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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Politics Of Rising Gas Prices: Do You Really Want To Lower The Price Of Gas?

Now that gas is priced at more than $4 a gallon, it is beginning to cause wallet pain in many areas other than the gas pump.  Many businesses are also raising the prices of their various services and products because of rising fuel costs.  The entire transportation and airline industry are being impacted.  It is really no wonder that many people are complaining about the oil companies, especially when they hear reports of oil and gas companies making profits of $86.5 billion last year.

Oil companies are profitable, but are they unreasonably profitable considering the size of the business?  Some congressmen are now waving their socialist/fascist colors by calling for their nationalization – as if government control automatically solves any problem.  According to economist John Lott, the oil companies – over the last quarter of a century – have paid 300% more in taxes than they have made in profits.  Our elected representatives seem to have done their share to increase our prices at the pump.

Last year high-tech companies made $103.4 billion in profits and the financial services industry took in $498.5 billion.  Oil companies average making about 8.3 cents in gross profit per dollar of sales.  The electronics industry makes about 14.5 cents per dollar.  Microsoft makes 27.5 cents per dollar of sales.

Sixty per cent of U.S. oil is imported.  The governments in the Middle East, Venezuela, and elsewhere are receiving enormous financial rewards because of our dependency.  Expanding economic growth in China, India and other places has driven up the demand for oil.  Many industries fear that some future disaster may lead to an increased oil shortage, causing prices to rise even higher.  Over 700 Muslim terrorists have been arrested in the Middle East during the last six months who were planning to bomb oil installations.

Our troubling dependence upon foreign oil has been a wake-up call to the average American citizen.  How have our elected representatives responded?  We’ve heard Congressmen and Senators declare we can’t drill our way out of this oil crisis.  The secular progressive leadership of Congress has thus far refused to allow even a vote on lifting the ban on drilling.

Why isn’t finding more oil in the US and pumping it out of the ground going to provide us with greater supplies?  We are being told by our elected representatives, who are in the pockets of radical environmental groups, that pumping oil out of the ground in the US will not lower the price of gas.  It will take years they say for drilling to have any effect.  Have these guys ever heard of planning for the future?  Apparently not; Congress has taken a recess instead of taking action and opening more areas for drilling.

America’s dependence on energy from unfriendly foreign governments requires immediate action.  Yet, all we have heard from the secular progressives is that the oil companies have millions of leased acreage in the US that they are presently not drilling on.  Why is that?

Just as a farmer doesn’t try to grow potatoes on top of a boulder, the oil companies don’t drill once they believe that the needed resources are not there.  Our economic and national security is being held hostage by liberal politicians who have sold their souls to the environmental lobby.  As long as they can keep their office and power, they don’t worry about the price at the pump or grocery store.  Secular progressives from Carter to Gore to Kerry and now Obama actually want higher gas prices in order to reduce the amount of gas you use.

If this course of inaction and insanity continues, we will destroy America’s future for fear of increasing the planet’s temperature by one degree.  People have forgotten that thirty years ago the environmentalists and media told us that all the “scientific” evidence proved we were very near to a new ice age.  The inconvenient truth is that they were wrong in their pseudo-scientific predictions.  The inconvenient truth is that environmental mania has a track record of creating more disasters than preventing them.  The environmentalists have also learned that apocalyptic predictions improve their cash flow.

Will the America left behind by this generation, as a legacy to the next, be an economically strong, safe, and secure land for our descendants to flourish in?  Our current choices as a nation are making that decision now.  Radical environmentalism is now the rallying cry of elitist demagogues who once supported the failed Marxist ideology.  Short-sighted politicians must be voted out of office and replaced with statesmen who honor God, the American way of life, the Constitution, and the free enterprise system.  We need American patriots in Washington who will work to reduce the size of government – not increase its power.  Voting for candidates in the next election who oppose drilling for oil off our coasts and in the 0.01% of ANWR’s 19 million acres is like voting to commit national suicide.  Our children and their children will become the economic slaves of other nations whose political forces seek to wreak America’s destiny.

We need time to develop rational and economical alternatives to fossil fuels.  In the meantime, lifting the various bans off of drilling and changing the laws regarding the development of nuclear energy and building refineries will do much to enhance our national security and economic future.  We need to elect candidates to the US Senate and House who will ensure that future.  Even the Governor of Alaska and its citizens are calling for more drilling in their state.  Today – Friday, June 27th – the leaders of the House and Senate turned their backs on the needs of the American people in order to take a vacation.  Meanwhile, the price of oil continued to rise today and many American families will not be able to take their vacation trip this year.

A Defining Congressional Moment

A coalition of Republican and Democratic lawmakers have joined together to create the House’s first Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus.  52 House representatives signed on as members of the new caucus, including two Republicans.  The caucus’ purpose is said to be to extend “equal rights” to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders.

Basically, after doing away with most laws that identify the practitioners of these sexually deviant practices in the past as criminals – this caucus wants to make it illegal to say these practices are immoral.  This would mean that if you called homosexuality a sin and immoral, you could be charged with a civil rights’ hate crime.  Immorality will be given rights.

Are You Waiting On The Lord?

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31, ESV)

Do you grow impatient with God sometimes?  I know I do.  After all, no one wishes to wait when they believe they have “important matters” that need to be taken care of.  We live in an “instant answer” culture.  What we expect, we expect immediately.  We live by our own self-centered priorities.

Waiting requires submission to God’s Word, God’s Will, and God’s Ways.  Murmuring, complaining, and impatience are contrary to this process. Our obsession with pleasing self results in weariness.  Waiting on God, however, results in a prosperous spirit – “renewed strength.”  Divine power overshadows our weakness as we “wait for the Lord.”

Waiting on the Lord requires self-discipline and dependence.  Patience is difficult but our own powers are insufficient to carry out God’s plan and purpose for our lives.  Paul writes, Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, ESV)  We need to be strong enough to cast aside our own self-sufficiency in order to receive overcoming strength by our dependence on the Lord.  This is the only way to the real power we all need for living.  This strength comes only by waiting for the Lord.

How May We Live Holy Lives?

“Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1, ESV)

Christians are called to be a holy people; but what is holiness?  Holiness is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in us.  Holiness is being transformed into a new creature through faith in Jesus Christ.  Holiness is also the fruit of the Spirit being expressed in our lives.  Holiness is expressed by us to God when we love Him more than all else.  Holiness is expressed by our obedience and delight in God’s Glory.

We demonstrate holiness in our lives by conforming to the example of Christ in the Scriptures.  Others must see our good works to know the holiness of our walk in Christ.  Holiness is the hatred of sin and endeavoring to eradicate it from our lives.  Holiness is self-control.  We must learn to consistently think Godly thoughts as we conform our minds to the mind of Christ.  We must be heavenly-minded if we are to be of any earthly good to our Savior.

Christians do sin and will often fail in the pursuit of holiness.  However, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to help us pick ourselves up and continue moving toward the prize of His high calling.  We repent of our failures and hold on to the strong anchor of our hope.  We pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us as we continue to pursue holiness.  Let us pray that God would continue to bless us in this endeavor.  Let us pray that our lives would honor God for this great work He has done in our salvation.

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