The meaning of “Fool’s Paradise” is said to be “a false state of happiness based on false hopes.” That dear friends, is an apt description of those who rely upon this world system for their fulfillment in life. The emphasis upon obtaining an education, attaining a position of prominence, acquiring possessions, and enjoying leisure seems promise happiness and joy to the one who has them.
One needs only look at the lives of prominent to see the utter fallacy of that premise. Broken marriages, estranged children, lost fortunes, and destructive addictions attest that something more must be added to the equation in order to experience lasting happiness and joy.
One might deduce the opposite of those lofty ideals is the answer, and he too would find the road littered with the human debris of failed hopes and dreams. What then, one asks, is the answer to avoiding living in this “Fool’s Paradise?”
The answer lies in death, not the death of the physical body, but the death of the nature inherited at birth. It is a nature which inherently strives against what is best and seeks after those things perceived as giving immediate pleasure and satisfaction. A nature which drives one to indulge in that which appeals to the eye, or the touch, or to self-esteem. A nature whose goal is to bask in the fleeting happiness of a “Fool’s Paradise.”
The next logical question of course is, “How does one’s nature die without the death of the physical body?” That, my friends, is a great mystery. The answer has been sought throughout the ages by philosophers, educators, and religious leaders of every stripe. However, the mystery has been revealed in Jesus of Nazareth.
The Holy God of the universe, who created all things, and by whom all things consist, has provided a way for each of us to experience both a death of the old nature and a new birth with a new nature without experiencing physical death. How is such possible? With God all things are possible. Is anything too hard for the One who created and sustains the universe?
This death involves a voluntary recognition of one’s need brought about by a working of God in the heart of understanding. Next a realization of the utter futility of his current course as it takes him farther and farther from God’s ideal while immersing him in the “Fool’s Paradise.” A shocking understanding of complete helplessness to affect a change in his own life, elicits a cry to God for deliverance from his predicament. At which time God does a work in the heart of the individual so that he is no longer focused on living in a “Fool’s Paradise,” but rather on knowing and doing the will of God for his life.
If you remain living in a fool’s paradise until this day, you are in danger of dying a physical death without ever experiencing the mysterious new birth God affects in the life of one who comes to Him by faith. My prayer for you today is that you, too, will turn to Christ and allow Him to give you new citizenship where your name is written down in the Kingdom of Heaven for all eternity.
Jesus said in John chapter three, “Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
From "A Word For Living"
© 2012 Mike Rasberry
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
I've always known, I can't cook. During the winter of 1964, I worked as a deck hand on a crew boat for Kerr McGee in the Gulf. My duties included cooking for the captain and myself. The captain weighed close to three hundred pounds and loved food. I think he lost about thirty pounds during the couple months I worked with him. I had no trouble tying the boat, navigating up river with radar, loading and offloading, or handling the locks. All that was simple. But cooking, now that was a challenge.
After I returned from Vietnam, Diane and I lived in Yuma, Arizona. I sometimes tried to prepare meals to surprise her, man was she ever surprised. :-) My very best meal was serving a can of stewed tomatoes. I could salt and pepper them with the best of folk. But everything I tried to cook was either too hard, too soft, or just plain bad.
My mother taught me how to wash dishes and insured that I could set the table, and put the dishes away, but even though my dad was a very good cook, I never achieved proficiency at it.
While living in Texas, I began smoking briskets, and I can really do a good job of that, if all one wants is meat, I'm your man. Both my sons can cook and produce some extremely tasty dishes, but I simply cannot.
About two years ago, I started out to boil some eggs-- do you realize that eggs will explode if you leave them boiling for twenty minutes or so? Well, they will. Phew! What a stinky mess!
I've learned how to heat up Diane's wonder goulash and other fine dishes, but I still seem to find some fine narrow crack through which I can really mess up. Today, I heated some pasta in the microwave, then prepared to add Picante Sauce to it. Grabbing the bottle by the handle, we use those large plastic bottles of picante, I commenced to shaking vigorously only to see foreign matter flying across the kitchen as well as landing on my person. The lid was not screwed on the bottle--probably my own oversight from a previous time I used it.
I quickly grabbed paper towels and dish rags to begin cleaning everything up, Diane was not yet home from work. I worked feverishly to remove the evidence, but I knew she would soon begin asking questions about pieces of onion, pepper, and other ingredients scattered about. Therefore, the only course open to me was to "fess up" quickly and try to turn it into a joke on me. She didn't laugh. However, she did quickly find everything I missed in my clean up.
I guess some people just can't do some things. My son-in-law doesn't know the radiator from the crankcase on a vehicle and in fact once filled one of my vehicles with water through the oil filler tube. Nah, not so funny, then. Perhaps one day my wife will laugh at my kitchen peccadilloes the same way I now laugh at David's mechanicing, then again---maybe not.
2012 Mike Rasberry
I'm sure some folk will not be happy with what I'm about to say, but so be it. Every Genuine Believer in Christ needs to really consider his/her vote in the upcoming election. What possible motivation could there be for a genuine Believer to vote for the Democrat ticket when they so clearly are promoting an agenda 180 degrees from what the Bible teaches. Choice is not choice, because the baby has no choice, it is murder of an unborn child.
Gay marriage is not "gay" it is approval of a deviant lifestyle condemned by Scripture. Those two positions alone should be enough to dissuade any genuine Believer from voting for the democrat ticket.
Now many WILL pull the democrat lever because they perceive it is in their own best interest, or simply because President Obama is Black, or they've just always been democrats, or FDR was a democrat, or "my daddy would roll over in his grave if I voted republican."
Christians, it is NOT about us. Get over it! Our pocketbook is the least of our worries!! Perceptions about health care are only peripherally important. Losing the freedom to develop ourselves to our fullest potential by acquiescing to this "nanny state" philosophy will cost us the freedom to worship, or not.
Get over it, Christians!!! The time has come to die to self and live out the "Christ in Man" life in the political realm.
Retire Mr. OBAMA and Mr. Biden.