Category Archives: Faith & Spirituality

The bible is the greatest place to find teachings that relate to everyday life. Its in fact the best Coaching Manual.

Dare To Be Different!


One well-known story I have loved in the Bible,  is the story of Gideon.  Often told to show how someone who is doubtful of them-self puts a few challenges to God in order to be convinced that what is being asked of them is truly from God. But I got intrigued by something else.

For me it was where Gideon was found – ‘Threshing wheat in a wine-press?” Judges 6:11. This was during a time when the children of Israel were being impoverished by Midianites who were literally draining their resources and livelihood. However, Gideon was managing to disguise what he did by ‘Threshing wheat in a wine-press.’

When things are seemingly not working in your favour its hard to see any glimmer of hope let alone an opportunity to some how get through.  But Gideon utilise something that was not designed for the purpose he used it for, in order to survive. He realised that it was unconventional, but also for that very reason, no one would be looking for wheat in a Wine-press.  It takes ingenuity, cunning and risk sometimes in order to not end up like everyone else.

Dare to be different!

Opportunity goes against the grain sometimes.  It means going out of step or against the tide of normality and conformity. Its requires courage because the enemy doesn’t like being out smarted or made a fool of.

Different

Albert Einstein said that

We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Likewise, opportunity cannot be seized with the same mentality that gave you your comfort zone. Once you see an opportunity you have to be willing to pursue it, action it and make it happen.  So you need to challenge yourself and seek a new set of ideas. Being unconventional, being different, doing the unexpected, may not be that crazy an idea.

So here’s to renewed thinking!

Until next time – Continue to be the change you want to be:-)

 

Aquene7 = Peace

2015 – Go Get Your Blessing!


Well I have been quiet for a while, busy doing other things and simply just enjoying the holiday season with family.

I entered this year with a clear focus in mind and have started to work positively towards making things happen in my life.  I started with a clear goal and plan in mind, which I knew from November last year. It’s not a New Year Resolution but a determined effort to change what I do on a month by month basis.

Time waits for no man, and this year I am expecting great things, starting with me.  So here’s to a brand New Year and a fresh start.

One of my new changes was to start a Devotional Journal in which I write all my inspirations I receive during my prayer time with God. I came across a sermon by Dr Tayo in which he suggested dividing your prayer time into small segments of different types of prayer, as the bible says we should pray all types of prayers.  The aim is to build yourself and increase your prayer time.  Not so that it becomes a process that is rigid and inflexible but a guide enabling you to grow. So it could 5 minutes per section or 10 minutes.  It could 10 minutes in one area, 5 in another and 20 in another. It’s completely up-to-you.  These are the areas I spend time in for around an 1 hr in total each morning:-

  • Worship
  • Confession
  • Intercession
  • Petition
  • Meditation
  • Praise

For as much as I have a vision for this year I recognised that it was also important to have an effective prayer life.  I have to be able to pray effectively for myself and understand my own direction for myself. So it was important to build my prayer life equally as much as the rest of my life for 2015. It’s all about my faith this year.  Determination will get you far in this world but when you want what God has planned for you it requires you to walk in ‘Faith’ and that is a totally different ball game:-)

So I am excited for the gift of another year and look forward to new inspirations!

Enjoy the video and go get your blessing:-)

Be the change you want to be, until my next post.

Aquene7 = Peace

What’s In A Name – Part 1?


In blogging, writing, marketing and business the name you choose or heading you give something is key. As bloggers you know that the title you give your post is an important aspect, because it grabs the reader’s attention and likewise feeds into ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ (SEO), not that I can say I really understand all that:-)

In marketing the name you give a product could be the making or breaking of it. Whilst in business terms you work hard to build a name and its brand. Equally, you work hard  protect that name in order to bring it to a place where that name and brand is recognised and means something.

When a name or brand reaches a particular level or status in recognition, it then is able to bring status, recognition and wealth to anyone or anything it endorses.

