Monday, June 1, 2015

Who Has to Obey God's Law

So lately I've been thinking a lot about talking with unbelievers, and something struck me as an interesting question. I know that we can't save anyone and that not everyone will be saved. So here's my question; what do we as Christians require of unbelievers?
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Do we require them to obey the word of God?
Do we require that they not use the LORD's name in vain? Or is it not wrong for them to do it, because they aren't unbelievers? Are Christians the only ones who have to obey the Bible? Or is there absolutely no difference between them?
My answer is no.
Did God require Unbelievers to obey him in the BIBLE?
"One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and to the stranger that sojourneth with you." Exodus 12:49
In the old testament law the stranger referred to someone who was not an Israelite but living, or traveling through Israel.
"Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land." Exodus 12:19
The punishment is given because of the crime, if there is no requirement, there is no crime and if there is no crime, there is no punishment. So because God is righteous, and knows all we can safely assume that if he punishes (not tests but punishes) someone it is because he required something of them and they failed. Sinner or no, believer or no. Here are some examples...
"And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. But the word of God grew and multiplied." Acts 12:21-24
Even though Herod was an unbeliever God still demanded that Herod praise him. Because he didn't he was punished. But Herod isn't the only unbeliever that has been punished throughout scripture for not obeying his word.
"The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws." Daniel 4:30-33
Again Nebuchadnezzar was not an Israelite, nor did he believe in God, but he was still required to obey God.
So does this mean that all laws apply to Unbelievers?
Again no,
"And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof." Exodus 12:43
There are parts of the law that apply to believers only, such as the LORD's Supper as we're warned again in 1 Corinthians,
"Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." 1 Cor 11:27
Unworthily or sinfully. The only way we can partake of the LORD's Supper is if we are washed in the purity of Christ's blood. So even though it is a command in scripture, it is not given to everyone. But most other laws do apply to everyone; such as murder; stealing; adultery; cursing; and lying.
So would following these laws convert an unbeliever?
One law that Unbelievers will never obey.
"Repent,and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38
This is a command that does apply to every single human being, but only the elect will ever obey it. Therefore even though we still have to require this of them they will not obey it.
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18
So why do we require unbelievers to obey the law when we know they won't even obey the most important commands of them all?
We don't know who the elect are.
How does this effect Salvation?
If unbelievers where not held to the same standards as Christians than why would they be sinners? What laws have they broken?
Some unbelievers (a lot actually) have never once broken the law. But they're still sinners, why? Without God's law and the requirement to obey it, they would be perfect.
"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me." Romans 7:7-11
As I said above, there is no sin if there is no requirement and there is no requirement if there is not law. The law opens our eyes to the sinners we really are. Without our sin we would have no need for a savior.
Some people think that just telling an unbeliever about Christ is enough. But they don't truly understand the gift that he is without first realizing the desperate state of sin they are in.
In Closing
I often find many people afraid of offending unbelievers by talking too openly or speaking too bluntly. This is SO silly! The name of Jesus will offend them, we're told that in scripture. But they aren't right, you are. So don't hold you're tongue because you don't want to hurt they're feelings. Be bold, be blunt, change the world.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New fresh year....New fresh look!

Announcing my NEW BLOG Stronger than the Sword. 
I've had a lovely time down here at Blogger but I thought it was time to move to a better way of doing hop on over and check it out.

Entrepreneurial at Home feat. Lucas Botkin CEO of T-Rex Arms

 Lucas Botkin is the CEO and founder of T-Rex Arms a well known holster manufacturing company that was started only a few years ago. The company exploded and has grown quickly. It is debt free, employs three people full time and two people part time, the company broke six figures in a year, and has 23,000 followers on Instagram. Their equipment has been featured in magazines, on websites, and is widely known in the self defense industry. I’m very excited to bring this interview to you all. It took me a very long time to get it so enjoy!

Why this business?

I started T-Rex arms because I wanted to help people, and I was watching the holster market and seeing a lot of holsters out there that weren’t very effective. I wanted to make a more effective product to make more effective shooters. I wanted to make a product that was very high quality and have very good customer service; I wanted to have really good marketing and then I also wanted to use the company as a platform to teach people and instruct people in more effective weapon manipulation, how the legal system works with shooting and carrying a fire arm, and the importance of having a warrior mindset to protect people. Having a company like that gives me the platform and gives me some credibility so I can teach on that using my company.
I started the company a year and a half ago in September of 2013, it’s now a full time job for me and two other people and we’re hiring two more people. We supply holsters to thousands of people including special operations, individuals, law enforcement, competition shooters and civilians like me.

What were your goals in starting this business?

The primary goal of the business was to help people. The secondary goal was I needed a job and it’s now my full-time job which is very helpful. The third goal was I wanted to give people employment in my church, and creating a manufacturing company allows me to do that, if the company gets big enough because with manufacturing companies you can hire a lot of people generally if they get big.  But the main goal was just to help people, so I could establish some credibility to teach on things and produce effective equipment to help make people better shooters which make them better protectors.

What are some things you did to get your business off the ground?

The main thing I focused on was marketing because what I first did was studied all of the different holster companies out there and what they were doing or what they weren’t doing, the main thing that I found was that they had low standards for media and promotions, they weren’t marketing very much if at all. So what I did was I had a very good website, I attacked marketing very viciously mostly social media, because that’s something they didn’t do. I had high standards for all my photography, the website, the writing for the product descriptions, just high standards for everything; essentially so the company would look extremely professional right off the bat. Most companies start off very unprofessional and then later they get more professional as they get bigger, I wanted to be professional right off the bat. So that’s what I targeted doing, that set me apart from all the other companies and because of that the company exploded very quickly, and I attribute most of that to the marketing. Because people aren’t going to buy a product if they can’t even find the product, because they have to find the product to even know if they can buy it or if they should buy it, so marketing was the main thing that I focused on first.

What are some lessons you’ve learned through this?

If you start a company you have to work extremely hard, you don’t really get any perks for being a CEO until the company is off the ground. I work six days a week from when I wake up to when I go to bed I still do, although now I have the flexibility to take time off whenever I want … almost. But when I first started the company it meant skipping parties, skipping weddings, skipping events, skipping personal things that I wanted to do, and just working like a mule for the first year. And most people have to understand that if they want to start a company, you can’t just start a company and expect to take time off whenever you want, that usually doesn’t happen until quite a bit later, so you just have to work super hard if you want to if you’re a CEO. As soon as you start hiring people you’re responsible for them, if you slacken your job than sales drop and that means you may have to fire people, and firing people means that they’re out of a job. You’re responsible as a CEO.

What kept you going?

What kept me going was my desire to help people; that really what kept me going over anything else. With all the people that stabbed me in the back and hated on my company, I was still able to help hundreds of people I’ve gotten emails from people every week and the encouragement helped a lot but what really kept me going is knowing that I’m helping people in doing this business. It’s not just a business that’s making money it’s also a business that’s actively helping people and that’s what keeps me going.

What are some tips you have for the readers?

Work extremely hard and don’t take anything for granted. Probably the most important thing is to work hard in anything you do. Do it as if you’re doing it to the LORD, that’s the main thing which means you have to work extremely hard you can’t really do anything half way you have to go all the way if you want to do something, like I did for my company and like I’m still doing. So just work really hard. Most people think if they’re a CEO they get all the benefits and perks right away, but that doesn’t happen, you have to work hard, because you’re responsible for the customers, you’re responsible for whoever you hire, you’re responsible for your time and how you spend it obviously, so there’s no time to just piddle around.

How do you measure you’re success?

Good in a year and a half. The company is debt free, employs three people full time and two people part time, we broke six figures in a year, we have 23,000 followers on Instagram within a year and a half. Our equipment has been featured in magazines, on websites, our company is now widely known in the self defense industry and that’s only in a year and a half before anyone even knew who I was or anything. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Entrepreneurial at Home feat. Two Old Beans

Two Old Beans is a vintage clothing shop that was started by two friends. Jack and Charlie (or Jessica Courter and Ellen Vernier) live in TN with their families. Interviewed here is Jessica who lives with her 10 siblings that are still at home. You may remember that I interviewed her father two weeks ago who is also a successful entrepreneur. As to her familiarity with vintage life, her family just finished putting on a WWII reenactment in TN this past September and will be hosting it again this year.  I hope you find this interview encouraging and inspiring as I have always found her to be.

1. Why this business?
Well, I already had an interest and intermediate knowledge base in vintage clothing, so it really made sense for me to try and do something with this desire. I also knew that vintage clothing is a currently expanding market, so with enough business sense it could be turned into a viable business.

2. What made you start?
The opportunity came along for me to partner up with Ellen, so I took it. I have always been hesitant about partnerships because of the cautions throughout Proverbs, so I thought about the decision a while before I actually went ahead with it. I think that as long as both partners understand the dangers and potential struggles with partnerships, they can make it work. Honestly, in this case, I feel like partnering with Ellen almost triples our effectiveness and potential because our passions + goals are so similar and our skills mesh up extremely well. 

3. What were your goals in starting this business?
These goals have morphed for me as the business has grown and progressed. Originally I was hoping for a nice little side job that the two of us could work together and make a little money at, but more recently, I’ve been working to turn this into a full blown operation. Currently this means Ellen and I are involved in every single step of the process, from buying, to sorting, cleaning, mending, photographing, listing, shipping, customer service, paperwork, marketing and a host of other things, but I’m hoping (and believe it’s quite possible) to streamline the process to where it requires minimal work and/or we start hiring out jobs. 

4. What were some things that you did to get your business off the ground?
Invest time. Lots of time. Ellen and I talked over marketing plans and ideas and then we just dug in. We hadn’t a clue what would work and wouldn’t work so it took a lot of time at first, but by being attentive and persistent, it eventually paid off and we’ve already learned a lot about what works best for our market and have been able to cut our time down considerably. We also researched what other companies were doing and tried to learn from them. However, I think the biggest thing that we’ve done that has helped get the business going is just being there for people — whether its on our etsy store, instagram, or anywhere else, we try to be super fast with responses, as helpful as possible and very relational. Ellen and I are both relational people, so that last one comes fairly natural to us, but I think (at least in our market), that people really appreciate our effort to connect with them as people, not just buying customers. 

5. What are some lessons you've learned from this?
Strategy is super important. The saying “if you don’t know where you’re going, than any train will get you there” is true. You really need to be forward thinking in starting a business — trying to accurately predict business growth is really hard when beginning, but you need to be thinking about the possibilities of both a boom or bust. Knowing when and how much to invest in new equipment and merchandise is really important. So I guess the best thing I’ve learned is how to think through things, set goals and take the appropriate action. 

6.What kept you going?
More like what keeps me going, since we’re nowhere close to where we want to be :] To be honest, it’s really the knowledge that I simply need to be making money! But it’s also knowing that by getting this venture running on it’s own, I’ll be able to pursue some of the other dreams I have! I find all this stuff really exciting to me :] Besides, starting and running your own business (when run right) is a very rewarding experience.

7. What are some tips you have for the readers?
I guess it would be just do something — find where your interests already lie and see if you can capitalize on that to create a business. By doing this you’ll be making money and doing what you love. Maybe you don’t know for sure if it’s what you want to be doing for years to come, but get some goals and start. In the process of just beginning, you’ll learn a multitude of things that you could never learn by just thinking about it. Your goals can and will change as you grow, but you have to begin somewhere. Something I like to remind myself of is that avoiding failure is to avoid progress. If you want to get somewhere, you have to be willing to take risks. Remember, there is no victory without a battle and there is no elevator to success. Take the stairs and make the most of what you already have!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Entrepreneurial at Home

So I thought it was about time that I did an article about entrepreneurs and working from home.
Although I'm not as successful as all of these guests we've had I do understand the freedom that we can have working from home and I thought I'd share the thoughts I've had about all these interviews.

While the rest of you have been reading, I've gotten to meet, interview and talk to these amazing people...but the biggest thing that I've picked up is they aren't supernatural..

"The major difference between a big shot and a little shot is that the big shot was a little shot that kept on shooting." Zig Ziglar

In other words none of these people have something that they were born with, nor did they get it on the first try. Sonya had been in  four network marketing businesses before she found Plexus. Thomas has had many investments that didn't return and Anthony didn't jump into the rental business without spending months of preparation.

Then what's something that they all had in common so far?

LUCK - Laboring Under Correct Knowledge

They studied, learned from their mistake, kept running, didn't quit when it got hard, and they stayed focused. 

They are where they are today because of what they did yesterday. They were prepared because they were willing to take the time to learn what they needed to know.

How many of you have had dreams that never happened because you quit? How many have you have thrown up your hands and said it'll never happen? Or how many of you have quit before you started?

Success is only achieved through relentless persistence. Those who fail on the first try are most likely going to be more wise than those who never fail at all, IF they learn from their mistakes. 

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."
Winston Churchill

The desire for the goal must out way the fear of the obstacle if one is to succeed. You must be willing to put your heart in it if you expect anything to be accomplished.

"Don’t dabble in 25 different things or three or four different things." Anthony Courter

As Anthony said focused stands for following one course until successful. You can't run three races and win them all. 

"Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war." -Donald Trump

If you truly believe that God has called you to a re-sale, or network marketing etc. then do all as unto the LORD. Don't leave a job half finished, complete it, stay focused on one thing.

To sum up what the others have said...
Don't be afraid to chase your dreams, apply yourself, and trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Christ my Secret Formula

               I know you all are going to think I’m crazy, but as a little girl I was a dreamer (and still am). One of the biggest things I dreamed about all the time was my own deadly enemy. Yep…I’m crazy. But seriously I wanted to grow up nice and strong and drive crooks across the world nuts, to be so dangerous that they would dedicate their lives to destroying mine! I wanted to be one of those characters that they could never catch (like the White Mouse (WWII) or Robin Hood). In summary I wanted to be useful by my definition.

                But one day I woke up to the fact that my dream had already come true! The most powerful enemy in the world had dedicated his life to destroying mine; he was determined to make every accomplishment or dream impossible, to make every step a struggle. He had decided to target me as an individual and would do anything to stop me from ever becoming dangerous.

                NEWS FLASH
when the enemy starts threatening or attacking you it means you’re already a threat.

                So who is this deadly enemy? When you claim the name of Christ he is immediately you’re declared you’re targeted enemy. Satan.

                But just like all "bad guys" he overlooked one aspect. The reason I'm so secret formula Christ. 

                My mom was the one that stated the above news flash and it finally hit me, she was right! And it made me think about something one of my friends had said years ago, “If you have enemies, you know you’re on the right path, but if you are at peace with all men than you should check your motives.”

                So how hard is life for you? Is it “impossible”? Or is it easy? Is satan winning or losing? How much of a threat are you to him? Or are you a threat at all?

                I think these are questions we should be asking ourselves every day. When we truly target our lives at serving God we naturally target out lives at fighting satan. There is no in between. So when you’re not a deadly enemy you’ve become an enemy to God. “…and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matt 12:30

                We are commanded to “Fight the good fight of faith…” (1 Tim 6:12) “Fight” is not a soft word, and it’s not a suggestion it’s a command. You don’t have a choice.

                Keep on fighting, you’ve got more energy and power than he’ll (satan) ever have so just ware him out. Keep fighting the good fight, never give up, God’ll always be behind you and he’ll never leave you. If our God is for us than what can stand against us?

                So what are we waiting for? Why do we dodge the troubles, work, sacrifice or hardship? Are we scared? Do we fear men? “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power…” 2 Tim 1:7 Why? God is stronger!

                “Remember when you’re falling and the rain is clouding your vision there’s a hand on your shoulder and Someone who can see above the clouds is guiding you through the treacherous climb to righteousness.”

                How long are we going to listen to that small voice inside our head telling us that we’re not strong enough? We should listen to the huge voice behind who’s calling us to trust Him!

                So trust God, follow Him, and fight the good fight with boldness. After all we have a secret formula that they can never steal. 

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

Friday, March 20, 2015

How much do you love God?

People don’t make decisions because they’re afraid to make the wrong one, so they sit and do nothing. We're to afraid to move. So then we rush through choices and speed through decisions because at least we're doing something.

 I agree that we shouldn’t sit around and waist the time given to us by God. But how much do you love God? Some of you may be wondering what your love for God has to do with this. Let me give an example.

There are two best friends whose girl-friends are getting married. Both were asked to pick out the bride’s wedding dress.

1st case scenario
The best friend walks into the bridal store and looks around the room, after spending an hour there she realizes that she doesn’t know her friend as well as she thought. She could not pick a dress that justly portrayed her friend’s personality and truly represented her the best. All though going back with nothing will prove to her friends that she doesn’t know anything she would rather be humiliated or take up more time than to ruin her friend’s wedding. Ultimately she loves her friend to much to make a mistake. So she goes back to her friend so they can do it together and she can learn more about the bride.

