Saturday, May 30, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

The genius of the Founding Fathers was to establish a nation and government that would be as free as possible from Corruption and Corrupting Influences. On May 24th, 2009, syndicated columnist George Will wrote concerning, “END RUN ON FREE SPEECH.” His opening paragraphs state: “For several decades, most of the ingenuity that liberal academics have invested in First Amendment analysis has aimed to justify limiting the core activity that the amendment was written to protect — political speech. These analyses treat free speech as not an inherent good but as a merely instrumental good, something justified by serving other ends — therefore something to be balanced against, and abridged to advance, other goods. The good for which Zephyr Teachout would regulate speech is combating corruption, which, as she understands it, encompasses most of contemporary politics. A visiting law professor at Duke, writing in the Cornell Law Review ("The Anti-Corruption Principle"), she makes an astonishingly far-reaching argument for emancipating government from First Amendment restrictions on its powers to regulate political speech — speech about the government's composition and conduct.”

Will goes on to note, “Teachout's capacious definition of corruption includes even an unseemly "attitude" of citizens as well as officeholders "toward public service." She says that the Framers thought limiting corruption was their "primary task." Therefore the "anti-corruption principle" should have "as much weight" as the First Amendment, giving Congress considerable "leeway" to regulate the political "process," which is mostly speech….The word "corruption" or some permutation of it occurs 58 times in the 85 essays that are the FEDERALIST PAPERS. James Madison wrote not only many of the papers but also this: "Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech." He saw no conflict between that proscription and efforts to minimize corruption. He and other Framers considered corruption a vice requiring constant vigilance precisely because it is inextricably entwined with a virtue, America's vast scope — constitutionally protected scope — for self-interested behavior, including political speech.” Meanwhile, the following news item appeared in the San Diego News on May 25th, 2009: “COUPLE: COUNTY TRYING TO STOP HOME BIBLE STUDIES.” The article states: ”…A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold Bible studies in their home…The county employee notified the couple that the small Bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of County regulations…a few days later the couple received a written warning that listed "unlawful use of land" and told them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit" -- a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars…”

Is the US Constitution being abridged and altered today? Is the Freedom of Speech and Right to Assemble being violated? If so, wherein is the feared “corruption” taking place – in the citizenry or the government? Corruption is defined as: “The act of corrupting or of impairing integrity, virtue, or moral principle…the loss of purity or integrity; The act of changing, or of being changed, for the worse; departure from what is pure, simple, or correct…” In II PETER 2:12-19, “…these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant…They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions...They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed…Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray…For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice…those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption…” Are we observing “corruption” unfolding to a greater degree than ever before as Government over-reaches into businesses and lives? Are we witnessing the transition from free enterprise into socialism? Is REVELATION 13:16-17 emerging as a reality: “it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark…the name of the beast or the number of its name.”? Freedom from secular tyranny and/or spiritual enslavement is a right that should not be easily revoked or removed from any individual. Think about these things with me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

Are you getting “older” or getting “better”? What is your outlook for your life? The Demographic Projections for the Aging of Americans are: “The number of Americans age 55 and older will almost double between now and 2030 – from 60 million today (21 percent of the total US population) to 107.6 million (31 percent of the population) – as the Baby Boomers reach retirement age. During that same period of time, the number of Americans over 65 will more than double, from 34.8 million in 2000 (12 percent of the population) to 70.3 million in 2030 (20 percent of the total population). The next generation of retirees will be the healthiest, longest lived, best educated, most affluent in history. Americans reaching age 65 today have an average life expectancy of an additional 17.9 years (19.2 years for females and 16.3 years for males). The likelihood that an American who reaches the age of 65 will survive to the age of 90 has nearly doubled over the past 40 years – from just 14 percent of 65-year-olds in 1960 to 25 percent at present. By 2050, 40 percent of 65-year-olds are likely to reach age 90…”

One reality that has taken place recently has been the Economic Trends in our nation and world. Retirement income has been greatly impacted and retirees have an unexpected and dramatic dilemma, namely, will it be possible to survive and maintain a reasonable lifestyle. One would be wise not to panic in such trying times. It is also essential that compassion and benevolence be an ongoing behavior. Some have found it necessary to return to employment so they can manage financial needs and obligations. A much broader question is – What kind of employment is available to the older adult (post-retirement age)? Does one have choices and alternatives? Will the market-place and society have room – make room - for an older adult re-entering gainful employment?

