Category Archives for "Inspirational"
inspirational people and stories
inspirational people and stories
When it comes to an affiliate marketing and choosing a program, one of the most common mistakes a program participant makes is choosing to sell a product that they do not believe in or fully stand behind one hundred percent.
As a marketer who happens to be a Christian, this was something I personally struggled with when I first started my whole make money online venture. Although you may be making money, you may also be creating a bad name for yourself. That is why it is important that you promote or sell products that you believe in.
The best way to promote a product that you believe in is to actually try out the product. For instance, if you are promoting an e-book, you may want to think about reading the e-book in question. In fact, some vendors in whom products you like to promote are more than obliged to provide you with a “review copy”, especially if it’s a digital product simply by you asking.
Affiliate programs set up by retailers, like Amazon are a little bit different. Since most items sold are physical and not digital, you will most likely not be able request a review copy of the product.
In this case, you may want to test the waters by buying the product yourself. At the very least, try placing a small order to get a first hand look at exactly how the affiliate program works for that particular retailer. This way you at least know if it’s a good retailer or not before you recommend them and their products.
Perhaps, the greatest reason why you should test out a product is because if you don’t like it, there is a good chance that your followers won’t like it either. In a way, you can look at it as providing a service to the general public, or an insiders tip to your loyal followers.
By not agreeing to sell a poor quality product, or recommend retailers/vendors who don’t hold up their end of the deal, you will be saving other consumers, just like yourself, time, money, and even frustration. In fact, you should be proud of yourself for refusing to do business with an affiliate program who don’t live up to their promises.
As a Christian marketer, I’m very mindful that not only is my reputation on the line but also whom and what I represent as a follower of Christ. As it was mentioned above, you may be making money with an affiliate program, even if the product being sold isn’t as good as it could have been, but you are risking your reputation in the long run.
You need to remember that people talk. If a customer was not satisfied with the product that they purchased, they will likely talk to their friends, family members, and coworkers. They may even write negative reviews online. These negative reviews may cause other consumers to avoid purchasing the product that you are recommending, as well as your whole website in general.
The money that you can make, right away, may seem nice, at the time, but you need to remember to think long-term. Do you know what you want to do in the future, whether it is now or in a few years? If you are like many people, there is a good chance that you have no idea. What if you want to create your own products to sell online?
What you do online now can come back to haunt you. That is why it is important that you think about your future, in the business sense, and what it may entail.
If your dream is to one day start your own online business, you will want to refrain from bad publicity; bad publicity that may come in the form of a poorly run affiliate program that you may have recommended.
Also, testing out a product yourself isn’t your only option. You can also research a product online. Reading customer reviews, both good and bad, may give you insight into the product you may like to sell. Better yet, it may help you decide whether or not it is a product that you want to be associated with.
Promoting affiliate products that you will believe in will not only make you feel better about yourself, but can help to increase sales too!
Today’s blog post brought to you by Ian and Sue Coate of FreeChristianIllustrations.com
It would be foolish to say we love a person we had never met – only a love-struck individual, in love with being in love, would make such a claim. True, we may see someone outwardly and be instantly attracted, but only when we get to know the inner-person are we in a position to say whether or not we love them.
The best way of getting to know someone is through personal communication and spending time in each other’s company. Only then do we truly learn who they are. Before that point we can only say we love the ‘idea’ of that person.
When we first become a Christian it would be impulsive to say we love God when we know next-to-nothing about Him. True, we may be instantly attracted to His magnificence, His power and the graceful things He has done and is doing on our behalf. However, until we learn about His character and His beliefs, we are simply love-struck Christians who quickly declare undying love for a Person we know little about.
We get to know God through communication. He talks to us through the Bible (His Word which is alive and powerful). If we study, we soon learn about His core character and His beliefs. We also get to know God by working with Him (Christian service), talking with Him (prayer), and relaxing with Him (faith in God to solve our problems).
As with all successful relationships, it’s about each party getting to know the other. Omniscient God already knows everything about us (and amazingly still loves us). He has graciously given us an eternity to get to know Him. And, as we come to know Him, it will soon become evident that God is a perfect candidate for our personal, unreserved and everlasting love.
