the joy of the holidays – giving and receiving, is upon us! It was just a week
before Christmas that Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in the
year 1843. The many books this author wrote reveals his deep Christian faith
and the principles of a moral life. His most infamous character, Scrooge, is
the story of a heart transformed, or should we say re-born? It’s no wonder
Dickens called this work-of-art his “ghostly little book,” for Christ reflects
all over the pages.
analyze the character of Scrooge, like ours, we see the light and darkness of
life, salvation, and a second chance of God’s blessings. Three spirits visited
him: The Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost
of Christmas Yet to Come. Let’s begin with the first spirit…
Ghost of Christmas Past
Ghost of Christmas Past reflects on Scrooge’s younger years. Similar to us, there
is happiness, sorrows, and perhaps even regrets. We struggle to find the true
meaning of life. Where do we fit in, and what is our purpose? We work so hard
to achieve comfort, security, and the American dream. However, we avoid
suffering and challenges to preserve our dignity and self-worth. Soon, it
becomes clear those ghosts will eventually reappear to haunt us later in life.
Just as Scrooge learned, bad decisions leave us fearful, confused, shaken, and
empty, and we carry them into the rest of our years.
Ghost of Christmas Present
is now absorbed by the worries and burdens of wealth. Consumed in running his
business and providing for his own needs, he cared little about others. His
happiness equated to money and possessions, but ironically, he is the most
unhappy character. Our Ghost of Christmas Present opens the door to glimpse how
quickly we alienate friends and family with self-centered actions of greed. The
lack of helping others in need placed Scrooge in the category of being a
miserly, old man. How would others see us too?
characters in The Christmas Carol opened their hearts to Scrooge. His
nephew, Fred, encouraged him to be a part of his life and home, even at
Christmas. Scrooge grumbled, “Bah humbug.” His employee, Bob Cratchit, wanted him
to participate in fundraising for charity. Still Scrooge quickly snubbed such a
crazy idea. Cratchit tried to make him see that joy should come from our
treasures – family, friends, life, and love – not material goods.
characteristic of imprisoning ourselves with possessions, if we don’t share
with our neighbors, is synonymous with a lack of love and compassion for
others. Jesus warns us in the Bible we can’t take earthly things with us when
we pass from this world. So what’s the point of it all?
have a revelation to ponder… what if God only gave us our blessings to give to
others who really need them? What if they were not meant for your exclusive
joy of Christmas should reflect a smile of happiness when someone receives a
gift of love, yes? I know many say that presents are not what the reason for
the season is about, am I right? Jesus was our gift from God. He walked the
earth to teach us how to live graciously, godly, and always to serve others.
What better time than the season of giving, to follow in His footsteps?
realizes his selfishness and sins, and a change soon comes.
Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
“conversion” points to finding his salvation based on redemption and charity.
He walked the streets with a smile, greeted everyone, helped beggars, and
glowed the love of God. Though many were apprehensive of his attitude change,
they discovered some significant event, indeed, altered his life. Isn’t this
how everyone, one day, falls into God’s grace? We realize this life is more
comfortable in a relationship with our Savior. When we break our own mortality,
our hearts soften for others.
gave Scrooge a second chance to make it right, and He does this for us too! Our
life should be a journey of service to the Lord.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
May everyone be blessed with a beautiful Christmas! Give and receive with a gracious heart to your family, workplace, and community. It is the three ghosts commandment – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Need a special Christmas Gift? Purchase your book today at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Walmart, and all online establishments!
I hated to see my
leftover coffee go to waste, so I sipped on it and waited on the Lord to give
me this message for today. You see, God awoke me in the middle of the night,
many years ago, and asked me to serve Him. I still do not understand His reason,
but I’m glad He did; I rejoice and am honored to witness His good works every
single day. However, few Christians know how to serve God’s purpose in their life.
Have you ever questioned this thought?
Serving the Lord isn’t about us receiving attention or glory; it is for Him to receive praise. So, I start my day with an early morning prayer. I give thanks for my many blessings, and I ask Him to reveal His intentions of how could I serve Him. Am I to be His voice calling His chosen people, or am I to be a pillar to support His kingdom?
