Be a Guiding Light
Wherever you are
Shine, even at night
His hands and feet you’re.
Just walk as He walked
Obeying the word
And talk as He talked
Saying what He heard.
Be like a lighthouse
Give light to the lost
Be bold- not a mouse
‘Cause He made you just
Be salt of the earth.
Not scum of the earth
But come to restore.
Believers Are Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Gal5:22-23
Beautiful Fruitful Bow
Joseph was a beautiful fruitful bow, born after barrenness that visited Rachel for a long time. She who was barren sang when Joseph was born. His Father, Jacob was elated. At last the woman he loved had given him a child, even though at his old age. Jacob celebrated his son with a coat of many colours. This brought jealousy and disdain and persecution from his brothers. Joseph suffered greatly but all his trials and tribulations were a stepping stone to a higher ground. Those archers who shot at him propelled him into his destiny. Joseph trusted in his God and displayed, purity, integrity, excellence, industry that set him apart from other. This fruitful bow prevailed over the archers flaming arrows and became a Prime Minister in a foreign land. Favour followed him wherever he went because of the mighty God of Jacob, his God. As you trust in this same God, regardless of the arrows that are shot at you, you too will prevail and fulfil your vision.
The Son of Jesse
With mother not married
Yet with a destiny
impressive and varied.
Ushered a New Beginning
Not without much palaver
From insane Saul- the King
Who was as cruel as Lucifer.
Beloved was his name
And his music so, so sweet
His Psalms brought him fame
Everywhere on every street.
Playing for deranged King Saul
Her was healed and refreshed
And even delivered tall
So much to be relieved and blessed.
As a boy, Goliath felled
Turning on the light for Israel
In God’s secret place he dwelt
And so will his music forever sell.
When women’s silly songs
Made him Saul’s enemy
Brought him so much pain and wrong
Unexpected protracted acrimony.
Deliverer became a fugitive
In the camp of the Philistines
Yet he was able to forgive
When the King was netted in his inn.
The psalms and poems kept coming
In waves, in leaps and bounds
From his wilderness wanderings
Leaving and indelible endearing sound.
Then one day, Saul and son fell
And he wrote a sweet psalm for them
So deeply mournful, it went down well
God was his root and his stem.
Man after God’s own heart
Man sold out to God
Loving Him with all his heart
Wallowing daily in His word.
This was a man of courage
Man of great incredible faith
Started living for God at an young age
And went from strength to strength.
Absalom, his son usurped his throne
Sending dad fleeing, crest fallen
Disinherited by bone of his bone
With a payment for forgiveness given.
The usurper was caught by his hair
His beauty became his snare
Cutting himself off as an heir.
Many wee gobsmacked as they stared.
Dad wept bitterly for the lad
To the dismay of his henchmen
His deep sorrow made them feel bad
They felt like those trapped in a lion’s den.
When kings went to war
The King stayed at home
It was against the law
Soon his eyes began to roam.
Then he beheld beautiful Bathsheba bathing
Could not take his longing eyes away
Soon lust of the flesh and eyes were beckoning
And the man of God fell headlong, went astray.
God would not spare the King
Sent Prophet Nathan on an errand
It was a great task- very difficult thing
But the prophet followed God’s command.
The King was approached with wisdom
An allegory was his window of opportunity
And soon the repented of his whoredom
His sin he admitted and pleaded guilty.
Out came the psalm of contrition
Psalm fifty-one: against You, I have sinned
From this we learn a great lesson
None is immune from sin.
Solomon came soon after
A King with wisdom beyond compare
Also endowed with wealth like no other
Carried the baton like his father.
God is all-knowing and all-seeing
You can run but you can’t hide
But He is also forgiving
When we repent without pride.
He was a man of covenant
Understood the meaning of friendship
As forgiving as he was gallant
Even death did not end relationship.
Jonathan-his friend, he honoured
As Mephibosheth he restored
The cripple was elevated
Even though he was very surprised.
This man recycled men rejected
Into a formidable mighty army
His fighting spirit in them injected
And they routed every enemy.
He fell many, many times
But he sought the face of God
And God answered many, many times
In keeping with His word.
This man teaches us courage, devotion
Discipline, dexterity, leadership, contrition
Compassion, friendship, covenant knowledge
Repentance, honour, patience, faith, pledge
Love, wisdom, determination, boldness, kindness
Industry, creativity, diligence, focus and fear of God.
