Sunday: To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice guest post T.W.

Obey All of God’s Word

Cast Out of Eden

Man’s disobedience to God has been an issue from early Creation. Most people will be forced to agree with this. Remember Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. If Adam and Eve had obeyed God, and “not” the Serpent, we would all be still roaming around in the Garden, enjoying ourselves, and giving birth to obedient children, without pain.Instead most of us are shaking in our boots, and wondering if we are really going to spend eternity in heaven.

Just as Adam and Eve had a problem obeying God in their day, we as servants of God, still struggle with the issue of obedience. I know, because I struggle with the same problem.

Our subject was captured from a well known text in the Book of 1 Samuel 15:22

22. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

The Lord spoke these words to Samuel, for our learning. Many times we human beings, even Christian people, get the idea that if we sacrifice things to God such as:

  • 1) our money, 
  • 2) our time, 
  • 3) attending church, 
  • 4) praying, 
  • 5) evening fasting, 

that it makes up for the fact that we are disobedient to God. But these words spoken to Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:22, dispels this idea. There is absolutely no substitute for obedience to the Lord.

From the Book of Jeremiah 35: 1-19, there is, what I describe as, a wonderful story, about the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab, who are called the Rechabites. This story grabbed my heart the first time I remember reading it, and it has continued to touch my heart. What touched my heart about it was the fact that while the Rechabites obeyed their father, we disobey God Almighty, without even blinking.

Jeremiah 35: 1 -19

1. The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,

2. Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.

3. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;

4. And I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door:

5. And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.

6. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:

7. Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.

8. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;

9. Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:

10. But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

11. But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.

12. Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

13. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.

14. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.

15. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.

16. Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:

17. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

18. And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:

19. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.

This is how this story unfolded. The sons or grandsons of Rachad were invited to the House of the Lord. Picture this, all the wine (the drug of choice of that day), one could possibly imagine. There were not mere bottles of wine, but pots full of wine. Enough wine for everyone of these young men to have their fill.

I am sure these men had no idea why they were being invited to go to the House of the Lord. They were probably excited about what was getting ready to happen to them. Wow! The Man of God has invited us! Whoopee! None other than Jeremiah the prophet! Perhaps they thought about the Psalm which said: “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of Lord!” Jeremiah shall no doubt give us a great prophecy! Yes!!!

But, as it turns out, it was not a prophecy at all. It was not even to worship God. But it was for the purpose of teaching us a great lesson in obedience. Not only obedience to God, but even to our parents as well. The Scripture said: “…..and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.”

The commandment their fathers had passed down to them, was not just one thing which they had been commanded to do, it was many things and it was perpetual. They were not to drink wine, them or their family after them. They were not to build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyards, nor have any (vineyards), but all their days they were to dwell in tents.

Even ONE of these commandments, if passed down to us, from our grandparents, or even from God Almighty, would have been difficult for most of us to follow. But this family had a list of things they were expected to obey, and they obeyed them all the days of their lives, and because of their obedience, God blessed them.

Why did the Lord use these young men as examples to Israel, and to us? Because these men honored their parents’ words, more than Israel honored God! As I read this story, it seems that I can feel the heart of God weeping. The Lord has so loned to have a relationship with us, but He has not been able to prefect that relationship because of our disobedience.

The Lord told Jeremiah to tell the Rechabites men, that because they had obeyed their father’s words: “….Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.” This is the blessing the Lord gave to these men for their complete obedience to their father. What would He do for us, if we obeyed Him completely. My goal in life, is to obey God completely.

Testimony: There is a great longing in my heart to be close to God, like I use to be, and even more so. In pursuit of this goal, I asked the Lord in prayer one day: “What can I can to gain the relationship with you that I desire.” Prior to the items I am about to share with you, the Lord had already asked me to do something which took me years to adjust to: the Lord called me off my secular job. The following are three things the Lord asked me to do in later years: “a) Read the Bible from front to back, b) Fast three days a week, I could choose the days, and c) stop watching television.” “Stop watching television?!!” As I set out on this mission, the fight was on, I thought of every excuse in the book, as to why I needed to watch television. And I wasn’t the only one upset about this request. Others reasoned that I truly needed to watch T.V. in order to know what was going on in the world, etc., etc. I reasoned that I needed to at least watch Christian Television, and on, and on the battle ragged. Almost two years later, the Lord spoke to me again: “You have done two of the things I asked you to do, but you have failed to stop watching television.” And then again, the Lord said: “You are still continuing to accept jobs which I have told you “not” to do!” After many years of struggling, thank God, I have finally come to terms concerning these two issues.

Conclusion: In the Word of God, Jesus knew why He came to this earth. He knew exactly what He had to suffer, and what would happen to mankind, if, He did not accomplish His goal. Suppose Jesus had decided to disobey God the Father, and NOT to drink of the cup of death in the Garden of Gethsemane. We would have been eternally lost. The next time we are tempted to disobey God, let us keep this in mind: To obey is better than sacrifice. God bless you.

Pastor T.W.

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Can’t Prove Racism: The Case of McDonald’s

Is This Racism?

Real Live Advertisement for McDonald’s

It’s very hard to prove racism these days, in hiring.  But at 50% unemployment in some communities of Blacks, especially men, the numbers should speak for themselves.  I would like to present to you, now and again, evidence of racism, without having to prove that someone came out and said “we don’t hire “n” here”.

Is McDonald’s Racist

So the facts are these:

  • A young Black man walks into a McDonald’s that posted a “job fair” for that day.  They had announced previously and had signs posted.  
  • When he arrived he was promptly informed that there was only one position available and his chances were very slim.
  • when his pen gave out while filling out the application he asked to borrow the store recruiter’s pen, of which she had two sitting in her pocket.  He was informed that she needed her pens.  When he asked which one, she informed him both.
  • a homeless white woman was filling out an application as well, and he asked to use the pen after she finished.  The homeless woman resisted saying it belonged to the recruiter.  He lied and said he was told to use it.
  • when he presented the application to the corporate recruiter, she asked what experience he had. Luckily he informed her that he had held jobs at Coldstone’s, Cookie Cafe.
  • she asked for a resume.  When he replied that he did not have one, she went off into a speech about always having a resume, no matter where he is applying.  The position he was applying for was for entry level associate [ i.e. burger flipper ]
  • when he then returned the pen to the store recruiter he asked for a business card with the store’s number on it, to get updates on his resume.  A third recruiter came from behind the counter to inform him that he did not need the store’s phone number and that he would be called if he qualified for the job.

Now I ask you.  Is this racism?  I reminds me of when Black folks were given the legal right to vote and the south erected all manner of Jim Crow laws to prohibit voting. Some places required: reading comprehension; reciting the constitution by heart; penmanship tests, etc…  So this young Black man goes into the beginnings of beginnings of the job market and is handedly rejected at every turn.  He was berated and insulted for even daring to step into McDonald’s.  He was constantly challenged to keep him from even submitting the application.  And, even when it was obvious that he qualified for the job, they ask for a resume.

Let’s call a spade a spade.  This particular scenario was nothing more than sheer racism.  Resume for entry level McDonald’s position?  They hire 16 year olds for the position.  Forget all that liberal: you should be prepared for anything.  IT’S MCDONALD’S!!! 

If someone came before me with these facts and I was a judge, I would be quite content to rule against McDonald’s.  It is unconscionable.

Let’s stop for a second and consider.  What if he had a resume?  What if everyone at the job fair had a resume?  My question is, why are they at McDonald’s applying for a starter job, with a resume?  You don’t show up to a pool party in a tailed tuxedo.

I know some people are going to be hard-headed and say McDonald’s was in the right.  To them, I just say you’re probably racist yourself.  If you cannot see that entire scenario as racist, then you’re either 9 years old and incapable of understanding such concepts, or you have no mental capacity or are just not a human.

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Why No Hyperinflation Yet?

Inflation vs Deflation

It is the mocking call of any wall street hack that does not ascribe to the Austrian school of economics to deride those that sane, to ask “where’s your hyperinflation now?”  Hyperinflation would be the cost of living going out of control; prices going out of control.  Zimbabwe comes to mind when speaking of hyperinflation.

The Keynesians like to say that there is no evidence of hyperinflation.  They point out that prices have not risen.  Inflation is at a 40 year lows.

What they don’t want to look at is the Federal Reserve balance sheet.  We are in a huge recession, depression even.  Prices should be dropping like a rock.  When no government controls were on, prices did plummet.  They fell hard and fast.  It was an immediate infusion of $7 trillion that halted the free fall.

Isn’t that evidence of hyperinflation?  Stubborn as always, the Keynesian will not acquiesce.  They need it spelled out for them.

OK I’ll speak slowly.

  • accounting for U6 unemployment the nation is now at 17% unemployment.  forget stupid governent reports
  • prices should have been falling to pre-1980 prices on housing, food and other consumer goods
  • the demand for oil was at an all time low in 2008

It was due to the tremendous factors of inflation, via the Federal Reserve, that the prices were halted in their tracks.  They did such a good job on inflation, that oil prices went through the roof, at a time when oil was at it’s lowest demand in 30 years.

So don’t say there is no hyperinflation.  Don’t say there is no inflation.  Look in the proper area and you will see it plane as day, it’s called the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve.  And, if you don’t acknowledge that the Feds are monetizing our government debt, then you’re not the investor you pretend to be.

Good day!

I say GOOD DAY!

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Movie Review: "Legion" is God Awful

Legion the Movie Review

Seriously, I don’t want to review this movie, it was just that bad.  Ok, out on DVD is legion.  For us Christians, and I guess Jews [I’m not sure], this movie about angels and God would be interesting.  Yes, there’s a guy with wings in it, and yes they mention “Him” about 50 times, in one sentence.  I counted.  But, it has nothing to do with Christian, nor Jewish, angels and nothing about God.  I mean, the Bible has to be the most widely read book in the history of man.  It is still a top seller.  So, why was nothing in this movie based on the Bible?

Don’t get me wrong.  I love an original screenplay as much as the next guy, but this was just… bad AND blasphemous?  Who goes out on a limb to piss half the world off, on a budget of … what $100 million? LOL

I can see the meetings now, “I know what if the angels had guns”..”and long coats”.

Let’s get to the review.

Legion Review

Legion’s uh… “story” is that God is pissed at mankind, YET again.  Ok we find this out in a narrative [I kid you not, they had to narrate this part, for us to figure out the main plot] But, instead of flooding the world [which would have been way out of budget, and it was done before where Morgan Freeman played the president] God instead sends… uh… angels that act like demons and possess people?  I am TOTALLY serious.  Yes, so instead of sending a flood, he sends his army of angels.  Only, the angels don’t act very angelic.  They, for whatever reason, possess human, like demons, and run around acting weird.

So let’s just stop using the word “angel”.  Noone in the movie has wings except 1 guy.  Ok, there’s another guy, but he cuts his off right at the beginning.  For whatever reason there are only 2 angels in this story about an angelic invading army. [oh hell, we all know the reason.  They couldn’t afford to actually pay actors, so they just paid 200 extras to … GET SHOT?  Oh yeah.  The “angels” seem to die from gunshot.

So the non-holy-spirit wielding angels, who are for whatever reason, are susceptible to gunshot, and die?  Wait, what?  The angels die?  Oh and I forgot, angels apparently have tattoos, all over their body for some reason.

The main angel, who is the good guy, is Michael the archangel [Paul Bettany, who apparently was strapped for cash].  The bad guy, is Gabriel the archangel [Kevin Durand, show me the money for my 3 scenes].  Wait, Michael is disobeying God and Gabriel is obeying God.  So who is the bad guy?  We are led to believe that Michael is the good guy.  [message? disobeying God is good]  And, why would Michael, the archangel, disobey God?  “Because he doesn’t know what he wants.”

oh really?

There were Black people in the movie too: Percy Walker [ played by mister Charles Dutton] and Kyle Williams (apperently intended to be a Jewish guy) [ played by mister Tyrese Gibson]

Plot holes: they had major plot hole issues.  In fact, you didn’t know what was going on, one scene to the next.  They would introduce plots, skip scenes, return to the subplot, just to leave you more confused.

Character Development: there was none.  They killed everyone in the movie, except Charlie the main plot character [ played by Adrianne Palicki].  Everyone was stereotypical.  So, who cares about character development.  There was a:

  • thug Black guy: Tyrese
  • praying Black guy: Charles Dutton
  • rich white guy: who gets killed 20 minutes into the movie
  • a slutty teenager
  • a nagging wife
  • a slutty, no husband having, hooker that’s pregnat: surprise, the main character
  • a cheap greasy spoon shop owner that yes at the waitress when there is 1 order ready
  • the I’m so cool, I shoulda been a shiny twilight vampire, but I’m too old, angel: who wield dual AK47s

Cinematography: none to speak of. 99% of the movie is shot inside the diner.  Also, 50% of the film is shot in the dark.  I hate that, to no end.  So they have action sequences.  But, because they can’t afford a stun coordinator nor a fight choreographer, they just shoot it in the dark.  

