Does Hebrews 6 really mean you can lose your salvation?

James Preston Reply 7:30 AM
Hebrews 6 is one of the most common passages of Scripture raised against the argument for "Eternal Security". What I find so interesting is that the people who raise it don't seem to know any other verses in Hebrews (besides maybe chapter 10:26 - which if you like I can help you with next week). The book is all about how powerful Christ's sacrifice was, and how much it means to humanity.

Over and over again His sacrifice is declared as a "sacrifice for sins for all time" done "once and for all" and "making people holy forever"! These are huge promises quite remarkably overlooked by those who believe we can lose our salvation.

Let it be said, I have no problem with those who believe our salvation is "losable". I love you all the same. I just believe in something different, and while presenting my perspective on the Scriptures, respect your view entirely.

This isn't a debate or an argument. It is perspective. One that I hope encourages you and brings faith to your heart. I believe the Gospel should encourage you, and make you feel secure.

So if you've ever read Hebrews 6 (or any other passage for that matter) and felt insecure, then allow this perspective to bring hope to your heart. The very reason Christ came, to bring hope to mankind!

Without further adew, here is my perspective on the seemingly challenging verses of Hebrews 6. Before we go there, though, let's start quite a bit earlier and get the entire passage in its context...

Hebrews 5:9 - 6:30
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (I love this!! This verse clearly says our salvation is ETERNAL!) 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Warning Against Falling Away 
 11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

As you can tell by the Book's Title, the book of Hebrews is written to a church of Jewish believers, with a rich Jewish heritage. These were Jews who had heard the Gospel, but had rejected it and returned to Jewish customs and sacrifices. Hence the constant reminder throughout the book that Christ is now the Final High Priest, who already made ONE sacrifice FOR ALL TIME ONCE AND FOR ALL

Here in 5:11, the author says that these Jews no longer tried to understand him or his message. They had become uninterested in the Gospel, and too proud to listen any further.

14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

6 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[c] and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.

4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[e] away, to be brought back to repentance.

This has been a key translation in the Bible which has created entire theologies around "falling away". This is a great tragedy, because its Greek words "fall away"(parapesontas - G3895) and "brought back" (anakainizein - G340) are only ever used ONCE in the ENTIRE Scripture! ONCE!!! AND! More than that! It is better interpreted as "error" (not "fall away") and "renew/renovate" (not brought back).

On top of all this, the Greek word for "impossible" (G102 - adunaton) is interpreted elsewhere in Scripture as "weak or impotent". It can also be translated as "unable".

With all this in mind, in the context of the entire book of Hebrews, this is the message this passage is conveying:

If the Jewish People, who were the first to receive salvation, the first to hear the Gospel, the first to even experience the Holy Spirit; after all that go back to animal sacrifice and the Jewish religious sacrificial system, it is impossible for them to be renewed, or renovated. In other words: It is impossible to be saved relying on the Sacrificial System instead of Christ's ultimate Sacrifice!

And by going back to the Jewish sacrificial system they are mocking the son of God. They are doing what the Jewish court did on the fateful day of Calvary, they are rejecting Christ as their Saviour, and actually subjecting Him to public disgrace by doing so.

To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

In Matthew 13 Jesus refers to hearts as ground. And the Kingdom of God like the seed. We know that our hearts are changed at the reception of the Gospel (Ezekiel 36:36), and so, verses 7 and 8 are referring to those who have received the Gospel and have changed to fruitful ground (verse 7) and those that have heard the Gospel but rejected it (verse 8) are in danger of being burned in the end. You can hear the author's message in the book:" "So receive Christ's ultimate sacrifice while you still can!"

9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (It is amazing how verses like these are so often overlooked in such "pro-falling away" arguments. Here the author says "in their case, they are convinced that such things don't apply to them anyway!" And that God will not forget their love for Him!)

11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Crossing over from Judaism to Christianity was a HUGE deal!! It was ludicrously unheard of (especially to Jews!) that there was now no need for sacrifices, and we were made Holy Once and for all. So the author is encouraging his readers to not give up on this amazing Gospel, and not go back to the Old Covenant-based Sacrificial system in order to be cleansed and gain salvation, because Christ has now done once and for all.


So you see, difficult passages like these can easily be interpreted when we take the entire message of the book (and the Bible!) in its context. We must remember that the message of the Bible is one of redemption and hope for mankind, and just how much God loves His children. Which is why Martin Luther suggested John 3:16 as the perfect summary of the entire Scripture!

Be encouraged today my friend. Your salvation is secure! God Loves you unconditionally, and He will never let you go!

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James Preston Interviewed on the Low-Carb Conversations Podcast!

James Preston Reply 7:19 AM
I love the internet! Don't you love the internet? I have met so many great people through Twitter and Blogging. Not much on Facebook, because Facebook is for friends and people you already know. But Twitter, Blogs, and other Networks are a fantastic opportunity to reach across cultural and national divides and connect with people we never would have been able to. I have met some amazing people and have fantastic relationships thanks to the internet.

This interview is one such opportunity. Ever since Blogging about my discovery and experience of "Low Carb High Fat", I have entered an entire, worldwide community of people who are on the same journey of exciting discovery that "Fat is not bad"! I even had a wonderful dialogue with a brilliant woman from Croatia who reached out to me through the Blog. I love it.

One of the Industry Leaders in the "low carb conversation" is Jimmy Moore. And I was introduced to him through Twitter. We got chatting, and I was privileged enough to get invited onto his weekly Podcast entitled just that: "Low Carb Conversations".

I have since met Dietitian Cassie who co-hosts the show, and runs it in Jimmy's absence while he writes his next book "Keto Clarity" (revealing the truth about Ketosis and debunking myths).

I was interviewed by Dietitian Cassie and Liz Wolfe on May 30th, along with another low-carb author Mary Jo Koplos, where we discussed things like...
- The amount of carbs in our Pet's food and what it is doing to them
- The amount of fat Polar Bears eat and its effect on their health
- The truth about the "organic food" industry
- The dangers of sugar addiction
- The health benefits of coconut oil

It was a great interview, and I really was privileged to be part of the show. Dietitian Cassie, Liz Wolfe and Mary Jo are each doing fantastic work, and it really is a delight for me to be part in some small way in what they are doing.

Do yourself a favour, and head on over to the page, where you can either listen to it online (very light on bandwidth) or you can download the audio file and put it on your iPod to listen to later.

Click the link below --->


Big thanks to Dietitan Cassie and Jimmy Moore for having me on the show. I had a blast and can't wait to do it again!

Until next time folks, be sure to follow these great people for more Low-Carb insights!


7 Things Becoming A Father Taught Me

James Preston Reply 7:19 AM
So unbelievably, this coming Sunday will be the third time I am on the receiving end of Father's Day. Time really does fly when you become a parent. Like nothing I've ever experienced before.

And so, in celebration of Dad's Day, and all Fathers everywhere; I want to share with you a few things that Fatherhood has taught me in the 3 years I've been a dad. Big thanks to Joburg Blogger Wendy van Eyck who suggested today's subject. Although she did suggest I blog about the "unexpected teachings of Fatherhood". But in reality, it's all unexpected! There is so little you can plan for before that little one comes along!

(You can follow Wendy on Twitter right here:  )

So, here are some of the key things I've learnt so far...

1. How much us humans are capable of loving
When I saw Joel for the first time, as the doctors carefully lifted him out of Corinne's womb up above her belly for her and I to get our first look; a gush of Love came rushing out of my heart that I had never felt before. Corinne and I are madly in love, and we felt the tingly feelings of puppy love in our early days of dating, but this kind of love that came gushing out of me was something I've never felt before.

A flood of emotion came over me, like a switch in my heart. That flood came naturally. I didn't have to force it on or think about it, it just came out of me the moment I saw Joel. I had always loved Joel, and couldn't wait for his arrival, but nothing prepares you for what you will feel when you see your fully formed child out the womb for the first time.

2. The Theory of Relativity and to cherish every moment
You know the theory of relativity, right? One minute with your hand on a hot stove feels like an hour, one minute in a park with the woman you love feels like 10 seconds. (In a nutshell).

This experience goes into overdrive when you become a parent. As the weeks, months, and now years have gone by, the experience doesn't change. It feels like we've had 5 years worth of experiences with Joel. But at the same time, it feels like only a few months ago we were in the hospital celebrating his arrival.

I can finally understand why parents are always telling you that "you'll blink and they'll be in high school". I have experienced that first hand, and am learning to cherish every moment I have with my family like solid gold.

3. How little faith I have for healing
I believe Jesus paid for the redemption of mankind and all things fallen. (Colossians 1:20). This came by revelation, and not by education. When that lightswitch goes on in your head, you can't change that. But life experience certainly has a way of challenging these ideals.

We have been incredibly blessed with a very healthy boy in general. He eats well, toilets well, sleeps (fairly) well, has avoided major injury, is developing well etc. And we are so very thankful for everything that Joel is.

But we've also had our fair share of hospital bills and medication. Joel's been under X-Ray 3 times and been checked into a hospital twice. And we count the days we don't have to give Joel medication.

This is clearly living below our rights as Christians. As I write this I am realising that this is a whole different Blog Post. But in summary: I still believe God wants to heal everyone, and He hates sickness and pain more than we do. But seeing His will fulfilled here and now on a regular basis requires something a whole lot deeper than just agreeing with good theology. It requires living it out. Being a father has helped me learn how to "live it out" so much more.

4. My selfishness
We're all selfish to some degree. This is natural and there's no problem with it. It's how we live.

WE are hungry, so WE get something to eat. WE are tired so WE go lay down. WE aren't feeling up for joining the running group, so WE stay behind. Etc. You get the point.

Parenthood challenges this selfishness to its very limit. Children (especially young ones) are 100% selfish. They have no concept or regard for other people's feelings or situation, and if they need something attended to, it has to be done NOW. So no matter how tired I am, drained I am, busy I am, focussed I am, I have no choice but to deal with what my son needs in that moment.

It pulls character out of you like you cannot believe!

5. How to deal with my frustration and practice self-control
The last point leads to this one. I am an emotional guy. In many ways more so than my wife Corinne. When I'm happy, I'm really happy. When I'm angry... you get the point. I've punched walls, kicked ottamans, and screamed in frustration at the constant crying, or another sign of serious illness, or whatever it may be.

This kind of pressure has caused me to deal with my frustration. I can't punch a wall everytime I realise something else is wrong with Joel. I have to channel my emotions, and control them. Something fatherhood has caused me to learn more than any life experience has.

6. How much time I used to have to myself
Again, tied up with Point No. 4.

You know the old adage? You don't know what you've got until it's gone? It is spot on true.

You don't realise how much time you have to yourself until you become a parent.
When you have the constant demands of a little human being who is dependant on you entirely, it sadly becomes all too clear.

7. My wife is commitment personified
In the midst of all these challenges I have faced as a father, my wife barely makes mention of them. She carries on like she was born to do it. She gets on with the job and does it without a single grumble.

I have fallen more in love with my amazing wife since becoming a dad. Not only do I appreciate her stunning beauty and extraordinary personality, I am also amazed at her character of solid gold. She is committed to seeing our son receive the best input possible on all levels, no matter how much it costs her. I am regularly learning from her attitude.

The Highs far make up for the "lows"
Sure, you may well be reading this and getting a little nervous for your time coming up as a parent. But trust me... the experiences of being a father cannot be accurately and adequately described. There is no adventure like it.

The fun I have with Joel in the garden, the joy that fills our hearts as we watch him talking to himself while he plays with his toys, the love that consumes us as we watch him falling asleep on the couch, the experience of him running up to you and giving you a big greeting hug. These are priceless experiences that are worth every second of challenge we face.

I love my family. And I'm proud to be a dad.


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My Top Ten Favourite Posts So Far

James Preston Reply 7:08 AM
This week I've spent a bit of time updating the Blog, and putting together a mission statement as to what is all about. It's really simple actually, but just took some time to actually put it to paper (or digital).

In the process, I went through my recent work, and came up with a list of my favourite posts I've written to date. They range from Video Interviews, to Health, to Theology and more.

Here they are below. Which ones have you not seen? Check it out, and let me know what you think!

My Personal Favourite Blog Posts Written To Date:

1. Video Interview with Top SA Entrepreneur, Mike Stopforth

2. 9 Ways To Follow Your Dreams

3. 4 Reasons Why A Christian Cannot Lose Their Salvation

4. 4 Basics To Living A Life Of Purpose

5. Are All Calories Created Equal?

6. My Top Ten Movies Ever (so far)

7. LCHF (Low Carb High Fat): The Perfect Diet

8. Noah: Perfect For Rattling Religious Cages

9. Is Oscar Pistorious Guilty? A Pastor's Perspective

10. Why Was I Born?

Which one is your favourite?

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About JamesPreston.Org

James Preston Reply 2:28 PM
This Page is about The Blog. Click HERE to find out more about James.

Hi. I'm James Preston, a Durban-based Blogger, Pastor, Radio Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philosopher hungry to help you find your place in changing the world.

Join me on my journey by subscribing to the Blog and following me on Twitter, and learn how you can change the world!

I promise to email you only once a week, and guarantee that this once-a-week email (and most of my tweets) will inspire you...
  1. believe that you can actually change the world! It is your destiny!
  2. ...with practical insights into how we actually go about changing the world.
  3. ...with ideas as to how you can find your place in changing the world.
  4. encouraging you that you have a Heavenly Father who is behind you all the way, and has given you everything you need to get on with the job of changing the world, and He will never let you go!
  5. ...with basic ideas and principles that will help you be a better you; spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and physically. When you are operating at maximum, the more world you can get on with changing!
These 5 ways of helping you are covered in the categories of Faith, Philosophy, Health, Interviews, Entrepreneurship, Miscellaneous, South Africa, and on occasion, Movies and Sport.

So how about it? Want to join me on my journey? Whether like me you live in a country laced with challenges, or one of abundance with so much to offer countries worse off than yours; let's pull together and make this world a better place!

Enter your email address below. I promise not to use it for anything else but inspiring you (or pass it on to anyone!)

Enter your Email address for Free Inspiration every Week:

Join the journey on Twitter by clicking Follow below:

You can also check me out on YouTube and be inspired by video, too!

Here is a list of my personal favourite Blog Posts I've written to date:
1. Video Interview with Top SA Entrepreneur, Mike Stopforth

2. 9 Ways To Follow Your Dreams

3. 4 Reasons Why A Christian Cannot Lose Their Salvation

4. 4 Basics To Living A Life Of Purpose

5. Are All Calories Created Equal?

6. My Top Ten Movies Ever (so far)

7. LCHF (Low Carb High Fat): The Perfect Diet

8. Noah: Perfect For Rattling Religious Cages

9. Is Oscar Pistorious Guilty? A Pastor's Perspective

10. Why Was I Born?

Find out more about me by CLICKING HERE.

Who Is James Preston?

James Preston Reply 2:16 PM
This page is about James. CLICK HERE to find out what this Blog is about.

Hey there. I'm James Preston. Thanks for checking out my Blog. You make this site awesome.

I was born in 1985 in Guildford, Surrey (UK) to a Scottish father and a South African mother, and spent the first 6 years of my life growing up in England before my parents made the strange move to Durban, South Africa. Leaving two very good jobs and moving into the middle of civil unrest. All because of the weather.

I see that as a God-move. Because I love South Africa with all my heart. I am still very much English. But now see myself as an English South African. (Is that possible?) I'm still in Durban, where I married my teenage sweetheart Corinne in 2006 and have one beautiful son Joel born in 2012. They are my everything.

Before anything else, family comes first to me. If I don't have a happy family, what's the point of any success? Or like Bill Johnson so stunningly put it in an interview I did with him:
"If I don't succeed at home, anywhere else I do succeed doesn't really matter."

I live with a deep passion pulsating through my veins: That I was born to change the world. I'm very aware that this is a very broad statement. And a very broad passion. But nevertheless it is the over-arching theme of my life. I can't explain it to you in words. It burns deep within me. I long, I live (and will die) to see this world a become a better place...

  • A world where businesses are more interested in their customers' wellbeing than their own profits.
  • A world where politicians are less pre-occupied with the checks and balances of bureaucracy and genuinely want to make the lives of their citizens better. All of them. Where they are less concerned about what affect their decisions will make on the next election campaign, and more concerned about how they can better the lives of their citizens and their citizen's environment.
  • A world where every human on the planet is valued by the others regardless of their beliefs, ideologies or appearance. And treated that way.
  • A world where people's lives are just downright better. Healthier, happier, safer, respected and included.

These may seem idealistic. And I am not deluded to the fact that they are. But someone has to start somewhere, right? And I believe that we can gather enough momentum to be part of a worldwide movement that will gain critical mass and sway the norm. Like I said, I'm willing to die for such ideals.

After all, those who label optimists as "idealists" are usually pessimists. I don't have much time for pessimists. And no Mr. "It-will-never-happen", you are not a realist. You are a pessimist. Change your attitude or get out of my way.

Where does being a pastor fit into all of this?

So yes, I talk about God a lot. I realise this may be uncomfortable for a lot of people. But don't let it. Trust me when I say I am not out to judge you.

I've been "pastoring" at my local church since 2006. And this is part of the reason I'm so passionate about changing the world...

For most of my Christian life I believed the lie that God was angry at mankind and at any given moment was going to rain down His judgment of wrath and burn this planet up. Not before "rapturing" us Christians away to the safety of Heaven, of course.

But in 2009, after a 2 year long journey of being exposed to what is affectionately called "the Grace message", I finally had a supernatural revelation of what God is really like: He is ridiculously good, beyond anything anyone has ever told me, especially as a Christian! And He is so positive about the future it actually frightens us "Christians"!

God doesn't want to burn this planet up, He wants to save it and make it better. And He certainly doesn't want to take the Christians out of here, He wants them to be part of the process. (So yes, that new "Left Behind" movie with Nicholas Cage? A good fiction story)

I now continue to "pastor" at my church Highway Christian Community, in Durban, South Africa. (My home church since 1994) My senior pastor and friend Steve Wheeler has been a great support of me in my journey, and we love to help others find out who they really are: Children dearly loved by God with a bright destiny of purpose!

But the thing is, I'm not your average pastor. A few of my friends have labeled me "a pastor with a difference."

I consider myself more of a Philosopher sometimes.

I've always thought about the world around me, and why it is like it is. And how it can be changed, if at all. This could come from my teenage years when I was into thought-provoking alternative rock music, or it could just be that I was born that way. (If you know Marcus Buckingham's StrengthsFinder course; "Strategist" is my no. 1 strength)

This is why I am thinking about how we can change the world so much. It literally affects everything I do. And I mean everything. From watching sport to eating lunch.

So I like to write about these thought-processes and help you broaden your mindset and hopefully help you on your way to finding "better ways of doing things", and every area of society.

We are all on a journey of discovering who we are, and how we operate and the best environments within which we operate. I want to create my best environment, and help others create or find theirs.

Often this means being physically healthy. This is why I take quite a keen interest in healthy living. Especially eating.

Specifically LCHF (Low Carb High Fat), or "Banting". I found LCHF while doing research because I had some extra weight I wanted to drop. What I unearthed was amazing.

No calorie-counting, have as much fat as you like. It was heaven. The only restriction was no carbs. But who needs carbs when you are indulging in as much fat as you like? You can read my story over here at what is now my 2nd most popular Blog Post of all time!

I love introducing people to this new way of healthy living, because it's so easy and so effective. And when your physical body is operating at maximum, you can change the world more effectively!

And Entrepreneurship?

On top of serving as a pastor to hundreds of beautiful people at HCC, I realise there is so much more to be done. I want to be part of the Information Age revolution, and change the way business is done. This has led to starting a few businesses in order to gain influence in the marketplace and experiment with these ideologies. I love it, and see so much opportunity to help people, and make money doing it. And then use that money to re-invest in people. That's what business is all about.

My first and most successful business to date is Pillar Mate Communications. We've made great strides in the South African advertising industry, and I can't wait to establish this baby as a self-sustaining entity and get on with the other great projects waiting in the pipeline.

Sometimes I wonder if my Blog is a business, an outlet, a service or a ministry. I guess it's all of them rolled into one. At the time of writing (June 2014), I don't have a single ad on any of my websites (and I have a lot). But like Live Your Legend's Scott Dinsmore so powerfully proposes; we should be making money off what we love. Fortunately, for the most part of my life this has been true.

I had a love for Radio since I was 10 years old. My cousins and I would use one CD player to play music while the other was recording to Cassette Tape so we could talk over the music to create pro-sounding radio stations. This birthed in me a passion for radio which lives with me to this day.

I started working at Durban's no. 1 Christian Radio Station (Highway Radio) at the age of 16 years old doing the traffic report. Within a year I was a substitute DJ on the prime-time Drive Show.

I stayed with Highway Radio while all (I mean all) my friends moved on to the bigger commercial stations and TV Channels. My heart never allowed me to go further. It was as if God had given me a "wait". In hindsight I see why.

I wouldn't have been able to study Theology and then a diploma in Graphic Design had I been working for a top commercial media outlet. And both of these gave me invaluable insight.

But, from my experience in Radio, I grew into quite an expert in Interviews.

I became the go-to DJ for interviews with top Christian artists like Delirious, Michael W Smith, Third Day, even going to the FIFA World Cup!

This is why you may see a number of Interviews on my Websites. Because I love asking influential and experienced people questions about how they do what they do. It's one of the best ways to learn; ask questions.

If you haven't noticed, I'm the creative type. Majored in Art at school, studying Graphic Design. Etc.
This is why I love a good movie!

But I mean good. A good movie to me is one that, at the end, makes me sit there stunned at what I have just experienced. Whether that be through it's writing, acting or visuals. But most of all, good writing. You can check out my favourite movies of all time, plus a rating of over 50 movies I've watched so far, here in this Post I did.

So, you may find me talking about movies every now and then. More so on Twitter than on my Blog.

Speaking of Entertainment, I was also raised a Sport Lover.

I just can't help it. I love competition! (Again, according to one life-coach, this is because of my "strategist" strength).

And having been raised English South African, Rugby, Soccer and Cricket are my three favourites. I also appreciate some good Golf (Masters anyone?) and Tennis. And the odd Olympic Games event.

So every so often I might squeak a sport post in my Blog. But certainly more so on Twitter. Which is actually something I am working to cut down on, because I recognise not all of my followers are sports fans. And most of them have no idea about Rugby or Cricket!

So you're still reading? Wow. Thank you. And I mean that!

That's about me for now. Covers most of who I am, what I do, and what I want to offer you in this Blog.

You will also find "Miscellaneous" posts that are arbitrary thoughts, that just won't fit anywhere else. And being South African, I also comment a bit on the happenings in my own country. We are after all the most interesting country in the world!

Thanks for reading. I hope to inspire you to be everything you possibly can be, and help you see your potential as a worldchanger. You can find out more about My Blog here, where you'll also find my top ten favourite posts I've written to date.

If you have any questions at all, or just want to get in touch, I would love to hear from you. Contact me on Twitter, or better yet, drop me an email on sonicsubstance (at) gmail (dot) com. You know the drill.

I invite you to join the community and subscribe to the weekly Email. I promise to provide you with the neccessary inspiration (on only a weekly basis) to be all you can be as someone destined to change the world!

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