Kneeling In The NFL

 

football player on bended knees
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

NFL Protesters

 

The meeting was private. In attendance were a dozen muscular, well known millionaires. Their focus? How to use their fame and status to make a point. From their perspective, the police in America were out of control, shooting innocent, unarmed black men and boys. What can they do with their combined wealth and influence to solve this tragic problem?

Ideas were tossed back and forth until one of the men said, “I will refuse to stand when they play the National Anthem. This will call attention to this messed up situation in our country.”

At first he was alone as he knelt and bowed his head at the next game. The reaction was immediate and varied. Some called it stupid and irresponsible. Some thought it was a good idea. Then, as is always the case, more men joined in and refused to stand for the National Anthem. Now we have their attention, they thought. Now things will change. Did they? Unfortunately, the incidence of black men and boys dying at the hands of the police did not cease or diminish.

And the refusal to stand? The NFL has now decreed there will be no further kneeling football players during the National Anthem. If they plan to kneel, they must stay in the locker room while the anthem is playing. Then they shall come onto the field.

So what have those millionaire athletes accomplished by thumbing their noses at the American tradition of standing during the National Anthem? Well one consequence is they forced the owners to make the recalcitrant kneelers wait it out in the locker room during the National Anthem. After all, who cares about the anthem recognizing our country and its rich history; The country that has allowed these players to become wealthy and famous from doing what they enjoy doing?

My question to these role models is this: If you are actually concerned about increased violence and shooting deaths of black men and boys by police officers, what might you do about finding a solution? You have fame and wealth, people listen to you and you can afford to support a group or study aimed at discovering a solution. Wouldn’t that be more worthwhile than kneeling during the National Anthem?

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Enriched Flour. What is it?

 

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This article taken from, ahealthiermichigan.org. Copyright listed below.

I was never one to read food labels. . .That was one of several reasons I found it difficult to conquer my obesity for over two decades. . .When someone tried to inform me of all the unhealthy ingredients in pizza, pasta or chicken nuggets, I just ignored their warnings.

You may be consuming some of the same unhealthy ingredients and not even realize it. Take a moment to read the ingredients of your favorite bread. Chances are the first ingredient is going to be enriched wheat flour. Do you know what “enriched” means? Neither did I.

Enriched flour is flour in which most of the natural vitamins and minerals have been extracted. This is done in order to give bread a finer texture and increase shelf life.

When the bran and the germ (the parts of the wheat that contain fiber and nutrients) are removed, your body absorbs wheat differently. Instead of being a slow process that gives you steady bursts of energy, your body breaks down enriched flour more quickly, which typically raises blood sugar more quickly as well. This excess blood sugar has to be metabolized by the liver, and if there’s an excess of sugar, your body will store some of it as fat.

Read that again: your body STORES IT AS FAT. All this and you’re not even getting close to the amount of nutrients that whole grains contain.

In other words, enriched flour sounds healthy but isn’t so healthy after all.

Okay, so what ingredient should you be looking for in your bread? Whole wheat flour or whole grain flour should be the first ingredient on the label of your bread because they are richer in dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein, dietary minerals — which includes magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and selenium — along with niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. By eating whole grains you reduce the risk of certain cancers, coronary heart disease, digestive system diseases, diabetes and obesity.

I now read food labels and have found that there are many products that seem healthy at first, but in reality they are not. If the label on your favorite bread includes the words “soft wheat” or “multigrain,” make sure you still read the ingredients because the majority of these breads are mostly made with enriched flour. Even if the word “enriched” is not there, if it doesn’t say “whole,” then it’s the same stuff.

Also remember that even if the bread color is brown and has a very healthy appearance, unbleached wheat flour is still missing the bran and the germ that contain essential nutrients and fiber.

My suggestion? Try to look for food products that say 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain … the healthy stuff!

