How Jesus started small and we should too!

Jesus praying solemnly

Cartoon image of Jesus Christ, with long brown hair, beard and mustache, wearing a white robe and brown sandals, as well as a red sash, kneels down to pray, both eyes closed in concentration, hands together in a praying position

“The Kingdom of God is like  mustard seed” – Matthew 13:31 

Today approximately two billion people, almost one third of the planet, in scores of countries throughout the world, call themselves Christian. Yet when Jesus began his ministry, he started with only twelve men, handpicked one and two at a time.
Jesus demonstrated that great achievements often come from humble beginnings. Like nature, where the largest trees sometimes grow from the smallest seeds, there is no correlation between your ultimate success and the limited resources you may have when you start. There are many examples of modest beginnings among history’s giants.
Remember the biblical story of David and Goliath? A young shepherd-boy defeated the Philistine giant with a simple slingshot of a stone. He went on to become a great king. Centuries later, thirteen little colonies declared their independence from the mighty British Empire and eventually became the United States of America = the world’s only mega-power. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and currently the world’s richest man, dropped out of college to write a program for one computer at a time when virtually no one owned a  PC. Fellow billionaire Michael Dell, founder of the world’s largest computer manufacturer, also started his business while in college with little more than $1,000 and a classified ad in the newspaper.

 
Jesus did not have a huge army or vast treasury. He was not well known and traveled within a relatively small geographic area. Yet, Jesus ultimately changed the world. He simply used the resources available to him at the moment. Jesus understood that sometimes “less is more.” This is one of the many paradoxes of success. Size doesn’t matter.

 
There are many advantages to starting small. For one, starting with little more than a dream, you have to hone your idea to such a degree that it “lights a fire” in the minds of others. Those whom you attract when you are small, you know, are loyal and committed. Also, you are strengthened by faith. The obstacles you face, like David battling Goliath, strengthen your character and define your brand. Finally, because your resources may be meager in the beginning, you are forced to be creative in ways you never thought possible. Hidden opportunities, untapped and ready to be discovered, lie waiting for you.
Wherever you are in your life, right now is the perfect time for you to begin to fulfill your mission and purpose. Starting small is an advantage to you if you are willing to let go of your preconceived notions of how you will accomplish your dream. One person can change the world with nothing more than an idea which time has come. That person can be you!

This Excerpt is taken from the book: The 99 Success Secrets of Jesus – How to Create Miracles in Your Life” by Don Daniel Ortiz. To order this book, please click here : Buy Now

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Feeling Off Course

Sadness

When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. Your healing is not a straight line. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself: ‘All is lost. I have to start all over again.’ This is not true.

What you have gained, you have gained. Sometimes little things build up and make you lose ground for a moment. Fatigue, a seemingly cold remark, someone’s inability to hear you, someone’s innocent forgetfulness which feels like rejection — when all these come together, they can make you feel as if you are right back where you started.

But try to think about it instead of being pulled off the road for a while. When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started. It is important not to dwell on the small moments when you feel pulled away from your progress.

Try to return home, to the solid place within you, immediately. Otherwise, these moments start connecting with similar moments, and together they become powerful enough to pull you far away from the road. Try to remain alert to seemingly innocuous distractions.

It is easier to return to the road when you are on the shoulder than when you are pulled all the way into a nearby swamp. In everything, keep trusting that God is with you, that God has given you companions on the journey. Keep returning to the road to freedom.

This Excerpt is taken from the book : ‘The Dance of Life : A Spiritual Journey with Henri Nouwen’ Edited by Michael Ford . For more information about the book : Click Me!

He Kept It Simple!

Jesus 2

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these
My brethren, you did it to Me.”
Matthew 25:40

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” (Lk 6:31).
With one phrase, the “Golden Rule,” Jesus conveyed the secret to success, the key to inner peace and the essence of the religion he inspired — Christianity.

True genius makes the complicated simple, i.e. “The kingdom of Is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.” (Mt 13:24). With this simple description Jesus was able to illustrate an abstract heaven, in a way most people could understand. Jesus used parables describing common everyday experiences anyone could relate to to as his preferred teaching method. Jesus was a master communicator because he kept his message simple.

There is nothing disingenuous about simple descriptions or straightforward solutions to problems. In fact, understatement, brevity and simplicity convey sophistication. For example, the Declaration of Independence, the Bedrock of American Democracy, is approximately 1300 words and based on a simple premise, “All men are created equal.” Arguably the best speech  ever given in  American politics, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, was only 272 words and helped heal a divided nation. Albert Einstein reduced his general theory of relativity, an incredibly complex subject, to a simple formula: E=MC2. Thomas Watson, founder of one of the world’s greatest corporate successes, IBM, summed up the essence of his business philosophy with one word — Think.
Simplicity focuses the mind. Your mind, and the minds of those you need to inform, persuade and even change to achieve your dreams, craves order. Especially today, because the world is increasingly complex, information so overwhelming, most people are not willing to take the time needed to really grasp a complex message. When you keep it simple, you gain a powerful advantage.
Think about your life, career and relationships. Are they complicated? Think about your goals and your mission in life. Can yo like the U.S. Marine Corps’ axiom Semper Fi, (Latin: semper fidelis, always faithful), convey your values, message or brand in a sing phrase?

Can you inspire, lead or manage others with the power a simple message? Jesus achieved success by keeping his message simple.

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘The 99 Success Secrets of Jesus – How to Create Miracles in Your Life’. For more information about the book : Click Here!

 

From unceasing thinking to unceasing prayer

Bread for the Journey

Our minds are always active. We analyse, reflect, daydream or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is “unceasing”. Sometimes we wish we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings and fears.

Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love.

Let’s break our isolation and realize that Someone who dwells in the centre of our beings wants to listen with love to all that occupies and preoccupies our minds.

This excerpt is taken from the book ‘ Bread for the Journey’ by Henri J.M. Nouwen. For more information: Click Me 🙂

Psalms of Mercy

The-Psalms-of-Mercy

The Psalms have a strong attraction – to believers and non believers alike – because they reflect our deepest experiences as human beings. They are full of the highs and lows of everyday life, the triumphs and losses, our strengths and weaknesses, the beautiful and the painful. They also point to our human search for a merciful and loving God.

Praying with these ten Psalms of Mercy will help us come more deeply into God’s presence and reveal God’s mercy and tenderness for each one of us.

The Psalms of Mercy is one of a series of eight books, the official catechetical resource for the Jubilee of Mercy created by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization at the request of Pope Francis.

As Pope Francis says, we are, as a Church, called to “echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and love.” These books are a guiding light for individuals  and parishes to answer that call.

Saint of the Day: St. Margaret Clitherow

MargaretClitherow

St. Margaret Clitherow, a woman of great beauty and zeal was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, to protestant parents. She married a well to do grazer John Clitherow, with whom she had 2 children. Her charming personality and cleaver mind led her to harbor fugitive priests. Due to this she was imprisoned by hostile authorities.

She was constantly tested and forced to denounce her faith however Margaret was relentless and stood firm in what she believed in. After multiple attempts to make her deny God, she was finally sentenced to death on March 25 1856. Her death sentence was to be carried out in a gruesome manner by getting her pressed top death.

The extent of her holiness and faith in God can be seen when she writes a letter to her friend saying “The sheriffs have said that I am going to die this coming Friday; and I feel the weakness of my flesh which is troubled at this news, but my spirit rejoices greatly. For the love of God, pray for me and ask all good people to do likewise.” Her feast day is celebrated on March 26th.

Verse of the Day: Matthew 6:24

No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money Matthew 6-24

One of my favorite verses from the Holy Bible. So often in life we focus on the pursuit of  money and neglect  God. We may not do it on purpose but it is a reality that we cannot ignore. Our thoughts and actions might revolve around the pursuit of materialistic things and at the end of the day, there is a feeling of emptiness.

While it is important to work on your business or daily needs in life,  we should always remember who our creator is. Jesus so rightly says that ” No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”.

The need of the hour is to give your best at what you do but always be focused on God and not get lost in the material temptations of the world.

 

 

Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Enda

enda

Legend has him an Irishman noted for his military feats who was convinced by his sister St. Fanchea to renounce his warring activities and marry. When he found his fiancee dead, he decided to become a monk and went on pilgrimage to Rome, where he was ordained.

He returned to Ireland, built churches at Drogheda, and then secured from his brother-in-law King Oengus of Munster the island of Aran, where he built the monastery of Killeaney, from which ten other foundations on the island developed.

With St. Finnian of Clonard, Enda is considered the founder on monasticism in Ireland. His feast day is March 21
Source: catholic.org