Tag Archives: President

Timeless Beauty of the Truths of Scripture

I LOVE the fact that God’s Word was written hundreds and thousands of years ago, by so many different authors over a period of thousands of years AND YET the truths of His wonderful word still resonate just as powerful TODAY!  See what I mean in today’s passage (I’m finally trying to get back into sharing some thoughts from my devotion times – which have been almost non-existent lately and I am hoping that working this into my blog will help with accountability)

With all that is going on in our country and the excitement of the proceedings of yesterday’s HISTORIC INAUGURATION events I wanted to seek some advice and insight from the pages of God’s Word!  Now some of what I am going to look at is NOTHING NEW – in fact at least 3 of my friends and “co-bloggers” hit on this same topic at some point yesterday – check out Jason Bedell’s post about “History Made” or Wayne Wagner’s “Praying for B.O.” or Aaron Saufley’s  “Some Thoughts on the Presidential Inauguration” and see how they may have written different thoughts and words, but shared the same sentiment of the POWER and IMPORTANT PRACTICE of PRAYER FOR OUR PRESIDENT.  

So today as I went in search of the words of Scripture as to our response for our leaders I came across and wonderful passage found in 1 Timothy 2:1-6.  Paul is instructing young Timothy that we are to make “requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving for everyone” and here is the kicker for us today “FOR KINGS AND ALL THOSE IN AUTHORITY”   (key the Presidential Intro music) – then he goes on to explain that we do so that we “may live peaceful and quite lives in all godliness and holiness” – man that sounds like some AWESOME stuff – but then I love the next part – not just cause it does us good and we will benefit so much from this practice – I mean yeah that is a definite bonus – but CHECK THIS – “this is GOOD and PLEASES GOD OUR SAVIOR – who wants ALL MEN to be SAVED and to come to a knowledge of the TRUTH”

Come on people – it just doesn’t get any better than this!  Oh wait – yeah for all of you out there who are saying – “yeah but that can’t apply cause these leaders are not what they need to be – I can list a million reasons why they couldn’t care less about God  -blah blah blah” – so let’s take a lil tour down memory lane – let’s see who was the ruling party when Paul wrote these words.

Um – yeah the Roman Emperor NERO, whom just in case you forgot, was one of the greatest persecutors of the early Church and Christians – he was in power during this time frame (64-68 AD) that Paul was writing this letter.  So it doesn’t matter which party you choose – or if you are from a RED or BLUE state – or whom you did or didn’t vote for.  It doesn’t matter if you think that President Obama and VP Joe Biden are the greatest or the worst.  If you CALL YOURSELF A CHRIST-FOLLOWER and you TRULY desire to see the kind of CHANGE that God calls us to and that Christ empowers us for, then it is time for us EACH to take part.  Take part in the POWER & PROMISE of PRAYER!

In President Obama’s speech and at other times he has called on ALL of us to play our part.  He has made promises that he will do all he can to make sure government lives up to it’s end and makes the needed changes, but that will not be enough, it will take each of us as Americans to raise our own level.  Now no matter what I agree with or disagree with – this is a sentiment that I am FULLY BEHIND.  So as I have considered these things, and been convicted by the power of God’s word and been encouraged by the sentiments of my friends and other writers – HERE IS MY PLAN.

You see I don’t think just being one more in the multitude who say – ooo let’s pray for the pres (and many of those that do that, I fear may just be “saying those words” to sound “spiritual” or to ramble the rhetoric – or to be able to say “oh well I prayed for him, but see nothing changed and it is because he and the rest are just evil”) – I believe that FOR ME I need to set a plan, and be committed to that.

So here it is – I am committing to pray for the President and his family, and our leaders 5 days a week (the plan is each weekday) from now till July 4th (just figured that is a pretty “American” day, no real other reason that I am trying to shoot for about a 6 month period – I can’t IMAGINE how crazy the first 6 months will be for the new leadership).  So this gives me about a 6 month plan and I am going to do my best effort to stick to this, I may fail at times, I may forget or falter, but I will not give up and I am asking any others who would like to join me.  At the end of that 6 months who knows I may start up again, but what might things look like by this summer if GOD’s PEOPLE ROSE UP IN THE POWER OF PRAYER FOR OUR LEADERS just as 1 Timothy 2 calls us to do???  

