Sunday, February 7, 2016

Not Running for Office

I'm not running for office, but if I were, this is what I'd say:

I don't want your money for my campaign. What I want is your vote. I'm saddened that politicians think the election must be bought. Maybe they're right, but I'd like to prove them wrong.

If you are part of what is called the one percent, I'd love to have some money for the campaign. Let's be clear, though. It isn't to buy favors. You don't need favors - the other 99 percent do. They need help, for themselves, for their families, and for their communities. Help me get elected and I'll make sure that they get heard, and that you're part of the solution.

That is, after all, what we all want. A stronger, better, more United States of America.

Why don't I hear any of the politicians say that?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thrown under the Omnibus

The huge Omnibus Bill just passed in Congress. A good man in Congress, a friend of mine, voted for it, calling it the lesser of two evils. He really did.

Evil is still evil, my friend.

Yeah, politics is a dirty business. They released the 2000+ page bill at two in the morning and gave the politicians less than 48 hours to read it.

Here's what I think about bills. 

Firstly, they need to be written in simplified language. Congress shouldn't care; they don't read most of these massive bills anyway. 

Secondly, each bill should address ONE thing. For goodness sake, what is hard about that? The riders and amendments turn bills into monsters. 

Finally, every provision in the bill should be subject to one simple question: is it good for the PEOPLE of the United States or is it only good for the government? We SHOULD be a government of the people, by the people and for,the people, but we aren't any longer.

Our government betrays the common people at every turn and claims it is for our own good.

And we buy it. Of course we do. Almost all news outlets tell us how good the bill is for the people.

Some Politicians voted their conscience - following the mandates of the people who elected them.

Vince, signing off.

PS I can't seem to find a copy of the bill to look at. I'll keep looking.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

God Never Said that...

Ever thought this?
When we make a decision based on our inherent goodness and reason, it must be correct.

Yeah, that's not Biblical at all, and it certainly doesn't align with my personal experiences over the last six decades.

We're immersed in a society that teaches us our INTELLECT will guide us correctly, especially when it is paired with our EMOTIONS. The news services and the government seem to concur with the thought that repetition makes something true - so our WILL can govern our actions.

In Grad school classes I interacted with a lot of smart people - and I liked them. Still, one of the basic arguments we had in every class was whether morality was absolute or relative. Most of the others argued for a relative morality. I always took (and still take) the stance that morality is, and should be, absolute.

I will never forget the one comment after I said "For instance, we can all agree that murder is wrong."
Another student said "Well, I think murder is wrong, but if a Father feels it is right to kill his infant daughter because of his society, who am I to say he's wrong?"

I had no response.

The point is, there is an absolute morality. I believe that morality is defined by the Word of God as given to us in the Bible, where God's character is defined for us. Does the Bible confuse me? Sure it does, but some things in it do not.

Do not lie. Do not cheat. Do not steal. Do not murder. Do not condone these actions in others.

As the Pastor of the new church I visited said "The Word of God is Powerful, Perpetual and Permanent." (They do like alliteration.)

God's Word is the ultimate authority in my life. It isn't my personal thoughts, feelings or decisions,

That premise simply makes me a better person than I was.

PS - Nope, I'm not always successful at doing what I should, but I keep trying.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer

Darling is doing a new Bible study. This one is by Priscilla Shirer and is called The Armor of God. Darling is letting me read through the study with her.

I'll post my notes for the study, but please bear in mind that most of what I'm writing is directly from Priscilla Shirer's book. I'll italicize when the thoughts are mine.

Week One was a summary with background information. Priscilla Shirer is an author and an actress in the amazing movie The War Room.

If you are not familiar with the Armor of God passages in the Bible, you probably already quit reading. Here's the NIV version of the passage from Ephesians 6.

The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Her first week reminded me of something an African missionary said: "The African people see it clearly. We are spiritual beings in a physical world, not the other way around." Most people I know battle in the physical world when they should battle in the spiritual world. I'm as guilty as anyone of that.

The enemy is invisible, but he is not fictional.

We overestimate Satan's impact on our lives and therefore we live in fear.

We underestimate Satan and miscalculate his impact on our lives.

I tend to ignore Satan unless I feel temptations, then I call on God. That isn't always successful because I am not prepared.

We are unaware of Satan's conspiracies in our lives because he appears as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). Let's face it; if Satan appeared like the ugly caricatures we have of him, we'd know to run. He always wraps his attacks in deception. He cannot help it. He is, after all, the Father of lies. But he is very, very good at what he does, and he knows what bait attracts each of us.

The Enemy (Satan) has strategies against your1. Passion2. Focus3. Identity4. Family5. Confidence6. Calling7. Purity8. Rest and Contentment9. Heart10. Relationships.

