Help! I lost my job and I’m in my 40s.

Dear CBG,

I am a bit old. I’m in my 40s and this is not my first job. I’ve done several contract jobs but I knew this job was permanent. I had dreams of retiring from this organisation but just last week, my employers invited me to a meeting and bluntly informed me they were laying me off. I was sad, confused and hurt. I haven’t really saved up so much money because of some projects I’ve been undertaking. Now, look at my age. Who will employ me in their firm? I’m a good Christian and I’m wondering how God can do this to me, especially, at this time. What should I do? I’ll be reading your response.

—- A very worried woman

CBG’s Response

Hello Madam,

To start with, it’s important to note that your situation is not an isolated one neither is this the first time it’s ever happened. This should give you some comfort but how you handle this is crucial to the success of the next phase of your life.

You need, also, to note that age is just a number and it has very little to do with how much you can achieve in this world. There were those who were successful at their early age and those who were, much later in their lives. In the Bible, there are several examples of individuals that God used in their old age. When God called Moses, he was old and well-stricken in age. Moses and Noah were not young either but they were used by God. Take a cue from Col. Sanders who started KFC (a worldwide brand) in his 60’s. This is to emphasize the point that age is only a number. All you need to do is to be smart and wise about your decisions.

God is not the author of your current situation and you need to thank Him for the next phase of your life. Don’t be bitter and sore for losing your job but be grateful for what God has placed in your hands (gift and skills). Instead of displaying negative emotions, gather every positive energy because you’re going to need it.

Practically, you need to make adjustments to your lifestyle because your regular source of income has been cut off. Cut out the unnecessary expenditure and keep to your budget. It may be uncomfortable in the initial stages but you’ll gradually adjust to it.

One question God will pose to you is

“what do you have in your hands?”

Like He posed to Moses. In other words, what are your gifts, skills and, channels that God can use to bless you? You shouldn’t look too far. It could be a simple skill as baking, selling or farming. Even in your 40s, it’s not too late to learn a new skill but it’s advisable to focus on the ones you’ve gathered over the years. You can either decide to work for yourself or for another firm that requires your skills. Your age shouldn’t be a barrier. If you had dreams initially, this is the time to put them to use. Don’t lose hope, we’ll be praying with you.

To our readers who are gainfully employed now, the Bible says Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8).

The ant gathers it’s food in anticipation for the drought. There is a thing as “fat season and lean season” (drawn from Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream – Genesis 41). In simple terms be wise like Joseph who instructed Egypt to store up food during the fat season so they could have some during the lean season. Egypt became the hub of trading because of the wisdom of one man. Be wise especially in your fat season.

Do you have any piece of advice for this woman? Please share in the comment section. She’ll be reading.

The ‘S-A-L-V-A-T-I-O-N’ of Our Salvation

S – Save.

Jesus Christ came to die on the cross to save us. While we were born sinners, He came in the purest form through the conception of a virgin, lived a short but purposeful life, proving right all prophecies concerning his birth, death and resurrection. We get saved when we accept, believe and confess his Lordship over our lives.

A – Amazing

Amazing grace – that is what saved souls like you and I. We were once lost but this amazing grace found us. We were sick but now we are healed. We were powerless but by His amazing grace, we have the authority to stand against the devil and his cohorts.

L – Love

His death on the cross portrays nothing but the extent of His love for humanity. The Bible says,

‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life’ – John 3:16.

1 John 3:16 goes further to define ‘love’ as Jesus Christ laying down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

V – Victory

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ spells victory for us in the sense that He defeated death and Colossians 2:5 puts it like this;

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

This victory transcends to us when we accept Jesus Christ as our saviour. We become victorious over all negative situations – poverty, sickness and all complications in our lives. We overcome them through our salvation and live victoriously.

A – Awesome

His death and resurrection has created that awesome relationship between us and God once again. We, who were once sinners, through the deeds of one man, can call the God of perfection, our Father. We take over God’s nature once again through salvation – Colossians 2:13.

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T – Thankful

We can be thankful to God for coming to die on the cross to save us from our sins. We can also show our appreciation by witnessing to others and depopulating hell. Let’s evangelise to others – through our way of life and words.

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              I – Incredible            

Just cast your mind back to when God created the world and made man in His own image and righteousness. Throughout scriptures, there were prophecies made about His birth, death and resurrection and He came to fulfill each and every one of them. If this cannot be described as incredible, what else qualifies as such?

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   O – Outstanding

Our acceptance of the gift He has given us makes us outstanding, different and unique. Our lives begin to change the moment we accept Jesus as our Lord and personal saviour. Our speech, understanding of events and lifestyle begin to reflect this new life that we have:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

N- Noble

Can anyone’s death be described as noble? Yes, the saviour of the world’s death can be described as such and the result is our salvation.

You can only manifest these beautiful adjectives when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal saviour. Have you accepted him yet? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? 

The Faith Digest

If Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen and

It is what gives us the assurance about things we cannot see,

Then,

Faith is believing in Jesus Christ, His resurrection and second coming.

It is believing in every word that is written in the Bible.

Faith is the understanding that the worlds were framed by the word of God.

It is obedience and without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Faith is believing in the word of God to the point that even when things are not going right, you’ll be hopeful.

It is trusting that whatever God has said about your life will come to pass.

Faith is walking away from that prayer meeting without any doubt that your heart desires will be fulfilled by your Father.

It is sowing seed with the last money in your wallet and trusting that God will pull a miracle.

Faith is starting that business and believing it will work even though everyone around you tells you otherwise.

It could mean packing items into your suitcase even though you have not received the visa to travel yet.

Faith could also mean purchasing those work clothes even though you have not been called for the job interview.

It is starting that church or fellowship even though you do not have the physical building or the members.

Faith is following the voice within to buy that plot of land in the neighbourhood where no one is building.

It is believing you are healed even though you do not feel it.

Faith is buying the wedding gown even though your beloved has not proposed to you.

It is refusing to have sex or get pregnant for that man you are not married to simply because you are almost 50.

Faith is preparing the nursery for the baby even though the pregnancy test hasn’t yielded positive results.

It is preparing for your graduation even though your examination results are not yet in.

Faith is not yielding to the pressure around you.

It is being convicted of what God has said about you.

Faith is smiling in challenging times.

It is not being doubtful.

Faith is walking in that vision that God has revealed to you.

It is simply putting your confidence in the one has created you and given you that purpose to fulfil.

Faith is simply trusting in God.

 

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– This post is inspired by Hebrews 11

 

 

 

 

 

Of Ebony, Life and Death

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom – Psalm 90:12

In less than three days, I’ve been forced to think of the whole phenomenon of life, death and life-and-death. First, it was the devastating news of the death a cousin who suffered some complications after delivery. Baby is fine but the mother is gone.

While recovering from this shattering news, three young lives have also been lost in a gory accident. This incident included the 20-year-old musician making waves in the country at the moment – Ebony and her friends.

The news of their death has saddened me tremendously because of their ages and the manner through which they lost their lives. Nobody deserves to die in childbirth nor an accident. Every young person deserves to go through life, age graciously and die after 70 years. Isn’t that supposed to be the case or what we normally say? It is high time we saw our lives as fleeting – it could be taken away from us anyway.

It is our prayer that the good Lord will comfort their families. Let’s not be quick to judge or propound theories (as some of us are so quick to do). The question of their salvation is between them and God since He is the omniscient one. Instead of questioning their deaths and being judges, quick assessments should rather be done in our lives. The Bible says;

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

Death is a natural process and we will all go through it one day. Just like the second coming of our Lord, we do not know the time and day it will happen, therefore, the need to be more intentional in how we live. Let’s not wait until some ‘future’ to start living out the purpose for which Christ has called us for. We need to see our lives as a loan from God and the loan recoverer  (God) may come for His money at any time and of course, with interest. How are you supposed to impact the world?

If our lives are this fleeting, why do we hold grudges against someone/people? What is the point in being so competitive while the world can accommodate all of us? Why do we accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19)? Why do you keep postponing those Godly ambitions to a later date when the loan recoverer can come and take his money (life) at any time?

This post is not to make us fearful but rather designed to put us in a reflective and sombre mood.  We need to make each day count, starting now.

NB – Is it possible to convey this message to the recipients of our taxes? Can we show some sense of urgency in our developmental processes? Can there be a responsive ambulance service,  dedicated health workers who are enthusiastic about what they are doing because their salaries are sufficient and other systems are working in their facilities? Can the road contractors also be more deliberate in their work?

We will all die someday but the proper systems can slow this process a bit.

Pause. Evaluate January 

Development experts spend quite a substantial amount of their resources on monitoring and evaluation when executing a project. In fact, they hire officers in charge of this unique area even before the project starts. Why not at the end? This is because they do not underestimate the role of monitoring and evaluation. Measuring their successes and failures as they go through a project ensures they are charting the right course and perhaps, saves them more resources. If we determined to make good use of this new year, we can as well take a cue from the development experts – monitor and evaluate our progress with our various goals monthly.

Pause. Let’s go back to January 1. It’s been 30 amazing days already. How have you fared? Have you started working on your resolutions yet? Are you spending more time in prayer and reading the word? Are you working on acquiring that new skill, reading those books already or building yourself up in a specific capacity? Are you practicing that good saving habit? How about that new business? Have you started working on the proposal? If you haven’t started, it’s not too late to put down some goals, of course, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Don’t allow the year to pass by without you placing some demand on God, the Father.

One practice the Bible encourages is the writing down of our visions as stated in Habakkuk 2:2,

Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets …

There are certain ideas and dreams that God has laid in our hearts. You may choose to call them resolutions, goals, dreams, ambitions or aspirations, but, take a paper or your phone, state them and include how the Holy Spirit has directed you to work towards them. You can only know the mind of the spirit when you spend time praying quality prayers.

This month, we learnt that the Holy Spirit makes everything possible for believers, hence, it is important to involve God in our plans. We also learned that whatever you ingest is what we bring out as Christians, therefore, we should be wary of what we allow into our senses. Let’s learn to build ourselves up by taking in the right stuff – which will help us achieve our bigger goals. It could be reading more books or watching videos that can build our intellect.

Take some time and cast your mind back to the beginning of the year and take an assessment. Do you like how you’ve spent the month? If you do, keep it up! If not, let’s involve God and work towards the various ministries that God has before us.

It’s been a great start but we trust that God has more in store for us. Let’s hold Him by His word!

Book Review: Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul

For the Christian going through challenging times and looking for testimonies to rekindle their faith or that person who keeps wondering if God is still performing miracles as He did in the Biblical era then the Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul, compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, is the book you need to read. I chose this book purposely to improve upon my Christian storytelling ability but as I went through the pages, I realised that the Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul was not just a book, but an epistle to the modern Christian which leaves an indelible mark on the heart.

The 378-page book is filled with 101 short motivational stories under the headings of ‘giving,’ ‘love,’ ‘facing obstacles,’ ‘parent and parenting,’ ‘dealing with death,’ etc. The stories are written so clearly that it is almost impossible to decipher who the target readers are. This probably indicates that the book can be read and assimilated by anybody in any age group.

When going through the book, you can almost feel your soul moving along with the different characters and some of the stories are filled with so many emotions that if you are the type who is easily moved to tears, you need to psyche yourself up for that.

It is quite challenging to select the most inspiring story from the book but being a new parent myself, stories under the ‘parent and parenting’ and ‘facing obstacles’ categories blessed me tremendously. One of the most touching stories titled ‘Medicine’ almost moves the reader to tears. The story is narrated by a single mother whose child had developed an ear infection. She had no money and because she lived on the outskirts of town and it had snowed heavily, it was almost impossible to take the child to the hospital. She made an urgent call to a doctor who prescribed a drug and listed places where she could get it from. She made frantic phone calls to all of these places but they all asked for money.  After several attempts which failed, the mother decided to break into one of the pharmacies and steal the drug since perhaps, that could save her child. When the option of stealing occurred to her, another voice immediately directed her to make one last call to a pharmacy which she obliged. She made the call and this time, the pharmacy decided to give the drug to her on credit. Not only that, one of the workers drove through the snow, to her location to deliver the said medicine. If this is not the work of God, then tell me who else can cause such a turn-around in someone’s life.

There are several stories in that book and it is not far-fetched to say the reader can see him/herself in at least two or more of them. As Christians, the Bible even admonishes us to encourage each other and build each other up (1 Thessalonian 5:11) and Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul did exactly that to me and I highly recommend it.

NB: I would like to see the African or probably the Ghanaian version of this book so that we can relate properly to the characters and the environment better (maybe I will do that collection).

Garbage in, Garbage out!

Christian Blog Ghana
                   Pastor Ernest Osei                                   Ordained Minister of the Gospel, Journalist, Life Coach, Real Estate Consultant and a Law Student.

Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO), in the context of information technology, is a slang expression that means regardless of how accurate a program’s logic is, the results will be incorrect if the input is invalid.

While the term is most frequently used in the context of software development, GIGO can also be used to refer to any decision-making system where failure to make right decisions with precise, accurate data could lead to wrong, nonsensical results according to Techopedia.

Similarly, as a Christian, what you feed your spirit with is very important as it has a direct reflection on your lifestyle and confessions to a greater extent. Jesus cautions in Matt. 12:34,

“For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks…”

When evil resides in the heart, it will be exposed in perverse speech or language contrary to the truth of God’s word. However, if the heart has been impregnated by the Spirit of God, the mouth will begin to speak like God does! A person’s works produce the fruits, and the heart then is known by what it produces.

Therefore for a Christian to manifest Christ, he/she would need to have the mind, which is a spirit renewed more and more. The Apostle Paul succinctly expresses it in Eph. 4:23

   “…and be renewed in the spirit of your mind”

Once the spirit of your mind is renewed, it is then reconnected to the Spirit of God which would be evidenced outwardly by your lifestyle.

Endeavour to discipline your spirit man always by fasting and the study of God’s word so that your spirit would be rekindled to enable you to connect to the Spirit of God and hear His voice when He speaks!