Soundtrack: lol yeah right.

Entertainment value: if you have a brain don’t go see this movie.  There are far superior movies with angels in them, with original scripts [hello Angels and Demons]

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The Stock Market is a Zero Sum Game

Zero Sum Game

A zero-sum game is any set of operations with two or more players, which when it is over, there are winners and losers, and the total points awarded to the winners exactly matches the total points the losers lost by.   The NASDAQ glossary defines the term as a situation in which one participant’s gains result only from another participant’s equivalent losses. The net change in total wealth among participants is zero; the wealth is just shifted from one to another.

I am going to show you how the stock market is indeed a zero sum game.  There are many that want to argue that it is not so.  There are many that wish to argue that it is not so.  But, let’s take a look at those people.  Who are they?  Brokers?  Self-styled market gurus?  Sure, they have a vested interest in you not realizing that the market is a zero-sum game.  If you get out of the market, where are they going to make their profits?

Stock Market

The stock market is a zero-sum game like a Ponzi scheme. There is no Uncle Sam to come riding in and bail out the losers. Every dollar that some investor wins in a stock market investment, some other investor lost — or will lose. The stock market is also a zero-sum game like an evening of poker. There are many hands (many listed companies), many opportunities for individual wins and losses, but the bottom line is the bottom line: every dollar of profit that any investor earns on the sale of stock was put into the market by another investor hoping to win.

Many people will readily admit that “zero sum game” is properly applied to options and futures markets because every contract has two parties, and for every dollar that one person makes the other loses a dollar.  But, they always stop at stocks.  NOOOOO not stocks.  There aren’t buyers and sellers for … stocks?  Wait. 

The term “zero sum game” does not apply to the stock market because at any given time there are more people long a stock than short the stock.

Oh really? So, there is not a buyer and seller?

The question is not “Is there a buyer for every seller?” but “Is there a short position for every long position?” to determine if it is a zero-sum game.  As long as there is a short position for every long position, every time one person makes a dollar someone else loses a dollar. That makes the total average return (before expenses) zero.  With a stock, there can never be as many short positions as long positions. When a company first issues shares there are no short positions. After that, every time someone shorts a share one new long share is essentially created, so there will always be more long shares than short shares. That, in turn, means when the price of the stock goes up more money is made than lost, so it is not a zero-sum game.

Oh, what tangled webs we weive, when we practice to deceive. So this person is saying that “don’t look at the buyers and sellers, that doesn’t matter.”  Instead he wants you to look at the long positions versus the short positions.  He then presents as evidence, the IPO of a stock.  Surely at the IPO a stock can never fall right?  RIGHT?  NEVER?  Uh, who is he trying to fool, and who would be so dumb to fall for that as being even a logical example.  Keeping it simple reveals the truth.  Accounting for time, there is always a buyer and seller.

Let’s take his example.  A company has an IPO.  People buy the stock.  People trade the stock.  The stock finally declines.  The company goes out of business and closes its doors.  Exactly the same amount of people that traded those stocks remain the same.  There were buyers to every seller.  The company being the original seller.

Zero Sum with The Federal Reserve

There should be no reason why the average public citizen should be a stock investor while the federal reserve bank is still in operation.  The very business of the federal reserve manipulates the value of the dollars that you are trading stock in.  The federal reserve has continually devalued the dollar at the expense of the investor and U.S. citizen alike.  How can you trade stocks when you must continually pay in debased currency.  To brake even, you must make someone else lose.

Let’s take the latest headline: “Small Investors After Market Drop: I told you so”  The article illustrates that there never was any volume in the market.  It was simply the “professional” investors who were trading stocks.  There never was this massive volume.  And, what is a “professional” investor?  Those huge brokerage firms.  They were simply trading stocks with each other and fluctuating the price.  They did not care if they made or lost money in the process, the game was simply to get you, the “small” investor to take the bait.  Luckily, most small investors were not so stupid.  I think a better price rule would be that there must be volume behind it, to even garner a change.

So, as you can see stocks, futures and options are all zero sum games.  There is no difference.  Don’t believe me?  Then go ask Professor Lawrence Harris is chairman of the Dept of Finance at the University of Southern California and Chief Economist of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  [yes, I always have an ace up my sleeve, and you should too]

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