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Are You Destroying Your Health?

We all know that being overweight is not good for our health.  But have you considered that the same eating habits that got you overweight could be causing other serious health problems?  Degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and diabetes have reached what seem to be epidemic proportions in recent years.  The unhealthy eating habits we have developed as a result of our busy, need-it-now society, may be the cause, read more on http://www.newphen24.com/.

Do you realize that almost no one gets the optimal levels of vitamins and minerals in their diet each day?  Think about it for a moment.  When was the last time you got your 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables?  If you did get them, did you make sure and get a good variety of different colored produce?  Did you eat them raw so that you don’t lose the nutrients through cooking?

Most of us just don’t have the time or resources to do this every single day, and our health suffers for it.  If you have already thought about this fact, you may have turned to nutritional supplements (also known as vitamins) as a solution.

Though they can never replace fruits and vegetables, nutritional supplements are the perfect complement to a healthy diet.  But are you sure you are getting what you are paying for?  Since the nutritional supplement industry is unregulated, you might not be getting what you pay for.  When studied, many common brands have found not to include the nutrients as labeled on the bottle.  Some of them include trace amounts of additional substances that are not included on the label.  (Including such vile and unsanitary things as rat feces!)

Even if the supplement does include the ingredients on the label, how do you know whether they are bioavailable?  In other words, are the nutrients provided in a form that your body can actually break down and use?

And are you sure that the pills will even dissolve in your stomach?  It is sad, but true; many “one-a-day” type vitamin pills are compressed so tightly when manufactured that they will not even break down in your stomach.

In the meantime, why don’t you do a little test with your supplements at home?  Put one in a glass of water, and come back in 15 minutes to see what has happened.  Did it dissolve?  I did a test like this once with a grocery store brand of Vitamin C.  After two weeks, not only was the pill still intact, it was actually stuck to the bottom of the glass!

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7 Reasons Weight Loss Resolutions Fail

It is estimated that about half of the people in America make New Years resolutions to improve themselves in some way. According to various surveys the top two New Years resolutions are lose weight and get fit. Whether resolutions are tradition or sincere decisions to have a better year, someone is bound to ask you to identify your New Years resolutions you vowed to keep.

If you resolve to lose weight it is highly probable you could fall into the 75% group that fail, many around February and March of the new year. Having been a member of this group (more than once) in past years I tried to discover why failure was so prevalent, and came up with 7 reasons weight loss resolutions fail. Any one of the following reasons can cause you to fail, but most fall to more than one.

  1. Unreasonable Goals; to lose 100 pounds in a year is not realistic even in the best of cases, without extreme measures or possible medical assistance. Sure, you can lose 10 to 15 pounds in a short time by modifying diet and exercise, but you won’t be able to maintain that pace since much of the initial loss is water. Most physicians will encourage a “healthy” weight loss of 2 to 4 pounds per month until you reach your optimal weight. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting unreasonable goals. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is not an annual event, its an ongoing lifestyle change from https://www.sportzfuel.com/.
  2. Force of Habit; never underestimate the power in the force of habit, defined as behavior that has become automatic through long practice or frequent repetition. The behavior becomes so automatic we don’t appear to give it any conscious thought. A visible example is the person trying to give up smoking who, without thinking, reaches to their pocket or purse after a meal for the cigarette that isn’t there. A more subtle, but just as real, force of habit is craving certain foods such as sugar or something salty. There are more complex physiological circumstances here, but the point is, it is hard to overcome the force of habit.
  3. Wrong Diet Choice; one of the most important aspects of weight loss is choosing a diet that will modify the emotional and hormonal responses that sustain craving certain foods. There is so much more to dieting than just counting calories. Take a minute to check out My #1 Choice about the number one rated diet plan.
  4. Poor Exercise Plan; have you seen the ads that guarantee weight loss without exercise? Well, its true, for the short term. Reduce the amount of calories you take in while changing some of the food you eat and you will lose weight…without exercising. However, for most people, it is impossible to acquire and maintain a healthy weight without some regular physical exercise. Proper cardio and muscle toning exercises are an important part of modifying your metabolism for a healthier you. So what is a good exercise plan? It starts with having a physical and receiving guidance from your physician what may be best for you. Don’t run the risk of a health issue or injury without first seeking professional advice. And whatever is deemed best for you, do it on a regular basis.
  5. Lack of Focus; When I look through the lens of my camera I’m concerned about lighting, composition and focus. However, for most pictures lighting and composition don’t mean squat if they are out of focus. Newer cameras focus automatically, but you must guide them as to where and on what to focus. Its no different with any worthwhile endeavor in life. Focus sharply on the goal, being aware of surrounding objects but never let the goal become blurry. Lose focus and the goal is lost.
  6. Weak Motivation; motivation comes from within oneself. Others can inspire you to become more motivated. But, others can’t motivate you. If you succeed in changing your life by losing weight and keeping it off, your motivation is strong. If you fail, your motivation was weak and you have no one to blame but yourself. Like me, if you’ve been in that spot before, step back, face reality, rekindle your motivation and move forward with determination not to fail.
  7. Surrender to Setbacks; setbacks or barriers to your goals come in many disquises wearing the label of temptation which lead to failure. All of a sudden you start gaining weight back and you are tempted to quit. After a while you perceive the food in your diet plan to be bland and unappealing and are tempted to quit. The “fun” part of your exercise program becomes work and you are tempted to quit. Years ago after several months of success on a popular diet plan I attended a company convention and surrendered to temptation to partake of all the gourmet cuisine. Game over, I lost to a formidable opponent…temptation. I gained all the weight back and then some. Years later it was that memory which led to the name of this website, No Surrender Weight Loss.com.

Here’s wishing you a healthy and prosperous new year. Don’t give up on your worthwhile goals, take a no surrender attitude, move forward and succeed.

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What to look while choosing an SEO Company?

If you have started a new website, the SEO and promotion is quite an important task that will improve the ranking of your website. You will able to attract a lot of visitors from the target area. After starting a new website, you should create a business page on Facebook or Instagram. Afterward, one must share pictures of products and other things. However, if you don’t have much time for SEO and promotion, then you should hire a professional for it.

An expert will save time and money.  He will able to improve the ranking of a website in a few days. How do you know which person is better for you? Thousands of SEO companies are out there, but it can be difficult to choose the perfect one. Let’s discuss the important things that one need to take into consideration while selecting SEO services.

  • Checkout experience

Experience is one of the most important things. If a company is enough experienced, then you will grab first class services. Most of the companies are providing the top-notch services at discounted worth. Therefore, you should visit on the official website then check out the experience of the company.

  • Ratings and reviews

Both are quite important things that will give you an estimate of the company. You will find ratings and reviews on the official website. If you are finding genuine positive reviews on the official website, then it would be the best company for you. Make sure that the rating of the company is above 4.

  • Customer services

A lot of companies are providing the customer service over the email that is the biggest problem. Therefore, you will find a particular company that will provide you with customer services over the phone. It is the best thing because one will able to make contact with the company in a fraction of seconds.  However, you should visit https://designful.ca and grab one of the best services at discounted worth.

  • Worth

It is one of the most important factors where one has to pay close attention. Most of the companies are providing the packages. You should grab a perfect package that contains a lot of services.

So what’s the final verdict?

Before choosing the SEO Company one need to consider above-mentioned vital points. These points will assist you in choosing the right SEO services. After choosing a reputed SEO company, you will experience some improvements to your website.

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US House Passes Constitutionally Conservative Bill Updating Maritime Liability Laws



Yesterday, the U.S. House passed, by a voice vote, the “Securing Protections for the Injured from Limitations on Liability Act,” or “SPILL Act” (H.R. 5503), which enables the families of workers killed in the BP disaster and others injured by maritime disasters to hold those negligent responsible without outdated and inequitable limits on recoveries. Specifically, the Act enables victims of maritime accidents to recover damages in the same way as victims of accidents on land can in state courts, by:

(1) amending the Death on the High Seas Act to allow recovery of noneconomic damages for maritime death;

(2) repealing the 1851 Limitation of Liability Act, which allows Transocean to claim responsibility for only $27 million in damages, and;

(3) enabling seamens’ surviving family members to recover noneconomic damages of loss of care, comfort and companionship under the Jones Act.

The SPILL Act is perfectly consistent with principles of Constitutional conservatism in that it (1) upholds the 7th Amendment rights of the injured to bring their civil cases to a jury for decision; (2) doesn’t add a single dollar or bureaucrat to the federal budget; (3) doesn’t add any federal enforcement mechanism, with the victims’ rights to be enforced only in “the legal marketplace of ideas” before a jury of their peers applying state law.

House passage was the result of a combination of grassroots support and careful compromise by the bill’s sponsors to win support from more Congressmen. The BP victims’s families’ contacted the Congress early and often, and their pleas for help were enforced by calls from residents in the Gulf Coast area and supportive letters from the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children and the National Center for Victims of Crime. And Chairman Conyers of the Judiciary Committee removed two sections from the version approved by the Committee, in order to mollify concerns of various critics (some of which continued to oppose the bill anyway).

Now the action moves to the Senate. During a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday, prior to the House voice vote, two Republican Senators said they generally approved of enabling victims of maritime accidents to recover in the same way as victims of land-based accidents. I like the chances of passage of the SPILL Act, or something closely resembling it, by the Senate.

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Will Tea Party Let Political Lust Override Constitutional Rights



This week, House GOP leaders and two committee chairmen are forcing their Members to vote for a federal tort reform bill that their own favorite legal experts and many Republicans in Congress have said is unconstitutional. The leaders and the chairmen of the House Judiciary and the Energy & Commerce committees are forcing votes for H.R. 5, the bill to impose federal limits on awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, as a way to offset potential budget cuts of billions of dollars in spending over the next ten years. Eventually we’ll see H.R. 5 on the House floor again, for the second time in two months, with House Republicans who oppose it on constitutional grounds forced to vote for it under arm-twisting by leadership.

Proponents of H.R. 5 cite an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that enacting H.R. 5 will save somewhere between $40 and 60 billion dollars, depending on the version. I’ve written before about the CBO’s many failures at ten-year budgeting and on its flawed methodology for calculating savings from H.R. 5. Recently, CBO admitted that its estimate of the costs of implementing Obama are was wrong by a whopping 100%. Republicans know this and cite the CBO’s failures in Obamacare, yet are using its H.R. 5 estimate as a basis for pushing the bill in a budget exercise.

