THOUGHTS & COMMENTS
If the right materials are placed into the pot, in the right proportions, and heated to the right temperature, a high quality product will be the result.
Glass is one example. Glass is made up of sand, soda and lime. None of these materials in itself will produce anything like glass. And if one element is left out, or of poor quality, or is contaminated, the result is likely to be disastrous. A sheet of glass with an impurity is very likely to be unsightly at best, and brittle (easily broken) at worst.
There are times when altering the formula is desirable. For instance; impurities and deformation is sometimes intentionally added in effort to produce a piece of glass that will be used for a unique vase, but you are unlikely to use the resulting glass to make a window. For a window you want a glass that's as clear as, as...... glass.
Steel is another example of the necessity to utilize only the best of materials. A poor mixture, or less than adequate temperature will result in an inferior product. A high quality knife will withstand abuse and hold a good, sharp edge, while a poor quality knife will bend, chip and will not cut well or straight.
If what you are cutting is a piece of cheese, or even a steak, the quality of the knife you use won't be of much consequence. Ease of cutting and the minimizing of frustration is the most that is at risk. However, if the knife is being held by a surgeon, and it is you on the operating table....!
Consider the consequences if the perfect balance of methods and materials are not maintained in the production of parts intended to make up an airplane or a space shuttle.
Gold and other precious metals are another example of a need for quality. If that gold is intended to be used for a ring or other such jewelry, the quality and purity is not particularly important. That is, if it just how a thing looks that is important, then all that is needed is a ultra thin piece of gold glued to a cheap piece of plastic.
The motto of this country, that is, the advertisements sent out to the world intended to encourage people to come to this land called for the best of humanity. It reads; "Give us your poor, your worthless, your drunkards, your criminals....."
And that is what we got, what the rest of the world was trying to get rid of. This nation became the trash dump of the world.
Does it sound like I am putting down this country? Not at all! I would be foolish to do so since I am one of those the world would wish to be rid of. And as for this nation; with all its disadvantages, I believe it has done very well. I just wish it would continue to do so.
This nation took what would be considered the worst of circumstances, the lowest forms of humanity; and created the finest of nations that the rest of the world struggles to emulate.
And now that it has reached the top, and considers its citizens (at least its citizens do) to be the best of humanity, it is taking a nosedive into corruption.
Nature, that is God's Creation, has a way of weeding out the poor and inferior so that nature can survive and prosper. We call that process "Survival of the Fittest."
And in Nature, that principal works.
Unfortunately, when Man gets hold of a good principal he distorts it and proves its fallibility.
For instance, Hitler attempted to utilize this principal; and we see what a mess he made of it. Would it have worked if he had the chance to continue? Perhaps. But the best he would have been able to produce is an ugly weed. I use as an example that which he considered a "target" mold. Himself; And his inner circle (who he also killed when they no longer served his purpose).
We now have cloning. What will be the result? Will clones be People? Individuals? Will they be extensions of the persons they are cloned from? Will they be subject to the laws of the land? To the Laws of God? Will they be created in God's Image? Will they be facing the possibility of Heaven? Of hell?
What would have happened if Hitler had gotten his hands on cloning?
Would life have any meaning? Does it now, since we all came from bugs?
Is life valued now any more than it was under Hitler?
If so, explain abortion, if you please.
That's the World. But I, and supposedly those of you who are reading this, are not of this World.
We are of the World of God.
Or are we?
Man's way is to confuse, distort, misuse and destroy.
Is this God's way as well?
Of course not. So, why then do we use the World's thinking in God's Church? Why do we magnify God, and minimize His Word and intentions?
Man takes the best he has available and makes a shambles of it.
Why do we think God is going to take the worst of us to magnify His Glory?
Man, that is the World, works hard to abuse and destroy that which it has been given by God.
Yet we expect, as the Church of God, the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Living God to do nothing toward perfecting ourselves, and that God will respect this and reward us for doing so.
God said He will reward us....accordingly.
How many of you employers reward the slack worker?
How many of you parents pat your child on the back when he comes home drunk.
"But we're Sons of God. We're in the Family. God is too loving to kick us out even if we are bad children. We're still His children!"
Is that so? Just keep remembering that when your 50 year old drunk, convict son comes home with a car load of buddies at 2:00 in the morning. And remember also; "Do unto others," and "Judge not and you shall be not judged."
Are you a loving child? Then you are part of the Family of God. If you are not a loving child, then you are not part of the family, and therefore cannot expect the same treatment as those who are.
But if you do not strive to be all that Jesus was (and is), in other words, if your last name isn't "Christ," then you are not part of the Family of Christ.
During early America ocean travel was not like it is today. Travel was very harsh at times, and very dangerous. It was not a trip a person would want to take unless there was something to gain worth the risk.
America was not considered a desirable place to visit, leastwise to live. America was uncivilized, the weather was often harsh and there was no (or very little) housing. The Government was unstable, and business opportunities were few and risky.
For people with nothing to lose, or having capital to risk; the prospects were well worth the trip. But if a person had a good life going in another country, why would he bother?
Jesus came to this earth (a foreign land) to call "whosoever will" to His Land of Plenty." It is a Land unseen, and untried as far as any here on earth is concerned. We only have the Bible and Jesus' Word that such a place exists. It takes Faith to even imagine taking such a journey since we can't just ask our neighbor what it is like, because no one we know has been to Heaven, then returned.
Those who came to America had to sell all they had and come with, essentially, the shirt on their back, because the ships were small and overcrowded with people.
Since the trip was expensive, and certainly at times, difficult to obtain transportation, those who came to America had to leave their families behind, with the hope of their following later.
Jesus said the only way to see His Promised Land was to sell everything and follow Him. This was not difficult for those who had nothing, or very little to sell.
But a rich man? Why would someone who has plenty of tangible wealth want to give it up for something that is intangible and future? If a man is rich, it is most likely he has worked hard to earn that which he has, and his lifelong direction is the opposite of poverty. It is also very likely that he is a speculator, a gambler of sorts (as is evident today) and will not take the gamble.
Jesus also said that He would put families at variance one against another; and that anyone who followed Him would have to leave their family behind.
Family members rarely all become converted at one time. If one is Born Again, and others in the family reject the Faith; then the Believer must leave the others behind, with hopes that they will follow later.
Jesus is reaching deep in the pits for the most pliable of humanity, with the purpose of lifting them high above the world where He will place them on His Throne.
Those who rule and rein (in their own little kingdom) God will cast down. Those who are cast down in this world, and will sever their ties with this world and their fleshly pursuits He will lift up.
To put it in the vernacular: if you lift yourself up by your own bootstraps, you will stumble. If you don't have any bootstraps, you will be able to walk straight.
Man uses the finest of materials to produce the finest of products.
And so does God.
To find the best of materials, you look for the lowliest of raw materials.
For instance; if you want a pearl, you do not look for pearls, you look for clams.
If you are looking for gold, you look for ugly green flecks in a rock. And the chances are, if you find a shiny gold nugget, it will be a worthless piece of fool's gold.
Then when you get all your raw, worthless (looking) resources together, you bring out the hammer.
In the case of gold (as a for instance) all the none-gold particles must be beaten away from the gold, and then washed to rid the gold of fine particles of impurities.
Once the gold has been separated from its stone encasement, and it has been washed of the fine impurities that remain; it is then tried, that is, put to the fire.
A low flame will not produce a valuable piece of gold. The fire has to be sufficient to separate it from all impurities, and to melt it so it can be formed into a usable product. A perfect piece of gold is nothing but a pretty rock, if it not fashioned into something usable.
God tries His "children" in the same manner. He takes a worthless piece of rock (our heart, and the best of Man is nothing but a chunk of clay in God's eyes) and separates our dirty flesh from His valuable Spirit (which only those who have truly received Jesus possess).
Once we are clean, He tries us with fire (tribulation and trials) which further separates the pure gold from the dross.
The Bible uses many examples to describe the processes God uses to purify His "Jewels" with which He will bedeck His Bride, the Church, the Temple, the New Jerusalem. He describes this process as; the separating of chaff and wheat; of tares and wheat; of unproductive branches pruned from the Vine; and from the chastisement of His children.
And Peter clarifies it this way:
Do cults have the answers? Of course not. But they claim to have the answers. And they have an appearance of having the answers. And like the gold plated ring, if you don't dig too deep, the cults will, for a time, satisfy the needs of those who seek morality and a sense of self worth.
"But, wait a minute!" you say. "You forgot the church. It's the church that has the responsibility for the morality of the people. It's the church that has the answers, as well as the avenue to God and Eternal Life."
And that's true; the church should be the place a person goes to find God and Morality. And a child should be able to go to his or her parents for love and instruction; but the parents no longer have the time, nor the ability to fulfill their obligations.
And a child should be able to appeal to the government for assistance in this matter; but the government, though it has taken over the authority of the family, it has not (nor will it) taken over the responsibility of the family. The government has done with the family the same is it does with the laws of the land; it passes new and ever burdening laws on the many, hoping to curb the wrongdoing of the few who are making every effort to avoid any law and its consequence. Meanwhile the law-abiding must suffer the burden of the laws not intended for them. On top of this, while the law books grow fatter, the means and methods for carrying out those laws grow thinner. An old lion with no teeth or claws, and a meow in place of a roar. Punishing the class because the teacher doesn't know what to do with the troublemaker. Kicking the cat because the boss won't do what you want him to do.
[ The principals upon which this nation was founded are quickly vanishing while we become more like the countries we wish to avoid, and even far worse than they could ever dream of becoming.]
A parent should be able to depend on the schools for the moral instruction of their child. And in the past, this was essentially so. And in the past a child was taught to respect (and feel proud of) their Nation to which they pledged allegiance. In the past God was at least highly respected and known as the purpose and sustainer of this country. In the past we were a Christian nation. In the past we were an English speaking nation.
We are now, and becoming ever more, a nation without resources, without morals, without a native tongue, without pride, without a God to lead and sustain us, and without a vision or focus.
Rather than a Melting Pot, we have become an explosion. Instead of looking toward the center by which to unite and bond with the acceptable; we wish to escape into our own little worlds of abstract and abandon.
Though the "Big Bang" theory is a myth, it has proven itself culpable.
The media, in its innocent stage, was self-governing and made every effort to instruct and provide information to the public, keeping in mind the good of the people. The media was at the same time informative, entertaining, and inspiring.
Now the media is self-serving and debasing.
"Censor" has become a bad word.
Immediately after the death of Walt, Disney Productions (Walt's brother and the founding money behind Disney) produced a movie designed for the World, and having a great draw for small children (about a baby dinosaur) with strong language and sexual situations.
The last bastion of morality had fallen. The World and the devil flooded over the wall.
In the past the media was a safe place to leave your child; a place where you knew he or she would only receive that which was clean and wholesome.
Now the practice still persists, but the end result is disastrous.
Even PBS, the Safe channel has displayed movies and programs that embarrassed even me. Consider Marlow, House of Cards (trilogy) and, Equus (spelling). And the danger of obscene commercials hidden amongst the cartoons is frightening.
"But the church, the church is safety for everyone. In the church none of this exists. The church has the Word of Truth. The church has not altered its stance as has the World."
Is that true? Is the church still firm in its convictions?
Five hundred years ago there was essentially one church.
And then there were two.
Now there are probably over thirty three thousand with the number growing rapidly.
The "Big Bang" theory proving itself viable.
Point to one of the churches and tell me it hasn't changed since its beginning. The closest to being unchanged is the Catholic church, or maybe the Seventh Day Adventist or the Moonies.
"My church hasn't changed. It is still the same as it was from the beginning!"
Good for you. And what was your church from the beginning?
Everything looks the same. The building is still the same. The songs may be the same (though I can't tell the new church music from the World's unless I listen closely to the words). Even the message preached may be the same.
The gold plating over the plastic form.
But there has been some fine print added to the bottom of the church Doctrines, that I fear no one notices, which was written by the World.
"Ok, Dad, I'll do whatever you tell me to do. Lay it on me."
"The World out there is a dangerous place. There are many traps and sink holes hidden in places with no other purpose than to snare a young and adventurous person as yourself. Avoid them at all cost. And to help you avoid them, I have made up a list of potential dangers and ways to recognize them. I want you to study them and follow them closely. All you need to know is on this sheet of paper. Memorize it and follow it exactly. Listen to no one else, and do not seek or believe what any one tells you. All truth is on this sheet of paper. Do you understand?"
"I gotcha' Daddy-o. Whatever you say to do, that I do, 'cause I know you knows the truth and wouldn't steer my wrong."
"Good boy. And as long as you stay on the straight and narrow, you will find a ton of future happiness; but if you stray from that path, you will get the worst thrashing of your life. Do you understand what I'm saying, Son?"
"Every word is stored up here in my noggin, Pops. Don't you fret yourself none."
"Ok, as long as we understand each other. Now I have just one more word for you. Don't tell your mother that I told you so, but from my lips to your ears, I want you to know this. Come close so I can whisper it to you."
"What 'cha got for me, Pops? I'm all ears."
"Well, you know I told you about the blessings of doing what I told you to do?"
"Yep, I followed you close there."
"And I told you about the trashing you would get if you disobeyed?"
"Uh huh. I was shakin' in my boots."
"Well, between you and me, since you are my son, and since I have so much love for you, and since we've had this little talk; you don't have to worry about any punishment."
"You mean I don't have to memorize all this stuff on this here paper? I don't have to read it?"
"I didn't say that, but you get the picture."
"You mean if I go out there and fall in them there quagmires you was warning about I don't have to worry about gettin' a licken' or nothing like that?"
"I didn't say that, but that's pretty well the bottom line."
"You mean you won't nag at me about what I do if I gets into trouble?"
"Oh, I'll nag at you plenty, after all, that's my job. But don't concern yourself too much about it, what I want most for you is your happiness."
"You mean to tell me that no matter what I do, or how much trouble I gets myself into, you will rescue me and give me rewards because I'm your son who you love no matter how bad I get?"
"You learn well, my Son. But I want you to keep in mind what I told you. Keep your nose clean, and don't let me catch you getting off the straight and narrow."
"I'll do my best, Daddy-o. You won't catch me if I can help it."
What do you think the son is going to do? He has been given two messages; one that sounds like it has teeth, and the other toothless and lazy and "loving."
Is permissiveness "loving?" Is the church permissive? Do you believe God is permissive? Was God permissive with the Jews? Was God permissive with the Apostles? With the early Christians?
When I was young, talking in church or not wearing a tie would put you in real danger of Damnation. And smoking was a sure path to smoking forever in the Pit. The bottom line was in big, bold letters at the top of the page.
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