The Use and Function of Chisels

In the wood shops, one of the most versatile tools which have been used to carve woods since the prehistoric times is the chisels. Also, chisels are considered to be one of the most important tools that you could have today. It also comes in different sizes, shapes and also their uses. You could buy them individually or by sets. They are well-known to cut and shape woods especially the edge part of the woods. Below it will discuss the different types and how to use chisels.

Here are the different types of chisels that you could choose from. There is a gauge designed to be used with a lathe, as hooks, and with square, round nose or curve cutting edges. But one of the most common and popular types of chisels is the bevel-edge chisel. Bevel-edge chisel is described to be narrow at the top to connect the handle, which is typically made of either hardwood or plastic.

Another important thing about bevel-edge chisels is its handle. Its handle may come in various shapes and sizes but then in the case of bevel-edge chisel, the handle is a matter preference rather than its function. Since there will be instances that the back part or the butt of the chisel needs to be tapped by a mallet or hammer to reinforce strength and guide the blade through the stock. Normally when you hear the term cutting with chisel what they mean of that is paring. If you want to know that proper way of using chisel you can check the internet for some tips and procedures. But it’s really not that hard.

When you are buying chisels, better yet buy them in sets than buy them individually, it’s cheaper in sets. They have this so-called special chisel which they are very small in size and normally used for mini furniture and also they have the over sized chisel which is used for bigger furniture. So, you need to know which sets you need to have.

One more thing, there are some safety measure that you need to consider when you are using a chisel. Chisels should always needed to be sharp because a dull chisel could be dangerous for it may require you to exert more effort. Since your chisel needs to be sharp always, the number rule is to keep your hands behind the cutting edge. And don’t forget to wear your safety glasses if you are working with your woodworking tasks.

Ways to Stay Alert For New and Experienced Truck Drivers

After the government passed a bill allowing truck drivers to drive for longer hours (eleven hours replaced the original ten hours) truck drivers may need an extra boost to stay alert during the extra time.

Typically, candy, caffeine soda, coffee, and Red Bull are popular ways to keep drivers awake while on the road. But a new product may soon take their place-caffeinated sunflower seeds!

Caffeinated sunflower seeds are infused with caffeine and other energy boosters including taurine, lysine, and ginseng (ingredients typically found in energy drinks too). The seeds are called Sumseeds and are being sold in Sioux Falls, and coming to Minneapolis and Southeast states soon. They were developed by Dakota Valley Products, Inc. Of South Dakota.

What makes these seeds better than the other caffeine alternatives? A spokesman for the National Sunflower Association said the aim of the product was to achieve a "sustained energy boost" because you can not down sunflower seeds as fast as drinking coffee or a sugary energy drink. These seeds are one alternative to stay wake on the road.

With deadlines for truck drivers, there are few things to consider for a comfortable and safe journey when fatigue starts to set in.

O Take time to move around on stops, walk around, and even lie down if available.

O Wear comfortable clothing to prevent some health problems and poor blood circulation.

O Pay attention to the truck's interior design and adjust the steering wheel and seat for maximum comfort, which can help prevent leg cramps and other components that may restrict your movements.

O Know when you're tired. Be aware of your fatigue and take time to take a break so you get to your destination healthy and safe, not only for your own needs but for other drivers on the roads as well.

While these measures will only help for the short-term, be sure to get plenty of sleep between shifts. Since there is a growing number of available truck driving jobs the increased driving time allowed is a way to bridge the gap, as well as ensuring faster delivery of products. For experienced and potential truck drivers, stay safe in your travels.

The Best Investments in a High Interest Rate Environment

Waters on the Bay is one of the leaders in the surging increase in terms of expansion in the City of Panama. This building has a story of modern architecture with the feature of ocean views in each apartment residence. Waters on the Bay is the best investment in the City of Panama and people who are business minded, or retired persons can have the decision of investing here. The climate, the city, and the facilities will project this location as a better relocation for lifetime. It is situated along Balboa Avenue, and this bay is rightly located between Panama and Panama City connecting to Pacific Ocean. The City of Panama is the capital as well as the biggest city in nation`s commercial and cultural hub. This city is located on the isthmus close to the southern side of Central America. From the Panama Canal, it gives a lot of benefits to the people, and it is the only shipping road on Atlantic and Pacific.

This City announced its independence in the year 1903 from Columbia with the assistance of the American military. From the year 1904 until 1999, the United States controlled over this canal and from the year 2000, there is a high increase in condominium building established primarily because of the heavy overseas request. Certain construction like Waters on the Bay is among the tallest household construction in the world. It is a perfect spot for investing, and this main place will be a good source of money for the investor. People who like to retire in this city will also think that it is the best spot. By having the ocean views and good activities of this city, it will make the living of the people in Panama to become better. When you are thinking to invest, it is best to consider the climate of this city. It is under the hurricane locations and so, preventing the hurricane associated climate condition.

The tropical weather in Panama is beautiful, and the ocean breeze makes this location more refreshing. The days of snowy, cold and ice are gone. Everything is very close to hospitals, shopping malls, and the international business locations.

When you want to spend your retired life, Waters on the Bay are the right choice where you can relax and will have a peaceful mind. It has a 69 level skyscraper and has a unit with direct seafront views. The complex also features with the spa, swimming pools, basketball, gym, court, Jacuzzi, party hall and bar hall and children can enjoy in the play areas. The property facilities consist of eight levels of parking, rich lobby, 24 hours guard protection, and seven high-speed lifts.

Today is the right time for you to take a rest. Are you ready to invest in Panama City?

Minecraft – Introduction to Redstone

If you have spent any length of time within the Minecraft world, you will be familiar with the common mineral, redstone. Redstone is the “wiring” in Minecraft used to connect one contraption to another, your power source within the game.

