RIGHT WAYS TO RESPOND TO GOSSIP

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“You will be gossiped about. If it has not happened yet, get ready, because someday you will find yourself in the cross-hairs of gossip,” writes Matt Mitchell, pastor of Lanse Evangelical Free Church. “Sadly,” he continues, “most of the time you will not know that you are a target of someone’s harmful words. Perniciously, gossip is done behind our backs, when we are not looking, when we are not listening and when we are not present.” Responding to gossip in a godly manner is hard enough when you know who the gossips are and what they are saying. 

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However, the difficulty is intensified exponentially when you don’t have hard facts to confront, or the people you do confront deny it, pretend they know nothing, or continue to give you the kisses of Judas. Still, you must respond. You will respond. But how?

Respond in Faith 
In Psalm 140:1-2, we see David taking his situation to the Lord first. Sadly, when we are gossiped about, we (myself included!) typically “take things into our own hands. We complain about those who are complaining about us. And we run around attempting to set the record straight.” This only makes matters worse.

In contrast, we can take it to the Lord in prayer. When we take our pain to the Lord, we can tell it like it is, not minimizing the intensity of the hurt. But we also remember who we are talking to when we pray. We know that God is the ultimate judge, and nothing – in the end – will ever escape his righteous judgment. Therefore, we can ask God for justice and believe that He will eventually answer.

Respond in Love 
Of all the commands given to us by Jesus, perhaps loving our enemies is the most difficult to carry out, to know how to obey. This difficulty is intensified a million times over when the person who has become your functional enemy was once a friend. “When someone gossips about you, he or she is acting as your enemy. That person may not be your enemy in any official way. He or she may, in fact, be your closest friend. But at the moment when bad news is being spread behind your back out of a bad heart, the person doing the spreading is acting as your enemy.” To love our enemy is to act like God who loved us while we were yet His enemies (Romans 5:8). But how? How do you love your enemy, especially if he or she refuses to talk to you?

Pray. First, pray for them. “Pray for justice. Pray that your gossiping enemy’s evil plans will backfire. But also pray for conviction and repentance and eventual blessing for your enemy.”
Overlook. Second, overlook sin when you can. “Overlooking is a kind of one-sided forgiving. It means we just go on relating to the person in the same way we always did.”
Confront. Third, true love always seeks reconciliation—always. “Love goes to the person who is acting as an enemy and shows that person his or her fault so that relationship can be restored.”
Repay evil with good. Fourth, bless them. “If people have gossiped about you, make sure that your basic stance is for them….Returning blessings for beatings seems crazy to the world, but that’s what we do as Christians” (1 Cor. 4:10, 12-13).

When we choose to love our enemies, and always seek reconciliation, the Bible promises us a great reward (1 Pet. 3:9). May the Lord grant us the faith and love we need in order to learn how to respond to gossip!

credit: Olufamous

PRAYER FOR UNSPOKEN REQUEST

When you have unspoken prayer requests, or others ask you to pray for their unspoken needs, how can you pray? What can you say that expresses the wordless cry for comfort, assurance, or hope? While God hears every groan we utter, here is a prayer you can use if you need help interceding for those with unspoken requests.

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Lord Jesus, I pray today for those with unspoken prayer requests, those whose hurts are too deep to be spoken, those whose hearts are too broken. I pray for those who can’t dress their pain with words, because they believe the shame or regret they wear is too heavy to remove. I pray for those who are trying to cope with endless struggles, battles that lure their hopes into closets of discouragement and depression, and for those whose actions or beliefs have paralyzed their faith or reduced it to a fraction of what they desire.

As the Provider of all our needs, who knows them even before we ask, Lord, hear these groans that pour out like water, that originate within the soul starved for answers. Grant these ones courage and strength to cast the weight of sorrow, longing, or worry onto You, even when they cannot speak the words or verbalize their thoughts. Let them know You hear; You care; and You answer, and that “coming boldly to your throne of grace,” includes those times when our hearts can only cry out “Jesus!” in silent or verbal anguish.

Where timidity lives behind walls of fear, give these bold strugglers confidence that You are in control. Bless them for protecting others’ or their own privacy in times of public prayer by only answering, “Unspoken.” Give them a deep-settled peace that they are not alone, even when others don’t know the specifics or depth of the need or the shame. Let them – and those who pray for them – rest in the wisdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit to intercede and transform our deepest, unspoken prayers into the perfect will of God in every situation.

