Seeking First: God or Mammon?
During the tirade, Ockmond alluded that I was jealous of Ben. Negative. At this point, Ockmond started defending Winston again, or at least he was attempting to defend Winston. Ockmond said "Ben was a bastard child raised by his grandmother, worked his way through school, joined the navey (I think he meant Navy) and had done good for himself. I know for a fact that Ben has loaned money and helped people and has never been repaid. What have you done? I know that Ben has made mistakes and I am sorry he is not as perfect or as smart as you are." He then went on to say that I needed to "stop worrying about working at city hall" because he owns several commercial properties, houses, land and a mini storage and he would give me a commission if I get him a buyer. Seriously Paul! I must say, Ockmond is not totally ignorant. He said that he could not sell the properties "because of your mess (I guess he meant the blog) and the problem with the city without fund (I gues he's talking about the fact that the city is broke.)" Let me clear up this cloud that Winston and Ockmond continues to create. This blog is not preventing any reputable businesses from coming to Lumberton; it may cause crooks to think twice about coming here, but no reputable busiess or business person will withold investment because they might get mentioned in a blog. Now a business may step back from a city because of a lack of police protection, the fact that the mayor is on televison, YouTube, Facebook looking/souding like Miss Celie after Nettie taught her to read. C-A-T. Cat. But to blame the problems of the city on a blog and not the persons making the decisons to keep Lumberton stagnant is ludicrious. I find it amazing that Ockmond is blaming the blog but for years, he ran me down, gave me gifts and laid on the charm just to get me to post certain stories in this very blog. Instersting.
Another point that was raised during our exchange was the mayor's failure to raise taxes. Ockmond said "Ben can't stop taxes from being raised; that power comes from the board. Also, it is not wise to raise taxes when you are trying to get investors to come to Lumbeton." Okay, you have been to the seminary, I think, but let me drop some knowledge on you Paul. Winston allowed a man by the name of Richard Rose to come into this city, have unrestricted access to pertinent/confidential information in order to calculate a budget for the city clerk. The hiring of Rose was never placed on the agenda and for months, Merlene gave the date when Rose was hired. Eventually, she could no longer support the lie and confessed that she did not have anything to do with that process. At the meeting, it was revealed that Rose was allowed to poll the board to get approved to work for the City of Lumberton. Keep in mind, none of this is recorded in the minutes and Rose was paid $1,200 for his services. The board accepted the budget presented and voted on the matter. Now we all know that this is a code charter municipality and since Winston has three aldermen "in his pocket" so to speak, he can get anything he wants passed or rejected. For some reason, a tax increase was never put on the agenda. Not surprisingly, just the other week, Alderwoman Rogers said she was given one agenda and arrived at the meeting and there was a new agenda. Who's changing the agenda? Who follows the directive of the mayor? It's easy for the mayor to get items removed from the agenda; it's not within the scope of the laws goverening a code charter municipality, but it happens. You said that raising taxes keep investors away. Why are you two still buying land/buildings/propety? Do you think you can hoard all the land and then jack up the price? Scratch a lie find a thief. What's running away investors is the lack of a police protection and a board that is not willing to make the tough decisions. For the record, the last time taxes was raised in Lumberton was 8 or more years ago. If raising taxes prevent investors from investing, why didn't the investors that were already in Lumberton stay? During those 8 years of no new taxes, Cooper Industries closed, Land O'Lakes closed, Custom Pre-cast closed, Dirt Cheap closed, Entex left the city and State Farm moved to Purvis, where the taxes are higher. So, if low taxes was such a draw, why didn't it keep the businesses that were keeping Lumberton viable in Lumberton? It takes a special kind of idiot to believe that Lumberton can sustain serivces with one grocery store, two dollar stores, two gas stations, three resturants and a doughnut shop. If it wasn't for our school system, we probably wouldn't have a bank. Paul didn't respond after my last post, as a matter of fact, he deleted his respones but I saved them via screenshot. However, he did end his comment with the scripture Hebrews 10:30.
"For we know him that hath said, Vegence belongeth to mme, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people."I responded and advised Paul that he should read Matthew 7:22-23.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."In the words of Kenya Moore, don't come for me unless I send for you. You two say that you are men of God but who is your true love, God or mammon?
These familiar words of Jesus speak of two entirely different patterns for living. Jesus contrasts, "serving GOD," over and against, "serving MAMMON." He says, "You must do one or the other!" He contrasts, "seeking first all these things," with, "seeking first God." Jesus is really telling us the difference between living in the kingdom of God – living in a relationship with God Himself -- and living as one in this world.
If you read His words, you easily come to see that Jesus is NOT talking to unbelievers. He does mention unbelievers as, "the Gentiles." But his message is not addressed to them. His entire message is for Christians – for those who are able to address God as, "heavenly Father." Thus, we dare not assume that if we are saved that we are automatically serving God. No. It is entirely possible to be saved, but to seek first, not God, or His kingdom, but to seek first the things of this world. You can indeed be a Christian, and yet, be serving MAMMON.
Jesus is talking here about the REASON for which we are living. Are we living for the eternal, or for the temporal. What we DO will, of course, follow suit, but what is the inner drive that motivates us? Is it God – His will and His kingdom – Christ in us? Or do we say we are a Christian, yet live exactly like someone who isn’t?