Monday, August 31, 2009

Organized Religion + Ignorance = Confusion

Frequently, I'm on YouTube and like to watch the videos about God, the Rapture, or items concerning current events. The subject was concerning the lord of this earth, Satan and I commented on the fact (and I mean fact) that his rule is just about over. Normally, I try and be upbeat and being the state of current affairs, I thought I was being such. One gentlemen countered my comment with "There is no Satan, there is no Heaven and there is no Hell." He also made mention that organized religion scares and confuses people for their own selfish purposes.

As Marge Schott used to say, "We'll there you go."

As with any word in the English language, there are connotations and denotations. The connotations are the perceived meanings and the denotations are the real or "dictionary" meanings.

The two words "organized religion" mean one thing to most of us and it's not looked upon too favorably by atheists and true Christians alike. However, the true meaning for these two words can be looked at in any dictionary.
Organized is as follows:
1. Functioning within a formal structure, as in the coordination and direction of activities.
2. Affiliated in an organization, especially a union.
3. Efficient and methodical.

Religion is as follows:
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
(both of these were from the free dictionary online)

In truth, religion is not a denomination in a church and actually deals with the beliefs of an individual, or a group of individuals and not a group as a whole. Organized is being within a formal structure, affiliated with an entity such as a union or denomination, or being efficient. Organized religion is not even in the ballpark, is not even in left field or the parking lot for that matter. It is merely two words concocted together which doesn't even jibe in the English Language. It would be more accurate to call this organized church. Religion is a thought process, plain and simple. Religions can be one's beliefs in a higher power, but it can just as easily be Communism, Ecumenism, even secular humanism and atheism are religion.

Christianity is not in and of itself, a religion. We make it one by believing in it, but it what the Lord and His Son Jesus did for us, rather than our belief structure (organized or not) which gets us to be with Him for eternity. I don't blame my respondent one bit, as he sounded just as confused as I was in a couple stages of my life. For too long, denominations have tried to improve on the original model for the organized church in the Bible. The result is that there many denominations which teach something more or less than the truth. There is so much confusion even among believers as what to believe anymore. One former girlfriend of mine, purposefully denied the Trinity of the Lord, even though her church taught it.

People, if it's confusing, it's not of the Lord. He puts the cookies on the bottom shelf for people such as this handyman. Christianity is so simple that anyone can be one and yet we all get tied up in the formalities. If I was trying to save a man overboard, the last thing I want to have to do is read complicated instructions for use of the life ring. The person in the water could be drowned before I got to the end. All you have to do is throw the ring within reach of the victim and hope he has a firm enough grip on it. If not, then you jump in.

Jesus has done more than that with us. He's not only made handles on the life ring, but it even has a ladder and is barrier free. Not to mention the Holy Spirit is more than willing to help you get in. All we have to do is accept the gift of eternal life, there is nothing we can do to earn it. Jesus paid for your sins on the cross. While we're called to repentance, Jesus has the Holy Spirit to help us out in that department. See, this is easier than falling off a log. Maranatha!
(in other word, Jesus come quick).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Scary Stuff

There's a book out called the Antichrist Version Version 666 based off the Mayan
prophesy that in 2012 we might be facing doomsday. It also adds we as human beings should try and find a solution to this. In this fiction book (not that being fiction is an issue), the author points out that said Antichrist is the one who finds a solution to this problem. All the while avoiding religious zealots (like myself). This solution is finding a time period to reuse for all eternity, rather than find another planet, which is going to be tough going. The Antichrist figures out a way that all eight planets are simply versions of earth in various stages of development. Say that Venus was how the earth was one billion years ago and Mars is said earth one billion years in the future. This is called the Uni planetary Evolution Theory.

This author also goes on to say the Mayans were maybe trying to warn us that we are in our fourth cycle of existence and getting ready for our fifth. This is also saying that we repeat our existence over and should move to Venus because this planet is younger than Earth, so to speak. The real kicker was the circular dragon or serpent eating its own tail (A Mayan and Pagan symbol) that is supposed to explain that time renews itself (I'm simplifying this in the interest of space). Reading this authors material further suggests the Antichrist to actually be the Father. This is nothing new, as reincarnation and Satanism are as old as humankind.