How do you get it? Naturally, of course! You can mine for redstone ore underground as with most materials in Minecraft. That ore will turn into redstone upon breaking it with an iron pickaxe or better. However, you can also acquire it from killing a witch, looting a temple in the jungle, or trading with a villager.

Once you have your redstone in hand, you are ready to experiment with its’ possibilities. At the most basic level of gameplay, if you need a little portable light within the game, all it takes is redstone and a stick to craft a redstone torch. Want to provide constant light to your Minecraft home? Combine redstone and glowstone to make a lamp, keeping the darkness at bay… and all of the creatures that come with it.

Redstone is used for powering various sorts of gadgets. You’ll want to be familiar with several fundamental items. In the trigger category you find buttons and levers, as well as pressure plates. Buttons send a redstone signal upon being pressed, while levers function more like light switches. A pressure plate each side of a door can allow it to open as you enter and then close behind you, triggered by your weight as you step on and off again.

Two kinds of pistons also exist in the Minecraft world: regular and sticky. Regular pistons push a block one step forward and then leaves it there, whereas sticky pistons attach to the block and can thus push or pull it. You can use those to make doors, elevators, secret entrances and so on.

Repeaters, as you might guess, repeat the redstone signal: one placed after the first fifteen blocks of redstone will extend your signal’s reach for another fifteen blocks.

So, what can you do with all of these buttons, levers, pressure plates, pistons and repeaters? The sky is literally the limit. You might decide to make piston-controlled waterfalls, secret trapdoors, music machines, clocks, and even rollercoasters. If you want to get really fancy, try assembling a number of gadgets and contraptions into a Rube Goldberg Machine. Feeling lazy? Redstone can even power up automatic farming and mining machines as well.

Redstone can also enhance the brewing of potions. Combining redstone dust and a water bottle will give you the Mundane Potion, while adding the dust to a number of other potions (e.g. Potion of Night Vision, Water Breathing, or Invisibility) will increase their duration.

As you can see, redstone will provide the power source for many of your Minecraft creations and adventures. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination!

For more great guides and everything else Minecraft, visit www.artofminecraft.com

Different Types of Sports

Football

Football is a very popular competitive team sport. The object of this game is to score more points than the other team. You can score points various ways like carrying the ball over the goal line, running with the ball over the goal line, catching a pass while standing behind the goal line and many more ways. Whoever has the most points wins the game. The ball is an oval shaped ball. The game is played on a grass field that is 360 feet by 160 feet. The field is separated by many lines for game play. Each team typically plays with 11 players each on the field.

Baseball

Another competitive team played sport is baseball. This one is played with a bat and a small hard ball. The team with the most points wins the games. Points are calculated by how many players have crossed home plate. One team bats while the other team pitches and plays outfield. After so many strikes, they switch places. The field is diamond shape and made up with grass and dirt. There are 9 players on each team.

Softball

Softball is a lot like baseball. It is played with a bat and a softer version of the baseball. Softball uses the same field as baseball does and has the same rules although softball often has additional bases called safe bases. Safe bases are so the first baseman and the runner do not collide with one another during game play. You will typically see these bases in children’s softball and women’s softball games. Points are also calculated by how many players have crossed home plate. After so many strikes, the teams switch places from outfield to batting.

Basketball

This is also a competitive team sport. Played with a large round ball and a hoop or a basket. The object of this game is to get the ball into the hoop more times than the other team. Each time the ball goes into the hoop points are scored. The value of points depends on where the player is standing when they shoot the ball into the hoop. The court is a solid flat ground with baskets or hoops on each end. There are different size courts depending on who is playing. Regulation court size is 94 feet by 50 feet.

Soccer

Soccer is a competitive team played game. This game is played with a ball that is round and big and two goal nets, one on each end of the field. The object of this game is to score more points than the other team. You score points by kicking the ball into your opponent’s goal net. You are not allowed to use any hands in this game with the exception of the goalkeeper which is the person who guards the goal net. There are 22 players on the field at one time. The field is varied in length from 50 yards to 120 yards, depending on who is playing and what regulations they are using.

Indoor and Outdoor Jewelry Displays

Plan and invest effort, money, and time to create displays which will help to sell your handcrafted jewelry. The attractiveness of your display needs to compel a customer to stop at your location and see the jewelry creations. As you compete with other competitors’ side-by-side at indoor or outdoor shows, your display needs to attract and hold the attention of customers.

The style of jewelry which you create with your hands will help to determine how these articles should be displayed.

  1. Elegant jewelry will require an upscale background and commercial display racks
  2. Craft jewelry appears at its best surrounded by crafty knickknacks
  3. Leather and stone displays nicely among original uncut raw stone and animal hides
  4. Fashion jewelry is best displayed with high fashion apparel
  5. Specialty jewelry deserves its own unique support
  6. Children’s jewelry is enhanced by placing them with toys and children’s clothing

The items which you use to show off the jewelry will help the customer to see how the piece of jewelry which they are buying will look when they wear it with their garments.

A Thoughtless or Careless Display:

  1. Arranging an unappealing jewelry display will cause passersby to look and walk away
  2. Unattractive or inappropriate containers do not enhance the product line
  3. Jewelry scattered haphazardly sends a do not care attitude
  4. Too many pieces which present clutter will confuse and discourage shoppers

An attractive display shows that the artists have pride in their work and the artistic ability to display their creations to help the customer make a decision to buy. Solving the customers’ problems will sell more jewelry. Much effort and heart is given to creating a piece of jewelry; the same should be done when displaying your artwork.

We are guilty of wanting to show off every creation which we have made. However, this may cause a display area to look cluttered and will diminish the uniqueness of your creations. The customer may be overwhelmed by too much merchandise and will walk away from your table.

