“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.
Even though we have all these technologies available in our fingertips, people are more lonely than ever. It isn’t uncommon for folks to spend hours on social media and be highly depressed off-line. The indices of loneliness in America are so high that many are now looking for a minister of loneliness in order to help them to cope with this very sad reality we live these days.
Listen to me. All these technologies are making you living a worse life. Lately, I’ve heard people in Cleveland saying the following: Having a child is too much work. I don’t want to spend time outside social media because it is so much more convenient to chat with people on-line than to engage in conversations off-line. Why would anybody waste their time building a family. It is too expensive! I couldn’t believe my ears. Am living in a nightmare or is this the society we live in these days? I am afraid that we are living in the second option, ladies and gentleman.
The smartphone is destroying us from within, literally. The amount of people who have thousands of “friends” on facebook yet are paying for others to cuddle with them on Friday evenings is increasing by the day. How ironic, isn’t it? The more social media we use, the less human contact we get and therefore the more human contact people need. In trueness, what I am writing in this article isn’t that surprising as lack of human contact will eventually drive people bananas. We were not made to live in isolation as a species. Only a madman or woman would allow him or herself to live a life with technology this way. The relational side effects that we are witnessing in social media nowadays are real. I am afraid that our society will grow smaller and colder in personality because of these absurd levels of technological use.
Wouldn’t it make way more sense to use technology less, meet more people off-line and grow a family so that when people get old, they have someone to care for them? Come on people. It isn’t that complicated, you know? Yet, people are complicating their own lives for the sake of technology everywhere, including in our small city. Social media is quickly turning into a cancer in our society. Why are we allowing cyberspace to consume our lives and make us less social?
I don’t know about you but to me, this is all non-sense. Have we gone mad or something? Maybe I am a bit too old school and believe in God, family, and good manners. There is just no way that in my household we are going to fold to the dangers of social media including this latest trend of loneliness. I may say A and you might reply with B sometimes but in the end, I argue, we better get along well and live in community advancing our innate need to procreate and live in harmony. Isn’t that what God has asked us to do anyways?
Say no to technological isolation and the idea that social media connections are de facto close connections. Here is what I think. Live your life as if there is no tomorrow. Go meet people and expand your social capital off-line. Have an on-line presence and chat with people in social media in moderation. Go to church, meet a mate, work hard and smart and start a family. Glorify God and help others. By doing these common sense activities, you will help yourself in the process and I can almost guarantee that you won’t be lonely. Remember: You only live once, buddy. You might as well be reasonable and don’t assume that your facebook connections are really your friends.
Listen carefully: It ain’t worth the trouble to believe that all these technologies will make you more popular or together. Sherry Turkle, MIT professor coined the term, alone together for a reason. Just because something is permissible doesn’t make it beneficial. Go meet people offline and live your live to the fullest. As I always say, “use social media but in moderation.” You don’t deserve to be lonely for the sake of technology. Got it?
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 manygrown 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.
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.
Serve God above all things by engaging in the great commission.
Serve your family by being available and helpful.
Serve your church and help them to spread the word of God.
serve your community by volunteering.
Serve your neighbor as you do yourself.
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.
Have you thought about becoming a soldier of Jesus Christ? The methods in which you can serve the Lord are more flexible than you may think. In this blog post, we are going to briefly talk about the former with a touch of practicality.
In Matthew 28:16-20, we learned, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Notice that we aren’t called to be a soldier for Christ in any particular way. The methods by which we can serve God is open ended! They are flexible! What a blessing I might add. What am I saying? Well, what I am saying is that you (and me) can certainly use the internet as a way to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. Technically, we can share the gospel of God in three ways.
In small-group conversations in person
On-line discussions and blogs.
Isn’t that cool? What are your thoughts about all of that? We all need to spread the gospel! Let’s get the conversation going. Finding ways to share the gospel is what we are called to do. God bless!
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done” (Psalm 105:1).
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.
Use your testimony
Plan your testimony
Point people to Jesus
Clearly explain the gospel message
Share several key scripture verses
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.”
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise Him in his mighty heavens. Praise Him for his acts of power; praise Him for his surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with the strings and pipe, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals” (Psalm 150:1-5). These are the kids at the Westmore Church of God. The Lord gives us different gifts for his glorification. Hope you enjoy this clip as much as I did. God bless!
Never forget… The Lord loves you. He will be with you, always. If the enemy is trying to remind you about your past, remind the enemy about his future. We all make mistakes. We are to repent and learn from them. God bless.
Leviticus 19:32: “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the LORD…” 1 Peter 5:5: “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Timothy 5:1-3: “Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.”
We need to respect those who are older than us who possess wisdom. Listen to Dr. Beaty. He knows what he is doing. To God be the glory!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. Our goal in life is to follow God’s instruction and live in Him who grants us all the power, love and a mind to glorify Him and live the good life. Don’t be afraid! Rejoice, instead because the Lord is good.
” The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:8); “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:1-6).
There is no reason to be alarmed or worried, brothers and sisters. God is good and He will take care of you and me. We don’t lack anything in God as he owns it all. Our God is a generous one. He is a protector — a fair and honest God. The Lord is our strongest shield and will comfort us in times of distress and pain. Quiet waters are coming our way because God is good and just. In this life, we need to look at things objectively and be willing to accept the fact that we are, more often than not, in control of our own destiny and that’s okay. Christians must keep the faith and move their lives forward despite the many challenges that we face on a daily basis. It is the nature of life and many times… the Lord’s will. Everything happens for a reason under the sun.
One thing is for sure: Don’t be discouraged… “Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
“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.
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:13-17).
The reality is that we can’t even start to guess how much hair we have on our heads. Trying to plan for what will happen to you or your business two years from today is literally madness. Without being God’s will, I emphasize, predictions are merely self-centered mad guesses. Only by acknowledging that the Lord is in control that we start our journey towards true wisdom. The former opens the door for potentially deeper questions of value such as “why do we go to war?” or “Why do brothers and sisters complain against one another?” God knows it all. We don’t.
We are to “submit to God and resit the devil” (James 4:7). Don’t forget to “humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you” (James 4:10). In everything ask, “If it is the Lord’s will” and life will then be what it was intended to be from the beginning. A perfect relationship between man and God. God sets the tone, we follow. There is no technology that will ever change that.
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops” (Proverbs 3:9); ” For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthews 6:21).
Tesla cars maybe represent what is the most attractive in auto innovations in the automobile industry. Model X’s interior is without question a piece of art along with its futuristic door technology. However, Model X starting price is 69 thousand dollars.
I am not against anyone making millions of dollars each year, as long as exploitation isn’t a part of the person’s philosophy of wealth. I don’t believe in “starving” God with what is His at the expense of luxury, though. God must always comes first. It is important to give, especially to what is of God.
If giving to the Lord means that we don’t own a Tesla or any other luxury car, then so be it. I am okay with it and you should be okay with it, as well. Christians must live for God not man. Any materialistic possession should never come ahead of God.
Luxury cars, big houses, expensive vacations, eating in fancy restaurants are all meaningless and short lived. Our trust and faith must be in the Lord. Giving is good…
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Smile! Jesus is Lord and that’s our hope for a better future. Are you ready for a dose of reality? We all fall short of doing good in this world. Brothers and sisters, we all have sinned and without question fall short of God’s ideal. We are imperfect and we must accept this fact. No technology will change the former, that’s for sure. The good news folks is that we have the Lamb who has paid a tremendous price for you and me so that we can have salvation. Celebrate! Jesus lives and so do we. Our God is an awesome God, isn’t He?
“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.
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:16-20).
We need to spread the word of God to all the nations including here in the United States. It is the gospel — it is good news! A large number of American Christians don’t seem to be putting into practice God’s instruction to engage in the great commission. Why? Perhaps because too many of us only practice cultural Christianity. We need to be Christians 24/7 not just on Sundays. We must share the word of God with others every week at work, during conversations in the mall, sometimes even in elevator conversations.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).
Do not worry brothers and sisters. Everything that God does in this world and in heaven is perfect. Never forget — your heavenly father knows what you need before you do. “Don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthews 6:34). The door will be opened to you when you least expect. Let the good God bless your life in ways that you can’t even comprehend. He does do that sometimes for us to have conversations like this one we are having. Out of big challenges come big miracles. God takes care of His people. He won’t let you alone, hanging in there! Never forget that.
Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. Focus your attention on scripture — Live your life today.
Flee from the Yogi of the east and focus your attention on the Lord. Yogi (also referred as gurus in India) recommend that people look within themselves in order to receive a divine spark and guide themselves in this world. Be very careful with such practices as only God can guide us with what is right. Be also very cautious about yoga, meditation, and the chanting of mantras. All these practices encourage folks to seek an inward light as a means for solving problems and living the good life.
Christ has warned us about such practices as seeking “inward lights” can de facto be an encounter with darkness. Let’s not forget that the adversary (satan) appears as an “angel of light” (2 Colossians 11:14). We, the brethren, experience light when we “preach the gospel” (2 Colossians 4:4). Flee from Yogi (gurus) and don’t fall into the temptation of accepting their practices and philosophies. Yogi are tools of the enemy. Always choose God, instead.
“This disaster happened because the people of Israel sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt and because they had worshipped other Gods” (2 Kings 17:7).
Brothers and sisters, we worship a jealous God. The Lord doesn’t want us to glorify anything other than Him and Him alone. Wealth, cars, family members, symbols, statues… are not to be worshipped. Only our God deserved the former. We should never forget that God is all powerful and in control of everything under the sun and in heaven. We must flee from idolatry and focus our eyes on the Lord and do what we can to be more like Him. We must resist sinning against the only God of the universe. If you feel tempted, pray!!! God will help you. He will help me, my family and yours.
One thing is for sure. We can’t do it alone. We need Jesus Christ! It is our only chance… The penalty for disobedience and lack of repentance is too much for us to bear. It ain’t worth questioning God’s commands, thats for sure.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).
One of the main reasons why people work in jobs that they don’t like is because they are overextended financially. The idea that having material possessions makes you a more successful professional is an old scam, dangerous philosophy which in the long run can be quite limiting. We need to set our priorities straight from the beginning people. Did you just graduate from graduate school? Don’t buy a house and an expensive car right off the bat. The answer to professional success isn’t extravagance. People’s decisions to live an extravagant life, in the end… tend to handicap them. The secret is rationality. A professional who makes one hundred thousand dollars a year shouldn’t be buying a 300K house and driving a brand new BMW 750 Series. The former will most definitely limit him or her. Spending what you don’t have is a terrible professional strategy.
Let me make this article a bit more personal: The moment your overhead increases, your job maneuverability decreases… and you become dependent on your current job. What is the consequence of the former? Your autonomy is then severely affected because of poor lifestyle choices. These glamorous choices, e.g., buying an expensive house in a county club development, driving an import luxury car… will then “prohibit” you from moving on to another organization (if you wish) when the time or offer is right. Listen carefully: Compensation is far from being everything that there is about a job. Flexibility is as important and as valuable (if not more valuable) than income received. In 2017, your ability to engage in job blitzkrieg is a necessity for survival, especially if you haven’t found your dream job yet. Be very careful when buying real estate. Most houses bankrupt employees up front or make them completely dependent on their employer the moment you close on your house.
People also stay in jobs that they hate because of titles. Titles are cool and can make you feel pretty good about yourself. However, losing your title or deciding to do something else with your life isn’t a humiliation or a set back in your career, necessarily. Any experienced leader understands that leadership isn’t position; Leadership is action, as once stated by leadership expert John Maxwell. Titles come and go and many times they bounce back. Just because you hold a title in your HR department doesn’t mean that you should stay in your current position if you are being mistreated or underutilized. If you choose to stay in a job simply because of a title… I would argue that money isn’t the only problem you struggle with. You most definitely struggle with ego issues. By the way: Those who are constantly applying the principles of position leadership to others will end up leading the wind. Overextended employees might work for these kinds of “leaders” but they won’t listen to them or be motivated by them. Position leadership is short-lived.
An expensive house, titles, a BMW or a Mercedes Benz… along with that “prestige” you got from working at Coca Cola is too much for you to give up, isn’t it? Let me share with you part of my philosophy of life. I don’t let money or titles control me. I make my priorities based on scripture — based on what is written in the Bible. Remember: The moment that you make God the center of your life, the former struggles start to disappear. You will quickly realize that possessions and job nomenclature is de facto meaningless.
Do yourself a favor. Don’t overextend yourself. Make God the center of your life instead of a salary, cars, titles, and such. In the volatile market that we live in these days, having the capacity to engage in job maneuverability is without question a necessity these days. There is tremendous power in calling your shots even if authority resides in the hands of others.
“The righteous, the wise, and their works are in God’s hands. People don’t know whether to expect love or hate. Everything lies ahead of them; everything is the same for everyone” (Ecclesiastes 9:1); “…for the one who takes the oath and for the one who fears an oath” (Ecclesiastes 9:2).
Enjoy your life and do wonderful things in this world even though you (and I) will die one day. Just remember that “the heart of the people is filled with the desire to commit crime” (Ecclesiastes 8:1). Maneuver yourself away from them and keep the faith in Jesus Christ. Be good and do good in God’s eyes because it is good. Smile, give and receive hugs, laugh, eat and enjoy your family and friends — Work hard! As it is written, “There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work” (Ecclesiastes 2:24). This life is temporary. Our biggest reward is in heaven. Carpe Diem — Live your lives extraordinary.
Never forget that, brothers and sisters. God is in control.
Jews look for miraculous signs; The greek seek wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:22). We, Christians… preach Jesus Christ’s crucifixion (1 Corinthians 1:23). Let’s not forget that we are not God and that God almighty is wise and we aren’t. What is wise for men and foolishness for God. Some argue that the world was made in six days. The “Rational” would argue… IMPOSSIBLE. Some of us Christian social scientists reply, “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom.” (1 Corinthians 1:25). God is God!!!The world could have been done in six seconds.
“God has chosen the world’s foolish things to shame the wise.” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
“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.
“All labor and all skill work is due to a man’s jealousy of his friend. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind” (Ecclesiastics 3:4); “Better one handful with rest, than two handfuls with effort and pursuit of the wind” (Ecclesiastics 3:6). “There is a person, without a companion, without even a son or brother, and though there is no end to all his struggles, his eyes are still not content with riches” (Ecclesiastics 3:8).
Which good do we get by working our bodies non-stop, at the expense of our health and sanity? No good I would say. Riches should not be the reason for why we live in this world. We live for God to glorify Christ to all the nations of the world not to collect gold and silver for our own purposes. remember: Everything passes and is short-lived, brothers and sisters. Life on earth and in heaven is about glorifying the Lord not a seek a blind trip towards accumulating wealth at all costs. What a miserable task chasing the pursuits of the wind is. Be different; Choose God and sanity before earthly wealth. Make your life meaningful.
“You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, how will it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. “You are light for the world. A city cannot be hidden when it is located on a hill. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, everyone who lights a lamp puts it on a lamp stand. Then its light shines on everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven.
We have the duty to make a difference in this world by how we choose to act and re-act both verbally and non-verbally in life. Even if we make a tiny difference at times — we can still be a shiny lamp in a lamp stand for someone. We can then be seen by many as examples of what God has taught us in this evil world that we live in. Making a difference in the lives of others is a critical component of being a practitioner of Christianity. Our acts have a much bigger impact than what many believe. So the question is: In which ways are you being the salt of the world? Are you that light that cannot be hidden? I hope your answer is yes to these questions. We need to do good so that many praise our father in heaven.
“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.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 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…
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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
3 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 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.
“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.
“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.
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.
“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).
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.
Life is too short for anybody to be mean to others. We must celebrate the gift of life with joy, a smile on our faces, and an eye towards the great Lord of the universe. In Ephesians 4:29 we learn to “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Proverbs 11:17 also teaches us the importance of being kind, “Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.” In Colossians 3:12 we read, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Why be mean to others especially when they have done nothing against you? Let’s not forget that human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires, James 1:20. God takes care of its people, though. Our God is a just God who is merciful. There are a number of ways in which you can be kind to others in this world. In the paragraphs written below, I will share three ways anybody can use to be more kind to others.
Make God the center of your life. Live for God by faith all the days of your lives. Remember: Your life doesn’t belong to you but to God. We are to do God’s will and live by faith in this life. We need to be thankful not vengeful or angry. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we learn that we are to give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Why should we reject God’s teachings? We shall not, that’s for sure. Whenever you make Christ the center of your life, you find true happiness and tremendous freedom.
Seek love and avoid contention. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 we read, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love is without question one of the most incredible qualities of a Christian. If we choose peace we shall find the kingdom of God. The bible is quite clear about contention, “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14). Love one another and abandon the need to fight. Choose love over evil.
Pray for those who prosecute you without a cause. In Matthew 5:44, we learn, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Pray and pray hard for those who act without honor against you. The good God is a Lord of forgiveness and understanding. Be the salt of the world by adopting a lie philosophy that is based on prayer and forgiveness. Be the light of hope in someone’s angry unjustified demeanor. In the end, their prosecution of you is an act of insecurity. Make them more secure if you have an opportunity. Be a witness of understanding and always take the high ground. Most folks are egoistic. be generous especially with prayer. God wants you to pray and serve others. Do your part — be obedient.
Life is too short for anybody to be mean to others. We must celebrate the gift of life with joy, a smile on our faces, and an eye towards the great Lord of the universe. In the end, we are all in this world together seeking our biggest gift of all — salvation. Turn your eyes to God and pray. Be the hope you want to see in others.
The unpredictability of life is a mystery that can only be fully understood by God. One day we find ourselves in a big city near the suburbs of Hong Kong. Another day we find ourselves living in a small town near the outskirts of Duluth Minnesota. How unpredictable our lives are, I say. I often wonder how anybody can live life without believing that there is a God. Life is full of inexplicable surprises for anyone to deny the existence of a superior being. How can we explain the blessings that we receive and give? How can someone be born wealthy and chose modesty over principles? I don’t have the answer to these questions but maybe one day I will understand. By the way, the photograph above was taken in the well known Natchez Trace located near the city of Jackson Mississippi. What a beautiful scenery man, I have to admit. I still remember driving down there and stopping my car beside the highway to take both a landscape photograph and to reflect. I realized in a very short period of time that it is only by the grace of God that we can live a good life, regardless of might say. I live a great life full of blessings given by Jesus Christ. Every semester, I speak with a number of college students seeking life coaching advise. I help them to find themselves and to use the gifts that God has given them and me. What a privilege to be able to encourage the youth into serving the God with their lives. I love it… I was born to do this. In the bible, we read in Acts 15:32, “And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.” We must do so with enthusiasm.
Some of us have the duty to encourage others to achieve greatness, be compassionate, and care for the poor. Someone needs to be a cheerleader for others and give unconditional generosity. The bible talks about exhortation, an important gift given by God to some. In Romans 12:8 we learn, “the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness…” How great is His word and the plans He has for one’s future. The unpredictability of life is a mystery that can only be fully understood by God. I surrender it all. It is well, it is well with my soul. As long as you lead me into your ways and future plans… We shall be just fine. My life without you is in vain. God always be glorified, forever and ever. Life Is A Journey — You Might As Well Enjoy The Ride with God all the days of your lives.