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This past Thursday at Montgomery College, Takoma Park MD, three Christian brothers- Surafel, Joseph, and Aklilu- in partnership with other friends and colleagues, arranged a networking opportunity for entrepreneurs and professionals.
There are networking opportunities for Ethiopians in the DMV area and I’ve been attending many of them. As a businessman and learning professional I network and do business with anyone regardless of their faith. I’ve friends, colleagues, and clients who are from diverse religions. I love and care about all of them.
For me, and I believe for many of the attendees, this is an additional platform that brings entrepreneurs and professionals who share the same faith.
Our ministry is committed in raising world-class Christians who become light and salt in the world by serving in the area of their passion as professionals and entrepreneurs. We need:
- Creative and innovative,
- Consistent, and
- Ethical Christian professionals and entrepreneurs who bridge the gaps that exist in the work and solve hardest problems that torment humanity.
I was part of the panel that discussed the importance of networking for professionals and entrepreneurs. In the panel were:
- Gabe Hamda, President & CEO of ICATT;
- Selamawit Tefera, Owner of Sheger Ethiopian Restaurant;
- Surafel Tilahun, Founder & Owner -Sura Investment Consultancy, -ET-POL Global SP.Z.O.O , -Addis Tec – Debol Trading LLC
Gabe is a master of networking. I’ve watched him for years since 2008 as he turns strangers into his friends, partners, and clients. I’ve also learned so many lessons from his natural ability to connect with anyone regardless of their religious background. The audience didn’t take long to recognize that Gabe is the King of NETWORKING.
Selam is one of those few Ethiopian entrepreneurs who succeeded in making the American dream come true by starting with a few hundred dollars in her pocket, ending up owning multiple restaurants, and adding additional investments into her portfolio. Though she shared so many helpful insights and nuggets, one thing that resonated with the audience most was COURAGE in business. She EMBODIES courage and shared some of her bold moves and how they allowed her to advance in her entrepreneurial journey.
Surafel is a visionary who invests both in Ethiopia and the US. On top of taking the initiative to create, together with his colleagues, this unique networking platform, he is a man on a mission. Throughout the event, you could see his passion and determination in his:
- Opening remark,
- Unique perspectives in doing business as visionaries, and
- Closing remark where he emphasized the crucial place faith plays in translating one’s vision into reality.
As a panelist, my focus areas were:
- Making networking a habit even if you prefer introversion like I do. As someone who has a preference for introversion, networking wasn’t within my comfort zone. However, given the critical role it plays in my entrepreneurial success, I kept going out of my comfort zone and doing it even if I wasn’t enthusiastic initially until it became a habit.
- Becoming indispensable in the workplace. In the era of global and local cutthroat competition, economic downturn, and AI, professionals can’t afford to specialize in one thing, especially if it is a technical field. One must develop certain soft skills, become a problem solver, and take the lead outside of his/her job description to survive and thrive in the 21st C
- Developing high-revenue and high-impact skillsets to scale. Among other skills I mentioned in the discussion, networking is critical if you desire to collaborate, increase influence, and scale. Networking isn’t just a mindset thing, though. Almost all people on this planet understand its significance. The problem is that many don’t have the skillsets needed to succeed before, during, and after networking: such as setting goals about why they’re networking and with whom they should network and for what purpose (s); branding and marketing themselves like a pro; selling their ideas or product or service without acting like a sleazy salesperson; closing that ends with a win-win deal for all parties involved; delivering (overdealivering) once getting the deal; followup including getting QUALIFIED referrals and glowing testimonials; etc.
Many people struggle to develop and maintain high character, which is super important for anyone who claims follows Jesus. They may succeed at the front end of networking up to closing. What is the use of investing one’s scarce resources to attend networking events and ultimately get deals if they can’t overdeliver?!
Trust is vital to succeed in any business. It is already hard to earn someone’s trust and make them feel like working and/or doing business with you.
What is the hardest? Delivering your promises!!! One needs to have the character it takes to keep one’s word and follow through on one’s promises… Without character and overdelivering, one is wasting his/her time networking…
I believe that all professionals and entrepreneurs should be ethical. Yes, businesses by Christians should make profits to fulfill their mission. They can’t survive, let alone have an impact if they don’t generate revenue. However, Christians should take the high road regarding character and trust. We have to strive, more than our peers, to overdeliver and demonstrate character throughout the full cycle of networking from:
- Meeting people,
- Collaborating to
- Delivering and follow up…
Not just in this networking event but in some of the leadership workshops I design and facilitate in some government agencies, corporations, and community organizations, such as ‘Interpersonal Communication’ and ‘Collaboration and Coalition Building’, I emphasize the need to be proactive and intentional to sharpen some advanced skills, one of which is networking.
- Networking doesn’t mean exchanging business cards.
- It isn’t all about engaging in transactional relationships.
- It is more than that; it is relevant in all industries and determines our individual and collective success as a person, family, team, and organization (church/minstry).
These days, many government agencies and corporations realize that it is not just their marketing and sales professionals who need networking skills. Their leaders at all levels should also excel in networking with internal and external partners, peers, and stakeholders to expand their influence and build coalitions within and outside of their organization. Your church and ministry should also equip your people and leaders to develop networking skills. What are you doing in this regard?
One person, team, or organization is too little, insignificant, and insufficient to have a meaningful impact in this century…
As the saying goes: ‘Your network is your net worth.’
Let me know if you need help empowering your team to develop critical skill sets to succeed in:
- Turning Conflicts into Opportunities,
- Building Alliances and Coalitions, and so on… We can design and deliver the right webinars or workshops or engage with you in coaching or consulting services that focus on your needs, goals, and according to your preferences.
Finally, kudos to the organizers. Aklilu did a fantastic job successfully MCing the event. Joseph moderated the panel and came up with thoughtful questions. I am looking forward to attending future events and supporting what you do using my talent and experience.
Like every other networking opportunity, I met good old friends and got acquainted with great future friends, partners, and clients. Looking forward to stay in touch, connect, and potentially partner with you all…
#Networking #Connection #Collaboration #Coalition
Redeeming one’s soul should be the top priority. There is nothing more important than the soul, the spirit side of our identity- the ONE that makes us eternal and transcendent species.
Jesus wondered and asked: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16: 26)
However, TODAY, my focus isn’t on redeeming and restoring our souls, though these are some of the focus areas of our ministry…
This blog aims to remind all of us to make redeeming time one of our top priorities while we’re still in the first month of 2024.
Apostle Paul warned Ephesians by emphasizing: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Next to redeeming our souls, we should give prime attention to redeeming our time.
Therefore, let’s redeem the time while we’re in the very early days of the New Year. It is not too late, if in case you’ve not yet, to:
- Prioritize, and
- Plan on how to redeem the time we lost in 2024.
One of the decisions I made at the early stage of the ministry, which I kept it to this day, is living with a sense of urgency.
Jesus shared a parable on what happens to a servant who doesn’t anticipate the coming of his master unexpectedly (Luke 12:47). He also talked about the 5 foolish virgins who weren’t with a sense of urgency and how they ended up paying a dire price for their negligence. (Matthew 25:1-4)
Since having a sense of urgency is one of my top 3 core values, I make sure to redeem the time on a daily basis. I make myself accountable. I remind myself constantly that this day could be my last.
Every day, I try my best and make sure that I commit significant time, energy, and resources toward the most important tasks that advance my assignment in life on a daily basis.
- Whether I’m tired/sick or not;
- Whether I feel like it or not;
- Whether I’m interested in it or not; there are certain tasks I must do on a daily and weekly basis…
Let me be honest:
- Do I succeed in staying with a sense of urgency every day? No!
- Do I get distracted, at least, for a portion of a given day? Yes.
- Do some urgent matters stop me from doing some of the daily routine? Yes.
I’m human like you. My goal isn’t to be perfect and act like a robot. I also don’t live on an island. I’ve family members, friends, colleagues, and clients, some of whom may need me urgently once in a while, and I must stop whatever I’m doing to meet their needs.
However, I try my best, at least before the world wakes up, to accomplish the most important tasks of the day first. If I get lucky, I get to keep my plan that day. If not, at least I took care of the most important tasks of the day.
Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed many giving less attention to redeeming their time. As a result, they take the risk of not fulfilling the assignment they were given when they joined this universe.
What is the use of redeeming our souls unless we use time wisely and allow the soul to fulfill its earthly journey successfully? This physical universe is trapped with time and space, and both are not eternal and indefinite. We all have limited time on earth and must redeem it consistently…
The devil may not be able to stop or cheat all of us from redeeming our souls, but he has been very lucky to distract many of us.
A quick disclaimer: Many of us are not wasting time. The challenge many of us good people have is that we’re actually too busy, like Martha, for some seemingly justifiable reasons with GOOD INTENTIONS.
Indeed, we are very busy and restless. But:
- Where are we spending our precious time?
- Do we prioritize?
- Do we have a schedule that we protect?
- Do we use technology and platforms to assist us in managing time well?
- Are we like Mary, Martha’s sister, whom Jesus complimented for spending her time on what mattered the most?
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
The Apostle Paul in the scripture above warned us that we shouldn’t be FOOLS by failing to redeem our time… “not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time…” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
This is time to redeem what we lost in the previous year (s).
What are some of the things you should do to redeem the time you lost in 2023, and use the upcoming time wisely in 2024 and beyond?
If you have any questions or would like to partner with us, reach out to our team at [email protected]
How the birth of Jesus made humanity special and why we shouldn’t be scared of AI and Aliens
Merry Christmas to you if you live in the Western Hemisphere! I’ll be back to wish you the same if you live in a country celebrating Christmas in January.
I’m lucky! I celebrate 2 Christmas:
- I celebrate Christmas tomorrow since I live in the US.
- In my native country, Ethiopia, it’ll be celebrated on January 7th, 2024.
A quick disclaimer. I know that Christmas has been commercialized, and people celebrate it differently.
For me, Christmas is special. It isn’t just one of the holidays. It’s an infliction point in the history of the universe.
For starters, the birth of Jesus Christ divided the world’s calendar into two:
- Before Christ (BC), and
- After Christ (AD).
Nonetheless, the birth of Jesus Christ has more significant spiritual implications than dividing the world’s history.
Whatever assessments scientists make about why the Earth is exceptional, the main reason for its uniqueness is that humanity resides on it. Humans are the temples of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. Our presence made the Earth special!
Because Jesus was born, the Holy Spirit returned after the fall of the 1st Adam. The Spirit of God resided among us, and as a result, it made Earth special.
Since Jesus wore our flesh, entered space and time in our likeness, and became our substitute:
- We reconciled with the Father.
- We don’t feel condemned any longer.
- We’re not separate from our Source.
- We now dare to call the Father Abba.
- We can stand before His throne and glory to communion with Him as His offspring.
Reminding ourselves of Christmas’s significance is critical because there is a temptation to lower our standards and treat ourselves as normal.
We are a special species. A priceless price was paid for us to enjoy the above benefits. We shouldn’t lower our privileged status in the universe. This is especially true now more than ever.
Here are a couple of things I’m reflecting while celebrating this Christmas:
1. We can’t be substituted by AI. We’re a different breed. We were created after the image of God, and no other beings can replace our special place in the universe. We were worth the Son of God showing up in the flesh among us, proving that we’re special to the Kingdom of God.
I’m not against AI. I intensively use AI for my personal, professional, and business lives. AI will assist humanity in solving many of its daunting challenges! It is our ally. I can’t wait to benefit from all AI advancements in the coming years and decades…
I don’t see it as a threat either. The advent of AI demonstrates that we humans have been evolving metaphysically, and our creativity is increasing exponentially.
As many experts agree:
- AI can’t substitute you or your job, but someone who uses AI does.
- AI isn’t the danger; the person who uses it can make it dangerous.
The point is that we’re the only danger against ourselves because we’re spiritual beings who can override matter and mind. We have creative (destructive) power many of us can’t comprehend…
Even at this stage of our mental evolution, we created powerful technologies that can destroy the Earth multiple times.
The wars in Ukraine and Gaza are proof of how close we are to employing nuclear weapons that can wipe out the entire human race. This shows that we’ve evolved mentally and can create great technologies, but we’re prone to self-destruct since we’re so slow in our spiritual evolution.
In the decades ahead, as we evolve mentally, there is no question that AI will become more intelligent than the average man. It is a good thing, not a threat!
Why should we not be scared? Because AI doesn’t and can’t have what we already have innately: Consciousness.
There is no proof of consciousness arising from hardware and software.
The only possibility for AI to function like humanity is if we further evolve spiritually and know how to introduce consciousness into the physical universe. That is when we understand how to ‘create’ consciousness.
So far, we’re not yet there. We created intelligence like AI that functions in the physical and metaphysical realms. Still, it won’t be a threat when we further evolve and enable AI to possess independence and become a conscious being because we are ahead of AI in our consciousness evolution.
2. We can’t be destroyed by Aliens. I don’t have proof of the existence or non-existence of aliens. Intuitively, they do not exist. Even if some out there are mentally advanced, they aren’t better than us, at least spiritually.
Christmas is proof that God favored us when Jesus, who 100% evolved spiritually, was born among us. As far as we’re conscious beings, it is unlikely any other non-spiritual being is destroying us.
Let’s say, for now, that there are aliens on the far side of the universe. There are a lot of talks about aliens coming to colonize and even destroy us. If aliens exist, they’re either more primitive or more advanced than us:
- If they’re primitive, we are the threats, not them.
- If they’re more intelligent and evolved than us, there is no way they desire to hurt or compete with us.
We humans hurt one another mainly because we have a scarcity mentality. We dominate others to exploit their resources. And we think that aliens are like us, and their sole interest in us and our special planet is domination to take over the Earth and its resources.
If there are Aliens out there who could contact and reach us, they must be well advanced and can utilize the vast infinite resources of the universe. In that case, why would they want to destroy us as far as we’re backward and nonthreat to them?
Let’s celebrate Christmas and remind ourselves that we’re special, and Jesus’ birth made it so. God reunited with us by sending His Son- Jesus Christ. The birth of Jesus brought to us so many blessings. While celebrating Christmas, let’s recount those personal and collective blessings the birth of the King brought to humanity.
Merry Christmas again!
Is seeking greatness from ego or God?
Who is setting your bar?
It is common to see many Christians setting their bar based on the teachings of their denomination and church.
The tone set by their denomination, more importantly, the local church, determines how far a believer desires to go in life.
Just be honest:
- Who is setting your bar and how far you can go in life?
- You (I mean your ego)?
- Your parents?
- The media you frequently listen to and watch?
- Your teacher or mentor or coach? Or
- God (your soul)?
Having ego isn’t the problem, the type of ego that possesses you is the issue
There were a few individuals who cared and boldly confronted me. They were frank in my face telling me that I had ego.
My immediate response always had been, who doesn’t have ego? Most of these good people were shocked!
- First, they didn’t know that I knew about having ego.
- Second, they didn’t anticipate that I’d be frank about it. They were expecting me to be apologetic. Why should I?
Sometimes for a few minutes while other times for hours and for more than one session- depending on with whom I was debating- I must explain to them that even Moses, Jesus, and Paul had egos except that they weren’t led by their ego.
You can imagine how stunned they were. They thought I was crazy, even speaking blasphemy for putting Jesus’ name into the mix. Of course, until I provided the context…
I don’t blame them. The problem is the definition of ego they had. In my world, there are two ego types:
- Healthy and normal, and
- Toxic and abnormal.
The healthy ego is necessary to survive in the physical universe
The normal ego is meant to help us in this dangerous world. Can you imagine what will happen if you always use your soul to guide you here on earth? You can’t protect yourself from:
- Car accidents,
- Fire, and
- Many other dangerous beings and things including bad people.
Think of your infancy years, before you developed your ego when you were 4 – 6 years old. You didn’t have a personal identity yet. You were trusting and relating to everyone, even strangers and potentially horrible people.
If a snake crawled toward you, you would have grabbed it and might have attempted to swallow it. If there was a fire in front of you, you would have played with it. You got my point…
Before we move on, I fully understand that the line between having a healthy and a toxic ego is very delicate.
What is more? At one point in life, before we developed our spirituality, we all might have been possessed by a toxic ego that thought there was only a physical universe, and the most important thing is survival and comfort of the physical body.
In the future, I will dive deep and talk about the different identities we have, in which universes they operate, and what their agendas and priorities are. Familiarizing ourselves with these personalities helps us to differentiate and also prioritize whose voice to hear and when.
Just a quick example, if I’m driving on a highway, I want my ego to be in charge and pay attention to avoid accidents and hurting other people around me. This isn’t the time to think heavenly. When I am in a prayer and fellowship mood, I silence my ego and command it to sit tight until I’m done. I tune to the voice of my inner self and leave the physical and metaphysical universes to communion with the heavenly beings in the spirit.
Depending on where I’m at a given time, what I’m doing, and with whom I’m interacting, I switch between my identities. You got the point…
You may be rolling your eyes and thinking that I’m being dishonest or having a multiple personality disorder.
If you’re tempted to negatively label me like that, you haven’t read what Jesus said: “Here I am sending you out like sheep with wolves all round you; so be as wise as serpents and yet as harmless as doves. But be on your guard against men.” (Matthew 10: 16)
Jesus was telling His disciples to be wise!!! You can’t always be a dove or a ‘serpent’ and always and everywhere. Be wise when to switch your personality hat…
Ego will fight to death to stop you from seeking true greatness
That being said about ego, the question is who is seeking greatness? Your ego or your highest self within? The short answer is your highest self.
Let me break it down for you. Ego is selfish, think temporal, and fearful. On the other hand, your soul- your highest self, doesn’t think small and never buy into human made limitations. It’s eternal and never afraid of anything…
If you think about it, ego is afraid of you taking the journey of your soul and being truly great. It will lose you if you step into this realm…
Ego only seeks high places, like the pharisees, as far as the glory doesn’t cost their lives and cause discomfort.
The next question is: Does God be unhappy if you succeed on earth and become great in your own unique way?
No way! He is the GREAT ONE and it is His pleasure to see His images, you and I, attain true greatness. Here is what He said to Abraham: “I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12: 2)
Didn’t He made Abrham great? Why then do you think He will be intimidated or offended if you also become great in your own unique way and according to the glory He had for you before the foundation of the world?!
No one who took their fulfillment seriously stayed ordinary and obscure
By the way, I’m not talking about the greatness ego seeks. I’m talking about the greatness your soul desires and destined to achieve. Her fulfillment on earth is dependent on whether you pursue your purpose in life and get fulfilled or not.
Without any doubt, no one took this fulfilling and God ordained journey and remained ordinary, obscure, and stayed under the table! If you find yourselves ‘under the table’ and your light is not shining on top of a hill, it’s because you haven’t yet begun the journey of your soul. You haven’t yet left ‘egypt’ and martched forward toward ‘cannan’…
Jesus pursued His assignment in life, and He became great. Remember, He:
- Wore our flesh.
- Began from scratch as a kid and grew in strength and wisdom (Luke 2:40).
- Didn’t succeed automatically.
- Sought and pursued His assignment on earth till the end until He said: ‘It is finished.’
Your greatness begins when you start the assignment God gave you on earth
One of the most powerful scriptures that has inspired and guided me for many years is one of Jesus’ last day’s prayers in John 25 where He said, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17: 4)
But, Jesus wasn’t the only one who discovered, pursued, and fulfilled His assignment on earth. Paul followed the same pattern and encouraged others to do the same when he said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11: 1)
Paul too finished his race and announced, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” (2 Timothy 4: 7)
I’m aware of one of the quotations some preachers use to limit the aspiration of their congregation. They quote the same Paul I just quoted who hadn’t content until he finished his race. In Philippians 4:12, Paul confessed: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”
Unless someone wants to take this out of context, Paul wasn’t talking about being content where you’re in life, away from God’s purpose for your life. He was talking about learning to be content with what he had materially.
Yes, we should be content with what we have materially right now. The question is are we contented based on what others tell us where our finish line should end and how high our bar should be or are we contented based on the destiny God has for us, which isn’t too small nor too little?
Mistaking a transit as a destination
Unfortunately, most of us camp on a ‘mountain’ for too long, never moving to our destiny thinking that that is where God wants us to conclude our journey. We’ve mistaken the transit as a destination.
I can hear God admonishing us like He did the Israelites in the desert. “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Exodus 33: 1).
God has a glorious destiny for all of us during our lifetime that allows us to unchain our full potential. It isn’t behind us. It is ahead of us and we must begin this journey if we haven’t yet.
Sadly, many of us think that our potential will be fulfilled when we get to heaven and in the spiritual universe. As a result, we camp where we are now and WAIT til we die. Very saddening and heartbreaking!!!
This message is especially important if you’re mistakenly thinking that you’ve arrived. If you’re still breathing, you’re not yet done! You’re not close to the finish line yet, let alone crossing it, until you fulfill your assignment.
Why? Because you know it when you cross the finish line. Your soul testifies that you have arrived… You have peace unlike in this world. And most importantly, the world around you know it. Nothing is fulfilling like the feeling of finishing your God-ordained assignment faithfuly and courageously by staying committed and resilient till the end!
Don’t forget, Jesus knew when He crossed the finished line. After saying ‘it’s finished’, He stayed a little longer to mentor His successors. Likewise, Paul finished the race and stayed for the sake of His followers. He said: “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Philippians 1: 23-24).
I’d like to make some disclaimers:
- Your purpose and destiny are different than the ones Jesus and Paul had.
- Where you finish your race and how it will come about is totally different than mine and everyone else’s.
- We all may not finish our race while leading at the front like Jesus and Paul. Do you remember the prophetess Anna (Luke 2:36–38) and Simeon the devout (Luke 2:25–35)? They played significant roles in supporting the mission of Jesus while He was a kid and vulnerable. They knew why they were there. The outcome would have been different if these were bad people who worked for Herod. They understood that they were playing a part toward the eternal agenda of God. Because of that they fulfilled their spiritual duty. Once it was done, they knew when they crossed the finish line and ready to transcend to the spiritual world feeling contented and fulfilled. What a journey and an end!? What about you? How do you plan to finihs your race? How can we help?
