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Lost Your Creative Mojo??

Lost your creative mojo? Painter's block, writer's block....designer's lethargy.....artist's woes. So many words for the ...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Changing State

Trying to get yourself motivated and just can't?
Try one of Tony Robbin's fave coins of advice, which he calls "changing your state".

It isn't something complicated. For me, I can change my state with
my own personalized prescription of 41 minutes of walking on the electric treadmill.
Why 41 minutes? Just 'cause over the years, I've realize that that's all that it takes for
me to change my frame of mind, my perspective and my physiology.

Sometimes, we just get stuck in proverbial inertia...
Wikipedia describes inertia in these words:
  1. Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction. It is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant velocity.
That's a pretty accurate description of "stuck humans". We resist any change in speed or direction because we are comfortable with what path we have been on for any length of time.
We instinctively resist change, because it is new and unfamiliar. 

Even when we know that we are really ready for something new to come about in our lives, we still have that natural draw to cling to what is our personal "comfort zone".

So, one of the ways that Tony Robbins helps empower his "students" is by teaching them how to "change their state". When we change state, we have a new emotional condition and a new set of physical circumstances. We mentally prepare ourselves for good new things.

So, before you hedge your bets on some enormous New Year's Resolution, consider
allowing yourself a change in state first, to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for whatever new idea that you have in store for this coming year.

Blessings, empowerment and peace.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blissful Creative Exile

Yesterday I tweeted about a cool review by Katherine Monk of Tim Burton's new movie
"Big Eyes". What stood out in my mind in the review were Katherine's two epic
words "Creative Exile".

While, for some, that phrase may evoke a lonely period of time, when you'd rather be huddled away in the clay stained art department in high school than out with the cheerleaders or in the lunch room.
Creative folks sometimes just long for a get-away where they can completely "zone in" to hone their craft and figure it out just what it is, after all, that their art is trying to express.

So when I started reading and learning about Tim Ferriss and the specific methods he uses to completely focus and zone in , without distraction, my artistic ears perked up and I find myself re-reading those parts of his Blog over and over.

One of the coolest things, other than that he puts Casino Royale on a loop on mute playing in the background while he's zoning in to write....,  is that he drinks epic proportions of Yerba Mate tea virtually all night long when he's on a tight writing deadline.

There's just something so "college cool" about Tim. He's steadily increasing his circle of influence, hobknobbing with folks like Sir Richard Branson, Tony Robbins and the like. But when he talks, you get the idea that you're just talking to the kid who sat beside you in math class, never wore matching sox and could never sit still.  Come to think of it....that actually sounds more like me.

Anywho, what does it take for you to zone in?  A fave cd? A fave playlist? Certain lighting?
Or do you have to leave your house and rent a room like Maya Angelou? Her fave writing haunt was at a hotel toting a bible, a bottle of sherry, and her famous yellow legal pads. Maya didn't write on computers.....  real pen on paper was her chosen route for creation. What is your fave creative media? Online? Or a word doc. or speaking into some "speech-to-text" app that transcribes your brilliant verbage into prose?

Carve it out folks, your niche can only be created by you. Make it yours, make it quirky, and let your family know not to bug you when you're in your zone.

Peace and productivity this week, friends.

Valley Of Decision

There is gentleness here in the "Valley of Decision".. although many would try to sabotage my peace.

When we have some decisions to make, whether large or small, there are those who sense that vulnerability and try to coerce your thoughtfulness into something that is more about their goals than yours.

I want to encourage you to walk peacefully when you are going through a season of decision making.
It needn't be a loud and brash time. You needn't manically hop from book to book to activity to person to blog to site and back again. If you have any kind of relationship with God, He is going to help you walk calmly and purposely. A hasty decision is made when we don't allow our valley of decision to bear
RIPE fruit. Don't pluck those fruits until they've had a chance to mature and grow into a sweet juicy peach of any idea. Any idea worth having or choice worth choosing isn't going to disintegrate into thin air if you don't act on it in the next 30 seconds.

If I might add my two cents worth....take the time just to journal out your thought processing while you are in the Valley of Decision. If you prefer to write on paper with pen/pencil, then go for it. If you prefer just to blab with your computer onto a clean fresh open Word doc, then so be. Enjoy this process. It is yours. It belongs only to you. It matters not whether you save your journals or you save the computer file of your ramblings. The point of the journaling is to help you make a choice. Stay clear. Stay humble, Stay calm. Keep your heart open to nudges from the Spirit of God....Avoid folks who are chaotic or the ones that speak before listening.

