Saturday, April 27, 2013

Perspective.


Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.  EVERY good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
James 1:16-18

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It's been almost two months since I've written anything in this blog.  When I have free time to write anything my book takes precedence. (I'll try and do a post simply about that one of these days.)

The good news is that the first 3 sections are ready to launch on Amazon as soon as my illustrator finish the intro. cartoons.  The stuff he's shown me is amazing!  I knew he was good, but I didn't realize just how good.


So anyway...

The news has been rather ugly of late, hasn't it?  "If it bleeds, it leads."

We've had bombings in Boston, a fire and explosion in Texas.  A few days ago a building collapsed in Bangladesh killing over 200 people.  We've had mass shootings a few months back, and our congress didn't have the testicles to pass a universal background check to try and stop a crazy person from buying a gun over the counter. (Even though 90% of the public support that.) And then you have a chubby little fellow over in N. Korea rattling his saber to compensate for his inadequacies.  And now I just heard on the radio a few minutes ago that the Taliban is preparing to launch its annual Spring offensive, and have promised many deaths.

I like that word, Annual.  It's like the annual fishing opener in Minnesota.  Or perhaps like the annual Spring training for baseball.

Oh the Joy in all of that.

I snort every time I hear someone say that people are basically good at heart.  A Believer should never use that phrase because it simply isn't biblical.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9

Now that's not to say that people can't do good things, or be a decent person.  But think about it for a moment.  Think about how relative the concept of Good and Bad are.

You can be a good person, a really good person, or even just a kinda-good person.  You can do many good things for really bad reasons.  Just think of the guy who uses all sorts of moves and lines to woo the girl at the bar into the sack.

When I hear someone talk about the goodness of people, it is largely an irrelevant term for me.  It means nothing.

What human beings are is sinful.  It's a condition.  It's not something you work at.  You just are.

On the other hand, God is Holy.

Sinful & Holy are like being pregnant.  Science has yet to achieve the ability to make a woman only sort-of pregnant.  You either are or you are not.

Now, since I've just sounded like a Negative-Nancy, let me pivot a bit.  There is, indeed, plenty of goodness in the world.  Biblically speaking, all of that goodness comes from God.  Christians like to use the term, Grace, and that's what I believe it to be.  God's grace is massive!  And I also believe that it is generally hard to comprehend.

I am fully convinced that when a militant Atheist who despises Jesus, acts with compassion & mercy and does something good, that good act was enabled by God's grace as a testament to himself.

So in that sense, yes, there is plenty of goodness in the world.  And I truly believe that the good we see should be celebrated, enjoyed and encouraged.  I think it is a healthy antidote to ugliness we see so often, that garners advertising revenue for the press.  And maybe, just maybe, when we see this goodness, we might think about praising our Father of the heavenly lights for all the amazing grace he extends so freely.



Yesterday, Rick McKinley (One of my heros in the faith) posted the following video on Face Book.  I re-posted it, and then it sort of went viral.  As far as viruses go, I could think of worse.  It actually made me cry.

Enjoy...and maybe tear up a bit.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.
Phil. 4:8 & 9

Peace

Joe