Raising Faith Strong Kids in a Secular World

Raising Faith Strong Kids in a Secular World

Raising Christian Children in a Secular World

 

I’m sure you’ve heard statements like these: Christianity is irrational, intolerant, antiscience, and based on an irrelevant ancient book. 

What if your child came to you and said that?  How would you respond if your child came home one day and told you that, as far as they were concerned, Christianity is the dumbest, lamest, most ridiculous religion there is?

Would your heart ache to see that your child, who once went to church every Sunday with you, is now a skeptic? One who is now armed with a scientific and philosophical answer to everything? 

And all you have is faith. A faith you know is so real and true but no knowledge of the answers your child desperately needs.

Do you have compelling answers to the secular questions your child would face at school, college, or on social media? This blog post serves as a wake-up call for parents, grandparents, and church leaders to take deliberate action in guiding their children toward unwavering faith.

It highlights the urgency for strategic preparation, equipping our kids with the essential skills to confidently and eloquently navigate the complex tapestry of secular worldviews.

Let’s dive right in.

Do You Have Compelling Answers?

secular challenges image

Your child is bombarded all day long with a plethora of conflicting messages from sources such as culture, TV, social media, friends, and school. They encounter diverse opinions on topics like sexuality, God, gender, morality, and truth. 

Amidst this information overload, our young ones often question the relevance of their Christian faith in the modern world. They grapple with applying biblical teachings to contemporary matters, including culture, gender, identity, and life challenges.

 In light of this prevailing confusion, we must help our kiddos capture all the fundaments of their spiritual walk as early as possible. 

Establishing the Basics of Your Child’s Faith.

Most of us would agree that mathematics is complex. It is in-depth, multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, and has many applications. Despite its complexity, educators have distilled the basics of mathematics — addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—  and have devised strategic methods to combine the relevant dose for each level.

Various educational institutions have craetively curated an apt curriculum to dispense the fundamentals of this complex subject from as early as kindergarten — gradually increasing complexity and depth as the students progress — through higher education.

Similarly, the Christian faith is like Mathematics. It is multi-dimensional, multi-layered, in-depth,  complex, and has vast applications in this world. In this faith journey, pastors, parents, and bible teachers must intentionally capture the fundamentals of the Christian faith and dispense them in age-appropriate measures.

We must intentionally consider the depth, variety, dimensions, and applications of sermon, bible study curriculums and family discussions so as to present to God, youth who are thoroughly furnished and eventually able to navigate the secular complexities of today.

As Paul advised us, we must help our children press forward in their spiritual understanding in these six fundamentals dimensions: 

  1. Knowledge of God and Jesus, His son  ( Proverbs 9:10)
  2. Knowledge of themselves ( identity)  in light of who Christ is ( Psalm 49:20, 1 Peter 2:9)
    • Our Oneness with Christ
    • Our positional advantage
  3. Understanding of their place in God’s program ( Luke 4: 16, Hebrew 10:7)
  4. Understand the mysteries and principles of the kingdom —faith, prayer, giving, hard work, thanksgiving, fasting. (Matthew 13:11).
  5. Understand the world of men and the cosmos ( Secular issues, Psalm 115:16).
  6. They must know their adversary, the devil: many Christians, out of ignorance, gaps in spiritual upbringing, or for many other reasons, ignore topics about the devil or demons. However,  Jesus talked about the devil in the Gospels. He called him a thief and exposed his character as the destroyer (John 10:10). Peter also goes forward to tell us how to treat the devil. We must resist him steadfastly and violently. Not gently or passively. ( 1 Peter 5:8)

    A featherweight faith in our youth has caused as many as 61% of previously church-active teenagers to become spiritually disengaged by the time they are in their 20s. They soon become passive in Bible reading, church attendance, and prayer. This sliding back in faith is, to a large extent, a poor reflection of the church and parent gaps in spiritual understanding.

    As a parent, I often ponder whether I am nurturing my children with a faith resilient enough to withstand heartbreaks, disappointments, and social media backlash. I wonder if they can confidently and intelligently defend their beliefs in the face of conflicting worldviews when making life choices.

    That’s why I challenge you and me to be prudent by helping them make sense of their faith. A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered according to Proverbs 27:12  

    secular challenges

    Picture by Qimono from Pixabay.

    Why Must We Help Our Kiddos Make Sense of Their Faith?

    The world is rapidly becoming a confused place and we have just a short period to help our children make sense of their faith.  we will reap the following benefits when we prioritize spiritual knowledge. 

    spiritual development

    Investing in raising confident children today will  yield tremendous benefits, including:

    • Your child’s faith will be enriched as they grow in their knowledge of God.

    • Your kids will learn how the world works and how they fit into the world.

    • Your child will be equipped with critical thinking skills to analyze secular issues and will think clearly.

    • They will know how to apply their faith and develop robust faith to withstand life’s storms.

    • To tackle the intellectual challenges of their Christian faith and help them see the reason for their faith through different lenses. 

    • To have more confidence to be the light and witness in the dark world.

    • They will not easily fall prey to false doctrines, opinions, and propaganda promoted by media and TV.
    •  You’ll bond with your child in the process.

    • Most importantly, your child’s life will honor the Lord.

     Read Hefzibah’s 18 days Mental battle.

    I don’t know any Christian parent who doesn’t desire this for their child. But we all know it takes time, diligence, and God’s continuous help. Even now, I pray that we have eyes to perceive God’s heart for our generation and the strength to take the daily small steps he nudges us to.

    Well…But…

    Kids will learn what they will regardless. 

    Yes, it’s true that regardless of your training, a child will ultimately decide what he does.

    However, just as you wouldn’t allow a child in your care to wander into dangerous traffic, doing your due diligence in nurturing their faith is essential.

    This involves studying, training them, and fostering an environment where their curiosity is nurtured with the truth. Investing time and effort early on increases the likelihood of them becoming steadfast, strong followers of Christ.

    In summary, the struggles many of us parents faced as teenagers appear trivial compared to the complex issues our children are enmeshed in today. 

    It isn’t enough to teach them bits and pieces of the Christian faith; we must diligently teach the fundamentals of the spiritual life and intentionally build their confidence as they grow up.

    Line upon line, precept upon precept like a wise builder, ensuring they are equipped in their knowledge of God, in their identity, in understanding mysteries & principles of the kingdom, understanding of man and secular issues as well as in grasping the devil’s strategies.

    Through knowledge we can bolster ours and our kids’ faith. As we allow our assumptions to be challenged, our perspectives broadened, and our world understanding deepened.

    This personal growth will carve out a robust spiritual path helping them navigate the complexities of life and together we’ll discover irrefutable truths to current issues.

    God bless you and thank you so much for reading.

    In the next blog post, I’ll share the practical ways to support our children’s faith in a busy world. 

    Raising Faith-Strong Kids in a Secular World.

    Check Out Our Sizzling Faith Stories.

    Celebrate Special Women with These Fun Mother’s Day Ideas

    Celebrate Special Women with These Fun Mother’s Day Ideas

    From Pixabay, Image by AlisaDyson.

    Hey there!

    Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and we know that you want to make your mom feel extraordinary.

    Let’s face it; life gets pretty hectic juggling with kids, appointments, work, or school.

    But don’t worry; we’ve got your back!

    We don’t want you to stress out about last-minute buying or fall for overpriced marketing gimmicks.

    That’s why we’ve gathered resources to help you celebrate your superhero mother, sister or wife in unique yet affordable ways. From fun activities and gift ideas to breakfast and brunch ideas, we’ve got everything you need to delight your awesome mother or wife.

    So take a look and start planning the perfect Mother’s Day surprise!

    20 Heartwarming Mother’s Day Events and Gift Ideas

    If you’re looking for a way to spend quality time with your mom without breaking the bank, you can do plenty of affordable activities together. Here are some popular gift ideas: 

    1. Start the day with breakfast in bed: Wake up early and surprise your mom with a delicious breakfast in bed.

    2. Give her a heartfelt card: Write a thoughtful message expressing your love and appreciation for all that she does

    3. Go for a nature walk: Take a stroll through a local park or nature reserve and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

    4. Plant a garden together: Spend the day planting flowers or vegetables together in her garden or yard.

    5. Create a homemade gift: Get crafty and make something noteworthy for your mom, like a piece of jewelry or a photo frame.

    Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.

    6. Take her on a scenic drive: Explore the countryside or take a drive along the coast, enjoying the beautiful views together.

    7. Host a tea party: Set up an elegant tea party complete with finger sandwiches, scones, and tea served in fine china.

    8. Have a movie night: Pick out some of your mom’s favorite movies and snuggle up on the couch together with some popcorn.

    9. Cook a meal together: Spend some time in the kitchen whipping up a delicious meal or dessert that you can enjoy together.

    10. Visit a local museum or art gallery: Many museums and galleries offer free admission or discounted rates on Mother’s Day, so take advantage of this opportunity to explore something new.

    11. Have a picnic: Pack up some sandwiches, fruit, and snacks and head to your nearest park for a relaxing picnic in the sunshine.

    12. Make a donation in her name: Donate to her favorite charity or cause in honor of Mother’s Day.

    13. Have a family game night: Gather everyone together for some friendly competition playing board or card games.

    14. Treat her to a professional photo shoot: Book a session with a photographer and capture some beautiful memories together.

    15. Take her on a shopping spree: Hit up all her favorite stores and let her pick out whatever she wants (within reason!).

