Draw you own conclusions

U.S. Census Bureau

Poverty:

  • The official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, down 1.2 percentage points from 14.8 percent in 2014.
  • In 2015, there were 43.1 million people in poverty, 3.5 million less than in 2014.
  • The 2015 poverty rate was 1.0 percentage point higher than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.
  • For most demographic groups, 2015 poverty rates and estimates of the number of people in poverty decreased from 2014.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, poverty rates decreased for all three major age groups. The poverty rate for children under age 18 dropped 1.4 percentage points, from 21.1 percent to 19.7 percent. Rates for people aged 18 to 64 dropped 1.1 percentage points, from 13.5 percent to 12.4 percent. Poverty rates for people aged 65 and older decreased 1.1 percentage points, from 10.0 percent to 8.8 percent

According to the APPA (American Pet Products Association), Americans spent a total of $23.04 billion on pet food, $14.39 billion on supplies/OTC medicine, $15.73 billion on vet care, $2.19 billion on live animal purchases and $5.24 billion on pet services like grooming and boarding. Total of 60.59 billion dollars for pets.

National Philanthropic Trust

Americans gave $373.25 billion in 2015. This reflects a 4.1% increase from 2014

In 2015, the majority of charitable dollars went to religion (32%) Total 138.82 billion, education (15%), human services (12%), grantmaking foundations (11%), and health (8%).

The NPD Group, Inc. (NPD; formerly National Purchase Diary)

Research Shows $15.39 Billion Spent On Video Game Content In The US In 2013, A 1 Percent Increase Over 2012.

My Bible is Like a Computer ~

Worth reading and thinking about.

My Bible is Like a Computer ~

Saved by Andrw Gruner free photo #18906

My Bible is like a computer,
God is the Father board
where all His personal data
is backed up, saved and stored.

When I boot up the Good Book,
there’s a full menu bar to look at
a list of His commands pop up
so with God I can have a chat.

There are plenty of applications,
that I always have access to
I paste them to my clipboard
for future studying and review.

Each verse has it own control key,
that keeps me pressing on . . .
I sort them in my soul’s hard drive
and burn them on my heart’s CD ROM.

Sometimes my memory is short,
and I can’t remember a Scripture
so I launch my anti-verse program
to debug the fuzzy picture.

When I feel like I’m freezing up,
or when I’m feeling fragmented
I search for my favorite passages
to ensure a crash is prevented.

I still have a lot of virtual memory,
to download and file all I’ve learned
so I’ll install an anti-sin protector
to insure I don’t crash or burn.

My uninterruptible power source,
has its own surge suppressor
and I count on the Holy Bible
to be my anti-Christ protector.

My Bible is like a computer,
it has a powerful control panel
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
is all my database will handle!

~~~~~~~~~~

🙂

Copyright 2013
Deborah Ann Belka

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Saved by Andrw Gruner free photo #18906

My Bible is like a computer,
God is the Father board
where all His personal data
is backed up, saved and stored.

When I boot up the Good Book,
there’s a full menu bar to look at
a list of His commands pop up
so with God I can have a chat.

There are plenty of applications,
that I always have access to
I paste them to my clipboard
for future studying and review.

Each verse has it own control key,
that keeps me pressing on . . .
I sort them in my soul’s hard drive
and burn them on my heart’s CD ROM.

Sometimes my memory is short,
and I can’t remember a Scripture
so I launch my anti-verse program
to debug the fuzzy picture.

When I feel like I’m freezing up,
or when I’m feeling fragmented
I search for my favorite passages
to ensure a crash is…

View original post 81 more words

Optimism

CAUSE:

Cynic; a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons

EFFECT:

Pessimist; a person who believes that this world is as bad as it could be or that evil will ultimately prevail over good.

Just in case no one has perceived my intent I would like to sum it by admitting that I am a cynical pessimist. The only optimism I can see is the possibility that Christianity, practiced in its apostolic form, could change what is to what should be.

We all have choices to make and consequences to bear. God, Christianity and faith provide me with hope I cannot find elsewhere. There has to be a truth, an answer to the question, what good is a humanity that consistently fails to see opportunity that exists in a common good, a common welfare for civilization a world working together to bring peace, virtue and morality to bear.

Does it not make you wonder that in 4000 years’ humanity has accomplished so much through science and tectnolgy yet finds it impossible to be symbiotic. I believe that it remains possible to do so and that it is ultimately necessary that we find the lynchpin that will make it happen.

Christianity may not provide the answers, but the concepts laid out in the New Testament are conducive to a good beginning.

We have to start somewhere or accept our misgivings and continue done the same path to What? More of the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thrill Of Trusting ~

Have a great day.

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Trust in The Lord used with permission IBible Verses

Oh, the thrill of trusting God,
to meet our every need
to no longer live in fear
or follow where it may lead.

Oh, how great is the faith,
of the one who doesn’t doubt
who stands on the promise
God will figure all things out.

Oh, how great is His delight,
when we give to Him our strife
to place in our Master’s hand
complete control of our life.

Oh, how wonderful is the way,
which is paved in sound belief
Jesus is the soul’s provider
for everlasting peace and relief.

Oh, the thrill of trusting God,
in everything by prayer
to give to Him our every need
casting onto Him our daily care!

~~~~~~~~~

1 Peter 5:6-7
King James Version

“Therefore humble yourselves under the
mighty hand of God, that He may exalt
you in due time, casting all your care
upon Him, for He cares for you.”

View original post 5 more words

The Great Commission

Matthew 28:16-20King James Version (KJV)

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

I really want you to read what Jesus commissioned his disciples to do. In particular notice that he never says I want you to sit here and pray for humanity, he doesn’t say that he wants them to change the world one soul at a time he says “all nations”.

Keeping that in mind why is it so many Christians believe that Jesus wants you to sit back and pray your way into a Christian community with Christian ethics. When he says, “them” how can it possibly be construed as singular.

Are Christians really so naïve that they believe a prayer, that is not followed by commitment and action, will change the world. When I pray for change, for the common good of all humanity, I pray for Jesus to lead and guide me in how and what I can do to be his disciple.

Granted I am not exactly in the front row seats of his arena of the faithful but I would like to think that I am at least in the stadium.

Please don’t get me wrong I believe in the power or prayer but sometimes I think Jesus wants me to make an effort to prepare an environment conducive to its success.

If all Christians in all nations made an effort to create an environment that provided for the development of a free and peaceful world wherein sin was unacceptable and virtue and justice were the accepted norm, then we could have the answers that we pray for.

 

 

Giving to God

Have you ever wondered why you do or don’t want to be a Christian?

It surly seems popular being that 70% over 243 million voting age Americans say it is the Religion they follow. Thousands of churches, hundreds of denominations, millions of people and yet references to the Christian faith have been banned from government, deleted from education, ridiculed by the media and persecuted by literature.

I couldn’t find much on the internet except that which I will list below as to why people follow the Christian faith.

Brings meaning to my life

Gods unending love

Forgiveness

Gods peace

God has our best interest at heart

Blessings

One thing that stands out is that all the reasons represent what God and the Christian faith give to those that choose to have faith. However, marking it on a polling form, going to church, saying a prayer now and then, donating to charity or telling someone you disagree with how Christianity is being persecuted by public opinion doesn’t make it so.

Many are Christians at home, in the church or among other Christians but how many of us are Christians in public. I don’t know about you but in my experiences walking around with a button announcing your faith and proclaiming that you are a Christian is embarrassing. It is like wearing an I support Trump button to a Democratic convention. The looks, the ridicule and the contempt of those who disagree is unending. Why?

With all the hoopla and public support for “tolerance” why are Christians considered fair game for discrimination. Some will say because Christians are hypocrites, think they are better than everyone else or ignorant of the facts of science. Others won’t be able to give a reason at all for them they are just following the anti-Christian herd created by public opinion and the media.

It would seem obvious, given the Pew numbers of the Christian population, that either our Democracy isn’t working or that the word Christian has become lost in definition and many are unclear on the concept.

Stop for a minute and imagine the possibility of a Christian majority as a political party. The average voter turnout for a presidential election runs about 60% of voting age Americans and that is divided between all the political parties on the ballot. Using the 70% from the Pew report, that would mean that 86% could have voted for a Christian candidate.

How can Christians expect God to bless American when we are unwilling to give back some of what God has given us?

God asks for so little and gives so much:

Mark 12:29-30

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

 

Eternal Life?

John 10:28King James Version (KJV)

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Why would any sane human being want to live forever? I got to tell you that after just 68 years I am pretty well fed up with the world and all of its insanity. However, I cannot stop wondering what could have been had the world excepted peace, humility and the standards of a common good for all.

When Darwin proposed his theory it was “survival of the fittest” that stood out for me. More importantly is was the word “survival”. Survival: the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances, it is what humanity needs to secure the basic needs of life. Most would consider the basic needs as, Oxygen, Water, Food, Shelter and Sleep.

Here I am at 68 and that all works pretty good for my daily worries. Unfortunately, it has been determined that humanity seems to prefer companionship and of course to reproduce. Therefore, we have to expand Darwin’s theory to include the need for competition to get sex and the need for someone to have sex with, a companion. There you are a parent, you have a child and now you can get back to the basic needs.

Here is where the problem begins, in God’s Eden, Adam and Eve were set to be this enormously happy couple and then literally all Hell breaks loose. I believe Sigmund Freud explains it best, they discover their ID. “Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, the id is the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires. The id operates based on the pleasure principle, which demands immediate gratification of needs.” Along with the ID goes the Ego, “Where id is, there shall ego be.” (Sigmund Freud, 1933, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis)

I think I can safely describe the 21st Century as operating under the auspices of pleasure and ego and the immediate gratification of “what I want”, just look to the credit card debt as an example.

Freud uses a term I like, Psychic Energy, and to me it follows Einstein’s theory, ““Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” Albert Einstein

I doubt if Darwinism or Science can empirically explain psychic energy. For Christianity I would describe it as “soul” that spiritual or immaterial part of us we regard as immortal. God provided Adam and Eve with everything they needed and their souls were never intended to die but to exist eternally.

I believe that the difference lies in the fact they both decided, like all humanity, that Einstein’s theory was wrong and they could control and change Psychic Energy as they wanted.

Christians should believe that God is in charge of their Soul (Psychic Energy) and therefore can never be destroyed. If the Soul that follows God can never be destroyed, then Einstein would relate to its Eternal existence.

If you take the ego and the id out of the equation, then Adam and Eve would not have taken a bite out of the apple.

 

Humility

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 

Humility: a modest or low view of one’s own importance; synonyms: modesty · humbleness · meekness · diffidence · unassertiveness · lack of pride · lack of vanity · servility · submissiveness.

Where in the world can you find anyone capable of humility as it is defined. We live in a time when the significance of individual desires, the power of special interests and the legislation of individual rights stand above all else.

The meek, the poor, the downtrodden and the persecuted no longer believe that God is going to help. They know that with a few protests, some well-placed media coverage and a political pundit or two they can obtain support from the tax payers and the bleeding hearts of public opinion. On the surface this seems appropriate but success and satisfaction are never achieved, and more is always demanded.

What ever happened to the words of John F. Kennedy when he said: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.(The quote was originally cited by Gibran Khalil Gibran)

— John F. Kennedy, inauguration address, January 1961

Society has taken a one for all attitude and converted it to an all for one reality. The whole concept of united we stand together we fall has been decimated by political, social and moral special interests. The problem being that it never ends, the more you give the more will be demanded.

I truly believe that when Christians and Christian Churches can respond to Kennedy’s address in the terms of ask not what God can do for you but what you can do for God we can “heal or land”.

2 Chronicles 7:14King James Version (KJV)

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Free Will

Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action.

John 7:17 – If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.

Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Well, do “you” have free will or not, this is a simple yes or no question yet your answer carries with it a butt load of responsibility and conviction.

The idea of fee will is a lot more complex than it might seem.   If you are in charge of your life, if you are that one human to whom you owe allegiance then you bear the burden of total and complete responsibility for your choice of action and the consequence there of.

In free will there is no blaming parents, the government or any other past, present of future occurrence. It is totally up to you to choose, you can set your own agenda for morality, right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust. What a wonderful world of merriment that would be.

However, the alternative, no I do not believe in free will, means that you are not in charge of you and your actions and you have no choices that are not predestined leaving you free to discard responsibility and guilt off onto past or present occurrences and experiences, the devil made me do it.

Christianity gives you free will with rules, like a society or civilization, but your conviction is at the hands of a completely unbiased judge who has cast his rules in stone, there is no ambiguity. Society gives you rules that are not cast in stone and about as ambiguous as a good attorney can create.

I believe that the Bible makes it convincingly clear that God intends for us to have free will. God expects us to mess up but he makes it obvious the if we do it is our sin, our guilt and our responsibility to confess, repent, make it right, and learn from the lessons. The idea being that we will in fact make choices that are based on past experiences. In this sense you are in charge but you owe allegiance to God.

He explains it best in:

Matthew 6:24King James Version (KJV)

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (money or material wealth).

God has truly set out a path that is wide and all can follow, but his rules are straight forward, they are cast in stone and his gate his narrow so few will enter.

Your “will” is free however your choices bear eternal consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

Faith Is Active ~

Have a great day.

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Faith is Active ~ CHRISTian poetry by deborah ann

Faith isn’t passive,
its active and moving
its something each day
we must be using.

Faith isn’t shy,
it’s bold and fearless
with it we mustn’t be
casual or careless.

Faith is an act,
it has no cannot’s
all things are possible
is faith’s only thoughts.

Faith is a movement,
driving us from within
with the Holy Spirit
as our spiritual linchpin.

Faith starts as a walk,
leading into a run
it doesn’t give up  . . .
till the faithful race is won!

~~~~~~~~~

1 Peter 1:5

“Who are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation ready
to be revealed in the last time.”

King James Version
Public Domain

Copyright 2016
Deborah Ann Belka

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