Bees, ‘Just Saying’ What's the first thing you think when you see or hear a bee? Can honey bees & flowers live without each other? Is anything sweeter than honey?
In spite of the fear of being stung, most folks are fascinated by bees and many have a great appreciation for honey. There is a vast quantity of excellent information available on these things, But, sadly part of it is misleading at best, and untrue at worst. So as we evaluate the truth of what we read or hear, it’s helpful to consider questions such as: What do you mean by what you're saying; How do you know it’s true; does truth really matter; what difference would it make if I believe it or not?
DEFINITIONS MATTER Many folks don’t define the difference between a honeybee and a wasp, because they both sting. However, they do actually look and act differently. Definitions and differences really do matter to everyone. Confusion operates through assumptions. We can have our own opinions, but we cannot create our own facts.
Wasps are picnic pests with smooth, slim waisted bodies. They like soda; and they land on burgers to pick up protein. They also hunt other insects and steal honeybee larvae from small or weak hives. Wasps build their nests from a kind of wood pulp paper. Wasps are more aggressive than honey bees and can sting multiple times. A wasp sting leaves a painful puncture point with no stinger in it.
Honey bees have hairy bodies, and gather nectar, pollen, and tree resin. They don’t want soda or meat. They build their nests out of wax, and they produce honey, and propolis as well as wax. Unlike wasps, honey bees have a barb in their stinger that gets stuck under people’s skin when they sting. So as they fly away it tears out their gut, including the venom sac; and they die. That means they can only sting you 1 time. However, if you don’t remove the stinger right away, the venom sac can keep pumping poison into you for 10 more minutes. To remove the stinger without pinching or squeezing the venom sac, and thereby injecting more poison, you can scrape it off with a flat edge.
The Nova documentary, “Bees Tales From the Hive”, claims that bees die when they sting a wasp. Their assumption is that because a honey bee’s barbed stinger gets stuck under human flesh, that it would also get stuck in a wasp’s body when they sting it. However unlike our skin, a wasp’s body is hard and smooth. Therefore, since the honeybee’s barb does not get stuck, the honeybee does not die; so it can sting a wasp injecting venom into it multiple times.
During my decades in beekeeping, I didn’t get stung very often, because I worked quietly and calmly with the bees, and usually used a smoker for the hive or peppermint oil for my exposed skin. When I did get stung the best remedy I found is broadleaf plantain weed. It grows wild in yards, fields and roadsides. It appears in the spring about the same time as dandelions. It has oval green leaves, with parallel veins that stand out on the back of the leaves. Tall, thin, soft spikes appear in the center of the leaf cluster later on. These are seed shoots.
I simply crushed a few plantain leaves, by chewing them; and then spit the wad onto the sting. It stopped the pain and swelling. If I treated the sting right away before the venom spread, it worked best. But if I did it later, I needed to keep the plantain poultice on longer. No worries about swallowing the crushed leaves; people eat it in salads and on sandwiches. That has been my experience, but I do not know how or why it works, or if it works for all people everywhere at all times.
Some people cause what they fear by their fear. Noisy screaming or wildly waving your arms, increases your odds of being stung. Some folks fear being stung, because they fear pain. Most peoples’ greatest fear is death.
Depending on how allergic you are to bee venom, a single sting may range from a tiny irritation, to a full blown anaphylactic or even fatal reaction. Only a very small percentage of people are highly allergic to bee stings; but for them 1 sting could be fatal. However, for most folks it would take hundreds of stings to kill them. Your chances of dying from a bee sting are about the same as your chances of dying from a lightening strike.
Who is Jesus really? Why would a good God need to kill his only son in order to forgive us? Is there legal historical evidence to prove Jesus' resurrection in court?
Whatever your take on Jesus Christ is: it’s undeniable that he‘s the most unique person who ever walked the face of the earth. He was born in a barn; honored as the Messiah king when he entered Jerusalem; and then, within a week, executed by crucifixion as a criminal at the age of 33. Yet, he is still worshipped by millions today as: The Lord God: Creator, Judge, & Redeemer of the world. Jesus was radically different not only because a whole history was written about his life before he was born; or because he never sinned: Jesus used power that no one else had. When he told a wild storm at sea to be still, it obeyed. He stretched five loaves of bread and two fish to make a complete meal for over five thousand people, and had enough leftovers to fill twelve baskets. He healed sick people, walked on water, and made the dead live. He met the needs of lonely, hurting people and was more loving and kind than we can imagine. Yet, many religious leaders hated him; and eventually had him arrested; put on trial; and condemned to a hellish death. The most amazing thing about Jesus of Nazareth, is that, after he was killed, he did not stay dead. Historical evidence shows that three days after he was executed, he came alive again, and was seen by hundreds of witnesses at different times and different places. Jesus' friends had been terrified and discouraged by his crucifixion. But after they saw his empty grave; walked and talked with him; and remembered their ancient scriptures that predicted all of it: they believed he was the Redeemer and King promised by Moses and the prophets. So, they courageously told everyone about it; even though it cost them everything: including their lives. Because of his resurrection, they believed that Jesus Christ is the author of life with authority; which makes everyone accountable to him. If Jesus really is the timeless Living Word of God identified in Isaiah 9:6 & John 1:1, then he proves the authority of the Bible as the true Word of God; and the Bible proves his Authority as the Creator, Judge and Redeemer. Since your life, now and forever, depends on whether you believe Jesus was the Creator, a fraud or a mad man, let's take a look at events in his life that could change your life, now and for all eternity. Jesus' life and ministry impacted people in different ways. Some believed he was the long awaited, promised Messiah. Others felt he was an imposter; and a threat to their power and positions. Religious leaders tried to find some way to discredit or disgrace Jesus. They even talked about killing Lazerus, a man Jesus had raised from the dead; because they wanted to destroy the evidence that Jesus has power over death. Jesus knew the hearts of all of them. He knew what he had to go through; and why it was worth it. Even though his disciples knew the prophecies about the Messiah in the scriptures they only focused on the parts that they liked. A week before he was killed; Jesus tried to prepare them for the reality of what was about to happen. He explained that in Jerusalem the Son of Man would be betrayed into the hands of men who would condemn him to death. Then, they would turn him over to the Gentiles who would: mock him; whip him; beat him; spit on him; and crucify him. But Jesus also told them that on the 3rd day he would rise again. Some responded with concerns over who would get the best position in Jesus’ kingdom. So Jesus explained again that God’s priorities are different from theirs; and that he didn’t come to be served: but rather to serve by giving His life as a ransom for many.
WHO SAID? Whose word will you take? What's true and what's fake? How can you tell & who cares? In 1961 when my first child was born, it caused me to radically reconsider what I thought was important in life. I began searching for truth I could stake my life on. I checked out different philosophies and religions and concluded they were a lot like men I had dated: full of false promises, conflicting and unreliable. Then I reread The New Testament twice. At first it was hard for me to appreciate it's concepts on authority, truth and love; justice and forgiveness; because I had redefined those things to fit my lifestyle choices. Then I began to look back and admit that I had been self-deceived because I believed that I was living by my own rules. I had had a good self-image based on the fact that I had my own code of ethics that directed my decisions. But I began to see that when my rules didn't fit my situation I simply changed the rules to try to justify my behavior. As I sank deeper into rebellion, I had used my bitterness and fears to excuse my offenses. The truth is I was more concerned with looking good then being good. My moral standard had become based more on whether or not I could get caught in my own web of lies, then on how much I was violating the rights of others. I felt humbled and hopeless. So I decided to talk to God about it. Even though it was so long ago , I still remember my prayer. I said, "God if you're there, (and I think you are), I know I have no right to talk to you since I've already ruined my life. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want the broken pieces, now that I've wrecked what you gave me. But the Bible says, Jesus already paid the penalty for my sin against you, so please forgive me and make me clean." After that I felt wonderful for about 2 weeks and then fell back into my old sinful ways. I had not expected that; and decided maybe I needed to say a better prayer. So I tried again following a church's recommended 'Sinner's Prayer' pattern 'inviting Jesus into my heart'. After that my good life lasted about 2 days. I wondered why this worked for lots of others; but I couldn't seem to get it right.
