Jesus Said, Part 1

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Do not worry.
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

Matthew 6:25-34

lillies

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Location Rebel Review: How To Work And Travel Anywhere In The World

Want to work from paradise?Wouldn’t it be awesome to become location independent – to work when you want, where you want? To be able to take vacations when you feel like it, or maybe just go to your idea of paradise for a few weeks and still be able to make a living?

It’s a dream a lot of us have. Ever since my daughter was born and we took her to visit my wife’s family in Paraguay, I’ve been doing a lot of dreaming. It’s not fair that my family can see us whenever they want, but my wife’s family has to wait two years to see us, and then only for a few short weeks. I became more determined than ever to find a location-independent lifestyle.

Enter Location Rebel.

The bottom line: At the time of this writing, I’ve been a member of Location Rebel for two and a half months. To date, I have made over $2000 with the skills I picked up through Location Rebel, and I’m currently in talks with a couple clients that will give me another $4000 within the next two months. I would not have been able to do this if I hadn’t signed up for Location Rebel.

If that sounds intriguing, please read on.

Are you ready for Location Rebel already? Click here to go there now.

Quick note: there are links to sign up for Location Rebel in this post. If you use one of the links in this post to get there, I have $380 worth of bonuses to give you for free. Read on for details.

My Story (in brief)

A friend of mine had been telling me about this great community called Location Rebel. He told me they had courses to learn various skills that could get you work from anywhere in the world as long as you had an internet connection. But he told me it was $300. The price seemed really high to me. It was a large investment that I didn’t think I’d be able to make. I’m really glad I did, but I’ll get to that in a second.

Once I joined Location Rebel, I wondered what had taken me so long to get there. The first thing that greets you is a lively community of like-minded freelancers and entrepreneurs who welcome you with open arms. Everyone’s in the same boat, and we all cheer each other on. We celebrate each others’ successes. It’s a fantastic community.

But Location Rebel is more than a community. It’s primarily a wealth of valuable information – information that will give you the tools you need to make a living from literally anywhere in the world.

It’s divided up into what we call “blueprints”. There are blueprints for:

  • Freelance SEO writing
  • Web Developer
  • Become a PPC ninja
  • Ecommerce
  • and more

There are even blueprints now that help you figure out how to properly set up your business so you can be legit. That was one of the things that made me decide to sign up.

What I’m valuing much more than anything else at the moment is the networking. I mentioned it cost $300 to join. I’d pay twice that knowing what I know now.

In the first three weeks after becoming a member, I got gigs that netted me nearly $600. The membership paid for itself before the 30 day guarantee expired. I owe all of it to the networking I’ve been able to do within the Location Rebel community.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

If you’re thinking about starting a location independent lifestyle, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better community than Location Rebel. If you’re curious, go to the site and download the free PDF arsenal. It’ll give you an idea of the kinds of stuff you’ll get in LR.

It’s a sizable investment, but it’s worth it. If you don’t think it is before a month is up, Sean will will give you your money back.

Want some bonuses for signing up?

The links in this post are tied to my membership in Location Rebel. By following them, you don’t pay any extra, but I get a small cut from Sean as a “thanks” for sending you to the group. As a result, I wanted to say “Thanks!” to you for using one of my links to sign up for Location Rebel.

When you sign up, I’d love to hear from you! If you used one of my links, forward me the confirmation email from Sean (as long as it doesn’t have any of your personal details in it). I’ll be able to match you up as one of my referrals and offer you some sweet bonuses!

1. I’ll build you a basic website
To get you started on your location-independent business, I’ll build you a website with a theme of your choosing for free. It won’t have all the bells and whistles, but it’ll have exactly everything you need to get started with promoting and selling your services.
A $299 value – Yours free!

2. I’ll give you access to my WordPress videos
I have a collection of WordPress videos that you’ll have access to. They’ll teach you everything you need to know to be able to manage the website I give you without having to pay someone to maintain it for you.
A $29 value – Yours free!

Optional bonus 3: I’ll personally help you with the SEO material so you can get started immediately.
The first blueprint I worked through was the SEO blueprint, and I got a couple clients within the first couple weeks. I was able to land gigs that got me paid nearly $2000 in my first couple months! Most of the folks in LR haven’t had success that quickly. If you decide to do the SEO blueprint too, send me an email and I’ll give you all the tips I used to get my clients.
Other folks sell this info for $50 or more – Yours free!

Not a bad deal – $380 worth of bonuses just for using this link to sign up. That’s more than what the course costs, all for free!

All you’ll need to do to get the bonuses is to sign up for Location Rebel via this link and forward me the confirmation email to jason{at}jayzilla.com. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Once you’re in, say hi! See you there!

Ready to make a living from anywhere?

Join Location Rebel to learn new skills (or how to better use your current ones) to make a living from anywhere. There’s a 30 day no-hassle guarantee, or you can simply download the free Location Rebel Arsenal to find out if you’re really ready to change your life!

photo by Topyti

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The Bread of Angels: My Short Review

The Bread of Angels: A Memoir of Love and FaithThe Bread of Angels: A Memoir of Love and Faith by Stephanie Saldana

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Memoirs are like a classy version of Reality TV (most of them, anyway). The ones that are good keep you entertained. The ones that are great bring you into the life of the author.

After reading The Bread of Angels, I feel like I have a new friend in Jerusalem.

What was most appealing to me about the book is that Stephanie Saldaña left the U.S. to live in probably the 2nd most atypical place for an American, and she fell in love with it. I know exactly how she feels, and I think that’s why I felt so connected to her.

The story is not a narcissistic retelling of things that are only interesting to the one who lived it. There aren’t any “you had to be there” moments. Saldaña met some amazing individuals who themselves make great characters in a book, and she did a fantastic job at relating the mundane, like daily coffee times, in a way that still made it captivating.

In a way, I felt like Stephanie and I had been friends for years, and instead of reading a book she and I were sitting down to coffee while she told me about her adventures in faith, love, and life. I was held captive every minute because somehow she made me invested in her story.

She made me think about how I could write a similar memoir from Paraguay. I mean, I had quite an awesome year. Who gets to quit their job, move to South America, live on $300 a month, teach English to awesome kids, get their job back when they return, and – oh, by the way – find a wife?!

The only complaint I have is that I had to read quite literally to the last page in the book (and then some) to find out whether or not Frederic stayed a monk!

This review is a repost from my GoodReads profile.

View all my reviews

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Becoming Debt Free Without Changing Spending Habits

They say that to become debt free, you have to live with a budget, cut your spending, and live on “beans and rice, rice and beans.”

Well, they’re absolutely right.

But what happens when you can’t cut the spending much more (babies do get in the way of that, you know), and your budget is tighter than your dad?

There’s only one way to increase your speed at debt reduction once you can’t spend any less: earn more.

Professional, affordable websites for your small businessSo that’s what I’m trying to do.

Introducing: JJ Site Design

I’ve started a new company.

There are probably thousands of small businesses out there that are barely making it. They know that in this age of the Internet and Twitter and Facebook, they need to find themselves a web property.

According to a Google statistic, in 2010 just under 75% of the U.S population was using the internet. In two years, I’m sure that number has only grown. So if your business doesn’t have a spot on the internet, you could be missing a ton of clients.

But as a small business owner myself, I know what it’s like to need stuff for your business but simply not have the money to do it.

And as a “web guy”, I found a way I can make really awesome websites with just a few hours’ worth of work, which means my small business owner friend doesn’t have to fork over a fortune.

Professional, affordable websites for your small business

I’m going to be making anyone who needs one a website for $89. I’ll get paid more than that by the end, but the rest of the money will come from sponsors (for example, the customer will buy a hosting package on which to put their website, and the hosting company pays me a commission for the sale).

$89 is an incredible price for a small business website. Any other web shop will charge over $50 an hour for a website that won’t look half as good as the one I’ll build. Just check out the theme gallery to see what I mean!

I’ll also offer training videos to put back into the hands of my customers the ability to maintain their shiny new website. That’ll save them money because they won’t have to pay me to make small copy changes.

Over time I’ll begin to offer services like social media setup and SEO consultation. The blog I’ll maintain at the site will also have a bunch of helpful articles on Facebook, Twitter, and internet marketing.

I’m really excited about this new endeavor, and I can’t wait to see how it pans out! It’s really the first idea I’ve been convinced could work very well (and even better, I can do it from anywhere – even Paraguay! :) )

Please check out my site and tell me what you think! And if you know anyone who needs a website, if they tell me you sent them, I’ll give you 15% of the sale (that offer only applies to people I know personally at the moment)!

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Problems Using jQuery to Find a Checked Value for a Radio

Having trouble finding the correct checked value for your radio button using jQuery?

These last couple hours I’ll never get back. Once you see the difference, it makes sense. But when you’re in the middle of a code sprint, it can be hard to see.

The setup

I have a form that loads with some data preselected. The radio and checkbox fields, naturally, are given an attribute of “checked=checked” when the page is initially loaded.
<input type="radio" name="myRadio" value="1" checked="checked" />

Then I have some jquery that checks for the checked value upon page submit. It was in an each() loop, so it looked like this:
if ($(this).attr("checked") == true) {
etc...
}

The problem

That seemed like it should work just fine. However, I noticed that when I would change my checked value and then output what evaluated to true, both the value I started with and the value I changed to would be returned.

The reason became obvious once I saw it.

Because the page loaded with a an attribute of “checked”, it still existed when jQuery filtered on .attr("checked").

The solution

I discovered that using the selector :checked gave me what I needed.

If you are explicitly referencing an element, you can do it like this:
$("#myradio:checked")

After looking around for a while, I found a way to do it using $(this):
$(this).is(":checked")

While I’m not sure why there’s a difference between attr and :checked, it makes sense once you analyze it. The function attr("checked") is going to look through your elements to see which have an attribute of “checked”. Because my form initially had a radio that had a “checked” attribute, it picked it up. Checking a different radio apparently doesn’t remove the “checked” attribute of the other, but it does seem to give a “checked” attribute to the newly-selected option. Thus, you’ve got two radios with “checked” attributes.

Perhaps someone out there can educate me on the real difference. I suspect it’s got something to do with the intricacies of JavaScript vs CSS (since :checked is a CSS pseudo-selector).

At any rate, I hope this little explanation helps save you some time (and keep you from pulling your hair out or punching your monitor).

-j

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Book “Review”: John Adams by David McCullough


Book Review: John Adams by David McCullough(This review was copied from my Goodreads profile)
John Adams by David McCullough

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As far as biographies go, this was one of the better that I’ve read. McCullough has a way of painting the scenes the way a fiction writer does. Perhaps partly due to the vast collection of writings by and to John Adams, you really get a sense of how things unfolded for our country in its infancy.

It took me a bit less than half the book to really get into it, but the history was interesting enough that I didn’t want to abandon it. I’ve never had a passion for history, but in my “old age” it’s intriguing to me now (maybe because I won’t be tested on it). I’d say this book has renewed an interest in the early days of our government, and I may pick up a few of McCullough’s other books on the subject.

Other books by David McCullough


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Kathy’s First Snowfall

You see places on TV and they look so beautiful. But then you go there, and standing there yourself it’s not as beautiful as you thought it was.

Snow isn’t like that. It’s beautiful on TV, but it’s completely breathtaking in person. I never thought I’d be so excited about something like this.
-Kathy

Kathy's first snowfall

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The Missing Piece to Your WordPress Site

The missing piece to your WordPress site

When you need to build a new website, what do you usually turn to? How do you know you’re using the best option?

Click here to download this free report – The Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners (PDF – 1.4 MB)

Static sites are OK, as long as you don’t have to do much updating. But let’s face it: they’ll make you seem old. It’s rare for me these days to find clients who don’t want updates, and it can be annoying and time-consuming to have to be on the hook to make those small changes in a word here and there.

These days, I always look to WordPress first, and I recommend you do the same.

Why WordPress? Isn’t that for blogs?

Back in the day, people jumped on WordPress because it was a new and useful tool for blogging. You can easily set a blog up, add new posts, and manage your content really well.

But it’s not only useful for blogging. In fact, you don’t even need to use it as a blog. Your whole website can just be created as pages. The best part about it is that once you create the website using WordPress, your clients can have their own login information and be able to edit the pages themselves. And they don’t need to know HTML to do it.

It’s all built for you

It’s extremely easy to learn how to build a website with WordPress.

In addition to giving the maintenance back to the client, there are also myriad features baked into WordPress or else easily added. A search feature usually comes stock. Want to add some social media hooks? There’s a plugin for that. Want to be able to manage some ads? That’s already been built; you just install it.

If you can think of it, it’s probably been built and is most likely free.

You don’t even need to design it yourself. You can find tons of free themes, or you can buy even better WordPress themes that you just install.

Do you SEO?

A big buzzword these days is SEO. If your site isn’t “optimized”, you’re told you’ll have a hard time getting people to find your page. To an extent that’s true, and Google is by far the biggest traffic generator to all of my blogs. It can be daunting, but WordPress has ways to almost teach you good SEO practices.

And there are even plugins for SEO. In a later post I’ll talk about this a bit more. My point is WordPress can help with yours.

You should use a framework

The problem with WordPress, though, is that there’s so much there that it can be nerve-wracking to make sure you get everything perfect. That’s why there are frameworks.

Good frameworks are designed with your best interest in mind. They organize your code so it’s easier for Google to read your site. They strip out the unnecessary stuff and give you some pretty slick enhancements. Simply, they make your WordPress site even better.

Better frameworks provide better ways of doing things, like using custom menus and better SEO customization.

The best frameworks do all that, give you amazing themes to make your site really pop, and make it really easy to customize your site any way you want.

The framework I use: Genesis

When I build a site, I always install the Genesis Framework, from the folks at StudioPress. They understand internet marketing in and out, and they have created a WordPress framework tailored to people who want to get their site noticed and visited.

I wasn’t sure about wanting to buy a framework when FindingMyFitness was new. But I did, just to see. I wish I took a screenshot so I could show you, but my traffic literally instantly tripled the day after I started using Genesis. I’m not trying to exaggerate when I say that Genesis took my site to the next level.

Beyond the framework itself, they also have 40 or so eye-popping themes to choose from that will meet whatever design you’re looking for. Want something minimalist? Try the Minimum Child Theme. Are you working on a site for an artist? Try Landscape. Want a sort of quirky theme? Vintage could be the theme for you.

Or maybe you’re building a website for a local business. Regardless of what you need, StudioPress has you covered.

Further reading

If you’re intrigued by the idea of WordPress frameworks, I have a PDF for you. It’ll teach you all about building a wordpress site using frameworks. It’ll teach you how to set up a framework in a WordPress site, how to fix your site’s SEO settings for prime Google-ability, how to add widgets and plugins, and more. It’s a really comprehensive PDF, and it’s yours for the downloading. No signups or email addresses required!

Click here to download The Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners (PDF – 1.4 MB)

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop them in the comments or drop me a line. I love talking about websites and WordPress, and I’m always willing to help! And I’d love to see what you end up creating! Links in the comments are welcome!

I have one question for you: what’s the biggest challenge you face when creating a new website?

photo credit: wilhei55

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting the site!

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How To Get Paid To Buy Christmas Gifts

Santa Claus can help you find deals! Or maybe not...You’ve got less than a month until Christmas. Are you ready?

Maybe you’re looking for some Secret Santa gift ideas. Gift cards are a pretty hot item as well. You can spend a lot of time on these “deals for today” type sites (woot.com and the like), but you run the risk of not finding the right present for family members on your list.

In this economy, too, people are looking for Christmas gift deals all over the place. I had forgotten about this one spot I use often and felt like I should share it with you. In fact, I just bought some books for Christmas and got 8% cash back on it.

Online sales have gone up this year, and were even almost 30% higher than Black Friday. People are looking for deals online, and I’ve got just the place for you.

(If you’re already sold on it and don’t want to read more, just head on over with this link and sign up!)

Get paid for the shopping you were going to do anyway

It’s called Ebates, and quite simply you get cash back for making purchases you’d make anyway.

It almost sounds like a scam, but it’s not. If you use the website I’ll tell you about as your starting point, you can find great deals at over 1000 stores you already shop at. Then you click the link with a savings code and you’re sent to the site you would have gone to anyway.

You can same money on books for Christmas!For example, let’s take the books I picked up. I go to ebates.com and look for my Barnes and Noble store. When I click on the name, I get redirected to www.bn.com. That’s where I would have gone anyway to buy these books, only know they know I came from ebates (because of a cookie on your computer, nothing troublesome – every site in the world uses them). Whatever I buy from Barnes and Noble, I get 8% cash back.

It’s really a simple explanation

Here’s how I think this works. A lot of online retailers give people affiliate commissions for sales. Amazon, for example, gives me a small commission when you buy something via a link from my site. It’s the same exact thing.

The guys who started ebates had a great idea. They decided to partner up with online retailers to get affiliate commissions when people go to their sites via ebates. The folks at ebates give some of that affiliate commission to you, the consumer, as a way to keep you using the site. You get money, ebates gets money, and the retailers get the sales. It’s just mutually beneficial marketing.

You can save a lot of money by getting it back AND get some free stuff in the process

To save extra money, I also had a coupon for Barnes and Noble. So I bought my stuff and got the 8% cash back, but I also was still able to use the 20%-off coupon I had gotten in the mail. Sure, using the coupon makes me get less money, but all of the discounts together work really well together.

Plus when you sign up for ebates, you get free stuff right away. If you sign up for ebates, you’ll get a free $10 gift card as a bonus. You can get one for Barnes & Noble, Target, Home Depot, and more. Just for signing up for your free account.
Free gift cards for using ebates

I don’t want to sound more spammy than I already do, but I need to mention again that ebates is FREE.

Why I’m encouraging you to sign up

I try not to support stuff on my blog that I don’t think is worthwhile, and I’m definitely not in it for the money.

There are two reasons I’m encouraging you:

  1. There’s no real reason not to use ebates. It’s exactly what it says it is: you get money for buying stuff you’d buy anyway. It works, and you save money (in the sense that they give it back). I’m all about saving money. If you’re using a cash back credit card, you’d get even more back (but most of the stores on ebates give you way more cash back than your credit card would if you just went to the actual store)
  2. I do actually get credit if you sign up using my link and end up buying $25 worth of stuff eventually. I don’t get money every time you buy, so it’s not one of those pyramid schemes. I’d just get a small ($5 I think) commission if you sign up to use ebates and make a purchase.

I want to be clear, though, that I like it so much I wouldn’t even be offended if you didn’t use my link to sign up. Obviously I’d love it if you used my referrer link, but if you don’t want me to get credit, just go to www.ebates.com and sign up.

So there you have it! You can finish your shopping from the comforts of your own couch and get some money back for your trouble!

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone! :)

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Here’s Some Help For Your Bible Reading

Make it easier to read your BibleDo you find it a challenge to consistently maintain a Bible reading schedule?

I don’t know why it’s one of the hardest things for me. Probably because I’ve never really maintained one, and getting momentum is often hard. You know what old Newton said.

I know God doesn’t give us extra credit for reading our Bibles regularly, and I know it’s more for me than it is for Him, but I really want to wind down 2011 in His word every day.

On FindingMyFitness, I’ve talked about making health and fitness easier by automating it. Finding ways to have to think less about doing a task so it becomes easier to actually complete it.

Not to cheapen Bible reading, but I think that’s what I need to do here.

Enter YouVersion.com

A while back I downloaded YouVersion Bible to my phone. It’s really helpful for finding verses while on the go, and it even has a way to “read” while driving because of the audio Bibles that come with it.

The other day they sent me an email with five different reading plans for Christmas, and I just really like that idea. I can sign up for one and either read it on my phone (it’s part of their app) or read it online.

Check out their Bible reading plans here.

Once Christmas is over

The plan I chose ends on December 26th, but I don’t want to stop there. I have a plan (a mental one, not a phone one) to read the Bible next year specifically for information regarding fitness and nutrition, but I also want to pick a year-long plan I can read each day as a small 5-10 minute devotional. This app has a lot of those as well.

Another thing I like is they have ways to remind you. You can sign up for email reminders or post about it on Twitter and Facebook and have your friends remind you. I’d love it if my phone would remind me, but I don’t see that option at the moment.

I didn’t expect this post to turn out to be a commercial for YouVersion, but I guess I really can’t recommend it enough if you have a smartphone (they have iPhone, Android, and Blackberry apps). It’s useful on the web too, but it’s much more convenient on your phone.

So there you have it. Automate your Bible reading by finding a plan. All you need beyond that is the discipline to actually do it (and that’s the hard part)!

God bless you guys,
-j

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