Life is like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Life is like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Life is like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Life is like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. When you are building a puzzle, first, you find all the border pieces. The ones with the flat sides – the edge pieces. Once you’ve completed the edge pieces or border of your puzzle, the best strategy to follow is to pick out major, easy to identify sections of the puzzle. Pull out all those pieces. Fit them together. Put them in their place within your puzzle. Then select out the next easy to identify section. Separate out those pieces. Put them together as best you can and put them in their relative position within the puzzle framework.

As you move along through this process of identifying specific areas of the puzzle and putting those in order in their relative positions, the overall puzzle begins to take shape. Not all at once… it doesn’t come together immediately. But over time different areas of the puzzle begin to form as you concentrate on them.

And after a while those pieces which at first you did not recognize as being part of one of the earlier sections, you start to notice patterns of where they belong. Pieces that are all one color, for instance, are really hard to identify where they belong. You start to notice shades of color difference that you hadn’t noticed before. Pieces of the sections you had already isolated and built but were missing a few pieces, you find those pieces mixed in with the hard-to-identify pieces because they just didn’t have that easy-to-find characteristic.

And over time the process builds on itself as you get more and more sections in order and put together, until eventually you’re almost picking up pieces and putting them directly in their places one after another.

Growing as a person is like this. When you find and identify the boundaries to build your life within that’s the beginning. This is like finding the foundation for your life. It gives you a starting place. You want to find the firm foundation that is true – that conforms to reality. We find this true foundation in the Bible and in the person of Jesus Christ.

Then you begin working on certain areas of your life and try to put them in order. It might start with your finances, your marriage, your work life, or your spiritual life. As you put the different areas together, your life starts to take shape. Getting additional areas under control and in focus and in order and productive starts to become easier. Unfortunately life is not completely the same as a jigsaw puzzle. For the puzzle there is finally a finishing point, a finite amount of time when you can put the whole thing together and say you’re done. With life however, although there is a definite finishing point for our lives, we never reach a state of being done on this side of eternity. We leave that to our Lord and Savior for the next life.

We can use this principle of focusing on specific areas of our lives, getting them in order as best we can, getting things in place and moving on to another area. This principle can help us move the ball forward in our lives toward reaching our goals.

Marriage Goal-setting Retreat

Goal-setting

Advertisements

Black Voters, Democrats, Republicans, and History

Ku Klux Klan members and a burning cross, Denv...

Ku Klux Klan members and a burning cross, Denver, Colorado, 1921

I recently enjoyed a segment on the The World and Everything in It with Alonzo Rachel giving a brief overview of black American history vis a vis the Republican party. I’ll include a brief synopsis below.

The fact is that it was the Republican Party under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln that paved the way for black emancipation from slavery. The Republican Party was actually a fairly new party arising from the growing popularity of abolitionists. It was the Democrats that actually seceded from the country and formed the Confederate slave holding States. After losing the Civil War, it was the Democratic Party that formed the KKK in order to violently kill Republicans both white and black and convince them with basically terrorism to stop trying to have influence in the South.  Decades later the opportunity for the civil rights movement was helped by Republicans who drafted the 1960s civil rights legislation during a session of Congress before LBJ, a Democrat got behind it. That civil rights legislation actually passed with 100 percent of the Republican vote but only a portion of the Democrat vote.

I agree that we have forgotten so much history. I recently was talking to a new acquaintance on a plane ride home. He mentioned how the Republicans had a lot of work to do to overcome their sordid past. He mentioned the KKK as one example. People need to be told that all that was from the Democratic party. Myself, I don’t hold to party loyalty. I hold to principle loyalty. I consider myself a Christian first, a conservative next, and a Republican as long as their candidates stand for Christian principles. Historically the Republican party has tended to stand for what is right. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation in the last 150 years. And there has been resulting slippage and confusion of direction. There are some changes that need to be made in the Republican party, but not in the liberal direction.

Alonzo Rachel also made a spoof of the recent ad celebrating the 4oth anniversary of Roe v. Wade. He makes it clear how abortion is welcomed by many as a racist practice.

National Right to Life Month

Abortion card001

Abortion card001 (Photo credit: John Ensor)

As we reflect on the 55 million missing Americans who were murdered in last 40 years following the legalization of abortion, where would our nation be if we had those 55 million people? …if we had 55 million more hard-working creative, productive, taxpaying citizens? Could we have discovered a cure for cancer? Maybe we snuffed out the life of the inventor who could have solved our energy crisis. Did we do away with a modern day Mozart or a 20th century George Washington? What about the over 100 million missing women in East Asia? With whom will those preferred sex men marry and raise families? And why couldn’t we pass a ban on sex-selective abortion here in America? Don’t we believe in equal rights for women even before birth?

