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?
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Entrepreneurial at Home feat. Anthony Courter

Anthony Courter - Real estate 

Anthony Courter lives in Linden, TN with his wife and 11 unmarried children; his married son's family (wife and child) live not to far away. 
He is a successful rental owner and has taught many others what he's learned. 
His love for history took his family on a journey to Europe for the 70th anniversary of D-Day last year, and many other historical places across america. 
As a previous pastor his love for the ministry has taken him and his family to places like Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.  
I'm so glad he took the time for this interview I hope you learn much from his advice. 

Why this Business?

“I got into the rental business because I knew it was going to meet my goals for being with my kids, and giving me freedom from earning a wage by the hour, and giving me freedom to serve other people.  So that was the main reason, really the only reason I got into rental property.”

What made you start?

                “It was my goals, absolutely.”

What were your goals in starting this business?

                “My saying was I wanted to grow up with my children, which meant I wanted to be the main instructor in my children’s lives. So that meant I wanted to be around them every moment I could be, and so that’s 24 hours a day 7 days a week. So I was looking for something to have my children with me so I could teach them.

                I was looking for something that would give me freedom from just being a wage earner or just working by the hour. I wanted to be paid for my ideas and not just for my time. And another fraise I was using was a slave to money; I didn’t want to be a slave to money.

                The third one was I wanted to be able to serve other people and do it for free, and I wanted to at least do that for half a year. Give half my year away to other people. I realized that too many men were working for the hour and by the hour and because of that it gave them a different mentality. How they viewed money, what they were doing with it, because what they were doing was trading the most valuable thing that they had and it’s, there’s no way to put a value on it; they were trading their time, their health, their future and relationships with other people for a monetary amount, something that has a little bit of value. They were trading something that is basically priceless for twenty dollars an hour, fifteen dollars an hour or hundred dollars an hour or whatever it may be. But they’re still trading something that has a value beyond description for something so monetary as just a few dollars an hour. So I wanted to be paid for my ideas not my time.
                So those were my three things.”

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

                “I was LUCKY. I “Labored Under Correct Knowledge.” I did lots and lots of homework, read lots of books. What I mean when I say “homework” and “I labored under correct knowledge” is, I read every book, real estate book I could find, I went to every library I could go to, and I would ask every investor I came in contact with; how’d they get started, what were they learning from the process, if they would do it again. So I had some people that told me that they didn’t want to do real estate ever again in their lives, I’d ask them why and I wouldn’t let them discourage me, I just wanted to find out why they discouraged it. I found guys that who were doing it was successful at it, so I asked them what they were doing that was good.

                I got newspapers and I tried to find rent values, prices of housing, and lots of things like that. I started going to different banks, trying to find out well what are the qualifications to borrow money. So that was the first thing that I did was I tried to education myself as much as possible. So there was about six months that I was really wanting to do something but all I could do was just, all I did was just homework, because I didn’t want to make a $40,000 or $50,000 mistake especially since I wasn’t making very much money. That was a lot of money at that point in my life and so I was very careful in how I was investing my time, and I wanted to make sure I was doing something with my time that would education myself.”

What are some lessons you've learned from doing this?

                “That if somebody sets their mind to it, anything’s achievable, without question. I was making $125.00 a week, didn't have any money saved, to speak of I didn't have any money saved back (I had $1,000.00 I had saved back from a job that I had had before), Michelle and I had two children at that point in our life, and I’d never bought a house. I had many people that were trying to discourage me, by just saying, get a factory job, stay there you’ll be happy, you’ll have two weeks of paid vacation and everything will be fine and hunky dory and you’ll get all these benefits. I would just say that if someone sets their mind to doing something and do the correct homework and don’t let their emotions drive them but letting wisdom and knowledge drive them I think they can do anything that they set their heart to.”

What kept you going?

                “The sheer fact that I knew I could do it and what the end goal was. Getting my three goals that I had, which were again; growing up with my kids, not being a slave to money, and giving my time away to other people for free.”

What are some things you want the readers to hear?

                “Become focused, focused stands for “following one course until successful.” Don’t dabble in 25 different things or three or four different things. When I was doing real estate I wasn’t doing anything but real estate. I exaggerate when I say that I was eat, drinking and sleeping real estate, but reality is past my scripture reading and time I was spending with my family and the job I was working, (I was working another job) I spent every moment I could think about real estate I was thinking about it, reading again and then trying to understand the principles that were there. Asking other men about the things I had learned.

                Something else is to just make sure that you’re applying yourself, and then just don’t be gathering knowledge but actually do something with it I could have done all that. I have a lot of people that they’ve asked me a lot of real estate questions, and they’ve asked me a lot of real estate questions, and they’ve asked me a lot of real estate questions. They have lots of knowledge, and they have lots of knowledge and they have lots of knowledge but they’ve never acted. So there’s a time when you need to do your research and you need to act upon it and not be driven by fear or by greed but by the wisdom of knowing that what you’re doing is a sound choice and it’s not, again, driven by your external emotions.”

How would you describe your success?

                “Well, I guess I could say after doing this since 1992, (so it’s been 23 years) I was able to quit my job after four years of doing this and so I started this back in 92, I started the factory job in 91 and with in September of 95 I quit my factory job.  And I was able to meet all the goals I desired, because I was now financially independent enough, I only had $1,000 a month coming in but my wife and I decided we were going to live off of that. Because we were able to stay within a budget and I was able to purchase the houses I did in those, basically about three and a half years, I was able to meet my goals and so I would say that I was very successful at meeting the goals that I desired to reach and it gave me the freedom to do many other things in life.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Entrepreneurial at Home Featuring Sonya Dudley

Sonya Dudley Diamond Ambassador with Plexus

Sonya is a Diamond Ambassador with Plexus. She lives in Linden, TN with her husband and two children. She travels around America speaking at conferences and even hosting some. She is one of the most influential people in my life and I'm so happy she made time for us in her SUPER busy schedule. Wildly successful and very humble, I can't think of anyone I would rather host today. 

1.Why this business?
    Well I feel it gives me the freedom to create a life and not just make a living. I have the time, money and freedom to do pretty much what is important to me and that is what matters to me most.....

2.What made you start?
   My best friend sold me on trying this industry just one more time by saying, "If the products worked for me, then I could help tons of folks get healthy as well" And I knew the investment was so so small, I thought, well WHAT IF this does work, and this could be our financial answer as well as my health answer... and it was...

3.What were your goals in starting this business?
   Just to share with every single person I knew and to post on facebook daily to see where it would lead and I was consistent. So after a month, then I really was like, I think I can take this thing all the way, and started focusing on helping many people with the business aspect of this.... and 10 weeks after joining I quit my full time job... 

4.What were some things that you did to get your business off the ground?
  I live in the town that I was raised in, I already knew everyone and them me, so really just talking to people every where I was and posting on facebook, that was it.

5.What are some lessons you've learned from this?
  People will disappoint you, THEY have to want this for themselves, you can not want it for them.... People quit too soon, they do not know work ethic anymore.....People are not willing to change old habits so easily when it is more comfortable to stay the same...

6.What kept you going?
  Really never thought about quitting....I was always with the people who shared their life changing stories, so if any day got bad, I always thought of them... and what If I had not shared...

7.What are some tips you have for the readers?
  Do not be scared to go after your dreams. If you do not, no one else will and you could potentially regret it for the rest of your life. The pain of regret is the most painful emotion to take to the grave.

8.What is your health testimony?
  I was in bed for 15 months with Fibromyalgia a few years ago. When I finally got well enough, I had to find a job outside the home, which I had never done before. I had always worked for myself in this industry. I went into sales. I did that for 6-7 years and even though I was better, I was not well. I hurt a lot all over, I was tired ALL the time. I had high cholesterol, and I struggled with weight. When I started on Plexus, right away, I felt like a new person. I was sleeping all night, no naps, no pain, and cholesterol dropped 50 points in month one. I lost 12 pounds and felt amazing. After a couple of months I was able to get off all my meds with my doctors approval. I have my health back and that is everything....

Here's Plexus' Diamond Documentary on Sonya.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Unworthily Chosen

Most of my articles lately have been about things I’ve been learning in conversations or from sermons, but this week I wanted to write about something that God’s been teaching me, the hard way.
I’m sure most of you have probably seen me as a girl, striving to serve her King with all her might, and studying the Bible every day. Well that isn’t true, in fact I’d been serving myself not my King. I was focused on me, not Him; my glory, not his; the way people thought about me, not the way He saw me. I was a me-seeker and unfortunately I still am struggling with it.

I was using my blog as a place to fulfill myself and receive that I longed for. When, after three months I still didn’t have any followers I was dissatisfied and wanted to find ways to get my work and to receive my glory and my praise. I was literally living the life of a hypocrite! I was telling my readers to do one thing and living the exact opposite.

Romans 2:3 “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”

I felt better if I had published an article. I felt prouder and more “at peace with God and man.” I felt like it made me a better person somehow if I had a blog.

Romans 2:21-23 “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, doest thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, doest thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest they boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God?”

I talked a lot but never acted. Everything I was learning was never put to use. I had a lot of knowledge but no wisdom. My mouth moved by my feet froze.

Romans 2:19-20 “And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.”

I was proud of myself for taking “complicated” subjects and making them “simple.” I thought about all of the people that I was going to save and the problems I was going to fix and the world I was going to change. I was so focused on me that I missed what I was actually doing.

Romans 2:24 “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you…”

Luke 6:39a “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?”

