Sunday, February 15, 2009


Today's sermon was the conclusion of Jonah. Great series, love the lessons, insight. On the conclusion of this book, Chapter 4 of Jonah, probably one of the "lamest" endings to a book ever. It begs so many questions, but today we saw it from the perspective of clarity - comparing God's concern over Jonah's (or ours) concerns. Some good, thought provoking clarity.

Of course, I've been following the process of this "bail-out" and am entirely underimpressed with the process, the misrepresentations and the conclusion of this economic event. It was flawed from the start, but I don't need to get into any of that because every political pundit has beat me to it!! Instead, I decided to meander through the bacon of the bill to see if there is anything for me in it. I found one item that caught my attention: tax rebate for energy efficient windows or insulation. Intriguing, since we are just about to collect on our refi of this house, taking some money out to make some home improvements. I decided to research the qualifications of such a tax break, so I googled "energy efficient window tax breaks" which sent me to this site.

Imagine my surprise at finding a list of MANY energy efficient items you, too, can receive a tax break on. Of course, they don't have anything to do with the bail-out, as they were signed into effect by Bush back in October. Naturally, this begs the question.... why is it in the bail-out bill??? Or does it. I mean, I think we understand now that most of that bail-out bill was thrown together with nary a thought for anyone but a lobbyist! It will be signed by Obama, who will claim to have made all these wonderful improvements... or did he?? Wow. Politics.

Again this afternoon I read the headline, "Obama to End the Ban on Stem Cell Research", once again, very misleading. You see, there is currently, nor has there ever been, a ban on any kind of stem cell research here in the US. That's right - you are reading this correctly. If you want to, you can go out tomorrow and collect as many embryonic stem cells as you wish and go ahead and start researching them and you are well within the laws of the land. What you cannot do, however, is ask for federal tax payer dollars to do this. Some states, like Maryland!, will you give you money and any private institutions who would like to support you may do so. The only thing you cannot do is use tax payer money. So... is Obama going end the ban on stem cell research? Nope. He IS going to use MORE and MORE of the taxpayer's money to fund something controversial. Because, I mean, he's working with a surplus! At least until Tuesday!

Clarity is something I have a real issue with, so like Jonah, I think I need to step back and ask myself what I think God's concern is in these cases. I'm thinking God probably doesn't care so much if Obama or Bush gets the credit for giving us back some tax money for improvements on our home. I think He probably has more at stake with the possibility of spending money to create/take away life for research. Of course, He cares about the heart of those making important decisions, and He commands me, and you, to pray and support those making them. So.... pray. For the many who hold the power to make changes that concern the heart of God.

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