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

(click on title to go to article)

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

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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