I was leading other people away from the light instead of towards it.

Matthew 15:7-9 “Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, “This people draweth nigh to me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”

I was a hearer of the word and not a doer! (James 1:22)

Luke 11:46  “Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.”

I spoke about not setting “extra-biblical” standards for people; but yet I had them for my own siblings and parents!

1 John 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
It doesn’t say to talk like God talks; it says to walk even as Christ walked.

But praise the LORD, God didn’t plan for me to stay on my high horse for long. It was the turning point when I realized that I had found my life in him, and without him I was nothing. I felt cold, alone and desperate. The fire that had kept me alive for so long, the personality that everyone loved, was gone. I didn’t realize how much of my life actually depended on him, or how much of the “me” I was trying to satisfy didn’t exist when He wasn’t present.

He is my all! He is my only source of life! He deserves the glory, He deserves the praise. For a long time I thought that people that said “Praise the LORD” all the time were creeps. But now my eyes have finally been able to catch just a glimpse of what those “creeps” were actually able to see.

One of the biggest struggles I have in life is pridefulness. I’m constantly seeking praise for something that I did. But the truth is, it isn’t me but he who is in me. It isn’t my work but the Creator of the universe.

My world looked beautiful when I was blinded but the height of my white steed. But when the veil was removed and Christ brought me back down, I saw a world that I had created for myself. It was dark and cold. It was empty and bleak. When I saw what I had become I felt a fear that I had never had before. A fear of death, a fear of life, and a fear of God’s almighty wrath. My life went without me seeing, I didn’t realize it until the path was sinking beneath me. When the world started to close in I realized that without God I was open prey to the devil.

But there’s hope!

My story isn’t over yet and I praise God that he is the master artist of my life; that he has chosen me as a parchment. I can’t wait to see what he creates with the beautiful trials and chapters in this book he has for me.

I’m overwhelmed by His mercy and I now realize that I never deserved him and I never will.

Plan “A” never worked, and most of the time it never does. It takes a fall to know not to run and it takes a mistake to grow wiser. It took God bringing me down to earth, to learn that I didn’t belong in the clouds. It took his mercy in bringing me back to him before I realized I had ever wandered off.

What do you do when plan “A” fails? Well you sit down, you acknowledge your mistake, re-plan, and take action.

So what’s my plan “B”? The Bible states several places to “cleave unto God” (Duet 4:4; 11:22; 30:20; Josh 22:5; 23:8; Acts 11:23), and that we are not our own (1 Cor 6:19) but we were purchased with a price (1 Cor 6:20).

In other words serve God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.

Am I perfect? No. Will I ever be? No.

But through Christ’s strength and Christ’s righteousness I can be made free.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” (Romans 6:16-18)

Is there hope for someone who without Christ is so susceptible to the devil?

Without Christ, no; with Christ yes.

“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

When you hand yourself over, a sacrifice to God, and dedicate your life to him, he become the driver and takes the wheel; he becomes the painter, and takes the brush; he becomes the writer and takes the pen; he becomes the Savior and takes your life.

Does that mean life will be easy? No. But is life really about easy? It was easy without him in that dark, empty, life you were living. But it was empty, why do you think it’s estimated suicide takes the lives of 40,000 Americans every year? ( Life might be “easier” without him in your definition, but in the long run it won’t be worth it. “Make the tough decisions now, so you can easily reap later.”

So in closing, realize now the great treasure and gift you have received from above. Realize now, the amazing chance you have to be a part of the Kingdom of God. Realize now, you only have one life to live. Realize now, that you never deserved it, but He gave it to you anyway.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Gifts from God

We were all created for a purpose, set here in this time, this place for a special reason. The saying "if everybody's special nobody's special" isn't actually true. 

We are all unique in the way that God had planned. We're each a different part of the body. "But now are they many members, yet but one body." (1 Cor 12:20) 

When God commands us, through his word, he also gives us the strength and tools to accomplish exactly what he told us to do.  Each of us are equipped with God-given unique abilities. "Now there are diversity of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administration, but the same LORD. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God that worketh all in all." (1 Cor 12:4-6) 

I'm afraid that, from what I see, Christians have a very hard time getting along together or working together unless their standards, rules, lifestyles and minor doctrines match exactly. Which, if that's what you're looking for than you might as well give up.

Christ set specific standards follow his, not mans. 

We were created like a puzzle, our differences are the notches that help us fit together to finish the product. A negative magnet and another negative don't go together. But a negative and positive do. A husband and wife are opposite sex but make the best partnership in life. In a story you have a bad-guy, a hero, good and evil, all are very different but work together to make a perfect story. 

"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; but all these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." (1 Cor 12:8-11) 

Some have the gift of speech, some have the gift of silent service, both can work together to extend the Kingdom of God. Some are writers, some singers, some farmers, some business men, some lawyers and some politicians. 

