Monday, October 8, 2018

People Cause Suffering, CAUSE AND EFFECT, The problem with evil. The Honey Crisis. Update.

For Scripture Sunday”:

CAUSE AND EFFECT. The problem with evil.

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

imageThat’s a fundamental law of the world we live in. As a fish makes its way through the ocean, it pushes against the water with its fins—and the water pushes right back, allowing the fish to swim. The only reason a basketball player can dribble is because after he pushes the ball toward the ground, the ground pushes the ball back up to him. And if we make the mistake of running into a wall, the pain we feel comes from the fact that the wall pushes back.

It’s cause and effect in action. If x happens, you can count on y happening in response. If you put a plate of food in front of a hungry teenager (cause), you can count on the food disappearing (effect). If you spend two months drinking five cups of coffee every day and then suddenly stop (cause), you can count on experiencing one incredible headache (effect). And if your friends find out you know how to work on cars (cause), you can count on a lot of people asking you for favors (effect).

None of that is particularly surprising. It’s how the world works. We know, instinctively, that things typically don’t just “happen.” They’re caused. Now, there might be multiple causes, or the cause might be a subtle one, but it’s still a matter of cause and effect. Y happens because of x.

When tragedy strikes—when we’re left reeling from the news of another kidnapping, another shooting, another terrorist attack, another casualty of war, the obvious, easy question to ask is, “Why is God allowing this to happen?”

The less obvious, more difficult question is, “What caused this?”

Suffering doesn’t exist on its own. Suffering is caused. And if we want to understand why God allows it to happen, we need to start by understanding the cause behind the effect.

Thousands of years ago, nestled away in an idyllic garden, a husband and wife lived a perfect, peaceful life. They had food, they had safety, and they had a close relationship with God. Theirs was a world without suffering.

Until …

Until they ruined it.

It’s a story you’ve probably heard already—the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, as told in the first three chapters of the Bible. But it’s more than just a story. It’s a powerful piece of history, preserved for us through the ages to help us find the answers to many of the questions we’ve been asking on this Journey.

Created to inhabit a garden planted by God Himself, Adam and Eve lived in a literal paradise. The garden was filled with “every tree … that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Genesis 2:9). Within the bounds of the garden, there was no lack of any good thing—but there was a rule.

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17).

One tree. Out of the whole garden, God placed one single tree off limits, giving the newly created human race unfettered access to everything else. But the tree proved to be too great a temptation. A cunning serpent, later revealed to be Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9), convinced Eve to eat of the tree, promising, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4). Falling for Satan’s sales pitch, Eve ate from the tree, and Adam followed her lead, forever impacting the course of human history.

Eating from that tree represented a choice. By disobeying God, Adam and Eve decided that it was within their power to define good and evil—and if you know the story, then you know that things went from bad to worse in record time.

Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden—from paradise—to a world that would prove far less gentle. Without God’s blessings, the ground would be less willing to yield its crop (Genesis 3:17). There would be thorns and thistles to contend with (verse 18). Childbirth would be a painful ordeal, and without following God’s standards, marriage would become a battle of wills (verse 16). Then, at the very end of it all, Adam and Eve would die, returning to the dust from which they had been formed (verse 19).

And they did die—but not before their firstborn son murdered his younger brother out of jealousy and rage (Genesis 4:8). As generations came and went, things continued to decline until at last “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and … every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

Suffering came with that wickedness. Humanity was so corrupt that God looked down and saw that “the earth was filled with violence. … Indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Genesis 6:11-12).

Within generations, the earth transitioned from a peace-filled paradise to a place filled with violence and suffering. And what caused it?

People.    People cause suffering.”      Continued at:


The Honey Crisis

An Amazing Fact: To produce about 1 pound of honey, bees must make 25,000 trips between their hive and the flowers from which they gather precious nectar. Furthermore, that same pound of honey contains the essence of about two million flowers! In the process of making this honey, bees provide a crucial service to nature—pollination. Albert Einstein once remarked that “If bees were to disappear, man would only have a few years to live.” This statement is especially sobering when you consider the recent decimating plague among U.S. bee colonies called colony collapse disorder (CCD).

