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Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Do You have Hope?

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Marching out of Yorktown to surrender the British Army played the song “The World Turned Upside Down.” As I drive to Meg Lo Mart to make my latest deposit of monopoly money in a Chinese savings account all I can do is mumble the final tag-line of the Wicked Witch of the West, “What a world? What a world?”

There is a massive unspoken problem in America today, floating like the iceberg in front of the Titanic waiting to sink the unsinkable ship. Founded by revolutionaries crying “No taxation without representation!” the Republic these revolutionaries devised has devolved into a society where more than 40% of the people pay no Federal Income Tax and the number of people receiving government benefits is even higher. What incentive would these non-paying receivers have to reign in an overbearing and intrusive government? This unseen and unspoken problem is a cancer in the body politic.

Self-serving professional politicians buy votes by exempting non-productive people from personal financial responsibility while providing ever-expanding benefits at the expense of the productive. This is not the right versus left, conservative versus liberal, democrat versus republican he-said-she-said endless debate that devours the chatocracy of cable’s wall-to-wall talking-heads. This is not an academic exercise that pointy-headed political science and history majors with dueling pocket protectors debate for hours in their mother’s basement as they post their latest scoop on their samizdat blogs. If it is not any of these things what is it? It is a dagger pointing directly at the heart of our civilization.

Western Civilization awoke from the slumber of the Dark Ages enlightened and empowered by a belief, based in the Judeo-Christian tradition that humanity has an innate right to be free and a natural right to excel. Rights and freedoms are given by God not bestowed at the whim of some Legend-in-his-own-mind Leader. This civilization gathered steam in Europe exploding upon the world stage through an energetic period of exploration.

In America after a revolution fought by farmers and merchants against the greatest empire of the day the Founders, dared to declare “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” After centuries of government thugs standing on the windpipe of everyday people these self-sacrificing giants observed that in a civilized world government was not imposed by the strong upon the weak it was instead built upon a social contract between the governed and those entrusted with the privilege to govern when they said, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Today this bold and unique experiment in freedom is being devoured from within and challenged from without. Those who believe the collective should reign over the individual, those who believe in the suffocating sameness of socialism over the rough-and-tumble of capitalism have worked for generations building a culture of dependency which has tempered the steel will of the pioneers into the sloppy demands of the couch-potato slacker waiting for someone to find their remote as they guzzle some refreshments and wait for the game as bread and circuses take the place of innovation and accomplishment. Schools teaching 2+2 might = 5, trophies for everyone, politically correct new-speak and affirmative action promotions have sapped the vitality from the citizens of our Republic. Politicians and their fellow-travelers use a system of cronies and sweet-heart deals to reward each other for siphoning trillions from the public treasury promising the dumbed-down descendants of revolutionaries that they just might win the lotto before they have to declare bankruptcy so they might as well re-elect the same old grafters once again.

There comes a time when those who are raising the sails and paddling the boat have to admit to themselves the ballast down in steerage weighs more than the cargo. There comes a time when even the most non-confrontational and loyal among us begin to ask, “Who is John Galt” as Atlas tires of his thankless job and shrugs the burden of dead-weight into the dustbin of history. As the perpetually-reelected and the propaganda spewing Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media trumpet the inevitability of government rationed health-care, cap-n-trade industrial suicide, comprehensive import-a-voter immigration reform and the surrender of sovereignty through treaties supposedly designed to deal with mythical global warming there shines a light in a bell tower, one if by land and two if by sea.

Without hope you’re hopeless and I refuse to allow the unbelievable changes currently assaulting our economy and our political system to bring about my own personal Great Depression. Those who believe in the Devil believe he comes to steal, kill and destroy. I believe if he can’t steal your joy he can’t keep your stuff and weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Don’t despair pray. Don’t give up, give it up to God. Let me ask you, “Do you have hope?” I hope so. Personally as for me and my house we will trust the Lord for our hope is in Christ.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Don’t Worry Be Happy

No one gets to live in the world they grew up in, it moves too fast.

