I've just read a great article from Chuck Norris. You can find the original in its entirety here.
In these tough economic times, some solid advice is needed to weather this adversity. Here now in her own words - from an 87 year old who lived through the Depression no less - is Chuck Norris' mother's economic survival guide:
-- "Get back to the basics. Simplify your life. Live within your means. People have got to be willing to downsize and be OK with it. We must quit borrowing and cut spending. Be grateful for what you have, especially your health and loved ones. Be content with what you have, and remember the stuff will never make you happy. Never. Back then, we didn't have one-hundredth of what people do today, and yet we seemed happier than most today, even during the Great Depression.
-- "Be humble and willing to work. Back then, any work was good work. We picked cotton, picked up cans, scrap metal, whatever it took to get by. Where's that work ethic today? If someone's not being paid $10 an hour today, they're whining and unwilling to work, even if they don't have a job. The message from yesteryear is don't be too proud to do whatever it takes to meet the financial needs of your family.
-- "Be rich in love. We didn't have much. In fact, we had nothing at all, compared to people today, but we had each other. We were poor, but rich in love. We've lost the value of family and friends today, and we've got to gain it back if we're ever to get back on track. If we lose all our stuff and still have one another and our health, what have we really lost?
-- "Be a part of a community. Today people are much more alone, much more isolated. We used to be close with our neighbors. If one person had a bigger or better garden or orchard, they shared the vegetables and fruits with others in need. Society has shifted from caring for one another to being dependent upon government aid and welfare. That is why so many today trust in government to deliver them. They've forgotten an America that used to rally around one another in smaller clusters, called neighborhoods and communities. We must rekindle those local communal fires and relearn the power of that age-old commandment, 'Love thy neighbor.'
-- "Help someone else. We never quit helping others back then. Today too many people are consumed with their own problems and only helping themselves. 'What's in it for me?' is the question most are asking. But back then, it was, 'What can I do to help my neighbor, too?' I love Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life, and especially his thought, 'We were created for community, designed to be a blessing to others.' Most of all, helping others gets our minds off of our problems and puts things into better perspective.
-- "Lean upon God for help and strength. We didn't just have each other to lean on, but we had God, too. We all attended church and belonged to a faith community. Church was the hub of society, the community core and rallying point. Today people turn to government the way we used to turn to churches. It's been that way ever since Herbert Hoover's alleged promise of a 'chicken in every pot' and President Roosevelt's New Deal. Too many have abandoned faith and community. We trust in money more than God. And maybe that's a reason why we're in this economic pickle."
Mr. Norris then concludes in a post-script:
'Now that's conventional wisdom that should be shouted and posted in every corridor of government, every community across America, and every blog on the Internet.'
Consider it done Chuck, consider it done.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I've just read a great article from Chuck Norris. You can find the original in its entirety here.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
If there's one positive attribute that can be laid at the Devil's feet is that he's always busy. The ways of Satan is one of corruption and mischief. The world system in place is in ideological synchronicity with the wicked one.
Satan's Prime Task: To Get You Thinking Negatively About God
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth - the one who accuses them before our God day and night.
In a court in any Western nation you have an adversarial system of justice. On one side is the Crown (representing the Queen). The other is a lawyer for the defense. Witnesses are called and the cross examination begins. Most of the time it works. Sometimes it doesn't. A jury may choose to believe a lie or it may reject the truth and so a miscarriage of justice can result. Satan wants nothing more than to get you to distrust God and to place doubt as to the accuracy and the timeless and universal nature of His perfect manuscript, the Bible.
What Human Nature is Really Like
This has and will continue to be a point of contention with the Marxists and the secularists. I do not buy into the argument about the inherent goodness of Man. I say the word 'buy' because I feel I'm being ripped off as one would get sold faulty goods. Human nature is not a pretty thing to behold. Here are four major stumbling blocks that need to be hurdled in order for humanity to progress.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Without a doubt, this is the foundation of most sins. The desire to elevate oneself or diminish others is the signature of pride. Racism is pride. So are sexist attitudes. The worst kind of pride is religious pride. Self-sufficiency and smugness are attributes the Devil loves to see in a person. There is no greater religious lie than the idea that we can justify ourselves before God on our own merits. The apostle Paul considered himself justified because of his credentials. Yet when he came to the truth his pride melted away.
