Monday, June 30, 2008

Roots Of Rebellion

From My Perspective - - -

All of us have had moments where we personally demonstrated or experienced “rebellion”! A basic and workable definition of rebellion is: “…resistance to or defiance of any authority, control, or tradition…” We see this in a variety of places from the spiritual conflict in the unseen world; the family tensions in a home; to the political upheaval in the nations of men.

An amplification of spiritual rebellion can be seen in Isaiah 14:12-16 [NLT], “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven; I WILL set my throne above God's stars. I WILL preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I WILL climb to the highest heavens. I WILL be like the Most High.' But instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths. Everyone there will stare at you and ask, 'Can this be the one who shook the earth and the kingdoms of the world?”

The defining words are “I WILL” – it will be "MY WAY", etc. King Saul is a perfect example of the SELF-WILL and doing things his way. In I Samuel 15, King Saul is given a precise directive from the Lord to destroy all the Amalekites and all of their possessions. King Saul felt he had leeway for modification and he almost obeyed the directive. But then, he is confronted by the prophet Samuel who utters these words in verses 22-23, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination (witchcraft), and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.”

There is a connection made by the Lord between Rebellion and Witchcraft, and we need to see that connection as well. One of the trends that is occurring today, especially among young people, is their searching for something more meaningful and personal than traditional religion and its rituals. It’s not unusual to find some teenagers exploring Wicca, “A polytheistic Neo-Pagan nature religion inspired by various pre-Christian western European beliefs, whose central deity is a mother goddess and which includes the use of herbal magic and benign witchcraft.” Rather than “treasuring God’s Word in their hearts” and allowing that Word to be “a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path”, they turn to Tarot: “A set of usually 78 playing cards including 22 cards depicting vices, virtues, and elemental forces, used in fortunetelling…” for their guidance and direction.

Fortunately, not too many have turned to witchcraft for their alternative – but – one is too many! We have ample illustrations and warnings to avoid such rebellion. One passage is Hebrews 3:15-19 [ESV], “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”

There are teens who have made some poor choices for their lives and who will no longer listen to parental or religious authority. As hopeless as their situation appears, one needs to persevere in faith, and pray: “Lord, my child is losing his/her way…I place him/her into Your hands. You are The Shepherd of and for all souls. Please find my child; guide him/her back onto the right path; turn him/her to Yourself. Keep me from worrying, or wavering in my faith. I give my child to You. Keep my child’s heart tender and sensitive to Your voice. Do what is right and best for my child. I thank You, in Jesus’ name…

Think about this with me - - -

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hypocrisy As Far As The Eye Can See

I was just thinking about - - -

The Christian Church often hears the word “hypocrite” mentioned as a reason why people stay away from one Church or another. The comment is: “There are too many Hypocrites in that Church.” Some have countered that by stating to such people: “well, you ought to come – we have room for one more.” In the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 7:1-3 – Jesus makes the following statement: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” Jesus is indicating that one can scrutinize another person and disclose the tiniest fault while never looking into a mirror and seeing one’s own enormous personal fault(s).

One is led to believe that it is ONLY in the Church where Hypocrisy is found. And yet, yesterday there was a Rally held in Unity, New Hampshire. The Associated Press (and others) reports the following: “Choosing a small New Hampshire community aptly named Unity for their first joint appearance since the campaign ended, Obama and Clinton stood on a platform before thousands of cheering, shouting supporters and took turns praising each other and urging party solidarity. She called the nominee-in-waiting a standup guy and he declared: "She rocks. She rocks….Clinton noted that they had stood "toe to toe" against each other in a primary season fight that began almost two years ago and declared the time has come to "stand shoulder to shoulder" against the GOP….Despite the praise and smiles between the two, some in the crowd still sensed a space between them. Their embraces were slightly awkward, and Clinton stood with her hands clasped formally in front of her as Obama spoke.

A resident who observed at the event indicated: “I think she's usually a wonderful public speaker, and so is he, but she looked a little stiff and the whole thing wasn't entirely comfortable." And - the Headline in the Drudge Report is revealing. It states: “YEAH, RIGHT”… The American Heritage Dictionary gives this definition for the word Hypocrisy: The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.” The World Net Dictionary defines it as: “an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction.”

In Job 8:10-15 (NKJV), Bildad the Shuhite inquiries rhetorically of Job, “Will they not teach you and tell you, and utter words from their heart? Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the reeds flourish without water? While it is yet green and not cut down, it withers before any other plant. So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish, Whose confidence shall be cut off, and whose trust is a spider's web. He leans on his house, but it does not stand. He holds it fast, but it does not endure.” Bildad is trying to strip away any confidence that Job could have in God and give subtle suggestion that Job’s issues are due to his hypocrisy. . He even asks earlier in this Chapter 8:4-6, “If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression. If you would earnestly seek God and make your supplication to the Almighty, if you were pure and upright, surely now He would awake for you…”

It seems as though our culture continues to display that it has lost its way. Both Integrity and Genuineness are relegated to a secondary place in dialogue and practice. We “play act” like performers on a stage and wonder why (a) God doesn’t bless us individually, and (b) why God’s hand seems to be removed from the guidance and preservation of our nation. Hypocrisy and Vulnerability have a way of going hand-in-hand.

Think about this with me - - -

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pontification - In Conflict With Potential?

I was just thinking about - - -

Some very articulate people can sometimes come up with a very simple analysis of what is going on in the public arena and debate at a given point. In observing the public political discussion, someone allowed: “There’s a whole lot of ‘stupid’ out there.” That expression is difficult to dispute especially when you get into the subject of gasoline costs and the use of our natural resources in our nation and off of our coasts.

The two presumptive nominees of their respective political parties pontificate as though they are the know-all and have the perfect remedy hidden somewhere in the depths of their minds. I don’t know about you, but I am becoming very weary of hearing the word “pristine” being used as a reason for not tapping into the available oil reserve in Alaska. One candidate regularly (and foolishly) repeats the concern and pontificates about preserving the “pristine” area so future generations can visit that portion of Alaska (where heretofore only explorers have gone). The area is minus 70 degrees and is relatively uninhabitable (might be a good spot for an Igloo Casino?). It might jeopardize some wildlife but no one can prove that to be true or demonstrate that it will actually have any negative impact or affect. Pristine means: “Remaining in a pure state; uncorrupted by civilization…”

The other candidate pontificates about the price. In his loftiness and authoritative manner (sometimes pompous and arrogant), he is wont to keep expressing two unproven postulates: (a) drilling for new oil reserves will not change the price at the gas pumps today, and (b) it will take more than 10 years before there is sufficient supply that will make any difference (this has been the ongoing argument since the 1970s. Current oil extraction possibilities give indication it could be less than 3 years). If he is elected, his resolve is to establish a windfall profits tax on the oil companies, and adjust the taxes for those who make the greatest investment in industry development in our nation and world (the top percentile of wealth in our nation).

In the book, America’s Providential History, the author postulates (and theorizes): “While many secularists view the world as over-populated, Christians know that God has made the earth sufficiently large, with plenty of resources to accommodate all the people He knew would come into existenceThere is plenty of room and food for the entire world population today. All the six billion people on the earth could live in the state of Texas in single family homes with front and back yards and be fed by production in the rest of the United States. Present world agricultural areas, if developed by present technology, could feed 31 billion people. Our earth has plenty of room and plenty of natural resources…God not only created natural resources, but He also created man with human energy. God told him to "have dominion" or rule over the earth (Genesis 1:26). Man was placed in the garden to cultivate and keep it (Genesis 2:15), which required labor. After the fall, cultivating the ground required an additional "sweat of man's face" (Genesis 3:19).” This is part of the Cultural Mandate initially stated in Genesis 1:28.

It is apparent that we have the capability and available resources to accommodate the need of this day and for many years to come. We also have the intelligence, ingenuity and acumen to seek and develop alternative fuel supplies and other necessary resources. Neither laziness, taxation or pontification will accomplish that potential. We need to move beyond the politics of the moment, replace those who neither lead nor follow (who are merely in the way), move away from pontification and fulfill our potential as a people and nation.

