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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

QUESTION OF THE HOUR

Where do these Christians get the idea that there's going to be a rapture?  From the word of God in The Holy Bible:

John 14:2-3  In my father's house are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

1 Thess 4:16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

1 Thess 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 

Rev. 3:10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

POSTING TRUTH WILL SOON BE A CRIME

The Coming War by the Obama Administration Against Bloggers

From   nowtheendbegins.com

It has to start somewhere
You may not have noticed but over the past few months there have been a number of articles about the US government cracking down on “internet piracy”. Now by “piracy” they immediately are referring to stolen or counterfeit goods like sports memorabilia, designer watches, etc. Then after they floated that trial balloon, we read today in the article quoted below that that will now be extended to “downloadable content” that you did not create or purchase yourself such as songs, videos and movies. But let me tell you, and you will not read this anywhere else, who the real target of the Obama administration is – web bloggers and people who repost story content. 
Obama knows that in our social-obsessed society that if he cannot control the Internet, and what’s posted on there, then ultimately he cannot control his message. One of the most rapid means of information transfer in the world today is people who write for blogs and post on Facebook and Twitter. The entire Egyptian revolution by the Muslim Brotherhood was waged first on Facebook. So we will predict that the real intent of Obama’s crackdown on piracy is actually a veiled attempt to stop the flow of news and other information. But you have to start somewhere, right? And someday very soon, the act of reposting the story below taken from MSNBC, will be branded a crime by Obama. Obama is creating a “yellow star” shadow government, and it seems that there is little that can be done to stop him, other than to post and repost stories like this one.
“Amid growing calls for more government regulation of the Internet, the United States is conducting what it calls “a sustained law enforcement initiative aimed at counterfeiting and piracy” – an effort that already has resulted in arrests and the seizure of 125 websites. Ask anybody who uses a computer if they’ve ever downloaded or streamed media content for free on the Internet, and the answer most likely will be yes. The U.S. government and the American media industry say as much as a quarter of this kind of media traffic violates U.S. copyright law, and both are getting serious in their attempts to turn off the spigot.
The government and the media industry say U.S. copyright law (specifically, 18 USC 2319), states that distributing such content without permission from the copyright holder is a crime – copyright infringement. They generally use a simpler name: theft – of intellectual property, or “IP theft” for short.
The most recent skirmish in the escalating conflict occurred this week, when the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced that its Homeland Security Investigations unit had seized the domain names of five websites that it said were being used to sell counterfeit goods or illegally distribute copyrighted materials, including media content.
If convicted, the banner warns, even first-time offenders “will face up to five years in federal prison,” plus “restitution, forfeiture and fine.”
The crackdown – dubbed “Operation In Our Sites” – is being spearheaded by ICE’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, working in coordination with U.S. attorneys’ offices across the country. The initiative has so far seized the domain names of 125 websites since it began last year, ICE says, effectively shutting them down.” source – MSNBC

Thursday, May 26, 2011

SOMETHING IS AMISS

Tonight I drove home in what looked like a war zone.  A sign on the door told me my meeting in Millersburg was canceled due to tornado warnings.  Never in my life have my plans been canceled due to tornado warnings and never in my life have I driven through such an explosion of tree limbs, mud, rocks, and debris scattered for miles.        -Danelle

 

Is This Extreme Weather God’s Final Warning to America About Our Treatment of Israel?

by Dr. John McTernan & Geoffrey Grider

 

As America Has Done To Israel


Since April we have had floods and fires in Texas…then it was hurricanes across the upper Midwest. After that Alabama was hit with a massive tornado. Then unprecedented flooding in the Mississippi, wiping out whole towns and this years food crop. Joplin, MO, destroyed by tornado, and about to be hit again tonight. Twisters killing and injuring scores in Oklahoma just an hour before this writing. Add to that 15% national unemployment, $15 TRILLION dollar debt, and a third war we cannot afford to fight in Libya. In case you haven’t noticed, America is falling apart. In fact…
The destruction coming to America is now catastrophic!
The media caught the destructive tornadoes and Obama wanting to divide Israel together as front page headlines. As so often in the past, the destruction hitting America is front page along with what America is doing to Israel. I have documented this many times, going back to 1938, in the book As America Has Done to Israel.

Please visit John McTernan’s INSIGHTS, and see it for yourself. Obama bullies Israel to divide the land, and the land of America is destroyed! One would think after this happened so many times that someone in Washington would wake up, but then again the vast majority of the church is sleeping through all of this. If the church is sleeping, how can we think more of the politicians!
Remember what Genesis 12:3 says, and it is still on FULL effect today
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3
People, it is not a “coincidence” that as Obama demands Israel retreat back to pre-1967 borders, and works to divide God’s land of Israel with the Palestinians, that these disasters are coming upon us. God is merciful, and He is warning us. This is not a game. If we do not treat Israel as God would have us treat her, then the reason for America’s existence ceases to exist. When Obama treats Israel as he does, he is bringing the Genesis 12 curse down upon our nation.
Think about that as you watch week after week of natural and financial disasters decimate this country.

CRAZY MONTH OF MAY

9 Ways That The World Has Gotten Even Crazier In May

From The Economic Collapse Blog

In case you haven't noticed, the world has gotten even crazier in May. Just when you think that things can't get any more bizarre, events go to a whole new level. Sadly, millions of Americans seem almost completely oblivious to all of the world-altering things that are going on all around us.

I recently got back from doing a bit of traveling, and the reality is that most people out there are so busy living their lives and trying to survive from month to month that they don't really have much time to pay attention to what is going on in the world around them. They are too busy working their tails off to make a living, they are too busy stocking up on groceries and foreign-made goods at the big box retail stores and they are too busy cheering for Scotty on American Idol.

Unfortunately, what little information about the rest of the world that most Americans actually take in comes from the mainstream media. Most of the time the mainstream media is very adept at lulling the American people to sleep, but things are starting to get so crazy out there that a growing minority of Americans are starting to sit up and take notice.

When I was away on vacation I kept a bit of an eye on the news, but I had no idea just how crazy things were getting until I returned home. These days more seems to happen in a single week than used to happen in an entire month. The globe has become an incredibly unstable place, and you never know what is going to happen next.

The following are 9 ways that the world has gotten even crazier in May....
#1 What in the world is going on with the weather?  All of a sudden "unprecedented tornadoes" are popping up almost every day now.  Did you see what happened in Joplin, Missouri the other day?  There are very few things that will put sheer terror into you like an F5 tornado will.  If you doubt that, just check out this video.
The National Weather Service says that the Joplin tornado was the 8th worst tornado to ever hit the United States.  At least 122 people were killed and at least 750 people were injured.
Sadly, the Joplin tornado is part of a larger trend.  Many are already calling this a "100 year" tornado season.  It seems like a major tornado outbreak somewhere in the U.S. is a nightly occurence now.  For example, just tonight a huge tornado near Oklahoma City killed a couple of people.
In April, there were approximately 600 tornadoes across the country.  That is the most tornadoes that have ever been recorded in a single month inside the United States.  Usually, we only have about 1,200 tornadoes for the entire year.
There is nothing "normal" about these tornado outbreaks.  Something really weird is happening.
In addition, we have just experienced the worst Mississippi River flood ever.  That flood is also being called something that only happens "once in a hundred years".
Why are such horrible natural disasters striking the United States right now?
Can anyone explain why this is happening?

#2 The globe continues to inch ever closer to World War III.  Just consider a few of the headlines we have seen just this week....
*NATO Warplanes in New Bombing Campaign on Tripoli
*Obama's hidden war: US intensifies drone attacks in Pakistan
*US, Pakistan Near Open War; Chinese Ultimatum Warns Washington Against Attack
*Netanyahu's defiance on deal is 'declaration of war'
Sadly, it appears that the appetite for war is growing.  Many had hoped that Barack Obama would be a peacemaker, but that definitely is not the case.
The United States has been at war for so long that the American people have learned to accept it as a normal part of life.  As long as it is something that happens "over there", most Americans don't really seem too concerned about it.
But in the end, what is unfolding in the Middle East will have dramatic consequences for the United States.  Unfortunately, most Americans have become so "dumbed down" that they simply do not understand what is happening.

#3 The news from Japan just continues to get worse and worse.  Now TEPCO is finally admitting that there were at least partial meltdowns at three of the reactors at Fukushima.  Why we are only finding this out now is anyone's guess.
It has been more than 2 months since the tsunami and officials in Japan still do not have Fukushima under control.  Every single day the complex continues to release massive amounts of radioactive material into the environment and the effects of this disaster will be felt for decades to come.

#4 When all of the crazy new security measures went into airports, we were all assured that scanners and "enhanced pat-downs" would never show up in subway stations, bus stations, sporting events and public schools.
Well, sadly the ridiculous security measures that have been implemented at our airports are spreading.  In fact, if you can believe it, a "certified TSA official" was brought in to oversee student searches at the Santa Fe High School prom last weekend.
When TSA officials start showing up at high school proms that should be a major red flag for all of us.  America is becoming a much different place than it used to be.
Do you enjoy living in a prison grid where we are all being constantly watched, tracked and searched?  If not, you better say something now before it is too late.

#5 The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld an order from a three-judge panel in California that mandates the release of approximately 40,000 inmates from California prisons.
Yes, the prisons are so overcrowded that up to 54 prisoners are using a single toilet, but you can't just release thousands upon thousands of criminals on to the streets of California and expect that there will not be major problems.
California Governor Jerry Brown is proposing a "realignment plan" which would shift tens of thousands of prisoners to county jails, but the California legislature so far has not authorized the hundreds of millions of dollars that it is going to take to implement the plan.
Hopefully something can be done, because releasing more than one out of every four California inmates back on to the streets sure does seem like a bad idea to me.

#6 It is looking more likely than ever that the U.S. debt ceiling may not be raised and that we could actually see the U.S. government default on some debt.  The Democrats and the Republicans are fighting like cats and dogs again and there is such a deadlock right now that this could actually happen.
U.S. Representative Barney Frank certainly does not sound optimistic....
"It may be that we’re going to have to see some failure to raise the debt limit and some temporary hiatus in our ability to pay our bills (for lawmakers to act)."
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is using language that is even more apocalyptic.  Dimon says that a U.S. debt default would "dwarf Lehman Brothers" and that in the event of a default things will take place "that are not going to be pretty".

#7 The U.S. real estate crash continues to get even worse. This week it was announced that U.S. commercial real estate is now down 47 percent from 2007 and has now reached a post-crash low. The following is how an article by Bloomberg described the latest data....
U.S. commercial property prices fell to a post-recession low in March as sales of financially distressed assets weighed on the market, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
The Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index dropped 4.2 percent from February and is now 47 percent below the peak of October 2007, Moody’s said in a statement today.
But it is not just commercial real estate that is a giant mess.  New home sales also continue to struggle mightily.
In April, the number of new homes sold in the United States tied the lowest level ever recorded for that month.
These latest statistics just underscore the reality that the U.S. housing crash if very far from over.  As I have written about previously, the real estate crisis is absolutely crippling the economy and instead of signs of hope arising, things seem to be getting even worse.  For example, during the first quarter of 2011, home values declined at the fastest rate since late 2008.
So when in the world are things going to finally start turning around?

#8 Most Americans don't realize it, but Europe is closer to a financial meltdown than it ever has been before. 
Greece is either going to get another bailout or it is going to default.  If you do not understand the kind of chaos this would set off on world financial markets, just read this editorial.
The Greek debt crisis continues to get worse.  At this point, the yield on 10-year Greek bonds has now reached an astounding 16.76%.
But it is not just Greece that is in trouble.  All over Europe there are nations that are on the verge of financial collapse.  In Spain, nearly half of those between the ages of 18 and 25 are unemployed and the economic protests there have reached a frightening level.
Everyone hoped that a bailout or two would be enough to make the European debt crisis go away.  It has now become obvious that is not going to happen.
A financial meltdown in Europe is happening.  The only question is how it is going to play out.

#9 Over the past couple weeks, one of the most talked about people in the world has been Harold Camping.  I have avoided writing about him because there are at least a billion issues that are more important than what Harold Camping is saying.
But this is what the mainstream media loves to do.  They love to find a Christian with a crackpot theory and splash him all over the front page.
Camping has a very limited following and the vast majority of Christians think he is totally and completely wrong.
However, the mainstream media loves to talk about people like Camping because it is a tremendous opportunity for them to mock Christians and Christianity.
Look, anyone that put any stock in any of Camping's predictions is seriously deceived.  In case you didn't know, Camping predicted the date of the rapture before.  On September 6th, 1994, hundreds of Camping's followers gathered at an auditorium in Alameda, California waiting for the rapture.
So now Camping has been wrong two times.
Now Camping is saying that Judgment Day is going to be on October 21st and he says that he has figured out why he was wrong about May 21st.
If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.
If you are a Christian, then you know that there are dozens of prophecies that still need to be fulfilled before "the end of the world".  What Camping is proposing is literally impossible according to the Bible.
Of course the mainstream media knows this, but they have no problem turning Camping into a household name while ignoring the thousands upon thousands of Christians around the world that are doing really great things.
But this is the crazy world we live in.  We are all talking about Harold Camping because the big media companies decided that was the way it was going to be.
It is time that all of us wake up and start thinking for ourselves.
Our world is becoming crazier by the minute and the mainstream media is certainly not helping things.  In times like these, it is going to be absolutely vital for all of us to engage our critical thinking skills and to not just blindly accept anything that someone else is trying to tell us.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LAY IT AT HIS FEET AND WALK AWAY

