Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Resolutions - 2018

Here are my  resolutions for the coming year:

Watch more TV.
Watch at least 4 hours of YouTube videos a day.
Eat 75 more calories a day and gain at least 50 pounds this year.
Spend all of the money I earn.
Start drinking alcohol.
Get less sleep.

I hope you get my humor. The opposite of these resolutions are actually the most common New Year’s Resolutions and sadly for many they will fall by the wayside as they have many times before.

The power of inertia is what makes change hard, We are rolling in one direction and we need to go a different way. This is where resolve is needed. If we really resolve to do something then we are willing to do the hard things that will be necessary and we have to be willing to do them for a long time.

One thing that helps in making change is when you want to do something versus having to do something. The want to becomes a powerful motivator.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I strongly believe in breaking things down so that I can achieve change in small sustainable ways. Over time the little things become big and the change lasts. I try to focus on the good things that are being accomplished in my life rather than being bogged down with all of the areas that still need work. If I keep moving in the right direction then their time will come.

I hope that the coming year will be be one of change, growth and transformation for you.

If you would like a big jump-start on getting things moving in the right direction, check out this podcast: The Power of a Made-Up Mind.

Oh, and by the way, if you would like to help others in a unique way, check out Generosity Through Abundance.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Why you should refuse to give up cash

Many people I know rarely carry cash. It's easy for the most part these days as it's rare to find a place that doesn't take plastic or a digital currency. I recently read about a coffee shop that was refusing to take cash at all.  But what if there is a downside?

Have you heard of negative interest? If cash was done away with completely, banks could not only charge interest on money you borrow but also on money you save.

Here is an excerpt from a World Magazine article:

Cash and freedom

In 2015, the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, gave a controversial speech in which he suggested switching from cash to an entirely digital currency. Haldane sees this as a way for central banks like his to impose negative interest rates, a radical fiscal policy that is not easily feasible when cash exists. The Cato Institute’s Daniel Mitchell, like other free-market economists, has decried the “war on cash” as an effort from central governments to have greater control over people.

When central bankers set the interest rate below zero, investors generally pay for money in a deposit, rather than earning money on a deposit. The idea is to push people to spend money instead of holding it in a bank account. Cash allows people a way to escape a negative rate, which is why negative rates are rare. Central banks in Sweden and Denmark recently resorted to negative interest rates, but they are among the few.

“In a system without cash, we can basically set negative interest rates without any problems at all,” said the Swedish central bank Riksbank in a 2015 report. But the report acknowledged that it didn’t know how to get rid of cash.

For now, talk of negative interest rates is mostly theoretical. As Haldane admitted, economists like him face a “significant behavioral constraint,” meaning regular people don’t want to get rid of cash. The places that have experimented with it, like Sweden, are seeing some concerning results. The danger for consumers in Sweden is that, as they begin to experience the effect of negative interest rates, they might take on more debt. So a bank might pay a mortgage holder interest on a mortgage. When rates rise, consumers might find that debt difficult to repay. Sweden now has one of the highest ratios of debt to disposable income in the world. —E.B.

Here is the complete article:
Is cash an endangered species?

Friday, December 22, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments - Masterpiece Cakeshop

Are you interested in listening to the U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments - Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission?

The case will determine whether the application of Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel a cake maker to design and make a cake that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

If so, then follow this link and click on the speaker where it says oral arguments:

If you want to use a podcast app then search for Oyez and get the episode for December 5, 2017.

I'm praying for God's blessing on Jack, his family, the business and victory from the court.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Power of Sexual Delusion

We have people in all sectors of society being accused of improper sexual actions. Probably most of them are true. I say that because there are probably some that are not true. Anyway, we should not be surprised as sex has been cheapened and stolen from the place where God intended it to be.

I was thinking about Samson this morning. You know, the Bible character. You can read his story in Judges starting in chapter 13. If you don't know the story then take a few minutes to read it. I think you will find it interesting, amusing and sad.

I think Samson had some sexual dysfunction because he hung out with women he shouldn't have. He should have known better.

In chapter 16 of Judges we see how the power of sexual delusion works. Samson meets Delilah whose mission was to destroy him. The Philistines wanted to know the secret of Samson's strength. So Samson tells Delilah a lie and after they fail to capture him, she convinces him to tell her another lie. Again they try to seize him but fail. Once more this scenario is repeated. Finally Samson breaks down and tells her the truth. This time he is captured, his eyes are gouged out and he is taken prisoner.

Can you read that story without shaking your head? How could he be so stupid? So there we see the power of sexual delusion. If Samson had been in his right mind he would have never been with Delilah in the first place. But even more sure, he would have fled after she betrayed him the first time.

In his sexual delusion, Samson was blind long before his eyes were gouged out. Passion and emotion ruled his life as he acted as an animal in heat. Common sense was long gone. What ruled his life was the lust that had consumed him.

A side note here: when people are involved in a dating relationship and move into a physical relationship they start to lose their objectivity so emotion and passion can become the guiding force. I can't number the times I have seen this happen. They might be involved with someone who is either not good for them or plain bad. It doesn't matter how many friends or family object, they can't see it.

So back to sexual delusion. With this in mind we can understand why so many people have done crazy sexual things. The sexual obsession, out of control, takes over and is followed by stupid and stupider things.

Here is something I read the other night:
While we may think of an idol as a statue of wood, stone, or metal worshiped by pagans, in reality an idol is anything apart from God that we depend on to be happy, fulfilled, or secure. It is anything other than God that motivates and masters us, anything we love and pursue in place of God. Idols begin with desires—often good and healthy desires. But when our desire becomes a demand, when we start believing that the object of desire is essential to our fulfillment and well-being, when it begins to control our thoughts and behavior, whatever it is we want has become an idol ( I Corinthians 6:12). What we want is not the problem; the problem is that we want it too much.
So if we want to go deeper with God, we must search our hearts for idols. This isn't easy because we tend to justify ourselves and disguise our real desires so we won't have to let go of what we love. Do you need to examine your life for idols, for desires that have become demands? Going deeper with God is a process of identifying and confessing our idols one by one and cooperating with God as he removes them, bit by bit, from our hearts.
~From The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie

So where am I and where are we? It may not be sexual but is there something in your life that makes you do dumb things? It could be food, alcohol, hobbies, work, comfort, pride, or some other thing that has become more than it should be. If you don't see something then you may have already lost your eyes. Remember, the essence of blind spots is that we are blind to them.