Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The State of the ChurchMore than one entry in a day? Amazing. But, after I posted this morning I found this item below. You can read the original here.Hip Pastor Blasts Those Who Want to Go Deeper into God’s Word Rock star pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, says you are a jackass if you’re sick of shallow seeker sermons and want to go deeper into God’s Word. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Noble has led the nation’s lemming pastors into new frontiers of circus church. Who would have ever thought to use AC/DC’s Highway to Hell as a church prelude before Noble hit the scene? You can see a clip of Noble decrying those who want spiritual meat from the pulpit (go to the link above). It’s really that bad out there.

What do you think, bothers and sisters?

The Global Warming Keeps on Falling

As I write this we have about 8 inches of fresh global warming on the ground - so far. The snow is white and fresh and looks lovely. But it covers a multitude of problems, doesn’t it? The snow itself is treacherous for drivers. In this case, the fact that the snow is very wet and heavy could cause some electrical outages, downed trees, and other mishaps and problems.

In Isaiah 1:18, we read, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” What does this mean? Well, a look at the context tells us that Israel was a rebellious nation. Verses 15 to 17 state, “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” (Read the entire chapter here.)

God has promised that He will change our calamitous state of affairs into a state of peace with Him. If we follow Him; if we become disciples of Jesus Christ; we will not appear before Him at the judgment wearing the scarlet clothing of sin, debauchery, and rebellion. Rather we will be clothed in a garment as white as the fresh-fallen snow.

For those of you in the snowy parts of our nation and the world, think about this as you watch the snow cover the ground.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Broken Bones and God's Work

Last Wednesday, I got a free ride to the Emergency Room. It happened like this. My wife (and BFF) and I were taking down the screen porch we put on our back porch for summer (yes, we were late). I tripped over one of the posts that hold the awning up. I landed on my ankle, which had folded under me - and I heard the POP.

I'm the sort of guy who seldom goes to doctors or hospitals. This time I knew I had to go. It was broken. This was confirmed by the X-rays, so I was wrapped up and told to go to the orthopedic doctor for a cast or to decide if I need surgery. Cast it is. No surgery.

While we were in the ER, we had several opportunities to share the love of God with patients and the triage nurse. When you're in a wheelchair, I guess you are less frightening to other patients.

The nurse noticed that Sandra and I were having a good time, despite the pain. She said she seldom sees people laughing there and then she asked how we could be so happy! So we told her.

God is good. I don't know what else He has to teach me during this time. I'm still in pain and I have to have the cast on for at least a month (with ski season starting NOW). But, I'm ready for His lessons.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Giving Thanks

It's a harsh world sometimes. Recent events in the news have made it seem even more so. War is still raging. There have been several public shooting incidents in the past week. The Health care debacle continues. The recession has been declared to be over, but the pain remains.

But praise be to God, there is much for which to be thankful. In this month in which we contemplate those things for which we are thankful, let's forget about the material things for just a bit and concentrate on much higher issues.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2)

Sandra and I always had our girls write thank you notes whenever they received a gift of any kind. This was good handwriting practice and a good vehicle for us to discuss with them the topic of thankfulness. Those of us who are Christians have much to be thankful for. The verse above mentions two of the more important reasons to be thankful.

The first is Grace. Grace is the “channel” through which salvation flows to undeserving sinners. Only God controls this remote! Ephesians 2:8-9 read this way: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.” Salvation from the consequences of our own sinfulness comes by grace. It’s a gift. It’s unearnable. As a result, we can have Peace.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. (Ephesians 2:13-14; 17-18).

Peace, in the Biblical context, means “wholeness,” “completeness.” By the work of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we can have access to the father – for all eternity. We will be made complete by being made one with the Father who is our creator – and who loves us.

Thanksgiving Day has become a ritual for us. Football, turkey, pumpkin cheesecake, family and friends can all be part of the mix. There is nothing wrong with any of that. Enjoy it all (and don’t tell my doctor about the cheesecake). But if you are a Christian, you have special reasons to celebrate, on Thanksgiving Day and every day. You can be thankful for the Grace and Peace extended by Jesus Christ, the savior, who alone has made you righteous.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

If I Were Emperor...

I have become less and less interested in politics in the last couple of presidential cycles. I guess it would be more accurate to say I have been dismayed at the quality of candidates we’ve had. Then I realize that we get the candidates we deserve.

God is in control.

But there are days, like yesterday, when I say things like, “That wouldn’t be a problem if I was King – or Emperor.” Believe me folks, neither you nor I really wish that were true.

But what if….

If I were Emperor…

  • We would not be dependent on foreign oil. We would drill on our own land, being careful, of course, not to be destructive. Why is it, I wonder, that compassionate liberals find it wrong to disturb the tundra to drill for oil in our own nation, but thinks it’s OK to drill in other lands.
  • English would be the official language of the land. I don’t have a problem with people speaking whatever language they want, but in order to do business, we should speak the same language. As I travel to other countries I find nearly everybody speaking English or wanting to learn. Not Here (unless I was Emperor).
  • We would not be moving toward a planned economy. We would actually learn from the history of the Soviet Union that planned economies do not work. We would recognize that all the former Warsaw Pact nations are striving after capitalism.
  • Illegal immigration would go away. I understand that people still want to come to this country for its many benefits. This Emperor would make sure that they do it legally. All benefits of any kind would be cut off to those who sneak into our country. I recognize that there would be hardships. Compassion would be part of the formula, but….
  • We would have a flat tax of some sort. We would get rid of the thousands (maybe millions) of pages of tax law, and the IRS.
  • We would rid ourselves of much of the bureaucracy which exists in government at all levels. The Education Department would be the first to go.
  • Recognizing that strong fences make good neighbors, I would fund the Department of Defense adequately.
  • I would either fight the war in Afghanistan to win – or get out. We should have learned in VietNam that you cannot fight a war half-heartedly.
  • I would separate church and state. This means that I would not interfere with the religious beliefs of the people unless they constituted a danger to the nation. Remember, I’m the Emperor and I decide what constitutes danger. I would not allow foot washing stations to be built in public places (like airports and schools) at public expense, while denying manger scenes.
  • I would review all government policies having to do with health care. Maybe if the government got out of the way, health care would be more affordable. Did I mention no free health care for illegals?

This is a partial list. What would be on your list?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our Great Leader

Saw this video today and thought that I would share it. This seems like the sort of thing that went along with "Soviet Realism," and the "cult of personality." After watching the video, I suggest that you follow the links and read some of the history.

As always, comments are welcome and encouraged.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Book Recommendation

This not so much a book review as a recommendation; a great, big, rousing recommendation!

The book is Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys, by Hal and Melanie Young. Sandra and I do not have sons. We never did. Nor do we any longer have children to raise. But we loved this book.

It's solid; it's funny; it's practical. They give examples, anecdotes, and strategies, as well as lists of resources. Sandra read it to me in two sittings.

I recommend that you buy this book, and buy one to give to your pastor. Pastor: you really do need to read this book. It is deep in insight and will help you minister to families - whether they homeschool or not; whether they have sons or not.

The book will be available in late October, but pre-orders are being taken now. Go here to order.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Big Brother Really is Watching

In several conversations recently the concept of purchasing an automated highway toll system for one's car has come up. These are the little automated devices you put in the car and then you don't have to wait in line to pay tolls. The toll amount is deducted from your prepaid account. The real discussion, of course had to do with whether or not this device allows the government (or anyone else) to track our movements. The response from many folks has been, "Oh they already know plenty about me."

Now a new method has been found that can allow the government to dig even deeper. Its name is "Cash for Clunkers." Innocuous sounding, right. The government is merely trying to help jump start the auto industry and help us get new and better cars. Allow me to introduce you to this video.

Yeah, I know, It's Glenn Beck. But listen (it's only four minutes). The verbiage they read on this video is from the government website. If you go onto this website and ignore the warnings, your computer becomes government property. Everything in it and every activity conducted on it becomes theirs. Watch the video!

That Orwell dude knew his stuff, didn't he.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Danger! Danger!

Science "Czar" Wants to Sterilize, Abort, Create "Planetary Regime."

John Holdren, the learned Professor fro Hahvahd, who is the choice of BHO to be his top science advisor is a nut case - and a dangerous one at that.

Here are a few of his suggestions as to how to rid the US of the undesirables (meaning those on the homeland security and MIAC lists of potential terrorists, I assume. Certainly not the intellectual elites):

"[a]dding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control," such an approach would have to "meet some rather stiff requirements; … be uniformly effective; … free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects;" and pass both PETA and AARP muster by having "no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock."

Czar Holdren further postulates that "a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable. The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries' shares within their regional limits."

He concludes that "sterilizing women after their second or third child" may be more practical than sterilizing men, and proposes a "long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin" at puberty and then "might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.

"Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?" he asks, suggesting "that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution. [N]either the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce," observes the learned professor.

Friends, this sounds like a combination of China's "One Child Policy" (which I dub the "No Child Left" Policy), with Hitler's extermination policies, 1984, and Eugenics. Maybe there are a few other bad movements to which we can compare it.

One thing I can tell you. It is not Godly. Children are a gift from God, and we are all made in God's image. Extermination of the unwanted is not a new desire. It has been going on, in many forms, for millenia. Now, the President of the US - and, for the moment, leader of the free world - has appointed as a top advisor an elitist, Godless, Harvard Don to oversee the destruction of human beings.

Christians, pray and work against Barack Obama and all his appointees. They are anti-God and abnti-Christian.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mandated Abortion?

No, I haven't read it either, but I have seen portions of the Health care bill(s). Not opinion; quoted portions.

It looks to me as though taxpayer dollars are going to spent on more and more abortions as well as the construction of new abortion facilities - again at taxpayer expense.

Does this mean that I become complicit in the America Tragedy which is a regular and normal medical procedure these days?

Next question: Should conservatives and conservative Christians be considering withholding some of their federal income tax if this comes about?

Think about it. Don't, however, assume that you will get any breaks when the IRS prosecutes you. That's only for high officials of the land. Be prepared, should you decide to take such a stand - or engage in any form of civil disobedience, to take your civilly-meted-out punishment.

Once again - talk among yourselves.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New ‘World Currency’ at G-8

Read about it here.

Any questions?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Here's one more example of government intrusion into church business - and harassment/persecution.


Monday, June 08, 2009

When Will They Ban Your Bible Study?

First it was San Diego. A neighborhood Bible study was banned by the government. Although the ban was retracted and a letter of apology sent, this was still harassment - and a warning shot. Why was the ban lifted? I don't suspect that it was out of a sense of doing what is right in the eyes of the law. Rather, I believe that it was because of the public outcry. We need more of that.

Now it's Tulsa. You can read the story here, but the summary is that Child Evangelism Fellowship has been told that they can no longer hold Bible studies in the housing projects. They've been there for decades, both leading Bible studies and helping children of the poor.

It's only two stories, but how many more Bible studies and Christian activities have been banned? How many cities of towns have said, "you can no longer do that in schools or public buildings"? How many church plants have received notice that they are no longer welcome in school auditoriums?

We live in an era in which it is not only fine to harass the Christians (while building new foot-washing basins, at public expense for Muslims), but the latent distrust for and anger at Christians is rising to the surface.

In 1 Corinthians 15:58 we read,"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Stand firm. We already know the outcome. Persecution may be on the horizon, but beyond the horizon is eternity.

Stand up. Name the Name of Christ. Be different. Let the pagan world KNOW that you are one of Christ's.

If you know of other incidents of harassment in "the land of the free," share them with us. Let us all be praying for our brothers and sisters.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Can I Get an "Amen"?

Brothers and Sisters,

Just Listen and enjoy.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pray for Your Leaders

I had the opportunity to serve as Chaplain to the Maine Senate on Thursday, May 21. They bring in different pastors and otrher "religious leaders" to open their legislative sessions each day. I though that I would share with you what I presented to the Senators and how I prayed for them.

