16 APR 2015 :: Thursday thoughts on GOD and survival.

I am trying to get through my list of things I want to do, and will need to shorten, but I thought about a lot of things since my last blog...and wonder what to focus on.  The problems we face as a world are enormous, the issues we face as Christians are growing, and each of our lives are short.  How much can one ordinary person accomplish?  I don't know.  I think we just have to do our best each day, seek GOD for His wisdom and guidance, look for what  is our personal responsibility to do, and then let go of the rest.
It all takes so much longer than I think it will... from planning to actually getting something done, like artworks, clay work, shopping, supplies, workspaces...etc.  One think affects another, and once you start, the time it takes seems to expand, and expand again, and then expand more!  :-)  If it wasn't just me doing the tasks, I know it would be faster, but GOD has to provide before I can get help.

When GOD doesn't do what you expect Him to, it all becomes a search for answers about why.  I can only see the places in front of me, GOD sees all the "links" all over the world, and how I affect them and how they affect me. I guess we have to trust that GOD is able to accomplish His Will and accept what happens.

I have tried the best I could (within my many limitations) to establish Working Together, but GOD has held back in blessing it with sales...which was one alternative I figured might work.  Now, years later, I am trying to figure out the internet better...and still hoping for "start-up funding" to get WT established before I die.

The Body of Christ will go on after me, and someone else by build interventions for them, but I am still required by my beliefs in GOD and the Bible and what I know of poverty to keep trying to make a way to survive.

I suppose no one wants to be attached to something that goes against their foundational belief systems, but the truth is :: no one knows whether the Rapture will come before the Antichrist or at the time of Christ's second coming and the judgment of all; and no one knows when the Antichrist will arrive and "wage war on the saints," which I believe is the real "exit" of the Church in the world.  When I contemplate the seeming failure of WT, I remember Jeremiah. I think about how GOD accomplishes things in humanity.  I look for my place in GOD's Will.

We always think of family as the road to health and connection and safety, but that isn't true anymore. The world is becoming fractured, separated, distant, without a moral foundation, and our families are mixed into the process that is unfolding.  I am finding more and more evil touching my personal life and family, and praying more for GOD to intervene.  I feel helpless to overcome these attacks, and need GOD to protect us more than I ever thought I would.

The loss of what is normal causes us all to find a replacement...sometimes the replacement is not so good.  I wish I had an easy answer for all the pain that is developing.  I don't.  Working Together was meant to help with as many needs as possible...physical needs, financial needs, fellowship needs.  If GOD doesn't provide for me, I hope there is someone rising up to take my place.

15 APR 2015 :: Today is Tax Day...the day US taxes need to be filed.

Taxes are a difficult issue.  The questions are always the same...
  • How much is enough? 
  • Who will pay it?
  • What will it be used for? 
  • How do we make sure it is used properly? 
  • How do we collect it?
These are really just smaller parts of the larger questions each country faces ::
  • What is the responsibility of the government toward its citizens?  - and -
  • What is the responsibility of the citizen toward its government?
America began as part of a tax revolt against its government at the time. The greed of government seems to increase when leaders suffer for any reason.  Greed leads to revolt / revolution.  A new order starts, and then it also evolves through the same patterns.  I suppose it is caused by the lack of discipline, financial budget discipline.  I know how hard that can be, and recovering from the "borrow from Peter to pay Paul" syndrome never goes away.  We can probably look at the threatened Social Security system for an example of government borrowing.  Our infrastructure is about to collapse because the funds required for upkeep were used for something else.  Inflation affects our finances, and interest charges DEEPLY affect our finances... both as individuals and governments.

When we read the news, we see charts and percentages, major categories and large spending amounts that are hard to comprehend.  In budgeting, the smaller details are what matters.  What were the pennies spent on to make that final dollar amount?  I don't believe anyone has the time to really explore all the wasted money our government spends, and how that lost money affects each citizen.  We wouldn't have to spend as much on taxes if it was spent more carefully, budgeted, planned, and kept within the departments that it is allocated to...for growth, for development, for improvement.

I have lived at a critical survival level for pretty much all my life...and it hasn't been easy. I struggle with budgets every month, and sometimes those efforts fail because of unexpected events, but the process of creating an ongoing budget is very helpful. It requires I make lists, try to make sure I include the most important items, prioritize my payments because my funds are so limited, and struggle to find a way to plan for the future in the middle of all the current needs. 

Poverty households really don't have an option of planning for the future because the current needs are never met.  I think the reason Social Security was created was because no one planned for old age and it became a cost issue for the government.

I heard on a recent Truth About Money show that taxes were started in 1913, which was right after the first World War...or somewhere near it.  I had heard on another PBS program that recovering from the first World War was very costly, and the effects of it were long-lasting... in terms of family destruction, economic stability, and other related national issues.  I assumed that taxes was that government's solution to recovering from the war.  It has only gotten more entrenched and more costly since then.

One of the tactics that governments use is to create "temporary" taxes...which never go away, and only seem to increase as the years go by.  It isn't any different than the personal or family finances.  We get use to a certain level of existence, and anything less seems like deprivation.  Temporary becomes permanent...like subsidies for farmers who get paid NOT to grow some kind of food crop... and only gets worse.

So many people think that the government money is free money, for businesses, for programs, for funding all kinds of activities the government has no purpose being in...like art, education, and subsidies.  Communities need to be more involved in those issues.

You may already know I think all the other taxes we pay need to be consolidated into ONE sales tax of ten percent (10%), and be divided equally between federal, state, and county governments (3% each), with the remaining one percent (1%) being allocated to international government commitments already in place and that will grow because of criminal activities that exist at the international level.  Each government level would need to be responsible for certain duties, and can partner for the ones that are shared.

This would limit the reach of government into the financial lives of its citizens, reduce labor costs, allow each community to develop their own allocation priorities, and can be collected in real time because of computer transactions.  Community programs would be developed to meet the needs of their residents, involve the community, and help to develop more participation within the community. 

By limiting the tax structure to sales tax only,
the government would not have a reason to access personal information, those who are rich would pay more and those who are poor would pay less - but everyone would pay according to their income.  The war over wealth disparity may not go away, but everyone would know that taxes were paid by everyone else at the same level.  Tax evasion will still be a cause for arrest with those who commit illegal acts, and may be easier to prosecute.  Solutions to barters and wholesale transactions will need to be worked out, but focusing on a sales tax ONLY would limit the reach of the government into our private lives.

The "rights" of the government are growing more and more invasive, especially because of our technology developments.  It may take a crash of economic systems to force a change.  Our current tax system is based on jobs, primarily.  When the government wants more money, they create a new tax.  Fraud and "creative financing" is rampant.  Maybe a smaller tax structure will help us to create a spending process that can be held more accountable than the one we have now.

14 APR 2015 :: A long day

Frontline's program on Alfred Hitchcock's holocaust films is on in the background... I look at it sometimes, but can't really stand it.  I want to turn the TV off...it is such a reminder of what men become without GOD, what they will become again...possibly worse.

Just before this, there was a program on adults with autism... how they need help to live beyond the care of their parents, with financial help from the government.  It shared that new methods of care are being developed that see those in need as individuals and apply the funds available to services that will matter to each individual.  Less focus is put on institutional care and sterile group homes, more emphasis on family connections. 

Before that, the show I am trying to remember to watch, is Twice Born, a program about babies who receive surgery while still in the womb.  This one makes me cry often, much like the network program called "In An Instant," which shares life threatening events that people survive.

I tend to watch more programs on PBS than on network TV, but news on both.  They aren't bias free, but they are also better in content than a network drama, which always digresses into smut. I hate all the Viagra commercials, which seem to start earlier and earlier, on regular television...and similar commercials.  It takes 2-3 times the actual movie length to watch one with commercials.  Sometimes I can't last trough it all and have to turn it off...sometimes I don't want to turn it back on again.

I was gone a lot of the day today because I was scheduled to attend a housing class with a local non-profit that was created to help with housing issues.  It was quite a day.  Since I had to use my bus tickets to purchase a $5 day pass, I tried to get more done...but my health limited me.  I do want to say I finally treated myself to a value meal at McDonald's...and it was great.  :-)

I am too tired to comment much more. I tend to get over emotional at night and don't like to write too much later in the evenings. My brain is on overload about a lot of topics, I need to get them sorted and written about in the days to come.

Keep your eyes on heaven, and your motives right, and your actions worthy of GOD......we need to keep our lives focused on what is good and godly and kind and merciful and loving and worthy....

13 APR 2015 :: Monday update

I entered a quick post at Crafts Explored... I have been preparing some playing cards for ACEO artworks with some GESSO foundation... I will still have to do more cards and layers tomorrow or Wednesday, then I can start experimenting with some designs.

The news has been filled with election info.  I happened to hear one newscaster say there are "only" 81 weeks left to the election.  :-)  Only....  Focus on the Family had an interview with Jeb Bush, I heard several parts of Marco Rubio's announcement speech, the liberal media brightens up when they share the activities of Hilary Clinton, and I heard for the first time that Rand Paul was running to oppose Hilary -- I think that was what was said.

Over the weekend I linked to a video with Ron Paul about an impending "currency crisis" and how to prepare for it. I watched the part with Ron Paul, and started to listen to the narrator about the research information they were offering for a price, but it kept going on and on and on and there was no way to see how long it would be until it reached the end. 

One graphic in the presentations showed the increase in printed money since the housing crisis, and the bail outs, and approximately 2006 or 2008... I didn't take notes, this is by memory only.  The title of the book was 2020, so their projections were for the next five years.

I did hear some of the main promotional points (FOUR ways to prepare, basically.) but I couldn't say I agree with the one I understood (buy hard assets like gold and silver), and guessed about the rest.

I don't think there is any way for ordinary people to prepare for a national (global?) money crisis.  I recall reading that in the Depression most people (I assume they meant rich people) lost half or more of their fortunes... which were basically paper wealth (stocks, bonds, etc.).  I guess the ordinary people lost everything.

The currency crisis that was mentioned was about the value of our money, our dollars.  In my mind the value of currency is attached to one thing I learned about the Civil War, that Confederate money was worthless because they didn't have anything to give it value, people used it as wallpaper and fire-starters.  I think that is what Ron Paul and the associated book were referring to...that our dollars are worthless and our economy is like a domino trail waiting for the first domino to fall.

When I think of what is coming, sooner or later, I remember the Bible says people will be willing to give their gold and other treasures for food.  This is what GOD has shared with us, what has happened before, and what will happen again, somewhere.  America isn't going to escape the consequences of what we have done, what our leaders have chosen, just because of our history. Israel made wrong choices and suffered for it.  When we make wrong choices, we will suffer the consequences of those choices.

I have been very concerned about the negative focus on food stamps in America, and the effort to end them.  Food is the greatest need we will have in any crisis. To protect our citizens, food stamps have to be seen as the most critical national intervention program we have.

I hope we see a better agenda in Washington, and on the election trail.  I suppose I will be commenting more on these kinds of issues...on all the blog topics I have!  :-|

I will try to get more organized for the election... see you next post.