Monday, April 30, 2018

Questions on Hebrews Ch 12 from 4/29


HEBREWS STUDY QUESTIONS

My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I invite you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider and compare with your thoughts.  


These questions were discussed in my Life Group yesterday. Take time to reflect on them. I'll post thoughts from the class discussion on Wednesday.


Chapter 12
Vv 14-29

Do you agree with v21? Check Deuteronomy 9:19

What synonyms/names are given for heaven? Comments?

Who is in heaven? Make a list. Why is each one significant?

What “word” does the blood of Abel speak? How? Why?

Vv25-27 describe something besides heaven. What? Why?

What is the acceptable way to worship God?

V29. Awful or Awesome? Explain

We Got This Far This Week


If you'd like a PDF of the pages of questions in table form with room for you to write answers, email me at 
chuckdowning4@gmail.com/ 

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My website is: www.crdowning.com

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Making Connections. Investigating Invertebrates - Sponges and Jellyfish


From 1990-1996 I worked on with the "100 Schools Project." It was California's implementation of the National Science Foundations grant to integrate science content in a new breed of courses. Monte Vista High School was a leader in curriculum development. I was the editor and primary author of a four textbook series. Titled "Making Connections...", it was published from 1996-2001 by the Grossmont Union High School District. The series is now out of print. 

More often than not over the coming months, I'll be reviving this labor of love. I hope you enjoy learning about science in the way I think makes the most sense. Minor editing has been done to the original text. Additions are in highlighted in this color. My titles for the section of the chapter are this color. Most of the diagrams were retrieved in full color from the Internet since the original books were two-colors only. Content in this series is from Volume 4: Making Connections - Integrating the Science of Energy.
Invertebrate organisms have something supporting their bodies besides bones or bony material. They range in complexity from simple multicellular organisms, like sponges, to animals with complex structures and functions, the crustaceans and arthropods.
Many scientists accept a classification system with five kingdoms.
          Kingdom Monera consists of bacteria and blue-green algae (also known as photosynthetic bacteria).
          Kingdom Protista includes algae and single-celled organisms (protozoa).
          Kingdom Fungi includes only the fungi.
          Kingdom Plantae consists of multicellular land and water plants.
          Kingdom Animalia is made up of all animals, both with and without vertebrae. Every living thing is classified in one of these kingdoms.

The purplish rectangles were added to highlight the content of this blog. The two colors in this volume are black and brownish-yellow. 
Week #1
It's Simple
The least complex invertebrate phylum is Porifera. Phylum Porifera includes the sponges. Sponges are multicellular animals. They have specialized cells. Sponges also have cells which remain unspecialized throughout the life of the animal.
The basic body plan of a sponge is very simple. It consists of a series of holes known as incurrent pores. Water enters the body of the sponge through these pores. Everything the sponge eats and breathes must be in the water that enters through the incurrent pores. The only way out of a sponge is through larger openings known as excurrent pores. Some of the specialized cells in the sponge make up the edges of the openings, others are involved in moving water through the sponge. Other specialized cells, known as spicules, make up the supporting "skeleton" of a sponge.
There are no cells used to move the sponge. Sponges do not move from the spot where they first attach. Animals living attached to a single location are called sessile, or non-moving
A Sponge. A typical sponge has all the parts labeled in this diagram. Note the lack of structures used for movement.

The non-specialized cells in the sponge are of extreme importance to the life of the animal. These amebocytes, as the cells are known, function in reproduction, repair of damaged parts, general growth, and in the protection of freshwater sponges from drying out. The amebocytes have the ability to "become" any type of cell needed by the sponge.
Amebocytes are of interest to scientists as well. If humans had "amebocyte-like" cells, people with heart or kidney problems might be able to grow new organs to replace the diseased or damaged ones. If a finger or arm was cut off in an accident, a new one might be grown from these unspecialized cells. Scientists want to find out why amebocytes do not become specialized until they are needed. Humans begin life as a single unspecialized cell. If some way could be discovered to keep some cells from specializing, a simple sponge might lead to a major breakthrough in human medicine some day.
You might use a sponge while showering. Because the spicules are made of hard material--spongin or a calcium/silicate product, they remove dead skin cells as you rub the sponge on your body. However, you will regret using the same sponge on your brand new Corvette. The spicules will scratch the expensive candy-apple red paint!
This Jelly Ain't For Sandwiches

Phylum Cnidaria (formally classified as Coelenterata) contains animals with two distinct cell layers. An ectoderm which makes up the outer covering of the animal and an endoderm which covers the inside. Between the two layers is a jelly-like material, mesoglea, which separates them. Examples of animals in this phylum include sea anemones, coral, and jellyfish. Jellyfish have a very thick layer mesoglea ("jelly"). That layer gives those animals their name.
The Two Cell Layers of Cnidarians. The endoderm contains cells used in the digestive process. Ectoderm cells include the stinging cells with their trigger hairs. A nerve network is embedded in the "jelly-like" mesoglea. Without the primitive nervous system, medusas would not be able to coordinate its swimming motion.
All cnidarians have tentacles which they use to bring captured food into their mouths. They capture food through the use of stinging cells in the ectoderm. The stinging cells act like tiny hypodermic needles. They inject a sharp point into the victim. Paralyzing poison is pumped into the hole. When the victim stops struggling, it is pulled through the mouth into the body cavity, the coelom, where it is digested.
The coelom is a bag-like body cavity with a single opening. Lining the inside of the coelom is the endoderm. The endoderm contains digestive cells which secrete enzymes to digest food. Undigested waste pieces exit the coelom through the same opening in which the food entered.
Cnidarians come in two styles. Some live their lives attached to one spot.   All sessile cnidarians are known as polyps. The polyp form of cnidarians includes sea anemones and corals. Other cnidarians are not permanently attached to a surface. These animals have the ability to swim through the water. Free-swimming cnidarians are called medusas. Medusas, like jellyfish, swim by pumping water out of the folds of their bodies—medusas are jet-propelled.

Polyp and Medusa. The two basic body plans of Cnidarians are shown here. Polyps are sessile. The medusa is free-swimming.   
Next Making Connections: Investigating Invertebrates. Worms: Flat, Round, and Segmented

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Expressions of Faith. Colossians Ch 1. Thankfulness

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—

(Colossians 1:3-4 NIV)
Thankfulness
For whom do you thank God when you pray?
Is it a loved one, relative, close friend?
Paul thanks God for the Colossians
Why?
Because of their faith in Christ and love.
Not love for him specifically.
Love for all the people of God.
Jesus, help me have more faith and be more loving.

Next Friday's Expression of Faith: Bearing Fruit

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Timeless Truths. When Faith Becomes a Little Less Interesting. 3 of 3



I don't know why, but I continue to be amazed by how God links apparently unrelated events together in recognizable patterns. Maybe I'm the only one who sees a pattern, but I'm not going down that road. Suffice it to say, that I've added this third link to the current chain/series of blog posts. 

Let me know if you see a pattern, too!

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.4Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’
Luke 17:1-10
Note: 17:3 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a fellow disciple, whether man or woman.
This passage is a plan for how Christians can renew their faith.

People today aren’t interested in following Christ. However, Christ wants all people to “get it” and have mature faith.

Why don’t more people have a relationship with God?

Let’s look at seven reasons.
7.  Heartbreak. A heart broken by a loved-one or friend leads to bitterness and anger toward God.
6.  Fatherlessness. An absent or bad earthly father leaves a negative feeling toward father figures. Many prominent athiests have this background.
5.  Social pressure. It’s not cool to be a Christian.
4.  Cost of discipleship. People aren’t willing to commit.
3. Immorality. According to research surveys, this is the most common reason so far. Christians can’t/don’t live the way many people want to live.
2. Religious hypocrisy. This is an offense to God. Many “Christians” acknowledge Jesus with their lips but don’t live in a relationship with Him. Worldly people find this unacceptable.
1.  Religious over-kill. As much exposure to the Christ and His story as many people experience leads to disinterest. Too many times people encounter a weak or false form of the Gospel.

HOWEVER, NO ONE CAN SAVE HIMSELF OR HER SELF.
Many people today quote “the Greatest Commandment,”
Image by Kayla English Creative
BUT, the Gospel is not “the Greatest Commandment!”

Also not the Gospel:

Obey God then He will forgive you.
Give money to Jesus, and He will make you healthy and wealthy.

In Luke 17, Jesus is headed to Jerusalem for the last time. It reads like He knows that He has nothing to lose. In fact, in Luke 18:31-34, He predicts His death for the third time.

Verse 5 is the key verse in the above passage.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

You can think of increasing your faith as faith renewal.
I.  Faith renewal happens when we have a true desire to grow in faith.
The easiest thing in the world to do is the easiest thing in the world to do. Practice faith by lifting your eyes to God.

Faith is the most powerful force in the world. We’re not alone when we have faith in Christ.

Maybe the Gospel is less interesting because people don’t see our faith in action. That’s something that costs us.

II. Faith renewal happens when we decide to believe.
Pure faith has NO DOUBT.

Mature faith is being able to make a commitment (move mountains).

Maybe your faith has been so soft is because you are easily led astray. This can happen by gradual compromises in life.

Decide to have faith. That’s how you start faith renewal.

III. Faith renewal happens when we realize that we owe God everything.
In Luke 17, Jesus is getting ready to show His love by dying on the cross.

To hold on to faith, we must drop everything we think is right and embrace what God says is right.

Ask what God wants for you!
(Hmm. That sounds a lot like an expectation!)

Next Timeless Truth is Hoax or Hope? Got Questions Series -1

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thoughts on Questions from Hebrews Ch 12 from 4/22


HEBREWS STUDY QUESTIONS

My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I invite you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider and compare with your thoughts.  


This is some of the discussion on the questions posted on Monday.

Chapter 12
Vv 1-13

How does the end of v13 relate to v12?
New bodies.
Healing of arms and knees.
Don't give up on your walk/run, others are watching.

Chapter 12
Vv 14-29

“Every effort.” What does that mean?
Strive for. 
Pursue.
"and be holy." Does holiness bring peace?
If you don't pursue peace, you produce disharmony among believers.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.

Matthew 5:8-9
















Katharoí/Katharos is the Greek word used in Matthew 5:8 for a pure heart. It is the root of catharsis in English and can is defined
Definition
1.   clean, pure
a.   physically
1.   purified by fire
2.   in a similitude, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit
b.   in a levitical sense
1.   clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness
c.    ethically
1.   free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt
2.   free from every admixture of what is false, sincere genuine
3.   blameless, innocent
4.   unstained with the guilt of anything
The significance of the sequence Jesus uses with these two beatitudes is emphasized in this verse where there is no peace without a heart that is pure (Katharoí/Katharos)
Katharoí/Katharos is the Greek word used in Matthew 5:8 for a pure heart. It is the root of catharsis in English and can is defined
Definition
1.   clean, pure
a.   physically
1.   purified by fire
2.   in a similitude, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit
b.   in a levitical sense
1.   clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness
c.    ethically
1.   free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt
2.   free from every admixture of what is false, sincere genuine
3.   blameless, innocent
4.   unstained with the guilt of anything
The significance of the sequence Jesus uses with these two beatitudes is emphasized in this verse where there is no peace without a heart that is pure (Katharoí/Katharos)
Katharoí/Katharos is the Greek word used in Matthew 5:8 for a pure heart. It is the root of catharsis in English and can is defined
Definition
1.   clean, pure
a.   physically
1.   purified by fire
2.   in a similitude, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit
b.   in a levitical sense
1.   clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness
c.    ethically
1.   free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt
2.   free from every admixture of what is false, sincere genuine
3.   blameless, innocent
4.   unstained with the guilt of anything

The significance of the sequence Jesus uses with these two beatitudes is emphasized in this verse where there is no peace without a heart that is pure (Katharoí/Katharos). More on this in the next answer.

Why is holiness important?
Well, without holiness, no one will see God.
Holiness is also translated sanctified.
The Amplified Version reads
...without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.

According to v15, what’s our job? Or, perhaps jobs? How do we do that/them?
Hold each other accountable.
Encourage one another to the end.
Live in peace.
Praise.
Don't let any bitter root grow.

  • Roots nourish plants and anchor the plant structure.
  • Bitter root is resentment, holding grudges, discontentment.

What’s the point of the reference to Esau?
The selling of his birthright was like Judas' "selling" Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
Esau was both immoral and irreverent.
It could be referring to swearing an oath to Jacob or the disrespect of the birthright itself.

Vv18-21 refer to what OT event? How would you react to the audible voice of God? Why?
The event is referring to Exodus 19:18-19
18 Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. 19 And it happened, as the blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with [a voice of] thunder. 

The reaction of a person to the audible voice of God depends on where that person is on the conviction --> comfort relationship with God scale.

The three words on the far right of this photo are either responses to
WAYS GOD SPEAKS TO US or 
HOW DO WE HEAR GOD'S VOICE WHEN IT'S NOT AUDIBLE? 
I don't remember the exact question I asked.

We Got This Far This Week

Do you agree with v21? Check Deuteronomy 9:19

What synonyms/names are given for heaven? Comments?

Who is in heaven? Make a list. Why is each one significant?

What “word” does the blood of Abel speak? How? Why?

Vv25-27 describe something besides heaven. What? Why?

What is the acceptable way to worship God?

V29. Awful or Awesome? Explain

If you'd like a PDF of the pages of questions in table form with room for you to write answers, email me at 
chuckdowning4@gmail.com 

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com

I'd appreciate your feedback as a comment on Blogger!

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