After all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this.”
(Ezra 9:13)


Dear Friends,

Greetings! The word “deserve” only appears once in the entire Bible that we were able to find, and it is in the above verse. Ezra is of course testifying that God did not deal with Israel as severely as they deserved because of their sins. In this case it was for mingling and inter- marrying with peoples that God had forbidden.

Now deserve can be taken in other ways as well, such as the entitlement mentality. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines entitlement as “the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something, the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges).”

A question that arises today is what part should entitlement or “deserve” play in the life of a Christian.

To get the answer to this question we should of course go to the foundation of Christian life, the Bible. What does the Bible say about “deserve” when used with the entitlement mentality.

Let's view some scriptures which we believe helps put this idea into its proper perspective.

In Romans 12:1, the apostle Paul, speaking to his brethren says; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Jesus, in His own Words said in Luke 17; But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?

And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

Most people have heard of David Livingstone's famous quote, “I never made a sacrifice”.

Here is the quote in it's entirety: “People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice,”

Speech to students at Cambridge University (4 December 1857)

Job, in chapter 11, verse 6, would seem to agree with Ezra when he said; “Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.”

Paul, in 1 Timothy 6:8, told us what to be content with in our service for God in this life; “...having food and raiment let us be therewith content”.

Jesus said in Luke, chapter nine; “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

Here are more quotes from well known men and women of God.

Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice; everything is lost by failure to obey God's call.” Henry Parry Liddon

Leave me as I am, the one who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me strength to stay quite still on the pyre., even without the precaution of your nails.... For eighty and six years I have been his servant, and he has done me no wrong, and how can I blaspheme my King who saved me? Last words, at the time of his martyrdom.” (69-155) Polycarp

Look at the candle. What is it used for? It is not for giving light? If it is to give light, it must burn and make itself less and less. But if the candle were to protest and say, "I will not burn and become less and less; I cannot suffer hurt, neither can my form be changed," then what would be its value? In the same way, those who determine not to put self to death will never see the will of God fulfilled in their lives. Those who ought to become the light of the world must necessarily burn and become less and less. By denying self, we are able to win others.”

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Paul, in Philippians, three, said: “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

Samuel Ketcham's Blog Page (Edited)

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." – John 15:4

The Mentality of the “Entitlement Generation” and the Christian Response

I recently attended an Army out-processing briefing on Fort Benning wherein I observed the classic “entitlement” mentality. One speaker started his brief saying, “This is my motto – ‘If you serve, then you deserve!” Is not the very definition of “service” to exclude doing something in order to get something in return?

The Christian Response and the Power Fueling It

What does every man deserve? Death. “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) We do not deserve anything from God. We have sinned against Him and were born in sin as sons of Adam. We do not deserve a fair shot at life or a good education or painless health or a sports car, etc… The man’s motto, ‘If you serve, then you deserve’ is bad theology that a Christian must not accept. We deserve death because we are sinners. However, because of Christ’s supreme sacrifice on the cross, because of His guilt bearing, the person who believes in Him has received life. “He who believes in me has eternal life.” (John 6:47) Therefore, the Christian’s mentality is governed, not by the question ”What can I get?”, but by the question ”What can I give?”

The Scriptures teach, “We [the Christian] love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) This is the fuel behind our selfless dominated life. Christ gave of Himself. “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) Therefore, the Christian is fueled by Christ’s love. “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Every Christian should respond to this problem by conducting an honest self-examination. “Am I a part of this problem or am I a part of the solution for this problem?” In other words, Christians should respond to this “entitlement generation” mentality by first examining themselves. God knows rather we are hypocrites and are selfishly taking things that we do not need or being lazy when we should work. He knows whether we are a part of the problem. He knows if we are not exercising love for others and, alternatively, being selfish. He knows if we are being lazy. He knows if we are claiming benefits that we do not need. And because He has died and saved us from our sins, we should respond to Him as our Lord with a spirit of thankfulness. We are enabled by His Spirit to respond accordingly.

The Goal of the Christian Response

The real problem is a spiritual problem and the goal of cleaning our act is a spiritual goal.

If you volunteer for something, something that may require a sacrifice, should you expect or deserve to be paid in some way,... when you have volunteered?

If you feel you deserve something from God because of something you did and do not get it, how might that make you feel, resentful, angry, murmuring etc. This is often why people accuse God of being unfair. Whereas the Bible says to “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Philippians 2:14

If you are a Christian and believe you deserve or are entitled to certain things other than what Jesus has promised, you can continue to believe in this way of thinking, you can try to live it and you can even share it with others, but we don't believe you can defend it scripturally.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4

And finally; “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

If we are Christians what do we deserve? We hope the above points help to answer that question.

In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be...unthankful.” 2 Timothy 3:1-2


Arutz Sheva

Will Israel be the World's First 'No Cash' Society?

The government authorized establishment of a committee to examine ways to eliminate cash from the Israeli economy

First Publish: 9/17/2013

The government on Tuesday authorized establishment of a committee that will examine ways to eliminate cash from the Israeli economy – the better to prevent citizens from cheating on their taxes. The committee will be chaired by Harel Locker, director of the Prime Minister's Office.

Cash is easily passed from individual to individual, and transactions using cash can take place without the tax man's supervision. Not so electronic transactions; with modern computers, banks can keep tabs on how much people deposit into their accounts and how much they withdraw, while credit card companies have an up to the second record of how much people spend.

Members of the panel will include top staff from the Israel Police, the Tax Authority, the chairman of the Government Authority on Money Laundering and Terror, the Bank of Israel's income and payments director, State Attorney's office officials, and more.

According to many of these officials, cash is bad – because it allows individuals to get out of their tax payment responsibilities. Today, an enterprising tax collector cannot easily compare income and outflow. While he may suspect that a person living beyond his reported means is cheating on his taxes, there is no way to know for sure, without solid evidence. In a cashless economy, all records will be electronic, and checking who makes what and how much they owe in taxes – and collecting it before it gets to their account – will be a much simpler matter, the theory goes.

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office declared that “around the world, it is recognized that cash is a key element of the illegal economy and money laundering. It allows a wide gap between reported and actual incomes, with the corresponding effect on tax revenues.” By eliminating cash, the PMO said, “it will be possible to expand the tax base, and prevent money laundering.” The committee will study the issue from all its perspectives and make recommendations, the PMO said.

One issue the committee will be examining, the PMO said, was the imposing of administrative fees on electronic transactions, common in Israel. Whatever solutions the committee comes up with, the office said, it will ensure that individuals who have no choice in the matter will be able to make transactions in a manner that will not tack on extra expenses.

Observers said that it was hard to imagine the government succeeding in this effort. “A move like this could really weaken the economy,” said one observer. “The only thing declaring cash obsolete will do is to encourage people to use dollars or other foreign currency for financial transactions. Unless the government plans on making it illegal to hold foreign currency, there is no way to get rid of cash and the problems that go along with it.”


Jewish organization opens Holy Temple Visitors' Center in Jerusalem

In an effort to help people understand the significance of the temple's past, as well as its hopeful reconstruction, the Jerusalem-based Temple Institute released a video clip that offers a sneak peak into the new Temple Visitor Center in Jerusalem.

By AbStevens 

Updated Jul. 31, 2013 

In an effort to help people understand the significance of the temple's past, as well to inspire hope for its reconstruction, the Jerusalem-based Temple Institute released a seven-minute video clip that offers a sneak peak into the new Temple Visitors' Center in Jerusalem. The non-profit Jewish organization was founded in 1987 and is located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. It is dedicated to rebuilding the Holy Temple of God on Mount Moriah. 
"All of our outreach here at the Temple Institute is about deepening our feeling of connection - not our feeling of loss, not our feeling of mourning - but our joy with the possibility of our generation being the generation that is leading to the rebuilding of the temple," said Rabbi Chaim Richman, head of the Temple Institute International department in an interview with Israel National News. 
The Temple Institute website says its short-term goal is to "rekindle the flame" of the temple in people's hearts, and its long-term goal is to rebuild the temple in "our time." 
"We consider the rebuilding of the holy temple to be one of the positive commandments. Unfortunately because of the whole long diaspora experience, a lot of ideas crept into our subconsciousness, and even our consciousness, and there are those that say that the temple is going to come down from heaven, there are those that say that only Mashiach (the Messiah) can build the temple, there are those that say, 'well, the whole idea is just not relevant at all,'" Richman said. 
"Our position is really just that our lives are like, on hold. The Jewish people are just a skeleton of what they could be. The whole world is really, totally muted and just completely drained of its vibrancy because we don't have the holy temple. And so what we're really trying to emphasize during these days is to rekindle the anticipation and the beauty and the longing for having that closer relationship ... when the divine presence returns to the world," he added. 
The Temple Institute Visitors' Center includes garments of the high priest and oil paintings depicting Jewish temple worship, as well as a scaled-down stone altar that is "completely ready for use on the Temple Mount," according to the website. 
The Center in Jerusalem is open Sunday through Friday, and entrance is available only to groups with previously arranged appointments.



Pope warns Catholic Church may fall ‘like a house of cards’ if it continues its obsession with abortion, gay marriage and contraception

Pope Francis said he wanted to reform the church which gets caught up in 'small minded things'

The extraordinary remarks were made during a 12,000 word interview to mark six months in the church's top job


PUBLISHED: 18:24 GMT, 19 September 2013

Pope Francis said he was resolved to reform the church which had a tendency to get caught up in 'small minded things'

The Catholic Church could fall ‘like a house of cards’ if it continues in its obsession with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, the pope has warned.

In a remarkable 12,000 word interview to mark six months in the church’s top job, Francis said he was resolved to reform the church, which had a tendency to get caught up in ‘small minded things ‘.

He said: ‘We need to find a new balance otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall into a house of cards.’

‘It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,’ he said.

‘We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.’

The extraordinarily frank interview, conducted by a Jesuit priest in Rome, was published simultaneously by 16 of the order’s newspapers around the world.

In a typically humble stance Francis declared himself a sinner.

‘This is the most accurate definition,’ he said, when asked what sort of man he was. ‘It is not a figure of speech or a literary genre. I am a sinner.’

He also claimed he had made mistakes earlier on during his career as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and had a propensity to become ‘authoritarian.’

Because of this he had been wrongly perceived as ultra-conservative, he said.

The interview was not entirely self critical - Francis claimed to be so conscientious, that he prays even when at the dentist.

The pontiff insisted that he worships morning, noon and night and even falls asleep in the midst of a silent prayer.

He said: “I pray the breviary every morning... Then, later, I celebrate Mass…What I really prefer is adoration in the evening, even when I get distracted and think of other things, or even fall asleep praying.. But I pray mentally even when I am waiting at the dentist.’

The extraordinarily frank interview was published simultaneously by 16 of the order's newspapers around the world

The Pope used the interview to set out his set out his vision for the church and his priorities as pope, expanding on his ground-breaking comments over the summer about gays. He repeated the tone he had taken at the end of his trip to Brazil in June when he said ‘who am I to judge?’

He also hinted at a greater female role in the church hierarchy, saying ‘the deep questions of women must be addressed.’

He himself was only alive because of the work of a nun he said. When in hospital with a infection that eventually took his lung, a nun went against doctors orders to increase the dose of penicillin.

Francis explained: ‘The sister who was on duty tripled my doses because she was daringly astute; she knew what to do because she was with ill people all day.

While asserting that he was determined to bring in reforms, Francis also hinted at the pressures he has faced since becoming Pope. He has previously said that he feels like he is in a cage.

In the interview, which in the UK is published by Thinking Faith, he spoke of  ‘a great darkness’ that came over him on the day he was elected, and which accompanied him until his election later that day.

Explaining why he chooses to live among visiting priests in a humble Vatican guesthouse, he said the papal apartment was like ‘a funnel’ through which people could only enter ‘in dribs and drabs’.

When he went to enter the accommodation for the first time God told him not to, he said. ‘When I took possession of the papal apartment, inside myself I distinctly heard a ‘no.’

‘[The papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace] is like an inverted funnel. It is big and spacious, but the entrance is really tight. People can come only in dribs and drabs, and I cannot live without people.’


American Dream

Islamic Terror Groups Are Killing Christians All Over The World & Obama Wants Us To Ally With Them

Michael Snyder

September 24, 2013

Over the past couple of days, we have witnessed some absolutely horrific examples of Islamic terror groups specifically targeting Christians and those from other non-Muslim religions.  Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon. Radical Islamic jihadists are constantly attacking churches and slaughtering Christians all over the planet.  The recent events in Pakistan, Kenya and Egypt may have taken this persecution to a new level, but this is just the continuation of a trend that has been building for years. 

Unfortunately, Barack Obama does not seem too concerned about Islamic terrorism.  In fact, he specifically directed that “all references to Islam” be removed from terrorism training materials that the federal government uses.  If that wasn’t bad enough, now Obama is actually supplying weapons to the radical jihadist rebels that want to take over Syria, and he appears to be very ready to use the U.S. military to attack the Assad regime directly if “negotiations” with the Syrian government fail.  In essence, Obama wants the United States to be allies with psychotic jihadists that have the exact same radical philosophy that those who are killing Christians in Pakistan, Kenya and Egypt have.

Is Obama insane?

