This is just a really quick blog.
I normally like to write fairly lengthy blogs and God knows that I have been trying to just talk about something else, but the end-time deal just jumps right in my face EVERYTIME.
Maybe it's Apophenia (I really like that word!!!)
I just found out about the Wocu, which is almost a sort of world-wide currency arrangement.
I plan to read up a bit more before putting it together.
Feel free to research on your own as well or wait for me to do all the work!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
This is just a really quick blog.
Friday, June 25, 2010
I have been talking about the signs of the end for a while. It’s been my intention to write a few lines every time I start to write, but before I know it, I end up writing scores of pages – and learning as I go, which is the most exciting part. I wrote last time on the Mark of the Beast and what I thought it could be – microchip implants. There have been several replies and I need to correct a misunderstanding.
I am not attempting to show PRECISELY what the mark of the beast will be, hence the links I gave in the article for individuals to study further on their own. It is important for a believer to know the scripture AND know “times and seasons”.
However, as a writer, I am free to express my perspectives – maybe even allow my imagination run a bit – within the boundaries of scripture. So while I can say boldly the Beast’s Mark will be inserted and will show on the outside, I cannot tell you its physical dimension or tell you how to prepare. I can only say “be prepared” – which you will find yourself doing as you look unto Jesus and he aligns you the way only HE can.
And there shall be signs in the sun… (Luke 21:25), Matthew 24:29 also says “the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give her light”. Revelation 8:12 and Revelation 16:8 talk about two interesting occurrences: The first is part of the sun losing it’s strength and the next is the sun scorching men. Kinda’ sounds like the movie, “2012”
There is actually a website called www.signsinthesun.com which has some very interesting articles about the end of the world, doomsday theories and makes for very interesting reading.
Before, I go on, let me correct a misconception. The “end of the world” has been really related to conspiracy theorists, Christians, religions or myth. However, the end of the world is a scientifically backed event that will occur. The sun, the major source of energy of life on earth, has been projected to be the main force that will bring an end to life on earth – from a scientific point of view and assuming there is no divine order behind it.
Currently, there have been increasing solar activity, flares and disruptions. Some say the sun is ‘waking’ up from a slumbering state it’s been in for a while. Its wake means there is going to be more increase solar activities that have direct bearing on man. The film “2012” played a round a scenario where the earth is affected by solar flares, while another film “the Knowing” shows earth being destroyed by these flares. How realistic are these occurrences?
Fact: CME’s (Coronal Mass emissions) are a cyclical occurrence where the gases around the sun’s atmosphere erupt, expelling radioactive material that can reach earth in 3 – 5 days. The next expected ACTUAL CME is scheduled to come in 2012. So is this it?
Sunday, June 20, 2010
It is not with some kind of sick glee that I highlight why scripture shows the Rapture is NOT before tribulation, as shown in my last post. I sit down sometimes, and being human, I feel a sense of trepidation about the current state of our world. I think about my wife and kids and wonder what the world is going to be like for us, how easy it will be to move around, what price may need to be paid…and I wonder, make my plans, look ahead and try not to be caught in the frenzy of a world where the majority of people have learnt not to think for themselves – and where people try so hard to fit in with the crowd, even though it means losing themselves.
In the past, I had hoped and believed that the Bible was not true during my season of being atheist – and then I hoped that I would not see certain things in my life time. However, I have also learnt that troubles do not vanish when you look away or hide your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. Someone commented in my last post that “perfect love casts out fear” and that is true – we have to trust that God, somehow, will make a way of escape OR provide strength when future events begin.
Actually, they have begun.
The next string of articles will be more from current news and events and not just scripture.
I will be talking today about Bible prophecies and how they are being fulfilled gradually in our day. These things are unfolding gradually and like Jesus said, they should not take us unaware.
Number 1: The Mark of the Beast
The mark of the Beast (MY theory):
I had always wondered what the mark of the beast was – and thought of ways to beat it. Reason being that the bible says that the mark of the beast, once taken, meant the recipient or ‘carrier’ was doomed FOREVER. Now, that’s a long time.
So I used to think of ways to counter or undo the mark. If it was a stamp, it could be cleaned off, or if it was on my arm, maybe I could chop off my arm, like you see in some films where the actor has to cut off limbs as a last resort. I even read about a man who chopped his hand off because he believed he had taken the mark of the beast. It would be almost funny if it wasn’t so horrible.
However, from a modern-day perspective, I finally understand the BASICS of why once you take the mark, you are damned FOREVER.
I have come to believe that the greatest force after LOVE is CHOICE – and when God made all things, he gave us choice. Honestly, I wish he didn’t give us…but that’s for another day.
Following God is a choice-based option. The Christian and the Atheist do NOT see all the angles. There are many things in the Bible that do not add up, but I have come to KNOW that God is.
Now, when a person turns his back on God, he makes a choice.
What the Mark of the Beast will do is ensure that that choice is SEALED and IRREVERSIBLE – BY WAY OF TECHNOLOGY.
Revelations 13: 16-17 talks about the Beast (a powerful political leader over alliances of nations, sort of like President Barroso of the European Union which is an ALLIANCE of nations) giving people a mark IN(note) their FOREHEADS and HANDS – and goes on to say trade will be impossible without the mark. You almost wonder about a MARK (external) that is IN. The bible says the mark of the beast is 666 – argh!!!! The terrible number.
Ok, it’s not about the number. It could be 9-11 or 419 or whatever number. People say all sort of things like ‘6’ is the number for man – or is a key number in the occult. I don’t know about that.
However, it has become possible to have an implantable chip that is small enough to be inserted into a human being that can achieve several things: Achieve behavior MODIFICATION (in English, effect CONTROL and INSTILL THOUGHT) by BMI processes (Brain Machine Interphase); monitor location; and be irremovable; to carry out transactions or operations.
As many of us know, money is just a means of exchange that evolved from barter. Many envisage a cashless society in the future as smart cards are now a norm. With the discovery of silicon's unique characteristics to compact a hugh amount of data on a small interface, there has been increased clamour on the smart idea of compacting information onto chips and implanting them in human beings for security reasons - as multiple cards and/or passports are cumbersome and can be lost easily. (It's no longer news that new Passports for certain countries now have rfid chips implanted that enable tracking)
Basically, there have been several chips that run on lithium-batteries, and have to be placed on areas with the highest temperature variations – ‘coincidentally’ the areas of the body with these variations are the arm or the head. Attempting to remove some of them from the body will leak lithium into the blood, killing the individual as lithium is poisonous and should not come into direct contact with the skin or blood stream.
I did some research during my Master’s program on the viability of direct information download into the brain – as a commercial service. I started out with just the idea – but found out that it was already possible to connect the brain to inter-phases that could visually represent thought – you think it, it shows up on the screen. Now every computer person knows that a ‘line OUT’ means there can be a ‘line in’ – if you can send out data from a point (the brain in the case), then there is a way to send data INTO the brain.
With the current chips that employ BMI, transmitting thought, pleasure and pain to an individual is NOW as well as controlling action. As a test run, a rat was made to run around on the ground in any direction like a remote controlled car using this same mechanism.
In other words, if a person takes that Mark into himself/herself, as it is received, the individual just handed out the last silver of choice to the Beast – an individual who is completely against God.
There is no return as choice, at that point, has been sold out...forever.
I do not know what the actual mark/chip/thing will be like at the end of the day. I do know there will be choice involved and I know that there are several chips available now. I also know that a spoof website open for only 48 hours had people who filled out forms to receive the mark of the beast implanted in them for a $250 reward.
The separation has already begun.
For further reading and research
Every bit of compromise is a dress rehearsal for that final irreversible dispatch and loss of free will – for a bit of pleasure or gain.
To be continued…
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The first time I spoke to friends and said I believed that the rapture’s timing as preached was a bit ‘off’, I was branded a heretic. I also read with interest LaHaye’s Left-Behind series which are very interesting novels. I have known and respected LaHaye since I was a child because my dad had quite a lot of his books. I think he started writing before I could talk. However, after personal studies and reading of commentaries, I came to the conclusion that the ‘evidence’ for the Rapture occurring before the Tribulation was mostly sentiments and hope-based, and not really from scripture.
Next time, I plan to discuss the Great Tribulation from the three key angles of the Spiritual, the Political and the Geophysical (for GREAT WANT of a better way to put it as I’d be talking about weird things like microwave emissions and tectonic plates and ‘physical’ might not be exactly apt), but after I highlight my evidence for a rapture AFTER tribulation.
I still reviewed some of the opposing evidences online to see something convincing and I got the same sentimental arguments – that God will not allow his children to go through suffering. It’s just like reading the first part of Hebrews 11 and concluding that faith is a guarantee of eternal candy and ignoring the account of people of faith who were cut in two, tortured to death, were clubbed, were scourged, were in chains, were like vagabonds…because they had faith in God. Just like Christians can have illnesses and diseases and sometimes, for reasons I cannot explain, prayers, persistence and faith do not bring an end to their suffering, while some other Christians will go about yapping about the sick person’s ‘lack of faith’.
As the great Woody Allen said: Whatever!
The truth is, the world is fallen, and sin is in the world. The salary sin doles out is death and while we are in the flesh, we are IN the world, not of the world and that’s why we are sometimes touched by the effects of sin. And GOOD people suffer! If you don’t believe me, then read up an excerpt from the writing of the man people call ‘saint’ Paul – who is a fellow saint and brother of all believers in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11: 24-27.
That is tough, and like Jesus said, if they have persecuted me, they will do the same to you, BUT ‘blessed is the man who is not offended with me’. He said this knowing that many will have the skewed thought that life is Christ means your life is all sweet and rosy, angels playing with your hair till you sleep, anointed bread and beans when you wake, carrying you to work on chariots of fire, you breezing through exams with the ‘word of knowledge’…and whatever absurd concept people claim to be what the Christian is ‘entitled’ to.
That said, I will now highlight from scripture my case for the rapture occurring after the commencement of the Great Tribulation – or “Post-tribulation Rapture” to shorten it.
I am going to use SOME of the scriptural passages I earlier mentioned and add a couple of new ones.
Passage 1: Matthew 24 AGAIN. Though I recommend reading the whole chapter to really establish the context, I will zero in to make this as short as possible.
Verse 9: They will hand you over and you will suffer tribulation (which also means suffering), Verse 20-21: Pray you’re not ‘taking off’ in winter, because there will be GREAT TRIBULATION such as has not been from the beginning of the world till now. Verse 29: Immediately AFTER the tribulation, the sky and sun and moon and stars have a fit (my expression) – and the Son of man (Jesus) comes and as you may have read in my last write up, gathers his elects. Verse 40: (Popular reference) Two will be in the field and one will be taken, and so on…
PLEASE, when you have time, READ THE WHOLE CHAPTER to establish a solid context and understanding.
Passage 2: Mark 13. Verse 18 – 20. Same reference to ‘pray your flight is not winter for there will be GREAT TRIBULATION, so bad that if the days were not shortened, no HUMAN BEING will be saved. This is an extreme key point linked to what I said earlier about the convergence of several spheres in the disaster that will occur. Verse 24: After the Tribulation…. Verse 26: The Son of man comes, and Verse 27: He gathers his elects.
Once again, read the whole chapter when you can.
Passage 3: 2 Thessalonians 2. Verses 1 through 4 breaks it down ‘About the coming of Jesus and us being GATHERED to MEET him, don’t be deceived when people say he has come, because that day will not come except there is a massive falling away from true belief in God and a REVEALING of the ‘man of sin’ (the Anti-Christ)’ (I summarized the key points in the verses, do read through yourself).
Passage 4: Revelation 13: 7. This talks about the BEAST (the Anti-Christ) and says he was given power to wage war against the saints – and to overcome them! This also tallies with the open seal in Revelation 6: 9-10. There will be saints present to overcome.
Note: Revelation has been talked about as a complex book. It is NOT else it would not have been written for US. That view, from my point of view, is just disinformation to discourage reading. The things we are not supposed to know uttered by the 7 thunders, John was expressly told NOT to write – furthermore, Daniel was told that at the end times, people would gain understanding of how things were meant to unfold. So step forward in faith and know you can understand Revelation if you want to.
The open seals give a synopsis of events that will happen at the end from a TOP-DOWN perspective. John (not me!) was allowed to peep into the Heavenlies to see God (the spiritual) speaks the the Seven churches that were in existence at the time, and then he saw the throne room from where events to be played out on earth would be set in motion. Sequences of events play out, jumping back and forth from a heavenly to earthly point of view BUT you can almost follow in precise sequence events on earth as they unfold.
Now, before I go on. There are two major events that happen on earth caused by heavenly forces – the bowls and trumpets of WRATH. First, a series of trumpets are blown and much later, a series of seven bowls are poured out. Every time a trumpet is blown or a bowl poured, very bad or very strategic events play out on earth. An example is Revelation 8: 7.
“And the first angel blew and hail and fire mingled with blood was cast to earth and one-third of tree burnt...” and so on.
NOW LOOK CLOSELY at a verse you may not have noticed before.
Are you ready for this?
Passage 5: 1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 52.
Verse 51 says we won’t all die but we will be changed.
Verse 52 says, ‘In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…(and here it comes) AT THE LAST TRUMP, for A trumpet will sound and ….you have read the rest – or are reading it now.
But it talks about the rapture occurring and being heralded by A LAST TRUMPET.
Passage 6: is Daniel 12: 1 – 2.
Before you read this, you should know that bible books did NOT have chapters, but chapters were put in for ease of reading. That is why many chapters FLOW right into the next.
Daniel 11 has been talking about the Anti-Christ and in Daniel 12 it starts by saying there will be GREAT trouble such as has not been from the beginning of time. Yeah, even Daniel sees this – and as you will find if you do some research, some Mayans, Hopis and other tribes share similar ‘knowing’ about cataclysmic events that will shake the world. An ancient tribe leader said to his tribe that they would see a sign in the sky and “your celebrations will be no more”. And as Daniel 12:1 finishes, at that time of tribulation, your people will be saved, those whose names are written in the book of life…
And with that, I come an end of my case for a “Post-Tribulation Rapture”
Next, I will be talking about The Great Tribulation highlighting Geophysical, Spiritual and Political Dimension as well as discussing the Anti-Christ.
Also, there will be related articles posted onto my blog. You can just click on the ‘post’ RSS link on the top left and save yourself the hassle of checking MANUALLY for new post – or you can follow my blog by clicking the “Follow” on the Middle Right of the page page
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
So can you really stand when you are all alone?
This question could be important if I am right about my current stance on the rapture. I have found NOTHING in scripture that shows or states that Christians escape the tribulation completely by going away in the rapture. If it comes across like I’m trying to play around with words just to make this an interesting article, what I am trying to say is, what I have seen in the Bible is that believers will take part in the Great Tribulation.
Let me back-track a bit now. I grew up in a family that was BIG on reading. So I started reading quite early. I also read the Bible extensively.
Some part were quite boring to read because we normally read the King James Version and for a 7 year old, reading “…and Judas begat Pharas and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; and Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon…”, it was quite…difficult. However, as I grew older, I came across a ‘challenge’ that will plague you if you DARE to read the Bible extensively – there was a huge dissociation from what was written IN the Bible and what was taught and practiced. So I read commentaries and read books to understand certain things and it is based on my studies that I have arrived at the conclusions I plan to share with you today.
Before I go on, let me say two things: I am still studying and if anyone has a dissenting view, I would love to chat and discuss. However, I believe scriptural discussion should be based on scripture and/or logic as appropriate. Secondly, there have been many favourable comments regarding my writings. While I am thrilled that it is thus received, I MUST warn against a real danger:
Do not LAP up things I say because you think they sound good or well researched. That seems to be the sad plague of many who throng to ‘houses of God’. Like a dog that does not understand the social implication of a shake but extends a paw when it has been trained to hear the command, people tend to give over reason to a person they respect or has some PERCEIVED ‘authority’, whether spiritual, scientific or in any way. I am hoping my articles will help to provoke thought and help the reader think – NOT think for the reader.
That said, I am now going to talk about the rapture and its timing.
MY CASE FOR THE RAPTURE
Someone sent me an email and said that there was nothing in the Bible that talked about the Rapture. I will explain briefly again that the word “RAPTURE” is not in the Bible, like “TRINITY”, but it explains the very REAL future event of REAL believers in Christ being caught up suddenly to meet Jesus in the skies.
