YOU CAN’T ‘FAKE’ STRONG!

Only the strong survive!

you cant fake strong

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.­–Paul the Apostle ,  Philippians 4:13

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One of the most common breakdowns associated with cars are flat tires. When tires are low on air, you can generally see that they need air as you approach you car, but most people do not make a habit of taking the time to inspect ALL FOUR tires on a regular basis, instead looking at the two that face them as they approach their vehicle.  Fixing a flat can be as simple as adding more air, or plugging a small leak. Ignoring the problem can result in serious damage to your tire, car, or even yourself.

According to Goodyear Tires:

“Maintaining proper air pressure is an important factor in tire safety and performance. If a driver experiences a flat tire or loss of air pressure, they should slow the vehicle gradually and carefully pull off to the side of the road as soon as possible. Driving on a flat tire can cause internal structural damage to the tire, may lead to wheel and vehicle damage and may result in poor vehicle handling and control — which could lead to an accident, injury or death.”

You may be familiar with the phrase “the road of life”. As you travel down the road of life, you are the vehicle which carries you on your journey. Like the four tires on a car, you have four categories that determine IF you will have forward momentum, or if your journey will end abruptly.  Your car has both front and rear tires. One each on the passenger and driver sides. You can still drive on a bad tire,  ignoring all the warning signs and neglecting repairing that tire until disaster occurs. Likewise YOU yourself have YOUR four ‘TIRES’ divided into two sides, and keeping all four at or as close to full strength as possible are vital to determine how far you will go down the ‘road of life’.

The two sides are your HEALTH and your WEALTH. Your HEALTH is your WEALTH, and your WEALTH is your HEALTH. HEALTH has two sides as does WEALTH. Your HEALTH is both PHYSICAL and MENTAL. Your WEALTH is both FINANCIAL and INTELLECTUAL. You need all four  to be at your maximum strength to go far in life, but running on three will carry you along for a little distance, and a brief time.   You cannot ‘fake’ strong, you are either strong, or you are weak. A strong person can things that a weak person cannot, and that is an undeniable fact of life.  

How strong are you:

FINANCIALLY

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 “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” Proverbs 21:20

If you have zero debt and just $10 in your pocket, you are richer than 25% of Americans. Do you spend EVERY cent you get?  The reason the wealthy amass such huge fortunes is NOT because they have stolen it from the poor, but because they have mastered the art of handling money. Getting financially fit means taking the time to develop spending, saving, and investment plans.

 

INTELLECTUALLY

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“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” –Proverbs 16:16

Knowledge is power! Education opens doors to greater ventures and better opportunities. The accumulation of ‘USEFUL’ knowledge and ‘USEFUL’ skills will result in greater possibilities of  employment. Having specialized knowledge in technical jobs or trades will get you hired faster than unskilled laborers. There are many classes being offered in colleges and universities nationwide that are totally worthless. Graduating with a degree in ‘gender studies’ or ‘lesbian dance theory’ is a surefire path to poverty. As poet Charles Bukowski once said, the world doesn’t need poets. Would a restaurant hire a chef who couldn’t cook an omelet?  The world needs doctors, teachers, farmers, and builders. An auto-mechanic may not be a glamorous job, but the next time you need your car fixed, you’ll be glad  if they are experienced and competent.  

PHYSICALLY

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“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, who you have received from God? You are not your own: you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

When you take care of your body, you can fight off illness faster, recover from infirmities, and lead an active lifestyle. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. How can you enjoy life if you are too weak and sickly to join your friends and family in various activities? Watching is fun but it is not the same as participating in the fun. Getting physically fit means taking time to eat healthy and exercise regularly.       

MENTALLY

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“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light”. – Matthew 11:28-30

Depression is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of having been too strong for too long. Eventually everyone hits a point when we tire. When things go badly, we tend to focus on our troubles instead of counting our blessings. The Bible is the word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and is infallible and without error. When we focus on the world, it’s a depressing place. When we turn our focus to Jesus, we see that with God, all things are possible, and that when  God is with us, no one can stand against us. The Bible is a book filled with hope for something better than this fallen creation. The answers to all of life’s problems can be found in the pages of the Holy scripture, yet there are many who are reluctant, or totally against reading this book for themselves. I was an atheist when I was a teenager, but in college I became a Christian when my one professor challenged me to go to his class on the Bible and read through it cover to cover. I can honestly say I am a better man with God than I ever was without God.   People may disappoint you, lie to you, and hurt you.  Jesus is always good, faithful, and true. What if the one book that you are dead-set against reading is the only book which could provide you comfort and answers. Wouldn’t it be wise to take the time and discover the truth for yourself?  Isn’t it time to fill your ‘TIRE’ with the ‘breath of life’? As always I wish you success and happiness!   

Make time for R&R!

Vacations are important!

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R&R  is a military abbreviation for “rest and recuperation” or “rest and relaxation”. As you are probably aware, I recently returned from a two week vacation at the shore. My weekly blog InstantCoffeeWisdom went on hiatus for about a month during this much needed personal time. The main reasons I publish these weekly articles is to educate and motivate you to be the happiest and most successful  person you can be.  Often times people get into a funk where they have convinced themselves that they cannot escape their circumstances and this negativity leads to depression. Success means different things to different people, but no matter the definition , achieving success always come with an ego boost.  Success is powered by positivity. You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind. This is where the importance of vacations come into play. In some parts countries vacations are referred to as holidays. No matter what you call it, it’s still a get-away-from-it-all time that you need to clear your head and get back into the game.

Vacations require three things: Time, money, and planning.

For the vast majority of people, the BIGGEST reason that holds them back from vacationing is money. Again, that is why I stress the importance of the 52 Week Challenge, which was my very first blog post two years ago after returning from a much needed vacation.   The first year of articles dealt with personal finances, the second year expounded on how finances are  impacted by ‘the bigger picture’ of the world, and now we are covering time, because time IS money.

Excluding the day we are born and the day we die, we each get a full 24 hours each day to use however we choose. It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, young or old, health or not.  Plan your time accordingly. Successful people tend to over schedule their days to maximize productivity. Often times they are convinced that they cannot leave the job because no one else can do it as well as they do.  There are people who work themselves sick, and in extreme cases, to death. It’s NOT worth it. No one on their death bed ever lamented about not spending enough time at the office.  I have come back from many a vacation to find some disaster piled on my desk, or to hear some tale of woe reported to me by a customer. Yes, it’s a major downer at that moment, but it’s certainly not the end of the world.  In a few days everything is back to normal,  ship-shape in Bristol fashion.  The work will always be there, even when we are not. When you die, your inbox will never be empty.

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Vacations are biblical!

 “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”– Jesus  (Mark 2:27)

All things are created by God, including the day of rest known as a Sabbath. The time that we have here on Earth was given to us by God, and we are stewards of everything we possess. God wants us to be happy and successful, but He also gave us free will, and  we do self-destructive things to ourselves and then try to blame God for our poor choices.  Some Christians occasionally use the argument that it’s ungodly to waste money on vacations when there are poor people starving in the world and that money could be spent better on them.  If you feel guilty about spending money on vacation, make a contribution to a Christian charity of your choice. Would you intentionally starve yourself to death because there’s a poor person starving to death somewhere in the world?  That’s like saying it’s wrong to buy a house because there are homeless people. It’s nonsense. That’s why the Bible is such an important book to read to show us the proper way to live our lives. People make mistakes. God never makes mistakes.  And the God gives us numerous examples for us to follow. The former pastor of my church, now retired, once gave a sermon that tied two-week summer vacations to the Bible. There is a week-long Feast of Tabernacles described (Lev 23:33-44)  which takes place on the 15th day of the 7th month, every year. There’s other events that precede and follow, and planning that needs to be done.  Pastor Miller claimed this was a model that God gave us for an annual two week work break from our normal routine to rest, take fellowship, and worship the Lord. It may be a stretch, but he had a point. If Jesus Christ himself took time to rest and relax, He would want us to go, and do likewise.  God is good always! The United States is a great nation with many beautiful places for vacations. If you’re fortunate enough to live here, than you should praise God for the freedom and liberty granted or you to pursue your happiness. Every day you waste is a day you will never get back, so make the most of your time and live your life to the fullest! God wants you to be happy and successful, (and so do I) but you have to take the steps to make it happen.  As always, I wish you success and happiness!  

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SPARE TIME?

Living in the Moment!

SPARETIME

“We’re all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities. We are eaten up by nothing.” – Charles Bukowski

There are at least two things that differentiate the highly successful individual from the unsuccessful crowd.  Firstly, they handle their money quite differently than the average person. Instead of spending every cent the moment they receive it, they budget their money, save much of it, and invest.  Secondly they do the same thing with their time. 

You may be familiar with the old adage ‘time is money’.  In a very real sense it is. When you work at a job, you get paid for your time. When you invest over time, you get a return on your investment.  In fact, time is more important than money because money can be replaced, but time cannot. Every moment wasted is gone forever. Unsuccessful people usually whine about how unfair life is because they don’t have as much money as Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates.  Here’s the main point. Rich or poor, Successful or not, every single person on Earth gets the exact same number of minutes each year. 525,600 minutes each and every year, with two exceptions. The year we are born, and the year we die. How we spend that year is up to us.

When I started writing my weekly blog InstantCoffeeWisdom over two years ago, the first article was The 52 Week Challenge. It was a weekly savings plan to be done over the course of one year, the end result being  $1350.00 saved to be used as you wish. Every year, I take a great vacation at the shore in Ocean City MD, that is my decision. I know many people who always whine that they never have money for vacation, so the first year I focused on microeconomics (personal finance) to help demonstrate ways to budget, cut expenses and hopefully achieve that goal set by The 52 Week Challenge. The second year, I focused on the bigger picture, exploring macroeconomics, and explaining how religion and politics are interconnected to economics, and why you should have a firm grasp of all three. Hopefully you were able to understand my points, see where I was leading you, and you were able to reach the same conclusions.  As I embark on my third year of blogging,  I’m going to focus on the topic of time. As I already stated, time is money, and we each have EXACTLY the same time each day, week, month, and year, despite financial disparities. How we spend our time is entirely up to us.

When I was a still just a young boy, the biggest time waster was the TV. I had family members whose entire lives were lived vicariously through the television. As a child, it was my ‘babysitter’. Plop me down in front of the set with a plate of snacks and I was good to go. My 77 year-old aunt does nothing but watch TV all day, or sleep. It doesn’t seem like much of a life to me, but she’s 77 and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I got rid of my TV a decade ago. I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years by ‘cutting the cord’. If I do decide to watch some program, almost everything is available online and I can watch it when it’s convenient. Although the letters TV  are an abbreviation for Television, it should stand for TIME VACUUM because this activity is just a  waste of time that can suck away hours of your life each day if you let it. Now the biggest waste of time and productivity is the mobile smart phone.

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The smart phone  puts the sum total of human knowledge in the palm of your hands. You can load it’s memory with apps to help you track everything financial or health related. It is a tool that in the right hands can increase productivity and knowledge, and likewise can kill it in the wrong hands. In my youth, phones connected people. Now they divide people. The typical smart phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day, according to a study by research firm Dscout. Extremely addicted individuals use it twice as much as that. The phone is NOT reality. When you spend your time looking at your phone instead of living your life, you are wasting your life. You are cutting yourself off from life and missing all the wonderful things the world has to offer when you bury your face in your phone.

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Human lives are terribly short. We live at best about 120 years, but that is not guaranteed. There are preemie babies that live a few hours, or a few days.  My father died when he was 57. I missed out on all those great father-son moments growing up without a father as a result.   We are ephemeral, a vapor, and but a blink of the eye of God. We live our lives moment by moment, stringing each moment to the next like pearls on a string. We should do our best to make those moments shine.  Time cannot be replaced when it is gone, and neither can people. The greatest gift you can give a person is your time, and the second greatest gift you can give is your undivided attention. 

