Partners in Pain

by Herbert Mtowo

Ruth,Naomi and Orpah


Life has its ups and downs that’s for sure. Sometimes we can go months or years without too many major complications in our lives but eventually we all experience loss, grief, pain, or upset of some sort.I have known pain of loss,deaths,poor health,the pain of being scandalized,and I have known that pain in this journey of life. It’s not fun! Life IS full of challenges, pain, sorrow, and exhaustion. We are fighting off tigers and staring down mice all the time. In reality, I believe there is as much joy in the world as there is pain–sometimes it is just easier to see the pain.

Pain is often disruptive, uncomfortable, challenging and destructive at times, yet it is the most important pillar of personal growth.Pain is part of our life cycles as much as it is part of nature’s cycle. We need to be able to accept and deal with pain to improve ourselves and our lives. Often, this is easier said than done.

Do we welcome pain in our lives? Yes and no. The need to grow, reinvent or progress doesn’t come without challenges. It is in these challenges that we recognize we have to leave the designated comfort zone. We know change has to happen, yet we are reluctant to it because of the strangeness, unknown, discomfort or pain we are experiencing.

Change is therefore motivated by pain – not the pain we are facing when we transition to change, but the pain of staying in the same situation, accepting, knowing we cannot move forward. We don’t want things to stay the same, clearly. But which one of these pains will be less bearable?

The lesson we should all partake in life is to not resist change. As one personal development coach says, “The pain of changing now will always be less than the pain of staying the same”. It’s better to be proactive, then, and seek change before it finds us.

Such is the story of the trio, when their husbands died, Naomi, Ruth and Orpah became partners in pain. Unless you’ve been there, you can’t relate to it. It’s a fellowship that transcends age, race, background and status; it brings the oddest people together. When you’re hurting, don’t look for validation from those who haven’t walked in your shoes. People can’t give you what they don’t have. Often the best they have to offer is the kind of optimism that’s glib and quickly becomes annoying.

Until you can start to make sense of your pain and see the greater good in it, you’ll feel like a victim. But once you see God’s grace at work, and His purpose in it all, you can begin to move ahead…to marry…to have another baby…to get another job… to dream another dream…to live again. Spurgeon wrote: ‘Just as old soldiers compare stories and scars, when we arrive at our heavenly home we’ll tell of the faithfulness of God who brought us through. I wouldn’t like to be pointed out as the only one who never experienced sorrow or feel like a stranger in the midst of that sacred fellowship. Therefore, be content to share in the battle, for soon we will wear the crown.’

Giving up a familiar situation, quitting a safe-perceived but unrewarding job, breaking up a relationship that doesn’t work anymore is painful and launches our minds in a post-mortem “what ifs”. It is natural to feel that change is painful as it involves the loss of a current situation. The truth is that not changing is even more painful.

“Life is about growing. If you don’t change, you don’t grow. If you don’t grow, be prepared to feel massive amounts of pain. You see, life wants the best for us. It wants us to be the best we can be”, writes personal development coach, Dean Cunningham, in his book “Pure Wisdom”. In other words, life wants us to change and to experience the painful transition to change.

Most of us will yearn (even secretly) to change. This is either because we are already in a situation we don’t like or we want to improve aspects of our lives for the better. “If there’s no pain, there’s no impetus to change”, explains Cunningham. Although overcoming a personal challenge is frightening and uncomfortable, instead of treating it like an enemy, embrace it like a friend. It’s a golden opportunity to uncover deep, self-limiting beliefs and replace them with new self-empowering beliefs

When it feels as if all Hell has broken loose in your life, remember, Satan hasn’t snatched the steering wheel from God. No, God’s got it all worked out. Victory is born out of struggle. Be encouraged! God often accomplishes more through our pain than He does through our successes. So, hold on to His unchanging hand!

Don’t Fall In Love With Your Own Opinions

BY ED ROBNISON
There is nothing wrong with having strong opinions but always remember this doesn’t mean you are right. There is a difference between a fact based opinion and experiential opinion. In one case you are actually using hard facts and objective data to state you position. In the other case, you are relying more on subjective experience and personal beliefs to make your point. The dangerous thing about experiential opinions is that they are grounded solely on the personal filters of the advocate. They are also based on a singular and usually somewhat stunted view of reality. Being louder and more passionate about something will certainly garner attention, however, once again this doesn’t mean you are right and very often means you are rude, close-minded and/or a poor listener.

In all types of relationships you can either fight fair or fight dirty. When I observe someone getting personally critical with another person and/or talking over them rather than focusing on the topic at hand, I assume they want to fight dirty because they know they have a weaker position or are simply intellectually lazy. Leaders can’t afford to have their decisions overly laced with or influenced by their own or other’s strong opinions. Reality has a way of overcoming obstinacy. At minimum, professional reputation is a function of how you are perceived to think and make decisions, as well as how you comport yourself. Power may provide you with the platform to be self righteous and a blowhard, but these same actions hinder your ability to create true followership and garner long term support. You ever notice how the student in the classroom who thinks they are the smartest person rarely is and everyone else comes to this conclusion fairly early on.

Unfortunately, I believe America is becoming a country that is increasingly governed by and reveres strong opinions and ideology rather than empirical evidence and collective self-interest. It has always been much easier to divide people instead of uniting them. Most of us would rather validate what we already believe over accepting a contrary point of view. We are great at preparing to talk, but terrible with active listening. Defaulting to attacking someone else’s positions is an easy trap to fall into. What we fail to realize is that progress is a direct result of challenging the status quo and opening our minds to new ideas and concepts. As stated in many other blogs, no one person or group of people has the market cornered on good ideas. They just think they do.

Once you think you know it all, please give the reigns of power to someone else. Of course it’s important to be decisive but make sure you committed to making the right decision not just doing what is intellectually convenient or plays to your own personal prejudices and/or vulnerabilities. If you fall in love with your own opinions you limit your potential for results and for building strong personal and professional relationships.

FORGIVENESS-YOU HAVE THE POWER & ITS UP TO YOU!!

BY HERBERT MTOWO

How you heal or restore a relationship or marriage after an affair is a complex question.? If you’ve been cheated on and your husband/wife has had an affair, you’re most likely focusing on all the things he/she will have to do to restore the relationship/marriage. But believe you me I can tell you that you have the power and why it’s all up to you!

How to fix a relationship or marriage after an affair depends on how much energy and time your willing to put into the factors listed in this article.The key to rebuilding your relationship/marriage after you’ve found out about the affair is to first heal the relationship with yourself.

If you get right with yourself then you can sincerely and truthfully get it write with this relationship or marriage that is in such a mess.I want to point this out,as much as cheating is such an evil practise of our day,it is no really excuse to see your union collapse. Any relationship must be able to deal with such thorny and difficult times to become stronger and forge ahead.For your spouse to state that they are sorry after an extramarital affair is not just a one time thing. It may have to be said again and again until finally the mate that had been injured feels better about their own spouse as well as future of the marriage relationship. It conveys the understanding of what they did to hurt the relationship and acknowledges the hurt they caused to the marriage partner with a vow not to do it again. If they are not willing to give this type of apology then look out..

The first important thing one needs to do is, to take your energy, attention and focus off how bad you feel, and make an effort to place your focus on healing the relationship with yourself. Think about what you really want in a relationship, who you really are, and what type of love you need. Be honest with yourself and find your needs and look into who you really are. There is no marital status quo anymore. Give to yourself. Find the love within yourself to self-love. The first step in how to fix any relationship or marriage after an affair is allowing yourself to give to yourself. Rebuild your strength, self-esteem, self-confidence and self-love and this will be the key to rebuilding your union.

To forgive your spouse is to let go of your anger, resentment, rage, and victim status. The excellent news about forgiveness is that it’s about YOU not your partner. You’re the one who is carrying around the jealousy, betray and anger. To forgive is to begin to make amends and offer yourself the opportunity to have peace of mind and let go of all your pain. Forgiving is saying yes to love and life again. Forgiving is open yourself up to trust again. Forgiving is not about condoning your husbands/wives affair or his/her behavior. Forgiveness is all for you.

When considering how to fix a relationships/marriage after an affair the big issue of trust is always a deal breaker. How can you trust your spouse after he/she cheated? You’re probably wondering if I can ever trust again? Well trust isn’t gone forever. It will rebuild upon itself day after day but it will be different than it was prior to the affair. You won’t trust in a naive way ever again because you know the worst has already happened. Trust is all up to you also because ultimately to trust your partner again, you will have to start trusting yourself. Trust yourself to read the signs, to be aware and be present inside yourself and know you won’t let yourself be blindsided ever again.

So yes, how to have your relationship/marriage healed and restored after an affair is a complex question but a good part of the solution is all up to you. This is good news. Always remember, you do have control over the outcome of your relationship or marriage regardless of how bad it may seem.Stop the blame game and get to grips with reality and let your relationship or marriage blossom again,it takes patience and had work,but this I can promise you it is an achievable task.

TEAMWORK IS KEY !!!

By Herbert Mtowo

Am very passionate about soccer, cricket, tennis and rugby and athletics, you name them sports, this takes much of my time when I am not speaking or writing. Such as in sport your family or staff is your team: you win only when you’re willing to accept the strengths and weaknesses of each player. That includes you too. You’re not perfect and you’re not called to ‘fi x’ everybody, so cut it out! Maybe your spouse is a disaster in the kitchen but they keep a spotless house and the garden’s the envy of the neighborhood.

In relationships,marriages or in church set up, if everyone is moving forward together, than success takes care of itself. At this level it is not about personal brilliance that matters but team work that is the key to unimaginable accomplishments’.

Don’t put your spouse down because you’ve been cooking since you were old enough to reach the stove. No, take the vegetables that are grown and create a meal that makes both the cook and the gardener look good! Teams don’t necessarily win because they have the best players; they win because they can work together. In football even the best player needs other team members to get him the ball, otherwise he’ll never score. Build on your strengths and reduce your weaknesses! One of the sports that I have found to be very interesting is chess, it`s more a team effort sport to win than anything else. Every team member knows the importance of protecting the king to win the game; such is the power of teamwork and team effort for good results.

And learn to accept reality! Some people will never change. You can waste years complaining, causing rifts and driving yourself crazy disorganized, don’t ask them to arrange your next dinner party. Get somebody you can depend on. When you learn to do that, a ‘less than ideal’ team/family can become a source of comfort and love, seeing you through a lifetime of experiences.

Don’t bail out when things are bad. A team or family’s like a stock market – bulls and bears! Wait a little longer! Let God work and things will turn out for everybody’s good! Millions of dollars have been lost, and many a projects fail because people allow their egos, selfishness and greedy to take center stage and dominate than let team work blend them together to do more. In team work we all matter, the ones who are exceptionally gifted also need the average or less gifted to work as a team and produce the desired results.

That is why it is important to note that, to lead your team/family effectively, you need to learn how to huddle regularly. The ‘huddle’ is where a team: 1) sets its goals 2) discusses the division of responsibilities 3) tackles the issues that decide whether it wins or loses. As a coach or parent, even though you call the plays from overhead, your team must be taught how to carry out them on the field. That means working through things, talking through the disagreements and motivating and appreciating each member. Try to listen with an open heart. Don’t just hear what your team members say, try to understand how they feel. Yes, you’re the leader and yes, you can act like the Gestapo and enforce your will if you want to but sooner or later you’ll have trouble, for resentment grows when people feel left out. Every member of your team has to be part of the decision-making process. Involve them!

Ask life to help you look beyond what you want to what’s best for all of you. Don’t fall under the spell of instant gratification. What looks good to you today could be taking you off the path to a better tomorrow. Don’t let ‘outsiders’ into your huddle. Tell them to stay in their own. Too often their opinions are based on hearsay, self-interest or jealousy. Respect the privacy of your team. Build loyalty. Huddle regularly in prayer. When you do that, everybody wins!

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
~ Michael Jordan ~

teamwork is key.

PEOPLE COME AND GO IN YOUR LIFE AND THATS OKAY!!!

BY ED ROBINSON

Very few people are meant to take the full journey with you in life. Sometimes you outgrow people, lose the interpersonal connection and/or leave them behind. Instead of regretting the loss, cherish the time you had together and keep it as a fond memory. I’ve written before how I believe that everyone’s life is a novel and sometimes new chapters require new characters.

It is all part of the process of growing, learning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning) and evolving as a human being. Most every transitional point in our life involves bridging a chasm of some sort and other people are usually the means by which we cross over. However, they don’t all make the same crossing with us.

I sincerely hope that you have a close personal relationship with a lifelong romantic partner and best friend if that is what you wish. While periods of aloneness are to be expected, a lifetime of being single can be difficult and lonely. I also hope that if you are fortunate enough to have children that you have a strong enduring bond with them. However, even these long-term relationships,change and end at some point. Inevitably, someone will have to learn to carry one without the other person. Unfortunately, the loss of people we love is a part of life.

You will encounter interesting, fun, caring and happy people along the way who make your life more meaningful and abundant. This can happen in large or small doses. Sometimes a small moment in time can make all the difference in influencing the person you become. You will have the good fortune stumble across amazing mentors (if you are paying attention) who offer sage advice and model behavior you end up wanting to emulate. You will also have to deal with individuals who are difficult to like or work with, but you’ll have to navigate these relationships anyway and make the most of the experience (or not). There is always something to be learned from adversity and conflict.

We all go through stages in our life where our worldview changes. Beliefs we once held firm begin to crumble. Social circles form, break apart and reform differently. People who were critical at some periods end up less important during others. We can build and lose connections based on convenience, what we are doing, what we value, where we choose to live, our work/life circumstances, partner compatibility and our standard of living. Sometimes ending something or allowing it to diminish is the wisest choice we can make. Accept this reality as the natural course of events and don’t judge the other person or yourself too harshly when it happens.

There is certainly something powerful about the concept of loyalty and keeping lifelong connections, but for most people it is the exception not the rule especially with non-family members. Moreover, the intensity of any given connection should be expected to wax and wane. You can only go so deep with so many people at any given time. Some changes to relationships are abrupt and unforeseen while others wither gradually right before your eyes. It’s okay to decide that a particular relationship has run its course. All you can do is be the best person you possibly can be in all your close interactions. We all must all continually strive to seek out others who are good for us rather than a negative influence.

In all life throws at me I choose to be an optimist. I believe all people you come in contact with at a certain level are there for a reason. They hold a mirror up to your own soul and exist to help you become a better person one way or another. When it comes to interacting with another human being there is only so much we can control in terms of the relationship. All we can do is make the best of it whatever it is and be open to new people and new lessons along the way. Don’t hold on to your past at the expense of your future.

RELATIONSHIPS/MARRIAGE UNDER-SIEGE

BY HERBERT MTOWO

Marriage Under Siege

The marriage institute is an extremely important institution not only in the Christendom circle but in every area of life marriage plays an important role to shape the future of a people, community, nation, tribe etc The business people, the politicians, the atheists, traditional and all look up to it and hope for .

It is one institution that is under severe attack and the enemy knows how vital it is to us and many generations to come. I strongly believe that at Jordan Touch Communications we are making a small contribution, to this noble cause of marriage and relationship building.

Am not an expert on this topic but as an author,counselor and public speaker this is one topic that i am so passionate about,having spent many years consulting in the field of HIV/AIDS has opened my eyes to the challenges that we have when it comes to marriage and relationships,i have had my own challenges when it comes to this topic,and that I feel my contribution on this topic will go a long way in helping one or two people out there.

We believe that there are many other organizations doing so much more to make sure this institution is continuously empowered. For example, one of my heroes James Dobson and Focus on the family, We thank God for His grace who has enabled us to find our place in this global cause to build, encourage and allow many to become faithful, handle their conflicts, faithfully love, forge  ahead during times of storms to stand and  not waver.

Looking at the marriages of many people, and bible examples of marriages of man and women of renown, I realized that was so many are sadly lacking. Some of the couples were career-minded and put all their efforts into their jobs, rather than their relationships. Others, especially women, put all their efforts into their children, and tended to let go of their relationship with their husband. Then when the children left home there is no relationship with their spouse and their life falls apart. You don’t have to be in this situation! Even if you are a stay-at-home mom or a career woman, you can still have an awesome marriage. Other are too spiritual they literally neglect their spouse in the name of doing God`s work, others are so dysfunctional that there is no order in the home, anything is permissible.

Others, are so soaked up in business matters and bring money in the home, but forget to be there for their children .Don’t neglect your marriage that is children and wife. If you want your marriage to work, take time to invest into it, the rewards are unbelievably incomparable.  There are some ingredients to spark and bring joy to your relationship/marriage that you have to cultivate and make sure they exist in your relationship. The lists of some of them are listed below, without much elaboration: Take note of them and till the ground in your relationship, to see it blossom and flourish to unimaginable heights.

  1. Make sure both partners are fulfilling their roles as according to the word of God.
  2. Communicate effectively.
  3. Don’t leave problems unresolved and spilling into the next day.
  4. Guard against triggers from the past.
  5. Accept and understand the purpose of temperamental differences.
  6. Give and show love unconditionally.
  7. Be prepared and ready to forgive always.
  8. Find time to pray together.
  9. Have fun(, take time to play)
  10. Plan together.
  11. Have you ever realized that every human has a desire for affirmation, love and care? All people deep down inside is a child just wanting somebody to give them attention. Make a reality check and find whether, you are being the husband or wife that is giving that attention? I just hope you are feeding that child? Make sure you are  feeding it with love, care, hugs and kisses, and all the good things Maybe are you tearing down and causing that gentle sweet fragrance to be withdrawn more and more, and hidden away more and more, because you keep hammering and hammering and hammering all the time. The more you hammer the more he/she withdraws and you say, “Yep, I sure had him/her convicted!” So you hammer him/her again and he/she withdraws more and you say, “Yep sure I told you I had a useless wife/husband.”

    Is it any wonder why she/he is sitting and not wanting to spend time with you and running away, because all you ever do is blast and hammer? I can bet she/he will never bring herself /himself right. Who would wants to sit around the place where you are getting hell fire, criticism, condemnation all the time? Just like you and me, we wouldn’t like to sit for a nice cozy afternoon in the midst of hell fire? Honestly who would ever like to do that? These are ingredients which look very irrelevant but they give marriage the extra mile and fuel it to greater heights.

    No, no, no! Why not give them a nice gentle stream to sit beside where the waters are cool and refreshing and gentle, and bring peace to the soul and they will stick to you like a fly. Are you a sweet-smelling flower? I don’t know how many of us have realized that, when you sweet smell, the bee just cannot help it’s an irresistible attraction that lures it. The bee wants to come and pollinate. It just cannot help itself, because the color is so beautiful and so bright, and the smell is so refreshing and appealing. It cannot help itself but to keep coming back. It is important that when you are in love, you make sure that you are still sending out that sweet-smelling fragrance.

    Are you that lily flower that just oozes with love and refreshing life in the presence of the Lord? Is it that which oozes from every pore of you so sweet, such that you leave her/him thinking, “Ooh, I must have and feast on more of you? Hey, it just tastes so good, and I can’t get more of you. Or are you a terrible house fly that is all stinky? What are you in your relationship? Maybe you are the one that destroys with poisonous venom or one that releases a beautiful sweet-smelling scent?

    Take time to break down the walls of your own heart and become that flower first and the bee will naturally be attracted to it. Surely, you don’t have to hunt down a bee and force it onto a flower. They all will come there by themselves. Just stand there and be beautiful, whether you are a husband or wife. Be appealing in your spirit and be every good thing. Cultivate all the fruits of the spirit, in your life. This I can confidently tell you that, love is the sweetest, sweetest aroma. It is the sweetest aroma to your spouse and the Lord when we offer up our love and sacrifice. It is like sweet incense to your spouse` nostrils. You know if she/he is thinking it is such sweet incense to their nostrils, do you not think that everybody else around you thinks it is a sweet smell too? Even God wants the sweet-smelling love into His nostrils.

    Yes, it is true marriage is under siege, but you and I have the resources to make it work. Love, pure, pure love, Love is like water in the desert. You know you have these flash floods in the desert where beforehand everything was dry, dry, dry.

PERSUE YOUR DREAMS !!!!

BY HERBERT MTOWO

Dreams. What are dreams? Dreams are soul food. Dreams are things that give us hope. And when they come true, they often give us joy and happiness. Dreams are important for us to hold on to, and to follow. I know when I have a dream inside me, and I listen, really listen, and work towards it coming true, I am filled with energy, and hopefulness, and happiness. Often, when people let go of a dream, when they lose it, something dies inside.

Everybody has goals and dreams. These dreams are at the center of who you really are. It is the core essence of who you are as a person, and the very purpose of your being.What you are dreaming of accomplishing in your life is Gods way of getting you involved in his Master Plan. You were gifted with a set of dreams and talents, in the hope that you would act out these passions, follow your dreams and thusly move forward in life.

If dreams are so important to the soul, to happiness, then why do so many people try to discourage us from following our dreams? Maybe it’s because they’re afraid of seeing us blossom into our full selves, because that’s a place they’ve never dared to go themselves. Maybe it’s because their own dreams have withered away. Or maybe it’s because they’re just scared, scared of the happiness and energy that comes from a person following a dream–and scared of the vulnerability that someone can open themselves up to when they truly follow their heart.

It is really a great pity that we have been told already since early childhood that we should stop dreaming and start living.What a mistake! Living is dreaming! This is exactly why we are here: to pursue our dreams! Not for selfish reasons, but for the sake of everybody.

By following our dreams, you and me become better people,happy people, shining brightly like a sun, lightening up the lives of those around us.

If we decide to forget about our dreams, then we will become like plant without water or sunlight, leaves hanging down, begging for water and looking rather miserable. Are we of any help to ourselves or to the world when we abandon our dreams?

Thats why I can confidently say that your dream is the reason for the way you are! Your dream is not a coincidence. Your dream IS who you are. You should pursue it! Your dream gives you a sense of meaning and purpose, and drives you on into your chosen future. Your dream is the meaning of your life!Why then does it seem to be so difficult to follow your dream?

First, because of the anti-dream-program running in your head, a program installed when you were just a kid.Second, because your dream is always outside of your comfort zone. Pursuing your dream requires conscious effort, growth and change; this can feel somewhat uncomfortable in the beginning. You may experience some fears and worries, but this is normal.

This we all must be reminded that the result for not following our dreams or passions, is not only a statistical waste, but it results in unhappiness. Rightfully so. You’re putting your potential on a leash JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN HAVE IT! You’re conforming to culture. This literally means you’re letting society tell you what you are capable of doing. The solution is to learn how to change your beliefs.

Persuing the dreams

If you don’t you are only another case of history repeating itself. The good new is that it’s very possible if you don’t give up. The bad news is that it’s difficult and it takes some time. But it’s only difficult in the short run. After that, you’re living the dream.

It shouldn’t matter what other people say about your dreams. If you have a dream that makes you feel good, follow it. Don’t let sour criticism spoil your dream. Hold onto it, and do the best you can to make it come true. Hold on to your dream in the long nights it takes to get where you want to go–and notice each small step of success as you get there. Nurture your dream. Nurture yourself.

But other people aren’t the only ones who put down our dreams, or try to suppress us. Sometimes we can be the most critical of our own dreams, by dismissing them or telling ourselves that they can’t happen. When we let go of our dreams, we let go of a part of ourselves. We suppress a part of ourselves. And that can deaden us inside, to emotions, to hope. It can bring a lot of pain–because we’re not letting ourselves reach for something that fulfills us. We’re not letting ourselves try.

Not allowing ourselves to follow our dreams, or even to just dream, can eat away at us, and cause us to become bitter, angry, and self-loathing. But following our dreams–ah, that’s what releases us. Even when it’s hard–even when it’s scary and we feel like giving up and we can’t think how we’re going to get there–even then, there’s something that feels right to us, deep in our souls, something that speaks to our hearts and makes us feel alive.

Dreams and aspirations are kind of like seeds in a garden. Would you just plant seeds and leave them to fend for themselves, expecting them to grow into the desired fruit, vegetable, or flower? Of course not. Without water to stay quenched, fertilizer for growth, and regular weeding your seeds would not thrive at all. In fact they would just wither away. That is exactly what can happen to your dreams. They will never flourish without thought, attention, and energy. Deliberateness is needed. It is the process of putting action to your intentions that will help manifest your dreams.

Dreams are vital to our well-being, and we should all have them.So reach for your dreams. Follow them. Believe in them. And they can come true.

SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE !!!

by HERBERT MTOWO

Life has a way of making us learn when we least excpet to at times.Others choose to sit and wait to die or see their future blown up in smoke,because they have not been afforded the opportunity

Hope will see you through!1

to prove their worth.Right now it’s tough to not feel like a victim. So many events seem to be beyond our control, and so many consequences of the decisions of others appear to have cost so many so much. It’s an easy time to choose to blame others and let events just carry us along- the perfect example of a victim.

And an awful lot of people will do that, and be the poorer for it. They will stop trying to swim upstream, and instead let the current carry them where it may, and they will feel out of control and blame it on things outside themselves. They are victims of events. And victims want every one else to be a victim too – it proves they’re right about their own behavior. They will have chosen to be a victim – even though most would deny it.

Others choose to be victors. Faced with the same events and circumstances and consequences and outcomes as victims, they will continue to swim upstream – possibly more slowly and with more effort, but still working their way toward their goals. They know it may take longer, it may be tougher, but they choose to stand and fight, rather than let themselves be overcome by events. They take action – sometimes actions that seem so small – but they know that only action leads to results. And in doing that they often find opportunities that they couldn’t have dreamed of, but exist because of the very circumstances that turn others into victims. As Steve Schiffmann says in his book Make It Happen Before Lunch, “dwell in possibility, there is always a door somewhere waiting to be opened.”
Victors are optimists, opportunists,are takers of action..

