If It Pleases The Court
I have been very troubled by this last week's happenings, especially on Facebook and Twitter in regards to the recent Supreme court decision about gay marriage. The decisions are troubling enough but what has me shaking my head is the absolute and complete ignorance and spineless reaction from professing born again Christians about this issue.
As I have done on many issues over the years, let me cut through the crap and introduce some actual FACTS into the discussion. In the 1950s gay sex was illegal just about everywhere in the world. In fact, being gay is still to this day illegal in 78 countries around the world and even carries the death penalty in certain places.
In Britain, a 2013 survey found that a mere 1.7% of the population identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. That same year an American survey found that just 1.6% of adults over 18 identified as gay, with only a tiny 0.7% identifying as bisexual. Canada's 2012 survey found that just 1.3% of those between the ages of 18 and 59 identified as gay, with only 1.1% identifying as bisexual.
Now think about those number for a moment. By default that means that the overwhelming majority of supporters of gay marriage will never in their entire life pursue so much as a homosexual encounter, let alone a real gay relationship... to say nothing of actually marrying a member of the same sex. If you listen to the media you would assume that over half the population is gay. Of course that is a farce.
Even more troubling is what this reveals as it relates to our political system when the Supreme court can make up new law out of thin air. Regardless of how you feel good or bad about the decision, the creation of law is supposed to happen through congress according to the US Constitution, not through over-zealous justices on the Supreme Court. What an incredibly dangerous precedent it sets to do this and again, that regardless of what you personally think about the decision. The way it came about was to cut short the normal political process and that is what makes it procedurally wrong on every front.
I never saw myself as someone who would ever become active in politics. I have always voted in every single election and I always stayed up on most major issues, but beyond that I always focused more on other things. As of late I can't help but notice the obvious... the USA that I grew up in has been attacked from within it's own walls and the damage on the moral front has been so substantial, I now worry for my own kids and grandkids.
All of this dumbing down of our children through Common Core, the hard core attempts at gender confusion, we now even have a very white woman with very white parents who thinks she can get a tan, put some curls in her hair and she can convince people that she is really a black woman. This on the heels of one of America's most celebrated male athletes deciding that after 60 years of being a man, he is actually a woman. The media drinks it all up and serves it all back out as if it was normal and to be celebrated.
I am not black.. (I know, Fox News Alert material right there.. ) so I don't pretend to speak from a firsthand understanding about things from that perspective but I will say this... how on earth does anyone draw even a close comparison to what blacks went through from the founding of this country through the 60s (and even to a lesser extent through today) to what professing homosexuals have experienced? If I was black, I'd be really upset with the entire gay rights movement for cheapening what was very real and devastating discrimination against my entire race.
I have a lot more to say but I need to run for now,
Let me first say the picture of four koala bears has absolutely nothing to do with today's blog. It's just a cure pic that I found in my travels so I thought I'd share it here....ok, onward.
Its not often that I completely misjudged why a given person is in my life but from time to time it happens. I believe it is critical we learn how to discern people.
Making a snap judgement can be a bad thing too as God often puts something we need in someone who rubs us the wrong way. Cmon, you know I'm telling the truth in that.
When I was 15 I met a guy at my church who creeped me out. Dressed in leather, shady looking mustache, riding a big motorcycle, rock music blaring... all the things my ulta virgin upbringing taught me to be leary of, this guy was to be avoided for sure. Imagine my surprise when my youth pastor said he wanted to introduce me to someone ..and you guessed it.. it was him.
Mark, meet Jeff. Jeff owns a local pizza shop and has recently given his heart to Jesus. Suddenly I felt like stepped in doggie doo. With all my fast judgments I was the one who should have been wearing black.
Jeff and I get talking and he ended up hiring me away from a job I hated so I suddenly found myself working at his pizza shop. I started to deliver and made what at that time seemed to be huge money. It blessed me tremendously over the next few years until I eventually made my way full time into radio. Jeff ended up being a fairly strong influence on me for the cause of Christ in the few years I worked with him and we often talked about the bible and God's forgiveness. He always had some story about his past and how God had saved him from it.
