Monday, July 29, 2013

It's Not That Hard To Understand


     Mathematics and I have come a long way together.  In elementary school we were good friends, however, the relationship soured throughout most of my years in high school.  No matter how hard I tried, we could never get along.  The "D's" and "F's" were frustrating and never looked good on my report card.  I knew I needed a passing grade to further my education and gave it all I thought I could; needless to say I pulled it off.  When it mattered most I was able to muster up a "B".
     The summer appeared to go by quickly and it was almost time to face the "Math Monster" once more.  Though I had planned for the worse God has a way of intervening when we need His help.  On the first day of math class the professor walked in and with a reassuring voice he said, "I know many of you here are experiencing difficulties with the subject, however, over the next few months that will change."  Hearing that I felt relaxed and became attentive.  I was not sure how this man would change my relationship with the subject but if it means mending my friendship with an old friend, it was worth the time. 
     "It's not that hard to understand," he continued, "the thing is you do not spend enough time with it to understand it."  "Where is he going with this?" I asked myself.  Perplexed, I continued listening and observing.  Who knows; he may be unto something!  "If math was a lover you just met, you would want to know as much about him or her as you possible could.  You would devote the time to the process because you had a purpose in mind.  Find a purpose for doing math and treat it like a lover with whom you would love to spend as much time as you could and you will never fail the subject again."  With that he began teaching and from that moment onward my relationship with Math also changed.  I took the professor's advice.  Math and I became 'lovers' from that moment onward.  The "A's" followed and the relationship became stronger.  I have never forgotten that professor and over the years have applied his words of advice to many aspects of my life including studying the bible.
     There are many who claim the bible is difficult to understand though many translations exist.  Like everything else in life, if your approach is incorrect, of course you will be turned off.  My approach to Math was incorrect and I was setting myself up for failure without realizing it.  The moment I changed my approach and attitude it became easier.
     The bible was written and dedicated for our purpose.  It was designed by an all-knowing God for the benefit of instruction for His children in how deal with every aspect of their lives.  A thorough understanding of the word for the purpose of knowing about God is important if you are seeking the path to success.  "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life" (John 5:39-40).   The claim is often made that the bible is irrelevant.
     Though written centuries ago, it's lessons are still relevant today.  In the book, Joseph's Memoirs: Life's Lessons for a Successful You, some of those topics are examined through Joseph's rise from slave to the second most powerful person in Egypt.  It may come as a surprise to you, that what Joseph applied to his life to succeed is exactly the same being done by ALL successful people today.

     Pray for Divine guidance before you begin reading the bible.  Develop a purpose for wanting to understand the bible.  Make the decision that you will create a positive change in your life immediately.  Find the reason that will make you want to spend more time analyzing and understanding it.  Write this time in on your schedule so it becomes a daily routine (remember, a plan not written is only a wish). Have a blessed week and as always "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth. (3 John 1:2)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It's Not About The Money

"It's not about the money, it's the principle!" is one of the many iconic phrases (for me) made by English actor Jason Statham who played the role of 'Parker' in the movie of the same name which was released in January 2013.

In the movie, Parker is a professional thief who is double-crossed by a team which was put together by his mentor Hurley (played by Nick Nolte) after they successfully carried out the job, simply because he refused to join them for their next enterprise.  Due to his refusal to join them for the next job the leader of the crew, Melander (Michael Chiklis), decides to kill him.  This resulted in Parker being shot and left for dead at the side of a lake.  Parker, though a thief, plays by certain rules; he doesn't steal from the poor, hurt innocent people and lives by principle.  Not being paid for a job well done is one such principle.

Found and taken to a hospital by a family who were passing by, Parker recuperates and discharges himself before the police arrives to investigate his case.  He meets up with his mentor and relates the story.  Hurley, offers Parker the money he would have gotten for his share that the others took.  He flatly refuses the money and adamantly responds, "It's not about the money, it's the principle!"

Many people wish to climb the ladder of success and are stuck simply because they fail to realize that tithing is one of the rules of success.  They claim, "God does not need my money and I am not giving my hard earned money to a church for the pastor to live a luxurious lifestyle while others starve."  I am not blind to the fact.  I see numerous ministers using what is offered by members as their tithe and offering to do terrible things with it, however, God wants you to know, "it's not about the money, it's the principle!"

Money is needed by the organization to do many things which include doing missionary work both locally and overseas.  Some churches build schools, hospitals and orphanages.  When there are natural disasters around the world certain church organizations such as ADRA and list of others on the Christian Charities Services website, are on the ground and caring for those affected before other world renown charities are there.  Let God hold them responsible for their misappropriation of funds they gather in His name.  Do not allow His blessing to be withheld from you because you wish to help Him decide who should receive your tithe.

In the book 'Joseph's Memoirs: Life Lessons For a Successful You', the story is told of Jacob who tried to assist God in getting his birth-right with the best of intentions. However, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 NIV).  Malachi 3:10 further states, 'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.'  Don't lose your blessings.  

Action Steps
Decide to be a faithful tither and 'put God to the test'.  If you are having trouble with this practice keep reading my blogs as more will be written on this subject. Tithing is one of the major keys to living a successful life.  Have a blessed week and as always, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth. (3 John 1:2)

Monday, July 8, 2013

If You Want To Be Successful .......


Have you ever wondered how Oprah, Donald Trump and so many other successful and wealthy individuals get so much work done within a twenty four (24) hour period?  They are at the helm of so many businesses and yet they still find time to simultaneously live an active life compared to your  life and you seem unable to cope with one job, family, friends and the rest.  I am sure you have asked yourself at times - "how do they do it?"

In the first chapter of his book "Trump: The Art Of The Deal", Donald Trump gives readers a synopsis of his typical week.  He meticulously outlines his schedule in regards to day and time.  He packs as many activities as possible into his day by knowing ahead of time what his tasks are and how much time he needs to spend on each task.  If anything unexpected arises it is dealt with efficiently and effectively.  No time is given to playing video games during the time designated for working on his various endeavors.  This ensures that the different aspects of his business gets his attention while still making time for friends and family at the end of the day.  Trump relies totally on time management to ensure his success continues.

Is time management restricted only to the likes of Donald Trump?  Was it a discovery of a life coach? The answer is no on all accounts.  As a mater of fact the principle of Time Management was developed by God for our benefit.  In my book, "Joseph's Memoirs: Life Lessons For a Successful You," I explain how God used it during the creation process.  Trump followed the writers of the Bible by outlaying it in chapter one.  God could have created the universe and everything in it by His mere thought, however, it would have left us with too many questions and no blue print of success to follow. He made it simple for us not only to understand but to implement in our lives so we could be successful while having time to worship Him daily.

Here is a simple exercise you can begin immediately to get the most out of your days.

Start planning your days the night before.  Set clear tasks and list them in the order of priority ensuring the most important ones get done first; this includes setting a time for daily devotion.  Attach a time limit to each of these task as God did during creation (and the morning and the evening was ...) ensuring each minute counts.  If you begin doing this simple exercise you will be amazed how much more you are able to accomplish. Now try this for thirty days and note the increase in your productivity.

Have a blessed day and as always, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth. (3 John 1:2)      

Monday, July 1, 2013

May You Continue to Prosper

Today many are struggling to find a life balance.  They wish to serve the Lord with all their heart, however, the fact is life itself sometimes get in the way.  We wish to live a life that's pleasing to our King but there is family, finances, friends and the list goes on and on.  How can one find balance?

The bible is filled with solutions, however we are required to read it.  I know what you are saying right now .... you wish you could but you don't have the time.  We find time to get our degrees because we look at the short term goal; it increases our earning potential.  We find time to go to work because we have to make a living.  If you ask me, we have our priorities wrong.  

God does not want us to go hungry and be naked.  As a matter of fact Christ asks us to, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" (Matt 6:28-30).  He later reminds us, "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things." (Matt.6:31-32)

God has giving us a blue print to live a happy, successful and fulfilling life.  I will continue to share with you what I have learnt and applied to my own life so you can live the life of your dreams as well. I will make my blogs as short as possible yet rich with the information you need to practice to succeed on a weekly basis.  You can not continue doing the same things on a daily basis and expect to have a different result; that is the definition of insanity.  

God wants you to be happy and successful and use this to attract others to know about Him.  We will begin next week by looking at the two things he requires us to master to begin on the path of happiness and success; these are TIME and MONEY.  

I am excited and I thank you for following my blog and sharing your feedback.  And as always, "Beloved , I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth. (3 John 1:2)