In conclusion, we all should discover God’s purpose for our life and pursue it till we fulfill it. We shouldn’t fear stepping up to the plate to join the eternal movement of the Kingdom of our Almighty Father even if our ego limits our aspirations and tries its best to stop us from taking the journey of our soul. Even if the world around us thinks that we are egotestical and trying to make a name for ourselves.
- The ego has a totally different agenda how it would like to use you.
- The devil may also use the people you trust to cheat you out of your glorious destiny, without them knowing it, by lowering your bar, over staying at a transit, and stopping before you reach the finish line.
Ego thinks that there is only a physical universe and a body it protects and take care of. It is so selfish that it seeks comfort and avoids taking risks, such as pursuing your eternal assignment, which may make you uncomfortable and require you to pay some dire prices.
Whether your purpose entails you to be at the front and leading like Moses, Jesus, and Paul or provide support in the background like Mary, Anna, and Simeon, don’t settle until you cross the finish line and get fulfilled in life while you’re alive and on earth.
If you would like to:
- Discover your purpose in life,
- Equip yourself with the necessary mindset, skillset, and character, which enable you to pursue and fulfill your call, you should be part of our community.
We would like to hear from you. Send us email if you have any questions or would like to be part of our team at [email protected]
Some people think that the devil is in the same class as God. They wrongly assume that the two compete.
God never competed with the devil and never shown any worry that the devil may replace him in the hearts of His people.
The reason is simple. God believes that His people can easily recognize that the devil is a creation, and everything he got came from its Source, God, who is our Father!
Sadly, however, there are a few who, knowingly or unknowingly, chose to serve the inferior lord. These people decided to serve the devil and allow him to lord over them. Sad!!!
Then you may ask if the devil is not a competitor, who else is there to compete with God?
Well, let’s hear from the master. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”.
As you can see, the devil isn’t in the equation. Jesus didn’t say ‘You cannot serve both God and money.’
This clearly shows that money is more powerful than the devil…
You may not agree with me on this one. Many people shouldn’t worry about money becoming their lord.
The reason is simple: They don’t have enough money that can alter their thoughts, decisions, and take their focus from God to money.
For that matter, what is happening is that many spiritual people are worried too much about money and stressed out to pay their bills that they don’t have enough time to fellowship with God and serve Him and His purpose in their lives and in their generation. Unfortunate!
These precious people don’t worship money, but they need money to survive. If they don’t survive, they can’t even have a roof over their heads that allow them to sit down and pray and worship God.
If you ask me, who should be worried about money becoming their lord are those who have MONEY! Rich people may wrongly decide to worship money because it gives them temporary self worth and security, get what they want, get away with so many jams, and do what they want to do.
If someone is poor or average, they shouldn’t worry about money lording over them. What they need to worry about is why they’re not yet using their God given talent, His guidance, and favor, to make money so that they can serve God, His People, and meet the needs of the poor.
I’ve witnessed many spiritual teachers watering down their messages and getting manipulated because they were highly dependent on some members of their congregation to fund their mission. Rather than talk, behave, and do the way they truly believe and as they are instructed by the Lord, they lower their bar and conform to appease donors.
It is better to have enough money these servants of God need to fund their mission and worry about whether they worship money or not rather than being hostages because they don’t have enough money.
Part of the problem is that many believers are afraid of making money because of some scriptures that talk about money that have been taken out of context. Scriptures like “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
This scripture doesn’t talk about money as evil. It is the LOVE of money. Money that doesn’t ‘err you from the faith and pierce you through with many sorrows’ isn’t evil.
These the same people who misunderstand what Paul was saying in the above scripture also, somehow, escaped or neglected to read scriptures like this: “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Here, Moses was not talking about rich, he was actually talking about WEALTH! From this scripture, you can clearly see that God doesn’t have a problem if you and I become wealthy.
For that matter, when you look back in history, many of God’s servants were wealthy. Think of Abraham, David, and Solomon.
Even in the New Testament, Jesus never lacked money. He was so wealthy that he needed an accountant. Not just any ordinary and ethical accountant. An accountant that stole from Him. What was impressive? Even if He had such a thief accountant, He never lacked money.
I know some people will be alarmed by what I just stated above above Jesus because they know another scripture which says: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Compared to His glory and richness in the Heavenlies- before He took our flesh and came here on earth- yes, He looked poor during His earthly years. Otherwise, money never had been an issue and came in the way of affecting Jesus’ lifestyle and the way He ministered His people.
By the way, I’m not here in this blog inspiring you to seek money or wealth. I just want you to stop and reflect to evaluate and see if in case you are afraid of money and wealth in vain- if not consciously, unconsciously- because you don’t have the full context why God doesn’t want you to be porr so that you proof Him that you love Him and He is your LORD.
If in case there is any trace of worry God may disown you if you get wealthy, I’m here to ask you what kind of wealthy father desires his kids to be poor?
Our wealthy Father desires us to have all-around wealth, not just rich in money. We bear His image, and we represent Him better when we have abundance than scarcity.
Of course, God will never disown poor people. He wants us to help the poor…
Nonetheless, do you know that if you happen to be poor, God doesn’t want you to feel poor. It is written in Joel 3:10: “Let the weak say I am strong and the poor say I am rich.”
It seems paradoxical. But that is the way we should live our lives. We shouldn’t be afraid of getting wealthy. When we have abundance:
- We have freedom.
- We can choose and decide godly.
- We don’t allow the lack of money to stress and lord over us.
- We can make money serve God’s purpose in our lives.
Not only should we believe that we should strive to be wealthy by using the unlimited potential, talent, and gifts He gave us, but we shouldn’t say, behave, and act as if we’re poor even if we may not have a lot of money in the NOW.
- Let’s be honest:
- There is no glory in being poor.
- The overwhelming majority of believers shouldn’t worry about money being their lords. They don’t have enough money yet.
- Having a lot of money doesn’t instantly or by default make you worship and make money your lord.
Let’s be real. For example, most middle-class people in any country can’t send their kids to good schools, and of course, unless they get scholarships. While in this position, they should be far away from fearing money becoming their lord…
Actually, people who don’t have money are susceptible to allowing money to lord over them. They may:
- Behave, and
- Do things that are not godly because of money so that they may survive!
Spiritual people can only gain their freedom by getting more money through proper channels, taking out the lack of money out of the equation. When they have neough money, they can focus on God, and spend enough time and resources to serve God and His people.
In closing, who should worry about money being one’s lord? People who have millions and billions of dollars. They may become susceptible to the lordship of money.
But we know so many wealthy people who:
- Didn’t allow money to lord over them.
- Created jobs.
- Help countless needy people.,
- Also live a godly lifestyle.
You want to be like them to transfer the wealth God has for you in store to those who need financial help. The least, you shouldn’t resent and judge wealthy people. Most importantly you shouldn’t scared of becoming wealthy as if money owns your soul authomatically and by default. It does’t; unless you allow it…
Therefore, this concern of spiritual people who don’t even have enough money to pay their bills and people who are not even leading a comfortable life to worry about money becoming their lord, is unnecessary, to say the least.
If you share our mission, don’t hesitate to reach out via [email protected] and/or [email protected] We would like to hear how you would like to contribute your share. We always look for those who would like to join our:
- Board of Directors
- Accountability Board
The Big Bang theory was one of the most startling scientific discoveries that threw off many giant atheist scientists of the time.
This idea first surfaced at a scientific forum in 1931. In his paper, Georges Lemaître- a Belgian cosmologist and Catholic priest- discussed this idea for the first time.
Back then, this theory was very radical for the scientific community.
Now, most scientists buy into the Big Bang theory.
As you can imagine, atheist scientists:
- Had their field days before the emergence of this theory.
- Were comfortable with the governing belief that the universe is infinite.
- Led an easy career life.
- Could easily explain so many mysteries with ease.
Those field days ended with the advent of the Big Bang theory. Sorry guys 🙂
They couldn’t ignore that matter, space, energy, and time had beginnings…
The big follow-up question was: ‘If these finite beings had beginnings, then who brought them forward in the first place?’ They couldn’t logically bring forth themselves, could they? NO!
Of course, the answer to these questions may vary, depending on whom you’re asking.
Regardless of their religious affiliations, those who believe in God know who authored these fundamental elements of the universe. For us, God is the Cause who didn’t need a cause to exist. He brought forth the finite universe into existence.
So far, the scientific community isn’t yet on the same page about who the Cause was…
Regardless, finding a scientific person- let alone a credible scientist in any field- who wonders whether the universe has a beginning is rare.
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow of the Goddard Space Institute captured the scenery in his book ‘God and the Astronomers,’:
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story [finite cosmic beginning] ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
- Didn’t and still don’t have proof of God’s existence that they could display in their churches.
- Only have had faith that He exists and caused the coming picture of the universe and life in it.
- Couldn’t, can’t, and won’t formulate a mathematical formula or cook an experiment to explain away their faith in a living God.
Regardless, at the end of the day, science came around and joined theologians to believe that the universe had a finite beginning. The universe didn’t:
- Just show up of its own volition.
- Create itself infinitely.
- Cause its existence without assist from outside of itself.
The universe had an intelligent Cause is no longer a serious debate among serious thinkers. Most credible scientists believe that the intelligent Cause gave the universe purpose and meaning. It enabled her to contain and sustain life in it.
The only difference between theologians and atheist scientists is who that intelligent being is.
Theologians believe that the Infinite and Intelligent Being is God. Nonetheless, they can’t prove the existence of God using mathematical formulas or lab experiments…
Science should quickly take a stand whether it can generate a credible mathematical formula or a believable laboratory experiment to prove or disprove God.
Let’s be honest: As far as science is confined to the physical and depends only on what can be seen, there is no hope for science to prove or disprove God. It is just an illusion. It doesn’t have the necessary elements.
It has to either:
- ‘Leave’ the physical and metaphysical and engage the spiritual, or
- Leave it to other institutions willing to do so.
Otherwise, how can science with the current spiritual evolutionary progress we’ve made so far able to get in touch, investigate, and report back the existence or the non-existence of a Spiritual Being who resides in the spiritual universe?
If you’re a believer and your faith is diluted because of some half-baked scientific theories that deny the existence of God, should you risk it and wait for science to prove the existence or non-existence of God? You have limited time here in this physical universe.
Theologians are ahead of scientists when it comes to spirituality. It may take time for science to catch up.
At the end of the day, I hope that science will finally admit that proving or disproving God is out of its scope.
In the coming years, decades, and centuries, I hope that most scientists will focus on the physical and metaphysical to enrich human existence in this universe using their God-given minds and talents. Likewise, it is my hope that theologians too will focus on the spiritual and stop undermining (demonizing) the products of mind and science.
The best scenario, I believe, that God desires for all of us is for the two institutions (religion and science) to complement one another, to serve the purpose of God and the well-being of humanity by creating synergy.
Pope John Paul II once said this beautifully: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.“
What are your thoughts on this? Share with us your comments. Give us feedback…
AHM believes the importance of science and religion complementing each other.
- Science has a significant role in our existence both in the physical and metaphysical realms.
- Scientific discoveries made the dissemination of the Gospel much easier.
- God gave us the mind to explore the physical and metaphysical universes, create, and innovate like our Father, the greatest creative genius of all.
- Science can assist in improving our earthly existence giving us enough time, energy, health, and tools so that we have also enough time and resources to finish our SOUL’s spiritual journey in this universe.
- Science isn’t meant to be against religion, and vice versa.
- Religion and science aren’t mutually exclusive.
If you share our mission, don’t hesitate to reach out via [email protected] and/or [email protected] We would like to hear how you would like to contribute your share. We always look for those who would like to join our:
- Board of Directors
- Accountability Board
The need to pass through redemption, restoration, and ultimately reformation
The name Christian was derived from the Latin word ‘Christianus.’ Its literal meaning is a follower of Christ. This name was given to the early followers of Christ: “And it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.” (Acts 11: 26)
Here are the questions we should all answer:
- “What does following Christ wholeheartedly mean?”
- “How far one should go to be a true Christian?”
- “Where does the full distance of Christianity end?”
The follow-up questions to consider:
- Does it mean just ACCEPTING Jesus as a Savor, and that is it?
- Does it entail FOLLOWING His example?
- Does it also require to be ONE with Him?
Depending on whom you ask and at the stage where they’re in their Christian journey, you may find different answers.
AHM considers REDEMPTION -> RESTORATION -> REFORMATION as a full SPECTRUM of Christianity:
Many Christians assume that since they accepted Jesus as a savior, they’re off the hook. They become Christians to get rid of sin and condemnation. And therefore, they stop at redemption.
Yes, this stage alone is worth taking.
However, redemption is a gateway. It is not a destination by itself…
Stopping at becoming a Christian for namesake wasn’t what Jesus, for that matter, the early Christians envisioned.
Unfortunately, we see many Churches that don’t teach beyond redemption. They don’t empower their congregation to keep advancing on the spectrum of Christianity.
Of course, we have to give them credit. They’re doing a great job of bringing people to the door. But they’re not enabling their people to get in and enjoy what the rest of the house offers.
Don’t misunderstand me. If the call for that church or spiritual leader is evangelism, they’re fulfilling their mandate. Nonetheless, they should create coalitions with other churches and spiritual leaders to empower the Christians they brought to Jesus. They should have holistic teachings that enable them to advance on the spectrum of Christianity.
Let me ask you. Personally, where are you? If you have a church or a ministry, where are your people? Are they at the gate or are they advancing?
Getting riding of sin consciousness and overcoming self-condemnation is mandatory. It is a prerequisite to enjoy the benefits of entering into the Kingdom of God. Redemption allows us to feel guilt-free and fellowship with our Father as free sons and daughters.
However, we shouldn’t stop at redemption. We should restore our bodies and renew our minds. We should also restore our souls that have been battered by our past guilt trip.
Jesus didn’t just redeem us by making Himself a substitute. He restored us to our former glory, which we lost following the fall of the first Adam.
What are you doing as a person or a church/ministry to restore yourself to the former glory?
Renewing our minds and restoring our souls, and starting to enjoy its fruits is true Christian living. We need a renewed mind that sees beyond the horizon. We need a renewed mind that empowers us to conquer new heights both in our personal, career, and business lives. We should have a soul that loves, forgives, and pursue its assignment on earth.
Nonetheless, restoration isn’t destiny by itself. It is a manifestation of our redemption plus what we’ve been doing since we got rid of sin-consciousness. We should keep evolving (reforming) ourselves beyond where the 1st Adam left before his fall. Jesus went beyond what the 1st Adam achieved before the fall. We too should continue to evolve in our spiritual growth till we become one with God.
- At the end of His earthly ministry, after finishing the race and fulfilling His Mandate, Jesus said: “It is Finished!” (John 19: 30)
- Paul did the same but said it differently: “I have fought the good fight, I have FINISHED the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:6)
Of course, you and I, if we have finished our race, we’d be here on earth right now.
Where are we on this journey?
- Have we identified our God-given purpose, and begun pursuing it? Paul acted as soon as he knew his God-given mandate on earth: “When God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia.” (Galatians 1: 15 – 17) He didn’t pursue his desires. He never wavered and hesitated to pursue his mission on Earth.
- Are we making progress and growing to be like Jesus? Paul didn’t stop at redemption once he got rid of sin-consciousness. He continued the journey on the spectrum of Christianity. He transformed his life and became like Christ. That was why he boldly said: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
- Are we aiming to be perfect like the Father? Jesus set the target for us. Though He knew His followers were just starting, He uplifted their expectations and pointed them to the destination- to become like the Father, PERFECT. He commanded: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) While on earth, Jesus walked the full spectrum of ‘Christianity’ to set an example. He evolved in their very eyes and ultimately utter this powerful statement: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) Are we advancing forward toward perfection? Do we aim at becoming ‘one with Christ and the Father’?
I’ve a disclaimer here. By the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, can we become perfect like the Father and become one with Him and His Son during our lifetime? Everyone answers this question to himself and herself. Some of us may think this is pride and arrogance. I hear you.
But we at AHM will try to emulate Jesus and finish our course while alive. That is also what we teach others. Will we get there isn’t the question? The question is do we have a target? We have the target Jesus set and Paul followed, that is, to finish the race and become like Jesus…
AHM emphasizes this process. We believe in the need to walk on the full spectrum of Christianity:
2. Restoration, and
Our blogs, articles, teachings, and programs aim at empowering the people God sends our way to walk on the full spectrum of Christianity.
To accomplish our mandate, we tap into:
- The teachings and works of Jesus,
- Christians before us,
- Scientific discoveries,
- Transferable wisdom from other religions, and
- The fruits of science and our civilization such as technologies including AI…
If you share our mission, don’t hesitate to reach out via [email protected] and/or [email protected] We would like to hear how you would like to contribute your share. We always look for those who would like to join our:
- Board of Directors
- Accountability Board
Why should you be faithful toward what matters the most
What do you value the most? We all have some things that we value the most compared to other things though these things differ from person to person.
Are you enjoying fruitfulness in the areas that matter the most? Your answer could be YES or NO or NOT SURE. Depending on your answers, there is a universal law you honored or ignored or neglected- FAITHFULNESS…
This law works in every culture, generation, industry, and field. You cannot escape or get an exemption from any authority… No shortcut! If you desire to enjoy fruitfulness, abide by the principle of faithfulness.
If anyone tells you that they became successful and enjoyed undeniable results without paying their dues in the form of FAITHFULNESS, don’t believe them! They are either lying or don’t understand or fail to recognize the very principle that enabled them to succeed.
We cannot be successful and enjoy undeniable results, whoever we’re and wherever we invest ourselves seriously, without undying commitment.
Your FAITHFULNESS to God (your family, church, ministry, organization, or business) highly determines your FRUITFULNESS…
Here is the PROBLEM: We all think- at least in our own very eyes, we’re faithful!
There is no litmus paper to test one’s faithfulness. You cannot see, touch, or measure FAITHFULNESS.
You may ask: Mr. Restorer, how can I know whether I’m or someone is faithful?
I’m glad you asked. Look for the fruits in you or others…
Speaking of False Prophets, Jesus said: “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Mathew 7: 16) You cannot open their hearts or read their minds to tell who is who. You can only look for their behaviors, decisions, actions, and ultimately, the fruits they bear…
Faithfulness is a cause. Even if you don’t see it, it manifests on the outside in the form of fruits if it is there. Do you have faithfulness to what matters the most? From 1 to 10, one being zero commitment and 10 being ultra committed, all-in, and faithful till death, how do you scale your faithfulness?
Let me make it practical. Right now, if you haven’t yet manifested the FRUITS you have been looking for, don’t wander around to find a solution out there. It is straightforward. You just lack faithfulness.
Wishful thinking alone doesn’t cut it. Prayer, fasting, and other spiritual exercises alone cannot give you fruitfulness.
There is a human part you have to play. You have to roll your sleeves and do some tangible, earthly, and physical things to demonstrate your faithfulness if your desire is to reap the benefits of your undying commitment.
The higher RISK you’re willing to take, the higher your FAITHFULNESS. The higher your faithfulness, the higher your FRUITFULNESS, and vice versa…
As far as you aren’t willing to sow the seed of tangible commitment TODAY, there is no soil that can produce FRUITFULNESS that can be seen and harvested TOMORROW…
Hope you got the answer to the question in the beginning: Why should you be faithful toward what matters the most? This is because you cannot be FRUITFUL and achieve undeniable success, become world-class in what you do, and be great in your own unique ways unless you demonstrate unwavering commitment and FAITHFULNESS to your CAUSE, whatever that may be for you.
If you find this blog a good reminder, inspiring, and informative, share it with those who may need this today.
Don’t forget. We’re here to serve those believers who may not find teachings somewhere that equip them to succeed in the real world.
Whether you are an artist, politician, entrepreneur, educator, community leader, professional, or what have you, we’re here to equip you with spiritual truths that prepare you to succeed in what you do.
Our teachings are designed to enable you to be salt and light.
We’re not religious. We don’t serve such individuals, they have many places to get religious services.
We’re spiritual and only empower those who are spiritual. Those who are in the real world, those who would like to be change agents and leaders in their communities, organizations, and marketplaces…
If you have any questions or comments, send your emails via [email protected]
This motivational speech was given to Cherry Hill Believers Church in Maryland. This the same speech was given a week earlier to one of the mega Orthodox Tewahedo church in DC.
The two latest books of Assegid Habtewold (The Highest Level of Greatness and Unchain Your Greatness) were written to anyone regardless of his/her religious affiliation, cultural background, or nationality. However, Assegid serves diverse Ethiopian Christian denominations by taking some of the contents from the books and the Bible.
If you’re interested Assegid to speak to your group, reach out to him at [email protected] or call him @ 703-895-4551.
Remember, Assegid Habtewold Ministries is a non-denominational ministry that serves all denominations. He doesn’t promote or criticize any one’s dogmas or doctrines.
This morning I was in a DC church to inspire mostly 2nd generation Ethiopian youth born and raised here in the US. The theme of my presentation was ‘You are Born to Greatness’ based on my latest 2 books. There was a question and answer session in the end where the kids were engaged and asking thoughtful questions.
I was so happy to closely witness spiritual leaders, teachers, and mentors of these kids going the extra mile to empower their youth not just on spiritual matters alone but also in the knowledge that equips them to succeed in their personal and professional lives here in the US. These leaders are doing a favor to the kids, their parents, our community, and to God.
Other similar institutions should draw a lesson from these leaders to empower the young generation with the holistic knowledge that equips them to succeed well beyond home and the four walls of the church. Building the youth is building the future of our nation!!!
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AHM strives to restore the greatness of humanity one person at a time. The teachings of the ministry focus on restoring the whole man (woman)- the body, mind, and spirit. The messages are uplifting, life-changing, inspirational, transformational, and empowering. If you share the vision of AHM, you can join us in restoring the greatness of humanity one person at a time…