Monthly Archives: January 2021



A65Self-confidence is one of the attributes that will help our kids to be successful in life.  That does not mean that we encourage our kids to be cocky, precocious, or conceited.   We want them to know that they are of great worth but not to be arrogant.

We can increase their confidence by allowing them to use their abilities whenever we can.  This includes dressing themselves, doing dishes, mowing the lawn, etc.  When our children became young adults both they and I noticed that I did not have all the answers anymore.  They were more knowledgeable than I was in many areas.  My sons are also more mechanical than I am.  My daughters are very sensitive to the needs of others and have wonderful leadership skills. 

All of my children are much more technologically savvy than I am.  I have learned to rely on them to help me in all my weak areas.  This helped me and built their confidence as they became successful adults.   

I know that there are some who feel worthless.  I really don’t know how to relate to that feeling since I felt loved and nurtured by my parents, extended family members and kind teachers and church members. Our children will be much more able to understand that their Heavenly Father loves them if they are certain that their earthly father does.

Every child needs a firm foundation of confidence upon which they build their life.  They must know that they are a child of God and have limitless potential.  Our responsibility as parents is to teach them about their potential and help them gain the confidence to pursue that potential. 

Drugs & Alcohol – Consider the Cost 


A107Parents should fear drugs as much as any evil in this world.  Kids can recover from many mistakes but addiction is one of the most destructive and most difficult to escape.  We all have seen what drugs have done to our friends.  Drug use is not a victimless crime.  We should never approve of the use of any recreational drug.  The cost to society and to the lives of our loved ones is just too great.

We live in a crazy world where otherwise intelligent people condone the use of recreational drugs for “medicinal purposes.”  In their attempt to be compassionate, they overlook the danger of the devastating, unintended consequences.  Some scoff at the notion of  a “gateway drug.”  Consider this – If it is OK to use one chemical to escape reality, how big of a step is it to move to another drug that is even better at escaping?

Liquor serves no purpose in the life of a minor.  It never benefited anyone other than to create a chemical “high” that reduces inhibitions and creates a separation from reality.   On the other hand, it has destroyed thousands – maybe even millions if you consider the ripple effect.  Yet, it seems to be the common element in almost all social gatherings.

The costs of alcohol, and now marijuana, include the following:

  1. Impaired driving deaths
  2. Automobile accidents
  3. Unwanted pregnancy
  4. Life destroying alcoholism
  5. Divorce
  6. Child and spousal abuse
  7. Loss of a job
  8. Loss of the trust of ones colleagues
  9. Saying things that should never have been said
  10. Wasted time, wasted money and wasted lives

At times, our high school kids were invited to parties where alcohol was being served.  The kids would say, “It is a party where my friends will be, but I don’t drink.”  Sometimes they would add, “Everyone wants me to be the designated driver, since I don’t drink.  You don’t want them driving drunk and getting killed, do you?”  I appreciate effective negotiating skills, but there is more at issue than having fun and protecting friends.

These should be self-evident facts:

  •  It is illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol, even though that law is almost universally ignored.
  • Parents who buy liquor for their kids or allow it to be served to minors in their home should be legally prosecuted and chastised by their friends.  Some foolish parents say, “I would rather have my kids drink in my house where I can keep an eye on them, since they are going to do it anyway.”  Condoning illegal, immoral, or dangerous behavior is not responsible parenting.
  • No good can come from a kid attending a party where illegal, immoral, or dangerous behavior is occurring.
  • Being a designated driver?  Give me a break!  There will be drunk people driving from a party where alcohol is served.  An automobile can kill a designated driver just as easily as a drunk passenger.  I told my kids that I didn’t want them to be that dead designated driver.

Just because alcohol and marijuana are legal doesn’t mean that they should be used.  Consider the costs.  Above all, consider what you are teaching your children when you use drugs, including alcohol.


a47Aesop taught, “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” As parents, we want our children to be noble souls.  In order to teach a virtue, we must first have a portion of that virtue.  Sophocles shared the secret to developing gratitude, “Gratitude to gratitude always gives birth.” 

Raising noble souls requires that we be grateful for the life we have, which will lead to being even more grateful.  A good first step is to decide to complain less.  Another suggestion is to recognize that “playing the victim” is not healthy.  Those who act like missile seeking targets have little time for gratitude.

Even though we have been richly blessed, some are still ungrateful.  The seriousness of the sin of ingratitude is perfectly illustrated by W. Eugene Hansen.  “It has been said that the sin of ingratitude is more serious than the sin of revenge.  With revenge, we return evil for evil, but with ingratitude, we return evil for good.”

Expressing gratitude is a great way to reinforce the gratitude we feel.  John F. Kennedy explained that words of appreciation are not enough, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  His words remind me of a poem by Grace Noll Crowell entitled “Because of Thy Great Bounty.”  These stanzas have a wonderful message:

“Because I have been given much, I too must give.

Because of thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live.

Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care,

I cannot see another’s lack and I not share.

Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear Lord,

I’ll share thy love again, according to thy word.”

The following is my Top Ten List of Things for Which I Am Grateful.

1)         Waking up each morning next to my wife, realizing that I have one more day with her.  I have been on the brink of death with a heart that was dying.  Receiving a heart transplant gave me more time with my wife and helped me to understand how much I cherish her.

2)         Knowing that my children walk in truth.  We are surrounded by the enemy of truth.  Too many intelligent people substitute their arrogance-driven opinions for true wisdom.  Having children that “choose the right” has been a wonderful blessing for us, as parents.

3)         Having a loving family and friends.  The support of my family and true friends has helped me with every problem I have experienced.  Nothing is more important to me than to love and be loved in return.

4)         Feeling the hope, peace and joy that come from the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Without God, life has no meaning and loving earthly relationships are fleeting.  He is the light of life.

5)         Working on meaningful projects with good people.  My life has been blessed by being involved in meaningful work, both as a professional and as a volunteer.  Humans need to work and to be engaged in meaningful activities to feel fulfillment.

6)         Living in a country that allows me life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The United States of America is a nation established and blessed by God.  It is my obligation to protect this nation from destructive politics and those who ignore the Constitution and the purpose of our country.

7)         Seeing the beauties of nature.  We have travelled the world and found beauty everywhere we have gone. 

8)         Lifting and being lifted by others.  An anonymous family gave me the heart that now beats in my chest.  I show my gratitude by serving others and working to ensure that people understand how they can Donate Life.

9)         Learning new and interesting things.  We are privileged to live in a world where knowledge is ubiquitous.  It is a miracle that I have almost immediate answers to almost any question on my smart phone.

10)       Enjoying each new day and the promise it brings.  Every new day offers the possibility of a new experience, a new friend, a new understanding, a better me. 

I am grateful for a life that gives me the opportunity to be a more noble soul and share that gratitude with my posterity.

Good Parents Listen

A103Child rearing is relatively intuitive for those who want to be a good parent, once we get past our selfishness and ego.  This means that child rearing books are usually not necessary because generations of good parents have raised well-adjusted and good children without them.  I am a CPA by training so you will not find any psychological theory in this article, but you will find what has seemed to work for the nine children that my wife and I have raised.   

Every one of us is unique.  Methods that help one child might not help the next.  Therefore, the wise parent will listen to other’s ideas and decide what is best for each individual child.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”  This is truly wise counsel when raising children.  It’s not easy but it is essential.

These are five important reasons to listen to our kids:

  1. It shows them that they are loved.

Time invested in our children when they are in their early teens will yield dividends for their entire lives.  When you listen, it shows your children how much you value them and their opinions.  Take time to hold and kiss your children and tell them that you love them.  Love in words and in actions.  Even teenagers need to be hugged, whether they admit it or not.  This is particularly important when disciplining is necessary.

  1. At times, they just need to vent.

 There are plenty of causes of stress in children’s lives.  The home should be the shock-absorber, not the shock-creator in life.  Children must know that they are safe sharing problems with their parents.  As much as possible, control your temper, control your tone, control your preaching and allow them to blow off steam.  When they settle down, you can respond honestly and share facts and your feelings.

  1. Given enough time, they can usually solve their own problems.

The best way for children to grow up and take responsibility for their actions and for their own mental health is for them to evaluate and solve their own problems.  Good parents are good sounding boards.  Ask questions.  Never say, “You always…,” or “You never…,” because exaggerations undermine your credibility.  Give them enough time to come to their own solutions.

