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Don’t get bitter; Get Better
Your Unique Keys
Find your way to Town
Sharpen your Axe
Endure hardship as Discipline

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Don’t get bitter; Get Better

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV)
 
"A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
 
It’s very likely you had challenges last year, if you didn’t; you may be dead or in coma without knowing.

Your Unique Keys

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.  Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

Walking in step with the wicked, standing in the way that sinners take and sitting in the company of mockers may look inviting sometimes; perhaps it guaranty’s acceptance or quick results.

Find your way to Town

The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town. Ecclesiastes 10:15 (NIV)

Of course not all products are great for the market, some arrived too early while others arrived too late; today is dedicated to those that failed to arrive all together.

Just about 10 years ago, before the release of the first IPad, I had a mobile phone I liked so much. For all intent and purpose, it seemed to function like an IPad or any window based notebook. T-Mobile called it the Ameo.

In an era when the bulk of production was farm produce, probably your biggest issue is preserving the freshness of your harvest.

Sharpen your Axe

If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success. Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV)

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree," Abraham Lincoln asserted, "and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. In today’s world of chain saw and power tools it’s probably difficult to relate to some simple exercises such as sharpening the axe.
 
Before going to the farm with my grandmother, you take your machete to the big ‘male’ stone in the courtyard with a bowl of water and begin the process of sharpening.

Endure hardship as Discipline

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Hebrews 12:7&8 (NIV)

The life of a believer is compare to being a soldier. Various people were attracted to the military for different reasons, family tradition, love for combat, finding direction and structure in life and others probably saw it a patriotic duty.

Faith to Become

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:1, 2&8 (NIV)

Over the years my perception of the subject of faith has changed a bit from how to receive things from God, especially materials things or the so-called good things. Now I see faith differently, it’s more of faith to become not faith to receive.

Your debt is paid in Full

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:15 (NIV)

There are some legal words in todays’ studies that need to be explored;

Mediator; this is someone who stands as a go-between for two people in conflict, this is usually required once relationship has broken down, sometimes it’s the only way to bring them back to a negotiation table.

Your mind is Blessed

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Hebrews 6:7&8 (NIV)

The farmer clears the land and loosened the soil at the beginning of the planting season, at this time the land is ready for sowing, if nothing is planted, weeds will take over the new land. It is the responsibility of the farmer to intentionally sow the field.

Freedom to Choose

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…. Titus 2:11-13 (NIV)

Salvation is offered to all people, however not all will be saved, there’s got be offer and acceptance for any deal to be sealed. While salvation covers every aspect of life; health, work, social, spiritual etc.

Train Yourself in Godliness

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1Timothy 4:7&8 (NIV)
 
Physical training and spiritual training are placed side by side; there must be things common to them. To make the most of physical training, you need to make sure of a few things, Diet, exercise, rest, trainer, commitment etc.


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Explore your Advantages

Whatever exists has already been named, and what humanity is has been known; no one can contend with someone who is stronger. Ecclesiastes 6:10 (NIV)
 
Jack Welch said, if you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. This advice is not so much to dissuade you from competing but to find a better way.
 
In one of his letters Ivan IV Vasilyevich (Ivan the Terrible) explained what he suffered in the hands of the boyars after he became an orphan. "My brother Iurii, of blessed memory, and me they brought up like vagrants and children of the poorest.

You have Time

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
 
Everything happens in time, nothing happens outside of time, I bet you’ve heard the phrase save some time before, how absurd because time cannot be saved, makes not difference whether you do something or nothing, time drifts anyway.
 
We don’t manage time, it’s ourselves we manage. Alec MacKenzie observed that "Getting control of your time means facing up to the fact that you are usually the problem, not someone else.

Satisfaction in Toil

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24&25 (NIV)
 
The term job satisfaction can be considered in various dimensions, there is the feeling of accomplishment you get for providing a meaningful service, it is what I call the joy of excellence.  This is not peculiar to any one type service. It applies to the good teacher helping a troubled kid as much as to a care assistant looking after a client.

Find Meaning in the Present

I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:12-14 (NIV)
 
What’s the use struggling to climb to the top of the ladder and then realise it was leaning on the wrong wall all along; meaningless. A man sacrifices everything, health, family and relationships to chase after business success.

Womanhood: dignity & strength

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:29-31 (NIV)

For centuries, women may have been oppressed and suppressed, many thought the right place for the woman is in the man’s shadow. It is a shame that  the women of old probably had better deals than their modern counterparts. The ancient Mesopotamian or Egyptian woman had the rights to own, buy and sell or inherit properties among other things, most of these the modern woman only got in the 19 century.

Greatness includes you

There are fourthings whichare little on the earth, But theyareexceedingly wise: The antsarea people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags; The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks; The spider skilfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.  Proverbs 30:24-28 (NKJV)
 
When you imagine outstanding performances, it’s tempting to occasionally think of great people doing extraordinary things, different people pushing the boundary of human limitation.

As within, so without

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)
 
The world operates on laws. Some laws are more obvious than others; you hardly need to explain gravity to anyone. While people may not necessarily understand the science behind this force, even a toddler knows that things fall down.
 
Here is one of such laws, It says, “As within, so without.” Brian Tracy called it the law of Correspondence; in operation it implies that your outer world is a reflection of your inner world.

Ditch the Excuses

A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!” As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed. A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly. Proverbs 26:13-16 (NIV)
 
We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse. -Rudyard Kipling. Excuses are the way we explain away our inability to take responsibility. When you take responsibility, you look inward, with excuses, you look outward, you need someone or something to blame for failure.

Burn off the Dross

Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel; remove wicked officials from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness. Proverbs 25:4&5 (NIV)
 
Though precious metals are naturally occurring materials, they come with impurities which tend to obscure their brilliance. In some cases the impurities are so overpowering that it takes a trained eyes to recognise the precious metal.
 
There are various ways of removing dross from silver, ranging from using fire or intense heat to chemicals and other specialist processes.

Leverage; a tool of the Wise

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. Surely you need guidance to wage war,
and victory is won through many advisers. Proverbs 24:3-6 (NIV)

Demonstrating the principle of leverage, Archimedes (287BC-212BC) asserted, “Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I shall move the earth”. In practical terms, leverage refers to a mechanism that multiplies the outcome or results of one’s efforts without a corresponding increase in the consumption of resources.