House of Prayer

The bobbing little heads are so thankful to see me this morning. They’re grateful for the seed I throw their way. It is amazing they know it’s safe to fly out of the trees and eat, so long as I am there. Perhaps I am… a house of prayer for all my feathered fowl.

In my house of prayer, my humbled heart guides my conscience. I cannot list the blessed gifts God sent my wife and me in our short few years of marriage. But many people are not so fortunate…

Some families lost their finances, especially over the past few weeks. Others gambled their money, and even life savings, instead of reading the laws of God. In a Christian’s house of prayer, the Bible dictates this distinction:

Many abodes are filled with “prized possessions” from floor to ceiling. We can witness this sad condition on TV, such as “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and even “American Pickers.” Or, shoppers fill their carts with unnecessary items after each paycheck to fill a void in their heart. I must ask, “How can you love two Gods if you are a true Christian?” This ill-fated, psychological condition promotes money and the love of physical items. In this house of prayer, the Bible states:

We can easily find the standard salary of clergymen on the internet. It is far below the national average income. But some televangelists, who I call “false prophets,” steal from the poor to live in their dynasty. They build multi-million dollar lifestyles, believing they can buy into heaven’s gates. In their masonry house of prayer, the frigid winds blow through the cracks and crevices.

So, what kind of house of prayer is your residence? Is your home blessed, or does Satan appear to send signals of acceptable sin? If Jesus walked in your house today, would He feel the warmth of love and graciousness? Could He easily place His hands on your Bible?

Just like the little feeding birds, they eat only enough to fill their bodies. They, too, come to me for comfort. We should turn to God for life’s blessings. Share your bread, for it is His will you are supplied with His love, including the little birds that feed in your backyard.

I pray your life and home is a sanctuary, filled with God’s blessings and love. Be content with your basic needs being met and avoid materialism. It is only the flesh that yearns for the security of money. Our wealth belongs to God – and it’s a gift. Make Him first in your life. Only faith, prayer, and your walk in the light of God will bring you to His house of prayer.



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The power of success

If you succeed to amass wealth
People fear you;
And respect you;
If you rise in position,
That is if you gain power,
People will follow you.
If you fail or are failing,
People will run away
From you.
That is life and the power
Of success.
We associate with success;
People identify with power;
Because we want our share.
You have to succeed
To be recognized and respected in your community;
Yes, money has power;
With money, enough money,
You can corrupt whoever;
You make people see wrong
To be right,
And right to be wrong;
You make lies truth;
And truth lies;
This is the world
In which we live;
Our world;
Sad for the poor;
They may get glory in heaven,
But on earth, its hell.

The controversy of giving money to the Church?

Do you give money to your Church? If you do, how and why do you do so? What is your motivation?

Some people give money to their Church from their hearts. Others do it as a public show, to attract public acclaim. Some do not give it; and advance all types of excuses for their action.

The issue of tithing or giving money to the church has never been an easy one to discuss. It has raised a lot of dust. It is a controversial subject on which much ink has been spilled.

It interests me to know your take on this thorny matter. Are you for or against offering money to the Church? And what reasons do you advance for the position you have taken.

I have come across people to whom giving money to the church is throwing away valuable income.

They say money is precious and hard-to-earn currency that should be jealously guarded and preserved for themselves and their families.

They hold and say giving money to the Church is a way to swell the bank accounts of Church leaders and make them feed fat on the sweat of others.

I do not deny that many Church authorities have swollen jaws and smooth faces, reflective of good living.

But I don’t buy the idea that money should not be given to the Church. I don’t feel comfortable with it. Unfortunately, this school of thought seems to be gaining grounds in Christian milieus. I actually see it winning more adherents and the spread is more or less like a wildfire among Christians.

You find people who actually resist coming out during offertory on Sundays to chip in their widow’s mite for the spread of the gospel and the upkeep of the Church.

When at all they do it, it is more to throw dust in the public eye. What they put in is minimal.

Of course, at the other extreme of the spectrum, there are magnanimous individuals who give to the church with joy and generosity.

To them, all they have is a gift of God’s grace and hence, it is only but fair to give back to him some of what has been received as a way of gratitude.

This is wisdom. When we give alms during offertory in Church, we are offering to the one who has offered us so much. Our alms are needed for the work of evangelization. God has commanded us to take the gospel to all the corners of the earth. This needs money. The Church needs money for its buildings, for it to function. The pastor or priest needs money for his upkeep to do the best work for God. And the Church is not an income-generating or commercial enterprise. Where then will such money come from?

Giving of alms and other donations to the Church is one way God wants the lay faithful to contribute to the building of God’s kingdom on earth.

Both the New and the Old Testaments are replete with verses that exhort us to give cheerfully to the Lord, for God loves a cheerful giver.

It is proper for us to give money and other gifts to our Church. In fact, it is compulsory except we do not truly believe the faith we profess. One cannot be a serious Christian and expect the work of evangelization to triumph and not contribute for it to do so.

Give money to your Church. Give generously. You will be rewarded as you give.

Serving God’s Purpose

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?

Dana Bicks

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. Amen!

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!



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Wealth overflows

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.

Money or knowledge: choose

There is a question I once asked, but I cannot recall the answer that people gave me.

The question was about money and power. This is it: which is more powerful? Money or knowledge? If God is ready to offer you whichever you choose. Which would you choose?

If you answered this question before, please, remind me of your answer. If you have not answered it, kindly do it now.

There are many people who will prefer money to education. They say money can open all doors. And that many educated persons end up as employees under rich people.

Others will say it is better to have knowledge than to have money. They hold that with knowledge people easily find their way in life.

Here, we have two sides that are opposed to each other. You have the opportunity to choose. God is waiting to give you whichever one you choose.

Which would you go for?

Smart people make quick money and become rich while foolish people become poor

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:

Monkey business.
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.

Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the mother of everything.

Without sacrifice, you can’t get what you want in your life.

Your success always demands great sacrifice from you.

Are you ready for that?

Ask yourself.

Then you’ll know how to sacrifice in your life.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

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COPYRIGHT © Shubham Verma

Thoughts…. Success by #ShobhaIyer

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.”

Read Full Post Here ☟☟☟

https://wp.me/p9hC3T-11G

The National Debt: America’s Ticking Time Bomb

National Debt

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

National DebtThe 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

National DebtMost 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

National DebtThere 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.

 

National DebtThe 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.

National DebtThe 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.

National DebtIt 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]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Dirk Knight’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Kenn Wilson’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Global Justice Now’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of CafeCredit’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Purple Slog’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Gwydion M. Williams’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 6 courtesy of Boris Rasin’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal