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Starting an eBay business is easy, getting your name, brand and products out there, known and recognised in such a huge market place is a little less easy, and a bit more challenging, having said that though it is not impossible.

Here are a few ways you could promote, advertise and market your eBay business.

1. Through word of mouth – through telling everyone and anyone from your family to your friends and their friends about your business, what it does, what it sells and how great and beneficial it is to them.

2. Through flyers and business cards, hand these out to people you know and get them to pass them around.

3. Through writing articles, and then putting your businesses information, contact details, and link to your store in your Authors Resource box.

4. Through getting to know other eBay sellers. Take advantage of their knowledge and experiences, get to know what they are doing, what they are about, and more importantly what they have tried, failed or succeeded at with regards to promoting your eBay business.

5. Promote offline – Offline promotion is just as important as online, so promote through press and news releases.

6. Build up a good brand and reputation – eBay is an ideal platform for you to build up a platform and name on, all it takes is a little effort, patience and planning. Provide top Customer service, good value for money products, and amazing unbeatable prices and both your business and pocket will surely start to soon feel the benefit.

7. Through a blog, create a blog using a free host/blog account and away you go, talk about what makes you and your business special, why should people buy from you, what types of products you offer and the cost of these products.

8. Create and distribute a newsletter – get people to sign up to your free newsletter and give them exclusive news and updates on everything from your opening hours to your postage prices and delivery times. Keep people informed and interested as well as advertising your eBay business and hopefully gaining more customers in the process.

9. Join forces with another seller or eBay business/store owner, try to find someone who’s products and services compliment yours, and offer to promote theirs and likewise.

These are just a few ways you can start promoting your eBay business/shop/store today. Remember to do a bit of something everyday that promotes or gets your business out there and you should soon start to see the results.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by test - 19/12/2013 at 23:54

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21st century insurance good

 

Most Americans today have health insurance, but how about our most loved ones? Why is it that our furry children our not covered by our family health insurance? Do pet owners need pet insurance or is it just hype?

Various types of pet insurance companies are out there such as Pet’s Best Insurance, VPI Pet Insurance and so on however is not a new concept. Beginning a few years ago, with the increase in posh pet handlers, pet insurance has become more popular in connection to the increasing veterinary practice rates. Each health plan contains much of the same options as human health insurance which usually requires a deductible and annual premium. In addition, a pet owner can usually chose between different benefit packages to meet the needs of the pet. Depending on the size and breed of canine, the rates are determined. Some plans get very specific on pricing which is determined by pre-existing conditions, age and whether the lifestyle of the pet. Reductions are sometimes also given for more than one pet in the household; this depends on the pet insurance company though.

Coverage, for most companies usually starts around the age of six to eight weeks of the pet. Then around eight years old, if not already on health insurance, most companies will not allow insurance coverage of that elderly pet. Most claims can begin to be covered after thirty days however double check before applying for coverage. Although most companies will only cover emergency or major surgical procedures, some will now also cover annual checkups, routine care, vaccinations and other preventive medications(such as heartworm and flee medications). Most recently some health insurance companies will allow coverage for minor illnesses and spay/neutering of the pet covered.

If a pet already has an illness or terminal disease, most companies will not allow coverage of that pet. Seeing the rise in healthy insurance carriers though, some companies have allowed access to the services if the pet has been stable for more than six months. It is important, if a pet is already sick, to double check before signing up for insurance if the illness will be covered. This is very important since some companies will cover the ill pet however will not cover the costs of the illness that already persists.

Please keep in the back of your mind though that a pet’s age more than doubles the rate of humans. Along with the rise in veterinary rates, it is increasingly more beneficial to get health insurance for all pets in the house. Before purchasing pet insurance read over all the requirements and clauses that are included in the plan that has been chosen.

If pet insurance is not an option at the moment, there are other options available to those pet owners looking for a little assistance through the money hard times. For instance, talk to the veterinarian that you are currently visiting. Some veterinary hospitals have a “pet help fund” that will assist those good pet owners that just need a little assistance at the moment. In addition to the veterinary hospital fund, there may be local humane organizations such as the “animal rescue” that will pay 50% to 100% of some surgeries for lower income families. Some “animal rescue” organizations will also pay for surgeries and other medications for rescue pets. If there is a need for a little assistance, just double check with the veterinary technician or the veterinarian for more details available in your area.

Although pet insurance is not for all pet owners, it is something that should be considered. With the rise in veterinary practice rates increasing with the economy, for some it is only wise to get this added assistance. In addition, it is a comfort to know that you are covered if something serious happens. Let’s face it, pets are like children, something always goes wrong either little things here and there or something large. It is better to be covered than not be, our pets are worth it!

Turn 21 Today!

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get paid for online surveys

get paid to do surveys

Purchasing groceries for your family, week after week, can be extremely expensive. If you have a large family, just purchasing food can often “break the bank.” Although many grocery store chains often offer great weekly sales, your final bill can still be expensive. There are many small tips that can save a family a tremendous amount of money over time.

Planning all of your meals ahead of time allows a family to become more organized and develop a set grocery list. Once you planed all of your meals, you will know what ingredients you need to purchase. Once you make your list and take it to the store it is important that you stick to. If you happen to see an item on sale that you know your family will use in the near future, it may be a good idea to sock up on the item; however, try to avoid impulse buying.

Before entering a store check out their weekly sales flyers. In many grocery stores, you can ask the customer service repetitive about having a flyer mailed directly to your home and this will help you prepare a list ahead of time. Many well known grocery stores often have store cards or discount cards. These cards pretty much work like coupons, without all the paper! You can generally obtain a store card by filling out a form at the customer service counter. Each week grocery stores will have special sale prices that you can only obtain by using their card.

Just about every week, coupons booklets are inserted into weekly newspapers. Clipping coupons is a great way to save money if you will use the product. Many shoppers think that because they have the coupon that they should purchase the product. Only purchase products that you will use. Many times a competing brand will have a sale price on the same product that you have a coupon for.

If you have a large family or like to purchase items in bulk, it is recommended that you shop at local wholesale food stores. Sam’s Club is a great example of a wholesale food warehouse; however, there are many more stores located around the nation.

Discount stores and dollar stores are also beginning to carry more food items in their inventory. Often times, these stores will carry food items at lower prices then the grocery stores. Dollar General, a popular discount store, accepts coupons for the products that they carry. Save A Lot and Aldies are popular “bag your own groceries” stores located in the Northeast region. They often offer their products at lower prices because they do not have to have a large staff. You bagging your own items saves them time and money. Think of it this way, not only will you be saving money but bagging your own items will also give you exercise. When you are at a discount store, be sure to check out the store brand items. Most stores will grantee their products and offer you a refund if you are not satisfied. If you compare the store brand labels to the national brand products, you will often find little or no difference in the ingredients.

Whether you are shopping at a grocery store, department store, or discount store it is recommend that you never shop when you are hungry, it increases impulse buying. If you have a set budget, bring a calculator with you to ensure that you don’t exceed your limit. Finally, going alone will not only make your shopping less hectic, it is also likely that your shopping bill will be dramatically lower.

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21st century insurance quote phone number

Turn 21 Today!

 

An automobile collides with another somewhere in United States on an average of every eighteen seconds. It is little wonder that auto insurance is big business. Nor should it come as a surprise that insurance costs is sky rocketing. Cars, parts, and labor are increasing with each year.

This is a large variation in the plans offered by individual insurance companies and in the insurance costs from driver to another. It just makes sense to pre compare before purchasing car insurance. You can save a lot by doing your homework before you select an auto insurance policy. Now I know all this but I hate to price compare. It requires lengthy discussions with each insurer, careful notes about the options each company is offering and careful decision making the right insurance choice.

There are several things to consider:

Liability is required by most states and provinces in North America in order to license your car. It covers injuries and/or property damage. This includes someone else’s car. Liability doesn’t cover the cost of repair or replacement of your car. If your car isn’t new and is paid for, insuring it may cost more than replacing it yourself. It is dangerous to stint on liability. If there is a lawsuit due to your accident and the settlement is higher than your liability coverage, you could be wiped out financially. Insurance companies encourage drivers to carry at least two million dollars liability insurance.

Comprehensive is required if you are borrowing to pay for your car. The costs of repairing a new car are high. Not having comprehensive on a relatively new car is a big risk. There are often additional benefits included in comprehensive. Auto insurance companies like State Farm, 21st Century Insurance provide offer roadside service.

Why are insurance costs so high? Many are convinced insurance companies are getting rich. However, it is a business and auto insurance companies cannot afford to go bankrupt. If drivers continue to drive expensive cars and aim them down the road at unreasonable speeds and roads are crowded with cars, accidents will continue to occur with alarming frequency. The result is escalating insurance costs. If you drive recklessly and your insurer can prove this with traffic violation citations and accident reports, your insurance costs will balloon. If you choose to drive a costly car, your insurance will be higher. You are a risk to your insurance company. Drivers with safe driving records are rewarded with lower insurance rates.

Find out what car choices and safety features will save you on auto insurance. Many companies like 21st Century Insurance, offer discounts on package deals including multiple cars your home insurance. It pays to shop around and ask about age, academic record and driver’s education discounts.

Explore the many insurance plans offered by car insurance companies. Find out how you can save money by insuring with such online companies as 21st Century Insurance. Discover the best plan for you. For comparisons on auto insurance, a good place to start your research is MyReviewsNow.net.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by test - 05/12/2013 at 00:24

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candy crush guide level 130

The gaming industry is growing at a tremendous pace. According to industry analyst Colin Sebastian for R.W. Baird, video games generated nearly US $60 billion in 2011. It is estimated that this figure will go up to $80 billion by 2014. The segments showing the most growth include computer games and social games. This tilt has resulted in a decline in core video games as well as a decline in the popularity of video game consoles. This is primarily because users now have access to social games at a fraction of the price. They can play online through Facebook or on their mobile phones. The adoption of mobile games has resulted in a shift in the gaming landscape and now games that are available on multiple platforms are more in demand as compared to games of the console variety. It is being projected that console games will continue to decline and will be replaced by web-based gaming platforms.

A game that has seen tremendous success as a Facebook application as well as on iPhone and iPad is Candy Crush Saga. Since it was so well-received in the mobile app gaming world, Candy Crush Saga is now available for users to be played on their desktop, completely free. It is also one of the most popular games on Playberry.com, a social gaming site that is committed to providing high-quality gaming content for its users. The site is engaged in developing and showcasing new games that enable gaming fans to have as much fun as possible. Its latest offering is the Candy Crush Saga, an enjoyable and challenging game. Players are supposed to match three candies of the same color to crush them. If you can match four or five in different formations, you can generate special sweets that are extra tasty. Power of the candies can be combined for additional effects. You can play through different levels and switch different candies to try and match at least 3-in-a-row patterns. If you are able to match 4 together, you get a special colored candy which you can wipe out a full line when used. If you play really well and get a 5 in a row match you will receive a chocolate ball which can be swapped with a certain color candy. This will enable you to take all the same colour you swap with out of the puzzle.

The game is quite challenging. Each level has more to offer and becomes harder with each stage. There are interesting twists and turns in the game such as powerups known as Boosters and the Lollipop Hammer that lets players smash any candy they wish. You also have to be on the look-out for multi-colored Jelly Fish that swim across the screen and devour sweets that match their color. Finally, with Extra Moves, players get five more chances to play. According to Chris Buffa, it is probably impossible to not fall in love with Candy Crush Saga. Most gaming fans are familiar with the mobile version of the game but the fun has now increased since it can be played on a larger screen on your desktop. So go ahead gaming fans, crush and smash as many candies as you want! You can find the game on Playberry.com. The website is extremely easy to navigate. You can register for free and have complete access to the large variety of games offered including Candy Crush Saga. There is no need to download; visitors can simply play these games right on their browser. It functions perfectly on all major browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Go ahead, check it out. Playberry.com and in particular Candy Crush Saga will prove to be very exciting and entertaining for gaming fans.

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Paid Survey Companies

The best place to find a list of paid surveys is survey depot. Trust me, http://surveydepot.loopholemarketers.com is the best place to sign up to get paid for taking surveys for absolutely free!

Get paid to take surveys…up to $100 per hour. If you havent come across this scam, there’s probably an ad on a website that you will soon visit. Beware though, before you subscribe to an online survery site, read this:

They sound too good to be true. Make up to $100 per hour filling out online surveys for legitimate companies. Just send you email address and the leads are sent to your email and you make as much money as you want. If the survey sounds like a scam or doesn’t interest you, don’t fill it out. What could be easier?

What they don’t tell you is that after you spend 20 minutes of your life answering inane questions, you find out that in order to get the cash or gift card promised, you have to sign up for Columbia House or a similar program and complete their terms of agreement before you receive your money.

Oh, well, you say. It’s only 20 minutes of your life that has been wasted. At least signing up for the site was free. Don’t submit the survey and the only harm done is that you feel a bit dumb for forgetting dad’s maxim: you can’t get something for nothing. Soon it will all be in the past.

Wrong! Hopefull you have a good spam filter on your account. Your email address has already been sold. You will now be receiving massive amounts of e-mails from companies who are looking for potential suckers. Not only will you be offered not-so- money, you will also be offered listings singles in the area and free laptops with several strings attached. You will remember that you have been suckered every time you check your e-mail and delete messages whose subjects say that you can win a free year’s worth of ice cream, or motor oil, or dryer sheets.

Don’t ask me how I know…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by test - 03/12/2013 at 19:35

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what is the gamefly free trial code

Looking for ps3 new releases to rent video games online for Xbox, or PS3?

On the television, you’re likely to see a commercial for GameFly at some point or another. They offer online video game rentals for a monthly fee, and the games get sent to your doorstep. You can keep getting games as long as you’re a member. However, not many people have heard of Gottaplay, which is another company just like GameFly (and Gamerang) that offers the same services.

Gottaplay is like the younger sibling of GameFly and Gamerang. Sadly, their library is the smallest of the three major online game rental services with less than 4,500 titles available. They are adding more all the time, but they won’t catch up to their competitors anytime soon. Also, Gottaplay has a longer turnaround time than GameFly. It takes anywhere from 2 to 6 days for games to arrive at your mailbox, while GameFly has a turnaround time of 2 to 4 days. Most people won’t find any problems with this difference of only two days though, but the difference in shipping times means you end up paying more over many months even though you’ll have games less often.

As for cost, Gottaplay is the cheapest online game rental service out there. It’s one and two game out at a time plans are $12.95 and $20.95 respectively. For comparison, GameFly’s respective plans are both a few dollars more expensive. Unlike GameFly, however, Gottaplay doesn’t offer 3 and 4 games out at a time. Since Gottaplay is cheaper, you get less than you do with GameFly. There is no rewards program, although you can save a little bit of money on your membership by prepaying a few months in advance. On top of this, Gottaplay’s smaller library of games means that it also has less copies of each game available, so it may seem like you are fighting other users to get a copy of the game you want. You’ll be able to get a hold of the newest releases, but you may have some trouble finding older games for current and past generation consoles.

In reality, Gottaplay is the online rental service that would be best suited for casual gamers because it’s the cheapest. On the other hand, hardcore gamers will prefer GameFly for its high availability of titles available and its sheer number of games that can be rented. Any gamer focused on cost-effective video game rentals will have no issue with the minor pitfalls of Gottaplay. It’s worth the price you pay for either game plan. In a few years, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gottaplay rise up and be fairly competitive with GameFly, but Gottaplay will have to settle for a third place finish in the realm of online game rentals. GameFly and Gamerang are the best options available with respect to quick shipping and game libraries. Gottaplay’s low cost may take it to the next level in the next few years though.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION:
The Contributor has no connection to nor was paid by the brand or product described in this content.

 

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by test - 30/11/2013 at 16:42

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Human Anatomy and Physiology Study Guide Chapter 1

Download the newest Human Anatomy and Physiology Study Guide!

RED ROCKS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
I went to college at the University of Iowa so there wasn’t any beautiful landscape to distract me from studying. Plus, the weather in Iowa wasn’t fabulous like it is here in Denver, Colorado, so I have to wonder how kids get any studying done with the sunny days and beautiful areas to hike. One community college here in Denver is nestled near the foothills and has such a gorgeous landscape to stare at while sitting in class. Red Rocks Community College is available at two locations: 13300 West Sixth Avenue, Lakewood, Colorado and 5420 Miller Street, Arvada, Colorado.

The Lakewood address is the location I was talking about being nestled near the foothills. I did a temporary assignment there for about a month and I would always take walks at lunch time wondering how any student got any studying done when there was so many things to do outdoors in the perfect weather. If you decide to study at Red Rocks Community College, the admissions office is open Monday through Thursday from 8a.m.-6p.m. and Fridays from 9a.m. – 5p.m. in room 1301 or you can call admissions at 303-914-6348.

Tuition charges are per credit hour, so one credit costs $173 plus $11.05 registration fee, $8.90 student fee totaling $192.95. There is Student share tuition fee for $100.95, which would be a question for financial services as to what the difference is with these two fees. For a full listing of tuition per credit, view the Colorado Resident tuition page and if you are a non-Colorado resident there is a fee chart to explain the costs. If you need financial assistance, you can contact Financial Aid at 303-914-6256 or email them at finaid@rrcc.edu.

Red Rocks Community College is on a semester schedule with classes starting in the fall on August 25 and breaking on December 14. Spring semester begins on January 16 and ends on May 12. I have done both semester and tri-mester schedules and I prefer the semester schedule. There is more time to get things done and I wasn’t constantly writing papers.

Some courses available at Red Rocks Community college: English Composition, Public Speaking, College Algebra, Calculus, Astronomy, Science of Biology, World Civilization I, U.S. History I, Macro Economics, American Government, Cultural Anthropology, Social Psychology, Art Appreciation, Music History I, Foreign Language, Ethnic Literature, British Literature I, Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, Router Workshop, Elements of Design, Introduction to PC Applications, Managing Life’s Stresses, Communication Skills, Early Childhood Education, Psychology, Sociology, Small Business Management, to list a few of the courses and a full list can be viewed on the website.

You can apply online at www.rrcc.edu to create an account and print out an admission application. If you have any questions you can call 303-914-6360. Learn more about Red Rocks Community College by visiting their website.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF DENVER
The Community College of Denver is located in the heart of downtown Denver at 1111 W. Colfax Avenue and another location at 1070 Alton Way, Lowry Campus where there is a Health Sciences Center and a Dental Hygiene Program. The Lowry location has a Veterinary Technology program, Teacher Education, Radiologic Technology, Radiation Therapy, Nursing, Medical Office Technology, Emergency Medical Services, Dental Hygiene and Essential Skills for a Community Health Worker.

The downtown location is on the Auraria Campus where Metropolitan State College of Denver and the University of Colorado, Denver is located. You can apply for admission online or download an application to mail or fax in. It states on the Community of College website that “when you apply for admission, you will automatically be admitted if you are 17 or older.” However, admission does not mean acceptance into any specific program. For any questions about admissions, call 303-556-2420.

Programs available at the Community College of Denver are Accounting, American Sign Language, Communications, Dance, English, French, Graphic Design and Multimedia, Human Services, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Political Science, Reading, Sociology, Theatre to list a few, visit the websitefor the full listing.

The cost for attending the Community College of Denver is $173 per credit hour for residents. The Dental Hygiene program tuition is $250.95 per credit hour. The Nursing program tuition is $210 per credit hour. For non-residents the tuition is $375.15 for each program. You can attend the Community of College of Denver online with tuition at $235.20 for residents and non-residents per credit hour. You must apply to the Community College of Denver first and you will need to send your transcripts in from prior colleges. If you do not have prior college experience, you will be required to take the Accuplacer test at the Community of College Assessment Center (South classroom Bldg, Room 223 or at an approved location. For more information about online admission call 303-556-6304 or visit the website.

Some courses available online are: Accounting Principles II, Art Appreciation, Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab, General, Organic & Biochemistry, Public Speaking, English Composition I, Western Civilization I, Human Nutrition, College Trigonometry, Ethics, American Government, Introduction to Sociology and many more courses.

Aside from studying, there are many things to do while attending the Community College of Denver. The campus is near the Pepsi Center where the Nuggets and Avalanche play. There are many concerts that are performed at the Pepsi Center. The Buell Theater is now showing David Copperfield, Monty Pythons Spamalot, Dora The Explorer, Rent, Wicked and so much more!! The Rockies stadium is a few blocks away and tickets are as low as $4 for the Rockpile section. There are many shops on the 16th Street Mall, a number of restaurants to dine at, bars and clubs to have fun with friends and a number of trails to enjoy on the many sunny days in Denver.

FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Front Range Community College is located in Westminster, Colorado at 3645 West 112th Avenue. This is a two year college where you can get a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, management, or marketing then attend the Metropolitan State College of Denver (Metro State in the 2+2 Plan) to complete your degree. After you have completed your 60 hours of coursework with Front Range Community College, you complete another 60 hours at Metro State. If you are interested in this program at the Front Range Community College, you can contact Counselor Dave Cisneros at 303-404-5163.

Other courses available at the Front Range Community College are in Anthropology, English, Geography, Philosophy, Russian, Women Studies, Astronomy, Geology, Business, Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources, Multimedia Technology, Teacher Education, Phlebotomy, Veterinary Technology to name a few, a full listing is on their website.

There are three other locations for Front Range Community College. One in Longmont at 2190 Miller Drive, Fort Collins at 4616 S. Shields St., and 1850 E. Egbert St., Brighton, Colorado. They, also, offer online learning. Tuition for all four locations is $173 per credit for residents and non-resident tuition is $375.15 per credit. You can take a virtual tour of the Front Range Community College campus.

PIKES PEAK COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Pikes Peak Community College located in Colorado Springs at 5675 S. Academy Boulevard. There are eight easy steps to applying to Pikes Peak. You first sign up for the College Opportunity Fund which is a stipend to help for your college education. Next, you can apply online for admission or you can use the computers at the Enrollment Services Center. Third, you would apply for financial aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Fourth, you take a placement assessment. Fifth, you attend the new student orientation or you can do the orientation online at www.ppcc.edu/orientation. Sixth, you want to seek advising and this must be done before you can register for classes. Seventh, you register for classes and lastly, you pay for classes either at the cashiers or online at My Community Education.

Courses available at Pikes Peak Community College are: Accounting, Administrative Assistant, Anthropology, Art/Photography, Business Foundations, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Dance, Dental Assisting, English, Executive Assistant, Facilities Maintenance Technology, Interior Design, History, Journalism, Marketing, Natural Resources, Pharmacy Technician, Pre-Engineering, Psychology, Supervision, Theatre, Welding, Zookeeping Technology and more.

If you plan to transfer to Pikes Peak, you need to apply and send transcripts. For more information, call Enrollment Services at 719-502-3000. Transferring from Pikes Peak to a four year college, Pikes Peak will make it an easy transfer. You can talk to transfer advisors and Pikes Peak offers the 60+60 Program, which is 60 credits with Pikes Peak and 60 credits at a four year college to obtain a Bachelors of Arts or Science. The cost to attend Pikes Peak is $173 for one credit for a resident and $375.15 per credit for a non-resident. Full tuition and fee charges can be viewed on the website.

Pikes Peak Community College is located in beautiful Colorado Springs where there are many attractionslike The Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, US Air Force Academy, US Olympic Complex, Michael Garman Sculpture Gallery, McAllister House Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tours, Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, High Altitude Jeep Adventures, Ghost Town Museum, The Broadmoor Spa, World Figure Skating Museum, Peterson Air & Space Museum, many hiking/biking trails, and restaurants.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by test - 29/11/2013 at 10:40

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Human Anatomy and Physiology Study Guide

Download the latest Human Anatomy and Physiology Study Guide!

Early one morning, in the spring of 1945, Ida Weisenbacher, a twenty-one-year-old Austrian farm girl, was woken from her sleep by a loud banging at the door. Through tired eyes she glimpsed a Nazi officer standing outside her house. ‘Get up immediately,’ he demanded. ‘Hitch up the horse and wagon; we need you.’”

Thus begins an excellently written book that is backed up with Scriptural references (many of which I did not included in this report), and I highly recommend it. The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment is a small book (paperback, 200 pages, including study guide and references), but don’t let that fool you into believing it is an “easy read” that you can read once and put to the side. It actually took me a while to read it because it was chalk-full of stuff to chew on.

The introduction continues to tell of how an Austrian farm girl was drafted near the end of the war to load up fairly nondescript crates and haul them to Lake Toplitz and dump them into it. There were enough crates that she had to make three trips over the rough roads to the lake, which is why they could not haul them via truck. It would be 1999 by the time these crates and their secret would be found, although rumors persisted since the end of the war of the crates and their contents. Even then, it would take three weeks of ten hour days before they would locate the hidden treasure.

Mind you, the treasure’s true value was in the historical value, not in the contents. You see “Adolf Burger was … a printer by trade, and a Jewish native of Czechoslovakia … was arrested by the Germans on August 10, 1942, and soon separated from his wife, whom he had married only weeks earlier. Like so many millions of Jews before and after them, Burger and his wife were packed into a livestock train and taken to Auschwitz, expecting to be quickly put to death. At the camp Burger was torn from his wife, whom he would never see again. After some time in custody he was ordered to appear before the camp commandant. When he did so, he was notified, to his amazement, that he would be leaving the next day and would be taken to Berlin where his services were urgently needed. He soon found himself in a secure camp at Sauchsenhausen in the company of dozens of other craftsmen — printers, bookbinders, engravers — who had likewise been selected from death camps and told of a secret project. Code-named Operation Bernard, this brilliant project was part of a Nazi plot to produce a vast quantity of counterfeit British currency. This cash, when released into circulation in Great Britain, would cause widespread economic panic, undermine the value of the British pound, destroy her economy, and perhaps even drive the nation to its knees” (p13).

The idea of counterfeiting runs throughout the book, and for good reason: There are a lot of counterfeit ideas out there, but there is only one truth. Today’s postmodern society would like to deny that there is such a thing as objective truth, and there are many good sounding arguments that can take people in if they are not grounded in logical thinking. Just as there is only one valid currency printed for a given country, though, there is only one objective truth and all the other ideas are counterfeit.

For such a small book, Discernment packs a punch. Challies shows that a lack of discernment is a lack of spiritual maturity, he points out that discernment is a skill, he gathers some valuable insights from the study of counterfeit money that can be applied to discernment, he goes to the heart of what is truth, he discusses discernment as a spiritual gift, but then he also stresses that discernment can be developed even if it is not a strong gift. Finally, Challies discusses discernment as a real spiritual discipline.

Lack of Discernment is a Lack of Spiritual Maturity

“We live in an age where too many who profess to be Christians rarely consider their spiritual maturity — an age when many consider spiritual immaturity a mark of authenticity, and when people associate doubt with humility and assurance with pride. Far too many people consider sound theology the mark of a person who is argumentative and proud. Far too many people are just like the audience to whom Hebrews is addressed. This letter draws a clear line connecting a lack of discernment with spiritual immaturity so that those who lack discernment are those who are spiritually immature. Scripture makes it plain: if you are not a person who exhibits and exercises discernment you are not a mature Christian” (p 23).

Frankly, I think this paragraph speaks for itself.

Discernment is a Skill

“Discernment is the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong” (p 61). Interestingly, you would think that this definition would have been given at the beginning. Challies does not give the definition until chapter 3, and he then devotes the entire chapter to it. Oddly enough, this doesn’t take away from the book. I suppose it was done this way in order to keep your interest through the first two chapters. If so, then I would judge it not successful. Perhaps it is because the literary device is not needed. The manner and material he presents keeps you interested regardless of that point.

The Study of Counterfeiting

“Many who profess to believe in Christ affirm Christianity as a collection of truths, and even very important, life-altering truths, but not as Truth; not as a worldview that encompasses all of life. To be people of discernment, we must acknowledge the existence of both truth and error. And, just as there will always be counterfeit currency, where there is truth, there will be counterfeits of the truth. Our task as people of discernment is to separate what is truth from what is error. It is to ensure that we think of God and believe in God in ways that are consistent with how he has revealed himself to us in the Bible. Our confidence is not in ourselves, but that God has made his truth clear to us. We have confidence that God is capable of communicating to us in a way that we will be able to understand” (pp 94-95).

“The people of Canada are losing confidence in their currency. Recent polls suggest that only a little more than 50 percent of Canadians have a good deal of confidence in their currency, while 39 percent believe it is likely that they would at some time receive a counterfeit bill. The Bank of Canada, the body responsible for producing and overseeing Canada’s currency, reports that four one-hundredths of one percent of currency in circulation today is fraudulent. While that number may be small, it does prove that it is somewhat likely that a person will, over the course of his lifetime, encounter counterfeit currency” (p139).

In order to combat this problem, the Bank of Canada is running an education program so that consumers and retailers alike can distinguish genuine currency from counterfeit. This education program should boost confidence in Canadian currency. In essence, “The Bank of Canada is teaching a form of discernment” (p 139).

What are the lessons we can learn from the study of currency and attempting to discern the real from the counterfeit?

  1. It is something that the average person can master. It doesn’t take an expert to examine bills for identifying characteristics.
  2. Under scrutiny, most fraudulent money is spotted easily because people who create counterfeit money typically invest the minimum of effort into it. Let’s face it, if they were to try to reproduce the currency exactly, it would cost them more than they would benefit. This makes it easier to identify the false from the true.
  3. It is important to study a number of characteristics of truth. When discerning whether or not something is true, only a few characteristics usually have to be looked at (see #2). If something is fraudulent, it does not always need to be thoroughly examined.
  4. In discerning true from false, it is better to concentrate on what is genuine. Falsehood is always changing, while truth does not. Genuine currency will always be the same, but counterfeiting methods will differ.

Challies really stresses this last point. While it can be useful studying the counterfeit, it is critical that more time is spent on dwelling on truth than error. “A person who studies and understands what is true is necessarily equipping himself to discern what is false” (p 142). I have found that no matter what literature you study, some bias inevitably creeps up, and it is important that you have your Bible in your hand while reading any literature written by men. That leads to the next point.

Truth

Ultimate truth is in the Bible. “God is the source of truth, for he is truth. We know of truth and we know of God through the Bible. The Bible was given to us to guide us to Jesus Christ, and the Bible is a book that speaks primarily of his work. We know the Bible is true because it is the revelation of God, who is true and who is unable to lie. There can be no imperfection in the Bible because there is no imperfection in God” (p95).

Sometime prior to 1995, the Church of God forgot this important point. Church leaders started making subtle changes while stating that nothing was changing. Church members became comfortable with reading magazines and booklets and not opening their Bibles, where God’s word was instead of reading men’s interpretation of it. That doesn’t mean that reading booklets and magazines are wrong, but consider that if the Bible is the source of truth and if it is indeed critical to spend more time studying truth than error, then what should we spend the majority of our time studying?

“As sinful human beings we are prone to give undue authority to our feelings and to interpret truth on the basis of what we feel. The biblical paradigm is exactly the opposite and commands us to interpret our feelings on the basis of truth” (p 95).

Abraham Flexner triggered widespread reform in the field of medical education by writing a report called “Medical Education in the United States and Canada.” Instead of two years of training concentrating on abnormalities, Flexner recommended four years of intensive training beginning the first year being devoted to normal human anatomy and physiology. Not until the second year were abnormalities delved into. This is the pattern still in use by medical schools today.

“This aspect of Flexner’s report points to something that is also true about truth. We can best know what is wrong by first knowing what is right. Experts on counterfeit currency know this as well. They train others first to know the traits of genuine currency because such knowledge will make apparent what is fraudulent. Christians need to dedicate themselves to learning and knowing truth so that what is evil and abnormal will appear obvious” (p101).

“The relationship of truth to error is such that we can best know error by knowing truth. The opposite is not true. People who invest undue effort in concentrating upon what is false will not necessarily be able to identify what is true” (p102).

Discernment As a Gift

“There are several passages in the New Testament where the author lists one or more of the spiritual gifts. It is interesting that, while there is some overlap, each list is unique and includes items that are not in each of the others. This seems to point us to the unavoidable truth that the gifts mentioned in Scripture are representative of the types of gifts God gives; they are not meant to serve as exhaustive lists. The variety of spiritual gifts is as wide as the variety of people whom God welcomes into his family” (p125).

I believe Challies has an excellent point about spiritual gifts. Unlike the fruits of the Spirit, spiritual gifts are not as concretely defined in Scripture.

“One thing remains to be said about spiritual gifts. Even if we may not have been given a particular gift, this does not indicate that we are freed from our responsibility to practice it at least in some measure. We are not to pursue only one gift as if this is the only way in which God desires that we serve him” (p 127).

Again, I like his point. Challies gives the examples of the “evangelism guy” and the “hospitality woman”. We all are expected to practice hospitality on some level. We are expected to support evangelism in some manner (even if it is just to be able to answer when asked). We all must practice discernment to the best of our abilities, and Challies gives some helpful hints in that area.

“As soon as Paul has provided this basic theology of spiritual gifting, he lists some of the gifts of the Spirit. In this list he mentions a gift that provides ‘the ability to distinguish between spirits’ (1 Cor. 12:10). Christians typically refer to this as the gift of discerning spirits. By now you ought to recognize the word distinguish as a word that is intimately related to discernment. In Greek, it is diakrisis, a word closely related to diakrino, which was mentioned in the chapter ‘Defining Discernment.’ it is a word that indicates that we are to separate things in order to understand their differences. It is a word that is at the very heart of discernment. The gift involves ‘distinguishing between spirits.’

“The Bible does not elaborate on what this gift entails. Students of the Bible have to examine the evidence and determine what they feel this gift involved and whether it continues in that form to this day. One thing all students of the Bible seem to agree on is that there is some kind of gift of discernment operative in the church today” (p 128).

Challies also quotes 1Jn 4:1 in order to show that we are to “test” the spirits because some are full of lies.

I think Challies has a good point, but frankly I am a little disappointed in his explanation. After all, he should have pointed out that we cannot come to Jesus unless the Father draws us (Jn 6:44). We need discernment in order to come to Christ even. Also, the fact that the Apostles were promised to be led into all truth by the Holy Spirit in at least two verses in John indicates that they were to continue to grow in the knowledge of the truth. I believe that promise is extended to us as well. All in all, while I think what he is saying applies, I also think it sort of lies there waiting for him to pick it back up again – except he doesn’t. This to me was the weakest part of the book, and it is easily correctable in future editions should he desire to change it.

Challies Contends That We Can Develop Discernment

It takes practice, and it takes work, but discernment can be learned (obviously with the help of the Holy Spirit). However, I think we can all agree that it “is not an isolated pursuit. Discernment is not something that is available or that can be attained apart from other disciplines of the Christian life. …Just as a person who wishes to win a race will have to begin the race in a certain posture — crouched low with legs ready to spring forward — a person who wishes to be discerning must maintain a particular spiritual posture” (p 154).

