when you see someone doing something, and you say: "I can't understand why [person] would do [action]", the next thing you say usually demonstrates your first statement was true. better not to repeat yourself.
expectations are axe wielding executioners roaming our lives. they cut off, up, and down. they cut us and they cut others. the more you have the more you bleed. the more you have the more bloodletting you'll do.
evolution is a god. it has a will. it makes choices. it has laws that cannot be violated. it has devoted followers. it is used to explain our most important questions. a god that speaks but cannot be spoken to. a god that directs without compassion. a god that touches us but will not be touched. a god with no comfort for those who serve it. a god with truth but no consequences. an amoral god. a god created in our image.
At the height of his influence and power, at only 65 years of age, George Washington stepped down from the Presidency of the United States. He'd won a revolution against the greatest military force on earth. Men died following him by the thousands. The newly formed nation was nervously waiting for the other shoe to drop and to find themselves again at war with stronger, more established countries seeking expansion and dominion in the West. He had every reason a man could have to remain in control; adoration, affirmation, exultation, anticipation. He went back to Mount Vernon. Back to the farm. Hands in the dirt. It shocked the world. It rocked the foundations of political power. In the history of men, no man ever had so much power within his grasp and willfully relinquished it. Kings either died on their thrones or died at the hands of others who took their thrones. The upper class held cruel sway over the lower class until oppression boiled over into bloody rebellion. An entire nation was born in the principle of power laid down.
This week we celebrate the most significant surrender of power conceivable; God himself willingly giving up His throne. The All Powerful, becoming the suffering servant. Freely. Down from The Throne, up to a cross. What Washington did gave one group of people a national identity. What Jesus Christ has done gives anyone who accepts it an eternal identity. Christ surrendered his position of power in the name of freedom for all, paying our debt of sin before God, giving humanity its second real choice. The first tree we looked upon had to do with the knowledge of good and evil, moral truth, the second has to do with the knowledge of fear and pride, motivational truth. Motive. Power. What makes us move. The cross destroys our pride because it leaves us knowing we deserved the death Christ died. The cross destroys our fear because we see God will go to any lengths to open the way for us to come to Him. And so we are left with no motive power but love. The only way any of us are willing to lay down power is in the conviction we are loved. In spite of all that happened to him on the cross, Jesus still cried out to the Father. At his last breath, abandoned, unanswered, in agony, he let go of his power completely. His last words affirming his belief in the Father's love, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." The question for us is simple: does the cross convince you absolutely of the absolute love of God? If it does you will lay down your other motives and embrace Him. Christ will become your center. Love will become your motive. Giving up power will become your habit, and life will spring up in many around you through the living of the gospel life.
"But these models (models of forecasting financial matters) do not fully capture what
I believe has been, to date, only a peripheral addendum to
business-cycle and financial modelling – the innate human responses
that result in swings between euphoria and fear that repeat themselves
generation after generation with little evidence of a learning curve.
Asset-price bubbles build and burst today as they have since the early
18th century, when modern competitive markets evolved. To be sure, we
tend to label such behavioural responses as non-rational. But
forecasters’ concerns should be not whether human response is rational
or irrational, only that it is observable and systematic." (We will never have a perfect model of risk, by Alan Greenspan, Financial Times Online, March 16, 2008, full text here.)
Greenspan is saying our current market crisis isn't so much a crisis of poor business decisions as it is a crisis of belief. There is no way to rationalize our way out of a recession, we can only believe our way out. Confidence must replace doubt. Doesn't this sound strange coming from the pen of the former chairman of the Federal Reserve? Not really. There is no area of life where faith doesn't play a significant part if you dig below the veneer of day to day babble. Are you afraid of the future? You will make protective economic decisions. Enough of us making self-centered economic decisions (ie keeping our own arse safe & secure) creates more fear. There is less risk taking on behalf of ourselves and others. Goods and services become more scarce and more expensive because of selfishness and fear. Do you want to participate in an economic expansion that will be good for all your neighbors? Believe. Know that you have a Father in heaven who cares for your well being and never rests. Perfect love casts out fear. God loves us. Great economic advice.
"If you love someone, set them free..." (I'm sorry I can't even finish that one. I've got a little bile backing up my throat)
Problem 1 - you don't own anyone Problem 2 - try to imagine someone that is loved and is not already free Problem 3 - if you love you can never set yourself free from its obligations, regardless of what the object of your love does or doesn't do
There is no applause loud enough, that lasts long enough to still our hearts. Applause dies out and we die within. More! More! Bravo! Our hearts cry back to the cheering crowd. More! More! Bravo! But the curtains fall on our moments. It is better to have never tasted acclaim than to be teased like this; to have our souls tweaked; to be reminded of our hunger pangs. The response to this need for recognition is not uniform but it is universal. It ranges from denial to unabashed pursuit. Its found in hovels and in the highest politics. Descartes said, "I think therefore I am," but after we think, before we get to "i am," before we believe it, we look for someone to tell us we are, even if they let us know by abusing us (negative applause). If only there was never ending applause. If only there was indelible recognition...then could our hearts rest? then could we love each other truly? Are we only hungry for the sake of hunger or is there something to satisfy us?
There are some major problems with some commonly held beliefs about dating and romance such as "Find someone who loves you for exactly who you are." problem #1 - you don't even know who you are, do you? problem #2 - who you are today isn't who you'll be tomorrow problem #3 - if the only reason you want someone is because they love you for who you are, you don't love them for who they are
If we were taught the truth about marriage instead of fed poetic sounding platitudes about "soul mates," and love that will last as long as the sea rushes to the shores, the divorce rate would go down. The marriage rate would probably go down too. Marriage is about becoming holy, not happy. Holy, not self actualized. Truly complete. Transcendentally whole. If you want to read a good book about marriage there aren't many choices. In fact there is only one I know of that is worth buying because it doesn't list a bunch of b.s. like the typical self help book in Barnes and Noble or the typical sermon preached in most any church you wander into. You can find it here.