Retirement? Are You Sure?

If you are 60 to 65 you may be noticing a change in your life. Remember when you thought that “old” guys weren’t too bright? Now that you are the “old” guy, how does it feel?

Retirement age was established when a man was expected to be gone before he reached 70. Now most Boomers will live well into their 80s and even 90s. Still, it is the opinion of much of our culture that our brains have turned off. (The UN even recommended that if you are over 55, you shouldn’t own a gun because your deteriorating brain could be a danger to yourself and others.)

But I digress. If you lose your career job at age 59 or even earlier, forget getting any attention from another company. So, if you are working in your career of choice, hang on to it. Use your brain where they have come to respect what you say and think.

Being laid off can’t be helped, but avoid retirement unless you want to spend the next 20 to 25 years or so “out to pasture,” especially if you won’t be able to do the things you had always planned, because of financial restraints.

Even volunteering for mission trips with your church or other charity may cost far more than you are able to spend, based on that great, but dead, 401k or Social Security income. Most of the things you do for the good of others will be the “if you have the time”  kind.  That will make you feel like your brain and talent are not exactly needed, whether others intend it or not.

An option that will give you the better part of two worlds is to talk to your employer about taking more time off. Some employers will agree to let you take five or six weeks vacation per year (maybe with a small cut in pay) if it means that they can keep your talent on board.  Income stays up; time to travel, etc. goes up, too.

In conclusion, be forewarned. Don’t give up a career choice that you love, or at least enjoy, for the unknown world of “leisure” without serious thought.

 

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Inheriting a De-Moralized Nation

‘Twas said of Margaret Thatcher this morning that she inherited a “deeply demoralized” country. A good phrase for USA today. Will either party be able to bring forth a Margaret Thatcher, a Ronald Reagan, or even a Bill Clinton to begin to revive America’s demoralized people in 2016? At this point, I don’t see anyone of a caliber able to revive a demoralized America.

There is a chasm between Americans today rivaling that of pre-Civil War days. Who can heal it?

God has been ordered out of the country. Our president’s “pastor” spent his Easter sermon demonizing Conservatives. Is there even a “moderate” still in a place of influence in the USA; at least one who would not be branded an extremist by one side or the other? Islamists are making headway in their demands for an even more PC land. Will we fall for that too?

Will a third party rise. If it does will it only manage destroy one party’s candidate or the other, as has happened in the past?

Why I Love My Fellow Sinner, but Cannot Love His Sin

Same Sex Marriage is all over the web the last couple of weeks. Although I have tried to present my opinion concerning a Christ-like response to such things, the social media options are too limited, so here we go on a little larger format:

Our nation has changed the definition of “tolerant” to mean “approval.”  If you check a dictionary you will note that this is a false definition. Because the new definition has so totally infused our culture, anyone who disagrees with an action or a lifestyle is branded “intolerant” as well as “haters,” “bigots,” “racists,” “homophobic” and the list could go on and I’m sure you could add to it.  It has a lot to do with the great division concerning gay unions.

Here is my story. I have gay friends, but they know that though I think the world of them, I won’t be able to attend if they are married in a consenting church. I cannot send them a congratulations card, but I will remain their friend.  It is the same as if I were friends with gossips or drunkards–which I am. I love them as friends, but I’m not going to tell them to go ahead and spread rumors or have six or seven “for the road.”

Why? Because my love is controlled by Christ’s example and teaching, the Holy Spirit, and God’s world, and my knowledge of right and wrong are controlled by the Holy Spirit, Christ’s teachings, and God’s word. Jesus loved those who were way off track in their relationship with God and His commands, but he did not shoo them away as unworthy of his presence. I try to be the same.

Why do I reject SSM and homosexuality (as well as a myriad of other sins)?  To use the homosexual lifestyle practiced by some that I like, love, or admire from afar (Elton John, for instance), as an example, here is one place in God’s word explaining my stand:

St Paul wrote ” …women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error,” (Rom. 1:26-27, NASB).

Paul is not saying that gays will go to hell automatically. The “due penalty” was probably a form of venereal disease. We all suffer in this world for our sin, depending upon what it is because sin brings pain, because sin exposes our stupidity. It’s like playing in the street–we could get really hurt because of our dumb action.

Also Paul wrote this in the Christian era, after Christ had paid the penalty for all sin on the cross, even homosexuality.  The resulting pain of sin was brought on by personal action, not God’s revenge.

Jesus’ death, however, did not make sin to be not sin. He did not change the list–he provided escape for us from the eternal punishment we deserve.

There is one more thing included in God’s word, that clinches why I must stand against a friend’s sin or sinful lifestyle. We must be repentant sinners. When Christians applaud SSM and gay lifestyle, they are encouraging friends and neighbors to accept and enjoy their sin.

When we refuse to regret and repent of our sin, no matter what it is, we remain in that sin and endanger our eternity. That’s why we pray pray daily that God will forgive us for the sins that we do knowingly and those that we do unknowingly. That is why we are bound to tell one another if they are trapped in sin; not applaud their error.

I’ve probably made some angry, but I hope that many of you will conclude that we are called by God to be two things toward our fellow sinners, including homosexuals. We are called to be loving and we are called to be honest about sin. We must reject the world’s definition of “tolerant” and pursue the honest definition of the word and stand for Christ and against sin.

Some will say that I base my opinion on a religion, and I do. That is why I will not stand in front of a courthouse demanding that gay couples not be allowed to marry in a civil, non-Christian ceremony. However, the day that I am told that my church must applaud homosexuality or gay marriage, I will be standing in the door saying that this flagrantly denies God’s word and God’s law.

Time to Stop Whining

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Leading ordinary people to an extraordinary life in Christ.