Tag Archives: war

Seeking Answers; Seeking Rest

To the World of 2024,
2015 is the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Several years ago, my wife and I watched a 9-part documentary by Ken Burns on this painful period in American history. One thing that made the soldiers and their families come alive for me, were the many letters that had survived from that period to our own.


The letters between the battlefront and the home described a life very different from my own. The seriousness of life was not how I grew up in a middle class American family. Yet the personal letters made it clear that families and soldiers knew how fragile life was during those years in America.

At the end of 2014, a friend of mine sent me a copy of a prayer he had written. While it may sound out of place for my America at the close of 2014 with the Dow breaking 18,000 for the first time ever and so much emphasis on our comforts today, his prayer touched my own heart as I pondered headlines that continue pouring in week after week, pointing to a time where deeper thoughts across my nation and world of a more serious nature could become more common.

O Lord My God, Answer Me

Lord I cry out to You. Hear me O Lord, Unto You O Lord I call. O Lord hear my prayer, receive my voice with mercy. When I call upon You O Lord, Hear me.

Let my prayer arise, as incense in Your sight. Let the lifting of my hands be like an evening sacrifice. O hear me, Lord, hear me O my Lord.

Dark, dismal thoughts fill my days, and confounding fears dwell deep within my troubled heart.

Answer me, O LORD, answer me, give heed to the voice of my supplications!

My soul is like withering grass, in misery,my minutes pass, my days are consumed like smoke.

Answer me, O LORD, hast Thou not built a throne of grace to hear when sinners cry?

Sharp reproaches wound my ears, and refuse to give my spirit rest.

Answer me, For You are patient, generous in mercy, rich in compassion, loving and just.


My cup is bitter and full of tears, my daily bread unpleasant to my taste.

Answer me, I know You won’t delay the appointed hour of your mercy and grace.

Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy.

Answer me when I call. You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me once more and hear my prayer.

In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You alone, For only You will hear me.

Answer me when I call, save your servant who trusts only in you.

Preserve me, save me, Be gracious to me, O Lord,

Answer me, Be abundant in loving kindness when l call upon You.

manprayingYou, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, I lift up my soul.

Answer me, And I will glorify Your name forever.

You alone O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Answer me, For You are patient, generous in mercy, rich in compassion, loving and just.

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God. Answer me quickly, LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me. I wait and hope only in You, O Lord; You will answer, O Lord my God. God knows his own and hears their cry and fills their tongues with praise. Holy, Mighty, Immortal God have mercy on me.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Now and forever.


A Mind with Much to Ponder


Starting at the End of the Story

Shackleton's Ship in 1914Several years ago, I was told about a book called Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. The book is about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s epic adventure in August 1914 to  Antarctica. As you read these opening words, consider whether you think things are going to go well for these men. Remember, this is the world of 1914, not 2014.

“The order to abandon ship was given at 5 P.M. For most of the men however, no order was needed because by then everybody knew that the ship was done and that it was time to give up trying to save her. There was no show of fear or even apprehension. They had fought unceasingly for three days, and they had lost….

She (the ship) was being crushed. Not all at once, but slowly, a little at a time. The pressure of 10 million tons of ice was driving in against her sides.

Frank Wild, the second in-command, put his head inside the crew’s quarters. ‘She’s going boys,’ he said quietly. ‘I think it’s time to get off’.”

When I had read the first chapter I was ready to stop. Here was a crew of men, who in 1914, found their wooden hulled protection from the brutal outside world being crushed. The ship that brought them to Antarctica would not be taking them home.

Why read the rest of this story? How could anything good come out of this beginning?

Still, the title intrigued me. I quickly went to the final pages of the book and read the ending. Yes, victory!

Now I knew I could go back and read the rest of what today is one of the greatest stories of determination, faith, and courage against all odds to survive.

What Gets Inflated, Can Get Deflated: Remember 2008?

It is also a story, that most of us, including myself, can not relate to at all. We have so many safety nets around us; so many things we depend on every day as though its continuation were as certain as the air we breathe. Yet, if we see any article or news report that scares us, we merely “close the book”, and ignore a larger developing story.

The story coming is the next massive deflationary period of money and financial resources, due to trillions in debt at virtually zero interest, most likely followed by a shift away from the dollar in the global system. The international currency unit, the Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund has had many white papers written about it as a replacement on the global level for the US dollar.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, world central bankers have told us that with trillions upon trillions to “temporarily” assist global markets, things would return to “normal”. As we close out 2014, with history once again breaking many records in extreme behavior and a string of “all time highs” over the last 2 years, deflating financial assets is not the majority view.

Yet powerful forces have been underway during the 4th quarter, producing hundreds of billions in losses already. Let me illustrate my point with two examples. This should be a harbinger to everyone worldwide, that once the largest financial bubble is over, the largest financial bust must commence.

Oil and Argentina

Oil was $94 a barrel at the end of September, and now 11 weeks later, it is in the $50s. This is a massive loss of revenue for major nations around the world, and one of the largest industries in my nation, the United States.

Economic War Goes Mainstream – Oil’s Price Drop is Seen as Proof, Global Economic Warfare,      Dec 7 ‘14


Argentina has seen its stock market plunge 34% since the fourth quarter started.
How quickly the headlines changed from September to October.

Sizzling: Argentina’s stock market is up 100%, CNBC, Sept 10 ’14

Argentine Stocks Plunge As Oversight Tightens on Parallel Market, Bloomberg, Oct 9 ’14


These developments impact so many lives, so many nations. For millions this brings cheaper gas, or is taking place in a country that we think has nothing to do with our own daily life. However, for millions this means a lost of revenue for an entire nation or industry that threatens their own day-to-day lives. These events are also large enough in and of themselves, that they have already started impacted other parts of the global economy and markets.

Where’s The Encouraging Ending?

So let’s jump ahead in this story. Let’s look past elaborate computer models, reams of statistics, and thousands of experts. Let’s look past a debt based currency system that connects us to events across the world, and is necessary for our daily survival.

Is there any story from the ancient world for today’s complex world, that points to a time where headlines and book titles could be 180 degrees opposite of what we are seeing today?

They will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they train for war – Micah 4:3


Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his own staff in his hand because of his age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing. – Zechariah 8:4

I know, I know, none of us alive today have seen a time when the world has been at peace, and certainly not the most controversial religious city in the world, Jerusalem. I know that this is taking the discussion far away from a world the “money makes the world go round” dominant theme of today.

But remember, in 1914, influenza was life threatening, while most strands today are treated like a short term cold. In 1914, Shackleton’s men were closed from the outside world. Today, they would use satellite communications to send out a May Day signal.

So as frightening headlines keep increasing, telling everyone that man has not been able to create a nirvana world free from pain, is it not possible that the historical writings of several Jewish writers could provide hope of a time when the entire world finds what we really ultimately want, peace on earth and true unity between men?

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace –  Isaiah 9:6-7

The writings of these Jewish men, translated into more languages of the world than any other writings, have been ones I have read repeatedly over the last ten years of my own life, as I have written about the many “first in history” events. They continue to give me peace, even when the world around me is not.

A path to a time of incredible world peace like no one has ever seen, is fraught with many painful scenarios none of us even wants to consider.  Yet without an ending that is more  triumphant than the frightening trends facing us all today, it is easier to close the book, and live in a world of illusion until the sound of breaking timbers forces us out on the ice.

Deep things to think about in a world that has taught us that the experts, thinkers, and planners will make sure our world doesn’t shake our own personal plans. But what if trillions more in debt, and legions of people to centrally plan life for the rest of us started breaking apart again? I know, this time it will be different.
A Curious Mind

December 15 2014