Monday, November 19, 2018

Compatibility

Whether it's to meet demand or fill a void, relationship assistance has proliferated. Many services tout their ability to profile people and carve them up into various factors and attributes which can then supposedly be matched with others for “compatibility.” The higher the percentage ranking of compatibility, the higher the likelihood of your relationship lasting “till death do us part.”

I remember a college chapel message in which Dr. Brown told us that he and his wife had been told they had one percent relationship compatibility. He then explained, it's not about how compatible you are, but how you handle the incompatible part. He is still married to the same woman as far as I know.

Even marriages with 99 percent compatibility have to face the other one percent at some point. That's when one's commitment is tested. Every relationship at some point will require endurance for a time. Even in those times the words of Paul, in concluding his words for husbands and wives in his letter to the Ephesians, are still true and wise advice: “let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Many Christs

A book excerpt on Matthew 24:3-5…
Coming In His Name

I believe the Bible contains an important passage, which clearly indicates a change of times and seasons may indeed be at hand. In Matthew 24:3-5, which is a chapter dealing with the tribulation period, Jesus spoke these words to His disciples concerning the signs of His coming and the end of the age:
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many.
I have heard two interpretations of Jesus’ reply. The first interpretation asserts various individuals will claim to be the returning, incumbent Jesus Christ. The other view says a number of messiah figures will appear and gather followers to themselves in a similar fashion to cult leader Jim Jones or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the guru leader who set up his idea of utopia in Oregon. I now believe neither of these interpretations encompass the bigger picture. It is in light of numerous New Age statements that Matthew 24 takes on new significance.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Essence of Economics

In his forward to Wealth and Poverty, Steve Forbes wrote, "Economists ill-serve themselves by describing economics as being about the allocation of scarce resources. It is about the creation of resources."

He then gave an example: "Oil, for instance, is described as a natural resource. It isn't. In and of itself it is simply sticky glop. It was human ingenuity that turned this goo into something the world can't live without."

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Salt in a Wound

It seems in time of abundance, understanding of the healing power of salt has been lost.

These days, most references to “salt in a wound” are meant something is taken as an insult. It's the sting at contact and nothing more.

After reading Salt: A World History several years ago, there's a reference to soldiers dying during the Civil War because they did not have salt for their wounds. They had nothing to arrest and stop the spread of infection.

It was a fascinating read about when salt was a rarity instead of a commodity for most of world history.

Jesus told his followers, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). I've often heard this preached describing salt as a seasoning—make things taste better—or as a preservative—make sure things don't rot. I've not heard it really taught as a healing agent.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Asbestos

Having worked on managing a couple buildings now, I've learned how established a threat asbestos is to the cost of renovation projects, and its largely due to its health risks. It's still a high-revenue search term for Google.

In Mark Twain's essay on “The Turning-Point of My Life” he made reference to “Martin Luther and Joan of Arc” as having “temperaments not made of butter, but of asbestos.” Having been written more than a few decades before many of the buildings I knew with asbestos, that led me to look up the word. In the definition I discovered why asbestos was used so commonly before its health risks were known: Asbestos is a fire retardant.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Economic Foundation of an Empire

In Life After Google, George Gilder makes the argument that Isaac Newton laid the economic foundation of the British Empire by establishing that gold was an irreversible element. Newton's was an accomplishment in information theory, specifically “the information theory of money.”

Having previously been one to dabble in alchemy, trying to make gold from lead and mercury, “The failure of his alchemy gave him—and the world—precious knowledge that no rival state or private bank, wielding whatever philosopher's stone, would succeed in making a better money.”

The result was, “The little island of Britain governed an empire larger and incomparably richer than Rome's.” Newton was appointed to the Royal Mint in 1696, and the value of the British pound was pegged to the value of gold. The gold standard came into effect.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Decision-Making

I tend to be an iterative decision-maker. On matters of high consequence and high visibility, I like to take my time and make sure I get the decision right, including on all matters of detail.

During the Apollo 11 mission, I read that Neil Armstrong took his time on deciding where to land on the moon, and that process went on much longer than anyone expected. It helped that lunar gravity wasn't pulling them down as fast as it would have on earth. Not having bodies of water or liquid also may have helped in the process.

While iterative processes hopefully lead to a better final product, they are also not for the faint of heart. It can be an exhausting process, especially when it includes navigating lots of opinions, variables, sources of input, and options. Hopefully in the end it will lead to a satisfactory outcome.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day

I had occasion to thank several veterans for their service today, this Veterans Day. I had two grandfathers who were veterans of World War II.

Several of our Awana Club directors are veterans, and we had a chance to thank them for their service, both to our country and to the Lord.

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You don't launch a popular blog,
you build one.
Seth Godin