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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Marketing Management Theory Debunked

Take a look at what is going on in the world around you today. If you have not already thought about it, then one day when you have little else to do (as if such a day will ever come) for good reason you shall probably ask yourself the following hypothetical rhetorical question, or something similar to it.

Does anyone really know what they are doing and why they are doing it?

A very good question indeed! 
(In the event you noticed: we confess we plagiarized this useless line from politicians)

Usually a question like this is inspired by the many wishy-washy but decisive marketing decision makers who come up with some of the most incomprehensible and useless of ideas and concepts which, when extremely awkwardly implemented because of resistance from the most logical and most sensible, undoubtedly waste enormous amounts of time in organizations. This is time that the organization’s little guys can least afford to waste.

In fact, this one question is the sole purpose why we have dedicated this entire chapter of study specifically toward the debunking of Marketing Management Theory (to make it simple) and dedicated our discussions to only the most advanced of marketing theory concepts. 

Corporate entities and governments pay large remunerations to expert consultants to make these same conclusions. We provide this same valuable information free of charge.

Hence we present the Straetz Frumder-Duempster’s “Nobody and Everybody Theory.”

Nobody and Everybody Theory

If “Nobody’s doing it anymore” but at the same time “Everybody’s doing it” then what on earth is nobody not doing at any given time and everybody doing at no given time?
Dr. Straetz Frumder-Duempster

We can categorically confirm that we have wasted almost uncountable hours puzzling over the “Nobody and Everybody” dichotomy; however our farmer’s marketing research has revealed a market niche which the other self-appointed marketing management theory experts have somehow managed to overlook. If our not so obvious discovery is not yet very obvious at this point, then go back and read Frumder-Duempster’s rhetorical question again. The answer also appears on the board in the illustration.

We first thought about using a used, used car salesman to write some of this stuff because you marketing management types may already be familiar with some of the various forms of double-talk speak techniques that used, used car salesmen are often known for using, however we basically discovered that we could not afford to purchase the quality used heap the used salesman was almost effectively attempting to unload on us. To cut it short: we did not use the used, used car salesman to write this stuff. We concluded that we too would be used if we did.

As you can read for yourself, (we are not going to spoon-feed this stuff) the two underlined statements in Frumder-Duempster’s hypothetical rhetorical question are perhaps the two most important lame-brain excuses known to western civilization, or any civilization, or civilizations that are no longer civilized or, for that matter, no longer civil.

Anyway, the world’s best possible non-excuse, excuse to give for not doing something that should be done is to declare that, “Nobody’s doing it anymore.”

Conversely, the world’s other best possible non-excuse, excuse to give for doing something that should not be done is to declare, “Everybody’s doing it.”

We have therefore, concluded that every marketing department has built its existence upon these two precepts. If however, you do not think so, then we ask you to think about it again because these two precepts are the basis for the establishment of our second rule of our debunked Marketing Management Theory.

Well, having put our foot in it now (the downside to farmer’s marketing research, especially when it is fresh from the farmer’s barn) we just had to conclude, by that thoughtful assumption borrowed from the economic think theory term, “All things remaining equal” that there must be an unknown hidden and impossible to find common ground point between two extremes diametrically opposed to each other which also have nothing in common with each other. This means that nothing remains equal in the real world.

Regardless of the apparent paradox in the foregoing over-preamble, analysis derived from the amazing and consistent X and Y factor non-correlations of two partially limited data range extrapolations, cross-referenced along the Z axis in a hypothetical three-dimensional grid, Professor Piep N. Tockmoer has derived the following theory, which we believe the Professor has quite correctly and accurately titled as the “Everybody and Nobody Theory” 

This second theory expands on the Frumder-Duempster theory. If at this point you are having difficulty following the logic of our argument, then we can only assume that you have failed to grasp the first rule of our debunked Marketing Management Theory. Unfortunately today we are not marketing maps to get from here to there or wherever, but if you have lost your way, we suggest you flip down to Appendix X (at the end of this chapter) which details the first rule.

Common sense dictates that the rules should come first, but Marketing and Sales simply do not function this way. That would first require common sense, whatever that may be. Have you ever known a salesman to give you a final, bottom-line final price in less than 30 seconds? Of course not! Don’t take our word for it though. Go out and try to buy a used car. We can even put you in contact with the used, used car salesman we were thinking about using to write this stuff.

Governments also do not function in this manner because common sense and government are never known to co-exist in the same place at the same time. Have you ever tried to obtain a simple one-word yes or no answer from a politician? (Hopefully you do not really need us to give you the answer to this question, but if you do, then you are in far more trouble than we thought.) Case closed.

The Everybody and Nobody Theory

“If you can find something specific that a nobody somewhere is doing when nobody else is doing it anymore, and at the same time, find something specific that an everybody is not doing because everybody else is busy doing it, then you are guaranteed to have discovered a market niche that both the nobodies and the everybodies have not yet found out because simultaneously, some nobody is doing it and some everybody is not doing it.”

Professor Piep N. Tockmoer

In order for you to clearly understand the derivations of our discourse, we must first define our general interpretation of theories. Theories are merely remotely possible but most likely improbable far-fetched explanations which self-appointed experts offer up to lesser beings as the answers to the most ridiculous of questions for which no normal person can be expected to want explained with other than an all-encompassing simple pat answer, and that’s only if someone has been foolish enough to have asked the ridiculous question in the first place. The only known contradiction to our definition however, is when a mother or father tells their child to go ask its respective father or mother.

If you believe that we have inferred from our explanations that we are suggesting theories rank in the same class as the cubic linear least squares trends ratios for berm calculations relative to pile sizes, and/or other latent forms of bunk, piffle, fiddlesticks and twaddle, then you have understood this concept thus far. What follows of course is our partially unbiased and not totally out to lunch explanations between marketing management theory and marketing management bunk.

Marketing Management Theory:
When the self-appointed (and government) marketing management experts are able to successfully and convincingly connive you into accepting and believing that they know what they are talking about when in fact they do not, then you have bunk which has become theory and, therefore has erroneously been accepted as fact when in fact it is not fact nor supported by the facts….and that’s a fact.

Marketing Management Bunk:
Conversely, when the self-appointed (and government) marketing management experts fail to succeed in conniving you into believing that they know what they are talking about because you already know in advance they don’t know what they are talking about, then you have bunk that remains bunk because it always was bunk and nothing but bunk.

Do not blindly accept our word for it. Let’s first look at history. Now take a look at Galileo. Poor old Galileo. This famous little guy challenged that status quo, i.e. conventional wisdom of his day and he was ridiculed by the appointed and self-appointed experts of his day. When Galileo dared to suggest that the sun was the center of the solar system he was probably told that his radical ideas were not very illuminating. Nonetheless Galileo was right! Well you scoffers may probably argue that people in the Dark Ages were not very bright and you are probably right. After all, it was the Dark Ages and before Edison’s time. They were in the dark because it really was dark but what excuse applies today?

Well then, shall we take a look at Christopher Columbus? When this other now famous little guy suggested the world was round instead of flat, he was ridiculed by the establishment and told that his ideas were not on the level.  Of course they weren’t! He was thinking globally and was going in circles trying to explain them. We suspect that Columbus was probably advised by the marketing management experts of his day to go and book a long cruise across a short sea to the nearest corner of the globe and fall off. Well he did go on a rather lengthy cruise, but Columbus did not fall off. History proved that he was right too!

The only trivial historical detail we do not know today is whether or not the sales and marketing gurus of that age were able to connive Christopher Columbus into buying a round-trip ticket, cancellation insurance inflated with inexplicable surcharges detailed in paragraphs of unreadable fine print written in lawyer legalese plus taxes…just in the event he may have been correct. 

Common sense should also warn us that self-appointed marketing managements experts are no more expert than we are because if marketing managements experts were truly management experts (and we are not convinced that there is any such thing) then it would not become necessary to call in the little guys to clean up the messes the marketing management experts create by providing less than expert advice to the clueless wishy-washy decision makers that do not understand what common sense is. Therefore we present our own derived (or contrived if you prefer) corollary:

If the clueless knew less then they would do less to mess less.
(translation: stay out of the way of those who are doing the real work)

Fortunately the news is not all bad for self-appointed marketing management experts. We believe that many successful marketing experts work in fertilizer sales. Better still, our farmer’s marketing research indicates to us that fertilizer sales are doing well this season. Governments and bureaucracy are also getting larger. (Cause and effect working as it should.) Perhaps one reason for this success is due to a possible inherent close affinity to the end product lines. A more plausible explanation may be that the self-appointed marketing management experts package what they preach, or preach about what they have packaged. At this same time we may have also just defined, in twenty five words or less, what government is and also what it does.

In the final analysis and having written this rather wordy treatise detailing our studious study of debunking marketing management theory, we can only conclude that it is either impossible to debunk marketing management theory or it is extremely simple. We discovered what we always suspected but what no one would ever dare to admit or to confirm to us.

After all the bunk is extracted, hence debunked, nothing is left.

Chico Marx had it figured out when he stated, “There ain't no sanity clause.”


            Figure A:                                                               Figure B:

Marketing Management Theory
Marketing Management Bunk


These two illustrations from our farmer’s marketing research barn should enable you to visualize some of the finer nuances between theory and bunk.

Marketing Management Theory: bunk that can be shovelled           

Marketing Management Bunk: merely straight bull



Beedle-tweep (noun)

i.)                  a new buzz-word we have specifically created to replace baffle-gab,
ii.)                 a marketing term to give a new name to an old and familiar product,
iii.)               the end product of cattle that comes from the other end.
iv.)               All of the above, but this is not multiple-choice. This wasn’t even a question.


Appendix X

The Official Rules of Debunked Marketing Management

Rule 1:
If you cannot dazzle the decisive wishy-washy decision makers with brilliance, then be certain you baffle and confound them with beedle-tweep.

Rule 2:
If Rule 1 fails on both counts, then use either of the world’s two most important lame-brain non-excuse, excuses (as your particular situation warrants) to pseudo-explain why your probably totally ridiculous scheme should fly father than a dead kite when in reality it shall not be able to get airborne for the same reason as the dead kite.


Appendix Y 

1.)    Why?

1a.)   If we knew why we wouldn’t be asking why. 

2.)    Why not? 

2a.)  We don't know that either.     


Appendix Z

The World’s Two Most Important Lame-brain Non-excuse Excuses

We have intentionally labeled this section Appendix Z because it is at the end.

What follows are the two most important lame-brain non-excuse, excuses that the world has ever known and used.

Without these two excuses, both Dr. Straetz Frumder-Duempster and Professor Piep N. Tockmoer would not have been able to develop their now not-quite-famous and not-so-well-known theories.

These two should only be used 1.) when it is convenient and expedient or, 2.) as an ultimate last resort dodge, white-wash, gloss-over, cover-up, finger point, blame deflection, etc. when all else fails to explain the unexplainable to the inexplicable (management and government) and win the day. (Good luck.)

1.      Nobody is doing it any more.
2.      Everybody is doing it.


Inspired and written in 1999 with thanks from:

a.)  some of real life's real experiences in the real business world. Good-bye textbooks.

b.) the Y2K disaster hoopla - the world's biggest and most successful marketing scam.

c.) dealing with idiotic government bureaucracy...and as little as possible.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Friday, February 24, 2012

What is it?

What is it
that poor people have
and rich people need,
but if you eat it, you will die?

The Oddblock Station Agent

Mo Ghradh Caillte

 Ancient circle of stones beneath old grove of maple trees,
Long since vanished, half buried in memory by time.
A resting place, a refuge, for early autumn mornings
Where, songs not quite heard were carried on the breeze.

At top the rocky ridge and far overlook the stony stream,
The sign, a blaze, the first in a journey of many steps.
Over trail of many tangled roots to heart’s desire abandoned
Where, hopes not fulfilled were no more than a dream.

Hands rested upon her shoulders when, time had brought,
Silently a final gaze into her eyes, and forever good-bye.
Alas! Resolutely turn with never a last look back to
Where, words not spoken were nothing more than thought.

Stand defiant into the wind, face toward a setting sun,
With clenched fist raised skyward and an unbent resolve.
Declare a resolute never! Or an unyielding always! Enigma
Where, never give up and always defiant shall mean undone.

At twilight search not hidden glen where the angels dance,
Nor grassy meadow and cathedral trees, distant many years.
Dreams broken, desires crushed, all blurred by wasted tears
Where, by God’s grace the road less traveled was not chance.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Elevator Computer Systems Inc.

When they were up, they were up.
And when they were down, they were down.
But half-way in the muddle…that’s right…
They were neither up nor down.

The elevator is a wonderful invention. The humble, taken-for-granted every day ordinary elevator has successfully eliminated the need to walk up and down stairs in tall buildings, not so tall buildings, short buildings, and virtually any structure that has an elevator. As with the history of most modern inventions, however, we are certain that developments and innovations in the elevator industry had both its high points and low points. (Sorry about that. We just could not resist.)
What amazes us in these modern times of exponential proliferation of useless technologies taken to even more ridiculous extremes is that no one has developed an elevator that travels sideways. We just cannot believe that it has not been done! Are we now compelled to question what we have always believed to be the reliable certainty of stupidity?

Relax, we still have governments to put our tax dollars to work.

The elevator of course was a mechanical invention but our Silicon Valley chip wizards must have been profoundly influenced by the elevator’s impact upon the modern world. Not to be outdone, however, the chip whizzes have created computer systems which see more ups and downs than the average humble busy elevator. Simply amazing…but not that simple.

The marvel of this techno-whiz-chip innovation is that nothing visible actually moves. Yes, that’s right! Ups and downs without actual movements up and down. The absence of moving parts has eliminated the retarding forces created by friction and as a result, wear and tear and the replacement of parts are all but obsolete. The theory behind this concept is that if they can remove the cumulative virtual time spent and wasted in the old world technologies of upward and downward travel, then with new world semi-conductor technologies they can cram more ups and downs into the same number of hours in the day.

This stroke of genius effectively removed the severe inflationary pressures and forces that would have made it necessary to develop a means to add more hours in the day. The world has been saved and spared from the introduction of metric time and 100 hour days.

Unfortunately every silver lining also has its cloud. In today’s world self-appointed experts call these side-effects. The real meaning that the average person understands is this: many things just do not work right and a lot of other things don’t work at all. We usually call the former, big business and the latter, government. No one is to blame but someone has to pay and neither is responsible.

Let’s listen in on a call to Elevator Computer Systems Inc. and you’ll better understand what we talking about.

Customer:       Our computer system is down.

Receptionist:   May we suggest you try silicon chips?

Customer:        I said our computer system is down. 

Receptionist:   Again, may we suggest you try using silicon chips?

Customer:        Didn’t you hear what I just said? My computer system is not up.

Receptionist:   Oh...right…I thought you meant feathers

Customer:        Feathers?

Receptionist:   You know…down…feathers.

Customer:        No, no, no! Down! Like in not up.

Receptionist:   So your computer system is not up?

Customer:        Right!!

Receptionist:  Oh. You should have brought that up first. I’m sorry to hear you are having 
                       a down day.

Customer:       That’s why I’m calling.

Receptionist:   And you want us to make it up?

Customer:       Right!!

Receptionist:  Well you’ve certainly called the right place. 
                       We’re Elevator Computer Systems and we specialize in the ups and 
                       downs of computer systems. Just remember, “If you’re up, we’re down,
                       but if you’re down we’re up.” I’ll put you through. 

Customer:       Yeah. Sure I just…

Service Rep:   Up Department

Customer:       Our computer system is down.

Service Rep:   Did you say your computer system is down?

Customer:       Yes. Down, but not feathers. Down like in not up.

Service Rep:   Sorry sir, this is the Up Department. We don’t do Downs here. 
                        I’ll transfer you upstairs to the Down Department.

Customer:       Your Down Department is upstairs?

Service Rep:   Yes sir.

Customer:       Then transfer me up to your Down Department.

Service Rep:   Coming right up.

2nd Service Rep:  Down Department. May I help you?

Customer:            Our computer system is down.

2nd Service Rep:  Sorry sir, we’re down too…but we should be up shortly.

Thanks to the wonders of many various imperfect technologies we can see where this call is going…probably sideways.

Have a nice day. This is the line that usually comes right about now.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Friday, February 3, 2012

Confidence Found in Him

Good morning!

How many of you looked in the mirror this morning before you came here?

Why did you look in the mirror?

What did you see?

Did you see anyone you know?

Did you like what you saw?

I looked in the mirror this morning and all I saw some old guy there…and then I realized that I was the old guy there…and not my father.

Today’s message is “Confidence Found in Him”

What is confidence?

What do you think confidence is?

One definition is, “To feel as if you can live boldly without fear of the past or the future”

Would you describe yourself as confident? Let’s have a vote.

Who thinks that they are confident?

Those of you who thought you could escape by not giving an answer have already answered.

I would never describe myself as a confident person…so then why am I up here talking to you about confidence? Because over the years I have learned to be more confident than I once was…and to share what I have learned from the Bible and from other Christians.

When I was young my father used to lecture me, and one of the things he always told me was, “Do the thing you fear”

I used to hate hearing this…do the thing you fear…because I was afraid to do what I feared. After all…if I wasn’t afraid, then I would probably be doing whatever it was that I wasn’t supposed to be afraid of.

Yeah.  I really hated hearing this in my father’s lectures because it usually meant I was going to have to do something I did not want to do.

How many of you here know how to swim? How old were you when you learned how to swim? I didn’t learn how to swim until I was 12 years old. All my friends knew how to swim…even little kids…I mean the really little kids…they knew how to swim…but I didn’t.

Deep water and swimming was something I was afraid of…I was terrified of deep water. Anyway, one summer a new community swimming pool was built just down the road from where I lived, and of course my parents registered me for swimming lessons. Yuck!

I quickly learned to hide somewhere when swimming lesson time came…and my brothers and sisters usually learned where to find me…probably because they delighted in telling Mom where I was…and Mom would come and drag me off to swimming lessons.

A day finally came when the swimming instructors informed us that our lesson would only be in the deep end of the pool…now you'll learn why swimming pools have a high fence and a locked gate…it’s to keep kids from escaping.

Eventually I was coaxed into the water, but there was no way I was ever letting go of the edge of the pool. A few days later I was able to swim across the width of the deep end with the help of a styrofoam board. By the end of the summer I was able to swim.

Last summer I went swimming…and for a few moments went out into deep water. I still don’t like being in deep water where I can’t touch the bottom…but I still have enough confidence to do it.

The Bible tells us the truth about the people mentioned in the Bible. Did you know that one of the great leaders of all time, lacked confidence?

Moses. (If you have your Bibles, then open them to Exodus 3:10 and follow along)

God told Moses, “I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10) Today that would probably be like sending Moses to the President of the United States without an invitation.

And Moses replied, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:11) What Moses was saying is, “Me? I‘m a nobody. How am I going to get past the CIA guards?”

And God said, “I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:12)

Moses replied, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13)

And God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14)

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.” (Exodus 4:1)

Then the Lord said to Moses, “What is that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2)

“A staff.” He replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”(Exodus 4:3)

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.

Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. (Exodus 4:4)

Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been good at speaking. Not in the past and not now. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4: 10) Meaning, I’m not a smooth talker. Here is the key issue: Moses did not have confidence in his ability to speak.

The Lord finally said, “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:12)

But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” (Exodus 4:13)

Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite. I know he can speak well.” (Exodus 4:14)

The interesting point here is that God did not disagree with Moses when Moses said he could not speak well. God just said, “I know your brother can speak well.”

God said, “He (Aaron) will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.” (Exodus 4:16)

We know Moses went and did what God commanded…and throughout history Moses has been remembered as a great leader. From what we know in the Bible, Moses never became a confident speaker but…Moses was one of the few people God chose to converse with, as the Bible says, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” (Exodus 33:11)

The confidence that Moses had was that God would be with him.

What is the difference between confidence and arrogance?

Confidence is, “to feel as if you can live boldly without fear of the past or the future”

Arrogance is, “Exhibiting great disdain for others; an attitude of superiority and dislike.”

Well the Bible also tells us about a prince who wanted to be king…but never quite made it.  Absalom.

Who was Absalom? He was one of King David’s sons. The Bible also tells us a few things about Absalom.

“In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. (II Samuel 14:25) He was Mr. Universe; he had a perfect body.

The Bible also tells us that Absalom had wonderful hair on his head “Whenever he cut the hair of his head…he would weigh it, and its weight was about 200 shekels” about 2.3 Kgs…you can tell we’re not related…but these traits did not make Absalom arrogant.

What Absalom did is what made him an arrogant person. Of course having the right appearance made it easy for him…but a person does not have to have great looks to be arrogant. Let’s take a look. (II Samuel 15:1)

“In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. (II Samuel 15:1) This was certainly one way to attract attention.

“He would get up early in the morning and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What city are you from?” He would answer. “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” (II Samuel 15:2) Absalom started intercepting people on the way to see the king…his father…King David

“Then Absalom would say to him “Your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you. (This of course was not true) And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! (This meant king) Then everyone who has a complaint or a case could come to me and I would see that he would get justice.” (II Samuel 15:3-4)

“Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (II Samuel 15:6)

For four years Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel and Absalom made plans to take over. His father, King David, learned of the plans and he fled with his supporters. What resulted was a civil war with the armies of David doing battle with the armies of Absalom.

The Bible tells us that events did not go well for Absalom. “The army of Israel was defeated by David’s men and the casualties that day were great…about twenty thousand men.” (II Samuel 18:7) That was no small skirmish. And it only got worse for Absalom.

“Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.” (II Samuel 18:9)

Not a pretty sight…hanging in midair from tree, his head stuck in the branches, in sight of his enemies…but not dead.

“So he (Joab) took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree.” (II Samuel 18:14)

Absalom. This was the guy who had just about everything…and then lost it all because of his arrogance.

People can be arrogant in small ways too…I have been guilty of this.

While I may have been afraid of deep water and swimming, I was never afraid to go walking in the wooded wilderness areas of eastern Quebec that border northern Maine. One day I wanted to go fishing, and to reach the bogs it was necessary to walk along the railway track about a mile and then go into the woods and cross through about a half mile of forest.

My grandfather always warned me not to go alone, take a compass, and tell someone where I was going. No big deal…I’ve been there before…you’d have to be stupid to get lost. So I went alone, didn’t take a compass and didn’t tell anyone where I was going.

I started by following a trail that had become over-grown. Soon afterward I lost the trail and couldn’t find it. For a while I didn’t even realize that I had lost the trail. No problem I thought…I’ll just keep going until I come out in the clearing on the other side. So I kept going…and going…and getting scratched and poked by the brush…shouldn’t be too much longer until I reach the clearing…I know it’s there…I’ve been there before.

After another half hour of stumbling through the trees I stopped…“God help me. I’m lost” And I prayed.

And you know what! As soon as I finished praying and looked up, I was no longer lost. Through an opening in the trees I spotted the telephone wires that followed the railway…and I came out of the woods at the railway about a quarter mile from where I had started. Even though I was convinced I had been walking in a straight direction, I had traveled in a big half circle.

If I had not stopped to pray at that particular spot, then I would not have seen the telephone wires. God’s word is true and only when we stop to focus on God do we find our way in life.

Many years passed before I ever admitted to anyone that I had been lost in the woods.

This morning I would like to share with you something that I wish someone would have shared with me when I was heading into my teens.

“A person’s attitude toward himself has a profound influence on his attitude toward God, his family, his friends, his future, and many other significant areas of his life”

Let me repeat this statement and make it a little more personal,

“Your attitude toward yourself has a big influence on your attitude toward God, your attitude toward your family, your attitude toward your friends, your attitude towards your future, and many other significant areas of your life.”

When the most attractive and most popular students on a certain campus were asked if they were satisfied with their basic appearance, over 95 percent replied that they were not. It was discovered that they thought that if what they saw in the mirror was an example of God’s love and creativity for them, then they really could not trust him with their future.

A major cause of a lack of confidence in God is a lack of acceptance of yourself.

Following are the Ten Unchangeables. These are 10 things about you that you cannot change.

1.                  Parents
2.                  Time in history
3.                  Race
4.                  Nationality
5.                  Gender
6.                  Birth order
7.                  Brothers and sisters
8.                  Physical features
9.                  Mental capacity
10.              Aging and death

Rejecting one or more of the ten “unchangeables” is really an act of resisting God’s grace. The result is pride, because the unchangeables… or defects if you see them that way…were designed by God to produce humility so He would give more grace.

Again, a major cause of a lack of confidence in God is a lack of your acceptance of yourself

Here are some of the signs:

-          I despise myself
-          I feel like I’m a fake
-          I see God as disgusted with me
-          I discount my positive qualities
-          I brag about my flaws
-          I feel I’m not worthy of any praise
-          I sabotage my own potential success
-          I hear criticism of what I do as criticism of who I am

If you are ungrateful to God about the way he made you, then your ungratefulness is going to interfere with all the other areas of your life.

You can ask God to forgive you for being ungrateful about the way he made you and then you can thank God for making you the way you are. The choice is yours. Learn to accept you for who you are. It may take some time though.

How many of you looked in the mirror this morning before you came here?

Why did you look in the mirror?

Who did you see?

Do you like whom you saw?

 Message for the young people
March 25 2007
The Oddblock Station Agent