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By Bill Lewis

At one point in my life, my definition of happiness would have been the person that had everything they want.  On television and in movies they always looked happy.  Most media outlets  portrayed them as being happy and everyone else seemed to agree with my opinion.  Now I am much older, more traveled, been exposed to many different people and have accomplished a lot of my original material goals.  I have changed my original opinion.

The magazine Psychology Today sent a survey to 52,000 people asking them to respond and tell them how they believed they would find happiness.  Most of the respondents said they dreamed of winning the lottery and it would fulfill their happiness.  Lets take a look at one story of a lottery winner.  A Pennsylvania resident won eight million dollars.  Within a year his wife left him, winning alimony and child support that would cost him one million dollars; his landlady sued him for 30% of the winnings and won in court; his brother and sister in-law were indicted and imprisoned for trying to hire someone to kill him.  I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound much like happiness.  The truth about the lottery is most of the winners end up bankrupt financially and end up bankrupt in their happiness account.

I know someone reading this is saying, “I would still like to have everything I want and find out for myself”.  I understand, I use to feel the same way when I read or heard “dumb” :) people say the things I am saying.  Needless to say, that doesn’t change the facts.  Don’t get me wrong, money will eliminate some of life’s annoyances but money does not fill the void where happiness lies.  We all know a person or have heard about celebrities that have everything...



By George Guzzardo

Perhaps no other leader can get credited with so much but has so little written about him than Barnabas.  Most would be vaguely familiar with this New Testament figure.  The little history that remains suggests he was a Jewish Levite from Cyprus and he had a multi - cultural and maritime exposure. His legal name was Joses, but the Apostles gave him the name of Barnabas which means, "one who encourages."  Filson says, "there is no derivation of the Aramaic word Barnabas, but Furneaux states, "The Greek word denotes exhortation,  consolation, and encouragement, - all three."  

Barnabas had an impact in a number of ways.  One has to search the few lines in the New Testament to find out about him.  His main claim to fame is his influence with Paul. Initially he acted to connect Paul to the early Christian church.  Paul, the greatest influencer of the New Testament had his way paved by Barnabas. Luke says he brought Paul together with the church leaders who accepted his participation.  After Paul was accepted, Barnabas and Paul teamed up to become the most influential missionaries of the Christian faith.  It is thought that the outreach to the Gentiles started in Antioch as Paul felt it was especially important to start a firm hold there.  The Gentile church emerged there.  In any long distance expansion, financial support is always critical to it's success.  Generosity comes to the front of all of the commentaries regarding Barnabas.  In I Corinthians Paul mentions Barnabas in connection with teaching on apostleship and giving.  It's stated in Acts 11:27 - 30 that he was entrusted with money.  

Barnabas was also a mentor.  He influenced Paul and John Mark at critical times in their lives.  It's said that there was no one more suitable to join up with Paul. Barnabas befriended Paul before Paul's influence increased.  John Mark accompanied them during their early missions but there is evidence of a falling out between Paul and John

Pushing Past Rejection


By Claude Hamilton

When was the last time you were rejected? Were you presenting an idea to your boss? Initiating a new relationship? Making a sales pitch to a client? No matter what the situation was, I’m sure it was rough. Being rejected is hard, and regardless of the other person’s intention, it always feels personal.

When I think about rejection, one particular experience comes to mind. I was just starting to build my business. I was full of enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. That day, I was looking forward to bringing a new trainee along to a couple of business meetings with potential clients.

At the time, I was still working as a diver. Diving is hard work. It requires a lot of physical strength and endurance, and I often ended my days on the job with new bumps, bruises and scratches. This time, the scratches were on my face, and because the water was dirty, they were infected. But diving had been a part of my life for so long that I barely thought about it. I met with my new trainee and we set out for our meetings, feeling keen and confident.

The first meeting was at the client’s apartment. But we didn’t get very far before he suggested we meet somewhere else. Since were already there, I pointed out that it made more sense to stay. I was startled when he responded with “Man, you know what? I don’t think there’s anything you have that I’m interested in.” It stung. I was new to the business and wasn’t used to rejection yet. But we set it aside and went to the next meeting.

This time, we barely made it past the front door. The man we were there to meet stopped up as we were walking up the stairs and told us that he wasn’t comfortable with us in his house.

It dawned on me then. With the infected scratches, my military haircut, my lean, muscular frame, I must looked like a hardened warrior—or maybe a criminal. Either way, my appearance was making people uncomfortable.



By Tim Marks

Edward Gibbon ( 1737-1794) wrote on this topic a couple hundred years ago in his book, The Five Marks of the Roman Decaying Culture.  In it he breaks down the fall of Ancient Rome to five basic areas that are concerning (or should be) to us today as we look at our country and current status.  These five basic areas of decline were:


(1). Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth.   How does that compare to America today?  Let me just say, “car payment.”

(2). Obsession with sex and perversions of sex.  Sad to say that many advertising companies use sex to sell a product that has nothing to do with sex, from soft drinks to automobiles.

(3). Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original.  I have been to Europe a few times and see a massive difference between “art” and well what we have today.  Keep in mind that Gibbon lived in 1700s so “freakishness” was different then.   He would likely had a heart attack seeing a crucifix in a jar of urine being called art, even though he wasn’t Christian.

(4). Widening disparity between very rich and very poor.  This is getting worse each decade and it doesn’t matter which president is in office. My mentor, New York Times bestselling author and  Inc. Magazine Top 50 Leadership Expert

Free Enterprise & Economism – The Difference


By Orrin Woodward

Free Enterprise describes a society that allows each man or woman the liberty of economic choices, permitting the companies that best serve the customers to survive by the good will engendered.  Government and private coercion are held in check, providing a free environment for the people to thrive based upon their efforts.  Government, in the free enterprise system, plays the role of an umpire, ensuring equality of playing conditions, so that the winning team is the one that serves the customer the best, giving no special deals to any team.  Although free enterprise is the best system in theory and practice, it has rarely been understood in theory and never applied in practice.

Economism describes a society where big business partners with government to provide positive economic arrangements for the chosen few.  Government, instead of playing the role of a neutral umpire, becomes the 12th man on the proverbial football team, helping assist Big Businesses, regardless of the on the field performance.  It’s not hard to find evidence of Economism, simply glancing at any city newspaper, you will read about the latest government “bail out” of XYZ company for the sake of “protecting American jobs.”  Every bail out, in the end, is funded by tax payer dollars, which means the tax payers get to subsidize the wealthy business owner who isn’t competently running his business.  Bail outs cost more to job holders than any protection of jobs the bail out can offer, but that is of secondary importance and not the immediate concern of the politician who is only in office for a limited time anyway.  Government involvement brings in a political element into the economic sphere, damaging the ability of the customers to vote for the business which serves them best.

The sad part of Economism, a confused middle way between Fascism and Free Enterprise, is people will assume Free Enterprise has failed.  In fact, Free Enterprise hasn’t failed in Americ