Posted in Inspiration

Wait on the Lord

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, wait on the Lord!

  • Psalm 27:14 NKJV

Sometimes God answers prayers right away. Often, however, God may delay His answer until the right time for everything to fall into place. Until you know God’s answer, you may wonder what direction to take. At such times, your role may be simply to sit back and wait.

This life is just a blink in the eye of eternity, and you can be assured that God sees down the road. If you wait, the One who loves you perfectly can guide the situation to its optimal outcome. In times when you have to wait, God will be with you all the way.

-Natalie Gillespie, 101 Ways to Find God’s Purpose for Your Life

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Posted in Inspiration

5/3 National Day of Prayer

In observance of today, 5/3, being our National Day of Prayer, I’d like to share some Chapter 5 Verse 3 scripture:

Luke 5:3 (LEB): And he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out from the land a little. And he sat down and began to teach the crowds from the boat.

Matthew 5:3 (LEB): Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Romans 5:3 (NIV): Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.

Ephesians 5:3 (NIV): But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

1 John 5:3 (NIV): In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.

Deuteronomy 5:3 (NIV): It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made His covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive today.

Judges 5:3 (NIV): “Hear this , you kings! Listen, you rulers! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.”

Posted in Inspiration

Stop Texting and Driving

So folks STILL seem to think there is no danger when texting while driving. I am constantly seeing people weaving, wandering into other’s lanes, crossing center lines and running red lights because their face is buried in their phone with both hands on it texting. Here are some stats that I think EVERYONE should read and seriously keep in mind.

  • The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (www.fcc.gov)
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving (National Safety Council). (www.huffingtonpost.com)
  • The CDC lists car crashes as the leading cause of death for teenagers and young drivers. (www.digitalresponsibility.org)
  • The NTSB stats show that 11 teens die every day from texting and driving. That’s 4,015 annually.
  • Texting while driving has now replaced drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teenage drivers. (www.integrityinsurance.com)
  • More than 1,000 people are injured every day due to a distracted driver.(www.dmv.org)
  • 26% of all car crashes in 2014 involved cell phone use. (www.dmv.org)
  • Surprisingly, research has shown that it is more dangerous to text and drive than it is to drive while intoxicated (DWI). Car and Driver Magazine, as reported by The Washington Times, recently conducted a test to determine how long it took before a driver was able to break while driving 70 miles an hour.

What they found was startling:

Unimpaired: .54 seconds to brake
Legally drunk: add 4 feet
Reading e-mail: add 36 feet
Sending a text: add 70 feet

In Texas it has been against the law to text, email, surf the web and social media, et al … since Sept 1, 2017. Anyone who violates this law and gets a ticket faces a misdemeanor charge and a fine between $25 to $99, although penalties could be as much as $200 for repeat offenders. Anyone convicted of texting and driving who causes serious injury or death to others faces a fine of up to $4,000 and as long as one year in jail. I personally believe the fines should be higher and additional punishment should be harsher. I’m not a fan of big government, but this is one of the few times I agree with our state stepping. I believe we need distracted driving laws like Washington.

Here are some more sites with more stats:

https://www.esurance.com/info/car/texting-and-driving

https://baumgartnerlawyers.com/frequently-asked-questions/helpful-information/texting-dangerous-driving/

Posted in Inspiration

About Me.

I am an Army Veteran with over 22 years of proven experience. I possess a comprehensive background in Project and Training Management, as well as Leader Development. I have accomplished measurable results while leading teams of 15-25 personnel in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. I am adept at achieving results with minimal guidance.

Posted in Inspiration

Messianic Prophecies

I love the way Stoner illustrated the meaning of this number. He asked the reader to imagine filling the State of Texas knee deep in silver dollars. Include in this huge number one silver dollar with a black check mark on it. Then, turn a blindfolded person loose in this sea of silver dollars. The odds that the first coin he would pick up would be the one with the black check mark are the same as 8 prophecies being fulfilled accidentally in the life of Jesus.

The point, of course, is that when people say that the fulfillment of prophecy in the life of Jesus was accidental, they do not know what they are talking about. Keep in mind that Jesus did not just fulfill 8 prophecies, He fulfilled 108. The chances of fulfilling 16 is 1 in 10 to the 45th power. When you get to a total of 48, the odds increase to 1 in 10 to the 157th power . Accidental fulfillment of these prophecies is simply beyond the realm of possibility.

