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CLARITY – 5-14-19 Time is a Multiplier

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-14-19

Time is a Multiplier

What’s Happening: “The announcement of Chinese retaliatory tariffs (on about $200 Billion worth of products – some of them agricultural), came as no surprise…especially after Trump made good on his threat to increase a tariff on Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. Farmers will have to pay more for Chinese steel and aluminum implements from recent tariffs, and sell less because of these. So far, they seem willing to tighten the belt…but margins are getting slim (https://www.yahoo.com/news/gets-hurt-china-apos-tariffs-213814221.html). ‘“I thought it was going to be resolved last week,’ says American Soybean Association president Heisdorffer. ‘I don’t know what to think now. It continues to ratchet down the amount of cash we have to pay bills.’”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s like we’re playing chicken…but the American consumer’s going to be left holding the bag (paying more for Chinese goods), right?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably…especially if it goes on long. And it will…short term. Long term? Well, we’re trying to correct the decades of looking the other way, of letting the Chinese steal us blind…literally. We acted like we didn’t care when we wanted/enjoyed their new markets. Now, we want to put an end to their intellectual theft AND eliminate their bans on U.S, products and the Chinese are understandably surprised. We haven’t acted like we minded before. Why all the sudden change? There’s a new sheriff in town! The question is, if we are prepared to pay for the past’s largesse?”

“Christians? The multiplying principle of time is familiar to us. We trespassed plenty in our former lives, and all of this has been ‘cancelled out’ (Col. 2:14), spiritually, by a merciful God. This is not to say that there aren’t consequences and collateral damage (Gal. 6:7). While our eternity is secure, we have no such guarantee on our temporality. Some of our transgressions come with repercussions…which are then often multiplied by time. May God be merciful to us.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to endure our consequences … even as You endured the cross; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-8-19 Playing the Long Game

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-8-19

Playing the Long Game

What’s Happening: “The big brouhaha over the threat of increased tariffs on Chinese goods sent the stock market downward, though it recovered some of its steam by closing bell. The existing 10% tariffs will be increased to 25% (Friday) and some tech companies who get a significant portion of their revenue from China, registered a several percent decline in their stock values yesterday. Consumers, who fail to see the significance of this trade war, may change their tune as the outcome begins to affect prices at stores (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trade-talks-china-sour-us-121656942.html). ‘”The President’s willingness to risk a market disruption by threatening an unexpected tariff hike suggests that he might also be willing to risk the disruption that formally proposing auto tariffs or announcing the intent to withdraw from NAFTA might cause,’ said Goldman Sachs. Chinese industrial and technology theft, a major reason for the real and threatened hikes, might have to be ratcheted back.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “And this affects me how?”

Biblical Response:  “It might not have much immediate impact to anything but the value of 401Ks, but the theft, which has been going on for decades, has indirectly eroded our economy…and subsequently your paycheck. Theft is wrong for anyone (in fact, it’s never right to do wrong…or wrong to do right), whether you’re one of the two greatest global economies or not. Sure, there may be short-term gains but you always pay for it in the long-term (Gal. 6:7). It takes economic bravery to do the right thing sometimes, especially when vindication is slow and not very obvious…but that’s the price of playing the long game. Integrity is not something many think is in vogue for this administration.”

“Christians? We have often been accused of trying to throw our weight around morally, but that’s just the price of ‘bucking the system’ (John 16:33). Persecution is to be expected (John 15:18). We, too, are playing the long game.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be willing to pay a short-term price for a long-term gain…didn’t You?; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 5-1-19 Saber-rattling

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-1-19

Saber-rattling

What’s Happening: “Two U.S. warships made the usual cruise through the Strait of Taiwan over the weekend and (Red) China made the usual protest. Does the U.S. have the permission of Taiwan (formerly the island of Formosa)? Yes, but the independent nation of Taiwan is claimed by mainland China, too, and they have to protest. Nothing will probably come of either action (the U.S. ‘incursion’ or China’s protest). Both are just trying to keep up their claims (https://www.yahoo.com/news/taiwan-reports-voyage-2-us-warships-taiwan-strait-022818485.html). ‘The Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-U.S. relations,’ said Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Minister, Monday.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s just so much saber-rattling!”

Biblical Response:  “Probably. And China’s island-building in the South China Sea is just a blatant attempt at extending their territorial claims. Still, first come the claims, then the blockade (it hasn’t happened yet, but it probably will); then they’ll wait for us to blink…their just trying to get us to change our mindset. Their claims are just so much rhetoric until we quit making our cruises. By making them, we maintain our claim…by not making them, we reinforce their claim. Is our mindset important? Is treating that straight as a free sealane all that vital to our interests?  Yes. How you regard a disputed territory will govern your action toward it.