Where relationships have turned sour, where fear of exposure reigns, or where wounds cry out for healing, Jesus, You see the intensity of these unspoken needs. You stoop down to hear the smallest whispers, and You receive our loudest moans as if they are songs of worship to Your ears. You understand the sting of rejection, and the ache of loneliness. You know the weakness of human flesh, the wisdom of silence, and the need for trust in the Father’s timing. You know all things, and You work all things out for our good – even the unspoken prayers that squeeze through the pores of our pain-riddled hearts.

To both the ones with unspoken prayer requests, and the ones who long to pray with discernment and compassion for them; protect their vulnerable spirits; release their imprisoned cries for help; and surprise them with Your amazing grace. Lord, free every burdened heart; heal the sin-sick soul; restore every broken part; and make our bodies whole, that we might become unified in the body of Christ. Make us all intercessors and prayer warriors, especially for the cries of “unspoken.”

Jesus, what a privilege and honor to enter into prayer – and to know that connection that holds us all together: Your perfect bond of love. Thank You for hearing us, and for allowing us to pray.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

credit: Olufamous

When a Man Loves a Woman

A woman has seven basic needs that a man must learn to meet if he desires to love her as fully as God intended.
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God did not intend for marriage to be painfully endured. He intended it to be wonderfully enjoyed. It was not His plan that it would be a burden. He wants it to be a blessing. In order for us to experience maximum marriage satisfaction, it is essential that we grow to know each other. 

Men and women are different in many ways. One area in particular is in the area of needs. Women have needs that are significantly different than those of men. How has God put a woman together? What does she need from a man?

In marriage, a man shows love to his wife by learning to meet seven basic needs that are the essence of who his wife is.

1) She needs a spiritual leader. A woman longs to follow a man of courage, conviction, commitment, compassion, and character. She wants a man who can be both steel and velvet. He can be a man’s man, and at the same time he can be gentle, tender, and approachable. Such a man will be a spiritual leader in the home. He will take the initiative in cultivating a spiritual environment for the family. He will be a capable and competent student of the Word of God, and he will live out a life founded on the Word of God. He’ll encourage and enable his wife to become a woman of God, to become more like Jesus, and he will take the lead in training their children in the things of the Lord.

2) She needs personal affirmation and appreciation. A man who loves a woman will praise her for personal attributes and qualities. He will extol her virtues as a wife, mother, and homemaker. He will also openly commend her in the presence of others as a marvelous mate, friend, lover, and companion. She will feel that to him, no one is more important in this world.

I remember telling men in a conference that one of the ways they show their wife appreciation is by picking up the phone and calling her during the day to see how she is doing. He is not to call to ask what came in the mail or what’s for supper! The following night a sweet young lady came up to me to tell me that her husband had obviously listened to what I had said the night before. She informed me that they had been married for a number of years and that her husband had never called her during the workday until that day. On this day he called her five times! 

At first I was proud of the impression I had made on the man, but then a frightening thought entered my mind. I asked the lady, “Well, what did he say in each of those conversations?” She informed me that he said not much at all and that each conversation lasted no more than a minute. I began to apologize to her for the fact that things had not worked out so well. She quickly interrupted me, “Oh no, Dr. Akin, it was wonderful. Just the fact that he thought to call means everything. We can work on the words later! However, if he doesn’t call, we have nothing to work on.”

3) She needs personal affection and romance. Romance for a man means sex. He cannot imagine romance without having sex. Romance for a woman can mean lots of things, and sex may or may not be a part of it. 

Romance is basically a game. It is a specific game. It is a game of “hide-and-go-seek.” She hides it and you seek it. If you find it, you will indeed agree that it’s good! On the other hand, if you don’t find it, you have one of two options. First, you can get nasty, mean, and bent out of shape and just be a miserable old grouch for the rest of your life. I have met a number of men just like that. Or second, you can remind yourself, it’s a game. Sometimes I win, and sometimes I lose. But that’s the fun of playing the game.

But there’s a second part to this game, and this is not fair. However, we dealt long ago with the fact that some things aren’t fair; it’s just the way they are. Guys, you must understand. What is romantic to your wife, say, on Monday, may not necessarily be romantic on Tuesday. Indeed, women are adept at moving the romance on a regular basis, sometimes even hiding it in places where they can’t even find it. When you go searching for romance in the place where it used to be, but now you discover that it is no longer there, don’t be surprised if looking over your shoulder is the woman that God gave you, and with her eyes she says something like this, “Yes, my darling. I moved the romance. It’s somewhere else now. And I’m going to wait to see if you love me enough to look for it all over again.”

Now again, guys, you can get angry, mean, and bent out of shape, or you can remember, it’s a game. And games can be fun. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. But it’s all a great game. Men, if you will approach romance in this way, not only will you find it fun, but you will also get better at it along the way.

4) She needs intimate conversation. A woman needs a husband who will talk with her at the feeling level (heart to heart). She needs a man who will listen to her thoughts about the events of her day with sensitivity, interest, and concern. Daily conversation with her conveys her husband’s desire to understand her. Wise men learn soon after marriage that women are masters of code language. They say what they mean and expect you to know what they mean, and the particular words really don’t matter. Unfortunately some men are simply ill prepared and a little dense at this point, and it often gets them into serious trouble.

5) She needs honesty and openness. A woman needs a man who will look into her eyes and, in love, tell her what he is really thinking. He will explain his plans and actions clearly and completely to her because he regards himself as responsible for her. He wants her to trust him and feel secure. He wants her to know how precious she is to him. Growing openness and honesty will always mark a marriage when a man loves a woman.

6) She needs stability and security. A man who loves a woman will firmly shoulder the responsibilities to house, feed, and clothe the family. He will provide and he will protect. He will never forget that he is the security hub of the family for both his wife and his children. She will be aware of his dependability, and as our text indicates, so will others. There will be no doubt as to where his devotion and commitments lie. They are with his wife and his children.

7) She needs family commitment. A woman longs to know that her man puts the family first. Such a man will commit his time and energy to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of the entire family, especially the children. For example, he will play with them, he will read the Bible to them, he will engage in sports with them, and he will take them on exciting and fun-filled outings. Such a man will not play the fool’s game of working long hours, trying to get ahead, while his spouse and children languish in neglect. No, a woman needs a man who is committed to the family. She needs a man who puts his wife and children right behind his commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.

When a man loves a woman, he makes it a life goal to meet seven basic needs of his wife. When a husband is committed in this way, and when a wife has the same commitment, it is not surprising that both husband and wife have a smile on their faces and joy in their hearts. This is the way God intended it from the beginning. As persons committed to God’s plan for marriage, we should settle for and expect nothing less.

credit:Daniel Akin

Things TO Know About Fishing for Compliments

 

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Everyone loves a compliment. Who doesn’t like to be praised and adored? Who doesn’t want to be honoured?  It is not surprising that people want to see how much they are valued by humanity.

Your self esteem is very much important. Feeling good about yourself is a wonderful experience. In fact, compliments have been known to aid a healthy lifestyle. So having other people voice out how wonderful, beautiful and awesome you are is even a big plus.

However, things become interesting when you begin to fish for compliments. 

Do you know that certain significant events are taking place in your world when you keep fishing for compliments?

Do you know that your crave for praise and compliment, though genuine,  can cause a drastic effect and shape your world in ways you never imagined?

If you don’t think so, here are Things to know about Fishing for Compliments:

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You Are Hurting Your Relationships

The more you keep fishing for compliments, the more you appear to be old and needy.

When you constantly seek the validation of others to feel worthy and happy, you constantly put pressure on your family,  friends, colleagues and loved ones to make you feel happy. 

Too much of everything isn’t good so what turns out to be be sweet and awesome, turns into hatred and disdain.

Isn’t it strange that your loved ones have to be stretched to make you feel loved or your happiness and joy is tied to how others feel about you?? 

What You Should Know

Love is never forceful. Happiness isn’t external.  You don’t need the validation of others to be significant. You don’t need the permission of others to feel worthy.

Remember, you ain’t awesome because people say you are awesome. You are awesome because that is just whom you are. It is a fact so why do you keep fishing for more compliments?

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You are Hurting Your Self Esteem

If you can’t be happy or feel good about yourself without hearing from others.  You can’t do the best at anything without someone saying that you did a good job or you need the compliments of others to feel loved, then you are hurting your self esteem.

When you hurt your self esteem, you are hurting your existence.  You are making your thoughts lie about you.

What You Should Know

Each time you seek for validation, you give power to others to define your existence. You give them permission to write your own story

You are special because you have so much inside to make a difference. Your existence lights your world and you matter to your generation.

By being you, there are people whose lives you will definitely change for the better. 

Most Often Your Praises and Compliments Come Away Empty-Handed

 A Person shopping for compliments often comes away empty-handed. 

Do you know that fishing for more compliments doesn’t make you feel better about yourself?

Think about it! That is the more reason why you seek more compliments

The more compliments you seek, the more you become addicted to hearing more compliments.

Sooner or later, your compliments will become so empty. You don’t trust in them any more because they are not enough. So you seek for more compliments and compliments.

What You Should Know

Standing on the shoulders of compliments to make a difference in your life is limiting yourself plus your existence.

You are powerful beyond measure that is why compliments should never replace your inner drives ( Passion, Purpose and  God-given Gifts)

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WAYS TO GREAT SUCCESS

 
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We’re all familiar with the saying, “it’s the little things that count”. In the same vein, to be successful you have to pay attention and consistently do seemingly little things to achieve that goal.

Jumia Travel shares 7 small things to do if you want to successful.

Focus More on Being Productive 
It’s not enough to just be busy doing one thing or the other. To be successful, you must find ways to be productive in all you do. Nothing you commit your time, skills or knowledge to should be a waste. Find ways to always get things done efficiently and get tangible results from it.

Focus on Always Being At Your Best 
To be successful, you should live by this mantra, “If it’s worth my time, it’s worth my best.” Try to create a track record of diligence and commitment for yourself in whatever you do. Ultimately, this will culminate in consistent excellence for you, which is bound to eventually single you out for good in your endeavours and lead you to success. If you’re in doubt, just give it a shot. Also, find, relate with and hang around people who complement your strengths and help bring out the best in you.

Focus on Making Continuous Improvement 
Your best last year should not be your best this year. Focus on continually improving and expanding your capabilities. Consistent improvement secures your relevance in the scheme of things, especially in the workplace. Take a step at a time, with little improvements and advancements here and there, and before you know it you’ll surprise even yourself.

Take Care of Your Body 
You can hardly function at your best and be successful, if your body and mind is weak. Success is largely mental and your body plays a vital role in helping you achieve success, so you should never for any reason neglect the two. It’s going to be quite difficult for a sick or terminally ill man or woman to be successful. Besides, the point of striving for success in the first place, is to actually enjoy it. Pay attention to your mental and physical health.

Live a Balanced Life 
Success isn’t only measured by monetary wealth. To be truly successful, you’ll have to agree that vital aspects of your life have to be at least be okay (if not perfect). You should learn to balance making money with living a healthy life and paying attention to your family and friends. You must put your life and personal goals in perspective, and at every point learn to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.

Be Positive and Responsible 
Every time you want to be negative about certain aspects of your life, sit down and think of what it will cost you to just be positive. Optimism and positivity enhances your drive, which is very essential for success in the first place. One can hardly succeed without drive. You should also be responsible enough to take responsibility for your success. No one can stop you from succeeding if you are truly determined to. Well, no one but yourself.

Be Focused and Consistent 
Remember the saying, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. Focus and consistency are extremely vital ingredients for success. Assess the five most successful people in the world, there is one thing they all have in common – a ‘niche’. They’re all known for something. Being focused and consistent helps you remain patient and persistent when you need to be. It also helps to enhance your strengths and helps you overcome your weaknesses. It saves you from procrastination and helps you see through your plans. Be focused and consistent. It will go a long way for you.

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Find Rest in God

Related imageA friend spoke to me about how she was feeling yesterday. She had prayed, fasted and trusted God and it seemed nothing was happening. God gave me a word for her and I am sharing it with everyone who may feel like her right now.

I have been studying the story of Genesis and the story of Joseph stuck with me. He suffered pain many times; rejection when his brothers sold him into slavery and the arduous journey to Egypt for starters. Then he found peace at the home of the Potiphar’s but only for a while. He obeyed God and chose not to have an affair with Mrs. Potiphar and instead of that to bring him rest, it sent Him to prison.

Hmm… but the bible says that the presence of God was with Joseph and he prospered. He was a slave in Egypt, from being a favored son, and yet he prospered. Just imagine what third parties would have been saying If that was today, ESPECIALLY those that love him. They would organize fasting sessions and try to pray the bad luck away. They would indirectly assume he had some sin or failing in His life that led to the path his life was taking and allude to that when speaking to him. Forget the mockers! Their comments can break one’s spirit. For Joseph, he would have had not a few down moments, tempted to question God. But the truth is that the presence of God was with Joseph.

