Never Surrender Your Dream to Noisy Negatives

There is a time and a season for everything, and when it’s time for you to work on making your dream a reality; you shouldn’t allow any negativity from anybody to stop you.

Talk about timing. As I am writing this post, I find myself only a few days away from launching yourmindrenewed.com, and big was my amazement when I found what the topic for this week’s nugget will be. Nugget #31 in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average says “never surrender your dream to noisy negatives”.

Never Surrender Your Dream to Noisy Negatives

I’m currently also working on an article about various Christian’s and how they live successful lives by applying biblical principles in their lives. What amazes me is that just about every time when I used Google to find more information about someone, you would find someone criticizing these people as well.

One will be to outspoken, the other one to liberal, one is to rich and the next one tries to keep everybody poor in order tofile6251297827365 stay humble. These are not the exact comments I found, but they are pretty close.

Discussing this with friends a little later, a very interesting point came up. The statement was made that isn’t that maybe a sign that these people are being successful. Whenever someone becomes successful, people are very quick to start commenting on whatever that person does or say.

Yes, when people claim to be preaching from the Bible, we need to very careful. Our responsibility is made very clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22. It tells us to listen what these people say, but then to test it by comparing it with what God says in the Bible, and to hold on to what is good. If; (1) I find what the person says is confirmed in the Bible, and (2) the person has been living according to what he preaches for many years and he/she is living proof of that too, I suppose I have good reason to pay attention.

These are just examples I’ve used in the Christian community (especially amongst preachers). The same goes for people in any occupation. Business people must often hear that they must be lying and cheating in order to be so successful. I’m not saying that’s never the case, but we can’t make the assumption that a person must be dishonest just because he is successful in business. Athletes get tested for substance abuse as soon as they start performing above average. These practices (testing for drug abuse) are good and necessary, but people shouldn’t start making such remarks without having proof. All that is needed, is for you to voice your opinion, and within minutes the story has two or three little tails added to it and it is now spread around as fact.

Be Bold and Live Your Dream

Don’t allow the noise of negatives to rob you of your dream. Be bold, take charge and live your dream.

The only sure way to fend off criticism is to do nothing and be nothing – John L. Mason

When people start talking and there is no substance to it, the Bible has the following to say about it; “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.”

I believe that is not only a good way to determine whose advice you can follow, but it also gives you peace of mind when people start talking about you. The truth shall last forever, but the lie shall be short-lived.

Hebrews 13:6 says “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”[b]

Besides, when people start talking about you, it means that people are paying attention to what you do and say. And believe me, most of the time it is the jealous and uninformed people who are critical and eager to voice their opinions.

It is wise to listen to good advice, but pay no attention to negative criticism. Psalm 37:3-4 says “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart”.

So never surrender you dream to noisy negatives. Keep your head up high and make your dream come true.

Are you still procrastinating out of fear for criticism? If so, I hope this post has motivated you to take action. Tell me about it in the comments section below. 

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How to Take Charge of Your Dreams

Yes, it would be nice to be the CEO of your company, live in a mansion and enjoy your annual holiday on some exotic file000524945737island, wouldn’t it? There is nothing wrong with having big dreams.

But that is exactly what brings us to this week’s nugget. It is nugget # 29 in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average. It says “everything big starts with something little”.

Everything Big Starts with Something Little

Everybody wants the best job, the biggest house and the fastest or most luxurious car. But it seems that many people just want everything to come easy and instantly too.

I’ve witnessed many times when people cry out and seem to be desperate for employment. Yet when someone offers them a position, they decline because it doesn’t pay well enough, or the position is not on a high enough level in the company.

Even when starting a business, it almost seems like many people think you start a business, cross your feet on the desk and the money starts marching in the door.

Reality is; everything big starts with something little. Whether you ask a successful business person, musician, writer or anybody who made it to the top, they will give you the same answer: they started at the bottom and worked hard to get where they are. As a matter of fact, they will tell you that they are still working hard.

Working hard doesn’t have to be a burden though. I know of very wealthy people who will tell you that they aren’t really working that hard, because they enjoy what they are doing. But they are extremely busy. When you are passionate about what you’re doing, it won’t always feel like work.

That also doesn’t mean it has to be all work and no play. The first ingredient for success is to be passionate about what you do. That will add some fun to your working day. Secondly it’s about maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

But everybody needs to start at the bottom. Even all the great people referred to in the Bible were faithful in the small things. In Matthew 25 Jesus told the parable of the talents. The servant who took his master’s money and multiplied it was told “….. Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23 NIV)

Start Small, But Take Action

Even if you feel that you have a certain call on your life, don’t sit around waiting for someone to call you with an invitation. It is good to dream big and aim high, but don’t be so pre-occupied with the dream that you miss out on the opportunities that pass you by. It is often by giving that small step that looks so irrelevant at the time, that you open the door to more and more opportunities.

Be on the lookout for those small opportunities to get started, and take action. It is true that God can do anything for you, but He will never do it without you. Take action.

Don’t be afraid to take those small steps. It’s the small steps which are easier to take and achieve success, one small step at a time. It will also reduce your stress levels as they are easier to manage.

Although it is good to keep the bigger picture in mind, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed when focusing on the bigger picture alone. That is when even some of the smaller steps don’t always make sense to me…..until I start doing them. The minute I start taking action on those smaller steps, things just start falling into place and they start making sense.

The impossible, many times, is just simply the untried – John L. Mason

By rushing in and trying to avoid the small steps, you can easily end up being completely overwhelmed. This can eventually cause you to become negative and quit altogether.

We should all learn to grow wherever we’re planted – John L. Mason

Don’t Fear

Don’t give in to the emotion of fear. One of the first things Jesus always said to people was “don’t fear”.

Your dream might look impossible to you today. So what? A century or so ago, you wouldn’t have even thought of directly communicating with someone on another continent….then came the telephone. Today I have daily face-to face conversations with people in other countries via SKYPE.

They also said it is impossible to fly. It was considered as being ridiculous to think that man can go to the moon. Shall I continue?

You might ask….”but what if I don’t make it”? Well, what if you do? You’ll never know if you don’t at least try.

Fear of becoming a has-been keeps some people from becoming anything – Eric Hoffer

Little Goals Add Up

Little goals add up, and they add up rapidly. Many people never succeed, because they never try.

That final goal seems so unreachable, and that is why many people give up even before they have started.

By starting with those smaller goals and achieving them, you not only develop a habit of goal setting, you also develop a habit of success.

Success is a very strong motivating force. But you have to do something before you can experience it. Before you know it, you will start achieving bigger goals without fearing them.

Have you ever been intimidated by your big dreams and goals? Have you ever been concerned about what the people are going to say? What do you do to overcome these obstacles? What do you do to make sure you see those small opportunities and not miss them? Or have you missed some and what was the conequences?

Share your experiences, dreams and how you overcome obstacles in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.

Those Who Don’t Take Chances Don’t Make Advances

Have you ever wondered why it seems that some people always just happen to get those “lucky breaks”? They are so lucky…… they’re always just at the right place at the right time. But wait a minute, there is something wrong with this picture. Why does it always happen to the same people? What if this “luck” they seem to have, is not luck after all? What if these are the people who are actually the ones who are willing to take the risk?

This brings me to this week’s nugget for discussion as we find it in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average. His nugget #20 says: “Those who don’t take chances don’t make advances”.

Those Who Don’t Take Chances Don’t Make Advances.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging anybody to take reckless, non-calculated risks. Whenever any big projects are file2751255704217taken on, proper planning and risk assessment is an essential part of the process. But no significant achievements have ever been obtained by taking small risks on unimportant issues.

A relatively new term – emotional intelligence – has become a popular subject of discussion since the mid -1980’s. It has been said that EI (emotional intelligence) is becoming just as important as IQ (intellectual intelligence) in modern day business. Where decisions are normally being made based on documented facts and history, people in key positions of big companies are often required to make quick decisions or appoint someone in a new position without having any access to any previous written information or statistics. Emotional intelligence plays a very important role in these situations. People sometimes refer to it as making a decision based on a “gut feel”. They just had a “gut feel” to close a certain deal, or to appoint a certain person in a key position, and it turned out to be the best decision ever.

There is often huge risk involved in making these decisions, and it cannot be taken lightly.

This means that you need to be:

  • Very competent in what you are doing.
  • Well-informed about what is happening in your industry.
  • Well aware of changes that are taking place in your company and industry, and the demands that come with these changes.
  • Very confident about your decision-making.
  • Very strong in your faith.

There is a huge responsibility that goes with this kind of decision-making.

Stretch Yourself and Get Out of That Comfort-Zone.

People often get stuck in their comfort-zone. It becomes too challenging to stretch yourself and expand your horizons. Fear 100_2615is normally one of the first and biggest obstacles. “What if I don’t make it?” people would ask. But what if you do make it?
Often people would say that they are happy with what they have. “We are comfortable with our weekly/monthly wage, and we can pay the rent. We don’t need anything more.” Well, have you ever thought of all the people you could help if you “enlarge your territory” (1 Chronicles 4:10) and get out of your comfort zone?

Dream Big and Strive to Reach Your Full Potential.

I challenge you to start dreaming again. Dream big, and strive to reach the full potential of your calling. Focus on the important stuff, and let go of what is not important. Get excited and live life to the full.

H. Stern said “If you’re hunting rabbits in tiger country, you must keep your eye peeled for tigers, but when you are hunting tigers, you can ignore the rabbits.”

There is an old saying that says “even a turtle doesn’t get ahead unless he sticks his neck out”.

I am not encouraging you to get reckless, neither am I saying you ought to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but think soberly according to the measure of faith that God has dealt you (Romans 12:3). Start dreaming again. What are you passionate about? Then set out to achieve your full potential, because Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. So don’t put your faith in yourself, but “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), and then believe Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) that says “13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me”.

“DREAM BIG, BECAUSE YOU SERVE A BIG GOD”JOHN L. MASON

Be Courageous, Have Faith and Enlarge Your Territory.

We’ve all been dealt with a measure of faith. We need to develop that faith and aim high. If I may quote John Mason….”We Christians need to reach to the potential, not reckon to the past”.

Are you stretching yourself to make those advances? Tell me about them and what you have learned along the way.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Stay Down

Life is not about what happens to us, but about how we respond to what happens to us. Isn’t it amazing how our failures can so quickly eliminate our successes? It is as if that one failure can destroy all previous successes. Have you ever thought of any reason why you shouldn’t stay down?

On a daily basis we need to respond to what is happening in the world around us. Then it hits closer to home; we need to respond to what happens to us. How do you respond to your successes? Do you get so caught up in celebration that you eventually lose momentum, or are you so focused that you can just carry on with your journey to success? Yes, it is very important to know how to respond to success, but it is just as important – if not even more – to know how to respond to your failures.

Failure Is Not the End of the World

This brings me to the next nugget for discussion. The next nugget as we find it in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average is nugget #19: “The most natural thing to do when you get knocked down is to get up”.

We all make mistakes and experience failure. The most successful people in life often are the people who have also made the most mistakes and have had more failures than what you care to remember. There is saying that says “show me the man who never makes a mistake, and I’ll show you a man who never does anything”.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Stay Down:

  1.  It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up again. – Vince Lombardifile6431283194820

    The only time when failure becomes final, is when you decide not to get up again, and that is a decision. You may fall ten times, as long as you get up eleven times, you are still going. Everybody falls down but the anticipation comes to see whether you are going to get up again. The falling doesn’t matter, what matters is whether you are going to stay down, or whether you are going to get up to continue the journey.

