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Lady Lee

Five Painful Lessons For Bafana Bafana

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The adjectives duly came out on Sunday as South Africa tried to come to terms with Bafana Bafana’s 3-1 loss to Mauritania on Saturday night.

And rightly so, for what transpired at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott was tantamount to treason by all involved. In some countries the entire squad would have been sent directly to an army base for some toughening up.

This is South Africa though and while most of us will lament the defeat, life will go on as usual for the players and the technical team with very little reprimand if any from either the South African Football Association (Safa) or the government.

As it is, they will all be in action at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday and a win in the friendly Nelson Mandela Challenge over Senegal will ensure the disaster of Nouachkott is quickly forgotten.

Here are five things Shakes Mashaba and his boys have hopefully learnt from the defeat.

1. Don’t rotate captaincy 

Mashaba probably thinks he is pioneering some new trend by rotating the captain’s armband instead of having one man in the position.

His reasoning that he wants to inculcate a sense of leadership in all his players just isn’t cutting it. And on Saturday there was no semblance of leadership from any of his players – a few of who had been captains before. Instead Dean Furman, replaced by Itumeleng Khune as captain, was never in the game and actually hardly looked interested as he at one stage kicked a clean of fresh air as he missed the ball completely.

Could it be he was sulking from being demoted? The world over every team has a permanent captain and Mashaba must follow suit. It helps settle the squad knowing who is their leader.

2. Research is paramount before any match

Again this is a lesson Mashaba has to learn quickly or continue to send our national team down the drain.

Somewhat stubborn in his ways, the coach has this belief that he can simply prepare his team without worrying about the opposition. “Let them worry about us,” he likes to say. Unless you are Barcelona and can impose your way on any match, it is very impotant to know about your opponents Mkhulu Mashaba.

That the best the technical team knew was that Mauritania narrowly lost 1-0 to Cameroon and had some big losses way before was a recipe for disaster. And so it proved. A little research, for example, would have indicated to Bafana just how dangerous Ahmed Khalil is, the Algeria-based player having starred for the country in the CHAN tournament we hosted. And tapes of those were just a phone call away to the SABC or SuperSport. Embarrassingly they also looked like they had no idea they’d be playing on an astro-turf – now surely someone must be fired for that failure.

3. Don’t give debuts in such crucial matches 

Poor Phumlani Ntshangase! No doubt simply pleased to have been called-up, the Bidvest Wits leftback would have been shocked to be told he was starting ahead of Mzikayise Mashaba, the Mamelodi Sundowns fullback who has played for Bafana before.

And the youngster’s nerves were immediately evident as Ismaël Diakite skinned him in the first minute. And it was all downhill from there, when fellow debutant Siyabonga Zulu was sent off for a foul that screamed inexperience, Zulu having allowed the Mauritania player into his inside and thus giving his sight of goal before clumsily pushing him down.

But don’t blame the youngsters for all this. Granted Tsepo Masilela’s no show was a let down, but next in line should have been Mashaba and the coach cannot claim the little knock the Downs man suffered before departure was too bad as he brought him on later.

It’s all good to give players debuts but that has to be properly calculated.

4. Pick PLAYERS on form, not on REPUTATION

There was a moment in the match when the television cameras focused on the Bafana bench and if looks could kill, Ayanda Patosi’s would have sent Mashaba to the grave.

The FC Lokeren player looked perplexed at having come all the way to sit on the bench when players who had only just got clubs got preffered ahead of him. And the fact that they merely huffed and puffed on the pitch, unable to cope with the heat and the pace of the game due to their lack of fitness, must have made Patosi all the more angry.

And there probably would have been many others who felt the same – the likes of Kermit Erasmus who have been playing regularly and with great impact at club level on the international scene only for the coach to stick with what appears his favourites. Mashaba and his technical team need to start being consistent with their selections and not go with players mainly due to previous performances.

5. Only the gutsy succeed in the International game.

Eric Mathoho is locally renowned for being a tough defender. On Saturday night the Chiefs defender was anything but as he twice allowed the opposition to go towards goal without even as trying to attempt a tackle.

But Mathoho’s lack of guts mirrored the entire team’s performance, with none of the players in yellow lifting their hands to be counted as warriors. Bafana looked like they couldn’t wait to get off the field, such was their disinterested showing.

Andile Jali hardly tracked back or forced his way forward as he usually does, there was no creative spark from Thulani Serero and Khune’s eagerness to turn defensive situations into attack proved costly as he allowed an innocuous free kick to beat him such was his rush to release a ball he had not yet got in his gloves.

On such an evening what Bafana needed was a no-nonsense coach who would give them something akin to Sir Alex Ferguson’s hair-dryer treatment at half time. Unfortunately in Mashaba they have a grandfather-type figure who probably caressed their egos if not begged them to go out and try their best.

Content by www.iol.co.za

Eating Disorders: Anorexia

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18 kg anorexic woman begs for help after hospitals say she is too thin to treat Rachael Farrokh, who suffers from extreme anorexia, is begging for help to save her life after being turned away from multiple treatment centres.

A shocking video of severely anorexic Rachael Farrokh pleading for assistance has gone viral with over 50 000 YouTube views in the last month.

37-year-old Rachael Farrokh is very ill and is now appealing for any help she can get. Extreme anorexia has whittled her body away to roughly 18 kilograms, the equivalent weight of the average four year-old child. At about 1.7 metres tall, this puts Rachael’s body mass index (BMI) at a shockingly low 6.3. To put this in perspective, a healthy BMI is one that falls in the range of 18.5 to 24.9.

Desperately weak and close to death, Rachael is too sick to move around on her own. Her husband Rod has had to quit his job to care for her full time and her condition is taking a serious toll on both of them. Rachael says she has been battling with this devastating condition for about 10 years and despite having gone to numerous treatment centres, she has not yet managed to overcome her illness.

Towards the end of April 2015, she posted a video on YouTube where she appeals for any assistance. In the video she asks that if anyone is able to assist, that they visit her Go Fund Me page to donate money.

The Go Fund Me account’s description is painful to read. Written by Rod, it is a husband’s desperate plea to save his wife who has wasted away before his eyes. He explains how none of the treatment centres nearby will accept Rachael as her condition is so severe that she does not make the minimum weight requirements for rehabilitation.

He goes on to describe how Rachael has suffered a number of serious complications as a result of her anorexia, including heart, liver and kidney failure. No nurses or physiotherapists will help Rachael as there is such a high liability risk, Rod explains.

In her video, Rachael explains that there is one treatment centre in the U.S that specialises in re-feeding patients who have extremely low body weight. She believes that they may take her but that her chances of being accepted are very slim. Her Go Fund Me account was created in the hope of raising the money required for that treatment.

So far her appeal has raised $45 000 of the $100 000 she needs to try and get better. Many of the people who have donated money have left heartfelt wishes for Rachael’s recovery:

 

This is a sad reality we are facing; at least 1 out of every 10 women will have experienced an eating disorder at some time in her life, and some polls suggest that as many as 1 out of 4 will. Eating disorders do not only affect women, either: approximately 10 percent of those with an eating disorder are men.

Eating disorders are not physically, psychologically, or spiritually healthy. They result from a fallen world and a hurt human being. It is incumbent upon a Christian suffering from an eating disorder and his/her family as well to seek as much medical, psychological, and spiritual help as necessary to treat the problem. The Holy Spirit has the power to break the bondage of eating disorders. If we are His in Christ, He makes that power available to u.

The journey to health and wholeness may be long, but Jesus has set us free. Do you perhaps suffer from any form of disorder and want to break free from it? Click on the banner below.

Idris Elba is ‘too street’ & David Oyelawo Leads

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He’s long been thought an ideal candidate for the role of James Bond, but Idris Elba is apparently “too street” for the part.

That’s the verdict from Anthony Horowitz, the author of the latest book in the Bond series,Trigger Mortis.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Horowitz, who has the Alex Rider spy novels to his name as well as numerous TV credits, added that Elba was “a bit too rough to play the part.”

Twitter, on the other hand, thinks Idris Elba would be perfect.

David Oyelowo has beaten hot favourite Idris Elba to become the first black James Bond in brand new 007 adventure Trigger Mortis.

The British actor will voice the secret agent in the new audio book of the latest Bond novel by Anthony Horowitz.

Oyelow said he is “very honoured” when the news was revealed.

“I am officially the only person on planet Earth who can legitimately say, ‘I am the new James Bond.’

“Even saying that name is the cinematic equivalent of doing the ‘to be or not to be’ speech.”

“I was asked specifically by the Fleming estate, which is really special,” he added.

Oyelowo described his Bond as “a man who is very self-assured” but not perfect.

The news come on the same day that we also meet the sensational new Bond girls Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux.

Foyle’s War creator Horowitz praised the choice of the new Bond.

“What an honour to have an actor as talented as David to read my take on Bond,” he said.

“He has a brilliant voice and talent for bringing out the nuances of dialogue and characters.”

Oyelowo is best known to international audiences for his highly acclaimed performance as Martin Luther King in recent biopic Selma.

Home grown television audiences will also know him as MI5 operative Danny Hunter in Spooks.

Despite beating hot favourite Idris Elba to the punch as Bond, Oyelowo champions his fellow actor’s long-standing association as the most likely replacement for Daniel Craig on the big screen.

 

Bible Dramas For TV

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David and Saul are headed to primetime.

ABC is currently working on a TV series based on the rivalry between Old Testament rulers, in a new show called Of Kings and Prophets. As this description from Deadline indicates, it’s got all of the makings of a Hollywood drama: “[It’s] an epic biblical saga of faith, ambition and betrayal as told through the eyes of a battle-weary king, a powerful and resentful prophet and a resourceful young shepherd on a collision course with destiny.”

The show, which debuts later this year, follows a recent string of Bible-based TV offerings, including History Channel’s The Bible and NBC’s AD: The Bible Continues (a miniseries about the early Church), both from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.

Though the story of David and Saul seems like a good fit for a TV drama (despite the fact it’s recently been tried unsuccessfully), there are still some other Bible characters who seem deserving of the Hollywood treatment.

Here’s our look at six other Bible characters who deserve their own TV dramas. You’re welcome, TV executives.

Joseph

This one seems like a no-brainer.

For those unacquainted with the story, it’s basically got everything you’d want in a miniseries. Jealous of their father’s favor toward Joseph, his brothers fake his murder and sell him into slavery, putting him on a path to one day becoming a powerful ruler—who would have the very same brothers seek his help decades later.

Along the way, a bunch of crazy stuff happens: The real story of Joseph reads like a soap opera (there’s romance and betrayal), adventure (including a long stint in prison), the supernatural (the whole dream-reading thing) and, of course, redemption.

Deborah

In the Shonda Rhimes era, with networks featuring so many great shows with strong female leads, the story of Deborah would fit perfectly into the primetime lineup.

Deborah was a powerful judge, a wise prophet and a courageous advocate of justice. She was so angry over the oppression of her people that she used her power to orchestrate an uprising, eventually leading an effort to defeat an army of hundreds of chariot-riding warriors.

The undertaking was so dangerous that the man she commanded to take charge said he would only lead the rebellion to fight the army of evil Sisera if Deborah went with him. The exchange culminates with this made-for-TV line of dialogue from Judges 4:9 “Certainly I will go with you. But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”

The story ends with one of the most grisly murders in Scripture, as Sisera catches a tent spike through the head.

Peter

For as much as TV loves conflicted protagonists, you’d think Peter would be right at home in primetime. Sunday school audiences tend to primarily think of Peter as one of the main apostles—the one Jesus named “the Rock” of His Church. But the real story of Peter is about a guy who’s just as flawed as the people he’s trying to reach.

Peter, who we’re introduced to as a fisherman, was prone to unpredictable emotional swings. In one moment, he’s pulling out a sword in fit of rage, hacking off the ear of a soldier attempting to apprehend Jesus. In another, he’s publicly denying he’d ever even met Christ while overcome by fear. Peter had the courage to walk on water after Jesus, but needed to be rescued when he began to doubt Jesus’ power.

What makes him so compelling as a character isn’t just his achievements for Christ, but how they happened despite his failures.