This exercise doesn’t write an actual law and won’t be even considered by the Senate. It won’t save a dime in federal spending. And you won’t see House Republican leaders use the alternative health care budget proposed by the Republican Study Committee, the group of over 100 conservative House Republicans, which doesn’t include any tort reform. Neither will they offer Rep. Paul Broun’s “OPTION Act,” which is endorsed by the conservative FreedomWorks group in part because it doesn’t have a “federalism problem” (their words).

All this is just a lust for cash. It’s solely an exercise in bashing trial lawyers to fill a budget hole and to attract campaign contributions from “Big Medicine.” Constitutional rights and the expert opinions of the Randy Barnetts of the world don’t matter to the GOP Establishment forcing Members into the vote by not offering real health care reform. The so-called savings will be used to prevent real cuts in wasteful programs.

The final question is whether Tea Party activists, whom the leaders need to keep their positions, will see through this charade and withhold their help this November in enough races to at least send a signal. That awareness should be our next step.

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Qaddafis American Terrorism Victims Get 20 But The Rebels Get It All



Several dozen Americans who were among the injured in terrorist attacks sponsored by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and thought they would receive a sizable payment under federal law have recently received alarming letters about their settlement from the U.S. Treasury. Each victim’s claim for compensation was determined to be valid by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the Justice Department under the provisions of the Libyan Claims Resolution Act of 2008 (“LCRA”). Each victim surrendered his Constitutional right to pursue the Qaddafi regime in court in exchange for the promised settlement. Instead they face the prospect of being stiffed by their own government, which talked them into the deal. In the letters, the Treasury informed the victims that they will receive only 20% of the amount due to each of them at this time, with no timetable for paying the remaining 80% of the claim. Treasury cites a law that has nothing to do with the LCRA, but is a general statute applicable to the payment of any claim by the Treasury. As the Treasury website says, the amount to be paid is based on “the funds available,” so the Treasury is telegraphing to all of the victims that there is a serious shortfall of funds available to pay those unfortunate Americans who are the last to be compensated for their injuries suffered at Qaddafi’s hands. Under the LCRA and an accompanying letter issued by the then-Deputy Secretary of State, the Qaddafi regime was responsible for funding an account from which all valid LCRA claims would be paid. Obviously, Qaddafi didn’t voluntarily transfer enough funds, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The victims are asking Congress to pressure the Obama Administration to somehow ensure that all adjudicated claims are paid in full. As reported on The Cable website, one letter by Members has already been sent to the State Department, and I understand at least two others are under consideration. But the asset freeze agreed upon by the U.S. and European Union appears so sacrosanct that no one in Congress or the Obama Administration is making any serious move to enact legislation to force payment from the frozen funds, despite the fact that such a transfer has been done in the past for victims of Iranian and Cuban terrorism. As of now, there are no hearings scheduled and no bills introduced (although it could be drafted in an hour). Instead, the U.S. and E.U. have pledged to transfer the frozen assets to the rebels, some of whom fought for al Qaeda in Iraq against our troops. No Member in Congress has seriously challenged that agreement to date.

All this means the following: (1) The cozy relationship with the E.U. is apparently more important in Washington than keeping the promises made to U.S. citizens as determined by the Executive Branch in accordance with federal law. (2) An administrative action taken by the U.S. and E.U. now takes precedence over the Libyan Claims Resolution Act of 2008, a law enacted unanimously by Congress. (3) American victims of Qaddafi’s terrorism might receive just 20% of what the Justice Department officially promised them, while Libyan terrorists among the rebels might receive 100% of the unfrozen assets. (4) Americans who trusted their government enough to trade their Constitutional right for a settlement might get stiffed by their own government. Does that make any sense to you? And since when does the Constitution encourage or condone any of that?

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New Push to Hold Foreign Manufacturers Accountable For Defective Products



Every day, American consumers are vulnerable to injury or death from dangerous foreign products manufactured abroad. We’ve read and seen numerous stories about poisonous drywall and toys manufactured overseas, with no compliance with our consumer products standards. While U.S. manufacturers must comply with our laws, safety regulations, and judicial system, foreign manufacturers can skimp on safety in order to rush a product to market, knowing there is little to no threat of legal recourse for an unsafe product sold in the United States.

American businesses have an incentive to produce quality goods because they will be held liable by our civil justice system. Foreign companies, on the other hand, have no such incentive because it is often difficult or impossible to subject them to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. These manufacturers are able to avoid accountability to U.S. consumers while continuing to line their pockets with profits and export billions of dollars worth of merchandise to all 50 states.

Foreign manufacturers should have to play by the same rules as American manufacturers and not be able to escape responsibility because they are beyond the reach of our judicial system. There’s a new push by Congress to change the status quo and hold foreign manufacturers accountable.

The “Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act” was introduced today by Congressmen Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Mike Turner (R-OH), with Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) as an original cosponsor. This bill is similar to bills introduced in previous sessions, and I hope a bipartisan majority of Congressmen and Senators support it.

The bill would make it easier for an injured consumer to serve the foreign manufacturer with notice of pending claims, so the consumer can proceed with a lawsuit. Foreign manufacturers or producers of covered products would be required to register an agent, located in a state where the company does business, who would be able to accept service of process for civil and regulatory claims. By registering the agent, the foreign manufacturer or producer also consents to state and federal jurisdiction for civil and regulatory claims. Covered products include drugs, devices, cosmetics, biological products, consumer products, chemical substances, and pesticides manufactured or produced outside of the United States.

The bill is good for U.S. businesses and consumers. Our companies should not be forced to unfairly compete against foreign businesses that can easily skirt the law. As in the case of toxic drywall, U.S. businesses also end up shouldering monetary losses when they cannot hold foreign suppliers accountable for dangerous products. The bill would make it easier for U.S. consumers injured in the United States to hold foreign manufacturers accountable for the injuries they cause. Why should a consumer have to travel to China to serve the defendant when the defendant does business in the U.S. and has an agent-importer located here? Why should Chinese law apply to a U.S. consumer injured in their own home?

The “Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act” addresses those problems.km Call your Congressman and ask him to support the bill.

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Childrens Medical Device Injuries Warrant Restoration of Victims Civil Justice Rights



A groundbreaking new study by Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is raising new questions about the safety of medical devices in children by documenting thousands of injuries annually (download the study here). The study warrants a restoration by Congress of the right to hold implantable devicemakers accountable in a state court, a right which the Supreme Court ended in its 2008 Riegel v. Medtronic decision.

The study found that over 70,000 children and teens go to emergency rooms annually for injuries and complications from medical devices, with contact lenses responsible for one-fourth of the injuries. Quoting the Associated Press story on the report, “The most serious problems involved implanted devices such as brain shunts for kids with hydrocephalus (water on the brain); chest catheters for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at home; and insulin pumps for diabetics. Infections and overdoses are among problems associated with these devices. Only 6 percent of patients overall had to be hospitalized.”

Of course, we should all celebrate the life-saving experiences of many young recipients of implantable devices, but devicemakers should be accountable for negligence. Sadly, in the 2008 Riegel decision, the Supreme Court gave total immunity to certain implantable (FDA’s “Class III“) medical device manufacturers who fail to adequately warn consumers about device risks. As I discussed in my June 24 on the dangers of federal preemption, a 1976 law authorized the FDA to preempt the numerous state requirements only in statutory law, but the Riegel decision turned those preemption provisions into blanket immunity from any accountability, with no checks and balances. As the Pediatrics study reported, the percentage of injuries attributable to Class III devices is small, but those injuries tend to be the most serious and expensive to treat. They include many catheters, pacemakers and artifical joints.

The Medical Device Safety Act (“MDSA”), a bipartisan bill in the House designed to address the decision (H.R.1346), is still under consideration by Congress. The Medical Device Safety Act would restore the 7th Amendment rights of injured consumers to hold negligent Class III medical device manufacturers accountable when their products cause injury and death. The one-and-a-half-page bill simply does two things:
1) It restores Congressional intent by explicitly stating that actions for damages under state law are preserved.
2) It makes the amendment retroactive to the date of enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976.

It’s a “health care reform bill” that Constitutional conservatives can back. It doesn’t increase the size or power of the federal bureaucracy and it doesn’t create any federal regulatory powers over the health care industry. It not only doesn’t increase federal spending, it will reduce it by reducing the demand for Medicare, Medicaid, and VA spending to rehabilitate victims of defective devices. The MDSA doesn’t create a cause of action which didn’t exist for 30 years before Riegel. It doesn’t infringe on victims’ rights to choose their own health care provider or method. The Riegel decision was opposed by scores of state Attorneys General, who filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court prior to the decision. The Act’s basis in states’ rights is the reason why the National Conference of State Legisators support the Act.

Medical device companies are lobbying hard with Democrats and Republicans to stop MDSA, and thus far have succeeded in stalling any committee action in either house of Congress. With the new study documenting so many potentially serious injuries of implantable devices, it’s imperative that Congress restore the 7th Amendment rights to the young victims’ families and hold devicemakers accountable when necessary and enact the MDSA.

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Amending Constitution to Save States Rights Might Also Save Civil Jury Trials



The National Convention of the Federalist Society included a debate over how to protect the powers reserved in the 10th Amendment for the states. One proposal offered by participants was to hold a Constitutional convention to expressly limit the federal government’s powers and rejuvenate states’ rights. The Federalist Society’s blog summarizes the pro-convention/amendment position as follows: “Prof. Michael Stokes Paulsen of St. Thomas Law School argued that Congress had overstepped its constitutional bounds to the extent that the only way to remedy its intrusion into the authority of the states was for the states to call a convention to amend the Constitution. Both he and former Texas solicitor general R. Ted Cruz called for such a convention as a real possibility in the aftermath of the last election. Cruz argued that amendments produced by such a convention should include a balanced budget amendment, a supermajority requirement for raising taxes, and giving the President the line-item veto.” You can see the video of the debate on the Convention website. Meanwhile, a Washington Post story on the debate notes the ambivalence or outright opposition of some GOP Establishment icons to a convention and amendment.

Sign me up for that convention and the amendment!! After all, the states’ rights enumerated in the 10th Amendment and the right enumerated in the 7th Amendment (for a jury trial for civil suits) are joined at the hip. The 10th Amendment is, in effect, the implementing mechanism for 7th Amendment rights. The federal preemption movement has been crushing both simultaneously for years now, by taking over the regulation of such items as pacemakers and financial services while granting immunity from civil suits to the affected industries. Much of the business community represented in Washington by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hypocritically complains about out-of-control regulators while backing federal preemption across the board. It’s no surprise that those inside the GOP elite in Washington who back preemption don’t really want to limit their power to take over states’ functions.

So a Constitutional convention and amendment to limit federal powers, and uphold states’ rights, will inevitably move the needle back towards the Founding Fathers’ express intent to allow citizens to present their civil claims before a local jury of their peers. Let the convention begin!

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Compensate Qaddafis Terrorism Victims Before Funding Unknown Rebels



A bipartisan group of Senators have proposed S. 1180, the “Libyan Assets for Humanitarian Relief Act of 2011,” which would authorize the use of assets seized from Muammar Qaddafi for humanitarian relief to and for the benefit of the people of Libya. Over $30 billion in his assets were seized on February 28 by the Treasury Department and our European allies (the latest estimate is $36 billion). The bill has yet to be debated in the Senate, and no companion bill has been introduced in the House as of today.

But there’s no guarantee that any of the Qaddafi assets could be safeguarded all the way into the hands of the Libyan people. We have no firm information on the identity of all of the tribal leaders lined up against Qaddafi, and one of the rebel leaders has already admitted that his group includes Al Qaeda fighters who killed American soldiers in Iraq. We’ve already seen billions of dollars in Iraq aid disappear into thin aid, and probably used to kill our own troops – why would we do that again in Libya?

Instead of unlocking those billions for potential use by our terrorist enemies, let’s unlock the frozen assets for use by those Americans, British, Irish, and others who suffered for years at the hands of Qaddafi’s international terrorism. Americans who secured a judgment worth billions against Qaddafi in U.S.court saw their legal action cut short by the Libyan Claims Resolution Act of 2008. The bill forced them to accept a sharply reduced amount in compensation for the bombings that Qaddafi funded and encouraged. Scores of British and Irish victims who filed suit with Americans in U.S. court saw their legal actions completely dismissed by the same law, a deal between Qaddafi and the U.S. that enabled him to escape liability.

Qaddafi’s terrorism victims, including those citizens of our allies overseas, deserve full compensation for Qaddafi’s crimes before we even consider shipping one dollar to an unknown group of rebels with terrorist backgrounds.

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Attend The Unity Summit to Promote Seventh Amendment Rights



Readers in the Southeast, especially in or near Jackson, MS, have a special opportunity to learn more about our Seventh Amendment right to a civil jury trial and how the Seventh Amendment supports the First and Second Amendments. On March 13 and 14, lawyers and legislators from around U.S. will come together at “The Unity Summit” to inform and educate all citizens interested in understanding and protecting our God-given and constitutionally protected rights. The Unity Summit will focus on our First Amendment rights of free speech and free exercise of religion, Second Amendment right to own and bear arms, and Seventh Amendment right to a civil trial by jury. Nationally known speakers will present and debate current issues such as the impact of the Affordable Care Act and IRS scrutiny of nonprofit organizations on First Amendment rights; the debate over the Second Amendment rights of students on college campuses; and the erosion of Seventh Amendment rights due to compulsory arbitration clauses in cell phone, car and other consumer contracts. You’ll hear the Founding Fathers’ own quotes on the importance of the civil jury trial to the very existence of democracy and the current legal trends, many of them unpublicized by the Mainstream Media, that threaten Seventh Amendment rights. And you’ll be inspired by the service and sacrifice of a Iraq War veteran in a special presentation.

Every American of any political persuasion who cherishes the Constitution and Bill of Rights and wants a “deep dive” into current legal and political issues will benefit from attending the Unity Summit. You can register for it here. And please “Like” the Unity Summit Facebook page and send it and the website link to friends and followers.

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House Committee Chairman Still Backs Unconstitutional Tort Reform Bill



Seven constitutional scholars; conservative Members of Congress such as Sen. Tom Coburn and Rep. Ron Paul; Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler; and the national group of state legislators have already determined that a national medical malpractice ”tort reform” bill is clearly unconstitutional. They agree that the Founding Fathers intended for the states to run their own tort law system, each in their own way, and the federal government has no business mandating a ”one-size-fits-all” system. Dr. John Baker, a highly respected conservative scholar, discussed the constitutional issues today on the nationally syndicated “What’s Up” radio program with host Terry Lowry (download podcast here).

Nevertheless, one powerful U.S. House committee chairman continues to push for H.R. 5, the so-called ”HEALTH Act,” which would nationalize medical malpractice litigation. Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee, released a report this week on the committee’s achievements during the first six months of this year. In the report, he enthusiastically supports H.R. 5 as a means of saving billions in federal spending.

Setting aside the dubious math used to arrive at that conclusion, it’s amazing to me that a Republican in such a senior position would so clearly ignore the unconstitutionality of the bill. He might as well have proposed a federal sales tax on the sale of handguns and newspapers. Maybe someone in House Republican leadership can explain the meaning of the word “unconstitutional” to him. For the bill to pass the House now would be nothing but an exercise in raw, naked political power by the same medical associations who conspired to give us ObamaCare last year. Why would a Republican committee chairman back their special interest bill?

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Honoring 796th Anniversary of Magna Carta Article 39 on Jury Trials



Today is a special day in the history of democracy and jurisprudence, the 796th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede in England on June 15, 1215. The document required King John to proclaim certain individual liberties, and accept that his will was not arbitrary, for example by explicitly accepting that no “freeman” (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land. The Wikipedia entry describes it as “the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges.” Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson of the Independence Institute was invited to write the entry on the Magna Carta for the limited-edition Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court. He told me that he considers the Magna Carta as “Probably the greatest Anglo-American legal document of all.” It’s certainly the charter for modern democracy, the basis for eight centuries of British and American law (copied around the world), and the foundation for the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The colonies in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Maryland especially sought to reflect various points of the Magna Carta in their early charters and laws. In 1957, the American Bar Association acknowledged the debt that American law and constitutionalism owed to Magna Carta by erecting a monument at Runnymede.

British jurist Sir William Blackstone organized the 1215 version into numbered articles. Article 39 of the Magna Carta can be translated as, No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land. It is this article that establishes and protects the right to a trial by local jury in criminal and civil cases, to protect all other individual liberties from the power of centralized government. The Founding Fathers studied the Magna Carta and knew the many instances in which the British had deprived them of their right. John Adams referred to it as “that fundamental law” when opposing the Stamp Act of 1765, and the deprivation of jury trials was among the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence. George Mason, who refused to sign the Constitution because it didn’t explicitly protect individual rights and the prerogatives of states, drew upon it for his writings, which eventually led to the enactment of the Bill of Rights.

All those who live liberty and cherish individual rights should raise a toast and a prayer today to those good people of England who stood their ground against King John’s army and established the basis for self-government.

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How To Throw A Bachelor Party



How To Throw A Bachelor Party

 

I just got back from a weekend long bachelor party deal I threw for my tight bro 4 lyfe + beyond at this pretty bad ass lodge in New Hampshire, and aside from the fact that I got so fucked up on the first night I literally slept through the entire second day (sorry gang), I’ll say it was a success.


Oh, also the guy we rented it from is small-timing us on cleaning fees. Seriously, look at this itemized break down. $25 to clean a fucking microwave? I wrote back to the dude to ask if he was looking for a new microwave wiping down guy, because I want to apply for that position. Haven’t heard back yet, but fingers crossed.



These things become more and more frequent as you get toward 30 – I’ve probably been to a dozen by now, and organized a few of them – and since no one explained shit to me, I figured I’d pass on the wisdom I’ve accrued over the years.


GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE
Just like everything else these days from your birthday to weddings to holidays, everything is super-sized now. Weddings last a fucking month, what with the rehearsals and parties when everyone gets into town, the morning after brunch, the party before everyone leaves. It’s brutal. Same thing with bachelor parties. One night out at the same old bars you’d hang out at normally isn’t going to cut it. That means you have to plan at least an overnight. Two is even better. If you just do it in the city you all live in, a lot of the other married dudes and assorted pussies are gonna peace out early, or aren’t going to relax because they realize they have to go home to the missus later that night, and they don’t want to get beef for wandering in at 3 am all crooked. Get the fuck out of dodge then. New environments are more exciting, and it makes it seem like more of a thing. The bars you go to in Providence are probably going to be the same shit you see in Boston or whatever shitty town you’re from, but it’s like playing an away game. You’re never entirely comfortable, and that means everyone is on their toes and ready to party.


If you’re into outdoorsy shit, get up into the mountains and go hiking, or white water rafting or something. That stuff is going to be a lot more memorable vis a vis bro-time-forever than tossing back shooters and buffalo wings at Applebees before hitting the strip club. Speaking of which…


STRIP CLUBS ARE GAY
Don’t hit the strip club. Invariably some distant friend of your friend that you don’t know is going to insist that it’s not a bachelor party without some Ukrainian broad’s sweater hams up in your face by the end of the night at $30 bucks a minute. No thanks. No offense to my buddies, but I don’t exactly derive pleasure from watching them get an awkward boner. High five bro, solid wood. Plus, Willy fucking Loman with implants over here giving the hard sell all night is a total bummer for everyone involved. There’s a name for people who think a bachelor party automatically equals strippers, and that is dudes who are already married. Sorry man, shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place if you were into chicks. Go to a strip club like a normal person if you must: alone.


HAVE THINGS TO DO, BUT DON’T PLAN SHIT
Like I said, hiking or boating and shit like that is fun, because you can get it out of the way in the day before getting down to the entire point of the weekend: sitting in each other’s faces, getting wasted, and talking shit about the good old days. That’s what a bachelor party is all about. It’s not necessarily about creating new memories, it’s about hanging out with this one turd you all sort of like and toasting to the person he will soon cease to be. What do you usually do together? Play poker? Shoot pool? Play sports? Blast rails until you can’t stand to look at each other anymore and you start to pull out all the old grievances that have been simmering underneath the surface for ten years? Do that. No need to invent new hobbies all of a sudden. Go to the well, so to speak. Keep it within your wheelhouse. But don’t have an itemized agenda. No one wants that. Have a general outline of a few possibilities that you can do – there’s a golf course nearby, there’s a target shooting place, paintball, a beach…whatever – but don’t stick to it. No one likes a drill sergeant when they’re trying to relax.


NO ONE LIKES CIGARS
It’s ok to get a little sentimental and pull out some of the bachelor party cliches, but no one enjoys this phoney bonding ritual. Hoooboy! A novelty sized, dirt-flavored cigarette that I can’t even inhale but still gives me cancer anyway? I’m in. You’ve never seen so many people standing around pretending to enjoy something when the cigars come out. Not unless you spend a lot of time in art galleries. It’s the epitome of obligatory bonding. Let’s just punch each other in the nuts, call each other fags, and go back inside where the tv and food is if it’s all the same to you guys, ok?


DON’T BE A CHEAP CUNT
You’re gonna have to suck it up and realize this weekend is gonna run you like $500 bucks. Sorry, that’s just how it works. Between buying cases of beer, throwing down on a round of drinks for 15 dudes you’ll never see again, or picking up a couple pounds of meat to grill, that’s just part of the deal that comes with being a man. You are a man now, by the way, in case that shit wasn’t evident. Pick up the fucking tab every now and again you deadbeat.


BEST MAN SPEECHES
This is gonna come a few weeks later, but since we’re on the subject, best to start thinking about it ahead of time. Granted, it’s really not that hard to be a better dude than me, but how is it possible that every guy I’ve ever witnessed tie the knot turns out to have secretly been a combination of Ghandi, Jack Kennedy and Batman all rolled into one? Somehow, every time, the best man manages to make a summary of this investment banker from Connecticut’s life play out like a montage of Rudy, Old Yeller and The Shawshank Redemption set to a Coldplay track.


Don’t bullshit everyone. We know your buddy is a decent dude. Just tell him that, say a few nice things about the wife, and get the fuck back to your seat. Do not use this as an opportunity to dust off some of your old stand up material. Do not talk about drugs, or getting shit-faced together, or breaking the law. Surprisingly, that stuff isn’t funny to his mom because mom’s are total buzzkills at weddings. And most importantly, do not mention any exes, under any circumstances whatsoever, no matter how villainous, or how charming you think the story is going to sound. The wife will never, ever, ever forget that slight and your boy will have to put up with all sorts of hassle the rest of his life every time he wants to go watch the football game with you.


All the same, I’m actually kind of worried about what my future best man is gonna say. “Uh, he never shot anyone on purpose, and he, uh, liked football I guess. I don’t know. They serve that chicken yet?”


Anyway, the point is this, there’s a couple times when it’s completely acceptable to lie about your friends. One, after they’re dead. Two, at the wedding after they’ve just gotten married (same thing.) And three, when the woman they marry asks about the bachelor party amirightfellas!!

I just got back from a weekend long bachelor party deal I threw for my tight bro 4 lyfe + beyond at this pretty bad ass lodge in New Hampshire, and aside from the fact that I got so fucked up on the first night I literally slept through the entire second day (sorry gang), I’ll say it was a success.
Oh, also the guy we rented it from is small-timing us on cleaning fees. Seriously, look at this itemized break down. $25 to clean a fucking microwave? I wrote back to the dude to ask if he was looking for a new microwave wiping down guy, because I want to apply for that position. Haven’t heard back yet, but fingers crossed.



These things become more and more frequent as you get toward 30 – I’ve probably been to a dozen by now, and organized a few of them – and since no one explained shit to me, I figured I’d pass on the wisdom I’ve accrued over the years.

GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE
Just like everything else these days from your birthday to weddings to holidays, everything is super-sized now. Weddings last a fucking month, what with the rehearsals and parties when everyone gets into town, the morning after brunch, the party before everyone leaves. It’s brutal. Same thing with bachelor parties. One night out at the same old bars you’d hang out at normally isn’t going to cut it. That means you have to plan at least an overnight. Two is even better. If you just do it in the city you all live in, a lot of the other married dudes and assorted pussies are gonna peace out early, or aren’t going to relax because they realize they have to go home to the missus later that night, and they don’t want to get beef for wandering in at 3 am all crooked. Get the fuck out of dodge then. New environments are more exciting, and it makes it seem like more of a thing. The bars you go to in Providence are probably going to be the same shit you see in Boston or whatever shitty town you’re from, but it’s like playing an away game. You’re never entirely comfortable, and that means everyone is on their toes and ready to party.

If you’re into outdoorsy shit, get up into the mountains and go hiking, or white water rafting or something. That stuff is going to be a lot more memorable vis a vis bro-time-forever than tossing back shooters and buffalo wings at Applebees before hitting the strip club. Speaking of which…
STRIP CLUBS ARE GAY
Don’t hit the strip club. Invariably some distant friend of your friend that you don’t know is going to insist that it’s not a bachelor party without some Ukrainian broad’s sweater hams up in your face by the end of the night at $30 bucks a minute. No thanks. No offense to my buddies, but I don’t exactly derive pleasure from watching them get an awkward boner. High five bro, solid wood. Plus, Willy fucking Loman with implants over here giving the hard sell all night is a total bummer for everyone involved. There’s a name for people who think a bachelor party automatically equals strippers, and that is dudes who are already married. Sorry man, shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place if you were into chicks. Go to a strip club like a normal person if you must: alone.

HAVE THINGS TO DO, BUT DON’T PLAN SHIT
Like I said, hiking or boating and shit like that is fun, because you can get it out of the way in the day before getting down to the entire point of the weekend: sitting in each other’s faces, getting wasted, and talking shit about the good old days. That’s what a bachelor party is all about. It’s not necessarily about creating new memories, it’s about hanging out with this one turd you all sort of like and toasting to the person he will soon cease to be. What do you usually do together? Play poker? Shoot pool? Play sports? Blast rails until you can’t stand to look at each other anymore and you start to pull out all the old grievances that have been simmering underneath the surface for ten years? Do that. No need to invent new hobbies all of a sudden. Go to the well, so to speak. Keep it within your wheelhouse. But don’t have an itemized agenda. No one wants that. Have a general outline of a few possibilities that you can do – there’s a golf course nearby, there’s a target shooting place, paintball, a beach…whatever – but don’t stick to it. No one likes a drill sergeant when they’re trying to relax.

NO ONE LIKES CIGARS
It’s ok to get a little sentimental and pull out some of the bachelor party cliches, but no one enjoys this phoney bonding ritual. Hoooboy! A novelty sized, dirt-flavored cigarette that I can’t even inhale but still gives me cancer anyway? I’m in. You’ve never seen so many people standing around pretending to enjoy something when the cigars come out. Not unless you spend a lot of time in art galleries. It’s the epitome of obligatory bonding. Let’s just punch each other in the nuts, call each other fags, and go back inside where the tv and food is if it’s all the same to you guys, ok?

DON’T BE A CHEAP CUNT
You’re gonna have to suck it up and realize this weekend is gonna run you like $500 bucks. Sorry, that’s just how it works. Between buying cases of beer, throwing down on a round of drinks for 15 dudes you’ll never see again, or picking up a couple pounds of meat to grill, that’s just part of the deal that comes with being a man. You are a man now, by the way, in case that shit wasn’t evident. Pick up the fucking tab every now and again you deadbeat.

BEST MAN SPEECHES
This is gonna come a few weeks later, but since we’re on the subject, best to start thinking about it ahead of time. Granted, it’s really not that hard to be a better dude than me, but how is it possible that every guy I’ve ever witnessed tie the knot turns out to have secretly been a combination of Ghandi, Jack Kennedy and Batman all rolled into one? Somehow, every time, the best man manages to make a summary of this investment banker from Connecticut’s life play out like a montage of Rudy, Old Yeller and The Shawshank Redemption set to a Coldplay track.

Don’t bullshit everyone. We know your buddy is a decent dude. Just tell him that, say a few nice things about the wife, and get the fuck back to your seat. Do not use this as an opportunity to dust off some of your old stand up material. Do not talk about drugs, or getting shit-faced together, or breaking the law. Surprisingly, that stuff isn’t funny to his mom because mom’s are total buzzkills at weddings. And most importantly, do not mention any exes, under any circumstances whatsoever, no matter how villainous, or how charming you think the story is going to sound. The wife will never, ever, ever forget that slight and your boy will have to put up with all sorts of hassle the rest of his life every time he wants to go watch the football game with you.
All the same, I’m actually kind of worried about what my future best man is gonna say. “Uh, he never shot anyone on purpose, and he, uh, liked football I guess. I don’t know. They serve that chicken yet?”
Anyway, the point is this, there’s a couple times when it’s completely acceptable to lie about your friends. One, after they’re dead. Two, at the wedding after they’ve just gotten married (same thing.) And three, when the woman they marry asks about the bachelor party amirightfellas!!

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Rolling Into Somewhere and Not Attempting to Speak the Language



I’m no friggin professor, kid, but I know the most basics of the Romance languages: “hello,” “goodbye,” “how much for the white baby?” “thank you,” etc. I can pretty much get by in any place that speaks French, Italian or Spanish just with those 3 or 4 phrases. In fact, almost anyone can look those up, using this machine called the internet.

When I recently found myself in Mexico I noticed that almost none of my fellow citizens even attempted the very basics of this exotic language that we hear literally everyday right here at home. Actually, that’s not entirely true there was that group of biker skanks who did yell “Excuse me senorita!” at the restaurant when they wanted margaritas, so points for that.

Anyway, just a reminder for my fellow travelers, your rental car doesn’t come with a Speak English or Get Out bumper sticker so you’re pretty much stuck trying to tough it out with the most basic of attempts. Also, no need to spice it up with the cruise wear while you’re on vacation. Would you wear that shirt if you were farting around Ohio like usual? Pretty good rule of thumb there. Just a tip from one traveler to another. Now repeat after me “Estoy en la lista.”

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No thanks I get enough fish smell at home



Dear useless cunts taking your every day all day walk of shame public,

Why the fuck do you think it’s OK to go out in a pair of pajama bottoms? I mean if you’re just getting the mail or taking the kid to daycare or whatever, OK…sort of OK I guess. I mean you just got up and you are in a rush to dump the mewling before you go to work and whatever, I get it.

But once you leave the boundary of quick necessity and decide to wave your thinly veiled stankhole at the general public like it ain’t no thang, I dunno, terrorists have won? Look at you, you disgusting lazy pig. The pjs, The Holy Cross t-shirt and fucking flip flops. You are in a food market and the baked goods aisle smells like the fish aisle now. Oh, and here comes the hubby wearing a pair of FUCKING SWEATPANTS? COME ON you assholes I can smell her pussy and I can see his cock.  Let’s give it up for people who are total losers who can’t button a button, tie a shoelace or zip a zipper. Burn in fake hell you sacks of shit.

Sincerely,

The Rest Of Us

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30 sure-fire ways to create an overpriced confusing ne



by Joseph DeBuglio

By Joseph DeBuglio

It is fascinating to me that whenever a church starts a new
building project, renovation or addition, it is always with the best intentions.
However, by the time the budget committee finishes its task, many of these
churches end up making the following 30 mistakes in the hope of saving money.
Their approach: “Cut back what we can’t see.” Truly unique churches
stick to their convictions, avoid the misinformed principles listed here, and
take a leap of faith.

  • Myth #1: Always design a church that is square. Square churches
    create standing waves, making music sound very boomy in the bass range. The
    early reflections do a good job of confusing speech, and using a sound
    system makes it worse.
  • Myth #2: Always design a church with parallel walls. Parallel walls
    lower intelligibility and degrade music, adding to the confusion, and a
    sound system cannot correct this problem. Yet somewhere out there, someone
    is no doubt trying to prove me wrong on this.
  • Myth #3: Always design the roof low over the audience and high over the
    pulpit.
    This is the best way to kill music from the front of the church.
    It forces you to use only long-throw narrow beam speaker horns, which sound
    terrible.
  • Myth #4: Be sure the roof is less than 20 feet high. This is the
    best way to make all of your music programs sound louder–much
    louder, and not in a good way.
  • Myth #5: Always accept the RT60 measurement at 1K (1000 hertz).
    What happens with bass or treble sounds does matter.
  • Myth #6: Always make the back walls of a church as flat as possible.
    Flat back walls increase musical effects, throwing off musicians’ timing
    techniques.
  • Myth #7: Make sure that the ventilation system is within 25dB of the
    person speaking.
    Since clear speech occurs 25dB above background noise,
    a poorly installed ventilation system ensures difficulty hearing. If vent
    noise is loud enough, it can be recorded on the service tape.
  • Myth #8: Follow the commercial standards normally recommended for air
    systems.
    These standards do not account for congregational singing,
    which creates humidity problems inside the sanctuary. Commercial standards
    call for one ton per 1,000 square feet but churches need one ton per 500
    feet.
  • Myth #9: Church lighting in a nutshell: 25-foot candles for seating and
    60-foot candles for the front of the church.
    The problem is, churchgoers
    really want to be able to read their Bibles.
  • Myth #10: Churches with thin walls cost less to build. Road or
    aircraft outside noises can be reduced with a yet-to-be invented Electronic
    Large-Format Random Noise Canceling System. These systems should be ready
    for churches in the year 2097–maybe.
  • Myth #11: Rating intelligibility of a sound system has no bearing on
    whether or not a person can hear the sermon.
    Intelligibility scores
    below 88% do not cut it in the church.
  • Myth #12: Wide, fan-shaped rooms of a greater than 140-degree angle
    really draw the crowd in.
    In these sanctuaries, people on the sides
    require video walls to see the minister. Also, when a room is overly wide,
    people on the sides always notice the latecomers. When the minister himself
    looks in any direction, he might see worshippers slipping out early, making
    him feel insecure.
  • Myth #13: Place the organ and piano as far away from each other as
    possible.
    This separation makes playing together harder and creates a
    not-so-neat stereo effect–assuming you can hear the piano at all.
  • Myth #14: The best place for the choir is under the organ pipes or
    organ speakers.
    This arrangement ensures the choir will be drowned out.
  • Myth #15: Pianos should be in a pit or against a wall atop carpet.
    Even though an organ can play louder, you still need the piano.
  • Myth #16: Build a six- or eight-sided church with equal-length walls.
    This creates the same complications inherent with square rooms (See Myth
    #1
    ).
  • Myth #17: Design the balcony so low and deep that people under it
    cannot see the ceiling over the pulpit.
    What happens under a balcony does
    have bearing on the acoustics of a church.
  • Myth #18: Plan a bulkhead over the front of the altar or chancel area.
    This feature makes it hard for the choir, organ and piano to be heard.
    Bulkheads can reduce intelligibility and hamper a sound system’s ability to
    do its job–not to mention, they look terrible. (Note: Deep
    proscenium arches or an arches in front choirs cause the same
    complications.)
  • Myth #19: It’s okay to paint over acoustical materials. Paint does
    affect a room’s acoustics. If a wall material is soft or you feel the need
    to paint unpainted block, don’t. This can hurt the brick. Those stories
    about people sandblasting after they painted a wall by mistake are true.
  • Myth #20: Construct foyers with the hardest materials available.
    The echoes from this area distract musicians, the minister and anyone near
    the doors.
  • Myth #21: If your church is using drywall, only one-half-inch thickness
    is necessary.
    Thicker drywall is not just an added, meaningless expense.
  • Myth #22: Insulating interior walls is an unnecessary practice.
    Noises from hallways and office areas are intrusive in a church setting.
  • Myth #23: Inside walls can all be built with two-by-fours.
    Two-by-eight-foot interior walls are better for privacy within the
    sanctuary.
  • Myth #24: Install wiring and amplifiers in the organ loft next to the
    relay switcher.
    The clicking sounds of the relays–amplified through the
    sound system–do not add “color” to the overall sound of the
    organ.
  • Myth #25: Go on the Internet, find all of the church builders, and hire
    one that makes no mention of audio or acoustics in their mission statement
    or anywhere else on their site.
    Don’t “faith it” on this one.
  • Myth #26: Hire the most expensive consultants. Nowhere is it
    written that the glossier the brochure, the better the sound system will
    work.
  • Myth #27: Don’t bother checking past client references.
  • Myth #28: Follow local commercial building codes. These are the
    minimum codes for short-term construction–by definition, 20 years or less.
    The money saved following local commercial building codes will not enable
    you to rebuild the church before it wears out in 15 years.
  • Myth #29: The “sweet spot” audio theory is a myth. There is
    a spot in every church where acoustical sound broadcasts further than any
    other spot before reflections begin to interfere with the original sound.
  • Myth #30: When building a new church, don’t visit local churches built
    in the last 15 years to create your wish list.
    Today, CAD computer
    programs mean you can do a drawing in six to 10 weeks, but take the
    opportunity to learn from the mistakes made by other churches. Interview the
    custodians. Although they are not architects, they do fix anything that goes
    wrong with the new building all the time.

Also keep this in mind: A church built for speech is ideal for all music, and
a church built for music is usually very good for speech. It does not matter if
you are building a church for classical music or Christian rock-and-roll. A
church can have a very long RT60 if it is well diffused, but many musicians are
of the mistaken belief that the length of an RT60–and nothing else–matters.

Likewise, a church can have a short RT60 and still sound great for both
classical music and Christian rock-and-roll. For example, one of North America’s
best concert venues is the Boston Symphony Hall. This space is just as suited to
rock-and-roll as it is to classical music. Its simple rectangular shoebox shape
includes more than a dozen acoustical features, including diffusers, bass traps
and deflection surfaces in the right places. Adding these features to a church
does not cost much (the added costs are often recovered in the first year), but
the rewards are huge. A church can be a rectangle–like Boston Symphony Hall
–and be used for multiple purposes and any style of worship. A fan-shaped
sanctuary can be used for concerts and contemporary music but it will not work
for classical music unless acoustical features are added.

Bear in mind that acoustics are not a do-it-yourself endeavor; however, they
are not necessarily expensive either. A million-dollar sanctuary project should
logically be able to ante up $50,000 for acoustics. This includes consulting,
modeling, acoustical installation or construction, and tuning of a room. That’s
right, tuning a room.

Historically (from 1350 to the 1870’s), churches were built to include
acoustical features that could be tuned after the church was finished and
occupied. Only a few people in the world know enough about this art to do it
today, but one commonly known technique was the construction of pillars. After a
church was finished, the pillars–usually hollow–were cut near their tops with
either holes or slots and then filled with sand to “tune the room.” In
a modern church, plaster pillars can be tuners, but sand is too heavy, so
alternate materials need to be used.

Church acoustics is both an art and a science. Scientifically, everything can
be calculated. Artistically, you have to know which combination of acoustical
features work best in the shell of the room.

Joseph DeBuglio represents the Church Sound Network and JdB Sound
Acoustics
–www.jdbsound.com. He
is the author of
Why Are Church Sound Systems and Church Acoustics So
Confusing? DeBuglio can be reached via e-mail at[email protected]or by calling (416) 248-9007.

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Ancient Stone from Jerusalem Hits the American Building Materials Market



Ancient Stone from Jerusalem Hits the American Building Materials Market

DENVER, Colo. — Gill Lobel loves Jerusalem and its beauty so much that he has decided to bring part of its legend and history to the United States.

The owner of a construction company in Denver, Lobel visited Jerusalem often as a child, always admiring the stone in the buildings and the legendary “Wailing Wall.” Then, on a trip a few years ago, Lobel realized that the very stone from which Jerusalem is built is an affordable and exquisite alternative to granite or marble.

Where It Began

Lobel anticipates that others will see the value-added aspect of Jerusalem Stone as he enters the U.S. stone import market that is at $3.34 billion (2005).

Jerusalem is known as “The City of Gold” because reflections of the sun on the stone create a golden glow across the entire town. For more than 5,000 years, stone from specific quarries has been used to build the resilient city. Even today, the building code in Jerusalem regulates that all new buildings must use the stone in construction or as a facade to keep the city historically consistent.

Jerusalem Stone developed over millions of years as ocean water, sand, and shells came together to create a durable stone. Each variety reflects its own unique hue: bone, gold, grey and rose. Much of the stone contains million-year-old fossils that add to its depth of beauty.

“Jerusalem is the nexus of the Abrahamic religious traditions. This is vitally important to Jews, Christians and Muslims,” Lobel explains. “One doesn’t have to be religious to appreciate the appeal and historical significance of the stone. The stone feels sacred, so it adds an ethereal quality to wherever it’s used.”

The company’s launch represents the first time this stone from Israel is available direct from quarries to North America. This makes the stone more affordable than many commonly used stone materials. Lobel supplies to a number of dealers in the United States, but his passion is to help consumers find the best way to use the stone in their homes or houses of worship.

“When I touch this ancient stone, I feel the pulse of history,” Lobel says. “I believe that if the stone could speak, the amazing story of the region would be brought to the forefront.”

Lobel says he gets calls from churches and synagogues who want the stone in their facilities. “My vision is to offer an affordable alternative to marble or granite while bringing something historically important and timeless from the Middle East to America,” he says. 

