It feels like we're standing on a precipice - and the next President is either going to push us over the edge, or pull us back. We hope you'll take the time to think deeply about the choices you have before you vote for someone. Will you vote for someone simply to make history? (Look how well that's turned out for us!) Will you vote for someone to "make a statement?" Or will you vote for someone who at the very least believes that abortion is wrong? It's pretty clear where the candidates stand on the issue of abortion - VERY clear, if you'll take the time to search it out. We recommend www.lifenews.com as a great source of information on where all the candidates stand on this issue. And please - VOTE! YOUR VOTE DOES MATTER!
I am redeemed from the curse of the law...
I Peter 1:18,19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Galatians 3:10-14 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them." Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) ,that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Curse of the Law: What Did Paul Mean?
by Cecil Maranville
Many have been confused by Paul’s use of the phrase “the curse of the law” in Galatians 3:13. What did he mean?
“Some mistakenly believe that the 10 Commandments are the curse and that one is in danger of coming under that curse if he or she obeys God’s laws.
“Instead of being harmful, obedience to God’s holy law yields many benefits. As explained in related articles on Paul’s teaching on the law, the 10 Commandments are guidelines for an abundantly happy life. Our Heavenly Father has given these instructions to us—His children—because He loves us and wants what is best for us. God’s commandments are analogous to guidelines that wise parents in human families give to their children. Keeping God’s law can only bring benefits.
“On the other hand, disobeying God’s instructions brings consequences no one wants! As a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, they were barred from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:17, 22-24). Due to repeated disobedience and rejection of God’s laws, the nations of Israel and Judah were conquered by enemy nations and carried captive out of the Promised Land.
“Naturally, we want the benefits our Father would like to give us and not the punishments that come from disobedience. The ultimate consequence of disobeying God’s law could not be more serious. ‘Disobeying the law’ is just another way of saying, “sin” (see 1 John 3:4). The eventual consequence of rejecting God’s law is death forever—a death from which there is no resurrection (Romans 6:23).
“Since Paul said that God’s law is holy, just and good (Romans 7:12), what did he mean by ‘the curse of the law’? To accurately understand any verse of the Bible, we must read it in its immediate context as well as the context of the rest of the Bible. That is the only way we can be “rightly dividing the word of truth,” as Paul admonished the evangelist Timothy to do (2 Timothy 2:15).
“Let’s begin by reading the passage in question. ‘For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Yet the law is not of faith, but ‘the man who does them shall live by them.’ Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith’ (Galatians 3:10-14).
“Now let’s go through this passage point by point.
“It begins, ‘For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.’ Here Paul is referring to those who wrongfully taught that one could earn his or her salvation through keeping God’s law. Some mistakenly thought that humans could live in perfect obedience to every instruction from God. The truth is that no human being has ever obeyed God’s law perfectly on his or her own power. All humans have sinned (Romans 3:23) except Jesus Christ, who resisted sin through the power of God. This reality, however, does not mean we do not need to repent of breaking God’s laws or strive to live in accordance with them. The truth is that God does expect us, with the help of His Holy Spirit, to obey His instructions and follow Christ’s example. Our desire to obey God is shown by repentance of our sins, faith in Christ and baptism, which are the steps God tells us to take to receive the priceless gift of salvation (Acts 2:38; 8:37).
“Emphasizing the point that obedience is still God’s expectation, Paul twice quotes directly from the Old Testament. The first is from Deuteronomy 27:26, taken from an incident in Israel’s history that is well worth knowing. The essence of what transpired is summarized in verses 9-10 of that chapter: ‘Then Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, ‘Take heed and listen, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the LORD your God. Therefore you shall obey the voice of the LORD your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.’’
“God had rescued the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, and now the second generation was on the verge of entering the Promised Land. God’s ringing advice was essentially: ‘Keep the commandments!’
‘Acting out the importance of this, Moses ordered the tribes of Israel (after they entered Canaan) to divide into two units. One half of Israel was to climb Mount Ebal; and the other half, Mount Gerazim. These two mountains are roughly in the middle of the land of Canaan. The people on one mountaintop were to shout a series of declarations, all of which related to “curses” for not obeying God’s law. The people on the other mountaintop were to shout back, ‘Amen!’ at the conclusion of every declaration. The words Paul quoted were the final shouted words. What a dramatic way to emphasize the importance of keeping God’s law!
“The second quote from the Old Testament that emphasizes obedience to God’s law is more of a paraphrase than a direct quote. It comes from Deuteronomy 21:23. In that context, God commanded that someone who broke the law and received the death penalty should be hung on a tree. That doesn’t mean death by hanging, for the ancient Israelites executed people by stoning (The NKJV Study Bible note on Deuteronomy 21:23). But after death, the body was hung on a tree in a public place for one day as a demonstration that sin brings death.
“In Galatians 3:13, Paul refers to Christ in conjunction with ‘cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,’ because Christ’s body was publicly displayed, hung on a stake of wood. Rather than some new doctrine or a change in everything the Bible teaches about obedience to God’s commands, Paul was drawing on the symbolism of Christ’s public crucifixion to emphasize that His death paid the penalty for the sins of humanity. Christ’s death ‘redeemed us from the curse of the law,’ which is the death penalty!
“The phrase ‘the curse of the law’ refers to the death penalty that each of us earns for breaking God’s law. It is not a disparagement of God’s holy, just and good laws or a change in God’s expectations of His people. This passage simply refers to the mistaken idea that people can earn their salvation without God’s grace, and it upholds keeping God's 10 Commandments.
“Christ’s death—in which He suffered the curse of hanging on a tree—makes it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins. If we repent of sinning, commit to a life of obedience to God’s law and allow God’s Spirit to work through us, we can receive God’s grace.
“Christ’s death did not pave the way for Christians to go on breaking the law! Such an interpretation is contradictory to God’s Word. Instead, Christ’s death means we can be forgiven for breaking the commandments so that we can commit to obeying the commandments. It made it possible for God to write His laws on our hearts and to give us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us walk as Christ walked in total obedience to God’s holy law (Hebrews 8:10; 1 John 2:6). Of course, we still need God’s grace and forgiveness because obedience to God’s law does not make up for our prior disobedience.”
Are you relying on what Christ has done for you – and not on what you think you can do for yourself? It makes all the difference in the world – both now, and for all eternity!
The Telegraph Science
by Sarah Knapton, science editor
26 APRIL 2016 • 11:49AM
Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.
An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception.
Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in other animals but it is the first time is has been also shown to happen in humans.
“To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
Professor Teresa Woodruff, Northwestern University.
Not only is it an incredible spectacle, highlighting the very moment that a new life begins, the size of the flash can be used to determine the quality of the fertilized egg.
Researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago, noticed that some of the eggs burn brighter than others, showing that they are more likely to produce a healthy baby.
Eggs flash as they meet sperm enzyme, capturing the moment that life begins CREDIT: NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
The discovery could help fertility doctors pick the best fertilised eggs to transfer during in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
“It was remarkable,” said Professor Teresa Woodruff, one of the study’s two senior authors and an expert in ovarian biology at Northwestern.
“We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.
“This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization.
“It’s a way of sorting egg quality in a way we’ve never been able to assess before. “All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
Currently around 50 per cent of fertilised eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible.
Some clinics take videos of the egg developing to try pick up problems early, while others check for genetic mutations, but that is an invasive procedure which can damage the tiny egg. Often it is just down to a clinician decided which eggs look the healthiest.
But the new findings could give and extra indication that an egg is flourishing. A video of nine human eggs coming into contact with sperm enzyme showed two flashed much brighter than the rest.
“This is an important discovery because it may give us a non-invasive and easily visible way to assess the health of an egg and eventually an embryo before implantation,” said co-author Dr Eve Feinberg, who took care of the patients who provided eggs for the basic science study and collaborated with the research team.
“There are no tools currently available that tell us if it’s a good quality egg. Often we don’t know whether the egg or embryo is truly viable until we see if a pregnancy ensues.
“That’s the reason this is so transformative. If we have the ability up front to see what is a good egg and what’s not, it will help us know which embryo to transfer, avoid a lot of heartache and achieve pregnancy much more quickly.”
The bright flash occurs because when sperm enters an egg it leads to a surge of calcium which triggers the release of zinc from the egg. As the zinc shoots out, it binds to small molecules which emit a fluorescence which can be picked up by camera microscopes.
Over the last six years this team has shown that zinc controls the decision to grow and change into a completely new genetic organism.
In the experiment, scientists use sperm enzyme rather than actual sperm to show what happens at the moment of conception.
“These fluorescence microscopy studies establish that the zinc spark occurs in human egg biology, and that can be observed outside of the cell,” said Professor Tom O’Halloran, a co-senior author.
In a companion paper published in Scientific Reports on March 18, a zinc spark is shown at the precise time a sperm enters a mouse egg.
This discovery was made by Nan Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern. Little is known about the events that occur at the time of fertilization, because it is difficult to capture the precise time of sperm entry.
The study will be published April 26 in Scientific Reports.
This picture caused quite a dialogue with a (former) supporter who believes that because abortion takes the life of an innocent life, women who have an abortion SHOULD be called murderers. We disagree - not that abortion isn't taking a life - but we don't believe that labels are helpful at all in reaching a woman with the message of hope - help and healing. In working with thousands of women over the past 32 years, we know that most women don't choose abortion because they want to - they see it as their only option. They're often pressured and manipulated by the only people who are their support system. Mothers - fathers - boyfriends - husbands - even sisters and grandmothers - have all been instrumental in over-riding our clients' desire to have their babies. The pressure in many cases was unrelenting - and frightening - and having the abortion felt like the only way out. AND - the women who come to our Post Abortion groups already feel like they were a scarlet "A" - and that label taints everything they feel about themselves and pushes them into some pretty destructive behavior.
We're reminded of the women who was caught "in the very act of adultery" - there was no doubt about what this woman had been up to. The Law was clear - she was to be stoned (so was he, by the way - but he wasn't dropped at the feet of Jesus for judgement). Did Jesus pick up a stone? Did He tell her she was an adulteress whore? No - He was silent - and began writing something on the ground that made all the men drop their stones and walk away. Then He lifted her up - told her that her "sins were forgiven, and to go and sin no more." Did she beg and plead for His mercy? That's not recorded in the Word. Did Jesus (God) know her heart - know that she wanted His forgiveness? Like the woman who has had an abortion, this woman didn't need to be told that she was a sinner - she knew - and she responded to the love and compassion of Jesus. We want to be His hands - His feet - His heart - to these women! That's why we'll never use the word "murderer" to describe one of them.
When and What You Use Matters
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has been letting you know about gradual changes to your electric bill. These changes are taking place as a result of statewide electric rate reform. The transition to a new electric rate structure that began last September enters the next phase later this year. Read more: http://www.sdge.com/RateReform/
How these changes affect your electric bill will depend on your energy use, where you live and whether you’re enrolled in a bill discount program like California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE). You should also know that summer season electricity rates begin on May 1. Summertime rates are 2¢ to 3¢ higher than those in the winter, so this may affect your bill.
To that end, there’s never been a better time to learn about ways that might help you save energy and save money! Here are some solutions that can help you do a variety of things from saving water or conserving energy using your smartphone, to earning credits on your energy bill to determining if you are eligible to receive a discount on your energy bill.