Below are the food items that commonly contain enriched flour:

Bread                                     Donuts                  Chicken nuggets – breaded

Cake                                      Pie Crust

Cookies                                 Crackers

Brownies                              Pasta

Pretzels                                 Pizza

What’s in Your Food? Enriched Flour Tops List of Unhealthy Ingredients. July 26, 2011. (c) ahealthiermichigan.org

Treasures

 

“Storing up treasure as a good foundation for the future…” 1 Tim. 6:19

The hotel conference room was filled as the anxious crowd anticipated words of financial wisdom from a well-known Christian financial advisor and he did not disappoint. He carefully explained ten of his “secrets” for investing that have proven successful over the test of time. The crowd was beaming as they imagined building their prosperity.

And then he surprised everyone with a story that seemed out of place. He told of a Bible teacher who taught a class of 25 people, all of whom were solid Christians. On this day, he passed out a questionnaire. They were to simply answer a question regarding the verses on the page: Do you think these verses are literal? Do they apply to Christians today? Are we to live by them? The verses were: *Matthew 6:19-34.

At this point he paused and said, “For those of you who may not recall those verses, here they are,” clicking his remote and splashing them across the screen. Again he paused, giving them time to absorb the Scriptures.

“I can see I’ve thrown a bit of cold water on most of you. But think about it with me. First I gave you excellent, proven methods to increase your wealth. Now I am simply reminding you what Jesus said about that wealth and where your treasures should be. Money and the accumulation of it is worthless and usually detrimental to our lives. Giving to those who need help, with the money we’ve earned is Biblical and pleasing to the Lord.”

“In this context, you will see white buckets at each door as you leave. They are there to accept contributions for the aid of widows and orphans. Allow me to give you this reminder as you leave:

“May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in Him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

*Matthew 6:19-34   “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

What is this treasure?

2 Cor. 4:1-7  This is why we don’t get discouraged, given that we received this ministry in the same way that we received God’s mercy. 2 Instead, we reject secrecy and shameful actions. We don’t use deception, and we don’t tamper with God’s word. Instead, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God by the public announcement of the truth. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are on the road to destruction. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of those who don’t have faith so they couldn’t see the light of the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory. Christ is the image of God.

5 We don’t preach about ourselves. Instead, we preach about Jesus Christ as Lord, and we describe ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6 God said that light should shine out of the darkness. He is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in clay pots so that the awesome power belongs to God and doesn’t come from us.

Col. 2:1-3  I want you to know how much I struggle for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who haven’t known me personally. 2 My goal is that their hearts would be encouraged and united together in love so that they might have all the riches of assurance that come with understanding, so that they might have the knowledge of the secret plan of God, namely Christ. 3 All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in him.

Can we claim not to love wealth more than our brothers and sisters in Christ when we see them hurting and do not sacrifice what should matter to us less than their need? While many of us pursue status symbols that television suggests are “necessities,” evangelical ministries to the poor claim that forty thousand people die of starvation and malnutrition daily. That means roughly twenty-seven a minute, twenty of whom are children under five years old. ~InterVarsity Press New Testament Comment

Just A Dollar

            The cries for help cascade down with unceasing frequency. Newsletters, celebrities, radio talk-show hosts and TV commentators point out unspeakable atrocities inflicted upon ordinary people around the globe. We are inundated with the verifiable cries for financial help in places we cannot even find on the map. Our hearts break. And just as we are about to send money to an organization, headlines scream of corruption and fraud. Plastered on newspaper’s front pages and TV screens are images of charitable foundation CEO’s, accused of theft. What can we do?

            We have probably all heard of or read the Bible story about the poor widow who gave a few cents in her offering box. This seemingly insignificant act may have passed unnoticed except for the watchful eyes of a nearby man. Jesus. His observation is recorded in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12:

            Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins [worth about a penny]. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

            And now what? How does that story help us give or determine to whom we should give? Or perhaps some of us may be thinking, how much to give.

