Two Essential Worldwide Values: Cultural Musing

In attending to what people throughout the world establish as important the world over regardless of value system there are two noticeable threads. One thread pertains to what is of the greatest evil and one thread the highest good. Neither of these world cultural values are held by this writer and intend on sharing comments on both. First, will examine what people consider the greatest evil and then examine the value that seems to be the highest good.

Suffering is seen as the greatest evil in the world. We set up plans and goals to eliminate the various form of suffering. Something about seeing another human suffer and being aware of the suffering touches the core of humanity. When suffering is know, it even often allows for improved generosity. There are philosophical or religious symptoms built around the premise of reduction of suffering. In the world, the big, bad, evil things are things that create the most suffering. These big bads include poverty, disease, and disaster. Ultimately, we all suffer.

The existence of suffering is even a huge barrier for people understanding God has loving. Suffering has long been the world’s villain. The mindset is often if only the suffering could be reduced then everyone would be at peace. That concept is faulty. For lack of peace has nothing to do with suffering. A person can be whole and still suffer; rather it comes from selfishness and selfism. A lot of the suffering that occurs in the world is directly related to some ones self-directed choices.

The highest good is in stark contrast. The highest good essentially is in having and tending to children. Granted it is not the highest value for everybody, but having and raising children is the primary business of the world. One reason for the high value on raising children is that in a sense it is a way to pass on part of self. This is particularly true for those who believe this life is all there is. You live, die, eat, drink, be merry, and reproduce. The value to the world is found in your legacy which is most lived out by the children you bring into the world.

Recently have notice that people can be quick to comment or criticize others who they do not believe are focusing the proper attention on children. Argument have been made that people who help others and choosing temporary separation from their own children are neglecting or perhaps even traumatizing their children. Such an attitude really reflects the attitude that your children are to be the highest value, even over attending to the suffering of others.

Now producing and raising children are a blessing and certainly something that needs high priority. But the value is elevated way to high. Children should not be the most important aspect of living. People live and die by the success their children do or do not have sometimes. Rather, for this writer the things of greatest value are loving God and loving others. Now, granted raising children are part of that, but only a part of that dynamic.

Suffering is difficult, raising children is important but the balance in world cultural place on both are skewed. Do you agree or disagree with those thoughts? Where does suffering and raising children fight in your view of life? How does either influence your view of God?

Haiti Earthquake-Livesay’s Info and other stuff.

Today a 7.0 earthquake occurred in Haiti as  documented in a Star Tribune article.  Earthquake statistics/details can be found at a government website. It is already clear of the serious need for prayer as a hospital in Petionville collapsed.  According to Troy Livesay, prayer particularly needed for those in the slums.  This earthquake will create further difficulties for what is already an extremely poor country.  Apparently, aftershocks are occurring about every ten minutes. 

 This blog has previously written an article on the Livesay money when Tara ran the Twin Cities marathon to raise money for Medika Mamba . The Livesay family and members of Heartline Ministries.   Their blog   found at  http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/ and they also are affilliated with World Wide Village.   The people on staff with the ministries were all reported safe.  They still had varied ministries to check in on and phone useage is minimal as cell towers overloaded.   There is concern about a possible tsunami follow-up, so keep them all in your prayers and God’s wisdom and protection. 

Note that in Mark 13:8 the Bible indicates “there shall be earthquakes in diverse places.”   Pray for the people in this country to even more turn to the source of true peace and true riches, which is Jesus and the Kingdom of God.  Also remember that everywhere there are people hurting and in desperate situations. Sometimes desperate situations become more desperate over the travails of life.  Some people question the goodness of God related to such tragic events.  The argument is a loving God would not let anyone face such suffering.  Yet, suffering exists do to man’s separation from God. One day, God will restore all things, but waits so that more may come into the Kingdom. God gives each person a chance to listen and follow Him, and turn from self.    So  pray for folks in Hati and elsewhere that have not yet turned to God from self, that this situation will turn them to the source of true wholeness and peace. 

Updates from Livesay’s as posted: 

6:32 Central time update from Troy ‘ Facebook: Troy Livesay Phones and internet are mostly out – we don’t have either at home – radio says the Palace fell down and buildings fell down all along Delmas.  Troy Livesay most people are staying outside in our area – aftershocks are still continuing…a neighbor was in a school that collapsedTroy Livesay most people are staying outside in our area – aftershocks are still continuing…a neighbor was in a school that collapsed Troy Livesay I can’t imagine the devastation this has caused to such an overly stressed city – I think it will be suffering for quite some time. 

9:21 pm:   

Troy Livesay Tipap made it home from Carrefour – saw many dead bodies and injured along the way – said most buidings w/more than one story are down 

Troy Livesay All the visitors and children from heartline are staying at the Buxman’s house and ours. 

Here is an intersting thing out of this.  Not much information is coming out of Hati.  Troy’s tweets, facebook, and blog information is about it.  God’s is amazing to draw attention to those serving Him in Haiti and giving attention and voice.  Apparently the tweets from Troy LIVE-say were even read on Larry King. 

Damage report:  Hotel Montana destroyed. Many government buildings damaged including as indicated presidential palace. 

10:34 pm cst  written by one of Livesay’s kids: Troy Livesay For Three Angels Parents … Troy and Megan left at 9:45pm Eastern to try to get up there to see your kids. We are running on batteries and will eventually not have this way to communicate. We are trying to answer your questions. The news on the radios is saying most of the city has collapsed … I cannot talk to Troy so I do not know how true that is. 

10:45 Tara Porter-Livesay: Tara Porter-Livesay 

That is on the radio. Please know that we have not seen that with our own eyes yet. I will tell you that there are NO building codes in Haiti. Not enforced.
 
Recent tweets from troylivesay on twitter:
  •   The Haitian people are out praying together — aftershock happening right now.
  • For those that don’t know – Haiti does not enforce building codes. 

  • The worst damage is in Carrfour (South of Port, near the Palace) we are hearing that many two and three story buildings did not make it.
  • Injured person being carried off in Haiti.

    Per comcast news article:

     

    Felix Augustin, Haiti’s consul general in New York, said a portion of the National Palace had disintegrated. 

    “Buildings collapsed all over the place,” he said. “We have lives that are destroyed. … It will take at least two or three days for people to know what’s going on.” 

    An Associated Press videographer saw the wrecked hospital in Petionville, a hillside Port-au-Prince district that is home to many diplomats and wealthy Haitians, as well as many poor people. Elsewhere in the capital, a U.S. government official reported seeing houses that had tumbled into a ravine. 

    Kenson Calixte of Boston spoke to an uncle and cousin in Port-au-Prince shortly after the earthquake by phone. He could hear screaming in the background as his relatives described the frantic scene in the streets. His uncle told him that a small hotel near their home had collapsed, with people inside. 

    “They told me it was total chaos, a lot of devastation,” he said. 

    Haiti’s ambassador to the U.S., Raymond Joseph, said from his Washington office that he spoke to President Rene Preval’s chief of staff, Fritz Longchamp, just after the quake hit. He said Longchamp told him that “buildings were crumbling right and left” near the National Palace. The envoy said he had not been able to get back in contact with officials. 

    With phones down, some of the only communication came from social media such as Twitter. Richard Morse, a well-known musician who manages the famed Olafson Hotel, kept up a stream of dispatches on the aftershocks and damage reports. The news, based mostly on second-hand reports and photos, was disturbing, with people screaming in fear and roads blocked with debris. Belair, a slum even in the best of times, was said to be “a broken mess.” 

    Please go read newest post at Livesay blog:  http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/2010/01/god-help-us-all.html

    Okay, am going to stop updating in this thread as Livesay’s are going quiet for now.  Keep them and Haiti in our prayers and for hearts and minds be drawn to the King of Kings in this disaster.   Pray for even those that had recent plans to visit Haiti to offer service, as probably those flights and trips will be cancelled.  God is in control.

    Few more  Troylivesay twitters:

  • Heading back up to delmas 75 area with some nurses and supplies to help a makeshift clinic in the street. 23 minutes ago from web

  • …covered in dust and debris…we saw a few bodies that had been pulled out of the rubble laying dead in the sidewalk…many others injured 23 minutes ago from web

  • …trying to sleep, pulling people out of the buildings that fell, standing in the middle of the road looking shocked – many walking around 24 minutes ago from web

  • St. Joseph’s home for boys is demolished but the boys got out safely. Carbbean market appears to be destroyed. People are out in the streets 25 minutes ago from web 

  •   
  • Corrigan and Shelly Clay are doing well, the Manassero’s and all of their children are ok – just one broken leg in their group. 27 minutes ago from web
  • Please stop by and read the Livesay’s most recent update: http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/2010/01/morning-after-earthquake-haiti-2010.html. Will post a new   post with any additional information  this evening. Thankfully there was no tsunami as the earthquake did plenty of damage on its own.

    The victor over encroaching darkness: Jesus

    The world is filled with darkness. The news is filled with stories of death and destruction.  We have holidays that even embrace and celebrate darkness such as Halloween. There is an ever-growing trend of what is good being called evil and what is evil called good, such as the non-dualist moral framework of that which impedes desire is evil.  Recently this writer visited Brazil and one of wife’s family commented how Brazil used to be a safe place, but it is not safe anymore. He even commented about Southern Brazil experiencing a cyclone (tornado), something unheard of in Brazil.  So darkness is ever encroaching.

    No a reader may ask what is meant by darkness.  Darkness is that which is evil, that which shows no light. Now many philosophical and religious systems out there do talk about good and evil, light and dark.  Yet the definitions vary. Essentially it focuses on the battle of evil impulses with those of good impulses.  There is a focus on benefiting the world at large, building it up, or being destructive and tearing it down.

    There is acknowledgement in the world at large at pretty significant issues and areas of darkness. The world at large focuses on crime, disease, poverty, climate change,  and intolerance as areas of primary darkness. There are plans and scopes made to find and arrange political solutions to these problems. There is a hope of a New Era Dawning and folks that work toward facilitating a New World order, all in the name to fighting what they consider to be things of darkness.

    The Christian world view is quite contrary to the world’s approach to problems.  The Christian view is not about finding political solutions. It is not about finding ways to all work together.  The Christian worldview sees darkness as defeated.  The encroaching darkness is something that is but temporary.  The evil within each of us evidenced by our on-going selfishness has been dealt with, a person simply needs to choose to accept the solution and turn from self and surrender to God.  The answer to darkness if found in the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. 

    Now, there are many that distort the Gospel and change the message of Jesus. There are many who believe they embrace light, when they reality is they are exchanging one darkness for another.  The number of things that appear to be light when they are truly dark is numerous.  Even within those that profess following the Gospel there are many deceptions and ways of darkness that can take one-off the path.  There are many who think they have embraced truth when still lost.

    The fact is the forces of darkness know that time is short. They are working hard to deceive many and bringing destruction. The forces of darkness celebrate each choice that leads to death.  The forces of darkness want to take all to the reality of hell and eternal separation from God. 

    Yet, while darkness is growing stronger and many are deceived, darkness is defeated. There will be those that turn from light to darkness, there will be those that seek to aid darkness, thinking the darkness is good.  Yet, the end result is all darkness is already defeated.  A time is soon coming when Jesus will return and implement the victory of darkness and bring wrath and judgment.  The question for each of us, is what choice have you made. At death or upon Jesus return it will not be about how often you did good things over embracing your dark impulses, because one thing done selfishly is disqualifying.  Light and darkness do not coexist and are not interdependent.  So the question is what keeps the reader from embracing and walking in the light? What source of darkness have you embraced?  What is your response to God’s offer of redemption through Jesus the Messiah?  Jesus is the light, there exists no other. Jesus is the victory over all that is dark.