Wednesday, December 31, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

What will the New Year 2009 hold for us? Can we all be assured it will be a “Happy New Year”? There is an interesting Fortune Magazine series of articles on where indication is given to 8 SCARY PREDICTIONS for the next two years; and a summary of the 21 DUMBEST MOMENTS IN BUSINESS IN 2008.

Retrospect is always valuable! One can assess the negative situations and experiences to determine what could’ve and should’ve been done differently if the future involves one in similar circumstances, situations and experiences. One can also learn from the positive situations and experiences and evaluate in terms of how these positives can be improved upon to increase the merit and worth of them in the future. In other words, there should always be the openness and readiness to move forward and upward in a more effective way.

A favorite summary for one’s life should be: “I’m not what I used to be and I’m not all I’m going to be!” This phrase can be adjusted to: “I’m no longer where I once was and I haven’t yet reached the destination of where I am going to be!” Life is lived on a continuum and should always be progressing toward achieving one’s Core Values and Goals. For instance, the Goals of the U.S. Army are clearly stated as part of their Philosophy of Training and Values expected to be embraced by all recruits. Those values are: Loyalty; Duty; Respect; Selfless Service; Honor; Integrity; Personal Courage. The Recruits memorize these values and can repeat them in full. The military values, in summary, mean:
LOYALTY: Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone.

: Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team….Our work entails building one assignment onto another.
RESPECT: We pledge to 'treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.' Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people.
SELFLESS SERVICE: Selfless service is larger than just one person…you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain.
HONOR: Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.
: Do what's right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles.
PERSONAL COURAGE: Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Facing moral fear or adversity may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable.

Consider these things with me - - - Scary Predictions and Dumbest Moments aside, one’s life should never consist of things or “stuff”! In Luke 12:22-26, 29-32 (NLT) Jesus stated: “I tell you, don't worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear. For life consists of far more than food and clothing. Look at the ravens. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can't do little things like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?... Don't worry about food – what to eat and drink. Don't worry whether God will provide it for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don't be afraid…” If this becomes basic to YOUR CORE VALUES, you will have a Happy and Prosperous New Year. We don’t need to be concerned with HOW God will do it – just remain focused on the Truth that God WILL do it for those who have placed their Faith and Trust in Him alone!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

It is often said that “the world is getting to be much smaller” as communication and world markets expand. Some nations that had been hesitant to be globally involved, except for expansionist purposes, are now large population centers with demand for economic inclusion. The world’s population has expanded greatly with some nations (India, China, etc.) having 1 billion plus citizens. With accelerated modernization, there is also demand for greater inclusion in the world’s markets. The United States of America places certain restrictions within its economy to prevent pollution, etc., as well as limiting the usage of certain chemicals and other ingredients in products to maintain and prevent health factors throughout the nation. However, other nations do not observe these same standards and values. This allowed for lead-based paint on several products from China – including children’s toys. If you haven’t noticed lately, many – if not most of our products are made outside of the United States with China being the largest exporter of goods to the USA.

As focus is placed on the world’s economy and markets, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating and issuing alerts regarding the Confirmed Cases of Avian Influenza A (H5N1). In an assessment of the current situation, the following is stated: “The highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) epizootic (animal outbreak) in Asia, Europe, the Near East, and Africa is not expected to diminish significantly in the short term. It is likely that H5N1 virus infections among domestic poultry have become endemic in certain areas and that sporadic human infections resulting from direct contact with infected poultry and/or wild birds will continue to occur. So far, the spread of H5N1 virus from person-to-person has been very rare, limited and unsustained. However, this epizootic continues to pose an important public health threat…Research suggests that currently circulating strains of H5N1 viruses are becoming more capable of causing disease (pathogenic) in animals than were earlier H5N1 viruses. One study found that ducks infected with H5N1 virus are now shedding more virus for longer periods without showing symptoms of illness. This finding has implications for the role of ducks in transmitting disease to other birds and possibly to humans as well.”

“The World Health Organization has reported human cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Europe and the Near East. Indonesia and Vietnam have reported the highest number of H5N1 cases to date. Overall mortality in reported H5N1 cases is approximately 60%. The majority of cases have occurred among children and adults aged less than 40 years old. Mortality was highest in cases aged 10-19 years old. Studies have documented the most significant risk factors for human H5N1 infection to be direct contact with sick or dead poultry or wild birds, or visiting a live poultry market. Most human H5N1 cases have been hospitalized late in their illness with severe respiratory disease.” The speculation is this disease, if it makes the jump from poultry to humans could possibly have a 75% infection rate and a 50% mortality rate.

Consider these things with me - - - An interesting word appears in Exodus 15:25-26, “…the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and he tested them, saying, If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.” The very one who can control and heal all disease is the one our nation and world is reluctant to hear and heed. With all the Health and Environmental Laws that are passed and enforced, this nation and all nations of the world, continue to turn to other things and other religions rather than turning to Almighty God. He will get the attention of mankind one way or another. He would prefer response to His Word and His Son and His Gospel. When that path is rejected and ignored, H5N1 is merely one possibility on the horizon. How many Wars, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Wild Fires, Contagious Diseases and other violent displays will it take before Mankind and the World begins to pay attention to the Only True God?

Friday, December 26, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

A sad headline occurred a few days ago, “Madoff Investor Found Dead Of Possible Suicide.” It is an account of Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, an owner of a Hedge Fund, who had invested $1.4 Billion in Mr. Madoff’s financial charade. Many people have been affected by their blind trust in a man or ignorance in terms of risk management. One who fancies himself as a risk management expert wrote: “The economic events of the past few days transitioned the months-long saga of financial irresponsibility past merely stunning into the realm of truly terrifying. We’ve leaped past the predictable into a maelstrom of uncertainty edging on a black hole of unknowable repercussions. True, the system could stabilize soon; allowing us to rebuild before the shock waves topple the relatively stable average family. But right now it seems the global economy is so convoluted we’re all moving forward like a big herd navigating the Himalayas in a blinding snowstorm with the occasional avalanche.”

One who was writing on corruption and mismanagement in city government spoke of: “Greed, Lies, Stupidity, Incredible Ineptitude, Secrecy, Laziness, etc.” All of these are contributing in the Avarice and the Imbecilic approach so evident in the financial markets and management today. Another writer opines: “…we often hold up financial services as the golden child of risk management. In that world, nearly everything is quantifiable, especially with credit and market risk. Complex equations and tables feed intelligent risk decisions that allow financial institutions to manage their risk portfolios while maximizing profitability. All backed by an insurance industry, also using big math, big heads, and big computers; capable of accepting and distributing the financial impact of point failures.” It’s a system that feeds on itself and when it has become cannibalized, seeks remedial assistance so the process can be resuscitated and recycle itself once again.

There has been a growing resistance to making a connection between Biblical Prophecy and Possibilities with a New World Order in general, or Financial Markets and Banking in particular. There is a definition attached to a statement in the Book of Revelation regarding the Anti-Christ. In summary, the definition is: “The goals of the Anti-Christ is to control everything - religion, jobs, economics, politics, education, government, police, military, banks, communications, have a cashless society controlled by the Antichrist…In a world where cash is eliminated and every financial transaction is done electronically, not only credit cards can be used, but also your micro-chip number, retinal readers, voice recognition systems, signature dynamics...” We are well on the way toward a new way of doing business and existing in this world.

Consider these things with me - - - Lest we think these things are too far-fetched in terms of possibility, consider the word of prophecy in Revelation 13:16-18 records, “…He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.” For years, there have been all kinds of speculation in terms of what this means and when it will happen. It is worth being reminded that the requirement of everyone having a Social Security Number is an indicator of how a central management can control what you can have and when you can get it. The entire development of both Credit and Debit Cards; Electronic Transfers of money; Direct Deposits – have us well on our way to a central control and regulation. If one is inclined to call a firm regarding a transaction, nearly every major business in this country makes use of electronic communication. Seldom does one connect to a real person with whom an intelligent and understandable conversation can ensue. We are caught in the maelstrom of avarice and the imbecilic and most are not even aware of it. That’s how a Madoff can accumulate and misappropriate $50 Billion and be undetected for so long; and – that’s why another who invested $1.4 Billion with him can no longer face his clients and world – and commits suicide. In Luke 12:13-21, Jesus is instructing and warns: "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Try Jesus’ way – it is safe and wise!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

It has been often quoted: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Research indicates the source and background of this saying: “While many attribute the quoteCongreve (1670-1729) was an accomplished practitioner of the wit and cynicism made famous by his contemporaries Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope. His last play, "The Way of the World," (1700) is considered a classic of Restoration comedy. The late 17th and early 18th century is often considered the golden age of satire. Writers took advantage of classical forms to cleverly castigate the royal and aristocratic classes. This was the era when the poet Alexander Pope could sum up his literary competition in a book entitled "The Dunciad," and Jonathan Swift modestly proposed solving the Irish famine by encouraging them to eat their own children.” to William Shakespeare, it actually comes from a play called the "The Mourning Bride" (1697) by William Congreve. The complete quote is "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

As we fast-forward to the 21st Century, that phrase can be restated: “Earth has no fury like a homosexual asserting an alternative lifestyle and acceptance of the same as a norm for life.” On the one hand, there is expressed outrage because President-Elect has selected an Evangelical who embraces traditional marriage between a man and a woman to give the Inaugural Invocation. On the other hand, Pope Benedict has now become an object of criticism and rejection for his remarks in a news item: “Pope Benedict was accused of stoking homophobia today after a speech in which he declared that saving humanity from homosexuality was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. The Pontiff made the remarks yesterday in an end-of-year address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration. He said that humanity needed to listen to the language of creation to understand the intended roles of man and woman and behavior beyond traditional heterosexual relations was a destruction of God’s work. The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less, he told scores of prelates gathered in the Vatican's Clementine Hall. "What’s needed is something like a ‘human ecology,’ understood in the right sense. It’s not simply an outdated metaphysics if the Church speaks of the nature of the human person as man and woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected."

The Gay Community appeals to Scientific Data and reference the PEER REVIEW Publication that includes a paper Reprinted from the St. Thomas Law Review, 2005/2006, Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 325-424, By George A. Rekers, Ph.D., FAACP Distinguished Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science Emeritus University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, South Carolina, USA and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Trinity International University, South Florida Campus, Interestingly, the Gay Community selectively references this work, even though: “…a number of the peers of George A. Rekers; disagreed with him (as does the Gay Community).” I suppose, they would also refuse to read and/or acknowledge another point of view - "Homosexuality & The Father-Wound" by Gordon Dalbey,

Consider these things with me - - - The word of appeal by the Prophet Isaiah (1:16-18 - NLT) is a valid and open invitation: “Wash yourselves and be clean! Let me no longer see your evil deeds. Give up your wicked ways…Come now, let us argue/reason this out, says the LORD. No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.” And in I Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT), “Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin…adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals - none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.” A fact of procreation is that it still requires one man and one woman reproducing offspring. Wherever one looks in the animal kingdom, it is also one male with one female in the reproductive order. That’s just the way it is and intended to be!

