Monday, June 20, 2011

Melt Down?

Tom's Journal.

Financial Meltdown??  Well.. the truth is the truth is the truth!  I am not waiting in Saigon until the last 'chopper' flies away... Ha!  I won't be standing in the desert with my 'head in the sand' either, nor listening to false prophets, teachers of sin, the corrupt 'News-Media', the turkey in the WH, Congress-- Nope-- There is only ONE SOURCE I GET MY 'NEWS FROM' every day  -- The Bible.  Good night.

Note from Jan: I am using an article by Todd Strandberg from our sister ministry, Rapture Ready. I have retitled it so that it asks a question. I don't think we should assume that believers will escape all of what lies ahead in the economic tsunami. It is setting the stage for the official "time of sorrows" known as the Tribulation. At that time, the world will be reduced to global everything, including currency. Read the book of Revelation, particularly chapter 13. 

I have talked frequently on air, Web site, newsletters and more about the event known as the Rapture. Todd references that at the close of his commentary. While  this draws criticism, I cannot remain silent about such a happening that is perhaps on the immediate horizon. Most, however, agree with me: If we are going to look around, we will be depressed. If we can look up, we will find hope.

The world is in violent death throws. While all of this is heartbreaking to watch, these things must happen.  If the church must go through more global chaos and financial meltdown before the great catching away known as the Rapture, may we be a light to the world.

Also note our new office phone number: 763-559-4444. Our post office box remains the same. 

Where Is the Church in the Meltdown?
  By Todd Strandberg
June 15, 2011 
There are growing indications that the U.S. economy is headed back towards negative growth. The recovery that economists claim we've been having over the past several months has been mild at best. The unemployment rate went from a high of over 10 percent to just under 9 percent. We still have 16 million Americans out of work, and nearly 25 percent of the workforce is underemployed.
Several key financial indicators are pointing to a slowdown. Here are a few:  

*  In April, the economy created only 54,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate climbed to 9.1 percent. Factory orders fell 1.2% in April, the  most since May 2010. GDP growth has declined to 1.8 percent.  

You can't have a recovery in the general economy without the participation of the housing market. Real estate saw modest improvement, thanks to a tax credit program that has now expired. In the last few months, home prices have collapsed. The average selling price of a home is now below the levels seen during the 2008 subprime meltdown. The decline has even surpassed the decline seen during the Great Depression.  

* President Obama tried to put a positive spin on the latest woes, telling auto workers at an Ohio plant that it would take a while for the economy to mend. "There are still some headwinds that are coming at us. Lately it's been high gas prices, then you have the economic disruptions following the tragedy in Japan," Obama said. "There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery. We are going to pass though some rough terrain."  

* The problem with the American economy is driven by longer-term issues. The national debt is now over $14.4 trillion, and is within a couple of percentage points of equaling our Gross National Product. We already have a $1.5 deficit projected for fiscal year 2011. If the economy stalls, the deficit will soar over the $2 trillion mark.  

* The rating agencies that track the creditworthiness of our debt are starting to see the reality behind the numbers. Last week, Moody's warned that it might have to cut the United States' coveted top-notch credit rating if the White House and Congress do not make progress by mid-July in talks to raise the debt limit.  

* Another huge danger is the solvency of banks. As the value of real estate drops, so does the value of the balance sheets of banks that hold those mortgages. The big money center banks were already insolvent when we went into this mess. Congress changed the accounting rules to allow banks to keep the original loan value on their books.  

* At some point, the drop in housing prices will trigger a meltdown. The Bank of America has $2.4 trillion in mortgages. If the market value drops by 5 percent, the potential loss for the Bank of America is $120 billion. The firm only has a stock value of $114 billion. If millions of people start to walk away from their mortgages, the too-big-to-fail banks will need trillions of dollars to stay afloat.
* At the end of this month, the Federal Reserve will conclude its program to buy $600 billion in bonds from the U.S. Treasury. Since the Fed has been buying 70 percent of our debt at the weekly auctions, it's not clear who will step up to take its place.  

* The Chinese have already said they are not interested in raising their holdings of U.S. debt. China has just sold 97 percent of its holdings in our Treasury bills--which are securities that mature in one year or less. All their holdings are now in longer-rate bonds that demand a higher interest rate.  

* There is no way we can survive a return to recession. The Federal Reserve has already printed $3 trillion to keep us afloat, and we simply don't have enough credit to fund round two. We're now at the point where the dollar and the bond market could collapse at any moment.  

I am amazed at how long our financial system has held together. There are so many fuses all leading to the same pile of dynamite, you would think that one of them would have been triggered by now. I think the guiding hand of God is the only explanation for why the system has survived.  

This whole scenario reminds me of a documentary I saw about the bombing of Hiroshima. Months before the deployment of the "little boy" device, the city was excluded from any bombing campaigns. The residents of Hiroshima thought it was odd that Allied bombers never targeted their city, which had major industrial and military operations. After August 6, 1945, it was instantly obvious that the city had been spared to measure the damage caused by the first military use of an atomic bomb.  

The fact that we've managed to avoid a depression for three years now seems to indicate that God may be planning to drop a financial bomb on this sinful world. The Rapture may be what triggers the financial meltdown. We will soon find out. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).  

Get acquainted with Understanding the Times radio now heard on 416 radio outlets. We air Saturday, 9 to 11 a.m. CST out of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Our two home stations are AM1280 The Patriot and AM980 KKMS. That programming is posted to our "Radio Archives" on Sunday. Visit this link  for info on podcasting via iTunes. You can check upcoming guests here.   

We appreciate any radio feedback we can get. The ministry is considering radio changes here in 2011 and ramifications of the changes are based, in part, on listener response. You can "contact us" here. 

Note: We cannot reply to every e-mail although each one is read. To unsubscribe, scroll to the very bottom and click "SafeUnsubscribe." 
Awaiting His return,

Jan Markell

You may pass on these items or have people sign up on our Web site.  You can access our radio programming from the last three years on Radio Archives.  Also see the Web site for other options to catch to program, "Understanding the Times."

Please report e-mail address changes.

Also, we truly appreciate those who remember us prayerfully and financially.  Donate on our Web site (gifts are tax-deductible with receipts sent out in January). 
Olive Tree Ministries, Inc.

More Good Vibrations and Progress.

Tom's Journal.

Hi Folks,
I am so full of good vibrations and thoughts to where I have to calm myself down this morning!  Every single day and night I make incredible 'quantum leaps' in healing, personal rehab, abilities, attitude, getting closer to the Lord, etc.  I am home alone, where I should be [but a Kenosha Visiting Nurse will come here tomorrow], with less pain in the "new knee" post-op recovery-- having taken a major defecation and SHOWER all by myself!! [sorry about the base, common description, friends... but this is a major 'achievement' for me... lol].  My dear old Mom even laughs at my 'colorful speech.'  I love her dearly-- she has been there with me in spirit all the way-- all the time, even as she is LEGALLY BLIND!  Pray that she accepts the Lord and Salvation before He does come...please.  Thanks.

I contorted [painfully] my Left leg after the shower on the bed to rub some much needed skin cream to my dry feet, ankles and calves-- but I bet that I probably did better than  that 'Ghetto Rehab'  place I almost got suckered into in Kenosha-- Sheridan Medical Complex, 8400 Sheridan Rod.  262-658-4141.  And yes, I do feel  confident enough to put that name and address in print after me and my good friend and Christian, Bill Tippett saw yesterday!!  They MAY get a visit from a 'State agency' depending on what mood I am in tomorrow... lol.  Dear  wife, Sharon was an expert in sharing and posting those sharp, meaningful 'contacts' to "clean up" a small part of that horrible Rehab and 'Nursing Home' Industry mess!  That is truly a well hidden horror story that needs to be addressed in good time.  Except that this is NOT that much time in June 2011.  But then again-- the Lord will clean everything up, in His own good time.

While I am NOT saying that I DON'T  have a 'long row to hoe', I am mildly ecstatic at my fast progress today on Monday, 6-20-11, and I never forget who my Lord and Benefactor is, either!  I need to thank the wonderful surgical 'dream team' with Dr. James Shapiro, again, for working what I call, 'a minor miracle'--- and what must seem to him as  mere child's play... lol.   And if this isn't a super dark indictment against the blatant screw ups of the Milwaukee VA, [yes, our VA system--Gov't at work--you remember all the grand promises--  of OBAMA-CARE!  Ha!] --then I don't know what is !  The more Disabled Veterans I talk to, the more horror stories I hear that mirror my own... sorry. "I calls 'em like I sees 'em." (sic).   Hey... I wonder how many people even KNOW what (sic) means... lol ! 

I am walking more freely around the house with 2 canes, but I also use my sturdy 'walker' too.   The doctor and his staff should be calling me soon to set up a schedule for in-home Rehab therapy. 

OK, Folks,  here is my much sought after secret of losing the weight and fast healing [Disclaimer:  my own personal opinion, please!]:  Lots of clean water and fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices! Much prayer and personal Bible reading and study.  I am fast introducing the correct types of fruit for ME-- Tom Schuckman, but my daughter, Sarah, is coaching me, confidentially, for free, because she cares about poor old Dad so he can be there for his 2 beautiful grand children.  I believe her to be a well studied, super knowledgeable Nutritionist and expert in her field, and she manages this all with 2 darling kids pulling at  her aprons strings all day, and ready to have another 'little one.'  Please pray for her salvation too. 
    A new development:  I am now able to take large full- lung capacity breaths of air, because of the loss of weight and some belly fat!!  Woo-Woo!  But I need to lose another 99  pounds by Sept 1-- just my own personal goal [that needs to be set, realistically, IMHO].

I don't have the time right now to search out the scripture, but Jesus made the statement in one of the Gospels about the local Pharisees walking around pompously, 'heaping huge loads/ burdens  of rabbinical rules personal teachings upon the common people-- that THEY personally would not budge with their little finger!!  Of course we are all sinners and imperfect, but something significant happened [was said] the other day when I was in KMH.
Ponder on this:  Does it really matter WHO is caring for a wounded man on the side of a road who needs basic attention and physical needs-- even if it WERE a Samaritan, or even a  HEATHEN???? Duh...  As a fellow sinner and humble servant of the Lord, I am bound and required to forgive all my brothers, at least 77 times, right [Ha! Just kidding].  I just felt a huge inner embarrassment for one of my best friends having done 99% of all the 'heavy lifting' for me, even my Patient Advocate and POA [Power of Attorney] because there simply were no "church members" who could be trusted, nor had the where with all, and desire to help me with my bloody operation last Tuesday, June 14th, 2011-- and then comes along a pompous old 'brother' laying on such a PERSONAL question, wrong place, wrong time, and in the wrong setting, and way!  You be the judge.  Maybe I am a loose cannon lately or have it wrong, but I felt embarrassment for Bill.  And today I found out that Bill's son was upset about that kind of questioning of his wounded in action, well recognized, heroic, Disabled Vietnam Veteran Father!   If I do have it all wrong, I will apologize to the right people and delete this Blog post-- and think much harder before I write anything more.  I guess that much of it had to doing with 'timing' and the way it came out-- came across to everyone in that hospital room.  James 2:17 says, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."  But read the whole short book to get the gist of this small, short Book of James, please.  What is really meant by that short scripture is:  All the right motives, kind words, preaching, teaching, will NOT help some poor sister or brother if there is no one who will physically care for their needs!!  Yes!  I have seen too many "Sayers of the Word-- rather than DO'ER's of the Word!"  Bill Tippett, was one of the very few who knew how to HELP me with the logistical, physical aspects of my painful, traumatic knee operation, being there for me-- when all the others only paid me LIP SERVICE!!  And I was loathe to see him examined to see if he was "fit" to be in my presents.  Now... how shall we explain this discourtesy to Bill's son?   Tell me, please, if you think that I am too defensive or thin-skinned.

I am doing very well, and now the OTHER VA goofed up knee I call my "bad knee !"   Boy!  Do I have ample proof and ammunition NOW that my "newly replaced Knee" by a top of the line, real expert, actually feels BETTER than the old "VA- Knee" done last Dec. 6th, at VAMC-Milwaukee!  I know--it sounds like I am trying to mix you up or tell a joke-- but it's the real TRUTH!  And we can be sure that this won't be the last of the issue.  Please forgive me if I break this one confidence, but the good Dr. JS told me yesterday morning that the general consensus in the operating room on June 14th, 2011, that my Left knee was the most "rotten"  knee-joint that they had ever seen !!  Soooo, that means that my pain level and much needed pain meds were a stark reality-- when the PCP- VA "doctor" said pretty much it was "all in my head' , and the preacher man echoed some of the same sentiments.  Conclusion:  If you have a real 'gut- feeling' that something is wrong with real, extra-ordinary PAIN-- you are probably RIGHT.  And doctors and preachers are fully capable of lying and making many mistakes !!  you may share this sensitive post if you like, or comment below.

Have a great day, dear friends.

Warm Regards,