Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful tothose for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that producesthorns and thistles is worthless and indanger of being cursed. —Hebrews 6:7,8
The writer of this text chose a good analogy. The analogy is given under the subheading of “warnings against falling away,” and the writer deems it a teaching of maturity. (v.1) We find a few components: land, the rain that falls on it, the act of drinking, the crop, those for whom the crop is farmed and the farmer. The way I see it, the land is us. The rain that falls on the land is the work and revelation of the Holy Spirit. The act of drinking in this rain signifies obedience and cooperation. The crop is the result. Those for whom it is farmed are other people. The farmer is YHWH.
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It had been a while since I last picked up the Little Golden Books classic, Scuffy the Tugboat. As soon as I saw the artwork, I instantly remembered that I'd studied this book intensely when I was just a wee lad with less years under my belt than most humans can count on one hand. I'm grown up now, and grown-ups don't read kid books, right? They're just not suitable for adults to read, so they say.
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Every now and again I meditate on the fact that the atheist / naturalist / materialist position cannot be empirically vindicated. By atheist / naturalist / materialist position, I mean the Epicurean idea that death entails the complete and final cessation of consciousness – that after we die, there will be no more thought, no more experience, no more anything.
One of the many disadvantages of this world view is that no other option can potentially befall it other than falsification. That is to say, even if this position is correct, we can never prove it, for how could we ever be conscious of the cessation of consciousness to prove that such was indeed the case? You need consciousness to prove anything, and indeed, the atheist / naturalist / materialist position cannot be empirically vindicated. It can only prove false, because if even one iota of consciousness continues in any form after death, the idea is effectively bunk.
And so the challenge is for any atheist, naturalist or materialist to satiate my curiosity by reasonably or at least politely answering the following questions: Why believe in an idea whose only possible empirical verification is disproof? What of the hypocrisy in committing yourself to a position that claims to rely on proof as the highest measure of truth when the position itself cannot possibly be proven?
Yep, I'm going to say something totally cheesy that I would usually expect only from the most unconvincing, mass-marketed self-help guru out: Life is like taking a hike. Whether we wander aimlessly or hike with purpose is of course up to us. I can respect both approaches and I can find something positive to glean from all hikers, whether they approach the hike nomadic and existential like Kerouac, or focused and determined like Obama.
Once we have a sense of purpose, the next step becomes fully integrating daily life in accordance with that purpose. To maximize the benefit of anything it is helpful to prepare the mind for the task at hand. Before undertaking any task, one could ask the question, ‘What is most conducive to this purpose?’
Mathematics requires a different mindset than sex.
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I went and paid a visit to my friend The Ghost today, and I'm glad I did. Whenever I need respite from the stupidity of polemical arguments and fruitless banter, I visit him. The Ghost writes about real talk, straight-up soul-stuff that forces you to step back and examine yourself, your actions, and the world around you, and more importantly, how each of those things intertwine in their inherently symbiotic, causal relationships.
For a long time I've had a certain train of thoughts going through my mind, thoughts about freedom, individualism, and their intrinsic weaknesses. See, don't get me wrong, I love freedom in any and all forms.
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At the risk of sounding like a completely arrogant putz, I still have to share this. Lately I’d been thinking a bit about cosmological matters and I independently arrived at the idea of white holes. I thought to myself it was just speculation and that I shouldn’t even pursue the matter. A week later I saw another one of those History Channel segments which often contain variant mixtures of scientific truth and fiction. At any rate, during a discussion on the hypothesis that black hole type forces are responsible for anomalous events occurring around the Bermuda Triangle, the writers noted Einstein actually included white holes in his work. Now what exactly any of this has to do with panspermia, abiogenesis, the origins of the universe or even history for that matter is an entirely different question, one that might be better directed towards the executive producers of the show, but the point is that I was unaware Einstein actually proposed such a thing in his treatises on black holes. The bad news is that’s no longer my independent idea, but then again I guess that’s not all that bad to have what you thought was your own idea confirmed by such a prestigious researcher, as opposed to say, a frontier science nut-job. The whole scenario got me thinking that we’re all capable of doing science, and that we should all trust our intelligent convictions to some extent. Maybe not everyone can do the research part of science, which requires tools, time and technical knowledge of course not everybody will have, but the hypothesizing and critical thinking aspects of science are natural human endeavors anyone can benefit from if they try.
Why might wisdom be defined as more valuable than wealth? Money comes and goes, and with it troubles. Wisdom provides consistency amidst variety; it anchors or adheres to principle. The wise life is the better life regardless of secondary circumstances such as wealth, status or current level of comfort. The wise life cultivates not blind or superficial happiness amidst misfortune, but serene and transcendent understanding whenever possible. For when one is living wisely, it matters little whether one is rich or poor; weekend warrior or professional athlete; far along in their career or nubile; single or happily married. Any combination of those in the absence of wise living can cease to be blissful and quickly turn sour.
I was on the bus riding home the other day when I saw this truck. It was no ordinary truck, but super blinged-out and all fancy looking: you know, the same kind of truck a guy with small-man syndrome buys to compensate for his lack of power, the same kind of truck that sucks up diesel and spews wretched filth into the air and ultimately every corpuscle of the rest of us, the same kind of truck Jello Biafra pokes fun at in that Dead Kennedy's song about the jocks who beat up the "faggot" for throwing rocks. What caught my attention most were the mirrors: they had motors to automatically fold them in and out, which works well in a crowded city because streets are narrow and it's easy as pie to get your mirrors knocked off if you own a car.
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Earlier today I walked down the stairs. I've actually got a few different styles of walking down stairs that I employ depending on how I'm feeling at any given moment. Sometimes I run down them, skipping stairs as I go. The inherent danger is readily apparent. A really hip youth marketer could term this style "extreme stair walking" and probably create a whole new subgenre in the useless sports industry. I could see it in the X-Games now; heaps of would-be athletes clad in dorky-looking protective gear raining down staircases of various heights and grades, all the while sponsored by soda companies, wireless providers and hair product manufacturers.
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It's common knowledge that a frog will remain in a container of water that is being brought slowly to a boil. In fact, the frog will remain there until the temperature gets high enough to cause death. While we humans may be quick to exclaim, "Stupid frog, leap out of the water," before we pride ourselves on our "intelligence" and demean the poor frog for it's apparent lack thereof, we ought to suspend judgment of our fellow creation and try to see things from a more honest perspective.
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