Does cheating pay?

Ever been tempted to cheat on an exam? Ever thought about taking a shortcut to achieve a means in order to make a gain? If you have, that’s normal. We’ve all come across one or two temptations to cheat within our lifetimes. It can happen in a person’s career, business, and in relationships.

At times, the temptation can be unbearable and eat away at you on the inside. It can be so irksome that you wish you didn’t have to deal with the temptation. What makes it worse is that you think you can actually get away with it without getting caught. Insane…right!

Do people ever get away with cheating? What makes us wonder about the possibility of getting caught is when we witness other people get away with it.

In the bible, a story about Jacob the cheater seemingly has no repercussions from cheating his older brother Esau out of his birthright, and later, also his blessing. As the story goes, Jacob had to run away because his older brother was very angry with him.

If the story were to end right here, it would seem to imply that Jacob got away without getting caught. We know he was caught and escaped death by running for his life.

Later, he would have to pay a price. He runs to his uncle Laban’s house. Meets his two daughters Leah and Rachel. He ends up having to work seven years to have Leah as his wife, then another seven years to have Rachel. He felt cheated out of seven years and then another seven years because Laban had the intention of cheating Jacob out of his labor.

Later, schemes of cheating one another would continue when Jacob tries to exact revenge on uncle Laban by cheating him out of large herds of goats, lambs, and sheep. He had to run away again.

This whole story of dishonesty, conniving and exacting revenge on one another takes place between chapters 25-33 in the book of Genesis. It seemed like an endless cycle.

In reading this entire story as a whole, we can see that cheating does not pay. An endless cycle of dishonesty, cheating and revenge will take place.

So if you ever had thoughts of cheating on exams, on your spouse, on your co-workers, better think twice. Cheating does not pay. You will get caught…eventually. Justice will be repaid.

Part 3 – Great Nations: Spiritual Foundations

South Koreans praying at Easter Service in Seoul, South Korea

It is interesting that Japan and Germany had been travelling on dangerous paths prior to the Second World War. People had been yearning for a great German nation. Japan was hungry for domination in East and South-East Asia. Their yearning back to greatness gave rise to regimes that indoctrinated an entire generation. What is interesting is what allowed these circumstances to arise?

My hypothesis is that there was likely a spiritual vaccuum in both of these countries. They had made greatness their god. They desired greatness more than anything. They didn’t care how it hurt innocent people. Many millions of people died at the hands of imperialist Japan and Nazi Germany. They either lost or did not have a spiritual foundation to support their societies. The Church grew weak in Germany. There was a spiritual and religious staleness within. Ethics and morality fell by the wayside and it allowed vain pride and desire for greatness overtake the souls of their nations.

A nation without a spiritual foundation will eventually be forgotten. What China lacks today is a strong spiritual foundation. China may be strong and gaining economic strength, but will it last? Its authoritarian government seems to seek to become a god or godlike. Any nation, China included, needs a government with a sense of humility at its core. What if China does become the pre-eminent economic or military powerhouse in 10-20 years? Well, what then? If we learn from history, any nation can fall like Germany and Japan had fallen during the Second World War. It sought greatness as their god.

Today, South Korea has become a rich nation. They have also become a great Christian nation. It is my earnest hope and prayer that China also becomes a Christian nation. Christianity could potentially provide China a spiritual foundation it never truly had. In its past life, it was inundated with Confucianism and Buddhism. This was sort of a spiritual foundation but it was not able to propel China to greatness. These philosophies and religions brought China a certain level of spirituality but the Chinese people eventually lost their way. It eventually became a weak nation that other nations picked on. A portion of the Chinese population fell prey to opium addiction. They lost generations to drug addiction and as a result, it became incapacitated. It allowed Communism to step in and take action against imperialistic intimidation.

Chinese Opium smokers/addicts in early 1900s. Numerous opium dens throughout China.

Hence, the rise of Communism was needed to beef-up its borders. These former religions and philosophies, as good as they were, are limiting. Although Christianity has not yet taken hold of China as it has to the degree like it has in South Korea, they are on their way to becoming a greater nation than it used to be under Buddhism and Confucianism.

Temple in Beijing China

I hope and pray that their turn toward Christ will not falter. I also pray that my father’s motherland of China can become that great nation for Christ that it can potentially become. I believe it can do so with Chinese characteristics. Christianity can bring a humility to its national core that Confucianism and Buddhism could not bring. Christianity can help reinforce a spiritual core that communism cannot. Communism has at its core a requirement to control. It must keep a tight rein on its people through intense big brother tactics. It does not trust individual rights and private property.

I pray that these two nations of South Korea and China will not forfeit the opportunity to build their spiritual heritages as nations that follow Christ. All nations need a spiritual foundation in order to maintain peace in order that prosperity may come. Throughout history, all nations that have become prosperous have acquired the prerequisite for peace—that is, a strong and robust spiritual foundation. Without peace, nations cannot become prosperous. Poverty only results from political instability. In the past, English and American prosperity ensued due to a peaceful environment.

May God also grant peace and prosperity to China, South Korea, and other nations along with a reverence for God.

Part 2 – Great Nations: Rising from the East

Visitors check their phones behind a screen advertising facial recognition software during the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing on 27 April 2018 (from Telegraph)

[ This post is a continuation from Part 1 on Great Nations. ]

There are new nations rising from the ashes. Undoubtedly, China is one, and South Korea is another. I predict there will be many more to come as nations become more developed. Future nation states will rise from the southern hemisphere, South, South-East and East Asia, and perhaps eventually Africa. Europe and North America and Japan have had its turn.

Today, there are far fewer products being made in the U.S.A. and the western world. There are only a few items I own with this label. What we are seeing far more of today is the label, “Made in China.”

We ask ourselves, where have the good ol’ days gone? We hear the slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Nothing wrong with that. No doubt, America has had its days of greatness. Many products used to be produced in America and proudly stamped, “Made in the USA.” My father remembers those days. England used to be a great industrial nation. Germany and Japan are still strong but we are constantly look behind our backs and seeing other nations gaining ground.

Sadly, though, I do not foresee a total return to those good ol’ days of American made products. The cost of production is far too high and the value of world currencies do not help. I do not doubt America’s potential to produce top quality products. America still has the know-how and technology to succeed. However, what is most concerning is the spiritual condition of America’s national soul.

I am old enough to remember when America’s vehicles were considered unreliable and were not built to last, e.g., Ford’s vehicles were sadly referred to as: “Frequently On Repair Dock”. How true is this of many American-made products today? I don’t know. There used to be an innate desire in Americans to produce excellence but sadly it does not run throughout most of American society. Rather than producing quality and providing workers with good salary and benefits, corporate America is largely driven by profit and cost-cutting measures to benefit the bottom-line; hence, today’s desire of many people for Japanese-made and German-made vehicles like Lexus, Mercedes, and BMWs. It might seem surprising that some North Americans and most Europeans have never driven American-made vehicles.

I stated in a previous post, China is ramping up their production and innovation. As strong as they already are, I believe they have the potential to become even better. It might take a decade or two, but they will become one of the premier powerhouses in the world. Many predict that China will eventually overtake the United States in G.D.P. by this next decade. It has already become an innovation power-house. China is pouring billions into Research & Development. As I read about technology internationally, I’m learning about how they are now one of the top leaders (if not the top) in Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G networks, electric vehicles (EV), including solar energy and rechargeable batteries. I predict they will soon become the top providers of 5G technology in the world and artificial intelligence (hence America’s fear of Huawei).

It might just be a matter of time when China will improve and eventually overtake America in quality of production. Japan has already done so in many respects but have seemed to reached a plateau. My father remembers the days when Japanese products were also considered inferior products. That changed as Japan improved. Being younger, I only have memories of Japanese products being top-notch quality. Today, South Korea is gaining ground on Japan. Future generations will foreseeably consider Korean-made and even Chinese-made products as top-quality.

Chinese society and Chinese people are a people who vigorously strive for excellence. There is a deep-seated desire to become number one. One day, I was shocked to hear from my own daughter’s mouth, who is now only 11 years old, that she thinks China wants to become the world’s number one nation. I asked her where she got that impression? “Oh I don’t know”… or “I just know.” She likely picked it up from watching YouTube videos. I’ve seen a few myself. This is the impression that today’s younger generations have of China. It wasn’t like this when I was growing up. China was poor and looked down upon as a hopeless socialist basket-case country. Today, that’s changed.

In the future, perhaps a hundred years down the road, Chinese people might yearn to remember their good ol’ days too. China’s younger population will eventually decline and its overall population will shrink. Demographics experts predict trouble will begin looming on China’s horizon in about 30 years from now due to population shrinkage.

Today, however, China has a grand opportunity to make history. However, history will be remembered only if a nation becomes a spiritually strong people. How can this take shape? ( Read the next post. )

What destroyed the dinosaurs?

https://foodgressing.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/pacific-science-center-seattle-kids.jpg

Our family went to the science center last month. We saw dinosaurs and stuff. She asked me when they existed. Some say millions of years ago. How many millions? Not sure.

Some also say thousands of years ago (recent findings of dinosaurs with skin, red blood cells and soft tissues still intact–not fossilized) (one site here). This makes the much-more-recent Great Flood theory of destruction of dinosaurs very possible.

Given the possibilities of science and biotechnology we have, or will have in the very near future, this also makes another scary scenario possible–a real-life Jurassic Park.

After this archaeological finding by Dr. Mary Schweitzer (link here), many evolutionists are steering away from a pure Darwinistic evolution. Creationism may suddenly become a possibility in the eyes of the scientific community. However, there also is a violent cover-up by the hardcore pro-Darwinistic evolutionist scientific community.

11 Alternate Dinosaur Extinction Theories - CollegeHumor Post

One theory says they were destroyed by either a giant asteroid that landed in the Gulf of Mexico. Another theory, they were wiped out by the Great Flood. No theory makes complete sense to me yet. I don’t think we have an absolute answer at this point. Can both theories co-exist and be true? Could there have been multiple points in time when dinosaurs were endangered and destroyed? If the earth is millions or billions of years old, then why could the earth not have experienced multiple points of destruction? There might be many possibilities.

Either way, the destruction of dinosaurs was good for us as humans. We humans are no longer prey for dino-food. I just hope to God that we don’t resurrect a real-life Jurassic Park scenario, which would endanger the future safety of human beings on earth.

Another global destruction possible?

Will there be another great flood? According to Genesis 8:21-22, God said to Noah:

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.

At this point in our human history, the ones who can destroy the earth is a wreckless humanity. Let’s just hope and pray no one provokes a nuclear war or disasters.

Prayer of Easter, Resurrection Day

Hallelujah! The Lord is Risen! Hallelujah!

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us this day.
May this meal be blessed as we gather to celebrate together.
May your love be shared amongst us as we enjoy the gift of fellowship.
May we remember to offer grace and forgiveness that you have freely given us,
And may we always give thanks for your sacrificial love.
Amen.

The Resurrection of Christ, by Anthony van Dyck, 1631. Flemish. Movement: Baroque.

Comment on art: Wonderful…simply wonderful! This would be one of my favorite resurrection art pieces. It is filled with action and passion. The emotions of shock and glory of Jesus resurrecting is depicted in this extremely moving piece.

What is Easter?

Resurrection by Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), tempera on wood, 70×92 cm, detail depicting Christ, 1457-1459

Easter comes two days after Good Friday. It is the fulfillment of the prophesied Messiah who was to come. We know the Messiah or Savior as Jesus who resurrected from the dead.

Christians commemorate Easter as the most holy day in Christianity. It is the reason believers in Christ Jesus believe in new and eternal life. Jesus rose again from the dead and defeated death; thereby, giving us the promise of eternal life that we will also rise again.

Holy week (Passion week) begins after Palm or Passion Sunday. Known as Pashchal (Holy/Easter) Triduum to Catholics, this includes the evening of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (last three days of Lent). Devoted Catholics have traditionally observed these days with prayer, fasting and abstinence.

Everything builds up to the grand finale. Easter Sunday morning is like the grand finale when Jesus is resurrected from the dead. As Christians, Jesus resurrection is the reason we sing “Hallelujah” and give the Lord praise and glory.

Comment on art: This piece by Montegna is full of life. The Roman gaurds are in shock. Their expressions are priceless. Jesus stands one foot on the tomb pointing to the sky as if to say, “I have conquered death… and up is where I’m going.”