Ross A. Hill: August 2010

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Walt's Honor System

Picking up from yesterdays story,

I bought the corn on the cob and peaches from a farmer in Ohio.  He had a sign along the highway out in the country in northern Ohio.  I pulled in but it was late in the evening and no one was around.  We thought they were closed.

As we pulled out a man and woman pulled in like they owned the place. I lowered my window and asked him if he lived here.  He said he did and I asked him if there was anyway to buy some of the produce.  He said they were open just go get what we wanted out of the barn and put he money in the box on the wall.

I could not believe my ears. He drove off to his house like it was not big deal.  Raynell and I went into the barn and we could instantly smell the cantaloupe.  The corn looked great!  I went back out and yelled at Walt and he walked over to the barn.  He helped us a bit and I told him I could not believe he was operating on the honor system.  He just kinda shrugged his shoulders.

I gave him $5 bucks for $4.50 worth of food and then I gave him my business card and a Bank2 shirt.  I thanked him and told him what I had planned for the food.  It was all good.

Raynell and I drove off just amazed by Walt and totally encouraged about life and people in general.

Thanks Walt, you made our day!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

86 and Counting!

I had the very good fortune of celebrating my mom's 86th birthday this weekend. It was a ton of fun! First, like little kids in a candy store we cooked fresh picked corn on the cob. It was dripping with butter, salt and pepper. It was Ohio's best sweet corn and picked in the field just hours before we ate it. Then we ate fresh tree ripened peaches. They were soft and tasty and the juice ran down our chins! Between the corn on the cob and the peaches I think we used a complete roll of paper towels! My mom loved it and I loved bringing her joy. I sat back and watched her eat the food and enjoy the taste from years gone by. It was amazing and we created another precious memory. Happy Birthday Mom, Ross

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Space Station Reflection

Tonight the space station flew right over our home about 9 p.m.  It was headed north northeast and it was the brightest thing in the sky.  It was BIG!  My neighbors told me it was bigger than a football field.  It looked like we could almost reach out and touch it.  It was amazing to see it.  It was moving so fast that it was only visible for about 4 minutes.  It was a blast seeing it.

As I reflected on what I saw I thought about all of the things that motivated man to go into space. I started thinking about all of the good that has come out of it.  Lots of new products that have given many of us a better life, such as computers and the Internet.

I can remember back to J. F. Kennedy's speech when he thrust the USA into the space program in the early '60's.  I was just a youngster in grade school when Kennedy challenged us to be The world leader.  In part, he wanted us to catch the Russians but he had a far greater vision than playing catch up. President Kennedy challenged us to put a man on the moon.

At the time he set that goal NO ONE thought it was possible. That concept was unheard of back then, yet there it was.  He said we could do it and he challenged the country to make it happen.

Great Leaders cast great visions that many, if not most, don't believe can be done.  President Kennedy did challenged us and 50 years later we have been to the moon repeatedly, we have men circling the globe in a space station and has been for years.

Today, we need a Great Leader to cast a great vision to turn America around. We need a leader to call us to repentance and to cast a vision to restore our integrity and our place of world leadership.  America can be great again but only if we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways.

It starts with me and you.


"Right" or "Left"


Have you ever wondered why it is, that the conservatives are called the "right" and the liberals are called the "left"?

I may have the answer.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 says "The heart of the wise inclines to the right but the heart of the fool to the left."


This was sent to me by a friend

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Does Anything Last?

Do you ever ask that question?  Do you ever get frustrated because things are always changing.  Change is constantly going on all around me.  It seems like nothing last anymore.  Banking has always been known as a stable industry, very slow to change.  Ask any salesman that has tried to sell something new to a bank and he will tell you it is a difficult sale.  It is a very long sales cycle. Bankers historically have resisted changed.  But today, banking is evolving at supersonic speeds.  Between technological, accounting standards (FASB), regulatory changes (Financial Reform) and the changes dictated by the market, banking is changing rapidly. It is very difficult to keep up with and it frustrates the customers and the employees to a high degree.

When I got into banking 35 years ago the industry was known as a high touch customer service business.  Today the Government is using us a secret unpaid police system to catch terrorist, drug lords and income tax evaders.  So much of our time is spent managing regulations and implementing policy changes. Change has been forced upon us.

My friends and I talk about how everything seems to be changing.  Nothing seems to last.  Nothing seems to be the same any more.  It wears people out.  Everyone seems to be asking the question...

Does anything last?

YES!  "The grass withers, the flowers fade but the word of God stands forever!"  Isaiah tells us that no matter what happens, no matter what breaks, no matter what quits working, no matter what changes, or how much change is going on, there is one thing that never changes. There is one thing that is stable and we can count on it.  One thing we can be sure will last...the word of God!

