As Soon As the Spiritual Opportunity Presents Itself to You, Seize It!

Over the years you come across sayings that you jot down on a piece of paper, or even worse, forget to note, and later wish you had as you cannot remember or recall them accurately.

When it comes to spiritual sayings and spirituality this is very true.

In many places there has been such a dramatic change in the Church of Jesus Christ that these words take on a new and apposite application. Instead of preaching the good news that sinners can be made righteous in Christ, and escape the wrath to come, the gospel has degenerated into the pretext that we can be happy in Christ and escape the hassles of life. In some places where there is ‘preaching’ that can be the impressions given and it is not only misleading but spiritually highly dangerous.

Keep looking up, with your face down. How relevant a word that can be. No matter how hard your walk in life is, if we keep looking up and looking to the risen and living Lord Jesus Christ, we will discover the help and strength just whenever we need it. Thousands have discovered that to be so true over the centuries.

I recall hearing, or did I read it somewhere, that one day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord.Moody’s reply was “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” The lady replied, “I don’t do it.” Moody responded “I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”

Do we not always find that there are those who are so willing to criticise but so reluctant to speak and witness to Christ and testify as to how they were ‘born again’. Of course, they may never have experienced that essential spiritual necessity of being ‘born again’. Jesus spoke about it three times within a few sentences.

Joy is the by-product of obedience, and yes that is true, but only partially true. There are many thousands of disciples of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, being persecuted for their faith in these present days, and I know not what type of joy they have as they endure such hardship and pain and separation from family and fellowship. How would I react in such a scenario? The thought of how poorly I might respond can cause me to tremble.

My greatest thought is my accountability to God, and again that is true and yet it is not fully and wholly true. Yes, one day I will be accountable to God for every word I have preached, taught and written, but there are moments when I tend to forget that spiritual responsibility and that can cause another wave of trembling. We have to be honest!

Then I recall coming across these words and again they are partially true but not the whole truth. The Christian life is an impossible one and it isn’t for everyone. You must enter through the narrow where you must leave everything behind and be stripped naked of yourself. You must get rid of your pride. Many so-called Christians are on the wide road leading to destruction. They may have all the outward signs of being a Christian as they go to church, serve, read the Bible, pray, but there is no inward change of repentance. Ah but God may be preparing these very people for something great in His glorious kingdom.

We never know what lies ahead of us but it is always best to seize the spiritual opportunity whenever we can. As soon as you see the light of God in Christ, seize it.

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children’s Panel in Scotland. He has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, 12 visits to Israel, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya.

How to Get Started in Business Online

If you are thinking about getting started in business for yourself through your computer there are several things to consider. The first thing is that you have to change your thinking a bit from the traditional ways of doing business. Creating a business online requires that you begin a learning process of how to market the products you choose to sell. Just publishing a website and hoping that customers will find you will not get you very far. So here are some tips on how to begin.

1) You need to learn how to drive traffic to your website. One of the best ways is through writing articles like the one you are reading. In exchange for the information that I am providing you, for example, as an author and business owner myself, I want to give you useful information that also might stimulate you to want to find out more about me, and thus visit my website. Article marketing is free and it is one of the best ways for people to find out about you and your business.

2) You can upload videos that promote your business or service to sites like YouTube, Yahoo and Google video. We live in a very video driven culture so people are always searching for information for what they need–and they do it by searching through videos online.

3) Sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace can be invaluable tools to establish new relationships with people who are looking for what you have to offer. Like interests attract like interests. Let people know something about who you are, but at the same time show a genuine interest in THEM and they will reciprocate.

If you don’t have a product or service of your own to sell, don’t worry, there are a number of companies that are looking for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to move their products for them. Do your homework, be open-minded, and above all believe in yourself. Starting a business online can be the beginning of a rewarding experience. Just put one foot in front of the other and before long you will get there.

Negotiation With Debt Collectors – What You Must Know

Did you know that when debts owed go into collections, they do not expect to be paid in full. Debts owed that go into collections can often be negotiated to a fraction of what was actually owed. In order to negotiate the best deal you must understand how the collection system works, the debt collectors mindset, know your rights and how to start off the negotiations.

Debt Collection System Explained

When debts go unpaid for several months that company normally negotiates with another company in order to get you to pay. This third party either purchases your debt for a fraction of what is actually owed, or they work for the creditor for a fee or a percentage of any money that they collect. The debt collector is in the sole business of collecting debts and they have many methods they use in oder to make individuals pay.

Debt Collectors Mindset

It is important to understand that it is the debt collectors job to make you pay. They get paid when you pay. Debt collectors deal with unpaid debts on a daily basis and they do not have the emotions that you may have about your debts. Debt collectors, from the nature of their business are most of the time aggressive and have no problem putting stress on you and pressuring you to pay.

Know Your Rights

When dealing with debt collectors you need to know your rights. Debt collectors normally will not tell you your rights and possibly will break the law when trying to recover debts. There are many rights you have, but a few of the most important ones are the following:

  1. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – This is a federal law that requires debt collectors to treat you fairly. This law places limitations on the way they can collect. This act places limitations on when the collector can call, who they can contact, obscenities, amounts they are entitled to collect, suing in locations far from residence, threatening remarks, and many more. The following website gives great details on the FDCPA: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Details. If you feel a collector has violated one of your rights, you should contact either an attorney or a credit company that can help with this.
  2. Statue of Limitations – With all debts there is a time limit to how long creditors or collections agencies can sue in order to collect debts. Depending on what state you live in this time frame varies from 4 to 25 years. A creditor may be contacting you about a debt that is outside of these limitations and you may not be entitled to pay. This is important to find out before paying anything to a creditor because if the statue of limitations has expired and if you make even a tiny payment, this will restart the statue of limitations and you will now legally owe this debt. It is important to get detailed information about your debts owed with dates and amounts from the creditor.
  3. Privacy – A debt collector is not suppose to tell anyone about the debts that you owe other than a co-signer or a spouse. They can call neighbors and employers, but only to obtain contact information and that is it. If they cross that line, you may be able to take legal action against them.
  4. Harassment, False Statements, and Unfair Practices – This may be very common among debt collectors. They will almost say anything they can in order to make you pay. They are not allowed to make false statements or harass you in illegal ways. It is smart to keep records of what was said and if you believe something may be illegal, contact an attorney.

Debt Collection Negotiation

Once you have followed through on the debts and made sure they are all legitimate debts that you owe you can begin negotiations. The collector will of course demand full payment but in they know they will not actually receive this. They will negotiate as hard as they can and that is why you have to negotiate hard as well. A good starting place is offering about 20%-30% of the total amount owed. The easiest way to settle your debts is if you have some money and offer them a lump sum payment right away, still only for a fraction of what is actually owed. Be careful not to give in and agree to pay for anything you cannot afford. Most of the time, you will end up meeting in the middle. Before you are done negotiating it is important to try to get them to remove any negative items on your credit report that may be bringing your credit score down. This will help you save on future debts by allowing you to obtain a lower interest rate.

If you feel you cannot negotiate on your own there are professional companies out there that can help you. Most of the time these companies will give you a free consultation and let you know what they can do for you before you decide to use their service. What is good about these companies is that they won’t have the emotions you would have when trying to negotiate your own debts. Even after paying the fee, you will most likely still be better off than if you were to do it yourself.