The essence of the Christian life is not attending meetings or even praying and fasting. The essence of the Christian life is looking intently for bits of God in everything and everyone, everyday, so that you see him a little more clearly, everyday, so that he becomes a little more dear to you, everyday. The essence of the Christian life is being unwilling to close your eyes at night until, having seen a little more of him, you have become a little more like him.
Subjective truth is an oxymoron; objective truth is redundant. Subjective truth is feathers in a wind tunnel, blowing anywhere and everywhere. Objective truth is an anvil, bolted to the floor of the wind tunnel. Subjective truth is your truth and my truth; objective truth is Jesus Christ-immovable, immutable.
To hear a truth, we must first suspect that our present truth might not be. Like Alice's White Queen, who often believed six impossible things before breakfast, I believed many things in my life, considering them to be true at any given time but suspecting that they might not be, until I met Jesus Christ. When we encounter The Truth, we know it and can only accept or reject it. Denial is not an option.
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There's no such thing as great art or poor art. Art is subjective expression. As such, it can be judged only as popular or unpopular. What is banned in Boston may one day receive a million-dollar bid at Christie's. Art has, therefore, no use for critics but frequently finds itself amused by commentators.
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Patience is not developed by being forced to wait in long lines or for long periods of time. Patience is a decision: to sit back rather than lean forward, to shift your weight from the balls of your feet to your heels. To settle your thoughts on now, to enjoy the journey, to give something or someone time to grow.
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God cautions us in Isaiah 55:9 that his ways are not ours and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts (undoubtedly one of the grander understatements). God is warning us that he is not logical and that believing him to be logical will lead to all kinds of disappointment. Logic has been defined as 'the science or history of the human mind, as it traces the progress of our knowledge from our first conceptions through their different combinations, and the numerous deductions that result from comparing them with one another.' Doesn't sound much like God. Yet, we so often strain our relatively minuscule brains to conceive, combine, compare, and deduce. Then we fault God when his conclusions disagree. The repetition of this useless exercise leads to a form of insanity which ultimately manifests in denial of the existence of such an illogical God.
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God clues us in to the fact that, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." In short, God is not logical. This is not to say that he is illogical, only that he is not limited by logic. Simplified, "logic" is connecting the dots. We identify the dots we consider relevant, then connect them into lines and patterns. God, on the other hand, may see that, beneath one of the dots is a stack of a trillion more dots, each of which may be combined with the others. Little wonder that our ways and meanings frequently fail to match God's ways and meanings. Great wonder that, when they don't, we tend to fault him.
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Capitalism-trade and industry controlled by people instead of a state-is a fine notion. Sadly, it has devolved into a culture in which tradesmen and industrialists lie, cheat, and sacrifice themselves and others for money to buy stuff that doesn't work, doesn't last, and doesn't matter. And after they're dead, their lives haven't mattered. Even if they built a city, others will tear it down one day to build a park. Successful capitalists invest themselves in the lives of others.
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One of the biggest obstacles on the path of peace, or even peaceful coexistence, between Israelis and Palestinians was placed by the international community and media when it redefined Hamas as an "organization." One result is that outsiders try to reach a solution based on the assumption that Hamas has structure and leaders. It does not. It has no "political wing" or "militant wing." Hamas is a loosely-knit band of terrorists. Its leaders are whoever has weapons, plans, and influence. Hamas is thuggish and cowardly. Those who fly the green flag are not military combatants. Nor do they represent, or care a whit, for the Palestinian people, as evidenced by their strategy of hiding in and fighting from schools, clinics, hospitals, and people's homes. After what passed for an election some Hamas terrorists were further redefined as politicians and diplomats, though they were neither politic nor diplomatic, evidenced by the fact that many "govern" from Israeli prisons. Prior to the Second Intifada, which began in 2000, Hamas had been emasculated and nearly eradicated by Yassir Arafat, who rounded up, disarmed, and imprisoned the terrorist "leaders, " leaving its remaining members to return to their homes. Arafat ensured that members of Hamas had no place to hide among the Palestinian people. And that is the only way the terrorist cancer in Gaza will be excised today. In the absence of Arafat, the task falls by default to Israel, which would do better to enable the citizens of Gaza to purge themselves of Hamas and reward them for doing so than try to get rid of the bad apples by blowing up the barrel, if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor.
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