World View

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Oh oh You Will be Late to Work

You are on your way to work and suddenly all you see ahead is red.  The bright glaring red that vehicle tail-lights scream “STOP”.  Quickly you realize you are hopelessly stuck in traffic grid-lock and you won’t be getting to work on time this morning.  It now has become a global phenomena  visit the link to a Forbes article to learn you are not alone in this dilemma.

The Worlds Worst Traffic Jams

World view is not an accurate objective assessment of reality but rather the perception each human being acquires through personal knowledge, experience and interaction with his, or her immediate environment.  The world view we develop begins with our family in our home, expands as we venture out into our surroundings, is affected by our school and neighborhood all the way including the communities on Earth that interact.  It is as much dependent on physical factors as psychological factors.  Cultural and social effects and a religious (or absence thereof) belief most certainly.  We tend to find peace with the familiar and view the prevailing experience as the norm at, or least acceptable; find it hard to accept change even if it suggests the change will be for the better.

Change can be Good, Bad or Indifferent

In my lifelong interface with issues of change I agreed with a wide spectrum of views from change is good even for its own sake to holding on to tradition at all costs as paramount.  Neither of these opinions reflect the realities we eventually experience as time progresses and changes happen at a steady pace regardless of my perception.  So what is right and what is wrong? Am I a person in favor of, or one who is against, change?  Possibly the  at any cost is a bit extreme for me to swallow? Nevertheless sometimes when I contemplate this trend of  thought I become confused, depressed and frozen in a state of none participation and mimic a fatalistic attitude.  I have to admit none of these tactics work well for me.  There is only one thing that consistently gives me understanding, peace and direction: A belief that and believing what God teaches us.God is in control and therefore provides the best answers.

How a World View Nurtured by God’s Word Works for me

Creator God
Creator God

I gain comfort knowing God knows and Loves me and I am an important part of God’s creation:

Genesis 1 ESV “. . . 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image . . . 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good . . . ”

Mathew 10:30 ESV “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Philippians 4: 6 – 7 ESV “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For more about a Christian World View visit our friends at Focus on the Family link below

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America Changed the World

So How Did America Change the World?

The America I refer to is the United States of America. That the U.S.A. changed the world is not debatable but, I am not writing about the form of government, the culture or contributions to World Science and Technology. So what am I writing about? Economics? No. Geology? No. Not even its influence projected as the only ‘Super Power’ after 19911. America changed the world order by demonstrating more positive attributes of Christianity – even though not with perfection – than any other Nation, country, religion variant or society has in all of world history. In this reality of consciousness, people do not reach perfection because of the very nature of homo Sapiens.

1-20-Public-Domain moonWe do not find perfection on Earth

Greece, Persia, Rome, France, Germany, England, Portugal and Spain (as well as some others not listed) contributed to civilization’s march away from primitive barbarism toward fairness and justice. This process has taken so long because the evil demonstrated by humans is hard to diminish and slow to dissipate. Though advances toward the good can be identified and studied, evil persists to this day in places on the Earth and, it still evokes fear and loathing.

(C) James Halifko

Evil still lurks upon the Earth

Nevertheless when The Axis2 was finally defeated in 1945 a profound New World Order was established by The United States of America. Since then, there has been war and genocide, crime and injustice, yet, these manifestations of evil have declined and continue to decline. So therefore, the possibilities for the future from a humanist view can be anticipated to be bright and positive. I do have a caveat, though the future is not the subject of this treatise the ultimate demise of the World is prophesied by several religious traditions including the Jewish and Christian versions as revealed in scripture. I do not know when the World will end; as a Bible3 believing Christian I see the work at hand for me and my brothers and sisters is to demonstrate God’s love and to be obedient to what Jesus Christ has instructed especially ‘love thy neighbor as thy self’4.

The U.S.A. has fostered treaties, turned enemies into friends and assisted many people who were in great need. This behavior has taught an imperfect World that people doing what is right and just can change things for the better.

The USA threw a lifeline to Europe

250px-US-MarshallPlanAid-Logo.svgWhen World War II ended The United State of America had treated the vanquished differently than how most victors of war had done – at least never on such a vast scale. What the American people did was marvelous: They forgave their enemies, did not levy monetary penalties that could not have been paid but instead, helped the former enemies rebuild5 their nations, guided them through recovery so they could rejoin the World Community as contributing members: Japan, Germany and Italy. In fact, The United States assisted victim Nations rebuild in Europe and Asia as well.

The World calls out “Mayday” and Americans respond

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And so the U.S.A changed the World for the better despite imperfections, set backs, envious people, revenge seekers and extremist driven by violent ideologies. I sincerely believe that we as a Nation can continue to demonstrate ‘Good’ to the world and help bestow the blessings of God upon it. I am confident God wants to freely give good things to humans who acknowledge God in all things, and with paramount importance, accept the gift of Eternal Salvation available because of the completed work of Jesus Christ just by believing in Him as Lord and Savior.

(Amen).

SONG:  This is Our America

References from the Bible (ESV):

Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Exodus 23:5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

END NOTES:

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_Soviet_Unionmeaning

 

Solid Marriage; Happy Family; Strong Nation

Marriage Basic Human Unit

Since the beginning human life has centered on the family unit. For example the Bible begins with Adam, Eve, Cane, Able and Seth in Genesis. Sadly the human race had only just begun when Cane murders Able out of envy because God accepted Abel’s offering and not his. I am not going to write about the myriad of human failures that permeate history however; I am going to discus one of the great success stories instead: Marriage.

Zyg Fam001   First Hand Experience

My experience begins in the mid 1950’s when despite human shortcomings the family unit functioned pretty well. My immediate family was not one of them though because my father ran off and eventually divorced my mother. Their story is a story movies are made from as he eventually returned and remarried her and then lived out his days with her, but, that is a story for another day.

Family 1957

Yes my immediate family was unique, for in those days most people stuck to their marriage even when from a human perspective it seemed not to be working. My brothers and I suffered some negative societal effects because of this since for the most part everyday people did not divorce. Being from a family with divorced parents at that time (called a broken home) gave people reason to shun and even ostracize you; not just the men and women involved but also their children. Yet back then, the vast majority of children I knew enjoyed a complete family with well-defined roles for fathers and mothers and many seemed to have a happy home.

Yes the society in the 1950’s that I became aware of was working very well, the Great Depression and World War II were in the past and the hostilities of the Korean Conflict were in remission. Dad’s had good jobs and Mom’s stayed home and cared for house, home-life and the children. We as children were taught how to act in public within our homes so even before we became students we had manners and understood right from wrong. What was some of this social knowledge that we had as we left our home? We should respect others, we should be polite we should not steal or fight and we knew very well that when we strayed from this norm, some form of punishment was due us when we got home – when our parents found out that is. No it was not a perfect society but it was better than what I perceive society to be now in many ways.

Through history marriage and the family unit survived times of war and catastrophes often by forming blended family units out of the survivors. Even when survival fostered these new marriage situations love developed from the commitment to make it work.  This tradition reestablished order within damaged family units and therefore they improved the recovering societies they lived in. Again, It was not perfect, but the striving for something better overcame the damage (sadly often human self-inflicted damage) that humans endured. Yes when the basic family unit was reestablished, order and stability followed and the people who had suffered calamity returned to a life as close to normal as possible.

New and Old Influences in the U.S.A.

Old foes of marriage? Relaxed standards for curbing lustful desires, mistrust for a spouse, financial stress, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and often spouses asserting very different philosophies and expectations for the marriage relationship. Yet negatives can be (and often were) overcome by a commitment to honor vows, and allow love to grow.

New foes of marriage? Exaggerated self-importance, conditional commitments, mistrust, too many opportunities of temptation leading to unfaithfulness , misconceptions of love and confusion between love and lust. In some cases even a good thing like an increased average life span can allow negative influences the time required to break down our best efforts to remain faithful.

Yet the greatest danger to healthy enduring marriages may be trends in popular culture that glorify the negatives and thus encourage people to live for their own personal pleasure and satisfaction.

Post-Modern Society

The backlash from societal failures to avert old human calamities such as war fostered a very seductive form of persuasion on society: individual fulfillment is paramount, truth is relative and morality is not absolute but functions on a sliding scale. Some verbal indicators: “We are not wrong, we just are different.” “You have just changed too much” or “I have changed my mind about you.” “No one wins until we all win.” “You are inhibiting my freedom to be me.” “Circumstances warrant the bending of rules or ignoring a law in my opinion.” These comments not only shed light on threats to our traditional view of the foundational family unit in my opinion but, have had, and continues to have, a negative effect on marriage.

It Once was Bad now it is Good

Jokes about a spouse and marriage in general are very much a part of popular humor today: in cartoons, in cinema, on television and especially exploited by comedians. Tabloids spew the sordid details of celebrity weddings, their break ups and even their sexual escapades. Having a child out-of-wedlock seems to be perfectly fine today, even when a single parent must raise the child. Cohabitation, then having children, and, then getting married is fast becoming the norm in my part of the world. Progressive thinkers applaud these changes, yet in my assessment the weakening of the aspects that have made our Western Culture so strong, especially within the United States, are having a negative affect and usurping one of our great strengths: The American Family.

The lack of stable quintessential family units robs us of a bright future. Stable family units that provide us with a new well-balanced generation, that has a clear sense of right and wrong, that demonstrates respect for others, has a keen sense of purpose and behaves with civility would continue what has been so good about our way of life. Isolated examples of a child doing good that has emerged from foster care or he or she came from a dysfunctional family fuel supporters of these new ways; they point out that this indicates fragmented and altered family units do no harm. I believe a closer look at what goes on in our schools tells a different story.

My Perspective Changed

In August 1984 I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. From this vantage point of my age it was about the mid-point of my life. The way I lived before that moment was characterized by a hedonistic drive: I dabbled with drugs in my teens, ultimately became an alcoholic who kept the most negative effects less apparent to those around me, I was liberal concerning sex, I even had two marriages fail and was at a loss to explain my lack of success.  A lack of success even though I was told I had talent and a good mind and would be very successful. After 1984 much had improved though life was not perfect: consequences for my per-Christian life lingered (even challenged me at times) , but, since 1985 when my wife and I married (she also is a Christian) we have weathered many a storm together and God has blessed us in just the right measure to fend of the worst life has hurled at us. We were, and still are blessed in so many ways. It is clear to me which way of life is best for my wife and I and our family. I am quiet sure when people turn to The Lord their lives will change for the better and this improves our society as well.

Yes I am a Bible Believing Christian fully convinced that humans can never live up to the standard God has provided, but an earnest desire to strive for His standard yields the best for all humanity not just for us here in These United States of America.

 

What the Bible Indicates

Hebrews 13: 4 – 5 (ESV)

4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

Proverbs 11:29 (NIV)

Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.

 

Mark 10: 6 – 9

6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

 

Exodus 20:12 (NLT)

“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Are the Ten Commandments Obsolete?

How fast would humans descend to cruel anarchy without words of truth to guide them?

GodsWordbMany years ago when I was a young Christian doing my best to be a good witness I encountered a couple who seemed like people I could talk to so I spoke to them about Jesus Christ and Christianity.  I explained how my life had been changed for the good and shared examples of the benefits from learning and applying God’s Word to my life and my family’s life.  This conversation could only continue sporadically over time because we were co-workers and opportunity to spend a lot time in this conversation would not be the right thing to do.  Of course I tried to make up for that by giving them tracts.  One day they told me outright that they did not need religion (nor a relationship with Jesus) to live a good life, die and go to heaven.  OK, so they let me know they had heard enough about the subject and that I should back off.  I asked one last question before we went our separate ways.

“How can you be so sure you know all there is to know about right and wrong?” I said.

She replied, ” We just know.”

I mused over that for a moment then asked a friendly question, “Where did you meet each other by the way?”

They told me they were childhood sweethearts and they had attended and graduated from parochial school (Roman Catholic).  My last words to them as we parted?

“So you did learn all about God’s Ten Commandments after all, and, that is how I believe you really know right from wrong.”

Religion is the attempt by humans to get back in touch with God after “The Fall” in the Garden of Eden.  Through the eons many common sense teachings have helped people live better and the origins of this wisdom has seemed to have arrived on Earth via many different people.  Many people who presented this wisdom are associated with numerous religions, yet under closer scrutiny I see that the greatest truths for humans has actually come directly from God.  How I know this will be explained in a book that I am writing.  For now I just want to focus on the “Ten Commandments” that were given to Moses as explained in the Old Testament of The Bible in the book of Exodus 20:1–17.   When people obeyed the precepts in this revelation all people benefited and this is recorded throughout the history of civilization.

Unbelievers, pagans, agnostics and atheists have benefited from the guidance obtained from the Ten Commandments, not just  Hebrews and Christians.  Governments have relied on them when passing the laws that provide order for their nations.  Satan and his cohorts know them better than many humans.  While adhering to these Ten Commandments will not assure your acceptance into Heaven (only accepting Jesus can do that) life on Earth is so much better when they are followed.  These precepts guide us and teach us about our own nature thus they help us to avoid the consequences of wrong doing.  Today there appears to be a movement to remove all references to the Ten Commandments, displays of them and monuments to them everywhere because they offend some people.  Who are they?

The Ten Commandments not only teach us right from wrong but shed light on evil doers in my opinion and, if some people are made uncomfortable by their presence so be it, that is exactly what God has intended: they expose and work against evil and perpetrators of evil.

Deuteronomy 4:13 (ESV)

And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.

1 Corinthians 7:19 (ESV)

For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.

 

Ten Commandments for the 21st Century

(explained by James Halifko)

  1. Recognize just one Supreme Being: God

  2. Do not create your own gods from any thing or any concept.

  3. Do not utter God or speak of God in a disrespectful manner.

  4. Humans need a true day of rest during a week.

  5. The family unit is vital for good so especially respect your parents.

  6. Murder is evil and forbidden; kill only in order to survive.

  7. Honor your commitment to your spouse; adultery is destructive.

  8. Do not take or keep anything that you have not earned.

  9. Do not lie or omit truth.

  10. Coveting anything or anyone is an empty and wasteful practice and invites evil.

Is America Loosing Its Civility?

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As I became aware of the milieu I was born into during the 1950’s I was taught to respect elders, people of authority, teachers, clergy and everyone I encountered in public.  Manners were important and especially the choice of words used in public, school and certainly in mixed company.

Today it seems common here on the East Coast of the U.S.A.  within Megalopolis to slack off on manners and abandon constraint on the tongue: I often her expletives and swear words once confined to harsh work environments, back alleys, saloons and during armed conflicts. Sure boys hanging out were prone to express themselves in a loose manner but quickly modified their speech when an older person, female or person of authority entered within hearing range.  What about today?

Since the 1950’s things have turned away from a tradition of being polite.  This is reflected in the character and dialogue in cinema, television programs, magazines and more so in the new publicly shared social media of the Twenty-first Century have a much lower standard.  I find it especially offensive when the expletives and swearing is unrestrained in popular song lyrics, in mixed company and especially in groups that have children present.  Many people today apparently do not think this is a problem nor do they seem to believe it does any harm.  Aside from older people from another generation being offended as I, I see this trend as one more degradation in our society that once was civil if not always pleasant.

I am a Christian and I do not believe the wisdom offered to us within the Bible is old fashioned or out dated.  On the contrary,  Holy Scripture teaches us  how to make life better by fostering respect and positive behavior within families and in public.

Luke 6:45 (ESV)

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Ephesians 4:29

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.