Tuesday, April 7, 2009




Philippians 3 and 4


Ok. I’m not a financial expert. I don’t even know where CNBC is on the dial. I’ve never subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. And I wouldn’t recognize Warren Buffet if he were sleeping on my couch.

But I have found some useful advice for Christians as we experience what every single living expert tells us is happening to our economy. Strangely, it comes from the divinely inspired pen of a man who has a lot of American cities named after him—but has never stepped on U.S. soil.

In fact, he lived centuries ago in filthy dungeon of a prison for crimes he didn’t commit.

But his advice, spelled out on the pages of the book of Philippians can make all the difference in your economic and spiritual outlook.

• Be happy with the stuff you’ve got. (Philippians 4:11) What drove the housing crisis we’re in? One big word: greed. Homeowners got greedy and wanted more house than they could afford. Lenders got greedy and gave loans to people with shaky credit so they could get bigger commissions. And the cycle continued. This is just one symptom of an American culture that has become increasingly materialistic. Previous generations, especially in a time of war, were called to sacrifice. But this generation was never asked to do that. Instead, our politicians keep telling us we deserve more.

• Realize What You Have in Christ. (Philippians 3:9) If you’re a Christian, what you have in your relationship to the Savoir is infinitely more valuable than the stuff we always seem to long for. Plasma TV’s iPods, and new cars will one day be in the junkyard or recycle bin. But our life in Christ only grows richer and deeper and cant’ be taken away from us.

• We’re not Owed the Good Life (Phillippians 2:4-11) The call of a Christian is the call to sacrifice—to take up our cross. Jesus Himself set the example by stripping Himself of all of His glory, living in the cesspool of sinful man, and dying in our place on the cross. Anything we sacrifice is minimal compared to his sufferings.

• We Don’t Need Stuff to Make Us Happy (Philippians 4:12) Paul said he could be happy with a few luxuries or with none at all. He could be happy with a hot dog or he’d be happy with a juicy T-bone. And so should we. Does your happiness quotient rise and fall with the stock market? Does it rise and fall with the housing market? Does it rise and fall depending on what you can buy at the supermarket?

• Our Goal Should be to Know Christ, Not Get More Stuff (Philippians 3:10) If Paul had a personal goal of getting rich, then he was an abysmal failure. He lost everything in his pursuit of Christ—his reputation, his money, his freedom. Paul’s goal wasn’t to get more stuff, but to know Jesus Christ in the most intimate way. Is that your goal? Losing a job and losing a house is painful. Economic woes can bring stress to marriages and families. And God is a God of compassion and grace.
Still, as American Christians, we should be different in that our happiness is not wrapped up in what we own or the numbers in our bank accounts, but in our relationship with God. In a world of discontent, greed, and opportunism, we should stand out as people whose faith is in Someone much more powerful than the Federal Reserve or Wall Street or the White House.

What’s more, we should use these times of economic struggle to reach out to hurting people with the gospel. To show them that there is so much more to life than the empty chasing of prosperity. That this life is but a vapor compared to eternity.
When Paul penned that letter from a Roman jail, he couldn’t have known how prescient his words are to a materialistic American culture.

Daniel Darling is the author of Teen People of the Bible. Visit him at danieldarling.com


Passover begins at sundown today

Today is Tutor Appreciation Day

Today is National Notice a Wildflower Day.

Today is Draw a Picture of a Bird Day.

Today is Trading Cards for Grownups Day.

On this day in 1513 Ponce de Leon discovered what is now St. Augustine, Florida. He was searching for the Fountain of Youth. These days, most people visiting Florida are just trying to find a Denny’s without a line.

On this day in 1903, married women won the right to teach. I don't see how that's such a big deal. Married women have always taught their husbands a thing or two.

Today is Sorry Charlie Day, honoring Charlie the Tuna, who has been turned down by his tuna packing company since 1974 but still keeps trying. Do you realize what's happening here, folks? We are so short of heroes these days, we are now honoring advertising fish.


AOL Spinoff
Time Warner's long-expected spinoff of AOL has moved a step closer to becoming a reality as the company has finally found a trash dumpster big enough to throw it out.

Castro Meeting
While meeting with several U.S. Congressmen yesterday, Cuban leader Raul Castro vowed to continuing defying America and its "evil" capitalist society. But his defiant stand was tempered somewhat when Castro asked the Congressmen if they had any spare toilet paper.

A Chinese pensioner can finally sit in comfort after doctors removed a broken syringe needle which had been stuck in his bottom for 31 years. Lao Du Zhengzhou said the needle was left in his rear by an 'amateurish' doctor in 1978. He got a cold and went to the local village doctor for a shot and the needle broke off once it pierced his bottom. Through the years he tried to have the needle removed but area hospitals said it was too small to find. Finally, he got a hospital to successfully remove the needle.

According to MainStreet.com, the personal finance site from TheStreet.com, Kansas ranked third in its first-ever “Happiness Index.

Created as a response to the “Misery Index,” this new measurement of fiscal happiness examines foreclosure numbers, unemployment rates, household income and debt. The states with the best average numbers in those categories ranked highest.
Kansas finished behind Nebraska (No. 1) and Iowa. Missouri ranked 19th.
Well, we may be 19th but the other states cannot claim Mark Twain as their own. You know, Mark Twain. The man who said: "When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear."

White House Confirms Over 2 Millions Red Letters!
The White House mail office has confirmed it received a "deluge" of as many as 2.25 million red envelopes symbolizing the empty promise of lives snuffed out in abortion in a massive campaign that was larger than most White House mailing movements in the last 35 years.

White House mail worker "Steve" has handled letters for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for more than three decades. Every single package and letter destined for the White House goes through his office.

Asked if he has seen a flood of red envelopes bound for the White House, Steve chuckled.

"Uh, yes," he said emphatically. "Believe me, they made it here."

Steve said while Obama has been occupied in Europe, his administration has noticed millions of red envelopes on behalf of aborted children.

"Quite frankly, there was definitely a deluge of mail coming through," he laughed. "I had to handle them all."

"I've been here 35 years, so I've seen presidents come and go," Steve told WND. "This campaign ranks up there with the big ones."

The Red Envelope Project is an idea sparked in the mind and prayers of a Massachusetts man, Christ Otto, who envisioned in January thousands of red envelopes sent to the White House, a visual expression of moral outrage over the president's position on abortion.

How To Regain Passion For Your Job
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are now 4.1 seekers for every available job in the United States.

Of those on the good side of that statistic, only half are said to be satisfied with their current place of employment. Even fewer can say they are passionate about their job. For an increasing number of people then, having a bad case of the Mondays is a weeklong event.

Why are so many people unsatisfied with their job? Many times people will say some variation of the following:

1. I don’t get any recognition for the work I do.
2. My boss and/or coworkers are jerks.
3. This job is a dead end.
While these are valid complaints, they won’t help you become passionate about your job. To do that starts with reflecting on the following questions:

1. Where does your validation come from?
It’s said that God is more concerned with who you are becoming than with what you do for a living. In light of this, what measures are you using to define job success, and most importantly, who are you looking at to tell you if you are successful? If your answer to the second question is anyone other than the God who loves you without conditions, you will eventually be disappointed. While most employers offer recognition programs and performance reviews as a temporary ego boost, lasting job satisfaction will come only when you direct your need for affirmation to the right place.

2. How well do you know your boss and/or coworkers?
I’m convinced that an inverse relationship exists between how much you hate your job and how well you know your colleagues. I don’t mean that if you bring cupcakes to the office and join the party planning committee you will immediately start loving your job. I’m saying that it’s hard to hold a grudge against your micromanaging boss when you have been walking with her through a bitter divorce. And you can’t get too mad over your health insurance premium increasing when the coworker you babysit for was just laid off. Even if it means talking to the maintenance guy with the awkward lingering handshake or the woman in accounting who steals all of your purple paperclips, at some point you have to make yourself vulnerable and invest in the lives of others. You may not learn to love your job, but you can learn to love your coworkers.

3. Are you doing anything to prepare for a change?
While the economy doesn’t currently lend itself to job hunting, that shouldn’t stop you from preparing for the future. If you know you are meant for something different, what skills are you building right now to make a change? It may mean sticking out your current job to gain experience, finishing a degree, learning a second language or writing that business plan you’ve been toying with for years. My friend John has no job, but loves baseball passionately. He loves it so much that he has spent the better part of the last two years trying to get a full-time job in scouting. If “atta boys” could pay the bills, John’s past advice to professional scouts could buy a senate seat in Illinois. He leaves this week for the Dominican Republic, where he will live at a baseball academy to scout. Though he isn’t getting paid and doesn’t know if it will translate into a full-time gig, he has 20 pages of notes ready to go for a screenplay about the cartel-like buying and selling of baseball players in the third world as a backup plan.

Two of the biggest myths in our culture are that the only worthwhile professions are the glamorous ones, and that you are less valuable if you aren’t calling the shots. It’s easy to get wrapped up in these feelings of entitlement and anxiousness about the future, and I often do. But then I’ll hear a story like the following that instantly rearranges my priorities.

My organization cares for abused and neglected children across Florida and internationally. On a recent trip to Russia, our staff partnered with a local orphanage for children with AIDS. They were able to offer basic hygienic advice that will have an immediate impact saving hundreds of lives. As I let the implications of that story sink in, I could feel the weight of my selfishness press down upon me like a ton of TPS reports. However indirect my role was, I need reminders like this. It is important to see that when my priorities don’t line up with the world’s needs, I am the one who needs to adjust.

As Christians, we have to get to the point where, as Paul says, we are content regardless of our circumstances. Coming from a man who suffered beatings, false imprisonment and constant persecution, Paul was able to remain not just content, but passionate through it all. Paul’s life implies that in regards to passion, we have a choice to make, and that our external situation has very little to do with it.
There are a lot of things you can’t control about your job, but your attitude toward it isn’t one of them. When you choose to do your job creatively, with integrity and in a way that gives life to others, you can find passion in even the most mundane occupations. But if you are content in hating your job until something better comes along, just be sure to keep it to yourself. Remember that at 4.1 to 1, choosing to be passionate about the job you have is looking more and more like a good option.

World’s Oldest Woman Likes Sweets & Bacon
As friends and fellow nursing home residents looked on, the world's oldest living person turned 115 Monday at the Western Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles. Gertrude Baines, born April 6, 1894, in Shellman, Georgia, to parents who were born into slavery, enjoyed her cake and ice cream as children sang "Happy Birthday."
"She said she didn't care what kind of cake or ice cream we got her, that she would eat anything. She's a sweet lady," hospital administrator Emma Camanag tells PEOPLE, as several other well-wishers complimented the supercentarian and lauded her longevity.

During the course of her long life, Baines was married to Sam Conly, with whom, in 1909, she had a daughter, Annabelle — who as a child died of typhoid fever. One of Gertrude's earliest memories is of taking a horse and buggy to church with her mother, Amelia, and her father, Jordan Baines, who had been a judge. Before moving west, she lived in Connecticut and Ohio, where she was employed as a cafeteria worker. Until 10 years ago she lived by herself in California, before moving into the convalescent home.

Likes sweets and bacon

Not one to make a big deal of her stature, Baines enjoys life's simple pleasures, such as extra crispy bacon and sweets, as well as daily viewings of "The Price Is Right" and "Jerry Springer."

Last fall, she cast her vote for Barack Obama in the general election. The only other time she voted was back in 1960, for President John F. Kennedy.

When she feels up to it, she attends Pastor Warren Smith’s church service at the hospital. "She hasn't been herself in recent weeks," says Smith. (Baines was recently hospitalized and treated for dehydration.) "But she enjoys the service and nods to the music."

Pressed for her secret to longevity, Baines begs off the question. "She prefers not to have the title [of world's oldest]," says her nurse, Cynthia Thompson, who has looked after her for nine years and quotes Baines as saying, "Of all the people in the world, why do I have to be the one? I didn't ask for this."

New Reality TV Show Gives Power to Employees
A new reality show from the Dutch-based creator of the hit TV series 'Big Brother' will allow staff at companies struggling in the global recession to choose which colleague should be fired.

In each episode of 'Someone's Gotta Go', developed by production company Endemol, workers at a struggling business will choose who should get a salary cut or raise and who should be fired based on information about pay and past performance.
"It will be an interesting experiment to reverse the power roles," said a spokesman for Endemol, which is partly owned by Italy's Mediaset.

Endemol, which developed internationally popular reality television show formats such as "Big Brother" and game show "Wipeout," has sold the format to Fox Television in the United States and hopes to broadcast it in other countries, the spokesman said.

The new show comes in the footsteps of other reality TV shows such as "The Apprentice," which is aired on the BBC in Britain and the United States.
Candidates in that show are set a series of tasks with a job as the apprentice to businessman Sir Alan Sugar in Britain or real estate mogul Donald Trump in the United States as the prize.

How To Recession Proof Your Marriage
Times are tough and either you or your spouse may lose your job or start fighting over finances or a foreclosure or a myriad of other things that can result from the bad economy. Here are some tips on how to stay together and even create a stronger bond.

Step 1
Don't blame each other for anything. If your house is foreclosing don't blame each other for getting a bad loan, if you can't pay bills, don't blame the other for spending too much money. If need be, get family counseling to air out your feelings.
Step 2
Seek out a financial counselor or a debt relief agency that can go over your finances and give you a fresh look at everything. It may not be as bad as you think or it may be and they will be able to offer you advice on how to get through it.
Step 3
Decide together how you can both make sacrifices. Whether it's canceling the cable or not buying Starbucks coffee, you both must be willing to cut back and be equally committed. Don't be afraid to let go of the material stuff, even your house.
Step 4
Brainstorm how you both can bring in more money. If your spouse is working full time and you are taking care of the kids, (or vice versa) see if you can get family or your spouse to babysit while you work a part time job. Maybe you can start a new home business walking dogs on the weekend and your mate can help by taking care of the kids on the weekends. Maybe you can get money by renting out a room in your house.
Step 5
Be strong when the other is not. Look for the signs when stress is getting to your partner and give them the support they need. Whether it's listening to them talk over a cup of coffee or a hug and acknowledgment that things are tough can go a long way to keep you both going as your partner will be there to do the same for you, when you break down.
Step 6
Turn to your immediate family together. Although you may be embarrassed, standing side to side and asking for help, may be necessary and keep you from being out on the street. Consider advice from both sides of the family and you may be surprised to learn how helpful they can be.
Step 7
Don't forget to count your blessings. Although life is so tough at times, you are able to get out of bed in the morning, your children are healthy and you have each other. No matter how much the odds were stacked against you, you have each other and that should give you the strength to keep going.
Step 8
Have faith that years from now, when things are better, and I guarantee they will, you will look back at what you went through together and feel proud and right about how you did it. They can take away your job and material things, but they can't take away the bond you have with your spouse.


Put a jelly bean of each of the colors in a plastic egg and tell of Jesus' love!

GREEN is for the grassy blade,

YELLOW is for the sun God made.

ORANGE is the flame so bright
God created this world. It was good. He made the beautiful plants, animals, the stars & the moon... Rain, fire, mountains and valleys.

BLACK is for our sins not right.
God made people to live in this world ...Men & women. People disobeyed God and didn't trust in God best plan for their lives.

RED is for the blood He gave.
God sent His Son Jesus to earth to show us just how much He loves us. Some people didn't want to listen to the Good News Jesus was telling them about believing in God and trusting Jesus..so they killed Him on a cross.

WHITE is for Jesus grace. He saved.

PURPLE is for the hours of sorrow.

PINK is for a new tomorrow.
Though people thought that Jesus was dead. He came back to life again and appeared to many of his friends. Even though we don't deserve it Jesus offers 'new life' to all those people who say they are sorry for their sins and who believe that He really is the Son of God...alive today ! We have hope for the future because He is with us.

No comments:

Post a Comment