A Capital Problem in the Capitol

United-States-Capitol-Building-in-Washington-DCWhen a business begins to run low on capital, the wealth of the company is diminished, and it can eventually lead to bankruptcy.  A current example is the present tailspin being experienced by Valeant Pharmaceuticals.  The price of the stock has ranged from a 52 week high of $263.81 to a closing price of $69.04 on Monday.  Tuesday it lost another 50% and closed at $33.51 a share.

While this capital loss is a concern to the company, its employees, and the investors, it’s been a real punch in the gut to Bill Ackman.  Due to Valeant’s nosedive his hedge fund lost $1 Billion in a single day.

Bankruptcy is not limited to being just a capital problem.  It can also be a Capitol dilemma.  The legislative branch of our government is over its head in debt and at least knee deep in a bankruptcy of morals.

The solution is not Hillary, nor is it Bernie.  The answer is not going to be found in Donald, Ted, Marco, or John.  I think the remedy to our woes is a fresh resolve to embrace godly principles.

Call me “old fashioned,” but I still believe the Bible, and what the Psalms and Chronicles say concerning the blessings of God on a nation:

  • Psalm 33:12: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Politics has never solved the capital problem in the Capitol, maybe we should give repentance and prayer a chance.

Are You A Giver or a Getter?

Helping Hands against blue sky

The life of some people can be defined by their focus on giving or getting:

  • Givers ask: What can I do to help you?
  • Getters ask: What can you do to help me?

When I think of giving and getting, I think of the words of two wise men:

  • President Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.”
  • Solomon: “A giving person will receive much in return, and someone who gives water will also receive the water he needs (Proverbs 11:25).”

Think about the people you know.  Are there some among that crowd that sap you of strength due to the demands they make?  Are there others who are a delight to be around because they refresh and re-energize you?

This was the topic of discussion when Paul wrote his second letter to the church at Corinth:

In the midst of all that has happened, though it has been difficult, we are comforted and encouraged. When we saw the relief and joy on Titus’s face, we celebrated even more because his spirit had been totally refreshed by you. Now if I have bragged in the past about you to Titus, I have nothing to be ashamed of. Just as we’ve spoken the whole truth to you, I’m glad to know that our boasts to Titus about you have proven true as well.  His love for you overflows even more as he recalls your obedience and how you respectfully and somewhat nervously, with fear and trembling, took him in.  I have great joy now because I have great confidence in you.                     ~2 Corinthians 7:13-16

Titus isn’t the only person who has been refreshed by a friend.  Paul said that Philemon was a source of joy to him: “Because you are out there encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints with such love, this brings great joy and comfort to me (Philemon 7).”

Think of today as your day to be the giver who makes a difference in the life of another.  Give someone an encouraging word; share an act of kindness; and, revive someone who is struggling through life.

Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

WK-AV921_COVER__DV_20101110182743One of the more remarkable stories of World War II, was chronicled in Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.  This book by Laura Hillenbrand tells the compelling story of the life of Louis Zamperini.

As I was thinking about the events of this week, I reflected on Zamperini’s life which underwent a dramatic change when Louis’ plane crashed into the Pacific ocean.   As the subtitle of the book says, Louis’ story is one of survival, resilience, and redemption.

  • He survived 47 days afloat on a raft in the Pacific ocean
  • His resilience enabled him to make it through his POW experience
  • He found redemption after his post war life began to crumble and his marriage was about to fail

Over the course of his life, Zamperini experienced several life-changing events.  Perhaps the most important change occurred  when his wife convinced him to attend a revival being conducted by a young evangelist named Billy Graham.

During the sermon, Louis was reminded of a promise he had made while adrift on the raft and about to die of thirst.  Louis had promised od that he would serve heaven forever, if he could only be rescued.

The heart of Louis was stirred when Graham said:  “When people come to the end of their rope and there’s nowhere to turn, they turn to God—no matter who they are.” Louis thought to himself: “I made thousands of promises on the raft and in prison camp. He kept His promises, but I didn’t keep mine.”   Louis went to the prayer room and made a confession of faith in Christ, and said: “While I was still on my knees, I knew my whole life had changed . . . I felt this perfect calm, a peace. The Bible calls it the peace that passes all understanding. I knew then that I was through getting drunk, smoking, and chasing around. I also knew I’d forgiven all my prison guards.”

Louis Zamperini discovered the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17:  If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  Through this verse, Louis learned the power of redemption and forgiveness.  He also realized that God was giving him a second chance to keep his promise and to make the most of his life.

Why not give God the chance to change you through a second chance?

 

Note: Zamperini was 97 when he died in July of this year.