Haircuts are not Always Beautiful

When you come out of the barber shop or the beauty salon after a haircut and style you feel “better.” More confident. Ready to take on world.  In the financial world, a “haircut” is a very painful experience.  Why?  It is a severe reduction of your finances through the means of a bank failure.  Consider this:

In the traditional way banks are structured, the depositor is protected and the investor takes the risks.  So if the bank failed, the investor would be taking the “haircut”.  Since 2008, the laws have changed.  Under the Dodd-Frank law, the depositor is now classified as an “Unsecured Creditor”.  As a creditor they will be exposed to any loss the bank has.  If the bank would fail, the unsecured creditor would be the last one in line to be financially restored.  As the term implies, the creditor is unsecured because the deposit that they make into the bank, the bank classifies it as a credit.  Since the credit made is not collateralized or “secured” – hence the name.  Most people – Christians especially, are woefully unaware of this.  Their extent of their financial training can summed up in Malachi 3:10 or Luke 6:38.  This type of ignorance leave the Believer fighting an enemy in a land of “unwalled villages” – completely exposed to anything that the enemy throws at them.  While you can attempt to make the argument that “The Christian fights on their knees”, or that you “Fully rely on God,” how long will you stay there when the bank takes up to 60% of your account balance?  You can even make the argument that we are not going to be here since we will be “Caught up to meet the Lord in the air,” (See I Thessalonians 4:16-18) but what makes you think you got the timing right when Jesus Himself said “No man knows the day or the hour…..” (see Matthew 24:36)?  The point is that the preparing for the financial collapse that is coming to America is YOUR responsibility. If you have the seen the reaction of Americans in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or the Northeast after Hurricane Sandy, then you know that our countrymen by and large are terribly unprepared for natural disasters.  Keep in mind that the hurricanes mentioned are regional in their scope of damage.  The financial disaster coming will be national.  All 50 states will feel the effects of this financial failure that is coming to our shores.  For this “storm” is global in its scope and no human who is tied to the system will escape it.

You have seen the long lines at the ATMs and the rioting that has occurred in Greece.  This is nothing more than a “coming attraction” to America.  However, there are some things you can do now that can lessen the blow when – not if comes to America:

1) Pray Up.  As they are no “atheists in a foxhole” so there will not be one in a financial collapse. Get to know God.  Seek Him while can be found.  Call to Him while He is near.  Get a Bible start reading it.  To those who already know Him, examine yourself in His Word.  Ask Him to remove the sin that so easily besets all of us.  In other words, repent to Him and re-establish a right relationship with Him.

2) Stock Up.  In a disaster scenario, resources are the order of the day.  When disaster strikes, people will belong to one of two camps:  Those who have resources and those who don’t.  The ones who have them will not be necessarily “rich”, but like the Sons of Issachar were able to discern the signs of the times and prepare accordingly.  The ones who don’t will laugh, jeer and scorn at the ones stockpiling; No different those who laughed at Noah while he was building the ark – until the rain came.  Some of the things you may want to stock up may include:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Toothpaste
  • Batteries
  • Cash
  • Precious Metals

Your list may vary from you neighbor’s, but the point is to MAKE ONE.

3) Arm Up.  Regardless of which side of the gun control debate you fall on, you can’t rely on prayer alone to keep yourself, your family or your possessions safe.  When force is presented, such as a home invasion,  your ability to complete a 21 day fast is not going to help.  Force only recognizes force.  The ability to possess and use a firearm properly is the best way to deter or defuse an invading force coming into your personal space.

It is not my job to convince you that this event is coming.  Nor is it my job on telling you how to prepare.  That is a conversation for you and God to have.  My job as a watchman is warn you of the impending danger and you choose the best course of action to respond.  If you choose to let your financial “hair” grow, then you will make appropriate choices.  If you decide to nothing, the don’t complain about the financial “crew cut” that you will receive.

 

 

Haircuts are not Always Beautiful

When in Rome…

It has been said, ” When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Do we really know what that means? Do we understand that at the end of the Roman Empire the people did not pay attention to what their government was doing? While gladiator games and the like were the things kept the people occupied at the Coliseum, the government was robbing the treasury for their own selfish gain.

Fast forward a couple of thousand years later, and only the median has changed. The people don’t necessarily need to go to the Coliseum to see an event – although they are willing to part with their hard-earned money to do so. The majority of people can bring the tragedy of human drama into their homes such as “The Bachelor”, “Real Housewives of (fill in the city) “Preachers of (fill in the city)” or “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. The median for governments stealing have changed also. Instead of taking physical money out of the treasury, it now happens by movings ones and zeroes on a server. In both cases, the mindset of the Roman nation is alive and well: The people’s lust for pleasure and the government’s lust for power.

How can this be stopped? The first act of stopping this is to recognize that there is a problem in the first place. This is our biggest obstacle as a church and as a nation.  We like to be sophisticated and call it “normalcy bias”. Call it what you will, however it is denial pure and simple. Some will attach a reasoning to it such as: “This can’t happen here, we’re Americans”. Others will take the “supernatural” route and say, “God will never let that happen here, we’re the most blessed nation on Earth”. Any of these reasons will allow you to keep you living a “normal” life and not give you the understanding of the gravity of the situation that you are in.

“What kind of situation am I living in?” you may ask. As I stated in my last entry “Life Imitating Art”, In addition to the 18 Trillion dollars of debt that our nation owes, we are seeing the lowest interest rates ever in nation’s history – at or near zero. Why is that so important? Two reasons: First anybody who saves money in a bank is not getting a return on the money that they save. The second reason is that if you have a mutual fund, 401k, or IRA those financial instruments are getting the same interest rate. So if you are retired, you may have to come out of retirement because your pension (if it is funded) or mutual fund will not bare enough interest for you to live on.

What most Americans – especially those in the Church don’t realize is that the system we live and work in functions and revolves around credit. As an example, when we purchase things on a credit card which uses other people’s money , we are essentially saying, “I will use your money and promise to pay you back later – with interest.” When we take this to the macro or national level we are saying the same thing, only with much bigger numbers. When the borrower who is subject to the lender, (See Proverbs 22:7)  can not borrow any more money, the credit line has been seized up.  The borrower panics because they have to find a new way to either make the payments to existing debt, or have to find a new way to get income become their original income is not enough to live on.   THIS is what happened to our nation in 2008.  Fast forward seven years later and the only thing that has changed is the debt has become bigger.

“What do I do now?” you may ask.  First, realize that you have been lied to – that debt is not an asset, it is a liability. That the more debt you have accumulated, the bigger the liability you have.  This is the goal of the system:  Those that borrow hold all the liabilities, while those who lend wait patiently for you to max out your borrowing ability and at the appointed time, “negotiate” with you for all your other assets that you have not put up for collateral.  Take Greece as an example.  When the government overextended itself, the primary as well as opportunistic lenders (e.g. Russia and China) made loans available for Greece – at a price say, some islands that Russia can put a Naval base on?

Secondly,  you must understand that anything you have that has no debt attached to it is an asset.  As an example, not only the big-ticket items such as a house or a car, financial products such as a physical gold and silver – which are strongly encourage for you to get, are assets also.  Even everyday products such as food, water, soap, and shampoo, are also assets.  It is in this arena you would want to aquire as many assets as possible.  As you would do your routine  shopping, buy a few extra items for yourself and to barter.  The added cost that you will incur now will pay dividends down the line due to the lack of resources that will be coming to a store near you.

Third, you will need a way to defend yourself as well as those items that can be taken away by owning a firearm.  Some that are religious and object might say, “God will defend my home.  I apply the Blood of Jesus everyday”.  While this is true, keep in mind that God also gives human beings free will.  You wouldn’t leave your doors unlocked would you – even if the Blood was applied?  Of course not.  If you use practical steps to secure your home, you should practical use steps to secure your person,   A firearm is a very practical way to secure yourself, your family, and your property.

