Temptation is Common to Us All

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We all are Tempted by the Same Opportunities to do Wrong.

If we are all tempted by the same opportunities to do wrong why do some of us take action and do the wrong thing and others refuse to?  We might say it is a difference in each person’s character; a strong person resists; a weak person caves in.

The consequences of sin last
The consequences of sin last

 

The circumstances of life do play a part I am sure: a poor person may find it hard to not take food left unattended while a rich person wouldn’t even think of it. OK this seems logical and easy to accept; or is it?

The Temptation to Steal may have Nothing to do with need.

You surely have learned about disadvantaged people returning lost money and some affluent person taking things they do not need.  Can this anomalous behavior be attributed to individual difference in the way people are made? In other words dictated by how their genes worked together with their environment to form their individuality?  Perhaps this is a factor when considering some individuals yet what if we consider all humans?  If we consider all humans as a group we may discover the observed behavior and the correlation with apparent motive for stealing can be represented by a “bell curve”.  The lower and upper extremes being never stealing to the upper limit always stealing.  So many factors apply to people that we can never predict exactly who will or will not steal under any test situation but we can get a sense that out of x number of people 1 will steal. We also  may be able to predict what an individual may do or not do if we have sufficient information about that person.  Still what I am most interested in, is what the vast majority of people within a culture would do under which circumstances. I can get some idea by looking at human behavior data: it often plots as that proverbial “bell curve.”  i may perceive or derivemeaning from this as, most people will steal something under some particular situation.  If I compare different groups over time (like  A generation to B generation or more generations) I may be able to recognize a trend.

I Believe Most People Will Take Something that is not Theirs Sometime.

The possibility of stealing goes way up when a person believes what they are taking won’t be missed, it is too small with very little value, the victim has so much material wealth, it is in some way owed to them or everybody does it so it is OK.  Not paying all the tax one owes, insurance fraud, price gouging  and not returning borrowed things are all forms of theft.  People can rationalize claiming, ” I didn’t steal a car, rob a bank or embezzled from my employer so I am not really guilty.”  If you believe that, you are wrong.  How can we do better than that?  Teach our children right from wrong and live up to their expectations is a good place to start.

In the U.S.A our Legal System is Heavily Influenced by the Bible.

God's Word

The Bible (Old and New Testaments) provide all the information we need to do what is right and avoid doing what id wrong.  Our Nation is at its best when the Christian foundation of our society strives to rise above human imperfection by believing what God’s Word teaches, reveals and instructs.  So here are a some quotes from the Bible as examples.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.

Romans 3:23 (NIV)

. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV)

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

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Happy New Year! What is it all About? (<<< click to go to article)

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“Yes, I wish you a Happy New Year . . .

HpyNY

 . . . Celebrate within reason and be safe.”

Spirit of a Multi Cultural Observance

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

Psychology

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.

A Better Life can be Found Here
A Better Life can be Found Here

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

Bible Verses:

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.

 

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Christmas U.S.A. (<<< click title to go to article)

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Is it Borrowing or Hijacking Words and Symbols?

Chrtree

The English language is a dynamic living thing: words are taken in from other languages, new words are invented ( see: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html ) and new meaning assigned to words in common use quite easily.  Words like gay, naughty, guy or even meat are examples. ( See: http://ideas.ted.com/20-words-that-once-meant-something-very-different/ for more)  Some symbols have had their meaning altered as well: The Rainbow, The Hindu Swastika or the Star of David all have had meanings altered through history.  Some changes are benign, others positive but some changes are not welcome and the new meaning a result of what those who disapprove refer to the word or symbol as being “hijacked”.

We Cannot Prevent Change

Chrs b

Hard as we may try we cannot stop the processes that alter the meanings of words or symbols.  Christmas itself originated when Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity.  Once Christian Faith was accepted and allowed it was practiced openly.  The celebrations and holidays recognized by “The Church” then were incorporated into the life of the people. Some symbols that were originally associated with other meanings (celebrations at the winter solstice for example) were adopted and today seem like they were always associated with the way we see them.  So yes, even we who may express concern of cultural morphing of some words and symbols can trace some of our traditional usage as having been “hijacked”. However I am not defending what was hijacked from our Christian culture or tradition on the contrary, I associated the Christian view of American culture and traditions as an important part of our identity as a people.

We can Share the Holiday Season to a Point 2

As Americans we value our liberty, freedom of speech and our tolerance of things different.  Yes this is part of what makes us who we are and what has made us a great nation.  Yet I do not want to lose our strong social, cultural and traditional identity and as a Christian Nation.  I will discus the issue of Church and State in The United States in a future post to my blog, this topic is not about that.  This article is intended to express the need to keep the true meaning of Christmas and the strong positive Christian influence on America vibrant and as a Nationwide observance even as we tolerate different perspectives.  I defend the absolute right for all Americans to say, “Merry Christmas” to any and everyone they choose because it is a part of the United States of America’s very foundation.

Chrs 0001c

                                       My song: “Think of Christmas Long Ago”

Think of Christmas Long Ago

What the Bible Says About the Meaning of Christmas

Luke 2:11 ESV

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Isaiah 7:14 ESV

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 John 3:16-17 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

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Consequences of Selfishness

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Live for yourself and end up alone in the end.

Halloween011 Graves 3b

(photo grave yard)

In a nation where ” . . . the pursuit of happiness.” from our Declaration of Independence   (See Declaration of Independence) seems to have more emphasis placed on it, than equality or the importance of a society‘s ability to provide security for the least able among us, “The Self” is paramount. It seems we are very willing to buy into the commercial hype proclaiming “You are Number One”, “You Deserve the Best” or how much our culture venerates the wealthy no matter how ill gotten their good fortune may have been acquired.  It is prioritized even though this priority lessens the importance of relationships within families, marriages, friendships and associations.  The Media has responded a little by including “upbeat” or “positive” segments at the end of some news casts about altruism but, this effort barely is able to off set the more entertaining negatives, or the excitement generated by heralding conspicuous materialism.  Sometimes a negative news story seems to expose a degree of selfishness that even the egotists are appalled by but, that reaction quickly fades and is soon forgotten.

How much wealth should an individual be allowed to possess at the expense of others?

Marineland 2b

(photo yacht)

You may have become aware of how a CEO of a pharmaceutical company seemed to take advantage of people who desperately needed a drug that he secured the right to manufacture.  He acquired a smaller company that had made this very effective drug  inexpensively for decades. It was “used to treat a dangerous multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis” (See Huge price increase for old drug ).  As soon as he was able he increased the selling price astronomically, immediately placing ill people at risk and setting for himself an opportunity to reap a great monetary profit. This story ties into similar suspicious increases for important drugs within this industry; sadly this now seems to be a trend in  The U.S.A.  Other departures in what seems normal, or fair, have been noted when executives receive huge bonuses for down sizing companies.

They receive their reward and add to their opulence displaying vulgar excessive materialism, even though their actions often result in numerous workers being forced into joblessness.  I have learned about such examples of this business tactic being used throughout my lifetime but now, I fear that even average citizens choose to focus on gathering riches for themselves with selfish actions. They reject having families by not having children but instead pursue only self-gratification. This social course within our nation maximizes the “self” and minimizes “The Family Unit” and probably will have serious negative consequences for the future of our country.  What will this trend bring our nation if it continues? Only God knows.

SONG:  I’m so Important

Big Family Photob2

(photo: The Bible encourages families)

What the Bible Teaches about Selfishness.tactics

Philippines 2:4 ESV

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 John 3:17 ESV

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

2 Timothy 3:2-4 ESV

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

Ecclesiastes 5:10

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.

 

 

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World View

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. . . (click “title” above to go to article page) . . .

Oh oh You Will be Late to Work

You are on your way to work and suddenly all you see ahead is red.  The bright glaring red that vehicle tail-lights scream “STOP”.  Quickly you realize you are hopelessly stuck in traffic grid-lock and you won’t be getting to work on time this morning.  It now has become a global phenomena  visit the link to a Forbes article to learn you are not alone in this dilemma.

The Worlds Worst Traffic Jams

World view is not an accurate objective assessment of reality but rather the perception each human being acquires through personal knowledge, experience and interaction with his, or her immediate environment.  The world view we develop begins with our family in our home, expands as we venture out into our surroundings, is affected by our school and neighborhood all the way including the communities on Earth that interact.  It is as much dependent on physical factors as psychological factors.  Cultural and social effects and a religious (or absence thereof) belief most certainly.  We tend to find peace with the familiar and view the prevailing experience as the norm at, or least acceptable; find it hard to accept change even if it suggests the change will be for the better.

Change can be Good, Bad or Indifferent

In my lifelong interface with issues of change I agreed with a wide spectrum of views from change is good even for its own sake to holding on to tradition at all costs as paramount.  Neither of these opinions reflect the realities we eventually experience as time progresses and changes happen at a steady pace regardless of my perception.  So what is right and what is wrong? Am I a person in favor of, or one who is against, change?  Possibly the  at any cost is a bit extreme for me to swallow? Nevertheless sometimes when I contemplate this trend of  thought I become confused, depressed and frozen in a state of none participation and mimic a fatalistic attitude.  I have to admit none of these tactics work well for me.  There is only one thing that consistently gives me understanding, peace and direction: A belief that and believing what God teaches us.God is in control and therefore provides the best answers.

How a World View Nurtured by God’s Word Works for me

Creator God
Creator God

I gain comfort knowing God knows and Loves me and I am an important part of God’s creation:

Genesis 1 ESV “. . . 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image . . . 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good . . . ”

Mathew 10:30 ESV “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV  “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.”

Philippians 4: 6 – 7 ESV “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For more about a Christian World View visit our friends at Focus on the Family link below

Continue reading “World View”

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America Changed the World

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So How Did America Change the World?

The America I refer to is the United States of America. That the U.S.A. changed the world is not debatable but, I am not writing about the form of government, the culture or contributions to World Science and Technology. So what am I writing about? Economics? No. Geology? No. Not even its influence projected as the only ‘Super Power’ after 19911. America changed the world order by demonstrating more positive attributes of Christianity – even though not with perfection – than any other Nation, country, religion variant or society has in all of world history. In this reality of consciousness, people do not reach perfection because of the very nature of homo Sapiens.

1-20-Public-Domain moonWe do not find perfection on Earth

Greece, Persia, Rome, France, Germany, England, Portugal and Spain (as well as some others not listed) contributed to civilization’s march away from primitive barbarism toward fairness and justice. This process has taken so long because the evil demonstrated by humans is hard to diminish and slow to dissipate. Though advances toward the good can be identified and studied, evil persists to this day in places on the Earth and, it still evokes fear and loathing.

(C) James Halifko

Evil still lurks upon the Earth

Nevertheless when The Axis2 was finally defeated in 1945 a profound New World Order was established by The United States of America. Since then, there has been war and genocide, crime and injustice, yet, these manifestations of evil have declined and continue to decline. So therefore, the possibilities for the future from a humanist view can be anticipated to be bright and positive. I do have a caveat, though the future is not the subject of this treatise the ultimate demise of the World is prophesied by several religious traditions including the Jewish and Christian versions as revealed in scripture. I do not know when the World will end; as a Bible3 believing Christian I see the work at hand for me and my brothers and sisters is to demonstrate God’s love and to be obedient to what Jesus Christ has instructed especially ‘love thy neighbor as thy self’4.

The U.S.A. has fostered treaties, turned enemies into friends and assisted many people who were in great need. This behavior has taught an imperfect World that people doing what is right and just can change things for the better.

The USA threw a lifeline to Europe

250px-US-MarshallPlanAid-Logo.svgWhen World War II ended The United State of America had treated the vanquished differently than how most victors of war had done – at least never on such a vast scale. What the American people did was marvelous: They forgave their enemies, did not levy monetary penalties that could not have been paid but instead, helped the former enemies rebuild5 their nations, guided them through recovery so they could rejoin the World Community as contributing members: Japan, Germany and Italy. In fact, The United States assisted victim Nations rebuild in Europe and Asia as well.

The World calls out “Mayday” and Americans respond

usa_gl_e0

And so the U.S.A changed the World for the better despite imperfections, set backs, envious people, revenge seekers and extremist driven by violent ideologies. I sincerely believe that we as a Nation can continue to demonstrate ‘Good’ to the world and help bestow the blessings of God upon it. I am confident God wants to freely give good things to humans who acknowledge God in all things, and with paramount importance, accept the gift of Eternal Salvation available because of the completed work of Jesus Christ just by believing in Him as Lord and Savior.

(Amen).

SONG:  This is Our America

References from the Bible (ESV):

Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Exodus 23:5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

END NOTES:

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_Soviet_Unionmeaning

 

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Solid Marriage; Happy Family; Strong Nation

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Marriage Basic Human Unit

Since the beginning human life has centered on the family unit. For example the Bible begins with Adam, Eve, Cane, Able and Seth in Genesis. Sadly the human race had only just begun when Cane murders Able out of envy because God accepted Abel’s offering and not his. I am not going to write about the myriad of human failures that permeate history however; I am going to discus one of the great success stories instead: Marriage.

Zyg Fam001   First Hand Experience

My experience begins in the mid 1950’s when despite human shortcomings the family unit functioned pretty well. My immediate family was not one of them though because my father ran off and eventually divorced my mother. Their story is a story movies are made from as he eventually returned and remarried her and then lived out his days with her, but, that is a story for another day.

Family 1957

Yes my immediate family was unique, for in those days most people stuck to their marriage even when from a human perspective it seemed not to be working. My brothers and I suffered some negative societal effects because of this since for the most part everyday people did not divorce. Being from a family with divorced parents at that time (called a broken home) gave people reason to shun and even ostracize you; not just the men and women involved but also their children. Yet back then, the vast majority of children I knew enjoyed a complete family with well-defined roles for fathers and mothers and many seemed to have a happy home.

Yes the society in the 1950’s that I became aware of was working very well, the Great Depression and World War II were in the past and the hostilities of the Korean Conflict were in remission. Dad’s had good jobs and Mom’s stayed home and cared for house, home-life and the children. We as children were taught how to act in public within our homes so even before we became students we had manners and understood right from wrong. What was some of this social knowledge that we had as we left our home? We should respect others, we should be polite we should not steal or fight and we knew very well that when we strayed from this norm, some form of punishment was due us when we got home – when our parents found out that is. No it was not a perfect society but it was better than what I perceive society to be now in many ways.

Through history marriage and the family unit survived times of war and catastrophes often by forming blended family units out of the survivors. Even when survival fostered these new marriage situations love developed from the commitment to make it work.  This tradition reestablished order within damaged family units and therefore they improved the recovering societies they lived in. Again, It was not perfect, but the striving for something better overcame the damage (sadly often human self-inflicted damage) that humans endured. Yes when the basic family unit was reestablished, order and stability followed and the people who had suffered calamity returned to a life as close to normal as possible.

New and Old Influences in the U.S.A.

Old foes of marriage? Relaxed standards for curbing lustful desires, mistrust for a spouse, financial stress, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and often spouses asserting very different philosophies and expectations for the marriage relationship. Yet negatives can be (and often were) overcome by a commitment to honor vows, and allow love to grow.

New foes of marriage? Exaggerated self-importance, conditional commitments, mistrust, too many opportunities of temptation leading to unfaithfulness , misconceptions of love and confusion between love and lust. In some cases even a good thing like an increased average life span can allow negative influences the time required to break down our best efforts to remain faithful.

Yet the greatest danger to healthy enduring marriages may be trends in popular culture that glorify the negatives and thus encourage people to live for their own personal pleasure and satisfaction.

Post-Modern Society

The backlash from societal failures to avert old human calamities such as war fostered a very seductive form of persuasion on society: individual fulfillment is paramount, truth is relative and morality is not absolute but functions on a sliding scale. Some verbal indicators: “We are not wrong, we just are different.” “You have just changed too much” or “I have changed my mind about you.” “No one wins until we all win.” “You are inhibiting my freedom to be me.” “Circumstances warrant the bending of rules or ignoring a law in my opinion.” These comments not only shed light on threats to our traditional view of the foundational family unit in my opinion but, have had, and continues to have, a negative effect on marriage.

It Once was Bad now it is Good

Jokes about a spouse and marriage in general are very much a part of popular humor today: in cartoons, in cinema, on television and especially exploited by comedians. Tabloids spew the sordid details of celebrity weddings, their break ups and even their sexual escapades. Having a child out-of-wedlock seems to be perfectly fine today, even when a single parent must raise the child. Cohabitation, then having children, and, then getting married is fast becoming the norm in my part of the world. Progressive thinkers applaud these changes, yet in my assessment the weakening of the aspects that have made our Western Culture so strong, especially within the United States, are having a negative affect and usurping one of our great strengths: The American Family.

The lack of stable quintessential family units robs us of a bright future. Stable family units that provide us with a new well-balanced generation, that has a clear sense of right and wrong, that demonstrates respect for others, has a keen sense of purpose and behaves with civility would continue what has been so good about our way of life. Isolated examples of a child doing good that has emerged from foster care or he or she came from a dysfunctional family fuel supporters of these new ways; they point out that this indicates fragmented and altered family units do no harm. I believe a closer look at what goes on in our schools tells a different story.

My Perspective Changed

In August 1984 I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. From this vantage point of my age it was about the mid-point of my life. The way I lived before that moment was characterized by a hedonistic drive: I dabbled with drugs in my teens, ultimately became an alcoholic who kept the most negative effects less apparent to those around me, I was liberal concerning sex, I even had two marriages fail and was at a loss to explain my lack of success.  A lack of success even though I was told I had talent and a good mind and would be very successful. After 1984 much had improved though life was not perfect: consequences for my per-Christian life lingered (even challenged me at times) , but, since 1985 when my wife and I married (she also is a Christian) we have weathered many a storm together and God has blessed us in just the right measure to fend of the worst life has hurled at us. We were, and still are blessed in so many ways. It is clear to me which way of life is best for my wife and I and our family. I am quiet sure when people turn to The Lord their lives will change for the better and this improves our society as well.

Yes I am a Bible Believing Christian fully convinced that humans can never live up to the standard God has provided, but an earnest desire to strive for His standard yields the best for all humanity not just for us here in These United States of America.

 

What the Bible Indicates

Hebrews 13: 4 – 5 (ESV)

4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

Proverbs 11:29 (NIV)

Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.

 

Mark 10: 6 – 9

6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

 

Exodus 20:12 (NLT)

“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

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Are the Ten Commandments Obsolete?

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How fast would humans descend to cruel anarchy without words of truth to guide them?

GodsWordbMany years ago when I was a young Christian doing my best to be a good witness I encountered a couple who seemed like people I could talk to so I spoke to them about Jesus Christ and Christianity.  I explained how my life had been changed for the good and shared examples of the benefits from learning and applying God’s Word to my life and my family’s life.  This conversation could only continue sporadically over time because we were co-workers and opportunity to spend a lot time in this conversation would not be the right thing to do.  Of course I tried to make up for that by giving them tracts.  One day they told me outright that they did not need religion (nor a relationship with Jesus) to live a good life, die and go to heaven.  OK, so they let me know they had heard enough about the subject and that I should back off.  I asked one last question before we went our separate ways.

“How can you be so sure you know all there is to know about right and wrong?” I said.

She replied, ” We just know.”

I mused over that for a moment then asked a friendly question, “Where did you meet each other by the way?”

They told me they were childhood sweethearts and they had attended and graduated from parochial school (Roman Catholic).  My last words to them as we parted?

“So you did learn all about God’s Ten Commandments after all, and, that is how I believe you really know right from wrong.”

Religion is the attempt by humans to get back in touch with God after “The Fall” in the Garden of Eden.  Through the eons many common sense teachings have helped people live better and the origins of this wisdom has seemed to have arrived on Earth via many different people.  Many people who presented this wisdom are associated with numerous religions, yet under closer scrutiny I see that the greatest truths for humans has actually come directly from God.  How I know this will be explained in a book that I am writing.  For now I just want to focus on the “Ten Commandments” that were given to Moses as explained in the Old Testament of The Bible in the book of Exodus 20:1–17.   When people obeyed the precepts in this revelation all people benefited and this is recorded throughout the history of civilization.

Unbelievers, pagans, agnostics and atheists have benefited from the guidance obtained from the Ten Commandments, not just  Hebrews and Christians.  Governments have relied on them when passing the laws that provide order for their nations.  Satan and his cohorts know them better than many humans.  While adhering to these Ten Commandments will not assure your acceptance into Heaven (only accepting Jesus can do that) life on Earth is so much better when they are followed.  These precepts guide us and teach us about our own nature thus they help us to avoid the consequences of wrong doing.  Today there appears to be a movement to remove all references to the Ten Commandments, displays of them and monuments to them everywhere because they offend some people.  Who are they?

The Ten Commandments not only teach us right from wrong but shed light on evil doers in my opinion and, if some people are made uncomfortable by their presence so be it, that is exactly what God has intended: they expose and work against evil and perpetrators of evil.

Deuteronomy 4:13 (ESV)

And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.

1 Corinthians 7:19 (ESV)

For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.

 

Ten Commandments for the 21st Century

(explained by James Halifko)

  1. Recognize just one Supreme Being: God

  2. Do not create your own gods from any thing or any concept.

  3. Do not utter God or speak of God in a disrespectful manner.

  4. Humans need a true day of rest during a week.

  5. The family unit is vital for good so especially respect your parents.

  6. Murder is evil and forbidden; kill only in order to survive.

  7. Honor your commitment to your spouse; adultery is destructive.

  8. Do not take or keep anything that you have not earned.

  9. Do not lie or omit truth.

  10. Coveting anything or anyone is an empty and wasteful practice and invites evil.

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Is America Loosing Its Civility?

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As I became aware of the milieu I was born into during the 1950’s I was taught to respect elders, people of authority, teachers, clergy and everyone I encountered in public.  Manners were important and especially the choice of words used in public, school and certainly in mixed company.

Today it seems common here on the East Coast of the U.S.A.  within Megalopolis to slack off on manners and abandon constraint on the tongue: I often her expletives and swear words once confined to harsh work environments, back alleys, saloons and during armed conflicts. Sure boys hanging out were prone to express themselves in a loose manner but quickly modified their speech when an older person, female or person of authority entered within hearing range.  What about today?

Since the 1950’s things have turned away from a tradition of being polite.  This is reflected in the character and dialogue in cinema, television programs, magazines and more so in the new publicly shared social media of the Twenty-first Century have a much lower standard.  I find it especially offensive when the expletives and swearing is unrestrained in popular song lyrics, in mixed company and especially in groups that have children present.  Many people today apparently do not think this is a problem nor do they seem to believe it does any harm.  Aside from older people from another generation being offended as I, I see this trend as one more degradation in our society that once was civil if not always pleasant.

I am a Christian and I do not believe the wisdom offered to us within the Bible is old fashioned or out dated.  On the contrary,  Holy Scripture teaches us  how to make life better by fostering respect and positive behavior within families and in public.

Luke 6:45 (ESV)

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Ephesians 4:29

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

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Everyone has Value

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people

Everyone who has ever lived and will be conceived is important: we are all part of the whole and what we do, or do not do, affects everyone else.  Yes we see the importance of great inventors, leaders and thinkers yet, we can not dismiss the value of any person doing any kind of work, or, just being part of the biosphere.  In a universe vast beyond human comprehension are we important on the cosmic scale?  Philosophers say we ourselves are the universe cognisant of itself.  You may think this message is beyond your comprehension, or it just does not apply to your everyday life but you are.

God has a purpose for you; he wants you to chose what is good and right with the freewill he has granted – but he will not force you to comply.  You are free to make your own way by making your own choices from moment to moment.  God loves his creation and God especially loves people; this includes you.  The Bible reveals many truths but the value placed on people is the greatest truth so often forgotten.  Seek God.  Seek God especially if you are struggling with self worth and can not believe you have a purpose: you have worth and you have a purpose.

For God So Loved the World  John 3:16 (ESV)

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

You are Important Matthew 10: 26 – 33

26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.[g] 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?[h] And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

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