Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

Archive for the tag “United States”

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?



I Need Your Help With A Project-Part 1

A modern Western worship team leading a contem...

I need your help. I am working on a series of post about worship, both private and public worship. I have served for several years as worship leader, some of you call it song leader, at North Ripley Baptist Church in Ripley, MS. As I work on preparing this series, I am planning on writing several of these posts over the next couple of weeks. Each post will have at least one question, some may have more. Each question will be about some aspect of worship. You can  take part in the discussion by responding to the question in the comment section below.

I would love to have responses from many denominations and beliefs to get a broader perspective on the subject.


Today’s Question:

In your own words, define worship.

Or, What is worship?


Thanks for your help,

Mike Turner

Middle Age Ramblings



Tax Cuts And Basic Economics

I’ve been fed up with the junk that goes on in Washington for some time now. I usually manage to keep my mouth shut, but there is only so much stupidity I can stand.

This week the President, Barak Obama, gave a speech about the economy and tax policy. He proposes that we keep the Bush-era tax cuts, but only for those Americans who make less than $250,000 a year.

Let’s go back to simple basic economics and see if I can explain this. There are many entrepreneurs in this country who are sole proprietors or in simple partnerships in the businesses. Most of these business owners make more than $250,000 per year.

At the most basic level of economics, which by the way almost nobody in Washington seems to understand, there are only 3 things that small business owner can do with his profits.

First of all he can save it. There’s a novel idea. By saving and investing part of his profits, He puts part of his profits to work to build the economy. However, the Congress and the President have made sure that they will get their share of the profits of those investments in the form of taxes.

Secondly, he can spend his profits on personal bills, a new car for his wife, light bill, phone bill, put food on his families table. He can also use that money to expand his business and hire more employees.

Finally, he can pay taxes. Of course there are tax consequences with the first 2 items. As I’ve already mentioned, there are taxes on the profits from investments. Then there are taxes on spending in the form of sales taxes. Lastly we have the dreaded income tax. The President wants to raise taxes on everyone making more than $250,000 per year as I’ve already mentioned.

The effects are clear. If you increase the amount of taxes there is less money to save and spend. This means for the small business owner that there is less money to invest in the business which translates into fewer jobs.

I’ve had several jobs in my life. Some of those jobs were with large corporations. Some of those jobs, however, were working for small business owners. There are more jobs provided by small businesses than the larger companies. The bottom line is this. I’ve never had a poor man hire me for a job. I’ve always been hired by a business owner who was wealthy enough and successful enough to create jobs and hire me. Mr. President if you want to take more money from these job creators, then it is obvious to me that you fully intend to completely tank this economy.

I hope the American voters have better sense than to reelect this President!

As always your opinions on this subject are welcome. I try to read all responses even though I will not be able to respond to all of them.


Tell Me What You Think #2

This is the second in a series where I’m asking my readers to think a little about an issue that is being discussed. It may be religious  or it may not be. Just depends on what’s in the news ans what catches my eye.

What do you think about the rising gas prices?

Any thoughts on the possible causes for the increase lately?

Any ideas for possible solutions to the problem?

After I read some of your ideas, I will try to come up with some of my own and post them later.

Thanks for your ideas!


I’m Back (I Think)

I have not written a post on this blog since September 11, 2011. It’s been a wild 3 months to say the least. My wife and I have a new grandson born Sept 27. My daughter had some complications after the delivery, but God is so good and she has recovered! By the way, the baby is fine too!

Things have been moving kinda fast at our church as well. We called a new Pastor back in April. He came onto the field with fresh energy and God has mightily blessed the efforts of our new pastor as well as the congregation.

My life has moved very fast the past few months as I said in the beginning. I have not been very successful at finding time to write. Hopefully I can change that in the coming days.

Those of you who read this who write as well can relate to what I’m about to say. As I sat down to write this, I didn’t even know what I was going to say. The longer you stay away from writing the harder it is to start back.

