Saving: A Lesson In Frugality

I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.” John Stuart Mill

He who does not economize will have to agonize.” 
Confucius

Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.” 
Samuel Johnson

Proverbs 13:7

One man considers himself rich, yet has nothing [to keep permanently]: another man considers himself poor, yet has great [and indestructible] riches.

Ever since that day 7 years ago (it is 2014 at the time of this writing) when I read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad 3: What The Rich Invest In That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not,” that I started to think incessantly and considerably about the concept of saving. I looked at so many articles on About.com on the matter and watched plenty of Youtube videos as well. I tried to learn as much as I could. 

I found out how saving coincided with investing. That was an interesting and irritating discovery. Interesting because both have to do with the discipline of waiting in order to grow, and suppressing the desire to consume the money in any way. Irritating because it meant understanding as much as possible about investing (which feels like studying for a one-and-a-half to two-year college degree), and finding out which avenue I am most intrigued with and most likely to be skilled at.That would mean learning through trial and error and finding the balance  between the amount to be saved, the amount to be invested and thus leaving me with the amount to be spent. All this obviously cannot take place without the most crucial part: budgeting

My 5 stage process

The discipline required to follow through with this is very heavy. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted. For one to claim they can, or at the least, have the means and/or ability to apply them, must surely be put to the test. It is something I am doing my best to apply as well and I admit that sacrifices have been made in the process but are necessary for further financial development so as to reduce the amount of sacrifices in the future. 

Stage 1: Tithe

My ultimate tithing goal is to get from 10% of my income to 90% of my income. Essentially the first thing I do is to set aside 10% and tithe that only as often as I receive the pay check. In other words if you receive it weekly then you tithe weekly. If you receive it monthly then you do it monthly too. I currently do a single tithe (10%). I want to get to a point where I give double tithe, then triple, four-fold, 50% all the way up to 90%.. Giving that much to me is the greatest evidence of financial success. Yes there are a lot of people talking about financial freedom which is awesome, and if that is to be obtained, then I believe in addition to doing homework as to how and deciding how badly you want it and how hard you’re willing to work for it, you go at it with all your heart and give just as you have received.

Stage 2: Budgeting

NB: A budget is telling your money what to do instead of wondering where it went.

The main rule for this is Every dollar/rand (your currency) has a name. What does that mean?  I love the session on Wealth, Wisdom and the World that Dave Ramsey gave. He basically talked about how important it is to literally name the assignment every penny has. Spendthrifts have a good attitude in this department. They are constantly thinking about what assignment their next wage, salary, pocket money and allowance is going to get. The only problem is their application of it. They plan this mentally but not practically. In other words, it is not written down. I know motivational speakers on goal-setting talk about how the writing down is half the goal being fulfilled. I have sections (in my budget) for why the money is being used in that area not just where.

Stage 3: Saving

After finding out where and why the money goes to where it goes, I decide how much of the remainder will be saved. This is where the sacrifice comes to play. It is in the making absolute certain that there is always something to be saved. That would mean telling someone that you do not have cash (to spare) for them at that point in time. You would be reducing the number of people and times you say that the bigger your savings gets. Another sacrifice is shortening the Personal category in the budget list. Eating out, going to arcades/theme parks, spas, concerts and so on may need to be done fewer times in the month, just to start off. As time goes by you will find that you will be able to do all those things more often and still save money. How awesome is that!

I tax myself the amount that should be saved from every purchase. I begin with 5% then as my budget for anything and/or everything increases, so does my tax for saving. It helps a lot.

Why Save?

A few reasons:

  1. It’s for a rainy day. Emergencies (which you should have a separate account for); helping family members or friends out of a real pinch; unexpected pregnancy. I don’t even know how that makes sense. A job lay off.
  2. Spending with cash. I hate credit cards unless I have absolutely no other choice. There is nothing like “buy now and pay later” unless you have a plan for reconciling the debt you incur on that purchase. It is so much work finding out how you’re going to get out of debt knowing that you will get into it, when it can be avoided altogether.
  3. For a long term investment so that you can retire with dignity and you can send your kids to college.

Stage 4: Investing

After setting aside the amount to be saved for the month, I find out how much from the savings is to be invested. If I see that I can save $500 then I decide that $250 is to be invested then that is what I go for. Of course there may be months where the investing plans work out in such a way that you will have to take all the savings (from the budget you form not the savings account) and invest that. When faced with such a decision I then plan how much of the R.O.I (returns on investment) will be saved. Basically the roles are reversed. The best thing with this strategy is that you have money growing for you while you earn some too.

Stage 5: Spending

This is where stage 2 comes in handy. Everything in the budget takes priority. That may sound like a common sense statement but the term, “Spendthrifts,” would not exist if it was. Tick off everything that you have chosen to spend cash on and then the remainder is essentially Pocket Money. You can either have a separate account just for pocket money or you have two parts for your savings account: General and Pocket Money. However you do it, make sure you know that it is your pocket money at the end of the day and not confuse it with anything else. The fun part comes when you get to include the items in the Personal part of the budget. It is a whole different feeling when you spend money on something you like after having planned on paper/screen for it. 

