Go, and be an irritant

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14” You are the light of the world- like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matt. 5:13-16, NLT)

The use of salt and light reflect on how we are to live as believers in our society. We are not to withdraw and be separatists. Yet, we cannot hold out hope for a “Christian” government. We are the preserving agent, and anyone who argues otherwise is choosing to read history with their own stained glass readers.

In reading some commentaries on this passage in my study, I also found this thought:

But we must remain active preservative agents, indeed irritants, in calling the world to heed God’s standards. (New American Commentary on Matthew)

Irritants.

I am liking that word, to be honest. It is a great word in a day when the powers that be in Washington can’t get things ironed out. I can say with some sense of glee: “A pox on both your houses!”

Why? Because I’m called to be an irritant!

But not just for the sake of being irritating. Some people REALLY have that gift…

But to shed true light in areas of darkness. The things of darkness are irritated when light comes around.

So, BEHOLD, go forth and be an irritant for Jesus today!

Use this day as a wonderful “news-free” day

All the news today will be about the incompetent government we have… but we already knew that!

So, it’s a great opportunity for a news junkie like me to keep completely away from all news sources which will all parrot the same information. It’s a great day for prayer, because GOD doesn’t shut down his Kingdom and his resources are limitless.

Our Government is Transparent. As You Were.

Q: In the spirit of “transparency,” just what is the scope of the warrants issued to listen in on conversations and read emails?

A: We can’t reveal that at this time.

Q: The name of the secret judge who issued these secret warrants?

A: We can’t reveal that at this time.

Q: The names of Congressional reps who were given access to this secret judge and their warrants?

A: We can’t reveal that at this time.

Q: Why are you allowing this interview?

A: To show how transparent our government is.

The Fallacy of 100 Percent Security

As an American, we are going through the embarrassment of a government that is actively violating our privacy and then saying things like, “If you’re not doing anything illegal, you shouldn’t be worried.”

The president then offered the explanation the other day that Americans can’t have 100 percent security and 100 percent privacy.

That’s true. But here’s the thing: you can’t have 100 percent of EITHER. The government is using this argument as a smokescreen. As Americans, we are giving up our rights to privacy all the time because we want to feel secure. The government readily plays on this fear. We need to realize that 100 percent security will only ever be a feeling and not a reality.

Until we realize we can’t have 100 percent of either, we can’t debate what balance we want. Until we wake up to the abuses power will continue to take away from us, they will gladly sell us the feeling of security to keep taking away our rights to privacy.

Your Government is Listening to You!

In a revelation that shocks even the New York Timesit was somehow disconcerting to us that our government is listening to our phone calls. I am a Verizon customer, so the government has been monitoring my subversive conversations.

I just don’t know how this should shock ANY of us.

For those who championed George Bush and didn’t have very many worries about the Patriot Act because Bush was doing the right thing… welcome to the next administration.

For those who championed Barack Obama and thought Bush was the devil incarnate… welcome to Act II of that scenario.

The one thing I always warn about when we give far too much authority to centralized leadership is this: You say you “trust” the leadership that is doing something that is more powerful, but I say you aren’t thinking ahead to the leadership that follows. So, for Bush supporters, this is what you get. You can’t blame Obama alone.

For Obama supporters, this SHOULD shock you because this was the president who promised “transparency.” But, yet, think about “transparency.” He is just demanding transparency of us… without our permission. But here is the deal: you can rail at power and talk about how you will do things differently, but when YOU get the power… it has the ability to intoxicate you.

It just shouldn’t shock us that our government is listening in because we have elected the government we deserve. 

We have been a people who for decades have failed to even read the Constitution and then we spout things like we know the Constitution. We have failed to take an active part in our government, then get upset when people who count on us ignoring government actually do things that take advantage of us.

We get the government we deserve. This “revelation” is no shock to me at all.

Living in the City — Silly Government Costs

One government issue that always gets to me is when state legislatures spend far more time on fringe issues rather than do things like, oh, pass budgets. And then… the things they pass budgets FOR… oy!

Living in Minneapolis, with the I-35 bridge collapse a few years ago, I really focus on government providing for BASICS.

But, no… even when it comes to bridges… we just can’t do “basic.”

Consider my neighborhood. We had an ancient steel bridge that was two lane and crossed the Mississippi near my neighborhood. I hated that bridge for a few reasons, but it was sturdy. When the I-35 collapsed, the city then shut down the Lowry Bridge as well for safety reasons.

The state then went through and immediately inspected all the bridges. One main bridge that was needing desperate replacement was the Hastings Bridge. The traffic on that bridge in the southeastern part of the metro carried 31,000 cars per day.

The Lowry Bridge carried probably 31 cars per day. (I know it was more. Give me a break!)

The Lowry Bridge stayed closed and our fair city then argued over the DESIGN of a new bridge. The cost ballooned from $36 million for a good bridge to carry traffic over the river… to well over $105 million for a really nice looking bridge to carry same traffic.

The Hastings Bridge, which actually carries traffic will come in at $120 million… for a much wider expanse… more traffic… and it doesn’t look bad, either.

The Hastings Bridge had state and federal money. The Lowry Bridge has my tax dollars. No federal. No state. (Unless they came up with something in the last session.)

Two bridges with similar costs that do VERY different things and have VERY different traffic patterns…

You just HAVE to love government!