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Is that all there is?

Two weeks ago I was able to visit the King Tut exhibit in Brussels, Belgium.  This is a recreation of his tomb and consisted over 1,500 replicas.   What was fascinating was to see how much the Egyptians thought of the afterlife.  The Pharaohs had boats, grain, servants, etc. to help them through the afterlife.  They thought much of the afterlife as can be seen from all their mummies and the pyramids.
   In today's evolutionary thought process, not much thought is given to the afterlife.  We come from a blob, live here on this earth for 70, or perhaps 80 years, and then die.  So the question that is raised, "Is that all there is?"  Is that all life consists of - to eat at McDonalds, go to work, retire, and then die in the hospital of cancer? 
   The Egyptians, while not getting all the afterlife right, at least understood that there was an afterlife.  For many Americans, evolution says the end of this life is the end of life.  We have no other purpose.  Thus, my question "Is that all there is?"  Indeed not!   Because we were created, we have a purpose on this earth.  And after that, there is an afterlife - heaven or hell.  There is so much more than just dying of cancer.

Citizen Kane, Love, and Wealth

     When I was in Belgium last week I went to see the movie Citizen Kane, a not so veiled film on the publisher William Randolph Hearst.  The story is quite simple.  Charlie Kane was a boy sent off by his mother to be raised by a banker.  He becomes exceptionally rich, and is on his way to becoming the governor of New York.  He is caught with another woman, so he divorces his wife (who was the niece of the president).  Then he marries the singer, and eventually she walks out on him as he is too self-centered.  This 1941 film with Orson Welles is a true classic.
       There are two quotes that made me ponder.   The first was by his friend Mr. Leland:  "That's all he ever wanted out of life, it was love. That's Charlie's story, how he lost it. You see, he just didn't have any to give. Oh, he loved Charlie Kane of course, very dearly!"  And the second, is "Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted, and then lost it."  In the closing scenes you see a vast courtyard full of statues - all his possessions, but as he has died, they are now being sold off.  It reminded me very much of Jesus Christ's words:  "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"  Charlie died alone, and although he had gained the whole world, he had forfeited his soul.
 

Was our revolt justified?

When do you have a right to revolt?  
    According to Romans 13: 1-7: "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.  This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.  Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."
    Thus, we are to respect the government.  And we are not to fear authorities if we do right.  But the Declaration of Independence states:  "He [King George III] has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation."
    One of the cities that was burned, was Norfolk (where we live), on 01 Jan 1776.  But interestingly, after the British started burning the town, the Patriots burned more buildings than the British and then commenced looting the town.  Most historians today agree that the Patriots did far more damage than the British.
    Did the British really bring death, desolation, and tyranny with such cruelty scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages?  The answer is no.  The barbarous ages were much more cruel than what the British did.  See the cruelty during the 30 Years War (1618-1648) when 1/3 of the population in some of the warring states were killed and pillage and rape were very common.  The British actions pale to the terrors of the Assyrians (800-700 BC) - so cruel that many cities gave up without a fight, preferring slavery to torture.  Torture included being flayed alive or being hoisted on a stake that was driven into you.  Let us not forget the Aztecs who conducted the Flower Wars, for the sole purpose of getting prisoners for human sacrifice.  Let us remember the ravages in Europe caused by Attila the Hun.  And cruelty and ravaging list would not be complete without the Moslem Timur the Lame, who massacred 100,000 people in Delhi, and piled the skulls in a heap in 1398.
    Thus, while we rejoice that the USA was formed in 1776, I will say that it is probably not a revolution that would pass the standards set by Romans 13.  The British were not destroying the US, and as such, we should have obeyed the King, as the Bible instructs us.

Rain and Sprinklers

   The other day we were concerned with the lack of rain, and we thought about having to put out our sprinkler system.  The problem with sprinklers is that since we don't have an installed one, we have to keep moving the sprinkler around the yard.  Some areas don't get watered - the narrow strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street,  Or if it does get watered, a lot of the water ends up on the sidewalk where it does no good to the plants.  Other areas the hose does not reach.  Still other areas are watered too much.  And all this watering of the lawn increases our water bill.
     Then God sent a good hard rain.  All the areas got covered - the strip of land between the driveway and the neighbors, the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street, and the back corners.  God is good.