Monthly Archives: July 2010

Doom Boom

Business is booming. There is a doom boom in America. Radius Engineering in Terrell, Texas is building, selling and installing fiberglass bunkers that promise between one to five years of doomsday survival (depending on the price). Reminiscent of the 1955 suburban back yard fallout shelter, these new underground fortresses are being quietly built by the privileged moneyed classes that are not going to give up the “goodies” of the good life without a fight.
According to a USA Today article the company builds shelters to accommodate between 10 and 800 people and sell for between 400,000 to 41 million dollars each. It’s kind of a morbid hedge fund business. These people are hedging their bets against what they call a “worst case scenario.”

Another company is selling “time shares” in its secret facility which might be called Catastrophe Condos. One company is even counting down to the Mayan Apocalypse which predicts the end of an Age in 2012 and the beginning of a new order. Other sources point out that there is even a poor man’s version of this Doomsday Survivor-man mania, however it involves a lot of plastic sheeting, duct tape and hundreds of cans of beanie weenies.

In a world that seems to be plagued by economic meltdowns, uncontrollable oil spills, Global Warming, and a coming tidal wave of taxes or terrorism (take your pick) one might be tempted to join the hordes of hole diggers and become a Survivalist. The Bible describes a day when people will ask for the rocks to cover and hide them (Revelation 6:16).

These people preparing for the “worst case scenario” will be very surprised when they learn that God has already provided a fall-out shelter found in the person of His Son. And as Noah’s Ark was the only hope in the antediluvian age, Jesus Christ is the only shelter that will stand and survive in the coming storm.          Ingimar DeRidder

Plan A, Plan B, Plan C

If at first you don’t succeed, try,try again. BP seems to agree with this philosophy and the leak is finally stopped. Everyone has a “Plan A.” However, most of life, someone said, is “Plan B.” We all have big plans. We all have great intentions. Everyone has big ideas and God designed us to always “hope for the best.” Not everyone can be “Best in Show,” so it’s a good idea not to quit your day job. If your Blow-out-Preventer did not work, there may be a lifetime of cleaning up to do. That’s the story of life, cleaning up the marshes.

Moses was found in the marshes. “Plan A” was not working. An ancient government had crazy ideas about controlling the burgeoning slave population of its guest worker program. Jochebed put little baby Moses into her “Plan B” (basket) and hoped for the best. The daughter of Pharaoh rescued the little undocumented alien and raised him. She sent him to Harvard and set him up as a Community Organizer. Those who read the Biblical account know that this didn’t work out politically or socially and Moses reached for a “Plan C” that involved a transfer to the Bush Leagues and the back side of the Sinai desert. And so it goes, and such is life.

Eventually everyone must come to realize that God has the “real Plan A” and everything else in the alphabet is simply a misplaced letter unless it bows before the Alpha and Omega of God’s will. A life without God is simply playing Scrabble. Moses learned the hard way that God had a plan. He was eighty years old when he finally saw the light (or more accurately, the burning bush).

We have no idea if some blow out preventer shall fail on Wall Street, or Washington, or if sickness will suddenly appear to be “Plan C” in our lives. What we do know is that God has a plan for us, and a plan for us today. Jesus rolled out the blueprints for that plan and put His own John Hancock (so to speak) on a Divine Declaration. No matter what happens today, no matter what tropical storms bear down on your coastline, no matter what earthquake rocks your world, God has a Plan for us today: Love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.                                                          Ingimar DeRidder

Star Gazers

In 1957 Mickey Mantle made $65,000 a year. Using the fanciest automobile as a benchmark which was a $5,000 Cadillac (1/10 of his salary) we can compare America in its hay day to the one we have today. Few stars were “brighter” in the baseball pantheon than Mantle. Things have changed. We have just witnessed a lot of “hoop-la” over which basketball franchise would bag LeBron James. James was paid a salary of fifteen million last year which paled compared to his twenty-eight million in “endorsements.” Did anyone notice the “idiot” light go off on America’s dashboard? The great economic engine of the United States is, not only over-Heated [pun intended], but it has blown a gasket with that basket.

America used to make stuff, lots of stuff. Made in the USA labels were on the “stuff” the world wanted and the “stuff” was made by the guys who went to the Yankee games or read the back page of the Daily News before they read the first. Americans made the cars, the radios and the toasters that the world dreamed about. America made the steel, the airplanes, and the tractors, and a single factory worker (if he worked hard and made some “overtime”) could buy a house, a car, and send his children to college.

What “stuff” does America make these days? The answer is “not much.” America makes “Stars,” movie stars and sports stars and then she falls down and worships them. America fills stadiums to see them or hear them and go Ga-Ga over them.

America has always been a nation of dreamers, but the dreams are more restive these days. The dream no longer involves a success in being a good father or parent or buying a house in Levittown. The dreams today are hoop dreams and dreams of Hollywood, or gaining an endorsement from Nike or being chased by the paparazzi. The dream is about winning American Idol, or winning the Sweepstakes, or winning a class action lawsuit against a big oil company. It’s about becoming a sensation on YouTube, of being a “star.”

America with all its faults was made up of God-fearing people. At the end of the day, the average person sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium or Ebbot’s Field knew that the Pilgrims had an important place in making America what she was (e.g. Thanksgiving). Satan once told Eve that God was trying to keep her from her deserved greatness and that she could be a “star.” Well, actually it says “god,” but that is basically the same thing. The thought of her name “up in lights” was just too much for her. She bought the hype of  hoop dreams. She gave up the garden and all its goodness, and the whole world went Gaga.  – Ingimar DeRidder