It is a constant source of power, strength and comfort. With everything around us changing God's word is a source of stability.  It is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  It is a living breathing miracle because unlike most, if not all other books, the Word NEVER CHANGES or goes out of date.

Does anything last?  Yes, the word of God.


I Am The Lord

I am struck by how often God uses this simple phrase,

I am the LORD.

That is His explanation to many of the things He tells us in the Old Testament.

I am the LORD.

He does not explain himself more.

I am the LORD.

When we place God in proper alignment in our lives what else does he need to say?

As He says,

I am the LORD.


Monday, August 23, 2010

**SPECIAL EDITION **Get Ready for the Tax Waive**SPECIAL EDITI0N

This is a bit long but you need to read this one.  This is good info for your election planning and for financial planning for 2011.  This is my second post in a series of post that will be published every Saturday.  These articles are meant to helpful and to expose you to the truth.  I am trying to make sure you have the facts and as they say the facts will set you free. These post are longer than usual but I promise they are worth your reading.

In just six months, on January 1, 2011, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect.

They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves.

On January 1, 2011, here’s what happens... (read it to the end, so you see all three waves)...

First Waive:
Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families.

These will all expire on January 1, 2011.

Personal income tax rates will rise.
The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed).

The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.

All the rates in between will also rise.

Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.

The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

 The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%

 The 25% bracket rises to 28%

 The 28% bracket rises to 31%

 The 33% bracket rises to 36%

 The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family.

The "marriage penalty" (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income.

The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child.

The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level.

The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax.

This year only, there is no death tax. (It’s a quirk!) For those dying on or after January 1, 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes, a business, a retirement account, could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones. Think of the farmers who don’t make much money, but their land, which they purchased years ago with after-tax dollars, is now worth a lot of money. Their children will have to sell the farm, which may be their livelihood, just to pay the estate tax if they don’t have the cash sitting around to pay the tax. Think about your own family’s assets. Maybe your family owns real estate, or a business that doesn’t make much money, but the building and equipment are worth $1 million. Upon their death, you can inherit the $1 million business tax free, but if they own a home, stock, cash worth $500K on top of the $1 million business, then you will owe the government $275,000 cash! That’s 55% of the value of the assets over $1 million! Do you have that kind of cash sitting around waiting to pay the estate tax?

Higher tax rates on savers and investors.

The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011.

The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011.

These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Waive:

There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:

The "Medicine Cabinet Tax"

Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The "Special Needs Kids Tax"

This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.

There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.

Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington , D.C. ( National Child ResearchCenter ) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.

Under tax rules, FSA dollars can not be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA (Health Savings Account) Withdrawal Tax Hike.

This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Third Waive:
The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they'll be in for a nasty surprise-the AMT won't be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.

The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year.

According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress' failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families-rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear.

Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or "depreciate") equipment purchases up to $250,000.

This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can currently expense half of their purchases of equipment.

In January of 2011, all of it will have to be "depreciated."

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses.

There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the "research and experimentation tax credit," but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced.

The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available.

Tax credits for education will be limited.

Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut.

Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed.

The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed.

Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA.

This contribution also counts toward an annual "required minimum distribution." This ability will no longer be there.

PDF Version

And worse yet?

Starting in 2011 you will see an extra box on you W-2's.  Your company will begin to list the value of your company paid health insurance.  What does this mean?  I am not sure but I believe it is a pre-curser to the Fed's wanting to tax us on that amount too.  No one knows for sure and only time will tell.  We need to watch this one.

- Joan Pryde is the senior tax editor for the Kiplinger letters.

- Go to Kiplingers and read about 13 tax changes that could affect you.

Number 3 is what is above.

Why am I sending you this? The same reason I hope you forward this to every single person in your address book.

People need to know the truth!


Friday, August 20, 2010

**Special Edition**Special Edtion**Charley Reese's Last Article

Charley  Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.

Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be - read it!!  The article below is completely neutral, not anti republican or democrat.  Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinal has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day.  It's a short but good read.  Worth the time.  Worth remembering! 

545 vs. 300,000,000


545  PEOPLE--By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them..

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes,WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating  deficits.....   The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want.  If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal  government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to  exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red ..

If the Army & Marines are in  Iraq  and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan... 

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they  alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power..

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of  them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando  Sentinel  Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it......... Is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so  true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:
Tax his land, 
Tax his bed, 
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.
Tax his tractor, 
    Tax his mule, 
    Teach him taxes 
    Are the rule.
    Tax his work,
    Tax his pay,
    He works for peanuts anyway!
    Tax his cow,
    Tax his goat,
    Tax his pants,
    Tax his coat.
    Tax his ties,
    Tax his shirt,
    Tax his work,
    Tax his dirt.
    Tax his tobacco,
    Tax his drink,
    Tax him if he
    Tries to think.
    Tax his cigars,
    Tax his beers,
    If he cries
    Tax his tears.
    Tax his car,
    Tax his gas,
    Find other ways
    To tax his ass.
    Tax all he has
    Then let him know
    That you won't be done
    Till he has no dough.
    When he screams and hollers;
    Then tax him some more,
    Tax him till
    He's good and sore.
    Then tax his coffin,
    Tax his grave,
    Tax the sod in
    Which he's laid...
    Put these words
    Upon his tomb,
    Taxes drove me
    to my doom...'
    When he's gone,
    Do not relax,
    Its time to apply
    The inheritance tax..
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone   State  and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world and manufacturing capacity and jobs beyond anyone else.
What in the hell happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

I hope this goes around THE USA at least many times!!!  YOU can help it get there!!!  GO AHEAD - - - BE AN AMERICAN!!!

P.S.  If you do the right thing and pass this on - which is entirely up to you - please do the right thing and highlight and delete any addresses you receive with it.  Thanks..

Papa Ross

The HILL name lives on!

Papa and Jaggard Austin Hill
Born 8-19-10
8.2 LBS

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lessons Learned from Glass Blowing PART 3

This is the last post in this three part series.  My friend Chris McGahan and his faithful son Micah are glass blowers par excellent.  Please visit their web site and take a look at some of their marvelous art.  Just click on this link:

Here are the Top 10 Lessons I learned watching them blow glass the other night.
  1. It is very HARD work
  2. It is very HOT work
  3. It is TIME SENSITIVE work
  4. It is not a science, it is an ART
  5. It is DEMANDING work
  6. You have to be EXTREMELY PATIENT to be successful  
  7. It requires TEAM work
  8. It requires STRENGTH
  9. It requires PRECISE TIMING
  10. The results ARE NOT always positive
  11. BONUS Art can UPLIFT and ENCOURAGE those that are hurting  
I am blessed to have such good friends that would demonstrate their glass blowing techniques for some of my friends and use it to encourage one that has been in a battle with breast cancer.  Several months ago Chris, Micah and Chris' wife Linda designed and blew a beautiful vase and named it "Sonja Rose".  We gave it to Sonja to be an encouragement to her as she went thru her chemo treatments after cancer surgery.  Those treatments are now in the rear view mirror! Sonja wanted to meet the artist and hear the story behind "Sonja Rose".  It was a wonderful evening and we ended it with prayer and words of encouragement from Chris for Sonja. The art that the McGahan's created has blessed and encouraged Sonja as she fights to win over this terrible disease. Hearing the story, meeting the artist, seeing the effort involved and hearing the story of how God can restore us and build something beautiful out of our brokenness was and remains a true blessing for Sonja. For all of us.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lessons Learned from Glass Blowing PART 2

Sunday night as Chris and Micah blew the glass they described what they were doing. They also drew many correlations between what they were doing with the glass to what God does in our lives.

We watched the broken glass be heated, stressed, shaped, re-shaped, blown and re-heated. Sometimes the shape would move and begin to wobble. The master artists would quickly move to restore the shape.  They would spin the glass, reheat it, blow into it, cool and smooth the glass. Over and over the process would go.    The artists melted, fused, mold and re-shape the scraps of glass into something absolutely beautiful. They created something VERY SPECIAL out of the brokenness.  I think most of us would have just thrown it all away and started over with new glass.

As they neared the end, suddenly without warning it was destroyed.  It would take me way too long to explain what happened but let me use a brief explanation from the artist. Chris said, "I just did not build the base large enough and wide enough to handle the weight of the vase".  In other words the foundation was not strong enough.  Think about it.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Lessons Learned From Glass Blowing PART 1

Sunday night we had the blessing of watching my good friends Chris and Micah McGahan blow a wonderful, large vase.  It was fun watching and seeing all the effort required to blow this beautiful art form. I marveled at how well they worked together.  A real team!

I also noticed how difficult the work was.  I had no idea how many steps were involved in the process.  I had no idea of the speed it would take at times to get things just right.  The heat that radiated from the glass was significant.  It was literally "white hot".  Nor did I realize how heavy the glass was on the end of the blow pipe.  No wonder Chris and Micah are so muscular!

It was an amazing night and just as they were about to put the finishing touches on the wonderful vase, it  was destroyed.  It all happened so fast.  We were all stunted. We could not even speak.  We were so proud of what they had created.  We were thankful we were there and able to watch the art being created before our eyes.  And when it fell apart we did not know what to say.  We were just sick about it.

I kept thinking about the hot, hard work that demanded strength, imagination, timing, artistic flair, creativity, knowledge, teamwork, precision just to mention a few of the many talents necessary to be an excellent glass blower. Three hours of work went into this creation and they had nothing to show for the effort.

Chris and Micah just accepted it and said, "they don't all make it".  I was amazed at the attitude.  I kept thinking about how hard the work was yet they accepted the failure in stride.  They have only lost two Redento's out of about 30 Redento's they have blown.

Everyday I get to enjoy some of their outstanding work in my office and in my home.  I have a much greater appreciation for my beautiful glass knowing how hard it is to make, all of the effort, all of the skill required.



Speaking Blessings

Did you know that in days gone by a parent speaking a blessing over a child was a valued tradition,  that the blessing was something very special and carried great meaning?  It is true!

Today, we don't put much stock into the spoken word.  But we should value it, especially when it is being spoken over our children or grandchildren.

Little did I realize how important it was when I was raising my own kids.  But, for some strange reason I spoke blessing over them.  I started blessing my kids when they were babies.  I would say, "you are a leader, not a follower", or "you have character", or "you are a man after God's own heart".  I would also say, "you are a problem solver" or "you are going to be a successful businessman" or "you will love the Lord with all of your heart, mind and soul".  I would tell them they were "men of honor" and I would tell them "they were going to be great dads".  I spoke those blessing to them from the first time I held them and i kept speaking those blessing over them over and over. I am pleased to say, today all of these things are true of my sons.  I am thankful and proud of each one of them.

When is the last time you spoke blessing over your kids or grand kids?  You can start today.  The next time you see them hold them and speak it over them.  Tell them what you see for their future.  It will change their life...It will change your life.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lord, Are You Listening?

How many times have you felt like saying this out loud?  How many times have you wondered if you were ever going to hear His voice again? How many times have you felt like you were praying but it didn't seem like God was listening?

To be totally honest with you, I have certainly felt his way, more often than I care to admit.  Why does this happen?

To be 100% honest, I would have to say, I don't know. Sometimes I just don't get it.  Some days I get very frustrated.  But, we are not alone with these feeling, all one needs to do is open to the book of Psalms and you can read how others had trouble finding and hearing from the Lord.  You can see how David begged God not to hide from him.

I can think of some reasons why it may happen but to be honest they seem rather like a rationalization to me than anything else.  I don't know why.

What I do know is that I have never had a perfect relationship with anyone.  I have let every relationship down to one degree or another.  I know I have done this with God.  So, when I have strained other relationships they sometimes end up on less fertile soil.  Many times it is because of me.  When it seems God is not listening could it be that God is helping our relationship get back to fertile ground, or letting me see what life might be like without His instant feedback?  Could it be that He is teaching me to seek Him even when it is very difficult and or frustrating?  Like I said, I really don't know.

However, what I do know is that He is faithful to those that seek Him.  I must keep seeking.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More on the Old Testament

Don't miss understand my post yesterday.  It is not always easy to stay with it.  In fact, it can be hard TO stay with it, even using my suggestions.  But, and here it is, BUT if you don't quit, it will COME ALIVE!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Old Testament Comes Alive

As you may remember, I am reading the Bible cover to cover, front to back.  As I got into some of the Old Testament books I found them boring and monotonous.  I am being honest.  I found myself asking the following questions; What does this stuff have to do with me?  Why did God go into such details about this stuff?  Why does He think I needed to know all of these details about (as examples) the sacrifices or the temple.  I don't get it.

Once I started admitting my thoughts and started praying and asking God to reveal to me what it was He was trying to teach me, the pages started coming alive.  As I reflected on the information, I just started thinking about how or why this is valuable to me?  What can I learn from this information?  I tried to limit each reading to no more than two chapters each day. I wanted time to reflect and think about why this is important? What is it God wants me to take away from this information? How does this have application to me?

Each day. as I have reflected on the material, God has revealed to me new, fresh thoughts and these chapters have come alive for me.  What was once boring and of little value suddenly has substance and meaning to me. Just take time to ask God, reflect, write down what comes to your mind and watch these books come alive.

If you have had this same problem I highly recommend you try this system.  Just take time to ask God, reflect, write down what comes to your mind.  I think you will be surprised how these chapters and books will Come Alive for you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Abraham Lincoln-Sound Advise For These Times

The following was published in the Oklahoma Bankers Association Newsletter
Think about these Statements from Abraham Lincoln:

    • You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    • You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    • You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
    • You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
    • You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Ever feel like you don't fit in?

Maybe you don't.

We are to be the light in the darkness.

We are called to" be in the world" but "not of the world".

It is not fun to feel like you don't fit in but if you don't fit in maybe it is because you are accomplishing God's will for your life!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

God Amazes Me x 2!

I do not deserve the favor I am experiencing this week.  I hope it never stops!  Two days in a row, within minutes, God has spoken to me through my wife, friends and emails.

Today, Raynell was telling me that she felt strongly that I needed to be working with a new friend I have developed overseas. She felt that I should seriously get down to making the plans and getting after the work.  She sensed God's leading and thought I needed to really think and pray about it.

What Raynell DID NOT KNOW was that several days ago my overseas friend had suggested those very things.  I had replied to his email and told him I wanted too move forward but that it would take a lot of money and I did not have it. I asked him if he had any ideas.

ONLY 30 MINUTES LATER after Raynell told me these things I opened my email and I had a new email from my friend overseas telling me basically the same things Raynell had communicated.  He was encouraging me to move forward, pray, put a plan together and let God provide what we need.

God Just Amazes Me x 2!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

God Amazes Me!

Today, I was driving to Ada and on the way down I was praying about a couple of issues.  I was asking God to show me, to reveal to me why some things were happening like they were in my life. I was totally confused. I was asking God to help me understand.  I was asking God to make it clear to me why these things were happening and how to deal with it.

When I arrived in Ada, I had a few minutes before the meetings started so I began reading and responding to my emails.  My wife sent me a great email and God used her to explain to me what was going on in my life.

HE ANSWERED MY PRAYERS THROUGH HER EMAIL.  However, Raynell did NOT know about my prayer or what I was feeling.  We had NOT discussed it. Yet, there was the answer to my prayer in her email. Her email was time stamped just minutes before I read it. So in less than 2 hours God had totally cleared up my confusion through an email from my wife. 
Like I said, God Amazes Me!  Praise Be to Lord.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pray If You Want To!

Pray if you want to!

CBS and Katie Couric et al, must be in a panic and rushing to reassure the White House that this is not network policy.  
Folks, this is the year that  we RE-TAKE AMERICA & CANADA

Keep this going around the  globe. Read it and forward every time you receive it.. We  can't give up on this issue. 
Andy Rooney and Prayer

Andy Rooney says: 

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.  I don't agree with Darwin ,  but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution.  
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big  deal?  It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts.  They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.  
But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue. 
Yes, and this is the United States of America and Canada, countries founded on Christian principles.  According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1.  
So what would  you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna? 
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish  prayer. 
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer. 
If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. 

And I wouldn't be  offended.   It wouldn't bother me one bit.
When in Rome  ..... 
But what about the atheists? Is another argument.
What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized.  We're not going to pass the collection plate.  Just humor us for 30 seconds.  If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs.  Go to the bathroom.  Visit the concession stand.  Call your lawyer! 
Unfortunately, one or two will make that call.  One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do.  I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations. 
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights.  Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep.  Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing.  Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. 
God, help us.  And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue  me. 
The silent majority has been silent too long.  It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want.  It is time that the majority rules!   It's time we tell them, "You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him.  That is your right, and we will honor your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away.  We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!" 
God bless us one and all...Especially those who denounce Him, God bless America and Canada , despite all our faults  We are still the greatest nations of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God. 

Let's make 2010 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.  And our military forces come home from all the wars. 
Keep looking  up.

Friends Help Friends

Today it seems that many of my adult friends are dealing with serious issues surrounding their adult children and/or their adult parents.  These are not easy issues but weigh on the heart tremendously.

It seems the adult children are stressed over becoming adults and living with the realities of adult life.  The responsibilities that just part of life.  At the same time adult parents are having health and aging issues.  They want to be free and able to fend for themselves but many simply cannot.

What is left in the middle is the ADULT care givers.  They are feeling tremendous stress.  Many feel like they have somehow let their adult children down and feel guilty because of the problems their adult kids are having with life.  Then on the other side some feel guilty because they can not remove the pain from the lives of their aging parents.  Many senior adults are suffering with memory problems, mobility problems, loneliness, and financial difficulties.  It is not fun growing old.

It may never have been more important than to remember to "Love your neighbor as you love yourself", to "share one anther's burdens".  A good ear to listen, a strong shoulder to lean on, an encouraging word, a prayer for strength can mean everything to the person that is laboring with these issues.  Remember, "a kind word is good medicine for the soul".

Remember, Friends Help Friends.