Take the earth for example: Does it belong to Lucifer – or – the Church? We have the title deed from God, Who owns it in the first place (Ps. 24:1; Matt. 16:18). In fact, that last scripture guarantees us victory…in our claims…and in reality!”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in territorial claims…but claims without corresponding action is just so much ‘saber-rattling.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the right mindset…no one defends what he does not consider his; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 2-20-19 Not If, But How

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 2-20-19

Not If, But How

What’s Happening: “In a stirring speech (at least to the Venezuelan and Cuban  immigrants) in Florida, President Donald Trump said that Maduro’s days are numbered and all options are on the table. He was also fighting the socialism of Venezuela that has produced an average weight loss of 24 pounds and an inflation rate of 10 million percent … and perhaps the socialism of many of the 2020 election Presidential Democrat party contenders (https://www.yahoo.com/news/nicolas-maduro-attacks-trump-apos-105545947.html).  Maduro’s reaction? ‘We will not make of the honorable Venezuela a Venezuela of beggars,’ Maduro said. ‘We will not accept it.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I smell armed conflict.”

Biblical Response:  “It may come to that…I certainly hope not; a lot of innocents may die. The outcome, however, is certain…what isn’t is the method of transition: peaceable…or not. With Russia, China, and, of course, Cuba backing Maduro…and most of the west backing Guaido…it is set up for a conflict. Sad, but if unchecked now it will get worse.”

“Christians? We believe that God really determines the outcome. Let me elaborate with a scripture:

‘…and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, …’ (Acts 17:26 NASU)

Like I said, the final outcome is determined. The details…not so much…at least from our perspective.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to act wisely and promote peace…You’ve already paid the price for that; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 1-18-19 On the Rise…No Surprise

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-18-19

On the Rise…No Surprise

What’s Happening: “Open Doors, an NGO that keeps track of deaths proven to be strictly for religious reasons, reports a huge increase in the level of persecution of Christians – up 13.9% in just one year – mostly in Nigeria. Although now there’s almost daily fear in India and 1 in 3 Asian Christians experience severe persecution, China actually outlawed Christianity (https://www.yahoo.com/news/one-three-christians-asia-faces-persecution-report-004259377.html). ‘Africa has become the home of violence against Christians,’ claims Michel Varton, president of Open Doors France.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Not being a Christian, how does that affect me?”

Biblical Response:  “Actually, it should trouble everyone. Anytime any group, religious or otherwise, is singled out for punishment just because they believe differently, the freedom of all is in jeopardy. For Christians, this may not be new (John 15:18), but it’s still should be worrisome for everyone.”

“Christians? Although Christianity will prevail (if, as Christians believe, it is inherently superior) as the only real solution to Man’s problems (read the Sermon on the Mount” – Matt. 5,6,7), it will only happen as religion is allowed to have free expression.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our persecuted brethren the grace to withstand the onslaughts of the enemy; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 1-5-19 Far, But Not Dark

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-5-19

Far, But Not Dark

What’s Happening: “The news was full but the moon was not – especially on the “dark” side: The new Muslim Democrat Congresswoman uttered an expletive toward Trump (https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/sarah-sanders-trashes-rashida-tlaib-impeachment-talks/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=newsletter-CT&utm_campaign=dailypm&utm_content=conservative-tribune), Nancy Pelosi took the Speaker’s gavel in the House, the government shutdown continues, the Kurds are wondering where they stand as America announces their intended troop-pullout, etc., but perhaps the most astounding news was the landing of the Chinese on the far side of the Moon (https://www.history.com/news/china-plans-historic-landing-on-dark-side-of-the-moon). The referring to the far side as ‘the dark side’ is really a misnomer as the far side is really fully lit everytime we experience a new moon (every 27 days).”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Details! Who cares?!”

Biblical Response:  “Truly insigficant to anyone but Pink Floyd…seriously, I’m sure the engineers who orchestrated the lunar landing for the Chinese cared. And so does God, who uses the reflective ability of the Moon as a metaphor for the Church…the periodic waxing and waning of the Sun’s (Son’s?) light on the Earth (Matt. 5:16; Matt. 24:29).”

“Christians? The God Who ‘rules in the affairs of men’ (Declaration of Independence) cares  about what’s happening in the world; including the scientific exploits of the Chinese. It’s all going according to His plan (Is, 55:8-9). Just because things seem chaotic to us does not mean there’s no plan…just that we don’t know it.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we don’t know the plans…we do know the Planner…and that gives us comfort; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 12-5-18 Tariffying

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-5-18

Tariffying

 

What’s Happening: “The stock market fell almost 800 points yesterday making it the biggest sell-off since October 10…mostly on fears of tariffs: ours on China ($250 Billion) and China on us ($110 Billion). Also, the starting date of the 90-day pause in those tariffs, agreed by Presidents Trump and Xi at the G20 Summit, was corrected from  January 1 to begin December 1 (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/04/stock-market-dow-futures-fall-amid-us-china-trade-deal-skepticism.html) ‘ From a math standpoint, this is screaming buy. The only concern I have is people are going to start getting irrational. That’s when the emotional trading starts taking place,’ said Steven Dudash, president of IHT Wealth.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sell!”

