CJ’s Musicworks alive and kicking


I don’t about you, but for me, I like to have my local music store where I can go down if I need picks, strings, fast fret or to ask as stupid question. And heck yes after by now thirty years of playing guitar I still have plenty of them. I like going to Charlie Jemmett at CJ’s Musicworks.


Additionally, I am picky on my guitar shops as I do not like it when Ibanez, my favorite brand is not adequately represented in a store. CJ’s has had a tough ride since the February earthquake but they have been back up on their feet reasonably quickly. In fact it was thanks to Charlie that I got to think about how the earthquake had its good aspects as well. As a result of the damage and mess CJ’s has changed their layout and looks more spacious.

If it had not been for the earthquake we would probably never have come around redoing the floor plan. It’s just too busy all the time.

I k now that a lot of people do not particularly want to go into town but for those that make music: this is the time to go out get over yourself and support your local music store. Situated right next to the SouthCity Mall parking lot on Colombo Street, Charlie and his colleagues at Musicworks look  forward to seeing you. 

As for our fellow guitarists: there is a mouthwatering collection of new Ibanez stock in. At least go and check that out, they are beautiful.

CJ’s Musicworks

CJ’s MusicWorks Christchurch at 569 Colombo Street is run by active musicians who, collectively have the widest knowledge of musical equipment you’ll find anywhere. With a huge range of instruments from drums to Grand Pianos this Christchurch store has something for everyone. Giving the best possible customer service is the ultimate aim and this shop has longstanding customers who come back because of the service and product knowledge, which is second to none.

And oh yes they are also on Facebook.

Photo Journal: Being in the right place at the right time


This week, going up and down to and from Governors Bay we were treated with amazing sunsets as a result of the ash in the sky. The view from the Sign of the Kiwi parking over the Canterbury Plains was amazing on both the Monday and Tuesday afternoon, also the sort of magical landscapes earlier in the morning around the bays, with sun slowly showing made for some awesome views.

Earlier that morning the combination of mist, low sun and cold made for some almost magical views and I guess it reminded me that to a large extent making a special picture is all about being there in the right place at the right time.

Most spectacular however were the ash filled skies over the mountains during sunset. Christchurch, although hit by another severe aftershock looked beautiful, impressive and alive.

Now one does not need much talent to shoot a picture like this, and I bet that with a mobile phone the result would have been equally beautiful. It had nothing to do with me and all with being in the right place at the right time.

The next day I was prepared and decided to go and be there at the same time. The sky was not as impressive, but patience and seeing how the light was changing rapidly made a difference. And seeing the light change from

to

On the way back later that evening I stopped one more time at the same place and saw the city below like this.

A strange sense of peace came over me. Christchurch may be shaken, stirred, hit hard, damaged, ravaged and whatever negative qualifications one could think of, at the same time the sea of lights below me indicated that Christchurch is also very much alive, and a city with a bright future. If a city can shine like this after a massive aftershock than imagine what it’ll be like after restoration. Enough reason for me in any event to stick around.

DIA’s Anti-Spam Team Joins Twitter


 

 

24 May 2011

The Department of Internal Affairs’ Anti-Spam Compliance Unit has established a Twitter profile –AntiSpamInfoNZ – to alert the public and New Zealand businesses to the latest scams and inform them of its work.

The unit was established to enforce the Unsolicited Electronic Message Act 2007, combating commercial electronic spam, which can assist a sender to profit dishonestly by taking advantage of people.

Fraudsters use a range of means to promote their scams including email, text via SMS (short message service), telephone, fax, letters, and online trading or social networking websites. They also employ “phishing” attacks to obtain personal and financial information from unwitting recipients who may think that the sender is legitimate.

Anti-Spam senior investigator, Toni Demetriou, says the Twitter account will contribute to the unit’s public education programme.

“We regularly hear about people being scammed so we look to prevention through education and awareness. If we can publicise these scams and alert the public and industry to them, then we may be able to prevent people responding to them.

“We will use Twitter to alert the public to the latest scams press releases and other information to help them be wary of scammers and their constantly evolving tactics. We will also tweet about what the team is doing to enforce the Act. Our enforcement action includes formal warnings, infringement notices and prosecutions.”

The link to Twitter can be found on the unit’s homepage.

The unit has been enforcing the Act since September 2007 and has resolved thousands of complaintsusing the online Spam Complaints Form.

Media contact:

Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679

The twitter profile can be found here >>>>

Bob Fitts is coming to Christchurch again


I am pleased to announce the return of Bob Fitts to Christchurch.

On Saturday 25 June 2011, Harmony Church will be hosting a seminar and worship concert in the Oaklands School Auditorium.

For those of you who are not familiar with the name here some more details.

BIO

Bob has been writing songs and leading people in worship since the early 1970s when many students on his Corona, California high school campus met daily at lunch to worship and pray together.

After high school, he attended Melodyland School of Theology in Anaheim, California and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry. At the same time, he was ordained as youth pastor and church worship leader in Riverside, California.

Bob and his wife Kathy met during high school and were married in 1976. In 1981, they moved to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and served with Youth With A Mission at its teaching campus, The University of the Nations, until 1993. In 1990 they pioneered the School of Worship, which is now being conducted in many countries around the world.

His first recording, Take My Healing To The Nations, was released in 1985. In 1988 he was invited to be the worship leader on Integrity Music’s The Lord Reigns. Since that time, Bob has recorded numerous projects, both as a solo artist and the featured worship leader including:

  •  Take My Healing To The Nations – Solo Project 1988
  • The Lord Reigns – Integrity Music 1988
  • The Highest Place – Integrity Music 1990
  • Live Worship With Bob Fitts – Maranatha! Music 1990
  • Sacrifice – Solo Project 1991
  • Bethlehem’s Treasure – Integrity Music 1991
  • He Will Save You – Integrity Music 1993
  • Proclaim His Power 1993
  • Comfort My People – Solo Project 1994
  • A Taste of Heaven – New Creation Church 1995
  • Comfort My People 1995
  • He Will Save You – Integrity Music 1996
  • I Will Not Be Afraid – International House of Prayer 2001
  • I Will Bow To You – Integrity Music 2001
  • I Will Not Be Afraid – Live Worship Project 2001
  • Restore – Healing To The Nations Music 2008

Some of Bob’s best-known songs are Blessed Be The Lord God Almighty, Take My Healing To The Nations, He Is Lovely, He Will Come And Save You and Glory Glory Lord.

On a personal note, I am looking forward to be part of the band again, an amazing worship leader and a joy to play with. Hope to see you all there.

Photo Journal: Amazing Insects


Insects, butterflies and so on always seem to be making for great subjects to photograph. I remember well how pleased I was to manage to shoot a pic of this little fly before it left of again when making a walk in Rapaki.

Fly Rapaki

And of course you have seen other pics like this pass by here of bees and butterflies or perhaps some time ago the dragonfly, the chase of which almost had me trample my own veggie patch because the animal just would not sit still.

Dragon Fly

For me this is probably as close up as it gets with a point and shoot. But I was truly amazed, admittedly even a bit jealous, by the pictures of insects I found in this post on the photography mojo blog/ site. Talk about taking it to the next level.

What an amazing bunch of photos, making me wish for options to get even closer, zoom in perhaps I will need to find out.

I suggest you go and read the post here >>>  and be amazed by the beauty of these pictures and many more but then again, they became so beautiful because these little creatures are so amazing.

Fleecing the Faithful—Again: Former YWAM Leader Defrauds Many


A Swedish Christian businessman swindled friends, family, and missionaries of millions of dollars

Ken Walker | posted 6/08/2011 09:52AM

When Jan and Henny Pauw visited Le Rucher on a summer missions trip, they never dreamed it would wind up costing them their retirement nest egg. The Dutch couple became ensnared in a faith-based Ponzi scheme that operated for a dozen years before it unraveled.

Nestled on two acres at the base of France’s Jura Mountains and the nearby Swiss Alps, the Le Rucher retreat center opened in 1994 to help stressed-out missionaries recuperate. But Le Rucher became the setting for the promotion of the fraudulent Nordic Capital Investments (NCI), which has created resentment toward Le Rucher co-founder Erik Spruyt. Last October, Swedish businessman Kristian Westergard, the founder of NCI and a close associate of Spruyt’s, was convicted of gross fraud in Sweden and sentenced to prison.

In 1998, the Pauws went to Le Rucher—then associated with Youth With a Mission (YWAM)—with their evangelical church in Ermelo, the Netherlands. An industrial chemist by trade, Jan had never been on a Christian mission. On the couple’s first trip, Spruyt suggested they consider becoming long-term volunteers. Jan replied that they couldn’t afford it.

When the Pauws returned the following summer, Spruyt repeated the suggestion. Jan demurred. Then, they say, Spruyt introduced them to NCI, a special investment fund that paid interest of 15 percent a year (the rate on a contract they later signed). It had the potential to generate enough income to support the couple. Part of the attraction was the promise that some of the fund’s earnings would generate charitable support for select Christian missions. The Pauws invested euros worth $260,000. The following year they moved to Le Rucher as volunteers.

In total, the couple received more than $230,000 before payments ceased. But the principal amount of their nest egg has vanished. They still rue their decision to trust Spruyt’s referral to NCI. In a 2001 e-mail with a sample NCI contract, he said, “If you want to take this seriously then this is the procedure that I recommend to you with the amount you want to invest.”

“All we have now is our old-age pension and a small pension from my work as an industrial chemist,” Pauw says. “Sometimes we think, How could we have been so stupid to believe them? Why did we trust them?

Read the rest of this article at Christianity Today here >>>

Some remarks

I guess what we are reading here is how well affinity frauds work. You gain the trust of the leaders or as a leader you have a natural amount of trust associated with you and from there on it becomes easier to lure in new victims. And for the record this works the same with all these marvelous business opportunities that lure in the small people. It is not surprising that these business opportunities are so often targeted at church communities: there is a naturally higher level of trust.

Part of why this works is that lack of financial understanding, business understanding, innumeracy so you which is being replaced by trust in the person offering you the opportunity. It is for this reason that leaders are targeted first. Once you have the leader over the bridge the rest of the sheep will follow. And for the record, no one is immune and we all run a risk of falling for it.

On Affinity Fraud

Affinity fraud is when one person gains the trust of others because they share the same religion, race, ethnicity, career or other social characteristic and then deceives them in some kind of financial transaction. Now this is not necessarily intentional, as this may also be the result of a misguided participant in one scheme or another, a gifting club or pyramid scheme or the pyramid scheme posing as a legitimate MLM.

In a world of increasing complexity many do not know how to properly investigate the credibility of an offering and trust becomes an increasing factor relied on.

“You can trust me, because I’m like you. We share the same background and interests. And I can help you make money.”

The normal process of cautious skepticism is replaced by social blah blah, and for the record, it works. Another tactic used is to first lure in some prominent members of a group and once that is done the others are pitched using the credibility and good name of the group leaders: the elder, the pastor etc.

With the hierarchy of leaders and followers already established, the investment becomes merely an extension of our desire to belong and be accepted.

The fact that some of the earlier entrants, the ones you know and trust, are receiving good money is not a guarantee that it is all good, that is the essential working of a pyramid scheme, the high INITIAL returns. The case outlined in Christianity Today show that exactly and there are many more known cases throughout history.

What makes those types of scams extra attractive is that  once an affinity fraud victim realizes that he or she has been scammed, all too often the response is not to notify the authorities but instead to try to solve problems within the group. This usually just ensures that the fraud continues without anyone reporting it to the authorities until it is too late to recover funds. Scammers recognize that the tight-knit structure of many groups makes it less likely that a scam will be detected by regulators and law enforcement officials, and that victims will be more forgiving of one of their own members.

Some tips

Some way to revent becoming a victim of affinity fraud are:

  • NEVER TRUST PEOPLE BLINDLY.
    No matter how well you know someone or think you can trust them, always be cautious when it comes to handing over your hard earned money. Ask questions about the scheme and keep on doing that until you understand the scheme. Let them know that you are aware of all the scams that are taking place regularly in today’s world. Just because a person is a fellow Christian, it does not mean that he or she is a good person who will not cheat you, intentionally or out of ignorance.
  • DO YOU DUE DILIGENCE; CHECK THINGS OUT THOROUGHLY
    Use the Net, call others with financial; insights and not associated with the scheme or seek professional advice, but whatever you do, never step into a scheme you do not understand.
  • DO NOT GET GREEDY
    The strange thing is that many of these schemes promise high yield on low risk or even risk free investments. In the financial world however the principle  is usually exactly the other way around: the higher the returns the higher the risks. Greed is a sin, not just because the Bible tells us it is, but because nothing good can come of greed. It leaves us wanting more and more, no matter how much we already have. Desist from this emotion and you and your money are safe. Know that God will provide you in all your needs which is something different than all your wants.

Possibly Related articles

Photo Journal: water


The fountain  in Hagley Park made for spectacular sight looking close up against the light.

Maruia Falls

On the way to Golden Bay we stopped at the Maruia Falls some waterfalls.  Amazing to see and hear the sheer force of the water coming down. This large waterfall was created in an earthquake in 1929. The earthquake caused a slip which blocked the original channel. The water was forced to flow over a small area of farmland and then over a bank back to the channel below the slip. This created a new passage and more erosion from the falling water has increased the drop to some ten metres.

A short track down hill leads to a view of the falls from below and also provided for a great place to have something to eat and drink on the way to Golden Bay.

Pupu Springs

Also quite spectacular were the Pupu Springs and the amazingly clear water, said to be the clearest in the world. Pupu Springs or Waikoropupu as its full name is, can be found in the South Island west of Nelson, near Takaka

In the Bible we find mentions of “living water” and I guess what I saw as Pupu Springs came close to what I imagined that to look like. The color and clarity was just amazing.

Wainui Falls

However what was probably most spectacular was the Wainui Falls in Golden Bay.

A forty minute walk takes you to this waterfall, a walk most worthwhile. The track leads through the forest and over a swing bridge. Minutes after crossing the bridge you will hear the falls and than almost as by surprise you will be right in front of them in all their spraying and noisy marvel.

More to follow on my flickr photostream.