Gray Days

rifts-on-earth-1265066-mI know people back East and in the South are experiencing a particularly hard winter. They’ve had snow, certainly, but also Cold.

On the West Coast we’re having a hard winter, too, but you wouldn’t know it for the most part. Our problem is, the weather’s been too nice.

We haven’t had any rain as we usually get this time of year. January is the second wettest month of the year for us, and we got all of a trace of rain. In fact, since July, which is when they start the rain-total year, we’ve received under an inch of precipitation.

Today was a gray day, though. The weather forecasters had predicted only a twenty percent chance of rain, but I’m convinced God can bring us rain, if He wants, when He wants, no matter what the prognosticators say.

In fact, I’m praying that we’ll have rain and lots of it in the months to come, in part because we need it so much, but also because our governor dissed God publicly.

Two weeks ago Governor Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency and asked us to cut back our water consumption by twenty percent. As part of his speech he said that his declaration wouldn’t cause it to rain, and that some people thought the answer to the problem was to pray for rain, which was as likely to bring rain as was his declaration.

Either the Governor doesn’t believe God hears and answers prayer or he doesn’t believe God can do anything about the weather.

He’s wrong on both counts. I mean, Elijah, Scripture says, was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. (See James 5:17-18.)

So God answers prayer about the weather, according to His will.

I also thought about the Assyrian commander who stood outside the walls of Jerusalem and told the people of Judah God couldn’t save them from him, that they shouldn’t listen to their king and put their trust in God’s deliverance.

Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you from my hand; nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” (2 Kings 18:29-30)

As if that wasn’t enough, he sent a written message a bit later saying

“Thus you shall say to Hezekiah king of Judah, ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you saying, “Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” (2 Kings 19:10)

He went further, equating God with those false gods worshiped by the nations around Judah:

Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you, saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And when have they delivered Samaria from my hand? Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their land from my hand, that the LORD would deliver Jerusalem from my hand? (Isa 36:18-20)

Of course, this commander, a man named Rabshakeh, was wrong to say what he did about God. And Governor Brown is wrong to say what he did about prayer and the unlikelihood that rain would result from asking God for it.

Whether or not God chooses to send rain is His decision. He chose to rescue Judah and sent the Assyrian commander home empty-handed.

God may not rescue us from this drought, but the fact is, He CAN send rain. He, not the weathermen, not Mother Nature, not uncontrollable jet stream patterns, is in charge of the weather, the political climate, the economic situation, the tides, the paths of comets, the rising of the sun and its setting. We are foolish to think God does not actively “hold all things together” as His word says He does.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Col. 1:16-17)

So I do pray for rain, that God may be glorified over all these meteorologists, who truly do their best, and interpret the data with as much accuracy as possible. It’s just that they can only tell us what generally occurs when barometric pressure and wind currents and precipitation readings are what they are. They don’t know God’s mind or take into account His power.

He and He alone will decide if we need a drought or rain. But as for me, I will rejoice in every gray day that comes our way, and I will pray that God will be merciful and turn those predictions on their head and show His power so that all may see we have a mighty God who rules the Heavens and the earth!

Lies And Corruption

It’s not a happy fact that people lie and even less so that those who purport to be leaders do so. In SoCal we are suffering through yet one more scandal involving government officials. This one concerns someone in the L.A. County assessor’s office who took bribes to lower the value of high-end property, costing the government more than a million dollars in lost property tax revenue.

Various cities have indicted their manager or mayor or council members recently because a close look at the financials shows shady doings. Even the Mayor of Los Angeles was caught taking perks such as tickets to high-profile events which he supposedly was attending in an official capacity. As I recall, he ended up paying for the tickets, and all charges were dropped. This is the mayor who had an affair with a news anchor that cost him his marriage.

Ah, yes, lies and corruption.

But here’s the thing. On our ballot are two propositions to raise our taxes. Governor Jerry Brown has said that if we don’t raise taxes–Prop 30 which he favors would raise state income tax for those making more than $250,000 AND sales tax for all of us–then there will be big cuts in education. No cuts, apparently, to the boondoggle bullet train that is supposed to run from LA to San Francisco and is already over budget.

The thing is, we’ve been down this road before. Years ago, the ballot initiative passed ushering in a state lottery which would solve all the funding problems for our public schools. We’ve passed school bond measures and increased our gas tax so that our schools will be guaranteed the money they need. And yet, somehow, we still are spending less per child than most of the 50 states, and our governor is threatening education cuts unless we agree to tax ourselves. Again.

Where will it end, I wonder. Government that proves to be top heavy, tangled in red tap, ineffective, and at a growing rate, corrupt, wants more of its citizens’ money to keep doing what it’s doing–or it will make the children pay.

Sadly we can’t say we’re being taxed without representation. After all, this is our choice. But we’re being talked into buying swamp land by politicians who want to keep their pensions, keep their high pay checks, and keep their positions of influence.

Did I mention that the tax assessor who is in jail is still collecting his salary, and will continue to do so even if he is found guilty–unless he resigns or is recalled. Well, at least that law will change at the end of this year. But we have a ways to go to get rid of the lies and corruption that seem on the rise in our various governments.

I’m hoping California starts by voting No to these tax increase propositions.

Published in: on October 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm  Comments (1)  
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Monday Musing – What Are We Coming To?

I’ve been thinking about a lot of different things today. I posted over at Spec Faith about “family friendly” fiction, I’ve interacted with others there about Stephen Burnett’s Thursday post on the movie Courageous. I’ve also been learning about middle grade fantasy novelist N. D. Wilson, a Christian who is writing for the general market.

With all these interesting conversations, every time I try to formulate my thoughts for this post, one other subject rears its head. It’s totally a California thing, and my thoughts are little more than rants really.

I’ve tried to frame this issue from a Biblical perspective, from a what-does-it-mean-for-the-country angle. It’s just not working for me.

In the end, I’ve decided to lay it out for you as objectively as I can, and let the facts speak for themselves.

In today’s local newspaper, the Whittier Daily News, on the page reserved for stories connected with the nation or the state, this short summary of an Associated Press story. California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that allows children as young as twelve to be vaccinated for sexually transmitted diseases without their parents’ consent.

The bill also allows children in this same age group to receive “other STD prevention treatments, including new medicines that help prevent HIV infection if given within 72 hours of exposure.”

There’s more. In the story just below this one, Governor Brown is reported to have signed into law a bill that prevents children under eighteen, with or without their parents’ consent, from using tanning beds.

In the first instance, if I have this right, parents have no say so about a medical treatment for their own children because the government is empowering children to make their own decisions.

In the second instance, parents have no say so about a beauty treatment for their own children because the government is stepping in to protect the children from their own foolish decisions.

Am I wrong to think this is rant worthy?

Let’s face it. What Governor Brown is actually saying is that government alone is wise enough and informed enough to make these critical decisions regarding children. Not parents.

Whether allowing twelve year old kids to get these treatments that could well encourage them to be sexually active, or preventing them from using the tanning treatment, the government is cutting out parents as the guiding force in their children’s lives.

This disturbs me.

Published in: on October 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm  Comments (7)  
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