 

Biblical Response:  “That’s just the kind of emotionalism that a lot of financial experts are warning against. Sure, you can probably find those that urge the other way…maybe just as many, but I’m cautioning against fear. The Scripture says, “Fear hath torment” (1 John 4:18). Of course, fear of danger can also help you escape. But we are not called to react, but act. Will the U.S. and China settle their differences? Yes…eventually. Isn’t it better to leave the timing of that to God?”

 

“Christians? To be ruled by fear is just what the enemy wants. To be ruled by faith is what God wants. Is it ever time to sell? Of course…just not out of fear. Better to do things slowly, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom and attentiveness, financially, to invest and divest at Your leading, not from the basis of fear; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 11-16-18 Trust But Verify

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-16-18

Trust But Verify

 

What’s Happening: “Ronald Reagan may have said it first (referring to former Soviet promises to de-escalate), but now President Trump gets to use it as a doctrine in real time. And there has only been mixed progress in North Korean president Kim’s pledge to denuclearize. True, North Korea has not done any nuclear testing or launched a missile since the pledge, but there seems to be evidence of further new development…but the sanctions are still on….and also the U.S. has suspended joint U.S./South Korea military games. Obviously, the jury is still out…amid hopes (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pence-says-trump-likely-meet-kim-2019-wont-050838225–business.html). Vice President Pence declared, ‘The plans are ongoing. We believe that the summit will likely occur after the first of the year, but the when and the where of that is still being worked out.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “A lot of talk…”

 

Biblical Response:  “True…but talk is preferred to war, right? Of course, I’m concerned that North Korea is just using talks of peace as a stall technique…while centrifuges continue to spin. But you also have to give diplomacy…and sanctions…a chance. The only problem is that  I think the Chinese are ignoring sanctions to help the North Koreans…and to further delay the convenient distraction that this dance provides.”

 

Christians? The concept of ‘trust but verify’ is biblical. Moses (and later Joshua) sent out spies (Num. 13:2; Josh. 2:1) to determine what the truth of a matter was. It would be great if we were omniscient, but we’re not…God understands our need for verification and He doesn’t want us to operate under presumption. So, what are we called to do? Pray.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to have the faith and hope to trust, but also the wisdom to verify; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 10-24-18 Bridge to Somewhere

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-24-18

Bridge to Somewhere

 

What’s Happening: “China opened the world’s longest sea-bridge…from mainland China to Hong Kong…a 34-mile-long marvel that took a decade to build, cost several lives, is opposed by some environmentalists, features many electronic monitoring technologies, and was partially paid for by Hong Kong taxpayer dollars (https://www.yahoo.com/news/world-apos-longest-sea-bridge-101352761.html). It turns out that few mainland China vehicles may be allowed on the bridge as a customs queue and shuttle busses may be required,”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the Chinese and the citizens of Hong Kong, but what does this have to do with me?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Maybe little…especially if you aren’t traveling to either China or Hong Kong, but it is another feat of engineering that proves that there are few things impossible to man…at least so he thinks. We may send people to Mars this year…or discover the cure to cancer…or do some other heretofore unimaginable feat, but building a huge bridge is no more laudable than building an unsinkable vessel (so the Titanic was heralded). What am I saying? I’m saying man is really puny in his attempts at being the self-sufficient master of the universe. His attempts at playing God are ultimately futile.”

 

“Christians? There is only one bridge that IS laudable (1 Tim. 2:5), the Bridge that spans the gap between  a holy God and an unholy Man. That gap is immeasurable, not a mere 34 miles long. Man’s engineering and technical feats need to be taken in the context of all that is never going to be possible for him (Matt. 19:26).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we should praise those who accomplish great things, let us never forget the tremendous things You have done – things we could never do; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 10-15-18 Not Ready Yet

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-15-18

Not Ready Yet

 

What’s Happening: “In addition to all the commotion over whether Saudi-born journalist Jamal Khashoggi was actually killed by a Saudi hit squad, Trump is also dealing with the trade situation with China. He says that their economy is going down while ours is going up…and the stats seem to bear that out. Still , he says they’re not ready to make a bilateral trade deal (https://dcalert.com/2018/10/14/trump-says-china-economy-not-well/). ‘How will you know when China is ready to negotiate again?’ A Breitbart News reporter asked.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “That will probably mean no more cheap ‘Made in China’ stuff, huh?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yeah…kind of…it really depends on your definition of ‘cheap.’ Lower quality goods should cost less. Maybe we would rather buy less expensive stuff than the more expensive ‘Made in the USA”, better-economy-because-stuff-is-made-by-people-who-pay-taxes stuff that fills the Walmart shelves. Besides, don’t you usually get what you pay for?”

 

“Christians? We need to pray for all those lower-level bureaucrats that will do the real negotiating. They need to ‘be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.’  (Matt. 10:16 ASV)”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, since whoever has the best negotiators wins, help our leaders do what’s in Your people’s best interests; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent