Posts tagged ‘pay’

September 13, 2012

Don’t Spend It!

by pastortimfowler

Golden_Dollar_Sign

So the federal government is going to do another stimulus package. Where is this money coming from? Last time I checked, the US was trillions in debts and the last 2 or 3 stimulus packages did nothing to stimulate. I know that the rich have plenty of money, but even if we took it all from them it would not pay off the current debt. The federal government does not produce goods for the money they get, they get it from the citizens and there is not enough of my money left to pay any more to a wasteful bunch of government bureaucrats. STOP SPENDING MONEY YOU DON”T HAVE!!!
I can’t go out tomorrow and borrow enough money to pay off my house that I still owe on and expect my financial situation to get better. I can’t put all of my bills on a credit card and expect it to stimulate my savings account and retirement fund, nor will it give me more to eat in the next few months. Sadly there are not even enough jobs out there for me to get another one in order to make more money to pay my bills, which if I were in a financial mess would be the right thing for me to try to do, much less get another job to pay of the governments debts that I did not cause.
The American people are being duped into a financial disaster that can’t be fixed without someone putting a stop to this outrageous spending of our tax dollars. It is not because we are not paying enough in taxes, no matter who you are, it is that the government is spending money that it doesn’t have. Can anyone tell me how printing more money and going into debt helps create jobs? How does going into debt make things better if you aren’t making enough money to pay what you already owe? Stupidity is running a muck in Washington DC and I am sick of it. I am calling and writing my elected officials and telling them that they are fired if they spend one more dollar that I make and don’t have to give to them. If they want to stimulate the economy, grow a pair and make the tough decisions to be responsible with my money. Say no to more to printing and borrowing and spending. Resign and quit getting paid with my tax dollars if you want to stimulate the economy. I have a 3-year-old grandkids that can lose the money I give to her and she doesn’t require a six figure paycheck to do it.

January 31, 2012

Tourist Trap Christians

by pastortimfowler

So, we were in the Bahamas for a port of call during our recent cruise and decided to play tourist. We left the ship to go shopping in the town and see if we could buy a few souvenirs and gifts for the kids back home. We went into what was called the Straw Village which was lined with row after row of locals selling trinkets and t-shirts and hats. After the third row of probably 20 rows, I began to notice that nothing was much different from the row before. The same hats, the same jewelery, the same shirts, just a different display and a different person sitting there trying to get us to buy their stuff. There was no gap in between tables and only about five feet in between vendors. As we continued to make our way around to the next row and then the next, I began to see something that made me think about Christians.
Let me preface what I am about to say with the note that I never like to lump any group of people together with a blanket statement, even though there are many broad statements that could be said about many groups, including Christians. I am not accusing all Christians of being like what I am about to say, but there are enough that it could apply to a large portion of them.
Each vendor in this place knew that there were cruise ships in port that day. This was a regular stop and a popular place for tourists to shop. Most of the first time tourists like me, were expecting this enthusiastic greeting from all of the locals who they were trying to earn our business. Sadly, it wasn’t so. Instead of a warm welcome, we were greeted with a barrage of the same old lines repeated by each vendor there. “Slow down, look and touch. Great deal today.” This was said over and over by each vendor and was said with no enthusiasm and no meaningful voice inflections. And, because they were seated so close to each other, there was no recognizable difference in one vendor to the next. They were so used to tourists being there that it was not special to them, even though it was our money buying their goods that put food on their plates. They repeated the same lines so many times that it had no impact on them nor us, the tourists.
Christians have become a lot like this. We are free in America to speak the Gospel anytime, anywhere, to anyone. But we have heard it and spoke it so much that there is no meaning to our words anymore to the ones who hear it from us. Those who hear it from us have heard the same old lines repeated time and time again by a less than enthused Christian that it does not convict them to act, but rather compels them to hurry through the market of churches selling Christianity.
Every now and then we came across an individual in the market that had a smile and a belief that what they were selling was really worth you buying and they were willing to put the effort into making the most of their one opportunity to sell you what they had. And strangely, at these rare vendors tables, tourists were flocking and buying and walking away thinking that they had received something special from their visit to the Bahamas.
I know that my salvation, given to me from God through Jesus Christ is special. You can only get it from God and He has authorized me to be a vendor for it. He has put me in a market place that has groves of people walking through, looking for something and someone to convince them to buy it. I can either repeat the same old boring line that you have heard a million times before or I can sell it to you in a way that makes you know that what I have is special. The burden is not on the tourist walking by my table in life, but on me, the vendor, who has been given the wonderful opportunity to sell you something that will make you glad that you came by my table.
Most tourists only get to visit a place like this once or twice in a lifetime. Some will buy a trinket that will end up in the bottom of a suitcase and make a less than dazzling impression on others and may never get a second look after that. Some will remember the person who sold the trinket and tell the story of how wonderful the person who sold it to them was and convince others to try what they just experienced. But never forget that the vendors are the ones who truly make the difference to someone buying from them. They are the ones who make someone walk by in hopes of escaping, or, stop and buy what they are selling.
Christians are not selling to tourists the trinkets of a vacation, but a life changing, eternal hope of having favor with God and being able to show the benefits of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. Churches are not the place that just happens to put food on the table, but rather are giving food for the soul. Jesus is far better than trinkets and t-shirts and certainly is better than a 5 day vacation in a tropical paradise. It is the hope of an eternal home in the paradise of Heaven with a God who loves us enough to pay our sin debt and allow us to share this awesome hope with others.

December 14, 2011

Taxes

by pastortimfowler

I will try my best not to be too political on this one, but… I received my property tax notice for some rental property that we have in another county and was shocked to see that our mobile home was assessed at just $2000 less than we paid for it. So I decided that I would make a trip to have that challenged. You can’t do it over the phone or by mail or online, it must be done in person. You can pay online, via mail or phone though. Once there, a 1.5 hour drive, it took 3 minutes for me to fill out a 5 question form and be told that it would take 6 to 8 weeks and that I needed to go ahead and pay it before it was delinquent.
I do not mind paying taxes, they do provide the government with a way to provide the necessary provisions of education, fire and police and the ever important land fill. And, Jesus said that it was appropriate to pay taxes and I want to be a good citizen and a good Christian. So what is my complaint you ask?
My mobile home is like any other mobile home, it depreciates in value every year. Not to mention that even regular homes have depreciated in value over the last few years due to the struggling economy. For the last 5 years my mobile home has gone up in value twice and stayed at that value for three straight years. This is a single wide, 1999 model mobile home. It is not on the same tax bill as the land that it sits on, so that does not account for the value at all. In fact, thanks to our legislators, once I feel like I don’t want to live in or rent this anymore to someone, I can’t even sell it and have it moved. Any mobile home over 10 years old can not be moved in this county so it must be torn down and taken to the land fill I am paying for. So really it looks like it is of even less value since it turned 10 years old, 2 years ago.
We had a friend look up the blue book value of this and it was not even half of what the tax bill claimed it to be valued at. So I asked the lady if they found my claim to be valid and adjusted the value of the home, would they go back a few years and refund me the money that I was overpaying. She said, “Oh no! We can’t do that!” I asked her if I owed back taxes if they would require me to go back and pay them and she said, “Why yes we would.” I said to her, “That doesn’t seem fair now,does it?” To which she said, Sir. Will that be all today?” I told her it would and wished her a Merry Christmas.
I don’t use the land fill in this county. I don’t use the schools in this county and judging from the people who are educated there and now working in the tax offices, they don’t use them either or they aren’t learning much when they do. I rarely complain and pay my taxes on time. I just wish that when I over pay, that they would do what is right and give my money back.
But that is the problem with paying more taxes. The more you pay, the more they keep, and no one gets anymore service from them. The schools are not any better, just ask someone who has kids in them. The police and firefighters don’t get paid what they deserve and the people in the tax offices are not doing their jobs to the best of their ability. But at least people who don’t work will get a check in the mail and people who don’t legally belong in our country will receive a free education and medical treatment. But most importantly, I get to throw my trash in what ever land fill I choose between the two counties that I pay taxes in. Hopefully one day I will get rich and can pay even more taxes to cover the lazy, the illegal, and the bureaucrats who get paid from my hard work through all these years.

August 4, 2011

Free Cell Phones

by pastortimfowler

Our government gives the poor way too much. It is not the job of the federal government to give food and housing to the poor. It is called the American dream to own a home, not the American right to own a home. Owning a home requires one to be able to pay for the home and just because the government makes it easier to get financing, does not mean that you are ready nor deserving to own the home. Just yesterday I saw that there is even a government program to give poor people a free cell phone with 250 free minutes. Why?
There is no such thing as the government giving anything for free. It is all paid for and due to the fact that our government has no money of its own, that means that those of us who work and pay taxes, pay for all this free stuff. Since I pay for my own food, house, and cell phone, I can’t afford to pay for someone who can’t afford it for themselves. I bought my house based on my good credit and my good work record and because I budget my finances well I have a cell phone.
Food is a touchy subject. I do believe that people need to eat. I believe that if someone has no job and can’t buy food that they should have a means in which to eat. I just don’t think that it should come from the government. And I don’t think that someone who refuses to work should be able to eat as well or better than someone who does work but has to make sacrifices because they are paying for someone else’s home, cell phone, and groceries.
By this time I probably have about half of the people who read my blogs fuming mad. I have probably been call insensitive and had my Christianity questioned. However, I am not wrong; it is not the government’s responsibility to do these things.
Let me make one statement that I hope we can all deal with; No one has a right to a free cell phone and minutes.
Let me now clarify some things from the above statements.
It is the churches responsibility to take care of the poor. I can’t and wont argue with someone who is not a Christian about whose responsibility it is. Hopefully we can all agree that helping someone in need is a good thing and we just do it. BUT… The Bible is very clear that the church, Christians, should feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and house the homeless. It is not the responsibility of the government.
The church should do it out of love and a desire to show Christ’s love to others. We should do it with a motivation to help others become self-dependent and then for them to be able to help others. We should not just give to those who are not willing to help themselves. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 While we were with you, we gave you the order: “Whoever doesn’t want to work shouldn’t be allowed to eat.” There is a difference between those who can’t work and those who won’t.
Our society has created a class of people who are freeloaders. They know every agency and every charity that is willing to give away something free. When asked to work they refuse because they have more than they need from the give-aways, including a free cell phone and minutes.
My challenge to you is this. As of right now, things are not going to change when it comes to government give aways. But we can elect officials who will work to change these things. I am not talking about yanking the rug out from under poor innocent people who are down on their luck. I am talking about stopping the use of our tax dollars to promote freeloading. Pray about how you can begin to work within your church to help those in need. The old saying, give a man a fish, you feed him today, teach a man to fish, he feeds himself for a lifetime, is still true. We must help people become self-sufficient.
I will never allow someone to walk away to starvation. I will never allow someone to freeze to death because they have no shelter. I will never stop someone from calling 911 on my cell phone in an emergency. But please stop giving away so much free stuff without accountability. Even Jesus requires us to be accountable with the new life that He gives us, so what is wrong with require accountability from others?