Still, You Can Pray

Praise – images from pixabay.com

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Tranquil Waters – images from pixabay.com

Reality: One side wonderful the other dreadful.

When Storms Come – images from pixabay.com
Praying Hands – images from pixabay.com

Easy to count our blessings in good times and times of plenty but, in times of lacking, trials and painful destructive experience what can we do?  We may feel helpless and tired and impotent . . . what can we do? Pray. No matter what, we have, a GOD of Love to pray to, in The Name of Jesus Christ.  GOD hears and GOD answers according to GOD’s will. There is always an answer from GOD: No; Yes; Not Now. Remember GOD is not human and we are not gods.

Prayer Calms Us – images from pixabay.com

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If an answer to our prayer is yes there is little room for doubt but if it is no:

SONG: Andrea Bocelli – The Lord’s Prayer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEplqV0scyo

Song: Unanswered Prayers – Garth Brooks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze4gFWuYh50

Psalm 66:18 ESV

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

When GOD says maybe (not now later) how do we respond?

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Like the soldier’s motto, “Ours is not to reason why; ours is just to do or die”. Leave it to GOD.

Jesus Pays for Sin – images from pixabay.com

Mark 14:36 ESV

And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Jesus paid the price for sin including ours and believing in Him achieves an eternity in Heaven. Yet until in the fullness of time the things of Revelation come to pass and Jesus returns, the world we live in remains flawed. Still, you can pray.

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do; demonstrate the Love of GOD teach others about Jesus and Salvation.

Next Week: Can You Escape from Reality?

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The Nature of Rebellion

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Cain and Abel
Doing Wrong like His Parents – images from pixabay.com

It is a common expectation that as humans leave childhood behind and approach adulthood we question, test and often rebel.

Rebellion: Day One – images from pixabay.com

The quest to influence life from our emerging person-hood based on what we know (or think we know) is natural; the questioning and expressing what we believe to be correct and even new is good as long as it is done with respect for our elders and GOD.

Older People Can Advise Best – images from pixabay.com

Ignoring what our elders know and, have drawn from life’s experiences may seem trite, incorrect, motivated by blind obedience or just passe’ but remember they have learned from actual experience. In the best situations the adolescent soon to become an adult, emerges with little harm to him or her self or to others but, that is not always so:

1 Kings 12:6 ESV

Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?”  …

He Rejected the advice of the old men; instead relied on advice of young men (his peers).

1 Kings 12:8

But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. …

Wave of Rejection – images from pixabay.com
If you read the whole story you will learn his decision ended up being a disaster.

 

Change Before Wisdom – images from pixabay.com
Many times it seems we humans rather learn from the mistakes we ourselves make (the hard way), then from the wisdom given by our elders (the easy way).

The Old Testament Book of Judges Reveals this pattern clearly: Ignore GOD suffer consequences then return to GOD;

Ignore GOD suffer consequences then return to GOD;

Ignore GOD suffer consequences then return to GOD;

over and over . . . .

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TO KNOW ABOUT GOD AND GOD’S WAYS THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Difficult Questions

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Should I use Violence to Defend

Use Martial-arts? – images from pixabay.com

One of the most difficult dilemmas you may be faced with is whether to use violence for defense.

Carry A Gun? – images from pixabay.com

Some of you may mumble, “that’s a no brainer; of course I would”. There may be a small minority who would choose death before causing harm to anyone for any reason.  Scanning my morning digests of articles in academic journals I spotted one that read: Modern civilization doesn’t diminish violence

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171027104843.htm

Another article read: Does population size affect rates of violence? The bottom line read:  . . . Ultimately, Falk and Hildebolt found that people living in small-scale societies are not inherently more violent that those living in “civilized” states, and that war deaths scale similarly with population sizes across all levels of human society.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171026164552.htm

Use Weapons? – images from pixabay.com

As a Christian these suggested findings point to the nature of humans truthfully described in the Bible.

Matthew 15:19 ESV

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Protect a Loved One? – images from pixabay.com

Ignoring GOD’s explanation does not change things; scientific studies can attribute this part of our nature as evolving from our more precarious primitive state. There was, and there may still be, people who believe that given the right opportunity humans will allow their peaceful traits to prevail: where is the evidence for that? In affluent societies where there is ample supplies and opportunities to be successful even the privileged can fail to manifest the “good” we humans supposedly have at our core: The recent perpetrator who was wealthy, seemingly lacking for nothing committed the Las Vegas mass murder. See: Brother says Las Vegas gunman was a wealthy real-estate investor

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/10/03/gunman-who-killed-50-at-las-vegas-concert-was-retired/

The NIV Bible expresses our nature in a more stark way:

Isaiah 64:6-7 New International Version (NIV)

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
    or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
    and have given us over to[a] our sins.

Isaiah is describing human attitude toward GOD.

 

 

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Is Honesty the Best Policy

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Honesty – image from pixabay.com

Is it possible to be honest all the time?

As I grew from childhood into adulthood I took the instruction from my family and church seriously concerning telling the truth (even though I saw a wink from a family member now and again). Movies and television programs (especially for young people) proclaimed the merits of being honest as a way to a better life.

My Father Explained What a White Lie Was

Truth or Lie – image from pixabay.com

My mom smacked his shoulder and they both laughed when my dad began to explain to me what a “Little White Lie” was. In school, in church and on Kid’s TV I did not get an explanation so I remained puzzled.  This conundrum followed me into my teens when my idealism peaked and matters such as misused truth, deception, hypocrisy, politics and human to human manipulation troubled me a great deal. Mostly I just struggled to navigate daily life always weighing these issues trying to reconcile the ideal with the reality I found. During my time serving in the U. S. Army the contrast between the touted ideal and reality was at its greatest contrast – I will not go into details save soldiers have a history of decadent behavior when off duty for one thing.

Deception – image from pixabay.com

In College I was Immersed in Postmodernity . . .

. . . and was unaware of it for many years.  I am a lifelong learner so eventually I acquired philosophical knowledge and a keen sense of comprehensive thinking (I am a product of a liberal education in that I do question everything and attempt to make sense of what I discover). Mankind experienced great failures in science and morality and this was perplexing so a philosophical upheaval set humanity on a strange course (see the following):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

In a logic class I learned about faulty reasoning and fallacies: this gave me a great deal of understanding but did not solve the dilemma concerning “absolute honesty”.  One variable is how one defines honesty and whether it is in an ideal or in a practical sense in which we refer.  Words (languages) are powerful and can be used to a person’s advantage without too much trouble especially to the unsuspecting.  I could introduce situations where lying saved a life or lives but that may be an exception and it will do little or nothing in the quest to solve of the core issue at hand: how do we really define honesty and can we be honest all the time?.

Excuses – image from pixabay.com

Midway in my life – 35 years old – I became a Christian: “My dilemma is solved I thought”

Not so fast.  Rather than offer my analysis let us inspect what GOD has to say in The Holy Bible and thus allow you to ponder the questions about honesty for yourself. I already expect the comments will reflect whether or not, you are a follower of Jesus Christ (have The Holy Spirit as a helper), you believe in GOD at all or are a secular humanist:

Exodus 20:16 ESV 

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Proverbs 12:22 ESV 

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Matthew 5:37 ESV 

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Colossians 3:9 ESV 

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

 

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Can You Take Bad News

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– image from pixabay.comBad News

We all want to hear about the good stuff . .

. . . and hope we can avoid the bad stuff for as long as possible.  Yet reality is handled better when we are willing to accept life for what it really is: temporary, not guaranteed and often a struggle.

