Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Yes, you read the title correctly. A Yes Vote on California’s Proposition 8 means you are going to hell.You might be thinking I got Proposition 8 wrong. After all, it is mostly “religious” people who are proponents of Proposition 8 here in California. However, these are mostly Christians lead astray by false leaders who are interested in power, control, and vanity.

These might seem like harsh words, but nothing is more harsh than the oppression of your fellow man, and the Bible makes it very clear that we should not oppress any other human, even ones we don’t understand or agree with.

Exodus 22:21
Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9
Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Those versus above might look and sound familiar. That is because they come from the long list of commandments from God that are frequently shortened to the top 10 list a la The 10 Commandments.

Exodus is perhaps the most straightforward of any book in the Bible. It makes it very clear what is wrong and what is right.

Oppression is clearly bad. But what is oppression?

The Bible isn’t designed like a dictionary. It doesn’t state what every word means. Wikipedia gives us a great explanation of oppression: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppression

However, we can look at the dictionary definition of oppression: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppression
unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power b: something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power

One might argue that by changing the constitution of California to limit who can and cannot be married, it would remove the unjust portion of this definition because justice (by definition) would be that only a man or a woman could be married. However, we are stuck with the cruel exercise of authority or power portion of the definition.

Humans limiting the civil rights of other humans is designed to inflict pain and grief, plain and simple. If you don’t want to let gays have Catholic weddings, that’s one thing. But limiting a civil marriage based upon any criteria other than being human is absurd.

Civil law in America is not religion dependent. Instead, American law is based upon the principle that all men are created equal (save the major slavery screwup written into our constitution).

Now, I’ve had Christian friends tell me that gay marriage must be stopped because the Bible clearly states we must protect our houses of worship. I agree. Your church can (and by any reasonable interpretation of the Bible, should) not allow gay marriage. But you are not worshiping the state of California are you? If you are, you have much bigger problems with God than you do with gay people.

Yes, the Bible states that homosexuality is an abomination and that a man laying with another man as he does with a woman is a sin. There is no surprise there. It is pretty clear that gay people are sinning (as are we all). So…

Will not allowing gay couples to marry rid them of their sin? No

Will not allowing gay couples to have the same civil rights as other couples rid them of their sin? No

Every Christian knows that there is One Way and ONLY One Way to be absolved of our sins. Christians should be focusing on spreading the word of God, not limiting civil rights of our fellow man. Our judgment and condemnation of another human here on Earth means absolutely nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Null.

Christians need to remember that our faith without deeds or vice versa is pointless. Believing that we should “love thy neighbor as thyself” and turning around and saying that our gay neighbor can’t get married is false faith. Go read James 2.

Now, does a Yes vote on Proposition 8 get you into hell? That really depends on what God means by poor. I’m betting poor doesn’t just refer to money. Poverbs 14:31 makes it abundantly clear what it means to oppress the poor. In short, it is blasphemy. Done in the name of God, this is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, to which there is no forgiveness.

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I’ve been a HUGE fan of LOL Cat for a loooooooong time. I post them on people’s Myspace profiles and vote regularly. Today, my friend Ken dropped off page 90 of the latest SkyMall, and I had to make my own LOL Cat!!! And it ends up being a Ceiling cat at that!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

I was at a church a while back and the pastor was talking about how selfish babies and children are as an example of the sinful nature of humans. He used the example of a baby crying for milk late at night to demonstrate how selfish babies are. Needless to say, I haven’t been back to that church since.

I’ll paraphrase my favorite quote:

May baby son is so selfish at night. He could be lying there in his crib thinking, “maybe I shouldn’t cry because mom and dad need to wake up early in the morning”. But instead, he’s selfish and starts crying, because that’s the nature of human beings. We are selfish.

The only thing selfish I saw was a supposed “man of God”, a very popular pastor in America, spouting out a bunch of selfish righteousness.

Honestly, I hadn’t even heard about Ben Stein’s movie until I saw all the blogs showing up about it. So, I’ve read the blogs and I checked out the preview on the Expelled website. I suspect that one of the scientists who Ben is referring to as getting harassed by the scientific community is one of his friends. If I was in his position with his media connections, I would do the same thing.

Then I got to thinking… The debate between atheists and Christians is semantic. An oversimplified view of evolution is that we evolved from sludge. The Bible states that we were formed from dust. So which is it? Dust or sludge? No matter which side is right, we have more in common than we think. Plus, we’re all here together and we all will have the same ending: death.

Why not spend our time working together? Let’s say, “Hey! Thanks for your contribution to the betterment of society and the world. Thanks for being my partner is making life more enjoyable for generations to come and for helping feed the families of those less fortunate than us. BTW, I believe we came from [sludge]/[dust]  (circle one).”

People have been telling me that I’ve been gifted with a great voice since I was a young child. I’m not talking about an American Idol kind of voice. I’m talking about speaking. I haven’t delivered a speech in nearly a decade. Outside of the interview of me by Dr. Joe Vitale about my advertising, I haven’t been doing much along the lines of speaking publicly. That was until this weekend…

A friend of mine, Doctor Nat (yes, a blond rocket scientist) has been working with a guy by the name of Scott Evans (he did the movie “Pass it On“) on putting together a workshop for inventors. The idea was to provide attendees with training and information that would take them from thinking about a product/service/business to actually brining it to market. Or if they already had the product… Make it a wild success. They got that and then some!

The weekend was packed. Non-stop, high energy from 9 in the morning to 11 at night the whole weekend. And there was NEVER a dull moment! To give you an idea about what it was like, here is the list of speakers:
Sarah Caldicott
Scott Evans
Dr. Natalie L. Petouhoff
Jeffrey G. Sheldon
Louis Foreman
Scott Painter
Gene McNaughton
Glenn Blake
Jace Souder
Mike Stuhley
Jared Tracy (me)
Mary Ligon
Darren Jacklin
Dr. Zonnya

That’s a great team of speakers! If you want to walk out of a weekend on fire and with knowledge that can be applied to your business, product, relationships, and life in general, it doesn’t get much better than what you see above!

I must admit that the best part of the entire weekend was when several people came up to me on a break or after the event and told me that what I contributed to them is going to make a significant difference in their business. That’s what it’s all about! And it felt every so great after having not done anything like that for nearly 10 years. I’ve been smiling from ear to ear ever since. I might have even been smiling while I was sleeping on the plane ride back to Los Angeles.

If you spent some time clicking on those names above or ran a Google search on those names, you would see that it is an extraordinary group of people. People who move mountains and make the extraordinary happen every day.

The best news of all… You are just as powerful, moving, inspirational, intelligent, and gifted as any one of the people on that list.

How can that be? Well, it is simple. You were born that way. And that is why all of us really are that great  😀

I haven’t been the most Godly person in the world. There was even a long period in my life when I didn’t believe there was any Creator. I could spend paragraph upon paragraph explaining the process by which I came to the following realization, but I don’t want to take away from what I realized tonight:

Embracing my strengths will give me confidence in myself and what I am capable of. Appreciating my weaknesses and shortcomings will give me confidence in God and what He is capable of. In my weaknesses, I find humility. I am humbled before my Creator AND my fellow man, and I find no shame in what I cannot do on my own. In my weaknesses, I can ask for guidance, help, and assistance.

This is why it can be difficult to find God. Who wants to travel a path paved with our weaknesses?

This is also why so many people find God when they hit bottom. When you hit bottom, there is nothing left. You are covered by your weaknesses. And God can truly deliver you from your weakness.

But we don’t have to hit bottom or dread our weaknesses. All we need to do is ask 😀

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I’m going to see NickVujicic this Sunday with some friends. I can’t wait to see him. If you ever thought you had it rough growing up… This guy will inspire you! Check out his website: LifeWithoutLimbs.org. He really is someone you have to see for yourself. Be sure to checkout one of his videos. This guy is totally cool!

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Originally Posted on my Myspace Blog

I was leaving my Team Management & Leadership classroom on Friday night when my friend Cecil asked me if I could give him a ride. I know what public transportation is like in Los Angeles. I used to travel via train and bus from my house to the OC 3-4 times a week several years ago. For those of you outside the Los Angeles area… Public transportation in Los Angeles is severely lacking.

Back to Cecil. I asked him where he needed to go. He says, I’m about 10 minutes down La Cienega in Inglewood. Now, if you are not familiar with Los Angeles, Inglewood ain’t exactly Beverly Hills. But hey, if The Dog Whisperer can make it in The Wood, why can’t I? Plus, the LA Center for Landmark is one block west of Inglewood, so I’m eating lunch there regularly.

We started driving down La Cienega and got to talking a little bit. He’s from Houston, and he came out here for music. He’s a singer and musician. He’s a really good guy, and he’s giving a lot of himself to make a difference for others.

I remembered back to the first time I met him. He had just started his Introduction Leaders Program at Landmark, and I was finishing mine up. We were assisting with setting up some of the rooms for the introductions. We made a good team with getting things together. Now, here I am driving him to his apartment and talking with him about his career ambitions and what difference he wants to make in the world.

Really cool guy. I told him that he better invite me to his church when he gets back into singing on Sundays. Hopefully, I’ll be making another trip to Inglewood in the near future.

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You don’t realize it yet, but in the next 3 minutes you’re going to learn why God has not been answering your prayers. Before I get to that, I’m going to share with you an experience that I’ve had several times in the past and, most recently, this morning. My confession is that this is something that I have done myself. What I’m about to share is something that we have all done at some point in our life and then pondered why the outcome is so different than how we thought God had intended it. So what is the secret to God answering our prayers?

A good friend of mine was sharing about her experience with failing a test necessary to received her teaching credential. She had taken the test last year and failed. She was devastated, but she picked up her chin and started studying again to take the test this year. She spent hours studying and doing what she felt was needed to ensure that she passed the test. Then she began telling me about her conversations with her higher power, God, regarding her journey.

She had made several requests to God that if he did not want her to pursue this goal of hers, he should make sure that certain milestones were not met (such as receiving scholarships, early rescheduling, etc.) Yet, everything fell into place. My friend was clear that God intended her to take *and* pass the test this second time around. She was riding high in faith that she would pass the test. I remember her talking about how positive she was trying to be about the test. She was trying not to think about the last test. She had asked God for guidance, and it was clear to her that he intended her to pass. She failed the test earlier this week.

Almost everyone has heard of this happening to someone. Or maybe you have experienced this for yourself. You called upon God to give you guidance, and he has given you a path that is as clear as the hand in front of your face. To my friend, God has shown her exactly what she was supposed to do by supporting her pursuit of her teaching credential exactly as she knew it should happen. Now, she was upset with God for having not protected her interests. After all, she had made the requests of God, and he had put everything in place for her. I’d venture to guess that you’ve had this experience yourself.

So, why is it that God can appear to answer our prayers one day and not answer them the next? I know that some of us have it that it is all part of God testing us. However, that God is testing our faith by baiting us with cheese of our wants being fulfilled, only to take the cheese away at the last minute is a bit obscene. Bait & switch, deceit, and lies are very human type games. What is more likely than God playing some faith testing game with us is that we have fooled ourselves into believing that our wants and pursuits are supported by God at all. We do this by making demands on God like my friend, “God, if you really don’t want me to pursue this then you should not allow me to receive the scholarships I need.”

Many of us have it that we are so important that God is listening and reacting to every request and demand we make of him in the exact way that we want him to. There are a lot of assumptions we are making about our conversations with God:

  1. He’s actually listening
  2. He takes action in response to our requests
  3. He responds and alters the universe in a way that makes sense to us

Don’t be offended by any of these three assumptions. I’m not suggesting that God does not listen to us. I’m also not suggesting that God doesn’t take any action in response to our requests. I personally believe in a higher power that is always listening and responding to everything that everyone thinks, says, or does. So where does that leave us with the final assumption? The one that God responds and alters the universe in a way that makes sense to us.

As this blog rolls to an end, I invite you to consider that the answer
to the question at hand lies in the realm of responsibility. We project onto God that which we believe to be what he is “revealing to us”. Take a moment to soak this up. Put another way, we see the actions unfolding in our life as God’s response to the requests we are making of him. Like my
friend has experienced, God will not make you pass or fail in life. So, then, why do we make God responsible for the outcomes we experience in life? Stay tuned to my blog for more.

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