Friday, January 31, 2014

A good person values the life of their animal (Proverbs 10:12)

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father knowing it."  - Jesus (Matthew 10:29)

Neka Neva  2006 - Jan 31, 2014
Our beloved pet cat Neka died today. She was about 8 years old (were not exactly sure) and was a rescue cat we adopted in 2008.  She was a Russian blue so her fur was really soft, and she was very loving and affectionate.

When my wife and I moved from Virginia to California a year and a half ago, she drove across America with us, and comforted us during the tough times of our transition.

I think God used her to help us during our struggles especially when each of us were between jobs and hope was in short supply.

Neka was just a cat, but she filled our lives with so much joy and happiness, and we're very thankful to God for bringing her into our lives.  I gave her a proper burial in my back yard laying her under a beautiful Norfolk Island Pine. So if there is a "cat heaven" she most certainly deserves to go there.  She was one of God's beautiful creatures.  We'll really miss her.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Does No Good Deed Go Unpunished?

 "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."                                                       - St. John the Apostle (John 3:19)

Why does no good deed go unpunished?  The short answer is that good deeds will eventually be rewarded by God (if not in this life, then in the next).  But why does the world tend to punish those who do good deeds and live good lives?  Because the world lives in darkness and opposes those who live in the light.  Those who live good lives and do good deeds shine the light on darkness and expose evil deeds.  All of life is a struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, right and wrong, etcetera, etcetera.

The famous philosopher Plato (a student of Socrates) wrote in his book The Republic (circa 387 B.C.) an allegory called The Cave.  In the story, Socrates has a conversation with Plato’s brother Glaucon in which he describes a prehistoric theater deep inside a dark cave where the audience members, since their childhoods, are chained and held captive watching shadow puppet shows (similar to a movie theater today).  The shows the captive audience watched were images of the real things and events in the world outside the cave. 

So one day an audience member was set free and told that the shadow puppet show he’d been watching since childhood were not at all real but merely illusions of reality.  At first he was skeptical and didn’t believe it.  So to prove it to him, he was shown the puppets and fire that produced the shadows he’d watched since childhood, but he still wouldn’t believe it.  Finally, he was forcibly dragged out of the dark cave into the light of the real world!

Initially he was shocked by what he saw as his eyes painfully adjusted to the bright sunlight.  But after awhile, he came to see and appreciate the beauty of the world as it really is outside of the dark cave.

Later on, however, he started to feel pity for the captives still imprisoned deep inside the dark cave.  So after much thought, he decided to venture back inside the cave in order to tell them the truth about the real world and the light outside of the cave.

After he went back into the cave and told the others about the real world outside the cave they just laughed at him and said he’d lost his sight and his mind.  He desperately tried to prove it to them, but they still wouldn’t believe him.  So eventually they killed him since they didn’t want him to lead others astray.

The protagonist in this famous allegorical story represents the countless seers and sages throughout history that have tried to enlighten society by speaking the truth but were punished for their good deeds.  For example, Socrates, John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.  

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860 A.D., a famous German philosopher) wrote, All truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
   

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