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CLARITY – 10-5-20 Money’s Flowing & Fraud Exists

 CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-5-20

Money’s Flowing & Fraud Exists

What’s Happening: “The PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) was created in April for small businesses, and there were several hundred thousand small businesses who benefited from the loans…but there were also a few ‘pretend’ businesses that tried to steal that provision, too .The Department of Justice has charged 38-year-old Tristen Bishop Pan with wire fraud, bank fraud, and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, applying for loans totaling over six million dollars, using names of businesses from popular HBO program ‘Game of Thrones.’ In a separate crime, a prominent Hawaiian defense contractor was charged with bank fraud and money laundering, involving stealing more than 12.8 million in fraudulent PPP loans, In April, the U.S. legislature passed the Coronavirus Aid and Economic Security Act (CARES) to help those small businesses experiencing economic hardship during the pandemic (https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-attempted-steal-6-million-195355240.html).Quoting from The Business Insider article:  ‘Pan made false statements about the companies’ employees and payroll expenses,’ according to the DOJ. ‘The PPP loan applications were supported by fake documents, including falsified tax filings, according to the indictment.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Probably looked like easy money to Tristen!”

Biblical Response:  “Apparently. I guess she should have stuck to watching the HBO series or the game screen. It’s what happens when you have a devious mind, a lazy mentality and too much time on your hands. How does the saying go? ‘Idle hands are the devil’s workshop…’ (Prov. 16:27 LB). My daughter, who owns a small business, had 31 fraudulent unemployment claims (at last count – she has no employees). I’m sure there’s plenty of fraud out there.  It’s probably like cheating on a test…it takes more effort to be devious than to be honest…but the thought of getting money you didn’t have to ‘work’ for is just too tempting for some.”

“Christians? We believe in being industrious; that you will (and should) receive the fruit of your own labors (Gal. 6:7), NOT the fruit of somebody else’s. Fraud is natural (it’s the fallen man’s curse), but illegal.

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to pursue fruit we’ve produced, not fruit we’ve stolen; in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 6-29-20 Much Ado About Not Much

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-29-20

Much Ado About Not Much

What’s Happening: “Two COVID-19 milestones were passed Sunday: 500,000 deaths worldwide, and the largest daily total of new confirmed cases at 10 million. The U.S. is by far the largest contributor and Brazil is second with half as many new cases as the U.S. Spikes in Italy, France, and some African countries after re-openings are blamed for some of the numbers’ increases. This has led to backing off reopening plans in Texas, California and Florida, with Governors so ordering. Schools in the fall and sports are still up in the air (https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-virus-cases-stabilize-italy-053531808.html). Quoting from the Associated Press article: ‘COVID-19 has taken a very swift and very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks,’ said Gov. Greg Abbott, who allowed businesses to start reopening in early May but on Friday shut down bars and limited restaurant dining (75% capacity down to 50%) amid a spike in cases.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess I and my family need to shelter in place, huh?” 

Biblical Response:  “If that will make you feel safer…I guess never driving a car  (or riding in one) will keep you from dying in a car crash. Don’t get me wrong, each death is tragic, but 500,000 worldwide is only .00007143857% 10,000,000 new cases is only .001428571%…not much compared to population  and other pandemics (AIDS – 2005-2012 – 36,000,000 deaths; Category 2 Flu – 1968 – 1,000,000 deaths; Asian Flu – 1956-1958 – 2,000,000; Spanish Flu – 1918 – 20,000,000 to 50,000,000; the Black Death {Bubonic Plague} – 1346-1353 – 200.000,000, etc.). 500,000 is not to be sneezed about (pardon the pun) but still not huge. Let’s keep things in perspective.”

“Christians?  We think every death is tragic…it is, after all, the cessation of decision-making- about-eternity (Heb. 9:27). Still, Christians need to be about faith, not fear (1 John 4:18). People have a tendency to react, not act; to shoot first and ask questions later. Instead, we need to be bastions of stability and reason…not fear mongers. We need to rejoice (what a great time to be alive!). Evangelism ought to be easy: we can offer a solution to the madness!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to remember that no plague ‘can come nigh our dwelling’ (Ps. 91:10 – don’t forget the qualification of verse 1); 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 3-18-20 Taking Advantage of Chaos

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-18-20

Taking Advantage of Chaos

What’s Happening: “AG Barr, yesterday, directed U.S. attorneys to consider coronavirus-related cyber-threats and those stoking fears during the COVID-19 outbreak a priority for prosecution. Apparently, there has been a concerted effort to spread disinformation and panic amidst the recent pandemic, but Barr wouldn’t name a specific foreign power. The latest numbers put those infected over 180,000 worldwide with over 7,000 dead…over 4,000 in the U.S., with dozens dead….if these numbers are to be believed (https://www.yahoo.com/news/barr-tells-ap-fbi-probing-214947042.html). ‘Our primary role right now is to investigate,’ Attorney General William Barr said. ‘The FBI is very active, trying to determine who is responsible for these things.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Shouldn’t I go to the store while I still can?”

Biblical Response:  “That’s just the kind of panic our enemies want. The Tulsa, Oklahoma Mayor (effective midnight last night) just ordered all restaurants closed. Will that slow the spread of the disease? Probably. Will it slow the local economy? You bet! Is the trade-off worth it? Depends on to whom you talk. If you talk to the thousands of wait-staff, the cooks, or the business owners who may be forced to layoff or close? Maybe not. If you talk to those who’ve lost a loved one to the disease? Absolutely! Like I’ve said before, all tragedy is local. I can see both points of view. What’s the proper course? It’s above my paygrade. Still, there’s nothing to be righteously gained by undue panic. Unrighteously gained? Well, that’s a different story.”

“Let me explain. In an apparently unrelated report, a Tennessee man bought up 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer to sell on Amazon. He only donated them to a local church when pressured (https://www.yahoo.com/news/tennessee-man-stockpiled-17-700-165315947.html) The Attorney General of Tennessee threatened investigation for price-gouging.  It seems that profiting from crisis is not exactly kosher.”

“What does the Bible have to say? The qualifications for leadership preclude any unrighteous gain (1 Tim. 3:3,8; Tit. 1:7; 1 Pet. 5:2) Then there’s the whole concept of believing a lie. Spreading panic, conspiracy theories, and fear-mongering are ‘verboten’. ‘Truth stands the test of time: lies are soon exposed.’ (Prov. 12:19 LB)”

“Christians? We are called to be the calm it the midst of the storm (Rom 12:18

‘If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.’ (NASU)”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be rock-steady, not given to fear or panic; 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:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 2-21-20 Fear and Respect…Coronavirus Update

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 2-21-20

Fear and Respect…Coronavirus Update

What’s Happening: “As of today (Friday – 2-21-20), there over 76,000 globally that have tested positive for coronavirus and over 2,200 that have died. There are cases in more countries than there were last week (the virus continues to spread – deaths are nearly three times the SARS pandemic which rattled the world in 2003). Report of a huge influx of cases in Chinese prisons, South Korea, and Japan (especially on cruise ships) seem to show the virus radiating from its epicenter in Hubei Province in China. Fear seems to control some as Ukrainian officials detained 24 objecting to forced quarantines (https://www.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-updates-south-korea-reports-112000109.html). On a positive note (at least in America), quoting the article by Todd Miyazawa: ‘The Public Health Department continues to work closely with healthcare providers, hospitals, and its partners to address novel coronavirus. Currently, there is no evidence that novel coronavirus is circulating in Santa Clara County and risk remains low.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Should we all be wearing masks?”

Biblical Response:  “No, Chicken Little, but a little investment in companies that manufacture masks might be profitable. Seriously, it may not be ethical to profit from the fears of others, though the proper respect ought to be shown to health workers (and the disease they are fighting).”

“The scripture says that “fear has torment” (1 John 4:18)…and it’s easy to let fear get the best of us. Realizing we are in the hands of a merciful God is helpful (Ps. 116:5; 2 Chr. 30:9). Still, proper respect should be shown. Likely, this is more evidence we live in a fallen world (Gen. 3).”

“Christians? We believe God is bigger than any virus. This is not to say that death is not tragic, or that those stricken with this (or any disease) are more wicked, but life is short. Opportunities for repentance are finite. Sure, God may “work all things together for good” (Rom. 8:28), but we certainly don’t have the wisdom to determine what that is. We need to pray and submit to God’s will.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to weep with those that weep (Rom. 12:15), fight the paralysis of fear, pray for the sick…and leave the final outcome to 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:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent