We have to store older things somewhere.  This looks like a good place!

When you buy a new packet of rubber bands they are usually dry, stretchy and you expect them to last a few weeks, even out in the weather, but after some time the rubber changes. It loses its stretch and it cracks, and eventually becomes sticky and useless. Why is this?

Natural rubber, or latex, is a gooey, sticky fluid. But when some chemicals are added it becomes tougher and stronger. It is made of polyisoprene chains, which slip past each other when they are stretched, and the great thing about rubber is its resistance to change. It can return to its original state when the tension is released.

Man's ingenuity has found that the addition of sulphur, which creates cross-links between the chains, turns a useless product into a useful one, but when rubber is exposed to sunlight, the ultraviolet reacts with oxygen and snips the polyisoprene chains into shorter and shorter segments, until it returns to a state similar to its original. Meanwhile, the molecules of short segments form new cross-links and alter the structure of the runner. It becomes brittle and harder.

Rubber may also contain fillers, dyes and . . .
Introducing someone is easy enough if the person is there with you.
Introducing someone who is not present requires you to describe the person in terms that accurately portray who that person is.

For example, in a small rural community where populations are stable and folks know each other for generations, you might describe someone who is returning from many years abroad by saying, "She is aunt Grace's youngest daughter." The person might add, "oh yes, that would make her Florence and Stanley Ferguson's granddaughter. I know who she is."
That is pretty much what Matthew does with Jesus. He brings out the family tree and starts his narrative by locating Jesus in the family tree. He begins with Abraham, through David right through to Jesus. Thus his pedigree and roots are described to people who would know and care.

John's on the other hand is how a more philosophical and poetically minded person might describe someone. He might say something like, "Ok, imagine all the characteristics of the perfect person and friend and imagine all of that from God totally in one person. That is Jesus"

Luke the gentile physician who had never met Jesus was in Judea with his friend Paul. He says he took the opportunity of . . .
I imagine it was about dusk as the first ones made it back into camp, then within minutes the whole team had arrived. There was an air of excitement as the word spread that the twelve men had returned and were about to give their report of what they had seen and experienced. A crowd of thousands of men and women and children gathered, their leaders at the forefront. Then they began to share their report and the first impressions were that it was going to be very difficult. The land of Caanan was rich but it was also heavily fortified. Quickly, Caleb, who was one of the twelve who had just returned, moved to the front of the group and quieted the people down. ?We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it.? What happened next none expected. The other ten spies began to stir the people with absolutely negative conclusions. They said that they felt tiny like insects in comparison to the size of the giants who lived near Hebron . Feelings went from fear to hopelessness to rage. The whole thing turned into a mob scene in minutes, the people felt they had been betrayed by Moses. They began to shout, 'stone them, stone them.? A number of men moved forward to grab Moses, Joshua and Caleb. At exactly that instant a great brightness was present in the tent of meeting, everyone saw it, this was the glory of the Lord and it stopped the people in their tracks. Before the dawn had come God had pronounced a sentence upon the nation, for every day the spies had been in Caanan the people would spend a year in the desert, 40 days became 40 years. The entire population of adult men over 20 would never enter Caanan, instead their children would experience the profession of being shepherds and from this place they would eventually . . .
?We?ll see,? I said, and heard my daughter sigh. She knew what that meant, just as I knew when my mother said it to me when I was her age. It meant the answer was probably ?no.? It meant my mother didn't want to come right out and say that word, but was leaning strongly in that direction. It meant she had some serious doubts about letting me do whatever it was I had requested. It meant she'd talk it over with my dad and then have the added weight and authority of his ?no? to back her up. When my mother said, ?We?ll see,? it meant we wouldn't.

Sometimes it feels like God is doing that. He won't give a direct answer, but we can tell we are not going to like it when He does. Sometimes, as we wait for the answer, we have little hope that things will turn out the way we would like them to. We are reluctant to believe that God wants to say, ?yes.? We see him as a parent whose lips are permanently shaped in the form of the ?n? word.

But God's letter to us, the letter that was written down thousands of years ago, tells us differently. The Scriptures tell us that God sings over us and delights in us. He longs to give us good things. He tried to convince His disciples of this when he walked and talked with them while he was on earth. Jesus said ? ?Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are . . .
A stalactite grows downwards from the roof of a cave, and a stalagmite grows upwards from the floor. They are formed slowly, drip by drip, as dissolved calcite is brought down by water. When the water is exposed to air, carbon dioxide in the water is lost, which means the water cannot carry as much calcite, and a few grains are left behind as a deposit. Gradually, grain by grain, the calcite forms a solid column, curtain, terrace or straw-shape.
When the drop falls it leaves a little more calcite behind and this begins to form the columns, pans, saucers and other shapes which grow upwards.

The standard text book will tell you that most of the really large formations are many thousands or even millions of years old. This dating is based on two things: the speed at which the columns are growing today, and the assumption that the columns are very old. There are two problems with these points of view. Firstly, present rates of column growth are not proof that speeds were the same in the past, and secondly, it is not scientific to give dates based on assumptions. Good science works on measurable things, observed things, not assumptions.

It is interesting that stalactites and stalagmites usually form in or under deposits of limestone. What is limestone? The encyclopedia says, "Sedimentary rock composed chiefly of calcium carbonate, derived from the shells of marine organisms." Also note that marble is limestone that has been . . .


Marcia Laycock is a pastor's wife and freelance writer living in Alberta Canada.  Her devotional book The Spur of the Moment has been endorsed by Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and others.  To order, and to view more of Marcia's writing, see her web site - www.vinemarc.com
Written By Richard Gunther.
Harris Dvores is a corporate lawyer in Orlando, Florida. But only from 9 to 5. For more than 20 years, he has pursued his passion to create: everything from Christian music and church skits, to Star Trek scripts and board games. His new website, www.harrisdvores.com, is a playground for the mind and spirit. A Jewish believer, Harris has been given truly amazing stories to share about the power of God.

Rev. Spence Laycock pastors at Church of the Open Bible, Ponoka, Alberta, Canada.

Pastor Bert Nieuwenhuis is the interim pastor at Somerset Bible Chapel, Manitoba, Canada.
Diane Davis, a former policewoman in Toronto, recently retired from a lengthy career as a civilian member of the Ontario Provincial Police.  Amongst many things, she is now turning her attention to writing, music, and her 5 grandchildren.  She is also Pastor Tim's mom.

Blog Writings by Melva Cooper.

Melva Cooper is a wife, mother and grandmother from Jonesboro, Arkansas. God has given her, in her retirement years, the ministry of writing for HIM. "Even in old age, you will still produce fruit" is a verse He has given her (Psalm 92:14). And it is her desire to serve Him all the days of her life.

Barbara, a Christian homemaker, began her Web Site through encouragement from her son, and a dream. It quickly became a ministry for the Lord. She began writing devotionals to encourage, inspire, and build up spiritually those coming to her site.  Barbara is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

Writing poetry that brings glory to God is Sandra's passion.  No matter where she has lived, or what she has gone through, she has found that God is always there before her to lead her in His paths and to catch her when she falls.  Married, with two sons two granddaughters on the way, Sandra's future goals include writing more poetry trying her hand at writing short devotionals for children.

Dr. Harold McNabb pastors at Westshore Presbyterian Church in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

"Ever feel as though life is a lions' den and like Daniel, you're right in the middle of it all? Enjoy these "Devotions from the Den" (Lions 'n Life at Peggie's Place) and delight in God's promises of love, joy and peace for whatever is happening in YOUR den today!"

Miscellaneous archived items.

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