Thoughts: A short, declarative sentence: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”
So our Bible begins. And so, with no doubts, no attempted explanations, but with complete faith, let us accept this statement.
“Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars; I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.” - Carl Boberg
Discussion: What other explanations have you heard for the creation of the world?
Activity: Every day this week, thank God for one particular beauty of the month of June.
Thoughts: One of Jesse’s sons is God’s choice for the second king of Israel. The prophet Samuel is directed to go to Jesse’s home in Bethlehem to anoint the new king. Samuel is not told which son God has chosen.
The Bible gives us the names of the first three sons – Eliab, Abindab, and Shammah – and the youngest son – David. We have invented names for the four unnamed sons and have endowed the first seven sons with distinctive characteristics.
The oldest son Eliab is tall and handsome.
Samuel: Surely this fine-looking first born is the son you have chosen to be king.
God: Do not look upon his appearance or the height of his stature, because…I do not see as mortals see; they look upon the outward appearance, but I look upon the heart.
The second son Abinadab is the father of twelve children.
Samuel: Abinadab is a kind and patient father – the very qualities a good king should have.
God: Samuel, never confuse the ability to sire children with the ability to govern a kingdom.
The third son Shammah is a dedicated scholar of the Jewish scriptures.
Samuel: this son must be the one you have chosen to be king – a man who knows the scriptures.
God: A good memory does not qualify a man to be king, Samuel. Move on.
The fourth son Lamech is an ardent politician – but his wife Adah wants equal power. Lamech and Adah scream at each other and rush off stage.
Samuel: I take it he’s not the one.
God: We have not seen the future king of Israel yet, Samuel.
The fifth son Zelophehad is a professional basketball player for the Bethlehem Bobcats.
Samuel: Everyone admires an athlete. This young man is energetic – popular –
God: A king needs to do more than bring the ball down the floor and set picks, Samuel.
The sixth son Nahum is a reporter for the Bethlehem Banner.
Samuel: How about Nahum, God? He concentrates – he has great command of the language – he could communicate well with the people.
God: We’re not looking for by-lines, Samuel. See the next son.
The seventh son Hadrach is an officer in Israel’s navy.
Samuel: A military man is organized, efficient, accustomed to giving orders – an excellent background for a king.
God: But Hadrach is not my choice.
So the youngest son David is called in from the field where he has been watching his father’s sheep.
God: Samuel, I have chosen David to be the next king of Israel. Rise and anoint him.
Discussion: What were Samuel’s thoughts when God told him to anoint David as the next king?
Activity: Reconsider your first opinion of a young person. Could he/she be chosen by God?
Thoughts: Jesus chose his twelve disciples. Then he went home.
It was not to be a restful visit. Crowds surrounded his mother’s home, the local people questioning his sanity, and the Jerusalem scribes accusing him of working with Satan to perform his miracles. Jesus told the crowd that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
More titles have been taken from the Bible than from any other written source. House Divided is the title for a novel set during the Civil War. A wealthy white Southern family discovered from family records that they were related to President Lincoln, whom they detested. One of their ancestors had fathered a child by a kitchen maid. This child was Nancy Hanks, who became the mother of Abraham Lincoln.
The Bible was one of the few books available to Lincoln while he was growing up, and he knew it very well. Indeed, he could quote long sections of the Bible from memory.
When Lincoln was nominated for the Senate in 1858, the country was dangerously divided on the subject of slavery. In his acceptance speech, Lincoln quoted Mark 3:25: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This speech attracted national attention and helped elevate Lincoln to the Presidency.
Discussion: What unnecessary divisions arise in daily life?
Activity: Surprise someone with your sweet reasonableness when he/she disagrees with you.
Thoughts: Teeny’s Barber Stop was closed on Sundays. So was Violet’s Beauty Shop. Likewise closed were the Friesenhengst Dry Goods, Mac’s Grocery, the Ritz Movie Theatre, and Gibby’s Tavern.
Bun’s Filling Station and Harry’s Gas Station, both on State Highway 150, took turns staying open on Sundays.
All five churches – Pilgrim Holiness, Christian, Catholic, Church of Christ, and Methodist – were open for Sunday morning services and Sunday evening services.
Big Sunday dinners were prepared on Saturday, and usually there were guests for Sunday dinner. “Don’t worry about the dishes,” my mother would reassure the guests. “The girls will do them.” The girls had un-Christian thoughts.
Sunday afternoons were spent visiting, reading, writing letters, and playing Bible Lotto.
“. . . the heart of me weeps to belong to the old Sunday evenings at home . . . My manhood is cast down in a flood of remembrance. I weep like a child for the past.”
Discussion: How have your Sundays changed through the years?
Activity: Try recreating one part of your childhood Sundays.
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