Friday, July 17, 2009

GOOD THINGS IN TOUGH TIMES

Jerry Noble

There is no doubt about it. Times are tough and may be getting tougher. Our national unemployment rate is nearing ten percent. Most every community in our nation is being negatively impacted by a lack of jobs. People are hurting, and the hurt deepens as the time without employment lengthens. I have observed that the longer our people are out of work, the deeper becomes their depression. Self esteem gets lower and lower, and these people are in limbo with little sense of purpose.

The people who are struggling to find a place to be productive are wondering where all of the stimulus money is going. They don't see much of it in our community. They question the entire stimulus plan, and wonder what went wrong with the economy to produce such a downward spiral for literally millions of Americans. It appears to many that what we are hearing from our political leaders is just more political rhetoric with little to no real substance.

In our small patch of the nation we are seeing some great and meaningful efforts to help many people in need in our community. At our church the senior pastor spoke about the importance of helping people in need and, almost accidentally, placed a clay pot on the altar of the church and asked people to give a one time "lean year" offering to help those who have lost their job, and facing financial difficulty. People literally lined up to place money in the clay pot. Thousands of dollars were placed in the clay pot. This was supposed to be a one time offering, but for more than fours months now people have lined up every Sunday to place a "lean year" offering in the clay pot. Many thousands of dollars have been given to share with those in need. Through the generosity of the people money has been issued to to people to make house payments, pay utility bills, pay medical bills, make car payments, buy food, etc. etc.

It is always the case, even in the bad times a lot of good things happen. We cannot, and should not simply depend on the government to bail us out and give us everything we need. We should keep in mind that whatever the government gives, the government can take away. The core and heart of our nation is summed up in the goodness and generosity of our people. We have and will survive and prosper because of the hard work of our people and their willingness to help others in need, and whenever necessary to fight for the freedoms we hold dear. That is what America is about. America is the greatest nation, under God, on the face of this earth. God bless America!!

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