Monday, March 29, 2010

Can't Win For Losing

From My Perspective - - -

The phrase “Can’t Win For Losing” is a common one employed when best efforts are either frustrated and/or fail to accomplish the desired ends. It is not primarily focusing upon the Health Care Reform issues, or Tea Party Movements, or an analysis that leads one to believe Capitalism is lost and Socialism has replaced it. When frustrated and feeling helpless, a person may shrug and exclaim: “I Just Can’t Win for Losing!” Politically – one might feel that way - but there is more to life, culture and the world than just American Politics and Posturing.

Consider this news item and headline: “Invasion of the Grasshoppers” or “Day of the Grasshopper Looms”! The Wall Street Journal in a March 28th item states: “Farmers and ranchers across the West are bracing for a grasshopper infestation that could devastate millions of acres of crops and land used for grazing. Over the coming weeks, federal officials say, grasshoppers will likely hatch in bigger numbers than any year since 1985. Hungry swarms caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage that year when they devoured corn, barley, alfalfa, beets - even fence posts and the paint off the sides of barns…A federal survey of 17 states taken last fall found critically high numbers of adult grasshoppers in parts of Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Each mature female lays hundreds of eggs. So the population could be very, very high this year…Grasshoppers, which typically thrive in the west at densities of about eight mature insects per square yard, are a healthy part of the eco-system - and food for birds such as the sage grouse. But last fall, surveys found 15 per square yard in hot spots, and those numbers are expected to rise this summer. Peak infestation areas can easily hit 60 or more hungry hoppers per square yard - a population so dense that they swarm over every surface on passing cars, cover country roads like a rug and lie so thick on grassy patches. To try to get ahead of the problem, Wyoming has allocated $2.7 million for suppression efforts, including aerial spraying of the pesticide Dimilin, which is fatal to maturing grasshoppers…”

For those desiring to provide for themselves, the Grasshopper/Locust issue is an added frustration. This is especially true when one reads another Headline: “CBO report: Debt will rise to 90% of GDP.” One becomes dismayed when reading: “The Fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than originally projected, and raise the federal debt to 90% of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.” It gives little comfort to know: “The Federal Public Debt, which was $6.3 trillion ($56,000 per household at the start of 2009), totals $8.2 trillion ($72,000 per household) today, and it's headed toward $20.3 trillion (more than $170,000 per household) in 2020, according to CBO's deficit estimates. That figure would equal 90% of the estimated gross domestic product in 2020, up from 40% at the end of fiscal 2008. By comparison, America's debt-to-GDP ratio peaked at 109% at the end of World War II, while the ratio for economically troubled Greece hit 115% last year.”

One wonders if a Headline in the non-too-distant future might appear about this nation: O, How The Mighty Have Fallen! What should one due if a plague of grasshoppers comes upon a portion of the nation? What can one do if the nation bankrupts itself – and effectively loses prestige and power in the world? Must one be relegated to those who feel helpless and frustrated, and exclaim with them: “I Just Can’t Win For Losing!”? Perhaps we should learn from a Prophet of God who faced similar challenges. In Habakkuk 3:17-19, a day of great calamity and after Habakkuk had asked the Lord for the answer to the personal and national plight, he comes to this conclusion: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” It may take desperate times to get people to redirect their priorities and focus toward God, and God Alone. There is still time to do this – but – it needs to be done soon - now! Consider these things with me!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stupak Stupefied

From My Perspective - - -

Passions are an interesting phenomena. Passions are both unpredictable in terms of how and when they will be revealed, and are usually uncharacteristic of the one displaying them. A small furor has begun following the flip-flop of Rep. Bart Stupak and how he was opposed to the Health Care Reform, and then allowed himself to be bartered into voting for it. Peggy Noonan, in The Wall Street Journal on March 26th, included some of the messages – greatly edited – that had been received by the Stupefied Stupak. She writes: “These are messages left by individuals who appear to be pro-life activists—that is, people who have put themselves on the line to support generous and compassionate treatment of the unborn. “I hope you bleed out your ___, get cancer and die.” “You will rue the day…I hope you’re haunted the rest of your living day…We think you’re a devil…The country loathes you.” “You are one big piece of human ____. There are people across the country who wish you ill, and all of those thoughts projected on you will materialize into something that’s not very good for you. Go to hell, you piece of ____.” These are people whose professed mission it is to save children. Whatever else these particular individuals are, they are people whose nerves have been rubbed raw. Responsible leaders on all levels of American life ought to stop, breathe in, and see the level of anger and agitation that’s rippling through the country. Both sides should try to cool it, or something bad is going to happen. In fact I am struck now by how, when I worry aloud about this and say to a conservative or a liberal, a Republican or a Democrat, that I fear something bad is going to happen, no one disagrees. No one says, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing.” They say—again, left right and center: I’m afraid of that too.”

With a slight tongue-in-cheek approach, an item written by Renee James on March 25th and posted on The Daily Caller is entitled: Short-Lived Adventures In Bill-Reading, she noted: “I am what you might call completely average. By that I mean I watched the health-care debate come to life, heat up, and start to cool off. I listened to commentary by “journalists” and talk show hosts on everything from CNN to MSNBC to Fox; read pieces in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, on The Huffington Post and on The Daily Caller. Oh, on Facebook, too. This week, I attempted to read the bill and try to understand it. tracked 224,369 previous views of the bill posted on their site. That means 99,775,631 more people voted in the final round of “American Idol” last year than had read this bill on their site, or .224 percent of “American Idol” voters…” One of the problems in its being read may be – “The July PDF contained 1,018 pages. The October document stood at 1,990 pages. The bill approved by the House in November had 2,070 pages… But I found some highlights to share: Qualified Health Benefits Plan OFFERING ENTITY.—The terms ‘‘QHBP offering entity’’ means, with respect to a health benefits plan that is—(A) a group health plan (as defined, subject to subsection (d), in section 733(a)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), the plan sponsor in relation to such group health plan, except that, in the case of a plan maintained jointly by 1 or more employers and 1 or more employee organizations and with respect to which an employer is the primary source of financing, such term means such employer… Got that?”

Someone needs to begin to display some Biblical and Christian qualities. There are many reminders in the Bible regarding the display of Kindness and Gentleness. It is asking a lot to expect this culture to embrace Christian Principles for Behavior – but – it should be considered. Consider these words – excerpts from - Ephesians 4:29-32, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another…” Note these same words from The Message translation: “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift - - Don't take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive….” Don’t you let yourself fall into the quagmire of becoming Stupak Stupefied! You can be one of those who begins a gentler and kinder dialogue in our nation and culture that is marked too often by rancor (bitter, rankling resentment or ill will; hatred; malice) and anger. Consider these things with me!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Applauding A Train Wreck

From My Perspective - - -

Political Pendulums are fascinating to observe! Why? Most of the time they have little, if any, connection to reality. The concern of too many professional politicians is, “what can I do to increase the voter base in order to retain my office and job”! While the Politicians (entirely Democrats) were shown displaying merriment and applauding vigorously their “victory for the people” with the passage of the Health Reform Legislation, The New York Times headlined the following: “Social Security to See Payout Exceed Pay-In This Year” by Mary Williams Walsh, March 24, 2010. In the mad dash for Health Care Reform, the reality of Social Security has received little or no attention by the Professional Politicians. They are too busy applauding their newest Train Wreck in the making. What is the explanation for this Social Security reality?

The article states: “The bursting of the real estate bubble and the ensuing recession have hurt jobs, home prices and now Social Security. This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that while the Congressional projection would probably be borne out, the change would have no effect on benefits in 2010 and retirees would keep receiving their checks as usual. The problem, he said, is that payments have risen more than expected during the downturn, because jobs disappeared and people applied for benefits sooner than they had planned. At the same time, the program’s revenue has fallen sharply, because there are fewer paychecks to tax. Analysts have long tried to predict the year when Social Security would pay out more than it took in because they view it as a tipping point — the first step of a long, slow march to insolvency, unless Congress strengthens the program’s finances. Interestingly, the calculation includes that the Social Security Trust Fund won’t reach zero until the year 2037. The Problem is – the trust fund only has government IOUs in it – the money has been spent on other things.

Other realities that are seemingly ignored include the passage of Medicare in 1966 with a cost projection of $9 Billion by the year 1990 - the projection was incorrect inasmuch as it exceeded $110 Billion in that time frame. In order to arrive at a projected “savings” for the new Health Care Reform, it includes a reduction in Medicare funding in the amount of $500 billion. Supposedly, this money will be found by ending fraud and abuse in the system! Someone has suggested 12 Possible Scenarios (guesses) of where Health Care Reform will bring us: (1) Cost overruns; (2) Fraud; (3) Additional coverage extended to groups; (4) Rising deficits in the program; (5) Lower payments to physicians; (6) Lower payments to hospitals; (7) Delays in payments; (8) Rising taxes on the rich; (9) Rationing by doctors, hospitals, government; (10) Delays in treatment; (11) More HMO care, assembly line medicine(12) A search for scapegoats.” Regrettably, many of those “guesses” are already realities (Check the Medicaid funding and reimbursement in most States).

One of the primary issues rests with having Correct Cost Calculations before embarking on a course and in a direction where there are too many variables. When Jesus Christ was challenging people to become a disciple, He told them they should make a Correct Cost Calculation. In Luke 14:28-30, we read: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” In this context, the cost includes identity with the Cross, and one’s taking it up daily, and then following Jesus Christ. The Message Translations words it: “If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you're going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: He started something he couldn't finish…” How long will it take for Health Care Reform to exceed estimates and catch up to the insolvency of Medicare and Social Security? Will those who applauded it’s passage be there when it fails? Who will Applaud that sure to happen Train Wreck? More importantly, how does one follows Jesus Christ. Have you Correctly Calculated the Cost of following Him? What about the cost of not following Him? Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


From My Perspective - - -

Backroom Deals! Appointment of a relative to a Judgeship! State Exemptions for Medicaid in Nebraska! Medicare Advantage Exemption in Florida! And then, this news item reported across the Media: “Three airports in the district of infamous fence-sitting and ultimately kowtowing Democrat Bart Stupak were awarded $726,409 in grants by the Obama Administration just two days before a vote on Obama and Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare. Did Stupak compromise his supposed principled stand against taxpayer funding of abortion in exchange for taxpayer dollars for pet projects? Alpena County Regional Airport received a $85,500 grant, but had only 7,519 passenger boardings in 2008 (the most recent year for which there is information) according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data. Alpena County Regional Airport serves fewer passengers than even the late Rep. John Murtha’s famous Airport for Nobody. Delta County Airport has even less customers than that, but still received a $179,209 grant. Chippewa County International Airport received a $461,700 grant, but had only 13,733 passenger boardings in 2008. Will Stupak come clean about this apparent backroom deal for his vote?”

Today’s Daily Devotional in Day By Day by Charles R. Swindoll is “Nostalgic Musings”. He writes: “I strolled down Nostalgia Lane with a September 4, 1939, copy of Time magazine. What a journey! Pickups sold for $465 and best-selling books cost $2. Big news in the music world was Bing Crosby, whose records sold for 35 cents…What was most intriguing, however, was the international scene, as presented by the staff writers. The threat of war was a slumbering giant, and Adolf Hitler's name appeared on almost every page of the Foreign News section. President Franklin Roosevelt was busy calming the troubled waters of our nation's fear of war, speaking openly of his lovely hope for peace. In spite of the Nazi war machine that had already consumed Italy, Sicily, Albania, and was primed to pounce on Poland, Hungary, Belgium, and France, the talk in America was amazingly casual - a smug, business-as-usual attitude. How naive we were! Who knows? Fifty years from now we could be leafing through a Time Magazine yellow with age, feeling a nostalgic twinge and smiling at what we consider modern times. We will no doubt notice the business-as-usual look on our faces, only to be seized with the realization that we had no idea what a ragged edge we were living on in our relaxed American culture. If indeed there is an America fifty years from now. We need to be alert. Sometimes the best of times may be a breeding ground for the worst of times.”

In the ongoing focus and reaction to Healthcare Legislation, without missing a beat, The Hill reports: “Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-California), the co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said she plans to unveil legislation to add the government-run option to the national healthcare exchange established by legislation President Barack Obama is to sign tomorrow. We will introduce a robust public option bill on the very day the president signs the reconciliation bill into law, Woolsey said Monday during an interview on MSNBC. The public insurance option had been a part of the healthcare legislation first approved by the House in November, but Senate Democratic leaders were forced to abandon the provision after it became clear that they wouldn't be able to get all 60 Democrats to sign onto legislation containing that provision…”

Swindoll continues: “…it is easy to forget the prophet's warning to beware of those who superficially heal the brokenness of a nation by announcing "peace, peace" when "there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11). And if we feel sufficiently comfortable and relaxed, it's mighty easy to block from our minds the Savior's prediction of wars and rumors of wars and His warning that "many false prophets will arise and mislead many" (Matthew 24:6-7, 11). The “Me Generation” has won a battle that pleases and satisfies them for now – but – what about down the road – increased taxes; closure of businesses; fines imposed by the IRS for failure to buy Health Insurance, etc.? The Christian who abides in Jesus Christ will retain his/her peace! Jesus Christ assures His followers (John 16:33), “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." It would be wise to turn to Him! Consider these things with me!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gullibility Leading To Culpability

From My Perspective - - -

The Drudge Report Emblazoned Headline reads: “A Date Which Will Live In Infirmary.” In summary: “On the cusp of succeeding where numerous past congresses and administrations have failed, jubilant House Democrats voted 219-212 late Sunday (March 21st) to send legislation to Obama that would extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, reduce deficits and ban insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions…A last-minute deal with a critical group of anti-abortion lawmakers Sunday afternoon sealed Democrats' victory. The leader of the anti-abortion bloc, Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, didn't get to add stricter anti-abortion language to the underlying bill, but was satisfied by an executive order signed by Obama affirming current law and provisions in the legislation that ban federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother…” How Gullible can one be?

Gullibility means: “easily deceived or cheated.” Culpability means: “deserving blame or censure…” People who are involved in making laws that imposed upon the willing and unwilling should (a) have basic common sense, (b) have some knowledge of past and similar actions, and (c) that the sole purpose of a reversible Executive Order is to gain a vote for passage of legislation that a majority of the citizens in this nation did not want. Whatever happened to “The People’s House” and elected officials “Representing” their constituents? Phyllis Schlafly, president and founder of the conservative grassroots public policy organization Eagle Forum, made the following remarks after the public announcement that formerly pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak (D-MI) will cast a "yes" vote for the Senate health care bill today in the House: "It is naive for any elected official, especially one who describes himself as 'pro-life,' to expect that a promise to issue an Executive Order that reasserts the intentions of the Hyde Amendment will be fulfilled by the most pro-abortion president to ever sit in the White House. Perhaps Mr. Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats forget that President Obama's first Executive Order was the repeal of the Mexico City Policy to allow for international funding of abortion."

The place where Bart Stupak may have been duped is in believing an Executive Order is irrevocable and unamendable. The key here is in the last two sentences of the quote below. American Government and Politics Online ( states the following regarding an Executive Order by a President: “Executive Orders have been used by every chief executive since the time of George Washington. Most of these directives were unpublished and were only seen by the agencies involved. In the early 1900s, the State Department began numbering them; there are now over 13,000 numbered orders. Orders were retroactively numbered going back to 1862 when President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus and issued the Emancipation Proclamation by Executive Order. There are also many other Executive Orders that have not been numbered because they have been lost due to bad record-keeping. Such is not the problem today. All new Executive Orders are easily accessible…Many important policy changes have occurred through Executive Orders. Harry Truman integrated the armed forces under Executive Order. President Eisenhower used an EO to desegregate schools. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson used them to bar racial discrimination in federal housing, hiring, and contracting. President Reagan used an Executive Order to bar the use of federal funds for advocating abortion. President Clinton reversed this order when he came into office.

Jesus Christ gave a simple guideline to His Disciples – Matthew 10:16 (NIV) – “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” In The Message Translation, it reads: "Stay alert. This is hazardous work I'm assigning you. You're going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack…Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove. Don't be naive.” Proverbs 24:10-12 is still applicable today: 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…” Did the Congress falter once again? Is the Congressman from Michigan Gullible (and now Culpable)? Consider these things with me!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Man's Word Is His Bond (Or Is It?)

From My Perspective - - -

A phrase attributed to Miguel de Cervantes is: "An honest man's word is as good as his bond." This was a standard in the early days of our nation. It continues as an innate readiness for many today. Somewhere along the way, Situational Ethics was introduced and accepted as a reasonable lifestyle, and the Philosophy that the end justifies the means was embraced. This is a very old phrase dating back and attributed to The Greek playwright Sophocles who wrote in Electra (c 409 B.C.), 'The end excuses any evil,' a thought later rendered by the Roman poet Ovid as 'The result justifies the deed' in 'Heroides' (c. 10 B.C.)." [From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner, Avon Books, New York, 1993].

If we fast-forward to our world today, how reliable is a man’s word? Can it be received and accepted as one saying what he means and meaning what he says? If a person swears to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – so help me God!”, shouldn’t that mean that what is spoken will be precise, exact and honest? The following was publicly stated some time ago: “The way to make government responsible is to hold it accountable and the way to hold it accountable is to make it transparent so that the American people can know exactly what decisions are being made, how they are being made and whether their interests are being well-served. The directives I am giving my administration today on how to interpret the Freedom of Information Act will do just that. For a long time now, there has been too much secrecy in this city. The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over. Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known...the mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret doesn't mean you should always use it." These are the words of President Obama in 2009. However, The Associated Press has reported the following: “When President Obama took office, he famously aspired to be the leader in administrative transparency, but now he finds himself struggling to enforce it within his own government. In fiscal year 2009, 17 major governmental agencies refused to release information, claiming legal exemptions, 466,872 times, an increase of nearly 50 percent from the previous year…In 2008, the government refused 312,683 requests made under the Freedom of Information Act…”

Being President of anything is in and of itself daunting and challenging at the very least! That being said, keeping one’s word should be as natural as breathing! Ecclesiastes 5:1-6 (NLT) reminds one what is acceptable before and in the Presence of God. “As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut! Don't be a fool who doesn't realize that mindless offerings to God are evil. And don't make rash promises to God, for he is in heaven, and you are only here on earth. So let your words be few. Just as being too busy gives you nightmares, being a fool makes you a blabbermouth. So when you make a promise to God, don't delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to promise something that you don't follow through on. In such cases, your mouth is making you sin. And don't defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.” When one places his/her hand on The Holy Bible, and takes an oath of office or to give witness to what is true - Integrity in Speech and a Factual representation should be the minimum expectation.

What is expected from others, should also be the behavior of us all. In I Corinthians 1:19-20 (NLT), we read: “As the Scriptures say, I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas. So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world's brilliant debaters? God has made them all look foolish and has shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense.” Jesus said (Matthew 5:37 – NLT): Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I won't.' Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong.“ Can anyone - - everyone - - rely on your word? If not, why not? Consider these things with me!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Conceptualize: The Goose and The Gander

From My Perspective - - -

The English Language has many idioms. One of them is: “What’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander.” At the very least, it has a possible gender meaning- such as: What’s good for the Male (Gander) should be equally good for the Female (Goose). It is most often used as an explanation for retribution or retaliation – such as, when someone gets back at someone else, makes things even, the justification being if it was good for you to do it to me (or for someone to do it to someone else), it's good for me to do it to you (or for that someone else to do it back to that someone).

Another idiom is “Tit for Tat.” An explanation of “Tit for Tat” in Wikipedia is very interesting. “Tit for Tat is an English saying meaning ‘equivalent retaliation’. It is also a highly effective strategy in game theory for the iterated prisoner's dilemma. It was first introduced by Anatol Rapoport in Robert Axelrod's two tournaments, held around 1980. An agent using this strategy will initially cooperate, then respond in kind to an opponent's previous action. If the opponent previously was cooperative, the agent is cooperative. If not, the agent is not. This strategy is dependent on four conditions that has allowed it to become the most prevalent strategy for the prisoner's dilemma: (1) Unless provoked, the agent will always cooperate; (2) If provoked, the agent will retaliate; (3) The agent is quick to forgive; (4) The agent must have a good chance of competing against the opponent more than once. In the last condition, the definition of ‘good chance’ depends on the payoff matrix of the prisoner's dilemma. The important thing is that the competition continues long enough for repeated punishment and forgiveness to generate a long-term payoff higher than the possible loss from cooperating initially.”

With the above idiom explanations, there is an application to the current Health Care Proposals, Debate, and Pending Enactment. The idea is – if the Health Care Legislation is so good and necessary for the citizenry, why is it not good for the Congress of the United States, and the President, and Labor Unions? Why do they have a choice when the remainder of the citizenry is not afforded the same choice? Why is it that Presidential and Congressional determination is mandated upon the populace that is indicating they do not want this change and Health Care requirement? Why is it that those who will legislate and enact ignore the latest WSJ-NBC News poll regarding President Obama’s Health Care initiative where it is indicated and demonstrated that only 36 percent of all poll participants thought the plan was a good idea at this time? Why is it that they disregard Poll Participants who sent an unambiguous message to Congress - only 17 percent approved of the job lawmakers on Capitol Hill are currently doing, and 50 percent of all respondents said that, given the option, they would vote out every member of Congress, including their own representative? How did the nation arrive at such a blatant disconnect?

One other idiom (cliché) is: “Look Before You Leap.” The basic idea is to “think carefully about what you are about to do before you do it.” Most of us were reared with a constant reminder regarding The Golden Rule, namely, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This should be something deemed very serious and of great importance. After all, in The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminded his followers (Matthew 7:12) “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” An underlying moral mandate is given in Leviticus 19:18, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” The summary of Christian focus is given by Jesus Christ in Luke 10:25-28, “…an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. Teacher…what must I do to inherit eternal life? What is written in the Law? Jesus replied. How do you read it? He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself. You have answered correctly, Jesus replied. Do this and you will live." No one can improve on that guideline, instruction and mandate. The Congress could argue that this justifies enactment of Universal Health Care. Well, then, why don’t they use it themselves before they mandate that everyone else must use it except them? Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Insulting More Than Intelligence

From My Perspective - - -

Do you ever get weary of the “News” and “Commentary” (that is becoming more and more predictable and boring)? Do you ever wish or pray that the Members of Congress would get real jobs and quit tampering with the Constitution and our lives? Have you come to a place where everything seems to be more topsy-turvy than practical and functional? Do you really believe that Government is looking out for you and generations that will follow? Do you wish you had a remote or button where you could push it and turn off all of this talk and convoluted (twisted; complicated; intricately involved) change of direction in our nation? Do you have an increasing sense that those who govern have crossed a line where they are insulting more than your intelligence by what they propose and enact?

Insults are a type of art-form. If one was to reciprocate in terms of the mish-mash being sent our way day after day, maybe some of the following would apply. These are taken from a list entitled: When Insults Had Class (from an era before the English Language was boiled down to 4-letter words):
The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison." He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." Mark Twain
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." Oscar Wilde
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." Irvin S. Cobb
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" Mark Twain
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." Oscar Wilde
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-post - for support rather than illumination." Andrew Lang
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." Groucho Marx
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one." George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second, if there is one." Winston Churchill, in response.
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." Stephen Bishop

Words should always be chosen carefully and used wisely; words can either destroy or build up. When God said: “let there be…”, the world and everything in it was created. In human discourse, words can impact another or cause one to ignore the speaker. The Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament contains these axioms for life. Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” Ecclesiastes 5:1-2, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” This guideline for worship is also valuable and useful in terms of ones discourse in the secular world. There is another important application in James 1:19-22, “…take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word (God’s Word) planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Much of the Bible was written out of a secular context of hardship and persecution. In spite of those who would not only insult ones intelligence but also inflict personal and bodily harm, the Lord continually reminded His own that He would always be faithful - providing for and sustaining His people. He and His promises are never-changing. Man flip-flops all over the place – God never does. Trust Him and be at peace in Him! Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Unmitigated Gall

From My Perspective - - -

It is difficult to understand gullibility and naiveté that can be observed about otherwise astute and intelligent people. When listening to public addresses and discussion, one has a sense there is something wrong with what is being said - - it just doesn’t sound logical or reasonable. For instance, a Health Reform Bill that has not been openly discussed, or publicly read, or voted upon – people are lined up on either side either for or against it. Then – a deadline is set for the Congress to vote for it so it can be signed into Law – with the hope and promise that corrections and amendments will quickly be made to it. Mind-boggling? Yes! Incredulous? Absolutely! Illogical? Indeed! This is where the unmitigated gall surfaces as the reality! There is only one expression that can summarize such activity and behavior – Shameful!

There is an excellent Book Review submitted by David Mays: “The Speed of Trust - The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M. R. Covey. David Mays review includes these thoughts: “This book surveys four core constituents of trust: integrity, intent, capability, and results. All four are needed to engender trust in relationships, organizations, and society. With trust, everything runs faster, smoother and cheaper. A lack of trust imposes a "tax" in speed and costs. Covey outlines 13 steps to see, speak, and behave in ways that build trust. "The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders--customers, business partners, investors, and coworkers--is the key leadership competency of the new global economy."

The body of the review includes these thoughts and comments: "Whether you're on a sports team, in an office or a member of a family, if you can't trust one another there's going to be trouble", Joe Paterno. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is intended to prevent corporate scandals like WorldCom and Enron. The cost of implementing one part of it is estimated at $35 billion. This amounts to a huge "tax" resulting from a loss of trust in corporate institutions. Some leading organizations ask their employees directly, Do you trust your boss? This may be the most predictive indicator of team performance…Trust is one of the most powerful forms of motivation and inspiration. Who trusts you? Trust is a function of character and competence. Covey deals with five circles, or waves, of trust: trust in yourself (confidence in ourselves, our ability to set and achieve goals), in relationships, in organizations, in the market (your brand reputation), and in society (creating value for others). Leadership is getting results in a way that inspires trust. The means are as important as the ends.
The First Wave - Self Trust. The Principle of Credibility The foundational principle is credibility or believability. Am I believable? Do I trust myself? And Am I someone others can trust? The four cores are:
1. Integrity: honesty, integratedness, being congruent inside and out, acting our values and beliefs
2. Intent: our motives, agenda, and resulting behavior
3. Capabilities: talents, attitudes, skills, knowledge, and style
4. Results: our track record, performance, getting the right things done
Core 1--Integrity - Are you congruent? “Rules cannot take the place of character." Alan Greenspan
Core 2--Intent - What's your agenda? Intent matters. It grows out of character. Examine your own motives. Am I seeking to bless or impress?
Core 3--Capabilities - Are you relevant? "Our capability to do the task at hand inspires trust in others.”
Core 4--Results - What's your track record? Results make you credible and establish trust.”

The basic goal and commitment for the follower of Jesus Christ is: (a) II Corinthians 8:21, “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.”, (b) Romans 12:17-18, “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”, and (c) I Peter 3:16, “keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” This is the minimum standard and an important starting point! Consider these things with me!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of. . .

From My Perspective - - -

Many years ago, a group of men who were willing to risk their lives and fortunes to establish a nation that would be free from the avarice (insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth) and tyranny of men, penned the words (In Congress, July 4, 1776 - The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America): “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”

Today, after 234 years, how is this Pursuit working out? Is the Government truly “of the people, for the people, by the people…”? How does one become like a mere pawn and relegated to insignificance? Do you feel and believe that The Government today is actually concerned for you and your need, or might there be a more sinister motive, namely, their own personal career and fortunes? How do people and governments get to this point of inward focus and personal interests?

