We are Bored!!

We are Bored!

I have been blessed with the opportunity to mentor a lot of men during my life after God kicked me out of the nest.  And you know what the number one issue is with any man who is alive today?  He seeks satisfaction and significance….and the book of the Bible that ALL men should read to explore this is the book of Ecclesiastes.  It is the quintessential authority on the worthlessness of the things that we chase after.

Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 – The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.  “Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

And the book goes on and on about the boredom of life….”without God.”  Because you see there is no satisfaction when you aren’t in a personal relationship with the one who created you.  We chase what the “world” has to offer…. but unfortunately the things that we chase:  money, sex, drugs, or rock and roll give us nothing but heartache and disappointment.  Admit it men….We are THE most materialistic people in the world.  And the result of all of that chasing?

We are bored. We are surrounded by so much opulent wealth that we are absolutely bored to tears.  Nothing is fun or exciting anymore?!?!  But we chase it….boy do we chase it!  If I can just get the next job, or promotion, or hookup, or car, or house, or club membership….you name it…we will chase it.   I got this from someone else (I am not smart enough to come up with it myself), and I can’t remember who…but consider this quote:  “It is not sad when we tire of pain…but it is a tragedy when we tire of pleasure.”  Wow…that is pretty heavy.

The book of Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, who was David’s son.  He had more than anyone who has ever lived.  He was given more wisdom, talent, money, power, and control by the Lord than anyone ever recorded.  He was the smartest guy alive…so what does the smartest guy alive do?  Well he chases it all…in the pursuit of satisfaction.  You read the book…you will not regret it.  And what does he say?

Ecclesiastes 5:10 – Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.  This too is meaningless.

But the cool thing about the book is that at the end of it….he makes a bold proclamation.  After all of that chasing…and I am sure he was tired, because he had 300 wives and a thousand concubines…you make the connection.  Here is what he says…

The Conclusion of the Matter

Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 – 9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.  11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Men…the conclusion of life is this; Without God front and center in your life…without you doing what he “designed” you to do….if you sit in the nest…you will be bored to tears!!!  BUT….if you will spread those wings of yours…and tell the Lord that you are tired of sitting around, and are ready to fly…you will never regret it.  He and He alone is the source of meaning, satisfaction, and significance!  Put Him to the test…and see if he won’t deliver you in a way that will blow your mind.

And the result?  Well…you will be blessed, your life will be fulfilling, your family will be blessed, everyone that God puts in your path will be blessed, and your life won’t be wasted!! And when the Lord meets you when you breathe your last breath….you will hear these amazing words…

            Matthew 25:23 – “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Now that is satisfaction!!!  May the Lord bless you and encourage you to Fly!  Dan

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Why Won’t Men Fly?

I have a friend of mine that branded me as a “nest kicker,” and I like that moniker.  Because when you think about it, there are a lot of men who are still stuck in the nest.  They have wings, and they are big enough and strong enough, but they just need something or someone to kick them out of the nest.  I am glad to be that person.  But by the way, just to let you know…the first person that I have to kick out of the nest “every day” is yours truly.  The lesson is always for me…and if you benefit from it, then praise God.

When you think about it wouldn’t it be ridiculous to have wings, and have the ability to fly all around soaring through the skies and doing what you were designed to do just because you were too lazy to get off of your butt and fly?  Well that is an epidemic with men (and I mean “Christian” men) in this world…and the result is that we are in a death spiral, and it is getting faster and faster every day, and someday…maybe soon…we will come to an end of that death spiral, and it won’t be pretty.  Have you ever seen an aircraft crash?  I am sure you have.  Well they aren’t pretty; in fact, they are horrible because there is a carnage that not only affects those that die in the crash, but everyone that is exposed to it.  All because the plane quit flying!!

But the great thing is that we aren’t the first to sit in the nest, and we won’t be the last.  But God wants to kick us out and get us to spread our wings and fly!!!  One of my favorite verses in bible is Acts 1:11.  Maybe it is because I ain’t real bright and I don’t need to remember a lot of numbers …(actually it starts in verse 10…so humor me) but here is what it says.

Acts 1:10-11 (NIV)-10 They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

In the apostles defense….they just saw their friend, Jesus lifted up into the sky.  That just doesn’t happen every day.  And oh by the way….Jesus was dead about 40 days before that.  Arrested, beaten and crucified on a cross!  Suffice to say…their world was a little shaken up.  But these guys in white standing next to them (who weren’t there before by the way) said in today’s vernacular….”Dude….He told you what to do…now get in the name.”  Get out of the nest….and FLY!!! (Dan’s paraphrase)  You see…Jesus was the ultimate nest kicker, BECAUSE that was His plan for His work to be done on earth….by men that look like ME….and YOU!

You are probably saying….come on Dan…let’s not get all worked up about this…it is not so bad.  My 401K is up, I am pretty healthy, I have a job, I go to church every couple of months…I toss a buck in the plate.  The nest feels pretty comfy…in fact, all of these feathers make me feel comfy.  Mom brings me some food to eat (albeit worms)….in fact, my nest feels pretty darn good.

What say ye men of the nest….shall we fly?

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Where Did the “Ice” Go?

Quite a while ago, there was a great man who blogged about his life and God for 365 straight days. Where did he go?

His blogs were enjoyed by many as he had a keen way of taking scripture and relating it to what was going on in the world.

He has a tremendous gift from God. I wish he would begin sharing it with us again.

YBIC,

Ron

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Fr. Kapaun

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The False Witness Will Not Go Unpunished – Proverbs 19:5

Looking at Proverbs 19 this morning; there is definitely a lot in there to think about. When I read through it, I try to make it applicable to something going on in my life, either with my family, friends or me. It isn’t hard to do, just which one smacks you in the face when you read it. Today it was Proverbs 19:5. “The false witness will not go unpunished, and he who utters lies will not escape.”

A few months ago, I had a discussion with a neighbor. He was upset because of something he was told by a fellow neighbor. Someone had told him we had complained to our community about something he had on his driveway. I told him no one in our house called anyone and what he had didn’t bother us. My wife had recent surgery and wouldn’t even have known about it since my wife had been pretty much stuck in the house. When I asked my wife, she wasn’t even aware he had the item in his driveway.

Well, I guess I was wrong and all was good until last week when our neighbor won’t even acknowledge my wife. Apparently, his is still mad that she called and reported him. I can live with it, but it really bothers my wife.

So, back to Proverbs and 19:5, who is the false witness?  My neighbor mentioned it to me, and I thought when I told him no one in our home complained, it was over. I now have a family member who is hurt by someone, we are not sure who it was, who told something untrue to our neighbor, who is essentially taking it out on my wife by not even acknowledging her presence. The false witness is clearly the person who decided to tell my neighbor that it was my wife who complained. Yes, in the end, they “will not escape” and there is some satisfaction with that knowledge. However, it is like the snowball rolling down a hill, my wife is hurt that someone told our neighbor she complained, but the pain is greater knowing that our neighbor won’t even acknowledge her because of the lie.

Oh, the kicker, in the end, it is he who is wrong.  What was in his driveway is prohibited by the community and he knew it when he parked it there.  So, in the end, my wife is upset that our neighbor won’t even acknowledge her presense, because of something she didn’t do, which was told to him by someone else, about him doing something he isn’t even permitted to do in the neighborhood.

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Toughest Job in the World Interview

 

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The Pursuit of Happiness

It has been a few months since my last blog….sorry for taking over 5 months to post a new one. As I look today on where our country is, it is very disappointing. We have a congress who can’t agree on anything. They vote on what they think will get them elected vice what is truly good for our country and its great people. How do we fix this…I have no idea, but I do pray hoping one day, the men and women we elect to serve will begin looking out for the country and not trying to help everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, there are people out there who legitimately need help at some point in their lives, but we can’t look to the government to be the solution to fix everything. Our government should not be responsible for or be the avenue one chooses in their “pursuit of happiness.” As quoted from the Declaration of Independence, “…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These are rights, not requirements and not guaranteed. You have the right to Life. You have the right to Liberty. You have the right to the pursuit of Happiness. Note, it does not say you have the right to Happiness, only the right to pursue happiness. It is a choice. Sitting back wanting to be happy and waiting for the government to make you happy will probably never happen. You have to pursue it yourself. No one else can make you happy. Things can’t make you happy. Money can’t make you happy. It is a choice you have to make yourself.

The Declaration of Independence then goes on to say the government gets it power from the people, “…from the consent of the governed.” What immediately follows that sentence is, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” That is very powerful. It is our Right to change our government. I think this is where we may very well be today. Out government is taking over health care, taxing people who have worked hard and have higher incomes and stating the “Rich need to pay their fair share” in taxes. I guess I don’t understand that since the wealthy are taxed upwards of 35% and those of lower incomes somehow get back more in taxes than they paid in. How is that fair. What I think may be happening is the government is trying to provided Happiness as a God given Right while taking away the rights of the very people it taxes at a higher rate. The middle and upper class tax paying citizens are getting fed up with working harder and harder only to see some of the fruits of their labors taken from them by the government and transferred somewhere else. I think Proverbs 6:4-11 says it best:

“4 Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.”

Do everything you can to improve your life and pursue your Happiness. Don’t rely on anyone else, it is up to you.

YBIC

Ron

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The Bible…..A Mini Series (week 5)

Sorry for the late post. One thing led to another and I just forgot to post on the 5th and final part of the series. Yes, I did enjoy it again. Are there differences between what I learned and what was portrayed in the series, yes, but I am fine with it since it doesn’t take away from the book itself.

This episode took us from the sentencing of Jesus through the crucifixion, the lives of the apostles Christ’s death and resurrection, and Revelations written by John after exile to Patmos.

Two hours was not enough for me and I wished for more about the lives of the apostles after Jesus. So I guess the writers/directors got what they wanted or intended from those who watched the series….I have to go back into the Bible and read/reread those sections/books I want to know more about.

I do plan to watch the series again but also read those sections of the Bible to fill in the gaps left by the series and also those books not really covered. It left me wanting more but that was the intent. Get people back into the Bible and back to God. We are all the “prodigal son” and the one sheep the shepherd looked for while leaving the other ninety-nine. Those critics of the series can pick it all apart for not following the version of their Bible or skipping over some books and focusing on others, but God is smiling; people are talking about Christ and re-discovering Him.

If one person comes to the Lord because of this series, it was a success.

YBIC,

Ron

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The Bible…..A Mini Series (week 4)

This week captured the part of Jesus life we are all very familiar with, his life with the apostles through his arrest and sentence to death.  They showed his healing of the man who couldn’t walk, curing a man of leprosy, walking on water and feeding a crowd of 5,000 people.  Through all of this, you could watch the growing concern and almost hatred of Jesus by the religious establishment.  Jesus was going against their beliefs and practices…so they thought.  Even though he could be seen living up to the prophecies of earlier profits, arrives riding on a donkey, to them He wasn’t who He said he was.  Caiphas bribes Judas into betraying Jesus.

 

Jealousy was building and Jesus was tested, the coin with Caesar’s image, the stoning of an adulterous woman, bringing back Lazarus from the dead.  I have read some reviews on the series, and as expected, not all of them are flattering.  One such review “History Channel’s The Bible is worse than reality TV” goes into everything they could possible think of to criticize the show, the producers and actors.  The actors aren’t famous and one dimensional, they skipped a lot of parts and stories of the bible, the role of women is diminished, the same channel has shows like “Swamp People,” “UFO Hunters,” they skipped the bad stories of the bible, etc.  Yes, Alan Yuhas can have his say about the series but it would be nice if he kept it to criticizing the accuracies of the story vice everything else.  Saying it left out certain parts of the Bible or it doesn’t focus on the strong, important women of the time doesn’t help me much, it just makes me wonder what he wanted to see….a modern, updated, “politically correct” version of the Bible? 

 

I guess my take is the series’ ratings are great because people want to know.  A lot of today’s people, even those who attend Christian churches regularly, don’t read, know, or understand the stories of the Bible or even really understand where their beliefs come from.  I know most of the stories of the Bible but can’t say I have read every work of every book.  Something like “The Bible” is great for me.  It allows me to better understand what I have read, where my beliefs come from, and wanting to dig deeper into the book and either read or re-read those sections again. 

 

Well done Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.   This is your greatest work.  If you wanted to have the American people talking about Christ, his message, and get back into their beliefs and where they come from, I believe you have succeeded.  Are there items in the series that aren’t depicted as I remember or have been taught, yes, but that is no different than some Christians believing Mary had more children after giving birth to Jesus and some don’t.

 

YBIC,

Ron

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The Bible…..A Mini Series (week 3)

Week three of the mini-series and I have some serious criticism….not at the show, but at my DVR.  I have the series being recorded and all was well.  Sunday evening I was doing something with my daughter which delayed me around 40 minutes from watching the show. I verified it was being recorded and continued working with my daughter.  Around 8:40 PM, I went over to the TV and started part three from the beginning, for some reason, right after Cyprus became king, the show paused.  Nothing I could do could get me past that point of the show.  I was around thirty minutes behind and if I couldn’t get the DVR to continue, I would miss part of the series.  After trying everything I could think of, except unplugging the DVR, I switched to the “live” version on the History Channel.  Timing was great; it was the birth of Jesus.  Not a bad place to drop in.

 

Once again, minus the 30 minutes, I enjoyed this week’s part.   I am continually amazed at how much they can fit in and keep the story of the Bible flowing is a two-hour time slot.  I can’t even imagine how difficult it was to decide which parts/stories were going to use. Which stories ended up shortened or cut out of the final five parts?  How to you take 4,000 plus years and find a way to shorten it down to five, one-hour and thirty minute (taking out commercials) episodes.  All that time put into series about seven and a half hours in length.

 

So far, in my opinion, they are making it work, and rather well at that.  As with the previous two shows, found a few things I didn’t remember from lessons, classes, church, or discussions with friends.  All these discussions over a book written almost 2,000 years ago.  WOW!!!

 

YBIC,

 

Ron

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