Monday, December 22, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

“Gay Pride” has become a common phrase in our culture. The word “pride” has varied meaning and usages. Most common are: “a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct; the state or feeling of being proud; a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem… a group of lions…” When the phrase – “gay pride” is used, it is done so to recognize a lifestyle choice and expressing the desire for acceptance and equal status within a community.

There is currently a mild firestorm over the fact that President-Elect Obama has chosen Rick Warren, who adheres to a Traditional Lifestyle, to give the Inaugural Invocation. On Bloomberg.Com today, the following headline and report appears: “Obama’s Choice of Pastor Warren a ‘Mistake,’ Barney Frank Says”! President-elect Barack Obama shouldn’t have selected Rick Warren to deliver the Inaugural Invocation because the evangelical pastor has made offensive comments about gays…Giving that kind of mark of approval and honor to someone who has frankly spoken in ways I and many others have found personally very offensive, I thought that was a mistake for the president-elect to do…” Frank, who is openly gay (homosexual), made the comments after Obama stood by his selection of Warren for the January 20 Inauguration. Obama, speaking at a Dec. 18 news conference, said he doesn’t share Warren’s views on gay rights and wants to create an atmosphere “where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans.”

It’s interesting how language changes to allow a different impression and acceptance. For instance, “Liberal” is now changed to “Progressive”; Government Entitlements based on Increased Taxation is now called “Investment”; “Gay” has become the word-choice rather than “Homosexual” and/or “Lesbian”; etc. It reminds one of the old expression: “A Rose by any other name is still a Rose!” Some language from the past has been cruel. Years ago, those living an alternative lifestyle were called “queer” or “fruits”, etc. As a matter of fact, due to the alternative lifestyle, excessive drug use, motion picture philosophy – comedians began to refer to California as being the land of “fruits and nuts”! Rick Warren becomes the flash-point today because he (a) supported Proposition 8 in California in the most recent voting cycle, and (b) he supports Traditional marriage – a man and a woman constituting a legal union called marriage. The opponents to Warren also state that he opposes abortion, and they use that as another reason why he should be removed from the Inauguration Schedule.

Consider these things with me - - - In Genesis 18:20, the advocacy and practice of Homosexuality was no small matter to Almighty God. The Scripture records: “Then the Lord said, The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin (homosexuality) so grievous…” In II Peter 2:4-9, the explanation and declaration of judgment is given. In the midst of it are these words: “…if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (Homosexuality)…” The clarity is shared in Jude 7: “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” However, there is hope for the sexually-perverted (or can we say, “disoriented”). We read in I Corinthians 6:9-11, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” There is transformational hope for those who seek and choose it. Otherwise, it’s Gomorrah – here we come! Hope and Eternal Life are much better choices than Punishment and Judgment!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

In many areas and decisions one makes in life, there is an element of risk. It is a scary speculation to think (if the estimate is correct) that 1 in 5 drivers one passes in oncoming traffic is under the influence of “something”. The “risk” pertains to one’s consumption of some mood modifier; or they could be distracted by conversation with someone in the vehicle or on a Cell Phone; or there could be the all-too-frequent “Road Rage” factor present. Whether we like it or not, “Risk” is a real part of one’s way of life.

When it comes to finances and investments, this is a more controllable area of “risk management”! Before anyone makes an investment in anything, there is always a “Prospectus” available that defines the type investment and the risk factor(s). The safest investment is a fixed interest and federally insured (FDIC) saving instrument. Stocks and Stock Portfolios all can go down as well as up – thus – the Risk. There are too many “professionals” who are involved in Stock Market Investments. They have large amounts of funds and can influence the direction of a Stock Investment. They do so with the purchase of a “Call” (a determination of a price level the stock will reach on the upside) or a “Put” (an estimate of the possibility of a stock level on the downside). In other words, they “Hedge” their investment in the hope there will be a net gain versus a net loss! The Encyclopedia states: “hedge funds often seek to offset potential losses in the principal markets they invest in by hedging their investments using a variety of methods, most notably short selling. However, the term "hedge fund" has come to be applied to many funds that do not actually hedge their investments, and in particular to funds using short selling and other "hedging" methods to increase rather than reduce risk, with the expectation of increasing return. Hedge funds are typically open only to a limited range of professional or wealthy investors. This provides them with an exemption in many jurisdictions from regulations governing short selling, derivative contracts, leverage, fee structures and the liquidity of interests in the fund.” This is where the “risk” or “Gamble” is present. With computer models and a whole series of other strategies, a determination is reached in terms of Market Direction.

On the Website - – Hedge Funds are defined as: “A fund, usually used by wealthy individuals and institutions, which is allowed to use aggressive strategies that are unavailable to mutual funds, including selling short, leverage, program trading, swaps, arbitrage, and derivatives. Hedge funds are exempt from many of the rules and regulations governing other mutual funds, which allows them to accomplish aggressive investing goals. They are restricted by law to no more than 100 investors per fund, and as a result most hedge funds set extremely high minimum investment amounts, ranging anywhere from $250,000 to over $1 million. As with traditional mutual funds, investors in hedge funds pay a management fee; however, hedge funds also collect a percentage of the profits (usually 20%).” On the website - - The following is stated: “Thanks to this compensation structure, hedge fund managers are driven to achieve above market returns. Since they get zero no matter how much money they lose, they are also very risk tolerant. This makes the funds very risky for the investor, who can lose much more than zero.”

