Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Last minute sermons: the source

Busy Christian ministers and teachers find that they simply have no time to write sermons, they can always turn to www.lastminutesermon.com, a site started by Bob Austin. He started the site to provide a last-minute service for a clergyman in need of a sound, ready-to-deliver sermon. A typical sermon offered on the site can be preached in between eight to ten minutes, and costs about $12.50 to download. The site’s sample sermon preaches the essence of a Passover in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. Austin goes on to preach that then, Jews awaited the arrival of their messiah, who would, according to Austin, bring in their Golden Age by vanquishing the nations of the world and installing an everlasting kingdom of David. Prior to that Passover, however, Jesus had arrived on a donkey, signifying that he was that messiah but not the military(?) one. The crowds, according to Austin, were bitterly disappointed, and feeling cheated out of the military victories, turned their backs on Jesus and asked the Roman rulers to crucify him. The sample download says that with the destruction of the Temple came the end of animal sacrifices, which was God’s demonstrating his never-changing, unending love for humanity. Romans, maintaining law and order, had to comply with the public sentiment and crucify the troublemaker. After all, they crucified hundreds of Jews years before just to make sure the crowds would learn the lesson and forget the idea of rebelling against the Roman rule. Austin says that preachers are getting bogged down with their shepherding tasks as the writing of sermons is gradually sliding down the list of the daily priorities, leaving the clergyman without a sermon to deliver on Sunday. Sermons downloaded from the site come with a permission to be edited to suit the tastes of the flock. The site has a very simple structure: there is The Author, the FAQ, Free Sample, Contact and How To Buy. Excellent business idea: monetize the church.

Creative writing with New Year Cards

I have a bunch of greeting cards from the years I used to make fun of people on Chinese New Years. I would write something like this

and ever since use the out-of-season Chinese New Year cards for reminders, convoluted greetings, hints, comments, and otherwise absurd, Ionesco-Waiting For Godot humorous messages. Imagine how many occasions, people, developments, promotions can be congratulated with a well-developed connection to a Horse (“You’ve been a drafthorse long enough…”), Pig (“Piglet”, see below), Rabbit (“Please, Bre’r Fox, do whatever you want, but don’t throw me into that briar patch…”), Tiger (“The Catwoman has met her Big Cousin”)

Last year, after I missed the year of the Pig, on one card I had rewritten the entire passage from Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. “The Piglet went for a brief walk to visit Eeyore, when, on the way, Piglet sensed the presence of great many bees. Knowing that Winnie The Pooh was a distinguished walk-up apartment dweller, Piglet deduced that a foreigner must have appropriated all the honey and set up his penthouse in the crown of the Great Oak Tree. Congratulations on your debutante’s studio loft. I will be more than overjoyed to be the bartender at your housewarming party.”

Though I really prefer standard New Year cards, especially with fireworks on them. This one is my favorite, fireworks in Las Vegas

I found this one at Custom Photo Cards, it has that you-are-there at the fireworks feel to it.

this one I found on their page here.

The New Year’s firework cards have a great advantage: you can send them out just about any occasion – a steady girlfriend, brand new position, a reason to open the stashed bottle of champagne, watch the 4th of July fireworks from the hot tub, thanks for a wonderful evening. And you can write on the balls of fire themselves, or on the black – with pearly, metal flake nail polish. To the "Happy New Year" you can always add "Of Loft Living", "Of Being Away from folks," etc.


Porn-Free.org has successfully addressed the problems associated with cyber pornography, which represents most of web’s domains and traffic. The site’s writer provides a meticulous analysis of Internet pornography’s aspects. There is a detailed study into the psychological stimuli behind viewing pornography, with further analysis of how Internet technology serves to exacerbate the addictive nature of this activity.

For example, the site discusses simple psychological tricks that are used to lure surfers to view newer facets of porn, such as child porn, homosexuality, bestiality, necrophilia, masochism, rape and sadism, with tangential excursions from each of these interests.The Statistics page is full of carefully referenced and compiled data on the business, traffic and history of Internet pornography. There are fascinating insights in the effect that adult sites play on workplace environment, high technology, child education and identity security.

Though the primary writer of the site appears to be an outspoken Christian, adding religious opinion to the site’s otherwise almost academic-like work, the argument against pornography is masterfully presented, rational, and extremely sober while being positive. The positive atmosphere of the analysis also serves to achieve surprising, fresh ideas about tackling problems associated with porn, and offers equally interesting solutions to staying free of the addiction.Again, despite its devotionally Christian tinge, the site provides incredible help for a porn addict, as well as for parents of children exposed to internet porn.

TIPS against stagflation

Since both the net and the blogosphere is inundated with financial advice, I found that there only few dynamic, live blogs that actually offer practical advice. To compound the need for non-nonsense advice is that everyone's portfolio is as unique as a portfolio owner.

I found that with he help of George Divel and his blog I could make sense of Treasury paper and CDs, and moved into TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities).

TIPS perform well even in periods of stagflation, an economic condition that is fast and approaching. "If you buy a conventional Treasury, you receive the same interest payment semiannually for the life of the bond. With TIPS, the Treasury adjusts the principal value of a bond each month (with a two-month lag time) to keep pace with inflation. A higher principal value also lifts interest payments," he advises.

His investment tips like these are being updated everyday. I reviewed my portfolio and adjusted it accordingly with the tips.

I think George boils down the financial market trends and backs it up with his personal experience to learn from. Compared to other brokers, George has the best research tools as well as personal knowledge to navigate wealth planning. His approach to balance risk and tax (consider the deadline looming closer) as well as income is incredibly honest, simple and client-oriented.

Check out http://georgedivel.wordpress.com/.