Wednesday, April 26, 2017

“Earth Day”: Hypocrisy on Parade?

Not being believers in “Earth Day” practices, beliefs, or fears, we only remembered “Earth Day” after seeing all of the event signs and participants. For “Earth Day” of this year my husband and I were in the panhandle of Florida, birding (and yes, we drove there). We didn’t plan on birding in “celebration” of “Earth Day” as did others we met. It was just a free weekend for my hubby, the first he didn’t have to work in a while.

While we were spending time together as a couple sharing a common interest, we saw whole families walking toward the “Earth Day” event of their choice, vehicles lining the streets as the event’s parking lots overflowed with “one-dayers”: those who put on a show of caring for the earth for “Earth Day” only and otherwise may or may not recycle but do nothing else the rest of the year. You know: the people who go four wheeling on someone else’s property, light a bonfire there and drink beer until the wee hours, leaving the beer bottles/cans for the next person to clean up as they wend their way home, kicking up dirt and already planning their next foray into the forest.

We also saw those who are “true believers” and who practice their beliefs to some extent on a daily basis, but who were putting the lie to their beliefs. Think of it. The true believers’ activity on “Earth Day” included:

   • Their appliances and electrical devices were probably plugged in and working while they slept until their alarms went off. Their food was being cooled, water heated without a reason and their own bodies cooled via air conditioning while they slept under blankets.

   • They probably took hot showers and ate a normal breakfast before most of them got into their vehicles and drove to their “Earth Day” event.

   • At their “Earth Day” event, some of them boarded buses – giant fossil fuel users and polluters – in order to get to another area for that part of their “Earth Day” celebration.

   • After doing their “thing” for that portion of their “Earth Day”, they re-boarded the bus and went back to their original “Earth Day” meeting place and maybe did more there, or got back into their personal vehicle and drove it either to a restaurant to eat, another event, or maybe back home.

   • When they arrived home, they used more appliances – air conditioning, oven/stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, etc. – as well as lights, radio/television, electronic devices, etc., until they went to bed for the night during which their refrigerator still cooled their food, the air conditioner cooled them, and their hot water heater still heated water until needed the next morning as their electronic devices charged for the next day’s use.

So the reality of the “Earth Day” ceremony of going out and participating in something to prove that you are interested in, dedicated to, or a “true believer” in “helping” the earth is actually just hurting it.

Instead of doing all that is wrong and going to hurt the earth on “its day”, why don’t they:

   1) Turn off all of their electrical appliances at the breaker box the night before as they go to bed?

   2) Get up in the morning without showering (to preserve water) and pop a mint to freshen their breath?

   3) Get on bicycles and bike to the event where they would not use any water, nor create any pollution besides their own exhaling?

   4) When finished, bike home?

   5) Spend the rest of the day reading until bedtime and go to bed without eating or showering so that they didn’t use any electricity or water?

The next morning they could switch their breakers back on, shower after the hot water heater warmed things up and they could eat a hot breakfast after their “Earth Day” fast. Why not celebrate “Earth Day” that way so that you can help the earth on “Earth Day” instead of harming it? I think that would be a more fitting activity list for those who purport to put the earth as a priority in their lives.

For those who think that the earth is not being injured by humans living here and that the earth is not that fragile and who don’t believe that we should be worshipping the earth or anything else in this realm, we can go about our usual activities because we didn’t put our names to the lie. We can feel free to use our vehicles, appliances, electronic devices, hot water, etc. Not being a hypocrite is a wonderful thing and if we don’t believe in the “Earth Day” ceremony and we don’t participate in it, it’s also more fun.

If these make believers wanted to do something good for the earth instead of going out and participating in – or even participating in the planning of – “Earth Day” events, as they did this year, they would change things up. For every future “Earth Day” event of the future may I suggest the following?

   1) Plan all “Earth Day” events close enough to population centers that anyone in that population center wishing to attend may walk or ride a bicycle to the location.

   2) Plan events for “Earth Day” that would produce no carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or other emissions of any kind.

   3) Use no paper advertising for Earth Day” events should be used in order to save the trees: nothing in newspapers, magazines, brochures, snail mail letters, or flyers of any kind.

   4) Use no advertising that requires any kind of electrical support. No television, radio, internet, or robo-calls should be used so that polluting power companies cannot be used to get people to participate in “Earth Day”.

   5) All “Earth Day” events should be planned to not disturb the ground in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Planting trees, while symbolic, may be “good for” the earth, but it also lends itself to erosion in the area until the trees take hold.

   6) Use no water at “Earth Day” events for we all “know” that water is in short supply and that means that it should be used sparingly, instead of as a show to impress others, which is no better than having a swimming pool in your back yard that you keep filled, chlorinated and cleaned but rarely use.

   7) Don’t allow dogs at “Earth Day” events because they are humans’ pets and it is due to their existence that we humans have to pollute the earth via visits to the veteran’s office, trips to buy food, toys, to take them on walks, and during those walks, they drop pollutants and leave them to be picked up by others, or left to be washed into the earth.

   8) Make everyone stay on the pavement/asphalt because if they walk on the grass, who knows what new species may be growing there but killed off because of so many people trampling on them? There should be no hikes through the woods, no bike rides into the forest. Prevent everyone from touching the woods because they can harm it by participating in it.

   9) Allow only “true believers” to participate in “Earth Day” activities. Those who show up for “Earth Day” but do nothing otherwise besides recycle are hypocrites and we all know that being a hypocrite in anything harms any movement instead of adding to its followers. You can’t get a Planned Parenthood president to take a pro-life stance and expect Planned Parenthood to maintain donation inflow.

   10) If vehicles are used to attend the event they must be electric vehicles that have been charged via an electrical source that does not pollute (no coal power plants), kill nature's animals (no wind produced electricity), nor any water sourced electrical power. This way no harm can be done to the earth in order to drive to “Earth Day”.

   11) If you’re going to celebrate the earth, do so properly and hold a Wiccan/Gaia worship ceremony. After all, it’s a celebration of the earth, why not do the Wiccan/Gaia thing? If you’re really all that enamored of the earth, if you’re really going to honor it, why not admit that you worship it? It is your god? You hold it as a holy thing? At least those who are not zealots would see the road they’re headed down and the truth may snap some out of it.

That would be a much better “Earth Day”. No hypocrisy, no harm to “Mother Earth”, using no natural resources that demand stripping the earth of her plants, water, coal, wind, or whatever else must be used to create paper, electricity, or anything else to advertise, organize, or participate in the day, or creating pollution via people driving their vehicles or riding buses to the different events or locations. “Earth Day” would be a real celebration -- and worship -- of the earth if those who want to celebrate it would actually do so without doing more harm than good. Don’t you agree?

___________ © 2017 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 6, 2017

How I Know GOD Is

Love. It’s just that pure, plain and simple. That’s how I know GOD is real. In 1 John 4:16 we see the truth: GOD is love. Without GOD there would be no love.

When I say “there would be no love” I mean exactly that. There would be no love in any form: no erotic (male/female marital love), filial (brotherly love), agape (love of GOD), nor “empathy love” that would make you run to help someone trapped in a burning car. None of those would exist. No one would realize that we were missing something because you never miss what you’ve never had. That’s how I know that we have the One, True GOD watching over us and loving us. There is love.

Without GOD, there would be no human motherly love toward her child. All human children would be born from animal instincts to mate and the children would be left to fend for themselves as though they were sea turtles (to choose something we’re all familiar with here in Florida). Sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand, bury them and return to the sea. When it’s time for the eggs to hatch the mother is nowhere to be found and the babies make their ways out of the eggs, up out of the sand and – if they’re lucky – into the sea to make their way the best they can. Some don’t make it far from the nest thanks to sea gulls and other land predators, or they make it to the ocean only to live a day and be eaten by a predator in the sea. No mommy to take care of them, watch over them, instruct them in how to avoid being eaten by that sea gull, or defend them against the tiger shark or grouper once they get to the ocean. Human children would be left to themselves, like the turtles.

That’s not, however, the way we do it. Most women, once pregnant, trying to get pregnant because they desire a child so much their hearts ache for one, or at least once they’ve given birth and seen their child, have a mothering instinct that kicks in and a connection is made with the child and barring circumstances that are not the norm (substance abuse, sociopathy, etc.), will do everything she can to protect her child, go to extremes to feed, clothe and house her child. It’s an instinct, but it’s formed from, based and predicated upon love. She looks at the face of her newborn and falls so very deeply, inexplicably, irrevocably in love with her baby that most mothers will lay down her life for her child, no matter what. She’s that child’s mommy; nothing will stop that, change that, remove that, not even giving it up for adoption. Love makes this happen. Love proves that GOD is real.

Without GOD there would be no other forms of love: brotherly love, erotic (Eros) love (like between a bride and groom), or “empathy love”: the kind of love one has for a stranger when you help him get up off the ground after a hard fall, or buy him dinner when he’s hungry. Without GOD there would be none of that because, like sunlight, in order to have love there must be a source of love. GOD is that source.

Without GOD there would be no one willing to lay down his life for his fellow man, for “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” It’s impossible to have that kind of sacrifice without having GOD’s example and gift of His Son who laid down His life for us so that we don’t have to face an eternity in hell if we choose to follow Him and accept His free gift. No one would be a cop, serve in the military, risk their lives to save a stranger or the stranger’s child from a rising river and a stalled and flooding vehicle. Without GOD there would be no firefighters willing to run into a burning building to rescue a trapped person, a dog who is whimpering in the locked apartment, or even the parakeet much loved by its elderly owner.

“Oh!” you smugly retort, “But they’re getting paid to do that!”

True, but they were not being paid to do so when they choose that career. Ask firemen (generic term meaning “people” in general) if they chose the career because they wanted the pay and you’ll be laughed at to your face. Ask them if they went into the career because they wanted to help people and that’s what will get a resounding “Yes” most often. They may or may not call it “brotherly love” or “empathy love” but that’s what it is: they risk laying down their lives for their fellow man every time they respond to a dangerous situation.

We all know that there is love and there is lust. Lust is not love if you will admit the truth. You may lust for someone (your neighbor, a celebrity, or a former high school classmate), but that doesn’t mean that you love them. “Eros love” – not lust, love – is what the bride and groom share that makes them truly commit to each other for life. That “until death do us part” portion of the wedding vows is not always followed but when given they are supposed to be meant and it’s supposed to be a real commitment. If it were not for this kind of love then most of the children in the world would be born out of lust (a lot more frequent nowadays than sixty years ago); the temporary joining of bodies in order to fulfill temporary animalistic desires, sometimes more desired by the male than the female. Eros love, as Helen Joy Lewis put it, “the most appreciative of all pleasures”(1) and is the kind of love that makes the marriage ceremony so solemn, so celebrate, so important and not to be mucked with via changing laws. The marriage kind of love is the one GOD talked about after creating Adam and Eve and he said to “be fruitful and multiply” and we learned in both the Old and New Testaments that “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” And Jesus instructed us “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” One flesh. One. That’s how deeply man and woman are joined together in love, not lust.

Look at how those who do not love act and you will see that there is a difference between those of us who do know GOD via knowing how to love and knowing love in return; no matter what kind of love we experience we do experience it. Those incapable of experiencing it are often called sociopaths because they do not connect with others, have no idea what right and wrong are and wouldn’t know how to treat others if they were not instructed in how to do so and were not restricted in their deeds because others are watching. Sociopaths cannot feel the love of others toward themselves nor do they know how to give love in return. They can fake it both ways, but they can’t really feel it. That’s why sociopaths can commit such heinous acts; no love – not even brotherly or empathy love -- equals no remorse.

