Building People. Spreading Hope.

Friday, May 31, 2013

20 Facebook Etiquettes

Not too long ago, my oldest daughter joined millions on Facebook (FB). I wrote a few guidelines to protect her from online intruders as well as dos and don’ts to build an online presence. Some of this may be applicable to you.
1. Anything you share on FB is for the world to know. Don’t be upset saying, “There is no privacy.” You’re giving your consent for the world to see when you sign up for FB. Don’t blame FB for changing their privacy policy … again!

2. Don’t get naked, both physical and even more importantly - emotionally. Don’t post anything on social media when you’re feeling down, depressed and upset. Have some self-control and take at least a 48 hour break. You’ll be amazed how your feelings will change and you’ll thank yourself for not putting your passing thoughts for the world to know.
3. Don’t vent on FB. It’s one thing to be real but another thing to advertise your worst experiences to the world. Don’t trash-talk about people especially, your family and friends. You belittle yourself when you talk down on people. We’re to build people up and not tear them down. You must vent but talk to a real friends offline, who won’t judge your feelings.

5. Don’t be shallow. The world doesn’t care when/what you eat, sleep or how you like your coffee. Share things that are deeper than the mundane things of your life.
6. Life is a boomerang. Whatever message you send out will echo back to you! Take interest in other people and they’ll take interest in yours.

7. Resist the temptation to fire your opinion when you don’t agree with a statement other people have posted, especially on their wall. Accept the opinion of others. If the message could be interpreted in two ways, the author meant for you to look at it the most positive way.
8. Never criticize anyone on FB. Criticism is like a cancer. You can kill a gossip or spread it. How would you want others to gossip about you? When we criticize, we’re raising our children and grandchildren to be cynical, harsh and judgmental. Even God doesn’t judge a man until the end of his days, why should you and I? You don’t know what people are going through. You don’t know what made them form their opinion. If you want to be like Jesus, stop throwing stones at people.

9. Agree to disagree. Everyone has the right to voice their own opinion but that doesn’t mean you have to exercise your right. There’s no need to put anyone down just because you disagree (or worse, don’t like the person). You don’t have to agree but you don’t have to condemn them either. Find a common ground to agree.
10. Do not argue. It is a waste of time. People will not change just because you’re right. They have to be hungry for it. Let the Holy Spirit do His job to convict and convince people.

Social media is a wonderful, powerful and fun place to be. It’s a platform to share your life and interest with the world and vise versa. Use it to glorify God and build people up. Make others look good and God will help you shine.
To be continued tomorrow (11-20)…

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6 NIV).
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Men Want

Yesterday, we started talking about what men and women want to be in a mutually satisfied relationship. There’s a great divide between men and women but God meant for us to complement each other.

Once again, these are general guidelines. Not every man needs, wants and responds the same way. I heard one relationship expert say, men have three basic needs. They want sex, food, and more sex. It may sound this simple but after interviewing hundreds of men over the years, following are some of my observations.

Men want admiration. Since we’re young boys we’ve been trying to leave skid marks on the road with our bikes. The message is: look at me; I’m great! We want recognition. Men never grow out of that. When it is out of balance we’re messed up. In the positive, we want to be someone’s hero. We want you to brag and not nag. We want respect – someone to marvel at us.

Men want words of affirmation. This may shock some of you but one of the greatest enemies to a man’s self-esteem is insecurity. My biggest mistakes in life derived from insecurity. Think about it! Of all the things God could have said to Jesus at His baptism He chose to say, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I’m well pleased.” Even Jesus had to get His Father’s approval! One of the main reasons men fall into adulterous relationships is because the woman offers them flattery - a lie that he can do anything with her.

Men want control. To some extent this is God-given. We have been commissioned to lead. We like the feeling of being in-charge. This is why you don’t read much about female dictators in history. When men feel they’re in-charge, they will do anything to stay in control. If you have a great idea, just give us the credit and make us feel like it was our idea and you’ll have it your way.

Men want freedom. It’s interesting that we want to control the world around us but we ourselves want to be free. There’s a part in every man that is meant to be wild. We like, danger, adventure, challenge and stupidity. Oh what men would do in order to feel free! When we feel put in a box, forced to make commitment we resent and rebel. Inspire us with freedom and we’ll do more than you expect.

Men want peace. Believe it or not, we don’t enjoy confrontation. Our motto is: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. This is why men find it hard to adjust and change in a relationship because we don’t see the need for emotional maintenance. When the relationship falls apart, suddenly we’re all ears. If you need to confront men on any issue sent him a twit (short and sweet). Threatening doesn’t go well with men. Give them time and space to confront their issue. Show them the value of working things out and how the end result will be better than the present. It will motivate him to change.

Men want to have fun. Most of our grown up world is duty, responsibilities and serious stuff. We love to have fun. When men are relaxed and the pressure is off, we receive everything more seriously.

Friends, I hope this will help you build better relationships. My fellowmen, if I’ve left out anything that’s important to you, please share your comments now or hold your peace forever!

Seriously, one of the greatest things you can do to understand what a man or a woman want is simply ask. I’m praying for you!

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT)

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Women Want

I know I’m treading in hot water trying to delve into a subject that has been a topic of conversation for centuries. I don’t imply to be an expert but I think if we pay attention both men and women can learn of each other.

So what do women want? Hmmm... I’m sitting here staring at my computer screen! We all are unique so this is definitely not an exhausted list. This is just the basics to help some of my male friends. So, here we go…

Women want to feel beautiful. Worldwide, the total sales in the beauty industry have reached over $400 billion dollars. Have you heard a man ask, “How do I look?” When a woman ask you that question the answer is always, “You look beautiful.” Most of the time the reason she’s asking is because she’s feeling a little insecure and she wants you to acknowledge that she’s beautiful.

Women want you to listen. Researchers are showing women speak an average of 20,000 words daily compared to only 7,000 for men. They have found women have higher levels of Foxp2, known as the “language protein” that causes them to talk more. When women speak they’re processing out loud. They aren’t necessarily looking for people to fix them. They simply want you to listen and feel the way they feel and see things. Hard but doable!

Women want to be appreciated. I’m convinced women works more than men. Amazingly, they don’t make a big deal about it. The Bible says that God made Eve to be a “help mate.” Women don’t mind helping and working hard. However, when her hard work is noticed and appreciated it energizes her to do it over again.

Women want security. I used to think that means only financially. But security for a woman is a broad umbrella. If you’re in a committed relationship, you have to provide for financially, emotionally and spiritually. A house and a steady cash flow bring material security. A heartfelt talk and understanding bring emotional security. When a man leads his family in spiritual things, women think it’s attractive!

Women want intimacy and touch. Women love secrets and they love intimacy. Men fear looking weak and vulnerable. Just the opposite is true if you want to impress women. Women love it when men let their guards down. When men open up to share their feelings and dreams, most women are floored. In appropriate relationships, women love to be touched non-sexually. They enjoy affectionate touch.

You may think odd that I write these things. However, my intention is to help my male friends see that it’s not rocket science to understand women. Men, you can know your Bible and not know your woman. Truth is, most of the time we don’t understand women because we’re too selfish and narcissist. I know because I’ve been there. This is my encouragement for you to learn about women. If you’re in a relationship, it is your responsibility to make her feel happy, fulfilled and secure. With God’s help and a little learning, you can do anything.

Ladies, you’re beautiful, intelligent and wise. I’m not claiming to know everything. I’m still growing in this area. Please share with us what women want! God has a great plan for your life. We love and appreciate you.

Tomorrow… What Men want…

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25 ESV)

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Increase Your Capacity to Receive

Growing up in the orphanage, we didn’t have our own plates. We lined up and sat in our assigned seat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. During our teenage years, we’re always hungry. The fight was always about who can get the biggest plate because bigger plate meant more food.

The older I get the more I realize how easily we get satisfied. A little success makes us complacent. Sometimes our past mistakes cause us to stop dreaming. I’m here to remind you that it’s time to get a bigger plate. God has greater things in store for us.

The basic problem in our lives is lack of vision. Whether it is our marriage, children, job, health or wealth, we’ll only have what we have a vision for. Our life is the product of our thought, words and action. If you don’t like your life the way it is you can change what is to come. Have a great vision and take corresponding action and you will achieve great things in life.

Today, I want to light a fire in you to believe God for greater things in life. Many of God’s people are praying to barely get by in life. They are struggling to pay rent and mortgage. I say this respectfully but until we see ourselves prosperous with plenty left over we will struggle all through life. Riches are not for ungodly people. God wants you to be prosperous so that you can have plenty for your family and plenty left over to reach the world with the Gospel. If you ask for a spoonful of blessing, you’ll get a spoonful. If you ask for a barrel, you’ll get a barrel.

Once, a lady in the Bible ran out of oil and provision for her family. Prophet Elisha came around and told her to gather as many containers as she could so that he could bless the widow and provisions for her life. Her son went around and gathered as many buckets as he could and God faithfully met their needs. What is interesting is that oil “ceased” when the last container was filled. She alone had the power to decide how much was enough!

What and how much is enough for you?

Do you believe God for a barely get by, mediocre life or can you believe God for an abundant life? The limit on God’s blessing is in our thinking. God has no problem getting you out of your apartment into a spacious home. He has no problem getting you a hundred acres ranch. You can settle for a $50K job or $500K a year. You can never ask too much from God. God promised to bless Abraham so that he could be a blessing to the world. He wants to do the same for you today. Nothing you can ask from God is too big for Him to provide.

Friend, get rid of your small vessels to receive, bring out the barrels. Don’t ask for what you need, make a list of all the people you want to bless. (Make sure Build International Ministries is on the list to reach the nations for you!) The more we think of others the easier it gets to achieve what we desire. Stop focusing on what you can’t do, and start focusing on what God can do.

This week, will you download the vision from God and enlarge the capacity to receive for your family, business, health and wealth? Let’s not be satisfied with a mediocre lifestyle. Let’s dream big and dare to achieve great things for God.

Let me declare a blessing over you today. Father I thank you for my friends and increasing their capacity to receive. I call them blessed and highly favored. Let them have plenty of peace, joy, influence and resources so that they can be a blessing others. Lord, increasing their capacity to receive. In Jesus’ name.

“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request” (I Chronicles 4:10 NIV).

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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Value of Friendship

Fear gripped one of the two World War I soldiers when he saw his life-long friend fall in the battle. Bullets flying in every direction, he asked his lieutenant if he could go to the trenches and retrieve his fallen comrade.

“You can go,” said the lieutenant, “but I don’t think it will be worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw away your own life.”

Immediately the young soldier took off running towards the trenches and miraculously he returned to his own company hoisting his friend on his shoulders. As they stumbled together to the bottom of the trench, the officer looked intently at the young soldier.

“I told you it wouldn’t be worth it. Your friend is dead and you’re fatally wounded.”

“Yes sir,” the solider replied, “but it was totally worth it because when I got to him he was still alive.” I had the satisfaction of hearing him say, “I knew you’d come!”

This Memorial Day, let’s honor all the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our family, friends and country.

Today, I also want to take this opportunity to talk about the value of friendship in our lives. Often we take our friends for granted. We expect them to be there for us even if we don’t invest in them. True friendship is a two way street. Here are a few thoughts on developing long-lasting friendships.

Seek for ways to deposit into your friends. When we are aware of what our friends mean to us, we will find ways to add value to their lives.

Visit or call your friends for no reason. Life gets busy and we get carried away with our daily activities. If our “contacts” only reflect the people we do business with we’re living in a very small world. Drop by at a friend’s home or work place. Give a call just to check on them.

Expand the landscape of your friendship. Don’t just make friends with people who look, talk and act like you. How boring is that? Cultivate friendship from various groups of people regardless of their color, culture or ethnic background. Try different types of food with your friends. Go to their cultural events. Watch a movie or listen to music in different languages. Visit your friend’s church. You’ll be amazed how your life will be enriched simply by expanding the landscape of your friendship.

Express your feelings in writing. Written notes, cards and letters have a special meaning. It can have a multiple impact. When you express your friendship in writing, it can be appreciated many times in the years to come. Handwritten notes are a rarity today. Send postcards or a picture of your times together.