  2. If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate. – Thomas Watson, Sr.

    Every successful person in the world today will be able to tell you about a whole series of failures before they became successful. Overcome the fear of failure, and accept those failures with grace as a learning process, and you will be well on your way to success. Every time you fail, you have learned about another way that wouldn’t work. So you know to avoid that in future. If you didn’t try, you wouldn’t have known. Keep on trying, until you find the way to success.

  3. If you worry about yesterday’s failure, then today’s successes will be few. – Anonymous

    Failure can be a valuable tool in your journey to success. Great lessons can be learned from your failures. Take note of what you have done to cause failure and make sure not to repeat it. Whether it was failure in a business venture, or even if you made a mess of your life at some point, take stock of what happened, change what you can and accept what you can’t change. Then make peace with it, leave the past behind, and face the future. You can’t go back to the past and tomorrow will always be in the future, which is why today is the only present we have. John Mason also has a good way of putting it by saying; “the key to being free from the stranglehold of past failures and mistakes: learn the lesson and forget the details”.

  4. It is a great art to laugh at your own misfortune. – Danish Proverb

    By falling victim to stress and depression due to your failures, you are diminishing your health. Besides that, you will also start pushing people away from you. Yet, have you ever noticed how pleasant it is to be around someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously…someone who can laugh at his own misfortune? By learning this art, you will not only improve your health, you will create a better environment around you.

  5. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it. – Washington Irving

    You have not been placed on this earth to be “little” and to be subdued. You have been placed on this earth to have dominion and to subdue (Genesis 1:26-28). “How can I get my mind to rise above my failures?” you ask. I’m glad you asked. According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, “it has been found that 12 minutes of daily focused prayer over an 8 week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan”.

  6. It is no disgrace to start all over again. It is usually an opportunity. – George Matthew Adams

    People often make a big deal out of their failures. Yet, it often only seems to be a big deal to them. Sometimes you would have some (often ill-informed) people or relatives making some negative remarks for a day or two, but then everybody continues with life as normal, while you are still battling with feelings of shame, guilt, depression and who knows what else. Few people (if any) are even aware of what you are going through. Many of the richest people in the world today, have gone through more than one bankruptcy before they became successful. Does that mean you have to go through such ordeals as bankruptcy before you can become successful? No, but I would definitely classify bankruptcy as a failure. Yet, even failing to that level is not final and it is not hard to find proof of that. The secret lies in starting all over again. Why would you want to stay down after any failure? To start all over again is an opportunity, grab it with both hands and give it all you’ve got.

  7. Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they have half the strength you thought they have. – Norman Vincent Peale

    There is also the saying that says “whether you say ‘I can’ or whether you say ‘I can’t’, you are right”. That makes it quite easy. If you decide that your obstacles are just too overwhelming…..well, you’re right. But that is your decision. You can also decide to stand up to obstacles and do something about them. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and John 16:33 (Jesus speaking) says “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” That means that if you have accepted Him as your Saviour, you can overcome any obstacle, and through Him you can do all things.

  8. Never give up. – Winston Churchill

    This one is so straightforward and to the point, nobody can say it better. Just “never give up”.

  9. The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success. – David Sarnoff

    Just how serious are you about achieving your goal? Do you have a passion for what you want to achieve? Will it make a difference? What is your reason for wanting to achieve your goal? This might be a harsh example to use, but for the sake of explaining the will to persevere, let’s use the example of me getting mugged at knife point and some youngster takes off with my wallet. I would let him go. I could always buy a new wallet (and I hardly ever carry any cash in my wallet anyhow). So it is more of an inconvenience. But if someone threatens the safety of my wife or my daughters, it becomes a different scenario altogether. I will put up a fight until the end to protect them. As I’ve said, that might sound very extreme, but the point is; how important is it to you to achieve your goal. Know your “why”, and you will be able to persevere until you achieve success.

  10. When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there. – Zig Ziglar

    The obstacles will come. So be prepared, and when they come, be willing to maybe change your plan of action, use a different strategy or a different approach, but once again….”never give up”.

  11. The Creator has not given you a longing to do that which you have no ability to do. – Orison Swett Marden

    We all have the ability to dream. If you have forgotten what it’s like to dream, I want to challenge you today, to dare to dream again. Where do you think that dream came from in the first place? You have been created with a purpose. God has placed that dream inside of you. You don’t need to be pastor or a preacher to be in God’s plan. God also needs doctors, teachers, writers, and business people in this world to name but a few. That doesn’t mean you can’t work for the Kingdom. If you work to achieve your God-given dream, you can fulfill your God-given potential.

  12. Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t. – Richard Bach

    So, here is the final test: are you still alive? If you are reading this, I pretty much think so. So your mission is not finished.

Are You Going To Stay Down or Are You Going To Get Up?

So, obviously your mission is not finished. What are you going to do about it? I would love to hear what you are going to do about it. Or even better still, what are you doing about it? I know I’ve had to get up many times already, but I’m still going, and you?

How to Take Control of Your Life

One of the biggest problems we are facing in today’s society is the fact that people don’t want to take responsibility. Whatever goes wrong, it is always someone else’s fault.

Parents get blamed for all kinds of addictions. When people have problems with alcohol addiction, it is “because my dad was a heavy drinker, that’s just how I grew up”. Battling with violence, it is because they grew up in a violent home, or the neighbourhood was to blame.

When turning to crime, it is because of the bad economy, and they just can’t afford to make an honest living. I’ve even heard the devil getting credit for this when people say things like…”I don’t know why I’ve done it, the devil made me do it”.

I think they are giving the devil more credit than he deserves. The devil can’t force you to do anything, unless you are willing to do it.

This brings me to nugget #18 from John L. Mason’s book, An Enemy Called Average. The nugget as he gives it to us is: Found_855293808_2036549“The best helping hand you will ever find is at the end of your own arm”.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Actions

If you grew up in a bad neighbourhood or with violence in your home or with parents who had some addictions, it is still no excuse for not taking responsibility for your own actions. It should actually serve as additional motivation not to repeat their mistakes, or to make the world a better place for everybody to live in. The well-known John D. Rockefeller was a classical example of this. He didn’t exactly have an easy life as a child, with his father only being marginally employed and his mother struggling to keep them going, despite the lack of finances. Yet, he turned out to become the wealthiest man in the world.

In Deuteronomy 28, God sets before us all the blessings and curses. Then in Deuteronomy 30:19, we are given the responsibility to make our own choice.

Each one of us has a choice. There is not one single person in this world that has been created without the ability to make choices. Granted, we sometimes make the wrong choices, but that doesn’t mean we have to stick to them. Once you realise that you have made the wrong choice, take responsibility, change your course and make it right.

Nobody said that taking responsibility is going to be easy either. You most probably will get much resistance for making the right decisions. But pray about it and ask for wisdom and guidance from God (James 1:5). Once you have peace about your decision and you are convinced that you are on the right track, don’t back down, persevere and press on. Don’t give up at the first sign of failure.

Then, once your course has been set, keep on keeping on. Never lose momentum.

Success is not final, and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Who or What Do You Put Your Trust In?

It is amazing how many people are desperately seeking for help from other people, while – between them and God – they have everything they need.

People tend to always look horizontally, and end up seeking help only from other people, such as business people, financial institutions, life coaches, motivational speakers, etc.

There is nothing wrong in itself with any of the abovementioned people or institutions. Proverbs 15:22 (NIV) says “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”. It is wise to seek knowledge from people who are well informed where it concerns the situations you need to make decisions about.

The danger is when you are not careful about:

  1. Who you approach.
  2. Putting your trust in these people instead of God.
  3. When you become willing to give up control of your vision in exchange for money or sometimes even companionship.

Proverbs 16:1-3 (NIV) says “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans”, and Psalm 118:8 (NIV) says “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes”.

The Best Helping Hand You Will Ever Find Is At The End Of Your Own Arm.

So, it is wise to get the counsel of the appropriate people and to get constructive advice. But your trust should be in the Lord.

Dare to dream your own dreams, receive your own vision from the Lord. Then take the responsibility of taking control of your own vision. You will need to apply faith (and lots of it), but when your priorities are straightened out, you will succeed.

We all have been blessed with the ability to choose. So you choose. Do not allow someone else to choose for you. Then put your hand to it, and do what you need to do. If you want to take control of your life, accept responsibility for your actions.

How do you overcome obstacles in your life? How do you cope with the challenges coming your way? I would love to hear from you.

Caught Out: Your Excuse Is Just a Lie

How many times have you made excuses for not fulfilling your purpose in life? How many times did you justify your actions for postponing? Is it because you think you don’t have what it takes? I know I’ve done it many times.

Today’s nugget for discussion is nugget #16 as John L. Mason describes it in his book An Enemy Called Average.

The nugget he mentions is as follow: An alibi is just a lie.

Note:

  • According to the Oxford dictionary an Alibi is a “plea that one was in another place at the time of an alleged act or crime…”. But for the purpose of this post, this is how John Mason used the word in his nugget. As normal, from here on forward I will just discuss the concept from my own point of view.)

There is no way we can argue with what John Mason says in his book; quitting, giving up, failing, judging – all these begin with an excuse. He goes further to point out that you should never allow an obstacle in your life to become an alibi – which is simply egotism turned the wrong side out.

What you’ll get from this article:radian cimetery 4

  • Success Is Not A Dirty Word, Stop Using Religion As An Excuse
  • Focus On the Positives in a Sea of Negativity
  • Fear Is Not Necessary When You Have Trust
  • An Alibi Is Just a Lie
  • Stop Making Excuses and Be The Best You That You Can Be

It is amazing how we are always looking for excuses. And the cherry on top of this is the fact that we always think we know better. Deep inside ourselves we often know what we ought to be doing, or at least we have this urge to do something we feel we should be doing. Yet, we never respond to those feelings, because we just cannot see how we would be able to be successful at it. Or sometimes it just doesn’t seem to be worthwhile looking at it from a financial point of view. So, whatever we can come up with, we start making excuses as to why we just cannot do it.

Focus On the Positives in a Sea of Negativity

We seem to be relying so much on the economy of the world and our own abilities, that we forget that God – who has created us and knows us better that we know ourselves – is more than able to sustain us. We forget about Hebrews 13:5 that say “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Daily we are bombarded with bad news about recessions and depression due to the bad economy. Many sincere Christian people get filled with fear when listening to these news bulletins. Already living from pay check to pay check is hard enough as it is, and with these constant threats of the bad economy, it seems as if things can only get worse. They’ve lost their ability to dream as well. What is the sense of planning and believing for a bright future in these bad economic times?

Yet, if you look around you, there are always successful business people prospering all over the world. They live in nice houses and drive around in the best cars.

I can hear you say “yes, but we’ve just read in Hebrews 13:5 to keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what we have”.

Exactly. God instructs us to keep ourselves free from the love of money. It is not the money that is evil. And being content with what you have, means that God will give you the means to be successful with the talents that you have and the wisdom that you can receive from Him. Do not miss the last part of the verse where God also promises to never leave you nor forsake you.

When somebody makes a promise to look after my well-being and to take good care of me, I expect good things to happen. I don’t expect to be left at the mercy of the world. How much more would I expect God to live up that promise? Why should I always accept second best, while God has promised to take good care of me?

What makes the difference is your attitude. Do you place your trust in riches or in God?

