Author: smcintos

Those dead children in the Kamloops residential school: One Lesson

You might have heard about a mass grave discovered in a residential school, in Canada. Recently, technicians with ground penetrating radar found something near a school at the city of Kamloops, BC. An investigation will confirm what they found, but the claim is that the searchers found the bodies of 215 children. The school was for native children “Indians” and the children were taken from their families, to the school, to adapt their behavior to modern society. The children were taken from their families by government order. The school in Kamloops was run by the Roman Catholic Church, for the Government. The school opened in 1890 and closed almost ninety years later. There are many rumors, and we don’t know what really happened. The investigations will continue, probably for years. We don’t know yet what the radar scanners found in the ground. There are old rumors of abuse of young students, in the school. It is obvious that before the time of modern medicine, with antibiotics and vaccines, and modern hospitals, children could die in …

A lesson to learn from pornography in video games: What do we really want?

What does a rich man want after he has everything he needs? More. We humans need to know who we are, and pornography can teach us that. I learned a lesson recently, when I found a video on the Internet, about problems with video games. Apparently, there are censorship organizations that restrict excess behaviour in video games. READ: Video Game Censorship I don’t play video games, although there was a time when I enjoyed flinging Angry Birds across the computer screen at other little animals. It was addicting. I watched the information video, out of curiosity, and I learned something about us. We like to mix good and bad; we like to do the wrong thing to get us to the right place; and we lie to ourselves. Those are all different views of the same thing. I was surprised to learn one thing about video games. When we can do anything, when we can go bad without restraints, we like to kill each other. Sometimes we settle for injure and torture. I used to …

Is COVID Vaccine the Mark of the Beast?

I have been surprised by something, recently. People who never seemed religious are now talking about Bible prophecy, and quoting Bible verses. I found someone watching an Internet video about the Bible, and what it says about our future. They seemed interested in what they were learning. One name keeps getting mentioned “The Mark of the Beast.” You might have noticed that this mark is somehow connected to COVID vaccinations, for some people. So, what is that ‘Mark’? The last book of the Christian Bible is called the “Revelation” and it refers to the Apocalypse. That word means “unveiling” and the picture is of a cloth cover being pulled away to show what is hidden. The future is unveiled. In the book of Revelation, a man named John had visions while he was a prisoner on a penal colony island called Patmos. He was a persecuted Christian, as an old man, and he wrote his visions down for us, including something about that ‘Mark of the Beast.’ John started with one vision where he heard …

COVID and Evolution – What is wrong with this picture?

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution gave us a universe with no God, and no possibility that God could exist. If life started by accident, probably in a drop of water, and then evolved to become many species, there is no place for God in the story. And this story is taught to us and our children in most of the world. This is not a small thing. Most people believe in some divine being or force, and science tells us we are wrong. What should a believer do? There is an old question that is interesting to evolutionists: ‘Why do we have an appendix?’ That tiny organ in our bodies has no known purpose, and it is dangerous when it becomes infected. Probably someone has an answer to the question, or at least a good theory. Another question that we should answer is: ‘Why do we have appendicitis?’ If we are the end product of millions or billions of years of evolution, why do we have such frail bodies? If doctors didn’t remove inflamed appendixes, people …

Israel and Gaza: Is this Armageddon?

Do you remember life two years ago? It’s blurry in my memory. If someone said COVID or words like Astra Zeneca, we might have guessed they were speaking another language. Then, a pandemic came on us, and life has not been the same. We are told that change will come on us: “The day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 2 and 3) That just happened. Everything seemed normal; I remember making decisions and plans for the next few years. I went to a work site one day, and I remember sheets of plastic hung from the ceilings to keep customers, people off the street, away from the workers at the counters. I had a bad feeling about that, and then someone noticed me. The workers looked at me like I was a strange alien creature, and they explained that I …

No, you cannot prove that God exists.

