Sunday, February 22, 2015

May This Day

May this day bring you space...for not only your feet to rest, but for your spirit to rest too.
May this day bring you a name ....a name of a human that will inspire and encourage your journey....the journey that you have selected with God's help. May that person whom God leads you to, possess some of the knowledge and information you need in your current situation. May he/she be willing to share that precious data with you in a format you can digest.

Don't be afraid to pray. Some folks have the idea that if they get God involved in their decision making process, that God is going to to mess up their lives, and force them to live in an impoverished place without the modern amenities of life. But where did we get that from? I don't believe that God wants to interrupt our decision making processes. He wants us to fellowship with Him and get His inspiration and then grow up and make the decisions ourselves.

Yes, there are times it seems that we float on God's choices, He seems to know that there are times when we really aren't capable of doing what we need to do for His Spirit carries us through those times. But then there are the times when God is asking us to mature and to grow up. He didn't create us as robots. He respects our free will and expects us to use it.

Yes, it certainly is scarier to make our own decisions, because then the buck actually stops with us. We make our own choices and somehow can't blame God or any other human for the choices we have made. That is what maturity is all about. Being willing to let the buck stop with us. Being willing to be accountable for our own choices.

And yes, God is still there, not carrying us like a little infant, but walking beside us like two adults talking quietly as they walk together on a path through the park. God respects you. See Him as He takes time to be with you and you with Him. See Him listening eagerly to your thoughts and ideas. See Him taking His time to respond and think about what you have said to Him. He believes in you and all that you are and all that you have in your mind to do and to be. Listen to Him and He will listen to you.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

No Entry Fee Contests

There are a couple of websites which offer contests for within Canada and many or most of them are completely free to enter. Note that many of these kind of contests require an active email account and ask for lots of personal information such as your telly number and your mailing address. Be aware that none of these websites take responsibility for any kind of identity theft that could occur by the sharing of your personal information. Therefore participating is always 100% at your own risk. Always read the rules and regulations....the fine print really does matter ")

Contest Canada

Gold Fish Legs Contest Forum

Thursday, February 19, 2015

99 Percent of Motivational Speakers are Male??

Nope, I didn't do a scientific I hope I am wrong and just feeling a tad bit peckish today.

But in my search for great female mentors, leaders, speakers, thinkers, I keep feeling like somehow I am lost in a land of testosterone. Where are all the leading ladies???
Just Oprah and Barbara Corcoran are not enough.

Ladies where are your voices? Have you nothing to teach me? Nothing to help a sister out with?
No desire to share your success strategies with other women?

Men seem to get a kick out of leading and teaching other men, offering their time and expertise for free or as a business venture in order to mentor other men. Men don't seem to mind mentoring women, but that just isn't the same thing.

Women process things differently. Women set goals but we do so in a different way....not even sure how to put it into words, but we just do things differently. We are equal....but very different.

Yes, there are some notable folks...folks like Barbara Corcoran and Oprah Winfrey who have pioneered paths to success and written books and gone on TV to help inspire us. But call me greedy, I want more
choice. I want to be able to go to a library or bookstore shelf and be able to find a thousand books written by unique and quirky female leading thinkers/teachers. Women with vision, women with power, women with skill and street smarts. Women who made it when no one was around to encourage them or fund their ventures.

How about you? Do you have the mentors you need? Or still searching?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dollar for Dollar...One of THE BEST Natural Snacks On-the-Go!

Busy? Aren't we all. Taking that prime time out of your day to shop for and prepare a nutritious snack is just NOT one of my priorities when I have a lot of other stuff on my agenda.

So, I've made it a purpose of mine to CALL ATTENTION to any modestly price snack that requires NO preparation and is still considered "healthy". Enter, Freelee the Banana girl. Yes, she's a vegan, and NO I am not going to preach veganism today, I merely want add my applause to the snacking idea that she introduced me to, through her videos/website.

The snack in mention, is the humble dried pitted DATE. Tis true that I didn't grow up eating such is a little bit out of my comfort zone, as dates seemed like something a granny would bake with to make "figgy pudding" as the christmas carol chimes....
But once, I got over my squeamishness about trying something that was unfamiliar to me, I was very pleasantly surprised. Apparently I am not the only one who is now a fan of dried dates, as they are now in the produce or dried fruit section of every grocery store I enter. 

