THREAD COUNT- Knowing Quality When You See It by Marsha L Randolph

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I remember shopping with my mother and Aunt at a linen outlet store in one of the Carolina’s. The sisters were debating which sheets were worth purchasing one with at least 600 thread count or one with a minimum of 800 thread count. I thought they were both to expensive. This was one of the most memorable memories and many incidental lessons my mother and my aunt taught me.

Today when purchasing sheets I look at the thread count, if it is less than a 600 thread count, no matter what the cost, I will not consider purchasing it. I taught my girls about thread counts, I also passed down to them many of the lessons I learned from two very classy ladies.

I feel sorry for the young girls of today, their knowledge of what it means to be a lady is very much lacking. Consider the story of the “Princess and the Pea” the real Princess knew what it meant to sleep in a bed of quality. Young females today focus on quantity not quality.

Many people, males and females, accumulate lots of stuff they have: lots of electronic gadgets, lots of clothes and even lots of relationships. When things brake, became tattered and warn, or no longer interest the individual they are discarded and no interest are sought. No one taught them how to look for quality that would pass the test of time.

When my mother died she had a closet full of sheets that were as good as new. When my aunt moved in with her daughter and the content of her home was sold the items were in as just as good condition as the day she had bought them. Because I was taught by very intelligent women who started out in life not being able to afford the best but learned how to get the best that they could afford I know how to spot quality in not just in things but in people as well.

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TO CHARGE OR NOT TO CHARGE by Marsha L Randolph

HAND AND CREDIT CARDMaking purchases on time, as the old folks use to say, is addictive which is why many people have poor credit ratings. From about September through December is the time in the year in which the temptation to not use cash increases particularly when we want to buy nice things for friends and family not to mention all of those wonderful sales!

Because of my debt, and my desire to become debt free, I made the decision to live a cash only lifestyle. This is difficult not because I cannot tell myself no but because other people do not appreciate this concept. Many believe as long as the bill gets paid it does not matter if you charge it. Often people have to work extra jobs to take care of daily expenses such as housing, utilities and food in addition to credit card fees, I do not want to live like that.

Recently I was trying to convince myself that it would be OK to purchase something with in-house financing because it was a business related purchase. The item I needed was to replace the one that I broke, I have gone without this item for 3 months to wait one more month would not be a major problem. I decided to continue doing what I have been doing- just waiting until I can afford to pay cash.

Charging the $50 item may not seem like a big deal however it would not have just been $50, there would be shipping and handling fees in addition to finance charges which could easily bring the purchase total to $80. If I made payments instead of paying the entire balance off in less than thirty days I could easily end up paying over $100 for an item that cost $50 and was worth less than that.

The accumulation of fees charged by various institutions such as: credit card companies, automobile finances companies, and banks that hold the mortgage leads to large debt. Many people have student loans others have outstanding medical bills; things happen, emergencies occur which can create additional financial burdens.

The best thing to do is not do it. Do not use your credit cards to buy Christmas presents. Do not order gadgets on television that promise 3 or 4 payments. Do not pay your tithes with your credit card. I repeat: DO NOT PAY YOUR CHURCH TITHES WITH A CREDIT CARD!!!!

Learning to live a cash only lifestyle is difficult; even a person with bad credit can get some type of credit. Far to many people are using credit cards to pay for things they want but not need. The longterm consequences of buying on time is having to work when you should be relaxing. The long term benefits of living a cash only life now is the peace associated with being debt free.

You may not be able to get the latest iPhone, or the newest flat screen television, your car may be old and in need of a new paint job, you may not be able to afford to go to the movies every week or a restaurant once a month because you do not have a credit card.holding money

You will be debt free sooner rather than later. Even if you are working two jobs now you will soon be down to just one. And you will know who really appreciates you for being you when you see the expression on their face when you don’t buy a gift or the gift is not as expensive as what you use to buy.

 

Today is the best day to stop using your credit card. Of course it will be easier in January because by then you will have reached your limit on everything.

I CAN’T BE STOPPED by M L Floyd

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Satan cannot stop what God has started unless you let him; he will try to stop you. Jesus said:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10 NKJV

Many people do not recognize when they are being attacked because they are focused on what people may or may not be doing. But the thief, Satan, comes to stop you from fulfilling your goals (kill), take away your peace and joy (steal), and sabotage your relationships (destroy). Directly with attacks on your finances, health, emotional well being or indirectly by attacking your loved ones if it means stopping you from moving forward he will do it.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation of shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV

The bad stuff is not from God, it is Satan doing his best to stop you from reaching the blessings God has for you. However, if you don’t quit you will have what God has assigned to you. Yes, it is hard particularly when you are in the middle of a health or financial crisis.

As Christians we must remember to keep our eyes on Jesus. We must know and subsequently remember God’s words and His promises. It is because of Jesus that Satan cannot stop you.

“Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV

A WARNING TO THOSE WHO LEAD by M L Floyd

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pastures!” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1 NIV

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It really doesn’t get any plainer than that. If you are in any type of leadership position God is holding you responsible for those you lead. I use to think of shepherds as only pastors; a shepherd is a person who leads a person or group of people. Therefore a shepherd can be: parents, employers, church leaders, and even government representatives. If you expect people to follow you you are acting as a shepherd.

“Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing.” Declares the Lord.” Jeremiahs 23:2-4

God’s will will be done, this is especially good news today. There are people who are creating strife, generating confusion and leading people in the wrong direction by manipulating God’s word, lying and omitting biblical truths from their messages. Those who are children of God will be delivered from this lack of godly leadership because God will put individuals in their path who will point them in the right direction.
But Scripture declares to those who are destroying the people and moving them away from God’s covenant they will suffer the consequences. That day is now.

STOP DESTROYING YOURSELF by Marsha L Randolph

There are over 1 thousand reasons why you can’t do something but only one reason why you can: because it is what you were meant to do. When a person says “I can’t” it should be because they don’t have time: “I can’t go to the movies with you I am doing some research and a movie would delay my progress.”

portrait of a group of people standing together --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
      by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

 

One of the things I have to do when I am motivating myself is to stay away from discouraging people. For every five minutes of conversation I have with one of these personality types I spend a half a day reminding myself that they do not know everything. It is a problem because I know a lot of negative speaking people, they do not do it intentionally but they do it.

Many of the people I speak to have a victim attitude in which they believe “they won’t let” them accomplish a goal. This popular theme associated with lack of success is supported by the large number of organization designed to validate victimhood: American Civil Liberties Union (though they occasionally do right a wrong), Rainbow Coalition, NAACP, National Organization for Women and any other program that is designed to remind people of their gender, skin color or lifestyle. Far to many people have grown up hearing about how one culture keeps another culture down; if you are the suppressor you are suppose to feel guilty, if you are the suppressed you are a victim and will not be able to succeed. The good news is there are numerous people who ignored “they” and became successful despite their words, behaviors and ideologies.

chained minde womanI don’t know anyone who does not put off doing what they dream of doing it is called procrastination. There are lots of reasons why we procrastinate: “I can’t,” “they won’t let me,” or “now is not a good time.” The truth is people are afraid and do not want to face their fear.

Fear is at the basis of many peoples inactivity. In order to fulfill your God given talent and maximize your potential you have to step out of your comfort zone and live. You must share your identity, often with people who do not know you but will judge you without the foundation of a loving relationship, and face possible rejection. All do not think you are so great and your ideas, in their opinion, may suck! Failure is the foundation for success fear stops you from failing.

chained mind manYou destroy yourself by giving into the opinions of the world. By allowing the media and various organizations tell you that you are a victim because you are: female, African-American, Latino, Hispanic, or whatever you set yourself up for failure. Victims must become victors in order to live victoriously. It is amazing the number of Bible quoting Christians who fall victim of the same mindset and avoid success with self destructive words and activities.

Failing is a part of success, you will not know what works until you discover what does not work. If your first marriage was a disaster- you know what does not work in a relationship. I was in six different multi-level marketing businesses that did not work however I knew that I wanted to own my own business so despite the opinions of others I started my own business- those failures taught me: 1) what I did not know 2) what I do not want to do and 3)gave me excellent experience.

There really is no such thing as an overnight success, you have to be willing to dedicate time and energy into doing what it is you want to do. Not everyone wins the lottery, you will not be an instant millionaire chances are if you are starting a business you will be in the negative for a year a two.

As a writer the quarterly royalty checks are barely enough to put gas in my tank. This is the reality of competing with thousands of other writers in a market in which there are very few people who want to read “clean” fiction or non-fiction that stimulates thought. Five years after my first novel was published: THE TRUTH ABOUT VASHTAI, I am not discouraged. I am a writer even if other people see me as the woman who sells soy candles, homemade soap and quilts.

My message to you: Just do what you do and stop listening to people who have yet to reach their own potential. No matter who you are, where you started, or how you got to where you are now as a child of God you can do all things THROUGH Christ if you keep your eyes on Him. This is what I am doing- SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

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JUNK FOOD written by Marsha L Randolph

BABY RUTH

I just finished watching a commercial for a vitamin that taste like a mint. I thought, as I watched it: to get a vitamin taste good you have to add a lot of flavoring. The commercial confirmed my suspicion that many people, despite believing they live a healthy lifestyle, are actually filling their bodies with junk food.

BarleyLife-capsAs an Independent Distributor of nutritional supplements from THE AIM COMPANIES I do not push any particular product on my clients. I do, however, caution them to live a life of moderation and use common sense when purchasing products that are meant to keep you healthy.

I don’t eat health bars I have not read the label to determine how healthy they are. I suspect that within the product are preservatives. A person could make their own snack bar, I eat Baby Ruth candy bars- it has 4 grams of protein!

We have had over six years of individuals pushing a healthy lifestyle by taking away candy, chips and soda from school age children. Many of the people who are against junk food in school support products like pediasure, chemicals added to artificial milk.

Worst than the vitamins advertised on television are the prescription drugs promoted; the side effects can be deadly.

Despite artificial colors and flavors as well as preservatives found in many of today’s supplements and so called health bars; and despite the terrible side effects many of the prescription drugs have, people are more concerned about those who eat potato chips and drink coke. Personally I would rather eat a donut and drink a coke than to take an anti-depressant that may cause me to commit suicide.

To learn more about THE AIM COMPANIES or if you may be interested in becoming an Independent Distributor let me know. No large up front fees, No mandates to build a team, No pressure,  No quotas LOT’S OF HELP.

MEGA-CHURCHES by M L Floyd

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“And He called the twelve to Himself, and bean to send them out two by two and gave them power over unclean spirits.” Mark 6:7

I have seen churches grow very big, greater than 500 members, I once thought it was wonderful that so many people were learning about Jesus. After becoming part of the leadership of one of these mega-churches serving as a Bible Teacher and leading a Helps Ministry I got to know more about the people associated with the church. One of the most disturbing things I discovered were people who had been a part of the church for more than a year and did not believe in heaven and hell. There were also incidents of individuals who had attended the church for months and were no closer to making Jesus Lord of their life as they were the first day. It is a sad testimony to Senior Pastors who take great pride in revealing the number of attendees they have on any given Sunday.

Today there are many ways a person can learn about God without attending a church. Because on any given day one can watch: Les Feldick, Andrew Wommack, or ______ (just to name a few television Bible study ministries)fellowship becomes a very important component in church attendance. What I noticed is the cliquish nature of Small Groups, people get to know the leader and the regular attendees a new person may be welcomed and still not feel like part of the group.

Communication is done via email, text messages and social media. It was a loosing battle for me to constantly remind leadership that not everyone utilizes technology AND it is important for someone to make sure the traditional senior members of the community were acknowledge in a way they can appreciate: telephone calls and home visits. Yes, some churches do this; an advantage of a smaller church is the Pastor takes it upon himself to personally visit contact the body whenever possible.

Pastors who believe a growing church is a sign that there needs to be a bigger building are under the assumption that they are the only ones who can share the gospel with the people. Assuming mega churches have on hand Children’s Pastor, a Young adult Pastor and other associate Pastors it is the Senior Pastor’s responsibility to shepherd the people. I believe it is better to have twenty churches with 100 members than to have one church with 2000, even ten churches with 200 members.

Jesus chose and trained twelve individuals to do what He did. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and if the Son of God felt it necessary to have leaders go out and minister to people instead creating a centralized location then why are so many Church Leaders doing so? The first time Jesus sent the disciples out it was two by two then He gave them the command to go (Matthew 28:16-20)into the world as individuals.

I considered the book of Acts that mentions the “church” growing. When the Bible speaks of the church it is not referring to a building but the group of Believers.

“And I also say to you, that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 NKJV

Jesus said He would build His church a group of people. Today we refer to the building as a church and the people as Believers. Our focus should be on building Believers, a.k.a. the Church.

People in mega-churches are neglected. Many supporters of mega-churches suggest that people do not have their needs met because they do not speak up; this is true. Like sheep number 100, some people will go astray and it is the shepherds job to go after him (Matthew 18:12). That one sheep that has gone astray could serve as a testimony the world sees as evidence of why churches are not good or simply give up because no one saw his need.

The advantage of a mega-church? There are usually multiple services that accommodate busy schedules. There are lots of G-rated activities for young people and many churches have missions programs and community outreaches. Mega-churches have lots of busy things to do.

For me the bottom line is the commission Jesus gave his Disciples:
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”” Mark 16:15 NKJV

There is no “great commission” to build mega-churches for people to come to you, quite the opposite! Jesus says we should go into the world. If there were lots of little churches with leaders who preached the gospel it would be easier to shepherd the sheep.

Why do Senior Pastors believe that they are the only ones who can lead a body of believers? Why do successful Pastors believe they cannot teach someone to do what they do? Jesus said:

John 14:12