Who am I?

Who Am I

Life on this earth, as we know and understand it, is not a permanent thing. We are born, we live, and we die. There is no exact timetable in that process. But it does bring up many, many questions as to the why of our existence. Life literally begs the question, “Who am I?”

Now, it would be quite natural for me to launch into an exhaustive expose, from my perspective, concerning the purpose of why we are born, why we live, and why we die. Suffice to mention that the answers to those questions are readily available to those who diligently seek truth. However, that is not the primary purpose of this post. Instead, I am offering a mind-bender for you to ponder.

I want to briefly touch on how we view ourselves in comparison to how others view us. I would also like to suggest that neither of these viewpoints is ultimately correct. Your perception of yourself, at best, is inaccurate. And, yes, that expensive shrink you visit each week does not perceive you accurately either – not even close.

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The Ethics of Giving & Receiving

Preface

I think most people in our society understand that when a person gives or donates something of value to another person or organization, that transaction is done with no expectation of anything in return.

In other words, if I give something, a material possession of mine, to a friend, I have absolutely no expectation of a return favour. That gift, which my friend has received, is theirs to keep, and to do with as they see fit.

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Turning a blind eye…

San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico before hurricane Maria. f/8 @ 1/200 second. ©2017 Bruce Kraus. All rights reserved.

Have you ever wondered why the US and Canada have so many social problems in spite of the fact that the aforementioned nations are some of the most prosperous in the world?

Good question. Obviously, there is no easy or simplistic answer to the complex social problems that we experience. But, there seems to be a whole lot of pointing of fingers going on each and every day of our existence. If we are honest with ourselves, the person we see in the mirror each morning is often guilty as charged.

Who is to blame for all the heart wrenching social problems of North American society? Well, the short answer is – we are. Each and every one of us, regardless of ethnicity and race, religion, gender, and so forth, is responsible for the society that we live in. We are indeed our brother’s or sister’s keeper.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 ESV

On the grand scale of things, it does not appear that we are doing a very good job of benevolently and selflessly watching over each other. Honest self-evaluation has a way of silencing our own pride and arrogance. How wonderful we see ourselves and our accomplishments often has no bearing on reality.

Although I have chosen to tackle some complex social, cultural, religious, and political issues and problems in my writing, I am painfully reminded that one person can only do so much in terms of informing, enlightening, or influencing others. I am thankful that, in the final analysis, I am primarily responsible for my own sphere of influence, most importantly, my own real life interpersonal relationships. How I live my life DOES affect others around me for better or worse.

Sometimes, I feel really small and do not think that I have much to offer to this often incomprehensible North American culture and society. Invariably, God has a way of reminding me how dependant I am on His grace (undeserved favour) and strength each and every moment of my life.

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT

There is a time and place for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3). Recently, I made a choice or decision to wait on God, for wisdom, strength, and direction to take over the next decade of my life. We all need purpose in our lives and purpose demands long-term planning.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps Proverbs 16:9

Whether or not that includes a continuation of my writing and posting on WordPress is a question I need to settle. I am somewhat troubled about my direct involvement on social media. Sometimes I think it is more like the Show & Tell events of my childhood school years, rather than serving any useful long-term purpose. I do take some satisfaction in sharing about God and His ways, as I understand Him. I am just not sure anyone is really listening.

Time has a way of solving the most perplexing issues in our lives. As for me, it is time to wait upon God for some answers.

The choices we make today become who we are tomorrow…

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Thankfulness is more than an attitude…

photo
Giant pumpkins in Nova Scotia bring beautiful smiles. © 2017 Bruce Kraus. All rights reserved.

This morning I actually slept in until 8:00 AM. My wife was already up, nursing a hot cup of coffee and reading something on her iPad. The sun was literally beaming through the blinds of our living room windows, almost too bright for my preference in the morning. Fall is upon us, the morning sun is rather low on the eastern horizon, the cold air outside signalling that winter is just around the corner.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I have so much to be thankful for over the last year. As I read the posts of both family and friends on FaceBook, I was visibly reminded that life can be mixed-bag for all of us. Some were posting pictures of their new babies (such a joy), others posted pictures of their travels around the world, and some were posting their viewpoints over current political and social agendas, and so forth.

It suddenly occurred to me that much of that does not really matter in light of knowing God. Regardless of how people celebrate Thanksgiving today, I am reminded of who we are truly expressing our thankfulness towards – Jesus Christ.

If you are having considerable difficulty coming up with ANY reason to be thankful today, may I suggest the following:

  1. Take out a sheet of paper and write out who you THINK you are. It does not have be a long drawn out affair – just go with your instinct or gut-feelings on this one.
  2. On the other side of the paper write out how you THINK God sees you.
  3. Somewhere in this process, you will discover something to be thankful for – I suspect that the second half of this exercise will provide the insight you may be looking for.

Have a great day 🙂

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A liberal’s true wretchedness is revealed in their words…

It can rightfully be said that a liberal’s true wretchedness is revealed in their words. Take a gander at what has been said publicly over the last few days on social media and the liberal news outlets.

Hayley Geftman-Gold, former VP at CBS said that she was “not even sympathetic” to victims of the Las Vegas shooting because “country music fans often are Republican.”

Hayley would later go on to apologize for her cold and nonsensical statement(s):

“Earlier today I posted an indefensible post in a Facebook discussion thread concerning the tragic Las Vegas shooting, a statement I sincerely regret. I am deeply sorry for diminishing the significance of every life affected by Stephen Paddock’s terrorism last night and for the pain my words have inflicted on the loved ones of the victims. My shameful comments do not reflect the beliefs of my former employer, colleagues, family, and friends. Nor do they reflect my actual beliefs — this senseless violence warrants the deepest empathy. I understand and accept all consequences that my words have incurred.”

According to a CBS spokeswoman, Geftman-Gold, “who was with us for approximately one year, violated the standards of our company and is no longer an employee of CBS. Her views as expressed on social media are deeply unacceptable to all of us at CBS. Our hearts go out to the victims in Las Vegas and their families.”

If you commit the crime…you do the time.

Do you really want to be associated with “friends” that think, speak, and act that way? Almost no compassion, zero tolerance for opposing viewpoints, and a cavalier attitude towards human life.

To add insult to injury, the icky liberals are crawling out of the woodwork claiming that they feel sorry for Hayley and that she is a “victim” of freedom of speech.

Oh, for the love of foosball. Are these people certifiably insane? What slimy rock did they crawl out from under?

Like an invasion of cockroaches, the liberal mindset just never seems to go away.

Unless, of course, one is fearless enough to squash them one by one.

And, please…don’t resort to the same sort of violent mentality of groups like the Antifa et al. Fight incomprehensible evil with the truth. The inked quill is mightier than the sword. Combat evil, like the aforementioned, with words of wisdom and NOT VIOLENCE.

Yes, I know, it is really hard to be tolerant and respectful of individuals and/or entire groups who hate God and country. No one said that this would be an easy task, did they?

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We lost a friend today…

IMG_0413
Fort Lauderdale 2015. Left to right, Curtis, Jolene, Colleen, Bruce. © 2017 Bruce Kraus. All rights reserved.

We lost a young friend today @ 5:45 AM. His name is Curtis and he had been battling with terminal cancer for almost two years. The pain and sorrow I felt upon receiving the news of his death cannot be described adequately.

I first met Curtis two years ago on a cruise in the Caribbean. His young wife worked with my spouse at a bank. We took it upon ourselves to help them along in their travels – hopefully guiding them through the various joys and pitfalls of international air travel, security, boarding the ship, places to eat, shop, etc.

I spent a few mornings with Curtis on the ship near the pool or on one of the beaches at various ports of call. He was somewhat shy and a little timid of venturing out to snorkel near the man-made barriers or reefs in Haiti, but he warmed up to the experience quickly. Later, Curtis became very sick while on the ship, eventually to be diagnosed, back home, with cancer.

Curtis was an intelligent person, down-to-earth and kind in his demeanour. We will miss him dearly. My heart-felt condolences go out to his young wife, Jolene, and the terrible loss she is experiencing.

Jolene, I can only imagine your grief and pain. You are in my thoughts and prayers throughout the day.

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