Friday, December 31, 2004

2005 Predictions

Being accused of a Prophetic Bent, I offer these Prognostications for the year (or years) ahead:

The weather cycle we are in will become more intense. If it’s global warming or if it’s a natural long-term cycle it will become more intense. Things will change noticeably in 2005. Man cannot do anything about this. I’m not sure he ever could have. Learn to go with the flow, it’s coming. If you have ever studied Kondratieff you will understand that the breakout has happened. There’s no turning back.

The price of Oil and the shortages that will happen will produce two effects:

1. In 2005 somewhere in North America a significant find or development of an old find will have a dampening effect on the price of Oil in the future. It may be unconventional

2. Intense research on alternative fuels will mean that a viable breakthrough will take place soon. I don’t think it will be announced in 2005 but I do think the breakthrough will happen in 2005. This will be a one for one reciprocating engine fuel. I believe it will involve a volatile hydrocarbon component linked for stability with either a water or alcohol carrier, which will be deconstructed thru a catalyst before it is combusted like gasoline. We will fill this in our tanks like gasoline but it will need this pre “burner” to make it all work. This new synthetic fuel will change everything. I know this; we will not freeze in the dark or park our 57 Chevies. You read it here first.

there will be changes in world leadership:

A new Pope (that’s an easy guess)
A new Vice President (I don’t think he can keep this up)
The election in Iraq will be held, but it will not hold.
A cleric will become the Country’s leader eventually
Kofi Annan will step down at the UN. I don’t know who will take his place.
Alan Greenspan will be replaced
Three Supreme Court Vacancies will occur

There will be an attempt on President Bush’s life. I hope it doesn’t happen. I sure hope it doesn’t succeed. But the Devil Hates our President. Pray for him.

A year from now it will become apparent that Iraq is going to make it. It will be expensive and bloody but in the end it will have been worth it. We will not leave the area in my lifetime. Much blood has bought us the right and mandate to take up permanent residence.

The Tsunami devastated area will rebuild and be better than ever. In fact tourism will triple. The net effect will be more prosperity than ever would have been possible before this disaster. A horrible price to pay but this too shall pass.

Inflation will kick in. The political will to stop it isn’t there. It will be double what it is now by the beginning of 2006.

Commodity Prices will drift down as they always do. The world’s ability to respond to commodity shortage thru production will put a cap on the temporary high prices in the market. Watch particularly cattle.

Studies of suspect nature will continue to tell us that coffee, red meat, and chocolate are GOOD/BAD for us. Ignore them. All things in as much moderation as you can stand is good advice.

Legislative Predictions:
Social Security Reform --- Limited, much more limited
Income Tax Reform --- This has a chance
CIA etc Reform ---- Conceptually OK, disastrous in execution
Education Reform ---- Slower than before

All in all, 2005 will on balance be a good year.

Have a happy one

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Christmas Jesus Tsunami

Christmas is wrapping up. Kevin leaves for Boston this morning. We made the trek back arriving late yesterday. I am back on my boring monotonous normal wonderful schedule again. I don’t do upheaval as well as I used to. Too much food, too much travel, too much of everything. I go tilt.

Upheaval. Hard to think of this and not think of the hundred thousand dead and their families abutting the Indian Ocean this morning. They have upheaval. My little life’s tilt is nothing.

I process slowly. Think before I speak (sometimes). A few thoughts:

Act of God, that’s what it’s called. Like God in a cosmic chess game makes a decision to wipe a hundred thousand off the face of the earth. I tend to be more theologically along the lines of a bumper sticker that was on the back of a lot of pickup trucks some years ago that loosely translated said “things happens”.

His disciples asked Jesus about a tower collapse that killed several people near the pool of Siloam (which they just found a couple weeks ago in Jerusalem). They wanted to know if those people were more sinful and that’s why God killed them. Jesus’ answer was: Things Happen! Just be careful that if it happens to you that you are ready. Sometimes we stub our toe and sometimes the earths crust shifts in a 9.0 magnitude and a hundred thousand people die. Things happen.

Compassion and giving is how we can respond. Best if it’s thru our church.

People’s response to incredible tragedy of this nature is predictable. Find someone to blame. This will mean the political landscape of the most devastated countries will change. Some not for the better.

There will be significant efforts to install a response and warning system for any future such events. It’s like putting lipstick on a pig. It makes you feel better but it doesn’t really change things. In the USA everyone at top levels is convinced that somewhere sometime in a major metro area a nuclear device will be detonated for maximum neutronic pollution. (dirty bomb) Pop quiz. If you live in or near any of these areas what is your civil defense plan for this predicted event? About the same as Siri Lanka’s I’ll wager.

Then there will be the money thrown at the effort and no one will have done enough. It’s already begun. Much of that money will be wasted, siphoned off, graft, theft and lost. Good intentioned people will give to good intentioned NGO’s and it will be stolen. If you give, give to organizations that have the fear of God as part of their charter. Theft is less there.

People will ponder the if-onlys. It is delusion to live in a world that believes that things will get better if only. If only I had more money, if only I had a better job, if only I were (or weren’t) married, if only, if only, if only. Things on balance never do get better. They only change. All change is perceived as loss. ALL CHANGE! If we live our lives waiting to start living when things get better we miss life. Jesus said (I can’t help myself, I’m a preacher) in this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world. Lots of people think that it means if you come to Jesus all your circumstances will improve. NOT! If you come to Jesus his presence in your life will overcome the pain of the tribulation you suffer. You will still suffer but you will do it with joy set before you. Peggy’s grandmother Ruth was ill most of the last years of her life. She lost both legs (amputated) from infection. But even in her last days bedridden she brought joy to the doctors and nurses who tended her. She had tribulation but Jesus in her overcame the tribulation.

If I could give a gift to the suffering from the tsunami I would do it by bringing the overcomer to them. It would be better if they had known it before. Now it seems a little contrived to rush in and thump our Bibles. When we hit the wall in tragedy we do so with the reality of God we possess. If we possess little we don’t have much to deal with.

So, in the Indian Ocean who sinned that this great Judgment was brought upon them by God? No one. But prepare yourself that you are ready for when life slaps you in the face too. The world’s bad news is Jesus is all there is; but the good news is, Jesus is all you need.