Just…The End?

Greetings my English-speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

Some philosophers have said, “The end justifies the means.”

Does the end really justify the means?  For example, in order to clean up the world, should we kill all bad people?  If so, who decides which people are bad?  Adolf Hitler?  Ronald Reagan?  Mother Teresa?  Mohammad?  What makes one person’s end more valid than another person’s end?  Are there no wrong means?

In business, are personal goals more important than corporate goals?  From a different view, are corporate values more important than personal values?  Should the vote of the majority always win over the vote of the minority, even when it has to do with human rights?

There are other ways to think about ethics, morality and ends vs. means.  From a Christian perspective, decisions can be considered good when they glorify God.  What brings glory to God?  Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…And, love your neighbor as yourself.”  It’s that kind of life that brings glory to God.

It has been my personal goal during the short life of this program to give glory to God by sharing His simple truths with love.  To that end, I hope the means have worked some positive outcomes.

As I think about this topic, I am saddened to share that this program must end.  The radio station here in Peru has decided that too many people changed the channel when they heard Just English.  This program wasn’t a good means to their desired end.  That’s why the last two programs haven’t included audio.

What will happen to Just English?  Maybe you have an idea.  Maybe these small beginnings will lead to better means to teach basic justice.  I have learned quite a few things in the process of clarifying my thoughts on justice.  Now, I sure could use your prayers on learning better Spanish!! Whatever the case, please let me know if you have been listening to the program or enjoying the weekly transcripts.  Maybe I can continue online on a monthly basis.  Maybe I could put all this in a book?  Would you buy it?

Thanks for listening…

The End.  (At least for now)

 

 

 

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Just…What Now?

**Click here to listen to the audio version.

Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

For the past several weeks I have talked about God’s plan for justice.  His message is important. Did you hear it?  It can change your life.  It changed mine.

Again, let me summarize.  The plan for justice is written in the Bible – a very special book.  We needed God’s plan because humans became sinful.  We broke the relationship with the God of life.  People chose separation from God.  People chose sin and death.   God deserved justice.  Yet, He fixed the relationship.  He chose life for us.  He sent His son, Jesus, to pay the price for sin and guilt.  By Jesus’ death and resurrection, we know the plan worked.  We can have hope.  We can have peace.  We are forgiven.  Rejoice!  By God’s great kindness, through faith in Jesus we are saved for life with Him (Ephesians 2:8).

But, now what?  If you and I are saved by God’s kindness what are we to do now?  Should we sin some more?  That would not honor God.  Should we sit and wait for God?  There must be a better idea. Should we get up and celebrate?  Maybe.

God gives us things to do.  First, God tells us to come together in His presence.  We are to worship him.  He tells us talk with Him.  We are to pray.  He tells us to pray for more workers. He sends us to serve.  He wants us to love others.  He says to tell others the Good News about Jesus.  He says to make him followers from all nations.  He says to teach and to baptize. He says to heal the sick.  He says to comfort those who grieve.  He says to feed the poor.  He says to defend the fatherless.  Yes, God’s people are to be God’s ambassadors.

But, never fear.  God tells us that we will not be alone.  He will send a person to help us.  And, God does not send just any person.  He sends His third person, the Holy Spirit.  This Holy Spirit helps us to understand God’s Word.  And, the Spirit helps us to live with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  The Holy Spirit gives gifts that help people to know God.

So, if you are wondering what to do today, it is time to get off your chair.  It is time to become God’s ambassador.  It is time to spread the Good News of Jesus here in Huanuco, Peru.  Up to the mountains, down into the jungle.  From Lima to La Paz, from Santiago to Quito, from Jerusalem to your heart it is time to spread the love of God.

That is “what now.”  You have a purpose.  You are an ambassador.  You have great value to God.

I’m Leon Smith.


Just…Fathers.

This post is dedicated to my father, an incredible man after God’s heart. “Thanks Dad for helping me to learn the difference between good and evil!”

**Click here to listen to the audio version**

Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

This week is Father’s Day.  Happy Father’s Day fathers, from your local English speaking friend, Leon Smith!

One of the most important things we can learn in life is the difference between what is good and what is evil. As a father, I try to teach the difference between good and evil to my children.

It is good to value life.  It is evil to murder.  It is good to tell the truth.  It is evil to lie.  It is good to care for your neighbors.  It is evil to abuse another person.  It is good to fight for justice.  It is evil to be corrupt.

How did you learn the difference between good and evil?  How can a society teach it?

Often we think it is other another person’s job to teach what is good and what is evil.  Maybe you think it is the government’s job to teach people the difference between good and evil…or a school’s job, or a church’s job.  I agree that all of these people and organizations should teach about good and evil.

However, whether we like it or not, most people learn about good and evil from their family.  God has designed it this way.  It is in families, particularly from our fathers, that we learn our views about good and evil from birth to death.  We learn to value what is good or what is evil from the people closest to us.

Now I love mothers but today, let me speak to fathers. Children learn from their father’s example whether it is good or evil to lie.  It is evil to lie.  So father, don’t lie.  Your children are learning.  Teach the way of good.

Children learn from their father’s example about how women should be treated.  It is evil to abuse women.  So husband, don’t abuse your wife.  Your children are learning.  Teach the way of good.

Children learn from their father’s example about how be healthy.  It is evil to drink too much alcohol or abuse drugs and lose control of your mind.  However, it is good to exercise.  It is good to eat healthy foods.  So father, how are you treating your body?  Your children are learning.  Teach the way of good.

Most importantly, children learn what is good and evil about the spiritual world from their fathers.  A father is meant to be the leader of family’s spiritual life.  Without good teaching and examples from a father, children may never learn what is ultimately good and what is ultimately evil in God’s eyes.  From God, Our Heavenly Father in Scripture, through our earthly father’s teachings we learn about God’s good love, and God’s good plan for life now and in the future.

So father, how are you teaching your children about God.  What kind of example are you giving them?  Teach God’s good way.

Are you good a good father?  Or, are you an evil father?  Fathers, reject evil.  God’s good chooses you!

Your Heavenly Father loves you.

I’m Leon Smith.


Just…Making a Decision.

** Click here to listen to the audio version **

Greetings my English Speaking Friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

Everyone in Peru knows that the elections are taking place this Sunday between Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala.  We all want the right decision to be made.  We want every person who will vote to think about his or her vote.  We want the country of Peru to make a good decision.

Voting can be difficult.  Today, I’m not going to tell you which person to vote for or against.  That is up to you.  However, I would like to talk about how to make good decisions in life.

How we make our decisions is a topic called ethics.  Ethics are an important aspect of justice.  Citizens, cities, countries, all need to make good decisions for justice to happen.

How do you make your decisions? Do you honor your family and God with your decisions?

I hope that you do not make your decisions by chance or luck, for example, by the roll of dice.  There is more to life than luck.

I hope that you do not make your decisions by your feelings alone.  Sometimes our feelings can be wrong.  Sometimes a bad decision can make me feel happy.  Sometimes a good decision can make me feel sad.

If we want to make a good decision, there are five important points to remember:

# 1. Consult God.  It is very important to remember this point.  If we want to make a good decision, it is important to ask our God what He wants us to do.  Our good God will help us to make good decisions.

Begin with Him. Pray.  Then, search the Bible, for answers.  In Psalm 119, verse 105, it says that God’s Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.  Follow God’s lead.  Many people like to ask at difficult times, “What would Jesus do?”

# 2. Learn, about your choices.  In the time you have, be informed.  Read, discuss your options with wise people.  Listen to experts, even listen to opposing opinions.  Study the topics affected by your choices.  Know as much as possible about your options.

# 3. Think.  Seek advice but do not simply do what others say to do. Each person has the God-given freedom to make his or her own decisions. Take time to use the mind God gave you.  Think about the future and the results your choice might create.  Think about how your decision will affect other people.  Ask, “Will my decision bring honor to God?”

# 4. Choose.  With strength, make your decision and stay with it.  Have faith that you make the best choice you can at this time and place.  Be confident that God is with you now and into the future.

# 5. Honor the Results.  You may or may not like the results.  Celebrate the decision or congratulate others, whatever is needed.  Whatever the result, be peaceful.  You can be peaceful in any situation through faith in God.

Making a decision is never easy. Maybe at times you feel like you are choosing between AIDS and Cancer!  However, if you make your decisions by using the five steps of consulting God, learning, thinking, choosing and honoring the results…you can feel good about your decision and be at peace with yourself.

You can only be responsible for the choices you make.  But we must take responsibility for all of our choices.  Our personal decisions do affect other people.  They also affect our relationship with God.

In ethics, do your best.  As you need, live in forgiveness.

Let us all make decisions in freedom, mercy and peace – for this presidential election and always.  I’m Leon Smith.