In Pakistan, the Taliban (a very close cousin of al-Qaeda) has already claimed responsibility for the worst church bombing in the history of that nation.  The attack left 85 dead and nearly twice that many wounded.  To say that this was a horrific attack would be a massive understatement…

The attack on All Saints Church, which also wounded 140 people, underlines the threat posed by the Pakistani Taliban at a time when the government is seeking a peace deal with the militants.

The attack occurred as hundreds of worshippers were coming out of the church in the city’s Kohati Gate district after services to get a free meal of rice.

‘There were blasts and there was hell for all of us,’ said Nazir John, who was at the church with at least 400 other worshippers.

‘When I got my senses back, I found nothing but smoke, dust, blood and screaming people. I saw severed body parts and blood all around.’

Who would do something like that?

In Kenya, a team of Al-Shabaab gunmen stormed a shopping mall in Nairobi and murdered at least 62 people.

What makes that attack even more disturbing is that the terrorists specifically targeted non-Muslims.

In fact, hostages were given a test by the terrorists to determine whether or not they were actually Muslims.  Those that failed the test were executed…

The reason the Islamists targeted the Westgate shopping centre was clear from the moment they stormed inside brandishing AK-47s and grenades. Anyone who was not a Muslim, or could not prove that they were, was immediately targeted. Reports from separate floors of the building in the first hours of the assault told how the attackers, speaking rough Swahili and English, shouted at Muslims to identify themselves.

Many people came forward. They were ordered to speak in Arabic, or to recite a verse from the Koran, or to name the Prophet Mohammed’s mother. Those who passed this test were allowed to flee. Those that did not were executed, including children.

You can find some very graphic pictures of the attack right here.

Are you starting to understand why I use words such as “psychotic” to describe these terrorists?

And all over the world these radical jihadists seem to have a particular hatred for Christians.

Just consider what has happened in Egypt over the past few months.  After the Egyptian military removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power, radical Islamists responded by destroying more than 80 Christian churches…

On July 4th, the day after the Egyptian military liberated the nation of Muslim Brotherhood rule, Christian Copts were immediately scapegoated and targeted.  All Islamist leaders—from Brotherhood supreme leader Muhammad Badi, to Egyptian-born al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri, to top Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi—made it a point to single out Egypt’s Copts as being especially instrumental in the ousting of former Islamist president Morsi, ushering in a month of pogroms against the nation’s Christian minority.

Among other things in July, unprecedented numbers of Christian churches were attacked, plundered, desecrated, and torched.  According to one Egyptian human rights lawyer, “82 churches, many of which were from the 5th century, were attacked by pro-Morsi supporters in just two days.” Al-Qaeda’s flag was raised above some churches; anti-Christian graffiti littered the sides of other churches and Coptic homes.  Due to extreme anti-Christian sentiment, many churches ceased holding worship services until recently.  Dozens of Coptic homes and businesses were also attacked, looted, and torched.

Should the U.S. military ever be used to help radial jihadists that would commit such horrible acts?

That is such a crazy question that you would think that nobody would ever have to ask such a thing.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what Barack Obama wants to do.

In Syria, radical jihadists are doing all of the same kinds of things that you just read about.  As I have written about on numerous occasions, the Syrian “rebels” are savagely killing Christians, repeatedly using chemical weapons and dismembering little girls.

In a previous article, I included eyewitness testimony from a Christian missionary who explained what happens when the “rebels” take over a Christian area in Syria…

“The Christian residents were offered four choices: 1. renounce the ‘idolatry’ of Christianity and convert to Islam; 2. pay a heavy tribute to the Muslims for the privilege of keeping their heads and their Christian faith (this tribute is known as jizya); 3. be killed; 4. flee for their lives, leaving all their belongings behind.”

And now this sick philosophy is even rubbing off on little children.  In the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, children were recently filmed pretending to behead their enemies while shouting Allahu Akbar.

What kind of place will Syria become if Obama is successful and the Assad regime is removed?

Will it become a jihadist paradise where Christians and all other non-Muslims are systematically exiled or exterminated?

These jihadists are a cancer, and Obama seems absolutely determined to help that cancer spread in Syria and beyond.

What in the world is he thinking?




'Bail-ins' taking depositors' money could be headed to U.S.

Published: 9/25/13


WASHINGTON – The questionable practice of “bail-ins” begun by Cyprus a year ago to keep banks solvent is beginning to spread to other nations, and holders of large deposits are starting to see their balances plunge literally overnight.

A “bail-in,” as opposed to a bailout that countries especially in Europe have been seeking from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, is a recognition that such outside monetary injections won’t be forthcoming.

Consequently, banks have been seeking money from another source – their large depositors. The funds are simply taken and applied to a bank’s recapitalization in lieu of government bailouts.

The practice essentially is a transfer from a personal savings account to the bank’s operating account, without the customers’ permission or even any notice.

The example set in Cyprus when the island nation confronted its financial crisis now is spreading to such other countries as Italy, Poland, New Zealand and now Canada.

Financial experts agree that the practice soon could spread to the United States.

The “bail-in” a year ago in Cyprus developed after the island nation was refused further outside financing from the IMF and the European Central Bank of the EU, of which the Mediterranean island is a member.

Cyprus never was looked upon as a place to spend money. Instead, it was seen more as a place to safely hide large deposits of cash for private individuals and companies not only in Europe and Russia but for major shareholders and top executives from all over the world.

Hiding huge sums of cash was made easy in Cyprus with such mechanisms as outright bank deposits, shell companies and holding companies, with massive transfers taking place between them.

“Cyprus was a leader – in some circles and for some applications, the leader – in quiet storage, management and structuring of exceptionally large sums for private individuals and corporations all over the world,” financial expert Franklin Raff wrote in a March 2013 WND article.

“Cypriots were fast learners in the fields of global asset protection and ‘tax optimization,’” Raff said. “Cyprus’ 2004 entrance into the E.U. gave financial operations a deeper veneer of legitimacy and security.

“All of this meant almost a decade of rapidly expanding business,” he said. “This was surely from Europeans and Russians wary of unpredictable tax laws and indiscriminate, extralegal confiscations, but also from entities in North America and elsewhere.”

Because a long line of EU banks had been bailed out at major public expense during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the EU decided to turn down two of Cyprus’ major banks, Laiki and the Bank of Cyprus, for similar help.

In an effort to save the Cypriot economy from collapse, the government passed a law that took some 4.3 billion euros in deposits belonging to some 14,000 depositors just in the Laiki bank alone, leaving each depositor with no more than 100,000 euros, the limit on deposit insurance under EU regulations.

Ultimately, Laiki bank folded, with depositors’ diminished assets transferred to the Bank of Cyprus.

In an effort to recapitalize the Bank of Cyprus, Cypriot officials imposed a 47.5 percent loss on deposits exceeding the 100,000 euro limit, exchanging the seized deposits for shares in the bank.

Depositors in Cyprus lost an estimated total of 10.6 billion euros.

In viewing the recapitalization experience in Cyprus, financial experts say “bail-ins” are increasingly becoming accepted practice around the world due to the lack of any outside bailouts.

In jeopardy will be all private bank accounts and private pension funds.

Financial sources say that the government of Poland just “raided” private pension funds in an effort to reduce the size of the government debt.

According to a Reuters report, the Polish government will transfer to the state many of the assets held by private pension funds, slashing public debt but putting in doubt the future of the multi-billion-euro funds, much of which is foreign-owned.

“The Polish government is doing the best that it can to make this sound like some sort of complicated legal maneuver, but the truth is that what they have done is stolen private assets without giving any compensation in return,” said financial expert Michael Snyder writing for the Financial Collapse blog.

Now, finance ministers in the EU are undertaking a similar approach.

They have approved a plan to force bondholders and shareholders to finance future bank failures before going to taxpayers for bailouts.

This will apply to bondholders and shareholders with deposits over 100,000 euros. Those with less than 100,000 euros of insured deposits will be protected.

“What this means is that if you have over 100,000 euros in a bank account in Europe, you could lose every single bit of the unprotected amount if your bank collapses,” Snyder said.

Italy also is organizing a form of its own “bail-in” for the country’s oldest bank as it has halted any further interest payments and doesn’t intend to make up for the missed payments if and when they resume.

While deposits will remain untouched for now, financial experts believe it will only be a matter of time before its depositors experience a Cypriot-type “bail-in.”

In Canada, the government has actually written a “bail-in” provision into its new government budget proposal in its “Economic Action Plan 2013.”

“This new budget actually proposes to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks’ in Canada,” Snyder said.

Snyder believes that governments throughout the world will be eyeing depositors’ money as part of the solution to halt future failures of major banks.

“As a result, there is no longer any truly ‘safe’ place to put your money,” Snyder said.

“One of the best ways to protect yourself is to spread your money around,” he said. “In other words, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you have your money in a bunch of different places, it is going to be much harder for the government to grab it all.

“But if you don’t listen to the warnings and you continue to keep all of your wealth in one giant pile somewhere, don’t be surprised when you get wiped out in a single moment someday,” he added.

That certainly was the experience of the Andrew Georgiou family in Cyprus earlier this year. Literally overnight, his life’s savings of 750,000 euros, except for 100,000 euros which were covered by deposit insurance, were wiped out. Georgiou subsequently had a heart attack, though he survived.

He, like hundreds of other depositors in Cyprus, has gone to court against the central bank and the Cypriot government, but the outcome is far from certain.


The Independent

Power corrupts but it also plays with your mind: Lloyd George, Chamberlain and Thatcher all suffered from 'hubris syndrome'

Ex-foreign secretary, Lord Owen, tells conference that condition leads to disastrous decision-making



If we are to understand – and more crucially – prevent disasters such as the global financial crisis or escalation of conflict in the Middle East, we might do worse than turn to the ancient Greeks to learn a thing or two. Three thousand years ago, leaders were humiliated and brought to their knees by hubris, and things have not changed much since.

Britain's current leaders in both business and politics should be much more aware of their hubristic tendencies, and take steps to avoid the development of hubris syndrome (HS), an acquired personality disorder which, unchecked, can result in disastrous decision-making, a conference at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge was told last week.

British Prime Ministers such as Lloyd George, Chamberlain and Thatcher and US President George W Bush met the clinical diagnosis of HS, first described in 2009 by Lord Owen, the former British foreign secretary, who is a trained neurologist.

With a US colleague, Jonathan Davidson, he described its characteristic pattern of exuberant overconfidence, recklessness and contempt for others. However, those in positions of power in any area of society can be vulnerable to HS, not just politicians.

Lord Owen defined HS as a "disorder of the possession of power, particularly power associated with overwhelming success, held for a period of years and with minimal constraints on the leader".

"Hubris is present in all of us. It's not inevitable but the pressures are there," Manfred Kets de Vries, a specialist on leadership, said. "The worry is when people give way to it."

According to researchers, many people who reach senior positions have done so through well-ordered selection procedures. They appear normal and well balanced but are more likely to develop HS the longer they stay in high-ranking positions.

Like post-traumatic stress disorder, HS has met some resistance from the medical establishment. "The idea of power being a manifestation of psychopathology is new to medicine," said Gareth Owen of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London. "The question of whether it can be prevented, screened or treated is not yet clear. More research is needed in recognising its symptoms if we are to find more effective interventions."

Nick Bouras of the Daedalus Trust, a charity that promotes the understanding of personality changes associated with power, said: "Leadership gets harder, yet the need for good leaders is greater than ever".


Food Babe

FOOD BABE TV: Are You Eating This Ingredient Banned All Over The World?

By Food Babe

September 23, 2013

Are you eating this ingredient banned all over the world? Find out on the next episode of Food Babe TV right here:

Are You Eating This Ingredient Banned All Over ...

Azodicarbonamide 101

Azodicarbonamide is a yellow orangish powder, more commonly used commercially in the creation of foamed plastics – like yoga mats, shoe soles, floor mats and window gaskets.

The FDA allows food companies to use azodicarbonamide as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner in any food product giving it a status of GRAS or “Generally Regarded As Safe”.

But, the FDA doesn’t even keep track of the companies who use azodicarbionamide as an ingredient. The lack of information leads the FDA to not update or include an toxicity information about this ingredient in its EAFUS or “Everything Added to Food in the United States” database.

When a truck carrying azodicarbonamide overturned on a Chicago highway in 2001, it prompted city officials to issue the highest hazardous materials alert and evacuate people within a half mile radius! Many of the people on the scene complained of burning eyes and skin irritation as a result. (Source: Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner)

The U.K. has recognized azodicarbonamide as a potential cause of asthma if inhaled, and advises against its use in people who have sensitivity to food dye allergies and other common allergies in food, because it can exacerbate the symptoms.

The World Health Organization (WHO) studied azodicarbonamide, and also linked it to asthma and other allergic reactions.

When azodicarbonamide partially degrades with the heat of processing, it forms trace amounts of semicarbazide, which shows carcinogenicity that can result in tumors over time.

The United States is one of the only countries in the world that still allows this ingredient in our food supply. It is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000. I’d like to see the head of the FDA put in jail for allowing it, wouldn’t you?

Popular Products That Contain Azodicarbonamide

Sara Lee (many of their breads, bagels, etc.)

McDonalds (almost all their breads, baked goods, bagels, etc.)

Subway Breads (many items on the menu)

Wendy’s (many items on the menu)

Arby’s (almost all of their different breads)


These are just a few examples, but there are many more companies that use azodicarbonamide in their products (Pizza Hut, Publix Grocery Store, Jason’s Deli, etc)

Why The Heck Are Companies Using This Ingredient?

Dough conditioners allow companies to pass off chemically processed cheap food as “freshly baked” because it recreates perfect, evenly packed air pockets within the dough, improving the texture after coming out of large industrial machines from processing. If a company uses azodicarbonamide as a flour bleaching agent it speeds up the processing, making bread larger and whiter than normal. Faster processing with cheaper ingredients = more money in Big Food pockets.

The Next Time You See Your Friends or Family, Ask Them:

Remember to buy organic bakery goods that prohibit the use of highly questionable chemical ingredients like azodicarbionamide and other dough conditioners. Please spread the word and share this video with everyone you know… no one should be eating yoga mats, their shoe sole or a floor mat. Yuck.


Food Babe

Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?

By Food Babe

August 21, 2013

Tea is something I drink every single day. It’s sacred at my house – I even have a whole drawer devoted to it! I drink it because it is amazing for your health. There are so many varieties of tea that can improve digestion, metabolism and even prevent certain diseases. This investigation into tea ingredients has been in the making for a long time. What I’m about to share with you totally rocked my world forever and I’ll never look at tea in the same way again. Do you really want to know what’s in your tea?…Then read on.

The ancient Chinese tradition of drinking tea dates back thousand of years to the early Chinese dynasties and aristocrats who drank the beverage for its medicinal properties. In ancient times, leaves from the Camellia Sinensis (the tea plant) were either ground into a powder or placed as loose leaves directly into water to infuse it with herbal essence. Unfortunately, modern day tea is nothing like the unadulterated version of old tea. Many of today’s tea brands are operating under the guise of providing health benefits and promoting clean living, but are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors and GMOs.

Conventional Teas – An Abundance of Pesticides

Did you know that most tea is not washed before it is put it into bags? That means if the tea was sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides, those pesticides go directly into your cup. And this is the reason why tea is on my organic shopping priority list. To prove this point, here are some shocking facts about one of the most well-known tea brands – Celestial Seasonings.

A recent third-party analysis by Glaucus Research found that 91 percent of Celestial Seasonings tea tested had pesticide residues exceeding the U.S. limits. For example, Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal contained 0.26 ppm of propachlor, which is a known carcinogen under California’s Propsition 65.

The “Wellness” tea line was found to contain traces of propargite, also a known carcinogen and developmental toxin. The FDA has already issued two warning letters to Celestial Seasonings in regard to poor quality control. Imagine what happens when pesticide-laden tea is steeped in boiling water.

If grocery store brands don’t provide a clean option for you, perhaps a high-end loose leaf tea would circumvent some of the issues of grocery store brands. Right? Wrong! Take Teavana, which is found in malls across North America for example. Teavana taps into tea culture with the “Teavana Experience.” Convincing their employees to take customers on a sensory journey – they open a huge canister of loose leaf tea and wave the top of the canister so you can smell the tea – touting all of the wonderful health benefits of tea complete with samples and manipulative demonstrations that end in an expensive visit to the tea shop. Is all the extra money worth it? Are customers getting a superior tea product? No.

Teavana tea was tested by an independent lab and 100 percent of it was found to contain pesticides. One tea in particular, Monkey Picked Oolong, contained 23 pesticides. 77 percent of the teas would fail European Union pesticide import standards, and would be banned from import. 62 percent of the teas tested contained traces of endosulfan, a pesticide that has been banned by the U.S., China, the E.U., and 144 other countries because it has been linked to impaired fertility and could harm unborn babies.

Teas Can Contain Artificial Flavoring, Natural Flavors, and Hidden GMOs

Furthermore, a majority of Teavana teas contain added flavor – specifically “artificial flavoring.” If their tea is so high end, why would they be adding ingredients produced by fractional distillation and chemical manipulation of various chemicals like crude oil or coal tar? Coal tar in my tea? No, thanks.

Many popular tea brands get away with using the ingredient “natural flavors” to trick the consumer into thinking they are buying better, cleaner ingredients; however companies are just covering up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. Fortunately, there are brands that are putting the kibash on the use of natural flavors and using all real ingredients. I was happy to learn that Ahmed Rahim, CEO of

Many popular tea brands get away with using the ingredient “natural flavors” to trick the consumer into thinking they are buying better, cleaner ingredients; however companies are just covering up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. Fortunately, there are brands that are putting the kibash on the use of natural flavors and using all real ingredients. I was happy to learn that Ahmed Rahim, CEO of Numi Tea is just as disgusted by this ingredient as I am. He said to me “You can breakdown anything that is found in nature and if it ends up tasting like the flavor you wish to use – you can add it to any product and call it NATURAL FLAVOR on the ingredient label. It could come from a stone in the ground and you’d never know.” This is why when I see the words “natural flavor” listed on a label – I put the product down and run far far away. I want to know what I am eating! Don’t you?

