Beyond Our Means


Let’s face it – we Americans have spent too much money and lived beyond our means.

Now it’s crunch time – Wall Street doesn’t look good. Homes are in foreclosure all over the country (but wait – the government might just bail you out!). Banks – even historic institutions – are holding fire sales. Everybody’s holding onto their hats and hoping for the best.

Even if the government bails out the banks, the average consumer is going to feel the pinch. A large part of the pinch comes because the banks over-extended credit to people. Now they’re paying compounded interest on debt they shouldn’t have taken on to begin with. My prediction? A bunch of bankruptcies are about to be filed. But it shouldn’t be so.

There’s no “easy” way out… but there are some things you can do to protect your credit AND meet your obligations. There are experts who can help you – like Consumer Credit Counseling – and a variety of ways that you can consolidate debt in a loan that reduces your interest rate and payments, enter into a structured payment plan (some of which suspend interest accrual), and even settle the debts for less than you actually owe (which should be a last resort).

There’s a very helpful website from Bills.com that offers bountiful information on debt, repayment options, maintaining good credit, and much more. There’s GREAT info about budgeting. There’s even a debt boot camp! It’s good information for every consumer to know… especially now.

Site of interest to Freelancers

I just ran across a new site for people who freelance (and for people who need freelancers!) – The Freelance Nation lists freelance work opportunities. Very cool!

The Freelance Nation offers an easy-to-use interface that allows users to search for freelance projects by type or location. I very quickly found a couple of writing gigs that I’ll be checking into. There are a number of cities from around the US, and it looks like they’ll be adding new cities in the future. With many people out of work or seeking to supplement their income, there’s no doubt that The Freelance Nation will benefit freelance and contract workers.

The Freelance Nation benefits small businesses by offering an inexpensive way to contract both large and small tasks to freelancers. There are 23 categories and hundreds of sub-categories of jobs – plus employers can search for potential freelancers directly. If you own a home business, this is a great way to contract out those “little” jobs without actually hiring a 9-5 employee! Any sort of business will benefit from the creative staffing opportunity here – you could contract out short-term jobs, or hire a temporary employee quickly if someone gets sick. The possibilities are endless!

You can check out this list of freelance jobs and profile example to see how the site works, and post questions in the Freelance Forum. You might also wish to view the FAQ.

Zion Oil & Gas sponsors CUFI’s Night to Honor Israel


I just ran across a really cool thing… Zion Oil and Gas Website is sponsoring Christians United for Israel’s (CUFI) ”Night to Honor Israel”. I like the opening text on CUFI’s site:

The Bible commands us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), to speak out for Zion’s sake (Isaiah 62:1), to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:6) and to bless the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3).

The Night to Honor Israel is an American event, held in cities across the country. There’s a complete list on the website of past and future events, including testimonies from the past events. Apparently there was a NTHI in Charlotte back in February… we would have attended if we’d known about it!! Hopefully there will be another in the future. Ken and I most definitely bless Israel and honor the Hebrew roots of Christianity!!

Hopefully this press release will help to get the word out. Please link to this, and spread the word!

Press Release:

Zion Oil & Gas to Sponsor Christians United for Israel’s (CUFI) ”Night to Honor Israel”

DALLAS–Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (Amex: ZN) of Dallas, TX and Caesarea, Israel announced today that it will sponsor the Night to Honor Israel banquet at the Third Annual Washington-Israel Summit of Christians United for Israel (CUFI). The Summit will take place in Washington, D.C. during July 21-24 and the banquet on Tuesday evening, July 22. Pastor John Hagee, Senator Joseph Lieberman and Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Sallai Meridor, are scheduled to speak at the banquet. It is expected that John Brown, Zion’s Founder and Chairman, will be interviewed by Pastor John Hagee during the Summit and that the interview will be broadcast on the Daystar Television Network during the Night to Honor Israel. In addition, CUFI will broadcast a video about Zion at the banquet’s pre-event, and the banquet’s proceedings will be telecast by live-feed over the Daystar Television network.

John Brown, Zion’s Founder and Chairman, commented today, “Zion is proud to be a part of the CUFI Washington-Israel Summit and to support CUFI’s educational and public policy work in support of Israel.”

Zion Oil & Gas, a Delaware corporation, explores for oil and gas in Israel in areas located onshore between Tel-Aviv and Haifa. It currently holds two petroleum exploration licenses, the Joseph and Asher-Menashe Licenses, between Netanya on the south and Haifa on the north covering a total of approximately 162,000 acres.

NOTICE: Zion Oil & Gas has filed a registration statement (including a prospectus) with the SEC for the offering of its securities. Before you invest, you should read the prospectus in that registration statement and other documents Zion has filed with the SEC for more complete information about Zion Oil & Gas and its offering. You may get these documents free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Alternatively, Zion Oil & Gas or its underwriter will arrange to send you the prospectus if you request it by calling toll free 1-888-TX1-ZION (1-888-891-9466). A direct link to the prospectus in PDF format may be found on the Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. website at http://www.zionoil.com/investor-center/investor-relations.html.

Social Spark

Spark!

SocialSpark is a sort-of-like Pay Per Post on steroids. PPP’s premise was, “find an advertiser, and if you and they are compatible, write about their stuff. Get paid.” In fact, PPP is paying me to write this bit on Social Spark (same folks run both sites). Kind of cool, eh?

Social Spark’s for-public website is good. The only thing I’d change is the light gray background. Makes it hard to read. Once you get signed up (EASY) and logged in, the site is very, very busy. Lots of stuff, including stuff that moves. I know it’s cool to have Flash and all, but come on, guys… it’s not that cool.

Other than those minor annoyances, SS is a rather good way for bloggers to make a few extra bucks (no one’s getting rich off this but it does pay the hosting fees and then some). It’s a great way for advertisers to promote their stuff, too. Social Spark has a code of ethics requiring bloggers to disclose that they’re being paid, bloggers may only post on things they know, everyone sees what everyone’s doing, and MOST IMPORTANT, posting with Social Spark won’t trash your google pagerank because they use nofollow in their links. Awesome!

I haven’t really done much lately with either PPP or Social Spark, but I plan to. You should too! If you’re interested in Social Spark, just sign up from their main page.

What if Media reported that gas prices would drop?

The talking heads on my TV set are nattering on about oil at $200 a barrel and $5.25 a gallon for gas…

of course this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. They speak it so the oil co’s feel they can do it.

What if Fox, CNN, NBC, CBS & BBC all ganged up and reported the cost of oil falling dramatically… gas will be $2 a gal by Memorial Day?

What if?

Betcha prices would fall the next day…