Category Archives: Spirituality & Money Gate

Pension, labor disputes dog Greek talks as cash dwindles

A man holding a Greek national flag and a placard walks in Constitution Square in AthensBy Renee Maltezou and Jan Strupczewski ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Wide differences over pension and labor reforms continued to dog intensive negotiations between Greece's leftist government and its international creditors despite progress in other areas as the country's cash position becomes increasingly critical. Government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis sounded the alarm on Monday, saying that while Athens intended to meet all its payment obligations, including nearly 1 billion euros to the IMF in May, it needed fresh funds before the end of the month. "The Greek government is not waiting until the end of May for a liquidity injection. It expects this liquidity to be offered to the Greek economy as soon as possible." In a sign of Greece's increasingly frantic efforts to secure relief, Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis will travel to Frankfurt to hold talks with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Tuesday, a government official said.


Poll suggests Britons more likely to vote to stay in EU

The Union Flag flies next to the European Flag outside the European Commission building in central LondonBritons are more likely to vote to stay part of the European Union than leave in a future membership referendum, a poll showed on Monday, with only 18 percent saying they would definitely elect to exit the bloc. The YouGov poll for The Times newspaper asked the question because Britain faces a close national election on Thursday and Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to hold such an in-out referendum if re-elected. Such a referendum has not been held in Britain since 1975, when the country first joined what was then the European Economic Community.


Parenting in the Valley of Dry Bones

Parenting in the Valley of Dry Bones

There are moments as a parent when you realize you’ve done a lot less clapping for your kids than you have disciplining them for sin. It can feel like all you do is battle them between errands and events, pick-ups and drop-offs, and much of what you battle lies where you cannot reach, inside hearts which you feel so helpless to change.

How can we enjoy our children in those moments when we can’t even think of them without fear of what might come?

Another Valley the Same

I have found it helpful to remember another hard place, a place where a man faced a dead, barren valley, helpless to change anything on his own. In Ezekiel 37, we read that God himself set Ezekiel down in the middle of the valley of dry bones. There was no sign of life, which is a lot like we can feel when faced with our children’s sins. Sometimes there are so many it’s often hard to even know where to begin — whether squabbles over a toy no one wanted the day before, or the refusal to say “thank you” when they should, or the incessant complaining when they don’t get what they want. It seems that everywhere you turn there is no hope to be found.

As they age, the subject matter only gets more complicated and the consequences more life-altering. An attitude of superiority and callousness towards another’s suffering makes you wonder where your tender-hearted son went. They have friends who trouble you, tweets that alarm you, secrets that worry you. It all combines into one big valley of dust and death. Imagine gazing at a valley full of it and hearing the Lord ask you as he did Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?”

That valley was over Ezekiel’s head, and parenting is over ours. He doesn’t know how to make the bones live, but he knows who does. “O Lord Gᴏᴅ, you know,” Ezekiel says (Ezekiel 37:3). God brings Ezekiel into the miracle of resurrection by telling him to do what he cannot do . . . speak life.

Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lᴏʀᴅ. Thus says the Lord Gᴏᴅ to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lᴏʀᴅ. (Ezekiel 37:4–6)

The Breath of God

And as he speaks, Ezekiel hears the sound of creation happening again, as from the dust, bone rattles against bone. There are now bodies, but not life — not yet. There is no breath, no life-force to animate their being. They are the shell of what was, the promise of what could be.

Again, we know this parable in our own lives and in the lives of our children. So often, we’ve seen them walk through the motions of a gospel-centered life, doing what they “know” is right, but without the power of the Spirit. They have the appearance of life and all the right structures in place, but the heart is not beating. They said they were sorry. They picked up their toys with force and temper. They mouthed “yes, sir.” Though you’ve taught them the form of what to feel, do, and say, you recognize in these moments how helpless you are to change their hearts. This is when we need the same thing Ezekiel did that day in the valley.

Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord Gᴏᴅ: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. (Ezekiel 37:9)

God made them live.

God, being rich in mercy, promised that he would restore Israel. He would give them life, fill them with his Spirit, make them his people. Isn’t that all we really want for our kids? We want their hearts to be his, not just their motions. We want God’s kingdom to come in them and through them. We want them to treasure Jesus above all things. And what was true for Ezekiel’s day is still true for ours. The life for which we long comes by speaking of the words of God — by sharing, again and again, the word of Christ.

He Knows What to Do

Jesus has gone into the barren field, to the place where death once reigned, and he emerged victorious. He is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the one who makes alive. God didn’t tell Ezekiel to first bring life and then speak. It is the speaking of the words of God that brought the life, and that is the only way we can move toward the hearts of our children with hope-filled steps.

We can face the areas of sinfulness in them we once feared, convinced that the God who speaks life is able to breathe life into them. He is able to make them know him and live for him forever. He is the one who said the harvest of his people is plentiful, greater than the number of stars in the sky. He is the one who sent his only Son that your son or daughter might proclaim the wonders of his grace.

Teach the truths of the gospel to your children, “seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:21–22). Go into the chaotic, death-filled valley of your kids’ sins and walk amongst it all because you know that every raindrop that falls on the earth today shows his mercy toward those who’ve rejected him (Matthew 5:45). Serve them with peace and humility because you can smell the breakfast cooking on the beach for a man who, three times, denied even knowing Jesus (John 21:9–19). Speak confidently of God’s power over every competing rule, including your child’s heart.

Do not fear the death you see in their lives. God knows what to do with it. After all, dry bones are all he’s ever had to work with in his people.


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U.S. factory orders post largest gain in eight months

Chrysler Group LLC assembly workers lower an engine on to the frame of a 2014 Ram 1500 pickup truck on the assembly line at the Warren Truck Plant in WarrenNew orders for U.S. factory goods recorded their biggest increase in eight months in March, boosted by demand for transportation equipment, but the underlying trend remained weak against the backdrop of a strong dollar. The report on Monday from the Commerce Department was the latest indication that while economic growth is regaining some momentum after abruptly slowing down in the first quarter, the rebound would not be as strong as experienced during the same period last year when output was chilled by cold weather. New orders for manufactured goods increased 2.1 percent, the largest gain since July last year, after a revised 0.1 percent dip in February. Manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy, has been hit by the strong dollar and lower crude oil prices, which are putting a squeeze on the profits of multinational corporations and oil firms.


When A Caller Claims He’s The Pope, Be Careful: He May Be Telling The Truth

When Franco Rabuffi’s phone rang, the caller said it was Pope Francis. Rabuffi promptly hung up the phone. It turns out that it was actually Pope Francis — which Rabuffi realized on the third try.

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South Africa’s Sibanye Q1 production hit by power cuts

For release with feature MINERALS SAFRICA DEEPMINESSouth African-focused Sibanye Gold said on Monday power shortages and a delayed start-up after the festive season cut its first quarter bullion output by 5 percent, sending its shares lower. Africa's no.3 gold producer said gold output for the three months to the end of March fell to 9,808 kgs (315,300 ounces) from 10,338 kg a year earlier. State owned utility Eskom has been struggling to keep the lights on in Africa's most advanced economy and mining companies, among some of the heaviest power users, have had to cut consumption by up to 20 percent. Sibanye said gold production fell due agreements to reduce their power consumption.


CCTV Shows Angry Man Throwing Chairs at Takeaway Staff, AlertSystems Reports

South Yorkshire Police have released CCTV footage of an angry, violent man hurling chairs and even a traffic cone at staff working at an Asian takeaway in the city centre. Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Police in Sheffield have released CCTV footage of the late night attack which occurred at Imran’s on The Wicker, Sheffield, close to the city centre. Owner of the takeaway, Imran Rafique, commented on the attack. “No one likes getting their shop smashed up – we’ve been established for over 20 years and this is one of the most extreme versions we’ve had,” Mr Rafique told the press. “You get a little bit of trouble every now and again but nothing like things being thrown over the counter.”

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police has also commented on the attack, confirming that officers were called to a takeaway in the Wicker at around 1.45am on Saturday April 18th following reports of a customer causing damage, though there were no reports of assault at the time. “It was reported to police that a man had thrown a chair and condiments around the shop,” the spokesperson added. “Officers attended immediately but the offender had left the scene. An investigation is underway and officers are carrying out a number of enquiries. No arrests have been made at this time.”

AlertSystems, a company providing CCTV surveillance solutions to businesses in the UK, takes great interest in news such as this. A spokesperson for the company commented on the footage, saying “Attacks of this kind beggar belief. You often hear of vandalism and theft, but when an attacker goes outside to collect a traffic cone and use it as a projectile weapon against your staff, you’re incredibly thankful for CCTV. It’s a good thing that Mr Rafique had CCTV installed to record the incident so that police can hunt the man more efficiently.”

AlertSystems manage and maintain thousands of commercial security installations throughout the UK and are specialists in providing business security solutions. Offering professional service and a complete range of security services such as monitored alarm systems, Automatic Number Plate Recognition and Avigilon CCTV security systems, AlertSystems provides effective and reliable solutions to security problems.

       

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