Showing less gives the customer a clear and detailed picture of whatever piece they are admiring. Let the customer ask if you have a different size or color and if you do, pull it from a stock box. Or perhaps, the customer may have a custom order. Conversations with customers will open opportunities for more sales.

Indoor and Outdoor Displays

The type of materials which will be used for displays rests heavily on the location. An indoor setup can be done with glass. Glass tops and counters, shelving and display cases may be used. Strategically placed mirrors offer luxury and the illusion of a large space.

Commercial retail stores have special display units or glass showcases to arrange their jewelry. These types of display cases may be considered for gold, silver, and gem jewelry. These cases are made of wood or plastic with locks and may also be considered for outdoor displays to keep jewelry safe and clean.

Outdoor shows require articles that will not blow away on a windy day or discolor or melt in the hot sun. The shelter needs to protect your merchandise from rain and other inclement weather. Free standing furniture needs to be reinforced. Use metal, plastic, and wood to offer stability and security for your merchandise. Arrange your creations for fast removal in inclement weather.

Making quality jewelry pieces, displaying them appropriately, and interacting with potential customers will increase your profit margin.

Event Planning – Throw an Event That Will Be the Talk of the Town

Centerpieces

When planning an event, you must think about if you need centerpieces. Personally, centerpieces are one of my favorite parts of an event. They can be big, small, quaint, or flashy. Centerpieces can really add something to the event and make it look complete. There are some things to think about though. You don’t want to make a centerpiece too tall that you can’t see through at a social event. One time, we were planning a Christmas banquet and we thought it would be a great idea to use mini Christmas trees as the centerpieces, though we were wrong. The trees were too thick to see the people across the table, so the guests took the trees off of the tables. Talk about a centerpiece disaster. Another time, we planned centerpieces that had big, tall branches painted silver. These worked out fine because the branches weren’t too flourished. You really have to think about the setting and events happening at your event when planning centerpieces, otherwise they can hinder the success of your event.

Invitations

Invitations are not as simple as they appear to be. Invitations are the very first impression you make on your guests. You make the first impression completely without even seeing them and weeks in advance. Your invitation sets the tone for the event. Your guests get a feel for the event before attending.

How soon should you send them out you ask? If planning for a wedding, it is suggested you send them out 8 weeks before the wedding. If planning a party, it is suggested you send them out 3-6 weeks before the event depending on the specifics. Make sure you give people enough time to plan. Make sure to include all important event info, as well. Who, what, when, where, why, what to wear, and how to RSVP.

Get creative with your invitations! Personally I love invitations that are an actual object to be used. Maybe you make a mixed CD of your favorite songs and send that as an invite? When I was a kid, my mom always had the coolest invitations for my birthday parties. One time she laced shoe laces up a paper roller skate for a skating party. Another time she wrote all of the party info on a beach ball for a pool party. Your invitations don’t just have to be paper sheets. Think outside of the box! It will also make your guests more interested and excited to come.

Food

Some people argue that the best part of any event is the food. When choosing food for your event, you really need to think about the audience you’re catering to.

Are you planning a kids or family event? Pizza is always a safe option for kids. Most children like pizza and it is easy for you. Planning an event for college students? College students just like free food. You’re pretty safe with anything. As for adults, it depends on the formality of the event? A black tie affair, then of course you will have a course meal. A wedding? It’s up to the couple if they’d rather go the buffet route or the plated meal route.

You also have to decide whether you want your event catered or if you will make the food in house. Of course this depends on the size of your event. The bigger the event, the more food you need, the more likely it’s better to have it catered. A smaller party could be taken care of in house.

Overall, the food should be a high priority on your planning list. People love food and expect it to be delicious.

Venues

Your venue truly depends on what type of event you’re having. A wedding? Your options are very very broad. A corporate meeting? Your options are a little more narrow. Maybe you’re just throwing a party? You can really choose wherever fits your theme. Your venue sets the tone of the event.

Venue options include:

Conference center

Barn

Church

Banquet Hall

Restaurant

Outdoor event space

Ballroom

Meeting center

Your options are really endless, but you need to put some thought into the feel you are trying to go for. You also will always want to have a back up plan for outside events. Maybe you’ll want to hand out fans if it’s hot outside? Or maybe you’ll have covered awnings in case it rains? Whatever the case may be hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

Decorations

Decorations can change the feel of the entire event. Your decorations can make or break the event. But remember sometimes less is more as well, so don’t think that you have to use a million different things. Also the type of event you’re planning might not need decorations. Evaluate the type of event you’re having and the level in which you want to decorate to. Good luck and happy decorating!

Follow these guidelines and your event is sure to be a hit!

Frequently Asked Questions About Styling Transitioning or Natural Hair – Styling Basics

If you are new to having natural hair you might find that you have a few basic questions about styling, using heat, and general care. Here we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions regarding caring for natural hair.

How do I do a successful braid/twist out? There are 3 elements to a successful twist or braid out style:

  • The size of the twists or braids. If your twists or braids are too big or too small, the style won’t look right. You need to experiment with the size of the sections you use to create the wave or curl pattern that you like best. In general, if the braids or twists are too small you will get a crimpy looking style, if they are too big, you might not get the amount of waves or curls that you were hoping for. A general good size for longer hair is to have a twist or braid that is about 3/4 inch thick.
  • The products used. You want to use the proper moisturizing and shine products so that the resulting texture in the curls or waves is shiny and it holds. You will need to experiment with the amount of hair gel or shine serum to use on each braid or twist to achieve the desired result. Straightening serums for flat ironing or blow drying often work very well for these styles even though you aren’t applying heat.
  • The dryness of the hair when the braids or twists are removed. Make sure that your hair is completely dry before removing the braids or twists. Its best to set under a bonnet hair dryer to get the hair properly dry. Otherwise you have to allow it to air dry for a significant amount of time.

It’s a good idea to take pictures and note the products and technique that you use every time you try a new style so that you can recall what worked or did not work and duplicate or make adjustments the next time.

How can I finish the ends on my braid/twist out styles? Use a perm rod, pipe cleaner or roller on the ends to give the final look a good polish.

Do I need to twist transitioning or natural hair every day? No. You only need to twist your hair as often as you need to keep it looking as neat as you want it to look. If you wear a curly style where your hair is “out” it is a good idea to re-twist it with some moisturizer to infuse it and keep it moist. You can choose to retwist it every night before you sleep on it to keep the style looking more tidy.

How do I prevent knots in kinky hair? You can prevent knots by avoiding a lot of manipulation of the hair, keeping your hair in protective styles, and keeping your hair moisturized. It also helps to sleep with your hair covered with a satin scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase. Also, whenever you comb out your hair, make sure to do so when it is wet with conditioner in it. Don’t try to comb through dry hair. This causes breakage which can leads to knots in the frayed ends.

How do I prevent or cure frizzy ends? The best prevention for frizzy ends is proper moisturizing and proper care. Never comb or brush your hair when it is dry. Twisting your hair and then sealing the ends with an oil and moisturizer mix is a great way to tame frizzy ends. Other things to make sure of are to:

  1. trim or get your hair trimmed on a regular basis (every 6 – 8 weeks)
  2. avoid too much combing, brushing, and manipulation
  3. wear protective styles often and be sure to moisturize while your hair is in the style

How do I roll or set my hair without getting frizzy ends? Use end papers to cover the end of the hair before you put it on the roller. Also add a bit more of product to the end of your hair and smooth it out over the roller before you roll it up. This is also a great way of moisturizing and sealing your ends to protect them.

What is the best way to curl kinky hair? The absolute best way to curl kinky hair is doing a twist out style using pipe cleaners to curl the ends. If you want a more straightened look, blow dry the hair then twist and use pipe cleaners.

Are wraps good for transitioning and natural hair? A wrap is when you brush the hair tightly around the head so that it naturally straightens or flattens out to achieve a straightened style. This can be bad for the hair because the process of combing or brushing through your hair in that way could be damaging especially to the delicate line of demarcation where natural hair meets relaxed hair. Also, your kinky/curly hair will probably not submit to the wrapping process as well as you might like. It is better to start getting used to your natural texture and try more textured styles such as braid-out or twist-out styles.

Should I roll or set my hair when it is wet or when it is dry? You can roll your hair wet or dry, however it is always better for your hair to do a roller set on wet hair after it has been washed. This is because your hair does not have to endure the stress of drying, regardless of how you dry it. One of my favorite styles, though, is to blow dry my hair and then do a roller set or twist out. Especially if hair is shorter, this gives a little more length and shine. When you roll hair wet it comes out more tight to the head, but it usually also comes out shinier and with more body. Try different methods to find out what works best for you.

How can I get my twist extensions to stay twisted? If you are using synthetic hair you can dip the end of the twist extension into boiling hot water to “set” the hair and make it stay twisted. This is also a great method to use if you want to curl the synthetic hair.

  • Wrap the hair around a perm rod, roller (the smaller the better), or a pipe cleaner (I just discovered this one) making sure to secure the ends. You can do up to 2 or 3 extensions on one roller depending on the thickness. Doing 1 per roller gives the best result.
  • Dip the roller into very hot water after you have the hair securely wrapped. Generally you would boil the water then pour it into another container where you can dip the extensions in. Don’t try to dip your hair over the stove!!!
  • Dip the roller into cold water. Following the hot dip with a cool dip secures the curl.
  • Remove the rollers. You should have a head of lovely curls. Experiment with how far up the shaft of the extension you roll the curl. You may want to only do the ends, or you might want to try and curl the whole extension.

Maintenance:If you don’t like the result or get tired of the curls, you can re-straighten the hair by dipping it into hot water without rollers. You might be able to curl the hair one more time after you re-straighten it, but that is about as much as the synthetic hair can take. Because of the effect that heat has on synthetic hair you might notice that the curls loosen or fall out if you wash your hair in hot water. Just keep the temperature cooler when you wash to maintain the curls. This is also a classic way to keep braided extensions from unraveling or for curling the ends. Another method is to tie a knot at the end of the extension, or braid it at the end. But the hot water method is the best.

What is the best way to blow dry natural or transitioning hair? You need to have a quality hair dryer, preferably with adjustable heat settings and with a comb attachment. After that, your main goal is to dry your hair quickly and with minimal breakage. Section your hair then work from tip to root combing/blowing through each section until it is dry. Don’t put on any product except heat protectant until after the hair is dry. Having product on the hair causes it to take longer to dry.

How to I flat iron my transitioning or natural hair? To flat iron or straighten your hair you want to make sure that you have a blow dryer with a comb attachment, a very good flat iron, and the following products:

  • straightening serum
  • anti-frizz product
  • heat protectant
  • moisture block
  • natural oil

Beyond using the correct products, you’ll also have to use the right technique especially to make sure that you do not cause damage to your hair. Use the lowest heat setting that will still straighten your hair. Do small sections and run the flat iron over your hair from root to tip. Only pass the flat iron over your hair 2 or 3 times.