So ‘What is in a name?’ I would say everything is in a name.

Names are important.  That was the lesson in my devotional time this morning (which I will go into in Part 2 of this post). In our modern, western cultures we do not seem give much focus to the names we choose these days as other cultures who take naming a child as a very special moment, even having ‘Naming ceremonies.’  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we give no thought to the matter, as I know people do.  As a new mum to be, I recognised naming my baby was an important thing. So with the understanding I had at the time I felt i chose sensibly.  In fact I had my first son’s name when I was only five months pregnant. I had not had a test to know what gender he was, I just knew he was a boy and I did not want a common or popular name for him. The name I gave him in the end was unusual at the time.  My friend really liked the name too, and when she found out she was going to have a  baby she felt she would give a name that was similar in sound to her baby if it was a boy and she also had a girl’s name just in case.  So I named my son with limited knowledge at the time, as I did not know what the name I decided on meant. All I knew was I liked it when I heard it and it was unusual. His middle name was taken from his great-grandfather and chosen by his great-grandmother at the time.  Of course I did the old test because for me all the names had to flow with his family name:-)  All names had to work with each other.  So there was love and thought, but I can’t say I looked at him in his early moments and decided on a name that reflected him and his personality.

This subject really intrigued me and I felt I just had to ask my mother how she decided on my name.  After all these years, (for I am no spring chicken!) it suddenly dawned on me to be curious about my own name? So I asked her as I took her to church, and she said exactly the same thing as I did. She chose my first name because she liked it and it was different for her as she had not heard it before in her day. As for my middle name she laughed and said it was because of the queen.  I thought that was so funny, but she said ‘why not have a Royal name in the family’. Now, I have never looked at my name in that way. It was just my name and that was that. (Another piece of the puzzle shared about myself:-) God never ceases to amaze me, in that we are never too old to learn and therefore, never too old to ask questions and be curious.

So I looked into my names and what they meant, and I was really surprised to see how much I aligned with my Name or my Name aligned with me. So I looked into the names I gave my son’s and I could see similarities there too.

So why is any of this important? I think it’s about mindfulness of things on a spiritual and natural level and how they relate even when you do not focus on them specifically.  My devotional time reminded me of  the importance in choosing a name in relation to purpose because the two are linked and the names we choose are important.  Whether for our children, business or projects we set up. Likewise, just as a name is important in a positive sense so it is in a negative sense.  Incorrect names and labels can also shape us. Some people do change their names when they feel it doesn’t align with who they are or what they see for their future. Some people change their names as a way to disconnect with their past, the sign of a new beginning.

So how do you feel about names? Do you see it as important regarding the names you choose for anything? Does your name align with the kind of person you are? Would be interesting to here?

Until next time, continue to be the change you want to be.

Aquene7

 

 

Expansion – I am Not The Same Person


Sometimes the decision has to be – no going back!

It was around six years ago.  I remember it becoming very apparent that I needed to find a new role. I could see the writing on the wall for my current post and recognised waiting for ‘dead men’s shoes’ in order to get a promotion was not a choice nor the right the decision. At the time a large amount of change was being pushed through and people were so molded by the culture of the company, all they were doing was complaining and stepping on each other. Work had become a feeding pool and we were dinner to each other.  The joy had gone, instead there was distrust, pressure and a wealth of negative behaviours.

Work had become a feeding pool and we were dinner to each other.

That environment was not for me, and something inside me said you need to move.  So I looked externally and recognised if I was to stand a chance I had to get the relevant training that would put me into a better position. to compete and contend in the wider market.   It had been a long time since I had to apply for a job eternally and so I knew I had to get familiar with the newer way of applying for a job and get to grips with understanding what my skills were and how they were relevant to any new posts/jobs I saw, in order to reflect my competence in applying for them.

Now this may sound like standard stuff to you, but I had worked in my job for years, around 19 at the time, and in the meantime the world had changed and moved on.

One major difference I have learnt between a person who is employed oppose to someone who is an entrepreneur, self-employed, a contractor or business owner is the difference in mindsets.  Most employees do not understand their worth nor the skill-sets they may have.  Security and the familiarity of being in the same company for years means you don’t have to be as sharp, because you are not competing in a major pond.  You do what you do.   But what it takes to do what you do, you struggle to break down and articulate for a job application or in an interview.  in fact, you discount things. Either not seeing them at all or failing to appreciation what it takes to do them.  ‘oh its nothing.’ ‘Its just my job’ are statements that over generalise and simplify things.  Things bosses and line managers can easily take for granted and you fail to value as anything significant. Its just your work ethic and a standard you work by.

However, I did what I needed to do and in the end got my dream job at the time and moved into my new post.  Many were surprised and wondered how I did it.  Others said I timed it perfectly. All I knew, was it had to be done.  If I had stayed, my future felt like it would of died at the time.

It was the best thing I did. I learnt so much and grew as a person, way beyond what I could have achieved if I had stayed put.  I knew that there was no way I could ever go back to where I was, because I was no longer the same person.

It was the best thing I did.

Often times in life when you leave something behind or step away from something in order to improve or better yourself, there simply cannot be any going back. That’s not to say things can’t go wrong, but you know within yourself your just bigger than what you left behind, and even though things may go wrong or do not work out. There simply is no going back.

The drive to move,  was greater, than the challenge of  change.  I believe that there are times in your life that you know something more than you can articulate or explain it to others. In spite of what others may say, you know for you the answer is……….? (whatever, you fill in the blanks)

During the time I mentioned above, I simply had to move and I had to work with a specific intention that I shared with no one at the time until I needed to.  Sometimes, as much as you want to, wisdom says the least people who know your plans, the better.

The drive to move, was greater, than the challenge of  change.

Walking in faith, requires no explanation,  just obedience. I find myself in another time of transition now, and once again, it’s about doing, as oppose to talking and sharing.

The thing is, when God is moving you into something, there is always opposition, and it can come from the closes of relationships.  But if God is stretching you it’s for a reason.

Are you more than where you currently are? Do you feel its time for you to move so you can expand and grow?

 

Be the change you want to be, until next time.

 

Aquene7 = Peace

 

Loneliness – You’re Not Welcomed!


Loneliness - You're Not Wanted

Today’s encouragement is hard because it starts from a difficult place. Our emotions are volatile, and we all have them for a reason. But my challenge is for behaviours we find ourselves locked in for years and years and we feel is part of us, but I believe can be changed.

Loneliness is a huge subject and most people when they think of loneliness they will immediately think of a person being single and having no one. Well, that is true, but you can be married and lonely. You can also be in the most amazing job and still be lonely. Loneliness is more about situations not just a partner.

I used loneliness or should I say singleness as a strength in my younger years. I am no different to millions of people. Being emotionally hurt people often choose to keep themselves to themselves. At first loneliness is not always the obvious emotion or feeling. People will identify with anger and resentment more easily. That’s because loneliness is a creeper.  If you have ever had certain alcoholic drinks, you would have heard people describe them as a ‘creeper.’  My friend made a notorious punch which everyone would ask for, because of that very reason.  In other words, you drink it happily and may even say ‘this an’t doing anything for me’ – then you go to get up and all of a sudden you find yourself somewhat unstable. Loneliness is the same. You don’t always notice it because you have lots of other things going on in your life. You have friends, you do go out, you do have fun – to most people you’re a great laugh, even the joker.  But there is always the one friend who will ask ‘How are you?’ on the deepest level, and your initial response doesn’t cut it. If you are good, you will deflect and deflect never answering the question fully.

