Wednesday, January 29, 2014

From Gangster To Believer in Jesus Christ, The Tommie Scott Story

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

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   This testimony is of Tommie Scott, who wrote a book called The Tommie Scott Story. Tommy was a gangster in L.A. where he grew up without his father in the tough neighborhoods so many young people fall victim to. His father was one of the first Crips in that city where gang violence is so prevalent. His story is one of many young black men, except for one difference – Tommy found Jesus and was saved from this gangster life.

   I'm not going to pretend I can understand what young people are going through in the inner cities, as I was born in Oregon and have lived in peaceful places all my life. I didn't have to worry about joining a gang, and facing the harsh realities many young people have to in America's inner cities, and around the world. Yet, I'm edified by this man's story of victory and filled with joy knowing how Jesus is such a wonderful loving God. 

   These types of testimonies can't be refuted by the atheist, they can't be ridiculed with intellectual reasoning. With people like Tommie and for many of us in our different troubles, Jesus was the only way we could turn our lives around. The fruit of the change is what is proof, you shall know them by their fruit.

   Tommie was a full blown gangster from Jr. High School age, and lived the harsh life as a gangster up until his mid twenties. He was in and out of jail, was partaker in killings, and watched his own friends get killed. Addicted to drugs, abusive to his wife, and suicidal in the end, Tommie found himself in jail at the end of his rope.

   An urge to join a Bible study in the jail, led him to leave the table where he played dominoes with his rough gangster friends, and get in line for Bible study. Even though this made him look soft, he didn't care, for some reason he wanted to hear what they had to say. Before he was imprisoned this last time, he found himself driving around with his pistol, looking for someone to rob. He drove by a church and saw some elders out front, and wondered if he should talk to them, or if he should go rob someone. This is how unstable his mind was at the end of his gangster career.

   During this Bible study in the jail, Tommie heard the gospel preached, he heard that God can forgive even the worst sinner as he did Paul. This touched Tommie, and he received Jesus after the meeting as it was his appointed time. Immediately he went from a suicidal anti-social crazy man, known as "hit-man" on the streets, to a born-again believer in Jesus Christ full of peace and joy! He went out of the Bible study and began to tell skin heads, blacks, and anyone who would listen about Jesus Christ. Before long he had started a Bible study and had read the Bible through in a matter of a few months.

   His court date came quickly and Tommie went with a “song” in his heart. He apologized to everyone in the court and said he was guilty. His sentence was looking to be 10 years, for a crime he committed three years earlier, but the judge gave him one year instead. After serving less than a week of this sentence Tommie was released on house arrest. The power of God was already working for him.

   Tommie Scott hasn't looked back, and is now leading his family as a man of God. He has an outreach with at risk youth, to being them to the Lord Jesus Christ. He has a good career with computers and has even wrote a recent book about his testimony. His outreach to gangsters and everyone else is centered on the prisons and the at risk youth in his community.

   It's been five years since Tommy Scott gave his life to Jesus Christ. The fruits of his life show prove that we have a powerful God who loves each of us more than we can imagine. The joy Tommie shows telling his testimony is powerful evidence that Jesus Christ is real, and that no matter how much you have in life, you have nothing without Jesus. Whether your a gangster at the top of your game, or a professor at the University, you have nothing if you don't have Jesus.

   Tommie Scott is now a soldier of Christ, living his life strongly for the Lord every day. This shows us Christians that no matter how bad off someone seems, if they can be touched by the love of God, they can become just as strong for the Lord Jesus, as they were for Satan. Praise Jesus for Tommie's testimony, and I pray God gives him favor and protection, for him, his family, and his ministry in Jesus Christ's mighty name. 

Tommie Scott Story Facebook page.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Truck Driving Career

 Are you thinking about a truck driving job?

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   Truck driving for a living is a life style choice, one that'll change the direction of your life. Just to be candid and up-front, I've never even driven a semi-truck, but I have studied the field enough to clue you in. If you are like me, you've gotten the truck driving bug, and now you are scouring the internet trying to figure out what this job is all about.

   The thought of driving a truck for a living never even sunk in, even though I had people even mention it to me as a way to make a living. I never did consider the job because to me it seemed too dangerous driving over the mountains. See, I live in Oregon, on the west side of the Cascade mountains, and I have traveled over the mountains to see family and friends many times over the years. I've traveled in summer and winter, snow and rain, and at times I feared for my life.

