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Monday, April 07, 2003

Edifier du Jour-James 4:1-4(NASB)
1: What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2: You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3: You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4: You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Many people have noted that Disney's Main Street has no churches. It doesn't have any county courthouse or United Way offices either, just stores, stores and more stores looking to separate visitors from their cash on their way to (or more likely from) the rest of the "Magic Kingdom." It is a world of materialism and hedonism where God is mentioned only in passing at the Hall of Presidents. Such a world sets up people for pain. I remember the Buddhist diagnosis of life-Life is full of suffering and suffering is caused by improper wants. However, the ultimate remedy to suffering isn't the Eight-Fold Path, but a relationship with Jesus that allows the Holy Spirit to gradually focus those desires upon doing God's will. Our material desires will never be met, for we always want more and will never be satisfied. Also, those desires will often lead to covetousness and other sinful behaviors. The trick to avoiding such problems is to get your life to line up with what God wants for you; easier said than done. However, most of us are called to be in the world and can't escape to a monastery to retreat from the world and it's temptations. This means that we're going to have to make a conscious effort to keep ourselves focused on God's kingdom when we're in a world that isn't focused on it.

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