Aaron Summers

America: Broke or Broken?

In Life and Culture, Money on April 15, 2014 at 8:26 am

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We live in very difficult and desperate times. We have a governing body that is more at odds than ever before, save that time we revolted against a foreign king in the late 18th century. Well, come to think of it, maybe not as bad as it was in the late 19th century when the country split as did families over a variety of issues. We might be more “civil” about it now, but there are many fronts being fought today.

As we each sign our 1040’s and State Forms, our money goes with it. As a follower of Christ, I know it is my duty to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s”, but do I have to like it? I suppose I should like it since it gives me freedoms I would not have in other locations around the world. Yet, I don’t.

I know that our country cannot function without revenue. I also know that we spend beyond our means. We throw money at world problems while our own go hungry. We throw money at those who refuse to work or even try. We pay farmers to not farm, but 15% of America has no food to eat. Our government seems to think money is like Doritos….go ahead we will make more! I am certain that the leadership has no idea what it feels like to really be middle- or lower-income.

Fast Cash and Quick Loans operations offer short-term solutions with long-term problems. When we pay debt by getting more debt we have a problem. When we are paying our utility bill with a credit card we have a problem. When the family has phones but no food we have a problem. Our people are going broke and our government is broken.

Is America broke or broken? I would say both.

As we pray for and pay to our country today, here are a few thoughts:

  • Pay your taxes with joy, knowing you still live in the greatest country in the world.
  • Pray that our leadership will be more concerned about its people than its politics.
  • Pray that our leadership will be more concerned for farm production than foreign policy.
  • Pray that our leadership will be more concerned with rebuilding than re-election.
  • Pray for Christians to transform our culture.

See you in line at the Post Office.

Give to everyone what you owe them:
Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them,
and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

Romans 13:7

A Made Man

In Chrisian Life, Men on April 10, 2014 at 9:00 am

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Whether it was the Corleone Family or Soprano Family, we have become well acquainted with the term “Made Man”. Once a guy has been known for a certain length of time and has accomplished the required initiation tasks he can be brought in as a made man. In other words, the family has watched this guy to see if he is a proper fit based on character and conduct. If he has been seen as proper then he can be brought in and be a “friend of ours” rather than just a “friend of mine”.

The criminal element of the mafia obviously does not jive with my belief of what character and conduct ought to be. However, just like the “family” is making men as they see fit, God is making men as He sees fit. A made man of God will have biblical character, an involvement in community and church, and be known as a man of faith in Christ.

Man of Character

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:1-6)

Man of Community and Church

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Man of Christ

But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

When does a boy become a man? The law says 18. May we as men of God raise up boys at home, in church, on the ball field/court, golf course, or on the farm that become made men of God as well. We must teach boys the need for these elements to be in their life. Our modelling of them will be of great encouragement. Be a maker of men as you lead boys to Christ, to honorable character, and service to the church and community.  If we don’t make them a friend of ours they will become a friend of theirs.  Let’s go men!

Hard Work Beats Talent

In Journey, Chrisian Life on April 9, 2014 at 8:16 am

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Durant won the scoring title this year because he worked hard and put out the effort.

Kentucky wanted a championship, but they couldn’t make their free throws.

Cubbies want a pennant, but their best chance has already passed since the season has now started.

Here are things we want or have wanted:

  • to be debt-free
  • to live comfortably
  • the big house
  • to graduate
  • a stable marriage and family

How do we get any of these things?  We get them through hard work and effort.  Infomercials will try to sell you on how to get it all without doing anything.  I get emails and offers all the time of how to make thousands while working from the coffee shop or my couch!  Often the same is true in our relationship with God.  We want all the positives without having to do anything for them.

Right out of the box God expressed to the Israelites that God’s blessing is CONDITIONAL. Yes, I said it. God has conditions. He blesses obedience, honesty, integrity, and devotion. God expresses in these verses that obedience makes them God’s special treasure.

3 Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”

Too often we want all of God’s blessing without any payment of obedience or devotion. Everything good is worth the work and the wait. Put in the time.

If we want to have a stable, developed relationship with God it will take effort.  Are you willing to do so?  Don’t lose out on the glory of a championship because you didn’t do the work from the charity stripe.  Don’t give up before you start and think there is no chance.

You can.  You should. God will help you.

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