Tuesday, January 27, 2015

John 3:16 – ‘everlasting life’

John 3:16

John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It doesn’t matter what the Pope says. It doesn’t matter what Rick Warren says. It doesn’t matter what Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, or anyone else says. There is only one path to salvation and the most well-known Bible verse in modern times is pretty darn clear about it.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Pray for Those Affected by Boko Haram

Boko Haram Children

The coverage of the atrocities perpetrated by Boko Haram has been shockingly low. Africa has always received limited mainstream press coverage from the west, but the threat of Boko Haram to the people of Nigeria and beyond is catastrophic and deserves more attention.

When violence in France took dozens of lives, thousands were being taken at the same time under a variation of the same Islamic flag, but you didn’t see world leaders flocking to Nigeria to show solidarity the way they did in Paris. Instead, it was given scant press. Is it that western culture simply doesn’t care as much about African lives as it does about European lives? Could it be that we’ve just become numb to the wars, oppression, and genocide that takes place in the continent? Is it so far detached from western culture that the ratings on coverage is simply too low for television?

Print and internet journalists and bloggers are starting to pay more attention. Here is a sampling of the stories that have been posted to Twitter in the last couple of hours alone:

As Christians, we must also focus out attention in the way of prayer for those who are being hurt by a group that is similar and potentially more dangerous than ISIS. They are training children to become murders. It’s the type of indoctrination that makes our western problems seem insignificant.

Pray for the children. Pray for the victims. Pray for success to those who would oppose Boko Haram. Pray for our leaders to step up and at least match the engagement with this evil entity to the engagement we are having with ISIS, though even that level of engagement is too low.

Pray for the people of Nigeria who are suffering beyond our western understanding. Pray that they may find the Lord and stay true to His teachings. It’s easy to be a Christian in the west. In Nigeria, being a Christian has a high cost. Pray that they persevere through the tribulations.

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Exodus 20:8 – ‘the sabbath day’

Exodus 20:8

Exodus 20:8 (KJV)

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

This is something that should not require a reminder since it happens every seven days, but the Lord knew it would become a challenge for His people. It did, and today the holy sabbath is not honored by the majority of people. Even those who go to church rarely do this simple commandment. We have found that when we remember and honor the sabbath, we are rejuvenated, fulfilled, and prepared for the week ahead.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Proverbs 4:18 – ‘path of the just’

Proverbs 4:18

Proverbs 4:18 (KJV)

But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

The simple but important lessons found in the early parts of Proverbs plays almost like Shakespearean words of wisdom. They are, of course, more inspired and more important. They also have much better advice.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jude 1:21 – ‘in the love of God’

Jude 1:21

Jude 1:21 (KJV)

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

For such a short verse, it says so much about what we’re supposed to do and how we’re supposed to do it. It’s easy to love Yeshua. Those who read the Bible and who have followed the life of Jesus Christ are compelled to love the Son of God, even if only for the amazing things He did and the messages He delivered.

Yeshua’s hope was that we would love His Father. More than that, the wording of this verse is interesting in that we are to keep ourselves in the love of God while looking for mercy from the Messiah. This is important to understand, because it means more than just being grateful or thanking our Father. It’s about living out lives within the love that the Father shines on us. Leave the shadows. Bask in His love. Be ready for Yeshua’s judgment by doing what He asks in order to receive His mercy.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Yemen’s Fall Points to Obama’s Incompetence in Foreign Relations

Yemen and Obama

For nearly 60 years, the United States has had two presidents who have understood how to properly handle foreign relations: John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Arguments can be made that Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were decent at it. All others have failed, but nobody has failed as badly as our current president.

Barack Obama has established the worst set of foreign relations policies the country has ever seen. George W. Bush was pretty bad, but even his foreign policy debacles do not compare to Obama’s.

The most recent glaring example is Yemen. Just over three months after the president declared that the country was an example of his administrations foreign relations success, the President of Yemen has resigned under pressure from forces allied with Iran.

In a public statement about ISIS, the President said, “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us while supporting partners on the front lines is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.”

They are not the first to feel the sting of being one of Obama’s “supporting partners” over the years. We’ve done such a good job at not engaging the enemies that overtly threaten us that they are now emboldened by the president’s lack of conviction. The red line for Syria. The call for pre-1967 borders. The list of minor gaffs is long. The list of major ones is, unfortunately, even longer.

We don’t normally outright insult politicians, but this is different. George W. Bush made us look too aggressive at times, but at least we were considered to be strong. Today, our foreign policy makes us look idiotic, but weak at the same time.

Here’s the video that describes it all:

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My friends may be enjoying #NADA2015 without me, but my daughter cheered me up with a hat.

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Jeremiah 23:5 – ‘a King shall reign and prosper’

Jeremiah 23:5

Jeremiah 23:5 (KJV)

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

A good chunk of the prophecy we find in the Old Testament points to the first and second coming of Yeshua. Jeremiah is one of the most important of the Prophets in that he declared God’s message for every generation. Some of what he discussed was for his age. Others, including this very clear reference to Yeshua, was designed to speak to Jews and the world as verification of our Lord, Savior, and Messiah.

Jews still see it as the first coming. Christians know it pertains to His second coming.

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If a Social Media Company Doesn’t Offer Both Sides of the Posting Coin, Run Away

It’s hard to pick a better Joker from the Batman movies. The original Jack Nicholson version was dark and funny and had the psychopathic flare that only Jack can bring to the table. Heath Ledger’s Joker brought critical acclaim and an Oscar win because of the raw grittiness in the way he threw himself into the role.

We shouldn’t choose. We shouldn’t have to. Both performances can thrive on their own merits and be watched for generations to come.

The same sort of toss-up applies to Facebook and Twitter posting, particularly when it comes to advertising for business. Everyone knows about the public posting component. These are the posts that appear on the Facebook pages or Twitter profiles of the business and fill the news feeds and timelines of the business’ followers. The unpublished side, known to some as “dark posts”, are usually not known by the business community and often ignored by marketing companies.

If a social media company isn’t taking advantage of both of them, you should run away and pretend like they don’t exist. Both are extremely important to the success of a business’ social media presence. If anything, the dark posts are even more important than the public posts. Let’s define them, then go into why they’re both so important.

Public Posts

Not much to say here since you all already know what they are. If you post to your “wall” on Facebook or to your Twitter profile, you’re posting publicly. These posts appear whenever anyone visits your page or profile. They also appear on the Facebook news feeds and Twitter timelines of those who are following you (though your actual reach with advertising on either platform is normally pretty abysmal, even embarrassing).

Dark Posts

These are the unpublished posts on Facebook and Twitter. They’re the ads that don’t appear on your page or profile, but fill the news feeds and timelines of the audiences you select. They aren’t bound by time – they run until you replace them or tell them to stop.

Dark posts are avoided by many companies for three reasons:

  1. They aren’t automated. You can’t schedule them with Buffer or Hootsuite, for example, and an API feed doesn’t work. This makes them non-scalable, which means that only nimble companies like the automotive social media folks, our friends at Dealer Authority, have the ability to manage them for their clients.

  2. They aren’t popular. For whatever reason, both Facebook and Twitter have done terrible jobs at letting businesses know the power of dark posts. This is good for those who are taking advantage of them because the competition in most industries is minimal. Of course, that also means social media companies can get away with not selling them because few businesses are asking about them.

  3. They aren’t profitable… for the social media company. Unlike Google PPC where even small businesses can have monthly budgets in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, social media dark post advertising is usually in the hundreds or thousands per month. Those charging a percentage can’t make much money and those charging a flat often have to overcharge to make them worthwhile.

The thing is that these types of posts have the strongest ROI, higher than with public posts. For this reason, social media companies must offer them if their goal is to truly help their clients.

Why You Need Both

By themselves, neither is exceptionally effective. Sure, you can get incredible branding and exposure through a public posting strategy with a small advertising budget and you can get great traffic to your website through a dark posting campaign with a slightly higher budget, but it’s in the combination of both types of posting that a proper strategy can be delivered.

Get the buzz with public posts. Get the traffic with dark posts. It’s not a hard concept to understand, but it’s strangely a hard service (for some) to deliver.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fresh haircut. Feels good

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