As a business owner, you need to make sure you stay focused on your business or you will get off track. When you get off track you will lose site of the task at hand and you will not be headed in the right direction.
There are a number of things you can do to stay focused. One thing you can do is find what works and stick to it. Here are some suggestions that will help you stay focused on your business.
1. Set goals
Set business goals for the month. When you have a goal for the month you will be able to work towards accomplishing it. Set weekly, monthly, and yearly goals for your business. This will help you focus on them and you will know what you need to do to get them done. This can help you grow your business in ways you never thought were possible.
After you set your goals, you need to break them down into bite sized pieces. When you know exactly you need to do to reach that goal, it will seem easier for you to reach. The goal you set for the month may seem so far off that it’s not possible to reach, but when you set weekly or daily goals, it will be much easier to move your way along to the end result.
Once you have your goals in place, you will need to create a to-do list each day that will remind you what you need to do to reach the goals. Write down everything you need to do in a day so you don’t forget anything. Write them down as they come to you and then number them if there is a certain order they need to be done in. When you create your list right down appointments you have, calls you have or need to make, and specific tasks that need to be done.
3. Schedule your time
When you are finished creating your goals and to-do list you need to schedule your time in a calendar so you will know what you need to do and when you need to do it. If you have an appointment or call, that needs to go on your calendar. Then schedule things that are hard for you to get done. For example, schedule your social networking time if this is hard for you to get done.
When you schedule your time, you won’t forget to do something you have scheduled at a specific time. This will also help you plan your day according to things you need to get done.
Following these three tips will help you stay focused when it comes to your business. It will also help you to remember important things that you have to do. When you set business goals, you will be able to step out a little and grow your business or take it to the next level. The only way you will know what it will take to grow is to set goals, create a to-do list, and schedule your time so you know what you need to do to make it happen.
Post brought to you by Free Christian Illustrations
There are so many bad things happening in the world – the news just seems to get darker. As Christians, how do we make things brighter?
The sun is our primary source of natural light – even at night. Though the moon illuminates the darkness, it does not produce its own light – it simply reflects it from the sun.
Jesus declared in John 8:12: “I am the light of the world”. Without the light from the Son, we would all be in complete darkness. If Jesus Christ is the light of the world, then our purpose as Christians is to be like the moon and reflect His light in dark places.
Christianity is a process. As new believers we reflect very little of Christ’s light because the world has cast a great shadow over us – we are like the crescent moon.
However, if we persevere and grow in grace (through studying and applying God’s Word), we start to reflect Christ’s attributes and illuminate a path for those walking in darkness. Eventually, we become like the full moon – brightening people’s lives with Christ-like integrity, compassion and His relaxed attitude.
Our commission as Christians is to lead people to Christ. When we reflect His grace in a world that has little, it illuminates the path to Christianity like no other way. The measure of a mature Christian is not how much Bible verses we know or how religious we are, but how we mirror the Son of God and His immeasurable grace to a world in darkness.
‘But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.’ Proverbs 4:18
Post brought to you by Free Christian Illustrations
It has been documented that 95% of people who win lotto wish they hadn’t. There is nothing wrong with sudden prosperity; but few people have the capacity to handle it.
It would be extremely irresponsible to hand car-keys to a small child to go for a joy-ride, as it would be foolish to let an infant play with a circular saw or a nail gun. These items were not designed for children who do not have the ability, strength, or understanding to handle these things safely. Sadly, it would only be a matter of time before they injured themselves or those around them.
Our Heavenly Father is not an irresponsible giver. He withholds many blessings until we (His children) have the capacity to handle them without causing injury to ourselves and those around us.
Sometimes the things we greatly desire elude us because God is patiently waiting for us to grow up. How often do we witness the tragic downfall of celebrities who have quickly attained success and wealth?
God desires to bless His children greatly, but He also knows if we were given certain blessings without the capacity or maturity to handle them, it would only be a matter of time before the thing we greatly desired would be a source of misery for ourselves and those around us. Remember: happiness is something that is built within, not something attained from without.
To build our capacity to handle great blessings we must first seek the kingdom of God, (Read Matthew 6:25-34). Then, like the Apostle Paul, we will be able to say: Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am (prosperity or adversity) to be content… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13.
