Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

Archive for the category “Current Events”

VOTE!

I haven’t been blogging any this year. I realize that my audience has probably vanished. There is, however, something I need to say today.

VOTE

Many have said that we don’t have any choices in this election. That neither of the candidates are acceptable. I hear your objections clearly, but it is vital that we all exercise our right to vote.

There may come a day when that right is taken away. There may come a day when that right is greatly restricted compared to now. It’s simple. I may not agree with every one who reads this post, but I would fight if necessary to defend our right to say what is on our minds even if we don’t agree. So speak up! Go Vote!

 

Free College

President Obama announced yesterday a proposal to give free community college to anyone who is “willing to work for it”. The specifics of the program at this point are vague. It is proposed that students who keep up a 2.5 GPA and are making progress to complete their degrees in a 3 years or less could receive this help if the state the community college is in opts into the program.

This is because the Federal Government is going to pay 75% of the tuition and State governments would pick up 25%.

This program is modeled after a program began last year in the state of Tennessee. About 58,000 of the states roughly 62,000 high school seniors have applied for the program. It is my understanding that the Tennessee program is funded by Lottery monies.

There were no specifics given in the Presidents announcement about how this program would be funded. I would be interested in finding out how many billions of dollars this is going to cost the taxpayers, you and me.

I fear that this might be another unfunded mandate handed down by the Federal government for the state and local governments to bear the burden of.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any problem  with assisting children from underprivileged families in order for them to get an education. A good education, if the individual applies what they have learned, is the best way for a person to change their lives and break the cycle of poverty.

However, just guaranteeing an education doesn’t guarantee a job in the field they get their degree in. There are people in this economy who are under employed. Meaning they are working in a field that is not what they studied, and are making less money  because there are no jobs available in their field.

I know young adults with degrees who are working jobs making $8-9 per hour because there were no jobs available in their chosen field. They should be making $22,000 to $25,000 per year at least based on estimates.

I fear this is another in a long list of education programs, both Democratic and Republican, design to “improve education”. However, government has been largely unsuccessful at improving education. That is why we have so many failing schools and failing students. While I don’t have any answers for this problem, I don’t think another bureaucratic program is the answer because most of the money will be spent on the bureaucracy created to run the program and very little of the money will actually get to where it is needed.

I have rambled on this a good bit and I appreciate you sticking around to read all of it. As I said I don’t have any good answers for our education problems, but I know that the government solutions have not worked before. Maybe this one will, but I doubt it

I am certain this program will create much discussion on both sides. Please share your opinion below about this new idea of the Presidents. I look forward to reading them.

I Have An Announcement

The phrase “I have an announcement” is often used in our culture when someone wants to announce an event that is about to happen. Everyone from major corporations to people with a social media account make announcements every day. Some of these announcements affect large groups of people. Many times, however, the announcements only affect a small group.

There was 1 announcement made a long time ago to the most unlikely group of people to receive such message. This announcement began a series of events that would forever change the world.

The announcement took place in  a very small town in a small country to a group of people who were the outcasts of society. Nobody wanted to have anything to do with them. The smelled different from everyone else, they didn’t dress like everyone else either.

You see, this announcement was made to a group of shepherds, outside if Bethlehem, in Israel. The announcement was so big that it was sent from God. He didn’t just send 1 angel to make the announcement. He had a whole sky full of angels making this announcement!

This announcement was amazing! There was a baby born in Bethlehem. Not just any baby though, this baby was the Son of God! God became human, lived a perfect life, and gave his life that we could be free from the penalty of sin, which is death! What an amazing announcement! What an amazing God!

The greatest announcement ever made was made to a group of outcast shepherds. the announcement was made to the entire world. Just like the shepherds, we need to spread the announcement to all we come in contact with.

Reaction To The Election: Better Late Than Never

I was looking at my blog the other day and realized I haven’t written anything in almost six months. Wow, talking about a long case of writers block! My problem is not always writers block, but instead lack of time to write.

So much for my whining, I thought today would be a good time to offer one or two quick comments about the election. I’ve spent the past week, just like you have, listening to all of the liberal and conservative pun-dents on TV and talk radio spin the results of the election. Some I agree with, some I do not.

Listen, this is actually pretty simple. Most people in this country are tired of sending people to Washington to do a job, who, opnce they get there, decide to do nothing, draw their pay, and then ask the voters for the job again.