2 Samuel 23
1 Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David the son of Jesse; Thus says the man raised up on high, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel:
|THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU CAN TEACH YOUR CHILD (3) by Bob Gas (Word for Today)|
|‘…Your thoughts…are the source of true life.’ Proverbs 4:23|
|Teach your child to ask themselves these two questions: 1) ‘How will I feel afterwards?’ What outlasts our decisions are the subsequent feelings of self-respect versus shame, and positive self-worth versus negative self-worth. Our actions ultimately become history, but our thoughts about them continue to shape our future. ‘Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.’ Children with self-respect are much less likely to indulge in promiscuous sex, drugs, drinking, antisocial and illegal behaviours. Self-respect and self-worth are internal standards which we are loathed to violate. Giving in to selfish choices is like abandoning the moral core of our being-the sacred soul God gave us. 2) ‘How will the people I value feel about me after this decision?’ The trust and respect of others is always needed to succeed. Reputation trumps money, even in the secular marketplace. ‘Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold’ (Proverbs 22:1 NLT). Poor decision making can earn us a reputation that’ll haunt our prospects indefinitely. ‘A person who plans (chooses) evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker’ (Proverbs 24:8 NLT). When you get a negative reputation, it’s hard to recover from it (Proverbs 25:10 NLT). The short-term benefits of making poor decisions lead to long-term losses and regrets. The person God blesses must ‘…exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation…’ (1Timothy 3:2 NLT).|
|THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU CAN TEACH YOUR CHILD (2)by Bob Gas (Word for Today)|
|‘…A man reaps what he sows.’ Galatians 6:7|
|Somebody said, ‘Yard by yard life is hard, inch by inch life’s a cinch!’ For their life to go right, your children must learn to think right. So teach them to ask: 1) ‘What are my options in this situation?’ But do it with the right attitude. If your face is like thunder when you talk to them, they’ll run for cover. Brainstorm with them, writing down every option that’s offered. Tell them that no answers are wrong and no idea will be judged as silly; all suggestions are accepted and valued. You’re priming their creative pump, encouraging them to think for themselves. 2) ‘What benefits come from each option?’ The goal is not to coerce them, but for them to discover and embrace the truth for themselves. And that comes through patience, not pressure. Ask them to list which benefits seem most important to them. 3) ‘What negative consequences come from each option?’ Children can be brutally honest. That’s okay; it’s just part of learning God’s cause-and-effect law of sowing and reaping. Indeed, many adult regrets could have been avoided by following this law. Don’t preach or rant about how terrible the consequences are. Teach them to question themselves, ‘Am I willing to accept the consequences? How would they change my life?’ 4) ‘What personal values are involved in this decision?’ Values-based decisions call us to the high road rather than the path of least resistance. Suggest some godly values as primers, such as truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, responsibility, compassion, friendship, self-denial, courage, honour, faith, etc. Break it down small for younger children, but don’t miss your opportunity.|
|THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU CAN TEACH YOUR CHILD (1)by Bob Gas (Word for Today)|
|‘…Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…’ Joshua 24:15|
|Good decision making is the key to a happy life. But good decision making is not a skill some of us are naturally blessed with, while poor decision making is a handicap others are born with. Courage, education, or the ageing process doesn’t automatically produce better decision makers. Spending time with good decision makers is wise, but it doesn’t rub off on you. And the earlier you teach this skill to your children, the better (Proverbs 22:6). So teach your children the following principles: 1) The consequences you get are the result of the choices you make. Let your children know it’s not their circumstances, but decisions they make about them, that govern their lives. You may think your children know this, but they don’t. Their ‘wiring problem’ makes ’cause and effect’ difficult to connect until their brain reaches later adolescence. Asking, ‘What were you thinking about?’ will just invite the famous shoulder shrug and blank stare. They’re not stupid-they just need guidance. 2) You will always have options. Children commonly feel powerless and hopeless when reacting to negative circumstances. They tend to be ‘either/or’ thinkers, concluding that things are either all good or all bad. Teach them ‘both/and’ thinking, because things can be bad yet you can choose to make good decisions about them. ‘Either/or’ thinking frequently produces children who become pessimistic, disempowered, easily manipulated, depressed adults. Knowing they always have good options prevents circumstances from dictating their lives.|
His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.
That strength which God gives to His Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true-divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from “the mighty God of Jacob.” Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God gives this strength to Joseph-“The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Thus God is represented as putting His hands on Joseph’s hands, placing His arms on Joseph’s arms. Like as a father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear Him. He puts His arms upon them. Marvellous condescension! God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from His throne and lays His hand upon the child’s hand, stretching His arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may be made strong! This strength was also covenant strength, for it is ascribed to “the mighty God of Jacob.” Now, wherever you read of the God of Jacob in the Bible, you should remember the covenant with Jacob. Christians love to think of God’s covenant. All the power, all the grace, all the blessings, all the mercies, all the comforts, all the things we have, flow to us from the well-head, through the covenant. If there were no covenant, then we should fail indeed; for all grace proceeds from it, as light and heat from the sun. No angels ascend or descend, save upon that ladder which Jacob saw, at the top of which stood a covenant God. Christian, it may be that the archers have sorely grieved you, and shot at you, and wounded you, but still your bow abides in strength; be sure, then, to ascribe all the glory to Jacob’s God.
is not where he stands
in moments of comfort
or convenience but
in moments of challenge
God is not interested in your comfort but in your character.
So stand out for good reasons. Be a salt of the earth and a city on a hill; a light in darkness. Never follow the crowd. Dare to be different to make a difference. Evil prevail when good people are silent. Rosa Parks sat to make a stand. If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything. Stand by your convictions no matter how inconvenient.
