How To Speak Words Of Encouragement

[blockquote source=”Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)“]Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.[/blockquote]

Earlier this year (2013), as I was going through a rough patch, one of the things that I caught myself doing more of was to criticise and complain.  Sometimes it was over feeling lost about my purpose in life, other times it was over something as trivial as the lift would not stop on my floor.

And this complaining and criticising were just the surface of it.  Deeper inside, the emotions of anger, hatred, envy, and anxiety were lurking around waiting for just the right moment to show its fangs and eat into my soul.  What’s worse, all these emotions are a result of a greater sense of fear – fear of losing out, fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear of the future, and fear of the present.

And when fear rules your world, it becomes dark, cold, and lonely.  It is the devil’s scheme, as when fear rules, faith is lost.  And when faith is lost, we become distant from God.

To paraphrase a famous quote from Lao Tzu, “Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

To live out my goal to be a role model for my children, one of my daily tasks is to speak words of encouragement.  I firmly believe that people, especially children, will live up to the expectations that you hold them to be.  As a result, I say things that will encourage them to either demonstrate more of the desired behaviours or correct the undesirable ones.

For example, when Moses (my son) is being helpful, I would say, “Thank you for helping me with cleaning up”.  Or when I see him showing affection towards his sister, I would say, “You are so sweet to show your love towards your sister”.

Of course children sometimes misbehave and by saying, “I am very disappointed with your bad behaviour”, does not help because we are not offering to the child what is the type of behaviour that is acceptable.  And without a clear sense of “what can I do instead”, the child will have little clue in correcting his behaviour.

Instead, we can say “You need to be more respectful by waiting for your turn to play” or perhaps even ask the child “How can you behave in a more respectful manner?”

Hence, here are the elements of speaking words of encouragement either to your children or even your spouse, friends, co-workers, direct reports, or even bosses! (hat-tip to the Virtues Project):

  • (a) an opening phrase, (b) virtue, and (c) how the virtue is being demonstrated
  • e.g. (a) Thank you for (b) helping (c) me with cleaning up
  • (a) an opening phrase, (b) virtue, and (c) how the virtue ought to be demonstrated
  • e.g. (a) You need to be more (b) respectful (c) by waiting for your turn to play
  • (a) an open-ended question, (b) virtue
  • e.g. (a) How can you behave in a more (b) respectful manner?

With these guides in mind, we are now better equipped to speak words of encouragement to give hope and to lift up the spirits of others.  Who likes to be around others who complain and whine about everything and anything?  Finally, as is recorded in the Book of Proverbs, “Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” Proverbs (16:24)

Father we thank You for Your Word today, which speak of encouragement in how we should live.  Father, I pray that You will help us do the same by speaking words of encouragement that will give hope as well as lift up the spirits of those we meet today. In Jesus name, Amen.

What I Know About Parenting I Learned From The Bible

[blockquote source=”Proverbs 24:3-4 (NIV)“]“Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”[/blockquote]

“How would I do it?”, was the question that I constantly ask myself about parenting. What approach should I use? How would I discipline my child?

And today’s verses are just an affirmation that I am on the right path in moving forward.

Firstly, lets examine the word “house” used in the Bible. According to some commentaries, “house” denotes the family.

For example, in 1 Timothy 3:4-5 the KJV reads “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

Using the NIV, it translate to “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

Hence, the application from today’s verses is essentially: Learn, Live, and Lead

  • Learn: The verses state that the family must be built on wisdom. As used in Proverbs, the word “wisdom” refers to Jesus Christ, which is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The only source of wisdom is from the Bible. Hence, schedule at least 20 minutes each day to study the Bible. I use the One Year Bible Companion along with the One Year Bible (NIV) published by Tyndale. Before I study the Bible, I pray to God to ask Him to show me and guide me to what I needed to learn today.  I would then highlight and annotate what appeals to me during my study using the Kindle Paperwhite.
  • Live: This is essentially in Matthew 16:24 (NIV) “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”  Based on what I have highlighted, I will do some research on the web on the commentaries for that verse.  Afterwards, I would look at how I am able to translate that wisdom into everyday living.  I always pray real hard for that insight to enable me to do that.  Sometimes it is quite obvious but other times I could complete the reading and still not find anything that jumps out at me. Usually that happens when I am not focused or just wanted to simply get it over and done with.
  • Lead: We all learn best by following others, especially if the people we follow are our role models. Some of us grew up with our parents as role models, which is great (if our parents are great role models). However, some of us rely on others, like a teacher, a friend, or even a celebrity. I am deeply concerned about who my children will turn to as their role models. And should they not consider me as the role model for them, at least I must not be a bad one. Hence, to lead them I must first lead myself, to get myself to do the things that I want them to do. To clean up after myself so that they would do the same. To be disciplined and get up on time and do the work, so that they would do the same.

Finally, the verse in 1 Timothy 3:4-5 also spoke to me that unless I am able to manage my own family well, I cannot be entrusted to manage God’s church, and here, God’s church refers to the people and not the organisation.

Father, thank you for Your blessings of the healthy and active children (Moses and Esther) we have. Father may You watch over them as they grow up and guide them in the ways that will bring Glory to Your Name. Father, I also pray that You will guide me as I Learn the wisdom in the Word, and also that You would give me the courage and strength to Live it out, so that I can not only Lead my family, but also Your Church. In Jesus name, Amen.

Do You See A Miracle Or A Misery?

[blockquote source=”Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)“]Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.[/blockquote]

I was reading the sample of E-Myth Mastery by Michael Gerber.  There is, but, this one paragraph that struck me.  Gerber mentioned that a rabbi read one of his books and was inspired by it.  During their conversation, the rabbi went on to offer examples of how miracles found “in the Bible are just biblical in nature, but happening around us every single day“.

Further, the rabbi said that “I have come to think that the Red Sea has parted for each and every one of us in our own singularly unique and miraculously unpredictable way, over and over and over again.  The tragedy is we don’t see it.  [For] if we saw it, our lives would be transformed“.

This rings true for me, and I wonder if it is the same for you.

Many a times, we tend to focus so much on the door that just closed that we missed the one that had opened.  Many a times, we tend to focus on what we do not have instead of what we have been blessed with.  Many a times, we tend to focus on what we cannot do and deny ourselves the experience of the present.  Many a times, we tend to lament that God didn’t answer our prayers, but we fail to realise that He is working on miracles every day in our lives.

Just couple of months ago I was feeling kinda low as I was concerned about my professional goals for this year.  I was just so caught up with how much more do I need in order to achieve my goals.  I was feeling frustrated that the prospects are not coming back soon enough.  It was a terrible state to be in.

Amidst all these, my wife gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  My son became a big brother to his little sister!

Then I spoke to a principal, who was sharing with me how he and his wife tried for six years before they had their second child.

Then it hit me.  Here I am, this event, the birth of my second child just slightly more than two years after our first, is a miracle!  It is the parting of the Red Sea!  And yet, I have been so blinded by it that I have overlooked it.

Immediately, when I realised this, I told my wife about it and we both thanked the LORD for blessing us with baby Esther!

I wonder if you have your own “parting of the Red Sea” moments that you may care to share.  But brothers and sisters, sometime to be able to hear what God has to say to us, we need to silent our mind.

One of the ways to silent our minds is to meditate, or if some of you are uncomfortable with that term, then contemplate.  Meditate on the word of God daily.  Here’s how I do it.

Using HEAP as my structure, I’d do the following:

  • Honor God’s Word – pray to God to help you pick up a verse from the Bible that will help you move forward as you pursue your passion to fulfil your purpose.  Set aside some time, maybe 20 minutes, to read the Bible.  I have found that it is best to do it first thing in the morning.  Before Esther was born, I used to get up at around 4.30am daily just to read the Bible
  • Experience – with the verse that you have picked out, look at it through your own  experiences.  What are some of your unique experiences that you can relate to?  How did this verse worked in your life?
  • Application – suggest a way that you can apply this verse in your life.  From here, you would be able to not only apply the teachings in the Bible to your everyday life, you would also be able to share this with others!
  • Pray – always end of the session with a prayer.  Give thanks to God.  Because truly, what God can do is indeed “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”

Dear LORD, thank you for doing for us immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.  Thank you for the Holy Spirit that is at work within us and be glory to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  In His name, Amen.

How To Overcome Self-Doubt

[blockquote source=”John 14:1 (GWT)“]”Don’t be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in me.[/blockquote]

Couple of years back when the dot-com company I worked for went bust, we needed very quickly to find cash to supplement our income or else we would all be on the streets.  Then one of us suggested that we should organise a conference on “investor relations”.

To begin, I did not know what “investor relations” was and further, I have never organised a conference before.  I mean, I have attended conferences before and the closest I would get to organising a conference would be to organise a lunch for a bunch of would-be investors.  That was it.

When the task was given to me, I literally freaked out!  I wanted to quit.  I just did not think that people would want to sign up for such a conference and besides, who would I invite to speak?  Additionally, we did not have any money, so how would we pay them?  How much would we charge each participant?  Would there be an early-bird discount or a group discount?

So, one of the first things we did was to brainstorm a list of possible to-dos to get this project going.  The list looked like this:

  • Look for similar conferences organised in the past – how much did they charge, what are the topics they covered
  • Identify the target audience – would the target audience be existing companies who are already publicly traded?  How about inviting companies on the “Promising SMEs” list?  How about inviting corporations that offer investor relations services as well?  What about people from the security exchanges?  What about investors?
  • Selection of speakers – who do we invite?  Would it be good to provide a range of speakers such as investor relations practitioners, security exchanges personnel, existing publicly traded companies, traders from brokerage houses, public accountants?
  • Marketing strategy – what would be the most cost effective marketing strategy?   Do we do email marketing?  How about fax?  What about advertisements?  What about speaking at other conferences?  Through the press?

I am proud to say that due to the efforts of the team, we managed to pull this off quite successfully.

Firstly, we rounded up a group of speakers to speak at the conference for free, in exchange for raising their own profile, or that of their organisations, as well as the possibility to network and to solicit for prospective clients.

Next, we did identified a specific group of target audience where we believe this conference would add most value to them.  Sure, not everyone we approached signed up, but at least our assumption about organisations wanting to learn more about how they can reach out to their shareholders was accurate.

Lastly, though the conference was organised on a shoe-string budget, we made sure that the ambience of the event did not reflect that.  We did not pinch on the selection of location.  Instead, we chose one of the top conference locations in Singapore.  Further, we had a little surprise for our participants by inviting several top officials from the Economic Development Board to lunch and have them mingle and network with our participants.

At the end of the day, we did not make a lot of money, but we certainly gained the experience (may not yet be the expertise) to help us overcome our self-doubt about what we can do.

Based on this experience, one can say that in order to overcome self-doubt, you just have to go out there, get your hands dirty, and gain the experience.  However, that was before I became a believer and thought that in order to not just survive, but also to thrive, I would need to depend only on myself to make things happen.  Funny thing is, despite having some level of success, we never organise another conference.  In fact, I was just glad that it is over.

In other words, we were not able to sustain what we did and even if we tried, I am not sure if we are able to succeed.  As I mature and also became a believer in Christ, my strategies for overcoming self-doubt have been refined and can be explained through FAITH:

  • F is for Focus on Jesus: knowing that “He is the head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2:10), I want to align whatever I pursue with His will
  • A is for Approach everything with love: following Christ is not just inviting Jesus into your life, but to also live like Him, and that is to “Love one another” (John 13:34)
  • I is for Identify your purpose: God has a purpose for you even when you are in your mother’s womb, for the Psalmist said “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139.16)
  • T is for Train your mind: Paul in Romans 12:2 said “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” as such we should train our mind and not allow the doubts and fears to conquer us
  • H is for Hone your skills: The skills that got you here would not get you where you want to be, so you need to hone your skills and learn new ones, as in Proverbs “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” (Proverbs 22.29)

Father I pray that we can overcome our self-doubts by having faith in Your grace and guidance in all that we do.  Father I thank You for Jesus and we pray each day to focus on Jesus and through Him all things will indeed become possible.  In Jesus name, Amen.

What Is Your Purpose In Life?

[blockquote source=”Isaiah 40:30-31 (GWT)“]Even young people grow tired and become weary, and young men will stumble and fall.  Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the LORD will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired.[/blockquote]

Today’s message in Church was about how to put God top of mind while living in the secular world.  I was struck by how relevant today’s message was to me personally at this juncture in my life.  Time after time, I have questioned how can I mix my spiritual world with my secular world.  Do I, only on Sundays; and that is if I do attend church, be totally immersed in my spiritual world, only to have the rest of the six days deeply absorbed in the secular world.

That was primarily how I have lived for a great length of my life thus far.  Up until very recently, I still could not see how this two world does not have to be different, distinct, mutually exclusive.  In fact, one can not only see the secular world through the lens that God has given us; we can also see how by performing up to expectations and beyond, we are indeed bringing glory to God’s name!

In order to have this a reality, one will have to understand that our behaviours are not just based on our capabilities.  To illustrate, all of us are capable of murder (capability), but we do not it (behaviour) is because we believe that it is morally wrong to kill another person (belief).  Additionally, these beliefs are in turn derived from our identity as well as our spirituality.

The central idea behind this concept is the Logical Levels of Change in NLP.  Essentially the concept states that change can happen at one or more of these six levels.  However, to have lasting change, you will need to understand how this works at all six levels:

  • Environment: describes the situation
  • Behaviour: refers to how people respond or react in accordance to the environment
  • Capabilities: describes the knowledge, skills, and competencies that enables people to perform within the environment
  • Beliefs and Values: these are things that are true and important to these people within the environment
  • Identity: the people’s sense of their roles
  • Spirituality: the people’s connection to a higher purpose

Let’s say you want your people to be more innovative.  However, if all you do is to mount a series of training programs, then it is likely that your people are not going to be any more creative than they were before they had the training.

Let’s say you want your child to be more responsible for his learning.  However, if you as the parent, are always packing your child’s bag for school, then it is highly unlikely that your child is going to be any more responsible.

Hence, some of us (or in fact, many of us) in the secular world want to not only survive, but also thrive in our work; but the kind of activities that we engage in may sometimes get us ahead only temporarily but over time will wear us out and we may even find ourselves being in regressive mode.

What I am suggesting is this.  In order to see lasting change, we need to work from the inside out.  In fact, we need to always connect ourselves to God and His purpose for us.  Allow me to illustrate this with a personal example.

One of my roles in the secular world is being the “consultant” (identity).  What I believe that are true and important to me is that I should be able to add, maximise, and create value for my clients (beliefs and values).  How I will accomplish this is by synthesising existing materials and creating new knowledge (capabilities) and then designing frameworks and solutions (behaviours) during face-to-face consultation sessions (environment) to help my clients solve their problems.

Now, these are all good, except when you keep doing the same thing over and over again, at some point in time, you are going to feel tired.  It is going to be boring.  The novelty will wears off.  The challenge is dulled.  It is no longer as exciting as before!

As the Bible says, “Even young people grow tired and become weary, and young men will stumble and fall.”  And that’s what happens to me when I did not make the connection to my spirituality.  Until I can see why my role (identity) as a consultant is to help others solve problems is connected to my purpose in life, it is like what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:14 (NIV) “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

Dear God, help us make the connections of the roles we play on this earth as a spouse, as a parent, as an offspring, as a member of our community, as a member of our organisation to the purpose that You have identified for us.  And for those of us who have yet to uncover what that purpose is, may You so gracefully guide us to learn about it and to have the courage, strength, and wisdom to live it.  We pray all these in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Don’t Give In To Fear

[blockquote source=”Galatians 6:9 (NIV)“]Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.[/blockquote]

Today I received an email from Jeff Goins on how he wanted to quit. He was lamenting about how in the past week, the going was tough. He was not achieving his goals and was just feeling his world starting to crumple.

It is not unlike many of us, who decided to pursue our passion in order to fulfil our purpose in life. There are just too many times than I would admit that I have thought about giving up. The fears and doubts come in the form of how much longer can I compete effectively, how much more can I contribute, what else can I do, where else can I expand. These thoughts are almost always in my head, so much so that it not only give me sleepless nights but it also paralyse me and prevent me from taking the next step!

Pressfield said it best in The War of Art:
[blockquote source=”Steven Pressfield”]“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”[/blockquote]

To counter our fear is simply to just do the work. To make sure that we stay at it, here’s my suggestion:

  • Identity: know who you are, know what’s your purpose, know your strengths and your weaknesses
  • Perspective: realise how far have you’ve come will give you the right perspective, because wherever you are now, you once thought it was impossible
  • Hone New Skills: your current set of skills that have gotten you here are unlikely to take you where you want to go
  • Schedule: unless you make time for art, it will never get done
  • Pray: always commit to the LORD what you do, for if you do not need God’s help then this goal is not big enough

Father I pray that with Your guidance and grace, we can look fear in the eye and keep on keeping on until the work is done. In Jesus name, Amen.

How Do You Engage Your Direct Reports

[blockquote source=”Galatians 5: 13-14 (NIV)“]You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[/blockquote]

As I reflected upon this one command “Love your neighbour as yourself”; I constantly ask myself what does it mean to “love my neighbour”?  Does it mean I have to “love” everyone even when they are annoying?  Does it mean I have to “love” my enemies or competition even when they cause me pain?  As I mature in my spiritual journey, I came to realise that this “love” is essentially a filter that you see everything through.

For instance, there are people who, despite whatever had happened, will still see the positive side of things.  On the other hand, there are also individuals who, despite everything that is positive, can pick up the negative aspects of it.  Hence, “love” is the filter in which you see everything through.

In their book, “Own The Room“, Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins introduced the ACE approach in coaching their clients to discover their unique signature voice:

  • Assumptions: what you believed to be true
  • Communication strategies: your choice of words
  • Energy: your actions and behaviours

In my coaching practice, I advice my clients to engage their direct reports using the “love” approach.

  • Assumptions: I love my direct reports
  • Communication strategies: nurture, let’s work on this together, I’d like to help you, help me understand from your point of view, are there any circumstances that you face which I should be aware of
  • Energy: send a checklist to the direct reports on what is to be discussed during appraisal, buy the direct reports a drink during the appraisal, send a thank you note to the direct reports after the appraisal

Father, thank You for loving me unconditionally.  Help me see the world through the lens of “love” so that I can keep the command by Jesus.  In His name, Amen.

Walk This Way – Create A Massive Action Plan (MAP)

[blockquote source=”Isaiah 30:20-22 (NIV)“]Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”[/blockquote]

In this world you will have trouble, as Jesus said.  Yes, life is full of twists and turns.  I like to think of myself as this dude with a strong sense of commitment.  There are times I would say something like, “I’d like to think through this carefully as I want to be able to commit fully to this if I should take it on”.  In fact, what I am saying is, “look, I am scared out of my wits when I think of all the things that are required of me and I am not sure if I can do that”!

Just as I decided to embark on this journey, I already see the amount of work, commitment, late nights.  I am already warning myself of the obstacles, challenges, people saying no, people mocking me ahead.  The doubts, fears, anxieties, and frustrations are all building up inside of me.

Note, I said “as I decided”, not “as I started on this journey”.  The fact is that I have not even started on this journey.  And that is the most frustrating of all.  As I researched on this verse, I came across the reflections of Amanda, where she rightly pointed out that the word “turn” in the verse is a verb, and action.  And that struck me big time.

If I have not even started to move, to take one small little step, then how was I to know which way to go?  To use an analogy I once heard from Pastor Rick Warren, you cannot steer a car that is not moving.  You need to move.

In other words, you need to take action, to take one step so that the Holy Spirit can tell you if you are going down the right path or not.

This reminds me of a quote by Tony Robbins, “Never leave the site of setting a goal without first taking some form of positive action toward its attainment.”  So for today, I would like to share with you the MAP (massive action plan) from Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method (RPM).  Essentially this is how it works.

  • State your a goal: for instance, for me, one of my personal goals is to maintain my weight at 79kg.
  • Brainstorm a massive list of activities that will help you achieve your goal: for me it could be exercise, diet, refrain from sugared drinks, drinks lots of water, cut down on caffeine, get adequate sleep, eat regular but smaller sized meals, etc
  • Identify which of these activities are you going to take action on: I picked three actions that I will undertake daily – exercise, eat fruits and vegetables, and drink at least 7 glasses of water
  • Schedule these actions so that you have a plan: I will exercise at 6.30am everyday, I will ensure that my meals include both vegetables and fruits, and I will drink at least two glasses of water the moment I wake up, at least two glasses after my exercise, at least one at lunch, at least one at dinner, and at least one before I sleep.

Dear LORD, thank you being by my side the whole time even during times of adversity.  As I take each step towards my goal, let my ears hear Your instructions.  In Jesus name, Amen.

How To Make Ideas Happen

[blockquote source=”Isaiah 28:24-29 (NIV)“]When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil?  When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in its field?[/blockquote]

As I was preparing for my ministry, I got stuck.  First it was about “what can I do”?  Then it was, “what about my current set of skills, how do I put them into use”?  Then it was “will I be able to thrive and not just survive”?  Then it was “do I use my own name”?

You see, I was stuck in this infinite loop that I cannot seem to get out of!  I found myself stuck in the discovery mode.  Perhaps moving slightly into the mastery mode, but it never got to the missionary stage of my ministry.

In fact, it is as if the farmer, whose purpose is to plant seeds in the ground, but expend all his energy on breaking up the soil.  Perhaps never satisfied by the way he had broken the ground, he continues to plow again and again.  If he never place no even one single seed in the ground, there will never be a crop.  And if there are no crops, then there is no harvest.

You may have a really brilliant idea for your business.  You may have just that theme that will enable others to build a better website.  You may have that cause that will end poverty.  You may have the ingredient that will coach others to success.  But if you continue to only “plow” (your plow may be research – not it means re-searching, or your plow may be talking to people, or your plow may be “some day when my kids grow up”) then you will never see your crops and there will be no harvest.

Here’s one tip that I have learned from the book, “Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality” by Scott Belsky.  The central idea in this book is simply to take action.  What separates dreamers from achievers is action.  Being action oriented will enable you to keep moving, to be one step closer to your goal.

If you want to see a harvest, then do this:

  • See everything as a project: in other words; ideas, that new theme, a new website, birthday party, if you need to take a series of steps, which may not necessarily be sequential, in order to achieve the desired outcomes then this is a project;
  • Each project will have three components: namely Action Steps, References, and Backburner Items;
  • Action Steps: these are essentially specific, concrete tasks that will help you move forward and bring you closer to the desired outcome
  • References: these are basically any form of notes, papers, articles, websites, books, etc that you may want to refer to from time to time
  • Backburner Items: these are items that you come across from time-to-time, which may be good but you will need to quickly identify them as distractors – for instance, when building this site on WordPress, I kept seeing myself going to Themeforest to search for the next best theme out there and when I do find it, I can sometime spend hours just trying out the demo sites!

Here’s some specific steps that you can take:

  • State your idea: e.g. I want to use the Scriptures to enable me to learn, live, and lead others
  • Action Steps: e.g. (a) buy “The One Year Bible“, (b) study the Bible daily, (c) write daily devotions, (d) identify the application of the Scripture to daily living, (e) create tools for application, (f) post it on website, (g) broadcast it on social media
  • Backburner Items: a great WordPress theme that will present my work in the most optimal manner

Dear Father, thank you for giving me greater clarity on my purpose.  Now empower me with the courage, strength, and wisdom to be able to undertake this task so that others can benefit from this cause and in due course, will learn about Jesus, will live like Jesus, and will lead like Jesus.  In Jesus name, Amen.

You Are My Friend

[blockquote source=”John 15:15 (NIV)“]I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.[/blockquote]

I have been working on getting up early to do a few things: (1) read the bible, (2) pray, (3) write my daily devotions, and (4) run.

It worked for a while and I was so greatly excited and then after my vacation, it became so difficult for me to continue. Oh, what a mess. Then I started giving myself excuses that I was tired, that I needed the rest, that I have to allow my body to recover, etc.

Like I said, these are just excuses. And what’s even more interesting is that if I set this up to work together with a friend, then I would have to be held accountable for this routine!

And that friend for me is Jesus.

It’s like my personal time with Jesus, where I want to be able to learn from Him and to ask Him as many questions as I can possibly think of. And seek His knowledge and wisdom. And to have Him coach me.

Dear LORD, the one who calls me friend, I am honoured to be your friend for whatever I have done, I clearly do not deserve it but you have still chosen me. Dear LORD, I want to be able to share my Daily Cross by focusing on Jesus 365 days in the year. Please grant me this wisdom and insights to be able to complete this publication. In Your precious name, Amen.