Thanks Giving

This Thanksgiving day, I give  thanks for those way back in history who recoded their events and thoughts by engravings on the walls of caves, on papyrus, the invention of paper, the typewriter, newspapers and books, the Bible so that now we have records to read and understand more fully our heritage. For William Bradford coming up with the idea of private property and control leading the way to that great experiment of personal liberty and prosperity for all: our constitution.

 

 

Happy Holidays

Here we are, Thanksgiving 2017 is fast approaching. And then Christmas. The stores are overloaded with all the ingredients for a happy thanksgiving and Merry X-mas. The commercials are humming. TV’s a glittering with weather updates for anywhere. News shows the airports jammed, shows us the latest crime scenes, where the detours are, so beware folks, but have a happy thanksgiving and merry whatever anyway.

first-thanksgiving painting

Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)

Huh? Happy Holidays. Gads. The pressure. Family gatherings. Trips. Be Happy. Be thankful, Macy’s having a parade. Keep the kiddies busy. Pies to bake. Get the stuff down from the attic. Cooking or going out, yeah, let’s go out. It’s too much. Where are those pills.

How can anyone be happy with all this bombarding us in front of our face and behind our back?

And yet, we do provide a happy face.

Do we take time to reflect, to think of the What, the Who, the Where and When all this holiday season started and Why.

Some parts of the world are not so joyful this time of year, so why are we? Yes, it’s our American heritage dedicated to individual freedoms over and above that of kings and queens, presidents and magistrates. “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” But are we about to lose all that as society appears to be elevating self-gratification over virtuousness.

George Washington wrote, “Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people.”

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”

Patrick Henry said, “A vitiated [impious] state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom.”

Virtue as defined by Webster is:

  1. .moral excellence; goodness; righteousness.
  2.  conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.
  3. .chastity; virginity: to lose one’s virtue.
  4. .a particular moral excellence.
  5. . a good or admirable quality or property: the virtue of knowing one’s weaknesses.

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

I’m always interested in your comments.

Identity crisis.

Going back, way back in history people dressed in long garments draped around their bodies to hide their nakedness. Yet, from the images we’ve seen there was still minute differences between the way the sexes cloaked themselves. Men could identify a lady and ladies knew the men. It’s been that way ever since, with slowly evolving differences as people discovered new technologies such as sheering a sheep, skinning a buffalo, gathering cotton, stringing silk, knitting, sewing, fabric blending, patching and shaping with starch and hot irons. And here we are thousands of years later still changing our customs of dress between the two sexes.

Throughout these years there has been one and only difference that has been from the beginning: hiding the differences in the nakedness of the sexes: it’s in the DNA, in the genes, in the easily recognized physical characteristics recognized at birth.

But now segments of society wish to change it all starting with “cloaks of identity”.

“Teachers in the church’s 4,700 schools throughout the U.K. are advised not to enable children to “conform” to traditional male/female “stereotypes.” Young children “are in a ‘trying on’ stage of life … so no labels need to be fixed,” the church document states.

“Practically speaking, the ecclesial guidelines say boys “may choose the tutu, princess’ tiara and heels,” and girls may wear “the fireman’s helmet, toolbelt and superhero cloak.”

Church of England encourages children to explore

This trend is also expanding here in the US of A and elsewhere. Is that all there is to this cultural newbie? Where is it heading?  Imagine 50 years from now, 1000 years in the future; what will distinguish us one from the other?

Will girls be able to identify a guy that looks handsome and cute getting interested in knowing this dude. Will the dudes get that immediate attraction impulse seeing a lady across the room?  Will the dating game get scary, not knowing for sure that the dude across the table from you is a real physical man?

The second date could be at the swimming pool or the beach and see the near nakedness of modern day swimsuits, or would that change too?

 

Read. Leviticus 20.  1Corinthians 6:9

The Commandments. Part One.

Today, as a layman, I will take some liberties by paraphrasing, an analogy of the Ten Commandments as they are provided to us in the scriptures related to our perception, our commitment, our view, our ideas, our respect, our due honor to the Creator of this universe, its natural laws, the plants, animals and us humans.
To start this off let’s imagine that you’ve been hired by a certain company. You’ve been there a few days, seeing the operation first hand, walking the grounds, captivated by the garden and getting acquainted with the purpose of the company, its operation and how it all works together.
ten commandments 3
“Yes, I’m gonna like it here.”

The owner then calls you into his office. Comfortably seated facing each other, he starts telling you why he called you in. “I want you to know about this company and the rules I have for your safety and your benefit, and how it all came about.” He then proceeds in detail the intricate process he went through to make this business work: how it came to be, the first thoughts, the design, the first implementation of the vast structures, the outside facilities, the garden, the grounds, the gathering of the numerous parts holding it all together, the planning of how it would all work for the benefit of the working partners, the customers and himself. And how long it took.

“You’re an important part of this operation.” He informs you. “You have some freedoms within my basic rules to innovate new technologies and ideas too that will be of great use to our customers and your fellow workers, and I’ll guide you on the implementation of those.” He tells you that as a partner in this venture you would benefit greatly; your family and all your children and grandchildren will reap his rewards by your faithfulness as a partner. He proceeds to briefly tell you what expectations he has for your daily intermingling with your fellow workers and customers that benefits everyone; things like refraining from making images that could become idols. “Don’t do that”, he emphatically says.

“Oh, one other thing too that bothers me greatly. Don’t call me names. It’s disrespectful and you should not call your fellow workers names either. Got it? Cooperation by all benefits all.”

“Now, welcome to my world. I’m available for consultation anytime.”

You come away from the office impressed and honored that he chose you to be part of this company. Sounds wonderful, you’re excited and pledge to yourself that any other company coming down the line with an intriguing proposal shall be shunned.

“He created this, I work for him.”

Footnote: Could that phrase (you’re fired) have originated during biblical times as Jesus was instructing in parables Matt 13:41-42

“The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gads, I’m just an old guy who likes to write, who has experienced the attempts to put thoughts into words and sentences when an idea, a thought that had never crossed my mind before solves a perplexity, somewhat like a math problem of A plus B equals C. I knew B and C, but could not figure out what A was. C was the change in culture. B was the complacency of the common citizen enjoying the benefits. But what was A?

So, what is happening in this upside-down world being created by, well, there’s a long list of the people who have made their mark as an agent of change. I’ll come back to the first in mind later.

There were the writings of Margaret Sanger. Alfred Kinsley. Rachel Carson. Sigmund Freud. Charles Darwin. Hugh Heffner published a magazine. Steve Jobs wrote with just 1 and 0’s. Then there was Martin Luther King, C.S. Lewis and Billy Graham. And the list goes on. No doubt you may have others in mind.
What effect did they have on the world? Sanger started the birth control revolution. Kinsey had a great effect on the sexual revolution. Carson initiated the environmental movement. Freud saw humans as deceivers to themselves. Darwin postulated that we evolved from lower animals. Hefner portrayed women as sex objects. Jobs pioneered the computer age. MLK stood for racial equality, Lewis explained mere Christianity, and Billy Graham preached repentance.

Go back in history way before these folks came along when another was born just like us, learned to walk and talk on this earth just like us, nourished his body just like us, never took a pen to papyrus, but the change he had on this world has lasted since then, having an eternal effect to every generation since. Whereas over time the above-mentioned names will be superseded by others.

His name was Jesus. And wow, what a mark that life made. He did not accumulate wealth. He did not gain political power. Never wrote a book. Was not an athlete nor an entertainer, a lawyer or media host. He was just a lone teacher gathering a following, providing bread to the masses, healing infirmities and exposing the errors of the power brokers, who couldn’t stand that hint of a revolution, had him arrested and hung like a criminal to be put away forever; so they thought.

He permanently changed the world.
A is to Acknowledge.
B is to Believe.
Equals: C: Communion of sins forgiven, a new joy with eternal sanctified life as a bonus.