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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