The Only Way To Live A Great Life.

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Cyber daycare 1.0

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Technology has caused way too many side effects in our lives. Some of these side effects include eye strain, anxiety, neck pain and, of course… self centeredness. It is very common for us to hear the following rhetoric these days on Facebook, “I must work on my social media presence,” “I am heading out again,” or “I am going to make my life better.” We hear the word “I” everywhere, much like when we were babies. Could it be that all these social media technologies are turning our society into a big cyber daycare? Absolutely! Think about it.

The beginning of wisdom is the recognition that God is in control of our lives. Glory, ladies and gentleman is to always be given to God. At least, this is what Christianity teaches us, right? The former is the beginning of wisdom and maturity. Not sure if this “I” business is doing us any good on Instagram, Vine, Twitter… It most definitely isn’t making people more mature, that’s for sure. Have you read what so many people write on these platforms nowadays? Do yourself a favor: Log into Facebook tonight, read and pay attention to how childish most of posts are. It’s an epidemic of immaturity forever recorded and often elevated on-line. It is kindergarten 2.0.

Social media enables us to prolong our childhood for the sake of technology! Meaningless. 

Are we going mad? No. Maybe, we’re going way too secular, or shall we say, non-Christian. What good are we doing by spending hours on end writing frivolous things about ourselves on-line? Let me break this to you: We are doing very little good.

Life is about glorifying God and showing love towards your neighbor. When was the last time that any of you read the following on Facebook, “Thank God for His mercy. We aren’t anything without Him,” or “To God goes all the glory.” This big international kindergarten we call social media is distracting us from what matters the most in our lives. God! Open your eyes to reality.

Listen carefully: It isn’t uncommon to read social media posts and witness people calling others’ names, being vain, and ignoring some to get approval or gain access to a special little group at others’ expenses, which is really infantile. Stop! Wake up! God is the center of your life not you or me or your dad. All these technologies are destroying us from within and impacting how we communicate with our soul. Life is so much more than a collection of tweets about you or me.

The Bible teaches us in 1 Corinthians 13:11 that “When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways.” Why are so many  grown ups and organizations, many of them religious based, literally saying, “Look at me!” “I am wonderful.” “Come see me!”

It is getting old, people. It is cute to see a baby growing up and thinking that life is all about them when we know better. It isn’t cute witnessing people in their 50’s saying how great they are and the games the play with others for self gain without giving any glory to God when many claim to be believers. In the old days, we had a different method for fixing wrong attitudes. By telling people, “grow up.” We lost that.

You are not that important. If you die tomorrow, how many people will attend your funeral? Social media many times gives us the illusion that we are great when in reality, we aren’t. And in fact, those who claim that they are wonderful are often less paramount than you and me.

Look, it isn’t that complicated. We are to make God the center of your universe and subordinate technology to where it belongs. Our society is becoming a colossal kindergarten because of all these technologies. Let’s stop this madness and grow up, people. First grade is around the corner! It is time for us to realize that we aren’t the center of anything and that social media use isn’t all that great for us, either. Remember: You aren’t five. You are an adult. Act like it.

Five Ways To Serve

Five Ways To Serve

Do you know that God has given you a number of gifts for you to serve Him and others? It is amazing what you can do when you dedicate your life to Christ. He can do miracles through you, I say. In this blog, we are going to discuss how your gifts can be used for service.

In Romans 12:9-13, we learn, Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

It is worth noticing that God does talk about the importance of hating what is evil, honor one another above ourselves and the importance of serving God. What am I saying? I am saying that God commands us to love and serve! We might as well follow His lead. In reality, there are many ways we can serve. Let me share with you fie ways you can serve.

  1. Serve God above all things by engaging in the great commission.
  2. Serve your family by being available and helpful.
  3. Serve your church and help them to spread the word of God.
  4. serve your community by volunteering.
  5. Serve your neighbor as you do yourself.

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Are you ready to serve? Are you excited about engaging in this important task for God? Never, under any circumstances, give love away. Always be with God and cultivate a heart for service. The former is what we were called to do. God bless.

Evangelism: The Importance Of Giving A Testimony.

Evangelism: The Importance Of Giving A Testimony.

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done” (Psalm 105:1). 

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Let me ask you this. What is 750,000 miles long, reaches around the world thirty times, and grows twenty times longer each day? Answer: The number of people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a LOT!

The bible is an unique book of revelation that unveils God’s plan for humanity as well as a salvation plan. Evangelism might be an activity that is carried out by humans but is definitely inspired and guided by God. The gospel is good news ladies and gents and must be shared to the nations.

For years folks have been asking how can we, in 2017, evangelize unbelievers in such a complex and technological world. The answer is surprisingly simple! It starts with giving a testimony. By the way, how did you find God? Do you remember the exactly moment when you found the love of God in you? Well, it starts there.

At Westmore Church of God, we spoke in great detail about this plan of evangelism in last week’s Wednesday class. Let me share with you a model of evangelism that I know will help you to actively engage in the great commission. It goes a little but like this and starts with a testimony.

  1. Use your testimony
  2. Plan your testimony
  3. Point people to Jesus
  4. Clearly explain the gospel message
  5. Share several key scripture verses
  6. Explain how you actually receive Christ

Here is my advice: Spend some time alone, have conversation with God and put together (if you haven’t done so) a sketch about how you found God. After that, look at the model above and start evangelizing! Why not? We are called by God to do so. As the great 92 year old missionary educator James Beaty once said, “It pay off to obey God.”

Music Pleases God.

Music Pleases God.

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“He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

Brothers and sisters, we are to pray daily and sing hymns to the Lord. Only God saves! We must proclaim the good news of the gospel to others so that we can advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are called to preach and sing “louvores” to God through music. God loves when we glorify Him. This is our duty brethren! God first — every time.

God bless, Luis.

 

 

Do No Evil…

Do No Evil…

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“Now finally, all of you should be likeminded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8-9).  

Under any circumstances, do no evil. In this life, we must live a life for the Lord not for men. God is pretty clear about how He wants us to behave and live our lives. Acting evil in either words spoken or behaviors is to be forbidden. Don’t insult others — Be sympathetic, be compassionate, and humble, as Peter has taught us. In every opportunity, do what you can do make others feel good and above all, obey God’s law. The former is our task.

The world is full of injustice, mean spirited people and arrogant individuals who think they are wonderful. Be different today! Be a Christian! Be the salt of the world and by your actions… be a testimony of the love of Jesus Christ to the nations. We need to show others that only God saves and is merciful. Without God, we aren’t anything.

That God be glorified!

Advice: Stick With Your Talent

Advice: Stick With Your Talent

The Lord has given you a gift for a very good reason — to glorify Him with it. We all are good in something and brothers and sisters… we need to make sure that we stick with the talent (or talents) that God has given us. The actual gifts given by God to us are many. So the question is… What is your gift? Seek to find what you are good at and use it! Keep in mind though that the gift that you have received came from the creator of the universe. 


God be glorified, always. Be blessed, 🙂

God Gives Us Wisdom and Understanding.

God Gives Us Wisdom and Understanding.

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“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

Ladies and gentleman…  Only the Lord is wise and has great knowledge and understanding. In the spirit of back to school I tell you today, “Let’s focus our efforts in what is important and the what is really important is being with God and following His commands.”

Students, welcome back!!! Keep your eyes on God and He will bless you. Ask and you will receive! This upcoming academic year will be a great one for you in Jesus Christ. BY the way… Don’t forget to read the bible while in school. It is amazing what can be accomplished when you are in God. He loves you yesterday, today and for the whole eternity.

In His name we pray… Amen.

 

Listen Carefully: The Lord Will Never Abandon You.

Listen Carefully: The Lord Will Never Abandon You.

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you whenever you go” (Joshua 1:9).  

Tomorrow, I will officially starting my job at Lee University which in itself has been an answer to prayer. Our family isn’t in Cleveland, TN because of an academic promotion or anything financial. In fact, a lot of our friends questioned why our family decided to move to another institution in another state making less money and with me losing two university tenures… “Professor, did you lose your mind?”

Well, our family decided to handle the former with the following response, “We didn’t lose our mind, no. Our family literally lives life by faith.” We don’t own anything — The Lord does. God will provide… The Lord has called us to move to Lee University for a very good reason.

We are not afraid of our move and you shouldn’t be afraid to move to a new place when God calls you to move either. Life isn’t about living in fear. The purpose of life is to glorify God and to follow His commands. What we do is judged by others but I can assure you that God won’t leave you alone in your life journey. There is a reason for everything under the sun as we learn in Ecclesiastes 3.

The time is now not tomorrow. We are all terminal as my pastor once said. Time is running out to do the great things that the Lord has called you to do. Question: Are you doing what the Lord has called you to do? Don’t wait! It is time to serve and be with Him. God won’t abandon you.

He will be with you whenever you go! God’s blessings brothers and sisters. Only God is to be glorified. In His name we pray… Amen.

True Wisdom Comes From God.

True Wisdom Comes From God.

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“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5); ” Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:7). 

True wisdom comes from God. All we have to do is to task Him and he shall give it to us. Our God is a generous Lord who cares and wants us to grow spiritually. The idea that we can be wise in our own eyes doesn’t come from our creator. Ask and you will receive! With God, everything is possible. God blessings to you brothers and sisters.

God And Possessions

God And Possessions

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“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:19-24). 

We must focus on the Lord or what we say in Brazil, “Nos temos que concentrar no Senhor.” Believers and unbelievers, God is wonderful and worth abdicating possessions for being close to God. We don’t need treasures. All we need in God on our side! Either we glorify God or we make money our God or shall we say… Idol.  Don’t love your possessions. Instead, choose to love the God of the universe.

Blessings.

God Disciplines You Because He Loves You.

God Disciplines You Because He Loves You.

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“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:11-12). 

Most people are uncomfortable with receiving a dose of discipline. Chances are high that you will be disciplined by someone sometime in your lifetime, both privately and publicly. It is the way that God, through the holy spirit, acts in this world to teach you and show God’s love to you. God develops those He loves. Remember: God Disciplines You Because He Loves You. 

You are to welcome discipline and try to better understand what God has planned for your life. In this world, the most impactful learnings you can have come from predictable rebukes given by others yet orchestrated by the Lord. With reason, be open to this unpredictable criticism — as long as the criticism is constructive and well intended. The spirit will tell you if the feedback is well intended or if it is malicious. My recommendation? Pray about it every time you are rebuked. It is amazing what God does to you and the person who disciplined you after you pray. Our God is a fair God.

God bless.

The Importance of Good Works.

The Importance of Good Works.

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“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, captives of various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another” (Timothy 3:1-3).

We Christians understand the importance of following orders and to do good much in the same way that we understand how to lead many times and how to do better things when God calls us to the task. There is no wisdom in fighting with others for nothing or to slander anyone. A believer must be gentle to his neighbor even if that person doesn’t like him. The former isn’s to say that we (Christians) need to always accept what others have to say or accept how they behave towards us but in our core… we should be gentle with others and be understanding.

There are too many people out there who live life to be malicious, envious and hateful towards others. We need to pray to God so that they can see the light. It is our duty yesterday, today and tomorrow. Being with God is a gift.

God bless.

The Secret To Living A Good Life

The Secret To Living A Good Life
“Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be. You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you. All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way. When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with his strong angels, he’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time. His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for. Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they’ve done. Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence. But on that very same day when he comes, he will be exalted by his followers and celebrated by all who believe – and all because you believed what we told you. Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time – pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely” (2 Thessalonians 1:2-12). God loves you. 

Words of a Godly Man, Age 92: The Problem Of Self Denial.

Words of a Godly Man, Age 92: The Problem Of Self Denial.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a]will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26). 

Only God knows the right way. We just have to follow… Life isn’t about us — Life is about God in Jesus Christ.

Be Kind, Care For One Another — God Loves You.

Be Kind, Care For One Another — God Loves You.

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“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4); “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). 

Life is about following God’s commands and glorifying Him. Flee from selfishness, help others as Christ has helped you. Choose kindness over hate, be forgiving and loving. Who can be better than God, I ask? Nobody can, that’s for sure.

In this Life, we need to lose our lives in order to gain it, as God has instructed us. Be on the lookout for others, always.

Say No To Astrology.

Say No To Astrology.

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God has cautioned us against the dangers of astrology in Deuteronomy verses 4:19, 18:9-12, and Daniel 2:2-17. Seeking guidance from a star isn’t exactly what a Christian is supposed to do. Astrology is idolatry plain and simple and is highly condemned by God. Back in the old testament, the prophet Isaiah declared that he who who practices this craft won’t be able to save themselves or anybody else. God also warns us all about such practices in 1 corinthians 6:-9-10 declaring that anyone who engages in astrology won’t inherited the kingdom of God. We are to flee from such practices, period. We need to seek guidance from God and celebrate His name.

We Are To Live In Peace.

We Are To Live In Peace.

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“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14); “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18). 

We are to promote peace and live a peaceful life. We are to live a life full of enjoyment, along with great and memorable moments. Brothers and sisters, this is our call. Please choose peace over conflict in this short journey that we call life.  The Lord is in control. Never forget that. Trust.

Qualifications For Church Leaders — Overseers.

Qualifications For Church Leaders — Overseers.

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Qualifications for Overseers

“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap” (1 Timothy 3:1-3). 

Not everybody was set to be a an overseer in church. Watching over the flock, caring for people and families, feeding the poor and disfranchised, protecting the weak, and leading a mission to a foreign country isn’t a job for everyone. In fact, the Lord is pretty clear about it all throughout scripture. The book of Timothy is a good one to read about the criteria for leadership in the church. Remember: “There will arise false teachers who will seek to lead many astray” as we learn in the book of acts.

It is our job to keep our eyes open to our church’s overseers. If they only care for themselves or are men of little integrity, if they seek riches for self gain or ignore those in need while leading the church, or are failing to watch over children of God’s faith development, be aware. Remember: “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (Matthew 24:11). 

Keep the faith brethren. Always keep your eyes wide opened even at church. God be with you.

Instructions to Men and Women.

Instructions to Men and Women.

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Therefore, I want men to pray everywhere by lifting up hands that are holy, without anger or argument. In the same way, I want women to enhance their appearance with clothing that is modest and sensible, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive clothes.  They should make themselves attractive by doing good, which is appropriate for women who claim to honor God. A wife should learn quietly with complete submission. I don’t allow a wife to teach or to control her husband. Instead, she should be a quiet listener. Adam was formed first, and then Eve. Adam wasn’t deceived, but rather his wife became the one who stepped over the line because she was completely deceived. But a wife will be brought safely through childbirth, if they both continue in faith, love, and holiness, together with self-control” (1 Timothy 2:8-15). 

The bible is very clear about how men and women should behave and present themselves. Men, don’t be slow to anger or to engage in an argument. Women, there is no need to live a luxurious life full of gold, pearls, and expensive apparel. Both men and women must live a life for the Lord only glorifying the only God of the universe. Women, respect your husbands and in humility and submission, live a holy life. Men, don’t abuse of the authority that the god God has given you — never forget… “to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). 

Respect and above all love is what we all need. Thanks be to God.

Flee From The occult.

Flee From The occult.

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“Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. Do not practice divination or seek omens” (Leviticus 19:26); “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 18:10-13). 

The Lord forbids all forms of occult arts. Flee from the occult and don’t look back. If you own tarot cards, throw them away. Say NO to astrology and the Quija board. These former things are without question enemy’s tools of perversion. The knowledge of the paranormal is dangerous and no Christian should come even close to it.  The appropriate response for those practicing the art of spiritism, eastern philosophy, alchemy or magic is to first and foremost get rid of occult paraphernalia followed by joining a bible believing Christian church. Again — Say NO to these things. It is the right thing to do.

Reminder: Only God deserves reverence. No other entity either in form or thought should be a part of your life. We are the army of God! God be glorified in heaven, always.

The Fool Multiplies Words.

The Fool Multiplies Words.

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“The beginning of the words of his mouth is folly… the fool multiple words” (Ecclesiastes 10:13-14). “Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:5-7). “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something” (Plato). 

God called us to be wise. The way to wisdom is fearing God not being the owner of our destiny based on what we want to believe outside of scripture. There are many who are constantly opening their mouths without doing too much thinking. The former isn’t how a Christian should operate. The believer must be prudent with choosing his words. “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues” (Proverbs 10:19). 

Scripture teaches us of an evil that happens under the sun (Ecclesiastes 10:5) — “The fool is appointed to great heights…” But lets not forget that the Lord judges both the jews and and gentiles according to what they have done (Romans 2:6). Brothers and sisters, you will find injustice in this world and even fools will reach positions of great authority. Don’t envy their privileged positions or try to justify your circumstances according to what happen to others.

“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3). Remember that.

 

Think Before Making A Vow To God

Think Before Making A Vow To God

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“When you make a vow to God, don’t delay fulfilling it, because He doesn’t delight in fools Fulfill what you vow. Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it” (Ecclesiastics 5:4)

We need to be very careful with making a vow to God. Scripture is pretty clear about it. As children of God, we need to fear God and His commands. We need to obey and keep in mind that the good God is in control. Let’s not be impulsive. Rather, we should be rational and glorify God all the days of our lives. “Do not let your mouth bring guilt on you” (Ecclesiastics 5:6). We need to think before we act. Before making an actual vow to God, pray about it.

God is good, all the time.  

 

 

The Problem Of Evil. Westmore Church Of God Addresses This Issue Intellectually.

The Problem Of Evil. Westmore Church Of God Addresses This Issue Intellectually.

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The problem of evil is an issue that most (if not all) Christians must struggle with especially when speaking with unbelievers. A number of well versed atheists question the validity of God by constructing arguments grounded in the problem of evil, pain, suffering… The atheist argument often goes like this, “…because if there was a God, why do we have so much evil, pain and suffering in this world.” Some of us, Evangelical Christians, accept the fact that evil does exist in this world because the good God gave us free will. I personally believe that evil and God exist in addition to the former because evil is temporary and living with God is better than living in this world. Let’s not forget that ‘evil is absence of good’ proposition comes from Saint Augustine of Hippo who used this analogy in theological doctrine conversations. Most Christians have no problem with the former statement.

During an apologetics workshop delivered by Dennis Anderson and Jesse Stone at Westmore Church of God, in Cleveland, TN, the presenters made excellent arguments for the existence of God including the following statement constructed by Jesse, “A perfectly good being might desire to accomplish greater goods for his creatures that are only possible if evil exists.” I find the former sentence to be of great value for the discussions regarding the “problem of evil” in our region. But if God is love…

Okay, now we have a logical problem again. How can a loving God allow a poor little kid to be eaten by a crocodile? Great question. I have to think a lot deeper about the former in order to fully answer the question for anyone. An Omnipotent God could have stopped that event. As Christians, we must ground our arguments based in scripture, though. The bible says, “This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25).  Maybe we are not supposed to understand, I don’t know. As of today. I justify horrific tragic events like the kid who was eaten by a crocodile as a divine mystery. My search for a better answer to this question continues and my hope is that your search continues, as well.

By faith we believe.

Confront The Jealous and Envious If Necessary.

Confront The Jealous and Envious If Necessary.

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“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice” (James 3:16); “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot” (Proverbs 14:30); “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). 

We all need to flee from jealousy and envy and to recognize others who are envious and jealous. Always be on the alert for these former bunch and pray for them. The moment you see others jealous of your work or circunstances in order to protect their own using malicious means of communication or any other delivery, confront them is they start bothering you. Don’t let their aggressive tendencies make you uncomfortable. The same should be done about envy. Order can be brought out by fixing disorder. Don’t let jealousy and envious relationships get out of control and as important… control you.

Always, in prayer, live your life.

Sermo In Monte — The Beatitudes…

Sermo In Monte — The Beatitudes…

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The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11). 

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

If you are getting persecuted because of Jesus Christ, rejoice as it has been written that you and me would be persecuted. The former isn’t to say that we should accept being punished for persecution. It is more than okay to fight back and defend what you believe in. In ceteris paribus… we are to be peacemakers.

Blessed are the pure of heart because they will see God. Let’s be hunger and thirst for righteousness… 

On Judging Others…

On Judging Others…

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“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5). 
Be cautious with judging others. In this world, there is nobody who is innocent or a complete example to be followed. Only God is to be seen as our example to be followed with no flaws. The moment anyone maliciously judge a brother or sister in Christ, malice will be the measure his critics will be using to judge them. Don’t be a hypocrite and focus your efforts on following God’s word. Before criticizing others, take a close look at yourself.
God be glorified.

Avoiding Extremism Is Biblical. A Call For Moderation.

Avoiding Extremism Is Biblical. A Call For Moderation.
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“Don’t be excessively righteous and don’t be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Don’t be excessively wicked and don’t be foolish. Why should you die before your time?” It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who fears God will end up with both of them” (Ecclesiastics 7:16-18).

In this life, we need to focus our attention to God as He is our everything. Trying to be or be seen overly wise will most definitely buy you enemies very quick. Not obeying God and acting folly will most definitely cost you as many enemies and being overly wise if not more. Question? Are you being overly wise in your own eyes? Remember: God is wisdom. We are to follow God’s word. 

There are limitations of wisdom. In this world, we are going to see inequities, injustices, judgements… Why do you want to make your life more difficult that what life already is? God is in control. Humility is how we should live. Avoid extreme measures… Be closer to God today and obey His commands to the best of your ability.

Don’t Be Surprised To See Oppression In This World.

Don’t Be Surprised To See Oppression In This World.

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“If you see oppression of the poor and persecution of justice and righteousness in the province, don’t be astonished at the situation because one official protects another official and higher officials protect them. The profit from the land is taken by all” (Ecclesiastics 5:9).

We won’t fix poverty and the many injustices that we witness under the sun. Those in power will protect themselves at the expense of the oppressed, you and me. Don’t forget that this world is evil and that things come and go. Only our God isn’t evil and is loyal, consistent and secure. Remember: “The one who loves money is never satisfied with money and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with wealth” (Ecclesiastics 5:10). You will see people increasing in wealth at the expense of others and very little if nothing shall be done about it. All of the former is short-lived and quick passing.

We are to focus on glorifying the Lord and enjoying what he has given us to enjoy. Never forget, “All come from dust and all return to dust” (Ecclesiastics 3:20); “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).   

We Can Only Turn To God As A Source Of Truth.

We Can Only Turn To God As A Source Of Truth.

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In the book of Ecclesiastics, we learn about the futilities (short-lived and quickly passing) of life. Some of these include possessions, the relative value of wisdom, and work. Christians are to glorify God and make the Lord the center of our lives as everything including silver and gold, singers, cattle and flocks, our diligent work and many others come and they go. Everything in meaningless. “There is nothing new over the sun” (Ecclesiastics 1:9).

“What happens to the fool also happens to me. Why then have I been overly wise?” (Ecclesiastics 2:15); “The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness” (Ecclesiastics 2:14).

Brothers and sisters, “There is nothing better for a man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work” (Ecclesiastics 2:24). Life without God is futile. Things in life come and go. Most of the work we do will be given to others. The only way to live is to love the Lord and live our lives to Him.

Thanks always be to God.

Working Diligently Is A Good Thing.

Working Diligently Is A Good Thing.

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“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense” (Proverbs 12:11); “A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4); “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor” (Proverbs 12:24). 

Working hard and diligently is a great thing. You can’t go wrong with doing your very best for the Lord. It is as simple as that folks. Let me share with you a well known secret: Work hard and you will be compensated for your efforts. We work for God not for men or women.  Do your very best for the Lord and never, under any circunstances, choose laziness over diligence.

God’s peace to you!

Trials And Tribulations Are Signs Of A Godly Life.

Trials And Tribulations Are Signs Of A Godly Life.
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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). 
Trials and tribulations are examples of how the Lord test our faith. By testing our faith, we develop perseverance according to scripture which then makes us stronger and more mature Christians. We are constantly maturing in God’s eyes in order for us to be a little bit more like Him. Brothers and sisters, never forget this: Trials and tribulations are signs of a godly life. Don’t be surprised if you face them in the future. Let’s not forget that they have hated Christ before us… Celebrate — God is with you! Stand firm in the faith! Thanks be to God.

There Is No Room For Egoism In A Christian’s Life.

There Is No Room For Egoism In A Christian’s Life.

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Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else” (Galatians 6:4); “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6); “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).

There is no room for egoism in a christian’s life. A true Christian doesn’t spend his or her journey comparing themselves to others or worse — putting themselves ahead of others. We put others ahead of us. Listen carefully: Flee from egoism and embrace a humble and godly life of service and humility. Whenever possible, help kids to laugh so that they have fun, even if you have to sacrifice your weekend for their benefit. God blesses those who help others and put others ahead of themselves. 

We are to glorify God al the days of our lives. One of the ways we can glorify Him is by being a man or woman of service.

  

We Need To Inspire Our Children.

We Need To Inspire Our Children.

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“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7); “Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you” (Genesis 13:17); “Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him” (Deuteronomy 8:6).

We are to walk in the ways of the Lord, always giving thanks to His blessings and following his commands. Being with God is a gift — It is only by accepting God’s calling that we start to understand what life is really all about. Life, my friends, is about walking with God all the days of our lives, keeping His commands fearing Him. We need to instill these habits in our children so that they grow up understanding the importance of obeying God.

God bless the children and our abilities to inspire them to better understand God, in Christ Jesus.

Silence Is Golden.

Silence Is Golden.

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“A fool does not delight in understanding but only wants to show off his opinions” (Proverbs 18:2). Be cautious to always want to be heard and share your opinions at the expense of others. God clearly advised us about the dangers of foolishness. There is no room for selfishness and non-sense behavior in the live of a devoted Christian leader.

Excessive speech isn’t appropriate and should be avoided whenever possible, as the bible teaches us. “The intelligent man retrains his words,” as stated in Proverbs 17:27. We have learned in Ecclesiastics 3 that there is a time for everything… “A time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastics 3:7). Clearly, the one who is constantly speaking lacks understanding and isn’t following God’s advise found in the book of proverbs.

Brethren, let’s be different and make God the center of your lives. Keep some of your opinions to yourself. It is worth your time.   

The Secret For Doing Well In School.

The Secret For Doing Well In School.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24); “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). 

What is the secret for doing well in school? Study, plan, study more, get involved, meet people, collaborate… Pray. The differentiator is prayer. Do you want to do well in school? Do all of the former and before every quiz, test or project — pray. Prayer is powerful and biblical. Prayer was my secret for doing well in school. Let me say this differently — Prayer is God’s secret to doing well in life. Don’t forget to pray. Pray daily. Believe, love God, and pray.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Children Are A Heritage From The Lord.

Children Are A Heritage From The Lord.

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Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court” (Psalm 127:3-5); “Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant” (Genesis 33-5); “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). 

Children are a heritage from the Lord. It is good to have children, people. If you are married thinking about having a kid, pray about it. If you believe that God wants you to have a kid, don’t delay the call. Having your own kid is a joy that can’t be described unless you have and/or raise your own. God is pretty clear about the benefits of having kids. We are to focus on them:  “a stronghold against your enemies,” “silence the foe and the avenger.” There will be challenges, too many of them but it is worth it. In the end, a child makes you quickly realize that life isn’t about you — that life is about others. What an important lesson for all of us to learn. Parenthood is a gift from God, that’s for sure.

When We Decrease, God Increases — A Must.

When We Decrease, God Increases — A Must.

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“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30); “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10); “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory” (Proverbs 11:14). 

Life is about God not us. I must become less and so should you. We all need to ensure through our actions and words that God gets the glory and that we submit ourselves to the most high. Humility, submission, and respect for the only God of the universe is our goal. There are no exceptions to this rule only obedience.

The word of God shall live forever! We should blindly obey and glorify the only God of the universe by being humble. Always remember: God first, we second.

There Is No Room For Evil In The Life Of A Christian.

There Is No Room For Evil In The Life Of A Christian.

 

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31); “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6); “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” (Proverbs 8:13). 

Listen carefully: There is no room for evil in the life of a Christian. God has instructed us to choose love, instead. We are to love each other as Christ loved you and me. Anger, slander, malice, arrogance… everything that is evil along with hate comes from the enemy. We need to be the salt of the world and act like it. Flee from hateful behaviors and welcome love in your life.

Remember Luke 6;31, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” God bless.

 

If You See Danger Coming Your Way… Take Cover!

If You See Danger Coming Your Way… Take Cover!

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“A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3). Remember this and never forget brethren — If you see danger coming your way, the very best thing to do is to protect yourself. Don’t wait or try to remediate a dangerous situation because chances are pretty high that things won’t work out the way you planned. In my life, I have seen too much evidence that supports the former.

If you are going to protect yourself by finding a hiding place below a dining table at your house, by leaving your place of employment due to a bad situation, or simply by avoiding and isolating an evil person, it doesn’t matter as long as action is taken. Too many Christian brothers and sisters pay a high price for being naive and thinking that things will change overtime when danger heads their way. The eminent effects of danger often proves them otherwise overtime. If danger is heading your way, pray that God takes you out of that dangerous situation. “A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).

Ecclesiastics 3 teaches us that there is a time for everything. Sometimes, there is a time to uproot and a time for refrain… or a time from embracing or give up. If something appears to be, it often is — don’t forget that.

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Remember: “There is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.” Don’t embrace anything that puts you in danger. If silence helps you to get away from danger, do it. Always, in prayer, we shall live. Glory be to God. 

Who Said That Life Is Easy And Fair? Our Only Hope Is God.

Who Said That Life Is Easy And Fair? Our Only Hope Is God.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 9.21.56 PMIn the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33); “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7). 

Too many folks out there are operating under the wrong biblical assumption that life gets easy when we get closer to God. No it doesn’t. Life gets better because of Gods grace so that we can deal with the many temporary injustices we see in this world. I’ve seen a number of devoted Christians  who are very poor, excellent brothers in Christ who are discriminated against because of how they look or talk, intelligent people without the means to get a college education without putting themselves into major debt, you name it. Who said that life is easy and fair for the brethren?

Let’s not forget the teachings of Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12), or John, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15;18), or Peter, “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17), or Matthew, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10), and many more!

There is hope, which is the good news, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). We also learn that we should keep course as, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). 

Keep the faith and love what is good despite of what you might encounter in this world. Stand firms in the faith! Never give that up. Our hope depends on it. Remember what we learned in Romans, “God will repay each person according to what they have done” (Romans 2:6). 

Our only hope is the lamb. Patience in a virtue but only God saves.

 

 

Without A Strong a Mentor, You Will Fail To Reach Your Career Potential.

Without A Strong a Mentor, You Will Fail To Reach Your Career Potential.

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One of my favorite books in the bible is the book of proverbs. The main reason why I love this book is because of the many practical lessons we learn by reading this piece of scripture. In the book of proverbs we learn that, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14); “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future” (Proverbs 19:20); “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15); “For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory” (Proverbs 24:6). It doesn’t take too long for anybody to realize that a Christian leader must have an abundance of counselors in order to bring glory back to God.

In my life, I have had many counselors who have played a critical role in my development as a professional but one in particular has made a tremendous impact on how I see both life from God’s point of view and higher education. His name is Kurt Dudt, a former United States Marine combat veteran who taught me how to lead academic departments with a heart and ways to shoot guns competitively. The immense amount of wisdom that I’ve learned from Kurt can’t be paid back. I am indebted forever to him. During the literally hundreds of walks that we had for five days a week (sometimes more than once a day) for two years, Kurt has shown me why most higher education leaders fail and only a few de facto succeed. In this article, I will share with you some of the many secrets that Kurt has shared with me throughout our daily 2:00pm walk conversations. Are you ready for this? The content you are about to read is pretty revolutionary and critical if your goal is to lead others with success.

Here are twelve (out of the 100) pieces of advices that Kurt has taught me on how to become an academic unit leader.

1) Before any major decision, pray.

2) Let the members of the team have a say but implement your vision. You were elected to lead and it is your job to get things done. Implementing your vision is your job.

3) Before making any major decision, ask faculty about their concerns and prepare for them, to ensure your goal is accomplished.

4) Let faculty teach the classes they want so that you can have your final decision when you need.

5) Be proactive and defend the department and faculty members if necessary, especially if the faculty member is too inexperienced or there is faculty conflicts involved.

6) Make time to speak with students, be available.

7) Speak with faculty on a regular basis. Invite them to lunch sometimes.

8) If a faculty member faults, try to bring him back.

9) Listen to the non-mainstream faculty memberʼs contribution. They often provide wisdom in their responses.

10) Donʼt be afraid to tell you are not happy with something.

11) Recruit talent. Every time “Luis” is doing something well, Kurt Dudt receives praise.

12)  If a colleague is in trouble, help him even if it is 3:00am. If a colleague is in the hospital, go to the hospital… if a colleagueʼs mother dies, go to the funeral/viewing. Address faculty as a body (he is one of us) and defend the faculty member.

Without a strong a mentor, you will fail to reach your career potential. Nobody is born knowing the operation of leadership. The bible provides tremendous help in this regard along with a friend who is willing to coach you. Be aware: A leader canʼt have an evil stream otherwise, problems occur. A leader bring (unite) people together, as much as possible. Remember: Donʼt expect followers to be leaders. The moment you see an organization empowering non-leaders to positions of absolute authority, flee from them quickly because disaster then becomes inevitable and eminent.

When undecided, pray… When in question, ask… When in trouble, resolve… When you know, share. Never under any circumstances, forget that. Pray often! Pray for an advisor! Remember: The almighty God listens to your prayers. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Rejoice Always, Pray Constantly, Give Thanks In Everything! Work Is Good.

Rejoice Always, Pray Constantly, Give Thanks In Everything! Work Is Good.

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“Rejoice Always, Pray Constantly, Give Thanks In Everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). “Don’t stifle the spirit, don’t despise the prophesies, but test all things, hold on what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21). Don’t be irresponsible in behavior and don’t forget that work is good. Laziness should never be a part of you, regardless of what many might say. Brothers, don’t grow tired of doing what is good.

Rejoice my brethren because life is short. Be with God all the days of your lives. Be thankful for the opportunities that others give you. Don’t hate but in love respect and listen as Christ has done it before. “Keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22). 

Make sure to pursue “righteousness, godliness, faith, endurance, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11) but pay attention eternally. Never cease to work for what is right. God be praised in heaven. Never forget the following, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Whatever you do, do it with humility.  

Do Not Be Anxious About Anything.

Do Not Be Anxious About Anything.

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“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28); “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7); “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6). 

Who are we without God? We are nobody. Prayer is the name of the game, brethren. Ask and you shall receive — “Ask and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). There is no need to worry or be anxious about what lies ahead of you. God is in control and we shall live by faith in this evil world that we live in. Fear? Let it flee away from you yesterday. Why? This is why, “Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you” (Isaiah 35:4). 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Live in the moment! Don’t be anxious about anything as you (or me) can’t truly control our lives. Rejoice, pray and keep the faith. God is wonderful and He shall protect you against the adversary. Nobody can be better than God. Thanks be to Him.

 

Humility Is The Answer. 

Humility Is The Answer. 


“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phillipians 2:3). “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God” (1 Peter 2:17). “So the last will be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:-6). 

Brothers and sisters, in this life, there is always someone who is better than you in your craft. Be very careful when trying to fiercely compete against others because chances are pretty high that sooner you later you will be beaten. 

Everything you do, do in humility. Honor everyone and love your neighbor. Those who claim to be great, mediocre at best they are. In this anti-intellectual world that we live in these days, it is tempting for many to think they can compete intellectually against intellectuals. Be aware of the risks…

It is like having intellectuals trying to compete physically against a physicalturist. Ok, some non-PHDs are intellectuals but not many; Some PHDs are physiculturists but not many. We all have value, that’s for sure. 

Humility is the answer. Live your life to God not anyone else. Stay firm in the faith… Thanks be to God! Amen. 

You Won’t Convert Anyone By Screaming.

You Won’t Convert Anyone By Screaming.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Remember to not be overly rough when speaking with non believers! You must stick to the word, though.

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We are called to evangelize and engage in the great commission by Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).  We are to share the good news of Christ with the nations and engage in missionary work for the advancement of the gospel. Without a doubt, life is about God not us. 

We are to conduct ourselves with wisdom whenever you interact with unbelievers. We need to be wise and full of grace with others! Why? Because God said, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6). If you have ears listen.

