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Friday, April 27, 2012

MONEY: Eating and the Bear




 Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you,                                                                                                                              and some days you both go hungry.


       Some days you eat the bear, some days he eats you and some days you both go hungry.  It is a fact of life all things do not go well, all of the time.  Everybody has up days and down days.  Writing a blog is no exception.  I was blessed with the opportunity to write when I was in the Army for a Command Newspaper. It was a fun job and I liked it.  It was a challenge to write stories about things that happened in military life. The challenge was making it believable and yet liked, by both the people I worked for, and the people I worked with.  They both had different reasons for reading the stories.  Either way it was a captive audience.  They had only two choices for printed news in the Canal Zone.  My stories could end up in either edition, but they went to the same audience.  It was that challenge that made writing interesting to me.  It is easy to stir up controversy, but you have to be willing to stand behind what you say.  Stirring up controversy and walking the fine line between taking sides and relating to both sides on any particular issue is a challenge.  While I am good at that, I am not always successful.
 
      When you advocate raising the price of gas a $1 a gallon to save the economy you are not going to get many loyal followers.  Even if you exempt diesel fuel because it would just push inflation and the cost of living.  Therefore it is stupiity to tax trucks and people who haul the necessities of life.  It does not matter if the goal is to balance the budget, reduce the deficit and make a permanent plan to take care of infrastructure.  Even if most people agree those things need to be done.  The attitude is, "not with the dime out of my pocket you won't."  The goal is to show that there is a higher road to take.  Sometimes sacrifice is necessary.  Almost all Americans would and are willing to make a sacrifice for America.  However, you have to show them or at least make them believe it is for a worthwhile cause.  Which will solve a problem.  Especially one that threatens America.

      Legalizing drugs is not popular no matter how you paint it.  Even if you take verse from the Bible and words from the Constitution to prove you are making a valid argument.  Some minds are closed to discussion, but if I sit down with that person individually and discuss it with them they will usually admit I am making some valid points.  For instance the war on drugs is not working.  Most drug users need therapy not prison time.  Why not legalize it, tax it, and save lives of people who are buying dirty drugs and killing themselves.  Why not tax it to the max and  let those who are doing the drugs pay for the treatment.  When I ask them."If they legalized drugs tomorrow would you use drugs?'  Ninety-nine percent of the people I talk to say, "No".  Look at me for instance.  I do not smoke, drink or do drugs and I am not about to start just because the government says I can.  Most people agree with me on that issue.  After all, when Prohibition ended did all the rum runners keep running rum.  No the profit was gone from it.  You take the profit out of drugs and it will die a natural death.  You can not legislate morality.

    Over the last year I have learned that Americans do care about America.  They are always willing to read and look at possible solutions to the problems America faces.  That is why I started a blog.   I believe talking about the issues may help us find solutions to the issues.  Having spent most of my life in the transportation industry I have been able to get a look at some of the problems from a perspective most Americans do not see. One of my most successful and popular blog entries was based on my view of what is wrong with American business.  It shows I believe a unbiased view of what needs to be fixed. The title is

      Why America Is Loosing The Industry and Marketing Battle, dated 4/19/2011

    My own personal favorite takes advantage of my study of history. It is written from my view of world affairs having lived ten years of my life overseas. It deals with the issue of WMD's, but mine is a different definition than the governments.  Mine is Wealth Melt Down and I believe that was the emphasis behind the Gulf Wars and even the problems we are facing today.  It was and is all about securing the $ place in world markets and maintaining its value.  It gives the history behind how we came to be at odds with Iran and it goes clear back to the end of World War II and America ascending to world power status.  To me this is one of the most informative pieces I have ever written.  You will have a different perspective on things in the Middle East and in the financial markets if you take the time to read it.  The title is

    How Did The Wealth Melt Down Occur. 3/9/2011

    While politics and economics are my main points of interest I study and write on a lot of things.   I am just discovering their is an large audience to read what I have to say on trucking.  My past experiences can work to someone else's advantage.  However the most popular article at least based on the number of readers who have read it.  Is a piece I did on the issue of the impending end of the world based on the predictions of the end of the world in December 2012.  It has a lot of views and facts.  It is meant to be easy reading and not a threat to your existence.  The title is

   2012, Or Sooner, Or Later, Whenever, Whatever, End Time Gloom and Doom,  5/19/11

     These are three of the most read articles I have had sense I started writing and I just wanted to share them.  They will give people a good overview of what and how I write.  It is my hope people read these and enjoy them.   You can easily find them on my blog by simply typing the first few words of the title on the search bar.  If you have some other interest.  Just type the key word on the search bar and it will show you all the articles I mentioned your key word in, if any. I had planned to post the last chapter of my book today, but because I did not feel to good Wednesday I went ahead and posted it then.  That was a thing that developed over many years.  If you are interested in the Bible, or the Endtimes I encourage you to read the last chapter of the book.  It gives what the whole book is about.  The rest of the book just deals with how I came to the understanding I did.  Thanks again for reading my blog.  Hopefully the American economy will get out of this bear phase and start growing, but as I say in many of my blogs I do not see any movement on the part of government to actually fix the problem.  If something is not done and soon.  The debt issue alone is going to drag America into a financial abyss it may take a decade or longer to get out of.  The Great Depression is one of my favorite things to study, because it reminds me of the things my parents and grandparents told me.  It makes me see how wise they were.  Even if I did not believe it at the time they told me. Thanks again for reading my blog.

    If you do like reading and would like to read a very good mystery thriller.  I recommend "The Word" by
Irving Wallace.  It has a good plot and a lot of cliff hangers going on all the way through the book.

    My own personal favorite is one I have just finished.  It comes from all the experiences in my like and what I see as a true possibilty.

      America Under A Threat, Worse Than Katrina or a Tsunami  4/25/2012



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

America Under A Threat, Worse Than Katrina or The Asian Tsunami





                Protecting America from Itself

   What If A Natural Event Worse Than Katrina, or Worse Than The Tsunami That Hit Southeast Asia Hit America.  What If A Man Made Event Worse Than 9/11 Were To Happen To America.  Read On Cause It Could

 
       What would happen if the people found out the government had been warned of just such an event.  Even more important, what if the government had been informed how to significantly reduce the human loss and suffering in such an event and did nothing.  Well that is exactly the case today.  Not only could the damage be minimized to a major degree it could create new jobs in the course of implementing the solutions to reduce the cost in lost life and suffering.

       America is at risk of exactly that scenario.  We are at risk of literally being torn in two as a nation.  In could happen in a way that most Americans do not realize.  Most know we are in an economic crisis. Many also know we have serious problems in the job and housing markets.  America’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair and upgrading.  On top of all that, there is an energy crisis facing America.  What many do not realize is that there are solutions to many of these problems. If those threats are not bad enough we also face the possibility of a physical disaster of unimaginable dimensions. A situation, which if it happened in the right season, would place the entire eastern half of the United States at risk of starvation.

       Most people have heard stories of the Big One.  Most think of California when they hear the phrase.  However there is another area of America just as prone to earthquakes. It is also possibly at much greater risk than California.  Especially if you look at the history of the area.  It was the site of the largest and most violent earthquake in American history. The quakes happened between December 16, 1811 and  February 7, 1812.  There were four major quakes during the period estimated to be between 7.2 and 8.1 in magnitude. It is an area known as the New Madrid fault zone.  The fault lies in the area where Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois come together along the Mississippi River. Land displacement was so intense that supposedly the Mississippi River flowed backwards. A new lake was formed which is called Reelfoot Lake in what is now Tennessee. The earthquake was felt strongly over an area of over 50,000 square miles and moderately over an area of almost 3 million square miles.  This compares to an area of 6200 square miles of moderate shaking from the Great San Francisco earthquake.  Reportedly chimneys fell as far away as Maine, sidewalks cracked in Washington, D.C., Church bells rang in Boston, Massachusetts and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.   The damage was so severe the Governor of the Louisiana Territory, later renamed the Missouri Territory, George Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame requested federal relief for the New Madrid residents.

     There is another situation that may play into the magnitude of the quake if it comes. Almost everyone has heard of an event called a pole shift.  That is a situation in which the magnetic poles switch from the North Pole to the South Pole.  Anyone who has ever played with a couple magnets knows that when you try to push the like poles of two magnets together they will repel each other.  One or both will quickly shift apart unless restrained. The reason I mention this is that the earth is experiencing significant polar changes.  While many scientists agree pole shifts happen and have happened in the past.  What they do not agree on is exactly what happens when the event occurs.

      Why mention this at all.  Most everybody has heard of the prediction on the Mayan Calendar and the end of the world as we know it in December 2012.  We now know that turned out to be a Y2K type event.  Well I came across some interesting facts which are rather disturbing.  The north magnetic pole at the turn of the century was moving but at a minor rate of just 4 to 5 kilometers per year.  However over the last twenty years or so the pole shift has accelerated considerably to almost 50 kilometers per year.  Scientists have not figured out why yet.  Knowing what happens on a smaller scale, my question is could it happen the same way on a grander scale?  If it can or does it could make for a major problem.  The line at which a straight line would project from the North Pole to the South Pole goes virtually right down the Mississippi River.  Points on a compass are measured east and west of that imaginary line. If you are in the eastern United States the needle on a compass will be pointing left of true north.  If you are in the western United States the needle will point to the right of true north.  So could the earth turn upside down?  The Bible says it will.  The Bible also said that the depths of the deep (ocean) are broken up, long before mankind had a way of knowing or verifying the matter.  When you put all these facts together the rest of what I have to say becomes much more significant.

       So what is the significance of all this.  First let me explain my qualifications to make the statements I am about to make.  I spent thirteen years in the military.  Ten years of it working in military logistical support and twenty years as an over the road trucker.  During that time I hauled produce, poultry and other meat products.  My military experience taught me to be on the lookout for, what if, scenarios.  Looking for and trying to anticipate and minimize the unforeseen things that can happen to interrupt supplies.  Also I am a bit of a history buff.  My home is in the area affected by the New Madrid Fault.  So several things together caused me to come to the conclusions I am about to explain.  Being married to an X-migrant worker for almost forty years I have seen the produce industry from several sides.  As a business owner (trucking) I had opportunity on many occasions to talk to other business owners.  I watched a man who had years of experience at farming, fail when he tried to enter the produce business.  A big part of the reason for his failure was the high cost of energy to heat the greenhouses.  They hired Mexicans, but many of the Mexican families no longer follow the crops.  They are getting out of the fields. In my wife's family all thirteen kids left the fields. Three went to college, four went into factories and some work in other administrative type jobs.

       Getting back on subject if an earthquake of the magnitude of the 1811-12 ones were to hit the same area today it could destroy many of the bridges across the Mississippi River.  So what is the problem with that?  Well if I have counted right there are twenty nine bridges across the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and New Orleans.  Of these twelve are interstate bridges.  The rest are older two lane bridges.  Having crossed many of them I question their ability to survive a major earthquake.  They are so narrow two trucks passing on the bridge usually costs one vehicle or the other one of its mirrors. You either hit each other’s mirrors in the middle, or smack the passenger side on the bridge structure.  It happened to me three times over twenty years.  After a while I learned to fold my mirrors in alongside the truck body before crossing those bridges.    

    Seven of the interstate bridges and over half of the old two lane bridges are in the New Madrid earthquake zone.  They could be expected to suffer major damage in the event of an earthquake.  Living as we do today in the era of terrorist bombers it made me wonder what would happen if a team as determined as the 9/11 terrorists and as well thought out.   Decided they wanted to literally cut America in half.  It could be done with not that many truckloads of farm fertilizer rigged into bombs. Remember Oklahoma City?  That was a fertilizer bomb.  It was only about two tons of explosives.  Imagine the effect of say fifteen to twenty tons.  Suddenly the eastern half of the United States can’t receive its daily rations of produce, meat and poultry to name just a few things. It would totally disrupt the American economy to say the least.  Maybe I had too much time to think as a truck driver, but so do terrorists.  The 9/11 bombing did not happen overnight.  They planned it for years.  Taking the time to train the pilots go through dress rehearsals and plan every detail.  Well semi-tractor trailers are much easier to get than an airplane and do not require a lot of training to drive.  Thousands of them are stolen every year along with their cargo.  A combined and coordinated attack would be devastating.  However there is a way to diffuse both threats.to America and make a major step towards energy independence in the process.      

     In the event of an earthquake disaster many of the power plants in the area are considered at risk.  There are ten major power plants within a fifty mile drive of my home. Many of my friends and associates make a living hauling coal to power plants.  From the Mississippi River and east there are hundreds of power plants I am sure.  Not all will be in danger of destruction by the earthquake.  In fact the power plants may be a means of saving America in case of such a situation.  The problem is the solution has to be put in place far in advance of the crisis situation.  The technology is already available and simply needs to applied to the power plants.  Regulations may need to be changed.  That should be a minor problem though.  If the government keeps on its present path we will be in a Depression that makes the Great Depression look like a cake walk. That is another topic though.

      At present most of the produce that goes to markets on the east coast and New England states, especially in the off seasons up north, comes out of Florida, California and Mexico.   All of these suppliers are thousands of miles from the markets they are serving.  It does not have to be that way.  The hundreds of power plants all through the Midwest and North Eastern states could be upgraded.  They all have abundant supplies of energy that they burn to generate power.  The "heat" goes up the chimney and is wasted.  To power companies the heat is simply a byproduct.   With very slight modification the plants could capture much of that energy and use it to heat greenhouses built in proximity to their power plants.  Going even farther aquaculture could be developed to raise fish for local markets.  This helps in several ways. First thousands of trucks do not need to run clear across America just to deliver some produce.  Each truck running from California to say New York City burns between 500 and 600 gallons per truck going one way. It uses the same amount going back.  You multiply that times the thousands of trucks that are making the trip and you are talking millions and millions if not billions of gallons annually.  It is an amazing experience to see. Every Sunday night hundreds of thousands of trucks from all across the country converge on the major routes leading into New York City and New England.  All of them have the goal of being on the East Coast at between six and eight AM.  The tempo starts building in early afternoon, by midnight it is over three hundred miles of bumper to bumper big trucks filling both lanes and moving as fast as traffic will allow.  In the company I started out with we called it “Sunday Night On the Pike” and believe me it is an experience.  The only thing worse is leaving Florida on the last day of the Christmas and New Year holiday and heading north.  It is bumper to bumper twenty four hours a day from Miami to Boston.  Somehow I managed to do that three times over twenty years and it is something to definitely try and avoid.  I did it once in rain.  It turned to ice about D.C. and a blizzard by the time I got up into northern Pennsylvania.  I will never forget that trip.

       There are hundreds of intermediate markets that need serviced also.  Look at a map.  All those cities represent people that need to eat.  Building thousands of greenhouses across the country shortens the supply lines and creates local jobs.  The technology is available and the engineering modifications required are minimal.  The energy and cost savings to America would be immense.  It would make a major stride in moving toward energy independence.  It would create jobs upgrading the plants, jobs building and maintaining the greenhouses, jobs for workers to grow the plants, pack and ship them to local markets.  It will take good management and eventually the power plants would see a return on their investment.  The key is to keep the energy cost low so it is economically feasible. Another benefit is that it would lessen the wear and tear on America's highways,      

      If anyone is interested I have several more of these brilliant ideas on my blog.  It is http://rictheturtleryan.blogspot.com/   If you would care to check them out or read some of my other outside the box ideas.   This idea has been sent to the Obama Administration two times since he took office and also to several Congressmen.   Either they do not care.  Or they are too busy arguing with each other to read their mail.             

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Is America's Cup Half Empty or Half Full?


                                         Is America‘s Lamp Half Full or Half Empty?    

     
       In the New Testament Jesus tells three parables or stories of people dealing with money or what they are blessed with.  As much of America is obsessed with wealth and getting rich these stories are definitely relevant to Americas relationship with God.  In them he is observing the actions of the those involved.  In a way they are all three related.  One is the story of the ten virgins and how they take care of and use their lamps and their oil.  Another is the story of some servants who are entrusted with caring for their masters wealth in the form of talents or money..  Finally there is the story of the Widow’s Mite.  Jesus observes a poor widow giving her offering and praises her.  Each story has to do with how they use what they are given or what they have.  To me they are all related.

   As I travel and talk to people around the nation it has become clear to me that many people, Christians included, have very little Biblical knowledge. That is a scary thing when you consider that the Bible says “my people are destroyed for a lack of Knowledge”  That is in Hosea Chapter 4.  The whole chapter describes what a fallen nation looks like and it is a perfect description of America.  Note that God said “my people,”  he did not say the sinners, heathen or lost.

     So what is a Talent?  It was a unit of money or wealth, in Jesus time.  It was used in a parable told by Jesus in Matthew 25:14-30.  He was explaining how a man’s servants handled their master’s wealth in his absence.  Some understood that he was blessed and made money and harvested where he had not even planted.  They used his wealth to create more wealth.  However one servant hid the money and did nothing with it being scared if he lost it he would be in trouble.  The other servants doubled their money, however the servant who hid his money was punished for his failure to use what was given him to the benefit of the master.  He was punished for his laziness.

     All the servants had observed their master and they all knew how he did things.  The difference was in how they used the knowledge they had gained.  The third chapter of Malachi in the old testament tells clearly how God deals with those who do what he says and those who do not.  It outlines clearly that God rewards those that do what he commands and how he treats those who don’t.  It is explained in much more detail in Deuteronomy 28 which is a chapter that explains how God Blesses a nation that does what he says.  The second half of the Chapter clearly lines out the curses he puts on a nation that fails to follow his commands.  If you read this chapter you will see where America was at and where America is headed.  By reading the Bible you gain knowledge of what God expects from us.  Once you have that knowledge, your actions determine how God will relate to you.

    What has that got to do with America?  That servant was punished for not doing what he knew his master would do.  The story makes clear that the servant knew what to do, however, he did not do it.  He did not act on that knowledge.  That is much like America today.  Many Americans know what to do, however, they choose not to do it.  It is one thing to not know what to do, it is quite another to know and choose not to do it.  That  was the punishable offense, not doing it.

      So what is the “Talent” that Christians are charged to share and make grow.  It is pretty clear in Mark 16:15, we are commanded to share the Gospel.  However when you share it, you are obligated to educate those who accept the Gospel in how to follow it.  We need to educate them so they can not be deceived.  How do we do that?  With the Word of God.

     America’s Biblical ignorance may be the cause of America’s downfall.  Is it to late to turn things around and save America.  When I see things like people reaching out when natural disasters hit.  When I hear of people going out of their way to help those with less. Or of people paying off other people’s layaway’s as happened during the Christmas season. There is reason to hope.  While those are nice gestures.  The truth is America has pretty much turned it’s back on God as a nation.  We still profess to be a Christian nation, but it is a lip service and there is a lack of actions and deeds to justify the claim.  The current national debt is one testimony to that.

     American’s understand that there is a blessing for following God and his Word.  They understand the getting and the reward part.  They do not seem to  care or understand the obligation to share with those who do not have.  Today in America, many look on the poor as if it is a crime or a sin to be poor.  If America exercised it’s Christian beliefs there would not be near as many starving people in the world.  It is not that there is not enough to feed the hungry and the poor.  It is that there is not a willingness to stand up and take charge and see that the poor and hungry are fed.  What America is wasting in interest on it’s National Debt could feed almost all the poor and hungry throughout the world.  America has elected leadership that gives lip service to Christian values, but that do not act on those Christian values.  It is leadership that has squandered America’s future for the here and now.  The Biblical admonitions to live debt free and owe no man anything are not even understood let alone used as standards to guide our dealing with finances.

     Fortunately for me I was raised by a Mother who not only understood God’s Word.  She lived it,  by doing without so she might help others.  She suffered and sacrificed so others would not have to.  When Jesus spoke of the Widow’s Mite,  I understand it by watching the life of my Mother.  She would give of the little she had, always believing she was blessed and that there were always those who needed the little she had more than she did.   Her life was a testament to her faith.  That is the kind of leadership that America needs.  Did it die out with the Founding Father’s.  I do not think so,  The problem is that we have gotten so far from our Christian roots and our heritage that America is close to spiritual death.

     In the story of the ten virgins.  It said they all clearly knew they were waiting on the bridegroom to come.  It also says they all had a lamp.  It implies that the oil was available to all of them, but only five chose to use that oil.  To me that oil represents the knowledge of God’s Word.  They all had the knowledge, but only five chose to use that knowledge.   This brings us back to Matthew 25.  The end of the chapter clearly explains that it is not enough to have knowledge of God’s Word.  You must act on God’s Word to receive a Blessing from God.  If you think I am wrong read the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew Chapter six.  Especially read verse fifteen.  It makes clear that failure to act, forfeits your blessing.  Contrary to what many say,  receiving a blessing from God is conditional to our doing what he says.  There are many groups that believe faith is all you need.  My understanding of God’s Word is that they are in for a rude awakening down the road.  They are acting like the servant with one talent and will receive the same reward.

      As America sets on the verge of an economic collapse, and from my view an inevitable one.  The question is will a collapse completely severe us from our roots or will it draw America back into harmony with our spiritual past.  Will America return to following and sharing the talents of faith that built it.  Or will America forsake and completely bury the talent.  Which brings us back to the Widow’s Mite.  Why did she give all she had.  I looked up the word penury that it uses in the verse and that word means poverty.  Was she playing God and scamming him to get more from him.  That would be the attitude of many today.  It is my belief she was acting on her faith.  She knew what little she had came from God.  It was her way of showing her thanks and her willingness to trust in God. There are many that try to live that kind of life in America.  My Grandmother and my Mother were two examples I have been lucky enough see personally.  It was the mindset of my youngest daughter, a nurse and a mother of three who went home to be with the Lord in August 2010 after a seven year battle with a brain tumor.  It is something I know I should do, but I often fall short of.  Many of us do fall short of the mark.  The goal is to keep trying and seeking to get better at walking the walk.  The one who judges whether we made it to the finish line or not is God.

    So why did I bring up the Widow’s Mite which is in Luke 21.  Well I have noticed Jesus often told a parable and then the consequences of failure.  Well the story of the Widow’s Mite was told just before Jesus told of what the signs of the end would be.  One of the things he said would be happening was that it would be as in the days of Noah.  They would be eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage.  However in this day and age even that is a controversial topic.  Yet it is still happening today.  Sometimes it was what Jesus did not say, but the Word of God did or does say.  In Genesis Chapter six it talks about the time of Noah.  It says that men were totally evil to the point God decided to destroy mankind.  Well murder, mayhem and evil are daily displayed to us in the media.  So is it time for God to destroy mankind again.  That is for God to decide.  My only goal is to share what I understand the Bible to say.  My hope is people will wake up and see the light.  Hopefully America will turn back to its roots.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Surviving The Endtime & What Is Coming?

    The media, the internet and even personal conversations seem to be focused on the possibility that we are coming to the end of time as we know it.  If I use Biblical references or even secular writings and opinion pieces.  The consensus seems to be that we are headed for the end time.  Many focus on the breakdown of social order and things turning into a state of chaos.  Others focus on natural disasters and the physical destruction of the earth we live on.  Both are bad news and the possibility exists for both to be fulfilled in the course of time.
     Many are concerned with the economic collapse of the world.  To me Biblical references imply that will be the case.  Some feel being debt free will keep them from the judgment coming on the world.  However if they own property or have anything of worldly value they must pay taxes on it.  This makes it impossible to be exempt from the coming judgment.  At some point down the road.  A system which requires all citizens of the world to take a sign or mark to get or exchange goods will be mandatory.  Anyone who refuses to take the mark will be considered an enemy of the system or the state.  Revelation explains that clearly in chapter 14. It says anyone who takes the mark on their right hand or on their head is doomed.  I prefer the older versions of the King James Bible it says, "in their head or in their hand"  What is the difference. you can hold a card in your hand or a have a number memorized in your head and use it.  However that allows people to evade detection if they do not want to truly accept the system.   So at some point you will be given the ultimatum.  Take the mark or die.  If you take the mark you may save your physical life for a short time.  Yet in the end you will loose your eternal life.  You will be separated from God and suffer eternal punishment for your sin.  It will be a hard decision to make.  Do you want to live today and die tomorrow, or do you want to die today and live for all eternity.  All those living at the time of the end will have to make that decision.
    Just how close are we to the real end of the world.  Well the economic collapse known as the Great Depression caused the whole world to fall into economic chaos.  The present economic crisis in America threatens to do it again.  America is sitting on the edge of a great abyss.  The unsustainable debt that keeps mounting and mounting with no one taking action to stop it will at some point collapse.  The only question is what will cause it?  Will it be political turmoil in the Middle East.  The economic collapse of Europe or the Euro.  It could also be the price of oil which caused the housing bubble to burst during the 06-08 collapse.  Many argue it was not the price of oil that collapsed it.  Why didn't it collapse sooner then.  There was a direct and visible correlation of the rising price of oil and the slowing of the growth of the economy.
   Who do I blame for that.  Well the government arrested the heads of the Enron scandal and put them in jail for causing the 1999-2000 energy crisis.  However they did not arrest the little guys.  The ones who actually did the trades and the ones who had learned how to rape the system for their own benefit.  To me that same bunch of wheeler dealers were the force behind the market collapse.  That is why the price of oil collapsed at the same time the market did.  They were busy trying to salvage their ill gotten gains that they had put into the markets.  Again they were not punished and again they will start speculating at the cost or risk of collapsing the whole world market.  Their success will trigger the demand for some system to prevent it happening again.  The equivalence of closing the gate after the cattle escape. Especially when the world markets go over the edge and fall as much as they did back in the 1920's and 1930's.  It is just a matter of time.
    At the same time there will be many natural disasters happening on an ever increasing scale.  Jesus compared it to a woman in labor.  It starts slow with an occasional pain.  Then it intensifies in both frequency and intensity.I pulled up a chart from the USGS showing the frequency and intensity of earthquakes per year from 1960 to the present time.  It is hard to believe but you can plainly see that there was an increase in the late seventies and early eighties and the numbers got into the 1300 to 1400 hundred per year range and the number of larger quakes also increased.  It died down some during the late eighties and most of the nineties, but since then the number annually has passed the 2000 mark and the number of large quakes has more than doubled in frequency.  Just like birth pains. The Bible says it, Jesus says it and with very little research you can see it happening to the world today.
    So you can choose your evil, be it economic or natural disaster, but the present world system definitely seems headed for some kind of major change.  I invite you to look through my blog and you will find many more entries on these and other topics.  Your only hope is to be right with God.  On that account I invite you to read my blog on the Endtime. "Further Down The Path" and all it's parts.  It will be seven parts when I have it all posted.  It shows how the Bible shows we are definitely on the edge of something big.  So I urge you to come into a proper relationship with God and that is done by confessing your sins and accepting his Son as your Savior.  Without doing that you are condemning yourself to go with the rest of the world into the coming judgment. Just a simple prayer.  God forgive me.  Then confess Jesus as your savior, "Jesus I believe you died for my sins.  Please come into my heart and life and heal me of my sins."  It is simple to say, but harder to live.  However if you let Christ live through you it will become easier every day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Not Go Down A Hill, Vietnam



     This is the other half of my "How Not To Go Down A Hill Story"  I mentioned it when I was writing my previous story.  So here it is.  Hope you get a laugh from it.  The first couple pictures are of what my regular Army job was.  Father down is a picture of the bridge we had to cross going in and out of Cam Ranh Bay in 1967.  I understand they later made a permanent bridge.  Hope you enjoy the story.



                                          How Not To Go Down A Hill…Vietnam
      

      This may sound hard to believe.  Hope it is as funny to you, as it is to me in hindsight.  I learned to drive a truck OJT in 1967 in Vietnam. That education went on till I retired in 2004. Over the years I had some, let's say, interesting experiences.  How I even got into trucking is one of them. In Vietnam some units came over as a unit.  At the end of a year everybody left to go back stateside.  Support Group Headquarters still had the duty of supplying troops in the field.  So the way they solved the problem was have each unit under their command send two truck drivers to fill up the empty slots in the company that was losing their people.  A few people had come in over the year as replacements but over a hundred had left all at once. 

       My unit was ordered to send two people to drive trucks.   My unit had several assigned trucks but we did not use them.   We needed something hauled we called a transportation unit.  My company packed parachutes and dropped supplies by parachute. Every unit in the military had a TO&E, which was a Table of Operations and Equipment.  Each person was slotted based on their MOS which is your Military Occupational Specialty.  Well our unit was heavy on riggers ( parachute packers) and so they slotted some of us in the unfilled motor pool slots.  Little did I know I was in one of those slots.  When my unit received the request my CO (commanding officer) looked at the board and said to send me and another guy.  As we were slotted in the motor pool.  Brown and I both explained we knew nothing about driving trucks.  The CO said that was no problem. We could learn.  He needed to keep the couple truck drivers he did have in case he needed them.  

     So off we went.  We arrived late in the day and they assigned us to a tent. The floor of the tent was covered with old pallets and that kept us from walking in the mud.  Kept our feet dry but it made a great home for the rodents, spiders, scorpions and snakes that moved in to keep us company.  The 1st Sgt. briefed us on the “rules” no food in the tents.  We got one day a month off.  If you were on the road on your day off, you would work till your next day off.  We went to bed early as there were no lights in the tents. Next morning we got up at O’Dark thirty in the morning.  Finally got dressed in the dark and wondered to the mess tent.  It was very appropriately named.  Just as it cracked daylight we fell outside.  The 1st Sgt started telling the people who had been there awhile to go to their trucks.  Also which trailer to hook up to.  Where the convoy assembly point was.  Also their position in the convoy.  That done he turned to us newbies.  He asked if there was anyone who did not want to drive a truck.  Several of us raised our hands and he sent us to the tire tent.

      When we got to the Tire Tent a big Scandinavian looking guy with no shirt pointed to a barrel of tools and some bottle jacks.  He told us to go down to where the trailers  were parked and to change any flat tires.  He gave us a two minute explanation/demonstration and sent us to work.  It took us over an hour just to get the tire off the truck.  As the sun got up it got blistering hot.  We had to push the tires uphill by hand to the tire tent to break them down and fix the tire.  Let’s  just say it was hot dirty work and leave it at that.  The Swede, our nick name for the Scandinavian, was built like an inverted pyramid.  He could put a hand on each side, pick up the tire and flip it over like it was nothing.  Over the course of the day I found out he had been in Vietnam almost ten months and had been in the tire shop the whole time.  He made it clear, his reason for being in the tire shop was that he did not get shot at.  When the day was done I had finished three tires.  Brown had finished four.  Mainly cause we helped each other do the first one and he got credit for it.

       The next morning the 1st Sgt asked if there was anyone who did not want to drive a truck.  Only one guy put his hand up.  The rest of us were sent to the dispatch tent and they filled out our driver’s license forms.  Then they gave us the road test.  The Sgt. giving the road test asked us if we could drive a stick transmission.  All of us but one could.  The black guy who couldn’t was sent to the tire shop.  The rest of us took turns taking the driving test.  We got in the truck and the Sgt. said to start the truck.  I could not find the key.  He pointed at a switch and said to turn it and push the button next to it.  I did and it started.  Then we went on a short drive of maybe a mile around a big figure eight pattern and back where we started.  He had me shut the truck off and said congratulations.  We had never gone over about ten or twelve miles per hour.  I asked if that was all the faster these trucks went.  He said no and pointed to a lever on the floor and told me to shift it after I went through all the gears and then shift them all again and I would go faster.  I got down out of the truck.  I was now a qualified military truck driver.  I went back in the dispatch tent.  The dispatcher typed me a driver’s license and handed it to me. He then assigned me a truck.  He instructed, which means told me, to go work on it and get it ready to go.  I would be going on a convoy to Nha Trang  in the morning.

       When I got to the truck I met several guys working on their trucks and they explained what to check.  They lent me tools. The afternoon went smooth till I found out I had two flat tires.   Three hours later I finished changing them and went to the evening mess haul.  Then I went to my tent.  I do not even remember laying down.  Suddenly it was morning.  In formation I was assigned a trailer, a convoy position and told to go hook up.  That was something I had never done.  A couple guys showed me how to do it, basically by doing it for me to save time.  After hooking up I killed the engine several times trying to take off.  Finally one of the guys came over an showed me how to release my brakes.  An hour later I was in my line up position.  Another hour and we moved out on the way to Nha Trang.  I had bundles of sandbags on my trailer.  It was an interesting trip.  Every time I missed a gear I had to pull to the shoulder stop and start over.  By the time we got to Nha Trang I could shift gears up.  By the time we got back I could even down shift.  In the next couple trips I even learned to split shift which is fun, once you master it. We went up and back the same day.  Upon our return we fueled our vehicles.  While sitting in line we tightened things that had gotten loose.  Once we got back in the company area we checked our tires, fluid levels and parked on line. This routine went on for three days



     The fourth day my truck was assigned to a one hundred fifty truck convoy going to Tuy Hua  pronounced two-E  wha.  It was an air force base about three hundred miles up the coast.  On this convoy I was hauling 750 pound bombs.   When we got there I was sent to the ammo dump and told to get unloaded.  While there the base came under attack.  We could see they were walking the rounds toward the ammo dump.  The rough terrain fork lift driver told me to back up and drop my trailer.  Unfortunately I had never been taught to do either one.  After several attempts I abandoned the truck and rode the side of the fork lift to the safety of a bunker.  After a while it was all over.  The fork lift unloaded the trailer.  A couple hours or so later I got turned around.  When I got to the assembly area they put me in line.  We made a night run over the mountain to Vung Ro Bay.  We dropped the empty trailers.  Then we hauled a loaded one full of bombs back over the mountain at night with no lights.  We had night lights called Cat’s Eyes.  They are two tiny lights shaped like commas facing each other, hence the nick name.  You are suppose to follow far enough back you can see the lights.  If you get close enough you can see both eyes you are to close.  About four in the morning we finished the job and at seven we lined up to go back to Cam Ranh Bay.  It was a really long day.  We got back in time to fuel up and get ready for the next days run.  