   Maybe you've had the same thought, it's too dangerous? Also, the thought of being in traffic in the city stopped me from thinking about the job. What if I took a turn too sharp and ended up blocking traffic for hours in a major city? These fearful thoughts kept me from considering this fantastic opportunity. Sometimes I wish I would have simply gotten my CDL when I was out of high school, and built a career driving a truck. 
That's not how it worked out for me, but I would be set up fairly nice about now.

   See, driving a truck is a progressive job, where you have to pay your dues. I want to share the information I picked up researching this opportunity for about three months. This article will be a place where you can get some answers, see helpful videos, and learn how to go about getting started if you decide to do this. Even if you already are a trucker, you may be able to enjoy my take on this career. Feel free to add your comments and insights. Let's begin.

Where to Begin?

   I began to get the truck driving bug when I saw an ad on craigslist, from a company called Central Refrigeration Service. It stated I didn't even have to have a CDL, but they would train me and even pay me to be trained! The pay it said I could make was $35k-$80k/year. Wow, I thought this was too good to be true. This seemed great, as I was struggling to make even $1700/month working my lawn care business I started just last year. My wife was tired of not making much money either, and so with her on board I started looking into the matter.

   Night and day I researched about this matter, finally being convinced I wanted to do this. Then I would think no, then yes.

   You may be a person that has never even driven or been in a semi-truck. This is the way I was and still am, even though I feel like I have after all the videos I've watched. You may be young, old, male, or female, well this is still for you if want. You have to ask yourself one question: are you willing to go over the road? What is over the road? Let's take a look.

Over the Road

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   Over the Road is how newbies to the field start off in most cases. This is where they have to pay their dues, working long hours away from home and not getting paid as much, while traveling across the country. On the other hand, this is the exciting part of the job as well, because you get to see the country, driving all across America, and even into Canada with some companies.

   If you look at most trucking job ad placements, you'll see they want you to have either one or two years over the road experience before they'll hire you. Now these are the better jobs, the ones you are working for the first year or two to attain. See, one has to be in this for the long haul-haha.

   Really though, this field does work for those who put their time in.

   The companies that are willing to hire you as an inexperienced driver are around of course (see list below), and these either will train you themselves through their CDL training schools, or will hire you out of a truck driving school that is independent. Over the road, will be the next step after you attain your CDL in one of these two main ways.

How much money can you make?

   Truck driving jobs usually pay by the mile, not by the hour. The keys to getting paid well, is getting the right amount of miles, and a high CPM (cents per mile). The rates starting out I've seen anywhere from .26 cpm - .31 cpm. These will increase over the first year by about .04 cpm, then each year they will increase by one or two cpm. There is also safety and on time bonuses, and paid per stop money you could earn as well.

   Generally what I came up with is after taxes, getting decent miles, you can make about $2100-2500/month net. This to start out with, and not counting paying into the medical or dental. Also have to factor in the costs of the school, whether you have a dog, and if your have a passenger (like wife ride-a-long). These factors costs more, and if add all them in there you could be looking at averaging $2000/month the first year, net pay.

   Now for basically working nearly all the time and living in a truck, this may not seem like such a great deal. Especially, when driving over mountains and risking your life. That's just part of paying your dues in this line of work. If you are looking at it for a career, then just think about how after about two years if you work it right, you could be making about $3500/month take home or even more. And if you want to own your own truck and contract it out, you may be able to even make up to about $8-9k/month. That's the potential, so now it seems pretty good right?

How long am I on the road?

   Most companies will keep you out at least 2 weeks at a time, before you can get just 2 days off. The general rule here is every week you work, you get one day off, and you can't take any time off until you work at least two to three weeks. If this sounds harsh cause you have a family, then this may be the deal breaker for you, it is the hardest part for people.

   This part of it may not be a big deal though, to a person who doesn't have a family, and sorta wants to get away from where he/she is at. So it just depends on who you are. You may be a family person, but are willing to go away for a year, coming home every two to three weeks. If you do this you can look to get a regional or local job after a years experience and be home at night and on the weekends, or at least every two to three days.

