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  • By Cara Buckley
  • 14 Jun, 2015
I don’t know what it is about the generation before me that makes them so trusting, or why they refuse to adapt to the brutal realities of the current world. I must say I find their naivety extremely frustrating. Times have changed. Period.
Gas no longer costs one dollar. Paid internships and apprenticeships no longer exist. One cannot simply walk into a local business and walk back out with a job. Everything is done online, and computers/smart-phones are essential to our functionality. (I promise we’re not just forwarding funny emails and playing games.) Most importantly, we can no longer trust people to be who they say they are, especially on the phone.
I cannot count how many times I’ve watched my mother-in-law take calls from supposed “collectors” and believe every word they say. No matter how many times my husband and I tell her these people are not real and to hang up, she insists on continuing to argue with them. We continually tell her what red flags to look for. We beg her not to answer calls from toll free numbers. I've even had to stop her from reading her credit card number to them. One time, I have even unplugged her phone to stop a call. Today, I had to stop her from giving her SSN to a "collector".
She doesn’t understand we are trying to protect her from destroying herself. She doesn’t understand that there are people out there she cannot trust. She may never understand, no matter how hard we try to reason with her.
In spite of this particular hopeless case, I hope to use this experience to educate as many people as possible. So I have compiled a list of red flags to consider should a questionable call come your way.
1. You’ve received no bill in the mail. This is the number one sign that you are dealing with a scammer. Legitimate creditors always send bills in the mail. Hardly ever do they simply call with a balance. If you receive a collection call without at least having received a bill, DO NOT give them any information. DO NOT give them your credit card. Simply ask them to send a bill in the mail and hang up. Then, check your credit score. If the bill they claim is not listed, then you know you were dealing with a scammer.
2. They ask for sensitive information. In my experience, legitimate creditors only ask for three things: phone number, address, and credit card number. Under no circumstances is it appropriate to give them anything further, especially your social security number. In fact, you should never give your social security number to anyone unless absolutely necessary. As a child I was raised never to write on any forms, use online, or even carry my card on my person. Instead, I committed to memory. It has remained in my memory ever since. Your social security number is extremely sensitive. It is more important than your name and birth date put together. I cannot stress this enough. Never ever give it to a caller. If they ask for it, say NO. If they insist, hang up.
3. They deny knowledge of any fact to the contrary. It is always good to ask questions and demand details. If they lack crucial information, chances are they are not legitimate. Twice, scammers have called the store where I work attempting to collect on an unpaid electricity bill and threaten to turn off the lights. Fortunately, I know my business better than to fall for such nonsense. They didn’t even know my boss’ name. When I challenge them, they always respond with “All I know is…” Tsk. Tsk. A real call center should fire someone so ignorant. These people rely on the possibility that you don’t know the details of your credit and your business. They count on you to panic. You must know yourself, know your credit, know every in and out of your business. The more you know, the less likely you will fall for a scam.
4. They’re pushy and rude. More than that, they feed off of conflict. The longer you are willing to stay on the phone and argue, the more they fight you for your money/information. And the more likely they are to get something useful out of you. Do yourself a favor, and HANG UP. There is no shame in hanging up on abusive conversations. Be strong.

Leviticus 19:11: “Do not deceive or cheat one another.” (NLT)

There are few things in this world that boil my blood as much as a scammer. People who would rather spend their time lying and cheating hard working people than to make an honest living for themselves. It takes a special kind of sociopath to justify doing this everyday and sleep at night.
Please, please, please, head my warning and protect yourselves from this rampant problem.
TOP FILMS Jan 12-15, 2018
1. Jumanji 
• Hostiles 
• Kickboxer: Retaliation

Christ in Culture

By John Robert 23 Jan, 2018

The Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second time, will air live on ABC on March 4.

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”


“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Animated Feature:

“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Animated Short:

“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh


“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Best Documentary Feature:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film:

“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Best Foreign Language Film:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary)
“The Square” (Sweden)

Film Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Sound Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Sound Mixing:

“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Production Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Original Score:

“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Original Song:

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair:

“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Costume Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Visual Effects:

“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,”  Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlon
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

By Cynthia Jones 22 Jan, 2018
Jumanji continues to hold strong as new releases Den of Thieves and 12 Strong battle for second place.
By Cara Buckley 22 Jan, 2018

Luke 12:15 - "Then he said, 'Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.'” (NLT)

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