Blessed and peaceful this amazing sunday afternoon.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Oy Vey Money Versus Proud Mary Money

Most of us have some sort of income... Income from a job, from rental real estate, or from royalties from something that we have invented or created like a book or a witty invention.

Then there's money that comes just because we are a citizen of a certain country...a government refund.
Although I appreciate it, no matter what it's label....it's just "Oy vey" money....because I did nothing to deserve it or earn it. "Oy vey" money is useful, but not inspiring..... utilitarian, but not fulfilling.

I've noticed that the source of the money really strongly affects how I feel about a certain chunk of change....and the size of that chunk matters very little in terms of how it makes me feel.

For example, there's a writer I follow who has created a homespun fishing lure business on the side.
It is his love and passion to create lures and find the best places to sell them. At this point, the business is not enough to entirely carry his household expenses, but the joy and fulfillment he is getting from seeing the progress of his homemade creations is inspiring. He's at the stage where he is considering great expansion in marketing his goods. Whatever nickels, dimes and dollars he earns from this venture...I would be tempted to call his "Proud Mary Money".

I have upon occasion celebrated this kinda money too. I can assert, that "Proud Mary Money"
has a lot going for it. It contains within it's DNA all sorts of good stuff....momentum, hope, fulfillment of a life's dream, and hint of a better tomorrow. "Proud Mary Money" has my sweat, focus and artistic bent written all over it. This kinda money is gutsy and has a pioneering spirit. "Proud Mary Money" goes where no man has gone before.

Do you have some of each? Does that five bucks you earned selling one of your homemade treasures on Etsy make you grin for 5 hours straight? Did that Youtube video you created that's earning you 3 cents per day, make you chuckle while you're driving to your "day job" ?

Even if your "Proud Mary" fund is so teeny tiny as to not even deserve a bank account of it's own, I'll bet that you are already bragging about that new book you wrote, video you created, item you sold on line, etc....because you created it with your own sheer will, curiosity, artistry, and pioneering spirit.

When push comes to shove, my goal is to focus on creating more in 2015. I am so pumped! It's gonna work...it's gonna bring increase....more Proud Mary Moments.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tony Robbins on Basket Brigade

You just have to watch this video. It is Tony's retelling of the story of one of his Thanksgiving experiences

with his parents when there was no food ....and then the miracle of the man at the door.

If any of you have ever experienced some kind of hunger, you will understand his story.

Also, if you have ever entertained the notion of feeding the hungry, this story will most certainly inspire you to action. Incredible story. Bring some tissues.


Name That Blog

Years back when I first started this ole Blogger blog, I was on a thought bender.
My bent was towards empowerment and I felt so totally empowered to realize that everything I ever wanted or wished to know was certainly within my grasp. My months in college and university had filled me with a fresh zeal for the power of "access". Knowing the right professors, experts and connections gives you access to folks who can answer some of your most pressing questions. Then when you get your first question answered to your own satisfaction, you are able to move on to another brilliant inquiry. As the scriptures say "Line by Line, precept upon precept".(isaiah 28:13)

I fell in love with the notion that not only was I powerful because I valued my own questions and the process of inquiry, but I realized that I was powerful because I discovered I had learned how to
find out anything I wanted to know.

It wasn't just a spiritual process, although that remains a vitally important part of my personal learning process. Prayer is part and parcel of the learning and inquiry process. I ask God to help me continue to grow and to lead me into the knowledge and fields of inquiry that He wants me to pursue. I ask God to help me to retain the knowledge that I glean. I ask God for access to more teachers and mentors as the time is right.

I have found that women in particular don't necessarily take their own quest for knowledge very seriously, especially if they are mothers. The needs of their children and their spouse often cloud their inquiries or dull them into apathetic science. But, after reading this post, you won't fall for that mistake will you ?

But I have found that a woman who comprehends and respects her own capacity to learn and gain knowledge is a better and happier mom. Don't lose sight of your curiosity. Let it lead you into more data...more factual information. Women who gain mastery of a subject became capable of accomplishing anything they set their minds to. ( for more on this idea, read the book called "The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman)

So, permit me to wrap up this post....merely by repeating what I came to believe when I started this humble blog. Ladies and gentlemen, elders and students, rich and poor and everybody inbetween....let me roar and empower you today....because it is still true... YOU really CAN Know ANYTHING. May 2015 show you that the access to knowledge you long for is right there waiting for you to chase down and make it your own!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mutual Funds and those Pesky M.E.R.'s

Sometimes I think the whole mutual fund industry is based upon the premise that very few North Americans trust themselves to invest their own money. They'd rather hedge their bets with someone who has a few letters behind their name than do their own research and pick their own stocks.

Now the rage is all for ETF's which , in my mind, is the same thingy majiggy as mutual funds except with a facelift. It's those M.E.R.'s which annoy me. (management expense ratios)
The "professional" fund managers are permitted to take a cut of all the investment into the fund, whether or not the fund is performing well or not. Talk about a gurantee! But the guarantee operates in the best interests of the fund managers, not necessarily in yours or my best interests.

Those who buy mutual funds keep being sold the story of the "safety of buying the basket" instead of stock picking individual shares.

But what about picking stocs in a similar fashion to the institutions that you admire? If you admire the Provincial or state wide teacher's pension fund, then it's not going to be impossible for you to find out which shares they own. Yes, you can copy them....it's perfectly legal. You just might not get the same deals as they get because their huge chunks of buying power sometimes negotiate a better price for their cuts of stock, as opposed to an individual "retail" investor.

Warren Buffet has a stream of folks following his every stock purchase. I recently learned that many of his stock purchases are now hidden from the public for a certain period of time, just because there is such a huge following behind his every transaction. When someone's investing is considered an "institution" it is like they've graduated into playing the big leagues. That doesn't mean that you can't make money as an individual....is just that it's a pretty different game we play. Individual investors just don't have those economies of scale that institutional investors have.

Another thing to consider is that individual investors are often concerned about transaction/commission fees for their every stock sale/purchase. But institutional investors carry such large portfolios, that I would assume they are given a free ride when it comes to charges for commission fees and the like.

Don't be discouraged....just learn the rules for the game you want to play. Outsmart them, by being observant, teachable, well connected and persistent. Time is on your side.


Investing Secret

I've come to a conclusion...after reading a plethora of finance authors and doing my own real time real life research......that the simple key to excellent investing can be summed up in one seemingly
humble word, but permit me to say it anyway.....it's called "discipline".

The famous investor/author/teacher Robert Kiyosaki talks often about how folks come up to him and ask him for a tip on the next big investment idea, or for a stock tip, or some secret investment product that is sure to turn their fortunes around. Robert K. always responds tactfully by asking them a question such as "Well,  what kind of investor are you?"

Are you a good investor? That's a better question to ask, than to simply ask someone for a stock tip. Are you able to carry out financial plans? Are you disciplined with your money? Or do you need to give the financial decision making power over to someone more disciplined than you are? Do you trust yourself with money? Do you give away money too freely? Do you overspend and wind up up to your ears in consumer debt? Have you figured out how to maintain a constant influx of cash into your life?

How folks handle money is a good way to measure where they are on the "wise vs foolish" scale.When it comes to investing...the results can be even more devastating. Folly has a way of infecting even the best investment ideas. Therefore, never share a great idea with someone who is foolish. Test out someone's character before you share anything of financial value with them.

Anyway, I realize too, that most investment plans are based upon the assumption that humans, if given access to a large lump sum of cash, will spend it wildly and at top speed, thereby causing their lives to out-survive their money. That's why financial advisors who focus on providing/selling retirement "income" products rarely talk about the necessity or benefit of fiscal discipline. They would rather sell you something like an annuity, so that you, in essence, as a very old adult will be given an "allowance" every month of your retirement. The large lump sum of cash is handed over to the financial "professional" because we have been sold that line that
says we can't handle a large chunk of cash if we have access to it.

But I don't appreciate it when folks undermine my capabilities or any one else's for that matter.
What's wrong with having a large chunk of cheese and just sawing off a modest chunk of it each week?
Money doesn't spoil. It's not perishable. If you can train yourself to only utilize modest chunks of your own savings throughout your retirement, then you won't need to turn your cash over to the "professionals".
You'll have mastered yourself and your own spending and thereby conquered the world.
You can even set up your own system of giving yourself your own "allowance" by having automatic transfers set up from your investment accounts to your "spending" account in modest weekly or monthly portions. You can follow the crazy bootstrapper Alan Corey's example, by simply making your money "hard to get to" by NOT having a bank card and putting it in a bank that is located really inconveniently far away and have no internet access to the account. Yes, you can discipline yourself, without having to pay a professional top dollar to do this for you. You are disciplined. You can control yourself. The future belongs to the disciplined.

Peace and good will.


This is Probably Not Your Last Christmas

Just a quick thought for those of you heading out to finish up your christmas shopping list. I just wanted to mention....that if you are tempted to consider this Christmas as the absolute end-all and be-all Maximus Christmas of all time....please remember that as long as you  are breathing( and Jesus hasn't returned) , Christmas will surely come around again next year.

Therefore, if you've burnt the short bread cookies and bought generic sox for your nephew instead of brand name.....don't worry....be happy, because you'll most certainly have another chance next year to get it right.

I spent years hyping up every single stat holiday, and finally realized that my world wasn't going to end if everything wasn't uber perfect for every celebration. Life continues. Family continues and God's plans for us all most certainly continue on into eternity.

Peace and good will.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Two Dollars Off a Bottle of Clorox Bleach

If you're not a coupon fan, just skip this blog post.
But if you like high value coupons, then check out the
$2.00 off coupon from Clorox Canada.
Click Here for $2 off coupon

Note that it expires at the end of this month.
Merry Christmas.


Why Are You Ignoring Garlic?

Good Afternoon,

I just wanted to blog a wee bit before the Christmas rush overtakes me. I know that with the advent of the chilly weather in many northern parts of the world, there is a rush to start stocking up on many cold and flu remedies. I see long line ups at the store for folks trying to get their hands on so many "over the counter" cold remedies and items to soothe their coughs and colds.

What I am not seeing is an embracing of my dear old friend...."raw garlic". Yes, my friend is a smelly but powerful natural wonder.  I'm not advocating that you take raw garlic when you are about to go out on a date or when you have any public social activities to engage in . I am advocating that you consider getting into the habit of taking one raw peeled/chopped garlic clover per day/night when you know you won't be in close contact with anyone for at least a five hour period.

So now that we've dealt with the pungent odor of garlic issue, let's celebrate all the good things that garlic will do for many of us humans. One of my most popular blog posts is about how the government of Japan officially recognized raw garlic as a potent aid to lower blood pressure. It has been proven.
If you have ever tuned into your own body just 10 minutes after you have ingested a clove of chopped raw garlic, you will notice that a certain calmness pervades the inner workings of your body.

So what else does garlic do? It fights germs and bacteria. I have even read about a study done in which they measured a certain number of bacteria in an open petri dish. Then they put crushed raw garlic near, but not in, the petri dish. To their great surprise, the bacteria that was NEAR the raw crushed garlic actually started to die! Very cool indeed. So, the innate natural germ fighting qualities of raw garlic are not be ignored or downplayed as "old wives tales". There is much scientific evidence of the efficacy of a raw garlic health regimen. If you want to learn more from someone "professional" just take a gander at some of Dr. Stephen Fulder's books such as "The Garlic Book".

Garlic is no longer just an "old fashioned homemade remedy"... It has come into the limelight for it's powerful properties to help fight illness, and boost immunity. Raw garlic has another wonderful side effect, and that is namely that it provides and almost instant boost of internal energy. So if you are feeling sluggish and lethargic, you may want to investigate raw garlic's ability to give you a boost of inspiration.

Peace and good will.

Disclaimer: This blog post and all other posts on this blog are intended for conversational purposes only.
It is not intended as medical advice. All medical advice should be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner. The blog author and publisher does not accept any liability for the idea and contents of this post or any other post contained within this blog.

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Heating Your Home With A Magnifying Glass-ish Roof

    Ok, friends if you're getting used to some of my more quirky yet inventive ideas....prepare yourself for another doozy.

    Ok, permit me to think aloud here.... In Arizona and other hot spots in America, there are massive solar farms that use focused sunlight to produce heated oil/steam in order to operate generators that produce electricity.

    Now, what if the roof of a house was built out of small yet very thick glass bricks that were concave or convex only to a certain degree. Remember how we used to see how one could use a simple magnifying glass to start a fire on a hot summer day? All you needed was a hot sunny day, a magnifying glass and something like dry dry tiny bits of wood and in no time the whole bits would start to smoke and eventually catch flame.

