Struggling Is a Landmark, Not a Roadblock.

Alex Sanfilippo

Every human being goes through seasons of struggling in their lives; it is something that we all have in common. Difficult times will look different for each of us. We are all in 1 of these 3 categories: In a difficult season, about to be in one, or just coming out of one. Super negative, right? From the world’s perspective, it sure is! But what about God’s perspective?

In my early twenties, my tendency was to give up and go a different direction when a difficult situation would present itself. When there was a ‘struggle’ I’d search for another way. However, as I grew in my relationship with God, I learned to persevere through these times of difficulty. Once I started persevering and refusing to just give up, I realized that I experience the growth in my life during my struggles. You cannot get where you need to be without going through the trials of today.

God has taught me over the last few years that my struggles are not roadblocks, they are actually landmarks. These struggles are things that I need to face in order to become who I am supposed to be in Him. Once I really started to understand that the struggles were a necessity for growth, two things happened:

1. I found myself deciding that I had to face them head on and remain positive in doing so.
2. After the victory, I found myself saying things like this: “That was the moment when change and growth started. That is what taught me the skills I needed in order to be where I am today.”

Since this principle has become part of who I am, I have grown so much! God has started using me to help others who are going through similar situations. All of this is possible only because instead of just giving up or turning a different direction, I trusted God and stayed faithful to Him. I continued to walk the way that He has called me to walk during those seasons.R

My perspective on difficult situations has been forever changed! I can’t begin to explain the amount of growth that I have experienced because of this.

I write this post today not to boast about being able to get through difficult situations, but instead to encourage you to do the same; press on! Start viewing struggling as a landmark, not a roadblock! James 1:2-4 has been a foundational verse for me on this topic:

“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

I encourage you today, no matter what you are struggling with, remember that it truly is a landmark, one day you will look back and say: “That was the situation that God used to grow me.” Pray for God to give you the grace to persevere through whatever it is that you may be going through. Remember that He loves and cares for you and will help you as long as you remain faithful to Him.

Struggling is a landmark, not a roadblock. Press on through the time of testing and gain the testimony that will enable you to help others in the future!

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How To Be Generous Even If You’re Broke

Illustration of donation support iconsWhen you break generosity down to its raw form, it’s made up of two parties: one with surplus and the other with need. And the decision to be generous is a form of love.

In 2015, I decided I wouldn’t wait until I was “wealthy” to start giving. Generosity was a journey I desired to embark on now.

I believed generosity was less like an arrow and more like a boomerang. It always comes back to you.

But my giving at the time consisted of whatever I have in my pocket to give to the beggars around. Later I graduated to having a percentage of my per month income to give to the needy. Which was great! It was a solid starting point and it helped form the perspective on money that I needed at that time in my life.

But eventually, I began feeling small. Almost like my contribution wasn’t truly making a difference. At the time, my income wasn’t high and I just couldn’t afford to pay off debt, survive in Abuja, and give 5%-10% to a cause that I cared about.

But then I realized generosity is rarely about money.

It’s about time. It’s about friendship. It’s about opportunities, introductions, and bro-deals. And sure, it was about money too. So here’s what I did:

1. I Created a Time Account

Over the next few years, I created not only a giving account at my bank, but a time account on my computer. I decided I would donate 4 hours per month helping people do things like move their house, design a business card, or just give them a friendly introduction to an important contact.

2. I Paid For Dinner

This is my favorite way to give. For such a small cost it seems to create a huge sense of gratitude. It might be because the cost of dinner is a real necessity. We go into our meal believing we will be covering our portion of the tab and then, BAM! Someone picks up the check… and a rush of financial relief floods in. What a gift. Next time you’re at dinner with a friend, pick up the tab. I promise your kindness will be returned.

3. I Gave More Effectively Than Anyone Else

I believe every human life is worth exactly the same. This means the child who needs to eat in Nigeria is just as valuable as the man who needs money to fund his ALS treatment in America. What this also means is your generosity toward either of these individuals is equal. But the cost… is drastically different. It may only take N10,000 to feed a child in Nigeria for a month while $5 wouldn’t even dent a fraction of ALS treatment in America. I call this effective self- denial. I began looking for charities where my money had an impact somewhere else in the world. For example, for $10 you can provide someone clean water for 10 years with Living Water International. Or for $7 you can provide life-saving vaccinations to a child for 10 years with End 7. Also you can give to Joyce Meyer Ministries doing great to humanity. It was charities like these that made me realize that generosity, even in its smallest form, can still be significant.

The question is, will you join me? Not that I earn a lot or i boast am the best giver in the world, but we can always do better and put others in need to whatever need we have.

Do you give to anyone? Do you support a cause or maybe your church? What’s stopped you in the pas? Let me know in the comments below…

Leadership Without Leverage

Bukunyi Olateru Olagbegi.jpg

So I was surfing the net today and stumbled on something I remembered writing about on leadership. Figured I would utilize them and hopefully, they will be helpful in some regard.

There was a time I was listening to one of the prominent speakers in Nigeria, Prince Bukunmi Olateru, and he was speaking on a number of different things.  But he had a section on Leadership that really caught my attention.  He brought up a few points and themed it “Leadership without Leverage.”  He spoke about how a good leader is someone who doesn’t expect anything in return and is truly a servant leader (no leverage).  The main points on leadership are as follows;

  1. Take People Where they Couldn’t Go on Their Own
  2. Rally People Towards a Better Future
  3. Galvanize People to Want to Do What Must Be Done
  4. Lead from a Position of Inspiration – not Obligation

So, while I would highly encourage you to use these throughout your life; spiritual, personal and work, I wanted to talk through these and relate them back to God and how He calls us to live our lives.

  1. Take People Where they Couldn’t Go on Their Own.
    • God calls us to “go out and make disciples” in Matthew 28:19.  I truly believe that God knew early on that there would be more than just one human being on this planet.  He knew as we have figured out that we were not meant to be alone, and we couldn’t do much of anything on our own.  He calls us to spread the love of Christ to everyone we know and shares the Gospel with those who may not have heard it.  How can we expect someone to come to know Jesus if no one ever tells them about Him?
  2. Rally People Towards a Better Future
    • I couldn’t help but think of church here.  Rallying people is what Jesus did with the disciples (Matthew 4) and what they did when Jesus sent them out (Matthew 10).  We are meant to be in community, so really those you know and have that Godly community that we should all desire.  If you know God, then you know He has the ability to give a better future, so why not share it with others and rally!
  3. Galvanize People to Want to Do What Must Be Done
    • Christianity is not meant to be boring or something you “have to do.”  Its meant to be exciting, so talk about it that way!  I think about this one in terms of serving and getting others to serve alongside you.  I see a lot of people ask people to serve in the church in a sort of apologetic tone.  But it should be the exact opposite.  Your excitement is contagious and all you have to do is share that with others and they will more than likely want to follow your lead.  Share what God has done in your life through serving and what it has meant to you.  Don’t beg others, just share the truth with them and allow God to do the work!
  4. Lead from a Position of Inspiration – Not Obligation
    • God has put you in the position you are in, whether in church, in work, or at home because He believes you are the best person for that position.  Once you truly believe that you should be inspired to lead with confidence and boldness in all you are doing.  And living in a way that is glorifying to God because He trusts you where you are.  Don’t feel obligated to God, He doesn’t ask for anything in return for saving us.  All he asks for is faith and love in Him.  Pretty good deal if you ask me.

So look through these and then step back to see what areas of your life God has you as a leader.  He wants you to lead well, and these are great things to look in order to do that.

Is Education Essential For Success?

Good morning guys,

Jeff Bezos -  CEO and Founder, Amazon.com, Successful people, Entrepreneur, Business, #success, #business, #startup, #leadership, #entrepreneur  www.thinkruptor.com

Am sure this is not the first time you have come across this topic.

In an analysis of the members of the Forbes 400, the 400 richest men and women in the world today, researchers found that a person who dropped out of high school and who made it into the Forbes 400 was worth, on average, $1.2 Billion more than those who had completed college or university.


There are a record 2,208 billionaires in the world, according to Forbes’ 2018 rich list

The reason I mention this is because many people feel that if they didn’t get good grades in school they are permanently limited in what they can accomplish later in life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the wealthiest, most successful men and women in the world, did poorly in school.

Remember the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” and the answer, “One bite at a time.” This is the same way that you become absolutely excellent at what you do. You move to the top one step, one skill, one small improvement at a time.

So what is your opinion on this topic today. Is having an education essential to success?

Drop your comments

Note To Self

1. Live authentically

2. Work ambitiously

3. Choose courage over comfort

4. Money makes me feel secure, not happy

5. Everyone thinks they’re right

6. Alcohol feels good at first and becomes a burden later

7. Worrying is praying for your worst nightmare

8. Material luxuries are best when limited

9. Keeping expectations low is a good strategy

10. It’s never right the first time

11. Everyone who is vulnerable is interesting

12. Most things distract you from realizing it’s easy

13. Trust what you want, not what you think you will work

14. Walks exude inspiration

15. Over time, I get better at everything and take it for granted

Getting Sucked into Comparing Yourself to Societies Norms

Have you ever observed people or yourself feeling taunted by social norms?

I’ve noticed the history of this for myself, spanning back to childhood, and I’ve noticed it time and time again for others I encounter in my work, where people have fallen into the hole of comparing themselves to others and comparing themselves to socially accepted norms and measures of ‘success’. Granted, it’s a pretty darn big hole, so actually, it’s not that hard to fall into! When I’ve witnessed this Comparison Conundrum as I like to call it, it’s like hearing a cry echoing from deep within the hole, which sounds a bit like this:

  • Everyone else is married now, and I’m not. Something’s wrong.
  • Everyone else is buying houses now, I guess I should too.
  • I’ve got this job but it’s not really a career like other people have.
  • They’ve found their passion, I still don’t know what mine is.
  • I’m falling behind.
  • I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
  • I want to ‘switch lanes’ in life but I don’t want to go backward. It’s too risky.
  • They are successful and did it that way; I should do it that way too.
  • They are thinner/more attractive/more fashionable/more successful/braver/stronger than me. I’m not enough. I’ll never be enough.
  • I’m not capable like them, I guess I’m just not destined to have a life like them.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This hole is so easy to fall into because often we’re invited into the hole, with our mind reinforcing that we’re falling behind via negative thoughts, supported by well-meaning people telling us that we should do this and that. So, of course, we’d then end up in the hole when everything points that way. Our mind reinforces what we see and hear, telling us it is true and if only we could figure out what we need to be and do in order to be like everyone else, then everything would be fine, right?

Except, you’re not everyone else. You’re you. No one is like you. No one. You make your own decisions about what you need and want, and when it feels good to you. If you want a house right now, buy one. If you don’t, don’t. If you want to travel, travel. If you want a big career, have it. If you want to do volunteer work, do it. If you want to be single, be single. If you want kids, have them. If you don’t, don’t. Do what feels good to you, not what others tell you that you should feel good about. And when I say others, I primarily include in that all the advertising, all the propaganda and all the mass media messaging we see day to day that conditions us in a way that we don’t even consciously realize. Start listening to the one thing you can trust – your soul. Your soul is your true self, below any rampant negative thoughts that are leading you astray.

And you might say, “I can’t hear my soul. I don’t know what it’s telling me!”

To which I would suggest that you be still and quiet as often as possible. Listen without fear of what rises up from within you. You do know what you want and need. You do know what makes you feel good. And, let your signals guide you home.

Listening to the advice of others, proffered from their own paradigm, will never triumph over your inner knowing and divine guidance.

  • Do you compare yourself to others?
  • Do you compare your situation and status to that of others?
  • What prompts you to do that?
  • How does that make you feel?

If you’re feeling sad, alone, disconnected, lacking, not enough or plain old exhausted from it, then give it up. Chose to let it go and be open to exploring who you are and what is important and meaningful to the real you – that is, you below any negative thoughts, and conditioning and any fear. We all have negative thoughts, we have all been conditioned and we all have fear. If you are alive, then you have experienced all of this, it is impossible not to. But now you are awake, and you have the choice to either be defined by these things or to break free.

Being someone you are not, in an attempt to live up to social norms, means that signals will eventually intervene to help you. As Marianne Williamson says, “The universe is self-organising and self-correcting”. If you are not aligned to who you really are, your true self, the natural order of the world in which we live will eventually assist you to see this. Intervening signals are not always pleasant, but they are signposts to help us head in a new, better, healthier, more beneficial direction. When things in your life ‘turn to custard’, it could well be because you are not in your flow, you might have accidentally swum into someone else’s flow. So, get out of their river and get in your own

Here is my final word on this subject, and when I say it to you, know that whatever I write is really a message to myself as much as it is to you. For in saying it to you I am reminding us both:

  • NEVER compare yourself to others. EVER.
  • NEVER try to be someone else. EVER.
  • You were born extraordinary and unique.
  • Any time you compare yourself to others, trying to be something else or like someone else, you deny the beautiful individuality that you were gifted when your soul chose to come into this life.

Create your own norms in life. The norms of society have no bearing on you unless you choose them. At all times, be yourself. There is nothing more magical, perfect and beautiful than you being you.

Photo credit: Pinterest

The Wait Is For Your Good

Have you ever waited on God, but the wait began to feel like a weight, one that was holding you back from happiness? I’ve been there, and more often than I like, I go back on emotional visits. I don’t know what it is you’re waiting for, but I’m sure I can relate.

Have you ever waited on God, but the wait began to feel like a weight, one that was holding you back from happiness? I’ve been there, and more often than I like, I go back on emotional visits.
I don’t know what it is you’re waiting for, but I’m sure I can relate. I’ve waited to be accepted to my dream college, on job offers, to meet friends in a new city, to get married, on promotions and new job opportunities, to start a business– the list goes on. From time to time, I’ve felt discouraged, doubtful, and, frankly, over it.
Not too long ago, I was in a season of waiting, and I was sitting on my bed, crying out to God and telling him I couldn’t endure waiting any longer. I was the end of myself–ready to take things into my own hands. Then God, in His infinite wisdom and love, said to me, “If you make a mistake I won’t love you any less.”

Honestly, that’s not what I thought He’d say. I was expecting a verse that would convict me for my desire to make a move instead of continuing to wait. Instead, God comforted me. I was feeling ashamed, yet He showed me grace.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful. For he cannot deny himself. — 2 Timothy 2:13

God Cares for You

In that moment, I realized that God really does hear my (and your) cries, and He understands our struggles. Now this isn’t to say that He approves of disobedience, but He’s not holding our mistakes and sins over us. He longs for us to know the depth of His love and grace so we can be assured that as our loving Father, He knows best, especially when it comes to timing.

Truly following God is hard because it’s a war to keep the faith. It’s a struggle to be patient and when you feel “ready”. It can be frustrating to be faithful to God when you constantly feel overlooked. It can be confusing when you feel like you should be progressing in your career or life, but keep hearing God say, “Be Still”.

The good news is those feelings don’t change the Truth. God is good and faithful to fulfill every promise. He is not a man that He should lie. He is the Alpha and the Omega and sees the end from the beginning. His timing is perfect because He is the author of all things

The Wait Has a Purpose

So take heart and hold on. If you’re weak, ask God to be your strength. Don’t let doubt make you settle for less than He’s promised you, and don’t let the fear of missing out make you rush into something you’re not ready for.

