Archive for December, 2008

God is Already There

December 31, 2008

Don’t worry about tomorrow, God is already there!

An individual that I know about, whose husband has been through a lot of medical problems, often ends her email updates with that statement.

It is a good statement.

As we finish 2008, which had it’s share of problems;  and look forward to 2009, which is filled with uncertainty;  we can be reminded that God knows what is going to happen.  There are no surprises.  There is nothing that is overwhelming to God.  He is not worried about the future.

Neither am I.

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Make it Work

December 30, 2008

We have a new dog in our house.  Her name is Daisy, although she has been called many, many things in the months that she has been in our home.  It has not been easy.  We are the fifth home for Daisy (She is about one and a half  years old.) and she has been a bit of a problem child.  I have told people that she was being used by God to help me understand mercy and grace:)  I think, however, that we have finally found something that is going to work.  We have tried a whole variety of things, and now it seems to be paying off. 

We put quite a bit of effort into the dog because I didn’t think that she would be able to deal with going to the pound, then a new family and starting all over once again.  I felt that we could make it work. 

It made me think about how many people give up on marriage before they try everything that they can try.  Marriage is way more important than a dumb dog, and yet sometimes it seems that people are willing to throw in the towel and call for a divorce, thinking that a divorce will solve their problems.  Divorce leaves a permanet scar, and it is not so easy to start over.  Grace, mercy and commitment are needed in a marriage. 

Find a way.

Make it work.

Find A Better Way

December 29, 2008

I am saddened to hear about the recent rocket attacks and reprisal bombings taking place  between Israel, and Hamas.  There are people suffering and dying who only want to live in peace and security, with a measure of freedom.   I would encourage leaders everywhere to find peaceful, nonviolent means of resolving disputes.

I recognize the right of self defense, that if someone is attempting to harm you that you may defend yourself, but too many innocent people are suffering.  Who is shooting first?  Who are you aiming at in retaliation?

If no one shot first, there would be no retaliation.

Find a non violent way to invoke change. 

Please.

(Throwing a shoe actually worked pretty well.  The message was sent, and no one was killed.)

For people of faith I would encourage you to pray that God will grant our leaders wisdom to find a better way.

Change/Unchanging

December 27, 2008

To experience life is to experience change.  Change can be for the better or for the worse.  Sometimes dramatic, sometimes barely discernible.  Remaining static is impossible.  The dynamics of life cause change in one way or the other.  What change is taking place in our lives?  Are we able to guide the change?  Are we able to control the change?  Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  We cannot control that our bodies age.  We can take care of ourselves, but time will not stop it’s effect upon us physically.  We can take steps to see that the change in our lives is positive whenever possible.

Only God is unchanging.  “I am the Lord, I change not. ”

God’s love for us will never end.

We change, God does not.  If our lives are grounded upon a belief in him, then we have a firm foundation on which to build our lives.

Christmas, the Bible and Truth

December 24, 2008

Christmas, the Bible and truth.

There are several approaches in epistemology for determining truth value. (Epistemology is the section in philosophy that deals with issues of knowledge and truth.)

The correspondence theory states that truth is determined by whether or not empirical facts can verify claims.  Atheists and Christians have argued for a long time over the conclusions of this approach.  Of course, as a Christian I believe that the Bible is true and I have not personally seen anything that satisfactorily contradicts that claim.  The eternal nature of some of the claims of scripture will have to wait for eternity for verification.

The coherence theory evaluates the cohesiveness of a group of claims to determine truth. (kind’ve like how we can catch a person in a lie.)  For me, and for millions of others,  the Bible is a cohesive truth.  It is internally consistent, which is remarkable since it is written by so many different people over such a length of time.  It is also consistent with its application to life.  It fits together with my understanding and my experience very well.

The pragmatic theory states that something is true, if believing it to be true “works”.  Again for myself, and for millions of others the Bible works.  Millions of people live better lives because of their belief in the Bible as the word of God.

The concept of truth as a social construct is yet another approach.   This theory states that truth is determined by ones culture, or society. ( I personally do not accept this basic concept of truth, but if I did, it could apply to the Bible.)  There are millions of people who for thousands of years have believed the Bible to be true, therefore in this approach the Bible is true.

As we celebrate Christmas, we can believe that the biblical story is true.  Jesus  was born of the Virgin Mary.  He is the Son of God.  Immanuel, God with us.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Ultimate Free Range

December 23, 2008

I enjoy eating venison.  I enjoy hunting deer.  I hunt the second muzzle loader season and it opened yesterday here in Iowa. 

I do not want the animal to suffer.  I hope with all my heart for a good shot, and that the animal will die quickly. ( It will be easier to find, and I will have less far to transport it also.)  I do not take shots that I do not feel pretty good about.

For people who say that it is cruel.  I would remind them that nature itself can be cruel.  If a deer population grows too much the animals will breed disease, starve or encroach in populated areas resulting in more animal/vehicle accidents.   Hunting helps to maintain the population at appropriate levels which is why when herds become too great they add seasons or change limits or number of licenses. 

Besides, unless you are a vegetarian, you eat meat that someone has killed.  Currently there is a movement to encourage animals to live as naturally as possible before being slaughtered for consumption.  It is called free range ranching. 

You could think of deer as the ultimate free range animal.  They live their life in complete freedom, hopping fences, going where they will until one day,  one of them gets to close to my stand during the proper hunting season and times:)

Rick Warren Controversy

December 22, 2008

I was surprised by all the controversy that was stirred up by President-elect Obama asking Pastor Rick Warren to participate in the inauguration. 

Would Rev. Wright have been a better choice? 

Probably not.

Pastor Warren invited Obama to speak at his church during the campaign.  Warren was criticized by some within the Christian community for that decision.   Obama’s stance on abortion and gay rights is well known, and many Christians would not have considered voting for him because of those positions.   At Saddleback Church, Obama had the opportunity to present other aspects of his campaign.  Many Christian people who disagree with his views on abortion and gay rights, did in fact vote for Obama.

Obama has not changed his position on gay rights or abortion.  (At least not that I am aware of at this time.)  He is simply behaving in the manner in which he has always said that he would, by including people from various viewpoints to be a part of his presidency.

So give the guy a break. 

He has responded to the criticism with the comment “watch what I do”.   I don’t think that the gay community has any reason to be worried.

I’m not sure about the rest of us.

We will wait and watch, and pray; for his administration, and for our country.

Pearls Before Swine

December 20, 2008

I have been wandering around the blogosphere recently and there is all kinds of stuff out there that one can read.  Some of it is very good and some of it… well… maybe not so good.  I like to read some stuff that is coming from a different perspective than my own.  It is interesting and challenging to consider different points of view.

I have noticed that there are a variety of different people who will make comments.  I recently read a response where someone mentioned that we were not to “cast our pearls before swine”  (Math 7:6) It got me thinking. 

I found the comment interesting because the comments are made to people and God loves all people.  It is important that we try to communicate the truth of God to all who will listen. 

There is however a point when we are wasting our time. 

When is it valuable to comment and when should we desist?  We will have to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to know the best response.

Happy Blogging.

Help for Veterans of War

December 18, 2008

There are thousands of men and women returning to civilian life after serving in the War on Terror.  It is a difficult adjustment to return to the civilian world after serving in the military, especially during wartime.

I would like to encourage today’s veterans to consider joining the local vetarans’ club.  Whether it is the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, or some other group, these organizations were established to provide support for America’s military whether on foreign soil or returning to the home front.

If today’s vet wonders what a bunch of “old guys” have to offer them, I would remind them that those “old guys” were once young men who went off to war in a strange land.  Many of them experienced the horrors of war, some experienced victory, and others experienced defeat.  They then returned to the United States and made lives for themselves in the civilian world.  They have dealt with the horrors of war and returned to civilized society. 

They have gone to war and come back.

Who better to help the young men and women of today, but those who have already been there, done that, and returned.

Whether they served in Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf  War or other places that we don’t even think about anymore, veterans share a common bond.

Veterans understand what it is like to go to war, and come back and build a life.

If you are an Iraqi, or Afghan vet and would like some help returning to civilian life.  Contact your local veterans organization.  They would love to help.  That is their very purpose.

Shoe Throwing

December 16, 2008

On Sunday President Bush visited the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to express his thanks personally for their service.  While he was in a press conference in Baghdad, an Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at him expressing his disapproval of the president’s actions over the last eight years.

Would he have done that under the previous leadership?

Probably not, under Hussein such an action would have resulted, at least,  in the execution of the one throwing the shoe.  Such a public insult of a guest of the government would have been unthinkable.  (The reporter was arrested, but the sentence is as yet undetermined; some think that he should be released.)

It is a sign of the change that Bush has helped to bring about that allows the freedom to act in such a way.  Although the reporter probably doesn’t realize it, he should thank President Bush for the opportunity to throw his shoe. 

It is also a sign, that the displeasure was shown by a shoe, not a bomb.