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Breaking Out God’s Windows?

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There’s an old, Hasidic saying, “If God lived on earth, people would break out all His windows.”

For the Jews, generations of “having their windows broken out” forced them to consider if they were the ones at fault. In the early stages of the Jewish Holocaust in Germany, people caught up in a Nazi fervor swept through towns and cities one night in 1938, breaking the windows of all the houses and businesses belonging to Jews — called “Krystalnacht”, it’s the “night” the “glass” was broken. Ultimately, Jews decided they were not at fault; even if it were God Himself moving into a Gentile community, His windows would be broken too.

Such a rejection — of the Jews or of God Himself — is terrible. Key to the awful nature of this broad scale rejection is that it’s undeserved. Throughout many lands and cultures, the Jews have been chosen (demonically) as the “scapegoat” for the troubles afflicting whatever lands in which they lived.

In the New Testament book of Hebrews, those of us who are following Jesus are warned that we also will be rejected. The reproach that has come on Jesus, will come on us.

Two passages in Hebrews force us to consider this “reproach” — one, by Moses’ example; two, by Jesus’ example.

Heb 11.26: Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

Heb 13.10-14: … Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us go forth therefore with Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

These verses are clear — as followers of Jesus Christ, we indeed must “bear His reproach”.

But what in the world does that mean?

Let’s be honest. If we don’t know what “reproach” He bore that we’re supposed to bear, than we can no more agree to do it then we can agree to “outgrabe” with the “momsey raths”.

Does “bearing His reproach” mean we’re to “not be ashamed” to go street witnessing, or “not be afraid” that if we say we’re a Christian at school we’ll get “persecuted”?

No. Insufficient response! “Bearing the reproach of Christ” has a very clear and specific meaning. To find the correct interpretation of any verse, we have to start with the passage itself.

First — Moses’ example:

Heb 11.24-26: “Having become great, Moses by faith refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, having chosen rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than for a time to have enjoyment of sin; having counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

Think about this — how could Moses bear “the reproach of Christ” when Moses lived over a thousand years before Jesus Christ was even born?

The picture that develops here is not that the writer of Hebrews sort-of “tossed in” Jesus’ name in the middle of talking about Moses… No, Hebrews makes it clear that the revelation given to Moses came from the “pre-Incarnate” Christ… later “en-fleshed” as the “Word became flesh”. So when Moses rejected the power and opportunity of his being “Prince of Egypt”, instead he cast his lot not so much with the people of God but with the God of the people of God!

And having “chosen” to follow the pre-incarnate Christ instead of staying with the power and authority of Pharaoh’s House and Egypt’s gods, Moses forsook them all for Christ… and ultimately fled from Egypt in shame and reproach. But the “reproach” Moses suffered from Pharaoh’s House and even from his own people, came upon him because he’d chosen to “side” with the revelation that came by “Christ”. The “reproach he “bore” was (in fact) the “reproach” of following Christ.

Heb 11.24-26: “Having become great, Moses by faith refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, having chosen rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than for a time to have enjoyment of sin; having counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

To better understand how this “reproach of Christ” affects us, let’s go over to Heb. 13, to the other passage which mentions it:


Heb 13.12-13: “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him outside the camp, bearing his reproach…”

So, what is “the reproach of Christ”?

Some commentators — ignoring the context — say simply that the Jews treated Jesus with contempt and shame, and that was His “reproach”. Somewhat on these lines is Robertson’s treatment:

The reproach of Christ…Jesus [was] the Messiah who had his own shame to bear (12:2; 13:12). There is today as then (Heb 13:13) a special reproach in being a follower of Jesus Christ. Moses took this [contemptuous speech] as “greater riches” than “the treasures of Egypt”

Robertson thinks the “reproach of Christ” are people speaking in a defamatory or contemptuous manner to Jesus. And if that’s what it means, then when Moses “counted the reproach of Christ greater riches…”, his “reproach” was that his family and friends were simply “speaking in a defamatory or contemptuous manner” to Moses. Which is very far from the truth.

The “reproach of Christ” is much more.

Let’s look again at a bit more of the passage’s context. Here’s Heb 13, verses 9-14 (comments interspersed):

9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.

A line is drawn in verse 9 between followers of Jesus Christ and the Jews of the Old Covenant. These Jews were “legalizers” who “worshipped God” through their (bogus) compliance with the Law — represented here by a reference to Old Testament dietary regulations. The followers of Jesus Christ (by contrast) are not made holy by obeying the Law but we’re made holy by the grace of Jesus Christ.

10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

Another line is drawn between followers of Jesus Christ and keepers of the Old Covenant. The Jewish legalizers have an “altar” from which they can eat — it’s the altar in Herod’s Temple. But followers of Jesus Christ have an “altar” from which Jewish legalizers have “no right to eat” — it’s the “altar” of Jesus, Crucified on the Cross.

And these two “altars” aren’t in the same place — no, not at all. Here’s why…

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp.

The sacrifice that Jesus made — the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world — was represented by the once-a-year sin offering the High Priest made. The animal would be sacrificed and the blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat — but instead of dividing the carcass up between priests and the people as most other sacrifices, the carcass of this sin offering for the entire nation had to be taken from the Temple to outside the city gates and burned. Outside the gates (“outside the camp”) was the city dump — Gehenna. In it burned fires that never went out, consuming all the trash of the city. And this is where they took the carcass of the sin offering.

And this “garbage dump” is where they took Jesus and crucified Him — “outside the camp”!

12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.

You see here, one more line of distinction is drawn between Jesus’ followers and Jewish legalizers. Think about it…the Jews of the Old Covenant had their altar in Herod’s Temple. You’d think that Jesus (the Perfect Lamb of God) would somehow have fulfilled Old Testament symbolism and been “sacrificed” in the Temple, on the real altar.

But you see — the altar in Herod’s Temple belonged to the priests and the Pharisees. It was not God’s altar any longer! In fact, the Jews had already driven God out of His Own House. The Temple was theirs, not His. God Himself had already been driven outside the gate! Jesus had already demonstrated this when He made a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the Temple, yelling, “This is to be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” The Jews had already taken the Temple and turned it into their own den.

Amazingly, Psalm 69.9 refers to the Jews having “kicked God out” in two parts. Referring to when they turned the Temple a den of thieves, the first part of the verse is the line used by John to describe Jesus’ driving the moneylenders out of the Temple: “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

And the second part of the Ps. 69.9 refers to Jesus’ crucifixion: “the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon Me.”

What is the psalmist saying? It’s saying that people — God’s enemies — had already brought “reproach” against God and then brought that same reproach against God’s Messiah — Jesus. And Hebrews says, “Jesus… suffered outside the gate…”, bearing the reproach of the Jewish legalizers.

13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.

14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

The Jewish religious leaders put the same reproach and disgrace on Jesus that the psalmist prophesied — having already disgracefully rejected God the Father, they then disgracefully rejected Jesus.

And you better watch out — having disgracefully rejected Jesus, they’re going to disgracefully reject you.

How is it possible for “Jewish legalizers” to “reject us” with the same “rejection” they put on Jesus”

Well, Jewish legalizers won’t — but any “Christian” who is protecting their “old wineskin” is going to put shame and reproach on you and drive you “outside the camp”.

Any time God moves in a new and a fresh way, the greatest hindrance to the “new” move of God, is the last “successful” move of God! When Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and ushered in the New, those who “ate at the altar of the old”, crucified Him in the garbage dump.

What then does it mean that you and I are to “bear the reproach of Christ”?

Simply this: When we choose to walk with Jesus Christ, we will be “reproached” and “disgracefully” put “outside the camp” by Christians representing and defending their old and familiar religious ways. Not that there’s anything in particular wrong with their “old ways” — but there’s something fantastically right about leaving the “old” behind in order to go onward with Jesus into the “coming invasion of earth by the Kingdom of Heaven”!

Isa. 43.18-19:

Forget the former things! Do not dwell on the past!

LOOK! I AM doing a new thing!

Now it springs up…do you not see it?

Bless you all!

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Source by Emil Swift

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Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?

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Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program

Direct Sales Agents

Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.

Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.

Colleges and Universities

Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.

Freelancers

Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.

Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.

Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions

There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.

Advertise!

The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.

Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.

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Source by Lina Stakauskaite

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Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them

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The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.

The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?

Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.

Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.

Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon

First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.

Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:

  • 2006 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
  • 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
  • 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
  • 2020 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2020 to? – Prices Decline

*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.

The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.

Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound

Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.

Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.

Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.

To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.

Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care

If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.

However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.

Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.

This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”

Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price

This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”

However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.

Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.

Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.

Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price

Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.

Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.

During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.

The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.

Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission

Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction

Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.

For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.

Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.

In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.

By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.

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Source by Robert W. Dudek

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Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer

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Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:

1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers

If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.

2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer

It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.

3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part

Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?

4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer

It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.

5) Brand is important

Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider

If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.

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Source by Damien Oh

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