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September 25, 2016

The mountain of Joseph

There is a wonderful story with many facets included in the Bible and it's the story of a young man named Joseph.

At age 17, he was told in a dream that he would become a ruler over his brothers and parents. Upon hearing the dream, his siblings got jealous and decided to sell him as a slave to an Egyptian.
A while later, Joseph ends up as a slave in a house of a man called Potiphar and it turns that he had favor in the eyes of his master to the point of becoming a 'slave supervisor'. But Joseph was so handsome that Potiphar's wife tried to lure him into having an affair with her...As honest as he was, Joseph refused the advance of the woman who ,as an angry response, decided to falsely accuse him of rape attempt. Upon hearing a false report from his wife, Potiphar decides to send Joseph to jail.
But even in jail, Joseph was still favored from God and ended up in a supervisory role within the prison.
While in jail, Joseph managed to show off some his dream interpretations gift to two fellow prisoners who were working for the Pharaoh .A while later, one of them got released and re-instated to his position within the Pharoah 's entourage.
One day,the same Pharaoh got a strange dream and none of his sorcerers could explain the meaning of it. Fortunately, the former prisoner who spent time in jail with Joseph and who got re-instated, remembered Joseph and recommended him to the Pharaoh as a good 'dream interpreter'. The Pharaoh followed the advice of his worker and called on Joseph to help.

When Joseph met the Pharaoh, his dream interpretation gift were spot on; Joseph gave a political and strategic advice that would save Egypt and as a result, the Pharaoh found fit to elevate Joseph as an almighty prime minister to prevent an economic crisis premonitioned in the Pharaoh's dream.

You can find the story of Joseph the Book of Genesis from chapter 39.

The story has many facets, but one interesting facet is contained in the hardship Joseph endured while going up towards realizing his dream. He was sold by his own brothers, he became a slave, he was falsely accused and thrown to jail.

Sometimes ,simply because someone is going through a rough time, does not mean that they have committed something odious or bad. There will be times in life where you will be faced with some terrible turbulences when you decide on climbing the mountain that God has set for you as an inheritance.
And when troubles come because of your obedience to the call, remember that you have done nothing wrong and that you need on keeping up your walk.
Many have faced hardship because of the call or the dream bestowed on them...Even professional climbers will confirm that if you try to reach to top of the highest mountains, you will surely be met with some opposition such as temperature drop, avalanches and even snow.

As followers of Christ, we should quit thinking that the devil will leave us alone...

Think of this:' in the book of Apocalypse, the Bible records that Satan will fight to the end against Jesus. That account is in the future and there are enough scriptural evidence showing that Satan knows the Bible...therefore he surely knows his end'.

Here is a good question for us:

'If Satan will put up a fight to the very last day, also called 'Armageddon war' by many scholars, what tells us that he will leave us alone on our life purpose journey?'

When you went up the mountain or when you decided on realising the dream God gave you, the resistance you faced, made you feel as if you went backwards...Quit thinking that!
You never went backwards. But you went upwards just like Joseph did. Every resistance and troubles he faced, were steps going upwards.
If you are following a God given vision, and if you are faced with troubles, remember that you are going upwards and this explains all the troubles you are facing.

The mountain of Joseph is only for those who are obeying the call.

Keep pressing, you gonna be alright.

September 15, 2016

Some of the Worst advice I received in my life (part 1): 'Follow your passion'

Now and then, come in our lives some bad advice we wish we had ignored with full force...

Do you still remember the silly friend who convinced you into taking a certain path leading to self-destruction?

I have received and listened to some bad advice out there, and there is one which is a very popular one making the round in the professional world and it goes like this:

'Follow your passion'.

Being passionate about something means that you entirely love that 'something', however it does not mean that you are able to live your passion.

There is a big difference between being passionate and being able. When you are able, it also means that you are gifted or good at something. In other words, your passion should match your ability.

September 13, 2016

Evaluate everything with God standard

Sometimes we struggle to see God's promises or the realization to our prayers because we have set our own standards to what the  answers to our prayers should look like.

When Jesus came to the Jews, they assumed that a Savior King should come with an army,tall and look majestic...But Jesus did not look a bit like that.

Many of the blessings we expect, tend to come wrapped in an unexpected package. Let's learn to see with the eyes of God and not with our own eyes.

This reminds me of the lady who remained single till 42, simply because she had set a standard to what her future husband should look like. In her mind, her life partner should look exactly like George Clooney...therefore she became very good at rejecting every good man who came along on her way.

God can send you what you are searching, but it does not mean that it will match your own human standard.

Let's be careful not to evaluate our blessings through human standard but with the eyes of God.

P.S: 'My prayer group has started and If you are living in Joburg area and wish to join our watsapp line,please drop me a message with your name and your area. Only if you live in Johannesburg.
Thank you. 

September 10, 2016

The best day to change your life is ' today'.

In The book of Psalms 90:12, the Bible quotes:

'Teach us to number our days , so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.'

The verse means that we should learn to count or give importance to all the days of our lives, including today. But why is that we tend to give more value to 'Tomorrow' than 'Today'? Why do we give more value to the ' first of January' than the present day we are living?

Through the upcoming year, remember those words very well. When a new year comes we all tend to make great resolutions and only wait for the first of January to start making moves and changes in our lives. I often wonder what is so special about the first of January, that we have to start new habits only on that day?
Can't we start right now, on this present day?

Do you know that  statistic shows that 85 % of people making resolutions on the first of January, break them by the twentieth of January. It is really sad.
Here is my advice to you:' If you wish to change, upgrade and move your life forward, do not wait for the first of January. Start today. I  always believed that if you can't start making changes (even the little ones) in your moment present, chances are that you will not make those changes on the first of January, even if you fill your heart with great intentions.

September 9, 2016

Get tired of dreaming and face reality.

There is a good side at becoming older. I still remember the day I turned 30(years ago), it was so sudden. On that same day, I suddenly realized that most of my twenties were spent into dreaming. At 30, I had realized very few things, my self -worth was not in good shape, I had lost a business, I was broke and I had no job…
Turning 30 was similar to waking up at the alarm sound anyone would set before sleeping. During 10 years, I have mostly been dreaming and achieved almost nothing. How long have I been dreaming in a sleeping state?

Back to you now…                                                                                                                                                                 
It is possible to dream so intensely for a long period of time and get confused to the point of believing that you have done something, while in fact you were just dreaming. Intending, planning and wishing intensely could mislead anyone to think that they acted while they did nothing.

We promote organizational tools such as visions, plans, promises, great intentions but at the end, if they don’t match our actions, they are worth nothing. It does not matter if your dreams are detailed on a 1000 page book, if they don’t turn themselves into touchable reality, they are worth nothing.
When I turned 30, I woke up with a very common feeling: ‘being of tired of dreaming’.
Back to you…
When you suddenly get tired of dreaming, two choices will show up:
-Either you will decide on making things happen
-You will choose to do something different from what you are tired of dreaming of.

The first choice explains the reason behind the creation of a ‘bucket list’, while the second explains why some people give up on everything and chose to follow activities seemingly ‘within their reach’.
When you dream, you are in a sleeping state. A sleeping state only ends when you get up of the bed. A dream ends when you get up into reality and apply what you saw in your sleeping state. A dream turned into a touchable reality is a dream come true, it is pure reality.
Unfortunately, just like I did in my twenties, many people are in a sleeping state where they continuously dream with great intentions and most of them refuse to get up of ‘bed’. I really woke up at 30 o’clock (but I think it was quite late…), when will you wake up? Have you set an alarm to wake you up? Don’t make the mistake of oversleeping.
Often, I meet people seeking advices  and asking me one common question:
‘How do you get to start a dream you have nurtured for a long time?’

Here is my response:

‘ Some people, just like I did, dream for a long time. And dreaming (planning or intending) could be energy consuming. Because of that they think they did something while in fact they were sleeping. Here is the best advice I have for the ‘over sleepers’: ‘Get tired of dreaming.’
What happen when a healthy person over sleeps till 11 in the morning?
‘That person suddenly gets bored and understands that he/she overslept and that it is time to do something different. Lying on the bed is no longer restful but becomes dreadful. That’s why the over sleeper gets up. He/she gets tired of lying on bed, dreaming and sleeping, and wants to embrace reality.’
Those who keep on dreaming continuously, without achieving anything, are doing it because they are not tired of ‘sleeping’. They live in ‘lala land’ and are enjoying the ride till the alarm clock rings…
On the day the over sleeper says: ‘I am tired of dreaming’, he/she will embrace reality with two options but one of them has a nasty catch:

Option 1: ‘ the bucket list syndrome’
You don’t need to be 65 to have a ‘bucket list’ (list of things you wish you had done but didn’t). Even at 21, you could have your own ‘bucket list’ of things you wish you had done when you were a teenager. A bucket list can be drafted at any age. Have you noticed how energetic the older ones become when they execute their bucket list? Some of them are way above 70, but they dare jumping over bridges, eat unsuitable food, discovering Amazonian jungles and they don’t care if their age is against them.
This is exactly what will happen to the over sleepers tired of dreaming. They become very decisive, regardless of their age. Understanding that they don’t get any younger, they don’t waste time anymore, they are no longer afraid to displease people, they really know what’s good for them, regardless of what people think. They stop dreaming, they just do.
If you over sleeps till 1 o’clock in the afternoon, and you know that you have an agenda that can only be realized the same day, won’t you press quickly through the day after waking up?
If you are serious about that agenda, I am sure you will press at a faster pace because you don’t have enough time left. So it is with the ‘life over sleepers’, they woke up a bit late, and because they understood that their life span  gets shorter day by day, they have to act quick.

