With the price of Texas tea setting record highs on a near daily basis, people have started stealing gasoline or diesel fuel from parked vehicles and storage tanks. HereŐs some sleight of hand from the home of the Magic Kingdom:
"An Orlando man was recently arrested for having a hidden, professionally welded 800-gallon gas tank retrofitted to a Ford truck that police say was expressly used for stealing petrol. The man also had a key that disables pump meters, which should scare the hell out of gas station owners."
In South Carolina, where one state motto is Prepared in Mind and Resources, this half-baked guy was loading up on resources, but his mind must have been running on empty:
"Crossroads General Store is like a blast from the past. It sits right on the corner of two country roads, and it has gas pumps that are at least 25 years old. Either way, do not let the appearances fool you, because this place is surround by eight high-tech surveillance cameras. All eight cameras were rolling as Ted Ball allegedly pulled a stunt that could make a chapter in one of those books about stupid criminals. "He pulled up and come in and asked if he could fill up," said Early. He had a debit card, and I said yeah, I cut the pump on for him, and he give me the debit card." Early said she watched as Ball started pumping gallon after gallon into a lime green pick-up truck. The total was almost 80 dollars.
"He come back in here and started telling me a sob story... about how times were tough and his wife had left him and took everything," said Early. "The cars were starting to back up and he could see that, so he said I'm gonna go out here and finish pumping this and then I'll pull over to the side and come in and we'll run the card." Early said she watched as Ball started to do exactly what he promised, but a few seconds later, he took off and never looked back. "I thought oh my god, he is not going pay... tried the card, and it declined it." With clear surveillance pictures and the debit card, police had no problems figuring out who the guy was. Now they just need to find out where he is hiding out."
While Americans demand lower prices at the pump, China and India just demand more fuel to power their emerging economies. The world is using a little over 87 million barrels of oil each day, while drillers deliver only about 86 million. Supplies are said to be dwindling, and speculators are making money bidding up contracts on the Nymex. Democrats balk at drilling anywhere, Republicans want to drill everywhere, and Greenies think we can run everything on solar, wind or geothermal. As far as atomic power is concerned, most Americans are still wondering how the word nuclear is pronounced, although the steam produced through radioactive decay provides nearly 80% of the turbine-generated electricity needed to bake croissants, brew coffee, and fry calamari in France.
To make matters worse, Congress has mandated that we use more corn to make more ethanol (alcohol) and mix it with our gasoline. As growers sent more corn to ethanol refineries, corn prices made a Bungee-cord snap skyward, and farmers were rewarded nicely for inhaling the low octane exhaust spewing from Congress. Studies have shown that it takes more energy to grow the corn and convert it to ethanol than we get (about 29% less) in return. Others dispute those findings, but if it were really profitable, would a billion dollar government subsidy still be needed for farmers to grow corn for cars?
This whole nightmare has left a bad taste in our monetary mouths, and gasoline is not the only commodity over $4 per unit. A gallon of milk and a box of KelloggŐs Frosted Flakes are up over four dollars, as well. Oh, Tony the Tiger still roars, but itŐs drowned out by the roar of the people complaining about the flakes that work in Washington. Rumor has it that Tony may be hired away by ExxonMobil to do damage control, for the Exxon tiger is not up to the job. Americans still love to drive, but hot prices at the pump and hot profits in the billions have cooled any love for the oil industry. Some want to punish every American oil company by legislating a windfall profitŐs tax, but XOM, COP and CVX are really just small players in a global business where the largest companies are owned by countries that hate America, and it is those companies that control about 94% of the supply. What we need is a comprehensive energy policy that uses every type of energy at our disposal - safely.
ThereŐs a global energy crisis, a global food crisis, a global economic crisis, and natural disasters wreaking havoc on millions. People feel like theyŐre over a barrel Đ helpless. Seems to be a perfect time for the church to help those in need and point out the relevance of GodŐs prophetic word at this important time in history. Many Christian churches and charities are involved with disaster relief. Some are providing money for gasoline for poor families in their congregations, but will the rising cost of oil be an issue that hinders them?
The high price of oil has always been an issue within the church, for oil, which represents the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures, is issued by God alone as a gift of His grace to Christians. Though the gift is free to all believers, it was never cheap. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price ÂĐ death on the cross Đ so our sins would be forgiven and we could be anointed with the Holy Spirit and sealed for the day of redemption. And it was all for GodŐs glory.
God placed Jesus over the barrel, so to speak, and Christ hung, seemingly helpless, until He died. However, God raised Him from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit to set apart the church and provide high-octane power and illumination for each individual Christian. God chooses souls from every nation, tribe, people and language, fills them with His Spirit, and He gives them spiritual gifts to use inside the church to build others up. Filled with the love of God and an understanding of GodŐs plan, the body of Christ is to move outside the church as witnesses for Jesus Christ. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are to warn all people of GodŐs coming wrath and offer them safe haven in Christ. ThatŐs GodŐs comprehensive plan!
ThatŐs how itŐs supposed to be, but Beelzebub Oil & Refining Enterprises has invested heavily in the church by planting lobbyists in congregations. These people promote an alternative fuel, manŐs wisdom, to power the church into the 21st century. Though the thief stealing from the Louvre was caught red-handed, the liberal church stands red-faced, primarily because it prefers to use synthetic oil as a means to achieve its own purpose Đ not GodŐs Đ for saving mankind. Caught up in the political banter of the day, they offer only man-made solutions for a problem that is driving us down the road towards divine intervention. Doctrine and Bible study are out; political correctness is dispensed to the body, paralyzing them with a reliance on man and government. Programs are used to make a connection with the community, but Scripture is neglected or viewed as negotiable, making GodŐs word just another opinion spouted from a sea of sagely soapboxes.
Churches that support this view are no different from the society they were called to change, making them a bore to those who need to see a true reflection of Christ. Instead of being on display with a message of hope, offering the gospel of salvation to a sinful world, liberal congregations seem to think that manŐs best hope to conquer all that confronts us and save the planet is man. It is a crude way of saying that we just donŐt need God for anything.
In this new world order, the media has become the new public transit system. Any Christ-centered view is repetitively ferried from powerless minds and railroaded into the camp of the new global religion Đ global warming. The new high priests of this man-centered religion are environmentalists who want people to reduce their carbon footprint and save Mother Earth. People are actually choosing to go childless, so the planetŐs resources will not be consumed by hordes of humanity exhaling carbon dioxide from their mouths and SUVs as they drive to Wal-Mart to purchase diapers for the mess their children create. It all seems so hopeless, but according to Scripture, there will be a man who breaks upon the world scene and seem to have all the answers to the worldŐs problems. He is the anti-Christ, and many will flock to him. He will even make a peace pact with Israel for 7 years, but he will break it half way through by setting himself up to be worshiped as God.
WhatŐs really been stolen in all this man-made hoopla is a true painting of Christianity, whose members are looking for Christ to return and correct all of mankindŐs problems. How close are we to the return of Christ? Well, that depends upon how far youŐve drilled down into the word of God. Scripture says that nobody knows the date and time except the Father in heaven. Yet, Scripture declares that He will return and destroy anti-Christ and all evil.
In the meantime, and things will get mean, the church is to stand firm for God and defend the faith that was once delivered for all. May God empower us with His oil so that many will be transported from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light. May many, who are not Christians, become true believers. May many, who have not obtained mercy from God, obtain that mercy as the true church faithfully proclaims the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mountain Time Moment
21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,
22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit,
guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NIV
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