It is interesting to observe the accomplishments of a few who became engaged in important tasks in the latter years of life-expectancy: “John Wesley preached over 40,000 sermons and traveled 225,000 miles - these figures belong only to the latter part of his life, from age 36 to 88. George Muller is said to have traveled 200,000 miles, using his linguistic ability to preach in several languages to an estimated three million people. Muller’s statistics only began after his 70th birthday and continued for the next 17 years. Dr. Robert Lowry, renowned for many accomplishments as a Christian musician, first undertook the serious study of music after turning 40. Fanny Crosby was 43 when she found her life’s work – writing Gospel songs. Francis Schaeffer was little known until he was published in his fifties. Child Evangelism Fellowship was founded by J. Irvin Overholtzer, at age 62, and who remained at its helm for the next 15 years. Cam Townsend at age 72, founder of the Wycliffe Bible Translators, flew to Moscow (while it was under the rule of Communism) and began learning Russian to assist in Bible translation…

Other people and their achievement in the later years of life include: The Earl of Halsburg was 90 when he began a 20-Volume revision of English Law; Goethe wrote Faust at 82; Galileo made his greatest discovery at 73; at 65, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister for the first time during World War II; at 72, Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel; at 80, Grandma Moses (who began painting in her 70s) had her first one-woman exhibit; at 81, Benjamin Franklin mediated and moderated the US Constitutional Convention; at 80, Winston Churchill returned to the House of Commons as a Member of Parliament, and would also exhibit 62 of his paintings; and we’ve heard of Colonel Sanders, at age 65, founding his Chicken Franchises by using his $105.00 Social Security Check; at age 88, S. Truett Cathy was involved in overseeing the Chic-fil-A business, and teaching a Sunday School Class.

For those who embrace the Christian Faith and practice, consider: (a) "As thy days, so shall thy strength be..." [Deuteronomy 33:25]; (b) Moses began his task to lead God’s people out of Egypt after he was 80 years of age; (c) the words of Psalm 37:23-26, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast head-long, for the Lord upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.” and (d) remember Isaiah 40:31. God is Faithful and Good! He will renew your strength too!

Monday, May 25, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

An old Ballad from an Off-Broadway Show in the 1960s – The Fantasticks – repeats a phrase: “Try To Remember When Life Was So Tender…Our hearts should Remember...Try To Remember, And If You Remember…” An oft-repeated Statement: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." is an appropriate one for our day and time. Today (May 25th) is designated Memorial Day – a time to Remember those who died in the military when they had been called into war to preserve freedom. Sadly, the clutter of ones activities can blur and cloud the meaning and purpose of pausing to Remember.

From Wikipedia: “Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings…While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day…Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic…and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery…It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May…

There have been rallying cries over the years from “Remember The Alamo” to “Remember Pearl Harbor” to “Remember 9/11”… General Douglas MacArthur eloquently shared some meaningful words on May 12, 1962 at West Point: “…Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn…Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all that they mean. The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs, on many a weary march from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle-deep through the mire of shell-shocked roads, to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God. I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always, for them: Duty, Honor, Country; always their blood and sweat and tears, as we sought the way and the light and the truth…”

War is a blight and tragedy upon our planet! Things get broken and destroyed; people get wounded, or captured, or tortured, or killed; families get separated; etc. A core value shared by Abraham Lincoln and later emblazoned on a US Army Poster during World War II was: “Right Is Might.” It is the commitment to that which is “Right” that needs to be Remembered and serve as our motivation. Righteousness exalts a nation… The prayers of a Righteous man avail much… As Joshua prepared the nation for his departure, he shares a basic premise for them to remember (Joshua 24:13-17): “…fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord…” The Nation of Israel had fought many battles and the Lord granted them victory and gave them The Promised Land as their possession. They needed to Remember that it was the Lord Who delivered them and granted them victory. As we pause to Remember those who were killed while protecting and defending our nation against all enemies – foreign and domestic – we need to also Remember that The Lord is our Fortress, Strength and Shield! Try To Remember…!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

The Headlines on News Websites paint an interesting picture. For instance, DRUDGE REPORT has: (1) Dollar Plunge; Fear Over Debt; (2) GM revamp under attack; Feds to cancel debts, inject aid; (3) FIAT already concerned for deteriorating Chrysler; (4) California faces its day of fiscal reckoning; (5) Florida's BANKUNITED Goes Bust; Year's Biggest; (6) Recession Turns Malls Into Ghost Towns; (7) Fed President Says Inflation to Increase.

There’s the news account from China that conveys a negative truism that sometimes one is better off without a "helping hand”: “Chen Fuchao, a man heavily in debt, had been contemplating suicide on a bridge in southern China for hours when a passer-by came up, shook his hand — and pushed him off the ledge. Chen fell 26 feet onto a partially inflated emergency air cushion laid out by authorities and survived, suffering spine and elbow injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday. The passer-by, 66-year-old Lai Jiansheng, had been fed up with what he called Chen's "selfish activity," Xinhua said. Traffic around the Haizhu bridge in the city of Guangzhou had been backed up for five hours and police had cordoned off the area. I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish. Their action violates a lot of public interest…They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities' attention to their appeals...According to Xinhua, Chen wanted to kill himself because he had accrued $290,000 in debt from a failed construction project.”

In addition to the Financial and Economic issues, Pew Research indicates the general electorate is shifting in its focus. The Report states, as of May 21, 2009: “While the Democrats gained a sizable advantage in partisan affiliation during George Bush’s presidency, their numbers slipped between December 2008 and April 2009, from 39% to 33%. Republican losses have been a little more modest, from 26% to 22%, but this represents the lowest level of professed affiliation with the GOP in at least a quarter century. Moreover, on nearly every dimension the Republican Party is at a low ebb – from image, to morale, to demographic vitality. By contrast, the percentage of self-described political independents has steadily climbed, on a monthly basis, from 30% last December to 39% in April. Taking an average of surveys conducted this year, 36% say they are independents, 35% are Democrats, while 23% are Republicans. On an annual basis, the only previous year when independent identification has been this high was in 1992 when Ross Perot ran a popular independent candidacy. As has been the case in recent years, more independents lean Democratic than Republican (17% versus 12%). Yet an increasing share of independents describe their views as conservative; in surveys conducted this year, 33% of independents say they are conservatives, up from 28% in 2007 and 26% in 2005. Again, this ideological change is at least in part a consequence of former Republicans moving into the ranks of independents.”

Consider these things with me - - The Pew Research also notes: “…independents are more skittish than they were two years ago about expanding the social safety net and are reluctant backers of greater government involvement in the private sector. Yet at the same time, they continue to more closely parallel the views of Democrats rather than Republicans on the most divisive core beliefs on social values, religion and national security.” The orientation to “Core Values” is interesting. In desperate times, a gradual reality comes into play, namely, government is not and cannot be the answer. Government is part of the problem – not part of the solution. Somehow, we need to return to the fundamentals and basics – God Is More Than Sufficient To Meet Ones Needs. The starting point would be to implement Luke 17:6, and cultivate “If you have FAITH as a grain of mustard seed…” Surely, you can exercise at least that much faith! Otherwise, you may need to seek a helping hand in China to assist you off of the bridge! You would be wise to reach out to the Hand of God and be assisted by Him. He’s faithful and He never fails!

Friday, May 22, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

It is noteworthy that a distinction should be made between eloquence in public speaking and pontification. One is a self-confidence and ease in communication, whereas the other is an air of indifference, arrogance and calculated verbalization. It is next to impossible to receive a rational response to a practical matter from almost all of the elected representatives in our nation. This has allowed for the caustic comedy to speak of some politicians that “you can tell when they are lying - if their lips are moving.” It has also given occasion to a biting definition of Political Correctness. A report states: Every year at Texas A&M they do a contest to come up with the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term. This year's term was: “Political Correctness”. Here is the winning definition… "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up excrement by the clean end."

On Thursday, May 21st we heard the President state the following: “The courts have spoken. They have found there is no legitimate reason to hold 21 of the people confined at Guantanamo….I cannot ignore these rulings.” However, according to POLITICO the following represents the facts: “…only one judge has ordered the release of Guantanamo detainees into the United States. That ruling, involving 17 Uighur men, was stayed and later overturned by a federal appeals court. It’s true about two dozen detainees have been ordered released by federal judges. But at the moment those orders are largely unenforceable due to a D.C. Circuit Court ruling denying judges the authority to bring detainees to the United States.” The conclusion drawn by POLITICO is: “While President Obama cannot ignore the rulings, he certainly doesn’t have to do much right now to comply with them. But making it sound like he’s under pressure from the courts makes it sound like he has no choice but to close Gitmo.” And so, the pontification and game goes on and on and on.

Chuck Colson is one of the more prolific writers and in his Breakpoint Commentary for May 18th he writes: “From the outside looking in, an intelligent observer can see the signs of a once-great civilization in decline: rising corruption, sexual licentiousness, and the abandonment of once-cherished moral principles. The once-great civilization is Western Christendom. And the outside observer is Indian scholar Vishal Mangalwadi. His new book, Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations shows how dearly the West is paying for abandoning the Christian worldview—the very worldview that made its greatness and prosperity possible. It is no coincidence, Mangalwadi argues, that reason, science, and advanced technology developed and thrived in the West. That’s because Western man believed that God created an orderly universe that could be explored and understood—and whose resources could be harnessed to benefit mankind…Mangalwadi wonders why the West, rich in material and political blessings, would turn away from the source of its success—the Christian worldview anchored in the Scriptures.”

Consider these things with me - - - Some of us grew up with an adage echoing in our minds: “What you are speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you say.” Someone wrote a Gospel song that contained these thoughts as well: “What you are speaks so loud the world can't hear what you say! They're looking at your walk, not listening to your talk…They'll judge you by your actions every day! Don’t believe, you’ll deceive, by claiming what you’ve never known…” We move along in life as though there is no consequence for the hollowness of speech and the emptiness of credible action. In Jeremiah 16:10-12, “And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God? then you shall say to them: Because your fathers have forsaken me…and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, and because you have done worse…for every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me…” Pontification and Articulation makes an impression and can sound good, but in the words of an old Wendy’s Advertisement: “Where’s the beef?” We are called to be witnesses (Acts 1:8). Are we proactive or inactive in that assignment?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

Unguarded moments and being dismissive of forethought can reveal many inner feelings and sentiments. In some instances, it would be an experience similar to riding with a square wheel, namely, anything but smooth and comfortable. An old and pithy reminder was: “Always remember to engage your brain before you operate your mouth.” The picture is drawn from older model cars that had a manual transmission and a clutch to engage the gears. If one did not depress the clutch, he would either strip the gears or remain motionless. If the clutch was released too quickly, the vehicle would hop (like a rabbit) rather than roll smoothly. This is the same truism with rhetoric. Another adage states: “Think before you speak!” There are illustrations where these principles seem to have been ignored and/or avoided - - -

An interesting entertainment news headline yesterday stated: “JIMMY KIMMEL DEMOLISHES ABC’S UPFRONTS…” The report goes on to say: At Tuesday afternoon’s upfront presentation in New York, Mr. Kimmel, the host of ABC’s late night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” delivered a withering, blistering monologue that took direct aim at ABC, its potential advertisers and his NBC late-night rival, Jay Leno… “Everything you’re going to hear this week is” nonsense. “Let’s get real here…These new fall shows? We’re going to cancel about 90 percent of them. Maybe more.” If ABC is so confident in its new fall shows, he asked, why is it announcing them at the same time it announces the midseason shows that will replace those fall shows? To the ABC advertisers…“Every year we lie to you and every year you come back for more. You don’t need an Upfront…“I think all our shows are going to work this year. I really do.” He paused. “I don’t, really. ”Before departing the stage, he said: The important thing to remember is: who cares, it’s not your money.”

In another article headlined, “REID JOINS BIDEN, PELOSI IN MISSTATEMENTS”, we read: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid became the latest Democrat to stray into rhetorical trouble Tuesday, botching statements on three subjects in one news conference…about… Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass; Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W. VA; and “Reid also mangled his party's position on the congressional news of the day, that Senate Democrats would join their House counterparts in withholding the money President Barack Obama needs to close the Guantanamo Bay prison until Obama comes up with a plan for relocating its prisoners…Reid went further…"We will never allow terrorists to be released into the United States…Part of what we don't want is them be put in prisons in the United States…We don't want them around the United States." Is this candor, rancor, or stupidity?

Consider these things with me - - - A very succinct statement of an opportunity and obligation for a wise person is stated in COLOSSIANS 4:5-6, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Gracious and Tasteful Speech is so important and vital. There is too much that comes across as crude, profane, belligerent, obnoxious and humorless. What is need is serious and constructive speech – not political rhetoric or other meaningless platitudes. There is a good rule given in JAMES 1:19-22, “Know this…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” There is one last observation on this subject in MATTHEW 12:34-37 where Jesus observes: “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Words have meanings, and meanings convey thoughts and inner feelings. Let us set a personal goal that our words will always be Gracious, Tasteful, and Effective as we live out and proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

It is obvious we are living in difficult economic times for far too many people. All too many have been looking to government for a resolve to their economic plight without realizing government is part of the problem. It reminds one of the POGO summary – “We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us.” This past weekend John King on his CNN telecast – The State Of The Union – traveled to Alabama and shared the following vignette from Selma with his viewers: “…Storefront after storefront is closed, and many of the buildings in the famous photos from the days of the historic March 1965 events have fallen into disrepair…People are not buying. People are not spending. Businesses are going out of business…This is the heart of Alabama's ‘Black Belt,’ and Selma is a reminder that a recession that has punished so many across America has hit hardest in places that were already struggling…Statewide, unemployment in Alabama has doubled in the past year from 4.5 percent to 9 percent. But here in Dallas County, it is 18.2 percent. In neighboring Wilcox County, is it more than 22 percent. That is staggering: One in five people you pass are unemployed…”

In a letter from Mark Earley (Prison Fellowship President), he shares: “Because of our year-round Angel Tree program, thousands of prisoners' children attended a Christian summer camp last year. Most of these kids had never been
to camp before. And although they may have arrived feeling alone and uncertain, they left with the gift of Christ's love and the support of Christians like you! Here's what Christian summer camps offer Angel Tree kids: A much-needed escape from an existence often marked by confusion, anger and loneliness to experience the scenic beauty of God's creation; Fun activities like swimming, hiking, biking, athletic competitions, campfires, arts and crafts, nature walks and building friendships; Meaningful one-on-one attention from caring, Christian adults that can blossom into year-round mentor-ships; A transformational emphasis on the Gospel to gain a life-changing understanding of their Heavenly Father's love through Jesus Christ.” Decreasing revenue may limit and hinder this valuable and caring ministry to some very need children and young people!

In a letter from Max Lucado, he shares: “Dadi’s mud-bricked shack seems even farther away than the 6,000 miles it is. I’m writing in the air conditioned and carpeted comfort of Detroit’s airport. Was it just three days ago Denalyn and I sat with Dadi and his family beneath the thatched roof of his Ethiopian hut? You’d need a four-wheel drive vehicle to reach them and a skilled team to find them…The needs are great: 45% of the country subsists on less than $1 a day. A quarter million children die every year from water-related diseases. Thousands rely upon dirty rivers or muddy holes for their water supply. Yet for all their problems, I’ve never seen such smiles. The Ethiopians are a soft, gentle, hospitable people. They brim with gratitude for the slightest act of kindness…With the aid of an interpreter, Dadi and I discussed the one thing we have in common: children. His five children range in age from 18 months to 18 years. He’s a farmer, but ever since a plague killed his ox, his soil has gone untilled. He’s making about 80 cents a day as a day laborer. I asked him what a new ox would cost. About $280. I’ve got seldom-worn blazers that cost more. All he needs is a helping hand…”

Consider these things with me - - - In Proverbs 24:10-12 we read: “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, But we knew nothing about this, does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” And, in James 2:14-16 we read: “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” We cannot meet all of the needs – but – we can try to assist with some! Commit yourself to doing all the good you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can. Be discerning and be compassionate! Be wise and be merciful! Be careful and be generous! Invest prudently in the lives of those who represent bonafide need!

Friday, May 15, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

A book by Newt Gingrich and his daughter, Jackie Cushman, became available this week. The title is: 5 PRINCIPLES FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE. In a review by Peter Roff in US “The 5 Principles are based upon Newt Gingrich attaining and being Speaker of the House of Representatives, namely, “…dream big, work hard, learn every day, enjoy life, and be true to yourself—through examples from his own life as well as through contributions from a group of notables including former NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw, political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, and Gen. David Petraeus, former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.” The authors also summarize: “We hope people understand that there are principles that lead to success, that life has its ups and downs, but if you live by these five principles, you can live life successfully."

In a broader sense, one should consider whether or not there is a tension between “principles” on the one hand, and “values on the other. The American Heritage Dictionary Defines PRINCIPLES as: “a basic truth, law, or assumption; a rule or standard, especially of good behavior: a man of principle; the collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments: a decision based on principle rather than expediency; a fixed or predetermined policy or mode of action…” VALUES are defined as: “…A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable… relative worth, merit, or importance…” Interestingly, the Dictionary gives definition for the areas of “Value” in Fine Arts; Mathematics; Music; Ethics; Sociology; and Mining. The Business Dictionary attempts to define Core Values as: “…Core values often influence the culture of an organization and are normally long-standing beliefs…; a small set of key concepts and ideals that guide a person's life and help him or her to make important decisions…” Almost absent in Dictionary Definition is any reference to one’s Foundational Principles or Core Values. This can also be viewed as one’s Moral Compass. A hint of this comes from a basically secular source: “The Core Values of The Boy Scouts of America are: “A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent.” Attached to this list of Values is a Mission Statement: “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

This week also had the latest Barna Report on The State of the Church under the heading: “Many Churchgoers and Faith Leaders Struggle to Define Spiritual Maturity.” Barna states: “The study showed five significant challenges when it comes to facilitating people’s spiritual growth: 1) Most Christians equate spiritual maturity with following the rules; 2) Most churchgoers are not clear what their church expects in terms of spiritual maturity; 3) Most Christians offer one-dimensional views of personal spiritual maturity; 4) Most pastors struggle with feeling the relevance as well as articulating a specific set of objectives for spirituality, often favoring activities over attitudes; and 5) Pastors are surprisingly vague about the biblical references they use to chart spiritual maturity for people.”

Consider these things with me - - - Barna also states: “…Church leaders believe the three primary obstacles to people’s engagement are lack of personal motivation (32%), other competing obligations and distractions (26%), and lack of involvement in activities that nurture growth (19%). In this respect, they do not seem too far off in their perceptions. Born again Christians identify distractions (24%), lack of motivation (20%), and lack of involvement (13%) as challenges they face, even if two of the three are mentioned less frequently by adults than pastors. Born again Christians, however, are more likely than pastors to identify sinful behaviors and habits as tripping them up (14% of believers versus 8% of pastors)…” It seems like the basics need more emphasis. Romans 12:1-3 indicates the need for Commitment of self as “a living sacrifice”; Transformation – “renewing of one’s mind”; and Conforming to the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” It isn’t that we are ignorant of the cure! It is more a failure to endure any discomfort or pain in order to achieve the remedy. What a difference Faith, Commitment and Obedience would make!

Friday, May 8, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

Special Days and times of the year conjure up all kinds of memories and nostalgic thoughts. This weekend we celebrate one of those very special days – Mother’s Day. One of the more interesting thoughts about this day were shared by a Humorist, Lewis Grizzard. He reminisced about his Mother and the following gives some indication for his reasoning: “His mother, Christine Word Atkinson, died in 1989 after a long illness. In many poignant columns and books, Grizzard wrote with near reverence of the former first-grade schoolteacher…Mama taught me that an education was necessary for a fuller life…She taught me an appreciation of the language. She taught a love of words, of how they should be used and how they can fill a creative soul with a passion and lead it to a life's work." After her death he wrote near the next Mother’s Day: “Don’t Forget To Call Your Mama – I Wish I Could Call Mine!

