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February 5th, 2012

Connecting With Good People

Connecting With Good People

Talk about ‘fresh beginnings in 2012′ and you got to talk about your ‘connections’.

Like the old saying “No man is an island”, relationships play a major role in starting 2012 afresh. Relationships can either build you up or tear you down.

Show me your connections and I will tell you what you will become! That’s the power of connections. And that’s why you got to choose relationships with good people. So our ninth step in starting 2012 afresh is connecting with good people.

As you go for good connections, here are some 7 qualities which will help you identify them:-

1. Look for those with good character.

Character is the real thing. It comes from the core. Recently my wife and I had been to a quality restaurant. The facility looked impressive. But the food wasn’t that great. Performance may sometimes be cheap imitation. Go for the gold, not imitation. Connect with people of character.

2. Look for those who rejoice in your success.

A smart way to find good people is to check how they respond when you succeed. Some overlook your success. Some envy your success. Some celebrate your success! Hook up with the third category.

3. Look for those who encourage you.

If you expect everyone to encourage you, you will be disappointed. However there will be some who like what you are doing and they will encourage you. Network with such folks.

4. Look for those who are more successful than you in your field.

If you really want to grow, you got to learn from those who already grew in your field. Amateurs can provide growth principles in ‘drops’ while professionals ‘shower’ it on you!

5. Look for those who have a positive outlook.

Mindset matters. Hang out with the optimists than the pessimists. There are some rich folks who have a frugal mindset. There are also some poor folks who have a lavish mindset. Better to be positive in a negative world than being negative in a positive world!

6. Look for those who have time for you.

If someone lends you his time, it’s an indication of the high value he offers you. If someone values something, he has all the time for that thing. If he devalues it, he has all the excuses why there isn’t time for it!

7. Look for those who could mentor you.

What you can learn by yourself within 1 year can often be learned within 1 month through a mentor. Never underestimate the value of a mentor when it comes to new beginnings and growth.

Proverbs 13:9 says “The lives of good people are brightly lit streets…”. They help you start and maintain 2012 afresh.

Read the poem: Why God gave us friends

We hope our article will help all of you to connect with good people in 2012. Question: What other qualities are you looking for in people you like connecting with? Add your comments below.

– – – written by Joe Abraham from www.joeandancy.com

February 5th, 2012

Learn To Exploit Pressure

Learn To Exploit Pressure

A fresh start is always desirable but it takes discipline to maintain it for the long haul. When unexpected things creep up, how we handle these matter a lot.

In the parable of the seed and the sower, Jesus describes a similar situation. Mark 4:16, 17 (AMP): “And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy; And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.”

It’s normal that we encounter different good and not-so-good stuff along the way. When everything is going fine, it’s rather easy to move forward (though for some, moving forward is difficult at this point since they don’t want to lose easiness!). But when the pressure starts mounting up, some doubt their desire and ditch it at the door!

The Scripture exhorts us, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:2 MSG)

How do we handle pressure?

1. Have a proper understanding about pressure. This is very important. One can simply talk against pressure, but surely it’s going to come. Another one can simply ignore pressure, but surely it’s going to overtake. It’s better to acknowledge the presence of pressure and then learn how to handle it right.

2. Use pressure to your advantage. Just like an airplane exploits air pressure to get itself lifted up off the ground and fly high, we got to learn how to exploit pressure to fly high! A great example of this is how Jesus, amidst severe pressure during His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, did a ‘miracle surgery’ for the one who lost his right ear during the fight! (Luke 22:49-51)

3. Know that during times of pressure, you are maturing! This is exactly what the Scripture says as mentioned above (James 1:2). We are not losing during pressure; we are only gaining! We aren’t breaking during pressure; we are, in fact, growing!

Read the article: Don’t Judge Life By One Difficult Season

The next time you encounter ‘Mr. Pressure’, tell ‘him’ you were waiting to exploit ‘him’ utterly!

Remember: You must learn to exploit pressure in order to start 2012 afresh.

Question: What are some of the great lessons you learned on handling pressure? Add your comments in the comments section below. In the next post, we are going to deal with the ninth step in this series.

– – – written by Joe Abraham from www.joeandancy.com

January 20th, 2012

Choose Not To Quit

Choose Not To Quit

It is easy to quit but it is not that easy not to quit! We may have lots of opportunities and reasons to quit. Nevertheless to experience a fresh start in 2012, we must choose to say “NO!” to the urge to quit.

Folks consider quitting when they face 2 kinds of situations:-

1. When the past breeds guilt and shame.
2. When the future seems dark and bleak.

Both Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot were hand-picked by Christ Jesus to be among His chosen Twelve. Both felt guilty for their mistakes in connection with Jesus’ arrest and trial. Both lost hope for a future without their Master. But only Judas chose to quit on life while Peter chose to cry and repent.

You may go through good and bad situations. Your dear ones may hurt you by their words and actions. Your past may be shameful and your future unpredictable. But understand this: you should not quit!

When God is on our side, we don’t need to quit! But it isn’t easy to think God is on our side when we sense oppression from every side. That is when we got to shut down our “feelings” mode and boot up our “faith” mode to hear our loving heavenly Father saying, “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands…”! (Isaiah 49:16)

It’s His voice that helps us not to quit. We don’t live by our merits. We can’t live on our strength. It’s our choice to depend on Christ’s righteousness that gives us a guilt-free life. It’s our choice to depend on His Word that gives us a hope-filled life.

Read the story: Don’t quit, Keep playing

So, remember: you got to choose not to quit in order to enjoy a fresh start in this New Year.

In the next post, we are going to deal with the 8th step to starting 2012 afresh. Meantime, how do you cope with the urge to quit? Add your comments in the comments section below. Also share this post with some of your friends who desperately need this message.

– – – written by Joe Abraham from www.joeandancy.com

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