911 and What People do to Each Other

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Special 911 Issue

Pentagon 911 – image from pixabay.com

We respectfully remember those, murdered by our enemies, fallen in war and met their demise because of self sacrifice; remembrance as it should be. Today we pay our respect to those lost and damaged by doers of evil on September 11, 2001. *During the September 11 attacks in 2001, 2,996 people were killed and more than 6,000 others wounded.

*Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_September_11_attacks

We should also keep in mind those we loose in less dramatic but more personal events: illness, accidents, ignorance or plain neglect.  Here are some statistics that suggest we people can and should do a better job (be more careful) in protecting and caring for one another:

Road Danger – image from pixabay.com

Auto Deaths: *National Safety Council estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicles crashes . . . . http://fortune.com/2017/02/15/traffic-deadliest-year/

 

Ship Wreck – image from pixabay.com

Transportation other than auto: 2010 (not counting injuries) 2066 https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/by_the_numbers/transportation_safety/index.html

 

 

Bad Health – image from pixabay.com

Illnesses : 2002 all causes per 100,000 individuals =  916.1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate

 

 

Neglect – image from pixabay.com

Neglect (famine) Preventable poor health care, unhealthy choices made such as smoking: Statistic complex beyond the scope of this blog. You can do some of your own research if you are interested.

 

Disaster – image from pixabay.com

Natural Disasters: “Between 1994 and 2013, EM-DAT recorded 6,873 natural disasters worldwide, which claimed 1.35 million lives or almost 68,000 lives on average each year. In addition, 218 million people were affected by natural disasters on average per annum during this 20-year period.  . . .” (Excerpt) http://reliefweb.int/report/world/human-cost-natural-disasters-2015-global-perspective

Conflict, War . . . 

War – image from pixabay.com

Humans in general cause harm to other humans in many ways directly or indirectly; sadly it is in our very nature.

Genesis 4:8 ESV

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Psycho Terror – image from pixabay.com

We humans cannot overcome our inherent  nature on our own no matter how hard we try.

Jeremiah 17:9 ESV

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

 Where does our hope lie? GOD has given us the way:

John 3:16 ESV 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  . . .”

images from pixabay.com

 

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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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Why is Selfishness so Hard to Tame

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Ego – image from pixabay.com

Selfishness is in our very nature . . .

. . . and the only way we can see it for what it is, is with GOD’S help and the the GOD given intelligence that our brain offers.  Animals can only respond to their chemistry with little (if any) abstract influence from their perception of the external world. We humans are part of the animal world but, have more brain potential for abstract thought so we can gain understanding from knowledge that can enable us to function with more than the prime motive to survive.  We are chemically linked to the life on Earth that is why we must eat, drink, breathe and reproduce just as living things in general must do.  Yes our mind can allow us to rise above this natural state for “good”. We can conduct our lives and apply our abilities for the common “good” of all our planet’s lifeforms: Stewardship. To allow ourselves to be governed by selfishness is not good; unbridled selfishness is destructive at the smallest and the largest scale.

Proverbs 21:13 ESV

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.

Border Check – image from pixabay.com

Yes we have a strong desire to be protective

. . . because we want to have a “friendly” milieu for ourselves and our contemporaries as well as for our progeny.  When outsiders are perceived to represent a threat to our security we easily become defensive or even preemptively aggressive.

Stone Fortification – The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Exterior of Damascus Gate from north, Jerusalem” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 20, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-6418-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

The learning curve toward a more benevolent and socially cooperative behavior has been slow to achieve; it is a hard lesson to learn and apply. The progress toward this goal has been slow though Jesus laid out the “game plan” more than 2000 years ago. Are we such slow learners?  Some of us are I suppose but the real reason is found within our very nature.

Matthew 6:21 ESV

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Competition- image from pixabay.com

“But competition is good,” You may think.  Yes I say, but only to a point.

