Quotes of the month:
Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.
Just do what you can, with what you have, for the Glory of God.
The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.
Every morning you have two options: Continue to sleep with
your dreams, or wake up and chase them.
Transforming the Voices of Earth
by Frank Paul
All the media formats available to us nowadays, sometimes called “the voices of earth,” can oftentimes be overwhelming, smothering, if not downright evil; but if our hearts and minds are anchored in Jesus Christ, we can help transform them into good. Consider these words written around 58 – 60 A.D. by Paul in Romans 12:2. “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Can Paul’s words written so long ago be applicable to today’s living? I believe they can. Let’s break it down.
First sentence, “And be not conformed to this world.” In Paul’s day, “this world” was full of immorality, greed, idols, et cetera, occupying the people’s minds and behavior; but since everyone was behaving that way, the consensus was it must be okay. By Paul writing “be not conformed,” he was saying it is not okay to conform to these types of activities just because the world around you is. Since most of us bury our heads in iPhones, computers, Netflix, and the desire to be “liked” on Facebook by everyone, we figure this is how we should input our minds since this is what everyone is doing. Paul’s words from 2,000 years ago would beg to differ with you. To what end are we spending our time like this? Or is it that today we do not think about “to what end,” but are acting only for me, now, and instantaneous satisfaction. It gives us cause to pause and think about all the junk, quite frankly, that we are bombarding our minds with. Second sentence, “But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” “Transformed” we can understand as to have made a change in form, appearance
or character; but what about “the renewing of our mind”? One definition of renew is to give fresh life or strength to; to revive. Paul is suggesting in these two sentences that we need not go along with the masses to receive joy by absorbing all the input that everyone else does, but we can renew, refresh what goes into our God‐made computers: our mind and brain.
The mind as defined in English is the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and reasons.
In Hebrew – the mind/reason is the part of the human being in which thought takes place, and perceptions and decisions to do good, evil, and the like come to expression.
In Greek – mind/nous/intellect. In philosophy, the faculty of intellectual apprehension and of intuitive thought – it is sometimes identified with the highest or divine intellect.
We get our cars washed, we clean our kitchen floors, we exercise to keep our bodies moving, or we should; yet the God‐given wonderful creation of our mind is just as important, if not more so. Perhaps we can clean our minds the same way we clean our kitchen floors: get the dirt and grime off it. Today’s world is consumed with the same things Paul’s world was: immorality, greed, and idols; although today’s idols might not be stone statues of made‐up gods, we certainly have idols today, just in a different format.
The 19th century theologian Charles Spurgeon tells us that, “The voices of earth are full of falsehood, but the Word from heaven is pure.” He is right. Paul is right. Let’s not be so wrapped up in the media madness of today that we continually saturate our minds with useless input. Quite frankly, garbage in, garbage out.
Ruth Crystal in Angel Talk says it well, “Listen to the quiet. ”Sometimes we may be better off not thinking at all for a few moments here and there throughout the day. Refresh your input with words from Scripture. You may very well be surprised how comforting it feels. Say hello to Jesus in the morning upon wakening and thank Him for another day before you reach for your iPhone to see what you might have “missed” overnight.
There were other 1st century Christian writings that did not “make the cut,” if you will. There is the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Thomas, among many others. Thomas writes, “The world is a bridge, pass over it, do not make your home there.” Paul and Thomas seem to be on the same page here.
If you find yourself not content with the world around you and what you are constantly thinking about, give Paul and Thomas’ words a chance. You certainly have nothing to lose, and serenity to gain.
Wouldn’t it be wonderfully refreshing if Paul’s 2,000 year old words really are applicable in 2023, “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Dear Next Generation
Learn by leaning into life: get outside, build skills, and don’t be afraid of hard work.
I am 74 years old and have traveled all over the world to 95 countries. I have taught many young people how to get on with their lives, and I have a pretty good batting average.
