Posts Tagged ‘God

01
Jun
15

The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Replace

blogrobotsWhat’s telling is that the fears expressed in these films are not of how our technology will deviate from our basic human nature. The fear is of what happens if it doesn’t.—Arthur Chu

Steve Wozniak, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk all predict a future in which human beings will be replaced by computers. It’s happening now and many of us have already witnessed parts of it in varying degrees. For example, I haven’t set foot in a financial institution in 25 years. All of my banking is automated. Is the computer takeover really such bad news and will it really ever become a reality?

I’ve been a science fiction nerd from birth, raised on movies like The Stepford Wives, Tron, Westworld, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. In these films, computers could and would take over our lives the minute we turned our backs on them. Gee, that sounds like some people I’ve known. But as I grew up I looked at this in a different light. For example, in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Jude Law’s character is an artificial Romeo named Gigolo Joe. As a single woman burned out on dating I remember thinking, “You mean I could have the computerized man of my dreams with none of the relationship hassles? Where do I get me one of them??”

Now fast forward to me as a professional working woman. Anyone who’s been in any kind of management or leadership position for more than one nanosecond knows that much of what’s done at the intermediary level can best be described as adult babysitting. If someone asked me if I had any kids I’d say, “You betcha! I’ve got hundreds of them!” And I meant it.

Humans are flawed, emotional, lazy, jealous, and often incapable of exhibiting higher-order thinking. Each of the Seven Deadly Sins reflects a distinctly human trait. With A.I. I won’t have to shell out big bucks for frivolous lawsuits, worry about infighting, hurt feelings, sick days, or burgeoning health-care costs. I know what I’d get each and every day and could just focus on getting the job done. Hallelujah!

But is that how life is to be lived? Isn’t the very definition of evolution the constant adaptation to future scenarios? Creation, epiphany, and initiative are the catalysts for all change. And if you believe we evolved from space dust, which came from who knows where, you better believe that humans are a requirement for any type of future.

Even a movie like Prometheus, which utilizes the “alien gospel doctrine,” presents a dialogue between David, an A.I. being, and Elizabeth Shaw, a human scientist. When they finally discover who created mankind, David is satisfied, Shaw is not. At the end of the film the question still remains: who created the alien race that created man? Shaw must now find who created the aliens who created us and so on, and so on, and so on. The Law of Conservation of Mass says that matter remains constant in a closed system. Although some would argue that our universe is not closed, everything still has a beginning. There has to be a creative force at the beginning of anything.

Life is all about the search for truth, at least from the human perspective. And as long as humans are creating what replaces them, our genetic coding will end up in a new binary form. How can the creator not leave an imprint of himself on his creation? I just saw Ex Machina in which a brilliant but sadistic computer genius, Nathan, creates a brilliant but sadistic A.I., Ava. Thus proveth my point. Just as in Blade Runner, (spoiler alert) the creation kills its creator. Glad to see karma extends to A.I.

In today’s world, more than at any other time in the history of mankind, we erroneously focus our future purely on science. We act as if science trumps all and exist in intellectual solitude. Anyone who injects anything else is a denier or a nut-job, despite the fact that throughout all of mankind’s history, faith and science have walked hand in hand. As Michael Crichton so brilliantly said, “Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming the matter is already settled.” In his book All Truth Is God’s Truth, Arthur F. Holmes explains that at least three major perspectives run through the history of thought: naturalistic, idealistic, and theistic. Science and faith are all wrapped up in each other. Neither can exist in isolation.

Life’s ultimate mystery is bound up in carbon-based units and that, my friends, is why we’ll never ever be replaced. The human condition is one of errors which in turn offers the capacity for growth. We sharpen our tools, go back to the drawing board, and try again. We evolve. We show initiative and insights. We do things that are illogical because we see because we have conviction.Our minds lead us to see things that science cannot see, our souls lead us to do things before the evidence demands action, and our hearts drive us to fulfill our greatest purpose.

a-collection-of-quotes-in-operational-excellence-quality-and-change-35-638I agree that robots should replace the majority of people consuming resources on this planet. After all, if you’re not helping, you’re hurting, and you should be replaced immediately. Robots are far better at “doing” human, but life is all about “being” human. So for those of us who strive to make the world a better place through our manmade talents, our God-given gifts, and the wholeness of our humanity: Relax and embrace the future, because it’s going to be a glorious one!

