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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Money Management, Government and You



This whole economic crisis recently has freaked me out. Not because I see it as doomsday but I see it as another example of how messed up we view how to fix money problems in this country.

I have two problem with all of this. First, it seems very short sighted. I heard W speak last night on the bail out and made clear that one of the reasons we need to bail out Banks is so that can give people car loans if they need them. What people REALLY needs a car loan? If they do, why can't they wait a little bit? They answer a problem with borrow more money. None of this would have happened if everyone was borrowing out of their eyeballs to reap a short term profit three years ago. As Americans, is that our first response, ease the problem now without regard to the long term consequences? If they do talk about the long term, it always seems to be talking about a fearful future. I'm pretty sure almost every decision I make out of fear is a back one.

Secondly, where are the other options being talked about? All I hear is borrow more money. I'm a big Dave Ramsey guy and the other day on his show he actually talked about another options that makes sense. He talks about it here but it only requires extending FHA insurance to sub-primes and changing the an accounting regulation. It seems like a better option but why didn't I hear this mention on the nightly news? Why must borrowing be the only way?

It is hard to tell if government is a reflection of who we are or simply the people we are inadvertently modeling our lives after. I believe leaders have to set the example since more things are caught rather than taught. Then upon seeing on Tim Stevens' blog about Joe Biden only giving away 1/4 of 1% of income kinda upset me too.

As he says:
Charitable giving speaks to your belief in people. It reflects your heart and whether you truly want to help people who are less fortunate. Lack of giving reveals a selfishness and self-sufficiency. It says, "Screw the world, they are on their own." As a politician, it speaks loudly that your confidence is in big government and not in the American people. And, for someone running for political office who knows his tax returns will be made public, it shows a lack of political astuteness at best (and sheer stupidity at worst) to not think this will make a difference.

I'm not saying Biden needs to be a Christian and give money to a Baptist church to be vice president. But couldn't he find any cause to believe in? Perhaps finding a cure for cancer, helping people with the AIDS epidemic or giving money to help unwed mothers. Surely there is some cause in the world worthy of his support? Nope. (HT to Leading Smart)

It is sad to see the leaders in this country so far off the mark.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm a Lions Fan again!




Matt Millen removed as Lions team president, CEO

The Matt Millen era is over in Detroit. The embattled Lions team president and chief executive officer is leaving the position, his wife Patty told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. "We're fine," Patty Millen said. "In the world's view, this may look like failure. It's been a hard road, football-wise, but we've gotten a lot of eternal blessings. We'll move forward. I told him, 'You're out of football prison now' and we have a greater purpose." FOXSports.com first reported Wednesday that Millen had been removed from his position. It was unclear whether he had been fired or had resigned, according to the report. The move comes two days after Bill Ford Jr., the son of team owner William Clay Ford, publicly said he would have fired Millen if he had the authority to do so. The Lions are 31-84 under Millen. But until this point, the Lions have resisted widespread demands from fans seeking Millen's ouster. According to the report, Millen had informed a number of employees about the change on Wednesday morning and had large packing boxes in his office. (HT to ESPN)

Worldview. . .

Have you ever heard someone say "You're an idiot for believing that?" I've heard diehard Republicans call Democrats "Left-wing Nutjobs" and Democrats call Republicans "Right Wing Nutjobs" every night on Fox News and the Daily Show (yes I watch both). I've heard Christians say(and have said in the past) those outside of the Church are "morons" and vise-versa (See Bill Maher's new movie).

I like what Seth Godin said this week on this:

Your difficult boss, customer, prospect, voter, student... probably not stupid, probably just uninformed. There's a huge difference.

Every person makes decisions based on their worldview and the data at hand. If two people have the same worldview and the same data, they'll make the same decision, every time (unless they're stupid.)

So, there are plenty of times where a lack of information leads to a bad decision. Plenty of times where an out of sync worldview leads to an out of sync decision. (Read more here)

Why do we get so mad at others with different opinions? Haven't we all believed something false before? I do believe in absolute truth and this what Romans 1 says about people believing something so much that they lie to themselves.