Pray for me as I try to get back into the habit of writing. I am certain that I will continue to write devotional thoughts from time to time, but I am also feeling a prompting I believe from the Lord to also speak out on some current issues as well. You thoughts and comments even if you disagree with me will be appreciated and will be prayerfully read and considered because I don’t claim to have any answers, but I do know the one who does have all the answers, Jesus Christ.


Do You Remember?

It was another beautiful autumn day in North Mississippi where I live. I got up early as usual and went to my factory job just like any other weekday morning, but this day was to be drastically different from any other day I had lived.

I was a quality inspector in a furniture factory at the time working in the fabric receiving area of the building. It was normal for the crew I worked with to have a radio blasting something. That morning a local country music station had been chosen. suddenly about the middle of the morning, the music was interrupted for a news broadcast from ABC Radio News. This was highly unusual because this particular station was one of those all music stations that did not normally have news during the day.

The news reporter said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. We thought at first that a small plane had gone out of control and had hit the building. We soon realized that was not what had happened at all as more news came. Then we heard that a second plane had struck and we learned the awful truth that we had been attacked. Two passenger jets had hit the World Trade Center.

As each update came on the radio, the news became worse and worse. First one tower then the other collapsed trapping many Americans in the rubble. Our lives had changed forever.

Even though it has been 10 years since that awful day, the events that transpired that day and the days that followed are forever imprinted in my mind. The attack happened on a Tuesday and that night in our small town all the churches in town were open and people were in those churches praying. I remember that my family and I were scheduled to sing that night for revival services in my parents church. That was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but God saw us through.We were able to minister the hope of Jesus that night in that congregation.

In the days that followed, the company I worked for held voluntary prayer services around the company flag pole every day. Almost all the employees participated at one time or another. Church attendance rose as people sought the comfort of church attendance.

By the end of the second month after September 11th, church attendance was pretty much back to normal. For people in my area of the country it was back to business as usual. God was forgotten or at the least pushed to the back burner for many. I,  however, cannot forget that easily. I cannot forget the horror of that time, the bravery of the police, fire, and rescue workers in New York and Washington, the fears of my youngest daughter who slept in the room with me and my wife for a week after out of fear.

But we as a nation seems to have forgotten, or at least we don’t remember the day like we should. September 11 is just another day in the history of this nation to so many people. Even the politicians now make speeches and try to spin the story of that time to make their beliefs and philosophies look good instead of treating the day like it should be treated.It is no longer politically correct in this nation to talk of the positive things that went on in this country after 9/11.

So here we are ten years later and this country hasn’t learned the lesson on September 11 as a day when God himself lifted the hedge around this country to let us know that we are going down the wrong road. We have forgotten the truth of this day.Now we look to Washington to solve our problems when God is the only one who can solve our problems. May God again have mercy on our nation. I pray that it doesn’t take another 9/11 or worse to turn this country back to God.


If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

Heavenly Father,

Forgive us this day for our sins and the sins of our nation. We pray that you will heal our land and restore this nation to the greatness we once enjoyed. Father we remember those who gave their lives 10 years ago today. May their lives not be lost in vain. Amen.

The Great Debt Fiasco

I have watched the events in Washington about the debt ceiling with mixed emotions. The way this has been handled speaks volumes about what’s wrong in Washington. We have a President that is trying to turn this country into a European style socialists republic, and a divided Congress that can’t seem to find a way to make a decision. Don’t get me wrong, this is not easy to fix, but to do nothing is wrong as well.

Keep in mind, I don’t have the answers that will fix this problem. If I did I wouldn’t be working for a living. If you’ve read my column about the price of gasoline, you know that I think we need to vote the whole bunch out of office and start over. I am neither Democrat or Republican. I am an American who is sick and tired of the way Washington messes me and all the other middle-income American over.

When I think about this problem as logically as I can, I see that there are sacrifices that need to be made. There is going to have to be some cuts in entitlement programs. There also may have to be some changes in the tax code to increase revenues. I cannot afford to pay any more taxes, however, we as a nation have allowed our leaders to do this to us, and we will now reap as a nation what we have sown.

That’s my rant for the day. What’s your opinion?

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