Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner

Discussion in 'Religious Discussions' started by ampaterry, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I hold a slightly different view on denominations, but don't want to get into a discussion on it here. A lot of denominations have gone liberal, reading into Scripture what they want it to say. The churches, independant or denominational, God blesses are the ones who, as you say, ask God what He has to say about various things and go to His Word to find out. Their attitude is the one reflected by the Berean Christians (Acts 17:10-11) or Psalm 119.

    Thanks again, Terry. God blesses those who seek Him.
  2. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes indeed -
    Like the "chrislam" movement, an amalgamation of Christian and Islamic beliefs.
    Blasphemous, IMHO

    For today:

    You have heard that good things come in small packages and Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Then there is a poem based on this idea:

    I find myself so very glad
    The acorn becomes a tree
    Because that shows
    The mighty oak
    Was once a nut like me.

    Then there are life applications of this principle as well; In a monastery at Erfurt a studious young monk sits alone in his cell, earnestly examining an ancient record. The student is Martin Luther (not King – the OTHER Martin Luther!), and the book is the Bible. He has read many books before, but his reading has never made him wretched till now. In other books he saw other people; but in this book for the first time he saw himself. His own sin, when conscience was quickened and enlightened to discern it, became a burden heavier than he could bear. For a time he was in a morass of great darkness; but when at last he found "the righteousness which is of God by faith," he grew hopeful, happy, and strong. Here is a living seed, but it is very small: an awakened, exercised, conscientious, believing monk, is an imperceptible atom which superstitious multitudes, and power hungry rulers, and a persecuting priesthood will bury and smother, just as the heavy earth covers the microscopic mustard seed. But the living seed burst, and sprang, and pierced through all these coverings. How great it grew and how far it spread history tells today.

    We have cause to thank God for the greatness of the Reformation;

    And we have cause to rebuke ourselves for its smallness.

    Philippians 3:9 (KJV);
    “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

    May God bless each one of you -
  3. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    chrislam sounds ominously like the "Taslan" from the last book of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

    The Reformation. After it came great developments in the sciences and arts. Once man could see the world from God's point of view he could start discovering some of the secrets God had planted in creation for him to find. I like Francis Schaeffer's book and video series How Should We Then Live.

    We need to see Reformation in the western world again. The major denomination churches have turned aside and they need to see again the message Martin Luther saw in God's Word.

    I'm reading Ephesians just now; it reflects just what you are saying.

    Thanks, Amen, HONK!!:)
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As I consider the truly great innovators and thinkers over the centuries, it strikes me that the most noteworthy were Christians or Jews.

    Do we have great thinkers and innovators today?
    Yes, we do.
    Like the man that invented the MRI for human diagnostic medicine.
    Dr. Raymond Damadian.
    He invented it.
    He holds most of the patents on it.
    He is a strong Christian - a fundamentalist.

    But when the benefits of the MRI could no longer be ignored by the Nobel committee, they gave the prize for it to others that had done MUCH less work on this device.
    The full story is here:
    http://www.fonar.com/nobel.htm

    So, while God fearing folks are STILL the innovators in this world, they are ignored in favor of the secular.

    Sorry for the rant - this is just a REAL pet peeve of mine.

    Devotional for today:

    When Mahmud of Ghazni invaded India, his conquering forces entered a celebrated temple to destroy it. He was entreated by the priest to spare a certain idol but refused. Instead, he rained repeated blows upon it. Suddenly the image burst open, and a stream of precious stones cascaded from its hollow interior. That is how it is for each idol that a Christian destroys in his life, he gains more than he loses! Every one that is demolished brings him new treasures of grace and removes another hindrance to his closer walk with the Lord!

    What does the scripture tell us to do with Idols?

    1 Corinthians 10:14 (KJV);
    “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”

    1 Thessalonians 1:9 (KJV);
    “For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;”

    1 John 5:21 (KJV);
    “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

    Why do we distance ourselves from them?

    Psalm 115: 3-8 (KJV);
    “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
    Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
    They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
    They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
    They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
    They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”

    May God richly bless each one of you, guys!
  5. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Ray Damadian is a friend of Dad's!! His vision was to have a network of units around the world networked to people who could inerpret the scans at a central location. Telemedicine from the 1980's.

    I was thiniking about Elijah the other day...the trial between God and the false god baal in 1 Kings 18. God trumped baal 100%.
  6. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It should be a crime, what the Nobel committee did to Dr. Damadian, BlackEagle.
    Instead, the entire thing was ignored by all but the Christian news sources.

    But as Christ said - they have their reward.

    For today:

    Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a word meaning the coming, or the arrival of something important. The advent of television, for instance, or the advent of the computer.

    In many Western Christian churches, however, it has a very specific meaning; it is a time preceding Christmas when we prepare for the appearance of the Christ. We consider Advent to begin on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and end on Christmas Eve.

    This time period is a double celebration; it is a celebration of Christs first coming in his physical birth in Bethlehem as described in the synoptic gospels, and an anticipation of the second coming of Christ the King as described in the book of Revelation.

    In the marvelous mini-series Broken Trail by Walter Hill, Robert Duvall speaks on more than one burial ceremony, and includes the words: “We're all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house. Birth 'til death. We travel between the eternities”

    The Advent season we are entering fits precisely into this quote. You and I, all of us, are traveling though this world. We live here in a brief period between our birth and our death, in a historical period between the birth of Christ and his second coming.
    We have the choice of living this brief life small, or living it large.

    We can plod along from home to work, from birth to death, and pass into eternity leaving nothing of ourselves behind.

    Or we can live our physical life as Christ showed us how to do. A life of service to others. A life of bringing comfort to those that are hurting. A life of support to those that are weak. I life of giving the message of hope to those that feel hopeless.

    Make this Advent season a time of soul-searching for you. Seek God's will for your life, and strive to follow it.

    1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV);
    For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

    May God bless each one of you -
  7. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Everyone at work looks forward to Friday, because that means they have the weekend coming up. I commented to one of my coleagues that we spend our lives in a series of 5's and 2's...5 days at work, 2 days of weekend and life just slips by. I told him I like Psalm 90. V12 says "So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom." I sometimes say "Teach us to make our days count".

    Thanks again, Terry.
  8. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Teach us to make our days count.

    I like that!

    Thank you -

    For today, I look back on one of the worlds most famous cartoonists, the late Charles Schultz. We have all found some wisdom in his Peanuts strips, and on more than one occasion, I have used one of them in a message on Sunday. There will be no more new ones for us to derive both pleasure and wisdom from, but for a while at least, we can still find one now and then that is new to US. This was a new one to me, and perhaps you have not seen it either.
    There is a conversation going on between Lucy and Charlie Brown. Lucy said that life is like a deck chair. Some place it in the bow, so they can see where they are going; some place it in the stern, so they can see where they have been; and some place it in the middle, so they can see where they are at present.
    Charlie Brown looked distressed and said: "I can't even get mine unfolded."

    Can you relate to Charlie Brown? Do you listen to the philosophy of how other people are living their lives, and wonder what the purpose of yours is? Do you read about others’ goals and aspirations, and wonder what, exactly, YOU want to accomplish? Do you see the achievements of other people, and wonder what you are accomplishing in your life?

    As with all questions concerning our lives, the answers are in the instruction book.

    Acts 20:24 (GWT);
    “But I don’t place any value on my own life. I want to finish the race I’m running. I want to carry out the mission I received from the Lord Jesus—the mission of testifying to the Good News of God’s kindness.”

    That should be our purpose! To live for Jesus Christ, to have as a goal the furtherance of his Gospel, to reach for things OUTSIDE of ourselves! When we do this, we will find that the deck chair unfolds quite easily; that life is no longer puzzling.

    May God bless each one of you -
  9. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    For what it's worth, I was reviewing some verses today, rediscovered Hosea 10:12.
    Thanks again, Terry.
  10. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A very good verse - as you sow, so shall you reap -

    For today, this is hauntingly familiar - so if I just had something like this, forgive an old man his poor record keeping between the ears!


    During the Arab-Israeli war in 1967 an American reporter was flying over the Sinai desert with an Israeli officer, and they spotted some fifty thousand stranded Egyptian soldiers who obviously were dying of thirst. When the situation was reported in the newspapers, a number of world leaders and organizations tried to do something to help. But every time a plan was suggested, some military, diplomatic, or bureaucratic obstacle prevented its being carried out. By the time help came, thousands of the soldiers had died.

    How equally tragic it is for churches to spin their wheels in programs and committees while thousands around them are desperately in need of the spiritual water of the Word! We now have a plan whereby government and private charities will be able to better cooperate in alleviating needs in this country, by doing away with some of the red tape interference. Some years ago, Bethany had to drop one missionary we were supporting due to a regulation of his denomination that all $ be sent to the parent body instead of the person in the field. It angers me to see the ridiculous obstacles to the work of God which are placed in the way by the world. It SICKENS me to see the obstacles which are placed there by the Church itself! When we let Churchianity get in the way of Christianity, it is time to CHANGE something!

    Matt 9:36-38 (GWT);
    “When he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them. They were troubled and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is large, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord who gives this harvest to send workers to harvest his crops.””
    John 7:37-38 (KJV);
    “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

    May God richly bless each one of you -
  11. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    For God so loved the world he set up a committee...

