A child

Every child born into this world anywhere is God’s special creature for the introduction of fresh energy and intellectual wisdom into the process of living that dominate us all. By nature every child is equipped by God with an innate zeal for living, for investigating everything that he or she sees or encounters, for trusting everything that he or she hears from anyone, for experiencing and doing everything that there is to do, and for learning all that he or she needs to learn in order to assume his or her personal role in this world in which he or she has been placed.

Every child learns early in his or her experience that he or she is very dependent on others for his or her survival and training in the processes of living that now confront him or her. He or she learns that some experiences feel good and are comforting and others hurt and create stress and fears, that some things are good to investigate and even consume but that others are to be avoided and discarded and considered to be dangerous or unhealthy, that some words are true and others are lies, that not every new experience is easy to accomplish or that every practical lesson or skill is easy to learn, and that some “older” individuals in his or her social “nest” will be helpful to him or her because they really care for him or her but that others may be harmful or dangerous because they do not care for him or her but only for themselves and what they can get from this young creature in their social world.

These experiences of the growing and learning child not only affect his or mind and his or her perceptive understandings regarding what is good, but they also affect his or her physical growth and development and behavior and the attitudes of his or her spirit and his or her dreams or visions for the life that lies before him or her.

So every child is confronted with the basic task of deciding whom he or she can trust to treat him or her with love and wise instruction and whom he or she should avoid as being a person that he or she should not trust or learn from because what they offer is harmful and ultimately dangerous. But in too many situations, a child is not wise enough or strong enough in his or her early years of development to avoid being damaged or having his her natural powers for living with and loving others severely corrupted by “evil” models and “teachers” or other persuasive individuals.

Abusing a child physically with mistreatment or sexual activity or neglect or mentally with lies or spiritually with unworkable strategies for his or her achievements in life are very serious offenses against God. And every adult who produces a new child is going to have to give an account to God for how he and she treated that child.

But some of us adults in this world have opportunities to rescue children from abusive situations and to help them to overcome the damaging effects of abuse and lies and discouraging unworkable schemes to move forward in their lives. And this is a very special ministry to which God has called and equipped some redeemed parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, social workers, coaches, teachers, neighbors, pastors, friends, counselors, day care workers, police officers, and other specialists in our society to take an “abused” child under his or her “wing” of care and make a positive difference in his or life.

Let’s talk about this matter and what needs to be done to end and to correct all of the child abuse that is taking place in our society.

Amazing love

I am amazed at how our little dog can fill our home and our lives with so much love even though he is no longer present with us. We had to put him to sleep on March 8th after he began to develop a series of strokes every time he tried to walk. He had had a heart murmur for quite awhile, but he just got so weak that he could no longer move without suffering a stroke. Gizmo was a 15 year old Shih Tzu male member of our family for 8 years.

He was my wife’s “sweetheart” and my devoted friend. He was definitely spoiled, and he didn’t always mind, but he always stayed close to one of us. She fed him every day and I took him out 3-4 times a day so he could do his duty. He loved to have me rub his ears and his belly, and he would lick my hand to show his appreciation for my care.

Although it was sometimes a frustrating experience to take care of him, he never really got angry with me and he usually followed me around the house when he wasn’t sleeping. Although his absence has created a huge void in our home, his amazing love is filling it.

His love reminds me of the amazing love that my “master” Jesus has for me. Jesus died for me, being crucified on a cross to redeem me from the destructive power of Satan and the sin that he generated in my life. I have professed to be a “disciple” of Jesus and to follow him as a learning “servant” for many years now, but Gizmo has taught me in a new way what it really means to be a “devoted disciple” and to daily “follow” my “master”.

I hope that you have a devoted pet in your life and that you are being blessed by his or her unconditional amazing love every day. And I pray that you also have experienced the amazing love of Jesus. If you haven’t, I have some resources on my website that can introduce you to Jesus. You will find them here: http://www.christianityetc.org. I will be glad to answer any questions that you may have about any of those materials or to discuss this matter further with you on this blog. Let’s talk about this matter of such “amazing love”.

A good American

Who is a good American? That is basically a fairly simple question, but the different political ideologies, cultural and religious and racial and ethnic and economic differences that mark residents who live within these American states distort any simple answer that anyone might give to this question.

