EARTHQUAKE- Of course you know by now that right off the coast of Japan there was a major earthquake- 8.9 on the Richter scale. The worst recorded one to ever hit Japan. The 5th largest on record [in at least the last 100 years] and the damage is great. As I watched the coverage- saw all the pictures of the devastation- my daughter just walked in the door. I told how big this event is- a major event- she saw the pictures and I did say we don’t know how bad all the damage is yet- and that the West coast is being hit by the wave right now. I guess she thought it was worse than I knew it to be, she said ‘well dad, is there anything we can do to survive it’? She is 19, and she was not kidding. I of course told her that the wave she was seeing was not going to hit us- but still she had some doubts. I guess it didn’t help when I got up to walk away- ‘where you going dad’ I’ll be sitting in the Kayak in the garage. Okay- how should we respond? Do these events mean anything? You bet they do. First- I’m not a ‘birther’ when it comes to end times stuff- I do not teach or believe many of the Armageddon scenarios that you see in the books and movies of prophecy preachers- yet I do very much believe the bible. What did Jesus say about this stuff? In Matthew 24 Jesus says there will be signs of the end of the ‘world’ [Greek word means age- a set period of time]. The signs would include wars and lawlessness. You would have people’s hearts failing them for fear- seeing all these things. And yes- there would be an increase in earthquakes and natural disasters. I have been saying for the last few months that I believe most people do not really see the seriousness of many present world situations- the unrest on the North African continent- the very serious debt problem that plagued Europe [and still does] and the fact that other countries and even companies that rate debt risk [like Moody’s] have played with the idea that the U.S. govt. might lose its credit rating. Our debt- nearing 15 trillion- is a major risk for our economy- and if other countries begin to see us as a serious debt risk- we will indeed be in lots of trouble. Why is our govt. doing these 2 week extensions on our budget? Near the end of last year the President should have done a budget- at the time the Democrats held the House, Senate and executive branch [Like Chuck Schumer likes to say ‘all 3 branches of govt.’! Inside joke- on a Sunday talk show he did refer to these as the 3 branches of govt. obviously the 3 branches are Executive, Judicial and Legislative- not Executive, House and Senate]. The Dem’s did not do a budget. Why? It was the 1st time in years that one party controlled the Presidency, House and Senate- why not just do one? Every news person knew why- they did not want to have to face the voting public with just presenting a budget with/without cuts- they simply did not do their job- to be honest. Now, they just came off a tough health care vote- the House was also forced to vote on a disastrous ‘Energy’ bill- which thank God did not pass- especially with our present gas prices- and they felt like [They=Dem’s] they already took too many tough votes for Obama- and they did not want to do any more. So what happened? Well the Repub’s took control of the House [with a bunch of freshman Tea Partier’s] and the Dems held the Senate. Okay- will you pass one now? Actually- the best way to describe what happened is the line that Keith Olberman began running with before he quit his job at MSNBC- he immediately began saying ‘Okay Boehner- you guys are now in charge- where are the jobs’ yes- night after night this was the new message. One question- the Dem’s still held the Senate and the Executive branch- are you kidding me! But that is exactly the strategy that the President has run with- he indeed has chosen- along with the Dem’s in the Senate- to leave the cuts up to the Repub’s. They were obviously told by the insiders ‘look- we know we really need to address the debt problem- but lets ignore the thing- give no serious cut proposals- and the new Tea Party nut jobs will force the more moderate Repub’s to bite the bullet for us- and we will eventually vote for it- like our hands were tied behind our backs- and they will get the blame’. Now- will this strategy work? Probably to a degree- but the fact is it really is a total failure on the part of the president and the Dem’s- they should have passed a budget last year. Now we are in the new year- and some are saying ‘well Repub’s- the ball is in your court’. They are still the majority for heaven’s sake- present something with at least 30 billion dollars of cuts [which would be half of what the Repub’s are offering in cuts] and be serious about it. Even Joe Manchin- the new Dem. Senator has said this is exactly what the president is doing- he purposely is not presenting a real proposal [ any proposal!] and at the same time is taking the attitude of Olberman ‘you guys are in charge-you do it’. This is bad- very bad. So anyway I see all the events taking place in the world- the continued unrest with the protests [called lawlessness by Jesus in the above chapter] the earthquakes and wars and economic unrest- and in the midst of it all Jesus also said ‘when you see all this taking place- all these signs- don’t get too worried- for all these things must come to pass’. As believers we go thru stuff- the world shakes and ‘tribulates’ the Tea Bags are selling like Hot Cakes- yet we trust in God. We pray for the Japanese [it really is such a tragedy- of course their country has already experienced the worst radiation fallout in world history- thanks to the good old U.S. of A. and they are in danger of another one with their Nuclear Reactors cooling problems] and we know that we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken- we are part of the great Kingdom of God- one that will endure for eternity [even if you get tempted every now and then to go sit in the Kayak in the garage].