No Happiness Anywhere

2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? Eccl 1:2-3 (KJV)

 

King Solomon was the wisest king to rule over Israel, yet he remained unsatisfied with all that he did  He was unhappy with all his accomplishments  Wealth flowed into his kingdom’s coffers as freely as water fell from the sky, and yet he remained unhappy, seeing nothing worthy in anything he did.  When money didn’t suffice, he turned to drink.  When that didn’t work, he turned to pleasures of the flesh.  When that didn’t work, he threw himself into his labors, and still nothing helped.  Nothing made him happy.  I find myself in that same rut sometimes.  What’s the point?  Nobody is seeing these words.  Why bother writing them down?  What do you gain by doing this? DING!  There is where we go wrong.  Happiness is not something you can gain for yourself.  Happiness is given to you by God as a reward for faithful service.  If you start into a venture wondering what you will gain from it, you probably won’t be gaining happiness out of it.  Satisfaction, maybe.  Maybe even pleasure, but not true happiness.  Solomon realized this by the end of the book, but the first section makes you wonder if he is going to live long enough to learn.  Gloom and doom rides him like a tangible cloud.  The things that give you true happiness can’t be bought and they are treasures you will only find by giving of yourself.

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Amazing Science

I had the opportunity to watch God work this past weekend.  I watched how things that seemed coincidental to start out with fell into place and lined up to make a beautiful plan work and become fruitful.  As these things unfolded before my eyes, I heard Him speak.

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matt 6:26 (KJV)

While I heard this, He led my thoughts a little deeper, promising that He had more knowledge to share with me just a little further on.  What He showed me made me stop and ponder anew.  The main idea of all that He was showing me was ‘I am faithful.  All that I have said that I will do will come to pass.’  The parable about God taking care of the sparrows was just the tip of what He was actually saying.  I like to say that Science is just man’s way of describing God’s paintbrush.  For some reason I thought about that as I watched Him provide for His children this weekend, and the context of the two thoughts collided drawing back a curtain and revealing a new secret to me.  Think about it; God made everything.  So if God made everything, He also made science.  Science is basically man’s interpretations of the rules that make life possible and sustainable.  The rules that make the sun rise in the east and set in the west.  The rules that say the moon has power over the tides of the oceans.  The rules that say a ship can float and a plane can fly.  The rules of reality.  The rules of everything.  That’s a really big concept to break down.  Now add this into the mix.  If God created science, then every time a scientist succeeds in proving a theory, or recreates an experiment, God is proving to be faithful.  Every time science is used, it points back to the Creator.  Think about that for a little bit.  The next time you drop your car keys and they fall down and not up, God has been faithful.  When you turn on the light switch as you come home from work and the room is bathed in light, God has been faithful. When you say your name and sound are formed by the expelling of air though your mouth, God has been faithful.  So no matter how often science tries to prove there is no God, it will never be able to, because it cannot deny it’s Creator.  God is faithful.

Retro Post

With all my running around, and prepping for the convention Friday, I forgot it was Monday (until it was Tuesday).  So I’m afraid it will be a retro post this week.  Here is one of my favorites that was originally published in 2012 (wow has it been that long?);

Eye Problems

I recently went to the eye doctor.  Since I have worn glasses most of my life, I decided I was ready for a change.  I tried contacts when I was younger, but they were the hard lenses and were a lot of trouble.  With all the advances in the field of optometry, I thought I would give them another chance.   I tried them today, and was amazed at how much clearer my vision was.  I was also how much less of a hassle they have become.  I started thinking about how much trouble I’ve had with my eyes and then realized that God was showing me things from another angle, yet again.  I’ve always had eye trouble, and I’ve always had I trouble.  “I” tends to get in the way of so much that God wants for us.  We think we know what “I” needs.  We think we know what “I” wants, but when we get it, we are only happy long enough for the new to wear off of it.  When God gives us things, they are things that keep on making us happy.  The new never wears off of them and  it fulfills us.  I’ve been facing these “I” problems for the past couple of months without realizing it.  “I” was focused too much on what “I” thought God wanted for me.  “I” kept thinking “Why would God lead me this way?” when it seemed so contrary to the way “I” thought He would take me.  “I” forgot that He knows better than “I”.  “I” forgot that He can see farther than my “I” will ever be able to.  I’ve finally decided I need to stop trying to see things through my “I’s” and just let Him lead the way.  Amazing how a trip to the Eye Doctor can bring things into focus for you, isn’t it?

It’s Okay To Be Wrong

I am human.  That means that I make mistakes.  It also means I have a heck of a time admitting that I made a mistake.  Why is that?  Why do we insist that we are right all the time?  Why do we blind ourselves to the fact even when it is plain as day?  The funny thing is; stopping, admitting we’re wrong, and backing up to try something else would get everything straightened out a whole lot quicker.  Instead we hem, haw, and offer excuses, while we stubbornly continue doing the wrong thing expecting things to magically get better.  We keep going, hoping we can somehow work our way back to the right path without anyone noticing we took the wrong road.  It doesn’t matter that we have to work three times as hard to get there.  It doesn’t matter that we suffer all kinds of woes by continuing.  Maybe it is all part of the curse we (as humans) have brought on ourselves by disobeying God.  We can go our own way, and God will let us.  He will also allow us to reap the benefits of the choices that we make.

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Gal 6:7 (KJV)

The Illusion Of Clean

I picked up one of the coffee cups my kids had supposedly washed the other day, and it looked clean on the outside.  Upon further inspection I found a slight rim of discoloration in the bottom of the cup.  After pointing it out to them I went on about my day, but the thought stayed with me.  You see, it was the illusion of clean that fooled me into picking it up to begin with.  Had I not inspected it further, it is possible that I would have had to suffer through a bout of food poisoning (extreme worst case maybe).  Jesus warned the Pharisees about the illusion of clean in Matthew 23:25-28.  It reads;

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matt 23:25-28 (KJV)

Scrolling through the social networking on the internet, we are constantly bombarded with people and things that have that illusion of clean.  People that appear innocent as angels, and righteous as Jesus himself according to their posts and their profiles, but if you know them personally, you can see the real person behind the mask.  So if you are one of these people, keep this in mind; you may be able to fool all these people into thinking you are that mask of good cleanliness, but YOU have to look at yourself in the mirror.  You may be able to fool everybody around you, for a little while, but the truth has a way of coming out.  And in the end, the only thing that will really matter is between you and the one you can’t hide anything from.  Think that over for a bit and check the inside of your own cup.  Does it need another wash?

How We Role

The gate has fallen and the outer wall is breached, my friends.  We have been in a desperate war against evil in this fallen world since time began, and the enemy has broken our defenses.  Today’s society is the product of my own generation’s sad misconception of ‘how’ to raise your children.  Now those children are almost grown and preparing to take key roles in running our great nations and they have a skewed sense of what is right and what is wrong.  Respect is an old fashioned way of thinking; an idea that really has no meaning now what so ever.  Oh, there are still a few small bastions holding out, but even in those the poison of the enemy has seemed deep into the veins of our families.  I think that is exactly how it started too; with disposable families.  I’m not sure exactly when, but somewhere along the line family became a ‘fad’ or ‘fashion’ instead of a ‘responsibility’ and ‘privilege.’  There are kids out there now, as I write this that have no role models, and have no idea of how or even why they should show people respect.  And it is all of our faults.  We let it happen.  We are still letting it happen.  I think we may still have a slim chance to force the enemy back.  There is a slim ray of hope that still glimmers in the dark.  We have to lead by example now.  Show people respect, because little eyes are watching and learning from your actions and reactions.  They will remember how you treated others and they will emulate that as well.  It all resides with us, so do what’s right.  Be a role model.

Chapters

When I was growing up I checked a book out of the public library called ‘The Wizard of Earth-Sea’ (they eventually made a movie of it.  I wasn’t impressed).  I always loved to read, and had read enough that almost all of the books that the library had that I liked to read, I had already read.  I usually chose them at random.  A lot of times it didn’t even matter what genre.  I read everything from westerns to sci-fi.  When I would pick out a book, I would choose by how cool the artwork was on the front, barring that an interesting synopsis on the back, but ‘The Wizard of Earth-Sea” had neither.  It was a plain hardback book, with a hideous green cover, and the title in small flowing, black script on the front.  The only reason I picked it up was because it was something I hadn’t read that was in one of my favorite genres.  I read that book through in one night.  It was a short, but well written book, and I loved it.  The writer had a way with words that swept you along through his story, transporting you in all but body to his world where heroes and dragons faced off.  I would have really missed out on an awesome story had I judged that particular book by its cover.  People are like those books.  You never can tell what is hiding behind those covers, and if you refuse to read the first chapter because you don’t like the way the dustcover looks, you could be missing out on the greatest adventure of a lifetime.  I know we have all heard this particular piece of advice before, but I felt like we could all use a little reminder with all the hate-speak and political correctness going on today.  So before dismissing that person standing next to you in line, read the first chapter.  You might be glad you did.