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Volume 11, Issue 19: Make Today Your Masterpiece

I had an "aha" moment two weeks ago while listening to John Maxwell's "Today Matters" audio book. How would I carry myself today for it to be a masterpiece? What kind of day would be a masterpiece for me?

That would be the day I get out of bed on time, start my walk on time after my quiet time. Complete my workout on time, have my full hour of reading before the start of work day. Write at lunch break. Eat right. Have a family dinner. Converse and play with my family. Go to bed on time.

How often do I have such days?

What if I only needed to have such days just for one day? Can I do it for one day? Can I repeat that day over and over again?

If this is how I want to live, what's keeping me from living this way? Why do I keep falling short? What's the remedy to my shortcomings on this?

I can do this with God's help. I can make today my masterpiece, and so can you. You don't have to wait for a perfect day to live out your best day. You can do it today.

If today were the last day I had to live, would I make it my masterpiece? My answer to that question is a resounding "Yes". I would make today my masterpiece. I would overlook the offense. I would have the conversations, listen attentively. I would give generously. I would read and write.

How about you? What kind of day would be a masterpiece for you? What's keeping you from living that way?

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 
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Volume 11, Issue 18: Faith On Your Own Terms?

I have been at crossroads over an issue - more like a conversation I need to have, a stand I need to take. It's something I have been discussing and praying about with a friend for awhile now and I had an aha moment last evening as I talked about it with her.

Some of us do Christianity on our own terms. We purportedly "walk with" the Lord. We pray, read the Bible, go to Church, talk as if we follow Christ but live our lives in contradiction to God's Word.

I am not talking about the mistakes we all make every now and then as Christians such as lying or gossiping and repent of. I am talking about living a lifestyle of sin and outright disobedience to the precepts of God. I am talking about living a lifestyle of not tithing, homosexuality, incest, bribery and corruption among others.

We cannot live a lifestyle of sin and outright disobedience and walk with God. If you live any of such lifestyles and profess and practice faith in God, you are deceiving yourself. The truth is, you want nothing to do with God, because you have not surrendered to Him and to His ways. You are just pretending to be a Christian.

We cannot follow Christ on our own terms. We are either all in or all out. You cannot have one foot in Church and the other in the devil's workshop. But there's Good News. If any of this convicts you, Christ's arms are wide open to receive you. He loves you unconditionally and wants you to come to His saving knowledge and free you from all that entangles you.

Turn your back to your sinful lifestyle and surrender your life to God now. He will make your life brand new. He will turn your life around. You will finally have the opportunity to live to your full potential, live the abundant life that God promises to those who fear him. It's time to live life on God's terms. It's time to do faith on God's terms.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 11, Issue 17: The Stockdale Paradox Part II

Having introduced the Stockdale Paradox in the article preceding this one, I thought to expound more on the concept to enhance your appreciation of its application in the pursuit of your goals. Below are word by word snippets from the Good to Great book by Jim Collins that will help drive the point home.

"The Stockdale Paradox is about retaining absolute faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time, confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

Life is unfair - sometimes to our advantage and sometimes to our disadvantage. We will all experience disappointments and crushing events along the way, setbacks for which there is no reason, no one to blame. It might be disease; it might be injury; it might be an accident; it might be losing a loved one; it might be getting swept away in a political shakeup; it might be getting shot down over Vietnam androgen into a POW camp for eight years.

What separates people, Stockdale taught me, is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life. In wrestling with life's challenges, the Stockadale paradox has proved powerful for coming from difficulties not weakened, but stronger.

An optimistic thinks he will be out by Christmas. He ends up with a broken heart and gives up hope if he remains chained Christmas after Christmas.

The Stockdale Paradox says: "We are not going to hit breakthrough by Christmas, but if we keep pushing in the right direction, we will eventually hit breakthrough." This process of confronting the brutal facts helps you see the obvious, albeit difficult steps that must be taken to turn the flywheel. Faith in the endgame helps you live through the months or years of buildup.

If you diligently and successfully apply each concept in the framework, and you continue to push in a consistent direction on the flywheel, accumulating momentum step by step and turn by turn, you will eventually reach breakthrough. It might not happen today, or tomorrow, or next week. It might not even happen next year. But it will happen.

And when it does, you will face an entirely new set of challenges: how to accelerate momentum in response to ever rising expectations, and how to ensure that the flywheel continues to turn long into the future. In short, your challenges will no longer be how to go from good to great, but how to go from great to enduring."

Taken from the Good to Great book by Jim Collins.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 
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Volume 11, Issue 16: The Stockdale Paradox Part I

While reading the Good to Great book by Jim Collins, one of the findings that inspired me is what they call "the Stockdale Paradox". I quickly related it to my day-to-day life and started to think of opportunities to capitalize on the concept.

The Stockdale Paradox is about retaining absolute faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. And, at the same time, confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

When you relate this to your health goals for instance, when you start your journey to health and fitness, you are likely to be far from your ideal health parameters. What keeps you focused through the weeks and months is absolute faith that you can and will attain your ideal health parameters in the end, regardless of the difficulties. At the same time, you have to confront the brutal facts of your current reality of being far from attaining your goal.

Without confronting the brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be, you could be discouraged from your pursuit and give up all together. You have to be cognizant of the fact that although you have faith in attaining your goal, it won't happen overnight. Then put in the work required to make your goal a reality in the end. This concept can be applied to all kinds of pursuits.

If you diligently and consistently follow through the steps you must take to succeed, getting closer to your goal with every step, you will eventually reach your goal. It might take awhile, even a long while, but it will happen. And when it does, you will face a new set of challenges: how to not only maintain the win but advance from great to enduring greatness.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 11, Issue 15: Practice For Opportunities

Most people have a dream that they want to become a reality at some point in life. Some people dream of being the best in their field - such as the best basketball player of all times, or the president of a prestigious club. Others dream to own a beautiful house or to leave behind a lasting legacy of something worthwhile.

Opportunities to attain our dreams often come at a future time, largely unknown in the present. If we are going to take advantage of opportunities and attain our dreams, we have to prepare for them in advance. We have to be ready when opportunity knocks.

The legendary basketball coach John Wooden said that "When opportunity comes, it's too late to prepare." There's no better way to put it. We cannot wait to prepare for our dreams when the opportunities come. We have to prepare long before the opportunities are in the horizon.

My son is a young basketball player aspiring to play in the NBA someday. As a result, we watch a lot of basketball replays and motivational videos. The late Kobe Brant was a basketball star in his own right. My son tells me that he clinched the title of the best basketball player in he world after Michael Jordan retired.

From the videos I have watched with my son, I came to learn of where Kobe's preparation for the limelight started. I have learnt of how much harder he worked in comparison to his peers to realize his dream. In one video I heard him say how he trained so much to the point of placing himself five years ahead of his peers in terms of skill and speed.

Kobe Brant didn't wait for the NBA to come enlisting players in his school to get ready for the selection, he starting preparing for the selection several years before. Kobe didn't wait to get opportunities to shine in the NBA, he worked hard at the NBA to get way ahead of his peers.

At age 13, Kobe decided he was going to be the best basketball player in the world. The Lakers signed him up at age 17, and he played there for 20 years before retiring. At the NBA, Kobe worked harder than his fellow basketball players. He practically dominated the league all his career.

You have to prepare now, so when God brings you opportunities, you're ready. What do you need to get ready for? What skill do you need to sharpen in order to be ready, to unmistakably stand out when the lights go on? What's the one thing that God wants you to pour yourself into?

Don't be interested in being noticed and applauded as you prepare. While taking care of his father's few sheep, David was practicing shooting cayootes, shooting a lion, shooting a bear in private with nobody watching. But that was all preparation to kill a giant in public with everybody watching. Prepare, get ready for your opportunities now. People are rewarded in public for what they practice in private.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi