The Choices We Make

People make lots of choices every single day of their lives. Christians and non-Christians all face the same classes of choice. Different choices that you make have different consequences, both immediate and long term. Some choices you make affect your eternity, while others don't. Many are made so automatically you don't even think about them anymore. (Time to light up another cigarette? Take another drink?... Those choices may now be made on auto-pilot for you...)

The Christians who are reading this article have made one very important choice in their lives. They have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. The wrong choices they made earlier in their lives may still be giving them bad consequences, but in God's eyes, the eternal consequences of their previous wrong choices were done away with when they were washed clean by the blood of Jesus.

All Christians continue to be faced with choices. What should we say to someone? What shouldn't we say to someone? What should we say to someone at a different time? What should we put down on paper or post electronically? What shouldn't we post? What should we do? What shouldn't we do? When should we do a particular thing? How should we do it? Where should we do it? The list is endless...

Everything we do makes a difference in some way. I wish that I could say that I have always made the right choices before and after becoming a Christian. Sadly, that isn't the case, and all I can do is pray for forgiveness and trust in the mercy and grace of our Father in Heaven to cover my sins and trespasses (those things that I have done that He didn't want me to do after becoming a Christian or those things He wanted me to do that I didn't do).

If you aren't a Christian, then you have a choice to make right now. You have to decide whether or not to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and turn your life over to Him. Accepting Him is easy. Read this to find out how. Living your life as a Christian is harder. But I cannot stress enough that the time to choose is right now. Don't put it off another second. If you're not a Christian, stop reading and take care of this critically important part of your life. Then come back and finish the article.

Health Chips and You

As I read the slashdot.org postings today, I came across an article titled 'Health Chips' Could Help Patients in US.

What the health chips would do

Tommy Thompson, President Bush's former health secretary, is currently a director at Applied Digital Solutions. According to the article, their company is preparing to lobby that VeriChip RFID tags be inserted in US citizens who are under doctor's care. They might be in a hospital as patients or have life threatening genetic or acquired problems that emergency workers would need to know about. This would parallel similar lobbying efforts on the part of the company going on in the UK for British patients. The chips would be used to link you to a computerized database of medical records and would be used to help prevent mistakes by the medical community (doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies, and other personnel) in dispensing drugs and providing services.

VeriChip company spokesman John Proctor says that around 98,000 people die needlessly in the US every year due to dispensing mistakes and medical history information that is unavailable to emergency workers. Their chip would solve all this (assuming your arm was still attached to your body or could at least be found).

Let me be clear on one point. Mistakes are made every day in the medical community. This proposal would possibly alleviate some of these problems. This is especially true in crowded metropolitan areas or in disaster situations where information is scant but time is of the essence. There are still a lot of places in Wyoming where you can't get a cell phone signal and the first response workers are on their own, so it probably isn't a 100% effective solution. But I have no doubt that it would save a lot of lives.

I don't think it is right for them to be made mandatory by the government. On the other hand, it might be difficult to obtain medical care without them in the not too distant future - especially in hospitals.

What else are they good for?

Quoting from the article...

According to Procter, the chips can also be used for financial transactions. In Europe, the Baja Beach Club chain has introduced chipping in the Netherlands and Spain.

The VeriChip is inserted at the club and means club-goers will no longer have to wait in line to pay to get in and will be able to use the chip to pay their bar bill.

Previous articles about the chip and the beach club touted the advantages of not having to carry cash or credit cards around with skimpy swim wear. So much bother keeping track of those things. Avoid the hassles. Get tagged.

Other postings indicate that the government wants to tag all people visiting the country (starting with their vehicles) to keep track of them better. Some want biometric controls on passports for verification purposes. Some advocate tagging all felons. Others advocate tagging sex offenders. Others advocate tagging children to help prevent kidnappings.

Companies are thinking about using them for security of premises and access control. Many already implement them in security passes and the like. How much easier if it was implanted. No documents to be stolen. If you want this job, you'll have to accept a tag. When you're fired, we just delete your access and alarms will go off if you even come around.

You need or must have an RFID tag for this reason. You need or must have an RFID tag for that reason. If you have an RFID tag, then our company can use it to make this part of your life easier or more secure. Just think of all the possibilities.

It's just an RFID tag -- Everyone's got them now, or at least all the cool people do. Aren't they just the neatest thing ever? Can I get one? Please? X has one, you know. Why would you ever object to having one? It'll make my life easier. Can't you hear your teenagers going on like this?

With all the identity theft going on these days, I would not be surprised to see it pushed as a means of identification by the credit card companies and banks instead of using physical credit cards or checks that can be lost or stolen. We all know how banks don't particularly like cash and check transactions anyway. The chip could do away with that. A secure debit / credit card.

With all of the terrorism going on in the UK and other parts of the world, that is just another reason for the governments to start pushing RFID tagging everyone as well. Why not pick this companies product and use it world wide? We need to have compatible chips in everyone we tag so everyone can read them you know.

Just put scanners at entrances and boarding areas at airports, bus stations, toll booths, train stations, subways, busy street corners, buildings, monuments, amusement parks, sports complexes, offices, motels, hotels, stores. Know who is coming and going. You might not know what is going on in time to do anything about it. But you would be better able to assess the blame.

Stores would love it. Correlate what is being bought in stores with the person doing the transaction. If the transmitter is powerful enough it would even work if they used cash. No need to send the transaction on to the credit card company, but we'll scan the RFID tag anyway so our database knows who paid in cash.

You never know how slippery a snowy or muddy slope is or will be later on till you step out on it.

The technology

There are active and passive RFID tags. They don't go around broadcasting by themselves, but respond with the encoded information if lit up by an appropriate scanning antenna. The active ones are powered by batteries and have a limited life span due to the battery. The passive tags are powered up by the RF energy coming from the scanning antenna and thus have an extremely long lifetime. There are no batteries to replace and little to malfunction or wear out. All tags hit by the antenna's RF energy broadcast back their code. It isn't a one at a time type action.

The scanners used for purchasers are necessarily short range. Crowd control scanners would be higher powered with faster processors to gather all the codes broadcast back. Active tags have a longer range than passive tags, by design. Different frequency tags have different ranges as well

The RFID tag they're talking about in the article broadcasts a unique 16-digit identifier that says who you are. The ID code that is transmitted back is then linked by computers to whatever data base is using that code as its identifier. Other RFID chips store and broadcast back more information.

In this case, the purpose you had in originally getting the RFID tag can be easily extended to other uses in the future. It's just an ID code after all. On the other hand, anyone with the technology and money can set up their own scanner and monitor any RFID tag you have that operates in the frequency range of the scanner. They may not make sense of the data they get back, but they could at least verify that the same information was collected more than once.

Mark of the Beast

Never mind what Revelation says about the Mark of the Beast... That's just some ancient writings that don't have any application for today... Or do they?

Revelation 13:11-18, 14:1, 8-11, 15:1-2, 16:1-2

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Years ago, people were thinking this would be like a tattoo or something similar. Then, as credit cards became prevalent, there was a scare that credit cards would be used as the mark of the beast (ignoring the physical tying to the body that Revelation implies). Although John the Apostle had a vision of what he described, he lacked the words to express it any better than he did. Even today, what this mark of the beast may actually turn out to be is speculation.

But I do know this. It looks like RFID tags or similar devices fit the bill. Could the VeriChip product be used for this purpose. Well, it appears that it would have all the required items. It would have a unique ID. It can be implanted in you. The ID code it broadcasts could certainly be used in a way to limit commercial transactions. This is the first time in the last 2,000 or so years after the writing of Revelation that this prophecy could come to pass just like the Bible says.

The Mark of the Beast may also be something completely different. It may be a sophisticated device of several generations later technology. The actual technology used may make the VeriChip look like horse and buggy technology. It may not happen soon. But the technology is in place where it could be implemented today, without a moment's notice.

I had a dream last night that left me with the definite feeling that times were drawing to a close for this great old planet of ours. The time to choose Jesus is literally right now.

Don't wait till you're having to decide whether to link up your RFID tag with the Beast or be executed. Get right with God this minute and start living for Him so you don't have to worry about what is coming!