Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Former Fed Governor Admits Market Controlling The Fed Is A "Very Dangerous Development".....DO NOT MISS THIS!

Former Fed Governor Admits Market Controlling The Fed Is A "Very Dangerous Development"

The constant changes to Fed policy targets and enslavement to the ticker must change, according to former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh.

"The markets think they have Yellen's number," that she will never allow markets to go down, Warsh warns "that is a very dangerous development."

We must stop QE, Warsh chides, as the inflation goals are close enough to a comfort zone and arguing for QE because of lowflation is poor thinking "because our gauges are not even that good."

Dollar strength is The Fed's doing, he adds, since they have been telling everyone to do what we have been doing... and adds "The Fed talking about the dollar tells me they are more concerned about the dollar's impact on earnings."

What worries Warsh the most, however, is "The Fed's policies changing based on what happens on the ticker... The Fed should be thinking 3 to 4 years ahead."

Finally, he crushes the memes of all the malinvestment deniers... "people in the real economy who dont have big balance sheets have been suffering from wage pressures and stagnation..."

"We tried negative real rates in the mid 70s and the early 2000s and both ended badly."

As Jim Grant opined so eloquently... "The Fed can make things look better but can't make things better," and Kevin Warsh blasts buybacks and financial engineering as evidence of this.

"This is an experiment we should be taking with great care without some obvious conviction that there is no financial stability risks."

Investors "think good times can last forever," he warns... they can't...

Amid all the turmoil in global geopoltics, "you still don't see any of those risks in financial markets.. and I cant help but think aggressive central banks are responsible for that." AND ONE DAY SOON ALL THE CHICKENS WILL COME HOME TO ROOST AT ONCE!

And following yesterday's "everything is awesome," market ramp, today and overnight we find, everything is not so awesome. Markets are in turmoil. Crude has erased all its late-day ramp and then some dropping back to a low $47 handle. German Bund yields just hit a new record low (2Y at -25.7bps!). US equity markets have erased all of yesterday's post-open gains, and US Treasury yields are dumping as the Euro surges...


The Old Razzle Dazzle..........DO NOT MISS THIS!

The Old Razzle Dazzle

Last week the Fed Chairwoman treated us to a master class of rhetorical misdirection which produced some memorable examples of doublespeak, including the soon to be classic "Just because we removed the word 'patient' does not mean we're going to be 'impatient."' But perhaps more surprising than her new heights of verbal dexterity was the market's euphoria at being so blatantly manipulated. 

Never has the financial world enjoyed a lie so thoroughly!

By simultaneously claiming to be both aggressive and defensive, and to be moving forward even while standing still, Yellen positioned the Fed as being all things to all people, thereby igniting a rally in all asset classes at the same time. Stocks, bonds, gold, foreign currencies, all went up when Yellen took to the podium. While this may be the way to win friends and influence people on Wall Street, it's no way to finally put the economy back on the path to a sustainable recovery.

If the removal of the word 'patient' did not move the Fed closer to raising interest rates for the first time in nine years, then why remove it at all?

Why take a step forward if you are also taking a step back? 

It makes sense only if you believe, as I do, that the Fed is far more concerned with maintaining the illusion that rate increases are possible, when it knows that they are extremely unlikely.

This is a game that they have been playing for the better part of six years.

Sound tough, set benchmarks, and then back away when crunch time seems nigh. The act should have grown stale years ago, but we have come to crave the pantomime. The more audacious it becomes, the more we applaud.

Despite the removal of a single word (that prompted the Wall Street Journal to headline its lead story that rate hikes were put into play), there were far more indications, contained in the Fed statement, or spoken by Yellen herself at the subsequent press conference, that should lead us to conclude that increases are far less likely now than they were before the statement was issued. But such a straightforward understanding should have led us to conclude that the economy is stalling. No one wants to look at that possibility.

2015 was supposed to be the year in which all the strands came together to create a real recovery, an environment in which rate hikes would be a certainty. But anyone who looks past the rosy rhetoric can see that the economy is currently in one of its weakest periods in years. 

The first few months of 2015 have seen more missed economic forecasts than any other comparable period since the depths of the Great Recession. Industrial production, retail sales, housing starts, just to name a few, are all continually weakening according to data from Reuters Polls, 3/18/15. In fact, the Atlanta Fed's much talked about "GDPNow" data set, which was supposed to provide a fresh real-time look at the economy, is showing that the economy is growing at a paltry .3% annualized rate. While many people are blaming the result on the winter weather, much as they did last year, it is worthwhile to note that ice and snow in winter is not a new phenomenon.

So it should have been seen as unbelievably telling that as the data is deteriorating, the Fed has more openly shifted into a "data dependent" stance to drive its policy decisions. But at the moment, the markets are ignoring all the bad metrics to believe that the Fed is only looking at one data set that actually looks decent (at least on the surface). The "non-farm payrolls" jobs report shows unemployment drifting ever lower and now stands at just 5.5%, a level usually associated with "full employment" and a strong economy. The rate has fallen further and faster than just about anyone predicted, and has blown through the Fed's previously announced, and abandoned, levels that were supposed to have triggered rate normalization. The rate is indeed low, but apparently not low enough for the Fed.

At her press conference Yellen stated that she would need to see improvement in the labor market, from where it stands now, in order to pull the trigger for a rate hike. But given the dismal nature of the other metrics, how can she expect further improvements in the job market anytime soon? In reality, we may have already seen the lowest unemployment number and highest job creation we are likely to see for a long, long time. If that wasn't enough to get the Fed moving, what exactly do we think will do the job?

If the Fed does not think that 5.5% unemployment is low enough to justify even a .25% Fed funds rate (a level that would traditionally be considered an emergency stimulus for a free-falling economy), then it should be clear that it does not believe that the labor market really is that strong. Perhaps the Fed is looking at the collapse in labor force participation, and the proliferation of involuntary part-time employment, as evidence that the market is far weaker than it publicly acknowledges.

The Fed also suggested that a medium-term (whatever that means) inflation rate above its 2% target might also cause it to lose patience and raise rates, but I would not hold my breath waiting for that one. Much as it did with unemployment, I expect that goal post to be moved further and further up the field. My guess is that the Fed will tolerate an inflation rate significantly above 2% rather than risk the seemingly more adverse consequences of higher interest rates.

For now the public debate spectrum on rate increases spans those who expect the Fed to get the ball rolling in June or September (the September camp appears to have the upper hand). The shared belief that increases will certainly occur in the near term stems from the misconception that previous rate cuts (and three rounds of QE) have succeeded in putting the economy back on track. Now that the economic bicycle is rolling along, they believe that it's long past the time for the Fed to remove the training wheels. But what if, as appears likely, QE and zero percent interest rates were the only wheels? Take them off and the bike falls. However, leave them on too long and we will eventually cycle over the edge of a cliff, as the bottom drops out of the U.S. dollar.

That is the real policy dilemma. The Fed's hyper-stimulative monetary policy was a mistake from the start. It did not repair fundamental economic problems but merely delayed the inevitable pain associated with their resolution. However, that borrowed time comes at great cost as the now-enlarged problems will be that much more painful to resolve.

But the degree to which "experts" have accepted the false proposition that Fed policy has been helpful is now more fully entrenched. 

As the economy once again careens toward recession, the calls for another round of QE will grow louder. Perhaps when it comes to QE, the 4th time will be the charm. But as I said from the beginning, QE is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. The more you throw on, the bigger the fire gets. I expect the next round of QE will be even bigger than the last. It remains to be seen if a larger dose will be enough to convince the markets that the medicine is not really working.  THE FED AND OUR ECONOMY ARE IN A VERY DANGEROUS PLACE!

Official Report Says Stocks Are Overpriced, Overleveraged, Headed For Trouble.......AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ!

Official Report Says Stocks Are Overpriced, Overleveraged, Headed For Trouble

NEW YORK — Wall Street can't say it hasn't been warned.

The Office of Financial Research, the agency tasked with promoting financial stability and keeping an eye on markets released a paper last week, stating that the stock market is dangerously overpriced while excessive leverage will exacerbate the next market correction.

The paper is aptly titled "Quicksilver Markets" alluding that when prices deflate it will happen swiftly and not without pain. !!!!!

"The timing of market shocks is difficult, if not impossible, to identify in advance, let alone quantify — a shock, by definition, is unexpected," wrote Ted Berg, an analyst at OFR.

But Berg identified several indicators that are pointing to a correction. Instead of looking at valuation in isolation, Berg and his team analyzed other factors, such as corporate profits and leverage, and found a disturbing picture.

He argued that forward price-to-earnings ratios are not very good predictors of market downturns, as they tend to be biased during boom times, but other metrics, such as the so-called CAPE ratio, Q-ratio and Buffett indicator all offer warning signs.

Just to offer a little context for the less technically minded market watchers, the CAPE ratio is the ratio of the S&P 500 index to trailing 10-year average earnings. Q-ratio is the market value of nonfinancial corporate equities outstanding divided by net worth, while the Buffett Indicator describes the ratio of corporate market value to gross national product. 

All three of those metrics are approaching two standard deviations above historical means.

Translation: Stocks are way overvalued and companies' earnings growth isn't sustainable.


Further number crunching pointed to negative returns when these indicators 
deviated sharply upward from their mean.



Margin debt levels at half a trillion dollars at the end of 2014, as well as corporate debt levels estimated at $7.4 trillion are alarmingly high, argues Berg, saying "..forced sales of equities by large leveraged investors at the margin could be a catalyst that sparks a larger selloff".

As to corporate leverage, debt proceeds have largely been used for stock buybacks, dividend increases, and mergers and acquisitions. "Once the cycle turns from expansion to downturn, the buildup of past excesses will eventually lead to future defaults and losses," he writes.

So what about demand and appetite for equities because there are no alternatives? Well, that musical chair game also eventually ends, as "history shows high valuations carry inherent risk."

The conclusion of the paper is that there is no question there will be a market correction of some sorts, and because of "leverage, compressed pricing of risk, interconnectedness" the risk for potential financial in
stability deserves further attention and analysis. AN UNDERSTATEMENT TO BE SURE!

Watch out below!

Financial Sanity......AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ!

Financial Sanity

In a world in which hundreds of analysts spend thousands of man hours debating the presence or absence of the adjective 'patient' in the latest FOMC minutes, it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between satire and reality.

Keynes expressed the problem well:

"..we have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand. The result is that our possibilities of wealth may run to waste for a time – perhaps for a long time."

The danger lies not just in mismanagement of a machine. The danger lies in the over-simplicity of the metaphor itself.

What if the economy is not some machine offering essentially binary outcomes, what if the economy is in fact (as it surely is) a complex living, breathing thing reflecting the countless interactions between millions of individual economic actors, who are ultimately less rational than the economics 'profession' would have us believe?

In such an economy, people err. The authoritarian instinct starts to reveal its limitations, rather publicly. It is facile to believe that a self-appointed committee of twelve people tasked primarily with protecting the interests of the banking system that ultimately employs them can assert the 'correct' price of money for the 320 million people in that economy and indirectly for the 6.7 billion who live outside it. It would be ludicrous to believe anything else. But that is the system we currently have.

The Fed's current focus should not be the dollar, CPI or even the employment rate. The primary consideration after six years of zero rates and $3.6 trillion of monetisation should be Financial Stability. The Fed needed to be prepared to counter securities market and speculative excesses. They have failed to do so and we will all pay dearly for their mistakes.
 
When it comes to dealing with market distortions and Bubbles, the earlier the better. The scope of the Bubble has now grown to unprecedented dimensions – throughout virtually all securities and asset markets – and it's global: stocks – small caps, mid-caps, large-caps – risky and "defensive" – growth and income; bonds – sovereign, corporate, "developed" and "developing"; and all varieties of derivatives. Anything providing a yield.

"The fundamental issue is a desperate need for the Fed to commence a process of normalising the pricing of market risk. Savings needs to generate a positive real return. The enormous ongoing flow of (unsuspecting) savings into grossly inflated risk markets only exacerbates systemic risk.

The financial world has bifurcated sharply into just two camps: savers, and speculators. All the forces of the world's central banks have been devoted to shafting the former and encouraging the latter. The process ends badly.

The fact that equity valuations and fundamentals are entirely decoupled is not irrational exuberance, it's a rational conditioned reflex to a Fed that will never - ever - as Alan Greenspan noted - be able to remove itself from the equation.

With central bank policy now at the outer reaches of the possible and even of the theoretical, the outlook is certainly uncertain. Not wishing to participate in the terminal stages of a momentum-driven bubble is not bearish so much as simply sane.

The world's Next Credit Crunch Could Make 2008 Look Like A Hiccup....A MUST READ!

The world's Next Credit Crunch Could Make 2008 Look Like A Hiccup

We are certainly living in strange financial times. An unprecedented monetary experiment is coming to a staggered end and no one knows the potential repercussions. 

For the time being, the markets remain sanguine. But maybe it's too quiet. Last week, Ray Dalio, the founder of the $165bn hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, wrote a widely-circulated note warning his clients that the US Federal Reserve risked setting off a 1937-style crash when it starts raising interest rates again.