The Title of this Column, “NOT ALL WOMEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”, was motivated by the following taken from The Pastor’s Weekly Briefing: “MOTHER'S DAY: A MUCH DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE”…As we look forward to Mother's Day, I was reminded by Sydna Massé, the President of Ramah International, about the many women this weekend who might not be as joyful as others in your congregation when the topic of motherhood arises.
  • For many who have lost children, endured infertility or whose mothers have passed away, the annual 'Mother's Day' celebration can prove to be one of the most difficult days to endure. This holiday brings fresh memories of loss that can lead to depression, grief, guilt, anxiety and many other emotions that specifically relate to post-traumatic stress disorder. While most humans work to stifle these feelings in order to participate in the festival of honoring mothers, the overall sadness can often bring tears to the surface. The wounded hearts on Mother's Day fit all levels of our society — particularly those who have lost children. My pregnancy loss through abortion made this holiday incredibly difficult. My husband and young sons would work to make me feel like a queen and all I could do was miss the child I would never hold this side of heaven. After God's great healing, this day was easier, but still a trigger to my grief. This Mother's Day poses a new dilemma as my mother passed away in September. Please consider reaching out to us directly during this season. We fall into many categories: those who have miscarried children; still-born children; women with barren wombs; mothers who have lost children after they are born; individuals grieving mothers who have passed away; post-abortive women. We need the hope of God's healing and the comfort that a pastor's word can provide. Simply addressing our pain on this day with hope allows us to grieve. Those tears can only enhance God's potential healing."
Consider these things with me - In Genesis 2:18, 21-24, there is the account of Woman being created! “The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him…So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” The idea was that Man Needed Woman to be his helper, encourager, and to make him complete. In this day of considerable spousal abuse, it is important to note that God did not make Woman from a bone in his hand so he would slap or punch her; nor did he take a bone from his foot so he would kick or trample upon her – but God took a Rib – a bone near to the heart of man so he would love and cherish her; treat her with compassion, tenderness and kindness; and have a keen awareness of how vital she is to him, and how much he needs her close to his side. I can’t begin to imagine what life would be like to be without my favorite wife, friend and companion – the one God chose to be flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone – she is known as and called – My Peggy!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

The Associated Press reported yesterday: “OBAMA PLANS A SCALED BACK NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER. The White House is planning a muted observance of Thursday's National Day of Prayer, a response that has disappointed both Christian conservatives and an atheist group that wants to end the tradition. Congress established the day in 1952 and in 1988 set the first Thursday in May as the day for presidents to issue proclamations asking Americans to pray. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama would issue such a proclamation Thursday but not hold any public events with religious leaders as President George W. Bush did. Obama's decision drew a rebuke from the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a private group that promotes prayer events around the country. The task force estimates 2 million Americans attended more than 40,000 events marking the day last year. We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama administration, said task force chairwoman Shirley Dobson…At this time in our country's history, we would hope our President would recognize more fully the importance of prayer.” In USA Today, their report included the White House Official’s statement: “President Obama is a committed Christian and believes that we should be engaging Americans of faith in efforts to renew our country, He is following the tradition of Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and others by signing a proclamation honoring the National Day of Prayer, while continuing to work with communities of faith to improve our country."

There was considerable notice given to a statement by President Obama that the USA is no longer “A Christian nation…” Note: In June 2008 (before his election), Candidate Obama stated: “Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation and a nation of nonbelievers.” While many would take issue and umbrage (offense; resentment) with that assessment and opinion, nevertheless 69,498,215 Americans voted to elect Barack Obama to be the President of this nation. In NEALZ NEWZ for June 3rd, 2003, the following appears: “For those of you…who are so fond of insisting that the United States is, in some official capacity, a Christian nation, here's an excerpt from Thomas Jefferson's autobiography:
  • The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that it's protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word Jesus Christ, so that it should read a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion. The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it's protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and…infidel of every denomination.
Most of the people who would benefit from this Jeffersonian thought will be unable to understand it.”

Consider these things with me - - - Even though this President may not choose to be involved in a public National Day of Prayer event, we are still responsible and obligated to pray for him and his cabinet; to pray for all government leaders regardless of their political affiliation; to pray for all who have authority. To a persecuted people, the Apostle Peter wrote (I PETER 2:16-17): “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, HONOR THE KING.” In a similar and extended way, the Apostle Paul wrote (I TIMOTHY 2:1-4): “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, PRAYERS, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- FOR KINGS (PRESIDENTS) AND ALL THOSE IN AUTHORITY, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Be thankful we continue to have the privilege of prayer for such a time as this – use it effectively!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

Life is often affected by an ebb and flow pattern. There are high and low points along the way - times of conflict(s), hardship(s), challenge(s) – as well as times of triumph, prosperity, advances. In the midst of this pattern, there should also be a constant; a foundation; a value system that will enable one to survive any peak or valley situation or circumstance. A person’s being is complex - composed of body, soul and spirit – and the internal interaction as each needs to be satisfied. If there is no constant; no foundation; no value system – then frustration and despair become the overwhelming realities. What should be a constant, a foundation, a value system for our nation today? As we look at the horizon of our world, what should be our focus (or, Who should be our focus)? Tomorrow, May 7th, we will observe the 58th National Day of Prayer – a time when the attention and focus of the populace is to be on our Constant; our Foundation; our Value System – the Almighty and Eternal God. The theme for this year is “Prayer - America's Hope" and is based on the verse from PSALM 33:22 which states: “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”

Prayer has always been used in this country for guidance, protection and strength-even before we were a nation or a handful of colonies. The Pilgrims at Plymouth relied on prayer during their first and darkest winter. Our founding fathers also called for prayer during the Constitutional Congress. In their eyes, our recently created nation and freedoms were a direct gift from God. And being a gift from God, there was only one way to insure protection - through prayer. An example is seen as Great Britain came under steady and fierce attack during World War II, British and French troops were trapped by the German Army at Dunkirk. The situation was hopeless. It was May 1940. Hitler’s army had already invaded and conquered Poland, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium. The French Army, along with large numbers of English soldiers, bravely tried to stop the oncoming enemy army, but after 40 days of fighting, the Allied forces were completely routed. They retreated as far as the English Channel. The churches in Britain called for a day of prayer to be held on Sunday, May 26. On the evening of the National Day of Prayer, an order was issued for boats of all sizes and shapes to cross the English Channel and rescue as many men as possible. Naval ships couldn’t get close to the beaches for rescue, so small boats were critical in transporting men to the larger ships – or all the way to British shores. In all, 336,000 men were rescued with little boats and yachts alike…God responded to the prayers of His people and used imperfect people to affect the outcome of the rescue. And He can still do that today.

On the Eve of the D-Day Invasion, June 6, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called for this nation to unite in prayer. He also offered a prayer to prepare each citizen for the road ahead. In part, his prayer contained the words: “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. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violence of war….Let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be. And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee…"

Consider these things with me - - - It is not too late to implement II CHRONICLES 7:14 “…if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” If You Care, You Will Observe A Day Of Prayer!

Monday, May 4, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

We all have some knowledge of History (for all too many, it is a scant knowledge). We are also familiar with the phrase: “Those who forget (or ignore) History are doomed to repeat it.” It is both important and significant when a current Historian - David Kaiser – shares some of his concerns and observations. David Kaiser is a professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the United States Naval War College and has previously taught...Harvard University. He Observes: "I am a student of history…I have come to think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is simply a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Something of historic proportions is happening…We learned…that the Federal Reserve…has loaned two trillion dollars over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. Why?...We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it simply wants marriage to remain defined as between one man and one woman)…Our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, social security is nearly bankrupt…"

Then there is a Muslim-Demographic Video released that gives rise to the possibility that the fertility rates in the world are askew and they will soon supplant national populations ( It suggests that “Germany has the lowest birthrate in Europe, with an average of 1.36 children per woman. Despite government incentives to encourage larger families, the population is dropping rapidly and that trend will continue, with an expected loss of as much as 12 million by 2050. That would mean about a 15 percent drop from the country’s current population of 82.4 million, the German news source Deutsche Welle reported today. Germany has one of the largest populations of Muslim immigrants in Western Europe, with a Muslim community of over 3 million. The trend is expected to continue, leading some demographic trend-watchers to warn that the country is well on the way to becoming a Muslim state by 2050…A Culture requires a fertility rate of no less than 2.11…Historically, no culture has ever reversed a 1.9 fertility rate…A rate of 1.3 is impossible to reverse…Nationmaster (which took it’s numbers from the CIA World Factbook) indicates: the actual fertility rates are: France -1.98; England - 1.66; Greece - 1.36; Germany - 1.41; Italy - 1.3; Spain - 1.3.” The concern raised is the prospect for demographic shifting throughout the world. An illustration given is that France currently has a fertility rate of 1.8 Children per family, whereas the Muslim fertility rate is 8.1…” At that rate, France would become a Muslim nation near the year 2025.

Consider these things with me - - - The latest data from the Population Reference Bureau shows there are 20 countries in the world with negative or zero natural population growth. This is unprecedented in history! The country with the highest decrease in the natural birth rate is Ukraine, with 0.8% each year. Ukraine is expected to lose 28% of their population between now and 2050 (from 46.8 million now to 33.4 million in 2050). Russia and Belarus follow close behind at a 0.6% natural decrease and Russia will lose 22% of their population by 2050 – that is a loss of more than 30 million people (from 142.3 million today to 110.3 million in 2050). Japan is the only non-European country in the list and it has a 0% natural birth increase and is expected to lose 21% of its population by 2050 (shrinking from 127.8 million to a mere 100.6 million in 2050). How does this square with the Cultural Mandate of Scripture? It doesn’t! In GENESIS 1:28-29, “So God created man in his own image…male and female…And God blessed them and said…Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Cultural Mandate means our original purpose was to create cultures, build civilizations and exercise adequate care for the created world. It never allowed or meant that ZPG would be an acceptable alternative or become a guideline to replace the Biblical Mandate!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

In a somewhat twisted way, it is interesting to observe a building Implode. Implosion is: “A violent collapse inward…Violent compression…The inward collapse of a building that is being demolished in a controlled fashion by the weakening and breaking of structural members by explosives.” The marvel is that which took weeks, months, and years to build at considerable cost can so abruptly and quickly be demolished into a pile of rubble. Many times the sole reason for the planned implosion is to make room for something more grandiose and appealing. Examples of this can be seen in the more recent efforts by Donald Trump with his buildings and acquisitions, and Steve Wynn in Las Vegas with huge casino properties. A December 2008 report states: “Wynn Resorts Ltd. CEO Steve Wynn says his swanky $2.3 billion Encore Casino—is about perfecting the basics. Better service, nicer rooms, better lighting…Wynn will have to keep prices low to keep people booking its 2,034 suites. That's because while Wynn is doing well, Las Vegas is not.” In other words, there is an economic implosion occurring.

The more serious type of Implosion is when it occurs in human lives. A casual observer can point to politicians, educators and religious leaders who grew careless in their personal preferences and lifestyle choices and lost the trust and confidence of people who had either elected them to office, or followed them because of their convincing rhetoric. It is obvious that self-discipline is too often sacrificed for some momentary gain or pleasure and careers come to a sudden halt as a result. In looking at a recent Book Review on Leadership, one telling point is made under the Chapter entitled: LAUGHTER SUSTAINS OUR SANITY: THE LEADER'S FUNNY BONE. There is a Symptom Checklist given: “(1) When I look in the mirror, I see sadness on my face and realize I have lost my sense of joy; (2) I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard that it hurt; (3) When I join a group, things always seem to get more serious instead of more fun." The Book addresses the totality of man – body, soul, spirit, mind. The idea is that ones life needs to be carefully monitored and foundational values constantly safeguarded. The Reviewer Notes: "Leaders must learn to laugh. We must laugh at ourselves, laugh with each other, and also laugh at some of the silliness we face in our work... If we take everything we do seriously, we will wither up and die on the inside. If we can't open the pressure valve with laughter, we just might explode (or Implode). So laugh or die. It's up to you."

There are several who believe our nation is flirting with implosion based upon: (1) economic choices; (2) immigration policy; (3) Views regarding Terrorism; etc. On March 23, 2009, reported: “Instead of referring to threats from terrorists, Janet Napolitano is referring in her speeches to “man-caused disasters.” In an interview, a reporter for Germany’s Spiegel Online asked Napolitano whether her avoidance of the term terrorism means that “Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer poses a threat to your country?” “Of course it does,” Napolitano replied. “I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word ‘terrorism,’ I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.” By this logic, the FBI should refer to serial killers and serial rapists as ‘man-caused afflictions.’ After all, we do not want to create fear about serial killers.”

Consider these things with me - - - APOLOGETICS PRESS shares the following: “…A pernicious plague of moral insanity is creeping insidiously through American civilization. Far more deadly than the external threat of terrorism, this domino effect will ultimately end in the moral implosion of America. Indeed, America is being held captive by moral and judicial terrorism. Those at the forefront of the attempt to coerce the country into altering its long-standing code of moral values are activist judges…they apparently see themselves as the appropriate architects of social change by usurping their constitutional role and legislating from the bench…” Is this a correct assessment? How close are we to a national implosion? Can it be averted? How? A starting point would be MICAH 6:8, “He (The Lord) has told you…what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God!” The sooner we begin, and get back on track, the less likely we will be to Implode! No Debate Needed - – Just Action!

Friday, May 1, 2009


From My Perspective - - -

Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Rumbles of War in Pakistan and Sri Lanka; Nuclear Posturing in North Korea and Iran; Attestations and Assertions of Israel in terms of Hamas and Iran – and – Howard Kurtz reported in the Washington Post on April 30, 2009 – ONE SMOOTH TALKER - “Barack Obama hit his cruising speed last night. He glided from swine flu to torture, from Chrysler to Pakistan, from the Specter defection to abortion to immigration, seemingly without breaking a sweat. He broke up the East Room crowd when Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times asked what had surprised, enchanted, humbled and troubled him about the office, insisting on writing down each verb. And he gave an answer that actually involved thinking out loud.” I suppose some would view this as “serious journalism” but perhaps it is the enchantment of the press corps with their chosen one.

ENCHANTED is an interesting verb. It means – “to cast a spell over; bewitch; to attract and delight; entrance…” A synonym for enchanted is to be “charmed”! It sounds like it is magical and mystical; bordering on the psychic, mediums, astrologers, etc. It might cause one to hark back to the 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicale, South Pacific where a romantic lyric – Some Enchanted Evening – was popularized…
Some enchanted evening, You may see a stranger,
you may see a stranger Across a crowded room,
And somehow you know, You know even then
That somewhere you'll see her Again and again.

Who can explain it? Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons, Wise men never try.

Some enchanted evening When you find your true love,
When you feel her call you Across a crowded room,
Then fly to her side, And make her your own
Or all through your life you May dream all alone.

Once you have found her, Never let her go.
Once you have found her, Never let her go!

Consider these things with me - - - Have we become so far removed from reality in our country that all a reporter can think to ask the President of the most powerful nation in the world: “what has…enchanted you…”? In a time of increased bankruptcies; financial failures and apprehension; growing numbers of foreclosures and unemployment; a mood of panic regarding a potential fatal flu epidemic; wars and threats of wars – and the question is: “what has…enchanted you…”? Have we really become that dumb and irresponsible in times that try men’s bodies, souls and spirits? There could have been and should have been questions raised regarding a one world currency and government – but – No! – the concern is about being “enchanted”! One would do much better to consider the credence of REVELATION 13:11-18 about times that could suddenly occur, “I saw another beast rising out of the earth…It exercises all authority…It performs great signs…and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth…Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark - the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.” Will stored resources be of any value or benefit in such a day? Very unlikely unless one compromises personal commitments, values, and belief system in order to survive. Yes – it will be a time that will test men’s souls – and cause those with weak faith or skepticism to cry out, “Even so, Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)… Don’t be like those who ignored the Ark in Noah’s Day until it was too late… NOW is The Day – NOW is Your Time – to believe!