As I “pen” this Publisher’s Point, I am writing from a hotel room in Sacramento, California. The weather is perfect, there is a gorgeous tree waving in the constant yet pleasant breeze outside our third story room. I ate at an Italian bistro/deli where the staff gave excellent service and the food was superb. I am, in no small way dazzled by the God of Second Chances.
I am here for the better part of the week in what is sometimes known, (and with a fair amount of justly deserved cynicism, I might add,) as the PRC, the Peoples’ Republic of California. I am gathered with several thousand of my “closest friends,” and we are all here to attend the Juice Plus Spring Leadership Convention. Because of the blessing of technology, I am able to “put the paper to bed” while I am on the Left Coast, and because of the two hour time difference, I have two extra hours to marvel at the shower of blessings by which I am drenched.
Some may take the fact that I am mentioning Juice Plus, my “other love,” (besides being the happy Publisher of Athens Now), as being an unabashedly shameless expression of free market capitalism. However, my purpose is not to plug what is inarguably the most researched nutriceutical on the planet, nor the company or community that produces it, as tempting as that might be. It is rather to give glory to God for being given a second chance, and this week I am not alone in giving thanks.
Tomorrow, when the Convention officially starts, I will begin to hear extraordinary stories of people who as children, literally ran through the jungles from the Viet Cong, and who are now grateful American citizens who have worked their way to the top tier of the company’s compensation plan. I will be in the presence of people who literally give away millions of dollars to charitable causes that train inner city kids to become healthy entrepreneurs, or who rescue sex slaves all around the globe. I will be around people who have lost children, and in spite of their grief have helped others to build their health as well as their wealth. I will be standing in line with the ordinary who are secretly extraordinary, and I know I will arrive home next week both tired and energized.
There was a time when I hated all corporations. I believed from the bottom of my heart that it was utterly impossible to be wealthy without having harmed someone in the process, and moreover that wealth and greed were intrinsically inseparable. Having been literally brainwashed by socialism as a kid in the ‘60s, I have had to aggressively and tenaciously re-brainwash myself into not just intellectually assenting to, but actively embracing the Biblical tenets of marketplace ministry, and I am still clumsy in my endeavors. The fact that I, as a deliriously free American woman, own (or co-own with my husband,) not one, but two businesses, is what I fiercely hope makes the disciples of Karl Marx twist hard in the wind.
One of my favorite scriptures is found in Psalms 124, and it says, “Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler. The snare is broken and we are escaped, our help is in the name of the Lord.” What is the snare? In the context of this edition’s Publisher’s Point, it is the slavery of socialism. Now I can choose to make as much money as I am able and give it away as I feel led, without looking to the government as my guide. Now I can genuinely believe from the bottom of my heart that anyone in America can “do well, do good, and do good by doing well.” I am indeed dazzled by the God of Second Chances, and stunned that I am the recipient of His grace. And someday I am going to walk the stage at a Juice Plus Leadership Convention as a National Marketing Director, if for no other reason than to say, “Thank You!” as well as, “Free at last!”
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner