|MESSAGES FROM JOHN FOR WEB SITE VISITORS (some would call this a blog page)|
After 75 years of blessed life, an open letter to Christians that care from John.
May 24, 2013.
Earlier this month I was blessed to be able to celebrate 75 years of life, with more than a half century of also being blessed with God's gift to me, my good wife, Joanne. Our 53rd wedding anniversary occurs next month. We have been blessed with three sons, two grandsons, a growing extended family, and are most thankful to the Lord for His grace, our good health and our well-being.
We are most grateful to the LORD our God, for being able to live in our faith, with good family and friends around us, enjoying freedom and being able to seek a better future for ourselves and those who discover our messages, being fulfilled with the progress of those we reach who are able to be responsive, having fun and being blessed with fitness, and most of the time, being able to meet our financial obligations associated with all these facets of helping enterprise, individual freedom and the Truth to grow around the globe!
On the other side of this situation, however, the reasonably steady part-time work that I have been using to sustain this mission and keep it completely free of dependence upon others has trickled to almost zero. Frankly, this is not good.
To sustain my household and family, as well as this independent mission and my work on the development of other critically needed not-for-profit endeavors, I must personally generate not less than an additional $100 every day to supplement our so-called "retirement" income. This gap is quite a step down from my best days of premium professional billing rates. Like so many other Senior producers in our economy, it reflects the impact of the redistribution economy on the hard earned results of a lifetime of work. Mine started when I was a young teen on a bike operating a paper delivery route.
For the unaware, by the time you have finally paid off your house, you just might discover the sad truth that real estate taxes, utilities (many have hidden taxes), and insurance will probably cost you as many dollars as your original mortgage payment several decades ago.
Each year the Fed has to weaken your purchasing power per dollar spent by about 5% (to see this, look at the 20 year moving average, not just one year) to sustain its prior Federal borrowings. With current domestic and global events, you can expect this situation to get worse, not better. The government plan is simple: your dollar must have less true purchasing power as time goes by.
Years ago it became evident to me that the United States Federal tax code related to 501(c) tax exempt organizations, now numbering almost 30 different special categories beyond the well known 501(c)(3) category (the 501(c)(3) group includes religious, educational, charitable, and several other categories), was being used for a wide-range of "social engineering" agendas. Sometimes the expectation of freedom of expression by speech or actions is subject to constraint by subtle, and sometimes, not so subtle, intimidation by the risk of loss of 501(c) tax exempt status. Then there is the 509(a) issue in the tax code, which is even more complex when dealing with this issue.
Furthermore, the demands and costs associated with these special tax considerations (which may have significant financial consequences at local, state and Federal levels for those who have the tax exempt status) are quite expensive for micro-missions, cumbersome to interpret, loaded with pitfalls and fine print, burdensome with compliance and regulation issues, and finally, designed for selective support or barriers that introduce a substantial risk of uncertainty when one is seeking to focus on the accomplishment of a core vision and mission instead of using sparse time and resources on non-productive regulatory compliance activity (also known as "make work" or "create jobs") for what appears -- at times -- to be very arbitrary demands.
The potential for the abuse of government power over the people and the chilling effect on initiatives, freedom of speech, and the personal assumption of risk for reasonable rewards is quite obvious to the serious researcher and thinker. With recent developments, this is even more obvious to those in the populace in this republic who can still sort through the spin, think and really do care.
Sadly, freedom of expression is not accompanied by careful consideration of a reality: our republic assumes responsible use of freedom in both words and deed -- and irresponsible use of freedom leads to incremental loss of freedom for all of us. Consider those who cannot comprehend mutual respect for each other, and instead think they have a calling and the right to openly murder others who are not of their faith.
The reality is that all of us are God's creations and our life is a gift from Him. The ten original rules from Him for living life were easy to understand and live by. The core of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence reflects the assumption that we as citizens in a Republic would live by these rules. This included mutual and peaceful respect for an individual's choice of religion. Now, due to irresponsible actions by some, and the agendas of others, we now have thousands upon thousands of pages of laws, rules, regulations, restrictions, taxes and fees. These pages are more than any one individual can ever comprehend, thus setting the stage for selective (and abusive) implementation.
Such a cumbersome system facilitates selective judgment and violates any sense of freedom and equal justice for all. Now innuendo can easily be used to destroy individuals and organizations based on the unchallenged judgment of those who have the attention of the mass media. As one observer noted, "Guilty until proven innocent", and the concept of being faced by the accuser, and penalty for false accusations seems to be replaced by one of notoriety that tends to be rewarded instead of treated justly.
The ten original rules for happy living are such a simple concept! In contemporary language:
1. Put God first.
2. Life is more than stuff.
3. Use your words well.
4. Use your time well.
5. Respect your parents.
6. Value people.
7. Control yourself.
8. Work hard.
9. Tell the truth.
10. Be content.
In this broken and sinful world, the pitfall is that these rules are rooted in mutual trust, integrity and respect for each other. Trust is easily abused when the power and influence of might, money and mind is in the hands of those that cannot distinguish the difference between what is right and wrong (or foolish), and therefore compromise their own integrity. The situation becomes even more difficult if they ignore or do not understand the ultimate will and power of the LORD our God.