Obedience my brethren! Following God’s mission is what we are supposed to do in this life. You are to evangelize and “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 29:19).  The way to accomplish the former will vary, of course. Kindness, my friends, is one of the most powerful weapons for evangelism. It is worth your time and practice but remember –God gets the glory.

Amen.

God Blesses The Humble — God Gets The Glory.

God Blesses The Humble — God Gets The Glory.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2); “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3); “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (James 4:10). “Pride brings a person low,
but the lowly in spirit gain honor” (Proverbs 29:23).  

We are to live our lives for the Lord and to always give thanks for everything that He gives us. Remember: Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). We are to live for God not man and to God shall the glory be given all the time. God is worthy of praise. We are to serve Him as his witnesses in this world by being humble and gentle.

As most of you know, I am a media professional who enjoys great conversations about “The media” with others. In my short journey here in Jackson, Mississippi, I had the privilege to speak with a number of very nice “media folks.” One of them, in particular — was Brad Smith! A gentle, nice, patient and above all… humble man who is de facto a quite talented film maker. Ladies and gentleman, this is Brad Smith below.

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Brad Smith

Sure, you can find him at Deville Camera and Video near interstate 55 in Jackson, MS but you can also see him producing cool video clips (and films) around the city, as well. The clip below is just a tiny example of the amazing work that he does. One thing is for certain —“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). 

Brad, as we say in colloquial English… is the man. He is the man because he is humble. He has the common sense to realize that God gets the glory for his talent not him, you or me. Brad is nice and wise and above all humble. Listen carefully: God Blesses The Humble — God gets the glory. Be like Brad, be humble and be nice. Never, under any circumstances, be prideful because “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).  It pays off to be humble and kind. Brad knows it! Now, it is your turn.

#Christianity

Your Greatness Is Judged By Others.

Your Greatness Is Judged By Others.

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“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12). Greatness isn’t measured by the person. Greatness is without a doubt measured by the perception of others. Never, under any circumstances, hold the belief that you can be wise on your own. God, the creator of the universe, is the Wise One. We are mortal sinners in great need of God’s grace and salvation. The former is precisely what we are.

“Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness or you will be like him yourself” (Proverbs 26:4).  Your trust should always be in the Lord. Be a fair man (or woman), full of integrity and show love towards your neighbor. In this life, you don’t need to be the center of attention or be wise in your own eye. Rather, humility should be your norm and others, not yourself, should complement the work that you do. Don’t be a fool and have high expectations about anything in this world. Life isn’t about you or me. Life is about God. All glory is to be given to God, anyways… Be careful to not associate yourself with those who think that they themselves are the center of the universe. “Don’t speak to a fool for he will despise the insight of your words” (Proverbs 23:9). 

“There is a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7) but there is always the need to be more like God by obeying His commands. “For man certainly does not know his time” (Ecclesiastes 9:12). Let me leave you with this advice. Listen carefully: “Even when the fool walks along the road, his heart lacks sense, and he shows everyone he is a fool” (Ecclesiastes 10:3). Your greatness is judged by others. Be very careful to not appear wise in your own eyes. God will surely punish you for it. It is not worth the hassle. Be humble and glorify God all the days of your life.

 

Teach The Youth About The Way He Should Go.

Teach The Youth About The Way He Should Go.

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“Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The former proverb is our goal, indeed. College professors are to serve in this capacity, regardless of whether they teach courses in a teaching or research university.  Our main goal is to show the way to our students, “God’s way.”  

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The kids depend on us to show them our humility and fear of the Lord. We are to inspire pupils to understand God’s word and his generous mission sometimes by applying God’s grace on earth, “A generous person will be blessed for he shares his food with the poor” (Proverbs 22:11). It is by modeling that we teach the brethren and by acquiring knowledge that we are equipped to fulfill the God’s plan for us, “Apply yourself to instruction and listen to words of knowledge” (Proverbs 23: 12). 

The good God has blessed me to help others. He blesses you to fulfill your mission, if you listen to your true talent. Pray, learn, and pray more. Ask God for guidance and you shall receive. The youth depends on you and me. Let’s do our part! it is our duty.

A Nice Farewell, Jackson State Style.

A Nice Farewell, Jackson State Style.

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The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23). “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11). 

Today was farewell… a farewell from Jackson State University. We talked, shared, and shared more. Great words were spoken — I appreciated them all, thank you. In this life, we simply don’t know what the good God has planned for us. We choose, he guides, we are to blindly obey. Moving north we shall be going under God’s blessings.

It has been almost 10 years of higher education, over 1200 students taught, two letters of tenure, two chair-ships and now… three Associate Professorships.  I am going back to a teaching university where I belong. The Lord has blessed me and I am so thankful for it. God gets the glory! It is because of Him that we breathe and are able to share the blessings of the land.

Lee University, here we come. I can’t wait to sing with you! Sing praises to the Lord at Chapel and keep inspiring the next generation of my fellow Americans. I am thankful for it. “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

“I will extol the Lord at all times; His praises will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1). Thanks be to GOD.

The Humble Will Have Joy After Joy In The Lord.

The Humble Will Have Joy After Joy In The Lord.

The humble will have joy after joy in the Lord, and the poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the ruthless one will vanish, the scorner will disappear, and all those who lie in wait with evil intent will be killed — Those who, with their speech, accuse a person of wrongdoing who set a trap at the gate for the mediator, and without cause deprive the righteous of justice” (Isaiah 29:19-21); “Jacob no longer will be ashamed and his face will no longer be pale” (Isaiah 29:22);

Annihilation of the Assyrians…

“Look, Yahweh comes from far away, His anger burning and heavy with smoke. His lips are full of fury, and His tongue is like a consuming fire. His breath is like an overflowing torrent that rises to the neck. He comes to sift the nations in a sieve of destruction and to put a bridle on the jaws of the peoples to lead them astray” (Isaiah 30:27-28);

“Assyria will be shattered by the voice of the Lord. He will strike with a rod” (Isaiah, 30:31). 

YAWEH! YAWEH! Bring justice. The house has a firm foundation and longevity. By little we live and rejoice with much adversity. They bring canons; we have the armor of God. They fire, God rebukes, we win. “The end of all things is near” (1 Peter 4:7).

I am crying for what I see… I pray that God be merciful with you as the ocean’s waters are now dim. The skies have darkened… the waters have risen and the moon is full of blood. The Lord has played the flute and I see your destruction but you don’t repent. The great command I say to you but you chose disdain. You plotted against your own. Now, Yaweh will cease you. Repent! But you don’t.

“The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds” (Deuteronomy 28:20).  

Children, A Blessing And Protection From God. 

Children, A Blessing And Protection From God. 

“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). 


God will do justice and protect the innocent and the kind of heart. A defenseless kid has the strength and protection of the Lord through their parents.  More hope there is for a fool than to someone who wants to destroy the safety net of children. I pray that the Lord has pity on you.

“As I have observed, those who plot evil and those who sow trouble reap it” (Job 4:8). Your reward will be punishment and gnashing of teeth near your death because you attempted to destroy God’s children. Pride is your name; Iniquity is your trait. In fear you shall live. 

Never, under any circumstances, attack, plot, make schemes against those who support young children. The Lord will punish this bunch very harshly in his own time. Evil doers, listen carefully: You are going to seek the gate but there will be no key. Your own trap will be your demise. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). 

God Works In Mysterious Ways.

God Works In Mysterious Ways.

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“You are treasured to God. So consider the message and understand the vision: Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city — to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to wipe away injustice, to bring in everlasting righteousness to seal up vision and prophesy…” (Daniel 9:23-24); “The people of the coming prince will destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26); “You will be covered with shame and destroyed forever because of violence done to your brother” (Obadiah 1:10). 

If you have ears listen. I have heard the message and listened to the Lord. Praise I say to you the most high. Among you lived the just and the unjust. Malice, arrogance and self aggrandizement was found in the fields and the sands of the land. Only ashes I see along with sentiments of confusion and delusion. The time is past and the future is certain and predictable. New horizons we shall see; Old beings in sin you shall never be.  The prophecy has been fulfilled. Only through the glory of the most high that we understand and live. God takes care of His people. Tomorrow is a brand new day…

We shall proclaim the mystery of God as He works in mysterious ways. What is logical to us is illogical to God. “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21). Who are we to attempt to understand the one who is in heaven?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Everything in this world happens for a reason. Don’t be mad or sad but rejoice. It is God’s plan after all.  God is just and will always do justice to evil doers in His time. If you have ears listen…

They Will Persecute You — Pray For Them Anyways.

They Will Persecute You — Pray For Them Anyways.

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If you do love the Lord, you will be persecuted. How do I know? Because it is written…

–> “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12); “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18); “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14); “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13).  

Here is the good news, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11); “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). 

I say — Pray for them anyways. Sooner or later, the good God takes you out of the lions den and will do justice to them. Sometimes, God will do the former in ways you least expect without much understanding.

If you think you are being persecuted is because you are. If something appears to be it often is… In my life, I have suffered a number of calculated attacks by a number of very evil people. Despite their ignorance and malicious schemes, I have always prayed for them anyways. My reward? The good God has done justice to them all and have blessed me with more than I deserve. I tell you this to you: God doesn’t tolerate evil doers. He does justice in His own time, don’t worry or get angry. Those who are unjust will pay for their transgressions. Don’t be envious of their evil deeds. God will put them in their places. All you have to do is pray.

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (Psalm 37:1-3); “The face of the Lord is against evildoers. To cut off the memory of them from the earth” (Psalm 34:16). 

They have hated Jesus, first. They will hate you and me. It will happen. You role isn’t to hate them but to pray. It is amazing what happens in your life when you take this kind of stance. God will do miracles in your life, I say.

Encourage One Another, Always.

Encourage One Another, Always.

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Life is about glorifying God. One of the ways we do this is by encouraging one another and building each other up. Whenever we do the former, if you have God at the center of your life, inevitably you will give all the glory of you successes to Him anyways.

Never forget one important detail, though — “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14.

Carpe Diem — Live Your Life Extraordinary.

Carpe Diem — Live Your Life Extraordinary.

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No matter how you see the world, this life is about living life extraordinary. In everything we do, we shall be stunning for His glory. Phenomenal whenever possible. Remarkable all the time always remembering that God is in control. Our timeless memories are a gift given by the Lord for our benefit. We need to keep in mind that God is in control not we. Our creation is God’s property. The bible is the verbal inspiration of God. We are to live as examples to others in Christ, in everything we do.

What we do, we do in His honor. I am in agreement with the following teachings of the Church of God and I believe that we should all follow the principles listed below. We need to live life extraordinary for the Lord.

The Wikipedia Church of God entry reads…

  • Spiritual Example: Demonstrate commitment to Christ through the practice of the spiritual disciplines (prayer, praise, worship, confession, fasting, meditation and Bible study); demonstrate commitment to the body of Christ through loyalty to God and commitment to his church; and demonstrate commitment to the work of Christ through good stewardship.
  • Moral Purity: Engage in activities which glorify God in the body and which avoid the fulfillment of the lust of the flesh. Sinful practices condemned include: “homosexuality, adultery, worldly attitudes (such as hatred, envy, jealousy), corrupt communication (such as gossip, angry outbursts, filthy words), stealing, murder, drunkenness and witchcraft“. Christians are to read, watch and listen to those things which are of positive benefit to spiritual well-being and not to attend or watch performances of a demoralizing nature.
  • Personal Integrity: Live in a manner that inspires trust and confidence, bearing the fruit of the Spirit and seeking to manifest the character of Christ in all behavior.
  • Family Responsibility: The family is foundational to society and the church; Christian worship and discipleship should begin in the home. Marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman; the only biblical allowance for divorce is fornication. Remarriage after divorce should only occur after a thorough understanding of and submission to scriptural instructions. God created men and women with different characteristics and different responsibilities. Divine harmony is maintained when the husband is head of the home, parents nurture and admonish their children, and children obey and honor their parents.
  • Behavioral Temperance: Practice temperance in behavior (self-control and moderation) and abstain from activities and attitudes which are offensive to others or which lead to addiction or enslavement, such as “abstain from all alcoholic beverages and other habit-forming and mood-altering chemical substances and refrain from the use of tobacco in any form, marijuana and all other addictive substances, and further, must refrain from any activity (such as gambling or gluttony) which defiles the body as the temple of God or which dominates and enslaves the spirit that has been made free in Christ”.
  • Modest Appearance: Demonstrate the scriptural principle of modesty (chaste in thought and conduct) by appearing and dressing in a manner that will enhance Christian testimony and will avoid pride, elaborateness or sensuality.
  • Social Obligation: Fulfill obligations to society by being good citizens, by correcting social injustices, and by protecting the sanctity of life (abortion and euthanasia of aged, mentally incompetent, terminally ill and otherwise handicapped, for reasons of personal convenience, social adjustment or economic advantage, are morally wrong).

Oh God, who can be better than you? Nobody, I say.

 

Do Not Neglect The Gift You Have.

Do Not Neglect The Gift You Have.

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“Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.” 1 Timothy 4:14. 

We are all good at something. Some of us are fine engineers, others are good with numbers, some are excellent speakers or nurses and a few are indeed awesome photographers or graphic designers. One of our main goals in life is to find out what that “something” we are great at is and go deep so that we can glorify God all the days of our lives with it. Our gifts aren’t to be used for man, like many do in the music industry. Our godly gifts are to be used, without question, for God’s glory.

Who are we without God? We are nobody, I say. Spend some time this week to find your true talent so that you can glorify the almighty with distinction. Remember: You work for God not man. Once you find that special gift, dedicate your life to that talent so that the Lord is glorified continuously. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

A True Believer Don’t Show Favoritism.

A True Believer Don’t Show Favoritism.
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Clarence has a great heart. He helps homeless veterans. What a great brother in Christ.

A true believer don’t show favoritism. He treats everybody the same regardless of how much he has, which clothes he dresses or where he lives. A brother (or sister) in Christ deserves to be treated with respect regardless of how much he has. The color of one’s skin (regardless of ethnicity) shouldn’t determine to which person you should address your speech to first, either. Don’t be judgmental, use good discernments and be fair. Reminder: There will be both white and black believers in heaven. Love them both…

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1-4). If you have ears listen… 

Don’t dishonor the poor man. “…Love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 2:8). If you show favoritism, God will judge you sooner or later because it is written He will. Be careful with whom you show favoritism to. God is paying very close attention to your actions and mine.

If You believe, You Will See The Glory Of God.

If You believe, You Will See The Glory Of God.

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“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25-26

Yes, I Do. Being with you is a gift that I do accept and celebrate. Sure, the path has been rough and much persecution has occurred but I do realize that they hated you before they hate me. I don’t live for man but for you, Lord. Scripture has taught me to seek what is best for others many times over what is best for me. God, you take care of us all.

God works in us. We believe and are blessed. Glory is to be given to God, alone. If you believe, you will see the glory of god.

We Are Called To Evangelize.

We Are Called To Evangelize.

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Billy Graham once said that there is a day in a man’s life when he has to make a decision to either live for God or to live for man. There is no higher calling and honor than to spend your whole life journey spreading the gospel to the four parts of the world and defending what is right to God’s eyes. In Daniel 12:3 it is written, “Those who are wise will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”

Some of us are engineers and preach the gospel to technical brothers and sisters. Others are good with money or excellent philosophically and serve in the financial and critical thinking ministries. A few are athletically inclined and have a talent to teach youngsters the word of God. Whatever you do, you should do to glorify God.

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” 1 Peter 1:14-15. 

 

Man Will Not Last — God Will.

Man Will Not Last — God Will.

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“For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others. Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are arrogant and their followers who approve of their words” (Psalm 49:10-13).

Don’t be like them. Valuable possessions without understanding is meaningless. We shall be gracious to everything that the good God has given us and not live to collect gold in this world alone. We are called to love God and not use our mouths for evil or our tongues for deceit. We are to edify our parents and do what is right in God’s eyes. We need to be gracious to God and for everything that He has given us. God will last but not man. Whatever you do, do it for God.

“Do not give the life of your dove to the beasts” (Psalm 74:19).

Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger.

Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger.

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“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. 
The moment we try to guide our lives and “command our destiny…” is when we get into trouble. Christians are to trust God and be obedient to Him never trusting our own understanding. Don’t fall into the “I can control my own future” temptation — Listen to the Holy Spirit when He talks to you. What is to come is God’s call not your call or mine. Remember: Everything in to be done in God’s time and to His glory not on our own time and to our own glory. In Matthew 10:30, the Lord teaches us, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered…” Very true, indeed but who among us can count how many hairs we have on our head? See.
Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger. Enjoy the ride and trust. It is my call and yours. Courage! Courage! God is in control. Be obedient and trust. Never forget, “God takes care of His people…” the moment you realize that God (not you) is in control.
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. 

The Importance Of Renewing Your Mind.

The Importance Of Renewing Your Mind.

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God has instructed us in Romans 12:2 to renew our minds. Let me clarify this — It is absolutely imperative that we all read scripture on a daily basis as by reading His word, we read His thoughts. It is amazing what you can accomplish in your life when you get closer to God in scripture. The act of reading the bible is both a blessing for those who read and the ones who receives God’s message. We are called to read the bible, pray and engage in the great commission everyday. We might as well do the former often, without regrets… early on in our lives.

Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed.” As believers, we are from this world but we are not of this world. We don’t need to act and react in “human” terms necessarily and we should most definitely engage in biblical testing. Also, we need to renew our minds by transforming our minds with what God has said and taught us not what we want to think or not think. Life isn’t about you or me — Life is most certainly about God and what God wants us to do, as King and Blackaby eloquently write in their best selling book, “Experiencing God.”

Be careful to not be molded by this world, brothers and sisters. You were born for a reason and the main one is to do great things in life for God’s glorification. Being close to scripture and listening to the word of God is an important and necessary condition for God’s will to be done in this life. You were called to be a part of God’s army. We all need to act accordingly. Let me tell you something: The time for advancing the kingdom is now fellas not tomorrow. We all need to renew our minds for God’s glory. Life is too short for us to be constantly waiting for a divine sign/call given by God so we can start doing the work of God.

I am 43. You might be 27 maybe 37 or 19, I don’t know. What I do know is that we all need to be immersed in scripture and defending the word of God on a daily basis. It is our duty, it is our task — it is most definitely our call. Renew you mind by getting closer to God’s word/thoughts. This is your primary responsibility in life. I am in 100% and won’t abandon God. You should take the same stance, as well. God is counting on your help and mine in order to help others see the light and truth of God Almighty.

What a privilege that we have. It comes down to that.

Keep Calm And Trust God.

Keep Calm And Trust God.

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There is no need to worry, put pressure on yourself, or be constantly seeking approval from others. The former only causes anxiety, frustrations and unnecessary worry which you really don’t need in your life. Keep calm and trust God. Everything in this life happens for a reason. Remember this: The Lord shall fight for you. Therefore, you shall hold your peace, Exodus 14:14. You have no control of your life. I have no control of mine and I bet you that your parents and friends don’t have control of theirs, either.

Live a life of no regrets making your own decisions about your future. People, for the most part, are egoistic and self serving.  Don’t live your life based on how they live theirs. Don’t ever quit trying to make somebody laugh or making a friend smile. Life is too short for anyone to hold anger and wanting to call every shot without the blessings from God. Failing to smile and trust God can make you depressed. Why would you do this to yourself? You deserve so much better.

Keep calm and trust God. Be careful not to let your pride go ahead of the wishes and wants of God. You don’t live for you. I don’t live for me — We both live for God. Remember, the Lord can help you to overcome anything you just have to trust Him. As Jake Provance once said, “When purpose feels questionable, your strength fades.”  What are your reasons? Whatever they are, you will be in a better position if you make the decision to put your faith in the Creator. Why would you make your life more complicated than what it needs to be?

The person in this photo is Ms. Mignon Clyburn, the head of the Federal Communications Commission, a very clever woman from South Carolina. I didn’t ever make plans to meet her yet we met and had a great quick chat. You don’t know exactly what will happen in your life therefore, trusting God is imperative both for you and me. The blessings that God has planned for you will appear when you least expect, as long as you allow God to bless you in this world.

Be slow to anger, be happy and forgiving. Be and act like the salt of the world. If you are a true Christian, this is what you do on a daily basis. By the way, you don’t need to be your worst critic. All you need to do is to be reasonably critical for your own good and trust God. Don’t forget to keep calm. The good God is in control. God loves you and me. Make sure that you love God in return and do what you can to glorify Him. Life isn’t about you and me but about God.

Life can be filled with frustrations and annoyances. You need to learn how to control your emotions and trust that God will take care of you and your circumstances. The former isn’t to say that you shouldn’t work or do what you can to better your circumstances. What it does say, however, is that God will take care of His people , as long as you follow God’s commands. God loves work. Never forget this important truth.

Keep calm and trust God. It is all that you can do, I say.

Be Thankful, Always.

Be Thankful, Always.

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Be thankful, always. Celebrate what you have and give thanks to God because life in its essence is about the memories that you collect and the moments that you will remember with nostalgia forever. Why make things complicated and make life more difficult than what it should be. I say live a simple life and without question… live your life to the fullest because our days on this earth are counted and temporary. There is no need to build four businesses, working 17 hours a day and taking no vacation. Not even the mighty government cares about what you spend and live for. Be wise: Live small, focus on your job, and be thankful, aways.

My life is much more precious than any award I’ve received for doing professional work. If we deeply investigate our own circumstances, in the end friends… we are all very average and sometimes below average in what we do and how we live. Everything is meaningless in this life as the good God has once said in Ecclesiastics 1. If you die tomorrow, how many people will be attending your funeral? Maybe a couple dozen if you are lucky… At mine, I can tell you, won’t be many and I am fine with it. I don’t live a beat the Jone’s type of life and find elitism to be both fickle and unnecessary but that’s just me.

There are so many ways that we can live a thankful life. In this article, I will share with you three ways I live my thankful one.

  1. I say no to elitism. There is no room for elitism in my life book. It is very difficult to be thankful to God and live life thinking about money and what others think of you. Maybe you can live your life this way. I can’t. When I was 14 years old, I chose to live a simple life, despite of my family upbringings and recommendations. In the end, what a person brings to the table is so much more important than what a small group of preppy kids who think they are wonderful have to offer. Get a life, man. A polo shirt, fine wine and a pair of sneakers will never define who I am. I don’t need to wear or appear wealthy to have value in this world. Life is to be lived for God not men. Elitism is a cancer that often backfires, especially if you want to live a thankful life, always.
  2. Play with your kids. There is nothing more satisfying to me than seeing my daughter grow up. Playing ponies with daddy, cabana at night, reading books and occasionally going to a bouncy place means the world to me.  All these former activities either costs us no money or are very cheap to pursue. Having fun with your kids is a blessing that isn’t tied to monetary power. It is a good way to be thankful, always. Let me share something with you, before I forget — make sure that you marry and have kids. You will thank me later.  Playing with your kids is perhaps one of the very best ways for anybody to grow thankful and happy, I think. Smile at your child before bed. I bet you will enjoy the moment.
  3. Tell others you are thankful for them. You don’t make your life great. Others do in fact with a touch of God. Moral of the story? Make sure you tell others that you are thankful for having them. If you really analyze your life in detail, you will quickly realize that the impact that others have on you are much higher than the impact that you have on yourself. We are members of only one race — the human race. Human beings were made to live in community and celebrate with others. Language and societal symbols are two means that we use to live a thankful life with others. Practice the former every time you can and do what you can to get better at it. Nobody is perfect and we all can improve. Make someone happy tomorrow. This is your duty and mine.

Be thankful, always. Celebrate what you have and give thanks to God because life in its essence is about the memories that you collect and the moments that you will remember with nostalgia forever. I say live a simple life and without question… live your life to the fullest. There are so many ways that we can live a thankful life — I say no to elitism, play with my kid, and tell others I am thankful for them once in a while but that’s just me. Don’t forget… Make someone happy. This is your duty and mine in this world.

The Faces Of The Homeless. How Can So Many People Be So Heartless?

The Faces Of The Homeless. How Can So Many People Be So Heartless?

According to the National Alliance To End Homelessness, there are more than 500,000 homeless people living in the United States today with a large number of them being children. The Housing and Urban Development office estimates that this number is likely to be an under estimation as many homeless men and women (and children) don’t have the means to fill out census surveys. Lack of affordable housing and low pay are the two main variables that contribute to the large number of homeless living in the streets in America. We need to do what we can to reduce this number exponentially and keep helping those who need our help the most. It is the Christian think to do.

By the way, can you spot a homeless man or woman? I bet you can but just keep in mind that they are more diverse than you may think. The Rethink Homelessness campaign has enlighten many of us to the true “face” of homelessness in the American empire.  Many homeless folks are college educated, have played sports in college with a scholarship, and some have even gone to modeling school. There are homeless who can speak multiple languages, including the language of personal training.

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Rethink Homelessness

You might be asking, “What happened to them?” “How can this be?” Well, there are so many answers to these questions. Let me offer some for you. When medicine is so expensive and only a few can afford and if you get really sick… it becomes really expensive for anyone to pay for those medical or prescription bills. What a shame, I say. I have known a number of clever, nice and hard working professionals who had their lives destroyed because of health care. How can the former happen in the United States of America!

In other cases, homelessness might be due to addiction to prescription drugs or sometimes due to financial bankruptcy. Sure, lack of affordable housing and low pay are two big variables that impact homelessness but they are not the only two. In my opinion, we need to do what we can to help each other out and redesign the system to at least give Americans the right to live without having to pass through this kind of hardship. Don’t you think? By the way, if you live in Mississippi, look for Clarence from lovevets.org. He is a nice guy who cares for Veteran Homeless living in Jackson, Mississippi.

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When I see images like the one we are seeing above, I can’t stop thinking about when I thought about going to medical school back in the 00’s with plans to work as a general practitioner in small town USA assisting folks with little funding to see a doctor.  I ended up becoming a different kind of doctor by my care for the poor (especially the homeless) will never go away, that’s for sure. Seeing a man (or woman) being homeless really bothers me especially if the person is in this position because of lack of health care. We can do so much better in this country, I argue.

 

Appearances can be deceiving sometimes, especially within the poor and disenfranchised. Forget gender, ethnicity, places of origin, language, location… the homeless are as diverse as you can think of and can be found everywhere in the union. Some have even created robots and have extensive knowledge of electronics. Surprised? Don’t be. They re everywhere. Next time you see a homeless asking for help, stop and think. You have the power to make a difference in the life of another fellow human being. Don’t forget — Jesus Christ called us to help the poor. Helping those in need is our duty a Christians.

 

The Amite Street Dilemma! Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

The Amite Street Dilemma! Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

Jackson.pngIn your life, you are going to eventually hit a bifurcation point in your professional career which in turn will force you to make what we call, “A life decision.” It will go a little bit like this — You can’t go right, left deviates from the plan, you may need to hold in order to go forward… Long story short: Many times, the best thing to do is to just wait and reflect. Just remember that the prize awaits you at the end of the tunnel so embrace the unknown adventure and celebrate the journey that the good God has given to you.

RED LIGHT! Two minutes and twenty five seconds of waiting and then going… Calm down and be patient. Life is about giving time to time and seeing what the Lord wants you to do next. Don’t be emotional and make an thoughtless decision. We are all different. Lets celebrate that! I am a college professor, you might be an accountant or perhaps a physician. Some of you might work in real estate and I know that many of you work with your hands on a daily basis. Regardless of how you make a living, never lose track of what is the most important of all — loving God and identifying the “Amite Street” moments you will eventually have in your life’s journey.

Decisions, decisions, decisions… this is what life is really all about! We make them everyday for better or for worse. Perfecting our decisions is a skill set that we all need to master and reflect constantly. Don’t forget: Living is decision making. My day is all about making decisions. I am sure that your day isn’t that different. Our days are both about making the very best decisions we need to make under the circumstances we are in. How many life changing decisions have to made today? I am sure that you have made as many tough decisions as I have had to make. Keep making them! Learn to see how close you are to “Amite Street.”

The beauty of life depends on it.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

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Money can’t buy happiness. I don’t remember where I read this but I have no option but to write it for our own benefit  — between zero and fifty thousand, money might buy happiness. Between fifty thousand and fifty million… it won’t. What is the moral of the story? Never, under any circunstances, live your life thinking that a lot of money alone will make you happy because it won’t. What tends to make people happy are the following: Loving God above anything; Having a supportive wife/husband; your desire to financially help others; your willingness to put other’s needs ahead of yours; being true to yourself and to the things that you value the most in this life… being forgiving and understanding.

The love of money is the root of all evil, as the bible teaches us. Insisting that money in itself will save you from hell is both a dangerous and unbiblical philosophy. Never forget this: You won’t be able to take to the grave all the millions of dollars (marks, pounds, liras) that you have accumulated in your banking account, regardless of what you others may have told you. When I was a teenager, an old and well known Brazilian magnate once told me this, “I would rather be dead and rich than being alive and poor. I am wealthy and powerful and happy” he once told me.” In reality, he wasn’t and both him and I knew it. “Mr. Wealthy” used to drink pretty heavily every Friday, Saturday and Sunday complaining about life and his family. Mr. Wealthy didn’t believe in God. God has pity on his soul.

Look, now that I am not that young anymore and have a mind of my own, I can better measure the level of this fellow’s life miscalculations. What is scary to me is that too many people think very much like “Mr. Wealthy” and simply can’t get away from this idea that money is everything in life. Let me remind you again: It isn’t. If you live for money you are never going to have enough of it and chances are pretty high that money will indeed control you and your actions. Nothing, about the former, is really about happiness, isn’t it? Absolutely, I say. By the way, can money revive you from the dead? Can money alone save you from an incurable illness? Even if you have money and think that money is your life shield… without God, you have nothing, especially happiness.

My advice: Live life to the fullest and enjoy your days in this world. Live a celebratory life where money isn’t a top priority in your life. If you love God and do good to others on a regular basis, enough money will eventually go your way to help you to living a happy life. Life, in its essence, is quite simple. Celebrate the simplicity of life by making God a top priority and be careful to not complicate your life journey with what I like to call the “money scam.” Happiness is about knowing God and loving others. It isn’t about accumulating wealth for its own sake.  Got it?

Family Should Always Come First, After God.

Family Should Always Come First, After God.

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We have the duty to live our lives for God and our families. God, above all, is to be glorified and always be made a priority. The smile of a child is definitely something we need to take into account when deciding where you need to live. Is your daughter happy living in the state of Texas? Is your son excited and making friends near the city of Chicago, Illinois? These are important questions that we all need to think about and consider when making a decision where to live long term.

Don’t rush, think and analyze. Be critical and examine all the available options. What do you have to lose by being picky? Nothing, I would say. Family should always come first after God. What is God telling you? Listen, test, and be a leader that fears the lessons and teachings of God. When we were kids, we thought like kids. Now that we are grown men and women, we need to think accordingly. Life is always about others not yourself or me. Life is about loving God and doing what is best for our family, I say.

There are too many ways we can love God and do what we can for our children. In this article, I will share with you three ways in which we can love God and advance the wishes of our kids. Let’s maybe get started.

  1. Make God a priority in your life.  Go to church, choose to lead a bible study, be a man or women of character. If you can help the poor financially, do so. By giving we also receive. By praying we definitely learn to love. In this life, God takes precedence. We need to think about life in terms of what God wants us to do, not according to our wishes. Make God your main reason to live and celebrate. In the end, you won’t regret it.
  2. Listen To Your Family. If you are a father or a mother who loves your children, you can attest that listening is perhaps the very best way of making your family second to God.  What are they telling you? You must learn how to listen to them by asking them the tough questions. Nobody is perfect, including your family. Only God is perfect and we need to accept that. This is why God comes first and we all come second. Learn to critically listen to what your heart is telling you.
  3. Pray hard and often. You heard that right. Never forget that God communicates with us through prayer. Having a regiment of prayer is an absolute necessity in this world as it helps us to better connect with God. Prayer also helps with family bonding. Pray hard and often. Family members, listen carefully: It is only through prayer that God will show his glory to you and your family. Be with God and pray. This is your duty.

We have the duty to live our lives for God and our families. God, above all, is to be glorified and always be made a priority. Life is always about others not yourself or me. Life is about loving God and doing what is best for our family, I say. Here is what I recommend. Make God a priority in your life. Listen To Your Family. Pray hard and often.Go to church, choose to lead a bible study, be a man or women of character.  God comes first and we all come second. Never forget: Be with God and pray. This is your duty.

Only You Can Really Define Who You Are.

Only You Can Really Define Who You Are.

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Nobody can define who you are. In reality, only you can do that. However, if you don’t define who you are to others, they themselves will define you for you. This is precisely why you must take ownership of your own life journey and strive to live a genuine life that is based on integrity, honor, and a lot of “you” not me or they. In the end, what really matters in this world are the experiences that we acquire based on the thoughts, beliefs ad values that we hold. You can’t afford to have others dictating what you should believe in or the things that you should stand for unless you want to be a slave of your own destiny. It ain’t worth it. If your own life is manipulated by others, which life are you living then? Theirs? Living the dream must be based on your dreams not anybody else’s dreams.

The mystery of the future is often based on the predictability of your past. However, those who live in the past, as my friend Tony would say, end up somewhere locked inside of a museum letting life pass by. Your own self-recreation is a condition maybe even a requisite for taking control of your own definitions and immediate future overtime. Remember: You must define yourself not others. Only you can recreate who you are period. Make sure to take charge of your own destiny my friends and know yourself in great detail because if you don’t, then misery will consume the last small dot of hope you have to living the great life and defining yourself .

There are a number of ways in which you can define who you are in this world. In this article, I will share with you three techniques I use to make it clear to others that I define my persona not anybody else.

  1. I go to war once in a while. If you believe that life is always peace and that compromising is a way of life, reconsider. Consensus, not compromise, is the way to go. In order to have real consensus, both parties involved must end the game with a victory. I live by the former statement. The moment you perceive that others are trying to gain a one-up on you, fight back — go to war. Defend your beliefs and make sure that you are in fact part of the decision making process of your own future. The moment you lose the former and give up in the name of peace, you lose the game and the chance to control your destiny and definitions. The act of going to war isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, going to war is a necessity.
  2. I am truthful and don’t deviate.  Who are you today? Are you who you say you are? You better. Being untruthful is a big violation of integrity. Nobody can afford losing his/her reputation in this life if you plan to control your own life path. When I was 17 years of age, I was a very well respected golfer in my home country of Brazil. When I was 17, I thought like a kid and lived life like a kid. Today, now that I am a grown 43 year old American male living in the United States, I think and live life like a man. Back then, I thought yellow — Today, I think red and that’s okay. I won’t pretend to be what I am not and you shouldn’t either. Be truthful and don’t deviate. Stick to who you are and what you believe in. It is okay to evolve. We all do. Your job is, however, to recognize change and act accordingly.
  3. I live in the moment and smile. The past is glorious. The future? Only God knows… We must live in the present though. We were once young, strong and free. Now, we are grown, wise and full of white hair or no hair. We are who we are. Time flies, things change… we evolve. Don’t forget to live in the moment and enjoy the blessings that the good God has given you. Smile often and be happy. Smile again and reflect. Be careful to not be stuck in past memories and forget that the future is sometimes recreated with new ideas. Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Make sure that you live in the moment and have time to smile. You are gonna need it.

Nobody can define who you are. In reality, only you can do that. However, if you don’t define who you are to others, they themselves will define you to you.The mystery of the future is often based on the predictability of your past. Make sure to create your own definitions not others even if you have to go to war once in a while. Be truthful and don’t deviate. Live in the moment and smile. Never forget this: Only you can really define who you are.

Initiative Means Commitment, Got It?

Initiative Means Commitment, Got It?

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I am not aware of anyone who has a strong drive for developing new initiatives and isn’t committed to the values and overall well being of an organization. Being able to produce and have the stamina to implement a well planned idea is at the core of what we consider an effective emotionally intelligent leader to be. New initiatives bring with themselves the need to achieve, maybe drive and a lot of optimism. It is a required mindset that anyone who is interested in leadership development should pay close attention to.

In order to start any well thought initiative, people are going to need a number of well known EQ skills including influence, content management, political awareness, optimism and adaptability. Self confidence alone won’t do the trick for you, I guarantee it. When crafting a strategy for implementing a new initiative, it is important to be able to adapt in your quest for making your initiative a success but adaptability alone won’t generate the outcome you need to design, develop, implement, evaluate any campaign with distinction. Another caveat — IQ alone won’t help it either. You will need to have people skills, team building capabilities, collaborations and cooperation.

In this article I won’t cover everything there is about planning and running effective new initiatives. There is too much to write in one blog post. I will, however, elaborate on three components of this challenging puzzle that we call, “Initiative.”

  1. Influence. You need to be influential. You need to have the capacity to make others do what you want them to do, without having to pay them a single dollar for it. If you are a master of persuasion you are by definition a man or woman of influence. The good news is that if you lack the ability to influence others, you can definitely learn it by developing emotional intelligence skills. EQ is a skill set that you can legitimately learn and develop. Do yourself a favor — This upcoming week, if you don’t know if you can influence others positively, read a book on persuasion and give yourself a chance to influence others with distinction and discretion by applying the basic tenents of emotional intelligence.
  2. Optimism. Look, if you don’t believe in your organization or yourself, why are you doing the work you are doing today? I know, I know… It is because of the money, right? Is it maybe because of the benefits? Regardless of the reason, make sure that optimism is a priority in your career. You are going to need the former in order to make initiatives to workout for you and your team. Optimism isn’t synonymous with realism even thought realism can be a part of optimism. There will be times when the best thing to do is for you to cut your losses and move one to the next challenge.  Hopefully, there will be only a few of those in your career. Be optimistic and believe that you can do it. You might even convince yourself of who you truly are — an optimist!
  3. Political awareness. Be ready to be a half-politician… Smile and take note about who you know or don’t know. It is well worth 2-3 minutes of your time.  In order to have a great impact on your community, you will need to befriend key political figures in your region. Is it a difficult task to accomplish? I guess that it depends on how many influential people you know and your ability to carry on a great conversation in the right environment. Everyone likes to chat especially about themselves. Be a good listener and seek to better understand the needs and wants of others. This former tip can help you to receive access to attend important political functions.  You must have the capacity to gain public awareness if you are serious about implementing initiatives in any organization.

I am not aware of anyone who has a strong drive for producing new initiatives and isn’t committed to the values and overall well being of his or her organization. Remember:  In order to start any well thought out initiative, you are going to need a number of well known EQ skills, including influence, optimism and political awareness. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start developing the required skill sets you need to develop great initiatives.  Life is too short for giving up strategic thinking and analysis. Do me a favor: Start on them right now! I bet you will thank me later.

The Last Bubble: Collapse is Eminent.

The Last Bubble: Collapse is Eminent.

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If we look back in history and pay close attention to the evolution of both the defeated world war II countries and what we call the industrialized countries of today, we can quickly conclude that the industries they have re-built were for the most part more efficient and effective than the ones we had in the United States during the 1970’s. Well, I guess Japan, Germany and others had no choice but to take the stance of excellence if they were to compete against the only superpower of the post WWII age. They had to step up their game and do things differently.

Back in the 80’s, American industries had to compete against companies that were designed and developed to literally destroy the American industrial park as the hegemony of American enterprises was everywhere. It did its fair share of damage, that’s for sure.

At the same time, the rise of immigrants and women rights along with infusion of technology has caused the job market to become an “Employers Market,” as the workforce then had (and still has) way more people looking for jobs than jobs needing people. The supply of workers became too large for the country’s labor demands resulting in employers not having to pay decent wages to its employees as economist Richard Wolff once stated. The situation we are in today isn’t different from the realities of the 1980’s — Our current situation might be in fact much worse as the levels of technology imposed in our society has reached high levels of ridicule.

The American people is overworked, stressed, without money, in debt, and for the most part… still believing that the economic crisis is temporary. Not sure about that folks. This systemic ghost is here to stay. It might not even be an economical crisis but a crisis of philosophy.

Americans now work more than anybody in the world (including the Japanese), take less vacation days than the British, have less paid maternity leave time than any other nation among industrialized countries. Regardless of whether a mom gave birth through natural birth of cesarian session, employers only pay 5 weeks for full-paid compensation only on average. Stop here for a second…. Can anyone really go back to work after an intrusive C-Session only five weeks after surgery? You tell me.

Americans are suffering from anxiety, stress, syndromes here and more syndromes there due to overwork. On the top of all of that and due to the lack of home operational income, Americans had to borrow money against their houses in the year 2000’s in order to make ends meet. Too many lost their properties dues to foreclosure and in order to survive… Had to borrow against unsecured debt. The population lives on credit card debt because it is the only way folks can live and yet maintain the standard of living of consumption they once did. Economist Wolff seems to be correct about that, also.

Well my friends, let me share this with you. This time is coming to an end as the American credit card debt crisis has reached its limits. Be ready to hear about the crisis in student loan debt on mainstream media more often, very soon. Student loan debt will be the last bubble of our generation (in my opinion) but like all financial bubbles, it will explode and it will be ugly. I predict it will occur between 2020 and 2025. Students will be going to school to defer debt in mass quantities as high paying jobs become more scarce.

I see an ugly future for a lot of us members of the struggling middle class. As a college professor, I am suppose to hold a positive stance on hope but the evidence I see doesn’t give me too much hope folks. I think this whole fiasco will occur in this country in 2023. The country might default on its financial obligations which can result in life changing events never experienced before in the land of apple pie. I honestly don’t see a way out from this mess. The good news is that I am not an economics professor but a professor of media. The bad news is that if I am right…

And they keep telling me, “We need more technology!” I reply saying, “No, we need more brain cells!” We don’t need more technology. Ladies and gentleman, the boat is sinking and we are all a part of it. I encourage you to pray and pray hard because we will need it. Be ready to reduce your standard of living… Be accustomed to living in an apartment not in a house… Stop spending and look for ways to generate your own source of income. We must stick together and be creative.

Sticking together is perhaps the only way we will be able to deal with this whole crisis. God be with us.

Never Let Anyone Mistreat You.

Never Let Anyone Mistreat You.

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In this life, you will eventually be mistreated. Mistreatment might find you by accident, will be initiated by your enemies, sometimes will be revealed by friends, even close friends, co-workers, and often by some of the members of your family. The reason why I am so certain about the former is because most people are egoistic, self-centered and believe that life is all about themselves. Ego plays a large role, if you know what I mean. The bigger someone’s ego is, the higher the levels of mistreatment. It is clear cut.

The moment that people realize that they are at a deficit, be aware, because they will eventually find a way to mistreat you directly or indirectly once, maybe multiples times a week. Be aware: Life is all about them not you. They might celebrate your successes once in a while but in the end, work is about them. Sometimes, you have no option but to leave the environment and let these egocentric maniacs up to their own devices trying to maximize their retirement checks on the shoulders of others. It is an ugly world out there. It happens to us all everywhere. Don’t be judgmental and specific. Stop!

One thing is for sure: Mistreatment is just one of the ways evil people retaliate against others and it can take many forms. Mistreatment is easily observed and felt and can be described systematically. In reality, there are a number of cues associated with grotesque interpersonal mistreatment. People might mistreat you by simply speaking sarcastically towards you, by gossiping against you behind your back to others, and many times by screaming or confronting you head on with mean words, actions, and non-verbal clues. Some even write ALL CAPS WORDS to belittle you.

Micromanaging is a form of mistreatment. Whenever you suspect that spies are sent out there to give intelligence about you to the source, you reached the pinnacle of toxicity and mistreatment in a group, club or organization. Nobody who is truly a Christian, is nice or has any integrity, sends spies out there to gather intelligence on you for self gain. The former is better described by Aristotelian Scholars as manipulative and insecure often incompetent individuals who are often hiding something. It is a learned behavior that is easily displayed and caught. Just because people decide to be quiet about the former doesn’t mean that they don’t know.

Stopping someone from making progress is a well known mistreatment tactic used by individuals with authority to slow talent down. Flooding a unit with unreasonable requests at the last minute is both poor planning and usually a strategy to set people up for failure. Keep this in mind — life is about timing and effort. If you change someone’s timing, many times these changes will be for the worse leading to temporary conquest. No wonder why football coaches often stop decisive games in critical moments in an attempt to disrupt their opponent’s timing leading to error. No matter the form, you will be mistreated in this life. In fact, it isn’t a question of if you will be mistreated. It is a question of when. There are a number of ways you can ensure that you won’t be mistreated long term. In this article, I will share with you three ways to confront mistreatment at the source.

  1. Don’t be political. Be straightforward and firm.  Some people might and probably will assume a lot of things about you and temporarily mistreat you on this basis alone. However, the moment you firmly confront those who mistreat you one-on-one, without being political or being politically correct, mistreatment will flee away from you, you will flee from that person or group of people or both. At that exact moment, you will be able to judge if the mistreatment was a misunderstanding, was an innocent mistake, was mean spirited or an act done by a coward. It is amazing what people revel under stress. Look out for the details and act objectively not emotionally. Don’t be political. You don’t have to. Be straightforward and firm. Be the person who calls the bluff. Give them back a dosage of their own poison. Chances are high that they will think twice before treating you poorly again, at least for a while. Don’t let anyone bully you, ever.
  2.  Create alliances and peripheral support.  As the proverb goes, “The world goes around and around…” If you are being mistreated by a player or a group in a system, chances are high that other members and units belonging to your macro system are also being mistreated as well. The good news is that generalized, or should I say, purposeful systemic mistreatment calls for organized union affiliation. You need to create alliances and peripheral support in order to retaliate back and cause quantifiable damage. Here is the good news: Your opponent grows weaker and weaker when confronting a unified and concentrated force. He/she (or they) will pay a big price for mistreating you because the result of that backfire will cost the coward(s) a high price which often includes his/her (their) reputation. Mistreating others will only result in rash retaliation many times fired by a consortium.
  3. Look for alternatives and leave. There are times when you just have to leave and let others fix their own problems with their own resources. We live in a free and wonderful country that allows us to have choices. Nobody is obligated to stay in any establishment anywhere in the United States if he/she doesn’t want to. I personally don’t believe in quitting any appointment unexpectedly or in bad terms with any organization because life is about building bridges not burning them. The former isn’t to say that you should be married to a bad situation for twenty years or accept unreasonable terms forever. Sometimes, the best and right thing to do is to break affiliation and fulfill the destiny that God has planned for you elsewhere. There is more to life than trying to fix the broken if you break in the process.  Look for alternatives and leave even if you lose some funds in the process. Money comes and goes… You should control your destiny.

In this life, you will eventually be mistreated. The reason why I am so certain about the former is because most people are egoistic, self-centered and believe that life is all about themselves. Mistreatment is easily observed and felt and can be described systematically. The best way to tackle mistreatment is by being proactive.  Don’t be political. Be straightforward and firm. Create alliances and peripheral support. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to look for alternatives and leave. Don’t be afraid to make a big move. I have done a big one before and will do it again if necessary and you should do as well if required. Be a person of principles and stick to what you value and believe. Never let anyone or any group mistreat you. Confront them back accordingly your way.

 

Re-Create Yourself Once In A While.

Re-Create Yourself Once In A While.

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There is a lot of value in recreating yourself once in a while. IBM in 1984 was a much different company than it is today. Steve Martin became a dad when he was 67 years old. Betty White wasn’t a well known person by the public until she was fifty one years of age. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a body builder, then he became a widely known actor, served as a politician and is now a philanthropist. You need to champion the need to innovate and control your destiny by not allowing others to define who you are. This doesn’t mean that you should be mean, treat others with disrespect, turn yourself blue when common sense calls you to be yellow or dreaming of becoming a rockstar without having any talent for music and how to act and react in the entertainment industry. Don’t get me wrong — engaging in creative and continuous self-analysis and advancement isn’t an easy task but is one that is of paramount importance. In 2o17, we all need to be able to maneuver in order to gain or shift terrain and advance our own careers and life campaigns. In many instances, the former requires that we recreate ourselves. Every seven years, our body cells change allowing us to recreate ourselves in the literal sense. Perhaps, the good God has created us that way biologically so that we eventually learn to think about ourselves in terms of re-creation. In reality, there are a number of ways in which you can re-create yourself.  In this article, I will share with you three ways in which you can re-create yourself and advance or change your career or life focus as an outcome.

  1. Be a source of pleasure. No matter which career you are in or want to pursue, don’t be grumpy, melancholic, egoistic or egocentric, self-centered, or arrogant. Be the type of person you and your friends want to be around with. You don’t need to force your new image on others, either. Be a source of pleasure and celebrate creating harmony by making others to celebrate themselves.  Eventually, others will invite you in their circles and will legitimately enjoy being around you for the right reasons not because of  your position or authority. I see too many people today failing to re-create themselves into someone better because of a false belief that they need to stick to their century long traditions. Their stagnation is eminent; Loss of talent is predictable; lack of self-innovation and brand depreciation is likely.
  2. Question your assumptions once in a while. Be careful when making lifetime assumptions because when you assume, you make an… you know how the saying goes. Things change, life evolves, and people learn lessons. Not always but you know what I mean. In the spirit of wanting to recreate your image and questioning some of your lifelong goals and objectives, you have to be open minded to the possibilities that might head your way. One of the ways to accomplish the former is by questioning what you may think is untouchable to you. If I was so defensive about ever changing my upbringing instilled ideologies from childhood, I would have never turned into a college professor of any kind. In the country club culture in which I was born and raised in, becoming a college professor was seen as the ultimate sign of failure only after lacking a formal college education. I knew then and certainly know now, however, that the truth is far from what I was once told when growing up among the ultra wealthy elite society  but it took me “questioning my assumptions” in order to be able to see life as it is. Many today live their lives in a world of fantasy and make believe because of their inability to question their own circumstances, values and inherited biases. There is tremendous power in re-evaluating what you believe, feel, and care about. This doesn’t mean that you should be mean, treat others with disrespect, turn yourself blue when common sense calls you to be yellow, or totally ignore your history for the sake of change and advancement. Common sense plays a variable in the transition, of course.
  3.  Seek, investigate and council once in a while.  The bible teaches us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Proverbs 12:15 states, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Just don’t forget that investigating and seeking counseling with the right people for each occasion is also a variable if you are seeking to re-create yourself for the better. When becoming your new you or re-creating your old self, eventually you will need to find your “future you” which quite often isn’t found by you because we are creatures of habit. Plans are established by council as it is written in Proverbs 20:18. Don’t forget that.  Question — Are you doing God’s will? Let me ask you differently, “Are you working with your godly gift so you can glorify Him and help others?” Most folks aren’t… at least it has been my observations. GOOD! It may be time for you to recreate yourself! We all have received a gift from God. Every single one of us we did regardless of color, creed, nationality… The gift of exhortation calls believers to become great counselors/advisers maybe teachers. Are you in the construction business when you should be in counseling?  Are you disorganized yet you wish to manage operations but possess the gift of piety? Maybe you belong somewhere in the devotional business. Some have the gift of love or prophecy yet they choose to ignore their calling because of family tradition and fear of change or shall we say boldly, “to recreate themselves” using the gifts that the good God has given to them.

It is impossible to control anybody’s destiny or image despite the many attempts made by many in our society. People can be temporarily conquered but long-term control is only achieved if the mind or shall we say people’s hearts allow it to happen. Re-creating yourself once in a while is perhaps the only mechanism you can use to keep yourself and others in line when living this arduous journey we call life. There is a lot of value in recreating yourself once in a while. The act of recreation gives you hope, can energize your persona and give you life strength. No wonder why retirees tend to live longer when they re-create themselves and keep a steady line of work after officially declaring,  “I am a retiree.” You need to champion the need to innovate and control your destiny by not allowing others to define who you are always seeking ways to do God’s will. Be a source of pleasure, question your assumptions once in a while, seek, investigate and council with a wide variety of people and constituents. Life evolves and we need to be fully aware of that. We have to re-create ourselves one in a while. It is a must. It is good for you and it is good for me. It is good for us all.

Build Long Lasting Relationships: What To Look For.

Build Long Lasting Relationships: What To Look For.

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As it is played in Disneyland, “It is a small world after all.” The relationships we build, the friendships we make, the conversations we cultivate and the sacrifices we endure aren’t be be taken with a grain a salt by a true friend. A person who is truly genuine, is on your side and wants to maintain a great relationship with you don’t treat you like a subordinate, will never do anything to jeopardize your trust, will do what he/she can to honor your reasonable requests and are likely to ask you to go to lunch once in a while. Avoidance, extra protocols and procedures, ultra selective and divisive associations, left hand complements and gossip are true signs of someone who is egoistic and probably afraid or intimidated by you. It is even possible that folks displaying such behaviors are simply in the state of denial and are finding ways to justify their incompetence and appear adequate. Behaviors and actions will always speak louder than words, regardless of what folks may think or believe. We all have relationships in church, with family, at work, and also with our children and spouse. In all of the former, we need to cultivate great relationships and avoid destroying them but is better to have no close times with someone than associate yourself with the wrong crowd. As colleague of mine once said, “Many judge others by the people they associate themselves with.” There is truth to this former statement. My grandfather used to say the same thing.  The bible states in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” It seems that God wants us to flee from bad company, right? It seems clear cut to me. There are a number of ways we can guide folks to build better relationships in many areas of our lives. In this article, I will share with you three ways in which you can build more solid and long lasting relationships with a spin of Christianity.

  1. Choose good company because the alternative corrupts character. The Bible says in1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” In order to build relationships that last, you need to choose good company first. It is a pre-requisite that must be followed. There is no reversal to this rule. The tricky part of deciphering who is good or bad company. Individuals who provide good council are great ones to associate yourself with. Typically these folks are unselfish and have an encouraging heart. They tend to be reasonable and understanding of a wide variety of circunstances. You will know when someone is a great advisor and had the gift of exhortation because hate isn’t part of their nature. These folks tend to be great company and worth of your time.
  2. If they don’t spend time with you, flee from them. Relationships are all about commitment. You need to choose carefully and pay attention to details. A dedicated ally won’t let you hanging in there and are likely to seek rather than be seek for a conversation. If someone wants to have a great relationship with you, sooner or later… they will extend an invitation for you and your family to go to lunch with them or to join their church or civic groups. They will  introduce you to people they know publicly and eventually will ask you to go to their house as guest for supper. If you request a meeting one-on-one with a person and this person chooses to have a group meeting instead you know that his/her priorities aren’t you but him or herself. Remember: If they don’t spend time with you, flee from them.
  3. Be loyal and test for consistency. If you find inconsistencies in your relationships, e.g., “Hey Almeidas! Nice seeking you here today.” and then in a public event the same couple who told you the former ignores you… You might as well say goodbye to having a long lasting relationship with them.  If a person is really on your side and desires to keep a great and open relationship with you, they will not betray you in any way. Make sure you spend some time “testing spirits” as the bible teaches us. Which disloyalty can you clearly see and observe? Are there any inconsistencies that include you specifically? Let me give you an example. I am a member of a local civic club. In a number of occasions, Jackie — one of our senior club members, was very kind and open to a great chat with me during our weekly meetings seeming excited that I was a college professor in a public university. However, in another yet more selective event we both attended, where being a public school professor wasn’t seen as prestigious, this same person who was so chatty and nice totally ignored me due to fear of retaliation, I bet. Being associated, in that event, with a public school professor wasn’t sophisticated enough for her to maintain her appearances. Only if she knew that I had a working and close relationship with the president of that organization she was trying to build connections with. Moral of the story:  Be loyal and test for consistency, always.

As it is played in Disneyland, “It is a small world after all.” Sooner or later, people will discover who you truly are by the relationships you have and by your actions and reactions. Make sure to choose good company and that your company wants to have yourself in their company. Otherwise, you might need to develop relationships with other company. Test your relationships with a dose of loyalty and consistency. In order to build a long lasting relationship with someone, you must make sure that they are indeed on your side on a consistent basis. Otherwise: Be aware.  Remember: Behaviors and actions will always speak louder than words, regardless of what folks may think or believe.

You Are To Do God’s Will Not Yours.

You Are To Do God’s Will Not Yours.

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God is in control not you or me — regardless of what many may think. When the good God takes you places, it is His wishes that shall be done because glory is to be given to Him not you or me. In Jeremiah 29:11 we learn, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord… plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Stop thinking that life revolves around you because it doesn’t. Life is about honoring God and using your god given gifts to advance his kingdom. If you are trying to write your legacy on anything, be aware! This world isn’t about you or me. It is about honoring God with all you have. Writing any legacy is an overrated statement. Isn’t more important to engage in the great commission than to work your whole life and claim that you are wonderful because you left a great legacy?  I believe it is… I could write about this topic forever but for the sake of space and discourse, I will be brief and present to you three ways I’ve seen the wrath of God put in action when someone puts him or herself in the center of their universe rather than putting God.

  1. You struggle and eventually will get destroyed.  I wish I could share with you empirical data supporting this statement. Unfortunately, what I am about to say, can only be understood and accepted through faith and faith alone. Every time someone chooses to make themselves look bigger than God, or think that life is about their accomplishments first and foremost, severe consequences often occur resulting in self destruction. Attempting to place yourself in the place of God will get you destroyed. Struggle will go your way and defeat will then be eminent. Learn to respect God and give Him glory all the days of your lives.
  2.  People get confused and experience great defeats. Sorry to give you bad news… My advise? Take yourself out of the spotlight and begin to serve Christ with your godly’s gifts. Nothing can be more important in life than this, literally. If you are thinking too much about what others are thinking about you, it is time to engage in deep thinking and critical self-reflection exercises and to go back to basics. Nobody should let his/her pride take over their own personas under any circunstances and always glorify God. What others think about you is up to them. What you do you do for God. Life should revolve around God not you or me. Why experience defeat if you can celebrate victories? Don’t confuse temporary success with God’s will.
  3. Decision making becomes myopic and stress is experienced.  The bible is quite clear about the importance of seeking counseling in life. In Proverbs 11-14 we read, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Prior to making any important decision, pray and realize that God — not you or your buddies — control the universe. Failing to realize this Christian reality is like enjoying living life with constant stress and fear. God should be at the center of your thinking. Seek God’s counsel. As soon as this principle is put in motion,  you often experience true happiness never seen before. Don’t limit yourself to what you know or think you know.  If you choose to seek for solutions for your daily challenges without God, I bet that your life will be full of stress and disappointments. It is only by making God the center of your universe that success will head your way, if it is God’s wish. After all, you are not in control of your future necessarily. It isn’t what you think is best for you to do but the realization that only God knows what is best for you. Pray often, forgive daily, seek the counsel of God.

God is in control not you or me — regardless of what many may think. The sooner you realize this important reality, your life will change and your stress levels will decrease exponentially. Fortunate are those who understand this and put into practice the teachings of the bible. In the end, my friends… it was never about you or me but God above all. Don’t be selfish and seek to please God. Never and I mean never forget that.

If You Dream and Have Faith… God Will Help You To Achieve.

If You Dream and Have Faith… God Will Help You To Achieve.

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If you dream and have faith… God will help you to achieve. We need to realize that God is in control and that we need to keep the course of believing without seeing in this short journey we call life. It is truly amazing what God can do in your life when you surrender your life to God. Christ will bless you if you ask Him with the right motives. I am a witness of His glory and covenant promise to us all. God likes to give us blessings and He opens many doors to you also if you make your priority in life to glorify Him. It is written in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” It is also written in psalms 50:15, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” In Mark 11:24 we read, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Clearly, God wants us to dream and count on Him for receiving blessings, at least from a Christian point of view. How would you call a God who wants you to be blessed and receive God’s favor?  I call Him Awesome. Our God is an awesome God.

We shall, however, be very careful with what and how we ask as the bible also teaches us that it is okay to ask if we ask for the right reasons. In James 4:3 we read, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”  We have to always ask in His will as it is written in 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. Ask with good faith, believe and you will receive.

Today, my recently published book, “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation” has made the #19 best selling book list among memoirs of educators (kindle edition) on Amazon.com. Considering that my book was ranked ahead of worldly renowned celebrities including Michele Obama, Ronald Reagan, Ben Franklin, C.S Lewis, Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington… I take the former as a major blessing given from God. Wow! I can’t believe it. Is this really happening? Yes, it is. Our God is an awesome God, indeed. Who are we without God? Nothing, I would say.

You can enjoy His blessings, as well. The recipe? Faith, prayer, and scripture reading. This life is about God not you or me. God’s blessings are not about us though. Remember that. If you dream and have faith… God will help you to achieve.