Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Minor life Update

My resting heart rate is now 69 bpm, which is down from it's previous 90! Still have plenty of work to do on the spiritual side of my heart as I wrestle my body into submission. Thankfully with Gods help that is a quite promising en-devour and I am currently working on a sermon message intended for my church, It is one that I hope to have the opportunity to share! After I finish that I plan to get back to my Linux courses and my study on homosexuality in both the medical and the biblical sense. For that I hope to release a paper on for public review and would be interested if anyone wants to share links to full academic papers on the subject. All and all life is getting quite eventful. As I focus more on God, my own shortcomings are being made more apparent, which I consider to be a blessing :) Annnnnd that is about it, don't really have much to right about today so God bless.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Why Churches Really Shouldn't Get Special Tax Breaks

Any thing that exist as an organization with paid leader, be it a secular charity or a church organization should be taxed equally. Though it may be a well intentioned system to give tax breaks to religious and "non-profit" communities, I believe all exemptions to be misguided. One major problem is the line in the constitution that states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" We have tried to keep the intentions of non inference in tact while allowing/ mandating congress regulate our daily practice.

This occurs because in order to give special tax breaks one must put special stipulations in place. It is not special unless one define what ideals or actions do and don't qualify. This effectively puts any organizing registered as a non-profit under partial government control and regulation! Any attempt to enforce this could then be argued as an attack on religious freedom! The court is now forced to decided what does and does not qualify as a legitimate religious belief or institution thus putting it at odds with the constitutional mandate that it can not. The result is either yielding your religions definition over to the state and popular opinion or allowing just about anything and everyone to claim religion as a way out of all taxes. This situations is a conflict of interest for the courts and for law makers.

I understand that such a move may be difficult and the idea hard to swallow. Especially since many churches and organizations do a lot of good for the community. However it does little good to simply close the loophole applying to non-profits when many others exist that effect corporations and business in all sectors of life. What the church should be pushing for is common sense tax reform that closes loopholes for everyone, including the church. Such a tax code must be easy to understand and must not treat anyone differently regardless of income, race, position or beliefs. Anything short of this will continue to put minority views at risk and require daily compromises for anyone who wishes to hold these views and make a living.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dueling natures

As Christians we really like to talk about our dueling natures, how our flesh and our spirit are at war. We talk a lot about feeding our spirit more than we feed our dead sin nature. This sin nature tends to be far more alive and present than we would like to admit. Many of us, myself included, wind up implementing a failed policy of appeasement when tempted. Trying to feed our fleshes desires with substitutes that are either not bad or at least a lesser of two evils. The problem is this doesn't work, even if it prevents one failure it only make the next harder to avoid and the desires more frequent. The moment we do this we have already lost ground.

Fundamentally all spiritual battles are over one thing, your thoughts! It's over mind-shares that are measured in units of time. Salvation is the gradual renewal of the mind via maintaining a focus on a higher calling. We become a slave to whatever it is that steals our focus. Be it desires of the flesh, a negative situation, or simply dwelling on our own guilt and failures. We have to acknowledge them and many of them are not inherently evil. However, all of them will lead to sin and hurt the moment they become the focus. We are best off sticking to small, direct and consistent responses that require as little conscience thought as possible. The simpler the better!

The fleshly nature will never be fully satisfied, however the hunger is actually reduced more with moderation than it ever will be with excess. We just have to remain focused on our purpose rather than our ever changing physical and emotional state. Taking it one small step at a time and sticking to the same course regardless of how we happen to feel. In fact we must do this especially during the times we don't feel like it. We can either take charge of our emotions through choosing our thoughts and actions or have our thoughts and actions controlled by our bi-polar and inconstant emotional states.

This is something I have been struggling with most of my life. I have heard seen and even, at times, experienced the difference a little mental self discipline can make. The specific balance of our choices and actions require consistent self corrections that must be guided by consistency of focus. We will always get off course one direction or another, the key is making sure that we remain single minded and focused on the spiritual callings first. This is much like driving a car, you never have the wheel pointing exactly the right way to remain on the road, yet focusing intensely on the wheel would be just plain stupid. Even dummer still would be to get all bent out of shape every-time you had to make a small correction on the wheel!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

6 Month goals

Health: have a healthy stronger heart.
Plan= exercise at least 30 minutes a day

Personal: Make at least 2 new friends and grow closer with existing ones
Plan= Do more activities on weeks off

Professional: Develop my Linux and writing skills and deliver at least one church service message
Plan= Regularly take and apply Linux academy lessons, read useful material, study bible ,write, revise, practice present and if needed be persistent in seeking an opportunity with church leaders.

Business: Open business account and begin business operations
Plan = Save money and sell PlayStation to open business account. Work on promotional materials and messaging. Meet productive people and look for better paying job opportunities 2 times every other week.