Maine State Senate May 21, 2009

Those of you who read the Bible may be familiar with the text found in the Epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, verse 1. It reads as follows:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

What this says to me is that you legislators have been ordained by God to your task. You are here doing God’s work, by His authority. I know you already take your duties seriously, but this adds yet another dimension to both your authority and your responsibility.

On the other side of the coin is the statement of the Apostles Peter and John when told by the authorities of their day that they should not preach or teach in the name of Jesus. They replied (as recorded in the book of Acts, chapter 4, verse 19) "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.

When Christian citizens are confronted with laws which are contrary to God’s Word, they can be expected to respond as did Peter and John.

So, we pray for you. My congregation and many other congregations across Maine pray for you regularly. We recognize that your responsibilities are great and that this is a very trying time for you as well as for the rest of our nation – and the world.

It is with these things in mind that I say to you this morning: Let us pray.

Almighty God, we give thanks for your great Providence in the establishing of this nation in which we still enjoy freedom of assembly and freedom of worship. We pray that we may continue in these great blessings.

We pray for this august body assembled here to do the business of the State of Maine. If there be those in our midst who are in ill health, we pray for their healing.

If there be some who are sick of heart or spirit, we pray that you grant them peace.

We ask that you grant forgiveness for our sins; for any lack of compassion for the sick and defenseless, for complacency in the face of need, for the waste of resources which you have bestowed upon us.

We ask that these legislators be of clear and open minds; that they act fairly; that they protect those who need protection; and that they use wisely the wealth of the citizens of this state.

God, we thank you for the opportunity that each of us has to serve, each in his or her own way, and we ask your blessing upon this legislature this day.

I pray in the Name of my Lord and Savior,


I expected some flak for my use of the Name Jesus, for my reference to my Lord and Savior, and for my stating that we (Christians) may not always be obedient if legislation differs from God's Word. I saw no glares from the gallery, however. In fact, two senators made it a point to thank me for my words and my prayer.

Continue to pray for your leaders, local, state and federal. May God bless them with wisdom (real Wisdom).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Going Dutch

Sandra and I are in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands this week. It is a small community just outside Amsterdam. We've been leading a few seminars on Christian family life and home education. The groups have been larger than we expected and the people have been responsive and interactive.

Our hosts have been marvelous and taken great care of us. All of our sessions have been in English and no interpretation has been necessary.

It has been a stretching time for us. We both like to have things well and truly organized. Here we have had a very fluid schedule and the talks we prepared have been cast aside as we find out more about the needs and desires of the folks here. It has been good for us. Yesterday we arrived at a book fair and found out that we were scheduled to speak for two hours! 

Serious discussion with the Christians here has been ongoing. Of particular interest to some of the men (we had a Men's Night Friday that lasted past midnight) was the discussion on a man's role in the family. One man was nearly astonished when I stated that a Biblical Christian man must be anti-feminist. It was  not that he disagreed, it was, as he said that, "nobody dares to say such things in the Netherlands." Long and fruitful discussion followed!

Today, however, we had some time off and went to the Keukenhof, a two-month long festival of my favorite flower - the TULIP. Now, I'm sitting in the garden, blogging, enjoying God's creation - and playing with the children. They accept me on their level and have been very patient with me as they try to teach me Dutch.

Good times.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Taxation Without Representation

On April 15, citizens around the nation will gather in "Tea Parties" to protest profligate spending of taxpayer money, by the elected "representatives" of the people. I will be among them. Let me first state that I am not against taxes. When they are used to meet the constitutionally-intended purposes for taxation, I am willing to put up my share. I am not willing to pay for unconstitutional activities. Nor am I willing to pay your share.

Many in the "movement" of tax protesters have stated that their complaint is not against taxation without representation as was the first Tea Party in Boston Harbor. That may be the case with those individuals. It is not my situation. I am unrepresented in Congress. Millions of others who wish to protect the Constitution of this country are also feeling disenfranchised.

I am certainly not represented by those who claim to represent me. This is the way of democracy, one might say. But the fact is that the"reps" do what they believe is right (or politically expedient) without regard to the beliefs and desires of those they allegedly represent.

In Congress I have one Representative, a liberal Democrat. I also have two allegedly-Republican Senators. All three voted in favor of the "Stimulus Bill." I sent emails to all three asking that they please vote against this bill. Two responded. Each defended her (yes, all three are female) reasons for voting this monstrosity of a liability onto the backs of my grandchildren. Here is the closing paragraph from the response I got from my friendly Representative.
I am confident that this package is a necessary first step towards jump-starting our struggling economy and putting people back to work in Maine and around the country - in jobs that will rebuild our infrastructure and expand information technology to rural areas, modernize our archaic health care system, strengthen our children's education and move America towards a sustainable energy future that breaks our dependence on foreign oil. I appreciate your thoughts on the recovery package, and I hope that this letter helps explain my decision to support it.
Please note that this is merely a first step. Both legislators and governors around the nation have promised to tax anything and everything. Combine this power of taxation with the general hatred of Christianity evident among the "elite" classes and we can expect churches to be taxed to the limit - and beyond in the near future.

We'll get socialized medicine, soon. I probably won't be able to afford the gas to get to any appointment my government deigns to assign me, though.

In 1776, the year of the birth of this nation, Adam Smith published his great tome, The Wealth of Nations. He had a lot to say about taxes. He listed four basic rules for taxation:

1. "The subject of every State ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the State." (Perhaps Mr. Timothy Franz Geithner should be reminded of this maxim).

2. "The tax each individual is bound to pay ought to be certain, and not arbitrary. The time of payment, the manner of payment, and the quantity to be paid, ought all to be clear and plain to the contributor, and to ever other person." (How many pages are there in the IRS code?).

3. "Every tax ought to be levied at the time, or in the manner in which it is most likely to be convenient for the contributor to pay it." (Convenient for me? Not likely).

4. "Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the State." (They don't take much out of the pockets of many of our government officials).

I'll be out on April 15. As I stated, I'm not against legitimate taxes. I'm against foolish, wasteful, non-productive, and confiscatory taxation.

Buy some tea today!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Are the American People Powerless?

Speaking of a character in her book, Maisie Dobbs, author Jacqueline Winspear writes the following:

I do believe that people such as Jenkins [the character in the book], Hitler – or any such leader – gain power amid fear and uncertainty. At the heart of every cult is a compelling personality, one who exudes a certain charisma…. The trouble is that such individuals come to power on a tide of support from people desperate for leadership – people who are suffering emotionally, economically – and then such leaders create a mood of fear to maintain control when the people begin to doubt. Thus the people – whether a group or a nation – are powerless. And that fear can be of the leader himself and the consequence of crossing him, or of an external threat to one’s safety.
(A Penguin Reader Guide to Maisie Dobbs, p. 12. Appended to Maisie Dobbs, published by Penguin Books in 2004).
This could have been written yesterday. It could certainly describe our most recent presidential election. The desperation was there. We had looming financial crises, and an ineffective lame duck president (among other things, I don’t think I will ever forget the fact that George Bush did not pardon the border guards who were imprisoned), a continuing war on several fronts, and large problems growing on our southern border.

The charisma factor is certainly there, as well. Remember when women were actually swooning at Obama political rallies?

Are the people beginning to doubt? You betcha. Folks have begun to sprinkle the label "amateur" into their discussions of the administration in Washington. Calls for resignations have begun in the halls of Congress. Has the administration contributed to a mood of fear? Yup. Of course, the sky is always falling with liberals.

Are the people powerless? Increasingly so. Despite massive campaigns to stop them, only the most heinous of individuals is being appointed to high office. It seems that very few of the appointees to high office pay their taxes. You know what would happen to you or to me if we didn’t pay. The #2 man in the justice department is a porn lawyer who wants to take away parental rights. The Secretary of Education wants to take away our guns – and will be in a position to further indoctrinate our children. The Secretary of State... Well, you know.

Abortion is legal, homosexuality is normalized, and children (and maybe animals) may soon have the right to sue anybody. Ammunition is hard to find. And federal troops were sent to a small town in Alabama!!!! Read the story here. After reading that story, do you not wonder if this was a dry run for martial law?

Discuss among yourselves.

I know that we have the leadership we deserve. Read Romans 13:1 if you doubt that. But that does not mean we lay down and accept the dismantling of the constitution of the land in which we live. In fact, we are told in Jeremiah 29:7 to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” This means, friends, that we are to work to make this country the best it can be in a fallen world. Destroying the constitution upon which it was built is not in the best interest of our country, its citizens, or the international community.

Work, in whatever manner you are able, to secure the rights of the people. Pray for the nation, for its leaders and especially for Barack Obama. Prepare for hard times, especially if you are a Christian who believes in family values and the sanctity of human life.

What think you, citizens?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The End of the Evangelical Church?

This is a topic I have thought about for some time. Yesterday, I read a commentary titled “The Coming Evangelical Collapse.” While I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the article, there is a lot to chew on. The author points out several factors that will lead to the demise of a number of different types of congregations and denominations. I hope you’ll take just a few minutes to read and reflect upon what he has written.

It’s a good time, perhaps, to think about what Jesus, Himself, has to say on the matter. In John 12:32, the Lord is quoted as saying, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

I’m not one to put a lot of stock in arguments from silence. In this case, however, it is instructive to note that Jesus did not say men would be drawn to him by church programs; by slick preaching; by wonderful outreach literature; by funky music; by “facilitators” in sharp Hawaiian shirts (or shark-skin suits); by technology; by good (fair trade) coffee in the church cafe; or by any other man-made device. Jesus said that He would draw men to Himself.

What churches will survive, albeit through much struggle? Those that preach the Gospel and attempt to live as instructed in God’s Word. It’s that simple.

I know that people are resistant and they want the glitz and glamor and the music. Maybe we have reached the time in American history when they’ll start listening again.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Self-Interest i$ Good for the Nation

Much can be learned by reading history. This appears to be something that is totally lacking among the “elite” ruling class of the nation. Instead they seem to all have read law, which they proceed to ignore and or manipulate for their own greedy purposes. Below, just a few quotes pertinent to our current problems in this nation.

Most of these quotes are from Adam Smith, who published his magnum opus, Wealth of Nations, in the very important year of 1776.

It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense... They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will. -The Wealth of Nations, Book II, Chapter III

Great nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct. The whole, or almost the whole public revenue, is in most countries employed in maintaining unproductive hands... Such people, as they them-selves produce nothing, are all maintained by the produce of other men's labour... Those unproductive hands, who should be maintained by a part only of the spare revenue of the people, may consume so great a share of their whole revenue, and thereby oblige so great a number to encroach upon their capitals, upon the funds destined for the maintenance of productive labour, that all the frugality and good conduct of individuals may not be able to compensate the waste and degradation of produce occasioned by this violent and forced encroachment.
-The Wealth of Nations, Book II, Chapter III

The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition ... is so powerful, that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations.
-The Wealth of Nations Book IV Chapter V Section IV

I. The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities...
II. The tax which each individual is bound to pay ought to be certain, and not arbitrary. The time of payment, the manner of payment, the quantity to be paid, ought all to be clear and plain to the contributor, and to every other person...
III. Every tax ought to be levied at the time, or in the manner, in which it is most likely to be convenient for the contributor to pay...
IV. Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the treasury of the state.
First, the levying of it may require a great number of officers... Secondly, it may obstruct the industry of the people, and discourage them Thirdly, by the forfeitures and other penalties which those unfortunate individuals incur who attempt unsuccessfully to evade the tax, it may frequently ruin them, and thereby put an end to the benefit which the community might have received from the employment of their capitals... Fourthly, by subjecting the people to the frequent visits and the odious examination of the tax-gatherers, it may expose them to much unnecessary trouble...
-The Wealth of Nations, Book V Chapter II Pt II

In every great monarchy of Europe the sale of the crown lands would produce a very large sum of money, which, if applied to the payment of the public debts, would deliver from mortgage a much greater revenue than any which those lands have ever afforded to the crown...When the crown lands had become private property, they would, in the course of a few years, become well-improved and well-cultivated...the revenue which the crown derives from the duties of customs and excise, would necessarily increase with the revenue and consumption of the people.
-The Wealth of Nations, I Book V Chapter II Part II

The proprietor of stock is necessarily a citizen of the world, and is not necessarily attached to any particular country. He would be apt to abandon the country in which he was exposed to a vexatious inquisition, in order to be assessed to a burdensome tax, and would remove his stock to some other country where he could either carry on his business, or enjoy his fortune more at his ease. By removing his stock he would put an end to all the industry which it had maintained in the country which he left. Stock cultivates land; stock employs labour. A tax which tended to drive away stock from any particular country, would so far tend to dry up every source of revenue, both to the sovereign and to the society. Not only the profits of stock, but the rent of land and the wages of labour, would necessarily be more or less diminished by its removal.
-The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chapter II
And from Thomas Jefferson, these gems:

I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 7 July 1785

Never spend your money before you have earned it.
-Thomas Jefferson

Just a couple more:
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
-Ernest Hemingway

The government s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
- Ronald Reagan

Bottom line: Capitalists create wealth, generally out of self-interest. It is in the interest of the people that they be unfettered by regulation, taxation, and general meddling. Dumping unbacked currency onto a problem has done nothing to help the government education systems or any other industry with no incentive to be frugal and efficient.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pray for the Government

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
-1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)
For some folks this is a difficult passage right now. They don't like the philosophical basis behind the current administration. They don't like the direction the country seems to be going (it's not just "leaning" anymore). They realize history has shown us that government intervention in commerce and a managed economy are doomed to failure.

A good friend of mine (you know who you are!), is really working hard at it because he is so set against everything he sees our government doing and believing. He is working at it, though (aren't you?).

A couple of weeks ago, at a Bible study, the following prayer was brought to our attention. It was written by the second most well-known author in history, "Author Unknown." I pass it along for your perusal, comments, maybe for your adoption.

Beloved Father, we pray that our elected officials would recognize their personal sinfulness and need for the cleansing power of Jesus Christ.
  • Help them to understand their inadequacy for the task before them and their need to pray to You for wisdom, knowledge, and courage.
  • Move them to reject all counsel that violates the spiritual principles of Your Word and be willing to trust You to lead them in the right direction.
  • Guide them and give them insight to resist the pressures of those who would lead them astray or tempt them to disobey You and Your will for their lives.
  • Help them also to work to reverse the trend toward ungodliness in our land and to restore America’s Christ-centered values.
  • Prepare them to make godly choices in the best interest of America regardless of the cost.
  • Help them to maintain dignity, honor, trustworthiness, and righteousness in office.
  • Convict them to be a godly example to the men, women, and children of this land.
  • And, Dear God, constantly remind them that while in office they are accountable to You for their attitudes, actions, and motives. Amen

Friday, February 06, 2009

Just a Few Random Thoughts

Yes, It has been a while since I posted. It has been busy - and I have been flabbergasted by much of what's going on in my country. here are just a few random, but in some instances connected, thoughts:

  • On January 20 we entered the post-America world.
  • It's even less safe to be an unborn child today.
  • There are none so blind as those who will not see.
  • No good deed goes unpunished. (In this life. God has other ideas about eternity)
  • There are different rules (especially regarding taxes) for me and for government officials.
  • I got hammered on my taxes last year, but I paid them.
  • China and Europe are eschewing socialism for capitalism. The US, which defeated worldwide socialism, is now embracing it.
  • America’s enemies are more important to our new administration than American citizens.
  • We’ve been told that the $$ for the stimulus package will be paid back. How will that work, exactly? What's my share of $900B?

Your random thoughts and responses to mine are more than welcome. Can you make sense of America?