Living in this culture

We have a much different time to manage and a different culture to live through and in during the early part of the twenty-first century than our parents and grandparents did. Why is this time and the culture so different from that of thirty years ago?

Mainly because of the connected nature of our lives and the technology that has invaded our everyday life. Thirty years ago a computer in someone’s home was unheard of because it hadn’t been done yet. Cell phones were the dream of those who needed them. Other wonderful gadgets like the Kindle, the iPad, Android tablets may have been in the imaginings of a few but for the rest of the world, we had no idea about them nor any reason to need something which hadn’t been invented yet.

Today, we are a connected culture, an Internet culture and one which would have some major meltdowns if the ‘Net weren’t available. It seems that “alternate reality” is not just a catch phrase anymore, many people actually live there all day, every day. It is a scary thought.

Although, it is not just people who live there, whole databases and server’s full of documents and information are there too. Cloud based computing has come to us, though it hasn’t matured just yet. It is still in its childhood so to speak because you can’t always get to your stuff when you want to, access is available only when the ‘net allows it.

Yes, living in this sort of “advanced” culture is much different from the time that I grew up in during the seventies and there are some good points and a lot of bad points to go along with “Internet culture” as it is today. Property theft, both of identities and intellectual, is rampant in this other world. Then there are those who just like to disrupt our lives with computer code which causes more problems or adds to the problems that we already have, such as worms, viruses, Trojans, phishing, the list goes on and on.

The point of this is to say that the ‘net has not made our world safer or more efficient, although in some ways it has, but the mind of mankind in general has come up with ways to inflict all sorts of suffering even through this medium. Our lives could be so much more useful and pleasant if the element of evil had not spread to the Internet, but as soon as there was a way to infiltrate this area of influence this too exploded and there is no way of putting it back into its bottle.

Your life and mine are interconnected, not only by the ‘net but by the fact that we live here on Earth. Some of us live in places where there is little persecution or strife, but some live in constant fear and hunger. All of this is because of evil and evil is here because of pride. We are able to see this, if we will accept the validity of God’s Word. It is not a book of fairy tales and made up stories by men long ago, they were inspired by the Spirit of God to write the words so that we could have an instruction book for Life. The Internet has opened up the world for us and there are many truths on it, but there are also many more lies and half-truths. God’s Word helps us to figure out which ones are real and true and which one’s are not.

Read and pray that you can understand it and the confusion and the lies of this world will, maybe not go away but they will be bearable because you will have access to the Truth of the Living God. For a good starting point try John 3:1-18 and Romans 8:1-23. The reason that I didn’t give just one verse is because there is a context to the story and it is clearer and easier to understand when you read more of the chapter rather than picking out just one verse.

I pray for each person who reads this that God will open your heart and your mind to His Spirit of Truth.

So much to do…

Have you noticed that everyday when we get up and head out into the world, it seems that we never have enough time for the things that we truly need to get done. Oh, we get our shopping done and we go to work or school and get through the day but what about the stuff that really matters? The time that we need to spend with our family. If you are not married with children then maybe that is a blessing, but you are missing out on some of the cooler things in life. I don’t mean to say that you aren’t doing your part if you are not a parent, because the world needs each one of us and God does too. I have found out that being a parent has been one of the greatest blessings that I have ever had, but for many people the thought of having children sends shivers up their spine. I can understand that, and I sympathize but God’s Word says that children are 4Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 5How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127: 4-5  In many ways, we are also like children to our Creator.

Yes, He is the Creator and if you remember your bible school days, in the garden of Eden, God would come down and walk with Adam each evening. Just having fellowship with his Earthly son and since God created him and blew the breath of life into him, that is exactly what Adam was. God wants to have fellowship with us each day too and sometimes we miss out on that as well because we are too busy or too tired. Sometimes we just don’t make God a priority in our lives.

Don’t you think that hurts His feelings a bit? It would hurt mine if my son or daughter didn’t want to spend time with me. Thankfully, God doesn’t lose His temper the way we do when we are hurt. We get angry sometimes and take it out on other people and sometimes even on ourselves. Self-destructive behavior is one of those actions that we take which really doesn’t make much sense at all really. Well, have you ever seen a bear run into a tree for missing a salmon in the stream? Animals don’t do self-destructive things, people do.

We get mad and angry at everyone, especially ourselves, when things go wrong or maybe don’t go exactly the way we thought they should but that is no reason to take our frustrations out on other people or ourselves. God loves each of us and wants the best for us, so why can’t we accept it? Because we don’t think that salvation can possibly be as simple as the Bible tells us that it is. The thing that God means by the simple way that he provides for us is so that it can be understood by even a child but we as adults tent to over-think things and analyze even the most easily understood detail to the point of making it misunderstood.

We have become such multitaskers in the past few years until simple and easy stuff is just too easy…too simple so we make it hard or try to add our efforts to simple things so that we feel that we helped in the outcome even if it was unnecessary. This is why salvation is easy because Jesus did all of the work that needed to be done and we aren’t required to help in any way and yet we try to do just that. Please consider Jesus’ offer of salvation as a gift which is exactly what it is, all that you have to do is believe in Him and what He did and ask Him to come into your heart. That’s it.

A new month, more problems

In our day-to-day existence we encounter many joyful and wonderful sights and sounds, but we also encounter heartache and pain at times. Not every day to be sure, but enough to make us realize that we are alive and that we can’t escape those parts of life. Is it possible that we are causing our own pain and suffering to be dumped on us or is it our circumstances which do this to us? In some ways it is a little bit of both. Let me explain what I mean.

We wake in the morning, some of us have aches and pains due to arthritis and some are blessed not to have this. Yet, if we have more than three decades of life accumulated, we will be a little stiff and creaky no matter how long we have exercised and sometimes it is a bit worse if we do exercise. Do you thank God for your life and for the grace to be able to get up this morning or do you just grumble about having to go to work again? Then we make our coffee or tea, grab a bite of something for our “breakfast” and then head out the door into the world wherever we go to work. Have you thanked God for your job and the benefits that it provides for you?

You see the main reason, that our joy is not constant and we have pain in our lives or assaulting our minds, is because we are not being thankful for the benefits of this life! I know that there are people in parts of the world where they are punished or threatened with death if they have faith in Jesus, but that usually causes their hope and faith to increase not decrease. Yes, there is suffering in the world but that is not caused by God. It is caused by Satan and his demons because they truly HATE us! We are made in the image of God and we are more privileged than angels and demons in His sight. God loves us because we are special to Him, although He loves all of His creation, for some reason He deemed us worthy of His unconditional love and only He knows the reason why.

Do you pray and ask for God to watch over you as you travel on the highway to and from work? I would, especially with people texting and talking on their phones ALL of the time! They may not be drinking but by doing just a simple thing as talking on the phone, they don’t have their attention on the road ahead or around them. Yes, I do pray when I am in a car, whether I am driving or if I am the passenger! What about when you eat your meals, do you thank God for the provision of food for your body? Even if it is something that is GMO, He had a hand in the process. All of the fruit and vegetables and meat that you may eat was and is provided by God for us each and every day.

Then, there are little things which we dismiss as unimportant most of the time. Like, being able to find a parking spot close to work or the front of the store when it is raining or finding your keys when you lose them. Even the wind and the shade provided by a cloud or two when you cut the grass in your yard is a blessing and a gift from God for you. Many of these small gifts are overlooked by us every day, but to realize that they are part of His plan for you is something which we all should realize. It doesn’t take much of a blessing for us to be a blessing to others, how much more do you think God wants to do for us if we will be thankful for it and recognize that it came from Him?

Think about it, and have a great Labor day holiday!