Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Truth and Freedom

"You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free." I've always loved that verse. It's comforting and foundational to me.

But there is a point or process you have to go through to get to the truth.

Recently I got "taken" by an ad that said "get this free, only pay postage." I rarely order things like this, but I did. Here was the hook. This was guaranteed to help you lose that 10 or 20 pounds that is so hard to get rid of, and especially someone who's my age. And it's this wonderful discovery from an acai berry that has all of these benefits. It's natural and it will do wonders. Hooked!

But, my thinking was, how can I go wrong if it's free?!!

Here's how! The fine print.

The fine print said that you get the first two weeks free, but if you keep the bottle, that free bottle you ordered, then you will owe for the whole bottle. Not only that, but you have, unknown to you, signed up to receive every month another bottle for $44.95. Not only that, but you have now joined something called Fit-Fac online, which you are charged $29.95 a month every month. I've yet to figure out what this is.

Luckily I charged this to a credit card and not to my bank account. I returned the second bottle I received and I sent it through registered, certified mail where I get a receipt. The recipient is supposed to sign a card that they've received the bottle back and then I get the card back in the mail, as proof of returned merchandise. I've yet to receive that signed card, but I have my proof! I then called the Fit-Fac number to stop whatever that was, but I was always put on hold and had to listen to terrible static, skipping music. I never could get a person to talk to.

I then contacted my credit card company and talked to a very helpful customer service person. He was very familiar with the complaints I was making. It was almost funny how well he knew what I was going to say before I said it. He filled out the papers and said he was "contesting" the charges. I thanked him, and I said that no matter what happens with the charges already made, I want to file a "no-pay" to these two charges. Grrr....!!!

What a price of time, energy, and money to get out of something that was "free" and going to give me wonderful benefits.

Reality check: this lesson could be applied to many things in life. Much seems free and enjoyable. Are we always sure we know the fine print that comes with it and the hidden prices we will pay?

Reality check #2: Being "taken" once is just a mistake. If I get taken twice, I might be called stupid. Being open and sharing my mistake may make it possible for someone else to be spared. Hopefully you don't have to have a personal experience to learn this lesson; you can learn from mine.

Pulling myself out of a mess, but I have gotten to the "truth" and I'm being set free!! at least from products and charges I didn't knowingly agree to. Good lesson to translate into more important life experiences.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Good Sermon

Being married to a preacher for many years, I've been exposed to many definitions of what is a preacher? what makes a good preacher? what constitutes a good sermon? and many more.

A friend of mine sent me this quote in an e-mail:

Preaching is the art of making a sermon and delivering it. Why no, that is not preaching. Preaching is the art of making a preacher, and delivering that. Preaching is the outrush of soul in speech. Therefore, the elemental business in preaching is not with the preaching but with the preacher. It is no trouble to preach, but a vast trouble to construct a preacher. What then, in the light of this is the task of a preacher? (or of anyone sharing his or her faith). Mainly this, the amassing of a great soul so as to have something worthwhile to give. The sermon is the preacher up to date.

Bishop Alfred Quayle
American Methodist Bishop (1860-1925)

I really like this quote.

Over the years the many compliments I've heard on my "preacher-man" have mostly been about how real he is, and how people forget they're hearing a sermon. They think he's speaking individually to them; others say they're amazed at how he shares who and where he is in life and how that pertains so much to their journey.

I'm married to a great sermon; i.e., a preacher who is up to date.
Guess that's why I liked this quote.