Monday, December 11, 2021

 Plough Monday

 

Genesis, Chapter 26, Verse 7

When the men of the place asked questions about his wife, he answered, “She is my sister.” He was afraid that, if he called her his wife, the men of the place would kill him on account of Rebekah, since she was beautiful.

 

So, Isaac (whom was bound as a sacrificial offering to God) the only son of Abraham, now is grown, has a wife and is pulling the same trick as his father Abraham with the men who desire his wife-stating she is my sister.

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the recurring story has a unified purpose:

"From the point of view of the history of culture these episodes are very instructive. But it is not very probable that Abraham would have run the risk twice. Moreover, a similar incident is reported in regard to Isaac and Rebecca. This recurrence indicates that none of the accounts is to be accepted as historical; all three are variations of a theme common to the popular oral histories of the Patriarchs. That women were married in the way here supposed is not to be doubted. The purpose of the story is to extol the heroines as most beautiful and show that the Patriarchs were under the special protection of the Deity."[1]

Another lesson we can take from this is that Isaac here was dealing with men that had no fear of God. Men who take what they want and will kill to get it. Isaac here could not fight them because he was not strong enough. Isaac could not leave because there was a famine. So, he sought to deceive. Yet, even in his weakness God was with him and when Abimelech, the righteous king, discovered the truth put him under his royal protection; thus, saving him from danger. Righteous men & nations always seek to protect the weak.

 

Plough Monday[2] is the traditional start of the English agricultural year. While local practices may vary, Plough Monday is generally the first Monday after Twelfth Day (Epiphany), 6 January. The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period. 

As we begin our working year let us remember that our primary work in the world as a follower of Christ is to do his will for us putting our hand on the plough and looking forward to the year; may all of our days and rows be straight. 

No man, having put his hand ... - To put one's hand to a plow is a proverbial expression to signify undertaking any business. In order that a plowman may accomplish his work, it is necessary to look onward - to be intent on his employment - not to be looking back with regret that he undertook it. So, in religion; He that enters on it must do it with his whole heart, He that comes still loving the world - still looking with regret on its pleasures, its wealth, and its honors - that has not "wholly" forsaken them as his portion, cannot be a Christian, and is not fit for the kingdom of God. How searching is this test to those who profess to be Christians! And how solemn the duty of all people to renounce all earthly objects, and to be not only "almost," but "altogether," followers of the Son of God! It is perilous to tamper with the world - to look at its pleasures or to seek its society. He that would enter heaven must come with a heart full of love to God; giving "all" into his hands, and prepared always to give up all his property, his health, his friends, his body, his soul to God, when he demands them, or he cannot be a Christian. Religion is everything or nothing. He that is not willing to sacrifice "everything" for the cause of God, is really willing to sacrifice nothing. 

Human Trafficking Awareness[3] 

Human Trafficking Awareness Day is dedicated to raising awareness of sexual slavery and human trafficking worldwide.  Today, there are between 21-30 million people enslaved in the world, more than at any time in human history. Every day, modern slavery can be recognized: children  become soldiers; young women are forced into prostitution and migrant workers exploited in the workforce. Human Trafficking Awareness Day seeks to end this slavery, return rights to individuals and make the world a safer place for all inhabitants. Human Trafficking Awareness Day started in 2007, when the U.S. Senate designated January 11th as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the hopes of raising awareness to combat human trafficking. It began as a U.S. initiative, and the United Nations has started to highlight this topic and work towards global awareness with days such as International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. 

Human Trafficking Awareness Facts & Quotes

 

·         The most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation, accounting for 79% of human trafficking victims. These victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls.

·         According to UNICEF, 2 million children are estimated to be trafficking victims of sex trade each year. 20% of traffic victims are children.

·         The average age of a girl being forced into the US domestic sex slavery market is 13.

·         The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.

·         It is slavery in the modern age. Every year thousands of people, mainly women and children, are exploited by criminals who use them for forced labor or the sex trade. No country is immune. Almost all play a part, either as a source of trafficked people, transit point or destination. - United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. 

Human Trafficking Awareness Top Events and Things to Do

 

§  Talk to children about strangers and make sure they memorize important addresses and phone numbers.

§  Save 888-373-7888 to your phone.  This is number to the National Human Trafficking Resources Hotline.

§  Make a donation to an organization fighting human trafficking.

§  Learn the signs and indicators of human trafficking so that you can learn to recognize it and report it. US Homeland Security offers a training online free of charge.

·         Watch a movie about human trafficking. Our picks: Taken (2008), Trade (2007), Human Trafficking (2005), The Pink Room (2011), Nefarious (2011) and Lilya 4-ever (2002). 

Know the Signs[4]

 Recognizing indicators of human trafficking is key to identifying victims and helping them find assistance.

Look for someone who:

 

1.      Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes

2.      Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips

3.      Works excessively long and/or unusual hours

4.      Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work

5.      Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off

6.      Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work

7.      High security measures exist in work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded-up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)

8.      Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense or nervous/paranoid

9.      Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after mention of law enforcement

10.  Avoids eye contact

11.  Lacks health care

12.  Appears malnourished

13.  Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement or torture

14.  Has few or no personal possessions

15.  Is not in control of his/her own money, has no financial records or bank account

16.  Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)

17.  Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)

18.  Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address

19.  Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in

20.  Loss of sense of time

21.  Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story 

Party at Winterskol in Aspen[5]

January 14-17

Raise a toast to winter in Aspen’s annual Winterskol Festival. The winter tradition is more than 60 years strong and was started by a lodge owner who wanted to enliven the Aspen winter season following Christmas. Today, the four-day winter fest includes a snow sculpture competition, a soup cook-off and a downhill race with apple strudel at the finish line.

Daily Devotions/Activities

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

·         Plan winter fun:

o   Soak in hot springs

o   Hit the snow slopes

o   Ride a snowmobile

o   Go for a dog sled ride

o   Ride a hot air balloon




[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wife%E2%80%93sister_narratives_in_the_Book_of_Genesis

[2] Barnes' Notes on the Bible

[5]https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/travels-best/photos/awesome-things-to-do-in-january



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