Read what happened to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 1:7-12: “That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

This is the safe way: asking for wisdom and knowledge from God first, then riches.

We read in 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”. Again we see that it is the love of money which is the root of all kinds of evil. Money in itself is not evil. It is all about who is in possession of it and what it is applied for.

God would not have blessed Solomon with riches if it was evil. Neither would He have done it for Abraham (Genesis 13:2), Isaac (Genesis 26:13) or for Jacob (Genesis 30:43), just to name a few more examples.

Be content with what you have, asking God for wisdom in how to use it and multiply it. Then rely on God for receiving wisdom every day, irrespective of the economy of the world, to be successful. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.

Fear Is Not Necessary When You Have Trust

Mankind is supposed to rule on earth (Genesis 1:26), we are not supposed to be filled with fear. We are supposed to be responsible in handling our money and use it for good purpose. But we shouldn’t rely on money for our well-being; we should trust the living God. To be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5), doesn’t mean we are allowed to only have a little of anything. Putting our trust in money creates the danger that our dreams, our need for well-being and happiness, become dependent on attaining lots of money. With God, our well-being is about much more than just money. It is about love, being healthy, being fulfilled and satisfied in every aspect. And yes, it might even include money as well. There is nothing wrong with having money, as long as money doesn’t have you.

To live by faith, doesn’t mean becoming irresponsible by making silly decisions about relying on God for provision. But God knows what your talents are. He will open doors for you and lead you to meet with the right people. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

So there is no reason not to be content with what you have, with that being the starting point. God has given you certain talents and abilities. You have all the reasons in the world to be content with what you have.

Proverbs 10:22 (NIV) says “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” (It might be a good idea to read other translations as well, to get  a more rounded understanding). This is how the same verse is translated in the King James Version; The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it”.

An Alibi Is Just a Lie

We are all quick to make excuses when confronted with making choices. We need to understand when we are taking the soft option and be more honest with ourselves and others.

When confronted with a challenge, we go to the Bible to see how we should respond. Let’s look at two examples.

  1. In the book of Exodus we can see Moses trying every excuse in the book to avoid taking up the challenge. In Exodus 4:10-12 he came to the end of his excuses and decided to trust God; “10 Moses said to the Lord, “Lord, I am not a man of words. I have never been. Even now since You spoke to Your servant, I still am not. For I am slow in talking and it is difficult for me to speak.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes a man not able to speak or hear? Who makes one blind or able to see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 So go now. And I will be with your mouth. I will teach you what to say.”
  2. Gideon also argued with God in Judges 6:15-16 “15 Gideon said to Him, “O Lord, how can I save Israel? See, my family is the least in Manasseh. And I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 But the Lord said to him, “For sure I will be with you. You will destroy Midian as one man.”

In both these cases, these two men had their doubts and lacked the confidence in their own abilities. Yet, they both decided to stop making excuses and trust God, and both men were victorious.

Stop Making Excuses and Be The Best You That You Can Be.

Stop thinking of all the reasons why you can’t do what you know you’ve been called to do. I do not say you should ignore wise council and constructive criticism, but stop being overly concerned about other people’s opinions, or what people are going to say.

You’ll end up regretting what you have not done, rather than what you have tried at, and failed (and who knows how many successes you might have had).

God will not place a dream in your heart that you cannot achieve. So stop making excuses and resist fear because 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLV) says “For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind”.

  • Start dreaming again – it is a God-given ability – and start working towards them.
  • Are you constantly making excuses or shying away from what you believe you should be doing?
  • What are your dreams? What do you believe your calling is and what is keeping you from it?

Let me know in the comment section below and let’s discuss it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Goal Setting and Planning Starts With Dreaming

I have said it many times before, and I will say it again; “I don’t believe in co-incidence”. Earlier this week I have done a post on my personal blog about goal setting and planning. After that I’ve had quite a hectic schedule  for the rest of this week and didn’t get the time to properly prepare for this post at Victory Lifestyle yet, besides knowing that I would be writing about nugget #14.