2nd case scenario
The best friend walks into the bridal store, although the bride asked her to be very careful with what she chose, she only specified that it had to be modest. But the best friend only has a half an hour to spend on the bride. So she chooses the first modest one she comes to and leaves the store with something.

Out of these to best friends which one loved the bride more; 1 or 2? Well obviously 1 right? Although number 2 picked a modest dress she did not take the time to think about how well the dress described or represented the bride. Was there anything wrong with her choice? No! It was modest just like the bride wanted it. In fact number 2 saved the bride time by not making her pick.

Now after reading this story let me ask you the question again…How much do you love God?
Do you love him enough to admit that you don’t know Him as well as you thought? That you don’t know Him well enough to make a quick decision? Do you love Him enough to “bother” him so that you will know Him better?

Here are the four steps to making a decision, but which sound like you care?
         1. Search out the Scripture                               1. Read the Bible
         2. Cry out to God                                              2. Pray
         3. Seek council and wisdom                             3. Ask for council
         4. Make the decision                                         4. Make the decision

Do you see the difference? One reads like a check list of responsibilities, while the other reads like a list of choices a Christ loving person would make.

I agree that we sometimes are too scared to make a decision and that is the reason for the time it takes for us to move. But not all of us take forever for that reason. I’m sure we would all consider ourselves best friend 1. But why, may I ask you, are we willing to spend hours, humiliate ourselves, pull the bride from her activities and fail on a mission we were sent on just to pick out a dress? But yet, we won’t spend three days to consider something as big and important on our knees before God as marriage and carrier.

But why should we haggle over a carrier? If they’re both not morally wrong. Remember the dress that number 2 picked out? It wasn’t morally wrong, yet the girl that came back with nothing loved the bride more than the girl that made the morally correct decision. There is nothing wrong with being a doctor unless it is not the choice that will…what?
What defines a good choice outside of a moral standard?

“She could not pick a dress that justly portrayed her friend’s personality and truly represented her the best.”

We are in this life to be images of Christ; we are in fact mirrors reflecting the light of the world. Each career we choose is like a mirror, colored mirrors will reflect Christ’s light but in a different way. Shattered mirrors will reflect Christ’s light but in a different way. In fact every type of reflectent will reflect Christ’s light including a piece of shining metal, a pool of water,  a window, a dirty mirror, even a rainbow and butterfly wings reflect light. But they all do in different ways. In other words none but the clear, clean mirror reflects God as he truly is, without shadow, without tint, without fade and without blotch.

So what defines a good choice outside of a moral standard? How well can you in this career reflect,  God? The better you know Him the better you’ll know the answer. And the truth is none of us will ever know God inside and out. So we turn around admit that we don’t know Him as well as we thought, and walk with Him in understanding to grow in wisdom.

But do we really have to worry over every little detail?
Should we? I mean does God really care how we dress? Does He really care what type of house we live in? Or what car we drive? Or what movies we watch or what songs we listen to?
My answer is yes. I hope yours is too. Because guess what? If He doesn’t care about these things why would he care who we marry, what church we go to, what school we go to, what sexual relationships we have before we marry. And the list continues like a snowball effect down the hill. If something is better than nothing, just leave me be, at least I’m doing something.

If I teach that we chose to be Christians, just leave me be, at least I’m talking about Jesus.

If I stand on a podium and teach that abortion is not murder, just let me be, at least I’m preaching.

If I sin, just leave me be, at least I’m acting.

If I beat my wife and children, just leave me be, at least I’m active in my family.

See where this can go? Not a good thing.

Related to marriage there’s no perfect person out there for you. So what are you waiting for; something better; under what standard?”

I believe that we have a tendency to set a standard of Prince Charming and Princes Perfect…but they don’t exist. Match your standards with God’s definition not Disney’s depiction.

But yes I believe there is only one right person out there for you not necessarily the perfect person. I don’t believe that marriage is something that just happens; I believe it is preordained by God and he has someone planned for you. Do we over-assadurate and draw preparation out? Yes I think we often do, but why; because we’ve set our standards to high? Or is it because we “love God and our friend too much to make a mistake?”

Do we love God enough to spend a lot of time praying before we make an important decision?
I’ll leave you with the same question

How much do you love God? It’s time to ask yourself that question.