5 Lessons From 1 Samuel

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Samuel is the writer of the majority of 1 Samuel. Gifted as a prophet, Samuel gives a warning to the Israelites about their desire for him to choose an earthly king to lead them and the disaster it will bring. The Israelites didn’t pay attention to the warning and experienced much mourning because of their desire.

Below are some highlighted lessons to consider from 1 Samuel.

 

1) A persistent petition from a mother births a powerful legacy of seeking the Lord. Hannah who continued in prayer during barrenness eventually gives birth to a son(Samuel) who develops a lifestyle of prayer and worship unto the Lord during his leadership.

 

2) Outside of God’s presence is death and grief. When the glory of the Lord departs from a people, there is no victory during the battle – which brings much loss. After Eli’s sons(Hophni & Phinehas) were killed in battle and Eli died when he heard all that happened, Phinehas’ wife gave birth to a boy and named him Inchabod which means “The glory is departed from Israel”.

 

3) Human leadership has the ability to mislead and rely on self, but the Holy Spirit will never lead you outside of God’s covering. Saul walked in disobedience to God and thought he could do things all on his own and still reign.

 

4) Never give place to the devil in avenging yourself. God will take care of the mockery and deprivation in His timing.

 

5) Surround yourself with those who operate in wisdom. In our times of haste, their words can save us from taking foolish action. Abigail encouraged David in who he was in God and in leaving the situation(when her husband at the time mocked David and David’s request for payment of his men’s service was rejected) for God to handle.

Prayer Points: Praying for Provision

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There are times we are in situations that we don’t know how to get out of. Wonderings of the heart and mind saying: How did I get in this? How do I get out of this? What do I do in this? How do I continue living in this? Sometimes it seems the bigger the efforts made by us and the desire craved, the higher the odds pile up. How does daily bread manifest in our lives when we are running on low of the very life we have and we are in need of life support? Below are some points, questions and thoughts to consider on when we are in need of provision when we feel powerless.

 

Prayer Point: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’

Our daily bread is the provision of our daily needs. What are the necessities that we need daily, in a world that showcases the tasty, sweet and overflowing with glamour? Where our wants are advertised confusing us with what we really need.

What are your daily needs?

What are the daily needs of your family?

What are the daily needs of our community?

What are the daily needs of the strangers, friends and acquaintances around us?

What are the daily needs of the nation?

What are the daily needs of the world?

 

Luke 18:1 encourages us “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

That simply lets us know even when the odds are piling up and seems to get bigger than our desire and tries to threaten our needs of ever getting met – we are to continue in prayer for the needs.

What do we do when adversity seems to advance further than the outcome of our continual efforts? Prayer is what we have to hold on to when everything else seems to go away.

Sometimes fainting may lie and say that is the only thing we have left to do.

Fainting into despair.

Fainting into disbelief.

Fainting into desperation.

There’s something that needs to be revived in us again.

Revival of prayer, faith, walking in God’s will, declaring and decreeing specifically the needs and being relentless in the part we are responsible for.

Jehovah Jireh: God our Provider,

Reveal who you are in our daily lives. We give you praise and thanks for all the past and present revelations and provisions that you have been to us. Lord revive in us the faith that lives on and rescue us from fainting when we are overwhelmed, exhausted and dehydrated within. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

 

5 Lessons From Ruth

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The book of Ruth is an amazing story of redemption and love. In the bible, Kinsman – Redeemer was a protection law that was in place for the welfare of the poor from being taken advantage of and from the wealthy taking away property that came from a people(community). The Kinsman – Redeemer is a reflection that God will redeem Israel from their suffering and the injustices and that Jesus is a Savior for humankind and will come back to conquer every evil deed . Below are some highlighted lessons on the book of Ruth to consider.

 

1) It’s better to be in a famine and under God’s protection, then to have a feast and step outside of God’s direction. When Elimelech and his wife Naomi(along with two sons) left Judah to stay in Moab,  they stepped outside of God’s direction. Moab was a land in the bible where people worshipped false gods and idols.

 

2) Running from trouble brings added trouble when we are outside the will of God. In Ruth 1, it mentions that Elimelech(Naomi’s husband) died and later on  Mahlon and Chilion(Naomi’s sons) died. There are always negative consequences from making a choice to be outside the will of God.

