Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Technology Is Not The Devil

     In 1492 when old Chris Columbus set out on his quest, he found much more than he bargained for and he started a march to a new world.  Since that time we have come to intimately know virtually every corner of our new world.
     Using the word virtually was my way of segwaying (I don't think that's a word but you get the point) into a whole new virtual world that sits before us.  The digital age we are in holds amazing possibilities but like everything else positive in this world, there is a negative side as well.  While technology has brought with it some amazing advances in so many areas of our lives it has also brought forth evils and problems we have never seen before.
     Anonymity on the web has emboldened those with extreme views which has unfortunately allowed them to garner support and supporters from so many who don't bother to think things through.  People openly speak out against God, home, family, and everything we generally hold dear in our lives.  We have to worry about our personal information getting into the wrong hands.  We have to worry about our physical safety which alone forces many of us into anonymity.  We have to worry about our children's safety.  There is reason for concern in so many areas.
     So what is the answer?   Well, let's start with this.  Jesus said, "Why are you trying to remove a speck from your brother's eye when you have a log in your own eye?  Remove the log from your own eye so you may see better to remove the speck from your brother's eye."  My Grandma  said it a bit different.  She said, "Before you get involved, sweep your own back porch first."  The point is we must look after ourselves first.  Make sure we are right with God and doing His will.  I hate to point this out but there are many weak willed people in the world who are easily swayed and easily confused.  Unfortunately many of these people come into contact with those who have chosen the wrong path and they become willing followers.  Our fervent hope should be that we could be a shining example for at least some of these people and help to steer them in the right direction and we can only do that with God's help.
     An excellent starting place is prayer.  I recently heard my 10 year old grand daughter praying before bed one night.  She said, "Thank you God for helping me to believe in you and please keep helping me for the rest of my life."  This is something she came up with on her own and it made me think how important it is that we constantly put our faith in God to make sure we do the right thing.  It's a simple fact that if you are making yourself constantly aware of God's presence in your life it really is hard to do something you should not do.  Guess what!  By doing just that you have become that shining example I mentioned earlier.  Continuing on that path and reaping the rewards that path will give you will make people notice.  It will also make them question why and how.  You will know how to answer their questions because getting to that point has been with God's guidance and that guidance will not simply stop at that point.
     I must enter here a note of caution, however.  Do not be dismayed if someone who asks does not stay.  It's not logical to think we can turn around every person we meet.  Keep in mind when this happens that you have not failed as there will be many successes down the road.  Keep walking that straight road.
     How does this all tie in with technology, the digital age, the internet, and all that entails.  Obviously, unless you are a hermit living off the grid in a mountain cabin, you are going to come in contact with technology.  Whether it is using a credit/debit card for a purchase, having a doorbell camera, using Facebook or Instagram, or just surfing the web. Technology is everywhere.  Use it all in the right way and without denigrating others in any way.  There is a book entitled "God Is My Copilot".  I prefer to think God is my pilot and with Him in charge, it is much harder to stray.

My Love and prayers for you all,
Brother David

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Don't Judge That Behavior By A First Impression

     The 2 situations I am about to describe took place over several years.  I tell you this because I don't want my life to sound too eventful.
    Pete Nelson (name changed to protect the innocent) was a neighbor who lived just down the street.  I really didn't like the guy.  He was arrogant and seemed to care very little about anyone around him.  Where ever he worked, he had to be there early and he had two modes of transportation.  One was a motorcycle and the other was some kind of hot rod he worked on in his spare time.  Both vehicles sounded as if he simply opted out of installing mufflers and this was painfully obvious as he roared down our street every morning around 5:30 AM.  After enduring this for a while I finally got enough and walked down to his house to see what could be done.  I rang his doorbell several times and was about to leave when I heard him yell for me to come around back.  As I entered his back yard, I was absolutely transfixed.  Most of his back yard consisted of play equipment for kids, some of which I had never seen the likes of before.  Seeing my shock and fascination he explained that most of it was of his personal design and was made specifically to accommodate children with all types of disabilities.  He had two perfectly healthy children of his own but his sisters son of 6 has cerebral palsy.  He found out his nephew, like many other children with health issues, had never experienced the joy of a playground.  He had never ridden a merry-go-round or a seesaw.  We lived in a fairly large city and he discovered there were many children like his nephew so he decided to do something about it.  His designs and accomplishments were nothing short of amazing.  Most of his Saturdays were spent watching parents with their disabled children enjoying the fruits of his labors as well as designing and building new items for them to enjoy.
     Needless to say I was speechless and never said a word about the noise.  As a matter of fact, I didn't hear it a lot after that and when I did, I smiled.  The noise told me a good man was still kicking.

