Why Death is a Blessing

The Bible guarantees us 4 score years and ten, or 70 years. But I notice that older people are in no rush to leave. Nor would I encourage it. But there are many reasons we need to leave, gracefully and on time.

First and foremost is that each new generation has different cultural concerns and they need their 40 years to manage the nations, businesses and families – just as we did. Each decade brings new problems, from the explosion of technology and learning to the shifting status of nation-states. Change is the rule of life and we must learn that lesson and then give it to the younger ones.

A Time to Rest

Second, each generation deserves a time of rest to enjoy the grandchildren, to travel or hobbies or just hang out on the front porch with old hunting buddies. Older people often mention this as something they look forward to.

God has Term Limits

Third, if people lived forever the older ones might not be willing to give up their seats of power and thus holding back the entire community.  God has term limits – why not us? Can you imagine having Hitler, who died in 1945, still prowling around trying to cause trouble, if he managed to escape international law.  We would be crying, “Hey, let’s move on here.”

Focus on Making Things Right

Fifth, many individuals put off God until the end of their lives.  Some people put it off too long and leave before they have a chance to make things right.  And not just right with God.  There are dead people in my family who did not have a chance to accept forgiveness or to offer it. They left with a major work of life undone.

The Need for Peace

Finally there is the issue of Peace.  We are all promised it and death brings peace. I’ve seen people stand at a gravestone and shout anger, or grief or a list of regrets but it floats off in the air like yesterday’s yellowed newspaper scraps. If you are wise, you turn around and leave the cemetery and say, “Peace go with you and I will continue on my road.”



Slander Changes Your Identity

That phrase was proven to me years ago when I had to endue lies about me among a circle of friends. If someone lies about you for any reason, it is because you are a threat to them in some way, a way you may not even realize. You may know something about them that they do not want noised about in public. Or they may think you know something about them.  You can be totally ignorant of their motives.

Slander establishes control over other people for someone’s or something’s own purposes.

Then it happened again recently. I was in the library and said to an acquaintance, “I miss seeing you.”  I was pleasant and I actually like this person a lot even though we only see each other 3 or so times a year. She snapped back at me, “Well I am here much of the time,” as though I was upset or blaming her.

Then I remembered the newspaper article which came out about me.  It was false but my lawyer said it would cost$7,000 dollars to fight the newspaper.  I didn’t have the money.  He looked around for some financing from companies which handle First Amendment cases and could find none.

So I lost a friend because she believed the newspaper.  Did she come to me for the facts?  No, she should have, and it made me sad because I realized the world is filled with people who do not know the truth. And even worse, believe they do! And worse than that – make no effort to learn the truth about the people around them.

News media must fear something to be so one-sided.

We look at American culture and see lies everywhere. The FBI spent $16 million dollars trying to find one shred of evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to fix the election in 2016. They haven’t.  A waste of money but people still believe it. Almost all political discussions begin with the words, “That’s not true.”

And consider God – who is more lied about than anyone I can name. That actually makes sense. The Bible tells us we are sinners and that if we don’t straighten up, we face eternal punishment. It is easier to say that is a lie than to face the issue straight on. Much of what you read about religion is doctored to fit someone else’s need to escape exposure.

The Bible is always under attack.

Scientists  come up with one theory after another to trash ideas  of creation or invent ones that leave God out. Psychologists will tell you something is a “lifestyle choice” which is little more than a predatory lust which damages both you and the victim in the end.

I’ve given up reading about the prescriptions I take.  Someone somewhere has a reason to believe they are poisoning me.  Another person says they are a miracle cure.  Since I have been taking them for 10 years I think I might be doing OK.

Being an adult has responsibilities.  You must find out the truth yourself.  If someone is lying about the government, the President, the Congress or the legislation being currently discussed, you can read all sides yourself.  You do not need to rely on bias from anywhere.  If you think there might be a shred if truth that you and the human race is headed for hell, look the stuff up!

And simple answers won’t do.  Important issues have many sides and if we want to learn and be stable in our living we must settle on truth for ourselves.

God Knows All Languages

What about the People who Never Hear about God

What about the People who never hear the Gospel?  That is a common question religious teachers hear. Most of the time I believe we hear the wrong answer.

Different Levels of Faith

God’s playing field is made level by Him asking us to live at the level of faith given to us.  And it is different for everyone.

Romans 12:3 CEV I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you.

Yes, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  That is a given for the sweep of humanity.  But we are not judged on every point – only on those we learn about.  It means that the woman living in a harem somewhere in Egypt, protected and kept from the world and information is a person judged by an entirely different standard than the college student in New York City, or the farm worker in Yemen.

Not everything God ever said applies to you and your life. He made new eyeballs for the blind man, but not for the rich man. He required a statement of faith from the Syrophoenician woman but not from the centurion. Lazarus he raised from the dead, but not the rest of the dead at that time.  Jesus has different strokes for different folks.

Obedience to the revealed will of God is the standard by which each of us is ultimately judged. How can He do this? God is not unfair. If you have little information and little faith that is what you are expected to utilize in your search for God. To whom more is given, more is expected. (Luke 12:48 TLB “But anyone who is not aware that he is doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater.)

Some guy on radio said that God does not put people in categories, so I, being challenged, went to the Bible.

God has a large group of categories.
called disciples
chosen friends
faithful servants
little children virgins with oil
fathers virgins without oil
young men bride
wicked born again
willfully ignorant royal priesthood
covenanters chosen generation
cursed men pleasers
beloved crucified with Christ
mother in Israel reconcilers
counselors prophets
overcomers slaves
nursing fathers deluded
poor fools
apostles helpers
evangelists watchmen
teachers lost
masters chosen people
Why do we need to know this?

God has called us to grow.  Paul said we are to move from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) There is no static position for the Christian, or for that matter the non-Christian as well.  Life is a test, and where we go after we die, and how we exist now depends entirely on the progress we make in this life towards understand ourselves and our relationship to God.

For example, the book of 1st John speaks of little children, young men and fathers.  These are three groups of warriors …  those who have been called to fight the good fight against their own sinful nature and then as missionaries of the Kingdom taking on the devil and ever present evil in the world. It does not necessarily apply to you right now – although that may be your later call.

Christianity is not passive.

Christianity is proactive and risk-taking. There is no prolonged languishing in church to sit, soak and sour while the preacher does all your spiritual work for you.  No wonder ministers break down. 1,500 leave the ministry every week.

Good mental health requires you to change as time and circumstance change. The rigid and stubborn die first.

#Christianpsychology #Christiangrowth #Godsays #Life is a test

Read more essays at https://www.WouldYouConsider.net

Fuzzy Thinking – our enemy

Helping Kids Develop Critical Thinking Skills

The Sick One is Lord of the Home

We bemoan divorce statistics which do not appear to improve. But divorce is not the cause but the result of family dysfunction, and  what ruins the home ruins society. The problem always goes back to whoever is ruling the family.  Where one person is sick that person dominates family life.

Who is Lord of the Home

It never starts out that way. Newly-weds are the most positive, hopeful group of all, filled with the best expectations for a happy home, prosperous and stable, even when they themselves are neither.

But then circumstances change. And God does not change circumstances; He changes people who then deal with circumstances.  We may pray for different circumstances- more money, more power, a better location, more education – whatever – but when we are in His will He changes us.

God’s purpose is to bring us individually into conformity to His will and His plans. God is smarter than we are. (You’d be surprised how many do not believe this.)

What is the Will of God

Christian counselors will tell you the most common need people desire is “to know the will of God.” Well – here it is: 1 Thessalonians 4:3  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification… In street language that means “clean up your act.”

Bad attitudes and behavior must go.  This passage mentions specifically fornication, i.e. sex outside of marriage, as being the first step for coming into conformity with God. It is routinely violated these days and the results are everywhere.

But the rest must go too – unforgiveness, selfishness, passive aggressive behavior, and aggressiveness as well, control freakishness, greed, envy, jealousy, self-will and refusal to change. The list is long.

To our newlyweds everything for a while is fine and then – loss of a job, a miscarriage, an accident, a car breaks down, the untimely death of a relative, a house fire. You name it.

This is the fallen world we live in. We do not have Utopia here, nor will we get it. What will we do? How do we react? God wants us to seek Him in this situation.

Reactions to Evil

And here is the awful truth. We become depressed, we blame others … the president, our parents, our teachers, our church. We drink to excess or seek an affair, or change jobs.  Allowed to continue we become the Sick Man of the home and our problem becomes the lifestyle of everyone else. The children stay away or play basketball outdoors til midnight to avoid contact with the sick. Or they lock their bedroom door and play music on headphones or watch TV to block out reality. I know literally a dozen people who married right out of high school to escape the sick home. 100 years ago the Poor Man’s Divorce – just leaving town – was common.  With social security numbers and DNA you can’t do that anymore. Some people leave the country if they can afford it.

Psychologists learned that  family members can become physically ill when the Sick Lord rules – stomach cramps, depression, suicide, asthma, migraines, truancy, drugs.  Children blame themselves for divorce. “If I had been a good child, this would not have happened.”  So the kid pours the booze down the sink. It’s an expensive drain cleaner  – don’t bother. Removing an inanimate object cures nothing.

Frustration, despair ensures and finally separation and divorce. Yes, things are better, the Sick Lord is no longer in charge but new problems develop – mainly financial. And society suffers another small breakdown.

Intervention

What is the answer? A child must inform a trusted adult. Adults can try intervention which is a practical means of going back to the original problem and solving it.  Even if it is years ago we can do that because God is in eternity and time is no problem to Him if the participants are alive.

My friend and her two adult daughters packed daddy’s bag, put it in the trunk and Daddy in the car.  They drove to the airport, handed him a ticket to the Mayo Clinic and said, “Quit alcohol and remain sober or don’t come home.” This kind of intervention takes a group of people, not just one.

It worked. He never again touched alcohol, but his heart was not changed.  His whole body showed the grief he had over giving up his beloved Brandy and he died a few years later. To quit your problem does not necessarily change your heart.  But it is the first step.

God intervened in the life of a teenager whose mother planned to kill her. A neighbor by accident discovered the plot and called authorities. When I say “by accident” I really mean that someone prayed. You can always intervene with prayer – and it is legal and silent.

If someone brandishes a loaded gun at you, call the police. You need a public record of this event.  You do not say, “Oh, he’ll get over it.” Evil allowed to fester eventually takes over and becomes uncontrollable.

Decide to Resist Evil

Every event and change in your life calls for a response or a reaction. God is giving you the option to do it His Way or your way. The answers are all in the book – the Bible.  Churches may or may not help.  They are people driven and people are flawed.

Blessed is He who does God’s will first.

#Godswords #Godsays

When is “The Tribulation”?

If you live in Yemen, Syria, or fire ravaged California, the Tribulation is now. If you are sold into slavery in Libya as a black man, what could be worse. If you are an infant in Indonesia used for sex by an adult male and tossed into a ditch afterwards to die, this is not the promised land. If you live in China and are forced to marry someone you do not care for because children are supposed to obey their parents, you just might be one of the 500,000 rural Chinese women each year who commit suicide by drinking fertilizer.

Perhaps you are a Venezuelan whose Communist nation threw money into a sinkhole and now you are scrounging through the garbage dump for a piece of rotten bread. You might live in Germany and be one of the blue-eyed, blonde white women raped by Muslim immigrants.  Angela Merkel lost her post because of her open door policy, but you are still traumatized, and perhaps pregnant. Or you live in Central America and some guy in the USA gave you money to travel to the US border where he guaranteed you that the Democrats would let you in – but there are armed guards there?  Where will you go?

Maybe you are the unlucky girl friend whose fiance Maniskumar slipped her poison to kill off her unborn child? Maybe he thought the Republicans would not be funding abortions anymore. Maybe he thought the Democrats were too weak in Washington to keep abortion funding in the budget? Maybe if you are pregnant you should think twice about this man you want to marry?  This sounds like tribulation to me.

Perhaps you live on the coast of North Carolina where 8 trillion gallons of water was dumped in one hurricane, ruining the crops, killing the swine and sweet potatoes and making life and a future impossible for decades to come. Or you could live on the street in the Philippines; 1.2 million kids plus mom and dad and 2 or 3 other children. Fortunately it is the tropics so it never gets cold – just wet.

Perhaps you’d prefer Nigeria where one Sunday the Boko Haram may find the Christians in church, lock the doors from the outside and set the church on fire. Eight of the ten largest nations persecute Christians … death, imprisonment, denial of jury trails, or any trial at all, separation from children and economic deprivation. In Michigan as a female you may suffer genital mutilation which can led to life long disease and pain. It’s child abuse of the worst kind, and, as usual, females are the victims.

From my comfy perch in the mountains of North Carolina I can blandly believe that I am living in a sane and protected world.  I am not.  All around me there is tribulation for my peers in the Christians faith. Yes, we are facing the end; it is now, and it is creeping towards us day by day.

#tribulation #tribulations

Different Kinds of Knowing

Most languages differentiate between simply acquaintance, intuitive feelings  and real knowledge.  But most Bibles do not offer an explanation of which verb “to know” is under in any passage which means the translator must do the work.

Different Verbs for Know

Here is an example of why the King James can be confusing:
Acts 19:15  the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
There are two different words for ‘know’ here, so let’s translate this again:
Acts 19:15 Jesus I know, and Paul I’ve heard about, but who are you?
In English we say I am getting to know you, or the first level of interpersonal relationship. We could also say that the first few years of schooling are getting to know words and numbers. We memorize at this level but there is no foundation of understanding; information is impersonal, understanding is personal.

Ginosko vs. Ouida

Greek, the language of the New Testament, has two words for knowing – ginóskó: to come to know, recognize, perceive and ouida, a word reflecting the knowledge of personal experience.
Ginosko is a root common in English seen in words such as knowledge or agnostic.  It means perception or understanding; it goes deep into the personality.  Believers respond occasionally to the question, How do you know you are saved and they reply, “I know that I know that I know.” For the non-believer it isn’t much of an answer but for other believers, we all understand.
Oida according to artists is an acronym for Observe, Imagine, Discover and Apply by looking at the natural world and creating something new based on your appreciation.  Writers would not use this word for knowing God; they use gnosis instead.
Here are some Bible verses that use the word ginosko:
Genesis 2:9   And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Notice that God did not give man knowledge if physics and French literature, just good and evil.  On this foundation mankind was to make good decisions enforcing good and resisting evil. Clearly this did not happen.

The Sexual “Know”

Luke 1:34   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Here is a common use of the word ‘know’ in King James English, the sexual “knowledge” of two persons required to be exclusive to them. You do not hear it much these days but Bible readers need to understand this usage.
The Book of First John has 31 references to the word know. It profiles all the things believers should know, and how you, the reader can discern the difference between truth and lies.
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
In this case the truth that is missing is Jesus who is the way, truth and life.  (John 14:16) The passage is telling us that the person is not born again.

Jesus “Not Knowing You” is Important

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Holy Spirit Baptism

Finally there is spiritual knowledge imparted in the Holy Spirit Baptism:
I Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
This kind of knowledge comes straight from the spirit of Christ to your spirit and then to your brain. Many people confuse the baptism of the Holy Spirit with knowledge that is obtained through study or from another person. But Holy Spirit directed information is especially helpful to you because it empowers you to apprehend situations and truths when others do not.
How often have you heard someone say, “I get bad vibes about that guy” and later it is discovered that he had hidden problems.  That kind of intuition is given by the spirit.  Very often small children have this feeling as well.
If you want an instructive Bible study, find a concordance and look up every use of the word know and tie them all back to the original Greek.  It will be an eye opener.

How the Internet Confuses us about Space-Time

This morning, 5 a.m. I received a letter from South Africa – a woman wanting a dream interpretation. After I answered that, I spent time chatting with a computer guru in South Asia. I realized that this kind of international use of time and space is one of the reasons so many people think socialism is OK.
 
They have been living in the world of internet where time and space mean so little. It is one global internet government. But that does not translate to the intimate world of my local police, fire, and animal control. Government is not global, and cannot be. Besides it was tried once and was a mammoth failure.

The Facebook Dilemma is Theological

PBS tonight (10/29/18) had a 1 hour show on their issues with Facebook data collection and usage. The problem is that Zuckerburg’s goal of getting the planet to communicate with each other openly is that he did not take into account that there are evil workers in the world today and many of us out here do not want to “friend” them in any way. Nor do we want them to have our data and private messages.

This is also the dilemma of Millennials and other younger people who have not been taught what evil is. They have assumed it is the creation of culture rather than an intrinsic factor in the universe. And one man, even with 2,000 employees, has no ability to police anything that large or determined to corrupt.  The road to Facebook hell is paved with good intentions.

Tomorrow they’ll have another 1 hour continuation.