Think about this with me - - -

Friday, June 20, 2008

Distinguishing The Real From The Unreal

I was just thinking about - - -

The political world brings out both the best and the worst. There are the “talking points” and “spin” with which we are all too familiar. There is the image that is projected and the makeover of public appearance and proclamation. It becomes difficult at times to separate the real from the unreal. Plato was one of three philosophers who had an early influence on thought and how one arrives at conclusions (Socrates and Aristotle were the others). However, in his quest to discover the Real – important virtues and realities such as: goodness, beauty, equality, bigness, likeness, unity, being, sameness, difference, change, and changelessness – he would have times when he despaired because of the evasiveness of the Real and the prominence of the Unreal (a mere shadow of the Real and True).

On today’s Wall Street Journal Editorial Page, Peggy Noonan writes about the life and death of Tim Russert. She reflects regarding the Memorial Service and remarks that were offered, and concludes: “In a way, the world is a great liar. It shows you it worships and admires money, but at the end of the day it doesn't. It says it adores fame and celebrity, but it doesn't, not really. The world admires, and wants to hold on to, and not lose, goodness. It admires virtue. At the end it gives its greatest tributes to generosity, honesty, courage, mercy, talents well used, talents that, brought into the world, make it better. That's what it really admires. That's what we talk about in eulogies, because that's what's important. We don't say, "The thing about Joe was he was rich." We say, if we can, "The thing about Joe was he took care of people."…The young are told, "Be true to yourself." But so many of them have no idea, really, what that means. If they don't know who they are, what are they being true to? They're told, "The key is to hold firm to your ideals." But what if no one bothered, really, to teach them ideals?”

In Colossians 3:1 through 17, there is statement made to seek The Real – “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” This is followed by a long check-list by which one can differentiate between that which is Real in terms of the values the Lord Himself has established, followed by that which is Unreal, namely, the things a Carnal World would like to have us substitute for The Real. The Unreal is to be avoided and put away and The Real is to be sought, embraced, and applied.

Peggy Noonan makes a great point – it is difficult to find the values that matter modeled for us. Too many are caught up in the Unreal Values that they lose sight of what matters most. I think it was a Pennsylvania Dutch saying that went something like – “The busier I am the behinder I get!” The idea is that the temporary and temporal supersede the permanent and eternal. Our culture has taught us to be self-centered and self-indulgent – and – we have bought into that concept of life. Peggy Noonan noted in this regard: “the things you actually need to live life well, and without which it won't be good. Among them: taking care of those you love and letting them know they're loved, which involves self-sacrifice; holding firm to God, to your religious faith, no matter how high you rise or low you fall. This involves guts, and self-discipline, and active attention to developing and refining a conscience to whose promptings you can respond. Honoring your calling or profession by trying to do within it honorable work, which takes hard effort, and a willingness to master the ethics of your field. And enjoying life.” She’s on point and the right track!

Think about this with me - - -

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Winnie The Pooh Concepts and Candidates

I was just thinking about - - - -

A saying that has been with us for a very long time is: “Engage your brain before you operate your mouth!” More simply stated – “Think before you speak!” With that in mind, remarks by Karl Rove in today’s Wall Street Journal state the following regarding the political proclamations by the presumed candidates of their respective affiliation. He states: “Is knowledge or consistency too much to ask?” What he has in mind is the complete misunderstanding of profits versus profit margins. When candidates speak of or hint at windfall profit taxes on oil companies, Karl Rove says: “Why should we stop with oil companies? They make about 8.3 cents in gross profit per dollar of sales. Why don't the candidates slap a windfall profits tax on sectors of the economy that have fatter margins? Electronics make 14.5 cents per dollar and computer equipment makers take in 13.7 cents per dollar, according to the Census Bureau. Microsoft's margin is 27.5 cents per dollar of sales. Call out candidate’s Windfall Profits Police! It's not the profit margin, but the total number of dollars earned that is the problem, the candidate’s might say. But if that were the case, why aren’t they targeting other industries? Oil and gas companies made $86.5 billion in profits last year. At the same time, the financial services industry took in $498.5 billion in profits, the retail industry walked away with $137.5 billion, and information technology companies made off with $103.4 billion. What kind of special outrage do the candidate’s have for these companies?"