When confronted with these statistics, skeptics will often fall back on the argument that Jesus purposefully fulfilled the prophecies. There is no doubt that Jesus was aware of the prophecies and His fulfillment of them. For example, when He got ready to enter Jerusalem the last time, He told His disciples to find Him a donkey to ride so that the prophecy of Zechariah could be fulfilled which said, “Behold, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey” (Matthew 21:1-5 and Zechariah 9:9).

But many of the prophecies concerning the Messiah could not be purposefully fulfilled — such as the town of His birth (Micah 5:2) or the nature of His betrayal (Psalm 41:9), or the manner of His death (Zechariah 13:6 and Psalm 22:16).

One of the most remarkable Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures is the one that precisely states that the Messiah will die by crucifixion. It is found in Psalm 22 where David prophesied the Messiah would die by having His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16). That prophecy was written 1,000 years before Jesus was born. When it was written, the Jewish method of execution was by stoning. The prophecy was also written many years before the Romans perfected crucifixion as a method of execution.

Even when Jesus was killed, the Jews still relied on stoning as their method of execution, but they had lost the power to implement the death penalty due to Roman occupation. That is why they were forced to take Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor, and that’s how Jesus ended up being crucified, in fulfillment of David’s prophecy.

http://christinprophecy.org/articles/applying-the-science-of-probability-to-the-scriptures/

Posted in Inspiration

Update to Tax Reform Differences

Dan Caplinger

(TMFGalagan)

Dec 7, 2017 at 6:03AM

Taxpayers like certainty when they’re trying to figure out how to pay as little tax as possible. Right now, there’s never been less certainty about what the tax laws will look like in the near future, as competing tax reform proposals from the House of Representatives and the Senate are set to square off in a joint conference. The goal is to create new tax laws that both chambers of Congress can agree on and vote to approve.

What that means is that what’s in store for 2018 on the tax front isn’t nearly as clear as it normally would be by now. Below, you’ll find 10 key tax provisions that could change in 2018, with some guesses about what the final provisions of a tax reform bill might be.

1. New tax rates

Both proposals have a different set of tax rates for taxpayers to follow. The House version simplifies the rate structure, with four rates of 12%, 25%, 33%, and 39.6%. The Senate version keeps the current seven-rate structure, but it reduces most of them to 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 38.5%.

2. New tax brackets

To go along with the new tax rates, the tax brackets at which each rate would take effect will change. The House plan is again the simpler of the two, with the first bracket extending up to $45,000, the next to $200,000, and the third to $500,000 for single filers. The Senate plan keeps the lower brackets relatively close to their current levels, with its top brackets also starting at $200,000 and $500,000, respectively.

3. Higher standard deduction

Both provisions would increase the standard deduction. Under the current proposals, the House would create new standard deductions of $12,200 for singles and $24,400 for joint filers. The Senate version has slightly lower amounts of $12,000 and $24,000, respectively. Both would be substantial increases compared to the $6,500 and $13,000 standard deductions that would have been in place without tax reform. However, both provisions eliminate personal exemptions, which makes the net impact on taxable income less dramatic for taxpayers who have dependents.

4. Higher child tax credit

Taxpayers will see an increase in the child tax credit if tax reform passes. The House bill boosts the child tax credit to $1,600 per child, implementing a higher phase-out of $230,000 in income for joint filers. It also offers a $300 per person credit for family members who aren’t eligible for the child tax credit, making up in part for the elimination of personal exemptions under the plan. In the Senate, lawmakers opted for a more generous $2,000 credit per child and an even higher phase-out of $500,000.

5. Higher estate tax exemption

The House measure would boost the estate tax exemption from its 2017 level of $5.49 million to $10 million for 2018, establishing a path for full repeal within the next six years. The Senate bill falls short of full repeal of the estate tax, but it would double the exemption, presumably to $11.2 million, compared to the initially expected inflation-adjusted figure of $5.6 million that would be in place without tax reform.

6. Reduced state and local tax deduction

Both bills would have a dramatic impact on what taxpayers who itemize can deduct for the tax payments they make to state and local governments. The two measures agree that taxpayers should be able to continue to deduct up to $10,000 for state and local property taxes only. However, provisions for deducting state or local income or sales taxes will disappear, eliminating a key itemized deduction for many taxpayers.

7. Changed medical expense deduction

One area where there’s considerable difference between the House and Senate versions of tax reform is with the medical expense itemized deduction. The House bill sought to repeal the deduction entirely, but the Senate sought not only to restore it but also to make it easier for taxpayers to take it. The Senate version would reduce the income threshold above which medical expenses would be deductible from 10% to 7.5% of adjusted gross income for taxpayers of all ages.

8. Revised education tax credits

It’s unclear whether there will be major changes to the tax credits that students and their families are entitled to receive under current tax law. The House proposal sought to eliminate the lifetime learning credit in exchange for offering a fifth year of credits under the American Opportunity tax credit provision at a 50% rate. The Senate largely left the provisions unchanged. Families with students in college or taxpayers who expect to get job training will need to see whether the tax breaks survive in their current form.

9. Reduced or eliminated alternative minimum tax

Lawmakers sought to get rid of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which forces some taxpayers to pay more in taxes than they would under the regular tax laws. The House plan eliminates the AMT entirely, while the Senate proposal keeps the tax but increases the exemption amounts at which the provision takes effect. Either proposal would reduce what taxpayers pay in AMT, but the Senate bill would still force taxpayers to go through the exercise of calculating the potential tax.

Expect clarity soon

Lawmakers are trying to reconcile the two different provisions and pass a compromise bill by the end of the year. For those who are looking to plan their taxes for 2018, even that quick time frame wouldn’t be ideal, requiring last-minute decisions about how to wrap up their tax affairs in 2017.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2017/12/07/9-potential-tax-changes-for-2018-you-need-to-kno-2.aspx

Posted in Inspiration

The Perks of Being a Member of Congress

https://www.axios.com/the-perks-of-being-a-member-of-congress-2513039230.html

Members of Congress are granted policies, benefits, and perks that grant them privileges denied in most other workplaces. In yesterday’s lead item in Axios AM, Mike Allen touched on John Boehner’s in-office smoking as an example — allowed, according to the N.Y. Times, thanks to Congress’ supremacy over District of Columbia law.

Why it matters: With prior sexual misconduct on the Hill slowly coming to light, legislators are likely to face a reckoning from their constituents on the “old way” of doing things that allowed cultural rot and excess to be swept under the rug for so many years.

Keep reading 358 WORDS

The pressure point: Taxpayer-paid settlements in sexual-harassment cases.

The perks:

Members get annual allowances (averaging $1.27 million in the House and $3.3 million in the Senate) to staff and manage their offices almost entirely as they see fit, as well as for travel and other expenses.

The House has averaged 138 legislative days each year since 2001, and the Senate 162. The job requires long days, and members are often active in their districts when not in session, but how many jobs give their employees over 6 months to plan and schedule entirely as they see fit?

While members of Congress are required to purchase insurance via an Affordable Care Act exchange, they receive a federal subsidy amounting to 72% of their premiums, per Snopes. (Democrats say it’s a stand-in for the employer contribution most workers get.) They’re also potentially eligible for lifetime health insurance

under the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program upon retirement.

Depending on age and length of service, members can receive a lifelong pension of 80% — which, given today’s congressional salary of $174,000, equals out to $139,200 in annual taxpayer-funded retirement benefits, per Investopedia.

Upon the death of a member of Congress in office, their family will receive a payout equal to a year’s salary ($174,000), per Congressional Institute. The one-time death gratuity for families of military personnel killed in action is $100,000.

Members of Congress have access to free, reserved parking spots at DC-area airports, a dedicated congressional call desk with major airlines and the ability to reserve seats on multiple flights but only pay for the flight boarded.

Our nation’s legislators get a slew of lifetime benefits even after leaving office, including a taxpayer-funded gym at the Capitol, access to the House and Senate floors, parking in House lots, and the ability to dine in the House and Senate dining rooms, per The Washington Post.

Think about it: Lifetime access to an exclusive circle means you’re likely to remain in that circle, further removing former members of Congress from the experiences of everyday Americans.