Stewardship: Manage and Preserve

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Wise use of Earth’s resources insures our progeny can use them too.

"Oil is a Fossil Fuel" Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Earth oil wells--Yenanchoung." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2633a1c-93ec-7539-e040-e00a180617a1 forest
“Oil is a Fossil Fuel”
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Earth oil wells–Yenanchoung.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2633a1c-93ec-7539-e040-e00a180617a1
forest

I believe the famous Greek scholar Aristotle advocated the use and consumption of things in moderation.  This is good advice: apply the concept of “The Happy Medium” to what you use as much as possible.  If people were to do just that more “good things” would be available for many more people.  Even if we were to discover a dozen new Earths tomorrow astronomical distances are so great we would not be able to obtain natural resources from them nor, can we easily obtain any natural resource we may discover on the Moon, Mars or on asteroids.

Many of Earth’s resources have a limit and some cannot be recycled.

"Coal a Fossil Fuel" The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "A trainload of coal from Pittsburgh fields for Lake Superior consumption, Conneaut, Ohio." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9944-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
“Coal a Fossil Fuel” The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “A trainload of coal from Pittsburgh fields for Lake Superior consumption, Conneaut, Ohio.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9944-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Coal, natural gas and oil could run out there is a finite amount here on our planet.  Metals, papers and plastic can be recycled but I think recycling 100% is not realistic.  Ships are lost at sea so deep it isn’t practical to retrieve them.  Cloth and paper gradually turn to dust and get blown away by the wind. Yes items manufactured from plants (trees, grains) are called renewable but as the population of Earth increases land used to grow them for things may have to be used to grow food.  The oceans once seemed to be able to yield unlimited food but there now are indications that the seas could be with large intricate Eco systems faltering.   With the danger of oceanic demise comes the risk of widespread loss of our food chain; not counting the damage of climate change altering vital global climate stabilizing sea currents.

The Oceans once seemed to offer unlimited food and wealth.

"Fishing an Ancient Occupation" The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Pulling the nets, fishing in the Bay of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-599a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
“Fishing an Ancient Occupation”
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Pulling the nets, fishing in the Bay of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-599a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

It may be obvious to many people who stewardship of Earth’s resources goes beyond the use of fossil fuels, food sources and recycling plastics.  Humans have effected the oceans and the atmosphere with waste material which in turn seems to have initiated artificial climate change and harm on a global scale.  People have demonstrated high levels of intelligence and ingenuity when motivated by the opportunity for profit.  Opportunity to reap vast personal wealth from the process of invention and production of useful or desirable things.  Yes, innovation has improved the lives of countless humans and made some wealthy, yet the unintended consequences are now manifesting negative side effects; air and water pollution;  tainted land; degraded natural beauty.  Although greed and expediency may be significant causes of the ill effects, they are not the only reason for them: mismanagement and waste do harm also.

Farming is an ancient occupation that is now in change.

"Farmers Go Way Back in History" The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "In the great corn fields of eastern Kansas, U.S.A." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-6318-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
“Farmers Go Way Back in History”
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “In the great corn fields of eastern Kansas, U.S.A.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-6318-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

For much of human history farms were a family, clan or co-operative endeavor but now consolidation is transforming the way humans produce their food.  Large corporations and companies are consolidating small and medium farms and ranches into large mega entities; the family culture is being supplanted by efficient science based industrial operations.  Yes they increase efficiency but I worry about the potential for profit to be the priority over preservation and conscientious use. Short term gain may be more prevalent in our times which sacrifices long-term security but, does it have to be that way?.  Our children and our children’s children will also need to eat; need shelter; clothing; energy for heating and cooling.  I hope those who are considerate of long-term issues win over those who seek only immediate gain.

          My song about vanishing farms.

Christians can seem to be on the wrong side of these issues sometimes too. 

In my study of Biblical principles I have learned about God’s goodness and through His Word it is written that God wants humans to use what Earth and its resources for good. This includes plants, animals and materials.  Using and making use of, does not include excessive or abusive  behavior as I understand it the message: good stewardship benefits all and is part of what makes life good.  The behaviors associated with negative practices are greed, selfishness and neglect of the needs of others.  I am a Christian and it is my desire that all should obtain eternal life by acceptance of Jesus Christ but, I also believe the needs of people should be considered (and we should help them when we can) as we spread “The Good News” about our God’s plan for Salvation.

What the Bible says about good stewardship and competent management.

Genesis 2:15 ESV

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work and keep it.

Proverbs 12:10 ESV

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

Proverbs 27:18 ESV

Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who guards his master will be honored.

as well.Numbers 35:33 ESV

You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.

John 6:12 ESV

When they had all, had enough to eat, he said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are leftover. Let nothing be wasted.”

Leviticus 19:9-10 ESV

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to the edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

 

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Oneness: Body, Soul, Spirit

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Our Consciousness is engaged with our Body but, Soul and Spirit too?

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Shanghai. A Chinese funeral." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. htp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2625t01b-0364-8402-e040-e00a18060146
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Shanghai. A Chinese funeral.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. htp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2625t01b-0364-8402-e040-e00a18060146

There is no way to separate our awareness of our bodies from our consciousness since the body’s senses are constantly supplying information about where we are, what we feel, hear and see.  Our mind is embedded within the stream of data and brings together what we perceive as reality and our personal identity; it also integrates our short and long-term memories (our personal archive or database) .  Is that all there is to it?  Is that all we are?  Are we just very advanced machines with sophisticated processors with vast stored databases?  Few people will accept that, but why?

I would be hard pressed to think of a person I met who thought we were just living machines with a good memory.

I do not know about ESP (extra sensory perception) or details of the experiments being done around the world where scientists are augmenting humans with devices to add new senses (or even much about scientists replacing damaged sensory organs for that matter).  I do believe most people with ordinary senses do suspect there is something beyond what this physical world presents.  Not just thoughts of the meaning of life but, that there seems to be something more than just this physical reality we dwell within.  Sure some may believe this vague sense can furnish a deeper meaning for life or, give meaning for the person pondering this question but, is it more than that? Is it just an artifact generated by our powerful brain that has vastly more capability than any other living creature that we are aware of?  Or could our minds touch our souls subconsciously and our souls touch our spiritual nature?

Are we triune sentient beings? Body gives rise to mind; mind connects subconsciously to the soul; the soul is aware of our spiritual nature? Some people seem to believe that.

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. "Amon-ra. (L'esprit des quatre éléments, l'ame du monde matériel.)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Amon-ra. (L’esprit des quatre éléments, l’ame du monde matériel.)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Some may also believe we are all connected in some way: we are just one big spirit or soul. They may believe people who have provided breakthroughs in human achievement obtained their ideas from some elsewhere, some altered state of reality or some parallel dimension (or universe). I however have a much simpler view.

I believe the human mind is capable of great achievements and especially when we advance our knowledge and abilities through teamwork – now we have the Internet and The World Wide Web to make collaboration easier. My belief does not end with that however: I believe in God the supreme being, Creator and providential ruler of all there is.

As a Christian I trust that the information about God, existence and reality, is all revealed in God’s Word.

Bible Excerpts on the Matter

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. "Amon-ra. (L'esprit des quatre éléments, l'ame du monde matériel.)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Amon-ra. (L’esprit des quatre éléments, l’ame du monde matériel.)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (ESV)

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul

and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 22: 36-37 (NIV)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “ ‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘ . . .

Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.

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The Mind Behind the Gun

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People with an evil perspective murder with guns and other weapons.

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Fort Knox: Colt automatic pistol.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

We here in The United States of America live in a society that is in the midst of several trends that are able to alter our National identity in a negative way.  A free land with cherished liberty that now is trending toward: stringent identification requirements; has the most incarcerated people per 100,000 people (more than any other large nation) in the world; now has less opportunities for lower income youth then it once had; now has a larger income gap between low income workers and the affluent of  the society.  These characteristics and several others amount to one big complex paradox from my point of view.  Along with these concerns are the inexplicable trends that our school children seem to face: they are not learning about our history or World history for that matter. The knowledge gained from the study of both, enable people to better understand the dynamics of governments and their effects upon the governed.  Last, we seem to be losing a strong national identity which includes high moral standards, respect for one another and respect for authority.  A solid widespread use of one national standard  language is weaker and a sound spiritually grounded understanding of right and wrong appears less clear to many citizens.  Both of these seem to be becoming diffuse. This weakening of our “American Identity” puts us at risk of becoming so disintegrated we may become a second rate country.  Things like relativism and political correctness reduce our clear position on vital issues so much so that we risk loosing our role as preeminent free Nation and leader in the Free World.  Ironic that the land that produced so many of the improvements for the lives of “common men and women” is, in danger of some improvements becoming just a thing of the past (a shadow of what we once were). So how do we begin the recovery process?

We must revitalize the basic family unit here in The United States.

Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Typical American Family - Family walking" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1935 - 1945.
Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Typical American Family – Family walking” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1935 – 1945.

Humans are not perfect, they can be hypocritical and most lack the skills of a seasoned diplomat yet, most can establish a family unit that nurtures children and readies them to become contributing citizens.  Civil, law abiding and productive; well prepared to raise a family of their own.  This was the way I saw life moving along during the 1950’s when I was a child.  Of course I have since learned people are all unique and variation is normal; almost nothing that is associated with humans is perfect.  The lack of perfection can be used as an excuse by people who want to avoid, responsibilities,  not work and not exercise self control: it is easy to say, “I did the best I could.”  Yet when people sincerely try to do the right things, they do contribute to the positive activities in the society they are part of, and while there is variation the negatives then have less effect.  Where do we acquire the necessary foundation for the establishment and maintenance of high quality family units?  I find the guidance for having and running a family is clearly defined in The Holy Bible.  The underling moral fiber that made our Nation great comes from the overwhelming positive effect of the Christians who have lived here.

I am not just being nostalgic about family life in the past, I think we need it.

Examples in the Holy Bible yield a great deal of guidance for people about family life.  Do not pick verses or sections out that reveal human failings, but instead seek the revealed good and apply it to your life.  The adherence to the essence of the Ten Commandments and the principles disclosed for Christian living, will produce a better United States of America.  In that case I believe more people will be good citizens and the Nation will prosper and, we all will experience greater peace.

Yes the U.S.A. would have a better society if we have more real family units.

Dad goes to work Mom stays home with the kids at least until they all are pupils and then work part time only, and only if necessary. It would be a good start and it can be accomplished.  I know that the economic pressures are great and the high divorce rate yields many single parent homes but these challenges can be mitigated too.  If we strive as a people who want to return to what was good about the past we will achieve it.  We will become a Nation comprised of quality family units, able to teach their children behavior that is respectful, self controlled and productive. We must begin this process in the homes when the children are at an early age; then we will improve our Nation’s quality of life.  And If so, we will discover that the mind behind the gun will no longer be a threat to people as the current trend indicates.  Yes I believe If children are taught about ‘good’ early the manifestation of evil will diminish.  At the very least I believe the negatives will be lessened immensely.

 

Schomburg General Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. "[An African American family; Reading books.]" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1922.
Schomburg General Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. “[An African American family; Reading books.]” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1922.

Some Bible advice for Family Life (ESV) :

Exodus 20:13  “Thou shall not murder.”

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

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Temptation is Common to Us All

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We all are Tempted by the Same Opportunities to do Wrong.

If we are all tempted by the same opportunities to do wrong why do some of us take action and do the wrong thing and others refuse to?  We might say it is a difference in each person’s character; a strong person resists; a weak person caves in.

The consequences of sin last
The consequences of sin last

 

The circumstances of life do play a part I am sure: a poor person may find it hard to not take food left unattended while a rich person wouldn’t even think of it. OK this seems logical and easy to accept; or is it?

The Temptation to Steal may have Nothing to do with need.

You surely have learned about disadvantaged people returning lost money and some affluent person taking things they do not need.  Can this anomalous behavior be attributed to individual difference in the way people are made? In other words dictated by how their genes worked together with their environment to form their individuality?  Perhaps this is a factor when considering some individuals yet what if we consider all humans?  If we consider all humans as a group we may discover the observed behavior and the correlation with apparent motive for stealing can be represented by a “bell curve”.  The lower and upper extremes being never stealing to the upper limit always stealing.  So many factors apply to people that we can never predict exactly who will or will not steal under any test situation but we can get a sense that out of x number of people 1 will steal. We also  may be able to predict what an individual may do or not do if we have sufficient information about that person.  Still what I am most interested in, is what the vast majority of people within a culture would do under which circumstances. I can get some idea by looking at human behavior data: it often plots as that proverbial “bell curve.”  i may perceive or derivemeaning from this as, most people will steal something under some particular situation.  If I compare different groups over time (like  A generation to B generation or more generations) I may be able to recognize a trend.

I Believe Most People Will Take Something that is not Theirs Sometime.

The possibility of stealing goes way up when a person believes what they are taking won’t be missed, it is too small with very little value, the victim has so much material wealth, it is in some way owed to them or everybody does it so it is OK.  Not paying all the tax one owes, insurance fraud, price gouging  and not returning borrowed things are all forms of theft.  People can rationalize claiming, ” I didn’t steal a car, rob a bank or embezzled from my employer so I am not really guilty.”  If you believe that, you are wrong.  How can we do better than that?  Teach our children right from wrong and live up to their expectations is a good place to start.

In the U.S.A our Legal System is Heavily Influenced by the Bible.

God's Word

The Bible (Old and New Testaments) provide all the information we need to do what is right and avoid doing what id wrong.  Our Nation is at its best when the Christian foundation of our society strives to rise above human imperfection by believing what God’s Word teaches, reveals and instructs.  So here are a some quotes from the Bible as examples.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.

Romans 3:23 (NIV)

. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV)

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

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Happy New Year! What is it all About? (<<< click to go to article)

“Yes, I wish you a Happy New Year . . .

HpyNY

 . . . Celebrate within reason and be safe.”

Spirit of a Multi Cultural Observance

Humans benefit by marking time, celebrating anniversaries, observing milestones and pausing to reflect and renew especially on New Year’s Day no matter which calendar, tradition or cultural observance they use.  Here in the U.S.A. we have inherited the  “Gregorian Calendar” or “Christian Calendar”  with all the influences of Roman and Roman Catholic culture incorporated.  The latter classifying it as a holy day.  Other religions consider the New Year in their observed calendars as holy but not all Christian sects consider New Year’s Day a holy day. Note: Holy Day became Holiday See: Holy Day became Holiday

Psychology

As I wrote above humans seem to benefit emotionally and mentally when milestones are observed: a review and a new start for desired improvement begun a new.  BUT, if celebrations go to debauchery physical illness and emotional distress (regrets) may be the real effects of all the hoopla.

As I wrote above humans seem to benefit emotionally and mentally when milestones are observed: a review and a new start for desired improvement begun a new.  BUT, if celebrations go to debauchery physical illness and emotional distress (regrets) may be the real effects of all the hoopla. You can lose friends, lose respect and esteem.

A Better Life can be Found Here
A Better Life can be Found Here

There is hope however and you can receive guidance on ways to celebrate and retain your good standing.  Socialize with like-minded friends who will not push you into embarrassing behavior and present a good example to the next generation.  Where can you find this high quality guidance and encouragement?

Live Free and Well as a Christian

Bible Verses:

Ecclesiastes 3:13 ESV

Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Ephesians 5:18 ESV

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Proverbs 20:1 ESV

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

 

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Christmas U.S.A. (<<< click title to go to article)

Is it Borrowing or Hijacking Words and Symbols?

Chrtree

The English language is a dynamic living thing: words are taken in from other languages, new words are invented ( see: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html ) and new meaning assigned to words in common use quite easily.  Words like gay, naughty, guy or even meat are examples. ( See: http://ideas.ted.com/20-words-that-once-meant-something-very-different/ for more)  Some symbols have had their meaning altered as well: The Rainbow, The Hindu Swastika or the Star of David all have had meanings altered through history.  Some changes are benign, others positive but some changes are not welcome and the new meaning a result of what those who disapprove refer to the word or symbol as being “hijacked”.

We Cannot Prevent Change

Chrs b

Hard as we may try we cannot stop the processes that alter the meanings of words or symbols.  Christmas itself originated when Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity.  Once Christian Faith was accepted and allowed it was practiced openly.  The celebrations and holidays recognized by “The Church” then were incorporated into the life of the people. Some symbols that were originally associated with other meanings (celebrations at the winter solstice for example) were adopted and today seem like they were always associated with the way we see them.  So yes, even we who may express concern of cultural morphing of some words and symbols can trace some of our traditional usage as having been “hijacked”. However I am not defending what was hijacked from our Christian culture or tradition on the contrary, I associated the Christian view of American culture and traditions as an important part of our identity as a people.

We can Share the Holiday Season to a Point 2

As Americans we value our liberty, freedom of speech and our tolerance of things different.  Yes this is part of what makes us who we are and what has made us a great nation.  Yet I do not want to lose our strong social, cultural and traditional identity and as a Christian Nation.  I will discus the issue of Church and State in The United States in a future post to my blog, this topic is not about that.  This article is intended to express the need to keep the true meaning of Christmas and the strong positive Christian influence on America vibrant and as a Nationwide observance even as we tolerate different perspectives.  I defend the absolute right for all Americans to say, “Merry Christmas” to any and everyone they choose because it is a part of the United States of America’s very foundation.

Chrs 0001c

                                       My song: “Think of Christmas Long Ago”

Think of Christmas Long Ago

What the Bible Says About the Meaning of Christmas

Luke 2:11 ESV

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Isaiah 7:14 ESV

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 John 3:16-17 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Consequences of Selfishness

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Live for yourself and end up alone in the end.

Halloween011 Graves 3b

(photo grave yard)

In a nation where ” . . . the pursuit of happiness.” from our Declaration of Independence   (See Declaration of Independence) seems to have more emphasis placed on it, than equality or the importance of a society‘s ability to provide security for the least able among us, “The Self” is paramount. It seems we are very willing to buy into the commercial hype proclaiming “You are Number One”, “You Deserve the Best” or how much our culture venerates the wealthy no matter how ill gotten their good fortune may have been acquired.  It is prioritized even though this priority lessens the importance of relationships within families, marriages, friendships and associations.  The Media has responded a little by including “upbeat” or “positive” segments at the end of some news casts about altruism but, this effort barely is able to off set the more entertaining negatives, or the excitement generated by heralding conspicuous materialism.  Sometimes a negative news story seems to expose a degree of selfishness that even the egotists are appalled by but, that reaction quickly fades and is soon forgotten.

How much wealth should an individual be allowed to possess at the expense of others?

Marineland 2b

(photo yacht)

You may have become aware of how a CEO of a pharmaceutical company seemed to take advantage of people who desperately needed a drug that he secured the right to manufacture.  He acquired a smaller company that had made this very effective drug  inexpensively for decades. It was “used to treat a dangerous multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis” (See Huge price increase for old drug ).  As soon as he was able he increased the selling price astronomically, immediately placing ill people at risk and setting for himself an opportunity to reap a great monetary profit. This story ties into similar suspicious increases for important drugs within this industry; sadly this now seems to be a trend in  The U.S.A.  Other departures in what seems normal, or fair, have been noted when executives receive huge bonuses for down sizing companies.

They receive their reward and add to their opulence displaying vulgar excessive materialism, even though their actions often result in numerous workers being forced into joblessness.  I have learned about such examples of this business tactic being used throughout my lifetime but now, I fear that even average citizens choose to focus on gathering riches for themselves with selfish actions. They reject having families by not having children but instead pursue only self-gratification. This social course within our nation maximizes the “self” and minimizes “The Family Unit” and probably will have serious negative consequences for the future of our country.  What will this trend bring our nation if it continues? Only God knows.

SONG:  I’m so Important

Big Family Photob2

(photo: The Bible encourages families)

What the Bible Teaches about Selfishness.tactics

Philippines 2:4 ESV

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 John 3:17 ESV

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

2 Timothy 3:2-4 ESV

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

Ecclesiastes 5:10

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.

 

 

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

Continue reading “World View”

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

usa_gl_e0

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.”