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February 05, 2008

Comments

Jeff

I don't get it. I mean, I get completely what you're saying. What I don't get is the implied threat in the situation (not made by you, but illustrated in what you've said) that says, "The government is going to collapse and you'll be left with nothing. Your family will starve and die and there's nothing you can do about it." But then I read Matthew 6, where Jesus warns about the same thing, THEN tells me directly afterward not to worry about clothes and food. So, I guess what I don't get is how the threat from today's Powers That Would Be and the assurance from God work together.

Jim Fleming

Jeff,
There is a difference between the absence of anxiety and the absence of preparation. To be calm in the knowledge that God will watch over us does not require us to be passive. For example, here's a passage in which Jesus says, when you see a certain set of circumstances, "Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains" (Matt. 24:16). He is saying, when you see this, RUN! But don't panic.
Here's a related word from Paul, "While they are saying, 'Peace and safety!' then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief" (1 Thess. 5:3-4). Paul thinks we should not be taken by surprise, even in a time when most are saying, "It doesn't get much better than this!"
Think of the speech they make on the plane before take-off, "In the event of an emergency, remain calm and move toward the nearest emergency exit. Take a moment right now to identify the emergency exit nearest your seat." So here is what God is saying, "Stay calm and trust Me, but be prepared for an emergency that I know is coming, and it won't throw you off balance (like everyone else) when it does. Right now and with My guidance, you should identify the best way to deal with the physical and spiritual challenges of the coming crisis. But please remain calm, trust my instructions, and take action accordingly!" We need to be prepared for the worst but also remain calm and trust Him.

randy

Here’s my two cents, and it may be worth less, if we consider intrinsic value. Gold at one time was supposed to be the anchor that kept the perceived value of the dollar in check. However, that ended in 1976. However, many are still intrigued and impressed with it, not because of any intrinsic value, as I see it, but rather a perceived one. No question, the world economy is very fragile, but that’s mainly because perception drives everything anyway. Yes, gold has more perceived value based on the laws of supply and demand, but as far as intrinsic value, well, why couldn’t we substitute it with any other natural resource, perhaps rocks? The only thing that seems to have any real intrinsic value, at least with respect to our physical needs, are those things God created for our survival (food, water, air, etc). The medium of exchange by which we choose to circulate these essentials, or any other commodity that matter, seems to be based entirely on perception, whether it be paper, gold, or rocks. Once again, perception becomes our reality. Ok, guess I better go get another cup of coffee, because I can can see I’m starting to ramble. Right now, that java may have some real intrinsic value.

Jim Fleming

Randy,
In the future "a piece of bread will buy a bag of gold." The most basic of necessities will have great intrinsic value. A man stranded on a deserted island would consider a source of clean water of ultimate value. I consider our water supply the most undervalued earthly treasure we have, at least here in America.

Randy

Jim,
I hope you are wrong about the future plague that could come upon us, but I realize there's no reason to believe it couldn't happen. I certainly would like hear more of your views from a scriptural perspectve. On a Light-er note (yes, a pun is intended) I will give you 5 rocks for a cup of coffee, but only if it is a Starbucks!

Jim Fleming

I appreciate the offer, but I'm pretty well fixed for rocks right now.

Jeff

I'm actually looking forward to the prospect in a way. I mean, the ultimate reason is because Revelation says it's going to happen so it happening just means that God's hourglass is getting bottom-heavy. And truthfully, I'm not prepared but am trying to get so. So even if it happens tomorrow, I HAVE to trust that God can work around my screw-ups.

mrs

Jim, I think you might be right about the high value of clean water. A friend who is a food broker in Atlanta (where water is running low) has had food-processing factories call him to inquire about purchasing water by the truckload. Some plants require tens of thousands of gallons a day, and there are not nearly enough trucks to handle that. If there were, the fuel costs and air pollution would negate any advantages.
Some of our presidential candidates are suggesting nuclear power as a partial solution to our energy needs. However, nuclear power requires tremendous quantities of cold (meaning fresh from a river) water that might quickly run out - particularly in the south.
Drink up!

SLW

Well, I have been waiting for just the right time to leave the state to learn how to "live off the land". I guess it is time! Now I see how my love for dirt is a gift. Maybe the college fund would be better used to purchase a few cows, chickens and rain catchers! So, can you give some insight as how we can be productive and not passive for the future?

Jim Fleming

SLW,
I have talked with those responsible for Collierville's "Emergency Plan." Their recommendation matches what played out with Katrina. Don't count on government. If there is a crisis, their hands will be full. Make preparations to take care of your family even if there is no outside help. Of greater consequence, however, is developing the spiritual fitness that will be needed. If we should enter a period in which allegiance to Jesus is costly (as is the case in MANY other parts of the world) my faith must be healthy enough to declare, "I will not deny Jesus regardless of the cost." By making personal sacrifices for the Lord part of how I live NOW, this spiritual discipline will strengthen me and prepare my heart to keep beating for Jesus regardless of what the future holds.

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