Hence my stand not to seek any government granted favorable tax considerations for this vision and mission. Instead, I choose to support it with earned income and my writing of educational publications to foster the development of enterprise and endeavors. Also, since most individuals do not itemize their tax deductions, the potential for income tax savings are of no consequence for many individuals. Their donations to endeavors that they want to support are actually free-will gifts, and not motivated by government guided social engineering.
Since this is not a 501(c) tax-exempt organization that can offer potential funding sources some tax savings (only if they were to itemize their income tax returns), a more proper means for meeting the same overall objective is actually more broadly available. Quite simply, the cost of educational materials related to one's business or profession usually receives favorable tax consequences in their business and/or income tax filings. Non-profit entities can likewise procure such materials for their own use, or if consistent with their reason for existence, to undertake re-distribution of such materials to their members as a benefit of membership. This means buying books, booklets, and other business oriented publications and resources that I have developed in the real world (instead of academia). It helps me and it helps you.
One skeptic told me that I was using this mission as a means to sell books. Quite the contrary, the mission was initiated in 2003 with the intent of connecting churches that care with single parents that had children under the age of 13 using a carefully designed business plan. Before that was fully launched, our personal resources started getting lean, so my family rightly pushed me to publish the self-paced learning Guidebook, Mastering Your Marketing, in 2006. There have been times since then when a sale of that book has made a big difference as we steadily reduced our living expenses to the bare bones. Then 2008 hit, and you know the rest of the story (unless you live in a remote cave).
I operate with a very low budget. Funds for promotion and awareness flow first to the mission, rather than to promote my time-based services. Frankly, now that I am 75, I need to stop selling my time for whatever I can get (age discrimination is very real), and apply more of my remaining time to the vision and mission.
Bottom Line: With all the foregoing in mind, non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) is not in the plan for this vision and mission. Independence and freedom from direct or implied limitations on expression are essential to me. Please pray that the daily financial resources needed to maintain the independence of this endeavor successfully shift from the sale of my time for modest compensation per hour as an Adjunct Business Professor at a private University (a part-time job that I was blessed with very late in 2010 when the Academic Dean took the time to look at Mastering Your Marketing) towards more revenue from sales of my original "how to" business and professional development books and publications. One outcome from that work is that class preparation and facilitation with MBA's and undergraduates acted as a good refresher and update for me on many aspects of global and domestic enterprise development issues and topics.
The big dream is that one day this Internet ministry will be able to provide global live streaming feed of messages from the Word, with a focus on valid insights for living life in mutual accord with each other without the strife and division that comes from failing to treat each other as we would like to be treated if our roles in life were suddenly exchanged. Just think of the wide range of individual roles that reflect the influence of one having might, money or mind power over another. Then imagine how that same individual would feel if the roles were exchanged, or worse yet, if they suddenly were a complete stranger to all, with no might, money, or power of communications to influence the minds of others. Would tribal, political, cultural, religious, population density, borders and similar boundaries change for the better? You could even ask yourself, "Would validly elected leadership then be in the mode of really serving, rather than dictating, dominating and selectively prosecuting?"
You might say, "Dream on!" Me and my cup of coffee (sometimes even tea) say, "Dream big, tomorrow starts today."
No matter what, please pray that the time and resources come forth for further enhancements of the presence and impact of this global Internet resource for all who care, who hope and who seek the guidance of our maker and His vision and plan for our eternal life. If it is His will, pray that this endeavor becomes more effective each new day than it was the day before, as it seeks to help enterprise, individual freedom, and the Truth grow around the globe.
Thank you for reading this, for your reflective thoughts and prayers, and may the LORD our God grace you with good health and many blessings,
P. S. Do you wish to learn more about the 29 different 501(c) tax exempt categories and the situation regarding the real challenges of getting an enterprise (including churches and other legitimate non-profits) on its feet? Grab a cup of tea, go to http://www.USBA.us and start to read by clicking on the "What Does 501(c ) Mean?" tab. For insights on hip pocket funding, click here. After thought: Are you now curious about what is a Republic and what is a Democracy? You should be -- so, why not see if you can find out ;-). What does majority rule mean? Ask, is there really any way to rule innocent men and women when the only power of a valid representative government is to crack down on criminals? Do too many rules set up innocent people to be unwitting law-breakers? Have you seen this happen in your community? Do you know the tune that is behind the following words:
God's Grace: Freedom, Liberty and more!
Reflect on the fourth verse:
"Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King."
So help us God, and so be it!
Christians That Care, cTc.tv
SELECT PRIOR CONTENTS FROM HOME PAGE ARE BELOW
|MOUNTAIN MOVING PRAYER REQUEST!|
THE P.A.T.H. TO A PRAYER REQUEST, THANKSGIVING 2012
Praise: We celebrate the geographic diversity of guests that discover and add this web site to their favorite places - and the many web site users that come back again! The Lord is truly awesome in how He has revealed his Will to this mission since 2003. Since July 2010, the unexpected twist in technology (His plan, not ours) used in the invitation to the otherwise unreachable and curious has brought more than 14,000 unique visitors from around the globe to http://cTc.tv. The stage was set by Him long before the admission below came into focus.