What I have shared above reminds me of Demba Ba,who seven years ago failed trials at English lightweights Barnsley and things were so bad for the budding Senegalese forward that only a French Third Division side, Rouen, could offer him refuge. Earlier trials at French clubs Lyon and Auxerre had also ended in failure for Ba.
Another English lightweight, Watford, were not so sure and, to minimise their risk, offered him a one-year contract in 2005 but after manager Ray Lewington was fired, his replacement Aidy Boothroyd felt Ba wasn’t good enough, and froze him out of the first team.

He quit and moved to the French Third Division from where he was signed by Belgian club, Mouscron, in 2006 but, after scoring in each of his first three games, Ba fractured his tibia and fibula and was out of action for eight months.

He arrived at English Premiership side, Stoke City, last year and failed his medicals, the second time this had happened in his career, after an intended move to German side Vfb Stuttgart in July 2009, also collapsed after he failed a medical.

Noone at either Stoke or Vfb Stuttgart has disclosed to the world the nature of Ba’s medical shortcomings.But shortly after his Stoke ordeal, Ba was whisked away by his agents to try his luck at West Ham United and was signed.Given all the drama that has gone on in his career, from the heartbreak of his rejection at Lyon, Auxerre and Barnsley, the cold treatment at Watford, the injury curse at Mouscron, the failed medicals at Stoke and Stuttgart, you would be forgiven to wonder how Ba has kept going all these years.

And, given the explosive success he has enjoyed at West Ham and Newcastle United, you will be right to wonder what the hell was going on in the minds of all the managers at Lyon, Auxerre and Barnsley who decided he wasn’t good enough.

Given the prolonged spell that he has completed leading the line at West Ham and at Newcastle, and staying healthy all the time, while taking a lot of the brutality that comes with the defensive hardmen employed specifically to stop him scoring goals, you will be right to wonder what the hell was going on at Stoke when they announced he had failed a medical.Ba scored seven goals in 12 games for West Ham last season before leaving the club, after his goals failed to save them from relegation, thanks to a clause that allowed him to go elsewhere for free in the event that the Hammers had been relegated.

He has scored 15 goals, in 19 appearances, for Newcastle United and, on Wednesday the 4th of January 2012 , he struck a beauty against Manchester United that sent his stock sky-rocketing and, in an instant, turned him into the striker the whole world was talking about.Ba turns 27 on May 25 next year and, even if you are not Senegalese, you can’t help but take a bow for this remarkable marksman, if not for his goals that have made waves, then for his incredible life story in which his courageous fight to defy the odds heavily staked against him.

I like Demba Ba, even after all the torture that he put me through as a die-hard United fan on Wednesday night, because he represents the greatness, on the sporting fieldsand in life that we as human beings can achieve as long as we keep focused on pursuing our goals.

In life attitude is everything.Is your glass half empty or half full? When was the last time you tuned in to your personal attitude barometer?The only difference between being a victim and being a victor is your attitude toward the situation.Life happens; it is as good or as bad as you make it.It is a personal choice to let small things ruin your day.You run out of coffee creamer or your favorite shirt is dirty.Even getting laid off at work or watching your portfolio diminish really pale in comparison to having someone else decide your fate, as in Demba ba`s situation. Now and again, Demba Ba stumbled upon a number of difficult managers who probably didn't like him/his dark features and rather than judge him on substance they decided to judge him on the colour of his skin and told him he had failed trials at Barnsley, of all teams folks, Auxerre, and all the funny teams.

Someone at Stoke City decided he was not medically fit to play at the Britannia and told him to try his luck elsewhere, although chances of him succeeding were very minimal,but we now know that he was medically okay and chances of him succeeding were very, very good.There are some people who seem to breeze through life, rejoicing from one triumph to the next,that`s Demba Ba for you folks.But by contrast, there are others who never quite make it, and always have a reason why life has dealt them a hard blow. Society is made up of victors and victims, and the difference can very often be boiled down to one key factor – attitude. Use today to pay attention to the things that you use as an excuse to be a victim.You can allow a betrayal in a relationship,to leave you forever wounded,sulky,bitter and spiteful or use it as an opportunity to improve yourself and find a more meaningful relationship.Believe you me it hurts and cuts deep to have a heart break,but as they say its not the end of the world,embrace pain as a schoolmaster into greatness.

You can mourn a job loss or use the opportunity to pursue your passion and create the life of your dreams.Need some inspiration and motivation to give your attitude a 180?To be a victor requires courage, goals that keep victors pointed toward where they want to go, and an understanding that they may not be able to control all the things that happen to them, but they sure can choose how they deal with them. Victors keep control of their responses. They have their bad days – weeks – months -years but they persist.Demba Ba has set the English Premier League aligt with hi scoring prowess,but he persisted were others wavered and chickened out.

And in doing so they win in the game of life. Regardless where you are right now, choose to grab hold of whatever it is that you really want, set your plan to get it, and act. You'll be better for it – I guarantee you.Choose to face your pain,loss,rejection and refuse to form a sorry me and pitty me Social Club.

Healing with Pain

By Marie Shriber

http://www.desireunleashed.wordpress.com

This last summer during some difficult times the Lord blessed me with some of the most miraculous times as well. One one of the darkest heart broken days, I had sat down on my couch to cry and feel sorry for myself when the doorbell rang.

My neighbor needed me to translate with my meager Spanish skills to another one of our neighbors in our little apartment community. I hesitantly agreed as I wasn’t really feeling like even leaving my house. After translating as best as I could, my Spanish speaking neighbor asked if I wanted to go on a walk with her and her four children.

I had a great time walking, talking, and singing with them down the street. We ended up getting slur-pees and then returning back to our little neighborhood. As we came back down the street a couple of my neighbors were out on the grass talking- so we joined them.

This whole day ended up being one of purpose and God. In this one evening I met over 10 of my neighbors, planned a community picnic, and had the most amazing God conversation ever. Two of my neighbors and I ended up going out to eat for dinner at a Chinese Restaurant. While there we had the most amazing Real Talk conversation ever. We talked about: life, death, the Bible, heaven, hell, missions and living with purpose. I found out the one of them had been raised a Mormon while the other was a Buddhist by culture… but new their had to be One True God.

We soon returned home and the conversation continued. I heard of the God Stories that each of the women had… and I soon I heard some of the sweetest words I had ever heard,

“I just long to know what the Bible really says. I know it’s the Truth, and I want to know it.”

I thought I was dreaming and then I realized it really was the desire of my neighbor to know God and know what He had done. She decided that she would teach me to quilt if I would teach her the Bible. Not requiring anything I told her we would get together and do just that.

It was a beautiful day.

A day full of purpose and love.

Then time passed… the holidays came… life got harder (my heart broke)… we didn’t see each other much… and I thought I had lost the beautiful opportunity of seeing someone so excited about His Truth begin an amazing relationship with Him.

Then I saw her on her porch.

We talked and we were right back where we had been. She longed to do the Bible Study and even more now that her Daughter-in-law(who now lives with her) was interested as well. So we set a time and day to do Bible Study every week.

This Friday was the first time… and again it was more than I could ever asked for (not only that- but my Mom joined us- which turned out to be an amazing way for my Mom to be able to declare God’s faithfulness in the midst of her own hardship. Which even prepared her to lead another one of her friends to the Lord TODAY!) It was the most beautiful church I’ve been to in a long time! We started with dinner and the questions began!

Amazing questions:
Who is God?
Who made God?
Why is there a Hell?
Who is Satan?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do people die?
Doesn’t He love you more than me?
Are their level of heaven?
How was the world created?
What’s the deal with the end of the World?
What’s the Trinity?

With each question, we turned to the Word and the Lord led us into the answers to the great questions they asked.

We studied the story of Genesis… God creating… His words becoming life… His creation of man and woman… putting His image and life into them… and then the fall.

I now have two amazing friends who continue to seek Jesus… and are looking forward to not only another Bible Study, but going to church and doing whatever else they can to know God and live for Him.

Isn’t He good?

Boy, does He love us!

My dreams and hopes may not have been fulfilled in the ways I thought they should have been… but He gave me more than I could have ever asked for. He is truly giving me life to the full… and I can’t wait for the continued filling.

Lord, I thank you for the hearts you are drawing to yourself. I would have never thought you would use me, right here, right now, in this way. I praise you for knowing so much better than I do. I love you Lord, please continue to have your way. Please continue to restore my heart and love for You- my first love.

FIRED UP BY SETBACKS !!!!

BY HERBERT MTOWO

Life is not easy, and you and me – like all people – are bound to face many challenges. But it is the hardships in life that make us stronger, as long as we come out on the other side. If it happens that you are dealing with setebacks and hardships in your life, it’s hugely important that you learn to cope.Throughout a person’s life, they are faced with numerous obstacles, and challenges of different types. There are times, when you want to say to life I dont know about yu,but I have said this many a times: “Please give me a break. Just give me a chance to catch my breath.” But life doesn’t listen,life can be a very stubborn nut to crack. Sometimes, as soon as we raise our heads, it knocks us back down. Can you relate to a time in your life, perhaps even now…..,Does it seem like no matter what you do, things just don’t seem to be working in your favor?My life in particular, has not been an easy walk in the park!I have been knocked left right and center,struggled with poor health,deaths in the family,you name them. But through all, I find myself still moving on, though at times gasping for breath! (May be not at the exact pace I wanted… though).

A wise close friend once told me,some years back,“After you have been knocked down or pushed back by life, you should acknowledge the setback, understand why it happened, and then make a leap ahead of where you were when you were hit. That’s how to become the person you always wanted and dreamt to be.” The bible says,”Unless a grain of wheat falls into the gound and dies,it shall abide alone,”.[ food for thought this is.]

Most of us have experienced certain bad things that were quite simply put unfair. People can be cruel. Bad things do happen to good people. And you may find yourself in certain situations that are not your fault – but terrible all the same. Even worse, people will wrong us. And we sometimes do not act in accordance to our own values.When dealing with wrongs in life, you should learn to forgive. And that means forgiving others – as well as yourself. It’s important to know when to seek forgiveness from others as well.When facing setbacks, you will only get worse if you do not forgive. The anger and resentment will eat away at you and cloud your very existence. But the act of forgiveness can help you let go and move on.

One important thing to take note of is,the ability to focus on developing your spiritual life, as it will help you deal with all kinds of adversities. Key to facing hardships is faith and a sense that you really are not in control. Hold onto hope. Even if you have only a glimmer of hope, it can get you through some very tough times. Is there any person on this earth who has not faced adversity? Life can be good, but adversities are also part of life. How does one face them with equanimity? It is difficult if the extent of adversity is very high. But one has to live through difficulties and setbacks and come back in life to succeed again. A sudden accident can make one lose limbs. A man who makes his living with his hands, will surely feel very bad and devastated if he loses his working hand. How about the effect of the announcement by the doctor that your child has cancer? Can parents take this news calmly? They will most probably faint when they hear it first. Some adversities are such that they shatter lives forever. But strong will and faith can help one face and conquer many of life`s challenges.The break up of a marriage that one cherished and adored so much,the loss of children because of relational break-ups and not know wether one will ever see the children again.

I dont know who has not heard of Helen Keller? Her blindness and deafness could not shatter her indomitable spirit. There are many instances of such people. I read the testimony of Ben Tankard and was left wondering at the tenacity and resilence that is endowed in us human beings,which rises up from within during such times of pain and heartache. Ben lost the opportunity of playing basketball in the NBA,as a result of a knee injury,his wife walked out of his life,and many find ourselves in Ben Tankard`s situation.In 1984, while playing with a minor league basketball team in Canada, Ben was invited to a basketball camp where, he was told, NBA scouts would be present.“The scouts did see me play and were interested in me,” Ben said. “But I blew out my knee in the first workout and just like that it was over. There went my chance of being in the NBA.”Where Ben Tankard is today is a good place,but taught and schooled by pain.Acknowledged by many as “the Quincy Jones of gospel,” Ben is one of Christian music’s best-selling instrumentalists.

Twentyone gold and platinum albums line the walls of his 23-room mansion—the result of songs he wrote and produced and his association with other artists in the industry. He has also received more than 50 Grammy, Dove and Stellar awards and nominations over the past 20 years, yet these tell only part of the story of how God has brought him through rough and tragic times.The vacation home in Florida; a fleet of vehicles that includes a limousine, a Mercedes and two motorcycles; two private airplanes which Ben pilots himself; and an unshakable marriage that is founded on God’s Word are a testimony, Ben says, to what God will do when you truly trust Him.“It’s not because of anything I’ve done—it’s all about God’smercy.Ben says unashamedly. “It humbles me because I know where I came from and I know who is responsible for me being where I am today.Desperate people do desperate things. At 21, Ben Tankard had become desperate.And he made up his mind not to sink but swim to the other side of the sea.”My word to you is hold on even when the future looks so bleak and gloomy.

Looking back, Ben Tankard has learned a lot about sacrificial living.“The truth is, I never really lost out on anything,” he says. “It took me going through a lot of hard times in order to pass the test. I needed to wake up and realize God loves me, and that He anointed me for a purpose. Nothing was taken away from me, it was just delayed.”<[BEN TANKARD`S FROM TESTS TO TESTIMONY].

Let us look at the life as a moving vehicle. As we move, we pass many scenes. Some good and some dirty. But we sit though the journey peacefully and reach our destination. We mostly remain unmoved because – we are not directly pained by the scenes outside and our focus is more on reaching the destination. In any SETBACK, at least the second part can be applied. Come what may, our object should be to create a good life and live as an example for others. That should be our destination and that should be our motivation.

Does everyone experience SETBACKS AND DIFFICULTIES in life? The Bible says we do. It even tells us to expect it. Look at some of the synonyms for 'expect': wait for, anticipate, look forward to, look ahead to, imagine, suppose, guess. So do we really do all of that with difficult experiences? If we're honest, we'll answer a resounding, NO! (and don't forget the exclamation mark!) When's the last time you looked forward to the next adversity in your life? In this fragile life many or should I say, most, are experiencing some sort of difficulties on a regular basis.

I have a lawyer friend who always qoutes this statement in most of his conversations:"I earned my degree at the School of Hard Knox."? As a parody of higher education with respect to life, many have achieved inner wisdom and greatness by overcoming the perils of life through sheer willpower and determination to succeed. Whether we believe it or not, we grow stronger through difficulties. Instead of beating ourselves up over perceived difficulties, we need to find resolve and learn to use "setbacks" to our own advantage. More often than not, we encounter hurdles to reflect on what it is we are doing in life, where we're going, and what we need to be doing. Sometimes, we keep running into the same encounters because we have not yet comprehended the message we were supposed to learn the first time. That's not necessarily negative; though we may perceive it to be.

It is important to note, too, that while we may face difficulties on many levels and at different stages in our lives, we should never be partner to creating our own drama. We must rise above the setbacks that comes into our lives, and take a responsible view of what that event or person(s) is trying to convey to us.When we choose to learn from difficult situations, we are one step closer to becoming enlightened and one rung higher on the ladder of the strong character you'd like to portray and be.

Your earned qualification at the School of Hard Knox should be proudly displayed. The education and experience you receive in life is all part of the grand adventure of becoming part of the positive flow of Universal energy. You are what you create, and adversity is simply part of the equation to fulfilling personal and spiritual growth on all levels.look into the future with hope even when all hope seens to have left you,stay on and fight.BE REMINDED SETBACKS ARE PART OF LIFE,WE ALL, WILL HAVE <img