Another way you can solidify friendship is to give gifts. Little gifts that convey the message “I’m thinking about you or I care about you” can mean the world to a friend who is going through a rough patch. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive but I’ve never met a person who doesn’t want to receive a gift.

Be loyal. Friendship starts with trust but loyalty is the glue that keeps a friendship together. Loyalty simply means that you stick with your friend through thick and thin and take up for them. A loyal friend will advise you to do the right thing no matter how hard it is. Speak the truth in love.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT).

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Be Hungry for God

Yesterday I was invited to a Christian meeting by an acquaintance. My friend didn’t show up but what I experienced was heartwarming. In spite of many believing America is dying spiritually I encountered the opposite. I saw people hungry for God!

My friend hadn’t told me any details of the meeting so when I realized that the meeting was in a house, I was surprised. The house wasn’t exceptionally big but both sides of the streets were jammed packed with cars. It took me forever to find a parking place. Immediately I knew these people were hungry for God.

When I walked into the house, I was shocked again. The house was buzzing with people everywhere. Immediately I felt at home. There was a long line of people approaching the food area with a huge spread. Again I was impressed! They’re feeding 100+ people free of charge!

In spite of the big house, there was no place to sit. People were occupying every single room of the building – fellowshipping and enjoying the meal. There were people from all different backgrounds.

When the commotion stopped, a young lady led the worship and another young man shared his testimony that people participated in through big TV screens in every room including the hallway. These people were hungry for God. The preacher delivered a dynamic message that went on for an hour and nobody complained! Again, I thought these people were hungry for God. They didn’t call it a church but it felt like what a church should be.

I prayed for a few people after the meeting and as I left the gathering I couldn’t help but think God is working. These people are hungry for God. One of my mentors used to say, “A hungry man will find a restaurant no matter where it is.” Certainly, these people were hungry for God and they’d found a spiritual restaurant.

Ministering in Asia, I see people hungry for God. In my recent trip to Nepal, we had a sixty three year old pastor and his wife come down from the Himalayan Mountains. They walked for twelve hours and rode the bus for another sixteen hours just to attend a one day meeting we’d put together. What is humbling is that the pastor had spent twenty six months in prison for preaching the Gospel and his ministry has planted two hundred churches! This pastor and his wife are hungry for God.

What about you?

Are you hungry for God? Are you growing spiritually? Are you grateful for what He has done? Are you doing anything special to show God how much you love Him? Do you love God and His other children? Are you learning about God? Who are your disciples?

Friend, today I want to challenge you to be hungry for God. No matter who or where you are we’re to stay hungry for God. When we lose the passion for our Lord, we begin to die spiritually. When we’re not growing spiritually, we are not operating in our full potential. Will you search your heart and turn it over to God. He longs to spend time with you. He wants to talk to you. He wants to fellowship with you. Will you give Him your listening heart and a sacrifice of praise? When we are hungry for God, He will fill our hearts with His peace and presence. When God is with us, we will demonstrate success in every area of our lives.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6 NIV).

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Joy of Giving

One of the greatest pleasures in life is in our giving. We resemble God the most when we’re in the posture of giving. Giving is not only for the rich and it is not only about money. Giving is a lifestyle that God wants all of us to experience.

Many people have the idea that we have to be rich before we can give. You don’t give because you’re rich; you’re rich because you give. Giving is so much more than money.

In my early twenties when I was learning the principle of giving I didn’t have a lot of money. I remember how I’d buy packs of chewing gum and share with my friends and even strangers around me. I say this humbly but since then God has made me a conduit to pass millions of dollars and touch countless lives.

We can give people our time. The best example that comes to mind is teachers. They invest their lives to invest in our children. If you’re a mother, you’re a teacher. A teacher’s reward is not always reflected in her salary but the lives she touches that go on to become world changers. When we invest our time in visiting the widow and the elderly, we’re giving them the gift of life. If you volunteer anywhere, you’re an angel to someone! You’re the hands and feet of Jesus. Giving of our time is the best gift we can give because time cannot be replaced.

