Yamaha Banshee ATV – The 350cc Liquid Cooled Legend

The Yamaha Banshee is a legendary 350cc liquid cooled two stroke ATV four wheeler. Yamaha produced these in the USA from 1987 – 2006, and they are still making them in the rest of the world. This was one of the fastest ATVs ever produced, and reigned supreme until the YFZ450 was created to replace it in 2004.

The engine was basically the exact same from 1987 until 2006, as well as most major components, except the changed the frame suspension from j-arms to a-arms in 1990. The rear wheel hubs had the same bolt pattern 4/115mm bolt pattern all years, except 1989 and 1990, when they changed it to 4/156mm; because of this Warrior, Raptor, and YFZ450 rims and wheels will also fit a Banshee. The electrical was updated as well in 2002 to include a brake light. Most parts will fit any year and are interchangeable including: the plastic fenders, rear brakes, seat, radiator, front and rear shocks, axle, hubs, lower a-arms, gas tank, cylinders, head, cases, crankshaft, carbs, petcock, tires, skid plate, coil, flywheel, transmission, shift forks, air box, air filter, handlebars, shifter, levers, swing arm, tie rods, impeller, pipe hangers, steering stem, bumper, grab bar, sprocket, rotors, reeds, head, side covers, kick starter, clutch, intake boots, and even the exhaust.

The electrical had 4 generations 1987-1994, 1995-1996, 1997-2001, and 2002-2006. They kept the same materials, but they changed the wire plug connectors on the on/off switch, the key assembly, the cdi box, the stator, and the taillight.

One of the most popular modifications for a Banshee is changing the exhaust pipes. By simply changing the pipes, you can gain up to 20% more power! Usually people accompany this with a new aftermarket air filter, and rejetting the carbs. Another popular feature to add power is porting and polishing the cylinders.

The suspension was a weak point on this unit, mostly because it wasn’t updated since the 1980s. To combat this, many people add aftermarket a-arms that are wider and farther forward (+2+1), a wider axle, and aftermarket shocks. Without a doubt, the Yamaha Banshee is one of most revered and respected ATV to come along.

Ironing Boards – Helping To Make Ironing Less Humdrum

Ironing clothes is a tedious but necessary household chore. It can be made easier, though, by using a good quality ironing board and there is a huge selection on the market today.

An ironing board has a flat, padded surface, on which clothes are placed for ironing, usually with a decorative cover made of heat-resistant fabric. The pad normally has vent ‘holes’, which allow steam from the iron to penetrate the clothes and escape out the bottom.

A good ironing board also has extra features, to make ironing easier. These include ‘sleeves’, which are about 2 feet long and 6 to 8 inches wide, attached to the board, for ironing sleeves and small items of clothing.

Another important feature is the iron-rest. This is usually at the end of the board and made of heatproof material. A good iron rest is large enough to hold the iron safely, without risk of it falling off.

Types of ironing board

There are three main types of ironing board – portable, table-top and wall-mounted – each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. To help select the best kind of ironing board for your needs, you should consider how often it will be used, where it will be placed, how much space is available and what price range you can afford.

Portable ironing boards are the most common in American homes. They have extendable legs, which fold away for storage and fold out for use. They can be moved to which ever room in the house you want to do your ironing and then stored away when you have finished.

An advantage of portable ironing boards is the ability to adjust the height. For example, you may prefer to sit while ironing, instead of standing. And it helps to be able to adjust the height of the board easily, if smaller members of the household want to iron clothes, Portable ironing boards have a disadvantage, though, in being awkward to set up and cumbersome to move around.

The second type of ironing board – the table-top board – has short legs, and is designed to sit on a table top or counter. These ironing boards are easy to carry around and set up in a confined space, which makes them popular with dorm students. But because they are so small, it is difficult to place larger items of clothing properly on the board, which can be annoying when ironing sleeves or anything that needs to fit around the end of the board.

The third type of ironing board is mounted on the wall and then folds out when needed for ironing. These wall-mounted ironing boards are becoming more popular in modern homes. They have the advantage of saving space, which is a great asset in a smaller house or apartment. They can even be installed in a walk-in closet or other confined space.

Even in larger houses, many people prefer wall-mounted ironing boards because they are so convenient. They take only a few seconds to fold down and put away, so they are huge time-savers. They also eliminate the need to carry the ironing board and unfold awkward collapsible legs. Wall-mounted ironing boards are strong and sturdy, and can be swiveled out at any angle into the most convenient position for ironing.

Some wall-mounted ironing boards are designed to be easily installed by an ordinary householder, without the need to call a tradesman, and can thus save you money on installation costs.

The history of ironing boards

Although we take ironing boards for granted today, it’s worth remembering that 100 years ago they were very much a novelty and were only just starting to appear in stores in the United States.

For centuries previously, people used to press their clothes on any available flat surface. For example, the Vikings in the 9th century used flat pieces of whalebone, on which women would press their clothes using heated rocks.

Later, in Europe, it became common for people to iron their clothes on the kitchen table, or on a flat piece of board resting between two chairs. This practice spread to North America and by the early 19th century there was plenty of advice in housekeeping books about what size an ironing table should be, what it should be made of, and what sort of blanket or cloth it should be covered with.

About the same time, several ironing boards started appearing on the market but there is some controversy over who actually invented the ironing board.

In 1858 W. Vandenburg patented what he called the ironing table and about three years later Isaac Ronnie Bord of Georgetown, Delaware, took out a patent for an adjustable flat horizontal surface for the pressing of undergarments, garments and bed linen.

In 1892 an African American woman, Sarah Boone, patented an ironing board that was the forerunner of the modern folding ironing board with a narrow, curved shape, designed to make it easy to iron shirts. (The term “iron”, of course, comes from the fact the implements used to press clothes were made from heavy cast iron, which was normally heated at the hearth or on a wood or coal-burning stove.)

Improvements in ironing boards, naturally, followed the development of the iron, which became powered by electricity and were lighter in weight. By 1940, manufacturers were producing all-metal collapsible ironing boards with tubular legs, and the basic design of ironing boards has changed little since then.

Foot Surgery – How to Survive With Both Your Spirits And Your Sanity Intact

It was a difficult decision, but you’ve decided to no longer put up with the pain, irritation, and deformity of a bunion or hammer toe. In my case, it was a severe bunion, with my big toe drifting aggressively towards my other toes, which informed my decision towards major foot surgery. My husband had undergone bunion surgery more than ten years earlier, and this trying experience, both for him as patient and myself as caregiver, had cautioned us both to plan ahead.

The devil is, indeed, in the details. Knowing that you’ll be off of your feet for at least three weeks, and walking with limited mobility in a surgical shoe or boot for as long as eight weeks, takes strategic planning. It’s easy to remember to gather books, DVDs, and magazines in advance of your surgery, but there’s much more that can be done to make your confinement a stress-free experience.

  • Contact your doctor’s office, and pick up prescriptions in advance for any medications or devices, such as crutches, that you’ll need. Your doctor may also be able to sign a form for a temporary handicapped parking placard.
  • Most insurance won’t cover crutches or other assistance devices until two days before your surgery. Be sure you know what your insurance will cover, and when and where you’ll need to pick up materials. A rolling scooter called a knee-walker, such as a Roll-About, is a life-saver and will give you more stability than crutches. Knee-walkers may be rented at your local medical supply company, or on-line.
  • Freeze ice packs in advance. Icing, even weeks after your surgery, will help keep down foot swelling. A small cooler by your bed filled with ice packs will allow you to change them frequently right after surgery. A handy way to keep the ice packs on your foot is to secure them with a long Ace bandage.
  • Even after your stitches come out, you’ll want to put a dressing on your scar to minimize irritation. Purchase gauze pads, surgical tape and stretchy “tender tape” in advance.
  • Your doctor may recommend purchasing a compression sock to minimize swelling. You can also use a tight Ace bandage or purchase an inexpensive forefoot compression sleeve at http://www.therawear.com/foot-and-lower-body-health.html?brand=120&cat=31 . Be aware that you’ll also need a big, loose sock to slip over your swollen foot. My husband’s wool tube socks were perfect.
  • Your foot will need to be elevated as much as possible during your entire recovery. I was given a handy foam block at the hospital. Have pillows at the ready, or purchase a foam block, about 5″ in height, from a craft store.
  • Place a small table by your bedside. Have anything you may need within arm’s reach, such as a water bottle, lip balm, TV remote, telephone, and medications. Another similar table or tray by your couch is useful. A 4-legged cane with a curved handle placed by the bed can act as a bed-rail, and will assist with getting in and out of bed during the first weeks after surgery.
  • Stock up on easy-to-prepare meals, such as frozen foods that can be popped in the microwave. Even after you can walk, a trip to the grocery store will be impractical. Have lots of bottled water on hand.
  • Catch up on your laundry. Laundry baskets will be hard to handle, and if your washer and dryer are located in your basement, it will be weeks until you can manage a wash. Inventory and launder casual clothes in advance, and be sure you have a few pairs of wide-legged pants that can be slipped over your surgical boot.
  • You are at your most vulnerable when bathing. Your doctor may allow you to get your foot wet as soon as a week after surgery, even with the stitches still in, so your foot will still be very tender and unable to bear weight. You’ll want to have the following for a safe bathing experience:
  • Shower stool
  • Sprayer shower-head
  • Grab-bars around the tub
  • Shower gel and wash cloths (rather than soap)
  • Large plastic bags (if your doctor recommends keeping your foot dry)
  • You’ll want to have a comfy, easy to slip on shoe that is close to the height of your surgical boot. Since your foot will be elevated much of the time, you’ll also want a comfortable slipper for your non-surgical foot. I found that most of my shoes were the wrong height, so www.zappos.com was a convenient way to shoe-shop while confined.
  • Will you need to navigate stairs? Using crutches is dangerous – until you can walk in your boot, it’s better to find an alternative method. I went up and down on my butt; my husband used construction knee-pads and went up the stair on his knees. Plan a strategy and practice in advance.

The final, and most important question, is how to keep your spirits up during a long recovery. Make a list of projects that can be done while you’re home and on the couch – photos that you’ve meant to organize, books and movies that you’ve planned to catch up on, the computer game that you’ve never had time to learn. Gather your project supplies in advance of your surgery. Think of this time of healing not as a forced confinement, but as a period of rest and relaxation. Advanced planning will not only be easier on you, but on your caregiver as well.

Furniture Restoration: Gilt, Ormolu And Painted

Gilding is the fixing of gold leaf to a prepared surface and rubbing it into place. Gold leaf will not tarnish: it lasts for years, giving a true gold look to any wood, metal or plaster base. The lavish and decadent lives of yester year found the need to have almost every piece of furniture that they owned gilded, really evident in the 17th and 18th centuries across the globe. Today these fine pieces still have the same allure, but for totally different reasons – being antiques.

Old gold leaf antiques can be cleaned with water containing a few drops of ammonia. New gold leaf can be bought in plain sheets, or in transfers that have a tissue backing. The transfer sheets are much easier to use than the plain sheets. When applying gold leaf to a restored area, make sure that the surface is clean and dry. Paint the base with Japan gold size and leave it to get ‘tacky’. Lay the sheets in place, slightly overlapping at the edges; rub them down carefully, following the direction of the overlap, with a clean cotton cloth until the edges blend evenly together. The knack is to lay the sheets on the surface when the size has reached the correct degree of ‘tackiness’. If the size is too wet, the leaf crinkles; if it is too dry, the leaf will not stick.

Today the value of antiques will depend on whether pure gold leaf was used or wax gild, as was common practise to reduce the cost of making a fine piece of furniture. The other popular alternative, gold paint, although simple to apply, produces a rather garish finish and lacks depth. Wax gilts, available at most art shops these days, come in many tones of gold. They are ideal for touching-up damaged of gold leaf and for applying a broken gilt surface over white or coloured paint. They are simple to apply, ensuring that even most unskilful restorer can restore their prize antique piece. Wax guilt can easily be removed with turpentine substitute, so a good idea is to protect it with a covering of clear alcohol-based varnish. Another alternative is liquid leaf, again easy to apply. It can be brushed on, or drawn on with a pen. It is brighter than gold leaf and does not have the same ‘antique’ finish as wax guilt, hence larger areas may not have the desired effect especially when restoring your antique piece.

