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2011: The Year of Disillusion

By: ellis & tina still

Welcome to 2011!!! This will be the year of great expectations for TBB. We have some exciting events and new resources planned for the year, so keep your eyes open as we venture into new areas of service. We have thousands of new titles to browse, and beginning in February, we will have catalogs that you can download with all of the new and upcoming releases. We have partnered with Neilsen BookScan, so all of your purchases count towards national best seller lists, allowing you to support your favorite author. TBB has grown immensely in the short time that we have been open and we have you, our customers, to thank for that.

So, I guess you are wondering about the title of the blog: “2011: The Year of Disillusion”.  You are asking yourself what is that about?  We are supposed to start the year off positive, and speak life into the months to come, to have optimism that every area of our lives will be better than the last. That our business will grow; that we will advance at work; that our personal relationships will grow and be more fruitful, and that stress will no longer be a burden in our lives.  Every year we resolve to do something differently than the year before.  Every New Year we say that “this year will be our year”, but by the end of the year, we find ourselves in the same exact place… disillusioned.

This is a cycle that is easily repeated if you do not pay attention. You find yourself making the same or similar resolutions or declarations every year without noticing it.  After a while you stop making them all together, disappointed by hope.  Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, self, what you are DOING differently from last year?  What changes have you made in your thinking?  In your actions?  Are you working harder and smarter? What are you doing to get yourself out of your comfort zone? What barriers are you removing from your life?  What are you loosing?  What are you binding up?  What changes have you made in the people you have around you, especially those who revel in your failures? How much quiet time have you dedicated to spend in prayer?

Faith without doing is not faith.  It’s just a word that has no weight to it. Your faith is fostered in your doing.  At some point you have to give your words some substance so that you can grow beyond anything you have ever imagined.  

In Habakkuk 2:2-3 is reads “Write what you see (Vision).  Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run,  The vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.  It aches for the coming-it can hardly wait!  And doesn’t lie.  If it seems slow in coming, wait.  It’s on its way.  It will come right on time” (MSG).  What is your vision?  More importantly what is your plan?  What are your goals for this year?  In five years? In ten?  What are you doing to get better? Not in acquiring “things” but how are you growing?  How are you praying?  How are you developing yourself to be able to handle what God has in store for you?  How are you leading?  What have you cut out of your life, or out of your business?  What are you planning to do differently this year?  What changes are you making in the people you keep around you?  How will you grow together in marriage?  How will you grow in your singleness?  These are just some of the questions to ask yourself in your quiet time.  

Every year brings a new set of challenges. You got over the stumbling blocks of 2010. Rest assured there will be new ones in 2011. 

Question: How can you break the cycle?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)Aug 29, 2010 – TRENTON, NJ — August 29, 2010 —  The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore, LLC (TBB) is excited to announce the launch of their website http://www.TBBBookstore.com.  The website will specialize in books, music, gifts and apparel that encourage, educate, entertain, heal and inspire.

The e-commerce website is the first phase of The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore & Café, a chain of retail Christian bookstores where people will be able to gather, read, eat and network.  Ellis J. Still, President & CEO explains, “TBB is not just about Christian retailing, but about creating a movement, not unlike what the burning bush did through Moses in the bible. We do not simply sell Christian products, but provide resources and solutions applicable to our everyday lives.”

The vision of The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore, “To build people up, one book at a time”, came out of a need to provide access to an assortment of quality resources that serves to entertain, encourage and support one’s Christian lifestyle.  With categories such as Personal Growth, Professional Growth, Christian living, Fiction and Non-Fiction, TBB looks to serve every area of growth in life.  TBB actively provides a voice for not just popular products and top selling lists, but also for talented independent writers and artists whose value and excellence has the potential to change the world.  

For more information please visit http://www.TBBBookstore.com.

About Ellis Still, President & CEO of The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore, LLC

Ellis Still has over thirteen (13) years of retail experience, including store operations management as well as a background in Urban Planning, Design and Landscape Architecture.   While he enjoys his chosen field of Landscape Architecture, all of those years in retail left an impression on him, and he felt a void in his heart from the inability to no longer serve the public.  When Ellis rediscovered his relationship with Jesus Christ, he noticed a burning need in his community, a need that he eventually realized that he could meet.  As he began researching and making plans, TBBBookstore.com was born.  

Ellis Still was a finalist in the 2nd annual Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) Business Plan Competition and a graduate of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers University School of Business.  The knowledge gained during his participation in these programs inspired him to not just dream about owning his own business, but gave him the tools to make it happen.

For more information, press only:
(Ellis Still), (973-592-5500) or ( Info@TBBbookstore.com)

For more information on The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore:
http://www.TBBBookstore.com

Fan us on facebook (The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore & Cafe)


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The mission of The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore is to provide and encourage the reading of bibles, books, and other items that will serve to entertain, heal, inspire, and empower. TBBbookstore.com sells books, music, gifts and apparel.

Love gives, Lust takes

by: ellis j. still 

I participate in a youth ministry group with kids ages from 13 through high school once a month. This past weekend, we had a conversation about dating and marriage. Over the past few days I realized that many adults are having similar questions and issues as it relates to dating, so I figured I would share part of the conversation and some additional thoughts.

The concept of “dating” is a relatively new concept. Up until the early 20th century, people used courtship as a way to find one’s spouse. Courtship is a way to ensure that the man and woman are equally yoked. The object of courtship is to start slow with friendship, with the goal being  marriage. When a couple dates, they tend to show the best side of themselves so as to impress who they are dating. Starting as friends allows both people to get to know each other without any pressure, and you get to see who a person is in every season of their life and how they react to those seasons. Are they violent when things do not go right? Are they impatient? Is their walk with Christ really what it appears to be? Do they have emotional or psychological scars from previous relationships that could carry over into another relationship? It there untruthfulness? All of these things, without prying or asking questions, will come to light in time. Therefore, being patient and starting out as friends is an important part of finding out who you would want to spend the rest of your life with.

Dating to find your mate is a relatively new concept. Dating is nothing more than experimentation. The idea is that you try this and you try that and you will find what you want somewhere in there, but that almost never happens. You see other people date, and you want to try it out, but what you don’t see behind the scenes is how much dating hurts. Peer pressure to have sex (and drugs, etc…), lowering your standards (giving in and having sex), STD’s, the hurt feelings and emotional trauma from being in and out of relationships that are not equally yoked, being gossiped about, and not being used to sticking by one person no matter what (lack of commitment) are all byproducts of dating which leave scars that will follow you into marriage and often causes divorce. Dating is designed to make marriages fail. In our mind, we tend to think that dating is about being with just one person exclusively, but more often than not, there is no endgame in mind and as a result, we do not identify and stick to standards within the relationship and we kind of go with the flow.

Dating leads to intimacy, not commitment, and often mistakes physical relationships for love. Love gives, and lust takes. The definition of love is “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). This is the true God given definition of love, yet most people for some reason do not believe, or truly buy into the notion of real love in their heart. Instead, we use the word love haphazardly and casually, which cancels its power and deteriorates its true meaning.

Many of the things that adults deal with emotionally stem from decisions they made as a teenager or in grade school. This was also the case with me. I had to conquer emotional baggage, low esteem, fear, and a host of other issues as a result of not only being in and out of relationships, but being in and out of relationships with the wrong people and not having a relationship with Christ in my life. When I rekindled my relationship with Christ and started back going to church, I didn’t want to date. I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I wanted to heal. I wanted the scars to go away. I was tired of living how I was living, and I wanted to be right with God. But while I was I the midst of growing and not looking for a relationship, God sent me an angel… God sent me my wife.

On Saturday one of the kids asked “how do you know when God is speaking to you”? You just know. When Tina and I first met, it felt natural, as if we knew each other since the third grade. There were no airs, no false pretenses… just us being us having a conversation, which grew into more conversations. We had a discussion early on that our goal was not to date, but to see if this is something that could lead to marriage. We were patient, and our first kiss was on our wedding day. I know some you have heard me tell this story before, but I never get tired of telling it. God really kept me through all I went through in my life, yet when I finally woke up and made the decision to do things His way, extraordinary things started to happen to and for me in my life.

Till death do us part  :- )

Question: Have you set a standard from which to live your life, or are you slowly killing yourself by following behind what everyone else around you is doing? When is the last time you asked yourself, “what did Jesus say about…”

© 2010, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved 

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks, and have a great day!!!
ellis

Faith and Fiction Retreat 2010

By: ellis j. still

On June 18 thru 19, 2010, Christian fiction authors, publishers, book enthusiasts, and myself will descend upon the city of Atlanta, GA for the annual Faith and Fiction retreat. I first heard about the retreat last year, which was held in Orlando Florida. Ironically enough, my wife and I missed it by a few weeks, having stayed 17 miles away in Kissimmee, Florida for a week for our wedding anniversary at Disney. Since then, I have looked forward to attending this year’s event (ask my wife) not just for the potential networking and advantages for the store, but to be in a warm atmosphere and meet some of the people in person that I have only had the opportunity to correspond with online.

Christian fiction is an important part of literature. It is a creative way of witnessing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the bible, Jesus often spoke and taught through parables to make a point, which is also the essence of Christian fiction. There is much dialog about what could or should be considered “Christian” due to some of the hard topics that the genre’s writers take on. However, Jesus never shied away from real life issues that people deal with every day. Sometimes you have to meet people where they are at in order to win them over. Paul writes to the church:

“Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! (1 Corinthians 9:20-21 Msg.)”

We as Christians cannot sink our heads in the sand when things are uncomfortable for us. We are called to be a light for the world, and therefore, I support Christian fiction wholeheartedly.

Question: Will I see you in Atlanta? For more information and pricing, visit http://faithandfictionretreat.com/

© 2010, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved 

Images taken from: http://faithandfictionretreat.com/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

_______________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

The Observance of Holy Week: He’s Alive!!!

By: ellis j. still

This week, we as Christians from all over the world observe and celebrate Holy Week. Therefore, I am taking a much needed break from blogging, twitter, and all other social networking outlets so that I can re-focus and reflect on this important occasion, replenish my spiritual batteries and to spend time with my family. My goal is to be back the following week, and until that time, may you experience the peace and true love of God that surpasses all understanding during this Holy season.

 Question: What life changes are you making in order to reflect on Holy Week?

© 2010, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
__________________________________________________________
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

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