A New Earth, Oprah & Eckhart Tolle Quote Jesus – "Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit"

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Eckhart Tolle author of A New Earth reviewed chapter 2 online with Oprah quoting Jesus who said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.”

Tolle and Oprah discussed the illusion of ownership, identification, awakening, facilitating an inner shift, and personal transformation. All powerful truths and concepts worthy of our time and attention.

Oprah said: “You talk about the illusion of ownership on page 42. You say “The ego tends to equate having with being and lives through comparison. And you use a quote from the Bible that Jesus said. …What does poor in spirit mean?”

Tolle replied: “No inner baggage, no identifications.”

Oprah thoughtfully still pondering on the matter inquisitively inquired further, “I never knew that’s what poor in spirit means. How did you come to that interpretation of what poor in spirit means?”

Tolle pulled from his personal spiritual journey and elaborated saying, “There was a time after I went through this inner shift. It must have been three years later, I was visiting my mother and she had a New Testament on her shelf. I picked it up and started reading. I could suddenly see the truths that were hiding there and that in many cases, the conventional interpretation was a superficial one of what Jesus had said. And that was one of the things I immediately saw when He said ‘poor in spirit’. I realized its to do with not carrying stuff inside so that your spirit is very light. It has no burden. He was talking about awakening and living in that free state of consciousness. Wonderful to suddenly be able to read it and suddenly it all makes sense, which before it hadn’t made sense.”

I agree with Tolle that spiritually we must be “ready” and at a time in our life’s journey when we are open to truth and divine revelation. Indeed such divine intervention and encounters can occur whether we are ready or not, after which our hearts surprisingly are suddenly and amazingly opened. For Tolle he was in a state of spiritual pursuit and hungering for divine insight, inquisitively pursuing the mysteries of life.

Assuredly religious and traditional interpretations can sadly many times miss the mark of what Jesus intended to impart by way of truth and revelation. Tolle accurately alluded to this calling some “conventional interpretation” to be “superficial”.

Jesus Himself said to the Pharisees, who to many were excessively religious and rigid, “You make the Word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such things do you” (Mark 7:13). Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for removing the power from the Word of God by burdening the people with lofty traditions to adhere to, which disconnected them from the joyous experience of worshipping and serving the living God.

At one point Jesus got so mad and frustrated with the Pharisees, He sternly told them, “Your father is the devil” (John 8:44). “He that is of God hears God’s Words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God” (8:47).

The scribes and Pharisees often tried to entangle Jesus in religious debates, wherein they sought to enforce their traditions. Jesus did not hesitate to confront them saying, “Why do you transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3) “This people draws near unto Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching the doctrines and commandments of men” (15:8-9).

Often sadly religious teachings are nothing more than traditions and commandments of men, void of the love and life of God. Yet unsuspecting people who don’t take time to read the Bible for themselves are easily seduced and swayed by such self-righteous Pharisees. Clothed in the trappings of religiosity many teachers and venerated dignitaries are engulfed in adhering to traditional ceremony, being more enamored with form than the living God.

Having identified with their religious ideology, affiliation, and tradition they have thereby prevented themselves from wholeheartedly and freely drawing near unto God. Any form or spiritual occurrence that does match their tradition or experience, they demonize and reject. Yet in so doing it is their very own souls they are forsaking as they build for themselves a memorial to the deadness of their own religious tradition.

God however would have humanity to “be established in the present truth” and forever progressing spiritually going from glory to glory (see 2 Peter 1:12).

Most denominations however prefer to build a traditional monument to their founder rather than to Christ the ultimate head of the church and author of life. In so doing they replace Christ as the head and builder of His church universal, deify themselves in exclusivity, alienate spiritual seekers in their community, and cease to look unto the “author and finisher of their faith” preferring form over substance.

Jesus however is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23)and author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2); without which our faith is shipwreck and divine influence severed as we seek to exalt ourselves religiously.

Christ alone can and will build His church (Matthew 16:18); by the pattern, protocol, and power of His Spirit, not the leading of a man-made denomination. Whenever a man, ministry, church, or denomination seeks to govern and guide a move of God; rest assured God Himself will leave them. God will never go where He is not acknowledged, neither needed.

Individually I have experienced religion that is cold as ice and not nice. Occasionally I have thought to network and link up with larger religious organizations thinking that collectively together we could have a greater impact. Upon calling some of these “established” organizations however, I have found their secretaries and bureaucracies to be cold and alienating.

One instance in particular, I phoned a very large worldwide ministry based out of Orlando to make an inquiry. Instead of being greeted warmly, I was asked abruptly, “Who are you with?” Sensing the interrogator tone on the other end, I humorously replied, “J E S U S” spelling out each letter by name.

The secretary was no amused or phased in the least and sternly held to her organizational hierarchal disposition, asking the same question again being entirely disinterested in me as a person preferring to label me as an organization.

Thankfully Jesus and the Holy Spirit are bigger and beyond religious labels and forms. Jesus walked through walls and walked on water. The Holy Spirit showed up and moved in numerous forms – like a gentle dove and as wind and fire. God always shocks and surpasses your theology, often violating it entirely.

Hence there is always division when spirituality and religion collide. The “established” religion of the day always feels threatened when spirituality comes with a new awakening for humanity. The initial response therefore is usually to demonize and belittle the new revelation, instead of investigate and examine it further.

This is the knee jerk tendency or proud religiosity, which is entirely self-centered and fixated with me. What’s in it for me? How does it effect “my church”, “my offerings”, “my doctrine”, “my understanding”, “my interpretation”, etc. The ironic and self-righteous tendency however is to go beyond the “my” and “I” with which religion often does what it wants, interprets as it wants; but in the process puts God’s name on it in an attempt to validate and give itself credibility.

This is why when Jesus came His greatest opposition and enemies were from the religious circles. Sinners, prostitutes, conniving businessmen, and foul talking fishermen all loved and liked Jesus. It was the religious crowd full of manipulation and spiritual subtlety that Jesus couldn’t stand and abruptly opposed, immediately exposing their own insecurity.

Had the religious been genuinely spiritual, they would have sat and listened to Jesus to see if what He was saying was true and of spiritual benefit to them. Instead they quantified everything in monetary and self-effacing terms, preferring to protect what was theirs instead of embracing what was coming from God Himself.

Religion sells God, but is void of God’s divine life. Religion is subtly about projecting self-righteous attitudes, instilling fear in followers, enhancing one’s shallow ego with self-exaltation, building its denomination, protecting its affiliation, and disseminating its own ideological persuasion.

I was utterly shocked when I lived in Brooklyn Heights, where the Jehovah Witness kingdom halls are headquartered. I often talked to and discussed spiritual matters with “the witnesses” on Montague Street. When I questioned them about Jesus’ exhortation to take care of the poor from Matthew chapter 25, they said, “We don’t do that. God will take care of the poor. We just preach the Word.”

I in turn questioned the validity of the “Word” they preach, it being a New World translation. I then mentioned “to him who knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). “But he who has this world’s goods, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how can the love of God dwell in him?” (1 John 3:17).

It was then the “witnesses” were silenced and walked away in shame. Certainly I myself have often been without and perhaps with a bit but neglected those suffering around me. Nevertheless I don’t embrace creating a religious doctrine that alienates the poor and suffering, which relinquishes the divine and greatest commandment to love and lift a hurting humanity.

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it” (Proverbs 3:27).

Such man-made doctrines are often legalistic and demonic. The apostle Paul mentioned the doctrine advocated by the Vatican which forbids priests to marry and betroth a wife. “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies and hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

Jesus is about love, life, and spiritual enjoyment. Religion and the devil are about enslavement, control, and death. Throughout the early church era as evidenced throughout the book of Acts, whenever the religious council and establishment could not control the apostles, they sought to threaten, beat, imprison, and eventually kill them.

Jesus said it well, “The thief [speaking of the devil and religion] comes to steal, kill, and to destroy: but I have come that you might have life, and life more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Religion deeply entrenched in itself and its own preservation doesn’t mind if its interpretation is entirely useless, outdated, or utterly dead. As long as it exalts someone’s head, they will fight to the bitter end to preserve it. Because for them forms are more important than joyfully and spiritually experience life.

Hence when discarding one’s own inner baggage and identifications, the first place we often must begin is with religiosity and the way we often erroneously relate to our own loving Creator. Remember God will not allow anyone, including a self-righteous denomination, put Him in a box. God is bigger than your ideological, religious, and mental box.

Therefore when cultivating poverty in spirit to attain the riches of heaven, begin by stripping yourself of dead religion and mean, manipulative associations.

Upon discovering your dependence first and foremost on God alone, thereafter you can embrace others in the family of faith and find for yourself a spiritual home.

Concerning remaining poor in spirit, we do well to remember the words of the apostle Paul who said he was both “full” and yet “hungry” (Philippians 4:12). The British revivalist Smith Wigglesworth who raised several people from the dead and ministered healing to countless sick folks said he was content with his own discontentment.

David a man after God’s own heart, though being king and possessing innumerable things, cried: “As the deer panteth for the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, oh God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night” (Psalm 42:1-3).

“Now also when I am old and gray headed, Oh God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come” (Psalm 71:18).

Like Tolle shift inwardly, connect spiritually, and live miraculously.

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Source by Paul Davis

Sewing – Tools and History

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The practice of sewing, as in using thread and needle to attach various kinds of material, has been dated to at least 20,000 years ago. Sewing is practically a universal occurrence, and the actual beginnings of it stretch back to the beginnings of history. It predates the weaving of cloth by many centuries, and was used to stitch together hides, furs, and bark for clothing and other uses.

Early sewing needles were made from bone, wood, or natural needles taken from plants as Native Americans did with the agave plant. The earliest verified sewing needles made from iron date back to the third century B.C.E. and were found in what is now Germany. Chinese archaeologists report finding a complete set of iron sewing needles and thimbles in a tomb dating from the Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 220) in China. This is the earliest known example of a thimble in history. The thimble was developed to assist early sewers to push needles through thick hides and furs, and was first made from bone, wood, leather, sometimes glass and porcelain. Later thimbles began to be made from metal, and before the 18th century dimples in a thimble had to be punched into it by hand. The thimble also became an object of beauty with thimbles made from precious and semi-precious stones, and precious metals.

The first thread was made from plant fibers and animal sinew, which was used to sew together hides and furs for clothing, blankets and shelter. Later it was found that fibers from plants and animals could be spun together to make thread. The ancient Egyptians made thread by spinning these fibers together, and devised methods of dying the thread using berries and plant matter. In China and Japan, silk fibers taken from the cocoon of the silk worm was spun to make very fine thread.

For most of the history of sewing, it was done by hand. From the simplest stitches to ornate decorative work was done with a needle, thread and a steady hand. It remained so until the first patent for a machine that “emulated hand sewing” in 1790 in England. It is not known whether there ever was a machine built from the 1790 patent.

The first functioning sewing machine was issued a patent to Barthelemy Thimonnier in France in 1830. It used a single thread and a hooked needle to make a chain stitch similar to the one used in hand embroidery. The inventor was nearly killed when enraged French tailors rioted and burned down his garment factory because they feared the machine would cause unemployment. In 1846 the American Elias Howe was issued a patent for his machine, but the mass production of the machines did not happen until the 1850’s when Isaac Singer built the first truly successful sewing machine. With needle, thread, thimble and machine, the art and craft of it has not only formed items for our use and comfort. Sewing has helped form civilization itself.

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Quantum Ocean is the Mind of God

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Mind Of God

The New Age that we are now in, the Age of Aquarius is also the Age of the Mind.

One of the gifts of the New Age is the Laws of Quantum Physics. These Laws tell us that there exists an infinite Ocean of Thinking Energy called the Quantum Ocean. In Reality, it is the Mind of the Creator God. If you want to enter the Mind of God you simply have to enter the Quantum Ocean.

Since the dawn of time man has prayed and beseeched help from one God or a Pantheon of Gods one after another. With what success rate?

Gods and a pantheon of Gods come and go in predetermined cycles. These cycles are determined by the movements of our Solar System through the Galaxy.

As a Solar System, we revolve counter clockwise around our Galactic Sun. It takes approximately 241,000 years to make the great cycle around the Galactic Sun. The ancients called this “The Great Year.”

But every 2000 years we move through lesser cycles. We call these 2000 year cycles “Ages.”

We have just left the “Age of Pisces.” (0 – 2000 AD) and here the Christian Gods held sway. Before that it was the Roman and before that the Greek Gods. Before that it was the Egyptian Gods. They are all gone or will be in the case of Christianity.

They only exist in the minds and hearts, the sacred artifacts, temples and sacred places. But as far as being the power behind any particular Age; Piscean -Christianity; Aries-Rome; Taurus- Greek; etc. they no longer exist.

They do however exist in the Quantum Ocean, Mind of Gd where everything that ever was, is or will be exists. Since there is no time in the Quantum Ocean, only the NOW, all the old Gods exist there now.

But…. they had their 2000 year cycle where they blinked out of the Quantum Ocean and into Physical Reality of man. But alas, they have blinked back in.

Who knows when the cycle to ‘blink out’ will come around again? Or has it and the they have ‘blinked out’ into a a different physical reality than the one that you and I exist in?

In the Age of Aquarius, we do not need Gods/Goddess’s to show us what to do. Oh we can build inner circles within our own part of the Quantum Ocean and create a round table where we can invite them to sit and join us. But we don’t need them.

The Laws of Quantum Physics have given us access right into the Quantum Ocean, Mind of God. We now have the power to co-create our destiny.

Why is it that for the past 2000 years millions of men have gone to war and have died? Despite the desperate prayers of millions of mothers, daughters and wives? Thy were sincere and devout in their novenas, rosaries, masses and prayers. They filled the churches, synagogues, mosques. Why were their pleas not answered?

Could it be that they did not use the correct procedure or method? Could it be that the purpose of Gods are to guide and teach and not to interfere and do things for us? Could it be that Gods have really done nothing for us, including dying” But they did show us how to die.

What if all the mothers, wives and daughters knew about the Laws of Quantum Physics and the Quantum Ocean? What if they understood that thoughts are things and that the Mind of God responds to our thoughts?

What if they learned how to enter the Quantum Ocean, Mind of God and thought the right thoughts right there and took the energy of these right thoughts, contacting their sons who also exist in the Quantum Ocean and used this energy to directly protect them from harm.

They could do this with no middle man. No Church, Synagogue or Mosque. No Candles or wordy novenas.

Just enter the Quantum Ocean where you and your son exists and pick out the energies you want and surround him or her with them.

This is the age we are entering. The Age of the Mind. No more believing what others tell us. Learn how to enter the Quantum Ocean, Mind of God and move around in it for yourself. Build your own spiritual reality not another’s.

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Source by Ellis Peterson

Famous Atheists

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Many people throughout history have not believed in a god or gods. Famous atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are well known. There are many other famous people who also do not believe in any of the gods. Below is a short list of famous atheists along with a brief biography.

Christopher Hitchens (1949) is an author and journalist. His books include God is not Great and The Missionary Position. Hitchens became an American citizen on the 13th of April 2007. His most recent book is Hitch-22: A Memoir.

Richard Dawkins (1941) is an evolutionary biologist, Ethologist and author. Sometimes referred to in the media as “Darwin’s Rottweiler”, Dawkins is the author of many books including the bestseller The God Delusion which he makes the case that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist. In his latest book The Greatest Show on Earth Dawkins lays out the evidence for biological evolution. At its annual conference Atheists Alliance International presents the Richard Dawkins Award to an atheist who has been influential in raising public awareness of atheism.

Sam Harris (1967) is an author, neuroscientist and CEO of Project Reason. His books include The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian. His third book The Moral Landscape Harris argues that science can be a source of morals. Sam writes about many topics including science, religion, philosophy, and morality.

PZ Myers (1957) is a biology professor and author of the blog Pharyngula where he addresses topics such as creationism, Intelligent Design, science education, and atheism. PZ describes Pharyngula as “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.”

Penn and Teller are magicians, comedians, illusionists and host of the television show Bullshit! which deals with topics such as creationism, pseudoscience, alternative medicine and animal rights.

James Randi (1928) is an author, magician, and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Randi often appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and is the author of many books including The Truth About Uri Geller.

Ricky Gervais (1961) is a comedian, actor, director and writer. Gervais is the author of several children books including Flanimals.

Jodie Foster (1962) is an actress, producer and film director. Foster has starred in many films including Contact and The Silence of the Lambs.

Douglas Adams (1952 – 2001) was a writer who authored many books including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (1969) is a writer, feminist, politician and critic of Islam. She is the author of the New York Times best seller Infidel.

Lance Armstrong (1971) is a 7-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor.

Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992) was a professor of biochemistry at Boston University and is the author of many books.

Peter Atkins (1940) is a writer and chemist.

Bruce Lee (1940 – 1973) was a martial arts expert, actor, film director, film producer, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do marital arts movement.

Dan Barker (1949) was a Christian preacher for 19 years. After leaving Christianity Barker became an atheist and is the author of the books Godless and Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist. Dan is the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

James Cameron (1954) is a producer, film director, editor, and screenwriter. Cameron wrote and directed the films Titanic and Avatar.

George Carlin (1937 – 2008) was a comedian, author, and actor. He won a total of five Grammy awards and was a frequent performer on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Bjork (1965) is a singer, songwriter, music producer, and actress. She has recorded seven solo albums and three albums with the group Sugarcubes.

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (1918 – 2008) was a science fiction writer and inventor. Some of his works include 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Fountains of Paradise.

Seth MacFarlane (1973) is a writer, producer, director, and actor. Seth is best known for creating the TV show Family Guy. He supports gay rights and the legalization of marijuana.

Steven Pinker (1954) is a scientist, psychologist, author, and linguist. Pinker has written many books including Stuff of Thought and The Blank Slate.

Daniel Radcliffe (1989) is an actor who is best known for his role playing Harry Potter in the film series.

Ron Reagan (1958) was a radio show host and is currently a political pundit for MSNBC.

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Source by Ryan Dowd

The ABCS of Technical Writing – 4 Features Technical Writers Need to Know

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Writing a technical report is often a real challenge for many technical professionals. The research, investigation or design are why you’re doing what you love to do… but then you have to write a report. And that has the potential to be the weak link. But there are some features of technical writing that are essential, whatever your field or organisation. I like to remember them as the ABCS of Technical Writing: accuracy, brevity, clarity, and simplicity.