On Friday nights Jeff would regularly bring out dozens of free pizzas to all of us working at the radio station and refused to take a dime for them. He was a giver and a blessing to everyone he was around at that time. He was a living example of how radically a heart can be transformed by the Love of Jesus.
Jeff and I talked for the last time in 2011 and a couple of years later in 2013 I learned that Jeff had fallen back into some old habits and ended up going home to be with the Lord. As I reflected on thoughts and memories with my old friend, my sadness at his passing lifts as the bigger picture of seeing him again comes into focus. Many people I once knew have passed on now and as time continues on, I'm sure that will just continue.
In all of that the Lord showed me that some thirty years ago now a fifteen year old teen ager stood judging someone who didnt look like he fit in... and how God used that stranger to provide years of provision and decades of friendship afterwards. How many times do we inadvertently miss a blessing because we don't like the package that it comes in? How many prayers go unanswered as God brings the people into our paths to help us but we don't discern the real reason they are there? Always be careful to look at the character and not the politics, dress or even the religious views. God has people everywhere and He can use people to bless you that don't even realize that they are blessing you.
I will always miss my friend, Jeff but the lesson of not being too quick to dismiss someone else based on how they look will be with me for the rest of my life.
I will see Jeff again someday and on that day Jesus will be the one handing out the free food as He reminds us all that the price is already paid for it all, just like Jeff used to do for us at the radio station. Until then, my efforts will continue to be advancing the Kingdom and be a blessing o whomever will discern and receive me. How about making a fresh commitment today to do the same?
I started this blog because I wanted to have a place to just be myself. Twitter is great but it's microblogging at 140 characters or less and if you are anything like me, I'm barely starting to form a thought at 140 characters, let alone a string of thoughts.
Instagram is great for images but not really a place to share deeply as most there scroll and glance, very few dig deep and read. Facebook is it's own world. So many have such radically different opinions of what you should put on Facebook and that political nature and pulling of public opinion has found me caught in it's grip more than once over the years.
My personal blog is a place where I can be as free as I can be while still not weirding out the general public too much. I know I talk about a lot of different things at different times but that is because I have a lot of different opinions about a lot of different things. The way I see it, if you have made your way here, you must be curious enough about what I say, believe or think to have sought me out, and for doing that, I am grateful. I do hope you find what you are looking for.
One constant in my life has been the modern Church. I was raised in the denominational church and committed the unpardonable sin at the age of 17 by attending a Charismatic church. (pauses here to see if anyone gets my sarcastic joke there...) Needless to say, my worldview was challenged a bit.
Long story short, I have ended up with what i feel to be a pretty solid and balanced approach to the undeniable power of God. I have seen healings of others, of my own kids and of course of myself. The Spirit of God regrew brain matter in my head to the dismay of doctors and healed my paralysis and nerve issues entirely. I could not number the hearts and perceptions that God has used me to touch and change over the years. I've just seen a lot of real and verified manifestations of God's presence and power.
My embrace of God's power to heal and touch people today in real time puts me at odds with a lot of denominational leaders. At the same time, I stand against much of the foolishness and false doctrines that much of the Charismatic church teaches, practices and believes in. This puts me at odds with a lot of modern leaders in that camp so I can easily find myself in seasons where I take my share of "friendly fire" from both sides.
Do I believe in "Kingdom Now" Theology? It all depends on what YOU believe "Kingdom now" means. I believe the Kingdom of God is anywhere you have Jesus presence manifesting. God's Kingdom is God's government or God's order or God's arrangement of things. When things are set in proper, godly order, that is the Kingdom. John's disciples for example ultimately weren't supposed to be following John. It wasn't until John declared Jesus to be the Lamb Of God that his (John's) disciples left John and went to following Jesus. Proper order had been established for their lives, this was a direct result of the authority of Jesus presence manifesting and correcting them into their proper place.