Have you ever seen a debate between and atheist and a believer? By ‘believer’ I mean someone who believes in God. You will hear one question in the debate; ‘Can you prove that God exists?’ Or just a demand: ‘Prove it!’ So, how do we prove that God exists? How can we direct our lives by something that we invented? These are atheist questions. READ: Does God exist? Watch Stephen Colbert and Ricky Gervais debate Something is happening among us, and it is scary. We are building prisons. I used to work in a large university, and I think I was appreciated for my work. I wrote and published papers with colleagues and I spoke at conferences. I was also involved in an international organization with members from many schools, and they made me the coordinator of one department. I learned later that some of my papers were required reading in a graduate program. That surprised me. I had a job and I worked hard at it. Academic work is not for geniuses who think …

The War in the Woods: Whose god will win, Racism or the Environment?

In British Columbia, the western province in Canada, environmental protesters are blocking loggers who want to cut down trees. That is not surprising. The activists would probably tell us about climate change, if we could talk to them. Also, in that part of the world, “Racism” is often presented as discrimination against native people. The natives are the “people of color” in that region, and they are concerned about their place in society. They also own the trees that the loggers want to cut down. The loggers are working for them. The native community spoke up to say that they have “always harvested and managed our forestry resources” … [and] “We do not welcome or support unsolicited involvement or interference by others in our territory, including third-party activism.” In modern activist thinking, people who oppose the natives could be labelled as racists. Without choosing sides, this is a clash of titans: A common word in the news these days is “racism.” Anti-racist protesters can be violent in the streets, and careers can be ruined by …

What’s happening with Darwin’s evolution?

In 1859 Charles Darwin published his book “The Origin of the Species” and he described what we call his “Theory of Evolution.” Today Darwin is described as a “naturalist” because he was interested in natural things, but “Naturalist” was not really a profession. Charles Darwin was educated at Cambridge University and his professional training could be described as theology or divinity. He was trained and qualified to be a minister in the Church of England, and he was similar to a graduate of a Bible College today. His theory of evolution gave us a universe without God; a place where life emerged from nothing and evolved into what we have today, through natural processes. It was a way to explain the creation without the creator. We can read Darwin’s book as theology, and not just biology. I think we all know there is a religious argument in the theory of evolution. Sometimes, when I’m driving in traffic, I see a fish symbol on another car. That is supposed to mean the driver is a Christian, …

Change your religion? I don’t think so.

Take a good look at yourself. Here is a question we should all answer about ourselves: How much of me was chosen by me? Or: How much of this person was designed by the owner? In public places, I see some interesting hair colors and styles, and tattoos. I’m not a big fan of tattoos because people change as they grow older, and a tattoo will endure long after the idea changes, or he breaks up with that girlfriend. Hair grows, and it turns grey. I am reminded when I look in the mirror. Our grandchildren can laugh at the crazy things we did with our hair, if they see the pictures. We like to think that we choose to be who we are and what we do, and most important, we choose what we believe. So, how much of you is you, and how much was imposed on you by family and other people in your life? I had a text message from a young man that I know well, and he was worried …

Stopping COVID … in Israel?

I remember this time last year, when we were told that COVID 19 would be gone by now. We had a spike in the number of infections in March of 2020, and then the numbers declined. I was one of many people who were told to stay home from work, in March of 2020. My employer was good to us, and kept us on the payroll for weeks; and then, when everyone thought that COVID-19 was disappearing, we were sent back to work, with safety precautions. And now here we are. Where I live, the virus is active and now we have mutations of the virus, that may or may not respond to vaccines. The medical authorities are warning us that the mutations, variants, are spreading rapidly. Also, there is growing concern about vaccines that are not fully tested, and are only permitted for emergency use, and are not widely available. Where I live, people are arguing in public places. A man tried to correct some strangers who were not wearing masks in a shop, …

Get a new life: Are you ready to start over?

I am writing this article on the Easter weekend, when Christians remember that Jesus was executed on a cross, and then that He came back from the dead. That’s the biggest restart in history. There are other ways to start over, and the biggest cause that I know is growing older, and reaching retirement age. Life starts over, even when we don’t want change. There’s a line in an old song “I don’t remember growing older.” About the time I reached retirement age, the COVID pandemic arrived. At the time, I was happy to keep working and my employer wanted us to move to a smaller city, where houses are not expensive. That made me happy, and I found a nice little house with a small cost, and I was about to make an offer. Then COVID hit. Who wanted the COVID virus? I remember a day when I went to work, at a client site, and people looked at me like I was crazy. I also noticed that the places where workers spoke to …

The Disinformation Dozen: Should people be banned?

This afternoon, we went for a drive, and we passed a small park. Usually it’s a small open space, with no-one there. Today I was surprised; the tiny park was filled with people, families with little children and several dogs. I guess we all want our spring break. I was surprised by something else; no-one was wearing a mask. COVID safety didn’t seem to be a concern for anyone. People were just enjoying the sunshine, as if the COVID pandemic never happened. Call it COVID denial, if you like, but I see this and hear this everywhere. My work takes me to many places, and I haven’t found anyone who really believes what we are told about the virus and vaccines. I have seen one organized protest, but most people just get on with their lives. The Government and medical authorities tell us what we should know, and do, and everyone thinks what they want. The disconnect is huge, and growing. If you are wondering, I am not a denier, or a strong supporter of …

The Atlanta Killings: Why we need to be bold

You probably heard the news about the killings near Atlanta, Georgia recently. On Tuesday, March 16, a young man took a gun and killed eight women in massage parlours near the city. Six of the women are described as ‘Asian’ and apparently they were from Korea. The man with the gun claimed to be a Christian and attended a Baptist church. It’s a terrible event. It’s also complicated. The man with the gun claimed that he has a sex addiction and he was trying to remove temptation. The victims were all female, and most were Korean, and apparently most of them were older than forty, or even fifty. They were at work when someone came in with a gun. READ: Suspect in Atlanta-area spa shootings might have intended more shootings in Florida, mayor says That seems simple, but in the morality of our times, there is now a hunt for someone to blame. The victims were all women, and the killer might hate women. That would be a feminist interpretation. The victims were mostly ‘Asian’ …

Was Jesus a racist? Should we cancel Him?

Was Jesus a racist? Some people claim that He gave a racist put-down to a woman who asked for help. If the accusation sticks, Jesus might be cancelled. One label that we all don’t want is “racist.” It’s the new mark of shame. Statues are being pulled down and schools are being renamed, and careers are being terminated. The Royal Family is being severely criticized, and books by Dr. Seuss are being cancelled from publication. My concern is that racism will no longer be a social issue if everyone is called a racist. The label needs to be applied with care, or there will be push-back and denial. Also, people can learn to keep quiet when they might be judged, without changing their ideas. I know someone who is a manager in the radio business, and he will not tolerate any jokes that make fun of groups of people. I don’t think he is racist, but he is also extremely careful to avoid a label that might ruin his career. Prejudice and bigotry exist everywhere, …

The sciency argument: Prove to me that God exists!

Are you an Atheist? Do you know one? I am writing as someone who believes in God. Imagine the arguments I could have with an Atheist. You can only imagine, because I don’t want those arguments. Prove to me that God exists! / Prove to me that God does not exist! There is no answer to those questions. We all choose what we want to believe. The words of the Bible: “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) We can’t prove the existence of someone who is invisible, who tells us that He is invisible. We can be convinced somehow, and we can choose to believe, or not. You might have read an article, in the news, about how Physics can prove that God does not exist; or maybe prove that He does. The article keeps getting published with different titles. I think the title is click bait, to get our attention, and the words that follow are a good explanation of why we can’t prove anything about God. READ: Can …

Why is that pastor in jail?