This reminds me of the story I’ve heard numerous times about Mr and Mrs Armstrong keeping the holy days by themselves. At first, Mr Armstrong did not understand why he was supposed to keep the holy days, only that he was supposed to keep them. Later, Mr Armstrong not only came to the understanding of the meaning of the holy days, but he also came to understand that God rewards us with more knowledge when we act on the knowledge that has been given. Appropriately, Challies quotes Pr 2:1-5:

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

From this passage, we see that discernment must be pursued by fearing God, desired as a treasure is desired for, prayed for and sought for by studying God’s word.

From other Scriptures, we see that we practice discernment by testing everything that is relevant to the Christian life.

This will lead to one of two reactions.

  1. Hold fast
  2. Abstain

Challies devotes a chapter for how to arrive at one of these two conclusions. He takes you through verification, clarification, assessing the issues (including identification of what is at stake), prayer, self-assessment of your instinct and your conscience, searching the Scriptures, observing the Scriptures, comparing and contrasting unclear Scriptures with clear ones, research using Bible tools, summarizing, if necessary expanding your research, writing down your conclusion, list where it agrees with true teaching, judge where it departs from the truth, determine if you need to abstain or hold fast, write down what you will abstain from or hold fast to, and finally determine how to apply this lesson. If it is biblical, write down what you will do and what truths you will hold fast to. If it is unbiblical, then write down the truth that takes its place.

This section alone can be worth the price of the book!

Conclusion: Discernment as a Discipline

Challies compares discernment to our body’s immune system. When discernment is lacking, false teaching stands ready to rush in through the lowered defenses. This can apply to either an individual or an entire church.

HIV lowers a body’s immunity level, and there is no cure for it. Fortunately, there is a cure for a lack of discernment. The Holy Spirit was given to help us in this endeavor.

In these last days, I think every Christian should seriously look into discernment. We are here to represent the truth, after all, and we cannot do that if we cannot tell truth from error ourselves.

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I have a passionate interest in exploring the progress of today’s working woman, in particular how working mothers have fared in the labor market. We will examine the overall message that the media has presented in the past as well as currently and discuss how it has affected working women. Why am I so concerned? I’m concerned because I have a vested interest. I’m a working mother.

In fact, I’ve been working outside of the home since I was fifteen years old. I only took time off from the workplace to give birth to my three children and a few weeks thereafter to recuperate. My first child was born when I was seventeen. I was married, working, and raising a child when most girls my age were studying, going on dates, and trying to figure out what to wear to prom. I share this about my past to lend credibility to my extensive, first hand experience as a working mom. Within the past eighteen years, I’ve witnessed and been affected by various attitudes about women in the workplace. I’ve also become painfully aware of stereotypes and inequalities.

Where did it all begin in the United States? After all, women have always worked-mostly just inside the home. As Richard Perry, writer of United We Stand!, says of the effects of World War II on U.S. employment rates, “Unemployment, at an estimated 25 percent, virtually vanished as thousands of men were drafted into the Armed Services” (Perry 5). Perry continues, “Left behind were job opportunities in fields such as machine and equipment work that the government previously had restricted to male operators. Now the nation needed laborers, and the government reclassified more than one-half of all jobs to allow women and African-Americans to fill them” (Perry 5-6). Initially, only single women came forward to present themselves as able-bodied workers, but by the time the United States had bombed Germany in 1943, married women were permitted to join the work forces (Perry 6).

At first, women were motivated to join the workforces because they believed that it would help get their husbands, brothers, and fathers home faster. This was a way women could effectively help with the war effort. The media was responsible for this idea and promoted it accordingly. Perry writes, “Advertising campaigns using posters and brochures, with copy promising good pay, proved successful recruiting devices” (Perry 6). The media used posters that showed a man dressed in a business suit, standing behind a proud-looking woman, dressed in housewife garb but wearing a laborer’s smock over her outfit. The man is looking at her lovingly, and she smiles smugly. The caption reads, “I’m proud…my husband wants me to do my part.” Below, the declaration the following words are displayed: “See your U.S. Employment Service. War Manpower Commission” (Perry 6).

Other media tools were large photos of real women wearing army fatigues and women actually performing the task of welding. Incidentally, the particular woman shown is pictured with a content smile as hot sparks fly in her direction from the welding equipment she is using. Another poster that was used during the war was one that pictures an African-American man sitting beside a white woman on a bench. Both are wearing laborer clothing and apparently are taking their lunch break. As they eat their sandwiches, the man is smiling broadly at the woman, and the caption above reads: “Good Work, Sister, we never figured you could do a man-size job!” The bottom of the poster reads, “America’s Women have met the test!” (Perry 7).

No doubt, these media tools were overtly sexist-especially by the standards of today. More or less, all of them support the image that men are the ones that ultimately hold the power and have the authority to give women approval and validation. The objective was to persuade women to do what men needed them to do at the time. That objective, of course, was for women to fill the proverbial shoes of the absent men-for a time. Was the media successful? Was it ever!

According to statistics, by 1944, one-third of the workforce consisted of women, and one out of every five women was actively involved in military efforts. Asserts Richard Perry, “Many women stepped into their husband’s jobs, knowing it wouldn’t be difficult to give them back once the men came home” (Perry 6).

However, not all women felt that way. Many women enjoyed their newfound independence and found personal power from earning their own wages. They “intended on keeping their jobs after the war,” writes Perry. This fact presented a problem for American men, and a backlash of negativity ensued. Women who were once viewed as heroines for stepping up to the cause, now were looked down on because they were considered to have stolen jobs from men. This made it socially unacceptable for women to work. Further, since many women were mothers and still held the primary responsibility for child rearing, another problem emerged.

“Women were absent from work more than men, because they had children to take care of, and day care was in its infancy. These times produced ‘latchkey’ children, who-unsupervised-let themselves in and out of the house and also took care of their younger siblings,” explains Perry. Yet, women were not discouraged. Instead, they saw these emerging problems as opportunities to challenge American society’s thinking. Women started to band together to promote their collective and individual right to work outside of the home. Further, women challenged issues of equality. These issues included ones such as equal pay, fair treatment in the workplace, and the right to perform non-traditional work. A term associated with this movement was coined: the Feminist Movement. According to the dictionary, feminism is: “1. [The] belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. 2. The movement organized around this belief” (American Heritage Dictionary 310). The Feminist Movement represents many other women’s interests as well, but for purposes of this study we will keep our focus upon the issue of working women/mothers. Feminists challenged “male prejudice and the well-established social order. Stereotypes were broken…” according to Perry (8).

