I was a committed atheist and then this incredible thing happened to me

It always fascinates me when someone begins to question their way of thinking because life isn’t really working for them the way they are. This young woman was challenged to look into different world religions and something that made sense. 

Do you go through life just accepting whatever your friends say about life? Have you stopped to think about whether they are really satisfied with their life?

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/03/25/was-committed-atheist-and-then-this-incredible-thing-happened-to-me.html

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California man confesses to 1993 murder in tearful TV interview; police arrest three | Fox News

This is an amazing story about how a man who committed murder later became a Christian and then confessed to his crime. He full well knew the consequences of his admission, yet came forward anyway. He will certainly be tried for his crime. 

What kind of change in a man’s worldview would make him confess? It would have to be a worldview that promises something much more than the penalties of his confession. 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/12/california-man-confesses-to-1993-murder-in-tearful-tv-interview-police-arrest-three.html

Taking the “Red Pill”

​In the cult sci-fi movie called “The Matrix”, the main character is presented with a choice. He could swallow a blue pill and continue to experience the world as a fantasy that has been imposed on him by others, or he could swallow a red pill and experience the world as it really is, without the superimposed “matrix” of fantasy. Recently, many people are writing that they are taking the red pill.

I don’t mean that they have actually entered the world of the Matrix. Instead, they have decided to stop interpreting the world through the groupthink that they have always known. One of the biggest inhibitors to actually thinking about an issue is groupthink. Groupthink is where individuals just adopt the beliefs and norms of a group without really understanding why. They don’t think things through. Since their friends and buds see things a certain way, then it seems okay to them, too. 

Some groupthink occurs simply because we’re just easily influenced. We’re all influenced by others to some degree. And when we’re young, we tend to be more easily influenced. Sometimes, groupthink occurs in reverse. For instance, teenagers often reject anything their parents might tell them and instead adopt beliefs of groups they admire, even beliefs their parents might reject. 

But other groupthink is forced. For instance, in totalitarian countries, you can be punished if you don’t adopt official beliefs. You could even go to prison or face execution. In other situations, your peers or coworkers will ostracize you or prevent you from working if you don’t parrot their beliefs. Many people rejected so-called “political correctness” because they did not want to conform to the beliefs of those of that mindset. 

It’s good to see many learning to think for themselves. They may not adopt the same beliefs as you or I, but as long as they are seeking truth and respecting those of differing beliefs, we’ve made progress.  

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/09/13/liberals-sick-alt-left-are-taking-red-pill.html

Why So Much Violence?

One of the old adages of parenthood is that you check to see who your children’s friends are. That’s because their friends influence them a great deal. If your daughter has friends who have their head on straight, then your daughter will probably do the same. But if your daughter tends to hand out with people who “make bad life choices”, then chances are that your daughter will be tempted to do the same and may make similar choices. Our friends often have big influences on us, and bad friends will have bad influences on us. 

When we are young, we often don’t have the maturity to understand this, and we observe this in our kids. Son Jimmy has a friend Ryan who keeps coming over after school to play. At first, Ryan seems nice. But then, you start to notice that Ryan begins to do other things, like taking Jimmy’s toys home with him, or bossing Jimmy around, or even punching Jimmy when no one else is looking. Whatever it is, let’s just call it “bad behavior”. When Jimmy is young, as a parent you probably have to intervene. You may have to discourage or even discontinue letting Ryan come over. 

When Jimmy is a little older, when he gets around other kids with bad behavior, you may have to have a talk with him and help him to focus on healthy friendships and not those that move him in the wrong direction. You expect him to start making at least some of those decisions himself. He may even have to tell someone directly that he doesn’t want to be friends anymore. 

And when he is much older, he will have to make those decisions himself without your input. Hopefully, he learns to observe people beforehand and make proactive decisions about who he’d like to befriend without simply waiting for others to approach him. 

This often affects us as adults, too. The people we hang with are typically people who think the way we do. Although there are often exceptions to this rule, we do have a great affinity for those who are like us. But there often comes some event, some abrupt occurrence, that shows those differences in some stark way. And then, we have to make a choice. Should we still be friends? And then we have to deliver that message to them. 

We can also apply this to current events. When the Charlottesville white supremacist rally took place in August, followed by a violent conflict with an Antifa group, the white supremacists (KKK and others) were villified by all manner of other groups. This included not only liberal groups, but conservative groups as well. Although the white supremacists intended their rally as a way to “unite the right”, the right turned around and condemned the white supremacists. In addition to conservatives, an overwhelming number of churches and Christian groups spoke against the white supremacists as well.

The good thing is that, although many in today’s culture group will white supremacists with conservatives, there is a distinct difference. The former may want to hang around with the latter, but the latter do not want to hang around with the former. 

Getting back to the Charlottesville rally, I think the white supremacists got the message. The Right does not really see them as friends.  
But the Left also has their own problem: a violent group called Antifa. In this case, Antifa never got the message. 

Not long after Charlottesville, there were two rallies in California: one in San Francisco and one in Berkeley. These were held by a group called “Patriot Prayer”. Lots of people turned out to oppose the rally, including Antifa. As you can imagine, it was a liberal counterprotest against this group. In both cases, Patriot Prayer had to cancel their rally because the police were afraid a violent confrontation would occur. Actually, a few members of Patriot Prayer showed up anyway, and they were violently confronted and injured by Antifa. You would think that this was another victory against white supremacists, right?
But that was not the case. It was a completely different story. Patriot Prayer is a small group that focuses on freedom, unity, and First Amendment rights. They are a diverse group with no bent toward white supremacy at all. They showed up even after their rallies were canceled because they wanted to talk to the counter-protesters as individuals. They wanted to have a dialog with them. Nevertheless, Antifa gave them the beat-down. 

Of course, after this, many on the Left quickly denounced Antifa, right? Here’s a list of liberal groups that spoke against Antifa after those events:

1) 

That’s right. Crickets. Nada. 

I would like to say that a small number of people on the Left did denounce Antifa, but only after a number of days went past. And that was a woefully small number

The problem is that the Perpetually Offended have become the Left’s Ryan. And the Left’s Jimmy doesn’t want to tell Ryan not to hang around. In fact, Antifa seems to be welcome whenever the Left has any confrontation these days. 

I’ve written about the Perpetually Offended and their worldview in this blog. The Perpetually Offended are angry about some long-past offense and will never get over it. There are many groups who are Perpetually Offended these days. The Left seems to be running over with them these days. They are angry, really angry. And nothing seems to placate them. How did they get this way?

I believe it all boils down to the problem I mentioned earlier concerning who your friends are. If they aren’t the kind of people you want to be friends with, then you should let them know. Otherwise, they will influence you. 

The book of Proverbs has this to say: “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 24:25.)

I know a lot about anger. I have struggled with it. I have it largely under control these days, but I know I have a tendency to go back there if I’m not careful. I once had a good friend – we’ll call him Bill – who I had a lot in common with, but he also struggled with anger. In fact, he struggled much more than I did. I found that I had to separate myself from Bill because he tended to pull me in that direction. His friendship was toxic for me. 

The Left has a lot of important things to say, but they are associating too much with violent groups like Antifa. And the anger of those groups is overshadowing anything good the Left might be trying to say. Liberals have spent way too much time sitting in the hot tub of anger with those groups. 

It’s time to tell Ryan to go home. Here’s hoping someone on the Left has the maturity to do so. 

Hungry Venezuelans turn to Colombia for a plate of food 

People of Venezuela are starving. Not the government delete , who have already stockpiled all the food they want. I’m talking about the middle-class as well as the vast numbers of people in the working class who are responsible for electing President Maduro. 

 As indicated in this article, Venezuelans are streaming across the border into Columbia just to get some food. And sometimes they try to find work for a day. All this occurs before they have to return back to their home. Most of the time, the food relief comes from churches and Christian groups. 

 This is really fascinating. Venezuela is a socialist government. By definition, socialism should share equally with everyone. The poor will be taken care of. No one will starve. Yet in Venezuela , just about everyone is miserable. Many are starving and face complete ruin. This is not what socialism is supposed to be. But we’ve seen this happening for a long time. And it will probably get worse before gets better. 

 Yet, or are church and Christian organizations that are offering help to these poor Venezuelans. This is not a government program from Columbia. It’s not relief from the United States. For all of the concern for people in Venezuela and even in our own country, it always seems to come down to concerned individuals who are helping others out of the goodness of their own heart. Government programs are fine, but they rarely are there first, and they rarely bring about full change.

http://www.fox5ny.com/news/273723505-story

Do we all need to be constantly enraged?

The white supremacist rally in Charlottesville certainly enraged much of our population. There were violent acts, many people were wounded, and one person was killed. As a nation, we should be coming together and uniting over opposition to any racial supremacy groups. After all, white supremacist groups are fairly small. They don’t represent either the left or the right. However, there seems to be a great need to yell at each other and get angry at each other over this incident. 

As the article below indicates, it seems like we have a constant need within our country to be enraged. New sites are now focused on whatever they can do to enrage one group against another. It’s not necessarily about coming to a common understanding, but simply being mad at one another. 

 Yes, Americans need to oppose white supremacy. But both the left and the right already do that. This blog is all about trying to get people to look past the outrage of the news and think about what is actually happening. And it’s an examination of how we think. 

White supremacists want to fuse and unite their worldview to those of a conservative worldview. This really can’t be done. The conservative worldview is very much based on Western Christian principles. At the heart of that is to love our neighbor as ourselves. That cannot be done if you cannot love a neighbor who is different from you. I know a wonderful lady who is a solid Christian and lived next-door to a homosexual couple. She really had nothing in common with them, but every Christmas, she would take them a loaf of cinnamon bread that she baked herself. Of course, not all those who subscribe to a conservative worldview live by its principles. But most do.

 Instead of getting up every morning and looking for something to be angry at in the news, it is time to think about what we believe and what others believe. It’s time to stop calling the other side crazy , and actually listen to their views. We can debate one another and refute one another, yet still show respect for one another. 

https://stream.org/charlottesville-is-feeding-our-rage-for-rage/

Happiness From Being Generous Has a Neural Basis Within the Brain – Seeker

We know that plenty of people get happiness by simply giving to others. It’s been known for quite some time that , if you are depressed, you should try to do something for someone else. It’s great therapy. Also, Christianity and other religions talk about the value of giving to others . It’s not just for their benefit. It’s also for our benefit. 

https://www.seeker.com/health/mind/happiness-from-being-generous-has-a-neural-basis-within-the-brain