Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What a busy few weeks!

It has simply been a busy couple weeks. I took some time off from blogging to spend some quality time in prayer and to spend time in fellowship with other believers. I have also been plagued by Satan some in the fact that he has caused Christians I know to stumble.

Let me give you a situation and you can draw your own conclusions:

A church is in the process of looking for an associate pastor who will be in charge a children from the seventh grade through then end of senior high school. During this period a person from that search group decides that he is being led to take the position over that the group is looking for. The church goes along with it. Now a few short years later with this person getting no further education to help him in his position the group that he is now in charge of starts to disintegrate. Parents and leaders in this group are starting to see it fail. Against many times of warning and trying to get him to better himself and despite parents advising there children not to participate he is still blind to see this.

What should happen next?

My take- A definite change of leadership is needed!

It is one thing to feel what you are doing is righteous and a completely separate thing to be righteous and try to rebuke your friends, even those who are in leadership positions, when they are wrong. Nehemiah 5:7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. King James Version.  Let me ask you all this question: If you are a member of a body of believers and one who is not qualified steps up to take a position no one wants is the people that put him there to blame? YES! Is the person who took the position to blame? YES! If this person in no way tries to better himself and seek the will of God does the blame lie more on the person in the position? I think so. How can you expect someone to get better at something if they only have what is read from books and no practical learning is gained save from that on the job? I do not believe that the responsibility lies solely on the one who is being rebuked. However if that person has exhibited traits that make him unsuited for the position should the people that put him there have the right to remove him? Yes!

What a busy few weeks!

It has simply been a busy couple weeks. I took some time off from blogging to spend some quality time in prayer and to spend time in fellowship with other believers. I have also been plagued by Satan some in the fact that he has caused Christians I know to stumble.

Let me give you a situation and you can draw your own conclusions:

A church is in the process of looking for an associate pastor who will be in charge a children from the seventh grade through then end of senior high school. During this period a person from that search group decides that he is being led to take the position over that the group is looking for. The church goes along with it. Now a few short years later with this person getting no further education to help him in his position the group that he is now in charge of starts to disintegrate. Parents and leaders in this group are starting to see it fail. Against many times of warning and trying to get him to better himself and despite parents advising there children not to participate he is still blind to see this.

What should happen next?

My take- A definite change of leadership is needed!

It is one thing to feel what you are doing is righteous and a completely separate thing to be righteous and try to rebuke your friends, even those who are in leadership positions, when they are wrong. Nehemiah 5:7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. King James Version.  Let me ask you all this question: If you are a member of a body of believers and one who is not qualified steps up to take a position no one wants is the people that put him there to blame? YES! Is the person who took the position to blame? YES! If this person in no way tries to better himself and seek the will of God does the blame lie more on the person in the position? I think so. How can you expect someone to get better at something if they only have what is read from books and no practical learning is gained save from that on the job? I do not believe that the responsibility lies solely on the one who is being rebuked. However if that person has exhibited traits that make him unsuited for the position should the people that put him there have the right to remove him? Yes!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Book review blogs subject to hefty FTC fine

http://www.examiner.com/x-416-Chicago-Literary-Scene-Examiner~y2009m10d6-Book-review-blogs-subject-to-hefty-FTC-fine

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission revised its decades-old "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials" to include bloggers, Galley Cat reports. Essentially, the FTC is urging any and all bloggers who review any type of product, from a Sham-Wow to a book, to disclose the relationship of the reviewer to the company who makes the product. If you write a favorable book review, for instance, the FTC expects your readers to know that you were compensated for the favorable review by accepting the product for free. The FTC views any free items  given to a reviewer as "compensation", even for advanced review copies(ARCs) of books.

So let's say a publisher sends you an ARC to review, and that publisher already has ad space on your page, then you like the book and review it positively, the FTC could fine you $11,000 for not disclosing your 'compensation'. If you don't like the book, the FTC won't mind. In the case of an Amazon ad on your page, and the book that you're reviewing is available for purchase at Amazon (what isn't?), though it wasn't sent to you from Amazon, and you positively review the book, then as I understand it, the FTC could keep an eye on you. WTF, FTC.

The real hullabaloo, in addition to the $11,000 fine, is that the FTC differentiates between print and blogs and grants print media the right to not disclose because of the presumption of objectivity(false). So a book review in Publisher's Weekly, say, can have an ad on the same page from the publisher of the reviewed book and that is OK. Since blogs are inferior (as indicated by the current state of print) and without an approved code of ethics, all bloggers are grafters and payola takers. The FTC has no idea how hard it is to review a bad book in a positive light, and they seem to discount the swift discreditation that happens from peers and readers when you write crap, not crappily cuz that's gonna hapn, but pure crap.

Crap, like what the Bureau of Consumer Protection representative Richard Cleland seems to know about blogs and book reviews. He suggests "returning" ARCs so there is no confusion over compensation. This "civil but heated" interview with him by literary blogger Edward Champion might not clear things up but it will show what's at stake. Cleland has arguments for imposing fines on bloggers who are pretending to be objective reviewers when in fact they are paid by the sponsor company. "“If there’s an expectation that you’re going to write a positive review,” said Cleland, “then there should be a disclosure.”(excerpted from the Champion interview.)

There should be some transparency, yes, but the government doesn't need to baby its people. If you make a purchase based off of one blogger's review, then you deserve what you get. Hustle is the American way.

It sounds as if the FTC is targeting advertisers moreso than bloggers and that the new guidelines are a work in progress. For book reviews, the law is troubling because it may further hamper a dying segment of entertainment coverage. The entire book reviewing process, with its advance buzz based on reviews, accounts nearly entirely for a book's success. As deformed as the publishing business model is, the ARC process (and now tied-in with video!) seems to be the only way to introduce books to readers. How would small indie presses compete with big guys for front window space in the big bookstores?

For more details, check out the interview and especially the comments, which raise a lot of great hypotheticals. The literary blogosphere is atwitter, and that's no tweet.

October 6, 1:50 PMChicago Literary Scene ExaminerRobert Duffer

( This stuff has been copied and pasted and in no way is an endorsement of this Blogger. )

Book review blogs subject to hefty FTC fine

http://www.examiner.com/x-416-Chicago-Literary-Scene-Examiner~y2009m10d6-Book-review-blogs-subject-to-hefty-FTC-fine

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission revised its decades-old "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials" to include bloggers, Galley Cat reports. Essentially, the FTC is urging any and all bloggers who review any type of product, from a Sham-Wow to a book, to disclose the relationship of the reviewer to the company who makes the product. If you write a favorable book review, for instance, the FTC expects your readers to know that you were compensated for the favorable review by accepting the product for free. The FTC views any free items  given to a reviewer as "compensation", even for advanced review copies(ARCs) of books.

So let's say a publisher sends you an ARC to review, and that publisher already has ad space on your page, then you like the book and review it positively, the FTC could fine you $11,000 for not disclosing your 'compensation'. If you don't like the book, the FTC won't mind. In the case of an Amazon ad on your page, and the book that you're reviewing is available for purchase at Amazon (what isn't?), though it wasn't sent to you from Amazon, and you positively review the book, then as I understand it, the FTC could keep an eye on you. WTF, FTC.

The real hullabaloo, in addition to the $11,000 fine, is that the FTC differentiates between print and blogs and grants print media the right to not disclose because of the presumption of objectivity(false). So a book review in Publisher's Weekly, say, can have an ad on the same page from the publisher of the reviewed book and that is OK. Since blogs are inferior (as indicated by the current state of print) and without an approved code of ethics, all bloggers are grafters and payola takers. The FTC has no idea how hard it is to review a bad book in a positive light, and they seem to discount the swift discreditation that happens from peers and readers when you write crap, not crappily cuz that's gonna hapn, but pure crap.

Crap, like what the Bureau of Consumer Protection representative Richard Cleland seems to know about blogs and book reviews. He suggests "returning" ARCs so there is no confusion over compensation. This "civil but heated" interview with him by literary blogger Edward Champion might not clear things up but it will show what's at stake. Cleland has arguments for imposing fines on bloggers who are pretending to be objective reviewers when in fact they are paid by the sponsor company. "“If there’s an expectation that you’re going to write a positive review,” said Cleland, “then there should be a disclosure.”(excerpted from the Champion interview.)

There should be some transparency, yes, but the government doesn't need to baby its people. If you make a purchase based off of one blogger's review, then you deserve what you get. Hustle is the American way.

It sounds as if the FTC is targeting advertisers moreso than bloggers and that the new guidelines are a work in progress. For book reviews, the law is troubling because it may further hamper a dying segment of entertainment coverage. The entire book reviewing process, with its advance buzz based on reviews, accounts nearly entirely for a book's success. As deformed as the publishing business model is, the ARC process (and now tied-in with video!) seems to be the only way to introduce books to readers. How would small indie presses compete with big guys for front window space in the big bookstores?

For more details, check out the interview and especially the comments, which raise a lot of great hypotheticals. The literary blogosphere is atwitter, and that's no tweet.

October 6, 1:50 PMChicago Literary Scene ExaminerRobert Duffer

( This stuff has been copied and pasted and in no way is an endorsement of this Blogger. )

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I have been reading like wildfire!

How to Stay Christian in High School by Steve Gerali

Times are tough and certainly it is no different for those who are at a critical stage of development. How can you share your faith with those whom you are acquainted with without alienating yourself? Some practical advice is given by Steve Gerali about how to do just that and how to remain true to God without letting yourself become a part of the, "world". Just being a Christian isn't enough it is a learning process and a battle for your beliefs. The devil will use your peers to tempt and deceive you and you must be willing to be firm in your foundation in Jesus. It is no cake walk to become a follower and no easy row to hoe when it comes to staying on the narrow path but I believe that with the Holy Bible in hand and other resources like this book from Steve Gerali you can at least get a glimpse of the hope that we have as Christians to defend our faith and make sure that our friends and family do not end up in a place separated from their Creator. I highly recommend this book, not only for teens, but parents of teens as well. It gives some insight to the struggles that our teens face in everyday society and the world of high school! Take care, God Bless and Tweet ya later!

How to Stay Christian in High School

I have been reading like wildfire!

How to Stay Christian in High School by Steve Gerali

Times are tough and certainly it is no different for those who are at a critical stage of development. How can you share your faith with those whom you are acquainted with without alienating yourself? Some practical advice is given by Steve Gerali about how to do just that and how to remain true to God without letting yourself become a part of the, "world". Just being a Christian isn't enough it is a learning process and a battle for your beliefs. The devil will use your peers to tempt and deceive you and you must be willing to be firm in your foundation in Jesus. It is no cake walk to become a follower and no easy row to hoe when it comes to staying on the narrow path but I believe that with the Holy Bible in hand and other resources like this book from Steve Gerali you can at least get a glimpse of the hope that we have as Christians to defend our faith and make sure that our friends and family do not end up in a place separated from their Creator. I highly recommend this book, not only for teens, but parents of teens as well. It gives some insight to the struggles that our teens face in everyday society and the world of high school! Take care, God Bless and Tweet ya later!

How to Stay Christian in High School

New Review!!!

I finished The Justice Game by Randy Singer!

I set out to read this book and simply review and blog about it. However, when I started reading it the intensity grabbed my attention straightaway. I was immediately engulfed into the life of Jason Noble, our protagonist, and what made him tick. I could not put this book down until I got 3/4 of the way through the book. I know that this is based on a true case that Mr. Singer tried a few years back and that a lot of these things written about are true to some extent but I just could not get all the way into this book. I made myself finish it and although it resolves well I still think that it is a far cry from Grisham and hesitate to even compare the two. I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars for its creativity and its story line. I applaud Mr. Singer for writing this novel for those of us who need to ease into more suspenseful thrillers. I will be interested to see what the author has in store for us in the future. Although I did not find this as thrilling as some of this books predecessors, I did think that the author used what he knew well to write about what he knows. God Bless and Tweet ya later!

http://www.amazon.com/review/R24JNS5AF4XA8S/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

New Review!!!

I finished The Justice Game by Randy Singer!

I set out to read this book and simply review and blog about it. However, when I started reading it the intensity grabbed my attention straightaway. I was immediately engulfed into the life of Jason Noble, our protagonist, and what made him tick. I could not put this book down until I got 3/4 of the way through the book. I know that this is based on a true case that Mr. Singer tried a few years back and that a lot of these things written about are true to some extent but I just could not get all the way into this book. I made myself finish it and although it resolves well I still think that it is a far cry from Grisham and hesitate to even compare the two. I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars for its creativity and its story line. I applaud Mr. Singer for writing this novel for those of us who need to ease into more suspenseful thrillers. I will be interested to see what the author has in store for us in the future. Although I did not find this as thrilling as some of this books predecessors, I did think that the author used what he knew well to write about what he knows. God Bless and Tweet ya later!

http://www.amazon.com/review/R24JNS5AF4XA8S/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm