Thursday, March 25, 2010


For the first time since Social Security came into being in 1935, more is being paid out than comes in.

Technically, the fund isn’t broke. It holds trillions of dollars worth of IOUs the federal government owes but can’t pay because politicians borrowed the SS money and spent it. The U.S. government will need another loan to make up the difference between what comes in to Social Security and what goes out.

We also know Medicare is going broke, as well as many individuals, small businesses, corporations, financial institutions, banks, cities and states. The President already has said $50 billion will be cut from Medicare under the new health care bill, and though it’s been denied, we know care for the elderly will be rationed because Baby Boomers now are going into Medicare.

On March 21, when Congress passed the health care bill, some economists said it would bankrupt America or put the nation so far in debt many folks will pay 60 percent of their income in taxes---and saddle another generation and maybe more with massive debt. Taxes begin immediately, but most benefits won’t be implemented for four years. But the nation appears to be nearly bankrupt without health care added.

Behind this law was politicians’ call for “Social Justice” and the “right” of every person to health care. Those for government health care feel a certain “righteousness” for providing healthcare for the uninsured, especially with the term "Social Justice."

Taking care of the needs of everyone on U.S. soil sounds good. Yet, there are programs already in place for the uninsured and underinsured such as Community Health Centers where patients pay on a sliding fee scale according to income. We also have Medicaid, and the millions who could pay for insurance, but choose to spend their money for something else.

we do need changes in the system that allows lawyers to prey upon pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals and file huge malpractice claims, taking a large chunk of the awarded money themselves. Torte reform would limit such claims to reasonable amounts to help the affected people and should limit the amount attorneys receive for handling the cases.

We also need health care to be available across state lines, and to have at least some stricter regulations for insurance companies.

The economy and the health-care law aren’t the only worrisome events in our nation. A number of people in the current administration have radical ideals of Saul Alinsky and the Cloward-Piven strategy. Both would collapse our current system of capitalist government and take away many of our freedoms.

Some say the C-P strategy has been creeping into our political system since the 1960s. This week Congress is debating controlling Wall Street and American business. When the government controls Wall Street, health care, student loans, own car companies, and keeps appointing judges that legislate from the bench, politicians probably will control the population.

Most likely, students attending Christian colleges will be denied loans if the health care bill is not overturned (for some reason it was attached to health care), and possibly all students will be told where they can attend college.

Political commentators say this administration is using “Social Justice” as a way to reach people of faith so they’ll fall into the maze moving us away from freedom, through socialism to Marxism and communism. Contrary to what they want you to believe, Jesus did not take away people’s coats or their money so he could transfer wealth to the poor. He told US to GIVE of our own free will, and that’s what Christians have done since the beginning.

I agree with commentator Glenn Beck that what we need is "Equal Justice", not "Social Justice." Dictators in the last century used Social Justice, and other nice sounding words to grasp power, redistribute wealth and control people. Those thought inferior or disagreeable were shot or incinerated.

The first time I saw television news, Castro’s men were mowing down Cubans with machine guns in front of burial pits. That is where Castro’s “Social Justice” was carried out. Castro's Social Justice is why many Cubans risked their lives swimming or jumping in overloaded boats trying to reach the United States.

Freedom is a precious gift. The Pilgrims came to America not to discover a land of opportunity, but for religious freedom.

What are we doing with our freedom in these perilous times? Are we in church when we can be? Are we openly witnessing to the lost and loving them into the Kingdom? Are we reading and memorizing the Word in case our Bibles are taken away as they have been in other nations?

As one of my favorite pastors says, “Remember our future doesn’t lie in the hands of politicians—it’s in the hands of God.”

We can't forget that. But we can vote, and “Walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15-17.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Perilous Times: Prepare for the future 3

My father lived by Romans 13:7-- "Owe no man any thing."

Dad hated debt. The most he ever made in his life was $60 a week. He worked many days during the Great Depression for $1 a day and was happy to get that.

Mom and Dad had eight children, and I was the youngest. After Mom died and Dad remarried, he took reponsibility for two more. Just having a family that size is enough to put most people into dire poverty. But my parents raised a family of hard workers, and our poverty wasn't dire. Sure, we didn't have an extra dime, but our poverty in those days didn't come close to the poverty that chokes families affected by alcohol and drug addictions, abuse, greed, hatred, and rebellion toward God.

We were rich with the love of God and one another. The willingness to work made us rich with satisfaction in what we earned. The chickens and animals we raised for food, and the fresh vegetables and fruits we grew in the garden and preserved made the table rich with bounty.

But my father's commitment to stay out of debt also was a blessing. Although he didn't make much money, he bought land at tax sales and later resold it. He made a garage into a rental house, and when some of the children married, the upstairs became another apartment. He built a new small house on the back side of our land, then sold it.

The day he bought a shiny new Chevy with cash was a big day. It wasn't nicer than anyone else's--but it was paid for.

With today's economy, experts who study history and look at the future say getting out of debt should be a high priority for preparing for perilous times. We need to watch how we spend our money. Do we really need any more clothes? Is it necessary to eat out so often? Are all the luxuries in our homes necessary? Do we need the best and highest-priced television cable packages?

Do we try to save on utilities and other expenses that aren't fixed?

If we keep track of where the money goes, we'll be surprised at how much goes into a black hole that has no significant purpose.

There are definite advantages to being raised poor. I know I can get by on much less than I spend now.

Consumer Credit Counseling teaches there are two types of people: Those who spend because they think only of immediate gratification, and those who think only of the future. Their financial advisers say it's best for married couples to be from opposite groups. People who think only of tomorrow don't enjoy life. Those who live only for this moment never have any money and usually are in debt.

I think all of us can develop the ability to mix saving/spending into our characters. To get out of debt, we might need to think more of the future, but when we accomplish that feat--we'll have a wonderful time in the present.

Doesn't that sound like a good way to survive perilous times?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Perilous Times 2

Even in these critical times, God is still faithful. We can't forget that. People still find hope and joy in Jesus! Just about two weeks ago a young Jewish man visited a church near us as part of his rabbinical studies about other religions. Suddenly he connected the Old Testament to what he saw and heard there and accepted Jesus as Savior, Lord and Messiah. However, now he may suffer for his new faith. His parents might disinherit him.

In the midst of revival and outpouring of God’s spirit, Satan still is at work. We should never forget our enemy goes about as a roaring lion seeking those he can devour.

As the time of Christ’s return nears, evil men and seducers will get more numerous and aggressive, Paul warns. In 2 Timothy 3 he suggests the unthinkable: Those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, and if we deny Him, He will deny us.

These are unsettling thoughts for Americans. Oh, how we have enjoyed religious liberty!

In most other countries, Christians understand Paul’s warnings well. What does the Lord, in Paul’s inspired writing in 2 Timothy 3-4, tell us to do in perilous times?

1. Remain faithful to the things we have learned. We need to read the Word!Paul talks about people following fables, and because of their lusts they will not endure sound doctrine but choose teachers that will satisfy their itching ears (tell them what they want to hear). The Word says to turn away from these people and their teachers.
2. Paul pauses to remind that “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and help us to realize what is wrong in our lives. The Word teaches us how to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God has called us to do” (2 Timothy 3:16NLT).
3. Keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering. Work at bringing others to Christ….Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage(2 Timothy 4:5,2).
Paul did most of his writing from prison. He understood hard times and persecution. But the purpose of Paul’s letter to Timothy, which he expected to be read in the churches, was “that all the Christians would be filled with love that comes with a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith. Love is at the top of the list, and the type of love he speaks about is quite different from the usual.
There is much to pray and think about, and goals to achieve in these perilous times as well.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

HOW TO PREPARE FOR PERILOUS TIMES--introduction to a series

The news about our nation’s condition is unsettling. Big corporations, banks, individuals, cities and multiple states are bankrupt or going that way. The U.S. government could be close to bankruptcy. Greece is teetering on the edge of financial disaster.

It doesn't make any difference how much money we Americans have in the bank if the FDIC is bankrupt, stocks and bonds become worthless, and our nation collapses.

Even more bad news plagues us. Our freedoms seem to be in jeopardy. A judge canceled the National Day of Prayer. Our religious liberties have been under attack for decades. Immorality and rebellion probably are near the highest point of history.

Brings to mind the Apostle Paul’s words, “In the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self control.

“They will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

In Chapter 4, Paul continues to describe the problem. “A time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.

Does that sound like America in 2010?

I hope it doesn’t describe you or the folks you hang out with. I see myself in parts of it.

So, what should we do? I’ll share some of Paul’s solutions in future blogs.