Thinking Out Loud

October 31, 2012

Wednesday Link List

Welcome to another Wednesday Link List. We have no plans to mention the October 31st thing here.

  • The blog Sue’s Considered Trifles is a fun place for people who love words and love language. Most posts contain related phrases and sayings, usually ending with a short scriptural or faith-based thought. You can refer friends to individual posts, or copy and paste and send as emails.
  • “Because it’s only once in awhile that we get to hear Jesus talk about brutal self-mutilation as a sign of discipleship.” So begins a sermon on Mark 9: 42-48 by Nadia Bolz-Weber you can listen to or read at her blog.
  • A consultant for the U.S. State Department brings a rather sobering article on the long term prospects for Christians in the middle east.
  • Our Creative Writing Award for October — if we had one — would surely go to Hannah Anderson, for this piece about being a mother of three at church offering time.
  • Does liturgy work with the poor and uneducated. Consider: “The liturgy has been, at least initially, a barrier to our illiterate population. After one or two months, however, they have it memorized.” Learn more at this interview.
  • Pete Wilson cites Adam Stadtmiller who suggests that our present model of what we call “singles ministry” is quite unsustainable.
  • We frequently hear stories of the desires of the people who hold the movie rights to the Left Behind books to re-make the existing films. This version gives the starring role to Nicholas Cage.
  • For my Canadian readers: If you remember the story from a few years back about the Ponzi scheme that impacted people at 100 Huntley Street and Crossroads Christian Communications, here is an update.
  • If you don’t feel there are enough Bible translations currently available, then you’ll be happy to know the International Standard Version is getting closer to being available in print.
  • And speaking of Bible versions, if your 66-book collection of choice is the King James, and the King James Bible only, then you probably want to date court someone who feels the same. For that you need to put your profile on King James Bible Singles. (You don’t need to join to read all the profiles — in great detail — already posted.)
  • Rachel Held Evans answers all your questions about the book that is causing so much controversy.
  • On a similar theme, Bruxy Cavey equates the Old Testament’s Levitical purity laws as akin to Spiritual Cooties. This 2-minute clip may not be safe for work, or any other environment.
  • Meanwhile, Kathy Keller, wife of author and pastor Timothy Keller offers some criticisms of Rachel’s book in the form of an open letter. If you click, don’t miss the comments.
  • But then you wouldn’t want to miss this review, which suggests there are Rachel Held Evanses in every church.
  • In other book news, Kyle Idleman, author of the chart-topping Not a Fan is releasing a new book, Gods at War in January.

June 27, 2009

Affinity Fraud and Ponzi Schemes: Everything You Need to Get Started

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 12:06 pm

ponzi-scheme-for-dummies1With various reports coming in of different people in the Christian community being victimized by Ponzi schemes and Affinity Fraud, we figured, ‘hey, if you can’t beat them, join them.’    Here’s an inventory checklist of the kind of person you need to be and the devices that need to be in your toolkit:

Powerfully Persuasive – It helps if you can really ‘sell’ people on your ideas; if you have a proven track record of being able to convince people to get on board a project or event.   Take good salesmanship and mix in a dash of charm.

Outrageous Claims – If the banks are only offering 2-3% and the investment brokers are only suggesting returns of 4-8%, don’t offer 12% or 14%;  go big — around 20%.   What difference does it make if you’re not going to be paying anybody anyways?

Self Delusion – If you believe in the project enough, you can do more than just project a genuine sincerity, you can possibly even fool a polygraph machine.   This is where the eternal optimists have a distinct advantage over the rest of us.

Pathological Lying – You won’t get this gift overnight, so start soon.   My wife recently dealt with a couple who came up with four different stories in five minutes as to someone’s whereabouts; so I suppose it’s good to get your story straight ahead of time.

Criminal Intent – This is where it gets nasty.   You’ll need to start small and work up to what we’re describing here.    This might be a good day to start with a CD or some lipstick at WalMart and then if petty theivery works for you, set your sights on bigger game.

Spiritual Spin – Once you’ve arrived at your moment of triumph and you’re out selling the actual scheme, be sure to mention how this investment program is “God’s instrument,” how it will “benefit the Kingdom,” and if possible credit God with “revealing this method and opportunity” to you.

Critical Mass – The first few may be tougher sells, but once you’ve got a few people on board, the word will spread.    Be sure to allow some of your earlier investors to actually get their hands on some cash returns, so they can fully buy in to the self delusion; they may not be as good at this as you.

You’re now ready to begin. Come up with a good name for your project so that it sounds credible, and make sure your laptop computer has enough charts and graphs; they can be based on anything statistical since no one caught up in this is going to look that closely.

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