Posted in Faith, Free Will, God, Iraq War, Jesus Christ, Justice, Life, Pain, Penalties, Politics, Racism, society, Truth

The someone who is worse

There is so much pain in this world.

From spiritual pain to physical pain, we struggle to deal with reality. We all utilize some coping mechanism for others to judge. We can’t seem to understand that we hurt.

You have heard people say, “no matter what you are facing, someone is going through something worse.” Well, I wonder who is on the tail end of that statement? Who is the final worse? Is it the man in  Iraq who lost his family during the bombings? We called it collateral damage. I wonder what he called it. Or is it the person whose siblings are all strung out on crack cocaine? Or maybe it’s the mother in Africa who watched seven of her 10 children die of starvation? Maybe it’s the 11-year-old boy who repeatedly got raped by his uncle. Could it be the teenager who gave herself an abortion on the bathroom floor? The gay guy who was beaten to death? The recent Black man who suffered lethal injection in Georgia for a crime that seven of his nine accusers recanted their testimony and no physical evidence connected him to?

I know it’s difficult to read these things. All of these are actual events that appeared in a newspaper within the last 6 years. Unfortunately, there were many more. I keep wondering who would be on the tail end of that quote. Who could be doing so bad as to trump every other bad happening in the world?

It’s gotta be the person who denies Christ.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Beauty, Books, Change, Giving, Greed, Happiness, History, Iraq War, Life, Love, Opinions, Pain, Patriotism, Politics, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Lessons confirmed in 2012

20130104-234856.jpgIf you are reading this blog, then once again there were foolish folks that believed the world ended a few weeks ago. We should all be thankful we made it out of 2012.

I have to say that I didn’t learn any “new” lessons, but I definitely confirmed some lessons I thought I knew. It’s always good to recap the previous year so that the next year is better. Each year we’re supposed to get better. Life is supposed to get easier. After all we matured didn’t we?

Well, I hope that you are enjoying the new year and you are already working your plan of action to make 2013 better than 2012. With that said, here are the top 5 things I confirmed in 2012. I’d love to hear about your list.

1) Read more non-fiction books and watch less TV! This one is a no-brainer. TV is run by corporate America and it is designed for one thing: To get you to buy the ads you see. There is science that supports the ability for ads to reach your subconscious mind. Your spending habits are linked to this. Now before you go thinking that I’m crazy, there is a company called NeuroFocus and they probe consumers subconscious by using Electroencephalography (I’m not smart enough to make up a word like this). The other problem with TV other than being a big waste of time is how your body handles your emotional reactions to shows. For example, whenever you get angry, your blood pressure rises and your arteries take a hit especially among older groups. So when you get so into a character on a show and their actions make you angry, your body doesn’t say, “Oh, you’re just watching TV.” Since your body can’t tell the difference, it handles that situation as if you were really angry.

2) Life is too short so to maximize your time you should spend time letting the people close to you know how important they are to you. Your circle of trust should know who they are. Your family should know they are loved because they heard you say it as well as demonstrate it. You should make sure you are living forgiven meaning that no one should die thinking you have a grudge with them or that you thought ill of them. Be known as a giver and allow others to benefit from your generosity — not just your money, but even more important is your time.

3) Get your house in order and keep it that way. This means that no matter how old you are the people close to you should know your advance directives and your wishes at end of life. We don’t know when our time is up, so it’s always a good thing — no matter how old you are — to have a plan and let those closest to you know what your plan is and the role they play in that plan. If you have done this, every year it’s a good idea to make sure it is current and your wishes are still the same. You want to make sure that the people involved in your plan at the end of life are still willing to carry out your wishes at the end.

4) Everyone needs a day of rest. God rested from his labors on the seventh day and he created us with the idea that we would need a break from the natural rhythm of life to reset. There is an awesome book written by Dr. Marva Dawn called “Keeping the Sabbath Holy” and she beautifully describes this concept and gives a lot of great information on the topic.

5) One of the most hurtful things is to have expectations for someone or something and get let down. It would help us all to remember that in America we make money. That’s what we do above all else. There are some secondary things that we do, but due to big business and politics, our system is flawed. Case in point: Sandy relief was recently left for the next session of congress because there was so much other stuff (like a new roof for the Smithsonian Institute) written into the bill. One would think that a bill with the subject Sandy Relief fund would only include things immediately related to people. I’m sure the Smithsonian probably does need a new roof, but at this point it is at the expense of the Sandy survivors. Our wars are about money and greed. There is an excellent documentary series by Oliver Stone on Showtime that talks about the untold history of the United States. It’s a sobering look at how the world sees and has seen our country over the years. This documentary has challenged me to re-evaluate what’s important to me and to help make America truly beautiful. Make the most of 2013 my friend!

Posted in Iraq War, Patriotism, Politics, Truth

Was it all worth it?

Finally!

Combat troops are out of Iraq and by the end of 2011 the rest of more than 50K soldiers left will come home.

