Faith vs. Data vs. What’s Really Important

Seth Godin, a master blogger and bestselling author over in New York highlighted, once posted on the tension between faith and data. First, allow me to distinguish between those two words.

I define “faith” as a belief in something without any evidence and often in the face of evidence to the contrary. Boiled down having faith is the desire to believe. And humans want to believe what they wish to be true.

Sometimes faith is a negative. Witness, for example, all the bloodshed committed and endured in the name of religions, notorious for demanding faith in many things for which there is no empirical evidence and with each religion claiming competing and opposing “truths” for faiths at odds with each other. Religious institutions demand faith from their followers.

And yet faith is what drives people to push on through great hardship and challenge to ultimately succeed. Faith inspires people to attempt and actually achieve amazing things often in the face of ridicule, harassment, even “proof” held up and waved in their faces to demonstrate their foolhardiness. Faith triumphs. But is it really important?

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Benjamin’s Birthday

At 1:48 p.m. Thursday Benjamin greeted the world for the first time.   A mere two hours after his birth the family would host a welcoming like none I have ever witnessed or been a part of before. 

 Now new born babes are not new to me, having experienced the birth of my own three children and having had visits with 4 earlier grandbabies within hours of each of their births. This one was different, much more of a party atmosphere.  As one who firmly believes that all things in life happen with purpose, it took me a few days of reflection to see the light of the gathering’s meaning.

Twelve of us celebrated together in the one small delivery room, passing the bundled Ben from one to another for each to hold and introduce ourself.  His mother, my daughter, looking amazingly fresh and joyful having produced the babe just two hours earlier, sitting up in what looked like some sort of cross between a bed and an Easy Boy recliner, all smiles. The child’s father seated next to her holding their baby Ben proudly.  A threesome all a glow, representing the love of family.  Four year old big brother Nick, trying his hardest to wait his turn to hold his new brother, representing sibling acceptance and support.  Sister Rachel, two (and we can’t forget, a ½ years old), dancing all around the forest of standing legs, unable to contain her excitement, representing pure joy.  Uncle Jon, just quietly watching as he leaned against a wall for what looked like a needed support. Half scared thinking of when it will be his day to be the new Dad, represented the father’s extended family.   My daughter’s mother and I, though no longer joined, united in our love for Benjamin, represented our contribution to Benjamin’s family tree.  Courtney, a college dorm mate of the third time mom there too, representing an involved circle of helpful and dear friends.  The attending nurse, passing through the group handing out food snacks hostest style, representing a full plate of life’s opportunities, free for the taking.  And the one role that took me the longest to understand was that of the student.  A young man from the University of Washington studying in the medical field.  A stranger, who had asked permission to witness the birth and be part of our group celebration.  I decided that his presence represented a life of curiosity and learning invited to come into our family circle from the outside and become part of this new life.  Now in the middle of all this my Mother telephoned with her welcome greeting for Benjamin.  She being Ben’s Great grandmother, represents not only three living family generations but, firsthand accounts of the family members two generations before that. Her personal in the flesh, family history five generations deep, to be shared with the sixth.

 Now dear reader the story does not end there.  No, for having read my tale you have become an important part of the Benjamin birthday story too.  His coming has now also touched you representing that greater global world that each of us, all be it sometimes unknowingly, interact with every day from our very moment of birth.

Benjamin’s first day, his first few hours of life, reminds me of the truth that states, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”  Join in this party of celebration, as we all lift our glasses with a toast to each of our own wonderful, amazing futures yet to unfold.              To the Future…Cheers !

Mark Behringer   


Seth Godin (demi-god) On Being Remarkable

What might it look like for you to stand out online and offline from the crowd? This is what we are tackling week after week and this will be the theme of the new series starting February 29th. And once again I return to a virtual mentor of mine whose message is always helpful to hear again and again and again. He’s as purple a cow as can be.

Purple Cows Forever

Seth Godin on Standing Out

This TED Talk from 2003 in Monterey, is for me evergreen. Technology as mentioned by Seth aside, has changed SO MUCH since Seth gave this talk. He mentions getting on the home page of Google might be important, or these days first on any of the major search engines?  He speaks to the TV Industrial complex as being “dead” but the state of TV seems healthy and has healthy competition among the bevy of cable channels and distribution sources Provided you are a member…( Hulu, Netflix to name the two I access.) I still see ads. Clever. Shorter. And Frequently.

Provocative. Shocking. Different. Can you present your ideas this way, somehow?

Timely. Infused with enthusiasm. With total belief. Can you write and speak to your subject matter Just in Time and full of conviction for it?

One video or post at a time we COULD create a tipping point. One person sharing with another and being a champion or advocate, we will create a tribe that follows us with devotion, opens our newsletters, our specially time emails, BECAUSE they care, BECAUSE we speak of something that matters to them.

And, this is not to say that the random non-sequitur is not appreciated. It is. For it is surprising to a reader expecting another Power Writing Tip to get something different from time to time. As a recipient of many newsletters (for I like research to come to me) I too can fall asleep at the wheel of monitoring marketing activities of admired colleagues. (Truth be I really appreciate the Power Writing Tips! and hence they come first to mind as an example to share. Good form and great content.)

As creature of habit, we like to be soothed with what we like and expect and I propose we appreciate a shake-up every now and then. It reminds us that Change is a Part of Life.

Being Remarkable could appear as us being more transparent than normal, or sharing an extreme viewpoint we are prepared to back up; Something other than towing the line of public opinion.

Being Remarkable to me says that we are saying: “I am comfortable in my own skin. I know first my personal brand and I know when and how I will deviate from the formula.”

Take Significant Relationships (where we work, who we date, who we marry): classically it is suggested they will eventually grow dulled and grey, UNLESS, we shake it up and stay conscious/awake and try new things from time to time to mix up the mix of what works.  Surprises are always revitalizing in life and can be in business.

For example: Let me just say that there has been nothing boring about raising a child from Zero to her current age of 12 (and to think I have 6 more years officially as her “ruling parent” (smile).Parenting is my greatest teacher where it comes to writing, negotiating, marketing and politics and it is a gift I treasure daily (even when I had to restore my balance with another walk!)

If you were to think of your business venture as a relationship you wanted to stay “awake, fun, profitable, productive, enjoyable, interesting ( to you and others) and meaningful (again to you and others)”  WHAT would you be prepared to do? To create? To maintain? To keep fresh and relevant. (Or in otherwords, P.U.R.R.fect)

My mission remains to create enthusiasm for the written word, penned by us, the thinkers of the thoughts and ideas. I’ll do this one person and client at a time knowing when I do remarkable work, the impact I have is amplified. I invite you to learn to do for yourself, the same.

Why? It helps more people all around when we do so.

And if you have already read Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, The Dip or all the other Seth Godin offerings, but not this one yet, go ahead Poke the Boxand jump in.

We can’t be reminded to do the key things that are crucial to maintaining awareness where marketing and promotion are concerned. And with all the DIY ways to start up yourself, why not?

UFO over Seattle on January 21, 2012

Down at the Seattle Center, I climbed a grassy knoll waving my smart phone around in the sunshine for better reception. Below me in the Fisher Pavilion hundreds of people including many of Vietnamese descent celebrated Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. My wife Kristina remained down there with our foreign exchange student from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. I turned around, heard a helicopter overhead, looked up into blue skies, and saw the helicopter circling toward Downtown where Occupy protests were occurring. Then I spied the UFO.

What appeared to be a silver sphere moved in a straight, horizontal line from the southeast, or the direction of Downtown Seattle, northwest over Queen Anne Hill toward the Salish Sea. The object flew swiftly and steadily, perfectly straight. It was shiny silver and reflected the sunlight. The sun was low in the sky more toward the southwest. The time, date, and date was 3:00pm on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

For a second I shrugged it off as an airplane or helicopter, then I realized, wait, hey, it’s far more silvery-metallic than any of those would be. More importantly, there were no visible wings, fins, rows of blinking lights, jets, or visible thrusts, rocket engines, or propellers. It was silent, and flew so straight as to be smooth, as in none of the buffeting and wing-dipping I normally see even on straight-flying aircraft. At one point the object appeared to pivot or partially rotate while continuing to “fly” in a straight line at a steady pace. When it pivoted, it appeared as more of a silvery rod, a short, stumpy rod, and reminded me of a fat airplane fuselage.

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Life in the Clouds

I never thought I lived in the clouds. Today, I found out differently.

Some people may be saying, why is Stephen talking about meteorological terms? I’m not. In the world of computers, cloud storage means storing files and information on the internet. What are the benefits, you may ask? Let me tell you what happen to me, today.

My main computer went in for repairs due to a cataclysmic event last week. My laptop fell to the floor and the screen fractured into many pieces. Needless to say, the screen became useless. Today, the crippled machine started its journey towards New York for repair.

In the absence of my machine, i could use my wife’s machine.  That takes care of the hardware; far more valuable is all the data I have accumulated over the years. I could live without all the documents, what about contacts, calendars, and web bookmark. While a could live without them for a short term, having these to refer to over the week could be valuable. How could i make my “temporary” home feel like home?

I started out making a second account on my wife’s machine. That way, I could have my own folders on the hard drive and leave my wife’s folders untouched. But what about the data?

That’s where the cloud, storing data on the internet, came into play. Since the data existed of the net, if was only a matter of copying that information to my temporary home. Within a half hour, I had  nearly fully functional machine. Here is the information I retrieved and where I got it from.

Information Location
Passwords 1Password and Dropbox
Contacts iCloud
Calendars From my local server
Web bookmarks iCloud
Multiple Mail accounts Gmail-iMap, iCloud

That’s a pretty functional machine for so little work! Feel like home. Long live cloudy weather!

Feng Shui Energy Advisory


chinese dragon

January 23rd is the start of the Year of The Water Dragon. The New Year is always a time for reflection and planning for the time ahead. In Feng Shui it is also the time to make note of the changing energies and how they relate to you, your home, and to your business.

Energy is in Constant Motion

Energy is in constant motion. We have learned about the Mayan calendar and its cycles and wonder what that means for the future. We can be more certain about the cycles described in Feng Shui and what they mean.

grandmotherThink of the energies, we call them stars as it is easier to imagine them, as people. Each star has its own personality. Some stars are happy and bring good energy with them. Maybe similar to that friend you always look forward to seeing when they visit. Some stars are less happy. That could be your hypochondriac uncle. Another star may have a nurturing energy. Could that be Grandma? Some like to fight and cause problems. I think you get the picture.

Who is Coming to Visit

DancingNow imagine you have a big house with many rooms. The stars-people- come to visit and each one has a room in the house. Every year they choose a different room to stay in. As you move around your house and spend time with them you are going to be affected by their energy. Oh and by the way they are sharing a room with one of the other people. So you have to take into consideration the interaction between them as well as with you. Some get along. Some don’t. Some are jealous. Some are celebrating. But some like to keep it quiet. Some are good dancers. Other couples step all over each other’s feet. Some are in a creative mood. Relationships are getting more interesting now aren’t they?

What to Do About It

to continue reading please visit Real Feng Shui Solutions 


 All rights reserved © Diane Kern

Only Human Beings Have Rights, Not Human Organizations

Courageous people are demonstrating against corporate and bank domination of the American political process and protesting against the abomination of corporate personhood. It is an inspiring call to freedom, a nonviolent call to wake up and occupy, a call based upon a fundamental understanding corporations are not people. We the People of this country…and I would add of everywhere else on our Planet Earth, need to remember some crucial points.

Yes, corporations are not human beings. Corporations, as are any other organizations, are formed by and are composed by individual human beings working in concert and by agreement. Only individual human beings have rights. Human organizations do not have rights. Human beings have rights as individuals because they are human beings, not because individual people are a member of some organization. Human beings as social animals are people, and the people are composed of individual persons.

Corporations are not people. A corporation or any other organization, formal or otherwise, is not a person. Any law stating otherwise exercises fraudulent representations of what a person is and must be repealed. I am reminded of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s distinctions between just and unjust laws, his spotlight on the criminal abuse by authorities of just laws, and his reminder “everything Hitler did was legal.”

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The Death of Cave Drawings

Seemingly with every new day there is a new device to “help” us communicate verbally or in text, even as the line between the two forms grows ever more blurred.  My caveman nature harkens back to the good old days.

Witnessing the death of typewriters, rotary dial phones and the like, I wonder what it must have been like at the very first upgrade…… 

We find a young Tor working at the cave wall, Professor Gruck, standing near holding a fire torch.

“Professor, how do you spell “antelope” in profile? Is it with two legs or four?” “If it’s a deer that I saw yesterday and not one I hope to see tomorrow, do I tint it in blue or red?  And is it grammatically correct to make the stick figure hunter, bigger than the antelope? Oh no, that should have been a double hand space, not an arm’s length!  Now it’s all messed up!  I am sorry Sir.  May I start over in another cave?”

“Well son, don’t be so hard on yourself. I’ve heard that the Grand Club Master Jobbo over at the ‘Apple Tree’ is working on a completely new way of expression.”  Tor was all ears for he knew there had to be a better way, after all he was running out of caves.

“Professor Gruck, tell me what is it or is it still in Beta testing?”  “Tor you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.  With this new device you won’t need a cave. You won’t need plant dyes. You won’t even need a fire torch.” It’s so advanced our apple gathering clan will be the leaders of the whole caveman tech world.”

“What is it Sir tell me please. I must know.” “Well if you wish. Meet me down at the “Apple Tree” tonight at midnight, so that we’ll be first in line to see the morning’s grand unveiling.” And so it came to be. Grand Club Master, Jobbo stood before the masses at sunrise and held before the waiting clan the visionary “S-pad.”

For that’s what Jobbo called it. It was indeed revolutionary.  A stone tablet that you could carry freely with you everywhere, as long as you could lift it. (Later advancements would make it lighter, more user friendly for the less strong techy masses) With just a simple swing of an ordinary caveman club, marks could be made on its surface.  It was way ahead of its time.  Another thousand years of development would be needed to decode the club marks into a useable language but, everyone in the clan thought the S-pad was just way cool. The way of the future. No one was sure where it would led but, saw its potential. They just had to have one. 

All cave drawing soon would quickly die out as being old fashion technology, left only to legend and the memories of the clad elders, of a not so distant past…. Much like the legends of typewriters and rotary dial phones of our yesterdays are but memories of a bygone time. The S-pad’s time had come.

Mark Behringer






How to Lose 2,000 Pounds

“How to lose 2,000 pounds,” the title of a presentation I just attended by Katie Munoz founder of “Moving Forward, Inc.”   She is all about making moving on with your life easier. We met with about twenty seniors at the Fairwinds community of Brittany Park in Woodinville Washington.   Twenty people that were enjoying their retirement in the resort like style… but not without having first to deal with downsizing from a lifetime of collecting.

When downsizing day comes, the question becomes “How?”

As we move forward with our lives, we may need to lighten the load a bit, say by about 2,000 pounds.  For example at the Brittany Park community, life is centered around the concept of being active and most importantly social and not tied down by our lifetime of collecting.  Imagine yourself in a  new, high end apartment along with a world of on-site amenities.  How much of your “stuff” do you really need?  That’s where Katie comes in to turn that “How” into an “Easily Done!”

Katie’s magic is working one on one with you to carefully go over, through and into your treasures, piece by piece,  helping  you decide which items to keep to furnish a new apartment and make it feel like good old warm cozy ‘ home sweet home.’ She and her “Moving Forward” team use tested methods that help not only with the physical process but just as importantly the emotional challenges.  Challenges made all the easier when the goal is to become part of a a community like Fairwinds ‘Brittany Park’ with its fine restaurant dining, fitness programs, trained instructors and let’s not forget world travel programs with Twist Travel.

For my part, once Katie has you settled in your new leisure care life style, I take on the task of guiding you through the sale of your now empty home, the shell you’ve shed to move forward.  The goal can become turning that “shell” into some cash to help, if you should choose, with future travel plans. 

 I can show you a little bit of my own magic and how easy it is,to accomplish just that.

If downsizing is in your future or in that of a loved one, someone like Katie can ”get it done” with ease and a leisure care community like Brittany Park can make for a special new home. When your choice is to sell your no longer suitable “shell,” I in a professional, straight forward mannor can turn that treasured shell into a future of  freedom with many exciting choices.  Its not really magic.  Its just knowing the right people to turn to, that can move you forward with ease.

 Mark Behringer        “Where you live is just as important as what you live in”

“a little bit more better (and other succinct ways we talk) like…”

The teenagers I know seem to talk what sounds and feels “like” another language (or dialect), “ya know.” And (sadly) sometimes they grow into young adults who keep the teenage verbal ticks.

This post is literally prompted and inspired by a conversation had between my daughter, her father and I. We can’t help but notice how her language fluctuates depending on whom she is spending time with. Does this ever happen to you?

My daughter is approaching the most important age of 12 and as a Middle Schooler I watched before my very eyes her language habits morph quickly. Somewhere in elementary school, even with a mother like me, who “Teaches and Preaches” writing and speaking intentionally for a livelihood, she picked up some “habits” I hope she loses before high school, and like really soon. Yes, I wrote that.  Continue reading ““a little bit more better (and other succinct ways we talk) like…”” »