            I believe we can glean at least two important lessons from the sacrificial giving of this legendary Biblical widow: 1.) We are without excuse when it comes to sacrificial giving, using her as our example. 2.) The smallest amount will do, as long as we give.

            Combining sacrifice with giving opens new doors of opportunity for us. Do you have a local Food Bank organization or shelter in your area? How about the Kiwanas or Lions club who both offer free services? Perhaps you’ve heard of a church who feeds the hungry and poor. Now you can help by giving the smallest amount or volunteering.

            Say you live in an area with a population of 10,000. What if everyone gave one dollar per month to a charitable organization? Yes, that would amount to $10,000! There is truly power in tiny contributions.

Las Vegas

 

ATT11

Do Las Vegas Churches accept gambling chips?
This may come as a surprise to those of you not living in #LasVegas but there are more catholic churches than #casinos.
Not surprisingly, some worshipers at Sunday services will give casino chips rather than cash when the basket is passed.
Since they get chips from many different casinos, the churches have devised a method to collect the offerings.
The churches send all their collected chips to a nearby Franciscan monastery for sorting and then the chips are taken to the casinos of origin and cashed in.
This is done by the chip monks.

The Foolish Son

Having spent some time in my life expecting others to provide for me whether or not I worked, I realize the sooner you learn to earn your way, the better off you are. Each of us needs to understand the value of rent, car payments, groceries, clothes, etc.

I knew a guy whose folks not only bought his first car, they supplied his insurance too (so he could go to school without transportation worries). He soon lost his license (DUI) and then wrecked his car. He had to miss a term of school because of injuries so he moved back home. During this time, his parents realized their son was too immature to handle life on his own. They told him that he would have to work for a year and save enough money for the first term of college. During this year, he would live rent free and grocery free but he had to save most of his paychecks toward college.

He worked and saved money for six months and then fell off the wagon. He went to a college student vacation place and blew all his savings in two weeks.

Upon returning home, his parents said nothing about his trip. After all, it was his money. However, when fall enrollment time came around, and the young lad sat with his parents in the kitchen to talk about school…and how much money they were planning to give him for tuition, they sternly answered, “Nothing.”

Shocked, he asked, “Why?” They replied, “You’ve broken the agreement and spent most of the money, even though we kept our part by giving you free rent and food. If you wish to attend a University or State college, you will have to begin saving your money. If, instead, you will be satisfied with attending the community college, we will continue providing free rent and groceries. But…you will have to keep your job.

He was stunned, hurt and angry. He stormed out of the kitchen and did not return for three days. While gone, he stayed with an old college roommate, losing his job. Tired of hanging out, doing nothing, he returned home to renegotiate with his parents.

He said he could get a good job with a friend’s father and begin saving money for school again. His father told him that was a good idea but things were different now. Since he had broken his word more than once, walked off his previous job and spent all his money, he would now have to pay $250 each month for rent.

His father continued by telling him he must have his decision in the morning. The next morning the son agreed with very little enthusiasm.

Time passed and the following fall enrollment season, the parents and son met once again for their college education talk. This time his parents had quite a surprise for their son.

“Now that you have lived up to your part of the agreement,” they said, “we have a surprise for you. We are giving your rent money back to you for your expenses at school. And, if all goes well this term, and we see your grades in the acceptable range for your ability, we are prepared to further negotiate for the following term. However, it will be necessary for you to seek part-time employment to pay for any shortfalls.”

And so it went…each term they negotiated a new agreement with a little bonus money at the end of each successful year.

On graduation day, four years later, his parents gave him a check equal to $250 a month times four years. “You have earned it, son,” they told him. “We are proud of you and so thankful for your hard work these four years.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

We live in an apartment building. About an hour ago one of the manager’s son’s knocked on our door and delivered a small card with the words, “Somebody left this for you at the office. We don’t know who it was.”
I thanked him and asked my wife to open it. She did and, much to our SURPRISE, five twenties fell out. Praise God and Merry Christmas to our anonymous benefactor.