  1. Sometimes, they will reveal issues that are very important to know.

If you listen well, you will learn what is bothering your kids.  You want to know these things.  Allowing my kids to explain themselves fully, has saved me many times from saying the wrong thing and given me needed information.  Even if there is a serious problem, it is better to know the full extent of the problem before looking for solutions.  Think before responding and reinforce your love for them before you share the harsh realities of consequences.

  1. It is the best way to know what kind of people they are becoming.

You can only know what is going on in their head if they tell you.  You can assume that you know, but you don’t.  You want to develop a relationship with them that will last so, admit when you are wrong, show them how important they are, use humor to make the situation less tense and praise them every time you can, without artificial flattery.

My nine kids will assure you that I am a very imperfect parent, but I tried.  Even as badly as I behaved at times, our ninth child wrote this after she graduated from high school, “I knew I could tell Dad anything.  I knew that although Dad didn’t particularly care who was dating who in my choir class, he would always be there to listen. He may have rolled his eyes or laughed at my stories, but I knew he was listening and really cared what I had to say.”

Relationships that last into adulthood are built on having serious conversations with our children when they know we are listening, that we love them, and that we are considerate of their opinions.  Listen.


25 Lies Taught by Modern Media    


The media of the 21st Century trivializes the wisdom of God and glorifies the vanity of celebrities and demagogues.  Do not underestimate the power of the media.  Lessons on morality and acceptable human behavior are being taught every day in the media through TV, movies, music, news programs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, sports, commercials and videos.  The morality of Hollywood is perverse, pervasive and persuasive, which is something that should frighten everyone.

The following list is a compilation of 25 generally-accepted lies that are consistently taught by most modern media.

  1. If you are a married man, you are a buffoon, a compulsive liar, but probably both.
  2. Kids on TV do not need to study.
  3. Kids are usually wiser than parents.
  4. Any type of corporal punishment is child abuse.
  5. Taking the name of the Lord in vain is no more offensive than saying “lettuce.”
  6. Using profanity is how people know that you are really serious.
  7. The Sabbath is just another Saturday with football.
  8. The religion of men is football.
  9. To be attractive, women should be built like tall, skinny ten-       year-olds with breasts.
  10. The religion of women is Oprah.
  11. Social gatherings without alcohol never happen.
  12. Stay-at-home moms are wasting their intelligence and earning potential.
  13. Religion is for simple-minded bigots.
  14. Smoking pot every once in a while is normal.
  15. Pornography is harmless.
  16. Late night comedians explain everything we need to know about politics.
  17. If you don’t support gay marriage, you hate homosexuals.
  18. If you don’t blame humans for global warming, you are really stupid.
  19. Corporations are evil and jobs are created by ever more invasive government.
  20. Dating at age 10 is normal unless the kid is a real nerd.
  21. Dating for anyone over 18 means having sex.
  22. Having sex before marriage not a problem if you are over 16, use a condom and care for each other.
  23. The natural course of romance is; casual sex with someone you just met, regular (but not necessarily exclusive) sex for years, and then marriage, maybe.
  24. Marriage is great if you are in your 30’s and have had sex with a lot of people so that you can be sure that you have made the right choice for your spouse.
  25. Beating your dog is a vicious crime but killing your unborn child is just a choice.

If you are concerned that your children will believe any of these lies, you need to act.

As loving parents, we must:  

  • Teach our kids that just because it is on TV or in movies doesn’t mean that it is true. 
  • Speak up when corrupt philosophies are presented to our kids and refute them. 
  • Educate our kids about morality, its purpose and benefits. 
  • Counsel our children that there is a loving God, he will help us and his commandments are for our benefit.
  • Show by example how to love the sinner but reject the sin.
  • Discuss with our kids how the majority can be wrong, dead wrong.

Our children are precious to us, as parents.  We want them to have values and behavior that will help them be successful in life.  We cannot risk allowing those in the media who do not share the values that have shaped civilization to teach our children concepts that are corrupting and harmful.  We must be proactive in teaching our kids how to find enduring fulfillment and happiness.

Everyone should realize that there is evil in the world and there are powerful people who want us to accept evil. We must fight for truth and goodness.

Principles, Priorities and Expediencies

A52My mantra has always been, “Happiness is the objective of my existence.”  Simply put, this means that I will never knowingly do anything that does not contribute to my happiness.  The major caveat is that happiness rarely means immediate gratification.  As Zig Ziglar said, “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now.”

I have had a wonderful and happy life.  This might mean that I am one of those rare, if not fictional, people who never had problems in life. That is certainly not the case.  I have been fired three times from a job.  I was close to bankruptcy.  I am married to a woman who is as strong-willed as I am.  We had nine children with the exponential problems that come with an exponential number of kids.  Finally, I had heart disease for 13 years that lead to a heart transplant.

With that set of realities, maybe I was just deluded rather than happy.  I don’t think so.  I was happy because, in spite of obstacles, I was certain that I was being true to my mantra and I was working towards what I wanted most.

We all understand the importance of establishing priorities because we have seen what happens to people who have neither focus nor purpose in life.  “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else,” is how Yogi Berra, the renowned baseball catcher and philosopher, put it.

In order to find purpose in life and gain happiness we must establish priorities.  In addition, we must also understand the inter-relationship between principles, priorities and expediencies.

Principles – These are our core values and reflect those things that we believe in the most.  If one believes that riches will bring them the most happiness, then that person’s principles would be – “There is nothing more important than money.”  Or, “Make as much money as possible without risking going to jail.”

My principles are based on God’s laws; such things as virtue, honesty, kindness, etc.  These principles have kept me on course to a happy life.  That is not to say that I am always as virtuous, honest or kind as I ought to be.  However, when I get off course, because I have principles, I know what I have to do to get back on course.

Priorities – The duties that matter most are our priorities; such as our duty to God, our family, our work, our self-improvement, our country, etc.  If my priority is to have a career that produces the most income possible, I will make sure that I spend more time at work than at less important duties. I will also sacrifice whatever it takes to show everyone that my career is the most important thing in my life.

No priority in my life takes precedence over my duty to God, and then my family.  I must follow Him first.  In fact, the reason that I have been fired three times is that my employers expected me to make work my number one priority, sometimes to the exclusion of all else.  Work is very important but no job, boss or career is worth sacrificing those things that matter most.  I was a dedicated and hard-working employee but I was never going to do those things that violated my principles and priorities, so we parted ways.  No regrets.

Expediencies – Urgent demands that must take precedence over other priorities for a defined period of time are expediencies. Those would be such things as a family emergency, a big project at work, or helping someone in urgent need.

Our principles and priorities must never change but expediencies constantly change.  For example, my family is always a higher priority than my work.  However, my expediency is to be on the job each workday, focus completely on the task at hand and willingly work overtime, if necessary.  But, if I get a call to come home because a member of the family is going to the hospital, my expediency immediately changes.  My principles and priorities have not changed but the expediency of the family matter has taken precedence.

In conclusion, set-backs in my career, financial difficulties, family issues and health problems have all come to me.  None of these has kept me from being happy.  There is a joy and satisfaction in doing what you know to be right.  It will bring you self-respect and the respect and love of your spouse and children.  Being true to God’s principles also brings you his comfort, guidance and approval.  I know that true happiness comes in no other way.


A26Too many adults seem to wander in life with no apparent purpose.  They go to work each day and come home to watch TV and drink “a cold one.”  They interact with others only when it involves alcohol and pleasure seeking.  This lifestyle cannot bring happiness. 

People need to be committed to a cause in order to have purpose in life.  Most of our societal problems are the result of so many people following the mantra of the 1970’s, “If it feels good, do it.”  True happiness, however, only comes when we commit ourselves to the more worthy cause of God, family and fellowman.  Some good examples would be Rotary, church, adult literacy, hospital volunteers, Boy or Girl Scouts, schools, etc.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.  Begin it now.”                                                        -William Hutchison Murray

Some choose being committed to making as much money as possible; others choose popularity and fame, or a career.  These commitments produce a temporary satisfaction and a hollow sense of achievement.  True happiness can only be achieved through a commitment to serving others as Christ would have us serve them.  One can make money, be popular and have a great career, but following the example of Jesus Christ will yield a far greater reward.

It is not an easy task to help our children understand that they must be committed to blessing the lives of others if they want to achieve true happiness.  Teaching this lesson must start with example and the example only works if we know the sweetness of serving ourselves.  Sue gives this example, “My cousin’s older children have a sense of value because they are really needed to help care for their special-needs, younger brothers.   Everyone needs to feel that they are a contributing member of the family.” 

We can only teach commitment if we are committed to a worthy cause.  Then, as WH Murray says, “Providence moves too.  Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”  Our lives will be richer, more fulfilling and happier.

The Path of Wisdom


Knowledge is everywhere,
Like carbon atoms surrounding us on earth.
Intelligence is abundant,
As coal deposits with utility and worth.
But wisdom is fairly scarce,
Like dazzling diamonds, most precious since their birth.
All carbon, all related, but not the same.


Knowledge is understanding;
Each path, its length and its direction.
Intelligence is discerning;
The benefit of the path selection.
But true wisdom is choosing;
To walk the strait path of perfection.
All are good but wisdom is man’s best aim.


Wisdom rejects egotism.
The major obstacle to overcome.
A lust for power and riches,
Causes too many people to succumb.
Unchecked physical passions,
Prevent that which one might have become.
All evils shun wisdom, equally to blame.


Proverbs tells all good things are not the same.
“For wisdom is more precious than rubies,
And nothing you desire can compare.”
Wisdom, of all, is worthy of acclaim.


The twenty-first century has brought us a world where knowledge of almost any topic is at our fingertips.  A ubiquitous store of information is available to anyone who has access to a computer or a smart phone.

This almost limitless accumulation of facts should mean that mankind would make better choices and be better people than in the past.  That does not appear to be the case.  You can read thousands of books or spend all of your free time Googling but that does not mean that you will make wise choices.

There are millions of very intelligent people on earth.  They have the ability to understand the knowledge that is around them.  They are learned and are able to determine how separate facts relate to one another.

With so many intelligent people on earth, mankind should be able to make better choices and be better people than in the past.  That does not appear to be the case.    You can be incredibly intelligent and have multiple degrees from renowned universities but that does not mean that you will make wise choices.

Those who are wise choose the correct information that will achieve the best result for all and then properly use that information to govern their lives.  Wisdom does not come from having the most information or being the smartest.  Wisdom comes from avoiding the traps that ensnare most knowledgeable, intelligent people.  The wise are not seduced by the sophistries of society and their own agendas and egos. They, instead, focus on the best answers to the problems that face mankind.

Consider the powerful and intelligent people who have destroyed their reputations, and the lives of others, by making unwise choices.  In recent history those names would include Bernie Madoff, Richard Nixon, Jeff Skilling, Bill Clinton, Dennis Koslowski, Jerry Sandusky, and the list goes on.

Wisdom only comes to those who can successfully abstain from egotism, lust for power and riches and unchecked physical appetites.  These three evils have disgraced powerful men and women since the dawn of civilization.  These same evils also damage those of us who are less knowledgeable and intelligent.

Pride and ego continue to plague even those who can control the other two evils.  It is insidious because everyone wants to feel good about themselves and what they are doing.  The downfall of the egotist comes from two sources.   First, they become more concerned about appearing intelligent and sophisticated rather than standing for that which is right.  Second, they make choices that are politically correct rather than actually correct.

The morality of Hollywood, political agendas and the philosophies of misguided men and women are taking a toll on the wisdom of even the best people.  Pride and ego make them believe and advocate ideas that appeal to the intellect but reject wisdom.  Remember, just because the news reports, “A study shows…” does not mean that the conclusion of the commentator is correct.

While satisfying our egos with intellectualism and elitism makes us feel important, being wise will make us happier. Making wise choices will also benefit those within our sphere of influence.  Most of all, being wise is the best thing we can do for our children and the generations that follow.

Following the False God of the Internet

As a group, those who have endured the most hardship are the most devoted to religious doctrine and practice.  Those who have the most life experience have come to rely on God being an integral part of their everyday lives.

Even though all generational groups believe in God in relatively the same percentages, there is a trend away from organized religion and towards what is now called “spirituality.”   This “spirituality” means that everyone can believe in God and His commandments in a way that most appeals to them.  There is no religious or doctrinal authority. There is no commitment to God, nor his commandments. Into this relative morality void enters the false god of the internet.

Social media requires nothing of its devotees and yet gives one a sense of being a good person, as long you act as most people on-line think is acceptable.  Without religious doctrine, you can make up your own rules; which is precisely the cause of so much hate, violence, heartache, and evil in the world.  Self-righteous rhetoric has become the standard on social media.

The internet and social media are not intrinsically evil.  Sharing experiences and learning from others has many potential benefits.  However, as with most significant advances in human endeavor, a darker side typically develops.  Internet morality has developed into a corrupt counterfeit for the divine and genuine.

We must stop following the false god of social media for these reasons:

  1. Lies – There is no Internet Truth Monitor. We would be wise to heed this warning from Facebook – “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet – Abraham Lincoln.” There is evil in the world and evil people will use every means to take advantage of others.

     Much of what is presented as fact is manipulated to                 support a falsehood.  As David Mitchell sarcastically said,      “Over 85% of all statistics are made up on the spot.”                Politicians from two different parties can use the same            data to support opposite opinions.  It all depends                     on which statistics are used, or ignored, and how                     effectively they can be spun.

  1. A faulty moral compass – The moral compass of our day consists of pleasant sounding platitudes that reflect the philosophies of men, with God playing a supporting role, only as needed. In the digital age, commercial media has a tremendous influence on morality, or lack thereof.  Things that we regularly see on the internet, TV, in the theater and movies would have been scandalous a generation ago.  Consider the source.  Actors and Hollywood-types do not have a good track record of promoting self-restraint, virtue or integrity.

     The jokes of TV comedians are now the only education            that many receive on political, moral and social issues.            This is one of the inherent problems of being “spiritual” –      there is no real anchor to keep you from being swept away      by nonsense, and most of what we see is just that.

  1. Emotional appeal – The internet bombards people with messages that appeal to emotions without considering the consequences. We have been taught that it is immoral to say anything that might make anyone feel bad for what they are doing. But, as philosopher C. Terry Warner put it, “Indulgence is a punitive counterfeit of charity.” 

     This counterfeit tolerance teaches that no one is allowed        to judge anything to be good or evil.  Relative morality is        internet morality – nothing is right or wrong.   The result is      a world of people making up the rules as they go.

    There is also an emotional appeal by attempting to take the     moral high ground by preaching, “God is love.  God is just     love and nothing else; no justice, no obedience, no self-         control and no accountability.”   This is a false sense of           righteousness.

  1. Dehumanizing – Internet morality is often manifested by self-righteous expressions of outrage for something that some other group, country, religion, corporation, etc. did and then demanding that the politicians “do something” to fix the problem. There is no personal commitment other than being offended.  It is a virtual feeling of goodness for doing nothing.

    Social media also allows us to mock others for their beliefs     without having to justify anything that is said.  Many on           social media call others “haters” for not agreeing with             them, and then spew hateful epithets to convince others to     hate everyone that does not agree with them.

  1. Anonymity – It is much easier to be vulgar, hateful, caustic and radical when you don’t have to account for what you say.  After all, the internet is just words and you can’t get in trouble when you are anonymous.   Anonymity is a free pass to be your worst self.  
  1. Wasteful – Much of what we see on social media is not uplifting, beneficial or worthwhile. It is awash in triviality and filth.  Wasting one’s life in trivialities is not what God intended for us to do on this earth.  Genuine morality teaches us to be actively engaged in being good and doing good.  Social media can easily prevent us from doing what we should while giving us a false sense of goodness because we validate others with our “Likes.”
  1. It is not true morality – In a Facebook world, the number of “Likes” someone receives for their opinion is deemed as proof that the opinion is valid and moral. Much of what is “Liked” on social media about family, religion, marriage, gender and fairness is diametrically opposed to what is taught in scripture, including the Ten Commandments.  Morality is divine, and popularity has never been the true standard of goodness..

We live in a real world, not a virtual one.  We must be committed to a morality that lifts ourselves and others.  The Ten Commandments have proven over the millennia to be a trustworthy foundation of a moral society.  They are commandments of God and not suggestions, or broad guidelines open to loose interpretation.

Internet morality is counterfeit.  Following the false god of the internet might make us feel good in the moment but it has no lasting value because it is neither divine nor genuine.  We must return to true morality by following the example of the Greatest Generation –

1. Make God and religion very important in our lives.

2. Worship God in religious services regularly. 

3. Obey God’s commandments. 

Thus, we will less hateful, less self-righteous, more truly moral, more happy and fulfilled. 

“God, you’re not the boss of me.”

A36We recently visited our children who live across the country.  Since they live so far away, the grandsons are not used to having their grandparents around.  I was encouraging the youngest to help clean up his things in the living room.  He was not very happy and he looked up at me and said, “Grandpa, you’re not the boss of me.”

Later in the day, I was reading comments on Facebook regarding a post about religion.  I was shocked by the contempt and arrogance of some of the writers.  It was as if they were using adult words to express the same attitude as my grandson, “God, you’re not the boss of me.”

During my lifetime, I have met many people who have rejected or ignored God.  Their philosophies typically fit in one of the following five categories.

  1. “I believe in God, but I know what is best for me.”

These individuals recognize his presence, or at least, his potential presence.  But, they will not surrender their will to anyone, including God.  The only commandments that they will obey are those that carry a legal penalty.  They will not kill, or steal but the Sabbath is not a holy day, using God’s name in vain is nothing and sexual relations of any kind are fine with consenting adults.

Sadly, they do not understand the significance of God’s commandments and they miss out on the related benefits.  We can choose our actions but we can’t choose the consequences of those actions.  Commandments are the source of wonderful blessings from God. 

  1. “God cannot exist because he would not allow all the terrible things that happen to good people.”

This philosophy assumes that God would not allow this life to be unfair.  A natural disaster, a baby dying, or a child that is a drug addict would not exist in the world that they would create.  They believe that since all of those are present in this life’s experience, there is no God. 

The truth is that we do not have all knowledge and what we think we know could be false.  It is also true that life is not fair, but it was not meant to be fair.  It is a test of our faith and faithfulness. The faithful know that through the omniscience and omnipotence of God, all things will be made fair in the end.  God has a plan for us.  People of faith receive great peace in this life when things go badly.  The godless have nowhere to turn for peace when tragedy strikes, as it always eventually does.

  1. “My parents taught me about God but the more educated I became, the less I could see his relevance.”

Being wealthy, or intellectual, or very talented are wonderful accomplishments, but they often bring an arrogance that stifles a belief in God.  Those who are self-sufficient frequently think that they are smarter than those who recognize God’s hand in their lives.  This pride usually causes them to think that they don’t really need God.  Sometimes they will participate in religion because of the sociality or because it provides good programs for their children.  They, however, pick and choose what to believe, and what is not up to their intellectual standards. 

This cafeteria style religion prevents them from fully benefiting from God’s love and guidance.  As Jorg Klebingat wrote, “Selective obedience brings selective blessings.”  Arrogance does not benefit anyone.  It strokes a man’s pride for a season but that season will end.  The wisdom of man is foolishness to God.  Nevertheless, God is always waiting for the proud to humble themselves and submit to his will.  When they do, life is better because following God is the only true path to happiness.

  1. “Religion (or a belief in God) is the opiate of the masses.”

Some belief there is no force, or intellect or power higher than that of man.  Atheists often uses past abuses by religions as justification for categorizing all religion as evil and destructive but they choose to ignore the fact that the godless have historically been worse.  They also ridicule faith as self-induced in order to escape the realities of life.  Their belief is that we came from nothing and we will end as nothing.  Even brilliant minds, such as Dr. Stephen Hawking, have been seduced by their own intelligence.

Denying God does not make him cease to exist.  It only blocks the path of peace, joy, inspiration, comfort, guidance, family solidarity, hope and love that could be enjoyed by those who choose to reject him.  True disciples of God, and not those who would impose their religion on others, have always enjoyed divine guidance and better lives.

  1. “I believe in a God that lets me have it my way.”

In the early 1970’s, Burger King introduced an ad campaign that told customers that they could, “Have it your way.”  It appears that many people want the same in religion.  They know God exists but they want him to allow them to live the way they choose.  In essence, they want to create God in man’s own image.  Some believe that they deserve to go to heaven because of what they believe and those who don’t believe the same as they do go to hell.

A God of justice would never give his people laws and not expect them to obey them, no matter what they claim to believe.  Our merciful God loves us and wants us to follow him because he knows that the more we become like him, the better and happier we are.  As a group, those who do what God commands have always been better people than those who have it their way.

As a Christian, I know that God lives.  I know that Jesus Christ loves me and has atoned for my sins, if I just repent.  I know from personal experience that Christ visits his people in their afflictions.  I know that when the Lord blesses his children, he usually meets our needs through another person.  I know that his commandments are a blessing to me.  I know that life is not fair but I know in whom I have trusted, that there is a purpose to my life and, through Christ, I can overcome any challenge.

God is the boss of me and I love him for it.