I am also not “praying with an agenda” in mind.  I am not going to pray that Obama and the rest will “see things my way” or do what it is that I HAVE DECIDED is God’s will for our country – I am not praying the he put prayer back in schools or ends abortion or anything like that specifically (now before you try and SLAM me over that – I am not saying that I might not pray that God’s will becomes evident in these areas, what I mean is that I am not going to “pick and choose” what issues are of the most importance and pray for those specifically – and you may disagree with me and that’s cool I am NOT telling YOU how to pray) –  I am going to pray that God’s WISDOM and GUIDANCE will be poured out upon these leaders.  That if HEARTS NEED TO CHANGE that they will.  That if COURAGE TO MAKE DECISIONS THAT ARE NOT PLEASANT needs to be had that it will be had.  That if President Obama and the others TRULY ARE MEN OF FAITH and they SEEK GOD’S HEART that it will be evident in ALL THEY DO AND SAY.  That if they are FAR FROM THE FATHER that there will be some instance, interaction, or endeavor that will lead them to the foot of the Cross and to fully surrender to our Savior.  These will be the things I pray for the next 6 months.

So wherever you are, whomever you are, however you feel about any of these people.  REMEMBER that God has used people of all backgrounds and makeups.  He used a teen girl who was fully obedient to Him to bring His Son into the world, He used a man that was soooo righteous (Job) that satan begged to test him to see if he would fall away – to bring GLORY TO HIMSELF.  God has used a man who took part in the hunting down and murdering of the early Christians (Paul – oh yeah the guy who wrote the passage I referred to earlier) to eventually become one of the greatest missionaries ever, He took a man who was an adulterer and murderer and transformed him into a “Man after God’s own heart” –  SO NO MATTER what your opinion is of our newly elected leaders – THE POWER OF PRAYER and the PROMISE of the SPIRIT OF GOD GIVEN TO US THROUGH HIS SON is the ONLY THING that will bring about the NEEDED CHANGE – WE CANNOT, but WE CAN participate in the very thing that can – THROUGH PRAYER!

So I invite your thoughts and comments – I encourage your participation and commitment – but I IMPLORE YOUR PRAYERS!

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Filed under My Theology, politics

Convertible Theology????

So I have some good friends from back in NC – Doug & Bonnie.  This couple has always been a huge encouragement & help in my life and ministry (more than they will probably ever know).  I love hanging out with them cause they both have an extreme love for the Lord, each other, their family & friends, God’s Church, and just life in general.  

If you have ever met Doug & Bonnie you also know that they are unique individuals (especially Doug, not sure if there is anyone else like him ha ha ha – may be good may be bad – you can decide)  They are exactly who they claim to be and just enjoy life to the fullest.  I bring all this up because I started thinking about this idea of “convertible theology” because of Bonnie’s love for driving her convertible.  She LOVES that thing, so much so that when she was devastated after wrecking one she found another almost exactly like it – it was great.  Doug & I always pick on her cause I fully believe she feels like driving around with the top down can make ANY DAY better.  I think she would (and has done so) drive that thing with top down in about any weather.  Just to feel the wind blowing through her hair (Doug loves the feeling of the wind chapping his scalp ha ha sorry Doug) and smiling and loving life.

Now as much fun and as great as that mindset is for cars and the enjoyment of life.  My fear is that too many of us that claim to be “Christians” and way too many that take up residence in the church live in a detrimental state of “convertible theology” – we feel as though life IS BETTER lived with “top-down” decisions being made for us.  Let me explain.

I think there are too many of us out there relying on SOMEONE else to raise us up, challenge us, teach us, change us in our Faith.  We try to rely on decisions about morality and what we “should” or “should not” do to be made by someone else and handed down to us.  While I believe firmly that God has given some more of an ability to lead and shepherd and guide, I also believe that we are EACH as INDIVIDUALS responsible for being in a close relationship with Him through Jesus, and through that will bring growth and knowledge and a deeper understanding and love of Him.  It is time we EACH take it upon ourselves (granted this is best done in community where we interact WITH others and DO LIFE together, but not allowing our growth to HAVE TO ATTEMPT to come from someone else) to experience that growth with God.

I liken this to the political term that seemed to be thrown around a lot during the Reagan years of “Trickle-Down Economics” where financial & economic decisions and plans were put in place at the top and then it eventually trickled down to affect people on lower levels.  My fear is that often times we do the same thing in church – we wait for someone else to introduce a “trickle-down spiritual economics”.

Some of this has been brought on also by a recent study through the book of Daniel (our church is doing a series on it during the month of November).  I have watched how both King Nebuchadnezzar and King Darius each had moments after doubting the power of the TRUE God and getting people to worship themselves only, to see the one TRUE GOD show up – they then would declare “decrees” for people to only worship this TRUE GOD of Daniel and his fellow friends.  (See Daniel 2:46-49; 3:28-30; 4:33-37; 6:25-28 )  Each time though, this “DECREE” (from Top-Down decision making) did not last long and we find another episode of these kings turning away back to their old, power-struggle pride-filled lives.  Then something big happens and they return and then make another decree, it was this vicious cycle.

I see this playing out in our lives, so often we just want so bad to have “Christian Leaders” take over our nation.  We see battles waging and venomous arguments between Christians over which candidate is a “man or woman of God” and will restore all things to where they need to be.  Now please understand that I do feel it is very important for leaders to be Christians, but as much as I feel it is important to understand that everyone has a soul that God loves, and has redeemed through His Son Jesus.  God desires that NO ONE SHOULD PERISH.  So sometimes I believe we have “bought into” this same “convertible theology” of life being better with the TOP DOWN decisions being made for us in the spiritual realm.  When instead I believe that God wants us to help promote the change of this world from the bottom up.  I think that is why we see it say in 2 Chronicles 7:14

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

It doesn’t say – well if we can ONLY get a Godly King, President, House, Senate, etc then the land will be healed.  No I believe it is up to each of us, to start from the bottom up – from getting face-down, humbled, ready to seek HIS FACE, turning from our wicked ways – then God brings the healing.

I think we can look at some of the countries today that are experiencing the greatest movements of God in His church – places like India and China, places that are also experiencing government and leaders that have NO DESIRE for the things of God.  These people in these places are not relying on a “convertible theology” to make decisions from the top that will “trickle-down” and allow them to be “better Christ-followers” – they are humbled, broken, sold-out, servants of the MOST HIGH GOD – committed to Him and to His WILL – whatever it takes and whatever may come.  It is through that mentality that God is doing a great work and is growing His Church and moving HIs people to do mighty things.

So yeah – maybe riding around in life in a convertible does make your physical day a better one and brings a lil more joy to this life, let me beg you, challenge you, encourage you to not fall into the trap of “CONVERTIBLE THEOLOGY” as we look to live our lives for the ONE TRUE LORD!

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I didn’t VOTE where’s my free starbucks, ben & jerry’s, chick-fil-a….

Yeah you read that right – at the risk of having family and friends turn against me let me confess – I, NEAL ALLIGOOD, BEING OF SOUND MIND & SPIRIT did NOT exercise my “right to vote” OR did I?  Not vote I mean but exercise my “RIGHT”?

Now before anyone goes off all half-cocked and ready to smash me with an intellectual debate on what a loser I am in the comment section – PLEASE, PLEASE, All I ask you to do is read what I have to say, maybe look up the links I reference, and watch any videos that I talk about, BEFORE you “rip me a new one” or consider me completely anti-American!

Also understand that I am in NO WAY shape or form attempting to get you to NOT VOTE – thus the reason I waited till now to share my thoughts.  I am simply sick (seriously – like to the point of vomiting in my own mouth) of all the political rhetoric and campaign hoopla going on to “pressure” people into doing what is their “civic duty” or their “right to vote”.  I do believe that many men and women have gone before me to do many great things, and fight many treacherous battles and even give their lives so that I might have the right to have my voice heard.  For that I am deeply thankful and I would say forever in their debt, except for the fact that there is only one man to ever walk this earth that I am “truly – forever in His debt” and that had something to do with a Cross & a Tomb, not a rifle & an army.  I think that those people who fought for my right – would ALSO say they fought for me to have the right to voice my dissatisfaction, disappointment, and utter lack of faith in the way things are done – to a point that I CANNOT and WILL NOT be harassed into something in which I do not agree.

Let me also say that this is not a condemnation of anyone who did get out and vote today – no matter who you did or did not vote for.  I have great friends and family and people I dearly respect and love who voted on both sides of a lot of issues.  I cannot sit back and leave little comments about “anyone who loves God and has common sense and a love for America BETTER have voted a certain way” – to me that is much worse than what I am doing today (and for the record I don’t think what I am doing is bad or wrong – it is taking my own personal stand).  

I would be lying if I said that there is not some apathy or laziness attached to this decision, just not really caring enough to want to get out into all this mess, but that was much more the early stages of my thought process.  Now after the last few weeks I am probably much more interested and knowledgeable about the issues and the candidates and the things going on around me than I have EVER been during an election.  (not saying that I am extremely wise on these things, just more so than I have been) and it is in this time that I must say I cannot trust either side.  I do not like how the system now works, it is broken, it is terrible, and it is so off track.  I think our forefathers would be shuttering at the thought of what is taking place in our day and age.

I also have a problem with the fact that people are being pushed, coerced, harassed, whatever you want to call it into getting out to vote, when obviously they DO NOT CARE enough to be informed.  I mean if this election is truly as important and as vital as we say it is – shouldn’t we care more about taking the time to educate people on what the issues are, what each person stands for on these issues (yeah I know that one is a pipe-dream since they all basically lie or “spin” the truth to some extent to a point that I don’t even think they know where they actually stand on the issues).  Shouldn’t more time and effort go into education and information the months/years leading up to an election, instead of the all out blitz to just get numbers into the polling sites in the final few weeks of this race?

Now on to the articles I am about to reference, let me first warn you – These are some blogs/articles/posts that I have come across that make a LOT of sense and have a lot of value to me.  They are from people that I do not have ANY connection with and in fact disagree with some major points in their writings, but I completely agree with their LOGIC (hhhmmm whatever happened to good solid rational thinking) in their arguments.  Do understand that I do not know much about these people and may find that I cannot stand what they stand for, but that is what makes their stance so appealing, it isn’t that we are buddies, but it is that their words are exactly the way I feel.

First up is a blog Selwyn Duke called “Why Most Voters Shouldn’t Vote” – before checking it out – understand that I like what he says ALL THE WAY UP TO the part where he says “The people I refer to are liberals”  –   yeah well I don’t think it is one group that has it messed up liberals/conservatives – just about EVERYONE is “playing the game” – so I tend to go “off-track” with Selwyn here, but the first part of his article is RIGHT ON with what I think.

Second article I found is by Jason Roth (goes back to 2001) called “Right Not To Vote” – now again understand that not all of what he says do I agree with.  In fact I am probably MUCH MORE in disagreement with this person’s real political beliefs (see his indicated slant against pro-life) but the fact remains that he hits the nail on the head about not everyone should be voting.  I love the last part where he is talking about why we can’t have an “abstain” button as a way to vote – heck I would get out and be all over that.  I mean the candidates get to take that road when voting on issues – why can’t we?  I mean how cool would that be if Americans could get out and vote and show that NEITHER of the parties are legit and that we won’t settle till we get what we want – now THAT would truly be “having our voice heard”.

Then I came across this clip on youtube – asking the question “should some people not vote” – PEOPLE THIS SHOULD BE EYE OPENING TO US – and should rival the other popular video that was flying around everywhere saying “Please Don’t Vote”  (it took a lot for me to actually link this one as it angers me whenever I see it and makes me sick to my stomach – first I am not SO STUPID that I cannot see the horrible “reverse psychology” going on – which I know they intended – but secondly I get so tired of everyone thinking that just because people are in Hollywood that they are soooo “in tune” with what America needs – I mean don’t you think they probably have the LEAST understanding of what my and your life is really like – don’t you think they probably have some “agenda” in doing this and that it is not totally out of the “goodness of their heart and concern for the well being of their fellow man”?????  COME ON)

All of these things lead me to ask – Why Should I vote?  Give me solid reasons to go vote, if I cannot fully back either candidate?  I mean have we truly come to the point that it is always going to be about the “lesser of two evils”?  I cannot accept that fact.  I am ready for someone to rise up and be a person of integrity, someone we can respect, someone that doesn’t “toe the party line”, someone that cares about deeper things than “simply getting elected”.  I mean if the candidates really care about the fate of the country and that we have better days ahead, wouldn’t it truly be more about “country first” & “change” FOR THE GOOD – not simply for the cause of change or “my thoughts” of what country first is about?

So now you know a lil more of why I didn’t vote, not because I am just some slack, lazy, ignorant person (although those may be true traits ha ha ha) but because I cannot firmly stand behind either side and at this point haven’t been given a viable “other” option.  I am not going to mindlessly fall in line and be “berated” into thinking I “have” to vote or else I am un-American.  If anything I feel I am being more bold by not doing what everyone else is and taking my own stand.  I have real issues with the fact that some out their ARE actually knowledgeable and voting their conscience and are informed, while others are simply voting “against” a certain candidate, or voting FOR someone cause they are attractive and well spoken, or because they are African American or because they are NOT African American, or because they ARE a war vet or because they ARE NOT a war vet – people that just don’t know and yet their vote counts just as much as someone who does know and has strong convictions – to me that is not Democracy in it’s finest is hour – and if it is then I am not sure I desire Democracy to be what defines me.

I close with the thoughts that whether Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin enter office that I have been given a challenge that “our struggles are not against flesh & blood” or against Democrat or Republican/ Black or White/ Obama or McCain/ America or Anti-America – but instead against the “rulers of this dark world and the evils of those dark spiritual forces” – see Ephesians 6:2 .  I am reminded that I serve a God and surrender to a Savior that is bigger than any economical downturn, or political party, or anything else on this earth.  As such, whomever enters that White House I need to pray for them, for their own soul and place of eternal rest, I need to pray instead of complain & condemn – that God would infuse His Spirit into them and allow their heart, mind, soul, and strength to be used in such a position of authority to bring Honor & Glory to our God most High.

So maybe take a moment today and see how much we have fallen into the trap of this circus, and ask ourselves if we have spent more time focused on the parties, office, election, “rights”, etc than we have the ONE that actually DOES HAVE the control of all of these things.  May we invite Him into this situation and setting and ask Him to provide a better future through His wisdom & providence!

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What If?….. (revisited)

So I am not going to get into any sort of a political debate, but with all this BARRAGE of politics and knee-deep muck of promises and campaign clutter I have been thinkin’ some about what type of things would actually BENEFIT us in the world, more specifically in this country, in which we live.  I have been reflecting on a lot of issues that are at hand with the horrible state of the economy, with morale being pretty low, and sometimes the future possibilities seeming bleak – WHAT IF someone, someones, some group, some people, some believers, some WHATEVER stepped up to the challenge to do something different – WHAT IF I got involved – WHAT IF you got involved?

I am not talking about “oh go vote – get involved” – in fact I am not even going to talk to you about voting – many of you would probably be EXTREMELY UPSET with me if I shared where I am on that whole subject – so instead I am going to dream a lil dream with you…..

WHAT IF someone decided to do something about the family?  I think we all agree the “family” has been steadily being ripped apart the last couple decades – but I am not even talking about the moral fiber of the family – in fact I want to get real specific.  This past Sunday a group from our church (mainly the teens and sponsors) went downtown ATL to help out with a great organization called JESUS PLACE and worked with some of the homeless population of Atlanta.  Now I know that there are many different reasons and factors of why someone is homeless as well as a very diverse demographic of people that find themselves homeless.  I have been impacted by the thought of whole FAMILIES being out on the street as of late.  I received an e-mail last week from someone in our church talking about families in a school that need some help.  In it the person mentioned that some of these families of kids in this school were living in their cars or on the street – THAT IS INCREDIBLE TO ME – especially as the weather gets colder.

Now before you say “duh Neal, come on into the real world” – yes I know it is happening and has been happening and will continue to happen.  I also know that there are many reasons that people COULD CONTROL and have made bad decisions that led to this – as well as many who have just had tough circumstances hit to cause this.  I am well aware that the God that I am trying to surrender to and to serve has called me – called us to minister to those in need – so what to do?

So back to my dream/thought/vision WHATEVER – you see it also is ASTOUNDING to me the # of houses that are sitting around the Atlanta area COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY EMPTY – the number of buildings that have been sitting around just wasting away and at the same time these people who have nowhere to go to seek shelter from the outside world and this seems completely and totally inexcusable to me!  How in the world can we go to bed each night with thousands upon thousands of perfectly decent homes, sitting empty – a housing market that is in turmoil, builders continually building new structures and yet there are countless thousands living on the streets, under overpasses, in the woods, in their cars and the list goes on and on.  These thousands of nameless faces, of hurting hearts and crying children and yet the two worlds cannot be meshed together?  This seems ridiculous to me.

So WHAT IF?  –  What if we found some  people who would rise up – who have wealth of untold proportions or even those who are not filthy rich but just have a desire to do something about the problem.  What if these people decided to put a plan into action?  (and please understand that I am not trying to say I have the answer to save the world – and no one else is getting it right – there are TONS of great organizations trying to rid our nation of the horrors of homelessness)

What if houses were purchased (heavens knows with the foreclosure market like it is we could purchase houses upon houses for not much money) and families were allowed to move in?

What if these families were given some mode of transportation (once again I have driven by these lots of gov’t owned vehicles or repossessed vehicles that go up for auction at a fraction of the price) so that these families could get a fresh start?

What if we set tough standards – I am not in the business of being an enabler, but a grace filled giver to meet the needs of the destitute – not a crutch to be leaned on to limp through the rest of the days of someone’s life but a ladder to be led by the Spirit’s healing power up and out of the dire straights!

What if they were given 2-3 months to get in the house and get on their feet?  What if we invested in them to find out what ages the children were and what grade they SHOULD be in?  What if we then invested time tutoring these kids and got them back in school so we could really stand as a society with “no child left behind” but not because a President says so but because WE SAY SO!  What if the parents were set up with job/career counseling and given connections to find jobs?

What if we then stayed involved and did financial planning and helped them see how to save and spend wisely?  What if after 6 months they were required to pay back a percentage into this process so that more houses could be purchased for other families – and this family took ownership and partnered to help someone else who is exactly where they were 6 months, a year, two years ago?  What if after a certain amount of time & money this family could own that home?  Or what if now that they are employed and learning how to take care of themselves they could move into another home situation and that home could be used once again to start helping the next family?

What if we cared enough and got involved enough to know that there were addictions or mental illnesses that were causing a cycle of instability and failure and we involved the proper program or counselors or whatever it took to meet the needs – not just simply threw them out of the house which we had provided – what if we WENT THE EXTRA MILE and helped to salvage another man, another woman, another marriage, another child, another life, another future, another soul?  WHAT IF? WHAT IF?

Well I think we would look a lot more like the 2nd chapter of Acts (esp the later verses) – I think we would make God smile – I think we would have a lot less trouble with our own sense of self-worth or self-esteem – I think we would not care nearly as much about our 401k’s or our SUV’s or our X-box or our Summer Homes or our Boats or whatever it is that you believe you cannot live without – how do I know – well I can’t say for sure, but how can anyone say anything to the contrary until we have given it a try?

So what if?  Is anyone with me?  

What if some of you out there who get a “rush” from flipping a house for a profit took the time to flip a house to provide – to provide as God has called us to do?  What if someone out there who has been gifted with the way to create cash flow and to invest well and to “wheel & deal” did so for the sake of the Kingdom and to meet the needs of the “down & out” that our God cared so much for that He sent His Son to Die?

Not exactly sure where all this is headed – but WHAT IF YOU JOINED UP WITH ME TO FIND OUT?

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Can you do more than hate the IRS?

So I figured since I cannot inflict bodily harm or condone any sort of felonious activity toward the IRS the best thing for me to do would be to take out my seething anger in true “bloggy” style!  Why all of this angst you may ask – well it all begins about 4 months ago.

Upon the suggestion of someone in my family I decided to use a very nice CPA that had helped them with their own taxes for years.  This person was supposed to really understand the “minister tax laws” and be able to really help me out.  So I decided to change things up and go that route.  After taking a few phone calls with questions that made me think things were not going to turn out like I had hoped I at least felt good that my taxes were done – ON TIME and that I would be able to make my final payment of what I owed the IRS BEFORE April 15th.  The main problem was I now owed a heck of a lot more than I thought and it was already going to be putting me in a bind – I kept making myself feel better knowing I would at least get that wonderful “stimulus rebate” check.

So April 15th comes and goes and everything seems fine – except for the fact that the CPA who did my taxes and prepared the forms called me to ask if I had sent in the money and forms – which of course I had.  It was then that I was informed that this CPA had accidentally “transposed” a couple of the digits in my social security #.  They did not think it would be a huge ordeal since I did CORRECTLY write in my social security # on the front of my check.  OOOOHHHHH how sadly mistaken they would be.

So let’s fast forward to the end of May (still no stimulus check has come yet) just as my family gets ready to leave for a vacation to Florida I receive a letter from the IRS.  It is telling me I will get my stimulus check in TWO days – well now that is an extremely intelligent way to spend money (I can totally see how difficult it is for our gov’t to find ways to make cutbacks since they are not even intelligent enough to see how pointless that mailing was).  So when I return from my trip I figure my check will be waiting – well let me tell you how surprised I was when I got not ONE but TWO letters on my counter when I got home.  Well not only did I not get my check – here is what I did get – a letter saying that I still owed them almost $1,000.  As you can imagine my shock and surprise and the level of anger I was experiencing.  But then just when you thought they were cold and heartless they really “hooked me up”  – the 2nd letter informed me that they were just going to KEEP my stimulus check and deduct that so now I only owed something like $388 which included late charges and interest for this money I owed them (even though I had already paid it).

Now if you know me you are already picturing the thoughts and words and anger that was going through my mind at the challenge set before me.  So naturally I got on the phone and started inquiring about what had taken place.  I noticed that the problem was coming from the fact that they had not included that last payment I made back in April – the payment that my CPA had accidentally messed up my Soc Sec #.  So I figured okay this is an easy fix – I find the check on my online account with my bank – I prove that they cashed it and it had cleared the bank and everything would be fine.

In fact I was encouraged when since the same thing happened with my State Taxes (soc sec # was switched and they did not count my last payment made in April) – when I called them – they immediately saw their mistake and found that I had made my payment and that I had actually OVERPAID by $50 and would be getting a refund.   HHHMMMMM Funny how simple and easy that was – but oh yeah leave it to the IRS to not understand how simple that can be.

So now I find out from the IRS that I have to make copies of the letters they sent me – make a copy of the online proof of the check I mailed in and THEY CASHED – and then type a letter explaining the situation – which I immediately did and sent it all in.  I called back to the IRS and of course it takes 10 minutes to get through an automated system to only be put on hold for another 30 min to then talk to someone who has no idea what is going on and is going to tell me something totally different from the last person I spoke with.  Well at times it definitely seems like they have beat me down and are going to keep me jumping through pointless hoops – but lil do they know the resolve of the person they are up against.

Well I have just about met my match – because they upped the anty by sending out letters with a phone # that when you call it – it puts you on an automated system, takes your info and then tells you due to a technical error the call cannot continue and then cuts you off.  My favorite is that when I DO finally get through to an actual human and I ask them if they can give me a “direct line” to follow up down the road when I KNOW I will have to call them again cause they definitely will not follow up with me – they tell me they cannot do that – check that what they should be saying is that they WILL NOT DO THAT – you cannot tell me that there is not a direct line that can get me through to them.

So I finally find out that my information did make it to the IRS – and it was “officially” scanned into the system on June 16th – yes that is right OVER 2 MONTHS AGO.  The lady on the phone that day told me that if I do not hear anything in 30 days (thus July 16th) to call them back.  So how many of you all vote for the fact that I heard something??? Anyone   Anyone   Beuller  Beuller – yeah that’s right NADA!  So at some point I was given a phone # for a “Taxpayer Advocacy” office – hhhmmm   Taxpayer – that would be me – Advocacy – oh they must advocate for my rights – WRONGO Mr. Alligood – when I call this number the lady basically doesn’t have time to listen to my story and the details – she wants to figure out how quickly she can get me off the phone – then finds a way for this entire situation is my fault – you know cause I totally have plenty of time on my hands to sit around on hold for 30 min at a time and then talk to someone that has no idea what to do and no official authority to make happen the things that they do know to do.  So much for “taxpayer advocacy”.

Needless to say I am beginning to get discouraged – angry – embittered – well actually pardon my language just plain PISSED-OFF – definitely to the point of wanting to drive down to the local IRS office and in no uncertain terms help them to see the error of their ways till I walk out with a check that they more than owe me.  It is very funny cause if I was must a few weeks late on paying them – they would add all sorts of charges and interest fees – but they are able to keep my money for at least 4 months and I will be lucky to even see the money owed to me – much less anything for all my time and effort.  That leads to another aspect that ticks me off – these people on these phone lines – HELLLOOOOO THAT IS YOUR JOB – THAT IS WHAT YOU GET PAID TO DO – This is NOT my job – this is NOT what I get paid to sit around and do – and I totally understand that your job sucks when people do nothing but call and complain to you all day – but ladies and gentlemen if you would come up with an easier more efficient system for taxes I can assure you more people would probably pay on time or even pay at all and you would save all sorts of time and money with not having to put up with stupid crap like you are in this system.

Oh by the way did I mention that since I know the source of the problem – the fact that my soc sec # got switched up and that is basically the fault of my tax preparer – they will not return phone calls and have been slow to do much to help – at one point they did talk about since it was their fault they would probably refund my fee that I paid them.  Do you know how quickly I got that check – um yeah that’s right it is the proverbial “check is in the mail”.

Okay so now as if this is not fun enough – guess what I got in the mail yesterday?  Oh yeah another letter from the IRS – telling me that I owe them almost $400 and that I had not contacted them to deal with this matter and that I needed to do that – and you can probably guess what phone # they told me to call –   HA HA HA HA HA HA yeah that’s right – the one that I have called tons of times that will cut me off at the end due to a “technical error”.  So I finally find a new phone # today – I call it – then I sat on hold – listening to lovely music for almost 40 minutes (thank goodness for speaker phone so I could at least continue working)  At least today I talked with a very nice young lady who understood and continued to apologize, but basically told me that once I again I just have to WAIT while they figure out what is going on. 

What makes this even more fun is the fact that as I mentioned earlier it is a simple problem of having switched a couple digits on my soc sec # – I asked them to just look at the person whose account did match up to that soc sec # and see if they had been credited with my money – AS IRONY WOULD HAVE IT – that soc sec #  –       DOES NOT EVEN EXIST ha ha ha ha – so my money has been deposited in a bank (of that I have proof – bank of america that the IRS uses) and they have my money – they can see I paid on time – I actually overpaid and yet where is Neal – still sitting in his recliner at his house – typing on his laptop mad as crap and still with NO CHECKS – this ladies and gentlemen is America and the gov’t system at her finest.

So while Barak is giving beautiful speeches that make Oprah cry and Joe Biden is talking about how they are the right CHANGE that America needs and as McCain is picking his VP candidate and trying to win the vote of so many women in the nation – ALL NEAL WANTS IS TO GET THE MONEY THAT THE GOV’T DECIDED HE WAS OWED ALMOST 4 MONTHS AGO – the funny thing is – the above mentioned people will probably enter the oval office before my check makes it to my own lil church office – oh what an effective and functional system we have.

So if any of these presidential hopefuls wants to sit down and chat and really hear what America has to say – I got a few words I would like to share – and if any of you out there have any connections with the IRS that you want to send my way – FEEL FREE.  Now in the grand scheme of things am I suffering – NOT IN THE LEAST – do I still have a great life – MOST DEFINITELY – will God continue to provide – MOST CERTAINLY – but it still chaps my hide to keep getting letters saying I haven’t done the exact thing that I have EXACTLY done for the last 4 months!!!!!

Have a lovely day and everyone ENJOY YOUR LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

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