We were driving today, and we went further than we usually do. We drove out of the city to a suburban place, for our shopping. That travel is permitted, under our COVID restrictions, the change of scenery was nice, and I like to get away from the busy places where infection rates might be higher. It was all good, until I saw a huge crowd of people, on a street that is usually quiet. We drove closer, and we saw people waving signs, to protest something. It was a surprise. When we got close, we could see that no one in the protest rally was wearing a mask, or doing anything to prevent Covid infections. There was no social distancing in that crowd. A large crowd of people were protesting something at a suburban courthouse. I didn’t have to ask what was happening. A pastor named James Coates is in jail because churches are restricted, for COVID safety. READ: Despite pastor behind bars, members of GraceLife Church near Edmonton continue to defy COVID-19 rules My …

Online Censorship: Are they banning the Bible now?

Are some parts of the Bible being banned from the Internet? A woman in England, Seyi Omooba, posted some Bible quotes about homosexuality on Facebook. She stated that the Bible position on the subject is “clearly evident.” Several people called for her to be fired from her job, and later she was fired. READ: Theater Fired Christian Actress for Facebook Post Citing Bible Verses on Homosexuality, Suit Says That was not censorship by Facebook. She lost her job because people read her quotations from the Bible, on Facebook. The issue is now in the courts, and I’m sure the managers at Facebook don’t want to be involved. Other people have claimed that some parts of the Bible cannot be quoted on some Internet platforms. Paul Joseph Watson recently posted a video “Facebook bans Bible passages to YouTube.” His claims were investigated by Newsweek, and reporters questioned Facebook management. After an internal investigation, Facebook apologized and reversed the decision to ban the video. The Newsweek article is “Facebook Unbans BibleHub Passages After Censoring Them ‘In Error’” …

The new morality: Have you been cancelled yet?

So, have you been cancelled yet? Maybe not you personally, but has someone changed the name of a local school or sports team? Have they removed a statue? Are you offended? It happened to me. When I was a boy, I went to a school named after a famous man; Frank Oliver. This was an inner city school, and we had our share of big kids who liked to fight. It didn’t help that a large psychiatric hospital was named after the same man. You can imagine how we were teased, by kids from other schools; and I remember how we defended ourselves. They accused us of being from the other “Oliver.” There are parts of my childhood that I would like to forget. The name problem went away a few months ago, when the name “Oliver” was cancelled. Apparently the man “did great harm” and his name could not be used on a public facility. As a government leader, he was involved in decisions to put native people on reserves. I can’t speak for …

Persecution: What do you really believe?

Most people reading this are completely free to follow any religion, and to change their minds any time. We are free. We are so free that some believers have a hard time explaining what they believe, and maybe some struggle to understand what they believe. That is the price of freedom. I remember going to church, when I was a boy; my whole family went to church, and I had no choice. When I became an adult, I decided what I believed, and who I was. That was a big adjustment for me. In some places in the world, it’s very important to know what you believe. A person can be prosecuted, and even killed for believing the “wrong” thing. “Wrong” is an idea from the government or some powerful organization. We may be going in that direction in the comfortable free countries. READ: Varvel: Why ‘The View’s’ Joy Behar finally apologized to Mike Pence If you are a Christian, how do you feel about the accusation that you are mentally ill? In the U.S. …

What happened to those extra books in the Bible?

Someone phoned me, the other day, and asked me a question I did not expect. He wanted to know about the extra Bible books, the ones Protestants don’t include in their Bibles. There are at least seven extra books in Roman Catholic Bibles, and even more in Orthodox Bibles. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the most liberal, with the most books in their official Bible. Strangely, this is an issue for many young people today. I thought this was a boring topic that only a few scholars cared about, but now we have a younger generation, and they have questions. When was the last time you had a conversation about the Apocrypha, the Deuterocanonical Books, or the Septuagint? Me neither. The question from my friend was from someone who doesn’t read the Bible, I think. He never mentions it. The question about those extra books is like a challenge; ‘If you people can’t decide on the official version, I won’t start reading the Bible.’ We talked, and I hope the conversation was useful to him. …

Is it wrong to leave your religion?

