12 Oct 2013: When Oceans Rise
I am now listening to Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsongs. The Intervarsity worship team played this song on Thursday and now I can’t stop thinking about this song.
This song indirectly teaches me hope. When oceans rise, when evil seems overwhelming, I can look and stay with Jesus. The song also teaches me courage: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders….”
One thing that is bothering me is the U.S Government Shutdown and a possible U.S. default.
It is marginally affecting my schoolwork. I would stay up late at night checking news about the Shutdown and looking for progress. As I wrote on my Facebook wall, I withdrew a large amount of my savings about a week ago. Just in case if the worse-case happens and the U.S. actually defaults, I will have most of my money on hand. The banks may close if U.S. defaults and what happened to the citizens in Cyprus, where they couldn’t withdraw and the government actually took money from their accounts, won’t happen to me since I took precautions. I also have long positions (exchange-traded fund) in gold and silver. Unlike stocks, commodities such as gold and silver will never lose its entire value. Silver and gold will always have value and with dollar inflation increasing as a strategy by the Federal Reserve to pay down its debt (quantitative easing), gold and silver prices will, generally, keep moving up.
As I was lying on my bed trying to sleep, I felt I had difficulty breathing. I’m worried about what may happen next if the U.S. defaults. I’m also worried what powerful wicked men may be planning next. Then I remembered the God of peace and that God has everything in his control. At first, I felt powerless to fight against world affairs and the darkness. Then, I remembered that, as Christians, we do have a powerful weapon. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. We can pray. We need to fight by praying in the spiritual realms for God to release His power. If every Christian were to pray regularly, this world would be a much more loving and peaceful place. God’s power would come down like waters and change the world.
I think I know what to do now when I become a social worker. I want to promote human rights and fight against injustice. I’m thinking about, after I get my B.S. degree, to enroll in a dual law and MSW program. With God’s help, I can use logical arguments to defend the weak.
Politically, I am a moderate. I want some government intervention to ensure a level playing field. Too much free market or capitalism, and man’s greed will dominate the world. The rich will get richer and the poor, poorer. Power will always be on the side of the rich and the oppressed and needy will not have a chance to thrive. Too much government intervention and people may lose motivation to work and it may cause the government to lose efficiency. The government will lose efficiency due to the large government size needed to regulate policies and regulations. These will lead to an inefficient nation-state. These types of dynamics only apply to the current sinful nature of man. Once Christ comes and humankind’s nature is changed, “the government will be upon His shoulders.”
One reason I am a moderate is because I remember my times in the Army. I was suffering, weak, and needy. Thus, when I see people who are in the same condition, I am reminded of where I was and I am moved to help them. The Bible also has an example of this. God instructed the nation of Israel to treat foreigners fairly because the Israelites once were slaves in Egypt (Deu. 24:17).
I find it kind of ironic that I’m using part of my student loans to invest. The FAFSA subsidized annual interest rate for its loans is 3.8%. If I just keep that money as savings, my return rate will be the interest rate for my savings account, in other words, not that much. However, if I were to invest that money in the stock market, I could potentially have higher returns. Historically, the stock market has a greater uptrend than down. Investing in the stock market is also how the upper-class managed to hold and increase their wealth.
I understand the risks; therefore, I only invest in gold or silver, where I know the odds are in favor, or in index funds. I avoid investing in individual stocks because then I would be at a disadvantage. I will not be able to know timely or complete news or information about a company because I don’t have the means to. My only source, as an individual investor, is the news. However, I know that the news is dominated by those in power and I know they might not have the best intentions for the “little people” like me. In other words, they might give me false or misleading information to help their pockets. Right now, I am not investing in index funds because of the lack of fundamentals and the dreaded “triple peak.”
Okay, why am I writing so much about politics and money? I think it’s because of current events. It influenced me. I know that whatever I do, God is in control of the universe. What I do is just “if God wills” (James 4:14). I am just using the resources God has given me to empower myself, and hopefully later, others. I need to have the discipline to focus on what’s important and not spend an inordinate amount of time playing computer games.