Thursday, June 26, 2008

Projects for this Summer

Looks like a busy summer shaping up.

1. Electric car project. I bought a used car, had the motor removed and through the summer and fall, I will be replacing the gas motor with an electric motor and a large bank of batteries. This will drain my other bank, but hopefully, you will see a grin on my face as I drive by those gas stations.

2. This next week, I will spend the entire week at the cottage. No, it's not a vacation. I will be working on drafting a constitution for our newly structured church.

3. I am developing a seminar that will present (hopefully) the biblical and historical reasons why I am only a four-pointer. A couple of internet acquaintances are helping me on the research for this. There is a huge amount of material to wade through. WHen the date for the seminar is set, I will post it here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If it Sounds Too Good...

Whatever the motive, it seems that pastors and other Christian workers are easy marks for the promise of a quick return on the dollar. Is it because "love believes all things.. hopes all things" or because we are naive that we fall for these promises?

As of the beginning of June, news of the Banyan Tree Foundation was making the rounds (google it). The Banyan Tree Foundation (BTF) had been a registered charity and offered to give you a tax deductible receipt for an amount much greater than the actual donation. They did this by 'lending' the donor the balance of the amount. It would take an accountant to explain the scheme. I have read several newspaper articles, and listened to a radio feature describing the mechanics, and I still didn't quite get it.

The CRA, after allowing these deductions for several years, have now disallowed them, and are currently going after the donours for back taxes to the total tune of over 60 million dollars! What's worse, charities that were promised big money for years to come are having to seriously curtail their operations and personnel because money that was pledged to them by BTF is not coming through.

In the last few years, I have heard stories repeatedly of this Christian or that pastor who has lost his savings to investment plans that promised a high guaranteed return.

One would think that Christians, of all people, would recognize that there are no financial guarantees in this life, ever. And just because someone comes to see you and uses his Christian label to build credibility, by no means makes his plan a sound investment. Due diligence and the old adage, "If it sounds too good to be true... it is" still applies.

I am Baffled...

This just recently in the news: a psychic tells an EA that a girl in her class whose name begins with a "V" is being abused. The EA tells the school authorities who in turn call in the Children's Aid. Oh yes, the girl in question is autistic and non-verbal.

These are our educational leaders making these kinds of judgment calls. I can understand that we had better be safe than sorry when it comes to the topic of abuse of children. But I cannot understand anyone, never mind an educator, acting like this on the word of a psychic. The mother of the autistic child is withholding the child from school for the time being.