It’s like this. You can fool me once. You might even get away with fooling me twice. It’s not often that somebody gets a third opportunity with me.

so the Republicans have two years to try to get something significant done in Washington. Will they be successful? I don’t know for sure, but probably not.

I do know this. If they don’t make improvements by the 2016 elections, the american voters will probably do it again. And I have a feeling that the voters will keep changing horses until they get some that will do the job they are sent to Washington to do.

I’m going to try to do better with this writing thing. I’m going to start with a goal of publishing something once a week toward the end of the week each week. Hopefully, some of you will come back from time to time for a read as I tell my side of the story.

As always, your comments are welcome below

He Is Risen!

Today is Easter Sunday. It is the day on which we Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. As I think about the events of that weekend some 2000 years ago, I am reminded of the raw human emotion in this story.

Think about that first Easter for a moment. The disciples were hiding. They thought they would be next to be killed. They feared for their lives and at the same time, they grieved because their leader was no longer with them. Just sit for a moment and get a picture in your mind of the scene in that upper room. The same room where they had just celebrated the passover.

It is no wonder that morning when the women who had gone to the tomb came bursting into the room with the news that Jesus’ body was gone that they felt apprehension. I’m certain that was much confusion and doubt in their minds.

Than Mary came running in with the news that she had seen Jesus! All of the confusion, the fear, the grief all came to a fever pitch.

We tend to be too rough on the disciples and their doubt. I would imagine that we would feel the same way if placed in the same situation.

Soon, however, Jesus would appear to them and put all of their fears to rest right? Hardly the Bible tells us in Matthew 28:17 that a few days later, Jesus appeared to them in Galilee. They worshiped, but some doubted.

People still doubt today! They don’t believe that a dead man got up and walked! Yet the evidence is clear. His tomb is empty!

We must shout it from the housetops. HE IS RISEN! Throw a party, celebrate! He is Risen, and I believe HE is coming again very soon!

 

Rainy Mondays- A Good Day To Do Nothing

I think I’ve written about this subject before, but this is one of those days that I just can’t pass it up. It has rained all morning here in North Mississippi where I live and work. Just a lazy kind of day. There’s not much going on here at work either and that makes it even worse.

Actually, I’m usually pretty tired on Mondays. I attend a small church in my home town. As with most small churches, Sundays are extremely busy. I teach a class of adults ranging in age from close to 30 to my age, I’m 55.  Then during worship service I play bass in our praise team and sing. We use a variety of music in our church from the great hymns of the past, to some of the new worship music of the present.

After church there is lunch at my mom’s house, I’ve written about that before in a post titled “Sunday Dinner”. I do usually get a short power nap in before going back to church for praise team practice, and Sunday night services.

After church on Sunday night, our 2 daughters, their husbands and children all come to our house for Sunday night supper. Our 3 grandsons, ages 4, 2 1/2, & 6 weeks are something else. It usually turns into a 3 ring circus before we are through. My wife and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

By 10 PM, I am ready to fall into bed. Monday mornings, come way too soon for me. Today is no exception. I am just having trouble getting motivated to do anything. I’ve got a project to complete this afternoon so I guess I’ll put a stop to my complaining and get on with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy serving in my church. Sundays are such a blessing from God. But it makes for a long Monday.

 

Hiding Behind A Mask

Halloween Costumes 1980

Today is Halloween. This is the time of the year that children and some adults think about dressing up in all kinds of costumes, going out door to door and getting candy. Most of the costumes for children have some type of mask with them. Thus making it easier to pretend to be someone else for a short time.

I wonder how many Christians are hiding behind masks all the time? Hiding who we really are to act like what we believe a Christian is supposed to act.

We live in a culture today where 2 families can come to the same church every Sunday, sit in the same pew with each other every week, and yet not have a clue about the struggles and problems the other family is going through.

We think that because we are Christians we are supposed to have it all together. We are not supposed to have any problems. Guess what? That’s the wrong answer!

Listen! We still live in this sin cursed world! We are not home yet! To borrow a line from Steve Brown, we are beggars telling other beggars where we found bread. While we are here, we need to reach out to one another and lean on one another.

We need to take off our mask and admit to the world that we are lonely and needy. That we sometimes say things we shouldn’t and even do things we shouldn’t.