Ormolu is bronze, cast into decorative shapes that are gilded with gold leaf and attached to parts of furniture. A form of decoration that was developed from ormolu is brass alloy, with the same appearance as gold. The surface of ormolu often becomes tarnished because the brass sweats through the gilding. Clean it by brushing the surface gently with soap and warm water containing a few drops of ammonia. To remove any obstinate dirt from the surface, add more ammonia. Always wear rubber gloves for this work.

To restore faded or damaged antique pieces of painted furniture, scrape the paint down to the surface and fill any deep scratches or holes with plastic wood, or Polymer texturing paste. Rub the area with fine glass-paper and repaint, using matching artists’ oil colours. To achieve a matt finish, only use undercoat paint; cover it when dry with a good-quality matt varnish. Small areas of old paint texture can be matched by using white undercoat as a base. Apply matching colours with artists’ oil paint, which should always be a tone lighter than the original. When the paint dries, it should match the original tones. A varnish may be applied; however, it is best to varnish the entire area rather than the retouched area. This will give an overall even texture to your antique piece. New gloss may be a bit too shiny when dry; if so, rubbing it down gently with steel wool will give it that aged antique look.

Life Drawing With Cecil Collins

Cecil Collins (1908-1989) was best known as a painter and had established his reputation in the 1930s to the extent of being included in the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London, at the invitation of the eminent art critic Herbert Read.

Surrealist influences can certainly be seen in Cecil Collins’ earlier work but in later years he developed his own unique imagery based on the iconic archetypes of the Fool and the Angel. The unreservedly spiritual content of his later work revealed his true nature as a deeply spiritual man whose beliefs and principles were basically incompatible with the atheist existentialism of the Surrealists.

Cecil Collins is now generally seen as a ‘visionary’ or ‘metaphysical’ painter, and has been described by some historians as the most important visionary artist since William Blake. However, for me, and I believe many other artists, his greatest influence was as a teacher, in particular through the methods employed in his life drawing classes, which I describe in my book ‘Archetypal Postures, in the Process of Creativity’.

When I began the classes in 1979, one still had a reasonable chance of getting on the course but by 1985 it had become so popular with students that one had to queue all night during the enrollment week. The students themselves were the proof of his worth as a teacher; amongst them he became in the end almost a cult figure. Through his teaching he was able to show the artist how to ‘abandon control’ through the process of life drawing. This of course sounds absurd if not impossible, but when one has experienced it, it is less so. We spend our lives striving to gain control, to avoid letting affairs get out of control. The idea of abandoning control would appear to be the height of folly; but the ‘Fool’ was one of Cecil Collins’ most significant icons.

When we have surrendered control we are vulnerable, at the mercy of others, in danger, our only resource is our basic intuition. Control operates through the intellect, which has to be prevented from dominating for good art to result. This I believe was the primary message in Cecil Collins’ teaching. For the artist, allowing the intellect to dominate produces dead art. To give life to art it is necessary to by-pass the intellect and allow the expression of emotional spontaneity to operate. This idea is of course nothing new. For generations art teachers and critics have enjoined artists to ‘loosen up’, to ‘express themselves’, to ‘be spontaneous’, but few of them know how to bring it about. Cecil Collins knew! His great achievement was in being able to draw out of his students the ability to freely express themselves through the vehicle of life drawing. This is why he was a great teacher, and his students recognised that fact.

Although the purpose of the classes was to achieve spontaneity by abandoning control, the techniques he employed were paradoxically very structured and carefully orchestrated. The drawings were done very rapidly in black or sepia using Chinese ink or gouache. One was expected to have seven small pots of tones ranging from black to the lightest grey. The basic implements comprised a range of Chinese brushes, reed pens, a quill pen, soft pencils and red and black conté crayons.

The sessions began with short poses, but even the longest pose was rarely more than five minutes. From the outset he imposed his control. He would dictate precisely which tone of ink and which implement to use in which hand, for one was expected to use both hands together. After a certain time, sometimes no more than seconds, he would say ‘change’, the model would alter the pose and the students would lay down another sheet of paper and start another drawing according to his instructions, one of which was to look only at the model, rather tan the drawing. Drawing was initially done at great speed and the turnover was rapid.

His theory was that, ‘at the fast speed the analytical mind cannot work’. Some time later he would introduce music, played prior to each pose, and the students and the model would be asked to stand and move in response in whatever manner they felt appropriate. At a certain moment he would say ‘stop’ at which point the model would freeze and the students would sit down and draw according to the new instructions. On occasions these instructions required one to draw with one’s fingers, fist, heel of the hand, elbows, even the chin and the nose. Sometimes one was obliged to hold the instrument in the mouth (in which case three instruments were being used concurrently), or to place the paper on the floor and draw holding the instrument between the toes.

His secret weapon was a bundle of three foot long brushes which he would distribute once the students were sufficiently ‘softened up’. One had to balance one end on the shoulder and make the best of it with the other. After two hours of suffering these indignities one was ready either to walk out or surrender. This was the critical moment; the overcoming of one’s resistance, perhaps to being a fool? By this time most new students would probably be feeling quite bewildered, if not confused; but Cecil Collins knew what was happening; Art was happening. In the last hour there was a tangible atmosphere of calm intensity, the pace usually slowed down and some very good drawings were done; and that is all that matters in art; the end result, not the process of getting there, or the ‘suffering’ of the artist.

Cecil Collins understood that in the act of overcoming adversity, in this case one’s resistance, a certain aesthetic power is released. I recollect that at some appropriate moment he commented that ‘the manifestation of beauty is often accompanied by pain’. There was no doubt that for the duration of the class one was obliged to be in the present, giving one’s attention only to the drawing process and not to the endless thoughts in the mind. With the whole class equally concentrated a powerful atmosphere arose which was almost tangible.

Cecil Collins had that rare ability to bring out of each student his or her own latent power of spontaneous expression which is a basic requirement of good art. It is this that made him a great teacher.

Contemporary Lighting Fixtures – Getting the Right Design in Lighting

Does contemporary lighting suit your tastes? Many people want to avoid the lamps and lighting fixtures that were in their childhood homes. This includes the lamps made by Tiffany found in so many old Victorian homes and Arts and Crafts bungalows of the early 1900s. You can find contemporary light fixtures for just about any lighting needs your home has, indoors or out. You can find fixtures for every room in your home including the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and living room. You can also find fixtures for outdoors as well. Why live with the lighting fixtures your parents would love find one that you love?

What makes contemporary lighting different from traditional? The most obvious difference is the clean lines and sleek shape that many of these contemporary light fixtures have. Some are simple white and chrome. Some are colorful and little bit funky. You can embrace both classical and contemporary with certain lighting designs. It is important to know what your taste is before you make any decisions however. Otherwise, you might find yourself replacing your lighting within a couple of years. Moreover, who wants to spend money twice when you shouldn’t?

One consideration when considering contemporary lighting is what style your home is. If you live in an old Victorian, including a contemporary sleek steel fixture in foyer might not be the best idea. If your home is an old Arts and Crafts bungalow, that beautiful pendant shade with Murano glass might not be the best idea either. However, if your home is anything found from the mid-century ranch to just about any design built last decade, contemporary lighting fixtures are good ways to go in your home. You can get great style along with great lighting with these fixtures. Filling functional need with style is always a good idea.

Another consideration when thinking about contemporary lighting is keeping things consistent. Don’t have a Tiffany lamp in one side of the room with a modern sleek desk lamp across the room. Lighting is an integral part of any design scheme. However, it is important to consider the house that you live in as well as the style of furnishings that you have. Mixing contemporary light fixtures within a medieval-themed home would look out of place. You can get a great look with a little thought into what design your whole home should be. While searching for that perfect lamp, remember to keep your whole house in mind.

Principles of Tithe and Offering (Keys to Abundance)

The God of heaven want you and I to live in abundance. It is never the desire of the creator for his children to be in want. In the Lord prayers, the first line says “Give us our daily bread”, not “Give us our daily bread in two days”. This shows that God want you and I everyday to live in abundance of our needs and want. Even from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, he makes provision for everything that man needed to live in abundance, even while the abundance is present, he gave them guideline to follow, and that’s principle. We control the amount of flow (amount) of blessings and provision to our needs.

Even in the Garden of Eden, there are divine principles and when they failed to obey they live for it. So also, there are divine principles to this effect. Our God is not a magician but a miracle working God, he is not a “Non-sense” God. He works by principle and respect obeyed principle. In one of my e-sermons “Principles to Seed-Faith” (available online), I shared the principle of Seed-Faith and how it will bring us to abundance and answered prayers, (Search online “Principles of Seed-Faith by Bamidele Moyo-Angel or you contact me by email) you will need the e-sermon. I emphatically stated it there that “Principles only answers to OBEDIENCE and not to fasting and prayer.”

By the grace of God, I will be sharing with you the aspect of Biblical and divine truth that will channel our course and bring us to abundance. It will answer all your questions on Tithe and offerings. This piece is by no means trying to argue any statement that has been made from any individual but by sharing a divine and a biblical truth.

Jesus said we should not neglect the tithe (Matthew 23:23). Hence giving and tithing should not be understood as Old Testament law or a religious obligation. Rather is a privilege of those who choose to exercise their faith to give.

The Old and the New Testament makes a Complete Bible, not the Old Testament only or the New Testament but both. Jesus did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. In fact, the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament (Personal Conclusion).

Tithing and giving offerings does not buy God’s blessing, but it does release his blessing upon our lives.

Those who tithe are expressing their faith in God in the most practical way possible. They are saying, “I believe the 90 percent that I have left after tithing, has God’s blessings on it. With God’s blessing, the 90 percent can purchase more than the 100 percent would, without his blessing.”

The poor need to give because they need God’s blessing to break the cause of poverty.

Obedience in giving brings blessings and breaks the curse of poverty!

The most popular reading about tithe and offering is often taken from Malachi 3:8 -11

“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say, “In what way have you robbed you?” in your TITHES AND OFFERINGS. You are cursed wit a curse, for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the store, that there may be food in my house, AND TRY ME NOW IN THIS say the Lord of hosts, “IF I WILL NOT OPEN FOR YOU THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN AND POUR OUT FOR YOU SUCH A BLESSING THAT THERE WILL NOT BE ROOM ENOUGH TO RECEIVE IT” and I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fall to bear fruit for your field,” says the Lord of Hosts”

I will take time to explain the above Bible verses, but before then; let’s us consider some truth, importance and the origin about tithing and offering.

Every believer is a steward of everything he possesses. “As every man has received… even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1Peter 4: 10), “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1Corinthians 4: 2). A steward is one who manages, administers and takes cares of that which belongs to someone else. Since God is the one who gives every material blessing, we acknowledge his ownership. “… For all things come from you and of your own have we given back to you” (I Chronicles 29:14), “Every good gift and every perfect is from above, and comes down from the father of light…” (James 1: 17).

These shows that everything in your possession is of the Lord and is giving to you to taken care of it; as a steward, you will give account of whatever has been given to you: be it money, landed properties, your gifting and talent, material blessings etc

1. Did God ask us to give Tithe?

From what he has given, he asks me to give a tithe of 10 percent (what about you?): “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy to the Lord” (Leviticus 27: 30), “You shall truly tithe ALL the increase of your seed, that the field bring forth year by year…” (Deuteronomy 14: 22)

Jesus commanded tithing. “… For you tithe… this you should do…” (Luke 11: 42)

2. God’s purpose of Tithing as seen in the Old Testament

  1. To support the poor and the needy in Israel: Among the Israelis, the harvest of every Sabbath (seventh) year was reserved for the poor. “But the seventh year you shall let your fields rest and lay still that the poor of your people may eat, and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner you shall deal with your vineyard, ad with your olive yard” (Exodus 23:11)

The gleanings of harvest were to be given to the poor and aliens.

  1. To support the Levites: The Lord required a special “third year” tithe for the Levites, the orphan, the widow and the aliens.

At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase the same year… And the Levities… and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied, that the work of your hand which you to do” (Deuteronomy 14:28, 29)

3. God’s purpose of Tithing as seen in the New Testament

  • To support the poor and Needy: Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things sold, and laid them down at the apostle’s feet and distribution was made to every man according as he has need.And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, which is, being interpreted, the Son of consolation, a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostle’s feet”(Acts 4:34-37)
  • To support Teachers and Preachers: The leaders and teachers in the Church were to be supported from the tithes and offerings given by those to whom they ministered.

“Let him that is taught in the word share with him that teaches in all good things” (Galatians 6:6). “Even so he the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1Corithians 9:14)

When Paul went out as a missionary to preach the gospel to those who had never heard it, he was supported by the Church at Philippi. “…as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only…”

  • God’s special Promise: To those who give, God makes a special promise. “Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give, it shall be given back to you again” (Luke 6:38)

This passage teaches us that we control the flow (amount) of God’s blessing and provision to our need. If we give spoonfuls to the Lord, he will pick up the same spoon we used and use it to spoon out what we ask for. If we have faith to give shovelfuls to the Lord, he will pick up the same shovel and use it to shovel back to us what we need in much more abundant blessing.

PERSONAL TESTIMONY: There was a time in my life that the blessings of God was coming to me so much in the area of monetary blessing and I give of my tithe each time. At a point, I received so much money in US dollars, the calculated Tithe was so high and so much for me; believe me, I did not pay it. You know what God did? He blocked the flow and the source of the blessing.

These shows: we control the flow (amount) of God’s blessing and provision to our need.

4. Tithing and Offering as a Privilege: Several centuries before the law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, Abraham gave a Tithe (tenth) to a representative of God (Genesis 14:18-24; Hebrew 7:1, 2). Jacob promised to give a tenth of all God blessed him with (Genesis 28:22). Jesus said we should not neglect the tithe (Matthew 23:23). Hence giving and tithing should not be understood as Old Testament law or a religious obligation. Rather is a privilege of those who choose to exercise their faith to give.

5. Tithing Expresses Faith: Tithing and giving offerings does not buy God’s blessing, but it does release his blessing upon our lives.

“Bring all the tithes into the store, that there may be food in my house, AND TRY ME NOW IN THIS say the Lord of hosts, “IF I WILL NOT OPEN FOR YOU THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN AND POUR OUT FOR YOU SUCH A BLESSING THAT THERE WILL NOT BE ROOM ENOUGH TO RECEIVE IT”

Those who tithe are expressing their faith in God in the most practical way possible. They are saying, “I believe the 90 percent that I have left after tithing, has God’s blessings on it. With God’s blessing, the 90 percent can purchase more than the 100 percent would, without his blessing.” It takes faith to believe that.

God allowed his people to tithe money, oil, wine, flour, fruit, wood, animals and other possessions.

6. How and where do I Tithe: Biblical, you tithe the 10 percent of your first fruit, but I have seen people in the practice of tithing 20 percent, it depends on your faith and your level of expectancy of God’s blessings. You don’t tithe and give offering necessarily every Sundays but from every blessing of God comes to you, you Tithe and offering from it.

7. Where do I Tithe and give Offering: You tithe to the house of God where you are receiving blessing or into a ministry that is blessing you but you can give your offering (Freewill Offerings) to the needs of Christian ministries.

8. How Often should I Tithe and give Offering: You tithe the first of your fruit (or income) of ALL your increase. You tithe from gift materials and money and not from your Income (salary alone). You give you offering at any period of time.

9. Disciplining in giving Tithe and offering: Often times, it is not easy to pay Tithe and offering, but it is a commandment. What you need to do is to “Practice discipline into Delight.”

10. Tithing is an Old Testament Law: No! Jesus said we should not neglect the tithe (Matthew 23:23). Hence giving and tithing should not be understood as Old Testament law or a religious obligation. Rather is a privilege of those who choose to exercise their faith to give. The Old and the New Testament makes a Complete Bible, not the Old Testament only or the New Testament but both. Jesus did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. In fact, the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament (Personal Conclusion).

11. Will I be caused if I don’t Tithe and give my Offerings according to Malachi 3:11: I don’t personally attach a cause to the fact that you are not paying your Tithe. The Bible says “If you love me, you will keep my commandment” and Tithing and giving is one of the commandment of God in the Bible. He said “Give…” So what happens to anybody who disobeys commandment? 2. Not giving your Tithe and Offering is like closing door to your abundance and open heaven.

12. Be A Generous and Cheerful Giver: The Bibles teaches us we are to give willingly and cheerful, from a spirit of generosity. God does not measure our giving by the amount we give. He rewards us according to what is left after we give. Jesus said the tiny amount given by the widow was greater than all the others because it was “all she has” (Luke 21:1-4). Generous giving is proof of our love, faith and maturity.

A generous believer causes others to give thanks to God! The poor need to give because they need God’s blessing to break the cause of poverty. The Macedonia Christians were in great poverty (2 Corinthians 8:2), yet they gave liberally. They had learned obedience in giving brings blessings and breaks the curse of poverty!

Jesus is the ultimate example, became poor in order to bless us. To refuse to be a faithful steward, by not giving is an act of robbery and rebellion towards God. But to yield to his purpose in giving is to receive an “Open Heaven” and abundant blessing and protection from the want and famine.

13. What will faithful Tithing and offering to do to me?:

  1. It will open to your window of God’s blessing.
  2. Devourers (sickness, pain, death, loss…) will be kept from the 90 percent
  3. It proves your love to God and His commandment.
  4. It positions you for blessing through open opportunities.
  5. Is your source of healing, miracle and is your heavenly account.
  6. It opens to your abundances.

The Ken Patera Workout

For those who are new to weight training/lifting and have no idea who Ken Patera is here’s a little background for you.

Patera is a former Olympic Weightlifter and USA powerlifter. He won several medals at the Pan American Games (including gold), and finished second in the 1971 World Weightlifting Championships. He was the first American to clean and jerk 500 (503 1/2) lbs, which he achieved at the 1972 Senior Nationals in Detroit. He is also the only American to clean and press 500 lbs, and he was arguably the last American to excel at weightlifting on an international level.

Patera also competed in the first World’s Strongest Man contest in 1977, finishing third behind Bruce Wilhelm and Bob Young.

Patera went on to have a long career on professional wrestling. Here is a typical Patera workout. Patera would switch up his routines constantly, as well as sets and reps. Use your own judgement based on your comfort level.

The Ken Patera Workout

Snatch

Clean and Press

Bench Press

Squats

Notes: Lift 2-3 times per week using whatever set and rep scheme your comfortable with except for squats. Perform one set of each squat exercise and one set only. Get plenty of rest, eat good food and drink lots of water. Remember to lift heavy and with max intensity.

Understand that to be successful in any weight training program – hard work is a must! Half-hearted effort does nothing for you. If you’re new to weight training or grossly out of shape, consult a physician first. End of disclaimer.

The Benefits of Credit Checks For Small Businesses

You have to get paid for your services and products to stay afloat, but knowing which customers will be good payers and which ones will take you for a ride can be a tricky business. It may be worth while to learn how credit checks can help you.

Whether you are thinking about supplying a new customer or you are already selling them your products or services, getting credit information on them can cut down your risks of invoices going unpaid. A credit check is essential if you’re thinking of extending credit to a customer. If you can see past and present information on how firms pay their invoices you can make quicker decisions about doing business with them and put your mind at ease.

Simon Streat of Experian UK&I says: “Credit information plays a vital role in helping businesses to make smarter decisions when it comes to understanding the level of risk associated with potential new customers or suppliers.”

It won’t always be possible to get a credit check on a firm because the credit agencies have incomplete information and so don’t publish a report. Sometimes a credit check won’t be complete because suppliers haven’t reported a firm’s payment history to the credit agencies. That won’t necessarily mean that your potential customer will be a bad payer but it could be worth you talking to other customers or suppliers and doing your own check.

Don’t forget that, just as you want to check up on other firms, they may want to check up on you. Your credit report is an important reflection on your company – it is almost an extension of your brand and company image. How other businesses see your rating can have a direct bearing on whether they do business with you or not.

The better your rating, the easier it will be for you to get funding and investment. A good rating may allow you to negotiate lower interest rates with other companies. Make sure your credit history is accurate and up to date.

Monitor your own credit report regularly. Many agencies allow you to sign up to alerts when fraudulent activity on your accounts is suspected so you can react straight away.

Credit reports on other businesses and your own report are invaluable to your business. If you haven’t already, check your own report and start checking out other businesses you deal with, especially if you are giving them credit. You can find the main credit agencies online and their processes are easy to follow.

Traditional Spanish Recipes – One of the Most Well Known – Spanish Omelet

One of the most well known, and well loved, traditional Spanish recipes is Spanish omelet. This recipe is amazingly versatile and can be served hot or cold, as a starter – as a snack – or as a main  course with a salad. Cut into cake-like wedges, it is ideal for packed lunches and picnics.

Ingredients:

  1. 1lb/450g potatoes (Estima or Nadine)
  2. 1 red onion
  3. 1 red pepper
  4. 1 clove garlic
  5. 4oz/100g frozen peas
  6. 6 large eggs
  7. 2oz/50g grated cheese
  8. 4 tablespoons olive oil
  9. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  10. salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Peel the potatoes and cut into half inch/12mm cubes. Cook in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, until tender. set aside to drain. Meantime, peel and chop the onion – peel and crush the garlic – de-seed and cut the pepper into half inch/12mm squares.

In a large frying pan, heat half of  the oil over a medium heat. Fry the onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, peas and red pepper – fry for a further 3-4 minutes, then set aside on a plate.

Heat the rest of the oil in the pan. Add the potatoes and cook for 8-10 minutes while stirring.Beat the eggs together and add in the cheese, season with salt and pepper. Return the onion mixture to the pan, combine with the potatoes and sprinkle with the parsley. Reduce the heat and add the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables.Cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Loosen the edges and turn out onto a plate.

You are now ready to serve one of the most famous of traditional Spanish recipes. For a meaty alternative, add some diced ham or bacon, or some chorizo sausage.

Bon Appetit

Preparing Atlantic Lobster Tails

When you cook frozen lobster tails, it is best to thaw them first. You can either thaw them in a microwave or in the refrigerator. If you thaw them in the refrigerator, it will take anywhere from eight to twelve hours for them to fully thaw and same as with beef, if you decide to thaw them in the microwave, you will need to cook them immediately after thawing. Thawing the lobster tails before cooking will make them much more tender than if you were to cook them frozen.

Baking

Many people like to broil lobster tails but it is rather difficult to keep the sections from overcooking, so it is a little safer to bake them.

-Once the lobster tails are thawed, you can brush them lightly with olive oil or butter and them put them in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes (you will need to cook them a little longer than this if they are still frozen).

-Once they are done, there are many different additions you can serve with the lobster tails, such as lemon slices or one of many different sauces.

Boiling

Another method of cooking lobster tails is to boil them. You will need to put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.

-Add in one teaspoon of salt for every quart of water

-Once the water is boiling, you drop the lobster tails into it, which will cease the boiling for a short time. Once the boiling begins again, you will lower the heat to medium, or medium high, and this is when the timer should begin.

-For 1 to 3 ounces of meat, you will want to boil them for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. For every ounce after that, you will need to add one to two minutes to the boiling time.

Steaming

Steaming lobster tails is another cooking option that doesn’t take very long-only about five to seven minutes. You can use water as the liquid for steaming, or you can use white wine (using white wine can also double as a sauce after the lobster tails are finished cooking). It is often a good idea to stick a wooden skewer through the lobster tails, since steaming them causes them to shrivel slightly.

Broiling Large Lobster Tails

When cooking a large lobster tail, the trick will be to cook it all the way through without scorching or drying out the top. If you do cook it too long, the meat will be tough and chewy. The best way to approach broiling a large lobster tail is to first thaw it, then cut open the top of the shell lengthwise. You will need a heavy pair of kitchen shears to do this, and you will want to cut just deep enough that you do not cut the bottom of the shell. You may need to use a large knife to cut through the meat and you will then need to split the shell open. Then, you will put it in a roasting pan just underneath the broiler. Cutting the lobster tail open like this will help expose the meat to the broiler so that it will cook evenly and prevent the shell from burning or drying out.

Cooking Lobsters “Piggy Back”

Another way of broiling lobster is what is referred to as “piggy back.” This method can also be used when grilling lobsters as well. Basically, what you will need to do is remove the meat from the inside of the lobster shell for cooking. This will help the lobster tail cook more thoroughly and evenly.

-Cut the outer shell down the center, leaving the fan tail and the underside membrane both intact

-Next carefully lift the meat through the slit in the shell

-Place the lobster meat on a roasting pan (in a small amount of water to prevent drying) membrane side up.

-Then place the roasting pan and lobster tails just under the broiler. You will cook these at the same amount of time required for boiling, the only difference being that you will need to turn them over and baste them again halfway through

-You will need to do the same to remove the lobster meat from the shell if you are going to use the “piggy back” method for grilling. You will want to cook the membrane side first in grilling, as well. Then, just as with broiling, you will need to turn the lobster tail halfway through, and baste it again, as well.

Pros and Cons of Using Copper Cookware

Copper cookware is widely used by most professional cooks, especially with regards to heat conductivity. It is usually in line with nickel, tin, stainless steel or a combination of these three metals.

Copper is used on the outside and stainless steel is on the cooking surface. To distinguish its effectiveness in kitchen cooking, below are some pros and cons of having copper cookware:

Pros

It is widely used by certain industries. Copper is malleable and ductile. This is the reason why many companies chose copper to be used in kitchen wares.

It is popular among chefs and culinary experts. Copper cookware has gained popularity amongst professionals because of its stylish look. Pots and pans have a distinct appeal of elegance.

Its silvery white and pinkish luster enhances the cooking experience of most cooks in various parts of the world. Most French use copper cookware in their traditional French cuisine.

Excellent heat conductivity. Copper distributes heat better than aluminum. Its conductivity is ten times higher than glass or stainless steel. It quickly responds to temperature changes as compared to other metals.

The heat and cooking time is being reduced when using copper cookware. From this, copper cookware prevents burnt spots which show that the cooking equipments are sub standardized.

Saves on polishing. There are models that come up with a brushed texture. Cookware does not need to be shiny. Some prefer their cookware to be bruised or scratched. It gives an antique and classy look. However, shining may prevent a copper cookware from developing a patina or green look.

Easy to clean and maintain. The smooth structure of a copper cookware helps easily remove small pieces of food from the pan’s surface.

It is in lined with other metals for protection. High quality cookware is usually in line with other metals like stainless steel. The lining protects the food, avoiding copper to react with it. The combination also allows precise cooking time for food to become cooked evenly.

Thus, copper cookware also has its downside. Some features may not be adequate enough for most cooks, in which, manufacturers tend to get up with a solution for these shortcomings. Here are some of the cons of copper:

Cons

Easily scratched and is naturally soft. Copper, when combined with other metals, make it more durable. Its sandwich layers of metals such as tin and nickel are not as strong as stainless steel. Nickel may be reactive because it is hard and ductile, while Tin may become unstable at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

Heavy. Copper cookware possesses the heaviest metal among all cook wares. It is more prone to dents.

Changes in color and appearance. A copper cookware may change its color, especially when cooking in deep pink, orange or purple colors. Hence, heat and humidity can alter the appearance of copper cookware, especially when it is not cleaned properly.

Prone to tarnishing. Acidic foods may lead to the tarnishing of copper. The metal may leach into foods and can cause illnesses.

More cost. Copper is much more expensive as compared to other metals. Copper cookware collections cost several hundreds of dollars per piece.

Used with thorough care. Copper is sensitive to acidic foods. The pan cannot be used again when foods are cooked on the surface or the tin on the top has worn-out through the mentioned copper base. It can lead to toxicities.

There are people who can fix the polishing and even repair worn out copper cookware. A copper cookware requires proper maintenance in order to keep it looking like brand new.

Despite a copper cooker’s downsides, most gourmet chefs still prefer this kind of cookware. This is due to their great features such as its heat distribution system that are unmatched. Aside from this, cookware is an investment, offering very effective functionality for kitchen owners.

The Benefits of Decorative Crown Molding

Decorative crown molding will add charm and elegance to your rooms just by their very nature. Even the most plain looking of rooms can be transformed into tasteful spaces just by adding crown molding. The available choices of decorative styles today make the options almost limitless, giving the homeowner the ability to turn his living room into a Victorian parlor or a warm rich library.

You can use decorative crown molding to highlight and feature different areas of your room. By using pieces that are complementary to the trim around your fireplace or French doors you can seamlessly pull the design together. The most effective technique is to paint or stain the crown molding to match the existing trim of the room. If you aren’t able to do that, then at least match the trim types. For instance, if your windows and doors are trimmed in a dark stained wood, don’t use a white plastic on the ceiling. While this isn’t a terrible look against your white ceiling, it wouldn’t quite flow with the room’s other dark trim. Try to maintain consistency.

One other option is to redo the room’s trim to match the crown molding if you’ve found a favorite molding style that doesn’t currently complement your décor. It’s more work to replace everything in the room, but if you’re fallen in love with a particular style then don’t make sacrifices if you don’t have to.

