Last year on Good Friday, a group of Chugiak-Eagle River Christian churches (through Love INC. of Eagle River) celebrated together a traditional prayer service called the “Stations of the Cross.” This year, the “Stations” will be held at the River of Life Lutheran Church, located in Chugiak at 21301 Voyles Blvd. “Faith Walkers” can start their stops at the stations beginning at 5 p.m. on March 29 (Good Friday).
Recent studies have shown that from birth the human brain has a number sense. There seems to be a type of cerebral substrate that deal with numbers and their relations. Dealing with numbers is as natural to a human being as echolocation is to a bat or singing a song is to a songbird. Mathematics and what exactly it is has been a debate that has gone on for a very long time. It could be described as taking contrasting values and reconciling them to a singular function. Unfortunately, many people suffer through lives that do not seem to add up. However, if we can be honest about whether our lives do add up or not, things can start to get better immediately.
People’s values are those truths that they live by. They usually consist of what a person considers right or wrong. Most laws of the land have a great deal to do with how the majority of people in any society live. These laws and truths may or may not be derived from the standards that God has set for all men. They may be morally wrong in the sight of God. It is the responsibility of all that live within that society to follow the code of conduct set by those that govern the land. It is the responsibility of the Christian to follow all the laws of God. For the Christian the moral truths that all believers should live by are the precepts and commandments of God. When the laws of man conflict with the laws of God the follower of Christ has the dilemma of not breaking civil law and not breaking the law of God. It is our duty to walk in a higher moral standard than civil law states. It is our call to walk in peace with all men wherever possible. However, God’s commandments and precepts outweigh the laws of man.
Knowing what you know, or what researchers call metacognition, is a key to top performance. Many people operate somewhere in the two extremes of thinking they know a lot when they don’t or thinking that they only know a little. The problem with many people is that they are not committed to knowing or searching for answers. People that are not afraid of such a search or of being committed to the answers they find almost always do well. The difference is being committed to knowing, meaning that you are committed to finding out. However, you also have to be committed to doing, after you know.
Another year has passed, and again, we have the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month with a goal of helping more people realize that anyone, no matter what color or ethnicity, can make important contributions to our society and should be recognized as a contributor. Seemingly U.S. history has dictated a void for the contributions of black Americans by either eliminating completely their achievements or crediting the deeds to persons who are or were not “persons of color.”
I have studied the Old Testament multiple times and I have struggled how it applies to our lives today. I finally came to the realization that it has a tremendous significance for us even today. The Old Testament predicts the coming of Jesus, the salvation he brought to all of us and, also, the sacrifice he made to die for our sins.
Immanuel Kant said, “I have no knowledge of myself as I am, but merely as I appear to myself.” This is a description of what everyone faces in life: the ability to see ourselves clearly and to know what we are to be about. It might be that we can come close to knowing ourselves only when our thoughts are in good condition and are coherent to ourselves. It is the type of clarity and steadiness that comes only when we have an objective standard such as God’s Word to compare what we think and feel with everything else.
A familiar quote by Mother Teresa: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, much greater poverty, than the person who has nothing to eat.”
Each of us have different angles of observation and we each take in different types of facts and even understanding of what constitutes trouble. At times we need to soften our approach; at other times we must harden ourselves for what must be done. Sometimes we must yield a point and then at other times we must stand firm. This does not suggest that there aren’t proven answers that work if they are fully applied. Some will be satisfied with something that really can’t be known or at least verified. For others, the course of their lives will be determined by how hard they pursue a knowable truth and in finding it, how willing they are to adjust their lives to what they find. There are ways to go about achieving a desirable outcome for life.
The measure of our success is not whether we can predict the future but how prudently we prepare for it. The world may be uncertain but we do not need to share in that uncertainty. The prayer of King Solomon, noted in the Biblical book of First Kings, chapter 8, verses 56-58, offers some solid counsel on how to link the past, present and future for a more certain view of the days ahead. They serve as a good reminder of how all these time lines are linked.