As support of working women’s interests gained strength, positive changes began to evolve. These actions would affect the American way of life forever. In 1963, a law was passed regarding equal pay for equal work-no matter if the work was performed by a male or female. As with anything that is worthwhile, change is a process and sometimes can be painfully slow. According to the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO), “Women are still paid less than men-even when we have similar education, skills, and experience. [...] In 2004, women were paid eighty cents for every dollar men received” (It’s Time…par. 1, 2).

So what is being done about the pervasive inequality? The media, in its infinite power to influence, began to feature more television programming that showed women working outside of the home, and portrayed women in a favorable light. Shows such as Cagney and Lacey from the 1980′s featured two female police officers, one of which was a mother. The characters were smart, tough, funny, and also were permitted to demonstrate compassion and emotion-qualities that are feminine strengths.

Further, a plethora of How-To books and magazine articles hit the market in the 1980′s and 1990′s. Interestingly, these books and magazines were written both by men and women. Many of them explain how to be successful. In Henry Rogers’ book, Rogers’ Rules for Businesswomen, he promises to educate women about the rules of business. His book was published in 1988 and touts his personal successes in the business world as well as how he has even helped celebrities be successful. The book claims:

Henry Rogers draws on decades of experience in the business world to discuss the opportunities awaiting women who are entering the workplace. [...] Rogers helps you decide on a career, job-hunt, interview, adjust to the realities of the working world, deal with the issues of sex and love in the workplace, manage your boss, supervise others, be an entrepreneur, and handle the responsibilities of achievement. Interviews with dozens of successful women, drawing examples from their own experiences as professionals, illustrate Rogers’ Rules for Businesswomen. (Front and back flap, no page numbers)

It is true that Mr. Rogers uses the experiences of successful women gleaned from his interviews of them to prove his claims in his book.

In promoting the emerging idea that a woman could joyfully Have It All, meaning a career, a marriage, and a family, Rogers includes a section on the topic. In his interview with Andrea Van de Kamp, Director of Public Affairs in the corporate offices of Carter, Hawley, Hale in Los Angeles, California, Rogers asks Ms. Van de Kamp how she manages it all. She glibly replies, “I guess I was fortunate to have been born with enormous energy and good health. I am also a well-organized person, and consequently I am able to juggle these three jobs simultaneously with apparent success” (Rogers 186). In my modern thinking of a working woman that has eighteen years worth of Having It All experience, this comment makes me laugh out loud and also feel a great sense of indignation.

This documented viewpoint of Ms. Van de Camp’s is not a solitary or unpopular one during the 1980′s and 1990′s. There are many books that support the ideology that one could manage all of these responsibilities with ease and be happy doing it. The media perpetuated this message through print, television, movies, music, and advertisements. In fact, I even have many of these books in my own private library. However, as time marches on, and women became even more exhausted and confused about whether they even wanted to have it all, the media began to show another, more realistic side of what women were really going through.

Consider the 1999 film, Erin Brockovich, directed by Steven Soderbergh, which is based on a true story. The film is widely acclaimed as a “Triumph” and credits Brockovich (Julia Roberts) with tremendous power as it advertises, “She brought a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees.” Erin Brockovich is “a feisty young mother who fought for justice any way she knew how. Desperate for a job to support herself and her three children, she convinces attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to hire her, and promptly stumbles upon a monumental law case…” This is a powerful film because it shows a powerful woman doing powerful things. She is a fighter, and it’s because of her fierce determination that she is so successful. Her goal is helping others and supporting her children.

Brockovich breaks the “Rules.” The rules that Rogers’ writes about in the 1980′s. She is working because she needs to as a single mom of three children. She isn’t trying to prove she can “have it all.” Brockovich merely needs to make a way for her and her family in an unconventional world in the midst of an unconventional lifestyle that she has found herself in.

However, in all reality, single, working parents, primarily women, were not all that uncommon in the 1990′s and especially currently in the 2000′s. Media portrayals of the realities of working women/mothers fast became popular. As the problems came to light that were associated with the modern lifestyle, many women breathed a collective sigh of relief. Now, it was okay to admit we just couldn’t do it all.

It became more socially acceptable to admit our exhaustion, or fears, or shortcomings, and finally destroy the myth of the Perfect Mother. We now could talk about our common problems and try to find solutions for them. We finally agreed that it was okay to ask for help and to be Good Enough Mothers. Consider the candor in a recent March 2005 Newsweek article, entitled “Mommy Madness” as Judith Warner writes, “What happened when the Girls Who Had It All became mothers? A new book explores why this generation feels so insane” (42). So, now we can talk about the taboos of not being able to keep up and why we can’t. On a pragmatic note within the same news feature, another writer, Anna Quindlen, shares her view, “What’s the point of raising kids if we don’t have a good time and a few laughs” (50)? I couldn’t agree more.

In conducting my research about the effects on children of their working mothers, I asked two of my three children to share their opinions with me. My research suggests that my children have mixed feelings about my role as a working mother. Chelsey, age 15, and Scott, age 13, both convey that they wish I was home with them more, but they both realize the practicality of my working outside of the home. Scott says, “She makes money doing it.” Further, Chelsey asserts the non-monetary benefit as she asserts, “My mom is a good role model for me, and I am proud of her.” These comments from my children demonstrate children’s resiliency as well as highlighting their specific need for time with mom.

As result, we can arrive at the conclusion that employers and employees need to work together to find solutions. Many employers already offer solutions such as flextime, part-time, job sharing, personal days, and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and daycare assistance to help meet the growing needs of the ever-changing family composition. What can employees do? Keep working for equal pay, opportunities, and furthering their education. Most importantly, working women need to work collectively and promote their voice and persevere in these efforts.

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