Fourth and most important, establish or re-establish a relationship with God.  If you are intellectually honest, you would have to recognize that all things created on the Earth had to have a Creator that is greater than and outside of the creation.  While you may argue that existence of God is not provable by “science”  have you ever notice that when human beings get into trouble, not a single one of them has ever uttered, “Oh Science” to get them out of trouble?  Eternity waits for every human being – “sinner” and “saint” alike.  Which side will you be on?

When the Roman Empire fell, it burned.  America, along with the rest of world will be no different.

When in Rome…

Life Imitating Art

Since 2010, most people in America – if not the world, has heard of the television show “The Walking Dead”.  A show about a sheriff getting shot and going into a coma.  When he awakes, he has discovered his world has been overrun with flesh-eating zombies.  How appropriate this show is at this time in our culture.  We as Americans act a little more alert than the zombies being portrayed on our TV screens.  Consider this:

  • We have a 18 TRILLION dollar national debt – with a 30 BILLION dollar interest payment PER MONTH.
  • We have corporations such as Citgroup and JP Morgan Chase writing our laws instead of Congress (see Dodd-Frank reform law)
  • We have a complicit media who spews out propaganda instead of broadcasting the truth.
  • We have allowed our “Civil Servants” to become career politicians drunk on their own power thereby morphing themselves into an oligarchical class.
  • We have allowed our countrymen to don our military’s uniform not to serve in the nation’s best interest;  Rather they are being used as political pawns in a sick game of “chess” to which they come home injured, maimed, or in body bags.

and what is the nation’s response? “Did you see what Kanye West did at the Grammy Awards?”

While not being a fan of the show (I never watched a single episode), the one thing I can conclude is that in order to survive, you must be prepared.  As I have eluded to in my last entry “Warnings Came Before Destruction” which you can read here, this next event that’s coming will be one of war. Not just of armed conflict, but of resources:  food, water, shelter, money, oil, gas, and other commodities.  People not only in America, but across the globe will be divided into two camps:  Those who have resources and those who don’t.  Both camps will have one thing in common:  CHOICE.  Each individual will make a choice based on the information they receive or ignore.   Succinctly put, where you are and the resources you have will be the culmination of your choices.  You will not have no one to blame but yourself if you choose to ignore the warning, not prepare and think that life will go on as “normal.”

To those who believe in the Rapture, I challenge you openly:  What assurances do you have through the Canon of Scripture that the Rapture will come FIRST and not the financial collapse?  Please leave your analysis in comments section below.  To those who made the choice to survive, congratulations you made the decision to prepare, aid and defend yourself, your family and your countrymen. 

Life Imitating Art

Warnings Came Before Destruction

As a watchman, my job is to give people warnings to prepare for the destruction that’s coming (see Ezekiel 33:6)  Warnings are not just spiritual or political.  They are practical as well.  While you may have heard our spiritual “leaders” call for a return to prayer and repentance – using II Chronicles 7:14 as “backdrop”, there is a practical side to preparation as well.  I believe that preparation has not just one but three sides to it.  I call it PSA:

1) Pray Up.

2) Stock Up.

3) Arm Up.

When I say pray up I mean make sure you have a right relationship with God.  That if there is unconfessed sin that it is between you and the Holy Spirit to deal with it and get rid of it.  That is not say that Pastoral or Elder counsel is not needed.  It is to say that since the Holy Spirit does lead and guide into all truth, let Him lead you in that direction also.

To stock  up does not mean you cling on to Philippians 4:19 and do nothing.  In any relationship there is a partnership.  In this case, you do your part and God does His.  What is your part?  Again by the leading of the Holy Spirit, you make provision for you and your family to survive the impending danger.  This may mean buying some extra canned food,  some water, soap, or any other day to day needs that the purpose is to get you through the “storm” that’s coming.  This means also – if you can afford to, buy some gold or silver in the event paper currency may become worthless or unavailable.

Lastly, to arm up means simply that.  You take on the responsibility to defend yourself, your family and your home from anyone intending to do you harm.  While prayer should be you first line of defense, it should not be your only one.  For those who believe that prayer alone is only thing that is needed to defend what God has entrusted to you, you will be rudely and sadly awakened to the sin saturated world we live in. (Ferguson, MO. anyone?)

This being said it does not mean that I negate or ignore the Rapture of the Church.  However, as sure as I am of the financial collapse that will befall America and thereby reduce this nation to a third world nation status, I am equally sure of the following three things that the Rapture and the collapse of the American economy have in common:

1) BOTH events are eminent.  You can’t pray, fast or wish them away.  They are coming and you can’t stop them.

2) BOTH events will arrive without warning.  Neither event needs a precursor event to happen.

3) No human being on the planet (including your Pastor) knows which event will happen FIRST.  So why be prepared for one event and NOT the other?

 

In this holiday season we have many things to be thankful for.  Among these is to be thankful to those who would risk it all to tell you the truth and get prepared for the danger that is to come.

 

#PSA

Warnings Came Before Destruction

Apathy has a Higher Cost

In my last post I stated, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”.  We are about to see this occur.  Our freedoms have been incrementally taken away in the name of “security”.  We have cameras at nearly every traffic intersection in America.  They’re not for the apprehension of criminals, as they are for the monitor and tracking of law-abiding citizens.  The “Boys in Blue” (TSA) scan your documents as to know who you are and what flight you’re on (4th Amendment anyone?)  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) established a “Free Speech Zone” near the Bundy Ranch (1st Amendment destroyed). Our currency continues to be devalued – costing more for less goods and services.  All of this is going on and what is the Church in America’s reaction? “Whatever”.

Why? Because “God wants us to be happy” according to Victoria Osteen.  There is a technical term to describe this condition:  Apathy.  We suffer from this as a people because our Pastors are “infected” with this “disease”.  Forget Ebola.  This ailment will kill a nation faster than any organic pathogen.  It is more subtle than any microbe.  I documented this three years ago in my post “Does All Roads Really Lead Back to Rome?

While it is true that God is Sovereign and in control, there is a cost of stewardship and even higher cost for apathy.  When you are intellectually honest with yourself, you will understand why Jesus Himself calls us “sheep”.  Sheep are not independent creatures.  To the contrary, they are arguably the most dependent, group think, self-driven creatures on the planet.  This is precisely the reason why the sheep need a “shepherd”.  Unfortunately, Pastors in America have not only taken the title of shepherd too seriously, some have gone on to think that they are God, telling people what to think, not how to think.  Building their “kingdom” on Earth, when receiving no authority in Heaven.

A day of reckoning is coming for the world in general, but for America in particular, that day will be severely harsh.  For those days will like something out of “Mad Max” and Resident Evil”.  There will be a war for resources – physical and spiritual, since we will see a financial collapse in the nation.  Because we as a nation love money more than God, God will give us what love.  Since we as a nation have “thumbed our noses” at God for His protection, pestilence will be released in this land like it has never been seen.  The United States will no longer be united and will disintegrate into third world like “tribal” factions.

The rose-colored glasses will finally be removed from the nation’s face and we will see clearly what have we become.  In this act of self-realization, some will ask themselves the question, “How did we get here?”  It will be then that they will recall the emotionally charged, yet Biblical and practical empty words of their Pastor.  It will make them so incensed that they will resolve to locate the Pastor and give him “a piece of their mind”.  Alas, when you arrived at the church, you will find the doors locked.  The Pastor unable to be located and a long line of people who are in front of you wanting to do the same thing.

So what do we do?  While your church may want keep praying II Chronicles 7:14, you may want to look at I Peter 4:17.  Moreover, you may get the nerve to put in your Pastor’s face Ezekiel 33:6.  It is this last Scripture, why we have apathy in this nation.  The prosperity and posterity of a nation comes the spiritual house being in order.  Until that is restored, be prepared to live in “Thunderdome”

Apathy has a Higher Cost

The Cost of Stewardship

“You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” the saying goes.    This is applicable in all aspects of life.  Whether it’s your car, your house, your job, even your spouse and children.  It also includes our time and our money.  The point is that those things that are cherished are also valued, and all things that valued are also stewarded…and stewardship has a cost associated with it.

