Friday, October 28, 2011

One Second After

Last night I finished reading One Second After by WILLIAM R. FORSTCHEN.  What a great novel. It follows a retired Army Colonel (R) turned history professor of a Christian community college in a small town just outside of Asheville, N. C. 

One day everything stopped working at once.  It later was determined that the cause was the detonation of nuclear bombs several miles above the earth's atmosphere.  The resultant radiation causes a huge electromagnetic pulse to hit most the United States.  The EMP knocks out everything that uses electricity or electronics.  This includes all the electric appliances in the country, all communications, and most vehicles (only older engines would work). 

The story then settles on how the people in this small town work to survive the resulting panic and dwindling food and medication supplies.  The book is quite frightening in that thiscould really happen.  If a terrorist cell could obtain just one nuclear warhead of the thousands that still exist from the Cold War stockpiles in both the U. S. and former U. S. S. R., it could be deployed from anywhere with a missle to detonate and trigger the Compton effect radiation that would cause such an EMP. 

In the book, the United States is devastated by the breakdown of society caused by lack of food, medicine, and information.  Society quickly degrades to a state of medieval state.  I would suggest that you should read this book.  It is available in print or ebook form.  I just hope folks in our military are working on this possibility. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Long time, no blog

Well, I have been very busy - so busy I haven't had time to blog.  I don't really have time now, but thought I would get a quick one out so people will stop asking about it.

The "Occupy Atlanta" protest has been broken up following the mayor's order to force the protesters out of the park and arresting those who refused to go.  This whole movement frustrates me.  As I listen to the interviews of the protesters, there seems to be no succinct topic of protest.  The groups appear to consist of disorganized, mostly young people who have NO idea how the economy works.  I believe their frustrations arise out of the rhetoric I am hearing more and more from the left of the political spectrum - the so-called "class warfare." 

This rhetoric doesn't surprise me at all.  When we have a sitting president who truly believes capitalism is evil and refers to private sector business as 'the enemy' of course there is going to be those who mistakenly believe that the rich are evil people who want to keep the poor down.  It seems these protesters believe everyone who owns a business is rich and hoards all their money and lives off the sweat of poorer people.  I heard one protester interviewed in Atlanta say, "We have had enough of people who make millions and refuse to share it with everyone."  Seriously?  I supposed if this goober actually got a job and earned money he would just give it all away?  Seems like I remember some stats taken a couple of years back about whether political views affect the way a person support charity.  It was discovered that those to the right of the political spectrum were by far the most generous when it came to giving, while the left kept nearly everything for themselves. 

Call me crazy, but I prefer to live in a country with someone with initiative and willing to risk themselves can start a business and, if successful, prosper.  However, in our currently era of extreme government regulations and taxation, it is become more and more difficult for that to happen.  A report just release revealed the current ranking of nations as far as ease of starting a new business and cost of starting a business.  Since Obama took office the ranking of the U.S.A. in both of these areas has fallen significantly.  We are rapidly and increasingly becoming the land of regulation and taxation rather than the land of opportunity.  We have to get this man out of the White House and back to Chicago where he can 'organize' his community.  When are we going to wake up and realize that it is not the government that made this country great, but the sweat and blood of its citizens. 

This is what the Tea Party is all about.  But you won't here that in the media.  According to the media, the Tea Party are a bunch of racist, hating people who want the poor trampled so the rich can prosper more while the Occupy Wallstreet protesters are the future hope of the nation.  That is only true if we want this nation to continue down the road to socialism that our government seems intent on taking us. 

I would really like to hear your thoughts on this subject.  Please comment.

Monday, August 8, 2011

So the Tea Party is to blame?

I have just about heard all I care to hear from these career politicians that the Tea Party is blame for the U.S.'s credit rating being lowered.  I hope the public can see that the REAL issue is that for too long this nation has spent, and spent, and SPENT beyond its means.  It is exactly like what happens in your home if you continue to spend more than you earn.  You will go into debt and that debt, along with the exponentially increasing cost of carrying that debt, will begin to spiral out of financial control.  The next step is the credit bureaus notice that you are carrying too much debt and are at a greater risk of defaulting on your debt and they lower your credit rating.  All the folks to whom you owe money see this and say, "Oops, we may not be able to get our money back from this guy.  Let's raise his interest rate so we can recoup our investment faster before he goes bankrupt."  Suddenly your expenses are raised, but your income has remained the same (if you are fortunate).  What are you to do?  If you have any sense, you quickly figure out how to reduce your spending.  If you don't, the debt just 'snowballs' out of control and you go bankrupt. 

This is where our nation is.  There are a few sensible people in congress who realize this and they are demanding our nation cut expenses.  So let's (referring to the career politicians who want to protect their phoney-baloney jobs) point to the commission's comment about the deadlock between parties being a part of the decision to lower the nation's credit rating and totally ignore the uncontrolled spending frenzy WE have carried on for decades!  Folks what this country needs is an end to entitlement programs and enforced term limits on all public offices.  We need to quite funding needless research programs with results that totally useless.

Wake up, America!  We are on the brink of chaos!  It is time to stop pointing fingers and admit that we have all played a part in creating the mess we are in.  Let's work to find a solution.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Do you ever get interrupted?  Better question--Do you ever get annoyed by interruptions?  I confess I do at times get annoyed by interruptions.  I was born before the ADHD age so I was never diagnosed with attention deficiency, but I do seem to have trouble staying on task.  I begin to work on something and within two minutes other things are coming to mind that need my immediate attention.  I've had to restart this blog three times! 

The most annoying problem comes when I am working on a sermon.  I have a train of thought and then it happens.  Someone comes in my office; I remember something I need to do; a text message beeps on my phone; etc.  Something always breaks my train of thought.  I never seem to be able to reach the caboose (yeah, I know--they don't have them anymore.  Of course, any younger readers out there are asking, "What's a caboose?").  You see how I digress?  I seems to take me a long time to get back to where I was.  That's why Friday (the day I usually take off) is my best sermon writing day.  Sometimes I stay home and work on my sermons there, but even there distractions exist.  The phone rings; Oreo growls to go outside; a really stupid movie is coming on! 

This week my sermon is based on Peter walking out on the water to Jesus.  But right before this story, Jesus has learned about the death of his cousin, John the Baptist.  He is greived and wants to go to the other side of the lake to reflect.  The crowds follow him.  Jesus allows himself to be interrupted.  He teaches them and then feeds the thousands there with just five loaves of bread and two fishes.  It is important for me to know that Jesus had the time to have his plans interrupted.  I have often found that when I am interrupted by someone, ministry happens.

Ok, time to work on the sermon.  Who's going to interrupt me?  Bring it on!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

God and Suffering

I've been working on my sermon for this Sunday based on Romans 8:26-39.  Verse 28 has that wonderful promise, "We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose."  I can't help thinking as I read that list in verse 38-39 (...neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.) that suffering in our lives never means God does not love us.  Nevertheless, many well-meaning Christians seem to offer this view perhaps unintentially. 

It happens when we are around people who have just suffered some calamity by saying things like, "It's all in God's plan." or "God has a reason for everything."   I simply do not believe it is God's will for babies to die, people to starve, etc.  What I do believe is that we live in a fallen world with sickness and disease.  God's promise is that he will be with us in the midst of the suffering.  This is what brings me hope and comfort.  Therefore, I, like Paul, have learned to satified with whatever my circumstances may be because God is with me by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I wonder how you feel about this subject.  Please comment and let me know your thoughts.  You have to register as a user and log in to leave comments. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Harry Potter

I saw the last Harry Potter film Friday night and enjoyed it.  I've long been a fan.  I have read all the books and seen all the films.  It is a great story.  I still have friends that will not let their children read the books or see the films.  There are so many parallels to the Christian story that could be used.  For example, in this movie (SPOILER ALERT), Harry discovers that he must die in order for Voldermort, evil incarnate, to die.  Harry decides he will sacrifice himself for the benefit of others.  Of course, Harry finds that he returns to life following his sacrifice.  What a parallel to the teaching of Jesus that he who tries to save his life will lose it and he who willing gives up his life will find it.  Anyway, I feel it is a good story about people making the right, selfless choices when faced with temptation in life.  I will miss Harry and his friends.

Friday, July 15, 2011

National Debt

It seems amazing to me that our federal government is arguing over whether to raise the national debt ceiling.  Our nation is in the state it is due to debt, both on the public and private sectors.  

When are we Americans going to understand that when you spend more than you take in you will be saddled with debt you cannot repay.  I have been teaching a personal finance class for a few years and one tenet is that when your expenses are greater than your income it is never a good idea to try and increase you income.  The more effective tactic is to reduce your expenses.  Apparently the federal government can't seem to agree on the best method.  One side wants to increase the debt limit and increase revenue (by raising taxes) while the other side wants to freeze the debt limit and reduce spending.  I have to agree with the later. 

Some readers will not agree with me.  However, I see a real problem with the spending habits of our government.  We have so many programs that discourage people from taking responsibility for their own decisions.  This is America where we are supposed to be free - free to succeed and free to fail.  It increasingly seems that our chances to do either is disappearing.  We appear to be free to be mediocre. 

When our citizens see the governments role as provider we have a real problem.  There is no end to this type of thinking.  Benjamin Franklin once said, "When the people find they can vote themselves money,
that will herald the end of the republic."  I believe we are seeing this end in sight.  If our representatives do not begin to see this and begin making decisions based on what is best for this country instead of their political careers, there is only one end for this story - socialism.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Blog Site

I finally gave up on the blog function on my church's website.  To register in as a user on the site just didn't work right so people could read, but not comment.  My hope for this blog site is for folks to be able to discuss issues of the day, Christianity, Music, or anything else that is on your minds.  I hope to be able to allow anyone to post comments, so keep it clean, folks.

The topic that comes to mind for me is the meeting I attended of the home team for the Griffith's family.  God has been calling my friends Nick, Heidi, and Gilly Griffiths to the mission field for quite some time now.  God is leading them to the country of Kenya where they will be working to construct water filtration sites.  It is so sad to hear about the billions that die from drinking unclean water in the world when we have the resources to provide clean water.  I find it amazing how we Americans have the cleanest tap water in the world and yet find a need to further filter our water when other folks around the world have to drink water out of unclean lakes and rivers where wild animals bathe and sewage is dumped.  What does this say about us as followers of Jesus who called us to take care of the poor?