The wait is about BECOMING. It’s about growing in your faith, deepening your trust in God, and developing the fruit of the spirit. It’s not punishment, it is preparation. It can be painful, but it is also purposeful. Don’t despise it. Ask God to help you wait with purpose and contentment and to reveal His will for this season of your life. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the wait instead of enduring it, and thrive until your time comes.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see – Hebrews 11:1

Photo credit: Pinterest

Expectancy Is Not Pride, But Faith That God Is Who He Says He is!


Have you ever felt like it’s arrogant to ask God to do things when you pray to Him? For example, maybe you have thought that you can’t ask Him to heal you when there are so many others who need healing? As if His power to heal is limited. Or maybe you want to pray for someone else to be healed, or receive provision, but you feel like you don’t have the authority to request such things from God. You may even feel like your bothering Him and wasting His time. I have felt like this often, and because of that I have often prayed very safe prayers. I would not say prayers expecting God to actually perform miracles, and I would tell myself it was because I was being humble. Truthfully, it was because I didn’t believe that He would actually do the things I was asking Him to do. I was not approaching Him with the expectancy that He was fully able and willing to give good gifts to His children for the glory of His name.
After being confronted with an idea from some other believers that God actually wants us to pray and act as if we are expecting miracles and breakthrough, I decided to go to His word and see what it had to say on the matter. I found myself reading one of my favorite stories in the bible. It’s the story in Mark 2 where a group of men have a friend who is paralyzed. They want to get their friend to Jesus to be healed, but Jesus is teaching in a house and there are too many people in their way to get to Him. Since they cannot carry their friend through the crowd, they decide to take another route. These men cut out a hole in the roof of the house, and lower their friend to Jesus. The word says that when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the Paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

That man picked up his mat and walked out of that place fully healed, because his friends had the audacity to believe that Jesus is who He said He is. They believed it so strongly that this group of men knew that if they got their friend to Jesus, their friend would be healed. They acted in persistence in accordance with that belief. What’s amazing is that Jesus didn’t look up through the roof and say, “What in the world are you guys doing! Can’t you see that I’m teaching here? Are you trying to twist the arm of God? What makes you think I would heal your friend before everyone else here who needs healing? How arrogant of you!”
Yet, this is how I found myself praying, as if I was expecting such a response. I would pray as if God was angry and annoyed with me approaching His throne. The truth is that the Kingdom of God is at hand! God is an amazing, loving Father that longs to bring heaven to earth. Because I am washed by the blood of Jesus, I now have full access to Him. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in me. And it is not my Father’s will for people to walk around broken and hurting. It is my Father’s will to usher His children back into the kingdom. It’s His will to heal, restore, and poor out His love in ways that are beyond our human comprehension.

This is true for every single person who has been washed by the blood of Christ. As He is, so are we in this world! You have the Spirit of the living God dwelling inside of you, which is utterly amazing! But the real question is, what are to doing with it? Are you reaching out to others with expectancy? Are you acting as if you know full well that God longs to heal, restore, and pour out His love on people through you, so that He can bring them home into a loving relationship with Himself?
What roof do you need to cut a hole into today? What is that thing in our life that you have been looking at and saying, “The line is too long. There is no way I can get to Jesus. I don’t want to bother Him.” If you truly believe that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He can do, your expectancy will carry you up on the roof and you will gladly cut out a hole to get to Him. Expectancy is not pride. It’s faith that God is who He says He is!

Music + Video: Victoria Orenze- My Nigeria

Victoria Orenze thrills is with another inspiring tune “My Nigeria” as we approach the 2019 presidential election, the track comes with a video. My Nigeria is a song of desire, a song of foretelling of “The Nigeria” from Christian viewpoint. “We refuse to be broken, we refuse to be shattered, we refuse to be destroyed, and we refuse to be called by our circumstances. We are who God says we are! This is not about the political situation of Nigeria, but the spiritual situation of the country. “My Nigeria is not just a song done because I’m a patriotic citizen, but it is prophetic word from God to this Nation. And I ask every Nigerian to “hear their call,” listen to these words and start to align with the will of God. God bless us all, amen!” – Victoria Orenze The visual metaphors in the video is directly symbolic of the lyrics of the song. Victoria Orenze prophesies hope in the midst of many challenges.

As we approach the 2019 presidential election, this inspiring song by Victoria Orenze is a tune of desire, a song of foretelling of “The Nigeria” from the Christian viewpoint.


“We refuse to be broken, we refuse to be shattered, we refuse to be destroyed, and we refuse to be called by our circumstances. We are who God says we are! This is not about the political situation of Nigeria, but the spiritual situation of the country.


The visual metaphors in the video is directly symbolic of the lyrics of the song. Victoria Orenze prophesies hope in the midst of many challenges.

Download My Nigeria

Watch the video below…

Ensured Success

Person on the mountain top

“Why am I not successful in what I am doing right now…”
“I’m giving this everything I’ve got but it’s not working…”
“I feel like I have been stuck here forever…”

If you are an individual that has been striving to live a successful life, then you have probably asked yourself similar questions to these along the way in your journey. This is a place that I have been familiar with in my life and it wasn’t until I started asking different questions that I began to receive answers. Once I realized that I was asking the wrong questions, I stopped and asked God what He thought of what I was doing to be successful…

“God, what is your success plan for my life?”

Have you ever stopped to think that what you are doing may not be what God has for you to do? Often we as believers forget that we are no longer our own. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) We may have our own plan and some things that we want to do. However, no matter how good our intentions may be, we need to remember that if we want to be successful in what we do then it needs to be God’s plan for us, not our own. I am not saying that the direction that you are going in is wrong. It may just be that you are focused on your own success and personal gain instead of the bigger picture of the success that God has for you.

Years ago in my personal life, I had a goal to have a certain amount of money in my bank account before being out of my early twenties. I had purchased and paid off a nice sports car, and owned rental property before the age of 21; things were on track and going very well. However, the economy took a very negative turn and messed up my plans. I realize now how unhappy I was through that season of my life, even when things were good; what was keeping me going was my drive to achieve my goals.

Since this time, I have grown up a lot and now understand what it means to follow God’s success plan for my life. Today, I can say to some extent am successful, not because I have that certain amount of money in my bank account, but because I am following God’s plan for my life. The craziest part about this is that the plan isn’t much different than my plan that I had for myself, what changed the most is my motivation and my reasoning for success. Now both of these things are God-focused instead of Alex focused.

As you go through your day, think about the goals you have set for yourself, and then surrender them to God. Know that the success that He has planned for you is far greater than what you have for yourself. Always remember that God will ensure success in accordance with His plan; not our own. Success is obtained by trusting God’s plan and surrendering our own. Success is obtained by trusting God’s plan and surrendering our own.

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

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3

How To Get Up When You’ve Been Knocked Down

"If you get knocked down.." Muhammad Ali [990x990] [OC] : QuotesPorn

We have all been there – in a tough situation that leaves you questioning everything and feeling empty.

Know that you are not alone.

Know that you have the strength and courage to get through this one day at a time. Keep your thoughts positive and your heart open. Be present and grow through this difficult experience.