And then, one candidate has selected a prospective National Security Advisor, Richard Danzig, who served as Navy Secretary under President Clinton. What is his philosophy and model for Terrorism and Foreign Policy? In the London Telegraph today, “(he) told a major foreign policy conference in Washington that the future of US strategy in the war on terrorism should follow a lesson from the pages of Winnie the Pooh, which can be shortened to: if it is causing you too much pain, try something else….Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security…He spelled out how American troops, spies and anti-terrorist officials could learn key lessons by understanding the desire of terrorists to emulate superheroes like Luke Skywalker, and the lust for violence of violent football fans…Mr Danzig spelled out the need to change by reading a paragraph from Chapter One of the children’s classic, which says: “Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of his head behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming down stairs. But sometimes he thinks there really is another way if only he could stop bumping a minute and think about it.”

If this became a reality in our national politics, then our nation should have a resident Phrenologist (one who studies configurations of the skull and bumps on the head) as the Chief Analyst, or maybe as President of our country. By definition, a phrenologist is one who accepts “a psychological theory or analytical method based on the belief that certain mental faculties and character traits are indicated by the configurations of the skull.”

Some Biblical truths we would do well to remember and think about: Job 12:12-13, “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days. With God are wisdom and might; He has counsel and understanding.” Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” And James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Any person desiring to lead a nation should have some focus on the source of true wisdom versus the fanciful (but absurd) experiential approach. Maybe – before we vote – we should check skulls and determine how many bumps are on a candidate’s head.

Think about that with me - - -

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We've Come A Long Way

I was just thinking about - - -

War – any War – is a dreadful thing. When War becomes a reality, there tends to be a movement towards inhumanity among men and nations. The horrendous conditions of the Concentration Camps during World War II in Europe; the indignity of Detention Camps for American citizens who happened to be of Japanese descent; the torture of captured Americans during the Viet Nam War; to the suggested and suspected torture of Terrorist detainees since September 11th, 2001… all serve as a commentary of the harsh actions and behavior of man to man.

Even though Jesus Christ in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:6-8) indicated: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” – His purpose was (and is) that we may find and have Peace in Him (John 16:33). When you pause and reflect upon the words of Jesus regarding – famines, earthquakes, floods, fires, natural disasters of all sorts throughout the world – these things should bring about a focus on The Almighty God more than on environmental and global warming considerations. The context of Matthew 24:37-39 includes this reminder: “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” The flood occurred as a judgment of God against sin and a carnal culture – not because of environmental issues.

I’ve been thinking further about the General who kissed the Koran and asked the Iraqi representative to forgive the American soldiers, etc… This is a far cry from a General during World War II when he was asked to surrender his command to a superior German force. History records for us some detail about that moment: “General Anthony Clement was the United States Army general who commanded the defending 101st Airborne troops in the Battle of Bastogne, Belgium… At Bastogne the 101st was put under siege by a far-larger force of Germans under the command of General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz, who soon demanded that the Americans surrender. McAuliffe sent back to Lüttwitz his now-famous reply: "NUTS!" The 101st was able to hold off the German assault until the 4th Armored Division arrived to provide reinforcement.” One of the definitions for “Nuts” in the American Heritage Dictionary is: “Crazy; insane…” to either surrender or apologize to an enemy was not a viable consideration or option.

Perhaps that’s how our nation might be defined by an observing world – they’ve gone “Nuts – crazy…insane”! Our preoccupation with pleasure and self-gratification has caused us to relegate religious principles and scruples into a remote secondary role. The faith of our fathers is becoming a fading memory. The “greatest generation” (World War II veterans) is dying at an accelerated rate and will soon be forgotten. Yesterday’s Blog referenced Psalm 9:17. There is clear indication that “all nations that forget God” will not only be forgotten by Him, but also as being of any significance among the nations of the world. Our nation seems unconcerned as it accelerates toward the epitaph: “Ichabod” – The Glory Has Departed!

Think about that with me - - -

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Kiss Of Death?

I was just thinking about - - -

Colonel David Hunt, on the Fox News Opinion Page, has written a piece entitled: “Time To Bring Them Home”! The basis for the article pertains to an act of desecration of the Koran by one soldier. Colonel Hunt writes about the offending soldier’s incident with the words: “...the criminal activities of an ignorant, ill disciplined soldier who shot at a Koran and wrote graffiti on its pages...” As bad as that act was (and is), it is what follows that drives David Hunt to the conclusion that America has lost and its time to bring our troops home. It should be noted that Colonel Hunt has always been “Hawkish” in terms of the war on terrorism.

What was the incident that has brought about such a reversal? Colonel Hunt writes, “…bring the troops home now. Its over, the bad guys won, terrorism is victorious, we have been defeated! I never thought I would write such words, ever. But then again, I never thought I would ever hear the president of the United States apologize for the actions of one soldier. I never imagined, even as bad as the military leadership has been in this war (and it has been awful), that a two-star general in the United States Army would utter the words, ‘I come before you seeking your forgiveness…I look in your eyes today and say please forgive me and my solders.’ The presidential and general officer apologies, and the pictures of a U.S. Army Officer kissing the Koran and handing it to an Iraqi, should tell us that this war is over.” (,2933,364162,00.html).

In Operation Desert Storm (1991-92), General H. Norman Schwarzkopf led the Coalition Forces to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. During the military operation, those who were being liberated by the Coalition demanded certain religious disciplines be enforced. In his book, “It Doesn’t Take A Hero", General Schwarzkopf recounts that the American Chaplains were forbidden to display The Cross on their uniforms, or to have any religious display contrary to the Islamic teaching at the Chapel tent on the battle field. The order was given that there would be compliance with this demand. Now we have the current incident that had to be processed through the chain of command from the field Commanders, and in this instance, all the way to the Oval Office and the President of the United States.

Flexibility is one thing – compromise is another. It becomes obvious that the core values of our nation are eroding more and more. In Psalm 9:17 (KJV) we read, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” The Douay-Rheims (RC) states it similarly: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God.” As a nation, we believe liberty is an inalienable right for our nation and all people. To attain the freedom of a nation from tyranny and terrorism, our nation has given more than 4,000 young lives and billions of dollars. And then, the demeaning of that investment because of the error of one soldier – as well as the setting aside of our own core values as a nation – “One nation, under God” – as a General bows and kisses the Koran, and the President of the United States lamely apologizes.

Can we really expect God to bless America when we have become so weak-kneed, irresponsible and compromising? The implementation of II Chronicles 7:14 is long overdue. We need to fervently seek the face of the Lord! The uncompromising principles and posture of Daniel and his friends in Babylon (Iraq) should be displayed today! Question: Where are the Daniel-types today? What has happened to principled young men? Why has our nation succumbed to compromise?

Think about this with me - - -

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Standards Should Be Forever

I was just thinking about - - -

Whatever happened to our standards and foundations? This was important and vital in the lessons taught by Jesus Christ. In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus taught: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” The point is – foundations are important and should be established on the forever principle.

In the lifetime of some of us, there have been major shifts in terms of standards. Two illustrations from the administrations of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt demonstrate this fact. President Roosevelt made a decision to take the nation off of the Gold Standard. For years, contracts were signed and trusted because they were “as good as gold”! But the President persisted that this was necessary to relieve the depression of the nation and on June 5th, 1933 “Congress drafted a joint resolution declaring gold clauses – protection against any damage Roosevelt might do – to be ‘against public policy’." Roosevelt couldn't wait to see the resolution become law. Henry Wallace wrote that Roosevelt "looked up at the clock and put down 4:40 p.m., June 5, 1933 and signed his name." That act took us on the road of increased deficit spending and lead to an astronomical national debt.