In your case, ask God
to show you how to change other people’s lives to be a witness to His love.
Perhaps involve yourself in an outreach community or work at the church.
Whatever calling you choose, it should not be something you do at certain times,
but a passion every single moment of the day. If God is not changing sinners
into Christians, then how can He be glorified by the seeds we should plant?
Serving God’s purpose is changing the lives of others who will witness His love
and grace through your deeds. Share the good news about Jesus’ forgiveness of
sin. How do you do this on a nine-to-five schedule, in your dead-end position?
Is Your Job a Dead-End Position?
Are you unfulfilled
in your current job? Maybe it’s boring, you’re overworked and underpaid, not to
mention unnoticed for a job well done. A desire for a meaningful existence just
doesn’t apply to you. The Bible teaches that finding our purpose in anything
other than the Lord will always leave us empty. If we can’t make a difference,
what is the purpose? I’m sure your next response will be, “But I have bills to
pay and a roof to put over my head.” Many job openings abound which better
serves the Lord, and they will, in turn, pay your debts. Pray for God to show
you the way.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and
his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
A Personal Story of Inspiration
Allow me to share
a personal story with you, which will explain how God works, helping us to
serve His purpose. Before my wife and I reunited and married, she lived in
Virginia, single, for over thirty years. Her occupational field of expertise was
in the accounting genre, and her pay scale was in the top echelon of her field.
She burned out crunching numbers and often prayed something newer and better
would come her way. In 2005, she accepted an opportunity to do mission work for
the International Board of Southern Baptist Convention in Africa. When she
returned from her outreach work, she was eager to continue spreading the word
of God. She applied and was accepted to work for the Peace Corps, but she turned
it down for lack of security in her designated country.
Now confused and
floundering, perhaps moving to a different area was her answer, so in 2007 she
purchased a home in Tampa. Within weeks of moving to Florida, she walked into a
publisher’s office and landed another high-paying job. What did she know about
the publishing field, and how did this serve the Lord? Was this another
mistake? To make a long story short, the company eventually folded, and she
moved back to Virginia, where she took a job for a non-profit Catholic organization
running the finances. Once again, another mistake.
When my wife and I
reconnected with each other in 2016, she told me how she was praying God would
find her a job serving Him. She spoke of going back into missionary work, but I
wasn’t letting her get away from me this time. Within days of moving to
Arkansas with me, she suggested we begin a blog and website which served the
Lord, and the rest is history. She is now my Editor and marketing guru. How ironic
God placed her in a publishing company in Florida only to gain the experience
for our award-winning book! Today, we both serve God’s purpose; our messages go
further than any missionary work she could ever perform around in the world.
Rejoice, for You are Chosen!
Our almighty God comforts
us and gives us the conveniences of life if we remain dedicated in prayer. When
we least expect it, He will drop that job in our lap serving His purpose. Just keep
your eyes and ears open and pray for the discernment. Is it the one God is
offering to better serve His name? The richness you will receive may not be
monetary but one of spiritual peace knowing you are serving God’s purpose.
Rejoice, for you
are chosen to serve the Lord! How do I know this? You are a Christian who just
took the first step of reading this blog… His message to you!
We live in a world of abundance, Wealth overflows; Yet, billions live in destitute; What really is the matter? Why can’t all have enough? What stops me or you Having our fair share? The world’s abundance Is for all; A few cannot be allowed To exploit and dominate The majority. Things must change. The wealth of the world Must flow to all.
Greedy people want to become rich quick. They jump on every opportunity they find. But beware! Don’t be stupid! Otherwise you may instead become poor quick. It’s easy. Look at what happened to a whole village. The people wanted to be rich. Read their story:
A lot of monkeys lived near a village.🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒
One day a merchant came to the village to buy these monkeys!🐵🐵🐵🐵🐵
He announced that he will buy the monkeys @ $100 each. 🐵💵
The villagers thought that this man is mad.😇
They thought how can somebody buy stray monkeys at $100 each?🤔
Still, some people caught some monkeys and gave it to this merchant and he gave $100 for each monkey.
This news spread like wildfire and people caught monkeys and sold it to the merchant.😬
After a few days, the merchant announced that he will buy monkeys @ 200 each. 🐵💵💵
The lazy villagers also ran around to catch the remaining monkeys!🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒
They sold the remaining monkeys @ 200 each.😋
Then the merchant announced that he will buy monkeys @ 500 each!
The villagers start to lose sleep! … They caught six or seven monkeys, which was all that was left and got 500 each.🙊🐵🐵🐵🐵🐵🐒
The villagers were waiting anxiously for the next announcement.🙄
Then the merchant announced that he is going home for a week. And when he returns, he will buy monkeys @ 1000 each!🐵💵💵💵💵💵💵💵💵💵💵
He asked his employee to take care of the monkeys he bought. He was alone taking care of all the monkeys in a cage.🤠🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒
The merchant went home.😎
The villagers were very sad as there were no more monkeys left for them to sell it at $1000 each.☹😞😓
Then the employee told them that he will sell some monkeys @ 700 each secretly. 😶
This news spread like fire. Since the merchant buys monkey @ 1000 each, there is a 300 profit for each monkey.😬
The next day, villagers made a queue near the monkey cage.🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐵🐒🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑
The employee sold all the monkeys at 700 each. The rich bought monkeys in big lots. The poor borrowed money from money lenders and also bought monkeys!
The villagers took care of their monkeys & waited for the merchant to return. 😕
But nobody came! …😤 Then they ran to the employee…🤠
But he has already left too !😉
The villagers then realised that they have bought the useless stray monkeys @ 700 each and unable to sell them! 😩😫😨😰😭😭😭😭😭😭.
This is the story of bitcoin and other similar wonder banks as well as other greedy ways of acquiring wealth.
Watch out for the next monkey 🙈🙉🙊 business
It will make a lot of people bankrupt and a few people filthy rich in this monkey business. 🐒😉😅
That’ how it works🤣
This story looks funny yet it makes sense when you think deep
This story was sent to my WhatsApp group by a member.
SUCCESS is getting what you want…HAPPINESS is wanting what you get… ❤
“The things that makes your heart beat faster and your eyes glow when you do it or talk about it, no matter if it’s hiking, yoga, gardening, painting, meditation, love, photography, going for walks, helping others – do that. Do it as often as you can. Because that’s what life is about. Creating as many passionate, happy moments as possible. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing the things you love – not even yourself.”
One of the main characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius, while giving some advice to his son says this in Act 1, Scene III,
Neither a borrower nor a lender be…
This famous saying was intended as a piece of personal wisdom. The vast majority of the world today ignores this advice.
Whether at the personal, business, or government level, borrowing and lending have become commonplace in modern life. In fact, it is almost impossible to participate in buying or selling without borrowing and/or lending.
When a person borrows from a business, or from the government, it is a formal and legal endeavor, which makes disputes between the parties a complex matter of the law. The same is true for a business borrowing from another business, or a government borrowing from a business or another government.
If these intricate transactions run afoul and the borrower cannot pay back the lender, eventually the activity known as bankruptcy comes into play. This ‘remedy’ is used by individuals, businesses, and governments.
America’s National Debt may be heading toward bankruptcy for the nation. It is a ticking time-bomb waiting to blow the economy sky-high.
American States Have Gone Bankrupt
The law today does not allow states to officially claim bankruptcy. However, that doesn’t mean that states cannot go into default on loan payments.
In fact, a Zero Hedge article from 2010 names 32 states that were insolvent at the time. California (surprise, surprise!) was the most in debt, followed by Michigan and New York.
Courtesy of Economic Policy Journal we now know that the majority of American states are currently insolvent, and that the US Treasury has been conducting a shadow bailout of at least 32 US states. Over 60% of Americans receiving state unemployment benefits are getting these directly from the US government, as 32 states have now borrowed $37.8 billion from Uncle Sam to fund unemployment insurance.
These cases were never officially bankrupt because the states were allowed to borrow money from the federal government.
To be clear, this was not a case of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul.’ It was more like the court jester begging the emperor for some of his invisible clothes.
The Federal government, i.e. the emperor, lends money that it has to borrow, to the states to pay back money that they didn’t have to meet their legal obligations. It amounts to going into additional debt to pay the debt you already have.
It is obvious this doesn’t solve the debt problem. It only perpetuates the myth that states cannot ever go bankrupt.
When such conditions exist, one of the many inevitable results is higher taxes. It is far less the case that significantly lower government spending is attempted or even considered, at least initially.
The case is even more destructive when we realize that sovereign nations can suffer the consequences of rampant debt.
Nations Can Go Bankrupt: The Recent Case of Greece
Most are familiar on one level or another the phenomenons of personal and business bankruptcy. However, most are not as aware that even governments of entire nations can go bankrupt.
One prominent example was the nation of Greece which was threatened with insolvency a decade ago. Greece survived the economic crisis because the European Union and the IMF bailed the nation out.
The EU and the International Monetary Fund provided 240 billion euros in emergency funds in return for austerity measures. The loans only gave Greece enough money to pay interest on its existing debt and keep banks capitalized. The EU had no choice but to stand behind its member by funding a bailout. Otherwise, it would face the consequences of Greece either leaving the Eurozone or defaulting.
Greece had to agree to a revamping of its revenue system so that the national budget could take severe steps toward being ‘in the black,’ to receive the funds. That meant mandatory tax increases and spending cuts.
It also meant forced wage cuts and stopped any early retirement. The agreement also meant that pension funds had to be cut which also meant government-funded pensions would not be able to honor their legal obligation to pay their retirees.
These measures were either ineffective or not given enough time, and several other smaller billion-dollar-plus ‘bailouts’ were sent to Greece via various channels of the EU. Unemployment shot up to 25% and to 50% for young people.
By 2015 the voters had enough of the austerity measures forced upon them by the EU bailouts. In a referendum vote, they rejected the measures triggering widespread fear of instability which resulted in a run on the banks.
Banks closed and restricted ATM withdrawals to 60 euros per day. It threatened the tourism industry at the height of the season, with 14 million tourists visiting the country. The European Central Bank agreed to recapitalize Greek banks with 10 billion euros to 25 billion euros, allowing them to reopen. Banks imposed a 420 euros weekly limit on withdrawals. That prevented depositors from draining their accounts and worsening the problem.
The Greek economy has limped along since 2015 and though there has been some small progress, the debt is still in the 300 billion euro range, about the same as it was 10 years ago. Additionally, unemployment is still at 22% and, as of 2018, Greece is seeking more bailouts contingent on even more strict economic control by the EU.
America’s Debt Problem Is Treacherously Unique
There are two factors that make America’s debt problem treacherously unique. The first and most obvious factor is that our National Debt monstrously large.
Moreover, the amount is larger than advertised. A lot larger.
The official National Debt is now quoted as over 22 trillion dollars! How much money is that?
Think of it this way. If you had just 1 trillion dollars and you spent 1 million dollars every day, it would take you almost 3000 years to spend it.
Multiply it 22 times and that is how much the United States of America owes a lot of other nations and financial institutions aka, banks around the globe. Now for some really bad news, this means the people of the United States owe that money because the taxpayers ultimately supply the funds.
This means that each taxpayer in America owes approximately 250,000 dollars to places including China through its state-controlled institutions of finance. Here comes the worst news of all; 22 trillion is only a small part of the real National Debt.
That’s because the official dollar amount does not include America’s unfunded liabilities. Unfunded liabilities are those items the Federal government must pay for by American law.
By far the largest and most significant of these are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Together they currently total more 50 trillion dollars. When added to the Debt, the total becomes slightly more than 73 trillion dollars… for the moment.
The final figure also includes items such as Federal pensions for workers and elected officials and interest paid on the Debt. The grand total of America’s real debt is about 130 trillion dollars!
This means each American taxpayer owes over 1 million dollars of the real debt as it exists today. So, what do you say, fellow taxpayer? Got an extra million to chip in for poor old Uncle Sam? Yeah, me neither.
This is a path which will lead to the eventual bankruptcy of America unless some radical steps are taken, steps that will be extremely difficult to accomplish. Which leads to the second treacherous factor that is unique for America.
In all other examples of national financial disaster, there exists one thing which America doesn’t have. There is no one to bail us out.
The fact is, a consortium big enough to rescue the U.S. from insolvency doesn’t exist. America is the largest economy in the world and no nation or bank or group of nations or banks could ever absorb over 100 trillion dollars of debt.
This leaves few choices on the table, and none of them are easy or very pleasant. Americans must understand that even the best choices to resolve this economic upheaval will involve significant sacrifices by ‘we the people’ ourselves.
Sacrifices Must Be Made
Any real solution to stave off national insolvency requires massive changes in how unfunded liabilities are handled. The political landscape at this time makes the task of solving that problem extremely difficult.
However, there is a glimmer of hope here precisely because America is the largest economy that exists. Most of the modern world at this time has a vested interest in keeping it that way.
If America’s economy collapsed, it would immediately plunge the world into crisis mode, perhaps even global economic depression. That real fear gives the nation a short window of opportunity to make strides toward fixing the precarious debt situation.
This doesn’t mean we will pay off the National Debt completely, though there are ways to do so, provided the problem of government overspending is corrected. An intriguing and workable idea to pay down the debt is a 10% special inheritance tax described here.
The 10 percent taxes government share should be used exclusively to pay down the National Debt. The presently estimated wealth in the USA is 100 trillion. Ten percent over time being paid to reduce the debt will exponentially reduce the debt, assuming Congress attempts to balance a budget.
The fact is that at the bottom, a crisis of economics is really a crisis of confidence. As long as there is trust in the value of the currency, public assurance staves off panic moves such as a run on the banks.
The same thing is true about America’s creditors. Those institutions and nations we are indebted to do not require payment in full to remain confident about doing business with the U.S.A.
All that is needed (for now) is to show we are keeping up on the interest payments and making progress in reforming our spending habits as a nation. Then real strides can be taken to pay off the National Debt.
Government spending overall has to be reigned in if a balanced budget is to be achieved. An excellent piece at Townhall.com shows this could be accomplished in a simple manner by a small reduction in spending.
The solution to this problem is very straightforward. All that’s needed is a bit of spending restraint to put the budget on a glide path to balance. I’m a big fan of spending caps, so this next chart shows the 10-year fiscal outlook if annual spending increases are limited to 1% growth, 2% growth, or 2.5% growth.
The ‘autopilot’ spending in the chart represents the current and projected levels of government outlay. The big reason this ‘autopilot’ is headed to the stratosphere is out of control entitlement spending.
Getting it under control means addressing the problems of Social Security and Medicare insolvency. For example, raising the retirement age for collecting Social Security to 70 along with at least some privatization of SS and Medicare, would be a good start in the right direction.
However, no one in political leadership is even suggesting slight changes in entitlement programs at this point in time. Those leaders assume, quite correctly, that many of their constituents would go ballistic at the prospects.
Those most adversely affected would be people in their 40s and 50s who may have already been counting on retiring in their 60s. Many of them may not want to wait until 70 for Social Security or Medicare benefits.
That kind of potential ill-will from voters keeps too many politicians from facing the truth. The truth that this problem is an economic ticking time-bomb and its detonation would be unimaginably catastrophic for America and the world.
It is going to require strong and responsible leadership in government to stay the course if spending restraint is going to happen. Some may realistically face a hostile constituency when supporting proposals that delay or ‘cut’ government benefits and end up potentially sacrificing their political lives.
A strong and responsible public also must emerge and become educated enough about the economic realities to support policies which may call for sacrifice from them.
Is it fair? Not really. The largest sacrifice is likely required from working families who have already borne the burden of past generations of fiscal foolishness.
However, it is also true that should the debt time-bomb explode, the same working families will suffer the most devastation and it will dwarf the pain of previous sacrifices. Unless some big changes are made the bomb will go off, it’s just a matter of time.
