Picture of the Day – February 01, 2010

Beck vs. Blitzer vs. Matthews Cable News Ratings

Glenn Beck: The President Thinks You Are Stupid

All week we’ve been wondering which president would show up at the State of the Union Address. Would it be the, “Hey, people aren’t digging my agenda; triangulate and move to the center” Obama? Or would it be the arrogant, “Do it my way” progressive Obama?

 

Treasurers on Earth: The Gospel of Prosperity
by Gerald Iversen

The “Gospel of prosperity” is the belief that God wants Christians to be financially rich. It is promoted by many conservative evangelists, especially tel-evangelists. This gospel appeals to people from various incomes. It confirms to the wealthy that their wealth is proof God loves them, and that it’s OK to pursue wealth, even to make it top priority. It appeals to the poor because it seems like a way out of poverty.

But, like Santa Claus, the gospel of prosperity is a lie for the poor. When poor children are good, Santa still does not come for them.

This new gospel teaches that poor believers are doing something wrong, which blocks them from God’s financial blessings. It’s a downward spiral: Perhaps the poor do not love God enough, or don’t have enough faith or are not giving enough money to support “God’s work.” 

This gospel is quite different from Jesus’ teachings about abundance, which urges us to share instead of hoarding our many blessings. Abundance is ultimately based on the people being willing to share, on building community, on God’s grace. Prosperity is ultimately based on the self, a "me-and-Jesus" theology.

Many tel-evangelists have become rich preaching the gospel of prosperity because their followers support them financially to keep the message coming.

The gospel of prosperity feeds directly into the worst parts of The American Dream with its focus on possessions as signs of success. It can lead to serious debt, even bankruptcy. It disregards Care of Creation.

The Word-Faith Movement

The gospel of prosperity is part of the fastest growing segment of Christianity today — the Word-Faith Movement, also known as the Positive Confession or simply "Faith" movement. Its growth is at least partially due to the massive amounts of money the leaders are able to extract from the faithful. This influx of cash allows for the construction of huge buildings, extensive ministries, and more importantly, wide exposure on television, which translates into more followers. Not only do many Word-Faith preachers broadcast their services and campaigns, but Word-Faith leaders Paul and Jan Crouch, own the largest Christian-based television network in the world. The Crouch’s Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), with an estimated net worth of $600 million dollars, is capable of televising all over the world.

The prosperity gospel is spreading widely Latin America, especially Mexico, Africa and Asia, especially Korea.

Well-known personalities within the Word-Faith Movement include Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer and Frederick K.C. Price.

According to Word-Faith teachings, you can command, and God will make you healthy or wealthy. Followers are encouraged to give a financial offering to the preacher’s ministry as a “seed” to grow into their desired health or wealth.

The Bible and the gospel of prosperity

Elwood "Woody" Rieke, a hunger activist and retired Lutheran pastor (ELCA) living in LaCrescent, Minn, described how the Bible being used to support a gospel of prosperity:

“You can always pick and choose the verses you may select from your Bible…. If you only read those portions of the scriptures that make you feel comfortable or affirmed, you could easily come to believe in such a gospel of prosperity.

“But I would call it cheap grace, as Luther and Bonhoeffer did."

Mr. Rieke said the Gospels and some of Apostle Paul’s writings demonstrate that God in Jesus the Christ offers preferential treatment to the poor and the marginalized.

“Our culture is caught up in a God of power and/or prosperity,” he said. “That is not the God shown in II Cor. 12:8-9, ‘My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made known in weakness.’"

Mr. Rieke believes the gospel of prosperity dovetails with the mantras of a consumption-oriented society. When people believe in a gospel of prosperity, then the more they can spend –- whether or not they need what’s purchased — the more they have been blessed.  

“To use a baseball analogy, it’s been said, ‘People of privilege are those who have been born on third base, but feel as if they have hit a triple,’” Mr. Rieke said.

This differs from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he said.

“Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-20, ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’” 

A theology of the cross

Theologian Douglas Hall is author of The Cross in Our Context: Jesus and the Suffering World. In that book Mr. Hall questions if Christianity has taught us to love consumption and waste. Mr. Hall writes:

“Is there some link between our trust in God and our astonishing prosperity, our being ‘first,’ our superpower-dom? Many avowed Christians think so, and they can count upon a whole hoary tradition … to back up their argument.

“But can we, who have at least some niggling consciousness of the victims that have been created by our abundance, continue to draw upon that argument? Can we, who have had to face the racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and other once-hidden realities of our ‘Christian’ culture, still avoid the crisis that ‘begins with the household of God’(I Peter 4:17)?”

Mr. Hall contrasts a “theology of glory” with a “theology of the cross,” phrases first used by Martin Luther and then by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Mr. Hall wrote:

"A theology of glory confuses and distorts because it presents divine revelation in a straightforward, undialectical and authoritarian manner that silences argument, silences doubt — silences, therefore, real humanity…. The theology of the cross is first of all a statement about God. And what it says about God is not that God thinks humankind so wretched that it deserves death and hell, but that God thinks humankind and the whole creation so good, so beautiful, so precious in its intention and potentiality, that its actualization, its fulfillment, in redemption is worth dying for."

The Gospel in Ethiopia

Mr. Rieke saw the two theologies juxtaposed last year while ministering at a youth conference in Ethiopia, where the average annual income is $100 per person. Two congregations in the area where the youth conference was convened had lost 272 people to malaria in a year’s time.

After Mr. Rieke spoke, a young man stood up and asked, "How do you expect us to believe in this God you talk about when we have experienced so much death and disease, and we have so little money on which to live?"

Mr. Rieke responded:

“Not for one minute do I say that I, a person coming from the United States, can really understand what you have gone through, but I do know I believe in a God who in the person of Jesus hung on a cross and before he died, he cried out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken’ –- abandoned — `me?’ My God has come down and identified with me, and he has experienced this kind of abandonment. I believe that this God will never leave me nor forsake me.’

“I hope I spoke to this man’s heart, but I can only trust what I said somehow got through to him.

“All of our consumption only continues to increase the tremendous divide that exists between the rich and the poor in our world. The poor feel it every day. The rich often are insensitive to that reality.”

Mr. Rieke believes the gospel of prosperity forces several questions:

  • Who is the God who meets us in the cross?
  • Who is this one who has died for us?
  • What do the scriptures say? Who do they reveal?
  • What we do we believe, a theology of glory or a theology of the cross?

People striving to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ need the support and encouragement of other Christians to wrestle with the scriptures, and to pray for the Lord’s wisdom and strength to persevere. They also need to be informed about the issues in today’s world.

An alternative: living more with less

Christian discipleship as lived out in voluntary simplicity is the way of Jesus. It’s voluntary –- for the moment — because we North Americans can choose to live within our financial means, and the carrying capacity of the Earth, or not. Two-thirds of the world’s people live simply involuntarily. They have no choice.

Living simply goes far beyond frugality. It’s not just about pinching pennies. Voluntary simplicity is a total lifestyle that:

  • Puts Care of Creation above tribalism or nationalism;
  • Seeks peace and justice;
  • Is generous beyond tithing;
  • Would rather give money to worthwhile causes than to have it collected as taxes and spent on militarism.

Voluntary simplicity works to build community and strong family bonds through volunteerism, not through status. Voluntary simplicity is based on the life of Jesus.

Three levels of simplicity

Voluntary Simplicity or "Living More with Less" is about a life of integrity. It works on three levels. The first level is the personal — our individual and family purchasing and consuming decisions. Examples of personal level simplicity include:

  • Eating organic, locally grown food; using public transportation, walking and biking;
  • Doing all we can to keep our water and air clean by using alternative energy or using as little natural gas and conventionally produced electricity as possible;
  • Using as little fresh water as possible. For example, some families collect rain water and use it to water yards or even to flush toilets.

Second level is the interpersonal — giving as much time and money to people in need and worthwhile causes, and spending a whole lot less on ourselves, especially at Christmas. Examining the past three months of your check book registry is a good place to start this level. Are you happy with how you’ve spent my money? Do your financial investments match your verbal intentions? More than 3,000 verses in the Bible deal with the poor. God is showing us a priority!

The interpersonal level includes sharing insights on the Gospel of Christ with the "privileged needy" — North Americans who don’t realize or won’t accept the fact that our excessive lifestyle has a negative impact on people around the globe. We are causing the most trouble, and we can do the most good. Work to influence the decisions of the privileged needy.

Charity is meeting people’s short term, immediate needs. That’s different from the third level, which is justice –- working to change systems, primarily corporations and governments, that are not working for the benefit of the Earth and its creatures, people, plants and animals. This can include positive and negative letter writing, protests, stockholder actions, boycotts, etc.

All three levels are vital. We can work on all three at once. We do not have to be personally perfect before we speak up at a meeting.

The five life standards of voluntary simplicity are:

     1. Do Justice.
     2. Learn from the World Community.
     3. Cherish the natural order, Care for Creation.
     4. Nurture people, not things.
     5. Non-conform freely.

"Living More with Less" is a life of joy, not of deprivation. It is such a relief to get the burden of stuff off our backs, to get free of the distractions of collecting, maintaining and securing stuff. It frees us to serve God and our worldwide neighbors. It is a true and viable alternative to the "gospel of prosperity."

Gerald Iversen is national coordinator of Alternatives for Simple Living, a 32-year-old nonprofit educational organization.

Huntsman Cancer Institute Fundraiser

John Huntsman is one of Glenn’s favorite people. He founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which has been doing amazing work fighting one of the worst diseases.

The late Jim Rohn Always Said, We get paid for the value we bring to the market place.
 

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Video Update from Darren Hardy–End of Week 4

A VIDEO MESSAGE FROM DARREN HARDY:

Here’s a summary of week four in our journey towards Designing the Best 10 Years of Your Life where I answer your questions and give you a course update.

I’ve also selected some of your questions and observations left in the comments sections along with some of my responses. I hope you find it helpful to peruse through the common questions and insights shared by others experiencing the process along with you. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

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This is one in a series of interviews of self help experts and bloggers in the Tips from Masters series.
jonathan new about Tips from Masters: Jonathan Mead from IlluminatedMind on creating clear intentions and setting prioritiesJonathan Mead writes about personal growth and effectiveness at Illunimated Mind. He’s also a regular guest writer at Zenhabits and the autor of Reclaim Your Dreams. In this interview Jonathan reveals some tips about creating clear intentions and setting priorities. Enjoy!
1. How did you find your passion? What do you think is the best way to find it?
I found my passion by simply following my natural curiosity. I listened to what I was drawn to learn and hungry to know more about. I found that I was drawn to certain things, and not drawn to others, I just followed what I was naturally drawn to. For those that don’t feel this pull so strongly in their lives, I suggest just trying lots of things. Be willing to give up what you don’t like, and do more of what you do like. Don’t get too attached in the beginning and feel like you have to follow through with everything you try. Just try lots of stuff and see what sticks.
2. How do you go from goal setting to implementation? How do you make sure that you take constant action toward your goals?
I’m not too big on goal setting, but I am big on creating clear intentions and defining a direction. To ensure that I am constantly moving in the direction I want to, I’ve found that a couple of things have helped me a lot. One is creating an intention board. I have a cork board in my office where I print out my most important intentions (or goals, if you’d like to use that word) and put them up on the board. I try to stick to no more than eight intentions at a time. Some of mine might be “I’m launching my next best-selling product” or “I am extremely focused.” Whatever is most important to me, I put it up. I’ll review and change these every three months or so.
The other thing that has worked well for me is creating accountability by surrounding myself with other passionate people. This has worked extremely well for me with fitness and martial arts. I meet up with fellow martial artists three times a week and practice. I meet up with a few of the same people a few times each week to go hiking, trail-running and do strength training. Being surrounded by a group of people that are interested in the same things as you is a great way to inspire each other and keep each other accountable.
3. How do you stay focused? How do you keep distractions at bay?
In order to stay focus, I think it’s important to realize that you are going to always seem “unbalanced” in some way. To focus on a certain area of your life that you want to improve, it may be necessary to neglect other areas for a period of time. I’m not saying that you should let you relationships go to waste and let your health deteriorate. But you will need to set priorities and decide what you are willing to give up. There’s a great quote that I like to remember when I’m trying to stay focused: “You can have everything you want, you just can’t have it all at the same time.”
If you want to learn more from Jonathan, visit his blog, www.illuminatedmind.net, or follow him on Twitter @jonathanmead.

