Monday, August 30, 2010

Ten Best Jobs of the Future

According to Popular Science magazine these are the Ten Best Jobs of the future that you still in school should be aiming for:

1. Human/Robot Interaction Specialist: help robots and people get along
2. Space Pilot: Fly commercial shuttles into space
3. Fetus Healer: Cure babies BEFORE they are born
4. Forecaster of Everything: Analyze data to predict the future
5. Organ Designer: Make organs from scratch
6. Animal Migration Engineer: Create new habitats for all critters
7. World Watcher: See it all through satellites
8. Galactic Architect: Build cosmic outposts
9. Fusion Worker: Manage fusion reactors
10. Thought Hacker: Read thoughts through facial and body clues

Now I don't know how many of you know what Post-Millennialism is but this is definitely a Post Millennial point of view. Or another way to say the same thing is to call it the Star Trek point of view. It is the view that everything is getting better and better until we can envision a utopian society. Based on a (kind of) Christian world view of the end times where the world will get better and better and so good that Christ will come with everybody welcoming him since we are doing so good in society.

I don't believe that things necessarily will get worse and worse and so we should just give up and say "who is John Galt?" But I do believe that without divine influence we will degenerate into a pre-flood kind of society. So in an effort to inject a virus of reality into PopSci's view of the future let me give you my take on the Ten Best Jobs of the Future:

1. Bicycle Repair Person: rebuild and repair bikes because cars will be too expensive to drive
2. Post Religion Spiritual Counselor: Since anything religious will be pushed to the crazy fringe, people will still need help answering ultimate questions
3. Computer Magicians: Since only a few religiously intense programmers will understand what computers do and how they work they will be considered magicians or priests.
4. Public Transportation Planners: Plan the best way for people to get to work to avoid delays, breakdowns, and government snafus
5. Parent Brokers: Since our kids have become so unruly with a lack of discipline we will need to find a broker to find and give us the best parental rental options.
6. Home School Attorney: Since the smart families NEVER send their kids to public schools but the public schools control education we will need attorneys to represent the Home Schoolers and prove that they aren't cheating when they win every academic award.
7. Neighborhood Vegetable Experts: Experts on growing food in a small space in a residential environment
8. Satellite Avoidance Specialist: Predictors of where and when the latest satellite will fall out of the sky
9. Home Retrogression Specialist: Former Builders who will specialize in scavenging vacant homes for parts, recycling, and returning to "natural" environment. Turning neighborhoods back into forests.
10. Military Grunts: because there will ALWAYS be wars and rumors of wars

Sound pessimistic? Maybe, but again, a nation without divine influence is bound to degenerate. What are we doing with God in our society right now? Me? I'm brushing up on my vegetable growing skills.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The BIGGEST Tax on us.

In this political environment we talk over and over again about taxes. Too much tax, too little tax, this tax and that tax and I find it to be too taxing! But in all this discussion we have neglected the two BIGGEST taxes that are placed on us. They are the same tax but go by two different names. I call them the "FEAR" tax and the "OVERREACTION" tax.

Here is what happens at the airport in Las Vegas where I live, I am sure you can relate to WHATEVER airport if you fly at all:
• I've learned to avoid one taxing line by printing my boarding pass ahead of time and not checking any luggage
• But now I run into a line waiting for security - 1 hour
• One security guard checks my ticket and license or passport - 1 bored employee
• People are pushing and shoving to get to the xray line that is shortest - 30 minutes
• Security Staff are bored, annoyed, demanding and overworked, one just tells me make sure I remove all metal objects, another to make sure my wide shoulders don't touch the sides of the xray and makes me go through again, one watches the scanner with another over her shoulder, one ready to pull me out of line and go through my baggage, and a final one sitting in a booth watching the whole thing. - 1 hour and 6 employees
• I run to the gate to find an unsympathetic uniform closing the door to my flight and telling me I missed it. - 30 minutes and one employee

I just SPENT 3 hours dealing with 8 airport employees and didn't get the item I was promised all in the name of security and peace of mind. Here is what doesn't happen in all of this:
• Security is NOT increased
• Peace of mind is NOT enhanced
• Customer Service is NON existent

We pay this fear tax and over-reaction tax at every airport and bus station. We pay it as we pass through metal detectors at High School football games, museums, and at day care centers. We pay the tax every time we spend money to seek reassurance. We pay it twice when that reassurance actually makes us more anxious and not less. We pay the tax when we try to cover our butt instead of doing the right thing and we pay the tax when we take away someone's dignity because we are afraid.

Instead of security and peace we get over-staffing, over-planning, over-meeting, over analyzing, over-checking and only end up with over-kill, over-zealousness and over-looked scams.

Let's give each other a fear and overreaction tax break.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wile E. Coyote is my hero!

There's not a lot you can learn from the Road Runner, but the Coyote knows the secret of wealth. In September, 1949, the Coyote - Carnivorous vulgaris - built a catapult. But instead of launching him toward the Road Runner, it launched him straight up into a stone outcropping. The Coyote crawled out of the hole and went back to work.

In December, 1955, the Coyote - Eatibus almost anythingus - waited anxiously for the Road Runner to come around a corner, then lit the fuse of a cannon. But instead of firing the cannonball, the entire cannon - with the Coyote behind it - fired backwards into a mountain wall. Again the Coyote crawled out of the hole and went back to work.

In May, 1980, the Coyote - Nemesis ridiculii– climbed aboard a rocket, aimed it toward the Road Runner on the opposite side of the canyon and lit the fuse. The fuel and nosecone of the rocket launched out of the rocket hull, leaving the Coyote sitting aboard that empty cylinder. He fell, annoyed, to the canyon floor. The Coyote climbed out of the canyon and went back to work.
Are you beginning to see a trend here? The Coyote – Inevitablius Succeedus - never gives up.
The Coyote is Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea. After 84 consecutive days of not catching a fish, the old man rises before dawn and pulls steadily on the oars until he is far beyond the sight of land.

The Coyote is Rowan of A Message to Garcia. Alone behind enemy lines, outnumbered thousands to one, Rowan never considers the impossibility of his mission, but doggedly attempts the ridiculous until he casually accomplishes the miraculous.

The Coyote is Quixote, foolishly committed to a questionable quest, paying his pint of blood daily without complaint, never wavering in his enthusiasm, never doubting he will ultimately succeed.
When we were young and fast and invincible, the Road Runner was our hero. Impervious to danger, the Road Runner ran without tiring, scooted without fear and beep-beeped coolly like a blue James Bond. But as I look down now from this creaking tower of years, I see it was the Coyote who deserved my admiration. That TV show was never about the Road Runner. It was always about the Coyote. The Coyote was determined.

"Determined" is a word much misunderstood. Obstinate people are not determined. They merely suffer from too much pride. Stubborn people are not determined. Stubbornness is willful ignorance. Determination is an unblinking willingness to pay the price as often as it must be paid. Determination is never losing sight of your objective, no matter what comes along to distract you. Determination is endurance.

How about you? If Failure appears without warning and throws you onto the rocks below, will you happily crawl out of that smoking crater and go back to work?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Biblical Truth for Practical Living 3

The Bible is the Word of God for you. It is there to bring you back into relationship with your Creator. But the Bible is also a practical book with not only eternal significance but with day to day practical advice and insight.

1 Samuel 17
"The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley in between them." In other words, most of the time, the problem is staring you right in the FACE.

"A champion named Goliath ... came out of the Philistine camp." In other words, the problem isn't just a problem it is a BIG PROBLEM!

"Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel... this day I defy the ranks of Israel. Saul and the Israelites were dismayed and terrified." In other words not even the leadership believes we can take care of this problem.

"Now David ... from Bethlehem ... was the youngest ... and tended sheep." In other words he was the LEAST qualified to solve the problem.

"For forty days the Philistine came forward and taunted Israel" In other words if we wait long enough the problem will go away. NOT!

"David reached the camp as the army was in battle position." Or he shows up at just the right time to watch the fight.

"Goliath shouted his usual defiance and David heard it. All the Israelites ran in fear" OR David observes the problem, the BIG problem.

"David's older brother Eliab heard him speaking about Goliath and burned with anger" OR, again, traditional wisdom tells you to stay away, don't get involved.

"David says to Saul that your servant David will go out and fight him" OR David opens his mouth in confidence that NO ONE else has.

"Saul dresses David in ill -fitting clothes. David rejects them in favor of his sling and staff." The people in authority try to teach what to do. What has been done that already failed. David has a new idea.

"Goliath looked David over and saw that he was just a boy and he despised him. He said, Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?" Or David is obviously in over his head, just ask anyone watching.

David said, you come at me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD, whom you have defied." OR David now is throwing himself completely under the bus.

"David ran quickly to the battle line to meet him." OR let's get this thing done, NOW.

"Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead and he fell face down on the ground." Confidence, courage and knowing who God is won the day.
"When the Philistines saw their hero was dead the turned and ran." OR the encouraged team was now discouraged and those discouraged won the day through the efforts of one young man.
Stand up! Take a stand! Don't be intimidated by the Goliaths in your life because HE who is with you is greater/bigger/stronger/smarter than any Goliath in your life.

Biblical Truth for Practical Living 2

The Bible is the Word of God for you. It is there to bring you back into relationship with your Creator. But the Bible is also a practical book with not only eternal significance but with day to day practical advice and insight.

2 Kings 13
" Now Elisha was suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. Elisha said, "Get a bow and some arrows," and he did so. 16 "Take the bow in your hands," he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. "Open the east window," he said, and he opened it. "Shoot!" Elisha said, and he shot. "The LORD's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!" Elisha declared. "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek." Then he said, "Take the arrows," and the king took them. Elisha told him, "Strike the ground." He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times." OR You halfhearted little wimp! You weak-wristed little whiner! You don't have the passion to succeed. Without passion you will never make a life that is more than a dead end job.

"Elisha died and was buried" OR THIS is the most important thing I'm teaching you and you wimped out. Put intensity into your actions!

Psalm 119
"Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." OR I have enough light to see only one step, but I trust that when I have taken that step I will have light enough to see the next.
"I have sworn it and I will perform it" OR I have said it, my word is my bond, and I will make sure to do the thing I have said. NEVER say "I really didn't MEAN it when I said that." Choose your words carefully for the connection between what you say and what you do is the stuff character is built on. Your words are powerful!

Matthew 7
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." OR look carefully at the thoughts and ideas that make up the foundation of your thinking. When people question you and your beliefs make sure you are able to defend them. If you can't then you have not spent enough time on your foundation. If you don't establish that foundation you will be blown around by every blow-hard and juicy-thought out there.

"But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and teh winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." OR NOT having the firm foundation of beliefs will cause a CRASH. You wonder why you crash and burn so often? It is because you don't have conviction in your foundational beliefs. A consistent atheist is stronger than an inconsistent Christian.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Biblical Truth for Practical Living 1

The Bible is the Word of God for you. It is there to bring you back into relationship with your Creator. But the Bible is also a practical book with not only eternal significance but with day to day practical advice and insight.

Ecclesiastes 11
"Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again." OR Invest your energy blindly, not seeking to know when or how or IF you'll benefit from your investment. Do the right thing every day and it will work out ... eventually.

"Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap." OR Get your work done THEN relax. Daydream? Yes, but turn your dreams into actions or you will starve. Don't talk yourself out of taking action.

"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things." OR You will NEVER completely figure it out. There are times when you can say "I just don't know" and have that be the best and biggest truth.

"Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, fo you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well." OR Do something, do it now, don't just talk about it. You are not big enough to see the future so work, work hard, and don't stop. A forty day work week is a myth, especially today.

Mark 4
Jesus said "Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seek. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up." OR Some people will come and steal your advice and pretend they thought of it themselves. OR the jewels you are leaving for people can't get through their hard heads, it seems like nothing sinks in for people.

"Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root." OR Some people will get real excited about an idea, plan, program, or job yet when the bumps in the road arrive they wimp out. Many people get excited and emotional but remember that emotion and excitement doesn't generate roots that last through the hard times. Roots are generated by MAKING IT THROUGH tough times. Avoiding the tough times or not making it through them keeps your roots shallow.

"Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain." OR Execution is key. Some people start out great but get distracted by the things they shouldn't and lose sight of the goal: bearing fruit. You can have the cleanest house in the neighborhood but if your kids are unruly and disobedient where, REALLY, is the fruit of your labor?

"Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, mulitplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times." OR Some people will hear, and do, and you will be richly rewarded; sometimes even rewarded financially. But you are not to worry about that, don't worry about targeting the "good soil" because the seed will land where it lands. It will do what it does. Your job is only to sow and keep sowing.