Somehow, we cannot seem to wrap our hands around God being with someone and the person not experiencing bliss as we know it. Humans are funny, we judge what we cannot see and so we cannot afford to be led or driven by others perception of what is going on in our lives. We need to start defining wealth as the presence of God and not our lives fitting into a script we or others have written

Whilst in prison, Joseph ministers to the cupbearer and butler. Finally, I’m sure he hopes something good will come out of this. His hopes rise, days turn to weeks and months and he realizes the butler has forgotten him. Now, this is one time too many. God cannot be with a man and yet things keep going wrong for him. No way! Yes, that’s how our minds work. But God was with him. Had the butler remembered as he desired, he might have been made a diligent servant or a diviner. He would have been in Pharaoh’s courts but not in a destiny position. So God made the butler remember only when it fit into His (God’s) plans for Joseph. We all know how that ended. But the bible records that the adversity tested Joseph. Psalm 105:19

When God’s promises seemingly don’t come to pass, wait under the mighty hand of God, till you pass the test. You need to wait until you hear God tell you that you have passed the test. In ‘failing’ you, God teaches you to know that He will never fail.” Pastor Chris Delvan.

If you feel a little weary of trusting God, I’d like to share three things

  1. Don’t allow people’s definition of your journey characterize you. That things are going topsy turvy doesn’t mean you are not prospering. True prosperity is the presence of God.
  2. Rest in the promise. Give it all to God and trust that He has a destiny process to bring you to your place of promise.
  3. Don’t be bitter that ‘good’ seems to be evading you. As long as you have God, greatness is in His design for you and He will frustrate good so He can bring great.

Today, this is a word going out to all who feel that they have done all God requires of them but they cannot see anything happening.

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Heb 10:36

God has asked me to tell you to REST.

credit:  StependousGrace

Simple Formulas to change your life

Image result for change of life jesus1. Facts > Feelings: This chapter covers how to gather the right facts, how to best think about these facts, and how to enjoy the beneficial impact of this on our emotions and moods. After identifying a number of damaging thinking patterns that are pummeling our emotions, a six-step plan to retrain thoughts, knock out destructive emotions, and build a shield of protective positive feelings such as peace, joy, and confidence.

2. Good News > Bad News: Philippians 4:8 is applied to our media and ministry diets to ensure that we are consuming and digesting more good news than bad news, and thus enjoy more of God’s peace in our hearts.

3. Done > Do: While we need the demanding the imperatives of God’s law to reveal where we’ve gone wrong, we need to hear even more of the indicatives of God’s redeeming acts to reveal His grace and provision.

4. Christ > Christians: One of the biggest obstacles to evangelism is the inconsistency and hypocrisy of many Christians. It’s also the reason why so many leave the church or are unhappy in the church. But by focusing more on Christ than on Christians, we stop adding up the innumerable faults of Christians and start calculating the inestimable value of Christ.

5. Future > Past: This chapter helps Christians get the most our of looking to the past without falling into nostalgia or guilt. However, the primary emphasis of this chapter is to encourage Christians to have a much more future-oriented faith than is usually the case.

6. Everywhere grace > Everywhere sin: Without denying the deep and ugly sinfulness that affects and infects everyone and everything, this formula calls Christians to pay much more attention to God’s beautiful work in the world and in all His creatures, resulting in a more positive worldview, more joy in our hearts, and more praise for our gracious God.

7. Praise > Criticism: Although it often feels good to criticize more than praise, a critical spirit and habit is extremely damaging for both the critic and the criticized. This chapter presents ten persuasive arguments for why praise and encouragement should be predominant.

8. Giving > Getting: Perhaps the most unbelieved beatitude in the Bible is, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). By looking at charitable giving, giving in marriage, giving of thanks, and giving in leadership, this chapter presents biblical and scientific evidence to persuade that the beatitude is indeed true.

9. Work > Play: As work plays such a large part in our lives, it’s hard to be happy Christians unless we are happy at work. This chapter explains the bible’s teaching about vocation and proposes a number of God-centered ways in which we can increase our joy at work.

10. Diversity > Uniformity: While staying in our own cultures and communities is safe and easy, a more biblical engagement of other races, classes, and cultures enriches and enhances our lives. This chapter suggests ten ways in which we can increase diversity in our lives, families, and churches, and lists ten advantages of such choices.

Conclusion:
Amid the reality of sin and suffering, Christians can find joy in repentance and in joyful submission to God’s providence.

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