Spending Our Way Into Oblivion!

News Flash! The U.S. Government is needing to buy new Intaglio Presses because their current supply is wearing out. . .and wearing out fast! As of 5:11 a.m. Central Daylight Savings Time, the U.S. National Debt is $28,430,725,597,463 and it’s growing. We have problems, serious problems in our nation; and it seems whether one is a Democrat or a Republican, the answer is SPEND SPEND SPEND AND SPEND SOME MORE! I have it from an unnamed source that the Treasury Department has had to install additional air conditioner units in order to keep their existing Intaglio Presses from overheating.

Both on the surface and through deep inspection, I am convinced that our leadership believes that all of our problems can be solved through the Intaglio Press. “Let’s just print more money to spend, and we can fix all of the problems!” And now at 5:19 a.m. Central Daylight Savings Time, the National Debt is now $28,430,747,205,478 and still rising. And I am left wondering, “If money can fix all of our problems, why ain’t they fixed yet?”

Call me Simple Simon, but I just don’t think nor believe that money is the answer to the problems facing our nation. Yet, this is the path that not only our government is pursuing, but countless lives are walking down. It is that proverbial primrose path that Shakespeare warned about in his epic play “Hamlet”. Hamlet’s sister Ophelia tried to warn him to do what is right–but Hamlet chose what appeared to be a path filled with fragrant flowers leading to great pleasure. Instead, it led to his own destruction. Was Shakespeare a prophet? Seems so.

If money isn’t the answer, what is the answer? We are facing complex issues and even more complex problems–as a nation and as individuals. Simplistic solutions will not work. But a Simple Solution will work. And it doesn’t start with the government nor Democrats nor Republicans nor Big Corporations nor even with a nation as a whole. It begins with a very small (compared to the total population) group. Would you like to know the process to end this madness?

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)

We’ve all seen this passage, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. But it’s not been applied correctly. There is a formula and process involved. Here’s how it works:

  • If my people who are called by my name: not nations, people! Not Americans or Asians or Russians or Chinese. God’s People–people who have aligned themselves with God’s Rule over their life, and those who call themselves Christians.
  • Will humble themselves: Stop thinking you are better than someone else. Stop believing you are right and they are wrong. Stop relying on your own intellect and abilities. Neither are much to write home about.
  • And pray: God said PRAY not BLAME! I hear a lot of BLAME PRAYING today; and that’s just plain LAME! Go back to the second step–be concerned and focused on yourself!
  • And seek my face: Not your image of God’s face–but God’s true face. Lay aside your preconceived notions about God and simply allow God to BE GOD!
  • And turn from THEIR wicked ways: We’ve asked God to turn the Democrats around. We’ve asked God to turn the Republicans around. That ain’t working. Go back to Step One. It’s not the wicked ways of this nation, but our own failure to deal with the sin inside us. Until we Followers of Jesus deal with our problems, our nation’s problems cannot be resolved! If we, God’s people fail in this step, our nation will continue to fail!
  • I will hear from heaven: This step is simple: Put our confidence in God. He says He is listening. We know He is good. Now really trust Him.
  • And will forgive their sins: Not the sins of a nation–but the sins of people who claim to be followers of Jesus.
  • And will restore their land! But we never arrive here, until we follow the complete process.

Spending more isn’t going to restore our land. Let’s spend more time on allowing God to restore us His People, then our land will be restored. And at 5:54 a.m. Central Daylight Savings Time our National Debt is $28,430,759,856,803 and rising.

The Toxic Sludge Of The U.S. Church

Reactions are not only ripping apart my Tribe, but it’s ripping apart this once great nation.

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(Pic from http://www.vintagenews.com of Romanian church swallowed by toxic sludge)

I am going to be careful not to mention groups based on ideologies or theologies. This is not about conservatives or liberals; progressives or orthodox. Dear Lord in heaven, there’s been enough of that–actually too much of that. Therefore, be it known unto all, whether earthly or in the spiritual realm, that I am not blaming, accusing, or naming any person or group as being the cause of the toxic sludge that is consuming the U.S. church, and in particular, the United Methodist Church. This being declared and verified (soon I will be a notary public so I’ll consider this my first unofficial notarization) of my own free will.

After carefully reading a recent post by Shane Bishop (click here to read “Know What You Are Going To Do”) a realization that had been on the edges of my mind came into clear focus. The problem in my Tribe, and in the U.S. church as a whole, is that we have become a culture that values REACTION over RESPONSE. Let’s see if I can describe the difference between what is toxic and what is healthy.

Response is the result of careful thought, reflection, and honest conversation about the facts at hand and what to do with those facts. Response is always controlled because it contains that essential element of time. Response is sometimes easy to calculate–but more often than not it requires a lot of time…I mean a lot of time. Response is about the true issue, not human personalities, and not about human beings or groups. Response reflects both courage and compassion; conviction and kindness.

Reaction is what happens without much if any prompting. We sometimes call it “gut-reaction” or “knee-jerk reactions”. Personally, it’s more like the second description, minus the word “knee”. Reactions seldom if ever require much thought or preparation. It reminds me of that day in chemistry lab storage area at the high school I attended. Someone found a container of sodium metal and showed a few of us what would happen when it was exposed to water. He extracted a small amount and threw it out the window when it was raining. (Click here for a YouTube about that chemical reaction, and no, that wasn’t us). When we got bored, which was frequently, and it was raining, we did that experiment again and again. Someone, I won’t say who, decided it would be fun to throw a big chunk of it and flush it down a commode. Somehow that bottle of sodium metal was removed from the lab never to be seen again, and thus, an end to our “experiments”. Let’s get serious again.

That chemical Reaction produced produced hazardous results. When we React to each other, the Reaction is even more hazardous. It is dangerous and damages–damages relationships, people, communities and systems–when Reaction becomes our response to the myriad of issues facing the U.S. Church. Sometimes in the realm of science reactions get out of control and the results are…..does anyone remember the place called Chernobyl? Reactions to what is going on in my Tribe are quickly becoming another Chernobyl. Soon the name of my Tribe will become synonymous with Chernobyl and it will be as empty and vacant as Chernobyl is today. And as I reflect. . . and think lovingly about my Tribe. . . I silently wonder if it’s not too late. . .I pray it’s not so. . .but. . .

Reactions are not only ripping apart my Tribe, but it’s ripping apart this once great nation. It’s on both sides of the aisle in Washington D.C., it’s even permeating Main Street, Small Town, America. Let’s see if I can put down my Response to all these Reactions in my Tribe and nation. I want to express my Response in way that you will feel the passion and intensity that is in me:

STOP IT! I SAY AGAIN, STOP IT! REACTION IS THE EASY RESPONSE AND IT IS THE WRONG RESPONSE! STOP TALKING AT EACH OTHER. AND PLEASE RESPECT EACH OTHER BY THINKING AND THINKING HARD SO THAT YOU DO NOT REACT!

Randy Burbank, KingdomPastor

I think that the use of Bold and All Caps is how one does that nowadays. Shane Bishop is on target with his thoughts; and his questions are worth pondering. . .for a long and serious time. Reactions accomplish nothing–but destructive explosions. Remember what happens during extended and uncontrolled reactions: CHERNOBYL!

And still . . . love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him. And stop reacting to everything. . . and anything. . .