Which is better pressing or flat ironing when I want to straighten my natural or transitioning hair? Using a flat iron is more “controlled”… especially if you use a heater with your pressing comb. With pressing combs, you usually use the stove to heat it up, or you use a pressing comb heater. Both get really hot and the heat is very unpredictable. Electric pressing combs are also sold, but these are extremely unpredictable in their heat settings. The heat distribution on a flat iron is more stable, and you can usually control it to make it cooler or hotter. Also with a pressing comb you have to physically comb through your hair… you’ll inevitably end up pulling out more strands than you would with the flat iron.

What are the best coloring products for natural or transitioning hair? When coloring natural hair it is important to look for coloring products with non-peroxide and non-ammonia. That usually narrows it down pretty fast. Hair coloring without those ingredients is least damaging to the hair. If you are going from light to dark, covering grays, or are going red you might also try henna. Natural henna powder will also work for darkening or reddening. You’ll have to experiment with which colors work best with the natural tones and highlights in your hair. Henna also adds the added benefit of conditioning and strengthening your hair.

Where Can I Get Real Help Regarding This Important Matter of Joy and Love and Peace?

Can someone coach me regarding this whole matter of joy which appears to elude and escape me? Where can I find joy? Why do I find so many people know very little about joy? What can I do to experience joy?

Joy is a by-product of love, and it follows love.

If a man concentrates on finding JOY it will elude him. He will miss it.

Things and people come and go, as do pleasures. What lasts is faith and hope, and love.

All this led me to a serious study of the topic of joy and I went to Paul’s letter to the Galatians Chapter 5 and verses 22 and 23.

The source of JOY is our relationship with the Holy Spirit.

When we are down, or depressed, or feeling dejected, or under attack, it is good and wise to come to God and to Jesus Christ, and allow the risen and living Lord Jesus Christ to minister to you.

Psalm 73 has much to teach us in this important area, from an Old Testament perspective..

What is the way out – out of that cloud – away from that shadow – out of that depression – out of that despair – out of that darkness?

We make our way to God – normally publicly – in the open – in fellowship with others. If you try to do it in a corner, you may just become more entrapped in the vicious circle of depression.

The more you look at your problem, the less you look at Jesus.

He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows.

We read in John Chapter 16 verses 17 to 22 – Jesus could see that His men were troubled. Jesus speaks to them – and explains the truth to them.

Jesus did not hide His chosen ones from reality, and every disciple of Jesus Christ needs to know verse 33. We need to know that it is there, because we may find ourselves needing these words more and more. “In the world you will have trouble – but take heed – cheer up – face reality – I have overcome the world.”

There is a relevant passage in Romans Chapter 5 verses 1 to 6. We read it in connection with LOVE, but see there the place of JOY. Do take time to read these various scripture passages. So often God has a special blessing for those who read His Holy Word.

In verse 11 there is a grand climax, “We rejoice in God. That can never be taken away from you. If you find your joy in God through Jesus Christ – no man can take that away from you. It is possible to lose it. It is possible to prevent the fruit of joy from growing, but that is a different matter.

Turn to the letter of James – and look at these opening words. It would appear that there is JOY, and there is something called PURE JOY.

Here is how we can experience PURE JOY. Whenever you face trials of many kinds, Jesus is giving you the opportunity to experience PURE JOY.

Yes, there is JOY in worship – yes, there is JOY which springs up in our heart when we see something fresh in the Word of God – or when we hear of someone coming to believing faith in Jesus Christ. Yes, there are other spiritual joys – but PURE JOY is to be experienced when we are facing trials?

And why? It is always good to know why.

It is always good to know the reason. Because you are sitting a test – Jesus is setting you an examination. He is testing your faith – your obedience. He is wanting to see how you are doing – and why? Because His aim is to develop perseverance, and the only way we can develop perseverance is by persevering.

Like most spiritual truths, you cannot learn this from a text book.

Are we passing the tests which Jesus sets us? What marks are we getting? Has God let you see your report card? How strong is your perseverance – your endurance?

I remember seeing soldiers in the Iraqi army deserting, because of bad and poor leadership. Sometimes when people are tested in the front line of the Church of Jesus Christ they run away – they desert. They are not deserting a bad leader – but Jesus Christ the King of Kings.

There is no JOY on the face of a deserter from the army of Jesus Christ.

Don’t be a deserter – that just leads you into the desert – years in the wilderness.

Be a disciple – face the trials – of many kinds – they will come at you from all directions – air, sea, land. It is the same in spiritual warfare.

Your perseverance is developed, and it can become a source of PURE JOY.

It may not seem joyous at the time – it may be very painful – but joy will be budding and about to burst forth into leaf – with Pure Joy being produced as a fruit.

One final passage – Acts Chapter 13 – Paul and Barnabas are on that first missionary journey. God spoke during a time of worship and fasting. They landed up in central Turkey. We never know where Jesus will lead us.

People were deeply upset at Paul’s preaching. His witness to Jesus Christ gave rise to scheming and plots.

Verse 50 – things went from bad to worse. Paul and Barnabas were physically expelled – thrown out – rejected – dismissed. But some had come to believe in Jesus, and they were filled with JOY and with the HOLY SPIRIT.

It is to these same people that Paul writes this letter of Galatians.

Verse 52 – You cannot be filled with JOY without the Holy Spirit, and you cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit without experiencing something of the JOY of Jesus Christ.

Father, fill me afresh and anew with Your joy. Come into any sadness with Your unconquerable gladness. Help me to radiate Your joy wherever I go. I realise it is not easy, but I ask for Your help.

How to Reuse Plastic Bags

Using reusable bags has worked on with grocery stores across the country, but many other types of businesses are slow to catch on. At some point or another, you'll most likely be taking a plastic bag from some type of store. When you accumulate plastic bags, how can you reuse them?

Plastic bags become popular because they are a cheap, affordable way to bag groceries and goods. The bag could be thrown away after a single use. While it's convenient in theory, disposable plastic bags have grave consequences for the environment. A single plastic bag will never disappear. Unlike other materials, plastic does not biodegrade, it simply breaks apart into smaller pieces of plastic (which is actually far worse than larger pieces because they can not be collected).

Plastic bags:

  • Never biodegrade.
  • Cause animals to suffocate and die.
  • Use fossil fuels to create them, increasing our dependence on foreign oil.
  • Are an eyesore and get talk on car antennas, mufflers, and twisted into engines

Plastic grocery bags can first of all be recycled. Many grocery stores will accept plastic bags to be recycled (usually you'll find the receptacle near the entrance or near the can redemption center).

Recycling Plastic Bags vs. Reusing Plastic Bags

Recycling almost always uses more energy than reusing. By reusing, you'll be giving the product a second life. When your recycle something, you'll be using energy to turn that product into something else, which can use energy and produce emissions.

Five Reasons You Should Bring Your Own Bag

Plastic has a hugely negative effect on the environment, and also on our society. The cons far outweigh the positives of these disposable nuisances. Here are a few reasons you should consider switching to reusable bags instead of plastic:

  1. Bringing your own bag means you'll be carrying less to and fro. Most reusable bags hold far more than traditional disposable bags. Less trips back and forth from the car!
  2. Each time you use your own bag, you'll get a small credit back from grocery stores. It's usually between 5 and 10 cents, which can add up over time.
  3. Using your own bag reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Plastic uses fossil fuels, which are large found in countries that do not have the best intentions Western World. Cast your vote for locally made reusable bags instead.
  4. You will not have to worry about throwing away, recycling, or reusing your disposable bags. By reusing your own bags, you'll have less clutter and less trash.
  5. You'll be sending a green message to your children. When they see you using their own bags, they'll take notice and want to do the same in their lives.
  6. If you'd like to reuse your plastic bags , they have hundreds of uses.
    Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Bags

    • One of the most popular ways to reuse plastic bags is to use them as a trash bag.
    • Place them in small trash barrels in the bathroom, bedrooms, cellar, and near the cat's litter box.
    • Another popular use for them is to use them as doggy poop bags. If you're going out for a walk, bring along a couple of these bags.

  7. You can also reuse plastic bags as packaging. If you're shipping out an item on eBay or shipping something to a friend, the bags can act as a cushion, much like packing peanuts, if you use enough of them.
  8. Keep a plastic bag in your car to contain all of the trash that accumulates in your car. Then, simply tie off, throw away, and use another bag.
  9. Donate your plastic bags to a local thrift store or charity. These results them from having to buy brand new bags.
  10. Post an ad on Craigslist for your bags. A local business may want to use them (you can not beat free!).
  11. Use your bag to contain messy foods and leftovers that might otherwise leave spills. This is especially useful with soups and liquids.
  12. Think of things that you traditionally would use plastic for and replace them with your grocery bags. If you usually put your lawn leaves in trash bags, save up your larger shopping bags and put the leaves in there instead.
  13. Wrap a bag around bags of flour, sugar, and other messy baking ingredients. This can help contain the mess and make for an easier clean up.

The 5 Benefits of Virtual Coaching Engagements

Guiding, instructing and training others for a certain cause or reason are needed in order to establish a strong virtual team. Coaching is regarded as one of the most effective ways in attaining or developing a certain goal or criteria. A lot of individuals and groups consider this method an important part in achieving their goals and dreams.

Coaching, over the decades, is face to face and is usually confined in a definite setting. But because of scientific breakthroughs and technological advances, coaching evolved to what we now call virtual coaching.

Geographical locations and preoccupied schedules are no longer barriers because virtual coaching can be done over the telephone, via the internet, or any possible connection. This method offers stability of learning, efficiency and development.

Here are some of the benefits of virtual coaching:

1. It helps cut your expenses. Face to face coaching costs more than virtual coaching though you get the same benefits. You can save your money for other purposes instead of spending all of it for your coaching needs.

2. It cultivates self-examination and critical thinking. Since coaching is more of helping you to develop professional growth, you will have an opportunity to think of yourself and be aware of the things that you really need. As you realize these needs, you also learn how to guide yourself and achieve your goals. You then develop self-direction.

3. Offers more privacy. Some coaches prefer not to let others know they are engaged in coaching. It is their prerogative to stick to that decision. Virtual learning provides a solution to those who want to keep their coaching affiliations concealed.

4. It requires you to be more active. This kind of coaching entails immediate response to the things that are necessary for you to develop. Virtual coaching helps you to be alert and focused. The key to successful coaching does not depend on the coach and the activities provided; the greater part of its success relies on you.

5. No time and distance barrier. Since you don’t have to meet your coach personally anymore, you don’t have to worry about distance anymore, even with your busy schedule. You should just talk over your preferred schedule with your coach and make an agreement about your time, and then everything will be set.

These are the major benefits you receive from virtual coaching. Just remember to keep all the essential things or attributes you want to have front and center when you engage yourself into this kind of coaching. Focusing on your personal needs as well as your professional priorities will help you greatly succeed in a virtual coaching engagement.

How Long Does it Take to Starting Seeing Results on NutriSystem?

I get a lot of questions about NutriSystem that begin with the words “how long does it take to…” People want to know how long it’s going to be until they start seeing results, loose 20 pounds, or can fit into a bikini, etc.. Basically, most people have an end result in mind and they want to know how long they’ll have to wait or tread water until they reach this goal. For example, folks want to look great for a wedding, shine for a class reunion, or not be embarrassed to walk along the beach. In the following article, I’ll try to help you come up with a time frame and give you an idea of what to expect.

Typical Weekly NutriSystem Weight Loss: The official statement from the company states that 2 – 3 pounds per week are typical.  I think that this is an attempt by them for you to keep your expectations low.  Sure, at 3 pounds per week, you’d lose 12 pounds in a month, and over 70 pounds in 6 months. (At that rate, you’d lose 140 pounds in a year.) These are respectable results by any one’s standards.  But, there are a decent amount of people who are in the 4-5 pound range as well, especially those that start out heavier or those who are willing to move more.

Speeding Up Your NutriSystem Results: Losing More Weight More Quickly:  A lot of people get impatient and want to lose as much weight as they safely can in the shortest amount of time.   Some people tell me that the obvious choice is to skip meals.  After all, they want you to eat a whopping five meals per day AND they want you to add in healthy sides for each meal.  Some people will look at this and see places where they can cut out food and therefore cut out more calories, carbs, and fat.

This is a huge mistake.  I promise it is.  First off, all of the diet’s meals are very low in calories, carbs and fat.  So, cutting out a meal or two is only going to save you a handful of calories.  Second, you need to eat regularly and often for ketosis (fat burning) to happen.  If you slow your food intake, you’re only going to slow your metabolism and therefore your results.  Finally, you need the fresh add ins to ensure that your body is getting the nutritional support that it needs to burn the fat and calories.

Counseling, Education, And Moving More Doesn’t Have To Be A Chore: The company gives you exercise videos with your food orders. (These are free.) They also give you free nutritional counseling and support.  All of this is there for the taking at no additional cost to you. In short, they are giving you the tools, the education, and the emotional support to do this.  You only need to take advantage of what’s being offered.  I find that so many people don’t take full advantage of these freebies and it always surprised and disappoints me.

It’s not too hard to figure out that moving more is a quick way to burn more fat and calories.  This doesn’t have to be a chore. You can play with your kids.  You can go for a bike ride with your husband.  You can dance or by silly with your family.  Whatever you find fun that gets your heart rate up (even just a little), try to incorporate this into your day.  Small efforts like this can get you into the next weekly bracket and can also make your body look more tone and lean.  This in turn will having you seeing results and changes in your body much more quickly.

Resolving Customer Complaints and Conflict with the L-E-A-R-N Technique

Handling customer complaints is an important part of keeping your business healthy and profitable. If you want your customers and clients to come back again you must meet and exceed their expectations consistently. When that doesn’t happen you end up with a complaint — if you are lucky. A typical business hears from only 4% of its dissatisfied customers. The other 96% quietly go away and 91% of those will never return. A complaining customer is trying to help you understand where you failed to satisfy his or her expectation. In the restaurant industry when a customer leaves without expressing a complaint it is referred to as “silent customer’s revenge.” The owner never knows why the customer was unsatisfied — so there is no way to correct the problem. A recent customer service study revealed that 68% of dissatisfied customers leave because of an attitude of indifference toward the customer by the business. How are you treating customers? If you are not sure you had better start asking.

You should be thrilled and delighted that your client or customer cares enough about you and your business to take the time to complain. The good news is that 70% of complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favor. If you can resolve it instantly, 95% will do business with you again.

After twenty-five years as a team development consultant I have developed a simple, straight-forward approach for handling customer complaints and conflict. It is known as the L.E.A.R.N. technique. Each letter of the word “learn” stands for a particular action. Kathenes suggests that a majority of business owners, customer service representatives, and even spouses fail to follow critical steps in resolving conflict and complaints. Here are a few easy steps to get to the root of the problem and to find out how to make that client or customer a “repeater.”

LISTEN: Close your mouth and listen. DO NOT INTERRUPT!! Let him or her blow off steam, get it out, and, as psychologists and facilitators say — “vent.” Sometimes that’s all they really need to do. The complaint they have may not be the real problem. It may have been the spark that created the fury.

EMPATHIZE: Put yourself in their shoes. Take time to understand just how they feel. Then let them know that you understand their feelings. Empathize —do not sympathize. There is a difference. If you saw a man ready to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge you can empathize or sympathize. If you sympathize, you tell him how sorry you feel for him and try to talk him down. If you empathize, you really feel how he feels, so you either jump with him or you push him off. Actually, by understanding how your customer feels and letting them know that you understand their point of view, you rebuild the rapport critical to good service. That does not necessarily mean that you agree with them. It does however let them know that you care and understand their point of view.

ASK: Ask them what they would like done. Great negotiators always know what the other person wants. The only way to find out is to ask. You will usually discover that they want far less than you thought they wanted.

REASSURE: Reassure them that you will do what you can to resolve the problem. Sometimes resolving the problem is beyond your control, but you can do a great deal for the business relationship if you genuinely try to solve the problem. You do not have to commit to making any changes, but your customer or client must know that you do wish to fix the problem.

NEVER FORGET TO FOLLOW-UP: If you drop the ball, you compound the problem. Pick a specific date for resolution, or when you will respond. Then stick to it.

It takes about 6 times more effort and money to get a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. By looking at complaints as an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with clients and customers, you build your business on satisfaction and service. For many businesses, service is its only competitive edge. Let customers know you care and want to hear the bad news as well as the good. It will put you light years a head of your competition.

Creatine – Important Facts You Should Know

Creatine is an important acid used for processing energy within the skeletal muscles, and has become quite popular in recent years as a supplement to aid in bodybuilding. However, what are the facts surrounding this chemical? Is it safe? Is it effective? How does it work? In this article we'll answer these questions and give you a basic rundown of creatine and whether you should use it.

The skeletal muscles are the ones you care about if you are weight training; They allow you to move and give shape and bulk to your body. And in the complicated process of energy transfer within these muscles, creatine is one of the chemicals on the "assembly line." It is an acid, and it is produced naturally in your body from amino acids consumed in the food you eat. Generally, it comes from meat and animal products, although vegetarians' bodies can produce it as well from the amino acids from plants. While your body usually has enough creatine, there is some evidence that taking it as a supplement, and thus saturating the muscles with it, leads to an increase in energy levels.

