Saving for Retirement

People are living longer while dark economic and political clouds approach from the horizon. What can individuals and families do to help protect their financial future? How can we best care for ourselves and those we love?  

By Mark D. Harris

America and the world are aging. In almost every land, the number of workers is falling relative to the number of retirees. Fewer workers result in less revenue from profits and taxes. Corporate and government pension systems (such as Social Security in the United States) try to maintain payments to retirees, so governments incur more debt and private pension funds become underfunded. As fewer men and women marry, and fewer couples have babies, the workforce continues to shrink, and economies begin to fail. The entire financial system becomes less stable.

Meanwhile, inflation is over 7% and interest rates make your eyes water. Experts predict financial gloom, and no one seems to know how to dodge or divert the coming storm. For many governments, cost cutting is politically impossible, and their main solution is to print (create) more money. Furthermore, politicians shift more costs to retirees themselves. For example, Medicare is charging the aged more and more for health insurance, at just the time that the elderly need it the most.

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Accuse at Your Own Risk

Accusations are necessary for justice, but false accusations are a miscarriage of it. It is increasingly easy to accuse in our modern American culture. The penalties are small, and the payoff often big. But false accusers must beware. In the fullness of time, they will pay for their lies. Meanwhile, those accused must forgive as they have been forgiven.

By Mark D, Harris

“Buy me another servant” the sultry wife told her wealthy, older husband. Within a few days, she noticed an unfamiliar young man carrying a large sack of topsoil in the garden. He tossed the sack to the ground as if it were filled with feathers. Over the weeks, she noticed that his tasks were always done quickly, imaginatively, and well, leaving time to help other servants with their responsibilities. Everyone liked and respected him, despite his youth.  Her husband noticed too, and within months put him in charge of the other servants. Soon, the young man was the administrator of the whole household.

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Posture in Prayer

Posture includes the condition of our spirit and the position of our body. We will not have adequate power in prayer if we do not get our posture right.

By Mark D, Harris

The heart of Christianity is that God, not man (individually or corporately), is the center of existence. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and of all things. God contains within Himself all power, glory, knowledge, truth, goodness (righteousness, morality), and ultimately everything that is real inside and outside the created order. He is both near and far away. The One who made space and time is not bound by space and time. God does not hold Himself, and He is certainly not held by someone else, to a standard outside Himself. God is the standard.

The Illusion of Independence

Humans, vain and mortal creatures, yearn to be masters of our own world. We convince ourselves that we are. Our self-righteous protestations of personal power and independence sound funny to anyone with a modicum of insight:

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How and Why to Praise the Lord (Psalm 100)

Praising the Lord, acknowledging all that He is and does, is the best way to experience joy. How can we do it?

By Mark D, Harris

How many people that you know lack joy a lot of the time? What do they do about it? Some people eat. Others sleep. Many binge watch movies. Some drink or use drugs. What do you do when you lack joy? How does a lack of joy impact your confidence, your clarity of mind, your strength? Though it can be hard, the best thing that any of us can do when we lack joy is to praise the Lord.

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength is an old song derived from Nehemiah 8:10

G                             D

The joy of the Lord is my strength

                                G

The joy of the Lord is my strength

                                C

The joy of the Lord is my strength

G                     D                G

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Psalm 100, and many other passages in Scripture, tell us that the key to joy is praise. Of course, believers don’t praise the Lord so that we can have joy. Instead, we praise God for who He is. We thank Him for what He has done for us. In acknowledging the magnificence of our Creator and Sustainer, in focusing on His truth, beauty, and righteousness, and in marinating our souls in His awesome love, we receive joy. As surely as the sun rises in the morning, honest praise with a clean heart will bring joy to all those involved. Over and over again, the Bible records God’s people praising Him. Psalm 100 provides a fine example.

How to Praise the Lord

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