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We really appreciate your visits! Every Friday, our goal is to provide you with a few laughs, some inspiring stories and some food for thought. We look forward to your visiting with us again next Friday! Y'all come on back now... ya hear!





Amazing Donald Trump Biography Video

An inspiring look back on the life of the Republican Nominee for President of the United States. This video was played live at the Republican National Convention before Trump's speech.

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BJ-zP0ljAc





Ivanka Trump's Memorable Speech at RNC Introducing her Father

One of the most perfect women on earth. Beautiful. Feminine. Strong. Independent. Intelligent. Powerful. And to top it all off, a Mother & loving Spouse. Dang, what a role model for women across the world.

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SchGydwBVgg





Donald Trump accepts Republican Nomination for President

One of the greatest moments of the Twenty First Century. Thank you Mr. Trump for all that you sacrificed to help make America GREAT again. Ladies and Gentleman: The Next President of the United States of America… Donald J. Trump!

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42418toh02M







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Relationship Marketing… what’s it all about?

Most businesses don’t have a clear understanding of what relationship marketing is and how to successfully put it into practice.

A common misconception is that the relationship marketing blueprint is all about social media. Some people may believe it’s opposite from traditional marketing and it even excludes older channels like email marketing.

That’s simply not true.

I’ve come across several business professionals who have separate opinions about social media and “traditional” marketing. They believe social media has everything to do with building relationships, and that traditional marketing channels are used for selling. Believe it or not, both channels complement one another.

One important business principle regarding customers is that it’s more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep existing customers. With this in mind, is it more beneficial to prioritize relationship building or sales? Let’s dive deeper into relationship marketing.



The Relationship Marketing Blueprint

What is Relationship Marketing?

TechTarget defines relationship marketing as a customer relationship management strategy designed to encourage strong, lasting customer connections to a brand.

It is a facet of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than shorter-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales.

The goal of the relationship marketing blueprint is to create strong, emotional, customer connections to a brand that can lead to ongoing business, free word-of-mouth promotion, and insights gleaned from customers that can generate leads.



How Relationship Marketing Can Increase ROI

Naturally, there is an increase in profitability associated with relationship marketing. Here are the most significant factors:

Increases Customer Visits. People like to do business with whom they know and trust. There is a reason why we all shop at locations where we are most comfortable. It’s the relationship we have with the business or sales rep that keeps us coming back.

No Need to Date. Just like our personal relationships, if you keep someone happy they’ll have no reason to look elsewhere. A valuable relationship with a brand makes it easier to shop. There is already an established connection that will make the purchase process easier as both brand and consumer are familiar with one another.



It’s Cheaper to Keep’em. One principle you’ll learn in any MBA program is that the cost of acquiring a new customer is more expensive than keeping your current customers. Based on this principle, it’s evident that you’ll increase your ROI when implementing a relationship marketing strategy.

Expansion Becomes Easier. Your loyal customers are more likely to purchase your ancillary products and support new ventures. Once you have built a relationship, you have your customer’s attention. Leverage that attention when launching new products or services.

Increases Word-of-Mouth. Strong relationships cause your customers to happily refer your business to their friends. As a result, their friends certainly will consider your business as the referral came from a trusted source.

The key is to prove yourself useful to customers who may not want a relationship with your business (outside of your product of course).



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A simple act of caring... creates an endless ripple

I love this YouTube Video and its message. Thank you... It really touched my heart! Caring is an important principle that we should all try to live by. This video is something that I can relate too.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRf6wAR-eEY&feature=youtu.be



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Ouch! How to avoid the hot coals of you money decisions

“More than 30 people burned in Tony Robbins’ hot-coals walk,” Associated Press headline June 24th, 2016. “Mama says, stupid is as stupid does!” Forest Gump.

We are gullible folk. Apparently we can be talked into almost anything, especially if you package it up real nice and surround it with a healthy dose of PR spin. It’s why we do dopey things like walk bare footed on hot coals or pay hefty prices for programs that are mostly smoke and mirrors.

We want to prove to ourselves (and others) that we are smart, successful and in-the-know. But here’s the thing: there are two, sometimes opposing, forces going on in your brain. Your emotional brain and your intellectual brain - you know, the feeling part vs the knowing part.

Adding one more dash of confusion to the mixture is your hardwired opinion of the “rightness” of your decision-making. You obviously believe that you’re making the right decision for the right reason - otherwise, you wouldn’t do it. The problem is just because you believe something is true doesn’t make it so.

It’s like buying a stock that you believe will rise in value - if you didn’t believe that you certainly wouldn’t put your hard earned cash on the table. But that belief just doesn’t make it so.



It’s like living on credit card debt on the brink of insolvency without making any changes to your life and just believing it will all turn out all right. Yet, each decision to spend adds to your stress and money misery. Does that mean that everyone who picks a stock that loses money or lives on credit cards is stupid?

No, of course not. But it does clearly demonstrate that our reasoning is not foolproof and our decision-making is flawed by its very nature. We see the world through the lenses of our beliefs (also known as confirmation bias), yet without testing those beliefs, we are destined to make mistake after mistake and experience disaster after disaster.

We are great self-justifiers. Why else would people willingly take their shoes off and walk on hot coals? In this case, they have rationalized their decision because someone they respect told them they could do it, logic be damned! It’s the same in your financial life.

If you buy an investment believing it will rise - and it doesn’t - you can always develop a reason why it failed. It’s not your thinking, but some other force in the Universe that changed the game on your otherwise perfectly conceived plan. Maybe it was Brexit or some idiot in the Middle East who opened the valves on oil production…

So here you are, guilty of being human. Suffering from the same condition to which we are all subject: believing what we believe. Instead of falling for that, you can apply some healthy skepticism and take the time to consider the factors and consequences that might not be readily apparent.

At the very least, you might decide to walk in the opposite direction of the hot coals.



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In case you haven't heard, or you are oblivious to the news of the day... America's 'Debt Limit' is now again the latest fabricated crisis in Washington.

Today is July 22th... and your taxes are still going up... and our country is virtually bankrupt. The U.S. government spends $10.5 billion dollars per day - of which $4.5 billion dollars is borrowed! That means we are going $4.5 billion dollars deeper in the hole - each and every day. Yet Obama pretends all is well. Obama's debt comes right out of your pocket... 

Our nation-state is no model of fiscal responsibility. When Barack Obama took office, the national debt was already an impressive $10 trillion. Today it is $18.5 trillion. The national debt is still growing at a rate of more than $50 million an hour. 

Here's Obama's "bull crap" for the week... 07/22/2016



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Obamacare on the verge of collapse

Well, in March, it was reported that the last remaining Obamacare exchanges are on the verge of failing. Two more exchanges in Connecticut and Oregon recently decided to close shop.

Right now, roughly one-third of the exchanges are left out of 23 that were set up. Virtually every exchange that remains could fold this year. Ali Meyer of The Washington Free Beacon reported once again from the ruins of this health care venture:

Six of the seven Obamacare co-ops that are still in operation are currently on corrective action plans, according to an official from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Illinois Department of Insurance announced this week that it was requesting an order of rehabilitation for the state’s Land of Lincoln Health co-op because of its unsustainable financial position. The co-op was originally awarded $160.2 million by CMS.



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U.S. made $136.7 BILLION DOLLARS in improper payments in 2016… a growing problem of inexcusable carelessness, fraud and waste

Uncle Sam sure can mess up a lot of money.

In fiscal year 2015, the federal government made $136.7 billion in improper payments, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). And the problem is worsening. Last year’s total is more than $30 billion greater than the 2013 amount.

“Improper payments - payments that should not have been made or were made in incorrect amounts - have presented a continuing challenge to the fiscal position of the federal government and have been estimated to total over $1 trillion government-wide since 2003,” the GAO said in the report released this week.

“In the last 2 fiscal years, total estimated improper payments at federal agencies have increased considerably.”

The report does not say why the payments have increased so much so quickly. It is not even clear just how great the problem is.



“For several years, GAO has reported that the federal government is unable to determine the full extent to which improper payments occur and reasonably ensure that actions are taken to reduce them,” according to the report. The GAO sent the report to leaders of two congressional committees. They were not pleased.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said: “This report shows that federal agencies are routinely failing to comply with the laws that require accountability and transparency...

The truth is that this lack of compliance could mean that the total amount of improper payments is even higher than the $136.7 billion estimate from 2015. This report is yet another symptom of a federal government that has grown so massive, and spends such vast sums of taxpayer money, that the bureaucrats in Washington can no longer manage it.”

Sen. Thomas R. Carper (Del.), the top Democrat on the committee, was not quite as critical. “GAO’s latest report shows that much work still needs to be done to ensure that agencies are doing all they can to reduce wasteful, improper payments and better manage the resources we entrust to them,” he said.



“While many have made significant strides to decrease wasteful spending over the past several years, we are not across the finish line.” Instances of improper payments include cases in which the government paid out too little, but those cases are relatively rare.

Only $11 billion, or 8 percent, of the $136.7 billion represented underpayments, according to paymentaccuracy.gov, a website organized by the Treasury, along with the Justice Department and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

In a written response to Beryl Davis, GAO’s director of financial management assurance, OMB said “addressing improper payments has been and continues to be a central component of the Administration’s overall efforts to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.

The Administration remains committed to achieving our mutual objective of achieving payment accuracy and integrity in Federal programs.”


Obviously - the Obama regime has failed miserable again!



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Bernie really hates Crooked Hillary... but Sanders begrudgingly meets with Clinton. Many of Bernie's voters will not follow

Clinton and Sanders campaigns sent out identically worded statements announcing that the Vermont senator would "join Hillary Clinton for a campaign event at Portsmouth High School. Notably, it was not a "shared commitment." Yet.

They do not love each other. It's not entirely clear exactly how much they like each other. But the political marriage of convenience appears to be on, with an endorsement Tuesday morning.

This "will be the culmination of a month of aggressive courting by her, including a high-profile meeting in Washington and a dinner between their campaign managers in Vermont," reported John Wagner and Abby Philip.

"But much remains unknown about how - and whether - the political marriage being unveiled Tuesday will actually work. While they have a common enemy in Republican Donald Trump, Clinton and Sanders don’t have much of a personal or professional relationship. And many of their supporters remain deeply suspicious of the other candidate.

"Sanders diehards remain skeptical that Clinton, the favorite of the Democratic establishment, will embrace the agenda of a candidate who promised a political revolution." [Some say they still aren't sure the Vermont senator will back Hillary Clinton.] 



"And Clinton boosters are wary of a longtime independent who questioned Clinton’s judgment and was slow to accept defeat. It also remains unclear how often — and under what circumstances — Clinton plans to deploy Sanders as a surrogate between now and November.

As of Monday, no other appearances on her behalf had been nailed down, aides said. THE WAY WE WERE: As the final hours of the Democratic fight ticked away, one last reminder of the battle that was:

Due to a technical glitch, this afternoon a Clinton campaign YouTube channel temporarily posted a Sanders attack ad. It was quickly taken down - though not before we grabbed it, thanks to eagle-eyed Dave Weigel - but for a few minutes, it was March again. (Remember March? We were all so much younger then.)



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Cool Photos


People stand on the edge of a crater while watching Mount Bromo erupt in Probolinggo, Indonesia on July 12.




A dog relaxes at a canine beach and bar in Crikvenica, Croatia on July 12. The first Croatian beach bar specifically designed for dogs opened in the northern Adriatic town, allowing pups and their owners to experience the joys of summertime together.

Located at one of the few dog friendly beaches in the country, the bar's offerings include specially prepared ice cream, dog beer and snacks.




In Australia greyhound racing returned to Sydney's Wentworth Park and other New South Wales tracks for the first time since the state government announced plans to ban it after "horrific" evidence of widespread animal cruelty was uncovered.

An ABC Four Corners report aired last year showed piglets, possums and rabbits being chased and killed by dogs in training sessions. NSW Premier Mike Baird announced greyhound racing would be illegal in the state after 1 July 2017.





Mount Bromo in eastern Java began erupting late last year and continues to spew ash into the air. A column of ash forced the closure of the local airport.




Girls attend a celebration for Ivan Kupala Day in Kiev, Ukraine, July 6, 2016. An ancient tradition originating from pagan times, the holiday is usually marked with grand overnight festivities during which people sing and dance around campfires, believing it will purge them of their sins and make them healthier.




A general view shows the swollen Liujiang River in Liuzhou, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, July 5, 2016. Flooding in China's Yangtze river basin has left 112 people dead or missing in recent days, with more damage feared from a typhoon expected to land within days.




The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS space ship carries a new crew to the International Space Station at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, July 7, 2016.




Goldfish swim in a circular fishbowl during a press preview of the 2016 EDO Nihonbashi Art Aquarium exhibition in Tokyo, July 7, 2016. The 10th anniversary of the festival will start on July 8 and will continue until September 25, displaying some 8,000 goldfish in various special art exhibits.




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Friday-funnies...

You can't rush something you want to last forever.

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks, will accomplish nothing in life." -- Muhammad Ali

The American MIDDLE-CLASS made up just 26% of incomes in 2014, down from 46% in 1979. Blame unfair trade deals. Vote TRUMP!

If TODAY were the last day of your life - would you want to do, what you are about to do today?" -- Steve Jobs

Pray not only because you need something... but because you have a lot to be thankful for!



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Why Donald Trump chose Mike Pence... & why Governor Pence is joining Trump, to "Make America Great Again & Safe Again!"

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who Donald Trump formally introduced as his running mate on Saturday morning, lauded the presumptive GOP nominee as a strong leader who will bring his brand of "no-nonsense leadership" to Washington D.C., saying that he accepted Trump's offer because the stakes "could not be higher."

"Elections are about choices, and I also joined this ticket because the choice could not be more clear, the stakes could not be higher," Pence said in a brief speech, following a lengthy introduction from Trump broadcast from the New York Hilton Saturday morning.