How To Get Up When You’ve Been Knocked Down

  1. Give yourself time to grieve: This is an important first step. Allow yourself time to feel all the mixed real emotions. Anger, sadness, confusion, disappointment, you might be feeling all these at once or going through a rollercoaster of emotions daily. That’s ok! If you need a personal day to yourself: take it! If you want to watch Netflix and eat ice cream one night: do it! It’s all part of healing. Be in tune with what your body needs and if you need a break, take it. Some distraction is helpful to allow yourself time to relax and de-stress.
  2. Keep yourself open: Don’t curl up into a ball and hide, instead reach out to a close friend or family member and lean on him or her. They will help you make positive choices and will help you get back on your feet. They can mentor you on how to handle the next steps and encourage you to stay positive during this difficult time. Keep yourself open and vulnerable – don’t let this one setback affect your whole heart.
  3. Take some time to cool off and reflect: You have been knocked down and it feels personal. Take some time before you respond or react. Acting out of passion and anger might seem like a good idea at the moment, but will only hurt you more in the long run. If you keep dwelling on this setback, it will only haunt you. Take a walk, put on some music, work on something that makes you happy, and allow yourself to take a mental break.
  4. Setbacks can be a blessing: If you reflect and learn from your mistakes they can only make you stronger. Take responsibility and grow through the failure. Keep a journal and write down how you are feeling and what you are learning.
    “When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives.” -A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
  5. Moving on and letting go are both necessary in healing: Think about it – you need to let go in order to move on and you can’t move on without really letting go. It takes time and self-reflection to bounce back. Allow yourself that time. This setback may not be resolved overnight and, depending on the situation, it may never fully go away. Unfortunately, you might not get the closure you need or deserve, but by understanding the situation and rising above it, you can find peace. You will heal and in time the emotions will settle and you will move on. Maybe you’ll look back and realize what happened was the best thing for you.

Keep moving forward and always choose the high road!

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Killing The Ungodly With The Godly: Breaking Bad Habits

By: CHRISTINE LAILANI GINETE – ROME

Human skull and crossbones drug addict concept

Are you struggling with breaking bad habits and addictions? Here are 5 strategies for breaking bad habits that will help you finally break free.

When it comes to breaking bad habits, there is no denying we’re all guilty of them one way or the other. They can range from severe to mild. For the mild ones, they are easier to overcome. But for the severe ones, this is where the struggle is real. How can we overcome bad habits through God’s grace accompanied by our own efforts?

Breaking Bad Habits with God’s Help

1. Determine if the bad habit is severe or mild.

Or in other words, is it an addiction or just slight misconduct? If it is the former, this might require medical intervention with a professional. But, accompanied by spiritual guidance through mentoring or coaching sessions.

If it is the latter, this will involve a change in the lifestyle or interests. One possible way is to look for other meaningful hobbies if, let’s say, you have this habit of spending most of your free time on social media. Though social networking has its good side, it also has its bad side. Or if it has something to do with chronic lateness in everything, then a shift in the lifestyle might be required. Creating a calendar of activities or a to-do list, for one, might be able to help.

2. Create a resolutions list.

Or much better, a faith goals list. When we hear the word “resolutions,” often nothing happens. But if these are faith goals, we are not just believing in ourselves that we can make them happen, but we believe for God to work on our behalf. As the Bible says,

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:17

3. Connect with a spiritual family.

The spiritual family is one of the best groups to go to when it comes to therapy sessions. Because for those dealing with extreme cases of addiction, the healing needs to be deep within. There is no best way to go when it comes to spiritual healing except for the source of life – God.

4. Involve your closest support system.

This support system is your family and friends that are closest to you. We call them your “accountability partners.” They will check up on you if you’re making any progress at all. Ask for their feedback, too, but be open-minded when they give you suggestions including a rebuke. Often, being rebuked because the truth is too painful more than the addiction or bad habit, itself. But we can always remember they are “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) because they care.

5. Apply a reward/punishment system.

Having a system is a good approach if you’re aiming to reinforce good behavior and eliminate the bad. Progressive schools apply this concept to children as a way of teaching discipline. Reward yourself if you were able to meet some of your faith goals. But it is also necessary to list down and apply the consequences/punishment to yourself if you fail to achieve the targeted goals. You may do this either by fasting or removing something you can’t live without every day. For the reward, you may treat yourself by buying that new jacket you’ve been eyeing on lately or go on an out-of-town trip.R

All in all, these strategies when it comes to breaking bad habits won’t be helpful if not accompanied by self-discipline, self-control, and lots of quiet times with the Lord. We all deal with our inability to control and discipline ourselves in some areas of our lives. But this is the perfect reason why there is a God, and we need Him. If we need to change and break habits, we need an even more powerful force to help us subdue them. Only God can change hearts because nothing is just too hard for God; even when it seems impossible for man (Matthew 19:26).

