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.
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:
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?
THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD.
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One of the most difficult dilemmas you may be faced with is whether to use violence for defense.
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
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.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
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
The NIV Bible expresses our nature in a more stark way:
Isaiah 64:6-7 New International Version (NIV)
6 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. 7 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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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
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.
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):
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?.
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:
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
ESV = ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION BIBLE
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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 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?
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.
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.
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.
￼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:
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.”
Psalm 127:3 ESV
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
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.
Certainly. Through the centuries humans have arrived at a fallacious assumption that we have discovered all there is to know and if something has slipped through the cracks science and human intelligence will know the answer shortly. The world was thought to be flat; the Earth is the center of the Universe; The Milky way Galaxy is the entire Universe.
These are only three misconceptions that were proven wrong after they were considered true. The rapid advance of science and the progress of the industrial age joined together with advances in medical science, sociology and psychology along with ￼ increased communication lured people into a belief everything is known or will be known soon. The pinnacle? The age known by the term Modernism. A period when humans thought all answers to all questions were within reach.
￼I am going to suggest that September 1, 1939 was the day Modernism was diagnosed as terminal.
￼The realization that world order was beginning to unravel despite intelligence, advanced ￼knowledge and skilled abilities of humans fell dramatically short of a Utopian dream. It would take World War II and its aftermath to inflict a rude awakening upon people that we all fell short in creating a new World Order that provided universal peace and prosperity. In stead we discovered that human used their intelligence, knowledge and skills to inflict a great deal of suffering and death to millions of people. What happened to the fond vision of altruism, virtue and the manifestation of a greater good for all?
￼Deep rooted human flaws, selfishness, lust and greed was just below a facade of civilized constraints.
￼Where did the evil come from? I believe it was and is omnipresent: some people can control it better than others. Given an opportunity it appears enough people are willing to give in to ancient impulses of behavior that benefits themselves at the expense of others: “The Law of the Jungle”? The weak succumb to the whims of the strong? Viewing a single day’s worth of news from local to international proves the point: murder, rape and barbarism. From trivial motives to ideological (faux) motives the range of evil manifestation is undeniable.
￼￼Can the be hope for the fallible species homo sapiens?
Yes. The answers have been available a very long time. God has provided a moral ￼framework of behavior for us several thousand years past. As a Christian I see the message God gave us clearly in the Holy Bible. Our ￼nature is revealed. The inability of humans to stay with “doing good” is ingrained. Not because he created a flawed creature but because of our inability to utilize free will to its apex intention: use it for that which is good. Evil can tempt all who have free will. The only hope we have? Accept God’s guidance, submit to God’s authority and by Faith BELIEVE GOD.
As a Christian I believe what God revealed about our nature is clearly stated in The Holy Bible. And, the instructions for defeating evil are also contained therein.￼
Excerpts from The Holy Bible that yield the truth:
2 Timothy 3:7 ESV
Always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Isaiah 44:25 ESV
Who frustrates the signs of liars2 Timothy 3:2 ESV
and makes fools of diviners,￼
who turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,
Proverbs 20:24 ESV
A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?
Proverbs 19:21 ESV
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
Galatians 6:3 ESV
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
2 Timothy 3:2 ESV
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
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People with an evil perspective murder with guns and other weapons.
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.
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.
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.