It wasn’t always like this.  My father grew up plowing with mules as had his father and his father and his father back and back into the mist of time.  Things changed slowly until the machine age.  Then with the development of the steam engine, the assembly line, and mechanization things started to speed up.  Today we are in the first throws of the Second Machine Age, and things are beginning to travel faster than we can assimilate.

The renowned futurist Alvin Toffler first called it Future Shock.  Then he called it The Third Wave.  Then came Powershift,War and Antiwar, and finally Creating a New Civilization.

What it all comes down to is technology is moving at an exponential rate.  It is accelerating faster than we can adapt to and therefore there are social and cultural dislocations on the horizon.  One good way to visualize exponential growth is to remember the story of the man who invented chess.

Hundreds and hundreds of years ago there was a King in India who loved to play games. But he had gotten bored of the games that were present at the time and wanted a new game that was much more challenging. He commissioned a poor mathematician who lived in his kingdom to come up with a new game. After months of struggling with all kinds of ideas the mathematician came up with the game of Chaturanga (Chess).

The game had two armies each lead by a King who commanded the army to defeat the other by capturing the enemy King. It was played on a simple 8×8 square board. The King loved this game so much that he offered to give the poor mathematician anything he wished for. “I would like one grain of rice for the first square of the board, two grains for the second, four grains for the third and so on doubled for each of the 64 squares of the game board” said the mathematician. “Is that all?” asked the King, “Why don’t you ask for gold or silver coins instead of rice grains.” “The rice should be sufficient for me.” replied the mathematician. The King ordered his staff to lay down the grains of rice and soon learned that all the wealth in his kingdom would not be enough to buy the amount of rice needed on the 64th square. In fact the whole kingdom’s supply of rice was exhausted before the 30th square was reached. “You have provided me with such a great game and yet I cannot fulfill your simple wish. You are indeed a genius.” said the King and offered to make the mathematician his top advisor instead.

We can see what a great example this is as a lesson in exponential growth when we reflect on the fact that the chess board has 64 squares and if you put just one grain on the first and double up on the next and so on, you will reach an enormous amount of grain.

1 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 If you work this out you get an incredible amount of grain something like this: 18.446.744.073.709.551.615 around 18.446.744 Trillions of wheat grains.

This is where Moore’s Law begins to impact our lives.  Moore’s Law is a computing term which originated around 1970 which states that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years.  That is exponential growth.  It began very slowly with computers the size of small buildings in climate controlled rooms clean manned by teams of scientist and mathematicians.  Today five year-old children routinely play with games having more computing power that NASA had to get to the Moon.  Our cell phones were invented by Martin Cooper who was trying to bring the Star Trek communicators to life.  Today our smartphones are computers that have more power than supercomputers of just a few years ago.  It helps to remember that the Star Trek communicators were audio only.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on the horizon and humanoid robots with the mental agility of Watson and memories the size of Google will soon be walking among us.  Scientists are already using Cochlear implants to bring hearing to the deaf.  Using them to increase memory, intelligenceand control machines by thoughtis just around the corner as we race to what Ray Kurzweil calls The Singularity.  This will be a time when as Kurzweil puts it, “the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.”

What does all this mean?  Do we redefine life from something like, “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” to sentient to include AI?

Do we become cyborgs as our machines become alive?  Are we close to becoming gods who create life and virtual worlds?

While all of this technology is amazing and wondering about it and its future impact is entertaining it all reminds me of the story of the scientist who told God, “You’re not so much. We have now mastered the techniques for creating life in the laboratory.”

God answered, “Isn’t that interesting.”

Feeling as if God had taken his brazen assertion lightly the scientist said, “I challenge you to a contest.  Let’s just see who can create life the fastest.”

God answered “All right let’s go.”  With that God reached down and picked up some mud and began fashioning it into a man.  The scientist filled with pride took his test tubes and started pouring his potions back and forth when God looked at him and said, “Hey!  Get your own mud!”

Man proposes and God disposes.  We think we are on the verge of taking the place of God in our own evolution.  Many live as if all of this here is all that there is anywhere.

Yet the unanswered questions outweigh the answers.  There are two things: Dark Matter and Dark Energy that scientists tell us makes up the vast majority of everything yet is un-seeable and unknowable.  The Big Bang is now accepted as fact by all scientists yet none can tell us what was before the Big bang or how the Big Bang could have banged.

Faith has the answers.  Dark Energy and Dark Matter are the power of God and the spiritual world.  One upholds us and one surrounds us.  And as far as the Big bang goes, in the beginning God said, “Let there be.”

If the mad rush towards the future leaves you shocked, if the idea of machines that are smarter than humans or of humans that are as smart as machines leaves you turned off instead of turned on don’t worry be happy.  There is joy unspeakable and a life filled with glory right at your fingertips.  Accept Jesus as your Savior, turn from the world and embrace the all-encompassing reality of a spiritual life and find the peace you have always longed for.

Even the godless Communists turned to God when they were on the ropes.Don’t wait for the bell to ring before you surrender and win.  Jesus is the Rock that doesn’t roll and the shelter in the face of the storm.

We are standing on the edge of the abyss and the bell will toll soon.  When we wonder for whom the bell tolls let’s rejoice together as children of God united in the Holy Spirit through faith in our risen Savior Jesus Christ.   For if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

THERE IS HOPE IN THE WORLD – LET US CLING TO IT

hopeFriends, I have been thinking about this terrible tragedy and how it is affecting all of us now. When it happened, I swore that I would not get caught up in the inevitable political fallout. There is not one of us who didn’t know that gun control would be the first thing on our president’s lips. But the poor children and families and communities that have been completely devastated deserve all our attention and all our sympathy and all our prayers- not politics. And yet, the day after the tragedy, all peaceful mourning was wiped away. To know that a mentally ill young man got hold of his mother’s registered weapons and inexplicably killed these children & adults was bad- but I could wrap my mind around it and mourn. I could just cry and grieve and pray. At least I knew WHY I was grieving. There was some peace in that- regardless of the politics coming down the road.

But then information began to trickle out that indicated the possibility of another shooter. Perhaps two shooters. And all peace was shattered. Why? Because a lone gunman means one thing. More than one indicates something completely different. And suddenly, we don’t know what we are grieving for. Are we grieving for the act of a mentally ill man or are we grieving for the act of a corrupt government? Again, all peace was shattered.

The worst part is this: I don’t think we will ever get our hands on the truth, Friends. And in the end, nothing has really changed, has it? Before this terrible event, we knew that there are terribly evil people in our government. People who have their fingers on terrific amounts of money and power. They could care less about human life and would be willing to kill anyone if it furthered their purposes. They control the press. They controlled this election. They are much bigger than us as individuals. And they are pulling at the puppet strings. We knew that.

That has not changed. Even if we never get the true facts. Our trust was violated long ago.

So, my suggestion is this: go back to the true heart of this matter: those children who were savagely murdered and their families. Those teachers who were brutally assassinated as they went about the business of loving our kids. They will be missed. Their families have giant, ragged holes in their chests today. Let us pray that God sends legions of angels to fill those holes with enough peace & hope that each affected person can see a future where their lives have meaning again.

Evil has struck. No matter how you look at it. No matter how it happened. The only real question is how WE respond to it. With more evil? With hopelessness? With bitterness? With hate? No. Then the evil has rippled even further- to the delight of Satan. Let us respond with what is GOOD in us- with love, compassion, humility and with our knees bent in supplication to our Lord, Jesus Christ. That HE will bring justice to those who did this thing.

It is only a matter of time, my Friends. We only live for one millisecond on this earth. And then our time is done and we will all stand before our Maker. Let God have his vengeance. We will celebrate then. Until then, do good. It’s Christmas. We need to remember that in the darkest days, our Lord was born. He is coming again, Friends. And I think it will be sooner rather than later. There is HOPE in the world. Let us cling to it.

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HOPE AND CHANGE