TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY

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​​Whether you realise it or not, people are checking you out online every day; and these include prospective sponsors, business partners, investors, employers and literally anyone. The earlier you take charge of your online reputation, the better for you. I looked up my name on Google recently and my personal blog topped the list of search results. Not only that, 100 percent of the prime results are my own original content; exactly what I would want them to be! It was not always like that. It feels good to know that I now control what people see when they look me up online.

 

Building your online identity is a deliberate process; and the earlier you get started, the better. [Tweet that] Don’t wait until you need it badly before you start building it. By then, it will be too late. Now, you’re probably wondering where to start from. The first step is to ascertain your current online identity by checking out the information that already exists about you online. You also need to review your social media profiles and make sure that they don’t contain information you would rather not want publicised in some contexts. I once heard someone advise that whatever you cannot say into a loudspeaker on the street, don’t say it on Facebook, Twitter or any social media platform. That’s a good rule to abide by. [Tweet that]

 

Having taken care of the foregoing, you can go ahead to implement the following practical steps. These are tips which I have learnt and personally implemented with evident results:

 

1. Claim Your Name

Claim your name on all popular social media platforms. While you don’t have to be active on every social media platform, you need to claim your name on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest and about.me. This will prevent someone else from creating a fake account with the intent to misrepresent you for fraudulent purposes.

 

In addition to claiming your name on the popular social media platforms, you should also register a domain name. This will serve as a sort of online home for you where you can showcase your portfolio and share your thoughts. You should seek a domain that exactly matches your name in order to increase your possibilities for better ranking when people are searching for you on Google and other search engines. I, for example, have three personal domains: philipamiola.com, philipamiola.org and philipamiola.me.

 

2. Create and Share Useful Content

Build your website and post useful content on it. Write articles that contain valuable information. This is one way to establish your expertise. However, it is not enough to create content, you also need to get people to read your content. Share your content on social media platforms and everywhere possible.

 

3. Engage Your Community

Interactions are a crucial component of any effort to build online reputation. Connect with other interesting people online. Share their posts on Facebook, retweet them on Twitter, send them compliments on about.me, and comment on their blog posts. Some blogs permit you to include a link to your website while posting comments. This implies added visibility for you. Your activities online should not just be about you; seek to help others and always give more than you take.

 

By implementing the foregoing recommendations, you will be on your way to building an online identity that you will be proud of. Two steps you should take right away include registering a domain name and creating a professional profile on LinkedIn. Creating a LinkedIn profile is the easiest thing you can do to guarantee that the first Google link with your name on it is professional. Of course, there’s a lot more to be done, but taking these first steps will get you up and running.

 

And remember, it will require a great deal of patience, persistence and consistency. [Tweet that] Please let me know if you need any help. I am here to assist you every step of the way.

 

Question: Have you started taking charge of your online identity already or are you just about to get started? What discoveries have you made? What questions do you have? Let’s hear from you in the comments.

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Celebrate the Living Word!

Who is Jesus to You

The written Word was given to prepare us for the manifestation of the Living Word in the person of Christ. He is the one whom Moses wrote about in his teachings and whom the prophets wrote about (John 1:45). This progressive revelation of Himself would culminate in the eventual manifestation of His person. [Tweet that]

As we celebrate Easter, let us remember that Jesus Christ is not just a historical figure; He is the Living Word of God who formed us and sustains us. In Him we live and move and have our being. We are complete in Him.

This would happen through an event that would split the ages and herald the human race into a whole new era – the Word became a human being and lived here with us! (John 1:14). The life, death and resurrection of Jesus recalibrated time and changed the course of history forever. [Tweet that] Even the secular world had to admit that it’s no longer business as usual. Everything had changed. God had invaded the earth. Divinity had mingled with humanity.

Before the physical manifestation of God’s Son, humanity regarded angels as the closest resemblance of the Divine. Angels were venerated as a result of this. With the advent of the Son however, we are no longer left in the dark. We are made to see the incomparable vastness of the glory of the Son and His utmost superiority over and above the angels. Furthermore, we are made to see our position in Him! Now, no one has to worship angels anymore. Even angels worship the Son! (Hebrews 1:4 – 6).

Christian denominations who are involved in the worship of angels (Michael, Gabriel and the rest of them) should realise that this has never been the will of God (Revelation 19:9 – 10; 22:8 – 9). The ministry of angels was so great as to command awe and admiration. The ministry of God’s Son is incomparably greater and much more glorious. Christ is the express image and the exact representation of God; and He, not angels, deserves our worship. The Bible is clear about the position of angels – they are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will be heirs of salvation (See Hebrews 1:14). Isn’t it obvious then, that worship of angels is a reversal of the divine order? [Tweet that]

As we celebrate Easter, let us remember that Jesus Christ is not just a historical figure; He is the Living Word of God who formed us and sustains us. In Him we live and move and have our being. We are complete in Him. Celebrate Jesus!

Question: People have all kinds of ideas about Jesus. But who is Jesus to you personally? Let’s hear from you in the comments.

Photo Credit: Calvary Baptist Church, Vernon, Texas, USA.

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LORD, WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG?

Road sign
As we grow in our spiritual walk, many of us have learnt not to ask, “How shall these things be?” because we have come to recognise that God works in mysterious ways and that He is able to do that which He has promised. However, most of us are still prone to occasional feelings of anxiety which cause us to ask, “When shall these things be?” We get too busy forecasting the timing of our manifestation that we get worried, worked up and sometimes, totally discouraged such that when the time actually comes, we are exhausted, unprepared or simply too disenchanted to recognise it. So it passes us by. We need to recognise that timing is the Father’s business. Our business is preparation.

It is not for you to time the manifestation of God’s purpose for your life. Your job is to prepare and position yourself

It is not for you to time the manifestation of God’s purpose for your life. Your job is to prepare and position yourself as you consciously align yourself with timeless principles which are guaranteed to facilitate the manifestation of the reality you have envisioned. Joshua, Elisha and Matthias are three Bible characters that illustrate this well. These men entered the fullness of their destiny by consciously following the Master and maintaining consistent fellowship with Him.  This is what we are all called to do.

It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice and authority and personal power. (Acts 1:6-7 AMP). All that is required of you is to get a vision of God’s plan for your life and diligently work at it until it becomes a reality. Don’t discard the vision or settle for a lesser alternative because it seems to be taking too long. It will happen at the right time and in the right way.

Question: How do you encourage yourself when the fulfilment of your God-given dreams seems to be taking too long?

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ORDER YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR WORDS – Free ebook!

Order Your Life

I was skimming through my social media profiles one bright morning when a status update caught my attention. It said, “Life is a bitch. So if it’s easy, you’re doing it wrong.” That’s one drop in the stream of negative words that course through social media channels every day. It grieves my spirit to see people make such declarations as I have learnt by experience and practice that what we think/talk about will come about. Simply put, we shall have whatsoever we say. [Tweet that]. I’ve had to point this out privately to so many people that I eventually decided to go public with it so I can help as many people as possible; hence the publication of my new book, #OrderYourLife: Tweet-ready Confessions & Declarations to Jumpstart Your Day

Your words will either set you free or keep you bound. What you think/talk about will come about. Your words are self-fulfilling prophecies.

You see, life runs on principles; and one of these principles is that you shall have whatsoever you say! That is, ultimately, your words are self-fulfilling prophecies. God’s Word says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, so you must accept the consequences of your words [for death or life].” (Proverbs 18:21, Matthew 12:37). If we are going to succeed God’s way, we must align our lives with His Word rather than our feelings or public opinion. [Tweet that!]

What you say can preserve life or destroy it. It’s OK to say what we feel; but it’s totally wrong to declare them as the absolute reality. For instance, I sometimes wake up feeling very sick; but that’s only a feeling and it doesn’t change anything. The reality is that I cannot be sick because the divine life flows in me. So while it’s OK to say “I feel sick”, it will be wrong to say, “I am sick”. The former is only a statement of fact while the latter is personalising the sickness and accepting it as my reality. Now, does this mean that we deny facts or apparent realities? Not at all! We acknowledge the facts! However, we do not allow them to control our actions or change our confession. Rather, we subject the variable facts and apparent realities of our feelings, situations and circumstances to the constant truth and ultimate reality of God’s Word.

If we are going to succeed God’s way, we must align our lives with His Word rather than our feelings and opinions. 

The Word says that when there is a casting down (temporary/variable fact and apparent reality), you say there is a lifting up (permanent/constant truth and ultimate reality). God says that as you do this, the light shall shine in your way (Job 22:28). The Word of God is Light (Psalm 109:5, 2 Peter 1:19). You need constant exposure to the Light for the light to break forth in you. You need to keep reading God’s Word, confessing God’s Word, meditating on God’s Word and hearing God’s Word, especially as you confess and mutter it to yourself. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17, paraphrased). That is, it is only as you hear God’s Word over and over again that faith is birthed in your heart. If you don’t meditate on God’s Word and speak it to yourself continually, you will not have the power to do according to all that is written in it (Joshua 1:8); hence your success in life will be greatly limited.

If you’ll believe in your heart what the Word of God says and confess it with your mouth, you’ll get results.

On the other hand, speaking God’s Word and hearing it over and over again will birth faith in your heart; and this faith will overcome the world (John 16:33, 1John 5:4). When God’s Word settles in your spirit, you will become an embodiment of divine wisdom which causes you to always know what to do and have the power to do it. That is how to live the victorious life. I have learnt that whatever we focus on the most will ultimately become our reality. When we train ourselves to consciously speak the empowering Word of God and act in line with it regardless of our circumstances, we will open up our minds to possibilities and solutions that we did not see before. My goal with #OrderYourLife is to help you do just that. Now, some folks may discard this as foolish talk. Well, that’s alright. Like I once heard my pastor say, I’d rather be foolish and be blessed than come off as intelligent and be like everybody else.

Create new possibilities by speaking and acting in line with God’s Word consciously and consistently.

The foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men. The Word of God is the wisdom of God; and that is what I present to you in this practical guide. I hope you’ll take time to check it out at Smashwords where you can read it for free. You can also download it in various digital formats to read at your convenience. If you’ll believe in your heart what the Word of God says and confess it with your mouth, you’ll get results. [Tweet that]

Question: What have you learned about the power of words? Share your insights and observations in the comments.

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HOW TO FULFIL YOUR GOD-GIVEN DESTINY

Pencil pattern

God will not commit Himself to you until you commit yourself to His Word. The more you act in line with what God has said, the more you establish your position as a candidate of divine election. Every step that you take in line with your commitment to God’s Word brings you closer to fulfilling your destiny. Consequently, the easiest and surest way to succeed in any area of life is locating the prophetic Word about that area and keying in to it.

God’s will for your life is encoded in His Word; and the manifestation of that encoded will is contingent upon your alignment with His revealed will – the divinely inspired Scriptures (2Timothy 3:16-17). You will only receive your specific road map for life and destiny as you consciously seek to understand the whole purpose, plan and counsel of God as expressed in the written Word (Acts 20:27, Hebrews 10:7). Let the Holy Spirit paint your destiny on the canvas of His Word. [Tweet that]

One Bible figure whose life illustrates these truths is Mary, the mother of Jesus. Although God had revealed that the Messiah would be brought forth through a virgin, he concealed the fact that it was going to be a virgin who was engaged to be married. However, He had made it known in the beginning that He desired the union of man and woman for the full manifestation of His purposes on earth. Consequently, the Messiah would need to be nurtured within the context of a godly family even though he would be conceived without human aid.

By getting engaged to Joseph, Mary was acting in line with this general revelation about God’s desire to raise families for the fulfilment of His purposes on earth; and by so doing, she set herself up as an eligible candidate to bear the Holy seed thereby stepping into her prophetic destiny. Thus, Mary became the mother of Jesus not only because she was a virgin but also because she and Joseph were engaged to be married.

