Fri, Apr 27th - 3:42PM
What Kind of Tree Hugger are YOU?!?
I am all for conservation and saving the environment. Most people who know me, however, don't think of me as a "Tree Hugger". (what has a guy gotta do to get a good name, anyways?) I think it is because they usually have come to think of me a being "conservative". (does that have something to do with conservation, I wonder?)
Seriously, I think our government has very serious responsibilities along these lines, and falls woefully short. Those I hear from sometimes call me "conservative" and usually in a negative connotation of the word. What does it mean to be conservative, after all? What is it to be liberal? My experience is usually that the people using these monikers most frequently are what I would call the ignoramia -- those who are so full of empty platitudes used to support their high and mighty sounding ideals that they have not got a clue of just how wrong they can be! (versus the intelligentsia -- that neo bourgeois term used to describe those who think they are ‘upper crust’ in their thinking, or at least some think they are, but wrongly so) They are all stuck in their own sophistry and oblivious to the fact!
What does it mean to be conservative to me? To stand for the status quo. To stand for little change. A liberal, on the other hand, wants change, usually in radical ways. I am sorry, but I consider myself among the most liberal by that simple definition! I want drastic reduction in government gone mad, from my point of view! That does not sound conservative to me at all! But at the same time, I want a real standard of environmentalism. Not some ineffective watered down version designed more to placate the masses rather than motivate the 'wrong doers' to respect the law! (a little reflection of the OT, there!)
Oh, well. I could go off in that direction for quite some time, but that is not the purpose of this post.
No, I want to address how the craziness of an extreme is harmful to this cause.
Ok, let's go Hug a Tree!
Let us just say that you are concerned about a magnificent old tree getting cut down in a park somewhere. What is a person to do? Quite literally, hug a tree! Organize a protest to save that tree. Get people out there protesting and even have a few chain themselves to it to prevent it from being cut down. Sounds good to me!
And if that were the whole story, most everyone would agree that it was a good thing to do.
But let us fill in some unexplained details that may have been lost. (they didn't add to the story, after all, and kind of made it more real life and less dramatic -- and remember, drama sells -- maybe not as good as sex, but it works and is safe) Let us just say that this tree is almost dead from some virulent disease. Furthermore, if it is not cut down and burned, it is very likely that other magnificent trees will catch the disease and die.
Who cares? Just Hug that Tree!
Ok. So the tree might be able to be saved, but only by using huge amounts of very toxic pesticides. There is no way to prevent run off that will kill fish. There is not a way to keep it from poisoning the soil.
Who cares? Just Hug that Tree!
You think I jest, don't you? I challenge you to search this out and not find examples. You have to be pretty good at not seeking answers to not find this or a variant of it. You've almost got to try to remain ignorant! People see this, and what do they think of conservation? I think Rush Limbaugh calls them 'environmental wackos' and when talking about these few people, he has got a point!
Are you following what I am saying? I don't have a good sounding platitude, sorry. Fear not, we are halfway there!
This is for the birds!
Peregrine Falcons, that is! And Pigeons!
The Peregrine Falcon became endangered because of the overuse of pesticides, during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. (I think someone tried too hard to save some tree...)
Pigeons lack natural predators in most cities. Because of that, more die a horrible death of starvation than for any other reason. If you think to spend a fortune to feed them all, you are not very forward thinking. You will only cause more to die later, after your funds run out. (and they will, before the Pigeons do!)
Someone smarter than I thought of introducing Peregrine Falcons into the cities, to kill two birds with one stone! (Ha Ha) The Peregrine Falcons, an endangered species, needed increased habitats. The Pigeons need a more natural way to control their numbers. This was a great idea, except for one small problem...
You guessed it! Someone decided to 'Save the Pigeons' even if was against the law. (some of them may have been motivated because it was against the law -- you never know...)These crazies raised their banners, and people came flocking out of the woodwork to support their cause. (yes, pun intended)
So a falcon would kill a pigeon. It would follow it to the ground and be driven off by these utterly devoted denizens of the cause. Eventually both birds would die. Yes, we killed two birds! Maybe many more. And the cause of conservation gets an additional black eye!
I still have more on this, but I have to go for now. I'll fly it around the treetops again, soon, because this is not the "End of The Matter"...
Thu, Apr 26th - 1:34AM
From the perspective of a young man...
My parents used to constantly (it seemed -- and probably was so from their standpoint, as well) tell me not to fight.
When my mother told me this, I thought she was trying to make a 'sissy' out of me.
When my father told me not to fight, I understood he was trying to make a good man out of me.
Wed, Apr 25th - 11:08AM
A Quote -- Maybe you know a scripture that expresses this?
"It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required." - Sir Winston Churchill
I think that this is true. Too often, we fall back on that tired old saw: "I did my best"
There are times our best is not good enough...
Just a thought.
P.S. The italicized above word reflects my thinking of the answer to this...
Wed, Apr 25th - 12:07AM
A Mystery of the Spirit...
22And now, you see, I am going to Jerusalem, bound by the [Holy] Spirit and obligated and compelled by the [convictions of my own] spirit, not knowing what will befall me there--
23Except that the Holy Spirit clearly and emphatically affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me. (Acts 20:22-23 AMP)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4And having looked up the disciples there, we remained with them for seven days. Prompted by the [Holy] Spirit, they kept telling Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem.
5But when our time there was ended, we left and proceeded on our journey; and all of them with their wives and children accompanied us on our way till we were outside the city. There we knelt down on the beach and prayed.
6Then when we had told one another farewell, we went on board the ship, and they returned to their own homes.
7When we had completed the voyage from Tyre, we landed at Ptolemais, where we paid our respects to the brethren and remained with them for one day.
8On the morrow we left there and came to Caesarea; and we went into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven [first deacons], and stayed with him.
9And he had four maiden daughters who had the gift of prophecy.
10While we were remaining there for some time, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
11And coming to [see] us, he took Paul's belt and with it bound his own feet and hands and said, Thus says the Holy Spirit: The Jews at Jerusalem shall bind like this the man who owns this belt, and they shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles (heathen). (Acts 21:4-11 AMP)
I just find this strange, that the same Spirit that should tell Paul to go to Jerusalem should prompt others to tell Paul to not set foot there. What do you think?
Tue, Apr 24th - 1:22AM
Dissipation (self-indulgence AMP, carousing NLT, wasteful living NIRV)
4bIf anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. (Philippians 3:4b-17 NIV)
19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:19-20 NIV)
In this second passage, I have concentrated in the past on the second part of verse 19. I keep doing the wrong things. And I know I am not alone in that failing. Hey, what Paul admits here gives me hope even in my moments of failure! However, as I am getting older, I see more clearly that the worst of it is not the evil I do, but rather the good that I could do, but do not. I understand the parable of the prodigal son in a different light. It was not just the squandering of the wealth he had been given that was bad, it was also the lack of the good service he should have given his father. (honor your mother and father -- newer meaning here!) In the parable of the talents, I am not just the 1 talent servant who has not done so good. No. I am more like the ten talent servant doing badly! And my children, in them I already see 20 talents apiece! My burden is to help them not to squander this as badly as I, by setting a better example for myself! (and still, in failing, not failing to pick myself up, face my God in repentance, and ask, "What Now, Father?")
If you want a specific thing to pray for me for (or even for yourself for that matter) make it that I would do the good deeds that are most certainly set before me! Certainly, I have evils that I struggle with as well, and pray that I do them less and less. However, if I am doing God's work, it is harder for me to do those evils. Pray for me the prayer of Jabez, if it is in you to do so! I think this is what God wants me to earnestly desire, and is his way of taking care of the bad I wish to purge myself of.
And in doing this, my attitude should always be: 'I am an unworthy servant; I have only done my duty.' (from Luke 17:10)
The truth is, I have not done my duty very well...
Fri, Apr 20th - 12:38AM
Jon kicked this one off in my head, and I am just kinda running with it. Bear with me, this is pretty rough (as in not refined and polished, but not crude) Pretty much stream of consciousness, so to speak...(may the spirit guide me -- Please!)
1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. (Matthew 5:1-11 NIV)
Ok. I think that at least some of us are fairly familiar with this verse. So, on reading it, have you ever wondered what drives a person who is meek to do what they do? What is the mind set of the poor in spirit? How do the thoughts run of a person who mourns? (not like me, knowing no-one at Virginia Tech, but maybe as one who was there -- one who felt and experienced and lost someone dear) What is the focus of a person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness? If a person is merciful, do they have a certain mental mantra they course through their head to make them so? To be pure in heart -- certainly that takes some focus in this perverse world! Is there such a thing as being obssessed with this? It takes a special kind of person to make peace where before there was none to be found. Do they search that out diligently, or does it just come to them? And as almost a flip side of seeking righteousness (or is the the same side of that coin?) are those who suffer for the sake of righteousness. What of them? Should they be institutionalized?
I am talking about the focus and 'all in' attitude that would cause us to be seen as obsessive. Do we have it? Is our focus the same? Should it be so? If someone in this world calls me an obsessive nut, should I be joyful or upset? It probably matters what I am being called obsessive about. If it is not stepping on cracks on the sidewalk, I don't know that to be a good thing, but if Christ tells me not to step on those cracks, and I am following him, who is to judge that?
I think to varying degrees, we all can exhibit different aspects of what Christ Commends here. Some will focus more on one than the other. Should we judge on that? NO!
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)
14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (1 Corinthians 12:14-20 NIV)
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22-27 NIV)
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)
Honestly, my focus is more on the terrors in the world than just the violence in the U.S. And I see purity as something to 'carry the banner for' more greatly than I do merely seeking peace. Any worldly person can seek peace, relying mistakenly on the 'brotherhood of man'. Do I denigrate peace? No, but I do denigrate worldly peace, by which I mean peace which will have no part of God with it. If it is not from God, it is corrupt and will not last. Standing on the pillars of 'human dignity' and 'integrity' without God, they are blowing vapors, with no substance and value. Read history. That is the human tale of 'peace'. Should I seek Godly peace? Yes, and I do!
So I am different. And you are different. And we are vital to each other. Because there are some things I see, smell or hear differently than you do does not mean we are not part of the same body. It means we are not the same part on that same body! Let us obsess on one thing: that is the Gospel of Christ! In that we should be working together, even if in unseen ways...
Thu, Apr 19th - 1:32AM
Asking and Power
12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:12-17 NIV)
Greater things?!? WOW!!!
19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
20He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:19-20 NIV)
Nothing will be Impossible? Double WOW!!!
Of course at this point, I look again to Christ in the Garden. He did not sin in asking. But, he had to accept the answer!
"If you love me, you will obey what I command." and "if you have faith"
Can I, (or you) in faith, ask God for something we think is contrary to his will? Do we ask in complete submission and humility? Why then, are we surprised by not getting an answer we think is in line with these scriptures? (well, maybe we are looking at what we can get out of them...)
My elder daughter can be a trial all on her own. I know she loves me, but she loves what she wants to do more, sometimes. That is really the only thing that gets her into trouble. If she were always obedient, if there was trouble, the trouble would be mine, not hers. Seems quite simple for me to look at it that way. I really think that is how simple it is. I am frustrated by my daughter's willfulness, but am I so very different? Sadly, no I am not. I think God had a very great purpose in giving her to me, along with the trials I will bear on her behalf. Some things you just have to be shown. And some of us are stubborn enough to need the lesson more than once. So, what I am doing here is showing you a lesson I am struggling to learn myself.
Wed, Apr 18th - 3:44PM
Take this Cup...
34And He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sad (overwhelmed with grief) so that it almost kills Me! Remain here and keep awake and be watching.
35And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and kept praying that if it were possible the [fatal] hour might pass from Him.
36And He was saying, Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will].
37And He came back and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, Simon, are you asleep? Have you not the strength to keep awake and watch [with Me for] one hour? (Mark 14:34-37 AMP)
Most of us have read this passage at least once. We all know what Christ did for us. However, there is a subtle thing in this passage that I want you to note: Christ expresses that he did not want to do this for us! No, he did not want to suffer the separation from the Father. Although he loves us, he loves the Father more! (the daily study portions I just went through just touched on this concept again, although from the standpoint of rewards, not of worthiness -- there are other passages that express that we should hate our own family in comparison to our love for God)
You see, Jesus died for us, not because he wanted to. He did it because the Father asked him to!
Mon, Apr 9th - 1:42AM
This was the thought...
I have gone through medical problems. They impacted my military career. At one point recently, it was decided that I should be put on a permanent profile prohibiting me from running. RIght after the doctor informed me of this, he asked me, if people were shooting at me, would I run? (remember, I had just been informed, moments ago, of something that was effectively a standing order telling me that I should never run) I think about the way I put it was that I would run, and the young pups would be hard pressed to keep up! That was a good answer, believe it or not. Had I said something like 'I'd head for cover as quickly as I was able to without running', I'd have been considered unfit for duty! Whew! I just dodged that bullet, big time! (I can retire now, so that is not as bad as it sounds)
I thought to myself, in this context, of a scripture that is in one of Paul's letters to Timothy:
22Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22 NIV)
Now I don't consider myself young, but I still struggle with some things that are classically ascribed to the younger amoung us, so this one cuts with a certain edge that might not be present for some others of you here.
So I looked at "Fleeing" some more:
18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV)
14Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14 NIV)
9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:9-11 NIV)
7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 NIV)
8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV)
Now I think I have been trained more in the attitude of the final two of these scriptures. I know I have had it hammered into me the concept of the "Full Armor of God". Most of you will know this one well:
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV)
So then, what do I think? I think at times, we desire to believe that we are wearing that Full Armor, or know that we are not, and are too embarased to admit it. Our actions could be even testing God. Therefore, thinking to decieve the deciever (we are already in trouble there, can you see it plainly?) we try to 'fake it' and put up an attempt at resistance, on our own insignificant power, when the truth is, we are out gunned and should run!
9But when [even] the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, judicially argued (disputed) about the body of Moses, he dared not [presume to] bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, The Lord rebuke you! (Jude 9 AMP)
The Archangel Michael, one who is in the presence of the Lord, gives Satan this much respect and is this careful in how he confronts him. Are we so very careful? Something to take note of!
Run your own thoughts through this.
Wed, Apr 4th - 1:08PM
But the Doc said, "DON'T RUN!!!"
Tue, Apr 3rd - 3:21PM
Who does he think he is? Jimmy Hoffa? Oh yeah, he is Jimmy Hoffa...
I don't usually bring the political stuff in here, but this one has gotten me riled up.
What I cannot stand is the voicing of the opinion as fact that Unions are all Good. I've worked Union. Teamsters, in fact. If I'd stayed with that part-time job this long working for UPS, I'd be making a better wage with UPS (on an hourly basis) than I am now as a manager watching over half a billion US dollar in transactions per year! I could toss and pack boxes in a UPS truck instead. (yup, the ones that have those funny oil stains and broken contents that I guarantee you will not come to any accounting for the person who did it in this life.) I've been discouraged by Unions. I worked as a casual (non-union) employee of the post office. I caused union grievances by working too well! (The section I went to, only twice, was full of the most worthless employees you could hope never to meet. I couldn't help myself. I did their work too efficiently, and ran them out of work, so they had to go work in other sections where the standards that, even as union employees, they still were supposed to, (although totally unable to) meet. Thus the grievance. I, as a casual, was not supposed to 'steal' their work from them!)
Unions have their place. Some companies treat their employees just so horribly they deserve them! (The phrase is like saying that a person who doesn't clean up their house deserves to have cockroaches! It is the truth, but does not make cockroaches desireable!) So, entrenching them is not any better than not having them. I've heard the rumblings and rumors of this favor and that kickback while I was there. That there is corruption in Union Management, from the highest level to the lowest, is almost a given to me. I've smelled it from close up, and didn't like the stench upon them!
Hoffa, however, seems to have lost sight of what got the Democrats he is trying to strong arm into office. Sure, his threats are legal, but does that make them right? Not as I see it! One of the big guns that was used in the past elections across the country, was corruption. Unfair influence. Something we should all oppose, even without being a christian! But is his 'bought and paid for' attitude anything less than the very same corruption on a newer plate? I don't think so! Hoffa needs to butt out! He is going to kill his golden goose, and he hasn't got a clue! If I were a Democrat right now hoping to run for any office, I'd make sure I discretely put some distance between myself and Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., and might be bold enough to resist him strongly, just to make a point that I was adamnantly against his particular brand of corruption!
Ok, that gets it out of my system. For now...
BTW, both publications these articles are from, although not blatantly so, do tend to be more left leaning than I care for, but if you ignore their slant, they can give you enough facts to understand. They are trying to be fair, I think...
Oh, and for a snide look at the craziness of this world (IMHO all sides are crazy in this little story) check the following article out:
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