If you are going to try dried dates as a snack, note that there is a HUGE difference in quality depending on the brand, type and packaging of dried dates. The "Lambourghini" of dried dates are labelled
"Medjool Dates" and come with a heftier price tag to boot....up to even $10 for a modest size plastic tub....or if you are lucky you might find a smaller tub on sale for $5.99.

But if you shop around and try some of the lesser known brands, such as AMIRA, you may find some less expensive ones that still rank high in quality. The ones that appear with more white-ish flaky bits appear more well suited for baking etc....not for snacking. The higher the quality of the dried date, the more "whole" the dried date will appear and it will have retained a rich dark brown color.
Note that some dates are PITTED and some are NOT! So in order to prevent any of you from biting on a very hard dry pit by accident, be sure to read the LABEL!

As for me, this week I didn't want to splurge on authentic "Medjool" dried dates, so I gave the brand AMIRA dried pitted dates in a 800 gram zip pack a try. The price was  a great value at only $3.99.
So far, so good, I am pleased with the taste, texture and quality.

If you are interested in a snack that is a bit more heartier, then you might want to check out
Freelee the Banana Girl's Site in which she shows us how to make banana date smoothies as a small meal replacement. Add a bit of cinnamon for extra kick to your blended banana date smoothie.

The last thing I want to say about the humble dried date is that it packs a pretty powerful caloric if you have short break times at work or on the go, and need to cram in the calories in a short amount of time, dried dates will be heaven sent. However, if you need to cut back on your calorie intake, or if you are tempted to overindulge, then dried dates might not be ideal....unless you are disciplined at only packing up a modest number of dried dates to be consumed at your snack time. At only 40 grams, there is a good
 130 calorie boost. That may be great news for some and not so great for others, depending on your snacking requirements.

The beauty of dried dates, is that you are simply munching on a  natural dried fruit.....not on over processed commercial food. Some of the packagers add a bit of vegetable oil to the dates, but over all, I find them to be presented and sold to the public in their natural state. Dried dates have a naturally rich and chewy taste and texture. They are also a good source of ruffage and may help to stimulate a sluggish digestive system.
Bon Appetito!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Church....and the Rich or Poor

Just thinking out loud once again.... are the modern churches in your city/town created for everyone? Or do churches cater to only the rich or upper middle class in your neighborhood?

In my decades of attending Christian churches in Canada I've noticed a bit of a dichotomy between how the rich interact with their "home" churches and the poor/middle class.

The difference becomes most noticeable in the summer time, when many consider it their family's opportunity to get caught up on some much needed "R and R"   (rest and relaxation).

However, the shocking thing I noticed is that when a wealthy family was absent from church attendance for a month or so, the leadership or other members in the church weren't concerned because the wealthy family was "at their cottage/summer home" or away at some other vacation. There was no gossip as to where the family was in relationship to God or their church. However, the upsetting thing I noticed was that when a family with less than ideal financial resources was absent from church attendance for more than one week or two, it was surmised that there was some kind of spiritual problem or lack of Christian commitment.
Sad eh?

Well, one of my life purposes is to have the courage to say the things that others don't have the nerve to say. So, if this blog post rings true to your experience in the modern christian church, then have the courage to pass it along to others in your congregations. When we modern Believers, come to admit our weaknesses and double standards, the churches will become a more welcome and equal playing field for the rich and poor and everyone in between.

We are ALL created in the image and likeness of God .He is our Father. Therefore, we should ALL feel welcome in church services, whether we attend once a week, five times a week, or once a  month, or in fits and starts depending on our work/business schedule.

Gone are the days when most folks work Mon-Friday 9-5 anyway. If pastors and church leaders are going to have a merciful and gracious attitude to the modern working family, they are going to have to rethink how they "judge" attendance at all and any church events. Church functions, including prayer meetings and services, should accommodate the modern worker, not ALIENATE hard working folks whose schedules don't necessarily jive with the typical church meeting times.

It can also be said that church leaders should also stretch their minds to grasp the huge difference in scheduling that faces self employed individuals versus employees. Business owners have very different time constraints than those who must clock in according to their employer's expectations. Churches must be able to cater to both sectors of our new modern society.

I believe that GOD is very flexible in how, when and where HE meets with US.

Therefore why aren't WE more FLEXIBLE too??????

Passionate for Christ, Peace and Equality.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Choosing a MUST READ Author

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it's the authors that really tick you off, that you learn the most from?

I get that feeling every time I spent a good chunk of time reading Robert Kiyosaki's books. He has a lot to say about the state of the economy in North America, and what can fix or flaunt it's folly. He's not the most gentle teacher, but he really doesn't hold back in showing one what he has learned after
building several businesses, some successfully and some not so successfully. He's also taken a company public which gives him yet another perspective on investing. He gives you his uncut opinion on holding paper assets vs. real estate.

Robert's biggest kick is out of encouraging folks to get into business. However, I don't think he realized when he originally published "Rich Dad Poor Dad", that so many folks would take his advice quite literally and go and open businesses that they were completely unprepared to build and maintain. So many public speakers don't realize how much influence they ultimately hold over their audiences.....who might just actually DO precisely what they suggest.

Robert is a tried and true competitive business man. He shows, through a variety of educational books, and finance based board games, how we need to educate ourselves continuously to stay ahead of the game .

Do you have an author that has the same effect on you? Kinda totally gets under your skin and then afterward, when all is said and done, you realize he/she taught you more in a very short time frame than a hundred of the "other" authors who pretty things up and keep their books/speeches so nicey nice.

When push comes to shove, I 'd rather read an author who is NOT politically correct and tells his/her unedited truth than some writer who may be better educated, uber-polite and willing to flatter our egos just to sell more books. Who is an author, financial or otherwise, who really got your goat lately? What was the most powerful thing you learned?

Productively peaceful.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

How to Write a Covered Call

So you've decided to expand into trading options, instead of just buying or selling stocks.
One of the simplest ways to start out in the options market is through
selling covered calls. So permit me to summarize in really simple language, what the process entails to start
writing covered calls.

When you are "writing" covered calls you are actually "selling to open" a covered call.

A covered call is different than a plain ole "call option" because you actually literally own at least 100 shares of the stock that you are writing the call on.

So the first step to being able to write a covered call is by purchasing at least one hundred shares of a stock that has "options trading" available on it.

Covered calls can only be written on chunks of 100 shares at a time. One hundred shares is considered
"one contract" which you are going to write the covered call option on. There is a fee that your brokerage will charge you based on how many contracts you are going to involve in your covered call option. If you own 500 shares you could potentially write 5 contracts for covered calls.

Next you need to choose a "strike price" at which you are going to sell to open your covered call at.
The "strike price" is the price at which you give your covered call option buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy your shares at. I suggest you pick a "strike price" that is just a little bit higher than the price that you originally paid for the shares. That is called a "near the money" covered call.
You can ask a higher premium for a covered call that is "near the money" than one that is way priced out of orbit.

You need to also choose an "expiry date" at which the call option will expire. Usually the farther into the future that the expiry date exists, the higher the premium you can ask. Once the expiry date has passed, the buyer of your call option no longer has the right to buy your shares anymore.

You are going to have to decide what price of premium you are going to ask buyers to pay for your covered call option. This premium will be estimated upon the most recent "bid and ask" prices posted for covered call options. An example of a covered call option premium might be $1.25 per contract. To discover what your earnings will be from "selling to open" a covered call sold at $1.25 for one contract, you would simply multiply the premium $1.25 by 100 and that will give you the sum of $125.00 which is the total premium that will be paid to you. Be sure to calculate and inquire of your brokerage as to what commissions and/or fees you will incur from selling to open covered calls. There will most likely be higher fees if the buyer chooses to exercise their right to buy your shares at the agreed upon strike price.

Newbie and beginner investors usually face much higher commission fees than investors with larger portfolios. The sad truth is that large portfolios usually have their commission fees waived because of the largess of their account balance. Therefore, if you are going to do an options play, and you are a small time investor, you will want to keep accurate track of all commissions/fees because they will definitely bite a significant chunk out of any profits you earn from writing covered call options.

The "premium" is the price that you are asking buyers to pay you for the privilege of  owning your covered call option. If you are not sure if you are willing to part with your shares, then you are not ready to be selling covered call options. Last I heard, there is about a 25% chance that most covered call options are actually "exercised" or "assigned". When a covered call option is "exercised" or "assigned" it means that the buyer of your covered call option is exercising their right to buy your shares at your agreed upon "per share" price.
Those who sell covered call options are prepared for the possibility that they may be forced to sell their shares. Therefore, selling covered call options are only a good idea for those who are not personally or emotionally attached to permanently owning their shares.

Well, that's about all.... those are the basics, written in my own casual language. The rest of the process is just about waiting to see if a buyer is willing to buy your covered call option, and then waiting for the deal to          "settle". Be blessed and prosperous.