"Americans can choose a leader who will fight to make America safe and prosperous again and bring real change or we can elect someone who literally personifies the failed establishment in Washington, D.C."

Nearly eight years of the combined policies of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have "weakened America's place in the world and stifled our nation's economy," Pence continued, and the terrorist attacks at home and overseas and Friday's attempted coup in Turkey "all attest to a world spinning apart."




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MUST WATCH Video: Rudy Giuliani speaks PASSIONATELY AT 2016 GOP Convention... It's time for REAL change!

Rudy Giuliani delivered a rousing speech on the opening night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday. The former New York City mayor offered a fiery message to terrorists that brought the convention floor to its feet.

"You know who you are, and we're coming to get you," said Giuliani.

The theme for night one of the convention was "Make America Safe Again," and Giuliani pushed for a more clear label for the United States' enemies. "We must not be afraid to define our enemy,' Giuliani said. "It is Islamic extremist terrorism."

"This is why our enemies see us as weak and vulnerable," Giuliani said. "Donald Trump said the first step to defeating our enemies is to identify them properly and to identify the connections between them so we can see them and catch them."

The former mayor also said he fixed up New York City during his time as mayor, and promised Trump would do the same for the country if elected president in November.



"I know we can change it, because I did it by changing New York City from the crime capital of America to the safest large city in the United States. What I did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America," Giuliani said.

Giuliani said that Trump is "a man with a big heart," and revealed that the billionaire businessman made anonymous donations to help police officers and firefighters, including after the terror attacks on 9/11.

"I am sick and tired of the defamation of Donald Trump by the Clinton campaign," Giuliani said regarding the onslaught of negativity coming from Trump's Democratic opponent. "I am sick and tired of it. This is a good man. And America should be sick and tired of this vicious, nasty campaign."

The former mayor earned the loudest reaction of the night when he spoke passionately regarding the issue of the police. Giuliani said, "when they come to save your life they don't ask if you're black or white, they just save you.

Click Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1DmnMCralA

Vote America! Vote Trump-Pence!



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Bonanza Facts

• “Michael Landon” – it just sounds like the name of someone who was born to be an actor. However, this was not actually Landon’s birth name. In fact, Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz. He chose his new stage name from a phone book.

Initially he chose the name Michael Lane, but there was already an actor enrolled by this name in the Screen Actor’s Guild. So, another look through the phone book led the actor to stumble across the name Alf Landon, and so Michael Landon was born.


• If the names of the restaurant didn’t immediately give it away, we’ll confirm it: the Ponderosa/Bonanza Steakhouses were, indeed, inspired by the TV show. Dan Blocker started the Bonanza Steakhouses and a Canadian businessmen started Ponderosa, but they’re now both owned by the same company, Metromedia Restaurant Group.


• If not for the fact that “Bonanza” was one of the first TV shows ever to be filmed and broadcast in color, the show may never have survived its first season on air. Initially, the show aired on Saturday evenings, where its ratings were dismal.

However, because NBC was intent on keeping the show running due to its color production, they moved it to Sunday evenings, where its ratings soared. “Bonanza” eventually reached number one in 1964.



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Dunkin’ Donuts Breakfast Protein Shake hack

Most of us spend our mornings struggling to find enough clothes to be considered socially acceptable before stumbling out of the house in a bleary-eyed daze. But we all know that guy.

The one who wakes up at 5:00 a.m., goes jogging, and tweets about how well the beautiful sunrise went with his kale smoothie, and all while you're still trying to remember what soap is for. He's always chipper, he's always looking good, and he's always the worst.

Well, now you can be that guy, with your very own efficient breakfast smoothie. This coffee, bacon, egg, sausage, and cheese protein shake will give you the boost you need to start your day, and provide enough protein to help you get some sick gains, bro.

The Dunkin' Donuts' barista was suspiciously excited to create this. I didn't even order the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle - he added it on his own, claiming that it should look "fancy." It was a good decision, because it made the drink look somewhat normal, until I went in for an unsettling closer look.

If I found liquid like this in, say, a Chinese restaurant, I would probably be on board with eating it. Finding it at the bottom of a coffee cup is a very different matter.



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"Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day" ... Luke Bryan

I'm not afraid to admit it, I'm a simple minded redneck and I don't care. This song fits me like a glove. God bless Luke Bryan for putting those feelings into a kick ass song.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6l3ukWqRU4s



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Eco-minded commuters could soon be pedaling a PEBL

Perhaps you're one of those people who doesn't own a car, but who sometimes needs a vehicle that's a bit "more" than a bicycle. If you are, then Massachusetts-based better.bike's PEBL might be what you're looking for.

The fully-enclosed pedal-electric velomobile features some automobile-like amenities, while still being legally classified as an electric bicycle.