Admission: The original vision was to have most web site visitors come from the metro-Richmond, Virginia and Rochester, New York areas when seeking guidance on locating and learning about exceptional churches. Using those two geographic regions as a test, the expectation was to develop a truly effective means to develop awareness of a single web site for the metro-region that would quickly provide SEEKERS with links to the web sites of nearby Christian churches (churches are not the same as religious buildings). After much reflection it became clear that the mix of competition between the occupiers of religious buildings, bad experiences of individual churches with media campaigns, and very limited awareness budgets on the part of most churches conflicted with the vision of making it easier for seekers to connect with the church. The visualized effort was not working, a national roll-out was impossible, and the realities of personal economic consequences forced a hiatus from almost full-time to almost no-time on the mission. Friends and family said to shut down the effort. Quit. Stop. Give up. Nothing like a foreclosure notice from the bank (BB&T) to drive home that point! All that was left was Faith that a technological response to the call of the Great Commission was created long before we discovered the technology -- and the Lord would proceed on His timetable regarding this little tele-virtual mission, and it would not be on our timetable.
Thanksgiving: The seed was nevertheless planted, and has been barely watered since mid-July 2010. The Clustrmap on the mission home page, http://cTc.tv, now shows cause for great thanksgiving -- the geographic span and usage is global, not just two towns in the USA! We thought we were planning big and wise -- but in reality His thinking and the results make our thinking look like what it was called in frustration, "half a mustard seed". What has sprouted since then shows the awesome power of the Lord. The clear vision granted by His grace is to apply what He has revealed to this mission to intensify the opportunity for the curious who might be wondering about God to be a guest on the cTc.tv web site. The whisper in my ear now is shouting at me to extend this unique mission to the SAAAA regions of the globe (South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia).
Help: Prayers that the Lord impart his will and wisdom on every step that is taken are sought from those who know that the power of prayer will move mountains and have placed their faith and trust in our Lord, Jesus Christ. The needed steps ahead seem to come clearer -- a step at a time. Please pray for clarity.
The recurring next step that comes back to mind time and time again is to test a billboard on one major highway used by most commuters from one quadrant of either Richmond, VA, or Rochester, NY, or both. The billboard would be simple: the cTc.tv logo as big as it can be made on the billboard, with the message: http://cTc.tv . This mission is NOT a 501(c)(3), operates on an almost zero budget other than voluntary time, and survives on the power of Faith, Hope and Love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Also, please pray that provisioning to leverage this mission into the SAAAA finds a way to become a reality in accord with the Will of our Lord.
Another prayer is to link this effort with volunteers who can use global communications to respond verbally to the direct inquiry of those who seek guidance on their path from curiosity to discovery of the meaning of the Holy Bible.
From the darkest places to the peaks of the brightest mountains, may the overlooked and unknown glimmer of the true Light of the Word become a brightest light to all!
This is my prayer Lord: That Christians that care will join in this prayer. May Your will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven. So be it, and Amen. Your servant, John.
April 14, 2012: You can help! When you find a truly non-denominational, informative and useful web site that is also free, no ads or sign in, etc., and it appears to share the vision of cTc.tv, please forward the information to me at feedback@cTc.tv so that I can consider adding it to the resources made available to global visitors at cTc.tv
With sincere gradtitude, and in Christ, John.
March 13, 2012: Praise the Lord -- some of the vision is getting clearer! The focus for this mission is taking some steps towards simplicity. The Statement of Faith is the Holy Bible. The vision is to follow the Great Commission and reach all. The strategy is to develop cTc.tv as a combination brand and logo that immediately links anyone, anywhere, anytime to the very "best-of-the-best" non-denominational resources to learn about Jesus Christ on the Internet. The objective is keep the website free of advertising, no sign in or passwords, no fees or pleas, and useful to all around the globe who wander, wonder, seek or want to learn more.
Yes, the website has a lot of work to be done to make this the case. How can you help? Praise the Lord and pray that He grants me the wisdom and ability to fulfill the Great Commission using the electronic technology that now wraps around the globe like a ball of yarn!
FEB 25, 2012: PLEASE PRAY FOR A VISION THAT IS EVEN MORE EFFECTIVE THAN THIS ONE!
Core Goals of http://cTc.tv (inspiration May 25, 2011)
o To encourage the leadership and congregation of every Christian church to function so that any first time guest will want to come back a second time.
(if you find typos on this web site, please let me know -- and thank you)
As an aside, a resource for parents and grand parents:
How about some simple civil behavior rules for those who look to you for setting an example?
A well known senior preacher's mom's rules for her children (no upper age limit applied):
1. If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything.
Have you stumbled over www.GlobalChristianMovement.org?
If not, you are invited to visit it now -- and bookmark it for future reference!
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