However, the most overlooked thing that we possess is our rights.  Yet it is the least mentioned not only in daily conversation, it is also the most frequently absent from when we gather at church.  Why?  The answer runs the gamut from, “Separation of Church and State” to “We only talk about Jesus here” to “God’s in control, so I don’t to worry about that.” It is that last statement that is the most troublesome.  Why?  In order to answer it, must find out the original intent of the Founding Fathers.  What did the Founders state in our  Declaration of Independence?:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Those of us who remember “Schoolhouse Rock” remember the first part of this quote.  However, it is the rest of the quote that needs to be focused on. “That to secure these rights governments are instituted by men, deriving (or getting) their powers from the consent of the governed.”  The document specifically says men, not God are to secure these rights and that any power government receives, it is by our consent, not His sovereign will.  This directly speaks of stewardship.  Thankfully, the document addresses the other side of the equation also:  “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”  No where does it mention “God’s Will”.  That doesn’t mean that God is not sovereign.  He can do whatever He chooses to do.  However, what He is looking for I believe, is us who bear His image and likeness of His Son, to step up and change our nation so that it will model His kingdom.

This is NOT a call to theocracy.   However, it is a call to a Biblical worldview in our government, which addresses the last part of the quote: “Laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” When the Founders said “laying the foundations”, what did they mean?  That can be found in the first part of the paragraph: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. This specifically addresses where does your rights come from.

So the stewardship of our rights has a cost associated with it.  The next question is who will pay the price? You or those after you?

The Cost of Stewardship

Because We Judged Not, We Are Being Judged

We as a nation have experienced many tragedies over the last few years:  Ft. Hood, Virginia Tech, the shooting in Aurora,  CO and most recently, the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident.  Why? Is it just a string of “bad luck” or is it something deeper?  Jesus said in Luke 21:25-26:

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

To the Believer we know that Jesus is coming soon.  However, that’s not what this post is about. The focus is more on how we got here rather where we’re going.  This nation was founded based on religious persecution, not political persecution.  It was the State run churches in England that drove out the Puritans to see a better life in the “New World”.  There were places established here such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale that started out as seminaries and not secular universities.   What happened?  Slowly over time, the culture began to influence the Church.  Why is this this important to know?  It is the job of the Church – those who truly speak for God, to influence and at times restrain the culture from itself.  For contrary to the “psychobabble” that is being dispensed today as “science”, the heart of mankind is intrinsically evil, not intrinsically good as the babblers proclaim.

While it is true that evil is spiritual in origin, it manifests itself in a myriad of ways – culture and politics being a couple of them.  That being said, it is in those two ways that the Church in America is largely absent.  The Church has missed the boat in thinking that the preaching of the Gospel is to only get people “saved”.  While the preaching of the Gospel is the primary mission, it is in the tactics that are being used to proclaim this message that renders the Church ineffective. Those who promote evil teaching – living your life without God at the helm, have infiltrated every institution of learning that we have, including seminaries.   The end result is an entire generation who don’t know who God is, and by their learned ignorance continue to make their feeble attempts to erase God out of the culture. God has responded with subtle “hints” that He will not stand to be “erased” from the culture,  9/11 being one of those hints.  Since mankind has a hard-wired need to worship and believe, it was no surprise that the Sunday after 9/11, churches were full to overflowing.  Yet in less than 30 days time, we were right back to our self-absorbed ways, using God as a stop gap measure, rather than the permanent fix that He is.

Fast forward 12 years later to 2013 and not only is self dependence (or self deception as I like to call it) is at an all time high, but it has caused the nation to call evil good and good evil to the level that we have CHOSEN evil to lead us – twice.  It is a clear sign to me that we as a nation have turned our collective backs on God and have settled for other gods to satisfy us.  Only repentance to God at the spiritual AND political leadership level can save us.

Keep this in mind when someone shouts at a Christian Matthew 7:1.  It is because the Church in America didn’t, that we are.

Because We Judged Not, We Are Being Judged