It seemed like we were never going to get to this point. We heard words like “leave responsibly” and “finish the job” and so we waited  — patiently most of us – until the Obama administration made good on a campaign promise to end this war.

The looming question being asked today is: “Was the war in Iraq worth it?”

Some experts were quick to say “too early to tell.” Some war activists were quick to say “hell no, it wasn’t worth it.” The American people then began to line up and choose sides. Politicians struggle to try and say the “right thing” so as not to anger their constituents. We’re so predictable.

Seven years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, our troops headed out like thieves in the night. No celebrations, no victory songs, no pomp and circumstances … they just left. Where are the ticker-tape parades? If the media didn’t tell us, we would have never known they were leaving. Many of the troops interviewed seem to just be glad they got out in one piece. I’m glad they did, too.

Maybe they were thinking about their fallen comrades – more than 4,400 of them – which make us all, deep down inside want this war to be worth it. With a price tag of $750 billion of our children’s future spent, we try to remember the most important things and forget some of the things that haunt us now – and will continue to for a long time.

We’d rather remember the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue or maybe even his capture or execution. We try to forget that we put him in power over there in the first place, or that we never found any weapons of mass destruction. I even feel like I lost part of my Christianity for cheering with friends the day Saddam’s sons were gunned down in a vicious shoot out.

We’d rather remember the photos of the Iraqi people voting or their children going to newly-built schools. We don’t want to even talk about the number of Iraqi people who died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whether it was from a terrorist bomb or one of our bombs, I’m still waiting on an official count of their numbers. We don’t even talk about it, which should let you know how bad it really is. It makes me sad to even think about it.

The bottom line is that if we even have to ask this question, then we probably already know the answer. Was the Revolutionary War worth it? Were WWI and WWII worth it?

If my son comes home from school crying because some kid bullied him and his father allowed it and I go and beat up the man and spank the boy in front of my son, was that worth it? If a felon attempts to rape my daughter and I shoot and kill him, was it worth it? When did violence become the first option in solving problems?

NOBODY WINS IN A WAR and NO WAR IS EVER WORTH IT!

The only lesson to learn here is that America needs to get the beam out of its eye before trying to get the speck out of another country’s eye.

Posted in Iraq War, Truth

Absolute Truth

I remember in the 70s and 80s watching the “In Search of …” series on TV.

I recall thinking to myself how these people had chosen an impossible task. They were looking for things like “Big Foot”, “The Loch Ness Monster” and “Noah’s Ark”.

It wasn’t going to happen.

They were not going to find those things – and I knew that at age 10.

And I wondered how long it would take them before they got tired of searching and began to manufacture truth to prove a point.

You know what I mean – coming up with evidence that may not point toward whatever they were looking for, but could be used for such.

They would use it to justify what they were doing and – as long as we watched – they could keep going with their creation of truth.

It seems today that too many people believe that truth is just that – manufactured.

I wonder how many of us, in whatever we are searching for, are really searching for absolute truth?

Not absolute truth according to me, TV or this scholar or that scholar – I mean good old-fashioned universal undisputed Truth with a capital ‘T’.

Today, Webster’s dictionary defines truth as: “a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true … actuality.”

About 50 years ago, Webster’s dictionary defined truth as “agreement with reality; external principle of right or law of order.”

It seems in these two changing definitions we have clearly lost some things over the last 50 years.

Two things in particular:
1. Truth now has to be accepted as such – whether it’s real truth or not. If enough people believe it, then it will be accepted as truth
2. Truth no longer has to agree with reality or what is – as the latter definition states. We have made reality relative to us. Is that legal?

Have you ever put your trust in something (or someone) only later to find out that it was all a lie? The truth you thought you had then was eventually trumped by reality.

It hurt like hell, didn’t it?

You are not alone.

There have been many who were presented with information that was bogus – from pyramid marketing scams to information about your partner – we somehow found out the real truth – and discovered we had been had!

To add insult to injury, some of us even try and keep the lie going once we discover the error for fear of looking like a fool – or because we’ve invested too much in the situation.

This happened to us with the war in Iraq.

Whether the Bush administration or Congress knew prior or not, we went to war because we were told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

That lie got us over there and then we needed another lie to keep us there.

Our government gave us three:
1. Saddam was a bad person and a threat to us.
2. The Iraqi people needed to be liberated.
3. Being in Iraq would make us safer because we would then be fighting the war on Terrorism on the terrorists’ turf.

But the question remains: What about the WMD?

The problem is that no one will discuss is how we were lied to and how our sacred trust in our government was violated.

Even with a new administration, we are still fighting under these same false pretenses. We don’t need to be saved from terrorists – we need to be saved from ourselves.

Absolute truth is just that.

It doesn’t need to be rationalized or require a lot of explanation.

It’s truth.

God created it that way so we wouldn’t struggle to find the source – which is God Himself.

This is why Proverbs 4:7 says: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

I encourage you in whatever the field of study, whatever the circumstance, keep searching for absolute truth.

It’s there. You have to first desire it.