Rahab

A brave prostitute. Spies on a covert mission. A coming massacre. An act of courage that becomes the stuff of legends. No, it’s not Game of Thrones; it’s the story of Rahab.

On the surface level, Rahab is a suspenseful thriller: A prostitute agrees to hide spies in her home in exchange for the promise that her family will be spared in a coming invasion.

But it’s the story’s subtext that makes it such a compelling narrative, one that would make for a dramatic TV series. Is it OK to lie if your intention is for the greater good? How does a prostitute become one of the most revered women in Scripture (she’s recognized in Hebrews 11’s “Faith Hall of Fame” alongside Moses, Jacob and Abraham)? How does God choose the people that act courageously for His Kingdom?

Rahab’s story is exciting, but its message is complex and challenging.

Joshua

When it comes to Old Testament patriarchs, Moses gets all the love in Hollywood. He’s been featured in so many TV miniseries and movies that he’s even got parodies based on his TV shows and movies. Why not give some attention to his successor, Joshua?

First, his story starts with espionage, as he and 11 spies sneak into the Promised Land, behind enemy lines, to scope things out. Then, it moves into some pretty action-heavy war sequences, including taking out Jericho with an army of trumpets and several battles that feature divine intervention in the form of killer hailstones and the stoppage of time itself.

Finally, it transitions into a political drama, with an aging Joshua attempting to sway the opinions of his people back to God through diplomacy.

Miriam

The story of the Exodus is familiar on-screen territory, but the life of Miriam offers a fresh perspective to the narrative.

As the older sister of Moses, she’s the one who placed him in a basket on the side of a river to save him from an infanticide ordered by Pharaoh. And, along with being an influential prophet, her anthemic song of victory following the march across the parted Red Sea underscores the drama of the story.

Miriam’s life also had its share of sibling conflict: After disapproving of her little brother’s marriage, she was struck with leprosy, only to be miraculously healed a week later.

The story of Moses is about what it’s like to lead, but Miriam shows us the Exodus through the eyes of one of the people who must follow.

Would you watch this? Do you think we should have more Bible stories on television? Click on the banner below and share your thoughts.

Content by www.relevantmagazine.com

Forbes’ Highest Paid DJs of 2015

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Forbes just shared their annual Electronic Cash Kings list depicting the highest paid DJ’s of the year. With little surprise, chart-topping DJ and Taylor Swift boyfriend Calvin Harris topped the list for the third in a row racking in $66 million (the same as last year). The figure reflects the producer and DJ’s total from his seven figure deal with Giorgio Armani, Las Vegas residencies and number one dance album. The crowning follows the magazines earlier announcement that named Calvin and girlfriend Taylor Swift the highest-paid couple of 2015. While his total is nearly double of runner-up David Guetta’s $37 million, the top 12 amount to a combined $300 million alone.

Check out the Cash Kings of the EDM world below.

1. Calvin Harris, $66 million

2. David Guetta, $37 million

3. Tiesto, $36 million

4. (Tie) Skrillex & Steve Aoki, $24 million

6. Avicii, $19 million

7. Kaskade, $18 million

8. (Tie) Martin Garrix & Zedd, $17 million

10. Afrojack, $16 million

11. (Tie) Deadmau5, Diplo $15 million

Forbes notes their totals were calculated based on income from live shows, endorsement deals, merch sales, recording sales and external ventures with several other million-making artists nearly missing the list including Alesso, Hardwell, Armin Van Buuren, Nervo, DJ Snake, Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell and Krewella.

Content by www.forbes.com

What To Do When The World Over Whelms You

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Is anyone else exhausted? I don’t mean the kind of tiredness from long hours at work. Or because your baby was awake at 3 a.m. Or because you were up too late last night watching a House of Cards marathon. That can be part of it, I guess.

But what I really mean is that feeling of exhaustion from the barrage of depressing, discouraging—and sometimes downright infuriating—news stories. Planned Parenthood. Ashley Madison. Murdered reporters. The migrant crisis.

It can be an emotional rollercoaster. And sometimes, to be quite honest, it’s very tempting to just get off the ride—to become concerned only for my life and my family and my circle of friends. To bury my head in the sand—or at least commit to only watching videos about baby zoo animals doing cute things.

