Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.

Richard M. Devos

You do not believe what you don’t see; you see what you already believe. You actually view your world through a lens of beliefs, attitudes, prejudices, and pre- conceived notions. You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are.

Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” This means that you always act on the outside based on your innermost beliefs and convictions about yourself.

In Mathew 9:29, Jesus says ” According to your faith, {it will be done} unto you.” This is another way of saying that your intense beliefs become your realities. They determine what happens to you.

All improvement in your life comes from changing your beliefs about yourself and your possibilities. Personal growth comes from changing your beliefs about what you can do and about what is possible for you. Would you like to double your income? Of course you would! Here is the question: Do you believe that is possible? How would you like to triple your income? Do you believe that is possible as well?

Whatever your level of skepticism, let me ask you a question. Since you started your first job, haven’t you already doubled or tripled your income? Aren’t you earning vastly more than you earned when you started? Haven’t you already proven to yourself that it is possible to double and triple your income? And what you have done before, you can do again probably over and over if you just learn how. You simply have to believe that it is possible.

According to Napoleon Hill, he said “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

If you have any other contribution to this, please feel free to comment.

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You Are A Youth For As Long Than You Think

If you grew up in a church like I did, we probably had similar experiences: messy games, crazy trips, and tons of great memories.

You also probably heard several sermons and devotions on 1 Timothy 4:12. And maybe, like me, your student ministry logo was somehow based on this verse.

Remember it?

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)

It’s a commonly used verse by many church leaders. Paul’s message to Timothy is an incredible encouragement and challenge to young people. It probably inspired you as a 15 year old to become more Christlike.

But here’s the reality: Timothy was likely in his early 30s when Paul wrote this. He wasn’t 12, 15, or 19. He was the equivalent of today’s millennials.

Timothy was a leader among 1st century Christians and an elder at the church in Ephesus (along with John the Apostle). At this point in the New Testament, Ephesus was the third largest city in the Roman empire, so equivalent to modern-day Chicago.

Paul, nearing the end of his life, filled letters to Timothy with practical wisdom. These letters show an old man giving final words of counsel and encouragement to a young leader in the church.

And what does he include to this 30 something? An admonition to not get discouraged by people who look down on him because he appears to be a “youth.” Historians estimate men in the first century AD lived until their mid-60s, so Timothy was now “middle-aged.”

Why it’s important today

What does this mean to us, millennials, today? Many of us are

  • Over 27 (49 million millennials to be exact)
  • Married
  • Established in our careers

Yet despite the fact we are in new life stages, many older folks look down on us for our age. We are considered inexperienced, unprepared, and incapable simply because of our birth year.

I realize age is not a direct indicator of wisdom. As someone once said “Some people have 20 years of experience. Others have 1 year of experience 20 times.”

But how others think and act is outside our responsibility. Instead, let’s focus on us. What can we do knowing people will consider us a “youth” well into our 30s?

Simple. Follow the instructions of Paul to Timothy: set an example for other believers in the areas of in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Live a life that does not allow older generations to scoff at your age or consider you incapable of something.

Stop complaining about the perceptions, and intentionally live in a way that prevents others from despising you simply because of age. You’ll be amazed at how much your influence will increase.

“Who am I?” Three Answers That Can Change Your Life


The question, “Who am I?” is one that I have struggled with for an extremely long time. I believe that most of us have struggled with this same question at one point or another in our lifetime. Living in a world that teaches us the opposite of what our heart should already know makes it especially heart to know the answer to this question.

In today’s society, beauty is valued above wisdom, to be known as “hot” is better than to be known as a “beautiful person” inside and out.

You are told to be unique but once you finally are, others torment you for not being a part of the worldly “mold”. For many years, I fell into that trap, believing that my identity was my appearance or how others thought of me was the way I would be identified. When I would have a friendship breakup or perform poorly at a job, there was an internal struggle that would have never seemed to end. Until the day I found my true identity in Jesus Christ.

Yeah, okay bro. I hear this all the time, but what does that even mean or have to do with answering “Who am I?”

Let me show you.

Let’s look at the very first book of the Bible, Genesis. In the beginning, God created everything; I mean everything! He spoke the sun and stars into existence. He spoke the earth and the Heavens into life! However, when God created man, He made him with His own hands.

  • Think the stars are incredible?
  • Think the ocean is amazing?

He spoke both into existence, but with you, my friend, God created you and I with His bare hands; and to add more to it, in His own image!

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27

We weren’t thrown together like a last-minute school project. God created an amazing environment because He valued our lives so much. He created this entire universe, only to give you Heaven on Earth.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14

Who am I?

1. Identity in Christ: Fearfully and wonderfully made in the Image of the Great I AM.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul states “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” When I accepted Christ into my life, I was made new. I was made whole. Jesus Christ took away all the sins of, not only my past, but also my present, and my future. If you accept Jesus, He can do the same for you.

2. Identity in Christ: I am a new creation in Christ, perfected in the eyes of God.

Jesus is the healer. From the Old Testament to the covenant of the New Testament, God has given us a Savior to renew our hearts, minds, and souls. To give us everlasting life, to take us out of servitude into the lives of Heirs to the Kingdom of God. James 2:5 “Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love Him?”

3. Identity in Christ: I am an heir to the kingdom of the most High God!

As I turned to my new identity, I realized that, unlike the cares and pleasures of this world, my identity in Christ is everlasting. These 3 identities I listed are just a few grains of sand on God’s beach compared to all that God has in store for each and every one of us. God has even more for us, as revealed through His Word, than we could imagine!

I want you to read this declaration below as you go on to conquer today and realize your question no longer is “who am I?”, but a declaration of freedom knowing “who I am!”

Declaration of Freedom

My name is (Your name) and from this day forward, I will declare “who I am” instead of asking “who am I”. For I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. I am a new creation in Jesus Christ and perfected in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. I am an heir to the kingdom of God. The Bible says I am a friend of God (John 15:15). I am a warrior in God’s army fighting daily for the people around me. I am a Godly (man or woman) on the road to self-discovery in Christ, a road that will continue throughout my entire lifetime with many more identities given to me by my Almighty God! In Jesus name I declare – Amen!

Credit: Kristy Simpson

Questions About God That Will Remain As Questions

BY CHRISTINE LAILANI GINETE – ROME

BY CHRISTINE LAILANI GINETE – ROME

When it comes to faith, there are experiences in life that made us ask some questions about God. Find out what they are and their answers.

When it comes to faith, there are some questions about God that many of us have encountered one way or the other. These questions may have been fueled by doubts but they, in turn, have made our faith even stronger. Here are some of those questions:

What Are Your Questions About God?

  1. If God is the God of all, why did He allow sin to enter the world?
  2. Did God, being the Creator, create hell?
  3. If God is a powerful God, why can’t He eradicate every famine, oppression, sickness, poverty, crime, war, and all that is considered sin and evil in this world?
  4. Why must people continue to suffer and perish because of the sin that Adam & Eve committed if God is a loving God?
  5. Why must God allow Satan to test Job?

These are questions about God that have been answered and explained by a lot of biblical scholars. All the answers vary, and some can lead to even more questions. When I was still new in my faith, I also asked these questions. And when I celebrated my 5th year as a Christian this year, I still asked these questions. The only difference between the two scenarios is that I haven’t read much of the Bible before but now it’s the opposite.

If we are to assess these questions based on our human thinking and understanding and try to come up with only one good answer, it’s impossible. But if we are to ask these questions in light of the Scripture listed below, we will begin to understand they will remain as questions and it is only God who can answer them.

Here are the bible verses:

“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

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

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” – Revelation 21:4

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” – John 14:1

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

In Christianity and faith, there is no room for doubt. It’s because the Scripture which is God-breathed, assured us already that our journey here on earth is never alone because He sent to us our partner and our guide and that is the Spirit who will lead us always.

Do you have experiences in your life that brought you to ask these questions about God? If yes, what are they?

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Circumstances Are Not Construction Zones (Podcast)

Do you ever question your value, or wonder why things in your life are happening? I can find myself asking God, “why me?,” and even viewing my circumstances and situations as construction zones. I make decisions but when I look up I see caution lights that make me question what I decided. It’s like my life is full of speed bumps, broken sidewalks and flashing lights that I should be paying attention to. It reminds me of the construction zones I see on the highway. Each event in our life serves a purpose; the good, the bad and the ugly are all shaping us. The good news is the price for each our lives is a price no one else can afford. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price, He knows our value. We are beautifully broken…

Broken, but Not Destroyed

Remember, we all have pains, people lie to us, others make us feel less important and possibly not valued. There is safety in realizing none of these things have destroyed us. We are conquers of our fears and are not supposed to feel guilty for our past. I can be vulnerable and admit I struggle with forgiving myself. I blame myself for damage and destruction I can see as my life. Flashing lights, orange cones, hazard signs and other warnings I failed to acknowledge in the past make up what I see as a damaged road.

“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” ― Oprah Winfrey.

In the article A big, beautiful, broken mess reminds us that “…God doesn’t look at a mess and see it the way that we do.” Since we are humans we interpret brokenness as a negative characteristic.
I find myself placing a ton of energy in regret and self-condemnation; focusing on broken parts instead of remembering Jesus died for my sins. He tells us “… it is finished”. This signifies His willingness to die for our sins, our struggles, our fears, and our inequities. My exterior can look broken, but my heart and worthiness belong to God. Therefore, what I see as a construction zone God see’s as a perfect canvas.
I remind myself daily that the enemy will not win and has no control over my life. The desire he has to kill, steal and destroy are not going to overshadow God’s grace. “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

We Are Beautiful

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully well.” Psalm 139:14

We are the image of Christ. Because of this we can live knowing that any faults we see in ourselves are not from Him. Hard times are not a stranger to most people. What we must keep in mind is that our brokenness does not mean destruction. Our pieces are in the hands of the most high and He holds the key to shaping us. We are strong and resilient as the result of broken times. Even if we feel broken, the broken pieces make each of us uniquely beautiful.

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.” ― Christine Caine. We are beautiful paintings, not construction zones.”

You can also listen and download on our podcast channel

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Down to earth or out of this world?

Have you ever heard the following phrase used to positively describe someone:

“He/she is so down to earth.”

The connotation that is usually associated with this phrase is that the person being described is easy to relate to, easy to get along with and doesn’t make others uncomfortable.

As I read about the life of Jesus Christ, I often find myself asking, would people describe Him today as “down to earth”? In one sense, it is obvious that Jesus was easy to relate to, that he met people where they were, and that people longed to be around Him. In this sense, I guess He could be described as “down to earth”. He could relate to and empathize with our humanity. At the same time, His very presence convicted people of their sin and sent them to their knees in repentance. He didn’t affirm their sin and make them comfortable with it. The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is such a good example of this. Just by simply conversing with her, Jesus was saying, “I love you, I care about you, and I do not condemn you.” But within a few moments of their discussion, all of her sins were laid out in the open.
I would also point out that Jesus’ response to sin and brokenness was anything but “down to earth”. It was was completely heavenly minded. He didn’t respond to physical ailments with a candid, “I am so sorry that you are not feeling well.” On the contrary, He said things like, “Take up your mat and walk,” or “Your faith has healed you.” When faced with death, Jesus responded with things like “She is not dead, she is only sleeping,” and “His sickness will not end in death.” These responses didn’t make everyone comfortable and content all around Him. Those miracles either had people leaping for joy in awe and amazement, or they made people so angry that they wanted to kill Him. In this sense, I am not sure that anyone in His day would have described Jesus as down to earth, but would probably have been more likely to describe Him as “Out of the world.”
So what does this mean for us as followers of Christ? A speaker that I often listen to named Todd White puts it like this, “We cannot be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good, but we should be so heavenly minded that we are earthly incredible.” To simplify that a bit, we should be “down to earth” in the way that we connect with people. As followers of Christ, we are not better than anyone by any means. In fact, our declaration of faith is that we are just as lost and broken as every other human being that has ever walked the earth. Our testimony is so powerful, because it is a reminder of where He rescued us from, and it enables us to empathize with others and meet them where they are.
However, our response to their brokenness should be nothing short of “out of this world”. When people open up to us about their struggles, the sins, or their physical ailments, our response should make their jaw drop. It should not be like the candid responses they are used to that affirm their sin or offer unauthentic sympathy to their pain. Our response to these things should immediately point them to our loving Father in Heaven. What if our response to sin was a declaration of boundless grace and forgiveness? What if our response to the physical pain of others was a declaration of faith that legitimately believed for physical healing?

We are the sweet aroma of Christ to those who our perishing and to those who are being saved. Yes, we are in this world, but when we give our lives to Christ our spirit takes up residence in a glorious and powerful kingdom that is not of this world. We operate in this world as ambassadors for Christ, but it isn’t our worldliness that draws people to Him, it is our Kingdom response. That Kingdom response may be met with exuberant joy, or it may be met with anger and rage. Either way, it will point people to our King.

As you seek to pursue Christ today, remember your humanity. Be “down to earth” as you connect with people and relate to their struggles. At the same time, remember that you are a son of the most high God! You are earthly incredible, and you are the sweet aroma of Christ to everyone that you encounter. Let your response to brokenness and pain be chalked full of faith, hope, joy and love! Our ultimate goal isn’t to blend in and be described as down to earth, but for Jesus to stand out and for His love to be exalted as supernaturally out of this world!

This won’t be possible if not for the support and contribution of Brian Maisch.

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.

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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

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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!

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

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).

If you want more, you’ve gotta give more.

If you finally made it to where you think God has called you, hold on tight because you’re about to be moved forward again. The moment you are comfortable, is the moment for advancement.

God takes you from season to season because in each season you learn more and grow. Once you’ve learned enough to move ahead, through your willingness to serve, He moves you forward. We become comfortable because we have learned all we can learn in that season, therefore, it is pointless for us to stay there. If we stay in our comfortability, we will become stagnant and we will not continue to grow or learn. Comfortability leads nowhere fast. You may be in the place, setting, job, season, state, relationship, etc; that you know God has called you to but with no new challenges or opportunity to grow, you are literally limiting yourself. If you’ve officially reached your life-long goal and you have no goals or plans to follow that, then you’ve capped your growth right then and there.

Let’s be honest, the only thing God asks us to do is be obedient. He gives us more than we could ever need or deserve and yet what are we giving Him? Are we giving of our time, money, or even our lives? If yes to any, how much are we truly giving? Are we giving to the extent that makes us comfortable or are we truly stepping out in faith and giving God EVERYTHING we have. After all, all that we have is from God’s tremendous blessings in the first place. I heard a song that said “You can’t take away what the world didn’t give” how awesome is that? Just try to wrap your brain around that concept for a moment. Only God has the power to take away what He has given, so if we belittle and devalue what He has given us, what’s to say He doesn’t have the power to take it away?

If we’re totally honest, it is kind of depressing when you give someone a gift and at the next special event you see them re-gift it or even worse, give it back to you. How do we think God feels when He gives us a gift and we don’t put any value on it, receive it, or even give it away? When we show no care and put no effort into it, I’m certain God feels the same as we do in those moments. We have to remember, God created us in His likeness, so our emotions resemble His, therefore, He has all the same feelings and emotions we do. With no doubt, His emotions are to a greater extent because we are His children. When God gives us a gift, He wants us to receive it, put value on it, and invest in it. When we put nothing into it, there is no reason for Him to give us anything else. Yet, for some reason, we pray relentlessly asking God for something, He answers our prayers, we receive the gift, and then after the monotony sets in, we devalue this gift we unceasingly asked for. God sees us pushing this amazing gift aside and He also hears the prayers of us asking for more. Eventually we stomp our feet, we yell and shout God down, as if He isn’t listening to us, and we wonder why we aren’t getting anything more.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at this from God’s perspective. He gave us what we asked for, we pushed it aside, we can’t even appreciate and grow in what He gave us, why would He give us more? So we could throw that to the wayside as well?

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” -James 4:3

It’s all about give and take. God can give and God can take away. If we devalue or put a gift above God, He has the power to take it away.

“I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May His name be praised!” -Job 1:21

He is a jealous God who only asks for our willingness to obey His commandments. Why do we complicate everything so much and ask “what’s in it for me”? What if; we asked God for something, He gave it to us, and we gave that thing 100% of what we have? Whether it be time, energy, love, ect… Just watch and see how God blesses your faithfulness, obedience, and diligence.

The concept is simple, if you want more, you’ve gotta give more. Not out of selfish desires but true obedience, love, and passion to do all you can for God. When obeying God, strap yourself in because He will take you on the most exciting journey, throughout your entire life and walk with Him.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” -Colossians 2:6-7

7 Dismissive Reaction of Social Media on People and Users

Closeup of man on social media

If you can’t imagine your life without social media, that’s a sign that you’ve fallen a victim to the evil power of social networking. It also means that you’ve experienced one (or more) of the negative effects of social media on society.

Don’t pretend you’ve never heard of these. While social media can have a positive impact too, that doesn’t mean it’s all hearts and flowers. Unfortunately.

How Unpleasant is Social Media

Let’s explore the darker side of social media and exactly how (and why) it’s bad for you. You’ll be surprised to learn the negative effects of social media are both physical and mental. It can change your perception of the world and yourself, and not always for the better.

Don’t believe us? Then read on to find out some of the negative effects of social media. And if you recognize any of them as your own symptoms it may be time to consider stop using social media altogether.

1. Depression and Anxiety

Do you spend more than two hours per day on social media? Spending too long on social networking sites could be adversely affecting your mood. In fact, you’re more likely to report poor mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So how to use social media without causing yourself psychological distress? If you turn to the same research (and common sense), the recommended amount of time you should spend on social networks is half an hour per day. So, as with so many things in life, it’s all about moderation- Anya Zhukova

2. Cyberbullying

Before social media, bullying was something only done face-to-face. However, now, someone can be bullied online anonymously. Today everyone knows what cyberbullying is, and most of us have seen what it can do to a person. And since screens hide our faces, you can even be a jerk on sites like Reddit without realizing it.

While social media made making friends easier, it also made it easier for predators to find victims. The anonymity that social networks provide can be used by the perpetrators to gain people’s trust and then terrorize them in front of their peers.

These online attacks often leave deep mental scars and even drive people to suicide in some cases. You’ll be surprised to find out that cyberbullying isn’t just affecting kids, but also full grown adults.

If you are being harassed online, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and that you can take steps in order to get back your dignity.

3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon that was born at the same time as Facebook—and it’s one of the most common negative effects of social media. FOMO is basically a form of anxiety that you get when you’re scared of missing out on a positive experience or emotions that someone else is getting.

This fear is constantly fueled by your social media engagement. The more you use social networks, the more likely you are to see that someone is having more fun that you are right now. And that’s exactly what causes FOMO.

4. Unrealistic Expectations

This one probably comes as no surprise, but social media helps you to form unrealistic expectations of life and friendships. The networks that do it most are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Those are the social media platforms that severely lack online authenticity.

One simple way out of this is for everyone to quit lying on social media. But in the era of Instagram celebrities and YouTubers who earn millions, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. The Top 10 Most Popular YouTube Channels: Should You Subscribe?