When I was a boy, I would walk home from school with a gang of my friends. I still remember trudging through the snow, and shouting. We argued all the way home, and for us there was only one belief. Who had the best car? We didn’t drive cars, or even ride bicycles, but we were passionate believers. I think we mostly believed in the cars that our fathers drove. One friend was the son of a church minister, and he lived in a manse, a house next to a church. He believed in Fords. We were all deeply convicted, and we knew the others were wrong. We were human beings trying out adult ideas. Since then, I have changed. I still don’t own a Ford, but I am open to the idea. There are powerful forces in this world. Eighty percent of all humans identify with a religion, and probably the other twenty percent believe something strongly. Some belief systems function like religions, in people’s lives. Believing is a common human experience, just like …

Are religious people stupid?

You may have heard the arguments, psychologists have done many studies, and they have found that atheists are more intelligent than religious people. Here is a quote from an article linked here: “the research found that atheists performed better overall than the religious participants even when demographic factors like age and education were taken into consideration. Agnostics mostly placed between atheists and believers on all tasks.” READ: Atheists are more intelligent than religious people, finds study How does that make you feel? One question is; does religion make people stupid, or do stupid people choose religion? I’m writing as a Christian; I believe in the God who made this world, and I believe that Jesus made the way for us to find God. Does that make me stupid? Recently, I explained what I believe to a young relative of mine, and his answer was something like “How can an intelligent person believe that?”  I still have a good relationship with my relative, but the experience taught me some important lessons. When believers are accused of …

2021: Do we have a future now?

A few minutes ago, I got a surprise. I went for a walk, and the winter ice is slippery, so I was doing my careful penguin slide-walk. You have to live in a place with cold winters to know what that means. A neighbour came by, walking in the same way. We said the usual “Hello, how are you?,” and he was very happy to know that I was doing well. We walked together for a while, and he told me how concerned he was about our personal freedom. You probably know someone like him, and maybe you agree with him. Conspiracy people. He told me about a place that has a curfew, where millions of people are not allowed out at night, and this is supposed to keep us safe from the COVID virus. My neighbour bought extra groceries because he isn’t vaccinated. Apparently, he has been praying for me. I did not know that he had any religious beliefs, but he is very concerned about our future. I hear words like his in …

Our History and Our Future: What scary things will happen in 2021?

Our History and Our Future: What scary things will happen in 2021? This is a history lesson. I am writing this on January 1, and everyone I know is worried about this new year 2021. What is going to happen? Should we worry? I might have an answer, and I found this answer in my closet yesterday. Our history is our future. We haven’t changed. Recently, I was reading something, and I saw two words that reminded me of something: “Nikolsk Ussurisk.” That led me to a search of my closet, and I found those words again. This is the story, from the beginning, including the parts where I guess what probably happened. I have a tiny French New Testament, published by the American Bible Society, in 1910, and probably printed in the U.S. It’s in excellent condition, and probably no one ever read it, including me. A few words are penned inside: “French” to tell English speakers that it’s a French Bible, and some faint handwriting “Franz [something] Nikolsk Ussurisk [something] 7/VII 1920. That’s …

Low Temperature Religion: Is a Muslim Christmas possible?

There are stories this Christmas of Muslims putting up Christmas trees and putting gifts under them. I have read at least two of these stories in the news. The Muslims, in the stories, are immigrants living in places where most people celebrate Christmas. This seems strange; the holiday is Christ-mass, the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Until now, Muslims never celebrated Christmas; they had their own special events on the calendar. From the descriptions, it looks like some Muslims chose to celebrate a cultural Christmas, with a decorated tree and presents, and maybe some thoughts about a jolly fat man coming down the chimney. There were probably no herald angels on the tops of the trees, and probably no manger scene with a baby Jesus. They were having fun, and enjoying the season. It’s easy for me to understand, and smile, and I am sure some strict conservative Muslims do not approve. These events happened in places where Muslims were immigrants, and a minority in the population. READ: I’m Muslim and didn’t celebrate Christmas …

What is Melchizedek’s Temple Zero?

If you haven’t heard yet, you will learn soon about ‘Temple Zero’ in the city of Jerusalem. Long ago, the city of Jerusalem was named ‘Salem’ and it had a king Melchizedek. That king was a priest of the same God that the Jews and Christians worship, and we are told that Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation respected him and gave him some generous gifts. Now, some people claim that ‘Temple Zero’ has been found, in Jerusalem, and tourists can see it. READ: Temple Zero in Zion | Melchizedek’s Anointed Standing Stone in Jerusalem We can be cynical. This discovery may boost the local tourist industry, and someone will probably charge admission, if you want to see an old piece of stone. We can also know that a stone in Jerusalem probably marks a place where the God of the Bible was worshipped, and the people who worshipped there were not Jewish. The Israelite or Jewish people came much later and built a temple on a hill at Jerusalem, and rebuilt it twice. …

Radical Disruption: Your life is about to change.

How are you doing this year? Did you see all these changes coming, in 2020? I didn’t. It’s clear to all of us that things are still changing. Everyone I know does not like the restrictions with the COVID pandemic, and we wonder when things will be normal again. That will be never. Disruption to our lives, and the cost of coping with COVID restrictions is forcing businesses, employers, to close; and they might never re-open. The world has changed forever. READ: Covid-19 will permanently change the world’s economy So, what does that mean to us? What happens when my life changes, and keeps changing? What will happen to you? This is not an abstract economic theory, this is a permanent change to the way we live, and it has already happened. Soon we will see and feel the effects. I work at a job that I really enjoy, and in a few days it will all be over. I can’t tell you what it is until the work has stopped because I work under …

The Covid Crisis: Are you ready for the virtual God?

We are living in strange times, and this is a very strange year. I don’t want to criticize the authorities who must make hard choices, but some restrictions are strange. Where I live, the government and the medical authorities are being cautious with social restrictions. We are mostly warned to be careful, and given good advice. I haven’t heard about fines or arrests for breaking the rules. My work, for the government, is high-risk, and I have a generous supply of spray cleaner and hand disinfectant. I also have training on how to use the cleaners and stay safe. A neighbor goes to a church near us and they are probably still refusing to wear masks in their services. No one is talking about this in the news, my neighbor told me when I met him in the back alley. Do you believe in God? If you are a believer, what tells you to believe? What are the signals that you need? Do you attend a church or a temple, a mosque or a synagogue, …

Have you found your four-hour work week?

Last night we went out to get some chores done, and I almost had a life-changing event. Something almost happened, and if it had, I probably would not be writing this; I would be in some state of anguish. I was driving home in the dark, on a freeway. Here is some advice from me; limit conversations while you drive and watch the road ahead. That’s what saved me. I also give God credit for watching over me. In the darkness, on the freeway, I thought I saw something dark in front of me. All conversation stopped, and I saw a man walking in a traffic lane, with his back to the traffic. I guess he was trying to commit suicide, and probably under the influence of something. Somehow, I was able to slow and swerve, and I missed him. We called the police as soon as we could, but I haven’t heard if they found anyone. Imagine your vehicle badly damaged, and a dead body lying on a freeway at night. That did not …

Orthorexia Nervosa: Do you have a food religion?

Are you a Vegan, or a Keto Carnivore, or maybe a high-fat, low-carb foody? Are you into fasting, or apple cider vinegar, or PSMF (Protein-Sparing Modified Fast), or the Paleo Diet, or is your diet Perfectly Balanced? I might have missed a few options. In our COVID 19 pandemic there are new ideas. Are you getting enough vitamin D? After decades of fast food and other unhealthy eating, we have a pandemic of health problems, often called metabolic syndrome, and often leading to permanent diabetes. This is happening in the wealthiest parts of the world, where we have an abundance of food at low prices. It seems that we make bad choices, when we have the power to choose. Here is my version of the “Bratman Test,” a method to test if you have Orthorexia Nervosa, or maybe a food religion: Does your healthy diet interfere with relationships and your social life? Do you feel guilty if you eat food not approved for your diet, and do you judge others who break your rules? Does …

My Father Died: Where do I go from here?

I don’t like to write about personal things here, but this was a shock to me. I got a message from my sister that Dad was failing, in his nursing home, and we needed to say goodbye. That was Sunday, and he lasted until Monday afternoon. I am waiting for the funeral to start as I write this, If you are wondering, I’m doing well. Dad was 95 and he lived a good life. He finally died from old age, and not from any accident or illness. In this pandemic year, when everyone seems to be angry about politics, my Dad reminded me that I have a personal life. Dad gave us a stable family and a heritage to be proud of. When I was a boy, we visited the home farm and Dad pointed at a local cemetery and said” Simon Fraser is buried there.” The huge city of Vancouver is on the Fraser River, and in the suburbs is Simon Fraser University. That famous man was a neighbor near the family farm, on …

Is the U.S. election in Bible Prophecy?

The United States is completing an election, as I write this, and what an election it has been. The two sides were divided and angry from the beginning, and the results will be almost a tie. When one side is finally declared the winner, the other side will argue about dishonesty and corruption in the voting process. There will be legal challenges, probably for months, and some people will never accept the results. For the record, I am not choosing sides, and I hope everyone involved can find a good future. This election has divided the people of the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world, and the whole world will feel the fallout. There is no middle ground, or neutral position. The nation is divided. This must hurt; the Russians are laughing at the Americans about the election: READ: Russian media serve up smugness, mockery after U.S. vote This is huge. So, is such a world-changing event in Bible prophecy? The Bible says many things about the future, and it focuses on things …

Employment: Do we have a future?

“Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?” Do you know that old song? It sounds like a Christian gospel song, except Janis Joplin, who sang it starting in 1970, was making fun of materialistic Christians. There is some truth in every criticism, and my friends and I knew the truth, when we heard the song. The point I got from that song is that my Christian life was more than an extension of the surrounding culture; it was a whole new life. We live in a world of greedy and materialistic people, and Christians can be greedy and materialistic people who also go to church. Janis Joplin was mocking those shallow religious pretenders. The truth comes from many places. We could pray for a few things, or we could have a new life. So, what is new for us in this terrible year of 2020? We need something new. On Thursday of last week, I was told to log into an online staff meeting, for my work. I expected something boring, and it …

And you think you have problems: Other People

How big are your problems? This is the year when things really go wrong, and we all can feel the effects. The man with the most problems, that I know of, was Job. He lost everything that was important to him, including his children and his health. I remember reading his depressing story when I was young because I thought those Bible stories were good for me. It’s a depressing story about human suffering. “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3: 25 and 26) I didn’t feel pumped after reading the story, but I did learn something useful. God told Job about other parts of the world, when he complained about his suffering. “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?” (39: 1) and “Who let the wild donkey go free? Who untied its ropes?” (v 5) and “Will the wild ox consent …

This year: Does anything matter?

Have you noticed that Internet sites and videos now come with advertising? And this is the year of the angry radical, shouting for something and burning things down. Everyone wants a piece of us. In the last few days, we had some early cold weather. Our rain barrel is frozen over and I can’t break the ice. I would break it because I saw a big bird, a magpie, trying to get a drink of water. The bad news for the birds might be good for us. We have experienced some petty crime in our neighborhood, and the police don’t like to get involved, if the offenders look poor. It was becoming scary, and then the cold weather came, and kept most of us in warm places. I feel safer in the cold. Also, several elections will happen in the next few weeks, and maybe people will stop bickering and shouting so much, when decisions are made. We could use some peace, in this troubled year 2020. What is important to you? If I went …