions to transcend right and wrong. She was with Baal in the desert. She was with David on his way to Bathsheba's bed. She taught Israel how to play the harlot on the high places. She was with Judas, who was trying to force Christ to make His kingdom come by betraying Him. She breathed inspiration into the Gnostics. She whispered rage into the ears of the Inquisition and into the ears of the Crusaders. She raises up Hitlers and Stalins as her champions. She champions Hugh Heffner and a thousand other such slime balls who devalue man's help mate. She leads our children on a hundred meaningless tirades on MySpace, on a popularity contest with faceless digital people. She gives them permission to be busy with a thousand poorly performed arts instead of learning the good skills of five well performed arts.

Her maddening wine is a vintage we have smelled and partaken of for millenia. And the day that she burns, the day that she is cast into the ocean... many will lose their fortunes. But after she is gone, we will know the powers behind her and the powers that opposed her. And we will see how lovely the latter is and how unstomachable the former has always been.

Babylon the great is the spirit that opposes God and leads His people away from the still small voice.

"The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows."

a person can tell that the LORD protects and cares for the orphans and widows as he cares for my cousins's widow. Vera had a child 2 years before chris passed away and now I know that God didn't want Vera to be alone, because God knew he was going to take Chris to heaven and Vera needed a companion here on earth to love unconditionaly. His name is Harrison.

I believe the language in the graphic for Psalm 146 is Dutch . . . I want to thank God and you, Mike, for this resource and for the encouragement to continue reading God's Word every day!

It just struck me that given the photos, the language in the graphic is more likely Afrikaans, the form of Dutch spoken in South Africa.

(4) more days then we get to start all over again!
Can't hardly wait!
To praise and Glorify our Lord and GOD every day thru Prayer & Daily Bible reading. Please give me the Wisdom and a loving Heart that only you... My Lord can bestow upon me!!!! AMEN!

The language is indeed Dutch.
It's a prayer to God for
all who are sick and lonely.
For all, who feel so small and unimportant.
For those who can't laugh.
For those who live under pressure.
For those who don't speak nice to others and hurt them.
For those who don't sing anymore.
Also for those who feel themselves rich.
For those who live with hate.
For all of those I pray to You - especially for those who don't ask You -
to try it one day with You.
And to see: You are true and strong.

Not all of it I translated, but this gives the idea of what has been written.

Proverbs chapter 30 verse 33. I am glad you brought this up. Its not a joke, I thought it only occurred in my family. You must know my family oh so well..I thought I saw us on Jerry Springer the other day..I have two "Drama Queens" that claim they are the only sisters in the world and I am the eldest sister. Yes, they are both younger then me. They depend on their friends more then me. I have prayed that one day they will call me up and say hey come do something with me, or I love you or something. But for 15 years nothing has happened.

Do I give up? NO, I gave it to the Lord as of Sunday. Yes, I know I have held on to this for way too long but I thought I could change their mind but I was wrong. Only God can handle this one. I had something happen to me that was an eye opener. I won't tell it here cause it hurt too much, but God will take care of my sisters and will show them the way one day. :) I am sad, but God will take care of this.

I love todays Psalm, and hey, I just identify the language ... LOL ... it's Dutch!!! My language!!! You knew that ... didn't you?

I'm glad God protects foreigners, orphans and widows. See, there's a limit on what we can do as regular citizens. I'm not poor, but I'm not rich either ... what I'm trying to say is that I cannot care for them as much as I wish I could. One thing I do know is that Holland is a good country refering to the social securities. But as far as other countries go ... well ... that's when I'm so happy that The Lord protects them! When I'm in Bali, my heart cries when I see the orphans ... it's so awful! It's undecided yet if my husband and I have another child, but if we do, we are pretty sure to adopt one. Next Summer we'll be taking care of a little girl for 3 weeks. It's a European programm for poor children ... I just can't wait!!!!!!

"As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels." ~ Hmmmmm ... I react in all situations how I want to react. I can't hold in anger or irritations. I have to get it all out in the open. Of course I make sure not to hurt someone, but I cannot keep things in my body. My parents and brother are the exact same way, it's how we were brought up. Sometimes there would be quarrels, but that's fine. At least we would all know how we felt and we could talk about it. My dads family are complicated people, for them I pray, I pray that they will get insights and see the light of Jesus some day. As long as they cannot live in peace together as brothers and sisters (my uncles and aunts), I want to stay away from them. And all I can do is pray for them, wishing them wisdom. And indeed, hoping they will put it all out in the open some day. My dad stays away from them to, from most of them, but it's sad ... it's his family!

After reading today's verses in Zechariah 11, it occurred to me that many self-professed Christians are still trying to purchase Jesus' services with the money they throw His way.

A check is tossed casually into the offering plate and then demands are made. "God, I need you to do this. God, please hurry up and do that. God, why haven't you done what I asked yet?" Many treat Him as if He is a slave at our beck and call. We order Him around as if He owes us something! We assume that just because we go to church on Sunday and put a little something in the offering plate that He is somehow obligated to perform for us.

Granted, we have a right to all of God's promises that were purchased for us at the greatest price ever - the blood of Jesus! However, we are not to act as spoiled, selfish children who say, "Gimme, gimme, gimme!" but expect to give very little ourselves. Instead, we should be willing to give Him our very lives...that's what dying to self and becoming born again is all about! Die and let Jesus live in us!

How is that done? By giving and giving and giving and giving. Give not only some of your money, but be willing to give however much God tells you to give! In addition, give your time, talent, and whatever resources you have available. If you will do this with no strings attached, then you can automatically expect - not demand - Him to give back to you pressed down, shaken together, and running over!

God does not want us to be His slaves; He wants us to be His servants. There is no greater honor than to serve the King of kings and the Lord of lords! Is He a King in your life, or just a slave expected to jump when you snap your self-righteous fingers? It would be wise to check your heart on that.

If you find you have been thowing money His way and then getting upset when He doesn't perform fast enough for you or doesn't do something you want Him to do, then you have major repenting to take care of. The beauty of it though is that when we confess our sin, He is truly just to forgive us of the sin AND to cleanse us of all the unrighteousness associated with that sin.

Once you have taken care of that, take back your 30 pieces of silver and ask the King what he would like you to give...then give it with a cheerful heart knowing He will never ask you to give something that will harm you...He only wants to bless you! So...give to the King today!

I just received this E-mail from a friend today. I believe that you will find much Godly wisdom from these words. Some good thoughts to help us conclude 2007 and offer hope in 2008. The title of the writing has to do with stress. We have all dealt with this and probably more so during the holidays.

Stress

A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I
hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. "As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden".

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden
of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can."

So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now.
Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a
while.

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens
of life:
* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some
days you're the statue.
* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
* Always read stuff that will make you look good if
you die in the middle of it.
* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be
recalled by their maker.
* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to
be vague.
* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person
again, it was probably worth it.
* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.
* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same
time, because then you
won't have a leg to stand on.
* Nobody cares if you can't dance well.
Just get up and dance.
* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the
bird, sleep late.
* The second mouse gets the cheese.
* When everything's coming your way,
you're in the wrong lane.
* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
* You may be only one person in the world, but you
may also be the world
to one person.
* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
* We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are
sharp, some are pretty and
some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are
different colors, but
they all have to live in the same box.
*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

I hope that you enjoyed this short little essay as much as I did. I am not sure who it was originally written by. This wisdom is very simply stated and offers much to think about.

Happy New Year everyone.
Laura

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