Sunday, June 15, 2014

People are Blinded by Reality!

It is frustrating when you see something clearly, and others are blinded to the reality you see. How can this be? An accident with a number of witnesses is a great example of our perception of reality. Ten eyewitness to an accident, ten different interpretations of the accident, some vary greatly. We are limited by our mind and experiences in our interpretations.

People speak their opinions as though they were truths. What is the truth in any situation?  The truth is a battle of perceptions. People can only see the world through their eyes. Thus, reality and truth are limited to a persons mind and to their small part of the world. People can only see what they are prepared to confront. Reality and truth are often observed but rarely seen since most individuals are incapable of seeing the truth. The truth has a way of getting lost when battled against someone dreams or their perception of reality.

It takes an extremely intelligent person that can sort out their opinion or viewpoint from facts. Our opinions are formed from emotions and our interpretations of facts. We are limited in our interpretations by our minds, experiences, and emotions. Reality or truth is often skewed by the limitations of our minds and emotions. People often confuse facts with their opinion.

Facts are distinguished from opinion since facts are verifiable. The problem arises when people are incapable of seeing facts. It is not what you look at that matters, but what you see. The truth has a way of getting lost when battled against someone dreams or their perception of reality. It has often been said people are blinded by reality.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What ever happened to telling the truth and talking about something that really matters?

Oh goodness, the election cycle is approaching. I strongly dislike the political ads and the half truths told by ALL parties. What ever happened to telling the truth and talking about something that really matters? What happened to common sense?

I was born and reared in a small rural county in North Carolina. I went away to college and lived away for a number of years. I now live and work in my hometown. I look around and I see my hometown as well as other small towns drying up, stores closing, many people unemployed, or under employed for years. The population at large is poorer than when I was a child in the 1970's. This is the world I see daily in small towns through out America.

The stock market has made back all the ground it lost. It has even set new records. Life seems to be good for a certain set. Yet, the masses are continuing to get poorer by the day. It did not happen over night, policies were changed in the early 1980's that started this ball rolling. We have all been fed sound bits to tell us these things were good yet they have eventually destroyed our very way of life in America. Small to medium size companies have closed and jobs are gone. This too happened over a number of decades. People look around and ask where have all the jobs gone?

The political scene changed in this country and it seems people get their information from a narrow window of sites that have fostered the change in America. They have added God's name to the recipe and now they draw in followers by the thousands. What happened to thinking for yourself? What happened to using the common sense God gave you?

There seems to be a common thread in all most all conversations I have with people about what is going on in America. We discuss a problem in America and eventually it goes back to deregulation. Many people do not realize there are three to seven large corporations that dominate almost all areas of our life. This type of market form is called oligopoly. I looked up the definition in Wikipedia and posted it below.

I am astounded by the vast number of Americans that have never heard of oligopoly. But if you get people thinking, they determine there are a hand full of companies that control the markets. They also see the problem this has caused in their lives and in America. Yet, they will turn around and repeat the sound bits they have been fed. I get so tired of hearing "big government".

Big government is not the problem. The problem is we need to regulate companies so small and medium size business can compete with these giants. Many Americans lost their jobs with deregulation. Small and medium size companies were put out of business by these huge companies. Mom and Pop stores have closed all over America in the past 30 years. Numerous Americans lost their jobs and have never recovered their way of life they had in the early 1980's.

The following information is copied from Wikipedia for your convenience.
Wikipedia definition of oligopoly is the following, "An oligopoly is a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers (oligopolists). Oligopolies can result from various forms of collusion which reduce competition and lead to higher costs for consumers.
With few sellers, each oligopolist is likely to be aware of the actions of the others. The decisions of one firm therefore influence and are influenced by the decisions of other firms. Strategic planning by oligopolists needs to take into account the likely responses of the other market participants.
Oligopoly is a common market form where a small number of firms are in competition. As a quantitative description of oligopoly, the four-firm concentration ratio is often utilized. This measure expresses the market share of the four largest firms in an industry as a percentage. For example, as of fourth quarter 2008, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile together control 89% of the US cellular phone market."

The following is examples of oligopoly companies in the USA.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)
"24.  This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."

These are the words that keep coming to mind today. God made this day for us to enjoy. God wants us to be happy and prosper. HE has our future laid out, a future with everlasting hope.

Some say it is not so easy to rejoice, since they have situations they face that put a shadow on their day. My reply is life is trying and difficult at times. Life is full of ups and downs. No manner the trial there is a way to rejoice even when situations overwhelm us. You see joy
is an attitude. It is not dependent on circumstances. We chose to rejoice because we have hope in Christ.

Happiness and joy are different please do not confuse the two. Happiness has more to do with circumstances. Our joy is a choice an attitude based on hope. Christians always have hope. There is hope because of Christ. We can cultivate our joy with an attitude of gratitude.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

**** Thanks to Scott Tucker & Ashley Green for the photo.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Are you worried or hopeful about the future?

I cringe when I hear professing Christians say they are worried about the future. They are worried about this and that. They never mention God in any of these concerns.

Christians are to be seeking the Kingdom of God. Jesus is suppose to be King of our life. God must control every area of our lives including work, play, relationships and future plans. I hear people talking about the future, but I never hear concern about the Kingdom of God it does not appear to be a concern.

The Bible teaches the Kingdom of God is to be central to all we do. God is suppose to be controlling our life. Jesus warns us not to worry about everyday life. Jesus warns about worrying about having clothes to wear or food to eat. God already knows our needs. God promises to give us what we need from day to day if we make the Kingdom of God our primary concern. Whew, this is a lot to understand, to process, to comprehend!

This is in Luke 12:22-48.

Jesus goes on to tell us to sell what we have and give it to those in need. What? I have to read this again maybe I misunderstood. No, I did not misunderstand. Jesus tells us to sell what we have and give the money to those in need. Jesus said, this act of obedience will store up treasure for us in Heaven. Our treasures will be safe in Heaven, no thief can steal it, and no moth can destroy our treasure. Jesus goes on to say wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.

Oh, goodness this is serious! I have read this many times in the past and this scripture keeps calling out to me. Listen what Jesus says, wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. Wow! The more I ponder this the more I see what God is saying. Many of us have our treasures stored on earth thus according to God our hearts and thoughts are here also. The significant of this scripture keeps screaming out to me. 

The Scriptures relating to this chapter keep surfacing in my mind. I am troubled by these scriptures. I believe God means what he says. So, why can't I as well as numerous other professing Christians follow God's word and sell everything we own and give the money away to those in need.

I try not to listen to the media movement putting down the poor or the ones in need. I can honestly say I do not have hard feelings for those on food stamps, or other forms of welfare. My heart does not resent the help my tax dollars provides for them. Yet, I can not seem to be obedient to the Lord and sell all I own and give the money to the people in need. I pray my faith will become stronger so I can be obedient to God. I do not want my heart attached to this world. I want my heart, and thoughts, to be in the Kingdom of Heaven. I want my treasures stored in the Kingdom of Heaven. Where are your treasures stored?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hardships and God

My Mom went through a horrible health experience March and April of 2013. She was in the hospital for surgery when she had a heart attack and spent 25 days in Shelby and Charlotte hospitals. She spent three weeks in skilled nursing home care after leaving the hospital via ambulance.

We are blessed and thankful she is alive. She has regained some strength and has been able to live with the new limitations that congested heart failure, a heart condition, and limited kidney functions have placed on her.

Her recent doctor visit does not reveal good results. We have noticed her kidney output is down. This is not good. Her kidneys are starting to decline even more. I am reminded she is on this journey homeward bound. We have been blessed with the last ten months for this I am grateful. 

My mind searches for scripture for comfort and strength. It is hard to understand there is a purpose in difficult situations, and in suffering. First, difficult times reminds us that we are human and have limitations. Secondly, we are reminded of  the suffering Jesus bore for us. Trying times and health problems help us keep prospective, that this life is fragile and can end any second. These hardships are a great opportunity for Christians to witness for Christ. We can see God's power in these situations. My Mom being alive today is a miracle from God.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Life is so fragile

Life is so fragile. Life can slip away in the twinkling of a eye. We need to treat people like it is the last time we are ever going to see or speak to them. I have friends that have lost love ones to sudden and fatal heart attacks. I have friends that have lost loves ones in auto accidents. They all say the same thing, "I wish I had known I would have"..... Learn from their tragedy, tell your family, friends, and neighbors how you feel each and everyday. You never know if it is the last time you get the chance to communicate with your love one.

Food for thought:

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
32. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

There is hope after death if you have been born again.

John 14:1-4
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.

This is for believers who have died.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NIV)
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Days

Snow seems to bring out the inner child in most people. The prospect of snow puts a smile on the face of many. It brings out an excitement in many and in others a sense of panic. I wonder if it is the nostalgia of care-free snow days that brings out the inner child in us.We have those precious times of sleighing and playing in the snow tucked away in our memories.

There are others a snow day gives a mini vacation from work or school. Snow days are times to eat junk food and load up on carbohydrates. It is all fun and games unless the power goes out.