Another example of not realizing the truth of GOD’s love and the way it affects people is the way those societies that do not follow the GOD of Christianity conduct themselves. ISIS is not following the GOD of Christianity; their god does not love them, he loves their acts if it happens to please him at the time but even their martyrdoms do not always please him and it holds no guarantees. Heaven is not promised in the Quran for martyrs. That was not even guaranteed to the prophet of Islam, Mohammed. Yet, they kill their own children for their god so that they may be able to spend time in heaven with the same god who they want to please so desperately that kill their own children so that he will be placated. That’s not love in my book. Nor is stoning your daughter, neighbor, sister, or wife to death because she dared drive a car, go outside by herself, not wear a full hijab. If that’s love I think a lot of us would say, “No thank you!” to love.

Look at how other societies do things, societies that do not follow the GOD of Christianity, and you will see other things that are scary, questionable, too negative to be considered a good thing. Am I saying that Christians always behave perfectly? No. I am saying that the overall differences between Christianity and other religions can be very minor as to be miniscule, to so big they can be considered enormous. Different religions sometimes have similar beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that the non-Christian religion is better than the Christian religion. Look at what each of them believes, teaches and practices (actions speak louder than words). Then tell me that the GOD of Christianity is subservient to, less than, not as good as the gods of other religions.

“Oh, but the Crusades!” you scream at your screen. The “crusades” were long ago and more about power and money than they were about religion. The Crusades really had nothing to do with religion; it had more to do with territory and who controlled it. Yes, the mask of Catholicism was worn, but it wasn’t really a religious war; it was about power and territory. The pope may have been involved, but that doesn’t mean that everything the pope did then nor currently does is based upon Biblical principles.

Now I want you to reread the first two sentences of the second paragraph. No love would look something like this: There would be no one willing to lay down his/her life for their fellow man. No one would be willing to give birth to babies because the baby in the womb would not illicit motherly love, but just the inconveniences of today’s abortion industry. Murder most heinous would be the norm; horrors of the worst kind being done to others for the fun of it. Bribery of the highest officials in the land would be normal. Robberies using whatever force needed to get what was wanted would be an hourly occurrence. Gang rapes the norm; animals would be treated as cruelly as evil hearts would do to them and no one would raise an eyebrow. Godless gangs would roam the streets doing as they wish without anyone even thinking of stopping them: there would be no law enforcement to do so because no one would be willing to lay down their lives for their fellow man. Think of any of the vile things one can do to a child that is currently done in the sex slave industry then multiply it by ten, twenty, thirty. That is what will be done without love because mercy stems from love and without it there would be no reason to stop.

That’s a world without love. That’s what tells me that GOD is: “I Am that I Am.” Without Him and His intercession into the minds, hearts, souls and spirits of mankind, our world would be so very dark and hateful that you would not want to recognize it. GOD is love and love exists. Our world is – for the most part – a better place than that. If GOD was not real, it would all look like ISIS and it would all be darkness, hatred, murder, horrendous things done in the name of whatever they choose to call it.

It’s just that simple. GOD is love and it comes from and is part of Him. If you love anyone or anything you know GOD is the source of that love for without Him, it would not be love. He gave His only begotten Son – who chose to do what was necessary for Him to do in order to save us – to die in our stead. That’s love. If it weren’t for Jesus Christ’s self-sacrifice for us we would be doomed to receive the eternity in hell that we deserve.

GOD is love. Without Him we would be demons not even as close to acting as civilized as the wildest animals, the smallest brained slugs, the hyenas that laugh at civilization or the deepest ocean depth’s creatures that never see light. Darkness would not begin to describe us, our souls, our actions, our filth.

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1) Helen Joy Lewis, “The Four Loves” as published in “The Beloved Works of C.S. Lewis”, pg. 264: Inspirational Press, A Division of BBS Publishing Corporation, 450 Raritan Center Parkway, Edison, NJ, 08837: Harcourt Brace & Company, 622 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32897

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© 2017 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 9, 2017

GOD’s Protection of Cain

by Linda McKinney

How many times have I heard that GOD marked Cain with black skin because he killed his brother, Abel? I have heard hard hearts say so, I have seen it in writing in places where it should have never been put to paper (or internet) and I have heard it spoken by bigoted, misled, ignorant people. To me, it is a disgusting statement, sentiment, misnomer, idiocy. Those who believe such a lie do not study their Bibles and do not know the Word of GOD or they would never have believed such a perversion of GOD’s Word.

Let’s look at the truth because it is desperately needed. In Genesis 4 it states:

"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

"9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."
If you read what is actually said, GOD sent Cain from ever seeing GOD’s face again and GOD put a mark on Cain that would – read it carefully – protect him from harm: “lest any finding him should kill him.”
The KJV Bible was written in Old English and the Old English definition of “lest” is:

conjunction (subordinating; takes should or a subjunctive verb)
1. so as to prevent any possibility that:
So the meaning of the term is “So as to prevent any possibility that any finding him should kill him.” The mark GOD put upon Cain was a protective mark, not a mark of shame, or of being an inferior being! GOD still loved Cain and didn’t want him dead. GOD put a mark of protection on Cain so that no one would try to harm him.

We know that Cain lived a long life because he not only got married in the land of Nod, he also had children and built a city that he named after his first son, Enoch. He had other children as well but the Bible never says for how long Cain lived – with the mark of GOD upon him – but the life spans listed in the Bible of his relatives at the time were along the lines of 930 years, 912 years, 905 years, etc. GOD’s mark on Cain did not mean that he lived longer nor shorter than his kin, and the years mentioned here are his father, Adam’s, his brother, Seth’s, and Seth’s son, Enos, respectively.

Also, nowhere does it say that the mark GOD put upon Cain is genetic. Nowhere do you see that GOD marked Cain and Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methusael, Lamech, Jabal, Jubal and Tubalcain, Cain’s descendants. GOD made it clear that the mark was upon Cain, but when GOD puts a mark upon one person it doesn’t automatically mean that it is inherited down the ages. I have a bigger than usual birthmark that neither of my children have. It’s a form of a “mark” that involves the skin, which is where the bigots say was the mark of Cain. Why did my sons not inherit the mark since GOD marked me?

Cain’s descendant (four generations later), Lamech, murdered someone as did his ancestor. However, in this case, GOD does not mark Lamech. He has to make it on his own. Even without GOD’s marking of protection upon him, Lamech lived until he was 707 years old! That’s not as old as his ancestors but it was about the same as the rest of the people of that time. He died before his son, Noah, built the ark, so GOD saved Lamech, the murderer, from drowning.

If having dark skin was a bad thing, why would GOD allow Song of Solomon Chapter 1 to say:

"The Bride

"5 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

"6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

"7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?"
So, bigots, where is your evidence that GOD marked Cain with black skin because he was a murderer? Where is your evidence that darker skin was a mark of anything, much less anything bad? You use Cain as a reason to hate blacks, assuming that darker skin was the mark of Cain. The mark of Cain is not delineated in the Bible, but bigots choose to say that it was dark skin, a certain hair texture. In saying so they not only betray their bigotry but they also betray their ignorance of the Bible’s actual truths.

Truth: GOD does not love nor condemn anyone based upon skin tone. GOD looks at whether they have a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. That’s the only factor taken into account in GOD’s book. Anyone who uses skin tone as a deciding factor for whether to like someone, to associate with anyone, to deny them the basic courtesies of civility is going to be judged by GOD and it won’t be good for that bigot. So those who are slandering GOD’s Word (see John 1:1-5 and tell me you want to continue doing so) should not only be ashamed of yourselves but you should fall on your knees immediately and beg GOD’s forgiveness for your slander, lies, hatred and for judging people for something for which they may not be guilty (see Matthew 7:1-3) but you may!

It’s time to stop the lying. It’s time to stop hating. It’s time to stop slandering GOD’s Word and start reading and understanding the Word of GOD. It’s time for bigots to lay down their hatred, pick up the Light and the Word of GOD and to repent of their wrong.

By the way: it goes for the other way around, too. If you have dark skin and you hate people with lighter skin, stop it. You’re doing the same thing for an unjustified reason, too.

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© 2017 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved