May You Encounter Christ’s Inclusive Church

In this article I’m responding to an article which speaks eloquently about a struggle Christians in increasing number are resonating with. Yet, it has been and is (emphasise, present tense) a very real struggle for so many of us.

Still, none of us are beyond learning. And God is granting us a fresh grace in this age to wrestle with others who themselves are wrestling.

Not many of us are gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender or intersex or another affiliation of sexual expression. Not many of us that I know, but the statistics tell me that my reality isn’t a true representation.

There are, therefore, many out there who are living a closeted experience, and, in present context, I’m not talking about those with secret addictions – the functional addicts in all strata of society. There are so many within the myriad forms of addiction that steal peace, kill joy and destroy hope.

And I have to say this… it isn’t just the addict who struggles. Just about every person has struggles. And when I discuss ‘struggle’ I mean a significant daily struggle – with nothing easy about it.

But an article by a gay man desperate for the church to stand up to help people like him, who – like us all – needs to find his way to God and inclusion within the people of God.

Would any of us get in God’s way?

This young man might refer us to these words of Jesus out of the gospel of Luke, chapter 5:

30The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; 32I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Verse 32, that’s all of us, anyone clothed in skin. Let’s not call out the LGBTI+ crowd as particularly sinful, and thereby call ourselves out as being Pharisaical. That’s what Pharisees did: highlighted everybody else’s sin, ignoring their own. Our task as Christians is to live real before God: our personal struggle (and each of us has one) is a cosmic challenge that only God can overcome. How helpless are we? Jesus calls the sinner to repentance – a personal activity, for each one of us, facilitated by an almighty and gracious God.

Verse 31, Jesus grants the Pharisees and scribes their truth (for it is not God’s truth) – ‘believe as you wish’ Jesus might say – for the sick are those who know they’re sick – Jesus cannot help the person ‘well’ in their blind stubbornness; the self-righteousness that threatens to reign in us all. And this is no comment on the vagaries of sickness – just that all are sick. All! It’s why all ought to be included.

Blessed is the one who knows they’re sick, who know they need the Physician, who seek the hospital.

And our job – mine in my case – is to simply be a guide for a person who hasn’t met God and who is seeking to meet God. They don’t need my unqualified opinions on the way there. We can give them resources as we listen, but just as we stand before God, we will all be held to account. Our responsibility is to not inhibit anyone’s passage to the Christ.

Therefore, we listen. We feel into their anguish – a reality, up to now and into the foreseeable future, of being estranged to God-felt compassion from the vast copse of humanity.

Ours is the challenge to stand up, as the young man says. It will cause us conflict, for that there is no doubt. But our lives are no longer about us; they are about the Lord’s business.

And the Lord would never condemn them like our fears and preconceptions might.

I want to say, as the article cited suggests, “If you are LGBTQI+ and need somebody to speak to, I just want to offer you a listening ear.”

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Steve Wickham

Poetry – The Beggars Art

After completing a degree in English, specializing in Journalism I found it hard to find paying work as a journalist. The work I did was mainly free-lance and was few and far between. As a result, I turned my skills to creative writing or constructing prose and poetry instead. The problem is there is little to no money in the field unless you are Geoffrey Chaucer or William Shakespeare whom would also, undoubtedly, be poverty-stricken, in today’s age where Mills and Boons and Harry Potter are the art of the new age. In fact I have made only $5 and won one iPod in 4 years of writing.

This is not to say that creative writing is not rewarding in its own right. It is also not impossible to make some money off of your work – normally, though, one must go the self publishing route. There are many companies on the internet such as LULU who can assist you with this, but in order to sell you need to market – and that costs money, so the old adage is true – you need money to make money.

However, the poet and creative writer is not in his or her vocation for the money. He or she is an artist, and hopefully constructs art for art sake – for that is exactly what creative writing is – art. It contains imagery, rhyme, symmetry, rhythm and is normally beautiful or thought-provoking to read. The only difference between a painting and a poem is the medium – a pen verses an easel.

So, for any of you aspiring creative writers out there, do not give up the ghost – there is light at the end of the tunnel, there are many online poetry competitions or creative writing competitions to enter, just Google it and you’ll see.

Some advice from me, a finalist at the 2004 ISP (International Society of Poets) Poetry Competition is the following: Make sure you have something to say – do not just rhyme for rhyme sake, study the classics – Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope – decide what medium you are going to write in – open verse, sonnet, rhyming couplets – pay attention to the rhythm of your work – read it aloud – and last but definitely not least write from your heart, get inspired however you can – listen to music sing, read a book watch a movie but be inspired.

So to end with a bang I will end with a quote: “To be creative is divine’ (Osho). For, God is after all the master creator.”

Till next time, good luck and good writing.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Graeme Wesley Rossouw

I Love Being a Ghost Writer!

Sighing languorously into my morning steaming coffee mug, the one with the Chinese splashing scarlet fish on the sides, I gaze lazily out of a broad window. I’m sipping a Starbucks Premium Blend, one of my favorites since the old days of bicycle riding down the Burke-Gilman Trail. I’ve also traversed the extremely long trail near the Green River, site of some of the most horrific murders in US history.

They gave a local freelance writer named Anne Rule something to write about, and got her national attention. I, on the other hand, shy away from such attention. I am a ghostwriter, not a freelance writer, as of 2003 on a regular basis. So you probably have never heard of me before, and with luck you never will. Well, again, unless you visit our website. That sort of thing is welcome with me, but your work will only have your name on it if you hire our affordable ghostwriting services.

I traded potential fame or infamy for dependable upfront payments a long time ago. Ghostwriting is a profession similar to but not the same as freelance writing, and the main difference is you can set up ways on your own to get paid. Magazines and publishing houses that hire freelance writers determine the ways they get paid, but in most cases as a freelance ghostwriter you can set up your own payment schedules. Some ghostwriters who work for publishing houses, though, are on the publishers’ pay schedules. But normally, ghostwriters work their own hours, set their own payments and make their own rules. It’s a living, and when you’ve been a ghostwriter for several years, it’s a good one too.

As a ghostwriter, I am always finding out new things about the world. It gives me an excuse to cruise the headlines of the New York Times, looking for article topics, at my leisure. I learn all kinds of things that help me do research on books and screenplays, although I don’t write scripts myself. It keeps me in the loop as a ghostwriter to know more about the world every day. Perched over my keyboard at a computer desk at home, looking like a round-shouldered ostrich egg (weighing 100 pounds more than I should), I peruse the entire planet through the Internet.

Nowadays, I tend to send ghostwriting and editing work out to the 100 or so members of our ghostwriting team, so other ghostwriters than me fill the bill when it comes to client satisfaction. I only hire the best, and demand the highest standards from even our student writers. But we charge only affordable ghost writing prices each time, and find only affordable ghost writer services to supply our clients’ needs for book, music and screenplay marketing and promotions.

Setting down my coffee cup, I feel my husband come up behind me. He briefly massages my aching shoulders, which are now suffering badly from several hours on the computer. It’s the best part of my day, these massages from my gentle and wonderful hubbie. My daughter, now a recent grown-up, opens the door to her room, gently closing it so as not to disturb us. I hit Save on Word and send the doc I’m working on into My Documents, also saving it into Google Docs for the day.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Karen S Cole

If Your Church Is Stagnant, Shake Up Your Board

The word “stagnant” conjures unpleasant images, but it’s the best word for some of the situations I see in churches. No movement, no progress, just sitting and letting things grow from minor problem to major infestation.

The best advice that I could give when I see a stagnant church is to look at your Board. Whether you have a Board of Directors, a Board of Trustees, or a Board of Deacons, they are almost always the behind the lack of spirit in this natural situation. If you church is not a moving, dynamic, example of the Holy Spirit, you have to shake up your Board.