Do I believe in the rapture? I absolutely believe in the glorious second coming of Jesus in real, bodily form back to the earth. I also believe that the Spirit of Jesus is alive and well currently within me and within anyone else who places their Faith in Him exclusively. This creates a beautiful duality that confuses some. The SPIRIT of Jesus is anywhere that I am, not too unlike an internal organ in my body. If I walk into a room, the SPIRIT of Jesus walks in with me. The BODY of Jesus however is seated at the right hand of the Father currently and one day will absolutely come back riding a glorious white horse with a name written on his leg and with a sword coming out of His mouth. It's gonna be something stunning to say the least.
What about the tithe? I have blogged in detail about the tithe previously. The bottom line is that God is trying to get you to see that He wants 100% of your HEART, not 10% of your cash. Anytime Christians make money more important than hearts we have missed the entire point. Again, the Kingdom of God manifesting will bring correction to this. What if I told you that Jesus owns 100% of everything, not just 10%?
In recent weeks and months I have blogged a lot about the modern church and what that is supposed to look like. I firmly believe we should be ambulance drivers and medics to the hearts of others in this world. We should speed to the scene of trouble and treat people's wounds to the best of our ability. I don't care how they got hurt, what I care about is that they get proper care and help.
I personally consider myself a "spiritual heart surgeon". My x-ray machine is discernment. My Scalpel is deliverance. The Holy Spirit is my anesthesiologist who also counsels me as to what to do while someone is lying there chest wide open.
Now, in keeping with the example, I don't walk into a room, meet someone for the first time and try to cut their chest open. Instead they have to come to a place where they see their need for a procedure. Can I help most people I meet? Absolutely I can... but like any other doctor, until a person sees their need for me to help, I am at best untapped potential in their lives.
I would suggest to you readers today that god has placed some very wise and powerful spiritual "doctors" around you. While you pray for this and that to be different, God has likely put key people around you to answer those very prayers... but you will need to humble yourself, reach out and form some relationships. Eventually you are going to need to ASK for someone else's help. You will need to submit to the procedure and that is going to include your consent to let go of control and let someone else have access to you like no one before ever has.
One last point today...
In John 5 there is a man who was lame for 38 years. Jesus asked the guy for permission to treat him. He in essence put a release form in front of him and handed him a pen. The man had to chose to sign off on the paper. Of course He did and Jesus healed him. At the follow up visit Jesus gave the man a professional heads up that something even worse was coming for him.. but if the man would refocus and not sin any longer, he would dodge that bullet and enjoy his healing. The bible doesn't say that they hugged each other, but they likely did and the man who was healed was SO happy and thankful He had to tell the first group of people he came to.
Jesus is putting a release form in front of you today. He is handing you the pen of your free will. What will you do? Will you be made whole, or will you again take a pass and stay with your friends who have the same struggles? There were five porches around that pool where the lame men were. It was a nice layout and people brought the lame man everything he ever needed. They gave him money, food, clothes, etc. Jesus was saying to him.. Hey, if I heal you, no one is gonna bring you all the free stuff anymore. You will need to take some personal responsibility for your own life. Are you sure that's what you really want?
That warm day in Galilee all those years ago a lame man choose personal responsibility by submitting his will to Jesus. His reward was a life changing healing. Today is your chance to choose personal responsibility by submitting your will to Jesus. Will you be made whole?
I've lost 250 pounds and I strongly endorse, promote and share the products that helped me do that. it has become a very nice work from home business for my family and I. One of the most asked questions I get is if our home business is a Pyramid Scheme or a Multi Level Marketing company (MLM for short). I am proud to say a resounding NO, we are NOT a Pyramid Scheme and we are NOT a MLM company.
This does raise a few great questions and points of dialog as most people have no real idea what a pyramid scheme is to begin with. They mistakenly believe that if you talk to another person about your business or product that it is a pyramid scheme. Of course that is just ignorance. Pyramids are in fact illegal in all 50 of the United States.
The two most common indicators that you are dealing with a pyramid scheme are one, the company has no legitimate product or service to offer and two, money is paid out for just signing someone else up, not because the person made a purchase of any kind. Pyramids schemes are so dangerous because at some point you run out of people to put on the bottom and when that happens the people that came in last lose all of the money they put in and since they didn't buy any real product to start with, it is an illegal scam that hurts most involved.
At the same time, most people have no idea what an MLM company is either. Many believe if many levels of people get paid it's an MLM but that too is ignorance. You can't even buy groceries without the clerk, the manager, the owner, and the CEO all getting a chunk of that money and your grocery store is certainly not an MLM company. Same buying a car, the salesperson, service manager, dealership manager, dealership owner and the manufacturer all get a chunk of your money. That doesn't mean your car dealer is an MLM.
Any business model has a distribution method. MLM is simply a distribution method. "Multiple Levels of Distribution" and several decades ago the term "distribution" was dropped in favor of the term "marketing" which sounded more pleasent to an unsuspecting public that had began to grow skeptical of multiple levels of "distribution".
This is why most companies sign you up to be a distributor so you can be one of those levels of distribution. One of the things I love about the company that manufactures our products is that NO ONE is a distributor because we are not an MLM company. We are instead a manufacturing company using a completely unique and refreshing business model. More on than in a second...
It may surprise you to learn that most companies that use MLM as part of their model are created to fail. The average lifespan of a MLM company is 2 to 10 years at which point the people at the very top shut it down, file for bankruptcy and move on to create the next MLM to do the same thing over and over. This is a very well know fact to long term MLMers and that is why you always hear the term "get in on the ground floor". It's MLM speak for "if you act now, you can benefit while someone else takes the financial fall later" and most people have a moral objection to that sort of thing, as they very well should.
Believe it or not it gets worse. Instead of the MLM companies adopting a better business model where people don't get hurt and actually have a chance at succeeding in the long term, they instead try to paint an overly positive and deceptive picture to new people. They lure people in with promises of long term success knowing full well in many cases that they are going to shut down the company in the near future. This creates our current environment where you have tens of thousands of well intentioned folks walking around repeating their overly positive messages to others trying to recruit them to do the same when in reality they have no idea that they are truly pawns in a larger game that will only hurt them in the end.
There are several hundred companies that have started up, claimed to be "the next big thing" and are now gone leaving a trail of people in their wake. Then there are handful of MLM companies that are barely hanging on like Amway, Isagenix, ViSalus, TriVita, Avon and Juice Plus. Something all of these MLM companies claim to have is scientific product lines that work miracles in your body and pocketbook. Of course, once you get past all the big money hype, the "win your new free car" hype and superstar paid endorsements, the actual and real provable science behind the products is usually weak to fair at best. It's what i call the "scientific smokescreen". Just enough good sounding supposed "facts" to lure in the uneducated consumer and get them to quickly part with their money thus feeding the MLM machine.
MLM = Ineffective and overpriced products... and that is no way to build a long term successful business.
You have some newer players in the MLM game today such as DoTERRA and Young Living, both offering grades of Essential Oils that are inferior in quality to the ones my company manufactures and they are more expensive than ours. DoTERRA actually patented the term "therapeutic grade" for their oils. That sounds very scientific doesn't it? If you were going to buy Essential Oils, wouldn't you want it to be "therapeutic grade"? The problem is that there is no such scientific designation. It is in fact a made up term. This type of bait and switch is very common in the world of MLM.
Many of these companies require you to purchase large amounts of up front inventory to come in "the right way". Getting started with these types of companies can cost thousands of dollars, but you will be forced to carry that inventory, sell products directly to others, keep track of sales and do lots of other tedious things that people these days just don't like to do.
When it gets downright scary is when people believe the MLM hype so blindly that they consistently justify their involvement, some losing tens of thousands of dollars, cars, homes and even their marriages all in the name of being loyal to their MLM company.
Some websites report an amazing 99% failure rate of everyone that has ever tried to make a MLM company work. That is not a safe business model by any stretch.
So what is the average person to do then? Is there an honest work at home opportunity that is not a scam, not a pyramid scheme and not MLM where average people can really succeed based on their honest effort? Is there truly something based on spending that you are already doing currently so it's no new money out of your budget? Thankfully there IS and that is what I share with others.
To further assist you in understanding, here is only a partial list of the major differences between our manufacturing company and things that are very common in the MLM industry. While each item may not apply to every MLM company directly, when you boil it all down they are all reasons why people fail at MLMs and why we believe we have found a better way.
MLM- Company carries large debt loads, high interest loans
Us- Company is completely debt free
MLM - Require large inventory purchases such as cases of juices,oils or other items you would not normally buy.
Us - Simply buy the same types of products you have always purchased, same money just better spent.
MLM - No real customer support via phone, only email that may or my not get answered
Us - Real people helping you from your personal support team and full time free phone support from the company with thousands of actual employees
MLM- You are a distributor and you purchase and resell products to customers
Us- You are not a distributor, customers shop direct from the company
MLM- Prices are often 3 to 4 times the actual products' value
Us- Exceptional products at reasonable price, usually cheaper per use that the grocery store brands
MLM- Rely on the sensational, such as juice, magnets, folklore and other hyped up products
Us- Real products you really use backed by credible and independent science, doctors and published studies
MLM- Often use unfounded gurus, celebrities or doctors with questionable credentials to hype the products
Us- Our products are developed by world-class scientists, chemists, university professors and other credible professionals.
MLM- "first in" wins; "last in" loses, get in on the "ground floor”
Us- Everyone can succeed at anytime no matter when you begin
MLM - Most companies last 2 to 10 years before collapsing and hurting everyone involved.
Us- A 30-year proven track record of consistent growth backed by an A rating with the BBB
MLM - Large autoships forcing you to be charged for what you don't want each month
Us - Small optional autoship that you customize with what really want and need so its never any new money
MLM- You must buy large amounts of what you don't need to qualify for extra bonuses
Us- You only buy what you yourself use and bonuses are based on what others buy
MLM - Low customer retention & repeat purchase (usually less than 25% month to month)
Us - Very high (nearly 96% month to month) customer retention and repeat purchase
MLM - Heads of the companies are focused almost exclusively on making money for themselves personally
Us- Our management team believes that their success comes as they help others be successful
MLM - Management is on top of the biggest "legs" of the business creating a giant conflict of interest
Us- None of our company's employees are allowed to be in the Revenue Sharing side of the company keeping all interests purely professional.
MLM - People "break away" from you as they grow taking money out of your pocket
Us - You keep your customers and volume, it never breaks away from you, ever.
MLM- Hard to understand payout structures which favor the company and those who have already made it.
Us - An easy to understand compensation plan where everyone earns the same amount for doing the same thing.
MLM - Purposely confusing pay structures that allow the companies to take unfair advantage of people
Us - Super simple compensation plan built on just 2 commissions and six bonus.
MLM - Payout percentages change over time earning you less and less the higher you get
Us - Rock solid percentages that have stood for 30 years now.
MLM - Your business is not able to be inherited.
Us - You can will your business to anyone
MLM - Everyone that joins opens a "business" for themselves, no one can only be a customer.
Us - People can just be a customer and never do the optional business, it's up to them.
MLM - No returns on products or only a partial credit given on returns.
Us - 100% of the product price credited or refunded if you are not happy.
MLM - Car program where the company owns the car and you get it taken away if you drop status
Us - You own your car and keep it no matter what
MLM - Start up costs up to several thousands dollars
Us - Less than $30 to start with big start up packs offered at cost to new customers.
MLM - Is ultimately about bettering the company and the people are expendable
Us - We value integrity first in dealing with both money and people
I also think it's noteworthy that everyone that has achieved our highest levels of earnings had absolutely no significant success is any MLM company they tried before becoming a customer here.
I don't just email you information. Instead, myself or one of my team members treat you like a real person and give you the time and attention you deserve by hearing your needs/concerns and offering personalized solutions that fit you. It's yet another difference between us and the MLMs.
Since this is my personal blog just use the COntact button at the top of the page to reach out to me and thanks for reading!
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