Yes, you’ve done it all – tightened your belt scrimping on your expenses, cut and saved every coupon you could lay your hands on – and still come up short.  Some bills remain unpaid and pockets remain empty.  It seems like there is no end in sight.  For heaven’s sake, we all need a break from this vicious cycle.  But how?

It may sound a little out of sync with conventional thinking but I have learned that the way to get out of financial distress is to be more generous in giving – to your church, charities, and to those who are in need. Let’s see how this works.  In the natural, a farmer doesn’t expect any harvest without planting a seed.  It would be absurd and downright foolish to harbor such an expectation. HARVEST doesn’t come because of need.  It comes because of SEED planted in the ground.

imageIn like manner, whenever a need arises in your life, the first thing you need to do is find out what seed do you have right now that you can plant in  a good soil.  It doesn’t always have to be money.  It could be your time, service, word of encouragement, etc.  I remember a friend of mine who lost his job.  Instead of sulking, he sought to make his time productive.  At that time, the church he was attending was under repair. He decided to spend his free time helping in the church.  He did whatever he could everyday like he was still going to work.  After a month or so, he was recalled to work but with higher pay and benefits.  That is the power of seed to me.

Do you have an idea how an apple seed turns to a tree?  I can imagine that seed being planted in the soil. It is isolated in its darkened environment. Nothing seems to work up until you see a tiny sprout violently bursting forth from the ground.  Little by little, it pushes its way up.  From a tiny sprout to a robust trunk of a tree!  Then the flower buds come out and before you know it, it is laden with brightly red colored apples.

Don’t ever doubt the power embedded in the seed.  But that power would only be unleashed once it gets planted.  Start planting now believing your harvest is just in the horizon. If you plant it, it will come.

Don’t Give Up.

It’s 2015.  New resolutions.  New plans and goals.

What happened to the old one?  I mean your 2014 resolutions, plans and goals which you eagerly wrote out at the start of the year.  If you say, “Well those? I don’t even know what happened to them.”  Welcome to the club.  Most “new year resolutioners”  (Is there such a word?) come away discouraged by the end of the first quarter because nothing seem to give them any head way.  Somewhere along the way, they reach a plateau and that’s it.  From there on, no more plans.  Let the chips fall where they may. Que sera, sera.  What will be, will be.

Guess what?  I’m here to tell that it’s okay to plan and somehow miss it.  Don’t give up.  Missing your target doesn’t mean the target is useless.  It just means something in your approach, attitude, and/or perspective could be out of line.  Turn your “missed target” into a learning experience.  Missteps are not necessarily worthless steps.  Some nuggets of wisdom could be gleaned from them.  The bottom line is, plans still do matter.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

We’ve heard this statement said a thousand times before. Yet I’d say it one more time  “Every accomplishment begins with a decision to try.”  So go ahead.  Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down your goals and plans for 2015.  Be bold enough to say, “By December 31, 2015, I would have achieved my goals and plans.”

I am persuaded of better things for you.  There’s no way you will fail if you don’t give up.  You can make it.  Here’s to your success.  Cheers!


One of the most taken for granted gifts that we possess as human beings is the gift of choice or man’s free will.  

How many times do you make choices in a day?  Not a few.  From the moment you wake up until you retire at night, you are constantly making choices.  Hence the tendency to make choices without much thought.

There are many situations in your life that you did not have a direct hand at all.  Your birth circumstances, physical appearance, parents and relatives all happened independent of your choices.  But from the moment you reach a certain age where you become aware of your free will, you become responsible also for your decisions.

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death,blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,” Deuteronomy 30:19 

In a strict sense, all our choices are either toward life or death.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a choice between a Tuna Melt sandwich or a Whopper. Such a simple choice contribute to your health, good or bad.  What about financial choices and even relational choices? 

With such tremendous consequences waiting to be unleashed with each decision you make, shouldn’t you be more cautious in that area?  Come to think of it, your decision does not only affect you but everyone connected with you. That’s reason enough to think twice, and exercise wisdom before making a choice. 

