Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Not Here

Today we celebrate the most important event in the history of the world.

Must be pretty important, yes? 

Well, it is.  Today, Jesus Christ, the son of God, came alive and rose from a tomb where he had been buried after having been brutally killed three days before. 

The reason for this is that he took on our sins -- took the blame for things he did not do, so that we wouldn't have to take that blame.

What is sin?  It is something that was introduced way back when Adam and Eve, the first human beings, disobeyed the only rule God had given them: Don't eat the fruit from one, single tree.  They did anyway, and we have been disobedient ever since.  It is built into all of us now. 

So, what does the word sin mean?  It is to "go beyond a set boundary or limit."  We stretch the rules, in other words.  (Maybe exceed the speed limit a little in those twisties!)  We have all done it.  It is so tempting. 

See what I mean -- it is built in.  Nobody has to teach us how to be bad -- we already know how to do that! 

Another meaning of the word sin is to "miss the mark."  We seem to never quite measure up to what we ought to be, despite our best human efforts. 

There are three things you have to do to get in on this forgiveness of the things you do but you shouldn't.  Importantly, these things are also the only way to get into heaven, where you will live forever:

  • You must turn away from the bad things you do.  The word for that is REPENT [have a change of mind; to go in another direction]
  • The next thing is that you must BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ--his death, his burial, and his resurrection from the dead.
  • Last, you must OBEY the word of God found in the Bible.  This is different from just trying to be good enough, which we cannot do ('cause being bad is built in, remember).   

Then, as we strive to be good, God helps to do that.  Wow!  We get help on top of it. 

Today, most people scoff at all this, but it is true, so we'd better believe it.  Anyway, why take a chance?   Why not do it and be sure?

Find a good Bible-believing church.  That is vital.  If they don't take their teachings right out of the Bible, and believe every word of it, it isn't good enough. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Ride

I have news! 

I have ridden my old-faithful Kawasaki Ninja 650R for about six years now.  It is my first real motorcycle, and it has taken me more than 40,000 miles so far. 

I've had my eye on something more, though, and a little newer.  It may come as a surprise to you, kind reader, but here it is:

Even though it isn't new; boy, is it fast! 

It is a 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000, with a 1,043cc, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine. That's two more cylinders and a lot more displacement than my old ride.  It has 138 horsepower, compared with 71 on the 650R.  Top speed is said to be 148 mph.  (I've not tried that). 

It has a nice upright seating/handlebar position, similar to the 650R, so it isn't too hard on this old man's back. 

...and the black and silver with red accent color scheme still coordinates with my riding duds, so it all works.

Can you believe it?


Wait.  There is other news this month -- but not such good news.  On a day coming up very soon, all of us will experience Tax Freedom Day.  That is the day when the nation collectively has made enough money to pay its total tax burden for the year.  

It is three days later this year, compared with last year, occurring 111 days into 2014, on April 21.

By then, Americans will have made enough to pay the $3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state taxes.  That is $3,000,000,000,000 and $1,500,000,000,000, respectively. 

How big is a trillion?  If you started spending a million dollars every single day since Jesus was born, you still wouldn’t have spend a trillion dollars.  One million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years while a trillion seconds is equal to 32,000 years.  .


Let's put this into another perspective:  That $4.5 trillion is more than Americans spend on food, clothing, and housing combined.  If you make the median household income of $43,000 (like in South Carolina), it would take the entire income of 105,000,000 families to pay the tax bill! 

Oh.  And if federal borrowing is included, Tax Freedom Day falls 15 days later, on May 6.

This is not at all good. We are working 30% of our time for the government to squander away our hard-earned cash the way they want to spend it, not the way you want to.  In 1900, when Americans paid less than 6 percent of their income to taxes Tax Freedom Day fell on Jan. 22.

BIG difference.

You remember that new motorcycle I talked about above?  Well, I kissed it goodbye, 'cause I just paid my taxes and there isn't enough left for that new toy. 
Photo source.

Doesn't this make you feel good about another notable date this month -- April 15?

Don't forget: Our President has golfed at least eight times a year during his entire presidency, and his family has taken way too many lavish vacations.   We paid every penny of it.  

Feel the same as I do about this waste?  Write your Congressmen and Representatives.  Vote the bums out of office who are doing this to us next time.

Maybe someday I can afford that new ride -- and so can you.  

Other Depressing Facts:

If you live in Connecticut, Tax Freedom Day is the latest, May 13.
In South Carolina, it is April 3.
In Louisiana, the earliest, it is March 30.

The corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, while the European average is 25 percent, so we are not competitive with the rest of the world.  Our jobs go away to foreign countries.