This will sound like some badly thought-out science fiction plot, but those who read the Bible for themselves (a quick-shrinking mass) will find there are several passages of scriptures that talk about this unusual happening – as well as other occurrences that are beginning to unfold in our time.
So let’s dive in.
Three of the books in the New Testament talk about this occurrence, as Jesus himself explained the occurrence. Instead of taking you through the whole chapter (and risk you dozing on me like one of my “fans” did!), I have jumped straight through to the exact portions that describe the “Rapture”. Of course, feel free to read the whole chapter – and I will come back to other verses when I start to discuss timing and prophecies. Also get ready for a little BIBLE-FLIPPING!
Matthew 24: 29 – 31: Says the sign of the Son of man (Jesus) comes in the cloud, people see him, he sends out his angels – AND THEY GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECTS FROM THE FOUR WINDS (which means all parts of the world)
Mark 13:25 – 27 and Luke 21:27 also say the same thing. The Son of man comes, people see him, stars fall, angels fly out to gather his elect (his chosen ones)…and all with the coming of the Son of Man… Jesus.
Quite interesting. However, that’s not all.
It now becomes quite dramatic with the writings of Paul, the strongest and most GRAPHIC being in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 17. (Duh! You’re not the only one who finds it hard to pronounce or find in the Bible – use Google!)
Here it says Jesus comes from heaven with a SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God. That’s just heavy! Those dead in Christ rise to meet him – and then those who are alive rise up as well to meet him in the cloud. If this is your first time seeing this, I’m sure it sounds quite unbelievable. But hold on a sec.
1 Corinthians complements this by adding a few descriptions. In 1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 52, it says we will not all sleep (die in old English, just like ‘fallen’ especially when used in reference to a war) but we will be changed and in that split second, our bodies will be changed to celestial ones – and you can read verses 35 – 49 LATER where he elaborates on this “spirituo-physical” change in detail.
Finally, Daniel 12: 1B (1b for those who use glasses and need an eye miracle (jokes))talks about those who will be saved and will be awakened from death (AGAIN) to face different outcomes of glory OR shame.
I have written thus to lay a foundation though I know these things I have said are nothing new to the average “Church”- goer. However, I write as well for people who may find some of these things as strange or new.
With that said, I will go on to explain why I have found nothing in scripture that backs up the popular belief: That Christians ESCAPE the Great Tribulation because they go in the Rapture which comes before the tribulation.
I believe Christians will be IN the Tribulation and I am not writing about this to become popular, but because I believe that understanding will change how we live, perceive the world, fellowships and what is truly important and stand the test of times when times become real hard and bad and brethren betray brethren. I hope to provoke more study on the subject which I will talk about next time on face book or on my blog that you can also subscribe to.
Very many thanks for your time.
To be continued…
Monday, June 14, 2010
There is a hymn that goes thus – “One glad morning, when this life is over, I’ll fly away”. It sounds so nice especially when you think of all the freedom a bird has as it spreads its wings and just flies, ‘over the mountain, over the sea…’ and blady blady bla…
Ok. I might just burst some bubbles today.
As many people know, I’m not exactly, ‘pro-denominational’, if I may use that word. In plain English, I am not someone who is ready to fight and die ‘for my pastor’, or thinks that my ‘church’ (denomination, really) is the “best” or any such bizarre unscriptural notion, which I find very absurd, but which seems quite a norm in some Christian circles. I also tend to try to dissociate my emotions and desires when I am on a fact-find mission, in order to be as objective as I can...humanly and humanely speaking.
So when I get on my knees, or take a break from playing video games to talk to God about something really important to me, I try not to focus on what I want the outcome to be – and on the other hand, I try not to take up the martyr think – which basically says, ‘God will not like anything I like’. The Martyr think is that if, for example, you plan to be a business man, God will actually prefer you to be a cripple who plays the flute in Pakistan – and who brings a lot of souls to him….Argh!!!
Talk about disinformation tactics by Satan to scare people from desiring to HEAR and FOLLOW God’s WILL! God gave me my wife – and wow, is she WONDERFUL! Truth is, while God can be very weird in his thinking (from my point of view – and you can check out HIS ‘experiments’ with Ezekiel!), it will not be a crushing burden that is too heavy for the individual he allows to pass through fire – that is just the way it is. NO ONE can measure the grace (or strength) that he makes available to an individual who goes through affliction.
BUT what am I getting at, you may ask?
I plan to talk about the end of the world – which is a loose term used to describe the series of events that lead to a new age – and what a series of events these will be! But in laying up a foundation, I want to critically look at an event that is normally talked about as a lead or start-up trigger for the end-of-the-world countdown.
And that event is the RAPTURE.
As many already know, the word ‘Rapture’ is not in the Bible, like the word ‘Trinity’. However, it is a generally accepted word that describes an event - a mass teleportation of believers in Christ. For non-Christians reading this article, when the rapture occurs, it is believed that Christians will be transformed from flesh and blood – and will have new bodies that are immortal.
The rapture will happen in the ‘twinkling of an eye’ and believers everywhere will fly up at mind-blowing speed to meet Christ in the skies. Very importantly, those who do not believe will be ‘left behind’ to face the great tribulation – a time of sorrow and bloodshed on earth that will be the worst the world has ever seen. This will be because after the rapture, the anti-christ or ‘Satan-Meshiac’(in Hebrew), a political figure that is heavy on charisma and eloquence – and who will be backed by Satan himself – will emerge as a prominent world leader. As the bible puts it, he will destroy WONDERFULLY.
So, let me ask a question. Would your Christian perspective change dramatically if you found out that you were not going to be “flying away” in the rapture and ‘escape’ the Great Tribulation? How would you feel if you are actually going to experience, as a real believer, the Great Tribulation?
Would you live differently, would you relate differently – or would you feel a great sense of fear because you had banked all your hopes on escaping and do not know you would react if forced to choose between Sword – or the Lord?
Suddenly, Peter’s denial of Christ takes a new perspective – Deny Christ or be crucified with him…literally.
Let me BRIEFLY simplify it…
Rusty nails going into your hands and feet, death and pain from blood loss, tetanus and gangrene, your twisted posture putting pressure on your heart as you strain to stay upright or dangle against the props that are the painful nails. Your body is wracked with pain as the crowd around you laugh at your ‘stupidity’. They say you could have spared yourself the shame by being ‘smart’ and denying the Savior’s name. At that point, you don’t know if it’s worth it because your mind is fogged over as you try to shake off the blood from getting into your eyes, eyes that the vulture above you waits for – and that’s if you do not lose it first to the more adventurous crows. Anyway, it knows instinctively that your skin will be available even if your eyes are not. Your body is broken and so is your heart – because you decided to hold on to a Heaven you have not seen with your eyes…
That was a SMALL part of Peter’s thought process…and of his options.
It’s easy to ‘lay down your life for Christ’ when you are a denominational (“church”) service, seated on comfy pews, the room air conditioned for you, skillful chords playing sweetly on the piano, surrounded by people trying to outdo one another in lifting hands up, the air completely charged; part Spirit, part emotion, part learnt reaction…and with all the physical and emotional security that surrounds. But Jesus’ parable of the sower (kindly Google if you don’t know it) says something deep about seed on stony ground. Jesus explains that these seeds that grow quickly and die are those who have no root in THEMSELVES… So can you really stand when you are all alone?
To be Continued...
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I sometimes get so passionate about certain areas of scripture - and one of them is prophecy. When I was atheist, I thought prophecy was a numbers game - you role-play Nostradamus and really spout a lot of probabilistic events that would "occur in the future", and as time went by, you could look back, extrapolate events that SEEMED close to what you talk about and boast about your prophetic skills.
I also used to believe it was a matter of common sense or observation. If I say a large amount of people will die in a certain areas because of "the blackness", we all know that there are crisis in every area of the world, that "large" is relative term, and "the blackness" is a figurative expression that could be anything, from an event on the scale of 9/11, or an automobile accident, claiming 10 lives and making everyone have a 'black day'.
Prophecy is real - and can be scary when you note its pin-point precision.
in my next series of blog posts, I will be talking about the End of Time (Not Tupac's song!) and will examine some prophecies that line up with TODAY's occurrences.
So get ready for a journey I believe will change and challenge your thinking.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Finally, I will quote a brief verse.
Jesus said in Matthew 23:17 “Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?”
A core Christian belief is that the human – not a building – is the house/temple of God. If we apply this loosely to the verse, the temple (or human) is greater than the gold (the money)
A key thing to know is Money is a BY-PRODUCT of financial intelligence. People put a lot of emphasis on the money (the gold) and things related to the money, like the job, the deal, the employment, the business – and so on. They forget the key thing and the most important element - The MIND.
If you develop a smart mind, you are able to take advantage of changes that WILL come. You may not be employed forever and I don’t say that to scare you, but very hard working people have lost their jobs suddenly. The global financial climate is EXTREMELY erratic. Some of the companies I had dreamed of working for went down in the financial crunch – just like so many spiritual leaders have – because life is dynamic and unpredictable.
Furthermore, it is important to push that mental potential into physical action. The parable of the sower (a Christian tale of seeds thrown over different kinds of soil) may also be interpreted to highlight a KEY money principle – It is wise to diversify your portfolio – or income means. So while you work for a job, think of things that can make you money when you are not there, like stocks, or royalty, or investment – because like the parable of the sower, about 25% of seed went to fertile ground - the other did NOT bear reasonable fruit. SO if you have pined all your hopes on a 50% that goes bust, what do you do?
So, finally (finally), that's all folks - like the great bunny will say.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I plan to go back and re-read this and try to apply this more in my own life. And by all means, these principles are not exhaustive, so if you have a ‘hot tip’, let me know, in a note or something – and tag ME!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I am sure at this point, if you are honestly searching for how to create income streams and wealth from scratch you may be thinking to yourself, I honestly want to be good at something but I don’t know WHAT and HOW. The next principles will take you step-by-step on the practical basics of what you need to create income streams anywhere you are.
Principle five: Use your talents and anything else you have!
Jesus gave a parable of a ruler travelling away to a far country, and who gave three servants, five, two and one talents respectively. They all traded and doubled their talents except the man who had one, and hid it. Actually, I am going to refer to talents as ‘talents’ with regards to skill or aptitude, just for this article. The bible was referring to money. A bible commentator has said 1 talent was several year worth of income.
The ruler returns and is very angry, takes away the talent from the man who hid his, and gives it to the man who initially had five, but had doubled it to ten. Now that man had eleven. Jesus says something to further shock his listeners. He says that to a person who has, more will be given, but the one who has nothing, even the little he has shall be taken away from him!
You must always start off by taking stock of what you already HAVE – your talents, your skills, your education, your unique abilities. Can you write, can you sing, can you talk, do you have charisma, can you bake, can you cook, can you blog, can you strategise, can you dance, can you research, are you creative, are you energetic, can you plan, can you….I can go on, but there is very likely more than one thing that you can do – or more than one thing that you are.
Next, think of what tools you have. DO you have a pen, do you have paper, do you have a computer, do you have a social network, do you have friends who know someone that knows someone, do you have an internet connection, do you have books, do you have. .. Just keep listing as much as you can. The big guns in business organisations do the same thing. They just give it a fancy name – “resource audit.”
Now, you can take stock of all you have available and if you are broke or jobless, be excited! WHY?
Because this is a rare chance for you to achieve wealth by doing what you REALLY want to do.
So stop waiting for aeons for a job, or for money or for a ‘big break’ or ‘breakthrough’.
Start from where you are!
So sit down and make a list of all the skills and aptitudes you have, your education, the people around you, the tools you have and don’t think too hard. If something comes into your mind, write it down. You can always sort it out later, but for now, just let it pour out. That’s how to harness creativity and that is what business people use to bamboozle you when they say they were in a “brainstorming session”! They were allowing their minds RAMBLE about as many options as possible, getting all that down…because from among those ideas are huge gems that will be mined at a later stage.
Principle Six: I am sure if you have followed up to this point, you may be getting all revved up and ready to jump into the money making process. I know by now, many ideas of what businesses you can go into have filled your mind. Hopefully, you are getting used to the fantastic habit of writing down ANY idea that comes to your mind.
Now, take a deep breath and before you go on, read the next quote of Jesus:
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Luke 14: 28-31
Aha! Now you get the picture. What Jesus was saying, in modern-day expression, was “Look before you leap!” It is what business experts call a business plan.
When you have decided on what you want to do, you must answer several questions: Who, what, where and how.
WHO are you going to provide the service to – or who are you going to provide your product to? Hmm! In other words, there is no such thing as a product for EVERYBODY. That is a NAIVE concept – except you can come up with one style of music, or food, clothing, colour, movie or drink that is the favourite of EVERYONE in the world. So you will have to think about the age, location, maybe race, occupation…and so on – with regards to people you want to offer your product or service to. The business people DEFINITELY have a name for this one! They call it “market segmentation”. (Yes, go ahead, roll your eyeballs!). So you have to determine the unique characteristics of the individuals you want to reach out to with your product and/or service.
The next question is WHAT (exactly) is your product going to be? If your answer is, my service is to make people happy, then that is not a service. It’s just a good line for a screen saver. This is a HUGE question you need to answer, because if you cannot define CLEARLY what you want to offer people, then how can you work at smoothening out the edges of your obscure ‘stuff’?
So, spend time thinking of what you want to give and make sure it’s a tangible product, or a defined service, so defined that you can write down all the activities you will undertake within a relative timeline as you deliver the service.
A bad example of a service idea: I want to make money by inspiring teenagers everywhere I go as I provide an inspiring atmosphere when I meet with them
A good example of a service idea: I will provide dancing lessons to students in tertiary institutions focussing on exotic styles like salsa and tango.
The WHERE refers to you actively thinking about the best place to offer your product or service. Let’s say you are a laptop sales man. So you decide that if you can offer your services to a wide range of ‘prospects’ you have a better chance of landing a sale. Right? Well, if you go to a secondary school with a LOT of students, you will barely make a sale. The product is right, but the PLACE/LOCATION/WHERE is WRONG! If you were displaying your wares at an IT summit, that would be a better place. So think about the best place, whether real or virtual, to offer your package.
Finally, the ‘HOW’ is one of the biggest questions. Jesus says something to the credit of those who are not ‘Christians’. He says that the children of this world (non-Christians) are in their ways wiser than the children of light (Christians). Applying this to wealth, many Christians tend to have shoddy practices believing that so far they have prayed hard, God will give them ‘increase’.
Well, if your plan for wealth is prayer-based ALONE without proper business techniques AND strategies, you will ALWAYS need to pray – because you will always need help with being broke. So what is the ‘HOW'?
‘HOW’ refers to all the ways you need to think and act to make your service stand out. It has to do with finding the right price to offer your product, how you package the product, getting traffic and buyers to your product, emphasising the unique selling point of your product, how to remove buying barriers to your product, how to make buyers ENJOY buying your product, how to communicate after you sell your product, and how you can offer additional services, how you must put measures in at every point…and so on.
Now, if you have thought of your skill sets, the people you want to offer your service/product to – after really defining it, and you have followed all the steps above, but are confused by the ‘HOW’, do not worry. You are right on track. The way to ‘HOW’ is encased in the next principle.
Principle Six: Think big, start big OR small – but by all means, START!
I am told that in some part of the world, rabbits sometimes run onto the road and get hit by cars. The reason they get hit is not because they cannot get off fast enough. I am told that many times, there are so quick that they have so many options when it comes to getting off the road. With the options flooding their brains at the same time WHILE the car is bearing down on them, they tend to freeze.
Bam! Before you know it, they’re …they are kaput. (I hope that sounded nicer. Bunnies are cute creatures.)
Humans act like bunnies who get smacked over by TIME when they freeze when it's time to ACT!
Jesus said: Do not worry about tomorrow because it will take care of itself. The key word is WORRY. Many projects do not get off the ground not because of a lack of resource or ability, but fear that the projects MAY not be successful. So people stay in their dead-end jobs with all their skills and talents, not lifting a finger, ‘just in case’ they fail. The principle here is, stop worrying about what tomorrow MIGHT be and just DO what you want to do.
Just start that venture, just build that website, just start that novel, just buy that ‘How-to’ manual…just get something started because ALL successful people learnt ALONG the way – and are still learning.
So, "Nike" – Just do IT!
Principle Seven: Give it time…PERSIST!
Ok. You have finally started that ‘thing’ you wanted to start. You were expecting the big bucks to start rolling in. They told you if you did it ‘right’, you would be a millionaire ‘soon’, you would get a record deal, you would get mad traffic to your site, you would make a killing with regard to cash inflow. What they did NOT tell you is that most business will kick off running at a loss – by accounting standards – then will go off into a break even phase, where your income is equal to your expenditure, and then finally you will start to make a profit. And that is not the end, you will need to keep LEARNING and improving and adapting as you go along to stay relevant…CONTINUOUSLY!
HEY! Don’t get me wrong. It is very possible to make a killing from day ONE, but many times, it just doesn’t happen that way. Period. You will need time to understand your business more, to understand your market and so on – and you will sweat. This is the reason why you have VERY few millionaires. Most people can’t stand the heat.
However, there is a hidden principle here that Jesus emphasises in a story:
There is a really tough judge who does not regard anyone and appears to be atheist. The bible says he didn’t care a hoot about God. Now, in the same city as the judge was a woman who needed this judge to help her get something done.
Definitely, she wasn’t worth a row of beans to him!
However, she was always going to meet him, to beg him, to cajole him, to plead with him, to beseech him, to placate him, to implore him, to entreat him, to appeal to him, to…
He got fed up…
And he helped her.
If you keep at anything long enough, it will bear fruit. As the Zen saying goes, stones are finally worn smooth by the persistence of water.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Second Principle: You can be wealthy INSTANTLY! All you need to do is change your THINKING!
Aha! That is the hard part. Jesus explains it precisely when he said: As a man thinketh IN HIS HEART, so is he.
It is for this same reason that many lottery winners and ‘stars’ come into a lot of MONEY, but cannot sustain it, because they are not wealthy in their minds – and they become poor again. Being wealthy is a mindset that INFLUENCES how you THINK about money, which determines the decisions you MAKE with regards to money and the muscle that gives the capacity to SUSTAIN wealth.
That is why the WEALTHY buy in bulk because they understand economies of scale; argue about every dime with their banker because they understand that a penny saved is a penny earned – and that it accumulates – and why in Nigeria, they will prefer to use gas to Kerosene. (Don’t believe me, simply think about the LITTLE amounts you have spent on candy or drinks ALL your life. I bet you get the picture now! That’s almost a painful lesson in opportunity costs). This leads on right to the next principle.
Third Principle: Jesus once said “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (You’ve got to just LOVE old English!)
Basically, you need to sow to reap. You need to give to get what YOU want. The poor think about how much they need to earn, how much bills they have and hope something will ‘happen’. That’s why many poor people are good at praying.
Don’t get me wrong.
While I do not agree entirely with Karl Marx that religion is the opiate of the masses, you have to agree that religion is a nice way for many people to justify waiting for ‘God’s time’ – WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING, or doing the RIGHT things.
The rich think of how to solve bigger problems to earn more money. If they can ascertain a HUGE or substantial demand, they can GROW to be able to deliver a HUGE/substantial supply. You see, that way, HUGE/substantial returns just happen along the way. Thinking of needs to fill? Just google ‘Maslow theory’ as a starting point.
If you are going to thrive in any endeavour, especially your own business or 'thing', you will have to sow time, money – or both – and you will have to sow the right stuff. Like Jesus said further, you can’t sow seeds of one fruit and get another. So some fail when they should be sowing time and they are sowing money, and vice versa. This leads to the next principle.
Fourth principle: Mark 7:37 talks about people’s report of Jesus and how “he had done everything WELL”. People can only say that of you when you are in alignment with the next principle.
You must KNOW your craft!
To become financially independent, wealthy and rich, you must be really savvy at SOMETHING. You must know the nitty - gritty and specifics of something, and become a sort of specialist in that area. The amount of information available with regards to anything continues to increase, meaning there is a greater opportunity than ever before to capitalise on certain niches that emerge everyday in every area of life.
Not aligning with this principle is why you see a lot of smart people who are into everything, can talk generally about most things, but when you begin to question them about specifics they become vague, might spout evasive lingo or come up with different ways to hide their ignorance.
Wealth is created by problem solving and problem solving happens when there is know-how. It is POSSIBLE not to know so much about something and get business. However, I can assure you that a trial will convince your client or customer that you are not someone they should be dealing with – and wealthy people know that repeat business from satisfied customers is a key ingredient in SUSTAINING wealth.
So know your craft...and know it WELL!
I decided to write on the subject of money from a godly point of view, but ended up writing so much I decided to share it pieace meal by piece meal so the reader could take breaks. The whole article is about 9 pages on MS Word, so I will break it into about 3 - 5 parts.
It is very hard to fault how critically important money is in life. Wealth creation is one of the most sought after topics today and if you think money is unimportant, then maybe you are still living at home with your mom and she handles the bills, while you sit in a corner with your bible and your grey anti-capitalist T-shirt.
Going through life means one is going to have to pay through the basics: Food, clothing, shelter. And beyond the basics, money is a necessary tool to get the ball rolling with regards to fulfilling purpose. So whether you are a banker, author, musician, public speaker or a student, it becomes critical at some point to know how to make money, manage money and increase your level of financial ‘savvy-ness’ – so your income far outweighs your expense. You might want to make money online, or get a career, or earn royalty. However you want to go about it, I believe you will find something here to help you on your way.
Okay. That said, I’m sure when people look at the title, what may come to the mind of many is how you get MORE from God by consistently, constantly and conscientiously giving tithe.
(Sigh) – Truth is many poor people tithe and get laughed at by church rats. Check the right hand corner behind the dark brown pew and you will see them pointing hands and laughing at some folks…seriously!
Moving on, many may think I want to talk about spiritual warfare and ‘unlocking their breakthrough’ in the realm of the spirit.
Er, many people also do this, NONSTOP, and they are still at it years later with no real result. Actually, the church rats don’t laugh at these guys anymore. They are stale jokes.
Or maybe you might know some Christian pastors who talk about buying anointed pendants and handkerchiefs that will give you great wealth.
That is complete NONSENSE – except your hobby is hunting and gathering of ‘anointed’ stuff.
Wealth comes from following some key principles EMBEDDED in nature and you do not have to be Christian or atheist to be wealthy. You get and stay wealthy by following or FALLING (by chance (YES! I said it!)) in line with these principles.
After brief thought, I have tried to condense some wealth principles into 7 topics and I will breeze along pretty quickly to make this as quick – and painless – as possible.
First principle: To have money, you must respect it. People say money is evil and misquote the scripture about it being “the root of all evil”. Actually, the Bible says the LOVE of money is the root of all evil – and Jesus’ words and parables are peppered with a lot of talk around and about money and how to get and dispense it. He talks about a servant who did nothing with the money his master gave him – and implies that the LEAST the servant could have done was put the money in the bank so that it could gain interest.
Note: Except you have no other options, it’s not really wise to leave money in the bank for long periods as money tends to depreciate with time – meaning the same amount of money will continue to have reducING purchasing power (it will buy less and less!). Your average bank’s interest rates is normally far below the inflation rate of most countries meaning that the TRUE worth of your money reduces drastically with time except its return over time is more than the inflationary rate.
Now, If you think money is evil or not to be had, you will NOT have it. Your subconscious mind will work over time to make sure that ‘evil’ thing (money) does not stay with you. You will be pious and poor – but happy…and broke. This leads to the next principle.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
One of the very popular themes in films and stories is of people who cling on to others in relationships, continually taking lies, battering and betrayal. It has been portrayed as being almost heroic and an act of ‘love’ where the heroine continues to love and understand her man till, one day, his eyes open and he realises what a gem he has.
I am not against that line of thinking.
I am also not against the line of thinking where people divorce at the drop of a hat, walking away when a loved one ‘messes up’. The ability to be in calm control of emotions and break up with someone who we think is not ‘worthy’ of our love or relationship has also been lauded.
Like I said, I am not against that line of thinking either. It’s just that I don’t toe these lines all the way.
My point of view is that many times in life, there are no hard and fast rules and each scenario is unique and intricate in its own way. Each relationship implies unique individuals, unique relationships, unique backgrounds, unique thought processes…and I can go on.
But Jesus, sitting down on Mount Olives sadly but firmly takes a decision on a relationship that has been hurting. He says “How I would have longed to gather you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but YOU (emphasis mine) would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate…” Matt 23:37
I wish I had an easy answer for people who have been hurt or betrayed by people they love. I wish I could say the right words and it would all just go away. However, it’s no easy task. At the very point where people are hurting, there is a need to understand that TIME has a way of sorting out things and in the meantime, the one who feels hurt or betrayed will need to guard their hearts from bitterness. People tend to gravitate towards their dominant thoughts – even when it’s thought of things or people you hate.
Let me use the example of someone I will name Charley. He was completely devastated when he found out his fiancée had been cheated on him several times. Loving her dearly, he was hurt and every time he talked or thought about it, even years later, the pain would be fresh. Charley ended up cheating on his next fiancée and quickly went on a downward spiral before he found much-needed help.
This could be just one individual case, but I know of so many people who have been cheated on who go on a sex spree, people who have been robbed who dupe others and it goes on and on. You tend to become what you hate deeply.
So how does one deal with hurt and betrayal?
By using the hidden capacity TOO MANY have neglected. Every time you are hurt, or you are angry, or you are in a crazy scenario where there is violence or fear, there is a place somewhere in you that gives you a strange ability to stand on the side and watch it all unfold as though you are not the one in the picture. It is for this reason people who are offended explode when they can almost feel it is the expected behaviour.
For example, Tom is walking down a crowded road. A teenager loses control of his bicycle and bumps into him. Tom is STARTLED and looks around at the kid on the floor. People turn around to stare…
In that split second, there are so many options for Tom based on several variables. Depending on the socio-cultural influences and/or vibes he is picking up from faces,
-yell at the teenager though HE doesn’t feel angry
-help the teenager to his feet and let him off easy
-melodramatically walk away like nothing happened while EVERYONE watches this version of Clint Eastwood riding into the sunset
-allow HIS anger churn by subconsciously JUSTIFYING why he should act that way
-have split reactions because he is extremely self-conscious and is trying to think of what the CROWD expects while trying to focus on how to relate with the boy
There are more possibilities and you can think of more, but they are executed in a split second. It’s definitely different when you find out your partner is sleeping with a third party, or your close friend duped you, or someone you care for has withdrawn for you and has given no reason.
You can ALWAYS freeze frame and the more you do it, the easier it gets.
When bitterness is thrown far from your heart, and you extend your hands to someone again and again, if there is no SINCERE reciprocal gesture, it is ALRIGHT to walk away.
It’s ok to walk away from someone who spurns your friendship and treats it lightly.
Its ok to walk away from a partner who is not trying to fight to stay faithful
In some other scenarios, sometimes what you need is space and time, to grieve, to recuperate, to heal…and to love – AGAIN, for at the end of the day, what is life, without love?