Are you CONSERVATIVE?

How would you define conservative?  I have always considered myself conservative, never really thought about what the term meant – until recently. In today’s culture, the term has become so demonized it made me stop and think –really  what does it mean?   So I decided to ‘Google’ it.  My first surprise was the term was used to refer to a person  identified as being adverse to change.  Next, it was applied to an ideology ( Right Wing,) that centers around the rights of individuals vs. the power of the government.”  Further enlightenment from idontgetpolotics.com concluded that conservatives, (right wingers), focus on the past while liberals, (left wingers) focus on the future.  I was beginning to see why people including myself had trouble defining the term.

I wanted to know what the word ‘conservative’ actually meant – you know what is in the dictionary.  I proceeded to locate my old Webster’s New World Dictionary and looked up the term.  This is what I found; Conservative – conserving or tending to conserve – to keep from being damaged, lost or wasted.  I concluded the term referred to ‘protection from waste.’

As a child, I was taught the benefits of conservatism quite simply through the law of supply and demand.  “Waste not want not,”  and  “If you eat it all today, there will be none for tomorrow.”  In my early years, there was no such thing as welfare.  By today’s standards we lived in poverty all our lives, yet we never lacked for anything essential to survival.  We learned early to respect what we had and to be conservative.

A real conservative is not against change, is not stuck in the past without the ability to conform, not against government, not opposed to new ideas and methods, but is acutely aware of the need to protect and preserve what we have.

Are you a conservative?

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden Reality

The face in the mirror that’s so familiar to you and your acquaintnaces isn’t you.  It’s simply the tent you dwell in.  Your place of abode, the physical characteristics people relate to as you.  The real you is hidden away somewhere inside, a person only God truly knows.

The evaluation offered in this article can help you understand who you are and may also offer hints to your bent in life and the direction in which you are heading.  Take time to honestly answer a few questions – for a glimpse of the real you.

  1. What places do you voluntairly frequent?
  2. Who do you enjoy being around?
  3. Who do you pity?
  4. What brings you joy?
  5. What is the most prominent goal in your life?
  6. Who do you admire?
  7. What do you fear?
  8. What do you hate?
  9. After what do you consistently seek?
  10. How do you want others to see you?
  11. What are your secret desires?
  12. Who are your friends?
  13. Where do you spend your discretionary funds?
  14. What makes you uncomfortable?
  15. Would you want you as a close friend?  Why or why not.

As you think about your life experiences,  choices, talents, and  aspirations, perhaps you will begin to discover the unique individual  you are.  It may not be who others think you are, or even who you think you are, but the real you that only God can see.

If this blog has given you insight into strengths, talents or gifts that perhaps you did not know you had, share your findings with others.  Comments are encouraged.

 

 

The Illusion of Life

via Photo Challenge: Silence

We are all fellow travelers in a fallen world, where pain and suffering are the norms.  Many carry burdens struggling under a heavy load.  Each seeks encouragement, love, affirmation, and direction while striving daily for the prize he wills to be out there.  Others may live each day with back bent and head bowed low yet unrelenting in his journey.  All are  silently searching for answers, life’s purpose, for truth.

In this fast-paced, technological world, it’s easy to become trapped in daily routines.  We can become so focused on just “doing the next thing,” that people become no more than a means to an end.  Much of what we sacrifice our lives for will one day be useless ashes.  Real value cannot be seen with the eye or heard by natural means.  It’s hidden behind a wall of flesh.  Listen to the silence.

Secrets of Christmas

It’s that time of year again when most people take a detour from the daily grind and celebrate the season.  Not everyone does so in the same way.  Some travel, others may go on a wild shopping spree, while many take part in religious activities.  Some see Christmas as a time when Santa Claus delivers presents to children around the world.  Christians celebrate the birth of Christ.  Jews celebrate Hanukkah (feast of dedication) commemorating the rededication of the second Jewish temple around 167 BCE.

There are many pagan (nature-worshiping) traditions associated with the season of Christmas.  These include the Christmas tree, carols, Christmas cards, and stockings, giving gifts even Christmas cookies.  The use of greenery, mistletoe, and Santa Claus are also pagan traditions.  Other celebrations taking place during this same time of year were the Roman festival of Saturnalia and the beginning of the winter solstice.

Considering the abundance of anti-Christian activities taking place in December, one might wonder why it was chosen as a time to celebrate the birth of Christ.  Since there is nothing in scripture that gives the birth date of Christ, surely some other time would have been better suited.  Over the years as well as in our day, there are Christians who refuse to celebrate Christmas for this reason.

I love the Christmas season.  It is a time when most people turn their thoughts to making others happy by showing their love and appreciation.  Regardless of who chose them, the decorations are beautiful.  Probably the most common decoration is the use of lights. Judaism, the religion of Christianity’s roots, celebrates this time with a festival of lights.  The lights remind me that Christ is the light of the world.  Red and green splash across store windows, street lights, doorways, inside and outside homes just about everywhere you look.  Just the sight is exciting.  The red reminds me that Jesus shed His blood for the sins of the world and the green speaks to everlasting life promised for those who follow Him.

It is unfortunate the idea of giving gifts has become so commercialized for it commemorates the greatest gift ever given – our Savior.  Honestly, the value in the gift is found in the attitude of the heart, not the monetary value.  This genuinely beautiful idea can be distorted due to jealousy, envy, selfishness, and greed.  As a result, many dread the Christmas season.  Instead of coming together in love and celebrating the reason for the season, many families are divided allowing the lusts of the flesh to dominate their attitudes.

Another tradition that has morphed into something disdainful to many is the idea of a generous individual who travels the world to bring the joy of the season to children everywhere.  He has been called a lot of things over the centuries, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, to mention a few.  In America today he is most commonly known as Santa Claus.

Different cultures and various countries over the centuries have ascribed their ideas as to how this Christmas visitor looked and behaved.  Today he is pictured as plump and jolly, wearing a red suit trimmed with white fur and black boots.   On his head, a red hat decorated in white and his beard long and white also. Down through the ages others have worn long robes and hats with the appearance of greenery growing on top.

This mystical creature has been a source of controversy over the years, especially in the religious realm. However, most have continued to acknowledge this Christmas tradition.  There is much about the story of Santa that can be used in a negative sense. However, I believe it can also be used to teach children about the heart of the season.  Love, generosity, unselfishness, and how attitude and behavior can affect the experiences you have in life.  Everything God made is good; it is the work of  Satan that defames and distorts.

My fondest memory of childhood is sitting on my father’s lap in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve.  Like all children, I wanted to stay up but was afraid if I did there would be nothing under the tree the next morning.  Everyone must respond to the dictates of their conscience in everything they embrace including Christmas.  However, it is sad to allow the manipulation of Satan to steal the joy, beauty and real reason for this season of celebration.