 Tips from Masters: Jonathan Mead from IlluminatedMind on creating clear intentions and setting priorities

Bold & Fresh Updates

Glenn would like to announce that tonights shows in Tampa, Florida caused the President to look for another venue to announce his wasting $1.3 billion on a high speed rail connecting Tampa and Orlando. He feels really, really, really, really badly about that. Sort of.

Glenn not radical enough?

This caller took Glenn up on his advice: start learning (or re-learning) history. Most people are so comfortable with the freedoms we currently enjoy that we forget how it is we got here. Steve in Arizona went back and started with the Constitution and came to the conclusion that Glenn is not radical enough. Find out why and listen to the call from radio this morning.

Glenn Beck: Obama finally sees the light

Perhaps someone with the intellect of Barack Obama should have known that moving a 9/11 terror trial to New York City wasn’t the best idea in the world. Finally, the President has caved in and it has been reported that he ordered the Justice Department to find new places to hold the trial. Glenn has a suggestion for the President as to where the trial should be held. Find out where, listen to Glenn talk about it on radio this morning.

SANY0098

 Profile: Hello Everyone, My name is  Michael Barrett and I am a Mentor, Composer, Producer and Entrepreneur. My passion, mission and purpose in life is in coaching and mentoring people to be successful in their own businesses especially in the network marketing industry and direct sales.

A Little About ME:

Born and raised in Massachusetts (USA) I was raised in a wonderful home as one of six boys. I also had the privilege of having a live in grandmother who was nothing less than wonderful, loving, and a BIG worker. My mom was a very special person who was truly dedicated and committed to serving her family. Even in the leanest of times, we always ate well, My dad owned his own business. In startling contrast to our home of nine people, he was raised in a single parent ome with his mom, (our live in grandmother), and his one bother Joseph, who later became his business partner. In looking back, this upbringing definitely taught me one thing, a strong work ethic and how to be persistent in owning your own business with all the risks involved. A common definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results! Many people who own and operating their own business is kind of like that. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You have to develop a strong faith that things will be okay in the face of every adversity and economic trend. It seemed like having an abundance of cash flow was overly dependent on the state of the economy at any given moment. …Sound Familiar?… Even in the best the times, the odds were sometimes stacked against you. Well you get the picture:

In spite of my wonderful upbringing, I later came to realize, like many of you, that the vast majority of people are trained and led to believe that hey have very little control over their lot and life and carry on their daily affairs thinking that opportunity has passed them by or was never there in the first place. We have all heard the old adage from many of our parents, teachers, mentors and peers: Get a “Good Education,” a “Good Job,” and You will be Set For Life. Unfortunately many of the Blessed Souls and Good Living People who choose to embrace such a mindset continue to live a life without a lot of flex with a world view that predisposes them and often sustains an ongoing lifestyle marked by limiting beliefs and lack of vision and passion for Abundance. Something that I knew early on which became crystal clear in latter years is that I needed to create my own reality and forge my own destiny. This kind of attitude can best be illustrated by the achievements of athletes who strive to break world records like that of Roger Bannister who in May of 1954, was the first to run a mile under 4 minutes. Once he broke the record, some twenty thousand runners have followed in his footsteps to accomplish the same goal or have surpassed him. Prior to his outstanding achievement, no one in the world thought it was possible, but he had a vision and a passion that changed every thing. Now I ask you, after posing these same questions to myself. What would you like to accomplish? Do you have unfulfilled Dreams? What would you like to achieve, and what is your game plan and strategy to do so and Make It Happen?

After college I continued my quest to make a difference and went on to do four more years of graduate studies in Theology and Pastoral Counseling. Although I had many wonderful musical skills, I felt the need to embrace a mission to serve the Church in its Ministry and Pastoral Outreach. This truly was a work of love and I cherish every minute that I served in that leadership capacity and was touched by many of the leaders I worked with and the people who I served.
     A few years ago, after prayerful reflection and having become the principle care giver for my mom, Evelyn Shields (Life long Musician & Vocalist) who suffered a massive right brain stroke, my interests turned to the development of my entrepreneurial skills. As a musician, composer and producer of several audio CDs, I was no stranger to marketing. I immersed my self in the ongoing and ever changing world of marketing strategies with a special emphasis in marketing on the internet. This was a major mid-life shift, as I was very successful in what I was doing, but was often times overwhelmed with the reality that I had very little control to form and reform an institution that seemed to come down on the side of mediocrity and limiting beliefs, as ironic as that may sound. But like many institutions, steeped in tradition, such institutions choose not to embrace technologies that could assist them in becoming more life giving with a vision for expanding their horizons that would enable them to become landmarks of Excellence Personified through Leadership Development.. The Christian Church is truly an organization endowed with many wonderful men and women in history, but somehow did not seem to be the best fit for me to develop and incorporate my expanding vision and passion to empower all who desire abundance, financial independence, prosperity; that is facilitated and sustained by an integrated lifestyle that embraces Love, Family, Health & Wellness, Personal Achievement, Self Mastery, a Mastermind Culture, Dynamic Spirituality and Team Synergy.