But in every area of life, in every part of our day we are to take dominion over all. Whether food and drink, or work and play. There is not one area of any life that should not be subject to Christ. In movies, in music and in literature God has commanded that we take dominion. 

So use your gifts wisely. Use them to the glory of God, don't hide in the crevice of the rock "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Tim 1:7) So be bold, use your gifts for him. 

Hands were made to work, minds were made to think, eyes were made to see, ears were made to hear, gifts were made to use.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dominion-Focused Woman Part 2 - Outside the Home, it's Possible

Last time I talked about what we can do as women to extend the kingdom at home. Now I want to add to that...

I didn't want my article to get stuck in the "good home-schooled girl" trend so I decided to write a second part.

What is the "good home-schooled girl" trend? Well it's this old trend among home-schoolers that a good Christian girl is measured by how much she does at home. But the truth is this, we're here on earth to live more like Christ not like the perfect house wife. We're here to conform to the image of Christ not to the standards of the Christians around us.

Here's what I'm trying to say, it is possible to spread the Kingdom and do the work that a woman should do away from her home. For instance, she could go on a mission trip to Loas, or several sisters could open up a alteration business in the square, or even work at a Chick-fil-a, (your options aren't limited to this they're just examples).

So many times we're surrounded by these standards and rules that men set, that we seem to forget what we were actually created for. To serve God to the best of our ability. Often times when you surround a person with standards that you expect them to reach you drown that person instead of encouraging them onward.

To serve God with the best of our ability means we each serve him in a different way. Some young women are called to start businesses at home, while others are called to take dominion of jobs that already exist.  Some women are called to work with their fathers while others are called to travel the world.

"Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers or miracles?" 1 Cor 12:29

We are all called to serve God in a unique way. Don't despise a woman who works outside home, on the other hand don't despise a woman who works from home. Either choice does not make you more or less woman. "For the body is one, and hath many members..." (Rom 12:1)

Now I have to write a disclaimer here, if your father wants you to stay at home, than it would be a sin to do otherwise. Why? You know why, because the Bible, God's inspired word tells us to honor and obey our parents. And on the other hand if your father wants you to go out and get a job, (depending on the job) you should go out and get a job.

The standards we've placed are not only unnecessary but on top of that they confuse new Christians. We tell them that they're supposed to rise to these standards and anything else is practically a sin, but they don't find that in the Bible.

This is a topic that very few people are willing to address. But it needs to be.

I'm afraid that the majority of Christians are starting to hang on one hand or the other. They either don't want to stay at home because that's so pathetic and they despise any girl who doesn't have a college degree; or they hate being out and about because that's the men's world and despise anyone who doesn't know how to do laundry or clean the bathroom in five minutes.

Ok let's just think about this for a minute, how long does it take to learn how to clean a bathroom? Not long. How useful is a college degree? If used correctly very useful. But how much can you do without a college degree? A lot.

So let me get this straight. Everything that we're focused on, isn't getting us anywhere? Because if those to girls are strong Christians I bet they both have what's really important.

Yeah, like what?

Well I bet they both know how precious His word is. I bet they can quote parts not because they memorized it but because they've read it over and over. I bet they understand the power of prayer. I bet they spread his gospel and take dominion wherever they go, whether it's a sibling's temper, the dirty bathroom, or a long list of jobs to complete and a computer to fix.

If we're both doing what the Bible commands than why are these extra-Biblical standards so important? Why have they grown to be a barrier  between people.

"Oh you wear pants so I can't talk to you." "Oh she's one of those creepy-jean-skirt-wearing-home-schoolers, I'm not going to talk to her."

Seriously girls? Life is way to short to haggle over silly, unimportant differences like that. The church was meant to be a body it was meant to work like one.

The reason Christianity has spread so far and gone so long is because we're like a giant army or a nation that covers the globe. We're supposed to be a people that helps one another, a nation set apart to God, people that work together. So why are we haggling over whether leggings are appropriate or jobs for women correct? Come on guys that creates gaps not bridges! It creates enemies not friends! If we're so busy fighting among ourselves how can we fight the true enemy?

Another disclaimer here, I'm not saying to give up your beliefs and conform, just talk about what you have in common people!  Jesus Christ our Savior! If Christ was willing to die for them then don't you thing we can at least be friends? I mean I'm not even asking you to lay your lives down for each other, but yet Christians in the past have done that too.

The standards kill "...for the letter (of the law) killeth, but the spirit (of the law (Rom 7:6) giveth life." (2 Cor 3:6) but the salvation of Christ gives life!

We are commanded to shine forth Christ, "...and the salvation of Christ Jesus will do that more than any standards or rules of men will ever do." -Anthony Courter-

Build relationships not enemies, build cities not walls, fortifications against the enemy and not friends, bind yourself to Christ and the church and you will find strength.