Saturday, January 19, 2013

True Wealth

One afternoon in 1953, the mayor and city officials gathered with reporters at the Chicago railroad station. They were expecting a famous man who had won the 1952 Nobel Peace prize.A giant of a man stepped off the train, six-feet-four, with bushy hair and a full mustache. The cameras began to flash and the mayor stepped forward with his hand outstretched to greet him. They began to lavish praise and honors on him but he asks them to excuse him for a moment. Looking over the heads of the crowd this big man began to push through to the back of the platform.

There he approached an elderly black woman who was struggling as she tried to carry two large suitcases. He picked up the bags in his big hands and, smiling, escorted the woman to a bus. As he helped her aboard, he wished her a safe journey.

Meanwhile, the crowd tagged along behind him. He turned to them and said, "Sorry to have kept you waiting." The man was Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous missionary to Africa who earned the Noble Peace prize helping the poor. he was wealthy beyond measure but needed not one bank vault to hold his wealth.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

At Odds With Myself

I have some core political beliefs that guide me but at times I am at odds with myself over their application. Some times two of my beliefs are at odds with each other and I need to work out my thoughts on the greater good between them. It is an ongoing struggle with life and living in this republic where there are a lot of differing opinions challenges our choices.

I believe that all levels of government should provide the best possible governance for the least possible tax. All government budgets must balance spending and revenue. Debt should only be incurred in war or great national emergency and then only with a prescribed pay off time. Elected officials should serve their office as an act of service and not as a career.  Term limits should be imposed by voters but we often re-elect the same people over and over. As a small city mayor I struggle with all of this as I enjoy being mayor and think about serving another term and argue with my self about my term limit.

No matter which government level is in action we are all here to serve our people in a responsible way. We would like to do it all but we can not do everything for everyone. We will please some and displease others when we weigh taxes and service to our continuances. To provide more service we must raise more revenue and to reduce revenue we must reduce services. Our government is by the people, for the people and sometimes in spite of the people. 

National, state and local governments affect people’s lives in a variety of ways and it is not easy to balance our ways and means but we must. I pray every day for our elected officials even the ones with whom disagree. Join me in prayer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What does it take for you?

The story is told about an angel walking down the street of Old Jerusalem with a torch in his right hand and a bucket of water in his left hand. Another angel saw him and asks, “What are you going to do with that fire and water?”  The first angel replied, “With the fire, I’m going to burn down the mansions of heaven, and with the bucket of water, I’m going to put out the fires of hell. Then we’ll see who really loves God.”

What a thought! Do you have to have hell scared out of you or the promise of golden streets to make you love God? Is it enough for you to love and praise God simply because God is God. Is it enough to love God as the creator of the universe, including the good earth we live on. What does it take for you to really love God?

God has expressed love for us many times but never forces us to love in return. But our love is what God desires from us. For that love to be real it must be freely felt and given. To be in love with God can be the most exhilarating feeling one can have. Sadly to few people feel the full effects of that kind of relationship and their lives suffer from the lack of it. Do you truly love God? How do you express you love for God? Does your love flow from a heart filled with joy because of God’s great gift of His son Jesus?

Let your love flow freely and enjoy its power to lift you up.