Post brought to you by Free Christian Illustrations
Today, the theories of evolution and generally accepted as proven facts – but all the missing links still remain missing and the further discoveries of the intricate designs in nature are quickly swept under the carpet with terms like: ‘the miracle of creation’. Yet many stubbornly refuse to even consider there may be a Creator behind creation.
Onwards & Upwards,
Ian & Sue
A good tracker soon finds where someone or something has been by following various signs of progression. If no evidence is found, the tracker quickly concludes he is on the wrong track.
Charles Darwin (father of the theory of evolution) argued that accumulated small changes eventually lead to new species. If this were so we would be able to track these changes to their origin. However, no fossils have been found to link one species with another – the missing links still remain missing.
Darwin also stated (in Origin of Species, 6th edition, New York University Press, 1988. P. 154), that if it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which ‘could not’ possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, his theory would break down.
As science has developed, we learn that many organs are too complex to be reduced by numerous, successive, slight modifications. Dr Michael J Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University concludes ‘no one … can give a detailed account of how the cilium, or vision, or blood clotting, or any complex biochemical process might have developed in a Darwinian fashion.’(Behe p. 187).
However, supporters of evolution claim that it’s not impossible but merely improbable that organs, such as the eyeball, have evolved. The honest evolutionist will admit their theories are extremely improbable, but conversely they believe the existence of God is more improbable than evolution, so they conclude one belief is fact while the other is fiction based on their gamble of improbabilities.
So what should we think? Since science has come to so many dead ends tracking evolution, maybe it’s time to admit it’s on the wrong track. We should take Darwin’s own advice and bin his theories, then start considering the complex design behind nature and the One who designed it.
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”Revelations 4:11
What Does the Bible Say About Debt?
There are a number of verses in the Old and New Testament concerning debt, and one of the most noteworthy can be found in Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Romans 13:8 states that: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another”. This clearly states that as a Christian, a person has the responsibility to live a financially stable and debt free life, save for the continued love of his God, and fellow man.
So is debt considered a sin in the eyes of God?
In truth, there is nothing in the Bible that specifically calls debt a sin. However, there are many cautions about debt becoming a source of conflict or problem. For example, debt can become a problem if the source of the need is envy from a neighbor’s possessions or even greed.
According to 1 Timothy 6: 10: For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. And Hebrews 13:5 states that:
Keep your lives free from love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’
These two verses clearly indicate that the cause of debt is sometimes envy of the possessions of others, the love of wealth, and a lack of faith in that God will provide. In addition, the Bible clearly indicates that all debts should be repaid.
According to Romans 13:7, the Christian should: Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then, honor. Also, the Bible indicates that debt should be a temporary state of affairs. For example, in Deuteronomy 15: 1, debts should be resolved or cancelled, within seven years. At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.
In summary, debt in and of itself is not a sin, however, the causes of debt, and the reckless borrowing of money can lead to sinful actions, so the Christian should make every effort to live responsibly.
Could God use you in Internet Evangelism? Could God use you to reach people for Christ via the Internet? The answer may surprise you!
I’m no techie!
” How could I ever use the Internet to reach people for Christ?” you might wonder. “I’m no techie. I know how to send email and read the news online, but that’s about it.” I can identify with that. My technical knowledge is limited. For many years, I was even hesitant to use an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) at the bank, for fear I would do something stupid and it would swallow my card.
Gradually, I overcame my technophobia and began to use computers for word processing. But I used somewhat primitive setups. Only in 1998 did I switch from the rather archaic DOS operating system to Windows because a friend said I should “get with the 90s before the 90s are over!”
What are your talents?
We all have talents and abilities. A key to usefulness is making our talents available to God. Your talents may be in building friendships, engaging in conversations, answering questions, inspiring people, or telling stories. God certainly can use those. Here’s a story that may encourage you.
My own interests involve communication, especially relating Christ to secular audiences. Over the years, I’ve written numerous evangelistic articles to help reach nonbelievers. Several years ago, a couple of friends involved in Internet ministry, Keith Seabourn and Allan Beeber, asked me to send them all my articles so they could put them “online.”.
I didn’t understand all that meant, but they said it would make the articles available free to people around the globe. That seemed like a good thing.