The countdown to detonation may have already begun, and it is certain the debt time-bomb is armed. Pray that America will be wise enough to make the essential sacrifices and bring us back from the economic precipice.
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it. Proverbs 15:16 [ESV]
Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
“I am at a loss. I have heard it said the love of money is at the root of all evil. But some people say this is not right; and that instead, it is the lack of money that is at the root of every evil. This makes me completely lost. I don’t know what to think. Who can clarify me on this? Which should I believe or not believe?” (Romilia Quotes)
The giant oaks turned golden in the fall, shading the
avenue of homes trimmed of gold. The walkways of washed aggregate and stained
concrete floors in the garage smell of money. An oriental rug lies squarely
beneath the oil plug of the minister’s Rolls and Bentleys. It’s a lovely life –
a weekend cabin in the foothills of the Castiles, a yacht swaying at the dock
of their favorite country club. Their lifestyles are of the rich and famous. Do
I need to tag them with names for you or the descriptions of these church
leaders who appear on TV and radio, bearing witness?
Have you ever tried to contact these evangelists personally
even if you are a member of their congregation? Several of these ministers
started following my blog last year. I tried to respond to some of their emails,
but a computer-generated nonresponse system returned it. One such minister put
an email address at the bottom of his correspondence with an enticing note to
always feel free to connect with him. Are you kidding me? This is a man who is a
public servant of God, and he lies about his contact information on his website
and newsletters! It makes me wonder…
I used to collect mail from a rather sizeable religious
outfit who films daily television and documentary shows. I’d call it a church,
but it was all about money. I never met the soft-spoken old man who read from
the pulpit, though he wasn’t there when I entered the building. He hides behind
the silver screen while anointing his son to be the Senior Pastor.
Another younger notoriety wears his sacred cross, but is
more concerned of the welfare of his structures, which he owns, than of those
whose dollars helped to build it. An example of his personal greediness was during
a hurricane which hit his area two years ago. Homeless people, seeking comfort from
the storm, stood outside in nature’s wrath because he wouldn’t open his church doors.
Perhaps he was afraid of damages incurred – a chunk out of his own pocket which
might affect the mortgage payment on his $10.5 million home.
I could continue with my tirade, but Christians are smart
enough to observe who indeed professes to do the Lord’s work. There was only one
minister I knew who was genuine and a spiritual adviser to many Presidents. His
money filtered through to the crusades he conducted in 185 countries on six
continents. He passed away last year and now works for Christ in a different capacity.
I see the actions of these Bible scholars, who can’t live what
they preach in front of millions. Most believers are aware clergy are the
amongst the lowest-paid occupations. So, how are they living in mega mansions
and in the lap of luxury? Do they ever use their personal income from TV
appearances and other sources to give back to their communities? Or is preaching
the Word of God just a business designed to make them a millionaire?
As I look down Ego Avenue and observe its evilness, I
thank God for my health and my wife who keeps me in check. A simple Christian
writer and life, I am blessed by the Holy Spirit, and I have peace in my soul. A
few friends asked me if I was afraid of giving out my cell phone number which
is written on my business cards. My honest reply was why? I’m no better than the mentoring I try to give to others. I meet
many wonderful people from around the world – some famous, but most are common
folk. I treat everyone the same. Spiritual leaders should be receptive and have
personal contact with believers, especially with individuals they follow on
To those who live on Ego Avenue and read my blogs, are you better than our Lord? After all,
Jesus was a dirt poor man, and he was always reachable in desperate times. He
laid the foundation for your obligations as a clergy member – to provide
spiritual, moral guidance, and assistance to believers. If I’m wrong, then
please correct me.
My examples of hypocrites and false witnesses, in the name of our Lord, only touch the surface of the United States. I’m sure dozens more exists in countries worldwide. Some may say security issues are dilemmas facing the famous religious leaders, but I highly doubt this. Too many other upstanding clergy submerge themselves in others’ lives unharmed. I think the root of the problem is simple – the love of money. Perhaps it should be explained as “delivering God’s word in order to become a millionaire.” Call it greed or narcissism; either way, God will place a harsher judgment on them. As someone once said, “Knowledge is a dangerous thing!”