Doping = Cheating- image from pixabay.com

Extreme competition can do more harm than good: The original aim of “sportsmanship” was to be a metaphor for our lives as a whole: fairness, civility and the ability to win or lose with grace. Though it has helped it is yet far from perfect and cheating is more than disappointing it is discouraging

Proverbs 31:9 ESV

Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

OK, awareness offers a forewarning

James 3:17 ESV

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

 When will we really “get it” that cooperation

. . . benefits the majority, and agree to truly banish extreme selfishness along with criminal activities so life can then be better for more of Earth’s inhabitants. Still, it is in our nature to fall to temptation and fall into sin despite our best efforts ad this is where Jesus offers a way.  Jesus provides a way out of this conundrum (the duality of good and bad within us) here and now and, for eternity. When The Kingdom of GOD comes all this will change for the better and beyond that will come judgement, and then an  eternity with GOD for those who are believers in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV 

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Remember where you are, though it may seem so for awhile,  you do not control the world and its ways. Ultimately we all will answer to GOD.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 ESV

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Amen

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Love

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Love Tale – Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

In the English Language the word “love” covers many emotions and actions.

Love Pizza – image from pixabay.com

In order to clarify what we mean we rely on modifiers but even that often does not accurately define which form of love it is we are referring to. I might say I Love You to my wife, my children and, I also may say I love pizza, dogs, and mountains .  We Christians speak of “Christian Love” or tell someone GOD Loves them but that sure seems to leave a great deal to their imagination.  Of course, one should use many passages within the Bible to help people understand the depth and scope of GOD’S Love. Perhaps begin with one verse and continue to offer more at the recipient’s request.

Psalm 136:26 ESV

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

So this thing called “love” has a broad spectrum of meanings and some languages do better than others expressing it.

Examples of non-English terms of Love that express nuance with single words can be found in this article:

“23 Untranslatable Foreign Words That Describe Love Better Than You Ever Thought” by Koty Neelis

23 Untranslatable Foreign Words That Describe Love Better Than You Ever Thought

Love is Vital – image from pixabay.com

GOD has taught us about unconditional Love.

Romans 5:8 ESV 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God is Love – image from pixabay.com

GOD is about more than love let me not deceive you: GOD is Holy, GOD is Just, GOD requires worship and respect but, . . .  but for this post I have focused on one part of GOD’S nature: Love. In the Bible you can get the whole character of GOD; I encourage you to accept Jesus Christ and immediately gain the help from The Holy Spirit; seek out like minded believers; read the Holy Bible.

First century christians lived LOVE.

Love and 1st Christians – Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Christen.” New York Public Library Digital Collections.

The First Century Christians chose to live their lives as closely to what Jesus had instructed as humanly possible. The Acts 4 scripture below explains in detail the way they lived. They were successful because we know about GOD today and thus can have a loving relationship with GOD: The Bible conveys GOD’S character in great detail: we can know GOD. People call this religion but GOD embraced us; GOD reached out to us and religion is the way humans attempt to get the attention of a god or gods.

Acts 4:32-37 (ESV)

They Had Everything in Common

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Love is Good – image from pixabay.com
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July 4th Liberty Freedom and

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(Permission to use)

Happy July 4th

A mature Christian may have the freedom to enter into a gray area but not if it can lead a brother or a sister into sin.
Donuts – image from pixabay.com

Even overeating or a poor diet can be self destructive and you may lead your brother or sister into temptation just by indulging in a food harmless to you. Christians may be free to do some things not in themselves a sin or sinful but may be a problem for a fellow believer. (ST) Apostle Paul knew eating food offered to false gods was not a sin but some believers weren’t sure.

1 Corinthians 8:7 – 9 ESV

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.  . . .

Fireworks GIF – http://bestanimations.com/Holidays/Fireworks/Fireworks2.html

Freedom, Liberty, Civility and Law and Order.

What is meant by Freedom and Liberty? Do they refer to the same thing? Can they be used interchangeably? Are there limitations on Liberty, or is it something that is supposed to be completely without restriction? If, as the Declaration of Independence declares, all men are created equal with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, does that mean government can do nothing to restrict Liberty? . . . ” http://eyler.freeservers.com/JeffPers/jefpco26.htm

Justice – image from pixabay.com

” . . . Law and justice are two words that often go hand-in-hand. These words are often confusing for many people who believe that these words are the same or refer to the same thing. However, this is not true. . . . ” http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-law-and-justice

Luke 14:1-6 ESV 

One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” …

What is Civility?

