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How much is a human life worth? Part II

    Those willing to die for others should be respected.  They are willing to die to help others, to save others from tyranny, to defend others.  They are willing to give their all, even for people they do not know.  They are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice.  They do not eagerly seek death, but they are willing to die for a cause greater than themselves. 
    Such selfless acts of devotion are rare.

Thank you Lord God for putting that selfless spirit in others.

How much is a human worth?

    I pose this question:  Is there anything in this world that is worth dying for?  Is human life so precious that nothing is worth dying for?  Tomorrow is Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as that was the day that the women used to decorate the graves of those who had fallen fighting during the War between the States, or the Civil War.  For the soldiers, defending their country was a cause for which it was worth dying.  For a fireman, it may be trying to save someone's life in a burning building.  For a policeman, it may be trying to stop a crime.  In all these cases, they are not dying for themselves, but for a higher good, for someone else.

Thank you God for the unselfishness of the military, firemen, and policemen who are willing to die to save others.

How much is a pet worth? Part II

     How much is a pet worth?  In California, a man taped the paws of a cat together, and he was sentenced to one year in jail.  (http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20160420/valencia-man-gets-a-year-in-jail-for-taping-cats-paws-together).  In Long Beach, another man killed a pet cat and was sentenced to a year in jail.  (http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/christopher-cruz-long-beach-man-sentenced-to-1-year-in-jail-in-death-of-pet-cat-da-says-1.9834653)  And this past week a person in Norfolk, Va. was sentenced to jail for one year for killing a cat.
      But everywhere in the United States one can kill a nine-month in the womb baby and the abortionist is legally protected.  The world is topsy-turvey when a cat has more value than a human being.

Lord, forgive our nation for valuing humans less than pets.

How much is a pet worth?

  How much is a pet worth?  I know of a guy whose dog limped and had to have surgery.  After surgery, the dog no longer limps, but the owner paid $3,500.  In 2011, (the last year figures are available), the average American salary was $3,769.  Is a dog worth the average monthly salary?  I would contend that that is not being a wise stewardship of your money. 

Lord, help us to spend Your money wisely.

The Fifth Commandment - Part II

     My father-in-law had been in a very good retirement community.  Than as his health deteriorated he moved into personal care, then into skilled nursing.  The care he received was very good, but the problem was he was 15 hours away from his son, and five and a half hours and two hours from his two daughters.  Thus, although we loved him, we could not visit with him on a routine basis.  Therefore, we moved  him to stay with us - he is now surrounded by family and he can see his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren.
    Deuteronomy 5:16 states "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you."  We are trying.

The Fifth Commandment - Part I

What do we do to honor our parents when they are older?  I am not talking about when you are young and they are older, but how about when they are elderly?  Do you call them?  Do you visit with them?  Do you send them cards?
     My wife and I decided that her dad, after his wife passed into glory, should live with us.  Because it is inconvenient for us, our lives are being radically changed.  But we believe that it is the right (Biblical) thing to do.  We are to honor our parents, and having my wife's dad live with us is one way we can express our love for him. 

Lord God, give unto us strength and patience and love as we take care of dad.

Sex and Evolution

    The Bible states that God created male and female animals and humans from the very beginning (Genesis 1).  The evolutionists have to come up with a theory that explains this, and if you go to some websites, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sexual_reproduction, their explanation is void at this point.  For unless you have both male and female reproduction organs at the same time, you cannot reproduce.  They spend a lot of time explaining plants and bacteria, but no time on humans.  How did humans sexual organs evolve?
      On the other hand, Christians know that sex was designed by God, and that it was very good from the beginning. 

     Thank you Lord for making us humans and making us sexual beings.  Thank you Lord for making us male and female.  Thank you Lord for the joy of sex.

Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

In my Western civilization class I teach King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and the conflict between those two and the Crusades.  I also teach about Thomas Becket and his willingness to defy the king, and the King Henry II's desire that Thomas Becket be killed. Today there is the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, named after the same Thomas Becket, set up to defend religious freedom.
     This is from their web site:  "The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, ordered the government not to fine the Little Sisters, and said the lower courts should provide the government an opportunity "to arrive at an approach going forward that  accommodates the petitioner's religious beliefs." 
http://thelittlesistersofthepoor.com/#supreme-court-ruling.

Thank You God for influencing the hearts of the Supreme Court justices.
     

Christianity and Western Civilization

I finished teaching my Western Civilization course (3000 BC to 1600 AD) and I love teaching this course.  It is so neat to show how Christianity influenced so much of Western Civilization.  Whether it was a decree by Charlemagne that every cathedral had to have a school, or the just war theory by St. Augustine, or the establishment of hospitals, or the ending of slavery and gladiator fights of the Roman empire, Christianity put its firm mark on Western civilization.

Thank you Lord that you are the King of this world.

Sexual Activity and iPhone

  In the health app, there is an app for tracking sexual activity.  It asks whether protection was used, but does not ask if it is with your spouse.  It also adds "Sexual activity can affect both physical and emotional health."  That is very true, but only some of the story.  It should have added that it was God's gift to mankind for the mutual building up of the family.

Thank you Lord for creating us male and female.

Health App on iPhone SE

  I bought the new Apple iPhone SE and found that it comes pre-loaded with a health app.  It will automatically track how many steps you take, and you can enter in how much sleep you get.  Not surprisingly, they don't track how much time you spend in prayer.  This is yet another example of how religion is pushed aside.  I did not ask for the health app, but it is there. It automatically tracks how many steps.  But how much time you spend in prayer is obviously not important to the average American.

Lord, may we spend much time praying to you.

Depression - Elijah - God Responds

    The Lord then deals with Elijah and shows Himself in a gentle whisper.  Then he encourages Elijah by telling him to anoint Hazel who, as king of Aram (traditionally Syria), will attack the Israelite nation.  He also has him anoint Jehu who will kill Ahab's descendants.  Third, he is to anoint a helper, Elisha, who will be his right hand man.  Fourth, God encourages him by saying that there are 7,000 who have not bowed down to Baal worship (I Kings 19:15-18).
     Elijah, renewed in the spirit, is no longer depressed.  When Jezebal has a righteous man killed for refusing to yield to eminent domain (the right of the government to seize private property), Elijah challenges Ahab and condemns him to death.
     Lord, help us to be encouraged by other Christians and always to trust in you.

Depression - Elijah - Self Pity

   After Elijah prayed, he ate and slept.  Then he awoke, traveled 40 days and 40 nights and traveled through the Sinai peninsula and ended up at Mt. Horeb, the exact same place where God had appeared to Moses in the burning bush (I Kings 19:7-9, Ex. 3:1). 
    The Lord asked Elijah what he was doing there, and Elijah responds "I have been very zealous . . . I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."
     Note that his focus has changed from the Lord to himself.  No wonder Elijah became depressed.

Depression - Elijah - Suicidal Thoughts

     In my last blog, I wrote about how Elijah had defeated Baal worship and had ended a 3 1/2 year drought.  Jezebel (or JezeBAAL), daughter of EthBAAL, king of Sidon, sends a messenger to Elijah with this message "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow, I do not make your life like one of these [dead Baal priests]."
    What does Elijah do?  Does he face down Ahab?  No.  We read in I Kings 19:3  "Elijah was afraid and ran for his life."  How far did he run?  He ran out of the kingdom of Israel to the southern most part of the kingdom of Judah - 100 miles - just north of the desert.  Then Elijah went a day's journey into the desert and "prayed that he might die.  'I have had enough , Lord.  Take my life.' " (I Kings 19:4).

Lord, may we never become so discouraged, but comfort us in times of trouble.

Depression - Elijah - Victorious

    What causes depression?   I don't know, but I do know that Christians can have severe depression.  One Biblical example is perhaps the greatest prophet who lived - Elijah.  Courageous Elijah - the prophet that stood alone on the top of Mt. Carmel and faced down 450 prophets of Baal who were armed with swords and spears (I Kings 18:28).  After calling down fire from heaven and burning up the bull soaked in water, he slaughters them (I Kings 18:40).   Elijah, the prayer warrior, who prays for rain and a 3 1/2 year drought ends (I Kings 18:44-45).  Elijah, the speediest runner in the Bible, who then out ran Ahab in his chariot even though Ahab had a considerable head start.  The distance?  17 miles (I Kings 18:45-46).
  Elijah beat back Baal and Ahab.
(to be continued).

Year of Wonders - Great Fire?

Geraldine Brooks' novel, A Year of Wonders is based on John Dryden's poem - Annus Mirabilis.  The question is why was it a year of wonders?  After all, this poem was written after the great fire of London, which  burned an estimated 70,000 of the 80,000 homes.  So why is a year of wonders and not a time to be depressed?
    The fire happened in 1666 - with 666 being the mark of the anti-Christ.  But for Christian John Dryden, he was content. 
     Although it was the year of the anti-Christ, it could have been much worse.  First, the English had beaten the Dutch in four naval battles and they were able to resume trade.  Second, in the Great Fire, although so many houses were destroyed, traditionally only six people died.  Third, he sees in the fire a time to rebuild.  He wrote:
     Great as the world's, which, at the death of time
          Must fall, and rise a nobler frame by fire! 
In Dryden's Christian view, the fire was tragic, but it could have been worse.  Old London was destroyed, but new London would be rebuilt.

Lord, we praise You for always being in control and that so few people died in the Great Fire of London.