Looking not unlike the Elf velomobile, the three-wheeled PEBL features a 750-watt electric motor that can be used along with or instead of good ol' human pedalling power. In throttle-only mode (in which the rider doesn't pedal at all), it has a maximum speed of 20 mph (32 km/h).






One 2-to-3-hour charge of its 48V/16-aH lithium-ion battery pack should take it up to a distance of 25 miles (40 km) – obviously, it can go farther with a bit of pedalling.

There's room for a single rider in the adjustable front seat, while one adult passenger (or two small kids) can fit in the back. It also has 6 cubic feet (170 l) of rear cargo space, which can be expanded by folding the rear seat up.

Some of its other standard features include vinyl doors with zip-up windows, rear suspension, a full lighting system, cruise control, regenerative braking, a Sturmey Archer 8-speed rear hub transmission, and a combination of drum brakes in front and a mechanical disc brake in the rear.

Among the optional extras are a 600-watt heater, a rooftop solar panel to help charge the battery, and up to three additional batteries to help extend its range.






The PEBL's body material is also noteworthy, in that it's made from hemp cloth impregnated with a soy-based resin. While being a considerably "greener" material than fiberglass, it's still claimed to be strong and lightweight. The entire vehicle tips the scales at 195 lb (88 kg), and can carry a maximum payload of 350 lb (159 kg).

If you're interested in getting one, be prepared to pay US$5,500 … which is pretty much right in line with the cost of other electric-assist velomobiles. It's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, with pledge amounts going towards that total price.

To see the PEBL in action, check out the following video.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uos7H4ZFA48&feature=youtu.be



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Does God help those to help themselves?

Although the saying "God helps those who help themselves" sounds pious and spiritual, it is not in the Bible. Its earliest appearance (around 620-564 B.C.) seems to be from one of Aesop's fables - Hercules and the Waggoner.

A Waggoner was once driving a heavy load along a very muddy way. At last he came to a part of the road where the wheels sank half-way into the mire, and the more the horses pulled, the deeper sank the wheels.

So the Waggoner threw down his whip, and knelt down and prayed to Hercules the Strong. "O Hercules, help me in this my hour of distress," quoth he. But Hercules appeared to him, and said:

"Tut, man, don't sprawl there. Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel."
The gods help them that help themselves.

The saying later appeared in several Greek plays written by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Algernon Sidney (1623-1683), an English political theorist, first worded the proverb in the way we now use it. About a century later, it found its way into Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.

The sentiment is very popular among deists and other Christian and Christian-like sects who believe in a loving, helpful God.



It might even be said to be the core of the gospel as preached by Arminianism. Initiative and hard work are common themes among people who believe that we must come to God of our own volition to be saved and continue to perform good works to maintain salvation.

However, this is not the gospel of the Bible. Scripture is clear that in our original, sinful state we cannot seek God on our own (Romans 3:10-18). God chose us before we accepted Him (Romans 8:29-30), and once saved, we are secure in that salvation forever (John 10:27-29).

For the saved, the proverb has merit. Second Thessalonians 3:10 admonished that the church should not give aid to those who can work but refuse to. In John 21:6, Jesus promised the disciples a great harvest of fish - once they threw the net into the water.

A better version of the proverb would be "God blesses those who obey." The original proverb infers that God will help those engaged in good, beneficial things - and certainly getting a cart pulled out of the mud applies. But God does not promise His followers an easy life.

In fact, He promises hardship (John 16:33; Acts 14:22). The blessing Jesus promises in return is the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17).



The Holy Spirit will not take away every struggle, but He will lead us to truth (John 16:13), seal us as God's (Ephesians 1:13-14), gift us with the ability to help others in the church (1 Corinthians 12:7), and give us wisdom when faced with persecution (Mark 13:11).

"God helps those who help themselves" seems true for the simple reason that things tend to get done more if we get down and do them. Our obedience to God produces fruit.

The more modern version of this proverb in American Christian culture is "It's easier to steer a moving car," meaning, God can lead us more easily if we just start working for Him and stop talking about it. To an extent this is also true.

Another is "Join in where God is already working," or, don't start something new when there is work to be done with other, established ministries. But if that were always true, this ministry would never have been created. So while all these sayings have some merit, none are gospel truth.

Our salvation and God's love are not completely dependent on our works. However, God has prepared good works for us (Ephesians 2:10) and does bless our obedience to Him.



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Geese Facts

• Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter... flying along in V formation...you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way:

• As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range, than if each bird flew on its own.

• People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

• When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone... and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.

• When the head goose gets tired it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs...with people or with geese flying south.

• Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What do we say when we honk from behind?

• Finally...and this is important...when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshots, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection.

They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.








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The chief creative officer for Chipotle is facing charges for buying cocaine seven times since January. His co-workers could tell he had a cocaine problem, because not even people at Chipotle need to go to the bathroom THAT much. -- Jimmy Fallon

Aviation companies claim a newly developed virtual reality headset will actually help pilots fly in poor visibility and land in difficult conditions. So if you’re boarding your next flight and you see the pilot putting a giant box over his head, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight! “It’s like I’m REALLY flying!” “You ARE flying. Pay attention!” -- Jimmy Fallon

San Diego has been hosting its annual Comic-Con. Yep, it’s been a great place to get away from people playing Pokémon . . . just to be around people DRESSED as Pokémon. -- Jimmy Fallon

Hillary was actually campaigning in Las Vegas today. Which is crazy, 'cuz usually when Hillary gambles, it involves national security. -- Jimmy Fallon

Over on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders gave a 23-minute speech at a conference last week after he endorsed Hillary Clinton, but he didn’t mention her by name. Though people had a pretty good idea who he was referring to when he mentioned “Moneybags McPantsuit.” -- Jimmy Fallon





One of the things I've been enjoying most about the convention, almost everyone refers to him as Donald J. Trump, like there's another one running around. But I've thoroughly enjoyed everyone saying it. The "J" is a big thing. And a lot of people don't realize, the "J" stands for Jamal. -- Jimmy Kimmel

A 91-year-old woman in Germany is under investigation for destruction of property after she tried filling in words on a crossword puzzle on display at an art museum. If charged, the woman could face time in a four-letter word for enclosure. -- Seth Meyers

A city in Uruguay this weekend held a cannabis cup, where a panel of experts judged marijuana on aroma, flavor, effects, and strength. The experts were like, "We did?" -- Seth Meyers

After the Bush family announced that they will not attend this week's Republican National Convention, Newt Gingrich this morning told interviewers that he believes the Bushes are behaving childishly. When reached for comment, Jeb hid behind his mom's leg. -- Seth Meyers

A new poll has Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump virtually tied, with Clinton leading Trump 46 percent to 45 percent. It's the closest Trump has ever gotten to a woman his own age. -- Seth Meyers



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Day 2 and Day 3 of Republican National Convention... Ten Prime Time Speeches Not To Be Missed!

Amazing... Some DC Elites still haven't joined Donald Trump!

“That’s their choice if they don’t want to be part of the future." - Ivanka Trump... response to some in GOP who are MIA.

The same legacy media pundits/critics who decried the candidacy of Donald Trump are fraught with pearl-clutching criticism because the structure of convention day #2 prime-time speeches are not following their customary political norms.

Oh dear, oh my... oh noes...
the vulgarians are daring to put on their own show. Those unwashed non-cosmopolitan’s have the audacity to break tradition with the professional political class, go figure.

Day 2 Videos: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/07/19/five-day-2-gop-convention-prime-time-speeches-not-to-be-missed-videos/



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Mike Pence really nailed it... with awesome speech Wednesday night at 2016 GOP Convention

High-Energy GOP Convention Creating Excitement

Updates of the 2016 Republican National Convention. Wednesday’s theme was “Make America First Again,” and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence highlighted last night’s program. Sen. Ted Cruz was invited too, but embarrassed himself and was booed off the stage.

Other speakers included Eric Trump, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Newt and Callista Gingrich, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Pastor Darrell Scott, retired astronaut Eileen Collins and small business owners.

Day 3 Videos: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/07/21/five-of-day-3-gop-convention-prime-time-speeches-not-to-be-missed-videos/



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Amazon tip-toes into banking business through student loans

Amazon.com is stepping into the student-loan marketplace. The online retailer has entered into a partnership with San Francisco lender Wells Fargo in which the bank’s student-lending arm will offer interest-rate discounts to select Amazon shoppers.

An Amazon spokeswoman said this is the first time members of the company’s “Prime Student” service are receiving a student-loan offer by a lender through its site since that service was launched in 2010. The discount will be offered both to students who want loans to attend college and those who want to refinance existing loans.

The offer also represents the latest effort among private student lenders to stand out by discounting in an increasingly competitive market. Many offer discounts to customers who set up recurring payments to pay back their loans automatically or for loan refinancings by graduates who are members of professional associations.

Wells Fargo, the largest U.S. bank by market value and the second-largest private student lender by origination volume, will shave a half a percentage point off the interest rate on student loans it extends to applicants who are members of Amazon’s Prime Student.



The subscription-based service charges $49 a year, half the cost of Amazon Prime, and offers free two-day shipping and unlimited instant streaming of movies, among other perks. Wells Fargo and Amazon have been in discussions for more than a year about the partnership, which is set to be announced and made available Thursday.

The discount could be used to encourage more students to sign up for the Prime service. Prime Student members will receive information about the loan discount through several channels that the companies aren’t disclosing yet.

The companies aren’t compensating each other for what Wells Fargo describes as a multiyear agreement that will reach millions of potential borrowers. The Amazon spokeswoman said Wells Fargo is currently the only student lender that will provide loan offers to Prime Student members.

Private student lending plummeted during the recession, is rising again. The largest private student lenders, including SLM Corp., known as Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo and Discover Financial Services Inc. distributed $6.46 billion in loans between July 2015 and March 2016, up 7% from same period a year earlier – the fifth consecutive year of increases.



Wells Fargo has remained in second place for a number of years, behind Sallie Mae, which leads by a wide margin. The bank has also been refinancing loans for more than a decade, but that market is increasingly composed of online lenders, led by Social Finance Inc.

The discount could give Wells Fargo a competitive advantage to other lenders. Its interest rates are close to the interest-rate ranges Discover and Citizens Financial Group, which has been rapidly expanding into student loans over the last couple of years, charge.

A half-percentage-point discount could make its loans more affordable than competitors for some borrowers.

Unlike federal student loans where borrowers receive the same interest rates regardless of their credit scores, private student loan interest rates can vary significantly by borrower. Lenders determine whether to approve borrowers and what rates to charge them based on their credit scores and other underwriting criteria.




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Why Dominoes is dominating fast food

DOMINO’S chief executive Don Meij is on a mission to take down McDonald’s and KFC. He wants to shake up the traditional drive-through, while at the same time cutting delivery times down close to 20 minutes.

The Brisbane-based pizza chain has gone from strength to strength over the past five years, with its stock price soaring as its share of Australia’s lucrative fast-food market grows.

Domino’s will open its 1500th store this year. It has more than doubled its earnings in the space of two years, in part because of its expansion overseas in Japan and Europe.

In February, the company posted record first-half profits of $29.1 million, a 44.2 per cent increase on the prior corresponding period.

Ever since launching its mobile app in 2009, Domino’s has placed technology at the forefront of its transformation. The popular Pizza Mogul crowd-sourcing scheme is just one example of digital initiatives which have driven sales.



Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9K1SxgJePo

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Nearly 60 percent of its total sales in Australia are online, and Mr Meij wants to expand that to 80 per cent in the next two-and-a-half years. Last month, the pizza franchise announced it was going on its biggest hiring spree ever with the addition of 3000 new drivers in Australia and New Zealand off the back of its Uber-style GPS Driver Tracker.

At the time, Mr Meij said it was about improving efficiency and convenience, but most importantly safety - he wasn’t lying. Speaking to news.com.au, Mr Meij revealed that 30 delivery drivers have been given the sack for unsafe driving since the introduction of the system.

“We’re tracking all our drivers now and they’ll be terminated if they speed,” he said. “In the first 50 test stores we had to let go 30 drivers. They didn’t learn, unfortunately. Those stores probably employ 1000 drivers — it was a small number who weren’t smart enough to change their behaviour.”

On average, delivery times have increased by 20 per cent, and they’re pushing down to the 20-minute mark, he says. “This was a business that was at 30 minutes five years ago. Many of our competitors deliver in 40 to 50 minutes,” he said.

While Europe has the potential to become the largest market for Domino’s, Mr Meij refuses to put a timeline on when that might happen. “To answer that would be to give up on Australia, New Zealand and Japan, which have no intention of not growing,” he said.

He predicts another five years of strong growth in Australia through improved product and technology. “We’re improving the quality of our ingredients, bringing the kitchen to the front of the store, and creating more tech at a faster rate.

“Our destiny is continuing to grow the pizza category and grow out share, and that means going after fried chicken and hamburgers.”



Mr Meij, who started as pizza delivery boy 28 years ago, thinks the resurgence of pizza is symptomatic of generational change. The “category-killing fast-food mega-sites” home to your McDonald’s and KFCs, are a relic from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

“The big global guys flew into Australia and built these big mega-sites, big drive-through systems. You used to be able to open a pizza shop for $30,000. When you invest $1.5-$2 million on a freestanding category killer, it wiped out the little guys.

“In the old world, that whole homogenized, dehumanized model was appealing. Now with technology, those big legacy sites have become the Achilles heel for those businesses.” Baby boomers and gen X were okay with “homogenized, plastics environments”, but Millennials have grown up in a world of “real”, he argues.

“If you look around the world, the trend is more lifestyle kitchens. Food trucks are fashionable, high-quality street food. People love that dynamism.” Domino’s itself is slowly phasing out its processed ingredients, and Mr Meij says there will soon come a time when there are no frozen bags of ingredients pulled from the freezer each morning.

“You’d be surprised but we actually save money by making fresher product. The whole food chain process of packing, freezing, there’s a lot of double and triple-handling.”