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One of my close friends has cancer. I pray for him every day. I hope he beats it, but ultimately that’s in God’s hands, and worrying about it won’t change that fact. If God wants us here on Earth, it’s where He wants us to be. No man can know the mind of God, but He’s in control even if it doesn’t make sense to us now. It is up to us to use our God-given free will to be stewards of our resources, which includes not just money and possessions,   but our time and our health as well. Make every moment count and interact with people instead of tuning out the world. As always, I wish you success and happiness!       

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WHAT’S YOUR LEGACY?

Is the mark you make ‘spot on’?

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“To a father, when a child dies, the future dies; to a child when a parent dies, the past dies.”— Red Auerbach

Last weekend was Father’s Day in the USA. Honestly it’s not my thing. My father died when I was a young boy, and as yet I still have no children of my own. The commercial holiday to honor fathers and fatherhood is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. It was first celebrated in 1910, but not signed into law as a permanent observance until 1972 when 37th President Richard M. Nixon signed the bill into law.

One thing that irritates me to no end is when pet owners refer to their pets as their ‘babies’ or refer to themselves as ‘fur parents’.  This form of self-delusion has been propitiated by various animal rights groups, environmentalist groups,  and even pro-abortion groups as a way of discouraging  child birth because the Earth is allegedly overpopulated by humans who are supposedly destroying the environment and killing ‘Mother Earth’. The Earth is NOT your Mother, and your pets are not your children. Pets can be valuable members of your family, and be loyal companions who display an unusually human level of behavior and intelligence from time to time, but they will never BE human. Humans are not evolved animals.

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We are all children of God, and by God I refer to the one true God, Jesus Christ, who created all of us in His image for His purpose. We were created to be fruitful and multiply. Children are a gift from God, and our children are a living legacy.

 “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett

The word LEGACY can mean either money or property that you receive from someone after they die, or something that is a part of your history or that remains from an earlier time. In other words your birthright that is passed on to you, which you in turn will pass on to another after you have departed this mortal coil.  Property is not just material goods, either but can also refer to intellectual property. When you write a book, paint a painting, film a movie, or teach a course you are passing on knowledge and inspiration to others. In the past, you really needed to shine bright to leave a mark in the history books and be remembered.  Unless we are extraordinary leaders of men, every single one of us is about fifty years from being forgotten.  When the last person who knew us passes on, we too are forgotten.

The higher you are held in regard, the further your impact will go, which is why your reputation is paramount. If you have a reputation for honesty and integrity, people will more readily believe you and follow your lead. Your enemies will do everything in their power to trash your reputation, but the truth will always be true no matter how many lies are told about it.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6 King James Version (KJV)

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In today’s digital world, nothing is forgotten, but the amount of information being generated is staggering. Information can become buried and lost virtually forever until someone uncovers and shares  it. As data ‘facts’ and fake news are spread like wild-fire in nanoseconds around the globe, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.  The important thing to keep in mind on is that both sides playing the game of kings for global domination want to influence you and sway you to their side. This is why fathers, and husbands, and the traditional family unit have been constantly being assaulted by the left. When you destroy the family unit, you can reshape society into any insane caricature you can dream up.  This is why Christianity and Jesus and the Bible are all despised by the left, and all haters of truth.  This is why President Donald J. Trump is constantly being slandered by the liberal media.  Both parents (and fathers especially) play an important part in preparing the next generation and preventing them from engaging in stupid and self-destructive actions. Turning 18 may legally grant you certain rights held by adults, but it does not make you an adult.   The next generation is the future, and freedom is always one generation away from extinction. If you love your children, teach your children well. As always, I wish you success and happiness!

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CONQUER THE WORLD!

Ask me how…

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Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie

The world is made up of two types of people. Those who talk about doing things, and those who go out and get those things done.  According to a recent article printed in Business Insider  about a third of Millennials think that they are worse off today than they were ten years ago.  The question that really begs to be asked is what were these ‘eager young space cadets’ doing over the past decade to improve their lives? The overwhelming response was nothing. They stayed in the same dead-end jobs for fear of finding a better job. They didn’t invest in the stock market for fear of losing money. They didn’t save because they had just enough to make ends meet, and they feared they wouldn’t be able to.  The end result of doing nothing is nothing. Nothing happens unless someone makes it happen. You will never be able to conquer the world until you learn to conquer your irrational fears.

Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear. –Dale Carnegie

If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self. – Napoleon Hill

Many times, we are held back by bad habits. Laziness is chief among all bad habits. We put off for tomorrow what could be done today because we ‘don’t feel like it’ or we ‘don’t have time’ or we have ‘something better to do.’ Motivation can be difficult when we don’t see immediate results, but all things take time, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. This goes for all bad habits from poor eating habits to addictions to failure to exercise regularly. If you start something, keep at it until the task has been accomplished. Never give up. Focus on doing what you can, and then going one better.    

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” ― William Faulkner

If you believe that something is impossible, and you don’t attempt it, you will never know if it could have been accomplished. Trying once and failing is not an indication of impossibility, it’s just an indication of inexperience and lack of knowledge. No one was ever an expert the first time they did something, and if they happened to do it perfectly that first time, it was dumb luck. You’re an expert when you can consistently deliver the same results, and that takes time and practice.   

Energy and persistence conquer all things. – Benjamin Franklin

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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. –Jeremiah 29:11

Make plans! If you fail to plan you plan to fail! You need to know where you are, where you want to be, and have the steps to get there. You need to know what direction to go, what tools you’ll need to accomplish your goal. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it won’t happen at all unless you take to proper measures beforehand. Spontaneity is great when you’re stuck and need to think of something to get you back on course, but it’s a terrible way to live your life. All successful people take notes, make plans, and work from paper. Again, if you do nothing, nothing will happen. You got this! You just have to believe in the possible.

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I believe that in the end the truth will conquer. –John Wycliffe

As you continue moving on towards accomplishing you goals, You’ll encounter a lot of fake news and negativity. You need to cut the dead-weight that’s holding you back. Unhappy, unsuccessful people will be jealous of your attempts to better yourself. Success is the best revenge. There are many people you will meet throughout your life who will never accomplish half the things you do, and they will try to make you feel bad about yourself by calling you greedy or selfish. What they think of you says more about them then it does about you. Your success does not doom them to failure. They doomed themselves to failure by doing nothing and just want you to feel sorry for their poor life choices. You can’t help them, they are the only ones who can help themselves, and they don’t want to for whatever reason. If you have access to the internet, you have access to the sum total of human knowledge. Ignorance is a choice, knowledge is power, and the truth will vanquish any lie in time. Stay focused on your goals and they will become your accomplishments. You got this, and no one can take that away from you!  If you can conceive it, and you can believe it, you can achieve it! As always I wish you success and happiness!

WHO’S MINDING YOU!

Escaping the ‘nanny-state’!

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This is the forth article in the ‘Who’s Minding’ series. For the first three parts read Who’s Minding the Bank?, Who’s Minding the Market?,  and  Who’s Minding the Food?

I’ve got no strings

To hold me down

To make me fret

Or make me frown

I had strings

But now I’m free

There are no strings on me–  song I’ve Got No Strings by Dickie Jones, 1940

Everyone has an agenda. Some are obvious, are some subtle, and some are hidden and secretive.  Except in the most rare of cases, the person pulling the strings wants what’s best for themselves above all else. Sometimes what’s good for them is also good for everyone else,  and sometimes it’s unashamedly mercenary.  Without question, the two thousand plus billionaires of the world wield great power over the average person.  They are the modern kings of today’s world, and they are playing a Game of Kings to stake out their own little section of the world to rule.  They are the tops of the pyramid, the kings of the hill.  Next in line are the millionaires and multi-millionaires. They too have great power over the lives of the average person.  Independent, hard working people come next. At the very bottom of the pyramid are the wretched dregs of society. People who have either giving up on trying to better themselves, and are dependent upon social welfare programs and the kindness of strangers to survive.

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If you are fortunate enough to live in the United States of America,  then you are blessed indeed. The USA is a land of limitless opportunities, and built upon the tenants of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Since the nation was founded 243 years ago, it has been the target of powerful people who want to subvert and destroy our great nation. For parts of the nineteenth and all of the twentieth centuries,  the Democratic National Committee has been trying to remake the USA and destroy the Christian country created by the Founding Fathers.  Democrat is indeed the new communist as the liberal left slinks further  and further towards radical socialist agendas and establishing a permanent power over the average citizen. In their new vision of America, we the people will be dependent on the government from cradle to grave.  They will slander and attempt to destroy anyone who dares to oppose them.

Our nation and its government is BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.  There is nothing wrong with wealth. There is nothing wrong with success. We live in a capitalist society and our economy grows through consumerism.   If people are buying, selling, and trading, there are jobs being created.  What is wrong is when a government tries to enslave all its citizens and destroy the means of creating wealth while raising taxes and killing jobs. This is what Barack Hussein Obama II was in the process of doing, and what Hillary Rodham Clinton would have continued had she been elected.  Fortunately,  there was a very powerful patriot, billionaire Donald J. Trump who was willing to fight to save our nation from those who were willing to save it.  Trump’s love for our nation exceeds that of any president in our lifetime, even greater than Ronald Reagan. Fortunately, WE THE PEOPLE banded together in such force to elect this great man to the highest office. Donald J. Trump has been insulted, slandered, belittled, and bashed by all those who oppose him. The liberals are losing, and they know it!

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  • Billionaires control our world.
  • They control our banks.
  • They control our economy and industry.
  • They control our food.
  • They control our media.
  • They control our communications and social networks.

They control so many aspects of our lives, but they can only control us if we allow them.  All of the media, communications, and social networks THEY created can also benefit US if we take the time to navigate the sea of lies and misinformation that powerful LEFTIST billionaires are imposing upon us.  Every wealth group from the ultra-poor to the mega-rich can be divided into two main camps, the left (liberal) and the right (conservative). There are also two other smaller subgroups that are far dangerous to our nation. The centralist, who can flip-flop on issues at the drop of a hat, and the anarchist who wants no government of any kind and doesn’t care about politics at all.  Both of these groups are products of the post-modern school of thought which claims there is no right or wrong.

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In God We Trust!

There was a reason that Madalyn Murray O’Hair fought hard to ban studying the Bible in public schools in 1963. She was a militant feminist, communist, and atheist who founded the group American Atheists.  She  claimed that religion was “a crutch” and an “irrational reliance on superstitions and supernatural nonsense”.  In reality this was all part of a greater plan. The USA was founded as a Christian nation, and by removing the study of the Bible from public schools, O’Hair was sowing the seeds for the destruction of the US.  Without God, there is no USA. 

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. – Psalm 33:12

There is a difference between religion and spirituality, just as there is a difference between morals and ethics. Unfortunately few take the time to learn the distinction.  Spirituality is a belief in God, and the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Religion is a system of rules and doctrines.  This is why Jesus said in James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ”   

There is no such thing as a moral atheist because morals are based on Biblical absolutes whereas situational ethics are fluid and can change with the individual or situation. Good can be bad and bad can be good  in the mind of post modernists. God is good ALWAYS and when you eliminate the study of the Bible, you erode the moral backbone of the nation.  If something is legal, it is not unethical. If it were unethical, it would be illegal. Immoral is always immoral, whether it is legal or not. So the word of God is not a ‘controlling’ force, but a guiding factor which is for our benefit.  Warning us about destructive behaviors is not HATE, it is truly being done  for our benefit so that we may life a healthy, happy, and productive life.  The only time I’ve ever seen happy atheists are when they were insulting Christians.

The bottom line is that there are many forces in this world that are trying to control us, even up to and including the point of a gun.  The power we give these earthly forces over us is an illusion we allow them, one that we can shatter at any time. WE THE PEOPLE have the real power, and if God is with us, who can stand against us? As always, I wish you success and happiness!  

DATA FACT?

What a tangled web we have weaved!

(part one of a two part series)

DATA FACT

Conservative Republican Ronald W. Reagan was the 40th president of the United States. Shortly after taking office on January 20th, 1981, he began his goal of making America great again by implementing sweeping new political and economic initiatives. Dubbed “Reaganomics”, his supply-side economic policies advocated reducing government spending, economic deregulation, and most importantly tax rate reduction. These measures to spur economic growth were directly responsible for the prosperity seen in the 1980’s.    

One of the most radical changes to society which sprang from ‘the decade of wealth’ was the sudden birth of the home computer. Once a staple of science fiction, the idea of actually owning your own computer became a reality. The earliest practical uses were business applications and word processing, as well as early text based games. Computer technology advanced rapidly. An observation by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years, while production costs halved, became known as Moore’s Law.

Many tech savvy individuals experimented with software development to justify the cost of purchasing these very expensive machines. There was no easy way of transferring data although there were some primitive networks for those who knew how to contact and connect to them with a modem. This changed on March 12th 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee dreamed up a system of Information management allowing data to be exchanged by multiple computers over a vast network, which we now refer to as the Internet and the World Wide Web. In 1992, IBM developed the first ‘smartphone’ called the Simon Personal Communicator. Today, thirty years after the birth of the internet, people have the sum total of human knowledge at their fingertips and the world has never been more connected.

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A fist full of dollars

The are many ways to make money or save money using the internet and the world wide web, whole books have been written on it, thousands of them.

There are crowd-fund platforms to help you market your invention, e-banks which promise better interest rates and less fees, sites with personal finance tips and tricks, streaming media to watch or download, market places to buy and sell new or used items, the list goes on. The net is big business!

The magnificent seven

  1. Staying in touch – E-mail and text messages now exceed personal  letters and phone calls.
  2. Making friends – Social media allows us to connect with people we would never have met. InstantCoffeeWisdom has over a hundred followers from sixty countries around the world. My twitter account has over seven hundred followers, dozens of whom I’ve met and interact with. I’m grateful for all my friends and supporters.  
  3. Being creative – There are endless DIY tutorials online to demonstrate and inspire.
  4. Finding help – Got a problem? There’s a website that has an answer or solution.
  5. Learning – Online courses teach you anything if you study and apply yourself.
  6. Media – Nearly everything that’s ever been written, recorded, or filmed, exists somewhere online, usually available for free if you take the time to search for it.
  7. Shopping – E-commerce has changed the way we shop, and in many cases has brought about the death of some prominent chains. Radio Shack, Toys R Us, and Borders Books are all long gone, casualties of online shopping. Someone, somewhere in the world has the exact same, or very similar item for much less, and in some cases with free shipping.  You just need to search for it.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Everything I’ve listed so far has been good. The bad part is that with so much information and equal mis-information it’s easy to get the wrong source and end up believing in lies. Not everything online is beneficial, and sometimes digging through the ‘fake news’ to unearth the facts isn’t like finding a needle in a haystack, it’s like trying to find a needle in Kansas! The signal to noise ratio is just that great. Worse yet, certain social media platforms use algorithms to selectively edit what you see. Cookies stored in your computer’s memory record and track your browsing history, and bots customize what you see.

The ugly part of the web can range from annoying to horrific. There are some things online that you do NOT want to see, the stuff of nightmares placed online either as a warning, or because some sick individual wanted to share it because they liked it. What has been seen cannot be unseen, beware! There is an entire ‘dark web’ that’s lying under the surface and is just one misplaced or misguided keystroke away. There are internet ‘trolls’ who live to post hateful and hurtful comments in any post that has a reply field. Whole web pages have been created by cyber-bullies to intimidate and humiliate their victims. People have committed suicide over such personal attacks.There are more scams to trick you into handing over personal info than you can shake a stick at. Black-hat hackers have created so many forms of malware that anti-virus protection is a must on any computer. And then there’s the 800 lb gorilla in the room, PORN. When I was a young boy, porn was sold wrapped in plastic, and not kept on display. XXX theaters were in the seedy part of the city where you were afraid to walk in broad daylight. You had to go way out of your way to obtain smut, and now it’s in nearly every home in America, just a click away.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” – Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. – Luke 6:45 ESV

The internet is a tool, and like any tool it can be used for good or evil.  Whoever controls the flow of information can control you. Are you being lied to? Do you even realize it? Who is Q? Ponder these questions until next week, and check back for part two, HOW DEEP IS THE DEEP STATE? As always, I wish you success and happiness!