(L95) In 20 Years I Will…

“The lifestyle I want 20 years from now”

In 20 years time (if we all survive on earth that much longer), I will be 37 years old. By this time, I will hope to have accomplished the majority of my goals (and maybe some dreams too)!

First and foremost, I would love to have a big family! This would mean as many kids as Carmine and I could comfortably afford, (no grandkids yet, but hopefully they wouldn’t be too far off in the distance). They will be raised in the outdoors, making forts and mud pies rather than downloading apps and begging for the latest trending toy. They will all be homeschooled, and our children will learn through true experience like we all should have!

To go along with our large and well functioning household, it would be a dream to carry out everyday life self-sustainably. (I’ve always lived on a farm in my heart!) We would have goats for milk and cheese (it is much healthier for humans than cow milk and/or cheese). Horses for riding and plowing fields. (Not only are they good work animals, but they are extremely therapeutic; knowing how to ride, care for and work with horses are fantastic skills to have.) I certainly wouldn’t complain if I was allowed to have a donkey or mule either! Chickens (and roosters) would certainly be a must; I’ve had them before and not only are they great for waking you up before your alarms do, but the eggs are delicious. There is a difference between meat chickens and egg chickens contrary to common knowledge, and it would be possible we could have meat chickens to sell to others. I just don’t think I would be able to eat an animal I raised, and I am not huge on meat anyways.

Last but not least, I hope that Carmine and I may have both achieved our career goals and fulfilled our callings. This would mean, most importantly, that we will have our own liberty based church. Carmines indisputable calling from God is to be a preacher, and I couldn’t be more proud of his persistent studies and growing relationship with The Lord. We have both grown so close to our Creator since we were born again in May of 2015 and I can’t even imagine the things that could happen within the next 20 years! As I am still unsure of my calling, I do know that it is either to bake, or to work with animals. I have always had a special relationship with animals, mostly dogs, and God has used them to touch and greatly affect my life since I was born. On the other hand however, I feel that I am being drawn to bake, and decorate. I am not quite sure of the significance of this yet, and only time will tell. I sure hope that 20 years is enough to find out! It would be beyond my wildest dreams to have a dog rescue animal rescue in general); a farm would make fantastic space for a dog sanctuary as well.

The one thing that I am sure of is that God will grant Carmine and I exactly what we need in this life, and that is all that I could ever ask for. Only time will tell quite what that means!

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The Source (L65)

Is the state the source of human rights?

The state is not the source of human rights, I believe, because I am a sovereign human being. For the state to be the source of my rights, would also mean that they could deprive me of those very rights. This is not the case. Some people believe that God is the source of our human rights; other people believe that the source of their rights is, well, themselves. It is also widely accepted that the constitution is the source of these rights. Personally, I believe that God made me a sovereign being, and has granted my rights and liberty here on earth. It is up to me however to defend those rights against the state, and any other false source claiming authority over me.

Covenant Sanctions: The King James Bible (L50)

The idea of covenant sanctions is crucial to understanding the key messages of the King James Bible. There are both the positive and negative sanctions of man, and god. Man is to practice what he preaches, and what Jesus preaches. Upon either doing or not doing so, man undergoes the wrath or grace of god, as well as the wrath or grace of himself. Every decision has consequences, both of god and man. It is not enough to live inwardly holy, it must be put out into the world around man as well; should a man continue on the path of righteousness throughout his life, he should prosper after perseverance. The King James Bible is a call for righteousness and subordination, and however man decides to respond, he shall in turn be responded to as well.

Luther & Calvin Writing Assignment (L10)

Explain Luther’s main points in the selection you read from On the Freedom of a Christian.

Luther makes many points in his work On the Freedom of a Christian, but, of all his ideas, one of his strongest was that of which he makes clear the process by which an unrighteous man becomes a righteous man, and this was, he said, by justification. Luther went on to say that this justification could be carried out by faith alone; that good works had no meaning in the great order of things. He was a firm believer that human beings were a truly corrupt people, and so he taught that good works should be done purely out of one’s love for God, rather than to get one into heaven. His lack of faith in the human race was reflected in his works on multiple occasions, where he shamelessly wrote of all men’s inability to avoid sin. “For example: ‘thou shalt not covet,’ is a precept by which we are all convicted of sin; since no man can help coveting, whatever efforts to the contrary he may make. In order therefore that he may fulfil the precept, and not covet, he is [109] constrained to despair of himself and to seek elsewhere and through another the help which he cannot find in himself; as it is said: ‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.’ (Hosea xiii. 9.) Now what is done by this one precept, is done by all; for all are equally impossible of fulfilment by us.” He also later wrote that “Christ is full of grace, life, and salvation; the soul is full of sin, death, and condemnation.” Luther makes it a point to be clear that he believes the “the whole Scripture of God is divided into two parts, precepts and promises. The precepts certainly teach us what is good, but what they teach is not forthwith done. For they show us what we ought to do, but do not give us the power to do it.” Overall, I find Luther’s main points from this excerpt to be somewhat morbid in the sense that he believes those who have not found salvation of God are condemned to a life, and afterlife of sin and misery. One who is not devoted to a life of religious faith is not living much of a life at all because he will continue on to spend eternity in hell.

Explain Calvin’s main points in the selection you read from the Institutes of the Christian Religion. How does Calvin answer those who say predestination makes God into a being who dispenses justice unequally?

In the given selection of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, each of his major points involves justifying and defending God’s “gratuitous elections” of predestination. Starting in Book Three, Chapter 21, Calvin’s opening statement is that “The covenant of life is not preached equally to all, and among those to whom it is preached, does not always meet with the same reception.” More simply stated, Calvin is declaring that the conditional promises made to humanity by God are not equal to each being, and that although he is not an unjust God, not all is made fair for each man by Gods will. He goes on to say that “by predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death.” Here, Calvin is saying, in a quite blunt fashion, that God does as he wills – not with no reason, but none such reasons are explained other than that he decides with himself. Meaning in a greater picture of life, it does not matter the good deeds one has carried out, or the bad deeds one has done, because in the end God has already decided what’s going to happen to you when you die. Towards the end of this selection, in Chapter 23, Calvin offers quite the response to those who say predestination makes God into a being who dispenses justice unequally ; “Wherefore, it is false and most wicked to charge God with dispensing justice unequally, because in this predestination he does not observe the same course towards all.” Calvin states, quite correctly in fact, that it would be even more unjust, and actually unequal if God were to decide the same fate for every man. If the good and the bad are all passed onto heaven, what fairness is in that? Likewise it would be quite unequal to sentence the good and the bad to a life of eternal damnation. However, here Calvin is simply distracting people with other hypothetical inequalities of God’s rule, and he fails to prove why predestination is still a fair and equal way. Just because God is sending different people different places, doesn’t exactly mean he is sending them to the right places. Going into specifics, Calvin says “we admit that the guilt is common, but we say, that God in mercy succors some. Let him (they say) succor all. We object, that it is right for him to show by punishing that he is a just judge. When they cannot tolerate this, what else are they attempting than to deprive God of the power of showing mercy; or, at least, to allow it to him only on the condition of altogether renouncing judgment?” In mercy, God can help man. But then, ‘they’ respond, why not help all? Calvin’s argument to this is that God shows he is a ‘just’ and fair judge by punishing, rather than taking pity on all. He then attacks the people questioning this logic of predestination by stating that they’re attempting to deprive God of the power of showing mercy, because they say unless he has mercy on all, let him have mercy on none. In reality, this is not what the people are saying, but accusing one of questioning Gods judgments is a quick way to shut them up in this setting.