FDR on Hand Outs

In these days, President Franklin Roosevelt is considered to be one of the “bad guys” by many folks on the conservative side of the aisle.  After all, it was FDR that brought upon us many of the social programs that are, today, economically so hard to sustain.

However, a recent opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal points out that FDR knew well the dangers of government aid:

Franklin D. Roosevelt was clear as well. “Continued dependence upon relief,” he said in 1935, “induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.” Yet government programs, being shallow and impersonal, tend to drift into handouts. They are like the superficial giver who drops a dollar into the beggar’s cup and walks on, feeling self-satisfied.

There is no doubt that many on our land need a helping hand along the way.  Christians should be leading the way in providing this help.  But there’s also no doubt that billions are spent on aid, but there seems to be very little positive impact from this money spent.  I think the passage above helps to explain this lack of results.

 

 

Tuesday Technology: Reinstalling Windows

This past week, I re-installed Windows on two different computers.  I’m not talking about some sort of “reload” where things are patched and fixed.  I’m talking about a burn-it-to-the-ground reformatting of the C drive Windows install.  Out of those two projects, I picked up a couple of tips to share.

The re-formats and re-installs were necessary because both of these Windows 10 computers were running very “clunkily” and programs were constantly freezing.  My office mate and I consulted with our “computer repair guy” and he thought the problem was likely caused — or made worse — by Windows 10.  He recommended a reformatting the drives and rolling back to Windows 7, or re-installing Windows 10 without going through the upgrade process from Windows 7.

With all of that said, here are those tips:

  • Most all computer guys would rather re-format your hard drive and re-install Windows than find and fix your problem.  First off, they are probably busy and finding a lot of our problems usually takes a lot of their time.  And even if they find the problem, fixing it may also take a lot of time — and then that may not cure all of our problems.  So, the easiest, and often the cheapest, thing to do is to re-format the hard drive and re-install Windows.
  • This is one more reason why you should always have a back up of your data, or store your data in the cloud.  During these two projects, there was only one file — a Quicken backup file — that I had to make (and this is because the Quicken backup didn’t want to play nice with Dropbox).  It’s too easy nowadays to back up data for us to leave data not backed up.
  • It’s always a good idea to keep a system re-boot CD handy.   If you have no idea what this is, you probably haven’t had to use one, but if you have used a re-boot, you know this is important.  This CD lets you start your computer without using the system files on your hard drive.  Being able to boot this way is key for a re-install project or if you have to fix certain problems.
  • Don’t forget to have a copy of your drivers handy!  If you buy a computer from a company like Dell, the computer will usually ship with a CD containing the drivers needed for your machine.  Keep this CD!  If you don’t have something like this, make sure your drivers are backed up to a CD or stick drive before you re-format your hard drive — because re-formatting your hard drive deletes your drivers!
  • Make a list of your applications (also known as programs for us old people) before you wipe out your computer and make sure you know how to re-install the programs once your system is re-installed.
  • Make sure you have access to the internet while you are in the midst of your re-format / re-install project.  Basically, without Google access, I would have never completed these projects.  All of my problems had previously been experienced by someone else and with internet access, I could find easy answers to my problems.
  • If you know a computer repair man, make sure you are on good terms with him before you start and keep his number handy.  To be sure, he doesn’t want to spend two hours on the phone with you walking you through this.  He’d rather do the project himself and get paid.  But on the other hand, if you can do this project yourself, you are keeping your guy away from a nuisance.  Keep in mind, though, that you may hit a brick wall and need help.  If you do, try Google first an then give your guy a call.

This isn’t your typical list of “how to re-install Windows,” but these things are important to know if you do try this project for yourself.  I hope they help.


“Tuesday Technology” is a weekly series devoted to providing technology tips that help you figure out ways to do things or ways to do them better.  You read through the entire series by clicking here.

Monday Colossians: Alive With Him (v. 2:13)

God’s Word

[13] And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  (Colossians 2:13 ESV)

Review

Colossians 2:13 presents the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Let’s take a look.

[13] “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh…” – Our status before we enter a saving relationship with Jesus Christ is that we are dead.  D-E-A-D.  We aren’t sick, we aren’t trying to do better, we’re not waiting to have more rights than wrongs on our scale.  Spiritually, we are simply dead.  A doctor won’t help us at this point.  At this point, we need a Savior.