Just before the beginning of 2007, beekeepers from all over North America began reporting colonies of their bees dying off in unprecedented numbers. Twenty-four U.S. states reported honeybees vanishing at an alarming rate, leaving beekeepers struggling for survival and farmers worried about pollination of their crops. The mysterious disappearance of bees ranges from 30 to 70 percent in some states. Blooming orchards that used to roar with buzzing bees are now strangely silent. One California beekeeper said, “I have never seen anything like it. Box after box after box is just empty. There’s nobody home.”

Experts are exploring several theories to explain the losses from CCD. These include viruses, mites, pesticide contamination and, strangely enough, poor bee nutrition. The mysterious colony collapse disorder highlights the fundamental role that honeybees play in the natural chain of God’s economy, providing fruit and vegetables. Honeybee pollination contributes more than $14 billion worth of North American harvests each year. A broad assortment of crops like apples, peaches, avocados, soybeans, pears, pumpkins, cucumbers, cherries, kiwis, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and many more, depend on honey bee pollination.

Some have suggested that if all honeybees suddenly died off, it would bring their vital work of pollination to an end. This environmental breakdown could easily cause an agricultural and economic chain reaction leading to a financial collapse and possibly a national famine.

Who would have guessed the work of these little creatures was so important! Maybe that’s why the Bible has so much to say about honey! David writes about God’s law: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103). And Solomon says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).    

And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? and he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle. Judges 14:18”



Zack painted the shelves which will be ‘catifying’ the mini-house. Then we spread them out all over the place to dry.  If, or when, I move in there, even if I don’t still have this foster cat, Gracie, the one who was in a fire, then I will take care of another one for the SPCA.  It is nice to have another living, breathing thing around the house, so why not help out.  I am too old to adopt a pet, so fostering works well for me.  One year I didn’t have a pet, so I bought a goldfish!

As my back is still bothering me, I saw the doctor about getting a referral to see the chiropractor again.  Also went to the Tuesday seniors “do”, dominos or cards, lunch and Bingo again.  This is really for people who have nothing else to do, and they meet two more times a week for dominos or cards, and then lunch.  I did run over there on Thursday, because I said I would help, but I can’t keep that up, I have to earn a living selling my stuff online.

But when I left there my ‘battery’ light came on, so I stopped at Interstate Batteries.  They put another battery in, (more $$$) then on Sunday that light came back on, but O’Reillys Auto Parts tested it and found nothing wrong.  So I will have go to Interstate next time I go into Conroe.

1003093010On Wednesday, a carpenter was supposed to come and investigate a soft spot in the mini-house living room floor.  But he decided to high-jack his price before he had even seen it, so Zack and I did it.  The week before I had taught Zack how to ‘plunge-cut’ with a circular saw, so knew we could do it.  (My bad wrist won’t let me use a big saw anymore).  I just wanted to know why it was soft before installing any floor covering.  It was a defect in the orginal plywood which is 29 years old, as that part of the mini-house was moved up here on this hill after it had 4½ feet of water in it in the flood of October 1994.  We had just finished building that house after the previous house had burned down in 1989.

Friday, I just stayed home, worked, and made a potluck dish for the Sabbath.  I had come across a good deal on avocados, so I made a big Avocado Salad with lemon juice, black beans, non-gmo corn, onion, tomato, seasonings, and a little avocado oil. It was a smash hit, and folks took some home for later. 

Before church on Saturday I stopped down the road and helped a friend get their stuff out for the bi-monthly “Yard Sale” at the storage place.  I bought 2 flat TVs very cheap, as they couldn’t try them out there. Several of the storage unit tenants have these sales and the gates are left open then.  The rest of the time you have to have a code to get in.

At the morning church, and the Bible readings were Deut. 29:10-30:20, Isa. 61:10-63:9, and Rom. 10:1-13.  The Message was “Seven Earnest Men”, and their different cries.  Jacob cried for help. Moses for intersession, Solomon for wisdom, David for cleansing, etc.   By the time I had helped the pastor’s wife clean up the kitchen and dining hall, I didn’t go to the afternoon church, especially as I had food for Zack in the van.  Now, we are getting ready for the Holy Days. 

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