We forgot in the church how the "other side" lives. We forget how they think because we forget how WE use to think. This produces grace.

I've been reading Hebrews recently and it talks a lot about Jesus being the High Priest who is able to relate with us. Jesus came down to Earth, put on a skin suit, just to understand us more. He doesn't see us as stupid, just misinformed. By coming down, He wanted to give us more information (both head knowledge and heart knowledge) to show us the "stupid" ways we are living.

We are born to think we are number 1 so why do we get mad when we see people living that out daily? Are we stupid or just misinformed?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One up, One Down, One Weird interaction



The last 24 hours has been interesting. First, the best news. Lori and I were walking around Cameron Village walked into the Fresh Market and found out they carried Tony Packo's Pickles and Peppers, only the greatest thing to come out of Toledo EVER and by far my Favorite Restaurant of all time. I miss this more that Skyline (which we couldn't find).

The down side was I got my first flat tire on my bike and I had to get it fixed. :-(

On the way to the bike repair place today (over by NC State) , I was walking to the closest Wolfline stop (since it is free and save me a walk) and a woman stop me asking for directions to the Bus Stop. I said follow me I'm going there now. On the way, we were talking and I found out she was a pole dancer. When I found that out, my bus arrived so I didn't get to talk to her more. I guess you never know the people you come across on a daily basis.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New look. . .

Since I'm in the process of looking for my next step in ministry, I thought I would take some time to update my blog. I bought danstaifer.com so soon that will be the domain name. Also, I'm working on hosting my resume and some same teachings. It should be fun. So if your a possible employer, enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin and the issue of women in the Church

This is one issue that I have been on both sides of the issue. I do find it interesting how evangelicals are going Koo-Koo for Palin being on the ticket even when she cannot preach in these same churches. Here is a debate on this issue between Dr. Voddie Bauchman (very smart dude and has spoken at Northpoint in Atlanta) and Margret Feinberg (author and has spoken at Mars Hill in Grand Rapids).


(HT to Life on Life Begins really at 1:00)

I do believe there are better people out there who can speak on the "women in leadership" issue than Feinberg (like NT Wright). She was speaking more from feeling than scripture (which Voddie called her out on). Because two parents have to work, doesn't make it right. Many times it is because of poor financial decisions that lead to two parents having to work. My wife and I (many like us) are the biproduct of two working parents and wished we could have had our moms home more (and Dad for that matter).

I can't imagine Obama having good family time right now with his daughters while being on the campaign trail for almost two years straight. Politics is such a demanding career that it would be hard for anyone to maintain the attention needed to raise children.

I agree with Voddie that a person's political belief is an outpouring of our religious beliefs. The problem is what happens when a certain political party contradicts what we believe biblically? Where do we draw the line?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Every New Beginning comes from Some Other Beginning's end

These are the words from the song "Closing Time" by Semisonic and they are oh so true right now.

Yesterday, I had to do one of the hardest things I've ever had to do: resign from a church filled with people I love and have seen Jesus use in my life. It just was not the right time or season for both the church and I to be together. I pray God will do a great thing there but as for me, I know God has something big in store for me and my house. I want to publicly thank C4 for allowing me to serve there. While hard, I know this was best for both of us.

So look out world, I'm on the prowl looking for a place to partner with in turning back darkness and proclaiming Jesus to the world.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My three favorite websites right now

1) Lifehacker.com - A website devoted to geekery and the like.
2) Alltop.com - you see the top 50 RSS for a variety of topics (like the church). 
3) C4church.com - I'm a little biased but I believe we have a great church website that was build from the ground up with a very 'reasonable" budget. Kudos to Sugar Maple!

By the way, I'm typing this on Google Chrome. The jury is still out on if it will replace Firefox. . . 

If you are still using IE, SWITCH TODAY! You'll thank me later.