A good neighborhood

Basic factors for a good neighborhood
A neighborhood is determined by the street on which you live. Its factors include your neighbors who live there adjacent to you, any businesses that also operate on that street, the nature of the street, the way in which people and their vehicles move on that street, and the nature of the fellowship that you share with your neighbors. Each of these factors affect the quality of life that you and the residents of your house experience every day in your lives. Pulling the shades and locking the doors cannot isolate you all from the effects of these factors of your neighborhood upon you all. When you leave your house for any reason or your children go to school, the effects are there. Certainly when the children play or relax outside in their “free time”, they are personally affected by the quality of these factors upon their ongoing experiences of learning how to live and function with others.

Quality of these factors for a good neighborhood
The primary quality for these factors and their total effects upon you and the residents of your house is probably the matter of safety. Do you and the residents of your house feel safe each day living in your neighborhood? If not, you probably take some steps to avoid being exposed to any dangers, but the effect of living in fear much of time will seriously effect you and the residents of your house. Does the street provide for the easy flow of traffic in both directions and for parking vehicles? What kind of public vehicles regularly move on the street? Are there sidewalks for those who walk, especially for the children? Are they well maintained even in winter? Is there any space for the children and youth to play and to relax together? Are the businesses that operate on the street conducive to attracting visitors to the neighborhood who will maintain its “good” qualities? Do their hours of operation allow for some quiet time in your neighborhood, especially during the early morning hours of each day. Are the utilities to all of the facilities well maintained and all of the properties clean? Do the public law enforcement agents work with the residents to maintain a safe neighborhood and enforce the laws for civic order on the street and in the various facilities of the neighborhood? Is affordable trash pick up regularly provided for everyone in the neighborhood? Do you enjoy wholesome fellowship with your neighbors?

Most of these qualities have little to do with the economic level of the residents who live in the houses in your neighborhood. Responsible adults should be motivated to maintain a normally “good” condition to their residencies and to keep them clean. Everyone in the neighborhood should be motivated to respect the rights of others for safety and privacy. Being a “good neighbor” should never be a matter of economics.

Let’s talk about a good neighborhood
What factors of your neighborhood are important to you to make it a “good” place to live with the residents of your house? Which of these factors could be improved? Who should make the appropriate improvements? What are you willing to do to make your neighborhood a “good” place to live? Meeting with local community officials in a convenient center to discuss various issues of concern will probably not be a permanent strategy to providing a good neighborhood for you and the residents with whom you live.

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Good Tools

The need for good tools
I’m sure that you recognize the necessity of having good tools at your convenient use every day. I assume that you probably could not create an itemized list of all of the different items that you use as tools to help you with all of your various actions that you carry out every day. And the manufacturers of such tools are constantly changing them and creating new ones to provide you with more effective help in your daily tasks and you have to find more space in your home for their storage in cabinets and desks and their display on many flat surfaces that will still keep them conveniently available for their regular use.

The quality of a good tool
I’m sure that the basic quality of a good tool has to do with whether or not it enables you to effectively do what you intend to do with it. If it works as it should, you probably evaluate it as a “good” tool. If it gets damaged or wears out it may no longer work as it should. If the items that it was initially designed to enable you to handle are changed to the extent that the tool no longer works on them, then it is no longer a “good” tool in your cabinets or desk on your counters or tables. What other factors, in your opinion, determine the quality of a tool that you keep for regular use in your daily activities?

Let’s talk about good tools
Let’s talk about this. The qualities that you deem to be necessary for the good tools in your homes is a worthy topic for some thoughtful discussion beyond the benefit of saving some of us from making some expensive purchases.

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Personal Safety

The basics
There seems to be a high level of agreement among American citizens, legislators, and judicial officials that personal safety is a right to which everyone is entitled in our country. And it is generally recognized that it is the duty of legislators to pass laws that will make any action that threatens the personal safety of another person a crime. And it is the duty of all elected and appointed judicial officials to enforce these laws in order to secure the personal safety of the individual children, youth, and adults who live in these American states. It is also clearly understood by most mature individuals and government officials that it is a crime to take the life of another individual unless its necessity is specifically justified by laws of self defense or laws that authorize the use of such action by duly appointed officials for the common good of our residents. And this level of civic action is also implemented to prevent individuals from inflicting other degrees of physical and emotional harm or abuse on someone else by citing such actions as crimes that are subject to the imposition of personal restrictions on the freedom of anyone who has been judged to be guilty of such harmful or abusive treatment of someone else. It is also basically understood by all of these individuals that guns, knives, box cutters, clubs, stones, drugs, or any other item that can be used to kill or to harm another person cannot take any such action on its own apart from it being used by an individual for such an action.

Challenging details in the establishing of laws and order
There is some disagreement among legislators and mature adults regarding what types of guns should legally be available for purchase and personal use by individuals in these American states. For example, should the purchase of all guns that are designed to be used to automatically fire large numbers of bullets to inflict maximum harm or a violent death upon another person or living target be allowed to be purchased by any ordinary individual who is not authorized to use such weapons as part of their judicial or military duties? And there is some disagreement among such individuals regarding who should personally be legally allowed to purchase any gun. For example, should individuals with a particular level of mentally impaired functions for healthy decisions regarding their own safety or that of others be allowed to buy a gun or guns? There are laws against screaming “fire” in a crowded enclosure if there is none evident because of the potential harm that might be suffered by individuals who in their haste to escape personal injuries might act in disorderly and violent ways against themselves or others. But I don’t believe that there are any specific laws that make a person subject to any legal action for just expressing hateful words or being angry with someone else or being bitter about something that someone else has done to them, even if it was not justified or was unfair in accord with the details of the personal actions. And then we have the Constitutional right to personally purchase and to “bear arms” in a political system that is more committed to doing what is “popular” and able to be funded by the monetary policies of our divided government and people than what might be practical legal solutions to the threats to our personal safety that confront us all. And I’m not hearing a lot of reasonable proposals being offered by our legislators or politicians or even a majority of our mature citizens that could practically secure the right to personal safety for children, youth, and adults in our country no matter where they are at any particular point in their lives.

Let’s talk about this
What do you think of my perspective on this matter of personal safety for individuals in America? What reasonable laws would you propose to be enacted and consistently enforced by the appropriate legislative and judicial officials in our country that could provide a reasonable level of personal safety for everyone? For a previous post about this matter go to http://www.christianityetc.org/blog/controlling-violent-people. Let’s talk about this.

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Happy New Year

It is present

The New Year is here. It is started, and its arrival has been celebrated around the world. Our calendars tell us that we are into a new year, although the sun appeared as it usually does and our clocks display the time as they usually do, but we declare that it is a new year, 2018.

But its quality is still unclear

I don’t know about you, but my new year began with a severe old
pain in the left side of my lower back that woke me up in the very early hours of another new day and is forcing me to walk around our old house with a cane to keep from falling down. I’ve taken some pills to try to relieve the pain, but I’m going to have to see a doctor as soon as possible to get some treatment for this problem that isn’t making me too happy.

How has your New Year started? Are the old pains gone? Do some of the old problems and concerns still weigh you down and detract from your happiness? What were you hoping for when the sun rose on a new day for you and you realized that you were in a New Year? The quality of your day and the days to follow through the year will largely be determined by the nature of the decisions that you make in the moments of consciousness that the Lord gives to you. That is really all of the time that you actually have to do anything in your situation. There is a saying that “If you keep doing what you have always done, it is crazy to expect any different results from your actions.”

Have you made any really new decisions on this new day in this new year? Or have you just repeated some old “resolutions” that you probably weren’t quite ever able to accomplish? That is probably the case, because it seems to be my situation. Individuals may be happy to get a “new year” on their calendars, but they find it hard to get out of the old “ruts” of their past years.

The challenge before you

What would really make your New Year a happy one for you this time? What new decision will you have to make to begin to implement that change in your life? Washing the salt off of your car in the middle of a messy winter or polishing up its old paint isn’t going to make it new. Let’s talk about this.

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Merry Christmas


I know that this expression may offend some individuals, but I
believe that “Merry Christmas” is a very appropriate expression of good will and love between relatives and friends that will usually be well received. Although the celebration of Christ’s birth is not an initial Christian festival that was implemented and handed down to following Christian by the apostles, it is still a legitimate time to share his love with others.

Real gifts

The most precious and priceless gifts that you can share with those whom you love cannot be bought online or at the local shopping mall. They are not technical devices or toys for one’s entertainment or even communication processes. The most precious and priceless gift that you can give to anyone is your personal assurance that you really care for them and that you are always available to them for your loving attention and care. Giving individuals what they “want” is never as loving as giving them what they “need”, which is usually much more valuable and special and endurable.

An offer to “help” someone with a current problem, is a special gift. A word of “encouragement” and understanding to a relative or friend who is struggling with a problem that you cannot remove is priceless. A simple expression of “I’m sorry” or “thank you” as an appropriate personal expression of understanding and caring in a situation is a gift that is well received anytime. Forgiveness between individuals is such a basic need that is so seldom met that many individuals are really personally crying daily within their emotional hearts for such a gift from those with whom they are suppose to be close.

A personal and sincere expression of unconditional love is the most precious and priceless gift that you can give to anyone, during the Christmas season or any day of the year. And its expression and reception will truly be an occasion for merriness, joy, and celebration. And such gifts will really glorify Jesus Christ, whose birth into our world where he gave us his broken body and shed blood to redeem us from our deadly relationship with God and where he demonstrated his transforming loving power over our enemies, will be your most appropriate expression of a “Merry Christmas” that you can give to any relative or friend this year.

Let’s talk about this

Are you prepared to share such gifts with those you claim to love? Are you personally requesting such gifts from your relatives and friends? Or are you just going through the “motions” of this annual holiday season exchanging a lot of trinkets with others while pretending that they are somehow “special” expressions of your love?

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Weather an uncontrollable force

It’s nature

Weather is a daily event in your life that is caused by tremendous forces of nature over which you have no control. The effects that it has in your life will depend upon where you live in respect to the normal climatic conditions that occur in your area of the world. The moving air that brings the various natural elements of water vapor and temperature across your area may be mild most of the time, which would allow you to be fairly comfortable on most days. In other areas the content of this moving air and its temperature would be significantly changed by the effects of the sun upon it at different times in the earth’s rotation around the sun, so you would experience some seasonal changes in the daily weather that occurs in your area. These changes may include the possibilities of storms, even some that could be severe like tornadoes or hurricanes, or they might even be mild enough to enjoy like the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. In any case, the daily weather patterns that occur in your area are probably going to affect what you and your children wear for the day, maybe what you eat, perhaps what you do particularly in regard to your choices for recreation, and what sports you get to watch on tv. It is evident from various news reports that severe storms can be extremely destructive to structures and even be very deadly to those who don’t move out of their way or take some protective shelter from their forces.

Your responses to the weather

If the daily weather that you experience in your area doesn’t pose any personal threat to you, you probably just take it as it comes, maybe enjoying some of its pleasant changes, and go through your day as your normally would. If the possibility of a storm is forecast, you probably dress for it if you have to get out. If the storm might be severe, you may even make an effort to prepare your house or business from its damaging forces before you leave the area. If a severe storm impacts your area, you may have to make a great personal effort to recover from its damaging effects on your property and life. In any case, weather is a personal experience that can at least affect one’s mood, so a person can seldom be neutral about it.

Let’s talk about this

How is the normal weather like in your area? What is good about it? How do you respond to storms? If you have ever suffered some personal damage from a storm, how did you recover from it? How dependable are the weather forecasting crews in your area? How helpful are your neighbors in helping each other recover from the damaging effects of storms in your area? It would be good to talk about our responses to these forces of nature over which we have no control.

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The need

When your problems, concerns, or worries pile up before you in your daily efforts to keep moving forward in your life, you may sink into a mood of discouragement or even depression. You may begin to feel exhausted by your effort and frustrated by your inability to quickly move through these barriers in your progress. These moods may become more severe and persistent when your efforts to apply familiar treatments to them no longer give you immediate relief from them. And these moods will probably be more persistent if you are alone, somewhat unhealthy, financially limited, or “old”. Every day becomes an ongoing battle with these barriers and a “wall” begins to appear before you that blocks any hope of relief from them. Such moods of discouragement and depression are serious matters, particularly when they are not relieved within a timely manner.


Common immediate treatments for moods of discouragement or depression may include another cup of coffee, some alcohol, a pill, going to a personal source of pleasure for a boost, a visit to a “friendly” hangout, or connecting with a “friend” on a social media platform. These efforts may provide some momentary relief, but their benefits may not last very long. The benefits of beverages, pills, addictions, and even somewhat “casual friends” are probably not completely effective in the elimination of these moods. What you need when you are being overwhelmed by moods of discouragement and depression are not momentary outside sources of relief or even consumed drugs but an internal personal source of encouragement that can be with you moment by moment throughout the course of your battle. I believe that encouragement is best received and experienced by the personal loving words of a dependable spouse or relative or friend and some immediate personal physical help with the problems with which you are struggling. Words of loving encouragement and support and understanding when delivered in personal ways can be very powerful even before any personal help is provided! They will stay with you longer than a beverage, a drug, a momentary pleasure, or a brief chat from a distant friend on your mobile device or a pat on your back from a “beer buddy” a your local hangout. The best source of encouragement and enduring relief from your battles with discouragement and depression is the indwelling personal words of love and constant strong assistance that Jesus can give to you from his Spirit in the center of your emotions, desires, and thoughts in your body.

Some questions

What are your current sources of encouragement for relief from the moods of discouragement and depression with which you battle? How well do they work? How long are they good for? Who are your most encouraging companions or friends? Let’s talk about this.

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