Some homeowners have gone so far as to extend their new wood crown molding all the way across the ceiling in the form of natural wood ceilings instead of the common plaster. Just be sure you don’t darken the room so much that it becomes gloomy and depressing. If you prefer this option be sure to use light airy wood stains instead of the darker ones.

Most good molding installations are handled by professionals, but we always champion the skills of a do it yourselfer. If you can’t handle the complicated corner cuts we suggest using corner molding and corner blocks designed specifically to avoid those difficult cuts.

How to Plan and Design an Ayurvedic Wellness Spa

With the present-day lifestyle getting hectic and busier by the day, one thing that is getting scarce is perhaps the availability of time for oneself, one’s family or for ones wellbeing. This scenario is not only scary but also dangerous as it spells disaster for a physically and mentally healthy body in you. This realization has given birth to a profitable business niche globally – The Wellness Business. Today world over wellness centers are doing thriving business. While there are no authentic figures available, conservative estimates hint at a whopping figure of $ 250 billion as the size of this market, and still counting.

Global competition in the wellness industry has given rise to a number of wellness styles and therapies to emerge. The latest fad seems to be the traditional Indian system of Ayurveda. While there are a number of well-planned Ayurvedic wellness centers in India and especially in its birthplace Kerala, what is interesting to note is that a strong demand in this therapy is generating a keen interest from luxury hospitality industry. You can today find Ayurvedic wellness centers in luxury hotels and resort spa’s globally.

The science of Ayurveda is founded on the principle that the universe is composed of five elements that is air, fire, water, earth and space (ether). All these elements are represented in us by three energies called the “doshas“, namely the Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When any of the energy exceeds its established proportion in the body, the balance of elements gets disturbed and, the body loses its balance. Every human being has a distinct ratio and our wellness depends on maintaining this crucial balance. The science of Ayurvedic therapy helps maintain this energy or dosha balance.

Planning an Ayurvedic wellness center is a complex task. It not only requires in-depth knowledge of the science of Ayurveda, but also of the science of Vastu for best results. The therapy is very individual centric and therefore needs very close attention. A well-planned Ayurvedic wellness center therefore has three essential sections.

Consulting

Since the therapy is extremely individual centric, it requires a firsthand knowledge of one’s body through individual consulting by an expert Ayurvedic practitioner. A well-equipped room is therefore required to sit with the wellness seeker to evaluate his or her energy levels and suggest wellness remedies.

Therapy Rooms

A number of therapy rooms are provided, the number depends on the demand and results of market survey. There are different types of therapies and therefore the furnishings of rooms differ depending on the therapy offered. A typical treatment room will however have a single piece wooden tabletop called the “Adoni” to give Ayurvedic massage therapy. Each room also has its own private steam box connected to a central steam generator. The rooms also have their own attached private bath or shower rooms.

Yoga/meditation/workout room

Since Ayurvedic wellness believes in physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the body, a good Ayurvedic wellness center is also provided with an area where a wellness seeker can perform prescribed yoga exercises or practice meditation for a defined period for the therapy to give its full results.

An Ayurvedic wellness center or better called Ayurvedic spa has to take care of two more factors that are essential. Firstly, it must have qualified and trained therapists on the one hand and therapy consultants on the other. The second element is the therapy medium or various herbal and medicinal oils, powders, and aromas used for massages, baths and body packs. Some of the best Ayurvedic spas are architecturally laid in a manner that the interior seems to brush the nature. Creation of traditional ambiance assumes great importance in the overall personality of the spa.

Wellness by itself is a thriving and financially lucrative business. Ayurvedic spa business is even more lucrative as it offers “preventive” and “curative” therapies attracting both healthy people wanting to get healthier and not so healthy wanting to get-well. However, it is best to concentrate on the preventive aspect of therapies in a spa than to embrace curative aspect also. Doing so would result in the “Spa” character of the facility being diluted. For someone wanting to become part this billion-dollar business, my advice would be that he or she should take professional services of an expert consultant to ensure starting on a technologically sound and financially viable footing.

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Leave Your Home Secure And Travel With Peace Of Mind

Travelling can be a very joyous experience that one remembers for the rest of their life, and nothing could be more of a party pooper than getting home and realizing that your home has been destroyed, robbed or burnt down. Although you can’t do anything much to secure your home against natural disasters, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that you continue to ride the tide of contentment even after you have arrived home.

1. Check all your locks

Replace any locks that look loose and that have lived past their lifetime. Some locks are easy to pick so double check that they are strong and not easy to manipulate.

2. Switch off all electrical gadgets.

If you are planning to travel far for a lengthy period, then you will probably have to switch off all your electrical gadgets. This is to prevent any electrical damage that might occur while there is no one in the house to quickly attend or notice. A good idea would be to empty your refrigerator in time. This will save you some money because you won’t have a bill to pay when you get back.

3. Switch off your gas

If you use gas for anything, it would be in your best interests to check that no pipes are leaking and that it is switched off. Gas is extremely flammable, and it would be a tragedy if your whole house were to burn down because you were negligent.

4. Have your mail delivered somewhere else?

If you receive mail, make sure that your delivery service gets another temporary address to deliver them to. Or better still get your neighbor to pick up your mail for you. This is to make sure that there is no build up of mail outside your door. A thieving eye stacking out places to rob will surely notice that there is a mountain of mail outside a place and earmark it for a quick job.

5. Get an alarm service

For those going on holiday for a long time, it would be good to install an alarm system and engage a security company to scope out the place from time to time to make sure that everything is in order.

6. Get a friend to stay over

This requires you to find a friend who you trust implicitly with your possessions as they will have free unsupervised access to your house while you are away.

7. Rent it out.

Better still you can make a quick buck by finding someone who stays for the duration of your travels. They will act as security and caretaker of your property. This requires advance planning.

8. For natural disasters.

Make sure you are all paid up when it comes to insurance. You can do nothing to stop nature but you can certainly have a plan B for yourself.

Make a checklist and tick it off to ensure that get you on the road and travel without being held back.