    Today's made me think of a movie on evangelism I saw many years ago, The Gospel Blimp. A church decided to evangelize it's community so it set up a committee that tried a whole range of ridiculous, even obnoxious schemes. They criticised, then ostracised a family that dropped out of the committee, even became spotty in their church attendance. Months later the family came back with another family who had become Christians. The church wanted to know which one of their schemes was so effective. It turned out the family from the church had befriended the other family, spent time with them, and won the other family to Christ.

    200+ years ago the church in Scotland was the major social factor, providing schooling and welfare for those who needed it. The welfare was provided directly, on a personal level with a view to meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the recipient. With the influx of people into the cities when the industrial revolution came along, the church couldn't cope and the state took over the welfare. Enter bureaucracy.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  12. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The USA has become a welfare state based almost solely on the failure of the churches to step up to the plate and meet the NEEDS of those in dire straits.
    The result is that those in dire straits live off the state.
    And many, many MORE live off the state who are simply lazy.

    For today, I have I have a Bible trivia question for you to answer yourself, then try on a friend. What do the following words have in common? Tishri, Kislev, Nisan, Sivan, and Ab? (Hint: you could also add Adar.)

    Well, it sounds like some Russian towns and a Japanese car manufacturer, doesn’t it?

    No – that’s not it.

    Answer: They are all months in the Jewish calendar.
    For the devout Jew, the calendar was more than a way of marking time. It provided a ready-made way to recall annually God's dealings in the life of the nation. Nisan marked Passover, the time of Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Sivan brought the Feast of Pentecost, the celebration of yet another bountiful harvest from God. Tishri took the people back to their wilderness wanderings through the Feast of the Tabernacles. Each holiday became a holy day -- a time of recalling, repenting, and renewing old commitments to follow the God of Israel.

    Psalm 77:11 (KJV);
    “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.”
    Psalm 89:1 (KJV);
    “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.”
    Isaiah 46:9 (KJV);
    “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”
    1 Corinthians 1:9 (KJV);
    “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    What are we talking about here? Remembering the things of old. Commemorating the things that God has done in the past. Keeping traditions alive which bring to mind how God has dealt with his people throughout history. It’s not a Jewish thing; it’s a believer’s joy.

    May God bless each one of you -
  13. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    God also used visual things to act as reminders.
    Joshua had men take stones from the center of the Jordan and carry them into the Promised Land for a memorial--Jpshua 4. The tabernacle first, then the temple were full of things to remind Israel of God's goodness and blessings.

    Psalm 78 was a poem everyone would have known, a ballad reminding Israel of its up and down history.

    Thanks again Terry.
  14. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow, BlackEagle, you hit on the theme of todays devotional.
    I kinda think we are tuned in to the same station - - -

    Leonard Griffith wrote a sermon titled ‘Let’s Talk About Money’. In that sermon, he told this story:
    At one time at the City Temple in London, there was in the congregation a restaurateur named Emil Mettler, who was a close friend of Albert Schweitzer and a kind of agent for Schweitzer in Britain. Mettler would never allow a Christian worker to pay for a meal in his restaurant but once he did happen to open his cash register in the presence of a Secretary of the London Missionary Society. The Secretary was astonished to see among the bills and coins a six-inch nail. What was it doing there? Mettler explained, "I keep this nail with my money to remind me of the price that Christ paid for my salvation and of what I owe Him in return."
    The Word of God tells us:

    Acts 20:35 (KJV);
    “I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
    2 Timothy 2:8-9 (KJV);
    “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.”
    1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV);
    For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

    It is impossible to over stress this. We owe EVERYTHING to Jesus Christ. There is no other source of anything good, of anything worth having, of anything worth doing. We should, each one of us, carry around a six inch nail to remind us of the price that Jesus paid for our redemption. If we looked every day upon a reminder of this, it would serve to more deeply convince us of just how precious each day of our lives is on this earth, and should help to keep us focused on doing what is REALLY important.

    May God bless each one of you -
  15. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks again, Terry.
    I mentioned Hosea 10:12 the other day. The thing that caught my attention was the last half of the verse..."Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteousness on you."

    I have some ground in my life that has been lying fallow for a while now; it's time to prepare it and start using it again to grow righteousness, because that's one of the things that's really important.

    Just another way of saying what you said here.
  16. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, BlackEagle -

    Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and I ask that we all pray for the families and loved ones of those lost on December 7, 1941. This is what brought the US into WWII.

    That war was not fought only in the European and Atlantic theaters, but here at home as well. Many fine young men and women left their homes to join the armed services then, and many more men and women, both young and old, dedicated themselves here at home to the war effort. Some retired people returned to work. All took part in the rationing that was put in place to ensure that the troops overseas had sufficient food, clothing, and equipment to win that conflict. Industries across our land converted some or all of their capacity from producing goods for consumer consumption to producing war material.

