Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 14, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACyV1rT872s

A campaign is slowly mounting its ground swell against Philippine President Duterte concerning his past corruption. The Philippines is littered with classic "mafia-machine" style corruption, making it generally easy to find scandals on politicians. This has been building against the new Filipino president since about the same time the Philippines has needed aid from the US against ISIS, all while the Filipino president campaigns on a continued platform of moving away from the US so as not to be "dependent" on anyone, a normal sentiment in Filipino populism.

A similar media war is mounting against both China and North Korea. This week, they came together in a story about "Made in China" -labeled goods actually being made in North Korea. Also, an old story was rehashed about the Chinese using "scientific underwater drones" in the South Sea, which could be used for military purposes, if nothing more than to make underwater maps for the Chinese and to spot American submarines.

It's not far-fetched or newsworthy to claim that the Chinese could use academic or scientific tools for the military. China wouldn't be the first to perform military operations in the name of "science". China's diesel-powered aircraft carrier, the Soviet-made Liaoning, was purchased from Russia to be little more than a "floating museum". Now, it has been reverse-engineered to model at least four more aircraft carriers from China. China's underwater drones first made headlines not long after the Chinese captured a similar drone from the US.

There seems to be a trend that China's tech is reverse-engineered, not invented. More interestingly is the role the US has played. Better said, how the US has played China. It wasn't fair, but it was avoidable.

China wouldn't have most of its tech or its money for these military aggressions if American tech companies weren't outsourcing jobs to China. Companies only did that because Americans were obsessed with saving a few pennies on their goods. The country learned to copy those goods and took American money doing it, then got a big wallet, then got a big head. If the US had confronted "Shame" culture in its cultural exchanges—government, business, and otherwise—and educated whatever Chinese people they met in daily dealings and insisted on using the Biblical view of "repentance unto hope", China's government wouldn't be trying to "save face" quite so much and might even be cleaning things up at home a bit more.

Then, we have foiled military operations, this week, a crash in Australia. A truly-gone-awry military operation won't be so easily plastered across headlines. The West is trying to look weak in the eyes of the Chinese while mounting a press war against China and North Korea to stir popular support for action. That action is, indeed, becoming necessary, but only after unnecessary trade money and methods made it so.

The swelling conflict in the Pacific could have all been avoided if Americans had simply insisted on paying a few more pennies to buy American. But, it's too late to turn back. Now, American taxpayers will have to pay for an expensive, otherwise unnecessary war against their manufacturer.

Everyone is accountable for their own choices, but the US knew better. Americans know the Bible's teaching "to get one's own life in order first" and to confront "Shame" by teaching the good news of "forgiveness". But, the US didn't do that with China, not in business and not even the Christians in dealing with Chinese churches in America. While it is all sad, the bigger victim is China.

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Letters

The Test: Do I Really Believe What I Post?

So I posted something on Facebook the other day.

·         If God is really our provider, and that’s not just a religious saying, then why must we always worry about getting the very best price?

This is something Father and I have been talking about. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when he tests me on it.

I’ve been looking for a piece of equipment; my “to do list” has a hot link to a Craigslist search for the piece. And over the weekend some gave me some money, enough to buy the piece. And what do you know: there’s one for sale, exactly the sort that I’m looking for.  

On the way there, Father & I discussed this. I decided that “the best deal” was not the goal, but “the best honor” was a better choice. I had a price in my mind – not sure why it was there – that was well below his asking price.

So looking at the equipment, he offered to sell it for less; in fact, it was the exact amount I had in my mind (and in my pocket). Imagine that.  

But we tested it first. Oops. Not pretty. Needs new blades. He agreed and lowered his price again (I haven’t pushed him on price even once), this time to an odd number. I said no, and insisted on the next higher even number: all I had were $20 bills. He was happy with that.

I got home, tried to sharpen the blades on it: No go. Needs new blades.

Ordered blades from a little shop online. With shipping, that brings the total back up to the number that I had in my mind originally. And in my pocket.

What a funny process. But I think I learned some things here:

* I really CAN trust Father’s provision.
* Honor is more important than “the best” price.
* The path he takes me on may at times be circuitous. But it WILL be interesting.




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Letters

The Test: Do I Really Believe What I Post?

So I posted something on Facebook the other day.

·         If God is really our provider, and that’s not just a religious saying, then why must we always worry about getting the very best price?

This is something Father and I have been talking about. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when he tests me on it.

I’ve been looking for a piece of equipment; my “to do list” has a hot link to a Craigslist search for the piece. And over the weekend some gave me some money, enough to buy the piece. And what do you know: there’s one for sale, exactly the sort that I’m looking for.  

On the way there, Father & I discussed this. I decided that “the best deal” was not the goal, but “the best honor” was a better choice. I had a price in my mind – not sure why it was there – that was well below his asking price.

So looking at the equipment, he offered to sell it for less; in fact, it was the exact amount I had in my mind (and in my pocket). Imagine that.  

But we tested it first. Oops. Not pretty. Needs new blades. He agreed and lowered his price again (I haven’t pushed him on price even once), this time to an odd number. I said no, and insisted on the next higher even number: all I had were $20 bills. He was happy with that.

I got home, tried to sharpen the blades on it: No go. Needs new blades.

Ordered blades from a little shop online. With shipping, that brings the total back up to the number that I had in my mind originally. And in my pocket.

What a funny process. But I think I learned some things here:

* I really CAN trust Father’s provision.
* Honor is more important than “the best” price.
* The path he takes me on may at times be circuitous. But it WILL be interesting.




Standard
Letters

The Test: Do I Really Believe What I Post?

So I posted something on Facebook the other day.

·    If God is really our provider, and that’s not just a religious saying, then why must we always worry about getting the very best price?

This is something Father and I have been talking about. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when he tests me on it.

I’ve been looking for a piece of equipment; my “to do list” has a hot link to a Craigslist search for the piece. And over the weekend some gave me some money, enough to buy the piece. And what do you know: there’s one for sale, exactly the sort that I’m looking for.  

On the way there, Father & I discussed this. I decided that “the best deal” was not the goal, but “the best honor” was a better choice. I had a price in my mind – not sure why it was there – that was well below his asking price.

So looking at the equipment, he offered to sell it for less; in fact, it was the exact amount I had in my mind (and in my pocket). Imagine that.  

But we tested it first. Oops. Not pretty. Needs new blades. He agreed and lowered his price again (I haven’t pushed him on price even once), this time to an odd number. I said no, and insisted on the next higher even number: all I had were $20 bills. He was happy with that.

I got home, tried to sharpen the blades on it: No go. Needs new blades.

Ordered blades from a little shop online. With shipping, that brings the total back up to the number that I had in my mind originally. And in my pocket.

What a funny process. But I think I learned some things here:

·   I really CAN trust Father’s provision.
·   Honor is more important than “the best” price.
·   The path he takes me on may at times be circuitous. But it WILL be interesting.

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Faux Report

Misprinted ‘Pinkbacks’ Have Made It Into Circulation, and Collectors Are Paying THOUSANDS For Them!

money

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 

A misprinted set of currency, being dubbed “pinkbacks” by collectors, in response to their tinted color, has made its way into everyday trade and banks, and collectors are picking them up for top dollar.

“I got a pink $100 bill when I cashed my check at the bank,” said Craig Fisher of Baltimore. “I thought it was kind of odd. At first I thought it was fake, but then I looked into it, and found out it was a very rare misprint. I ended up selling it to a collector for $15,000.”

The U.S. mint is trying, and seemingly failing, to get their hands on all of the misprinted bills. They are not saying how much currency is currently out there with the pink tint, but collectors are estimating that it is probably a small amount.

“Based on what I know about the influx of currency into the general marketplace, I’d venture to guess that there is maybe 1,000 of each of the pink $100s, $50s, and $20s, and probably only a couple hundred of the pink $10s,” said currency collector and expert, Mark Ditka. “I’ve only seen one $10 pinkback for sale so far, and I know it fetched well over $75,000.”

Ditka says that it’s “unlikely” that anyone will find one of these bills in the “real world,” as most of them have gone “underground” in the collector’s market, so that the U.S. treasury does not get their hands on them.

“But if you do find one, definitely give me a call,” said Ditka. “I’ll pay you a fortune for one.”

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Faux Report

Trump Signs Order To Include Extra $1k In Tax Refunds For ‘Deserving Americans’

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –

Donald Trump signed his latest order on Wednesday morning, which will allow for an extra $1000 to be sent out with the tax refunds of ‘deserving Americans.’ According to Trump, the money will not be coming from within the tax system, and will instead come out of his own pocket.

Trump says that he plans to spend approximately $15 million to hand out extra cash to police, fireman, doctors and nurses, and veterans, among others.

“There are a lot of people who do a lot of good for others, and these people are the most deserving Americans I know,” said Trump. “And because they do so much good, I think they deserve a little good in return. This year, I will send out over 15000 checks for an extra $1000 each to those people who are deserving of a little extra help, and a little more appreciation.”

Trump says that the 15000 people will be chosen at random, from a database curated by the National Census Bureau, which has information on the employment of over 6 million Americans.

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Faux Report

Woman Claims She Makes Over $10k A Month By Asking ‘Boyfriends’ For Abortion Money

aborti

As Reported By Huzlers:

A 27-year-old woman was pulled over early morning due to a speeding violation. Natasha Brown, acted in a very suspicious manner officers decided to search her vehicle where they discovered $60,000 in cash. When officers asked her why she had such a large amount of money she replied “I’m getting an abortion” she was taken into custody for further questioning.

She told Baton Rouge investigators that the money was rightfully hers, Investigators asked her for employment information and she told investigators she had no job that she was a “self-employed entrepreneur” she then told investigators she had multiple…

READ FULL STORY HERE

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Faux Report

Trump Donates $130k To Organization Founded By Westboro Baptist Church

westboro

Richard Young, a spokesperson for Faith Among Nations, has confirmed to reporters that his organization recently received a donation in the amount of $130,000 from republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Faith Among Nations is a non-profit organization currently overseen by Paul Addison, however was originally founded in 1999 by Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps. In 2001, Phelps resigned from his position at Faith Among Nations and appointed Paul Addison to take his place as the organization’s president.

The organization claims to help wounded soldiers, wayward children, and victims of natural disasters through monetary donations while promoting traditional Christian values, however the non-profit is widely viewed as an “untrustworthy organization” and has been known to funnel money directly to The Westboro Baptist Church.

Many believe that Faith Among Nations is nothing more than a shell corporation set-up by Phelps to assist in the funding of Westboro Baptist Church business expenses such as travel expenses including air fare, hotel accommodations, and gas expenses. In 2004, the organization was slapped with multiple hefty fines when it was uncovered that upwards of $600,000 worth of Faith Among Nations donations were used to pay Westboro Baptist Church salaries.

When asked directly about the Faith Among Nations donation, Trump told reporters, “Unlike my opponents, I donate to many non-profit and charitable organizations, next question.” Many believe that Trump was unaware that his seemingly massive donation would be used to fund the questionable activities of the Westboro Baptist church, however, many others are of the opinion that Trump knowingly supported the organization.

Trump’s $130,000 donation to Faith Among Nations, is the second controversial donation that the presidential nominee has made this year. He received heavy criticism for a donation of $100,000 that he made to the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church whose interim pastor is Tony Perkins.

(via: The Boston Tribune)

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Devotionals, Letters

Not Reluctantly. Not Under Compulsion.

Not Reluctantly, or Under Compulsion

Should believers ever charge for their services, for the exercise of their God-given gifts?

Many people quote this verse (from 1 Corinthians 9), “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion.”

Then they use it to judge each other.

They use this verse, often quite forcefully, to say, “I should have the freedom to give you what I want for your services (or products). You should not make your prices compulsory!” The most frequent examples are authors, counselors and conference speakers: they are “reluctant” to pay $80 an hour for professional counselling, or $40 for a weekend of worship and teaching at a conference, so they pull out this verse to justify their outrage at having to pay for the services they voluntarily choose to make use of. “That’s a gift from God. How dare you charge me for what you got for free?”

Some have been audacious enough to suggest, “Well, if you don’t want to pay for that conference (or book, or counselling), don’t buy it. Nobody is forcing you.” This is generally met with yet more outrage. “It’s my right! Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do!” (And this is an excellent illustration of a spirit of entitlement in action.)

It’s interesting that we can recognize the foolishness of this when we apply this “principle” in other places. “Walmart shouldn’t have prices. We should be free to pay whatever we want!” “Chick fil A shouldn’t have prices on its menu!” or “I’m going to have my car's engine rebuilt, but I don’t think I should pay the mechanic. After all, those skills are just a gift from God.” I’m pretty sure those wouldn’t be received well.

I find it curious that these people are not willing to let the conference speaker do the same thing they demand for themselves, to “decide in [her] own heart what to give.” Rather, these outraged consumers insist that authors and public speakers make their life work available for whatever they themselves have decided in their heart to give in exchange.

In other words, “It’s for ME to decide if I want to give you money, but YOU don’t get to decide if you want to give away your life’s work!”

Don’t we see the hypocrisy in this?

Perhaps it is significant that I’ve never heard anybody use this verse to defend someone else. If we’re going to apply it to ourselves, then it applies to our brothers and sisters, doesn’t it? Yet nobody has ever said, “This conference speaker should give what he has decided in his time to give, not reluctantly and not under compulsion. He should not be required to work for the rate that I want to pay him. That’s his choice, not mine!”

The verse in question (2 Corinthians 9:7) doesn’t actually apply in this conversation, anyway. Paul is not laying this down as a general principle for doing business in this. Not at all. He’s talking about receiving a voluntary offering for an impoverished church. He’s not talking about demanding things from other believers. He’s certainly not talking about how we demand others run their businesses and ministries!

Bigger picture: Are we not sons and daughters of the King of Kings? That makes us royalty, doesn’t it? Royalty never (not ever!) go around demanding goods and services for free. In fact, royalty goes out of their way to out-give others, to demonstrate generosity. That is our heritage, not shaming people trying to feed their family with the tools God has given them.

We, as sons & daughters of the greatest King of all, should behave like royalty, not like begrudging beggars, particularly with one another.

~nwp



Standard
Devotionals, Letters

Not Reluctantly. Not Under Compulsion.

Not Reluctantly, or Under Compulsion

Should believers ever charge for their services, for the exercise of their God-given gifts?

Many people quote this verse (from 1 Corinthians 9), “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion.”

Then they use it to judge each other.

They use this verse, often quite forcefully, to say, “I should have the freedom to give you what I want for your services (or products). You should not make your prices compulsory!” The most frequent examples are authors, counselors and conference speakers: they are “reluctant” to pay $80 an hour for professional counselling, or $40 for a weekend of worship and teaching at a conference, so they pull out this verse to justify their outrage at having to pay for the services they voluntarily choose to make use of. “That’s a gift from God. How dare you charge me for what you got for free?”

Some have been audacious enough to suggest, “Well, if you don’t want to pay for that conference (or book, or counselling), don’t buy it. Nobody is forcing you.” This is generally met with yet more outrage. “It’s my right! Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do!” (And this is an excellent illustration of a spirit of entitlement in action.)

It’s interesting that we can recognize the foolishness of this when we apply this “principle” in other places. “Walmart shouldn’t have prices. We should be free to pay whatever we want!” “Chick fil A shouldn’t have prices on its menu!” or “I’m going to have my car's engine rebuilt, but I don’t think I should pay the mechanic. After all, those skills are just a gift from God.” I’m pretty sure those wouldn’t be received well.

I find it curious that these people are not willing to let the conference speaker do the same thing they demand for themselves, to “decide in [her] own heart what to give.” Rather, these outraged consumers insist that authors and public speakers make their life work available for whatever they themselves have decided in their heart to give in exchange.

In other words, “It’s for ME to decide if I want to give you money, but YOU don’t get to decide if you want to give away your life’s work!”

Don’t we see the hypocrisy in this?

Perhaps it is significant that I’ve never heard anybody use this verse to defend someone else. If we’re going to apply it to ourselves, then it applies to our brothers and sisters, doesn’t it? Yet nobody has ever said, “This conference speaker should give what he has decided in his time to give, not reluctantly and not under compulsion. He should not be required to work for the rate that I want to pay him. That’s his choice, not mine!”

The verse in question (2 Corinthians 9:7) doesn’t actually apply in this conversation, anyway. Paul is not laying this down as a general principle for doing business in this. Not at all. He’s talking about receiving a voluntary offering for an impoverished church. He’s not talking about demanding things from other believers. He’s certainly not talking about how we demand others run their businesses and ministries!

Bigger picture: Are we not sons and daughters of the King of Kings? That makes us royalty, doesn’t it? Royalty never (not ever!) go around demanding goods and services for free. In fact, royalty goes out of their way to out-give others, to demonstrate generosity. That is our heritage, not shaming people trying to feed their family with the tools God has given them.

We, as sons & daughters of the greatest King of all, should behave like royalty, not like begrudging beggars, particularly with one another.

~nwp



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Faux Report

Black Lives Matter Group Sued For Being Racist, Not Allowing White Members

blm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 

A group of angry white people have filed a motion in the Supreme Court to have the Black Lives Matter movement disbanded, labelling them a hate group who stops white members from joining. The group of individuals, who at this point have not released their names, are also suing the Black Lives Matter group for an undisclosed sum.

“We are tired of being marginalized and held back because of the color of our skin,” read a statement released from the group of white, Christian men. “We wanted to help and to spread the word of the Black Lives Matter movement, but they have held us back from joining at every cost. They are not about love. They are about hate and discrimination.”

A Supreme Court judge will hear the full case on Tuesday, and is expected to determine the merits.

A formal statement from the Black Lives Matter group was received too late to include in this publishing.

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Faux Report

Gary Johnson Says He’ll Give Everyone Who Votes For Him $100

johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 

In what he says is his way of “giving back,” Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson says that for anyone who can prove that they vote for him in the general election, he will personally send them $100.

“People have been giving candidates money for years, and for all but one guy, that money is wasted, because they don’t win,” said Johnson. “Now, I want to be able to give some back. Whether I am elected or not, if you vote for me, I will mail you a $100 bill.”

Johnson says that he is challenging Donald Trump to do the same thing, and wants him to take it a step further.

“Donald Trump is a pussy, so I know he will never do this,” said Johnson. “But that guy is supposedly a billionaire, so I think he should give every one of his voters $500. He could, supposedly, afford it, and you know what, it would make him look like less of a pussy in my eyes.”

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Faux Report

Ice Bucket Challenge For ALS Leads To Earth-Shattering Medical Discovery

Teenage Girl Dies of Hypothermia After Taking Part In 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

BOSTON, Massachusetts –

Last year, the ALS ice bucket challenge viral videos ran rampant across the internet, and brought in millions of dollars for Lou Gehrig’s Disease research. In a decidedly crazy twist, it seems that money has been used to find and diagnose an entirely different disease, and it’s one that could change the face of medicine forever.

Researcher Jordan Marsh says that the ALS videos and the money raised by them has helped them to discover a new breakthrough in a specific virus that has been plaguing the world, but has yet to be contained.

“We used the ALS money to look into the root of this long-standing virus, and thankfully, we have been able to pinpoint where it began, and also how to contain it from spreading further,” said Marsh. “It’s one for the books, for sure.”

For the books it will be, because as of this time, Marsh is not saying what discovery they have made.

“At this time, I am just going to say that it’s a huge deal, and we are very excited, but we want to get all the information out at once, and accurately, so you’ll have to wait until our findings are released in the National Book Of Medical Journals.”

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Faux Report

Ice Bucket Challenge For ALS Leads To Earth-Shattering Medical Discovery

Teenage Girl Dies of Hypothermia After Taking Part In 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

BOSTON, Massachusetts –

Last year, the ALS ice bucket challenge viral videos ran rampant across the internet, and brought in millions of dollars for Lou Gehrig’s Disease research. In a decidedly crazy twist, it seems that money has been used to find and diagnose an entirely different disease, and it’s one that could change the face of medicine forever.

Researcher Jordan Marsh says that the ALS videos and the money raised by them has helped them to discover a new breakthrough in a specific virus that has been plaguing the world, but has yet to be contained.

“We used the ALS money to look into the root of this long-standing virus, and thankfully, we have been able to pinpoint where it began, and also how to contain it from spreading further,” said Marsh. “It’s one for the books, for sure.”

For the books it will be, because as of this time, Marsh is not saying what discovery they have made.

“At this time, I am just going to say that it’s a huge deal, and we are very excited, but we want to get all the information out at once, and accurately, so you’ll have to wait until our findings are released in the National Book Of Medical Journals.”

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