As we teach our children in our classrooms, stop and think about the fact that each one of them is actually an abortion survivor …because for the last 40 years it has been legal to murder children in America.

Debating Poverty

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the 10/15/2012 presidential debate I thought that both candidates reached out to their bases and showed up with their debate faces on. I cannot say that either candidate was a clear winner, but Romney did a good job of keeping the his focus on setting out his plan and making the President answer for his record.

One of the most important points was made close to the end of the debate. Romney brought up the connection between poverty, education, the failing health of our nation, and marriage. Mitt Romney pointed out that a very high number of children are born to unwed mothers today. He mentioned that changing this trend would help improve life for women. Here are a couple more points I wish he had mentioned: This trend can find its roots in the “sexual revolution” of the 60s. We need to move away from that hedonistic, moral relativistic mindset. The majority of our prison populations come from fatherless homes. The majority of these young mothers quickly fall below the poverty line leaving their children living in poverty. Those mothers and children constitute a heavy weight on the American economy because so many of them end up on the welfare rolls.
What we really need here in America is a return to biblical values and commitment to marriage and righteousness in our personal lives. What we need is young men and women who are willing to deny their urges for selfishness, immoral sexual fulfillment, and useless distraction. We need young people who are strong in character that will choose to live a responsible life, marry, and lead families under God.

Freedom of Religion

Map of religious freedom and restrictions in t...

Map of religious freedom and restrictions in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does freedom of religion mean? Is freedom of religion a nebulous concept that must conform to the dictates of the government? Is it squishy? Can it be pushed to whatever size box the government allows for it? Obamacare includes a  mandate to provide abortifacient drugs. Many of us have problems with this from a moral point of view founded on our religion.  But we are private citizens. The HHS exemption only covers churches and some religious institutions. So has the president and his party decided that the freedom of religion of the private citizen is not important? What does our freedom of religion really mean?

 

 

It seems to me that if we can be forced to purchase medicine to initiate the murder of innocent unborn children, we have crossed a line of freedom of religion. If the intention of our founders was to consider sexual freedom on a par with religious freedom, wouldn’t we find it the first amendment? or somewhere in the Constitution? But we don’t find it because it isn’t there. The founders placed freedom of religion in a prominent location. But they didn’t raise the issue of sexual freedom. Do you suppose they didn’t have sex back then? Of course not. First of all, our founders knew that the area of sexual relations is governed by the Bible and trusted this area to the self-government of the people and the common law which is founded on the Bible. Second, sexual freedom leads to social chaos. Many of the social ills that we have in our country today can be directly linked to “sexual freedom”: 50 million Americans dead, epidemic STDs, single-parent families, poverty, crime, prison expansion, the growing welfare state.

 

 

What do you think? What should freedom of religion mean? On what do you base that meaning?

 

 

Chick-fil-A Follow Up

Bakersfield Chick-fil-A from the street

Bakersfield Chick-fil-A from the street

We enjoyed our chicken sandwiches and hand-spun peach milkshakes at Chick-fil-A in Bakersfield. We got there during the lunch rush and it was hard to find a seat. The server who helped us said their store had been quite a bit busier since the furor over Dan Cathy’s statement and Mike Huckabee’s support. I was glad to hear it. We stand with Cathy, Huckabee (and every state whose people have had an opportunity to vote on the issue) in supporting traditional marriage.

We’ll be going to Chick-fil-A again soon. I love those peach milkshakes!

Kudos to Chik-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A (Photo credit: Link576)

Chik-Fil-A and others who stand up for traditional marriage and the family have taken some hits in the last week but are standing their ground. They are setting a great example for the rest of us. The following is from an interview with Dan Cathy, Chik-Fil-A’s president and chief operating officer:

 

[Chik-Fil-A] invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.

It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.

“That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries,” Cathy added.

Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.

“We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

For full story go to Baptist Press News

Mike Huckabee has invited people to participate in “Chik-Fil-A Day” on August 1. This support has also been met with lots of support, but some angry opposition as well. My family and I are planning to dine at Chik-Fil-A twice that week. We hope you do, too.