    I worked at Keystone Steel and Wire in Peoria, IL in the 70's, and I have seen the tools that were used during that period. Machines that made barbed wire for ranches were converted to make concertina wire for the war. Machines that made nails for home construction had been converted to make shrapnel for hand grenades. We had a POW camp near our home, and my oldest sister married a soldier stationed there. My aunt worked at a munitions factory, sewing cartridges into ammunition belts to feed the machine guns. The man that would become the father of my wife fought in the Pacific and was captured by the Japanese and endured forced labor and torture at their hands for most of the war. EVERYONE was involved in that war, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices.

    The Word of God tells us of a time when we will have no more wars,
    Isaiah 2:4 (KJV); . . . . and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    But until that time comes to pass, until Christ returns and sets up his reign of peace, we must be prepared for wars and conflicts, because they WILL come. We can only survive as a nation if we are willing to take up arms and defend not only ourselves, but those nations with which we share common goals and ideals, against those who wish to rule the world through force of arms. Satan is not defeated in this world yet, folks.

    But he will be!

    May God bless each one of you -
  17. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    True...
    Dad was winning a state-wide speech contest at the time the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor. His speech was one of William Jennings Bryan's on peace.
    Subsequently he rushed through his schooling so he could enlist in the Navy. Mom meantime worked for a company that made LST's and other troop landing vessles.

    This day of infamy changed lives around the world.

    There are physical wars and spiritual wars ongoing.
  18. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    True -
    And both the USA and England have done well in the physical wars.
    Not so much in the spiritual, it seems -

    For today:

    I read about some of the humorous letters which some people mail to the IRS. One, accompanied by a money order with no senders name on it said:
    “I have been unable to sleep since I cheated on my taxes last year. Enclosed is a money order for $500.00. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send the rest.”

    That is a funny story, but the subject it addresses is a very serious one. When Christ enters our hearts, he places in us the NEED to make restitution for the wrongs we have done.

    Here is another story, this one told by S. W. Murray, which addresses this even more directly:
    In the course of his preaching, W. P. Nicholson insisted on the need for restitution where something had to be put right with another person. After one mission held in East Belfast early in 1923, many tools and pieces of equipment which had been taken earlier were returned to the shipyard, and in such quantities that additional storage had to be provided to hold them all. A letter to the evangelist from the management of another firm spoke of the receipt of tools received from one of their own men who signed himself "Ex-worker," and thanked him for his influence in the case.

    Exodus 22:3,5,6,12 (KJV); If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution. If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution. And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.

    When we become a Christian, when we accept Christ as the Lord of our lives, we have not reached the END of our journey, but we have only reached the BEGINNING of it. Christ will lead us in new directions, bring us to greater perfection, and make improvements in us which we ourselves could never make on our own.

    May God bless each one of us with the desire and ability to make restitution for all of our wrongs -
  19. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Restitution is a key part to keeping a clear conscience.

    Romans 13 and Jesus' comment about rendering to Cesar what is Cesar's applies.
    Paul has quite a bit to say about having a clear conscience as part of our relationship with Christ, our ability to witness/minister/pray for each other/have fellowship with each other.

    Thanks again, Terry. Amen and HONK!!
  20. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you!!

    Every day is special, but today is specialer (LOL)
    Today is the first day of the Jewish observance of Chanukah, an eight day festival. For the origins of this holiday, we must go back to the reign of Alexancer the Great, when he conquered Syria, Egypt and Judea. Alexander allowed the people in these areas to continue to practice their own religion, and gave them a certain degree of autonomy. A century later, however, Antiochus the 4th came into power, and was a cruel and despotic ruler. He oppressed the Jewish people and desecrated the temple by having pigs sacrificed on the altar there. The people, who had to a large degree assimilated into Alexanders rule, now went into revolt and threw off their Greek rulers, regaining control of their land. They immediately cleansed the temple and re-dedicated it. There was a problem, though, The temple lamp, called the Menorah, was supposed to burn day and night, but the Greeks had defiled the oil for the lamp. There was only enough pure oil to burn it for one day. They lit it, then dispatched people to secure more oil. It took them seven more days before pure oil could be secured, and during that period the Menorah continued to burn. This was a miracle, and is the reason for this celebration. The Jewish people do not celebrate the success of the revolution, because Jews do not glorify war, but they do celebrate the miracle of the lamp. This is the reason this eight day period is known as the Festival of Lights.

    Due to the proximity of this holiday to the Christian Christmas, the Jews have adopted many of our customs in relation to this, which is actually a rather minor holiday of theirs. They exchange gifts, decorate, and generally celebrate their holiday during the same period that we celebrate ours.

    And where did the Jewish people get such odd practices as an eternally burning lamp in the temple?
    From the book we call the Bible:
    Exodus 27:20-21 (KJV);
    And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

    May God bless each one of you!
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