God is so good.  He has given us a head-start already.  He says, “Choose Life that you and offspring may live.”   


6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! 7 Even though they have no prince, governor, or ruler to make them work, 8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? I want you to learn this lesson:”- Proverbs 6:6-9

What an irony!  You (and I) being admonished to learn from an ant?!  You may be a degree holder, a professional, or what not.  It doesn’t change a thing.  An ant can very well be our mentor.  What’s to learn from ants anyway?

1.  Laziness is not found in ants.  For obvious reasons, The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars is not a hit among them. (Sorry Bruno Mars fans.)  Laziness is defined as inactivity due to dislike of work. Newton’s first law of motion states that “an object in motion tends to remain in motion, and an object at rest tends to remain at rest”.  In other words, those who move and work will continue to keep moving and those that choose to be inactive will continue being inactive.  our body was designed for motion.  So let’s keep moving.  Be energetic at work.  Be enthusiastic.  See yourself up and about doing the best you can to improve yourself and your life.

2.  Ants have initiative.  They have no supervisors or bosses to push them yet they work willingly and not grudgingly.  An ant’s got to do what it’s got to do.  No messing around with their daily agenda.  They have goals to meet for the day and nothing’s stopping them.  They are very self-motivated. Do you have your daily goals to meet?  Are you excited to go to work or do your business or meet up with clients?

3.  Ants are wise creatures.  They know a lot about seasons and life’s cycles.  When it’s summer time they work double to gather more than enough supply for the winter months.  How about you?  Have you already saved up your $1,000.00 emergency fund? (see Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps for Financial Peace).

What about the food they gather?  Is it just for those who go out and gather food?  No, it’s for the entire colony.  If an ant got flicked by a human, or washed out by water, it is confident enough to know the others in the colony will not go hungry.  How about you.  What would happen to your family if something happens to you – lay-off, illness, and worst of all, death. Have you saved enough?  Have you a life insurance yet?

4.  Ants are not poor. Why? Because they are diligent. “If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!- Proverbs 20:13  They enjoy the fruit of their labor.  Harsh winter months don’t affect them because they have plenty to eat.

So the next time you see an ant, don’t kill it.  Instead be inspired by it.  Surely they have plenty to teach us.


Financial Literacy

Guess what’s the number 1 reason why most people nowadays are behind on their finances? Is it low income, high expenses, huge taxes? No! The number 1 reason is ignorance on financial matters. Even the Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

Sadly, most of us are in the dark concerning principles that govern money. We are not taught the basics of savings and investments. As such, we go through life wandering in the wilderness. Our financial promise land is nowhere in sight.

BUT it’s not yet too late to start anew – to turn our finances around. Seek knowledge. Seek wisdom. Seek understanding.

The Best is yet to come.

Branding Yourself

What comes to mind when someone mentions “Donald Trump”, “Bill Gates”, “Suze Orman”,  “Oprah”?

Suddenly something registers in your mind.  Donald Trump = Real Estate, Bill Gates = Microsoft, Suze Orman = Financial Guru, Oprah = Media Queen.  These individuals have succeeded in branding themselves.

A brand is what identifies a product, company or individual.  It is what defines it.  A brand is a very useful tool in promoting anything.  Why not promote yourself and your service or product by becoming your own brand.

Excellence is the best component of a brand.  Your work is a testament of your skills, your effort, your dedication and all that you are.  Your work defines you.  A sloppy work equals a poor brand.  An excellent work equals an excellent brand.  Pure and simple.

Make it your aim to do your best at all times.  The preparation you put into any endeavor reveals the value you have put on it.  When you’re tasked to do a project and you do so at the last minute, that shows the project is not that important to you at all.  Of course the harvest from the seed of lack of preparation you have sown will be a  huge yield of dissatisfaction and loss.

Excellence takes time and conscientious effort to do the best we can.  Consistency is the key.  Make it a daily habit to be better everyday.  Compete with your past performance yesterday.  Pretty soon others will notice your dedication for excellence.  You will be a brand too difficult to pass up.

Entrepreneurship – The Key to Your Success

With the US Unemployment Rate peggged at 9% as of April 2011 (source:tradingeconomics.com), more people are depending on unemployment benefits.  But for how long?  Now is the time to get aggressive and unleash the entrepreneur in you

I agree with many experts’ prediction that this generation “will emerge as the most entrepreneural generation ever.”  But to make this come true, there must be a definite and absolute resolve from all entrepreneural “wannabees” out there.

How many schools do we have that promote entrepreneurship?  Sadly among many third world countries, the prevailing mindset is to get a job.  Just get a job, for heaven’s sake.  With the global recession and unemployment rate on the rise, getting a job has become an ordeal.

Thank goodness for the Internet, research is “sky is the limit.”   Some of the sites you can visit are the following:

1.  Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (www.entre-ed.org)

2.  The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com)

3.  International School of Entrepreneurship (www.theISOE.com)

4.  Check also (www.unleashingideas.com)

We are now a global community so your location is not a problem anymore.  But educate yourself on how you can start a business.  The iconic lemonade stand that you see on books can be a starting point in your life.  Take note that Warrren Buffet started his business by buying cokes in packs and retailing them for a profit.  And he was just  4 or 5 years old at that time.  Not a bad start, right?

So start looking out for your opportunity of a lifetime.  The most beneficial advise I can give you is this.  When you start a business, don’t think of profits first.  Find a need in your community, meet that need, and be blessed financially along the way.

Be Frugal

To be wise and wealthy is to be frugal.  Does that mean being deprived or denied of pleasure and all things beautiful?  A big NO.

The main thing about being frugal is to stop “acting like rich”.  This may surprise you but the truly rich people do not act like rich.  Just check out Warren Buffet, the second richest man in America according to Forbes.  He still lives in his house he bought when he got married.  He drives a $30,000.00 car.  Quite surprising for a billionaire, isn’t it?

So what about the majority of us who are not billionaires?  We go for the latest craze in cars, clothes, shoes, etc.  All these we buy most of the time, on credit.    No wonder we are a nation neck deep in debt.  Statistics show that only 3% of the entire american population is debt free.  As of this time, we are 300,000,000+ people strong.  Our savings rate is -2%.  That means people can not afford to save at all.  Who can when every penny goes to paying our debts!

Where do we begin?  Firstly, decide not to “keep up with the Joneses”.  Why?  The Joneses are bankrupt.  Resolve not to pattern your spending Hollywood style.  Be comfortable with who you are.  There are a lot of ways to be fashionable without breaking the bank.

So three things to remember.

1.  Live below your means.

2.  Get out of Debt.

3.  Save.

That’s a 3-step way to be wise and wealthy.  You can not skip any one of them.  You can’t save if you owe a lot.  You can’t get out debt if you don’t start living below your means.  To live below your means is to be frugal.  Now that’s being wise and wealthy.

How To Thrive in Recession

“To be forwarned is to be forarmed.” so the saying goes.  Knowledge is indeed power.  So how do we thrive in recession when most people are struggling to even survive?  The answer is to know before anything else what recession is.  Identify the situation so we can think about our game plan.

In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity.[] During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way. Production, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment, investment spending, capacity utilization, household incomes, business profits and inflation all fall during recessions; while bankruptcies and the unemployment rate rise. Recessions generally occur when there is a widespread drop in spending often following an adverse supply shock or the bursting of an economic bubble. Governments usually respond to recessions by adopting expansionary macroeconomic policies, such as increasing money supply, increasing government spending and decreasing taxation.(http://wikipedia)

The main thing to remember in a recession is that everything shrinks.  Everything recedes.  For example, normally you spend $100.00 a week for groceries.  Because you have been told that there is recession right now, you decide to cut your groceries to $80.00.  And because you are not the only one who know there is recession right now, so many others have decided to cut back on their groceries as well.  So in short, grocery purchases are down by 20%.  Your local store feel the 20% decline in sales so he reduces his purchase by 20% as well.  The manufacturers feel the shortage and  decrease production by 20% and jobs are down by 20% as well. 

The general and prevailing attitude in a recession is to keep back what you already have, to hoard, and stack up.  Although prices go down also (everything recedes in a recession, right?), people don’t want to spend.  This is the system in the world.  The worldly economic system is buy and sell.  However there is a system above the worldly system  that we are not so accustomed to.  This system is God’s economic system.  How does it differ from the other system?

Simply illustrated:  Worldly economic system is buy and sell.  God’s economic system is give and receive.  So to survive and thrive in a recession we need to counter the prevailing system of hoarding and keeping back.  The more we give, the more we are generous, the more we survive this recession and not only do we survive but we thrive as well. Does it work?  You can stake your life on it.  Why?  Because God says so! 

What do I give?  Only what you have.  Don’t think of the millions you dream to have from the lottery.  What is in your pocket right now?

Where do I give?  Anywhere the Lord leads you to.  To your church, to the poor and needy.  Just start giving.

How much do I give?  What ever you are led to give.  God honors small beginnings.

When do I give?  Start right now.

Does it sound logical?  Maybe not if you just use your head.  But if you exercise your faith (which most of the time does not make sense) then you are headed for success.  Why?  Because God is not bound by the economic situation in the world.  He is beyond that.  He belongs to another dimension.  Begin with baby steps of faith.  Be amazed at the results awaiting you.

Yes, you can thrive in this recession. How?  You know how.

Money and Poverty

Are you “disturbed” by the title above? Money and poverty sounds odd. It’s like oil and water. Where there is money, there can be no poverty. Right? Well, wrong. John Rockefeller, a very wealthy man, said this. “A man who only has money is poor indeed.”

To better handle money, you need to know what poverty is. If you ask 10 people right now (including yourself), what poverty is, you would probably get 10 different answers. They would probably say:

1. Poverty is having no money.

2. Poverty is living in the gutter or in the slums.

3. Poverty is not being able to have a decent meal or clothes or shelter.

4. Poverty is being bankrupt.

5. Poverty is not being able to go to school.

6. Poverty is hand to mouth existence.

7. Poverty is being neck-deep in debt.

8. Poverty is not being able to buy what you want when you want it.

9. Poverty is dying without getting any treatment.

10. Poverty is when you cannot even pay your bills.

You can add to this list and go on and on. But is this poverty? NO. These are but SYMPTOMS of poverty. The root is poverty and the symptoms are all of the above.

Let us now define what poverty is. POVERTY IS A STATE OF MIND. It is always good to have a basis for belief. A very common verse in the Bible says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2. Take note that prosperity and health are on the same level with soul. The phrase “EVEN AS” put all three (prosperity, health and soul) together on the same footing. The health of your soul determines your prosperity and health. Your soul is the seat of your mind, emotion, and will. To say it very simply. YOUR PROSPERITY AND HEALTH IS EQUAL TO THE STATE OF YOUR SOUL (MIND). A poor mind equals poverty. A healthy mind equals health. A prosperous mind equals prosperity. A person who has money yet sick is still poor. Therefore, money and poverty can co-exist. A person who has money yet lack love in his heart for God and his fellow men is still poor.

If some or all of the symptoms are present in your life today, then sadly you are suffering from poverty. Please take note that a person does not become poor overnight. A little debt here, a little debt there overtime will put a person swimming in debt sooner or later. If you did not get there overnight, know for sure that you will not get out of there overnight as well. (Don’t fall for get-rich-quick scheme. More about that some other time.)

As mentioned, your poverty is a result of your ruling mind. What is your most dominant thought throughout the day? Is it lack, debt, complaints? Those are but seeds that you are planting in your mind which will produce a harvest of more lack, debt and complaints later on.

What’s in your mind? Let me help you. I mentioned in my first blog that I have no new principles or formulas to give you. What I bring to you are age-old nuggets of wisdom that if you receive and apply diligently in your life, you would have success- guaranteed. One of these principles is found in the good book, the Bible.

“Finally, my friends, whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, THINK on these things.” Philippians 4:8

Be prospered in your mind then you you will see proverty being eliminated in your life. Till next time.