FDREL 211 – WEEK 7

I really enjoyed the different chapters that we read in this week’s assignments. I feel like some of the best stories of all time are included in just a few chapters at the end of the Gospels. These are the stories of Christ’s resurrection, and his final commission to his Apostles to go and teach His word. Both of these two things together have changed the history, and future, of mankind.

It is hard to ignore the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 3 days after the death of Jesus Christ, His spirit returned to His body and they were reunited in perfection. I know this is one of the greatest truths of all time. It is because of Christ’s divine power over death that He was able to accomplish this. It is also because of this act that we can all have a hope for the future. I know that one day I will be resurrected and that I will have the opportunity to be with my family forever. This is the greatest hope of mankind, to live an eternal life, in the presence of God with our friends and family forever. It is through Christ that all of these things are made possible. In St. Matthew 28:18 the risen Lord declares, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” This simple phrase is His affirmation to us that He has been given the power necessary to bind what is of Heaven and what is of Earth together forever. This is the greatest message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The next piece is also of great importance for the children of God. In St. Matthew 28:19 the Savior says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” This is the final commandment that the Lord gave to his Apostles, and He extends this command to all who believe on His name. It is not enough to be content with our own salvation, but it is important that we share the message of salvation with all the world. Jesus Christ not only died for my sins, but for all others as well. His love stretches over all the earth, and He wants us all to share the message of His resurrection with our brothers and sisters so that they too can share in the joy of the Gospel.

I know that Jesus Christ was resurrected. I know that He loves me, and for anyone reading this message, I know that He loves you also. It has been a privilege to learn more about Him and spend my lifetime getting to know Him. I promise that if you search the scriptures and pray with faith that you can know these things too. Do not discount the words of Christ, keep them and you will know. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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FDREL 211 – WEEK 6

This week there were some very personal insights that we received into the life of the Savior. We read the stories of the Ten Virgins, the Betrayal of Jesus by Judas, His suffering on the cross and in the Garden of Gethsemane and we read that when we are in the service of others we are in the service of God. Now, during the course that I’m taking we are supposed to pick different “Study Skills” techniques to help us get more out of reading the scriptures. I decided to use a visualization technique. What this means is that whenever I read a passage of scripture I tried to visualize in my mind how things played out. In my case I even visualized what it would have been like if the specific scenario was happening to me. There were a lot of lessons that I learned from this. I want to share two of them in particular.

The first story that really hit me was the story of the betrayal of Jesus. The scriptures in St. Matthew read, “And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.”

I tried to imagine what it must have been like for Jesus at this point. He had just suffered the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane, and after taking upon himself the pains of the world He is immediately betrayed by one of His friends. Here I not only imagined what it must have been like for Jesus to see Judas, and receive his kiss as a greeting, but I also imagined what it would be like to be betrayed by a close friend. I imagined a friend of mine walking up to me and giving me a big hug with a grin on his face, maybe even saying something mocking like, “It’s so good to see you man. How’ve you been?” and then seeing the multitude coming for me. Seeing my friend step aside and give me up hurt and it wasn’t even real. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for the Savior, who loved so perfectly, to be betrayed like that.

The other story I wanted to share is along the same lines. Previously the Lord had told Peter that he would deny knowing him 3 times before the cock crowed, to which Peter replied that he would never deny knowing Him. It is shortly after this time that Peter, Christ’s chief apostle, denies knowing Him 3 times. This occurs as Peter follows Jesus and His captors into town after Jesus is betrayed by Judas. People who are there recognize Peter and accuse him of being with Jesus. Peter, we might assume to protect himself, denies that he knew Jesus.

This is a story that many people have heard before, but I visualized what this must have been like according to the record found in St. Luke, which says, “And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”

I imagine Peter being accused in a crowded area, somewhere dirty and unkept. I picture Peter’s focus on the man accusing him at this point frustrated that so many people are bothering him about knowing Jesus or not. Maybe he is scared, or maybe just angry. Either way he wants them to stop questioning so he says it a little louder. Loud enough, in fact, that just down the way Jesus can hear him. And as the rooster crows Peter remembers and looks towards the Lord. He sees him there, the man of miracles, his master, bloody and battered – abandoned by his friends. Jesus looks at him through sad eyes and Peter knows that he has heard him deny. How terrible this must have been for Peter, and how guilty he must have felt, this is the man he swore to protect having told him that he would die before deny. Yet there he stands, three denials in, facing his Lord. It is no wonder he cried so bitterly. It is no wonder that Jesus felt eventually, utterly alone.

I am grateful that the Savior was willing to go though these experiences for me. I’m grateful that He knows what it feels like to be alone, so that he can help me, and others, whenever we feel the same. Everything came together for a reason. Christ knew it all was coming, it didn’t make it much easier I’m sure, but He knew what He was doing, and I am grateful to him for it.

B 250 – Lesson 12

This week we discussed a couple of methods for increasing traffic to our websites. We talked about free ways of doing things such as using link backs to our sites to increase our overall SEO ratings. We also discussed ways of become more efficient with our Google AdWords campaigns.

When deciding what to do to increase my number of link backs I read some good advice from another classmate. They recommended joining a blogging community. This would get my website’s name out in a specific community more, hopefully in one that is interested in reading about product suggestions to help with diabetes. Not only would I get my company’s name around but anytime that we post about my site it would add another link back, which will increase my overall SEO rating, driving up traffic to my site.

Apart from considering the possibility of joining a blogging community I also decided to make some changes in my AdWords campaign. The biggest thing I decided to do is pause my ad that brings in the most traffic. That specific ad redirects people to my home page, but I have been unsuccessful in getting people to stick around the site, so I have decided to focus more on redirecting to my blog specifically. My blog has less of a bounce rate, and the exit rate is under 15%. That is about 1/4 what it is on from my other ad.

I think these changes will help me get the kind of traffic I’m looking for. Making these changes shouldn’t be too difficult, but they should help me increase my ROI. The biggest thing here is to make money instead of lose it.

B 250 – Lesson 11

This week we learned a lot about how to implement social media into our marketing strategy. There are so many forms of social media today, and all of them have the potential to help us promote our businesses. There are millions of potential customers who are sharing their opinions online for free. This is fantastic information for a business because it’s basically free market research. Then there are the opportunities to advertise to the millions of users that we just got information from.

Take Twitter for example. People who use Twitter use #(hashtags) to connect posts about the same topics. It’s possible as a business owner to go on Twitter and see what people are posting about a topic (or keyword) related to your business. This will bring up the multiple comments that people are making about something related to your business. This gives you the opportunity to see what’s trending and what people like or don’t like about the topic. This kind of feedback allows any owner the opportunity to make the adjustments needed to make their product or service more appealing. After making these adjustments it’s then possible to offer deals or tweet about the great things that your business is doing and use a #hashtag to connect the post to what others are saying and doing.

This is just one example of a how social media can be used in business. The opportunities are limitless. There’s really a lot to be done as far as this type of marketing goes, and just like we learned about in class anybody who wants to have a successful business in this day and age, should be using social media to their advantage!

FDREL 211 – WEEK 4

There are so many lessons to learn when studying the life of Christ. I really do enjoy studying the 4 Gospels for that reason. Everything in the scriptures points to the life of Christ and the most important pieces testify and witness of Him. I learned a lot from my personal study of Christ, and I learned from the insight of others.

First off, I wanted to share more about what I shared with my class about the teachings of Christ. The first and great commandment is to love the Lord God and the second great commandment is to love your neighbor. If you keep these two commandments it will bring you to keep all of the others as well. In St. Luke 10:25-27 Jesus teaches that are neighbors are everywhere. Basically everyone is your neighbor. This makes sense if you think about it. If we are all God’s children, then of course He wants all of us to treat each other well. If we love God then we will do our best to treat His other children (our brothers and sisters) the way He wants us to. Loving others as ourselves is more of a reminder here. You would never steal from yourself, right? Then if you love someone else the way you love yourself you wouldn’t steal from them either. You would be concerned with their goals and dreams and what is best for them. In the end we know that what is best is to follow God’s commandments, live a happy life and return to God’s presence. Basically we will work to help others to return home because we know that makes God the happiest. I love this principle.

Now, in the same chapter in Luke, Jesus teaches the parable of the Good Samaritan. There was a Jewish man who was robbed on the road, beaten and left for dead. Several people from his “community” came by and they passed by on the other side of the road, because they didn’t want to be bothered by him. Then a Samaritan came by and helped the man. Now back then the Samaritans were looked down on by the Jewish people, but this did not stop the Samaritan from dressing the man’s wounds and taking him to a safe inn to stay. The Samaritan even paid all of the expenses for the man.

One person in my class shared the connection they made between the good Samaritan and Jesus, and I wanted to share that here. It is interesting to note how the Samaritan was someone that was looked down on by the Jewish people, just as the Savior was looked down on, and rejected, by His own people. The Samaritan found the man and put him first. He lifted him up, carried his burden, healed him and even saved him from death. In the end the Samaritan paid the total price necessary for the man’s recovery. This is exactly the mission of Jesus Christ. He lifts us up when we have fallen, He carries our burdens, He heals us, He has saved us from death and He will pay any price for us.

I know that there are many more lessons to be shared, and there is so much to learn, but I wanted to at least share these few. Christianity is a religion based on love and faith. We should all believe in something better. We should love others and serve them. If we all did these simple things the world would be a beautiful place, the world would be Heaven on Earth.

B 250 – Lesson 10

I can’t believe that we’re 10 lessons in! We’ve covered a lot of material over the last several weeks. During this week in particular we focused on optimizing our landing pages and websites first off. Second we learned about SEO (search engine optimization). Learning about both of these things is important because it will help us be recognized faster (and more consistently) and it will improve the experience for people who do click on our links.

To make sure that search engines are able to find our site it is important to use the right kind of content. Tagging pictures with extra keywords can improve our chances of the search engine ranking us higher. Also making sure to use those keywords in our URLs can do the same thing because it shows the relevance of our site to the search engine. It’s also important to get backlinks to our site. These are links that show search engines that we we are doing is legitimate and relevant to people. Although I did find out that backlinks from Facebook won’t count as backlinks it is possible to get other people to post links to our sites on their sites, or in news forums, etc. Doing all of these things will increase our rank when others are searching for us, and will increase the chances of people finding us when they are doing a relevant search.

Once we get that traffic, from the relevant search, it is important to direct that traffic to a page that will grab the person’s attention. The longer that the person stays on the site the more likely they are to engage with it. The more likely they are to engage with it the more likely we are to be able to sell/recommend something to them and generate revenue. We are able to increase the likelihood of someone staying on our page if we use something that is relevant and stands out. I have considered adding a video or gallery to my landing page that might grab people’s attention and peak their curiosity. Doing things to stand out (but remain relevant) will get people to stay longer and hopefully increase the ROI.