Stonewall Jackson

Many great heroes of mine come from this incredible country we live in.  I would have to say one of the leaders I hold in the highest regard is General Stonewall Jackson.  Many folks don’t understand where he got his nickname; this video does a pretty good job of explaining it. I know in my life I have found when I feel God has called me to do something, He gives me the strength to do it – even when it may seem crazy to others.

A great movie that depicts Stonewall Jackson is Gods and Generals.  My favorite quote from the movie occurs when Stonewall Jackson and one of his captains are talking after the first battle.  The captain had noticed the strength of Stonewall Jackson during the battle and said to him,
“General , how is it you can keep so serene, stay so utterly insensible with a storm of shells and bullets raining about your head?”  To which Jackson replies (and this gives me chills,)
“Captain Smith, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed.  God has fixed the time for my death.  I do not concern myself with that.  But to be always ready, whenever it may overtake me – that is the way all men should live. Then all men would be equally brave.”

Enjoy the video!

God bless, Tim Marks

RC Sproul: Is it a Sin to be Wealthy?

Hey gang!  Here is a blog entry from RC Sproul, a remarkable theologian, author and pastor.  In it, he tackles an important subject: whether it’s a sin to be wealthy, or not.  This is a very important question to have answered, particularly if your goal is to achieve financial freedom through building a LIFE Leadership business.  RC does a remarkable job breaking this issue down and helping us understand what God intends for us in regards to wealth.

God Bless,

Tim Marks

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2015

Ask R.C.: Is It a Sin To Be Wealthy?

No. One can certainly get wealthy by sinning. One can certainly sin while being wealthy. But it is surely not a sin to be wealthy. Though few would be so crass as to express such a sentiment, it nevertheless often reveals itself, ironically among the wealthy. Wealth, remember, is a relative term. Most of us like to think of ourselves as somewhere safely in the middle. But I suspect 99% of you reading this are, in terms of wealth, in the 1% of the wealthiest humans to ever walk on this planet.

Wealth, like wine, is a blessing from God that can be misused, that can bring with it a bevy of temptations peculiar to it. One temptation common to many of God’s blessings is that we forget they are God’s blessings. That is, we lose sight of the giver of the gift in loving the gift. Every good gift, however, should be seen as a window through which we behold the grace and the beauty of the Giver. Wealth has this added danger- it can encourage us to lose sight of our dependence of God.

Which brings us to how to rightly respond to the gift of wealth. First, give thanks, knowing that it comes from the hand of God. Were we better able to recognize that we are all in the 1% we would begin to push back against the envy that crushes gratitude. We see wealth as wicked because we think it’s something other people have that we don’t. But to 99% of those who ever lived, we are the other people.

Second, recognize that we are but stewards of what God has given us. Better yet, recognize that you are the steward of what God has given you, and I am the steward of what God has given me. Sometimes we use the truth that we are stewards of what is God’s as a pretext to judge how others handle what God has given them. We think this one shouldn’t have such a big house but should be financing missions, and that one shouldn’t have such fine clothes but should be supporting the local soup kitchen. We pride ourselves into thinking we could steward the money God gave the other guy to care for than he does.

We can debate on the requirements God makes of His stewards, whether the tithe is still binding, to whom it should go, gross or net. What we must not do is add to God’s requirements. Nor subtract from them. That is, not only is it not a sin to enjoy the wealth God has given you, it is likely a sin to not enjoy it. God commands His people in Deuteronomy 14:26- “And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”

Which means the key is gratitude, not how much or how little we have been given to steward. We need not repent of our wealth. We likely need to repent for our failure to recognize it, and give thanks to the Giver. Wealth is no more proof of greed than poverty is proof of laziness. Work hard. Remember your dependence. Give thanks. And enjoy.

Obamacare Sunk My Personal Doctor

Gang, this letter says it all.  It’s moments where you hear how wrong thinking has hurt people, that further underlines the importance of the aim of LIFE Leadership to help people have personal, financial, spiritual and political freedom.  Here is an excerpt from the letter, for those of you who don’t want to squint:

“Dear Tim and Amy,

It is with deepest regret that I must inform you of the closure of my private family practice located at ********, Cape Coral, FL.

As many of you know, the Affordable Care Act (OBAMACARE) has enacted unprecedented rules and regulations that are deleteriously affecting your access to quality healthcare.  Most are aimed at forcing doctors to collect your personal health information and report it to the federal government or pay a substantial penalty.  Unfortunately, these new policies and regulations make the future operation of small medical practices financially unsustainable.”

 

tim doctor obamacare

Just because someone is doing well in the S quadrant doesn’t mean things can turn around and go south on them in a moment.  Orrin Woodward talks brilliantly about the 5 Laws of Decline in his landmark book, And Justice For All.  If you are wondering if we are losing our freedoms, just read this letter from my doctor on having to close his practice because of Obamacare.  With your help, the incredible LIFE Leadership organization can continue to bring the truth to people about political and financial freedom.