 

3) Faithfulness always ignites breakthrough. Ruth went into the field to gather from the harvest. God used Boaz to protect, provide and be generous to Ruth. Ruth stayed with her mother – in – law Naomi and went in the field and miraculous things erupted from that.

 

4) When you look out for someone else and allow God to work through you for their blessing, bitterness will dissipate. Naomi who was bitter decided to let go of the bitterness and  she guided Ruth in how to go to Boaz.

 

5) To travel from grief to restoration it requires trust, faith and obedience. Ruth had to trust that after the death of her husband that this was not the end of her story. In addition, she had to believe that God would turn her situation around and she had to follow the instructions she was given from her mother – in – law and take action from her trust and faith.

 

 

 

 

5 Lessons Through Publishing

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The publishing and writing industry has great creative times and it also has challenges that comes with being a part of it. As a published author and writer, I’ve experienced both sides and have learned and am learning through the process of writing and publishing. Below are some highlighted lessons to consider on publishing.

 

1) Always have a detailed plan that includes a marketing strategy. Whether you write books, articles or blog posts – the message and information can reach its audience when its targeted to readers effectively.

 

2) Give yourself extra time for the planning and preparation stages. Sometimes delays happen beyond a person’s control and things go wrong. Having extra time allows enough time to make changes and be organized.

 

3) Don’t look for major results in the beginning of something new. The little results eventually build up over time. Give it time.

 

4) Don’t place the value of yourself and your work based on sales and approval of people. Money and popularity doesn’t determine the quality, it may just show how well liked and well received a person is. Even ones that are well  liked and well received have people who don’t approve of them and what they are doing.

 

5) There’s always something new to learn and try in the publishing and writing industry. Always be open to learn and try new ways to grow as a writer and/or author.

 

What are some lessons have you learned through/about publishing?

5 Lessons Through Intergenerational Friendships

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As a younger adult I now have a few older adult friends with a large age gap difference. These relationships came at the right time when we both needed a human friend and fellowship. The friendships just happened without my seeking and took place in a situational type of way.

I’m more open to them now than I was a few years ago when I found them to be a little odd. Who says age matters in friendship? It really doesn’t, we just all have to learn that not everything always has to be in the exact same way when it comes to certain situations. That’s where newness and freshness gives its savor. Below are some highlighted lessons to consider on these unique friendships.

 

1) The quality of friendship is what’s more important. Age difference doesn’t necessarily mean good or bad. It’s what the persons bring in the friendship and how they operate in relationships.

2) There are special qualities that my intergenerational friendships have than those of my peer group and age category . While I’m appreciative of friends of all ages, I do recognize the distinctiveness between the different kinds. These friends have been around much longer and have had more experiences. They bring qualities including double wise advice and sometimes greater perspective.

3) Having a variety of kinds in friendships bring a fun mix and flavor. A positive mix gives a person a chance to evolve in their own way.

4) Sometimes the intergenerational friends have shared experiences and relate in some connecting way. As I talk and spend time with friends of these kinds, I’ve learned that we relate more than I think and can have a wonderful time with our connection. It’s great to have someone who understands and is there for you. Somehow the connection helps both in the friendship.

5) Give the connection a chance, its healthy to have the balance. With certain things we really don’t know if it’s meant to be or can work well unless we give it a chance.

 

  What lessons have you learned through/about intergenerational friendships?

 

 

5 Lessons Through Literacy

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Literacy has an important position and role in our communities and world. When I think of literacy I think of books and reading. Growing up reading was one of my favorite activities to do, especially reading creative stories. I still enjoy reading even up to this present time. There are many ways in which literature functions in life. Whether it’s in a classroom, library, house, workplace or any other location, it still remains information and knowledge. Below are some highlighted lessons to consider on literacy.

 

1) Communication and the comprehension of it can be developed through many kinds of reading and  different kinds of writing. We communicate in various ways including talking, listening and the way we act. Language is a strong part in how we communicate. What we say, how we listen and what we write all has a part in the process.

 

2) Writing promotes literacy. Every time a writer writes and shares their writing they encourage others to read, communicate and connect in some form.

 

3) Literacy is for everyone. Whether a person likes/dislikes to read and write and/or is strong/not strong in reading and writing, we all need it for everyday life and while it doesn’t have to be everyone’s favorite thing to do we can make it interesting in creative ways.

 

4) Literacy can be in the form of pictures and music. Images and music communicates a message, sound or information when we view and listen closely and thoroughly.

 

5) Literacy affects every area of living on earth and  the quality of life. The attention we give literacy in whatever form can bring the change and increase we need in earthly living.

 

    What lessons have you learned through/about literacy?

 

 

 

 

5 Lessons From Judges

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The book of Judges shows how the Israelites sinned against God, how the wages of sin brings about spiritual death and how disobedience and purposefully  staying in sinful acts will bring about judgment on a person, people, country, nation and world.

Major themes from Judges include the covenant broken between the Israelites and God due to the people of Israel not doing as they said, judges being raised up by God and Israel’s destruction. Below are some highlighted lessons to consider from the book of Judges.

 

1) Keep in covenant with God. Every relationship has a covenant  whether we know it or not. Each person in the relationship must do their part to build and bring about a healthy outcome. Staying in covenant with God is our protection, safety and security. However when we go astray it leads to serious consequences.

 

2) God will raise up a voice and person that is bold enough to speak and do what He tells them to. In the book of Judges there were major judges such as Othniel, Deborah, Gideon, Ehud, Samson and Jephthah. These judges brought Israel out of unjust treatment and persecution.

 

3) Who we do business with and connect with matters. Seek God’s wisdom concerning partnerships. The Danites(one of the tribes of Israel) experienced loss when they were forced out of their inheritance land – which was the result from the tribe not seeking God’s wisdom in who they partnered with.

 

4) Ungodly cycles continue when people keep the mindset of living for self. The cycle of apostasy in Judges is when there’s a continual cycle of each generation who don’t know God, they worship idols and other false gods and partake in wickedness. God sends a judge to save them and the cycle goes over and over again.

 

5) Develop an appetite for God. An appetite for worldly sinful pleasures will draw us away from wanting more and more of the Lord.

 

Q & A with JayEss

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Gospel Hip Hop Artist JayEss brings a message of hope and inspiration through rapping about everyday issues. JayEss is signed to independent  record label company, Zoe Records. The rapper has been working on his upcoming project titled ‘7even’ that is soon to be released.

I’ve had the opportunity to interview JayEss and here’s what he had to say about his music and faith.

 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: For those who don’t know me, my name is  JayEss, I’m a hip hop artist from East London and my message is speaking to everyday life issues.

Q: What inspired you to record these tracks?

A: As the days went by I started writing down things I saw on a daily basis and as time went on I had a body of work that could be moulded into a project.

Q: What inspires you to sing/rap?  

A: Everyday life and hearing dope rappers.

Who are your musical inspirations?

A: Notorious B.I.G. is my number one, he’s the one that made me even attempt this art form for myself. I’m inspired by good music in general.

Q: Have you always enjoyed the art of music?

A: I only started appreciating it when I started rapping in 1999.

Q: What can we expect from you in the future?

A: I’m venturing into acting so you will see me in a few acting roles. I have my own film company so the majority of my music videos and short films are filmed in-house. Shout out to Billicity Media who have been great in creating visuals for my 7even project.

Q: What words of encouragement would you tell the aspiring singer/rapper that desires to begin a music career/ministry?

A: Believe in yourself and be yourself.

Q: If you could spend time with someone who you admire, who would that be? Why?

A: Sean Puffy Combs and Curtis Jackson and I’d pick their brains on business and how to stay consistent.

When did you start your faith journey?

A: My faith journey began in 2005  when I started following Christ off the back of a conversation with my friends for seven hours straight. My journey has had its ups and downs but that’s life. I prefer to follow the teachings of Christ than anyone else’s.  His way of thinking, his morality and the love he showed for his fellow-man was beyond comprehension.

Q: Did you have any challenges that you personally overcame? How did you overcome those challenges?

A: I overcame getting over my ex that was a nightmare lol.

Q: Any additional comments that you would like to add?

A: If you’re following Christ then study him.