# # #

For more information, e-mail [email protected].


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A Guide to Automated Payroll Software



Payroll software helps you manage one of the most arduous tasks you deal with. Like many office tasks, handling your payroll is a job that can take time away from leading your church in the ways you’d like. But without effective staff-management systems in place, your church can’t operate well or grow. An increasingly popular solution is automating your payroll. If you find the right program, the training and expenses can prove worthwhile, saving you or your staff members time and headaches. But what system do you choose? Your church is unique, so you should find software that fits your needs. Many programs allow you to split the payroll in order to pay employees on different days, organize employees by position or benefits, deduct withholding items, make electronic deposits and even manage the information from anywhere in the world. To help you start your search for the right program, here’s a brief guide to a few software programs and their features.

Company Name: Logos Management Software
Contact Info: Dan Smith, 800.266.3311 ext. 1623
Areas Served: National
Year Founded: 1980

Is your payroll software Internet-based?
Either desktop or Internet-hosted

What security features do your payroll software packages include?
Every function is access-controlled.

Do you offer ongoing tech support?
Yes – four different options

What operating system do churches need to use your software?
Windows; if Internet, it doesn’t matter

What are your installation costs?
$2,000

Upgrading costs?
$200 up to $1,200

For what size church is your product geared?
We provide to entire denominations that go from one to 250 employees.

What special features do you offer?
Automated direct deposit; clergy payroll understanding

Do you offer demos or samples?
Demonstration disk (video tour); live, online demonstrations

Are you looking forward to introducing any new features?
Programming is working every day. Upgrades are typically five per year. 


Company Name: Parish Data System
Contact Info: 800.892.5202, www.parishdata.com
Areas Served: Catholic dioceses, parishes and schools
Year Founded: 1978

Is your payroll software Internet-based?
Optional

What payroll software packages do you offer?
PDS Ledger/Payroll incorporates payroll management into PDS Ledger, a full accounting solution for parishes or schools. Calculate federal, state and local taxes; print paychecks from your computer; produce a variety of federal reports and forms.

What are your security features?
Choose who has access to each specific part of your data

Do you offer ongoing tech support?
Yes

What operating system do churches need to use your software?
Microsoft Windows Vista, XP SP (Service Pack) 2, 2003 SP1 or 2000 SP4 operating system

For what size church is your product geared?
All

What special features do you offer?
PDS’s 30-plus years of experience developing Catholic management software solutions, offering integrated products both desktop and Web-based, plus an industry-leading support staff set PDS apart from the competition.

Do you offer demos or samples?
Visit www.parishdata.com to download a free demo.

Are you looking forward to introducing any new features?
Interface enhancements are due in future releases.


Company Name: Church Windows 
Contact Info:[email protected]
Areas Served: U.S. and Canada 
Year Founded: 1987 

Is your payroll software Internet-based?
No 

What payroll software packages do you offer?
Church Windows Payroll handles pay (hourly and salaried), deductions (pre-tax and taxable), allowances (pre-tax and taxable), and federal, state and local taxes for both ministers and lay staff. It offers direct deposit and e-file capabilities, and prints tax reports such as W-2 and 941 forms.

What are your security features?
Church Windows Payroll is password-protected.

Do you offer ongoing tech support?
Yes 

What operating system do churches need to use your software?
Windows 2000, XP or Vista

What are your installation costs?
$200

Upgrading costs?
Either $110 per year for all annual upgrades and unlimited tech support, or $75 for annual tax update and pay-per-minute telephone support

For what size church is your product geared?
All sizes, from one employee to hundreds

What special features do you offer?
Church Windows Payroll easily handles ministers’ unique tax requirements and integrates with Church Windows Accounting software.

Do you offer demos or samples?
Yes – a free trial mailed out on request

Are you looking forward to introducing any new features?
We do have annual upgrades, but no major new features are upcoming, since the software is already full-featured and comprehensive.


Company Name: ParishSOFT/Church Management Solutions
Contact Info: www.parishsoft.com or 866.930.4774, www.churchmanagementsolutions.com or 800.247.8044
Areas Served: Church Management and Accounting Software 
Year Founded: 1978

Is your payroll software Internet-based?
Yes (via terminal services)

What payroll software packages do you offer?
ParishSOFT Payroll and CMS Payroll: true fund accounting according to FAS 117 designed for the Church

What are your security features?
Password controls, PCI Compliance

Do you offer ongoing tech support?

Yes

What operating system do churches need to use your software?
Windows 98 or higher

How are they priced?
By size of church 

What are your installation costs?
N/A 

Upgrading costs?
Included in annual maintenance 

Other fees?
Annual support and maintenance is 20 percent of current pricing.

For what size church is your product geared?
Small to large

What special features do you offer?
Designed specifically for church-fund accounting

Do you offer demos or samples?
Yes 

Are you looking forward to introducing any new features?
Browser online version to be released late in 2008


Company Name: Sage Software Nonprofit Solutions
Contact Info: 866.831.0615, www.sagenonprofit.com, [email protected]
Areas Served: North America
Year Founded: 1982

Is your payroll software Internet-based?
No

What payroll software packages do you offer?
With the Sage MIP Fund Accounting Payroll Module, you can track employee service efforts; produce a timely and accurate nonprofit payroll; generate fully distributed accounting entries; maintain comprehensive employee records; save time with timesheet templates; use flexible payroll accounting codes; automatically allocate labor costs; process tax forms and eFile; and produce federal, state and local tax reporting.

What are your security features?
Security settings allow administrators to limit user access to payroll and tax information.

Do you offer ongoing tech support?
Yes

What operating system do churches need to use your software?
Microsoft Windows Vista Business, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Server, or Windows 2000 Professional

What are your installation costs?
Starting at $2,995 for the core system; add payroll for $1,495

Upgrading costs?
Maintenance & Support plan is $900.

Other fees?
Keeping a current Maintenance & Support agreement is important for receiving customer support services, new product versions, and special notifications.

For what size church is your product geared?
Any

What special features do you offer?
The payroll module is a fully integrated part of Sage MIP Fund Accounting, allowing users to process payroll and eFile or print tax forms directly within the system, distribute earning and benefits by program, and track employee information.

Do you offer demos or samples?
Please visit our Web site to download a demo, or sign up for a free Webcast to interact with an expert.

Are you looking forward to introducing any new features?
We regularly enhance Sage MIP Fund Accounting and annually release new versions to ensure compliance and improve usability.


Company Name: Shelby Systems Inc.
Contact Info:www.shelbyinc.com, 800.877.0222, [email protected]
Areas Served: U.S. and 40 international countries, faith-based and nonprofit companies
Year Founded: 1976

Is your payroll software Internet-based?
No. It is direct-deposit ACH compatible, desktop client, networkable and term-server compatible.

What payroll software packages do you offer?
We offer a payroll software, specifically designed for ministries, that fully integrates with all other Shelby software. Shelby Payroll is a total solutions package. It does everything from calculating pay and taxes, to printing IRS-approved tax forms.

What are your security features?
Shelby Payroll has user ID and password security with feature and view restrictions at user levels. It also provides special security for
executive levels.

Do you offer ongoing tech support?
Yes – Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Central Standard Time

What operating system do churches need to use your software?
Windows 2000 or above

How are they priced?
A single package covers an unlimited number of employees.

What are your upgrading costs?
No

Other fees?
Annual Support covers all upgrades and unlimited technical support

For what size church is your product geared?
All sizes

What special features do you offer?
Prints IRS-approved tax forms, prints payroll on preprinted or blank check stock with electronic signatures, capable of ACH processing and can e-mail secure ACH vouchers, automatic calculations for ministers

Do you offer demos or samples?
Yes. Contact 800.877.0222, [email protected] or go to www.shelbyinc.com.

Are you looking forward to introducing any new features?
Upgraded annually to include all taxing entity mandates as needed, including new tax tables and tax changes

Uncategorized

40 Years Since Moon Landing Church Celebrates Apollo 11



07/20/2009

A church near the Johnson Space Center in Houston offered a special communion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.

Webster Presbyterian Church has been the church home of many astronauts, mission control personnel and other NASA employees over the course of its history.

On Sunday, the church played the July 20, 1969 radio broadcast from Buzz Aldrin, who encouraged everyone listening to give thanks.

Source:

Miami Herald: Church Near JSC Marks Moon Landing 40th Anniversary


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Atlanta-Area Church to Dedicate New Sanctuary



09/24/2007

Trinity Chapel in Powder Springs, Ga., will dedicate its new 4,000-seat sanctuary this Sunday, Sept. 30. The auditorium is now the largest of its kind in Cobb County, and the church is one of the largest Church of God congregations in the world.

The church started in September of 1983. It�s now more than 12,000-members strong and has also become one of the most culturally diverse churches in Metro Atlanta. The expansion project, which doubled the amount of seats in the sanctuary, will allow the church to keep maintain its two-service format without being overcrowded. The building also now features new technology and other innovations.

You can find out more about the church at www.trinitychapel.org.


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A step-by-step tutorial to maximize this popular program



PowerPoint, Professionally

A step-by-step tutorial to maximize this popular program

by Tim Eason

PowerPoint, Professionally
A step-by-step tutorial to maximize this popular program

By Tim Eason

When
I set out to determine how many churches use a video projector to display song
lyrics during worship using Microsoft® PowerPoint®, the result was not
surprising: 95 percent. After all, PowerPoint has become a standard in the
business world; it’s easy to use and has many features that make it a fairly
powerful program for graphic display.

Despite its strengths, however, PowerPoint was not designed for church
applications, so it needs some “discipling” to be most effective in a
worship setting. With that in mind, I’d like to share a few tips and tricks that
maximize the impact of PowerPoint in your next worship service.

All of the following tips are based on the PowerPoint® 2000 program.
Although most can also be applied to earlier versions, an upgrade is well worth
the investment. New features include the ability to play animated gifs, add
graphical bullets and use dual-screen capability, which requires two video cards
in your computer. A slide show may now also be started using the F5 key,
which is easier than clicking the small icon to start a show.

Get organized!

The key to maximizing PowerPoint in worship is organization. A
well-organized filing structure saves time and headaches when assembling
presentations. Create a main folder to store your worship files. Inside that
folder, create three folders named Service, Songs and Pictures.
Inside the Service folder, create three folders named Announcements,
Notes
and Old. Each of these folders will be covered in greater
detail as each tip is presented later. Now, let’s get started!

Assembling songs

When building a song library, each song should be saved as an individual
presentation. This allows for greater flexibility when assembling services and
it is safer than putting all songs into one big file. Open PowerPoint. Start a
blank presentation. Right-click on the slide and choose Slide Layout.
Double-click the box with nothing in it. You should now have a completely blank
slide.

Select a background color. Right-click on the slide and choose Background.
From the drop-down menu, select a medium blue color and click Apply.

Name the slide. To the left of the slide is a “1” with a box
next to it. Click to the right of this box and type the title of the song along
with the verse number. The text entered here will appear on the slide. Drag that
text box off of the slide so that it appears above the slide. This text is for
the operator’s reference only and does not need to be displayed.

Type the first verse of the song. Select Insert Textbox (or
click the icon) and click in the upper left of the slide. Select Format >
Font
. Choose the Arial font and select a font size between 32 and 44.
Set the font color to yellow. Check the box by Default for new objects.
In the toolbar, click the icon to center the text. Type the first verse of the
song. You may also copy and paste text from other programs. Arrange the text so
that it is aesthetically pleasing and that the musical phrases are separated in
a logical manner. Resize and reposition the text as needed. A shadow may be
added by adjusting the shadow controls. Finally, add any notes about the slide (e.g.,
“Repeat Once”).

Additional slides need to be created to complete the song. Rather than
starting from scratch with a new, blank slide, it is faster to duplicate the
first slide and modify the contents. Select Insert > Duplicate slide.
Highlight and replace the text on the duplicate slide, typing the next segment
of the song. Change the title and notes as well.. Repeat this duplication
process until the song is complete. You may duplicate choruses and drag them to
their proper location in the left-hand list.

Save the song to the Songs folder and name it accordingly. If the song
title will be used more than once, indicate an author in the file name. Repeat
this song creation process for each song that will be sung during a service. To
save time, start with a presentation that you have already created and use Save
As
to rename it.

Announcing…

PowerPoint is a great tool for creating eye-catching announcements that may
be shown before and after a service. When creating announcements, only display
the major points of an event, such as name, place, date and time. Announcements
on screen are not always a substitution for printed material. Especially keep
away from displaying weekly schedules that no one could possibly memorize. If
there is a particular event that you would like to emphasize, copy that slide a
few times and place it randomly in between other announcements. Be sure to test
presentation colors on the projection system because what is seen on a computer
monitor may appear different through a projector. On that same note, do not put
in a lot of time and detail that may be lost when displayed on a big screen.
Create slides with scripture or thoughts pertaining to worship, your church’s
vision or the sermon topic. This is a great way to prepare the congregation for
worship. With these tips in mind, let’s create an announcement from scratch.

Start a new presentation and select a blank slide layout. Right-click on the
slide and select Background. There are several background options.
Experiment with different fill effects and choose a desired background. Picture
backgrounds from the Digital Juice or Kick Starters packages give announcements
a professional look even before any information is added.

Add a title to the announcement using the Word Art tool. Select a Word Art
style by double-clicking on the desired style. Select a font and type in a title
for the announcement. Determine if the heading should take up more than one line
and return when necessary. At this point, do not worry about the font size.
Click OK and drag the Word Art to the desired location. Resize the title
as needed. Experiment with the Word Art controls, particularly the Word Art
shape.

Add text boxes as needed for dates and other information. Select fonts and
colors that may be read easily. Resize and rearrange as needed.

To add a picture, first insert your PowerPoint 2000 clip art CD. Click the
Clip Art button and then click Find. Type in a keyword for the graphic
you want (e.g., church, rainbow, etc.) and click Find Now. When a
suitable picture is located, click the image and then the Insert Clip
button. The picture will be inserted onto the slide. Resize and move the picture
to the desired location. If the picture is covering up text, move it behind the
text by right-clicking on the image and making a selection from the Order
menu. To insert a picture that is not located in the Clip Art gallery, select Insert
> Picture > From file
and find the image that you would like to use.
Experiment with the Picture tools.

Two Transitions volumes, with more than 70
images in each, plug into PowerPoint 97 and 2000, adding transition and
synchronized sound effects.

Inserting shapes is a useful technique. Use shapes to highlight an area of an
announcement by placing them behind the important text. They also can be used to
design unique backgrounds. Click the AutoShapes button and select a
suitable shape. Resize, reposition and reorder the shape as desired. Recolor the
shape by right-clicking on it and selecting Format AutoShape.

Now it’s time to bring this announcement to life by animating the objects.
This is where the real fun begins! Right-click on any object and choose Custom
Animation
.

Click on the tab labeled Order and Timing. Check the box next to each
object name to be animated. In the Animation Order window, arrange the
objects in the desired order. Set each animation to Automatically in the Start
Animation
box. A delay time may be set if preferred. Now click the Effects
tab. Click on an object in the Check to animate slide objects box and
choose an animation for that object. Some animations have various options. Click
Preview to see what the animation will look like. Repeat this step for
each object to be animated.

When finished, click OK. Press F5 to see the slide in action. Make
adjustments to the animations if necessary. Repeat these instructions for
additional announcements.

The announcements should cycle at a set time interval. To enable this
feature, select Slideshow > Set up show. Check the box next to Loop
continuously until Esc.
under Advance slides, make sure that it is
set to Use timings, if present. Next, set the transition and time
interval. Switch to the slide sorter view by clicking the icon located in the
lower left of the screen. Right-click on any slide and choose Slide
transition
. Set the transition to Random Transition. Under Advance,
uncheck the On mouse click box and check the Automatically after
box. Set a time interval of 10-15 seconds. Click Apply to All and the
settings will affect every one of the announcements.

Save the presentation to the Announcements folder and name it
“Announcements.”

Take note!


Digital Juice puts thousands of royalty-free graphics on 15 CDs at
your fingertips. This program also includes a tutorial video and color
index of the graphics library.

Displaying sermon notes is a great way to keep the congregation’s attention
and help them retain the message. Pastors who want to maximize this method
should plan their sermons far enough in advance so that their notes may be
assembled into PowerPoint.

Let’s create a fill-in-the-blank slide. In this example, a sentence will
appear, “God has called us to make ________ of all nations.” When the
mouse is clicked, the word “disciples” will dissolve in to fill the
blank. Start with a new slide and select an appropriate background. Add a text
box and type in the first part of the sentence, “God has called us to
make.” Next, create a second text box and type in the last part of the
sentence, “of all nations.” Now draw a line using the line tool,
located next to Auto Shapes. Be sure to make the line long enough for the
fill-in word. Finally, create a third text box with the word
“disciples” and position it over the line. Alter the fonts and
locations of the boxes as desired.

Using techniques learned for creating announcements, animate each object on
the slide. Pay attention to the order of the objects. Make sure that the fill-in
word is last on the list and set it to animate On Mouse Click. All other
objects should be set to advance automatically. When setting the effect type,
choose Zoom for the line and Dissolve for the fill-in word.

Now give it a try! If everything has been set correctly, the sentence should
appear with the blank and then the slide should pause. When the left mouse
button is clicked or the space bar is pressed, the word should dissolve to fill
in the blank.

Create as many notes slides as necessary and save the presentation to the Notes
folder. To save time, duplicate slides and change the text.

A warm welcome

For the welcome time of a worship service, create a slide with your church
name and logo to be displayed while people greet each other. Use techniques
learned for creating announcements. If a digital camera is available, take a
picture of your church to use on the slide. Save the slide as its own
presentation to the Service folder.

Put it all together

Now that all of the necessary presentations have been created, it’s time to
assemble a service! Start a new, blank presentation and switch to the Slide
sorter view
. All of the individual presentations that have been produced
need to be compiled into one service file. To do this, select Insert >
Slides from files
and then click Browse. Navigate to the Songs
folder and double-click the first song in the order of worship. Click Insert
All
and the slides will be put in to the new presentation. Click Browse
again and repeat this procedure until the all of the songs, sermon notes and
welcome presentations have been added. Do not add the announcements. When
finished, click Close.

Rearrange the slides as needed by dragging them to the desired location.
Multiple slides may be selected, such as a whole song, and then moved all at
once. Slides may also be cut and pasted within the presentation.

To ensure that slides will not automatically advance, select Slideshow
> Set up show
and choose Advance slides manually. Save the
presentation to the Service folder and name it “Service.”

Action!

The projector is glowing, the computer is up and running, the congregation is
on their way, and it’s time to put PowerPoint into action! First, open the Announcements
presentation and then the Service file. When using a dual-screen
computer, set the presentation to display on Monitor 2 under Set up
show
. Start the Announcements presentation by pressing F5.
Hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key to switch back to
PowerPoint’s edit screen. Now start the Service presentation. It is now
possible to use Alt > Tab to switch between the announcements and the
service files without the congregation seeing PowerPoint’s editing screen. If
this is done quickly enough, no one will even notice the box that pops up for
program selection. It can be a little tricky, but practice makes perfect!
Dual-screen users should forgo the Alt > Tab technique and use the
program buttons available on the Windows toolbar.

When navigating PowerPoint during the worship service, use the forward and
backward arrows to move through the presentation. Print out the slides for a
reference sheet. Dual screen users may use the control screen as a reference. To
jump to a slide out of sequence, type the slide number and press Enter.
Press B on the keyboard to black out the screen. Press B again to
return to the slide show.

Become a maestro of multimedia! Practice with the choir or praise team so
that the slides will flow with the music. Timing and organization are very
important when running a slideshow for worship. If there are going to be any
major distractions, it will be due to lack of preparation on the part of the
computer operator. During the song service, advance to the next slide midway
through the last line of the current slide. If there is a musical interlude,
stay on the current slide or insert a slide with scripture or imagery pertaining
to the song. Be sure to pay close attention during the sermon and display notes
slides on cue.

Before long, you will be creating stunning presentations that enhance worship
and maximize learning. Develop an eye for graphics and enlist volunteers with a
passion for art and media. Take time to experiment with new ideas and seek out
ways to take full advantage of PowerPoint. Eventually, you will become a master
at using PowerPoint in worship.

Tim Eason is president of ChurchMedia.net(www.churchmedia.net)
and travels the country training churches to use media in ministry. He is the
author of
Using PowerPoint in Worship, an electronic training program.

For a printable version of this article with step-by-step
visual aids, visit our Web site at www.churchbusiness.com.


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Uncategorized

5 Steps to Better Church Lighting



by Andy Manning

By Andy Manning

Selecting the proper lighting for a church is one of the most
important decisions for any building or remodeling project. Church lighting should not
only provide adequate illumination, it should also complement a church’s architecture, be
efficient and easy to maintain.

