Clarity Safety Consulting

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The secret message of the Super Bowl Ads

The Super Bowl was on last week. This has become the other unofficial holiday in the US and to some extent Canada. People attend parties and celebrations. I saw one article that was pushing for the Monday after the Super Bowl to be a holiday so that people can recover. What has made football so popular, well the truth is, many of viewers couldn’t care less about the game or who wins. They tune in for two things the half-time show and the legendary commercials.

Advertisers shelled out on average 3.5 Million for a 30 second spot. If you multiply that out it is $420 million per hour.

Now we don’t get a lot of these ads on Canadian TV. But advertising sends a message. One person summed up the message of the ads.

If you paid attention to these, or any commercials, you might have noticed that they rarely advertise the benefits of the product they are hawking. Instead, advertisers tie their products to what we really want: friends, fun, beauty and ultimately, happiness.
It makes perfect sense. Can you imagine if Budweiser had to stick to simply advertising the “benefits” of its product, rather than show a bunch of beautiful people doing beautiful things? Picture it: a regular American comes home from work, gets a beer out of the fridge and sits down on the couch (the beer for making “Jersey Shore” slightly more watchable). The end.
That doesn’t exactly make me want to rush out to buy a 12-pack of Bud, but that’s just me.
Next, take the example of Coca-Cola. Sure, Coke tastes good, but when is the last time having one brought you closer to family and/or friends? Or made you feel like a fuzzy polar bear?
The point we should be taking from these commercials isn’t about the product they are trying to sell, but about the qualities they use to do it. Joking, laughing, playing, getting together with friends and family –– these are the things that make us happy –– and you don’t need to buy any particular product to have any of them.
But take it a step further, because these commercials are really telling us something more than just to buy their product –– they are telling us to make enough money to buy their product.
So the message we get in this country, from the time we are very little kids to the time we are all grown up, is that more money equals more stuff. And if I learned anything from watching commercials this Sunday, it’s that more stuff means more happiness. So, more money must mean more happiness.

Mass media marketing has influenced us. To be dissatisfied with our lives. To question our looks, our friends, our truck, how much fun we have. We question - Are we truly happy?

Gratitude is the opposite of this. It is to be happy and satisfied with what we have, to be committed to our important relationships and instead of wishing that we were connected with better people. It challenges us to make our relationships with people better.

Gratitude is recognizing God’s blessing in our lives. It is submitting to his blessings instead of our own sense of entitlement. Gratitude is freeing.

In Psalm 23 how does it start? The Lord is my shepherd…. In other words when you are close to God the stuff that we want becomes unimportant.

The 10 commandments are concluded with what final one.
“Do not covet” - If you follow 10 you won’t break the previous 5 for sure and probably all 9.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Students Making A Difference!

Segue is a faith based student group on the University of Manitoba. My wife Tammy is the leader of this group. They seek to engage students with issues of social justice. This year they got involved with fighting modern day slavery. Segue hosted an event in October with MP Joy Smith and International Justice Mission and launched the freedom 10 by 6 initiative. This past week they have been running cages on campus, an event to bring awareness to the problem on human trafficking. The last day of this event will take place on Friday February 3 in University Centre. They have a benefit concert scheduled for February 17th at Calvary Temple in Winnipeg and a Fashion Show on Friday March 16th. This is great stuff but what I am most impressed with are the students who are working with my wife. They are stepping and taking great leadership in the planning and execution of these events. They are stepping up their game making a huge difference in this world. Students who are supposed to be pre-occupied with securing their futures are taking time out of their crazy lives to help set people free. Great job Segue students! If you want more info on the Freedom 10 by 6 project go to,

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Can You Spot the Mistake?

It has been a great winter as far as warm temperatures this year in Winnipeg. Record breaking temps. I am not complaining but a warm winter in Winnipeg brings a few challenges. My snowmobile has been sitting an awful lot this year. Sometimes on a sunny day in the late afternoon you cannot see anything around you. The spray from the roads coats your windows and you can't see anything beside you. Get a car wash and 15 minutes later same problem.

I came across this article - How To Know When You Are Wrong
Click on the link to read it.
A key point that the writer makes is we often our blind to our own mistakes. The more invested we are in something the less likely we are truly able to see what others see. Our mistakes!
If you are in an argument and you are looking for a resolution these are four things that you should keep in mind.
1. Find the common denominator – If you are having the same argument with many people the problem is you.
2. Look at the situations potential outcomes.
3. Don’t Try to Change Someone Else’s Behaviour – Ask anyone who is married if this works.
4. Consult the Facts – I know sometimes the facts get in the way of good argument.
One of the hardest things we all have to do is to confront the fact that we have been and will be wrong.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Trying something new!

In December of 2011 I drove into downtown Winnipeg and registered Clarity Safety Consulting as my new business. It is a little different than church ministry but it also has some similarities. I get to work with people! It involves helping people find the best solution for a problem and it is different every day. I am looking forward to this next chapter. That being said I am not turning my back on the church. In fact I am pursuing opportunities to work with churches and ministries who need part-time work and help taking their ministries to the next level. I also have the privilege of helping out my wife with Segue. A student group that is doing amazing things of the University of Manitoba Campus.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I have created a social media mess for myself. I have a blog, a linkedin profile, a facebook account, a twitter feed, a yahoo email account, a hotmail account, a gmail account and I could probably find a few more. So here I am looking at some new business and ministry ventures and trying to figure out how to use my social media connections. The answer is not to create more because if you read this blog or follow me on twitter you know how often I update what I currently have. Nada.
Any smart people out there with some ideas?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I came across this article; thought it was a good read.

The days before Christmas can be a tiring season of preparation, planning, shopping, and wrapping. But I think as we prepare for the Christmas celebrations, dinners, travel, and gift giving, it's equally important that we pause and prepare our souls for Christmas.
During this time of year, it may be easy to forget that the bigger purpose behind Bethlehem was Calvary. But the purpose of the manger was realized in the horrors of the cross. The purpose of his birth was his death.
Or to put it more personally: Christmas is necessary because I am a sinner. The incarnation reminds us of our desperate condition before a holy God.
Several years ago WORLD Magazine published a column by William H. Smith with the provocative title, "Christmas is disturbing: Any real understanding of the Christmas messages will disturb anyone" (Dec. 26, 1992).
In part, Smith wrote:
Many people who otherwise ignore God and the church have some religious feeling, or feel they ought to, at this time of the year. So they make their way to a church service or Christmas program. And when they go, they come away feeling vaguely warmed or at least better for having gone, but not disturbed.
Why aren't people disturbed by Christmas? One reason is our tendency to sanitize the birth narratives. We romanticize the story of Mary and Joseph rather than deal with the painful dilemma they faced when the Lord chose Mary to be the virgin who would conceive her child by the power of the Holy Spirit. We beautify the birth scene, not coming to terms with the stench of the stable, the poverty of the parents, the hostility of Herod. Don't miss my point. There is something truly comforting and warming about the Christmas story, but it comes from understanding the reality, not from denying it.
Most of us also have not come to terms with the baby in the manger. We sing, "Glory to the newborn King." But do we truly recognize that the baby lying in the manger is appointed by God to be the King, to be either the Savior or Judge of all people? He is a most threatening person.
Malachi foresaw his coming and said, "But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap." As long as we can keep him in the manger, and feel the sentimental feelings we have for babies, Jesus doesn't disturb us. But once we understand that his coming means for every one of us either salvation or condemnation, he disturbs us deeply.
What should be just as disturbing is the awful work Christ had to do to accomplish the salvation of his people. Yet his very name, Jesus, testifies to us of that work.
That baby was born so that "he who had no sin" would become "sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." The baby's destiny from the moment of his conception was hell—hell in the place of sinners. When I look into the manger, I come away shaken as I realize again that he was born to pay the unbearable penalty for my sins.
That's the message of Christmas: God reconciled the world to himself through Christ, man's sin has alienated him from God, and man's reconciliation with God is possible only through faith in Christ…Christmas is disturbing.
Don't get me wrong--Christmas should be a wonderful celebration. Properly understood, the message of Christmas confronts before it comforts, it disturbs before it delights.
The purpose of Christ's birth was to live a sinless life, suffer as our substitute on the cross, satisfy the wrath of God, defeat death, and secure our forgiveness and salvation.
Christmas is about God the Father (the offended party) taking the initiative to send his only begotten son to offer his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, so that we might be forgiven for our many sins.
As Smith so fitly concludes his column:
Only those who have been profoundly disturbed to the point of deep repentance are able to receive the tidings of comfort, peace, and joy that Christmas proclaims.
Amen and Merry Christmas!
C.J. Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries in its mission to establish and support local churches. After 27 years of pastoring Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, C.J. handed the senior pastor role to Joshua Harris on September 18, 2004, allowing C.J. to devote his full attention to Sovereign Grace. He serves on the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and on the board of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I came across this article today and thought it was very interesting. This Christmas Involve Your Children in Giving.
I was thinking about what things that matter to our family.
We have a sponsored child named Sony wouldn't it be cool if each kid gave him money for Christmas.
Or I was part of the creation of Life Campaign which drills wells for clean drinking water around the world.
Our church is sponsoring a drive for Habitat for Humanity.
Our youth ministry is going to Jamaica to help with construction and ministry at a deaf school. We are raising money for that.
These are just a few opportunities to give in our community/world. This Christmas we will include our kids in using some of our Christmas money to help someone in need. How about you, what do you plan to do?