I have to admit, as I look through the list, I see a lot of areas where I was attacked - and still am.


With the standard of truth in place, you can adjust everything else in your life - your ambitions, choices, and feelings; your mind, will and emotions - until all of it is "tuned" correctly. When you have a strong, stable, well-supported core you can't easily be led astray by the enemy's clever lies. Gird yourself with truth ...

You uphold and affirm the standard – the truth and boundaries set by God in scripture. You commit yourself to them and resolve to teach them to your family.

You daily, systematically, repeatedly begin letting God help you align your decisions and responses, even your attitudes and ambitions, alongside His benchmark of truth.

You continually learn about the character and purposes of God – both from the Bible and from His Spirit. Then you unapologetically synchronize your convictions, even when you find it hard or unpopular to do so.

You filter every circumstance, personally and culturally, through the prism of His Word instead of merely leaning on your feelings, political correctness, or the opinions of others.

Truth becomes your starting place ...

Sensitivity taking offense is one of the key ways Satan traps believers in his web of deception.

The soldier's belt secured several pieces of his armor, which are listed in the rest of the passage in Ephesians 6:
  • Righteousness means right living.
  • Peace is a deep, inner, eternal stability by virtue of our relationship with Jesus.
  • Faith is an application of what we believe.
  • Salvation is our eternal security as well as full inheritance.
  • The word of God is the Bible and God's Spirit.
  • Finally, we use prayer to communicate with God and access the promises of God.

Watch out for deception, because is a lie cloaked in a tweaked version of truth.

Without truth - without an absolute, non-negotiable standard - there is no real liberty. Most people don't understand that and think that by accepting Jesus as their Lord they give up their freedom. Exactly the opposite is true.

In John 8:31-32, Jesus says if we abide in His word the truth will set us free.

Accumulated knowledge is not truth. You can learn things that are untrue - and choose to believe them. Also, knowing things about God does not mean the same as honoring Him as your Lord.

Truth is God's absolute standard, and you do not know truth unless you know God. A knowledge of God is found in the Bible, and imparted by the Holy Spirit.

Me: Wow, Priscilla Shirer really knows her stuff… I'll post more from her book in the future. Until then, God bless you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Random thoughts on the first of September

September swept in, surprising me in how quickly it displaced the months of summer.
(I do miss the fall leaves the the sweet smell of the earth as it falls into winter slumber.)

I retired in January. People ask me if I'm bored. No, not yet. In fact, I still have so many things on my list of to-dos and I keep adding to the list. What, for example? Story ideas, game ideas, reading books, taking classes on Udemy...

I wake up some mornings with story ideas. I write them down in my notebook. It's a standard spiral notebook with a hundred pages or so. I usually write on both sides of the page. Since January, the notebook is almost full of ideas and thoughts. I'll need a new notebook in a few weeks. That's okay.

If you don't keep a personal notebook of your ideas and thoughts, you should. Jim Rohn, one of my favorite speakers, recommends it as well. He was the mentor of Tony Robbins. You can catch recordings from both of them on YouTube, and I recommend them.

Sometimes I get a game idea. I came up with another wonderful one the other day. That one came to me in a dream, too. Well, parts of it. Dreams are not a good template for a complete story or a comprehensive game, but they give a good hint.

Darling sits next to me on the couch, playing "Mary, Did You Know" from a link on her Facebook page. (This links to Clay Aiken, the same singer, but isn't the same video.) She enjoys Facebook a lot. I use it to keep track of my relatives, so if you send me a friend request, don't be surprised if I don't accept. Very, very few non-family members are on my Facebook page. Most of those knew my parents and grew up with me.

I take notes in my notebook on what I'm currently reading, watching or studying. After half a year of studying finance information, I've concluded that there are no financial experts. I think when people get a degree in finances, they simply learn the lingo so they can express personal opinions in the right economic jargon.

I'm reading (diligently) Tony Robbins' new book "MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom" and I really like it. Some financial people say he oversimplifies the subject and that the book is full of Tony's brand of personal development information. It is. I think if Tony pulled his development thoughts out of the book it would be a mere hundred pages instead of over SIX HUNDRED PAGES (ouch), but it would lose much of the flavor that Tony Robbins can bring to the subject. I plan to post my notes on the book soon, so keep an eye open.

Just a side note - the guy is six foot seven. Impressive.

So, bored? Not a chance. I don't miss going to work. I do sort of miss the paychecks. The stock market drop last week hurt our finances a bit, but reminded me - I'm just the caretaker. My God owns it all.

So no worries.

Welcome to September.