Category Archives: Life

Life – what constitutes a successful, Part IV

Only having as our life-goal what survives death to live in God’s new world constitutes a successful life.  Having the confidence that we’re now living for Heaven while being productive as citizens of this life eliminates partial discipleship.  For we don’t expect to be partly committed to Jesus when he wholeheartedly served God. We don’t expect to surrender only this or that to him when he surrendered everything in his life to God’s will.

We want to be complete Christians because we don’t want to be partly forgiven!  Therefore, whatever Jesus teaches, we learn.  Wherever he leads, we follow.  If we have a possession that limits our Christ-life, we lose it.  If we practice a habit that threatens our discipleship, we break it!  The Lord’s slightest WISH is our command.  His strongest command is our most fervent wish.  It’s Jesus today, tomorrow and forever.  It’s Jesus alone, only and always.

What I’m trying to say, and hope you’re understanding…if we want our life to be successful, devote it to what AT THE END of this life lives on in the NEW!  Don’t spend our life on what at the end is irrelevant to the new.

Embrace the Apostle Paul’s view of the difference.  II Timothy 4:6-8 details it.  Paul’s life on earth had come to an end.  The short view.  But his LIFE-Goal had only begun.  The long view.  The time of Paul’s departure from this life had come.  Which meant nothing but the time of his arrival in the next life awaited.  The best part of our Christ life is always COMING now and forever.  – Fini –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com  

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

Life – what constitutes a successful, Part III

How can people so casually dismiss God from their lives while considering other mortals necessary?  Yet, that depraved thinking characterizes so many.  It’s because they think only as existentialists—want it all and want it now—a deadly goal that hardens us to ultimate realities…death, judgment, eternity.  For, as Longfellow wrote in the Psalm of Life,

“Life is real!  Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

‘Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.”  Pocket Book of Verse, 165

Jesus raised us from the grave of baptism to be fruitful disciples.  He DID NOT raise us from that grave to let us remain a corpse in the ground or dust in a mausoleum!  That’s what makes the Gospel a scriptural power drink; a spiritual energy bar; a daily infusion of spiritual chocolate covered pecans; and assorted other “pick me up” and “keep me going” incentives for spiritual velocity!

The practical meaning of being raised from the baptism is:  we have a new life.  The practical meaning of being raised from the dead at a future time is:  we have a perfect life ahead!  That reality casts a glow over everyday life.  Our future hope fuels our present discipleship.  What we’re going to be inspires us to presently become more than we have ever been.   – End Part III –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com  

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

Life – what constitutes a successful, Part II

A person’s life is successful when one’s life-goal survives death to serve in the next world.  Many who lived only for this life left even it prematurely.

George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company.  He became a famous multi-millionaire.  He shot himself in the heart at age 78 after leaving a note, “My work is done.  Why wait?”  He did have a spinal ailment that threatened to leave him a cripple.  But many people with physical disabilities still find life rewarding and useful.

Dostoevsky’s story White Nights has the male speaking to Nastenka about the wastefulness of his life:  the years gone; the dreams vanished; the best moments buried; everything stupid, a cipher, a fancy, round zero.  Gateway 3, 295.  In the Seeley Stables at Old Town, I saw an advertisement by a stage line company.  It offered a trip from San Diego to San Antonio:  a road that “ran from no place through nothing to nowhere.”

Both stories relate to many people, never more than right now, when society has lost touch with God.  Humphrey Bogart thought it years ago.  He used a vulgarity to express it, which we won’t.  But he called life an illusion—proving only that he spent too much time in front of a camera creating illusion.

A young, professional couple in San Diego agreed with Bogart.  Both had successful careers in the medical field.  Their combined income reached $200,000 a year.  Yet, he checked into a motel, went to his room and took an overdose of barbiturates he prescribed for himself.  His wife later sat in her car in a medical facility parking lot and swallowed the same fatal dose.  He was 33, she 32.

How sad.  They easily lived without God, but didn’t think they could live without each other.  A perfect example of a life’s goal, not life’s purpose.   – End Part II –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Life – what constitutes a successful, Part I

When is life a success?  One insightful answer:  when we leave a situation better than we found it.  Good.  A couple others:  when it has been lived for Jesus Christ.  Actually, many possible suggestions exist.  Many divergent answers would come if asked.  But only one true answer.  A life is a success when its goals can be carried beyond death into the next world.

Patient with us, God distinguishes the debris of life from life-goals.  For example, the necessities—food, clothing, housing, transportation are the detritus of life.  Necessary, but not the essence.  They become a spiritual problem only when we make them our life-goal.  Which many have and do.  That’s when they become a sin that must be forgiven.

A belief can be relatively harmless, but not a sin, if it doesn’t infringe on God’s truth.  When it does it becomes a threat to our soul’s destiny.  As an example, we’ve heard people say, “If so and so isn’t in heaven, I don’t want to be there.”

Then plan not to be in heaven.  For telling God that so and so must be there for us to be happy is a form of spiritual blackmail God won’t countenance.  It’s a way of saying God has to meet our expectations if he wants us to be happy with HIM!  Such a view proves our unworthiness to be with God.  And we won’t be!

Without being particularly conscious of God, people have made good decisions later in life to overcome mistakes of youth.  A 52 year old lady went back to school…to grade school…just so she could go to High School and graduate.  A 30 year old man left a financially secure profession in New York and returned to his New England roots.  To live in a smaller house with fewer amenities.  To buy a small business.  To build a new life with his family that his career had threatened to abolish.

It’s the principle of gaining by losing.     – End Part I –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Life – never before, not again

Two very sad stories have lately been told of oriental couples crashing on a mountain road in California.  At the time of writing, 8/18/17, no added news had been reported of the accidents.

In July a red car broke through a guard rail into the Kings River.  The two Thai exchange students died.  When a deputy saw the footage of the crash site, his practiced eye spotted a license plate of another car.  He reported the find to the CHP—who didn’t know of any other crash at the time.

A few days later the discovery of car parts led deputies to a crash site 500 feet below and off a curve of Highway 180.  It seems the car broke apart on its plunge into the white-water rapids that partially covered the vehicle.

The fact that both vehicles left the road only 50 feet apart caused consternation at Cal Trans.  Always aware of mountain-road conditions, and of dangerous curves, they hadn’t sensed danger in that particular area.  They did note that strong winds regularly blow along that highway.  San Diego U-T, 8/15/17

Have authorities given consideration to the lack of familiarity in the four people driving the road?  Maybe Cal Trans should have posted windy-conditions-signs along the highway.  Maybe they had.  Perhaps both cars entered the curve when a blast of wind hit them.  Perhaps going too fast, their cars fishtailed and the drivers over-corrected, flipping them.  No one knows.

It does surface a spiritual point learned from the Ark of God across the Jordan from Jericho.  Joshua ordered Israel to remain a thousand yards—10 football fields—behind the Ark as they prepared to cross the River.  He also ordered them to follow it.  “Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before” Joshua 3:4.  That’s the same charge God issues us.  Since we’re all going through this life once; since we’ve never been here before and we’ll never come again, be sure to follow Jesus Christ while we’re here.  He knows the way we need to go because he went through life himself as one of us.  Through death as we all must.  From the dead as only he has.  And from earth ascended into Heaven where he now waits at God’s Right Hand until he returns.

However much more we’d like to know about life, death, resurrection or the after-life, we have all we need to know in what Jesus reveals.  How ridiculous if we follow anyone but Jesus.  For every other leader leaves us wanting somewhere….

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

Life – we can ruin our life for God’s work

Samuel Chamberlain photographed many images for his book The New England Image.  He found many willing to have themselves or their property memoralized.  He also had some who objected.  While he obliged their wishes not to photograph from their property, he protected his right to do so from public highways.  The result from the unwilling ran from a photo of a man shaking a fist to lady who flapped her arms at the camera.  That lady ruined his picture. pp. 11-12

She offers a spiritual lesson.  God wants to love us, to correct us, to criticize us, to warn us—all in an effort to save us from our sins and make us worthy of him and eternal life.  Then, in grace we can never understand, but appreciate, he gives us the right to ruin his every desire FOR US.  We can’t alter his predictive will, or torpedo his sovereignty over history.  We CAN, and often DO, spoil his purpose for us.  And in so doing ruin our chance to be servants, not obstacles, to others.

The lady proved only that the photographer didn’t get the picture he wanted.  It didn’t prevent his success in shooting many others.  When Jesus judges the world, and each person stands before him, and many are found guilty, not saved; lost, not found; cast out, not gathered in, they will have only themselves to blame.  For every person who doesn’t want God in their lives now, many yield themselves to him, his will, his perspectives.  They know his expertise fills them with spiritual grace for living while preparing them for the ecstasy of eternal life in his Son.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life – is a steeplechase

Not many think life is a sprint.  Long ago, and far away, when parents had multiple children because so many died early, they may have believed that.  Not today when age 80 IS NOT the time to pull up one’s legs on the bed preparing for death.

But neither is life a long distance-run, demanding strong-winded perseverance until we reach our end.  Life IS NOT uninterrupted.  Life is never accommodating that way, offering a long, perhaps painful journey from beginning to end.

Everyday life is a confounded steeplechase.  Just when you get up a head of steam, forging ahead, an obstacle looms.  It’s not going anywhere.  In a steeplechase, runners must GET OVER it, not AROUND it.  We have an advantage in life.  We can determine the best, most cost-free way to find ways around the obstacle.  But around is longer, more time-consuming and sometimes presents other problems.

Following the example of actual steeplechasers, let’s find the best way over the obstacle/problem/crisis.  One, we can leap across it, regain our balance and propel ourselves onward.  Two, we can leap on the top of the problem and, using it as a support, hurl ourselves over and across it.  Either decision often lands us in water, which is as often a breaking point of the runner’s stride.

Either decision demands an alteration of our steps, pace and speed as we approach the obstacle.  We slow, alter the length of our stride just to PREPARE for leaping upon or over the obstacle.  In addition we find that the obstacles aren’t all set the same distance apart so we can pace ourselves, as in the hurdles.  No; just when we have our distance pace set, a shorter- or longer-separated obstacle demands alterations.  So life is never evenly-paced, predictable and under our control.  Like steeplechasing, life isn’t for the faint-hearted.  And the older we get, the more demanding it is.  Until we claim, “Getting old isn’t for sissies.”

Nevertheless, growing older in faith empowers us.  The Lord who died at 33, and never knew the weaknesses attendant on increasing years, always accompanies us, never leaves us alone on the journey and, at its end, guarantees in the world to come a body that shall never age or weaken.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 

 

 

 

Life – what constitutes a worthwhile

Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill’s mother, once said that a worthy life consisted of a task to perform, a person to love and a hope to possess.  Jennie II, 60.  Taking that perspective as a human normal, we understand that it isn’t hard for people to get all they want from life.  The question is, once they have it, is it enough?  Will what they gain make death equal to life, even preferable to it?  If not, why would anyone claim that what they call life is all they NEED?

In Philippians 1:20-23 the apostle Paul considered life useful since he would live Jesus.  And his death preferable since he would be with Jesus.  How many people, including Christians, hold that view?  How many instead have goals that death destroys, not fulfills?  And relationships that death separates, not unites?

God has never insisted that we seek him for all that life really IS.  He has warned us that only in Christ will we now have what God calls a fullness of life that death only expands to infinite dimensions.

God mercifully gives us the choice:  be satisfied with what we consider meaningful life; or seek in his Living and Written Word what he says makes life meaningful.  Since we have the choice, we can’t blame God if we choose wrongly.  But, mark this:  we’ll blame him anyway.  We can’t tolerate being wrong and God being right.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486; www.createspace.com/5802530; and www.createspace.com/5700328.

 

 

Life – what is our life’s purpose

When asked how he wanted to be remembered, famed race-car owner Roger Penske answered:  as a “racer and fair competitor.”  AAA Magazine, 5/16.

When Hall of Fame baseball player Ted Williams was asked, he wanted to be remembered as “the greatest hitter that ever lived.”  San Diego U-T, 4/25/16.

Walter Kohn, saved from Nazi death camps by being sent to England in the Kindertransport rescue, became a world-renowned chemist and physicist, an expert in mathematical physics.

Harry Wu endured 19 years as a labor camp inmate in China.  Eighty pounds in weight when leaving the camp, he had been worked nearly to death to satisfy the rage of offended Communist officials.  He became a civil rights activist who repeatedly returned secretly to China to gather additional footage of the criminality of communism.

Arthur Anderson joined Orson Welles’s Mercury Theater as a teenager.  He found fame and an enduring role as spokesman for Lucky Charms cereal.  He never received free cereal for his commercials, but they did pay him “lots of green money.”  All three men died in April, 2016.  San Diego U-T, 4/26/16, 5/3/16.

We don’t know if Kohn, Wu and Anderson felt they achieved their life-purpose in their successful careers.  We know the surviving Penske and late Williams thought they had.

Maybe from a secular, humanistic perspective.  But not from God’s.  II Corinthians 5:1-5 explains the purpose of human life from God’s perspective.  Humans were originally created to find, and each one presently conceived and born continually to seek but one purpose in life—eternal life in Jesus Christ.  Should we have no success but that, we have fulfilled our Purpose on earth.  Should we succeed in every way but that, we have failed to achieve God’s purpose for us.  Jesus stated the same truth in Matthew 16:24-26.  If we gain here what we can’t keep forever, we fail God’s purpose for us.  If we gain here what we can’t lose in eternity, we succeed.

What will we decide:  to succeed as mortals define the term, or as God defines it?

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486; www.createspace.com/5802530; and www.createspace.com/5700328.

 

 

 

 

Life – miserably inadequate view of

The National Geographic Channel (NGC) premiered the series The Story of God April 3, 2016.  We don’t have NGC, so I rely on the short account in Parade, April 3, 2016, for this blog.

Morgan Freeman serves as front man of the series.  He thinks people believed in a higher power when, at “the beginning of human curiosity….”  Note:  not when we seek the beginning of humanity.  Organic evolution being endemic to the National Geographic, Freeman likely qualifies humanity by those beliefs.

Anyway, when “curiosity” awakened in people, they wanted to KNOW WHY:  mountains exploded; rain fell; earthquakes quivered through the soil.

Freeman suggested that “…the answer for what you don’t know is God, the great unknown.”  Regarding miracles, they interviewed a window washer who fell 47 stories to ground.  His brother, on the same scaffolding when it broke, died.  The survivor had nearly every bone in his body broken—but survived.

By the very definition of a miracle—what cannot be explained or achieved by any human act or power, the fact that the one guy lived means it wasn’t a miracle.  Others have fallen to the ground in unopened parachutes and lived.  The miracle would be the resurrection of his brother from the grave.  Only Jesus Christ can accomplish that.

In addition, Morgan’s personally believes “in life” and in “life everlasting”, but only because life is self-sustaining.  We die; others live.  Death comes; but that doesn’t make us useless.  We die but our body is used by others.  “Everything that feeds, feeds on something that’s dead.”  That’s a silly Hollywood thought.  The seed, which dies, feeds on living, not dead soil.

You can’t expect to get anything Biblical from the NGC.  It’s pure entertainment.  But it isn’t Biblical.  It’s not even close to true.  Truth means you begin with the Creator.  You continue with his prophets.  You conclude with his eternal Son who came as LIFE that couldn’t decay.  Who submitted to death to prove it had no power over him.  Truth always originates in the person of God in Christ. Without that emphasis no truth exists.  It’s all liberal, humanistic, atheistic propaganda.

 Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486; www.createspace.com/5802530; and www.createspace.com/5700328.