Consider these things with me - - On a personal level and due to the Litigious nature of our times, Insurance of different sorts (Life, Medical, Extended Care, Auto, Home, Counseling, Flood, Earthquake, etc.) are prudent choices and a practice of good stewardship. We have the cautionary instruction of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT): “Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.” This teaching encourages focus upon the things that matter most! It does not forbid investment but does enjoin that one has personal priorities in perspective and order. Our God is still able to do immeasurably more than any of us can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He has proven to be trustworthy! Question: Is our trust in Him 100%?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

In December 1963, LET’S MAKE A DEAL became a daytime entry in television as a contestant-driven program. A summary states: “One of TV's all time greatest and most successful shows, Let's Make a Deal was a game of intuition, skill, luck, decision-making and greed...all mixed into one…” People would carry signs, or dress in all kinds of costumes hoping to attract the attention of the Host, Monty Hall. Currently, there is another program that is rated very high – DEAL OR NO DEAL. These programs demonstrate the inner-struggle as contestants determine if a “greed principle” might pay off with a prize of considerable value. Some contestants claim “intuition” and others express “confidence” or “hope” that their selection is the top prize or bring about a valuable outcome.

In December 2008, we have a different “game” revealed that people and organizations have been playing. It, too, has been “…a game of intuition, skill, luck, decision-making and greed…” However, we are reading of the sad result for too many people and organizations as the “jackpot” became elusive and disappeared. In today’s news (December 16, 2008) is the following item: “A federal grand jury is investigating how a company that advised Jefferson County, Alabama, on bond deals that threaten to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, did similar work in New Mexico after making contributions to Governor Bill Richardson’s political action committees… The investigation reflects another front in nationwide efforts by U.S. prosecutors to investigate so-called pay-to-play in the municipal bond market. The term refers to banks and advisers who make political contributions or personal gifts to public officials in return for fee-paying financing assignments…”

In a similar news item today, there is a continuing revelation of people and organizations who have been ultimately defrauded of Billions of Dollars. The Hedge Fund Scam indicates: “The fallout from Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50bn fraud spread through the global financial system on Monday as more banks revealed exposures to his firm and the beleaguered hedge fund industry braced for withdrawals from worried clients.” Banks, some of whom have received Billions of Dollars from the Federal Government Bailout, have also lost more than $10 Billion Dollars in this investment scheme. We also read: “Outraged philanthropists worldwide nursed wounds on Monday from the alleged $50 billion fraud by former Nasdaq chairman Bernard Madoff, forcing some charities to shutter and hitting others with massive losses…As of Monday, at least three foundations had closed or planned to shut.” It won’t be surprising if we soon learn that a number of religious organizations have been caught in this investment web and considerable loss.

Consider these things with me - - - A strong case can be made Biblically for an investment strategy (See Matthew 25:14 through 30 – The Parable of the Talents). A key conclusion made by Jesus to the servant who had not invested his talent was: “you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest…” Religious Organizations and Local Churches have taken their Bequest Funds, or Excess Cash, or Endowment Funds and placed them in Stock Portfolios and Management Funds. This entire concept at first blush is ludicrous. Many of these investments are now gone! Some have lost 40% to 50% of their original worth. While many Board Members of Churches and Religious Organizations would argue to the contrary, the fact is they have gambled and lost. It will be interesting to see transparency by these same groups as appeals are made for funds to help them stay on television or to keep their religious empire intact. For religious organizations – from the small local church to the most visible national/international ministry – many people would love to see transparency as admission is made to the poor judgment in investment and the commitment not to get caught up in Ponzi Schemes of any sort in the future. Also, the commitment and representation to practice Luke 6:38 (NLT), “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving – large or small – it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” When will we learn to do God’s business God’s Way? When will we trust Him for all we need?

Monday, December 15, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

At times, we have all had to struggle with an inner urge to “gloat” over someone or some matter. When a person has been arrogant towards another and then miscues, it would be so easy to gloat because that one has performed in an otiose (ineffective or futile; superfluous or useless) manner. Gloating is: “a feeling of great, often malicious, pleasure or self-satisfaction.” We attribute such moments to our “human nature” which, if left unchecked, can be very harsh or cruel in response to another’s floundering. The older generation can remember a phrase: “That one will get his comeuppance (a punishment or retribution that one deserves; one's just desert) someday.” When that day eventually arrived, it allowed for a time of gloating over another’s misfortune or difficulty.

There is no question about our world being in the midst of a major correction and transition. The Economics are just a part of the whole. There are the advocates of Global Warming who ignore the natural cycles through which the world passes on a regular basis. The area of Politics has received considerable notice and a considerable amount of ridicule. When one major party makes such a sweeping indictment against the other major party by campaigning against “the culture of corruption” only to face the reality that some members of their own political party are a real part of the very “culture” that was part of their campaign talking points – it is in juxtaposition to what was espoused and desired. When a Political Figure is targeted by a Federal Prosecutor and the evidence mounts that there is corruption that must be exposed, the natural tendency is to gloat, opine, and conclude – “there’s another one that is getting his comeuppance.” Some would even allow, it is a case of “be sure your sins will find you out.” When Automobile Manufacturers are reprimanded in public for their mismanagement, etc., it is too easy for one to gain satisfaction over the turmoil in an Industry, as well as in individual lives. Once again, the gloat factor becomes a reality.

In Biblical History (II Samuel 16), Absalom has decided to be King and to overthrow his father, King David. As David flees Jerusalem, he is met by a man who loathes him and who sets out to ridicule and gloat over him. We read is II Samuel 16:5-14, “As King David approached…a man from the same clan as Saul's family came out from there. His name was Shimei…and he cursed as he came out. He pelted David and all the king's officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David's right and left. As he cursed, Shimei said, Get out, get out, you man of blood, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a man of blood! Then Abishai…said to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head. But the king said, What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, Curse David, who can ask, Why do you do this? David then said to Abishai and all his officials, My son, who is of my own flesh, is trying to take my life. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today. So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt. The king and all the people with him arrived at their destination exhausted. And there he refreshed himself.”

Consider these things with me - - - The attitude and perspective of King David is outstanding. This is the one who penned the words of Psalm 23 – “…even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me…” When ridicule and gloating is most severe, it is time to put into practice the fact of our Savior – Emmanuel – is with us. He cannot fail and He will never leave us or forsake us. Political bluffing and/or bloviating are what they are – exaggerations and empty words. Living in the reality of Emmanuel, becomes very practical as one lives a life in the presence of God, as well as knowing the presence of the Lord wherever one goes. Emmanuel – God Is With Us!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

There are same words that signify loss, failure, irresponsibility, or unanticipated events occurring that make it difficult for one to survive financially. Bankruptcy used to carry with it a sense of shame and/or failure. When the word is used as an adjective, American Heritage Dictionary defines Bankruptcy as, “having been legally declared financially insolvent; financially ruined; impoverished; depleted of valuable qualities or characteristics; totally depleted; destitute; being in a ruined state…” It’s a situation that should be avoided.

Think of the panic some must sense and feel when they learn their “investments” are vanished and their future has been spent and/or lost by the misdeeds and misrepresentations of a trusted individual. The Drudge Report for Saturday, December 13th has a Bold Headline declaring: “MADOFF'S ALLEGED $50 BILLION FRAUD HITS OTHER INVESTORS.” The report continues: “Investors scrambled to assess potential losses from an alleged $50 billion fraud by Bernard Madoff, a day after the arrest of the prominent Wall Street trader. Prosecutors and regulators accused the 70-year-old, who was chairman of the NASDAQ Stock Market in the early 1990s, of masterminding a fraud of epic proportions through his investment advisory business, which managed at least one hedge fund. Hundreds of people, investing with him through the firm's clients, entrusted Madoff with billions of dollars. Madoff's investors included captains of industry, corporations -some of which are publicly traded - that used Madoff almost as a high-yielding cash management account, endowments, universities, foundations and, importantly, many high-profile funds of funds, said Douglas Kass, who heads hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Management. It appears that at least $15 billion of wealth, much of which was concentrated in southern Florida and New York City, is gone… Federal agents arrested Madoff at his apartment on Thursday after prosecutors said he told senior employees that his money management operations were all just one big lie and basically, a giant Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is an illegal investment vehicle that pays off old investors with money from new ones, and is dependent on a constant stream of new investment. Because the invested capital is not earning a sufficient return on its own, such schemes eventually collapse under their own weight. Madoff is the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, a market-making firm he launched in 1960. His separate investment advisory business had $17.1 billion of assets under management.”

An obvious tension emerges from this account. First, there is an individual who sacrifices his scruples and character by developing an “investment scheme” that would – Secondly, appeal to people of means and wealth who would allow greed for more to overshadow safety in investment. It appears there may be no more than $300 million dollars left from this $50 Billion Dollar scheme. Question: What happened to the Billions of Dollars that passed through his hands? Why were people so gullible? Whatever happened to the common sense concept: “If it sounds too good to be true – It’s too good to be true?”

Consider these things with me - - - Somehow the words of Luke 12:13-15 need to echo through our land – Congress, Banks, Industry, Investments – “Someone in the crowd said to him, Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. Jesus replied, Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you? Then he said to them, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Greed is one of The Seven Deadly Sins. The list includes: “PRIDE is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. ENVY is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation. GLUTTONY is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. LUST is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. ANGER is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath. GREED is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness. SLOTH is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. Bankruptcy results when the focus is on the Material and Temporal; Good Return occurs when one Invests In Things Eternal – receiving God’s Dividend – His Blessing and Provision!

Friday, December 12, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

Many years ago, Will Rogers wryly stated: “This Congress is the best money can buy!” Another thought was: “Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” Little could he have known that less than a century later, an appointment for the US Senate could be purchased for $1 million dollars. The Governor of Illinois has raised this potential to a new high. Today’s News reports: “The criminal complaint against Blagojevich indicates the governor and his brother discussed picking (Jesse) Jackson, Jr. over other candidates for the post because a Jackson "emissary" promised at least $1 million in campaign contributions in exchange…” In all of this, those who are innocent of any participation in this scheme will be maligned via "the guilt by association” conclusions.

In the US Senate yesterday, Irresponsibility rose to another level of Incomprehensibility. When the Auto-Makers Bailout request was losing the vote, the Late News Report was: “It’s over with,” the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said on the Senate floor, after it was clear that a deal could not be reached. “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight.” Mr. Reid added: “This is going to be a very, very bad Christmas for a lot of people as a result of what takes place here tonight.” Another news report references another Senator: “In an interview following a December 10th press conference where he and four other senators aired their opposition to the proposed bailout deal struck by congressional leaders and the White House (and approved by the U.S. House of Representatives 237-170 that evening), Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., warned that the perception that some industries are being bailed out and some aren’t could lead to violence. We’re going to have riots. There are already people rioting because they’re losing their jobs when everybody else is being bailed out. The fairness of it becomes more and more evident as we go along. The auto companies may be hurting,” he said, but “there are very few companies that aren’t hurting and they’re going to hurt. We don’t have enough money to bail everyone out.”

These two comments by U.S. Senators: (1) The Stock Market will plummet tomorrow and “It’s not going to be a pleasant sight"; and (2) Violence and Rioting will result if “the perception that some industries are being bailed out and some aren’t…” It would be well if these men would concentrate on governing and stay away from the Crystal Ball and exercising with a Prophetic License that is faulty at best. So many political people are deeply indebted to Supporters and Influential Constituents and/or Lobbyists, that the Government of the people, for the people, and by the people is becoming a Historical Footnote rather than the actual practice. The overwhelming numbers of Taxpayers are against all of these Bailouts – but – the Congress ignores them while they claim to be doing “The People’s Business”! It’s difficult to Pray For this political bunch who are Preying Upon the electorate who entrusted them with honest and frugal governing. They have become Irresponsibly Yours!

Consider these things with me - - - Christian Stewardship requires Financial Responsibility. In Matthew 22:21, Jesus stated: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." In like manner, the Jesus also taught in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven...For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In Philippians 4:6, we are instructed – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…” In I Timothy 6:6-8 we learn, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that…” Even though we live in uncertain times and the economy concerns many, God is Always Faithful to His own. Perhaps we have been trying to go it alone for so long that God is giving us a wake-up call – a new opportunity and/or beginning – to walk by faith and not by sight! To Trust Him alone and always! Don’t lean upon the temporary or look to it for relief – Lean on the Everlasting Arms and find refuge, comfort and provision from the God Who loves and cares.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

The strict definition of intolerance is: “A refusal to allow to others the enjoyment of their opinions, chosen modes of worship, and the like; want of patience and forbearance; illiberality; bigotry; as, intolerance shown toward a religious sect…” This is a current issue that has been discussed and acted upon by the United Nations. The focus of this body is Religious Tolerance. The subtlety to this action is in the cleverness of the writing of the resolution.

In a review and editorial, Loren Green, Fox News Religion Contributor uses the headline, “Combating Religious Intolerance With A UN Resolution?” and notes: “It probably slipped most people’s notice. It wasn’t a big story. It was a little routine vote at the United Nations on a resolution called “Combating Defamation of Religion”. It passed — for the ninth year in a row. The resolution, on the surface, seems almost a no-brainer for the General Assembly. Of course, people should be respectful of other religions. But that’s not exactly what this resolution says. Many member nations, including the United States, as well as several non-profit groups like the Becket Fund and the Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice, see the resolution as the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Combating Defamation of Religion resolution was introduced and promoted by the 57-member nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The OIC has lobbied since 1999 for the plan. According to the American Center for Law and Justice, the resolution is based on the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which states that all rights are subject to Shariah law, and makes Shariah law the only source of reference for human rights. However the resolution was amended to appeal to a more diverse group. Drafts of the resolution in early October would have made it a criminal act and violation of international law to “defame another religion.” Although the drafts were amended to say all religions, only Islam is mentioned by name. And the U.S. lobbied specifically to remove any reference to it being a criminal act…”

One could ask: “Where is the danger, and what is the subtlety?” It’s interesting that secularists quickly noticed the implication if the Resolution passed in its original form. “One U.S. Ambassador commented a few weeks ago how divisive this issue is: The resolution could criminalize free speech, and that it’s a cover for criminalizing domestic free speech. The point is: if a resolution by the world body criminalizes speech even speech that defames and is in bad taste, then International Law could potentially brow beat and trample on the U.S. Constitution. That’s why the U.S. voted “no.” The resolution is non-binding. There’s no international body to enforce it. But it does set a tone of what is and is not acceptable. The U.S. official said, it would give countries the ability to pass anti-free speech laws if it criticizes a religion, it would make it difficult to proselytize or share your faith unless you practice a State approved faith, or could make you fear changing your religion.”

Consider these things with me - - Green continues: “…you say, “That can’t happen”, or “that would be ludicrous”. The fact is it’s already happening. Christians and other minority religions in predominantly Islamic areas or countries are being persecuted to barbaric levels. Reports from Nairobi, Kenya say that one aid worker was beheaded in September for converting from Islam to Christianity; the Iranian government has already passed a bill calling for execution on the basis of apostasy (anyone converting from Islam to another religion), and of course we’ve seen the violence that erupted over the Danish cartoon of the prophet Mohammed…” One problem is that there are so many “brands” of Christianity in circulation. The only Commission by Jesus Christ is succinct: “Go…Make Disciples of all nations…Baptize them in the name of the Triune God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – and Teach Them to obey everything I have commanded…” The point should not be missed that The Church has fumbled the ball and Islam has retrieved it and is succeeding in the Going…Making Disciples…and…teaching them everything in the Koran. The bold step is to have the World’s Deliberative Assembly prohibit The Church and Christians the opportunity to recover the advantage in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, and to silence that message and messengers of it.

Monday, December 8, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

Everyone views life through his/her personal prism. We do not exist in a vacuum! We all have our values and biases. However, there are those who believe some “magic” has been at work in their behalf – maybe “karma”! There are numbers of people who believe that everything occurring in life is to be relegated and embraced as “good luck” – a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It is viewed as “chance” (things just happen). One can hear some commentary allude to “having to play the hand you’ve been dealt.” Much of this falls into the areas of relativism (no ideas or beliefs are universally true…their validity depends on the circumstances in which they are applied), and/or fatalism (all things are subject to fate, are predetermined, or that they take place by inevitable necessity). Determinism attaches itself to these views of life by allowing: “… that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs...” In other words, free will and intelligent choices are inconsequential – things are the way they are because of natural forces that predetermined that’s how they would be.

The above views and definitions have serious consequences. All of those views rule out Design and Order in the Universe. It becomes part of the Evolutionary School of thought and finds expression through various philosophies in the quest for Being and the search for Reality. If one’s presuppositions disallow for the supernatural, then the quest and search become endless and more and more circular. It becomes impossible to arrive at any foundational reality. In like manner, any attempt to define reality apart from the supernatural causes one to wander in the abyss of incredibility.

On the one hand, Paleontologists focus on “body fossils and trace fossils as the principal types of evidence about ancient life, and geochemical evidence has helped to decipher the evolution of life before there were organisms large enough to leave fossils. Estimating the dates of these remains is essential but difficult: sometimes adjacent rock layers allow radiometric dating, which provide absolute dates that are accurate to within 0.5%, but more often paleontologists have to rely on relative dating by solving the jigsaw puzzles of biostratigraphy (the study of the spatial and temporal distribution of fossil organisms, often interpolated with radiometric, geochemical, and paleoenvironmental information as a means of dating rock strata).” On the other hand, the Psalmist understands origins and life and reality much differently. In Psalm 139:13 through 18, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you…”

Consider these things with me - - Atheism is a very empty, meaningless and directionless philosophy for life. It is a belief system with a negative viewpoint – no god, no eternity, and no foundational values. Many Atheists are very intelligent and well-spoken. It’s difficult to understand why they would embrace their views and argue them. Psalm 14:1 allows, “The fool says in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” It goes a step further when James allows that the unseen world has a viewpoint regarding Theism – stating that demons believe there is a God. In James 2:19 (NLT), “Do you still think it's enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror!” James is stating that speech and practice must intersect and demonstrate that what one believes is evidenced by what one is and does. Words of an old Gospel Song state: "What you are speaks so loud that the world can't hear what you say; they’re looking at your walk, not listening to your talk they’re judging from your actions every day. Don't believe you'll deceive by claiming what you've never known; they’ll accept what they see and know you to be, they’ll judge from your life alone."

Friday, December 5, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

Tension is a current experience in the world and in individual lives. The most recent news about events in Mumbai (Bombay), India is an example. Once it was learned that those responsible for the attacks were being trained and coordinated by leaders in Pakistan – tensions heightened and other nations have attempted to intervene to lessen tensions between two nuclear nations. An article in today’s International Herald Tribune states: “Fresh evidence unearthed Thursday by investigators in India indicated that the Mumbai attacks were stage-managed from at least two Pakistani cities by top leaders of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Indian and American intelligence officials have already identified a Lashkar operative, who goes by the name Yusuf Muzammil, as a mastermind of the attacks. While Muzammil appears to have served as a control officer in Lahore, Pakistan, Lakhvi, his boss and the operational commander of Lashkar, worked from Karachi, a southern Pakistani port city, said investigators in Mumbai…”

Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post has been reporting: “The IDF is drawing up options for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities that do not include coordination with the United States, The Jerusalem Post has learned. While its preference is to coordinate with the US, defense officials have said Israel is preparing a wide range of options for such an operation. It is always better to coordinate, one top Defense Ministry official explained last week. But we are also preparing options that do not include coordination. Israeli officials have said it would be difficult, but not impossible, to launch a strike against Iran…” Tensions between nations are stimulated by the desire to survive and exist.

On Monday, the Christian Post reported a finding on the tension within ethical values of young people today. They report: In the past year, 30% of U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64% have cheated on a test, according to a new, large-scale survey suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards…The competition is greater, the pressures on kids have increased dramatically, said Mel Riddle of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. They have opportunities (to cheat) their predecessors didn't have - the temptation is greater. The Josephson Institute, a Los Angeles-based ethics institute, surveyed 29,760 students at 100 randomly selected high schools nationwide, both public and private…Michael Josephson, the institute's founder and president, said he was most dismayed by the findings about theft. The survey found that 35% of boys and 26% of girls (30% overall) acknowledged stealing from a store within the past year. One-fifth said they stole something from a friend; 23% said they stole something from a parent or other relative…64% of students cheated on a test in the past year and 38% did so two or more times…36% said they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment…42%...Despite such responses, 93% of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77% affirmed that when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know…"

Consider these things with me - - Somewhere/Somehow we have lost our way in terms of ethical and moral values. With tensions being so considerable among people and nations, what value system will be employed that will allow one to (a) cope with the tensions, and decisions to be made, and (b) what will be the basic foundational principle one will employ to make his/her contribution among people and in a world where a clear path and a clarion call are so vitally needed. If only the standard for life in I Timothy 4:12 was embraced, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” If only the ethical values of Philippians 4:8 were inculcated (to implant by repeated statement or admonition; teach persistently and earnestly), “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about…and…practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” By the world’s standards and values, there is turbulence and tension; by the Biblical standards and values, there is tranquility and peace. The Prince of Peace wants to be included in your life! Why not welcome and receive and enjoy that Gift now?!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

Most of us desire and want Tranquility rather than Turbulence. We trend towards peace and quiet rather than turmoil and noise. All of us have a built-in decibel level beyond which our comfort zones cannot stretch and/or go. Entering into this mix in our generation is Terrorism where Tranquility and Turbulence are not part of either the ambition or a core value of a Terrorist. Terrorism is suggested to have a narrow objective: “Their goal isn't necessarily to bring down the US government, just to batter it so much that it accedes to the attackers' will.” Its intention is not so much to occupy as it is to disrupt.

Most of us would associate Turbulence with air currents violently vibrating an Aircraft. There are also storms at sea and the tossing of vessels of all sizes. We experience turbulence with weather patterns that shift and produce storms and wind advisories. Some of the definition for Turbulence is: “violent disorder or commotion; a state of violent disturbance and disorder; instability in the atmosphere; a disturbed state; tumult; disorder; agitation…” Last week, an interesting column by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal was entitled: “Turbulence Ahead - Some things to be thankful for in depressing times.” In the article, she draws a distinction between the Great Depression that occurred in the 1930s with the events that are occurring now. She concludes that this economic downturn is dissimilar to The Great Depression and uses statistics and impressions to make her point. There is a word that would help her article, namely, “yet”! We are not in a Great Depression II – YET! However – don’t tell that to the people where foreclosure is occurring with their homes; or the household provider who has been told his employment is no longer available; or the number of businesses that are closing; or the numbers of people who cannot pay a minimum amount on their bills; or the fixed-income citizens whose annuity-pension has almost disappeared; etc. We are not at a great depression level – yet!

Consider these things with me - - The Bible contains some important references and perspective to this entire subject of Turbulence versus Tranquility… (1) Isaiah 57:20-21, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, Says my God, for the wicked.” This assessment/judgment pertains to those in Verse 17, “For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.” (2) John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” These words are intended to encourage those who must go forward without the physical presence of Jesus Christ with them. (3) John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Also consider - - Living in a troubled and tempestuous time does not mean one has to surrender to turbulence. Tranquility is in a relationship with Jesus Christ, not with the accommodations granted by a culture/society. The Yale Divinity School (November 2007) embarked on a Reconciliation Mission, which states as part of its purpose: “The Goal of the Reconciliation Program is to promote reconciliation between Muslims and Christians, and between Muslim nations and the West, drawing on the resources of the Abrahamic faiths and the teachings and person of Jesus. The Reconciliation Program is the newest program at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. In its initial phase, the Reconciliation Program is focused primarily on bridge-building scholarly research on the major theological, political, cultural, social and ethical issues which traditionally divide Muslims and Christians, and on concerns which unite them.” It will be interesting to see if/when the study will bring them to II Corinthians 5:16 through 21, and to embrace the truth of Verses 18-19, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” Let the Peace From God be the foundation of your Peace With God.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


From My Perspective - - -

For many of us, Christmas has always meant (1) a time for Santa Claus, decorated trees, gifts, family gatherings, reading of “Twas The Night Before Christmas…”, or (2) A Designated time for the Celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ – Choir Cantatas, Candlelight Services, Pageants, Manger Scenes, Caroling, etc. There has always been much tradition and ritual as December 25th approaches.

The past several years has seen a movement away from the Traditional Observances to a more Commercial and Secular one. Santa is still tolerated; gift giving is greatly encouraged; popular seasonal songs have replaced the Christmas Carols, the Christmas Tree is now called the Holiday Tree, Merchants wish you Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas, etc. There has been a serious effort to change Christmas observances from a religious orientation to a secular observance. On the American Atheists Webpage, the following is stated: “Atheism is a doctrine stating that nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units. This definition means that there are no forces, phenomena, or entities which exist outside of or apart from physical nature, or which transcend nature, or are “super” natural, nor can there be. Humankind is on its own.” With that in mind, they totally disavow the observance of any date (December 25th or other) that would celebrate the Birth of a Supernatural Being called the Son of God.

The Traditional Date for Celebrating the Birth of Christ – December 25th – is challenged as being nothing more that the occasion of Winter Solstice. They deem it an astronomical and/or cultural event. Their approach to a December Celebration is debunked and their argument states: “There are two occasions each year when the position of the sun at a given time of day does not seem to change direction. In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs around June 21 and is the longest day of the year. The sun stops getting higher in the sky, and the days begin to grow shorter. The winter solstice, which occurs around December 21, is the shortest day. The sun stops getting lower in the sky, and the days begin to grow longer. The winter solstice occurs at the instant when the Sun's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane from the observer. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the event of the winter solstice occurs some time between December 20 and December 23 each year in the northern hemisphere, and between June 20 and June 23 in the southern hemisphere, during either the shortest day or the longest night of the year.

The American Atheists in Olympia, Washington are demanding their right to post a sign near to or opposite the public Nativity Scene. KiroTv in Washington is reporting that an atheistic sign will be included in the state Capitol’s holiday display that includes a holiday tree and a Christian nativity scene. The sign, a new addition this year, is sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and states: “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven, no hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds!”

Consider these things with me - - At the time of the Birth of Jesus Christ, there was much political pressure upon people. Everyone had to travel to the town of origin for a national census. This occasioned Mary and Joseph having to travel to Bethlehem. King Herod feared a rival king emerging. Matthew 2:13-15 records, “an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: Out of Egypt I called my son.” Herod was unsuccessful in his efforts and the American Atheists will be unsuccessful in there’s as well. The Celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ is not secular anyway. Let the Church do what it should do – join with the Angels of old and Herald the Birth of Jesus Christ and His Gospel message!