   If you go to a CDL school at one of these large companies which offers this, you will be contracted to work for them for a year, or have to pay a penalty. The penalty would be a couple thousand dollars or so, which is the price of the school. Other companies may hire you on with the other companies accreditation, or may not recognize it's validity.

Which CDL school do I go to?

   This depends on your situation, and what you can afford. If you have four thousand dollars, or good credit and one thousand, an independent trucking school would be a better choice.

   If you don't have very good credit or the money, then going to a trucking companies' CDL school is a good choice for you.

   If you go to an independent school you can have choices after graduation, as to which company you want to work for. Most companies that hire graduates from these schools, will pay them tuition reimbursement around 100/month. This will help pay the four thousand or so you spent to go.

   The independent CDL school I was looking at was ITTR in Creswell, OR. Because I have poor credit I was going to have to get a co-signer and pay about $1000 for a down payment and for the fees of getting the license and endorsements.

   Going to a companies trucking school you won't have to pay for much of anything, would have to bring about $200 dollars at least, because you won't get paid until about two weeks into it. The schools are faster pace and the training in the classroom will last two to three weeks. Then you are put in a truck with a trainer for a month or two, at that point you become a paid employee.

   Either way, the company school or independent, you will have to go over the road with a trainer for a month or two. You will be driving, and living with another person for this time. The pay during this time is less than when you get out on your own, averaging about $450/wk, gross.

   After this training period, if you make it out alive, you start driving on your own, or as a team with someone else. Depends on the company or your preference. This is when you start making better money.

   These company schools are fast paced, and likely treat you a little worse than an independent school. The companies will usually pay for your bus ticket to the location of the school, pay for your hotel, and even sometimes pay for the food. Sometimes they may require you to pay them back for these expenses out of your paychecks coming, and also may have you pay for your food. Trucking jobs pay weekly.

Why I chose not to be a trucker

   You might ask why I decided not to be a trucker. I'll try and answer that without spilling my whole life story. I did end up deciding to become a trucker and applied to Central Refrigeration Service online, after talking on the phone with one of their recruiters. The odd thing is they never gave a reply, they said they would reply either way with a phone call in 24 hours time. I never received that call, and at that point I wondered if God wasn't telling me something. See this company is always asking for drivers desperately, and there is no reason why they wouldn't hire me that I can tell. So I decided God had other plans for me. That's the simple answer, I have a lawn care business, and there are other factors. Maybe in the future, who knows.

   I went with Central Refrigeration Service because they allowed dogs with a deposit, and allowed my wife to ride a long with me. Also they were closer by in Salt Lake City, Utah, and they had a short training program consisting of 7-8 weeks total before I was on my own. I'm not going to go into extensive detail about all the companies, but there will be a list below on some of the ones I was looking at and know.

Companies with a CDL school:

- Swift Transportation
- Central Refrigeration Service
- Stevens Transportation
- Prime
- C.R. England
- Roehl
- Knight Transportation
- Pam Transport

Companies that'll hire recent graduates from an independent CDL school:

- Werner Enterprises
- May Trucking
- Schneider
- Watkins and Shepherd
- Garner
- Gordon Trucking
- USF Reddway
- Fed Ex Ground
- Conway
- Sysco

Give it some thought

   Hope this article helped inform you on some of the aspects of driving a truck for a living. For not ever driving a truck I am limited in telling you the actual facts about the day to day life, but as one who studied it night and day for months, I can give you a jump start on where to look and what to ask. Of course you'll inevitably have to research more on the subject before you can make your final decision.

   Truck driving is a good job that involves adventure, travel, and challenges. It pays well considering you'll have to pay your dues first. There aren't many careers one can get trained for free and after two years in the field make $50k/year. So if you like driving and want to travel, this could be the job for you. Best wishes and God bless your efforts.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Highway to Heaven TV Series Remembered

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    Maybe you remember this TV series that aired from 1984-1989, with Micheal Landon and Victor French. This was a very special show with tear jerking scripts that touched on the love God has for humanity. Even though I was only 5-10 years old during this time, I can remember watching episodes with my grandma on NBC when they aired.

   This series was the third and last of the successful TV series Micheal Landon was involved with. First he was in Bonanza from 1959-1973, then in Little House on the Prairie from 1974-1983, and then Highway to Heaven. Victor French was a co-host in Little House on The Prairie with him as well. Highway to Heaven ended up being just that for the two men, as after the series ended they both died soon after from cancer.

    In 1989 Victor French died of lung cancer at only 54 years old, only a month before the last episode aired of Highway to Heaven. Micheal Landon died a couple years later on July 1, 1991 of pancreatic cancer at the same age of 54. Both cancers were diagnosed less than 5 months before they died. What a tragedy these men died so young from cancer.

   Highway to Heaven was a great show, in which Micheal Landon was an angel from God, who went about with Victor on assignments from God helping various people in life's difficult circumstances. Every episode was filmed in California where both men ended up dying. Victor was born in California, while Micheal was born in Queens, New York.

   Just recently I had the idea of watching this show from YouTube, where nearly every episode is located for free. What a treasure I've found. I had the idea after my wife and I started watching Little House on The Prairie episodes about six months ago. The Christian values and even Christian talk at times, is so very refreshing when it comes to entertainment. Compared to entertainment in modern times, these shows really stand out as wholesome and Godly. Even though at times I can see where the New Age watered down gospel crept into some of the episodes, more so what I see is great men of God who showed people watching how to truly love your fellow human.

   There are so many wonderful episodes to speak of, the quality of each episodes is apparent with original script and directing from Micheal Landon himself. He was a truly talented man, who knew how to love and had values absent in today's mainstream culture. As I watch these episodes and listen to the grand theme music at the beginning and end of the show, I mourn for America because of the degradation of it's values. Now, there are shows which are a shame to speak of, a far cry from the spark of light in our culture Micheal Landon brought.

   Watching Highway to Heaven is a glimpse into the 80's, as the show was filmed from 1984-1989. Since I was born in 1979, I still remember the eighties some and am intrigued with the sights and sounds of this time. The 80's was a time of transition for America, where the Godless wicked liberals were starting to gain the majority and the decay of our society was starting to show profound signs. The criticism of culture and government from Micheal Landon's character Johnathon Smith, and Victor French's character Mark Gordon, were poignant and hard hitting with truth. It was their generation which witnessed the drastic changes to society which took place from the 50's-to the 90's and even more so today in 2014. With the criticisms they had back then in the 80's, I wonder what they would think of our country now. I already know they would mourn, like every Christian is now seeing the wickedness prevail in every aspect of our society and culture.

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   54 years old isn't old, and these two men died way too soon, and way to suddenly. Highway to Heaven didn't end because of their deaths, but because NBC dropped the show after poor ratings from the fourth season. The fifth season was the last, as America had already lost it's appetite for goodness and love. That this wonderful and God-inspired television series ended and these two loving and Godly men died so young, is almost emblematic of the era of goodness and Godliness dying in America. As the wickedness grew to another level when Bush Sr. stepped into office in 1988, and introduced us formally to the Satanic New World Order shortly after.

   Of course there are a remnant of Christians who are still in America, living to fulfill God's will everyday of our lives. Worshiping Jesus Christ, reading and believing the Holy Bible, and mourning as we see the destruction of everything good around us. As our culture and society are being deceived and falling away from truth and love, we the remnant of believers, grow closer to Lord Jesus Christ and remove ourselves from this wicked culture and society. Christianity is no longer welcome in America, and I think the final rejection of shows like Highway to Heaven are a poignant telling sign of when this trend started taking a profound affect on our country.

   As I watch these episodes, I'm encouraged and blessed by the absolute love these men had for humanity. I can see some doctrinal error in their script, but more so I see an unabashed goodness prevailing to break through the hate and fear which can so easily beset us in this manifold wicked modern time. God bless this show and these men, and I can't wait to talk with them in Heaven, once I'm on that highway to heaven when I die.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Negative Bubblews Review

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   Bubblews isn't like any other site on the internet and does have it's good points, but I have to give a bad review of the site overall. The site itself is user friendly and is easy to sign up and get started. Even though the format is sort of cheap looking and childish, creating a post is easy and the requirements are simple enough. Actually, the rules are very vague and easy to manipulate. The problem with Bubblews, is you might join the many people who never got paid.

   I signed up and started writing post and amassed about 40 posts. I was making about .50 cents for each post on average, but I wasn't spending much time on the site. All you have to do is type 400 characters in order to meet the minimum requirement of content. You can place pictures in the post, and even links. The tricky part is some photos and some links could get you in trouble and mean you won't get paid. You don't really know what links or photos either will give them reason to not pay you or ban you from the site. The eight simple rules they have are vague and easy for them to manipulate if they decide they don't like you.

   I'm a fundamental born again Christian, and have some views which liberal places don't like. I would write about Jesus Christ and try to preach the Word of God through my post. Some post I simply wrote about writing and internet work. The problem I had, was when one of my Bubbler friends disappeared. I searched for him and found out he left because he never got paid. His post weren't breaking any rules, and he was a popular character there. Unlike me, his post weren't controversial, but were very trite and common like many there at Bubblews. This made me conclude Bubblews simply is ripping some people off randomly.

   I went on to investigate about this issue and started to write post about it. Then I got an email telling me I wasn't going to get paid, and then they canceled my account completely. So my posts and all I built there for about three weeks was lost for no other reason except the administration wanted to keep me silent about their failures to pay bubblers. In the end I had about $21 made, which is lost in the vacuum of the internet.

   The problem is I was reading many other bubblers who weren't getting paid. Sometimes they would keep going, and get paid only half of the time. There are many bubblers who don't get paid sometimes, and other times they do, so it's a strange predicament they're in. See they're walking on glass with their posts, afraid they are going to break some hidden rule. Really, it's just a random rip offs Bubblews is conducting. See, bubblers can't speak about not getting paid, or they end up like me, banned. Then people can say, well, he must of broke the rules cause other people are getting paid...

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   Bubblews has only been around for a little longer than a year, I believe, and they are experiencing growing pains. This is the excuse they have for not paying people. Now they have changed the payout limit to $50, so bubblers have to post for at least a month or longer to even see if it works. The thing I don't understand is there are many sites which payout at $5, or $10 through Paypal, so why is it so hard for Bubblews to pay people even at $25 or $50? I have to conclude after dealing with the shady people that run the site, that it's a scam.

   Now, I do believe more people are getting paid than aren't. I think your chances of getting paid are about 75%. If that is good enough for you, then go ahead and write for a month or two and see if your in the percentage getting paid. Yet, every time you try to get a payout, you'll have to hope for the best. Now do you see the problem with Bubblews? Who wants to write 100 post to maybe get paid? Truth is, after enough people like me start talking about this rip off alert, their site is going to drop in popularity drastically.

   I hope they can get their act together, and everyone will get paid. I know every site has issues, but not paying thousands of people a month, is not OK. Although many people are making money there, many others are being lost in under the wheel. I would have more respect for Bubblews, if they would have at least let me criticize them if it's true. I was willing to stay there even after I wasn't going to get paid. That's when they had to ban me from the site. Interesting way to go about the problem.

   Honestly, this site is made up of younger people who are mainly talking about trite blabber, it's no place for real article writing. The childish format and girlish colors, make this even more tacky. On top of these problems, the worst is not knowing if you'll get paid. There are many interesting positive people there, and I hope they are doing well. Take this bad review as a warning, to not get blindsided when your redemption comes up empty for no reason.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Playing the Guitar

Can you do it?

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   Playing the guitar is a fun and exciting way to pass the time. Whether you want to play an electric, acoustic, or any other of the more than 15 types of modern guitars- it will challenge your creative side and be enjoyable.

   Don't get me wrong, it won't always be satisfying and fun, but the rewards of learning to play basic cords and putting them together to make a song, out-weigh the difficulties. You will have bruised fingers, and even ringing in your ears from the efforts of half realized cords. Don't be discouraged, there is no wrong in playing the guitar.

   You can learn to play in a way that is comfortable to your pace, and how you desire. There isn't only one way to play, you can learn how to read music, or play abstract melodies. That is the creative part to the process, finding your voice through an instrument.

   Now some people really aren't very musically inclined, and even though they try hard to learn and practice, they find they don't make music like they wish they would. Others can play nearly instantly when they learn a few chords, but they aren't really that interested in playing. The person that wants to play and is desirous to express themselves is going to go on to be a better guitar player, making interesting sounds that reflect his/her soul.

   With that said, welcome! Hope this post helps you learn about playing the guitar. I will include here my experience playing guitar, history of the guitar, videos, and more. No matter how many people are already playing this popular instrument, there is still new creative sounds to be made. Blessings in your visit.

The Musical World

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   I just want to give a few lines of my experience playing guitar. I come from a musical family, where my mother played guitar, is a song writer, and a singer. My father was a drummer, and he also sang. They would play out in the bar scene when I was young, playing in different bands covering popular songs, and also playing originals. When I was a child, I played the piano, and the keyboard, it wasn't until I was 21 til I started playing the guitar (I'm 34 now), writing songs, and singing. I was taking after my mom and dad.

   I have played in open mics, and even have had a couple of gigs where I played in a band with others. Mostly though, I created songs and sounds from my home, making twelve different albums and designing the cover art to them. Some of these albums were just me playing guitar and singing my own songs, others I played the guitar and keyboard, and also I played harmonica in nearly all of them. OK, so now you know a bit about me.

   Now lets talk about you. Are you from a musical family? Don't worry if you aren't, it doesn't mean you can't be a great musician. See, I fit into the second category in the first section above, where I am semi-talented, but not desirous in playing so much. Don't get me wrong I love to play, but there is other passions I find take more of my time, for instance writing.

   So, go for it, break the mold, and get yourself a guitar. You'll find playing guitar relaxing and meditative, a way to put off your worries and anxiety, even an anti-depressant. Of course you may want to play an electric and play loud music that is really annoying to everyone but yourself? Well, if that's the case just make sure it sounds good to you, and playing the guitar is a positive thing for you.

   Personally I cringe when artist smash their guitars on the stage, I think that isn't right. I have always played an acoustic/electric 6-string guitar, I find the resonant sounds of the echoing wood to be peaceful and enjoyable. You can also plug it into an amp, or a sound effects machine and make all kinds of great electric sounds. The point is, guitar playing should be a positive experience.

Playing in a band or by yourself?
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   Both of these can be fun, and it depends on your personality. Usually there is a leader of the band, this is usually the guitarist or the singer. If you are the leader then the band can complement your songs and the sound will be great, or if you are playing someone else's songs, you can put your touch into the song, and add creative guitar work to their melodies.

   Playing alone is mostly what you will do at first, and some people that's what they prefer. It does take a special group in order for it to be a wonderful experience instead of an headache, musicians aren't the easiest to get along with. After you get decent at playing the guitar, you'll find it's another learning process playing with others altogether. If you can find the right people, you can mesh into a sound that would be impossible alone, and you'll be in amazement at times at the great feeling you get. You'll say, wow, did we do that!

    Playing alone can be rewarding as well, especially if you sing and play harmonica at the same time. Then you are like a one man band, with all kinds of sound ability. Playing in front of people for the first time is nerve wracking, and for some paralyzing, but alone it is down right terrifying at times. Playing with others can be easier in this regard, but when playing alone you get all the accolades. And besides just start with getting a guitar, then learning the basics, the rest will work itself out.

Learning to Play

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   Mostly this article isn't going to be a technical center for learning the guitar, but I will add a video, which you can learn the basics from. Of course there is always more to learn when it comes to music. Most musicians get to a certain technical level and then just go from there with their own creative effort, sorta making it up from there. Once you learn the basics you can make up cords, but when you look into those you'll likely find it is a cord actually. Rule is, if it sounds good to you, then play it.

   There are two main aspects of actually playing the guitar: the strumming, and the pressing the neck for cords. One is done with the right hand and one the left, depends on if your right or left handed. Let's say you are right handed, then you'll play the cords with the left hand, and strum with the left.

   The part of learning to play that was the most frustrating, was the strumming. The cords were difficult to press down, and especially move from one to another, but the strumming made me feel like I wasn't made to play the guitar. Don't be deceived here, the strumming will come with practice, and after awhile you'll be amazed at the rhythms you'll create. The strumming has to become automatic where you can feel the music and respond with subtle changes creating a dynamic sound. When you begin though you'll feel like you are like a dog trying to drive.

   There are 7 major cords: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. The minor cords and other cords are just alterations around these. So if you can learn these cords then you will be on your way. Some of these are harder than others to play. To play a chord you press the cords against the fret in the prescribed manner, and strum (strum not stab). The chords I suggest learning first are: A, E, D, and G. These are the most common and the easiest to play. Remember, you can write a song with just two cords!

How Long Does it take to Learn?

   Generally, the process of learning the chords, and how to strum takes about 6 months. That is in 6 months you'll be able to write your first song, or play another's song. For this to happen you'll have to practice nearly everyday.

   I went to a guitar teacher who gave me three lessons, cost me something like $30 each. They ended up being worth it, cause at the time I didn't have you tube, or the internet. I had a few chord books, and my mom's hand made book teaching me most of what I needed, but having a seasoned player to ask the tough questions really helped.

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   If you get an electric guitar, you'll be able to make some far out sounds right away with an effects pedal. This will be fun to mess around with. You can put on some music and play along and pretend you sound good, until the music turns off and it sounds like a cat got ran over.

   Just learn at the pace where you can retain the knowledge, and enjoy the process. If you are a poet already, or writer, you can write some songs to get ready for your first tune.

So Now Your A Musician Huh?

   Just wanted to recap some things, and tell you what a good time I had being here with you. This post is a labor of love, as I can share something I hold dear to me. Music is a powerful force, never underestimate it's power of influence on your soul. Personally I don't listen to rock and roll anymore, and I listen mainly to instrumental and Christian music, like Caroll Roberson. Music is still important to me in a way that's hard to describe. Guess that's why I had to play to express myself.

   I still get the guitar out (I have two now), and play for an hour. It brings peace when I do, but because I'm rusty it brings pain to the tips of my chord fingers. Small price to pay though. Your fingers will get hardened and your soul with get in rhythm with your strumming. At that point nothing will stop you.

   Just keep in mind, you don't need drugs to enjoy playing music or listening to it. I believe Frank Zappa was a sober man, yet strange. And one more thing is always seek the truth in music, that is keep it sincere and realize it's power, and don't sell out. The purity of the art of playing guitar, is the part that is worth the playing. Maybe that will teach you something in life too.

   For now, though,if your a beginner, press on-wards. Get yourself a guitar and tuner, and start learning how to strum and play cords. Then write some poems down, and start making songs. When your done tell me in the comments, and maybe I can listen to your masterpiece. Just don't get mad at me if I'm speechless! Thanks for hanging out, come back and see the updates, and relish the love. God Bless.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Book Review: Inside The New Age Nightmare

(cc from Madame Blavatsky
Have you ever heard of this book? It was written by Randall N. Baer, and was posthumously published in 1989. Randall Baer tells his awesome testimony, where he escaped the New Age scene to become a born-again Christian. Randall was a young man when he became a leader in crystal healing and spoke in lectures across America. One day though, he saw the truth beyond the illusion Satan was presenting as New Age light, and this set him in the process of coming to the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior.

       Testimonies are a powerful way to encourage believers in a fallen sinful world, and also to help save the lost from their ignorance. When someone like Randall comes out of the New Age and can speak with empirical knowledge of the true nature of it, this becomes a big threat to the kingdom of Satan. This is why Randall died mysteriously in his young thirties, even before publishing his book. The few years he had as a Christian were spent trying to reach out to New Agers, and tell them the urgent warning that they're under the deception of Satan and his emissaries.

       The book can be found and bought on Amazon for as little as one penny plus shipping. It's almost as if God is help give this book away to a country being led astray by New Age deception. The book can be found in my Amazon Christian Book Store below this article as well.

       Many people still find books to be appealing in this internet age. This book is less than a hundred pages and will go by quickly, as his intelligent voice begs the reader to stay and listen. His experience is fresh, and profoundly expressed throughout the book, explaining the inner workings of the New Age culture.

       I found the sociological insights to be provocative, describing the common characteristics of the New Age crowd. He gives us an idea of the absolute hypocrisy and selfish nature which result in the scene. Also the greed factor and vanity, which pervade their minds, all the while with them expressing a facade depicting the opposite. The double mindedness making up New Age personalities is exactly what the Holy Bible proclaims occurs in unbelievers here in James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

       The New Age religion is growing rapidly and has been ever since the 1960s. The affects of it's loose morals and selfish vain beliefs have been a very destructive factor in the degradation of our country. The roots of the New Age are in an ancient Luciferian Doctrine. Aleister Crowley, Madame Blavatsky, Nietzche and Hegel, are just of a few of the modern agents of propaganda to espouse this self-centered hedonistic way of life. The relative truth it proclaims is far from logical, and the applications it provides are highly destructive and deceptive.

       The common theme of the New Age culture, in it's multiple aspects, is easily seen to be the hatred of fundamental Christianity, according to Randall's conclusions. He explains how odd the fact is, that the only belief not embraced by New Agers, who claim to be so embracing of different beliefs, is Christianity. The absence of any Christians in the New Age scene is indicative of the black and white case it represents, darkness and light, Satan and Jesus Christ.

       One of the most interesting parts of the book is at the end, when Randall uses his lecturing platform he gained through his expertise in crystal healing, to preach Jesus Christ to the New Agers. He found in response a cold rejection, and even worse, a hostility from old "friends" he couldn't have foreseen.

       For believers and unbelievers alike, I recommend this book to help you understand the New Age scene and the deception that lies at it's core. Praise Jesus for Randall N. Baer's testimony and all those whom it has helped save from Satan's grip.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Making Money With ChatAbout

(Read Negative Update at bottom of article)

cc from is a site where you can post comments, write reviews and articles, and get paid for it. The only catch is you have to have a facebook account to sign up. If you do have a facebook account, it's very easy to sign up and get started racking up points. Even though I don't like the facebook requirement, this is still a legit way to make some extra cash.

   How it works is you receive points for each comment, review, or article you create. The points can be redeemed into cash through Paypal, an amazon gift card, or other rewards. You have to earn 500 points in order to get a payout, which is equivalent to $5. That means that each point is worth a penny.

   The amount you make for each comment and reply is 2 points. This isn't much and less than a forum posting site, but the comments can be shorter and it's easier to build them up than on a forum. If you write a review you make 5 points, and an article 10 points. At first your reviews and articles will go into review for 24 hours to undergo approval from the admin.

   Although these aren't large amounts your making for your articles, they can be short as long as they are informative and make sense. I haven't found any min. length requirements to these, but from others I see, they can be from 200 words to however long you want. Best to make them at least 200 to be accepted. The reviews can be shorter, maybe a few paragraphs or 100 or more words. That's just my estimates to help you get the idea.

   Making .10 cents an article isn't good of course, but you can link them back to your blog and get traffic. Also, if you write a quick blurb that takes five minutes, it could make you some money. I haven't seen how well they are accepting articles yet, as I have only submitted one and it hasn't yet been accepted.

  There is a lot of good feedback on getting paid and getting it quickly. I have now cashed out twice and have made $10 from Chatabout, the payment came quickly and smoothly to my paypal account. 

   This maybe a good place for someone looking to make $20-$50/month with little effort. The site is quality to navigate and friendly to use, while using you'll have fun and learn. Also, the benefit of back-linking to your blog or website is nice. One more thing is you'll have a referral link, which if anyone clicks on you'll get one point.

   If you want to check it out and sign-up, follow this link and I wish you blessings in your efforts.

   Update: I have edited this article to show the changes Chatabout has made in the couple months since I wrote this review. It is now March 27th, 2014. Chatabout has mostly made bad changes, where they have lowered the points you can make and also the referral program is a joke now, when you make only a penny for each click, when before they said you would make 20% of whatever the referral you gained made from those who joined from your link. Still I think the site is worth checking out and you can make some money from them, but I'm hoping they improve from here.

Update Sept. 26th, 2014

  ChatAbout has just gotten worse and worse as a site, paying less and less and being more and more restrictive. Now they have stiffed me my last payment and I can't log into the site anymore and for no reason at all. 

   Good riddance, just thought I would let anyone knows who reads this article. Here is the final email I sent them:

Hello ChatAbout Admin., 
    Interesting that I can't log in at all through either my facebook or email. I was able to log in before and request my payout of $5, but now I can't log in no matter what I do and I haven't been paid after about 5 days. 
   Usually you all pay within a day, so I'm assuming this means you have basically stiffed me and banned me from the site. 
    This site has gotten worse and worse since it's beginning, so I don't really care. There will be some bad reviews coming through. I have a popular Hub about Chatabout and a blog on my blog, and they will be receiving an update of how you treat people here. 

 Remember, we all reap what we sow. You could have had a good site here, but's it's just another sketchy place full of pansy admin. people who are part of the NWO kiss up crowd. See how this works out for you. 

Sincerely, Lowdown0

Try Swagbucks as an alternative, I haven't been paid there yet, but it's much easier to make money there. I'm sure they pay, I just haven't been there that long yet. I'll do a review about them after I've been paid.