Civility – image from pixabay.com

“Civility is about more than just politeness, although politeness is a necessary first step. It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work . . . ” http://www.instituteforcivility.org/who-we-are/what-is-civility/

Jesus boils it down to this:

Matthew 22:37-40 ESV 

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.”

Hands in Prayer – image from pixabay.com
Thank You Jesus for teaching us GOD’s truth; I pray we remember this always.  And that our United States though, free from an ‘official religion’ had reflected the best that humans can offer because the founders based their ideals on what they knew about right and wrong from the Holy Bible. May we as a people never forget or forsake this  but remain a beacon truth to the entire world. In Jesus’ name Amen. 
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Christian Unity

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(C) James Halifko

What if all Christians were to meet in the Great Hall C. S. Lewis described and all agreed to do all they could to improve the world?

That “Great Hall” represents all Christians who accept the “Core Tenants” of Christianity.  To be a Christian you must accept these core beliefs but that still leaves a lot of preferences which allow acceptable variation from a human perspective.  Bible version, church building, worship service character and so on.

Grand Building – image from pixabay.com

C.S. Lewis > Quotes

C.S. Lewis

“I hope no reader will suppose that “mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions — as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else.

It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall, I have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in.  .  .  . “*


*Page XV, PREFACE:

Lewis, C. S. 1898-1963. Mere Christianity: A Revised and Amplified Edition, With a New Introduction, of the Three Books, Broadcast Talks, Christian Behaviour, and Beyond Personality. 1st HarperCollins ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001.


Perhaps I may be taking a little poetic license applying the following verse to C. S. Lewis’s metaphor, or perhaps not.

 

John 14:2 ESV

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

Hilltop Mansion – image from pixabay.com
Clash – image from pixabay.com
Hurdles remain: Inter-denominational and sect tensions as well as intra-denominational disagreement weakens Christianities position in the World and the ability to make improvements.

 

 

Conflict War – image from pixabay.com

Religious wars are all about what people assume and nothing about the relationship we have with GOD.  When Jesus was on trial by the religious leaders this principle was evident:

 

Mark 14:53 -58a (ESV)

Jesus Before the Council

Temple in Jerusalem – image from pixabay.com

53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council[a] were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’”

So, let us get on with the business of being loving Christians tolerating inconsequential or minor differences: Let us tell everyone that Jesus has paid our price for our inequities so we may ultimately be with GOD in eternity.

Amen.

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What Ruins a Family, a Society, a Nation . . .

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Gone are We – image from pixabay.com

What is the ruin of us all?

 

  1.  Denying GOD exists.
  2.  Worshiping things of this Earth – including self.
  3.  Defiling GOD’s Holiness by profanity or triviality.
  4.  Not taking a period of rest to worship GOD, for yourself and rest for any living thing under your care.
  5.  Not honoring your parents and respecting your family.
  6.  Willing to or committing murder.
  7.  Sexual immorality of any kind but especially adultery.
  8.  Taking anything that is not yours to take or claim.
  9.  Lying, omitting truth, perpetrating nefarious subterfuge especially for  personal gain.
  10.  Allowing desire for the possessions of others  to dominate our life – our being.

So obeying GOD’s proscriptions and prescriptions helps people live a more peaceful and productive life; more likely to be filled with love and not hate.

Exodus 20: 1-17 ESV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20%3A1-17&version=ESV

Christian Hope – image from pixabay.com

Achieving these will give you and your family, and nation, a better quality of life.

images from pixabay.com

Jesus summed it up when he answered the scribe:

Mark 12: 28-31 ESV

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Love and Peace – image from pixabay.com

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Who Will Listen to You

____________________________________________

Happy Mother’s Day 

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Who Will Listen to You?

Just so Alone – image from pixabay.com

Are you feeling alone? Do you doubt anyone cares about you? Does it seem no one listens to you?

You are never alone, there is someone listening and ready at all times to fulfill your deepest yearnings. GOD.  I know you have heard that before (perhaps many times) but, though it is not an easy concept to grasp rest assure GOD is there waiting for you to reach out and begin a spiritual relationship. Yes, a “relationship”.  

Friends – image from pixabay.com

“Religion” may be perfectly fine and needed for fellowship, encouragement and learning, but it is a device of humans and subject to human variables; the goal? A “relationship” with GOD.  The Bible, or The Word of GOD provides us with information but, how we interpret and apply that information can be based on our subjectivity.  In this blog I do my best to put forth as an objective a message about what GOD wants as revealed in The Bible for us as humanly possible; with prayer and the help of “The Holy Spirit” I have the faith that this is true for the most part – I am still human after all.

If you feel abandoned, alone and that no one cares about you or, even hears you, by faith I believe GOD is there just waiting for you to reach out.

 

 Acts 2:38-39 ESV

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Jesus and Disciples – image from pixabay.com

Just like a relationship with another human goes through phases, so does your relationship with GOD.

From Left to Right: L Music Division, The New York Public Library. “All for the love of a girl” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 11, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-fc0a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
C Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. “Isadora Duncan and Edward Gordon Craig. “In Berlin about Xmas time when we had taken shelter with Elise de Brouckère.”” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 11, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/8782bb4f-64ae-dda2-e040-e00a1806496c
R Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. “Old slave couple , Mercer county.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 11, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-9f8b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

You meet.  You become acquainted.  You share your life.  You provide each other something each of you needs. GOD desires your acknowledgement , your respect, your gratitude, your praise and your worship. GOD has already provided for you even as you ignored, shunned or said, “GOD is dead”: eternity through Christ Jesus, provisions,  . . . many good things.  Even though we live in this world where Christians can be persecuted you can be granted the strength to endure.  With your sights set on eternity with GOD the temporal trials of this world can fade from your sight.

James 4:8 ESV 

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

GOD’s Touch – image from pixabay.com

GOD wants your acknowledgement, your worship and you to do what is right.  GOD offers: eternal life through Jesus, The Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance, and The Word for teaching, edification and equipping you for good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV 

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Of course there is much more to this story.  Fellowship with GOD and believers. Prayer. Guidance in many Earthly situations.  It takes time to learn and experience them.  I am confident GOD will provide you with what you need as a need arises. One step at a time; one day at a time.

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

 ESV = ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION BIBLE

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About Impurities and Imperfection

      (^^^ Click on title to go to the article if you are not already there^^^)               

The Color of Gems come from Impurities – image from pixabay.com

It is the flaws in this world that set things apart; often these flaws are used for good purposes.

Colored Jewels, intense survival stories, victory despite odds against it , eternal salvation from sin’s self destruction are just highlights of the drama that plays out here on Earth.  It is these flaws that give meaning and character to the story of humanity since had GOD created all things. Strange as it may seem all of the positive that has come from the flaws here on Earth point to the ultimate victory of GOD’s Son Jesus Christ who demonstrated power over defects and evil, did not succumb to temptation and took upon Himself the penalty for sin, for all humanity for all time, by submitting to death and His resurrection.  The worldly hints of the challenge and the victory abound.

Even the Children’s story The Ugly Duckling Illustrates the phenomena of this era.
APPEARANCES: Colored Jewels . . .

. . . gain beautiful colors from small quantities of other elements within a crystal structure.

Secular: Amethyst geode
Geode – image from pixabay.com

Ugly on the outside; beautiful on the inside! .

Biblical: Flawed Apostle Paul was a Successful Evangelist

1 Timothy 1:15 ESV

Apostle Paul – image from pixabay.com

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I (Paul) am the foremost.

intense survival stories

Secular: This story seems Impossible at First*
Deadly Grenade – image from pixabay.com

“30 year old Lance Corporal Mathew Croucher, from Solihull, West Midlands, accidentally triggered a trip wire while in Hemland Province, Afghanistan in 2008. He dropped to the ground immediately, lay across the grenade and got blown into the air as the grenade went off. He got the George Cross award, which is the highest decorations awarded due to acts of gallantry, for saving his comrades. He is among 20 living recipients who have received this award.  All I could do at the moment was shout ‘grenade’ before diving on top of it,” he said.

  • *SEE: https://www.unbelievable-facts.com/2014/11/People-Who-Survived-Against-All-Odds.html
Biblical: Jonah
Giant Fish – image from pixabay.com

Jonah tried to flee from God because did not want to go to Nineveh and See Lost People so Evil Saved

(thanks Pastor for your teaching)

Jonah 1:3 ESV

But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah 1:17 ESV

Jonah and the Fish: Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Yûnus (Jonah) disgorged by a giant fish is offered clothing by an angel.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 27, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-9088-d471-e040-e00a180654d

17 [a] And the Lord appointed[b] a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

victory despite odds against it

The Battle of Britain – image from pixabay.com
Secular: The Battle of Britain

After the Germans conquered much of the continent of Europe during World War II it appeared all but certain they would surely pound Great Britain with bombs and then invade.  A valiant effort of determination, defiance, dogged survival  and endurance caused the Germans to reconsider and no evasion was attempted

Biblical: Gideon

Judges 6:15 ESV

Gideon: Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Gideon overhearing the Midianites’ dream.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 27, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-5d84-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

And he (Gideon) said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

GOD’s power enabled him to be victorious and a hero of the people.

Judges 8:22 ESV 

Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”

ACCEPTING jESUS AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR ENABLES YOU TO BE VICTORIOUS OVER SIN AND WORLDLY IMPERFECTION SINCE, IT IS BY THE POWER OF god THAT YOU ARE SAVED ALONE

eternal salvation from sin’s price

Secular:  Works Do Not Save Souls

Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Biblical:  Jesus is the Only Way

John 14:6 ESV

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

ESV = ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION BIBLE

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We Are the Caretakers

Eden – image from pixabay.com

In my lifetime I have been warned several times over how our over population is depleting the resources of the Earth.

Genesis 2:15 ESV 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Yet long before the predicted doom miraculously humans developed and discovered how to produce, find or distribute more of what a larger population needs to live here on our planet.  GOD gave humans a remarkable brain and an indomitable spirit; we not only survive we thrive. It is also true while some of us waste, horde, and selfishly lavish our selves in abundance there are people in this world who die for lack of a simple medication.  While some of us are swelled grotesquely with fat, there are babies who fall as silent victims of starvation elsewhere.

Bad Management – image from pixabay.com

No, the planet is not becoming barren or failing to provide food, clean water and fresh air because it has run out.  Though these are stolen, soiled and fouled by a privileged few, not even that is the reason for human suffering.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 ESV 

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

It is buyer beware in the world – image from pixabay.com

More human suffering is inflicted upon humanity because evil energized sinful people want to insure they are in control and hold political power over others.  Warlords and tyrants intercept relief supplies, curtail aid workers or even kill the humanitarians that fan out across the globe to assist other people.

 

Some motivation behind needed “good” things might be suspect but it still has a positive affect.

Yes even if greed has motivated commercial entities to produce food and healthcare for an exuberant profit it does help and is unlikely to deplete The Earth’s resources.

Genesis 50:20 ESV

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Humans do not lack imagination, cleverness or the skills to continue to locate and extract resources.

Fruitful Earth – image from pixabay.com

Daniel 1:17 ESV

As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

The physical planet is abundant with raw materials and even if humanity deems it necessary to reach beyond Earth it appears to be within the sphere of the abilities GOD has equipped us with.

 

Our World – image from pixabay.com

The Bottom Line: God has revealed in the Bible that humans are to be the caretakers of Earth and all its resources.

 

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.”

 

To Care for – image from pixabay.com

We are to carryout this mandate without capitulating to sin and to do so equitably and see that the needs of all people are met, not just the privileged few. I extend this noble principle beyond our planet by believing it applies wherever humans go in the Cosmos.

ESV = ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION BIBLE

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