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August: This World Is Crazy!

We’ve all been thinking it as we followed the news in the past weeks: conflict has flared up all around the world. 

Violence on a scale that brings comparisons to the genocides of World War II. Israel is in an ongoing battle with the terrorist group Hamas, which planned to tunnel beneath Israeli communities and destroy them on the Day of Trumpets, later this fall. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are still under constant rocket attack. 

Sunni Islamic terrorists in Iraq are carrying out unspeakably horrific violent acts, including genocide against Iraqi Christians, Kurds, and Yazidis, who follow a syncretic religion that involves a mixture of Zoroastrianism and Islam. This evil army seemed to spring out of nowhere, and yet is very well-equipped to attack, carrying with it much of the conflict originating in the on-going Syrian civil war.

This attitude or spirit of violence has spread to the United States, exemplified by the riots in the state of Missouri. The reaction to the death of a young black man, shot in the line of duty by a young white police officer, has become an excuse for violence and looting that threatens to destroy the stability of communities in the St. Louis area. 

Only a few months ago, most of this was under the radar and seemingly unnoticed beyond the horizon. The heat of summer seems augmented this year by the heat of war. 

Meanwhile, many are having a shot at temporary fame by filming themselves pouring buckets of ice over their heads in a feel-good campaign for ALS on Facebook! 

Something is disconnected here. This world is crazy!

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the many copies of the Bible online and in print offer solutions to all these problems, and yet mankind won’t go there, or to turn God for help. Instead, human beings lean on their own philosophies, most of which only leads to further conflict. 

Sometimes when we say, “well, when Christ returns this will all be fixed,” it can feel powerless and far off in the distant future. Yet the confluence of world events is rapidly leading to a worldwide condition which will very plainly only be solvable by the real Jesus Christ. “Real” because there will be many who will try to convince everyone that only they have the solutions to peace and prosperity. But such religious imposters will leave only violence in their wake, just as the Nazis did in World War II.

So how can you, as a young person, navigate this crazy world? A world that may seem stable (most of us can still go to the grocery store and get milk and eggs, and all the things we need without fearing for our lives). But like this summer, just over the horizon may lurk dangerous instability, unseen until we have to deal with it in our daily lives, hour by hour.

Truly the only solution is to look to God. And looking to God doesn’t just mean thinking happy thoughts, singing songs, and giving yourself a hug. It means getting into God’s word, the Bible to read and study it with the help of accurate study aids, many of which are available at It means praying for God to open your mind to see clearly who He is and what it means to obey him. The understanding we have as part of the true, biblical Church of God should motivate us to seek the spiritual sanity of a stronger relationship with our Creator as the antidote to this crazy world!

New from…

With all the bad news around us in the world, how do we turn that into good news and move on in life? Managing Editor Randy Stiver address this important subject in a two-part blog, “How to Turn Bad News into Good News – Part 1” and “Part 2”.

A round-up of other recent VT blogs:

- In “Ebola and ‘The Last Ship’ ”, by staff member Frank Dunkle addresses another dangerous situation that the world faces right now, the outbreak of disease in Africa and it’s implications for the rest of the world.
- “The Death and Resurrection of Humor”, by Randy Stiver address the death of actor Robin Williams and the future of humor in this world and in God’s kingdom.
- “Becoming Elite: Do You Have What It Takes?”, by contributor Owen Spring, draws important lessons from Olympic-level athletic meets like the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
- In “Would You ‘Like’ Christ’s Facebook Page?”, contributor Debbie Werner takes the implications of social media and the example of Jesus Christ.

Christian living is an important part of how we act on our beliefs, and “God’s Way on the Highway: Principles for Driving”, by Kevin Greer, and “Finding Your Way with No GPS”, by Amanda Stiver, both show how practical skills can benefit from a close examination of God’s word in the Bible.

Check the website for new “Vertical News” and “Proverbs” pieces. Did you know that eggshells provide sunscreen? Find out how by reading, “Vertical News: Eggshell Sunscreen”. And let the book of Proverbs help you choose the best path in life by reading, “Proverbs: Travel a Good Road”. 

At, we are excited to offer knowledge building material that will help you study and learn about God’s way of life, but ultimately, that personal relationship you build with God through patient prayer and Bible study is what will sustain you. 

Stay close to God and you’ll be able to navigate this crazy world.

Keep thinking vertically!
Amanda Stiver
Vertical Thought, Content Editor

Online Articles @ Vertical Thought

How to Turn Bad News Into Good News - Part 1
How to Turn Bad News Into Good News - Part 2
Ebola and "The Last Ship"
Finding Your Way with No GPS
Would You "Like" Christ's Facebook Page?
Proverbs: Travel a Good Road
God's Way on the Highway: Principles for Driving
Becoming Elite: Do You Have What It Takes?
The Death and Resurrection of Humor
Vertical News: Eggshell Sunscreen
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The mission of the United Church of God is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God in all the world, make disciples in all nations and care for those disciples.

Vision Statement:  A Church led by God's Holy Spirit, joined and knit together by what every member supplies, with all doing their share and growing in love to fulfill God's great purpose for humanity to bring many children to glory (Ephesians 4:16; Hebrews 2:10).