Saturday, February 28, 2009


We are way overdue for a snow.  It’s been three or four years since we’ve had enough snow to make a snowman.  In the past, we’ve always been able to count on at least one good snow per winter.  Not lately.

 Anyway, the weatherman is now calling for the chance of rain changing to snow tomorrow afternoon, with the possibility of four or more inches accumulating.  Now, it has been my experience that when the weather forecasts call for snow, they always miss it.  The more certain they are about snow accumulating, the less likely it is to happen.  The best snows always seem to catch everyone by surprise.

 We have had dustings a couple of times this season, and even these caught the weather experts by surprise.  But now I’m ready for a snow.  I’m ready to have a big bonfire and a snowball fight.  I want to build a snowman.  I want to take pictures in the snow.  It just doesn’t feel like we’ve had a winter until we’ve had a good snow.

 I get all excited when I hear snow in the forecast.  Then I get disappointed when it never happens.  But even if no one predicted it, we are still due for a good snow.

 Now, I hope I haven’t jinxed it by talking about it. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Funny Prayers

I was listening to a Catalyst podcast yesterday, and the host made a comment that struck me.  He had seen a well-known Christian leader on television offering a prayer, and he shared that something in the prayer made him laugh out loud.  He virtually apologized for laughing.  He went on to say that he rarely ever laughs during a prayer, recognizing that communication with God is a sacred experience.

Now, I certainly agree that prayer should be a sacred experience, but I must confess that I often laugh aloud during prayer with others.  God obviously has a sense of humor, and I think that he likes for us to share in it.  Routinely my family and I will burst out in laughter during family prayers.  We get tickled when we share with God something punny, absurd, frustrating or delightful.  He can be in on our jokes.  It draws us closer to his heart.

We don’t laugh at each other, mind you.  We laugh together. 

Often our worship team will laugh together in prayer as we prepare to lead worship.  Part of the fruit of the Spirit is joy, and what better way to express it than good-hearted laughter?  Our small group has been known to laugh aloud as we share our burdens and excitements with Jesus.

I expect that Jesus often laughed as he spent time with his Father.  He is fun to be with.  Good parents enjoy laughing with their children.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Scary Idea

The U.S. Senate today passed a “stimulus” package priced at $838 billion.  We have to fix everything.  If we had failed to pass this bill, we would have wrecked the economy.  Oh, wait, that was the $700 billion bailout bill last fall.  It was going to fix everything.  But now we need to spend even more money to get our economy moving forward again.

If borrowing money for the government fixes everything, then why stop at 700 + 838 billion?  Why not just borrow $10 trillion?  Just think of all the executive bonuses we could give, and “stimulus checks” we could all receive in the mail!

Where does this money come from?  Someone has to buy the U.S. treasury bills – bonds that must be repaid with interest.  But what happens when no one wants to buy them?  After all, someone so severely in debt as Uncle Sam can barely pay his minimum payments.  Why would you risk lending him more money? 

As the global financial markets shy away from purchasing T-bills, we are left with no alternative but printing money.  Then we will see a certain escalation of prices, with too much cash introduced in our money supply.

The idea is that “only government” can fix our problems.  And the only way it can fix the problem is with borrowed money.  Something is wrong with this picture.  It is a scary thought that only government can make things right.  It is even scarier when they plan to do it with money borrowed for generations in the future.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Automatic Audit

 Tax season is upon us.  Accountants are holing up at work, barely seeing the light of day.  Taxpayers are getting records together, working to determine exactly how much Uncle Sam will get.  We want to pay him all that we owe – but nothing more.

 I learned today that Tom Daschle, the president’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, has withdrawn his name from consideration.  Turns out that the former senator from South Dakota owes $134,000 in back taxes.  I am appalled that a member of our legislature could have the gall to spend billions and trillions of taxpayer dollars, while not paying his own taxes. 

 I wonder how many other senators and representatives fail to pay their taxes.  Couldn’t we have a law by which every legislator is automatically audited by the IRS?  I wonder if they would be more responsible in their spending.

 Meanwhile, the congress is proposing “stimulus” spending, an effort to borrow our way to prosperity.  Obviously we need to have more common sense in our fiscal policies.  It sounds like we also need leaders with more integrity.  We should demand better.