I confess that because my background is in journalism, it used to bother me when people didn’t know what was going on in the news. But now I totally understand statements like, “I don’t pay attention to the news; it’s too depressing.”

In the last few weeks, I have been especially saddened, outraged, contemplative and disturbed. I vacillate between wanting to put on a cape and a mask and dedicate my entire life to eradicating injustice in the world, to feeling completely overwhelmed because I am just one person.

It seems that I am too small and the problems are too big. Sometimes I really wish I didn’t care so much.

Although the bad news of the world can seem too overwhelming at times, amazingly, these dark and confusing times have actually driven me closer to God. Once I remembered to take my eyes off the bleakness and back onto Jesus, I have found solace in my faith, in prayer and in the wisdom of the Bible.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the world’s problems, here are a few things I’ve found helpful:

Find Balance

We can’t spend our lives thinking the world is all about baby zoo animals doing cute things, but we can’t dedicate an unreasonable amount of time to negative news stories either.

There is good and evil in the world. It’s illogical to focus solely on the good and ignore the evil. Doing so makes us no better than the city of Sodom, whom the Bible says was guilty of being “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49).

To insist that people “Focus only on the good in the world,” sounds really nice. But what if everyone during Nazi Germany or the Jim Crow era adopted that same mentality? We can’t pretend life is sunshine and rainbows when there is real suffering and injustice all around us.

On the flipside, let’s not become so discouraged by the unfounded belief that good no longer exists in the world. There are still people who will help an elderly neighbor or feed a homeless person, knowing they will get nothing in return. There are vigilant people fighting against human trafficking and working to restore victims. There are sweet saints who are rescuing children from abuse, neglect and poverty.

People still love. People still care. People are speaking up for those who don’t have a voice. Rejoice and be encouraged that the world is still filled with people like this. God is working out beautiful stories and miracles all around us!

Don’t Dwell—Do

Confession: I have a tendency to mentally dwell too long on bad news. I keep thinking, “Why did this happen? How can a person be so cruel? How awful must it have been for the victim?” My heart becomes incredibly grieved, and while we are to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” according to Romans 12:15, I don’t think God wants us to stay in that place of sorrow for too long. A depressed state can be quite debilitating, rendering us ineffective to make a positive change in the world.

Lately, I am trying not to dwell too long on an emotion. I have found it helpful—both for my sanity and for the cause for which I’m passionate—to pray, serve, sign a petition, spread awareness on social media, vote, call my senators and my representatives in Congress and ask them to act.

Harvest Hope

In the novel-turned-movie, The Hunger Games, someone asks bad guy President Snow why he chooses a winner of the battle royal—instead of just executing all 24 players to intimidate the districts from whence they came. President Snow answers, “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.”

Hope is powerful, and it’s contagious. In the midst of all the scary things that are happening in the world, it’s easy to become fearful. But instead, God calls us to have hope, to have a confident expectation that something good is going to happen. And ultimately, to trust that Jesus Christ is coming back to make all things new—to wipe away every tear, heal every disease and take away pain and death (Revelation 21:4).

In these troubling times, I have been reminded again and again of Jesus’ words in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Do you thank God always despite all the craziness in the world today? Do you think there’s hope?  Click on the banner below.

Content by www.relevantmagazine.com

3 Little Habits That Will Kill Your Dreams

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If it seems like everyone else is succeeding but you – you might be sabotaging your success with these bad behaviours.

If you look around and see other entrepreneurs who are succeeding where you are not, you may want to look deeper. Sometimes our lives simply don’t progress at the same rate as others.

However, if you’re noticing a trend that your ship never seems to be coming in, you may be guilty of unconsciously engaging in one, or even all, of these three dirty little habits that will hold you back from greatness.

Do a self-assessment and see if you are practicing any of these destructive behaviours.

1. Excuses

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. – Benjamin Franklin

There’s a saying that goes you can have excuses or you can have results, but you can’t have both. Successful people know that there are a million and one reasons you can come up with to not do something if you want to find the excuse, but if you want to find results, you have to find the solution and push ahead.

If you find yourself coming up with a lot of reasons why you can’t do something, why something isn’t working, why someone has an unfair advantage or any other way you’re excusing your lack of performance, you’re engaging in a really bad habit. It’s dangerous because excuses largely come from veiled lies we are feeding ourselves and others.

Don’t fall for your own excuses. Be better. Next time you find yourself saying you can’t, attempt to talk yourself into the right action, instead of out of it.

2. Procrastination

If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it. – Olin Miller

Tomorrow is a lie. Great entrepreneurs and highly productive people know that you have to do today everything that is truly in your power to do. Action helps propel more action and more forward energy. You can amass great momentum by taking actions every day toward your vision. However, just like momentum builds on itself, so too can lethargy.

The longer you sit in procrastination, putting off a task or project for later, the harder and harder it becomes to mentally rise to the task of tackling it. Save yourself a lot of trouble and just start now. When you sit down and take action toward something on your to-do list, you’ll realise how much you can accomplish with simple actions.

Don’t procrastinate – it will hold you back from success.

3. Complaining

People won’t have time for you if you’re always angry or complaining. – Stephen Hawking

Perhaps more than any other dirty habit, complaining is a true killer. That’s because when you complain, you are not only buying into your own excuses, but you’re making them verbal and poisoning the well of people around you.

If you complain or are angry often, don’t be surprised that most people won’t want to be around you. The only people who will be are other complaining, angry people. Successful entrepreneurs don’t whine and complain. If there’s something truly worth complaining about, they’re going to make the effort to change it, not get mad about it.

Like Joel Osteen says so perfectly, “If you cannot be positive, then at least be quiet.”

Hope this encouraged you to chase your dreams.

Meet South Africa’s Youngest Millionaire

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The Foreign exchange market is the biggest financial market in the world. At least four trillion dollars is traded on currency markets on a daily basis.

This market is known for its volatility and high risk nature, which is why it is mostly traded by banks and big corporate. However a young South African trader has managed to crack it.  Sandile Shezi has successfully learnt how to trade currencies and at just 23 he’s become one of the youngest multi-millionaires in the country.

He began his entrepreneurial journey at the tender age of 12 selling muffins at school.

Over the years he has managed to build business relationships that have lead him into establishing one of Durban’s most successful Forex training company which he named Global Forex Institute based at Mhlanga, Durban, South Africa

Global Forex Institute is about grooming people and making them understand that when is the right time to buy or sell and how you go about avoiding loosing your capital. Shezi and his team want to make sure that everyone understands trading.

Shezi now wants to empower other young South Africans to do the same.  Sumitra Nydoo caught up with him.

Make The Most Of Your Talents

God has given you unique abilities, talents, and gifts. They represent a person’s SHAPE — Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. This bundle of talents is the thing God has given you that makes you who you are and sets you apart from other people.

If you think your talents are simply for you to make a lot of money, you’ve missed the point of your life. God gave you talents to benefit others, not yourself. And God gave other people talents that benefit you.

We’re all a part of the body of Christ, and each part matters. There are no insignificant people in the family of God. You are shaped to serve God, and he is testing you to see how you are going to use the talents he gave you.

Whether you are a musician or an accountant, a teacher or a cook, God gave you those abilities to serve others. Today’s verse says, “Each of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).

You are a manager of the gifts God has given to you. They may be great or small in your eyes, but they matter to God. When God made you, he made an investment in you, and he expects a return on that investment.

When God gives you a talent, he expects you to use it. It’s like a muscle. If you use it, it will grow. If you don’t, you’ll lose it. If you have a talent but are afraid to use it, or if you get lazy and don’t use it to benefit others, you’re going to lose it. Like the parable of the ten talents in Luke 19, if you don’t use what God has given you, he will take it away and give it to someone else who will.

But if you use your talents wisely, God will give you more. If you use your time wisely, God will give you more time. If you use your energy wisely, God will give you more energy. If you use your influence wisely, God will increase your influence. God will bless your level of faithfulness.

Are you using what He’s given you for the benefit of others to make the world a better place? Or are you just using those talents to benefit yourself? Click on the banner below.

Additional content by www.rickwarren.org

Don’t Stress About Finding Your Calling

You’re not going to miss out on God’s plan.

A little over a year ago, I felt a crippling anxiety about whether God was calling me to move. For weeks, that pernicious anxiety ate away at me, making me a basket case—all in the name of following God’s will.

It was a problem. And many Christians seem to face the same problem: we worry whether God has called us take this job, or to move to this place or even to marry someone.

As I learned, the root of the problem is that “calling” is ambiguous. Callings can be general or specific. General callings fall under the umbrella of stewardship: We are called to make good decisions with what we’ve been given. Specific callings are directives. A directive from God is a call to perform some particular action.

Scripture offer examples of both kinds of callings. In the Old Testament, Abraham is given multiple directives: for instance, he is told to pack up and move—and he is told to sacrifice his son.

But in the New Testament, we read the parable of the talents (Matthew 25: 14-30). In this parable, the master’s reactions to each servant’s actions make clear that he expects them to use the money in some way rather than bury it in the ground, even though they were not given specific instructions.

So how likely is it that you will receive a direct instruction from God? Scripture offers a way to answer the question. And the answer is: not very likely. It’s easy to check this on your own. Pick any biblical figure (except Jesus—it’s cheating to use Him since He’s both God and man) and count the number of times God gives that person a directive, then compare that number to how long the person lived.

What you’ll find is that even for someone like Abraham, directives were relatively rare. So if God rarely gave directives Abraham, Moses or Mary, maybe we need to adjust our expectations for receiving directives ourselves.

So if God doesn’t give you directives, does it matter what you do?

Christian tradition uses the language of stewardship to help us here. God is the master, we are His stewards. Everything you have—even your life itself—has been given to you by God. The only way not to be a steward of something you have is to own it. And nothing you have is truly yours—everything is on loan from God—so stewardship pervades every aspect of your life.

As stewards, we are expected to do something good with what we’ve been given, and that is why what we do with our lives matters. Stewardship—of your time, talents, resources, relationships and anything else you’ve been given—is your primary calling. And if stewardship is your primary calling, and if that call pervades your entire life, you need not worry about missing God’s calling for your life. Your call is simple: Use well the abilities that God has given you. Even for those decisions that seem big and important—where to move, what job to take, who to marry—your only call is to make a good decision. That is all there is to good stewardship.

The goal isn’t to make all the perfect decisions, either. The goal of stewardship is to honor God. If that is our goal, then our focus needs to move away from what particular actions we take to what kind of person we are. For if we are people who desire to honor God, we will be good stewards, and therefore will use well the abilities that we have been given.

How do I know whether you’re using well the abilities God has given me? And how do I know whether I’ve made a good decision for those seemingly big and important decisions?

Content by www.relevantmagazine.com

VMA 2015: Kanye West For President In 2020

‘And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.’

Kanye West received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards, and he closed his acceptance speech by announcing he’s running for president in 2020. Yes, really!

The segment started with a bang when West was handed his Moonman by an unexpected contemporary: reigning pop queen / one-time Kanye “victim” Taylor Swift. After a narrated montage containing clips from every part of West’s career, Swift came up on stage and talked about her West fandom and his influence on her career. She wrapped her speech by quoting West’s infamous 2009 VMA interruption — you know, the one where he rushed the stage and grabbed the mic from Swift to defend Beyoncé’s work — to proclaim that he’s had “one of the greatest careers of all time.”

West then spoke at length about being changed by fatherhood, defending artistry, the hypocrisy of media, the ridiculousness of award shows, and smoking a little something before getting up on stage “to take the edge off.” Yes, really! (Just one of many choice quotes: “I will die for the art, and for what I believe in — and the art ain’t always gonna be polite!”) He didn’t perform any music, a major break from recent Video Vanguard recipients — Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake both performed lengthy, career-spanning medleys when they won in 2014 and 2013, respectively — but his speech definitely constituted a special, idiosyncratic sort of performance.

And hey, who knows — in five years, West could be taking that signature intensity and boldness all the way to the White House. (Bring on First Lady Kim Kardashian West!)

For more on VMAs 2015 and the winners click here

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