Can You hear Him?

Right after an amazing display from God himself, Elijah is in a crisis. In 1 Kings chapter 18, God proved himself to be the only true God against Baal. Not only did God of Elijah merely show up, it was pure mockery of an absent Baal. Elijah leads the way with faith. After watching the poor prophets take up half of the day crying out to Baal, Elijah prepares his altar with three times as much water around the alter. And in a matter of moments upon praying to God, the entire altar is set ablaze and even all of the water is dried up! Talk about an amazing sight! Then Elijah, guided by God’s power and command slaughtered the prophets of Baal. 

The contrasts between 1 Kings 18 and 1 Kings 19 are sharp and startling. Earlier, Elijah is bold and courageous, victoriously facing all kinds of odds with the chapter concluding, “the hand of the Lord was on Elijah.” Elijah experienced God’s supernatural strength to do the extraordinary. But in chapter 19, we find Elijah fearful, running scared, exhausted, depressed, and wanting to die.

In the section before us we see the cause of the change in Elijah. King Ahab tells the notorious Jezebel what Elijah had done. She reacts with vengeance and threatens Elijah’s life. Elijah runs for his life down to Beersheba in the desert in the southern most part of Judah. Leaving his servant, he continues another day’s journey further into the desert, crawls under a scrubby tree and, in deep depression, asks God to let him die.

It is in this state of spiritual depression that we find Elijah. Elijah’s depression is the result of a “perfect storm”—the convergence of several common causes. The first factor is what we might call unrealistic expectations. Re-read 19:4 – “I’ve had enough” means “That’s the last straw—I can’t take any more.” It is easy to get in trouble by letting legitimate spiritual desires turn into expectations that go beyond what God actually promises. This happens most often by expecting that key people in our lives will make good decisions about God. Of course we desire that they do this, and we pray to this end. But God has never promised that our desires or prayers (or even God himself) will overturn people’s free will. I have been devastated by expecting family members to turn to Christ—only to suddenly harden again and back away. I have counseled Christian friends about their wrong attitudes, watched my counsel sink in—only to see them revert back to the same wrong attitude. When things like this happen, they are bound to make us sad because we care about them. But when we base our emotional security on people’s choices rather than God’s faithfulness, the result is serious depression.

It is at this very time when Elijah most needed his support most, that he left himself totally isolated  (juniper tree; cave). But it is here where he meets God again. He is waiting to hear from God in BIG ways….(let’s read):

1 Kings 19:11-13 (HCSB) “11 Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.”At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
James 1:19 (NASB) “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak…”

After a very eventful season of life where God showed Himself in big ways, Elijah just needed to rest and hear God in a small still voice, in a gentle whisper. This ties into the series of self-care. Especially as Christians, we must rest. We must be able to hear God in all of our business and busyness. We must take time to truly meditate and listen to God’s voice. If we are on top of the world or if we are depressed. If we are stress and busy or bored and feel meaningless. In all situations, we need to build on our strong foundation and cornerstone, which is our relationship with God. He is our strong tower. 
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The real problem…

Overvalued housing around the USA.
Think about it, foreclosures, devaluing economy…

There is not any “bail out” plan that is going to solve anything. (Besides like I said in the previous post the bail out plan was a temporary fix that had absolutely nothing to do with the real issues and was NOT going to help the real sufferers, homeowners.)

What is the real issue? What will fix the problem? What is the foundational issues?

Over valued homes. Right now homes are over valued by 50% and greater in some areas.
Te problem was not that people could not afford the over priced homes, or at least not originally…you will see how overpriced housing affects everything else!

People were then getting loans to buy these really nice but over valued homes….

These loans were more debt.

So what is next?

2 things:
1. time. Just relax. It is inevitable, people are going to lose some money and it is not going to be pretty. Over time in the long haul we will be back to normal.
2. but first we must see the housing market change and adjust. Not too long ago, the housing market was the place to be! Homes that could have been built for $100K were being valued for $!M and more! The market was a boom and everyone and their brother was getting on board, greed cycled. Rich people at first were buying these nice homes. And eventually Mr. and Mrs. Jones were buying over valued homes, because even the cheaper homes that would have cost $10K to build were being marked up for $100K. Greed is a vicious cycle. Keeping up with the Joneses, anyone who was not selling homes (or winning the lottery) was taking out loans to afford thier homes.

More debt.

The real problem is not in Wall Street, but on Main Street. Banks closed (and sold to either Chase or Citi) and foreclosures were everywhere!!!!

Now Wall Street is seeing a tiny bit of what Main Street is feeling. Wall Street complains about this despite America’s strong economy and still strong when you look at us on a “bad day” compared to the entire world.

Forget about Wall Street, start dealing with the real issues of over priced homes on Main Street. Give it time and dont worry too much. But DO NOT support bail out plans that only benifit Wall Street and politicians. Tell your politicians that you want a plan that benifits homeowners, not their own pocket books.

Bailout not wise….

If you have seen my recent statuses (or stati?) and posted items on Facebook, you are well aware of where I stand in light of this bailout plan.
I am agianst it. I think it is not wise. It is a fast “solution” to a problem that has develpoed over a long period of time, almost a decade.
First off, give me one good example of a time when a decade of decay was completely resolved and fixed in one week’s time. This is not possible. I fear that after this “bail out,” Congress will go back to their old ways. The will sign this bill and mark it off their TTD list. They will go back to continue spending money they don’t have. Continue adding more tax money to their salary.
Second off, why are we putting so much hope in Congress!? They are the ones who put us in the hole and now we are asking them to solve the problem? NO. That is stupid! They have motives for their own benefit, they obviously are not representing us the people. If they were really representing us, we would not have been in the hole the first place! We need to elect people who have our agenda, force Congress to think through a solution that will actually work and give them TIME to do it, or allow a third party group to clean up the Congress.
Thirdly, I want to address the bailout plan…
Section A. It is a temporary fix. It is only addressing the smptoms of a bad economy and is not actually dealing with the fundamental economic issues that are really at hand and the root of all our problems.
Section B. The bail out, it more of a benifit to Wall Street and NOT a benifit to home owners. Agian, Congress have their own motives. They look good for “fixing” something from a national perspective, but really the members of their individual respective states are suffering. The home owners are still losing. Debt and finaincial crisis is still there and it is not going away.
Section C. Look at their soluion….they want more of our tax money. They are not sacrificing anything. They are getting more pork. They are still very secure as Congressmen. They are porking it up….porking up our tax money to fix a problem they created! I hate this!
Fourthly, I hate this becuase my generation is left victim. I am going to be paying for the mistakes of these white head old men long after tehy are dead and gone. Their solution demands my sacrifice but not thiers. They will rot and die and I will still be giving them money.
My generation, I pray learns to be NOTHING like these stupid selfish sandbagging greeds in the White House. This actually is a great oppurtunity for the younger, smarter generation of political leaders to step up and do the right thing, to represent the common folks and save America and its debt. But it also will be the hardest thing my generation has ever done. It will be a challenge and there will be the tempation for them to fall into the same mistakes and fall into the same pockets of greed and debt. But I have a high hopes for my generation. (for now.)

Sad Times call for Real Action

I am calling on us as Christians living in America – all of the comforts, blessings, and entitlements to take a step back for just a few minuets read my post and ask God a question. And deal with what He might be calling you to do.

Recently with in the past 2-3 weeks- 2 Asian countries have been dealt with by nature in some incredible ways. First in Myanmar/ Burma:

On May 3, 2008, Cyclone Nargis devastated the country when winds of up to 250kph (150 mph) touched land in the densely populated, rice-farming delta of the Irrawaddy Division.

Recent reports estimate that more than 130,000 people are dead or missing from Cyclone Nargis that hit the country’s Irrawaddy delta. Shari Villarosa, who leads the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon, said the number of dead could eventually exceed 140,800 because of illnesses and injury. Adds the World Food Programme, “Some villages have been almost totally eradicated and vast rice-growing areas are wiped out.”

Then not long at all and not very far away from Myanmar another horrible event took place in China:

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake (Chinese: 四川大地震), at a magnitude 8.0 Ms/ 7.9 Mw, occurred at 14:28:01.42 CST on 12 May 2008 in Sichuan province of China. In China, it was named the Wenchuan earthquake (Chinese: 汶川大地震), after the earthquake’s epicenter in Wenchuan County in Sichuan province. The epicenter was 80 kilometres (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, with a depth of 19 kilometres (12 mi)] The earthquake was felt as far away as Beijing (1,500 km away) and Shanghai (1,700 km away), where office buildings swayed with the tremor. The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries.

Official figures (as of May 19, 12:00 CST) state that 34,073 are confirmed dead, including 33,570 in Sichuan province, and 245,108 injured. The Chinese government warned that the death toll could soar to 50,000. Tens of thousands are missing, approximately 14,000 of them buried, and eight provinces were affected. The earthquake left about 4.8 million people homeless. It was the deadliest and strongest earthquake to hit China since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed over 240,000 people.

Does your heart not break? Mine has.
I am asking you to do one thing:

Pray

1. Pray for the victims, victim families, governments, aide to come, etc

2. Pray asking God how you and your community of friends, family, etc can help

There are a lot of aide based groups, a lot of financial groups you can donate money to, other groups where you can donate food, clothing, and create aid boxes to ship over seas.

and if you are called, there are groups who need volunteers to go overseas to help.

My point is that we as wealthy Christians SHOULD do something. We are called by God to do something. We are called by God to share our blessings that we do not even realize we have – come on we live in America- we have EVERYTHING. At the very least please, pray.