Then, as now, the central bank had spent years printing money in order to help the American economy recover from the 1929 crash. But the side effect was a stock market bubble, which promptly burst when the Fed prematurely increased rates. Mr Dalio is worried about a repeat performance: "We don't know - nor does the Fed - exactly how much tightening will knock over the apple cart."

It's true that the policy and regulatory response to the last crisis often sows the seeds for the next. It is not hard to map out a sequence of events in which that proves to be the case again. If it were, a US stock market crash might be the least of our problems.

In 1937 the US was, economically speaking, an island, entirely unto itself; today, thanks to globalization, the power of the dollar and a long period of ultra-loose monetary policy, is global.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, recently raised concerns in India about the ripple effect of Fed tightening on countries that have borrowed heavily in dollars and whose still-recovering economies remain vulnerable to a rate rise.

And in 1937 the equity markets were the financial be-all and end-all; today they are dwarfed by the debt markets, which are, in turn, dwarfed by the derivatives markets.

The total value of all global equities was around $70 trillion in June last year, according to the World Federation of Exchanges; meanwhile, the notional value of all outstanding derivatives contracts was more than $690  trillion. It is worth noting that the vast majority (around four-fifths) of all existing derivatives contracts are based on interest rates.

The derivatives market is the not the vast roulette table of popular perception. These financial instruments are essentially insurance policies - they are designed to protect the holder from adverse price movements.

If you are worried about a strong euro, or expensive oil, or rising interest rates, you can buy a contract that pays out if your fears are realized. Managed well, the gain from the derivative should offset the loss from the underlying price movement.

Nevertheless, the arguments employed by the derivatives industry sometimes sound similar to those employed by the pro-gun lobby: derivatives aren't dangerous, it's the people using them that you need to worry about. !!!!!

That's not hugely reassuring.

What could go wrong? Let's say that US interest rates do rise sooner and faster than the market expects. That means bond prices, which always move in the opposite direction to yields, will plummet. US Treasury bonds are like a mountain guide to which most other global securities are roped - if they fall, they take everything else with them.

Who will get hurt? Everyone. But it'll likely be the world's banks, where even little mistakes can create big problems, that suffer the most pain. The European Banking Authority estimates that the average large European lender still has 27 times more assets than it does equity. This means that if the stuff on their balance sheets (including bonds and other securities priced off Treasury yields) turns out to be worth just 3.7pc less than was assumed, it will be time to order in the pizzas for late night discussions about bail-outs.

Barclays has predicted that if the yields on 10-year Treasury bonds reverted back to their historical average it would wipe nearly a fifth off the tangible book value of European banks.

Yes, a fifth. This is what is meant by interest rate risk. It's big and it's real and the banks know all about it. Their answer is to hedge the risk with interest rate derivatives. It's one of the reasons why there are so many of these contracts in existence. 

Just one question: who have they bought those derivatives from? Why, other banks of course. This creates what is known as counterparty risk. Bank A sells insurance to Bank B. But then Bank A gets into financial difficulties (a significant deterioration in their creditworthiness would be enough) and suddenly Bank B isn't as well protected as it thought it was.


Indeed, Bank A might start struggling precisely because of the insurance it has sold to Bank B. What if it can't honour the contract? This creates a potential Catch-22 situation: the derivatives work as long as they're not needed; calling them into action renders them useless. AND ON WALL STREET THAT'S CALLED FINANCIAL GENIUS! REALLY!

This is precisely the kind of thing that occurred during the credit crunch - banks stopped trusting each other. New rules introduced since then require banks to actively manage their counterparty risk. In other words, banks are being asked to hedge their hedges. Are you starting to feel uneasy yet?

It is far from clear whether any of this makes the system less risky or just further complicates the cat's cradle of financial interconnectedness.

Regulators are clearly worried. They have brought greater transparency to the derivatives market, demanding better reporting and that a higher proportion of contracts be routed through central counterparties or clearing houses, which sit between the two sides of a trade and sort out the mess if anyone goes bust.

But, again, the risks haven't magically gone away. Clearing houses are designed to deal with one or two counterparties going down. But what happens if a bunch go kaput at once? The clearing house itself would face collapse, be judged too big to fail and, well, you already know how this story ends.

It doesn't take a soothsayer to foretell that taxpayers would, yet again, have to clean up the mess.

Extreme Caution Is Warranted..........A MUST READ!

Extreme Caution Is Warranted

Our financial system has enormous problems, leverage and debt worse than 2008, and is vulnerable to a severe dislocation or worse, a total collapse. The powers that be are far from being in control or having anything under control. Perception based on theirs lies is nothing but a comfortable illusion.

The creation of paper assets such as bonds, currencies, and stocks on an enormous scale has created substantial risk. That risk has spilled over into the crude oil, gold and silver markets since they are strongly influenced by the paper derivative markets – paper contracts for crude oil, paper gold, and paper silver. Leverage and derivatives magnify risk. The instability will eventually create a second version of the 2008 recession/depression.

The fact that equity valuations and fundamentals are entirely decoupled is not irrational exuberance, it's a rational conditioned reflex to a Fed that will never - ever - as Alan Greenspan noted - be able to remove itself from the equation.

Examine this monthly chart of the S&P 500 for a 20 year perspective. The chart shows three massive tops in 2000, 2007, and 2015. Perhaps the final peak has occurred or perhaps it is still a few months away, regardless, it is  time for extreme caution.

SP Monthly

Monday, March 30, 2015

Germanwings Co-Pilot Head Been Treated For "Suicidal Tendencies" .......OUR VERY TROUBLED WORLD.

Germanwings Co-Pilot Head Been Treated For "Suicidal Tendencies" 

The horrible events of last week just go from bad to worse, if that is possible, as investigators dig further into the disturbed past of murderous co-pilot Andreas Lubitz and find more problems, as Reuters reports:

GERMANWINGS CO-PILOT HAD BEEN IN TREATMENT FOR SUICIDAL TENDENCIES IN THE PAST

Reports have suggested he was troubled by his sexuality and also seeking treatment for vision problems. While careful to note that recent treatments suggested no suicidal tendency, this merely raises questions about historical screening and ongoing monitoring among a group of people who are ultimately responsible for the lives of many others... especially after finding "a small mountain of anti-depressants" in his apartment.

PEOPLE IN HIGH POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY, EDUCATED PEOPLE, PEOPLE WITH OTHER PEOPLES LIVES IN THEIR HANDS, LET THIS GUY CONTINUE TO FLY! IT IS AMAZING, VERY TROUBLING AND SAYS A LOT ABOUT OUR VERY TROUBLED WORLD.

IF PEOPLE ARE MORE MOTIVATED BY GREED AND POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, BABYING MISCREANTS LIKE THIS, CAN WE EVER SOLUTION PROBLEMS LIKE THIS?

FINE HE WAS "SICK", BUT SICK SHOULD NOT BE FLYING AN AIRPLANE, ESPECIALLY A COMMERCIAL AIRLINER!

SIMPLE, OBVIOUS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A GENIUS TO FIGURE THIS OUT, BUT IN OUR WORLD, HE WAS ALLOWED TO CONTINUE FLYING! HE WAS NOT THE ONLY "SICK" INDIVIDUAL IN THIS EQUATION.

WE ARE LIVING IN A VERY SICK WORLD, A WORLD BEREFT OF MORALITY AND REAL LEADERSHIP, EVEN IN IMPORTANT DECISIONS LIKE THIS, A SMART THIRD GRADER COULD HAVE TOLD YOU THIS GUY SHOULD NOT BE FLYING THE PLANE.

THE PEOPLE AT GERMANWINGS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS YOUNG MAN STILL BEING AT THE CONTROLS SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH MURDER. BUT IN OUR POLITICALLY CORRECT WORLD, NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.








Yes We Have No Recovery....ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

Yes We Have No Recovery

Regarding the major problem of the more domestic issue of economic recovery, unless we would agree, which we really shouldn't, that making a small group of the population richer while the much larger rest is made poorer, is how we define 'recovery', we have no recovery. 

But it is still accepted and proclaimed like a gospel: our economies are in recovery. If you take a step back and watch things from a distance, it's truly too silly to be true, but endless repetition of the same lines, be they true or not, has them accepted as being cast in stone. Of course it doesn't hurt that people very much want to believe a recovery is here. 

The stories we are bombarded with 24/7 under the quite hilarious misnomer 'News' have been prepared, pre-cooked and pre-chewed for our smooth and painless digestion, and as such they contain only tiny little flakes of reality. They are designed to make us feel good, not understand the world around us. And, as Scott Minerd says, the economic future for your entire families will look utterly bleak. Because that recovery they talk about? It's not for you.

Somewhere on the not so sharp edge between money and power, there are lots of people who devote their entire lives towards devising ways to make up your mind for you. And if you're like most people, you like that, because it absolves you from having to think for yourself. !!!!

This Chart Tells The Entire Story Of The Housing Recovery......ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

This Chart Tells The Entire Story Of The Housing Recovery

The housing recovery is about one thing: renters


The Price Of Ground Beef Has Doubled Since The Last Financial Crisis.....ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

The Price Of Ground Beef Has Doubled Since The Last Financial Crisis

Since the depths of the last recession, the price of ground beef in the United States has doubled.  Has your paycheck doubled since then?  Even though the Federal Reserve insists that we are in a "low inflation" environment, the government's own numbers show that the price of ground beef has been on an unprecedented run over the past six years. In early 2009, the average price of a pound of ground beef was hovering near 2 dollars. In February, it hit a brand new all-time record high of $4.238 per pound. Even just 12 months ago, the price of ground beef was sitting at $3.555 per pound. So we are talking about a huge increase.

And this hits American families where they live. Each year, the average American consumes approximately 270 pounds of meat. The only nation in the world that eats more meat than we do is Luxembourg. If the paychecks of American workers were going up fast enough to deal with this increase, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But of course that is not happening.  Median household income is a couple thousand dollars lower now than it was during the depths of the last recession. The middle class is being squeezed, and we are rapidly getting to the point where burgers are going to be considered a "luxury" item.

The following chart was posted by the Economic Policy Journal, and it incorporates the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Look at how much damage had been done over the past six years…
Beef Price - Economic Policy Journal

In addition, the price of food overall has been steadily rising for years. It is not just beef!

Presentation Food Inflation

It boggles the mind that the Federal Reserve can claim that we are in a "low inflation" environment. Anyone that goes grocery shopping feels the pain of these rising prices every time that they go to the store. !!!!!!

As high as prices are already, the truth is that your food dollars are never going to go farther than they do right now. Prices are going to continue climbing!

You can hope for the best, but I would suggest you also get prepared for the worst, because our government is fostering a real and very serious disaster.

Global Trade Volume Tumbles; Biggest Plunge Since Lehman.......ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

Global Trade Volume Tumbles; Biggest Plunge Since Lehman

As the chart below shows, not only did the USD value of trade in January drop to the lowest since late 2009/early 2010, but the annual rate of decline is the worst since Lehman.


The Majority Of Americans Are Not Doing Better...........ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

The Majority Of Americans Are Not Doing Better

While the mainstream media continues to tout that the economy is on the mend, real (inflation-adjusted) median net worth suggests that this is not the case at all.
Fed-Survey-2013-NetWorth-091014
"Nearly half of American households don't save any money.
Households-Zero-Savers

For roughly 80% of American's that are working, wage growth has been non-existent.
Wages-Nonsupervisory-AnnChg-032515
Employment-16-54-020915

Despite many claims that the "economy" has recovered from the financial crisis, as evidenced by a surging stock market, a closer look at the majority of Americans suggests otherwise.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Your Eternal Soul Is On The Line.......ACT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

Your Eternal Soul Is On The Line

A man stretched a tightrope across Niagara Falls and pushed a 
wheelbarrow across it. Next, he filled the wheelbarrow with 200 lbs.
of cement and pushed it across. The onlookers were astounded.

Then the tightrope walker asked the crowd, "How many of you believe I could do this with a man in the wheelbarrow?" The hands flew into the air. He pointed to a man who had his hand up and he said, "All right sir. You get in first." Well, you couldn't see the man for the trail of dust he left behind.

It's not enough for you to say you believe in God.

Are you willing to act upon your belief? 

God is calling you to a relationship with Him...... Will you answer His call?

Time is short.....Make the right choice!

"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight."
 
            Colossians 1:21-22
 

David vs. Goliath.......Facing Adversity And Fear The Right Way

David vs. Goliath

Facing Our Challenges And Fears The Right Way

Undoubtedly, the account of David and Goliath is one of the most well-known Biblical narratives (1 Samuel 17). It unfolds an encouraging testimony to the rise of the Ephrathite boy named David, and the fall of the giant warrior Goliath, from Gath. The passage gives us the typical antagonist/protagonist "storyline;" however, David and Goliath is not a mere story, but a true descriptive-historical. 

Goliath, a nine foot seasoned behemoth-warrior, provokes God's people, as the Philistines and Israelites prepare for battle across the Valley of Elah (1 Sam. 17:2). The face-off between David and Goliath provides great insight into the spiritual aspects of man's walk with God. 

1. Man's View vs. God's View

There is a distinct contrast within the first book of Samuel presented by the writer. After the prideful deterioration and rejection of King Saul, the LORD chooses David to be the next king of Israel. At the time, David is a young and humble shepherd boy. It is noted that when the prophet Samuel is commended to choose David, the Lord informs the prophet, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature…For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7). This is in contrast to David's oldest brother's (Eliab) comments. As David appears during the Israeli Philistine stalemate, Eliab states, "Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle"(1 Sam.17:28). In the text, we see an accurate picture of how man views man and how God views man. Eliab is jealous, envious, and insecure; he is likely afraid of Goliath, since he has seen his stature and incredible strength (it should be noted that Goliath's spear alone, not to mention armor, weighed more than two men combined, approx. 300 pounds), day after day. Eliab cannot help but to think, "Hey look little brother, if I can't whip him, certainly you can't either." Notably, Eliab was present during David's anointing, assuredly propelling him to sibling envy and jealousy.

The point: man judges mankind through the lens of presuppositions, false judgments, envy, jealously, pride, and appearance. God views mankind at the very core—his heart. What is your heart saying? When you pray, do you ask the Lord to reveal your heart, so that true repentance can shape the man or woman of God, he intends you to be? 

2. Discerning Your Current Surroundings

When David informs Saul that he is going to take down Goliath, David sort of provides the king with a recorded resume. David states, "Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears…" (17:34-36). In relation to that, you may be facing a "bear or lion," but God is shaping you for a later battle. Discern what is happening in the "now." Do not be afraid or your current circumstances—if God has called you, God will equip you. David's "battle" with the lion and bear, may have seemed insignificant or tedious, or fearsome, at the time, but now he realizes why he faced those beasts. Are you facing your beasts today with courage? We all know it is very difficult at times to see the greater picture, so take some time alone with God in prayer; ask for wisdom (James 1:5) and God will provide.

3. Be Yourself

When David was given the "OK" to fight with Goliath, the king attempted to put his armor on David, but it just didn't fit. Instead, what did David do? "David said to Saul, "I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them." So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine" (17:39-40). David had not tested the armor, but what was tested, was David's fortitude, skill, and faith. 

Do you feel as though your faith is being "tested"? This is a good thing: Peter states, "the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7). Be yourself. God has only made one you, be it! The trials and temptations you are going through are for you, and they may even help you assist someone else, later in life.

4. Using the Strengths of your Adversaries for Victory

One aspect of the battle account that many people overlook, is where David's stone hits Goliath. Why did David aim so high? In verse 7, the writer informs us that Goliath had a shield bearer that walked before him. As if Goliath's height and shear strength are not enough, the battle is two against one. David uses Goliath's "strength" (his height) to his advantage. Surely, the shield bearer is not nine feet tall as well? David finds a weak link in his adversary. Also, when David strikes the giant down, he utilizes Goliath's sword to cut his head off, "There was no sword in the hand of David. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it." (17:50b-51). I wonder how many of us look to the one factor which frightens us about our adversary, and use it to our advantage. What is Satan's greatest strength against you? Perhaps he focuses on your finances? Give them to the Lord, "For the battle is the LORD's" (17:47); maybe its cancer? Job loss? Whatever can be named, the battle is God's, as you were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20). 

Be smart and ask the Lord to reveal to you, what is happening. However, with that stated, God's timing is not our timing (Isaiah 55:6-9); this means that you need to purposefully set aside time for Him and His Word. When facing a battle, do you look at it confidently as David did, "I come to you in the name of the LORD…" (17:45)? Use the enemy's strengths to your advantage, do not be afraid. For instance, if the adversary strikes you with disease, use your faith to speak with someone in the doctor's office. If you lose your job, go volunteer when you can, serving the Lord in community. The point: don't be afraid, face it.

Conclusion

God is for you and cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38), and God will never leave you nor forsake you (Joshua 1:8); these are promises in God's Word. He loves you more than you know, and if you're facing a battle now, spend some quality time with Him…draw closer to God and He will draw nearer to you (James 4:8). 

When facing adversity: 

1) Know God's view of you, 

2) Get the bigger picture of your current situation, 

3) Be the person God intended you to be, and, 

4) Know your weaknesses and your enemy's strengths.

TALK ABOUT THE ODDS BEING STACKED AGAINST YOU FROM A HUMAN POINT OF VIEW...BUT GOD WAS WITH DAVID! 

GREAT GRAPHICS!   

Contrast of Characters ~ David vs Goliath by alba

THE GOD OF DAVID vs ALL OTHER god's
Contrast of Characters ~ God vs idols by alba

MAY THE GOD OF DAVID BE WITH YOU!

DISCOURAGED......God would never discourage you!

DISCOURAGED

Disappointment is inevitable. 

But to become discouraged, that's a choice you make. God would never discourage you. He would always point you towards himself to trust him. Therefore, my discouragement is from Satan. As you go through the emotions that we have, hostility is not from God, bitterness, unforgiveness, all of these are attacks from Satan.

                                                                    Charles Stanley

History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.

                                                                                    B. C. Forbes

Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.

                                          Napoleon Hill

Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That's not the place to become discouraged.

               Thomas A. Edison









Feeling Inadequate?..............

Feeling Inadequate?

Perhaps you have sometimes felt unable to deal with life. Maybe you can remember the awful feeling that you had then. There was a total weakness. You felt that you did not have the essential qualities necessary for the challenges of life you were facing. 

Moses knew that feeling. They are familiar ones. They come at the beginning of Exodus. They tell how God calls Moses. He gives him a job to do. Moses feels unable to do it. He feels 'inadequate' for the task. He feels the lack of the necessary qualities for the task.

These are great chapters. They can encourage us. They can help us to be brave and confident. We can be like this whatever happens. God expects this from his people.

Feeling inadequate can come from:

1 Feeling guilty about our past failures

(Read Exodus 2:11-15.)

There is pain and despair about the future. This is because we feel upset about the past.

This could have been true of Moses. God made him the leader. This was a big responsibility. Moses was unable to accept it. Maybe this was because he did not trust himself. He remembered a terrible event. He had killed an Egyptian man. Then he had buried him in the sand.

Our past failures sometimes hold us back. They make us feel that we have no power. But it does not need to be like this. They need not stop us from doing great things for God.

However, there is a danger. The Bible warns us about it. (Read Exodus 2:11-15.) This story shows us how something good can become evil. Then Satan (the devil) can use it. Moses' strong sympathy and pity for his people led to murder. These two things can be closer to each other than we think, they are our best and our worst qualities.