    16. Organize a family photo album: Gather old photos and create an album showcasing all your fond memories together as a family.

    17. Create a spa day at home: Set up an at-home spa complete with face masks, manicures, and massages.

    18. Host a wine and cheese tasting party.

    19. Take her to a concert or live performance.

    20. Take her on a horseback riding adventure.

    Remember,  it’s not about dropping a ton of cash; it’s about hanging out with your mom and letting her know how much you appreciate her.

     

    10 Mouth Watering Mother’s Day Home Breakfast Ideas

    What better way to appreciate your strong mom than by treating her to a delicious and thoughtful breakfast in bed?

    Whether your mom (wife) prefers sweet or savory, simple or elaborate, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some special Mother’s Day breakfast ideas that are sure to make her feel loved and pampered.

    Celebrate your women heroes with these 10 Delicious Breakfast Ideas She’ll Love:

    1. French Toast Casserole: This delicious breakfast dish is perfect for feeding a crowd and can be prepped the night before, making it easy to pop in the oven on Mother’s Day morning.

    2. Breakfast Quesadillas: Fill tortillas with scrambled eggs, cheese, and your mom’s favorite veggies for a tasty and filling meal that’s easy to customize.

    3. Yogurt Parfait Bar: Set up a DIY yogurt parfait station with different types of yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, and nuts so your mom can create her own perfect breakfast bowl.

    4. Shakshuka: This Middle Eastern dish features eggs poached in a flavorful tomato sauce and is sure to impress your mom with its bold flavors and beautiful presentation.

    5. Smoked Salmon Bagels: Serve up bagels with smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, capers, and fresh dill for an elegant brunch that’s both delicious and easy to prepare.

    Check Out These Classic Ways to Celebrate Your Wife.

    6. Breakfast Tacos: Fill soft tortillas with scrambled eggs, crispy bacon or sausage, avocado slices, salsa, and hot sauce for a satisfying breakfast that’s sure to please.

    7. Frittatas: Whip up a fluffy frittata filled with your mom’s favorite veggies or meats for a hearty breakfast that’s perfect for sharing.

    8. Croissant Sandwiches: Layer croissants with scrambled eggs, ham or bacon, cheese, and arugula for an indulgent breakfast sandwich that feels fancy but is actually quite simple to make.

    9. Belgian Waffles: Treat your mom to light and fluffy Belgian waffles topped with whipped cream and fresh berries for a sweet start to her day.

    10. Breakfast Charcuterie Board: Arrange an assortment of sliced meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, bread, or crackers on a board for an impressive spread that can be customized to fit your mom’s tastes.

    No matter what you choose to make for breakfast, don’t forget to add a special touch like fresh flowers or a handwritten note to let your mom know just how much she means to you.

    10 Epic Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

    Brunch is a classic way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Here are some epic brunch ideas to make her feel extra loved:

    1. Mimosa Bar: Set up a mimosa bar with different juices and fruits for your mom to mix and match her own drink.

    2. Waffle Bar: Make a variety of waffles, such as chocolate chip, blueberry, or banana nut, and offer toppings like whipped cream, syrup, and fruit.

    3. Quiche: Bake a homemade quiche with your mom’s favorite ingredients like spinach, mushrooms, or bacon.

    4. Avocado Toast: Toast some bread and top it with mashed avocado, poached eggs, and smoked salmon for a healthy and delicious meal.

    5. Breakfast Skewers: Thread skewers with bite-sized pieces of sausage, cheese, fruit, and vegetables for a fun twist on breakfast.

       

      6. Frittata: Whip up a fluffy frittata using eggs, cheese, vegetables, and herbs for an easy yet elegant dish.

      7. Bagel Platter: Offer an assortment of bagels with different spreads like cream cheese, lox spread, or hummus, and toppings like sliced tomato or cucumber.

      8. Pancake Tacos: Fill small pancakes with scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage crumbles, diced tomatoes, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream for an exciting brunch experience

      9. Smoothie Bowls: Blend together some frozen fruits like berries or mangoes, yogurt, honey, and cinnamon powder into a smoothie consistency. Pour it over in bowls topped off with granola nuts seeds and fresh fruits slices

      10. Shakshuka: Cook up the classic Mediterranean dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce seasoned generously with paprika, cumin coriander, along with sauteed onions and garlic bell peppers. Serve it hot alongside toasted bread slices.

      No matter what you choose, make sure to set a beautiful table with fresh flowers, candles, and pretty dishes to create a loving atmosphere for your mom on her special day.

      Ready to Pull Out All the Stops for Your Mom?

       

      There you have it —Fascinating and fun ways to celebrate the superheroes and women in your life.

      Now you don’t have to stress about making your Mother’s Day memorable.

      Choose from these amazing gift ideas and make your awesome mom feel like the rockstar that she is.

      Happy Mother’s Day!

      Celebrate Your Awesome Mom with These Fun Mothers Day ideas.

       

      4 Ways the Strange History Behind Valentine’s Day Can Shape You

      4 Ways the Strange History Behind Valentine’s Day Can Shape You

      Knowing the History Behind Valentine’s Day Can Change You.

       

      Cupids, red hearts, and boxes of chocolates are hallmarks of valentine’s day. Inscribed in cards, words like ‘from your valentine’  cross hands on this worldwide celebration on February 14th.  But the history of this romantic holiday is not so lovey-dovey. This celebration of red roses and love was conceived in a vicious, gloomy, and gory past.

      On St. Valentine’s day, it’s typical to see friends and loved ones present lavish gifts. Peers swap friendship cards; couples may express their love with romantic dinners, fine wine, and pieces of jewelry. Several others have a blitz on social media with chocolate Tweets and Instagram photos of smiling, happy couples holding hands. Instagram feeds buzz with gorgeous love sights and red hearts on this amorous day. Yet for many without partners, it’s another SAD —Singleness Awareness Day.

      However, knowing the history of valentines day is crucial. It helps us identify, clarify and appreciate the purpose behind the celebration. This amplifies our experience as well. 

      History of Valentine’s Day Holiday (Video Below)

      Though valentines day has been celebrated for many centuries past (for 1527 years), the truth about its history is cloaked in mystery. Some sources say St Valentine’s day is the Catholic church’s attempt to Christianize the pagan fertility festival (Lupercalia).

      Another source points to at least two catholic priests by the name of Valentine or Valentino, who were both martyred for their faith. 

      Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.

      The one Valentine defied  Emperor Claudius II’s decree to stop coordinating marriages ( Claudius’s decision that single men made better soldiers than married men) by continuing to perform marriages for lovers in secret. The other Valentino might have been beheaded in an attempt to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons.

      Despite the ambiguity in the origin of saint Valentine’s day, I’d like to believe that Valentine’s day has so evolved with such craze because of the deep desire in humans for love and intimacy. Many laud the purported St Valentinos as the day’s heroes because they acknowledged and forfeited convenience for a weighty cause. A love cause forged in the inferno of compassion, perseverance, and faith even unto death. 

      There are those who couldn’t care less whether it’s the saint, a pagan festival or  the idea of love that’s being observed.  There are others, however, whose social reputation and standing will be upheld by the unfolding of this year’s valentines day.  

      Not only are young and impressionable teenagers susceptible to being stung by the falling out of Valentine’s day, but countless studies also show that the buzz of Valentine’s day affects both singles and married, the young and the old alike. 

      So whether you’re married, single, a teenager, a young adult, or a child, here are 4 things that should shape how you celebrate Valentine’s Day.

       

      Four (4) things worth knowing about Valentine’s Day.

      1. The Holiday is another big enterprise for mass marketers.

      In the United States alone, in 2017, a 40 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates were sold for Valentine’s Day.

      backstory of valentines dayAn astonishing number of people are in debt, and each year, many will add to their debt on valentine’s day. Big brands and marketers hype and commercialize valentines day for their bottomline.  Then why should you squirm and stress to buy what you cannot afford?

      As BA Blueprint puts it, the national holiday serves more as a nationwide fundraiser for local businesses around you. Valentine’s day is killing many. So,

      Do Don’t
      • Live by principle and be guided by wisdom.
      • spend within your means. 
      • Find cheaper ways to have fun. 
      • Don’t buy because of pressure to impress.
      • Don’t buy because others are buying stuff. 

      2. Valentine’s day incites unrealistic expectations and comparisons

      Nothing muddies an otherwise happy mood until you see how, where, and what elaborate things others do —that you’re missing out on. Consequently, there’s a tendency to feel unhappy, unfulfilled, and disdainful for our current circumstances. Expectations of valentines day can ruin relationships. So, this valentine’s day,

      Do Don’t
      • Find something to be thankful for —your life, friends, spouse, friends, relationships.
      • Be contented with where you are.  Many don’t have the basic necessities of life you have. Godliness with contentment is great gain ( 1 Tim 6:8)
      • Go out of your way to do something for someone without expecting a payback.
      • Find time to do what you like with those you like and where you’re at.
      • Don’t place yourself in places that incite envy if you’re inclined to self-pity.

      Read here, the unusual way the pandemic provoked Hef-zibah to appreciate her marriage.

      3. Valentine’s day will come and go, but your values will outlast you

      However you spend the day remember that your values on this day will leave prints after you. Your expectations from your spouse will affect other aspects of your relationships someday.

      Singles or young people, don’t let the pressure to be partnered up or to date a girl/ boy make you devalue your morals. Your friends who tease you today will not leave with the regrets of your tomorrow.  Don’t be desperate! To the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet. So,  

      Do remember that

       

      • You are worth more than your peers perceive of you
      • What you think of yourself is more important than what others think of you
      • Your choices will show up in the vicinity of your tomorrow —regret, soiled conscience, horrible break up, bad eating habits, low self-esteem, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, mental stress…
      • Focus on knowing and adding value to yourself. When you really know yourself no one will make you feel otherwise.

      Don’t

       

      • Be hungry for a relationship, boy/girl friend, party, box of chocolate, so as to fit in
      • Steal, cheat, stress, or compromise your values for the fleeting happiness of one day.
      • Don’t be afraid to be alone. All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone—Blaise Pascal
      • Don’t enter a relationship to fulfil a crush. Most of the things you see and trip about today, will be nothing to you tomorrow

      4. Romance is only a tiny fraction of  love and intimacy

      Romance is only a tiny fraction of love and intimacy. Nevertheless, connecting with others and meeting their needs is a richer source of satisfaction and happiness.

      That’s why Valentine and even the purest of all men who ever lived —Jesus—modeled selfless love even when it hurt. Off course it’s way easier for us to hold onto what’s most alluring (romance) while discarding the more demanding elements of love like commitment, selflessness, and discomfort. 

      No wonder a day we embellish romantic love is also a day that triggers countless breakups. Let this valentine’s be a reminder to live simply and selflessly. Hence,

      Do… Don’t …
      • Introspect and check if you know the source of true love
      • Reflect and compare your love against the model of love set out in 1 Corinthians 13.
      • Identify what aspects of love you struggle with and how you’ll change 
      • Focus on building friendships instead of one-on- one romantic settings.
      • Celebrate valentine everyday. Love daily.
      • Focus on romance but be interested in wholistically loving people
      • Limit valentine’s day to the opposite sex relationships. Be inclusive of the people you appreciate on valentines day and always

      Less Expensive Ways to Appreciate Your Spouse (Valentine or not).

       

      1. Schedule date nights  in calendar 

      The grind of work, taking care of kids, and the home does take its toll on marriages. Hence scheduling date nights ahead makes it more likely to set out time for yourselves.

      2. Set a budget for your (valentine’s) spending

      You don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun. Sometimes it just needs some preplanning, and google searching.  Check out if these last minute valentines day gift below are within your budget.

      3. Try out new routines and events to enliven your relationship

       

      • Enjoy dinner and a movie at home
      • Go on a date in the morning rather than in the evening. Breakfasts are usually cheaper than dinners
      • Take dance or sporting classes together
      • Cook dinner together
      • Go on a hike. It’s refreshing, and you’ll spend quality time together. And your heart will thank you for it.
      • Go for fruit picking
      • Take a walk around the neighborhood or a nature trail

      Check out how my friendship blasted off just by doing this.

       

      Final thoughts on celebrating valentine’s day.

      Whether single or married, let valentine’s be a reminder to give more than we request for ourselves. It should be a time to appreciate ourselves and the people around us.

      It’s not just the loud bangs of romance that holds up a relationship. Its also the consistent support, affirmation and encouragement we give to others, especially our significant others, that truly holds up our relationships. Let the love of Jesus be shared abroad in your hearts today and always!

      Happy valentine’s day!

       

      How the true history of valentine’s day can shape your life.

       

       

       

      3 Simple Habits for a Productive Year

      3 Simple Habits for a Productive Year

       

      “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. “Ecclesiastes 11:4

       

      Are you tired of making resolutions with no results?

      Research shows that only 16% of people follow through with their resolutions. Most people give up within 1-6 weeks of beginning their new goals.

      For 84% of people unfortunately, this year will be yet another year that their goals will fall through —unreached health goals, unwritten books, unachieved dreams, unsung songs, unpublished poems, and unexecuted business ideas.

      I’m concerned that the only excitement majority of us will ever enjoy is the joy of thinking of how grand our idea was. The thrill of explaining how revolutionary the business is, and the eagerness of calculating how much the venture would fetch. Then sadly getting to the end of the day and the next and then the next month, realizing we’ve been replicating words like later, tomorrow, not now, not in the mood, I don’t feel like. Or we realize, at the end of today, January, the 1st quarter or December that we have nothing to show. Nothing. But great desires and mighty businesses that never took shape.

      Determination and consistency are crucial to achieving your goals. To achieve your goals this year, you must incorporate a habit that ignites your determination and consistency.

      Moreso, Pareto principle, or the law of the vital few, states that roughly 80% of outcomes come from 20% of causes. By extension, this means that a 20% change in a vital few habits  ( keystone habits)  can cause an 80% change of outcome.

      Therefore,  for you and I to finally escape running around the endless resolution circle, consider these 3 Rs of productivity and fulfillment. These three Rs will supercharge your determination and consistency and help you produce your desired results.

      1. Review
      2. Renew
      3. Ramify/ Radiate

      1.   REVIEW

      Start each day with a REVIEW. Review means assessing, appraising, examining, and evaluating the subject.

      Start by appraising your life, whether it’s a new day or a new year. There’s no way to be better if you keep repeating the same mistakes. Reviewing the previous day, week or year helps you gain perspective and learn from experience. It enables you to identify important patterns that bump your progress. Review your life by looking at your:

      • Benefits
      • Behavior / Habits
      • Planned projects/Goals
      • Different composites of your life —finance, Academics, parenting, relationships, health, etc.

       

      i. Review Benefits

      As people of faith, we agree that all we have belongs to God. Starting our day, week, and year by thanking God for today, yesterday, and the future positions us to receive the new benefits of the day ( Psalm 68:19). Like a  blank slate, we welcome the chance to engage the help of God. We accept the strength to try again.

       

      Acknowledging God for your life, health, resources, family, and mind establishes your trust in Him; it also gives your joy. Developing a heart that sees the goodness of God in your life brings wholeness and completeness (Luke 17:17-18). Despite the failures of the past, the difficulty of today, or the bleakness of tomorrow, God’s joy is the only thing that strengthens you and gives you hope.

      ii. Review Behaviour, Habits, and Processes

       

      Ephesians 4: 22.  says to strip yourselves of your former nature  ( put off and discard your old unrenewed self), which characterizes your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion.

      We cannot strip off if we do not look within to notice that some things need to be stripped off.

       

      As Christians possessing the Spirit of truth according to John 16:13, He not only tells us the truth about God, but the Holy Spirit also convicts us of our wrongs. He shows us our habits and attitudes that get us stuck.

       Read here my hidden selfishness revealed I looked within

      Review can take the form of morning meditation. You are quietening your spirit and mind before your creator and asking Him to show you, you. Let God’s Word be the mirror to show you your inefficient processes and the ways you waste time.

       

      More than you talk in the presence of God, listen. Could it be fear, excuses, procrastination, lack of motivation, laziness or low esteem stalling you?   Ask the Holy Spirit to point out the areas you need to adjust. Make time every day, preferably in the morning, to worship Him, thank Him and review your daily processes. Also have a writing pad with you

       

      The SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) bible study method is a great way to use God’s Word to address specific areas of your life. Download your Free SOAP template here. 

      iii. Review Goals and Projects          

                               

      Commit to your goals and plans to God’s hands (Proverbs 3:5). Planning means setting in definite terms how and when you intend to accomplish your plans.

      Use tools like Calendars, To-do lists, Onenote Evernote to recall commitments and tasks.

      Then ask yourself some questions.

      • How did you do with your previous goals/ projects?
      • To what extent did you meet or not meet your goals?
      • If you met your goals, what did you learn?
      • If you didn’t, what hindered you?
        • Did you underestimate the work needed,
        • Did you underestimate the time required?
        • Was it inadequacy of competency
        • Efficiency issues
        • Lack of focus
        • Chasing too many goals?

      Setting SMART goals can help you clarify your goals. Check out this post to learn how to implement SMART goals. You can also download our free SMART goals template.

      iv. Review Different Composites of  Your Life

      Review your finances, career, relationships, word life, prayer life, character, health, and mind. Excelling in the different aspects of your life contributes to the overall success of your life.

      • Are the different areas of your life growing?
      • If they aren’t, why?
      • What could you do?
      • What steps do you need to take?
      • Do you need to learn?
      • Cut out some time-wasting activities?

      Consistency is key. You may need to review some aspects of your life daily; others you can check weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

      Just as a person on board a plane begins to see patterns forming as the plane ascends, reviewing elevates you, helping you see wrong thinking patterns, counterfeit words, and time and money thieves. You’ll begin to see the negligence and complacency that stalls your growth.

       

      2. RENEW

      Renew brings to mind ideas of cleaning, restoring to freshness, refreshing, and replacing the old with the new.

      Ephesians 4: 23 tells us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. This means there has to be a shift in our thinking. We will get yesterday’s results if we use yesterday’s mindset today. God’s Word has a plethora of transformative mindsets we must put on every day to be productive spiritually, in parenting, in finances, or in relationships.

      Renewal entails replacing your wrong habits and mindset already identified during the review  — complacency, inconsistency, fear of failure, fear of people, doubt, impatience— and replacing them with what the Bible says is the correct disposition.

      Start the renewing process from your heart (spiritual life), where all other issues spring from ( Proverbs 4:23), but don’t end there. Renewing should also spread into other areas like business,  academics, and friendships. Renewal entails learning new things to be up to date. Refresh your mind with updated information about your trade

      Consistently renewing your mind is critical because it will fuel your determination by connecting the new habits/mindset to your why (God-given vision).

      Consistency is what makes an average person excellent. Just as you feed every day to remain strong, you must renew your minds every day to keep you passionate about your goals. Set daily times to renew your mind in the Word. Refresh your knowledge regularly for your career and business, like reading two parenting books every year, reading a book related to your career every quarter, watching informational videos, and attending lectures and webinars. The idea is to do whatever you need to replace old stale processes with current practices, and you’ll always find the strength to soar above any negative self-thought or a lack of motivation.

       

      Renewing our minds is like cleaning a water pipe; it allows God’s ability and competence to flow freely. This is how you and I can multiply, fulfill, and dominate the Earth as God intended us.

      Read Amaka’s story about how renewing her mind enabled her overcome  negative mindsets during her studies.

       

      3. RADIATE/ RAMIFY

      You have set up a routine to identify inefficient processes, and you have set up a method of exchanging the old with the new; now is the time to use the renewed mind —updated thinking pattern to be productive.

      Ramify invokes ideas such as

      • Spreading out,
      • Branching out,
      • Reach out further
      • Growing and developing in complexity or range
      • Multiply and distribute more work

      The goals you have set, this is the time to put the hand to the plow to

      • Bring to execution
      • Take the steps required
      • Do even when you don’t feel like
      • Produce often
      • Do it today, do it the next, and do it the day after

      Here’s the time to design a system to assign time to your task. Block out time for your task, define your goal, and set a deadline. As previously mentioned, the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely )goal technique is beneficial in helping you achieve your goals.

      Learn how to use the SMART goal template

      Finally, don’t forget to routinize your actions.

      Set up regular and specific times,  daily or weekly, when you’ll roll up your sleeves and do work.

      Research shows that completing work increases motivation. So develop a habit of completing work by routinizing the steps of Reviewing, Renewing, and Ramifying daily to quickly capture your self-destructive habits, replace them with new ones, and produce work toward your goals.

      I hope you enjoyed this blog post.

      Have a productive day!

       

      SOAP Bible Study Method + FREE SOAP Printables

      SOAP Bible Study Method + FREE SOAP Printables

      Are you too busy?

      Too busy to stop, breathe, or think?

      Are you too stressed out to find time for God every day?

      Like many people, I was busy.

      Very busy.

      My life was a galloping whirlwind from 2013 through 2016.

      With an ongoing  Master’s degree and four kids, including twin toddlers, and a baby, I grappled to keep all the plates spinning.

      I was often pressed for time, short on sleep, and walked constantly on a treadmill of chores.  The faster, however, my plates spun, the faster my impatience grew.

       

      One day, something happened that would change it all.

      It was one Autumn morning; I scurried into the kitchen as I always did. Juggling to feed my four kids before I would hastily ship my oldest to school and my twins to kindergarten. I would have then rushed off to the train station, so I wouldn’t miss the train that took me to my school, the University of Oslo, Norway.

      That fateful day, in the middle of that busy morning, my oldest daughter — around age  6 or 7 at the time — flopped her hands and accidentally spilled her cup of milk onto the floor.

      Now, at this point, steam was pretty much coming out of my ears. A few minutes I waste here, and I’ll miss my train, was all was going on in my head. Like this crazy person who could not be controlled, the next thing is me screaming.  I lashed out, and I spanked my innocent girl.

       

      Oh my God! I felt so much guilt.

      A mountain of guilt haunted me over the next few days. How did I become this surly, irritable mother? How did I get here?

      That was when I knew things had to change. I finally heeded the Lord’s prodding to prioritize daily meditations in the Word. To meditate first thing every day, even if my life was upside down and my house was dripping chores everywhere.

      Read Amaka’s Story of How God Helped Her Through a Tough Study

      That was when I discovered and started using the SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer) bible study method. I devoted 30 minutes daily to studying the scriptures.  And I found out that as I meditated daily, I began to change.  I improved in three (3) striking ways.

      1. I learned more about God and myself and began maximizing my time.
      2. Impulsiveness drastically reduced as I processed my thoughts and emotions better.
      3. I became a lot more focused, structured, and efficient in my other responsibilities.


      That’s why in this blog post, I share below an example of the SOAP bible study method  + FREE
      SOAP printable resource (Bottom).

      See the infographics below ( click the infographic and the next arrow for the 2nd page)

       

      I pray that this blog inspires you to prioritize God’s word every day. Opt-in below on this page or click here to receive your FREE SOAP Printables.

      Is it True Once Saved Always Saved?

      Is it True Once Saved Always Saved?

      One Bill Foster, a denominational preacher in the 1950s, stated in March 1952 of the Weekly Informer. He said, “If I killed my wife and mother and debauched a thousand women, I couldn’t go to hell.” He proceeded to say, “I couldn’t go to Hell if I wanted to.”

      Inside this blog, we examine the questions like:

      • Is once saved always saved?
      • Does it matter what I do even though I am righteous?
      • Since I’m righteous, will I go to heaven regardless of what I do?

       

       

      It is true, we established in our last blog post that we are righteous in Christ even when we sin.  But does it mean we can do whatever we want and not be held accountable? Is once saved always saved? Are there things we do or don’t do to endanger our salvation?

       

      Bill Foster alongside other proponents of the ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ doctrine believes that the righteousness of Christ is without repentance (Romans 11:29) and because the righteousness of God is a gift that is not earned with works. Once a person is saved, they are always saved.  What do you think? Is this scripturally sound?

       

      In this blog post, I share what I’m learning in the form of four (4) statements drawn from scriptures. These questions both test and substantiate a professing Christian’s eternal salvation.

       

      Can you and I do whatever we like because we are righteous in Christ? Paul answers this question in Romans 6 :1. He asks, “Shall we continue in sin that God’s kindness and grace will increase? What a terrible thought! Certainly not

      “Don’t you realize” Paul continues in verse 15 “that grace frees you to choose your own master?

       

      Therefore, the first question.

      1. Who is your Master, Sin or Obedience?

      For if you choose to love sin, it will become your master and it will own you and reward you with death. But if you choose to love and obey God, He will lead you into perfect righteousness. The devil is the father of those who choose to continue in their sin John 8:44.

       

      2. Is faith expressing itself in love?

       

      What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not acted upon, is dead. James 2:14 -17

       

      Also if someone says, “I love God yet hate a brother, he is a liar. For if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 1 John 4:20.

       

      Would you love a person and not want to please them? Would you love God and not want to please Him? Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commands”. John 14:15. Therefore, our love walk gives credence to our faith talk. Yes, we are already righteous; legally speaking, however, our actions prove if we really believe this.

       

      3. Is there a Desire to Grow?

       

      A guy I met last week said, “I know that God is forgiving. I sin and just keep asking God for forgiveness” As we conversed, I realized, this guy implied he could continue to sin as long as he keeps asking God for forgiveness.

      However, 1 Peter 3:15 specifically points out:

      “But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord.

      King James translates it this way: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. As I ponder this verse, I  learn that you and I must make a practice to always revere and honour God in our hearts. Yes, God forgives us when we fall into sin and when we repent and ask for forgiveness. But carelessly offending God to ask God for forgiveness is presumptuous. Presumptuous sin assumes the mercy that God gave yesterday is what He’ll give today. When we do this, we deny the Lord Jesus (James 1:4)  Presumptuous sin is fatal.

       

      “When you stop growing,” William S. Burroughs said, “ you start dying.” Hence, the moment we accept Jesus as our saviour, the next thing we ought to do is to commit to daily growing. It’s a call to commit to daily making Jesus our Lord.

       

      No wonder Peter tells us to desire the pure milk of the Word so we may grow thereby. (1 Peter 2:2) Growing entails increasing in our knowledge of God, and of God’s Word. It means pressing in to grow in character, and in the love of God. As we grow in the Word, we come to know God’s character and His nature.  And because we know God, our love for Him will increase and we’ll want to please Him some more.

       

      On the other hand, spiritual laziness leads to spiritual dullness and indifference towards God and His people. Those people will not inherit God’s promises according to Hebrew 6:12

       

      4. Am I Bearing fruit?

       

      Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more according to John 15:6.

      Jesus continues in vs 15: “The one who remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing.”

       

      To remain in God means to abide in the Word, to make quality time to feed our Spirit. Like a student preparing for a life exam, we must study, meditate, and ponder the words of the scriptures so we can faithfully love God and excellently serve our families, and our communities.

      Consistently remaining in the Word results in an abundance of the fruits of Love: Joy, Peace, Joy,  patience,… (Galatians 5:22). We will not be bankrupt in good works too. ( Ephesians 2:10)

       

       

      Consequently, the gift of righteousness is not an excuse to continue to sin. Just as an elevator ease upward motion, in the same way, the gift of righteousness equips us to do good. God’s righteousness ignites a desire in us to be accountable before men and God.

       

      The righteous are those who fed the hungry, invited strangers in, gave water to the thirsty, clothed the poor and visited those in prison ( Matthew 25:31-46). They are the sheep who not only declared Jesus as their saviour but who also made Jesus, the Lord of their time, their money, and their resources.

       

      Yes, salvation introduces us to the righteousness of God, but our obedience to God, our desire to grow, our faith expressed through love and our fruits of love are what authenticates our confession.

      So, no! Once saved is not always saved. Once saved must always keep submitting to the Lordship of Jesus until He comes.