We can give by sharing our influence. I was meeting with a friend yesterday. He’s a banker. He has shown much interest in our ministry. As we shared our hearts together, he revealed to me how his finances have been stretched recently. He was distraught about not being able to do more. I told him, “I don’t need your money. I need your influence.” Immediately his eyes lit up. We sat there discussing all the different people he can introduce to our ministry. He left feeling like a million dollar man simply because he took time to share his influence.

Another way we can give is by speaking into people’s lives. A college student was drifting along in life when Mrs. Green confronted the young man. His mother owned a beauty parlor where Ruth Green was a regular. The young man came to visit his mother when Mrs. Green looked at him and asked for a piece of paper. On the piece of paper she wrote, “You’re going to travel the world and preach to millions of people.” Son of a Pentecostal preacher, today Denzel Washington is speaking to millions simply because Mrs. Green spoke greatness over his life! Washington says, “I still carry the paper with me today!” Denzel is one of the few Christian men who stand tall in Hollywood. Anyone can complement someone when they’ve made it in life. Let’s speak life into people who are struggling, suffering and in despair. Jesus was a friend of the sinners.

A great way to give is to make people feel better emotionally. I feel reluctant to share this in public but whenever I see a little baby or a toddler I have a habit of stopping look at the child, smile big and say to the parent, “Today, I’ve seen an angel!” I know it doesn’t sound very macho so I never stop long enough to see the expression on the parents’ faces but you can only imagine! We send people in orbit simply by speaking a kind word. Christ speaks when you speak. He touches people when you do.

Friends, the joy of giving is priceless. We all can give in so many ways. Some of you reading this maybe needing to be on the receiving end of giving. The best way you can receive is to give. Write a hand written note to encourage somebody. Make that call. Bake a cake. Mow the lawn of your neighbor. Visit the elderly – your parents! Speak kind words. Give a recommendation. Share your influence. When you do, you’ll be amazed how God will return the favor to you. Let’s change our world by our giving.

Live simply so that other people can simply live!

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it” (Proverbs 3:27 NAS).

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Change Your Perspective

Several of my friends are going through extreme challenges right now. Each one’s situation is unique and heartbreaking. However, I try to gently remind them to keep the right perspective in the midst of their trouble.
In my recent trip to Asia I started hiccupping. I don’t know about you but I find it very irritating. For the first couple of minutes I wasn’t too worried but when it continued for over an hour, I got very agitated. Everybody tried to give me various remedies but nothing worked. I was supposed to talk to the kids at my brother’s orphanage so I prayed and it got worse! Finally I realized what was going on. I had focused my entire attention to this stupid hiccup! I decided not to put so much weight on such a small thing. I went on to talk to the children and it just made them laugh to hear me hiccup every twenty seconds. I don’t think they learnt any lesson that day but they certainly had a lot of fun watching me. My hiccup continued for one and a half day but as soon as I changed my perspective about this small setback, I was able to enjoy life.
There are times life doesn’t seem fair. People we don’t like get qualified for their new home. A new believer gets healed of a dreaded disease when we’ve been praying to be healed of ours for years. People at work, junior level staff get the contract and the commission. We cannot stop every unfair thing to happen to us but if we have the right perspective, God will pay us back; we can be productive and go on in life.
In the scripture, Paul goes on to list some of his troubles. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.” Then He goes on to say that these were light affliction compared to what Christ suffered for us. While in prison Paul wrote more than half of the New Testament! He wrote, “Rejoice and again I say rejoice!”
Wait a minute! Did he say rejoice? You mean we can be happy? Yes. Learn to laugh at your troubles. When we change our perspective, like my hiccup, we can still find ways to laugh about. Truth is most of us are fighting something in life. When we focus on what’s right with us we will quickly forget the wrongs. I can assure you someone would love to exchange your life for theirs. One man’s nightmare is another man’s dream!
I’m not trying to minimize your pain and suffering but I know we cannot change every negative situation in our lives. God allows them to sharpen us and take us to a new level. The scripture says, “Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to figure out everything that happens along the way.” Quit questioning God and start trusting Him more.
One thing we can do in our difficult times is to magnify God instead of the problem. When we talk about magnifying something, it doesn’t change its original size. We cannot make God bigger than what He already is. But when we focus on His goodness, we make Him look bigger in our own eyes. It increases our faith!
Friend, if you change your perspective you can find something to praise God for. You may not like the commute to work but you can be thankful for a car. You might not get along with your co-worker but you can be grateful for a job. You may not like to clean the pile of laundry but you can thank God for your wonderful family. You may be stuck in a wheelchair but you can appreciate that you can sleep every day.
Another practical thing we can do to change our perspective is to talk less about our troubles and speak more about our victories. When we exalt what God is doing in our lives we will draw in more of His favor. When we constantly broadcast all our troubles we’re giving our power over to the enemy. Instead of complaining, make a list of all the things God has blessed you with. When you take the time to praise God for what He has done He will make sure to take care of your current trouble.
Change your perspective. You still have plenty you can thank God for. Focus on the areas you can enjoy life. Make plans, help someone in need and do your best to celebrate and go on living a normal life. When you change your perspective, everything will begin to shift in your life. I’m praying for you!
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:9 NAS).
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

Many of us struggle with ideal weight, health conditions and lack of adequate energy. This is why it is so important to keep up with our body, spirit and soul. Because we’re a three part being, what happens in one of these areas will affect the other.

The Bible says that our body is the temple of God. It is not only where we live but it is also where God lives. One of my friends says, “You are what you eat.” That is why it is so important to pay careful attention to our eating habits. What we put in our body is what we’re going to get out of it. Today we will discuss developing better eating habits so we can feel and look better while our spirit operates in high octane.

First thing about developing better eating habits is to have the right attitude towards food and our wellbeing. If we want to be healthy, we have to have the right mental picture of our ideal weight and health condition. How we see ourselves internally is how we will become externally.

Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast is like taking your vehicle for a drive. If it doesn’t have gas in it, it’s not going to go very far. A healthy breakfast gives our body the fuel and energy we need to perform better through the day.

Eat from a small plate. A lot happens to our brain when we’re eating. When we eat from a small plate it looks like we’re eating from a full plate and thus it helps us to reduce our total intake. Eat large bowls of salad and small plates of food.

Eat slowly. When we gorge ourselves eating quickly in order to “save time,” we’re sending the wrong message to our brain. Did you know our brain sends signal how much we should eat? When we’re eating too fast we’re bypassing our brain.

Cut down on meat. You may not like to hear this but you’ll live longer. If you’re a meat lover, cut down on the red meat. Replace meat with fish and more vegetables.

Eat fresh food and fruits. God created food to be enjoyed. Whenever we buy packaged and processed food we may save time but we’ll destroy our body. Read what the label says. Fruits and nuts are great healthy snacks. Cut down the sugar.

Drink more water. Did you know sixty percent of our body consists of water? This is why we must keep our body hydrated with water. Water is life. Water purifies the toxin and impurities in our body. You can drink whatever you want but make sure that eighty to ninety percent of your liquid intake is water. It is the original health drink!

Get active. A great way to enhance your health is to put regular exercise on your diet. No matter what your preference is, get active. You can work out, work in the garden, walk, run, and swim or play other sports. When we’re breaking sweat, we release endorphin or the “happy hormone” that releases stress and puts us in good mood. Exercise will not only make you look good it will make you feel good.

Sleep is another vital part of health and wellness. A minimum of eight hours of sleep is recommended to operate in our optimum level. Your body is the only machine you’ll have. No engine can operate 24/7. Sleep is like rebutting your computer. It gets rid of all the fatigues and revitalizes your body. Sleep makes you look beautiful.

I know these may not seem like very spiritual insight. But how we feel has greatly to do with our spirit. When we’re developing healthy eating habits, we’re making our spirits more beautiful. Let us honor God with what we eat and drink for it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for taking this as a gentle reminder to act on what God has already been dealing with you. I declare that you’ll live long, healthy and fulfill the number of your days on earth.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (I Corinthians 6:19 NIV).

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Don’t Leave Home Without It

Several years ago a credit card company ran its ad that is still stuck in my head. It said, “Don’t leave home without it.” That is not a very healthy financial wisdom but the concept was great. Credit cards are optional but there are certain things essential to life.

Today we’re going to talk about expecting and operating in God’s favor!

The first thing you must know about favor is God has given it all of us. You have to receive favor by faith. When you receive favor, you activate a supernatural lifestyle. Receiving favor from God with a grateful heart is like turning on the power switch. Favor will revitalize your life.

You can have all the right knowledge, equipment and connections but unless you have favor it is hard to make progress in life. When you have favor, doors will open wide without much of an effort. When you have favor, you’ll walk in the blessings of God; you’ll receive preferential treatment everywhere you go.

I have had favor in my life as far as I can remember. When my mother died I was only one year old. But God’s favor led me to an orphanage where the two founding ladies adopted my brothers and I like their own sons. After high school I got admitted to one of the most reputable college in spite of my grade being average. When I got called to be a minister, God raised thousands of people to support our vision. The favor continues and in a humble way, I’ve come to expect favor everywhere I go.

Declare favor over your own life. Bulk of my prayer time consists of declaring favor over my life. I’ve learnt, “It’s not so much what you have but does it have God’s favor on it or not makes the difference.” I’ve seen far less qualified people get the top job in the company. I’ve experienced much less talented people making it to the big stage. When we understand favor and declare it every day, we please God by putting our confidence in Him. We don’t deserve it but He wants us to declare it!

In the Bible there are famous examples of people who received and declared God’s favor. Noah found favor in the Lord. So did Mary the mother of Jesus. David was the least in his family. He was only a shepherd boy. Not much in appearance but God had chosen David. Prophet Samuel passed by seven of David’s older brothers to bless him with God’s favor. Later David would fight God’s enemy. Goliath was a professional fighter but David was anointed with favor. We all know the end of that story.

Are you standing in front of some giants today? The Bible says it’s the anointing (favor) that breaks bondages. Whatever you may be facing today, remember that you are highly favored by the Lord. No mountain of debt is too big for favor to remove. No sickness is too impossible for God to heal. God is breathing favor over your business today. Declare favor over your children. Favor will thrust you twenty years ahead.

If you want favor, you have to sow favor. Once I was in a retail store and a young man came in to apply for a job. He was desperate to work. When the manager passed by I highly recommended this stranger. He ended up getting a job there! You can’t be selfish and expect God to open doors for you. When you’re in traffic, let the other person squeeze in. When you’re in a long line and the person behind you has a few items, let them go ahead. When you receive bad service, give your waitress an extra big tip and a compliment. When children come knocking on your door for a fundraiser, just give the money and ask the child to enjoy the treat. Friend, when you sow favor, you’ll also reap favor!

Every day, like the credit card company advised, I declare favor over my life, before I leave my house. When you have favor, you don’t miss anything. You’ll be at the right place at the right time. Proclaiming God’s favor will release His blessings in our lives so we too can be a blessing to others.

Receive God’s favor today. Declare His favor over your own life. Expect favor and show favor to other. When we live favor-minded, we invite God to work on our behalf. Favor will take you places you’ve never dreamed about. Don’t leave home without favor.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11 ESV).

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rewards of Discipline

None of us enjoy doing things we don’t like. Yet life is full of little things we have to do in order to be successful. When we develop a lifestyle of discipline we put a life of reward in motion. The pain of regret is far greater than the pain of discipline.

Discipline is an important character to develop. The good news is we are never too old to be disciplined. When we’re disciplined we invite God’s commanded blessing into our lives. Not only are we blessed but looking at us, our children can also have a head start in life.

Jim Rohn said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Today we want to focus on three important areas of discipline in which we all can come up higher. When you master these you can expect growth and increase in every area of your life.

Discipline in our thinking. This is the most critical area of our life. The Bible says when we don’t have boundaries in our wrong thinking we’re like a city without walls. Every one of us is tempted to think negative, down and defeated thoughts once in a while. If we’re constantly giving in to the negative thoughts about ourselves and others, we will produce a negative life. Our thoughts are like seeds. When we are disciplined in our thinking, we’re panting seed for a beautiful garden. Our thoughts are like seeds. You can plant a flower garden or patches of weeds. Both will grow and produce in abundance depending on the seeds you plant.

Discipline in our speaking will produce a positive life. Words are like watering the seeds we plant. Planting seeds of beautiful flowers is a good start but speaking positive, life-giving words are like watering our seeds. It germinates the seed and creates an environment for life to blossom. Critical spirit stifles life but in the environment of positive words people can thrive.

Another area of discipline is in our action. Many good intentions are buried alive but a smallest act of discipline produces results. When we are disciplined with our action we will reap a good harvest. For example, is better to save fifty dollars a month instead of thinking, “I’ll save big when the bonus check comes in.” It is better to walk around the block of your neighborhood every day than to sit around thinking, “I’ll start my 5K run when a cooler weather comes in.” Start where you are!

People need discipline in different areas. Only you know the area you need to be disciplined. Instead of being scared of the temporary sacrifice, focus on the rewards of discipline. Once we discipline our lives in the ways of God we reap a harvest that is far greater than the pain that comes from lack of discipline.

One way to start a disciplined life is to create accountability. After you’ve identified the area you need to discipline yourself, ask family members and friends to hold you accountable. When we have friends and family backing us up, we’re more likely to develop a life of discipline.

Today my challenge for us is to develop a life of discipline. When we live a disciplined life, we invited God’s blessing into our lives. What we sow we shall also reap. A disciplined life will produce a life of peace, health and prosperity. Don’t just do it in your own strength, ask God for the power of His Holy Spirit. He is our Helper. When we discipline ourselves, we will reap the fruit of its rewards.

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11 ESV).

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Today is the Day

Mel Fisher spent most of his life treasure hunting.  He was looking for a sunken ship that went under water off the coast of Florida. Fisher didn't have a stash of wealth to pay his diver.  But he had coined a phrase, "Today's the day," to encourage his divers.  When Fisher didn't have money to pay his workers he wrote them I owe you. He lived on a leaky house boat and dodged bill collectors. In search of lost treasure, he lost one of his sons and a daughter-in-law to the sea.
Fisher was searching for a Spanish ship that went under water in 1622. Many unfortunate things surrounded Fisher life. But nothing could shake the confidence in his heart. Fisher was not a quitter. He was determined and he was diligent. He believed in his heart it was only a matter of time before he would hit the jackpot and that he did!

In 1985, Mel's divers found the lost Spanish ship still loaded with silver and gold jewelry. It was payday! Mel's divers are still hauling out treasures from the wreckage.
Let me ask you a question. If today was your day, what would you expect? Do you believe or do you doubt?  Are you putting plans in place to prosper so you can help others or have you given up on your dreams and waiting for things to fold?

One of the greatest joys of life is to fight battle through and say in the end the dream is true. If you haven’t figured out already, troubles come uninvited. Life is a struggle. But here’s the key. You cannot stop every wave from hitting your shore; what you can do is learn to surf!
Take your focus off the problems and learn to laugh at them. Instead of magnifying the problem magnify God! There is nothing you’re facing that God cannot solve in an instant. But He is far more interested in changing us than to change our circumstances. So let’s work on our character, our mindset and our attitude. Live each day as if today is your day! When you’ve done that long enough and you still don’t see your breakthrough remind yourself as Fisher did, “Today is the day!”

One thing I have learnt about God, He will never allow us to go through something without giving us the tools, strength, friends, courage and determination to go through it. The enemy is not strong enough to take us out at will. The size of your problem is an indication of the size of your victory. Are you going to fight or give up?
Friend, there is only one way life is worth living and that is the life of faith. Nothing is more miserable than to live without hope and yet nothing is more rewarding than living life with faith and expectancy. Your payday is coming. Get your hopes up in God. Put on a new attitude and expect something miraculous from God - today. Our God is able and He is available for you. Nothing is too hard for our God.

Today is the day! God has a boatload of treasure waiting for you. He will take you to a new height you've never climbed before. He will let you soar like an eagle. He will take your tragedy and turn it into a triumph. He will not only change your life but through you He will change the world.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV).

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