Remember Elijah. He was full of courage at Mount Carmel. (Read 1 Kings 18:17-40.) Then he became a complete coward. This was when he heard Jezebel's evil promise to kill him. (Read 1 Kings 19:1-4.)

Moses had sympathy and pity for his people. This was right. But murder was very wrong. This was an awful event. It was probably a great worry to Moses. He may have had a certain fear. Leadership is hard. Perhaps he would not be able to control his temper. We cannot be sure, read Numbers 20:7-12. 

We must realise something important here. Our failures in the past may have been serious. But God is kind and loving. He is eager to pardon us. He will give us all that we need for our present situation.

2 Refusing really to accept God's word

(Read Exodus 3:6-12.)

God's instructions were definite. Moses should not hesitate. The bush was burning. But the fire did not destroy it. Moses stood near it. He heard God's voice clearly. Look again at God's message:

2.1 God emphasises his total knowledge (3:7a)

'I have seen...'. Remember this fact when you have problems. God sees your troubles. He knows everything about them. You do not know everything. God reminds Moses that his knowledge has no limits. God knew all that had happened to the Hebrew slaves. 'I have seen...'. He sees your problem too.

2.2 God declares his great sympathy and pity (3:7b)

'I know about their pain'. God not only saw their problem. He also felt sympathy for them in it. God makes this very clear to Moses.

We, too, must remember this when we have difficulties. We may feel inadequate. But the Lord God knows all the details of our problem. He sees our need. He cares very much about us.

2.3 God promises his provisions (3:8)

'I am come down to save...'. God knows about his people's trouble. He feels sympathy for them in it. But there is more than this. God is able and eager to do something about it. God is saying to Moses: 'You may feel inadequate, but I am not. I am able to help you in this situation and in every situation.'

2.4 God announces his purpose (3:10)

'I will send you...'. The people of Israel were slaves. Their circumstances were awful. But God knew that he could change things. God was going to use a man to lead his people into freedom. That man was Moses. This meant much responsibility. But it was part of God's great purpose for Moses' life.

God's word was direct and personal. 'I have seen...I know...I am come down to save...I will send you...'. But Moses had doubts. He tried to delay things. It can be the same with us. We refuse to listen to what God has said in his Word. We do not need a new understanding. We need a new trust in what he has already said to us.

3 A failure to accept the sovereignty of God

(Read Exodus 3:13-22.) The Lord God declares his name to Moses. This was important to the Hebrew people. Names were special in their world. The name showed the nature of a god.

Read Genesis 32:29 again. 'Please tell me your name', asks Jacob. Someone struggled with him all night. Jacob knew that the man was someone special. Jacob wants to know more about this person. He wants to know his nature. He seems to be more than an ordinary man.

With Moses, God declares his name. Actually, he is declaring his nature. God needs to remind us, too, of his nature. He is the 'I AM'. Let us think about what this name means. In this passage, there are 3 basic parts of his nature. They are also his good qualities. 'I AM' is:

3.1 The ever-present God (3:14)

'I am who I am.' The tense here has 3 equal meanings. They are: 'I was', 'I am being', 'I will be'.

John wrote the book of Revelation. It is the last book in the Bible. He was a lonely prisoner, far away from home. He was on the island of Patmos. John needed to hear the same message as Moses. God promised to give John help and peace. The special message came to John. It was from 'the One who is, who always was, and who is coming'. (Read Revelation 1:4.) He is ever-present. He is always with his people.

3.2 The never-disappointing God (3:15)

This records the great evidence from the past. God describes himself to Moses. He is 'the Lord God of your fathers...This is, and always will be, my name.' In past centuries, God's people had hard times. God reminds Moses that he did not fail them then. Now he promises that he will not disappoint Moses.

3.3 The all-powerful God (3:16-17)

'I will take you away from the troubles.' This is the God of all power who is speaking to Moses. Nothing is too hard for Him. He intended to do this great work. He would bring his people into a new land. Nothing could stop Him doing this. Nobody, not even Pharaoh (the king of Egypt), could spoil God's purposes.

There was danger for Moses. He was forgetting three important things about God. First, God himself was with Moses. Second, 
he could always trust God. Third, God was all-powerful.

I may be feeling inadequate. There could be a definite cause for it. I may be refusing the sovereignty of God in my life.

4 It always pleases God to use people who feel inadequate

The Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt. There would have been many brave men among them. But they were not suitable for God's purposes. God wanted Moses. Moses felt weak. He felt inadequate. But God knew that Moses was the right man to do the job.

Notice similar reactions in other people. God called Gideon (Judges 6:12-16). He called Jeremiah too. (Read Jeremiah 1:6-8.) Do not forget Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 3:5; 4:7.

Notice Moses' 5 excuses:

4.1 'I am not important enough.' (3:11)

Every Christian should be humble. But it is bad to have no sense of our worth. That is not being humble.

4.2 'What shall I say?' (3:13)

'I would do this task Lord. But I lack the necessary qualities...'

4.3 'They will not listen to me' (4:1)

Moses is full of doubts. 'Suppose that I was able to do this work for you, Lord. I am sure that it would not be successful.' It is the same for us too. Doubts will stop us being successful in our service for God.

4.4 'I am not a good speaker' (4:10)

Moses continues with one excuse after another. 'You can find someone better than me, Lord.'

4.5 'Please send someone else' (4:13)

'I know that someone must do the work. But find somebody else for this leadership.'

God gave Moses such a great promise (4:11-12). But Moses still has all these excuses. Perhaps you try to avoid God's work in the same ways.

Perhaps you feel inadequate. If you do, then remember the facts of Christian history:

5 God has helped his people in the past

Remember what God said as the bush burned with fire. (Read Exodus 3:6.) God encourages Moses in his first statement. He calls himself the God of 4 people. The first is Moses' father. Then there are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Let us think about the kind of God who came to help them.

5.1 The God of Moses' parents

(Read Hebrews 11:23.) He is the God who gives courage. Moses' parents were brave. They are heroes.

5.2 The God of Abraham

(Read Genesis 15:5-6.) God supported Abraham. He is the God who rewards faith. Abraham started his journey with *faith. He needed God. Moses had a journey too. He needed God in the same way.

5.3 
The God of Isaac

(Read Genesis 26:24. Compare Genesis 26:28.) It was natural for Isaac to be afraid. But he chooses to have faith in God. He trusts the God who promises to be his companion. God makes the same promise to Moses later. (Read Exodus 33:14.)

5.4 The God of Jacob

(Read Genesis 28:13, 15.) Jacob had to learn to trust God. He is the God who provides help. 'I will not leave you until I have done what I promised.'

All this should have encouraged Moses. These four men were very different people. God declared himself to Moses as the God of these four men. He did this right at the beginning. He wanted Moses to understand something. He is saying, 'I am the God who can help. I can help all kinds of people. I can help them in all sorts of difficulties.'

There is a solution to feeling inadequate.

6 We overcome it by actions of faith

We defeat our feeling of weakness when we act. This is why God often makes his servants do something. 'Now therefore go...' (Exodus 4:12). But this is the hardest thing to do. We all want to feel capable before we act. However, this does not often happen. That sort of confidence could easily become trust in oneself.

'Go' said God to Moses. He expects us to act too. We must take a risk and act. Then God will come with the power that we need. The Holy Spirit often acts in human lives at the time of their action. This is when all can see the Holy Spirit's activity.

One final thing: God can use another way, He can do it by:

7. Bringing other people to support us

(Read Exodus 4:14-16, 27-31.)

How kind God is. He sends Aaron to meet Moses (4:27). The Lord always deals with us in love. He knew that Moses could not do this work alone. So, God promised a companion and helper for him.

God knows what we can do. And he knows what we cannot do. He does not deal with us in a hard way. He is patient with us. He is gentle too. We should always be glad of this. David knew about it. He said: 'Your gentle help has made me great.' (Read 2 Samuel 22:36.)

It was like that for Elijah. He needed to have a helper. He needed someone who would encourage him. So, God gave him Elisha, who was young. He was able to help the older man, who was the leader. (Read 1 Kings 19:16.) Then Elisha was able to serve Elijah too. (Read 2 Kings 3:11.)

God is loving and kind. He cares about us very much. He provides us with helpers and partners. He gives us loyal companions. We know that God will help us. He has promised us human friendship too. So, nobody needs to feel inadequate.

WHEN YOU ARE STRESSED..........

STRESSED?

The source of our stress isn't really difficulties, circumstances and situations. It's our attitude and approach toward them. The world (unbelievers) responds to difficulties with upset, but Jesus said in John 14:27 to …stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed…. He never promised that we wouldn't have to deal with anything disturbing or disappointing.

In John 16:33', Jesus said, ...In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer, take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted! For I have overcome the world. I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you. 

Jesus said difficulties would come our way, but they don't have to upset us. We don't have to accept the stress being offered. We have the privilege of approaching the challenge in a calm, peaceful manner.

Recently, I've noticed in a greater way than ever before how my own situations can be turned around by the right attitude and approach. If I approach something in dread, I have already set myself up for misery before I begin. If I believe that something is going to be hard, I get what I believe! On the other hand, if I refuse to dread or have a negative outlook, I open the door for God to work and help me. I'm learning to push my "reset button" when Satan gets me upset!

We're created by God to handle a certain amount of stress. It's impossible to be alive and never experience stress at all. It comes in the form of mental, emotional or physical tension and strain. However, if we do not manage it and take measures to avoid more stress than we can properly handle, we're asking for trouble. Sickness is definitely a result of long-term stress. Even mental illness can result from a lifetime of stress. As I mentioned earlier, stress is a result of a wrong attitude and approach, not the result of circumstances.

We can look at several examples:

1. With the proper attitude, I don't have to get upset if I get caught in a traffic jam. I can decide to enjoy myself right where I am, even though I'd rather not be there, or I can become upset trying to do something that I can't do anything about. It's my decision!

2. If I have a plan and it becomes evident that my plan isn't working, I can get upset, angry, confused, and even try to make it work (even though I see clearly that it's not going to). I can also choose to adapt and go with the flow, determining not to lose my peace over something that I can't change anyway. It's my decision!

3. When people don't act or respond the way I think they should or would like them to, I can try to change them, resent them, hate them, be angry at them or be offended. I also have the option to choose to forgive, realizing that I, too, have weaknesses and can respond the way Jesus would. It's my decision!

When we respond correctly what we are really saying is:

"You may have touched my outer life, but you can't get to my inner life."

The kingdom of God is within us. Kingdom living is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Don't allow Satan to keep you upset and stressed out all the time. Change your attitude and approach, and God will change your circumstance in due time.

Here are several things we can do to reduce stress:

Stop Thinking and Talking About Your Problems

The state of upset or arousal sets off an alarm in the body to defend itself from threatening, hostile events. Even thinking of an upsetting event or imagining danger can also trigger the alarm. A chain of responses are set into motion inside us to fight or run from the circumstance. Give your problems over to GOD!

Don't Be Over Committed

Do you have too much to do? Common sense tells us that God isn't going to stress us out and lead us to do more than we can. Therefore, if we're being led by God's Spirit, saying yes when He says yes and no when He says no, we should be able to accomplish what He gives us to do and walk in peace. Do you need to say no more often? We should be sure when our heart says no that our mouth isn't saying yes. Sometimes trying to keep other people happy can make us very unhappy. A person must be really careful in this area, especially if he has a tendency toward being a people pleaser. 

If you are feeling compelled to do so much that you are physically worn out, you may be driven instead of led. 

You have to come apart from a busy routine before you come apart yourself. 

You have to get away from everything before you come apart physically, mentally, and emotionally. Give yourself time to get a good night's sleep.

It is tempting to do everything that everybody else is doing, be involved in everything, know everything, hear everything, and be everywhere, but it isn't God's best for you. Be willing to separate yourself from compulsive activity before you come apart at the seams! Spend time with God, and ask Him to give order to your day.

Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you (Psalm 116:7).

We all need a break in the action from time to time. Resting isn't just a good idea-it is a command of God:

Receive God's Grace

Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit to live without stress. God, however, won't give us the grace to be disobedient. If He's telling us not to do something that we decide to do anyway, we'll experience the painful loss of His anointing. Grace equals ability. God gives us grace to match our call. When we do our own thing, we do it on our own. When we follow His leading, He always supplies the energy. 

Waiting for God's promise, which requires faith and always brings rest.

God wants us to burn on, not burn out! Burnout comes from physical and emotional exhaustion, especially as a result of long-term stress. Stress depletes our bodies; our immune systems become weak, and sickness—even depression—can set in. Are you suffering from burnout? Manifestations include extreme fatigue, headaches, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, tension, nerves tied in knots, inability to relax, and no medical explanation for the symptoms. Other symptoms may be emotional exhaustion (crying easily), anger, negativity, irritability, cynicism, and bitterness about the blessings of others.

Burnout causes you to be "out of control" and no longer producing good fruit. Ignoring God's laws causes burnout. You can't overwork your mind, emotions or your body and not eventually pay the price for excess. Whose pace are you moving at? Is it the pace God has set for you or someone else's pace? Are you stressed-out from trying to keep up with everyone else? Are you living under the stress of competition and comparison? Are you a perfectionist with unrealistic goals?

We can live stress free in a stressful world, but it will require some decisions—possibly some radical decisions. Allow God's Spirit to lead you out of a stressful lifestyle and into one of peace and joy.

What Does The Bible Say:


Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

     Hebrews 11:1

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

                                                                    Matthew 6:34

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

               Matthew 11:28-30

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

                                              Philippians 4:6-7

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ...

                                  Matthew 6:25-34








SUFFERING, FEAR AND FAILURE.....

Because you have limited strength,and have kept My word, and have not denied My name, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close.

Fear is a LIE – God is TRUTH.

Blows that wound cleanse away evil.

Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.

For those who love God all things work together for good.

Don't be sidetracked by your detractors, your failures. Don't allow defeat to stop you. Don't let failure be the final word.

Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.

God is still at work, moving you out of the hardship to a new place. Freedom and restoration is God's way. You can believe that failure is never the final word.


I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

                                                                         Philippians 4:13

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

                                                                                   James 4:10


It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.

                                                                                                   Psalm 119:77

The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

                                                                                                    Psalm 145:14


One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

                                                    Philippians Ch.3:13

The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

                                                                                                   Psalm 145:14

If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

                                                                                          Psalm 37:23-24

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
                                                                                                                                              Psalm 73:26

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

     Joshua 1:9

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 

                                                                                                 James 4:10

This conditional promise can be misused by some who have ulterior motives, but when we truly humble ourselves in the Lord's sight it can in no way be for our own lifting up. True humility would put ourselves last and that is what makes this paradoxical truth so amazing. We cannot lift our own selves up; it is only God who is able to do that and He only does that when we are humbled before Him. We also saw this demonstrated in Christ who "humbled Himself to the point of death-even the death of the cross" yet "God exalted Him"




Friday, March 27, 2015

Patience......A MUST READ!

Patience

Comstock

Chairwoman Yellen has Investors in the Palm of Her Hand

The entire investment community was waiting on the edge of their seats for Chairwoman

They were all waiting to see if the word "patience" was removed from the Federal Reserve's statement.  And not to disappoint the investors Yellen did announce that the word "patience" was removed from the statement (meaning that the Fed would not be eager to raise rates, but would be patient).  However, that announcement was followed by long explanations about the fact that if the Fed did move to raise rates the rate increases would be very slow.

Since the worldwide investment community was anticipating the removal of the word, the stock market was down over 100 points on the DJIA at 2 PM as the announcement was made.  Virtually every investor (large and small) were "chomping at the bit" to sell equities if they detected the removal of "patience", since that meant to them the "removal of the punchbowl" the Fed was supplying to the investment community over the past 6 years. Those were the years the Fed pumped trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy driving up stocks, bonds, and real estate as well as supporting the economy.

The investors were satisfied that the stock market would continue declining as the word "patience" indicated that the Fed's use of the word meant that the Fed would wait patiently no matter how fast the economy grew before they raised interest rates. Also, each time they removed their Quantitative Easing during the past few years, the stock market fell as a consequence of the tightening, only to rise again as another QE replaced the one that was stopped.

However, as soon as Janet Yellen started her speech, she made it as clear as possible that even though "patience" was removed from the statement, she went to extreme measures to show investors that the Fed would not be raising rates anytime soon. She started by explaining that the dollar rose 15-20% over the past year and the Fed was watching the dollar very closely. The path of least resistance would be higher for the dollar and that would hinder inflation moving up to the Fed's mandate of 2% and could help to generate deflation. The dollars' rise could also hurt the earnings of multinational U.S. companies that export goods abroad.  She also stated that the Fed lowered its projections of future GDP and other economic data to make it abundantly clear that the Fed would not raise rates anytime soon.

This was all to allow these same investors who were still on the "edge of their seats" to relax after giving them a clear signal that when it comes to raising rates, they would be even more "patient" than when the word "patient" was included in the Fed's prior statements.  This started a reversal of the stock markets all over the globe. We went from down about 150 points on the DJIA to plus 227 points. It was incredible to watch Yellen manipulate the greatest investors in the world to do exactly what she planned.

The most amazing thing,is the fact that almost all investors are ready to move with whatever Ms. Yellen says and follow her as if she were omnipotent. 

In the past 20 years the Fed has been one of the worst prognosticators of the economy in the world.  

And much more important than just predicting poorly is the fact that they acted on the predictions.  For example, Greenspan was 4 years early with his "irrational exuberance" warning in 1996 (just before the market tripled), and reversed that position just in time before the 2000 stock market crash led by the dot coms that were the most over- valued sector in history .

Even worse than the calls in 1996 and 2000 was the fact that Greenspan lowered rates to 1% in mid-2003, and kept them there for a year. This caused the start of a housing bubble and debt accumulation that was unprecedented. That was when we were warning our viewers about a housing bubble in every single comment we wrote. Greenspan again stated during the period of 2005 to 2008 that you cannot predict a bubble until the bubble bursts. That was just before the sub-prime mortgages and debt collapsed on the U.S. economy and all developed countries in the world causing the "great recession".

Even more amazing is the fact that the Fed has not been correct in virtually all its major calls from Greenspan, Bernanke, and now Ms. Yellen.  (The last time the Fed was correct in its prognostications was when Volcker raised rates to control inflation in the 1970s and early 1980s.)  To top off the last 3 of the Fed's poor predictions was team Bernanke's tightening in 2008. They followed that up by leaving short rates unchanged between April and October as the economy was crashing. He and his team also made hawkish statements that restricted demand and worsened the decline in the economy.

Janet Yellen hasn't been around long enough to be able to look back at her positions and actions, but it is clear that her predictions of "an overvaluation of the biotech industry in July of 2014 has been clearly wrong since that industry rose about 50% over the past year.  We believe that the latest moves by Yellen and her team will prove to be just as bad as Greenspan and Bernanke. And if she winds up starting another QE, it will produce the same result as the prior two chairmen. Of course there is one person on her team, James Bullard (President of the St. Louis Fed),he stated just this week, "When asset bubbles start, they keep going until they blow up out of control with devastating consequences".  This statement could change the history of poor calls by Fed members.    

Our strong belief is that the Fed will not raise rates during the current year and following year because of a weak deflationary economy. 
In fact, we believe that the Fed (under Yellen) will start QE-4 this year, but  this time, instead of a stock market rise, we believe that the investment community will recognize the trouble the Fed will continue to have in "normalizing" rates. This time there will be an exit from stocks and commodities and result in a severe bear market. So once again, we remain skeptical of the Fed Reserve leadership and its ability to steer the U.S. economy away from the disaster regardless of their clever wording.