    Well, what if the whole roof of a home was outfitted in very thick glass brick "magnifying glasses" ?
    The designers would study just how to tweak the convex/concave dimensions of the bricks just so that these
    brick "lenses" focused just enough sunlight to produce a warm beam of light flow directly into the home. The beam could not be focused too sharply or else it would produce a dangerous amount of fire-provoking light/heat streaming into the home. But the architects/designers/scientists could work on just that precise issue to regulate the streaming strength of the focused light beams.

    What I'm talking about is directly heating a home in this manner, NOT by using the sun to produce solar energy to be converted into electricity. I'm  talking about warming your home in the same way that a cat loves to bask in the sunlight that streams in through the windows on a sunny day.

    So permit me to put this out to you? Do you think this would work? Would it not be possible to
    create roof top glass bricks that transposed sunlight into direct heat pouring into our homes through our roofs? To my limited scientific mind, it surely sounds possible. The focused beams of light would heat the air and the floors as the beams of light stream down from the transparent glass roof. I'm not talking about one large piece of glass as a roof, but rather....many hundreds of convex/concave thick yet transparent glass bricks joined together to form a heat generating roof. I'm guessing that the bricks would not need to be more than maybe 7 inches by 7 inches in size.

    Your comments and thoughts are most welcome. My readers are a vital part of this blogging phenom.


    Disclaimer: There is a fire hazard when working with magnifying glasses.Please don't try this at home unless you are using a qualified professional for supervision/design. Parents, don't permit your children to use magnifying glasses without adequate supervision. This blog is intended for conversational purposes only. The author of this blog as well as it's publisher do not accept any liability for the ideas discussed in this post or any other post on this blog. Thank you for your time.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Praying with Intelligence

    Yes, I admit it...I'm a big fan of Napoleon Hill books. I've read them and reread them just to remind myself of their truths.

    I think that Napoleon Hill's teachings are one the few styles and philosophies of success and wealth accumulation that can be described as both humble and strong. Mr. Hill, as well as preserving our intellectual integrity, does not bash religious folks, but helps us to take our faith along with us through our life journey. Our life journey includes career decisions as well as a multitude of financial and investment decisions.

    Napoleon Hill proved that it is possible to be a Christian and retain your intelligence and ambition as well.
    He snuffed out that silly false movement that still rears it's ugly head in modern churches which is simply this          " that faith in God must require humans to dispose of all their hard won knowledge and intelligence in order to humbly worship God sincerely".

    The longer I spend studying God's Word, i discover, to my great relief that God is a great fan of knowledge, intellect and accumulated learning. He does not endorse ignorance and foolish emotional decision making. Too long have religious folks  pretended that financial "ignorance" was just their way of applying "blind faith". In reality, those who choose to stay in ignorance, are just too lazy and spoiled to apply their minds and hearts to learn any new information. Then they cry and ask for handouts from other hardworking folks and ministries who have figured out how to have their needs met with God's help and wisdom.

    Therefore, I just wanted to encourage all my readers, to consider, when you take the time to go into your fave place to pray that you take your knowledge and plans and skills with you. You don't have to dumb down in front of God to get your needs met. God is delighted that you have developed skills and professional levels of knowledge and competencies. We give Him glory for the opportunities we have found to increase our learning and skills.

    Peace and prosperity with Christ. Retain your knowledge.....it is good.


    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    You Don't Need Everyone to Like You

    You don't need everyone to like you....just the right people in the right season.

    It's a colossal waste of time and integrity to chase approval. If folks don't like you.....their loss.
    Your gain....no wasted time on their turf.

    I believe that God has a plan for each of us...if we want it.
    I also believe that God helps us and assists us in a myriad of methods and strategies in order to help us accomplish His will for our lives. Therefore, it is God himself who will give you favor with the right people at the right time.

    I don't waste time being a people pleaser. I keep my eye and mind on my goals and aspirations. Those who want to bless my journey are a part of my inner circle. Those who don't .....aren't.

    I've spent way too much time thinking about what other people want, to the point of forgetting what I wanted....and I found that distraction to be a most evil ploy of the enemy of our soul.
    We need desperately to stay on track....so we can take regular daily steps towards our goals. We don't need to get sidetracked by chasing popularity or anyone's approval.

    Be content, my friends, to pursue your goals and dreams. Those who belong with you on your travels, will stick with you, because they were meant to be with you for the long haul. There are those who are destined to learn from your journey and you from theirs. Those are the folks that you will bless and they will bless you with their time and attention.

    Thank you God, for the best humans in the right seasons, so that we may accomplish what You have so freely given to me with joy.


    Now's the Time to Buy Canadian Oil Stocks

    Time to do some bargain shopping on the TSX if you like  oil stocks. You know that they aren't going to stay at these battered down prices for long. If "peak oil" is real and there is a measurable and decreasing worldwide stock pile of oil available in our globe, then most certainly, oil will demand a premium price as the stock pile dwindles down over the next decades.

    Yes, I'm not talking about quick money. I'm talking about buying low now and holding them for the long term....like at least 5-10 years.

    What are some names? Well how about Suncor? It's an integrated oil and gas company that has a corner, not only on the recovery of oil from the ground, but also on refining and it's retail operations through Petro Canada stations. It's priced as of 12/12/2014 at only $32.07 per share.
    Back in November 21 2014 Suncor on the TSX was trading at a healthy 40$ per share of common stock.

    And that is just one oil company...one of the better and more solid oil companies in Canada. Warren Buffet chose Suncor for significant chunks of Berkshire's cash over the past couple years. If it's good enough for Warren.....

    Peace and prosperity.

    Monday, December 8, 2014

    Gotta Sing

    Are you a singer? Well then you jus' gotta sing. I don't care if it's to your dogs, cats, or your distant relatives gathered around a piano during the christmas holidays. But if God gave you a gift of music that simply stirs your heart, you really have no reason to let it go.

    Not all of us are going to get hit records, or get multimillion dollar recording contracts. But that doesn't mean we should fulfill the artistic and musical callings and gifts that God has given to us.

    I have often thought that mankind is too obsessed with extreme sensationalism rather than simply celebrating the gifts that God gives.

    As the bible says '
    "Give and it shall be given unto you."
    Therefore, maybe what God has given you to give to the world is your simple song. Don't be stingy with your beautiful voice, your cool guitar picking, or your other musical adventures. The world needs more beautiful music.
    Blessed to be blessing.

    Press on.

    Hold The Bun Please--- Gluten Free Dining

    Well I suppose, it's not unlike any other health concern, when one has something that requires changing your lifestyle, it is assumed that the individual is going to cherish their own health to the degree that they are willing to overcome whatever shyness they might have in creating a healthier lifestyle.

    Therefore, I just wanted to say, that if you intend on living a gluten free lifestyle, you are going to have to get over the shyness you may feel about requesting gluten free foods when you dine out.....as well as requesting that restaurants "hold the bun" when you are ordering a "bun-less" burger or a breakfast meal without toast.

    It's about deciding to honor your own self- care even if you might face a few confused stares and raised eyebrows or rolled eyes along the way. Yes, for the record, eating a gluten free lifestyle is certainly going to inconvenience a few folks along the way. But yes, you are worth it.

    Get over that shyness and the temptation to "just have what everyone else is having" and determine that you will still socialize but on your own dietary terms. If friends tend to avoid going out with you because they
    don't know how to deal with your dietary restrictions, then they really aren't worthy of your own social time...are they?

    Be blessed this day, my gluten free friends, in all you do and in all you eat.

    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    High Value Coupons from Johnson and Johnson

    For those of you who love high value coupons...(no nickling and diming)
    you can know that Johnson and johnson is one of the few companies that still snail mails high value coupons straight to your mail box at no charge. all you need to do is send them an email and include your snail mail address. You can request one set of coupons to be mailed to your home once per month.
    Some examples of the brands that they carry coupons for are Neutrogena skin care products, and Bandaid first aid products.

    For Canadians their contact page is

    For Americans their contact page is


    Happy couponing.

    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    The Father Sees You Blessed

    Those of you who have been happening upon my blog for a couple years have probably figured out that i am a christian. Therefore this post won't come as a surprise. There are times when I am more cerebral about what I write and then there are other times when I just write what comes to mind.....this is one of those days.

    Today I just wanted to give a message from the Father's heart....as in God the Father....the father of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. As cliche as this may sound...the Father loves you. He sees all that you have done and He just wants you to know how impressed and touched He is with your trials and your struggles. He is encouraged to see that you have not given up, and that you have not given in to the peer pressure that surrounds you. Take heart this day and know that Jesus paid a very dear price to give you access to all that is Mine, the Father's.

    Take heart and know that I still believe in you. Even when you yourself, are not too sure about the future and what it holds, I want you to be still and know that "I am God"...that I am not yelling at you. I am at peace and I want you to walk with me by the still waters of my love...trusting that I am present with you even in the midst of your trials and tribulations.

    There will always be more growing to do...more maturing and stabilizing of your faith in Me, but I want you to never doubt my love and faithfulness to you. For you are my heart, my joy , my Son's crown and the reason for His Joy. The Supernatural strength that He is giving to you is from Me.
    I am Joy, from Beyond and it is your Hope and your Future.

    Know that I am in charge and that I mean you no harm. Those who despise you will not be able to
    stop My plan from unfolding in your life. You are Mine, and I will not allow them to slow you down nor hinder your progress in My Kingdom. For I own the cattle upon a thousand hills and it is well with My Soul as well as with Yours.

    Sit down today and know that all is right with Me, and because of this...all is right with you as well. You belong to Me, my sons and daughters, and I hold you close. You have chosen well to seclude yourself and be apart from those who chase fleeting things. I hold you close for a purpose. It is my Joy.

    Believe and say "This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it".

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Yes, Fries from McDonald's in Canada Are Wheat Free

    It seems like folks are hesitant to assign a "gluten free" label onto certain products, by the slim chance that something containing gluten bumps into that menu item while it is being prepared in restaurants. So I suppose the general idea is "Consumers beware and dine at your own risk".

    If you are trying to live a gluten free lifestyle there are a limited number of choices for you if you are going to eat at fast food places in Ontario Canada. Almost every popular food item comes wrapped in a bun or wrap that has been made from wheat. Therefore, to find gluten free items, you usually have to select items that are not one of their mainstream popular meals.

    One great exception is Wendy's which serves a great little gluten free snack known as their
    "chili cheese nacho" dish. But again, if you have any other ingredients that you are allergic or sensitive to, you are going to want to do your own research. Call the toll free numbers for the places that you want to eat and see what you can find out. Don't be afraid to let your needs be known. The more requests that fast food places receive for gluten free foods, the more likely they are to carry more gluten free menu items.

    As of my last conversation with McDonald's in Canada, it appears that there are currently at least three items that do not contain wheat which are the following:
    French Fries
    Chocolate sundaes
    Hot Caramel Sundaes

    If you want to find out more and do your own research....just check out their website:
    McDonalds has a menu on their website called the "Nutrition Center" which has PDF files you can download to find out the precise ingredients of each menu item. Their website is located on the web at:

    McDonalds Canada

    Wendy's has a Section called Nutrition Landing which can be found at the following website:


    Remember that restaurants don't want to accept the liability for guaranteeing that their foods are 100% gluten free, because they know that a mistake could be very costly. Use your licensed medical practitioner's advice in selecting the best and most nutritious foods. Also be aware that ingredient lists can change at a moment's notice, so be sure to check regularly to see if your favorite fast food outlet has changed the ingredients of your favorite foods. They will provide you with the ingredient lists if you request it.

    Be bold yet courteous and may your food sensitivities or allergies not hinder you from living a full and abundant life.


    Btw, thanks for buying my new book Life in the Gluten Free Zone on Amazon today!

    Disclaimer: This blog is intended for conversational purposes only. This blog is not intended to provide any medical or health advice. All medical and health related advice should be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner. The author of this blog as well as the publisher accepts no liability for any of the ideas discussed in this blog post as well as any other blog posts contained within this blog.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Success Strategies, Gurus, New Age and Idolatry

    Yes, perhaps that is a much too heavy title for a simple blog post.
    But somehow I want to convey something about all of those four things listed.

    First of all, I just want to say out loud, that I love success, and I am determined and have been for many years to be increasingly successful. What I learn today is the foundation upon which I will build my tomorrow's school of thought.

    But that being said.....  in my many years of studying success "gurus", success "strategists", and after having read a boat load of their books, I have come to a few firm convictions.

    First of all, we all have to have the courage to throw out the teachings of folks which are simply promoting the opposite of what we value most. For example, when I was given the recordings of the teachings called "The Secret".... I listened patiently for a while and appreciated some of the teaching. But then the alarm bells started going off when I realized that there were some portions of the teaching which were completely opposite of what the Bible teaches about Heaven and Hell. Therefore, when friends or coworkers or clients talk about "The Secret" I can appreciate certain aspects of the principles being taught, but I can also say confidently that not everything that is taught in "The Secret" is scripturally accurate.

