Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Fix for Michigan

When we're faced with something broken, we're supposed to fix it. This is a cardinal law of the handyman code, or at least it should be. Another part of this "law" is that we use the right parts and techniques for the job, or least use the most beneficial and cost-effective methodology possible. When a vehicle I was working on had two bolts cross-thread into the engine cradle, I had a lot of ways to do it. One way would have been to drop the cradle or hoist the car up, tapping the threads and then having to contend with a broken tap or trying to get the cradle back on the frame.

Either process would have been costly and time consuming and in the case of a broken tap, probably would have sidelined the car an extended amount of time. What I did was run two longer bolts through the cradle and installed a nut on the bottom side. It saved me hours when the weather wasn't cooperating and some money to boot.

Michigan has a similar problem and it's that of needing jobs for the masses. Conventional wisdom has been to throw money at the problem. The ways can be in tax breaks to "new" firms, retraining the workforce to work at different jobs, creating "make work" or just resigning the state to pay people for protracted periods of unemployment.

Inherently, there are serious drawbacks to all of these "solutions" that no one deserving re-election should overlook. Management consulting is a service I am fully capable of offering and I have had some time to analyse these adverse outcomes. Tax breaks are not a sure fire way to retain jobs, as a firm can still elect to move jobs to India. Retraining the workforce is very expensive on a personal and societal level. Individuals financing these costs still have to deal with compromising financial positions and society suffers because of a shortage of key people. Not everyone can be a computer programmer, manager or Internet security specialist. Not everyone has the willingness to commit to retrain. I'm still feeling the effects of retraining and the cost of time and money was daunting.

Make work and paying unemployment compensation are stop gap measures that do not address the root problems associated with unemployment in the first place. A shortage of jobs that people can perform for a living wage is the problem. However, the root of the problem is the lack of a supporting industry or industries that can fuel growth.

Too many manufacturing jobs are going overseas and part of the reason could be that too many features are being demanded by consumers to allow for a profit margin. Right now, I can buy a plain Jane mug made in the U.S.A. or a feature-packed one made in the People's Communist Dictatorship of China.

Shoes are another thing we seldom think about, but depend on more than our cars. I'm literally a pair of shoes away from being disabled every morning due to plantar fascitis, but all the shoes available are made in the Chi Com land with slave labor and are wholly inadequate for arch support. All the while we have people on the bench who could be making some quality footwear, for the common man, woman and child. Coats, hats and mittens are items we need here for six months out of the year, along with boots and other winter wear. Why not make this stuff in Michigan too?

Cars are still a staple industry in the Wolverine State, but too many are out of reach of the average consumer, unless he or she puts him or herself in debt for five to seven years, ouch. The solution is to build a "people's car" for Michigan. One with few frills or options, but one that can be easily retrofitted to customer tastes. Automakers should stick with basics and leave mood lighting (a kitschy 1970s conversion van option) to the aftermarket, which would provide more jobs.

This car should be simple and durable for Michigan's rough climate and able to hold up to road salt and the ever-present potholes with minimal repair costs. As it stands now, there are hundreds of parts to a modern auto and few are less than $50 to $100 when they fail. Cars and trucks that last 20 years elsewhere last five to seven years in Michigan. The less complicated devices hold up best to adverse conditions. Michigan is an adverse condition by default.

Okay, okay, there are a lot of things to iron out, but people should be able to afford what they make or provide a service for. Cars, houses and clothing are things that few of us can do without, yet fewer can afford them. Credit was the answer, but is now a huge problem. Let's make things that don't require a loan to pay for, even on the most modest of means. I know it's a crazy 21st century idea, but it just might work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Prayer and Some Praise.

Heavenly Father Son and Holy Spirit, You are my God, My Lord, My King.

You and only You are the Most Perfect Master,

Lord of my life and my soul.

The Supreme Potentate of this Earth and all of Your Creation.

You are just, righteous and merciful.

You've blessed someone as unworthy as me.

Though I falter and fall short, You still hold on to and comfort me.

All I know cannot begin to describe You and Your love for me.

I do know that what You've chosen for me was for me to recognize that You and You alone are

the source of peace and prosperity in my life.

While I cannot begin to understand why I must walk through the fire, it must be to trust in You.

I pray that You give me the strength to see this fleeting time through in Your name, Amen.

What I Need!

All the times that I've been wondering

I don't need anything but You.

Seems the way you treat me, honestly,

I don't need anything but You.

Then I look around and You're not there,

You call me back to You.

For even when I don't see You,

carry me.

I don't need anything but You, Lord.

To my life, you bring me, harmony.

Bring the strength to see me through.

When all the walls are closing in on me.

I don't need anything but You.

Jesus when You found me,

Lost and afraid, Yeah.

All You said I needed was You.

And when the time comes for me,

To be with You, Yeah.

I won't need anything but You. Amen!

Revive an Old Computer Keyboard.

Let's face it, keyboards are a dime a dozen. They cost about $15 to $20, but some of the more specialized ones are about $40 to $60 or more, Ouch! Ideally, you're not supposed to eat or drink around these things, but over time crumbs, food and even the oils on your hands will contaminate even the best hardware and render it useless. Because I write a lot, this meant that I would be replacing a keyboard every six to nine months; a year if I was "lucky."
The keyboard above is a Labtech, but any basic unit will be the same. I have one for each computer and the one I just cleaned was so contaminated that the keys stuck. The object is to turn it over and remove the screws holding the two halves together. There were no less than 24 holding this one together. I removed the printed circuit and the circuit board from the half with the buttons and inspected them for moisture or acid (cola) damage warranting a replacement.
None found, remove the silicone insulator from the half and inspect this for cola, oil or dirt. It it's clean, leave it alone and set it aside. The buttons should be removed from the keyboard, but only remove the space bar, enter or return key, backspace, tab, caps lock, windows, control, alt, and \ keys. The rest will be a pain to put back in and it's just unnecessary.
Once all of the electrical stuff is off, take the buttons and keyboard half with the buttons to the sink. One with a sprayer works the best. Use a low-sudsing, mild detergent for dishes and squirt some into the keys and lay the stray buttons into the sink strainer (not the garbage disposal side). Spray water into the keys and allow the crud to wash out where you removed the buttons. Once the suds are out, stop and inspect. Then wash out the backside for a minute. Be sure to use tepid, not hot water. Hot water will ruin the keys. Do not wash in dishwasher as the heat and action of the detergent will make the board brittle, destroying it.
Carefully plug the buttons you removed, taking care to install the metal trapeze-looking hooks into the slots of the bigger ones. An instant or digital photo would be nice at this time, but memory can work too, mine did. Either way, the keyboard needs to be completely dry before socking it back together, lest evil befall you. If the silicone insulator it dirty or sticky, clean this with detergent as well and let it air dry. Once everything is dry; give it at least several hours or overnight, you can put it back together, making sure the cord is threaded the way it was when you took it apart.
The screws may be different lengths, so if there's too much resistance, stop and use a shorter screw. Take your time and once done, plug it in and check it. The results should be a keyboard that's cleaner and easier to use. You'll have saved yourself some money to boot.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

From the King's Town

Kingston means from the king's town in English. Something that means to me that he is a gift from the King of Kings. His mother named him this knowing he was a gift, even though she had to bear the pain of having him taken away. When I see his beautiful brown eyes, wispy blond hair and sometimes pouting face, I also see his mother and the trials she went through to bring him to us.

Kingston was 6 weeks old when we got him well over a year ago, a little pinkish bundle of a human being who had already been in 2 placements. Sasha, his case worker, brought him to us bearing a bag of clothes and a car seat. Who would have thought that a little baby of 9 pounds with tummy problems and colic would grow up into a vivacious, energetic toddler? But he has and I praise the Lord for the time we can still change his diapers and take with us. Not to mention playing with him, giving him a bath and even putting him to bed.

Even as a little baby, Kingston would smile with his toothless grin at the sight of daddy or mommy with an innocence that only a child can display. Now he still smiles with a mischievous grin as he's running off with the remote or phone, but precious he is still. Our adoption has been final for a month and we've got our insurance cards in his name too. Kingston is ours, legally, not just a foster child. Nonetheless, it took the courts nearly a year and a half to put in writing what the Lord already knew. For this, and many other aspects, I have more than enough reason to praise Him today and everyday. Amen!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Little Prayer...

Father God, I am but a child in Your loving arms,
You hold and comfort me with Your Word.
Before I was born, You knew me.
When Your Son Jesus redeemed me, I was but child.

Now 30 years later, I am still a child of yours.
You clear my mind,
sweep away the confusion and hurt.
Because of You, I am a new creature.

You bring the good that now lives in me,
through the Holy Spirit.
Without You, I am worthless.
But You made me worthy, Oh Lord.

I confess Your power, majesty and glory eternal;
that you're Lord in my life.
Through Your stripes, You have healed me from sin and infirmity.
I cannot fight it,

Why would I want to.
Your love is perfect,
Your wisdom also so.
You and You alone are King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen

Mundane Stuff

Yesterday, I sent in for taking my DANTES tests to finish up my degree and praise the Lord, my transcript request went through for my speech class. Just two tests to satisfy my degree and I can color this done. Maybe even change that prayer request to a company car and suit. Even with just the small victory concerning the transcript and the nice young lady who answered the phone at LCC today was a huge blessing on the Lord's part.

The other aspect I'm not so sure on concerns having my resume' professionally written. This is going to be a substantial, but by no means unreasonable expense/investment. Considering the price of a degree, it's more than worth it. Being a management/business consultant was what I went to school for, even being a handyman and all. If the choice was to fix toilets or help a business get back up on its feet, I would probably take the latter.

Regardless, today is a victory to be celebrated and the Lord is to be praised. Amen!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Salt and Light.

Flip flops are not a shoe I wear. They lack support and just don't look good on a 39 year old man. As in life, flip flopping on a position looks good on no one. With this in mind, I'm not about to do this about anything I've written before, even the edgy stuff. It is to put this and my own beliefs, into perspective.

I've been into bible prophesy lately and to a great extent, this is not going to change. However, the focus always should be on the Lord and His work. If He's first in our lives, as Christians, then other things will fall into place. I don't need to know the identities the Antichrist or false prophet to have eternal life. As a pre-tribber, this would not be something in mine not to mention the Lord's game plan.

In fact, as I've written before, anything that takes glory away from the Lord and/or places it on man is probably going to be a falsehood at best. I'm curious about who things work. This is why I'm a handyman, after all. Nevertheless, Christians are supposed to be salt and light in this world. It doesn't matter whether we're bankers, lawyers, teachers, garbage collectors (sanitation engineers) handy people (home service specialists). We are Christians first and foremost; that is our job.

I want people to see the difference in me, even if they can't put a finger on it. I don't have a fish on my car, or carry a King James the size of an attache' to the shopping mall (although I've taken to wearing Christian tee shirts lately). It could be that look of encouragement, or the fact that we've taken a moment out of our busy day to help someone with the door, or given someone some money who's a few dollars short at the register.

We should never have the mindset that just because, well, you know, that what we do here doesn't matter. It matters a whole lot to those who need it the most; including our brothers and sisters. I for one don't even want to find myself so engrossed in what could be that I don't address the here and now right in front of me. As always,

Our Father, who art in heaven,hallowed be thy name.Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Inundated With Blessings

Not to negate the obvious, but even in a midst of turmoil are the blessings which the Lord bestows upon His people. We just need to acknowledge them and once in a while, go through them. Today, the very act of cleaning out the boys' bedroom is proof that blessings are real and in fact, even exist in the Grace Place. I went through several bags of clothes for Kingston, or newly-adopted son and found some pretty decent clothes which he could be wearing and something that we really should be passing on to other deserving children (aren't they all?).

I was able to move the beds around and correct the issues I've had with trying to move a 30 pound child out of a bed to get him dressed in the morning. That was another blessing that took some work, but it is nonetheless. Finally, Jose has his bed in the corner away from the door so he can sleep and Kingston is within easier reach with minimal disturbance to Jose. Gone is the clutter and it its place is an area where the kids can finally play. Gone are sacks of clothes that Kingston cannot wear anymore and in there place is an area for Jose to put his toys and open his dresser.

Just getting this room cleaned out has made a huge difference in my mood, not to mention a tangible feeling of accomplishment. I'm wondering if there are other challenges in my life that I can fix by "taking charge" and diving into, rather than trying to wait for it to get done. There are problems that I cannot solve. There is no doubt about that. These probably aren't my battles to wage, this much has been revealed to me. No, the fight isn't over and no sane person would want it to be. Being able to take charge of what the Lord has entrusted me with is greater than any power and a feeling that I can do something, anything, to help improve our quality of life in a meaningful, constructive way.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Working Overtime

For several days now, it feels as if the very legions of hell are on the attack. Not only against the bride of Christ, the church, but against all that even appears good. Yesterday, my son and I sold a respectable $95 in popcorn for our pack and collected $13 in donations for the cause of getting him money for camp. Then, out of the blue, a smooth-taking man wearing a factory windbreaker started bashing the product we were selling and pointing out that his was rancid. While he made mention several times that he didn't want to offend, it was clear what this man's mission was. It was to offend and destroy, but it didn't work. By the time it was said and done, most of our inventory was history.

The evil one has likewise done his level best to steal my joy and wreck my testimony. Despite the fact that I'm redeemed by the Lord as one of His, the devil has endeavored to send his agents to ridicule the work the Lord has entrusted me. In defending the trinity of the Lord and the wholeness of all three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a gentleman replied that he wanted me to explain this further, saying that quoting the Bible was not enough. It was discouraging and disheartening that despite the true and infallible Word, that many will still choose to reject Him as their Lord and Savior. They do this at their own peril.

There is another person on YouTube, a young lady who I will not mention her name, has uttered blasphemous words against Jesus and His bride, the church. While part of the charges of this person are true (I believe there are many who believe the Lord is their genie) it is not a picture of a true relationship between the Lord and the church. I cannot repeat the rest of the blasphemy, as this is much too painful and would serve no useful purpose. It does give me clarity of the Antichrist spirit and the times we live in. Despite the futility of finding peace, prosperity and love in this world of this world, there are hordes who have nothing better to do than hang on.

Unlike that, I have nothing left to hang onto here. In fact there is quite a bit in my life that could be nullified and I would never miss it. Such is the futility of temporal, as opposed to spiritual pursuits. I pray for friends, family and enemies that they would come to repentance for their sake. To the unsaved, I pray the Holy Spirit would move upon them the importance of the Lords gift of mercy. After all, being Christian is a matter of timing. Better that we're so while there is still breath in our lungs or before the rapture. Even then, it's still better to before the judgement of the sheep and goats. Admitting "Jesus is Lord" here or at the Great White Throne of Judgement will not save you.

They have been exposed to the Good News repeatedly, but in their arrogance have refused the mercy the Lord offers through His Son, Jesus. Even when they see the Him riding on Faithful and True. Sadly, most will reject His salvation out of pride, wanting to be lord of their own lives. They will willingly accept the world leader, the Antichrist. Ultimately worshipping him and taking his mark to buy and sell, despite the warnings of the angels and saints. The result is eternal damnation through their own choice.

The evil one, the devil, the old serpent, knows that he has but a short time with those already in the church before the Lord snatches them away. While no one but the Father knows the time, even Satan must know it's getting close. This is the reason that Christians ready for this ultimate breakthrough are probably being put through the spiritual wringer right now. I know Satan has worked overtime in my life before the Lord has bestowed His blessings and this not unlike such an event. While I don't know the exact time of the Blessed Hope either, I do know that time is at a premium before Jesus arrives. There is just too much going on in favor of this to doubt any more. Christians have always had to go through their own tribulations throughout the centuries and in no way are any of us exempt, ultimately we are with the winner because of His mercy to us. I fervently look forward to the time I can kneel in person. Maranatha!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jesus: 2 Satan: still zero , Epilogue

No sooner had I published my last post that the lady apologized and I was able to fulfill my promise to Jose and be the Den Leader. Father God, this is another "SEE" moment to rely on you and leave it in your hands rather than in ours. I could have messed this one up royally, but You stepped in. If victory is without You, is not of You, Oh Lord. Amen!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jesus:1 Satan: A BIG FAT ZERO

For weeks and months we were anticipating getting Jose in Cub Scouts. Last night, I found out that I not only missed a parent meeting, but an important fundraising opportunity Sunday of all days. Not only that, I left someone hanging out at Wal-Mart for an hour because I never called. The woman that was supposed to be mentoring me never called me back, despite repeated attempts on my part and no on called me Sunday to ask what happened, so it couldn't have been too big a deal. But the "mentor" thought it was an proceeded to berate me over the phone about it last night.

Not only was I upset, but my wife was more upset and afraid to tell Jose, our 7 year old. I not only drove over to the woman's house in Mulliken, I returned the tote and asked her husband why no one bothered to call me Sunday. His response was that I should have just showed up. I replied that under no circumstances is my son going to be a part of an organization that doesn't show some compassion for it's members. I was going to be a scoutmaster, but this is not what I want to do, forcing little boys to sell stuff for a few moments of fun. This is already too much like a job and the condescending attitude did not help matters either.

The fact is that being stuck an hour at Wal-Mart is not a fate worse than death. It's one of the more pleasurable things available to the populace. Another is that no 5,6 or 7 year old should be expected to slave his childhood away to serve the 'almighty' dollar for a few days of pleasure. In other words, to me it's like being in a job without being paid for it. I've volunteered for another organization like this when I was 13 at Impression 5 and nearly ended up with a criminal conviction because someone thought I was sexually harassing a 7 year old girl. The warning lights and sirens were already on when this lady acted the way she did last night.

Even Jesus said His burden was light and His yoke easy. Satan offers no such perquisites, yet tends to offer some abstract promises for indulging in sin. There is no paid position worth demeaning yourself, let alone a volunteer one. My wife was afraid, again about the ramifications and how Jose was going to react. Thank Jesus that most children are a lot more mature and have more sense than some who profess to be adults. Jose is a very sensible young man for all he's been through. He took it better than I expected. For his sake, and mine, I'm not giving up with finding us some activities. It just means that we're going to have a be a bit more creative.
Thank You Jesus. Satan, you will NOT have my family.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Being Chicken Little or "where are the life jackets?"

Okay, enough already with the sky is falling stuff. Can't you see that I'm trying to do (insert earthly concerns here)? I have a degree to finish, a life to lead, children to raise, a job to find, a wife to love, family to take care of? All the cares of this world envelope me like one of those mummy sleeping bags, and still the Lord beckons me. Things like fixing the car so I can get Jose to school and Kingston and I to the doctor were real, paramount, pressing issues that had to be done. This was in the interest of not inconveniencing my wife and Jose further than need be. Yes, the car is fixed, but this sickly pales in comparison to what I am about to tell you.

Right now, there is a concern about the United States and her health. No not health care, but the health of the nation. She's barely breathing, and there are way too many of us, Christian or not, who are bound and determined to hold fast. It's like holding on to the Titanic, even though the iceberg has already gashed the hull with water racing over the bulkheads like the compartments of an ice cube tray. I am not here to tell you the sky is falling, but to say the sky has already fallen. It did why we were sleeping, eating, drinking, marrying, buying our homes, cars and living our everyday, moribund lives. The iceberg struck with a whimper and a leak happened over time, now it is a torrent of water licking the last dry vestiges of the deck.

Over the years, I have tried to tell those who will listen not to get too comfortable on that chaise lounge. Since July 4 of this year, I've been blogging about Jesus and more recently, been that virtual guy with the sandwich sign. Not so much that "the end is near" but "the end is here" and it's not from some pandemic or imagined calamity. It's from a disaster nearly 6,000 years in the making by God's errant creation, man. We've already created a world government several years ago when the our sovereignty was signed away in 2003. The stage is set, the only thing left to do are for the props and actors.

We have the capability to implement economic and idealistic oppression on every human being on this earth. The United States is implementing health care reform, which is not out of compassion, but to control her citizens completely. The people the current president surrounds himself with have no reservations about what their beliefs are. All are in favor of abortion on demand (infanticide), deviant sex practices (one of the worst forms of enslavement), and a centralization of authority as well as a propensity to use debt as a weapon.

The EU is poised to become the most powerful entity on the planet, even superseding the mortally wounded United States. Tony Blair is heavily favored to be the president, even though there are doubts in his native Great Britain about his leadership ability. Despite the availability of willing candidates, they do not have the notoriety Blair has. Adding to this is that Blair has extensively championed for Mideast peace since stepping down as prime minister two years ago. He has charities and at 56 years of age, a youthful enthusiasm for the position. I don't want to be one to ring the warning bell, but times are a coming. The time to accept Jesus is now and avoid the horrors of the Tribulation.

The real tragedy is that unlike the Titanic, that even during Tribulation, there are more than enough lifeboats to go around and they are in easy reach. The majority will still hear the Word and fail to accept Jesus' pardon and accept the Mark of the enemy to maintain economic viability. Their fate will one of suffering that will bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "Hell on earth." I've driven people crazy about this stuff by talking and writing about it all the time I'm sure. However, there is a more important cause than trying to save face. Anyone who thinks this is a fairy tale written by some old Jews needs to wake up. These "old Jews" are more current than tomorrows news (borrowed shamelessly from Hal Lindsey) and the Lord will not be mocked. Please, please, accept His precious gift of salvation because we know not the time, but it is getting closer.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Song About 9/11

Bright and early on a Tuesday morning,
spirits of hate struck without a warning
A score of young men with the promise of glory,
target two towers of 100 stories.

All this rage in the name of religion,
don't care 'bout about about the lives we're living,
only believin' the lies of an idol,
something 'bout the promises of killing a rival.

Flesh and steel, blood and bone,
can you ever see the reason
in a world that we call home?
Why would someone take the lives of people they don't know?
Flesh and steel, blood and bone.

Two 'planes hit and two more followed,
tears of loved ones they couldn't swallow.
Got me thinking if it was the end,
seen the courage and the cowardice.

Attacking a people called a has been.
Impotent threats from our own leaders,
Rumors of wars in diverse places.
Hell breaks loose in every nation.

Flesh and steel, blood and bone.
What will ever be the place that we call home.
The hearts of men are colder than the thing that we call stone.
Flesh and steel, blood and bone.

This old world is a gettin' weary.
Lord said Himself
He wouldn't tarry.
Could be the thing
the that the Good Book promised.

Flesh and Steel, Blood and Bone,
We are righteously awaiting
for You to call us home.
There will be no sorrow,
and there be no war,

Flesh and Steel, Blood or Bone.

(Copyright 2010 and I mean it)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Going on a Trip

Last weekend, my wife and I had the rare pleasure of taking both of our boys to a hotel for swimming and playing with other children. It was formerly the Midway and now it's the Days Inn. This whole excursion was for foster families. Even though we were just driving five miles for an overnight, we had to pack diapers, clothes, snacks, toys and by the time my wife and I were done, more than we took on our honeymoon.

In fact, this amounted to several small suitcases, two shopping bags and a duffel as well as my book bag and writing materials (not that there was much time to write, but that was fine with me).

There's a lot of preparation for any trip, even if it's across town. We have to make sure the car has enough fuel, the tires are checked, there's enough clothes, etc. However, there is one trip that every Christian should be preparing for. While we are going to be packing light; probably not even taking the clothes on our backs, there is still a need for making ourselves ready.

Jesus' parable of the wise and foolish virgins points this out (MT 25:1-13). We are to be in a state of readiness for Him to arrive. When He does it will catch many unawares. To me, this means more prayer, more study, more loving and more writing about Him. It includes less criticizing, complaining, and worry. After all, I'm feeling that my next job is not going to be on this earth; it will be with Jesus. Even if this is later proved to be false, it changes nothing about my beliefs. I am finite, the Lord is infinite.

We need to witness and live according to His perfect will. There will be a time when the trumpet will sound and millions will vanish, leaving a world confused and in utter disarray. It will literally be Hell on Earth for those left behind, but even in this time of judgement and wrath, Jesus will still extend His mercy to those who choose Him.

But it is far better to have your spiritual, as opposed to temporal bags packed now, rather than later. Everyone is going to be a Christian, it's only a matter of timing. You can be one now before, rather than after the Church is taken, during the Tribulation, or During the Great White Throne of Judgement. The problem will be that once you become a Christian at the wrong time, it isn't going to save you. Even Chairman Mao, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, John Lennon, Anton Szandor LeVey, unrepentant abortionists and even Satan himself is going to kneel and confess that "Jesus is Lord."

Again, the issue is only timing. My prayer is that as long as you have breath in your lungs and your heart hasn't hardened that there is still hope. Being with Jesus is the best thing, even more so than sliced bread (which is overrated anyway). He loves you and wants you to be with Him despite your shortcomings. If I can, so can you, beloved. My prayers are for you. God bless.

The End of an Era

Not to be pessimistic, but it seems that the glory days, if not the entire significance, of the United States, is over. This is not to count out the Lord and His perfect will always trumps everything, but all through the Bible, He always counts Israel as significant in His eyes. Since the God of the Bible, True Lord of this earth and all of creation, never changes to man's fancy, this must be still the case. His Word is supreme and He could restore this nation in a minute, but all signs point to this not being the case.

Right now, Tony Blair's appointment as president of the European Union is all but a sure thing in the next few weeks. This is unprecedented as the EU has never had a president. All the while, the United States' economy has been systematically and methodically dismantled, despite government spending into the trillions of dollars to "fix" the problem. Right now China and Japan are pushing for a global currency to supplant the U.S. dollar. This is a sentiment echoed by Russia, Iran and other nations as the dollar is headed for a major collapse.

The U.S. Commerce Department no longer has exclusive control over the Internet, as this is being taken over by a world governing body. The U.N. is considering moving their headquarters out of New York City to Babylon in the very near future. All the while, all the resources of the United States cannot rebuild the destroyed World Trade Center and other countries frequently build skyscrapers much larger on a regular basis and in times frames unheard of 40 years ago here. It has taken 8 years to build three floors of the Freedom Tower due to cost overruns and political wrangling. It sends a signal to the world that this is not the place to do business.

While our government squabbles over health care, global warming, the economy and troop buildups in the Middle East, the rest of the world has clear agendas, and little of it concerns, or includes the U.S..

The fact is that collectively, we've turned our back on the Lord. When we at least paid lip service to his Word, we reaped the blessing. Now, through abortionists, we kill 3000 to 4000 babies every single day and are the only nation to allow partial birth abortion. Our presidents have tried to divvy up land in Israel that they have no business messing with. We're on the cusp of allowing homosexual "marriage" throughout the entire country. Pornography, pedophilia and other deviant organizations flourish despite anti-obscenity laws in place. We are worse than Sodom and Gomorrah right now and pine over our has been status.

I'm done praying for America for as nation, but I am praying for revival among her people. The Lord has His perfect plan, and this is to bring people closer to Him. This is opposed to the virulent materialism most of us Americans are used to. In the past, every recession had an end. The economy was able to bounce back. I've lived through no less than six of them, although Michigan's economy has been on the skids for nearly a decade. This one seems different, and may be the impetus that brings us in line with the EU. I'm not looking forward to this in the least, and still pray that this isn't in God's plan, but we shall see. Either way, God wins and as Christians, we win.