Jesus Teaches – The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Jesus Tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed August 8, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/78fae890-a397-0134-1340-00505686a51c

We all are born, we live and then we all must die: there cannot be anything more probable than death. To live well in the meantime there is a lot of guidance from both human wisdom and religious dogma. Yet sorting through a myriad of do’s and don’ts it sometimes is hard to really know what is true or what applies.  For Christians the matter becomes simplified when we discover “there is nothing new under the sun” – to borrow a line from Solomon’s utterances. The Biblical record can help a great deal: especially Proverbs. Our nature is what it is and believing this helps everyone who believes it, to live a better life and to treat each other better in the process. Jesus boiled it all down to two commandments:

 

Matthew 22:36-40 ESV 

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

GOD gave us the freedom to make mistakes . . .

. . . but GOD did not ignore us after creation; GOD gave guidance and knowledge and the ability to discern thus, we can avoid the worst life has to offer.

Free to Choose – image from pixabay.com

And here it comes: yes there is evil and yes there is sin and we are capable of both.

1 John 1:8 ESV

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

I have written several times that even the best of us humans are not perfect and not without sin, neither can we do good to overcome it nor, can GOD ignore it. Sorry if that is an unwelcome revelation but it still is true; it is not what I made up it comes from the Bible as a whole and it is a clear description of the character and standards of GOD.

Romans 8:7-8 ESV

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Salvation – image from pixabay.com

GOD provided a way for us to climb out of

. . . hole by first instructing us in the Scriptures and then giving us the work of Jesus Christ who paid the price for sin so that we can avoid eternal damnation just by believing what Jesus accomplished, with our whole heart and mind.

Acts 3:19 ESV

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,

 One last thought:

Don’t think you can outwit GOD

 

Isaiah 55:8 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

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What Mosaics Teach Us

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Part of Genesis Mosaic- image from pixabay.com

Mosaics create an image that becomes clearer with distance.

History can give us a clearer picture when we examine the past objectively and in detail as its polarization diminishes and our objectivity begins to dominate.  More important? We can gain a better understanding of ourselves by doing the same thing: self examin, consider different choices or seek new information for ourselves. If we learn from this we may even chart a new course expecting a better outcome. If you desire to acquire a good foundation for living well, doing good and opposing evil examine The Book of Proverbs in The Old Testament.

Proverbs 24:1-34 ESV

Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble. By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, …

 

Part of Genesis Mosaic- image from pixabay.com

Galatians 6:3-5 ES

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

 This analysis works on many levels: sports, relationships, diplomatic endeavors . . . etc.

By the examination of a society or a culture we can learn a great deal about success and failure; hopefully what we learn may provide an opportunity to avoid mistakes made by our ancestors.

Part of Genesis Mosaic- image from pixabay.com

1 John 1:9 ESV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 Sounds so easy but the historical record would indicate something different: Doing the right thing is hard.

Yes sadly it appears to be more difficult to make significant improvements than logic may infer. Perhaps freewill, ego, personal interests and persistence to maintain ignorance conspire to foil even the most logical and obvious alterations for “the good”. Something as simple as “Trusting GOD” does not appear to ever last long or become a universal concept. There are always recalcitrant individuals and backsliders it seems.

Part of Genesis Mosaic- image from pixabay.com

Matthew 5:10-12 ESV 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 The cycles between good and bad times of the Hebrews written in the Biblical Book of Judges exhibits this human tendency oh so well.

The pattern goes something like this: When the people stray from GOD’s plan and drift away and even worship of false gods calamity is the result. When things get so bad that the people cry out to GOD for help a leader emerges (called by GOD) who restores the right relationship with GOD. The people prosper once more for a time but, the next generation that only knew good times is susceptible to falling into sin and disrespect for GOD once again . . . . and so the cycle continues.

Genesis Mosaic- image from pixabay.com

Judges 8:33-34 ESV

33 As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and whored after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god. 34 And the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side,


But that sort of thing cannot happen today; to Christians, here in the United States can it?

 

Of course it can and often does; it is even playing out this very moment. However GOD is slow to lose patience, slow to anger and willing to allow you  (all of us) to repent.  Why not do so right now before it is too late and let Jesus into your heart..

Psalm 103:8 ESV 

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

 

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Even the Strong can Fall

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Rome Conquered the Carthaginians: Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. “Carthaginis Celeberrimi Sinus Typus.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 4, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-667d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Yet sometimes a large celebrated army or warrior succumbs to a smaller more capable one or, a nation directed by an especially adept leader.

Human example: The American Revolution is a good example of the “underdog” becoming victorious – perhaps this is why many Americans like stories where an “underdog’ wins. Follow the link below artwork to read why the British should have won the Revolutionary War.

Surrender of Cornwallis: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown, Va. October 19th, 1781.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 4, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-fb9c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Three Reasons the British Should Have Won the Revolutionary War (and Three Reasons the Patriots Did Win)

 

Biblical example: David and Goliath; a mere shepherd boy with a stone throwing sling defeats the giant warrior – one of the best known and loved stories from the Bible.

1 Samuel 17:49 ESV

And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

David and Goliath: Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Miniature of David and Goliath. Initials, border, placemarkers.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 4, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e4d3-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Then Some Strong Kingdoms or Empires that were not conquered from without were defeated from within.

Rome: The great empire we study in world history and still refer to many of its contributions to Western Civilization declined and, of that there is no debate. The reasons for the decline?  A cursory scan of its history lists a number of reasons (or possible reasons) and you may just assume nearly all, or most, of them together did Rome in.  I however lean heavily on the theories supporting its moral decline. The books of Daniel and Revelation have prophecies for this if you choose to read them. So when I scan the Greco-Roman architecture in many of the buildings in our land (especially in Washington, D.C.)  I sometimes wonder if the one negative factor of our society and culture is eroding our Nation from within: Increasing Immorality.

 

Old Testament Israel: Through my life I have had a positive outlook for our Nation’s future but, now in the latter years of my life my optimism is being challenged by experience, examples of humans embracing evil and the Word of God.  I now realize that if the Hebrew people who left Egypt, faced many challenges and experienced the blessings of GOD (many first hand), could fragment into different nations and turn away from GOD, what can be expected from the people of our contemporary times; we must keep our Faith without direct action by GOD on the scale and vivid nature experienced by the Hebrews?

 

Whether or not you believe The USA is vulnerable to attack, and being conquered from without or not, one thing a lesson from history has revealed to me: We, can, self-destruct.

Lessons from the rise and fall of nations (especially the Hebrews) alerts me to the importance of a morally strong culture observant of justice and law and order. In this is the secret to remaining viable and with a strong unity.  The task that establishes this foundation is the family unit. The family unit is where this strength is taught and nurtured. It seems too late to teach children respect and a working knowledge of right and wrong when parents wait until it is time for their children to attend elementary school. It seems if they do wait they leave this important task to the teachers that their children will have. The teachers by that time who must teach this foundation are most often confronted with correcting disrespect and unruly behavior in classroom environments. The energy that must be expended in correcting negative behavior diminishes the real task teachers have: teaching language skills, math and subjects useful to individuals who must contribute in a positive way to our society.

 

The minimum requirements for a good member of our society? Civil, law abiding, responsible and capable of holding a job and raising a family.

 

 

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It is Just a Little Thing

 

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com

Ever wonder how things got so bad?

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Rich Bourgeoise & Child, 1636." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 23, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-2f0d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Rich Bourgeoise & Child, 1636.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 23, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-2f0d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

The young-boy had taken a candy bar and was caught when he was escorted home by the patrolman everyone agreed: It was just a little thing. When his dad came home mom told him, “It was just a little Thing.”  A few years passed and the boy was about to enter high school when a note arrive in the mail from his teacher:

'Dear Mom and Dad,

Your son was caught sharing answers on the final exam . . . in light of his generally good record we'll consider it just a mistake . . . no punishment beyond a re-test is warranted . . . IT WAS JUST A LITTLE THING .

Truly Your, 

Mrs. Teacher'

Now a teenage driver the young man had worked part-time and saved enough to buy his first car.  One evening he and his best friend were speeding home from a party; a patrolman waiting for speeders near their hometown caught them.  The patrolman recognized him because he knew his father well, so he said, “Son in light that this was just a little thing I am letting you go with a warning; just do not do it again.”

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com

In the university the young man did well with maybe a  minor indiscretion or two now and then: they all were “just little things.” He finished his education and advanced as an attorney and eventually ran for, and was elected to, political office.  His political career flourished and the story of his life seemed to be the embodiment of  The American Dream.

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com

When he had matured in age and stature he held one of the highest offices of the land; he was respected and heralded as a respectable elder statesman.  No one including he ever dreamt of the disgraceful ending that befell him.  It was exposed in the news to everyone that many of the political accomplishments attributed to him were achieved by subterfuge, backroom deals, deception and in one instance breaking a law.

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. "A culprit conveyed to prison." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 23, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-1a27-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “A culprit conveyed to prison.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 23, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-1a27-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

As he was led away from the courtroom where he had been convicted he mumbled over and over, “It was just a Little thing.”

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com
Bible excerpts:
      • Luke 16:10 ESV

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

      • James 1:15 ESV

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

      • 1 John 1:8 ESV

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

  • Proverbs 22:6

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

  • Proverbs 29:17
    Discipline your child, and he will give you rest; he will bring you happiness.

https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/

Population Control

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com

 

Population Control is an emotionally charged subject that often evokes strong emotion when debated.

Reasons for this are manifold: Religious, tribal, economic, fear, hate, historical, reprisals, political, limited or lack of resources, selfish, arrogant, criminal, misguided . . . or a combination of factors. Contributing factors that have the potential to be equivalent to population control could be, poor or sparse health care, easy access to weapons, easy access to alcohol and drugs, the availability of abortion on demand, a limited or substandard food supply: just some of the factors to consider potential population control mechanisms.

 For this reason I will not express the rationale for approving or disapproving theoretical speculation: investigative research, statistical analysis, and other objective methods would surely be needed before a definitive conclusion with remedies be declared.

No matter why or how a particular population of humans may or may not be controlled is not the focus here.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "On the Pike, World's Fair, St. Louis." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 19, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-938a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “On the Pike, World’s Fair, St. Louis.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 19, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-938a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

The point of my blog post is two-fold: 1) examine facts and fallacies about human population growth, and 2) consider what may be an equivalent population control intended or not.  When people are motivated by a belief about a growing population that is negative, they may quickly descend into a position favoring population control with no logical basis for it.  If conscious efforts fall short, subconscious effects on decisions may be manifested unintentionally or even worse, by an agenda conceived and implemented in subterfuge intentionally.

Is over population on a global scale a myth or real threat to humanity?

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com

Every time people predict that we will run out of resources or food human ingenuity finds solutions to the challenge.  I believe there is enough food and natural resources wasted even now, that if this wastefulness was remedied all the people of the world could be adequately supplied.   Renewable resources, renewable energy, increased production efficiency, less planned obsolescence, better urban and suburban planning and, preservation of natural habitat for all living creatures seems possible along with greater efficiency in use and manufacturing.  Then too, there is the ultimate probability humans will become a space-faring race of sentient beings in the not too distant future – thus opening new possible homes and resources for people for some time.

I have a saying, “Too many people too close together equals too many problems and too many laws.”

Yet even this picture of growing populations in finite spaces is a fallacy, we have room for people: There are vast areas where people can live: marginal lands improved my technology, innovative methods that allow people and wildlife to coexist sharing space and new cost-effective energy sources that encourage new communities.  New communities in areas with new opportunities for gainful employment hitherto too remote and hard to supply with required energy via conventional sources.  

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com

The image of a crowded inner cities where crime, substandard living conditions and undesirable habitat are prevalent, need not be extant.  The conditions that create the circumstances for all these perceived negatives endured by people, may be the result of people seeking to live in substandard conditions. The people who live in these places like and create the situation that they live in – that often is the perception held by outsiders I believe.  The converse idea that the situation creates the stereotypical people who populate the area in question is closer to reality.   A vicious cycle feeding on itself: children are negatively affected while maturing and living in such an area and, they grow up believing there is where they belong thus sustaining the substandard area.  Why? Because this is expected and, it seems there is insufficient interest and effort devoted to breaking the negative pattern.  Another way to picture it: consider what happens when people are herded into – or confined to – places by suppressed economic conditions and are forced into where substandard conditions already beginning to take hold are thus overcrowding makes things worse.  This is likely to accommodate the negative view and make the feared results a continuous reality.  Social change from negatives to positives most probably is a generational phenomenon once the cycle sets in; think carefully, did a negative substandard milieu get that way overnight?  Not likely, so it will not be remedied overnight either.  It will take education, financial help and hard work to turn urban blight into prosperity.

What laws are passed or not passed, behavior of authorities, business practices or even qualifications for societal benefits may all serve a population control agenda.

These practices if governed by blind adherence to tradition or are linked to the subconscious negative view of the creators and not recognized as such.  The status quo may be fiercely defended and if negative effects are demonstrated but judged to not be an intentional attempt to control the population growth then what?  What about the identified population can it really be the natural outcome of the culture of the population in question? Perhaps some may say the effect on a segment of a population that may be negatively affected from the effects of the way their own political overseers carry out their governance and not any external effect.

Humans are not always truthful and one negative human trait that illustrates this well is the art of deception; it can also include self-deception.  Think hard and carefully about what you think you know and how you came to know it concerning “The Bad Side of Town”.  You may realize short of organized genocide the methods and effects may be very subtle.  The control of a particular minority, race or class of people is not easily exposed because it may be an expected part of contemporary life but not recognized as such.

Let me get to the major goal of this post: the following paragraph will introduce ideas worth considering in view of the concept of population control.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Busy Market Street of the City of the Golden Gate, San Francisco, California." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 22, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-4343-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Busy Market Street of the City of the Golden Gate, San Francisco, California.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 22, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-4343-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Whether or not population control is actually a part of our society here in The United States of America, it should be considered a possibility.  It should be considered a possibility because the socioeconomic and equality problems recognized by even a casual observer may be correctable.  In a land so filled with wealth, talent and passion it is hard to accept that nothing can change the situation of the poor living here.  Young people please study and research the economically challenged of America.  See if you can apply new ideas for change on old persistent problems that keep so many of our fellow citizen from enjoying a better life.  People like these remain on the economic sideline and have not had their fair share of the American Dream.

Getting to the another major point:

Deep inside our minds may lurk ancient assumptions and practices that once helped us survive and thrive.  We are hardwired to see faces, recognize differences, quickly determine friend or foe.   I believe other latent ancient survival mechanisms probably exist as well.  What was out of the ordinary could represent a threat so these mechanisms are understandable.  Strangers may well have had clever tactics to overwhelm and conquer us in the distant past.  Anomalous individuals born into our midst may have represented new unacceptable burdens, because they became non contributors, or disrupted the normal flow of peace and tranquility.  Maybe they had to be eliminated in order for the group to survive.  If resources grew short it may have led to warfare where the victor survived and the vanquished perished.  The responses to these conditions may be in our genes: suppressed perhaps, but able to influence us in subtle ways even now.  We as intelligent creatures have the ability to discover this and do something about it.  We do not have to act as if we are condemned to repeat the same old mistakes of our past.  We can and must change.

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com

When we truly see all our fellow homo sapiens as family we will alter any destructive practice or impulse that emerges in us (of this I am sure).

If a population is perpetrating acts of violence upon their neighbors we can act to engage the evil and bring it to an end.  If people are suffering and dying we can provide medical care to save them.  If ignorance is limiting people to substandard wages and a low standard of living, we can educate them.  If they live in horrible conditions, do not have safe water or sufficient food we can change that.  If they are naked and cold we can give the clothing and shelter that is warm.  If you study children and follow them as they grow to become adults you may discover much of the good they could have offered our society, was lost somewhere along the way.  The very few people who represent stubborn problems can more easily be addressed in youth, before they become uncontrollable adults who seem to repeat evil acts perpetually.

When we do not address these challenges  we may inadvertently be imposing a form of population control upon some of our people.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I believe the wisdom for our times is easily found in the Bible; all you have to do is accept it.

Excerpts from the Holy Bible:

      1. Genesis 1:28 ESV

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

      1. Psalm 127:3 ESV

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

      1. Matthew 7:12 ESV

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/

Beware of those who Spin Truth

Spinning Top from Pixabay.com
Spinning Top from Pixabay.com

Spinning truth is one thing but claiming a lie is true and truth is a lie is very worrisome indeed.

Politician The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "The Politician" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/129edc60-e8f4-0130-ec12-58d385a7bbd0
Politician
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Politician” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/129edc60-e8f4-0130-ec12-58d385a7bbd0

When I was teenager my love of folk music lead me to Greenwich Village in New York City where I spent most of my free time in the mid 1960’s.  I learned a great deal about the music business and recording industry but what had I learned most about?  How to negotiate life in “The Big City” and survive.  I became very street wise and not all my acquired knowledge came the “Easy way.”  Fortunate to survive unharmed and without winding up in jail was a major accomplishment.

Tammany Hall The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Tammany Hall, N.Y." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-1ff8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tammany Hall
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Tammany Hall, N.Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-1ff8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

This practical knowledge has served me well throughout my life: when I served in The United States Army and curiosity led me to some seedy places; when I was a performer in country and rock bands that exposed me to nightlife that held many dangers; when I was confronted by unscrupulous business people.  I learned to really appreciate honest people who were truthful.

Today there is an insidious threat  permeating almost every level of society in the USA and World.

President Clinton from Pixabay.com
President Clinton from Pixabay.com

No duplicity is not new; the negative effect however can reach more people than ever simply because there are more people and they are better connected.  We can learn from the past in order to make life better but we can also learn from the past how to perpetrate more sophisticated subterfuge. On the surface it appears The United State s of America expects a  high standard of conduct from all its people but dig deeper and some disturbing trends appear.

Blind Man The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Blind man's buff ; 'Turn round three times, and catch whom you may.'" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-880c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Blind Man
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Blind man’s buff ; ‘Turn round three times, and catch whom you may.'” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-880c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Change is inevitable how we respond to it makes all the difference.

The middle class in the USA expected their children would have a better life: more economic success and security.  Sadly this seems to be falling short.  I met a skilled worker who would have many job opportunities fifty years ago but needed to accept a position as a laborer for low wages and no benefits.  If politicians spent more time seeking ways to work with change rather working with blame perhaps he would have chosen training in some other field (not going to list what fields are in or out in this article).

Political Booth The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Booths of commercial and political exhibitors at Eastern States Fair. Springfield, Massachusetts." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-948a-4288-e040-e00a18066c61
Political Booth
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Booths of commercial and political exhibitors at Eastern States Fair. Springfield, Massachusetts.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-948a-4288-e040-e00a18066c61

Politicians are not the only people ‘speaking out of both sides of their mouths.’

Yes No Bananas Music Division, The New York Public Library. "YES! We have no bananas" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4f77-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Yes No Bananas
Music Division, The New York Public Library. “YES! We have no bananas” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4f77-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Everyday people are taking their cue from politicians I fear: presenting a rosy picture on the surface while selfishly cutting corners behind the scenes despising their situation, choosing which laws to disregard and cheating where possible in order to gain an advantage.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I strive for something much better: honesty, empathy and constantly suppressing my flaws such as selfishness and self elevation at the expense of others. Instead I strive to make my yes a Yes and my no a No.

Examples from Holy Scripture:

Matthew 5:37 ESV

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil

James 5:12 ESV

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Proverbs 17:7 ESV

Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
2 Corinthians 7:14 ESV

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

John 8:44 ESV

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.