Keith’s website, Leadership University aimed to collect thousands of articles supporting the validity of Christian faith. Allan’s Evangelism Toolbox became an online “Yellow Pages” (directory) of evangelism resources. They helped introduce me to Internet outreach.
Are you ready for the digital revolution?
At a convention in Amsterdam a few years ago, I saw a brochure that said, “The Great Commission is Going Digital; Are You Ready?” That piqued my interest. Maybe God wanted me to focus my energies on Internet Evangelism.
The brochure spoke of the then-fledgling Internet Evangelism Coalition. I started to hang out with these folks– wonderful people– and to learn from them. I began to write more for the web and various articles appeared online.
Another friend encouraged me to do a Google search on my name. I was amazed to see page after page of my articles on websites that I had never heard of!
I also discovered a number of other “Rusty Wrights” including …
a platform tennis player.
a university professor.
a football coach.
a rodeo cowboy.
a racecar driver.
a cruise ship captain.
The simplicity and pervasive nature of the Internet was allowing people to find and use these articles in ways I had never imagined. I could sit with my laptop in my office, on an airplane, or in a hotel room and compose an article that would tactfully nudge people toward Christ or biblical principles. Then, by pushing a button, I could send it to Internet publishers who would make it available to people around the globe.
This seemed almost too good to be true. What a potential for spreading Good News!
A simple prayer.
In August 2003, while jogging one morning, I felt impressed to pray that within a year, I would be aware of 100 websites that had used my articles. (At the time, I was aware of 43.) There wasn’t an audible “voice from heaven” or handwriting on the sidewalk; just a strong inner impression that I should pray this.
A year later, I learned of the 100th site that had used this material. Some sites published the articles and others linked to them. The articles appeared in several languages: English, Spanish, Albanian, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, and Polish. People just kept translating and posting them. It seemed beyond my control or ability. God gets the glory for this.
A surprising number of the sites were not Christian. For instance, one site linked to a version of the article Elvis Has Left the Building which traces fascination with Elvis Presley and its spiritual implications. An Argentine medical school website published a translation of One Minute After Death, about near-death experiences.
Some secular newspaper sites ran material. Personal websites and “blogs” (web logs) linked to articles. I did not contact all these websites, asking them to use my articles. Many content managers simply found the articles on the web and used them.
God’s sense of humor.
I even found one article link on a porn site.
I should clarify. The evangelistic article is entitled Dynamic Sex: Unlocking the Secret to Love. It presents a biblical perspective on sex and love but is written to grab and hold the attention of non-Christians. And no, I did not discover this link by surfing porn sites! I typed the article title into Google. I do pray that many websurfers who go to that site looking for pornography will find Jesus. God has a sense of humor!
Again, God gets all the glory for this. If you have interest, many of these seeker- and skeptic-friendly articles are at Rusty Wright Ministries.
What can you do?
Internet evangelism offers you a dazzling array of possibilities to communicate Christ. Writing articles is just one method. You may want to interact with unbelievers in a chat room, correspond via email, communicate on a blog, design your own website, pray for and/or support web outreach financially.
You can also encourage your church or Christian group to participate in ‘Internet Evangelism Day’. This international focus day program helps Christians learn more about the potential of the Web for outreach. Their www.InternetEvangelismDay.com site explains how to create a short focus program to include in church services or other activities.
The important thing is to ask God what He would have you do. As Mary told the servants in John 2:5, “Whatever He [Jesus] says to you, do it.”.
Ask God to enlarge your borders. He did it for Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10).
Rusty Wright is an author, syndicated columnist and university lecturer with Probe.org who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford Universities, respectively: www.rustywright.com.
Copyright © Rusty Wright 2004. Permission granted to re-use this article in print.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Hebrews 10: 36).
As Christians our goal is to become “mature” in faith. This is meant to be a lifelong process. We will be brought into contact with many doubts and obstacles throughout each given day. Count it a blessing to go through the experiences of this ‘growth process’ while standing firm in faith. The testing and risk God takes is all part of the promise. When we respond with obedience it brings us in line to receive His faithfulness.
I depend upon God’s power working in my circumstances, making it possible for me to stand on his strength alone. For I know that this is what it means to stand on the promises of God; to trust only in Him and believe in His competence. The knowledge of God reveals his promises. It is through these promises we discover life as God meant it to be.
Pray and watch for His faithfulness. Go to Him, and remind Him of His promises, of what he said he would do.
Do not try to twist his arm and persuade him to do something he’s not inclined to do. We don’t say, “Well, you probably don’t want to do this for me, but I would like to ask you anyway.” Be reminded that it brings joy to His heart when His children come to him, when we go to Him humbly. Say, “Please fulfill this promise in my experience today Lord”, and then simply wait, watch, and believe that since he said He will, He will.”.
He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world today. Hold steadfast to the knowledge that our God is faithful. He has left many comforting promises to remind us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. ‘He is faithful that promised’ (Hebrew 10:23).
Point to Ponder: If He says He will … He WILL!
FACING THE GHOST OF THE PAST ( Genesis 32-33).
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac … Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. (Genesis 32:9, 11).
After more than 14 years of separation from his hometown, his parents, friends, and quick disappearance from the sight of his angry brother, Jacob was now claiming his freedom for almost two decades of laborious service under Laban’s tricky hands. Nonetheless, because of God’s faithful provision and protection, Jacob was able to rise from rags to riches, from a mere wanderer into a successful leader of a rising generation– the 12 tribes of Israel.
When he went to Laban, he was empty handed, alone, and a newbie. But now, as he prepares to go out of Laban’s camp, he’s richly full, with four wives and almost a dozen of children, and with trustworthy servants who will accompany and serve them along the way.
Jacob then was blessed and successful.
But mixed to his excitement of leaving his uncle’s camp was a fear of facing his unsettled disputes with his brother, Esau. Of course, he was not intentionally planning to meet with his brother, he can’t do it, he’s so afraid of him, even after decades of separation, no communication and no letter of “Hi” and “Hello”, still the memories of his brother’s vengeful face hunts him.
But now at this juncture, he had no choice but to move on even if he’s in between two clashing rocks. Truly, he’s afraid of his brother, but it’s also a disadvantage and danger to him and his family if they will not go away from his uncle and start living independent of other’s control and tricks. After all, they are now able to do this, having sufficient resources and man-power to stand on their own.
And so, Jacob being naturally witty in all situations planned to go and settle in a place both far away from his uncle and angry brother. This was his plan but for unknown reason, this plan was brought to the hearing of his brother Esau. And worse is they were already on the middle of their journey when Esau knew it. But Jacob can no longer retreat; it’s too late already to do that. Even if he tries to escape and hide again from his brother, but this time, it wouldn’t work to his condition as a family man. If he’s alone, maybe he can do that, but having a big family with young children with them, it’s hard. Thus, the only option is to face Esau, but he must do this in a very cautious way. And so he thought again of outwitting his brother’s emotion by creating means that would directly touch and softens Esau’s heart. Being now a veteran businessman, he knows by experience that a man’s anger is easily pacified if you do him a favor (Proverbs 21:14). And so his first approach to Esau is to send him lots of gifts specially delivered by his servants. Then after that, he strengthened the intention and quality of those “peace offerings” by sending next in line his wives and children but with the exception of her beloved Rachel and their son Joseph. Jacob was hoping that maybe when Esau sees his nephews and niece, his grudge to him would subside.
Now, what actually Jacob did here was a risk. He didn’t know what will really happen for he didn’t have a firsthand knowledge of what will Esau would do. With his long years of separation from his brother, his knowledge about him is not updated, up-close, and personal. And so that’s a dangerous disadvantage for him, considering that the Esau whom he knew in the past was aggressive and easy to provoke. But what can he do? He was cornered and his wits this time were being disabled by his youth-hood fears. But what’s so encouraging about this story is that, when Jacob was at the end of his rope, there he found God. Oh yes, the Lord strengthened him to face and overcome the ghost of his past. And the reason why he was able to face Esau was because he had seen the face of God. His fear of Esau was replaced by his fear of God (Genesis 32:29 -30).
Thus, the principle that we can learn here is this: The power to overcome your fear, to face the ghost of your past is to be energized by the presence of the LORD in prayer and meditation.