One thing I know for sure …

Credits: Unsplash / Pro Church Media

No matter who you are and how many people rave about you, about your cookies or cooking or style or looks or you-name-it, one thing I now definitely know for sure is that there is always someone somewhere who doesn’t give a hoot about you, still can’t stand you nor like you nor adore anything everyone is raving about you. And I also know for sure that that’s definitely all right.

It’s pointless trying to be all things to all men (and women). It just turns you raggedy and into an unconscious dissociative identity disorder personality.

What I’m saying is that it’s totally all right not to be liked by or raved on by people and we should all be comfortable with it.

As a kid, I repeatedly heard an international artist’s song whose lyrics in part went thus: “there’s no intelligence nor behavior that you may have that will please all people or the world; life is but a short time so people do good always …”

Lately, I also heard Oprah Winfrey say that people always accused her of being “too full of herself.” It used to hurt until she started embracing it. She went on to say that “I can only give out of my overflow; so those who say that I am full of myself are saying the truth – I am full and my cup is running over and I give out of the overflow.”

Road to greatness or making history

You might have heard that Steph Curry, of the Golden States Warriors (GSW), recently made history breaking Ray Allen’s 3-points record by 511 less games.

The road to breaking the record was aired and tracked by the news and social media for days. With 17 3-pointers to making history, Curry was frustrated by opponents. I’m sure by now players know that keeping the key player under wraps is a strategy that not only frustrates the key player, but can secure wins. So it wasn’t unusual that Curry was double-teamed most of the time thereby making it impossible for him to rain those threes. The game between Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia Sixers was the start of the 17 3-pointers needed by Curry to make history. Sixers won the game and Curry only made three 3-pointers of the 17. A rarely-frustrated player, I saw Curry openly frustrated on that game night. What caught my attention however was during the end-of-game chat with the reporter, a young Sixers player stated that he and veteran teammate, Joel Embid, talked before the game and agreed that Steph Curry would not make history on their turf. People, Seth Curry, Steph’s brother is on the Sixers team! The young player’s statement caught my attention. Why say that? What does it matter if Curry broke the record on your turf or not? Curry was closer to breaking it anyways, and it will happen – your turf or not, right? I concluded that they might not have been happy with Curry trying to make history. The subtlety of envy and jealousy or is’t intense or negative competition?! You be the judge. I don’t know but I surely didn’t like it.

The road to greatness is not all smooth or paved with gold. There will be bumps, curves, detours, lies, slanders, overt or covert hatred, and some times temporary or permanent stops. The permanent stops happen when we give up out of frustration. Some history makers, like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Joseph, who were supposed to liberate their people, had themselves been imprisoned before achieving destiny. Most millionaires were once penniless. Most real estate/home developers were also once homeless. Those who carry out the negative, wicked acts to deter anyone’s momentum often do so out of ignorance unknowingly doing the devil’s bidding. But my people, we can take a rest to comeback stronger, but we should never ever give up, for that breakthrough will surely come.

Congrats, Steph Curry

Stephen Curry broke the record at the GSW and New York Knicks game night; the third game after the Sixers. The New York fans were elated for him and so were the reigning record-holder, Ray Allen, Reggie Miller (another previous record holder), family, friends, and the NBA community. New York looked a better ground for the record-breaking moments than it would have at the Sixers.

I am so happy for Stephen Curry. He not only put in the work, but was key to changing the trajectory of the NBA games with his three-pointers. For someone who was overlooked and once rejected, Steph, like Michael Jordan, has proven that you can turn everyone’s rejection to applause. Now, Steph’s on to the next record …

Curry’s way to making history and the Sixers’ comment supports my point that not everyone will celebrate you, but you have to be okay with it. Waiting for the approval of men just means that we will never get anything done, because that approval might just never come.

Sometimes people (or things and, God forbid, even ourselves) deter our momentum in life, but if we don’t give up, what has been ordained for us will surely happen. Delay never equates denial. Those stumbling blocks are meant to buffet us and make us more determined for a stronger comeback.

Till your breakthrough or history-making happens, keep on keeping on, my friend.

Sharing Thursday: Raising our kids to be successful

Credits: TED

I feel the above is worth sharing.

Hearing it from a former Dean of Freshmen of one of the top colleges should benefit parents on both sides of the spectrum; that is, those who over-pamper their kids on one spectrum and those who are too strict with their kids on the other end. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum until one day I chose to intentionally “let go.” Oh how I wished I released (or dropped) the hammer sooner and just allowed us all to live.

When my daughters were in middle and high schools, they thought they had Cinderella’s step mother as a mom. But, on starting college, they couldn’t stop raving and thanking me for the chores I made them do though they didn’t like it at the time. I might have mentioned this before in one of my blogs. One of my daughters had a roommate in freshman who didn’t know how to lay her bed, another didn’t know how to wash dishes or clean up after herself. She was willing to pay her roomies to do it for her. She also didn’t know how to call to make a doctor’s appointment. My daughter was happy to show her. “Where did you learn it from?” she asked my daughter. Our Mom taught us. Her mom, on the other hand, did everything for her.

I’m not bashing my daughter’s roommate, but merely collaborating the essence of the TED video.

I never allowed my daughters to take the bus or train alone until they were in high school. I went with them on the first rides and allow them afterwards on their own with instructions and advices. They had friends who had been riding buses and trains alone since middle school. It’s all a matter of parents’ comfort level and styles.

What’s your parenting style?

Parenting styles are different. And like the proverbial “one man’s meat is another’s poison,” parenting styles can and do often clash. Within households, fathers can be too overbearing, while mothers because of their nurtured wirings, might be ones with the soft touch balancing dad’s acts. It could also be the reverse where mom is the stricter of the parents. This is not uncommon in households with all, or more, girls/daughters. Because Dads often are softer with their daughters, moms step in and up to ensure the necessary discipline.

Notwithstanding the differences in styles, it is essential that our kids be balanced in life. How we ensure the balance depends on a variety of factors. Each household is unique and the balancing act also will be equally as unique. As the TED video shows, the balance is more profound towards academics than other areas. We would rather wash their dirty dishes and clothes, while our kids “study” or do their homeworks. We are more focused on their grades than their welfare.

As an example, my daughter, while a freshman on her high school’s varsity basketball team, which was a rarity at the time (first in the school’s history) allowed her grades to suffer because I gave her “some freedom” and didn’t micromanage her in order to keep up being a best on the team. When asked why, she told me “I thought freshman’s grades don’t count. I’ll make it up through my sophomore to senior years.” I felt like “strangling” her. Instead, I sat her down and explained to her that without the grade, she can’t continue to be on the varsity team which would be double-jeopardy. She ended up taking college classes to make up her grades. She loved the idea of being a high-school in college and took classes till her first semester of senior. She graduated high school with excess credits as a result because I disallowed her taking the rest of her senior semesters off.

I don’t think that I could have lived with myself having her flunk any class. Could I have slacked more and allowed her to make it up in the subsequent years? Maybe. But what if by her Junior year, her grades are still not where she had hoped they would be? Then what? We would have had no time for any recourse. An alternative would have been for her to give up basketball, but that would have been taking away something she was good at and worked hard for.

Again, it’s a parenting preference.

The key point of the post is to know where and what to forgo in order to help our kids be alive and have a successful balanced life.

Ladies, Never Pursue a Man!

youtube.com/watch

Don’t shoot me, please. Yes, I’m not your Mama, but as a mother of two inwardly-beautiful young ladies (to God’s Glory), I’m also concerned as this man, R.C. Blakes, is. I just found and watched his video, totally resonate with all he says, and I believe it’s apropos to share.

Though it’s addressed to all ladies who exhibit the character, I specifically would advise all young ladies to watch it.

In Gottfried’s word and world, I might be trying to control the world. (smile). But in my world, we are all responsible for cultivating the land for habitation. If you believe that “it takes the village to raise the child,” you would agree.

God has given each one of us an area (or piece) of land here on earth to cultivate. As such what I am interested in and passionate about will differ from yours, but we might have a group of individuals so assigned to the same land.

Yes, I know we live in a culture of extreme freedom (everything is free-for-all, or so we think.). But, hey, No! Else, why have laws. For example, being free to drive does not compel me to drive at age 10 or 12. Neither does it compel me to drive and crash into other people or their cars on the freeway. If I choose to, I should be ready to face the consequences, right; the consequences of which might include financial compensation or suspension of the driving license. So freedom is not totally free but limited to some extent.

What does that have to do with the video and/or ladies? Well, watch the video to find out.

It’s disheartening to listen and/or watch young ladies act “desperate for love.” There are several reasons this might occur.

Reasons why ladies might

The first that comes to mind is what I first heard in the charismatic (Pentecostal) churches termed “daddy issues.” This term indicates that a lady is suffering from (or exhibiting behaviors as a result of) the lack of a father in their lives. The father might be present in the house, but sadly only as a figurehead and one who is distant and does not interact with his daughters on a father-daughter level. So the daughter grows up looking for love in all the wrong places, suffers hurt and rejection in her relationships as a result of not having being taught or learned from the man (dad) in her life, goes from one guy to the other, and eventually starts wondering why or that something(s) are wrong with her life.

Whether the term is right, true, or not, the symptoms sure shows that some thing(s) might be psychologically amiss.

Another reason, not unconnected with the first, is that the lady may have low self esteem or an esteem not rightly developed to the level it ought to have.

Yet another reason is that some young ladies, despite all the training and economics given at home, they grow up (or want to grow up) too fast and discard them to follow the “fast-tracklifestyle. They misconstrue a guy wanting to have sex with them as loving them and/or think that by saying yes to every sex, the guy will love them more or keep coming back. Each scenario is a fantasy and leads to heartaches by the third-to-fifth sex or guy!

Some ladies just want a man at all cost.

Some have a boyfriend but don’t know how to sustain the relationship and thus loses the boy/guy.

Another common reason is ladies watch how their friends have boyfriends, are dating, and/or changing boyfriends one after the other yet they don’t have one. FOMO (fear of missing out) seeps in and they resort to chasing guys instead of continuing to wait to be asked out.

Final thoughts

The video also provide examples of how to go about attracting a guy who’s interested in the lady.

Call me old fashioned, I still believe that the man ought to search the lady out. How about you and why? Leave your answer in the Comments if you please.

My greatest heart desire (prayer) is that every young lady desiring love will surely be found out by their true love. It is when we get it out of order that we fall into the wrong relationship.

Leisure

Credits: Unsplash / KMA

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

W. H. Davies

A Message for us all

I learned this poem from elementary (a few decades ago!). For some reason, it’s being popping up in my spirit. I finally paid attention to it.

I forgot a couple of its verses and, thank goodness for Google, found it!

I know it’s a message for me and, probably you. It’s a message for us all, if we don’t already, to slow down and enjoy the stillness of nature’s beauty that surrounds us.

We all get caught up in the daily hustle, bustle, grind, rat race, dog-eat-dog world. But be still to enjoy nature’s beauty!

The poem was written in 1911 and still relevant today. We all get caught up in the daily hustle, bustle, grind, rat race, dog-eat-dog world. But be still to enjoy nature’s beauty! Our culture is so fast-paced such that if you’re not rolling with the pace, one feels out of place.

But, being still to enjoy those things we often deem mundane, is actually the good life. “Staring at sheep and cows or squirrels hiding their nuts in grass” may appear to some as idleness and not having a care in the world. The cares that come from worrying and being anxious about bills, friends, what to wear or eat, children, spouse, etc. The truth though is that such folks have given those cares to God.

Let’s be still and enjoy the good life which is not necessarily the one full of “things.” Things are good to have, but let’s not allow the things to possess us.

Take time to walk and stare at sheep and cows, including the squirrels hiding their nuts in grass, and the stars in the skies, and …. .

Peace

Blindsides

Credits: Unsplash / David Olubaji

Blindside has only two definitions in each of the dictionaries (Collins, dictionary.com, Oxford, and Merriam-Webster). This is a little surprising considering that most words usually have various definitions.

One meaning of Blindside relates to sports, “to tackle, hit, or attack (an opponent) from the blind side.” The other, is considered an informal word used, and means “to attack critically where a person is vulnerable, uninformed, etc.”

I love the Oxford’s definition better though;
to attack someone from the direction where they cannot see you coming” and “to give someone an unpleasant surprise.”

There’s the movie, The Blind Side, which relates to the first definition. This post is about the second.

Life Blindsides

We all tend to focus on one or two things in life and neglect other equally important areas. Good if it’s for a period of time and we suddenly catch ourselves and change. Unfortunately there are those who are unaware and live it perpetually.

Those neglected areas often hunt, bite, or unexpectedly attack us and we are unpleasantly surprised by the neglect. These are life blindsides.

Examples

  • Some folks may focus on their career or business and ignore relationships or personal finances. Or vice versa.
  • In dating, some may chase the “obviously” handsome or beautiful and ignore those with flawless characters carbons-metamorphosing-into-diamonds.
  • In friendships, we sometimes focus on certain gregarious and extroverted folks while paying little, or no, attention to subtle niceties and empathetic affections of the introverts.
  • In businesses or at work, sometimes the boss focuses on one employee to the detriment of the team, and the unhappy employee(s) bailout. Most often it is the team that produces the result, but the one employee who gets all the focus becomes unproductive without the rest. By the time new employees are hired, productivity would have suffered and the employee would have burnt out.
  • In families, most dads are present, but barely engaged in the affairs of their children; they think that leaving the ‘dough’ on the table equates fatherhood; yet the moms that are readily available and accessible seem to be taken for granted. What a life!

Worse yet, we’re able to see clearly how another person is ignoring an area of their life, but blind to ours. Can you relate?

By the time we realize that we’ve left an unattended area for too long, it’s often too late.

My Blindside

I have been blindsided a few times in the course of my life. But this recent one stood out. How or why? Because I heard it loud in my spirit: “you’re so focused on that, but you’ve ignored this!” This and that were two personal things (or issues, if I may call them that, that were supposed to happen on my recent birthday.) The truth was that I was indeed focused on one and totally ignored the other. But with “hearing,” I now changed, and all was well. How I wish I could hear that 24/7 or whenever I’m faced with a decision. How great that would be.

That was the Holy Spirit ministering to me days before my birthday last month. without which I wouldn’t have had the good day that I had,

Effects of Blindsides

Blindsides are painful and unnecessary because we know they could have been avoided. Communication, the act of talking and active listening, is a necessity in life scenarios. In the examples given above, on one hand, one person is unhappy, uncommunicative, and checks out. Another is feeling in, but rejected and surprised by the blindside. What’s going on?

How to avoid being blindsided

The more self-aware you are, the easier it will be to understand the motives of others.

Jill Weber
  1. Be vigilant. Know yourself, express your emotions, and learn to know others and their emotions. It is by so doing, that you can catch the feelings or reactions of others when something is wrong.
  2. Never take anyone for granted. Unfortunately, though ironic, is that those who readily offer help and are readily available and accessible are taken for granted. Why, beats me. Eventually those taken for granted will realize that they are and will not be there when you need them the most because they got tired of being a doormat.
  3. Communicate to avoid the unpleasant surprises. Everyone is talking and few are actually listening. In families, relationships, at work, or in business, learn to communicate and ensure that everyone understands the message you’re sending.
  4. Ask for feedbacks. Pairing your communications with feedbacks helps reinforce a clear message and that all are on the same page. Also be ready to receive both the positive and negative feedbacks. You might not agree with all, but be accepting of them, else people will not want to give you feedbacks again.
  5. Have a vision and be far-sighted. Where do you want to be in X years? How are you getting there? Who’s helping you get there? Having answers to these early will help you stay on track and minimize sidetracks.

Being farsighted is both a wellspring of new opportunities and a buffer against disruption.

IMD
  1. Be relevant and present by regularly weighing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). For example, being aware of your weakness(es) might help you avoid certain places, people, or things.

Doing the above six can help you avoid being blindsided.

Have you ever been blindsided? Did you realize that you were while in the process, or you did in hindsight? Leave a comment if you please. Thanks.

Is your Heart healthy? Or Are you on a Verge of a Heart Attack?

There are devices we can use at home to check our blood pressure, our temperature, and blood sugar for glucose level? But how does one check the heart? I do not suppose that there is a home device yet for the heart.

We all need a heart check up. And I don’t mean medically. That is necessary and important. I’m referring to a spiritual heart check up. But how do we go about it?

We could ask a trusted family member or friend for an honest review, but still they do not have a full picture of our heart. They can only evaluate based on their interactions with us. Their evaluations might be skewed not wanting to offend us.

The best evaluator of our heart therefore is God. He sees our hearts and the innermost part of our beings which are hidden to others. He also knows our frames and intentions. We should humbly go to Him often to say

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”                
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Will you? I do occasionally.

Have you ever wondered what state your heart is? Or been told that you do need to check your heart? Not that I have been told to, but I do often feel like telling some folks to do just that – check their hearts.

Keep (check) your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

I’ve been on

which I selected out of sheer curiosity. I’ve almost completed it and thought it would be great to share. Check it out for a Transforming of Your Heart. I won’t give all the details away because it is worth reading. I got the types of hearts from it.

We’ve heard the cliche “Follow your heart,” but will you agree with me that sometimes our hearts can deceive us. Or how does one explain a lady who tells everyone that “my heart says he’s my husband” to a married man? Odd, but true. I’ve heard it twice. And you just stare at the lady in disbelief while refraining from shaking your head and telling her that she is delusional. Please note that this has nothing to do the mental capacity of the lady.

There are other examples I could give. The heart state is also the reason why some employees slander and tattle to the boss about another fellow employer. Anyhow

May God help us all.

So, What Kind of Heart are You?

I know that I used to have a stubborn, anxious, and condemning heart. But thank God for searching, delivering me from it all, and replacing it with a teachable, thankful, contrite, loving truth- and peace-filled heart. It is surely more than I can ask for. He has blessed me with a faith-filled, generous, joyful, and wise (could use some more wisdom) heart. But I do need and pray for a more grace-filled and surrendered heart. And yet Father God desires of me a trusting heart though what I still give Him is a questioning heart. God help me.

How about you?

Holly Melton, the author of the Plan, listed the following hearts. Will you share, in the Comments, the type of heart you think or know you have, the one you desire, and also need help with.

  • Stubborn or Teachable Heart
  • Forgetful or Remembering Heart
  • Questioning or Trusting Heart
  • Unbelieving or Believing Heart
  • Complacent or Thankful Heart
  • Deceived or Truth-Filled Heart
  • Sorrowful or Glad Heart
  • Anxious or Peace-Filled Heart
  • Prideful or Humble Heart
  • Hopeless or Hopeful Heart
  • Selfish or Generous Heart
  • Overly-Sensitive or Grace-Filled Heart
  • Hateful or Loving Heart
  • Angry or Forgiving Heart
  • Clean or Dirty Heart
  • Repentant or impertinent Heart
  • Sincere or Dishonest/Deceitful Heart
  • Serving or Controlling and Master’ing Heart
  • Condemning or Contrite Heart
  • Idolatrous or Surrendered Heart
  • Lustful or Pure Heart
  • Compassionate or Hardened Heart
  • Wise or Foolish Heart
  • Joyless or Joyful Heart
  • Courageous or Fearful Heart
  • Righteous or Evil Heart

May we be willing to allow God to search our hearts and correct the anomalies lest we have a spiritual heart attack some day. May it never be.

To your spiritual heart wellness

M-Mental Development: PEMFESS+P

Credits: Unsplash / Matthew Ball

Mental health and development is encompassing and this post cannot do it enough justice that it deserves.

I started writing this post couple of weeks ago. It seems such a daunting topic to write that I have made endless edits every time I reviewed it. Since it’s been that long since the last post on the PEMFESS+P series, I finally accepted the fact that Mental Health and Development is an exhaustive topic that I cannot fully cover with one post. I’ll, however, do my best to include basic information for the purposes of the Series and, if need be, add more later. Thanks for reading.

Mental illness awareness has recently gained national and global attention . Hitherto, it was a taboo to talk about it, admit that one was suffering from it, or accept its diagnosis. But, Mental health is as real as all other health or development issues. It’s therefore important to cultivate a sound mental health routine and make it a priority for yourself.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is how your mind processes (“reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.”) everything that pertains to you and life. It involves your “intellect or understanding, as distinguished from the faculties of feeling and willing.”

The National Institute of Health (NIH) describes mental health as including “… our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” The Institute went on to state that “Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”

Mental diagnosis ranges from depression, anxiety, panic and maniac disorders to suicides. Alcohol and drug use or dependences also falls under the mental disorders list, as well as, excessive or insufficient and unreasonable (anorexic) eating, schizophrenia, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd), etc.

Statistics

One out of every five young adult is affected by mental illness.

Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.”

“19.00% of adults are experiencing a mental illness. Equivalent to over 47 million Americans.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about “1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide.”

Mental Development

Mental development affects one’s total being; emotional, physical, social and financial developments, such that if not properly managed or treated, the total being (health and wellness) can disintegrate.

It is pertinent to note that though you might be as physically developed as you will get, your brain is still undergoing its development. As such, mentally, as well as emotionally, you are not fully grown (or developed) at eighteen or twenty-one. “The changes that take place in the brain during the early twenties affect how new experiences and new pieces of information are synthesized.”

Being aware that you are not fully and mentally developed should necessitate seeking guidance before making or taking major decisions. Be accountable to someone – your parent/s or close friend.

Helpful Habits

Regarding this Series, being fully cognizant of your abilities and capacities is a necessary trait.

  • How you handle stress, conflicts, change, or challenging times;
  • What your resilience quotient (which is how fast you bounce back when life throws you a curve) is;
  • Your general outlook on life – hopefully you have more positive than negative outlook;
  • Knowing your triggers and communicating them to those closest to you is key. This helps them be cognizant and supportive when the triggers arise.
  • Your “Me time” is essential to refresh and rejuvenate. Ensuring that you have one at least monthly; best will be weekly, will help your mental outlook.
  • Surround yourself with positive family and friends.

Other ways to improve your mental health can be found here.

Also, click here to learn ten things you can do for your mental health.

Other References

Don’t Make These Morning Mistakes

Your morning routine can set the tone for the rest of your day. So don’t do these things when you get up!
— Read on www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-morning-mistakes

It’s Sharing Thursday; day that I love to share others blogs and articles that I find helpful, interesting, innovative, or just plain informative.

I’m sharing #WebMD. I have followed the site and have found numerous helpful tips from it. Here’s one such on habits that we need to break. The tips are simple and commonsensical but alas I find myself in couple or so of the habits.

I have some morning habits that I have grown accustomed to. Like you, I acknowledge that the bad habits are harder to break. But try, we must to break them if they’re doing us more harm than good. So, I’m still working on my bad habits and hope you are, too.

Happy reading.

“I was busy but not fulfilled.” Are you, too?

Anyone could have said that statement and it probably wouldn’t have made such an impact as it did when I had it from the 43rd President. To say that I was stunned was an understatement!

I just heard Mr. George W. Bush, former President of the United States of America and former Texas State Governor, made the above statement during a short interview with Ernie at TNT’s Inside the NBA. I believe that Mr. Bush was referring to his job as President as being unfulfilled. He also said that he didn’t think he could paint until he read Winston Churchill’s book. He then said “if he (Churchill) could paint, he could too.” He started his artistic journey in 2012.

He was at the Dallas Mavericks’ pregame and got to be interviewed on his new book “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.” A book in which he painted 43 portraits of the immigrants he talked about in his book. One of such is Dirk Nowitzki former NBA Dallas Mavericks Star. Understandably because the former President is from, and resides in, Texas.

Who would have thought that being the President of the United States of America was unfulfilling? I could have understood if he said that the job was stressful but that he loved it.

There you have it people. If you thought that you were alone in dutifully showing up at work for a job you despised or are not fulfilled, now you know that even a former President was in the same boat. Brings me to the question: “but why do we do it?”

Why do people stay at an unfulfilling job or one they hate?

I think the main reason is because people depend on the regularity of their paychecks. Paycheck is a good reason to work a 9-to-5, but never a good reason to stay, especially for too long, at a job you detest. It’s not healthy and affects one’s wellbeing in the long run.

Contractual obligations. Some are locked in as a result of having signed term contracts
and feel that the cost of terminating the contract outweighs their health.

Fear of not being able to get another comparable or better job opportunity elsewhere

Fear of leaving or not knowing where to start especially if the person has been at the particular job for a long time. Which leads to

Fear of the Unknown. Playing it safe though it’s hurting. We’ve all heard the saying that “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” Why does anyone want to stay with the devil? There is no concord with belial. Fear is torment and will keep one locked up on that job when better is calling them somewhere else.

Job Security. Similar to above … affects those who have stayed longer on-the-job and are vested. Non-managerial positions would also have some seniority perks. Leaving such jobs would mean that such people may have to restart and work their way back up at another company.

None of the above reasons might relate to Mr. Bush. His reason might have been any or all of Power, Global Recognition, and aspiration to the highest possible public office position. A position he held for two terms, yet unfulfilled.

What other reasons do you know or have heard that makes people stay in unfulfilled jobs or jobs they hate? Are you currently in an unfulfilled job or one you hate?

Of Fathers and Daughters: Part 2 – Girl Daddies

This is the continuation of the topic, Of Fathers and Daughters. This post focuses on the Fathers also known as (aka) Girl Daddies. The first part talked about the Daughters; Daddy’s Girls. Check it out here.

Girl Daddies

Girl Daddies are everywhere, among cultures, races, and industries, but was popularized on the death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Prior to their unfortunate demises, late Kobe was quoted to have called himself a Girl Dad during an interview he once had with Vox: “Girls are amazing,” he told the reporter. “I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.”

I love the popularity (or movement) of Girl Daddies because it brought fathers and daughters to the forefront of the society and culture. A latent awareness of the equally important role of daughters and the fathers who are proud of, and supports, them publicly. Yet it is ironic that, on the same planet called Earth some nations and cultures are still not happy with the birth of their daughters and resorts to relegate or kill them!

Who is a Girl Daddy?

So what (or who) exactly is a Girl Daddy? I’m glad you asked again. You probably know one.

First and foremost, Girl Daddy is a father of girls and denotes a loving father’s public affection of his daughter. In a household of all female children, one is particularly acknowledged as the Daddy’s Girl. She’s the one who resembles him either facially or physically (includes mannerisms) and likes or does all that he likes and do.

The Urban Dictionary describes Girl Daddy as “father who wants his daughter (s) to have the same rights, opportunities, and privileges as any boy” and one who empowers his daughter to carry on his legacy

When the Dad shows “favoritism” to one daughter and the daughter reciprocates by showing interest in what he does, asking him questions especially of female-related issues rather than asking Mom, and wanting to “follow in his footsteps,” Daddy treats her as the son he never had.

Girl Daddy is super-protective of his daughter(s), desires that his daughter be tough, play football or rugby to demonstrate that she’s equally capable of any other sports or things that boys do, sometimes Girl Daddy drives their daughter(s) competitively too hard. They also “want to live through their daughter(s). Daddy’s Girls look for men with character traits as their Dad leading to the aphorism that “girls often marry their dads.”

Girl Daddy and Daddy’s Girl both have their privileges. For example, dating or being married to a Daddy’s Girl means that your girlfriend or wife understands you better, that the boyfriend or husband is fully aware that he cannot mistreat Daddy’s Girl and not see the wrath of her Father. Being a Girl Daddy means more loving and better open to understanding and supportive of feminine issues. Daddy’s Girl will always jump to help her boyfriend or husband to change a car tire or work on a house project such as building a shed or painting a room rather than watch or let him do it alone.

Ironically, there are still cultures who detest having girls. Even in the developed societies, some are still determined and sad for not having sons “to continue the legacy.” Some are also prone to thinking that the man is medically deficient for being unable to have sons.

Personally, I am happy to see the wave or movement of Girl Daddies. If nothing more, it cancels out the antiquated culture and thoughts of disillusionment of bearing girls.

If you’re a man reading this post and have daughters, I hope that you see the good in girls, love your daughters, and wear your label of Girl Daddy with pride.

To the rest of us, I hope we support and continue to love all girls, daughters, and Girl Daddies.

Of Wealth and Attitudes

Do you know what determines whether you will be wealthy or not? Or yet, if you’re wealthy, whether or not you’ll be able to manage and hold it?

There is a science and art to wealth and most of us are still trying to figure it out. I do not have the right answer, but I realized that that there is no one thing that determines one’s propensity to be rich. Well, being born into a wealthy family could be one inclination to continue in the wealthy paths if the wealth is passed down and properly managed. Sometimes the wealth is donated to organizations rather than willed to the children. Another inclination is to hit the jackpot. Short of these two, you’d have to work and make your money work for you.

The Science

In making your money work for you, one scientific way is to save or invest. Savings is less riskier than investing. With savings you’re guaranteed your money back, with a meagre extra. Except, of course, there is a bank run. I pray not. But with investing, there’s no guarantees – you can either lose it all or make large sums of extra money from it following a rule of finance of “the greater the risk, the greater the reward.”

But how do we save or invest? Consistently. Consistently setting aside a fixed amount is the key.

For how long? Forever. Excuse me, nothing is forever. Howabout holding for the long run, at least consistently for ten years. Better will be twenty to thirty years, and best for as long as you live.

This is the main secret of Warren Buffet’s wealth after his experience of selling his initial stocks too early only for the stock to quintuple. According to sources, Warren Buffet started investing in stocks at the age of 11.

Undoubtedly, Warren Buffet benefited immensely from the compounding interest (CI) over the long haul. With CI, your money multiplies exponentially. For example, if interest rate is 5% and you invested a $1000, the first year will be $1,050, (note: leaving the same amount in a savings account might only yield about $2-$5!), second year will be $1,102.50, third year $1,157.63, 4th year 1,215.51, 5th 1,276.28, etc.

The compound interest formula is P*(1+i)^n; where P = principal, i = interest rate, and n = number of years. You can plug the numbers on your computer or an Excel spreadsheet to calculate it.

Compare compound to simple interest using the same example of $1,000 at 5% for 5 years, the total interest will be $250.

The difference in this examples are not so great; $26.28. However, the larger the amounts invested, the higher will be the yields and thus become more meaningful sums.

The yields will also depend on if the rates are calculated annually, quarterly, monthly, or daily.

“It is science because investing is a process and art because of the manner in which it is executed.” –

Brijesh Damodaran

The Art

Having the money is not enough. Our behaviors with money; how we view it, including our spending habits, whether we believe in savings, in taking risks or not, will also determine whether we hoard money, donate it, or just like to stare at it in our room, drawer, or safe. Unfortunately, some still don’t believe in keeping their money in the bank. Once the bank is full, do we go on a spending spree or start bragging about it? May God forgive us for either. These sums up our money attitudes and falls under the art of money. Our attitudes towards money is constant irrespective of our salaries or business revenues. Some folks wished they made more money. But I propose to you that it is not about making more, it is about efficiently managing what you already make.

The art of money management can be genetically-inherited or environmentally-acquired by learning from different sources such as friends, from work, or self-taught.

Like everything else, the art of money management (that is, our behaviors and attitudes) can be changed. We can reprogram ourselves if a particular habit is not working. May God help us all to see what areas of our money habits need to change.

Of Fathers and Daughters: Part 1 – Daddy’s Girls

Know any man who adores his daughter such that not only his whole family (immediate and extended) knows it, but his friends and the world are equally aware of the father-daughter lovely relationship? Such was the love that occurred between late and former NBA Laker Star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Such love is uncommon in a nation known for absent Dads. The beloved duo popularized “Girl Daddy” title for father-daughter relationships.

We’ve also heard Daddy’s Girl which refers to the daughters who are known as Dad’s favorites.

People often say that parents love a particular child over another. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that notion. Even if it is so, parents ought to be wise to not allow it to be apparent as it might breed sibling jealousy, rivalry, and competition. And who knows what else. Joseph’s story and the proverbial “coat of many colors” in the Bible is a true instance.

Good traits of being a Daddy’s Girl

Daddy’s Girl’s are blessed to have a first-hand knowledge and experience of what a man is and can be. Because of their closeness to their dad, Daddy Girls learn firsthand about men; what they do and how they do that which they do. They’d rather prefer to help their dad wash the cars and fix a tire, help with picking up and holding the tools ready to be used, than be in the kitchen with their mommas. Being in the kitchen bores Daddy’s Girls and they don’t understand why meals have to take so long to prepare. “Why don’t we just order pizza?!” is a constant question to their Moms. They are most likely to lean towards studying courses and careers that have been tagged “traditionally male-dominated.” They are also more comfortable in the boys group than their own gender types and have more male than female friends. Whoever said that roles, or anything, should be gender-based anyways? Except, of course being pregnant. They excel in technical and practical projects and activities where other girls fail. In essence, Daddy’s Girls are also no-nonsense strong girls who also grow up to be strong ladies and women. They are unafraid to lead a movement against injustice of any kind. All you need is their buy-in. They are extremely loyal, confident, and independent.

Downsides

Daddy’s Girls can however be plagued with relationship difficulties with both their female counterparts and in marriage. They relate on different planes with their girlfriends, are not girly-girls, feel that girly-girls are too touchy, too vain, and narrow-minded. They also often are perceived as harsh. They can also have difficulties in marriage because they don’t wait on, and for, their husbands to take care of things. They climb the ladder to change the bulb and know how to free the blocked toilet. The husband doesn’t understand why his Daddy-girl-wife wouldn’t cook home meals and prefers to dine out or order pizza. He feels she’s “wasting” money. It is a good thing to be proactive, but Daddy Girl’s proactivity might rub off wrongly on an insecure hubby who might feel that Daddy’s Girl is competing with his turf. Hubby’s insecurity will mar what otherwise could have been a God-sent gift to his life and might lead to or create issues in the marriage. At home, they appear to be competing with their Mom and tend to criticize their mother more than they do their dads. Worse if the woman is a step-mom, it will always be tension and unnecessary conflicts.

Daddy Girls are often misunderstood especially in traditional role environments and cultures and, even in liberal settings, they might be misconstrued as weird. Their “interests are at odds with expected female personality” roles.

Outcomes for misunderstanding Daddy’s Girls

With relationship difficulties, Daddy Girls can coil inwards and start believing the lies that something is actually wrong with their wiring. Except they are wired strong and “unbreakable,” these lies might actually come true and manifest in depression or anxiety or both with its resultant effects on other areas of their lives. They lose friends and wonder why nobody understands them. If no affirmation is received soonest, they might take solace in drugs and or drinking.

Finally

Daddy Girls are everywhere but they are more noticeable in households with predominantly daughters.

Next time you befriend or marry a Daddy’s Girl, please show more love and understanding. They are who they are because of divine wiring; snap a cord out of their wires, and they will be less and disoriented. But understanding them and allowing them to be will bring out the best in them. Build them up and support who they are, but please don’t crush their spirit.

Where would we be without the courage of Daddy’s Girls who have defied traditional stereotypes of daughters and risen to various levels of leadership. Look around and you can distinguish them by the foregoing.

