Archive for September, 2007

28
Sep
07

Tranquility or Turmoil

Everyday this earth grows more troubled.

No matter how bad things get, there is a way to stay at peace. It is not through some new religion, but through knowing and loving the creator of the heavens and earth who is Almighty God. Peace with God is only available through His son Jesus Christ. He is our peace and through him we have access into God’s very presence to be bathed in His glorious love and grace. Jesus Christ is the prince of peace. If you know him and love him you can have peace in your heart no matter what is going on around you in this evil and perverse world.

The world says they want peace while doing nothing but preparing to have war. The world does not know the God of peace or His son Jesus Christ the prince of peace. Peace protests and rallies will never bring peace on earth. As long as men rule this planet their pride, lust and greed will necessitate war. When Jesus Christ returns again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then and only then will earth know peace. King Jesus Christ will demand all weapons of war be destroyed along with pride, lust and greed.

Tranquility in the midst of the storm is the very essence of peace. Quietness in your soul and confidence in your mind are the reflections of peace in your heart. Once you have received peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, then the crashing waves lose their terror and the howling winds cease to frighten. Storms may destroy everything of value in this life, but storms cannot destroy your peace with God. To the contrary, storms many times draw the heart closer to God as we take refuge in His strength and might.

On the last night Jesus was with his disciples, he shared many important things with them to prepare them for what laid ahead after his betrayal and crucifixion. After he shared with them about the coming Comforter (the Holy Spirit), he told them a very comforting truth.

“Peace I leave with you. My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid [stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

                                            John 14:27 Amplified Bible

I have no greater message to share with you than this: Jesus Christ IS peace and Jesus Christ gives peace. The world cannot give peace for it does not know the prince of peace Jesus Christ. Once you know and receive the peace of Jesus Christ in your life, all the turmoil and troubles of this world melt into the quiet assurance that it really doesn’t matter. That’s right, it really doesn’t matter at all, for no matter what happens, God still loves you, Jesus Christ still will return one day soon and you have eternity to enjoy all the joy, love and peace this world cannot give.

Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed. Do not permit yourselves to be fearful, intimidated, cowardly or unsettled. What a wonderful literal translation of “let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”. Do you want tranquility or turmoil? The choice is yours and comes down to a matter of what and who you believe. Trust in the Lord and believe His word, and you will receive the tranquility of quiet confidence and peace.

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.     

                                            Philippians 4:6, 7 Amplified Bible

Dearly beloved, I pray you may receive and bask in the tranquility of God’s peace in Christ Jesus. Only with this peace comes the strength to withstand and endure all the horrible things this life can bring. This peace allows you to say as the Apostle Paul did in Romans 8:18; “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (at Christ’s return).” God bless you and keep you safe.

That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.    

                                            Romans 10:9 NASB

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

                                            Romans 5:1, 2 NASB

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,

By abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,

And might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;

For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

                                            Ephesians 2:13-18 NASB

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

                                            John 16:33 Amplified Bible

You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you.

So, trust the Lord always, because He is our Rock forever.

                                            Isaiah 26:3, 4 New Century Version

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25
Sep
07

How Much is Enough?

How much is enough? The amount of money spent by Americans in any given year is astounding. This money, we are told, drives the economy and supposedly ends up putting more and more money in the pockets of every American. If you believe that statement I have a nice pig for sale that flew here from Antarctica.

The average American family, according to 2003 statistics, made around $73,770 per year, assuming both the husband and wife work full-time jobs. The same family in 1973 with only one wage earner made about $42,500. A very sobering statistic shows that the 1973 family with $42,500 available only had to spend $22,890 on fixed cost items (housing, insurance, child care, transportation and taxes). The 1973 family had almost $20,000 left for discretionary spending. The 2003 family with $73,770 available had to spend $55,660 on fixed cost items and had only $18,110 left for discretionary spending.

How can it be possible that a family living today, with two people earning almost double what a family did 30 years ago, have LESS money to spend on food, clothing, entertainment and savings than the family one generation ago? The answer lies in the incredible escalation of fixed cost expenses.

Housing expenses have gone from $5820 in 1973 to $10,500 in 2003. Child care expenses were non-existent 30 years ago because one parent could stay at home and watch the children. Now parents spend $5,600 per child on after school and summer day care, and $7,000 per year on a pre-schooler. Due to the need for two vehicles, transportation costs have increased dramatically from $5,600 per year to $8,000.

It is very interesting that in spite of these statistics, last year Americans shelled out close to 150 billion dollars on music, dolls, clothes and other “in” things for the 20 million girls aged 8-14. It is truly amazing that with less discretionary income Americans can still; drink copious amounts of both alchoholic and carbonated beverages, smoke cigarettes, eat out two, three or even ten times per week, buy designer label clothes, flock to stadiums and arenas to root for their favorite sports team, rent or go to movies weekly, have every new technological toy on the market, drive SUVs that are lucky to get 12 mpg, send their kids to private schools, enroll their kids in every single activity known to man, give their kids every new game or toy on the market, and flush money down the gaming industry’s toilets of lottery tickets and slot machines.

The only way people can spend as they do is the ease of credit. Credit cards provide an easy way to get $5,000-20,000 more discretionary income per year. Sooner or later they do have to be repaid, either at $50 per month for 1000 years or through foreclosure of the house.

I am sorry, but I would rather see the Federal Reserve Board charge 15% interest to make people quit borrowing than to lower interest rates to spur people to borrow more. The day of reckoning will come for this greed driven country. Sooner or later the unbridled lust for “bigger, better, MORE and MORE”, will drive America the beautiful to its knees.