A Goal Is a Dream with a Deadline

Having a full schedule and dealing with some unexpected situations, I frequently fell behind schedule. Needless to say, I often had to deal with frustration. Doing the post on goal setting and planning actually helped a lot to keep me focused on my goals, in spite of everything.

This morning as I was about to do some final reading before getting ready to write this post, we had a power failure. Can you imagine the frustration?

Frustrated, I grabbed John Mason’s Book “An Enemy Called Average” and started reading nugget #14. By this time I was stressed out, as I didn’t have an opportunity earlier to go over this week’s nugget and I felt as though I was not properly prepared for this week’s nugget.

Well, guess what. As I opened the book to nugget # 14, there it was, today’s nugget is “a goal is a dream with a deadline”.

Not only is this in line with what I am passionate about, I was as prepared as could be, having done a post on the same topic earlier this week. Today I can expand on the same topic.

No Co-Incidence

To take it one step further, coming to the end of this week, I feel nothing short of utter amazement. As I was working through this nugget, I couldn’t help thinking about my quiet time this morning, doing Bible study. In these hours I’m also working through a book called “The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You” by John Ortberg. This morning’s reading was about dealing with any difficulties or issues in life. Living in the flow of the Spirit and dealing with situations is about more than avoiding these situations. Situations will come across our path in areas where we need to grow. If I need patience, there will be some difficult people in my life to help me develop it. If – as in my case – I have a hard time dealing with frustrations, I will meet with situations to help me learn how to deal with it. Yet, we are never alone on this journey.

As mentioned already, I don’t believe in co-incidence. This whole week I had to face one frustration after the other, and here I’m getting to the end of this week, and it ends in victory.

Stay Focused

No matter how frustrated you get or how many times you fail, stay focused on your goals. There is a saying; “it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, what matters is how many times you get up”.

Habakkuk 2:2 says “….Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it”. Your vision should Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscapebe written down. As long as you keep your vision in your mind, it is not really a goal; it actually remains more of a dream. It has been proven that when you commit something to writing, commitment to achievement naturally follows. A point of interest that I would like to add to this though, is that you need to write it down and keep it in sight where you can frequently see and respond to it. There is no sense in writing it down and filing it away where you never see it (out of sight, out of mind). But by committing it to writing and then frequently referring to it, definitely brings a sense of commitment.

The next point of importance is to stay focused and keep your eye on the goal. In referring to the same Bible verse in Habakkuk 2:2, the key word is “run”. Whenever you are running towards something, you are much more focused. You look straight ahead of you, with your eyes fixed on your destination. When you are casually strolling towards something, it is way easier to start looking around, get distracted, change direction and totally lose focus.

Proverbs 24:3-4 says “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts”.

In other words, effective goal setting and planning provides you with an opportunity to bring the future to the present and deal with it today. Achievement becomes much easier when your outer goals become inner commitment.

Prepare Yourself through Goal Setting and Planning

You cannot set out on a journey, unless you are properly prepared. You need to determine where you are now, where you want to go, how you want to get there and why.

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can actively start pursuing your goals and stay focused.

It takes just as much energy for a dull life with no direction, just surviving from one day to the next, as it does for a good life. Many people float through life with no real meaning, just because they never decided to write down their vision and follow through on it. If you can’t see the mark, if you don’t know your destination, you’ll never arrive there.

Many people has become so negative in today’s society, they would say “I don’t even dream anymore…..I don’t know what my vision is”. Believe me, allow yourself some time alone and start dreaming again. It’s a God-given gift. We all have the ability to dream. So allow yourself to dream again. Then write it down, start planning, get focused, set deadlines and achieve your goals. Remember, a goal is a dream with a deadline.

What do you do to overcome distractions? Do you find it difficult to achieve your goals? Let me know, I would love to hear from you.