Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hey, I May Be A Redneck

Hi, my name is Mike. I have worked since July of 1974. Let me tell you my story. I bathed, got dressed in the best clothes I had, combed my hair, and started knocking on doors. I filled out applications, and interviewed for jobs. I sold myself to every prospective employer. I got my first full time job in July 1974 as a truck driver, running hot shot delivery. I worked hard the entire eight hours my employer paid me for. In the free time, I did other things that other people did not want to do, like clean bathrooms, and take out the trash. I learned every aspect of the business my company was involved in, and learned how to do other peoples jobs, and was the one chosen to fill in when they were out. I made myself invaluable to my employer, so if someone had to be let go, it would not, no, could not be me.

In the thirty-nine years since I have worked hard, and smart. I have never had anyone during that time pay for my food, clothes, rent, car, gas, utilities, or anything else. I paid my way. I paid my taxes, and I paid my own healthcare.

I did not get my job because I belonged to a special club, and it was not because of my skin color, it was not because I knew somebody. I was a long hair, doper with barely a high school education. I got that job, and every other job I have had because I went looking for it, and sold myself as the best candidate for it, and then I worked my fanny off to keep it.

Now to clarify my timeline a little. I came to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in September 1979, and he saved my soul, and changed my life and habits. He gave me hope, and I soon came to learn that it was he that provided my every need. No, he did not plant a money tree in my back yard, what I mean is he gave me a new perspective, I then realized, as I have since to this very day, that he provides job opportunities, pay, and strength and wisdom to do what I am called upon to do. So, when I say I have paid my way, I clearly know and mean that God has provided the means, and I have taken the responsibility placed in my hands and tried to be faithful in it.

Since then, The Lord has brought the most beautiful woman in the world to be my wife in January 1984. Then in July of 1986, he sent us the most precious gift ever, my little princess, (she is all grown up now, but my little sunbeam nonetheless). We paid for her childbirth. We paid for her food. We paid for her clothes. We paid for her school.

In our country there is a debate over the rich paying their fair share, (the liberal’s side) and the individual being responsible for their own selves, (the conservative’s side). Let me say this, this is not a matter for Christian duty, to feed, clothe, heal, and house every American citizen. This is a debate of people that work hard every day, and pay taxes to this country with people that don’t work and don’t pay taxes, as to if the country will use the taxpayers money to reward those who don’t pay taxes. It is a shame for people to put this on the Christian as their duty to do this because of our faith. This is an American thing, not a Christian thing. If you want to add politics to Christianity, then add Christianity to politics, and adhere to the rule set forth in the New Testament, “If a man does not work, then he shall not eat”.

I propose this. I will be more than willing to pay welfare to an unwed mother, and pay for all the healthcare, food, rent, utilities, and even the gas for their Cadillac they drive to the welfare office to pick up their check, if they will first agree to a permanent birth control option. OK, that’s a little rough. Rather, that they know that we the “paying” people will pay for ONE child only, every other one they Choose to have they pay for. That’s what I call “Physical Responsibility”.

Hi, my name is Mike, and I guess I am a redneck.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Monster Under The Bed

In light of current events, I think I want to go into Naïve mode, turn off the news, and avoid news feeds. Ignorance is sometimes pretty blissful. It is somewhat comforting to think that the people we meet out in public, the people we work with, and even the neighbors that wave and smile back at you when you greet them, are just as they seem, Good, Normal, and harmless people.

The truth of the matter is that we live in a very scary world. We have had such protection in this country, unlike many third world countries where the citizens eat at the local restaurant or bistro with careful watching for anything suspicious, and are always at the ready to take cover in case of some sort of attack. Where we go about our lives in our naivety that all is well, and all people are good.

Reality is that that person in the store you just met and had a pleasant conversation with, who seemed so nice and friendly, or that co-worker that jokes around with everybody, and even that neighbor that seems to keep to their self, never causes trouble, and always seem so helpful, may very well be the Monster under the bed. Who hasn’t heard a news broadcast after a terrible tragedy, and the neighbors or co-workers when interviewed, say something like this: “He or She was such a good person, I would have never thought they were capable of something like this”

Monsters belong under the bed. How many nights we as a scared little kid, kept our ankles on the bed, and safely tucked under the covers (everybody know that monsters are attracted to ankles). But to a kid, that was the worst of it. When morning broke, we had the solid confidence that the monster was gone, not able to come out in daylight. We could spend our day doing all the fun things we loved to do.

As we become adults, we find that the monsters do come out in the day, and they are not afraid of light. They do more horrendous things than grab ankles, and this knowledge brings fear in our daytime lives, and we want the safety of the bed top, and snugly tucked covers to protect us from all this terror. I tried to teach my daughter when she was little that being brave in the face of danger is what will restrain the monster. So I would come in her room, never fearing that grisly beast, but would take him, and lock him in the closet, and I would let her throw away the key. I think I may have cured her fear of night time scary things, but I hope I instilled a confidence in her to stand up to the scary things in this world, to live with eyes wide open, and not to fear.

When we fear, the monsters win.

Do you believe God?

Do You Believe God?

We often ask people if they believe in God, and get many different answers. Most would say that they believe that there is a God, but to what extent he relates to them varies. But ask somebody if they believe God, and it only leaves room for two answers, Yes or No.

This would be a great evangelistic tool as well, because you may get an intelligent reply with a question like: “Do I Believe WHAT about God?” Again, they will try to change the focus to something about God, and not the question asked.

The question again is: “Do You Believe God?” The Bible never tries to establish that there is a God, or to try to argue that he has any certain characteristics. The Bible starts with a simple Phrase: “In the beginning, God created the world…” The Bible starts with the assumption that God is, and why not. He created the World, the Universe, and every living thing in the world, including man. Why then should he start his book that he gave to tell us what he wants from us with an argument of who he is?

So as we read the Bible we see that God wants man to obey him. Man sinned and disobeyed. Then we see God gave a list of laws that reflect his holiness. Man broke every one of them. Then God sent his only Son who did obey God, who did keep his Law, and who pleased God by his holy life, and God allowed man that disobeyed, sinned, and displeased his creator take his Son, and beat him, bruise him, and nail him to a cross so that we could watch him die a long and slow agonizing suffocating death on that cross. Then to top it off, God took all of the sins of those very people (including you and me) and made his Son responsible for them all, he made him guilty of those sins, and then punished him for them. His Son died because of my sins.

God now has one law for man. To believe him when he says that his Son paid it all on that cross, and by believing on him, you will now please him, you will be holy, and you will be obedient to him. You will have the life he created you to have.

Do You Believe God?