Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Story of Kamal Saleem

This man cried out to God with a desperate desire to truly know Him.  To his surprise, Jesus answered.  God will introduce Himself to you, too, if you ask Him sincerely, with your whole heart.  This is the God I serve.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What Jesus Did for Me

II beg you to consider the state of your own soul. I'd like to pose a few questions to help you do that and then share my story. It won't take more than a few minutes.

How did you come into existence? Does your origin have anything to do with your conscience? Are you doing what your Creator wants you to do? Will you be held accountable for that? How will you stand up under scrutiny?

I don't know of any better way to convince you to believe in Jesus than to tell you what he's done for me. From an early age I believed in God as I was taught by my parents, but my heart was locked up in self-interest and pride. In elementary school, I developed social problems with my peers. Doing well in school exacerbated this problem. I now know this is a fairly common experience, but that makes no difference when you're going through it as a child. The pain of rejection began to shape my soul and define me. I was in a downward spiral of antisocial behavior, because I thought I wasn't liked.

When I was 12, God supernaturally healed me in a way that is impossible to fully relate. In one evening, I was changed from being fearful and awkward to being confident in God's love and finally able to relate to others as myself, without pretense. My life has never been the same since God told me that night that He accepted me, and His opinion matters more than that of anyone else. It wasn't discovering myself that made me comfortable in my own skin - it was discovering God and His thoughts about me.

I would not stand up very well under scrutiny. My pattern of rejection as a child was not just the result of wrongs done to me but of my sinful responses of contempt and pride toward most of the people I knew. I stole from a good friend once. I disobeyed and lied to my parents. I did not love God with my whole heart.

We as people tend to justify our faults and compare ourselves among each other, but the only comparison that matters is to Jesus Christ, who never sinned. For my sins, I would stand guilty before God except that He put Himself in my place on the cross and took the punishment I should have gotten - the wrath of a truly good God.

Like me, you can also be forgiven of all your sins before God - past, present, and future made clean - by deciding to follow Jesus. Believe and obey Him. Maybe you too need to be healed of some scarring of the soul caused by yourself or others. God's Spirit wants to come live inside of you and begin healing and restoring you once you believe. His presence is refreshing and life-giving.

Jesus is inviting you into his kingdom, offering you eternal life. Your Creator loves you. Won't you accept the gift of salvation that he purchased for you on the cross?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An aside on economics

Somebody wrote an article saying there was a "silver lining" to the recent tsunami in Japan. Another person criticized that on Facebook. I wrote this in response:

One of the downsides of industrialization and technology is that those who specialize in doing work that gets taken over by machines can become underemployed. Then the profits for physical production increasingly go to those who invent the technology and those already in possession of the capital to own and manage the technology. The technology does not eliminate, but reduces, the demand for manual labor causing those who make their living thereby to face stiff competition, lower their compensation, and their status at the bargaining table.

A disaster does temporarily increase the demand for labor and so the question really is if we're handling things correctly in the good times. Would we really have realized the gains that the opportunity cost says we would have, or would those people have been underemployed?

I think that through just management practices, we can fully employ laborers. The misconception is that a good business manager is one who ruthlessly cuts costs without consideration for the effect on workers. The problem with this that, ultimately, quality is in the hands of the one actually doing the work, not the manager.

Right now the world economy is in a crisis of quality, because everyone is in a race to the bottom to sell the cheapest goods.

For their own long-term self interest as well as the corporate good, business management needs to focus on quality by fully employing, empowering, and compensating their laborers.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand

Stop doing things you know are wrong, and start doing what is right.  Change your thinking. Stop always thinking about ways you can please yourself and start thinking about how you can please God.  Just try.  God sees even the feeblest of efforts and rewards them.  No matter how many times you fail, He will pick you up if you continue to set your heart on obeying Him.

For more specific suggestions, read Matthew chapters 5 through 8.