Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of Year Roundup

Well, this year has gone by so quickly there is not enough time for a proper end of year roundup. Of course, anybody knows, as we get older, our years get shorter.

At the beginning of the year I recognized that we may be entering the "end game" and the prophesies concerning the Rapture, Tribulation, and the Return of Christ seem, more than ever to be coming true. I rather suspect we have less than 20 years left in this world, though we may have less than 20 minutes also. As any Bible believing Christian will tell you: "NO man knows the day, nor the hour" that the end times will come.

Throughout most of the year I watched the world and US economy slowly tread water or move first one way then another, with no real progress. But I really spent most of the year rethinking and reorganizing my disaster plans. Oh, yes, I have disaster plans. I am not making plans to ride out Armageddon, and be a survivalist in days that look like Mad Max. But I have plans to make things go a little smoother should some little calamity come to my corner of the Earth between now and the End.

Towards the end of the year, mostly in October and November, I spent too much time following the silver market, and considering buying some silver coins. I actually tried at one point, only to have my credit card not go through, because of some computer glitch. I might try again, but I am learning not to spend too much time thinking about it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just a note about parables

The parables seem to be of interest to some people, but to be properly understood, they need to be studied as a whole. There is a principle, called hermeneutic consistency that needs to be applied.

As some examples, in all of Scripture, the New Testament Saints (after the resurrection) are never called servants, nor are we involved in the harvest. The servants of God are the Old Testament believers. New Testament Saints are called Sons, the Church, the Bride of Christ, etc.

We, Jesus and the Church, are the sowers, not the reapers. The angels are the reapers.

Earth is not the Kingdom of Heaven. The Church is not the Vineyard. We are the branch, not the olive tree, nor the vine.

Birds are never good in parables, they are always evil ones. Leaven is never good, but is the corruption that "puffs up" and makes things palatable to the carnal man.

This of course, in not all inclusive, but can give some insight to parables that otherwise can be very misleading.


It is appointed unto man (mankind) once to die, and after that the judgment. Will you stand before God, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, or stand before him in your sin? This is the all important question.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Economy Still Stinks a Little

I find it amusing the markets are all up these past few days. Can anyone say "irrational exuberance"? Not only is our government still massively in debt, with no real plan in sight to fix it, but the governments of Greece and a few others are in the same condition. And not only are governments in dire condition, but the consumers and the corporations they have come to worship as their provider are in dire condition also, with balance sheets full of debt. And a meltdown in Europe is not too much of a long-shot in the next few weeks.

The fact the world economy keeps humming along is a testament to workers who get up each morning, look at the situation, and go to work anyway, even knowing they aren't making enough to do well. And it is a testament to God's Grace and Patience that he hasn't pulled the plug on this world and allowed the Evil One to come to power for that "last 7 years."

It is possible (it would fit well with my understanding of prophesy) the meltdown of the European Union could be the start of the Great Tribulation. But I think it is more likely just one more event along the way towards it, and we have a ways to go. And that is how I do my planning. If this is "the end," so be it, but if it is not, then here is the best way to handle it.

Greenspan used the term "irrational exuberance" in Dec 2006, and within a year we were into the meltdown. I was a bit disturbed Bernanke sold us a bill of goods while secretly bailing out the world banking system. We were told TARP would be $800B, and it looked on the surface it was less than that. In reality, it Was $16,000B dollars. 20 times as much. I warned repeatedly back in 2008 that it seemed to me that the Fed was printing a lot of money, but was told they weren't printing all that much. Now I see why. A great deal of it was pumped into, not our economy, but other countries economies. The globalist leaders of our nation sold us out years ago to build a new world order, and this was part of the price we will pay.

Another reason people may be overly optimistic about the economy is a drop in the unemployment rate. But that is deceptive. The rate dropped, not because more people had jobs (although payroll did go up about 120k jobs) but because a lot of people dropped out of the system. Also factory employment was down. All in all, this points to a weakening economy that is hollowing out even more.

I have begun to look into buying silver. Not much, as I don't have much money. My first attempt, a couple of weeks ago failed because of a credit card malfunction. (I think my credit union's safeguard said it didn't look like a normal purchase for me.) Last year (I think) I said silver was overpriced and should be less than $26 an ounce. This year, because of the possibility of a meltdown, I am looking at buying silver at any price under $31 an ounce. If things get to looking worse, I might go higher, but then again, the price of Gold dropped just before the meltdown in the mortgage market. I am hoping I can take advantage of such a drop.

Money is not all there is in this world, but Jesus told us to be aware of the goings on in the world. And Paul said that while we should be as harmless as doves, he also said we should be as wise as serpents.

I say be frugal with yourself and generous with others, but don't let the goings on in the world rob you blind.

Raw Link Information for this article.

irrational exuberance

Secret Bailout of the World Banking System

Govenrment Printing Money

U.S. Employment Situation Report for November (Text)
By Chris Middleton - Dec 2, 2011 7:45 AM CT
Following is the text of the November employment report from the Labor Department.
The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 8.6 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment rose by 120,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. Government employment continued to trend down.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.7 million and accounted for 43.0 percent of the unemployed.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) dropped by 378,000 over the month to 8.5 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full- time job.
In November, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier.
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in November, a decrease of 186,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
The private sector added 140,000 jobs, as employment rose in a number of service-providing industries. Government employment continued to trend down.
Manufacturing employment changed little over the month and has remained essentially unchanged since July. In November, fabricated metal products added 8,000 jobs, while electronic instruments lost 2,000 jobs.
Construction employment showed little movement in November. Employment in the industry has shown little change, on net, since early 2010.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3 hours in November. The manufacturing workweek was down by 0.2 hour to 40.3 hours, offsetting a 0.2 hour gain in the previous month.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased in November by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $23.18. This decline followed a gain of 7 cents in October. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.8 percent.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +158,000 to +210,000, and the change for October was revised from +80,000 to +100,000.

U.S. October Consumer Price Index Report (Text)
By Kristy Scheuble - Nov 16, 2011 7:30 AM CT
The all items index has risen 3.5 percent over the last 12 months, a lower figure than last month's 3.9 percent increase, as the 12-month change in the energy index fell from 19.3 to 14.2 percent. In contrast, the 12-month change for all items less food and energy edged up from 2.0 to 2.1 percent. The food index 12-month change was 4.7 percent, the same figure as in September. (food up, energy up less, all other up, overall, up more than payroll)
The immediate priority for Greece is securing the payment of an 8 billion-euro loan installment under a previous 110 billion-euro European Union-led rescue, Papademos said. The tranche must be paid before the middle of December to prevent a collapse of the country’s economy.
Samaras said yesterday that backing for the interim government should last no more than the three months needed to secure the financing before elections are held.
“The danger is that this is a really transitional service government, a pre-electoral government that will do all the right things to secure the loan but will be unable to promote the real reforms,” Yannos Papantoniou, a former finance and economy minister in a previous Pasok government.

Monday, December 05, 2011

We Will Miss Mark

Well, we buried him today.

Let's back up a bit. He was a soldier, a baseball player, and one of my coworkers. And I would call him a friend, although not a close one. We both retired out of the service, him a few years before me. We were about the same age, him a couple years older. He and I worked together daily throughout 2010, and saw each other on the job regularly after that. All and all, he was a good guy, though an ornery one. He would often take up a line of argument with one of the new employees just for the sake of seeing how they defended their positions. But most of us knew he didn't take it seriously, and half an hour later he would be helping them with some job we had to do.

Oddly, most of his family outlived him. His father passed when he was young, but his mother and 3 older sisters were among those at the funeral. He lost his wife and a daughter, each to illness a few years back. I'm not certain he ever got over that. He died suddenly, on the job, about a week ago (27 November). No one guarantees tomorrow.

He and I talked politics and about God for hours. He believed in God, was raised Catholic, but had a falling out with that Church some years back when they indicated they wanted more money out of him. The sad thing is that even though he seemed to understand the Gospel in his head, I didn't really see any indication that he ever accepted it for his own salvation. I hope I am wrong about that.

I don't normally go to funerals. I can count them on my fingers. On one hand. I went to the internment, as the actual funeral was in another town. Catholic. Their ways seem strange to me. But since we worked together for some years, and I knew this is hard on my coworkers, as well as his family, I went to this one. I don't normally go to funerals, because I have been sent to help the living. He is gone, and there is nothing more I can do for him. Maybe others of my coworkers will have questions. No one guarantees tomorrow.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Comic Strip - Now the Book

My favorite (secular) comic strip author, Jimmy Johnson, has released his first book in over 20 years.

You may be aware of Arlo and Janis, either from seeing it in the news paper or the link to it from the list of "other blogs I read" on the right side of this blog. He has great insights to the introspective and the humorous things in life. It is about the life of a middle aged couple with a son. The son was a pre-teen or early teen, in the strips found in this book, and is now about 22 in the current comic strip.

Before he put the book on sale, me and several others advised him to ask more for it than the $25 price he settled on. I got my copy a couple days ago, and I would give him the same advise today. It would be a bargain at $40.

The book can be ordered on Jimmy Johnson's website.


As you may have seen on one of my previous posts, I will no longer be following the format I held to for the past couple of years. The posts will be more off the cuff in the next few months.