Lonely in a crowd


There was an article which was asking the question “Why have teenage suicides gone up 76 percent in the past decade?”. One reason is information overload. This is the first generation which has had constant access to the Internet on a device which they can carry in their pocket. Am I blaming the smartphone for this? Yes, actually I am. It is not wholly to blame of course. Parents who use electronic babysitters to calm their children also are part of the problem. So why are teens feeling so left out and lonely? Because they don’t engage and talk to each other anymore.

Have you ever watched a group or even a family in a restaurant lately? Most of the time they aren’t talking to each other. They are all looking at their phones or texting or scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Technology is to blame for the lack of interaction in our society because it is like a drug. And we start children on this “drug” sometimes before they can even talk! People don’t feel a connection to their family or their friends because of the detached nature of the relationship. You can’t hear uncertainty or fear in a text, there is no way to relate to an emoticon speaking to you.

All of this technology was supposed to help us not enslave us to it to the point of not being able to spell our words and our emotions. Young people use text abbreviations such as BRB rather than spelling the words and they use them in writing papers in English class and wonder why their grade is not higher? English teachers are having to attempt to undo the damage caused by more than a decade of message-speak. Will they ever be able to undo it? Not likely.

God did not intend for us to be slaves to technology but we are in today’s world. In many countries where there isn’t a rampant embrace of technology, Christian faith and Christianity in general is growing. Because of God’s written Word. People are reading it and praising Him because of Who He is and what He has done for them. Technology can help in this of course, but when we depend on technology more than we depend on God, we have become idol worshipers. Even when we make “our god” statements we have made God in our image and reduced Him to a little “g”. Still an idol because He said in the giving of the Ten Commandments, that we should not make a graven image to represent Him or any other created thing to worship.

The Ten Commandments Exodus 20:1-17

(Deuteronomy 5:6-21)

1 And God spake all these words, saying,

2am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (This is the first commandment)

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

When we turn back to reading the Bible and learning from it, in church or in our homes, then our nation and the world will become the people that God intended for us to be. Pray for your children, teach them from God’s Word, learn from it while you teach them and help them to know that God loves them and has loved them since before they were born. Seek Him while there is time in this life because when this life is over, there are no second chances.

What makes you happy?


Have you found it yet or are you still looking for that person or something which will give you complete contentment? I can tell you for sure that there is nothing in this world which will make you happy. No person or amount of money or things that you own can bring lasting joy and happiness into your life. Depending upon which one of those gives you the most satisfaction, you may feel content or even happy for a while if you do have the love of your life or an amount of money which allows you to cast all of your anxiety and worry to the wind…but it will only last for a while. The stuff that you own only gives you a sense of power because you have something which someone else doesn’t. None of these will bring true happiness for very long.

Many of us do equate happiness with less stress in whatever area of life you feel that in. Whether it is through a satisfying relationship or having enough in your bank account that makes bill paying day easy and fairly stress free. But, could you have or feel happiness and contentment if, like Job, all of it was taken away? How would you feel then? Would you blame God for your troubles? Would you blame yourself?

Feeling discontent and depressed because your life isn’t working out the way that you had hoped it would is kinda natural. Most of us do feel that way from time to time. But blaming God for your trouble or even blaming yourself won’t really help the situation and could make it worse. So, what can you do constructively about the problems in your life? Particularly if the problems were brought on by something that you did or didn’t do. The first step is to admit that you had a hand or even both feet in making your problems worse. If you get that far, then seek out help from someone other than the one who caused the problem. Preferably seek out your answer in God’s Word.

It doesn’t matter if your problem is related to a lack of money or if it is a relationship problem, there is Wisdom found in God’s Word which will give you the right advice to move in the direction of fixing the problem. You have to take the advice to heart and act on it though, God doesn’t reach down and fix things as soon as you ask. He wants you to act on His advice and seek His guidance in whatever area of your life that you need it in. Truthfully, we should be seeking Him in every area of our lives before a problem arises. Not seeking His advice and His wisdom is what gets us in trouble in the first place.

A Carpenter’s Life


JosephandYeshuaI worked alongside my father after my bar mitzvah, when I became a man at 12 years of age. Some days, it was hard work but we managed to keep our shop going for a while. It was hot and dusty work but it was fulfilling, but I knew that I was meant for something more. My dreams and my prayers told me this but I never told anyone until after my father died. Then I told my mother. She did the same thing that she always did and that was to keep those things in her heart and she didn’t tell even my brothers or sisters.

Being the firstborn in the family there is a lot expected of you and nobody knows exactly what to expect most of the time. Particularly from me. My name is Yeshua.

When I found my cousin baptizing people in the Jordan River I knew that I needed to be baptized. He tried to dissuade me from doing so, but I told him that we needed to fulfill all righteousness. So, he consented to do so. When I came up out of the water, I heard my Father’s voice say that He was pleased with me and I felt the Holy Spirit fill my soul. I was still learning at this point, so I went into the wilderness to fast and commune with God for forty days. I didn’t know how bad that would make me feel, but I felt in my Spirit that it needed to be done.

The hunger was almost too much to bear until the fifth day or so, but it became easier from that point on as long as I found a spring to drink from occasionally. When the forty days were up or at least close to being finished I was tempted by Satan with the smell of freshly baked bread at first, then he showed me the Temple and said that I should test God to see if He would send angels to bear me up lest I dash my foot against a stone. Then he tried to tempt Me with the kingdoms of the world and I told him that I would worship God and serve Him only. Then, some angels came and ministered to Me with manna and water.

Then, my work really began.

I walked along the seashore and found some fishermen and I knew I had found most of my disciples. There is yet so much to accomplish and there is little time to finish it all, but with my Father’s help, I will get it done.

We were invited to a wedding in Cana and all of my family and my disciples came along. A couple of hours after we arrived my mother told me that they have run out of wine. I told her that it was not my time to reveal myself but, being my mom she called the servants of the groom and told them to do whatever I told them to do.

There were six pots there which were used to carry water for cleansing according to Jewish custom and they each held about 30 gallons. I told the servants to fill them with water and then draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. They did so and when he tasted it he exclaimed that “Usually a man serves the best wine first and saves the cheap wine for later, but you have saved the best for the end of the feast!” (part 1)(This is my attempt at giving some small look at the life of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, our Savior. Why would I write something like this? Because of people’s conception of His life and, because it is only covered briefly in the gospels, imagination is the only pathway we have to attempt to see some of what is not in the Bible. As long as we don’t add more to His story than that which we can imagine about Him, this is useful and helpful.)

 

We need more Christian men!


The entirety of the Bible, God’s Word, begins in Genesis and all of creation begins with verse 1. Yet the world outside of the doors of the church…any church doesn’t want to hear about creation or how an All-powerful God created the universe. The reason that I am writing this about Christian men is that homes are without them today, sometimes our churches are without Christian men as well.

creationIn the first chapter of Genesis the whole of creation began:

The Creation of the World

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven.c And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,d and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,f and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Men of the church today need to step up to their responsibility at home and in the church because that is our God-given job as fathers and husbands and leaders in the church. If we aren’t doing this then we are letting our children down and our wives down and we aren’t doing the job which God gave to men to do!