 

To stay connected with JayEss,connect with him on Facebook by clicking here http://bit.ly/28YKA7J and/or through following him on Twitter @JayEssonline .

 

 

 

8 Lessons Through Evangelism

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As believers and disciples of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to evangelize the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are effective ways to share the good news of the Gospel with other unbelievers. The bible is our tool when we go out fishing for the lost and love is our bait in drawing people to Christ. Below are some highlighted lessons through evangelism.

 

1) The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. According to Mark 16: 15 we are to preach the gospel to everyone that we have an opportunity to do so. It doesn’t have to be fancy or huge in any way. It could be the simplest statement of words that causes someone to consider and/or question what you said that could potentially have impact that leads them to Jesus.

 

2) Compassion towards unbelievers is vital to reach them. It is important that we allow people to share with us what’s on their heart. We don’t always have to reply to everything, but sometimes just listening with compassion and care makes much of a difference. As we listen God will allow opportunities for us to plant a seed in them in whatever way He directs us.

 

3) There is plenty of work to do for the Kingdom of God, but few workers who have a willing heart to do the work. (Matthew 9: 37 – 38) Do we have a willing heart that will go out and win souls for Jesus Christ? A willing heart will do just that.

 

4) Through the power of God we must become set apart and dedicate our lives for serving. (1 Peter 3: 15) Disciples are to walk in the way of Jesus Christ and holy living. They must become a servant.

 

5) We need the power of the Holy Ghost when going out to evangelize. The power of the Holy Ghost moves differently in each believer. There can be many blockages in someone that can quench or hinder the power of the Holy Ghost from operating in their life. Every Christ follower can boldly ask to be filled and refilled with the Holy Ghost. Don’t be discouraged if you have not yet seen the manifestation. Keep asking and seeking the Lord.

 

6) Every believer must stay watchful and don’t give in when we face afflictions.(2 Timothy 4: 5) The devil doesn’t stop his work of wickedness and evil so we must always keep watch and stay faithful to God even when we go through.

 

7) Keep praying and always give thanks.(Colossians 4: 2 -6) We must never stop praying in our service and must always have thanks in our hearts.

 

8) In order to effectively share the good news we must be students of God’s Word.(2 Timothy 2: 15) Studying the bible is extremely important as disciples. Sometimes tiredness, busyness and other distractions will try to creep in, but we have to learn to refocus as students. We don’t have to be the smartest, be the best verbal speaker or have the highest intellect in order to work for the Lord. Remember God can use that which seems foolish!

 

The Gifts In Longsuffering

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Can you recall something you had to deal with for a long time? Maybe you thought it would take less time or it wouldn’t go the way it went. What about the times when we think we get through something only to find ourselves going through it for an extended period.

Think about receiving gifts during your longsuffering? Can you? How can there be gifts in suffering for a long time? Well you see it’s all in our perspective and the way we choose to live our lives. Below are some points to consider on the gifts in longsuffering.

 

1) Love Developed In Us: Most if not all, don’t like going through something difficult, unpleasant and opposing for a long time. We would take the relief as soon as it could come and hope it comes as fast as it could. Love is a gift that needs to be developed in us and displayed through us in longsuffering. When we can suffer and endure something that God has allowed for us to bear for a long time in the right attitude and perception, we can walk out and live out the love that God wants us to operate in.

 

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2) Fruit Growing In Us: As believers we are called to bear fruit and walk in the Spirit of God and to be led by the Holy Spirit. God dwells in every Christ follower and bearing fruit is the evidence that we are growing in the Lord. Longsuffering is a fruit of the Spirit. Some may question, how can suffering for a long time bring out something good in us? When we are yielded to the Lord, longsuffering will help bring forth patience and self- control in our behavior, actions, interactions and other areas in our lifestyles.

 

 

3) Living In Forgiveness: Just as Christ is longsuffering towards us in our mess and sin,  as  Christ followers we must learn to be longsuffering towards others. Forgiveness is really freedom for our minds, hearts and souls.

 

4) Humbling Ourselves: When we humble ourselves in suffering for a long time, God can raise us up at the right time. We must let go of our will to have a smoother path in life and to attempt to avoid adversity. For every believer, the suffering we face in this world will be wiped away one day.

 

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