Friday, February 20, 2009

Dachshund Update

Yesterday marked the departure of Moo, now named George. George left with a family that is taking him to Connecticut. This picture was taken as they are driving across Georgia. Kathi misses him already. He sure looks contented though, well as contented as a dachshund can. He will have the life of Riley (well not our Riley) but you get the reference. It will be his first experience in the cold so his fur will be real handy.

Steve's Weight Loss Update

Another week, another pound (or so) lost. So that the graph does not look so choppy, it now shows 7-day moving average. Looks like I may be able to get down to about 200 by Mary and Joel's wedding on May 9. Maybe...

Exercise this week was not excessive. But maybe my metabolism has increased a little. Last Saturday I ran about 3 miles in 33 minutes and 45 seconds. The first mile in 10 1/2 minutes. The last 2 miles a little slower but at a more uniform pace than the week before. Still not getting close to 30 minutes for the 5K (3.1 miles).

My heart rate is 60 this morning, and that's after 2 cups of ginsing tea. That's a very positive sign. When I drank coffee, my pulse would gradually increase all day. Haven't had my blood pressure or cholesterol checked for a while, but I suspect they are down as well.

May your day be blessed and fruitful.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Economy Hits Close to Home

This morning the company where I have labored for the past 3+ years laid of over 100 employees in Florida and more around the country. Two were let go from the 18-person office where I work inculding the person with whom I have been carpooling since October. That's pretty close to home. Several smaller offices will be closed which means more commuting for those that are relocated to the larger offices.

I am fortunate to have kept my job.

The irony of this is that the $787 Billion stimulus bill signed by the President includes nearly $3o Billion in roadway projects. That's what this company does. But that did not sway the company leaders nor does it make those that left any happier.

Got to go,


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Call for National Repentance

Today President Obama signed a bill into law that will create nearly a billion dollars of new debt for our country's personal and corporate income tax payers. But who will own the debt? About 10% of the existing USA national debt is owned by China. A country that has long suppressed Christianity and human liberty. Other large amounts of our debt is owned by middle eastern nations which are controlled by religions that are sworn to destroy Christianity and Jewish faith.

At 6%, the interest payments will be about $48 billion per year? That $48 billion will have to come from the income taxes we pay to run the federal government programs and the national defense. That is more than twice the amount in the bill that will be used to improve transporation! So what programs will be cut to pay the interest? How much will taxes be raised to pay the interest?

The Bible says we become servants of the lendors until the debt is paid. One guy called the radio talk show yesterday and said it didn't bother him because he lives "off the books" and does not pay taxes. But who will pay the debt? If we don't pay the debt, are we in danger of losing our independence to nations that are quite willing to impose their way of life and values on us? In China abortions are mandatory not just legal. Will we end up in another world war besides the war on terrorism as countries try to recover by invading their neighbors?

Let's go back about 80 years to the start of the "Great Depression." Many lost their wealth in a stock market collapse. Many businesses closed. Unemployment began to increase. Some thought the government could help create new jobs. So government started to borrow money and raise taxes to create new jobs. Does this sound familiar? The depression went on for about 10 years in spite of all the government jobs and spending. Are we getting ready to repeat that disaster? Have we not learned anything?

Let's drop back about 30 years. We had double digit inflation, unemployment and interest rates. The stock market had taken a dive. The government had been trying to spend more money to end the recession. Nothing seemed to be working. So what did we do? We did the exact opposite of what we did during the Great Depression, we cut tax rates, we cut government spending. What was the result? 10 years of economic growth! Business prospered, created new jobs creating more tax revenues than before the taxes were lowered. Peace broke out in nations that had been committed to our destruction. Have we not learned anything?

So why are we blind to the path the works and rushing head long into a strategy that resulted in years of suffering for many families? When a nations ways please the Lord, even its enemies are at peace. When a nation's ways displease the Lord, he allows a spirit of confusion to cloud the judgement of the leaders. So have we displeased the Lord? If so how? We have all turned to our own wicked ways dispising the law of the Lord. What law? Love God, love our neighbor as ourselves, love our enemies. We are obsessed with love of self to the exclusion of all others. What's in it for me, not what can I do to help?

Turn the clock back 60 years to the start of World War II. Taxes were raised, government spending increased, but unemployment decreased. What was the difference. Were we united in our love for our brothers around the world who were being oppressed. We sacrificed our national wealth, our sons, our families to restoring liberty to the world. We did not spent money on ourselves but saved what we could. In fact, much of our savings was in the form of War Bonds. The citizens owned the debt that funded the war, not other nations. The government literally became servants of the people. When the war ended, the money saved was invested into new homes which started one of the largest building booms in world history. During the Depression, we had nothing and were suffering greatly (we were looking for handouts from the goverment to save us). During World War II, we had even less but lacked nothing because we were committed to saving the world.

So where will we be a few years from now? Will we be in the midst of a great depression with the world on the verge of war? Will we be entering into a era of new prosperity? The answer lies within us. If my people who are called by my name with humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and restore them and prosper them and heal their land.

You ask, Is not our global war on terrorism proof that we are already humbling our selves? I say, What did we sacrifice to bring freedom to Iraq? We lost some soldiers and marines and that has been sad primarily to their families. But what did we give up as a nation, as a people? Did we give up any of our personal lusts? Did we sacrific anything at all? Did we buy "war bonds" to pay for the additional debt the war caused? Did we pray earnestly for the war to be over the same way we prayed for the new car or the new job? Did we pray for our enemies? Some did, but most just complained.

So God has sent a spirit of confusion on our land. The spirit will not depart until we repent and a new revival spreads across the land.

So what do we do now?

Love, Steve