Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Recently I was debating on whether or not I should sell my car. It is 5 years old, but I put some money into it recently and the bluebook value is not to high. So I started crunching some numbers to see if I would keep my car, buy a used car with a payment, or buy a new car. Keep in mind, right now I am in my senior year of college, so I would not buy a new car now, but in 6-9 months (if I find a job…ha) I will probably be able to.

I purchased my Mazda Protégé 5 that was 5 years old for $10,500 5 years ago in Aug, so we will say it is 60 months old (I know it’s not there yet, but were pretending). Since I had the car, it has had a few issues, so I have spent around $3500 on repairs. This is actually a lot, I was having a hard time finding a problem, and so a few parts that did not need to be replaced were and it should have been a little lower than this. Overall I have paid around $14,000 in almost 60 months, but keep in mind that when I am not fixing something there is absolutely no payment.

If I had bought the car with a car payment, I would have spent around $12,200 before repairs that re not covered by a warranty, so had the car been financed the cost would have been around $15,700 over 60 months.

The bluebook is $5000, so I lost $9,000 in value over the last 5 years, but if I had financed I would have lost almost $12,000. I drove around the average of 15,000 miles per year, and the car is still running strong, with a few repairs here and there. I should be able to keep the car for another 4-8 years and I will probably spend around $2-3000 more before it is not worth it to repair. Worst-case scenario I end up spending another $3000 and it lasts me another 4 years. So that would be a total of $17,000 for a car that lasts 9 years and is completely worthless except for scrap metal.

The average (if worst case scenario plays out) for 9 years of car would be $157 a month.
If it lasts me 12 years (which it might considering I was smart and bought a car that usually lasts a long time) it will cost me at the most $118 a month.

Suppose you buy a NEW car for $30000 and drive it for 5 years. When you go to sell the car, it will be worth around $13,000, because they depreciate so fast.

If a new car is financed for 30,000 over 72 months with a low (4%) interest rate, the car will cost you around $34,000 total.

After 60 months it will have cost you $30,000. So lest say you sell the car for $13,000 in 5 years, you will owe $4000 still to the bank, so you really spent roughly $21,000 for the car after interest and taxes, ext.

So I spent 17,000 for a car (including repairs) that will last from 9-12 years, where as someone who buys a new car spends around $21,000 for a nicer car they will drive for 5 years and then probably sell to buy another new car.

Also, I have so far spent $14,000 for 5 years, which is still $7000 less than one would lose on a new car in 5 years.

So here is a quick breakdown

5 year old car bought in cash $10,500 last 9-12 years with around $7000 in repairs averaging between $160-$115 a month.

A brand new car ($30,000) that gets traded in after 5 years (after all who wants an old car right) costs around $450-500 a month!!! Unless it’s getting 100 MPG, I do not think I will recoup my money in any way!

Many people say they like new cars or slightly used cars with payments because they like the idea that they can go to the shop and not pay a dime to get a repair, but as you can see, you are paying for that repair whether you get it or not, and you are paying much more than the repair would normally cost with a new or slightly used car.

Also, keep in mind that when a new car is purchased, and a loan is taken out, you have to get the best type of insurance, which costs more money than the no-fault insurance I have on my used car. I pay $200 a year for coverage, I know many people who pay $200 a month on their cars! That’s another $2200 a year in savings if you have a high premium. Over the course of 5 years that is $11,000 saved when you go with no-fault. So what if you get in a horrible accident and you have to pay like $4000 for a repair, well, you saved $11,000, so you still make out like a bandit! The only way this backfires is if your car gets totaled, which can happen, but usually does not.

My advice to someone who is looking to buy a car would be to buy a car with cash without the warranty they will try to sell you for $2500. If I had bought the warranty for my car then I would have just spent an extra $2500 for nothing, because the first two years, nothing happened to the car, and something horrible would have had to happen to reach the $250 warranty!

Also, buy a car under its bluebook value (which can be done) that is a reliable model no more than 6 years old if you can afford it. Even if you buy a 12-year-old car for $500, if it last you a year, it costs $50 a month!

Spend wisely people ☺

Dan Fogarty.


Evil is hard to comprehend when we think of God as an all loving, all knowing being. If God is all loving, He must have known evil would come into the world. If God knows everything, why would God allow evil to enter into the world? How can Christians explain evil, and why does evil exist? Such a question has been debated for decades, however there is an answer.

First, we must have a grasp on what evil is, and how it came to be. God created all things good as it is written, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”(Gen1:31) Since evil did not always exist, it is possible that it will not always exist. Randy Alcorn wrote, “as metal does not need rust, but rust needs metal, so good does not need evil, but evil needs good.” In Revelations, John wrote about the new earth and the new Heaven saying, “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false.”(Rev21:27) So evil did not always exist, and evil will not remain forever.

Second, God did not create evil, He allowed it to come to pass through our free will. How could God give us free will and destroy evil? He could not do such a thing. When the first man (Adam) sinned, he brought the curse of sin to all of mankind. Now all mankind is born with a desire to do evil. If God were to take away evil, He would also have to take away free will. C.S. Lewis wrote, “we know that if there does exist an absolute goodness it must hate most of what we do.” This is the fallen state man is in. The first sin of eating the fruit was the first act of moral evil. Natural evil is the consequence and charge against the human race as a whole for the act of moral evil.

Randy Alcorn describes the suffering of humans as a result of sin as secondary evil and the original act of sin (moral evil) as primary evil.

Alcorn wrote,
Secondary evil, the direct and indirect consequences of primary evil, provokes our indignation. Why do innocent people suffer? God hates the primary evils we commit, while we hate the secondary evils (consequences) God determines or permits. As humans, however, we all stand guilty. Although many secondary evils befall us even when we did not directly commit a sin that causes them, we would not have to deal with secondary evils if we didn’t belong to a sinful race.

God could not give us a soul and then force us to do good our whole lives so that we could enter into Heaven.

Third, there are many other ways humans have tried to explain evil and God, I simply think that free will is the best way to describe the origin of Evil.

God allows us to perceive Him however we choose to. It does not necessarily make someone wrong to have a different view of God than I do. It could be the circumstances in their life that make them view God in a different way, and who knows they could change their view later on in life. I do think there is room for discussion over how and why God allows things to pass. Just because someone has a different view does not mean they are attacking God. As long as the individual follows Christ, that is what is truly important.

Alcorn, Randy C.. If God is good–: faith in the midst of suffering and evil. Sisters: Multnomah
Books, 2009.

ESV study Bible: English Standard Version.. ESV text ed. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Bibles, 2008.

Elwell, Walter A.. Evangelical dictionary of theology. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker
Academic;, 2001.

Lewis, C. S.. Mere Christianity. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001.

Towns, Elmer L.. Theology for today . 2nd ed. Lynchburg, Va.: Elmer Towns, 1994.

Hooked on a feeling?

Christians are crazy to believe in a ‘feeling’…

I wanted to look online and find some quotes about what people are saying about Christians being stupid because we believe in the God of the Bible and the Bible itself.

Here are a few quotes from the internet I thought were noteworthy
1) Christians are the ones that believe in a always existed invisible wizard and believe that this wizard is a reasonable answer to questions of the origin of being.
2) Seeing as humans can’t register more than 20% of their physical surroundings, any person who claims to know the “will of God” is completely full of crap as humans don’t have the intellectual capacity to even perceive “god”
3) Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe
1. A mistranslated book written by cave people is a reliable guide to the modern world.
2. There’s an invisible man in the sky who likes to watch you while you’re showering.
4) I just don’t understand how Christians believe all this stuff and don’t believe in THE EASTER BUNNY….gosh i hate Christians

Richard Dawkins the author of the God Delusion said:
To be fair the Bible is not systematically evil, but just plain weird as you would expect of a chaotically coupled together anthology of disjointed documents’ composed, revised, translated, distorted and improved by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors, and copyists unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other spanning 9 centuries.

Now there are a handful of issues with the previous sentence and absolutely no truth to it; it is a baseless statement that is frankly asinine. This is a statement from a so-called smart person.

Here is the real deal, if the Bible is a fake or false in any way, our whole faith is useless and void. How can we know what we believe is true, how can we say that we are right and that we can stand on the Bible.

I want to look at the facts that Jesus Christ came, died and was raised from the dead.

Lets take a look at the evidence we find from Paul who was formerly called Saul.

The reason why I want to talk about Saul is because it has been (arguably) said that Saul is the best argument of the proof that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for several reasons.

1) Paul converted to Christianity, even though he used to kill Christians and persecute them.
Acts 7:54, 58-60
54 Now when they (Jewish people) heard these things (the gospel of Christ) they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him (Stephen)…. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen the first martyr, died from a stoning condoned by Saul.

Acts 8:3
Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

Obviously Saul believed in his cause.

Acts 9:1-2
Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Here again we see Saul getting ready to take on the Christians again. He has letters to take them out and he is on his way to Demascus.

2) Paul claimed he had seen Christ and converted to Christianity
Acts 9:3-8
3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

Notice immediately he knows the Lord is talking to him. B4 Jesus can even say who He is Saul calls him Lord. Picture Richard Dawkins converting to Christianity and preaching the gospel, its even better than that. I once said I was going to write a sermon saying if there is hope Saul there is hope for all.

3) Paul was willing to die for Christ
Acts 21:8-14
8 On the next day we (Luke and Paul) departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.9 He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied.10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.11 And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'”12 When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”14 And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”

They were unable to persuade him, even though he knew he would die, Paul stayed the course.

1 Tim 4:7 Paul’s instructions to Timothy
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness

Paul would be a rather big hypocrite if he said these words and did not practice them. Paul would have never believed in Jesus if He did not appear to him bodily, and God knew that so he sent Jesus one more time to persuade Paul into believing. Now that Paul believes, he is going to write about it and preach it because he has seen the glorious Christ himself. He would not be so bold if he were hooked on a feeling; he knew it to be true.

4) Paul never took back that Christ was Lord and died a martyrs death
Not many people are willing to die for something they do not believe to be true, but Paul never recanted; he stayed true to Christ.
Tradition tells us that Paul was beheaded. If he had not seen the risen Lord, why would he do that?

John 14:1-4,27 NIV
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going…. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Coming close to the end of His life Jesus tells his disciples of the place He is going (Heaven) and that He is preparing their rooms as well. Are you crammed into a small tent, or sleeping 3 to bunk in a tight submarine? Do you have almost no personal space at all? I remember when I was in Iraq we went from 2 man rooms with plenty of space to an open bay. All the personal space I had was above my wall locker (we had bunk beds), half of under the bed and a small wall locker. I had to fit all of my belongings in those 3 places. That included all of my gear and personal stuff. What a relief to know that one-day Jesus will give me a place where I’ll have plenty of room! Of course we do not take personal items with us out of this world, but I am talking about not being crammed into a sardine can that smells like a foot. One day, He will give us all an inheritance that is totally worth the ridicule we face here on this earth.

Jesus, “My peace I give to you…. do not be afraid.”
Jesus is always with us. No matter how alone you feel, no matter how crammed your living situation is, His peace can be upon you if you let it. His love can overshadow you, His grace will abound and His mercy endures through the ages. What a crazy time in your life this must be. Did you ever think you would be in the service preaching or hearing about Christ? With a nation taking steps away from God, you are taking steps toward God. You choose to teach or to be taught here and now. How awesome is that.

Think about the place Jesus is preparing for you. Don’t you think it will be way better than where you are at now? That is a hope you can hold on to for the whole deployment. I wish someone had told me about the place Jesus was making for me while I was overseas.

Maybe you are in a war zone and you fear for your life. You don’t have to fear at all if you belong to Jesus. He loves you and He will look after you. He wants you to go to the place He is creating for you, the place He was creating for you before you were even born. Wouldn’t you like to be in a better place, and know you were going to a better place instead of hoping on a prayer that somehow you were “good” enough? Trust in Jesus, give your life to Him and let Him change you. He is making a place for you.

What do you think will be in that place? Leave a comment and let me know 🙂

long car ride tips :)

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today I had to leave my awesome wife and my kitty and puppy to go back to Michigan! I came back to do some military stuff, work stuff and to pick up the things we left in Michigan. I love it here, but it is no longer my home.

Its nice to came back and see my friends, but I really cannot wait to get back to start working on a future project for soldiers and service members of all ages. Its a project I have been dreaming of the whole car ride and I will hopefully roll out with it by the end of the summer.

When your on a long car ride, I like to break up the time into sections, here is what I do

3 hours = 1 section
12 hours = 4 sections

Have a plan for each section, something like this will work

section 1 Listen to podcasts
I listened to Chilly Chilton and Mark Driscoll for the begging of the trip and the hours flew by.
section 2 Make phone calls
Try to think of a few people who you really need to catch up with… I called AaronG and a few other people( )
section 3 Listen to music
Pick a few albums that are really good and listen to them in their entirety… you could also make a play list, but at the end of every album you know you are that much closer, which helps to break up the time even more
section 4 Take several rest stops
The last hours are very restless!!! you have been sitting in a car for a long time and really just want to stretch your legs… taking a few stops helps to break up the restless hours prior to arrival.

And thats all the tips I have, what do you do to pass the time? let me know 🙂

God bless you,