  1. Accuracy: accurate reporting of your findings; accurate presentation of the facts; accurate representation of your findings, in accordance with the methods you’ve used. Make sure you clearly indicate where you’ve expressed an opinion, rather than a certain outcome of your investigation. As far as possible, give specific information rather than generalisations.
  2. Brevity: Try to keep the document as short as possible – time-poor readers will appreciate that. Consider placing background and supporting information into an appendix, footnote or endnote reference. As much as possible, keep sentences short (15 to 20 words works well for most readers), with only one idea expressed in each sentence.
  3. Clarity: Use familiar vocabulary and constructions (make sure you’ve thought about who will read your report and be prepared to explain potentially unfamiliar words, perhaps as a glossary, footnote or endnote). Be consistent with your terminology, abbreviations and presentation of figures, tables, illustrations, etc. Consider using tables, figures, graphs, illustrations to demonstrate your point… as ‘they’ say, a picture saves a thousand words. Remember that jargon (specialised terms used in your field) excludes those who are unfamiliar with those words. Use precise words: your readers don’t appreciate having to decide if a word has a slightly different meaning in different contexts. A useful technique is to use bullet or numbered points to express complex ideas (if your discipline or organisation allows).
  4. Simplicity: This is about expressing your thoughts with simplicity, not simplifying your work. Remember your readers: you want to show them the value of your work, not what a good writer you are. The content is more important than extravagant writing. Verbosity hinders your readers’ understanding. Make sure you’ve thought about the logical progression of your report. Plan the structure of your document so that you lead your readers to the conclusion you’ve reached. The simplicity inherent in the use of plain English (active voice, reasonable sentence length, wise use of specialised terms, no verbosity) will serve you well.

Become familiar with the ABCS of Technical Writing. Remember that you are writing so that your readers will say, ‘That’s excellent work’ not ‘That’s good writing, but I really am not sure what it was all about.’

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Source by Desolie Page

Specialization Vs Generalization: "Should I Be Really Good at One Thing or Pretty Good at Many?"

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One of the most common questions beginning freelancers ask themselves is, “should I be really good at one thing or pretty good at many things?” The answer is — you guessed it — it depends. There are advantages and disadvantages to both specializing in one area and having more general knowledge in several areas. Here are the main pro/con arguments.

Advantages of Specialization

  1. Better pay — Assuming there is sufficient demand for a specific area of knowledge or skills, companies will gladly pay a premium for expert help. If you’re highly knowledgeable and skillful in a field, you’re an extremely valuable resource to those companies looking for your expertise.
  2. Less competition — Generally, the more focused your knowledge and skills are (i.e. the smaller your niche), the fewer competitors you will have. Because of the sheer number of niches, each one will have fewer freelancers than the more general supergroup containing it.
  3. Better for working with larger businesses — As opposed to small businesses, large companies are more likely to be able to afford many specialists in a variety areas; for example, a corporation may hire all of the following freelancers: a business consultant, accountant, web copywriter, print copywriter, graphic designer, frontend web developer, backend web developer, public relations master, SEO specialist, social media expert, legal advisor, and a marketing guru. If you prefer working with larger corporations, being more specialized will likely increase your value as a freelancer to large companies.

Disadvantages of Specialization

  1. Limited ability to adapt to economic changes — Demand and supply for specialized freelance services change. If demand decreases due to advances in technology or a change in trends, or supply increases due to others entering your field of specialty, you may lose business and revenue. For example, if you are the leading expert in Facebook marketing but people migrate to Google+, you may lose a significant amount of business and need to reinvent yourself as a Google+ marketing guru (you would lose money and time during this learning process).
  2. Smaller target market (fewer potential clients) — The more specialized you are, the smaller the marketplace will be for your particular specialty. For instance, if you specialize in producing short documentary films for non-profits, you will have fewer potential customers than if you’re a more adaptive freelance video producer who can produce a large variety of films.
  3. Boredom — You might get bored of doing the same — or a similar — thing over and over again. Hopefully you love your specialty (that’s why you chose it, right?), but that may not be the case 5 years down the road.