Where did The Bible come from? Who inscribed it’s first words? What would you do if it's really all true?
The Bible claims to be the written word of God. Hundreds of times it boldly says, “God said” or “Thus saith The Lord”. At least 26 other books in the world today are said to be from God. So, how can we tell which one, if any, is the word of The Creator God? Since our lives both now and later depend on knowing the truth about who we are, where we came from, and why we’re here; It’s worth the work to find the source of truth. The Bible says that the way to find the truth about God is to seek for Him with all your heart. Jesus told his disciples that if they continue in His word they will know the truth and the truth will make them free. From early childhood my main goal was to find freedom from controlling influences: fears within and authorities without. After having and causing trouble in my own rebel heart and life for the first quarter of my time here on earth, I finally found freedom. My freedom came as the message of the Bible revealed the truth about God, the truth about me, and the truth about the price paid to purchase my freedom from both the guilt and bondage of my own pride filled, rebellious heart. I discovered it’s worth it to let the Bible speak for itself rather than taking other people’s word for what it says. By the way, did you know it only takes the average reader seven minutes to read the average chapter of The Bible? The Bible is the only book ever written over more than a 1,500 year time span, by more than 40 different types of authors that were: rich and poor, blue and white collar workers, politicians and prisoners; they lived on three different continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe; they wrote in many different styles and in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek; and yet no one has been able to prove contradictions in the message. The Bible is both the most challenged and the most verified book ever written. The Bible’s credibility has been confirmed by numerous detailed and precisely fulfilled prophecies, as well as archaeological finds that verify historical accounts of ancient names, places, customs and events that were recorded in the Bible thousands of years ago. At this time, more than 50,000 digs in 30,000 different places have been excavated. Aside from all that, the ending of this ancient book is just beginning to happen. The Bible predicted that in the last days there will be a global government with one man as the world ruler. When I was a child, such a possibility was a joke! There were no computers, cell phones, or commercial jet travel. Fast forward to today with many nations’ economies hopelessly deep in debt, worldwide terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and the constant threat of war: many people want a man with a plan to bring peace and prosperity. Due to the advancement of technology our entire planet is interconnected with high speed travel and high speed communication enabling a one world leader to govern the nations.
Do you know the first thing a honey bee does when it emerges from its cell? It goes back in and cleans up its room! It’s true! She spends the first three days of her life cleaning cells so that each one will be ready for the queen to deposit an egg into it. During this time she is called a house bee.Then she becomes a nurse bee for about 10 days feeding the larva beemilk, which is produced in her own body, and beebread,which is made up of honey and pollen. After that she becomes a wax maker and builds or repairs the honeycomb. Part of her job at this time is also to take charge of storing the nectar and pollen brought into the hive by the field workers. About a week later she graduates to guard duty using her stinger on robbers as well as spreading a special scent to alert other bees of danger. When the honey bee is about three weeks old she becomes a field bee. Field bees send out scouts to check what flowers are available. The scouts tell the rest of the bees how far away certain flowers are, how to find them and they give free samples of the nectar to taste.Besides their regular job assignments bees also do extra work like air conditioning the hive, making propolis (a sticky antibiotic, antiviral substance that they sterilize the hive with) and being part of the royal court by feeding and grooming the queen. A honey bee actually makes more calculations in its brain in one second than NASA's early super computer. Honey bees are also much more efficient than computers. A gallon of honey could fuel a bee’s flight for 1,000,000 miles. No one imagines that a computer is the result of an explosion in an electronics factory. The fact that it is designed proves that there is a designer. It’s obvious that an even more intelligent designer than a computer wiz designed the honey bee. So, why do most people want to believe that birds and bees are just part of the result of an accident in space that blew up and grew and grew until there was you? People like to decide who and what to believe, based more on what difference it will make in their lives if a fact is true or not, rather than basing their conclusions on the hard facts. The real question is: Who are you going to trust?