Whenever I engage a church in a business relationship, I ask for a list of their Board of Directors. The more troubled the church the older the list. I’ve seen lists that were typed on electric typewriters 20 years ago and lists of Board members where a few have gone on to glory and have never been replaced.

If your governing body is not burning with desire for growth that includes plans for continuity, your congregation, your efforts, and your building will show it. Dusty efforts are obvious and all the fire and brimstone preaching in the world can not make up for lack of effective leadership.

Growing churches are full of growing people. Their leadership are often role models for what the congregation is reaching for. Whether they are professional people, community leaders, faithful servants, or people with a relevant history, the Board should be a reflection of where the church wants to go.

When I tell people that I write grants, I get an overwhelming response. Almost everyone has something they want to do and would like to have the funding to do it. Unfortunately, the majority of people I speak to are nowhere near ready for the responsibility that social service work requires. Planning, administration, and accountability are the only requirements for most programs, yet most church workers are too strained with their current responsibilities to add anything new.

Why are the decent church workers overwhelmed? Because the lack of dynamic leadership results in a lack of structure. Let me be clear. Dynamic doesn’t mean personally magnetic or appealing, it means they are always in motion. Meetings are purposeful and results are obvious. The lack of structure from a stagnant Board results from no meetings or pointless meetings that result in nothing.

Ministers tend to know very resourceful people, movers and shakers in their communities. Why don’t they invite them to join their Boards? Mostly, because they don’t want to subject them to their current Board members. Those members who monopolize meetings with irrelevant issues, those that resist change, those that are antagonistic or those who suffer from a lack of knowledge.

Shake them up! Look at your By Laws and find out how and when Board members are replaced. Memorize the process for electing Board members. Take attendance and minutes. Voice your vision for change and growth and let them decide who is in and who is out. Let some of the young people in your congregation join the Board and train them to be responsible leaders. If your church is in crisis, get the Board together and change the articles of incorporation or the By Laws.

Too many church leaders have lived with crisis for so long, they sleepwalk through every church effort. That is not necessary. Shake up your Board, add new faces and new knowledge and you will find yourself getting things done.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Dr. Yvonne LaMar

How Does the Amazon-Macmillan Flap Show Why Self-Marketing is So Vital?

The recent disagreement over pricing that landed Macmillan books into the vacuum is indicative of the trials that have long plagued the publishing industry (especially the relationship between author and publisher); it is a harbinger of coming changes that the realm of the internet, digital information, and mobile devices are bringing to the print industry–be it books, film, comics…whatever.

Creators, or writers in this most recent case, are going to be the casualties in this change since down-sizing companies are less likely to cut staff and more likely to cut authors that don’t sell a higher threshold of books. A best-selling author recently observed:

The simple fact is that none of us, no writer, is entitled to a career. We are all a single sales disaster away from working with the phrase, “Would you like fries with that?” Whether it is the downturn in the economy, your editor leaving your publisher, your publisher cutting the division that publishes your books, a retailer (for whatever reason) deciding not to carry your book, no writer should ever have the expectation of a career.

We have never been in control of our own fate.

Until now.

Are digital sales to the point where they can supplant traditional publishing income? For some authors they are. Digital readers are proliferating, and the J. K. Rowling demographic is very comfortable with reading off a screen. They’re reading more. And if your work is not available digitally, you don’t exist to them.

It’s time for writers to stop lamenting how the inefficiencies of the old system treat them badly, and to embrace the future. If writers don’t take control of their future, they doom themselves to the obscurity that will swallow the current business model whole.

This scribe’s words ring true for many people right now, not just writers. When an economy or a corporate system fails, it is the employee or the contractor that ultimately takes the hit. This cycle will continue so long as people continue to rely on bosses and co-workers for their financial well-being.

So what happens when the axe finally falls? If you’re a writer chances are you want to keep writing. (I’m a writer and I know I wouldn’t want to abandon my calling just because someone else’s system failed me.) If you’re a corporate or retail worker…then what? Unemployment is between 9% and 10%, with some states even worse.

Ultimately everyone turns to the internet to search for an opportunity. And why not? It’s the world at our fingertips. And chances are very good that there are others just like us who are tired of playing the game of relying on other people and governments tinkering with economies. For us writers we have stories to tell and we want to make a living off of that if possible. That means finding our niche audience and connecting with them.

So what’s the answer?

The answer is in marketing one’s self. The answer is finding something that you love to do or create and building a customer base. The answer is setting your own value. Leverage yourself so that the only person you need to rely on when it comes to your financial well-being is you and those others that you decide share your exact same passion for success.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Josh Radke

What Geronimo Stilton Can Teach You About Life

There is perhaps no better way of teaching children some morals and life lessons than through books and stories. By telling them stories of fictional characters that go through different kinds of adventures all day, it will be easier to catch their attention and you will always be assured that they will learn something at the end of each story. Geronimo Stilton Books are a series of children’s books focusing on a journalist named Geronimo Stilton. The book originated from Italy, written by Elisabetta Dami, though the book uses the name Geronimo Stilton as the author.

The series has 46 books and was adapted into a television series. Each book is centered on the main character, Geronimo Stilton, a talking mouse who works as a journalist for the Rodent’s Gazette. Geronimo always finds himself in different adventures with his younger sister Thea Stilton, his cousin Trap Stilton and his favorite nephew Benjamin Stilton. Geronimo is a wise little mouse who loves reading books, listening to classical music, and playing golf. While he hates travelling, as he easily gets motion sickness, he nonetheless, finds himself in adventures all around the world. Each book in the series of Geronimo Stilton books has a moral at the end. It is written for kids ages 8 to 12 but children of any age can appreciate it.

There are a lot of life lessons to learn from these books. In the book secret agent, for example, Geronimo finds himself in a whirlwind of adventures and gets into some trouble. The book stresses that each friend is a treasure and that despite all of the bad things that happened to him, he knows that he always have friends to call who would be more than willing to help him out. While each book is filled with interesting illustrations, the author still makes it a point to leave some room for imagination. If anything, the illustrations are only there to heighten the reader’s imagination. Geronimo Stilton Books also emphasizes the importance of helping other people out. Such is the case, in the Book Geronimo’s Valentine, where he learns that a painting has gone missing together with the artist who made it. He and his friend spend the whole day trying to solve the mystery and in the process, he missed his date with Petunia Pretty, who forgives him for it. In most of the books, Geronimo prioritizes other people, as he sincerely wants to help out.

Geronimo Stilton Books also stresses the importance of family. This is evident in Geronimo’s love for his family. He won’t find himself in crazy adventures in different parts of the world if he did not love his family. You can find Geronimo’s books online so that you can have them readily shipped to you for easier access. Your children can also choose to read books online if they want to. It is best to buy books like these, as they are able to foster your child’s imagination and learn life lessons in the process. Geronimo Stilton Books are a must-have for kids who love reading and even those who don’t will find something interesting in every book.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Fico Molina

At What Point Should You Start Selling To Your Customers?

Your business will only survive if you and your sales team sell.

That’s a given.

So when, in your opinion, does that selling process start?

Is it from the initial phone call, email or visit to your shop?

Nope, you’re way off.

Granted, if you were to define the act of selling it would probably be along the lines of when you carry out the transaction and money exchanges hands. However, the sales process itself starts much earlier.

The first touch

The process starts from the first interaction your customer has with your company.

Of course, that may not necessarily involve direct contact with you (i.e. in person, by phone or by email). It is more likely to be the first time they land on your website, read a brochure or see your social media updates.

That’s why every word you write, every advert you put together and every status update, must provide an excellent customer experience because it could be the catalyst for a sale.

Making a great impression

Having a friendly sales team isn’t enough if your marketing materials aren’t up to scratch.

Your website copy, brochure content, emails, newsletters and social media updates must convey the right impression of your company if you want them to drive sales.

Very few people will make contact with you out of the blue and buy. The vast majority of consumers today are far savvier. They will do their research, compare you to other companies and then get in touch with the business they believe suits their needs best.

Usually, this will be the one that came across as being approachable, offered great value and, more importantly, an excellent service.

So how can you make sure that’s how you come across in your marketing?

The simple answer is to forget about who you are and concentrate on what your customers want.

If you start your writing process from there, you’re far more likely to succeed because your materials will be focused primarily on the needs of your customers – and let’s face it, the only thing they want to know is ‘what’s in it for them.’

Think about:

  • How you want to be perceived by your customers
  • The benefits you offer them
  • What is the problem they have that you can solve
  • How will you make their life easier

Then write in a friendly, approachable way – which means no jargon or marketing speak – in the second person (i.e. lots of ‘you’ and very little ‘we’).

This type of inclusive writing will make you come across as being approachable, friendly and ready to help. Of course, this also has to be backed up by your sales and customer service teams if you want your relationship with your customer to grow.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Sally Ormond

Government Grants For Communities From the Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the primary Federal agency responsible for safeguarding the physical and mental health of Americans and plays a pivotal role in providing basic human services support particularly to those at or near the poverty threshold.

According to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance the Department of Health and Human Services funds over 395 programs in pursuit of its objectives. HHS operates through 11 divisions and maintains of budget of $460 Million.

Within HHS there are 18 offices that focus on providing services to different demographic groups or health related issues. The Administration for Children and Families (A.C.F.) is charged with responsibility for managing over sixty programs and provide essential human services individuals and families living in poverty.

The Office of Community Services (O.C.S.) is the department within A.C.F. that operates in conjunction with communities across the nation, and other federal and state agencies to ensure the provision of a range of human services and economic development resources to deal with the root causes and impact of poverty and deprivation on individuals and families in those communities. The ultimate goal of all O.C.S. activities is to provide support and models to these communities for increasing self sufficiency and the provide mechanisms for community revitalization that is primarily locally driven.

One of the major programs of the O.C.S. is the Community Services Block Grant which in 2010 will distribute $700 Million to states and other entities across the United States.

The Community Services Block Grant (C.S.B.G.) supplies funding to States, and recognized United States Territories and Indian Tribes. It also funds Community Action Agencies and other nonprofit groups specified by the States with the ultimate objective of eradicating the root causes and effects of poverty on communities around the nation.

The C.S.B.G. provides two types of grants – block grants and discretionary grants. Block grants are only available to States, Indian Tribes and other United States territories (e.g. Washington D.C., Puerto Rico). O.C.S is responsible for the Community Services Block Grant program funding and divides that funds amongst the states based on a methodology factoring in the proportion of people living in poverty in each State and Indian Tribe. The block grants are not awarded on a competitive basis.

Discretionary grants are open to nonprofit groups that have exhibited skill in training individuals and groups on methodologies to effectively deal with the requirements of low-income families and the communities in which they live. These organizations are most likely to be officially designated as Community Action Agencies (CAA’s).

Community Action Agencies are a type of nonprofit organization which had their genesis during the administration of President Johnson 1964 with the initiation of America’s War on Poverty. The mission of Community Action Agencies is an agenda of self-sufficiency – helping community residents to help themselves. Currently there are about one thousand CAA’s serving the people in need in every state and U.S. Territory.

In addition to the discretionary funding which flows through CAA’s, a large part of the block grant funding delivered to states is passed along to Community Action Agencies to support target populations.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Michael Saunders

Do’s and Don’ts For Becoming Famous

Everybody wants to be heard, some people want to be known but few people want to be famous. There’s a lot way ahead of those aiming for eternal fame. There’re sacrifices to be made, humiliating actions to take and most of all a lot of work to be done. It’s possible to be known by millions over time, you just have to know these few simple do’s and don’ts for success on the road to eternal fame.

Do spread the word

You can’t become famous if you don’t let other people know about your existence. Advertise yourself on online message-boards, post YouTube videos and do these things often. Internet is the network that can make mediocre guys like you and me famous. In the past it wasn’t that easy. There was this one guy in Roman times around 0BC that made a time machine, he wanted to tell people but didn’t know how, so he came to our time and told me about it and asked me to spread the word on the internet. I’m doing that right now.

Don’t go all hyper over nothing

People who are up there have fans and haters. Don’t go mad over an unhappy comment, it doesn’t matter. You know how many people talk bad about you behind your back? Millions! And that’s just for regular folks, spread over a lifetime of course.

Do work for it

Some people get famous because of pure luck. Like that YouTube guy that made that weird lightsaber video. But it’s not the kind of success you should be after. It’s so satisfying to be known for great work, for your addition to society. Believe me when you’re famous and read about a journalist talking about your work you know: I did good. Or bad depending on the journalist’s words.

Don’t put everything on the line

Yes you should never go all or nothing when it comes to fame. There can only be so much celebrities in the world, many won’t make it. You could be one of them! But probably not because you’re reading this fantastic guide. Anyway keep your day job, support your family, do the normal things while on the side you work for that golden star.

And those were my do’s and don’ts for a successful launch to the celebrity world. While you’re up there don’t forget your fans and the people that helped you to get there. By that time you have made the necessary sacrifices to become famous which includes time, money, energy and maybe even love. One more tip while we’re at it. Realize that you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.

become famous now

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Robin Chung

Hiring An Article Ghost Writer For Your E-Books, Blogs And More

Creating fresh, original content for the internet can be a very time consuming and difficult task. Whether you’re blogging, article marketing, creating an info product, or writing a book, an article ghost writer can help you complete any writing project easily and efficiently.

E-Books

E-books are a very popular thing to sell over the internet. However, they’re no different from a regular book except that they’re read on a computer. The process of compiling information and writing the book is still the same. The research and writing can be difficult for anyone, especially if you’re not a complete expert on the subject. An article ghost writer can help you create an E-book that is sure to be useful to your customers, as well as engaging.

Because the writers have to be efficient researchers in order to write on a lot of different topics, they can pick up the slack in areas that you might be lacking. If you’re having trouble staying focused and finishing your book, they can come in and pick up where you left off. They work with deadlines, so they’re used to having to actually finish what they start.

Info Products

As with the E-books, article ghost writers are master researchers so they’re able to write quickly and authoritatively to bring your customers the most useful and profitable knowledge out there. If marketing is more your forte, then hiring a “ghost” to create your product for you will save you massive amounts of time and effort that you can put toward making money with the product they create.

Auto Responder Series

One of the things you could consider hiring an article ghost writer for is your email auto responder series. These writers often times work with internet marketers, so they pick up tricks of the trade as they’re researching different topics. They develop a flare for writing in a way that can cause people to take action, which is ultimately what you’d like the email reader to do.

Article Marketing & Bogging

Article marketing and blogging are 2 great ways to get a lot of organic traffic to your website. However, it can be difficult to continuously come up with fresh, new topics for your article and entries. Hiring an article ghost writer can bring new ideas and topics to your business. Plus they understand how to write in a way that is SEO friendly, so your articles and blog entries contain the right keywords in the right quantities to get your website ranked high in the search engines.

When you’re ready to take the next step in business, the first person you should considering making part of your team is an article ghost writer. Whatever sort of writing you need help with they can be the person to handle it. This frees you up to focus on your strong suits, and running your business. As you start to bring in more money, I think you’ll see what a great investment it really is.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Greg W. Scott

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