Category Archives: Current Events

If You Really Wanted to Destroy US, You’d Do These 10 Things

If You Really Wanted to Destroy US, You’d Do These 10 Things

If someone wanted to destroy America as we know it, the first thing to do would be to rob us of our energy independence, historian Victor Davis Hanson writes. Pictured: Demonstrators, celebrating then-President Barack Obama’s blocking of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, rally in front of the White House on Nov. 6, 2015. Obama blocked the pipeline, claiming without evidence that it would harm the fight against climate change. He made no mention of the adverse impact the cancellation would have on the country’s energy independence. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

First, you would surrender our prior energy independence.

Reduce new gas and oil leases on federal lands to the lowest levels of any president in history. Cut back production at precisely the time the world is emerging from a two-year lockdown with pent-up consumer demand.

Make war on coal and nuclear power. Drain the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make the pain for consumers more bearable for midterm election advantage.

Cancel the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas field. Block pipelines like the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Constitution natural gas line.

 

Overregulate and demonize frackers and horizontal drillers. Ensure there is less investment for their exploration and production.

Make use of internal combustible engines or fossil fuel power generation prohibitively expensive. Achieve a green oil-dependency along the lines of contemporary Europe.

Second, print trillions of dollars in new currency as the lockdowns end, demand rises, and consumers are already saturated with COVID-19 subsidies. Keep interest rates low, well below the rate of inflation, as you print more money. Ensure that passbook holders earn no interest at the very time prices skyrocket to the highest per-annum level in 40 years.

“Spread the wealth” by sending money to those who already have enough, while making it less valuable for those deemed to have too much. Ensure runaway high prices to wean the middle class off its consumerism and supposedly to inspire them to buy less junk they don’t need. Damn the rich in the open and in the abstract, court them in the concrete and secret of darkness.

Third, end America’s physical boundaries. Render it an amorphous people and anywhere space. End any vestigial difference between a citizen and resident. Up the current nearly 50 million who were not born in the United States—27% of California’s population—to 100 million and more by allowing 3 million illegal aliens to enter per year.

Fourth, destroy the public trust in its elections. Render Election Day irrelevant. Make proper auditing of 110 million mail-in/early ballots impossible. Normalize ballot harvesting and curing.

Urge leftist billionaires to infuse their riches to “absorb” the work of state registrars in key precincts to ensure the correct “turnout.”

Blast as “election denialists,” “insurrectionists,” and “democracy destroyers” anyone who objects to these radical ballot changes, neither passed by the U.S. Congress, nor by state legislators. Weaponize the FBI, CIA, and Department of Justice.

Fifth, redefine crime as one rich man’s crime, another poor man’s necessity.

Let those who need “things” exercise their entitlement to them. Rewrite or ignore laws to exempt the oppressed who take, or do, what they want as atonement for past systemic racism and oppression.

Six, junk the ossified idea of a melting pot and multiracial society united by common American values and ideals. Instead, identify individuals by their superficial appearance. Seek to be a victim and monetize your claims against perceived victimizers. Call anyone who resists a “racist.”

Encourage each tribe, defined by common race, ethnic, gender, or sexual orientation affinities, to band together to oppose the monolithic “white privilege” majority. Encourage social and tribal tensions. Racially discriminate to end discrimination.

Greenlight statue toppling, name changing, boycotting, cancel culturing, ostracizing, and Trotskyizing. Erase the past, control the present, and create a new American person for the future.

Seven, render the United States just one of many nations abroad. Abandon Afghanistan in shame. Leave behind thousands of loyal Afghan allies, billions of dollars in equipment, a billion-dollar embassy, and the largest air base in central Asia. Appease the theocracy to reenter the Iran nuclear deal.

Beg enemies like Venezuela, Russia, and Iran to pump more oil when it is politically expedient for us to have abundant supplies—oil that we have in abundance but won’t produce. Discourage friends like Guinea from producing more energy and cancel allies’ energy projects like the EastMed pipeline.

Trash but then beg Saudi Arabia to pump more oil right before the midterms for domestic political advantage.

Eight, neuter the First Amendment. Enlist Silicon Valley monopolies to silence unwanted free speech while using Big Tech’s mega-profits to warp elections. Declare free expression “hate speech.” Criminalize contrarian social media.

Nine, demonize half the country as semi-fascists, un-Americans, insurrectionists, and even potential domestic terrorists. Try to change inconvenient ancient rules: seek to pack the court, end the filibuster, junk the Electoral College, and bring in two more states.

Twice impeach a president who tried to stand in your way. Try him when he is an emeritus president and private citizen. Raid his home. Seek to indict a future rival to the current president.

Ten, never mention the origins of the COVID-19 virus. Never blame China for the release of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Exempt investigations of U.S. health officials who subsidized Chinese gain-of-function research. Ignore the Bill of Rights to mandate vaccinations, mask-wearing, and quarantines.

We have done all of the above. It would be hard to imagine any planned agenda to destroy America that would have been as injurious as what we already suffered the past two years.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER LGBTQ+ SCHISM

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Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Francis Schaeffer later in this blog post discusses what the unbelievers in Romans 1 were rejecting, but first John MacArthur discusses what the unbelievers in the Democratic Party today are affirming and how these same activities were condemned 2000 years ago in Romans 1.

Christians Cannot And MUST Not Vote Democrat – John MacArthur

A Democrat witness testifying before the HouseJudiciary Committee on abortion rights Thursday declared that men can get pregnant and have abortions. This reminds of Romans chapter 1 and also John MacArthur’s commentary on the 2022 Agenda of the Democratic Party:

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…26 For this reason (M)GOD GAVE THEM OVER  to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are…inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is what John MacArthur had to say:

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live….it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is–sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.

 

Dem witness tells House committee men can get pregnant, have abortions

‘I believe that everyone can identify for themselves,’ Aimee Arrambide tells House Judiciary Committee

Aimee Arrambide, the executive director of the abortion rights nonprofit Avow Texas, was asked by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to define what “a woman is,” to which she responded, “I believe that everyone can identify for themselves.”
 
“Do you believe that men can become pregnant and have abortions?” Bishop asked.

 

“Yes,” Arrambide replied.

The remarks from Arrambide followed a tense exchange between Bishop and Dr. Yashica Robinson, another Democrat witness, after he similarly asked her to define “woman.”

Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020.  (YouTube screenshot)

Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020.  (YouTube screenshot) (Screenshot/ House Committee on the Judiciary)

“Dr. Robinson, I noticed in your written testimony you said that you use she/her pronouns. You’re a medical doctor – what is a woman?” Bishop asked Robinson, an OBGYN and board member with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

“I think it’s important that we educate people like you about why we’re doing the things that we do,” Robinson responded. “And so the reason that I use she and her pronouns is because I understand that there are people who become pregnant that may not identify that way. And I think it is discriminatory to speak to people or to call them in such a way as they desire not to be called.”

“Are you going to answer my question? Can you answer the question, what’s a woman?” Bishop asked.

Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hubert Vestil/Getty Images for SXSW)

“I’m a woman, and I will ask you which pronouns do you use?” Robinson replied. “If you tell me that you use she and her pronouns … I’m going to respect you for how you want me to address you.”

“So you gave me an example of a woman, you say that you are a woman, can you tell me otherwise what a woman is?” Bishop asked.

“Yes, I’m telling you, I’m a woman,” Robinson responded.

“Is that as comprehensive a definition as you can give me?” Bishop asked.

“That’s as comprehensive a definition as I will give you today,” Robinson said. “Because I think that it’s important that we focus on what we’re here for, and it’s to talk about access to abortion.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“So you’re not interested in answering the question that I asked unless it’s part of a message you want to deliver…” Bishop fired back.

Wednesday’s hearing, titled, “Revoking your Rights,” addressed the threat to abortion rights after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaled the high court is poised to soon strike down Roe v. Wade.
John MacArthur explains God’s Wrath on unrighteousness from Romans Chapt…

First is what Romans says:

Romans 1:18-32

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Unbelief and Its Consequences

18 For (A)the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (B)suppress the truth [a]in unrighteousness, 19 because (C)that which is known about God is evident [b]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For (D)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (E)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [c]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (F)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 (G)Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and (H)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [d]crawling creatures.

24 Therefore (I)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (J)dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [e]a (K)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (L)who is blessed [f]forever. Amen.

26 For this reason (M)God gave them over to (N)degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [g]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, (O)men with men committing [h]indecent acts and receiving in [i]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit [j]to acknowledge God any longer, (P)God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are (Q)gossips, 30 slanderers, [k](R)haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, (S)disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, (T)unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of (U)death, they not only do the same, but also (V)give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is what John MacArthur had to say:

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm. What God punishes, they exalt. Shocking, really. The Democratic Party has become the anti-God party, the sin-promoting party. By the way, there are seventy-two million registered Democrats in this country who have identified themselves with that party and maybe they need to rethink that identification.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. The Bible is not politics. This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live. It has nothing to do with politics. It’s not about personalities; it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is–sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.

WHAT HAS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY REJECTED? THE ANSWER IS THE GOD WHO HAS REVEALED HIM SELF THROUGH THE BOOK OF NATURE AND THE BOOK OF SCRIPTURE!

God Is There And He Is Not Silent
Psalm 19
Intro. 1) Francis Schaeffer lived from 1912-1984. He was one of the Christian
intellectual giants of the 20th century. He taught us that you could be a Christian and not abandon the mind. One of the books he wrote was entitled He Is There And He Is Not Silent. In that work he makes a crucial and thought provoking statement, “The infinite- personal God is there, but also he is not silent; that changes the whole world…He is there and is not a silent, nor far-off God.” (Works of F.S., Vol 1, 276).
2) God is there and He is not silent. In fact He has revealed Himself to us in 2 books: the book of nature and the book of Scripture. Francis Bacon, a 15th century scientist who is credited by many with developing the scientific method said it this way: “There are 2 books laid before us to study, to prevent us from falling into error: first the volume to the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the creation, which expresses His power.”
3) Psalm 19 addresses both of God’s books, the book of nature in vs 1-6 and the book of Scripture in vs. 7-14. Described as a wisdom Psalm, its beauty, poetry and splendor led C.S. Lewis to say, “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world” (Reflections on the Psalms, 63).
Trans. God is there and He is not silent. How should we hear and listen to the God who talks?
I. Listen To God Speak Through Nature 19:1-6
God has revealed himself to ever rational human on the earth in two ways: 1) nature and 2) conscience. We call this natural or general revelation. In vs. 1-6 David addresses the wonder of nature and creation.

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 5 | Truth and History

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EXCLUSIVE: Documents Reveal Senate Democrat Pressured IRS, DOJ to Target Conservative Groups

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EXCLUSIVE: Documents Reveal Senate Democrat Pressured IRS, DOJ to Target Conservative Groups

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., “is trying to take the 87,000 new IRS agents and put them to work investigating me and my friends because he doesn’t like their politics,” government watchdog Tom Jones says. Pictured: Whitehouse speaks March 22 during a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., called for revoking a tax exemption for a conservative group for not masking up and socially distancing during the pandemic, insisted on a slew of investigations of other conservative groups, and pressed for the Internal Revenue Service to expand its reach. 

A total of 176 pages of correspondence from and to Whitehouse was obtained from the IRS by the conservative watchdog group American Accountability Foundation through the Freedom of Information Act and shared with The Daily Signal. 

“It’s abundantly clear that [Whitehouse] is trying to take the 87,000 new IRS agents and put them to work investigating me and my friends because he doesn’t like their politics,” Tom Jones, president and founder of the American Accountability Foundation, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Tuesday. 

The letters span from Jan. 19, 2021, the day before President Joe Biden took office, into May 2022. 

 

‘Lois Lerner on Steroids’

Whitehouse long has been a critic of conservative, nonprofit organizations and uses an expansive definition of “dark money” groups, broadly defined as tax-exempt organizations that don’t disclose donors. 

The Supreme Court, in 1958 and 2021 cases, has struck down compelled donor disclosure requirements at the state level.

The Rhode Island Democrat, first elected in 2006, has made “dark money” a central point of Senate floor speeches and often uses up his entire five-minute question period to make related speeches during hearings of the Senate’s Judiciary and Finance committees. 

“It’s Lois Lerner on steroids,” Jones said of what’s in the Whitehouse correspondence, referring to the Internal Revenue Service official in the middle of the Obama-era IRS scandal over the targeting of tea party groups. 

“The Lois Lerner stuff was a mid-level bureaucrat abusing [her] power to investigate conservative groups,” he said. “This is a U.S. senator basically trying to turn the heat up on investigations by the Internal Revenue Service.”

“So, if Sheldon Whitehouse had his way,” Jones said, “Lois Lerner would just look like a test run of what Sheldon Whitehouse has in mind.”

Jones’ nonprofit American Accountability Foundation describes itself as “a government oversight and research organization that uses investigative tools to educate the public on issues related to personnel, policy, and spending.”

Targeting Turning Point USA

In a letter dated Jan. 19, 2021, Whitehouse asked IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to revoke the tax-exempt status of Turning Point USA because the conservative organization held an event at then-President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club without masking and social distancing. 

Turning Point USA’s mission is to train and develop young Americans to become conservative leaders.

“Tax-exempt status provides a substantial benefit to charitable organizations and reflects the federal government’s endorsement of an organization’s activities,” Whitehouse wrote to the IRS chief. “Organizations that knowingly put in danger minors entrusted to their care should not enjoy the benefits of tax-exempt status. Accordingly, I urge the IRS to review whether it should revoke Turning Point USA’s tax-exempt status.”

Many of the documents provided by the IRS to meet the public records request were heavily redacted, but the Whitehouse letter referencing Turning Point USA also appears in full on Whitehouse’s Senate website

Rettig’s response to Whitehouse, dated March 28, 2021, asserts that the IRS wouldn’t tell him if it were investigating or otherwise acting against the conservative youth organization. The reply was not available before the FOIA request. 

“You shared your concern about reports that the organization hosted COVID-19 super-spreader events in violation of local regulations,” Rettig told Whitehouse. “You urged the IRS to review and consider whether we should revoke its tax-exempt status.”

A portion of Rettig’s response was redacted. The letter then goes on to say: “Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code protects the privacy of tax returns and tax return information of all taxpayers. Therefore, we cannot disclose any actions we may or may not take on this information.”

Whitehouse’s concern over “dark money” groups generally is one-sided, Jones noted. He referred to the billion-dollar Arabella Advisors network of liberal nonprofit groups. 

“What’s important about these letters is it makes it very clear that a U.S. senator is attempting to essentially encourage the IRS to investigate his political opponents,” Jones said. “He never mentions there is a vast group of left-wing nonprofits whose funding I envy. … You don’t hear a peep from Sheldon Whitehouse about New Venture Fund, Arabella Advisors, Sixteen Thirty, a laundry list of folks on the Left.” 

‘Fall Between the Infielders’

The final letter the IRS made available was an inquiry from Whitehouse to Rettig, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Attorney General Merrick Garland about why his concerns had not been investigated. 

“I have described to you flagrant and persistent instances in which 501(c)(4) organizations engage in political activity—and report that political spending to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) or its state equivalents—while telling the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that they did not engage in any political activity,” Whitehouse wrote in the letter dated May 5, 2022. 

The Rhode Island Democrat referenced a 2012 report by the left-leaning investigative reporting website ProPublica, which found that 32 nonprofits reporting electioneering to the Federal Election Commission and state equivalents did not also report it to the IRS. 

He said a 2022 report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal watchdog group, found about two dozen nonprofits doing the same. 

“This fact pattern, where tax-exempt organizations’ submissions under oath to different government entities are plainly inconsistent, should present straightforward cases for the IRS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to pursue,” Whitehouse wrote. “Such facts present prima facie cases of noncompliance with IRS rules, and predicate ‘false statement’ investigations.”

However, Whitehouse noted that Rettig responded at a Senate Finance Committee hearing in April that the IRS never has referred a single case of inconsistent statements to the Justice Department and it doesn’t appear that the Justice Department investigated such statements.

“I request that IRS and DOJ together brief my office on this matter,” Whitehouse wrote. “I request both Commissioner Rettig and Attorney General Garland to clarify the referral policy between IRS and DOJ so that well-predicated investigations do not constantly fall between the infielders.”

The documents provided by the public records request to the IRS don’t show a response to Whitehouse’s request. 

The IRS, Treasury Department, and Justice Department did not respond to inquiries from The Daily Signal for this report. 

Whitehouse’s Senate press office also did not respond Tuesday or Wednesday.

Whitehouse is “taking a spaghetti-to-the-wall approach” in going after conservative groups, hoping to see what sticks, American Accountability Foundation’s Jones said.

“It’s simply wrong, an abuse of his position,” Jones said. “Thankfully, the IRS hasn’t indulged in what Whitehouse is asking them to do, but you have to remain vigilant. He is a United States senator, close with the [Biden] White House.”

“At some point, the dam could break on this and conservative nonprofits could get a knock on their door from IRS agents because a U.S. senator wants them to investigate his political opponents.”

Rettig’s Resistance

Whitehouse joined a letter led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., along with 38 other Senate Democrats. Klobuchar’s April 27, 2021, letter to Rettig and Yellen urged executive action to reinstate disclosure requirements for some tax-exempt groups. 

“We write to urge the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reverse the Trump administration’s decision to eliminate disclosure requirements for certain tax-exempt organizations that engage in political activity,” the letter says. “As it stands, this policy weakens federal tax laws, campaign finance laws, and longstanding efforts to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections.”

Rettig responded to the senators in a June 8, 2021, letter explaining that the IRS can’t help other agencies enforce campaign finance laws. The IRS commissioner wrote:

We determined it was not necessary to the efficient administration of the internal revenue laws for such tax-exempt organizations (those not described in Sections 501 (c)(3) or 527 of the Code) to report annually the names and addresses of substantial contributors; however, all tax-exempt organizations must continue to report the amounts of contributions from each substantial contributor, maintain the names and addresses of their substantial contributors in their own books and records, and provide such information upon request.

Rettig’s response letter goes on to say that unauthorized sharing of tax information could be illegal:

Congress has not authorized the IRS to enforce campaign finance laws. In addition, Section 6103 of the Code strictly limits the IRS’s ability to share tax information with other federal agencies. Accordingly, the IRS cannot disclose any names or addresses of substantial contributors to other federal agencies for non-tax investigations, including campaign finance matters, except in very narrowly prescribed circumstances. Unauthorized disclosures may lead to civil and criminal liability.

Expanding the IRS

Days after Senate passage of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which added 87,000 new IRS agents, Whitehouse joined Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to urge Rettig to take immediate action. 

The Aug. 10, 2021, letter from the three New England senators said the IRS “needs to go after wealthy tax cheats.” 

Whitehouse, Warren, and Sanders wrote:

Part of the reason for the massive tax gap is that more than a decade of politically motivated budget cuts have hampered the IRS’s ability to perform its core duties—especially enforcement focused on the ultra-rich and large corporations. … Without the necessary resources, audit rates for the very richest taxpayers, those with incomes over $10 million, are nearly 80% lower than they were a decade ago, and audits of the largest companies, those with over $20 billion in assets, declined by nearly 50%.

Rettig responded more positively to this letter about greater resources for his agency, providing detailed information about audits and tax collection in a response seven days later, on Aug. 27, 2021. 

“Maintaining a flat budget will continue to deprive Americans of both the nature and quality of services they deserve, producing a continuing decline in fairness and service,” Rettig told the Democrat senators. “Adding substantial multi-year mandatory funding, however, provides an opportunity to greatly improve federal tax administration for all Americans. The gross revenue collected by the IRS is approximately $3.5 trillion per year, representing around 96% of the gross revenue of the United States.” 

Rettig continued: 

Investing in IRS technology, data analytics, and people will improve taxpayer services, restore base enforcement functions that have declined substantially over the last decade, improve the effectiveness of our existing enforcement workforce and programs, help us tackle key compliance priorities and emerging issues, and allow us to invest in programs essential to maintaining the broad compliance framework. 

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state. 

 

 

 

April 15 is usually the worst day of the year, giving Americans ample reasons to both laugh and cry.*

Because of a holiday in Washington, D.C., however, tax returns this year are due on April 18.

So let’s celebrate (or commiserate) this awful day by wading into the debate about whether the Internal Revenue Service should have a bigger budget.

Proponents usually claim the IRS is under-funded by comparing today’s budget to how much the bureaucracy received in 2011.

But that was a one-year spike because of all the money in Obama’s failed stimulus package. If you review long-run data, you can see that the IRS’s budget has increased significantly.

And these numbers are adjusted for inflation.

But perhaps proponents are right, even if they use deceptive numbers.

The Washington Post has a new editorial on this topic, arguing that the bureaucracy needs more money.

The IRS is currently limping along without enough staff or funding. Congress, especially Republicans, needs to face up to reality. …It’s not a mystery how the IRS deteriorated. …the core problem is that Republicans slashed the IRS budget about 18 percent in the past decade. That’s not belt-tightening, it’s gutting an agency. …The Biden administration is rightly asking for a big increase for 2023 (a request of $14.1 billion). This isn’t some Democratic wish list item; it’s about restoring the basic functions of America’s tax collection agency.

When this topic was being debated last year, Ryan Ellis explained that the IRS will target small businesses if it gets a bigger budget.

Here are some excerpts from his piece in National Review.

…the idea is that if taxpayers fund the IRS to the tune of $40 billion over the next decade, the IRS will step up audits and collect an additional $100 billion in tax revenue, penalties, and interest. This is lauded as a good because of the supposed “tax gap,”… Apparently, it doesn’t occur to anyone that the IRS, which is seeking this extra $40 billion in taxpayer funding, has every incentive in the world to exaggerate this “tax gap” and to make wild promises about the new money that additional enforcement will yield for the Treasury. …Giving money to IRS bureaucrats to conduct fishing expedition audits on millions of honest self-employed people? The same IRS behind the Lois Lerner scandal a decade ago, when the IRS inappropriately targeted conservative political groups during the 2012 election season, when Obama was running for reelection?

Ryan is right to point out that the IRS is undeserving because of bad behavior.

He mentions the Lois Lerner/Tea Party scandal. I think the recent leak of taxpayer data is equally reprehensible.

Advocates of more funding will argue that the bureaucracy’s malfeasance is a separate issue and that more employees and more audits are needed regardless of whether criminals at the IRS are caught and punished.

But this brings us to another important topic, which is whether it would be best to fix the underlying tax laws instead of throwing more money at the IRS.

In a column for the Louisville Courier-Times, we get this point of view from Richard Williams of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

…money won’t fix this problem. …Another approach would be drastically reducing the complexity of federal taxes. …The Tax Foundation estimates that we give up 3.24 billion hours and $37 billion to comply with federal taxes each year. Given the headaches and anxiety that come with this, Americans don’t need more IRS workers. We need a leaner agency…individual filers and small businesses represent a huge proportion of the public who would gain from simplification. …There is no need to hire more people to oversee a reformed system. What’s not to like?

Amen.

When proponents say the IRS needs more money, they implicitly are arguing for the current, convoluted tax system.

They want the IRS to be in the business of collecting revenue. But that’s just one role.

And that’s just a brief list of the things that the IRS now does in addition to generating revenue.

Get rid of these added roles, ideally as part of a total replacement of the tax code with a flat tax, and the discussion would be about how much money could be saved by reducing the IRS’s budget.

But that means less power for politicians, so don’t hold your breath waiting for genuine tax reform.

That being said, supporters of good policy should feel no obligation to help prop up the current system by shoveling more money to the IRS.

An underfunded corrupt IRS administering a bad tax code is better than a well-funded corrupt IRS administering a bad tax code.

*April 15 may be the worst day of the year, but there’s an argument to be made that October 3 is the worst day in history.

P.S. From my archives, here are some examples of the bureaucrats who will benefit from a bigger IRS budget.

P.P.P.S. And since we’re recycling some oldies but goodies, here’s my collection of IRS humor, including a new Obama 1040 form, a death tax cartoon, a list of tax day tips from David Letterman, a cartoon of how GPS would work if operated by the IRS, an IRS-designed pencil sharpener, two Obamacare/IRS cartoons (here and here), a sale on 1040-form toilet paper (a real product), a song about the tax agency, the IRS’s version of the quadratic formula, and (my favorite) a joke about a Rabbi and an IRS agent.

IRS not only hated Tea Party but also the Constitution!!!

SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 11:57AM

Targeting the Constitution

[Cross-posted from The Volokh Conspiracy]

It is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations. What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution.

According to the inspector general’s report (pp. 30 & 38), this particular IRS targeting commenced on Jan. 25, 2012 — the beginning of the election year for President Obama’s second campaign. On that date: “the BOLO [‘be on the lookout’] criteria were again updated.” The revised criteria included “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

Grass-roots organizations around the country, such as the Linchpins of Liberty (Tennessee), the Spirit of Freedom Institute (Wyoming), and the Constitutional Organization of Liberty (Pennsylvania), allege that they were singled out for special scrutiny at least in part for their work in constitutional education. There may have been many more.

The tea party is viewed with general suspicion in some quarters, and it is not difficult, alas, to imagine the mindset of the officials who decided to target tea party organizations for special scrutiny. But federal officers swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” It is chilling to think that these same officials who are suspicious of the tea party are equally suspicious of the Constitution itself.

What is most corrosive about this IRS tripwire is that it is triggered by a particular point of view; it is not, as First Amendment scholars say, viewpoint-neutral. It does not includeobfuscating or denigrating the Constitution; only those “involved in … educating on the Constitution” are captured by this criterion. This viewpoint targeting potentially skews every national debate about politics or government. And the skew in not strictly liberal; indeed, it should trouble liberals as much as conservatives. The ultimate checks on executive power are to be found in the United States Constitution. Insidiously, then, suppressing those “involved in … educating on the Constitution” actually skews national debate in favor of unchecked executive power.

For example, this IRS tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the NSA should collect the phone records of every American citizen. But it would be triggered by teaching that the Fourth Amendment forbids “unreasonable searches and seizures.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should unilaterally suspend politically inconvenient provisions of federal law, like ObamaCare. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article II, section 3, the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should appoint NLRB members unilaterally. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article II, section 2, such appointments require “the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should target and kill U.S. citizens abroad. But it would be triggered by teaching that, per the Fifth Amendment, no person shall “be deprived of life … without due process of law.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should declare war unilaterally. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article I, section 8, “Congress shall have Power … To declare War.” In short, the IRS was “on the lookout,” not for those who preach unlimited executive power, but for those who would teach about constitutional constraints.

Even more to the point, perhaps, this IRS tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the IRS should discriminate against the tea party. But it would be triggered by teaching that such discrimination constitutes unfaithful execution of the tax laws. And thus, alas, there is a perverse logic to targeting constitutional educators alongside tea party organizations. Political discrimination in the administration of the tax laws is not merely “outrageous,” as President Obama has said; it is an assault on our constitutional structure itself. For an official who has chosen to go down this road and target the tea party, there is an Orwellian logic to targeting constitutional educators as well. After all, they are the ones who might shed light on this very point.

This is a new low for American government — targeting those who would teach others about its founding document. Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon went to great lengths to try to conceal the facts of his constitutional violations, but it never occurred to him to conceal the meaning of the Constitution itself, by targeting its teachers. Politicians have always been tempted to try to censor their political adversaries; but none has been so bold as to try to suppress constitutional education directly. Presidents have always sought to push against the constitutional limits of their power; but never have they targeted those who merely teach about such limits. In short, never before has the federal government singled out for special scrutiny those who would teach their fellow citizens about our magnificent Constitution. This is the new innovation of Obama’s IRS.

“We the People” do not yet know who first decided to target “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” But there is at least one person who does know. Ironically, though, Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, is making full use of her own constitutional education: “I have been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify …. One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals, and that is the protection I’m invoking today.”

Five years ago, President Obama, our constitutional law professor-in-chief, presented his first, ringing Constitution Day proclamation: “To succeed, the democracy established in our Constitution requires the active participation of its citizenry. Each of us has a responsibility to learn about our Constitution and teach younger generations about its contents and history.” Quite so. Perhaps this year, Obama could explain why his IRS would target those who answered this call.

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On this day in history, Nov. 21, 1864, Abraham Lincoln ‘pens’ letter to Mrs. Bixby

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On this day in history, Nov. 21, 1864, Abraham Lincoln ‘pens’ letter to Mrs. Bixby

The Bixby Letter, while controversial, is still cherished as one of the best-written letters in American history

President Abraham Lincoln supposedly sent his sincerest condolences to a grieving mother in the historic Bixby Letter on this day in history, Nov. 21, 1864.

In the fall of 1864, Gov. John A. Andrew of Massachusetts sent a request to then-President Lincoln asking him to send his regards to Mrs. Lydia Bixby.

Bixby of Boston was believed to have lost her five sons during the Civil War, according to Abraham Lincoln Online.

Lincoln accepted the request.

And as the story he goes, he penned a letter to the grieving mother.

A colorized antique photograph portrait of Abraham Lincoln. "I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming," the Bixby Letter reads in part. 

A colorized antique photograph portrait of Abraham Lincoln. “I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming,” the Bixby Letter reads in part.  (iStock)

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln reportedly penned his condolences to Mrs. Bixby for the loss of her five sons during the Civil War on Nov. 21, 1864. But the letter is not without controversy. 

President Abraham Lincoln reportedly penned his condolences to Mrs. Bixby for the loss of her five sons during the Civil War on Nov. 21, 1864. But the letter is not without controversy.  (AP)

The letter was printed and distributed by the Boston Evening Transcript.

It was soon cherished as “one of the best letters written in the history of the English language,” according to a Time report.

Among the praises it received: American poet and biographer Carl Sandburg called it “a piece of the American Bible” that “more darkly than the Gettysburg speech … wove its awful implication that human freedom so often was paid for with agony.”

But the letter is not without controversy.

The original copy was allegedly destroyed by either the newspaper’s editor or by Mrs. Bixby herself, who — as a sympathizer of the Confederacy — may have disliked Lincoln.

Bixby’s great-grandchildren recalled this as Bixby’s political stance, according to the New England Historical Society.

Field and staff officers of the 69th Pennsylvania Infantry, a volunteer regiment in the Union army, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, June 1865.

Field and staff officers of the 69th Pennsylvania Infantry, a volunteer regiment in the Union army, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, June 1865. (William Morris Smith/Library of Congress/Getty Images)

“I was advised by my father that my great-grandmother was an ardent southern sympathizer,” Bixby’s great-grandson said, according to the society.

“And when she received the letter, she destroyed it in anger … shortly after receipt without realizing its value.”

It was later revealed that Bixby lost not five but two of her sons, Charles and Oliver, in battle, according to the New England Historical Society.

Of the three others, the third son, Edward, reportedly deserted the Army; the fourth son, George, either deserted the Army or died as a prisoner of war; and the fifth son, Henry, was honorably discharged.

Whether Lincoln himself wrote the letter or not has also been debated.

President Abraham Lincoln with General George B. McClellan at his headquarters at Antietam, October 3, 1862.

President Abraham Lincoln with General George B. McClellan at his headquarters at Antietam, October 3, 1862. (Getty Images)

Many scholars believe that one of Lincoln’s White House secretaries, John Hay, was the one who put pen to paper.

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The letter’s popularity, however, was revived by the 1998 Steven Spielberg film “Saving Private Ryan,”which the letter reportedly inspired.

Actor Harve Presnell, who played Gen. Marshall in the film, recites the letter in an emotional cinematic moment.

The letter has continued to be used to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for America.

A passage from the letter — “the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom” — is etched into stone at the base of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

On the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, former President George W. Bush read the Bixby Letter during a memorial service at Ground Zero.

In 2017, a team of forensic linguistics researchers used a tracing method that revealed 90% of the letter was identified as Hay’s writing, according to Time.

Saving Private Ryan D-Day Scene

Saving Private Ryan opening cemetery scene

HD – Saving Private Ryan – Death of Captain John H. Miller and Final Speech

The Good Life

by Chuck Colson

Learn More | Meet Chuck Colson

An old man walks down a wide path through a colonnade of evergreens. He has a full head of gray hair, combed from a wavy peak to one side. His eyebrows spike with a grandfatherly flourish toward his temples. He wears a light blue Windbreaker over a golf shirt with a horizontal stripe, Sansabelt slacks, and the crepe-soled shoes his doctor recommended. His gait is quick but stiff – stiff like someone who has just gotten himself up. He marches forward with great intent and purpose, as if he’s hunting out something or someone.Behind him trail his family. His wife is closest, his son and daughter-in- law a step or two farther behind, bracketing their children.

The man’s eyes show that for the moment he’s not thinking of his family, although he seems to be dragging them in his wake. His eyes are at once wide-open yet fixed, poached by what can only be dread. His mouth works in a way that shows his stomach is in his throat. Off to the left his family can see the curve of a long shore, hear the soughing of the waves, and nearly breathe in the scent of the brine. But the man looks neither to his right nor to his left. He keeps stumbling forward, his body tense yet determined.

When he finally turns to his right, he steps onto a vast lawn striped with thousands of white crosses that extend toward the horizon. Here and there a Jewish star adds to the procession of markers that contrast starkly against the green sward. The old man’s pace speeds as he makes his way through this vast cemetery. His family struggles to keep up.

James Ryan’s determined march finally halts in front of a particular cross. The rims of his eyes show red. He wipes at them with a shaking hand, sniffs hard, tries again to breathe. Here it is, his captain’s cross, the name, the date: Captain John W. Miller, June 13, 1944.

He takes another sniff against his watering eyes, bites his lip. He’s almost choking as he struggles to breathe in the heavy air. His knees give way, and he kneels before the cross, his shoulders heaving. His wife is suddenly at one shoulder, his son at the other. He’s glad they are there, but they cannot help with what needs to be done.

He mumbles that he’s all right, and they retreat several steps, leaving him to the thoughts that press so hard he can’t bear the weight.

Not until this moment does he realize that what he has been looking forward to yet dreading is a transaction. An exchange of some kind. For him this visit to the Normandy American Cemetery is no sightseeing tour. It’s a profound action. Even now he cannot say why he believes this to be the case. The emotion that’s seized him declares it to be so, however.

Whatever must happen involves the question that’s dogged him his whole life. The unspoken question that’s brought him here. He feels its presence in every memory, and not only the good ones.

Now that he’s looking at his captain’s grave, Ryan has to ask the question.

Decades earlier, on June 6, 1944, Captain Miller and his men had landed at Omaha Beach, a horror James Ryan had been spared as part of the 101st Airborne. His unit had been dropped into Normandy the night before the sea assault. He later learned from the tales of his buddies and from seeing newsreel footage what D-day had been like. Although Germany had not been expecting the assault at the place Eisenhower chose, the air assault hadn’t softened their positions one whit, and when the armored front of the Higgins boats opened onto the beach, the men were ducks on a pond to the enemy’s machine guns. Many of those sitting forward in the landing craft never had a chance to move from their seats as the Germans opened fire. Those who jumped over the craft’s sides to swim and crawl ashore could only cling to the Belgian gates and iron hedgehogs – the jack-shaped defensive works strewn in rows all along the shingle that prevented tanks from making the initial assault.

The army rangers humped forward in waves, men falling to the right and left every few feet. They were getting hit not only by machinegun fire but by artillery as well. Bodies flew with the explosions. The wounded picked up their severed arms and stumbled a few more feet to their deaths. The waves washing onto the beaches ran red with blood, lapping at the dead, who lay scattered and senseless.

Captain Miller and a few of his company made it to the seawall. Although 50 percent of the men in the first waves to hit Omaha Beach were killed in action, the others broke the first line of German defenses.

Soon after the hell of D-Day, Captain Miller and a squad of seven men were assigned to find paratrooper James Ryan and bring him home – alive. The army’s chief of staff, General George C. Marshall, had personally issued the order for Private James Ryan to be taken out of the war. Ryan’s two older brothers had died in the great assault, and a third brother had been killed in action in New Guinea. Marshall thought that three sons were enough for any mother to contribute to the war.

Captain Miller and his squad found Ryan with remnants of the 506, Baker Company, which had orders to secure a bridge on the far side of a river. The company had been ordered to hold the bridge at all costs – or, as a final defense, to blow it up. When Captain Miller and his squad arrived to take Ryan home, Ryan refused to leave. Miller asked him what he was supposed to say to Ryan’s mother when she got another folded American flag. Ryan replied, “You can tell her that when you found me, I was with the only brothers I had left. And that there was no way I was deserting them. I think she’d understand that.”

Captain Miller and his squad told Ryan angrily that they had already lost two men in the search to find him. Miller finally decided that they’d make Ryan’s battle their own as well and save him in the process.

The Germans soon came at them – nearly a full company of men, two Panzer tanks, two Tigers. The Americans lured the Panzers down the village’s main street, where they staged an effective ambush. The only thing Ryan had been allowed to do was pitch mortar shells like hand grenades. Captain Miller never let Ryan leave his side, protecting the private every step of the way.

Still, one tank blew their sharpshooter to eternity. Another soldier died in hand-to-hand combat with a knife to his heart. No matter their ingenuity, the squad couldn’t hold off such an overpowering force, and the men made a strategic retreat to the other side of the bridge. In the retreat one of the sergeants was hit and collapsed.

Captain Miller took a shot beneath his ribs as he struggled to fix the wiring on a detonation device. Then an artillery blast knocked him nearly unconscious. All hope lost, Captain Miller began shooting at a tank coming straight at him.

Suddenly, Tankbuster aircraft shrieked down on them, blowing the enemy’s tanks to smithereens and routing their foot soldiers. The Allies’ own armored reinforcements rolled up minutes later.

Of the squad that had come to save Ryan, only two men escaped relatively unscathed. The others were dead or dying.

Captain Miller lay close by where he had been hit, his back slumped against the bridge’s wall. Ryan, in anguish, was alone with his rescuer in the final moments before Miller died. Ryan watched as the captain struggled in his last moments, shot clean through one lung. The captain wouldn’t take another breath, except to grunt, “James. Earn this . . . earn it.”

Were these dying words a final order or charge?

These memories rivet the aged James Ryan, who now finds himself staring at the grave marker and mumbling to his dead commander. He tells Captain Miller that his family is with him. He confesses that he wasn’t sure how he would feel about coming to the cemetery today. He wants Captain Miller to know that every day of his life he’s thought of their conversation at the bridge, of Miller’s dying words. Ryan has tried to live a good life, and he hopes he has. At least in the captain’s eyes, he hopes he’s “earned it,” that his life has been worthy of the sacrifice Captain Miller and the other men made of giving their lives for his.

As Ryan mutters these thoughts, he cannot help wondering how any life, however well lived, could be worthy of his friends’ sacrifice. The old man stands up, but he doesn’t feel released. The question remains unanswered.

His wife comes to his side again. He looks at her and pleads, “Tell me I’ve led a good life.”

Confused by his request, she responds with a question: “What?”

He has to know the answer. He tries to articulate it again: “Tell me I’m a good man.”

The request flusters her, but his earnestness makes her think better of putting it off. With great dignity, she says, “You are.”

His wife turns back to the other family members, whose stirring says they are ready to leave.

Before James Ryan joins them, he comes to attention and salutes his fallen comrade. What a gallant old soldier he is.

Who of us can see this scene from Steven Spielberg’s magnificent film Saving Private Ryan and not ask ourselves the same question: Have I lived a good life?

Does there exist an exact way of calculating the answer to this question? How do we define living a good life? What makes the good we do good enough? Is our life worthy of the sacrifice of others? The unavoidable question of whether we have lived a good life searches our hearts.

Not everyone experiences what Ryan did in such a dramatic way. Yet this question of the good life – and others like it – haunts every human being from the earliest years of our consciousness. Something stirs us at the very core of our being, demanding answers to so many questions: Is there some purpose in life? Are we alone in this universe, or does some force – call it fate, destiny, or providence – guide our lives?

These questions don’t often occur to us so neatly of course. Usually the hardest questions hit us at the hardest times. In the midst of tragedy or serious illness, when confronting violence and injustice, or after seeing our personal hopes shattered, we cry out, “Why is the world such a mess? Is there anything I can do about it?”

There’s a mystery at work in these perennial questions of human existence. I doubt anyone who has ever seen Saving Private Ryan or read great works of literature like Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov or Camus’s The Plague has ever doubted the relevance of such questions. Neither does anyone who has ever marveled at the beauty of the Milky Way or sat weeping at the bedside of a dying loved one.

What distinguishes humans from all other creatures is our selfconsciousness: We know we are alive and that we will die, and we cannot keep from asking ourselves questions about why life is the way it is and what it all means.

And isn’t it odd that we all understand immediately why Private Ryan would feel compelled to live an honorable life? Does he believe that in doing so he can make his comrades’ sacrifice worthwhile? Evidently, he does, and we sense the rightness of this. But why does he feel in their debt? Why does he feel that their actions have to be recompensed by his own, as if blind justice with a sword in one hand and balancing scales in the other really existed? And why should goodness be the means of repaying this debt? Why not revenge? Why should he not set about killing as many former Nazis as possible? Somehow that does not satisfy, though. If sacrifice can be repaid at all, it can be done only by sacrifice, not by slaughter. We know this. But why do we know this?

A broad answer lies in our humanity. Because we are human, we ask questions about meaning and purpose. We have an innate sense of justice and our own need to meet the demands of justice. Moral attitudes differ from culture to culture, but take people from a Stone Age culture in a remote village in Papua New Guinea, sit them down in front of Saving Private Ryan, and they will immediately understand the issues involved. They will understand Ryan’s questions and his sense of gratitude.

The word should in the questions that arise from Private Ryan’s life immediately grounds us in ethical considerations. It implies there must be a variety of answers to these questions. It suggests that some answers are better than others – some are right while others are wrong. So, where does this should come from? What does it mean that we possess an innate sense of these things?

At the very least it points to the notion that we all live in a moral universe, which is one of the reasons human beings, regardless of background or economics or place of birth, are irresistibly religious. If nothing else, we know there is someone or something to which we owe a debt for our existence.

Our questions also presume that we can choose our answers to these questions and act on these choices. The freedom of the human will, even if circumscribed, is built into the way the human mind works.

Commenting on life’s questions, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, said, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Kennedy asserted that beliefs about these matters define the attributes of personhood. We are who we are, we are the type of creatures we are, because we are obliged to come to our own conclusions about the great questions. Although I disagree profoundly with the legal conclusion Justice Kennedy drew from this observation, I must admit his summary captures what makes us human.3

I can remember when I first began asking questions early in life. I have particularly vivid memories of the Sunday morning in December 1941 when our family was riveted to the radio, listening with growing anxiety to the reports of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. I was certain we’d be fighting Japanese soldiers or German SS officers in the streets of our sleepy Boston suburb. I remember asking my father, “Why does there have to be war and bloodshed and death?” He replied – mistakenly, as I now think – that it was all part of the natural process, like famines and plagues that prevented overpopulation.

During the war, I organized fund-raising campaigns in my school, even auctioned off my treasured model airplane collection to raise funds for the war effort. Instinctively I knew I was meant to do my part to protect our freedoms. I wanted my life – even at age twelve – to matter.

I also remember standing in our yard many nights, the world around me in darkness, blackout shades covering every window in the neighborhood, protecting us against the expected air raids. I would stare into the dazzling array of stars above me and wonder where the universe began, where it ended, and what I was doing here. As a student, I struggled to grasp the concept of infinity – what was beyond those stars.

I’ve continued to ask these kinds of questions, especially during times of stress. I’ve asked them in my life as a government official, as a husband and father, as a convicted felon, and then as a Christian leader. Many times in the inner recesses of my conscience I’ve asked Ryan’s questions: Have I been a good man? Have I lived a good life? Sometimes I’ve been unsure; other times I’ve been sure that I have failed. But where do we go to answer these questions? Whom do we ask? Who can tell us the truth about the value of our lives?

While the quest to find answers to such questions can be arduous at times, even heartbreaking, the search for the truth about life is the one thing that makes life worthwhile, exhilarating. The ability to pursue such a search makes us human. Emmanuel Mounier, the founder of the French “personalist” philosophical movement, writes that human life is characterized by a “divine restlessness.” The lack of peace within our hearts spurs us on a quest for the meaning of life – a command imprinted on “unextinguished souls.”4 Pope John Paul II sums up the matter elegantly: “One may define the human being, therefore, as the one who seeks the truth.”5

What will be the truth of our lives and our destinies? Most people want to arrive at Captain Miller’s cemetery cross – or whatever judgment seat they envision – with some confidence that they have lived a good life.

But what is a good life? How does such a life incorporate answers to the great questions? How can such a life be lived?

Have I lived one?

Have you?

(This scene includes violence and bad language) Saving Private Ryan Omaha Beach

________

November 20, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 20) Bill Elliff on Proverbs 20

Proverbs 20 New Living Translation

20 Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls.
    Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.

The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar;
    to rouse his anger is to risk your life.

Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
    only fools insist on quarreling.

Those too lazy to plow in the right season
    will have no food at the harvest.

Though good advice lies deep within the heart,
    a person with understanding will draw it out.

Many will say they are loyal friends,
    but who can find one who is truly reliable?

The godly walk with integrity;
    blessed are their children who follow them.

When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence,
    distinguishing the bad from the good.

Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart;
    I am pure and free from sin”?

10 False weights and unequal measures[a]
    the Lord detests double standards of every kind.

11 Even children are known by the way they act,
    whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.

12 Ears to hear and eyes to see—
    both are gifts from the Lord.

13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty.
    Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!

14 The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,”
    then brags about getting a bargain!

15 Wise words are more valuable
    than much gold and many rubies.

16 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.
    Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.[b]

17 Stolen bread tastes sweet,
    but it turns to gravel in the mouth.

18 Plans succeed through good counsel;
    don’t go to war without wise advice.

19 A gossip goes around telling secrets,
    so don’t hang around with chatterers.

20 If you insult your father or mother,
    your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.

21 An inheritance obtained too early in life
    is not a blessing in the end.

22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
    Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

23 The Lord detests double standards;
    he is not pleased by dishonest scales.

24 The Lord directs our steps,
    so why try to understand everything along the way?

25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
    and only later counting the cost.

26 A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat,
    then runs his threshing wheel over them.

27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,[c]
    exposing every hidden motive.

28 Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;
    his throne is made secure through love.

29 The glory of the young is their strength;
    the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.

30 Physical punishment cleanses away evil;[d]
    such discipline purifies the heart.

  Proverbs 20:3: Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel.Proverbs 1,

Bill Elliff

20 WAYS TO DEAL WITH A FOOLISH PERSON

November 05, 2019

20 WAYS TO DEAL WITH A FOOLISH PERSON

The writer of Proverbs divides the world into two types of people: wise and foolish. He has much to say about both. A man is made wise by listening to the Lord and living His life in surrender to God’s will and way.

God IS wisdom and the source of all wisdom in this earth. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’” David said. When we reject Him, we reject the process of receiving the wisdom we need. We become foolish, vainly thinking that our mere humanistic thinking is sufficient for life.

And, fools will hurt you. They ruin relationships, cloud decision making, and lead others astray. If you are a man who is seeking wisdom, you will find that dealing with foolish people is a great burden.

I have recently been helping a pastor work through an issue with a very foolish person in his church. This individual is proud and believes their opinion is more important than anyone’s. They are creating strife and discord in the church and there is a very clear unwillingness to submit to godly spiritual leaders. A foolish person, wrapped in religious clothing, is even harder to deal with because they approach others under the guise of spirituality.

Their anger and issues are hard to deal with, which the writer of Proverbs points out. It is a very heavy weight for a leader to bear.

“A stone is heavy and the sand weighty, but the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them.” (Proverbs 27:4)

Here are twenty instructions from Proverbs about how to recognize and deal with foolish people … some things a wise leader needs to understand.

1. They will not accept instruction

 Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

2.They will not honor others

 Proverbs 3:35: The wise will inherit honor, but fools display dishonor.

3. They will quickly gossip and slander others

  Proverbs 10:18: He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.

4. They do not have real, spiritual understanding

Proverbs 10:21: The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.

 Proverbs 16:22: Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the discipline of fools is folly.

5.They always think they’re right and will not listen to nor accept humbly the counsel of others

  Proverbs 12:15: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

6. They are quick to anger

  Proverbs 12:16: A fool’s anger is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor. 

  Proverbs 29:11: A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.

7. They will always, ultimately display their foolishness. It cannot be hidden for long.

  Proverbs 13:16: Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool displays folly.

8. If you associate with them, it will lead to harm

  Proverbs 13:20: He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

9. They are deceitful, often not even realizing their deception. They are full of self-deception.

  Proverbs 14:8: The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, but the foolishness of fools is deceit.

10. They are arrogant and careless, particularly about walking into evil.

  Proverbs 14:16: A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.

11. They are quick to tell everyone what they think, but it’s folly. They have an opinion on everything, that they believe is right.

  Proverbs 15:2: The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.

12. They reject discipline

  Proverbs 15:5: A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible.

13. They do not spread real knowledge (although they think they do)

  Proverbs 15:7: The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not so.

14. Don’t give them position or honor

  Proverbs 26:8: Like one who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a fool.

  Proverbs 26:10: Like an archer who wounds everyone, so is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by.

15. They will not receive a healthy rebuke (because they always think they’re right)

  Proverbs 17:10: A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

16. They are dangerously protective when you deal with them. They will hurt you to protect their way.

  Proverbs 17:12: Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.

17. They don’t want understanding, but they love to tell you what they think.

  Proverbs 18:2: A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.

18. They create strife

  Proverbs 18:6: A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows.

19. They love to quarrel

  Proverbs 20:3: Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel.

20. It’s useless to try to reason with them

  Proverbs 23:9: Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

  Proverbs 26:4: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. 

  Proverbs 26:5: Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.

All of us are foolish at times, and we’re all capable of becoming foolish. Every leader must evaluate first his own life, to see if he is acting or living foolishly. A wise leader pursues God fervently and humbly, which is to pursue wisdom. But also, a wise leader must know how to recognize and deal with foolish people, particularly those who are causing discord, contention, and strife.

I love the Book of Proverbs and every day I read one chapter of Proverbs. Since there are 31 chapters, I start the 1st of ever month and read chapter 1 and then the next day I read chapter 2 and so on the rest of the month.

John McArthur said:

“First of all, number one issue in gaining wisdom is to fear God…is to fear God. How do you know that? Back in chapter 1 verse 7, we read this, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy one is true understanding.”

____________

One of the issues I have learned about in Proverbs is concerning the issue of alcohol.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Proverbs 20:1).

ryan dunn Jackass dead in crash

Ryan Dunn and his friends moments before they died.

Flickr user Eric Lewis posted the image below with a caption that says the photo shows what’s left of Dunn’s car.

Ryan Dunn tweeted a picture of himself drinking from a bar. At 2 am he left the bar and a few minutes later he was killed after running off the road in his car.There are three reasons that I do not drink and here they are.First,alcohol has brought a social plague on our country not matched by anything we have ever seen in the past.  I will never forget the day I heard this statistic in 1975:  “Drunk drivers are responsible for 50% of highway fatalities.”My pastor Adrian Rogers shared that statistic from the pulpit. I was only 14 years old at the time, but I was looking forward to driving. It caused me to realize that I had to abstain from alcohol and try to convince my friends and family to do likewise.Second, the Bible does condemn alcoholic wine. There were three kinds of wine mentioned in the Bible (grapes, grape juice and strong drink). Wine in the cluster which is equal to our grapes. Isaiah 65:8 ” “As the new wine is found in the cluster…”  The point I am making here is very clear. The Bible does refer to nonalcoholic wine which is equal to our grape juice. Don’t take for granted everytime you read the word “wine” in the Bible that it is referring to the kind of wine we are used to today.Next we have the term “strong drink” which is equal to our wine today. Strong drink is condemned. .Proverbs 20:1 states, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. ”

  • WHAT WAS “STRONG DRINK” IN BIBLE TIMES?

Distillation was not discovered until about 1500 A.D. Strong drink and unmixed wine in Bible times was from 3% to 11% alcohol. Dr. John MacArthur says “…since anybody in biblical times who drank unmixed wine (9-11% alcohol) was definitely considered a barbarian, then we dont even need to discuss whether a Christian should drink hard liquor–that is apparent!”

Since wine has 9 to 11% alcohol and one brand 20% alcohol, you should not drink that. Brandy contains 15 to 20% alcohol, so thats out! Hard liquor has 40 to 50% alcohol (80 to 100 proof), and that is obviously excluded!

For documentation on this subject Google “alcohol” with the name of Adrian Rogers or John MacArthur. These theologians  have covered this subject fully with biblical references.

Third, Romans 14:21 states, “It is better not to eat meat (that had been offered to idols) or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” If a person rejects all the linguistic arguments, there is still Romans 14:21 concerning not causing a weaker brother to stumble..

It is consistent with the ethic of love for believers and unbelievers alike. Because I am an example to others, I will make certain no one ever walks the road of sorrow called alcoholism because they saw me take a drink and assumed, “if it is alright for Everette Hatcher, it is alright for me.” No, I will choose to set an uncompromising example of abstinence because I love them. The fact is that 1 of every 6 drinkers in the USA are problem drinkers. Maybe if my family of 6 drank, that could be me or one of my children?

Billy Sunday told a story that illustrates this principle and I heard this story while Adrian Rogers was my pastor at Bellevue Baptist:

I feel like an old fellow in Tennessee who made his living by catching rattlesnakes. He caught one with fourteen rattles and put it in a box with a glass top. One day when he was sawing wood his little five-year old boy,Jim, took the lid off and the rattler wriggled out and struck him in the cheek. He ran to his father and said, “The rattler has bit me.” The father ran and chopped the rattler to pieces, and with his jackknife he cut a chunk from the boy’s cheek and then sucked and sucked at the wound to draw out the poison. -He looked at little Jim, watched the pupils of his eyes dilate and watched him swell to three times his normal size, watched his lips become parched and cracked, and eyes roll, and little Jim gasped and died.

The father took him in his arms, carried him over by the side of the rattler, got on his knees and said, “God, I would not give little Jim for all the rattlers that ever crawled over the Blue Ridge mountains.”

That is the question that must be answered by everyone no matter what their religious beliefs. Is the pleasure of drinking alcohol worth the life of one of your children?

Here is a scripture that describes what will happen to a person addicted to alcohol:

Proverbs 23:29-35
(29) Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
(30) They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
(31) Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
(32) At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
(33) Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
(34) Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
(35) They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

More alcohol statistics:

  • More than one-half of American adults have a close family member who has or has had alcoholism.
  • Alcohol is a factor in nearly half of America’s murders, suicides and accidental deaths.
  • The highest rates of current and past year heavy alcohol use are reported by workers in the following occupations: construction, food preparation and waiters/waitresses, along with auto mechanics, vehicle repairers, light truck drivers and laborers. 95% of alcoholics die from their disease and die approximately 26 years earlier than their normal life expectancy.
  • Up to 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of injuries in the workplace are linked to alcohol consumption and alcoholism.
  • Absenteeism among alcoholics or problem drinkers is 3.8 to 8.3 times greater than normal.
  • More than three fourths of female victims of nonfatal, domestic violence reported that their assailant had been drinking or using drugs.
  • More than one third of pedestrians killed by automobiles were legally drunk.
  • About half of state prison inmates and 40% of federal prisoners incarcerated for committing violent crimes report they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their offense.
  • Long-term, heavy alcohol use is the leading cause of illness and death from liver disease in the U.S.
  • Alcoholics spend four times the amount of time in a hospital as non-drinkers, mostly from drinking-related injuries.

Probably the most telling is the last statistic: 95% of alcoholics die from their disease and die approximately 26 years earlier than their normal life expectancy.

November 19, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 19) THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY King Solomon’s Proverbs on Sleep Part 2 19:15 “Lazy people sleep soundly,    but idleness leaves them hungry”

Proverbs 19 New Living Translation

 

19 Better to be poor and honest
    than to be dishonest and a fool.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;
    haste makes mistakes.

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness
    and then are angry at the Lord.

Wealth makes many “friends”;
    poverty drives them all away.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    nor will a liar escape.

Many seek favors from a ruler;
    everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!

The relatives of the poor despise them;
    how much more will their friends avoid them!
Though the poor plead with them,
    their friends are gone.

To acquire wisdom is to love yourself;
    people who cherish understanding will prosper.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and a liar will be destroyed.

10 It isn’t right for a fool to live in luxury
    or for a slave to rule over princes!

11 Sensible people control their temper;
    they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

12 The king’s anger is like a lion’s roar,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13 A foolish child[a] is a calamity to a father;
    a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.

14 Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth,
    but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.

15 Lazy people sleep soundly,
    but idleness leaves them hungry.

16 Keep the commandments and keep your life;
    despising them leads to death.

17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord
    and he will repay you!

18 Discipline your children while there is hope.
    Otherwise you will ruin their lives.

19 Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty.
    If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.

20 Get all the advice and instruction you can,
    so you will be wise the rest of your life.

21 You can make many plans,
    but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

22 Loyalty makes a person attractive.
    It is better to be poor than dishonest.

23 Fear of the Lord leads to life,
    bringing security and protection from harm.

24 Lazy people take food in their hand
    but don’t even lift it to their mouth.

25 If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson;
    if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser.

26 Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother
    are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.

27 If you stop listening to instruction, my child,
    you will turn your back on knowledge.

28 A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice;
    the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.

29 Punishment is made for mockers,
    and the backs of fools are made to be beaten.

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord.

King Solomon’s Proverbs Part

The wisdom of Solomon is there for those who want it.

_____________

What does Solomon say about sleep?

My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Proverbs 3:21-24   

Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of the evil.
Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.

Proverbs 4:14-16   

Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

Proverbs 6:6-11   

Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep,
and an idle person will suffer hunger.

Proverbs 19:15   

Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.

Proverbs 20:13   

I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

Proverbs 24:30-34   

Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

– See more at: http://scripturemenu.com/BibleVerseList.html?topicid=67#sthash.D0Ae56tQ.dpuf

Great website on Solomon’s wisdom from Proverbs:

Proverbs 26:14

As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

How does a door turn on its hinges? It moves back and forth, but it never goes anywhere! It turns from side to side, but it cannot get loose from its place! It moves back and forth, but it does not leave the doorway! So are lazy people, who will lie in bed, rolling back and forth, but dreading the thought of getting up to go to school or work (Pr 26:13-16)!

Here is a wonderful proverb with a great simile to condemn lazy persons that like to sleep too much. A simile is a comparison between two things that is clearly stated by the use of “as” or “like.” As a door turns back and forth, and from side to side, without going anywhere, so are lazy people who stay in bed, though they are through sleeping soundly.

What is the slothful? He is a lazy man that is slow, resentful of action or exertion, sluggish, idle, and indolent. He is named appropriately, for there is a mammal in the forests of Central and South America that is also called the sloth, which moves very slowly and often stays in the same position for extended periods of time.

Solomon wrote to young men, specifically his son (Pr 1:4,8). He knew by inspiration from God and observations in life that young men can sleep too much, so he wrote several proverbs against it (Pr 6:6-11;19:15; 20:13; 23:21; 24:30-34). Too much sleep will bring a man to poverty, so he ridiculed excess sleep by comparing it to a door turning on hinges.

What cures the love of sleep? Starvation (Pr 20:4; II Thess 3:10)! Depriving a young man of food will always work! His appetite and metabolism are at the highest levels of his whole life. Parents can easily teach sons to get up in the morning, though most pamper and feed their sloth, teaching him that laziness is acceptable and without painful consequences.

Lazy people are headed for poverty, unless they drastically change their habits (Pr 6:11; 19:15; 20:13; 23:21;24:34). The more a man sleeps, the more he thinks he needs to sleep, his metabolism slows, and he quickly experiences catabolism of muscular strength. The military knows how to turn soft boys into hard men, and it is not by sleeping in! While the first days of getting up early might be painful, good habits can quickly be formed.

There is more to this proverb than just a condemnation of excess sleep. Solomon also condemned the attitude, actions, and character of lazy persons by picking on their sleep habits. A sluggard will do anything but work! He will talk, take a break, pace himself, take a long time eating, get distracted easily, be unnecessarily concerned about details, and do easy things very slowly, lest he be forced to face a task that will take exertion!

If you are slothful spiritually, you will also suffer spiritual poverty just as surely. It is the man who hunts for wisdom as for hidden treasure – intense and persistent efforts – that finds it (Pr 2:4; 18:1). You must hear preaching with great care (Luke 8:18), and you must make diligent efforts to confirm and understand what you hear to be noble (Acts 17:11; I Thess 5:21). Are you able to get up and seek the Lord early to find Him (Pr 8:17)?

3 QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

1. Why is the simile with the door hinges work so well with laziness and sleeping?

2. What is the cure for the love of sleep?

3. What actions will a sluggard do in order to avoid work?

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Robert Leroe on Ecclesiastes (Mentions Thomas Aquinas, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, King Solomon, King Rehoboam, Eugene Peterson, Chuck Swindoll, and John Newton.)

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how […]

Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

Ecclesiastes: Solomon with Life in the Fast Lane

Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series […]

Ecclesiastes a scathing and self-deprecating attack on hedonism and secular humanism by Solomon

Ecclesiastes 4-6 | Solomon’s Dissatisfaction Published on Sep 24, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 23, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider ___________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope […]

Solomon was right in his cynicism–unless……unless there is a God who created us and cares about us

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

The Humanist takes on Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

Tom Brady , Coldplay, Kansas, Solomon and the search for satisfaction (part 3)

Tom Brady “More than this…” Uploaded by EdenWorshipCenter on Jan 22, 2008 EWC sermon illustration showing a clip from the 2005 Tom Brady 60 minutes interview. _______________________ Tom Brady ESPN Interview Tom Brady has famous wife earned over 76 million dollars last year. However, has Brady found lasting satifaction in his life? It does not […]

Adrian Rogers on gambling

Adrian Rogers: How to Be a Child of a Happy Mother Published on Nov 13, 2012 Series: Fortifying Your Family (To read along turn on the annotations.) Adrian Rogers looks at the 5th commandment and the relationship of motherhood in the commandment to honor your father and mother, because the faith that doesn’t begin at home, […]

Book of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man […]

Adrian Rogers: Are fathers necessary?

Adrian Rogers – How to Cultivate a Marriage Another great article from Adrian Rogers. Are fathers necessary? “Artificial insemination is the ideal method of producing a pregnancy, and a lesbian partner should have the same parenting rights accorded historically to biological fathers.” Quoted from the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, summer of 1995. […]

Tom Brady, Coldplay, Kansas, Solomon and the search for satisfaction (part 2)

Tom Brady “More than this…” Uploaded by EdenWorshipCenter on Jan 22, 2008 EWC sermon illustration showing a clip from the 2005 Tom Brady 60 minutes interview. To Download this video copy the URL to http://www.vixy.net ________________ Obviously from the video clip above, Tom Brady has realized that even though he has won many Super Bowls […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Dan Mitchell: Last week, I explained that “supply siders” need to be ardent advocates of spending restraint. After all, there is no chance of good tax policy in the future if the burden of federal spending continues to expand!

A.F. Branco for Oct 21, 2021

Republican Warfare, Part IV: Will the GOP Get Serious about Spending?

Last week, I explained that “supply siders” need to be ardent advocates of spending restraint. After all, there is no chance of good tax policy in the future if the burden of federal spending continues to expand.

I also wrote about “national conservatives” and pointed out that their opposition to entitlement reform means they implicitly embrace massive tax increases.

The bottom line is that the United States has a built-in spending crisis. Democrats are not serious about addressing the problem. So if Republicans bail as well, the nation is doomed to become a decrepit, European-style welfare state.

What does that mean? Nothing good, at least for people in the productive sector of the economy.

In an article for National Review, Philip Klein speculates whether there is any appetite for spending restraint, even among self-described conservatives.

For much of the history of the American conservative movement, limiting the size and scope of government has stood as one of its central goals. …In 2022, such messages were barely anywhere to be found on the campaign trail…conservatives have largely moved on from making the case for reducing the size and power of Washington. In some cases, this shift has been passive. …It has become popular in some circles on the right to mock “zombie Reaganism” and insist that while it may have made sense back in the 1980s to argue for smaller government, such a message is now outdated. …the argument that the battle to limit government has already been lost also neglects to recognize that things could always get worse. That is, even though the federal government has gone through extraordinary growth since the New Deal, it would have grown even larger had there been no conservative movement to push back. One need only look at Europe, where conservative parties long ago made their peace with the welfare state, to see how government agencies have crowded out civil society… There is no way in which a nation with…a ballooning welfare state will be an accommodating place for conservatives in the long run, no matter how much some may fantasize about seizing the dragon and precisely aiming its fire at their enemies during the relatively brief windows in which Republicans have power. Conservatives…should not abandon the fight for limited government.

At the risk of understatement, I fully agree.

I wrote two days ago and also the previous week to make the case for spending restraint.

Those are easy columns to write since it is the same argument I’ve been making my entire life. But what is depressing now is that there is opposition from Republicans as well as Democrats.

Maybe they should all be forced to watch my video series on the economics of government spending.

Augmenting the Case for Spending Restraint

I explained last week that excessive government spending is responsible for about 97 percent of America’s fiscal deterioration in the 21st century.

I followed that column with two post-election pieces that explained how huge tax increases will be inevitable if there is no effort to deal with the spending problem.

Simply stated, lawmakers need to copy the fiscal restraint of the Reagan years and Clinton years.

Why? To help people enjoy better lives thanks to faster growth and more opportunity.

In the Wall Street Journal, Andy Kessler explains that smaller government is the recipe for more growth.

Winston Churchill…said: “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucketand trying to lift himself up by the handle.” The U.S. should heed that advice… economic growth is going to come from efficient supply chains and productivity in manufacturing in the U.S. Tax andspending cuts are the cure. …Republicans must resist the urge to subsidize higher energy costs and instead help slay inflation and bring back a strong, productive economy.

Let’s look at some new academic research bolstering Kessler’s argument.

Megha Jain Aishwarya Nagpal, and Abhay Jain published a study last year in the South Asia Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance.

The key findings deal with the Armey-Rahn Curveand can be found in the abstract.

The current study attempts to examine the linkage between government (public) spending and economic growth in the broader framework of selected South Asian Nations (SANs), BRICS and other emerging nations by using two sets of empirical modelling over the period 2007–2016 by using inverted U-shaped hypothesis, propounded by Armey curve (1995).…The key findings signify the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship for the selected data set of emerging nations and, therefore, support the Armey curve hypothesis. The projected threshold (tipping) levels (as a percentage of GDP) are 24.31% for the government total expenditures (GTotExp), 12.92% for consumption spending (GConExp) and 7.11% for investment spending (GInvExp). It has been observed that a rise in the public spending (size) resulted in a substantial…decrease…in the growth rate when the public spending was…after…the optimal threshold level, indicating a non-monotonic association.

For what it’s worth, I think the study is wrong and that the growth-maximizing level of government spending is much lower than 24.3 percent of economic output.

But since total government spending in the United States now consumes about 40 percent of GDP, at least we can all agree that there will be more prosperity if America’s fiscal burden is dramatically reduced.

If we ever bring the spending burden back down to 24.3 percent of economic output, we can then figure out whether the ultimate goal is even lower (as it was for much of America’s history).

There is one point from the study that merits further attention. The authors estimated not only the growth-maximizing level of total spending, but also how much the government should spend on “consumption” and “investment” outlays (an issue I addressed last month).

Here’s a chart from the study showing that consumption outlays should be less than 13 percent of economic output.

P.S. If you want to watch videos that address the growth-maximizing size of government, click here, here, here, here, and here.

P.P.S. Ironically, the case for smaller government is bolstered by research from normally left-leaning international bureaucracies such as the OECD, World Bank, ECB, and IMF.

March 31, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Please explain to me if you ever do plan to balance the budget while you are President? I have written these things below about you and I really do think that you don’t want to cut spending in order to balance the budget. It seems you ever are daring the Congress to stop you from spending more.

President Barack Obama speaks about the debt limit in the East Room of the White House in Washington. | AP Photo

“The credit of the United States ‘is not a bargaining chip,’ Obama said on 1-14-13. However, President Obama keeps getting our country’s credit rating downgraded as he raises the debt ceiling higher and higher!!!!

Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

Just spend more, don’t know how to cut!!! Really!!! That is not living in the real world is it?

Making more dependent on government is not the way to go!!

Why is our government in over 16 trillion dollars in debt? There are many reasons for this but the biggest reason is people say “Let’s spend someone else’s money to solve our problems.” Liberals like Max Brantley have talked this way for years. Brantley will say that conservatives are being harsh when they don’t want the government out encouraging people to be dependent on the government. The Obama adminstration has even promoted a plan for young people to follow like Julia the Moocher.  

David Ramsey demonstrates in his Arkansas Times Blog post of 1-14-13 that very point:

Arkansas Politics / Health Care Arkansas’s share of Medicaid expansion and the national debt

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Baby carrot Arkansas Medicaid expansion image

Imagine standing a baby carrot up next to the 25-story Stephens building in Little Rock. That gives you a picture of the impact on the national debt that federal spending in Arkansas on Medicaid expansion would have, while here at home expansion would give coverage to more than 200,000 of our neediest citizens, create jobs, and save money for the state.

Here’s the thing: while more than a billion dollars a year in federal spending would represent a big-time stimulus for Arkansas, it’s not even a drop in the bucket when it comes to the national debt.

Currently, the national debt is around $16.4 trillion. In fiscal year 2015, the federal government would spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion to fund Medicaid expansion in Arkansas if we say yes. That’s about 1/13,700th of the debt.

It’s hard to get a handle on numbers that big, so to put that in perspective, let’s get back to the baby carrot. Imagine that the height of the Stephens building (365 feet) is the $16 trillion national debt. That $1.2 billion would be the length of a ladybug. Of course, we’re not just talking about one year if we expand. Between now and 2021, the federal government projects to contribute around $10 billion. The federal debt is projected to be around $25 trillion by then, so we’re talking about 1/2,500th of the debt. Compared to the Stephens building? That’s a baby carrot.

______________

Here is how it will all end if everyone feels they should be allowed to have their “baby carrot.”

How sad it is that liberals just don’t get this reality.

Here is what the Founding Fathers had to say about welfare. David Weinberger noted:

While living in Europe in the 1760s, Franklin observed: “in different countries … the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) was a Scottish lawyer, writer, and professor. Tytler was also a historian, and he noted, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan

April 6, 1816

[Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor. — TGW]

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it.

[From Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert E. Bergh (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), 14:466.]

_______

Jefferson pointed out that to take from the rich and give to the poor through government is just wrong. Franklin knew the poor would have a better path upward without government welfare coming their way. Milton Friedman’s negative income tax is the best method for doing that and by taking away all welfare programs and letting them go to the churches for charity.

_____________

_________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

—-

Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

Related posts:

Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs

  We got to act fast and get off this path of socialism. Morning Bell: Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs Robert Rector and Amy Payne October 18, 2012 at 9:03 am It’s been a pretty big year for welfare—and a new report shows welfare is bigger than ever. The Obama Administration turned a giant spotlight […]

We need more brave souls that will vote against Washington welfare programs

We need to cut Food Stamp program and not extend it. However, it seems that people tell the taxpayers back home they are going to Washington and cut government spending but once they get up there they just fall in line with  everyone else that keeps spending our money. I am glad that at least […]

Welfare programs are not the answer for the poor

Government Must Cut Spending Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Dec 2, 2010 The government can cut roughly $343 billion from the federal budget and they can do so immediately. __________ Liberals argue that the poor need more welfare programs, but I have always argued that these programs enslave the poor to the government. Food Stamps Growth […]

Private charities are best solution and not government welfare

Milton Friedman – The Negative Income Tax Published on May 11, 2012 by LibertyPen In this 1968 interview, Milton Friedman explained the negative income tax, a proposal that at minimum would save taxpayers the 72 percent of our current welfare budget spent on administration. http://www.LibertyPen.com Source: Firing Line with William F Buckley Jr. ________________ Milton […]

The book “After the Welfare State”

Dan Mitchell Commenting on Obama’s Failure to Propose a Fiscal Plan Published on Aug 16, 2012 by danmitchellcato No description available. ___________ After the Welfare State Posted by David Boaz Cato senior fellow Tom G. Palmer, who is lecturing about freedom in Slovenia and Tbilisi this week, asked me to post this announcement of his […]

President Obama responds to Heritage Foundation critics on welfare reform waivers

Is President Obama gutting the welfare reform that Bill Clinton signed into law? Morning Bell: Obama Denies Gutting Welfare Reform Amy Payne August 8, 2012 at 9:15 am The Obama Administration came out swinging against its critics on welfare reform yesterday, with Press Secretary Jay Carney saying the charge that the Administration gutted the successful […]

Welfare reform part 3

Thomas Sowell – Welfare Welfare reform was working so good. Why did we have to abandon it? Look at this article from 2003. The Continuing Good News About Welfare Reform By Robert Rector and Patrick Fagan, Ph.D. February 6, 2003 Six years ago, President Bill Clinton signed legislation overhauling part of the nation’s welfare system. […]

Welfare reform part 2

Uploaded by ForaTv on May 29, 2009 Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/05/18/James_Bartholomew_The_Welfare_State_Were_In Author James Bartholomew argues that welfare benefits actually increase government handouts by ‘ruining’ ambition. He compares welfare to a humane mousetrap. —– Welfare reform was working so good. Why did we have to abandon it? Look at this article from 2003. In the controversial […]

Why did Obama stop the Welfare Reform that Clinton put in?

Thomas Sowell If the welfare reform law was successful then why change it? Wasn’t Bill Clinton the president that signed into law? Obama Guts Welfare Reform Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley July 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm Today, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare […]

“Feedback Friday” Letter to White House generated form letter response July 10,2012 on welfare, etc (part 14)

I have been writing President Obama letters and have not received a personal response yet.  (He reads 10 letters a day personally and responds to each of them.) However, I did receive a form letter in the form of an email on July 10, 2012. I don’t know which letter of mine generated this response so I have […]

Dan Mitchell noted that excessive government spending is responsible for about 97 percent of America’s fiscal deterioration in the 21st century!

A.F. Branco for Oct 21, 2021

Augmenting the Case for Spending Restraint

I explained last week that excessive government spending is responsible for about 97 percent of America’s fiscal deterioration in the 21st century.

I followed that column with two post-election pieces that explained how huge tax increases will be inevitable if there is no effort to deal with the spending problem.

Simply stated, lawmakers need to copy the fiscal restraint of the Reagan years and Clinton years.

Why? To help people enjoy better lives thanks to faster growth and more opportunity.

In the Wall Street Journal, Andy Kessler explains that smaller government is the recipe for more growth.

Winston Churchill…said: “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucketand trying to lift himself up by the handle.” The U.S. should heed that advice… economic growth is going to come from efficient supply chains and productivity in manufacturing in the U.S. Tax andspending cuts are the cure. …Republicans must resist the urge to subsidize higher energy costs and instead help slay inflation and bring back a strong, productive economy.

Let’s look at some new academic research bolstering Kessler’s argument.

Megha Jain Aishwarya Nagpal, and Abhay Jain published a study last year in the South Asia Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance.

The key findings deal with the Armey-Rahn Curveand can be found in the abstract.

The current study attempts to examine the linkage between government (public) spending and economic growth in the broader framework of selected South Asian Nations (SANs), BRICS and other emerging nations by using two sets of empirical modelling over the period 2007–2016 by using inverted U-shaped hypothesis, propounded by Armey curve (1995).…The key findings signify the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship for the selected data set of emerging nations and, therefore, support the Armey curve hypothesis. The projected threshold (tipping) levels (as a percentage of GDP) are 24.31% for the government total expenditures (GTotExp), 12.92% for consumption spending (GConExp) and 7.11% for investment spending (GInvExp). It has been observed that a rise in the public spending (size) resulted in a substantial…decrease…in the growth rate when the public spending was…after…the optimal threshold level, indicating a non-monotonic association.

For what it’s worth, I think the study is wrong and that the growth-maximizing level of government spending is much lower than 24.3 percent of economic output.

But since total government spending in the United States now consumes about 40 percent of GDP, at least we can all agree that there will be more prosperity if America’s fiscal burden is dramatically reduced.

If we ever bring the spending burden back down to 24.3 percent of economic output, we can then figure out whether the ultimate goal is even lower (as it was for much of America’s history).

There is one point from the study that merits further attention. The authors estimated not only the growth-maximizing level of total spending, but also how much the government should spend on “consumption” and “investment” outlays (an issue I addressed last month).

Here’s a chart from the study showing that consumption outlays should be less than 13 percent of economic output.

P.S. If you want to watch videos that address the growth-maximizing size of government, click here, here, here, here, and here.

P.P.S. Ironically, the case for smaller government is bolstered by research from normally left-leaning international bureaucracies such as the OECD, World Bank, ECB, and IMF.

March 31, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Please explain to me if you ever do plan to balance the budget while you are President? I have written these things below about you and I really do think that you don’t want to cut spending in order to balance the budget. It seems you ever are daring the Congress to stop you from spending more.

President Barack Obama speaks about the debt limit in the East Room of the White House in Washington. | AP Photo

“The credit of the United States ‘is not a bargaining chip,’ Obama said on 1-14-13. However, President Obama keeps getting our country’s credit rating downgraded as he raises the debt ceiling higher and higher!!!!

Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

Just spend more, don’t know how to cut!!! Really!!! That is not living in the real world is it?

Making more dependent on government is not the way to go!!

Why is our government in over 16 trillion dollars in debt? There are many reasons for this but the biggest reason is people say “Let’s spend someone else’s money to solve our problems.” Liberals like Max Brantley have talked this way for years. Brantley will say that conservatives are being harsh when they don’t want the government out encouraging people to be dependent on the government. The Obama adminstration has even promoted a plan for young people to follow like Julia the Moocher.  

David Ramsey demonstrates in his Arkansas Times Blog post of 1-14-13 that very point:

Arkansas Politics / Health Care Arkansas’s share of Medicaid expansion and the national debt

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Baby carrot Arkansas Medicaid expansion image

Imagine standing a baby carrot up next to the 25-story Stephens building in Little Rock. That gives you a picture of the impact on the national debt that federal spending in Arkansas on Medicaid expansion would have, while here at home expansion would give coverage to more than 200,000 of our neediest citizens, create jobs, and save money for the state.

Here’s the thing: while more than a billion dollars a year in federal spending would represent a big-time stimulus for Arkansas, it’s not even a drop in the bucket when it comes to the national debt.

Currently, the national debt is around $16.4 trillion. In fiscal year 2015, the federal government would spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion to fund Medicaid expansion in Arkansas if we say yes. That’s about 1/13,700th of the debt.

It’s hard to get a handle on numbers that big, so to put that in perspective, let’s get back to the baby carrot. Imagine that the height of the Stephens building (365 feet) is the $16 trillion national debt. That $1.2 billion would be the length of a ladybug. Of course, we’re not just talking about one year if we expand. Between now and 2021, the federal government projects to contribute around $10 billion. The federal debt is projected to be around $25 trillion by then, so we’re talking about 1/2,500th of the debt. Compared to the Stephens building? That’s a baby carrot.

______________

Here is how it will all end if everyone feels they should be allowed to have their “baby carrot.”

How sad it is that liberals just don’t get this reality.

Here is what the Founding Fathers had to say about welfare. David Weinberger noted:

While living in Europe in the 1760s, Franklin observed: “in different countries … the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) was a Scottish lawyer, writer, and professor. Tytler was also a historian, and he noted, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan

April 6, 1816

[Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor. — TGW]

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it.

[From Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert E. Bergh (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), 14:466.]

_______

Jefferson pointed out that to take from the rich and give to the poor through government is just wrong. Franklin knew the poor would have a better path upward without government welfare coming their way. Milton Friedman’s negative income tax is the best method for doing that and by taking away all welfare programs and letting them go to the churches for charity.

_____________

_________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

—-

Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

Related posts:

Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs

  We got to act fast and get off this path of socialism. Morning Bell: Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs Robert Rector and Amy Payne October 18, 2012 at 9:03 am It’s been a pretty big year for welfare—and a new report shows welfare is bigger than ever. The Obama Administration turned a giant spotlight […]

We need more brave souls that will vote against Washington welfare programs

We need to cut Food Stamp program and not extend it. However, it seems that people tell the taxpayers back home they are going to Washington and cut government spending but once they get up there they just fall in line with  everyone else that keeps spending our money. I am glad that at least […]

Welfare programs are not the answer for the poor

Government Must Cut Spending Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Dec 2, 2010 The government can cut roughly $343 billion from the federal budget and they can do so immediately. __________ Liberals argue that the poor need more welfare programs, but I have always argued that these programs enslave the poor to the government. Food Stamps Growth […]

Private charities are best solution and not government welfare

Milton Friedman – The Negative Income Tax Published on May 11, 2012 by LibertyPen In this 1968 interview, Milton Friedman explained the negative income tax, a proposal that at minimum would save taxpayers the 72 percent of our current welfare budget spent on administration. http://www.LibertyPen.com Source: Firing Line with William F Buckley Jr. ________________ Milton […]

The book “After the Welfare State”

Dan Mitchell Commenting on Obama’s Failure to Propose a Fiscal Plan Published on Aug 16, 2012 by danmitchellcato No description available. ___________ After the Welfare State Posted by David Boaz Cato senior fellow Tom G. Palmer, who is lecturing about freedom in Slovenia and Tbilisi this week, asked me to post this announcement of his […]

President Obama responds to Heritage Foundation critics on welfare reform waivers

Is President Obama gutting the welfare reform that Bill Clinton signed into law? Morning Bell: Obama Denies Gutting Welfare Reform Amy Payne August 8, 2012 at 9:15 am The Obama Administration came out swinging against its critics on welfare reform yesterday, with Press Secretary Jay Carney saying the charge that the Administration gutted the successful […]

Welfare reform part 3

Thomas Sowell – Welfare Welfare reform was working so good. Why did we have to abandon it? Look at this article from 2003. The Continuing Good News About Welfare Reform By Robert Rector and Patrick Fagan, Ph.D. February 6, 2003 Six years ago, President Bill Clinton signed legislation overhauling part of the nation’s welfare system. […]

Welfare reform part 2

Uploaded by ForaTv on May 29, 2009 Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/05/18/James_Bartholomew_The_Welfare_State_Were_In Author James Bartholomew argues that welfare benefits actually increase government handouts by ‘ruining’ ambition. He compares welfare to a humane mousetrap. —– Welfare reform was working so good. Why did we have to abandon it? Look at this article from 2003. In the controversial […]

Why did Obama stop the Welfare Reform that Clinton put in?

Thomas Sowell If the welfare reform law was successful then why change it? Wasn’t Bill Clinton the president that signed into law? Obama Guts Welfare Reform Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley July 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm Today, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare […]

“Feedback Friday” Letter to White House generated form letter response July 10,2012 on welfare, etc (part 14)

I have been writing President Obama letters and have not received a personal response yet.  (He reads 10 letters a day personally and responds to each of them.) However, I did receive a form letter in the form of an email on July 10, 2012. I don’t know which letter of mine generated this response so I have […]

MUSIC MONDAY:Chynna Phillips is open about her Christian faith

Chynna Phillips is open about her Christian faith 

“Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS) is a  very popular show.  I have only watched it a little, but I am a big fan of Chynna Phillips. I love a lot of her music.

Dancing With the Stars: Chynna Phillips Speaks Openly About Her Christian Faith

Actress and singer Chynna Phillips has proven to also be a skilled dancer and a faithful Christian on “Dancing with the Stars” as she has openly expressed her faith live on air.

Formerly a member of Wilson Phillips, she is the daughter of The Mamas and the Papas band members John and Michelle Phillips.

Access Hollywood reported Phillips saying, “I think some people will be surprised that I am doing Christian music.”

The 43-year-old is a born-again Christian, and released a Christian album entitled “One Reason” in 2009.

In an interview with the Christian media source Charisma, Phillips explained her transition after her singing group broke up.

“Although I did accomplish a lot of the things I wanted to… as a member of Wilson Phillips, nothing compares to what I’m doing now. Nothing is more gratifying as a Christian believer than being able to thread my faith and love for Jesus into my music.”

The singer has been married to actor Billy Baldwin since 1995, and the couple share three children together. Phillips told Charisma that she noticed something was missing from her life, and thought: “I know there’s more.”

Writing songs about her faith and love for God has given her “true joy, peace, and fulfillment,” said Phillips.

Appearing on season 13 of “DWTS” Phillips has impressed the judges with her graceful dancing as well as positive attitude. During the second week of performances on “DWTS,” Phillips exclaimed on camera, “Sometimes dancing is so hard, there’s nothing you can do BUT curse!”

Frustrated with learning the quickstep, Phillips added, “Sorry Jesus I have to curse!”

Her performance that week earned her a score of 21.

Frequently mentioning her Christian faith and love for Jesus on the show, Phillips also took to her Twitter account ahead of her third performance on “DWTS” Sunday to thank fans as well as Jesus.

“@wallacejnichols love your work! Thank you Jesus for people like you!” Wrote Phillips, who also said, “@jaydozthegreat hilarious!! I’m here! Sweet dreams- take Jesus!”

During Monday’s dance performance on “DWTS” Phillips and her dance partner Tony Dovolani danced to “Hold On” a song of her own which she claims a strong personal connection to. The elegant Rumba earned her a massive 26 points out of 30.

Phillips and her partner will be dancing the encore performance on Tuesday’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” which airs on ABC at 8 p.m. EST.

November 10, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 10) Bill Elliff on Proverbs 10:21

Proverbs 10:21: The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.
Proverbs 10 New Living Translation

The Proverbs of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise child[a] brings joy to a father;
    a foolish child brings grief to a mother.

Tainted wealth has no lasting value,
    but right living can save your life.

The Lord will not let the godly go hungry,
    but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.

Lazy people are soon poor;
    hard workers get rich.

A wise youth harvests in the summer,
    but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.

The godly are showered with blessings;
    the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

We have happy memories of the godly,
    but the name of a wicked person rots away.

The wise are glad to be instructed,
    but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

People with integrity walk safely,
    but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.

10 People who wink at wrong cause trouble,
    but a bold reproof promotes peace.[b]

11 The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;
    the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

12 Hatred stirs up quarrels,
    but love makes up for all offenses.

13 Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding,
    but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.

14 Wise people treasure knowledge,
    but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.

15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress;
    the poverty of the poor is their destruction.

16 The earnings of the godly enhance their lives,
    but evil people squander their money on sin.

17 People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life,
    but those who ignore correction will go astray.

18 Hiding hatred makes you a liar;
    slandering others makes you a fool.

19 Too much talk leads to sin.
    Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

20 The words of the godly are like sterling silver;
    the heart of a fool is worthless.

21 The words of the godly encourage many,
    but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

22 The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich,
    and he adds no sorrow with it.

23 Doing wrong is fun for a fool,
    but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.

24 The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled;
    the hopes of the godly will be granted.

25 When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away,
    but the godly have a lasting foundation.

26 Lazy people irritate their employers,
    like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.

27 Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life,
    but the years of the wicked are cut short.

28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness,
    but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.

29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity,
    but it destroys the wicked.

30 The godly will never be disturbed,
    but the wicked will be removed from the land.

31 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice,
    but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.

32 The lips of the godly speak helpful words,
but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.

Proverbs 1,

20 WAYS TO DEAL WITH A FOOLISH PERSON

November 05, 2019

20 WAYS TO DEAL WITH A FOOLISH PERSON

The writer of Proverbs divides the world into two types of people: wise and foolish. He has much to say about both. A man is made wise by listening to the Lord and living His life in surrender to God’s will and way.

God IS wisdom and the source of all wisdom in this earth. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’” David said. When we reject Him, we reject the process of receiving the wisdom we need. We become foolish, vainly thinking that our mere humanistic thinking is sufficient for life.

And, fools will hurt you. They ruin relationships, cloud decision making, and lead others astray. If you are a man who is seeking wisdom, you will find that dealing with foolish people is a great burden.

I have recently been helping a pastor work through an issue with a very foolish person in his church. This individual is proud and believes their opinion is more important than anyone’s. They are creating strife and discord in the church and there is a very clear unwillingness to submit to godly spiritual leaders. A foolish person, wrapped in religious clothing, is even harder to deal with because they approach others under the guise of spirituality.

Their anger and issues are hard to deal with, which the writer of Proverbs points out. It is a very heavy weight for a leader to bear.

“A stone is heavy and the sand weighty, but the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them.” (Proverbs 27:4)

Here are twenty instructions from Proverbs about how to recognize and deal with foolish people … some things a wise leader needs to understand.

1. They will not accept instruction

 Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

2.They will not honor others

 Proverbs 3:35: The wise will inherit honor, but fools display dishonor.

3. They will quickly gossip and slander others

  Proverbs 10:18: He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.

4. They do not have real, spiritual understanding

Proverbs 10:21: The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.

 Proverbs 16:22: Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the discipline of fools is folly.

5.They always think they’re right and will not listen to nor accept humbly the counsel of others

  Proverbs 12:15: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

6. They are quick to anger

  Proverbs 12:16: A fool’s anger is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor. 

  Proverbs 29:11: A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.

7. They will always, ultimately display their foolishness. It cannot be hidden for long.

  Proverbs 13:16: Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool displays folly.

8. If you associate with them, it will lead to harm

  Proverbs 13:20: He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

9. They are deceitful, often not even realizing their deception. They are full of self-deception.

  Proverbs 14:8: The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, but the foolishness of fools is deceit.

10. They are arrogant and careless, particularly about walking into evil.

  Proverbs 14:16: A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.

11. They are quick to tell everyone what they think, but it’s folly. They have an opinion on everything, that they believe is right.

  Proverbs 15:2: The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.

12. They reject discipline

  Proverbs 15:5: A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible.

13. They do not spread real knowledge (although they think they do)

  Proverbs 15:7: The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not so.

14. Don’t give them position or honor

  Proverbs 26:8: Like one who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a fool.

  Proverbs 26:10: Like an archer who wounds everyone, so is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by.

15. They will not receive a healthy rebuke (because they always think they’re right)

  Proverbs 17:10: A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

16. They are dangerously protective when you deal with them. They will hurt you to protect their way.

  Proverbs 17:12: Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.

17. They don’t want understanding, but they love to tell you what they think.

  Proverbs 18:2: A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.

18. They create strife

  Proverbs 18:6: A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows.

19. They love to quarrel

  Proverbs 20:3: Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel.

20. It’s useless to try to reason with them

  Proverbs 23:9: Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

  Proverbs 26:4: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. 

  Proverbs 26:5: Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.

All of us are foolish at times, and we’re all capable of becoming foolish. Every leader must evaluate first his own life, to see if he is acting or living foolishly. A wise leader pursues God fervently and humbly, which is to pursue wisdom. But also, a wise leader must know how to recognize and deal with foolish people, particularly those who are causing discord, contention, and strife.

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing sermon on the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture before on my blog.)

PART 7 of Proverbs series

I remember like yesterday when I first heard my former pastor Adrian Rogers first preach on the topic “God’s Grace in the Workplace.” That was the first time in his first 35 years of ministry that he had dedicated a complete message to the subject of how a Christian should look at his secular job.

Rogers noted, “Does work have eternal significance? Daniel may have wondered the same thing, as he was handling taxation, public relations, law enforcement, building projects, meetings and diplomacy. But yet he served God continually (see Daniel 6:16 and 20).”

Daniel 6:16-20

The Message (MSG)

16 The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions’ den. But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.”

17 A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel’s fate.

18 The king then went back to his palace. He refused supper. He couldn’t sleep. He spent the night fasting.

19-20 At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?”

___________

It is during this time that Daniel became my favorite Bible character and I have spent lots of time studying about him.

John MacArthur

I remember hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers say that if he had to do it over again he would read from Proverbs every day to his kids. They turned out to be great kids and they were raised right. Nevertheless, if he had to do it over again he thought a more emphasis on Proverbs is the way to go. That is why I am spending so much time in Proverbs with my kids today.

John MacArthur does a great job on Proverbs and here is a portion of his sermon on Proverbs.

Number eight. Teach your sons…”Son, pursue your work…pursue your work.” Teach your boys how to work, father, by word and example. Look at the ant, he says in chapter 6, he’s giving this lesson to his son…Son, go to the ant, in verse 6 in chapter 6, and look at this ant, observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief officer or ruler. The first thing you want to do is teach your children how to work without a boss around, even an ant does that. Now your children will work if you stand there with a whip. But the issue is…will they if you won’t? Because they’re going to have to in life. And they also need to be taught how to plan ahead. The ant even knows to prepare her food in the summer anticipating the coming winter. She gathers her provision in the harvest. Teach them to work. How long will you lie down, O lazy son? When will you arise from your sleep? Get your children up. And they’ll say…a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. Sure. And your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.

You’re going to make yourself poor if you don’t learn how to work. Teach them to pursue work. A sluggard is a lazy man. He’s just an ordinary man really, with too many excuses, too many refusals, too many postponements. According to Proverbs the lazy man will suffer hunger, poverty, failure. Why? Because he sleeps through the harvest. He wants but he won’t work. He loves sleep, is glued to his bed and will follow worthless pursuits trying to get rich quick. On the other hand, the man who pursues his work earns a good living, has plenty of food, is rewarded for his effort and earns respect even before kings…it says in chapter 22 verse 29. Teach your sons to pursue their work…so very important.

Chapter 10 verse 4, “Poor is he who works with a negligent hand but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely. But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully. Teach your son to work and to plan ahead in his work.”

___________

Adrian Rogers: God’s Grace in the Workplace [#1019] (Audio)

God’s Grace In the Workplace

In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Proverbs 14:23

So many people wake up in the morning, take a shower, scald their throat with a cup of coffee because they’re running a little late, fight traffic, and get to work. Then, they come home, take a couple of aspirin, watch the evening news, perhaps discuss a few things with a roommate or spouse, maybe putter around the house or yard a little bit, then go to bed.

Now, I’m not saying they don’t love and serve God, perhaps they do. But most of these people think the only time they serve God is when they get off work! They end up giving their prime time to the employer and their leftovers to God!

Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). I call this split-level living.

You may think there’s nothing exciting about you or your job, but God takes ordinary people and He gives them extraordinary power to do extraordinary things for His glory!

Your job may be putting hub caps on tires. You may be keying data at a computer. You may be digging ditches or washing dishes. You may be doing one of a myriad of what you think are mundane things. But I want to tell you, if you are a Christian, your work is to be the temple of your devotion and the platform of your witness. Every Christian is a minister doing full-time Christian service.

The Sacredness of Everday Work

Your job does not become sacred when you become a minister, missionary, or a staff member of a Christian organization! Every job, if it is done in the power of the Holy Spirit, is a sacred job. Every one!

Let’s look at someone who lived this out from the Word of God – his name was Daniel. In the book of Daniel, we learn that he was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and carried to Babylon from Israel. There, he found a secular job as a government bureaucrat (see Daniel 8:27). The government trained him, then pressed him into service.

In this ordinary line of work, Daniel served the Lord Jesus. When Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den because he refused to bow to another god, King Nebuchadnezzar and many others came to believe in our Almighty God.

If you work in the name of Jesus, unto His glory, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will receive the same reward for doing that job that I receive for doing my job. God knows about you and is watching you. Every Christian, wherever he serves, is in full-time Christian work.

The SERVICE of Everday Work

Does work have eternal significance? Daniel may have wondered the same thing, as he was handling taxation, public relations, law enforcement, building projects, meetings and diplomacy. But yet he served God continually (see Daniel 6:16 and 20).

Even the home of Jesus was the cottage of a workingman. And whether He was mending plows or mending souls, Jesus was doing the work of God because people need houses to live in and furniture to sit on.

If you know you’re serving the Lord, that’ll put dignity in whatever you are doing: running a machine, greasing automobiles, typing letters, carrying mail, painting houses, digging ditches, cutting yards. Tell the Lord, “I’m doing it for You! And I’ll do it with all my might! As much as any missionary or preacher or evangelist!” That kind of attitude will put a spring in your step.

Simply said, God wants His people to prosper wherever He plants them. You are a priest of God, a minister of God, and in full-time Christian service, and if that doesn’t ring your bell, your clapper’s broken.

Remember, God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Ephesians 3:20 promises that, “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”


This article is taken from a sermon by Adrian Rogers

One final question: WHAT DOES THIS VERSE MEAN?

Proverbs 14:23

Amplified Bible (AMP)

23 In all labor there is profit, but idle talk leads only to poverty.

The Message (MSG)

23 Hard work always pays off;
mere talk puts no bread on the table.

November 6, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 6) Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.    Learn from their ways and become wise!7 Though they have no prince    or governor or ruler to make them work,8 they labor hard all summer,    gathering food for the winter.9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?    When will you wake up?

Lessons for Daily Life

My child,[a] if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
    or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
    and are caught by what you said—
follow my advice and save yourself,
    for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
    go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
    Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
    like a bird fleeing from a net.

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
    Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince
    or governor or ruler to make them work,
they labor hard all summer,
    gathering food for the winter.
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
    When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
    scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
    They are constant liars,
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
    a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
    and they constantly stir up trouble.
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
    broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.

16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
    feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
    a person who sows discord in a family.

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
    and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
    Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
    When you sleep, they will protect you.
    When you wake up, they will advise you.
23 For their command is a lamp
    and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
    is the way to life.
24 It will keep you from the immoral woman,
    from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
25 Don’t lust for her beauty.
    Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
26 For a prostitute will bring you to poverty,[b]
    but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap
    and not have his clothes catch on fire?
28 Can he walk on hot coals
    and not blister his feet?
29 So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.
    He who embraces her will not go unpunished.

30 Excuses might be found for a thief
    who steals because he is starving.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole,
    even if he has to sell everything in his house.
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool,
    for he destroys himself.
33 He will be wounded and disgraced.
    His shame will never be erased.
34 For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
    nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.

Footnotes

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing sermon on the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture before on my blog.)

PART 7 of Proverbs series

I remember like yesterday when I first heard my former pastor Adrian Rogers first preach on the topic “God’s Grace in the Workplace.” That was the first time in his first 35 years of ministry that he had dedicated a complete message to the subject of how a Christian should look at his secular job.

Rogers noted, “Does work have eternal significance? Daniel may have wondered the same thing, as he was handling taxation, public relations, law enforcement, building projects, meetings and diplomacy. But yet he served God continually (see Daniel 6:16 and 20).”

Daniel 6:16-20

The Message (MSG)

16 The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions’ den. But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.”

17 A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel’s fate.

18 The king then went back to his palace. He refused supper. He couldn’t sleep. He spent the night fasting.

19-20 At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?”

___________

It is during this time that Daniel became my favorite Bible character and I have spent lots of time studying about him.

John MacArthur

I remember hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers say that if he had to do it over again he would read from Proverbs every day to his kids. They turned out to be great kids and they were raised right. Nevertheless, if he had to do it over again he thought a more emphasis on Proverbs is the way to go. That is why I am spending so much time in Proverbs with my kids today.

John MacArthur does a great job on Proverbs and here is a portion of his sermon on Proverbs.

Number eight. Teach your sons…”Son, pursue your work…pursue your work.” Teach your boys how to work, father, by word and example. Look at the ant, he says in chapter 6, he’s giving this lesson to his son…Son, go to the ant, in verse 6 in chapter 6, and look at this ant, observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief officer or ruler. The first thing you want to do is teach your children how to work without a boss around, even an ant does that. Now your children will work if you stand there with a whip. But the issue is…will they if you won’t? Because they’re going to have to in life. And they also need to be taught how to plan ahead. The ant even knows to prepare her food in the summer anticipating the coming winter. She gathers her provision in the harvest. Teach them to work. How long will you lie down, O lazy son? When will you arise from your sleep? Get your children up. And they’ll say…a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. Sure. And your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.

You’re going to make yourself poor if you don’t learn how to work. Teach them to pursue work. A sluggard is a lazy man. He’s just an ordinary man really, with too many excuses, too many refusals, too many postponements. According to Proverbs the lazy man will suffer hunger, poverty, failure. Why? Because he sleeps through the harvest. He wants but he won’t work. He loves sleep, is glued to his bed and will follow worthless pursuits trying to get rich quick. On the other hand, the man who pursues his work earns a good living, has plenty of food, is rewarded for his effort and earns respect even before kings…it says in chapter 22 verse 29. Teach your sons to pursue their work…so very important.

Chapter 10 verse 4, “Poor is he who works with a negligent hand but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely. But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully. Teach your son to work and to plan ahead in his work.”

___________

Adrian Rogers: God’s Grace in the Workplace [#1019] (Audio)

God’s Grace In the Workplace

In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Proverbs 14:23

So many people wake up in the morning, take a shower, scald their throat with a cup of coffee because they’re running a little late, fight traffic, and get to work. Then, they come home, take a couple of aspirin, watch the evening news, perhaps discuss a few things with a roommate or spouse, maybe putter around the house or yard a little bit, then go to bed.

Now, I’m not saying they don’t love and serve God, perhaps they do. But most of these people think the only time they serve God is when they get off work! They end up giving their prime time to the employer and their leftovers to God!

Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). I call this split-level living.

You may think there’s nothing exciting about you or your job, but God takes ordinary people and He gives them extraordinary power to do extraordinary things for His glory!

Your job may be putting hub caps on tires. You may be keying data at a computer. You may be digging ditches or washing dishes. You may be doing one of a myriad of what you think are mundane things. But I want to tell you, if you are a Christian, your work is to be the temple of your devotion and the platform of your witness. Every Christian is a minister doing full-time Christian service.

The Sacredness of Everday Work

Your job does not become sacred when you become a minister, missionary, or a staff member of a Christian organization! Every job, if it is done in the power of the Holy Spirit, is a sacred job. Every one!

Let’s look at someone who lived this out from the Word of God – his name was Daniel. In the book of Daniel, we learn that he was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and carried to Babylon from Israel. There, he found a secular job as a government bureaucrat (see Daniel 8:27). The government trained him, then pressed him into service.

In this ordinary line of work, Daniel served the Lord Jesus. When Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den because he refused to bow to another god, King Nebuchadnezzar and many others came to believe in our Almighty God.

If you work in the name of Jesus, unto His glory, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will receive the same reward for doing that job that I receive for doing my job. God knows about you and is watching you. Every Christian, wherever he serves, is in full-time Christian work.

The SERVICE of Everday Work

Does work have eternal significance? Daniel may have wondered the same thing, as he was handling taxation, public relations, law enforcement, building projects, meetings and diplomacy. But yet he served God continually (see Daniel 6:16 and 20).

Even the home of Jesus was the cottage of a workingman. And whether He was mending plows or mending souls, Jesus was doing the work of God because people need houses to live in and furniture to sit on.

If you know you’re serving the Lord, that’ll put dignity in whatever you are doing: running a machine, greasing automobiles, typing letters, carrying mail, painting houses, digging ditches, cutting yards. Tell the Lord, “I’m doing it for You! And I’ll do it with all my might! As much as any missionary or preacher or evangelist!” That kind of attitude will put a spring in your step.

Simply said, God wants His people to prosper wherever He plants them. You are a priest of God, a minister of God, and in full-time Christian service, and if that doesn’t ring your bell, your clapper’s broken.

Remember, God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Ephesians 3:20 promises that, “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”


This article is taken from a sermon by Adrian Rogers

One final question: WHAT DOES THIS VERSE MEAN?

Proverbs 14:23

Amplified Bible (AMP)

23 In all labor there is profit, but idle talk leads only to poverty.

The Message (MSG)

23 Hard work always pays off;
mere talk puts no bread on the table.