God Bless, Tim Marks

 

Ben Carson Offers Outspoken Views

Hey gang!  From time to time, I know I post things on  my blog that are likely hot-button political issues.  At LIFE Leadership, we are committed to educating people about personal, financial and (in this blog post) political freedom through books like And Justice For All by Orrin Woodward, Inc. Magazine Top 20 Leadership guru.  In sharing videos clips like the one below, I know that I do so at the risk of offending some people.  That is never my intent.  My goal is just to get people thinking about their own life, the lives of others, how they can help them and, in this case, help the future of our country.

I really wish that a guy like Ben Carson, a bestselling author and wildly successful surgeon by trade, could get into the Oval Office.  Out of all the Presidential candidates he is by far the most well read and educated on things that matter.  He understands business, politics, religion, and art.  Most importantly for the presidential office, he understands the true meaning of leadership, and that it is to serve others.  I really hope somehow he finds a way to battle the establishment politicians and make his way to the Oval Office.  I would encourage you to study him and make your own decisions politically, but if he ends up on the ballot he’s got my vote!  God Bless, Tim Marks

Check out this video on YouTube:

The Unjust Treatment of Kent Hovind

I don’t know how many of you have heard of Kent Hovind  or have followed his story, but I wanted to give you all an update and make you aware of the current injustice that he is experiencing.
From Forbes:
Kent E. Hovind (born January 15, 1953), an American young earth creationist, is considered by many to be one of the foremost authorities on science and the Bible. The amazing ability of Kent Hovind to communicate complicated scientific concepts in an easy-to-understand format makes this essential information accessible for youth and laypersons, as well as science professors. The goal of his creation seminars is to convince listeners to reject theories of evolution, geophysics, and cosmology in favor of the Genesis creation narrative from the Bible. As of 2012, this Creation Seminar has parts translated via subtitling in 37 languages.
While I do not agree with Kent on some doctrinal issues, we do agree on the majors.  As you will see in the video below, Kent has been the victim of unjust treatment in our legal system.  Let me be clear: he is most likely not without some amount of issue  (for example, not paying taxes, etc.)  While some people may say income tax is a farce, the courts will still put you in jail for not paying them, so I wisely choose to pay.
However, nothing warrants what this judge has done to Kent and continues to try to do to him.  If in fact the court documents have been altered, as argued in this video, that is a serious serious issue.
Please pray about how God may use you to help Kent Hovind through this situation.
God Bless, Tim Marks
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Below is an excerpt from a Forbes article on the Kent Hovind situation and what “structuring” is:

You will see reports that Kent Hovind is in prison for tax evasion. This is understandable. According to this recent Tax Court decision concerning Mrs. Hovind, neither he nor she were filing 1040s. That is not what he is in prison for. In 2006, a jury found Kent Hovind guilty on all counts of a fifty-eight count indictment. Twelve counts concerned failure to file quarterly payroll tax returns for Creation Science Evangelism (Mr. Hovind’s ministry which operated the Dinosaur Adventure Land theme park). Forty-five counts were for “structuring”. He or his wife made cash withdrawals from the bank in the amounts of $9,500 or $9,600 on forty-five separate occasions between the summer of 2001 and the summer of 2002. The 58th count said he had corruptly endeavored “to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws” . That particular offense reminds me of a crime that the city cops I hung around with in the seventies used to talk about. They called it “ B and A”, which stood for “being an _______”. In Hovind’s case it included filing complaints, making threats and paying his employees in cash and calling them missionaries.The Creation Hall of Fame has replaced its statement that Mr. Hovind was testing the constitutionality of the tax laws and was unable to find a righteous judge with a lengthy statement by Hovind that explains that he was not doing that. Here are some excerpts:“I have NEVER been a tax protester. America was founded by those type guys and we NEED them today, but I am NOT one.  The government, however, broke over 20 laws to put me in prison. This has been the history of man. See the story of Joseph, Job, Jesus, 6 million Jews in Hitler’s camps etc.  I DO NOT say the tax laws are unconstitutional nor did I break one to “prove a point” or “test the law.”Hovind appealed his conviction and sentence to the Eleventh Circuit, which upheld both, but he has not given up.

He has a letter from an anonymous sympathetic banker on his site that gives this analysis of the structuring charge:

By this twisted logic, if you deposit or withdrew $500 from your own bank account every week for 21 weeks, you could be arrested and charged with 21 counts of structuring because the amount went over $10,000.‘ You could be fined $5,250,000 and sentenced to 105 years in prison (even though you never had the $10,000 in your account at any one time and the money was not earned or spent illegally)!

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UPDATE:  Charges against Kent Hovind DROPPED!

He is out! Here is the link to the Kent Hovind official blog with all official updates:

KentHovindBlog.com

As well, check out this YouTube video!

Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?

Hey Gang!  One of the things I am most proud of about the values of LIFE Leadership is our commitment to freedom.  Here is video and a re-post of a blog article from Time Magazine that perfectly sums of the meaning of today.  As you enjoy time with your family, please take time to honor the ultimate sacrifice our fighting men and women have given so that we may enjoy our freedom.

God Bless, Tim Marks

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Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?

by Tessa Berenson

This is the real meaning of the holiday.

It’s easy to forget what Memorial Day actually means while you’re sitting by the pool and looking ahead at summer vacation—but the day signifies much more than just a three-day weekend.

Memorial Day is a solemn day of remembrance for everyone who has died serving in the American armed forces. The holiday, originally known as Decoration Day, started after the Civil War to honor the Union and Confederate dead.

It’s unclear exactly where the holiday originated—Charleston, S.C., Waterloo, N.Y., Columbus, Ga. and other towns all claim to be the birthplace of the holiday. The event in Charleston that may have precipitated the holiday offers poignant evidence of a country struggling to rebuild itself after a bloody war: 257 Union soldiers died in prison in Charleston during the Civil War and were buried in unmarked graves, and the town’s black residents organized a May Day ceremony in which they landscaped a burial ground to properly honor the soldiers.

In the years following the Civil War, Memorial Day celebrations were scattered and, perhaps unsurprisingly, took root differently in the North and South. It wasn’t until after World War II that the holiday gained a strong following and national identity, and it wasn’t officially named Memorial Day until 1967.

The final event that cemented the modern culture of Memorial Day in America was in 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Act, designating Memorial Day as the last Monday in May rather than May 30, as it had previously been observed. This ensured a three-day weekend and gave the day its current status as the unofficial beginning of summer, mixing serious reflection with more lighthearted fun.

21 Ways to Achieve Wealth and Success

Hey gang!  One of the key ingredients for success is forming the right success habits.  In fact, ever since Maxwell Maltz shared his observations in his bestseller PsychoCybernetics on how he saw his patients adjust to a change in an average of 21 days, the top success speakers and coaches have locked onto a 21-day paradigm for personal transformation.

Why are habits so powerful?  Because we are operating on autopilot for most of our actions, most of the day.  We brush our teeth a certain way, and put on our pants a certain way.  We say grace before meals as a habit, read daily from a good book as a habit, or watch television and veg out as a habit.  Many habits are so automatic we aren’t even conscious we are doing them.   In fact, sometimes we are on such autopilot in the morning that we might find ourselves in our car halfway to work before we realize it!  If we can train ourselves to do the right thing automatically we tilt the scales of success in our favor.  If we don’t, human nature tends to do the easiest, most pleasurable thing… and those habits tend to lead toward ruin.  As Samuel Johnson said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”  

Here is a great article on forming the habits to success from Entrepreneur magazine.   I challenge you to ask yourself, “Which of these am I doing, and doing every day?”  The answer will likely astound you!

God Bless, Tim Marks

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21 Ways to Achieve Wealth and Success

by Meiko Patton

In his book, Rich Habits — The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, Tom Corley outlines several habits that distinguish the wealthy from the nonwealthy.

It got me to think, How many people operate on autopilot and don’t stop to monitor their everyday patterns? Below I’ve summarized 19 of his habits for success (nine culled from his book and the next 10 from his recent article in Success) plus two of my own. If you’re not actively engaged in these 21 things, you are, in effect, leaving money on the table.

  1. Setting good daily habits.

Good habits are the foundation of wealth building. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people lies in their daily habits. Simply put, successful people have many good habits and few bad ones. If you understand that your bad habits may be preventing you from becoming wealthy, that realization will be the first step in your improving your circumstances.

In his book, Corley invites you to take out a sheet of paper and list your bad habits in one column and then invert each one to place under a new column for good habits. It should look like this:

Bad Habit/Good Habit

I watch too much TV.             I limit myself to one hour of TV per day.

I don’t remember names.     I write down names and remember them.

Then for 30 days, follow the guidance of your new good habits list. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

  1. Regularly creating goals.

Successful people are goal driven. They create goals all the time. They plan their day the night before with to-do lists.

People who are headed for success think for the long term. They have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. But what’s a goal without a plan to reach them? So not only do successful people have goals, they also come up with ways to achieve them and hold themselves accountable.

  1. Engaging in self-improvement daily.

Successful people are always looking for ways to improve themselves. They read every day and are students of their profession. They don’t spend their time on activities that don’t bring them closer to their goals.

I recently attended an event hosted by author Brendon Burchard, who said he consistently blocks out time to create. Successful people like Burchard know that time is too valuable a commodity to waste. They spend their time on the things that will move the needle for them in their business: Being committed to self-improvement means you engage in activities every day that will stretch you.

Seek ways to expand your knowledge. This won’t always be easy, but people grow from things that pose a challenge. Once your knowledge grows, opportunities appear.

  1. Regularly taking care of personal health.

Each and every day successful people make an effort to eat right and exercise. Eating right is of utmost importance. Exercising daily can become a regular habit, just like taking a bath. People who exercise routinely have more energy to get things done. How are you doing in this area?

  1. Often making time for relationship building.

People who are successful are other-people focused. They take time out of their day to strengthen the bonds of friendship and form long-lasting relationships with others. Networking is something they do all the time. They reach out to their contacts and look for ways to help them with no expectation of in return.

The most beautiful sound on Earth, I once heard someone say, is your name. So make it a goal to learn the names of every contact you meet. Aren’t you impressed when someone remembers your name? I know I am. So stand out as different and start remembering names.

  1. Doing things in moderation.

You live in a balanced way if you do activities in moderation. This means having a balanced approach to work, eating, exercise, consuming alcohol, watching television, surfing the Internet and so forth. As a result, people will enjoy your company. If people like being around you, then you will be more apt to collaborate or find the new business partner that you need to take your business to the next level.

  1. Getting things done.

Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today: Accomplish things. All people have fears, but successful people push past them. They don’t procrastinate. They get the important things done, no matter the cost.

In Rich Habits, Corley explains that when the thought of putting off something enters the mind, immediately shed notion by saying, “Do it now.” He says repeat these words 100 times if necessary. Just don’t stop till the task is done.

  1. Keeping a positive outlook.

Consider the most successful person you know. Is that person positive or negative? Most likely this individual is positive, enthusiastic, energetic and happy. This person chooses to see the good in others and in himself or herself. To this person, problems are just opportunities waiting to be uncovered.

Every day people are bombarded by news of bad deeds and doings. Successful people minimize their exposure to this type of thing and instead opt to fill their minds with positive ideas from books and magazines.

  1. Regularly saving money. 

According to Corley, successful individuals put away about 10 percent to 20 percent of their gross earnings in a savings, investment or retirement plan. Not everyone can afford to do so, but what percent are you putting away?

  1. Rejecting self-limiting thoughts. 

Successful people command their thoughts and emotions. As soon as bad thoughts intrude, they cast out anything that challenges their ability to succeed at the task at hand. They do not dwell on negative notions. Their self-talk is positive and not overly critical. They replace bad thoughts with good ones.

Because successful people engage in self-improvement daily and are constantly involved in positive things, they don’t allow themselves time to indulge in negative emotions.

  1. Living within means.

Wealthy people avoid overspending. Among many of those struggling financially, some are living above their means. They spend more than they earn, live from paycheck to paycheck and are drowning in credit-card debt. If this is you, resolve today to turn things around for you and your family.

  1. Reading daily. 

Many successful people read 30 minutes or more every day. Reading can increase your knowledge and know-how. When you read, often  you are seeking to improve yourself. This automatically sets you apart from your counterparts. You will stand out from the competition.

  1. Limiting TV watching. 

Did you know that many successful  people limit the amount their TV time to one hour or less a day? How much time do you lose in front of the television that you could be spending doing something more productive?

  1. Doing more than what’s required.

Successful people regularly go above and beyond the call of duty at work. Even if something is not in their job description, they will volunteer to do it. Wealthy people make themselves invaluable. As an entrepreneur, you may not have a boss. But in what ways do you go above and beyond for your clients? How do you wow them?

  1. Talking less and listening more. 

When you listen, you learn. And as the adage goes, that’s why people have two ears and one mouth. When you take the time to really pay attention to what another person is saying, it can truly help not only you but your bottom line as well. When you listen, you are in a better position to help others.

  1. Not giving up.

Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Successful people hang in there. They pivot. They try something new. They persist. They may have to change their direction, but they keep moving forward.

  1. Spending time with like-minded ones. 

There’s a saying that goes, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll show you who you are.” I believe that. People are only as successful as those they choose to surround themselves with. Good associations can help you more quickly achieve your goals.

  1. Finding a mentor.

Many people who have had a mentor have attributed their success to that person. Mentors can help you achieve your goals faster and keep you accountable. They can share valuable experience that can cut your learning time in half.

  1. Knowing your why.

When you know why you’re doing something, you will get what you want quicker than if you don’t. Having a purpose is essential to being successful in business and in life. Why do you want to be successful? Why do you really want to be wealthy?

  1. Not giving fear the upper hand. 

Everyone has fears. Successful people don’t allow their fears to limit or define them. Fear inevitably keeps you in the same position and stunts your growth. Recognize your fears and seek ways to overcome them. Interview someone you admire and ask that person how he or she overcame a fear or pick up an autobiography and take notes.

  1. Upgrading skills. 

If you want to get ahead, there’s only one way to do it: Become better at something than you are today. What’s the one thing you can focus on for the next 30 days that will catapult you to rock-star status in your industry? Focus your attention on that. I heard John Lee Dumas fromEntrepreneur on Fire define “FOCUS” like this: Follow one course until success. Will you?

 

 

Why Christians Shouldn’t Accept Millions of Years

Hey gang!  I love science, and I love the Bible.  Fortunately, they actually go together and support each other, despite what some people may think.

Please read the following excellent article from AnswersInGenesis.org and ask yourself, “Is this important?” The answer is absolutely “YES!” (I wouldn’t post anything on my blog unless I thought it was important, :) )

Remember as you read, that a sound scientific position should be empirical, repeatable and provable.  Anything less is merely theory, and might be a particularly dangerous theory.

God Bless, Tim Marks

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Why Christians Shouldn’t Believe Millions of Years

by Dr. Terry Mortensen

 

There is an intensifying controversy in the church all over the world regarding the age of the earth. For the first 18 centuries of church history, the almost universal belief of Christians was that God created the world in six literal days roughly 4,000 years before Christ and destroyed the world with a global Flood at the time of Noah.

 

But about 200 years ago some scientists developed new theories of earth history, which proposed that the earth and universe are millions of years old. Over the past 200 years Christian leaders have made various attempts to fit the millions of years into the Bible. These include the day-age view, gap theory, local flood view, framework hypothesis, theistic evolution, and progressive creation.

A growing number of Christians (now called young-earth creationists), including many scientists, hold to the traditional view, believing it to be the only view that is truly faithful to Scripture and that fits the scientific evidence far better than the reigning old-earth evolutionary theory.

Many Christians say that the age of the earth is an unimportant and divisive side issue that hinders the proclamation of the gospel. But is that really the case? Answers in Genesis and many other creationist organizations think not.

In this chapter, I want to introduce you to some of the reasons we think that Christians cannot accept the millions of years without doing great damage to the church and her witness in the world. Other chapters in this book will go into much more detail on these issues.

  1. The Bible clearly teaches that God created in six literal, 24-hour days a few thousand years ago.The Hebrew word for day in Genesis 1 is yom. In the vast majority of its uses in the Old Testament it means a literal day; and where it doesn’t, the context makes this clear.
  1. The context of Genesis 1 clearly shows that the days of creation were literal days.First,yom is defined the first time it is used in the Bible (Genesis 1:4–5) in its two literal senses: the light portion of the light/dark cycle and the whole light/dark cycle. Second, yom is used with “evening” and “morning.” Everywhere these two words are used in the Old Testament, either together or separately and with or without yom in the context, they always mean a literal evening or morning of a literal day. Third, yom is modified with a number: one day, second day, third day, etc., which everywhere else in the Old Testament indicates literal days. Fourth, yom is defined literally in Genesis 1:14 in relation to the heavenly bodies.
  2. The genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 make it clear that the creation days happened only about 6,000 years ago.It is transparent from the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 (which give very detailed chronological information, unlike the clearly abbreviated genealogy in Matthew 1 and other chronological information in the Bible that the Creation Week took place only about 6,000 years ago.
  1. Exodus 20:9–11blocks all attempts to fit millions of years into Genesis 1. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:9-11).

This passage gives the reason for God’s command to Israel to work six days and then take a sabbath rest. Yom is used in both parts of the commandment. If God meant that the Jews were to work six days because He created over six long periods of time, He could have said that using one of three indefinite Hebrew time words. He chose the only word that means a literal day, and the Jews understood it literally (until the idea of millions of years developed in the early nineteenth century). For this reason, the day-age view or framework hypothesis must be rejected. The gap theory or any other attempt to put millions of years before the six days are also false because God says that in six days He made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. So He made everything in those six literal days and nothing before the first day.

  1. Noah’s Flood washes away millions of years.The evidence in Genesis 6–9 for a global catastrophic flood is overwhelming. For example, the Flood was intended to destroy not only all sinful people but also all land animals and birds and the surface of the earth, which only a global flood could accomplish. The Ark’s purpose was to save two of every kind of land animal and bird (and seven of some) to repopulate the earth after the Flood. The Ark was totally unnecessary if the Flood was only local. People, animals, and birds could have migrated out of the flood zone before it occurred, or the zone could have been populated from creatures outside the area after the Flood. The catastrophic nature of the Flood is seen in the nonstop rain for at least 40 days, which would have produced massive erosion, mud slides, hurricanes, etc. The Hebrew words translated “the fountains of the great deep burst open” (Genesis 7:11) clearly point to tectonic rupturing of the earth’s surface in many places for 150 days, resulting in volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Noah’s Flood would produce exactly the kind of complex geological record we see worldwide today: thousands of feet of sediments clearly deposited by water and later hardened into rock and containing billions of fossils. If the year-long Flood is responsible for most of the rock layers and fossils, then those rocks and fossils cannot represent the history of the earth over millions of years, as evolutionists claim.
  1. Jesus was a young-earth creationist.Jesus consistently treated the miracle accounts of the Old Testament as straightforward, truthful, historical accounts (e.g., creation of Adam, Noah and the Flood, Lot and his wife in Sodom, Moses and the manna, and Jonah in the fish). He continually affirmed the authority of Scripture over men’s ideas and traditions (Matthew 15:1–9). In Mark 10:6 we have the clearest (but not the only) statement showing that Jesus was a young-earth creationist. He teaches that Adam and Eve were made at the “beginningof creation,” not billions of years after the beginning, as would be the case if the universe were really billions of years old. So, if Jesus was a young-earth creationist, then how can His faithful followers have any other view?
  1. Belief in millions of years undermines the Bible’s teaching on death and on the character of God.Genesis 1 says six times that God called the creation “good,” and when He finished creation on Day 6, He called everything “very good.” Man and animals and birds were originally vegetarian ( 1:29–30, plants are not “living creatures,” as people and animals are, according to Scripture). But Adam and Eve sinned, resulting in the judgment of God on the whole creation. Instantly Adam and Eve died spiritually, and after God’s curse they began to die physically. The serpent and Eve were changed physically and the ground itself was cursed (Genesis 3:14–19). The whole creation now groans in bondage to corruption, waiting for the final redemption of Christians (Romans 8:19–25) when we will see the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21Colossians 1:20) to a state similar to the pre-Fall world, when there will be no more carnivorous behavior (Isaiah11:6–9) and no disease, suffering, or death (Revelation 21:3–5) because there will be no more Curse (Revelation 22:3). To accept millions of years of animal death before the creation and Fall of man contradicts and destroys the Bible’s teaching on death and the full redemptive work of Christ. It also makes God into a bumbling, cruel creator who uses (or can’t prevent) disease, natural disasters, and extinctions to mar His creative work, without any moral cause, but still calls it all “very good.”
  1. The idea of millions of years did not come from the scientific facts.This idea of long ages was developed by deistic and atheistic geologists in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These men used antibiblical philosophical and religious assumptions to interpret the geological observations in a way that plainly contradicted the biblical account of creation, the Flood, and the age of the earth. Most church leaders and scholars quickly compromised using the gap theory, day-age view, local flood view, etc. to try to fit “deep time” into the Bible. But they did not understand the geological arguments, and they did not defend their views by careful Bible study. The “deep time” idea flows out of naturalistic assumptions, not scientific observations.
  1. Radiometric dating methods do not prove millions of years.Radiometric dating was not developed until the early twentieth century, by which time virtually the whole world had already accepted the millions of years. For many years creation scientists have cited numerous examples in the published scientific literature of these dating methods clearly giving erroneous dates (e.g., a date of millions of years for lava flows that occurred in the past few hundred years or even decades). In recent years creationists in the RATE project have done experimental, theoretical, and field research to uncover more such evidence (e.g., diamonds and coal, which the evolutionists say are millions of years old, were dated by carbon-14 to be only thousands of years old) and to show that decay rates were orders of magnitude faster in the past, which shrinks the millions of years to thousands of years, confirming the Bible.1

 

 

Conclusion

WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE IS THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE, THE CHARACTER OF GOD, THE DOCTRINE OF DEATH, AND THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THE GOSPEL.

These are just some of the reasons why we believe that the Bible is giving us the true history of the world. God’s Word must be the final authority on all matters about which it speaks—not just the moral and spiritual matters, but also its teachings that bear on historyarchaeology, and science.

What is at stake here is the authority of Scripture, the character of God, the doctrine of death, and the very foundation of the gospel. If the early chapters of Genesis are not true literal history, then faith in the rest of the Bible is undermined, including its teaching about salvation and morality. I urge you to carefully read the other chapters in this book. The health of the church, the effectiveness of her mission to a lost world, and the glory of God are at stake.

 

Robert Kiyosaki Interview 2015

Hey Gang! Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cashflow Quadrant, is a brilliant business man and financial author. Although I certainly do not agree with Kiyosaki
on everything, (particularly religion and accumulating debt,) he does however have a good handle on the state of American finances.

A key principle we teach at LIFE Leadership through the Financial Fitness Program and Orrin Woodward‘s incredible new book, Financial Matrix, is “get out of debt, and stay out of debt.” Watch this great interview with Robert Kiyosaki.

God Bless, Tim Marks

REPOST: THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST AND THE PAGAN ORIGINS OF EASTER EGGS

One of the things that I really enjoy about being involved with the great people in the LIFE Leadership business is that we ask questions; we challenge each other, and we seek to find the truth.  A few years ago, I was at Orrin Woodward’s house celebrating the Easter holiday as we usually do, (as our families get together on Easter), and Orrin and I got to talking about how many people think Easter is about the Easter bunny and chocolate eggs.  While we knew that was wrong, we didn’t know the origins of the Easter egg or the Easter bunny.  We started doing a little research and below, you will see an article that explains that the origins of the eggs are from Pagan holiday practices.

I recently returned home from a tour in my bus for a week, doing some meetings and seeing some family.  From time to time we would end up in a store somewhere and I would drop by the card aisle where they sell Hallmark cards, etc.  It’s always amazing to me right now how many of the cards are about the Easter bunny, talking about having a happy Easter, but not mentioning God or the resurrection of Jesus.  Some of the labels of the card sections actually say, “Religious: Easter”.  I shake my head at that, because… what else is there other that Religious: Easter?!?  Easter is about the resurrection of the risen Christ!  It’s about He who came to save the sinners of the world.  Many churchgoers only step foot inside a church twice a year: Christmas, and Easter.

Let me say this plainly: Easter is NOT about the Easter bunny or Easter eggs.  It is about the risen savior, Christ.

I would encourage you to read the following passage from the ESV Bible, John, chapter 20.

God Bless, Tim Marks

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The Resurrection

20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’1 head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,2 “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, z‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews,3 Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

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Enjoy the following article on the Pagan history behind the origin of Easter eggs and the Easter bunny, and God bless you and your loved ones on this Easter weekend.

Tim

 

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Easter : History and Traditions


Goddess Ostara
History of Easter Eggs

History of the Easter Bunny
Goddess Ishtar and the First Resurrection


Easter History : Christian and Pagan Traditions Interwoven

The history of Easter reveals rich associations between the Christian faith and the seemingly unrelated practices of the early pagan religions. Easter history and traditions that we practice today evolved from pagan symbols, from the ancient goddess Ishtar to Easter eggs and the Easter bunny.

Easter, perhaps the most important of the Christian holidays, celebrates the Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his death on Good Friday. . . a rebirth that is commemorated around the vernal equinox, historically a time of pagan celebration that coincides with the arrival of spring and symbolizes the arrival of light and the awakening of life around us.


 

Ostara, Goddess of Spring and the Dawn (Oestre / Eastre)

Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the “female hormone” estrogen derives from her name.

Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara’s gift of abundance.


 

History of Easter Eggs and Easter Candy

The history of Easter Eggs as a symbol of new life should come as no surprise. The notion that the Earth itself was hatched from an egg was once widespread and appears in creation stories ranging from Asian to Ireland.

Eggs, in ancient times in Northern Europe, were a potent symbol of fertility and often used in rituals to guarantee a woman’s ability to bear children. To this day rural “grannywomen” (lay midwives/healers in the Appalachian mountains) still use eggs to predict, with uncanny accuracy, the sex of an unborn child by watching the rotation of an egg as it is suspended by a string over the abdomen of a pregnant woman.

Dyed eggs are given as gifts in many cultures. Decorated eggs bring with them a wish for the prosperity of the abundance during the coming year.

Folklore suggests that Easter egg hunts arose in Europe during “the Burning Times”, when the rise of Christianity led to the shunning (and persecution) of the followers of the “Old Religion”. Instead of giving the eggs as gifts the adults made a game of hiding them, gathering the children together and encouraging them to find the eggs.

Some believe that the authorities seeking to find the “heathens” would follow or bribe the children to reveal where they found the eggs so that the property owner could be brought to justice.

Green Eggs . . . and Ham???

The meat that is traditionally associated with Easter is ham. Though some might argue that ham is served at Easter since it is a “Christian” meat, (prohibited for others by the religious laws of Judaism and Islam) the origin probably lies in the early practices of the pagans of Northern Europe.

Having slaughtered and preserved the meat of their agricultural animals during the Blood Moon celebrations the previous autumn so they would have food throughout the winter months, they would celebrate the occasion by using up the last of the remaining cured meats.

In anticipation that the arrival of spring with its emerging plants and wildlife would provide them with fresh food in abundance, it was customary for many pagans to begin fasting at the time of the vernal equinox, clearing the “poisons” (and excess weight) produced by the heavier winter meals that had been stored in their bodies over the winter. Some have suggested that the purpose of this fasting may have been to create a sought-after state of “altered consciousness” in time for the spring festivals. One cannot but wonder if this practice of fasting might have been a forerunner of “giving up” foods during the Lenten season.

Chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs, marshmallow chicks in pastel colors, and candy of all sorts, most of which are given out as personalized gifts during Easter . . . these have pagan origins as well! To understand their association with religion we need to examine the meaning of food as a symbol.

The ancient belief that, by eating something we take on its characteristics formed the basis for the earliest “blessings” before meals (a way to honor the life that had been sacrificed so that we as humans could enjoy life) and, presumably, for the more recent Christian sacrament of communion as well.

Shaping candy Easter eggs and bunnies to celebrate the spring festival was, simply put, a way to celebrate the symbols of the goddess and the season, while laying claim to their strengths (vitality, growth, and fertility) for ourselves.


 

The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny

Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the Goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. She made him her pet or, as some versions have it, her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly (in some versions, it was because she wished to amuse a group of young children), Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters.

In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but only on one day out of each year.

Eventually the hare managed to anger the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (The Hare) forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. The tradition of theEaster Bunny had begun.

The Hare was sacred in many ancient traditions and was associated with the moon goddesses and the various deities of the hunt. In ancient times eating the Hare was prohibited except at Beltane (Celts) and the festival of Ostara (Anglo-Saxons), when a ritual hare-hunt would take place.

In many cultures rabbits, like eggs, were considered to be potent remedies for fertility problems. The ancient philosopher-physician Pliny the Elder prescribed rabbit meat as a cure for female sterility, and in some cultures the genitals of a hare were carried to avert barrenness.

Medieval Christians considered the hare to bring bad fortune, saying witches changed into rabbits in order to suck the cows dry. It was claimed that a witch could only be killed by a silver crucifix or a bullet when she appeared as a hare.

Given their “mad” leaping and boxing displays during mating season as well as their ability to produce up to 42 offspring each spring, it is understandable that they came to represent lust, sexuality, and excess in general. Medieval Christians considered the hare to be an evil omen, believing that witches changed into rabbits in order to suck the cows dry. It was claimed that a witch could only be killed by a silver crucifix or a bullet when she appeared as a hare.

In later Christian tradition the white Hare, when depicted at the Virgin Mary’s feet, represents triumph over lust or the flesh. The rabbit’s vigilance and speed came to represent the need to flee from sin and temptation and a reminder of the swift passage of life.

And, finally, there is a sweet Christian legend about a young rabbit who, for three days, waited anxiously for his friend, Jesus, to return to the Garden of Gethsemane, not knowing what had become of him. Early on Easter morning, Jesus returned to His favorite garden and was welcomed the little rabbit. That evening when the disciples came into the garden to pray, still unaware of the resurrection, they found a clump of beautiful larkspurs, each blossom bearing the image of a rabbit in its center as a remembrance of the little creature’s hope and faith.


 Ishtar, Goddess of Love, and the First Resurrection (also known as Inanna)

Ishtar, goddess of romance, procreation, and war in ancient Babylon, was also worshipped as the Sumerian goddess Inanna. One of the great goddesses, or “mother goddesses”, the stories of her descent to the Underworld and the resurrection that follows are contained in the oldest writings that have ever been discovered. . . the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish and the story of Gilgamesh. Scholars believed that they were based on the oral mythology of the region and were recorded about 2,100 B.C.E.

The most famous of the myths of Ishtar tell of her descent into the realm of the dead to rescue her young lover, Tammuz, a Vegetation god forced to live half the year in the Underworld. Ishtar approached the gates of the Underworld, which was ruled by her twin sister Eresh-kigel, the goddess of death and infertility. She was refused admission.

Similar to the Greek myths of Demeter and Persephone that came later, during Ishtar’s absence the earth grew barren since all acts of procreation ceased while she was away. Ishtar screamed and ranted that she would break down the gates and release all of the dead to overwhelm the world and compete with the living for the remaining food unless she was allowed to enter and plead her case with her twin.

Needless to say, she won admission. But the guard, following standard protocol, refused to let her pass through the first gate unless she removed her crown. At the next gate, she had to remove her earrings, then her necklace at the next, removing her garments and proud finery until she stood humbled and naked after passing through the seventh (and last) gate.

In one version, she was held captive and died but was brought back to life when her servant sprinkled her with the “water of life”. In the more widely known version of the myth, Ishtar’s request was granted and she regained all of her attire and possessions as she slowly re-emerged through the gates of darkness.

Upon her return, Tammuz and the earth returned to life. Annual celebrations of this “Day of Joy”, were held each year around the time of the vernal equinox. These celebrations became the forerunners of the Ostara festivals that welcomed Oestre and the arrival of spring.

A section on the Goddess Inanna (the Sumerian version of the Goddess Ishtar), her myths and symbols, is included with the myths of the goddesses at this website.


Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny, the dawn that arrives with resurrection of life, and the celebration of spring all serve to remind us of the cycle of rebirth and the need for renewal in our lives. In the history of Easter, Christian and pagan traditions are gracefully interwoven

 

Come join us at Fun in the Sun!

It’s been such a blessing to be able to travel around the world literally with the LIFE Leadership founders Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. I literally cannot count how many places we have been throughout the world together.  These men and their wives are like family to Amy and I, and we look forward to you qualifying for our 2015 Fun in the Sun event at the Casa Marina in Key West, Florida, and other trips that LIFE Leadership offers.

Here’s a quick video of myself, Chris, Orrin and other leaders in a boat in the Sir Francis Drake straits.  Come join us at Fun in the Sun!

God bless, Tim Marks

Leadership thoughts and perspective