We not only want to be like God, we want to be able to choose our own leaders. Through and because our collective knowledge and misguided wisdom, we see ourselves as someone who should be our own gods and goddesses. The Lord warned about this in Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Does this sound like today? We're on the cusp of creating artificial life in a matter of months, had the knowledge to split and utilize the power of atoms and can travel at speeds unheard of a century ago. Everyone and their brother can access the web and find things out. Nearly everyone in this country has access to information technology, something that will be possible worldwide in a matter of months.

Even back in the day the Lord was keenly aware of man's frightening potential. The story of the Tower of Babel gives us pause to think...

Now the whole earth was of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said to one another, Go to, let us make brick, and and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime they had for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach into heaven; and let make us a name lest we be scattered abroad on the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go let us go down, and there confound their language, that they might not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it is called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:1-9 KJV

The King James Version is like reading modern English to me, so I'll interpret. The people has one language and a lot of knowledge, so they planned to build a monument to their collective knowledge and power. The Lord can simply say something and it will be. Being made in the image of the Lord, we are imaginative and creative. If we can imagine something, we can build it. However, because of our fallen natures, we would not use this knowledge for good. Time machines are something we've imagined for awhile and no doubt with some time (no pun intended) we could do it. The only use for this could be for personal gain at the expense of someone else (Back to the Future is a case in point). This is just an example of what we're capable of in a couple decades, even sooner!

Like Babel, the Lord isn't going to stand for us to act on the darkest figments of our imaginations for too much longer. While the thought of enhancing life with technology is good on the surface and has manifested itself in many positive ways, there is also a dark side to this knowledge. The Lord's will is perfect, mine and every other human being is not. I've put my faith and trust in Him and Him alone. Maranatha!

Burning Questions...

1. Why are buildings in which people live close together called apartments?
2. If a fly loses his wings, can he be called a walk?
3. Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
4. Where is the end of the rainbow?
5. Why can you only use mildew cleaner in a well-ventilated area? If the area was well-ventilated, there wouldn't be mildew?
6. What would we call an iron if it were made out of aluminum?
7. Would sheet metal be usable as a linen?
8. Wouldn't running behind truck get you exhausted and running in front get you tired?
9. If a plumber has to use a plumber's snake, couldn't he or she be a snake charmer too?
10. If a screw driver drives screws, couldn't a hammer be called a nail driver?
11. Why is it that someone who's getting into other people's business is called "nosy" when they should be "eary?" (My 7 year old is a case in point).
12. Is tartar sauce made from tartar or for tartars? Shouldn't it be called fish sauce?
13. Why is it called football when the players use their hands?
14. Why is a golf club called a driver when it's used to hit the ball?

Handyman's Plan for Stimulus

As an aspiring management major with some experience, it makes one wonder how just throwing money at a problem will solve it. A case in point was with a car our family once had. It was a 1979 Fiat Strada, a car that was frankly a pain in the rumpus, and had one ongoing problem.

The car kept going through batteries, cables and stranded me on numerous occasions. Finally, I took the alternator into a place that specialized in starters and alternators. They wanted the then princely sum of $150 for the part. I thought that was crazy and stubbornly drove this car for another year before I got another vehicle.



Fast forward 20 years to 2008, I learned that any alternator, as long as you can physically fit it into the car, can be used. This would have saved me a lot of trouble, not to mention gas money, had I knew this one trick back then. A Delco 10 SI, a very common part in GM cars and trucks back in the day, would cost about $40 rebuilt. I could have even scored a used one for about $20. A little creativity and attention to detail would have saved a car.



Another seemingly impossible task is at hand, and this is a lot tougher, but no less solvable. The good news is we don't need to throw money at this one either. The Global Financial Crisis, which I expect any day to called the next Economic Depression, has cost a lot of jobs and ruined many earthly lives. One thing I know from having financial troubles is this...



When you find yourself in hole you can't get out of, the first thing to do is stop digging.



You didn't get yourself into this mess overnight, you're not going to get out of that quick either.



Priorities should always start with the basics.



Find what is broken, then fix it.


You made your bed, you sleep in it.



There are a lot of causes to the GFC and one was that people overspent their incomes. In the 1990's, when the economy was supposed to be good, wages were stagnant and growth was only 2% a year. Yet people were selling houses that no sane person would buy and people were buying them for two or three times what the market value should have been. It was greed on the part of sellers, buyers and bankers that caused the mortgage mess that has been the downfall of the United States economy.



What the government has done is to throw money at it. They've spent nearly $1 Trillion on trying to jumpstart the economy. Everything from cash for clunkers to fixing roads to propping up banks, automakers and everything else deemed "too big to fail."



Hey, I'm not against spending money. But corporate banks and other businesses are not doing a lot of the hiring or financing that will help communities. While road repair is a good idea, higher taxes need to be the way to finance them, not more debt.



Businesses all go through life cycles, much like us. They're young, grow and mature, then degenerate and die. Larger businesses usually live longer because there are more people making decisions than small ones. However most of the big businesses in this country are not in a growth stage at this present time. Smaller businesses are more numerous, have shorter cycles and can therefore have more collective opportunity for growth. They will be the ones hiring if the climate is right. This isn't to say that small business is run better than big business is, they aren't. It's just that smaller firms are in a lot better position to restart the economy because of their higher growth potential. Ford, Apple, Microsoft and Google started as small businesses.



There are a lot of people out of work right now, myself included. Some of these people have the skills to run their own firm, create some jobs and stem the growth in unemployment. These are the people who deserve the assistance. A prerequisite should be a business plan and business management classes. This would cost much less and have a much better return on investment than bailing out firms which might be at the end of their life cycles anyway. Another thing holding back small business is the minimum wage. Raising wages drives up costs and the unemployment rate. My younger brother is having a tough time finding work because it's hard to justify paying an 18 year old over $7 an hour. If someones worth $2 an hour, pay them $2 an hour. If they're worth $20 an hour, then pay them that. It shouldn't have to take the government to help us figure out what we should or shouldn't pay.



If you have an old car with a bad alternator, you can replace all the batteries, cables and starters you want; you'll still have a bad alternator. You'll also have a car that will strand you on the highway. The best move is to replace the alternator. It might cost a bit more up front, or require a bit more creativity, but it'll be worth it. Maranatha!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Slipping Standards!

I read last night on Yahoo, the nation's largest Lutheran Church voted 68% in favor to allow practicing homosexuals as pastors. Beforehand, the denomination allowed homosexuals only if they remained celibate. Now I'm not about bashing anyone, but sin is sin. It would be no different if the pastor in question were a practicing adulterer. In other words,these people are not fighting the good fight and turning this over to the Lord. Struggles are valid and everyone, I repeat everyone has struggles with sin in their lives, myself included.



What's really heavy on my heart and after much prayer last night (along with a lot of crying) is that we are creations of the Lord. In Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. This was after He made everything on the eve of the day He rested. Creation was meant to be good and this included human beings. Even after all we put the Lord through, he still chose to bless us with His Law, His prophets, His Word and ultimately, His Son Jesus (who is the Word).



Including all of that, He made a way for us to be His bride, the Church, if we just accept His gift of salvation. Can't we see that He is crazy in love with us? Can we understand why this would make Him angry? The relationship between the Lord and His Church is one represented by a husband and wife (a man and a woman in holy matrimony, called marriage). When man tampers with this institution, either the Church or her representation thereof, we are slapping God in the face. He is long suffering and patient with humanity as a whole. He is just, forgiving, loving, empathetic, innocent, righteous, patient and perfect. Make no mistake that He is also jealous, angry and He has the means to carry out His wrath on an unrepentant humankind. The entire book of Leviticus points out that God is not to be trifled with. It is only by Jesus that we can hope to escape our just and eternal punishment.



I really hope this isn't harsh, but this is for me too and a reminder that the good we have is what Jesus brings. We need to be struggling and fighting the good fight in our Christian lives; not just laying in sin. I've had to clean out a lot of apartments in my day and they were overwhelming. Sin is a lot like that and it's a lot easier to just wait for another day to clean things up. Yes, Jesus died for that purpose, but we are supposed to repent. Considering the alternative, it is the very least we're expected to do. Maranatha!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Theme Songs for Bible Characters

Got this list from Rapture Ready.com, one of my favorites. These are a scream, enjoy!

Noah: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"
Adam and Eve: "Strangers in Paradise"
Lazarus: "The Second Time Around"
Esther: "I Feel Pretty"
Job: "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues"
Moses: "The Wanderer"
Jezebel: "The Lady is a Tramp"
Samson: "Hair"
Salome: "I Could Have Danced All Night"
Daniel: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
Joshua: "Good Vibrations"
Peter: "I'm Sorry"
Esau: "Born To Be Wild"
Jeremiah: "Take This Job and Shove It"
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego: "Great Balls of Fire!"
The Three Kings: "When You Wish Upon a Star"
Jonah: "Got a Whale of a Tale"
Elijah: "Up, Up, and Away"
Methuselah: "Stayin' Alive"
Nebuchadnezzar: "Crazy"

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Handyman's Healthcare Plan

I know that my plan probably won't get much press and I use the word "my" loosely. One saying we should all live by is that if something isn't broke, don't fix it. Others are in this list...



1. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater (a fav of my mother's).

2. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

3. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

4. First, do no harm.

5. Be kind to the branches on the way up, you will need them on your way down.

6. Just because something is broken, doesn't mean that everyone else has to give up theirs.



Get the idea, good. Onward...



A century ago, life expectancies were about 50 years. Today, they're about 70 to 75. To get there, we've spent a lot of money collectively on a lot of newfangled equipment. Don't get me wrong, some of this technical wizardry has saved lives. A computerized tomography, or CT scan revealed my wife needed her gall bladder removed. When the surgeon removed it, he made mention that it was diseased chronically and would have given her trouble in the short term. The surgery and follow up care is going to be expensive, and will probably cost our health plan about $8000 for one hour's work and several hours in a private room. This is a bargain, in my book, because health is so important and is something we should not cut corners on, even if we have to pay out of pocket.

On the other hand, we have a friend who's very overweight and in poor health. The place she was working at cut her this April and she's been living on un-enjoyment compensation since then (I've been on it since January, with a 6 week respite in June, but that is a different story). She has no health insurance and has been hospitalized for a couple weeks due to a chronic infection. This young lady has no health insurance and will likely have to pay a substantial portion out of pocket (she is in my prayers and the Lord will make a way for her).

This doesn't mean that we need a public health insurance option to make health care more affordable. It will mean that private industry and the rest of us will have to make some collective and individual changes to make this happen. Here are some things that individuals and organizations, can do to keep the costs manageable.

1. Government: Keep out of micromanaging anything other than punishing fraud or other criminal or civil acts. Keep jury awards to a reasonable level that reflects a sound moral policy. A jury award should not be winning the lottery, it should be helping the victims of medical mistakes.

2. Drug companies: We have more than enough pills to stop heartburn, increase libido (when a penis pump will do the job better and more cost effectively. This isn't to be funny, but to be honest), treat allergies, depression, and pain. Drug companies need to be researching antibiotics and anti-virals as this is the most pressing need. My friend has had continuous problems with infections more and more resistant to current drug therapies. Most of the rest of the aforementioned problems (including depression in some cases) can be treated by lifestyle changes.

3. Institutions of higher learning need to concentrate on expanding their nursing programs. Right now, it is nearly impossible to get into some programs while the nursing shortage festers and the unemployment rolls swell. Why not get some capable people back to work in something meaningful to society.

4. Individuals: Shop around and compare costs, even if the insurance company pays more for the more expensive option. Viagra as opposed to the mechanical methods, for example. Another I can give is that I take a prescription that would have cost over $130 a month and insurance would have paid about $32. I got a similar script at another pharmacy for $4 a month, no insurance needed. It pays to shop around.

Notice I did not include doctors and hospitals in this rant. Doctors work hard for years with little or no pay. They are hundreds of thousands in debt by the time they leave medical school and complete their residency. Hospitals have to be able to turn a profit and really don't have that high a profit margin (I've had health care management coursework).

The real solution to the problem will come when Jesus establishes His kingdom soon. Even being unemployed, I would much rather depend on Him than any earthly entity for sustenance.

Maranatha!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Easy to Understand...

Was talking with a friend on Facebook a couple days ago and he intimated to me that trying to read the Bible, let alone understand it, was tough. Back in my Catholic days, it wasn't necessarily taboo to read the good book, but the word was mostly spoon fed as a result of tradition. This friend also made mention to me that I've studied this a lot more than he has, but what he might not realize is that it isn't easy to understand for anyone, even in one of those newfangled translations.

(In fact, out of preference, I prefer to read the King James Version over others. It isn't that it's better than others, it's just that the Holy Spirit allows me to understand it as clearly as I'm writing now, or even more.)

Complications arise when we try to tackle it as we would a novel. I've done months of study on one book to get any inkling of understanding. This is the joy of reading it, as there is nothing written like it. You can read a Dean Koontz or Stephen King novel and though they are good, you can pretty much get the gist of it by reading it once. Every time I read a chapter or two in the Bible, I learn something more and it's feeding something more than a thirst for entertainment.

As far as entertainment goes, this is something I've had to re-evaluate and admittedly, I'm a bit of a prude. Good books are hard to find, and even those that look good end up being contrary to the Bible in some way, shape or form. It's where being able to discern comes in. For example, watched Armageddon (the movie with Bruce Willis) and knew the movie was at least misnamed. Yes, there are many plausible scenarios to the "end of the world" from a skeptic's point of view. However, Armageddon is a variation of a real place, Har Meggido, to be exact and this is more or less where a future, significant battle between good and evil is going to take place. This does not mean the connotation of the end of the world is correct. In fact, this is referred to in Revelation 19 when Christ comes back to destroy Satan's armies. See, the Bible is easy to understand.

We can fill our minds with objects that are a means to an end, or an end in itself. The Bible and a number of writings, even some fiction books, are good instruments of teaching and have redeeming value. The rest are simply a waste of time. Maranatha!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

If It Walks Like a Duck...

Watched a movie yesterday called The Knowing. It was a compelling story about a school teacher who finds a time capsule with some rather scary predictions about the future using numerology. The plot was that the boy and girl were being spoken to by space aliens and eventually taken from the Earth ahead of its eventual destruction by a solar flare (sorry for the spoiler, but this how it is). There have been a lot of end of the world flicks lately, including Deep Impact, the completely misnamed Armageddon, Artificial Intelligence, the Day After Tomorrow and a host of others.

In addition, there is also the 2012 theory that has everyone scared senseless. This is just because the Mayan calender ends on December 21, 2012 and the means to the end are everything from swine flu to an asteroid impact. While I'm not doubting that any of these couldn't cause a lot of death and destruction in the near future, there is a real problem with all of these theories. None of them take into account the Bible, the Lord's inspired works that are 100% accurate and reliable. Most prophetic wannabes are about 20% accurate and this about as accurate as anyone making a guess.

The Bible is one writing that we can always count on, but so many of us turn to Nostradamus for answers. Unlike the Bible, his prophesies are so vague that they can mean anything to anyone. One such prophesy of his said that New York City would die in the mid 1990's. While there was a horrible attack on the WTC in 2001, it was not the total destruction predicted. The Bible, though accused as being allegorical, is actually crystal-clear in prophesy when not clouded by Satan's minions. The Bible promised that Israel would be a nation again. Despite all odds of this ever happening again; including the Inquisition, Hitler, Stalin and all the rest, Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948. The Bible also corroborates with contemporary history, even to the point the Jews were in Egypt, despite the scoffing.

Again, this is a blog and I'm a blue-collar writer. But the most important aspect of difference between the Bible and the wannabees is the fear factor. No, not the show where people have to stick their hands in a tank of worms. It's the fact that all the latter want to scare people into the temporal being the only thing to live for. The nature of the Bible is not to be fearful, but to come to repentance. All other road see man as god, but the Bible sees the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit as the true god and everything and everyone as the creation. This alone is reason enough to take the rest with less than a grain of salt.

Maranatha!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

25 Random Facts About Michigan.

1. Michigan became a state January 26, 1837.



2. President Andrew Jackson signed it into law, making it the 26th state.



3. Michigan has had 47 governors, from Stevens T. Mason in 1835 to Jennifer M. Granholm in 2003.



4. Michigan has 83 counties in 2 peninsulas.



5. Michigan has more coastline than any other state save Alaska at 3,288 miles. That's a lot of beachfront.



6. Michigan has the dubious honor of having a Paradise in the Upper Peninsula, (been there) and a Hell (actually Pinckney, but what the, well, you know) in the Lower Peninsula (been there, Pinckney anyway).



7. Lansing is the capital city, but not the county seat. That honor belongs to Mason.



8. Michigan is the 8th most populous state in the union, we must be doing something right.



9. Michigan is the Wolverine State, but there are no wolverines. Try telling that to the U of M fans.



10. MSU has the largest student body of any Michigan University. (I went to Spring Arbor, no offense Spartans)



11. Vernor's Ginger Ale was first made in Detroit and the first soda pop made in the United States in 1862.



12. A person can stand anywhere in the state and be within 85 miles of at least one of the great lakes. (Being in such close proximity to fresh water is a luxury few other states have. A trip to Julian in California back in 1989 was a stark reminder as the main restaurant had signs encouraging patrons to save water).



13. The Packard Motor Car Co. in Detroit built the first air-conditioned car in 1939.



14. The University of Michigan was the first University established by any state. This was in 1817 and was originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit. The name was changed to the one we all know and love in 1821 and was moved to Ann Arbor in 1841. (I'm an equal opportunity fact-finder, by the way).

15. Michigan is the birthplace of rapper and Pimp My Ride host Alvin Joiner (Xzibit) 1974 Detroit, Steveland Morris (Stevie Wonder) 1950 Saginaw, Segar 1950 Dearborn, Singer Suzi Quattro 1950 Detroit, The Motor City Madman himself, Ted Nugent 1948 and Smokey Robinson 1940 Detroit (went to concert at the former Pine Knob about 10 years ago and he hadn't aged a bit).

16. Michigan is also the birthplace of astronaut and former senate hopeful Jack Lousma 1936 Grand Rapids. He ran against Carl Levin in 1984 (unfortunately lost) and was a member of the Skylab crew.

17. Depending on who you talk to, Michigan my Michigan, or My Michigan is the state song.

18. The turdus migratorius or American robin, a species of thrush, is Michigan's state bird. I believe it should be the aedes vexans otherwise known as the common mosquito.

19. The malus or apple blossom is our state flower, but the Taraxacum officinale or common dandelion is still in the running.

20. Michigan's state fossil is the Mastodon.

21. Kalkaska sand is the official state soil (who knew?).

22. The state tree is the white pine (pinus strobus).

23. The brook trout (solvelinus fontinalis) is Michigan's state fish.

24. Our state game mammal is the whitetail deer (Odocoilius viginianus). This animal is more dangerous than any bear, pit bull, shark, whale, Loch Ness Monster or Sasquatch in that it has a bad habit of running in the path of cars. In nearly 24 years of driving, I've had many close calls with deer.

25. The Dwarf Lake Iris (Iris laucustris) is Michigan's state wildflower. It is also very endangered. We used to see these a lot in the Upper Peninsula, but the penalty for picking them is serious.

The Heaviest Burden

There is a proverb that reads, "he who angers you, controls you." If I had to count all the people who've somehow wronged me, there would be a small phone book and one very upset handyman. In fact, the very reasons these might have happened range from these people hurting to just doing their job. It by no means excuses aberrant, non-repentant behavior (I'm not into excuses for anyone, least of all me) but it does attempt to explain the reasons, dear reader, that in fact we are not at the center of our hurts as much as we would like to be.

My biggest concern is that too many of us have ourselves as the center of our life. We claim to serve the Lord and others, when all we are really doing is trying to serve ourselves. This doesn't exclude me in the least. When I was a maintenance tech at an apartment community, there were more than a few ladies I would have liked to tell off to put it very mildly. They treated me so badly I wanted to quit. Such is the immediate and temporal nature of this life. It has taken me nearly four decades to realize the futility of such feelings of self-vindication.

Are there reasons to be angry? Of course there are, but these may or may not have anything to do with you. Ephesians 4:26 reads "Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down on your anger." I don't about you dear reader, but this is pretty strict in the Lord's eyes. When we're angry, we tend to want things our way. I'm angry that so many little babies are killed every day by an industry hell-bent on "choice," and that so many are deceived in turning to false gods and heretical doctrines that can only lead to damnation. This really makes the boss who belittled you in front of coworkers seem kind of trivial, doesn't it? This really shouldn't be on the radar of someone who's a Christian. In reality, this is something I struggle with daily.

Maranatha!