The thing is some people are very discerning for a reason, sometimes its God’s way to intervene to protect you from yourself. Loneliness can be the root of may things. Results can often be seen but to connect the reasons behind certain things is not always easy.We start off strong, everything could be in our control and we are happy with our lot. But Loneliness is ‘a strong man.’  What do I mean by that?  Well, i mean it can become bigger than you and stronger than you. In fact it can own you and literally influence everything you do in your life. It can start in a positive place nothing wrong with being single-minded, independent, self-sufficient when you are single. But what if that is you in a marriage? What is the effect on the other person if you never lose your singleness mentality? What if you are the person who is in a marriage or in a career where you feel isolated, or on your own? What if you find you can’t afford to let your guard down and reveal the truth because the consequences would be too much, so the compromise is you maintain the status quo? You are locked into your situation because you feel it’s not the right time, so you continue in your world of loneliness.

Loneliness has a price, and its more than just feeling on your own.  I got called out in the most random of place. I was having dinner with a very dear friend and she had another dear friend of hers over from America for the day. As we sat around the table we laughed and joked and we talked about loads of things and then the friend focused on me and started to ask me a few questions. Then she said I have a word I need to share with you and I hope you don’t mind but I know you are with friends and if I don’t say this God won’t be happy with me. So being the believing person that I am I said go ahead. ‘Well lets just say it was over for me that day, because what she said no one on God’s good earth knew. The key line that got me most was the fact that God had been trying to talk to me over and over again but I had built such  a defensive wall around myself not only did I keep people out I was also locking things in that should not be locked in.  The last thing in my heart was to ever lock God out, so I got my healing that day, in my friend’s house. (The ironic thing is, this friend I was having dinner with is the one that always asked me how are you on a different level to everyone else. She was the one I did my best to deflect, so love her to bits:-)

What did I learn from that? Well the biggest thing was I lost my fear to love. I started to love people and others differently. I no longer felt I had to be the knight of my own life every minute of the day.  It released me to speak differently. Now, don’t get it twisted I am not some happy free open and trust everyone person. Wisdom never left me:-) But loneliness has.  When loneliness is filled it does not necessarily mean you have someone in your life but you do feel whole within yourself.

So my encouragement is to pray with an open heart about your situation if loneliness is an issue for you right now. How the answer comes for you, I have no idea but I do believe God hears and answers our prayers. It’s about being the change you want to be and that means dealing with any blockages in your life.  Until next time.

Aquene7 = Peace

Natural Law – Doesn’t Change!


Bountiful-Harvest

Google Image

You reap what you sow.

I’m sure we have heard this statement many times. Usually, used when someone has done something viewed as bad. But how true is it? Do you believe in that or as others would like to call it Karma.

The bible says that all seeds and vegetation were to produce after itself and its own kind Genesis 1 11-12. That is a natural law. An apple tree (without mans intervention these days) will produce apple seeds and apples only because that is what it was designed to do. A lion will not give birth to a bear nor will anything produced outside of its own design. Natural laws are in place for a reason. they keep things in check and in balance.  Our seasons are always Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.  They may vary in length, but depending on your location most people will experience all four. Where ever we get an excess or imbalance in a season, nature some how develops a resilience to adapt.  Seeds will lay dormant in the sand for months and years in a desert. Animals and insects are designed for extreme cold or extremely hot weather. But as soon as it rains in the desert the landscape changes and of course the plants will produce after themselves.

So whatever is sewn that is what you reap in life.

The law of Genesis covers all kinds of seeds and vegetation likewise birds, insects etc. But what about the intangible things. Fear, doubt, hate, greed, love, faith etc. Don’t these things also begin as seeds? In Matthew 17:20 Jesus uses the example of faith the size of a mustard seed being able to move mountains. Anyone who has seen a mustard seed will know, it is not big at all.

MustardSeed (1)

A Mustard Seed

Salvadora_persica

A Mustard Seed Tree – West Africa

As you can see a mustard seed will grow in the most challenging of areas. So it not the size of any seed but the potential that is carried within it that determines what we see outwardly.  Farmers and those who enter competitions for producing the biggest and the best of any plant, flower, fruit or veg, will say they use only the best quality seeds when they sow because that is the only way to remove flaws and get the best quality product.

Horse breeders or animal breeders will also pair up the pedigree breeds in order to get the best. So it’s all about the potential in the seed.

All seeds have to be fed or nurtured in some way in order to grow. Physical seeds would need watering and their nutrients comes from the soil they are in. But, what about those intangible things? Well we know doubt and fear go hand in hand and together they work against faith. If someone is offended by someone, if left unresolved, that then has the potential to become bitterness, dislike and hate. All are seeds and its our choices that give them life in our lives and space to grow producing after themselves or not.

Its important therefore, to sow the best seeds into our lives. Anger, bitterness, jealousy, fear,etc., are common to us all. No one is above these emotions.  But we all have a choice, and we can let them drive us and own us or we can choose to limit their influence in our lives. Just like the specialist breeders we can choose the best of things and sow those seeds on a daily basis.

I believe in the fruits of the Holy Spirit and believe those are the best seeds to sow in our lives.

fruit-of-the-spirit-tree11

Google Images

Sewing these things into our lives I can’t say is easy.  I have found that from a human level there is always a situation that max’s me out. Something that takes me to the end of my own resources where patience runs out, peace runs out, etc. Given these are spiritual fruit, it stands to reason that it takes God to increase your capacity in these areas. Likewise, it takes God’s love to enable us to realise the importance of letting go of certain things in our lives, that we are giving strength and life to everyday but is causing us harm because we a reaping what we sow. Hence, forgiveness when sewn into your own life releases you from so many things.

Natural Law doesn’t change nor does spiritual law. Their seeds produce after themselves. Doing good is always the challenge in this life because it is so giving and hardly is it acknowledge and rewarded. But we all choose what we want for ourselves at the end of the day. So choose to reduce the negative things where possible I say.

Be the change you want to be, until next time.

 

Aquene7 = Peace

Life – How Are You Playing Your Cards?


There are so many sayings batted around us along the same lines as. ‘I drew the short straw,’ ‘Well, those were the cards’ ‘It is what it is.’ etc., etc.  The fact is we say them so often that they can become the prisons in which we confine ourselves and live our lives. A shrine to a life, that could have been so many things.

A shrine to a life, that could have been so many things.

The fact is, this lady simply decided to live her life in the most effective and independent way she could. In a way that gave her the most freedom and made her as least reliant on people as she could possibly be. She simply decided to make the most of her life.  Isn’t that what we all should do?

I have always admired ‘The Parable Of The Talents.’ Matthew 25:14-29, because it reflects the choices you can make with what you are given.

The challenge is always making the most of what you are given in spite of how much or how little it seems.  The outcome is not expected to be the same because the word says clearly that what we are given is measured or weighted against our abilities in the first place. So two people may seemingly have the same disadvantages but one becomes a multi-millionaire the other a teacher, both great outcomes but only the individual knows if there was anything more they could do?

The servant with the one talent was trapped by his own fears of failing, in spite of fully understanding the type of master he served. Allowing fear and the challenge of failing to control your life is possibly the worst decision any of us can make.  The lady in the video chose to take on every challenge that could hinder her from living as independent a life as possible. Challenges which she over came.  Why? because she decided to find the solution to her situation.  The best business people or for want of a better description – ‘The Greatest Achievers’ all say ‘No’ is not the answer or truth for their situation. ‘There must be ‘an answer’ or ‘a solution,’ all they have to do is find it.

 ‘There must be ‘an answer’ or ‘a solution,’ all they have to do is find it.

Find the solutions in your life! ‘Don’t be constrained by an emotional prison.’ Any increase is better that no increase and living in a continuously mediocre space.

Are you making the most of what you have?  What are you doing with the cards you were dealt?

 

Be the change you want to be, until next time.

 

Aquene7 – Peace

 

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