Have you ever found yourself in a political discussion? I enjoy a vigorous debate, yet I find myself cringing most of the time at the ignorant opinions being thrown around. The exercise becomes sheer folly as one person dominates with their rhetoric and bombast. The whole point of debate is to allow your peers and equals a chance to counter your argument. As in politics, we are also born ignorant of spiritual things. Our attempts to connect with God (and spiritual matters) apart from the workings of the Holy Spirit is just as equally foolish.
Ever jumped to a conclusion? Have you ever made a hasty and irrational decision about someone (or something) only to be later proven incorrect? That's instinct. In layman's terms it's called a knee-jerk reaction. I find myself laughing at the news whenever they have a 'Man on the Street' interview. Most responses are ill-informed and superfluous. I think the only purpose they serve is to boost ratings and make the subject look stupid. We remember all to well the sheepish feeling we had when we made an (usually incorrect) instinctive decision.
Our emotions are indeed an integral part of who we are. Yet how often are we led astray when we judge with a corrupt heart? What we feel - and the decisions we make as a result - can have disasterous consequences. A discussion between two adults can be going swimmingly until one gets emotional. The whole exchange rapidly goes downhill from there. The raw appeal to emotion is one we see constantly from entertainers and politicians (Is there a difference between the two?). The Devil uses his proxies to do the same when it comes to relating to our Creator. Any emotion that leads us away from God's love is one to be avoided.
Don't Be A Dupe!
Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
Now that you've seen the extent of the problem, what are we to do? Nobody wants to be a patsy. Nobody deliberately chooses to follow after a lie that leads to harm. There's a dearth of discernment in this day and age. Like a baseball hitting the sweet spot, there's something to be said about getting it right the first time. If you want the truth - and nothing but - the only true path to understanding is through Jesus Christ. We must be born again! Without the presence and working of the Holy Spirit in our lives we becomes dupes and pawns in this fallen world. There's no other way to enlightenment.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Made one of those big life decisions that we all have to make yesterday. I'm going back to school (pending TDSB approval) in April to become a paralegal. The course will end in April 2010. My Dad asked me recently 'Would you rather be back at Tipco?'. My response was mixed. On one hand I would still have permanent full-time work which is a whole lot better than being unemployed. On the other hand I knew that I'd be stagnating in a job that had no hope of advancement and no raise offered in the past five years.
Slaves to Routine
We're all creatures of habit. We slavishly enjoy our routines, do we not? Then something unexpected happens and our lives are turned upside-down. Our initial response? Sheer terror! Then we calm down, assess the situation that has befallen us and begin to pick up the pieces. When I posted about the death of my cat in December '07 I mentioned that one of the most traumatic things that can occur to a person is the loss of a job. Sadly, many are experiencing the same trauma as the manufacturing sector in Canada takes a nosedive.
A Common Thread
When someone goes through a personal crisis questions begin to swirl. I've noticed in these testimonials that there's a common thread: What was important before rapidly fades into insignificance and what was once trivial now is of the utmost importance. A profound shift in thinking has occurred and a chapter in our life has closed. I find that over time people tend to become self-absorbed and oblivious to the needs of others. Adversity is the proverbial bucket of ice water that needs to get thrown in our face from time to time.
There's a scene in Saving Private Ryan (soon after the beach scene) where the Captain (played superbly by Tom Hanks) is press ganging a clerk to help find Private Ryan. It's one of the few humorous scenes in the movie as the clerk awkwardly tries to prepare himself. He picks up a typewriter and the Captain says 'You don't need that'. The Captain presents a pad and a pencil to the clerk who nods knowingly. 'Grab your helmet and rifle, you'll need that!', says the Captain and our hero is off. That's what adversity does. We shed stuff we don't need and pick up the helmet and rifle that we do need.
Adversity Enlarges Our World
I am about to be exposed to a whole new world that I never knew existed. 2009 won't be a banner year for me in terms of employment but it will be a memorable one in terms of personal development. Staying with Tipco would've been easy. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! But what opportunity did I have? None! I for one am looking forward to the challenge that lays ahead. An uncertain one to be sure fraught with some difficulty. I kept reminding myself 'There are no absolutes. Only God is absolute'. This new path represents uncharted territory. It is the road less traveled by which will make all the difference.
A Word to the Wise
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Does God work all things for good? No! The above scripture (as well as the Jeremiah verse) are conditional. God will not help rebels and those mired in unbelief (atheists and agnostics, please take note). The adversity foisted upon those who reject Christ will receive no such divine assistance. In other words, you're on your own! I enjoy my independence and privacy as much as anyone. But I'm not so foolish so as to rebuff all manner of help when I obviously need it. Please don't be stubborn. God wants to help and He will help if you submit to Him. Please make that decision today. Nobody has to suffer alone!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
President Barack Obama was in Arizona recently selling his mortgage relief plan. As stratfor notes, this 'concentrates an unprecedented amount of financial power in government hands'. It also dovetails perfectly with Bible prophecy. If more and more money can be funneled into fewer and fewer hands, then all the money (and all the power) can be bestowed to one man. Lenin (and Jesus) was right! Imperialism is the highest form of capitalism.
U.S. President Barack Obama has announced his mortgage restructuring plan. The Obama plan takes the 2008 Bush mortgage restructuring plan — which concentrated an unprecedented amount of financial power in government hands — a step further in terms of requirements for lenders and the amount of federal monies to be made available.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Feb. 18 announced his mortgage restructuring plan, part of an effort to regenerate activity in the housing sector and put a floor under home prices. Overall, the plan works from the basis of the Bush administration plan of late 2008, but takes the Bush plan a step further in terms of requirements for lenders and the amount of federal monies to be made available.
The core idea is to assist those who — whether from subprime mortgages, variable-rate mortgages, job loss or other changes in their financial position beyond their control — cannot make their mortgage payments. The program will benefit only those who own only a single home, who have not made any particularly poor financial decisions in obtaining that home, and who do not have more than 20 percent equity in their property (those with 20 percent equity or greater can already apply for refinancing without the Obama plan). Specific guidelines as to who qualifies are set to be released in two weeks.
The first step of the plan involves Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, aka “the twins.” These two institutions purchase mortgages, then package them for sale to interested investors. In essence, they serve as a conduit for those who would like to invest in the housing sector but for whatever reason do not want to get involved with any specific property. Roughly 40 percent of the monies that provide for mortgage loans enter the market in this manner.
The twins are currently held in conservatorship by the Treasury Department, meaning the Obama administration can change its policies by fiat without congressional approval. Under the first phase of the Obama plan, any mortgage held by the twins that meets the criteria immediately qualifies for refinancing regardless of the level of equity the homeowner holds.
The second step is not so automatic. In short, it involves pressuring private institutions to implement identical refinancings for the mortgages they hold. The government will be injecting some money — at present an unknown amount — to make this more palatable. Finally, the government will purchase some US$200 billion of the mortgage-backed securities that Freddie and Fannie package to help push mortgage rates down.
There is very little in this plan that is different from the Bush plan announced in December 2008. The Bush bailout involved extending the teaser rates for those subprime borrowers who — as in the Obama plan — always had made a good faith effort to make their mortgage payments. In essence, this is a form of refinancing. The primary difference between the two is that the Bush program was voluntary for the banks, while the Obama program is not.
Stratfor noted last December about the Bush mortgage bailout plan: “The plan potentially damages the integrity of the U.S. housing industry. The U.S. mortgage market is the largest pool of money in the world, not just because Americans are affluent, but also because of the sanctity of both property rights and contracts. … This bailout appears to tinker with the latter. If this proves to be just a one-off, little harm will be done. But if this sets a precedent that other presidents follow, then financial institutions will be forced to add a layer of political risk insurance to future mortgages. That would raise the cost of loans for everyone and retard economic growth on a national scale.”
Remember, these words were written about the Bush plan — which simply encouraged mortgage renegotiation — rather than the Obama plan, which makes such plans contingent upon any federal assistance. Under Bush, mortgage renegotiation was a potential concern; under Obama, it is a reality.
And in fact, our concerns run even deeper than that. In September 2008, the Bush administration launched a $700 billion program for regenerating the banking sector called the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). As part of that program, the Bush administration forced all of the country’s largest banks to take federal money. This aimed to force-feed liquidity into the system and prevent a financial meltdown, but the money did not come for free. In exchange, the government received veto rights over bank decisions. The Bush administration never used this veto to Stratfor’s knowledge, instead simply using the power’s existence to influence bank policy. Wells Fargo — the American bank in the most stable financial position at the time — did not wish to take the funding because of this provision, but was forced to anyway by then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Paulson argued that if every one of the major banks participated, there would be no stigma placed upon other banks that chose to seek assistance.
But that veto authority remained in the government’s hands in the transition from Bush to Obama. Whereas the Bush administration used this power to persuade banks to participate, Obama made it very clear in his speech Feb. 18 that banks who benefit from TARP assistance will be required to adopt the Obama refinancing plan.
We noted several months ago that the Bush administration’s anti-crisis programs were concentrating an unprecedented amount of financial power in government hands. Under the Obama administration, that power is now being brought to bear.
The Bush-inspired Obama plan may well alleviate — perhaps even solve — the current problems in the housing sector by preventing foreclosures and buoying a badly battered housing market. But there is one final angle to this issue that must be considered.
The plan will require firms to rewrite their mortgage loans, in many cases against their wills, and in some cases for sound firms that did not want federal assistance in the first place. This cannot help but make investors — already nervous about the general economic situation — a bit more leery about extending credit in general, and to the housing market specifically. Should that credit dry up, the cost of borrowing money for a mortgage will go up, not down.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Without a doubt this is my most important post. I should have done this sooner but as the saying goes, better late than never. Let's look at some scripture first:
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:20-23 NIV)
There is none so good that need not be saved and there is none so bad that cannot be saved. What must we do to avoid this eternal separation?
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'
(John 3:3-7 NIV)
Do you want to be born again as Jesus commanded? There are literally a million and one different variants of the sinner's prayer. It's also the only prayer coming from an unbeliever that God will answer. Do you want eternal life right now? Then pray something like this:
Lord, I am a sinner. You promised that you would receive anyone who would come. Lord, I want to be saved. You sent your Son to die on the cross on my behalf. Lord, I now willingly accept that sacrifice. Thank you for saving me. Now give me the courage to make my private faith in Jesus Christ a public one. Let me never be ashamed of you. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Yes, it's Friday the 13th. Well whoop-de-do! I've never put any stock in such silly superstitions anyways. It's late and I'm still wide awake so I've decided to post before I go to bed. To me there's nothing more satisfying than falling into bed completely exhausted!
Happiness vs. Joy
For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
Did you know there's a distinct difference between the two? Happiness is largely determined by circumstance, joy is permanent. A happy person may not necessarily be joyful and joyful person may (or may not) be happy. Why do we fail in making the distinction?
The Growing Infantilism in Our Society
Aren't we not supposed to become wiser as we approach old age? The kids are alright; it's the adults that need constant supervision. We regard liberty as a license to do as we please rather than the serious-minded endeavour it was always meant to be. We are retarded in our thinking, never looking at the larger picture. We want to be 'happy' - never a bad thing in and of itself - yet how many of us have the joy of fellowship with God and those who love Him? So much superficiality, so little time!
A Mile Wide and an Inch Thick
Our happiness ought to have some depth and substance to it. Circumstances change rapidly as do our environment. Thus the question begs itself: What foundation do you base your happiness on? Is it a sure thing? Is it rock solid?
Facing the Inevitable: Death and Taxes
I found myself today walking past a kiosk with the usual sensationalist tabloid headlines. Cher apparently has three years left to live! That according to some expert who's looking at the stressful lifestyle Cher is leading. You know what I said to myself? We all gotta meet our Maker sometime. In the back of our minds we know full well our own mortality will one day betray us. Think about it. From the time I started this post to when I finally publish (plus countless edits to boot) somebody out there will have left it all behind. Death is no respecter of time, date or place. It's foolish to go 'all in' when it comes to our health. Nor do I have to tell you about the temporal nature of money. We all need it. It would be impossible to function without it. We know from experience money comes and goes. Placing all our faith, hope and trust in our financial portfolios is a mug's game.
The Key to Happiness
I heard from a preacher on the radio some time ago about happiness. You know what he said? Happiness isn't something you find, it's something you stumble across when you discover holiness. How then do we discover this holiness? It is found in knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Jesus came so that we may have life and have it in abundance. That's joy. That's a sure thing. That's a rock we can stand on, no matter what.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I've been thinking about Obama lately and his pork-laden 'stimulus package'. Let's be honest here: This is nothing more than payback for political favors. We can go the secular big government route or we can try something radically different: A true conservative movement with a Christian foundation. Here's eaglephin from YouTube on his opinion on America today:
It takes more than a pretty video and a bunch of celebrities singing to make a great president. It takes a person who understands where the true greatness of America lies.
Long before anyone ever heard of Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan challenged Americans to hope, to dream, to believe....
He brought change. He told us "yes we can". Except he also told us we didn't need government to do it. He inspired us with his words and his actions. He showed us that our individual liberty and creativity is what makes our country great not any government program.
Today, Americans are wowed by the empty oratory of politicians who promise nothing but failed socialism in disguise. Even the presumptive Republican nominee cloaks himself in the mantle of Reagan but has shown that he doesn't understand Reagan's philosophy.
Reagan was an idealist AND an ideologue. His policies were based in his rock solid conservative ideology. That doesn't mean he never compromised. But compromise is something different than standing on the same side of an issue with those who are supposed to be your political adversaries.
John McCain is no Ronald Reagan.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Please don't try to eat this cake. The X-Def assumes no responsibility if you damage your computer!
The actual anniversary falls on the 12th but I've decided to start celebrating now. Yessir, the X-Def is now three years old. On to year four!
What's My Motivation After All These Years?
Whenever a milestone is reached, we often look back so we can look forward. I have four main directives which seem more pertinent now then what they were three years ago.
Proclaiming the Good News
This has and always will be the number one priority of the Christian Defender. Just think of the impact that Paul, Barnabas and all the other saints would've had if they had access to the world-wide web! Or imagine if Paul had the use of a simple bicycle? I ponder how many with an internet connection who could've made an eternal impact for the Kingdom of God but chose the easy way instead. Proclaiming the Good News comes with a price, usually a heavy one. Reaching out to the lost while under duress is certainly not for the faint of heart.
The 2 I's: Israel and Islam
One is to be supported and the other is to be shamed into oblivion. So while the world supports Islam and shames Israel, I'm proud to do the exact opposite. The battle between Hamas and the Israeli military in Operation Cast Lead may be over, but the battle over the existence of the Jewish state still continues. Despite all the caterwauling about the 'occupation' (Note to anti-semites and pseudo-academics: Israel left Gaza in 2005), the simple fact is Hamas is much more brutal towards the Palestinian people on a good day then Israeli forces will ever be on a bad day.
Secularists Behaving Badly
Which brings me to the fourth pillar of the X-Def: The ongoing culture war to pulverize Judeo-Christian civilization. President Barack Obama's (pro-choice and Marxist) politics will accelerate America's decline as a world power. Bad science, a left-wing elitist media and the normalization of evil are surely the birthpangs of the last days of this church age. We don't tolerate evil, we prefer its company! Is it any wonder that America cannot be found in Bible prophecy?
Giving Thanks To All Those Who've Supported Me
That includes all my detractors (whom will continue to go unmentioned). Any hate mail I receive simply confirms again and again my eternal destiny. The world is truly in the lap of the wicked one. Thanks for reminding me I'm one of Satan's enemies! My thanks also goes out to those fellow Christian bloggers who are courageously challenging this sensual thinking. Lastly, thanks to all those who've happened to stumble across my humble little blog. Only God knows what the eternal impact will be for all my hours of work. Whether you're a one-time viewer or a regular or a friend or an enemy, I feel nothing but gratitude and encouragement for all your visits. May God continue to bless this blog for the purpose of His glory!
Monday, February 02, 2009
This layoff has given me a chance to think aloud and record it for posterity. I'm not a morning person (as I yawn), I always do my best thinking mid-day. Under normal circumstances I'd be at work, the 'eureka' moment would pass and I'd be too tired to post in the evening. Flashes of brilliance tend to be just that.
Youth is Wasted on the Young
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.(Isaiah 40:29-31)
I think when you get older things tend to get a little more compressed. Both time and money are in short supply so there's a greater sense of urgency. I notice as I get older that I'm a little more bullish in my behaviour. In our youth, truth is many shades of grey. As we age truth and lies separate themselves into black and white. It's not that we're becoming intolerant, it's more the case that we want to hear the pure undiluted truth and be on our way. No longer do we listen in wide-eyed wonder at every single conspiracy theory! When you're young you feel you have all the time in the world to properly disseminate all you've learned. As we age, we become cognizant of a narrowing of that window. The luxury with which we formerly regarded our life is gone.
A Twenty One Year-Old With 17 Years Experience
I really believe I have a huge advantage when it comes to facing the competition for jobs. What do young people know about God, human nature and politics? I'd venture to say very little. I'm more passionate and driven now than I was ten or fifteen years ago. I'm old enough to know better but still young enough to apply myself. Think about it: What 18 year-old upon high school graduation knows what they want to do with their life? Does a single-digit percentile sound right to you? You'd have to be an exceptionally driven person (or have highly driven parents) to know exactly what you want. I remember in my youth when I wanted to be a musician because I enjoyed playing the drums. Drove the music teacher crazy! Yet bridging that chasm between a high school drummer and a professional musician was one that I stood no chance of making.
Knowing When to Stop and Listen and When to Move
Sir Isaac Newton knew a thing or two about momentum. An object at rest tends to stay at rest, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. So it is in our personal lives. If we are constantly on the move, we lose control and crash. If we stay still for a prolonged period opportunities can pass us by. It's a delicate balance that takes a great deal of experience (trial and error) to conquer. For most of His life Jesus lived the life of an ordinary man. When He turned thirty - the age when a Jewish male was allowed to claim rabbi status - He shook the world with His teachings. I had a meeting this morning with a young woman who was attempting to advize me. Two lessons for me were learned:
1) While some advice is good, not all advice is of value.
2) Most (if not all) advice comes with it's own unique set of personal and ideological baggage.
Endless advice confuses us. So must stop, reassess our progress and make a decision. No-one wants to make good progress in the wrong direction. A young person may make a serious life-decision on a whim. When we're older we realize how much little time we have for such whimsy. Age and experience thankfully dulls such irrational exuberance.
Instinct Versus Faith
Truth be told, I'm not 100% of we're I'm headed either. I do have an idea, even if it's still in the formative stage. People may say, 'Go with your gut instinct'. I dare say that's terrible advice. God wants nothing but the best for us. He will not direct us to plans that will hurt or destroy. Yet do we truly rejoice in His paths? A person who loves and trusts in God cannot fail. I find myself walking this path of faith with no clear idea how long this journey will take. Yet I find myself rejoicing nonetheless. God knows me by my name and counts the very hairs on my head. I am one of His, possessing an eternal bond that cannot be broken. Praise be to Him!