In spite of all the peaks and valleys I experienced on this 25 year roller coaster ride, serving in a leadership capacity, I have always been able to keep a positive attitude about life. Although the work that I was doing was very fulfilling, my greater need for independence and the need to expand my horizons and develop a dynamic vision for a comprehensive lifestyle did not jive in the community settings where I found myself. The system was too subjective to the personal whims and limiting beliefs of the various leaders who came and went. In spite of ther many virtues, my assessment is that there was a lack of personal management and attentiveness on the part of Church Officials in the areas of money, power, and Leadership Development which would often lead many people, which included me, feeling very confused and discouraged. There was seldom a feeling of complimentality whereby we we could lead in a spirit of true partnership. For some, this system works very well. It wasn’t until I found the right situation that allowed me to find my true North and have control over my own ability to obtain ABUNDANCE and a deeper sense of peace within and the world around me. I discovered the power and freedom of owning my own life. I am now able to serve countless tens of thousands, worldwide, with a servant’s heart. I have much to be grateful for, especially new friends and fellow entrepreneurs who share my passion for abundant life and want to share all of this with someone like you so you and your family can have all that is available for the asking and the choosing. As the late and beloved Jim Rhon, prolific author, life coach and world renowned trainer for personal development had often said: "Success Attracts Opportunity" and I believe that this is your time to choose success and choose to "live life to the fullness with abundance." We all deserve to live the life we desire!

Who I’d like to Meet…

Like minded people who desire abundance of love, health, wealth and friends. My passion is helping people improve life in any and all ways and to create FREEDOM in their lives. I discovered that helping, teaching and mentoring people who desire abundance in life is a rewarding experience.

By paying close attention to the market trends in the Network Marketing Industry I find myself being constantly educated and sharing this knowledge with others. Many people ask why I give this information for free? It’s simple… There are many people in the industry whom have experienced failure multiple times and think that it is their fault. I experienced that same failure until I found the untimate Attraction Marketing System which is an answer to prayer and has turned struggling with my MLM into Total Success. I Look Forward to speaking with you.

Let’s Connect!

Michael Barrett

email: YourCall2Action@gmail.com

Direct Phone Line: (617) 299-6402

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Blog: Blog.MichaelDBarrett.com

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Part 8: Your Strategic Plan of Action

Review:INTRO, GETTING READY & Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

The difference between a dream or fantasy and a goal you will achieve is:
1) writing it down (what we have already done) and,
2) outlining a specific plan to achieve the goal (what we will do in this installment).

Now it is time to formulate your strategic plan of action.

I explained early on in this series how goals work (you can review here). When you know what you are looking for, it gives your mind a ‘new set of eyes’ to see the world around you. You begin to notice the people, resources and even ideas needed for achieving your goal. But if your goal is defined only by an audacious and distant destination, your mind may be thrown off by elusiveness and ambiguity. It doesn’t know what to look for to help you get there.

The mind operates best with precise instructions. A three-digit lock has 18,333 potential combinations. When you have the specific three numbers in the right sequence, opening the lock is easy. If you don’t have the combination—or precise instructions—opening the lock is almost impossible. Making a specific and strategic plan of action provides the mind with the instructions it needs to get you to your desired destination.

Making a plan to accomplish your goals can be compared to planning a cross-country road trip. If you were going to travel across the country, say, from my hometown in San Diego to Manhattan, you would consider the following: CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS OUR ONLINE ARCHIVE OF WORKSHEETS

TYPE IN PASSWORD: best10

drmikethomson: Need to “Save Your Sanity?” … check this out: www.drmikethomson.com/sanityworkshop

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Part 7: GIVE what you WANT

Review:INTRO, GETTING READY & PARTS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

On your journey to achieving your goals, this one shift in your mindset can radically change how the world around you responds to and receives you.

The process of goal-setting can make you very myopic and ME-focused. If we really want to get what we want, we have to remember one of the oldest success principles: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or as Zig Ziglar puts it: “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

What if that is true?

What if you knew for sure that everything you gave you would receive back tenfold? How much would you give? What would you give? How fast would you give it?What do you want? What attributes do you need to accomplish your goals?

Do you need more courage? Who can you encourage?
Do you need more strength? Who can you help strengthen?
Do you need more belief? Who can you believe in?
Do you need more confidence? Who can you instill confidence in?
Do you need more love? Who can you love?

In the last installment we discovered CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS OUR ONLINE ARCHIVE OF WORKSHEETS

TYPE IN PASSWORD: best10

Part 7: GIVE what you WANT

Review:INTRO, GETTING READY & PARTS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

On your journey to achieving your goals, this one shift in your mindset can radically change how the world around you responds to and receives you.

The process of goal-setting can make you very myopic and ME-focused. If we really want to get what we want, we have to remember one of the oldest success principles: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or as Zig Ziglar puts it: “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

What if that is true?

What if you knew for sure that everything you gave you would receive back tenfold? How much would you give? What would you give? How fast would you give it?What do you want? What attributes do you need to accomplish your goals?

Do you need more courage? Who can you encourage?
Do you need more strength? Who can you help strengthen?
Do you need more belief? Who can you believe in?
Do you need more confidence? Who can you instill confidence in?
Do you need more love? Who can you love?

