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My Two Cents
by Stephen Scalf
Seeking for a Purpose
Seeking for a Purpose
I would like to start this week’s column by asking a question:
Why do you exist?
Or maybe I should phrase the question this way:
What is the reason for your existence? Does your life have a purpose, and if so, what is that purpose?
If we are only here by chance – because millennia ago we came down out of the trees and developed into human beings – if we live and then we die and that’s the end – does our life have any purpose?
I’d like to share the true story of Rich Millar. Rich grew up in a Christian home where the family prayed, read the scriptures, and went to church every Sunday. As a child, he did these things because his parents taught him that was the right thing to do.
In his early teens, this life of faith took on real meaning to Rich and he became very involved in the church’s youth ministry, and in doing all the "right things.”
Rich went off to college and then got his first professional job. He found himself surrounded by people who didn’t give God or religion a second thought. And these people seemed to be living fulfilling, successful lives – making more money than he was, dating the kind of girls he wanted to date, going out and having fun without the worries or sense of guilt that a “good Christian” would have.
This lifestyle appealed to Rich, and little by little, he began questioning the values and beliefs of his childhood and youth. He began to see other things, as well.
“Because of all the pain and suffering that exists in the world, maybe that means that God doesn’t exist,” he thought. “And in many ways, life is easier when you don’t believe in God,” explaining that non-believers can live in the here-and-now without worrying about moral restrictions or eternal consequences.
But this is where we come back to that original question: Does my life have a purpose beyond living and eventually dying?
To answer this question, we need to consider this “absolute.”
Either God exists, or he doesn’t. It can’t be both ways. And whether or not we choose to believe in God does not change whether God is real.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that God really does exist.
In that case, our physical body, which was created by our earthly parents, is just a shell; it is not who we truly are. What makes us who we are is the immortal soul in each of us, and your immortal soul was created by God. This means you are literally a son or daughter of God, and within you exists a spark of the Divine.
Our immortal soul was placed inside our physical body as part of a test: To see if we would live by faith and choose to return back to God.
If God exists – and I know that He does - THIS is the purpose of our life.
And, if God exists – and He does - NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!
You and I could dedicate our life to earning a million dollars, or always having the latest smart phone, or the car we have always wanted. We could focus on being successful at our jobs, or coming up with “bucket lists” of all the things we want to accomplish before we “kick the bucket.” We could become great athletes, or fulfill any other of our greatest dreams, but if we fail that one big test – if we don’t return back to God, NONE OF IT MATTERS!
Recently, I have been feeling an increased sense of urgency about this.
First, in my own life, I feel an increasing awareness of how often I let my work, projects, free time pursuits, or other demands on my time take a higher priority than God’s higher purpose for my life.
And second, I feel an increased sense of urgency – a calling – to use whatever means available to me to help share this message with others.
And this message is incomplete without this one central point: Because we are all flawed and imperfect, there is absolutely no way we can pass the test, fulfill the purpose of our lives, and return to God on our own. But because God loves us, He sent His Son to give us all the answers to the test, and then to pay the price necessary to save us from the consequences we deserve.
This is God’s plan and His purpose for our lives.
And NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!
And that's my two cents,
Sharing a Smile
by Tom Metcalfe
Do You Have a Philosophy for Life?
Do You Have a Philosophy for Life?
I have always been fascinated by philosophical quotes. I enjoy reading quotes from some of the greatest philosophers.
When I talk about philosophy, I am referring to “an attitude of rationality, patience, composure, and calm in the presence of troubles or annoyances.” (Dictionary.com)
“Philosophy, which literally means “the love of wisdom,” is one of the oldest disciplines in history. There are many ideas about philosophers and what they do. Some have even considered the field to be a science that deals with logic and reason. Either way, many famous philosophers have made their contributions known to the world through their writings and their students.” (famous-philosophers.com)
Some of the more famous philosophers would include Plato, Socrates, John Locke, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Emma Goldman … and the list goes on. My favorite philosophers would include King Solomon, Jesus, Confucius, Ben Franklin, and Charles Schulz (Peanuts).
Most of the rest of this story will include some quotes from these philosophers. An observation: Often folks will quote something from the Bible, which actually was stated by Ben Franklin or someone else outside of the Bible.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” - Charles Schulz
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”– Confucius
“Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.”- Jesus
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”- King Solomon
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”– Ben Franklin
“If I were to be given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself.”- Charles Schulz
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”- Confucius
“Let the one among you who is without sin, be the first to cast a stone.”- Jesus
“A good name is rather to be chosen than riches.”- King Solomon
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”– Ben Franklin
“We have met the enemy and he is us.”– Pogo (Walt Kelly)
These are just a few. I am sure you have your favorites. I will end on one more. This one hits me between the eyes. I again remind you that I never claimed to be a writer.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Ben Franklin
Last week’s trivia question: What mate-matching web site is advertising on TV exclusively for country folk? – farmersonly.com
This week’s trivia question: Which of the five philosophers that I have listed as my favorites said, “A fool is wise in his eyes.”?
And On That Note...
by Ross Haney
What’s the hardest decision you've ever had to make?
Maybe it was choosing your newest car, or a financial decision, or a lifestyle choice. But whatever the decision, decisions are tough.
From the beginning of this school year, I've known that I would eventually have to decide where I want to spend the next four years of my life – where I want to go to college. And setting myself up in good-standing with the professors from two outstanding schools – Eastern Kentucky University and Morehead State University – did not make choosing a school any easier.
So with each decision, we weigh the options. We think about ourselves and our intentions. We take into consideration every aspect and every little detail, and with what information we have at the time, we make the choice that we think is in our best interest. (And no, I'm not trying to copy a “My Two Cents” here.)
I originally thought I had a lot more time to decide, but this week, one of the universities was in a bind with a scholarship offer they wanted to give me, and decided that I would need to decide in the day following if their university was where I wanted to study, or if I wanted to pass on the offer because I needed more time to decide, or because my true desires were to go to my other choice.
With the one day time frame, my mind was all over the place. Where do I go next? What do I do? What's the best for me? And that's one of those moments where the people that support you most in decisions like this – in my case my dad, other family, and my band director – are not going to flat-out tell you what to do, because, well, they’ll support in whatever decision you make.
So this week I weighed the options, thought what was in my best intentions, and yes, readers. I did decide where I'm going to college.
And on that note, I’ll leave you!
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