Tag Archives: symphony of heaven

God & Me – Through the darkest nights.

*This post is extracted from the new Symphony Of Heaven Blog due to people still visiting here. Please visit and subscribe to the new Blog to view all new posts*

This post is different from everything I’ve written for this blog. This is a personal learning from challenging experiences and struggles in my life. 

I believe in community and God’s heart for people to love each other by rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn. I have seen the benefits of being part of a community and I believe God has placed people in our lives for a reason. I believe God works and speaks through people and I know that relationships are what makes life more meaningful. I have favourite sermons, songs etc that has helped me take courage and rise up again after a fall.

Having said that, here is something I’ve had to deal with in my life. In-spite of having many friends, there are times when I’ve felt alone, I’ve had issues I could not share with anyone, I’ve been broken and nobody ever knew about it and I have had to live through the darkest nights all alone. No sermons or songs could speak life into me and I’ve ran out of motivation.

A mentor of mine once told me, “End of the day, all you have in life is yourself and God”. There is a limit to what man can do for you. The people who you value the most may not be with you when you need them the most. The more you rely on people, you only find more limitations they have.

Psalms 146:3 says, “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.”

Have you expected help from people and never received anything?

Those are times when you need to find God for yourself. Somebody else’s story wont be enough, theology does not provide relief and religion doesn’t have an answer.  Encouragement fails to uplift you and everything that kept you going does not work anymore. Those are times when every cell inside you cries out for an encounter with your creator. Everything in you becomes aware of the only person who can answer your hearts cry and intimacy becomes necessity. 

The greatest cry in a person’s heart is not for love, success, breakthroughs or blessings. Whether you realise it or not, the greatest cry in us is for an encounter with our creator. Often, all we need in a storm is Jesus in the boat. The struggles in my life have always set me up for an encounter. Knowing God is with me in every mess becomes more important than the answer to a situation.

Encountering God in the midst of your struggles positions you to respond to it and not react. Seek God in crisis; seek Him in success. He is the only constant & an encounter with Him is what you need to face the darkest nights.

Discuss :

1. How do you prepare yourself to run to God when in trouble?

2. How has encountering God changed your situations?

*This post is extracted from the new Symphony Of Heaven Blog due to people still visiting here. Please visit and subscribe to the new Blog to view all new posts*

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7 Reasons you need Fellowship.

*This post is extracted from the new Symphony Of Heaven Blog due to people still visiting here. Please visit and subscribe to the new Blog. *

I believe that one of the greatest privileges we have being Christians are meaningful relationships. I owe a lot to people around me and I am always thankful to God for the advantage I’ve gained through meaningful relationships.

Here are 7 reasons why you need to avoid isolation and be rooted in fellowship :

Love

We all desire to have people to love and who loves us in return. You’ve got to build relationships with as many people possible to do this.

Inspiration

We’re all on a journey together, discovering who we are in Christ. One of the best tools we have to accelerate our growth are fathers, mothers and mentors who are willing to not just guide us, but also be an example to inspire us. Staying inspired is very important to reach our full potential and the best way to stay inspired is to be around inspired people.

True friends

Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to, and in those times it can be especially hard to stay encouraged and rooted in our faith. Nothing makes walking through these hard times easier than being around others who can mourn with us while we are mourning and rejoice with us when we rejoice.

Accountability

A big reason why many who started right fail is because of no accountability. We need people in our lives who will keep us focused on what really matters. They are people who are not afraid to tell you when you are wrong, but when they see us messing up they don’t rub it in our faces but rather remind us of who we are – calling out of us the image and likeness of God.

Encouragement

We all need encouragement every now and again, none of us ever complain that we are too encouraged. While there is a truth that we can strengthen ourselves in the Lord, like King David did, we all need people like Barnabas in our life to encourage us in our faith.

Fun

I’ve learned the hard way that we don’t do too well when we are addicted to being productive. We all need fun and times of pure entertainment. If your friends are like mine, I’m sure you agree that nothing is quite as fun as spending time with a crazy bunch of people 🙂

Receive change

We have to admit that not everybody we meet in life are like us. There are people with different way to thinking, different priorities, cultures and a different view of life. Its good to meet such people and stretch our understanding of the world around us.

What are other reasons to stay rooted in fellowship?

*This post is extracted from the new Symphony Of Heaven Blog due to people still visiting here. Please visit and subscribe to the new Blog. *

That Girl is Poison – Dream Stealers

*This post is extracted from the new Symphony Of Heaven Blog due to people still visiting here. Please visit and subscribe to the new Blog. *

Few months ago, I heard a sermon titled ‘That girl is poison’ by Carl Lentz, Pastor of Hillsong church New York. Speaking to 1000’s of young people at a Jesus Culture Conference, he was talking about how important it is for young people to protect their calling. He shared about how great men like David, Solomon, Samson did not fall in front of giant swords or armies, but in the hands of a women. I do not intend to type the whole sermon here(you can watch it here). I would like to write about 3 things in our lives that could be poisonous and can destroy our calling.

A Person/People :

People and relationships are among the most important things in life, but if you are not wise in choosing who influences you, they can be your dream stealers. Having people around you who inspires you, encourages you and motivates you is a much needed blessing. You’ve got to find such people.

Here’s my post on the kind of people in your life and who you should spend most of your time with.

A desire :

Desires play a part in us reflecting God’s nature as a caring father. God has promised and longs to fulfil the desires of our hearts. Desires are important because they form dreams, dreams add purpose to life and purpose defines how we live everyday.

Desires become dream stealers when we allow worldly agendas to alter a God given desire. Many begin with a good desire and along the way realise their desires are altered by success, fame, peer pressure etc.

But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15 NIV)

A desire always require wisdom to execute it. It is important to ask God for wisdom to know how you should pursue the desires of your heart.

A Culture : 

Among the many differences in cultures around the world, I have paid attention to 2 kinds that have stood out to me :

1. A Culture that accepts anything :

These are people who are fine with any lifestyle and culture. There are 2 things that stand out about them :

– There are no strong values that decide what is right and what is wrong. Values change based on trends and demands.

– Living based on only emotions, their feelings drive them to do whatever they want to. They often claim the right to control their own lives.

2. A Culture that judges everything :

“Phariseeism is born when we think it’s OK to reject people in order to protect ideas.” Bill Johnson.

People in this category live based on ideas, rules etc that fir into their own box of understanding. They are :

  • Quick to judge anything they are not familiar with.
  • Often conveys a message of self-righteousness and promotes their way to be the only way.

Whichever category you maybe in right now, let me remind you that we are ‘in the world’ but not ‘of the world’. My understanding of that is – We have higher standards, values and a heavenly culture that we represent wherever we are. We do not get influenced by the culture, but we are called to influence the culture.

Look out for dream-stealers in your life. You have an amazing future and a great calling ahead of you. Do anything and everything you need to protect it.

What are other things that could be a poison that destroys our future? Share your comments below.

*This post is extracted from the new Symphony Of Heaven Blog due to people still visiting here. Please visit and subscribe to the new Blog. *

Blog Shifted to New Adress

Hello Everyone, 

Please note that this blog has been discontinued and we have a new blog address : 

http://www.symphonyofheaven.org/blog

Thank You for subscribing to this blog and visiting often to check new posts. I hope to see you active at the new location too. 

God Bless, 

Joel. 

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7 habits of a young leader

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.”
– Albert Schweitzer

Having been around many leaders who taught me the good and showed me the bad, I learned early that character plays a huge role in how well one can lead. Here is a list of 7 things i learned over time from experience, training etc and I believe they are important for a young emerging leader – 

1. Focus On What You Have, Not What You Do Not : 

The easiest thing you can do is name everything you don’t have and find someone who’s got it easier than you. Focus on what you can create with what you have. You cannot blame anyone or anything for who you did not become. Take responsibility for your own life no matter what the situations are. 

– Do not make the mistake of thinking you will wait until you have everything you need to chase your dreams. Start now. 

– Being faithful with the little brings increase. 

– You do not have to chase every famous person in the world or be in every conference or meeting to build your network. Save some of that time to create something that will attract the right people into your life. 

2. Control your mind : 

  • Learn : 

What you learn is an asset that will never be taken away from you. Choose to live with your mind open to learn, at all times. Be willing to learn anything valuable from those younger and older, most experienced or the least, the foolish, the stranger, the weak, even your enemy. You will be surprised at how much you can learn if you keep your mind open to learn. Take time off everyday to think what you can learn from everything that happened on that day. 

  • Question : 

A child will believe everything you say until a certain age, after which they will start questioning why they are doing what they are doing. Yes, there are times when you don’t understand certain things and you continue living in faith, but there are times when you need to ask yourself certain questions to clear perspective and reaffirm vision. Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. 

  • The Ability To Forget : 

There will be days and memories you would want to forget. You will need to forget the failed attempts and the many negative words that you will hear as you move forward and lead. This is important in gaining confidence as a leader. 

3. Stop and Think : 
Technology is robbing us of opportunities to stop and think. Every free minute is spent on social media, watching a video clip, texting a friend, emails etc. We hardly take out time to daydream, think and exercise our creative muscles. It is totally worth it to keep all the fancy devices away and use our minds to think, evaluate and dream. 

4. Writing down ideas : 
“Ideas are the most fragile things in the world, and if you don’t write them down, they’ll be lost forever.” – Phil Cooke

I have hundreds of notes on my phone and some more on my laptop. I have often pulled over while riding/driving to record voice notes with different ideas for a song or something worth keeping. I have learned that when you write down ideas, it is a deposit in your creative bank account. You have to write them down before they disappear forever. 

I recently read on a website that “Simply writing down your plan or idea increases your chance of success by almost a third”. Write down your ideas. Doesn’t matter if its just a word or an entire detailed plan. 

5. Who gets the credit? :
“There is no limit to what a man can achieve as long as he doesn’t care who get’s the credit”. – Bob Woodruff

Be quick to give credit where its due. The most effective leaders do not take all the credit for their achievements. Leadership requires humility right at its centre. 

6. Stay Passionate : 
If you are not passionate about what you do, distractions will chase you down. Passion is your fuel in this journey. You need to have a vision and dream and keep your eyes focused on the end goal. When you know where you are heading, the present challenges seem nothing in comparison. I tried out many different things in life before i actually found what I am passionate about. It is much easier to be committed to what you are passionate about. What is the one thing that consumes your mind at all times? 

7. Inspire Others :
Remember, the goal for you as a leader is to raise other leaders. That is when you are a successful leader. Just like a cup can be refilled only once its empty, you’ve got to look for opportunities to impart what you have to somebody else. The more you give away, the more you gain. A good leader always believes in people for who they can be, not for who they are. 

Do you have anything to add to the list? 
Share your opinions, experiences as a leader in the comments below. 

Joel. 

For more : http://www.symphonyofheaven.org