Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life?
For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Christmas Trees drop their needles, toys break, cars wear out and our buildings eventually crumble. Our bodies age and need more attention with each passing year. So, what can we do about the process of entropy that we are immersed in? First we focus on what is eternal: GOD.
SELFISHNESS SONG, being selfish. Christian kids song about selfishness.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
This is wise because while statistically we all may not reach old age there is our progeny we may wish to provide for; a spouse; a non-profit organization. Responsible stewardship is a positive endeavor.
But making material gain a priority is flawed
As I pointed out above the things of this world fade and crumble; our descendants may benefit but must make their own way eventually. The old adage, “We can’t take it with us.” rings true.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: …
Many variations in just what people put on a Christmas Tree and there are new things as well as old traditions applied; live trees and artificial trees are in use to day. Sometimes “The Star of Bethlehem” is put at the very top; sometimes and Angel.
Share Jesus with anyone and everyone; you may help someone gain peace, joy, purpose and eternal life.
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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The holiday rooted in thanking GOD for all. In The United States of America Thanksgiving remains less commercial and it harks back to earlier days when good harvests and life’s perks were fewer and very much less certain. It is ironic that in our times there are people who not only take our blessings for granted but see many as their right to have and experience. Still not everyone in our United States shares in its great wealth and bounty.
We are The Created not the Creator
The Creator has not only given us life but has and does provide us with the means of our survival and even abundance at times: from food, shelter, peace and progeny to the very air we breath. GOD is all and we are part of Creation; we surely must humbly acknowledge this, express gratitude and act accordingly in our life which is a gift. We also should help those who lack things; especially basic things.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; …
Humans benefit by marking time, celebrating anniversaries, observing milestones and pausing to reflect and renew especially on New Year’s Day no matter which calendar, tradition or cultural observance they use. Here in the U.S.A. we have inherited the “Gregorian Calendar” or “Christian Calendar” with all the influences of Roman and Roman Catholic culture incorporated. The latter classifying it as a holy day. Other religions consider the New Year in their observed calendars as holy but not all Christian sects consider New Year’s Day a holy day. Note: Holy Day became Holiday See: Holy Day became Holiday
As I wrote above humans seem to benefit emotionally and mentally when milestones are observed: a review and a new start for desired improvement begun a new. BUT, if celebrations go to debauchery physical illness and emotional distress (regrets) may be the real effects of all the hoopla.
As I wrote above humans seem to benefit emotionally and mentally when milestones are observed: a review and a new start for desired improvement begun a new. BUT, if celebrations go to debauchery physical illness and emotional distress (regrets) may be the real effects of all the hoopla. You can lose friends, lose respect and esteem.
There is hope however and you can receive guidance on ways to celebrate and retain your good standing. Socialize with like-minded friends who will not push you into embarrassing behavior and present a good example to the next generation. Where can you find this high quality guidance and encouragement?
Live Free and Well as a Christian
Ecclesiastes 3:13 ESV
Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
Ephesians 5:18 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Proverbs 20:1 ESV
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.