5. Negative Body Image

Speaking of Instagram celebrities, if you look at the most-followed accounts on Instagram, you’ll find beautiful people wearing expensive clothes on their perfect bodies.

Today, body image is an issue for many people of both sexes. Of course, seeing those perfect in accordance with the society standards people on a daily basis makes you conscious about how different you look from those pictures. And not everyone comes to the right conclusions in this situation.

6. Unhealthy Sleep Patterns

On top of increased rates of anxiety and depression, spending too much time on social media can lead to poor sleep. Numerous studies have shown that increased use of social media has a negative effect on your sleep quality.

If you feel like your sleep patterns have become irregular and that this is affecting your productivity, try and avoid spending a significant amount of time on social media. If you still have trouble sleeping, here are some more tricks to help you to sleep peacefully.7 Simple Online Productivity Habits That Can Change Your Year

7. General Addiction

using smartphone

Social media is often described as being more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. With the worst social media apps being Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat when it comes to addiction.

Don’t know if you’re addicted to your social networks? Think when was the last time you went a full day without checking your social media accounts? What if your favorite social networks completely disappeared tomorrow; would it make you feel empty and depressed?

If you just realized you’re addicted to social media, don’t worry, as most of us are there with you in varying degrees. And it’s not necessarily a reason to go and wipe yourself off all those social networking platforms.

However, if you think quitting is the best solution for you, we won’t stop you. In fact, one of our writers tried quitting social media once, and it was an interesting experience.

As with everything else, social media brings both good and bad things into our lives. At the end of the day, you’re the one who decides whether there’s more help or harm in it for you.

Maybe all you need is find the right site for you. Perhaps switching from Facebook to Twitter, or from Instagram to YouTube. Or maybe you’re done with all of them altogether and are ready to delete your entire social media presence for good.

If that feels a little too extreme consider doing a social media detox every once in a while instead. Because the non-nuclear option should always be your first choice.How to Do a Social Media Detox (and Why You Should Right Away)

It depends on what you benefit from social media. It can make you or break you.

If you have any additional say on this post, please feel free to drop your comments.

Finding Jesus Through Addiction

I’m positive there will be people who read this with no clue how to understand what the article is about. I apologize to you in advance. My prayer is that there will be a few individuals who either suffer from addiction themselves or have someone else they are close to in which this article will produce a little peace and patience for those being affected.

You may or may not agree with the message I have in this article. This has simply been my experience and the message I have been led to share after spending time in prayer about the subject.

How many of us have ever been at a 12 step meeting and laughed when the one person makes the comment? “No one grows up telling themselves that they want to be an alcoholic or a porn addict, or a drug addict when they get older, or my goal in life is to one day be an alcoholic or a sex addict”

I tricked myself into believing this one thought was my curse for most of my adult life.

From my earliest childhood memories in Lagos/Abuja, I can remember my mummy telling us that our father was an alchholic and a smoker. Thank God for Jesus in his life right now. I can also remember being 19 years old on a Saturday afternoon with several of my friends, and a couple of his buddies.

We were all on the field chatting and gossiping about girls, sex styles, pornography actresses, some of my friends were even drinking beer, and smoking some weed and so on. Everything was skenchy that day. No one had any problems or a care in the world. It’s the night I specifically remember making the comment to my friends. “If this is what being an addict is, then this is exactly what I want.” Lord have mercy!!!

I spent over 10 years believing that saying those words is what created my problem. I now know the truth. Nothing I have ever said could have the power to give me the blessing of being an addict.

I now know that I have this precious gift because my life was planned long before I was born.

Every single person who suffers and recovers from addiction has been hand-picked by God. He chooses us because normal people could never live through the horrible lives we create through our addiction and survive to help others carrying the same cross. Normal people could never handle the broken families, loss of jobs, or seeing our children go without in order for us to get another buzz.