And this can sometimes lead to misperceptions. Creatine is not a hormone, like steroids. It does not lead directly to gains in muscle mass. However, what it does do is a well established fact. If the muscles are installed with it from supplementation, it increases the amount of weight you are able to lift and the amount of energy you are able to do it with. There have been several scientific studies confirming this effect, which has also led to its potential use as a treatment for degenerative muscular diseases. The energy increase is slight but measurable, but only applies to short bursts of anaerobic exercise such as weight training; It will not help in the realm of long distance running, swimming, or similar activities.

In short, be sure you understand its function. It will help you lift more weight, and then make better gains, in the longterm than if you had not taken it, but it will not make much noticeable difference in the short term. Exception for one, potentially undesirable effect.

And that is water retention.

Scouring the forums of popular weight training websites, such as bodybuilding.com, you can find many discussion threads of people talking about their experiences with creatine. Several people report an immediate increase of several inches in their chest size, for instance, but then go on to say that it is bloated water weight and not muscle. Many users said they stopped using it after they noticed these effects. While the water bloating goes away with discontinuation of creatine, please be aware that this may happen to you if you decide to take it.

Creatine is a useful tool in the weight trainer's toolbox, and can indirectly lead to greater gains in muscle than would have been seen if it had not been used. It is a well-known fact that it can help you lift more and with better peak energy output if your muscles are installed with it from taking a supplement. Before taking it, please be aware of the side effect of water retention and that the actual muscle gains you'll see will be reliably small, although more than they would be if you did not take it.

Garden Design – How to Design a Small Garden

Designing a small garden involves making use of every centimetre of space, and using visual tricks to make the garden seem larger. The plan for a small garden must be millimeter accurate as there is no room for adjustment if the plan is found to be incorrect when constructing the garden.

Many people think a plan is not necessary when they are landscaping a very small garden, whereas the absolute opposite is true. It is especially important to prepare a plan where space is limited to ensure that the finished garden meets the practical requirements and looks great too. Preparing a detailed garden design plan will ensure all the functional areas are the correct size for their purpose and will fit into the garden. A good garden design plan allows you to check that the garden will work before you approach landscaping contractors and start spending money. Some well-prepared 3-D visuals bring the garden to life and help you see how the garden will feel once it is constructed. The garden model and visuals are the final check that the spaces all work in harmony with one another ensuring that the garden is a comfortable, relaxing space in which to spend time.

When designing a small garden a simple layout with clean lines and strong geometric shapes works best. The design should not be overly complicated. If curves are required a central circle which can be either lawn, planting, paving or a path is better than fussy freehand curves.

Although it is tempting to scale down the garden features to avoid cluttering the space this will result in a muddle of insignificant elements that does the exact opposite. Including a single bold structure like a chunky pergola or a rendered blockwork wall around a seating area creates a sense of enclosure, introduces a touch of drama and holds focus inside the garden. Textured finishes like slate or pebble cladding can be used on courtyard walls to add interest and also stop the boundaries from becoming overbearing.

Wooden structures like pergolas and arches enable vertical planting and provide height. A heavily planted pergola placed against a boundary wall blurs the edges of the garden and suggests extra space beyond. Paint a black rectangle on the wall at the end of the pergola to suggest an entrance to another garden area beyond the wall to increase the sense of depth in the garden. Another extremely good way to add height and drama to a garden is to include a tree. A well-chosen tree will give immediate internal focus to the garden as well as adding an essential 3-D element. There are small trees suitable for even the tiniest garden.

A gate fixed to a wall or fence surrounded with climbing plants creates the illusion that the garden continues beyond the boundaries. A well-executed trompe l'oeil doorway painted on a wall framed with evergreen planting and climbers is a simple, fun way to add interest and give the appearance of more space. Using diminishing sized pots, plants or statuary, or narrowing a path as it approaches the boundary will create a false perspective that makes the garden seem larger.

Level changes like steps, raised beds, or a raised pool give the garden an extra dimension, make it appear more interesting and distract attention away from the boundaries. Raised beds and retaining walls for pools can also double as seats if they are between 450mm and 600mm high. Creating extra useable space in the garden by introducing features that have a dual purpose it more useable as well as more attractive and this automatically gives the illusion of more space.

Using contrasting colors is another way to suggest that the garden extends beyond its actual boundaries. A pale wall with a door-sized rectangle painted in a darker color framed by some climbers and planted pots looks like a passageway. Contrasting flower and foliage colors are also effective for creating interest, contrast, directing focus and adding the illusion of extra depth.

When there is not much ground area using the vertical space helps to provide more visual interest without cluttering the garden. Some ways of doing this include attaching planters to walls, hanging baskets and troughs from fence posts or mounting them along the top of fence panels.

In a small garden is it essential to use a limited plant palette – too many different plant species will make the space seem busy and closed in. It is also important to make clever use of all available planting space. Climbers are a great way to introduce greenery without taking up valuable space, and shrubs like Garrya elliptica, Fatshedera lizeii and Itea illicifolia, Ceanothus and Rhamnus alaternus perform well when secured to a wall or fence. In courtyards where there are no borders place trellis panels in floor mounted troughs. Green walls work extremely well in small spaces. Sedum roofs on sheds, bin stores, and other covered spaces are a great way to introduce low-maintenance planting into smaller gardens.

A small garden does not have to be boring and featureless. With some careful planning and creativity smaller spaces can make stunning gardens and wonderful, low-maintenance places to de-stress and entertain.