    And so, I had a similar experience again this week, when I had received a reading suggestion from a blogger that I follow regularly. Therefore I leaped to the library to find a couple of the specific author's books to drag them home and begin to greedily consume the contents. But again, lo and behold, I found again more teachings that were blatantly idolatrous and against the teachings of Christianity. Big sigh....ugh....and disappointment.

    I must say that I personally don't find any moral contradiction between studying the principles of success and I find it to be in keeping with my Christian values. However, when I, who am no expert, can easily discern when a teaching is not biblical, I know when I need to stop reading. With my faith in Jesus Christ,  my guard goes back up tall and strong and I have a personal recognition that when I can not trust a certain author to respect my christian world or life view.

    The "New Age" has brought a refreshing hunger for ALL things spiritual. But just because a teaching is "spiritual" doesn't mean that it is biblically accurate or trustworthy. Well, you might be saying to yourself....how do we then know if a book or author or teaching is biblically accurate?  Well , my simple answer is this.....we all need to get regularly tanked up on the reading and speaking of the Holy Bible. Read the bible often, or listen to it on line or on your smart phone. Bible gateway has a great Audio Bible app that is free to download. When we fill up our brains with His word, we become more sensitive to be able to discern when something sounds off kilter. We become better able to guard our hearts and minds from false teachings and half-truths.

    So, I am not going to recommend that you throw out all your "self help" or "success strategy" books or cd's or tapes. I  am just going to say, that you have the duty to yourself to not submit to every teaching that comes up on the radar as trendy or popular. Use your common sense, prayer and your own understanding of the Scriptures to glean the goodies from the baddies. Don't fall into the temptation to become a "book burner"
    and don't become fearful of bookstores or audio teachings. Just pray and ask your Heavenly Father to honor your quest as you seek to learn more and become more. God wants to bring you success even more than you want to achieve it. Let's just not be so gullible as to fall for every spoken or written word that comes our way.

    Peace and prosperity.

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Assessing Your Own Work

    Yes,yes, as talented as we all are, there are times when we have to get frank...not Frank, but frank.... with ourselves and what we are trying to create.

    Time to ask ourselves....is what we are making or writing or molding or painting or designing really good?
    Better yet....is it good enough?

    Well 'tis a tough question. Really.. are we qualified to even assess our own works?
    Or is it smarter to hire an outsider with a critical eye to give us the real goods on our own work?

    Well, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is a time and a season for every activity under the sun.
    Therefore, I do recommend one thing, don't apply a critical eye to your own work when it is in it's infancy stages. Nobody criticizes a toddler for wobbling when he/she takes their first steps from the couch to the coffee table. Nobody argues with a baby for missing their mouth and smearing strained peas onto their cheeks the first time they handle a spoon.

    Therefore, you must be gentle to yourself, especially if your work has not yet ripened to maturity. Perhaps you need to read one of my older posts "Your First Try Isn't Going to Be Your Best Work" and give yourself a break. You might, after all,  have the extra sensitive soul of an artist.
    We don't take criticism lightly...in fact we are more likely to sob into our pillows for nights on end over one harsh comment. Even if our work is brilliant our hearts remain soft and vulnerable.....because that is simply what it takes to stay good at what we do. Crusty hard hearted folks are rarely creative and when they are, it comes out in vicious ugliness. Therefore learn to guard your sensitive creative soul. It thrives only when protected.

    Let me just say rather mystically, that you yourself will know when you need to take a more critical look at your own work. Maybe the page views are down, maybe the online sales have stalled. Maybe your banker is not returning your calls. Time to take a second look.

    On a final note, when you've bitten the bullet and decided it's time to assess the merits of your own work, don't be too harsh on yourself unless of course your ego can handle it. Be just honest enough to be able to make the changes that are going to usher in your newer better work. Give yourself that courage to make clever changes by allowing yourself to note what is no longer working and what can be let go of.

    Some ambitions are temporary  occupations. Other ambitions deserve your years of faithful persistence and
    determined efforts. But know the time and the season that you are in. Is it time to tweak your strategy? Is it time to acknowledge that you are actually a better artist than your family thinks you are?

    Self assessments can go both ways. They can either convince you to stay the course and build momentum and stick-to-it-ive-ness....OR.....it can challenge you to accept that something you're doing was an unfortunate mistake in judgment and needs to be let go of. Have the strength to say a firm YES or an equally firm NO to yourself once in a while. Trust me, it's easier to hear it from yourself than from an outsider.

    You be the judge. Your eyes and ears and heart will know what to say..