About to Head Out…

In a few days I’m going to be leaving the fam, and flying down to see my brother in Tucson, AZ with my mom (who’s paying for the adventure – can I get a "woohoo!"?) and my sister.  I’m excited and it’s going to be fun.  I fly very seldomly, and so anytime I get the chance, I become pretty giddy.  And now that I’m old and have a family, I find myself increasingly cautious of traveling without them.  I don’t get panicky, I won’t fear the plane going down, there probably won’t be many tears on my end as I leave extremely early Friday morning.  But, there are definately thoughts of "What if this is the last time I see them?  What if we get in a car wreck, the plane goes down, I get bit by a scorpion, or I choke on a piece of steak…?"  There is the same likelihood of all those things happening here, but the reality starts to set in every time I leave without them.  I think of my amazing boys hearing the news for the first time that Daddy’s not coming home,  I can see their hearts breaking and their heads spinning as they try to understand what that means.  And I fear them trying to grow up and learn what it means to be a man without a dad, realizing that statistically speaking they’ll be more promiscous, more likely to drink, do drugs, committ suicide, be angry, become addicted to porn, turn from God….  Not to mention the effect that it would have on Dawn as she succumbs to the reality of being a widower and the test of faith that would produce.  If she re-marries, the astronomical likelihood that it would result in a divorce, and the avalanche effect that would have on her and the boys… It doesn’t take too long before a person can either become so sad at the thought of leaving that you become such a control freak – as if you can do anything to stop anything.  Or you trust God.  Those seem to me to be your only options.  The bible says in Romans 8:28 that, "God CAUSES all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."  Then it comes down to my view of God.  Do I see God as a cosmic kill-joy, who’s waiting to torch me?  I don’t… because I don’t see why he’d wait this long to smoke me…. he’s had a trillion opportunities of me sticking my finger in His face and saying, "No.  I’m god.  Not you".  Or is God concerned more with my holiness than my happiness?  Our life group is setting out to memorize the entire book of James as we study it, and there’s a passage at the beginning that says, "Count it all joy… we you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have it’s full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  (yes, I did that from memory… impressed?)  So, the outcome should be my willingness to trust that since God causes all things, and that those "things" bring about my perfectedness, then those "things" ought to be welcomed and embraced rather than hated and fought.  And I know that all this is easy to say when we’re healthy and "wealthy", but is it still true when we’ve got cancer? Or when I have to watch one or all of my children die?  Or for the family in a third-world country that gets to watch thier children die from starvation?  Is God any less good?  God is good regardless of my circumstances – whether I die Friday morning in a plane crash, or if we all die together in a car wreck on the way to church, or if we all live long, safe, pain-free lives….
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Blood Boiler

This is disgusting…

 

NY Times on the Economic Crisis

Posted by Denny Burk under News , Politics
 

This is unbelievable. From the New York Times on September 30, 1999:

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates — anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans. . .

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.

”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.” . . .

Facebook Addiction

So I’ve joined the revolution…. more like the nerd-olution.  I’ve become addicted to Facebook.  For those who don’t know what Facebook is (my mom), you’re not alone.  I didn’t know until 2 days ago.  I’ve always thought it was like Myspace – where a bunch of lonely people share pornographic pictures of themselves to other lonely people.  However, Facebook is this deal where you enter some basic info about yourself (name, education, year graduated, school, etc.) and it links you up with people that are already on Facebook with that same criteria.  So, over the past day, I’ve gotten to contact dozens of my homies from my hood.  It’s actually pretty cool – besides the addiction….  I find myself checking my email and Facebook page regularly to see if anyone else has contacted me….I’ve become such a loser…  But… I mean, I can stop anytime… I really can… I just don’t want to yet… Maybe tomorrow? 
 
But to my credit, I’ve still kept from typing "LOL" or "BFF" or any other moronic abbreviations that have been created by mouth-breathing booger-eaters …. so I’m still better than "those people"…. for now….