Horses for Courses
When the horses have galloped
Gallantly into courses
And entered man’s menu
Disguised as beef
What is the beef?
‘Never mind if it is a delicacy in France,
But the problem is I am not French.’
What else do we have in disguise?
Dog? Cat? Frog? Snake?
Business Bread and Butter (2)
Running the Business Race
As you and I embark on the road to fulfilling our dream, vision and assignment, we have good intensions. We are motivated to go for it. We need to continue to press on and not lose momentum and fall by the wayside. Life is full of unfinished business and projects; life is littered with a clutter of abandoned dreams that were shelved because there was a roadblock, a barrier or problem. That was why we needed to write down our vision so we could see it to give us focus; that was why we needed to have a business plan to discipline us to look closely at our vision to put some flesh on the bones.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is the real deal. We only get one chance! There is no reincarnation. Once you finish, you finish. You are not coming back. This is it! So go with it with a sense of destiny. Run according to the rules so you don’t end like Lance Armstrong or Jimmy Saville. You are made to win. Let your dream be big- bigger than you. Let it be more than bettering your life but to make a difference to humanity. Leave a mark that is indelible, irrefutable, distinguished, incredible,
We are like athletes preparing to run a race. We need to train very hard, discipline ourselves, yield to the instruction and grooming of our coaches- our mentors. These are people who have gone where we have not been.
There will be challenges our journey. Let us be brave, courageous, bold at such times and not buckle under the pressure. Challenges can create untold chances. Challenges will stretch us and bring us into new threshold of strength unknown to us. Let us keep our heads down and humble ourselves to learn from those who have been established in their business.
Our business plan and vision statement are tools to help us focus on our dreams and avoid being sidetracked or shipwrecked.
We want, not just to start, but to finish and finish strong, not hobble up to the finishing line. We need to know how to pace ourselves so that we don’t run out of steam.
Let us help each other because we need each other. We need to see beyond the natural and see a grand stand of those who have finished and gone, cheering us up: ‘Go on, finish up, you can make it. We made it, so can you.’
Let us cultivate good habits that will move us forward, not backward. Let’s discipline ourselves, review our goals, vision and skills and think productively and positively. ’As he thinks, so he is.’
Let’s submit ourselves to a process of development. Being a champion takes time. It’s a process.
We have entered the ‘School of Hard Knocks’. It’s not an easy road. Let us make up our minds to make it, despite the obstacles we will face. This preparation time is crucial to our survival and will determine whether we struggles, strive, or thrive.
In any race, a good start is very important. A false start can ruin your chances of winning. It can lead to your disqualification. It can give an edge to your opponent or fellow competitors. No matter what your dream is, you have competitors. I do too. What will make you stand out is your ability to let your uniqueness make you different. Do not start out to be a photo –copy of someone else, it’s taken. Be yourself!
Have the right gear in your race, the right tools so you’re not slowed down. Those who are well-prepared will seize any opportunity that presents itself. You don’t start preparing when the opportunity comes. It’s too late then.
Run in the right lane and in the right direction. Run with integrity. Run straight. Above all, run the right race. Do not run a race that your friend is running and making lots of money. Run a race that you are called and wired to run. That is where you will have fulfilment. Provision is in the vision.
Confront your weaknesses. Identify them and do something about them. Work on them.
Identify your strengths too and use them to move you forward. Have an honest appraisal. Don’t blow your top. Seek help where you need help. Have your priorities right. Don’t run before you can walk. Start small and build up gradually.
Know that there will be moments of disappointment. Things will not fall into your lap always. The bank may disappoint you. Your suppliers may disappoint you. Your customers may not pay on time. You will need to be prepared for such eventualities. You need to know how to handle such situations. Cash-flow problem would stare you in the face from time to time. You need to know how to take a determined stance to avoid keeling over the precipice like the fiscal cliff that America faced. You do not passively accept everything that comes your way as “What will be will be.”. You may need to confront your enemy. Sadly, often the enemy is in us, Ene-My, INI ME’- the bad habits, pride, lack of organisation, carelessness etc.
We must learn to deny ourselves especially in the early years. Most businesses pack up in the early years because the owners were not willing to make sacrifices. Delay your gratification. Do not eat your investment fund. Don’t look for a big car soon after you start or even premises. You can start in your house until things get better. Do not start hiring people to please the government because they gave you a loan. Know the implications of hiring people. Hire people when you are ready as not to go under. Hire the right people who have a similar vision, or who understand your vision and would add value to it, not people who just want a job to earn money.
The Key to Prosperity
The key to prosperity.
Is to trust the Almighty
Lean not on your own understanding
Or carnal understanding,
But on the Spirit of God,
To illuminate the Word,
Give you spiritual insight,
That will lift you to new heights;
Beyond the natural plane;
Beyond the temporal plane;
To the supernatural;
To that which is eternal.
Trust is the Key to prosperity