“Uncircumcision of your flesh” likely refers to our status before a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  This doesn’t refer to an act needed for us to be saved — i.e. to be circumcised — but rather refers to the condition of our “flesh,” which is unsaved.

[13] “…God made alive together with him…” – The good news is that God can make us alive.  He can breathe live into us.  He can call us from the dead.  Let us remember that He can make us alive, but let us also remember that it is God and God only who does this act.  It is not something we do to ourselves.

[13] “…having forgiven us all our trespasses,” – While we are “dead in [our] trespasses,” God calls us and makes us “alive together with him.”  This refers to being reconciled to Him.  And if we are reconciled, it means that something has to happen to our sin — our past, present and future sin — it has to be forgiven by God.  And He does this.  He has “forgiven us all our trespasses.”

Summary

This is the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is amazing.  We are sinners separated from God by our sin.  Then He calls us and we are reconciled to Him — we are alive! — because our sins have been forgiven.

Think about it.  While we were sinners and enemies of God, He loved us enough to call us and make us alive in Him (Romans 5:8).

Amen and amen.


“Monday Colossians” is a weekly Bible study series from the book of Colossians.  All Bible quotations are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible translation.  You can read all of the posts in this series by clicking here.  

Sunday Worship: Your Steadfast Love is Better than Life (Psalm 63:3)

[3] Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you. (Psalm 63:3 ESV)

I’ve used this Psalm before for the Sunday Worship series, but that doesn’t matter.  These are great words of perspective of which we need to be continually reminded.

I’m pulling out of a tough spot in life — work and stuff like that have been hard — but I know that God has been faithful even in the tough spots and I know that He uses these tough spots to teach and refine and to, ultimately, point us back to Him.  I am thankful for that.  I am thankful for His steadfast love.  Because of that, I want my lips to praise Him.

Amen and amen.


“Sunday Worship” is a weekly series that can hopefully be used to help prepare our hearts to worship God Almighty.  You can read all of the posts in this series by clicking here.

Saturday Music: Feeling Stronger Everyday

Today’s Saturday, so that must mean it’s time for some music.

When it came to pick a song for today I said to myself, “Hey, pick a song you really like.”  And you know what?  I did.  I picked “Feeling Stronger Everyday” by the band Chicago.  What’s so great about this song?  Well, pretty much everything.  Start with lead singer Peter Cetera, who is riding the bass all the while growing something mysterious on his face, and finish with a brass section that starts ripping it up just after the two minute mark.  And as I tell Sweet Wife, “If the song has horns in it, it must be good.”

Enjoy today’s selection and happy Saturday.


“Saturday Music” is a weekly blog series about the music of our lives.  Click here to read all of the posts in this series.

Friday Picture: Regions Tradition

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Look who is in the neighborhood this week: John Daly and a bunch of his buddies.  They are in town for the Regions Tradition golf tournament.

It’s been fascinating to watch the tournament come together.  The golf course and neighborhood have been sprucing up for the last couple of years (with a major push in the last couple of weeks) and there has been an amazing amount of infrastructure installed around the course to set up for tournament and the television broadcast.

Sweet Wife and I are just watching and waiting to see what happens next.  It should be interesting to see how the thousands of spectators will fill the neighborhood and how we’ll be able to come and go.

We don’t care much for golf and mostly don’t understand why the millions of dollars are invested in something like this, but I’ve tried to convince Sweet Wife that events like this bring communities together and help to enhance our civic pride and spirit.  Now I just need to convince myself of that.


“Friday Picture” is a weekly blog series about life…one picture at a time.  You can read all of the posts in the series by clicking here.

A Dose of Encouragement

It’s been a long week (already), a long month (already) and a long year (already).  But, just a few short months ago, Alabama squared off against Clemson in the College Football Playoff out in Arizona.

Life has been so hectic since then that there has been very little time to savor Alabama’s win.  However, I took a few short minutes this week to do so.  I punched “Alabama Clemson” (or something like that) into the YouTube and the video above appeared.

This isn’t my favorite Alabama win for a national championship — that would be the win where I met Sweet Wife — but it was an absolutely fantastic game.  The last 10 minutes of the game were especially entertaining.  Of course, they weren’t “especially entertaining” back on January 11th.  No, the last 10 minutes were excruciating and seemed to last forever.

