Monday, 12 November 2018

I Pray that...

‘I pray that . . .’A very simple phrase that we often read in many places, like in letters from friends, well wishes greeting cards, posters or wall frames. We see it so often and say it even more often that sometimes we forget what it really means. Throughout the bible, we read verses that start with these words. They are genuine prayers from an apostle to his followers, or from one friend to another. However, of all the ‘I pray that’ verses, this one stands out for me: “Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers.” 3 John 1:2. In many ways, this is the most wholesome prayer you can say for yourself and for a friend. Let’s take a minute to look at what it is about.
I pray that you prosper in every way

In today’s world, the prosperity message has taken on a whole new meaning in our pulpits, where the call to give to God is often associated with receiving wealth back. My idea of prosperity, though, is simple—that you succeed in all you do. Think about it. Succeeding is just getting the right outcome to something you are trying to achieve. So, in the case of a child learning to ride a bike, success is riding a two-wheeler. 

To a single mom, success may be seeing her son graduate from high school. To a businessman, it may be getting the license approved to start a new company. The concept of success differs from person to person and from situation to situation. But more than achieving what we desire, the benefit of success is what it does to us. It’s the feeling that comes from accomplishing something. The satisfaction of finishing something you started, the joy from reaping the rewards of something you labored hard for. That’s what John was praying about. 

We all know that we get reenergized when we succeed at something. It’s that continued energy, the joy and the profits that John prayed for when he was saying I pray you succeed in every way. What a wonderful prayer to say every day and teach our kids to do the same. Imagine how their lives would be if they succeed in their endeavors, and how satisfying ours would be if we succeed in our own—the big and the little things. The next time someone talks about prosperity, think beyond your bank account; instead, think about little things, like a safe trip to work or a safe delivery. That’s real prosperity.

I pray that you enjoy good health

This second part of the prayer goes without saying. What would you be able to do if your health was failing? I’m guessing not much. You could have all the monies in the world stacked up in your bank account but no energy to enjoy it. If you’ve ever had a health scare or have someone close to you going through a health situation, you’d agree that health is indeed wealth. I believe John was saying this prayer for us to have good health to live the life God designed for us and also for us to appreciate every waking moment. 

If you have your health intact, you should wake up each day saying a word of thanks to God for this. And if you are going through a tough health situation, I would encourage you to keep asking God for his strength and healing, and continue to live each day with courage, knowing that God will never leave you or forsake you. Even if we can’t always understand why we have to go through things we do, take courage in the fact that God has you in the palm of his hands, and he will never forget you. His healing power will find you and restore you back to good health.

I pray that your soul prospers

This is my favorite part of this prayer. When all is said and done, health and wealth don’t stand a chance if you have no relationship with God. After all, we are spirit beings. While we are alive and do the best we can to have a healthy and prosperous existence, at the end we will die and exit this world. So, what happens next? This prayer is focused on helping us realize the most important part of our life is our relationship with God. Do you know him? Does he know you? John prays here that we all know God through his son Jesus, and that we continue to grow and prosper in our love and relationship with him. So, when the end of our time on earth comes, we can have a new hope in the life we face after, in eternity with our God.

This prayer of John is one that touches our spirit, soul, and body—three areas that needs to function well if we are to have a great life. So, if you don’t know how to pray, or even if you do know how to pray, I encourage you to say this prayer daily, and teach your kids and family to do the same. In fact, let’s start right now, say with me: “Lord, I pray that I succeed in every way, that I have good health, and that my soul prospers in the relationship I have in you.” Amen.

Wordle Bible Game

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Kid's Talk - Tips on loosing your first teeth calmly

My son made this video for his cousin, sharing great tips on how to loose her first teeth calmly. I thought other moms and dads going through this experience with their child may want to listen and share with them.

When kids talk, kids listen :)

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

5 Stories You Can Tell In Your Marketing

Gone are the days of aggressive sales copy (or so they should be), Storytelling is the antidote to scare tactics or hyperbole (‘This frying pan will literally save your life in 10 awe-inspiring ways!’). It’s more gentle, yet still powerful — focusing on sharing real-life emotions and connections.

Storytelling helps to make your market more emotionally invested in your brand. It creates an identity for your brand and shares this through stories. This basically allows your customers to form a personal connection with your brand, which means they’re more likely to trust you, buy your products and remain loyal customers.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur and you want to start using storytelling in your marketing, it can be difficult to know where to start. But if you’re struggling, don’t worry —  here are some ideas for stories you can tell in your marketing…

1.   Your origin story

The most obvious story that a business can start with — and one that is normally included on an ’About Us’ page. Where did it all begin? How did your business get started in the first place?

Whether it was round a table at a bar, in your spare bedroom, or by the watercooler at your old job — your audience want to know.

Origin stories are all about the people behind the business. They’re a great way on humanizing your brand and showing that there are real people behind the computer screens.

If you’re quite a big company by now, it’s particularly good for your consumers to read about your humble beginnings. Write about your roots — how you grew from two best friends with a great idea to a successful business with hundreds of staff (or whatever your story might be!).

There’s a fascinating concept that there are fundamentally only seven types of stories in the world — check out this post to see which big brands fit into which story types.

2.   Your values

What are your brand values? How and why were your values chosen?

Telling your consumers about your values as a brand helps them to decide if their values align, and therefore how much they can identify with you.

Identifying with a brand is important to consumers: it establishes trust and empathy, and makes them feel more connected to you. It also creates a sense of community with other consumers, meaning your customers are more likely to talk about you and promote your brand to other people.

Stories about your values are great — but make sure they’re meaningful, memorable and clear.

If your values include charity work or donations, then talk about the work you do, and how your brand helps the wider community or those in need. If some of your proceeds go to worthy causes, talk about how the money is spent and what it goes towards.

Be proud of your work — the more you tell your story, the more people will read it and want to contribute to your cause.

3.   Your product’s founding story

What made you decide to make and/or sell your product? How did you come up with your concept?

There could be all sorts of reasons behind your product’s creation. It could be that you found a solution to a problem that no one had thought of yet. Or maybe you had a eureka moment in your own life that you realised you could share with others?

Perhaps you were annoyed with how the big brands were charging extortionate prices for a product or service, when you knew you could do it for way less.

Or maybe you want to make the world a better place with your product by helping those in need or contributing to environmental causes? 

Share this with your readers: explain how your product came into existence. You can make this story inspirational, funny, thought-provoking — it’s up to you.

Your product should never be the main character in your story. Instead, talk about how it fixes a problem, or how it is helping people; how it is used for a greater good.

It’s about more than just material goods; your stories needs to be about real people, real lives, and connections. How does your product impact lives?

4.   Stories of failure

It might sounds weird, but stories about any failures your business has had are good to tell. These types of story show how you’ve overcome obstacles, learnt from your mistakes, and shows resilience.

Failure stories are good if you’ve had a particularly public stumbling block. They’re also beneficial if you’re undergoing a rebrand — perhaps you’re unhappy with how your website looks, or maybe you’ve bought a website for sale that needs rejuvenating. You can talk about how your business was previously flagging, and how you’ve turned it around.

Document your hard work and effort for your audience so that they can see the journey you’ve gone on. Keep a track of progress and stats too, in case you want to do a ‘before and after’!

Failure stories show how your perception has changed and how you’re willing to embrace this new knowledge and learn from it.

They’re redemption stories: they show change, and make your business more human and more relatable. So when you earn your successes, your audience will be proud and support your achievements.

5.   Behind the scenes stories

Behind the scenes stories are always fun to tell. You can show your audience what happens behind the official photos and posts — the backend of the business.

This could be what your office looks like, or what a typical day at your desk entails. You can introduce or interview your staff or colleagues, by sharing their personal stories and how they came to join the company. You can even show the work that goes into creating a product, or show the product’s journey from beginning to end. The possibilities are endless!

Behind the scenes stories are great to tell because they make your reader feel like they’re in on a secret; like you’ve given them valuable private information.

They also allow your market to get to know the friendly faces behind your brand, rather than leaving you a faceless corporation.

Don’t be afraid to tell stories. They help to humanize your company, and allow you to reach out to your readers and engage with them. Through stories you can forge long-lasting, meaningful relationships.

As you can see, there are a number of different stories you can tell in your marketing. You’re probably already telling some of these anyway, without even realizing it! The key is to be honest and human, but it’s up to you which routes you go down. You can also decide which medium you want to tell your story — through video, photos, or content.

At the end of the day, storytelling isn’t a gimmick — it’s about sharing real connections, emotions and imagination.

The end.


Article Written by Kayleigh Alexandra. Kayleigh is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site that donates all of its web revenue to charities supporting new startups, entrepreneurs, and other worthy causes. Visit the blog for inspiring stories and the latest insights from top marketing experts. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Heightening your instincts to make better decisions.

One song I really like is ‘The Gambler’ by Kenny Rogers:

‘You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em
Know when to fold ‘em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run…’

I’m not sure if I like the song because of the lyrics or the tune. But what I love about the song is its notion of knowing when to act and when not to, like a good cardplayer does. That’s one of the greatest secrets of success in life: timing.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘Timing is everything’, and I’m sure, just like me, you’ve had your share of good and bad timing. How grand would life be if we all just knew and understood the right time for everything in life? You would know when to push and when to hold.

Think about all the wasted energy you have invested in something that didn’t work because it wasn’t the right time for it. We could all do with a good sense of timing, couldn’t we? We have to go through life making decisions based on our best guesses according to the facts at hand and our limited foresight of tomorrow.

How can we improve our chances of being ‘there’ at just the right time? One of my favourite Bible verses is Ecclesiastes 9:11: ‘The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.’

It’s all about time and chance — a good gamble, some may say. One way to improve your timing is to heighten your senses and sharpen your intuitions. Now, you know as well as I do that the only way to keep a knife sharp is to use and reuse it. The same goes for intuition: it gets better over time.

Think about it: at some point in life you’ve wanted to do something that you ‘felt’ you should do. You couldn’t really tell why you felt that way — you simply did. If you listened to your inner voice and obeyed it, then you enhanced your intuition. But every time you ignored it, you let it become duller. And if you continue to ignore it, it eventually fades away. Some say that it’s your sixth sense, others say it’s the still voice inside your head. Whatever school of thought you belong to, we can all agree that it’s a good idea to pay attention when you have an ‘inclination’ in your mind.

Like a good card game, you get better by playing. By the same token, you get ‘luckier’ by heightening your instincts. Don’t get dull and sloppy by basing your decisions on what everyone else is saying. What’s your spirit saying to you? ‘But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.’ Job 32:8. Yes, you read that right — that voice, instinct, or intuition is the spirit of God guiding you. Honestly, you can’t ask for a better guide than the creator of life Himself.

So quit gambling with your choices in life. Stop showing up one minute later. Halt the speedy drive down life’s highway and listen to the voice of God in you. ‘Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”’ Isaiah 30:21.

Where is He guiding you? Are you taking the leap, or still second-guessing yourself? Are you basing your decisions on social media or society news pages? Think again. All of life is time and chance; listen to the Master’s voice guiding you and make great decisions at just the right time.