01
Nov
13

Are there atheists in foxholes?

Jones Scans1 614In God we trust. It’s the basis of all of our legal systems, our church doctrines, our charitable organizations, even the basis for a family. If you don’t believe in a higher power, than why on earth would you even want to live in a cultural or ordered society? Go ahead and be an anarchist, nihilist, atheist, and deal with your own chaos and lawlessness. I respect the fact that you don’t believe, respect the fact that I do. But why on earth would you want people in the military who think there is nothing worth dying for? That just does not compute!

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. And that kind of sacrifice doesn’t come from an evolved amoeba that formed as the result of space dust; it comes from the help of a higher power, hence the “so help me God” reference in many of our sworn oaths and affirmations.

CS Lewis said if we don’t give our lives to something, we are already dead. In our nation’s military academies, our cadets adhere to an honor code, a willingness to give everything to something bigger than themselves. It is not a religious endorsement or even a violation of the constitution. It’s an indication of the magnitude of the mantle of leadership and sacrifice the soldier is about to bear.

If you’re an atheist, you know that man is just an evolved cell. And how on earth can an evolved cell want to pay the ultimate sacrifice? A basic drive for self-preservation may make the atheist a fierce fighter on the battlefield (after all, he isn’t going anywhere when he dies!), but he lacks the spiritual calling that inspires the person of faith to set aside earthly life and risk everything for a cause greater than himself.

Are there atheists in foxholes? I’m sure there are, but I’m not sure what they’re fighting for.

01
Aug
13

The Three Decisions by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Three_Decisions1I’ve heard my father give this speech hundreds of times. In fact, it was a major section of his bestselling motivational classic, Life Is TremendousThe Three Decisions: Who are you going to live your life with, what are you going to live your life doing, and who you are going to live your life for. I know my father worked very hard and came from humble beginnings, but I always kind of assumed that he was one of the very few who just got it right the first time. After all, he married my mother at 20 years of age and they stayed married for the next 60 years. He was a world-renowned motivational speaker who had a certain charisma that was unrivaled. His faith in the almighty God after he became a Christian at 23 was as pure and radical a transformation as Paul’s on the road to Damascus.

So easy for him to make these decisions, right? Wrong! When you read The Three Decisions you will see a man who made a decision and then spent his life committing himself to it. There was nothing easy about it. Committed people only look that way to outsiders. This is such a rarity these days we just assume great fortune or that the stars were aligned when someone leads a charmed life. There are no charmed lives. There are only those who live life giving their all to what they’ve committed to with their decisions.

My father said the secret to a lifelong marriage isn’t compatibility, its commitment, and that you cannot make this decision based on how it goes, but solely on integrity; that God does not put romance in marriage, but in people, and it’s up to us to ensure it stays there. My father also said that God never made a job to make a man; He made men to make a job. And if you wanted a better job, you needed to do a better job. And when my father finally made his personal commitment to accept the Bible as absolute truth, he pursued it with all his heart. He would say, “With all my heart I’m telling you this: you ought to know what you believe and why you believe what you believe, and you ought to be willing to believe it so you can get to the heart of what believing is really all about.”

His lifelong mantra was that if what you’re going to get supersedes what you’re going to give, you’re in the wrong ballpark. In other words, if you are always on the make for a better person, job, or god based on what it’s going to do for you, you aren’t even alive. But when you are so ready to commit to one person, one passion, and one master that you’d give it all up, then you are capable of making the three most important decisions of your life and to live life tremendously and triumphantly.

10
Jul
13

Honk If You Love Jesus!

Life's just ducky for Lucky and Clucky!

Life’s just ducky for Lucky and Clucky!

Shortly after Easter weekend, I found two abandoned ducklings at the lake outside my house. I brought them into my spare bathroom for the night, took them to the vet the next morning, and was told if I could raise them in a safe environment until their wings came in, they’d stand a great chance of survival. The next day the ducklings were set up in our warehouse complete with water-filled kitty litter boxes for swimming and plenty of meal worms to dine on. We watched as they lost their down and their feathers came in. We even listened as they went from constant peeps, to chirps, quacks, and honks. We named them Lucky and Clucky.

During this time, I did a great deal of research on raising fowl. I came across the term “imprinting”. It has been referred to as one of the strongest forces in nature. In other words, I was their momma. Their upbringing was filled with safety, positive interaction, and plenty of good food! Fast forward two months to the day I knew would come: it was time to release my ducks, now fully grown, into nature.

I released them in an area a short distance away from the main lake complete with its own little island and tranquil spring. They literally took to it like ducks to water. I returned daily to feed them their top-quality diet to ensure they continued to develop fully. Each day I called them and they came waddling. If they heard me call them and didn’t see me, they would quack at the top of their lungs letting me know that they were on the way! They ate out of my hand and even let me pet them. Once feeding was done they happily waddled back into the water where they splashed around and played.

With all the time I spent on the lake, I watched the interaction of the numerous other birds. There were hundreds of geese, ducks, hybrids, and even a swan who tried his best to intimidate me! Could my little duo make it with the others? Some of the nasty behavior I witnessed made me wonder. But I knew I had done everything I could and, as the saying goes, “Let Go, Let God.”

It’s been two months since Lucky and Clucky resumed life on the lake. Every evening we meet at the same location where I feed them and spend time with them. Although they have had some hairy interactions and threats in their lives, they have adapted very well. The other ducks seem to sense that there is something special about them. I’m not sure if it’s because they can smell the fact that I’ve put my hand on them, or if it’s in the way they carry themselves. But it is very obvious that these ducks move about the lake in a very distinct and unusual way.

Those of you who know me know how I draw life lessons from animals. In fact, I consider God’s creatures to be some of His greatest teachers. After all, they were created to share the Garden of Eden with us. As I watched Lucky and Clucky, I was reminded of several great life lessons. When we are “imprinted” by positivity in our lives, it affects everything we do. We need not fear trial and adversity because we have a higher purpose in our lives. My literal touch has designated them as special and protected, much like the spiritual hand of God on His children.

So as you swim through the lake of life, fully embrace that you are different, you are chosen, you are protected. Allow the imprinting of the Holy Spirit to fully show through in everything you do so that others will look at you and say, “There’s something different about that one.”  And never forget that life’s just ducky and to honk if you love Jesus!

29
Nov
12

Your best year yet begins the day you die

I recently sent a birthday greeting to a high school acquaintance when his name and profile picture came up on my Facebook birthday announcements. I said, “I hope it’s your best year yet!”  The next day I got a message from my classmate’s spouse telling me the individual had died three months earlier “so it was NOT going to be his best year yet.”

Her anger and disgust at my well-intentioned wish was palpable. In today’s world where everyone is linked but few know each other we often need to take a pause before posting our responses. People always ask how my father is. He passed away four years ago but I’m humble enough to know that not everyone in the entire world is aware of this fact, even my “friends” on Facebook.

I guess it all boils down to whether you think that death is the end of it all or the beginning. My guess is that from the title of this blog you know where I stand. And in the greatest of all of life’s mysteries, we will never know until life as we know it ceases. If it is the end of it all and it’s truly “lights out” what’s so bad about that? If it’s the beginning of it all and we have lived our lives to the fullest, isn’t it a time to rejoice?

Whatever you believe, live it large so when the curtain comes down on the stage of your life you can take a magnanimous bow. Be like Frank Sinatra who did it “My Way” or live a life in servitude to something greater than you.

Yesterday I got word that a dear friend of my father’s, a mentor and an amazing author and speaker, died. Zig Ziglar lived a hundred lifetimes during his stay on earth. He touched millions of lives and now he has graduated to Heaven. It was so beautiful to see the comments streaming throughout social media, the phones, blogs, and other means about how he had touched so many lives and the unbridled expressions of joy that he was finally home. His best year was just getting started!

People were rejoicing a life well lived and celebrating the ultimate homecoming, not posting snarky comment about Zig “NOT” having his best year yet. His family, although missing him physically, will rejoice the rest of their years for having had him in their lives until they are reunited. It’s his time to meet his creator, time to be reunited with other brothers and sisters in Christ, time for all the questions of the universe to be answered and the pain of injury, illness, and aging to stop.

Everything I do in life is based on eternal hope in living life as a reflection of the Creator and an eternity spent worshipping Him. The French Jesuit and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said it best: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.” And if you accept this, your death WILL be the beginning of your best year yet that will last for all eternity.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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