      Several of us were given a day to get our trucks ready for a special convoy.  We were going to go up into the mountains to a town called Bao Loc.  I had somebody explain how to back up to me.  Then I went over the hill into the ammo dump and taught myself to back up.  I kept at it till I could go full speed in reverse and in a straight line. It is not as easy as it sounds.  After the practice I did some maintenance and got my first full night’s sleep in several days.  The next morning we set out for Bao Loc.  I started out as a bobtail (truck with no trailer) but it did not last long.  About noon one of our trucks broke down.  I got lucky.  I got the trailer.  Another driver got to tow the broke down tractor.  It took us two days to get there.  Not that it was that far, but the road had lots of mines and we were constantly stopping so they could clear the mines.  The second day we arrived and started unloading.  It was an all day job.  We spent much of the night flipping trailers to make more bobtails.  It was standard practice to have several bobtails to pull equipment that broke down.  We did not leave anything behind.  Flipping trailers is an interesting experience.  The wreckers would hook chains to one side and lift it up so the trailers would ride floor to floor.  The one on top had the wheels to the front end to ride better.  One empty trailer would haul all the sideboard kits.  About 4 AM we finished the flipping operation and at 7 AM we headed back to Cam Ranh.Bay.   We made really good time going back and rolled into Cam Ranh just as it was getting dark.

     After almost two months trucking I was actually beginning to feel like I knew what I was doing.  I was no longer a cherry.  You could tell the cherries pretty quick.  Many of the bridges were in such bad condition that the side walks had broken off.  Some on both sides and on a few bridges they were so narrow the outside tires were hanging in the air. It was a scary experience, but after a while it just came with the job.  Most of the bridges were short and a philosophy developed.  If you crossed the bridge fast enough the tractor would slide across the bridge before you fell off.  So the only thing that would fall would be the trailer.  It was good in theory.  After watching one or two getting set back up on the bridge by a wrecker while waiting for hours in the 110 degree heat with 95% humidity.  Sitting was the last thing you wanted to do.  At least when you were moving the wind felt cool, except when the humidity was down.  Then it was like driving through a blast furnace.  We did get to drive with the tops folded down.  Most of us chose to fold down he windshield also.


     About two months into my experience we were making a run to Tuy Hua.  I got a load of 750 pound bombs.  I also got to be up at the front of the convoy when we started.  There were like a 125 trucks in the convoy.  Things went fine for awhile, but towards noon something happened to my truck.  Suddenly I could not get enough RPM’s to shift to the next higher gear.  If it was flat I could shift and then lug it up to speed for the gear I was in.  However every time I shifted up it was challenge and if any hill at all was involved I could not shift up.  As the day progressed I started falling back. When we started up the mountains just south of Tuy Hoa my truck really started falling out. It finally got to the point I was the last truck in the convoy.  They left one gun jeep with me for security and I kept plugging away.  Most of the way up the mountain I had to pull it in granny.  One thing I did not realize was that I had lost my ability to build air.  Which means I had no brakes at all.  I did not realize this going up the hill. However as I crested the hill it suddenly became painfully clear to me that I had more than a power problem.

      When I finally hit the mountain crest I was really happy.  It was all down hill the rest of the way into Tuy Hoa.  That happiness was very short lived.  As I started down the hill I started grabbing gears.  When I got to a speed I was comfortable with I tried to slow down.  This was when I learned I had a major problem.  I had just started down a fairly steep about three mile or so down hill grade and I had no brakes. NADA, ZIP, SQUAT.  
Well I knew what to do.  I would just down shift and slow down.  Well I kicked it out of gear okay and revved it up but I missed the gear.  I tried two or three times but my speed was building quickly.   This was not exactly a pleasant situation to be in.  I pondered jumping but it was about a 200 foot drop off on the driver’s side.  Then I realized, how far would I have to jump to get far enough away way from the 50+ bombs I was hauling that weighted 750 pounds each.  On top of this about three quarters of a mile down the hill in front of me the road made a 180% hairpin turn to the left.  I looked at the situation.  I saw only one way out of it.  The engineers had blasted the wall on the right side to make the road wide enough to handle the Army trucks. The wall on that side was vertical right down to the edge of the road.  What did I have to loose.  If it did not work I would hit a 15 MPH hairpin turn at a 60+ MPH which would not work. I started driving into the wall and could feel it trying to push me away, but the speed started dropping and I thought I had a hope.  Then I looked down the mountain to the hairpin turn.  On the inside of the turn a military dump truck was parked.  This was not good.  There was not room in that turn for two vehicles.  Even if I was clear over to the wall.  The guys in the dump truck were out of the truck and saw me coming.  They did all they had time to do. They ran up the hill towards the direction I was coming from and got clear of their truck.  
  
      I turned into the wall even harder.  It helped I was at a speed I thought I could steer around the corner.  The only problem was the dump truck.  As I started around the hairpin I heard an awful crash and looked back in my mirror.  The bed of the dump truck was peeling off the metal uprights on my side boards and the boards were falling out.  Suddenly I heard a metal on metal crash.  I looked back just in time to see the right rear tandem of the dump truck go over the edge.  The impact bled off enough speed I finally got my truck back in gear.  Only another couple miles to go.  Fortunately there were no more sharp curves.  I looked back again and saw the dump truck teetering on it’s right front wheel and it’s left rear wheels.  It was a short glimpse cause I had to pay attention to where I was going.  One glance in my driver’s side mirror told me all the side boards were gone.  I could see the bombs sitting on my trailer.  The RPM started building and I had to make a decision.  Try to shift up a gear or leave it where it was at?  My decision was not hard to make at all.  I left it where it was at.  The engine was screaming like crazy and I fully expected it to come apart.  Generally the top RPM was about 2500 and the shift speed was about 2100, but my truck for some reason would not rev up above 1900 RPM. 
At one point I looked at the Tachometer which peaked at 5000 and my needles was about where 6000 should be.  However I knew one thing it would have to come apart cause it was not coming out of gear.  Finally I hit the bottom of the mountain and out on to the wide flat gravel road.  The ground was suddenly flat with rice paddies on both sides of the road.  I kept down shifting till I could get the vehicle to stop.  When it did I got down and my knees really were shaking.  I did not care.  I was alive.  About this time the gun jeep with the driver, mechanic on the machine gun and my Platoon SGT pulled up.  The Platoon Sgt. went ballistic on me.  He asked me what happened and I told him and the mechanic I had no clue.  I just had no air and no brakes.  The mechanic checked it out and it was because of a mechanical failure of some part that had to do with the air.

(If anybody is mechanically inclined I would appreciate some feed back as to what could cause this.  On trucks today the brakes will lock up if you loose your air pressure.  The trucks we were driving had the buttons on the dash.  So how or why did my brakes not lock up?)

     After a few minutes the Platoon Sgt. told me to follow him into the base which was just a few miles away.   He took off and I got back into my truck.  I had just gotten up to speed when I saw the Commanding Officer’s jeep coming toward us.  Suddenly they pulled up next to each other and started talking.  I could not believe it.  He knew I had no brakes.  I also had no horn.  I was down shifting for all I was worth.   Suddenly the mechanic looked back and saw me coming.  He jumped over the side of the jeep and ran out into the rice paddy and screamed for the driver to move.  The driver reached to put the jeep in gear just as I hit the trailer they were pulling.   The impact flipped the Platoon SGT. over the windshield and off the front of the hood.  The trailer flipped up in the air and over on top to the machine gun bending it in half.  The jeep lunged forward and barely hit the Platoon SGT.  The impact killed what speed I had left.  The Platoon SGT was fit to be tied.   He was ranting and raving and swearing he would have me court-martialed if it was the last thing he ever did.  The CO was doing everything he could do to keep his composure.  The mechanic had been talking to the CO and checking my truck while the Platoon SGT ranted.  Finally the decision was made. The mechanic would drive my truck  the rest of the way in.  I would ride in the jeep an man the broken machine gun.

     When we got to the base the CO came over and the Platoon SGT started in on me again.  The mechanic finally showed up in my truck and came over and started talking to the CO.   The CO nodded a few times and then came over to us.  He said, “Based on what my mechanic just told me.  The fact you got that truck down off that mountain without wrecking it and loosing the load you were hauling.  I am considering putting you in for an Army Commendation Medal.”  This really set the Platoon SGT to sputtering.  The CO told him to consider the circumstances and he would see that he was making the right decision.  With that the Platoon SGT bit his lip and walked away, but he was not finished with me.  Not till the day I left.  He gave me every bad job and detail he could dream up.  I never did get the Commendation Medal, but I did not get court-martialed either, which was good as far as I was concerned.











Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Is It The Endtime?, Or Is It Time For An End?



      As world events unfold they seem to be headed from one climactic event to the next.  Events since the fateful day of  9/11 seem to be snowballing out of control from many peoples points of view.  It is often stated by people that we must be in the last days.

       The events of the last nine years have kept growing and spreading.  In December 2004 the world was humbled by the powerful Tsunami that took over 200,000 lives.  Hardly had the cleanup and help started to flow into the area impacted by the Tsunami when Hurricane Katrina rolled thru New Orleans creating total devastation in August 2005,   During the same period America became entangled in two wars half ways around the world. This was followed by an economic crisis that is still ongoing.  Since the  fall of 2007 hardship has fell like a plague on many Americans.. The most recent tragedy to sweep over the horizon was the Haitian Earthquake.  When the counting is done it looks like over 100,000 lives will have been lost.

      As horrible as all these events seem to be they do not exceed what man has managed to do himself.  World War II is said to have destroyed between twenty and thirty million lives.  Just the events that bought the war to an end destroyed more lives than any of the previously mentioned events.  Hiroshima and Nagasaki wiped out well over 200,000 lives in just minutes and the aftermath pushed it far higher. The truly scary part of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the mindset that allowed it to happen.

       Some of the scientist who developed the atomic bomb were fearful that the explosions would trigger a chain reaction that would turn the earth into a miniature sun.  Yet even with these dire warnings from the men who created the bombs it was decided to risk it all and use the bombs anyway.  So our very existence is only because, fortunately for us, some scientist were slightly off on their estimation of what they had created.  Since then we have created the hydrogen bomb which is capable of 1000 times the  destruction done by the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  We still may not be able to destroy the earth itself, but it seems we could easily annihilate most life forms that inhabit this planet.

      In the midst of this dire situation, the media, feeding on the fear factor have quoted the writings of past seers and prophets of different civilizations some forecasting the end of the world in December 2012 have been quoted.

     It has always been my goal to be open minded and to be willing to take all the facts into consideration.  My understanding of the things I have been taught over the years sometimes come into conflict.  Yet sometimes they validate each other.

     My years in the public education system sometimes conflicted  with  the education I was receiving in my home and private life.  Raised as a Christian who believed in creationism it became clear to me the things I was being taught about evolution conflicted with my  belief system.  Yet some of the things I was learning about things like plate tectonics seemed so authoritative and it was something you could see.

       At first this was a problem until I found much of it could be reconciled with the Bible and many of the things that scientist are teaching as facts are nothing more than Biblical teachings rephrased.

        This created a new problem dealing with the dimension of time.  Is, or was, the act of Creation a literal seven day period or was it a figurative term.  I have compromised in a couple of ways. One is that I do not believe God expects us to use the ostrich approach to life.  It is not my position to  dismiss things just because I can not explain them.  Secondly I find nothing in the Bible that says we are condemned to hell for not understanding some things in the Bible. We are required to believe God is the author of creation and that all things were made thru, by and for him.  That I do believe, so that is not the conflict.

        This really gives me an out because I do not have enough faith or intelligence to understand evolution.  Thanks to God I do not have to understand it. All I have to do is believe God did it and I do. That makes creation much simpler than evolution.

       Getting back on track so to speak.  The classes on tectonics intrigued me.  We went on field trips and they showed us layers of limestone and how there was dirt  between the layers.   They also took us to sites where the glaciers supposedly stopped and piled gravel in great piles.  Does this conflict with Bible teaching?
Not according to Genesis 10:25.  It says the earth was divided.  This was after Noah's flood. Also before the flood it says the fountains of the deep were opened in Genesis 7:11  The real trick is reading the Bible and letting the Bible say what it says. It says in Genesis 1:3-5 God created the light. and separated it from darkness and that was the first day of Creation.  While in verse one God created the heaven and the earth.  It also says the earth was without form (shape) and void (empty): and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  This is when creation began on the earth.  It does not say this it the beginning of creation. It says in the beginning God created heaven and earth.  Those events seem to predate the seven days of creation.  Who knows how long that period was.  Was it 24 hours.  Well I suggest you read 2nd Peter 3:4-8.  That is new testament  Also Revelation 3:14 argues what is first thing of creation.  Christ is the Light of the World.  If you read my book on the end times, you will see "I believe what the Bible says, and it says what it means."  Some try to say what it does not say.

      It was explained in our class how Indiana and surrounds had been below sea level several times in the past.  It was also explained that every so often there was another ice age.  These events took long cycles to accomplish, but the earth went thru cycles.  These statements became the battle ground that over the last sixty years has driven my desire to understand, know and reconcile the conflicts created in my life by education and my faith.

    The thing I have found is that man’s wisdom is ignorance when compared to the knowledge in God’s Word.  A simple example is that until the 1400’s it was thought the earth was flat.  In my readings over the years it was my pleasure to discover that supposedly Columbus based his faith in the outcome of his voyages  on one verse he discovered in the Bible.  When you have the faith to believe God’s Word is true you can accomplish what the average man says is unbelievable.  In the Book of Isaiah written almost 800 years before the time of Jesus there is a verse.  It is in the 40th chapter and the 22nd verse of Isaiah. “It is he(God) who sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are like grasshoppers: who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreadeth them out like a tent to dwell in.”

         That is not the only tidbit of knowledge that man has taken credit for and that has been around for ages.  They have been talking of an expanding universe for years.  That is another old, old idea.  In Revelation, which was written shortly after Jesus time, it says the earth and the heavens are fleeing away from the face of God.  That is in Revelation 20:11.

         One of the newer “discoveries” is that the earth has polar shifts.  The Book of Isaiah says in 24:1 that the earth shall be turned upside down.  In fact almost all the “new” discoveries are in the Bible if someone just takes the time to look.  Nothing is really new and what is really scary is history is repeating itself.  It does not have to, but that is the way we seem to be headed.  God destroyed the earth once.  The sad thing is his Word says he will do it again.  This time it will be with fire. Is this global warming actually only part of the 125,000 year cycle.  Are we being drawn toward a warmer time than in the past and that man's pollution is only coincidence and not a cause.

      The reason God did it the first time was that man supposedly was so evil.   All that mankind did was evil one to another.  If the three Abrahamic and God based religions of the world could get it together and understand that none of them have the market cornered on God it might be a lot nicer place to live.  They all need to know and understand that every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God is true and will come to pass.   The Christians can not disbelieve the Jewish Books of God.   The Moslems can not discount the Christian Books.  All three religions claim to believe the same prophets.  Yet they agree on nothing.  They all claim their roots in Abraham and at his death his sons came together and buried him.  That was probably the last unified act in the Middle East.  They all need to get hold of what God said about killing and murder.  When innocents are being killed that is murder in God’s eyes regardless of what men do to justify it.

       Maybe we need a forth religion. The religion of Yahweh’s Way.  A religion that respects all life and every Word of God.  Not one that picks and chooses or discounts one version over another.  A religion that recognizes we are all God’s creation and our lives are to be lived by, thru and for him and him alone.

      The truly sad part is that what could be a very noble religion is being hijacked by a bunch of radicals who have no real faith in God or Allah.  They have perverted the teachings of Islam to obtain their own personal agenda’s. The worse part of it is that the so called leadership of Islam, has let a religion that supposedly teaches and believes in loving your fellow man be corrupted.

       This statement can be proven by the fact that most of  the radicals come from the Middle East and groups that relate to the Middle East.   It is not a problem of Moslems in Indonesia or other parts of Eastern Asia.  The only one getting the victory in the present situation is Satan.  That is not the Jewish or American Satan they often speak of.  It is the internal Islamic Satan that is winning.  If Moslems are killing Moslems who is winning.  Certainly not Islam.  The lay Moslems need to rise up and demand that their religion be cleaned and purified of the evil that is bleeding it.

       In Christianity the Bible says Satan or thieves come only to steal, kill and destroy.   There is no honor among thieves and killers they only want to perpetrate their evil and hide it under the guise of religion.  In America for many years the Klu Klux Klan perpetrated evil and claimed they were doing the will of God.  Finally truth filled preachers exposed the lie they were telling for what it was.  Many crimes are committed in the name of religion.  Not just in the name of Allah either.  Anyone that truly knows God knows that he brings life into the World and not death and destruction.

   
      While I have jumped around and might make you wonder where it is all going.   There is a purpose in that it shows how many things are being pondered by people all over the world.  My goal is to show that God shows in the Bible that he has a plan and a way of doing things.  The second intent is to show that based on God’s past performance and his actions that it is, in my belief, time for God to bring the remainder of his promises to fruition.  It is not that God is slack or slow in showing his intentions, but he wants mankind to understand that he is the answer to all of the problems.

       That God is the solution to all the problems can be seen by simply looking at the simple solutions to global warming.  Man is wrapped up in polluting the atmosphere and getting all he can get out of life.  Yet the way man is doing it leads to his destruction.   Global warming in the grand scheme of things does not matter.  The truth is that there are a finite amount of resources and if man does not learn to use only the renewable ones sooner or later the way we are doing it will mean and end of resources.  As for global warning, scientist who study the ice packs, have proven that global warming happens on a regular cycle every 125,000 years or so.  It is followed by a long period that gets cooler and cooler.  The cold spells tend to go downward for 5000 years or so and then level out a little,  there are usually five of these downward steps.  Then it slows or levels every 25,000 years for a fairly long time.  There tend to be five of these 25,000 year downward trends, after which things continue down till they hit bottom after 125,000 years. Then it starts another long term warm up.  However the cold spells last much, much longer than the warm ones.  The warm ups from bottom to top tend to last less than 5000 years.

        The world will go on and survive long after mankind’s stupidity exterminates him and life as we know it.  The fact of all the fossil fuel reserves say life comes and goes on planet earth.  The fact all those fossil fuels at some time were on the surface of the earth and thriving shows the very fragile nature of life. Some reserves like coal are near the surface, yet some oil is so deep we can hardly reach it.  It was my privilege to find seashells on a mountain tops in Panama. They were encrusted in the rocks at that elevation.  Earth is a changing, living thing that is far beyond the understanding of some mortal scientist. Regardless of his IQ or the number of letters before and after his name.  How many times has life been eliminated and come back from the brink.  Only God knows the answer to that question.

       The real question is, is God getting ready to wipe the slate clean and start over again.  Religion says he gives us the chance to share his existence and be with him.  Atheists say it is all hogwash and that God does not exist.  My view of it all is that as my eyes behold the majesty of all creation and the heavens above how could God not exist.  It is impossible for me to believe this all just happened.  

       Comparing the consequences of our beliefs as I understand them it is pretty simple.  The atheists say there was nothing before and nothing after.  It is a simple philosophy and requires nothing of the person who believes it.  They can be as good or as bad as they choose.  There are no consequences.  If they are right they have lost nothing.  Following my beliefs means I will have lived a life where I have helped people and tried to make the world a better place to live.  Now if I am by accident right, what have they lost?  It is my choice to take my chances and have faith that things can be better in the end of it all.