Option 2: ‘I will do something within my reach’ (the nasty catch of life)
It is said that most born again Christians don’t live their purpose in God. I hope that’s not true…
Some ‘over sleepers’ get up, tired of dreaming and choose not to have bucket list. In their awakening, reality hits and makes them understand that they slept for too long (Oh, boy/girl…). The force of discouragement suddenly takes over their hearts, and convinces them to pursue a life seemingly reachable to them. This explains why some people gave up on their dreams to do things they were not destined to do.
It is similar to a person who over sleeps till 1 o’clock in the afternoon. He/she had an agenda and thinks that nothing can be done. So he/she decides to change the whole agenda to do what he/she can do within the available time left for the day.

If you are busy dreaming: ‘wake up on time’.
If you are over sleeping in your dreams: ‘get tired of dreaming and start your bucket list.’
In either case, make sure you get up from bed because your dream will only turn true when you face reality…away from the ‘bed of your life’.

September 1, 2016

7 causes of poverty in the book of Proverbs.

This morning as I was randomly reading online books from work, I stumbled upon a very short and interesting pdf book written by Mr Peter Tan and titled: 'The Laws of Prosperity'. While browsing the book, my attention got caught by a particular section mentioning  the 'six causes of poverty' according to the book of Proverbs.

As I was reading, I felt an inner conviction to start a short series of articles on Biblical Prosperity to head us towards the end of the year. Though Mr Peter Tan mentions and explains those causes, I will in my turn give a personally inspired explanation to the 'six causes of poverty' included in the Book of Proverbs.

Here are the six causes:

1. Trying to be rich quick at all costs:

'He that hastens to be rich has an evil eye and does not consider that poverty shall come upon him.'
(Proverbs 28:22)

Have you ever came across 'get-rich-quick scheme' which hardly explain how the money is being made? In the country where I live, there are many illegal financial services offering that type of services without explaining how they enrich their clients and they always end up being closed down by the government thus causing many victims.
Before jumping into an opportunity, an investment or any sort of financial ventures, we should always take the time to really understand the system. Hasty people seeking financial gain are often victims of tricks and end up losing all their money simply because they did not take the time to understand what they were getting involved into.
On the other hand, people who tried to pursue money by all means whether illegal,dishonest or evil ways, will end up losing everything sooner or later. 
Solid financial prosperity comes to those who take the time to understand the system and those who operate in integrity.

2. Lacking generosity:

One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.(Proverbs 11:24)

The concept of 'generosity' has been at the center of widespread attack especially within the church...

Do you know why 'generous' people always prosper?

It is because every single day and night, there are people who cry out to God to get their needs attended to. But God is a Spirit and the needs of those people are physical needs such as food,shelter, a result God wants to respond to their prayers but in a physical way and He wants to do it through a touchable human being like you and I.
Those who accept to be vessels of God against poverty constantly become 'storehouses' on earth that God uses like 'financial embassies' to solve problems.
Those who don't show generosity can not be used, because when God blesses them with 'extra', they withhold it. As a result God moves to another person willing to help.

Have you noticed that the verse does not mention the words 'believer or Christian'? It is a universal principle that applies for everyone. This is why you will see several rich people who don't even believe in God but who keep prospering because of their charity and humanitarian works.

And , us, Christians should sometimes keep our judging fingers towards them in our pockets. Do we even give a percentage of what those people are giving?

3. Laziness:

This is a no brainer! There are no Biblical verses endorsing laziness (period). No work, no reward.

'How long will you lie there, you sluggard?When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber,a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.'
(Proverbs 6:9-11)

'Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;stay awake and you will have food to spare.'
(Proverbs 20:13)

Sleep is meant to re-energize us in order to be active. Sleep is not meant to keep us in bed but to give the energy to stand up from bed.

Laziness is simply a state of non-activity. Let's not use the 'economy' as an excuse to do nothing. Even if you are in a state of unemployment, you can still make use of your life through several activities such as community voluntary work, community work at church, sports,blogging,writing,helping people out there,study something... 
There are many things you can do ,which could open doors for future paid work and which could be used as references in your CV.
For example, playing sports on a daily basis will increase your knowledge of that activity, and could land you a paid contract as a sportsman or even as a coach. Many of the sportsmen or women we see on TV started exercising voluntarily without a salary...
There is so much to do. Make use of your life.

Laziness also includes neglect or not being willing to go all the way. As an example, there are students who love to settle for average marks and later wonder why they always get refused for internships, for postgraduate admissions and so on...average behavior linked to laziness invites scarcity and poverty.

4. Disregarding discipline:

'Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,but whoever heeds correction is honored.'
(Proverbs 13:18)

Discipline is widely defined as the practice of following a code of behavior and which uses punishment to correct unruly acts breaking the same code of behavior.

It takes discipline to work everyday, to save money. It requires discipline not fall in debt, it requires disciplines to be on time. Actually, there is a direct link between poverty and people who are late comers. Disregarding discipline  could get anyone fired from a job, it could lead someone to jail at times...So much could be said about discipline...

5. Chasing after fantasies and excessive pleasures:

'Those who work their land will have abundant food,but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.'
(Proverbs 28:19)

'For drunkards and gluttons become poor,and drowsiness clothes them in rags.'
(Proverbs 23:21)

A fantasy is an improbable imaginary thought. When the Holy Ghost came into us, He dropped gifts in our lives which enable us to work and pursue specific visions. 
Any life pursuit not backed by a God given gift is a fantasy.

As an example, some people are not gifted in music but every year they spend a lot of resources and times to participate in 'idols' audition just to be refused, simply because they do not have the gift of singing. The world is full of people who chase after dreams they can't realize because they don't have the gift for it. They spend money, they turn down real opportunities for those fantasies...

There are real life examples of people who ended up miserable simply because of their fantasies...

I am sure I can have witnesses on that.

Secondly, excessive pleasures such as drunkenness, drugs,'nyaope', gluttony are more likely to lead to poverty. In the country where I live, one of the main reasons  causing children and adults to live in the streets clothed with rags, is alcohol and drugs. The love for those passions has made many poor.

6. Hidden undisclosed sins

'Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.'
(Proverbs 28:13)

Sometimes we don't prosper because of trespasses we have caused and refused to confess. Trespasses bring curses in many areas of our lives.

7. Wicked rulers

And finally, while I was googling the word 'poverty'. I stumbled upon pictures of poor starved children and I asked myself the question:

'What have they done to deserve such life?'

And the response to the question led me to enumerate the seventh cause of poverty.

'When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.'
(Proverbs 29:2)

The news are full of facts reporting the wrong doings of leaders causing their people to suffer. This is another good reason for the church to be involved in politics because when we step aside, the wicked will take over...

Enough said, let's meditate on it.

August 31, 2016

You are the manager of your blessings

Regardless of what you ask,

You and you alone, are the manager of your blessings.

Global warming on Earth is not God's fault. When God created the Earth, He left it to human. He told Man to look after it. If you ask God for a child, He will surely bless you by giving you one. But remember that you will be the one who will raise your child. How well you 'manage' your child, will definitely influence his/her upbringing.

What am I trying to say?

God can bless you anyhow, anywhere or anytime. However, you are the manager of the blessings He will send to you.

Giving,serving, and sowing creates the 'receiving'.

'Giving out' is more valuable than 'receiving in'.

All too often we rush into checking our inbox email in the hope to get a favorable response from a prospective employer, a client or any good message. And when our email inboxes run dry from responses or solicitations, we get discouraged...

The most important thing is not how many emails you receive but how many emails you send out.
Our focus should not be over the number of phone calls we receive but rather on the number of phone calls we send out.
It is better to focus on the amount of contribution we give out than on the amount of contribution we receive.

August 26, 2016

The power of forgiveness.

The following story is based on true events. Names of the characters were changed to protect their privacy:

' One day, there was a man named Oliver*, who was constantly struggling in his life. He had a hard time to find a job, his financial life was in total disarray. Oliver* was in his early thirties, and most of his prayers were never answered.

Believe it or not, he held a degree in accounting, which should make him very employable but in spite of his qualifications, he would never find a job. There were times where he would spend days without was tough for Oliver*.

August 23, 2016

Let Your will be done. ( Is God really in control?)

 Does God have control of everything on Earth?

If we assume that the response is 'Yes' then why do we have so much of poverty around? Why do we have so much of wars and suffering rampaging humanity?

If we assume that God is in Control of everything, then why did Jesus tell us to pray as follow:

'Let your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven' (Matthew 6:10)

In Heaven, everything is perfect; there is no poverty or imperfection and only the will of God is done. As a matter of fact the people who would have been disobedient to God during their entire earthly lives, will not be allowed in Heaven since they would have shown a un-submissive character on earth. Since only the  will of God is done, therefore there is no poverty,no war, no suffering, no pain, no imperfection. even the devil can not stay there...