Thursday 21 December 2017

You Are Not Less Than What You Ought To Be

A story is told of Jimmy (not real name), he comes from a poor background. For him to study he had to be enrolled in a school that is housed within one of the churches I know. His family would some days go hungry, if things were so bad, they would sleep when they have taken a cup of tea without sugar. However while listening to Jimmy's story he said that he envisioned something good coming out of him irrespective of the circumstances. 

This picture depicts the kind of work Jimmy did 

He would get home, boil maize and go sell it along the market streets of a suburb in Kampala called Kitintale. He said the money from the maize would help contribute to his school fees and besides that he would also go dig and plant potatoes and do other things to improve his lifestyle and that of his siblings. As I write this article Jimmy is in University and he is a big testimony of what it takes to believe that "You Are Not Less Than What You Out To Be". 

Jimmy gives back to the school that educated him by sharing his story. He once said, "I knew that hawking maize was a temporary thing I had to do, but that wouldn't be my final destination". This young man through hard work, determination and the great opportunity to study at a cheap rate, did not sit back in self pity but chose to create his own path, I can boldly say he is destined for good and greater things. He prayed but also knew that prayer wasn't enough, he needed to put his talents and ideas to work, he needed to study while working to fend for his family and fees. Nothing really comes easy.

This proverbs says a lot about our lives
Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!”
One of the worst things that can ever happen to man kind is to devalue themselves. Devaluing oneself is happening a lot on the premise of comparison. It is like putting a final say on your future and put a nail to the coffin. Someone looks at another person and says that, "they have everything". They start shooting themselves down by saying, "I am nothing", "I can't add any value to this life and the life of others", "I am not as beautiful or educated like that person or my background is the one that has caused me to be like this, I wish i was from a rich family".

I have come to discover that I am uniquely created and that there can never ever be anyone like me. I have changed my mindset towards myself and I declare that "No One Is Better Than Me" so is no one better than you. What makes us look at others in a different lens in relation to our lives is always the sense of competition. People become great or better in their lives because they know their IDENTITY, they have knowledge that you don't know, they use their time well and convert it into tangible results. 

Ben Carson's Story
When I read the book THINK BIG by Ben Carson , his story moved me and one of the lines that stuck to my head is the words his mother told him. She said "Only You Can Do It Better". Ben and his brother Curtis were doing so bad in school that their grades were not the best. His mother was a janitor and while cleaning the homes of the rich people she worked for, she observed their lives and realized that they hard more libraries than  TVs, she cut down on how much Television they were watching and told them to go to the public library and after every read up, they needed to give her a report not knowing she was illiterate, however her gamble worked out and the man I am writing about became the best in school and was the first Doctor to separate co-joined twins. Some times we need to show people their worth and tell them, "What others do, they too can do and only do it better". In telling them so, we are igniting a fire and a passion for them to rise up from the pit of despair to the top of the mountain of possibilities.

There are certain standards the world gives that our parents try so much to model us into. There are times you will hear people say that if my child doesn't go to such and such a school then they won't fit in society. I agree that some schools are below the standard but not all schools are bad.

There is also a certain mindset of who our children should relate with, the kind of company they should grow in, it is good for us to be cautious and teach our children about bad company and also about good company however sometimes we shield our children from those who are suffering and they grow up not appreciating that we need to reach out to those who are hard pressed, we need love without holding back, but we teach our children to shun, abuse and walk out, some of the worst things children learn is actually not from school but from their parents who bring them up.

My prayer is that my wife and I will parent our children with better understanding, they can't have everything they want when the money isn't there to buy. Many times we would ask our mother and father this or that, but they weren't able to afford, and the pressure would come because our friends had bicycles, they had colored TVs while for us we had a black and white TV with no bicycles. 

If Children aren't taught the truth, they end up thinking life is only about accumulating things for oneself. I wouldn't have been able to learn how to ride a bicycle if my child hood friends did not share and teach me too.

This is what the bible says about me and you #ValueYourSelf and Get Out Of Self Pity and Re-write Your Story, God's Plans For You Are Amazing (Jeremiah 29:11)

1. Created In The Image Of God Genesis 1:26-27
2. Child and Son Of God John 1:12, Romans 8:14-17
3. Crowned With Glory and Honor Psalm 8:3-5
4. Given Authority Psalm 8:6, Genesis 1:28
5. All Things Are Under My Feet Psalm 8:6
6. God's own special person 1 Peter 2:9
7. Am called To Be Fruitful 2 Peter 1:5-9 
8. Called To Make My Calling and Election Sure 2 Peter 1:10-11

To be continued.. part 2

#Impact #Empower #Transform

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Attitude



This thing called attitude is a powerful force in life. It has helped many to change the course of events in their lives and in the lives of others. It has also destroyed many especially if it is a bad one.