To be continued

Monday Financial Nuggets: 10 things I wish I knew about Insurance

  1. Keeping the life insurance I had when I was younger. Generally speaking, we are all more agile and healthier at 20-30 years old than we are at 40 and over. Buying life insurance at an older age is more expensive. I realized that if I had retained the whole life insurance, I could have locked it in at the former premium.
  2. Buying whole life is better than term. At end of term, one is older and life insurance becomes more expensive. Exception is only if one dies before the term life ends.
  3. Auto insurance is higher for a leased or financed car than for a car bought outright or owned free and clear. This is one of the reasons people talk about preferring to buy used cars.
  4. You get a better (I hate to use the word “cheaper”) rate/premium having the same insurance company for multiple cars, as well as using the same insurance company for your other needs; for example, home, renters, personal, life, etc. It’s called bundling.
  5. That auto insurance companies can use your no-fault auto claims as a potential negligence on your part and raise your premium.
  6. In insuring personal items, keep detailed information and receipt of valuables, as well as take photographs. This will help in case of loss.
  7. Having a fireproof safe box is a good investment.
  8. Staying with the same phone company is good. You can lock-in the plan/price you initially got if your needs remain unchanged.
  9. The essence of having insurance for cellphones, especially when new. The concept is similar to any other insurance, but not necessarily worth it after 2-4 years of owning the phone.
  10. Your good, and long, driving record can get you discounts off your auto premium.

The above are based on my experiences. Insurance companies’ policies do vary. As always, please do your due diligence (research, compare premiums, and ask questions) before purchasing any type of insurance.
Have a financially-wise week.

Jesus Ministry: Peace

Credits: Unsplash / Sunyu

Peace is a state of stillness, tranquility, harmony, or serenity. A freedom of the mind from agitation, annoyance, distraction, anxiety, warring, or obsession. It is also a state or condition available to people and nations, but not all possesses it.

In the absence of Peace, chaos, or agitation, anxiety, fear, and war, is often the order of the day for the person or nation devoid of peace. We all know the repercussions of such anti-peace/peaceful states. They result in confusion, disorder, disorientation, discord, and utter disarray. Without peace, we can do things haphazardly, make decisions in a rash, and take actions that we ought not to take.

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace …”‭‭ (1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬)

I propose to you that it is possible to be in peace in the midst of chaos. It is a state of being and knowing that Hod is in control and whatever has come to disturb our peace will soon surely pass away. We abide in the state of peace by the help of the Holy Spirit. And by asking for it. Seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11b)

Many desire peace and freedom in their minds but don’t know how to obtain it. As with most life conditions, we can be peacefully born and grow peacefully. But for those of us who were not born or growing peacefully, do not despair, we can be gifted. Because Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)

I acknowledge that some life experiences could and may have thwarted or disturbed one’s peace, and there are those who have been medically diagnosed with one or more types of mental illnesses or disorders such as anxiety, depression, panic, or some other type of phobia. This post is not to belittle mental diagnosis. God forbid. I acknowledge that it is real. But the post is to offer it as help, in conjunction with any medical, psychiatric, or therapeutic treatments, as I believe that God is able to heal anyone through, and by, His Words.

“He sent out his word and healed them; ...” (Psalms‬ ‭107:20‬)‭‬‬

As a digress, a well-rounded individual will develop him/herself in six main areas. These are spiritually, mentally, financially, physically, socially, and emotionally. (Post for another day)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He left us the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) as our helper in every state. Everything is available to us, but we still have to ask. “He will keep (you) in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him.” (Isaiah‬ ‭26:3)‬ ‭‬.

How to: 27 Scriptures To Help

If you desire His Peace, again, you have to ask Him and remind Him of His promises. If we don’t know His promises, how do we know what to ask for?

Fear attacks even the best of us. We can acknowledge that we are afraid, but it’s not okay to stay afraid or fearful for life. You have to desire to want out of the fear. You might know the cause (source or root) of the fear. Great if you do; for example, did you hear something or someone said something fearful or you watched some sad and fearful incident. It’s helpful as it helps to pray specifically against the object of fear. Whether the root of fear is recognizable and know or not, reading these scriptures will help to allay those fears. God’s Words are Spirit and life (John 6:63b). It will not return to God without accomplishing that which it was sent to (Isaiah 55:11). Personalize the scriptures as you deem necessary. For example, “I will not be anxious for anything, I cast my cares on Him, Your peace you left with me, etc. Since we are all different, some might not finish reading the 27 verses before they return to a state of Peace. Others, might have to read them more than once. Read them regularly and as often as you desire.

I have compiled the following 27 God’s Words (aka scriptures or verses) regarding Peace to aid you. They are in the New International Version (NIV). I pray that they minister to you. “May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬)

  1. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬)
  2. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬, Psalm 55:22)
  3. I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. …” (John‬ ‭16:33‬a)
  4. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John‬ ‭14:27‬)
  5. ‭”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew‬ ‭5:9‬)
  6. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalms‬ ‭4:8)
  7. ‬ ‭‬‬”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans‬ ‭15:13‬)
  8. “… And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:9b‬)
  9. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews‬ ‭12:14‬)
  10. ‭”The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”(Isaiah‬ ‭32:17-18‬)
  11. ‭”Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”(James‬ ‭3:18‬)
  12. ‭”When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.”(Luke‬ ‭10:5-6‬)
  13. ‭… the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans‬ ‭8:6‬)
  14. ‭“”There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”” (Isaiah‬ ‭48:22‬)
  15. ‭“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans‬ ‭12:18‬)
  16. ‭”Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians‬ ‭4:3‬)
  17. ‭“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (Psalms‬ ‭119:165)
  18. ‬ ‭“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalms‬ ‭34:14‬)
  19. ‭“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans‬ ‭14:19‬)
  20. ‭“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation (peace) brought me joy.” (Psalms‬ ‭94:19‬)
  21. ‭“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:14‬)
  22. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, …” (Proverbs‬ ‭14:30‬)
  23. ‭“When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” (Proverbs‬ ‭16:7‬)
  24. ‭“Those who walk uprightly enter into (Your) Peace; …” (Isaiah‬ ‭57:2‬)
  25. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬)
  26. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬)‭
  27. “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” (Proverbs‬ ‭20:3‬)

My Prayer of Peace for You

  • May the Lord of Peace Himself turn His face towards you, give you and bless you with His peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (Numbers‬ ‭6:26, 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:16‬), Psalms‬ ‭29:11‬b
  • May His mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude‬ ‭1:2‬)‭
  • May all your children be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah‬ ‭54:13‬)‭

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:11, ‬Romans‬ ‭15:33‬)

Credits: Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez

Of Girls and Daughters

Why do nations and parents treat or elevate boys over girls, sons over daughters, or males over females? Do they think that The Creator made a mistake?

The One who made them, made them male and female. At creation, He did not state nor gave a divine preference or importance for their roles. Granted that by virtue of their physical creation, familial roles differ, as in only women can be pregnant with the child.

I’m tired and sad of hearing nations that relegate girls, and publicly elevate sons over daughters, humiliating them and, sadder, hearing of the girls’ parents who agree with the labels for their daughters.

There have been nations known for killing girls at birth (gendercide or infanticide). This is murder and perpetrators should be reported to higher nations/organizations such as United Nations. Google to find and read more if interested.

Let’s talk about this and how we can change the ignorance.

This post was inspired by The Mind of Ayesha. I was touched by Ayesha’s post “I Live In One Of The Worst Countries For WomenPakistan.” Please visit her site and support if you choose.

My Own

I also had my own experience still as fresh today as when my beloved late Dad once told me that “no matter my level of education, I will end up in kitchen because that’s the woman’s place.” Who says? I’ve known men who cook equally as great and delicious a meal as women. There are great male chefs out there who will choose to be in their kitchen instead of their wives. Please don’t judge my late Dad in his grave. I loved my Dad and believed that he loved me, but also believed that his statement came from a place of ignorance, machoism, and traditions.

I have two daughters and have never thought that I lacked anything not having a son. I love them dearly and will never trade them for anything. I boldly state that I don’t miss not having a son. The thought never crossed my mind until about two years ago, when one of my brothers, who has two sons, asked me if I ever missed not having a son. Prior to that, noone had ever asked me the question nor had I ever thought of it. It came in one ear and slid out the other until this post. We have to be careful of agreeing with seeds of regrets, doubts, and confusion. If I had harbored the thought, my brother’s question could have triggered these trio and probably boomeranged into more unhealthy thoughts of insufficiency for not having had a son. But thank goodness, the question fell off the same way it came.

To The Nations

To the nations that treat girls as second-class

  1. Where would all mothers be without those girls who will grow up to become mothers some day?
  2. Do you realize that this stance might conjure the boys in your nation to grow into men who don’t respect women, and who in turn will (or not) treat their wives respectfully, and thus breed a revolving cycle of dysfunctions?
  3. Look unto all girls as “your” mother and treat them with love and respect.

To The Parents

To the girls’ parents, home is the first place where we all learn love, acceptance, and affirmations. You are the best support system your daughters can ever have. If you reject them at home because of their sex, it’s as if they should never have been born, you’ve let them down and have set them up for failure. They will experience rejection in the cause of their lives. This can evolve into a self-esteem issue, confusion, and a lack of knowledge (or grounding) in who they truly are. Which in turn breeds a revolving circle of other emotions. Your daughters will have to relearn and develop themselves as adults. Please support your girls. Your support super-exceeds your nation’s and is the best foundation to give to your daughters..

To The Rest of Us

To everyone else, we all either have a sister, a mother, an aunt or have a family member or friend who does. As such we need to speak up and out in support of girls. All children are important and born equal. Keeping quiet only quietly perpetuates the ‘cide. It’s only a matter of time before your silence directly impacts you.

What steps can we take to change this ignorance? Speak up.

What causes the elevation of boys over girls and sons over daughters? Ignorance

What is the cure for ignorance?
Education.

To Every Girl and Daughter

To every girl and daughter everywhere, know and believe that:

You are beautiful and wonderfully created
You are first-class with distinction, summa cum laude; not second or rear-class
You are worthy and needed
You matter and the world needs you
God loves you
I love you too.

Ladies and Their Last Names

Credits: Unsplash / @austinkirk

Is’t necessary for ladies to change their last name on marriage?

Credits: Unsplash / @beatriz_perez

First, what’s in a last name? Or, put another way, what’s in your last name? Some regions call it surname.

Your last name/surname is your legacy. Your DNA.

Traditions

In researching for this post, I found an article on the origin of last names. The article stated that

  1. People haven’t always had last names.
  2. China was one of the earliest civilizations to use surnames.
  3. For many years, surnames were passed down by mothers, and
  4. European last names had many sources which can be put into four groups: patronymic, locative, occupational or status, and nicknames.

Most cultures now take on their father’s last name. People change their first names all the time. I did legally from the long to the short form of my name. But it is rare to change one’s last name.

Marriage and Last Name

In several cultures, once married, ladies take on their husbands’ last name. But is’t necessary? When and where did it start? Does it have to continue unchanged forever? This is not about women’s lib. Let’s reason together. I think it is just a tradition that people are hard to let go of. Falls into the “it’s the way it’s done” and “we’ve always done it this way” kind. Read this article to find out more.

As I write this post, I remembered a guy who five years ago took on his new wife’s last name rather than follow tradition. Of course his family didn’t appreciate him doing that but … Initially, I also was apprehensive but later shrugged it off. Why not? Who says that it has to always be one way?

I recognize that some ladies will desire to change to their married name to showcase their new title/status. Society and sometimes the families (both the maiden and marital) insist that the lady change to her married name. If not, it is viewed as if the woman still wants to “roam the singles’ fields” and is not ready for marriage. That’s certainly not true. The change to marital name shouldn’t be mandated (or forced) for those who don’t desire it.

Divorce and Last Name

Noone married hopes for a divorce, but it happens. The after-divorce is one reason why some women retain their maiden name. Some might connote this as a self/fulfilling prophecy to which I disagree. On divorce, especially in a highly-contested one, the desire to continue to carry the name might not be present. Changing back the last name is easy, but it is a huge hassle to change one’s records (for example, career, academic, professional, credit, financial , etc.). It is not a one-time-take-care-of-it-all thing. You never know when you might have to prove your identity in the future because of the change. So what do ladies do? It’s the ladies’ choice. But if it causes disharmony, err on the side of peaceful agreement. An alternative is to use the maiden-married last name hopefully that soothes both parties,

Daughters of Daughters

Also, daughters easily lose their patronymic identity on marriage as a result of this tradition. What if those daughters bore more or only daughters? This might mean that the maiden last name might eventually be extinct. What do such daughters do? My suggestion is to include the mother’s maiden last name on their daughters (or even all children’s) birth certificates so the last name can continue and because it is an important part of their identity.

What are your thoughts on ladies maintaining their maiden last name, and continuing the legacy of the name, on marriage?

Quadrant

A quadrant (quad) among other definitions, is “the area included between such an arc and two radii drawn one to each extremity.”

What quadrant do you belong to? Which quadrant are you presently operating in? And which should you truly be in?

Other terms have been used. Terms such as buckets, sections, structure, quarter, etc. But I like the term quadrants. It is the term used by Robert Kiyosaki, the Rich Dad, Poor Dad best-selling author, in his Cashflow Quadrant book. It is a good personal finance read if you choose to read it. I first read the book over a decade ago and it’s being more meaningful now than ever before.

Not everyone is cut out to belong in the same quadrant. The quadrants that I’m talking about are E (Employee), S (Self-Employed), B (Business), and I (Investor).

Over the weekend, I pondered on these quadrants. Most of us will start out as an Employee and progress through the “ranks” before finally settling in one. It is possible to operate in more than one rank simultaneously. But for maximum impact and benefits, it’s better to focus on one. Did I just say that? Scratch that. All Investors are Business folks and vice versa. Most Employees also operate as Self-Employees (Self-Ees).

The E-Quad

We all know what it means to be an Employee; you’re at the mercy of your employer who has placed a cap over what you can make working for him or her and probably a ceiling on how high you can go. The “official” number of hours you signed up for was eight (8) per day or 40 a week. But the number of hours needed to get the job done or to impress the boss so that s/he can remember you (or your name) for promotion or the five percent (5%) annual salary increase, is 10-12 per day or 50-60 per week. Some “smart” Employees, who are aware (and woke) decide simultaneously to start a “business” with the hope of some day transitioning to it. The problem however is that the constant inflow of bi-weekly checks feel so comfortable and subsequently derails the courage to transition.

The S-Quad

The few who do transition however are happy that they’re putting all those hours into “building” their “business”. The problem though is that they are building a Self-Employment. Happy that they are working for themselves and not another person. Happy that they have their own schedule; can choose to work their own hours, schedule doctors’ and dental appointments around their clock without feeling guilty asking someone for time off. And equally happy that they have no micro-mangers standing behind their desks or staring over their heads. But, is Self-Employment really better?

Self-Employment is still a one-man show (sole-proprietor). Well, before you shout me down – yes, you can employ an admin or receptionist. But you are still the major driver of the ship and without you, there’s no business or sailing. The problem also is that you do not get paid if you’re sick or hospitalized. You don’t get paid if you don’t work. If you have a family emergency or a sick child or spouse, you do not get paid for taking time off your work to care for them. And I hope that you do not leave them uncared for because of your work either.

So, which is better?

Self-Employment is good; better (or not necessarily better) than being an Employee depending on your variables and reasons for starting it in the first place.

The B-Quad

The second-to-the-last quad is Business. Being in Business means creating everything that demonstrates that you are doing business. By this, I mean, a business name, business phone, business bank account (with a business debit or credit card) to avoid co-mingling which gets one in trouble with the IRS, a business website, and a business marketing strategy. Setting the business up is one thing, running the business is another. In business, you have (hire) folks who can do other segments of the business while you focus on your area of expertise. These are your team. The goal is to eventually create a system that can run on its own leaving you time to take a vacation, rest (that will be beneficial to avoid sickness), and probably start another business.

The I-Quad

The last quadrant, an Investor, is one that a majority of people never aspire to. This does not mean that you become a stock trader. There are tons of commodities that one can invest in besides stock. You also don’t have to do the investing yourself. There are a few ways to get involve in investing. You can learn to understand the basics or engage the services of investment bankers or companies. It is in the Investing quadrant that you have your money working for you. You can roll the money made from being an employee, self-employed, and your business into Investing.

Ponderous Note

If everyone becomes a Business person or an Investor, who would be their Employees? This is where one’s purpose comes to play. Know yourself and decide accordingly. One can be an Employee and still be an Investor, though the income-generating capacity might be limited. While Income is limited as an employee, it is infinite in business and investing. You can make income in each quad, but one quad generates more than the other. Sure, other variables might contradict this statement. Please do your due diligence, bear in mind your life purpose, and choose your quad wisely.

There are also tax advantages in the B and I quads that are not available to the E and S. Again, do your research, consult a tax advisor.

This post is not saying that one quad is better than the other. It’s just an overview of all the quads.

What is your state – Happiness or Joy?

What determines your emotions or state of mind – people, things, family, events, – or your self?

We all love and cherish our relationships. I hope that we all do. We cherish our family and families. I hope that we do. We love gifts when gifted. I hope that we do, else we’ll be looking a gift horse in the mouth. And, of course, we love to attend events for various reasons. Who are we and how do we respond to others, especially those closest to us, when these things are taken away (or not forthcoming) for whatever reason? The answer describes the difference between happiness and joy.

What is Happiness; What is Joy?

Happiness is superficial, external and dependent on something or someone. Joy is internally cultivated, thoughtful, and independent. Being Joyful is constant and a state of contentment irrespective of the externalities (that is, people liking and/or befriending or not, your family dumping accolades on you or not, your boy/girl friend buying you gifts or not, or whether you have money in the bank or not). If joy is constant, happiness is erratic and dynamic.

Someone once said that “happiness is when you’re happy when things (and people) are happening for you, but joyful when nothing is happening.” True or true?

What role does Money play?

Money is a biggie and some people allow it to control their emotions. Sometimes one is able to tell when a friend just got some money. The same friend becomes irritable to be around when s/he is financially broke. This is a developmental thing as well. It takes a level of maturity to be constant with or without anything, especially money. And, yes, we all need money and more money, Bills need to be paid, and without money nothing can be done; not even an ice cream night with friends. I get it.. But why be irritable. One can buy things and even people when we have the money. It therefore becomes a tool used not to benefit humanity but to control.

The BIG Telltale

Constant complaint is a telltale sign of someone who is unhappy about something. Sometimes it feels like they are unhappy with the world. It is not uncommon to hear someone who is unhappy complain and shift blame on another person or thing. They are also fault finders. The truth is that, given the right person or thing, that same unhappy person will find something else to shift the blame on. In essence, it is not the person or thing, but the unhappy person’s state of mind.

One who is joyful, on the other hand, is at peace with themself and often is a grateful individual. I have learned that one who lacks gratitude for life or self or anyone, is often a complainer and one whose happiness is short-lived.

Happiness therefore is good, but Joy is better.

So, how can we cultivate a state of joy?

  1. Learn to be grateful and live a life of gratitude
  2. Be at peace with yourself and others
  3. Avoid arbitrarily complaining
  4. Avoid comparisons - there will always be people who are better, prettier, more financially stable, with more more and more than you. Accept or change it, else you’ll be miserable for life; not a good state to be.
  5. Avoid triggers like fear, stress, jealousy, and envy; these are joy blockers.

Now that you know the differences between Happiness and Joy, where would you prefer to make your residence – chasing happiness or spreading joy?

Monday Financial Nuggets: Youngsters and Money

Few working youths (per United Nations’ referenced ages 15-24) know what to do with money, either earned or gifted to them. I used to be one of those several years ago. Maybe not totally, but looking back, I acknowledge that I could have done better.

A working teenager has no money responsibilities like bills or rents/mortgages, except to splurge on new outfits, shoes, makeups, eat-outs, and other mundane things. Not that those things are unimportant, but it’s sheer vanity to acquire and accumulate endless amounts of them, most of which lay unused.

By the way, if you have tons of these mundane things lying unused in your closet or house, have a garage sale or post them on platforms like Depop, OfferUp, or Facebook Marketplace. Of the three, I have only used OfferUp, but my daughters have successfully used Depop and FB Marketplace. Please do your due diligence before choosing one for your purposes.

Once those mundane items have been sold, resist the urge to buy more things, and invest the money or put it in your savings account.

But what if the teenager could save at least half the amount of their paycheck every week and never touch it. For example, saving $50 every week for three months (using summer when most work), s/he would have saved $600 . On top of this, interest accrued depending on where the money is saved or invested, could add an additional $1-$25 or more per year. Imagine leaving that money untouched for another four years while in college, with compounded interest … Think about that for a second.

If a teenager could discipline him/herself to save and/or invest, it becomes a habit that will stick and only get better. The teenager would have mastered a money habit where most have failed.

Similarly, graduating out of college and starting full time job is the dream of almost every graduate. Some however are anxious to be independent and live alone. But precious one, what is the hurry? Ponder for a second how great it would be if you could live rent-free with your parents while working in an effort to save the most that you can for down-payment for your own house? It becomes harder to save when the bills start pouring in and/or when you start a family. I am puzzled when kids look forward to being 18 and independent. “Now I can drink alcohol” seems to be the most popular reason they give for the excitement! Hello?! There are better and more things in life than the liberty to be able to buy and drink alcohol. Why not think on those things?

Needless to say, the earlier you start saving and investing, the better. The rule of thumb is to save three to six months’ living expenses. Some say three months’ salary. Either way, the goal is to start and save the minimum of either three months’ salary or living expenses.

There’s no need to rush out of your parents’ home. It is a shield for you. Use living with your parents wisely and to your advantage before the bills start rolling in.

I acknowledge however that there are several other reasons when a young adult might decide to move out. Reason such as finding their first job in a different City or State. This is understandable but should be the exception and not the norm.

The essence of this post is to encourage youths to save, invest, and spend wisely. I hope it communicated that. If not, do let me know.

Obstacles in the way of finding the love you want?

I watched one of Iyanla Vanzant’s show one day after a long absence. The episode was “What gets in the way of finding that one love you want?” I sat to watch as I was curious to see and hear if there will be some surprises or if I am simply old-fashioned regarding the topic.

Iyanla Vanzant Show is a regular on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). I’m unsure if the particular episode was new or a rerun. Three hundred ladies (a large sample in my opinion) from diverse races, work lives and ages who supposedly couldn’t find love, were invited to share their experiences. Unbeknownst to them, fifty men of equally diverse races, ages and work lives, were behind the curtains watching and listening. Iyanla posed three main questions, offered her advice, and brought the guys out to offer their opinions. We also watched one of the ladies who was set up with three different dates and how she turned each one down because she had criteria that the men didn’t meet. Two of the guys requested a second date, while one wasn’t keen on returning for a second date. As an onlooker, I felt that two of the guys looked eligible enough, but who am I to decide for her, right?

I share the questions and answers below:

Question #1. What gets in the way of finding that one love you want?

Question #2: What is it that you don’t want a man to know about you?

LadiesAnswers:

  • over analyzing everything (turns me insecure)
  • not direct with what I want and getting upset when he doesn’t give it
  • laziness
  • all the good ones are taken
  • men cannot be trusted
  • I don’t need a man
  • I’m scared (my fear is blocking...)
  • I don’t see the red light
  • have too many expectations.

Iyanla’s Ten Advices /Comments:

  1. What goes on in your mind, goes on outside
  2. Anything that moves you to be self-reliant, self-independent, self-…, moves in the way
  3. If you don’t give up that air, he can’t show up.
  4. Your criteria blocks your intimacy with the guy
  5. Be willing to be vulnerable and to do something different
  6. You see the lights but ignore them
  7. People violate you when you don’t give them clear values
  8. Your boyfriend is not your girlfriend. Don’t say/do to/with your boyfriend what you should be saying/doing with your girlfriends
  9. Don’t do the “fight” stance (that is, standing akimbo with or without tapping your feet and the snapping of fingers) it makes the man run!
  10. Take the mask off.

The next question was addressed to the men:

Question #3: Why don’t you call when you say you will?

  • not interested
  • don’t want to disappoint you
  • fear of rejection
  • the chase is the man’s job; don’t do it for us … We don’t want a lady who’s thirsty. (ouch!)

Now you have it, ladies? Do you see yourself in any of the responses? Next time when you wonder why it seems hard to find that special one, hopefully you take something away from this.

Did I say that I was from the old school who still believes that the man ought to seek the lady out? If I didn’t, now you know. This is a conversation that I have had with tons of young ladies and most times they respectfully disagree with the ever-ready response that “it is different now.” This Show proves that, when it comes to dating and love, nothing much has changed except the years, from 70s, to 90s, to the 21st century. The foundations remain constant. True or true?!

Let’s Reason Together

There’s nothing wrong in setting criteria for that special person that you’d like to spend the rest of your life with. But a perfect being who can find? I think it’s only wise not to be rigid. In setting a 10-point criteria, any point beyond 7 is still a pass mark, right? So we need to cut ourselves some slack.

In being too picky one tends to strike out the potentials.

Finally, one with potentials (future value) is always better than the best one now (present value) who can’t hold it together for the long haul.

What are your thoughts on the questions posed and corresponding answers? Differing thoughts? We would all like to hear them and learn. Gentlemen, please chime in as well.

Thank you.

Financial Monday: Best Practices for your Finances during Covid

Are you managing your finances differently during covid? If so, what are your best practices?

It has been over a year that we all have been plagued with uncertainties of life and living. Most of us have either lost a loved one or know someone (or family) who has. In addition, tons of folks have either lost their jobs or had pay cuts or reduced work hours in lieu of being laid off. And for those still privileged to have a job, permanence is not guaranteed. Neither is the future certain for pay increases irrespective of Congress’s recent action to raise the federal minimum wage.

And yes we are grateful that the vaccines have arrived, and are being strategically doled out. But the end of covid is still not near.

With all these uncertainties, it will be prudent for us to manage our finances wisely. I hope you agree with me. What steps, if any, have you incorporated for yourself and household regarding finances? Have you made adjustments in the areas of personal finance such as spending, saving, investing, budgeting, and/or retirement, that have been beneficial and you are willing to share?

There are daily necessities that cannot be forgone especially if you have children. Bearing that in mind, are you one of those working from home, but still indulge in purchasing the latest foundation though you have one unopened bottle, and another halfway through, at home? Are the cups of lattes and croissant ($7-$9) from Starbucks still a daily necessity for you? And though there are restrictions of movement in place nationally, are you still indulging in buying clothes/clothing everyday or week though you can’t go out? Are you ordering food delivery everyday? These are a few of the things that I see folks still doing. However they are areas that ideally could be minimized or totally eliminated till normalcy returns to our lives.

There are helps available for those struggling to pay their bills. Creditors are being empathetic during these times and are offering various kind of help. But you will need to let them know. Please contact your creditors rather than avoiding their calls.

So, what are your thoughts on living minimally during covid? Do you agree or not? Are there any other areas that you would advise folks to trim financially?

I have eliminated a few things myself. For example, Starbucks is no longer a daily want for me. Since I’ve been cooking a lot, I am reluctant to dine out. My business/personal trips have been eliminated till further notice. Understandably, right? You’d be surprised how many folks are still traveling around the nation and across the seas. I could still use some more trimmings and I’m looking for those areas.

How about you? Feel free to comment. Thank you.

Unnecessary Evil

Uhm uhm uhm
I have seen so much evil in my days
Days that culminate into years.

Evil that are just unnecessary
Evil that tears families and friends apart
Evil that refuses to go away and lingers generation after generation
Evil that despite one party apologizing for the wrongdoing
The Evil festers and, like
The one bad apple that destroys the whole basket,
That Evil separates a whole family or group of friends.

I began to wonder
Why. Oh why? God why?
I listened to what He would say to me
And this is what I hear:

The heart of my people is maliciously wicked
None of you can fathom it
For I see what you don’t see
I see the hearts of everyone
What is said openly
Does not often match their hearts
What is done openly
Differs from what is done behind closed doors
If I could just open your eyes
To see what I see
It would blast your mind.

The evil stems from
Jealousy, envy, wrath, rivalry, evil concupiscence, greed, lasciviousness, hatred, lying, and the likes.
All these are not from Me.
All these are the unnecessary evil
They stem from fear
They stem from people wanting other peoples’ stuff
Being impatient to wait for theirs at My time.

But this one thing I would say
I see it all
Just be who I have created you to be
One of pure heart
One with a big heart
ever willing to help
Ever loving all but hating none
Do not be overcome with evil
But overcome evil with good.

Do not look at the evil being done
Just look up to me
I got this. Trust me.

The evil you see today
And the people who perpetuate them
One day. Oh one day soon
You shall see them no more.

Nonetheless

There are still much Good
In my people and on earth
Just like the 7,000 whom I reserved
whom have not bowed their knees to Baal
There are still my chosen ones on earth who are good
They are all around you
Some are near
And some far away
But I’m bringing them closer
To my people
And together
You band together
To destroy
The unnecessary evil that is plaguing my people on earth.

Peace to all My Sons and Daughters, old and young.

p.s. never stop being the good person because of the bad people or the evil you’ve experienced.

Philosophical Tuesday: Morals and Morality

Morals. Morality. Social Morals. Moral Compass. We’ve all heard it. But what exactly does it mean and are we all morally conscious and/or (socially) morally obligated to one another. Why or why not?

Seems as if the world is divided when it comes to certain topics, issues, and/or values. We all don’t agree on simple things. One of such things is the issue of morals. I’m not here to judge (aka moral judgment) anyone. Which is also one of the problems. Because the issue of morals/morality is often met with defiant responses/statements such as “you’re judging me” or “don’t judge me.” Such responsories make it difficult for sincere interventions such that no one wants to touch it – let sleeping dogs lie! But I believe that we are socially responsible to one another or that we ought to be and such conversations are necessary.

Morals and ethics sometimes are interchangeably used. As the above definitions state, it is mainly about the right conduct. But could the right conduct of one person be a wrong to another? Or is there a unanimous agreement that right is right and wrong is wrong? Let’s ponder on that.

We need to understand and agree on what morals (and morality) are before moving forward.

. . .

Once agreed, the next question will be “are we born with a moral compass or does life and environment dictate it?

. . .

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) states that morality can be descriptive or normative. Morals also relate to both an individual and the society.

“Descriptive morality refer to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion), or accepted by an individual for her own behavior. When “morality” is used simply to refer to a code of conduct put forward by an actual group, including a society, even if it is distinguished from etiquette, law, and religion, it is being used in a descriptive sense. It is also being used in the descriptive sense when it refers to important attitudes of individuals. Just as one can refer to the morality of the Greeks, so one can refer to the morality of a particular person.”

Normative morality however refers to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational people; it takes on the form of avoiding and preventing harm and “holds that morality is (or would be) the behavioral code that meets the following condition: all rational persons, under certain specified conditions, would endorse it.

In addition, there are several views of morality: the relativist, naturalist, consequentialist, utilitarians, and more. Read it all in the SEP.

. . .

Final thoughts

Morals, as you can see, is not so straightforward. “Confusion about the content of morality sometimes arises because morality is not distinguished sufficiently from religion.”

What are your thoughts on this post? What does morals / morality mean to you? Are you one to take a stand for morals or not? What do you think about the various views of morality?

Thanks for reading – to be continued next week.

An Outdoor Aquarium

I couldn’t help taking a photo of this outdoor aquarium that I saw while on my walk the other day.

The walk was around a more residential neighborhood and a change from my usual route. I got to a path that I had to wait on the side, in adhering to the safe distancing, to allow an elderly man to pass by. We exchanged pleasantries and he asked “have you seen the fishes?” I was puzzled. The area is not my neighborhood so I didn’t understand what he meant. But I responded “no, what fishes?” He, rather than walk past me, then moved to the left and pointed. So I walked closer, still maintaining the six-feet distancing rule, to look at what he was pointing at. I was blown. “Wow,” I exclaimed. “Beautiful. Thanks for showing it to me.” He also told me that “they just added more.” Referring to the owners adding more fishes to the aquarium. We spent a few minutes together watching and chatting before continuing our separate walks but we never saw the owners/residents of the home. They probably entertain numerous visitors and chats daily and don’t come out any more when people/walkers stop to admire their aquarium. They also could have been away. As for me, I was glad that I

  1. walked a different path that day
  2. met a stranger who shared with me
  3. found a beautiful outdoor aquarium. I’ve seen a variety of indoor aquariums but never an outdoor
  4. took a photo to add to my collection and WordPress images.

I hope you find both the aquarium and photo beautiful as I did. If not, it’s okay. I love them both. 😍

Be inspired to:

  • Do something different; from your normal routine, today
  • Meet someone new
  • Try something new
  • Share – it doesn’t detract from you, but adds.

Enjoy your weekend! ✌🏾

Being Reasonable

“In everyday life, we ask each other to be reasonable, and we fault unreasonable behavior in ourselves and others. Moreover, the Anglo-American legal system makes extensive use of the “reasonable person standard” in everything from negligence to administrative law. What is it to be a reasonable person? What do we mean by “reasonable”?”

. . .

The above is a brief course description of the class, “Being Reasonable.” I have always wanted to take classes in Philosophy to satisfy my learning curiosity/developments. I came across the course description while researching colleges. It’s being taught at one of America’s top colleges. I would love to take the class at the college, but I thought to share the course title and description which I think are interesting.

Philosophy is deep and involves lots of independence of the mind. Just look at the list of philosophical schools of thoughts. I do not need a degree in Philosophy so I will not avail myself of all the schools of thoughts. However, I think it interesting to know that tons of our rationales and beliefs are philosophically-based.

What does “Reasonable” Mean?

We start with the Dictionary’s definition:

Next, according to Vocabulary.com, “If you’re reasonable, you have good sense and judgment. A reasonable decision is rational and thought out, like your mom’s reasonable rule about not eating crumbly foods in her car. When you describe a store’s prices as reasonable, you mean they’re fair — not too high. And if you are given a reasonable amount of time to do a project for school, you have no excuse for it being late.”

As the course description stated, there’s the “reasonable person standard,” in law. According to Cornell University’s Department of Law, it means:

“Just, rational, appropriate, ordinary, or usual in the circumstances. It may refer to care, cause, compensation, doubt (in a criminal trial), and a host of other actions or activities. In the law of negligence, for example, the reasonable person standard is the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would observe under a given set of circumstances. An individual who subscribes to such standards can avoid liability for negligence.”

I have provided two links for your reading pleasure; one from a philosophical view and the other from an actuarial view.

Conclusion

There is actually no conclusion to reasonability or being reasonable. As you can see, being reasonable depends on the hat one is wearing at the point the statement is made. Since each industry views “reasonable” from its own perspective, is it safe to say that we all will have varied thoughts and views for what we consider as Being Reasonable?

What are your thoughts on this? Please comment below. Thanks.

Financial Monday Nuggets: How would you spend a windfall of $1.5 million

Credits: Eric Prouzet / Unsplash

How would you spend a windfall of $1.5 million if it fell in your hands today?

Let’s talk.

The time to think about $1.5 million is when you don’t have it because you’ll have the time to allocate and fine-tune its use before it shows up in your hands.

If you had $1.5 million today, how will you utilize it?

We’ve all heard of various people such as athletes and lottery winners who have had windfalls of money literarily. Some by a dint of big and multi-year contracts and or hard work, while others by sheer “luck” falling in their laps only to be “begging” and/or homeless and back to square one within a short period of time; sometimes in as short as a year. I hope that no one reading this post will have such an experience.

So, let’s talk family. If you won $1.5 million, were gifted or “luckily” sign a multi-year contract to its tune or more, how would you spend it?

This post is to steer our hearts, minds, and heads to think and effect a sustainable outcome. How many years will you stretch the $1.5 million to work for you, and your family if you have children?

. . .

Technically, most of us would have made over $1 million in the course of our working lifetime. For example, a college grad starting work right out of college, earning $25,000 per year, and working straight till retirement – p.s. college grads earn much more in the USA, except it’s a sales job base salary which of course has bonuses attached. Others making much more would make the $1 million in lesser number of years. But few, or none, of us have $1 million in total assets. 😓

A paradigm is required to be able to effectively manage money. Your attitude towards (or with) money will often determine whether money flows to and stays with you.

Let’s think on the post’s question today, through the week, and hope that the question stays with us and propels us to fruitful financial action. 😊

The 3 Kinds of Wisdom

What is Wisdom

We can summarize Dictionary.com’s definition of Wisdom as equating wise saying and knowledge (which includes self- and/or scholarly knowledge) of true, right, just judgment, and action.

But, what is wise, true, or right in one’s opinion (or home, mind, environment, etc.) , could be foolishness, fallacy, or wrong in another’s. Yes, one can argue that these are subjectivism or relativism and could be right. However, Godly (divine) Wisdom is such that none can argue against. It leaves one pondering and the bearer (or sayer) appearing smarter than s/he really is.

. . .

There are many views that constitute what Wisdom is and is not. Wisdom is much more than smarts or knowledge or even logic. If you will agree with me, the wisest people one knows often do not have a plethora of degrees under their belts; most of them are uneducated.

. . .

Do you know the three types of Wisdom?

The 3 Types of Wisdom

  1. Man’s Wisdom is the kind of “intelligence” that people exhibit among each other often stemming from one’s acclaimed superiority as a result of knowledge, wealth, academic degrees, or “big” house, car, or what-have-you that’s mistaken for wisdom.
  2. Devilish Wisdom. This is the kind of craftiness that is sensual and earthly (according to the Bible) where one person tries to outsmart another in various ways, resulting in mischief, wickedness, and sometimes violence.
  3. Godly Wisdom is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17 KJV). Godly Wisdom is unsurpassable by any human intelligence.

. . .

Now that you know, in your quest for Wisdom, be mindful of the type that you are noted for.

Is’t possible to have Wisdom?

Absolutely. I believe that God is the giver of all gifts. Wisdom is a gift from God. Feel free to ask Him for it. I need and pray for wisdom daily and have been addressed as “one with wisdom.” I share this only to testify that if and when you ask God, He’ll give it to you.

Know a Man (or Woman) of Wisdom?

In the Bible, King Solomon, King David’s son, was noted for wisdom. But, sadly, he who was noted for immense godly Wisdom, ended up acting foolishly with the myriad of women in his life. I propose that Solomon did not consult with God nor ask for wisdom in this regard as “the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29)

Philosophers Socrates and Thomas Aquinas were also considered fathers of wisdom.

. . .

May you be known for godly wisdom.

6 Timeless Virtues for Life and Work – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

6 Timeless Virtues for Life and Work – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/6-timeless-virtues-for-life-and-work-2/

Sounds like a Philosophical Tuesday with my images, right? 😊 Yep, we’re going there today!

. . .

Do you have virtues that you live by or are known for?

. . .

Sharing Dr. Steve Graves’ (SG) Six Timeless Virtues. He is a strategic leadership consultant that I stumbled upon. Check out his website for proven faith-led strategies.

Here are SG‘s six virtues:

  • Endurance
  • Focus
  • Discipline
  • Ambition
  • Hard work
  • Patience

. . .

We acknowledge that there are tons of virtues available to each of us. Your list might differ from Dr. Graves’s as the list below shows.

Only three of the nine (9) virtues listed are also on Dr. Graves’s list. Yet there are more virtues available. Which one(s) are your favorite(s)?

. . .

While some have said that Patience is the mother of all virtues, others believe that it is Courage/Fortitude; yet some argue that it is Gratitude.

Whether you agree on any of these as the greatest, the mother or father, or parent of all virtues, I believe that what is most important is asking yourself “what virtue(s) am I living by or would like to be known for?” Make your list today, cultivate those virtues, and make the decision to live by them.

Thanks for reading.

Legally Speaking, is Digital Money Really Money? – IMF Blog

Legally Speaking, is Digital Money Really Money? – IMF Blog
— Read on blogs.imf.org/2021/01/14/legally-speaking-is-digital-money-really-money/

. . .

Digital currencies came into existence about five years ago. I was first approached about it by a guy whom I thought was blindly passionate about a fallacious investment. Nothing I said could dissuade the guy. I flatly refused his invitation to join as I shook my head and watched him walked away disappointed. That was five years ago. Today, I’m still skeptical about the quasi-investment. When I received this blog, I thought it was a topic worth sharing.

. . .

“Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in any jurisdiction; they, unlike the conventional currencies issued by a monetary authority, are not controlled or regulated and their price is determined by the supply and demand of their market.” – The Law Library of Congress

Click here for the Law Library of Congress’s full report on regulation of cryptocurrency.


  • What is the origin of digital currency?
  • Who started or created them?
  • If they are not legal tenders, fully acceptable in the general markets, why do people put so much into them?
  • They have no intrinsic value; neither are they backed!

According to Corporate Finance Institute, “The value of a virtual currency is mainly driven by the sentiment of traders.”

Per Scott-Briggs, there are ten (10) digital currencies:

  1. Ethereum
  2. Ripple
  3. Litecoin
  4. Dash
  5. Peercoin
  6. Dogecoin
  7. Primecoin
  8. Chinacoin
  9. Ven
  10. Bitcoin

However on further research, and much to my surprise, I found that there were much more. I stopped loading more after I got to 600!

I also could not find any government/country that has accepted digital currency as its legal tender. Click here to see various countries’ regulations on digital currency.

Finally, Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics in 2001 and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, has this to say about digital currencies; “The real reason why people want an alternative currency is to participate in vile activities.” “What we really should do,” he said, “is to demand the same transparency in financial transactions with bitcoins that we have with banks.” If this were to be done, he believes, the bitcoin market “would simply collapse.”

. . .

Folks, what are your stand on digital currencies? Are you trading in them and do you think that they are the currency of the future?

Thanks for reading.

My Dental Experience

Credits: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

I need to share this with you all. I forgot about it until I read #K. E. Garland’s post yesterday and it came flashing back!!

. . .

I read one of the WordPress posts from the Reader Discover titled “How to Reverse Tooth Decay – Operation X” in November. The title caught my attention and, lo and behold, it happened to be just what I needed. Please read on. 😊

. . .

Back in November, while having dinner, I felt like I bit on something that was painful. I was eating rice with chicken and broccoli, 😃 but I remembered spitting out a small piece of bone and I thought that must be it. But the following day, I realized that every time I bite down, I felt uncomfortable pain. The pain got worse by the next day. One family member said that it was probably my wisdom tooth and that it needed to be pulled out. Another said that it’s probably a root canal. The thought of either made me cringed. I made an urgent appointment to have it checked.

. . .

The prior year, I was told by my former dentist that I had cavity and should have it filled asap but I didn’t.

Having just relocated, I needed a new dentist. I found one and greatly appreciated that I was given an appointment immediately.

. . .

At the dentist’s office, my teeth were x-rayed. I was expecting to be told that I had a cavity that had deteriorated and needs to be filled. But, no. The dentist started explaining what he thought was going on and how it could be corrected. Though he didn’t use any technical terms, his explanations flew over my head. I did not understand what he was saying! So I enquired again,

Me: “are you saying that I have no cavity; my last dentist said that I did?!”

Dentist: “no you don’t.”

Me: “What?! Really? Not even one?! Did you thoroughly check the x-rays?”

I was perplexed. Now who do I believe? Ain’t dental examinations supposed to be the same across board? And cavities are cavities and cannot be missed? Several thoughts and questions were running in my head.

Dentist: “Mam, you do not have any cavity. Do you want to go ahead with it?”

Me: “does my insurance cover it 100%? If not, let me know how much I have to pay out-of-pocket.”

Dentist: “I’ll get the Office Manager over to check that for you.”

The Office Manager came over and explained what my insurance covered and my co-pay. According to the dentist, eleven teeth (almost half my whole mouth!) were involved and each tooth would cost $200 each! They even offered me the opportunity to split the works in two – have six teeth done now and return in 3 – 6 months to complete the rest.

Me: “if I do these, are there any guarantees?”

Dentist: “no; nothing is guaranteed.”

Me: “okay, thanks. Can I just have my teeth cleaned and let me think about it.”

Office Manager: “will you like an appointment for Wednesday?”

This incident happened on a Monday.

Me: “no; I’ll call you once I decide to have it done. Thank you.”

Office Manager: “how about your 6-month appointment?”

Me: “okay please schedule it. Thanks again.”

I have to share the above details for better understanding of what happened next.

I read the WP post about a week or so after my appointment. The post was a long read. I saved it to read and digest later. On reading it, I mused to myself, “I think this is what my dentist was trying to explain to me.” In the post, the blogger talked about “mineralization,” “demineralization,” “remineralization,” and oral hygiene among other things. The blogger also shared that he uses a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with water as his preferred mouthwash product. So I decided to try out his preferred mouthwash product. Tea tree oil has a variety of uses and I have used it in the past for other purposes. I know that it is a very strong product that needs to be used cautiously. But I was willing to try it out so just maybe it will relieve my toothache.

I bought the tea tree oil. Took a Q-tip and dipped it in the tea tree oil and dabbed it on the aching tooth and over my gum. I repeated it on the other side of my mouth. With the saliva formation, I gargled for about 5 minutes. I repeated this at night.

When I spit out in the bathroom sink, at night, I heard a sound. “What’s that?” I picked it up, felt it and tossed it round about trying to figure out what it was.

Ladies and gentlemen, it was a small piece of chicken bone – about half the size of a tooth! 😱 I can’t tell if the tea tree oil did it or the Q-tip I used pushed it out or a combination of both. But, I was so glad and relieved that it fell out.

. . .

Well, the tea tree oil is now also my preferred mouthwash product; thanks to #Operation X #Dyami Millarson. Can you all imagine that I saved over $2,000 by using a $7 tea tree oil. This is the power of us all. Our blogs are helping one another. I sincerely hope that my blog is helping someone too.

My teeth and the particular one hasn’t hurt me since then!

. . .

After this experience, I was turned between what to do. Should I report the dentist/dental office to my insurance for charging for x-ray but couldn’t detect a chicken bone stuck in my tooth and could have “defrauded” them and me of more?

What would you have done under the circumstances?

Thank you for reading.

Monday Financial Nuggets: Munroe’s Kingdom Solution to Financial Problems

Credits: Unseen Histories / Unsplash

It’s a Martin Luther King Day in the USA 🇺🇸. Happy MLK Day to all. If you don’t know who MLK is, please seize the day to research, read and learn about the significance and contributions of the man and civil rights leader. Thank you.

. . .

I’m sharing one of Myles Munroe’s plethora of financial principles. I hope it blesses you as it had blessed, and continues to bless, me. Watch the animated video here and the full version here.

One of the keys to living financially free … one of the secrets God talks about when He says that “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven …”. One of the principles/keys is The Principle of Management.

Principles of Management is the most absent component in churches … that’s why most churches are suffering, broke, or attracting broke people. And that is why most of the people in churches in the city are financially embarrassed – they quote scriptures but don’t experience those scriptures.

In the above scripture, we read that

  • God created
  • God withdrew rain
  • He withdrew rain and nothing grew
  • He refused anything to grow

Why did God withdrew rain?

  • Because He had no manager
  • He withdrew rain because there was no man to till the ground; to add value to what He was about to create.

What is Management?

Management is defined as the
effective, efficient, and correct and timely use of another person’s property and resources for the purpose for which they were delegated with a view to producing the expected added value back to the person. (That’s a mouthful!)

Management automatically implies that you don’t own the material.

Management also implies that when you bring it back, it’s supposed to be better; that is, have more value.

God is upset at lazy people. (Father, forgive me/us and revive us again!)

Management and Prayer

God will never give you what you pray for 🤔; only what you can manage. For example,

  1. you’re praying for a $1,000 but couldn’t pay $10 tithe on the $100 He gave you yesterday
  2. you’re praying for a big house and you cannot manage the apartment that you’re presently renting – you keep it dirty
  3. you pray for a bigger church and God says that you cannot manage the church you’re renting
  4. you pray for souls but can’t manage the people you got now – God protects them (the souls/people) from you!

If you get the million dollars you’re praying for, it will kill you! 🤕

You cannot manage $500; you spend $200 on a dress, $150 on your hair and put $20 (or nothing) in the offering; and ask God for a million dollars?! Is God stupid or what?!! (God forbid!)

God wants you to be an economist. To economize means to get the maximum out of the minimum.

We need to know (or appreciate) the value of what we already have. You have the audacity to tell God that you are broke and unemployed, yet in your house, there’s an oven that’s only used twice a week – that’s abuse and bad management. You have an oven that you only used one day a week. You can at least get some flour, water, and raisins; bake some cookies, put them in a plastic bag and make yourself a factory out of your own kitchen. That’s Management – get the most out of the least.

p.s. please check with your City and State, especially in the U.S., before using your residential oven for commercial purposes. Most have regulations governing this.

Again, you got clothes in your closet that you don’t wear and they’ve been there for ten years and you’ve put on too much weight, they’ll never fit you again; and you’re saying that you ain’t got money?!

To economize means to add value to your gift.

Put another way, answered prayer is regulated by your capacity to manage. God will never give you what you pray for 🤔. He regulates His answer by what you could manage …. money is easy to get; money is supposed to come to you, but it it keeps moving away from you, it’s telling you something – YOU CAN’T MANAGE.

Father God please teach me/us how to do better by managing the resources that You’ve given us.

Spiritual Gifts Part 2

Credits: Sydney Heron / Unsplash.com

From Part 1: The Spiritual Gifts are:

  1. Word Of Wisdom
  2. Word Of Knowledge
  3. Faith. I earlier blogged on this gift. Click here to read it.
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Working Of Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues.

The above gifts are also often categorized as:

The Revelatory Gifts are:
1. Word of Knowledge
2. Word of Wisdom, and
3. Discerning of Spirits

The Power Gifts are:
1. Faith
2. Healing, and
3. Working of Miracles

The Communication Gifts are:
1. Prophecy
2. Divers kind of tongues, and
3. Interpretation of tongues.

What does each gift do?

THE REVELATORY GIFTS

1. Word of Wisdom

Word of wisdom (WOW) are words given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to individuals (or even the Church) that surpasses the natural ability. It is the divine strength or ability to understand and to bring clarity to situations and circumstances often through applying the truths of Scripture in a practical way. (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 6:3,10; 1 Corinthians 2:6-13, 12:8)

2. Word of Knowledge

The gift of knowledge is the divine strength or ability to bring truth to a situation by supernatural revelation. This is often accompanied by a word from God. (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:8; Colossians 2:2-3)

3. Discerning of Spirits

The gift of discernment is the divine strength or ability to spiritually identify falsehood, to distinguish between right and wrong motives and the spiritual forces at work in situations. Through this gift, we can determine if something is divine, devilish, or of human origin. Through this gift we not only have the ability to identify evil spirits, but we can also expose their assignments. The Spirit of discernment is our safeguard against deception.(Supporting scriptures: Matthew 16:21-23; Acts 5:1-11, 16:16-18; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 John 4:1-6)

THE POWER GIFTS

4. Gift of Faith

The gift of faith is the divine strength or ability to believe in God for unseen supernatural results in every arena of life. The gift of faith is in a category of its own. For instance, it is different from the shield of faith which we can, as we mature, trust in to shield us from the enemy. It is different still from the measure of faith that is given to each of us to work in the gifts, and yes, different even from our faith in God's sovereignty and His Word. These are all manifestations of faith that come forth from a heart of conviction that knows the Word and its author. Jesus is our example in Matthew 21:21-22.

The gift of faith is not ours, it is a gift that causes us to perform the impossible and produces a miracle. When God enables us with spontaneous ability to subdue or conquer physical forces, it is the gift of faith that causes us to step out in the incredible and without even thinking, bringing about a feat mortal man cannot accomplish him/herself. We can say it this way, when the gift of faith is operating in you, it is as if you are not connected to the physical so the supernatural seems natural and you just move out in it. (Supported Scriptures: Acts 11:22-24; Romans 4:18-21; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 11; Matthew 14:28-31; Ephesians 6:16)

5. Gift of Healing

The gift of healing is the divine strength or ability to act as an intermediary in faith, prayer, and by the laying-on of hands for the healing of physical, mental and spiritual sickness. There are even divinely assisted situations where a person is healed by God through doctors and medical treatments.

Apostle Luke was a physician in the early church, and there are those that God will use today as human instruments, but guess what, this is still not the gift of healing. The gift of healing is not intellectually based, nor is it the result of spiritual insight. In fact, it is a supernatural phenomenon that can happen without any human intervention at all. It can of course also manifest through a human vessel, if God so chooses. He can release a supernatural ability or a divine power for man to exercise authority over impossible situations like broken bones, fatal sicknesses, even death. People have been given hearts, feet, all sorts of new body parts that only the Creator can supply. This is the true gift of healing. It is not an ability performed through faith, nor is even there time for doubt or unbelief. It simply manifests itself according to God's will, and the vessel being used moves out in the gift without question. (Supporting scriptures: Acts 3:1-10, 9:32-35, 28:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28)

6. Working of Miracles

The gift of miracles is the divine strength or ability to alter the natural outcomes of life in a supernatural way through prayer, faith, and divine direction. When we work in the miraculous, we are walking in the power of God and exercising authority over the natural forces of this realm. The power gift of miracles enables us to perform feats way beyond what is even comprehensible to our human minds. (Supported Scriptures: Acts 9:36-42, 19:11-12, 20:7-12; Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)

THE COMMUNICATION GIFTS

7. Gift of Prophecy

The gift of prophecy is the divine strength or ability to communicate God's truth and heart in a way that calls people to a right relationship with God.

There are five different methods of prophecy that God uses to talk to His church; namely,

  1. Office of the Prophet;
  2. Prophetic preaching;
  3. Prophetic presbytery;
  4. Gift of prophecy;
  5. Spirit of prophecy.

The gift of prophecy is just that, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is not an office appointed by Jesus as in the office of prophet. The gifting is activated and easier to manifest in the company of prophets. Anyone filled with the Holy Spirit can work in this gift. It is for edification, exhortation and comfort, not rebuke or chastening. The prophetic word of correction comes from the office of prophet only. Prophecy will never contradict the Bible. If you are given a word that contradicts the Word of God, disregard it. It is important to stress that, depending on our walk, we can hear from either the kingdom of darkness, or the Kingdom of Light. Walk in repentance, separate from those that are of the world except to minister to them. God says, "be holy as I am holy"!(Supported Scriptures: Acts 2:37-40, 7:51-53, 26:24-29; 1 Corinthians 14:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5)

8. Divers kind of Tongues

The gift of tongues is the divine strength or ability to pray in a heavenly language to encourage your spirit and to commune with God.

There are three different kinds of tongues:

  1. tongues along with the interpretation of tongues; this gifting is usually exercised during a service or public setting. Any time this form of tongues is manifested, someone will also be given the gifting to interpret the message.
  2. different kinds of tongues, or diverse tongues; this gift was experienced in the upper room in Acts 2:4-8. One with the gift speaks in his/her native language and suddenly (divinely) starts speaking in tongues. For example, a British man/woman speaking at a church in Ukraine; he starts preaching in English and suddenly starts tongue-speaking in Ukrainian or Russian even though he/she never speaks the language. It’s God’s way of helping the locals to hear and understand His message to them.
  3. the prayer language of those filled with the Spirit; this form of tongues is the voice of our spirit. It talks directly to God. We don't understand what is being said, but I do know that the gifts will flow much easier as our spirit communicates directly with the Father. Also, when we don't know what to pray through our natural mind, our spirit man can pray for us, as it is tapped into the mind of Christ. The Word also tells us that as we pray in the spirit, we are edified, it lifts us up and rejuvenates us. When you look at all that is accomplished through speaking in tongues, you can see why the enemy tries to snuff it out of the church! (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 2:1-13; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 14:1-14)

9. Interpretation of Tongues

This gift is the divine ability to interpret any heavenly language for the benefit of the people/Church.

Click here to take the Spiritual Gifts Test.

References:

Spiritual Gifts: Part 1

Credits: Sydney Heron / Unsplash.com

Preamble

God gave talents (Matthew 25:15-30) to His sons and daughters. Unfortunately, most of us never discover those talents let alone use them for the benefit of humanity. As such, majority of us have either buried our talents, are living way below God’s capacity for us, or are busy chasing after other people’s.

God also gave gifts to everyone. The gifts are innate, but could also be desired by asking God directly for it. The spiritual gifts are freely given (by grace) to us by God, our Creator. They are therefore supposed to be used freely for the purposes and the benefits of mankind. The gifts are also given in proportion, and according to ability, of our life purposes or mandates.

Per Ephesians 4:11-12 above , the offices listed are often termed “The Five-Fold Ministry.” They are the church roles given as “a framework to grow, build and mature the Body of Christ to continue the workings of Jesus through the lives of the saints.” Click the link if you’re inclined to learn more on the five-fold roles. If you’d like to take a test to see if you’ve been chosen for one of the roles, click here.

Biblically, there are nine spiritual gifts. These gifts are called “spiritual” for a reason mainly, per Dave Ramsey because they “are supernatural abilities God gives each Christ-follower.” They are separate and different from our talents, knowledge, skills, and abilities (TKSA) such as academic gifts (e.g. geniuses), social gifts (such as having charisma and being an influencer). But the spiritual gifts can compliment and complement our TSKAs.

The spiritual gifts are not “magic” or “magical.” Please click on these words to understand their means which, hopefully, will lead to a better understanding of the spiritual gifts.

Dave Ramsey also has the following to say:

“God wants you to use your unique role in the body of Christ to glorify Him. So, if God made you an amazing singer, sing for Him. If your talent is a little less conventional—maybe you’re good with numbers or with writing code—then find a way to translate that into a job or volunteer work for a God-honoring company or ministry. Use your God-given abilities to reach those who don’t know Him—and give Him the credit for your talents.” (Supporting Scripture: Colossians 3:23-24)

. . .

The Spiritual Gifts

The spiritual gifts, according to the Bible, are:

  1. Word Of Wisdom
  2. Word Of Knowledge
  3. Faith. I earlier blogged on this gift. Click here to read it.
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Working Of Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues.

The above gifts are also often categorized as:

The Revelatory Gifts are:
1. Word of Knowledge
2. Word of Wisdom, and
3. Discerning of Spirits

The Power Gifts are:
1. Healing
2. Working of Miracles, and
3. Faith

The Communication Gifts are:
1. Prophecy
2. Divers kind of tongues
3. Interpretation of tongues, and

Having stated that, however, we acknowledge that there are:

  • diversities of gifts, meaning that there are a variety of the particular gift; e.g. one might have a gift of faith for healing, another to believe for anything they desire, an another for provision; also, one can have multiple spiritual gifts – one will however be dominant;
  • differences of administrations, equates the different ways in which the gifts function; e.g. one can believe by reading and meditating on a particular scripture and see it manifest, another might believe that once s/he reads the scripture, s/he has to lay hands for it to manifest, while another might believe that “I’ll just send the Word” and believe for manifestation;
  • diversities of operations, mean that there are equally various processes by which the gifts work; e.g. seeking employment and using the gift of faith; I might believe that in faith I will go out to job search and that I believe that the first company that I knock on will hire me; on another day, I might simply hear a word that says “call ABC Company,” calling the company might lead to a job offer; yet another day it might simply be that after I have prayed, I just simply say that “I believe that someone will call me today for a job offer.” Each scenario is different but I am the one and same person exercising the gift. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions or additions.

How do you know your spiritual gift(s)?

  • By asking God
  • By paying attention
  • By other folks (family, friends, colleagues, associates, pastors and church, etc.) telling you
  • By the laying on of the hands (of an apostle or prophet) (1 Timothy 4:14).

Click here to take a test to find out what your spiritual gift(s) is/are. Does your result confirm what you’ve been told or know? Feel free to share in the comments. Thanks and await Part 2.

Disclaimer

The topic of Spiritual Gifts is exhaustive and this post (nor the Part 2) does not do enough justice to cover it. But I hope that it does help to stir your curiosity, if you are not already aware, of having a spiritual gift and leads you on a search to know what it is so that you can start using them to benefit humanity. The simplest way is to ask God “what gifts have you blessed me with?”

Thanks for reading.

Monday Financial Nuggets: Earl Nightingale’s Checklists

youtube.com/watch

The above Earl Nightingale’s video has been popping up for a while. I finally watched it and what a goldmine! Please watch till the end as I believe that the platinum nuggets lie within the 5-7 final minutes of the video.

Haves and have nots. The have nots always begrudge the haves! (p.s. Tyler Perry has a series with this title. The only series that I have watched religiously in the last ten years! Love it. Check it out on OWN. You can also find various streams on YouTube.)

Why do few manage to be financially well-off in a country where success is available?


Statistics

  • 10% of men 65 years and older have income of $6,000 a year; >80% of all men >65 have income of $4,000 a year
  • Starting a career in your 20s, would mean you would have worked >40 years at retirement. Using a meagre $25,000 per year salary, (a paltry in this tech age), means you would have made >$1 million. How much of this was saved or invested?
  • Only about 10% will be financially secure when the age of 65 rolls around.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What are you doing at the present time to increase your income now?
  • How much do you want to earn?
  • How much money are you planning to be worth at age 65?

Constructive thinking on the above questions is necessary for change in how much you earn.

Big income earners made the decision to earn more. Have you? Will and when would you?

Analogies:

  • A woman who does not think about baking an apple pie for dinner tonight will not think of looking up a recipe for apple pie. Without the decision for pie, there’s no motivation for checking out the recipe. Likewise,
  • A man who does not think about driving his car to St Louis MI or Nacogdoches TX will never make the decision to get roadmaps that will help him get there. Therefore,
  • A man who never decides to earn more money will never think of learning how or looking up the rules for making more money.

Lifestyle Quotes

It’s a free country; anyone has the inalienable right to be just as wrong as they want to be!

We must view with profound respect the infinite capacity of the human mind to resist the inroads of useful knowledge. – Thomas Lounsbury

Knowledge is available to everyone. We can either listen to those qualified to teach us or we can go along with those ancient stumbling blocks we get from people who don’t know any more than we do.

. . .

A jet pilot goes over his checklist item-by-item before a takeoff from the airport and before he lands at his destination. Living successfully is just as important as flying an airplane.

. . .

Checklist

  1. Our rewards in life will always be an exact proportion to our contribution our service. (Similarly regarding JOB: The money you’re paid by the company you work for will always be in direct ratio to the need for what you do, your ability to do it, and the degree of difficulty involved in replacing you.)
  1. The gold mine. “The only thing about a man that is a man is his mind; everything else you can find in a pig or a horse.” – Archibald MacLeish. The key to any man’s success is his mind!
  • How many good ideas have you come up with in the past year?
  • Are you being a copycat or following the follower?
  • Whose drum are you marching to?
  • Do you want to be a contributor or a beneficiary?

3. Attitude. Alter your life by altering your attitudes of mind. (We become what we think about!) – Williams James

Think. Start getting up one hour earlier than you’re accustomed to. One hour earlier a day gives you 6 1/2 40-hour week a year. Take a refreshing shower, dress, have a hot cup of coffee (or tea) and then sit down with a clean sheet of paper. At the top of the paper, write your financial goal which is the amount of money per year you intend to earn soon. Then start to think; think about your goal and see how many ideas you can come up with to help you reach that goal; ideas to improve what you now do for a living, ways of increasing your contribution to match your income goal . . .

Cheers to a strategically financially you in 2021!

Jesus Ministry: Disturbing Prophetic Words

I don’t know about you, but I have been terribly disturbed by the multitude of “prophetic words“ given pre-the-Presidential election by several men and women of God categorically stating that God told (or showed) them that Donald Trump will serve a second term as President of the USA. But now this is not so. What happened? Let’s reason together.

Who is a Prophet / Prophetess?

Briefly, a Prophet/Prophetess is a man/woman chosen by God to speak on His behalf to His people and He, God, uses several ways to communicate through the chosen people. It is also the second office in the hierarchy of church governance. Another blog will be necessary to expatiate on the Prophet/Prophetess. Selected scripture references of the Prophet are:

  • Hosea 12:10,
  • Amos 3:7,
  • 1 Corinthians 14:32-33,
  • Jeremiah 28:8-9,
  • Matthew 10-41, 24:10-13,
  • Ezekiel 13:4-10,
  • Ephesians 2:20, 4:11-16,
  • Deuteronomy 17:15, 34:12,
  • Luke 1:70,
  • Hebrews 1:1, etc.).

The Presidential Prophetic Words

There were tons of prophetic words from “reputable” American Christian leaders all-round. Do a Google and/or a YouTube Search to view them. But now that Joe Biden’s win has been ratified, and will be sworn-in in ten days, the questions raging in my head are:

  • what happened?!”
  • were the leaders “calling those things that be not as though they were?” (Romans 4:17c) Or
  • did Trump’s attitudes and behavior canceled him out of the prophetic words?” (Jeremiah 18:7-11)

If God said it …

Any of the above is possible. But, God is not a man that He should lie …, right? If God said it, it must surely come to pass. (Numbers 23:19) Or that if God indeed said it, it might be a timing issue and probably Trump could run again (if not impeached) and win?! (Habakkuk 2:3). Or still, God probably said it, but the people negated it which is equally more disturbing as I am reminded of King Saul and King David! Lord have mercy!!

If God never said it …

However, if God didn’t say it, why did the prophets and prophetesses deliver their own words as God’s? (Jeremiah 23:26; Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Deuteronomy 18:20 states that the “prophet shall die.” It is scary. I do not wish any dead but it is so scary that one who reads his/her Bible should fear giving a false word. Please note that this does not necessarily mean a physical death. It could mean a spiritual death as in no more revelations flowing to and from the prophet. God is the ultimate decider. I sincerely hope that those prophets/prophetesses, if they indeed gave a personal word as God’s word, are already repenting. God is still a merciful God and I pray that He has mercy on them.

Where’s the fear of God?

I don’t know about you but it bothers me that the “reputable” men and women of God could have jeopardized their characters for allegedly delivering a word not from God. How do we now continue to believe them or their prophetic words?! Why would they do so?

This is the main reason why we all should endeavor not to be lazy and to hear God for ourselves by reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God daily and allowing the Spirit of God to minister to our spirit.

Is’t possible for one to be canceled out of a prophetic word?

According to Jeremiah 18:10, it is possible. Please read the scripture. Better yet, read the before and after verses for better understanding. Though the verse refers to a nation, I propose to you that it is equally applicable to individuals and/or families. We should therefore be careful, mindful, and watchful to not veer off the right/righteous paths once a prophetic word is given. It is also important to “war” for the divine timing and manifestation of any prophetic word.

Does giving a wrong word make one a false prophet?

No according to Romans 11:29. I propose, that the lure of personal and presidential favors and/or desire to be in the limelight might have propelled the men/women of God to give their personal word. But still I do not know. Only God and them can tell us. However, I do know that going forward, I will continue to be cautious receiving prophetic words. How about you?

May God forgive and have mercy.

Jesus Ministry: Fasting and Understanding its Power

youtube.com/watch

Understanding the Power of Fasting video

. . .

I have wanted to blog on Fasting and, again, the beginning of the New Year is a good time to post the topic. Not that fasting is only done at the beginning of a New Year. Far from it! Fasting can be done anytime and for various reasons/causes.

There is nothing I could post or share however that will surpass the above video by late Dr. Myles Munroe. Please watch and form your own conclusion.

. . .


What is Fasting?


According to Dr. Myles Munroe, Fasting is

  • the willful abstinence from natural pleasures for a spiritual purpose;
  • it is a personal commitment to renounce the natural to invoke the spiritual;
  • it is the dedication to a period of time to devote oneself to spiritual priority of prayer without food.

Fasting is like a plunger. Food is a clog in a pipe – the more you eat, the smaller the hole in the pipe. Fasting unclogs the pipe.

Fasting puts your body where it ought to be; that is, under your spirit.

Effects of Fasting

  1. It changes you
  2. It does not move God
  3. It increases your spiritual capacity
  4. It breaks habits and spiritual bondage
  5. It quiets the heart to hear God’s voice/mind and calms your spirit
  6. It brings godly intimacy
  7. It speeds up healing.

Fasting Scriptures

  • Esther 4:16
  • Psalm 109:24-25,
  • Jeremiah 18:7-11, 36:9,
  • Daniel 9:2-3,
  • Joel 2:12-13

Fasting is not dieting

*** Disclaimer ***

Please consult your physician before embarking on a fast.

Are you a People Pleaser?

Credits: Vanessa Van Edwards

Are you a people pleaser and would rather please everyone rather than yourself or God? Are you afraid to say ‘NO?’ Are you “too nice or too agreeable?” Do you allow everyone to walk all over you? “Are you desperate to gain other people’s approval while neglecting your own needs?” If you answer ‘Yes’ to any or all, you are a people pleaser. See also Amy Morin s ten (10) signs of a people pleaser.

Morin described a people pleaser as “someone who tries hard to make others happy. They will often go out of their way to please someone, even if it means taking their own valuable time or resources away from them. People pleasers often act the way they do because of their insecurities and lack of self-esteem.” Also, there are underlying issues (such as feelings of unworthiness, molestation, rape, to name a few) that are being suppressed that enables a person to become a people pleaser.

. . .

God’s Word says that

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Living peaceably with all however does not equate turning oneself into a doormat for every Tom and Harry or Jane and Sally to wipe their feet all over you; does it?

It’s all right to be agreeable with all and to be perceived as a peacemaker/keeper, but wanting to be so to your own detriment is not okay. “Some people don’t know how to say ‘NO’”. Is that really true? Maybe they just don’t know how to say ‘NO’ to some people. I have noticed that these kind of people end up taking their anger or aggression out on the wrong people in their lives such as a spouse or their children. They have said ‘YES’ to everyone else and don’t have any left for the very special people in their lives. They end up hurting the ones they ought not to hurt! I call it misplaced priority.

Amy Morin states that “You’ll never reach your goals if you’re trying to be all things to all people … often than not, people-pleasing wasn’t really their problem; their desire to make others happy was merely a symptom of a deeper issue.

For many, the eagerness to please stems from self-worth issues. They hope that saying yes to everything asked of them will help them feel accepted and liked. Other people-pleasers have a history of maltreatment, and somewhere along the way, they decided that their best hope for better treatment was to try to please the people who mistreated them. Over time, for them, people-pleasing became a way of life.”

Are you a people pleaser? Take the test here to find out!

. . .

We all will, at some point in our lives, please people. But I hope that the times we do/did were only as a choice not an obligation.

In the New Year, I implore you to choose whom you will please – yourself, other people, or God. Pleasing people often hurts us, but pleasing God categorizes you/us as His favorite. Choose wisely this New Year whom you’ll please.

If you are a people pleaser and need help stopping , click here to read Vanessa Van Edwards’ eleven (11) helpful tips.

Caring for one another: 10 things you can do to show you care

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia

In a world where everyone is in a rush, where everything needed to have been done and completed yesterday, and where microwaving is preferred to stoving, it takes a real human to pause and care for another.

Most of us don’t pause to know who our neighbor is. I once lived in a neighborhood where it took damage to my neighbor’s fence for her to acknowledge that she had someone living next door. We had been neighbors for six years and never saw each other though I attempted to introduce myself a few times to no avail! I know it sounds ridiculous … I could have ignored her when she finally came knocking, but I seized the opportunity to express my feelings. Happens that she’s a registered nurse (RN) and works the night shift; so our days/times were anti.

Still no excuses – six years is a long time. We can either justify or be intentional about caring. When we justify why we can’t, guess what, we will never. But, it is greatly appreciated when one steps out to care despite one’s busy schedule,

. . .

It really doesn’t take much to check on one another. It’s both humane and a great safety measure. For example, I will not be able to differentiate between an intruder and a true guest if I did not know who my neighbor is. We’ve heard incidents happen that otherwise could have been averted had folks stopped to care.

