2006/05/23

The Da Difference

My wife and I were going to see United 93 on Friday. Unfortunately, the opening night of The Da Vinci Code pre-empted the late show of the 9/11-based movie. Fascinating. A retrospective look into a real event isn't as hot a seller as a ficticious, (and to some, blasphemous), re-writing of the origin of Christianity.

We entertained the idea of seeing it but the earliest available showing would have brought us home over an hour later than our third choice. While I like staying up later than the average bear, my wife, on the other hand, would have turned into a pumpkin long before Tom Hanks made his Eureka! discovery.

Personally, I don't have a problem with the DVC as entertainment. Where I stand, the story has as much credibility as an historical work as This is Spinal Tap a documentary on the life of a rock band. Do people believe all bands are as messed up as the spoof? Of course! People even form bands and mess themselves up just to be like the characters in the movie, completely unaware that they are being idiots.

Will people accept the details of the DVC as fact? Probably no more so than those who buy into the most common theme in entertainment: the indomitable will of the human spirit. To believe that I am the source of everything in my life, rather than the recipient of a choice my Saviour made for my sake, is worse then asking the simple question of whether the DVC is true.

At least DVC is open and honest with its stand, even if considered wrong. The "if it's gonna be, it's up to me" attitude has subtlely worked its way even in Christian circles. We've accepted a form of godliness but deny its power; we've taken responsibility that should rightfully be God's.

The da difference between all belief systems and Christianity is simple: Other systems impose their rules for living, and reward only those who follow them completely. In contrast, Christianity establishes its rules for living, and rewards all who believe in Jesus with His Spirit, that the rules will be enforced internally.

Romans 8:14-16 reminds us: 14 Only those people who are led by God's Spirit are his children. 15 God's Spirit doesn't make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father. 16 God's Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. 17 His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him. (CEV)

That in itself makes all the da difference to me.

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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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