Our past lives are filled with good and bad memories. Sometimes those memories become a part of our present. When we carry regrets, anger, or resentment about painful things that have happened, the past never goes away. It follows us into the future, making us even more miserable than we were back then when it first happened.


The key to avoiding resentment about past hurts is to refuse to let those hurts fester in the first place. Today I received two emails from a woman who might have had good intentions, but her words hurt. Twice she pointed out something I had done wrong. They were totally innocent mistakes that weren't earth-shattering, but it was the way she worded her email that hurt me. Her words were blunt and right to the point. So lacking in compassion and kindness. She simply told me I screwed up twice and then signed her name.


My first reaction was to think of something clever to write back. I was always good at clever comebacks. But that was before I knew how wrong it is to sass back. Within about a minute of reading both emails, I realized that the best thing to do is simply say nothing. I laid my hurt at the feet of Jesus and walked away from it.

Whenever I find myself thinking about painful experiences, I catch myself from falling too deeply into those reflections. I'm getting very good at training my mind to think about positive past experiences. I know how much influence our thought lives have on our present lives. The things we think about affect us more than we realize. Dwelling on bad past experiences can make us bitter, depressed, tired, even sick. And it's something we choose to do to ourselves, we don't have to entertain hurtful thoughts. We do have control over what we think about.

One of my favorite strategies for disciplining my thought life is to pay back every bad thought with a good memory. This forces me to remember the joyful moments I've had. Doing this on a regular basis can renew my mind by giving me more energy and a positive outlook. Those negative thoughts never stop trying to creep in, but I have an army of good thoughts to attack them at every turn.

I can think about those summer days spent swinging on my grandma's blue chair swing under the apple tree or catching lightning bugs in the back yard as the day cools down and becomes night. I can remember that Halloween parade and the smell of cardboard as I walked along with nothing but a small peephole to look through. My mom had painted a clock on a tall, skinny box instead of buying me a costume. I can be thankful for the good moments of my childhood.

I can recall the days I spent in the mulberry bush and that dark purple sweetness on my tongue, coming home with grape-stained hands and no desire for dinner. I can think about the friends I had and the fun of growing up in town: watching the ferris wheel go up before the July carnival, camping out in a tent on a warm summer night, playing kickball with a yard full of neighbor kids, and ice skating at the pond with the smell and the warmth of a burning tire.

"Whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things." Those wise words can be found in the book of Philippians in The Bible. The things we meditate on can be any pleasant thought-- past, present or future. When you find yourself rehashing someone's hurtful words and what you'd really like to say back, think about the garden you want to plant this summer. Don't waste your mental energy on life-draining garbage thoughts. You know what they say, "Garbage in, garbage out."

The truth is that bad things happen to all of us and we can always find someone who had it much worse than we did. By dwelling on our bad experiences, we carry them with us forever and we never escape them. It's a choice that we make. We choose not to forgive. And we choose not to let go of the resentment. And the ugly past stays with us because we keep it alive every day in our minds.

Some people call it seeing the glass as "half full" instead of "half empty." I call it renewing my mind. It's a challenge, but disciplining your thought life is worth the effort. The payoff is peace, more energy, and a happier attitude and outlook.

Friday, May 20, 2011

FILLING THE VOID

There's nothing like discovering a good book to inspire a topic to write about. The Millersburg Historical Society's basement book sale once again supplied me with a treasure I can't put down. Living A Purpose Full Life is the title and it's just what I need to write about since I'm speaking on this subject tomorrow at my former church.

The book explores a woman's inner longing to find a life of meaning and purpose. Motherhood isn't enough to fulfill us: "Denise is at home with three children and enjoys the comings and goings of a mom's life. But in the quiet moments, as she rocks her crying toddler she wonders if the latchkey kids down the street (are okay). She thinks about the bag lady who was digging scraps out of the dumpster at the fast-food restaurant and wonders where she sleeps."

Women are searching for meaning in the midst of their busy lives. And although motherhood is certainly meaningful, women still long to be a light in the world beyond their homes and families.
Getting out of the house and going to work doesn't always bring the satisfaction they're looking for, which might explain why increasing numbers of women are leaving the work force. The primary reason women quit their jobs is a lack of satisfaction with the job itself. When a women doesn't feel she's doing something meaningful and making people's lives better, she'll feel like something is missing.

This sense of emptiness can affect even women who are busy being full-time moms. It also affects career women who have reached great levels of achievement: "Focusing on achievement alone isn't cutting it anymore. Women who have pushed through the glass ceiling of corporate management wonder, Why isn't this as wonderful as I thought it would be?"

For a job to be full of purpose and meaning, it has to align with our values and beliefs. For many women, that's not the case, especially if they believe they should be at home with their children instead of driving to work every day.

So what is the answer to all this? From what I've read so far, one sentence can sum it all up: "Meaning in life is not found in fulfilling divine purposes, but in a relationship with God." God created us to be in relationship with Him, and these longings we have to live lives of purpose flow from our primary reason for living...to know and love God. "This relationship with God then feeds our purposes in life...The more fully we come to know God, the more clear His purposes become to us."

If you're feeling empty and wondering, "Has my life counted for anything? What is all this for?" The emptiness you feel could be the void that God created in all of our lives, a void that was meant for Him to fill.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

