Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Beauty of Discovery and the Discovery of the Way of Happiness

Yesterday, I was reading a book about William Paley and Charles Darwin and I began to tear up. The scientific revolution is so beautiful to me. To me this era was a high point in human history. Deep in my being, I have come to believe that God has made discoverable all his secrets and the greatest dignity a person can experience is the dignity and joy of discovering God’s hidden but discoverable secrets. 
So too, the greatest of the greatest of these joys is to discover God’s way of happiness and yet it is the proclamation that we have discovered something so hidden from most that is so offensive. 
Jesus clearly intended to teach His followers that they are called to discover the way to happiness. Jesus teaches us, “Happy are the poor in spirit, happy and those that mourn etc.” In the Gospel of John, John records these incredible but true sayings of Jesus, “He who drinks of the water that I give will never thirst”. What an absolute promise. If we learn to drink from the wisdom and power of Jesus, we will never thirst. 
Never thirst. Jesus is promising that we will find resolution to every tangled mess of phycological angst and frustration. What I have learned is that of all the promises of Jesus, these promises of joy and peace are the most offensive to the post-modern mind. This postulate that solutions to how to live life can be found and learned and practiced consistently undermines the false premise that no one really knows any real answers. To many, this premise is seen as humility but in reality this pessimism is unbelief. Jesus has promised that we will never thirst. Jesus has taught a path to abiding joy and happiness. To claim that the believer cannot discover these hidden treasures is to call Jesus a liar. But the fact is we serve a God of love who has taught His secrets to babes who are simple enough to put the teachings of Jesus into practice to the same degree and simplicity which Jesus has taught. 
Of all the things I have learned in my life, this is it. God in Jesus has taught us how to be happy. This discovery is available to the follower of Jesus. He has not left us orphans, but He leads us into all truth.  He who seeks finds. When the Son of Man returns will He find faith on the earth. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Much worse than Expected": BBC News - Monstrous underwater oil plumes found in US Gulf Coast

BBC News - Monstrous underwater oil plumes found in US Gulf Coast
It is possible there will be dead zones in the Gulf 10 miles long and 1 mile wide. This is getting really sad and ugly.
BBC News says:
The find suggests the scale of the potential environmental disaster is much worse than previously feared since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blew up on 20 April, killing 11 workers.

We've never seen anything like this before - it's impossible to fathom the impact
Professor Samantha Joye
University of Georgia
Samantha Joye, a marine science professor at the University of Georgia, said: "It could take years, possibly decades, for the system to recover from an infusion of this quantity of oil and gas.
"We've never seen anything like this before. It's impossible to fathom the impact."
The experts say the oxygen depletion is likely to continue, endangering sea life and raising the prospect of underwater dead zones.
The scientists said the chemical dispersants BP has been dumping underwater may be preventing the oil from rising to the top of the ocean.
Official estimates doubted
The oil giant has said the chemicals, which it began deploying on Friday, have already resulted in less oil surfacing.
BP's battle with oil leak continues
Some scientists cast doubt on official estimates of the oil flow rate, saying the widely repeated figure of 5,000 barrels per day dramatically understates the real amount.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MisIMFormation? - Paul Krugman on the IMF Report

MisIMFormation? - Paul Krugman
The latest from the IMF, which is a survey of the fiscal health of various nations, is a heavy read but Krugman's deciphering is so good I really recommend reading at least Krugman's analysis.
In short, the debt crisis of the worlds advanced nations is not the result of over spending but real structural changes in these economies that has significantly reduced revenues. This is such a no-brainer if you look at the recent history of the United States. The Clinton surplus was the result of actual increased wealth of the entire nation. The Bush deficits and the inherited deficits of the Obama administration are the result of a radical loss of wealth in the economy.
In other words what changes is government revenues as a result of economic changes while spending stays the same. The response is then to find a level spending level and ride out the storm.
I think this is a real clarion call to cease these crazy calls for reduced spending.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Obama: iPad, Xbox Comment

I must say that I agree. I am a firm believer that strenuous thought and intellectual honesty and rigor is a key to happiness. In light of this truth, I must say I agree with Obama on this one. Big Time!!

Obama: iPad, Xbox Turn Information Into A 'Distraction': "'And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it's putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.'"

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Oil Spill - BP scrambles after Gulf oil spill fix setback

BP scrambles after Gulf oil spill fix setback
When I heard this news of the failure of the oil spill fix, my eyes actually started to well up with tears. This is such a drag. It seemed for a bit like we could stop the spill and contain it before the oil began to come ashore, but both hopes were dashed this morning.

I have been advising my children to watch this news event early on as I think it could be a historically memorable event. Unfortunately, the story is getting worse.

I used to work for Alcoa and we had a postulate that "all accidents are avoidable". The oil spill in the Gulf is not an act of God. The oil spill is an accident. The risk simply was not taken seriously. We need to pray and hope for another solution before the gulf area and its economy is decimated by environmental malpractice on the part of the oil companies and their suppliers.

It is the governments job to protect the markets for small business against the abuses of the environment by people who could harm the livelihood of others by their carelessness. BUT again the government for the last 20 years has failed to regulate business. Like the financial deregulation nightmare which is headed for round two, all we the common people can do is sit and watch and pray for a solution that does not harm the livelihood of too many people.

The bible says that the government exists to push back against evil BUT we have failed to regulate the powerful so that these types of evil do not happen. This may not be evil by a common western definition but such accidents are defined as evil biblically per Ecclesiastes. These accidents are always avoidable and it is our job as a people to support government that regulates just this type of thing from happening.