Brand yourself…

…have we taken competition too far in America?

A lot of advice I have heard recently upon graduating from Ohio University is that we all need to specialize in our own little categories. In other words if we are going to be successful we have to be an expert in something that is unique and no one else is an expert on that category except us.

It is no longer about having the best product, that is a given, but it is not enough. In order to become great in today’s market, today’s America/today’s workplace, you have to have something new, fresh, special. Something awesome that no one else has. You have to be different and unique.

In my opinion this is not great news to hear….

We have become so competitive and so customer oriented that we are unbalanced as a nation, I am only speculating….but speculate here with me. With so much stock and hope in branding yourself to be unique and specialized, we are forgetting about tried and try important values and jobs that have made America so successful in the past.

Sure everyone wants to be happy with their job. But job security is probably a little more important than getting that dream job! Think about it. America’s unemployment recently has been increasing. People are losing jobs right and left. We do not have time to create this cool, fictional job, that is perfect for you – when we are all suffering in this drained economy.

And besides thing about the effects if everyone had their own specialized company, everyone was their own brand….There would be way too many choices for customers. I know customers typically like choice, but then think about Walmart. Customers also like having it all in ONE place, convenience…

So which is it? I do not know. I have a lot of unconnected thought here. It is not fully developed. It is random, I am sorry.

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Complete Rest in God’s Will?

I was reading “My Utmost for His Highest” as I do daily today…and got me thinking:

Here is an excerpt (read the full devo by clicking link above:)

“The child of God is not conscious of the will of God because he is the will of God. When there has been the slightest deviation from the will of God, we begin to ask – What is Thy will? A child of God never prays to be conscious that God answers prayer, he is so restfully certain that God always does answer prayer.”

Oswald Chambers makes a good point here…that in God’s will we do find rest. We should rest in God and be assured that he answers prayer…..

My thoughts though are this:
Is it so bad to be asking God, ‘What is Thy Will?’
Is that really bad when we are conscious of God’s will…
aren’t we suppose to be on our feet and looking out for God’s will everyday?

I think there is an extreme that could take place if you are too “rested” in God’s will that you miss the obvious callings of God. What I mean is that there is a certain level of consciousness that we need to have. An active faith.

We need to avoid a lazy faith. And like I said a lazy faith is an EXTREME. You really are not finding rest IN GOD if you are being lazy….(but I am on a rant here.)

Young Earth or Old Earth?

A recent question I came across sparked a rant…the question:
“If Biblical creationists believe that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time, where is the evidence?”
Answers In Genesis has a through article on this topic.
This has sparked my interests, even though I am still not sure if I agree with all of the conservative ideas and theories of Ken Ham and the guys at Answers in Genesis.

I recommend that you check out the article…

My highlight is the evidence from the Flood. And what I find very interesting is that both Young Earth and Old Earth Christians use the Flood evidence to support their arguments. This is so cool because even though, our time frames are quite different, it still goes to show that the evidence from the flood is so significant…how do non-Christians deal with it?

Now my rant and what I am learning:
Some times I spend a lot of time on complex, non-essentials. Before I go into too much depth, I will admit that this is a non-essential. We as Christians are free to argue and free to agree to disagree…in the end it is not important. We are all going to be living together in Heaven in the end…in fact my step-dad chooses not to argue for any side because he brings up an awesome point, he said, “I choose not to answer your question, because it distracts me from what is truly important.” He relieves that sharing the Gospel message and living the laws of the Bible are what is truly important not debating specific theological issues. I

As far as non-essentials go this one is fun to talk about, very interesting…and I will say I am no expert. I am still struggling through this issue myself and am extremely open to all sides of the debate.
Here is what I know and think of each side so far….
Ken Ham and the extreme conservative…believe that 6 day Creation is literal and actually occurred in 6 days!
This I always find so interesting and no one has really given me a good answer so far, (…I have studied the Answers in Genesis website and I even visited the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio…), but I always think to myself…yes, but the word for DAY in Hebrew “yom,” has several possible meanings…(even Answers in Genesis will admit that.)

The conservative, young earth believers are so set on the literal meaning, they never really even addressed the other liberal theories. They pretty much ignored the idea that “yom” could be interpreted differently and instead merely gave me “If the earth were a billion years old then…” arguments. While, had not heard some of these external evidence arguments before (I was impressed by some of them) I still was left wondering…because I value the internal evidence of the Bible. And so far, I think it is still possible to go either way according to Internal Biblical evidence. We know that with God all things are possible, even an old earth scenario. Besides there is some great external evidence that they are also ignoring when they are making their philosophical conservative arguments. (But this blog post is not my time to get into all these arguments, sorry for wetting your appetite.) Creation Museum did do a good job though of presenting the Gospel, that was impressive and honorable, for a conservative or liberal theologian!

The staff at Apologetics.com did a show on this topic and they are Old Earth proponents. It was a little surprising to me, but I really liked their arguments. They used a lot more internal evidence from within the Bible. They gave the “yom” argument, as stated above but they also referenced several other Bible texts (one particular in Hebrews) showing how God’s idea of time is completely different from ours as humans! We have no idea for sure how long each “yom/day/time period” consisted of in Genesis. It might have been thousands or even millions of years between each “day.” One really strong point that stood out from their arguments was from Creation account itself….One the third ‘day’, God lets the plants bear fruit….(this will take more than 24 hours normally). After day five God lets the animals be “fruitful.” And agian after day six God allows man to be fruitful, produce things, and fill the earth…
THe question could be asked, did God creat them with fruit or did he LET them create fruit over time?
Now agian, using my own words agianst myself, God could have done it in 6 days, sure! All things are possible with God!

Finally my final point is that I want to side with the Bible above and beyond choosing sides or picking the most correct solution. Sometimes this makes me seem like a flip flopper (or more conservative on some points and more liberal on others) but this is partly because people look at issues with a false dichotomy too many times. When in reality the middle ground is sometimes best. Be open on issues but back your self in the Word of God!

Ohio should consider helmet laws for bikers

According to the Columbus Dispatch, there were 177 motorcycle deaths in Ohio last year, an increase from 133 in 2004.

And in 73 percent of those 2005 fatalities, not wearing a helmet was a factor.

One thing working against the state, trauma experts say, is the lack of a helmet law in Ohio for adults.

In Ohio, only those younger than 18 and first-year riders are legally required to wear helmets. Twenty states require all riders to wear them.

According to 2006 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,810 motorcycle occupants were killed on our nation’s roads last year, a 127% increase from 1997. Motorcycle helmets have been shown to save the lives of motorcyclists and prevent serious brain injuries (Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety)

In 2006, 65% of fatally injured motorcycle riders were not wearing a helmet in states without all-rider helmet laws, compared with only 13% in states with all-rider helmet laws. (NHTSA, 2007)

Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are about 21 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash and four times as likely to be injured. (NHTSA, 2001)

Helmets reduce the risk of death by 29% and are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries to motorcycle riders. (NHTSA, 2001)


Tom Lindsay, a spokesman for the 280,000-member American Motorcyclist Association. “Our supporters continue to ask that we advocate for the freedom to let adult motorcyclists decide whether or not to wear a helmet.”Lindsay said it is an “under-informed oversimplification” to blame the declining use of helmets for the rising number of motorcycle-related deaths. But he said his group is “very concerned” that federal statistics released this week show motorcycle deaths in 2005 rose to 4,553, a 13 percent increase over 2004. Motorcyclists now account for more than 10 percent of all highway deaths, the highest percentage on record. (Ohio University)

.Another Ohio University Study says that People on both sides of the issue say men trying to recapture the joys of their youth are spurring the anti-helmet movement.” ( Is it me, or is that just stupid!?)
Deaths in U.S. motorcycle crashes have nearly doubled in a decade, mounting to 4,000 annually, as more states have repealed mandatory helmet safety laws, according to a Scripps Howard News Service study.

One federal analysis concludes that nearly 700 lives could have been saved in one year alone if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

Yet motorcyclists have become so passionately opposed to mandatory helmet laws that they’ve formed powerful state and national lobbies, persuaded Congress to muzzle federal highway safety experts and convinced lawmakers in 30 states to roll back their statutes.

Nine of the 10 states with the worst motorcycle death rates don’t require adults to wear helmets, according to the Scripps Howard study of records provided by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Six states, including Florida and Texas, have relaxed their laws since 1997. Motorcycle fatalities quickly went up in all of them. Lawmakers in eight other states are considering rolling back their laws this year.

Helmets spoil the ride for many motorcycle enthusiasts. They say they love the feeling of freedom as the wind whips in their hair. Those killed in wrecks are overwhelmingly white and disproportionately middle-aged and divorced men, according to federal death records.

http://flickr.com/photos/everynobody/2326379782/

Okay…so how are the lawmakers missing the facts? why aren’t they taking action? Are those white, divorced, middle-aged men really that scary? Politicians should be looking to save lives. Ohio NEEDS helmet laws now!


Chapter and Verse numbers NOT inspired


Have you ever been reading a passage of the Bible and you come up to the end of the chapter or verse and you are distracted by the abrupt ending? Or you are confused why the chapter stops? OR you are left still wondering, “what happens next,” then you begin the next chapter and it all makes sense?
Have you ever heard someone, maybe even with good intentions, read you a verse (maybe even their favorite verse of the Bible) but when you hear it you know that it is COMPLETELY pointless without the context around the verse?

The truth is that the Verse and Chapter numbers are not really inspired by the Holy Spirit, like the actual content of the Scriptures are. Sure the are helpful in many ways in organizing the text and helping us find our ways to certain passages. Imagine a sermon taught at a church on the Book of Romans without chapter and verse numbers!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!
” Now folks we are looking at Paul’s third thought here in the first sentence of paragraph three….”
This would not work for several reasons: Not all translations are aligned the same way, not all Bible use paragraphs.
Anyway there is a whole lot more to the story relating to chapter and verse numbers. I just felt like ranting about the topic.
There some interesting reads about how they came about:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapters_and_verses_of_the_Bible
http://www.bible-researcher.com/chapter-verse.html
http://www.biblebelievers.com/believers-org/kjv-stats.html
http://www.fuller.edu/ministry/berean/chs_vss.htm

Faith and Reason: Faith, Worldviews, and Truth

This is the first of several posts on the topic of Faith And Reason. A lot of people in this culture have the wrong idea of what faith actually is. I have heard too many people say that faith is a leap in the dark. And that faith is not based on anything.
These Faith and Reason posts will be a mini “apologetics 101″series. I hope to explain some misconceptions and give a little bit of apologetics training through my rants and thoughts.
Apologetics 101 training
World views – A world view is a set of presuppositions (or assumptions) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic makeup of our world.”
A world view is a way of seeing the world. It is based on what we know about the world. Everyone has a world view, whether they want to admit it or not. World views are In the context of religion there are 5 main over arching world views. Each of these break down into several of thousand of specific world views, but speaking broadly here are the general and main 5.

Pantheist – believe that God is in all things. God is everywhere in nature, in humans, and everywhere else.
Atheist – does not believe that there is a “god.” Know there is no “god.”
Agnostic – unsure if God exists.
Theist – believe in a personal God. (Mono or Poly) ‘Personal God’ means that God has a personality, may or may not be able to be know.
Deist- believe in an impersonal God. (Mono or Poly)

The Christian Faith
Faith is based on facts, probability, reason, and knowledge. Faith should not be a leap in the dark, but it should be synonymous with confidence, trust, and assurance. Our faith is based on reason! It is not a guess or an emotion, but it is based on facts. Even, Wikipedia has the right idea: “Faith is a profound belief or trust in a particular truth, or in a doctrine that expresses such a truth.” Trust in truth.
I personally chose faith in God over there not being a God because probability. It is more probable that God does exist than he does not.

My rant:
Truth is naturally exclusive. Some one might argue that there is a neutral world view or an inclusive world view (all roads lead to God)….Even inclusivist excludes exclusivist, people who doe not agree with them. There is not a true inclusive world view, because truth is exclusive by nature.
Think about it this way. 1+1 is always 2. There is always one exclusive truth answer. There are an infinite number of wrong answers.


I need to make reference to Apologetics.com radio show: Apologetics 101, and I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler