Be a Shining Light

Are you reluctant to give love, or do you harbor feelings of ill-will?  It may be that you are bearing a grudge.  That’s when you can’t budge from the sad thoughts of life.  Why aren’t you able to move on from these corrupted thoughts?   There’s a song by a British quintet entitled, “A Grudge in the Key of Sludge” that captures people’s rather melancholy state.

 Blood, Sweat & Tears

Some people view life as nothing more than blood, sweat and tears.  True, there can be hard times when struggling to accomplish our goals.  As the saying goes, “No pain, no gain.”  Often we make sacrifices in laboring at tasks.  These tasks may not all be physical, but may be any type of work.  In studying an education is challenging.  Some fear taking courses that are difficult.  These subjects may be in science.  Yet there are those that love science and technology.  But others may struggle in physical activities, English, or a foreign language.  But with these tests do we have to feel as though we’re ill-suited for life?

There was a contemporary American jazz-rock group – Blood, Sweat & Tears, well known in the 1960s and early 1970s, a brainchild of the legendary Al Kooper, who puts a new spin on the group’s name, for this band brought joy with music.  Songs that were great hits were: “Child Is The Father To The Man,” “And When I Die,” “You Made Me So Very Happy,” and “Spinning Wheel.”  The group’s music and lyrics captured the realities of life.  In short they sang: “One time you’re up, another you’re down.  Now you’re happy, soon you’re sad.  Anyway, life’s never the same.”  So why would people want to hold on to feelings of ill-will?

Untapped Creativity

Soon or later in life some people find their niche.  Scripture tells us each one has at least one gift.  But some Christians may be blessed with many more.  The key in unlocking your hidden potential is by filtering the noise and distraction from our life.  Patiently embrace peace in tackling problems.  Try to avoid situations which make you become unfocused and irritable.  Relax, play music that lightens your mood, and cultivate those qualities that are beneficial.  With prayer and meditation trust your experiences and you’ll surely discover your untapped potential.

Taste Life’s Possibilities

Try pursuing your own fulfillment with ease, joy and comfort.  Then find meaning in signs, coming your way to test your beliefs.  During your quest you’ll be sure to encounter the miraculous.  In accessing the unknown areas in your life you’ll be able to sleep better, have more energy, and be at peace.  Concerning your future you’ll probably need information from a trusted mentor.  But as you grow older and wiser you’ll realize that although work and money are important, life consists of other essential characteristics.  In a British documentary entitled: “The Possibilities Are Endless”, William Collins focused on life’s infinite realities proved educational.  Watching a show like this may be quite helpful.

Why bear a grudge?

Being reluctant to give should never be in the playbook of a Christian.  He or she must reach out to the needy and to everyone who needs help.  The essence of Christian living is to give and serve others with joy.  With their talent and treasure some Christians are avid givers.  They volunteer at hospitals, nursing homes, book mobiles and at libraries.  When it comes to giving treasure it isn’t only the collection plate in which they drop checks on Sundays, but they also donate to other charitable organizations.

When giving there should be no ill-intent.  Many Christians see themselves as being truly blessed.  For years they have worked in careers, and are now giving back to their communities.  They consider such acts good, for they have tasted life’s possibilities, and are happy to reciprocate.  This giving is wonderful because it provides vital needs to the least among us.   It’s true that a life saved may well become a shining light to emulate.

 

Walking Simply in Love

In life it’s delightful to live simply and share our gifts with others.  That’s how we can capture the dignity of living fulfilled lives.  Life is all about faithful service, and by understanding different in cultures, we’ll love God more, as well as our neighbors.  We’ll be able to capture the truth about brotherly and sisterly love.  Our acts of affection will satisfy many biblical promises in the world.  Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary said, “Let us meet each other with [a] smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”  Knowingly and unknowingly people take their cues from believers.

The Road in Life

Being in Christ there’s a surge of new life.  This could be seen in our churches.  There are those people, who even express this blessing in their daily walk.  Their demeanor shows the embodiment of the merciful love of God.  This sort of love is effective for its healing.  It doesn’t discriminate, nor makes distinctions.  It’s through this caring bridges are built in our world.  These are visual signs of God’s love working within and through us.  People’s love is simply embraced and nurtured.  It’s an ever-watchful as we continue our spiritual journey.  But there’s another way to determine love’s effectiveness.  Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), a Baptist minister, activist, and African-American Civil Rights Movement leader wrote, “A genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus but a molder of consensus.”  It’s for Christians to take people where they are, and bring them along the path of righteousness.   

 Kingdom of Life

It isn’t enough only to be a lover of life, for such people may be selfish in their desires.  It’s wrong to be self-centered and living a life without God.  News about God mustn’t be buried, but proclaimed to build confidence in the world.  To know the glory of Christ we’ve to be creators, who are willing to show others love.  This is how we demonstrate the power of everlasting life entrusted to believers.  Ralph Ellison (1914–1994), a novelist and literary critic said, “If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison and destroy.”  There’s a big difference between “worldly” and “spiritual” love.  Unlike “worldly,” the “spiritual” enlightens and uplifts our hearts and minds.

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), an Irish playwright, novelist, and poet wrote, “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and to do more.”  People could only attain these gifts by accepting our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in their lives.  How we live is determined not only by what we see, but by unseen forces.

 Having Compassion

People must be compassionate towards others.  One of the ways that they can accomplish this is by interacting with them.  As missionaries we have to be compassionate by the way we treat people.  By being loving custodians we’ve to model the love of Christ.  This is the beginning of love that reaches out to our communities.

Muhammad Ali (b. 1942), a former professional boxer said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”  Undoubtedly if people believed they must serve, for it’s the way they must pay back for their stay on earth, this world would be a far better place.  People wouldn’t be so self-centered, but see themselves more as their brothers and sisters’ keepers on earth.  To accomplish such goals are to walk simply in love, and serve others.

Service-Learning

Douglas Adams (1950–2001), an English writer, humorist and dramatist said, “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”  Service-learning must have these attributes.  The National and Community Service Act of 1990 showed that what people learned in and beyond the classroom must foster the development for caring for others.  The characteristics to be noticed are:

  • Persons will learn and develop through active participation by organized service-experiences that meet community needs.
  • Service projects will integrate participants’ academic curricula by providing structured time for thinking, talking, and writing concerning what they are doing, and seeing during these activities.
  • Activists will have opportunities to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge in real life situations in their communities.
  • There will be enhancement of what was taught in classroom-situations through learning beyond the classroom, and the community in helping to foster the development of a sense of caring for others.

Life as Experiences

Henry Ford (1863–1947), an industrialist and the founder of Ford Motor Company wrote, “Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this.  For the world was built to develop character and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure, help us in our marching onward.”  It’s through joining forces with our communities, and by building viable structures people will help them achieve new realities.  Andrew Furco in Service-Learning: A Balance Approach to Experiential Education stated such learning wasn’t the following:

  • Volunteerism – where the primary interest was on the service being provided, and the intended beneficiary were clearly the recipients.
  • Community service – where the primary focus was on the service being provided as well as the benefits that such activities brought to the recipients. Participants receive benefits by learning more about how their services make a difference.
  • Internships that generally engaged individuals in activities, primarily for the purpose of providing hands-on experiences, while enhancing their learning, or understanding of issues to particular areas of studies.
  • Field Education that provided co-curricular service opportunities that will be related, but not fully integrated with their formal goals. People generally performed such services as part of a program designed to enhance their understanding of field studies.

Quality Service

George Washington (1732–1799), the first president of the United States said, “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”  Similar minded people bent on service to their communities will lead to greater understanding in our communities.  But there might be problems threatening to impede such progress.

Quite important is adequate funding by Federal, State and private corporations for community projects.  Another issue coming to the forefront is documenting the progress made during these undertakings.  Nowadays there are miniature digital cameras capable of producing high quality pictures and programs of such projects.  Then there has to be the delivery systems available for participants to bring their work to the attention of the public.  This could be done through participating TV and cable channels, the Internet, local press and publications of different organizations.  It’s imperative that all parties – secular and non-secular alike, become linkages in symbiotic ways.  If the strong bonds for communal advancement don’t presently exist, over time these will develop.  With such progress entities of service-learning will lead to greater social, cultural, spiritual and communal growth.

Serenity

Serenity is a quiet joy that lights up the soul.  It’s the tenderness found in love and its infinite goodness.  Persons with this joy have open hearts because they are willing to forgive.  Their hearts are illuminated and born in tranquility.  This joy could be found in believers.  These Christians are known to have spiritual hearts of goodness.

A theologian, ethicist and professor at the Union Theological Seminary – New York, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) prayed, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  This popular prayer shows insight into the heart that’s supreme, and able to discern what’s true, wise, and best.

Joyful Experiences

People of faith light up with joy as they encounter the poor. This is true love that expresses itself in   helpful acts.  This fruitful love is manifested from the depths of one’s heart.  It’s by service that an individual can attain this reality.  This is the love of Christ taking root in the repentant heart.  This is love beyond love – one about caring for the poor.  It’s the way Christians concentrate on uplifting the ostracized from their plight of degradation.  This service is considered the highest good that’s explained in the Gospel.  It’s the face of truth expressing itself freely without inhibitions in our society.  Only cleansed hearts truly reveal the joy of well-lived lives.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962), a first lady of the United States, politician and diplomat said, “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.  This is how character is built.”  This is true with Christians that are willing to serve.  Their actions build character and impact those they encounter.

 The Wine of Joy

Wine is a festive drink.  Through it joy is born, and there are associations, and symbolism that describe its remarkable presence.  It can be best described as love that flows at weddings, poured out during Eucharistic feasts, and used for medicinal purposes.  Wine is mystery all by itself.  People are touched by its essence.  By it they show joy in the good news of Christ, and his Spirit of Truth.  Consecrated wine is a lightning rod of holiness in a church’s gathering.  This brings together hearts making them one community.

Pope John XXⅢ (1881–1963), a bishop of Rome best summarized the effect of wine on men and women when he said, “Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”  Improvement yes!  The desire to better ourselves as we continue our journey through life, are foremost on our minds.  It must be the focus of this quest as we endeavor to live purpose-driven lives.

Joy of Peace

A president of United States Lyndon B. Johnson (1908–1973) said, “Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.”  O light Eternal, the maker of peace, let us shine our lights to mankind.  Like president Johnson our lights will be steadfast, never letting our batteries run low, for the distance is great.  This is the expression of genuine love, and concern to all people – rich, poor, and indifferent alike. We can capture this serenity through the dialogue of love, our caring ways, and steadfastness in faith.  These gifts are boundless, and transcend all things.  So that’s why we mustn’t be afraid of practicing goodness that some may consider a weakness.  Let our light be on the Good Shepherd, who is the purveyor of peace, and tranquility.  We therefore know that we have achieved peace when we have serene minds.

Serenity Prayer

Reinhold Neibuhr (1892–1971), a theologian and an ethicist wrote the ground-breaking Serenity Prayer – a version Alcoholics Anonymous uses in their Twelve Step Program:

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

 

Forgiveness

Before coming to the Eucharistic table it’s required that we ask for forgiveness.  This is while seeking salvation from distress, enemies, bondage, adversaries, defeat, and social decay.  In confidence we approach our Pioneer of Salvation Jesus Christ as we confess our sins.  Many Christians wish to be saved from sins and death, and to be free of guilt, and estrangement.  Most of our problems are through ignorance, bondage, and vice.  Mother Teresa (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary said, “Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”  Prayers of forgiveness have implications, for they eventually release us from guilt.  They bring joy, and bless us with the happiness of being forgiven.  Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India wrote, “Prayer is not asking.  It is a longing of the soul.  It is daily admission of one’s weakness.  It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”  But some prominent individuals see prayer differently.  Their actions speak louder than words.

Gift of Life

People need prayer – this gift of life has meaning in our lives.  Why must we lead meaningless lives buffeted by the pressures of the world?  It’s wise to seek God’s presence, for he comes to us in every place and situation.  Let each moment be your ongoing experience of being with the living Christ.  So free yourselves from bondage and futility, and attain final reconciliation.  Be emancipated from evil and grow in the enrichment by Christ’s goodness.  Lou Holz (b. 1937), a former football player, and coach said, “Sacrifice, discipline and prayer are essential.  People gain strength through God’s word, and receive grace from the sacrament.  And we fumble due to sin – and it’s gonna happen – confession put us back on the field.”  It should be our desire to be in the game of life.  .

Power of the Holy Spirit

Christians delight when they experience the power of the Spirit.  This means liberation, joy, and a sign of our growing maturity.  By redemption they hope to achieve the prefect likeness of Christ.  This acceptance of God’s gift of immortality brings peace, courage, and hope.  Believers become dedicated to his service.  This self-fulfillment comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when our rebellious nature is subdued that has caused the sickness of souls.  With repentance this lifestyle begins to enthrone God in our hearts.  Like Mark Twain (1835–1910), an author and humorist wrote, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  Eventually asking forgiveness will become like a second nature.  We learn to forgive others for we know this is the best way of handling life’s predictions.  This belief was expressed by Tyler Perry (b. 1969), an actor, and filmmaker when he said, “It’s not an easy journey to get to a place where you forgive people.  But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.”  Christian believers are reminded in the New Testament that before receiving the Holy Eucharist they must ask forgiveness of those they have wronged.  What a freeing gift this is in the Eucharistic Mass!

Marianne Williamson (b. 1952), a spiritual teacher and author wrote, “Forgiveness is not always easy.  At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it.  And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.”  Why place such a heavy price of guilt on our shoulders?  Forgiveness though must beckon us to reach out even to our enemies.  That was why Laurence Sterne (1713–1768), an Anglo-Irish novelist and Anglican clergyman said, “Only the brave know how to forgive … a coward never forgives; it is not in his nature.”  Having courage is a blessing, and a true gift to have in seeking forgiveness and reconciliation.

Our Universal King

Our eye will see the Universal King in his beauty.  We’ll behold a land that stretches far away and the Lord in his majesty will honor us.  In this place there’ll be broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars can go, nor stately ships can pass (Isa 33:17, 21).  From his heavenly dwelling place prayers there’ll be pleading to him for forgiveness of those who have sinned (2 Chr 6:39).  King David saw the Lord as his light and salvation.  He feared no one because the Lord was the stronghold of his life (Ps 27:1).  An Anglo-Irish Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Johnathan Swift (1667–1745) said, “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”  While living on an earthly plane causes us not to look ahead to the future.  It’s a future promised by Almighty God, and it’s necessary to have faith in him.

The Scriptures

People may come to believe the Gospel by the reading of the Scriptures.  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), a lecturer and poet wrote: “Never lose the opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”  This beauty takes the form of truth found in God’s word.  This God has seen fit to reveal to us – through his way, the truth, and the light.

As people journey through life they embrace God’s teachings in various ways.  A historian and archivist Mary Ritter Beard (1876–1958) wrote, “Certainly travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”  This revelation is like seeing the true King in word, and deed.  He’s the One in whose hands our salvation lies.

Our Vision

Seeing demands more than mere perception, and there ought to be understanding.  Daniel H. Pink (b. 1964), a bestselling author said, “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes.  Not only is empathy hard to outsource and activate, but it makes the world a better place.”  Isn’t it by seeing the goodness of our King Jesus Christ people find in following his teachings, they are saved?  Undoubtedly according to Pink embracing our divinity might well be hard work, for we experience trials and tribulations in life.

But how do people see Jesus for whom he is?  A Christian evangelist George Muller (1805–1898) wrote, “The more I am in a position to be tried in faith with reference to my body, my family, my service to the Lord, my business, etc., the more shall I have the opportunity of seeing God’s help and deliverance; and every fresh instance, in which He helps and delivers me, will tend towards the increase of my faith.”  By faith there’s spiritual growth. Christians will be able to see their King for who he is.  They will continually be blessed in their perseverance, and know in intricate ways the nature of our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ.

Sowing Seeds

It must always be borne in mind that gossip hurts.  As you look for guidance from the Almighty it’s best to be obedient in life.  In everything pursue wholeness, for it’s the basis of good health.  Anyone doing these things will be blessed with a feeling of worthiness.  When helping anyone there should be no strings attached.  You should do so with an open mind, and let nothing disturb you.  Remember to live a life free from fear and with goodness.

Be sure of yourself.  Touch lives, and change them for the better with kindness.  You shall then be creating a future of hope.  Depend less on a competitive spirit, but on one that’s willing to share, and help others.  With these goals good seeds sprout by nurturing.  William Shakespeare (1564–1616), an English poet and playwright wrote, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

The Earth College

“Our duty is to encourage everyone in his struggle to live up to his own highest ideal, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.”  An Indian Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902) said.  Pursuing the truth has to be an ideal in the Earth College.  It’s often believed you get what you wish for.  It’s therefore necessary to approach life with love. Everyone has at least one talent, and is like students attending the Earth College – Life.  But some of us are handicapped.  They may be born that way.  Regardless of our status – whether able-bodied or handicapped, these are important lessons to learn, and it’s best to master them as early as you can. Do your best so that you don’t have to repeat your mistakes.  That’s why we should share our ideals with those we meet.  We must view everyone as friends on life’s journey.

People must live ethically by honoring their fellowmen and women.  Be good Samaritans to the downtrodden and poor, for we’re all students on planet earth. Do not cheat, nor steal, but work diligently, and God will bless you.  Let your goal be focused on serving and loving others.  Show compassionate when illness and suffering come to members of your community.  By pursuing what’s good this kindness should be your goal.

Love as a Bridge

Ellen G. White (1827–1915), an author, and Christian pioneer of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church wrote, “A Christian reveals true humility by showing the gentleness of Christ, by being always ready to help others, by speaking kind words and performing unselfish acts, which elevate and ennoble the most sacred message that has come to the world.”  Many times love is like making baby steps.  It’s best to take things slowly rather than not doing them at all.  This is the hope from which people should drink.  As people live, their pursuit of personal goals must be based on love. In doing daily chores our guardian angels are with us when we reach out to others.  These help build a bridge to the lovable and unlovable alike.  So remember to approach people with pure hearts, while wishing them all the best for what they are able to do.  It’s John F. Kennedy (1917–1963), president of the United States who said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  These actions show the utmost promises of sowing fertile seeds eternally.

 

Hidden Saints

Why must we look out for saints?  It’s because if we spot them we can expect unexpected blessings.  Where do we find them?  They are everywhere and we meet them while walking in the woods, shopping, in organizations, at churches, or when we just hop into a McDonald’s or Hardee’s to buy a cup of coffee.  But how do you know they are saints?  Some are unable to recognize them because they appear as all sorts of people with different vocations.  For one, when they greet you, you may be tempted to ignore them because they look ordinary.

Sometimes they strike up a conversation, and you may not even realize there was anything particularly striking, or unusual about them.  This saint might focus on some problem you’re concerned about that you wish would go away.  Then here comes this man or woman and as they spoke with you, they reveal the same problem troubling you.

It could be whether you must quit your job for other work, having financial problems, or struggling with a sick child at home.  What can you do?  You might have relocated to a new town, and are looking for an apartment.  Then again, it might be you simply wish to know the quickest way to your son’s soccer game.  This saint unexpectedly provides the answer you have never imagined.  You didn’t realize it, but in hindsight you’re sure the person with whom you were chatting, provided an answer that literally saved your life.  An American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (b. 1941) in his lyrics “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” sang about an orphan with his gun crying like a fire in the sun:

Lookout, the saints are coming through

And it’s all over baby blue…

Unlike the lines of these lyrics it is never over, for saints are blessed with an eternal future.  Everywhere they pop up unexpectedly appearing in places and situations where you least expect to see them.  During these times they are working with, and for us, helping solve problems, and shedding light on new ones.

Unexpected Saints

Some saints are considered hidden. On Vatican Radio on December 4th, 2014, Pope Francis (b. 1936) at morning mass at Santa Marta recalled his experiences with them, “There are many hidden saints, men, women, fathers and mothers of families, sick people, priests who every day put into practice the love of Jesus; and this give us hope.”

By simply giving a cup of water to a thirty beggar a saint will be of help, and important gift is feeding the starving in the midst of devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and drought.  You see them building homes for the homeless, and digging wells in impoverished regions, to bring fresh water and relief to villagers.  While working in hospitals, medical centers, and soup kitchens some still go unrecognized.

Throes of Life

In the throes of life saints appear in places where there are severe pangs, pains and suffering.  During extreme difficulties and troubles, they slave away with and for us.  It might be an era of great revolutions, or social change in nations, but they are with the down-trodden.  In these agonizing crises they silently nurse wounds, and care for the sick, and dying.

Pop groups have sprung up capturing these dark moments of life.  Throes of Perdition lyrics by TRIVIUM use images of being blind-folded, gagged, firing squads, vultures and hyenas to promote themselves.  Throes of Dawn – a band formed in 1994, is a dark metal band from Finland that provides music that pushes the fear of pain in human existence.  Their fare is emotional, dark and progressive music with growling, screaming and bittersweet experiences.  An English rock band Pink Floyd founded in 1979, inducted in the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1996, in “One Of My Turns” – The Wall Lyrics sang, “This is just a passing phase”:

One of my bad days.

Would you want to watch T.V.?

Or get between the sheets?”

Although saints work around the world there are social deficiencies crying out for help.  We find evidence of these problems in our pop culture.  But regardless how bleak these situations are, the meek, hard-working and hidden saints make a difference impacting communities for the better.

 

Our Life’s Predicament

Since the fall of Adam and Eve human beings have faced quite a predicament, but Christ’s dying on the cross at Calvary has saved us.  The problem with our first parents’ downfall led to the fall of humanity.  Moral evil (sin) has entered the world and we live in a state of alienation from God.  This was because of the betrayal of trust in the Garden of Eden.  With this betrayal many humans now have toxic and malignant personal power.  The core of sin is unbelief and hardness of heart that have cast blights over the world.  People have made bad choices, but God wants us to look to him, and reverse our direction.  Franz Wright (b. 1953), a poet said, “I am in no way different from anyone else, that my predicament, my sense of aloneness or isolation may be precisely what unites me with everyone else.”  Wright has succinctly reflected on the plight that everyone has found themselves in.

State of Enmity

 Lots of repercussions followed mankind’s fall, but people persist in living sinful lives.  There’s a lack of reconciliation with God.  People worship profit, and consumption that have become false idols in their lives.  With the propensity to sin they are afflicted with a bad spiritual infection.  Sins lurk in their beings.   People practice self-elevation and aggrandizement.  Now they are struck with physical evils of all sorts.  With these misplaced allegiances they have become willing accomplices in evil schemes.  Many are now notable sinners in this world.  Thomas Sydenham (1624–1689), an English author and physician wrote, “Lastly, he must remember that he himself hath no exemption from the common lot, but he is bound by the same laws of mortality, and liable to the same ailments and afflictions with his fellows.”  With the fall of the first man and woman sin has enveloped us in profound ways.  The only way to counter such evils is to turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness.

Alienation

Presently many people are living with souls weighed down and tormented.  These people have cursed and corrupted souls.  But by pursuing evil ways they can be lost forever.  It’s only through salvation that people’s souls are saved.  Souls separated from God are in an ongoing state of enmity with him.  These are the ones that have fallen short of the glory of God, who refuse to repent because of pride.  The Bible teaches that “… the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).  This is the gift people ought to pursue.  Eugene Ionesco (1909–1994), a Romanian playwright said, “There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.”  The consequences of living in alienation are devastating for people living in a corrupt world.

Broken Relationships

It’s for people to correct their ruptured relationships by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior – for he’s our new Adam.  He alone can expiate our guilt, heal our souls, change our distorted lives, and revive us.  Only he can do away with people’s corrupt nature, and save us from eternal punishment.  Evil has led to moral and spiritual bondage.  It’s Christ, who can wipe away negative, and defeated thinking.  Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962), a novelist and freelance journalist said, “Find joy in everything you choose to do.  Every job, relationship, home … it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.”  Palahniuk agreed the way people must go about changing their relationships is to embrace a new attitude of love when pursuing peace and justice.