England vs South Africa Rugby Test Series

In the “who gives a #$@%t category, the Springboks (South Africa’s national rugby team) play the Lions (England’s national rugby team) tomorrow in the first of three test matches in South Africa. Other than South Africa vs New Zealand, this is the fiercest rivalry in world rugby. Both England and South Africa have been struggling in their last matches, but the bragging rights for this series are immense. The venue for the first match is Ellis Park in Johannesburg. To beat South Africa at Ellis Park is the “holy grail” of rugby. Very few teams have managed it over the years. This series is a landmark for South Africa who for the first time ever have a black captain – Siya Kolisi. Rugby in South Africa has been a white man’s sport up till now, but Siya’s appointment has been lauded by all. He is the best man for the job. Go Boks!

 

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New Brush Truck for the Fire Department

Yesterday Chief Jay and Asst Chief Chuck visited the Federal Surplus Depot in San Antonio to find a replacement for the old Deuce and a Half brush truck. They found a 2007 truck and trailer with only 68 miles on the clock. Needless to say they clinched the deal. Work will now start to transfer the tank, pump and hose from the old truck to the new. It is a simple exercise and is expected to be complete within two weeks. The old Deuce will be put out to pasture after a long and productive life.

ourdeuce1

Goodbye old friend.

Quail Call

Still on the subject of suffering and evil in our world…  The problem of evil is just this…WHY would a loving God allow evil to exist?  If you think it through, the problem of evil assumes that an all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing God CANNOT have a good reasons for creating a universe in which evil and suffering exist.  While we may not understand why a good God would allow suffering…we can know that this knowledge merely establishes that if there is a God, we don’t know everything He knows. Why should this surprise us?  Still, evil does exist!! All this will culminate in one unmistakable fact (for us Christians at least):  GOD HAS A MORALLY SUFFICIENT REASON FOR PERMITTING EVIL…you may disagree with this but it is TRUTH for us!!

Bob White

Quail Call

In my study on evil and suffering…I ran across something I want to share with you.  Many, many times I have heard people say..”Why would a loving God allow evil to exist?”  Can you think of a story – anywhere – that if you removed the “plot” it would be a better story?  Good stories…those that move you…are that good because there is a choice in the story of evil!  Remove all the evil from the world…all the way back.  Would mankind be better?  If no evil…no Jesus…no wonderful stories of good prevailing.  Matter of fact…NO GOOD!!  Would you like to live in a world where there was not, at least, the opportunity of free choice?  “Well, you say, “I want free choice but I just don’t want evil to exist”.  Oh yea, well if you couldn’t chose anything but good…that equates to NO choice!  God designed this world to afford you and I an opportunity to make the wrong choices so that when we make it right…we learn!

Bob White

Turkeys

We have previously featured our resident wild turkey population here on the Arroyo. The birds usually hang out along Marshall Hutts Rd and don’t wander too far. The other day we surprised a lone turkey in our yard which is way west down FM 2925. Both the turkey and we were startled and the turkey took off up the driveway and out onto the street. We spotted him the next day near the irrigation channel looking lost. We hope he made it back to Marshall Hutts and the rest of the flock (gaggle?).

Pentecost

Tomorrow, May 27, is the Orthodox Feast of Holy Pentecost, celebrated each year on the fiftieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ.

The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching of the Apostles and the baptism of the thousands who on that day believed in the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Feast is also seen as the culmination of the revelation of the Holy Trinity.

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Prayer of the Holy Spirit:

Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, everywhere present and filling all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life: come and abide in us, cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls, O Good One.

Apolytikion:

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, who made fisherman all-wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them, drawing all the world into Your net. O Loving One, glory be to You.

Kontakion:

When the Most High came down and confounded tongues of men at Babel, He divided the nations. When He dispensed the tongues of fire, He called all to unity, and with one voice we glorify the Most Holy Spirit.

The story of Pentecost is found in the book of The Acts of the Apostles. In Chapter two we are told that the Apostles of our Lord were gathered together in one place. Suddenly, a sound came from heaven like a rushing wind, filling the entire house where they were sitting. Then, tongues of fire appeared, and one sat upon each one of Apostles. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as directed by the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).

This miraculous event occurred on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, celebrated by the Jews on the fiftieth day after the Passover as the culmination of the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). The Feast of Weeks began on the third day after the Passover with the presentation of the first harvest sheaves to God, and it concluded on Pentecost with the offering of two loaves of unleavened bread, representing the first products of the harvest (Leviticus 23:17-20; Deuteronomy 16:9-10).

Since the Jewish Feast of Pentecost was a great pilgrimage feast, many people from throughout the Roman Empire were gathered in Jerusalem on this day. When the people in Jerusalem heard the sound, they came together and heard their own languages being spoken by the Apostles (Acts 2:5-6). The people were amazed, knowing that some of those speaking were Galileans, and not men who would normally speak many different languages. They wondered what this meant, and some even thought the Apostles were drunk (Acts 2:7-13).

Peter, hearing these remarks, stood up and addressed the crowd. He preached to the people regarding the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He spoke about Jesus Christ and His death and glorious Resurrection. Great conviction fell upon the people, and they asked the Apostles, “What shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38-39).

The Bible records that on that day about three thousand were baptized. Following, the book of Acts states that the newly baptized continued daily to hear the teaching of the Apostles, as the early Christians met together for fellowship, the breaking of bread, and for prayer. Many wonderful signs and miracles were done through the Apostles, and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).