Conclusion

I don’t know why but I love being frugal, even the idea of being frugal is exciting. Some people would be like, “What? What does that even mean?” I believe it is the lesson in these passages:

Better is he who is lightly esteemed but works for his own support than he who assumes honour for himself and lacks bread. Proverbs 12:9

It is all about taking it one step at a time:

Wealth [not earned but] won in haste or unjustly or from the production of things for vain or detrimental use [such riches] will dwindle away, but he who gathers little by little will increase [his riches]. Proverbs 13:11

Work as hard as you can, as much as you can:

He who tills his land shall be satisfied with bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits is lacking in sense and is without understanding. Proverbs 12:11

Plan your recovery from disaster i.e debt

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender Proverbs 22:7

Save what you can, then save more than you can:

There are precious treasures and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a self-confident and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it Proverbs 21:20

Remember to budget well and include a reconciliation plan in case you spend more than you budgeted for:

A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. Proverbs 16:9

Know your investments and be skilled in your vehicle of choice ([a]stocks, which includes bonds, mutual funds, ETF’s [exchange trade fund], shares etc, [b] real estate which includes, houses, apartments, flats etc, [c], businesses which includes clothing stores, shopping centres, food courts, jewellery stores, hardware stores, computer stores etc, [d] commodities like crops and other items):

Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.

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Self Esteem part 1: Levels Of Intelligence

intelligence

The problem with I.Q
A very long time ago, I believe it ranges around 9 or so years ago, I convinced myself that I was not smart. Everyone went crazy about each person’s I.Q. When I took the test I did not understand the result. A friend explained that it was the kind of score that proved that one had an average level of intelligence. This meant I was not smart but also not dumb. The challenge with this thought was that I believed that it was how every aspect of my entire life was. I measured it against everything I did. It was until out of boredom I saw Dr. Phil each day for about a week. Interesting enough when I saw a particular episode, if I can call it that, that I felt very comforted.

It featured a man who had challenges relating with his one year old child. You see, he would ask him to remain in his cot otherwise he would hurt himself badly. The boy never listened. After a few attempts, he decided on a different approach. He explained the scientific consequences, the danger of the laws of physics and the threat to his psychological development as a result of his seemingly intentional disobedience! It got me wondering how such a smart person was unable to relate well with a small child. On the show they discussed his background. He was an average scoring student who was mocked by his above average classmates. This was a constant, nonstop everyday thing. Might as well be a tradition. One day he determined in his heart that he would succeed them at an exponential rate.  This is exactly what he achieved.
They listed a few different kinds of intelligences: Emotional intelligence, Quantitive intelligence and Qualitative intelligence. That confirmed something I was speculating regarding the reason why someone with such a high I.Q could not relate to his child.

This also reminded me of the scene in The Social Network where the main character eats out with his friend and he openly mocks her for not tackling her situation from a logical and mathematical point of view! All this made me feel better and after researching the types of intelligences, I found out that Howard Gardner had come up with different kinds of intelligences after noticing that people are a lot more complex than we think, and may be too much so to confine them to one kind of intelligence.

Why the craze about I.Q?
As I nearly finished the 12th grade I found out that there was a connection between I.Q tests or measurements and school. No one ever talked about them any other time or anywhere else. It was almost as if you could tell the kind of life a person was going to live based on their I.Q. Taking some long deep thoughts about this, it simply did not make sense. Why and how could one govern their life based on how smart they are? When I found out that those with enormously high I.Q’s had relatively to very low Interpersonal skills, I remembered my friends at school. Now being someone who was very good friends with people who had a decent balance between Logic Mathematical and Interpersonal Intelligence, I was smart enough to know that generalizing my discovery would be imbecilic, however, it would also not leave me too far off. In both instances I would be correct. In other words it may be safe to say that most people who have high cognitive skills have a reasonably low social skills and a small percentage have a high rate of cognitive and social skills. Bear in mind this discovery was a long time ago and it may have changed today.

What I.Q really does
I have learned that the main thing, if not the only thing, that I.Q does is  measure your general ability to solve problems and understand concepts. Now being a slow learner, listening to a fast-talking lecturer was hard. My favourite part was dictation. Going back and rereading what I wrote down was helpful. I do believe that subvocalizing (reading “allowed” in your mind) caused me to try and understand what I was reading as I was reading it. Your I.Q includes measuring reasoning ability, problem-solving ability, ability to perceive relationships between things and ability to store and retrieve information. That last one what I had the biggest problem with. My subvocalizing did more damage than good so that I was basically left more confused about a subject after reading it. The few ways your I.Q is measured is by:

  • spatial ability: the ability to visualize manipulation of shapes
  • mathematical ability: the ability to solve problems and use logic
  • language ability: This could include the ability to complete sentences or recognize words when letters have been rearranged or removed.
  • memory ability: the ability to recall things presented either visually or aurally

My strongest point out of all these is the language ability. The limiting thing with I.Q tests is that they measure your ability to understand ideas and not the quantity of your knowledge, thus  learning new information does not automatically increase your I.Q. Your score is therefore stable throughout your adult years. You can maintain it by solving puzzles and learning new skills but to increase your intelligence as a whole, you need to do more than just that. Let us take a look at what that might be.

The Types Of Intelligences

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”). This is basically the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). In essence conservationists, botanists, florists and I think zoologists fall under this.

Courtesy of studio3music.com

2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”). This is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.  This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.

I loved it when I learned about this because it meant that I did not have to worry about not being above average in every area of my life. I used to be a recording artist, but that was just for fun. Understanding the beat and the effect it had on the emotions played a big part in the way I wrote songs. My friend who is an audio engineer pays very close attention to the pace, tone, pitch, rhythm, flow and other components of any piece of music he listens to. He does this by nature and I believe anyone else with the level of musical knowledge he has or intelligence in general may do the same.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart). This is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations.  It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.

I have friends who are straight-A-students (well who doesn’t?) telling me that they have reasoning and problem solving skills but no math skills. That raised a huge eyebrow for me. I thought about that for a few days and I came to the conclusion that the more they claimed that the less true it was. Why? They would simply cease to fall under, “straight-A-student,” if that were the case. They not be exceptional at math but they have to be good enough to not only at least score an “A” but also formulate possibilities and consider variables, in certain situations, from a mathematical perspective. In other words think in a calculable manner.

4. Existential Intelligence. 
Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here. I am not going to lie, I do not think I have met such a person in real life. I have attempted to answer the question of the meaning of life but not the point of reaching a confident conclusion, neither did I know such a type of intelligence existed.

Couresty of blog.lib.umn.edu

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”). This is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others.  It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.  Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.

This intelligence is the one I first learned about. The only thing was that I could not appropriately name it. Social jobs can be quite hard to get but are very fulfilling for those who have this kind of intelligence. In primary school I recommended becoming a talk show host or doing their own show and often referenced Tyra Banks and Oprah Winfrey.

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”). This is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills.  This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.  Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.
I am a runner and I thoroughly enjoy that. I have a fair amount of knowledge concerning that but not to the point where I can coach someone on a big scale. I know a lot, but I still have even more to learn.

7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart). This is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings.  Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.  Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

As I mentioned earlier that the language ability was my strongest in the four ways that I.Q is measured. Anyone who keeps a diary or journal extensively, along with everyone on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger Technorati, and other blogging platforms fall  under this, especially if they express themselves best in writing, which includes poems, stories and even letters and cards. I have often been told that I am good with words. Maybe because I say the right things at the right times. Who knows?

8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”). This is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one’s life.  Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition.  It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.  These young adults may be shy.  They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

This is the second one I learned about, obviously because it  goes in direct contrast to interpersonal intelligence. To some degree for a long time I thought that I had this kind of intelligence, but I realized that there is so much about the human condition I do not know, although I have begun to understand a lot about the frailty of humans, which focuses on how predictable a person’s behaviour is based on the info you have provided and how easy it is to be misunderstood. Other factors include making the wrong choices, in the wrong places, at the wrong times with the wrong people. I have also learned about the counter-intuitive aspect of life which suggests that in most cases, not all, you are to do the opposite of what the seemingly common-sense thing to do is in order to achieve the positive result. I may write about these in future posts.

Courtesy of images.sussexpublishers.netdna-cdn.com

9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”). This is the ability to think in three dimensions.  Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.  Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.

Of course visual learners to a certain extent have this. There may not always be a direct correlation between spatial intelligence and visual learning. I have a friend who has linguistic intelligence and can draw. It is actually how she processes information, she needs to draw it out. Get it? In contrast I have another friend who also has linguistic intelligence but cannot draw. Both are novelists and one is an infrequent blogger.

 

The Other Kinds Of Intelligences

1. Emotional Intelligence. This  is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. It actually comes in four parts:

a) Perceiving Emotions: The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.
Many people do not know that I focus more on body language than anything else. It is almost always easy for me to see how a person feels.

b) Reasoning With Emotions: The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.

c) Understanding Emotions: The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean. For example, if your boss is acting angry, it might mean that he is dissatisfied with your work; or it could be because he got a speeding ticket on his way to work that morning or that he’s been fighting with his wife.

Anger can be very difficult to deal with because it is so easy to misinterpret. I do know that anger does not get aroused by the immediate situation. A similar experience in one way or another, a long time before, would trigger the emotion at the present moment. In other words anger lays dormant until someone or something unleashes it. The person has to deal either with the past or come up with countermeasures for the person or situation that springs it up, in order to gain self-control in this area. More so if they are short-tempered.

d) Managing Emotions: The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.

Courtesy of 3.bp.blogspot.com

2) Creative Intelligence. This is the vital dimension for the capacity of knowing and learning. The creative is unconventional, anarchic, flexible and open. It is fostered through understanding how the creative process works in human beings and how to apply it. Human creativity is activated through processes of intention and attention. When we are aware of these processes, we can learn how to direct them into creative flow ( a state in which you are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter, like being in the zone).

At its core, creativity is all about knowing what is meaningful to people. Successful mining of meaningful knowledge reveals important patterns and shows you possible paths to the new. It is all about connecting the dots, for example, connect ‘looking for friends’, ‘sharing’ and ‘social media’ and you get Facebook, and connect ‘cheap’, ‘shoes’ and ‘social media’, you get Zappos.
The other thing is frame. A frame basically means, how you interpret the world and make sense of it. We construct a frame for a given scenario by applying meaning and understanding to what we see. This is a powerful tool for innovation, because understanding how we frame things also enables us to re-frame that narrative, or to change how we see and interpret something. This ability lies at the very core of creativity.

Symtoms of creativity. 
When individuals do not understand why they have certain difficulties in their lives; and even those who are aware of their creativity often experience it, alternately, as a gift and a burden.
Having luminous insights, a prolific flow of ideas and the ability to make meaningful connections.
The experience of feeling overwhelmed by numerous ideas and projects, the sensory trials and emotional pains that accompany acute sensitivity, and the sense of feeling ‘different,’ than most others.

How to identify your creative intelligence
a) You would recognize the relationship with your own creative process as the No 1 relationship in your life, the one that defines all the others.

b) You would allow yourself to observe and express the truth of your unique character and experience
.
c) You would be awake to life through seven senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, overall perception and intuition).

d) You would know how to summon stillness, awareness and presence and do so regularly.

e) You would see that you are not separate from the rest of creative life, that the same process that creates one thing creates all things.

f) You would allow challenging relationships and events in your life to teach you what you need to know.

g) You would understand that creative intelligence is not acquired so much as accessed. It is alway there for us though we are not always there for it.

h) You would feel confident of your ability to create because you would know how to tune into your creative potential.

How to increase creative intelligence

A good first step is to stop and reflect on what you are good at. Most of us aren’t aware of our own capabilities and even when we are, we don’t see how to connect the skills from one area to another. For instance, you might be great at reading body language, or organizing family trips; by framing these skills differently, you can utilize them in countless creative ways.

Another way to become more aware of your creative potential is to start keeping a portfolio. It might begin as a journal containing your ideas, notes, sketches and work. Over time, it will show the many ‘dots’ you’ve collected over time, and this will encourage you to think about connecting some of them.

3) Academic Intelligence. This is having cognitive abilities that are regarded as being highly imperative to achieve academic success. It  refers to the skills that typify our examinations of general intelligence: math reasoning and language among them. It is actually used to find out what one’s I.Q is. These people have a high level of general knowledge or tend to know more things about a subject at hand than the info provided by an average or below average person. It is closely related to Logical-Mathematical Intelligence but not completely. One can easily grasp the concept of any subject and apply it fairly quickly but not tackle all situations or challenges from a reasoning and numbering perspective.

4) Financial Intelligence. is the knowledge and skills gained from understanding finance and accounting principles in the business world. Although a fairly new term, financial intelligence has its roots in organizational development research,  mostly in the field of employee participation. There are four areas of understanding that make up financial intelligence:

Understanding the foundation. Financial intelligence requires an understanding of the basics of financial measurement including the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement. It also requires knowing the difference between cash and profit and why a balance sheet balances.

Understanding the art. Finance and accounting are an art as well as a science. The two disciplines must try to quantify what can’t always be quantified, and so must rely on rules, estimates, and assumptions. Financial intelligence ensures people are able to identify where the artful aspects of finance have been applied to the numbers, and know how applying them differently might lead to different conclusions.

Understanding analysis. Financial intelligence includes the ability to analyze the numbers in greater depth. This includes being able to calculate profitability, leverage, liquidity and efficiency ratios and understanding the meaning of the results. Conducting ROI (Return On Investment) analysis and interpreting the results are also part of financial intelligence.

Understanding the big picture. Financial intelligence also means being able to understand a business’s financial results in context – that is, within the framework of the big picture. Factors such as the economy, the competitive environment, regulations and changing customer needs and expectations as well as new technologies all affect how the numbers are interpreted.

It is very sad that classes related to accounting and business in schools are the only ones that best prepare students for the world outside school. It needs to be put in the education system that all syllabi must have some form of financial education in it, especially high school and college students.

5) Qualitative Intelligence. This is an area of research within Artificial Intelligence (AI) that automates reasoning about continuous aspects of the physical world, such as space, time, and quantity, for the purpose of problem solving and planning. Numerical values are avoided and qualitative values are used instead (e.g., high, low, zero, rising, falling, etc.). Qualitative reasoning creates non-numerical descriptions of physical systems and their behavior. An example is observing pouring rain and the steadily rising water level of a river, which is sufficient information to take action against possible flooding without knowing the exact water level, the rate of change, or the time the river might flood.

6) Quantitative Intelligence. This is the breadth and depth of a person’s quantitative or numerical knowledge. Gq is largely acquired through the investment of other abilities primarily during formal educational experiences. Gq represents an individual’s store of acquired mathematical knowledge. It is safe to say that someone with mathematical knowledge also has quantitative intelligence.

Conclusion
I realize that the beauty of God’s creation can be further appreciated after understanding how everyone operates at their best, particularly when it comes to working together. To truly increase your intelligence I believe acquiring at least one or more of another kind of intelligence in addition to the one you already have will help in that regard. The most of effective way to do that is by finding out which one goes together with the one you have. Spatial intelligence can link well with Creative intelligence and so does Linguistic Intelligence since they are all in the art department. In part 2 I will talk about how understanding our learning styles plays a part in knowing we are. At the end of the day, it does make a big difference in how we value ourselves when we know each other’s intelligences. They must never be limited to only Logic-Mathematical Intelligence.

14 Things I learned At My Film Shoot

The Experience
I learned a huge deal about the shoot. I was on a shoot called, “Born to Win.” You should check out the Facebook page. It was so thrilling.  Here are a number of things I picked up during the entire journey.

Proverbs 18:15
The mind of the prudent is ever getting knowledge, and the ear of the wise is ever seeking (inquiring for and craving) knowledge.

Proverbs 13:18
Poverty and shame come to him who refuses instruction and correction, but he who heeds reproof is honored

1) Know that you don’t know. Nobody likes know-it-alls. I enjoyed the character of one of our Art Department crew members. He was well versed in the industry, extremely hands-on, swift, creative and a quick-thinker. He never boasted about his experiences but was always willing to learn and help whenever and wherever possible.

2) Be willing to do more. Everyone loves hard workers, they can always do with an extra hand.

3) Have a tough and thick skin. There is almost always pressure to get something done in time. More often than not you will be screamed at more than once, it will be for nothing more than getting the job done as soon as possible, not because of a personal vendetta.

4) Step up and take the blame. Especially when it is not your fault. There is far too little time to search for culprits. Taking responsibility on the spot and immediately strategize preventive and precautionary measures increases your value in the team.

5) Solve disputes in secret. The industry is rough. The pressure to be recognized and come out on top is high, but there is nothing worse than discrediting someone because that devalues them, and in everyone else’s eyes, impedes their ability to perform. Bringing someone down so you can rise is dishonouring and comes back to haunt you big time. Resolve it amongst yourselves and move on.

6) Make a plan. When something is needed and you don’t have it, do something. Ask around. There is always someone with something you need or knows how to deal with what you need, whether that’s making it or somehow creating it.

7) Always have fun. You owe it yourself to enjoy the day. The moment. The laughter. The tears. There is too much work for you to feel stressed and dwell on that. Think positive and say nice things both to and about people.

8) Learn from as many people as you can. Write down what they say.

9) Keep your prayer, worship and word life maintained. I do not say that lightly. It is hard but necessary. Often times at the end of the day, all I wanted to do was get as much sleep as possible to be rested well enough for call time the next day. I sacrificed some of it to stay prayed up.

10) Complement as many people as you can. While you are at it congratulate their efforts no matter how small. Everyone’s role makes a big difference.

11) Plan and prepare well. For every single day. Know what is happening as often as you can if not all times.

12) Love what you do. Not everyone will have the glamorous jobs but what good will it do you if you have a negative attitude about your tasks. Love it to the best of your best of your abilities.

13) Work for the Lord. That was my thought pattern throughout.  Colossians 3:22-24

Servants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not only when their eyes are on you as pleasers of men, but in simplicity of purpose [with all your heart] because of your reverence for the Lord and as a sincere expression of your devotion to Him.

Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,

Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah).

14) Honour your superiors. That goes a long way. I often asked my Production Designer if she required coffee or tea at any moment. She often responded with, “Well done,” and “10 points.” Honouring those in authority whether they treat you bad or not, opens doors for you.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

3 Key Things About Destiny

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Introduction
A few weeks ago a friend of mine mentioned something extremely important. At the time it was something he said in passing as part of normal conversation. I don’t really think he has an idea how profound what he said is. Some time ago I had also written about ways to discover your future for those moments you are uncertain about it, or know it and believed in it up to a certain point and started getting doubtful, or simply didn’t know what it is at all. If you haven’t read it, it may be a good idea to start with that and continue to here. Not because this a sequel to it or anything but it is more so, for the purpose of getting a good wholesome perspective on one’s future and destiny.

That in essence is what this post will be covering. I have looked into more of what my friend said and came up with these easy-to-understand principles that I believe everyone should either know or at least have a good idea about.

The 3 Keys
1) Your destiny is designed by God. 
He says here:

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

The truth of the matter is God is our Creator and Designer. Every aspect of not only our being but also our life was created by Him, therefore, the only One wo would know about all that has to do with us is Him. Now you may say, “Yeah but I have some friends who are skilled in sports and continued that into their career,” or “I know some people who are millionaires or at least live a substantially comfortable life with what they have and a re not even Christians,” great points. Well here is the real factor behind all their success:

Deuteronomy 8:18
But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

In essence what happens is their success hinges on their application of biblical principles. A few ones like:

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, yes, even [divide it] to eight, for you know not what evil may come upon the earth.

Proverbs 16:8
Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.

Which focuses on diversifying or having two or more vehicles of investing such as real estate and stocks for the purpose of having multiple streams of income. The second passage is about the value of time and how that can play a very important factor in generating a lot of income when you save and invest (notice it does not make a distinction between the two because the principle is the same). The more patient you are the greater the returns. It is like a time-to percentage growth ratio. The amount you earn is directly proportionate to the time you are willing to wait for it grow. Integrity is an important side of this too. The interesting thing is an aspect of faith like a mustard seed plays a part in this too. In a future post I will go deeper into this.

Psalm 112:5
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice.

Genesis 2:15 
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

That is a word for business owners, whether small or big businesses. The principle is the same. Do not exploit your employees or deal dishonestly (such as stealing from the business, although that’s something more an employee would do) with the money but divide it to strengthen every facet of the business.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Referring mostly to those who excel in sports, arts and crafts  and other domains containing and requiring exceptional skill to do as a profession. For those who are not Christians that wonderful gift they have is something given to them by our loving Father. They simply have not come to that realization yet.

2) Your destiny is linked to God
Meaning that the pleasure and joy you get out of fulfilling the place you believe you were born to be, is something that is connected to the goodness of God. I like to think that some times unbelievers who are in the position where they excel in their domain may have a void on the inside concerning the source of their knowledge, the privilege of their experience and accomplishments.They may not have it all the time but it may come from time to time. The one evidence of this could be when they see people less fortunate than themselves being happier with little the have than they (the more wealthy) are with the plenty they have. Just something to think about.

3) Your destiny is designed to please God
At the end of the end of the day that is all it comes down to. In essence, is it not the reason for our existence? The meaning of life? Thinking about the creation around us, the gifts we possess, the families we create, the friends we have, those times when someone comes just at the (precise) moment you needed them. The thing that makes it even more worthwhile is when it is stranger. Even better when a stranger tells you their story and you glean something from it that you know can change your life completely or at least in some small way. When the person you hate the most does something that is of significant value to you when you least expect it, especially when you believed they were the person least likely to do it.

Small things like these are just a taste of all the reasons why we should acknowledge, thank and praise God! These things can happen in the area of our domain. Whether that’s work, ministry, jobs as big as founder and CEO of international business or as small as babysitting, nothing is too big or too small for Him to be pleased with. For Him it is all about faith and the heart. Think about this quote by Hans Urs von Balthasar:

What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God

1 Corinthians 10:31

So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.

Related Posts:
Comfort Zones- The Disabler Of Destiny by Sherline
Destiny Is Determined By Choice by Have A Dream
3 Lessons From King David About Destiny by Kingspeech
Do You Deserve Your Tomorrow? by Ain’t I JI

 

2013: Making God First

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Courtesy of puttinggodfirstplace.com

First let’s join the Hillsong kids in declaring, confessing and proclaiming our course of action for every moment of every day as we praise Him together:

Everyday You’ll Be My Number One
Let those words sink in for a moment. When we think about it He is:

Elohim the one triune God, Creator Gen 1:1; Jer 32:27; Isa 54:5; Psalm 68:7

Courtesy of ethericretreats.com

ABBA (Aramaic) Our Father- Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6

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El Shaddai God Almighty. All Sufficient-Gen 17:1, 25:11; Ex 6:30; Psalm 91:2; Rev 1:8

Courtesy of personal.maths.surrey.ac.uk

El Elyon The Most High- Gen 14:19, 20: Dan 7:18; Psalm 9:2

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EL Olam The Everlasting God, God of Eternity, Omnipresence Gen 3:22, 9:16. 21:33; Ps 10:16; Isa 45:17

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EL Roi The God who sees Gen16:13; Psalm 139:7-12

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Jawhew & Jehovah To exist, to be Gen 4:3; Ex 6:3

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Jehovah Rapha The Lord who heals Ex 15:26

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Jehovah Jireh The Lord will provide Gen 22:14

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Jehovah Ro’i The Lord my shepherd Gen 48:15; 49:24; Ps 23:1; 80:1

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Jehovah Nissi The Lord my banner Ex 17:15-16

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Jehovah Shalom The Lord is peace Jude 6:24

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Jehovah Shammah The Lord is here Jude 6:24

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Jehovah Sabbaoth The Lord of hosts (commander of heavens armies) Isa 1:24; Mal 3:1; 1 Sam 1:3; 17:45

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Jehovah M’Kaddesh The Lord our sanctifier Ex 31:13

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Jehovah Tsidkenu The Lord our righteousness Jer 23:5-6

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Adonai:
Plural Majesty
Singular Master or Owner Jude 5:3; Isa 17:6; 40:1; ! Sam 1:15; Ex 21:1-6

Courtesy of persisfoundations.org

Qanna jealous, zealous or envy. He is jealous in that He wants all our praise to Himself and no one else. He is depicted as Israel’s husband, hence Him being felt cheated on by Israel in the book of Hosea (Ch 1:1-6) Ex 34:14

Courtesy of postmasculine.com

Theos Greek translation of God in NT
God is the only true God Rom 3:30
He is unique John 17:3
Transcendent (Supernatural) Heb 3:4
Saviour John 3:16
The name is used of Christ as God John 1:1

Courtesy of livemission.net

Kurious:
Greek: Lord (authority and supremacy)
OT: Yahweh
Used as Jesus Christ meaning Rabbi Matt 8:6, God or Deity John 20:28

Courtesy of thscnyc.org

Despotes:
Greek Master, Lord, denoting the omnipotence of God
Despot: Absolute Ruler Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; 1 Peter 2:1
iStock photos

Father Through the NT faith in Christ God becomes our personal Father
In OT only 15 times while in NT 245 times for God Matt 7:11; James 1:17; Heb 12:5-11; Eph 2:18; 1 Thess 3:11.

Courtesy of healthytimesblog.com

What does it mean to put God first?
This is a very serious question. Think about it. The main thing that will evidently show how serious you (generically speaking) are about your devotion to Him is planning and execution. Therefore some things will need to be considered and I am also considering these:

1) Deciding which time of day will be set aside for either prayer, worship or Bible reading
2) Deciding how much more time will be spent on prayer, worship or Bible reading
3) Looking into possible obstacles that occur if two or more people do it such as, holiday travels, school exams or schools opening, long work hours, event planning and so on. Either planning a way to get around these or fit devotions into these will help tremendously.
4) Choosing to do something different which requires a written down and signing a document of what that will be. The same thing will need to be done if it is a list of things, after which, a copy kept with you always and a copy for someone you are close or trust to hold you accountable, will keep you on track.
5) Choosing when to fast. If you are currently doing so or are about to, it’s a good idea to get more info on the kind of fast you are doing or fasting in general in this amazing post by Nyasha (Sherline) called Fasting with a Purpose- Hit the Target pt 1. You should also move on to part 2 when you are done..
6) Deciding to pray the names of God and the Word of God

At the end of the day however you decide to put God first, as long as you mean it and don’t take it lightly. I feel so bad about only worshipping a few times during my three-month term in film school. I have decided and resolved to change that and make sure that my day truly starts with God. Obviously that would mean stopping whatever I’ll be doing if I’m working late in the night and begin devotions at least from midnight then continue afterward.

It’s easier done than said
I believe our words not only are our strongest wind to our sail but also our biggest downfall. We talk ourselves into and out of things. We convince ourselves that something cannot be done before we even begin! We see the challenge as insurmountable without taking it on. Giving up without starting. Even the slowest racer has the determination, strength, courage and boldness to commence the race despite knowing they might lose. In this year I am willing to look at things the other way round. Time with God is easier done than said.

I am encouraged by a lot of bloggers here on WP that actually pray before they write and publish their post. I admit I never used to do that but I have recently been into the habit of doing it. A great way to put God first! I believe praying before cooking, shopping, driving (especially in traffic), working (in any field), having meetings, studying, sleeping, traveling by road, air and both through and overseas, writing, reading even watching certain programs, news channels T.V shows and movies and playing video, T.V, portable, computer and arcade games, will be a great way to discern the appropriateness and mental, emotional and spiritual safety of the activity. Just a short prayer before you start gets God involved in your whole day.

The meaning of the number 13
Contrary to popular belief the number 13 is not such a bad number as the devil has led us to believe. Just because there are programs like 13 Ghosts and a strange observance of Friday 13th, does not make it a bad number. True, it definitely has significance in the kingdom of darkness but it has a greater significance in the kingdom of God. Here are some amazing things I learned about the number 13 from an article by Stephen Gola:

Recapping the story of Abraham, we all know how God came to Abraham and said that he would make him the “father of many nations” as well as becoming the “father of our faith.” God promised Abraham that he was to have a child, and from that child’s linage would come kings and rulers of “many nations” as well as the Messiah—“the Seed to come.” (See Geneses 16-17.)

Abraham and his wife Sarah were childless and in old age at the time God gave them the Promise. Through their many years of frustration of being childless, they tried to help things along by having a child through Sarah’s slave girl, Hagar. Through this act, their son Ishmael was born.

Years later God came again to Abraham and made the same Promise of Blessing. God iterated that the promised son to be born would be from his own wife. Nine months later, Isaac was born.

Here is the key: Understanding what went on in the relationship between Abraham and God gives us the insight into the number “13.” How and when God gave Abraham the Promise, Abraham’s and Sarah’s struggle, the time involved in receiving the manifestation of the Promise. These are all wrapped-up in the number “13”. Therefore keep the entire Scripture story in mind as we proceed.

In Genesis 16:15-17 it reveals that when “Hagar bore Ishmael, Abraham was 86 years old.” Then “when Abraham was 99 years old the Lord appeared to him” and iterated the Promise again—that He will give Abraham a son by his wife. I will bless her, and she will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her. (See Genesis 17:1-22.)

* At 99 years old, God’s Promise came.
* At -86 years old, Abraham tried to bring about Gods Promise.
13 years between the Promise given and the Promise manifested.

Therefore, 99 minus 86 equals 13.
This is “The Number 13 Promise”.

The Number 13 Promise is a “two-fold” promise. It always involves man and it always involves God. It always has seasons, times and circumstances in which God and man participate.

The number “13” does not mean “evil,” but rather it is a most powerful God-given promise that will change the world for ever. Some of the aspects of the promise are:

1. The promise is always initiated by God and destined to change the world forever.

2. Concerning man, to obtain the promise is beyond hope—impossible!
3. Concerning God, the chosen opportunity to manifest His plan of blessing and change.

4. The number 13 promise always has an underlying knowing that man can’t make it happen himself.
5. The number 13 always has the underlying fact that God determined it, said it, and it would happen regardless of the circumstances.