Through the years, lighting companies have found that the
congregations that plan ahead and follow a few simple steps are happiest with the end
result. The following steps explore the basics of church lighting. For more detailed
information, it is always best to consult with an architect, engineer, lighting designer
or manufacturer’s representative.

Step 1: Decide on a location

Proper location of each fixture and electrical box is important not only to ensure a
uniform level of illumination but also to fit into the architectural design and pew layout
of the church.

No matter how pews are arranged, fixtures should be centered over pew areas (not the
aisles) to ensure enough light for comfortable reading. Spacing between fixtures should be
based not only on the light coverage desired but also on the spacing of the windows,
ceiling beams and other architectural elements.

Additionally, it is important to provide enough lighting for members to find seats and
locate exits. Churches also should examine other lighting issues including theatrical,
custom, exterior, office, parking lot and hall as well as the electrical considerations
entailed in those systems.

Step 2: Determine mounting height

The mounting height of each fixture should be based on the lighting level desired, the
appearance of the fixtures in relation to architectural elements, and uniform distribution
of light at the reading plane.

Pendant lighting using reflector flood downlights should be suspended so the distance
from floor to bottom of fixture is about 1.2 times the distance between fixtures
longitudinally. Generally, the higher a fixture is mounted, the more even the light
distribution will be below. However, the higher a fixture is mounted, the more the wattage
of the downlight must be increased to compensate for the higher mounting height.

Step 3: Choose lamp-type wattage

The light level at the reading plane of a church largely depends on the architecture,
denomination and tastes of the congregation. Today, a level of anywhere from 15 to 40
foot-candles is recommended at the reading level for comfortable observation.

Most churches prefer a level of above 30 foot-candles. Though calculation of exact
requirements is complex, an allowance of one to five watts per square foot can be figured
as average to obtain adequate results.

Another important area is electrical capabilities. In some instances, the facility will
need additional electrical panels; however, they should remain as inconspicuous as
possible, especially when redesigning the lighting systems in older buildings. Wiring in
existing churches should be checked for capacity with an architect or engineer. Churches
also may elect to consult with a lightning director to evaluate their overall lighting
needs and to provide solutions rather than simply relying on the church’s architect in the
past.

Many pendant fixtures are available with downlights, interior lamps and uplights
depending on the model and size selected. In most cases, the greatest percentage of total
wattage should be reserved for the downlight with small incandescent lamps used in the
interior of the fixture.

Fluorescent and metal halide lamps offer greater energy efficiency and longer lamp life
than incandescent lamps. However, the initial cost of the fixture is higher, especially if
a church leader wants to allow dimming of the fixtures. Some congregations prefer the warm
color of standard incandescent lamps vs. the cool color of more energy efficient lamps.
However, lamp technology has greatly improved in the last 10 years and fluorescent and
metal halide lamps deserve a close look.

Step 4: Select the fixture

There are two basic ways to light a church: direct fixtures use downlights that light
the pew areas from above, and indirect lighting fixtures bounce light off the ceiling to
light the area.

Direct fixtures are better suited for churches with dark interiors and high ceilings.
Gothic period churches maintain the beauty of their deep-shadowed, vaulted ceilings by
using this type of lighting system.

Indirect fixtures work best for white or light wood interiors and lower ceilings. These
lights are often featured in Greek or auditorium-type churches.

Some fixtures combine both indirect and direct lighting for the advantages of both.
Contemporary churches sometime use a combination depending on the various moods they seek
to convey.

The proportion and size of the selected design will depend on the proportions of the
interior, spacing between outlets and the height at which fixtures will be suspended.

In an interior where the height is greater than the width, fixtures of similar
proportions are more compatible. A good rule of thumb is to choose a unit about 1-inch
diameter to each foot of spacing between units longitudinally. In interiors where the
width is greater than the height, 2-inch in fixture diameter should be figured for each
foot of spacing. Care should be taken that the size selected has sufficient wattage
capacity to produce desired lighting results.

Step 5: Determine how you’ll light other locations

In general, churches fall into two classes, Liturgical or Ritualistic and Conventicle
or Evangelical.

In the Liturgical or Ritualistic class, the altar is the focal point and the religious
ceremony takes precedence over the speaker. Since the altar or chancel is the focal point
of most churches, it is recommended that the light levels be two to three times greater
than above the pews.

Lighting for this area should also be concealed from the congregation to avoid any
distractions and provide an unobstructed view. Adjustable flood and spotlight units
mounted behind an arch or beam can be used to light the general area and spotlight the
altar, pulpit or other areas. An adequate light level should also be provided so church
members can follow the service in their missals.

In the Conventicle or Evangelical class, it is also important to provide necessary
lighting for the congregation to read. However, the speaker is the focal point and
provisions should be made to reduce lighting levels in the auditorium during sermons in
order to accentuate the speaker with high-intensity spot lighting.

Lighting the pulpit or lectern is best accomplished with two units to minimize shadows.
Light on the speaker should be directed from an angle between 30 and 45 degrees forward
from the speaker and spaced so that the angle is 45 degrees or more above where the
speaker stands.

Areas above and below balconies should be lit with smaller fixtures that match the
units in the main area. Fixtures are available in several sizes and styles, including
ceiling-mounted fixtures for under balconies.

Foyer and hallway lighting should be selected by room proportions using 1.5-inch
fixture diameter to one foot of room width as a guide to proportions.

Entrances can be lit with wall brackets and pendant fixtures designed for outdoor use.
Allow approximately 1-inch diameter to one foot of entranceway width as a general rule for
proportions.

Andy Manning is the president of Manning Lighting, Sheboygan, WI, established in
1948.

Uncategorized

Answering the Call to Urban Ministry



by Bob Adams

Continued from

page 1

At Bronx Bethany, here is what the Spirit is already doing:

  • Worship that consistently manifests the majesty, holiness and beauty of the Lord through music, the arts and proclamation of the Word of God
  • Ministries that reach out and touch people in the Bronx and the greater New York region, effectively providing physical, spiritual, emotional and social healing
  • Fellowship that provides dignity, nurture, acceptance, personal empowerment and personal development
  • Discipleship that provides growth for members into Christ-like behavior and examples of redemption wherever their spheres of influence take them
  • Pastoral staff team that is capable, effective and efficient in equipping the saints for the work of the ministry

The mission of BBCN is to be a Spirit-filled community of love with a place for everyone, where people experience the forgiveness of sins and the cleansing of their hearts by faith in Jesus Christ. The church is committed to:

  • Providing access to God’s grace for everyone,
  • Responding compassionately and practically to human needs in the name of Christ, and
  • Being a redemptive influence in the Bronx and the world to the glory of God.

Bronx Bethany is living out the Word of God among people who are far from God. In addition to the “saving grace” that only God can provide, they seek to cultivate what Bakke calls “common grace” to live and grow in the city. Common grace is the grace God uses to animate architects, artists, prophets, politicians, teachers and preachers alike – to fully invest themselves in the city to provide healthy people, healthy families and healthy communities. The cultivation of a good city is the business of all believers until the consummation of his kingdom occurs.

It’s not enough to look to the cities and see a great mass of unreached people there. A theology of the city must include, as Bronx Bethany lives out daily, a biblically comprehensive gift of common grace for all people who call the city “home.” As Psalm 48 reminds us, God has an urban address: “Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God.”

Most of us (certainly me, before my Bronx adventure) look at the inner city and see misery and despair. The congregation at BBCN sees promise and opportunity in an after-school program that consistently has a waiting list and helps develop boys and girls in academics, the arts and social interaction. Who among us has not looked at efforts to eliminate poverty and seen a history of failed programs? Bronx Bethany sees progress – slow, but steady – and creates a community corporation to work with diverse groups in the neighborhoods to continue that progress. When we dare travel in the city, it is mostly to go through it, from one place to another. The people of Bronx Bethany live there, or travel to there, to minister among the people there.

I don’t know where my urban adventures will go next, but I do know that the people of BBCN are living out a very clear biblical mandate in their city; they see solutions, not problems. They are committed and optimistic that God is indeed in their city – and they are making deliberate choices to join him at work there.

Bob Adams is the lead church development consultant for JH Batten Inc. (www.jhbatten.com), a church design-build firm. His background includes 23 years as an associate and executive pastor with primary responsibility in church facilities administration. Adams’ passion is helping the Church and its people to be efficient in their use of ministry resources so they can be effective in accomplishing their vision. Read his Learning Solutions blog or visit his personal blog at http://27gen.blogspot.com.

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A blog by Dennis Richards



10/11/2007

As I write this, I’m getting ready to ask the staff of Bent Tree, “What is branding, anyway?” My guess is that most of the responses will be standard: logo design, naming, colors, the look of the Web site or bulletin, etc. These are all valid responses, and all are elements of what makes up a brand. Dictionary.com describes “brand” as a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer.

I think branding for ministries is much like contemporary worship used to be 10 or 15 years ago. People are realizing that there is something different happening, and this thing called branding is not going away. People are starting to realize they need to pay attention to how things are changing around them in a world of communications, branding and messaging.

Branding is often seen as a mystical thing. I hear all the time, “If we could only have our brand strategy understood or clarified” – again, valid comments. But branding, ultimately, is simply letting people know who you are; it’s sharing your personality with the world. It’s the difference between choosing to pull on a pair of jeans, a comfortable T-shirt and sandals for work, rather than dressing up in a suit and tie each day. It’s part of my personality, and it’s my persona.

The same is true of a church. Some churches are more formal, while others are more edgy and reach a different audience. The trick is letting these distinctions shine through. Is it logo, color, Web site or identity package (brochures, letterhead, business cards)? The answer is “all of the above.”

What is the DNA of your church? Are you more the jeans-and-T-shirt place or the suit-and-tie spot? Once you figure out who you are and how you live out this thing called church, the hard part is over. The fun part of branding is coming up with the right messaging and design that allows your personality to be well-known for Christ.

Dennis Richards is the director of communications for Bent Tree Fellowship, where he successfully leads the church in the branding, marketing and communications. Prior to joining Bent Tree, Richards served as a professional marketer and brand manager to the interiors industry, working for several domestic and international brands. Those skills have proven an added resource in helping Bent Tree in its building-expansion program. In addition to his normal responsibilities, Richards also enjoys serving in the Worship and Arts Ministry as one of the guitar players.


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