To Speak the Truth

June 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Truth

There are two primary aspects to The Wilder Place… the blog… and Our GENEALOGY… In trying to make it one of the coolest sites around I’m reading a lot of material… and learning a lot!

The later (Our GENEALOGY) is very easy thanks to TNG. But the blog on the other hand… well that’s a different story. How do I make one blog… my blog… stand out from the over 112 million (Dec 2007) other blogs? I’ve been researching that question for a little while now….

In my research I’ve come across a truly wonderful little book… Designing for the Social Web (Voices That Matter) by Joshua Porter… great book!

Mr. Porter points out that he’s discovered that the most popular sites (e.g., Amazon, eBay, etc.) allow users to interact sociably with people, primarily in the search for…. drum rollTRUTH… believe it or not. I was shocked at this, since that’s my #1 goal, that is to find and share TRUTH. In the book it’s emphasized that a person’s desire for the truth is evidenced by his/her use of recommendations made by real people as to the seller’s honesty and/or the product’s quality.

Personally, I think there’s a dichotomy in that while we want truth in the above respect, we do NOT want (for the most part) to hear TRUTH in regards to our personal decisions. My own thought on this is that we (a) do not want to be responsible for our decisions, and (b) do not want to admit – even to ourselves – that we are or can be wrong.

For the record… as all those who know me can attest… I can be and often am… W-R-O-N-G… but my rightness or wrongness has nothing whatsoever to do with the truthfulness about an action or thought of mine.

I’ve heard innumerable times over the last 10 years or so that “evangelical Christians are intolerant”… that’s absolutely not true… it’s actually a lie, because it is said with an intent to mislead people… How can I say it’s in error? … Easy… because by definition to be intolerant means to not allow another person to think, say, and/or do something in particular. I, on the other hand, completely (100%) support and applaud each and every person’s ability to make their own choices about anything! You, I, and every single other person on this planet have an innate right to make their/our own decisions.

It does not matter at all that we make different choices, not a bit! While in some cultures, countries, and/or societies a person’s right to choose is physically suppressed, I am personally willing  to fight to the death and to do everything I can to ensure we all maintain the right to choose, to think, believe, and behave differently. I respect YOU period! As a human being, the same “being” as I. You are valuable! You do not have to agree with me to have value as a human being; I did not create you… you come from the same source I did… for that reason I can respect you even if we make different choices… I can learn things from you, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, primarily from the differences that exist between us.

BUT… there still exists TRUTH… absolute TRUTH.. and my saying that does not impact your ability to make a choice at all. When one looks to Amazon customer recommendations or eBay seller ratings they are acknowledging that truth does indeed exist.

For one to say that I may not say something is right or wrong… is to strip me of my freedom of speech, that is to not allow me to say what I think… that is real intolerance!

Wake up and smell the economy…

May 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Life in General

Folks we all know that right now our economy is in “disrepair”… but do you know it’s our own fault? That’s right it’s our fault… it’s not a president’s fault (past or present), nor that of a senator, congressman, or governor… except that they don’t tell us like it really is… shame on them… but maybe they don’t really understand either….

I wish I could yell this in a public square… perhaps wake some folks up to some truth… but my blog is the only soap box I’ve got… so here goes…. because ladies and gentlemen I’m very, very concerned that at some point in time, in the not too distant future, our economy is going to come crashing down around our ears…. worse than it would have had Government not stepped it to bale everybody and his/her brother out. I really want my grandchildren to have a good future and I feel like that is in jeopardy.

First of all… we blithely, with nary a care, send a lot of profits overseas… every time you buy a car from Japan, Korea, France, Germany… any place other than the USA… you are sending the profits to that country… helping their economy to grow and prosper at the expense (pun intended) of your own… it doesn’t matter where the engine is made, those are “costs” not “profits”… costs + profits = sales… and the profits go back to the owners of those companies.

Secondly, we not only send the profits to boost another country’s economy, we give them the jobs too… like having things made in China or Mexico… with our jobless rate what it is today… do we owe it China to give them jobs? Frankly the only good that does is feed the greed of some company owners in our own country…. and some people in OTHER countries.

So where are we?
• We send the profits out of the US
• We send the jobs out of the US…

Where do you think that leaves us?

We should be buying American… and if companies are going to outsource jobs they should pay a hefty tax for it… thus encouraging them to build American too.

Thirdly… if people… you… me… the average Joes… make bad financial decisions… we should suffer the consequences… that doesn’t mean we can’t help each other through tough times…. but it does mean… Government stays out of it… and if we loose that 3,000 sq ft house that we couldn’t really afford anyway… ok, that’s the way it goes.

Why? Because capitalism is a pendulum… it works if (and perhaps only if) it’s allowed to right itself… swing high to the left, then high to the right… finally coming rest in the middle for long periods of time… that doesn’t happen if Government steps in and stops the pendulum when it’s at a high left or right peak… it helps in the short run… but that’s the scary part… that pendulum when Government lets go will continue to swing, perhaps even harder and/or longer than it did before.

Finally, if big business makes bad business decisions… same thing goes… they need not to be in business. That’s the way capitalism works.

Bottom line… buy American, give American jobs, make good personal and business financial decisions, Government keep out.. and with loving kindness help your neighbor when s/he needs it….

Scripture says if your brother is hungry, don’t just pray for him… feed him… if he’s thirsty, don’t just pray for him… give him something to drink.

My two cents….

On Power

April 30, 2007 by  
Filed under My Lord, Tolkien

Have you ever considered that we (mankind) have a problem with power?
In Tolkien’s fairy tales Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, the primary topic of each is the quest to defeat an evil would-be-lord’s attempt to own all power. In reflection it seems to me that the one ‘thing’ man strives for perhaps more than anything else is power. In some cases it is the quest for power, in others it’s the display of power that fuels our economy and our lives.

Power in all its forms is inextricably linked with pride. We take pride in ourselves when we can exhibit power over ourselves, others, and our possessions. In today’s society many consider power to be a positive thing, such as in being the ‘Master of Our Own Destiny.’

But we are only kidding ourselves if we think power and/or its pursuit is a good thing.

It is power that fueled Lucifer’s quest for God’s throne; power of knowledge that induced Eve to pick up the apple. Often, it’s the pursuit of power that drives men and women in the workforce to climb the corporate ladder, run for office, or own a business. Power is the reason people rape, murder, and abuse other people. It’s power that drives countries to depossess other people of their property and lands.

Look around our world today and one way or another most of us are trying to exhibit power in our individual lives. It is this real quest to own and/or utilize power and its resident co-evil pride that utterly destroys man. It abases us as we try to elevate ourselves to preeminence above God.

Even in our games it’s all about power. The Massively Multiplayer Online-Role Playing Game (MMORPG), The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar the players have characters that achieve “levels”. Each level exhibits its own “power”. When fighting a “bad guy” one looks at their own level and compares it to the “bad guy’s” level to see who has the most “power.” In the Lord of Rings Trivial Pursuit game power is exhibited by knowing more than the other players. These forms of power would seem innocuous at worst. After all, we all enjoy them.

Back to Tolkien’s heroes… they were humble, and this humility gives us (the reader) a sense that their attitude was just and right. In all my readings I’ve not found even one person who expressed that these heroes were stupid or foolish. I don’t think we could understand that it’s better to be humble than to pursue power in and of or for ourselves. We should consider where our sense of morality (right and wrong) comes from. This is an excellent example of myth containing truth.

I agree with Tolkien, that only Divinity has the right to own and exhibit power. Jesus said he is sitting at the right hand of Power. That tells us clearly that it is God who has the right to power. Jesus also said he has all authority… that IS power… real power.

We are creatures not The Creator. If we focus on God first and foremost as we ought and humble ourselves to Him and His guidance He will demonstrate power on our behalf. What a wonderful, peaceful position to be in…. That where The Creator takes care of us (of me)…

On humility… God tells us to, “… consider others as better than [ourselves]..” Christ said, “No greater love hath any man than that he lay down his life for a friend.” We’re also told that the second commandment is “… to love others as we love ourselves.” These actions keep us humble and defeat the quest for power… humility and power are mutually exclusive…

I need to learn to be more humble!

Fall from Perfection: Tolkien & Christianity

April 24, 2007 by  
Filed under My Lord, Tolkien

The more I study and learn about J. R. R. Tolkien, his contemporaries (i.e., C. S. Lewis) and their fairy stories / myths the more fascinated I become. It’s not just my love of the story. It’s the depth of their work and the realities behind it that are so… “rich” (for lack of a better word)… I can spend the foreseeable future researching, reading, thinking, and writing/blogging… about the authors and their efforts… and not grow tired of it.

It’s “rich” because it has a true foundation: God the Creator, the Word (Logos), the Spirit and their perfection and reality. If these weren’t real, what then? …. Nothing, it wouldn’t matter… there would be no resounding thrill in our hearts when the good guy (Frodo) destroys the ring, because there could be no morality… no good… no bad… without God.

Tolkien believed that there is only a story to be told when you have a “fall” from creation perfection.

Think about this for a moment…

If Eve hadn’t been deceived…. if Adam hadn’t willfully disobeyed… before that…. if Lucifer hadn’t coveted the Supreme Position… what would we have? A very boring, flat, dry… story… history… life…. what would we talk about? What would we appreciate?

More importantly… what would we “be” without “the choice”… between good and evil?

We certainly couldn’t be “redeemed” if we weren’t “fallen”… while on the one hand, Christ would not have needed to lay down His life for us, He wouldn’t have had to be brutally beaten and that would have been a good thing…. then again, we wouldn’t really know just how bad we really are… how much He loves each one of us… the lengths to which He’d go… We wouldn’t know what grace is… nor know humility in the presence of God… we’d have knowledge of His Superiority, but not of His grace and love…

Scripture points out that there’s a very real battle going on between principalities… God and His followers versus Lucifer and the other fallen angels…. Do you see it? Do you want to?

Will we deny ourselves and follow God or will we try to agrandize ourselves and follow Lucifer? Is our choice humility or pride?

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