Category Archives: Word for today

WORD FOR TODAY

‘The wise accumulate wisdom.’ So keep learning. Knowledge in most major fields is exploding, and if you don’t stay up to date you’ll be left behind. Repeating the same lessons over and over means you’re not learning enough. Study those who’ve succeeded where you want to succeed, in order to know what to do and what not to do. U.S. Admiral Hyman Rickover said, ‘Learn from the mistakes of others; you’ll never live long enough to make them all yourself.’ So:

1) Respect those with experience and expertise greater than your own. Instead of shrinking away from them, reach for them. The Bible says, ‘God has given each of you some special abilities…use them to help each other…’ We all struggle in certain areas; be careful lest your insecurity be misinterpreted as arrogance.

2) Become a good listener. Don’t try to impress people by seeking to be their intellectual equal. If you find yourself in a discussion that intimidates you, ask questions, talk only about what you know, listen attentively, and the next time you meet you’ll be that much further ahead.

3) The more you prepare yourself, the more opportunities you’ll get. Don’t go to a lesson unless you’ve done your homework. When God starts taking you higher, prepare your speech, your wardrobe, and your mind. Consult a trusted friend who understands where you are, and where you need to go. If you can’t find one, read up until you grasp the basics. ‘A king rejoices in servants who know what they are doing…’  The more prepared you are, the more God will open doors of opportunity for you.

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NEVER ACT ON IMPULSE

As twins go, Jacob and Esau were very different. But they quickly learned to negotiate. Have you ever watched children make a deal that favoured one over the other? For example, one offers the other a candy bar in exchange for an expensive video game. Well, that same dynamic was at work between Jacob and Esau. Esau had been out hunting and came home exhausted and hungry. Nothing mattered to him except food-and certainly not something as remote as a future inheritance. In a moment of weakness he said, ‘I am about to die…what is this birthright to me…So…he…sold [it] to Jacob…[for] bread and stew’ It was a decision Esau would live to regret, and couldn’t undo. Recovering addicts are taught the importance of observing their H.A.L.T. sign. When they’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, they’re in danger. And so are you! Acting on impulse will cause you to:

1) Buy stuff you don’t need at prices you can’t afford;
2) React before you get all the facts, resulting in a loss of respect, opportunities and good relationships;
3) Compromise your character for a few moments of sinful pleasure;
4) Quit in the middle of the race, or worse, on the threshold of victory.

The Bible says, ‘He that believeth shall not make haste.’ When you make choices based on short-term gratification rather than life-long convictions and goals, you always lose out in the end. So don’t take the deal; don’t trade your God-given destiny for momentary gratification. Be patient and hold fast. When you do, God will bring your dreams to pass in ways that honour instead of diminishing them.

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WORD FOR TODAY..

Here are two more stumbling blocks you need to remove in order to win someone to Christ:

1) Boredom. Jesus isn’t boring, but sometimes religion is. The story is told of a lady who fell asleep during the sermon. Pointing at the man sitting next to her, the pastor said, ‘Please wake that woman up!’ The man replied, ‘You put her to sleep, Reverend, you wake her up!’ Jesus is called ‘the Good Shepherd’ (John 10:11), and the Greek word for ‘good’ is ‘kalos’, which means ‘captivating’; that’s the Christ we need to present to those seeking spiritual direction.

2) Money. It’s been said the most sensitive nerve in a person’s body is the one that runs to their wallet. Have there been financial scandals in the church? Yes. They even had them in the New Testament church (Acts 5). But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! It takes money to build churches, feed and clothe the needy and send out missionaries. When money is in the right hands, it’s a solution, not a problem. Furthermore, if God can trust you to finance His plans, He will show you how to make more money. He said, ‘…I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit…’ (Isaiah 48:17 AMP).

3) Discomfort. People say, ‘I just don’t feel comfortable in church.’ The truth can do that to you! The gospel is designed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. When Paul preached, some people trembled, but when trembling leads to trusting in Christ, it’s a good thing.

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THE POWER OF WORDS

It was in the 1970’s; there was a young man with brown wavy hair, sad green eyes and a mouth that never seemed to smile. His name was Edward and he stood a little over 6 feet tall. He presented a mood of quiet, shy and almost pitiful demure. Edward had enrolled in a music theory class.

It was hard not to notice the only six foot boy, Edward, as he walked into the classroom a few minutes late and positioned himself in the back row. He slumped into his chair and lowered his head with his arms folded across his chest in a defying manner. This would be his general entrance into class for the remainder of the semester.
As weeks progressed and tests were given, Edward did not do well. He managed to turn in homework which was marked way below his ability level with my notes. He never participated in class discussion or offered to answer any questions. His teacher noticed he had no friends at school. Sometimes, during lunch, he would sit on the grass, under a tree, munching on a sandwich and staring into space.

Edward missed too many classes and when he did come, he carried himself like an old man as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. At the end of the academic year, it was time to reveal student’s grade and based on Edward’s conduct throughout the year it didn’t seem like things were going to get better.
Here’s a record of turn-around day for Edward by his music teacher –
“I sat in my office looking at the long line of students waiting to come in and receive their final grade. I allowed one person at a time to come in, take a seat, close the door and prepare to be “judged”. After each student left my office, I would take a peek at the line to see where Edward was. After an hour or so, the line became shorter and still there was no Edward. I began to worry. Did something happen at home to delay him? Was there an accident on the way to school? Maybe he was stopped by a policeman? Perhaps he is sick.

The last student in line met with me, received their grades and left.
Where is Edward? Shall I wait a little longer? Am I fooling myself ? He is not coming. I decided to lock up my office and go home. I had done all I could. But something deep within continued to gnaw at me. I felt sick to my stomach. My eyes filled with tears.

What is wrong with me? I took some deep breaths, sat back and closed my eyes. In front of me lay the papers, the final exam for Edward. I had not decided what kind of grade to give him. Well, it didn’t matter as he didn’t show up anyhow. I looked down at the exam with his name printed on it and saw an imaginary D as his final grade.
I got up from my chair, gathered my things, closed the office door behind me. As I reached for my keys to lock up my office, I heard footsteps approaching me. I held my breath as I turned to see Edward standing behind me. He apologized for being late and asked if I would please give him his final exam and grade. I hesitated for a few seconds, then cautiously open the door and asked him to have a seat.

He looked just terrible. His eyes were sunk with dark black circles under them and the hollows of his cheeks were drawn. His swollen lips were cracked with dried blood in the creases. His skin was pale and his hair matted. He was wearing the same clothes he had worn for the last few weeks.
“Would you like some water?” I asked him. He replied “No thank you,” as he sat trembling. Then he spoke to me for the first time.

“I know that I am getting a low grade on my final. I realize that I have not been participating in class and that I am an embarrassment to others. I am lazy, selfish, stupid and an ugly no-good-for-anything person. I have no place on this earth and what’s more, no one can ever love a person like me. I am a hopeless case with absolutely no future”.

I could not believe my ears. I wanted to interrupt him, to convince him that he was none of these things. Instead – I let him talk. I listened with my heart and not my head. I fought back my own tears to manifest my strength and professionalism.
When he had finished, I faced him, looked directly into his very sad eyes and said, “Edward, your final grade is an A”. His reaction was one of total and complete surprise. “You are giving me an A? Me? Why would you give me an A when I did such a poor job in class, on my assignments and on my final exam? Why would you do that?”

My answer to Edward was this. “You may appear to be a D student, but you are an A person. I believe in you now and I will always believe in you. I am here for you now and I will always be here for you. Never, ever forget that. Now, go and create the life you dream of. Believe in yourself. I will be watching. And by the way Edward – I love you”

In all my years of teaching, I have never graded a student this way…

To be continued!

Next week, you’ll read about the astonishing events that preceded Edwards appearance in school and how words can save a life.

This week, save a life, encourage someone, speak positive words only.

Ayo D

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Filed under unlimited power, Word for today

DO THIS ANYWAY

January didn’t seem that long ago, but here we are in December.

It is a new month, but also the last month of the year and I’ll like to share with you the words of Mother Teresa (original version by Dr Kent M. Keith).

Keep these in mind and finish the year on a high!

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favour underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

We are in the month of giving; I encourage you to insert ‘thanks’ before it. It then reads ‘Thanksgiving’.

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WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Life’s picture glares at you daily and throws a bunch of mixed fruits at you, how do you respond? Your attitude determines your altitude. Your today defines the best of you.

Anxiety is not created by your situation, or by what you must do about your situation. Anxiety is the result of your attitude and your perspective on the situation.

To be free of anxiety, you don’t necessarily have to change the situation or avoid doing anything about it. What you can do is change your attitude, your perspective and your expectations.

In fact, your attitude ultimately is not dependent on your circumstances. Your attitude is whatever you choose it to be.

As surely as you have learned to react to certain things with anxiety, you can teach yourself to respond instead with peaceful confidence. That response is just as realistic, and much more positive, healthy and enriching.

Keep in mind that it is because of your choice that you become annoyed, frustrated, angry, fearful and filled with anxiety. Keep in mind that you always have another, more positive choice.

Make it your intention to choose peace, positive purpose, confidence and generous, effective action. Your inner state of being is always your choice, so always make it the very best, most empowering one.

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YOUR STORM SHELTER

To prepare for life’s storms you must:

1) Practice self-control. Storms are much harder on the undisciplined and self-indulgent. The illusion that life should be easy, painless, an air-cushioned ride, makes you vulnerable to discouragement, disillusionment and defeat in hard times. The truth is, tough times don’t last but tough people do! And tough people practice self-denial and self-control. It’s their spiritual muscle for handling life’s hardships. The Bible says, ‘The fruit of the Spirit is…self- control…’ (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). God’s Spirit will make you tough enough to control your greatest weakness-yourself-the thing that ultimately defeats you in the tough times. Paul lived by this principle. ‘I discipline my body and keep it under control…’ (1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV). Great athletes know that it’s their conditioning, not the conditions, that determine their victory.

2) Depend on God, not people. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man’ (Psalms 118:8 NKJV). Yes, others can help you at times, like a cast helps a broken leg. But once that leg is ready to bear its weight, you must discard the cast or your leg won’t regain full strength. People can go so far; only God will go all the way with you. Paul writes: ‘…No one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…
The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!’ (2 Timothy 4:16-18 NKJV).

– Word for Today

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FEAR

The story is told of a woman whose thoughts were so full of negativity such that, whenever her husband or and children step out of the house, she immediately starts expecting a phone call or the cops bearing the news of death, an arrest or a fatal accident involving her loved ones.

She was tormented by fear for several years until one day her next door neighbour came visiting. They sat chatting for a while in her kitchen when the neighbour noticed how absentminded and easily startled the woman was at the slightest sound around her. After some minutes of subtle questioning, the woman confided in her neighbour who prayed with her referencing Psalm 23 but the moment she was alone, her fears returned with full force. Panicking and trembling, she began reciting the same psalm over and over again until it became a heart-felt prayer.

Gradually, a great sense of calm and peace engulfed her and she felt like she had been stripped of a very heavy load. Relief like she had never known intoxicated her, filling her mouth with songs of gratitude.
This week, as we go about our business of living in the market place, let us turn every fear, anxiety, care and worry to God in exchange for faith by His grace, confident that He cares for us and has everything in absolute control

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Filed under Liberation, unlimited power, Word for today

PLAYING THE LESSER PART

Frances Green was an elderly lady living on a pension. Every year she sent a dollar to the Republican National Convention. One day she received an invitation to meet President Reagan. Not realizing the RSVP should include a generous donation, she scraped up every cent she had and took a four-day train ride across America. She slept sitting up because she couldn’t afford a sleeper. When she arrived at the White House and found her name wasn’t on the guest list, she was heartbroken. Overhearing her story, a Ford Motor executive contacted a presidential aide and got clearance to give Frances a tour and introduce her to the president the next day. But the following morning there was a military uprising overseas and the president was in high-level meetings. When Frances showed up at the White House the executive showed her around and walked her past the Oval Office hoping she’d at least get a glimpse of the president. As they passed he looked up, stood up from his desk and announced, ‘Frances! Those darn computers fouled up again! If I’d known you were coming I’d have come out to get you myself!’ The little woman from California had nothing to give the president that day, but there was something he could give her, so he made time in his busy schedule. Paul says, ‘Don’t push your way to the front…Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.’ In other words, be willing to play second fiddle. Remind yourself that God sees, God evaluates, and God rewards. So, today go out of your way to help somebody.

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COMMITTMENT AND COURAGE

Terry Fox ran across Canada and raised twenty-four million dollars to fight cancer. What’s amazing is that he did it with one leg; cancer had taken the other. He planned to run twenty-six miles each day but because of severe headaches, snow and icy roads, after a month he’d only managed to struggle about eight miles a day. So why did he keep going? Because the purpose in his heart was stronger than the pain in his body. They could amputate his leg, but not his spirit! Commitment is a willingness to do whatever it takes; it’s a promise to yourself, from which you refuse to back down. There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested you do it only when it’s convenient, but when you’re committed you accept no excuses-only results. Only you can decide whether the rewards are worth the effort, for there are trade-offs. You can’t have a healthy body and live on junk food. A guaranteed salary is nonexistent when you start your own business. Mindless hours of watching television and straight ‘A’s’ are a rare combination. Commitment means paying your dues. It also means disregarding your critics. Jesus did that. ‘But Jesus ignored their comments and said…’Don’t be afraid. Just trust me’ (Mark 5:36 TLB). Ralph Waldo Emerson said: ‘Whatever course you decide upon, there will always be someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.’

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