Big Corporations, Banks and Us!

by Connie Grade

I just finished watching the recent StandingWatch program, “Do Banks and the Government Control You?” and felt motivated to report about my recent experiences. Our RV Park subscribes to Dish for our bulk TV cable channels. We received notification from Dish that they would no longer accept payment via check or debit, nor would they be mailing out paper statements to their bulk subscribers. We are now required to go to their on line services and set up an online account with them so we can make our monthly payments to them through their services.

Being extremely busy this year at the Park, I totally spaced the fact that I would have to take time out of my busy schedule and go online and create an account with them. I did not receive a paper statement for the month of July and consequently, did not make the payment for that month. I realized this on Friday as I was finalizing my reports for the month of July, so I quickly reviewed what was necessary for me to go on line to create an account. I went through all the requirements, but at the very end I was advised that “the system is currently down.” I contacted Dish by phone, and an individual aided me in getting the account set up and working.  I had to make payment with our business credit card and when I asked for confirmation via email, he said they do not send out email confirmations and that I would need to go to my account and click on payment history and print off a confirmation!!!

So now Dish no longer mails out statements to inform you when the bill is due; they no longer allow you to pay by check or debit; and they no longer send you an automatic confirmation of payment made—instead, the customer is now required to do all the work. They get over $1000.00/month from us, and now we just received notice there is a rate increase going into effect on August 18.

It just seems we are seeing this more and more, just like with the banks.  A while back I went to our personal bank to withdraw a sizeable amount of money.  We found out if it is over $9,999.00 you have to fill out a questionnaire inquiring what the money is going to be used for and then it must be approved by the bank manager for withdrawal. They claimed, it had to do with money laundering and drug money.

Definitely “Big Brother” is watching us more and more!

I also just received notice that the Wells Fargo Bank branch we do business with for the company is closing in October. This branch is always busy every time I go in and conveniently sits near the interstate. So now I will be required to drive across town to another branch to conduct my business.  Perhaps the closure is the result of Wells Fargo having to set aside $8 million dollars to compensate customers affected by a “glitch” in their software resulting in several hundred people having to foreclose on their homes.  They have been fined for other unsavory conduct, and a string of other activities are currently under investigation.

We used to bank with Bank Of America but they closed that branch down a few years ago; this is why we are now with Wells Fargo. It seems we have less and less choices available to us where the government is in charge, or big corporations have too much control.

“Born at a Good Time”

by Delia Messier (Canada)

Before I was born, my mother lost a beautiful 5-day-old baby boy, Michael. Then a second son was born 1 ½ years after me, another beautiful perfect baby boy. The world revolved around him and special care was always given to him. Being too young to understand the pain of loss or the process of mourning, I thought that being a girl did not have very much value. So I decided that I wanted to be a boy. I would play real hard like a boy; I would climb the highest branches in the trees; I would lift the heaviest rocks; and I would win all of wrestling matches with the boys in the neighborhood.

I was very strong for a girl, and I really hoped that if I behaved in that way, maybe in time, I could become a boy, as I did not want to be a girl. Boys had more fun, so I felt. Climbing trees was way more fun than doing dishes. And most importantly, I thought that being a boy would make me special, so that I would be loved and appreciated more.

Being born in a similar situation today, what would I be doing or asking for? Would I fall victim to this horror that is happening to some confused children today? If I was a child today, knowing how I felt as a child then, would I be telling my parents that I am a boy; that I want to be a boy; that I want to “become” a boy? Would my parents cave in to my wants, being falsely influenced by this bizarre and deceived world today?

Being born at the right time gave me the chance to sort out who I was; to learn the reasons for my feelings then; and to understand the values and the significance and blessing of being a girl. I was born at a good time.

If Something Bad Happens, Something Good May Come of It!

by Thilo Hanstein (Germany)

My wife Anita and I had the small desire to buy a used car, and we wanted a German car, a Mercedes with lots of extras. The search went on for a while, and we also traveled a lot of miles to look for vehicles. Finally, I saw a vehicle on the Internet for sale which was very close to us. Everything looked very good. No long journey and the car seemed perfect to me.

I personally went to the car dealer who was selling the car and made an appointment for a test drive, which he confirmed with me. I also made an appointment with a friend who owns a car workshop, to be able to assess the vehicle.

One day before the appointment, the dealer simply sold the vehicle without taking into account that he had an appointment with us for the test drive. I was a bit disappointed and angry because the car appeared perfect to me and I thought that I had reached an end to the search. I talked to him about it on the telephone and wanted to know why he did not honor my appointment. It did not really interest him. A little later, of course, I had to cancel the appointment with the workshop and explained to him briefly over text what had happened.

He wrote me an answer stating, among other things, the following sentence: “If something bad happens, something good may come of it!”

When I read this, I realized shortly afterwards that all our thinking is only short-sighted. God tells us: “Your thoughts are not my thoughts!” When we live in God’s Truth and when we place our whole life in God’s hands, He will protect us from harm; He will give us goods; and He will help us in all that we need and also fulfill our wishes.

And so, the search continued. We quickly found another car that had all the extras that Anita and I wanted—more than the previous car—and it was even much better maintained.

If something bad happens, something good may come of it!

How God Directs Our Lives

by Erica Bourque

On a recent Friday afternoon, we decided to “go for a drive.”  My husband Joe felt very strongly about a certain route and a particular picnic spot for the afternoon.  He wanted to drive our van, which we usually do not take on shorter day trips.  The temperature was barely above freezing, and it was partly cloudy, so a raging fire and hot dogs for a late lunch sounded like a great plan.  Dry wood was packed, along with our small propane heater, extra goodies to eat and hot water for hot chocolate.

A short distance into our trip, the paved forest road became intermittently covered in ice, and due to my uneasiness, we debated whether to turn around.   We reached a mutual determination to continue, so we stopped at a picnic area which was much closer; one we were well familiar with.  We arrived around 3pm, about 20 miles up the mountain.  When our fire was “just right” to start cooking, Joe turned to me and said he thought he heard someone.  How could that be?  We listened again and again.  A distinctive “help” was heard in a man’s voice, along with the faint voice of a woman.  A little skeptical, we decided to walk up the road toward the voices.  Sure enough, a young man and a woman in their 20s, along with their dog, were walking towards us, waving their hands, crying and asking for help. They were in despair; stating they had been stranded for a week in the snow further up the mountain.  Their only clothing was jeans and a sweatshirt, and their hands and face were red from the cold. We were able to provide warmth inside our van, hot food and drinks, and we safely transported them off the mountain into the nearest town.

We truly feel God had directed our actions that day and that He had prepared beforehand an opportunity for good works to walk in them. We just had to be there, because we feel that otherwise, the couple might not have survived the night, as the closest cell reception was at least 10 miles away. Upon reflection, we stand in awe of God’s mercy and how He directs our lives.  We were able to fulfill the couple’s physical needs, as God’s Spirit of love was guiding us, and we gained much spiritual insight. Experiencing firsthand the despair this couple felt, we were also reminded of the many people who will be led out of captivity in the future, and we are thankful to have been given this opportunity to learn more perfectly how to respond to people in such dire circumstances.

Selling My Birthright?

by Delia Messier (Canada)

We have been taught that today only very few are called and chosen to know God and to worship Him in spirit and in truth. The exciting fact is that I am one of those very privileged few—a begotten child,  part of His firstfruits, waiting to be born into the Royal Family of God as one of His spiritual daughters, and to share His joy eternally!

Each day I realize that this is the greatest and most wonderful opportunity, privilege and promise on earth, which God has given to me! Each day and moment I have a choice  to make:  To do God’s Will  or my will.

Do I allow my will to prevail, no matter how small? Do those very small things even count? Or are they— in the end—very big things?

Could it really be that—for that very small bowl of pottage—I could be “Selling my Birthright”?

Fear of Authority?

by Delia Messier

Several of our long-time friends believe that the ministry in God’s true Church must not have any authority over the brethren, and that “hierarchical government is evil.”

Our friends came to conclude this because of some past experiences with less than godly conduct of some “in authority.” They fear the very concept of authority in the Church of God. I must admit at one time I had similar concerns as well.

However, I saw that God gives parents authority over their children, and husbands are to have authority “over” their wives. God instituted this authority, and it is hierarchical.  I saw that this is good and necessary. I am not speaking about abuse, but the right kind of godly authority, as decreed by God.

Did I make mistakes as a parent? Yes, but this did not negate my responsibility and authority that I had been given over my children! And, most of all, studying Scriptures showed me that the ministry in God’s Church is responsible to guide, teach, encourage, admonish and even correct the brethren, when necessary, for their good and for the protection of the brethren within the Body of Christ.

I learned that, ultimately, I am submitting to Christ’s authority, and in need of putting my faith and trust in Christ.

Even today when the mere word “authority” is mentioned, I can see anger, resentment and even hostility in some. It is so sad to notice this. I pray that they will learn to put their faith and trust in Christ who is the Head of His Church, and if they could do that, there would be no more anger, resentment and hostility, and most importantly, there would be no more fear of authority!

There’s More To It!

by Joe Bourque

I recently read that I am instructed to be a light to the world and an ambassador of God. I am to stand up for the Word of God, be happy, polite, humble, thankful and above all, have fervent love for each other and God, as He was so gracious to give us this life.

Recent events though have proven that there is more to it!  I had the chance to defend what I believe in my Christian life.  I found myself stumped as what to say when God was blamed for a serious medical condition.  I didn’t have much success comforting and convincing this person that God wasn’t at fault, let alone trying to convince him that God would take care of him one way or another, because we were all praying for him.

This and the recent death of a family member made me realize that I need to be more prepared to give an answer. I know there is not much we can say to people that are of the world and don’t know God, but what if God was to call these people?  There’s more to it than knowing for myself as I may be the one who will be the light of direction for them.


by Delia Messier (Canada)

I received a phone call today from a long-time friend who left the Truth several years ago. We had kept in touch over these years,  but she had changed. There was no joy in her voice; there was no hope in her life.  She seemed so empty, compared with what she used to be. The person I knew from years ago was gone.

Then I began to think of why?

Christ said that He would send us a Comforter from the Father. I know that there have been times when I have been very concerned and anxious. But when asking for peace from our Father,  and when doing my part in leaving the problem in His hands, I receive peace.

I can leave all of my concerns and troubles with Him and He gives me this peace. It is such a big comfort when I experience joy and peace, and I can have this any time I ask for it.

Sadly my friend does not have His comfort right now. I pray that she will receive it again in the future.

Trust Me!

by John Amorelli

“Make America Great Again!” “I will work for YOU!” “New Possibilities, Real Leadership!” “Reigniting the Promise of America!” “From Hope to Higher Ground!” “A Time for Greatness!” and “Trust Me!”

These political slogans are some of past and present trademarks within the social media landscape, coming from all kinds of different sources. What especially caught my attention was the catchphrase: “Trust Me!” Now, it is a good thing that I don’t believe in voting in political elections because I am an ambassador for Jesus Christ and I am not to be involved in this world’s politics.  But if I was to vote for someone, it would have to be a candidate who would have the trustworthy character that no one else could ever challenge! Someone who would say one thing and not “flip-flop.” Someone who would not lie about ANYTHING. Someone who would REALLY put other people first. Someone with a government that has a vision of real peace and real truth. Basically, a perfect government.

I am looking forward to a wonderful future when this SOMEONE will not be incompetent and selfishly ambitious in the political arena, and who will not have covetous hands on the throttle of governmental power by the deceptive political methods of THIS world.

As I watch and read articles about the “Barnum-and-Bailey-circus” of the political candidates’ quagmire, I think about a quote stated by Sir Winston Churchill before the United States Congress years ago: “There is a purpose being worked out here below.” God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are working out a plan, a perfect master plan, for setting up THEIR government here on earth in the near future.

So, I vote for God’s new world government and I trust THEM as the only candidates. I really pray that that government may come soon.

Imagine… No Hunger

by Phyllis Bourque

While traveling on the freeway on our way to church services one Sabbath, I noticed a delivery truck in the lane next to us with advertising painted on the side of the truck that read: “Imagine… no hunger.” Below and all around was painted a variety of beautiful fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and meats. At the bottom was some wording that identified the truck as being a Food Share truck.

My mind instantly projected an array of imagery of starving peoples around the world, as well as the many global organizations who are engaged in efforts to end world hunger. Side-by-side, the imagery was not equal–there are far more hungry people in all countries than there are provisions for them at this time.

I thought about the many people who put forth time, effort, and money to distribute food to the hungry, both on a local and a global level. I don’t want to diminish the work they do, but in looking at the larger picture, I can easily see that not enough progress has been made to really END hunger.

While I am no expert on this subject, it has been my observation that there are too many variables and too many obstacles that prevent man from growing and distributing healthy food for everyone, obstacles such as dictatorial governments, wars, huge corporate “farming” and distribution practices, and the use of chemicals in the growing fields as well as in the animals we eat.

In other words, man’s ineffectiveness in ensuring no one goes hungry can be traced back to man not living by God’s instructions for right living.

How much different it will be when Christ returns and sets up His government and teaches mankind the right way of living. How satisfying it will be in the Millennium when people will grow their own healthy food or will buy from local farmers who produce healthy food.

Yes, I can imagine no hunger, but in a way that only God can provide.

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