Tag Archives: Life

Today Is The Day!

“For I hope (wait for and trust) in You, O Lord;
You will answer, O Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15

In Psalm 38, King David cries out to the LORD acknowledging his sin and seeking relief from the suffering it brought. He knows (vs 9) that his LORD is aware of all his concerns, confesses his inability to do anything about them, then makes the declaration of verse 15.

As with David, much, if not all our troubles can be traced back to our sin / sins. Though, we must remember the words of Jesus Christ in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” If we live in this world, we will have trouble and not necessarily because of anything we have done, and we can overcome in it because He has, and we are in Him.

That said, our failures, disappointments, reversals, and more, may be traced back to the person we see in the mirror each morning. Someone once said: “I am what I am because of the choices I have made”. David, as should we, took full responsibility for his situation, and if we are to move forward from where we are today, it must begin at this place of confession. In Psalm 32:3-6, David says he suffered until he acknowledged and confessed his sin. Only then did forgiveness, relief from guilt, and reconciliation with God come.

We all need  to be reconciled to this indispensable, Life-giving relationship; agreeing with Him about our condition, finding the abundant forgiveness He offers through Jesus Christ’s completed work, then, following His detailed instructions on how to get on and stay on His path (Psalm 32:8-11).   This fulfills our reason for existing, gains His favor, successes and life-sustaining supply. This gets Him the glory and honor He deserves and He mercies us with joy, rest and the inner peace He has guaranteed.

Seek Him NOW while He can be found (Psalm 32:6).  Today is the day!  Know the benefits His way assures (Psalm 32:10, 11).  His unfailing love is here, now, and promises consistent ongoing personal improvement and future amazing outcomes to all who believe in Him.

May this be yours in abundance, Today!

For more help in knowing God personally:  https://www.cru.org/how-to-know-god/would-you-like-to-know-god-personally.html

Carpe Diem!

Mitch

Introductory Comments…

“From Thy precepts I get understanding; Therefore, I hate every false way.  [For] Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:104-105

I’m privileged to join LRPSP as a contributor / editor.  In a day of fake news and an unlimited array of information sources, getting the truth about anything proves to be a challenge.  But the Scriptures, as interpreted to us by the Holy Spirit, can give us God’s view on all things and offers wisdom that can make life work for us.  Why look to Him?  Because His Word tells us He is the only reliable source for truth.  He, our Creator and Sustainer, is that Source.

There are many voices but only One we can depend on. There are many worldviews and paths to take but only a dynamic relational link to God through His Son, Jesus Christ, makes us privy to the vast liberating flow of Truth and Life that gives Light, revealing His path, His way.  He desires to do this in us.  It is only from this Foundation we experience the outcomes and success He’s intended. Otherwise, we are following “fake news” disseminated by the enemy of our souls, who only seeks “…to steal, kill and destroy”.  Any other way  but His is false.  Jesus said of Himself that “He is the Way, The Truth and The Life.  No one comes to the Father but through me.” John 14:6

He’s promised to be our adequacy, sufficiency and security.  As our Maker, He is uniquely qualified to fulfill these needs.  As we choose His way and let Him work in us, it pleases Him and gets Him the Glory, Honor and Dignity that is His alone as Creator, Sustainer, Counselor, Guide…Our Hope, Deliverer, Redeemer…Friend.

I trust your times spent reading here will be helpful.

Indebted,

Mitch

There Is No Honor In Death

I lost my cousin today.  The son of my dad’s brother,  and the youngest of two children, he was known to the family as Little John.  I suppose from some throwback to the Robin Hood character.  But not to me.  To me he was always Big Bad John.

John stood 6 foot 5 inches tall and for most of his adult life weighed more than 300 pounds.  He was younger than me, but he was a much bigger man than I ever have been.  Dad used to refer to him as the Gentle Bear.  John was intimidating in his size, but there was nothing at all intimidating about his heart.  John warmed up to everybody he came into contact with and was always looking for the good within people.  It is just the way he was.

John passed away at 0500 EST this morning peacefully in his sleep after a short battle with cancer.  I have always been the rebel in the family, not seeking out relationships or contacts.  But not so with John.  These last few months, and really for the last couple of years, John confided in me maybe a little more than the rest of the family.  Almost to the point where the rest of the family was asking me if I had heard from him and if I knew how he was doing.  Perhaps to some extent, John was more respectful of our relationship than I was.

Perhaps it was because I served in the U.S. Military and John never did and he always had such great respect for our Nation’s military.  Or perhaps he just cherished some of the moments we shared in our youth.  But whatever his reasons, Big Bad John wanted to share the last few months he had on this earth reminiscing with myself, his cousin.

I’ve stated this before, but I’ll take this opportunity to say it again, Death is the antithesis of Life.  Jesus Christ said that he came to earth that we might have Life (and have it abundantly) (John 6:39-41).  God gave all of humankind Life from the inception of creation.  Death is the sin curse upon the world and Satan uses it as a feeble attempt to rob God of his created family.  And thus Death and Life are at odds with each other.  One brings joy and happiness, and the other brings sorrow and pain.

I was at work when I got the call from my wife with the news that John had passed.  I must have been visibly shaken because my coworkers asked if I was OK, and one asked if the phone call was bad news after I had hung up the phone.  Even though I knew it was coming, and even though the family expected it at any time, the moment of the news was a point that shattered my soul.  Big Bad John was gone.  No longer may I take for granted his Skype calls or his IM chats, or the time that he wanted to share.  Those times are now past.  And the memories of those times are all that remain.

If your world view is Atheistic, then I am saddened for you all the more. The one thing that evolution cannot answer for you is the emptiness in your soul at the passing of a loved one, a family member, or even a friend.  There is no science that explains the inexplicable bond that all of humanity shares over the helplessness of Death.  Even though as a good atheist you should know that it is all without meaning and that we are all just cosmic particles drifting in the vastness of the universe, there is still, to varying degrees in all of us, that unnatural feeling of loss that Death brings.

If your world view is Agnostic, then you really should not care one way or the other at the loss of a life.  But the impact of Life and Death is still there and is still an unexplainable force that impacts us all.

However, if your world view is Theistic, as mine is, then you should understand that God is still in control and that His Great Plan is playing out on the world stage and just how privileged we are to be a part of it all.

Christians sometimes wonder why God allows Death in the world.  I believe that Christians shouldn’t wonder why God allows Death, but rather understand that God orchestrates Death.  God is the giver of Life and only He (and He alone) may take that Life away.  Consider the Life of Job.  When God asked Satan if he had considered his servant Job, and Satan accusingly challenged him on the blessing God had bestowed upon him, God allowed Satan free rein in Job’s Life but would not allow him to take Job’s Life (Job 1:1-12).  Because God, and God alone holds the keys to Life and Death.

We like to depict Death as the Grim Reaper, as some evil character coming to take Life away, but in reality, the Angel of Death works for God, not Satan.  And Satan has no more say over your Death than what God allows within His plan.

And thus, like Paul of Tarsus, we may proclaim, “Oh death where is thy sting, Oh grave where is thy victory?” (I Corinthians 15:54-56). Because the Theist, the Christian, has a great hope that this life is not meaningless, that there is order to it all, that there is a God who loves us and who has a Great Plan for His Honor and for His Glory and that we have the great privilege of being a part of that plan.

I know that I know that I know, that one day Big Bad John and I will swap stories once again.  I know this because Cousin John told me that he was at peace with his King and his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  And I know that God is now holding Cousin John in His great hands, safely awaiting that day when we will all be united once again as part of God’s great family.  Not for me, and not for Big Bad John, but for His (Jesus Christ’s) own Glory.

So Big Bad John, just know that in the meantime I will keep the faith, and as for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD until that day that he either calls me home or He comes again to reunite all of His children in the ultimate culmination of this fantastic journey He has orchestrated for each and every one of us.

John Keith Orman: March 24, 1965 – March 31, 2016image

Do You Have A Right To Die?

The world is officially losing its mind.  At least we are here in the United States of America (and probably most other Western cultures as well).

California became the fifth State this week to pass a Right To Die law.  For some reason there are those that seem rather gleeful about this.  This law supposedly gives those that are terminally ill the choice to end their own lives through doctor supplied drugs.

What it does, in reality, is cheapens life.  Forty-three years ago there were those here in the U.S.A. that decried the legalization of abortion predicting that it would lead to new forms of legalized, state sponsored deaths.  And here we have their predictions coming true.

Rush Limbaugh made this very case in his1992 book The Way Things Ought To Be.  Rush writes:

“But I am also pro-life because I am a human being who feels a sense of duty to civilization.  I think it is incumbent upon us all to be concerned about the values we transfer to succeeding generations.  When we take actions that cheapen life, we are contributing to the overall decline in society’s moral values.”

(Limbaugh, Rush, “The Way Things Ought To Be“,  New York, Pocket Books, 1992, ISBN: 0-671-75145-X, pg. 50)

Rush goes on to write:

 “It’s not just abortion that is eroding our respect for human life.  There’s also death at the other end of the spectrum.  Look at the right-to-die movement.  They’re not calling for a right to die, they’re mostly calling for a right to kill.”

(Limbaugh, Rush, “The Way Things Ought To Be“, New York, Pocket Books, 1992, ISBN: 0-671-75145-X, pg. 59)

At the time Rush wrote those words, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was practicing his physician assisted suicides in Michigan.  Rush addresses his work in the chapter of his book I have referenced.  Dr. Kevorkian actually was convicted in 1999 of Second Degree Homicide and served 8 years in prison for that conviction.

It is amazing that just 16 short years ago, States were prosecuting and convicting those engaged in this type of behavior and yet today they are signing that very behavior into law.  How quickly a society can change.

These laws presume to offer you a right (definition #19).  A right to die.  My first question would be: Why in the world would you want such a right?  I have never wanted a right to die.  I want a right to live.  And to live free with the pursuit of happiness.  To be all that God has made me to be.  It used to be that we made SciFi movies about people who were terminally ill and how they would freeze themselves or have their bodies put into some type of stasis so that years into the future when medicine had advanced they could be revived and cured.  Today we simply tell them they have the right to take some life ending drugs.

But my second question is: Where in the world did this right come from?  I’ve talked about rights on this Blog in the past (see my posts on: Where Do YOUR Rights Come From? as well as: Chasing After Rights).  Rights come from somewhere.  That is they are granted by some entity.  The founding fathers of this country believed there were certain inalienable rights that were granted by God.  And among those were Life.  I don’t think that God, who has granted each and every human an inalienable right to life,  has suddenly granted everyone a right to die.  So where did this right come from, if not from God?

And the only possible answer is it came from society.  It came from us.  And if society is in the business of granting rights, we have gone down a very slippery slope indeed.  Why do those in physical pain and suffering get to be granted a special right and those in emotional pain and suffering do not?  I’m going to cry foul here and tell you all about my anguish over the financial disparity between myself and Bill Gates.  I demand the right of financial equality.  It is germane to my sanity and good health.  But there is no such right.  Because God never granted it, and society could never achieve it even if it wanted to grant it.

The people that “granted” this (so-called) right never had the authority to grant such a right to begin with.  They are playing god and are only feeding their own warped egotistical existence.

My biggest problem with the (so-called) Right To Die is the same thing Rush Limbaugh identified 23 years ago.  It cheapens life.  And this is because I actually do have a Theology (something most of the world lacks).

If you are a Creationist, then you have to believe that life was created.  Depending on your particular theology, you might even go so far as to say that life is a gift from God.

My particular religion teaches that God intended for life to be abundant and joyful.  However because sin entered into the world it brought death and destruction.  Death as a consequence of sin, is the very antithesis of life.  The former is a gift, the latter is a curse.

Because of my Theology, I actually cringe whenever I encounter any type of mercy killing or humane killing.  Even with animals or pets.  My problem is that even putting an animal out of its suffering (as if that animal doesn’t want to live) is a hardening of our hearts.  It is a practice that makes it easier for us to then see our way to extending the same practice to our fellow humans.

This is not going to sit well with most of you (actually the vast majority of the world) – but the pain and suffering of death actually AMPLIFIES the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made upon the Cross.  It is because I abhor death with such great disdain that I appreciate the Cross all the more.  It is because I understand the great sin curse of death that I come to understand Grace all the more.  It is in the pain and suffering that we learn just how much as been overcome.

“Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!”

Paul of Tarsus understood this when he wrote:

“54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” (1 Corinthians 15″54-56)

Paul understood the sting of death.  And Paul understood the great price that had been paid.  He understood death was the consequence of sin and that Jesus Christ had defeated it once and for all and had walked out of the grave victorious in Life!

So do you have a right to die?  I sincerely hope not.  I hope you have a hope to live!  And I trust that hope is found in the one who was victorious over the grave.  My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

LRPSP

LRPSP. com has been up for over a week now and I thought I’d step back and provide some foundation for the categories, my biases, and the general discussions.  The About page provides an overview of the Blog, however I thought that over time a little more detail might be provided.  This is a short introduction.

The pillars of the site – Life / Religion / Politics / Science / Philosophy are the foundations we exist upon.  I have collapsed some of the categories for the sake of a short, catchy URL (at least I hope it is catchy), but for the most part the things that make up our world and make us who we are fit into these categories.  They are also the categories where the most passionate debates come from.  These are the discussions about who we are, how did we get here, why are we here, where are we going, what are we supposed to be doing, and what does it all mean?

if you were to look at an apologetics course such as The Truth Project – hosted at Focus On The Family you will find pretty much the same core of pillars.  These pillars are also where apologists such as Dr. Ravi Zacharias, Dr. Del Tackett, or Josh McDowell might build their cases on.

I am nowhere near as talented as either one of these three individuals, or others like them, but I do have an understanding of the basics, and I enjoy a heart-to-heart conversation.  And I’d like to invite anyone and everyone to join in the conversations.  Especially those that are dissenters, such as these folks that obviously take issue with Josh McDowell’s book Evidence That Demands A Verdict.

Of course this is a family oriented site so the rules are somewhat strict.  Of course that doesn’t mean we cannot have adult discussions from time-to-time, but it does mean that a certain level of civility and a language code will be insisted upon.

The pillars cover the following:

Life– Everything that animates us that we experience, know, and deal with on a day-to-day basis.  Life covers the physical, our bodies, our world and our interactions with it, our souls, our emotions, thoughts, and what makes us laugh, what makes us cry.  Life covers all the unique characteristics that make you – you and me – me.  These could be hobbies, sports, interests, studies, jobs, interactions, or anything else that makes us the unique creations we are.

Religion– Everything within the Spiritual world and our connection with God.  Religion may encompass Theology, our innermost selves, Heaven, Hell, Angels, Demons, and all things of a Devine nature.

Politics– Would cover our Governments, our laws, things that govern our social interactions, or even the application, adjudication, or interpretation of those laws.  Governments (and thus politics) do not necessarily exist at the Capitol buildings and no where else.  They generally permeate our entire lives.  Homeowners Associations are a form of Governance (and are generally found to be the bottom rung of government).  However, Politics may even extend into the home and the family structure.

Science– Is all the sciences.  Biology, Sociology, Anthropology, Archaeology, Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, etc.  the Sciences are important because they facilitate our discovery and our understanding of the world around us.

Philosophy– Our Philosophies are what define and establish our World Views.  They help shape how we see things and through what colored lenses we interpret things.

Obviously by now, if you have followed any of my timeline, or read my blog posts from the beginning, you might surmise that my World View encompasses a God.  I believe Theology (I just grouped this under Religion) is the foundational study of all.  It is the foundation upon which everything else is built.

It should be clear by now that my Theological Foundation is the ground floor that all other pillars sit upon.

And I would like to point out that all great minds start out here (not that I am saying that I am a great mind, but rather that I am a good student and have learned from them).

Even amongst our high level contemporary thinkers, Dr. Richard Dawkins, Dr. Richard Carrier, Dr. Stephen Hawking, and (of course) Dr. Ravi Zacharias, and Dr. Del Tackett, all of these start with Theology.

What is it that consumes Dr. Dawkins completely?  Why it is to disprove the existence of God.  Dr. Stephen Hawking’s latest book, The Grand Design, states “It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God.” (The Grand Design, pg. 165, 1st paragraph).  Dr. Carrier is certainly consumed by Christians (if not God), see part of his talk at Skepticon 3 (or just search YouTube for him).  All of these individuals are consumed with Theology, the study of God.  Granted, their study intends to disprove the existence of God, but you cannot disprove that which you do not study.

Clearly all great minds agree that Theology is foundational to any other study we may pursue.  It provides us insight into other studies and (as Dr. Hawking points out in his book on pg. 164), it is a necessary study to answer the questions: “Why is there something rather than nothing?  Why do we exist?  Why this particular set of law and not some other?” just before he launches into a Theological discussion of God.

But I hope you don’t think all of my Blog discussions will be some boring, unintelligible diatribe about Religion, or Politics, or Philosophy, or Science.  No, I’d like to discuss the fun parts, the sad parts, and the parts of life that interest you as well.

It is sincerely my hope you will see the importance and value of these pillars, and that they will help  guide your input, but if not, don’t worry about it.  Either read for fun, or join in to share you opinion.

But let’s have a conversation about: Life/Religion/Politics/Science/Philosophy!

Life Isn’t Fair

There is a philosophy of fairness gripping our world today.  Governments speak of inequities that exist between rich and poor, healthy and sick, happy and sad.  The have’s and the have not’s.  It is unnerving to some that so few could have so much and so many could have so little.  They want to right the wrongs, spread the wealth around, and build one great big happy utopia.  It has been tried time and time again through philosophies such as socialism, communism, or collectivist activism.  And each time it has failed.  And yet it is strived for.

The amazing thing to me is that no one ever asks the question as to why the inequities exist in the first place.  If your world view embraces a God you might ask the question as to why God allows some to be rich and some to be poor.  If your world view does not embrace a God you might ask the question as to why we cannot make things equal across the board.  We struggle with the fact that Life just isn’t fair.

Something that might be considered is that if your world view encompasses a God, then he might be the arbitrator of fairness in life.  Perhaps it is God who rewards and who takes away.  And all of our shuffling, and redistribution, and efforts cannot alter the plans of a God.

If your world view does not encompasses a God, then you are fighting the great cosmic entropy and the randomness of the Universe itself is beating down upon your very efforts.  Of course if your world view does not encompass a God, one might ask where your compassion comes from anyway or why you even care.

Either way it is an impossible task and the question then becomes why does it consume us so?

There is one world view that embraces, understands, and works within the great divides in life.  And that world view is the Christian world view.

For me, inequities in life are understandable and are readily worked with.  My world view of a God is not only liberating in this sense, it is also practicable in helping me deal with and change the inequities that touch me on a daily basis.

This is because the very definition of God is infinite in every direction and all encompassing of everything.

Recently I saw the question: why would a perfect God allow bad things to happen to good people?  And the answer was (and is) very plain to me.  Could a God build a perfect world?  Of course he could.  But if he did, where would my choice come in?  Where would my opportunity come from?  Or where would I be tested and proven to be true.

I love the quote of former Congressman J.C. Watts who said his grandmother used to tell him that true character was doing the right thing in the woods when no one else was around to see or to record the events.

The “world” is our woods.  And our “woods” is full of unfairness and challenges.  It is up to each and every one of us to do the right thing even if no one records it.  Why?  Because that is our test of character.

The Marines have a slogan: Do the Right Thing, At the Right Time, For the Right Reason.  If everything were equal across the board, there would be no measure of character, because everyone would always act the same way.

So why would a God allow such a system to exist?  Why would a God test us in such a way?  Well for me it goes back to my God’s infinite nature.  All of the myriad of differences in the world (and indeed the Universe) are all tiny reflections of an infinite God.  They are an expression of who, what, and why he is.  The inequities in life allow God to work.  The system allows God to be God.  Not for himself, God cannot suddenly stop being God, but rather for us.  It allows us to see God for who he truly is.

You see, from my world view, without sickness we would not know healing, without pain we could not know relief, without poverty we could not measure wealth, without suffering we could not measure joy, and without disobedience there could be no Grace.  It is the very antitheses of the system that allows us to see the beauty on the other side.  We make the mistake of believing that we may know beauty without ever having experienced ugliness.  But if all you had ever known in your entire life, from birth, was beauty, and you asked me to describe something other than beauty, how would I do that?  And how would you conceive it?  I contend it would be impossible.  And if the only thing you ever knew in life was beauty, where would your sense of appreciation come from?  And from what standpoint would you experience accomplishment?

No, Life isn’t fair, and I’m afraid you can do everything in your power to change that and you will find that it will always be that way during this age.

Rather than engaging in some vain fight to change something that we cannot, why not take it for what it is?  The opportunity to Do the Right Thing when no one else is around to see you do it.  Literally the opportunity to Do the Right Thing, At the Right Time, For the Right Reason.

If we all did this, we might all just be surprised at the growth of our Character,  and the changes in inequities that it just might effect within our world.