2006/05/07

Does United 93 truly honour the families?

I got a spam message this past week from Motive Entertainment. They wanted to explain the controversy of the 9/11 feature film United 93. I remember shortly after the event, a book about the passengers banding together to overtake the hijackers was written by Lisa Beamer, housewife, mother, and widow to passenger Todd Beamer.

Out of courtesy, I thought I'd search for any response from Mrs. Beamer on the film. My eyes teared over as I read an editorial published Apr 27 2006 written by David Beamer — Todd’s father. The title says it all: “United 93 The filmmakers got it right.”

Here’s the link sent with the original email I received: www.U93.org. I know what I believe. You owe it to yourself to see what you believe.

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2006/05/04

When it rains, it pours!

A few months ago I started taking my family to a new church that’s closer to home. We had a great send-off from our old church and now we’re totally plugged in. It was definitely God’s will to move: all the confirmation signs are there. We have a great relationship with the pastors and other members of the congregation, and our friendships are growing by leaps and bounds.

Strangely enough, a lot of the people we know in this church are involved in an online network marketing system called Quixtar, (formerly Amway). Actually, to hear them talk about it, Quixtar is just the vehicle — there are actually several network marketing systems built around the Quixtar distribution machine.

What makes this strange is that when I met my wife, she was involved in the World Wide Dream Builders organization, which at the time used the Amway business model that eventually migrated to Quix. In fact, she was introduced to our previous church by a contact she met at a large WWDB function. Our old church was full of people involved in some form of Quix, mostly WWDB.

After five years of marriage we pulled the plug on our Quix affiliation for a number of reasons. To name only a few:

  • I prefer to buy from a range of product lines, and Amway products aren’t part of that
  • I work in Logistics, and understand the law of diminishing profits due to increased middlemen
  • The products are too expensive, due to the increasing numbers involved in the distribution chain
  • The bonus cheques are a pittance until you really move a lot of product

The way I explained it to our upline when accused of misunderstanding the business model: “The system cannot continue to function when everybody is a part of it. Somebody, somewhere down the line, has to have a separate JOB in order to bring new money into the system and pay all the residual bonus cheques of those who have gone on before them.”

I thought we’d escaped the whole AmQuix thing when we went to a different church, but because there are 1/5 the amount of people in our new church, the percentage of people involved in Quix appears higher compared to our old church.

That said, I’m highly appreciative of the fact that the people in our new church aren’t pushy — at least so far.

However, I have a personality that seems to attract all varieties of network marketing schemes, especially AmQuix. I have been approached or introduced to the product line for as long as I can remember:

  • My aunt let us try the kit because her friends were involved
  • My best friend took me for coffee to meet his prospective upline (he didn’t sign)
  • My then-girlfriend, now wife, had me drive her to product pickup and attend various functions over 5 years
  • On one of our first dates, I met a past friend from high school who was playing pool with his upline, a guy my wife knew about
  • Another guy who was a real upstart in high school became high up in the business
  • A guy I met at a swimming pool approached me, apparently by mistake, and took advantage of the contact to tell me about “the business”
  • A fellow member of a volunteer choir had the entire gamut of products in his overnight bag
  • While browsing the bulletin board at a grocery store, another browser just started prospecting me out of the blue
  • (I’m pretty sure I saw this guy just a month earlier drawing the circle plan on a napkin for someone at a restaurant)
  • The various people at my old church
  • The various people at my new church

And now, as a shocker completely out of left field:

  • Tonight, a guy who I met years ago at one of those fancy functions my wife dragged me to, who used to be high up in the WWDB system, called me on behalf of a friend of mine to introduce me to the INA variant of the Quix business model

What is it with Quix? Why can’t they just leave me alone????

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2006/01/06

The amazing disappearing act

My friends have come to know (and, I hope, love) my tendency to get so involved in what I’m doing so as to “vanish” off the face of the earth for awhile. That in itself is not so strange as when I eventually reappear, I do so in a BIG way. This time is no exception. I last blogged in July, and it’s now January.

The BIG entrance? I’ve started focusing on a new technology: tablet pc computing. Check out my ’nother blog at https://www.tabletpcblogs.com/blogs/jakethespud/

I’ll work on updating this one over time as well, but with all I’ve got going on....

See you online!

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2005/06/01

From the Mouths of Babes

Today was a pinnacle day in our home. I placed my daily call from the office and had a lovely chat with my wife. My timing could not have been more perfect. She had just finished securing the straps on both our boys’ diapers, and they were also all dressed and ready for business. Then my 22-month-old decided he wanted to talk on the phone.

My wife gave the phone to my baby son, who sat there and listened all the while being prompted by both his mommy and me to say something. You could hear a deep thought welling up in his belly. Just like the sound a camera flash makes as it builds up enough charge to light a room.

Finally it came, (and very much well worth the wait) — “I love you daddy”.

Aw, who wants to go back to work after a momentous event like this?

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2005/04/14

Sweet Serenity

I am so proud of myself. After the last 7 months in our Celebrate Recovery program I finally got the idea to commit the entire Serenity Prayer to memory. Not the 4-line version. Not the version extended with the gruesome "stash the bodies" talk. The real one, that in all its simplicity expresses profound truth unlike any other text.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace. Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is and not as I would have it.

Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.

Usually attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr (1926), but this site explains how Neibuhr came across the quote.

As I write these words I am reminded that with each day comes the freedom to make sense out of the chaos of yesterday. Why should I wait on tomorrow? Today's as good a day as any.

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