Consumption


This word is what our entire economy is based upon these days. We do not produce anything which is exported to other countries, except for printing money. So, what is our country good for? Even the value of our money is suspect and dropping in the eyes of the world, so why do we live this way?

Mostly because of the culture that we live in today, but it started about fifty years ago and it has only gotten worse. When fast food became popular in the fifties, actually that was the start of “instant gratification”, so my estimate is off by about ten or more years. My point is this…when we got to the point of getting something fast or for free, things really started going downhill from there.

Our world was not designed by God to be based on consumption in this manner. We are supposed to produce our food, eat it and work to produce more. In today’s society, this has been replaced with our governments providing for us without even the need to work at all! The Bible says that “if you don’t work, you shouldn’t eat”, but we ignore that and go right along with all of the consumer driven economies and businesses that are available. The chart below shows that the number of structures (buildings) in each area have crossed over, so that now we have more retail structures than production facilities.

My ideas don’t really go along with our economy because we have more electronic consumer abilities today than we have ever had before. I use them as well, so I am not trying to get rid of it entirely. But, when I was growing up, my grandparents grew their own vegetables and we had a herd of cattle which we could choose to have at least one butchered each year for our own use. So our trips to the grocery store usually had to do with getting things which we did not grow or produce like coffee, flour, corn meal, cooking oil, and bacon (although we did have a few hogs which we could use at times too).

Our country and the people in it would be more healthy in every way if we went back to at least a partial agrarian economy where there were more local farmers who produced wholesome, organic foods. The problem is that we don’t have anyone to teach us how to do this anymore! Big farms and the regulations from the FDA have pushed small farms like this out of business.

We were meant to live this way, but we have allowed so much regulation and rules to interfere with our daily lives until the freedoms which our grandfathers and great grandfathers fought for don’t really exist like they once did. It is nobody’s fault but our own, so we can’t blame anyone but ourselves.

God’s Word says that we should live on and work the land that we have and eat the produce of it. Are we doing this? No, we are not and have not been for quite a while. We need to learn God’s way of living and working so that we can be more productive for Him and for us. His advice for this is in His Word, all we need to do and should do is to read it and learn from it.

 

Do you truly KNOW God?


I know that none of us have met Him in person. We won’t do that until we die and stand before Him. But, did you know that you could know God? Yes, we all can if we will seek Him out in the Bible.

I can almost hear people saying “I have read the Bible through many times and I am not going to claim that I know God!”. Why not? He reveals Himself in many ways, not just through His Word but by all of nature that you see around you every day. In the Old Testament God reveals Himself as a loving and patient God Who loves His Creation which includes you and me and all other people in this world.

Yes, there are parts of the Old Testament where God tells Israel as a group to slaughter all of those in the Promised Land where they are going to live. How does this show His love and compassion? Because, those that He told them to kill worshiped demons and idols and they sacrifice their children to their “gods”! God wants that influence taken out of the land that they are to live in because it will influence their children. This is why He tells us to teach our children from the Bible. We are to teach our children its wisdom so that they will know God and not be influenced to “try” some other religion.

Can you know God by reading His Word? I would say so. If you read some letters from your Dad or your grandfather who loved your mother or grandmother, even if you had never met them, you would know that they loved her and wanted to be with her! That is what many of the books in the Old Testament are like, they are like love letters to Israel and its people from God. They are also meant for us as Gentiles too. When Jesus referred to the Scriptures He was speaking of the Old Testament because that was all they had at the time.

The most important thing to remember about God’s Word is that it is True. The entire book from Genesis to Revelation, but especially the Old Testament. Why do I say it like this? Because, in the Old Testament, God was trying to get Israel to worship Him and Him only, not some piece of wood carved in the image of a cow or a snake, or even a man.

God caused all of the miracles which freed the nation of Israel from Egypt, and they still questioned Him. The still couldn’t or wouldn’t believe in Him, even with water from a rock, walking on dry ground through the sea, the supply of enough food for all of them during 40 years in the wilderness. Would it take all of that for us to believe in Him today?

Possibly. We are just as stiff-necked as they were and we don’t believe in Him today, at least much of the world doesn’t. Most of the population worships their ancestors or the stars or a moon-god, some even believe that when they die they will become a god. It isn’t hard to see that even with miracles for proof, many people today would still choose to not believe in Him. What a shame.

It takes a small amount of something called faith to believe in a God Who truly loves us. One Who cares for each of us, whether we know Him yet or not. He has used fishermen, murderers, thieves, and a shepherd boy to fulfill His work in times past. I think that He could use us too.

What is important to you?


There seems to be many people who are running around searching for something which makes them feel good. The travel to places which are beautiful, they go to sports arenas and watch football games and baseball games, some go to race tracks and watch professional drivers run around in circles. Many go on trips called vacations to places that they do not live, to see things for a few days and live there for those few days, sometimes in the lap of luxury. Then what?

You come home. The excitement and the newness of living has worn off. You are sitting in a house, a home, with the same people who went on the vacation but..something is missing. You feel restless, unsatisfied, nervous, anxious, what do you do? Many who can afford to will be off on another trip, somewhere. Anywhere but at home, in a place that is boring and uninteresting.

Contentment is hard to find, unless you have allowed it to find you first. Contentment is a state of mind where you know where you belong and to whom you belong. You don’t have to be married to be content, but it doesn’t hurt! Paul wrote “I have learned to be content in whatever state I find myself in” Philippians 4:11 , wouldn’t it be great if we could all find that place?

Contentment, what is important to you, these two are not exclusive, they are the same. Have you found your place, your “happy place”, the place where you are content and fulfilled with where you are and who you are? Sadly, some people never find that place. Many search for it their entire lives and don’t realize it until they are on their death-bed. By then, it’s too late to enjoy it. I see it in many of my friend’s lives and some of my classmate’s lives as well. Over the years I have watched many of them chase after something which is elusive like a puff of smoke.

A few have found it, but some are still looking even after their children are grown and they are retired from their jobs. Why? Your job doesn’t usually give you contentment and sometimes neither does your family. It seems that many people are content until one or the other is gone, the job or the family and children. Then what do you do?

We identify with our jobs or our family during the productive years of our lives and then when we get to a point, whether young or middle-aged or past 65, where we have the option or maybe we have been forced to “retire” from work, we find that our identity was our contentment. Now that we are past the point of being productive in work or raising a family, life is a big question mark now. Who am I? What do I do now?

Seek out your Savior! If you have not done this during your so-called “productive years”, then truly you need to make it a point to do it today! Why? Because, that place where you have placed your contented feelings during your career or while raising a family is now empty. It was supposed to contain the Holy Spirit all along! Ask Jesus to come in and clean out the space which has been occupied by life and all of its busyness and place His Spirit in there!

That is where Paul got his contentment from. He was a murdering, hunter of the followers of “the Way”, until Jesus stopped him and got in his face. If you have felt the call of Jesus, but you have pushed Him aside, it isn’t too late. Seek Him out in scripture and in a real Bible teaching church, then ask Him to come into your life and clean out the cobwebs and the left over stuff from your life. When He does, you should begin to study and read His Word!

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t understood it before, with His Spirit helping you, the meanings will be clearer. If you can’t grasp something that the Bible says, ask Jesus to make it plain to you so you can.

Then, the things which are important will rearrange themselves and begin to line up from His perspective and your perspective will be lined up with His. That is contentment and being in that place is more rewarding than any “vacation” or any amount of fun that you could have before. I don’t mean that you have to stop doing those things, just keep your eyes focused on Jesus first. Take Him with you, learn to love things from His point of view. He is the Creator, so enjoy His creation, and when you do it in that order…contentment will come to live with you.

What would you do?


Silly question, huh? You don’t even know what I am referring to. How would you answer this in certain situations of your life? Stumped? In many of life’s situation’s, whether they are the life changing kind or not, we need to ask someone this question before we make up our own minds. Because we can get caught up in the moment and make the wrong decision hastily and then regret it later.

Many times in the past, I have made decisions without going over it with a family member or a friend first and I paid for it later. Of course you don’t see that coming, and there is no way to know until after the damage has been done. The point that I am making is that we are people, we all make mistakes and the best way to live a life of purpose and meaning is to make a point that sticks in someone else’s mind. That is what I am trying to do with this.

Today, life is hard, and it isn’t going to get easier. God’s Word spoke of this time and it is still speaking to us if we will listen. Just as when you ask someone’s advice on a decision that you know that you need to make, the Someone that you should ask is always available.

In the prophetic books, especially in the book of Revelation, John tells of a time when knowledge increases and people are running around everywhere. Many of them are looking for something or someone to give their lives a true meaning and purpose, many of those also don’t know that they are looking for that. They just feel that something needs fixing, or that they need something but many of them don’t really know what that something is.

We have all been created with a place in our soul, in our heart, that yearns for God. We may call it “desire”,  or “a hunger for more”, or some other name, but the One that the desire is really drawing us to may not be apparent to us, at least not at first. We strive through our daily lives looking for an elusive fix for something, and for many years at times we don’t know what it is that we are trying to fix. God offers this fix for many areas of life and yet many don’t decide to come to Him, giving excuses of all kinds that don’t mean anything in this life or in eternity.

In spite of what many have been told and taught, we each have an eternity to live. Not here on the earth, but with God in the Heaven which He will bring you to if you are a child of His. If you have not made that decision real and permanent in your heart and changed your life, then you truly need Christ in a most desperate way. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One who died to pay for all of mankind’s sins and rose from the dead so that we can have eternity with Him if we will take hold of the gracious gift that we have been given.

Excuses and the thinking that “I have plenty of time to do that later”, are from the ruler of this world, Satan himself. You can choose to believe or not, it is your choice after all, but…what if what I am saying is true? God can save you through Jesus and the belief in Him that He came to save you because that was His purpose for coming! Putting off the decision of your eternal life is not something which you should do, even for a few minutes because your life is not guaranteed.

Accidents happen all of the time. On the street, on the sidewalk, at home, even when you are at work or at church, your life could be coming to a close and you don’t know that it is coming. But when it comes, regardless of your age or the time in your life that it does, your life ending here is the beginning of your eternity wherever that eternity might be. Please, make the decision to seek someone about this most important decision of your life, your eternal life. I would like to meet you one day and know that this site made a difference to someone.