Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the category “Advertising”

Oscars and the Church

Did you watch the Oscar Presentations last evening?
The Academy Awards are the premier entertainment event of the year. According to http://www.mediamarketjournal.com/, “Time-adjusted ratings have come out and it shows more of the same–pretty much flat numbers overall. The viewership was 39.4 million which was up 4% with less than 1% shrinkage in the 18-49 demo year-to-year as that rating currently stands at 11.7.

Who do you glorify? God or entertainers?

Who do you glorify?
God or entertainers?

-What standards does the Academy Awards nomination committee set?
-How much does the Oscars influence the Nation’s entertainment viewing?
-How much does entertainment influence the Nation’s attitude toward God and morality?
-How much has the Church been influenced by: Entertainment? Advertising? Fashion?
-How do we draw the line between glorifying entertainment and glorifying God?

Twenty years ago, John Piper pondered these questions.

Has the Church Been Disarmed by the World?
December 9, 1992 | by John Piper | Topic: Education

Reading 1 Samuel 13:19-23 this morning caused me to ask if the church has been disarmed by the world through becoming too dependent on the world.

19 Now there was no smith to be found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears”; 20 but every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle; 21 and the charge was a pim for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. 22 So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.

Evidently the Israelites had allowed themselves to lose all their own blacksmiths to the Philistines. Now they had become accustomed to depending on the Philistines for sharpening all their tools.

This had not seemed a problem in peacetime. All seemed well. But in wartime there were no weapons and the Philistines had, in effect, disarmed the people of God because Israel had come to depend on them for all their sharpening.

Is this a picture of the church’s dependence on the world in many ways? Some are perhaps innocent enough—like sewer and water and light and a lot of other shared services and commodities. But the weapons of our warfare are not like that. The issue is truth and values.

Has the church become dependent on the world for the sharpening of the mind and the spirit? Which in fact only looks like a sharpening if we see life as a time of peace. But it is really a dulling and a disarming if we look at life as a time of spiritual warfare for the minds and hearts of men.

We have come to depend on the world for most of our education and most of our leisure and entertainment and most of the interpretation of the news and events of the world. In doing so I wonder if there are any weapons left?

It raises for me the question of schooling for God’s people. And all the dimensions of information and opinion and entertainment and advertisement that shape our minds. How shall we have ourselves well-armed if the Philistines have taken all the blacksmiths and made us depend on them to sharpen all our weapons?

Pastor John
By John Piper. ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

All Religion Is A Lie

My original title for this post was Death and Taxes.

John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Romans 1:18–21 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. ..

As we surf through the myriad of websites and blogs on the internet, we can’t help but come across a host of differing opinions and explanations telling us how in methods and ways to reach the ultimate goal in life, that being discovering the final answer – who, what and where is god.

It has been said that there are only two things you can be sure of – Death and Taxes. That is basically true, for secular living. Both are part of the two most divisive topics – Religion and Politics. The two taboos for congeniality.

In politics the debate is: Resolved, We have a debt problem, who will pay?
In religion the debate is: Resolved, We have a debt problem, who will pay?

But, one might say, they’re both the same debate. That is absolutely true. On the human plain it’s called politics, on the spiritual plain it’s called religion. We cannot separate the two; Our politics will become our religion and vise versa, our religion will become our politics.

Both Political and Religious resolutions depend mostly on compromise, basically a halfway solution that only mitigates the immediate emergency, the present problem. “We will deal with it as best we can for now.” Although compromise is often a necessity to reaching political agreement, compromise is not truth, it is a cover up.

Compromise in religion comes from not knowing the truth. Let us make up some explanation, decorate it with what people want to hear and call it “XYZ”. People become so used to being told lies that they can no longer discern the truth. There is the manifestation of the problem – lies sooner or later can and all too often become believable, especially when they contain an element of truth. In reality, they are all a covering up for lack of truth.

Covering up is what people do best. They lie. Soon, knowing that compromise, or half truth, is always a way out, compromise becomes the norm, lying becomes the norm. I recall a sales seminar I once attended, the speaker stated; “When dealing with a prospective customer, stretch the facts but never say an outright lie.” Lying is the reason advertising sells. Not that all advertising or promotion are lies, it is that everyone is looking to resolve a situation or a problem. Everyone is looking for an easier way out and advertising promises a solution in the product it promotes, whether true or not.

Cover up, or lying is the number one blemish on the human character. Every one of us is guilty and is what gets nearly every person into hot water at some point in their lives. Lying can be causal to; the disgrace of politicians, the ruin of corporate profit, the demotion of rank or position, the blemish on reputation, the break up of marriage and family, the end of friendships, the down fall of church leaders.

After the lie comes the denial. The inability to come clean, admit the mistake, confess. Then comes the defense or excuse making. His fault, her fault, I was under pressure, the devil made me do it, etc. Lying to amend the lie can be endless.

Every religion comes to the same crucial point of dogmatic failure, the inability to get past personal debt, our sin, who will pay and how. Every religion has to come to a compromise of one mode or another to either allay the penalty of sin or deny the debt of sin altogether. Every religion needs a lie to be believable.

There are mystic religions that depend on contortions and meditations that will transform you to a whole new consciousness. “Everybody say Oohm”.
There are cosmic religions that promise the powers of universal goddesses who will transform your life to peace and serenity. “It’s all in your mind, think harder.”
There are reincarnate religions that promise rebirth in another form. “Can I be a tortoise next time around, they live longer.”
There are destiny religions that place your life on the shuffle of a deck of cards. “I don’t like your reading. I demand a re-shuffle.”
There are planetary religions that place your destiny in the cosmic alignment of the stars at birth. Or is that conception? “What sign was I born under? – It said Maternity on the door.”
There are prosperity religions that promise riches and great wealth as long as you pay in accordance of your desire. “You need more faith son, donate another hundred”.
There are penitence religions that require one to earn the reward of forgiveness. “Hey, Senor, how much for impure thoughts?”
There are ‘sign’ religions that ask you to develop a certain sign of faith. “Keep babbling, soon it will come.”
There are ceremonial religions than demand traditions and laws be obeyed. “Here is your path to heaven.”
All these religions are no better as a path to God and Righteousness than the agnostic, god is unknown and unknowable, or the atheist  the rejection of belief in the existence of deity.

What all these religions miss is the reality of God. God doesn’t want ceremony, he doesn’t rule in law, he is not one with or part of the universe, every star is a work of His hand. He is not a god of chance or luck, He doesn’t give out rewards for being good. His favor is not conditional on signs or practices of penitence. He doesn’t reveal Himself to any special class of believer or show favor one over the other.

God is a God of grace, it’s all free, and all He wants of you or me or anyone, anywhere, is be in honest relationship with Him. All of the guilt, all of the penalty, is paid in full, by Him, in the person of Christ Jesus, God who came to live with us, paid the ultimate price that we might have free and complete access to God as one with Christ, a part of the Family, the Holy Brotherhood, a kinship in and through His Spirit. As a bride is one with her husband, we, the church, as members of the body of Christ are one with God and in full inheritance of the Kingdom of God.

Through Christ Jesus, God has shown us His relationship between God and man, His promise, His covenant:
2 Corinthians 3:6 “He (God) has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Christianity is a relationship not a religion. Christianity is a relationship between God and man, demonstrated man to man and has as the foundational fabric – love. Love of God, love for each other. An unconditional love, forgiving, comforting, forbearing, providing, as a bride is to her husband, husband is to his bride.

Matthew 22: 35-40;
“One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

John 13:35 quotes Jesus saying, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I Peter 4 says, “Love each other; share with and care for each other; serve each other.”

Tertullian, 3rd century Roman historian, reported that the Romans would exclaim about Christians, “See how they love one another!”

If you feel that I am off track with what I have said in this post, please, I want to hear from you.

Overstocked Sale

We are Overstocked

We are Overstocked

One ad that keeps popping up on radio and tv is the
“We Are Overstocked Sale”

I have been in business many years and one the single most important factors in management is inventory. Stock costs money. Overstock is working capital tied up in storage. When most businesses are operating on limited budgets, inventory excess means someone is not getting paid or a bank note is needed to meet expenses. Either way, overstock is a drain on profit.

Inventory is probably the easiest part of business to control. It is a tangible ingredient. Not like the effects of economic downturn, or customer growth and loyalty which are intangibles, ingredients one has to work with and around. Or bank rates, which generally are out of business control, or repairs and maintenance which can bring sudden surprises. Employee relations are another of the intangibles, more than simple counting and ordering.

Yes, there is need for sales projections, but if you are on top of your game and watching the pulse of the industry you are in and look back on past performance, what inventory is required to cover sales should not be such a burden on the company budget.

My point is this; Why would I trust buying from a company which advertises their poor management? Especially when it is the same companies, most often furniture and appliances, telling the same “Overstocked” story over and over again. They are either extremely poorly managed or outright lying to customers and just using overstocked as a sale strategy. Either way, I don’t want to do business with them. They think people are stupid. The ads are directed at the gullible.

If poorly managed, then the services they offer will be poorly managed. If they are lying about being overstocked, then they most likely will lie about their product and service.

Get 1 FREE

Buy 1 get 1 Free

Buy 1 get 1 Free

We have all seen similar advertisements like the one on the right. A product hyped as something you can’t do without.

Buy 1 Get 1 FREE!
Just pay shipping and handling.

They are appealing to basic human senses, something for nothing.

But Wait!

There’s MORE!!

Appeals to our senses of curiosity.

It is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book. Surprisingly, it still works. And works well.

Lately marketers, especially on TV have added a twist. Up selling 4-6 items at one low price – just pay shipping and handling. Usually around $6.00.

Sounds a fair deal.

Have your credit card ready and call 866-_____ Very often you are paying for the call. The marketer receives a percentage. Between $4 and $10.

Before you can ask what the final costs will be, they have got your phone number – placed you on their suckers list, plus you have given them your credit card number.

Now you are about to find out those shipping and handling charges have added up to $36.00, sometimes more plus the price of the item, usually $19.95 or $24.95, plus the phone call of $8.00 – $20.00 and the final result is $74.90 + tax.

Not much of a deal is it?

Here is some interesting reading: Deconstructing “Buy 1 – Get 1 FREE!”

Employees Needed

Seeking the person who is willing to work a minimum 1 hr. per day for a large national corporation and pay for the privilege of doing so?
Apply to any television carrier in your area.

Each time you watch 3 hrs of television, that’s 1 hockey game, you have sat through and watched at minimum 1 hr of commercials during that time. The TV producers will even hold up the game, TV timeouts they are called, so that they can run the ads. Fair enough, some one has to pay for the air time, but, did you turn to that channel to watch commercials or watch the game? The commercials are deterrents to your enjoyment of the game and therefore the viewer should be compensated for his time. Since we pay the carrier, Direct TV, Bell, Rogers, whomever, to deliver that program, why then should we not be compensated for the time spent watching the ads. The producer is getting paid, let the advertiser pay the carrier to deliver their ads to the viewer. Why should the viewer pay twice?

Does the post office require the receiver of mail to pay for another stamp? NO. Does UPS expect to be paid by both the sender and the receiver? NO. Why then for TV? It’s just another product. I wouldn’t mind paying for the product commercial free, but even pay for view has those commercial time outs and includes subliminal advertizing.

What adds insult is oft time the carrier owns both the program or the rights to and the network you are watching. That is triple payment.

What I’m really waiting for is the television carrier who offers free satellite TV. The first carrier to do so will capture near all the business and force the TV networks to pay the carrier to include their stations. It will happen some day. Just not soon enough.

Advertizing is everywhere and people are just not willing to show their displeasure even when they pay to watch it. Purchase a video and the very first thing you see is advertizing. The producers of the video are being paid twice. So bold are they that they have even made it so that you can’t skip or fast forward over the commercials. Yet very few people complain.

A question – Would you be willing to trade in your digital wide screen TV for a 30″ analog without commercials and no carrier fees?

Interesting reading on advertizing – Why Americans Hate Advertising “Sixty percent said their opinion of advertising “is much more negative than just a few years ago.” It’s always been negative. Why should anyone like advertising? It’s a tax you pay to be entertained.” “…life in the early 21 st Century can’t be lived without continuous obeisance to Mammon.”

Commercial Love

People love advertising, commercials. So much so many will even pay to see them.

I don’t understand peoples’ fascination with advertizing. Is it the media that builds the desire to watch?

Advertisers pay huge amounts to place their newest commercials on Super Bowl time, part of the value must surely be that they know that even stations that don’t carry the Super Bowl game will still play the ads as part of their news or sports broadcast. Do they play them for free or are they being paid for the hype?

Many television stations have a once a week segment showing what they consider the best or funniest commercials. That I can perhaps understand, do they get paid to show them?

The biggest mystery to me is brand name clothing. Why would anyone pay extra to have Tommy Hilfiger in bold letters printed across their chest or back. Or Nike. Or Bum. You can buy the same quality shirt or pants without advertizing for less than half price at other stores and often at the same store. This is a day and age when it is very hard to have people volunteer their time for free, yet those very same people are willing to pay the garment distributor for the privilege of advertizing for them. I say, if you want me to be your billboard, give me the shirt.

Then there are the Home shows, Car shows, Boat shows Garden shows and a host of other advertizing venues that charge admission to go and see a suppliers product. What’s up with that? Pay 20 bucks or more to see the same product you can find at any building supply outlet or garden center.

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