A 10 Minute Guide to Brushing Up Your Management Skills

Maybe you dream about moving up into a management position. You’ll soon find that many employers are seeking all the traditional hard skills along with more intangible qualities. The good news is that most of these capabilities are things you can learn with practice. Take a look at what qualifications you need to advance to …

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Start a Local Produce Business

If you love gardening and consistently have good crops, consider starting a local produce business. More and more people are seeking local fresh produce instead of supermarket or processed foods. Itís the perfect time to make some cash from your hobby. Research ñ Will Your Community Support a Produce Business? The first step to starting …

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The Modern Rules of Clean Eating

Clean eating is a modern term for a long-standing movement. Many people believe that purifying the way we eat enhances our health and energy levels. Some of the earliest signs of this trend can be seen in the health food stores that cropped up in the 1960s. Now, mainstream culture has caught on to emphasizing …

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#NoLostCauses – Not For a Drug Addict

#nolostcauses
He’s an American born singer-songwriter. A 3 time Grammy Award winner. He’s won over 50 awards in the music industry. He’s won the lifetime achievement in songwriting award from ASCAP.

He’s also recorded 31 Number 1 hit songs, 14 gold albums, and five platinum albums, starred in 2 films, published 13 books, and is a husband and father to five children.

But, his life wasn’t always a bed of roses.

The son of a Kentucky oil refinery worker, and former minor league baseball player, he developed a love of music through the church he attended with this dad and his mom.

He learned to play piano early, and at age 10, had an “intense spiritual experience” that began his relationship with Christ.

“There’s so many things I love about my life,” he explains. “And, music is one of them.”

He first played drums. Wrote his first song when he was five years old.

“God had a call on my life, and music was supposed to be a part of that,” he says.

His childhood in church “anchored’ him.

But, then life happened.

“When I got to 17 I moved to Nashville, Tennessee to be a songwriter.”

Playing in bars late night, from 1:30 to 5:30 in the morning, he began to be tempted by the lifestyle he was seeing.

HIs life became a mess.

“Little did I know that I was going to be in the biggest pit of my life and feel like there was no escape,” is how he describes these late nights in Music City, USA as a teenager.

From marijuana to cocaine, to LSD, he says he found ways to justify what he was doing, he realized what he was going, but, just couldn’t get out of the mess that he was in.

And he was very depressed.

For three years, he lived this teenaged self-sabotage until, as he describes it, “I had a near-death experience.”

While snorting something he thought was cocaine, he reacted and thought he was going to die.

That’s when he began to pray that God would do whatever He had to do to get his attention.

“I needed to be rescued,” he explains.

Then, one night in November of 79, he was rescued on the kitchen floor at 12:30 am.

Shaking uncontrollably on the kitchen floor, lying in a fetal position and crying like a baby, Michael W. Smith began to cry out for God.

That’s when, as he puts it, “the God of the universe came and wept with me on that floor.”

Since that night, Michael says, “I haven’t been the same since.”

It all changed.

From that point in his life, Michael W. Smith changed his surroundings. He changed friends. He changed his outlook.

Eight months later, he got his first songwriting contract and was getting paid  $200 a week to write songs.

Not soon after, “Smitty” got a record deal.

Now, he’s getting paid to write and perform songs. Quickly afterwards, he’s asked to be the opening act for Amy Grant’s new tour.

“I never could have orchestrated any of this,” he says, with a sense of surprise on his face.

“I know now what the real deal is. I know that selling millions of records doesn’t bring you peace,” says this multi-million selling musician.

Michael W. Smith says he knows where his hope lies. “It’s not being a rock star,” says this Christian and pop musician.

He knows that his fame and fortune never lasts. Smitty rests in the confidence that the greatest peace he has is in knowing who he is.

He’s not a lost cause. He’s not a struggling musician lying on the kitchen floor hoping to die in the clutches of a drug-induced near-death experience.

Michael confidently describes who he is when he says “I’m a son of the high king of the universe.”

Michael W. Smith knows who he used to be. And he knows who is is today. And, he knows that, with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there are #nolostcauses. Not even that teenager shivering, shaking and sobbing on that kitchen floor in the middle of the night just outside of Nasville, Tennessee. Not even you. #nolostcauses

 

12 Happy Hour Alternatives for Connecting with Co-Workers

There’s more to happy hour than beer and Buffalo wings. It’s a chance to bond with your colleagues and shake off stress before you return to your family in the evening. Hold onto the advantages of happy hour without sabotaging your fitness. Try these healthier alternatives for socializing after work or anytime during the week. …

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#nolostcauses – Not Even an Olympic Star

#nolostcauses

An Olympic Gold Medalist. But, as good as he was, he admits he couldn’t handle some of the biggest challenges in his life.

As a boy, he struggled against a disease that stopped his growth. During that time, Scott discovered the sport that rescued him from the emotional pain of that disease.

Later, as he was traveling and competing in the sport, his mother died following a battle with cancer. This awakened something in him. “I knew I needed something more,” he explains.

“I think I needed to have some strength. My mother was my strength,” he explains.

“When she was living, I would disappoint her. But when she was gone, I just didn’t ever want to be less than she thought I could be,” he explains.

Following her death, he won 16 straight national and world titles, was inducted into two halls of fame, including the US Olympics Hall of Fame, and became a superstar on a major performance tour with other athletes in his sport.

“I was happy to just work, to entertain.”

His sport had given him life as a child and strength as an adult. But, then in `997, he was diagnosed with cancer.

HIs cancer, a very private disease, took him away from his sport.

Trying to cope with the questions of why he had cancer even after he had survived the death of his beloved mother from cancer seemed to be too much of a struggle for him.

His cancer diagnosis put him into a phase of needing to “sort it all out,”

In the midst of this turmoil, he met Tracie, who introduced him to a minister, Ken Durham.

Ken taught him that Christianity is a faith of history.  He was encouraged to study this history of Christianity and see how it applies to his life.

Struggling with testicular cancer,  he and Ttracie married, wanthing children, but with great doubts of its possibility.

Nine months and 2 days after marrying Tracie, their son was born.

Then, his health began to fail again. This time, with a brain tumor. Married with a 14-month old son, he had been diagnosed just an hour before he told them.

“And with hesitation, she just started to pray. And in that moment, I knew where I was going to put everything.”


Following a biopsy,the doctors discovered that the mass on his brain had been there since birth. It was what had stunted his growth and pushed him into the sport in which he had excelled.

“Who would I be without a brain tumor?” he asks now.

At a diminutive 5’4”, he would likely have never been a competitive ice skater had he ever grown to a “normal” 5’8” or 5’10”.

Scott Hamilton says he could choose to focus on the suffering, or to look at it as a gift. “I choose to look at that brain tumor as the greatest gift I could have gotten, because it made everything else possible.”

The doctors completely removed the tumor on his brain.

Six years later, it returned.

Not seeing a future beyond that second appearing of his tumor, Scott says he was starting to feel week when a nurse asked him if he prayed.

“What do you say to Him when you pray?” she asked him. “Yes,” he replied.

Continuing the conversation, the nurse asked, “What do you say to him when you pray?”

Scott told her that he simply thanked God for all the blessings in his life. She followed up with another question. “Do you ask Him for anything?”


“No,” Scott replied, “I just want Him to know that I’m grateful.”

“Who do you see God as in your life?” the nurse asked.

“I see Him as my father,” he replied.

Asking another question, the nurse said, “You’re a father right? If one of your children were hurting, wouldn’t you want him to come to you for comfort and strength?”

“Yes!” Scott replied.

“So,” Scott says, “I changed the way I pray now.”

Now, he says, “I ask uninhibitedly.”

Scott says he now asks God to heal. He asks God for strength. He asks for courage. He even asks for another child.

Doctors say his treatment for the pituitary gland tumor that another child would be impossible.

Following 6 injections a week for two years, they found out their son Max was on the way!

“When I look back and I see all those little moments in my life where I needed a great deal of strength, I understand that through a strong relationship with Jesus you can endure anything.”

Scott finishes his story, saying, “the only true disability in life is a bad attitude. God is there to guide you through the tough spots.”

Scott knows this as a fact.

“God was there every single time, every single time.”  

Scott reminds us… it doesn’t matter what the doctors say. It doesn’t matter what we tell ourselves. God is there. He loves you. He wants you to know His love. He wants you to believe that, with Him, there are #nolostcauses

Robot-Proof Your Job Today for Greater Job Security Tomorrow

Could your boss hire a robot to do your job? According to some experts, more than 20% of US companies have already replaced human workers with machines for certain positions. Those figures are expected to increase. From driverless cars to self-service checkouts, the trend is clear. Everyone from accountants to shipping clerks could be affected. …

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#nolostcauses – Even After 3 Divorces

Lynsi is a survivor.

Her dad died when she was three years old. And from that time on, she lived for attention and acceptance.

Sadly, she found the answer to her desires in men, and drugs and alcohol.

Lynsi says she was a spoiled, cheerful little girl with a funny dad. He loved to laugh.

Eventually, her dad was in a “hospital.” In a rehab facility to overcome addictions due to multiple surgeries and, as Lynsi describes it “a lot of pain in his past.”

“It was really hard for me to see him fail, and to be weak,” she says. She knew he wanted to be a good husband and father. But, “it was a matter of time before the drugs and another woman” evnetually led to a divorce when she was 12.

“That’s when I really started longing for that attention and love,” Lynsi explains. “My dad was the greatest source of that” in her life.

Then her world shattered. Her dad had died.

“There was no way I was going to be alone,” she recalls.

At the age of 18, right out of high school, Lynsi married. She says she knew she shouldn’t, and paid the price with her first divorce.

After the divorce, she “jumped right into the arms of someone else,” she says.

Recognizing she has become the outcast in her family, she embraced her position. She started smoking pot and drinking.

Realizing she will, like her dad, meet an early death if something didn’t change. So she made changes.

“I could let go of the pot and the alcohol, but, letting go of the guy was something different.”

Lynsi was still struggling with the fear of being alone.

Praying to God to help her have the strength to do the right thing, she decided to tell her boyfriend that their relationship was over if he continued to do drugs and drink.

Her boyfriend ended up getting saved, so they married quickly afterwards.

Two children and six years later, Lynsi’s second divorce occurred.

“I couldn’t feel like a bigger failure at that point,” she explains.

But, “alone didn’t last long,” She ended up in another relationship with another man. That relationship resulted in another child and another marriage.

“I married him because I didn’t want to be alone… he married me because of money.”

During that marriage, Lynsi’s husband cheated on her, off an on, for more than three years. The disrespect he gave her made her feel those years were “the worst time of my life.”

But, she says, “I felt like I deserved it,:

Lynsi says she could see where she kept getting farther and farther from that love and attention that she wanted. And, she started feeling that she deserved the horrible life she was living.

In her words she was sure “that God was punishing me.”

Trying to resist her third divorce, God took her to the point of feeling more alone and depressed. During the point where she felt, in her own words, like a “piece of trash.”

That was when God showed her that “He was there and He was ready to love me and fill that void.”

“And He’d been there all along, wanting that. He just needed me to let go of that tangible person… dad first, then it was the next guy, and the next guy, I was never willing to just let go to see that God had something better,” says Lynsi.

Her third divorce. “It was time to take time away.”

“That time alone was some of my greatest memories with God” Lynsi says. “I had Jesus touching my heart, pouring into who I I’m called to be and who He sees me as, rather than who I believed I was because of the things I had done.”

Now, she still values the love and good times shared with her dad. But, she shares “can’t compare completely to the love that God has for me.”

She tells those who will listen that God got her back up after all of her failures, and that He can do the same for anyone.

Today, Lynsi is happily married, and serves the Los Angeles community with her husband through the foundation “Army of Love.”

Oh… she’s also the president of In-N-Out, an incredibly popular fast food company.  Lynsi is human proof that with the Resurrection of Jesus, there are #nolostcauses

A 5-Step Process to Turn a Deadline Into a Walk in the Park

Do you dread deadlines? If so, that feeling could be sending you into a state of inaction, causing you to miss your deadlines, which then increases your stress about them. It’s a vicious, self-perpetuating circle. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make it easier to meet those deadlines. Try this process to turn …

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#No Lost Causes – Even For a Porn Star

When Brittni was in college, had already been working at a strip club. At 18 years of age, she was starring in adult (porn) films.

Her deep desire for attention and love led to her job choices and drugs. She grew tired of the business, the way she was treated, and her own self image.

All the while, the porn industry was supporting her and giving her industry awards, which fed her desire for attention. But, it never fully satisfied her longing to be whole.

One day, she agreed to go to church with her grandfather. She says she believed Jesus was the way for her to escape the life she had chosen… but, she didn’t know HOW Jesus would lead her from the porn industry.

Brittni got a Bible and started reading it.

But, she returned to the porn industry after a short period of time.

After seven years in the porn industry, Brittni finally found her way out of the sex trade.

Now, Brittni isn’t fighting depression. Or drugs. Or porn.

Her hope was being restored.

“I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit,” while she was packing for a trip to Las Vegas for a porn job. “Take your Bible,” she says she was told.

On her trip, she read about Jezebel in the Bible.

During the flight, she read in the Book of the Revelation, she found the story of God’s judgement of the Jezebel spirit.

“He starts speaking to me through this verse.” She says, “it says that I have this thing against you…talking to one of the churches, it says that you tolerate this woman named Jezebel who leads my people into sexual immorality, I’ve given her time to repent. And, if she doesn’t repent, I will cast her and her children into a sick bed.”

At that moment, she says, she realized that her heavenly Father was speaking to her about the way she was living her life and how He felt about sexual immorality.

On her flight to Las Vegas, she asked God for forgiveness and felt a conviction that she should be doing what she was doing.

On that day, she stopped all her work in the porn industry.

At that point, she started pursuing her life in Jesus Christ. A year later, she met her husband, Richard.

They are now leading a young adults ministry together. Brittni is now encouraging women to know how they can live a life of truth – “even after every mistake I’ve made in my life, every sin I’ve committed”  – and that they have access to that love from God that calls them out of their sin and into a full and complete life in Jesus Christ.

At one point, Brittni felt that she was a lost cause. But, God the Father made sure that the Holy Spirit communicated with her in her search for fullness and freedom. And, now, Brittni is sharing that good news of forgiveness and freedom… even from the porn industry.

Yes, it’s true… with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, there are #nolostcauses