6. The number 13 is the difference of what man can do and what God can do.
7. The number 13 is the number of (new) life.
8. The number 13 promise always has time and space between when it was first given and when its given to manifest.
9. The number 13 promise always has a season in which man tries to bring to past himself what God has promised him.
10. The number 13 promise also has the season in which God brings to pass His promise regardless of what man has tried to produce on his own.
11. The number 13 promise has such a blessing on it that it will even bring to pass what man produces from him trying to bring to pass what God has promised in his own strength. This can also have dire consequences like the situation with Ishmael and the Middle East problem today.
12. The number 13 promise always brings excitement, hope and desperation for the promise to be fulfilled.
13. The number 13 promise is always presented in the presence of unfavorable circumstances, though in time, the circumstances will give way to the birth of the promise.

Conclusion
Whatever way you plan on making God first in your life and your family, friend’s and spouse or partner’s life too, discipline through dedication and devotion are going to be of utmost and enormous importance. What greater feeling and experience is there than having the privilege and honour of spending time with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who can not only give us favor, blessing and promise but, to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].” Eph 3:20.

 

Writing For The Love Of It

What do you write about?
Where do you start?
Will an empty canvas
Become a work of art?

Will something small
Be part of something big?
Will you give your all
Putting everything in?

Will the desire show
In the work itself
Or poured into the cup
Of someone else?

Who will work at it
Until they are drained
But keep the focus
Well sustained

Mind and body
So harshly trained
They overcome
The stress and strain
Only then will you in pain
Behold your efforts done in vain

Will you bury
your face in shame
Or do all it takes
To stay in the game?

Go, Know and Live

I’ve recently been learning as much as possible about the media industry, particularly the film industry. God has  shown me so much that is possible with regards to the power we have to change lives with movies.

Here are some lessons I’ve kept at heart:

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me

Our responsibility?

Go in the Way
Know the Truth
Live the Life

These are the essential keys to reaching the Father through Jesus. It’s not only in, through, with and by prayer; but also (literally) making it part of our everyday lives!

Why do you do what you do? The Why question is often a very difficult (and less thought about) question to answer. I believe it may be because:

If you don’t think different, you won’t do anything different. This is not a cliché! Try doing something different everyday. Even if it’s one thing.
Go home using a different route, even if it takes longer. Eat something you normally wouldn’t eat and are not allergic to. Call or text an acquaintance at least 3 times a week for a month. Anything. No matter how big or small. Write a small bucket list and do everything on it. Then make it bigger and bigger.


Who we are

Behaviour– this references our specific actions
Attitude– the repeated behaviour patterns
Values– the source of ethics (actions that accompany our moral beliefs)
Beliefs– chosen truth
Spirit– revelation of truth

When we think about how we live our lives you discover that we live what we believe and that (in one way or another) our beliefs are the influence of someone else’s beliefs. Looking at it that way, it’s almost like living someone else’s life whilst making it our own. That’s not what’s actually happening but it just appears that way. For me my life motto is:

See what no one else sees
Be the best at whatever you do

My favourite thing to say is Everything comes down to desireIt’s what life (more often than not) is all about. Where did I get these beliefs? Did I form them out of something else I believed, which may have come down from what someone else believed? If I combined two beliefs from different people and created a new one, can I really say it’s my own?

I just love thought-provoking questions. It’s not to say that there is anything wrong if the answer to the above questions is yes. The purpose of them is to look into your own beliefs and put yourself in a position where you can answer the Why question.

So when you watch movies and you hear characters say things like:

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” Gandalf in Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring.

Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.” President Snow in Hunger Games

A miracle is what seems impossible but happens anyways: Griffin in Men In Black 3

You will be in a position to decide not only whether or not these are truths you choose to make your own; but also whether or not you choose to acknowledge them as truths.

In the movie industry we call this the theme: a lesson that applies to the development of the character, and also something we can apply to our own lives.
message is something that only applies to the character and the plot for the movie, simply because we cannot apply it in our lives. For example:

With great power comes great responsibility: From Spiderman 1

As we live our lives we are to think about the very things we choose to believe, as the writers for the movies we see suggest how we should live our lives (both directly and indirectly) by creating characters that stand by their beliefs. They are very easy to spot. It just takes a trained ear.

Change
To change a person’s behaviour, change their core beliefs. Our behaviour is the result or product of our beliefs. If someone is doing something wrong, like stealing, it is only because it is what they perceive to be moral. To change their behaviour, change their perception of morality regarding that action. It is very simple (it’s not complicated), but it is not very easy.

Integrity- comes from the word to integrate your beliefs and values which will influence your behaviour. This comes from the inside out, and it is consistent. As I said before you (ultimately) do what you believe.

Character-is the strength with which we hold on to the truth.

Growth and Change
You will want to continue to grow, no matter what you do. At some point we all resist change. The thing is growth is impossible without change. It comes from the inside out

Let’s take a look at Romans 3:1-3

 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us (NLT)

It references 2 things: the way we are to think (v2) and change (v3). It’s all from the inside out.

The Way
You don’t know the way until you walk in it. He (Jesus) is the beginning and the end of our faith. We give up if we don’t know where the end is. That fact is a reference to vision. In a sense it serves as your destination so that even when you find yourself in a detour, you will still know exactly where to go.

The Truth