Thursday, October 27, 2016

When Our Dreams Don't Come True

When Our Dreams Don't Come True
by Bryan J. Neva, Sr.

"Other people's interests will prosper, but your own will not succeed. Others will be listened to, but people will pay no attention to what you say. Others will ask and shall receive, but your requests will be refused. Often people will say nice things about others, but never a good word about you. Others will be promoted to positions of trust, but you will be judged unfit."
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis (pub cir 1418, Book 3, Chapter 49)

When we're young, most of us hope and pray that our dreams will come true, but when we're old, most of us lament over our unfulfilled hopes and dreams. We can't understand why life dealt us a such a poor hand to play, or why God said, "No!" to so many of our prayers. Despite our best efforts to be good and diligent, we just can't comprehend why some people succeed and we don't, or why some people are blessed with wealth and honor and we're not? We just don't understand why life's so unfair?

But here are some things to consider: maybe God is trying to prepare us for eternal life with Him in heaven? When He says, "No!", maybe He's trying to help us learn humility and grow in virtue? Maybe all of life is a trial by fire, a form of purgatory, or a time of testing and probation? Maybe God is trying to change us into better people: people who sincerely want God's dreams fulfilled rather than our own dreams to come true? Maybe this is not our permanent home; maybe we're just passing through on our way to the Kingdom of God?

So for those of us who are trying to enter The Kingdom of God, strive to act humbly toward others, and don't pay attention to what others do or say; don't worry if others are praised and exalted and we're not; don't worry if our dreams don't come true; just accept it with good grace and bless others. During our lives, let's be content with what pleases God and brings honor to Him, so that, whether in life or in death, God may be always glorified in us.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war by David S. Cloud, The Los Angeles Times

Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war
by David S. Cloud, October 22, 2016, The Los Angeles Times
Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.
Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back.
Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses — and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse — after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard at the height of the wars last decade.
Investigations have determined that lack of oversight allowed for widespread fraud and mismanagement by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets.

But soldiers say the military is reneging on 10-year-old agreements and imposing severe financial hardship on veterans whose only mistake was to accept bonuses offered when the Pentagon needed to fill the ranks.

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