Advantages of Generalization

  1. Superior ability to adapt to economic changes — By not going too far in depth in any particular area, you can quickly adapt to trends in technology, business, and design such that you don’t lose business or revenue due to movements in supply and demand for particular freelance services (at least, not to the same degree as a specialist would). And since you’re not trying to learn everything in a particular field, you save learning time. After all, you probably don’t need to know everything (see #3 below).
  2. Better idea of the “big picture” — By having a diverse knowledge base, you will be able to more easily understand the larger, more abstract goals and concepts of a particular company and therefore be able to better suit that company’s needs. Understanding the context of the work you’re doing is crucial to going above and beyond the expectations of a client.
  3. Help most people most of the time — Most people aren’t looking for something extremely specific. Clients generally have a “fuzzy” idea of what they’re looking for (whether they admit this or not), and they’re probably looking to you for direction. This is usually the case because if a client knows exactly what she wants, she is more likely to do it herself than to pay someone else to do it for her (assuming she has the necessary skills).
  4. Better for working with small businesses — Most small businesses cannot afford to hire numerous specialty freelancers such as all those listed under item #3 under Advantages of Specialization. I’ve worked a lot with small businesses and usually what they’re looking for is someone who isn’t too specialized but rather someone who has a broad knowledge base, is very resourceful (i.e. can find answers/solutions quickly), and is a creative problem solver.

Disadvantages of Generalization

  1. Lack of focus — If you’re not particularly useful in an area, companies may not hire you because your services don’t provide enough value in achieving their objectives. If you only know a little more than your client knows, your client will probably look for someone more specialized or perhaps they will learn how to do the job themselves.
  2. More competition — There is a seemingly infinite number of “generalized” freelance writers, graphic designers, web developers, and so forth. The more “noise” there is in the marketplace, the more difficult it will be for you to stand out as a leader. Most novice and intermediate freelancers will take most any job they can get, so they end up becoming generalized freelancers, thereby adding to your competition.

My Personal Experience Being Generalized

I have personally acquired a more general knowledge base and skill set. This strategy has worked great for me (so far). I enjoy doing a variety of work; I rarely get bored of a particular task, so that is a huge advantage for me. I enjoy working with other small businesses; I am often a very valuable asset to them in terms of developing technological solutions for business operations and in terms of their company’s presence on the web and their internet marketing strategy.

If I find myself in a situation where I don’t know something (i.e. an area where I’m not specialized enough), I do research and find the answer or learn how to do something (simply Googling often does the job). If there’s a lot involved or there’s a big learning curve, I will hire someone else to perform a particular task (i.e. I subcontract / outsource the job) to save myself time and frustration.

Do What Makes Sense to You

Deciding whether to be specialized or generalized is often a personal preference. You should do what makes sense to you based on the pros and cons that most matter to you.

Looking for More Freelance Tips?

Learn how to succeed as a freelancer and read about my exciting self-employment adventures.

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Source by Geoff Myers

3 Components Of Writing

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If you keep these 3 components in mind while writing, you will have a more complete story. In general, you are looking at each component representing a section of the work. If you divided the work, whether article or story, into 4 equal sections, then the first component (BEGINNING) will equal about 1/4 of the work. The second component (MIDDLE) will represent 2/4 or 1/2 of the total work. The third component (END) will represent the last 1/4 of the work. Keep in mind, this is just an approximate division; every work will be different.

1 – BEGINNING:

  • The introduction to the work or story.
  • Depending on the topic of the work, this section may be short or long, but will be less than the middle.
  • In non-fiction, the beginning will serve as a “set up” to introduce the reader to the topic and give a brief outline or suggestion of what to expect in the rest of the work.
  • It may be used to tease the reader or to present a view into the characters, setting and plot.

2 – MIDDLE:

  • The exposition of characters, events, action, plot, research and main points of the work. This takes up the majority of the work.
  • In non-fiction, the middle will explain all theories, points, beliefs, facts, history etc. of the topic. This section will explore in great depth each of the points, usually sectioned by chapter (if a book).
  • This is where the writer will focus most of his or her attention. He will ask and answer questions, usually from either a teaching/education perspective or an informative perspective. Think of a math text book versus Grandma’s memoir.
  • In fiction, the middle will explore the plot and parallel subplots more deeply. This is where the main antagonist (the enemy-person, circumstance, disease etc), plus other secondary and more minor characters will be introduced and explored more fully. In crime/mystery and suspense, the killer’s identity will be foreshadowed in this section.
  • Foreshadowing, conflict, pacing, dialogue, red herrings and character development are key in this section. Conflict will play a vital role here. Numerous conflicts up the ‘danger’ element.
  • Just when everything seems to be working in favor of the main character (protagonist), something will happen to throw off the balance and rev up the action. This is true of all genres.

3 – END:

  • The conclusion of the work or story; the wrap up of events. Usually the shortest component.
  • In non-fiction, the end will wrap up the main points and beliefs of the writer.
  • This section will serve to emphasize why the writer chose this topic and what the main reason is for writing about it.
  • In fiction, the end will come to a climax where action and threat is of utmost importance.
  • A main conflict is revealed: such as the identity of a killer, a love interest, the truth of a mystery or a self-realization for the character.
  • Resolution occurs and someone loses, someone wins. Loose ends are tied up. The reader is left feeling that all is explained, or at least most (a twist at the end is popular with series.)

©2007 Cheryl Kaye Tardif

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Source by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Format For Writing a Newspaper Article – The Most Important Elements in News Writing

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1. Effective, eye-catching headlines. You should always kick-start your articles with captivating headlines. Make them easy to understand, powerful, and enticing. Your readers must get a clear picture of your story by just reading your headlines. To save some space, ensure that you make each word count. It's better if you use 6 words or less.

2. Inverted pyramid technique. It's crucial that you write your articles using this technique. You see, saving the most essential information for last will not help you get your articles read. Remember, your audience has very short attention span and they usually do not read news articles in their heritage. So, give them all the most important details on your first or lead paragraph. Strive to answer all the questions that they might have.

3. Writing tone. Most news articles are written using formal tone and formal writing style specifically those that are published on broadsheets. But you can make your articles sound more laid back if they are for tabloids or if you're writing feature articles.

4. Images. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, as much as possible, use relevant images on your articles. Give your editors some choices by submitting at least 3-5 relevant pictures. Ensure that they can help you communicate the gist of your story to your readers.

5. Quotes. Interview those personalities and individuals who are involved or who are considered authorities in the story that you're covering. Present their statement or opinions on your articles. These will help you add more personal touch to your articles.

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Source by Sean Mize

A New Earth – Author Eckhart Tolle & Oprah – Ways to Say No & Kinds of Energy

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During chapter 2 of the online course from his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle with Oprah answered a caller’s inquiry about knowing when to let go and when to be assertive.

Michelle called in from Philadelphia, PA to participate in the discussion asking: “I’m a little bit confused with chapter 2. I understand the quote, ‘If someone takes your shirt, let them have your coat as well.’ Where do you draw the line without getting walked all over? I don’t want to be an egotistical person, but at the same time I do not want to get taken advantage of. So I’m having a little bit of confusion with that.”

The passage Michelle was referring to came directly from the Bible as originally spoken by Jesus. “To him that hits you on one cheek offer the other also; and to him that takes away your shirt, give him your coat also.” (Luke 6:29)

Jesus sought to build a spiritual kingdom and build the inner man within humanity, whereby they would not hold tightly to and be encumbered by earthly things. Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

The rich young ruler came to Jesus and said: “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16) Jesus sensing the flattery a bit, immediately had him redirect his attention toward God the Father and keeping the commandments to enter into life.

The young man said to Jesus, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what do I yet lack?” (v. 20) Interestingly, the young man did not simply say he had kept the commandments, but went so far as to point out he had done so throughout his youth until now. This might signal a slight bit of self-righteousness and tendency to trying to earn salvation by good works. Note the young man asked what he must “do” to have eternal life.

Christ and the kingdom of God however are received and entered into by faith, not good works. Of course thereafter you get to do good works, but by no means must you do good works. Good works are to flow freely from the heart as you love God and your neighbor.

Jesus discerned the young man’s dilemma and issue, after which Jesus without hesitation cut to the chase and advised him. “If you will be perfect, go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me” (Matthew 19:21).

He had great possessions, but more importantly his response revealed the condition of his heart. The reply of the young man says it all. “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” (v. 22)

This showed that he was possessed by his possessions, or that his possessions owned him. Jesus beholding the young man walk away said, “How hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (v. 23).

Note Jesus did not say it was impossible, just more difficult and hard. Because when you have this world’s material goods in your possession, you become increasingly self-sufficient. The tendency therefore is to pull away from God and become a god unto yourself.

Yet Joseph of Arimathea was a rich disciple who wholeheartedly followed Jesus (Matthew 27:57), proving that it can successfully be done. Zacchaeus who was chief among the publicans was also rich. Zacchaeus so hungered for Christ that he climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Jesus when He passed by. Believing wholeheartedly in Christ the Lord, Zacchaeus immediately repented, made restitution, and experienced a glorious salvation in his house (see Luke 19:2-9).

Eckhart when answering Michelle’s question replied, “All it says is sometimes letting go, there’s more power in letting go than in clinging or hanging on to something. So there are situations when you actually become empowered when you let go, rather than when you cling. It does not mean that people walk all over you. In fact there are situations when you have to say no very clearly as to a situation or to a person, but even that ‘no’ can be of two different kinds.”

Tolle continued, “Usually the no is very negative. When you say ‘no’ to a person; a person says, ‘I’ll give you a ride home.’ But you see the person is drunk. Of course you wouldn’t say yes just to be pleasant. You say no.”

“Now do you say no with negative energy and in a state of resistance or do you say not that is positive? It simply means a clear and straight forward, ‘No, I won’t do that.'”

“This is very different from the resistant no. I call that the no that is not negative – a high quality no.”

Oprah added some insight: “It’s also looking at the reason, why you would cling to the shirt. …If the reason why you’re holding to the shirt causes you to think the shirt is going to give you more value or you’re operating from your ego when you’re holding on to it. So you’re saying …surrender whatever needs to be surrendered.”

Oprah is correct in seeking to assess the motivation of the heart and the “reason” for clinging on to things. This is precisely why Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell his possessions and give to the poor, because Jesus sensed the young man’s unhealthy attachment and identification with his possessions.

Truly the Word of God is likened unto a two-edged sword that cuts, divides, and discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart (see Hebrews 4:12). Yet we know that it is very possible to be both rich and spiritual, because all of Jesus’ apostles were previously successful businessmen. Upon becoming Christ’s disciples and traveling with him, they continued to support themselves and their families.

Therefore when Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). Jesus’ disciples immediately were astonished beyond measure. Why so? Because they knew their own economic standing and were concerned with their own spiritual well being.

The disciples fearing for their own salvation said among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10:26) Jesus answered them saying, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).

This comment and reply from Jesus is to say that men can buy nearly everything, but not eternal salvation. This alone therefore comes from God, which if you keep your heart tender and sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord you can have. The problem with things is that they have a tendency to encumber one’s heart and thereby like weeds “choke out the Word of God’ making it unfruitful in you.

“The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke God’s Word, making it unfruitful in you” (see Mark 4:19).

Jesus being fully committed to earthly prosperity as well as heavenly riches and glory expounded saying, “There is no man that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).

Interestingly, Jesus said along with the blessings that come when you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:31), along with them you shall be persecuted. And the majority of persecution comes from the jealous religious crowd who want what you’ve got, but haven’t paid the price that you’ve sacrificially and experientially paid.

Many wanted (and still want and pursue) the revelation and divine insight of the apostle Paul. Yet very few are willing to endure the hardships, abuse, persecution, and difficulties that Paul endured to get such inward revelation.

In answer to Michelle’s question, no we should not let ourselves be doormats for people to use and abuse. When the Pharisees and scribes sought to entangle Jesus in His speech, He wisely answered them and withdrew Himself from among them. Moreover when appropriate, Christ boldly confronted them to address their own hypocrisy.

We cannot correct what we refuse to confront. Often what you tolerate will continue to dominate.

Therefore we must bring order to our lives, homes, and interactions professionally and socially; lest we be bulldozed over by cunning people in the business world and society.

God gave you heart and backbone, preserve and use them both when appropriate. As you do you shall guard and protect the positive life force energy flowing in and through you.

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Source by Paul Davis

The Innovative Avant-Garde Short Story

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Most writers follow the set conventions and style of writing set by the former writers, but some break through such set conventions in order to bring innovation. The innovative short story is sometimes termed as avant-garde, experimental, or unconventional fiction. In this article, you will learn about this “innovative” aspect of story and its development.

Innovative stories, unlike mainstream short fiction, do not rely upon conventional character, plots, conflicts, or other elements. They are somewhat anti-story normally lacking realism, a focused subject, and plot. Rather such stories explore events through randomness, chaos, fragments, and arbitrariness. One of the main aspects of such innovative stories is that they are often unpredictable and that is why such stories generate the effects of wonder and awe.

You can consider the modern short story as an innovation in fiction. Since the 19th century, some writers have extended the boundary line of the form. Gogol merged dream and reality in his The Overcoat (1842) which is a tale about an unimportant clerk who dies of heartbreak after his new overcoat is stolen but later on returns as a ghost to find justice. In other words, the writers of today take liberty in experimenting with the form.

The stories of Franz Kafka beautifully mesh the fantastic with the realistic. And as a result, the adjective “Kafkaesque” is created to describe his stories. In the Penal Colony (1919) is one of the finest of Kafka’s innovative stories dealing with imprisonment and torment. This sort of fusion is often innovative in nature that succeeds in entertaining the readers.

Virginia Woolf makes use of the omniscient point of view in the Kew Gardens (1919). In this story, plants, insects, wind, noise, and light play as important part as human beings.

After World War II, unconventional short fiction became more popular and common. American writer Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. in his Welcome to the Monkey House (1968) included a range of stories that make satirical use of the science fiction genre. Harrison Bergeron is such story that starts with, “The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal.”

Tommaso Landolfi, an Italian author, uses the biographical form in Gogol’s Wife (1954) for satirizing men’s misuse of women. French writer Anais Nin’s dream story Ragtime (1944) is about Surrealism, which tries to represent the subconscious.

The more you read and study the modern short stories, the more you’ll find that how innovation has taken place with the course of the time.

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Source by Rakesh Ramubhai Patel