Who knows? Revival might just break out in the church! And our Father would be pleased.

Learning To Trust

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn in my Christian walk is learning to trust God in all situations. Not a blind trust, but a trust developed through experience. Yet, I need to be reminded constantly of the Father’s consistent working in my life.

I remember many years ago when my children were younger, we went through a tough time with my job. I was working for a major furniture manufacturer when business took a downturn. It got so bad that we were only working 3 days a week. I was out looking around our small town for  a second job and wasn’t finding one. I finally realized that God was trying to tell me to trust Him. To be patient and rest in Him. It was amazing to watch God work through other Christians and sometimes in ways that I couldn’t understand to meet our needs.

Proverbs 3:5-6 became very important in my life because of this season in my life.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do  not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths. ESV

There are times in our lives though that we don’t think about past victories and we fail to remember how God has helped us in the past. Maybe we should follow more closely the commands that God gave the children of Israel when he told them to teach the children in their household the truths of God’s law and the way God helped them get to the promised land.

It’s difficult to learn to trust God completely. In our culture, individualism is encouraged. There is pressure to look out for number 1, ourselves, and not think about others. We as followers of Christ, must learn in these difficult days to trust in God for all of our needs. We must realize that God, not the government is the source of all we have. It’s difficult to learn. I’m still working on it, but god is faithful to remind me daily of all He’s done for me. I just have to listen.

Please share some of your experiences in learning to trust God in the comments below.

 

A Leadership Void

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve been watching some of the bickering this week over the government shutdown in Washington. I’ve got to admit, these people don’t have a clue about what is best for the country

 

I could give you my opinion on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as some call it. I could even give you my opinion about the debt and the federal budget. I’m not going to here. That’s not what this is about. You can ask me and I might tell you privately, but not here.

 

When you study the people who were instrumental in the founding of this country, you find something that is missing in Washington today. Not just in Congress, but all the government has this problem.

 

If you read the stories of the founding of The United States, especially the debates around the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, we find some heated debates between the delegates. One central theme remained the same throughout. All of the delegates wanted what was best for the young nation. They knew they were not going to win every debate. Each man seemed to know when it was time to compromise and give a little for the good of the country.

 

That’s just one small part of being a leader and showing leadership in tough times. We face some difficult problems in this country. These problems won’t be solved by the political party that has the power not being willing to compromise. Leadership means being willing to listen, willing to compromise, and must realize that you can’t have your way all the time.

 

We have a leadership void in Washington. No one seems  willing to lead and do what’s best for the country and our future. We need men and women like those who founded this country. I’m afraid there is not any of those kind of leaders left.

 

What is your opinion on the leadership void in Washington?

 

It’s Hard To Slow Down

Saturday with Friends and Family  028

I’ve been trying to slow down. Between work, church, and other activities I have  found it very difficult to do this. Even though I have felt that God was leading me to do this for my own good, I have found it difficult to do.

However, I have to slow down now. I have battled the Shingles for about a week now. The pain is bad enough, but the fatigue has been horrible. I have slowed down this week.

Since I work from home, I am able to leave the office several times a day and get some rest. I had gotten to the point where I would work all day, help my wife fix diner,  then after dinner go back into the office and work until 8:30 or 9:00 at night.

Now I leave my office in the back of the house at 4:30 and I don’t go back to it unless there is a deadline on a job that I am about to miss.

I actually take time to rest now and I don’t work on Saturday, which used to be an every Saturday occurrence.

We live in a society where many people are driven to excel to the point of pushing themselves to exhaustion. I have done this for a couple of years.

Through these experiences, there are a couple of things I am learning to do.

1. I have to learn to say NO!

Learning to say no in a nice way is important. When I get several thing pulling me in different directions, I have to learn to set priorities and say no to the others.

2. Make extra time during the day and the week to rest.

God took 6 days to create this universe and then rested on the 7th day. This wasn’t because God was tired, He was setting the example for all of us to follow. Our society moves so fast, and stays so busy that it is difficult to make time to rest. I know some people who claim they cannot just sit around and do nothing. I would suggest a hobby that is not stressful to do. I have found hobbies to be very restful.

Maybe some of you have other suggestions on how to slow down your life? Please leave a comment with your suggestions.

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