Dear Hurting One, I know that you are now engaged in life and death struggle and I am praying and waiting for the wonderful news that you have found the new life 'in Christ' that will set you free from both the guilt and power of sin. I also know that you probably have already heard 'The Old, Old Story' from many people, many times and in many versions. Before I turned 23, I had also heard 'The Gospel' many times in many versions. But I did not see the truth about God and the truth about myself and as I struggled unsuccessfully to get clean and stay clean, I was frustrated and frightened. I wondered why the gospel of Jesus Christ seemed to work for some people but not for others. I wasn't willing to join the group that worked harder at looking good than being good. That makes no sense since God knows everything and sees inside my heart. 'Fake it 'till you make it' is self deceptive. However, I do understand why so many people get trapped into trying to keep both God's rules and man's rules in a desperate attempt to have peace with God and man. But living a lie won't reconcile me to The Creator God who by very definition is the standard of truth.
God by very definition is the standard of good and evil. He designed us in His image so that as persons, (not puppets); we could reflect His love in our relationships, bonding in faithful trust. Love and trust are not possible without the freedom to doubt and reject. God created our soul as an interdependent trinity of mind, will and emotions. A mind without a will could not choose what to think about. Emotions are the result of the value we place on the thoughts we chose to think. When God breathed His breath into Adam, man became an independent, eternal being capable of faithful friendship; but with that independent free will also came the capacity for fatal failure. Like our first parents, people have chosen to reject God's government and set themselves up as the ultimate authority judging good and evil. The consequences of our rebellion is that we became separated from God; and many of us have been cut out of someone's life or have cut someone else out of our life. We all need forgiveness and reconciliation, because of offenses against God and others that resulted in broken trust, broken relationships, bitterness and suffering. The only real cure for our violations is forgiveness for us and our offenders. So what really is forgiveness? How can we freely forgive someone whose offense has left us feeling angry and hurt since it doesn't work long term to say, "Just let it go'; 'Forget about it'; or 'Move on'? That's denying the offense/lying; and it only works until the next reminder, or violation; and then it all boils back to the surface. Forgiveness is not dependent on feeling angry or hurt. The Bible clearly says, "Be angry and sin not, lest ye give place to the devil." (Eph. 4:26-27); and Psalm 7:1 says, "God is angry with the wicked every day." Why? Because every sin involves breaking God's Holy Law. Refusing to forgive is usurping God's Authority. The Bible defines forgiveness as the choice not to make an offender pay for the offense, because that's God's right and responsibility not ours, (Romans 12:19).
The Dragon Parable (The subtleness of addiction) excerpt from Pure Desire by Ted Roberts
There was once a great and noble king whose land was terrorized by a crafty dragon. Like a massive bird of prey the scaly beast delighted in ravaging villages with fiery breath. Hapless victims ran from their burning homes, only to be snatched into the dragon's jaws or talons. Those devoured were instantly deemed more fortunate than those carried back to the dragon's lair to be devoured at his leisure. The king led his sons and knights in many valiant battles against the serpent Riding alone in the forest one of the king's sons heard his name purred low and soft. In the shadows of the ferns and trees, curled among the boulders, lay the dragon. The creature's heavy lidded eyes fastened on the prince, and the reptilian mouth stretched into a smile. "Don't be alarmed", said the dragon as grey wisps of smoke rose lazily from his nostrils. "I'm not what you're father thinks." "What are you then?" asked the prince warily drawing his sword as he pulled in the reins to keep his fearful horse from bolting. "I am Pleasure", said the dragon. "Ride on my back and you will experience more than you ever imagined. Come now I have no harmful intentions. I seek a friend, someone to share flights with me. Have you ever dreamed of flying? Never longed to soar in the clouds?" Visions of soaring high above the forested hills drew the prince instantly from his horse. The dragon unfurled one of his great webbed wings to serve as a ramp to his ridged back. Between the spiny projections the prince found a secure set. Then the creature snapped his powerful wings twice and launched them into the sky. The prince's apprehension melted into awe and exhilaration. From then on he met the dragon often, but secretly for how could he tell his father, brothers, and the knights that he had befriended the enemy? The prince felt separate from them all. Their concerns were no longer his concerns. Even when he wasn't with the dragon, he spent less time with those he loved and more time alone.