The big question: will Domino’s go paleo? “We will monitor those sorts of things,” he said. “But paleo’s just another version of Atkins. There needs to be a market for it.”




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Sing Competition Trailer

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (Academy Award® winner Matthew McConaughey), a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist - okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel - who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it.

Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: A mouse (Seth MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant (Tori Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets...

A young gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7uGHY-t80I




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Shop Amazon - Grow Your Garden_______________________________________________________________





Thought for the day...




Finally! House approves wide-ranging changes to federal employee policies… meaning they can now actually fire lazy, unproductive goof-offs!

The House has approved a bill targeting a range of federal employee appeal and union rights and other personnel policies, in the latest bid by Republicans there to address what they have called a lack of accountability for poor performance and misconduct in the federal workplace.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the bill would “bring greater accountability to our nation’s federal bureaucracy, making it easier to sanction poor performance and bad behavior by government employees...

These reforms will make our federal workforce more efficient and accountable to the people they are supposed to be serving,” he said in a statement.

However, the Obama administration threatened a veto even before the vote, saying the provisions “would weaken the rights of Federal employees, and be impractical and administratively burdensome to implement."

The bill – which combines a number of measures previously approved individually at the committee level – passed on an almost completely partisan 241-181 vote early Thursday morning.

One major provision would essentially apply to Senior Executive Service members government-wide the limits on appeals for SES members at the Veterans Affairs Department under a 2014 law - the SES is the layer of officials, mostly career employees, between mid-level managers and political appointees.

These include shortened times to respond to charges, a requirement that a hearing officer issue a decision within 21 days or else the department wins by default, and a ban on further appeals afterward.



Those changes “would raise significant constitutional concerns under the Appointments Clause and the Due Process Clause” that prompted the VA recently to stop using those powers, following a Justice Department decision to not defend them against a court challenge, the administration said in its statement threatening a veto.

“These provisions would significantly alter and diminish important rights and protections that are available to the vast majority of other employees across the government and that are essential to safeguarding employees’ rights.

Moreover, these provisions would hamper the Federal government’s efforts to attract and retain top talent committed to serving in the Senior Executive Service,” it said.

The administration also said that several other provisions affecting senior executives, such as a requirement that they rotate among jobs at least every five years, would merely duplicate already existing policy.

Another provision would require annual reporting on the use of “official time” - working time that federal employees may spend on certain union duties...

Including the total amount of official time granted, the average amount of official time per bargaining unit employee, the activities for which the time was used, the number of employees who spend all their working hours in that status, and the cost to the government in pay, benefits and space provided to unions.

The White House said those requirements “are subjective and virtually impossible to measure” and would require manually collecting information from some 2,000 local bargaining units across the government.



It also objected to provisions requiring the IRS to maintain certain records and to limit rule-making between the November elections and the next presidential inauguration in January. Several federal employee organizations also came out against the bill in letters to the House.

The Senior Executives Association said the bill “suggests more of an interest in the appearance of reforming and improving government than a real commitment to undertaking the hard work of understanding what the real problems are, working with stakeholders to craft a solution, and holding parties responsible to see improvements through to a conclusion. ”

“The federal government already has in place several tools to deal with poor performers. It is incumbent on federal agencies to ensure their managers use those tools when necessary.”

In its policy statement, the White House did not specifically address several other provisions, however. One would give agency management the sole discretion to make certain decisions regarding information technology, without having to negotiate with employee unions.

That is designed to overturn a labor board’s 2014 ruling that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency improperly failed to bargain before moving to cut off employees’ access to personal email accounts through agency computers. The agency had tied such use to a rise in cybersecurity incidents.

Nor did it mention language to require the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance to block access to pornographic or explicit websites from government computers...

And to generally extend from one year to two years the probationary period for newly hired federal employees, a time in which they have fewer rights to appeal discipline including firing. During floor voting the House rejected several Democratic bids to knock out or scale back many of the provisions.



Meanwhile, on Tuesday a new package of proposed changes to disciplinary and other policies for Veterans Affairs Department employees was offered by House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), the latest in a series of such bills.

The bill would shorten the process of appealing discipline to the Merit Systems Protection Board for all VA employees; allow appeals by senior executives there only to an in-house review panel; strengthen protections for whistleblowing employees and require discipline of those who retaliate against them...

Allow the department to claw back previously paid bonuses and awards from employees later found to have committed misconduct; and reduce the federal retirement benefits of senior executives convicted of felonies related to their official duties.

Several similar proposals are pending in other bills, including a spending bill that recently passed the House but that the Senate has set aside.

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This bill is a great idea, but it may not go far enough. Federal employees should be accountable and subject to firing for their actions or poor performance. Minimum review should be available. Someone who commits a crime (like sexual harassment or abuse of power) should be able to be dismissed within 60 days.




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