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Showing posts with label reality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reality. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Essay: Some People Just Don't Get How Life Works, Even For the Believer

I've had people in my life decry that I want to be famous and make an impact--and for what? All because they want differently for my life and frankly don't get how life works--even for believers and so-called believers like themselves. Firstly of all, they don't get that one has to be famous in order to make an impact. In fact, "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." Therefore, much has to be given for much to be required. Even Kings David and Solomon, Mother Teresa, and scores of other influential people would not have had the impact that they had if they had not become famous--and sometimes even infamous before they became famous.

For example, who would've cared about a young, righteous shepherd in Bethlehem had he not become king? In fact, his own family derided him:

"Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “TheLord has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.”

"And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah."

They hid him and did not have him pass before Samuel because he was, in their mind, a non-descript shepherd boy. Even Samuel wasn't looking at, or even for, David at first. "So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!”

"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”"

Also, who cared about Moses before he became a man of prominence? In fact, they also derided him. "Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”" He wasn't loved for doing what was right until he was given a platform. Also, he even rejected having a platform at first because he knew how he was viewed:

"Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
"So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
"But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”"

Who was going to give a darn about a righteous man who was "slow of speech and slow of tongue" unless the Lord gave him a platform? Would just another prince of Egypt, especially a differently-abled one, be able to make an impact? After all:

13 
"Better a poor and wise youth Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more. For he comes out of prison to be king, Although he was born poor in his kingdom. I saw all the living who walk under the sun; They were with the second youth who stands in his place. There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king; Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind."

What do we see here? We see ideals and paradox. Ideally, "those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind." Yet, what happens? He is remembered. "There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king;" and people remember him--especially if he was actually a good king and actually made an impact. Even God remembers him. After all, what did he call David? "‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’"

We don't remember even most princes of Egypt because they were not given the fame--the platform--to make the impact that a king could make. So, we wouldn't have remembered Moses or had an impact made by him were he not given fame. Therefore and all the more, what kind of impact could a shepherd boy made were he not made a famous king? 

Again, "'For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.' Therefore, much has to be given for much to be required."

Secondly, there's a loved-famous-loved cycle. One does not become famous unless he or she is loved, and one has to be famous to be all the more loved--and thus make an impact. With Moses, he had to have the support of Aaron to be exalted and make an impact:

"So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”"

As for David:

"So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.”

"Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite,who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”"

Again, "One does not become famous unless he or she is loved, and one has to be famous to be all the more loved--and thus make an impact." Besides, who speaks of most of the other 6,999 in the time of Elijah?

"Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”"

We talk about Elishah, Jehu, Obadiah, and 100 prophets among them, but not the others. Also, Obadiah is explicitly mentioned as having a platform. "And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house." So, Obadiah and a few others could make an impact because they had a platform--but most of the 7,000 couldn't because they had no platform, and no support to have one.

Another example is Daniel. He had to have the backing of Nebuchadnezzar to make an impact:

"Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles,  young men in whom there wasno blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the nameBelteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego."

The same Scripture states, "Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king." But two points come to mind:
  1. Daniel and his friends would not have been picked were they not "no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans." Anyone else could have had all that, but Daniel and his friends had what they needed to build a platform.
  2. Had the king not picked them, they would have been overlooked and obviously been unable to make an impact. 
As aforestated, "there's a loved-famous-loved cycle"--and one doesn't get loved, famous, and able to make an impact without having the advantages to get loved, famous, and able to make an impact. 

Thirdly, I can't change the reality that one needs to be advantaged, loved, and famous to make an impact. Talk about, "God, give me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change..."! I can't change that there's a loved-famous cycle and a advantaged-loved-famous-impacting hierarchy--actually, an advantaged-loved-famous-impacting cycle and hierarchy at the same time. Again, the famous of every generation would ideally not be remembered by successive generations, and the non-famous youth who is poor and wise could be the one to make the impact. But at least I live in the reality that the more exalted make more of an impact and that the influential are more exalted, even though the reality is a non-ideal and vicious cycle.

In conclusion:
  1. One has to be famous in order to make an impact, as people such as Moses and David experienced, and sometimes infamy comes before the fame and the impact making.
  2. One does not become famous unless he or she is somehow loved--or at least exalted-- by God and man, and one has to be famous to be all the more loved--and thus make an impact. Elijah, Elishah, Obadiah, and Daniel are among the examples of whom needed to be advantaged and exalted by God and man to make an impact.
  3. As much as reality opposes the ideal and is harsh, especially one who professes Christianity--whether or not he or she is a Christian--has to accept the reality is that there's an advantaged-loved-famous-impacting cycle and hierarchy at the same time. After all, Moses knew that he wasn't going anywhere as a differently-abled man and just another prince of Egypt. David and others knew that a non-descript shepherd boy would have no influence. Most of the 7,000 people who worshipped Yehovah in Elijah's time made no impact because they had no advantage, love, or fame that affected and effected them to make an impact. 
Therefore, there should be no wonder that I want to be famous, since I want to make an impact--even though I have been derided and gained infamy along the way. 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Christianity Without Tikun-Ha'Olam Is Useless--and Certainly Not Even Really Christianity

We weren't given, e.g., the Great Commission for no reason--and fulfilling the Great Commission requires tikun-ha'olam. If you live your life by that "'Expectation is the root of all heartache'," so much for being a Christian, then. Jesus told us to expect pain & sorrow, and that things will get better if we try to help them be. After all, " “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

And what does a light do? Well, "there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light." Lights shine on things. Lights reveal things. Lights also, if they can, refine things. Remember that lights contain heating elements. "Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand."

You don't help people by keeping things in the dark, let alone by not using things to learn from them. After all, "[a]s iron sharpens iron, [s]o a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." Not only that, but light needs to be a light to darkness as well, that the darkness may come into the light if it can.

For example, "if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you."

People are not going to be convinced if the Church seems out of touch with realities of the world. Focusing on "sweetness and light" and the "positive" all of the time is not being in touch with what's going on. Granted that you are to "[s]et your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." That doesn't mean to ignore or mitigate the realities of the world--in fact, that means that you're to "not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Remember that the world tries to hide things, keep secrets, make things look better than they are. No wonder, then, that the world won't help the least of these. After all, why would one help the least of these if he or she denies or mitigates them or their circumstances in the first place?

"“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

"“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”"

After all, "[p]ure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." "To keep oneself unspotted from the world" surely does not mean to focus on the "positive" and "sweetness and light" all of the time when the "positive" and "sweetness and light" is surely not what widows and orphans are going through. Besides, again, how will you "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," if you won't address the reasons why they need the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the first place? After all, there's no need--because there's no lack or void--of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit  in a "positive" world of "sweetness and light".

Furthermore, we're not in that "positive" world of "sweetness and light" yet. In that day, "[n]o more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord." But it's not that day yet--so we need to live in the reality of the day that we are in right now--and living in the present requires that we focus on and try to make better the reality of the present, no matter how un-"positive" and lacking in "sweetness and light" it is.