The Vital Mindset Shift to Progress Your Life

What would you pursue if it was somehow guaranteed that you would be successful?

What’s stopping you from going after your dreams?

If you’re like most other people, the answer is probably fear: fear that you won’t be good enough, you’ll never have enough money, fear that your efforts won’t be rewarded, and the list goes on.

Succumbing to fear is like living with a bad mental cold: it will clog you up and stop you from living your best life. Nothing blocks creativity and potential more than fear.

As human beings, it’s in our nature to avoid anything that causes us to feel fear or discomfort. We take mental and physical “detours” all the time, re-routing ourselves so we don’t have to face fear, and we do this so automatically that it often happens on a subconscious level.

In our fast-paced culture, we are very used to getting what we want quickly and conveniently. This has conditioned us to be a little wimpy—sometimes a lot wimpy.

The truth is, we usually give up way too quickly.

No one is immune to this fear. Let me use myself as an example: I love art, but I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in months. Why? Because I’m scared of failing! It seems like everywhere I look, I see incredible speed drawers, amazingly detailed paintings, and “how to” art videos that make the artist look like they’re not struggling with the creative process whatsoever.
Now, when I sit down to paint a picture, spend 3 hours on it, and still don’t feel like it’s all that great, I get frustrated, ashamed, and fearful. So, I stop…and the fear of “what if I never get better” sets in, paralyzing me and causing me to reach for the TV remote instead of picking up a paintbrush, because that way I won’t be reminded of the fact that I’m not as good of an artist as I want to be.

The Vital Mindset Shift to Progress Your Life

However, I have learned something that I know from experience helps a great deal when pushing myself to grow, and that is having a growth mindset.

If you’ve never heard of it, a growth mindset is basically the opposite of a “fixed” mindset.

Growth Mindset: Believing that greater effort yields greater results. You get good at something because you work hard. Or, in the words of Einstein…

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer – Albert Einstein.

Fixed Mindset: Believing that if someone is better than you at something, it must mean they were “born that way,” and there’s really nothing you can do about it. A fixed mindset would have you believe that your success and skills are “capped,” and you have all the talents now that you ever will.

Note: this is ALWAYS false—don’t fall for it!

2 Reasons to Choose a Growth Mindset & Push Through Your Discomfort

When you have a growth mindset and push through your discomfort, a couple of things will happen:

  1. You will realize that it’s not as hard as you thought. We over-dramatize things that we’re afraid of. Pushing through fear will help you realize that the fear of something is not nearly as bad as the thing itself. Of course, it still may be hard—maybe even very hard—but you’ll realize that you can take baby steps into progress, and baby steps aren’t so scary.
  2. You will get more ideas. It’s good to work creatively under a broad range of emotions. Each emotion “flavors” your work. For instance, what would happen if you only cooked with one spice? It might still taste good, but it would only ever reflect that one flavor. If you cooked with a broad range of spices, however, you’d get a broad range of flavors. Even tough emotions, like fear, can help you achieve something new and interesting. You just have to work despite the fear!

The truth is, fear will always be a part of life. There are famous performers who still get nervous before going on stage every single time. But they keep doing it anyway, because it’s worth it, and even though the fear might not entirely go away, they get used to feeling it and pushing through despite it.

Think about what happens when you lift heavy weights. It’s tough, and it makes your arms sore. It’s not comfortable. But, if you do it everyday, you will get stronger, and it won’t be as uncomfortable. Does the weight get lighter? Nope. It remains just as heavy as it ever was. The changing factor is you getting stronger!

So, even though fear will always be a part of life, the more we deal with it, the stronger we will become.

The happiness you will get from pursuing your passion and charging through the fear will outweigh any discomfort by a landslide.

Plus, fear doesn’t last forever. It’s usually the initial feeling you get before launching yourself out of your comfort zone, but as you get stronger, you will see for yourself that you can do hard things.

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Video: Prayer For Motivation

The post you repost may save someone’s life!

The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth —and not I only, but also all who know the truth — because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. (2 John 1:1-5 – NIV)

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