Monday, 9 January 2017


It's pathetic and senseless were people choose what's wrong instead of what's right, just to fulfilled someone else misfit needs. Finding yourself a love is not a bad idea but love with your full sense unimpaired. The shortest and easiest way is not always the best way. Sometimes the longest and most difficult journey is the safest, surest and best in the end. So many of us are in a fast-lane to hook up with someone else in the name of others are mainly getting married. Love is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone, one should not also be so much in a hurry to forgot that, there are still forces surrounding love. Some forces are stronger than love and that's why some love got easily crushed before the test of time. Many people have gone through unnecessary pain because they failed to look carefully before they leapt into a relationship. 

They were moved by the sweet words, nice things they saw about the person and a relationship decision based on that. They allowed their emotions to run riot and determine the course of their lives..There is absolutely nothing wrong with using our emotions as long as we are well grounded and understood the principles and values that govern and determine a great life. We cannot make a relationship decision in isolation of other areas of our lives. A relationship affects everything about us.

The moment you grant access to someone to enter your life, that person comes in with everything they have.. He or she will influence you in ways you never imagined. They will enter your life with both the positive aspect of their character and the negative. For your own good, it's best that the person you grant access to come into your life as a blessing and not a curse.

I know many girls who are being trained to go to school but might only end up living their dreams in a bathroom, or enslaving themselves to bad relationships. Maybe culture and religion told many their only option as women is to stay married without thinking about the feebleness of relationship, forgetting how fast marriages are headed for brutal divorce nowadays, as the true meaning of marriage isn't being taught anymore.

I predominantly like to emphasize on love based on social media. Like I said earlier, there's nothing wrong in finding yourself a love but be watchful and be morally upright with whom you are involved with. What some of our ladies do these days on social media is dishearteningly.. My Dad got married to my Mum without any impediment.. They didn't met each other on social media and none of them sent a nude pictures to weight the measure of love they do had for each other. Someone who truly loved you as he claimed, won't got you trap in the relationship.

Don't by your own clairvoyance or someone else sixth sense force yourself into an action that would tie you down, or enslave you on a relationship that you need to break free from. Apart from God, no one is everything and everything is not one thing. Don't put yourself in chains  and later ask others for the key. Even images for salt look alike powdered sugar. Be wise and keep your head up. It's 2017 don't only seen it as only a new year, see it as another opportunity to correct your past errors. This year would favor us all, see yourself outdoing your past. Get the message and forgive the common errors of expression..

Sunday, 10 July 2016

If these two guys from the coffee shop can set aside their bitter grounds, what's our excuse?

BENTON HARBOR, Mich.-- It all went down on a block in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Back in 2005, Jameel McGee says he was minding his own business when a police officer accused him of -- and arrested him for -- dealing drugs. It was all made up," said McGee. Of course, a lot of accused men make that claim, but not many arresting officers agree.

Andrew Collins served time for a number of crimes, including framing Jameel McGee for selling drugs ​ANDREW COLLINS. I falsified the report," former Benton Harbor police officer Andrew Collins admitted.

"Basically, at the start of that day, I was going to make sure I had another drug arrest." And in the end, he put an innocent guy in jail.

"I lost everything," McGeee said. "My only goal was to seek him when I got home and to hurt him."

Eventually, that crooked cop was caught, and served a year and a half for falsifying many police reports, planting drugs and stealing. Of course McGee was exonerated, but he still spent four years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Today both men are back in Benton Harbor, which is a small town. Maybe a little too small.

Last year, by sheer coincidence, they both ended up at faith-based employment agency Mosaic, where they now work side by side in the same cafe. And it was in those cramped quarters that the bad cop and the wrongfully accused had no choice but to have it out.

After they both served time, Jameel and Andrew now work side by side in a cafe CBS NEWS
"I said, 'Honestly, I have no explanation, all I can do is say I'm sorry,'" Collins explained.

McGee says that was all it took."That was pretty much what I needed to hear."

Today they're not only cordial, they're friends. Such close friends, not long ago McGee actually told Collins he loved him.

"And I just started weeping because he doesn't owe me that. I don't deserve that," Collins said
But he didn't forgive just for his sake, even for Collins'. "For our sake," McGee said. "Not just us, but for our sake."

McGee went on to CBS News about his Christian faith, and his hope for a kinder mankind. He wants to be an example -- so now he and Collins give speeches together about the importance of forgiveness and redemption.

And clearly, if these two guys from the coffee shop can set aside their bitter grounds, what's our excuse?

Monday, 27 July 2015

In My Weakness, He Is Strong!

Do you ever wake up and say, "God, I don't think I can handle much more of this"? I know I have!!! I have been there and I have felt a weakness that is crushing. We see many people in the Bible who have suffered greatly and had times of such weakness. Just look at the life of David. If you read the Psalms, you can see that so much of what he wrote about was his sorrow and despair. Look at his words in the beginning of Psalm 13.

1. O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? 2. How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

David was feeling abandoned and he asks God four long oh Lord??? I have felt that exact way. The trials and the suffering become so familiar that you cannot see an end. You are not able to see an outcome. You cry out, "God I cannot handle this for one more day"!

The truth is we cannot handle the trials that come our way in this life. We cannot handle the sadness that overtakes us. We cannot handle a bad report from the Doctor. We cannot handle watching people suffer. We cannot handle trauma. But God can!!!! I don't believe He wants us to try and handle our own issues in any way. If you are anything like me, when you try to "handle" things, you fail.

The pains of this life are will feel deep despair. You will feel rejection and abandonment. You will lose loved ones. There will be things in this life that you cannot handle but God can and will if you will put your strength solely in Him. He doesn't expect us to be strong, He expects us to be dependent on Him!

I have had such great pain in my life and I know it will continue because we live in a very dark, sinful world. BUT...I have the hope of knowing that any trial I endure, with God's strength and my dependence on Him, I can walk through the fire and not be burned.

The last two verses in Psalm 13 say this:
5. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. 6. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.

David was weak in his own strength. He admitted his weakness. His flesh cried out to God in his despair but just three verses later he says I trust you God. You have rescued me. I will sing to you. In His weakness, God made him strong enough to be able to write verses 5 and 6.

Today, I boast about my weakness. I have made horrible decisions in my life. I have hurt more people than I can count. I have been deeply hurt by people. I have lost loved ones. I have been deeply sick and had physical pain that I thought would kill me. I have wanted to end my  life. I have gotten news that I never thought I would. But, in my weakness, in my frailty, HE IS GOD...He is my strength. He is the reason I have hope - the reason I breathe. He is the reason I am alive! To tell of His great love - His redemption.

Go ahead...boast in your weakness today!!! Its okay - be weak. Let Him be strong for you! Take a moment of quiet on your knees and let it all go. Let the control go. Sing to Him and hear Him sing over you and wrap His arms around you right where you are! My friends, He loves you. He will never let you out to Him!

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:30 (NLT) - If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.

John 16:33 (NLT) - I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Do you find yourself getting so angry with people all the time?

It can be frustrating and often you'll feel bad afterwards for having been so out of control with your anger. But, you don't know why you do it or how to control it. So, where to start?
A great place to start when trying to gain control over your temper is figuring out the real feeling behind the emotion. So, the next time you get angry with someone, take a step back and ask yourself, "Why am I so angry?" What's really going on here?
If you answer something like, "I'm so angry because my friend didn't do what I told him to" you're not digging deep enough. The other person is just a trigger for your emotion. They do something and you feel an emotion in response (anger). That's what you need to figure out. It's your reaction that's important, not what the other person actually did. A situation just "is" until you give it meaning. Something happens and you make the decision (whether you're conscious of the decision or not) as to whether it's "good", "bad" or "neutral". And, that decision is often based on an emotional response. So, you just need to figure out why you're choosing the anger as your response.

The reason why you choose anger can be for quite a few different reasons but this is what you need to figure out. You need to know where your anger is really coming from.
Anger can be a tricky emotion because it's often covering up other issues. Anger is used as a sort of mask. It covers up the true feelings like fear, jealousy, frustration, or annoyance. It's a way of dealing with the situation when you haven't processed the real feelings behind it.
There's always something behind anger. Anger doesn't really come by itself. It's always attached to another emotion. In that sense, anger could be thought of as an intermediate emotion. An event happens, the brain doesn't have time (or doesn't want to) to fully process the situation and it needs a reaction, so anger is what's used until there's more time to examine everything in more detail.
To help you figure out what your true emotions might be behind why you're feeling so angry, here are 11 different reasons and emotions that could be happening:

1. Fear

Anger is often caused by fear. Something happens and it scares you in some way. You fear losing control, looking foolish, being in trouble, or maybe even getting hurt. But, your anger is in response to being afraid of something. It's that whole fight or flight concept happening. Anger is the fighting back at what scares you. So, ask yourself if you're really feeling afraid.

2. Powerlessness

There's a great quote which says, "Anger is a chosen response to the feeling of powerlessness. Anger is how we attempt to reassert control over situations that baffle us." So, you may be feeling helpless or like a victim with something and you use anger to try and regain some sort of control in your life.
Something to watch out for this one is that you could be feeling powerless in one situation and it will cause you to react with anger at anyone who upsets you. For example, say you have a health issue and you're feeling frustrated because you can't get in to see the specialist. So, you feel powerless in this situation, probably also a little scared and frustrated. That's the feeling percolating in the back of your mind and you need a way to release that so as soon as someone or something annoys you, all your pent up feelings are vented on that person. They may have absolutely nothing to do with why you're feeling powerless. But, they've become a handy way to release all those negative feelings you've bottled up.
So, if you find yourself over reacting to situations, check and see if you are feeling powerless in a different situation. Again, you're figuring out where your real anger is coming from.

3. Frustration

If you're feeling frustrated with something in your life, you might respond with anger. You're just so frustrated with something that you're annoyed and angry. For example when you're learning something new like a software program. You just want the program to do something and it's so frustrating because you don't know how to get the software to do that. So, you're feeling impatient and you respond by getting angry at the computer or the program.
Or if you're stuck in a traffic jam and you're frustrated because there's nothing you can do. This one can also be caused by fear though. You fear that you're going to be late due to the traffic jam and your imagination starts going wild with all the bad things that are now going to happen (eg. lose your job because you're going to be late or someone is going to be mad at you, etc.) But, the anger starts with feeling frustrated or powerless with the situation. You don't know what to do.
To deal with this one, it can help if you take a step back and just look at the big picture again. What do I want to achieve in this situation? How can I do that? rather than focusing on the obstacle or thing that's frustrating you.

4. Pain From The Past

Often anger is associated with pain from the past. A traumatic experience happened in the past that the person has never really dealt with. Abuse as a child for example or feeling abandoned as a child. In this case, often the anger isn't even associated with the current event the person is experiencing. The person is just so angry at the entire world due to something that happened a long time ago. They hit out at everyone they come into contact with due to the constant pain they have deep inside. Or they feel so hurt that they don't want to let anyone come close to them. They use the anger as a way of protecting themselves from further hurt. Or a situation happens and it reminds them of that event that happened a long time ago and they automatically react with anger.

5. Bad Habit

Sometimes anger comes because it's easier to blame others for problems rather than taking responsibility for your own life or you don't want to come up with a solution yourself. It can feel like the quickest way to solve a problem. You get used to reacting with anger whenever something doesn't go your way and it's become a very bad habit.
It's a bad habit which will be making your life much harder than it needs to be as you'll alienate your family and friends and could also cause you to lose promotions or even your job. Being angry all the time is a terribly draining way to live as well. If it's a habit for you, it's definitely worth taking the time to change it.

6. Feeling Overwhelmed or Exhausted

If you're overly exhausted all the time, you might be just too tired to mentally deal with situations that happen. You don't have the strength to have patience with the situation. This is one you often find with new parents but it can happen to anyone if they're overly tired.
Or you might just have too many things happening at once and it causes overwhelm for you. You're at the limit of what you can handle at the moment. It can feel scary and you might react with anger at the next event that pushes you over your threshold of what you can deal with.

7. Jealousy

You feel jealous about what someone else has or has done. It might remind you that you want that as well or it tells you that you're not following your own dreams. But, instead you get so angry at the person for having something you want when really you need to turn it around and start thinking "That's something I'd like to have in my life too. How do I start to work towards getting that for myself?"

8. Approval Seeking

If someone is looking for validation or approval from others, they might go to incredible lengths to please the other person and when the other person doesn't react the way they want them to, they feel hurt but they respond with anger as a way to deal with those feelings. They don't feel good enough inside or they feel like a failure so they try to get others to tell them how good they are. But, it doesn't work and they end up feeling angry at everyone because they've gone to so much effort and it wasn't appreciated.
The answer to this one is that you need to deal with those feelings of why you don't feel good enough and start to approve of yourself first. Once you approve of yourself, so will others.

9. Hurt

If you feel hurt by someone's actions, a part of you might not want to deal with that emotion so you choose to respond with anger instead.

10. Manipulation

Sometimes people use anger as a way to get others to react in a certain way. For example, they want the other person to do them a favor and if the other person hesitates they get mad so the other person will do what they want. Or they want to gain control over the other person and they know if they get angry the other person will back down. Or they want to make the other person afraid of them. Sometimes people even use it as a way to get out of doing things. Someone asks them to help them with something and they get mad at the other person not only to get out of the current situation but to discourage the other person from ever asking again.

11. Health

Certain medications like antidepressants can cause people to feel irritable or feel uncontrollably angry. If you've just started any new medication and suddenly feel irritable, you should discuss it with your doctor.
Certain deficiencies can also cause anger issues. For example, a deficiency in magnesium  is thought to cause depression and quick tempers according to Dr. Sircus.
This ebook, Prozac - The Ultiimate Deception (opens pdf document) also goes into more detail about how antidepressants and deficiencies in various vitamins can cause uncontrollable rages. This ebook also discusses how even things like aspartame and fluoride can be having an effect on your ability to control your temper.
So, it's important to consider if there may be health issues behind your anger.

Why Am I So Angry Summary

There could be a lot of different things happening behind your anger and that's what you really need to figure out.
Right now, you're probably just reacting on automatic pilot to the various situations that happen to you. Something happens and the first emotion you feel is anger so you just go with it and don't really think about it or choose how you're going to respond. By taking the time to understand where the anger really comes from will be so eye opening for you. You'll learn so much about yourself and you may start to let some things go.
Often when you gain an awareness of why you're reacting the way you are, you no longer respond that way. You've acknowledged the emotion behind it all and you no longer need to react that way. You understand it so you choose a more effective response for yourself. You see that it's not helpful or getting you anywhere by just reacting with the anger, so you'll stop doing that. You'll feel so much more in control of your life and be so much more at peace with yourself.
I bet right now it can be rather scary when you get so angry at people. Like you're not in control, the emotion is. So, that's what you're learning. You're learning to use your emotion as a tool you use rather than letting the emotion control you. It just takes a little practice and soon you're the master of your emotions instead of the other way around.
Start by taking a deeper look at your anger and what it's really telling you. What's really behind the anger? Ask yourself, "Why am I so angry?" It could be one of the most important things you do.
Take good care of yourself.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A Plan for the Final 7 Years


President Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry have set a deadline of April 29, 2014, to reach a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis. The two sides are negotiating in secret on a daily basis. If the stated goal is achieved, the final seven years to Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus to the earth will begin very soon!

I cannot say for sure that the final seven years will begin on April 29, 2014, but I can say with absolute certainty that an agreement will soon be signed, which will begin the final seven years. The only question is: Will it happen on April 29th?

Do I believe the final 7 years will begin in 4 months?

As I said before, I can’t say with absolute certainty, but there are many reasons to believe that THE TIME HAS COME! Following are some of them:
  1. The prophesied agreement will turn Judea into a Palestinians state. The United Nations voted on November 29, 2012, to recognize a Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders. This is the biblical area of Judea. As a result, Israel is now considered an occupying power in the eyes of the world community. If Israel doesn't come to terms with the Palestinians through negotiations, the Palestinians have already said they will file charges against Israel at the UN. Israel desperately wants to avoid a showdown with the entire world community.
  2. When the agreement is signed, the Temple Mount will be placed under a sharing arrangement between Muslims and Jews. This is described in Revelation 11:1-2. A law was introduced in the Israeli Knesset on November 1, 2013, to place the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement so that both Jews and Muslims can worship there.
  3. During the first three and one-half years after the agreement is signed, the Jews will build their temple on the Temple Mount. The Temple Institute in Jerusalem was founded by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel in 1987. The Institute has now recreated all the vessels and utensils that are required for the building of the temple and resumption of temple worship. In 2013 a new Ark of the Covenant was completed and is now on display in the Temple Institute. I was also told by the guide at the Institute that the architectural drawings for the construction of the Third Temple are now complete. EVERYTHING IS READY TO GO!
  4. In 2013 Israel’s number one trading partner, the European Union, placed the settlements in Judea-Samaria under economic sanctions. No EU member is supposed to conduct trade with the West Bank settlers or with any Israeli entity that has any ties to the West Bank settlers. Many other countries and organizations are beginning to follow suit. If the peace talks do not succeed, Israel will soon find herself isolated from the world.
  5. Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas has said that he will press charges against Israel and her leaders before the International Criminal Court if a peace agreement is not reached by April 29, 2014. This could result in Israeli leaders being placed on trial at The Hague and sentenced to prison by the international tribunal.
  6. Last but certainly not least, Israel’s main supporter, the United States of America, is determined that an agreement will be reached at this time. The US is prepared to use all the power at its disposal to see that an agreement is reached. Israel does not want to alienate its main ally.
So do I believe the time for the prophesied final seven years has arrived? I DO! Do I know for certain that it will be done by April 29th? No. But it certainly looks like the time for the fulfillment lies just ahead!

The Plan

If we are on the brink of the final seven years, what should Christians be doing? We should be like a coiled spring ready for the greatest dash to the finish line and the second coming of Jesus! We should be poised for the greatest effort in the history of the world to reach every person on earth with the gospel before it is too late! With God’s help, that’s exactly what Endtime Ministries intends to do.

Here’s our plan:
» Teach the prophecies of the endtime on television in Israel and around the world. This is being done at this present time.
» Purchase property for the Jerusalem Prophecy College in downtown Jerusalem so the people of Israel can know what is coming and what they will soon live through. This too is done. Four thousand square feet was purchased in downtown Jerusalem in September of 2013. The remodeling will be finished by February 1, 2014. Total cost of the property and the remodeling is $1.3 million, which is all paid for, thanks to our Endtime supporters!
» Open the Jerusalem Prophecy College–A prophecy conference was held on November 2, 2013, in downtown Jerusalem. Our subject was “Israel’s Future…According the Bible Prophecy.” There were about 250 in attendance, eighty percent of which were Jewish. We signed up over twenty for the college that night. We have now completed the first six weeks of classes. They are continuing at this time.
» When the prophesied peace agreement is signed, we intend to send an Endtime magazine to every home in Israel, some 2.27 million of them. The magazine will inform the people of Israel that the final seven years just began, what they can expect over the next seven years, and, most importantly, what they should do about it. This magazine will be published in both Hebrew and English so that everyone in Israel will be able to read the critical message. We believe this mailing will awaken the nation of Israel to the urgency of the times.
» When an Endtime magazine is sent to every home in Israel announcing that the final seven years just began, this will inevitably become world news. We expect to be on interviews with CNN, Fox News and all of the major media. This will give us the opportunity to announce to the world that the final seven years just began and to teach the gospel of the kingdom to the whole world. Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” We believe the prophecy of Jesus will be fulfilled at that time! What a privilege to be involved in what God is doing in the earth! We don’t yet have a quote for the cost of this mailing, but we estimate it to be around $1.8 million dollars. We presently have $489,637.50 that has been given toward this project so far. Thanks to all who have given!
» We plan to convert our daily radio program called “Politics & Religion” to a daily radio/TV program. We have felt like God was leading us to take this step for a long time. We also will be able to have a virtual classroom in our TV studios so that we can teach our prophecy college classes in Jerusalem, whether we can physically be there or not. They will be able to see us, and we will able to see them. We will be able to interact as though we were actually there. This step is going to take considerable investment. We have been leasing our Endtime offices for the last six and one-half years. We hesitated to invest the amount of money that would be necessary for these new ventures in a building that we didn’t own. We only have three and one-half years left on our lease. Now the building has come up for sale. The owner received an offer from another buyer. It looked like we would lose all the money we have invested here and possibly be forced to move. We didn’t believe that it was God’s will for us to move and lose all we have invested in the present location. We have always believed God chose this place to be an Endtime Evangelism Center for the World. The price of the building is $3.9 million dollars. We have taken a step of faith and signed a letter of intent to purchase. One of our wonderful Endtime partners has offered to loan us $3 million dollars toward the purchase. This means we have to raise $900,000 dollars in the next 60 days. Please pray about this! When we send a magazine to every home in Israel and when we announce to the world that the final seven years just began, our phones will ring off the hook! The people of the world will need answers like never before! We want to be broadcasting and televising to the world every day. That makes the need to own this building so urgent!

I took these plans to God in prayer

I talked to God about all these things that I felt he had put in my heart. I said, “God, our donors have given so generously for the college and for the Israel project. I hate to bring all these other things before them. They’ll think we’re just after money.” It seemed that God spoke back to me: “My people love me and they love my cause. If you will explain the vision to them, they will respond.
So at the danger of being misunderstood, I present these critical needs to you. Time is of essence! We will only get one chance to be used of God at these prophetic crossroads. If God has blessed you so that can, please give the best gift possible at this time. If you can’t give, I completely understand. But, I know this…you can pray!

Summarizing the need

We need around $1.3 million to be ready to mail magazines to every home in Israel when the peace agreement is signed. This could be as early as April 29, 2014.
We need $900,000 within sixty days for our down payment on the Endtime building. I really believe God can provide the entire purchase price of $3.9 million so that Endtime Ministries would not be burdened with debt. This would enable us to devote all of our resources and energies to reaching the world in these endtimes.

To all of our supporters

You have been wonderful! If you cannot give at this time, please don’t feel guilty. But if God has blessed you so that you can give, please consider making these needs of highest priority. I don’t believe there has ever been a more important time than right now to make our resources count for the kingdom of God!

To donate to the Israel Project or the purchase of the Endtime Evangelism Center—or to both, simply call 1-866-310-5010. Or you may donate online at the sidebar on the right.


Our total need within the next 60 days is $2.2 million. This sounds like a large amount of money, and it is. However, if 4,400 people will donate $500 each, the goal will be met.
For all who contribute $500 or more to either of these projects, Endtime will send, as a gift of appreciation, a copy of the message I gave to the Jewish people in downtown Jerusalem on November 2, 2013. The DVD is, “Israel’s Future…According to Bible Prophecy” and is not for sale.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Did God Die for Our Sins? - FUNNY - Sh. Dr. Shabir Ally Vs Jay Smith

The problem with arguments and debates is that many 'Christians' themselves don't know Christ and they spend so much time arguing for their Christian religion without having a first-hand experience of the living and loving Saviour. One of the greatest tricks of the devil is to get Christians wasting their time in arguing and debating with unbelievers. Unbelievers will not understand Christianity, unless God opens their eyes...It gets nowhere because contemporary debate has been conditioned for people to talk past each other, and then wrongly understand and label it as dialogue. I refuse to enter into such debates..It's really unwise for a Christian Bible scholar to have a debate with a Muslim scholar..Because none will give room for others to surpass, it can only lead them to a discussion involving differing points of view. Certainly, there's nothing to debate about the scriptures. Don't argue with the sons of Ismail, cause we are from Abraham not Ismail.!

Friday, 13 June 2014


Beginning this talk by saying thank you is not just an exercise in protocol.  It speaks directly to the theme of this gathering, which is, Spiritual Fitness.  Becoming an appreciative person is a top strategy for spiritual fitness. 

1.   Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  There is a reason that the phrase “count your blessings” is a watchword.  We are so blessed in so many ways, yet it is human nature to love to complain and to notice what is lacking rather than what is present.  I have this quote in the signature block on my email, from a book called Thank You by Zelig Pliskin- “What could you be grateful for now if you were grateful for something?”  There is always something- make sure the balance in your life is more focused on saying “Thank you” than on saying “Please.” .  I am going to share with you this morning ten strategies for gaining and maintaining spiritual fitness.  Now you know the first one- be grateful.  Number two-

2.  Be happy unless there is a very serious reason not to be.  It is human nature to be dissatisfied and to strive for more and better, and in many areas of our lives this serves us well.  If we are dissatisfied with our work, we will try to improve.  If we are dissatisfied with disease, we will search for cures.  It is critical, however, that we learn to distinguish between what can and what cannot be changed.  We only create misery for ourselves when we allow dissatisfaction over what cannot be changed to become an obstacle to our happiness, and miserable people are not spiritually fit people.

3.    See yourself and others as the image of God.   Jewish Biblical commentators suggest that only one person was created in the Genesis story so that no one can think that he or she is better than others.  Each of us has within ourselves a soul that is given to us as a pure spark of the Divine.  It is spiritually draining to live with the challenge and disappointment that necessarily comes from living with other people.  Chris Cleave put it this way in the book, Little Bee-  “There’s eight million people here pretending the others aren’t getting on their nerves.  I believe it’s called civilization.”  If we can remind ourselves of the essential holiness of each person that we meet, we will become more compassionate and more spiritually fit.  This leads us to #4-

4.    Let it go.  Not everything can or should be an issue.  Anger is antithetical to spiritual well-being.  Righteous indignation is so tempting and so invigorating.  The battle cry of, “But I am right!” is irresistible.  There are things worth fighting for, as individuals, and, as we as Soldiers know, as a nation.  But we will destroy ourselves if we allow ourselves to be consumed by passion.  Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach had to flee Vienna, Austria as a young man.  He grew to be an internationally known singer/songwriter, and was invited to return to his home country.  People were shocked when he said yes.  “Don’t you hate those people?,” they asked.  He replied, “If I had two hearts, I would devote one to hating. But, since I only have one heart, I don’t want to poison my own essential being with hatred.”  Let it go, #4.  And its corollary-

5.   Accept imperfection, your own and that of others.  Forgiveness is, for many of us, the greatest spiritual challenge of our lives.  In The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd writes that “People in general would rather die than forgive.  It’s that hard. If God said in plain language, ‘I’m giving you a choice, forgive or die,’ a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin.”  If we can’t or won’t forgive, we will die spiritually- it’s that simple.  None of us is perfect, we all require grace and mercy throughout our lives.  A little kindness and understanding is the foundation of our spiritual well-being.  And- we need to forgive ourselves just as much as we forgive others.  Rabbi Harold Kushner says that the four holiest words in the English language are, “I may be wrong.”  Practice saying them.

6.   Pray.  Communication is fundamental in any relationship, and our relationship with God is no different.  We should never be shy about asking for what we want and expressing our needs, whether in the words of a traditional liturgy or in the words of our heart.  Elizabeth Gilbert expresses this so beautifully in her book, Eat, Pray, Love, where she addresses her main character- “Where do you get the idea you aren’t allowed to petition the universe with prayers? You are part of this universe, Liz.  You’re a constituent- you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known.  So put your opinion out there. Make your case.  Believe me- it will at least be taken into consideration.”  It will at least be taken into consideration, and, as the Jewish sage Moses Maimonides notes, “When you pour out your heart, it feels lighter.” When you’re done praying, think of these words- “Pray as if everything depends on God, act as if everything depends on you.”  Prayer is important, but it does not replace our responsibility to act.

7.   Develop an understanding of good and evil.  The world is full of suffering.  None of us escapes pain and many of us experience deep tragedy.  Whether we are religious or not, we need to find some way of reconciling why bad things happen to good people, some framework that provides a foundation of peace in times of challenge.  The Chinese have an expression, “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”  Each of us must seek an answer for ourselves that we find cohesive and meaningful.  One way to do this is through #8-

8.   Study spiritual teachings.  We are not the first ones to ask these questions, and we won’t be the last.  Explore the writings of some of the great thinkers who have explored spiritual themes throughout the ages.  Subscribe to a website that provides a daily or weekly devotional.  We don’t have to forge a path on our own.  Wise thinkers have provided guideposts along the way, and we should cultivate the practice of reflection and meditation on their teachings.  Rabbi Louis Finkelstein said, ‘When I pray, I speak to God, when I study, God speaks to me. Open yourself to hearing the voice of God.

9.   Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  Okay, so I borrowed this one from that other famous list of 10 commandments.  But it’s a good one!  God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th.  Even God needed a day of rest!  In our incredibly fast-paced, 24/7, hyper-connected world- even more so!  If you’re wondering how you are going to find the time to develop spiritual resilience, remember that time for spiritual reflection and growth is built into the framework of creation itself, if only we would take the notion of Sabbath seriously.  Give yourself this gift- you deserve it!  Finally-

10. Know that you are God’s Public Affairs Officer.  Because you are!  If you claim to be a religious person, people are watching your behavior to see what kind of person your religiosity leads you to be.  If you are a jerk, it really doesn’t reflect well on your commanding officer.  So- be good, do good, let your goodness shine.  As the prophet Micah expressed it, “Love goodness.”  In every moment of your life you have a choice- will the consequences of your next decision, of your next action, bring holiness into the world, or will it desecrate God’s name?  I leave you with this- the choice is in your hands- be a blessing.!