Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Epica, Anti-Islam?

Epica after performing in Jakarta, Indonesia


I'm not going to waste your time here.

According to them, the short answer is "no".

Yep, that's true. Epica don't have anything against Islam or any other religions. According to some interviews, they are just against extremism.

However, honestly as a Muslim I think the use of the call for prayer and the Shahada in "Fools of Damnation" and "Seif Al Din" is just not right. The songs are great, but I really hope they will remove the call for prayer and Shahada parts to respect their Muslim fans.

Well, that's just my personal opinion.

Here are some interviews confirming that Epica is not an anti-Islamic band:

"Mark : Funny thing is, there’s a Lebanese girl who collaborated with me on Mayan’s album : Some of the lyrics were influenced by her political views. I’d like to point out that she’s a Muslim, because some accuse me of being biased against Muslims, and that’s completely ridiculous."

- Source: http://www.lebmetal.com/2011/04/live-interview-with-epica-in-istanbul-turkey/



"...we are totally not anti-Islamic, we're not anti-Christian, or anti-whatever, but we are just anti fundamentalism which is just wrong. The main focal point is that you have to think for yourself....think for yourself and find your own truth. Don't let somebody in a Church or in a Mosque tell you what to do..."

- Source (04:00 - 04.35:)




"Simone: Yes, definitely! When we have written about extreme fundamentalists and some people might not speak English very well, and they immediately think that you are against religion. We are not against any religion. We are against the extremism-the side of religion that is dangerous. It should be enriching, and not restricting or life-threatening."

Source: http://thequirkandthedeed.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/sonic-cathedral-interview-with-simone-simons-of-epica/



I'd like to add another quote to close this post with:

"Moderation is part of faith, so those who accuse Muslim schools of fostering fanaticism should learn a bit more about Islam" - Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
 [Just a reminder that anything excessive is bad, including in practicing religion]

Sunday, February 9, 2014

MyBoatPlans.Com

My Boat Plans Review
To buy or not to buy?

I am writing this after someone asked on my other blog if MyBoatPlans.com is scam or not.

My blog isn't about boats at all (it's a personal blog, in Indonesian), but the article he commented on was about "safe online shopping tips", so it's relevant. He wanted to buy it, and he asked for my opinions before buying.

If you're also wondering whether the website is legit or not, you can count on me because I have been a Clickbank affiliate for years (MyBoatPlans.com is using Clickbank to handle payments) and after spending a little time, I managed to get a "backdoor access" to MyBoatPlans.

One thing I can tell you is, you will get the product "Martin Reid" is selling. It's real, you can download the materials instantly.

But the question is, is it worth buying?

As a Clickbank affiliate, I know that there's a lot of people who post positive reviews on any product they are promoting just to earn some commissions (75% per sale for this particular website). This includes MyBoatPlans.

There are many quality products sold using Clickbank, but you will need to spend more time to investigate a website before buying because irresponsible affiliates usually post reviews to rake in as much money as possible.

MyBoatPlans Review - The Facts

To save your time (and money), now let's start with some facts about the site:

1. The Pictures

The person creating the website just took pictures from the Internet and put them on his website.

First, here's the fake testimonial from "Dave Webber":

Fake testimonial, took someone else's profile picture

He is not Dave Webber. The guy in the picture is actually Michael Feaster, an IT Professional. You can check his Linkedin profile. I can ensure you that the other testimonial pictures are stolen too.

Then, here's another stolen picture:



That picture is not "Martin Reid". The actual person owning the picture already knew someone stole it, and he said that the boat in the picture was built in 2005, not 1985. The owner of MyBoatPlans took the pic from Guillemot-Kayaks.com

Here's his response:

http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-bin/Building/index.cgi/md/read/id/211578/sbj/other-myboatplans-com/


2. The Boat Plans

I guess the first point should already ensure you that MyBoatPlans is not worth buying. But I'm going to show you the most important point here: the materials.

Well, in this MyBoatPlans review you will not waste your time because I am telling you that the creator of the site just put together materials you can find online.

The "step-by-step instruction" PDF guide is taken from a 1950's material by Popular Mechanics Magazine. You can get it for free here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/35800326/23-Boats-You-Can-Build-1950

The boat plans are taken from here:

http://www.svensons.com/boat/

While the videos are just those you can watch on YouTube for free. Here's the proof:

You can find these on YouTube

If you want to watch one of the videos, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wsCPXPb2Gh4

3. The Forum

The "active" Q&A forum is just full of a compilation of questions and answers taken from Yahoo! Answers. An example of the Q&A:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070910134629AAc5Q36

In the member's area, the owner also promotes another product so he can rake in more money.

Conclusion

Don't buy MyBoatPlans.

Just get quality boat building books on Amazon:





Monday, September 30, 2013

Halloween Beheading, Photo with A Celebrity, To Violent Organizations


Have you seen this horrifying picture before?

Keep reading before you go to bed...

According to a circulating story on the Internet, the above photograph is one of the Buckleys during Halloween, when the two children beheaded their own mother before finally ran away, yet they still had the time to take a picture with the mother's body.

Wait...don't get scared yet...!

What if I told you the real story?

After I went to Snopes.com, I found the fact that the above picture is a manipulated picture, done by a Halloween artist Edward Allen. He is actually selling the photograph, framed or not framed, on his site.

Want to get one?

The real picture is just a normal family picture, even though it still looks a bit scary and "haunted". That's why Edward was interested.

Real photograph
To those who don't know the real story, that picture may give them nightmares and maybe even inspire some to do the same thing as the fabricated story.

I was actually quite disturbed by the picture and the story before I knew the fact.

How about a picture with a famous celebrity?

That should be fun, especially if we can show it off to our friends using Facebook and Twitter.

Not long after Metallica's concert in Jakarta (FYI, I was there....), someone shared the following picture:

Two best friends...

A picture with Metallica's James Hetfield at home?

The truth?

The man in the picture, Agan Harahap, is a professional photographer and he is really good at using photoshop. Using his manipulated pictures with celebrities, he tries to give a "hyperbolic response" on today's social phenomenon when people like to show their pictures with celebs off on social media.

However, some actually got fooled by the picture and some were envious.

On his blog, he posted a quite funny fabricated story entitled “Metallica - Kebon Kosong, Kemayoran 2013". You can check his other pictures there :-D

Now what about violent organizations?

Illustration - Demonstration (Source: Liputan6.com)

This time I'm not talking about photo manipulation :-D

I remember one day, a famous preacher Abdullah Gymnastiar (a.k.a Aa Gym, "Aa" means "elder brother" in Sundanese) was asked in a television program about his opinion on violent religious organizations in Indonesia, and he did not want to answer the question.

The reason?

He said that he only wanted to comment on things he really knew himself, not just from some rumors or news from the media. He then told the television program's host about what he experienced first-hand related to religious organizations.

He said in Indonesian,

“It is not good to react to something just after hearing what people say about it. It is childish and unwise, it tends to be unfair.”

Besides, in the Holy Qur'an it is already said that:

"O you who believe, if a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done." (Q.S. 49:6)

Halloween beheading, photo with a celebrity, to violent organizations...

Whatever the information is, tabayyun (ascertaining the truth) should be done, especially if the information can impact us negatively (nightmares, quarrel, etc).

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Secret" to Download 4 Free Audiobooks from Audible.com

Download Four Free Audiobooks!


Note: applies to new customers only

I typed "secret" because for some people this is not actually a secret as it is not hidden and does not need special tricks at all.

However, many people still haven't realized this. I just realized myself that I could download any 4 free audiobooks from Audible (instead of just 2), a few days back.

Here's the simple "secret":

Using the same account, take advantage of the free 30-day trial offers from 3 Audible sites:

1. Audible.com - Take advantage of the free 30-day trial to download 2 audibooks of your choice
2. Audible.co.uk - Take advantage of the free 30-day trial to download 1 audiobook of your choice
3. Audible.de -  Take advantage of the free 30-day trial to download 1 audiobook of your choice. Don't worry, there are English audiobooks there in the Englische Hörbücher category.

That's it.

If you speak German, of course there will be no problem on using the Audible.de. But if you don't, it can be a little tricky since you have to use Google Translate to understand the menu.

For non-German speaking folks, here's how to download a free audiobook from Audible.de during your free trial:

1. When you already found the audiobook you want, click "Warenkorb" (add to cart), and then click "Warenkorb Ansehen" (view cart).

Add to cart

2. Click "Weiter" (next).

Click "Weiter"

3. Click "Jetzt Kaufen" (buy now), and you're done. The audiobook is now in your library.

Click "Jetzt kaufen" (buy now)

After you download your chosen audiobook, just stay if you want to keep subscribing. If you don't, just immediately cancel your trial and you won't be billed in the future. It's very easy to cancel your trial, but if you're wondering how to do it, here's the instruction:

Cancelling your membership for Audible.com and Audible.co.uk
Cancelling your membership for Audible.de:

- Click "Mein Konto" (My Account)
Click "Mein Konto" (My Account)


- Click "Abo Kündigen" (Cancel Subscribtion)

Click "Abo Kündigen" (Cancel Subscription)

- Pick any reason to cancel, then click "Weiter" (Next)

Next
- Click "Mit kündigung fortfahren" (Proceed with Cancellation)

Click "Mit kündigung fortfahren" to keep cancelling


You can always join the membership in the future, and your free audiobooks will always be in your library after you cancel your membership / trial.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Miracle of Giving – The Return No Amount of Money Can Buy

illustration: gift box - return on giving

In my previous post, “I need money now”, I shared my experience of giving money away while needing extra money.

When we give money away sincerely, I believe that the Divine will always give a return. I have tried to “prove” this a lot of times. It always works.

Recently, when I was giving some spare cash to an organization I supported, I wondered what God would give me as a return. The return or reward of giving can be anything, not just money.

I believe that expecting a return from the Divine / God is perfectly fine. What’s not fine is expecting a return from the person / organization we give money to. But still, we should not be attached to what return we will get and when we will get it.

We may get it tomorrow, or we may get it 10 years later. It’s a mystery; the Divine knows when the perfect time is.

So after giving, I prayed to God and told my intention, just like what I did when I needed extra money to attend an event which I shared in my previous post.

Turned out that the return was something very valuable, even no amount of money could buy it. It was what I really wanted.

So this is what happened…

Soon after I gave money to a charity, I found a YouTube video by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

I already knew him, and I already listened to some of his audio recordings and watched his other videos.

But it was years ago. I then stopped and deleted his videos because I was not really his fan.

About a month ago, I stumbled upon his video someone uploaded on YouTube he did for Nightingale Conant called “How to Be a No Limit Person”.

I really, really, really, really liked his message.

After that, I looked for his other videos, and downloaded some audios like “Manifest Your Destiny” I found on torrent sites…lol

After watching the first video, “How to Be a No Limit Person”, I realized that the return of my giving money was this:

Self-contentment.

Yes, no amount of money can buy that, and that is just what I want.

It’s pretty weird because just a few days before I found the video, I already downloaded “Excuses Be Gone” by Wayne Dyer and I didn't like it so I deleted it from my computer.

Suddenly a few days later I became his fan.

I didn't really grasp his messages back then – not until I gave the money to a charity recently. At least that’s what I felt.

Nothing is a coincidence in this world. That’s what Wayne tells us 

All this time, I have been listening to Joe Vitale, Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, and others. They are good speakers, however, in my opinion, their messages are more about goals, ambitions, etc.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still a fan of those inspiring speakers and authors.

Goals and ambitions are good, but sometimes they make us forget about self-contentment if what we want is just to satisfy the ego. We need balance.

Actually I started to realize about the importance of “letting go” and gratitude, about the importance of “this moment”, after listening to Joe Vitale’s audiobooks, but recently I realized that Wayne Dyer delivers this better, in my opinion.

I was really grateful for the discovery.

As far as I'm concerned, self-contentment is taught in any religious belief – Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, etc.

I have been told that accumulating material things are not the ultimate goal in life – at school, when reading the Quran, etc, but because I already learned that “money is not evil” and “material things are not evil”, I didn’t really grasp the message.

Many people stay poor materially because they think money is evil, but self-contentment is not about that. Self contentment is about being grateful and realizing what's more important, the true goal in life.

Money and material things are neither good nor bad. They are neutral; it depends on how we use them and how we give meaning to them.

If we are good persons, material things may make us be better persons. If we are jerks, material things may make us rich jerks instead.

But we often have a goal of making such amount of money, then after we’ achieve it we want more, and then more, and more, and more, and more. It’s endless. That’s life.

We also often care too much on the opinion of others. We often define ourselves from the job we do, where we work at, the car we drive, the house we live in, the clothes we wear, the amount of money we have, and other material things.

Truth is, those things are not real. Those are temporary things.

I learned that Wayne sold his unneeded belongings and moved to Maui. I believe that it’s not that he thought “money is the root of all evil”, but because accumulating material things is not his purpose in life.

Wayne Dyer’s message is not about religion. Even though he never stated, as far as I'm concerned, that he has a certain religious belief, he mentions various spiritual leaders in his speeches, including Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha, and also poets like Jalal Al-Din Rumi. His movie, The Shift, tells about shifting from ambition to meaning.

I truly believe that self-contentment is not about how we get from others or how we beat everybody, but it’s about how we serve - with the intention to earn the Divine’s pleasure.

The love of money is not the root of all evil. The love of this temporary world is.

“The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things)“ (Qur’an 102:1)


Photo: Sparkieblues

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“I Need Money Now!” – How to Solve This

Need Money Now?


Ok, I understand. You want money today, and you want to know how.

But first let me ask you something….

When you are saying that you need money now, you still have some money now, right?

When you say that you are broke, I know that what you mean is that you’re not really penniless. You should have some money left. This is especially true if you can read this very article right now.

Now, I have something to share with you if you want to know how to get some money.

Recently, I really had few money left in my bank account. My bank account was almost drained. I make money online, and sales were not that great at that time. I already spent the rest of my money for other things.

Then, one day I saw on the Internet that there was going to be a huge event – international event that I really wanted to attend so, so, very badly. I had been dreaming of going to such an event for years.

Previously I could only see some videos on YouTube.

Problem was, I only had some money to pay for the ticket and book round-trip flights. I still needed some more money for taxis and bus.

I was so confused.

I still had a few weeks before the event was held, so I had some time to figure out how I could get some extra money that I needed.

Then, one principle I learned from Joe Vitale struck my mind:

“Give money away”

Yes, I should give my money away, even though I only had less than $10 left in my PayPal account. I remember Joe said that even though you give your money away sincerely and empty your wallet now, money is going to come to you anyway.

I also remember a verse in the Holy Qur’an:

“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. And Allah is All- Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” – Q.S. Al-Baqarah, 2:261

I realized that I could give some money via my PayPal account, because my bank account was almost drained, remember? lol.

I then decided to give $5 to an organization I supported (Islamic Aid), and prayed to God (or The Universe, or The Divine, etc). Yes, only $5.

I prayed to and asked God to give me money for the transportation so I could go to the event.

Well, you know what?

God finally gave me more than I needed one week before the event started. I made some sales for a couple products that I sold as an affiliate online. I attracted the money I wanted!

Keep in mind that I didn't just sit and do nothing.

I still promoted the products I was selling online.

I was so grateful for that, and I believed that if I gave money away again, I would still get more money – so I gave away another $3.

Then, when I checked one of my affiliate accounts that I abandoned for some time, surprisingly I also found $30 in sales! That’s obviously not much, but it was still miraculous for me! I almost forgot about that account, and when I needed money, bam! Suddenly there’s money there.

Finally, I was able to go to the event.

I was so happy that day! Even until now, I’m still very happy every time I remember that event (and the process how I attracted money for it).

So if you need money now, just give your money to someone or an organization that inspire you. It is very important that you don’t just give money to some random people, because the feeling will be different.

If you give money to someone / an organization that has given you inspiration or has helped you, you will be more sincere when giving, and God / The Divine / The Universe knows what you are feeling.

After you do that, believe that the Divine will take care of the money you need. Also, you need to take an inspired action – write a blog post, sell your used stuff, call someone, anything!

I also remembered Joe saying that we should have Divine intentions in using the Law of Attraction. We should get our ego out of our intentions. Even though I have a different religious belief from him, I know he’s right.

He gave an example that he wanted to attract money for his Operation YES (to end homelessness), that’s Divine intention. So I decided that I wanted to go to the event I had been dreaming of to go to and then share what I learned so I could help people through my blogs (I have other blogs than this) after I got back from there, so God could reward me, not only in this world, but also in the hereafter.

"Verily actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended."- Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)

“I need money now!” – Give money away then.



Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Law of Attraction Quotes

Photo by Rhino Neal on Flickr


My favorite guru in the movie The Secret is Joe Vitale. He has an awesome blog, and he has written numerous books, including on marketing.

If you’ve been looking for some law of attraction quotes, then here are some of my favorites from Joe Vitale’s books and programs (with my own emphasis), including from The Attractor Factor, The Awakening Course, and The Missing Secret.

Law of attraction quotes on attracting wealth:


“Leave your excuses behind, and you will begin to attract wealth”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

“The universe is prosperous and can give you money in a wide variety of way”

- The Attractor Factor

“Your wealth maybe hiding right behind the very thing you are reluctant to do.”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

Attracting money or wealth requires us that we take an inspired action. Sometimes people don’t want to take action and they let excuses stop them from attracting money because it’s hiding under something that they are afraid of.

It’s like when Joe was afraid of publishing his Spiritual Marketing book, but then when he finally did, he was able to attract much more money, and then he made even more money when later the book became The Attractor Factor. The universe is indeed prosperous, and we can get money in a wide variety of way, including from winning a contest and a small refund like what I wrote yesterday.

Law of attraction quotes manifesting miracles:


“Once you feel grateful, you are in an energy that can create miracles.”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

“Miracles come from small packages each and every day.”

- Joe Vitale, Expect Miracles

“If you expect miracles in your life, then release any attachment to the outcome.”

- Joe Vitale, Expect Miracles

This is also related to the previous quote that what we want can come from various sources. Once we are grateful and expect miracles, being detached to the result can help us manifest miracles. This is because possibilities will come up, so we avoid expecting the result we want from just one source alone. Like when you are in the real estate business, you should expect miracles, be detached to the result, and shouldn’t insist that the money has to come from that source alone. The possibilities are endless, so we should expect miracles as they come in small packages each and every day.

Law of attraction quotes on personal growth:


“By dismissing what could work, we dismiss our own growth. We dismiss what’s possible.”

– Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

“If you aren’t happy with yourself, find a way to be victorious over yourself.”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

“Refocusing on what you do want will take you in the direction of what you want.”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

(Many people only focus on what they don’t want. They often want a spouse that doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, doesn’t cheat, etc, which will actually not help them get what they want. We should focus on what we want instead.)

“What created your outer is your inner”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

“Uncomfortable doesn’t mean bad, uncomfortable simply means you’re doing something you haven’t done before.”

- Joe Vitale, The Awakening Course

Law of attraction quotes on gratitude:


“The best way of become forgiving is to feel gratitude.”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

“One of the most powerful energies you can ever experience is gratitude.”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

“The key is to be here now with awareness and gratitude”

- Joe Vitale, The Key

Often times we focus too much on how to get what we want – more money, the next car, the next house, etc, - and forget to be in this moment. In fact, one of the keys to getting what we want is to be here now with awareness and gratitude, as what Joe says.

There's one relevant more quote I would like to add here, that is not from Joe, but from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):


“Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that abundance will continue.” - Prophet Muhammad

Law of attraction quotes on abundance:


“The universe is bigger than our egos and can supply more than our demand.”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

Having a scarcity mindset will not make the law of attraction work for us. We should never think that there will never be enough money to go around, or that the money you have in your hands right now is just it. The truth is, the universe is abundant, and more money is coming towards you right now.

Law of attraction quotes on letting go:


“You must let go of your attachment to success to attract success”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor


“You can have whatever you want, as long as you don’t need it.”

- Joe Vitale, The Awakening Course

Letting go means being detached and trusting the Divine / God / the Universe after we do our best to attract what we want. We may think that we have tried our best, yet we still haven’t achieved our goals. However, as what you can read in the previous quote about attracting wealth, the Divine can give what we want in a wide variety of way. It’s important to just let go, and not to be obsessed. After we let go, then we should take an inspired action, instead of just sitting down, as soon as possible because “money loves speed”.

Other quotes: 


"Your hate is an intense energy which will attract more of the same energy."

- Joe Vitale, Life's Missing Instruction Manual

In the book Life's Missing Instruction Manual, Joe also says that bad language will tend to attract negativity. According to him, swearing will send out negative vibrations, so language has a very important role in attracting what we want. If we want to make more money, Robert Kiyosaki also says the similar thing, which is that if we want to get rich, we can start by chancing our words.

“No matter what situation you are in, some part of you helped create it.”

- Joe Vitale, The Attractor Factor

“Usually people who are coming from a victimhood mentality are blaming everybody else.”

- Joe Vitale, The Awakening Course

(According to Joe Vitale, victimhood or victim mentality is the first of the four stages of awakening. Victimhood won’t help make the law of attraction work for us.) 

 
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