Yes, you have projects that need to be completed;
Yes, you need to fulfill that mega-dollar contract; and,
Yes, you’re on the go for the next (fill-in-the-blank),
But, before you set off, let someone know that you care and love them. You might just put a smile on their face and hope in their heart.

This is particularly essential for children. A hug, caring eyes, a smile, look that shows that they are the most important to you, is paramount for their development, helps build up their self esteem, and grounds them securely in the knowledge of who they are.

There are tons of ways that we can care, but here are my top Ten (10).

  1. A hug. My daughter told me that a 22-second hug releases endorphins 😊 This was confirmed by Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-endorphins) “When released, endorphins can help relieve pain, reduce stress, and may cause a euphoric feeling. In short, they can make you feel pretty darn good.”
  2. A smile costs the giver nothing but is everything to the receiver.
  3. Saying “I love you” should never be rationed nor justified. Because you said it in the morning doesn’t mean that you must withhold it at night, or yesterday and withhold tomorrow. Neither should love ever be justified. Love just because!
  4. Listen with intent to understand. Everyone likes to talk, but it takes the special few to actively listen. Be one of those special fews.
  5. Affirm - your love, loyalty, support, etc. daily.
  6. A phone call. Pick up your phone and make the call instead of texting. Hearing the voice gladdens the heart that no texting can replicate.
  7. A note - slip one into your children’s bag or a book (or Bible) that you know they’ll read on that day or in your significant other’s jacket or wallet.
  8. Send occasional flowers or plants without waiting for a special occasion such as anniversary or birthdays.
  9. Order a meal or two for delivery to your loved one(s). This gives them a break and is appreciated more during Covid-19.
  10. Do random acts of kindness; for example, offer to run an errand for them, walk with them or walk their dog, help take their children out to the park or to watch a movie.

Many display love and caring only after a person is gone (as in dead!). Let’s display the affections now, in the present. Who knows – it might just extend the lives of our loved ones.

I’ll end with

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.

Og Mandino

Love & Peace!

Never give up

The past week was hectic but I’m glad that it’s over now – mission accomplished! I’m choosing to relax/rest a bit this week, and gradually get back to work.

Did someone ask why my personal week was hectic? Thanks for caring 😊

I moved; moved from one region to another – like from north to south (or is’t west to east?) Pardon me, I am not the brightest as far as geography or navigation is concerned. I’m one of those who always rely on the navigator irrespective of the numerous times I’d driven or gone anywhere.

Anyways, moving is a work! You never realize how much stuff you’ve accumulated over the period. But moving also grant you the opportunity to donate your excesses to Goodwill or the Red Cross or any other organization that needs your items or even to family members. But, once settled down, we begin to accumulate again.

Credits: Oxford Dictionary

I really don’t like the term “empty nester.” But since my children have left home, it was an opportunity to relocate. But having lived in one locality so long, it was not an easy decision choosing a new location. What if you buy a home and you don’t like the new area? The thought gave me sleepless nights. I decided to test out the area by renting first to familiarize myself with the new region and locality.

I dedicated couple of weeks driving around a few neighborhoods. I finally chose one. Then the search began. What appeared fun and promising at first seemed to turn to futility after the first month with not securing a place. There was always something off with the places we looked at. Then I found “the perfect one!” I was excited as I completed and submitted all paperworks. Then the agent who was helping took a couple of days off. I got a phone call from another lady from the office who stated that none of my documents were received. I resent them, but all hopes were dashed as she kept asking for more “unnecessary” docs! To shorten the story, I eventually had to tell them that I was no longer interested. That was in September.

I continued the search but found nothing comparable to the one I had initially chosen. Then I took a break from searching.

I returned to the place again after Thanksgiving to see if it was still available. I was surprised that it was and I re-applied, Surprisingly, this time around, the process was fast and completed within three days! Not only that, the rent was lower than the first time and they had a special which they didn’t have then.

The morale of sharing this is to remind us all never to give up – if at first you do not succeed, try again! Often what appears to be a denial could be a divine delay or a timing issue where God has better things in stock. May this season bring you the greatest stocks ever.

The D-Day has come and gone – 2

Credits: NBC

[Last paragraph from the previous post:]

The Constitution of the United States of America states that “the results won’t be official until each state fully canvasses and certifies its presidential election results, which occurs on a different timeline in every state.” The Electoral College has to declare the Presidential winner after the electors vote on December 14. The votes have also been recounted and, yes, some have reaffirmed Joe Biden as the winner. But it’s not final until the Electoral College’s proclamation and Donald Trump’s concession. All eyes and ears will be fixed on December 14.

But, wait a minute.

. . .

Did anyone think

Did anyone think to ask “why has the Associated Press (AP) declared Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the winner; replicating and reiterating Hilary Clinton’s victory presumptuously in 2016?!”

But, wait a minute

What if …

What if, come December 14, the Electoral College, after casting their votes, reverses the presumed JB-KH victory?

What if this was all to teach Donald Trump a lesson in humility? Okay, yay, YOU can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but GOD can.

But, what if truly the alleged fraud was detected? What if the Electoral College’s vote on December 14 overturns the presently assumed winner? How would we all handle it? Undoubtedly, we cannot as a nation afford another unrest. I pray that there will be peace irrespective of the outcome.

What if we all said though Donald Trump does not deserve my vote, I’m willing to give him another chance? Hey, don’t shut me down – I’m just a messenger.

Several other what-if scenarios, but that’s not the point of this post.

. . .

The D-Day has come and gone; yet the presidency (or is’t the President) is still hanging, and the presumed winner Joe Biden is already selecting his proposed cabinet.

. . .

The Point is …

The point of this post is to actually reveal ourselves to ourselves! How hard-hearted everyone has been towards Mr. (Incumbent President) Donald Trump. Or is’t a matter of politicking at its best (or worst depending on your view!)

Two wrongs not a right make! We all, on one hand, profess good, love, forgiveness, positivity, and whatever lingo we profess it by. But with a swift turnaround are quick to throw stones and crucify!

God help and deliver us all!!!

Credits: Bible.com / ThinkTalk

More pondering

Why hate one another so? Or rather, why hate on Donald Trump so?

Would you be glad if someone gave you another chance?

Would we rather be the Good Samaritan or the neighbor who refuses to answer his door when you knocked at 3:00 A.M.?

When you’re in trouble or in need, would you want at least one person coming to your aid?

When everyone wrongfully accuses you, how would you feel if at least one person stands out and up for you?

Could all that happened had been a case of good versus evil and Donald Trump wrestling with spiritual wickedness?!

Ponder on these defying moments for a second.

May there always be a rescuer in our time of need. Let us all pay it forward.

. . .

If you’ve ever been in dire straits you’ll understand Donald Trump’s dilemma. Did I hear you say “he asked for or caused it?”

“He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone!” 

John 8:7b

If you’ve ever been in a place where everyone who was your friend turned against you for no cause or course!

  • A place where everyone and everything lied against you for no cause or course!
  • A place where everything you easily did suddenly became a chore!
  • A place where no-one, including your family, knows you any more – you’ve become a mystery to all
  • A place where your life defies a cause-and-effect scenario.
  • A place where it’s all confusion for one who’s known to be orderly.
  • A place where it’s just you and God!

A place, just you and God, is always a great place to be. It’s a place where all your questions get answered. A place where all doubts are eroded and all negatives are turned to positives. It’s a place where even the prophets dare not to tread and all intelligence, clout, or moolah are silenced. A place where the storms keep still!

Get in there and cry out to Him. He will meet you there and give you solutions that only He can!

Peace!

Californians and November 3rd

In less than a week, Californians have decisions to make in addition to deciding whether to join the nation next Tuesday, November 3rd, on who to choose as President for the next four years. It is a critical voting year. As such, unprecedented numbers of voters, more than ever before, have already trooped out to vote.

To-date, “more than 64 million Americans have already voted — and about half of them are in the dozen or so competitive states that will ultimately decide who wins the Electoral College.

The following are Californians’ State and Local Ballot Measures. ThinkTalk hopes that, in addition to your own due diligences, it helps you to be better informed.

  • Proposition 14, the Stem Cell Research Institute Bond – This initiative would issue $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which was created to fund stem cell research.
  • Proposition 15, Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding – This initiative would tax certain commercial and industrial real property based on fair-market value—rather than, under current law, the purchase price with limited inflation. Exempts agricultural property and certain small businesses.
  • Proposition 16, Repeal of the Ban on Affirmative Action at Public Institutions – This amendment would repeal provisions in the state’s Constitution that prohibit the state from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting. The California Constitution defines the state for these purposes to include the state, any city, county, public university system, community college district, school district, special district, or any other political subdivision or governmental instrumentality of, or within, the state. This measure would repeal these provisions. The measure would also make a statement of legislative findings in this regard.
  • Proposition 17, Restores Voting Rights for Persons on Parole – This initiative would amend the state Constitution to restore voting rights to persons who have been disqualified from voting while serving a prison term as soon as they complete their prison term—essentially extending the right to vote to those on state parole. Proposition 17 is a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment that requires a simple majority (50% + 1) to pass.
  • Proposition 18, Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds – This amendment would give 17 year olds the right to vote beginning in the next general election cycle.
  • Proposition 19, Changes Certain Property Tax Rules for Certain Property Owners – This initiative would allow homeowners who are over 55, disabled, or wildfire/disaster victims to transfer their primary residence tax base to a new residence, change taxation of family property transfers, and establish a fire protection services fund.
  • Proposition 20, Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection – This initiative would impose restrictions on parole program for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term for their primary offense. Expands list of offenses that disqualify an inmate from this parole program.
  • Proposition 21, Expand Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control – This initiative would amend state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. It would allow rent increases on rent-controlled properties of up to 15% over three years from previous tenant’s rent above any increase allowed by local ordinance. It would exempt individuals who own no more than two homes from new rent-control policies.
  • Proposition 22, Changes Employment Classification Rules for App-Based Transportation and Delivery Drivers – This initiative would establish different criteria for determining whether app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers are “employees” or “independent contractors.” Independent contractors are not entitled to certain state-law protections afforded employees—including minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Instead, companies with independent contractor drivers will be required to provide specified alternative benefits, including: minimum compensation and healthcare subsidies based on engaged driving time, vehicle insurance, safety training, and sexual harassment policies.
  • Proposition 23, Changes Dialysis Clinic Requirements – This initiative would require at least one licensed physician on site during treatment at outpatient kidney dialysis clinics. It would require clinics to report dialysis-related infection data to state and federal governments. It would prohibit clinics from discriminating against patients based on the source of payment for care.
  • Proposition 24, Amends Consumer Privacy Laws – This initiative would permit consumers to: (1) prevent businesses from sharing personal information; (2) correct inaccurate personal information; and (3) limit businesses’ use of “sensitive personal information”—such as precise geolocation; race; ethnicity; religion; genetic data; union membership; private communications; and certain sexual orientation, health, and biometric information. Changes criteria for which businesses must comply with these laws. Prohibits businesses’ retention of personal information for longer than reasonably necessary. Triples maximum penalties for violations concerning consumers under age 16. Establishes California Privacy Protection Agency to enforce and implement consumer privacy laws, and impose administrative fines.
  • Proposition 25, Replaces Cash Bail with Risk Assessments – This ballot measure would prevent a 2018 law that replaces the money bail system with a system for pretrial release from jail based on a determination of public safety or flight risk, and limits pretrial detention for most misdemeanors from going into effect.

California Local Ballot Measures

References for these compilations are from:

  1. https://www.californiachoices.org/ballot-measures-2020-11
  2. https://www.stateside.com/election/2020-state-and-local-ballot-measures
  3. https://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php?search=Proposition+15&searchToken=2wofvgqmg70vx51zyd1mtm7fo
  4. https://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/

Thanks for reading; liking, and sharing. We hope that Americans, and particularly Californians, will get out to vote, or mail-in their votes on/before November 3rd.

Real friends: 5 Things They Are And Are Not

I stated in my earlier post, Pyramid of Friendship, that the issue of friends/friendships has been togging at my heart. I’ve had to deal with some folks lately on the issue too. Some things that we assume are no-brainers surprisingly have been loosely handled and often misinterpreted. Friends and friendships fall into one of these things.

. . .

If you have no expectations of someone, you’ll not be disappointed by their actions or inactions. Similarly, defining a relationship as a friendly one, puts some expectations on that friendship. The level of expectation often corresponds to the level of friendship and intimacy. As such, it behooves us to act right and hold each other accountable in the relationship.

I came up with five things that real friends are and are not in a simplified, but dignified, manner.

5 things real friends are not:

  1. Perfect. Just as no-one is perfect, do not expect your friend/s to be. Be gentle but respectful of one another. However, if one is known for hurting the other with their words or actions, then boundaries have to be set and the friendship categorized.
  2. Snitches. No friend snitches on his/her friend. Snitching, in my opinion, stems from jealousy and envy. And a jealous and envious friend is a catastrophe waiting to happen!
  3. Competitive with one another. You compete with yourself to be better; not with your friend. There’s no healthy competition in friendship.
  4. Envious or jealous. See #2 above.
  5. Judging. Friends accept you for who you are. Judging stems from the need to want to have people be like one. This is tantamount to control. Having everyone look, do, talk, or act like me can make the world boring.

Let’s embrace the diversity and uniqueness in each other.

Real friends

  1. Are true to one another. There’s transparency and no holes barred in the relationship.
  2. Tell you the truth that you need to hear or that others are scared to tell you.
  3. Watch your back. This is self-explanatory. Ask yourself, “if my friend was absent, will my response in absentia collaborate with his or hers?” If your answer is “No,” it means you both don’t know each other well enough to be friends. You’re still in the stranger-ally level.
  4. Always know your stand. Similar to #3 above.
  5. Allow you to be yourself in their presence without judging you!

What are your thoughts on this and the 5 things that real friends are and are not? Feel free to share and like the post if you will.

Pyramid of Friendship

I created the above Pyramid of Friendship but had a hard time uploading the file so I did the next best thing I could think of to do; took a photograph of it. If anyone has a better solution for me on how to upload the file, I’d be glad to hear it. Thanks.

. . .

The issue of friends/friendships has been togging on my mind for a while. We call each other friends, but are we really? What does friendship really mean? Who qualifies to be called a/your friend? Is a friend someone who, or barely, knows you? Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to be thought of as someone’s friend and to have someone to call a friend. But who really is a (or your) friend?

Yes, friendship has to start somewhere. And, if we do not stretch out a “friendship” hand, it will never begin.

Real (or True) Friends share some level of intimacy that they do not share with everyone. Intimacy, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the state of familiarity and act of “developing through long association; is of a very personal or private nature where you share intimate secrets, including marked by very close association.”

Here is the detail of my inverted Pyramid of Friendship:

  1. Strangers: they are friends you haven’t met or really don’t know yet. That’s where all friendships begin. This level is broad, accommodates all, and shares zero intimacy. If you get to know each other by introduction; sharing the basic demographics such as name, where you live, and occupation or hobby, you move to the next level
  2. Ally/Acquaintance(Casual): here you have a little bit of information about each other and continue to share more demographics such as whether you’re single or married. The level of intimacy is beginning to develop but both sides are still proceeding with caution. This is where/what I call “checking each other out!”
  3. Social / Social media: Social friends enjoy a common interest that ranges from following one another on the social media, love for something like parties, hiking, food/cooking, having fun together, etc., but are devoid of sharing serious life issues. They don’t want to be involved in the nitty-gritty of one’s life or bogged down with it. They tend to be superficial and care only about the fun times. But life consists of both the good and bad and life happens to all. Social friends are those who would tag one as a “drama” queen/king. When you share a little bit of your real self, you never know which way it might go. In essence, social friends are inconsistent. They befriend you today, but are gone tomorrow. They also are quick to join the bandwagon. Level of intimacy with social/social media friends is 1. They know as much as you share with them on your social media pages or during the fun/partying times.
  4. Associates/Colleagues: We spend a third (or more) of our day at work with these group of friends. These are people we have no choice but to deal with. They know the parts of us that we allow them to see or know. We could tag this part of us our professional side. But they are unaware of our real self. Those we care about move to the next level
  5. Friends (Close friends): these group often have known us for a little longer, or we attended school or college together and still maintain the association or are colleagues we choose to continue with after work hours. At this level, we’ve established some level of trust and probably have come to know another member or more of our families. Level of intimacy is growing and is at 2.
  6. Buddy/Best (or Girl) Friends: friendship has grown in terms of time and depth knowledge of one another. This group has first-hand knowledge of who you really are. They see the side you often don’t show the rest of the world. You also know each other’s families; have common interests, and can call or knock on their doors late at night or early morning without feeling guilty. Intimacy level is 3.
  7. Confidant/Confidante (Intimate friends): The optimal level of friendship is the Confidant/Confidante. It is narrow because only one (and rarely, two) people can hold the position at any time.

Level of Intimacy

The level of intimacy is a five-level measurement (from 0 to 4) of trust, openness, vulnerability, accountability, and availability that one shares in a friendship or relationship. At the Confidant/Confidante level, it is at its peak; 4. Not everyone can attain this level because not everyone can hold up to each measurement of trust, openness, vulnerability or accountability and availability required at this level. At the Buddy/Girlfriend, Intimacy level is 3. You can call or knock on each other’s doors probably till 11 p.m. or from 6:00 a.m. the following day.

At the Confidant/Confidante level, however, your doors and phones are always open to one another.

. . .

We all need someone in each level of the Pyramid in our lives but a Confidant/Confidante is invaluable.

Categorize your friendship

Finally, categorizing your friends/friendships will help avoid heartaches. For example, knowing that my colleague is only that (about workplace) will remove the burden from both of us of expecting more from him/her empathizing about my granny or dog dying. Great if they do; that might score with me and move him/her to my next level of friendship. But if they don’t, I won’t lose sleep nor deem him/her as a bad folk.

Please share your thoughts of this post. Thanks for reading.

Pyramid-of-Friendship was first published on Think-Talk.org

We are a complicated species

Credits: https://unsplash.com/@ryoji__iwata

Human beings are so complicated. I wonder why. Lately, I’ve been pondering on why it’s so hard for us to get along with each other. Some might claim that my statement is invalid that human beings do get along. To this I say that few people getting along, when ALL or majority could, does not invalidate my claim nor equate everyone getting along. Please read along with me.

In terms of religion alone, we all claim to be of, and worship, one and the same God, yet we have a multitude of branches of religion. The multitude of branches and denominations stemmed mainly from disagreements over doctrines and/or subjective interpretations of parts of the Bible or the religion’s sacred book.

Why so many?

According to records, there are five major religions; namely, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but a staggering 4,300 religions worldwide

Image: Carrie Osgood / weforum.org / World Map of Religions

Intra-Branches

Christianity is divided between Eastern and Western theology. In these two divisions there are six branches: Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Assyrians. Restorationism is sometimes considered the seventh branch.”

Each major religion also has its own branches. For example, there’s the Roman Catholics but “the German monk Martin Luther … denouncing the Catholic sale of indulgences — pardons for sins — and questioning papal authority led to his excommunication and the start of the Protestant Reformation.”

We can go down the list of each major religion and its branches.

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Islam is also represented by several major branches: Sunni, Shi’a, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya, and Sufism.

Modern Hinduism is divided into four major devotional sects: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism.

Judaism also has four branches; the Reform, Orthodox, Conservatism, and Reconstructionist.

Each religious branch also has its branches; branches within branches!

I hope you get the point?

Yet some might say that “variety is the spice of life” and that it is better to have choices rather than be restrictive. True, but doesn’t it make life somewhat harder and the people more complicated to deal with? A branch of religion prefer to stick together with its members and view others suspiciously because of differences in doctrines.

Well, well, well … I could go on and on. As it is with religion, so it is with other areas of life.

I’m not complaining, just pondering.

What would the world view be like if we all practiced one religion? Do you think it will be boring or fun? Just a thought.

Thanks for reading.

What makes a man marry several women?

Libido? Cupidity? Power (Clout) and Control, Social Status, Shortage of men, or simply because they can and the women allow it?

Your answer is as good as mine.

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Polygamy is the act of marrying multiple spouses, simultaneously or sequentially, without first divorcing the other spouse.

Sociologists have different terms when the man marries multiple wives. The act is called polygyny; and polyandry when the woman marries multiple men.

The term globally used though is polygamy and it is widespread among men; rather than women. This blog prefers the term polygamy to polygyny.

Where is Polygamy Practiced?

While polygamy is illegal in most countries, it is still an act practiced in parts of Africa and Asia.

Polygamy was practiced up till 1993 in France! Click here for a list of countries’ current statuses on polygamy.

Justifications

Religion:

Religious reasons permit men to marry several wives. For example, the Islamic religious tenets permit men to marry a maximum of four wives, with a caveat that they can afford to take care of the women and treat them equally. However, I know tons of moslem men who can’t afford to marry one wife let alone four, but nonetheless indulge in polygamy.

Likewise, I have known devout moslem men, though rare, who married only one wife till death.

What is disturbing though is that Christian men also marry several wives! Granted that the Quran/Koran (Islamic sacred texts) permits the moslem men to engage in polygamous acts, there is nowhere in the Bible where it is written that a man can marry several wives. Some might want to exemplify Solomon or David or Abraham and his sons. Before you do, first, it was not a religious permission; the men chose to do it of themselves, and secondly, that was Old Testament (pre-Christ); and thirdly, please note that God did not sanction their actions.

The Mormon is another religion that allows polygamy.

To avoid mistresses

Some men justify the act of polygamy by claiming that it is better to marry the women rather than hiding to have mistresses outside the home. The sad truth is that the men still have mistresses anyways.

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Another factor is that some women simply like to be “kept” women and be splurged with money and things. The men often pay the women’s rents or mortgages and everything else the women want and need.

Historical reasons

History tells us that men married several women in order to have help on the farm and in their businesses. Such that the children also were put to work prematurely.

Cultural pressures

Certain cultures pressure the man to take on other women for various reasons which include:

  1. if the woman suffers from infertility and is unable to bear children, or
  2. if the woman bears sole sexes (that is, all boys or all girls), or
  3. simply and wickedly to force the woman to succumb to the man’s family pressures to let her know that her in-laws still control the man and/or relegate the woman to an inferior position in her home!

Should the men alone be blamed?

Maybe the onus should be on the women? Why would any woman agree to be number 2, or 5, or infinite? Why would any woman, knowingly, still agree to marry a married man? What makes the woman think that she will be different? It is often a matter of time. Seems once the woman bears the children, the man is out fishing again for a younger or more beautiful woman, and the cycle continues.

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While some younger women marry into polygamy because of wealth or fame, others do so because they believe that their marriageable years have eluded them.

I believe that there is a man for each woman. The gender ratio; that is, the ratio of male to female, according to world records is still insignificant. In 2019, female world data was 49.58%,, compared to 49.97% in 1960!

The above world data link is interactive. To compare the numbers for any given years, simply change the base year (in the picture below, it is 1960) and the comparable year (here it is 2019).

Polygamy is not a positive or progressive lifestyle. There’s a hypocritical living style where everyone claims to be happy, loving, and cordial with one another. The truth however is that none is as happy as they claim and everyone is fighting for the love and attention of the Patriarch who is often the glue holding the family together.

Even with maternal siblings (those who share the same mother), true love often seem to be lost or uncertain. Children are tagged as belonging to (or favored by) one parent rather than both parents. With this stance, the siblings are pitted against one another or against the other parent.

Is there any Derived Benefit(s)?

Frankly, the only beneficiary of polygamy is the man. He gets to have any woman any time he wants. He also tends to put the women on their toes competing for his attention, love, and/or money.

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Seriously, though, there might be some benefits derived from polygamy. I do not however advocate this form of marriage.

A few derived benefits, if true love were possible and exists within the home and its members, are that each member of the family has unique strengths, gifts, and skill sets that can be (or should be) shared and would be beneficial to all. Rather than looking outside, family members can depend on one another for those resources they would otherwise pay for. Bottomline, there’s ample help to go round.

Downside of Polygamy

I sincerely believe that men who indulge in polygamy are inconsiderate and can be described as both selfish or self-centered as they only live to satisfy their libido regardless of the feelings of their wives or children. They are unable to love the women equally or unconditionally. It is a loveless full house! They also are ignorant of the possibilities of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The children become their mothers’ responsibilities as they do not have the full attention of their dad. Unfortunately, the mothers find themselves becoming “forced” single parents as they, not both parents, are responsible for the upkeep of their children.

There’s chaos where the man, wives, and children all live under the same roof. I often wonder about the sleeping arrangements and who gets to sleep with the man daily. Would it be on a rotation-basis? Or would it solely be the youngest wife? Again, your guess is as good as mine.

There’s also immense and unhealthy competition among the wives and the children. Should one woman’s child or children succeed (or be more successful), the other wives and children become jealous and envious. This often leads to the Joseph-saga (in the Bible where Joseph who was loved by their dad became the envy of his siblings. They plotted to sell him as a slave and lied to their dad that an animal killed him – some of us will remember the story and its ending). Some households resort to occultism and fetishes against one another. This is barbaric.

In addition, the first wife, who often is the oldest woman, sadly has to live in silence watching her husband daily exhibits his machoism with the younger women. What mental torture!

Many homes have been split (if not destroyed) on the demise of the patriarch of the family.

Final word

Whatever the reason(s) men choose to marry several women, or women choose to marry an already-married man, just as technology presently is to the world and is still evolving, the idea (or act) of polygamy is archaic should be eradicated in this modern world and its future.

Women should resist the urge to be second or nth fiddle, as well as the pressure to marry an “already-married” man. Don’t give up ladies, your man will surely come. No marriage is without continuous work. There is a saying that goes, “one wife, one trouble!” Marrying multiple wives therefore equates multiple trouble irrespective of the family front that appears in public.

Men ought to know how to love and love well. There are abundant resources to help those who need the help. Love is a continuous work.

Women are better off marrying monogamously than polygamously; just pray that the right man seeks you out.

Men, on the other hand, should do their part to curb their libido and control their appetite for more. Resist the urge to jump in-and-out of love and beds!

My two cents. Thanks for reading.

Feel free to comment below and share.

R A P E

Rape is never a pleasant thing to talk about. It sends shivers down my spines. But, it’s an issue we find ourselves talking about today. It’s an issue dear to The Eternal Word’s heart. It is an issue everyone should be concerned about.

It’s also an issue that has no cultural, race, age, or socio-economic boundaries. To learn more, read the following:

Sex vs. RAPE

Having sex is meant to be a special thing between two loving adults. It is meant to be an enjoyable experience with the right person.

Sex is never supposed to be had with a minor! It is illegal and whosoever does so is a pedophile. Such person is punishable under the law! Even the religions and cultures that allow such acts should be banned as they are perpetuating an illegal act!!!

RAPE is forceful sex, against the victim’s will. When sex is forceful, it is evil concupiscence (Colossians 3:5-6). If the person says “NO” and pushes, please STOP, they mean “NO!” Never think that the person is playing hard to get. Respect the person. No one enjoys forced sex; except that the perpetrator satisfies an evil desire/longing.

What adrenaline, or is it testosterone, flows uninhibited through the veins and arteries of one to defile another?! The mere thought of RAPE gives me chills as one with high fever.

Effects

RAPE victims suffer psychologically, emotionally, and mentally after a RAPE ordeal. Some of the consequences could be long-term if the victims are not treated or seek counseling/therapies. Additionally, most victims suffer shame and self-blame. Because of this, the majority of RAPE incidents are not reported or even shared with family members and/or friends leaving the victim to suffer the trauma alone.

PTSD is real with RAPE victims, so also is depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. Some victims also struggle with self esteem.

Life is hard enough as it is, why dump more on anyone? Rapists must be STOPPED and brought to justice. Anyone who has ever raped another must repent.

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RAPE must be categorized as a pandemic issue. We all nust do our part to STOP it locally and globally. Please do your part people.

RAPE Myths

Understand the myths about rape or sexual violence as compiled by Rape Crisis, U.K.. For the corresponding Facts on each Myth, please visit their website https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-informed/about-sexual-violence/myths-vs-realities/

  1. If someone gets really drunk, it’s their own fault if they end up getting raped. They should have kept themselves safe.
  2. Women often lie about rape because they regret having sex with someone, or because they want attention.
  3. If someone didn’t scream or try to fight their attacker off, then it wasn’t rape.
  4. If you are in a relationship with someone, it’s always OK to have sex with them.
  5. People who were sexually abused as children are likely to become abusers themselves.
  6. Women shouldn’t go out alone at night as they are likely to get raped.
  7. Women provoke men to rape them by wearing revealing clothes or flirting.
  8. Once a man is sexually aroused he can't help himself; he has to have sex.
  9. When it comes to sex, women and girls give out mixed signals. They sometimes 'play hard to get' and say 'no' when they really mean 'yes'. 
  10. Men of certain races and backgrounds are more likely to commit sexual violence.
  11. Men don't get raped.
  12. Women don’t commit sexual offences.

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Need more information or gelp for your locality on how/what you can do to help end RAPE, Click here.

Let’s end this pandemic.

Thanks for reading. Please share.

If men only knew … 5 Things men ought to know

If only men knew the gift of God that He gave them, men would handle their wives with utmost care and treat them as precious jewels.

Out of the bones of Adam (Genesis 2:21-23), Eve, the mother of all living (Genesis 20:3), was formed. And His Word said, “…, ye husbands, dwell with them (your wives) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7)

That your prayers be not hindered!

Dictionary.com https://www.dictionary.com/browse/hinder provides the definition of: ‘hinder’ as: ‘to cause delay, interruption, or difficulty in; hamper; impede:

In case you still do not understand, God says that if you call on Him, when you’re being (or have been) mean to, or have manhandled, or abused (in any way, shape, or form; i.e., emotional, physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, etc; your wife, He might not answer you quickly!

Why men, or anyone for that natter, would want to go through hindered prayers beats me.

. . .

Do men not know?

It bothers me to know, or hear, that men hit their wives, cheat on them, lie, or engage in idle chatter about them, and worse yet, relegate their wives while loving and placing everyone else above her.

  • Don’t they know that charity begins from home?
  • Don’t they know that both man and wife have become one in the eyes of God, despite that your family members or the public are trying to separate both of you?
  • Don’t they know that whatever ill men do or send their wives’ way, comes back to them; sometimes even much more?
  • Don’t they also know that even if the wife doesn’t say anything and tolerate the “abuse” for the sake of the children and keeping the family together, that God, Jehovah El Roi, sees it all and will avenge on her behalf?
  • Don’t men know that criticizing their wives publicly shows much more the kind of men they are?!!!

It’s a spiritual principle

Even men’s parents ought to take second place after their wives. This is a hard pill for many immature men to swallow. “What? The one who gave birth to me now takes second place?! No way!” Before you stone the messenger; God also said this : “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife” (Mark 10:7, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7. Ephesians 5:31).

How I have heard rumblings and offenses at this specific God’s Word! Have men ever wondered, or even asked the Author, why He put this verse in His Book? Only the wise man would stop to think and ask.

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I once was a Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant. Mary Kay Ash was the founder of beauty products established primarily to help women make some income while still maintaining their homes/families. Her business was based on a principle that God is first, family second, and everything/everyone else third (or last). She touted this principle to her beauty consultants stating that if they followed it, they were sure to excel. At the time, I didn’t have a relationship with Father God; only knew Him as someone up there. That has since changed and I haven’t deviated from the valuable principle since knowing Him.

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I said that to implore men to follow this same principle because they are the head (of the house/family) from which the oil flows.

Men, your wives are your help mate to be cherished. Treat your wife like your queen. You are the head and king of your domain and your wife is your partner (or as I normally say, the neck). If the head tries to make a wrong turn, the neck steers it back or becomes stiff forcing the head back to its normal position!

Men, please love your wives “…, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25). As you do, you will enjoy the favor of God and man, you’ll be blessed going out and coming in, and your children will honor you because, to your son, you reflect the man they aspire to be, and of how they would treat their own wives; and for your daughters, you will be the yardstick they use to measure men or their own husbands.

5 things Men ought to know

Men ought to:

1. Love their wives unconditionally. Charity begins from home. God says “two have become one.” Loving her is loving yourself. I haven’t met anyone who hates himself. In fact, God says, “love her as Jesus loves the church and gave his life for it!”

2. Treat their wives like queens. Because ”two have become one,” men, you are the heads and kings of your domains and your wives are your partners (or as I normally say, the necks). If the head tries to make a wrong turn, the neck steers it back or becomes stiff forcing the head back to its normal position!

3. Listen to their wives. Women have been naturally wired with instincts and intuition. They just know things. Men (and the family) would benefit greatly if they first consult with, and listen to, their wives. As an example, God told Abraham to listen to Sarah when she asked that Hagar be sent away (Genesis 21:12).

4. Cover their wives. Wise men know how to do this. But for those who don’t, it simply means that you do not embarrass your wife intentionally or otherwise, especially publicly. Even when she is the cause of the embarrassment, it’s wisdom to cover her than causing her shame or more embarrassment.

5. Cherish her and help with the chores.

  1. Let her know that she’s the most important person in your life; not your mom. Your wife is the one who shares bed with you and cooks your meals; not your mom. Your wife is also the first point of call should there be, God forbid, an accident; not your mom! If your mom is more important, maybe you’re not ready for marriage. Ouch, that’s cold. But, sorry men, you need to hear it since your wife couldn’t tell you. I’m not disrespecting mothers, I’m one too. There’s a reason you married your wife and not your mom; never forget that reason;
  2. Know your wife’s primary love language and demonstrate such to her. Men, you (or both of you) will be frustrated if you keep buying her stuff when all she wants is to spend quality time with you or vice versa. Giving and receiving the right kind of love improves the aura of the home/family.
  3. Skip outings just to spend time together or just for her to rest and recharge her energy.
  4. If you have kids, take the kids out so she can rest.

Men, now that you know, please do the right thing to, and with, your wife if you haven’t already been doing so.

Thanks for reading.

Stay blessed!

Help, Lord!

Bible in One Year 2020 with Nicky Gumbel – Day 203 – Devotional

Sharing the Devotional from the Bible in One Year 2020. To read more and read daily, click this url https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/17704/day/203?segment=0

One of my most frequent prayers is ‘Help!’ It is also one of the most common prayers in the Bible. It is a prayer you can pray every day, in any and every situation. You can cry out to the Lord for help. God’s desire is for you to have a relationship with Him that is real and from the heart.

Psalm 88:9b-18

Help in broken relationships

Rejection is always hurtful – especially when it comes from someone you love or someone very close to you. Broken relationships are painful – particularly when we feel we have been ‘dumped’ by a ‘lover’, a ‘neighbour’ or a close friend. The psalmist feels that since ‘lover and neighbour alike dump me; the only friend I have left is Darkness’ (v.18, MSG).

He says, ‘For as long as I remember I’ve been hurting’ (v.15, MSG). The situation seems like one of utter hopelessness: darkness (v.12), feeling rejected by God (v.14), affliction (v.15a), terror and despair (v.15b). ‘I’m bleeding, black-and-blue… I’m nearly dead’ (v.17, MSG).

Yet there is one note of hope. The hope comes from the fact that, in the midst of all this, he chooses to start each day by crying out to God: ‘I call to you, O Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you’ (v.9b).

Perhaps today you’re struggling with a relationship: in your marriage, workplace, church or with a close friend. However bad your situation may seem, there is always hope if you cry out to the Lord for help.

‘I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you’ (v.13). O Lord, I spread out my hands to you. I ask you for help…

Psalm 88:13

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May God help us all in our time(s) of need when we sincerely cry out to Him. He will never let us down.