Praise Him continually

Praise is an act of faith.

I read a story this morning that really challenged me and this is what the author has to say :

When Becky Harling was diagnosed with cancer over ten years ago, she begged God for healing. A friend of hers had another idea. She challenged Becky to spend twenty minutes a day in praise. Becky thought, What if I’m not feeling thankful? But as she intentionally praised God, she began to experience new joy—and her relationship with God has never been the same. She took a step of faith.

Now, in The Thirty-Day Praise Challenge, Becky guides you in praising God for twenty minutes every day for one month. Arranged topically, the book includes music selections to enhance your praise journey and creative ideas for continuing the habit of praise.

As Becky writes, “If you take this challenge, your faith will grow more than you dreamed possible. You will experience more joy, less insecurity, more courage, less anxiety. Thirty days of praising God. Are you ready?” Taken from    ‘The 30-Day Praise Challenge’    available on Amazon

Discover the Power of Praising God  

We are commanded to praise Him continually:  Hebrews 13:15 ‘Through Jesus we should always bring God a sacrifice of praise, that is, words that acknowledge him’. God’s word translation: ‘Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name’.  We need to respond in obedience to what we read.

We are not just commanded to praise, we are commanded to do it constantly and at all times. It should also be verbally expressed. It is not just something you think about. Praise takes attention away from us to the Creator. it helps to recognise there is a higher authority above us, we have just appeared on this earth by chance. There are steps to follow for our lives to have meaning.

Something has to happen for us to have that connection. We need to make Jesus the Lord of our life by believing in Him and confessing Him as Lord and saviour. As I mentioned above, we are commanded to offer a sacrifice of praise ‘through Him ‘Through Him means we have access to God through Jesus. As long as you believe in Jesus, you have access to God to offer your sacrifice of praise.

We should be glad we no longer have to offer animal sacrifices in order to please God as was the case in the old dispensation. Our approach to our Creator has been made easy by one sacrifice, Jesus Christ. Praise is indeed for us not for Him. We are the benefactors. It is difficult for many to understand this as it seems too simple.

There are barriers to our offering that praise.  Some of these are anger, Discouragement, Unbelieve, fear, unforgiveness or holding grudges, fear, unforgiveness. These can all be overcome by surrender of our concerns to Our Creator.

 

Let’s praise Him.

You have the power to get wealth

I want to explore these few words I read in the Book saying ‘But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant…….’.  It refers to you first. The power is within because the creator dwells within us if we have the faith to believe he does. The beginning of the verse actually mentions remembering him. We need to be in communion with the one that dwells inside us then the rest of the words makes sense.  We all like to quote the highlighted bit and forget it comes first. Everything we receive from above is by faith and this is very difficult for many to accept. If we can attain anything in our strength or ability.

Why do we need faith?  We need it because He gives you the power so that you have the resources to make a difference in the world. You will be receiving power from someone you cannot see. That takes faith. Faith takes the first step even though it cannot see the whole staircase according to  Martin Luther King Jr. Proverbs 3:6 encourages us to remember God in everything we do and He will direct our ways.

In defining wealth you need to be comparing yourself to those who have less than you. Am I saying here, ‘don’t aspire for greatness by looking at the people wealthier than you’.  I’m simply saying by comparing yourself to people less privileged, you have the opportunity to continually give praises to your Creator who is always willing to endow you with more.  Look at the needs all over the world. where do you place yourself? This article helps to put things in perspective. It has some shocking statistics.

I recently visited an African country on a self-funded volunteer programme and could see a lot of opportunities that the natives could not spot. In such environment, I can see how blessed I am and how I could make a difference with very little resources.  One day during one of my training sessions I mentioned how Moringa is popular all over the world and the cost. Unknown to me was a Moringa tree growing in the compound of the venue. The leaves and seeds of that plant was neglected as the pods had become dried up on the tree. Some of the participants knew the power of the plant and have first-hand experiences of people who have benefited from sale or use of it. There was a young man named Richard was there who had attended training sessions on how to grow and cultivate it but did nothing with the information.  Wealth was around but not being tapped.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Some of the directions to get wealth and ways to receive ability are numerous. These are some avenues for ideas to get wealth:

  • May come in your dream.
  • It may come through an impression in your mind
  • It may come through conversation with someone
  • You may be reading a book or newspaper and that light bulb moment comes to you.
  • Browsing online
  • Visits to trade fairs, conferences
  • Visits to other countries

These avenues are not exhaustive and I am open to more ideas that can be added to the list.

What action you take with the information you receive is very important. How do you position yourself to receive this blessing coming your way? He is ‘giving you the power’ because He wants you to use it. Richard mentioned above, having listened to my pep talk on uses of Moringa and the ability to earn foreign exchange, promised to embark on farming it and keeping me updated. Many others heard the information and will never do anything about it despite the confirmation they had during the interactive discussions. In the moringa story I narrated above, I asked a young man to gather the pods and take the seeds out for me. He passed on the job to someone else. On the following day, I saw that the pods were still lying around and no one, not even him bothering to touch it. He obviously felt too big to do such tasks. I bet if I return to the same country next year, he would still be looking for JOB. It’s the same way we pass over opportunities that could make us wealthy.

In wrapping up, I believe wealth is a product of the mind. It is not sin otherwise your creator will not give it. We all have opportunities to get wealth but we need to get deeper with our Creator. Wealth is embedded in ideas and attitudes. The reason why some are not wealthy could be because of bad attitude amongst other reasons and failure or inability of its citizens to act on ideas. This is highly debatable and I am not passing any judgement here.

This is why a country may be rich in natural resources and not be wealthy. In many of these countries, attitude to work, business and life, in general, have to change for people to begin the wealth creation process. People have to be taught wealth creation and it starts with attitude change not the giving of handouts. There are countries of the world like Japan and Taiwan who have hardly any natural resources and are wealthy nations whereas other countries have the resources and need to buy in the technology, inventions, ideas, attitudes. It also shows that we need each other.

I will leave with these few word from the big book: Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field (Ecclesiastes 5:9).

 

Problems are disguised opportunities

“Any big problem is a big opportunity…. No problem, No opportunity, No Business…. Nobody will pay you for solving a non-problem.” Vinod Kholsa

Every Business is solving a problem. People are paying for solutions by buying a product or service. Problems are said to be the universe’s way of helping us to learn to accept reality. These problems can help to show our fortitude and energy. We should never see times of adversity as time to complain but as the time to ask:

  • What new lesson is life trying to teach me.
  • What new skill am I about to unleash in me
  • What new contacts is this about to give me.
  • Who would be the beneficiaries of my  new opportunities
  • What problem am I  prepared to solve

It is important to always look at the positive side of events that happens around you.  You may be refused at a job interview. That job may not be yours at the time. An opportunity may turn up in the same place later which suits better. Shali went for an interview and was refused because there was a better-suited candidate. A feedback for the interviewer revealed,  ‘ You did very well and your presentation was the best but for the particular post requirement, we had a perfect match’. Later a new vacancy arose and she was requested for. Her job at the time was going through a restructuring and her post was being suspended. The new job offers more hours and better work satisfaction.  A woman tele evangelist once narrated how she began to run her own ministry. ‘I was sacked from one job or the other’. ‘I started running small meetings and it blossomed’ she said. She could have sat complaining and do nothing about her situations.

Continue reading Problems are disguised opportunities

Wish to be a TV

A Primary School teacher asked her pupils to write an essay on ”A wish you want from God?” At the end of the day, the teacher collected all the essays given by her pupils. She took them to her house, sat down and started marking.

Whilst marking the essays, she sees a strange essay written by one of her pupils. That essay made her very emotional. Her husband came and sat beside her and saw her crying. The husband asked her, “What happened, What’s making you cry?”

She answered “Read this. It is one of my pupil’s essay.”

“Oh God, Make me a Television. I want to live like the TV in my house.

In my house, the TV is very valuable. All of my family members sit around it. They are very interested in it. When the TV is talking, my parents listen to it very happily.

They don’t shout at the TV. They don’t quarrel with the TV. They don’t slap the TV. So I want to become a TV.

The TV is the centre of attraction in my house. I want to receive the same special care that the TV receives from my parents. Even when it is not working, the TV has a lot of value.

When my dad and mom come home, they immediately sit in front of the TV, switch it on and spend hours watching it. The TV is stealing the time of my dad and my mom. If I become a TV, then they will spend their time with me.

While watching the TV, my parents laugh a lot and they smile many times. But I want my parents to laugh and smile with me also. So please God make me a TV.

I love to be the centre of attraction ( they watching me)

And last but not the least, if I become a TV, surely I can make my parents happy and entertain them. Lord I won’t ask you for anything more. I just want to live like a TV. Please turn me into a TV.

The husband completed reading the essay. He said “My God, poor kid. He feels lonely. He did not receive enough love and care from his parents. His parents are horrible.” We are all born with an innate desire for fellowship.

The eyes of the primary School teacher filled with tears. She looked at her husband and said, “Our son wrote this essay.”

What do you think of this piece? This child would become an attention seeker as she grows older and may be very disruptive in an attempt to get people to notice her. It is also referred to as excessive attention seeking and drama addiction. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/obesely-speaking/201411/excessive-attention-seeking-and-drama-addiction).

May our children never desire to be WhatsApp Phones or TV.
This story highlights a lot of problems with modern day parenting.
There is nothing wrong with TV or WhatsApp messages but there is a problem when it is allowed to consume our lives and time.  Time is a precious commodity and should never be wasted this way. If I was advising these parent I will be discussing:

  • Prioritising -Our Creator had time for work and He rested, we are adivised to do the same.
  • Planning – Learn to plan. Time should be allocated for rest as well as other things. There is a time for everything according to Ecclesiasties 3:1-8
  • Engage with family members healthily. This child should be watching TV with parents. Whatsapp messages can be viewed when she’s gone to bed or some other times in the day. No child should feel they are competing with parent’s affection.

A good time management technique will help these parents deal with their schedule more effectively.

5 ways to get rid of fear

Fear is real.  It is sometimes disguised as excuses.  It is defined as False Evidence Appearing Real. ‘Fear not’ appears 365 times in the bible some say.It doesn’t  appear exactly as quoted but could be ‘be courageous’. It is a destiny robber. It is the creator of many identified and unidentified diseases. Fear and doubt are twins. It is crippling. Fear if not dealt with can lead to health issues, especially mental ones like anger, hate and the list going on.

Fear can come in dressed in many attires:

  • Fear of failure (caution)
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of success (always disguised in false humility)
  • Fear of anything technical
  • Fear of people
  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of Loss
  • Fear of rejection

Naomi has a high powered job with a big firm. She was recently challenged to start her own business having heard a preacher for so long. She considered the big salary she would loose but against this is the children she never knew because they were being cared for by house help. domestic life had greatly suffered. One day she summed up courage and resigned from her job to start her own business. Six months later she reported, ‘my income in six months has superseded my income in one year’.  We need to face our fears. Continue reading 5 ways to get rid of fear

Count it all Joy

‘Count  it  all joy when you fall into various trials or temptations, knowing that the testing handof your faith produces patience’. James 1:2 It  goes on to state that patience produces maturity and contentment.

This is another challenging verse. Our natural reaction is to be angry, disturbed, upset when bad situations arise.

If I lose my job, I should count it all joy? This requires a high level of thinking or maturity. Loosing your job is not the end of the world. It may be an opportunity to regroup and enter a different industry or take on another challenge. Opportunities abound in many difficulties only if we have the eyes to see it. Rejoicing in the midst of adversity may be the key that just unlocks the opportunities

I thought I’m supposed to avoid difficult situations or curse people who bring such situations into my life. The answer is not avoiding situations or feeling bad when they occur but in asking for the grace to accept such situations as opportunity for growth and development of character.

Why should I count it all joy when going through a difficult time? Joy comes from within regardless of the circumstances I see AROUND ME. On the other hand, happiness is induced by what we see happening around us and can be temporary. It can also be based on how we feel whereas Joy is dependent on who is the author of your faith.’When they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil… rejoice in that day; and leap for joy…” (Luke 6:22-23) Continue reading Count it all Joy

Give thanks in all circumstances ….

Is it possible to be give thanks always? Why should I give thanks when bad things are happening to me? This is only possible from a place of faith, knowing that my life is not my own and that a higher one is directing the affairs of my life. Let’s have a look at a command: ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’ is a well known verse in the Big book. It means if I don’t live a life of thankfulness, I am not aligning myself with the will of Christ Jesus.

Three things mentioned in that verse:

  1. Rejoice always
  2. Pray continually
  3. Give thanks always

How can we be joyful in our difficult human situation? Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” There is a purpose for your ‘temporary’ suffering. With an attitude of faith, you can overcome.

Another version : Always be joyful, always keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Continue reading Give thanks in all circumstances ….

As they went.

Leprosy island-526613_640As I read another part of the Book I am convicted of the many times I have procastinated or ignored an inner desire to do or start something. Most of us like to wait for perfect conditions  before we progress with ideas.

Ten lepers, standing at a distance approached Jesus and called out ‘Jesus, master have mercy on us’.  Jesus replied ‘ Go, show yourselves to the high priest’. ‘As they went‘,  things happened.

Few  things to learn from this story:

Leprosy is contagious hence they stood at a distance.  Some of our conditions though not visible like leprosy does make us stand aloft. Some of these could be rejection, fear, anxiety, depression, past failures.

They recognised their condition and asked for help. This is where some have boldly taken the bull by the horn and gone in search of solution. This could be available in numerous ways.

Jesus told them to show themselves to the priest. ‘This doesn’t make sense, he knows we are not allowed to that by law’ they must have  reasoned but proceeded. We rationalise a lot today if instructions fail to meet our standards.

They obeyed the instruction and went. ‘As they went, they were healed’. Great things happen when we act  on information or leadings and do not rationalise ourselves out of it. Taking action and at the right time is key to success. Miracles happened as ‘they went’. Luke 17:12-17

The action they took was not normal. They needed to go through some rituals before pressenting themselves to the priest but as the High Priest ordered, they obeyed. They acted in faith not waiting to see diminishing symptoms.

Thanksgiving was also an important lesson from the story. Out of the ten healed , one returned to give thanks. ‘Where are the remaining’ asked Jesus. By returning to give thanks, he did not only get physical healing, he got spiritual healing too when Jesus declared, ‘Your faith has made you whole’. Whole in body, whole in spirit.

Taking action to see results is important although it may be partial to start with. Have you started a business and wondered when the money will start rolling in. Never give up your dreams, take those small steps and see the full picture unfold.

Those ideas and hunches you shelved, why don’t you revisit them today.

 

 

 

 

 

You can feed five thousand

Do you know that you can feed 5000? ‘How’? you ask, by being grateful for the little resource you have. You don’t have to wait for plenty before you stretch out your hand. The power to increase and to cause increase has been given to you by your creator. Before you were created He said ‘I want to make man in my image’. If the manufacturer has decided to make you in His image you can do whatever he can do because he empowered you. In fact the book says ‘I can do all things because he strengthens me’. What ever I imagine I can do. So the problem lies in ensuring that whatever I choose to do is for the benefit of mankind. Power will move in you as you serve mankind and it is important you don’t ignore yourself.fishes_23-2147516484

The story went like this: A young boy gave his lunch as a request was made for food for a crowd. How could a boy’s lunch feed 5000? The important thing is that the boy offered what he had, five loaves and two fishes. He did not rationalise and allow analysis to paralyse his thinking. He offered, the meal was received and thanksgiving was made for the meal. The miracle started as thanksgiving was being made for the meal. Not only were the 5000 fed but twelve baskets full were left over. The officers or disciples had already done the calculation and decided that there was not enough money to feed the crowd. In those days, only men are  counted so the miracle could have fed twice or three times that number of women and children.

We all have the power to cause increase to happen but sometimes we are are not aware of our capability and may be driven by fear. You can have the know how but lack the courage to make the move for change. In the situation described above the disciples could have offered the money they had to Jesus but did  not. Instead they were looking for physical things to offer. They even exclaimed ‘what is this among so many’. These are experienced men who had followed Jesus around for so long. Yet they doubted their abilitiy to provide.  Have you sometimes doubted your ability? Yes I have and lost many opportunities as I rationalised away my chances. Now I know better and can say ‘With my Creator, all things are possible’.

As I thought about this story I noticed a few things:

  • The giver gave and  benefited as well as other people.
  • The giver made history though we don’t know their name.
  • Give thanks for what you have to receive increase.
  • Little becomes much when the Creator is in it.
  • The disciples had to learn to trust.
  • Our problems are never beyond solution.
  • The disciples had forgotten previous miracles.

 

What about you, I’ll love to hear about your experinces. Leave your comments below.

 

What do you have in your house?

Your blessings may be sitting right there in your home. That thing you need to move to the next level may be right within your reach but waiting to be discovered. There are many things within us or in our surrounding that can be the source of our enlargement. There may be something in your house that is the key to your breakthrough. Let’s see some of these and how we can use what we have to enlarge our ourselves.

Physical strength
You need physical strength in order to do some things but that doesn’t mean your stength will cause an increase. Infact the dependence on your pysical strength alone could be a disadvantage. I heard a story once of two people sent to do chop down trees in a day, a young man and an old man. The old man was more experienced than the young man. The young man believing he had more strength thought, ‘I can scale through this, look at this old man’. The old man got to work the way he knew. At the end of the day he had chopped down more than the young man.
The young man was shocked and asked, ‘how did you do it, did you cheat’? The old man replied ‘ I worked for an hour and took 10 minutes break every hour. I did that for 2 reasons: to rest and to sharpen my axe’. I was working with sharpened axe all through whilst you worked with a dull axe. (Source: Word for Today Nov. 15)

We can learn two lessons from the story above:
1. Take time for rest and renewal
2. Stay sharp, dull axe requires more effort.
Our strength alone can fail us. The Creator also rested after creating the universe. During the time of rest, find time to review, meditate and appraise yourself. Jesus also advised hie disciples to take time out for rest, Mark 6:31. Do not feel guilty for taking a rest, nature demands it.

Mental strength
Intellectual ability is another source but that alone cannot produce success. There has to be a combination of factors to get maximum results. However the way we think can greatly affect our success rate. ‘As a man thinketh’ is a very powerful statement in life’s journey and a lot has been written and discussed about that. You can become anything you want to be. It starts first in your thoughts and your Creator also mentioned that ‘Whatever man imagines, he can do’.

I am drawn to another story in the Book about a widow who was experiencing a time of dryness. A prophet is instructed to visit the widow and that she would be the source of provision for the prophet as he too had a need. Why would God instruct a prophet to visit and be fed by a widow. ‘I have directed a widow there to supply you with food’. 1Kg 17. Today this would be called ‘widow abuse’. The prophet did not ask the woman to give him everything, he asked the woman to ‘Don’t be afraid, prepare a small loaf of bread for me from the flour and oil you have and bring it to me first, then make something for your son and yourself’,

She obeyed and did as the man said although she’d previously confessed that  ‘she was going home to prepare a meal for herself and her son’ before they both die due to famine. Miraculously, from that day she never lacked because the flour and oil never dried up.                           image: www.freeimages.co.uk

What are the lessons we can learn from this:

  • Elijah did not rationalise and say ‘how can I go to a woman, a widow and a gentile’?
  • The woman did not doubt him though she had a need and her resources may have lasted another two meals. She did not argue.
  • Her obedience cause her to be blessed and increased her resources.
  • Previous to this, Elijah’s other source (brook) had dried up. One door shuts and another opens provided we are able to hear the next  instruction.
  • Elijah was not sent to the rich in the land.
  • They both had what they needed for the duration of the famine.
  • Never put your Creator in a box, predicting how He will meet your needs.

The source of our success or breakthrough can arise from variety of things including physical things that we possess. Our willingness to stretch out to help others can greatly enhance our exisitence whilst being a blessing to others. All we need is the ability to listen and be obedient to directions. If the lady did not  got to the well,, she would not have met Elijah. Who are you destined to meet?