In an almost oxymoronic way, this same President on June 6th, 1944 made a major decision regarding the commitment of American and Allied forces that would bring about the D-Day Invasion of Europe. In a very strange and noble way, President Roosevelt had a radio address and stated: “Last night when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far. And so in this poignant hour I ask you to join with me in prayer - - -Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings their road will be long and hard, for the enemy is strong he may hurl back our forces… Lord, give us faith; give us faith in Thee, faith in our sons, faith in each other, faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impact of temporary events, of temporal matters, of fleeting moments, let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose… With Thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy… Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.“

Eighty years earlier on November 19th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln stated in his Gettysburg Address: “…The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Our standards as a nation were noble and should be remembered and practiced today. More basically and importantly, The Standards of Jesus Christ should be weighed, considered, believed and implemented - - for wise men/women will still seek Him and adhere to His teaching!

Think about this with me - - -

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rhetorical Ruminations

I was just thinking about - - -

It’s so easy to get caught up in the emotions of a moment. Many people are mesmerized by a gifted orator. It was fascinating to observe people in their responses to some political speeches yesterday. One politician was very methodical and attempted to be factual – but came across in a very academic and matter-of-fact manner. The audience present lacked enthusiasm and the response seemed labored. Another politician had just claimed victory after an arduous journey for a nomination. He and his audience were euphoric – very enthusiastic. It mattered very little what the speaker was saying – they just were in the frame of mind to cheer and emotionally respond.

What’s the difference between these speakers? Both believe change is necessary. Both believe Washington is the problem rather than the solution. Both believe our country has resilience and can bring about change. The difference is that one man lacks an enthusiasm when he speaks and grinds out details that may interest the audience but it cannot generate assertive response. The other is a gifted orator. He could say a rabbit should replace the eagle as the national symbol and people would respond enthusiastically. It matters little whether or not they understand or comprehend what is being declared – the audience is caught up with gifted oratory and are responding to the presentation rather than the content.

If one is given to rumination, comprehension of what is being stated is absolute. Rather than responding to the emotion of the moment, one would ask particular questions for the proposals made. For instance, Universal Health Care, an apt question is: “How are we going to pay for it?” The trite response for almost every proposal is: “Don’t renew the Bush Tax cuts!” The general idea for Health Care; Education for everyone; hiring more teachers at higher salaries; etc. – leads to the Robin Hood Principle – take from the rich and redistribute it to the poor! It doesn’t matter if a person pays taxes or not – give them a tax cut and a tax rebate, etc.

No one pauses to consider that we are borrowing $700 Billion each year from China to function as a government and nation. In addition, most of our goods are manufactured in China and the Trade Deficit is astronomical. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve spoke yesterday regarding the devalued Dollar and the way that contributes to inflation. But the runaway Congress keeps spending; keeps assigning earmarks to favored constituents and family members. Go to:,2933,361061,00.html where you can find some detail about this type of financial maneuvering. Part of the lead in states: “Budget earmarks became a national scandal — and a national joke — after some wasteful schemes made headlines recently: a $223 million “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska, a $500,000 teapot museum in North Carolina, a $10 million extension to Coconut Road in Florida. Many lawmakers earmark taxpayer money for projects supported by contributors to their campaigns…The investigation exposes a far more disturbing practice: federal lawmakers earmarking taxpayer dollars on projects that offer them not just political advantage, but personal financial gain.” Will Rogers once stated (almost 100 years ago): “This is the best Congress money can buy!” It looks like he is still right. We should never allow ourselves be either naïve or gullible. By the same token, we need to guard against becoming too cynical.

Proverbs 13:11 indicates: “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” There are not too many who concern themselves with the words of Jesus in Mark 10:23, “And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The greed of man will never serve him well. The work ethic needs to return to our nation. A renewed thrift needs to be implemented. A new orientation of saving, rather than spending, needs to come into existence. Our nation needs less governmental expenditures – not more. We need to learn frugality and implement it quickly.

Think about that with me - - -