Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Fleecing of the American Taxpayer

Another view point that also makes a lot of sense. No wonder people don't know what's the best thing to do. Pray people. Pray! dg

The Fleecing of the American Taxpayer

Dear Huck PAC family,

I ask 2 things of you right now: [more]

Economic Rescue Or Bust

Finally! An explanation I can follow and that makes sense. Check this out from Gary Bauer:

Almost all the day’s news is focused on the economic turmoil and Washington’s reaction to President Bush’s proposed economic rescue package. You may have noticed that I am referring to the plan as a “rescue package” and not a bailout. I happen to agree with former General Electric CEO Jack Welch who said this morning that this is not a bailout, but a rescue plan – not for Wall Street – but for Main Street. Let me explain.

What the government is really doing is buying assets, not debts. Many of the “debt obligations” on Wall Street are mortgages in default. But there are real homes, physical assets attached to these mortgages or “debt obligations.” As the president said, the government can buy them now and sell them later, quite likely at a profit. Here are some excerpts of his remarks:

“…in today’s mortgage industry, home loans are often packaged together, and converted into financial products called ‘mortgage-backed securities.’ These securities were sold to investors around the world.

“…as markets have lost confidence in mortgage-backed securities, their prices have dropped sharply. Yet the value of many of these assets will likely be higher than their current price, because the vast majority of Americans will ultimately pay off their mortgages.

“The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal. And when that happens, money will flow back to the Treasury as these assets are sold. And we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back.”

Right now there are many Americans who are worried about their home values. In some cases, their mortgages are more than the current value of their homes. They look at this plan and don’t see how this helps them. (It is worth repeating here that the government passed a $300 billion housing relief bill in July.) Many people think all the money is going to fat cats on Wall Street. But the fact is a good bit of the American economy runs on what is called commercial paper.

Virtually any large enterprise – from the companies that make tractors used on farms and trucking companies to big grocery store chains – occasionally has a need for short term loans, often just overnight, to meet cash flow needs. Because of the toxic mortgages currently owned by banks and investment institutions, our credit system is locking up. It is being exacerbated by obscure accounting rules that force banks to devalue mortgage assets, thereby limiting their ability to loan money, as their ability to loan money is linked to the value of their assets. This has turned into a vicious cycle that is threatening to spiral out of control without immediate intervention.

Last week, experts in business and government that I talked to told me we were at one point less than an hour away from a total freeze of our entire credit system. If that happens, a tremendous amount of commerce in our country will grind to a halt. And that will impact you no matter what you do. If you are engaged in any kind of economic activity, you will be affected.

Let me repeat – this plan is not a bailout for Wall Street. It is a rescue plan for Main Street.

My friends, I am a capitalist. I despise Big Government. There is plenty of blame to go around and government deserves a lot of it. But every nation, like every family, occasionally has emergencies, and this is an emergency. We need solutions now. It is right for Congress to try to improve the president’s rescue package. It is right to demand transparency in the administration of this tremendous effort. But if partisanship ends up preventing this rescue from passing, the consequences will cost all of us far more than the current price tag.

I'm joining the Advent Conspiracy

[AC] Advent Conspiracy from Jon Collins on Vimeo.

[AC] Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption.

Because Christmas can (still) change the world.

Join my family, my church and I as we join the Advent Conspiracy this Christmas season. Let's take back the story of Christmas and share it again for the first time. Let's worship, give and love like never before. Let's actually give Jesus the birthday presents He alone deserves. Wow. What a concept. Let's go for it!


Find out more at adventconspiracy.org
Publish Post

Unity, Liberty & Charity

Church unity. For some, that's an oxymoron. It doesn't have to be.

St. Paul gives us clear guidance on when we are to work for unity and when we can allow liberty with our brothers and sisters in Christ. That's found in Romans 14.

St. Augustine summarizes that chapter nicely,

In essentials unity; 
In non-essentials liberty;
In all things charity (love).

Challenge: Read Romans 14 and ask God to show you what nonessential in church you're treating as an essential. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

See You at the Pole at Rollings MS

This year Jennifer is our first daughter attending a public school. Here is a pick of her and her friends praying at the flagpole for See You at the Pole (www.syatp.com) today. It was special to see her there and wanting to be there. She's in the purple shaw.
Posted by Picasa

Pray the Vote

From: The Presidential Prayer Team www.presidentialprayerteam.org

Join the over 27,400 other intercessors who have made 40 Days to Pray the Vote a daily and vital part of their prayer lives. With 40 Days to Pray the Vote you can:

  • Pray for the elections in a systematic and orderly way, starting with worship of our mighty God and moving to issues and concerns of the election.
  • Pray for issues and concerns that might not occur to you or others.
  • Post your comments or prayers on a new 40 Days to Pray the Vote Prayer Wall.
  • Tell others about this exciting prayer initiative.
  • View a sample of 40 Days to Pray the Vote HERE.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Register to Vote ASAP

Please take a few moments to make sure you and all your friends and family members are registered to vote. If you are not, or if anyone you know is not registered, please click this link to sign up today. Voter registration deadlines are approaching fast – October 6th in most states – so please act now! 

For more on the importance of voting, please read Gary Bauer's weekly column at www.humanevents.com

Pure Leadership Adrenaline

Thursday, September 11, 2008

20 Foiled Terrorist Plots

I join millions of Americans in remembering those who lost their lives and the families they left behind as we look back to 9.11.01. I learned today that 58,000 people worked in the World Trade Center at that time. While one life is too many, I'm amazed that more were not lost in that diabolical attack on our nation.

But as amazing as that is, I'm even more amazed that we haven't had another successful attack in the 7 years since. I'm in awe of what God can do when He wants to protect a nation--even a nation that is drifting away from Him. He is so patient. 
Father, I praise you for your goodness. I thank you for your protection. And I pray for your continued protection and mercy as we seek to turn our nation back to you. May your Holy Spirit move in our churches and turn our hearts toward you. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
This from Gary Bauer:
In the seven years since that dark day, America has been spared the horror of another massive terrorist attack. That is not for lack of effort on the part of the Islamofascists. They have repeatedly tried to strike us from the shadows. This morning, Fox News published a list of 20 plots that have been foiled since 9/11. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

MC::2009 They're coming!

It's official: We're hosting 24 youth and adults who are coming from Curacao, N. A. to help us with our mission emphasis to our own neighbors--the SC low country! Learn more at the blog.

Willow Creek Magazine

Check out the free online version of Willow Creek's magazine they send to members of the Willow Creek Association.  http://willowcreek.com/willowmagazine/

Monday, September 08, 2008

Mission: Curacao 2009

If you've ever wanted to go on a mission trip to Curacao, now is your chance! But if you're considering it, it's time to move forward! Go to our blog for more info at www.mission-curacao.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Charleston Book Sale

Charleston Book Sale

One of my favorite events of the year is the annual Charleston Used Book Sale. I come home with boxes of great books every time. I'll be going Friday (see below). Maybe we can go to lunch afterwards...

2008 Book Sales

The Friends sells “gently used” books, DVDs, CDs, cassettes and videos that have been donated by library patrons and book lovers. The annual BookFest typically includes 60,000 items and draws more than 10,000 people from throughout the region. Upcoming events in 2008 include:

Fall Book Sale
Friday, October 10 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 11 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday, October 12 from 12 - 3 p.m.
Gaillard Auditorium

Friday, September 05, 2008

Classic Quote

"You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. And if your church is truly growing spiritually, it’s getting more generous every year." - Rick Warren 

"With" or "Of" Small Groups

This concept was an eye-opener to me. The difference between "with" and "of" is huge!

Turning a church “with” small groups into a church “of” small groups 
by Lance Witt

It’s one thing to have small groups at your church, and it’s another thing to have a church of small groups. So how do you do it? How do you go from where you are right now to a church of small groups? In this issue, Pastor Lance Witt offers nine practical steps to help you get there. [ more]

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Do you really need a small group?

According to the Willow Creek study Reveal, weekly participation in a small group directly relates to maturing in Christ over the long-haul:

People who say they are "Exploring Christ"...18% are in a small group regularly

People who say they are "Growing in Christ"..32% are in a small group regularly

People who say they are "Close to Christ"....41% are in a small group regularly, and

People who say they are "Christ-centered"....43% are in a small group regularly.

These folks are "Saying" they are one of these based on their survey results--not just a single question.

The point here is clear, I believe. Relationships are a key ingredient in spiritual formation and maturity.

Whether you are a staff member or a new Christian I ask you, "Are you regularly meeting with other believers to pray and study God's word?" "Are you serious about becoming more like Jesus?