Having family and friends grow to the point where they want nothing to do with us. Sleeping in cars, begging people who pass by on the streets for change, just to get another beer, or data to watch porn is something you have to experience in order to relate and provide comfort. There is no doctor, college degree, medicine, or self-help book that could ever help a person recover from this. Only Jesus and the special ones of us that He picks, who have lived through it ourselves.

God blesses us with gifts.

He also gives us the opportunity of killing ourselves with them or using them to point others to the cross. He allows us to make a choice of going to meetings, fellowship, or gatherings talking about our struggles with others, and going out of our way to encourage or inspire another person who is having a more difficult time than we are. God allows us to admit when we are wrong and make amends to those we have wronged in the past. He places people in our lives who can teach us how to serve Him first and others second. Only then will He bless us. God chooses us to be addicts.

If you are suffering from addiction, there’s absolutely nothing I can tell you about your struggle you don’t already know. There’s one thing I can tell you. The feeling is amazing once you’re finally able to stare Satan in the face and laugh at him. This only happens once you have learned how to allow God to fight your battle for you.

The other part of the problem

This message is also for the person who looks down on those who are suffering. Addiction is a life-threatening matter. It’s not as simple as not drinking or using, or watching, not at first anyway. The battle we face is real. You staring down your nose at something you don’t understand might be what ends up pushing someone over the edge.

Since when does the Bible say to love your neighbour, unless they drink too much? Is there a verse that says give to the poor, unless they watch porn? If someone is suffering from addiction enough to ask you for change, trust me when I tell you that you have no clue how bad they need a drink, substance, or means to watch porn.

This doesn’t make them a bad person. It doesn’t mean that God loves you more than He loves them. It means they were created in His image and you’re to love them the same way you would anyone else. I am not saying buy a 12 pack and start handing them out to the homeless. I am saying, when you give away change you know it will be used to buy alcohol, say a prayer for the individual while walking away.

Drop your comments if you have anything to add to this write up.

God bless!!!

Comparing Your Life to Other People’s Lives – It’s a Trap!

Man comparing two measurements

It’s easy to get caught in thinking you are the only one facing a momentary challenge in your life or long-running adversity, the only one with unanswered questions, or the only one who hasn’t figured out how to create the balance, health, relationships, finances or career success you want.

But that’s actually not the case.

Everyone faces challenges!

Everyone has unanswered questions of some sort. Everyone is working out how to create what they want. Everyone is evolving in their own unique way, at their own pace.

One way you are conditioned to feel like you’re the only one with challenges is that you are led to believe everyone else “has got it together” because most people are only showing the sanitized and happy aspects of their life to the world – on social media, in social situations, and in conversation.

Many people keep the dark moments to themselves or sharing only with those trusted and loved people closest to them. That is natural and of course in many cases quite appropriate. But it leads you into a false perspective of your own situation in relation to others.

You can easily get lost in comparison, and end up feeling alone and isolated in your challenges from this perspective. Comparing your worst day with someone else’s best day will never bring you peace.C

No one else on this planet is going to unfold in their life like you are. No one. No one else is uniquely like you. You cannot be compared. What you most need to understand when you go into comparison mode in your mind, is that you channel all of your energy away from your own creative processes. Instead of focusing your thoughts and feelings and actions on creating outcomes for yourself, you focus all of your attention to someone else and what they are creating for themselves. This leaves you no power and it is also a complete waste of your precious energy.

Just because unhealthy comparison doesn’t serve you, does not mean you can’t genuinely observe and admire the success of another person. This is actually uplifting – feeling joy for all they are being and creating. You may well feel inspired into the ongoing possibilities for yourself by witnessing them flourishing. You may see opportunities to learn from what they are doing. You may be able to apply that learning in your own path, in your own unique way, aligned with your passions, inspirations, and intuition, to aid your success.

And… you will always clearly know the difference between this form of positive observation and learning, versus pure painful comparison. The former leaves you feeling uplifted and excited, and the latter leaves you feeling sad, frustrated and deflated.

Listen to the messages your feelings are giving you.