In Developing Countries;
it is easier to come up with
(if you have the funds for it),
there are many
things that people need
but do not have; indeed
cooked food was the
my mother dispatched
(through us children)
to neighbors, extended family, and friends
as a sign of good will at Christmas time;
watches, shoes, garments, jewelry, dishes, sheets,
pens, books, personal music player, TV, computers, toys, etc.
are all also great
In affluent societies like in the Western World
coming up with the perfect
gift at Christmas
can be a challenge;
because most people use
their regular incomes or
credit cards to buy what they
One option is to buy
or gifts exotic and rare versions
(which can be very pricey)
of things people use on a regular basis.
therefore have to work harder to give the Regular folks
here are a few suggestions of how to give the
The perfect gift takes time
Start early, as early as
listen to everyday conversations,
listen to expressed desires and aspirations
and make a note for
ideas from those conversations. gift
The perfect gift may be an ‘experience’
ideas do not have to be ‘ Gift ‘
they can be
a vacation, cruises, concert, a trip to a destination
museum/zoo visits or theme park rides, air fare, special trips;
time off work, housekeeping, or baby sitting;
an offer of cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping;
scholarship, tuition contribution, tutoring,
a special radio station/you-tube, blog post announcement, etc.
The perfect gift should be personalized, customized or handmade;
an autographed book/ticket/music/fan wear,
(from the author or composer, or admired person)
a person’s name, initials or special message,
can be inscribed on
silverware, bathroom set, plaque, musical instrument;
The perfect gift must fit the personality of the receiver
Some people want big
(the amount spent is impressive)
others look for small details
(how rare, how much effort, how much thoughtfulness!)
Some people are visual
others are action oriented, still
others are moved by sound, etc.
.’ Some people like things, others like ‘experiences
Some people want to keep up with their peers
(they get gifts that are popular)
others want to know that ‘they’ are unique
(they get just for them); gifts
How do you know what is the perfect gift?
People usually give the type of gift
that THEY like to receive; use that to guide your
TO THEM! not the other way around
do not give what you cherish
(I once gifted a
to my wife
that she has never used;
it was something I fancied for myself!)
The perfect gift may be what someone tells you they want
or respond if/when you ask. They tell you directly
Some apps make it easy to create a registry for gift requests.
This should have been posted before Thanksgiving Day. All the same,
“Better Late than never,” and on thanksgiving week,
I heard one radio announcer say:
“Thanksgiving is not a day, it is an attitude of the heart.”
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T – THANK and PRAISE God
for all things
and BIG !
And do not forget
the precious people in your life!
H – HEALTH LIFE AND
are things we can all be thankful for
even if we are ill at a hospital
A – APPRECIATE and ADMIRE
the beauty of
around you. God’s creation
N – NAME and NUMBER
its a rewarding experience,
including the precious people in your life.
K – KINDNESS and THANKSGIVING
in the heart
are twin siblings in the same home.
S – A SMILE and a CHEER;
want to see it on the face of the deserving?
from the heart
and with a warm
G – GIVING and RECEIVING:
The one exists not without the other
I – ICTUS;
Five Greek letters for ‘
‘: fish Jesus, Christ, God, Son, Savior:
at least one reason to
V – VISION and VALUE:
“ like when you say
I see and I value what you have done”
I – INSIDE and OUTSIDE:
, expressed heart in sincere words
N – NICE and NEW:
Thanksgiving is always
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G – GOOD to GREAT:
become ‘Good Gifts’
when it is received with a heartfelt:
I believe in a reality
that is governed by observable and verifiable laws
of science operating within God’s creation.
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I believe that scientific laws and discoveries are valid
for ALL human existence
including those of the children of God(!), that is,
the laws of
gravitation, motion, thermodynamics, relativity, atomic energy, mathematics, statistics, chemistry, physics, electromagnetism, etc.
I do not accept evolution
I cannot rule out evolution by divine design.
Denying the laws and verifiable discoveries of science
on the basis of so-called ‘faith’
is a futile endeavor because
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I believe and accept the scientific advances behind modern technology
that have revolutionized human existence in the fields of
agriculture and food production,
medicine and fighting disease and illnesses,
communication and transportation,
astronomy and even (sadly and unfortunately)
GOD PUT THEM THERE (!!!)
to be discovered for human use!
I also believe and accept verifiable theories and observations of the social sciences
concerning human nature and human interactions:
the quest for power,
how and why people attain, keep and exercise
the quest for possessions including
the universal principle of scarcity,
(human desires and wants are unlimited but resources are),
the economics laws of demand and supply,
the quest for pleasure, Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, etc.
are valid because
GOD PUT THEM THERE!!!!
I believe that God is therefore the greatest scientist;
the greatest, physicist, mathematician, astronomer,
molecular biologist, surgeon, sociologist, etc.! God is above, over, and beyond all of his creation.
I also believe in the writings of the Bible
It is a revelation of an otherwise
How else can we know the God
who is the origin, and is over, above, and beyond the cosmos?
This revelation gives meaning and purpose to life.
It is ultimately the only viable answer
to the question:
“What is the meaning and purpose of life?” Think of God as the
Unlimited Energy that birthed everything
(energy appears to be one of the main constants in the entire cosmos)
but which/who is also a
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I believe God wants men to live within the natural order of creation
FOR THE MOST PART(!!),
that miracles of the dramatic kind
are rare occurrences and
designed by God to be so(!),
because he wants us to live by faith(!!)
and because he wants us to live
within the scientific (natural) laws of his creation!
GOD PUT THEM THERE!!!! Neither Abraham, nor Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Paul, Peter, or James
discovered the aerodynamics in order to build an airplane, nor did they
discover penicillin, the microscope, electricity, the Periodic Table, DNA, X-rays, Quantum Theory, or the connection between smoking and cancer;
gun powder was discovered by the Chinese, and
Archimedes had to discover the buoyancy principle because,
THAT’S HOW GOD INTENDED IT!!!
So child of God
don’t give up on dramatic miracles, but
don’t wait for them either.
It is God’s will that you live your life in obedience to him
with or without miracles.
that you can be sure of is this: ONE MIRACLE
LEARN, UNDERSTAND, AND USE
the laws and principles
that God has put into his creation,
and seek his favor, and
YOU WILL MEET YOUR GOD GIVEN GOALS.
THAT’S HOW GOD INTENDED IT!!!!
LET’S DO THIS! YOU CAN DO THIS!!
Next post: how the perspective above helps us deal with the problem of evil and suffering!!)
How do you know he/she is the One with whom you can have
a long lasting, mutually fulfilling, and happy relationship?
Physical Attraction: What you ‘see’ in the other person says
‘Go ahead, he/she is the one!’ This means that their
looks, fashion sense,
body type, posture and manner of walking
showing self- confidence, humility, focus, …;
attitude and presence,
voice and manner of speaking, etc.,
will meet your individual threshold/preference
for physical attraction,
throughout the relationship.
Ignoring this is why I believe that
(the TV show)
‘Married at First Sight’ does not appear to work well
especially without the necessary cultural history and
without a network of supportive and influential family dynamics
Western Culture emphasize/glamorize this far too much
there other equally
or more important factors
Shared Core Values and Approach to Life
You observe that you share similar views about
the most basic things you believe about life:
God, faith, and prayers,
money, life and death, family,
friends, science, the law, culture,
‘Go ahead, he/she is the one!’
‘ BEHIND THE SCENES‘ Real Life Experience(s) say,
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‘Yes, Go ahead, he/she is the one!’ ‘Behind the scenes’ experience concerning
earning and spending money,
interactions with siblings, parents, relatives,
co-workers, bosses, detractors and opponents,
(how he/she treats them is how he/she will treat you eventually);
leisure and entertainment activities,
loss, illness, heartaches, and outstanding joys,
‘Go ahead’, he/she is the one! However remember
people can and do change.
Sound Logic and Reasoning Confirms it!
my last post Use Your head to guard your heart
Your heart can guide you
but not against objective facts and logic.
Remember, you are committing yourself to
seek that person’s happiness without precondition
in the hope that they will do the same for you.
“Buy a stock the way you would buy a house. Understand and like it such that you’d be content to own it in the absence of any market.”
“Enter a long term relationship the way you would buy a house. Understand and like it such that you’d be content to own it in the absence of making any profit off it.” Why have a brain if you do not use it to make important decisions in life?
If sound logic and reasoning say
“Go ahead, he/she is the one”
. He/She is the one
What about ‘chemistry,’ ‘instinct,’ ‘live in the moment’ or ‘take a risk’?
‘ is mutual physical attraction and a shared approach to life,
(see above), unfortunately,
will not be enough for the long haul.
You would not invest in the stock market solely by instinct;
you need additional information to inform your ‘instinct’;
why then would you invest your life based solely on instinct?
‘Live in the moment’
Only if you have only one moment to live.
Take a risk
Would you jump out of an airplane
without a parachute and/or
without being reasonably sure it works?
We can do this; Let’s do this!!
Note: I apologies for the gap between the last post and this, Apologies for the gap between the last post and this. My excuse? Life Happened (Work, car crashes in the family, etc.). Email me your questions at email@example.com
Fulfilling, loving, mutually satisfying, meaningful, and long lasting relationships boils down to one thing:
both partners in the relationship, without pre-conditions and with 100% sincerity commit themselves to make the other person feel
safe, loved, happy, accepted, appreciated, understood, and
Be “…like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” [Apostle Paul]
To do this requires
(from both sides),
(psychological, social, and emotional);
children are innocent and beautiful to behold
but they can also be incredibly selfish, foolish, insensitive and unstable;
‘man-child’ partners, and ‘baby-girl’ ‘diva’ personalities
find it hard to focus selflessly on others, and
often ruin the chances for long term happy relationships;
because trust, and vulnerability,
to love without pre-conditions is risky, and
to open up to real love means to open up to deep hurt;
those who hurt us the most and
those we hurt the most,
are the ones that are closest to us;
they give the most happiness and/or cause
meaning open and effective communication
willingness to speak
about your fears, wants, and feelings
in a way that your partner can understand
without being pushed away(!), and
willingness to ‘listen’, and
willingness to learn(!)
the ability to forgive and overlook your partner’s fault(s):
(a generous spirit/heart);
‘The teeth and tongue will get in each other’s way sometimes,’ and
it’s not pleasant when they do, but
they must find a way to work together
for the greater good of the body(!)
(in this case the relationship);
An ever growing record of hurts in a relationship
will crush it.
Let your relationship be like a room,
a pleasant place where you both like to relax
and savor each other’s company; one
that is swept clean daily,
of the dust/dirt
(hurts of past days, weeks, and months),
whose windows and doors are constantly open
“When Somebody Loves You Back”
(Teddy Pendergrass )
It’s so good lovin’ somebody;
When somebody loves you back
To be loved and be loved in return
It’s the only thing that my heart desires
Just appreciate the little things I do
Oh, you’re the one who’s got me inspired
Keep on liftin’, liftin’ me higher
We can build a world of love, a life of joy
Make our goal each other’s happiness
I will do for you anything that I can
Oh, everyday I wanna do a little more
Do a little more, just a little bit more
Said now 70-30
Talkin’ ’bout a 50-50 love, yeah
You Can Do This, Let’s Do This!
Note: I have been married 36 years, with 4 grown children, and have spent 30 years in ministry including counselling many couples, at all stages of their relationships. You can say I have been ‘around the block’ a few times.
Email me your questions on relationships and I will answer them as best as I can.
In my last post, I argued that
the perceived benefits of the Trump presidency
from a biblical perspective,
and temporary , earthly not eternal.
Now: The continued Trump presidency
from a biblical perspective, will be
of eternal significance
for the Church, for America, and for the world.
Under the Trump Presidency
Truth/Facts/Reality and our attitudes towards them have suffered.
The Trump administration is “An Administration of Lies.”
The president is a proven, pathological, and an unrepentant liar.
His supporters repeatedly offer
to explain the administration’s actions and statements.
Getting more people to believe a ‘narrative’
(by retweets, ratings, polls, ‘likes’, ‘going viral’, soundbites, etc.)
in modern America
is now more important than the facts and
has been exacerbated by an administration
that peddles lies, obfuscation, spin and/or misdirection.
Truth is a Biblical and Christian ideal.
Truth is eternal!
Deceivers will be eternally punished.
Truth is reality and reality is truth.
Science deals in facts and objective Truth;
without truth and objective facts,
normal living is not possible;
to live in alternative reality is insanity, and
the progress of human civilization is hampered.
Justice for all depends on establishing
what is true and what are the facts (evidence!).
The Image of God
present in every human being;
(along with a sinful fallen nature) that is,
everything that is noble, pure, selfless, and admirable in man suffers.
Instead of the image of God:
humility, selflessness, love, harmony, peacefulness, self control, patience, gentleness, holiness, mercy….
Trump models the sinfulness of Man:
pride, narcissism, hate, division, quarrelsomeness, short temper, impatience, meanness, ‘fight back’, vengeance, impurity and indecency….
Trump undermines our common human dignity by
choosing to divide instead of bringing people together
in order to harness political power.
The Direction and Fate of the World May Change Forever
The Bible predicts that history is marching towards the ‘End Times.’
America is the only economic, military, and cultural superpower.
Trump has stated he acts based on his guts instincts
Trump who appears willing to take unnecessary risks
(economic, military, cultural, political)
without strategy or clear planning;
he can therefore plunge the world into an ‘end times’ scenario
This can also weaken America from within.
a moral beacon in the world,
‘the city on a hill that cannot be hid’ a clear voice for universal human rights,
model of freedom of the press, and as
a model of human dignity,
will be lost forever;
making the biblical ‘end times’ scenario that more certain.
So count me out, I will not be voting for Donald Trump in 2020!
All the benefits of my Vote for Donald Trump Appear to be
Material, Temporal, Earthly
More Conservative Judges
Inasmuch as I want a society
where conservative values are respected, this pertains mostly to America, not the Kingdom of God,
when judges are appointed
by both sides
solely for partisan control of the judiciary,
and it will ultimately corrupt justice
for everyone, forever (!);
will not prevent the ongoing moral decay of humanity
predicted in the Bible, as we move toward the end-times!
” “‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him.
That is, justice must be blind to even the closest earthly affiliations.
The Possibility of Overturning Roe vs. Wade
Inasmuch as I am
(in Church and personal life
and I will work to reduce abortion in society
in other ways other than using the force of law)
and I am also pro-choice , (as a matter of law in society) inasmuch as I will like to reduce abortions in the US,
the church will do a better job to impact society for God
by modelling selfless, holy, and cross-bearing lives as people of faith,
than to try to wield the corrupting tools of political power
to force social change; that is,
making abortion illegal
constrains action by force of law, it
does not change people and
is only a temporary fix, to the eternal problem of the
sinfulness of man, and it
does not address immorality within the Church itself;
I also have hope that God has a plan even for unborn babies
as I believe he does for infants who die early!
Matt. 18.10: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
A friend of the (mostly white) Church in the White House
is temporary, of this earth, not the kingdom of God
if the Church cannot criticize that ‘friend’,
if the Church must always praise that ‘friend’,
if the Church must explain away, excuse, and lie (‘spin’),
when that ‘friend’ lies, divides, and is unrepentant of
deceit, meanness, pride and boastfulness, narcissism, and adultery,
and thereby abandon its basic mission to a lost world:
faithfully proclaim the truth and will of God
that we must be
true, loving, meek and lowly, selfless, and faithful to the wife of our youth, welcoming, be wronged instead of wronging others, give vengeance to God instead of always ‘fighting back.’
Faithful prophetic witness
to powerful (and sometimes corrupt) political leaders (kings)
is clear in the Bible.
It usually involves truth, rebuke, courage, and great risk: Samuel (Eli), Samuel (Saul), Nathan (David),
Elijah (Ahab, Jezebel, Ahaziah), Elisha (Ahab), Micaiah (Ahab)
Isaiah (Manasseh), Jonah (Nineveh),
Jeremiah (Zedekiah), Daniel (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar),
John the Baptist (Herod)
Jesus (Pilate), Peter (Sanhedrin);
the Early Church (the Sanhedrin); and
as the one we see between
It is never a cozy relationship
the White House and white evangelical American leadership.
As good as that sounds,
a strong economy is of this earth, not eternal
Mark 8.36: “What does it profit a man [nation]….”
(as the signs are beginning to show, and
as Donald Trump continues to gamble
with the economy and
with the livelihood of millions of Americans,
using trade wars),
the economy takes a downturn,
as is expected every now and again?
Strong Immigration Enforcement?
This excites those
whose primary concern is America who may be driven by
lack of knowledge and compassion, fear, distaste, and/or
those who are different, who are weak, and destitute;
who have forgotten, who ignore the fact,
that the Kingdom of God is all tribes, tongues and nations
that everyone ‘came from somewhere else’,
that the Bible overwhelmingly teaches love and welcome
for the weak, the widow, the fatherless, the alien ,strangers (!)
that Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus were themselves refugees
to Egypt from political violence!
Matthew 24.44: “Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’”
Revelation 7.9 “…from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb….”
Strong Military and National Defense,
pertains to only America, not the Kingdom of God;
is material, temporary, and earthly.
“For we do not wrestle not against flesh and blood…”
Second Amendment Rights
Is only of this earth, and temporary, and
when promoted unreasonably and at all cost, it
UNDERCUTS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS:
give instead of taking life,
“turning the other cheek”,
“Nevertheless, let your [God’s] will be done not mine” lacks any sound biblical and theological support.
Matt. 16.24: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
The choice between a gun and the cross is easy
– Next Post Why a Vote For Donald Trump has Negative Long Term/Eternal Consequences for America and the Church.