YOU SHOULD KNOW

50 Things Every American Should Know About The Collapse Of The Economy
 From The Economic Collapse Blog

Right now, we are witnessing a truly historic collapse of the economy, and yet most Americans do not understand what is going on.  One of the biggest reasons why the American people do not understand what is happening to the economy is because our politicians and the mainstream media are not telling the truth.  Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke keep repeating the phrase "economic recovery" over and over, and this is really confusing for most Americans because things sure don't seem to be getting much better where they live.  There are millions upon millions of Americans that are sitting at home on their couches right now wondering why they lost their jobs and why nobody will hire them.  Millions of others are wondering why the only jobs they can get are jobs that a high school student could do.  Families all across America are wondering why it seems like their wages never go up but the price of food and the price of gas continue to skyrocket.  We are facing some very serious long-term economic problems in this country, and we need to educate the American people about why the collapse of the economy is happening.  If the American people don't understand why they are losing their jobs, why they are losing their homes and why they are drowning in debt then they are going to keep on doing all of the same things that they have been doing.  They will also keep sending the same idiot politicians back to Washington to represent us.  There are some fundamental things about the economy that every American should know.  The American people need to be shocked out of their entertainment-induced stupor long enough to understand what is really going on and what needs to be done to solve our nightmarish economic problems.  If we do not wake up enough Americans in time, the economic collapse that is coming could tear this nation to shreds.
The U.S. economy was once the greatest economic machine in modern world history.  It was truly a wonder to behold.  It worked so well that entire generations of Americans came to believe that America would enjoy boundless prosperity indefinitely.
But sadly, prosperity is not guaranteed for any nation.  Over the past several decades, some very alarming long-term economic trends have developed that are absolutely destroying the economy.  If dramatic changes are not made soon, a complete and total economic collapse will be unavoidable.
Unfortunately, the American people will never agree to fundamental changes to our economic and financial systems unless they are fully educated about what is causing our problems.  We have turned our backs on the principles of our forefathers and the principles of those that founded this nation.  We have rejected the ancient wisdom that was handed down to us.
It has been said that those that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.
We are about to experience the consequences of decades of really bad decisions.
Hopefully we can get the American people to wake up.
The following are 50 things that every American should know about the collapse of the economy....
#1 Do you remember how much was made of the "Misery Index" during the presidency of Jimmy Carter?  At that time, the "Misery Index" was constantly making headlines in newspapers all across the country.  Well, according to John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics, if we calculated unemployment and inflation the same way that we did back during the Carter administration, then the Misery Index today would actually be higher than at any point during the presidency of Jimmy Carter.
#2 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of about 5 million Americans were being hired every single month during 2006.  Today, an average of about 3.5 million Americans are being hired every single month.
#3 According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 5.5 million Americans that are currently unemployed and yet are not receiving unemployment benefits.
#4 All over America, state and local governments are selling off buildings just to pay the bills.  Investors can now buy up government-owned power plants, prisons and municipal buildings from coast to coast.  For example, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey recently sold off 16 government buildings (including the police and fire headquarters) just to pay some bills.
#5 When Americans think of "government debt", most of them only think of the federal government, but it is not just the federal government that has a massive debt problem.  State and local government debt has reached an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP.
#6 If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.
#7 Credit card usage in the United States is on the increase once again.  During the month of March, revolving consumer credit jumped 2.9%.  Sadly, it looks like Americans have not learned their lessons about the dangers of credit card debt.
#8 Last year, Social Security ran a deficit for the first time since 1983, and the "Social Security deficits" in future years are projected to be absolutely horrific.
#9 The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run out five years faster than they were projecting just last year.
#10 Right now we are watching what could potentially be the worst Mississippi River flood ever recorded play out right in front of our eyes.  One agricultural economist at Mississippi State University believes that this disaster could do 2 billion dollars of damage just to farms alone.
#11 The "tornadoes of 2011" that we just saw in the southeast United States are being called the worst natural disaster that the U.S. has seen since Hurricane Katrina.  It has been estimated that up to 25 percent of all of the poultry houses in Alabama were either significantly damaged or destroyed.  It is also believed that millions of birds were killed.
#12 The economic effects of the BP oil spill just seem to go on and on and on.  The number of very sick fish in the Gulf of Mexico is really starting to alarm scientists.  The following is how one local newspaper recently described the situation....
Scientists are alarmed by the discovery of unusual numbers of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waterways with skin lesions, fin rot, spots, liver blood clots and other health problems.
#13 The number of "low income jobs" in the U.S. has risen steadily over the past 30 years and they now account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States.
#14 All over America, hospitals that care for the poor and needy are so overwhelmed and are so broke that they are being forced to shut down.  Recently, a local newspaper in Florida ran an article about two prominent charity hospitals in Illinois that have served the poor for more than 100 years but are now asking for permission to shut down....
Two charity hospitals in Illinois are facing a life-or-death decision. There's not much left of either of them - one in Chicago's south suburbs, the other in impoverished East St. Louis - aside from emergency rooms crowded with patients seeking free care. Now they would like the state's permission to shut down.
#15 The U.S. dollar is in such bad shape that now even Steve Forbes is predicting that the U.S. is "likely" to go back to a gold standard within the next five years.
#16 Most Americans don't realize how much the U.S. dollar has been devalued over the years.  An item that cost $20.00 in 1970 would cost you $115.93 today.  An item that cost $20.00 in 1913 would cost you $454.36 today.
#17 Over the past 12 months the average price of gasoline in the United States has gone up by about 30%.
#18 U.S. oil companies will bring in about $200 billion in pre-tax profits this year.  They will also receive about $4.4 billion in specialized tax breaks from the U.S. government.
#19 It is being projected that for the first time ever, the OPEC nations are going to bring in over a trillion dollars from exporting oil this year.  Their biggest customer is the United States.
#20 According to the Pentagon, there are minerals worth over a trillion dollars under the ground in Afghanistan.  Now, J.P. Morgan is starting to tap those riches with the help of the U.S. military.
#21 Speaking of J.P. Morgan, most Americans don't realize that they are actually the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States.  In fact, the more Americans that go on food stamps the more money that J.P. Morgan makes.
#22 When 2007 began, there were about 26 million Americans on food stamps.  Today, there are over 44 million on food stamps, and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#23 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#24 Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year.  That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.
#25 The financial system is more vulnerable today than it was back in 2008 before the financial panic. Today, the world financial system has been turned into a giant financial casino where bets are made on just about anything you can possibly imagine, and the major Wall Street banks make a ton of money from this betting system.  The system is largely unregulated (the new "Wall Street reform" law has only changed this slightly) and it is totally dominated by the big international banks. The danger from derivatives is so great that Warren Buffet once called them "financial weapons of mass destruction". It is estimated that the "derivatives bubble" is somewhere in the neighborhood of a quadrillion dollars, and once it pops there isn't going to be enough money in the entire world to bail everyone out.
#26 Between December 2000 and December 2010, the United States ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars with the rest of the world, and the U.S. has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976.
#27 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, and the U.S. trade deficit with China is now 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#28 In 2010, the number one U.S. export to China was "scrap and trash".
#29 All over the United States, many of our once great manufacturing cities are being transformed into hellholes.  In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas.
#30 During the first three months of this year, less new homes were sold in the U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded.
#31 New home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.
#32 America's real estate crisis just seems to get worse and worse.  U.S. home prices have now fallen a whopping 33% from where they were at during the peak of the housing bubble.
#33 According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.
#34 The European debt crisis could cause a global financial collapse like the one that we saw in 2008 at any time.  The world economy is incredibly interconnected today, and the United States would not be immune.  A recent IMF report stated the following about the growing sovereign debt crisis in Europe....
Strong policy responses have successfully contained the sovereign debt and financial-sector troubles in the euro area periphery so far. But contagion to the core euro area and then onward to emerging Europe remains a tangible risk.
#35 According to one study, the 50 U.S. state governments are collectively 3.2 trillion dollars short of what they need to meet their pension obligations.
#36 A different study has shown that individual Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.
#37 The cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent since 1978.
#38 According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980.  Today they account for approximately 16.3%.
#39 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
#40 The combined debt of the major GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae) has increased from 3.2 trillion in 2008 to 6.4 trillion in 2011.  Thanks to our politicians, U.S. taxpayers are standing behind that debt.
#41 The U.S. government is over 14 trillion dollars in debt and the budget deficit for this year is projected to be about 1.5 trillion dollars.  However, if the U.S. government was forced to use GAAP accounting principles (like all publicly-traded corporations must), the U.S. government budget deficit would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 trillion to $5 trillion each and every year.
#42 Most Americans don't understand that the Federal Reserve and the debt-based monetary system that it runs are at the very heart of our economic problems.  All of this debt is absolutely crushing us.  The U.S. government spent over 413 billion dollars on interest on the national debt during fiscal 2010, and it is being projected that the U.S. government will be shelling out 900 billion dollars just in interest on the national debt by the year 2019.
#43 Standard & Poor’s has altered its outlook on U.S. government debt from "stable" to "negative" and is warning that the U.S. could soon lose its AAA rating.
#44 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income.
#45 U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.
#46 59 percent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another.
#47 According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans believed that the economy was "getting better" at this time last year.  Today, that number is at just 27 percent.
#48 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States.
#49 The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#50 The percentage of millionaires in Congress is more than 50 times higher than the percentage of millionaires in the general population.
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GOD NOTICES THE LITTLE THINGS



I heard a sermon recently about being faithful in the little things. The speaker said that when we're faithful in the little things, even when we think no one notices, God notices. He sees our determination and eventually he will bless us with bigger and better things to be faithful in.

There are so many little ways we can be faithful. Did you ever buy something in the grocery store and then change your mind about it? Have you ever tucked a bag of cookies in the bread aisle? That's what I'm talking about. No one saw you do it, but you knew that you should have put those cookies back where you got them.

Every day, we do little things here and there that bring disorder to our lives. We are lazy when we should be ambitious. Sometimes I get so tired of standing at the kitchen sink and tackling yet another round of dishes, I just walk away. Some members of my family have a habit of dropping dirty clothes and wet towels on the floor. The paper clutter of mail, magazines, newspapers, artwork, school papers and everything else becomes a small mountain to sift through after only a few days.

These are the little things God wants us to be faithful with. My husband is the organized one in the family. He always reminds us that Heaven is an organized place. I've come a long way, but I have a long way to go.  I'm still trying to become a better listener (another little thing). I'm still trying to build patience, speak encouraging words, keep my car organized, improve my memory, use my time well, be a focused reader, and a disciplined eater.

When we fail to be victorious in these little things, they can become big issues and make our lives miserable. All God asks is that we make an effort. If he sees us making an effort, he will bless us. Be faithful in the little things and watch your blessings grow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A BLOGGER WHO THINKS LIKE ME

May 14, 2011


The Shaking of the Nations

We come, as we so often do, to the reminder that “only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Meanwhile, the days hasten on for the return of Christ. All the signs are happening just as the Bible said. Even now the Antichrist may be alive somewhere on planet earth. All across the globe the nations are beginning to shake. The first days of dawn are streaking the eastern skies. Somewhere in heaven Gabriel is warming up his trumpet. And in Israel scientists report the birth of the first red heifer in 2000 years.

What fantastic days these are. Remember what Jesus said. “When all these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). Let us not be afraid, not even a little bit. Fear not, child of God, for the plan of the ages is in the hand of Almighty God. Build your life on those things that will last forever and you will never be disappointed.

One final word and I am done. Jesus is coming again. Do you know him? No question is more important for time or for eternity. Recently I saw a bumper stick with a fascinating play on words:
Know Jesus? Know life.
No Jesus? No life.

How true. If you know Jesus, you also know life for he came to provide “life more abundantly” (John 10:10). But if you don’t know Jesus, you don’t even know what life itself is all about. Run to the cross, embrace the dying form of the Son of God. Rest all your hopes on Jesus. Believe that he died and rose from the dead and you will be saved. Look to Jesus and no matter what happens around you, your future will be secure.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

JUST ANOTHER DAY ON THE MISSISSIPPI

Flooding of biblical proportion...but to the Scoffer, it's just another day, business as usual.  All the curses found in the Bible are hitting our nation and famine is next.  

From John McTernan's Insights
Floods, Famines, Fires, Etc.
The flooding along the Mississippi River is massive as millions of acres are flooded. This has resulted in tens of thousands of homes being destroyed and huge sections of farmland. The severe droughts along with the rains and flooding are affecting the crops. The crops throughout the world are being affected which is heading towards famines. The LORD is warning His people of what is coming, just like He warned Joseph. Joseph took action and saved Egypt. Please, there is very little time left. Stock up in food and supplies as God leads you. I recommend that you store far more than you need, so you have extra for family and friends who had no idea what was coming.
The massive floods, fires and tornado storms are just a warning of what is about to overtake America. All the curses found in the Bible are going to hit this nation, as America continues to exalt sodomy and tries to divide Jerusalem. For 20 years, the Holy God of Israel has warned America with disaster after disaster coinciding with national sinful events. It appears that the warnings are now over and the disastrous judgments from which there is no recovery are on the way.
1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (17) And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Mississippi flood damage could reach billions 05/10/11
1937 flood record now broken 05/12/11
Mississippi May Flood 3 Million Acres, Halt Refineries 05/12/11
Weak U.S. harvest, bigger demand could mean higher food prices 05/09/11
Forecast: Kan. wheat production down 27 percent 05/12/11
Crop Damage From Weather Growing as Cost of Grains Advances 05/10/11 "Less than a year after the worst drought in a generation destroyed one-third of Russia’s wheat crop and sent global food prices surging, more bad weather is damaging fields from North America to Europe to Asia."
French Wheat in ‘Danger Zone’ on Drought, Crops Office Says 05/11/11
Toxin from GM crops found in human blood 05/11/11 There probably will not be a mention of this in the US papers. This will be censored out.
Zechariah 12:6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

Friday, May 13, 2011

TAKING THE SCENIC ROUTE


I was pushing my grocery cart to the parking lot at Wal Mart when I realized that I forgot where I parked.  I ended up making a giant circle and when I finally spotted my car, I was pushing the cart back toward the store instead of away from it. As I unloaded my groceries, I noticed an old man with a huge smile on his face walking toward me and looking straight at me.  His smile was so jolly, he was almost laughing. Then finally he spoke and I realized what had him so amused: "And here I thought only us old guys took the scenic route," he said. "I guess I wasn't supposed to see that," he added with a chuckle.

I drove home feeling amused by his comment. The things we do really are entertaining at times. It's great to be organized and sharp minded, but sometimes it's just more fun to take the scenic route through life. Have you ever taken a wrong turn on a road trip and discovered something amazing that you would have missed if you had followed your directions perfectly? That's what I'm talking about. It's these chance surprises that make life more adventurous and full of discoveries. And if we live life with a strict set of rules, we miss out on some great scenery.

I'm not talking about moral or ethical rules.  I'm talking about the self-imposed rules we create for ourselves and our children.  These rules cause us to make decisions that prevent fun and discovery. I know people who do everything according to a rigid set of rules, and I find myself not wanting to be around them.  Everything I do and say comes under their scrutiny.  I can't live up to their orderly expectations.

I'd like to think that even God takes the scenic route sometimes. Life isn't all about rules. Sometimes it's about the reasons behind the things we do. But when we're rigid and rule-minded, we miss the reasons and we miss the chance to discover beautiful details about people, places, and things.





If a husband insists on a perfectly ordered home every day, he might overlook when his wife doesn't feel well and that's why the house is a mess. He makes his ridiculous rule more important than his wife.  Another example is someone who makes it a rule never to accept charity or any kind of help.  That pride deprives others of both the satisfaction of helping, and the blessing they'll get in return.  Think of the friendships that don't have a chance to bloom because of stubborn pride.

Taking the scenic route is sometimes the best road to take. If I had been rule-minded and sharp that day at Wal Mart, I would have taken note of where I parked. But I would have missed out on a happy moment of seeing an old man laugh and being the reason for his amusement. Some of life's best moments happen when we toss our rigid rules, reject our strict standards and instead take the scenic route.