Anyways, there’s a lot about sports — and college football in particular — that aren’t fun to think about, but games like this sure do cover over a lot of grime and make you start counting the days until the next kickoff.  Enjoy the encouragement.

 

Tuesday Technology: Tech Musings from a Busy Soul

Work for me is really busy right now (and also incredibly stressful).  It’s been that way for most of 2016 and I think I may see the light at the end of the tunnel — or that could also be a train.

In these incredibly busy times, there are a few things that naturally happen:

  • The most important things get done.  I suppose this is the old squeaky wheel gets the grease deal, but it still holds true.  In these high intensity times, the things that must get done usually find a way to get done.
  • The things of lesser importance don’t get done.  There are two ways two look at this.  First, the things that aren’t getting done aren’t important.  When viewed this way, it should make us think twice about how we build our to-do list in “normal” times.  If the task really doesn’t need to get done, why is it even on the list?  Second, there are lesser important things that really do need to get done.  Some things can indeed be put off to a later date, but eventually failure to do these things will cause a problem.  This sort of leads to the next observation.
  • The craving for planning time.  When I’m really busy and things are very intense, sure a lot of necessary and important work gets done.  Lesser things do fall away.  But in these intense times, I know without a doubt, that my intense focus on one area is creating a lack of focus in other areas.  Therefore, I always have this internal craving to take a step back and review the overall picture to see what needs to be addressed or re-addressed.
  • The subsequent lull.  One would think that a super-intense time where lots of stuff gets done would create positive momentum and lots of stuff would get attacked after the crisis mode is over.  One would think that, but the reality for me is different.  The super-intense times are usually followed by a lull where nothing gets done.  I’m not sure why this happens, but it does.  Perhaps it is the mind’s way of keeping things leveled out.

Well, after thinking about this, “so what?”  I think the “so what” is that studying what happens in the periods of being really busy (and the subsequent lull period) can help how one plans afterward.  We can remember to build systems that will work (and that we can trust) even in periods of high-intensity.  We can remember that certain things need to be overlooked and left off of the to-do list because they really aren’t important.  And we can remember that our bodies do need a re-charge period and that’s not bad, but if we know this we can build it into our routines.


“Tuesday Technology” is a weekly series devoted to providing technology tips that help you figure out ways to do things or ways to do them better.  You read through the entire series by clicking here.

Monday Colossians: Raised With Him Through Faith (v. 2:12)

God’s Word

[12] having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12 ESV)

Review

There’s a powerful picture at work here.  A picture of being buried with Jesus Christ in baptism and then being raised with Him.  But as we take a closer look at this picture, there are some important details to consider.

[12] “having been buried with him in baptism…”Romans 6:3 defines “buried with him in baptism” for us: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”  This is a picture of us going down, of submitting and of us recognizing that we are guilty sinners in need of a Savior.  This is the point in our lives when we are finally dead to ourselves.

[12] “…in which you were also raised with him through faith…” – Thankfully, in Jesus, there isn’t just a going down, or a death.  If we are in Christ, we are also “raised with him.”  Romans 6:4 tells us, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

[12] “…in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” – How is this going down and coming up accomplished?  “In the powerful working of God.”  It’s not our great effort or exertion.  It’s not our great thinking or figuring things out.  God is the one who works in us and through us to call us to repentance through and in and by Jesus Christ.

Final Thoughts

This one verse is describing a supernatural action that is occurring: salvation.  This transformation that is being described — being buried with Christ in baptism and being raised in newness of life with Him — is something that happens due to the sovereignty and power of Almighty God.

But also keep this in mind: the Apostle Paul wrote these words, as breathed-out by God, to the church in Colossae.  These words would, of course, be used to find unbelievers and deliver the gospel to them, but the original audience was a church.  As they heard these words, they were being reminded to do something.  What was that?  Verse 2:6 reminds us,

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,

As believers reading or hearing this letter, we are being reminded to live in a way that follows the example of Christ.  Of course we aren’t going to be able to live a sinless life, but that doesn’t mean we can live as He did.  We can seek and serve the lowly and lost with a humility and grace that points others to the one true God.  Through the Scriptures, we can mercifully point others to God as He is found in His word.

 


“Monday Colossians” is a weekly Bible study series from the book of Colossians.  All Bible quotations are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible translation.  You can read all of the posts in this series by clicking here.