In the last installment we discovered CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS OUR ONLINE ARCHIVE OF WORKSHEETS

TYPE IN PASSWORD: best10

carry out of the office 300x198 What Would Be The First Item, You Would Grab If Your Office Caught On Fire?

Last week I had an appointment with a cosmetologist for a facial massage (one of my best friends gave me a gift certificate for a beauty salon for Christmas).
I was chatting with my cosmetologist about beauty products and she said about one of the creams, “You know, Arina, if this building caught on fire the first thing I would carry out of here would be this cream!”- And she pointed to a rose – colored jar. An interesting way to phrase a sentence, don’t you think?
What would I carry out if my office caught on fire? I would definitely grab my laptop and if I had enough time, the external hard disk and two-three of my most valuable books. I know, I am probably a geek, but my laptop is my business and big part of my life!
What about you? What is the most valuable object that you have in the office?
Would you grab anything on your way out in case of a fire? Or would you run for the door, feeling relieved that Heaven itself has given you a legitimate excuse to stop working and take a couple days off?
Come on, be honest! Let’s get to know each other better!
Write down your answer in the comment section below.

 What Would Be The First Item, You Would Grab If Your Office Caught On Fire?

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BULLET #2 A Fresh Box of Bullets – Gary Bencivenga

(How to Load Up on the Ones You’ve Missed)

Dear Marketing Top Gun:
Claude Hopkins, the Aristotle of Advertising, once said:
“Advertising is much like war, minus the venom….We are usually out
to capture others’ citadels or garner others’ trade….We must have
training and experience, also right equipment. We must have proper
ammunition, and enough.”
Proper ammunition. Top Gun, if you want to be a marketing sharpshooter, you need the best ammunition you can get, which is why I have a special box of Bullets for you.
They are the Bullets you’ve missed—published before you subscribed. You can load up on them by visiting the Bullet Archive at the link below.
Go there now and you’ll discover:

  • The Two Most Powerful Words in Advertising. (No, they are not “new” and “free” nor any other two words you’d ever guess.)
  • The Secret of the Red Shirts. (This little-known technique makes it much easier to achieve anything you want in life, including blockbuster ad campaigns that flood you with orders.)
  • The 7-Letter Word That Instantly Multiplies Your Creativity 11-Fold. (Not 10-fold. Not 12-fold, but exactly 11-fold, as you’ll see.)

These Bullets and more are waiting for you in the Bullet Archive. Just click on the link below.

Apply the 80/20 Rule
To Achieve Breakthroughs Regularly

Finally, I want you to know I am a strong believer in the Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule, or the rule of the vital few and the trivial many.
In any human activity, just a small group of factors is responsible for the lion’s share of success.
For example, just 20% of the salespeople earn 80% of the commissions.
20% of the authors sell 80% of the books.
20% of your daily activities generate 80% of your success and income.
And so on.
This certainly applies to the factors governing advertising success.
As a result, you don’t need to master scores of rules and learn hundreds of secrets. Just a few—the right few—will bring you outrageous success.
That’s why I publish only one Bullet a month. I won’t clog your inbox with a steady stream of the mediocre, to be read and soon forgotten.
I will give you a single, solitary polished gem per month. You don’t need more. What you do need is to learn these few Bullets well.
If you read, study and apply these few Bullets repeatedly, you may well become a giant of our industry. You will grow richer than you ever would otherwise. And you will be happy, because achievement is the key to happiness.
In short, you will succeed by mastering the vital few, while others squander their time on the trivial many.
To discover these vital few, visit the Bullet Archive now at the link below.
Top Gun, fire at will.
Sincere wishes for a good life
and (always!) higher response,

P.S. If you know any copywriters or marketers who would enjoy this

Bullet, just send them an email with this link: http://marketingbullets.com/index.htm

P.P.S. Your e-mail address will never be shared. And if you ever wish to

unsubscribe, just let me know and I will vanish from your life like a shadow in the night.

To Visit Gary’s Arsenal (Bullets Archive), click here.
To Subscribe to these Bullets, a hype-free zone, click here.

“Top Cat” Is Back In Town

Top cat, heres the embeded code

The Life of Herbie

Michael T. Smith

1769, in Yarmouth, Maine – a seed from an elm tree, carried by a gentle breeze, floated through the air and settled to the ground. Dry leaves quickly covered it. A warm rain fell. The wet leaves stuck to the ground. Like a womb, they protected and nourished. Under their cover, the tiny seed came to life. Small, vein-like roots reached into the earth and sought nourishment. A delicate sprout pushed the protective leaves aside. Little leaves unfolded and experienced sunshine for the first time. If a tree could smile, this fragile sprout would have.

Years passed. The elm grew at a startling rate of three to six feet a year. As it grew, so did its sense of awareness. The spreading branches acted like a satellite dish. They picked up the signals from near-by trees. The number of elms grew. Each one communicated with the others. They told of all they saw and experienced. There were times when the growing elm was overwhelmed with information from the hundreds of elms that were planted along the shaded streets of the expanding little town.

In 1780, the elm’s branches stretched thirty feet into the air. From this lofty height, it sensed the presence of British ships, as they sailed into the harbour. Men dressed in uniform and carrying weapons came to shore. Under the elm’s shade, three Americans discussed battle plans. The American Revolutionary War had come to Yarmouth.

Smoke drifted on the breeze. The elm tasted the bitterness of gunpowder for the first time. That evening, as the sun sank below the horizon, a young American, badly wounded, leaned against the elm’s trunk. The elm sensed his prayers, as the young man died. His blood soaked the soil. The elm tasted death.

From 1790 to 1890, the normal chatter the tree picked up from the others diminished. The elm watched more than three hundred ships, built from the bodies of his brethren, sail out of the harbour and beyond the horizon.

The tree was almost one hundred years old, when a group of men rested in its shade. They carried muskets as they travelled south into the battle. The American Civil War was underway, and the elm sensed death again.

The small town grew as did the elm. From 1914 to 1918, the elm saw ships, now made of steel, patrol beyond the harbour. It sensed death beyond the waters, as men sailed away to fight the First World War.

On December 7, 1941, a group of young men gathered under the shade of the now mighty elm. The tree sensed excitement and fear. “Japan bombed Pearl Harbour.” One said. “I can’t believe it.” Another stated. “It looks like we’re going to war, men.” The trees leaves hung limp in the still air. It felt death was near again.

In the 1950’s, the elm towered close to one hundred feet tall. With so much area, its sense-perception was at a peak. It sensed the communication of from trees miles away, and what it sensed caused fear. More death was on the horizon. It wasn’t man this time. It was the elms, as Dutch elm disease spread across the United States, wiping out millions of trees, leaving many small towns changed. Where once streets were lined with elms, there were now stumps.

One morning, the tree felt the first signs of disease. It branches, which once sensed all things, now seemed numb. It tried to communicate with the others, but only garbled replies came in return. The elm knew it was sick.

Tree warden, Frank Knight, had the sad task of taking many of these trees down, but when he looked up at this one towering giant, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He knew it had stood sentinel over Yarmouth since before the Revolution. This one he would try to save.

For fifty years, Mr. Knight carefully nursed the old elm. He sprayed for pests and pruned diseased branches. One time, as they trimmed, a young girl asked, “What are you doing to Herbie?”

“Herbie? Who’s Herbie?” One of the workers asked.

“The tree. He’s Herbie.”

The name stuck. Herbie, although sick, always sensed Frank’s presence. Instead of the death Herbie often felt throughout his lifetime, in Frank there was peace. It was a friendship between
man and tree.

Frank Knight is now 101 years old and has lost the battle. Herbie, estimated to be close to 240 years old has to be brought down. For fifty years, Herbie’s sense-perception dimmed steadily. Now there is blackness. His time has come.

He was scheduled to be brought down on January 18, 2010, but a snow storm gave him a one day pardon. On the 19th of January, 2010, Maine will lose a majestic, 110 foot king.

Herbie’s remains are to be turned into usable items and auctioned off. The proceeds will be used to plant disease resistant elms, which will once again grace the streets of Yarmouth, Maine.

Michael T. Smith
Michael lives with his lovely wife, Ginny, in Caldwell, Idaho. He works as a project manager in Telecommunications and in his spare time writes inspiration stories. He has recently been published in two Chicken Soup for the Soul Books (All in the Family and Things I Learned from My Cat), in “Thin Threads – Life Changing Moments” and in Catholic Digest.

Shared by Brian P Cook
and  Daily Inspirations

9 Creative Ways to Boost Your Learning Skills

improve intelligence and creativity 300x196 9 Creative Ways to Boost Your Learning Skills“Everyone is a genius at least once a year. A real genius has his original ideas closer together.” Georg C. Lichtenberg

Have you ever wondered why most genial ideas, breathtaking poems and break-through discoveries are written on dinner napkins, ticket stubs, paper scraps and the palms of the hand?

It seems that genius often appears in the least expected places and the most inappropriate times. Think of the last time you had a brilliant idea or found a spontaneous solution to a problem that you had been struggling with for a long time. Where were you at that moment? In the shower? Cooking? Going down the steps? Or talking to a friend about a completely different topic?

The latest neurological research has made a few very intriguing discoveries. First of all, scientists believe that breakthroughs, insights or “aha” moments happen when the right hemisphere of our brain (called also intuitive/creative brain) is activated.

Secondly, research also indicates that in most people   the left hemisphere is dominant which is responsible for analytical step-by-step thought. For example, if your right hand is dominant it would most likely mean that you rely on your rational brain more than on your creativity and lateral thinking. And while it may serve you well in some situations, you can benefit hugely from increasing your right brain activity.

Here are 9 easy-to-do activities that you can practice in order to boost your creativity and improve your learning skills:

1. Meditate. Recent studies have made a fascinating discovery – our intelligence depends directly on the efficiency of communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. What does it have to do with meditation? As it turns out meditation is one of the most effective ways to balance our rational and creative thinking and increase bilateral activity in the mind. Meditation also improves our learning ability and retention of information.

2. Go for a long walk. You have probably noticed that walking helps to get emotions under control and calm down the mind. It is not a coincidence that the majority of artists, writers, scientists and people of other creative professions love to stroll through a park or along the beach and just observe everything that happens around them. As we walk our brain alternately fires off neurons in bilateral ways and we achieve a balanced brain state.

3. Listen to the classical music. If you do not care for Mozart or Beethoven maybe you should reconsider, because the effect of baroque music, with 60 beats per minute beat pattern, is almost too good to be true. It not only activates the left and right hemispheres simultaneously, but could make you become the next Albert Eistein. I am not kidding.

The Center for New Discoveries in Learning, reports that our learning potential can be increased a minimum of five times! by using this 60 beats per minute music. Another renowned Bulgarian psychologist, Dr. George Lozanov, has proven that foreign languages can be learned with 85-100% efficiency in only thirty days by using these baroque pieces. Using his system, students could learn close to 1,000 words or phrases in one day!

4. Write your goal down with the left hand. Do you know a goal that you would like to achieve this year? Great. You have probably heard that it is important to write your goals down. Well, it is even more important to write them down with your left hand! Before breaking your goal into mini-goals, take a pen and write it down with your left hand. It is ok, if no one on Planet Earth, not even you, will be able to read it. This is not the point. The point is to activate your holistic thinking and possibly get brilliant ideas about how you can achieve your goal.

5. Have a bilateral conversation. Do you know that wise men say that all the answers to our questions are already inside of us; only we cannot get them out? This is true. There is a little exercise that can help you find the right course of action, when you are in doubt. Take a pen and with your right hand right “Hi! How are you?” Then switch to your left hand and write down the answer without thinking. Carry on a dialogue with yourself for a few minutes and as you get a little more comfortable with this practice ask the question that has been on your mind for a long time and prepare yourself for the answer… Because there really is a little Zen master inside of you.

6. Break mechanical patterns of behavior. Psychologists point out that humans are creatures of habit. In fact, 95% of what we do, we do automatically. When we perform a certain activity out of habit, our left brain is usually activated. The right hemisphere, on the other hand, gets activated when we move in an unfamiliar way. Whenever you are learning a new dance move, playing a musical instrument or doing something in a strange way, like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand – your mind switches to creative thinking.

7. Wash dishes. Agatha Christie, one of the world’s greatest mystery writers, said she got her best ideas while washing the dishes. Any routine activity (like preparing lunch, taking a shower, exercising, sweeping courtyard, or doing laundry) seems to encourage the play of imagination and activate right-brain hemisphere.

8. Read books that inspire you. It does not matter if you like reading success stories, romantic novels or science fiction. The key is that it should awaken your imagination, help you to relax and distract you from the problem at hand. And to be even more creative and spontaneous, you can pick 5 different unrelated books and read a few paragraphs from each one of them.

9. Become creative. Pablo Picasso said, “To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.” It is true. If you want to activate your creative brain, you should engage in creative activity. Make up your own song as you sing it, draw a picture of your cat, write a story, dance with your children, or make a game out of trying to see animals in the shapes of the clouds. Let your imagination run wild!

P.S. And if you want to check your progress click here http://lateralaction.com/articles/left-brain-or-right/ and look at an image of a girl. Which way does she spin? Clock-wise or counter-clockwise?

 9 Creative Ways to Boost Your Learning Skills

Marketing Bullets from Gary Bencivenga

BULLET #1

The Credo Technique

Stand for something
and you’ll never stand alone.

Dear Marketing Top Gun:

Welcome to your first issue of Bencivenga Bullets, my complimentary e-letter about how to boost your response, online and off.

Tom Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, said that to be great, a company needs a religion.

Good advice, too, for an e-letter like this.

So in this first Bullet, let me share my core beliefs about advertising, and you can see if they match yours.

First, I believe the purpose of advertising is to sell, not win awards or applause. This is why each Bullet will share a little secret of master salesmanship, applied to direct response advertising.

Second, I believe that a single measurement is worth a thousand opinions. That’s why these Bullets trade not in opinions, but proven strategies my clients and I have discovered by investing tens of millions of dollars in scientific direct response tests.

Third, I believe in selling with integrity. The strongest ads tell the truth dramatically. You don’t have to lie, shortchange your customers, sully your good name or cut corners. Treat your customers by the Golden Rule and they will reward you with much more gold.

Fourth, I believe in you, in the tremendous untapped power of your mind to achieve anything you truly desire and believe, as long as it does not harm others. So in these Bullets, I will serve up bite-sized secrets of great direct response advertising, powdered with some magic sugar, little tips for unlocking your own creativity, productivity and talent to achieve your greatest potential.

If you share these four beliefs, I am delighted we have found each other. You and I are kindred spirits, marketing comrades. Which leads me to:

Bullet #1: In your copy, especially your Welcome Letter, never be afraid to say with clarity and boldness precisely what you believe and specialize in. Like the original IBM, have a company religion and evangelize it with zeal.

The Credo Technique.

I call this the Credo Technique.

Credo (pronounced CRAY-doe) is Latin for “I believe.”

But it is much more than a technique. It is an expression of your most strongly held core values which serve as a clarion call to gather the like-minded faithful of your marketplace.

You’ll find that when you clearly stand for something, you will never stand alone. Indeed, standing for something special in your overcrowded marketplace sets you apart from armies of me-too competitors who try to be everything to everybody, and wind up meaning nothing special to anyone.

Using the Credo Technique is the surest way I know to attract and bond with your kindred spirits, your true believers, your most loyal comrades in arms, your best clients and friends, as I hope I have found in you.

Sincere wishes for a good life
and (always!) higher response,

P.S. If you know any copywriters or marketers who would enjoy this

Bullet, just send them an email with this link: http://marketingbullets.com/index.htm

P.P.S. Your e-mail address will never be shared. And if you ever wish to

unsubscribe, just let me know and I will vanish from your life like a shadow in the night.

To Visit Gary’s Arsenal (Bullets Archive), click here.

To Subscribe to these Bullets, a hype-free zone, click here.

Video Update from Darren Hardy–End of Week 3

A VIDEO MESSAGE FROM DARREN HARDY:
Here’s a summary of week three in our journey towards Designing the Best 10 Years of Your Life where I answer your questions and give you a course update.
I’ve also selected some of your questions and observations left in the comments sections along with some of my responses. I hope you find it helpful to peruse through the common questions and insights shared by others experiencing the process along with you.

Please watch the video: CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO
In case you missed any of the worksheet downloads:
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 6

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 5

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 4

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 3

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 2

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 1

Video Update from Darren Hardy–End of Week 3

A VIDEO MESSAGE FROM DARREN HARDY:
Here’s a summary of week three in our journey towards Designing the Best 10 Years of Your Life where I answer your questions and give you a course update.
I’ve also selected some of your questions and observations left in the comments sections along with some of my responses. I hope you find it helpful to peruse through the common questions and insights shared by others experiencing the process along with you.

Please watch the video: CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO
In case you missed any of the worksheet downloads:
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 6

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 5

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 4

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 3

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 2

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET 1

This is one in a series of interviews of self help experts and bloggers in the Tips from Masters series.
pic.php  Tips from Masters: Donald Latumahina of Life Optimizer on staying focused with ultradian sprintDonald Latumahina writes about personal growth and effectiveness at Life Optimizer. His mission is helping people live life to the fullest. Donald shares a great technique on staying focused with ultradian sprint. Enjoy!
1. How did you find your passion? What do you think is the best way to find it?
I found my passions by following my curiosity and exploring many different things. Over time, a pattern emerged that showed certain things I consistently do and enjoy. I then realized that these are my passions and I started to take them seriously.
From that experience, I think the best way to find your passions is to explore many different things and see what stick. Those that you consistently enjoy are your passions. Having a curious mind is helpful here because it makes you interested in many more things and hence explore more diverse fields.
2. How do you go from goal setting to implementation? How do you make sure that you take constant action toward your goals?
First of all, I make sure that I only set goals that matter to me. This way I can be sure that I have the necessary motivation to reach them.
Then I just plan the necessary steps to reach the goals, do them, and adjust them along the way. The motivation part is key because it makes the rest much easier.
3. How do you stay focused? How do you keep distractions at bay?
For my life as a whole, I have a short mission statement that I always keep in mind. This statement states my life purpose and helps me stay on track.
For my day-to-day work, I stay focused by doing the so-called ultradian sprint. Here I do intense work for certain period of time and then take a true break before repeating the cycle. Since this is a “sprint”, there is a sense of urgency. The sense of urgency helps me focus on the task at hand and prevents me from being distracted.
If you want to learn more from Donald, visit his blog, Life Optimizer, or follow him on Twitter @lifeoptimizer.

 Tips from Masters: Donald Latumahina of Life Optimizer on staying focused with ultradian sprint

1. The Miracle of Personal Development

Jim Rohn

One day my mentor Mr. Shoaff said, “Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

Since that time I’ve been working on my own personal development. And I must admit that this has been the most challenging assignment of all. This business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, “What am I getting?” Instead, you should ask, “What am I becoming?” Getting and becoming are like Siamese twins: What you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are today.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle.

If someone hands you a million dollars, you’d better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, “If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before.”

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development.

So here’s the great axiom of life:

To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are.

This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:

Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.

SAVE now when you choose from four remarkable audio CD sets from top experts on goal-setting, including Jim Rohn, Chris Widener, Zig Ziglar, Denis Waitley and John Fleming! Click here now for complete details.


To read previous articles and quotes from the Jim Rohn Weekly Newsletter Archives; to get a complete listing of Jim Rohn’s books, audios, videos and seminar schedule; or to place an order, visit: http://www.JimRohn.com or call 800-929-0434, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CST.

1. The Miracle of Personal Development

Jim Rohn

One day my mentor Mr. Shoaff said, “Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

Since that time I’ve been working on my own personal development. And I must admit that this has been the most challenging assignment of all. This business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, “What am I getting?” Instead, you should ask, “What am I becoming?” Getting and becoming are like Siamese twins: What you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are today.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle.

If someone hands you a million dollars, you’d better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, “If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before.”

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development.

So here’s the great axiom of life:

To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are.

This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:

Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.

SAVE now when you choose from four remarkable audio CD sets from top experts on goal-setting, including Jim Rohn, Chris Widener, Zig Ziglar, Denis Waitley and John Fleming! Click here now for complete details.


To read previous articles and quotes from the Jim Rohn Weekly Newsletter Archives; to get a complete listing of Jim Rohn’s books, audios, videos and seminar schedule; or to place an order, visit: http://www.JimRohn.com or call 800-929-0434, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CST.

Popup Internet Security Alert 2010… it’s a FAKE!!!!!

Bill Barrett –  GrinninBarrettBand

Hey folks I am writing this article to send you a very important message. Internet Security Alert 2010 is fake antivirus removal software. Do not and I repeat do not click on this popup or try to x out of it, if you do it will download a software that will infect your computer. To avoid, do an immediate Alt Ctrl delete which will open up task manager and end this task. Trust me I know what I am talking about because I was a victim of this plague, and suffered the consequences of it. On January 19th I was surfing the net looking for some information and this popup came up, some how I realized this message was not legit, and was unaware of the consequences when I tried to X out of it, and that’s when disaster occurred!!! It immediately started to download in my computer and that’s where all hell broke loose!! My computer was now infected with this disease that was now working its way in to my C drive and automatically saving itself as an application program file.

Extremely hard to remove, it uses Rootkit, an application which will mimic, in this case  my Microsoft files, and found a way to hide itself in my computer. It is extremely intelligent, and once implanted, it has the ability to update it self and cause further Chaos!!!  I tried doing systems restore to an earlier date, but it was too late, this infection was already taking control of my computer. At this point I knew I needed to talk to a professional and decided to call Microsoft. When you first call you will get a message directing you to their website Safety.Live.Com and they will run a scan on your system files, so I did just that.  In most cases this scan will pick out and remove spyware and other threats to your system.

Unfortunately in my case this scan did not work because the infection found a way to hide in my system, as I said before it is constantly updated it self all the time. I knew now I needed to talk to tech support at Microsoft: http://safety.live.com and called them back. After explaining the situation to them they immediately responded to my needs and started to work on the problem. Believe it or not, it took us 10 hours on the first day to remove the Internet Security Alert 2010 virus, like I  said earlier, this virus has a mind of its own and continues to update itself like any viral infection or a flu virus. After dealing with that issue my technician Richard soon discovered another infection, this one was preventing me from getting Internet Access. Having been a long day we decided to call it quits. This new infection would have to be dealt with on the following day. We are now into day two and five hours later the other infection has been removed.  It took a total of 15 hours altogether to get my computer up and running free of all infections.

Thank you Richard

Great job!!!

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