THE ART OF FOLLOWING

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Am currently reading ‘The art of following’ by Dag Heward-Mills.

It has really taken me a long time to appreciate the wisdom of following because for most of my life I was following people around, trying to be what they were or do what they did. I had painful experiences. The results were not pretty.
I hated life because I couldn’t keep up with the many people I was trying too hard to be like.
I was depressed.
I was exhausted.

Over the last 3 years I was led through a path of self discovery. Am still on that path, there is so much to know about myself! (didn’t think there was that much to discover! lol). I fought through the boxes people around me had stuffed me in, and switched my focus from looking outside at others to gazing with pure wonder at the person I was inside. I put my running shoes back on and continued to run, this time I stuck to my own lane.

So when I was first introduced to the art of following 2 years or so ago, I simply shot it down because it brought about some bad memories. I didn’t give it a chance. I didn’t even take time to try to understand what it meant! Simply put, I didn’t want to.

I have read 30 pages so far and am applying the principles as follows:

Meaning: to copy. to emulate someone. to imitate something.
(10 definitions are given in the book)
Following someone or something is not a bad thing (I have just come to understand this!) but there are healthy and successful ways to do it. Ways that don’t lead to depression and a feeling like you have no identity of your own. You maintain your uniqueness along with the added advantage of reaping fruits of following.

Who have benefited from it before: China
4 were given but China spoke more to me because I studied here for 5 years. I was equally impressed by how fast they could copy a product,system,method and make millions out of it. People can argue that this kills creativity and innovation, but you would be surprised to know that so many companies copy from each other and improve upon the copies. A copy can never be the original, true, but think of how fast things are changing and the time required to create something new,from scratch! We have new problems that need new technology but how about the problems in one country that are similar to another, just a bit localized?

How to be successful in following:
This part is crucial. This is where you ask ‘who should I follow?’ (A lot was listed in the book but I’ll just mention 2 of them).
1. First and foremost, follow God

Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].

And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a [a]slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.

Ephesians (AMPC)

We are to follow God. We are to imitate God in love and sacrifice.

This part excites me. As humans we are so confused by this word ‘love’, it carries so much yet lacks proper definition in the world. It’s like a vast ocean and everyone experiences a different part. To others love is beautiful, yet others can’t stand hearing you say the word. We want to love right but we don’t know how.God is love, and if we keep company with Him we will learn a life of love.

Application: I decided I’ll read through the gospels more often (like at least once every month), to get to understand the heart of Jesus; how he dealt with the pharisees, how He met needs, how He treated sinners and so on.

I will continue to cultivate a more intimate relationship with God. Which means spending more time in prayer and fellowship with the Holy spirit. To be more specific, I now have a prayer book to record my prayers and what I hear from God. I will have scheduled days to just spend with God (rendezvous with the Holy Spirit).

I want to re-read the book, ‘The relationship principles of Jesus’ ( a very powerful  40 days devotional-like book by Tom Holladay that digs deep into relationships) and ‘A love worth giving’ by Max Lucado (I started reading it some time back, but didn’t get a chance to finish it. It’s from this book that I got to truly understand that “you cannot give what you don’t have.”)

  dsg                           2370005488188

2. Follow men of God; their teachings and their lives

There are people whose lives God has turned around or greatly impacted to teach, guide, encourage or comfort us in one way or the other. It does not mean these people have no flaws or weaknesses. They are earthen vessels carrying the power of God. Earthen vessels. Not angels.
I would say be cautious though. Don’t just follow everything they do, always test the spirits. Always pass everything through the sieve of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (#let peace be your umpire). Some people get so obsessed when following people to such extreme levels that they lose their own uniqueness, don’t go there. Follow only what is beneficial for you, for that season or purpose/goal. You don’t have to copy another person’s WHOLE LIFE!

Concerning teachings,

28 So God has appointed some in the church [[f]for His own use]: first apostles (special messengers); second prophets (inspired preachers and expounders); third teachers; then wonder-workers; then those with ability to heal the sick; helpers; administrators; [speakers in] different (unknown) tongues.

29 Are all apostles (special messengers)? Are all prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God)? Are all teachers? Do all have the power of performing miracles?

30 Do all possess extraordinary powers of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

 1 CORINTHIANS 12 (AMPC)

God has given various gifts to different people. There are some people God has given them a message from what they went through, what God taught them. Most ministries/teachers/preachers have a focused message.

When I was trying to grow in my faith  I buried myself in Kenneth Hagin’s books and teachings more. And when I sought to work on defining my vision and purpose, as well as developing as a leader I turned to Myles Munroe. So who I focus on following at a particular moment in time keeps on changing for me, depending on my season and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Two weeks ago I was on some serious prayer journey. I had noticed that my prayer times were becoming shorter and a bit of a drag, I needed to spice them up. Shake things up a little bit. Priscilla Shirer’s passion for prayer and teachings on developing prayer strategies helped me a lot! ( I also read her book ‘Fervent’).

follow

Application: I need to work on a lot of things
(i)Hair health– I still haven’t found anyone to ‘truly’ follow yet who has an in depth understanding about hair care, how products work. At the moment I got myself some books and am experimenting with different regimens, products, exercises and foods.

(ii)Family/marriage: CPYFamily on Instagram and website http://crisisproofyourfamily.com/.
Heather Lindsey on YouTube and Instagram, and her      blog http://www.heatherllindsey.com/
My close friends recommended Funke Felix-Adejumo…am yet to listen to her messages.
Hee am not married,yet, but it’s good to have foundation knowledge of what I plan to get into someday. Such a big decision requires careful planning and attending to wise counsel.

(iii) Business/entrepreneurship : I found this blog by Heather Katsonga-Woodward particularly insightful and practical http://www.katsonga.com/ (I hope to some day, hopefully soon, buy her books and take the online course).
I intend to go through Henry Kachaje’s interviews and posts.

(iv) Current teachings: Dag Heward-Mills (serving God)
T.D Jakes (Soaring!)
Rick Warren (S.H.A.P.E, power of faith, setting goals in faith)

…there are so many areas I can list, but these will do. For now.

Advice: Don’t be shy to copy something from someone. It could as small as copying how they decorate their room or do a particular hairstyle to as big as how they treat or attract customers!

Follow people who have gone through the path you intend to go through. It saves you time, even money. It also spares you from mistakes that they made. You go into the path faster and accomplish more things in a short time than if you had to create your own from zero. You might not always have the time, money, necessary skill/knowledge or resources to invent things.

Mind you, don’t go about copying other peoples’ material and claiming that they are your own, that’s plagiarism! You’ll get in trouble.

Know exactly what you are after in the person you are following.

Follow with caution. Don’t be a blind follower. Keep your eyes open.

 

Read and take action♥

 

 

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BUILDING STRONG FAITH

Kenneth W. Hagin book on faith

…Faith is acting on God’s Word…


I enjoyed reading this precious little pamphlet (just 32 pages  🙂  ).

The pamphlet highlights 6 simple yet helpful ways one can follow to build strong faith. I found the ways to be very practical and easy to apply. I’ll summarize the points:

I. Create or be in an environment that produces faith.

This means surrounding yourself with things or people that can build your faith.
This point  jumped out of the page and gripped my heart with great urgency. It felt like a wake up call, so I’ll go into a little more detail on this point.

Surroundings that can affect our faith:
1. Friends or people we spend most of our time with.
The habits or tendencies of our friends tend to rub off on us. Over time.
Try hanging out with a friend that complains all the time, about everything! Or try being close to a friend that cusses in every sentence. You will one day find yourself cursing and you will go like, ‘where did this come from?’ (sound familiar?)
So watch who you choose to hang out with. If you want your faith to grow, find people who are on fire in their faith walk, stick around them for a while and watch yourself catch the fire!

Proverbs 27:17King James Version (KJV)

17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
33Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Psalms 1:1
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

 

Jesus’ disciples were surrounded by a life of authority, power, faith, love, miracles and so much more for a very long time to a point where the people who saw them couldn’t help but notice that they reflected Jesus. 
———>People  should notice that we have been with Jesus<————

Acts 4:13
13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

This is not to say the rest of the people are bad or unworthy of our company; on the contrary we are to help each other up. Rather, this warns us to be very careful and intentional when choosing close friends. You can’t have everyone in your close circle               

Know what you want to achieve and where you are going then choose friends that are heading there and doing what you want to do.

2. What you watch
Watch what goes into your life through your eyes. The things that you watch.
Take time to review the movies, tv programs,preachings,videos e.t.c that you watch.

3. What you hear
Be an avid ‘hearer’ (reader) of the Word, for faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
Again, take time to review the songs you listen to.
The preachers you listen to, are they preaching in line with God’s Word? (‘do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits tosee whether they are from God’ 1 John 4:1. ‘You shall know them by their fruits…’ Matthew 7:16)
What kind of conversations do you entertain?
                   What kind of books do you read the most?

II. Build your faith on the Word of God, not experiences

We get so caught up in what  we’ve experienced  that we are prone to putting God in a box. Just because god moved in a certain way one particular time, we begin to believe and convince others that that’s the only way He moves. People have created rituals out of what they have experienced with God.

Our faith should be rooted in the character of God, not the miracles. It should be crafted from  who God is, not what God does.

III. Look up to the Word of God, not people.

We are living in a time when people have faith in their pastors more than they have in the Word of God. People are idolizing God’s servants. This puts them at risk of being deceived. These people have the same Bible that we have and serve the same God we do.
Servants of God are in place to help us, not to replace God.

A christian book shouldn’t replace reading the Bible.
A prayer meeting with other believers shouldn’t replace personal time with God.
Listening to worship and praise songs shouldn’t replace singing to Him.
…God desires a relationship.
…He desires that you should have a personal walk with Him.

Know God for yourself.

IV. Obedience is necessary to build strong faith

Obedience is doing what you are told to do. Doing what you are supposed to do.

God does not require us to walk
 in the light of some archangel.

God does not require us to walk
 in the light of some church tradition.

...God does require us to walk in the light of the eternal Word of God.

If you don’t do what you are supposed to do, you have no right to ask of the things in his Word.

V. Be humble

God can use any body. His power and glory can be made manifest in any church gathering, family, nation or person. There is no monopoly when it comes to the gifts of God.

God used a donkey before. (Numbers 22)

VI. Have bold holiness

Don’t be afraid of the devil, he is a defeated foe. Be willing to be in the forefront of the battle, put on your armor at all times .

 

……………..building strong faith…………….

JUNE BOOKS

Cheers to a new month!  🙂


 

The two book topics I had for May were exciting. I had the opportunity to learn so much about leadership (serving others with your gift, leading the way, having dominion, exercising authority…) and finances (tithing, giving, budgeting, investing, sowing…). I also read through two 10-days bible devotionals from the YouVersion bible app. May books deserve a more comprehensive summary. I would love to write a summary of one book in particular, Wisdom in Finances- Chris Harvey. This book truly has great wisdom and insight.

June books

#monthly reading plans

Now, onto June!♥

This month has some dimensional levels to it. It has two topics that are fundamental basics to the Christian faith. One of the topics is FAITH which is the basis of the Christian life. Our Christian walk is actually a walk of faith.

Faith holds the key that opens impossible doors.
Faith is that spiritual force which opens humanity to a world of unlimited possibilities. 
Faith sees the invisible, dares the impossible, and delivers the incredible.
The unlimited power of faith~ David O. Oyedepo

The other topic is PRAYER which is the means of getting in contact with God. A way of reaching out to God. A way of building and sustaining a long healthy relationship with the Father. Communication tool. Since the month started, I’ve already read 2 books on prayer. I was too excited!

I’ve read:
1. Keys for Prayer by Myles Munroe
2. 7 basic steps to successful fasting and prayer by Bill Bright

Prayer is man giving God permission or license to interfere in earth’s affairs.
In other words, prayer is earthly license for heavenly interference.

Keys for Prayer~ Myles Munroe

 

Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.
   Spurgeon

I’ll read books by: Kenneth E. Hagin (his ministry emphasized,and still does, on the teachings/message about faith).
Myles Munroe (his ‘purpose and power of…’ books are rich with information and revelations. Mind opening. The books always have a ‘back to the beginning where it all started from’ sort of approach that gives sound revelational understanding into what is being discussed).
 Dag Heward-Mills (his books have a point by point style of writing which is easy to read and understand. It also makes it way easier to remember and refer back to).
Smith Wigglesworth (he was known as  ‘the apostle of faith’. He wrote extensively about the messages of faith and prayer. He modelled a life of faith and prayer)
 Priscilla Shirer (most of her books and teachings center on the importance of having a prayer strategy which she calls ‘battle plan’).
Oral Roberts (his well-known university was built on the faith he had in God and upon his obedience. His books and preachings emphasized ‘seed-faith’).
Max Lucado and many more.

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What I hope to achieve this month:

  1. A strong prayer life
  2. An understanding of how prayer and faith work
  3. Become a woman of great faith
  4. Get these questions answered:       

               Are faith and prayer somehow connected?
               Does faith grow or increase?
               Can a Christian have doubts?
               How can I get the most out of my prayers?
               Is it mandatory to pray?

Prayer&amp;Faith

 


…A lifestyle of prayer. A life of faith…

 

MAY BOOKS

BOOK-TO-READ TOPICS

 

dav

    ‘Don’t ever get tired of reading.’

 

Starting from April this year, I started making monthly books-to-read topic plans. I will focus on reading books on certain topics every month. I drew up a table with the month of the year on one side and the topics on the other side, from April to December. If I will be disciplined and persistent enough in following this plan, my information and knowledge bank will be so well-rounded and colorful! I’ll be able to cover a lot of very good topics within a year. I will still be reading books that cover other areas, as need arises.

 

It's good to read books that are related to your purpose and desires 

but it's wise to also read books that  have unrelated but important knowledge. 

There is so much to know.

 

 LEADERSHIP AND FINANCES

This month I’ll be trained in how to manage finances and I’ll be challenged to ‘lead’. I have over 20 books lined up that focus on these topics (I don’t intend to read all of them though hahaha). On leadership, most of the books are by Myles Munroe and John C. Maxwell. Under finances there are a couple of sub-topics like tithing, sowing, investing,budgeting,saving…so there are obviously several authors. I’ll read two books by Oral Roberts that emphasize on sowing, seed faith and the like. Some of the other authors on finances are Kenneth E. Hagin, David Mallonee and Gloria Copeland.

Things I eagerly want to know about:

  1. How to invest and use money wisely
  2. How to be a good leader
  3. Financial stability
  4. Managing resources
  5. Purpose and power of tithing (plus the right way of doing it)
  6. The principle of ‘sowing and reaping’

Cheers to leadership and finances!

 

 

 

A BLANK CANVAS

A blank canvas.

I did not think I needed  one. Well, not as bad as I did.

 

The canvas of my life had too many unwanted sketches painted on it already. Some color combinations were too harsh to the eyes, others were just too ugly to look at. There were a few beautiful patches of color that I could stare at for days. Such breathtaking color mixes!

But I did not choose the colors. They were handed to me. I was not forced to use the colors that I used or paint in the ways that I did. Rather, I failed to make the decisions for myself. I had no plan. I did not know how I wanted the painting to look like. I should have said no to some of the colors. I should have come up with carefully thought-out designs. But I did not.

I used everything that was handed to me. I entertained every suggestion.

Then came a rush of dissatisfaction. It tortured me for a very long time. It went with me to bed, growled in my dreams and got up with me at sunrise. I yearned for a painting of my life that I would be proud of. Am not talking about a perfect painting but one of GREATNESS, GLORY and PURPOSE. One painted with INSPIRATION, WISDOM and PASSION.

2016 trained me. 2017 gave me the canvas. It gave me the push. Now am on my way!

Now am painting my life’s canvas. Better choices come from a renewed mind, so I’ll be posting about all the books  I’ll come across along the way, how I’ll be applying the wisdom from them, and the fruits of such wisdom. I’ll also post words from so many other sources other than books. Above all, I’ll post about the amazing revelations from my favorite book, the Bible.

This is the journey.