Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Peace! Peace!

In preparation for a recent study I got to thinking about peace. There are a lot of ways to look at peace and I am sure many people define it differently than I do. Being a Christian I generally look at issues from the World point of view and compare it to the Biblical point of view.

I believe the world looks at peace largely as the absence of war or conflict whether that is on individual or global scale. The biblical view of peace has more to do with being secure in whatever circumstances you find yourself. I haven't found a global view of peace in the bible other than the condition that exists in heaven or New Jerusalem. Other than that it is alomst entirely an individual experience.

On September 30 1938 Neville Chamberlain came out of the Munich Agreement and announced "Peace for our time." after he and others arranged to give Germany part of Czecoslovakia so that they could expand. The world, or at least many of the leaders, thought they had accomplished peace for the world. Within a year, Hitler invaded Poland and started his march to rule the world. As long as I have lived I have heard that there is a cease fire in the Mid-East and we are finally on the road to peace and on occasions too many to count the cease fire always ends in war. Clearly I can find no reason to believe that governments and world leaders are ever going to be able to accomplish peace. At best they appease which usually gives time to the aggressor to amass power and arms.

The Christian view of peace is very attainable. Faith in God and humble reliance on Him provides a haven of peace in whatever situation. In Acts 7:55-8:2 Stephen was at peace as he was assailed by the sanhedrin with stones. As he died, "went to sleep" he saw God and Jesus welcoming him into heaven. Sweet! What a way to go. What could they do to hurt him? He was in the presence of God. His peace was the result of reliance upn God, not himself. If he were relying on himself, and he was about to die, he would not have had peace. If he had been relying on the church to save him, his confidence would have diminished with every moment they didn't come for him.
His being in the presence of God brings up another point. We often worry about our own lack of faith. Faith, like a coin has two sides. It does not exist n a vacuum. It must be focused on something. I believe we feel we lack enough faith for a task but what is acutally happening is that we have not spent enough time meditating upon who our faith rests.
Here's what I mean;
If I have faith that my neighbor could fly through the air like Superman, and I really believed it and trusted in him to do it. I might have a lot of faith for him to do that. But it doesn't matter how much faith anyone has in him. He can't fly like Superman.
If on the other hand I believe that God can save every person on an airliner that has both engines out. I may have only a little faith in that because most of the time when an airplane loses both engines everyone dies. But my little faith is in a really big God, He is able to do all things, and make it look easy. His potential is infinite, therefore my faith is only relevant in what I will ask Him to do. The power and potential is His and it's infinite. I have not because I ask not. I ask not because my faith is shriveled and weak and small.
If I meditate on God's attributes and really study Him, my faith will expand as I realize He is waiting for me, one who is made in His image and called by Him, to get involved in the world around me in His name.

How does this all come under the heading of peace? You may have missed it, but peace really winds up being freedom from fear. Stephen had no fear, he saw where he was going, Daniel in the lion's den quickly realized the angel had shut the mouths of the lions, they could not touch him, he was safe and at peace.
If I rely on the infinite holy God of the universe and I am doing His will I have no reason to fear, so I have peace. If I rely on this world's leaders to bring peace to this world, I have reason to fear indeed.
No Jesus, no peace: Know Jesus, know peace.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Help! Cecil Help!

I think I have noticed a shift in the way America solves problems. With the recent elections of 06 and 08 it seems like we are looking for a superman to solve out problems. President Obama came on the scene as a "blank slate" upon which Americans could write their hopes and dreams.
We are looking for a really smart person to save us from ourselves.
I hope we all know that no one of us or even a group of us is as smart as all of us. However the right person in the right place could make an error that could destroy all of us. This idea that a strong man/woman needs to save us leads straight to totalitarianism. This nation was based on self rule. Every original ammendment to the constitution is about limiting big government. The founders were really smart guys who were smart enough to not base the government on smart people. I think we should keep it that way.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Andy's Law Of Special Relativity

I have found a condition of special relativity regarding women and large retail areas such as malls and department stores. For some reason that I have not yet discovered, the space-time continuum becomes warped when women are shopping.

I have observed this on every occasion where I was at a retail outlet with a woman. It appears that as long as the woman is in sight the warping does not occur. As soon as she is out of sight she could be anywhere inside the complex at any time. In order for this to happen she must actually not be constrained by Space-Time as we understand it, thus the Special Relativity.

My theory is that as soon as the mall is entered the woman immediately fills the entire space with her presence. As long as eye contact is maintained it is as though you have a thread attached to the person. As soon as eye contact is broken, so is the thread, and she may have transported to any place within the structure.

This is new science and so I have not yet discovered how to control it. I suspect this phenomenon could be used in space travel but any destination planet must have a shopping outlet. I am also certain this can be used in the fight against global warming as the science for this theory is every bit as provable as the science of global warming. And I am sure I have consensus among all men.

In order for me to continue in my research I obviously need funding for shopping trips. Feel free to mail checks at any time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Truth... What is truth?

I've been stewing over the concept of truth lately and I can't seem to get my arms around it. Every time I get a part of it the sheer size of the subject makes me go wobbly. I have been listening to Flyleaf a lot in the car lately and there is a song named "Red Sam" that has as part of the chorus, "You are the Truth."

There you stood Holding me Waiting for me to notice you But who are you You are the truth (you are the truth)Outscreaming these lies You are the truth (you are the truth)Saving my life

It occurred to me that Pilate's question, "What is truth" was asked in a very narrow, and soon ending, sliver of time when the Truth was a person in flesh. If he had ralized this would he have acted differently? I think our culture has so corrupted any solid concept of good and evil and right and wrong, just as Rome had, that we would not recognize the Truth if he stood before us.
I personally am so cynical that I don't trust truthfulness when I see it. My first thought when I am faced with genuine honesty is that there must be something wrong with this picture. I have to be convinced that it is truth. I don't think I ought to be this way. I am not saying I should be gullible. I am saying I would rather be gullible than to wrongly distrust truthfulness when I am faced with it.
I am still working on this thought but it is too late at night to give it it's proper treatment.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why I'm Doing This

My family is heavily into Facebook but for some reason I am not drawn there. I don't have pictures of myself to show, not that anyone would want to see them, and I didn't go to college long enough to have hordes of people I could keep in touch with.
So I decided to start a blog in order to have a place to put my thoughts out there. It's also helpful to be able to access this place from anywhere so no matter what computer I am in front of I can write out what I have been mulling over. I don't intend to post every day, just when I feel i have something to say.
This is a tow way street as well. Feel free to comment on anything I put out there. I am interested in hearing from you.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kharma over here

I read a bumper sticker that said, "My kharma ran over your dogma." Presumably this person has an eastern outlook on spirituality. In my experience this person also either has had a bad experience with Christianity or never really understood it.
The idea that their mass of good works has created a universal backwash of good tidings for themselves and has in turn overrun the dead teachings of the Church probably makes one feel a little better about themselves. What they don't realize is that the true Church isn't based in dogma but in doctrine.
Dogma is a littany of things you do and believe just because. It is a holy "Because I said so!" doctrine on the other hand is a beautifully crafted and perfectly functioning system of beliefs based in fact. It is the Bugatti Veyron on the highway of life. I can ony guess that kharma is a Toyota Prius, maybe a Kharmann Ghia. There, that makes me feel a a little better about myself.

See the Bugatti Veyron video here

January 8, 2008

Recently in a discussion with teens. Someone said "I don't think God expects us to worship him, just acknowledge that He is there."
It got me to thinking. What is the difference between God commanding and or expecting us to worship Him and another person expecting to be praised or worshipped. Why is it arrogant for a person but not for God? And, how do I explain this to a teenager who does not really spend a lot of time getting to know God.
I don't think it is difficult to explain to a teen that God is worthy of praise and other humans are not. The hard part was explaining why it wasn't arrogant for God to command us to worship Him. I know for me this means I have to be able to explain it in a simple metaphor or parable.
I played bible roulette and it opened to John 5:19. As I read on it struck me how much Jesus said I am only doing what the Father wants me to do. It was His purpose for His time here. Then I prayed and the answer came to me immediately as though He whispered it in my ear.
We were made to worship Him! It is our purpose.
If I were to create something, like say a rubber ball, and after creating it I tried to bounce it and it did not bounce, I would have every reason to destroy that ball. I created it out of bouncy material, I shaped it like a ball, and for some reason it refuses to bounce. It has some sort of free will that makes it choose not to be bouncy. I would not be arrogant at all to expect this thing to bounce. It is what it was made for.
On the other hand, if the ball did bounce and then expected me to be amazed at it, or give it some reward for bouncing it would be foolish. It is only doing what I created it to do. I would be satisfied with it bouncing and I would be happy with it but I wouldn't praise it for being bouncy... I did that part.
God created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. (Westminster Shorter Catechism) It is our purpose. As I read my bible it is what we will be about in heaven. If that's not what I'm about, I won't like heaven, as a matter of fact it might be like hell to me.