    Years ago I moved into a new neighborhood with my family.  The second day, a neighbor came over and introduced herself.  She set about telling us all about the neighborhood and the neighbors.  She said all of the neighbors were really nice except for one old woman who lived by herself and had nothing to do with anyone.  When she left, I made a bee line to the old woman's house.  I must say she seemed very apprehensive as I stood on her front steps explaining who I was but after a few minutes, she invited me in for coffee and the best chocolate brownies I have ever put in my mouth.  Her name was Ellen and after about half an hour of general chit-chat she began to tell me her story.  Almost 15 years before, her husband and 3 children were killed in a terrible automobile accident after which she withdrew into herself.  All she does now is go to work and come home.  Pictures of her lost family adorned every wall I could see. I have to tell you we cried together for quite a while but then we prayed together.  She desperately missed being around people and she said she often peeked through the blinds to watch when she heard small children playing in the area.  One of the things the first neighbor told me was how they had all seen her peeking at them when they were walking near her house.  No one understood all she was doing was watching that which she felt was that of which she could no longer be a part.  She was lonely and that loneliness was eating her up inside and she had no idea what to do about it.  I asked her if she was trying to keep her experiences private or if she would mind letting people know.  She simply said she did not care one way or the other.  Before I left, I invited her to our house on the following Saturday afternoon for what I was going to call a neighborhood get-together.  After applying a little pressure, she agreed to come.
     My wife heartily agreed to the get-together and as a matter of fact, she took care of most of the arrangements.  My job was to get the other neighbors to come.  My task was not difficult as most of the neighbors seemed thrilled to come.  Several of them did tell me not to bother the old woman because she would never come.  I just smiled.
     What I experienced that following Saturday was nothing short of a miracle. I know at first I embarrassed Ellen a little as I described what I had been told by so many of them and what I had discovered when I went to Ellen's house.  I told it to them the same way she had told it to me.  I don't think I have ever been in a situation where there were so many tears and hugs.
     Since that wonderful Saturday, Ellen's house became a standard pit stop for all the kids in the neighborhood.  I told you she made great brownies but it seems she also makes great cookies, cakes, and pies as well.  She also generally has her evening meal about 3 times a week at one of the neighbor's homes and she cooks burgers and hotdogs almost every weekend the weather allows and most of us stopped by for one.  She also became very active in her church and shone her light everywhere she went.
     Several years later, when my second child was due and we needed a bigger house, I went to tell Ellen we were moving.  Needless to say there were tears as I explained to her I had little to do with the change in her life.  It was Jesus that led both of us then just as He leads both of us today and just as He would continue to lead as long as we would let Him.  I continued to see her from time to time until I left the state.  I have never seen anyone who shined a brighter light than hers and I never saw it dim.
     We can never know exactly what our neighbors have done or been through.  What we do know, and sometimes forget, is Jesus's direction to love one another.  He didn't add any conditions to that such as unless they wake you up in the morning or peek out their windows at you.  Remember, hate is poison.  Love is the cure.

My Love and prayers for you all,
Brother David

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Requested but Not So Normal Post

     I’m not really sure how to address this so I will just ramble a bit.  The hormones in chicken are causing men to grow breasts.  Well, that’s a shocking first statement and I must admit not exactly on point (remember I said I was going to ramble and besides, I wanted to make sure I have your attention).  Exactly what the point is, is hard to articulate without making someone mad and I assure you that is not my intention but my, my, my, how things have changed.  So many people have asked me how I felt about this I finally decided to just lay it out in rambling fashion.
     In the beginning, the male of the species took the most dangerous tasks of hunting, providing, and protecting while the female was the gatherer and nurturer.  Please do not misunderstand as I must confess I myself am not much of a hunter but due to the physical makeup of the sexes, the rolls were pretty obvious.  This was true throughout the occupation of this earth by humans all the way into the 1960s.  Far be it from me to say the system was perfect as no system is but the system we are moving into is simply confusing. 
     Before everyone shouts at me, let me say I do believe women should be treated equally in the work force.  A job should pay the same regardless of who is performing those duties.  By the same token, payment for a job done should be based on job performance and not what sex or color a person happens to be.  Ah, but I digress…told you I was going to ramble….
     Speaking as a man, I just don’t like seeing men being emasculated.  I am sure there is a way to accommodate women and their goals without denigrating men.  One does not have to be bad for the other to be good.  It’s a lot the same way I feel about politics.  One party does not have to be demonized in order to build up the other.  And there I go rambling again…
     How is this?  God created 2 (two) sexes.  Now the government is telling us we don’t have to identify as our birth sex or any sex for that matter.  People are even coming up with new pronouns to avoid being masculine or feminine.  I’m having trouble wrapping my head around a 3rd choice.  Since manhood is basically being attacked, will a third sex choice then cause womanhood to be attacked as well?  Again I say, “My, my, my! How things have changed”.
     As for me, I will continue to do my best to love and respect all, regardless of their actions or thoughts.  I will continue to ask God to give me strength and the understanding I need to continue living in this beautiful world He has provided for us.  Too many people are angry.  Anger seldom accomplishes anything.  Love, by contrast, is a great warrior and if you don’t have enough of it there is only one way to get it.  Pray!  Pray again!  Keep praying!  God is good all the time.  All the time, God is good.

My Love and prayers for you all,
Brother David