Thursday, April 15, 2010

Following the Wrong Crowd II

Just like individuals, I think we need to realize that there is a wrong crowd for countries.  For some reason America wants to be Europe.  I know I already wrote about how I favor the health care bill, but only for a short time as a corrective to the broken system of today.  Soon this system will be equally broken and it should be overturned and not run indefinitely.

Anyway, I always hear these people saying how our young people would be such responsible drinkers if only we lowered the drinking age to 18 like Europe.  This article speaks to the problems of alcohol in England and particularly Scotland.  The fighting, damage to public property and health care expense due to drunks.

"And shockingly expensive, costing Scotland $3.2 billion a year in lost productivity and additional expenditure for health services, the police and other public-sector institutions. Scots are the world's eighth-heaviest drinkers, and a casual visitor to Glasgow could easily conclude that they top the league in public Bacchanalian drunkenness".
One plan to curb the epidemic?  Raise the drinking age to 21. Who is following who?

We already talked about Greece and its debt problems.  Why do we want to be like Europe's declining nations?  How is that the way forward for the US?  This should be a warning for the US, as Europe turns its back on God it declines in prominence, population, and productivity.  China on the other hand is seeing a flourish of churches and the gospel is growing there as it ascends to unprecedented heights,  it's eerily similar to the rise of Korea not so long ago. 

We should all be following Christ.  Just like Paul said in I cor 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. Or in Philippians 2:5-11
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
 6Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
 7but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
 8And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!
 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Following the Wrong Crowd

My mom always told me be careful who I associate with.  I needed to make sure that my friends were bringing me in the right direction. I always feel like I had good friends and bad friends.  Some friends I new who were more well behaved than myself and others who were trouble, at least relative to me.  I thought I was kind of the middle player in my group of friends. I asked the kids in the confirmation class who were their good friends and who were their bad friends.  The boys knew exactly what I was talking about, but one student said she didn't think she had any bad friends.  I took that either to mean she was the bad friend.  She said she had just distanced herself from those she felt had been pulling her down.

Either way I think there is something wrong with that. We need to surround ourselves with people who inspire us to walk closely with Christ. The people who influence us should be those who draw us toward Christ. But we also need to be deep enough into the lives of others that we don't simply avoid the "bad" people.  We need to engage and love and draw them toward Christ.  We can't do this if they don't know us or care what we say or think.  So let's try to find those people on both sides of us.  Those we can influence for the good, but also those that can help us stay grounded and pursuing our Lord and Savior.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Money Makes the World Go Round

Money get away
Get a good job with more pay
And your O.K.

Money, it's a gas
Grab that cash with both hands
And make a stash

New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I'll buy me a football team

Money get back
I'm all right Jack
Keep your hands off my stack

Money, it's a hit
Don't give me that
Do goody good bullshit

I'm in the hi-fidelity
First class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet

That's the beginning of the Pink Floyd song if you click through you can hear the rest of it.

Here is another link from Time about paying/bribing kids to do well in school. Honestly, it works.  That is their point, but they have also shown financial incentives to be the most effective motivator in losing weight and other matters that should be dictated by willpower.  Basically, the point we are teaching our kids is the Almighty Dollar is more important than the Almighty God.  That's pretty much how America is set up already, but I think we know there is more to life than stuff.

That's why the church is so important we are commanded to give, of our selves of our money for the sake of others.  Once you can do that, once you can say no to the god of wealth you are free to do anything just cause you want to and not because someone is going to pay  to do it.  Good luck finding people to pay you to lose weight or change whatever your bad habits are when it  isn't a scientific study....