Lessons to live by: Learn self-responsibility and discipline and how to take care of yourself. Learn to do things with your hands instead of just a computer. I believe people with a skilled trade, such as carpenters, mechanics, welders, chefs, nurses, surgeons, and pilots, will rule the workplace in the future. Let’s face it, you can’t build a house sitting behind a computer. Warning: I am not politically correct, just truthful, and honest.
Learn to read, and read for three hours a day. By learn to read, I mean learn to like reading and learning from reading, not from YouTube. My neighbor hounded me to read every day and gave me books to read and yelled at me for not reading. “Reading is cheating,” he would say. Turns out, he was right. People always ask me, “How do you know that?” I tell them, “Because I read a lot.”
I truly believe that the most important lesson in life is learning to do things that you don’t want to do. Most people don’t like to cook because they don’t know how to cook. Learn to cook, and you will love cooking. And everybody has to eat, so it is a great skill to learn.
Pay attention to the job market. Look in the help wanted pages and see what is needed in your town. You will find that it doesn’t say, “Young lazy person with zero skills.” Learn to get up early with the sun and go outside and experience the new day instead of sleeping the day away. Learn to take over the chores of the household you are living in. Mow the lawn, clean the house, do the laundry and shopping. Learn to do things that you do not want to do and you will become a very successful, productive person in life.
I am passing this along because old people saw potential in me and became mentors in my life, as long as I learned to listen and do things I did not want to do.
Finally, don’t forget to thank God that you are here and learn to become the person He wants you to become.
William H. Addeo, Palm City, Florida
Source: The Epoch Times, April 2023
Heavenly Father, thank You for promising to comfort and provide for me. Each day You give me many opportunities to draw near You. As I prepare for the day ahead, Holy Spirit, help me discern if there is anything standing in the way of an intimate connection with You – any sinful or unhealthy attachment to the world. Father, I want to be so captivated by You that You overflow from my mind and mouth and express Yourself through my hands and feet. Let my devotion become obedience; my obedience, freedom; and my freedom, the light You shine to others. Lord, please give me the grace, wisdom, and strength today to do Your will. Amen.
Heavenly Father, You are gracious and merciful. Though I miss the mark every day, You promise me a full, abundant life – true freedom in Your presence. And yet I confess that following You sometimes feels like a burden and I’m quick to reach for something or someone else. As I reflect on my day, I ask for courage to confront all I cling to and for Your guidance into a life that is truly free – of sin, empty performance, unrealistic expectations, apathy, and pride. Father, help me rest in the abundance that comes from communion with You. Lead me to eternal joy and help me stay near You with every step. Amen.
Source: InTouch Ministries
If you’re a Prime Video person, I encourage you to watch “The Days of Noah.” It is a four-part documentary on the days of Noah and how they are applicable to today. Fair warning, though: if you’re a devout Catholic, Part 3 may be a bit disturbing to you.
If anyone knows of a local family that is in need, (I’m in North Olmsted, Ohio) let me know and we’ll be glad to swing by wherever they are and bring some food.
Anyone want to chat about the
Bible and how it pertains to 2023, let me know and we can gather at my house on Saturdays or Sundays and have our own house church; or you could join us via Zoom. My email is listed below.
For those of you who know the martial arts side of me, I have resumed teaching tai chi and Kungfu in my backyard on Saturdays and/or Sundays. Email me if you want to join us and I’ll fill you in on the details.
A Testament of Devotion, by Thomas R. Kelly
Since its first publication in 1941, A Testament of Devotion has been universally embraced as a truly enduring spiritual classic. Plain spoken and deeply inspirational, it gathers together five compelling essays that urge us to center our lives on God’s presence, to find quiet and stillness within modern life, and to discover the deeply satisfying and lasting peace of the inner spiritual journey.
The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a` Kempis
An early 15th Century writing that, with the exception of the Bible, no Christian writing has had so wide a vogue or so sustained a popularity as this.
(Editor’s note: Both A Testament of Devotion and The Imitation of Christ, have had a profound effect on my spiritual growth and understanding. Well, worth the
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