There is no doubt about the fact that the American population consists of a very diverse collection of individuals, perhaps more diverse than any other place on earth. And our public media are full of daily reports and discussions regarding the efforts of various political representatives and various social and private agencies to provide what is “good” for their constituents, but there doesn’t seem to be much consensus on what would be “good” for most Americans. And some of our legal representatives and officials can’t seem to decide what laws of our land and statues of our Constitution would be “good” to enforce and other officials and residents are working to change some of these laws and write new ones. So there seems to be a lot of diverse opinions regarding what would be “good” for the residents of these American states and ultimately who is a good American.

What has respect for our laws got to do with whether or not an individual is a “good American”? In light of the diversity of our residents, what has respect for individual differences got to do with who is a good American? What personal qualities or civic virtues make a person “a good American”? Let’s talk about this.

Good news

Are you as tired as I am of all of the bad news that appears everyday in the public media? Acts of violence are immediately reported on national TV channels even as they are being investigated and before all of the necessary facts can be assembled regarding what actually happened. And the causes of such acts are discussed and discussed again by a collection of “experts” who are not aware of all of the facts. And the reports of “eye witnesses” from individuals who are eager to be interviewed and to give their versions of what happened doesn’t often add any clarifying facts to the news.

Citizens and politicians in many countries engage in sometimes heated discussions and sometimes violent protests as they seek to establish their respective wills upon the people. And sometimes their efforts are not in keeping with the established laws of the land. And the powerful “liars” are seldom prosecuted for their untrue statements and fraudulent behavior. And too many “news” merchants continue to publish their “homogenized” versions of what is happening in their lands in accord with what is going to protect and maintain their financial and political benefits. And some of these “merchants” don’t even pretend to believe in the values of “free speech” for their citizens or “objective reporting” for their journalists. And so the media is filled each day with the ongoing stories of civil wars and violent protests and various “movements” of groups of people to something that is “good” in their lives.

So many basic problems in the lives of individuals in many countries of our world are not getting fixed because those who are “in charge” are not wise enough or compassionate enough or courageous enough to make the necessary changes in the living situations of their people.

What “good news” do you have to report today? What “good” benefits of anyone’s actions have your received or witnessed today? What factual evidence can you cite that would indicate that some of the basic problems that individuals in many places in our world are facing every day are being fixed or even have some hope of being fixed very soon? Let’s talk about this.

Happy New Year

I do wish you a happy new year, but I don’t see much evidence on the horizon that the situation that we face here in the United States is going to be much better next year than it is now or than it has been for the past several years. We just saw a shift in “power” in Congress, but the “powers” that operate our government are still way out of “balance”. The value of our currency continues to diminish in national and world markets. Racial and ethnic and religious prejudices trouble our neighborhoods, towns, and cities. There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable way to reduce the level of violence and general disregard for what is lawful and “right” in our society. And the political, economic, cultural, religious, and personal attitudes that we hold are more divisive than they have ever been. We apparently have the “right” to pursue “happiness”, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on how to achieve it or really how to define it. And many of the citizens in other nations of the world are facing similar stressful, violent, and divisive situations where they live and seek to be safe and “happy”.

I would be much happier here in the United States if we could just once again all agree on what it means to be a good “American”. Some of my pessimism would be dissipated if we could demonstrate more consistently in our public and personal lives that we understand the values of what is “true” and what is “legal”. And I know that my hope for a happy new year would be increased if the merchants in our land would just reduce their constant efforts to get me to purchase “happiness” by buying more of their “stuff” and the government would stop trying to convince me that I’m going to be safer and more comfortable if I just give them more authority over my public and private life.

Are you really expecting a “happy new year” during the next twelve months? If so, what and who is going to provide it for you? What are you willing to do to provide those who are close to you and somewhat dependent upon you with a “happy new year”? Let’s talk about this.

Justice

Justice is provided to any group of people in a nation and its states and communities when duly elected officials of the people pass and enforce laws that are written to protect their lives and property from abuse or confiscation by others. Laws are written by legislators, enforced by police officials, and individuals in incidents of unlawful activity are judged by elected officials and juries from the people in accord with the evidence that defines the incident and the law or laws that are written to be applied to the individuals involved in the incident under consideration by the appropriate judicial court.

There is no doubt that most communities of people in any state or nation include individuals who harbor prejudicial opinions of other individuals, who seek to gain resources for themselves in ways that are not lawfully permitted, and who are prone to express their feelings of anger and frustration against others who they believe have abused them in acts of personal physical violence or verbal abuse. So most individuals live in communities where there is always the possibility of unlawful or disrespectful or unfair activity or speech being expressed against them.

When an individual becomes involved in a situation that he or she feels is unlawful or disrespectful or unfair or abusive, he or she has some opportunity to decide how he or she is going to respond to the person who is abusing him or her. If his or her response is in keeping with the law, the incident can be resolved in a peaceful way. If his or her response is also unlawful or disrespectful, it only complicates the situation and makes a peaceful solution of the abusive problem more unlikely.

Police officers in any community have a special responsibility to enforce the laws that apply to the residents of that community and to personally protect them from physical harm and to protect their property from being confiscated or destroyed by others. In some circumstances they will have to make quick decisions regarding how they are going to legally enforce the laws and bring the situation of abuse or personal loss under control so that its issues can be legally resolved. In some incidents the nature of the present activity of individuals at the site of the disorder or crime may require the application of force by the police officer in order for him or her to bring the situation under control.

Victims of criminal activity may protest against unjust decisions in courts by appealing the judge’s decisions. But criminal activity by victims is no way to protest any injustice. And riots are only expressions of a crowd of people who are out of control and prone to illegal activities of their own. Riots have little chance of implement justice in any situation.

The incident in Ferguson MO on August 9, 2014 in which a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown, a black young man, who, although he was unarmed at the time, his actions and attitude presented a serious physical threat to officer Wilson who was unable to get Mr. Brown to surrender to him by lying prone down on the street. This incident and the subsequent judgment of a Grand Jury that reviewed all of the evidence regarding the incident before ruling that the officer Wilson had not acted in any criminal way in his behavior in the situation has created a wide spread discussion and debate regarding the relationship that often exists between police officers and the residents of the communities in which they serve. Some members of that community and those in other communities feel that police officers are often unfair and overly harsh in the ways that they apprehend and handle individuals who have committed a crime or are possible suspects in a crime, even though police officers have well established laws governing their actions in the completion of their law enforcement responsibilities.

Lawlessness at any level of society that is not enforced for any reason weakens the foundation for justice in every community and state and nation where it is accepted. If individuals anywhere have to apply their own resources for control and safety and protection from personal injury and the loss of personal property through their own efforts, everyone in such places are in danger of being a victim of violence or abusing or disrespectful or thieving activity from others.

There is no simple way to establish justice anywhere. But its foundation has to be respect for the laws by everyone who wants to live in a safe place where every individual can be treated with respect. What do you think forms the foundation for justice in any community or state or nation? What are the most effective strategies that victims of injustices have for correcting the injustices that they have suffered? Let’s talk about this.

Mobile friendly

I just recently went through the challenging process of redesigning my website to make it more mobile friendly and responsive to viewers who use small hand-held devices for their communication processes. I had to redesign the banner element for my site and revise some of the basic codes in my css file and 53 PHP files that coordinate the display of my various pages with the resources that I have written. Of course this was a difficult process for a technical novice like me, but I had some help, and I was able to get it done. I think that the new design is more fluid than it was, yet it is still attractive and simple and easy to navigate. I invite you to check it out at http://www.christianityetc.org.

I’m an old retired writer who is still trying to make good use of my desktop computer with all of its various programs and their tools and a cell phone that I just know how to use as a phone. I have some messages that I’m trying to share with interested viewers, but I don’t claim that they are basically popular. I think that they are important, and I try to make them interesting and easy to read as I write them, but I’m not sure that I have a network of social friends who will promote them for me. So I’m wondering how you viewers and internet surfers use your mobile devices in your communication processes. What communication devices do you use for your serious search for helpful data on the internet? Are some of your devices just used as photo albums or electronic post-it-notes? What makes an article or a note on any “public” communication platform particularly helpful? What does that quality have to do with the technology of the device? Let’s talk about this.