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Hunger for Significance

One of the most pressing needs of man, if not the greatest, is to have some sense of significance or worth. I suspect there is nothing more tragic in the heart of man than to be overwhelmed with the sensation that he is absolutely and completely of no value…to anything or anyone. This state of mind, no doubt, is a key factor in depression and even suicidal thoughts and actions.

It seems as if we are not only born with this hunger, but we recognize it at a very early age. We long to be held by our mother. We long for our father’s embrace. We crave their approval.

Not only do we sense it in ourselves, but we are quite perceptive that it is a major need in others. So if we want to hurt someone, we do so with words or actions that are crafted to destroy the significance in another, hoping that by stealing theirs, we might therefore add to our own. It I call you “stupid” or “ugly” then my sinful nature is hoping that I can somehow strip you of the one thing that I know you want more than anything else. And, by some twisted form of logic, I think I can become more significant by putting you down.

Children aren’t stupid. They know how to hurt. And they go for the jugular.

When we get to adulthood, we normally have a tendency to temper this, although we never walk away from it. We can still play the game. We just learn how to play it more subtly.

But the game hasn’t changed.

We still long to be significant. And we think we can somehow get it from the people and things in the world around us. So, we chase desperately for significance from anything and everything. We seek applause; we seek confirmation; we seek praise; we seek what we falsely believe is “love”. If we can’t get it directly from people, we will seek to get it indirectly by chasing for significance from physical things…things such as wealth, beauty, power, or control. Some believe they gain significance by being funny or smart or being the quarterback or prom queen. The “life of the party” is often someone who is in a desperate search for garlands of significance tossed to her by the crowd. It is a sad thing to see our Hollywood starlets as they desperately try to maintain significance while their beauty fades and another, younger and now more beautiful and shapely, arises.

Some find that they cannot gain significance from anyone and so they pull into their shell with their own desperation…one that seeks to maintain whatever significance they have. They take no risks…publicly, socially, or in relationships, out of fear that they may lose what they have. This sometimes comes as the result of once trying to gain significance and miserably failing or being rejected…sometimes cruelly by those who think they can prosper by taking yours.

And because this false notion, that one can gain significance from the world around them, eventually fails…either with wrinkles or hollow wealth or just because there isn’t enough applause to go around, we have come up with another deception...possibly the greatest of all.

We live in a culture that has fallen into the well of self-centeredness. We have been taken prey by the belief that it is all about me. With that belief comes the notion that we have value and significance in and of ourselves. I don’t need you. I have myself. In other words, I can be significant even if the world doesn’t think me to be significant or of any value.

This requires some careful thought and wisdom.

The significance of something doesn’t lie in the something. It lies in the value another places on that something. A pot of gold is of no value by itself. It only has value because someone, or possibly a whole lot of someones, consider it to be of value…maybe even of great value.

When a person dies, they often leave behind things that had value to no one but themselves. When my mother passed away not long ago, she left a number of items. Most of those were given away or tossed because they no longer had any value or significance. Their "value" died with my mom. Some were kept because we also valued them and a few were kept, not because we saw direct value in them, but because they were of great worth to her. I suspect that when we die, our children, or our grandchildren, will discard them because they will be of no value to them.

This is also the reason for much of our “rubbish”. We may have valued it for a while, but then it becomes of no significance to us and we toss it. We value the tin can because it contains and protects our corn. We value the cardboard because it contains and protects our pizza. But once the can and the cardboard have served our purpose, we throw them out, for they no longer have any value or significance to us.

The point here is that the item, itself, has no value unless someone values it.

This is very, very contrary to modern thinking, where we have come to believe that the individual has worth all by himself. This thinking has, of necessity, arisen because we have rejected a belief in God. For without God, the individual human being becomes nothing but an empty tin can or a used piece of cardboard…he is nothing but “star stuff” as Carl Sagan put it. And, because of our hunger for significance, we have to come up with the notion that the “individual” has worth in and of themselves…so that we can feel significant without God. That is why there is such a big fuss over whether or not the baby in the womb has become a “person”. Peter Singer, Princeton’s elite Professor of Bioethics, argues that a baby doesn’t really become a “person” until he or she is two years old and therefore we should be able to “dispose” of them up until that time. Without God, the baby in the womb becomes mere tissue. And if the mother sees no value in it, then neither should you. But the truth is that God made man in His image, and therefore the human being, in the womb or outside of the womb, has value, not in and of itself, but because God gave it value. And if we remove Him, then humanity becomes trash, valuable only in the eyes of someone else, or in a desperate mode to maintain significance, valued by oneself. The argument for euthanasia follows the same line of thinking. If the individual no longer finds value in his own being, then he is of no ultimate value and can be disposed.

In a culture that removes God, one is left with the hopeless task of either finding significance in the praise of man or in the hoarding of wealth or power. And when this doesn’t pan out, in some sort of self-defense mode, we turn to the vain notion that I can generate my own significance internally…I am of value because “I am”.

Now, this sounds really good, but it is foolishness without the reality of the Creator God.

I know there are some who have taken exception to my position that God has given us this drive, but I believe they do so from misunderstanding. Just as He has given us the sexual drive and it can be focused on that which is wrong, so too, the hunger for significance can become sinful when misdirected.

When we hold our own children and tell them that we love them, we impart to them a sense of significance. It isn’t found in themselves. It is found in knowing that they, a mere child, have the love of their father and mother.

So, too, the love of our heavenly Father, and the great sacrifice that He gave on our behalf, fills a divine need within the human soul…the longing we are here calling “significance” is satisfied by the love of Christ.

There is a divine significance that is granted to us when we are called the children of God.

This comes from Him…not from us.

What significance can compare to being a child of God and fulfilling His purposes?

Nothing.

But, the enemy and the flesh and the world go to great lengths to turn this upside down. We believe that significance comes, not from the Father, but from how I stack up to the world around me…how I measure compared to others. We pervert the divine hunger for significance, which was meant to drive us to Him, and divert it toward the carnal…from the only One who can truly satisfy, to the world which can never satisfy.

This deceit leaves us as hopeless addicts desperately chasing a fix that is barely temporary, providing only a false taste of something that we wrongly believe to be satisfying, yet it merely makes us more desperate.

Jesus said that one might gain the whole world and yet lose their soul.

Solomon declared that one may love money, but they can never get enough of it.

Because you will never be wealthy enough; you will never be funny enough; you will never be beautiful enough. Nothing that the world has to offer will ever be enough because it can never really satisfy.

To think so is a fool’s quest.

God certainly knows this, and He therefore calls us from the unsatisfying to the satisfying:

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Isaiah 55:1-2

Jesus said the same thing to the woman at the well:

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:13-14

You and I have been given a hunger for significance. The world, the flesh and the enemy want us to try to satisfy that with things that perish. It is a hopeless chase. Our significance can only come from God Himself. And the significance that comes from His love is never ending. It is eternal. It is the water that does not leave us thirsty. It is the bread that does not leave us hungry. It is the significance that comes from the spring of water than wells up to eternal life. It is the food that is the richest of fare.

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot


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Kruptikos: Thinking Too Big

 

THE WAY TO DO A GREAT DEAL IS TO KEEP ON DOING A LITTLE. THE WAY TO DO NOTHING AT ALL IS TO BE CONTINUALLY RESOLVING THAT YOU WILL DO EVERYTHING.  CHARLES SPURGEON

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In our hopefully upcoming DVD series “the Engagement” we will have a tour entitled “Fruit, Weeds and Counterfeits”. One of the key elements of that tour will include a survey of the many “counterfeits” that we find in our culture that deceive and pull us away from the true meaning of agape love. One of those counterfeits is best described by Linus from the cartoon “Peanuts”:

I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand!

It’s funny, but this is so true of our modern culture. This is the Hollywood notion of gushing about loving the World, but in so doing, loving no one, really.

The true agape love that we are called to (we will try to define it in tE) can only be carried out within the context of a deep relationship. If you fervently seek the true good of an individual, you can only do that with a small number of folks.

C. S. Lewis put it this way:

It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital ‘H’ than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.

And G. K. Chesterton noted this, which might seem as if he were speaking of the progressive elite in our culture today:

They hate kings, they hate priests, they hate soldiers, they hate sailors. They distrust men of science, they denounce the middle classes, they despair of working men, but they adore humanity. Only they always speak of humanity as if it were a curious foreign nation…They are ceasing to be human in the effort to be humane.

What is happening here is that we have embraced a counterfeit of true agape love. True agape love operates only in the “small”. We have substituted in its place the “large” and in so doing have destroyed it.

I have, of late, been fascinated by the understanding that Jesus, when He started His ministry, did so by calling together a few men…twelve in number. Yet He really concentrated on three. If you study the Gospels, you will find that Jesus did heal many and He did speak to the multitudes, but it appears that His focus was on these few men. And when He left, it was to these few that He gave the charge to then go and make disciples of the nations. But how were they to do that? I would submit to you that they understood it within the example that He had given them.

Paul expressed it this way:

And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2

All of this is in keeping with the God who created only two human beings and then told them to fill the earth. They were not expected to have a million babies. They would have a few and those would have a few and eventually this notion of the “few” would become the “many”.

In summarizing the entire law, Jesus told us to agape God and to agape our neighbor. He didn’t tell us to agape the world, for we cannot do that.

We are awash in a culture that has bowed the knee to itself. We worship ourselves. We believe that we are a god who can generate truth within our own heart. Because we are a slave to our hunger for significance, we then dream of big things for ourselves…in our daydreams we are the one that ends up being so, so significant. We get the girl, we get the guy, we win the lottery, we become famous, we become the greatest entertainer or athlete, we are loved, we are adored, we are the center of attention.

Motivational speakers after motivational speakers encourage us to think big, to dream big dreams. We love to think big. We love to dream big dreams.

I am not saying that there isn’t a place for that at specific times and places in one’s life, for there is a need to not settle for that which is less than what we can do or accomplish with the gifts God has given us. But we are in danger of reinforcing the lie that anything "significant" has to come from that which is “big” and never from that which is “small”….that “big” is “significant” and “small” is therefore “insignificant”.

How deceitful.

It keeps the body of Christ from thinking that there is something quite grand about dedicating your life to your family and the neighbors that live next door. It keeps us from action because we think our part is too “small”. It fuels our sense of insignificance. It ignites lust. It fans the flames of jealousy and class warfare.

It destroys contentment.

It makes us want.

It renders us ineffective.

We want the “big” and not the “small”.

Despising the few, we want it all.

Even when we want to help others, we can get overwhelmed by the reality that there are too many needy, too many sick, too many abused…just too many. The problems are just so large…

And we end up doing nothing.

Oh, we resolve to do something…but we have to make the “something” big in order for us to think that it is worthwhile and significant.

But we can’t.

So we don’t.

I suspect that if Linus were real and he were sitting around the fireplace with Jesus and he uttered his sad commentary: “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.” that it is possible Jesus would have smiled and then quietly said, “I can’t stand mankind. But I love people.”

Don’t let “big” get in your way of taking time for the widow next door.

The way to do a great deal is to keep on doing a little. The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything.  Charles Spurgeon


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Week in Review: 6.2016

  • Britain approved genetic experimentation with little embryo babies this week. Makes me a little sick to even write that. The article attempted to make it seem okay because, after they have been “genetically played” with, they wouldn’t be allowed to let the embryos grow into “babies” but would be required to destroy them after they had developed to a certain size. Of course, there are those who would say that a human embryo is not yet human nor a baby, but they can’t tell you when it does become so. And, they are normally the same people that will string up anyone who destroys an eagle egg. We obviously value an eagle embryo but not a human embryo. It seems to me that we all should be deeply and radically concerned with anything that opens the door to experimenting and engineering the human genetic code. Especially when it destroys human life.
  • We finally made it to the election primaries this Tuesday. Some of us naïve folks thought that would ratchet down the vitriol. The list of GOP contenders did shrink a little, but the drama has risen. The contest between Hillary and Bernie came down to a small percentage difference and some coin flips. Bernie believes something fishy went on. Donald came in second and he is incensed that anyone would dare trump him on anything. So he is thumping Cruz and crying that Ted stole his election. Cruz apologized to Ben because of CNN releases that sounded like Ben was getting out, but he wasn’t, so Ben was naturally upset. But Donald, not missing an opportunity to rant, jumped on the bandwagon and vented anger at Ted on Ben’s behalf. But Ben’s response, which was calm and conciliatory and Donald’s anger, mean and exploitive, are miles apart, revealing critical character differences. Surprising many, Marco came in third. He is now getting thumped because he appears to have the “mo” in New Hampshire. The Remnant needs to stay engaged.
  • The OMB (Office of Management and Budget) released is annual outlook report and there was no good news. Some might say it was lost in the primary foam, but that isn’t true. Blue Media will never highlight bad economic news when a Blue President is in office. Now if a Red President were in office…but, maybe not. Blue Media favors a larger and larger government. So it may not be concerning to them when the OMB now says that the future deficits are going to be worse than expected. Rather than our federal deficit declining, as we have been led to believe, the curve will actually steepen. We are now on track to spend $8.5 TRILLION dollars more than revenue over the next ten years. This is hard to get your mind around. So we don’t. Lost in the report was the estimate that the U.S. economy is projected to grow at only 2%, one third less than it has averaged annually since WW II. And, missing from the report, is the catastrophe that would happen if interests rates go up, because a huge part of the debt is paying interest on TRILLIONS of debt we already owe. That interest rate is freakishly low right now. It wouldn’t take much to double the rate and things begin to tip over. But, we go glibly on…spinning the cylinder and laughing when we pull the trigger, because nothing bad has happened yet. Pass the beer and the pizza. Turn up the volume. Swipe the card. Don’t stop the party…
  • Speaking of abrupt ends to oblivious parties, there is a bomb that is about to go off…in Venezuela. Almost 20 years of socialist rule, where government “spend, spend, spend” is the solution to everything, has the country on its knees. Inflation is rampant. The bolivar, their “dollar”, is worth less than 10 cents (U.S.). A corn cake will cost you $1,000 bolivars. In one year, the cost of meat has risen 600%, eggs, cheese and milk, 400%. The overall inflation rate this year is expected to be 720%. Put this in our own context. If you paid $2 per gallon for gasoline in 2015, this year you will have to pay over $14. In one year it will be almost $100 per gallon and one more will make it $700/gallon. That is why people are having to take a stack of money to buy their groceries and that is why the Venezuelan government has to keep printing more money. This week, 36 Boeing 747 cargo planes arrived in Caracas packed with nothing but newly printed bolivars. We need to pray for the people of Venezuela for they are having to pay horribly for another socialistic government lie.
  • Bernie Sanders, who is an avowed socialist, has a lot of followers. At one of his recent rallies, a reporter was asking his fans to define socialism. They couldn’t. One person thought it meant caring for people. That, of course, is the cover. Underneath is the truth…the horror that gets dumped on the people, like those in Venezuela.
  • Following other states, Colorado is currently evaluating a euthanasia bill. Don’t be fooled here. As health care becomes increasingly a public funded benefit, your diagnosis will be seen more and more as a burden to the “system”. The financial incentives to terminate old and sick people will get greater and greater. Dana Palmer wrote a compelling article recently. She has been battling her insurance company to get approval for a consultation with a brain cancer specialist. She rightly wonders, if the proposed Colorado law were in effect, if her insurance would counter her request with a notice that they would be more than happy to pay for a lethal prescription instead. In fact, it isn’t outside of reason to think of a situation when someone is given a terminal diagnosis, that that is all the insurance will pay for. Back in 2005, Dana was given 3-12 months to live. She was diagnosed as hopelessly terminal. Thankfully, she wasn’t only given one option…to die. She has battled and continues to battle…thankful for every breath she takes. I am of the opinion that government health care will increasingly not care.

 


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The Violence of the Pre-Flood World

I just returned from a filming trip with Dr. Marcus Ross. We met at the 50-acre Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee. If you ever find yourself near there, it would be worth visiting. Although there are exhibits in many different areas, our interest was in the natural history section with full skeletons of very diverse creatures from T-Rex to Apatosaurus, from Pterosaurs to the Woolly Mammoth and Saber-Toothed Tigers.

Dr. Ross is a paleontologist who has focused his research on dinosaurs. So our purpose for this part of the documentary (Is Genesis History?) was to learn more about that fascinating world…a world that no longer exists. Peter refers to the pre-flood earth as “the world that then existed perished” (2 Peter 3:6) and that God “did not spare the ancient world” (2 Peter 2:5). Clearly, the world that existed before the Flood was very different form the world we live in today. As Dr. Steve Austin and Dr. Kurt Wise explained in earlier filming segments, our common Christian understanding that the Flood simply soaked the earth is all wrong. The crust of the earth broke open and with enormous magma eruptions and tsunami forces of unimaginable size, God essentially remade the surface of the earth…and most probably the atmosphere as well.

The old world was filled with huge creatures; strange creatures. They swam in the ocean, walked the earth, and flew in the skies. The Megalodon shark had a jaw opening of nearly 100 square feet and teeth that were 7 inches long. The “Loch Ness” monster of that world was the Mauisaurus with a neck that was 49 feet long.  On land, the Apatosaurus had a tail that was 50 feet long and was likely used as a defense mechanism, not physically threatening, but it could be “cracked” like a bullwhip and create a deafening boom like a cannon. In the air flew the Pterosaurs. This was the exhibit that fascinated me the most, I guess because of my love for flying. The Pterosaur could fold its wings, somewhat like the F-18 on a carrier, but the pterosaur had hands at this bend, so on the ground they were a quadruped, walking on four “legs”. The conventional paradigm would say that they evolved from land dwellers, somehow growing wings and taking flight. Dr. Ross explained how the pterosaur, like every flying creature, had to have a special hollow bone structure and body and organ design in order to fly. This isn’t a land creature that evolved wings; it was built to fly from the ground up (pun intended).

We talked about the fossil record, how each “layer” has been used to show the evolution of life, but it can just as well show the order of communities of creatures that were swept up in the catastrophe of the flood, beginning with the low-lying marine creatures, and subsequently deposited in the enormous sedimentary layers that we find all over the earth…some layers, like the Redwall Limestone, are up to 800 feet thick. All of these layers are filled with the remains of creatures that were destroyed in the Flood. We walk on top of a literal grave yard. Everywhere.

But, of all we talked about, the complexity of the creatures from the bottom to the top, the grand diversity of life throughout the layers, the lack of evidence for evolutionary development…it was the reason for the destruction of life that ended up being the focus of our interview.

Dr. Ross pointed out that the evidence we have from that world is that is was an extremely violent one. We often think of the violence that seems to be escalating in our current world, but it was nothing to what the ancient world experienced. I had mistakenly thought that God destroyed the world because of the evil of man, and that is true. But Dr. Ross pointed out something very important.

So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them. Genesis 6:7

God didn’t just destroy man, but animals as well. Why did He do that?

We know that the Fall dropped the entire universe into a world of decay, but we are most familiar with the sin and evil that infected the human race. Indeed, it appears to have been rife:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

But we also know that something happened to the animals. They were created herbivorous, but after the fall were carnivorous. The future hope is that the lion will lie down with the lamb and the cobra will not strike. This is a picture of the way animals were supposed to be. But just as the whole universe fell with Adam and is now groaning in its decay, so, too, did the animal kingdom. Ferocious creatures roamed the earth and swam in the oceans and flew in the skies. Dr. Ross talked about the teeth marks that are found on dinosaur bones.

It was a world and environment that allowed both plants and animals to live long and grow large, but they were infected with the savage disease of the Fall.

It was a world filled with abundant violence…both in man and beast.

And therefore God “wiped them all out”.

Understanding this is critical. Ignoring it is perilous. Peter refers to those who scoff at it, those who close their eyes to the evidence that is obvious...those who "willfully un-see". But he puts it in the context of judgment. If you ignore the judgment of God in the past, when He destroyed the world that then was, then you might think you can ignore the judgment that is coming. Peter mentions that the world was cleansed before with water and it will, in the future, be cleansed with fire.

In between, it was cleansed with blood…the blood of the Lamb.

If one ignores the judgments of God, one will not only ignore the notion of sin, but miss the entire “good news” of the Redemption and the Restoration.

All of this has been preserved for us in the bones...in the earth’s graveyard.

Look at them with wisdom and understanding.

 


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Week in Review: 7.2016

  • Everything this week was overshadowed, in my opinion, by the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  I will write more on the issue that now arises with his death and departure from the bench, but it is sufficient to say that this is a severe blow to our nation. We have lost a strong judicial leader. Scalia held firmly to the notion that we must be governed by the Constitution…a growing rarity in the Federal Government. Scalia once said, sadly, that he didn’t think we would ever return to abiding by Constitutional Law. Without it, the Federal Government is unaccountable. Scalia fought to bring us back under that accountability. Now he is gone. The Remnant must be in diligent prayer for this. If the current President appoints a replacement, it will be someone who is of the complete opposite opinion. The court will tip further toward the position that law is to be made by those in power but without Constitutional authority to do so: the Judicial and Executive Branch, with all of its Agencies. Without any accountability coming from the press or the State Governors, we are increasingly allowing the Federal Government to become an unfettered beast.
  • The Louisiana Governor Edwards has threatened the good people of his state that unless they agree to raise taxes, LSU football will not be played this year. Although there is a big debate about the “profitability” of college football, my guess is that the LSU football program has been targeted by the Governor, not because it would help to balance the state’s budget were it eliminated, but because the threat carries great emotional weight in the battle to raise taxes. Just as the President closed things like the WWII monument during the battle over passing his federal budget, these things are done, not because the financial truth necessitates them, but because of the manipulative power they carry. This is a rather disgusting lack of integrity. But it isn’t as if this virus isn’t common to human nature, for it is found even in the child who tries to manipulate the parent by saying “you don’t love me” when they don’t get their way.  It costs little to keep a memorial open but it is worth gold in the game of manipulating the minds of an unthinking and emotional driven citizenry. The federal and many state budgets are in deep trouble, yet the foolish mindset continues to think that raising taxes, rather than cutting expenses, is the way forward. It isn’t. It is the way of the fool. Education is a huge governmental business. It not only doesn’t belong there, but it suffers from the same monopoly symptoms from which any monopoly suffers: high cost and low quality. Instead of dropping LSU football, the whole country would be better off privatizing colleges and letting the cost/benefits play themselves out in the market.
  • Another “shake-your-head” item comes from San Diego where a city manual intimated disciplinary actions were awaiting those who would dare use the phrase “Founding Fathers”. This, apparently, was a no-no in the regulations entitled “Bias-Free Language”. The rules were fortified this week with additional verbal warnings.  When a watchdog group cried foul, the Mayor immediately tweeted his actions to remove the offending language. One wonders, however, what would have happened had there been no voice raised against it? We all bear a responsibility to speak up when we find things that are wrong. Don’t abdicate this role.
  • This will raise some controversy, even among conservatives, but Virginia is proposing to adopt a law that makes it a $100 offense for smoking in a car with a child. I don’t smoke, but I have long been an advocate for their freedom and for the freedom of a business to allow or disallow smoking on its premise. At issue here is how far we allow the civil government to limit citizen’s freedom under the guise of “protecting” them. The mayor of New York believes that they should protect people from too much sugar and outlawed “big gulp” soft drinks. Others want to outlaw trans fats. I agree that there are things that are harmful to us. But it is a double-edged sword to cry for the government to save us from ourselves. If you are an avid supporter of anti-smoking laws, take notice that we only limit those things that have become politically correct to rail against. Smoking is a popular PC cause today. Sex and profanity and violence and immorality in movies and music aren’t, even though they are polluting us in far worse ways than questionable effects of second-hand smoke. Be careful of granting more power to civil government. If it is of concern to you, sponsor public ads telling adults to refrain or roll down the windows.
  • The Iranian state TV is celebrating its January capture of U.S. Navy sailors by showing humiliating videos of our men during the ordeal. This, of course, is the kind of “lack-of-respect” response that most any Mid-Eastern expert would have predicted following our show of weakness in the President’s illegal treaty with Iran last year. This is but a small consequence compared to those which I believe are yet to come.
  • The earth is but a small spot in the Milky Way Galaxy, which contains 100 billion stars. And, the Milky Way Galaxy is an even smaller spot in the enormity of the Universe and only one of 100 billion “known” galaxies. That number just went up this week as an observatory in Australia discovered several nests of galaxies that have been hidden behind the brilliance of the Milky Way. It boggles the mind to even think of the magnitude of what has just been found: nearly 300 new galaxies discovered. Yet 300 is just a drop in the bucket to the 100 billion galaxies that exist. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1
  • Speaking of a drop in the bucket, we learned this week that over 500,000 “non-citizens” were granted $750 million under Obama Care last year—folks who did not, or could not, verify their citizenship. This is part of a crazy policy where the government gives out money without verification and then asks for it back later if the verification doesn’t eventually show up. For people who have to pay taxes, $750 million dollars is a lot of money, but in the context of a federal budget approaching $4 trillion, it is quite nothing to a federal bureaucrat.
  • And, speaking of budgets, the President and Congress shook hands last year on a 2-year spending plan, and then the President promptly broke that promise this week and submitted a $3.72 trillion dollar budget request, which is a mere $400 billion dollars more than revenue. At some point, some day, and sometime soon, this insanity has to stop. It will either end through wise, tough measures, or it will end in runaway inflation and financial collapse. Why can’t we see this? I suppose it is not much different than the alcoholic whose family keeps pleading with him, asking why he continues to destroy himself and hurt everyone else in the process. We hear the voices, but we can’t stop spending…we can’t stop grabbing more power. It is a national addiction.
  • I can’t stop talking about this…let’s say your daughter makes $33,200 per year. Yet, every year, she spends more than she makes. Her credit card debt is now at $190,000. She keeps getting new credit cards because the others are maxed out. She is excited this year because she intends to add only $4,000 to her debt. Are you okay with this?
  • Last Sunday’s Super Bowl brought in a lot of revenue from the commercials, charging $5 million per 30 seconds. One of those ads was a Doritos commercial showing a pregnant mom getting an ultrasound while dad munched on Doritos. The baby in the womb reacted to the Doritos and appeared to reach out to one held out by the dad, “chasing” it as he playfully moved it around. Most thought it was cute, but the NARAL Pro-Choice America bunch were incensed because Doritos had “humanized” the fetus…obviously making a human baby with arms and legs and a beating heart and maybe just a few weeks from delivery, appear as if it were…well…“human”! My goodness…how politically incorrect of Doritos to make a human baby appear to be a human baby. NARAL wants, of course, for them to be portrayed as something akin to oil sludge. Does anyone else have the sense that we have entered into La La Land?

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