Perhaps we can glean an insight and answer from the Book: The Choice by Max Lucado, where we read: “…Unbound by today, God and the angel walked into the realm of tomorrow. “There, see the fruit of the seed of choice, both the sweet and the bitter.” The angel gasped at what he saw. Spontaneous love. Voluntary devotion. Chosen tenderness. Never had he seen anything like these. He felt the love of the Adams. He heard the joy of Eve and her daughters. He saw the food and the burdens shared. He absorbed the kindness and marveled at the warmth. “Heaven has never seen such beauty, my Lord. Truly, this is your greatest creation.” “Ah, but you’ve only seen the sweet. Now witness the bitter.” A stench enveloped the pair. The angel turned in horror and proclaimed, “What is it?” The Creator spoke only one word: “Selfishness.” The angel stood speechless as they passed through centuries of repugnance. Never had he seen such filth. Rotten hearts. Ruptured promises. Forgotten loyalties. Children of the creation wandering blindly in lonely labyrinths. “This is the result of choice?” the angel asked. “Yes.” “They will forget you?” “Yes.” “They will reject you?” “Yes.” “They will never come back?” “Some will. Most won’t.” “What will it take to make them listen?”
The Creator walked on in time, further and further into the future, until he stood by a tree. A tree that would be fashioned into a cradle. Even then he could smell the hay that would surround him. With another step into the future, He paused before another tree. It stood alone, a stubborn ruler of a bald hill. The trunk was thick, and the wood was strong. Soon it would be cut. Soon it would be trimmed. Soon it would be mounted on the stony brow of another hill. And soon He would be hung on it…”

Has Max Lucado defined the issue for us – selfishness and self-centered interests? Is that why Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness seems to elude so many? In Luke 9:23-25, Jesus sets the parameters for following Him, and asks a poignant rhetorical question. We read: “Jesus said to them all: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Selfishness - self-centered interests – must be sacrificed on that cross. We are here to emulate the Savior and Creator! One needs to love God and to show God-Love to all. God-Love gave us Jesus and Redemption! Consider these things with me!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Aiming Or Maiming

From My Perspective - - -

The trite saying is: “If You Aim At Nothing – You Will Always Hit Your Target!” Another paraphrased saying is: If you throw enough Jell-O at a wall – some will eventually stick – but there’ll be a terrible mess as a result of that effort. Taking “aim” always suggests precision and direction. A well-aimed rifle shot is much better than a random shotgun blast. One will hit the target – the other can result in damage and maiming. The more one takes specific aim with the skill of a marksman the more likely the target and goal will be achieved. It accomplishes a level of confidence as one hones the skill of accurate aim and marksmanship.

A New Confidence Index has been released. “For 44 years, since 1966, The Harris Poll has measured how confident Americans are in the leaders of major U.S. institutions. Then, based on the responses, Harris calculates an overall Confidence Index. Over the years, it has gone up and down. In 2002, it touched 65. In 2008, it fell to 44. This year, it stands at 53, one point lower than in early 2009. While the overall Confidence Index has not shifted much this year, the individual confidence ratings used to calculate this average have undergone a great deal of change. The biggest modulation since early 2009 is the substantial drop in public confidence in the White House. The number of those with a great deal of confidence has fallen by 9 points from 36% to 27%. There have also been declines in those with a great deal of confidence in colleges and universities (from 40% to 35%), organized religion (from 30% to 26%) and television news (from 22% to 17%). On the other hand, there have been increases in the number of those with a "great deal of confidence" in the courts and justice system (from 19% to 24%), major companies (from 11% to 15%) and Congress (from 4% to 8%). However, confidence in all of these institutions is still very low. The five top institutions that inspire a great deal of confidence in more than 30 percent of Americans include the military (59%), small businesses (50%), major educational institutions, such as colleges and universities (35%), medicine (34%) and the U.S. Supreme Court (31%).The five least inspirational institutions include organized labor (14%), the press (13%), law firms (13%), Congress (8%) and Wall Street (8%).”

Most of these findings are based on two primary areas: (1) perception – the influences that impact how one thinks things are going and/or happening; and (2) result – does one have the sense that things are occurring in an even-handed way with maximum integrity. The media and political spin can have an effect upon how one thinks, as well as the level of confidence one has at a given point. Usually, one looks for a light at the end of the tunnel. Currently, most people can’t even find the tunnel much less any light at the end of it. The current political climate was based on the premise of: “Change You Can Believe In” and “Hope” for those who are struggling and laden with despair of ever having a portion of the American Dream. While those political slogans can (and did) gain attention and response, it is always a misdirection for the poor, needy, desperate and hopeless. The misdirection is putting ones confidence in a man, a party, political promises and rhetoric, etc. When realization and relief do not appear on one’s horizon, a person becomes mentally maimed - and disillusioned. Once more, the aim was to gain votes – not to provide assistance and relief.

What can one do? The obvious answer is to change the focus. Don’t rely on rhetoric, hollow promises or a man's style. The true confidence one should have is stated in – Psalm 146:3-5 – “Do not put your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help and whose hope is in the LORD his God,” In Hebrews 10:35-36, “…do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Placing ones hopes and confidence in a man or movement will allow one to soon reach a place where there is a loss of trust and confidence in everyone and everything. Putting ones hopes, dreams, aspirations and confidence in the Lord will always result in fulfillment, acceptance, peace and assurance because God’s Aim is precise – He always hits the correct target at the right moment. He will never Maim you physically or spiritually. He will always guard your mind, will and emotions. You can always confidently rely upon Him. Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Change and Transition

From My Perspective - - -

Change and Transition is inevitable. The fact of our life, and the growth and development that accompanies it – physical growth, experiences, intellectual acumen (quickness, accuracy, and keenness of judgment or insight), financial understanding, spiritual commitment – all are part of who and what we are and/or become. There are no shortcuts and no easy formulas – it is a process – sometimes arduous and frightening.

Sarah Steele is part of a group that deals with professionals and changes they face. An article about her areas of expertise and assistance is entitled: Change and Transition - 10 Steps to Surviving Change Elegantly. Her vitae (brief account of one's life and work) is: “Sarah Steele is founder of Atlantic Coaching, works globally with high-achieving professionals who, although successful in their career, aren't as successful as they'd like in other areas of their life. Specializing in helping clients get crystal clear about exactly how they want their life to look, something many struggle with, our clients learn how to say ‘no’ graciously, freeing up precious time and space for the things they really want to say yes to. Ultimately, it is through more conscious choices and effective systems that our clients quickly enjoy greater control and experience more success without sacrificing professional achievements.”

Part of her secular approach is: “If I say the word ‘CHANGE’ how do you feel? Most people remain fearful, anxious and uncomfortable with change, despite it being a driving issue in our society. It appears that no matter how much experience we have it doesn't get any easier. Gaining a level of understanding that allows you to be productive, creative and flexible with your own life as well as helping others handle change is key to succeeding in today's ever-changing world. Follow these 10 steps to help you cope with the transitions in your life: 1) Recognize that things DO change. Nothing is forever. Neither the good, nor the bad. 2) Pinpoint the specific change you are going through…Stay focused on one aspect of the change by identifying what you are most afraid of losing as a result of this change and then understanding why that loss is uncomfortable… 3) Accept the loss factor. Admit to yourself that regardless of whether or not you experience this particular change as 'good' or 'bad', there will be a sense of loss. 4) Seek valid information. You will doubt the facts and struggle to believe anything you hear, see or feel about the change. Write down what information you need to know and who can provide you with that data… 5) Take action. Now that you have information, kick-start some forward momentum by taking both physical and mental action. 6) Recognize the Danger Zone. There comes a point where we choose to move on with the change and discover the opportunities it brings, or to give in to the fear of the unknown and remain fearful, anxious and in denial. 7) Make a decision. All the information you gathered may seem overwhelming. To avoid analysis paralysis set yourself a deadline for making a decision and do whatever it takes… 8) Identify the benefits. All change has some benefits. 9) Change? What Change? There will come a time when you stop looking at the 'change' as something different. 10) Identify a change partner. Finding a change partner who is committed to encouraging you and supporting you will make the whole experience less scary and probably speedier.”

When Spiritual Changes and Transitions occur, the decision process can be just as complex and intricate, namely, What Is God’s Will For Me At This Point and Time, and In This Place and Situation? It necessitates one returning to Foundational Principles for Life, such as, Proverbs 3:5-8 (NLT): “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality.” One needs spiritual verities to shape his or her life. “Faith as a grain of mustard seed…” will be sufficient to allow one to move forward in spiritual growth, development and purpose. It’s not a mechanical process – it is a way of life for the person progressing in The Spiritual Journey. One’s Eternal Hope leads to The Ultimate Change: I Corinthians 15:50-52 “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God… we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…we will be changed…” Consider these things with me!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stringing Us Along

From My Perspective - - -

The New Scientist (Survival of the Smartest) has the ongoing study and pursuit in terms of “The Seven Theories of Everything”. In an article published on March 4th, 2010, the lead paragraph states: “The "theory of everything" is one of the most cherished dreams of science. If it is ever discovered, it will describe the workings of the universe at the most fundamental level and thus encompass our entire understanding of nature. It would also answer such enduring puzzles as what dark matter is, the reason time flows in only one direction and how gravity works. Small wonder that Stephen Hawking famously said that such a theory would be ‘the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God’.” One can read the full article at: article goes on to state: “But Theologians needn't lose too much sleep just yet. Despite decades of effort, progress has been slow. Rather than one or two rival theories whose merits can be judged against the evidence, there is a profusion of candidates and precious few clues as to which (if any) might turn out to be correct.”

There is a brief description of the “String Theory” in the following comments and conclusion: “This is probably the best known theory of everything, and the most heavily studied. It suggests that the fundamental particles we observe are not actually particles at all, but tiny strings that only look like particles to scientific instruments because they are so small. What's more, the mathematics of String Theory also rely on extra spatial dimensions, which humans could not experience directly. These are radical suggestions, but many theorists find the String approach elegant and have proposed numerous variations on the basic theme that seem to solve assorted cosmological conundrums. However, they have two major challenges to overcome if they are to persuade the rest of the scientific community that String Theory is the best candidate for a ToE. First, String Theorists have so far struggled to make new predictions that can be tested. So String Theory remains just that: a theory. Secondly, there are just too many variants of the theory, any one of which could be correct – and little to choose between them.”

With their conclusions being what they are, then why string us along with years of costly research that so far has produced very little credible data to substantiate the theory? Regarding the topic: “Quantum Einstein Gravity”, a similar conclusion to the String Theory is reached: “Part of the problem with unifying Gravity and Quantum Mechanics is what happens to gravity at small scales. The closer two objects are to each other, the stronger the gravitational attraction between them; but gravity also acts on itself, and as a result, at very small distances a feedback loop starts. According to conventional theories the force should then become ridiculously strong – which means there's something wrong with the conventional theories.”

When one compares the Scientific Aspirations with the Spiritual Acceptance, there is an obvious difference in the conclusion reached. A Fundamental Principal of the Christian Religion is stated in Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” This Fundamental Principle is further stated in Isaiah 44:24-25,“Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you…I am the LORD, who made all things, Who alone stretched out the heavens, Who spread out the earth by myself, who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, Who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish…” In other words, The Lord is saying: Don’t let anyone String you along with their Theory about Creation – I made it and I alone sustain it! In the film – Chariots of Fire – there was a very dramatic reading by Eric Liddell from Isaiah 40:21-31, some of which is: “Do you not know? Do you not hear…Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth…To whom then will you compare Me…says the Holy One? Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these?...The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth…” Theories may be fanciful but they can tend to String You Along! Ultimately, one cannot avoid the declaration – “In the beginning God created…” He made you for a purpose and with a purpose! Consider these things with me!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Virtuous Vacillations

From My Perspective - - -

Foundational Principles and Moral Imperatives should never be compromised or ignored. This is especially vital when it pertains to those who govern and those who are governed. To be virtuous means: “conforming to moral and ethical principles; being morally excellent; upright…” Whereas, vacillation means: “To swing indecisively from one course of action or opinion to another…”

An example of this can be seen in the government focus over the past year regarding the passage of Health Care Reform. When he was a candidate, the President stated on different occasions:
CBS Interview 11/2/04
My understanding of the Senate is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen, which means that Democrats and Republicans have to ask the question, do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?
Center for American Progress Conference 7/12/06
Those big-ticket items: fixing our health care system…one of the arguments that sometimes I get with my fellow progressives…is this notion that we should function…where we get a fifty plus one victory…If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a sizeable majority.
Change to Win Convention 9/25/07
The bottom line is that our healthcare plans are similar, the question once again is, who can get it done? Who can build a movement for change? We're going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk. That is not just a fifty plus one majority.
Obama Interview with the Concord Monitor 10/9/07
You've got to break out of what I call the sort of fifty plus one pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory of fifty plus one. Then you can't govern…We are not going to pass universal health care with a fifty plus one strategy.

On Wednesday of this week, the President said: "No matter which approach you favor, I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for a year, but for decades. Reform has already passed the House with a majority. It has already passed the Senate with a super-majority of sixty votes. And now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that was cast on welfare reform, the Children's Health Insurance Program, COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and both Bush tax cuts -- all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority (implying: 51 votes)…”

Some of the Founding Principles which have been forgotten by the current generation are ideas shared by Thomas Jefferson: (1) “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not;” (2) “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world;” and (3) “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Is this oxymoron – virtuous vacillation – acceptable in any area of life? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stated this Foundational Principle and Moral Imperative – Matthew 5:33-37 – “you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord. But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is His footstool…Simply let your Yes, be Yes, and your No, No; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” It is basically (a) have scruples (a moral or ethical consideration or standard that acts as a restraining force or inhibits certain actions), (b) demonstrate consistency, and (3) be a person of character and integrity! These are values that should never be compromised or forgotten! Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

People Say and Think The Darndest Things

From My Perspective - - -

Years ago, Art Linkletter wrote and published a book entitled, Kids Say The Darndest Things. This idea was also advanced by Bill Cosby with a brief television series with that name, as well as by Charles M. Schulz in his Peanuts series. Tests and Quizzes given to children demonstrate that thesis in the answers given - -
The future of "I give" is "I take."
The parts of speech are lungs and air.
A census taker is man who goes from house to house increasing the population.
Define H2O and CO2. H2O is hot water and CO2 is cold water.
The general direction of the Alps is straight up.
Most of the houses in France are made of plaster of Paris.
The spinal column is a long bunch of bones. The head sits on the top and you sit on the bottom.
The blood circulates through the body by flowing down one leg and up the other.

In the Adult World, things become a little bit more serious. It’s no longer just what people say, but more importantly, what is being done. When it comes to Public Religious Observance, there are – rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly - some keen observations and expressions - - -
In 1952 President Truman established one day a year as a National Day of Prayer.
In 1988, President Reagan designated the first Thursday in May of each year as the National Day of Prayer.
In June 2007, Presidential candidate Barack Obama declared that the USA was no longer a Christian nation.
In 2009 President Obama, canceled the 21st Annual National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House under the rouse of not wanting to offend anyone.
On September 25, 2009 from 4 am until 7pm, a National Day of Prayer for the Muslim Religion was held on Capitol Hill, beside the White House. There were over 50,000 Muslims that day in Washington, DC. (Guess it doesn't matter if Christians and others are offended by this event - we obviously don't count as anyone anymore). Visit the website: to glean useful information regarding Islamic objectives, and to increase ones knowledge of trends in the world today.

When it comes to Economic Issues, people say more than the “darndest things”. Some of what occurs impacts many in day to day living - - -
1. U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and $5,300 raises.
2. They voted to not give you a S.S. cost of living raise in 2010 and 2011 ..
3. Your Medicaid premiums will go up $285.60 for the 2 years and you will not get the 3% COLA. Your total two-year loss and cost is estimated to be $1,600 ($3,200 for a husband and wife).
Over the same 2 years, The House and Senate each get $10,000 raises
4. Will your cost of drugs - doctor fees - local taxes - food, etc., increase? Yes!
5. Do you feel disadvantaged and abused? Will The House and Senate feel the same cost increases you will? No! They have a raise and better benefits. Why care about you? You never did anything about it in the past.

In desperate and difficult times, what should one do? In Habakkuk 3:17-19 are these insightful words of the prophet: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Why would the prophet say this? How can this make sense? It is because of the enduring truth of Habakkuk 2:4, “…but the righteous will live by his faith…” There may be difficult days ahead – but – the Lord always honors those who Honor Him and His Word. Be not dismayed! God remains in total control! Consider these things with me!