It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta Go Shopping On Black Friday

It’s that time of year again where Americans mindfully practice gluttony and then stay up all night to save some money on things they may not otherwise buy. With Black Friday less than 6 days away, this year’s holiday retail sales forecast is $465 billion, a 2.8% increase over last year.

If you are planning to get some Christmas shopping done or make a purchase for yourself this Black Friday, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Some stores will be kicking there sales off early. Search around and look for any possible deals.
  • Know what it is you are looking for. If you have an item or items in mind don’t get focused and go for it!
  • Find out when stores are going to be opening. Some may open at midnight others may not open until 4:00 a.m.
  • Don’t go alone. It’s just more fun when you do it with others.

Here is a cool infographic with tips:

 Black Friday Smart Shopper Tips and Tricks brought to you by hhgregg

(Infographic By: hhgregg)

Here are ten more helpful tips from Bradsdeals.com:

  1. Research: Start your Black Friday 2011 sale research on Thanksgiving Day or earlier.
  2. Make a plan: Identify what you want to buy, which stores have the best sales on Black Friday and what time they open.
  3. Timing is everything: Arrange stores by opening time, from earliest to latest.
  4. A fool and his money: Be wary of Black Friday deals with quantity limits. If a store has only 10 items at that price, go elsewhere.
  5. Visualize: Know where your items are in the store.
  6. Stay safe: Previous Black Friday sales were honestly deadly; please don’t trample or shoot anyone!
  7. Power of numbers: Go with a team and attack separate stores or separate sections of the same store. Designate a meeting place.
  8. Bring a snack: Only amateurs stop at the food court on Black Friday! (Or the bathroom — so go before you leave.)
  9. The quiet ones: Don’t ignore stores that don’t advertise. They will have Black Friday deals, too!
  10. Have fun: Enjoy your family, friends and deals!

To learn a little more and find some other good sites that will help you prepare, read USA Today’s insights on the big day!

I will spare you of the more violent videos and outrageous news stories, but just be cautious around all those crazies out there.

Check out these other interesting infographic on Black Friday:

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Ten Tips For New Bloggers

Blogging, like anything else, can be difficult to get in to when you don’t know what exactly to do and how to do it. Writing for a blog, and writing in general, takes practice. Writing my first blog was a much slower process than writing blogs are for me now. With all that I’ve learned, my writing is much more fluid. I’m no expert on blogging but I hope that what I share with you helps to some extent.

  1. Blog about something that interests you. If you can freely choose what to blog about, then pick something that you like or would like to know more about. It makes the process much more fun.
  2. Be yourself. Let your personality shine through your writing.
  3. Get to know the blogging platform you are using. When I first started using WordPress, I was lost. With the help of others I learned how to set up my blog and where the essential basic things were. From this basic knowledge I explored a few things and was able to enhance the appearance of my blog and my writing.

    Ryan "Jingles" Seecrest updating Twitter

  4. Comment on other people’s blogs–your friends’ blogs and professionals’ blogs. I probably wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t required for class, but I learned its value over time. When you comment on other people’s blogs, you create conversation that builds a connection and stimulates growth. Being assigned to comment on other blogs got me reading blog posts that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I learned a few things. It also felt nice to receive comments on my own blogs, especially when one of them was from a complete stranger (ie. someone who wasn’t required to comment). Read the post I wrote on commenting if you want to learn more.
  5. Incorporate multimedia. That is one of the advantages of digital writing. You can add pictures, videos, slideshows, and sound to make your posts more engaging.
  6. Write short paragraphs and bullet or number things where possible and appropriate. People scan when they are reading off a computer screen.
  7. Try to post regularly. It will keep others coming back and like I said before the more practice you have, the better you get at writing.
  8. Give credit to where credit is due. Cite where you get ideas or quotes from.
  9. Use proper grammar and proofread. It’s good to write conversationally but that doesn’t mean you abandon sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and other grammar rules.
  10. Use tags and create categories. They will draw people to your posts and categories keep your blog organized.

Thanksgiving Break

I came across this infographic and it’s pertinent to my life seeing that I am not in the 40% traveling home for Thanksgiving and I blogged about infographics a couple weeks ago.

Thanksgiving travel
Courtesy of: Schools.com

 

Start walking back to SEU early Sunday morning to burn all those calories off!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Marks of a True Christian

This blog post is a slightly longer one, but I encourage you to pray, read and meditate on the scriptures, set some time apart to think through it, and respond with what God spoke to you through this text and how we might apply some of these things to our lives. I read this passage this morning. The more I allowed God to speak to me through it and the more I wrote in response to it, the more I realized that it is kind of piggy backing off of Pastor Drew’s sermon this past 1st chapel.

In Romans 12:9-21 Paul talks about the marks of a true Christian. He instructs the Romans in their conduct by saying this:

9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,t serve the Lord.12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.t Never be wise in your own sight.17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Yes, I used a corny heart picture, and I'm a guy... but it's a nice picture.

If we desire to live lives that will glorify God, then we must have a love that is genuine. This passages helped me see that the context of unity/harmony is loving others no matter what their condition or your condition is. We are not to discriminate against another person’s condition: poor or rich, young or old, white or black, male or female. When someone’s condition is sorrow, we are to weep with them. When someone’s condition is joy we are to be joyful with them. That is what it means to be unified. Under God, we are all a family. Each and everyone of us, designed and created by God in his image with unique gifts, are tied together through a God who loves us. We are to be there for one another and lift each other up.

Furthermore, we must ask ourselves if others look at us and see that we have a hope that can’t be acquired from anything in this world. When others look at us do they see us complaining because of the difficulties we are facing or do they see patience that goes beyond a person’s natural tendency to just want to shut down, mope around, or get angry? Are we constantly in conversation with God? No one is perfect and we all could work on these things. If we begin to meditate on that verse 12 alone and start living it out, then we will begin to reflect Christ more and others around us will want to know what it is about us that is different.

What makes that difference is God’s love working in us. If God’s love wasn’t in us, then we wouldn’t be able to combat the sin that our flesh and human nature desire, love others, do good beyond what the world considers good (ie. love your enemies), and live passionately. God’s love calls us to live above reproach and “overcome evil with good.” It is when we experience God’s love for us and come to know and have a greater revelation of God’s love for us, that we will begin to hate what is evil because it pulls us away from that love. When we know God intimately, we know what good is because he reveals his heart to us. God alone can give us eyes to see as he sees. God loves every person abundantly, so we are to love all even when we have the right not to in the eyes of this world.

What is truly good only flows out of real love. What’s good and what is evil does not change so we must change and become more loving. Real love conducts real living.

God, I pray that we would let nothing keep us from receiving your love and sensing it daily. I pray that we would extend your love towards others even when we have the right not to. I ask that you would just grant us grace as we fight against our natural desires and work towards what is good through the power of your Spirit. Thank you for calling me out of my sin and freeing me from it. I love you God. In the name of your son Jesus, through whom all who believe have been set free, I pray that you would seal this in the heart, soul, mind, and spirit of every person who reads this, including myself. Amen.