Blog Scripture Readings for 4-24 Through 4-30-16

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashah — (None This Week)
Haftarah — (None This Week)
Prophets — Isaiah 55:1 – 61:11
Writings — Job 6:1 – 12:25
Testimony — Acts 15:1 – 18:28

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day. One each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 4/24 through 4/30/16.

 

I signed the boycott Target petition, will you?

Created On: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 4:28 PM
Last Update: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 2:58 PM
boycotttarget

945,128Signers

The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use the women’s restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores.

On its web site this week, Target announced, “[W]e welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. …Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”

This means a man can simply say he “feels like a woman today” and enter the women’s restroom…even if young girls or women are already in there.

Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?

Clearly, Target’s dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters. We think many customers will agree. And we think the average Target customer is willing to pledge to boycott Target stores until it makes protecting women and children a priority.

One solution is a common-sense approach and a reasonable solution to the issue of transgendered customers: a unisex bathroom. Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided.

Take Action

Sign a pledge to boycott Target now! Target should not allow men to enter the women’s restrooms and dressing rooms.

After you sign the pledge, contact Target and let them know you’ve signed the Pledge. Call Target Guest Relations at 1-800-440-0680.

Share your concerns on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/target. When sharing this on social media use #BoycottTarget.

Here are examples of what Target’s policy can lead to:

Cross-dressing man arrested for filming Alabama woman in public bathroom
NY Daily News: Seattle man undresses in women’s locker room to test new transgender bathroom rule
Life Site News: Sexual predator jailed after claiming to be ‘transgender’ to assault women in shelter
KTLA.com: DA: Cross-Dressing Man Secretly Taped Women at Macy’s
>Western Morning News: Cross-dresser branded ‘high risk’ to women
NBC Connecticut: Teen Coerced Into Food Court Bathroom for Sex: Cops
Abc7news.com: POLICE: CALIF. LOCKER ROOM SUSPECT USED DISGUISE
Purdue University: Purdue police investigate report of man taking photographs in women’s restroom
The Mercury News: Sex offender wearing fake breasts, wig arrested for loitering in womens’ restroom
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Greensburg man who photographed cheerleaders to be tried
UPI.com: Cross-dresser arrested in bath house
St. Petersburg Times: Cross-dressing man sentenced for battery

 

The Feast of Unleavened Bread: Points to Ponder

matzah

The Feast of Unleavened Bread Is a Commemorative Ritual

Passover going into the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the birthday of the nation of Israel. In ancient times, universal Israel came together in Jerusalem to celebrate this event. Today, redeemed Israelites come together to celebrate these divine appointment sacred convocations.

Abstaining from leavened bread for seven days is symbolic of Elohim’s people separating themselves from sin and turning towards a holy relationship with him.

Removing leavening from our  homes is a symbolic activity just like taking communion, being baptized for the remission of sins, or building a sukkah during the Feast of Tabernacles. As humans, we need symbolic commemorative occasions for several reasons. They give us a sense of history by helping us to understand the past, so that we can move forward into the future knowing who we are and where we’ve come from. They give us guidance so that we’ll learn from the lessons of history, both the good and bad ones. Our American culture is full of symbolic rituals and commemorative acts and markers (Christmas, Easter, birthdays, anniversaries, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, statues, historical markers, monuments, museums, heritage sites, etc.). Likewise, Biblical commemorative rituals help us in several ways.

They help us to both recall and commemorate past and future events.

They help us to understand who we are by recalling where we’ve come from which in turn helps us to understand where we’re going.

They can be something physical that helps us to wrap our minds around difficult-to-understand spiritual principle.

They are something physical that help to point us toward a spiritual reality. They help to raise our hopes and our eyes above our mundane existence and strengthen our faith as we move toward the higher goal or reality to which the ritual or commemorative event points.

They help us to teach and to pass on to each new generation not only about our past history, but our future hope.

Leavening Is a Picture of Sin

The observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a symbol of our commitment to turn towards righteousness and turn away from sin. How serious we are about removing physical leaven from our homes in compliance with YHVH’s commands is an indicator of how serious we are about removing sin from our lives.

While leavening makes bread rise and is therefore a symbol for pride, leavening is also a Continue reading

 

Science Confirms Life Begins at Conception

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/04/26/bright-flash-of-light-marks-incredible-moment-life-begins-when-s/

Bright flash of light marks incredible moment life begins when sperm meets egg

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.

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 fertilised 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
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.”

A fluorescent flash captures the moment that sperm enzyme enters the egg
A fluorescent flash captures the moment that sperm enzyme enters the egg CREDIT:NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY 

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 top right and bottom left egg flashed brighter showing they were healthier 
The top right and bottom left egg flashed brighter showing they were healthier CREDIT: NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY 

The bright flash occurs because when sperm enters and egg it triggers calcium to increase which releases zinc from the egg. As the zinc shoots out, it binds to small molecules which emit a fluorescence which can be picked up my 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 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.

 

Chag HaMatzot (The Feast of Unleavened Bread): An Overview

Unleavened Bread

Chag HaMatzot or the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the second annual festival on YHVH’s biblical calendar, and occurs on the fifteenth day of the month of the Abib, which is the day immediately following Passover (or Pesach, Lev 23:5–8). Because both of these feasts (Exod 34:25; Lev 23:2, 6) occur back-to-back, the Jews often refer to Passover and Unleavened Bread simply as Passover Week or some similar term that places the main emphasis on the Passover. But it must be noted that, though related, these two festivals are separate in meaning and purpose. Passover pictures Israel coming out of Egypt. Upon separating from Egypt, YHVH (the LORD) then commanded the Israelites to put all leavened food products out of their houses and to eat unleavened bread (flat bread) for seven days, hence the origins of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Additionally, the first and seventh days of this week-long event are Sabbaths, and YHVH commanded his people to hold a set-apart convocation (or gathering) on these Sabbaths.

What, you may ask, is the purpose of putting leavening out of one’s home and eating unleavened bread products such as matzoh for one week? This seems like a curious request by YHVH of his people. Not surprisingly, the Creator of the universe has a reason for everything. The spiritual implications are enlightening and highly relevant to the disciples of Yeshua. In commanding his people to de-leaven their homes and lives, YHVH is teaching us an object lesson that applies to us as much today as to the Israelites of long ago.

Eating unleavened bread for seven days is a memorial, remembrance or reminder (Exod 13:6–9) of our coming out of our own spiritual Egypt. But how did unleavened bread enter Continue reading