The only way to guarantee that you will fulfil your destiny in full is by living out God’s Word in full (Joshua 1:8). To fulfil your marital destiny, find out what God has said about marriage and consciously live it out. To fulfil your financial destiny, find out what God has said about finances and consciously live it out. To fulfil God’s destiny for your business/career, search out God’s Word as it concerns business/career and consciously live it out. You can do the same for your health, social life, ministry and every other aspect of life. [Tweet that]

You cannot fulfil destiny in one day; but you can fulfil destiny on a daily basis. You have a glorious destiny; and I see you fulfilling it as you consciously and consistently align yourself with the truth of God’s Word whilst living it out by the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember, it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the honour of kings to search it out. Search out what God has said concerning you; believe it, confess it, meditate on it and consistently act in line with it. This is how to fulfil your destiny on a daily basis. [Tweet that]

Question: What does destiny mean to you? And what practical steps can you take right now to begin or continue a conscious fulfilment of your destiny? Please share your thoughts in the comments and I’ll send you a helpful ebook.

Have a fruitful and prosperous year ahead.

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CONSULT THE WORD FIRST

Consult God's Word

The greatest mystery in the world is the Word of God. Before the world began, the Word was there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1-2). The universe was framed and is being sustained by the Word of God. Jesus says, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” So, every word of God is spirit, it has a life of its own. And when you ingest the Word, you’re incorporating the very life of God into your system. Each time you encounter the living Word of God, eternity impregnates time and divinity swallows up mortality. [Tweet that].

When you ingest the Word, you’re incorporating the very life of God into your system. Each time you encounter the living Word of God, eternity impregnates time and divinity swallows up mortality.

Since the Word pre-existed the beginning, it means that the Word has an experiential knowledge of everything that has ever happened since the beginning. The Word is the Ancient of Days; and if we would defer to an older or more experienced person simply because they have the advantage of experience which comes from age, we should defer to the Word even more. We should consult the Word for every aspect of our lives because the Word knows it all, having existed from the beginning.

When you need answers to the questions of life, the Word of God should be your first resort. You see, Google doesn’t have all the answers; God does. And He has revealed it by His Spirit in the Bible – the written Word of God. The written Word is given by the inspiration of God. Put differently, the written Word is the Spirit of God. Google only searches the World Wide Web, but the Spirit searches all things. [Tweet that]. Before you look it up on Google, look it up in the Word. You can have answers to every question of life if you will study the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

I have found out that developing a commitment to live by God’s Word is not always easy, especially at the outset. It usually starts as a duty, after which it becomes a discipline; and finally, it becomes a delight.

As I progress in my spiritual journey, I have discovered that developing a commitment to live by God’s Word is not always easy, especially at the outset. It usually starts as a duty, after which it becomes a discipline; and finally, it becomes a delight. At the moment, I think I’m hovering somewhere between discipline and delight. And I believe that we all need a measure of discipline to enjoy the delight that comes with imbibing the life and spirit of God through a consistent devotion to His Word.

Question: Does the message in this post resonate with you? What insights would you like to share with us? Please let’s learn from you in the comments.

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GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A CLEAN SLATE

Overcoming guiltOne of the benefits we enjoy from studying the Bible is that it helps us understand the character of God. As we study God’s Word, the Holy Spirit enlightens our mind, causing us to break free from the shackles of religion and see through the fog of deception.

Reading through the book of Isaiah, we see God lamenting the foolishness of His people in rebelling against the One that fed and nourished them. We see the depravity and utter foolishness of idolatry – not putting God first over and above our feelings, ambitions, desires and cravings. [Tweet that]

God’s anger is easily perceptible as He reproves and reprimands His people. Interestingly however, in the same breath, He invites them to come talk it over and argue it out with Him, promising in advance that He would wipe out their sins at His own expense! Such mercy! Such grace!

Hear Him:

Wash yourselves clean! I am disgusted with your filthy deeds. Stop doing wrong and learn to live right. See that justice is done. Defend widows and orphans and help those in need. I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18)

In the same way, God is extending an invitation to us today. You see, like the father of the prodigal son, His eagerness to have us back home far outweighs our hesitance to return. His mercy is greater than our failings and His grace is greater than our sins. [Tweet that]. He wants to rid us of guilt and self-doubt. All He asks is our willingness to wash ourselves clean by accepting the righteousness procured for us by the blood of Jesus; and learn to do right by renewing our mind with the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t matter how filthy we have become. It doesn’t matter how stained we think we are; He has given us His assurance: Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. God has guaranteed our forgiveness! And when He forgives us, He doesn’t send our sins to the recycle bin; He deletes them permanently! Our slate is forever wiped clean. He will never again remember our sins. He knows that the natural man will not believe this easily, so He reiterates His promise in Isaiah 43:25, Hebrews 8:12 and several other scriptures: I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins. [Tweet that]

Now that you know this, how long will you permit the devil to torment you with guilt? For how long will you continue to stay away from the One who is waiting for you with open arms? For how long will you excuse yourself from the party that Extravagant Grace has thrown for you? You don’t have to spend one more day in the rut of sin consciousness and self condemnation. Remember, you cannot earn forgiveness with your “acts of righteousness” – God considers them as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

So it doesn’t matter how hard you try to please God, your best will never be good enough. [Tweet that]. And thankfully God has not invited us to try; He has only called us to believe. He desires that we believe and receive the provision that He has made for us in Christ who became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Stop struggling with guilt. You cannot atone for your own sin or that of anyone else; only Christ can – and He already did. Accept His provision today.

 

Question: How do you prevent guilt and condemnation from hampering your walk with God? Let’s learn from you in the comments.

Photo credit: Wikihow

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GETTING ON GOD’S FREQUENCY

Hearing God

God wants to relate with us but He cannot do so until we get on the same frequency with Him. And he has told us how to do this – by tuning in to Him as we align our thoughts with His thoughts [Tweet that]. God is Spirit; hence, we cannot relate with Him physically. We relate with God in the realm of thoughts and we can only walk with Him as we bring our thoughts into agreement with His.

If we must maximise destiny and live out God’s original intention for our lives, we must consistently bring our thoughts and every aspect of everyday life into alignment with God’s thoughts regardless of our impulses, feelings, situations and circumstances. To help us achieve this, God injects His thoughts into our minds and expects us to accept, believe, confess, meditate and reflect on those thoughts until they become a part of our being, continually dominating our consciousness [Tweet that].

To construct a building, the building engineer must have a clear understanding of the client’s thoughts as expressed in the blueprint or building plan. In the same way, to fulfil our destiny, we must have a clear understanding of God’s thoughts as encoded by the Holy Spirit [Tweet that]. And after understanding His thoughts, we must bring ourselves into alignment with them. God’s thoughts and ways are very different and far separated from ours. These thoughts are contained in His Word and we develop capacity to understand them by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit who is our interpreter, our teacher and our guide. Our ability to hear God clearly is therefore determined by the degree of our commitment to the Word and depth of fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

Question: How does your relationship with God influence your everyday decisions? How do you receive guidance and direction from Him in the pursuit of your life assignment?

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ACHIEVING MORE BY DOING LESS

Overwhelmed

Have you ever noticed that we always seem to be pressed for time? The age we live in continuously places us under a demand to get more done in less time. How many times in the past week have you heard someone quip about not having enough time to complete an assignment or carry out a required task? And how many times have you done that yourself? Few things can be more overwhelming than being haunted by a catalogue of pending assignments and uncompleted tasks. For years, I’ve noticed that I’m always trying to keep up with tasks, assignments and commitments. And over time, I have realised that I will never have time for everything I want to do but I will always have time for everything I need to do.

I have learnt to…

1. Focus on my priorities

When I focus on a few important things that I need to do each day, I am able to achieve more by doing less. [Tweet that]. I am learning to apply the 80/20 rule and identify the tasks that will have the greatest impact over the long term. The satisfaction that comes with executing the vital 20 percent then fires me up with enthusiasm to tackle the remaining 80 percent. One thing that has helped me in this regard is having a physical or electronic blueprint of what I intend to achieve each day. It is not enough to make mental notes; it’s important to actually write it out. [Tweet that]

2. Trim down my commitments

Evaluating my commitments and minimising or eliminating time-consuming activities that don’t contribute much to my life-assignment has helped to increase my effectiveness. [Tweet that]. I have learnt that I cannot attend every workshop, accept every invitation or take on every project.

3. Do one thing at a time

If success had a formula that can be expressed in terms of constants and variables, concentration would be a constant. [Tweet that]. Although multitasking is touted as a vital workplace skill, it is often counterproductive. Multitasking dilutes my focus. My level of productivity rises as I increase my focus. As much as possible, I try to focus on just one task at a time.

In addition to the aforementioned lessons, I always remember the words of Charles Buxton which I incorporated into my personal creed as a high school student: You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.

Question: Do you ever feel overwhelmed by having so much to do within a limited time frame? How do you handle it? Share in the comments.

 

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HOW CAN I MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Make-a-Difference

We’ve heard so much about making a difference in our world that we probably don’t need more motivational talk. What we need is decisive action springing up from a foundation of self awareness. This is because you must first be before you can do. In other words, you cannot make a difference if you have not discovered who you are. No two human beings are exactly alike. God made each of us different; hence, making a difference simply boils down to discovering God’s unique purpose for our individual lives and living it out.

In learning to live out my purpose, I have found the following tips useful:

1. Start small

Don’t despise the days of little beginning. Any big dream that doesn’t start small is only a daydream. [Tweet that]. God’s Word says a little one shall become a thousand and a small one shall become a great nation. Identify what God has called you to do and start somewhere – anywhere. It may be something as simple as sending text messages, creating a Facebook page, opening a Twitter account or starting a blog. And these things are neither difficult nor expensive. If you’re waiting until you have everything you need, you will have to wait very long, perhaps forever. Don’t be intimidated by obstacles or perceived incompetence. Get started and tackle the obstacles as you go on. Deal with your fears, step out of your comfort zone and get started. [Tweet that]

2. Think globally and act locally

You’re making a difference when you:

  • Do little things in a big way.
  • Do common things in an uncommon way.
  • Do ordinary things extraordinarily well.

Let the excellence and perfection of God shine through everything you do. [Tweet that] What improvement or innovation can you bring to your business, ministry or career? How can you repackage an existing product, process or commodity to meet global standards? A simple example of this is packaged water. A few years ago, someone thought of packaging water in sealed transparent bags as a more convenient yet hygienic alternative for people who could not afford bottled water. Now, pure water is a major industry in Nigeria.

3. Do for a few what you would like to do for many

I first read this on Michael Nichol’s blog and it made such a strong impression on me. You don’t have to wait until you have the capacity to fulfil your dreams on a large scale. Just do something with what you have where you are. It can be as little as buying textbooks for an indigent student, providing sandals for a poor schoolboy or arranging a decent meal for a less privileged family. You see, each human being is an expression of God. And God does not see people as statistics, He sees them as individuals. [Tweet that]. So, it means a lot to Him when you alleviate one person’s problems. You’ll find this difficult if your goal is to impress people or receive recognition. In my own experience, I have learnt to perform for an audience of one – the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t seek to impress people; I seek to impress Jesus. And the more I impress Jesus, the more I will be a blessing to the world.

Now that you know these things, what will you do with them? It’s time to banish your excuses and take decisive action. The challenges are our opportunities. The possibilities are especially vast for those of us in the developing nations of Africa, because in pitch darkness, even the faintest glimmer makes a world of difference. [Tweet that]

Postscript:

I have derived tremendous inspiration from the story of William Kamkwamba, a Malawian boy who made a difference by pursuing his dreams in spite of very harsh circumstances. Watch his TED presentation below:

Question: What are the excuses preventing you from pursuing your dreams and making a difference? How are you dealing with them? Let’s learn from you in the comments.

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