God Cares

Even when it looks like He doesn’t. 

The past week has given new meaning to  the words, “he shook my world.” And not in a positive way. With several earthquakes in excess of magnitude 7, and the loss of 100s of lives, how can I conclude that “God Cares?” Perhaps, just as the words “he shook my world” have taken on a seemingly sinister meaning, so too should the idea that “God Cares.”

Back in a time when the world wasn’t much different than it is today, people were searching for why bad things, catastrophic things happened to some people, and not to others. Here is what the Gospel writer Luke penned, and Jesus’ response. 

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
— Luke 13:1-5 NIV

Let me spell out what this means for us today. God cares enough to bring these earthquakes as a reminder that we need to repent. You might be thinking, I’m a pretty good person, compared to a murderer or a thief. That’s not the comparison God makes though. God’s standard is absolute perfection and His holiness. Even Billy Graham falls short, and so did Mother Teresa. I hope to meet them both one day, not because I’m as good as they are, but because, like them, I’ve repented. I’ve acknowledged that my good isn’t good enough, and trusted that Jesus paid the debt I could never pay, and because of what Jesus gives me, I now meet God’s standard. 

You see, God cares enough to send His Son, Jesus. Jesus loved me enough to die the death I should have died, and that death could pay the price for you too. Just repent. 

What could be worse than dying when a tower falls on you, or the earth shakes beneath your feet? Having any of that happen before you’ve repented and turned to Jesus. What is coming for this earth will make these earthquakes seem tame, and God cares enough to send these as warnings of what is to come.

The only question at this point is, will you listen? I’ve done my part. I’ve told you about your condition. And how Jesus is your only hope. Ridicule me if you must, but the day is coming when you will wish you listened, but it will be too late. On that day you will not be able to say, “I wish somebody told me.” Instead, you’ll say, “I wish I listened.”

Where I Work

When I’m working on writing, I really don’t need more than one computer monitor, but for just about everything else that I do, these two monitors sometimes are not enough! Years ago now, I traded stocks and futures for a living, and I had four monitors hooked up to a single computer, so this is downsizing it for me!

My work area is currently in the “spare room” of our scrapbooking and paper crafting store called Cafe Crop. I’m looking forward to the day when this room is our private classroom area. At that time, it will be my office while it isn’t being used as a private classroom area.

For now though it is exactly what I need to be productive, while at the same time close at hand to help Tina when she needs it. I’m thankful for this new-found flexibility, that we didn’t have in our last location.

In the not too distant future, I’ll be seeing clients here! I can hardly wait!

The Big Deal About Easter!

Many of us will be celebrating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ this coming weekend.  That is after all what Easter is all about.  After the Easter Bunny, the egg hunts, and all of our family traditions, we are celebrating God’s ultimate gift to us.  If you are wondering what the big deal is, and need more than I’m providing below, I invite you to visit www.needhim.org or call 1.888.NEED.HIM.

What kind of a friend would I be if I saw you were going to be hit by a truck, and I didn’t do anything to warn you?  I believe there is something far worse than a truck waiting for each of us.  There’s God’s judgment in a place called hell.  Oh, sure most of us think we’re pretty good compared to a murderer, but that’s not the standard God uses.  Here’s something to think about.  God says that if we know the good we ought to do, but don’t do it, we sin.  By that standard, even Tina knows I fall short!  It is that shortfall that has me condemned to hell.  The good news of Easter is that God has thankfully provided a way of escape for us.  That is what Easter is all about.  Jesus died a cruel and undeserved death on a Roman cross.  And, on “Easter” Sunday God raised Jesus from the dead.  That is the proof that God accepted Jesus’ payment of the penalty our sin required.  Now you and I can have a restored relationship with the person who created us.  It really doesn’t get better than that.  If my sharing this with you is the catalyst for you pursuing God, I would be delighted if you let me know.  Better yet, why don’t you share the true message of Easter with everyone you know?  You would do everything you could to keep them from getting hit by a truck, wouldn’t you?

TEA Party

Here’s something that made me realize just exactly how ignorant the media thinks I am, not to mention anyone who shares my views.  Let me spell it out as if anyone is listening to this voice crying in the wilderness.  This is not a Republican issue.  This is a survival issue.  Ultimately it goes to our ability to remain a free country.  Taxed Enough Already (TEA) is just a clever way to get people’s attention.  It is a euphemism for telling our public servants, whom we elect, that we want them to tax us less, and spend far less.   Notice what I did not say!  I did not say that I want the government to stop spending all together.

Now, here’s a question.  How did we manage to take care of ourselves before the Federal Government provided grants to local police departments to pull over and ticket drunk drivers for instance?  If a community doesn’t want drunk drivers, and there is no Federal money, wouldn’t they pay for it themselves? I can hear it now… “what if the community doesn’t want drunk drivers, but they don’t have the money to pay police officers to arrest drunk drivers?”  Well, they have a tough decision.  Either something else gets cut, or they have to accept that they are going to have more drunk drivers.  That’s facing things squarely and honestly.

Let’s move this to something more personal and less serious to make a point.  I’d really like a new MacBook Pro and a couple of Mac Minis.  I don’t have the money right now to purchase any of them.  They would make my life much easier.  Maybe I should apply for a government grant for struggling entrepreneurs.  Then I would get some money from everybody who is paying taxes, and my life would be a little easier.  Did you catch that?  Where you asking, “why should he get a grant to buy expensive Apple computers?  And why should I pay for them?”

It becomes easy when we are talking about a single entrepreneur, to say no to allowing them to get a government grant that your taxes pay for.  It would be much more efficient for a local community to deal with drunk driving than to have the Federal Government tax us, pay for needless studies, and the whole grant application process that drains dollars out of the system to pay for lobbying, and pet projects that help congressmen win re-election.  In the end, if we send $1 in taxes to the Federal Government, they’ll spend something like $1.75, and the local police department maybe gets $0.50 of that.

I get calls from the fundraisers for the Indiana State Police FOP.  I asked them how much the FOP actually gets from their fund-raising efforts as a percentage.  They would not tell me.  Needless to say, they did not get my donation.  Sadly, with taxes, I have no choice but to pay them, even when they are far too complicated, and when they fund a government that cannot control spending.

So here’s a solution.  Tax corporations and individuals at 100%.  I’ll refuse to pay my taxes, end up in jail, and the people working for the media, who think I’m stupid, can give me three meals a day, cable TV, internet access, a gym, and free medical care.  That’s criminal you say?  But wait… that’s exactly what we do.

That’s what the TEA Party is all about.  It is saying enough is enough.  Save money by not treating those who commit crimes better than those who work hard providing an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.  Jail overcrowding?  Too bad, so sad!  Don’t be a criminal.

Well, with that… I hope you are upset enough about this video to do something about it instead of thinking somebody else will.

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What We Trust

Writing my blog at my home office desk

Writing my blog at my home office desk

In case you haven’t noticed, there is an effort under way to remove “In God We Trust” from United States currency.  In some respects that would reflect the reality that our country does not really trust in God much anymore.  We all too often look to government, unions, science, technology, or anything else but God.

Yet, where did we turn when terrorists knocked down the Twin Towers, and damaged the Pentagon?  We had members of congress standing on the capitol steps singing decidedly religious songs.

Well, I suspect that was due to the reality that at our core we know God exists, and that in hard times He is the only one we can rely on.  Why is it that when the hard times involve the loss of life, or tragedy, we turn to God, but when it is a financial problem we try to figure it out without His help?  Who do we think we are fooling?  Are we trusting that more government spending will get us out of this financial quandary?  I submit that is foolish.

So, what would the wise thing to do be?  Government needs to demonstrate that it can be trusted.  That is going to take the voting citizen putting aside what representatives tell us to get elected.  It is going to take us being fed up enough to make the required hard changes.  It might even mean dealing with getting less from government.

I will go out on a limb, albeit a sturdy one, to say that this is one case where less truly is more!

New Before Noon.

photo-108I’ve had a quiet morning of reflection on the Psalms.  I’d like to encourage everyone to read them.  If you’re wondering where to start, you could do what I did.  I started with Psalm 1!  How original is that?!

Then, since I went to church last night, I prayed for the services that were occurring today, as well as missionaries, and as many other things as I could think of.  It was a great time.

Now I’m trying to get my blog post completed before noon.  It is a new goal of mine to complete my blog entry each day before noon.  We will see how that goes.

I would really appreciate feedback on what I’ve been writing over the past several days.  It would be great if this turned into a dialog, instead of just something that I write to get the things I’m thinking about written down.  I think if we all realized the impact we have, and could have on each other, we would be out of our economic crisis much sooner.

It is time to be responsible, and engaged.  That is what this blog is attempting to accomplish.  Won’t you help me with that goal?