I remember before I got married, I wanted to leave home and you know start renting (We know what comes with renting, you really have to be prepared, you have to count the cost and have it in your monthly plan - sometimes we move out by faith and somehow make it through). But my mother Norah Acan decided that instead of renting, I save the money for the ultimate purpose of starting off our marriage. I sat back and thought deeply about it and I realized that my mother's attitude towards my life and future wife's well being was paramount to her. Thank you mum for teaching me the valuable principle of preparing and putting money aside to help in my walk, I draw a lot of lessons from it. 

Today I reflect upon this thing called Attitude and I realize strongly that if we had a certain view of life and it is with a lot of optimism, we can not only help ourselves but more so help others to thrive too. Your attitude can light up someone's life and help them change theirs as well. So even when it has been hard, our attitude can come into play to help us thrive in the hardest of moments.
Everyday when we hear people talk, their outlook on life is that it is so hard, some even say that nothing comes without struggle, but if there were no struggles we wouldn't appreciate the process in getting to our promised lands. 

See this classic example from Habakkuk 3:
16 I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me,[e]
    and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us.
17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer,[f]
able to tread upon the heights.


Let us change the way we view life. Joshua and Caleb refused to look at themselves as grass hoppers and instead said we can take these GIANTS down, let us "Take it up at once"
Do you have a problem with your thought lines? Are you affected in the way you view life? Have the situations you have gone through changed the way you look at life? This is what The apostle Paul said, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).

In relation to the above statement, this article can help shade more light and motivate you to have a good attitude.

#Impact #Empower #Transform

Monday 18 December 2017

Pay Yourself Since No One Is Paying You


We live in a culture that is consumer driven. This consumerism is being fueled by TV Adverts and also the desire for the good life. People have no restraint or self control at all and they want to live like millionaires or billionaires without understanding the principles they have lived by to get where they are. They are eating up their future without knowing and they keep saying that the economy is bad or the government doesn't care. So many people want to fake it to make it just for the sake of being ranked among the *Rich Ones*. We first get rich in our values, in our minds before we can get rich in our pockets. In any case being rich isn't about money, if money made people rich even a church mouse would say I am rich. The intent of people is to be famous and not really to help humanity, we need to remember that these things are vanity, so we must take charge instead of them controlling us.

Today my dear reader I want to talk about how you can build a financial future. My sharing is best on things I have observed and things I have put to practice. I have come to learn that nothing beats a testimony especially if it has worked for you. We have been told by people or pastors or prophets that we shall prosper by sowing seed, or that miracles will come when we give our last money to whatever. It is written that “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” -Proverbs 10:4

Everyday of the week, there is something that is taking your money away, it could be transport, it could be rent, it could be airtime or data services, it could be bills that you have to pay or food that you have to buy, it could be that church or fellowship that is always asking for all sorts of offerings given code names. it could be that restaurant you visit everyday. The first thing that happens to our minds is to spend money whenever we get it. This is natural to those who have not been trained to understand that there are certain principles that govern money.

When we read the parable of the Talent, the Master gave his servant five talents, another two and another one. He did not give instruction on what to do with the money but came back and asked for accountability and we know that the one with five, made five more, the one with two, made two more and the one with one, buried it. The one who did not invest was called a wicked servant.

I learn very important things from the parable of the Talent, that before the servant with five or two talents spent their money, they actually invested and got back the original money, how did this happen? what strategies did they use to make sure the money doubled, that they had the original one back.

Reading from many financial experts, they will tell you to have a percentage that you will use to pay yourself. As Christians we encourage you to have 10% a side for your tithe and then between 15-30% to pay yourself depending on your income levels. The first step to building and securing your financial future is through saving (Paying yourself). The money that you are paid from a sell of a book, from salary or any business transaction isn't paying yourself. People will believe that because money has come into their account, they have paid themselves.

Normally what happens after we have got money, the list of expenditure is long, fixed costs like rent, bills, loan repayment etc are the things we will rush to pay, so we end up making those people or service provides rich since they are taking many out of our pockets and nothing is left for us. A wise person said don't spend and save later, save first then spend what is left.  

Before the Land lord gets money make sure you have paid yourself first. If you receive money from one bank account, open another where the percentage of paying yourself will go to. It is important to have a clear goal or purpose for the money you are putting aside, making it sit in the bank without a clear purpose could benefit you but not to the full potential because if you have places to invest that can make the money work or grow for you, then you find yourself making the original money you got at the end of the month or from the business transaction.

Don't be pressured to live the good life or keep up with the Joneses, plan your financial future. I have seen the power of using a standing order work for me and my family. Each time we get money, it is already planned for on paper before it is physically used up. A portion is saved and we realize everyday that what we do isn't for our satisfaction but to enable us be a blessing and to also beat the trap of poverty. No one will PAY you if you don't pay yourself.

Points to note
  1. Decide how much to pay yourself
  2. Set a savings goal
  3. Create a separate account different from your current one and create a standing order, it could be a high yielding savings account or fixed account or Unit Trust Fund, or with an Investment Club/Sacco etc
  4. Leave that money alone and don't yield to temptation

To understand a little bit more about saving, click here

Wednesday 13 December 2017

You Opened My Eyes





“Your current status in life is always an indicator of how hardworking or slothful you were in the past. Hard work always speaks and reveals whether or not you wasted your life in slothfulness in the past” – Dr Sunday Adelaja


Throughout this year 2017, while walking in our neighborhood where I stay, I decided to be a blessing to someone close to me. While talking about everyday life, I challenged this person to believe in themselves and to know that it is not too late in life and that things can get on track. I told the person that we have so many opportunities around us and opportunities are presented in our everyday problems, our everyday needs and our everyday challenges and stresses of life. 

We keep dreaming about a better life and do nothing about it, we keep saying when I get this job or break through deal then things will be OK, the problem about this thinking is that it makes someone sit back with great hope but with nothing to show for their time while waiting for the big break through, yet their break through could actually come in converting their time into tangible results.

Opportunities Are in Problems

I talked to the person and told them how I have started looking at problems with a different perspective (see opportunities – blessings in disguise) but I told him that when we sit back and do nothing, we only add misery to the hip of our problems. I had just finished talking about OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS MONEY AND THE VALUE OF HARD WORK on a Sunday service, so our talk evolved a lot around many of the things I had shared. 

I then told him see this space, we can do this and that together, we can partner in this kind of venture. I told him see these tree seedlings, someone who doesn’t have them might need them and for them to get it, they can pay you for it. So one day I told him to escort me to a project that my wife and I are doing, I then told him, put for me two seedlings of this tree in the trunk of the car. After we reached our destination, I told, Here is your payment for the tree seedlings. He looked at me and smiled and I told him, “Don’t be afraid to sell a product or a service, be very proud of what you do”. I then said, you planted these seedlings, you nurtured, you spent your time and energy, why should I take it for free as much as I know you can give it to me free, why not pay for your service and add value to your life.

Change In Attitude

A few months down the road. One of the ideas we had talked about started becoming tangible. It moved from just being an idea or words, we started putting the words into action. The most important thing that came out of our talk was attitude change. He would tell me, Arthur, You talked about getting me money to put this up, here is where I can get this and that cheaply. Even without much money in my pocket, I would get the little I had and would put it there. Every penny was recorded. We got pieces of wood, iron sheets, he already had nails and we built a poultry structure.

Today as I write this article my dear reader, we have a Poultry project and we sell local birds to people within our vicinity and it is doing well especially in this festive period. Change of attitude has demands, it calls for humility, it calls for coming out of your comfort zone, it calls for breaking routine and doing things in another way that brings results. It calls for appreciating the process because it is as important as the result.

One of the beautiful things about our partnership is that, he started telling me that he knew where he could get very good chicken this was because of his experience of working in the field, so even without injecting much capital to bring the chicken, the people he knew said that we could get the chicken and even pay later, this gave us energy. We managed to pay the guys from the source much later after we had made some sales.









Ideas Need To Be Put To Work

It is not enough for us to just talk, talk, talk and talk. Whatever ideas drop into our minds; those are indicators of what we should do, indicators of our purpose and calling for a given time. I am reminded him of a saying, that we are God’s workmanship created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). So many times we sit back waiting on miracles to happen instead of making the miracles. A wise man once said that “No miracle can make you successful in life if you refuse to work hard”. Collin Powell said these powerful words, “A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work”

You Opened My Eyes

Right now my partner is onto another project, and all this is because he says that, “Arthur You Opened My Eyes”. I wouldn’t have opened his eyes if I did not believe in him, I wouldn’t have opened his eyes if I did not see that anything good can come out of him. I am eternally grateful that my time with this person has given him new energy to think beyond one project. To me it is a testimony that we should add value to a persons life, we should encourage and give hope to people, we should cause them to believe once again in God and in the abilities he has given them. 

Pictures Of What Of Some People In My Neighborhood To Be Are Doing




I saw the above pictures in my neighborhood and I concluded with this statements in my mind. “While others are complaining about how life is unfair, others are finding ways to make life better by using what they have, I would rather be the latter, nothing is insignificant unless you make it to be

I would like to conclude with this quote from Dr Sunday Adelaja


There was never a man in history who became a workaholic who did not succeed in life. Through hard work, all your dreams and inspirations in life can become a reality

Let us be the eyes of our neighbors, Let us be the ears of our friends, Let us be the agents of change for our nations, let us work together, individually, corporately, in partnerships, in saving groups, investments groups to kick poverty of our lives, families, and respective countries.

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