Additionally, the added risk of consuming possible GMOs is not something many people think about when consuming teas. Before this investigation and witnessing tea companies using modified corn starch and soy lecithin in tea (additives likely made from genetically engineered corn and soy), I didn’t think about it either! I can’t imagine having a serious soy allergy, considering all the places companies try to hide it.

Why The Tea Bag & Packaging Matters

A recent article in The Atlantic discusses the “silky sachet” and “luxurious mesh bags” that hold loose leaf teas (like in brands Tea Forte and Mighty Leaf). Turns out, these modern day bags meant to showcase the tea leaves, are made of plastic.

PLA (polylactic acid) is a (likely GMO) corn-based tea bag material that has attracted major tea companies due to its nice look and its claims of biodegradability. Terms like “silky sachets” and “corn-based biodegradable tea bags” mislead customers into believing a product is more natural and sustainable than it really is. While the processing for PLA removes all traces of genetic material, it is still made with genetically modified corn. Although the actual tea bag is not an ingredient like teas and herbs, it is an element that is put into boiling water.

According to The Atlantic, tea bags are most commonly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which are two of what’s considered the safest plastics on the scale of harmful leaching potential. However, Dr. Mercola disagrees, he states:

“While these plastics are generally considered among the safest in terms of leaching potential, the molecules in these plastic tea bags may still in fact break down and leach out when steeped in boiling water…” Well, isn’t that how tea is prepared?

Another temperature consumers need to worry about in tea is the “glass transition” temperature. Here’s the science behind the glass transition temperature or, Tg, and why it becomes dangerous according to The Atlantic:

“That is the temperature at which the molecule in certain materials such as polymers begin to break down. As a rule, the Tg of a material is always lower than the melting point. In the case of PET and food grade nylon (either nylon 6 or nylon 6-6), all have a Tg lower than the temperature of boiling water. For example, while the melting point of PET is 482 degrees Fahrenheit, the Tg is about 169 degrees. Both nylons have a lower glass transition temperature than PET. (Remember that water boils at 212 degrees.) This means the molecules that make up these plastic tea bags begin to break down in hot water.”

So, while the plastic itself won’t melt in your tea, the glass transition temperature could potentially leak out harmful phthalates if there are such things in your tea. Another thing to worry about is that some of the newer tea bags are made with a variety of plastics. Some plastics are nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene.

Beware of paper tea bags too, which can be worse than plastic tea bags.

GET THIS: Many paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins. Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It has also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats) and suppressed immune function.

So what do you do the next time you want a cup of tea? Antioxidant rich teas aren’t going to do much to counterbalance the chemicals, additives and artificial flavorings in today’s modern teas.

First, I recommend looking at this chart below to see how your favorite tea brand stacks up:

And then when brewing and picking out the safest tea remember these tips:

1. Choose an organic & non-GMO certified brand of tea. (My favorites are Numi, Traditional Medicinals, and Rishi Tea (loose leaf)).

2. Check the ingredient list on the back of the tea package to make sure there are no added flavors, GMO ingredients like soy lecithin and corn starch added to the tea leaves.

3. Make sure the brand you buy uses a safe form of packaging material or buy loose leaf tea and use a stainless steel or glass tea strainer. Have the company verify that bags do not contain epichlorophydrin, and avoid plastic tea bags all together. (Numi and Traditional Medicinals are some of the only brands I trust in this category because they have publicly stated they do not use this harmful ingredient or GMO packaging and are Non-GMO Project verified.)

4. The majority of restaurants use some of the most pesticide ridden tea and brands that have harmful packaging like Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, Bigelow, etc. Don’t fall victim to this. Bring your own tea when eating out or going to restaurants and ask for pot or cup of boiling water (remember to leave a good tip if you do this). I even do this at Starbucks because I like to vote with my dollars and not buy tea brands that are harmful. If you drink iced tea, brew your own at home and carry an insulated waterbottle with you.

5. Remember these temps and times for brewing the perfect cup of tea

If you know someone who loves to drink tea, please share this post with them. I was just as shocked as you probably are about all of this craziness – knowing what’s in our tea and what we put in our body matters! Let’s change the world together.

If you know someone who loves to drink tea, please share this post with them. I was just as shocked as you probably are about all of this craziness – knowing what’s in our tea and what we put in our body matters! Let’s change the world together.


Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
(James 1:27)