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Thursday, February 14, 2013

30 Days of Knowledge - Day #9

1) Dr. Charles F. Stanley's 30 Life Principles

The Thrill of Trusting God


Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:20-51

I. Faith is at the heart of the Christian life. Yet many believers struggle to fully trust the Lord. Faith often begins to wane when adversity strikes or when prayers seem to go unanswered. But the thrilling thing about knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is that our heavenly Father hears us when we pray. Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees (Life Principle #9). He delights in meeting our needs and fulfilling our hearts’ desires according to His will.

II. How did David demonstrate his trust in God?

A. The story of David and Goliath illustrates the importance of trusting the Lord completely—especially when we face overwhelming challenges. The entire Israelite army, as well as the king, was terrified of the Philistine giant.

B. David focused on the spiritual nature of the battle. He declared that victory would come from the Lord (1 Sam. 17:46-47) and then killed the giant with one stone from his slingshot. With their champion defeated, the Philistines quickly lost heart—enabling the Israelites to overtake them and win the battle.

III. What was the key to David’s victory?

A. David had many natural characteristics that made him a good fighter. He was young, strong, and accurate with a sling. He had experience defending his flock against wild animals. But none of those things were the key to his success against the Philistine.

B. David saw the final picture—the giant’s death—before he ever picked up a stone for his slingshot. He knew the Lord would give him victory because Goliath was mocking not just the Israelite army, but also their God.

IV. How can a person be sure he fully trusts God?

A. There are three levels of faith. One says, “I know the Lord can do this.” A second declares, “I know that He will do it—at least for some people.” The highest level of faith says, “It’s as good as done.” God can give us the ability to see something as finished. And if you have misunderstood His will, He’ll gently correct you.

B. At the highest level of faith, you will no longer fret. Worry reveals that you are not fully trusting God. When you rely completely on Him, you will stop pleading with the Lord and begin to thank Him for answering your prayer.

V. What is required for life-changing faith?

A. Purify your heart. Even a small amount of sin—such as bitterness, unforgiveness, or pride—will hinder your fellowship with the Lord.

B. Renew your mind. After your heart is cleansed, you will be able to see when and where God is at work.

C. Make sure your motives are pure. Is your intention righteous or selfish? First, determine what the Father’s will is for your situation; then you will be able to pray with confidence.

D. Focus on the Lord. Often when we approach the Lord in prayer, our concentration isn’t on Him. We dwell on our emotions, the facts, and the opinions of others. All three are enemies to effective faith.

E. Visualize the answer to your prayer. The world has taken the term “visualize” and twisted it. But it can actually be a God-given tool to strengthen your faith. For example, I could visualize being pastor of First Baptist Atlanta long before they called me to lead the congregation.

F. Walk in the light of the finished product. Live as if it’s only a matter of time before your prayer is answered. Your part is to discover God’s will, surrender, and wait on His timing. When you walk in this level of faith, you will have an awesome sense of peace and contentment (Phil. 4:6-7).

VI. Conclusion: Have you grown accustomed to a life filled with doubt and unbelief? My prayer is that you will learn to trust God completely. The secret to victorious faith is to dwell on the Father’s ability to handle your problems. Confess your sins, focus on the Lord, and completely surrender to His will. Then live as if your request has been granted. You will never be the same again.

 

 

2) The 30-Day Reading List That Will Lead You to Becoming a Knowledgeable Libertarian by Robert Wenzel

Hitler's Economics

 


 

For today's generation, Hitler is the most hated man in history, and his regime the archetype of political evil. This view does not extend to his economic policies, however. Far from it. They are embraced by governments all around the world. The Glenview State Bank of Chicago, for example, recently praised Hitler's economics in its monthly newsletter. In doing so, the bank discovered the hazards of praising Keynesian policies in the wrong context.

The issue of the newsletter (July 2003) is not online, but the content can be discerned via the letter of protest from the Anti-Defamation League. "Regardless of the economic arguments" the letter said, "Hitler's economic policies cannot be divorced from his great policies of virulent anti-Semitism, racism and genocide…. Analyzing his actions through any other lens severely misses the point."

The same could be said about all forms of central planning. It is wrong to attempt to examine the economic policies of any leviathan state apart from the political violence that characterizes all central planning, whether in Germany, the Soviet Union, or the United States. The controversy highlights the ways in which the connection between violence and central planning is still not understood, not even by the ADL. The tendency of economists to admire Hitler's economic program is a case in point.

In the 1930s, Hitler was widely viewed as just another protectionist central planner who recognized the supposed failure of the free market and the need for nationally guided economic development. Proto-Keynesian socialist economist Joan Robinson wrote that "Hitler found a cure against unemployment before Keynes was finished explaining it."

What were those economic policies? He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public works programs like Autobahns, protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national health care and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The Nazi interventionist program was essential to the regime's rejection of the market economy and its embrace of socialism in one country.


Such programs remain widely praised today, even given their failures. They are features of every "capitalist" democracy. Keynes himself admired the Nazi economic program, writing in the foreword to the German edition to the General Theory: "[T]he theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under the conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire."

Keynes's comment, which may shock many, did not come out of the blue. Hitler's economists rejected laissez-faire, and admired Keynes, even foreshadowing him in many ways. Similarly, the Keynesians admired Hitler (see George Garvy, "Keynes and the Economic Activists of Pre-Hitler Germany," The Journal of Political Economy, Volume 83, Issue 2, April 1975, pp. 391—405).

Even as late as 1962, in a report written for President Kennedy, Paul Samuelson had implicit praise for Hitler: "History reminds us that even in the worst days of the great depression there was never a shortage of experts to warn against all curative public actions…. Had this counsel prevailed here, as it did in the pre-Hitler Germany, the existence of our form of government could be at stake. No modern government will make that mistake again."

On one level, this is not surprising. Hitler instituted a New Deal for Germany, different from FDR and Mussolini only in the details. And it worked only on paper in the sense that the GDP figures from the era reflect a growth path. Unemployment stayed low because Hitler, though he intervened in labor markets, never attempted to boost wages beyond their market level. But underneath it all, grave distortions were taking place, just as they occur in any non-market economy. They may boost GDP in the short run (see how government spending boosted the US Q2 2003 growth rate from 0.7 to 2.4 percent), but they do not work in the long run.

"To write of Hitler without the context of the millions of innocents brutally murdered and the tens of millions who died fighting against him is an insult to all of their memories," wrote the ADL in protest of the analysis published by the Glenview State Bank. Indeed it is.

But being cavalier about the moral implications of economic policies is the stock-in-trade of the profession. When economists call for boosting "aggregate demand," they do not spell out what this really means. It means forcibly overriding the voluntary decisions of consumers and savers, violating their property rights and their freedom of association in order to realize the national government's economic ambitions. Even if such programs worked in some technical economic sense, they should be rejected on grounds that they are incompatible with liberty.

So it is with protectionism. It was the major ambition of Hitler's economic program to expand the borders of Germany to make autarky viable, which meant building huge protectionist barriers to imports. The goal was to make Germany a self-sufficient producer so that it did not have to risk foreign influence and would not have the fate of its economy bound up with the goings-on in other countries. It was a classic case of economically counterproductive xenophobia.

And yet even in the US today, protectionist policies are making a tragic comeback. Under the Bush administration alone, a huge range of products from lumber to microchips are being protected from low-priced foreign competition. These policies are being combined with attempts to stimulate supply and demand through large-scale military expenditure, foreign-policy adventurism, welfare, deficits, and the promotion of nationalist fervor. Such policies can create the illusion of growing prosperity, but the reality is that they divert scarce resources away from productive employment.

Perhaps the worst part of these policies is that they are inconceivable without a leviathan state, exactly as Keynes said. A government big enough and powerful enough to manipulate aggregate demand is big and powerful enough to violate people's civil liberties and attack their rights in every other way. Keynesian (or Hitlerian) policies unleash the sword of the state on the whole population. Central planning, even in its most petty variety, and freedom are incompatible.

Ever since 9-11 and the authoritarian, militarist response, the political left has warned that Bush is the new Hitler, while the right decries this kind of rhetoric as irresponsible hyperbole. The truth is that the left, in making these claims, is more correct than it knows. Hitler, like FDR, left his mark on Germany and the world by smashing the taboos against central planning and making big government a seemingly permanent feature of western economies.

David Raub, the author of the article for Glenview, was being naïve in thinking he could look at the facts as the mainstream sees them and come up with what he thought would be a conventional answer. The ADL is right in this case: central planning should never be praised. We must always consider its historical context and inevitable political results.

 

 

3) Roger’s Rangers Rules or Plan of Discipline by Major Robert Rogers

Rule #9

 

If you are obliged to retreat, let the front of your whole party fire and fall back, till the rear has done the same, making for the best ground you can; by this means you will oblige the enemy to pursue you, if they do it at all, in the face of a constant fire.

 

4) 52 Weeks to Preparedness by Tess Pennington

Week 9 of 52: Emergency Medical Supply (List 2)

 

A lot goes into being medically prepared, so this will be a reoccurring theme throughout this series. We will start with gathering the basic first aid supplies and then slowly begin accumulating more advanced medical preps and learning alternative medical therapies towards the end.

This week I would like to urge all of you to purchase a few medical reference books. Buying multiple reference materials gives you a broader spectrum in how to provide different types of medical treatment – not all medical emergencies should be approached the same way. I recommend starting with When There is No Doctor and When There is No Dentist, but here are some other great references:


Don’t forget that there are some good eBook references out there. I found First Aid Full Manual on Scribd which would be a great place to start looking for more material. If you are out there and come across some other eBook references, please feel free to share it with me and our readers.

During short-term disasters, medical situations are inevitable and they can be complicated. It is imperative that you prepare for them if you want to keep your loved ones and yourself healthy. Considering your family members needs prior to a disaster event will help you be not only prepared but level headed too. When buying medical supplies, keep in mind family members who have preexisting conditions, allergies, or are accident prone. It is within your best interest to ensure that you have any and all necessary medications that require prescriptions before an emergency happens.

For short-term emergencies, you must have a well-stocked medical supply kits for your home and your vehicle. Pre-fabricated medical kits are available in stores; however, these kits tend to be overloaded with unneeded items (i.e., 500 band aids). Buying your own medical supplies allows you to customize your kit to fit your family’s unique needs.

Please note that medicines can break down and spoil if they are subject to moisture, temperature fluctuations, or are exposed to a light source. (For example, aspirin has a tendency to break down when it is exposed to a small amount of moisture.) Unless the medicine indicates otherwise, store medical supplies in a cool, dark place that is out of children’s reach.

Preps to buy:


  • Medical bag or back pack, tackle kit or container
  • Medical reference books or eBooks on handling medical crises
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe vera
  • Insect repellent
  • Gauze pads in assorted sizes (3×3 and 4×4)
  • Sterile roller bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Expectorant/Decongestant
  • Syrup of Ipecac and activated charcoal
  • 2-3 bottles of disinfectant (Betadine, isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide)
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Adhesive tape or duct tape
  • Latex gloves
  • Scissors
  • Tongue blades
  • Medicine dropper
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Liquid antibacterial hand soap
  • Disposable hand wipes
  • Eye care (e.g., contact lens case, cleansing solution, eye moisture drops)

Action Items:


1. Create a first aid kit for the family. Ensure the kit is situated in an accessible location.

2. Take a basic first aid class, if you have not done so already.

3. Purchase a first aid manual

 

 

5) 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation by George Washington

#25 – Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.

 

#26 – In Pulling off your Hat to Persons of Distinction, as Noblemen, Justices, Churchmen &c make a Reverence, bowing more or less according to the Custom of the Better Bred, and Quality of the Person. Amongst your equals expect not always that they Should begin with you first, but to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation, in the Manner of Saluting and resaluting in words keep to the most usual Custom.

 

#27 – Tis ill manners to bid one more eminent than yourself be covered as well as not to do it to whom it's due Likewise he that makes too much haste to Put on his hat does not well, yet he ought to Put it on at the first, or at most the Second time of being asked; now what is herein Spoken, of Qualification in behavior in Saluting, ought also to be observed in taking of Place, and Sitting down for ceremonies without Bounds is troublesome.

 

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