Advice to Young Men

By

​Kevin East

Culled from crosswalk.com

Kevin East is the President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Texas.

There are many things I wish someone would have told me when I turned 18. As I shared in a previous post, I was given the opportunity to write a young man a letter recently, passing any wisdom to this young man that I thought would be appropriate. I did, but I felt that my letter came up short. It did because it barely scratched the surface of what I wish someone would have told me.

For this reason, I have written another letter. Although it is addressed to one man, it would be what I would tell any young man entering college.

Austin,

I was honored to write you a letter this past week. However, thinking back over what I said, I think I came up terribly short. As usual, I could always blame the brevity of my note to the fact I am busy, that I have a large family, or that my responsibilities with work were getting the best of me. The problem is, if I said that, I’d be just like most other men in America; making excuses for coming up short.

The truth is, I was more concerned with sounding good than saying something good. Austin, I believe in you too much to simply tell you to choose maturity throughout life. In the next few years, you will go through such a shaping season of your life. I have watched good men make decisions during this time that would alter their life dramatically.

That being said, here are a few points I want to pass along:

Pornography kills marriages. Austin, this is serious. I’ve sat across many tables with college guys in tears because they were addicted to looking at naked women on computer screens. They knew they hated looking at it, but sin’s web was tightly constricting them. Remember that this isn’t just about keeping your eyes pure. It is also about not setting your wife up to fail. What these guys look at on computers is not real. It is a sick fantasy. The producers of porn take air-brushed, plastic women, and have them act like they have the sex drive of men.

Men arrive in marriage with unreal expectations, and the damage done takes years to unravel.

Men need friends. You need good, solid guys that can lock arms with you and walk life next to you. In college many guys start living life “around” other guys, but never with them. Austin, find some guys that want to honor God with their lives. Seek to know them, and allow them to know you. As you get older, this becomes even more difficult, so learn early how critical this really is.

God’s grace is deep. Some of my most profound realizations about the goodness of God came while I was in college. Growing up, I didn’t have the slightest desire to read books. Given the decision, I would have picked doing something outside fun and active as opposed to reading. Yet, after I became a Christian, this changed.

Take advantage of your college years to dive deep in God’s Word. Study it. Reflect on it. Memorize it. Ask someone to teach it to you. Austin, you are a good man, raised in a great family. Yet, you have so much to learn about the depths of the riches of God’s love. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Don’t focus so much on your grades that you miss an education. Austin, I know you have a 4.0 right now. That is great. I had that as well until my first conduct grades in 1st grade. It was all downhill from there. As you go through college, studying hard and trying to excel is important, but don’t put in on a throne it didn’t belong.

Take advantage of opportunities to “cut your teeth” leading. Go on mission trips where you can learn that God doesn’t just speak English. Look at other cultures to understand what real poverty looks like. When you finish college, all these experiences will have shaped you.

Above all else. This is a chapter title from the book Spiritual Leadership . In this chapter, he talks about the need for leadership that is Spirit-led. Austin, this world needs men who are under the authority of the Lord Jesus. Be purposeful in stopping to place your heart under His. Great leadership doesn’t come from “technique-ing” people. It comes from wisdom and discernment that is God-given. So go to Him, and ask. He’ll give it.

As I told you in my first letter, I believe in you, Austin. I look forward to watching God’s shaping hand on your life. Come sit on my porch anytime if you’d like to discuss this further.

Walk in great grace, and speak with great power (Acts 4:33),

Kevin

Being Who God Created You to Be

Living to fulfil Divine Purpose as sermonized by Barrister Iboro Ben

Becoming what God created you to be was the theme of yesterday’s message the first sermon of the year by pastor Iboro, the shepherd of Deeper Life Campus Fellowship, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state. Opening passage which was drawn from Jeremiah 1v 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”   showed God’s intention for Jeremiahs life, you’ve got yours, discover it

PATHWAYS TO DISCOVERING DIVINE PURPOSE
1. Divine encounter. We all need encounter of one sort or the other, the earlier the better he stressed amongst others, the greatest of which is salvation. Biblical examples of divine encounter include Genesis 12v 1,2; Matthew 1v17 notice God “makes” calling them “come ye after me”
2. Divine partnership. Psalm 73v24. There is need to be guided continually by Gods counsel
3. Dedicated prayers also through revelations, dreams, doubtless intuition Genesis 37v1-2

PATHETIC DESTRUCTION OF DIVINE PURPOSE
Discovering God’s purpose is just a means to an end, it’s not the end. So many distractions pop-up along life’s journey to dissuade us from following God’s revealed purpose for our lives.
Using Samson as a case study few of the pathway that destroy lives include: he was distracted judges 14:1; uncontrolled passion distracted him. Take not there are more distractions than concentration in our world today-the movies, peer-pressure, etc.; he became disloyal judges 13:5; he drew back James 1:14, when one misuses God’s grace on his life there is a great tendency to draw back; he declined in his commitment Proverb 7:25; he derailed judges 16:1 and finally he departed from his purpose 1 Timothy 4:1, Judges 16:30. He destroyed his wife.
A question that comes to mind is what if Samson fulfilled his destiny? That will have been a plus to the nation of Israel (i.e. the destruction of the philistine nation)

PURPOSEFUL DECISION TO FULFIL DIVINE MANDATE
There is no fulfilment of goals or life’s purpose without determination. After discovering God’s purpose for our lives, it is imperative to
(i) Refuse to be distracted from life’s purpose for our lives Acts 20:24
(ii) confirm every step you take from God Isaiah Isaiah 30:21
(iii) stay close to God and be attentive to God for further instructions.

Remember God’s revelation comes in pieces and not at an instant so stay close to him by purposing in your heart to do what God says Numb 23:18; decide to cling to God till death Ruth 1:16

Have a rewarding 2017 ahead as you fulfil God’s purpose for your life.

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Taking Charge of Your 2017

MAKING 2017 A WORTHY YEAR AS A YOUTH & STUDENT.
Source: aocviews.wordpress.com

-Catch your PREY or escape from your HUNTERS.

There is no doubt that many of us regret making some decisions and actions in 2016, which has resulted into different mess while many made a fabulous moment despite the huge economic downturn. Whatever the case maybe, one can still make up and avoid the pitfalls cum 2017. What matters is extracting relevant lessons from them.
My business here quickly is to help create a possible road map on how we can all maximize 2017 and get the best out of it.
I will be practical enough to connect this teaching to myself hereby relating a validated and experienced workout plans.
We are in the age where everyone is seeking attention by initiating one project, initiative or the other. Well, as much as it is nice, some might not be neccesary as it consumes time needed to make more meaningful impact.

To make 2017 a Wow, here are the few things i have personnaly thought of that can help.
kindly note; few of the things i have put together are just key but not limited to them.

12 WAYS TO GET THE BEST IN THE COMING YEAR
1. GOALS
Trying to succeed without goals is like playing soccer without goal posts. You
can neither score nor win. It is an open Invitation to frustration!
When it comes to new year, everyone is always optismistic especially in creating new year approah by making long list of do’s and dont’s. Nice… but deliberate and intentional moves makes them work.
Goal-setting is a powerful #key to maximizing your #opportunities and resources in the #newyear
What do you really want?
What do you really want to achieve?
What difference do you really want to make??
As you set goals for 2017, ensure they’re in line with your strategic vision
(the picture of who you will be in some decades). Yearly plan is not enough….
Set goals for spiritual growth, health, family/relationships, education/career,
and finances. True success is balanced.
Write/type your goals. Through writing, your goals make their entrance into
the physical world. Read them frequently.
If our sole goal is to attain the level others have reached, then we are setting our target too low.
Set long term goals (10 years +), medium term goals (5 years), and short
term goals (1 year). if you don’t you will keep rerouting every year.
The Principles of HOW? WHY? WHEN? WHERE? will accelerate your paper work.
Do not fool yourselves into believing that we are moving forward when we are only keeping up with general trends, while the real opportunities are slipping away.
Dont put your two legs in the water you are not sure of the depth.
Don’t run with people you are not sure of their destination
Do what others do only with the sole aim of making difference.

2. TO-DO LIST
Ask great people, they will tell you how to-do list have helped them structure their lives.
Create on a daily outline of what you want to achieve, it wont allow you to run your life in emptiness.
To do list helps to avoid things like impulse purchase, unwanted or uncalled visits. It updates you of your daily activities.
You must know per time what you are doing and the next one to achieve in clarity.
My To-do list always allow me to properly rate if my day has been well spent or not.

3. DEBT FREE LIFE
Make it a habit NEVER TO BORROW no matter what in 2017.
In 2016, i had a very serious financial mess due to my negligence and error. I paid a total of #560,000 from accumulated debt, it obstructed many of my plans but was still able to make something out of the year though.
Don’t toil with your financial life, it can handicap your progress for a long time.
Don’t be ashamed to say “You don’t have or can’t afford it” when you are incapacitated.
Learn to say NO… game pads, latest iphone are not neccesities when your library seem shalow and lean.
Another scenario is borrowing to finance a project.
I am not against taking Risk, of course i am a frontliner; but whatever you are not ripe for should not be attained by force.
You are not RIPE for whatever you Borrow to Achieve. Grow your financial stream and be contempted with yourself.
If you want to enjoy your 2017. do away with any thing that will drain you financially.
AVOID TRYING TO IMPRESS PEOPLE
A man trying to impress people by posting pictures or activities to the social world is only blocking the possible openings of liberation and advantages.
Of what use is flaunting what you dont have or forming who you are not…
Be Original in all you do, don’t give people impression of what you are not. I am personally tired of chatting with CEO’s on facebook whose physical appearance depicts that of a clueless and confused being, apart from running so called enterprise they do not have knowlege of. To be candid, its of no use.
You do not have to create unachievable or hyped profiles for yourselves all in the name of respect or recognition.
Life does not reward base on SIMILARITIES but on DIFFERENCE.
Be content filled.
Do not share or send your achievements to impress, it becomes impressive when people find out themselves.
The greatest level of IMPRESSION is to shock people with RESULTS unimaginable
Your PROFILE is not only the PROOF of your FILE but the EVIDENCE of your LIFE.
Don’t do what others are doing- be unique.
Re-do what others are not re-doing
If we are thinking the same, then no one is thinking.

5. REDUCE YOUR DEPENDENCE ON GOOGLE
This is the first time i will be sharing this thought about google. It is so bad young people now have two brains.
Google and theirs.
One can not go far with a preformated and stressless life., it diminshes the ability to generate ideas and constructively develop new solutions.
I am sure you will agree with me on these.
If you truly have the urge to develop and stand out, then google should not be your basic source of reliance. Somebody did create that.
I am not suggesting the outright negligence of research or help when neccessary but we should endeavour to be creative enough to share and build original content.
In some of my previous teachings on 100things you will never be taught in school, i made mention of research methodology.
Students today go on internet to copy and paste all in the name of research.
No wonder we can not boast of new discoveries in Africa anymore.
FLATTEN YOUR WANT, CHECK EXCESSES AND DROP ALL UNPRODUCTIVE ACTS.
I once listened to a 9year old boy on NTA whose ambition was to become the president of Nigeria someday with numerous manifestoes on ground already. One of them include Buying cars for all members of his family and building two gigantic structures for his parents. hmnn…
Well, many of us have wants that are outrageous, unachievable and unattainable.
As we grow to 2017, slimfit your want, many of them are of no use anyway.
Excessess: Sleep less, Eat less- it weighs you down when you are suppose to study(some people might want to crucify me for this one), chat less, talk less… you all know them.
Be smart enough to know who is wasting your time and those helping you maximize them.
The truth be told, you can not keep time-killers and make a meaningful life.
They surround us on daily basis debating irrelevant and unproductive discussions.
It’s time to say NO and be KNOWN.

7. CONNECT WITH PEOPLE THAT MATTERS
People have always being the people God will send to help people.
People have always being the people Devil will send to destroy people.
It’s equally profitable to note that people of importance always appear simple and mild, they hardly share fascinating thoughts you can like or share.
Joseph Arithmatea who helped jesus carry his cross was never a celebrity nor a public figure. Infact his name was never mentioned again after that scene, but he achieved a very significant task.
Be wise enough to identify those that have been positioned to help you in the coming year.
May God open our eyes.
Find time to identify SILENTLY VOICED and Content Filled Individuals on your list.
Prune your contact from time to time and delete as appropriate.
There are some useless (so called) people on our list who knows useful people that can connect us to the place we desire in life.
MAXIMIZE your contact

BE WEARY OF ACADEMIC DISTRACTIONS
Our campuses today is filled with so many irrational things that looks so fascinating to us.
Anything that fascinates can assasinate you.
Phones, laptops, Politics, Friends, Party, etc
They are as dangerous as Danger itself.

9. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
There are different colours in the market.
BLUE: Celestial Blue, Imperial Blue, Palatinate Blue, Presidential Blue, Queen Blue, NYPD Blue, Police Strobe, Air Force Blue, Navy Blue, Cadet Blue, Royal Blue, Skye blue etc
If you don’t know what you want, you will fall for the less.

10. PROCRASTINATION
I will, i might are dangerous words to do away with while planning your new year.

11. RUN PARTNERSHIPS
You can achieve more when you run with like minds.
You can run fast alone, but you can run Far in the company of partners
Many of us who kickstart projects are looking for self glorification, loves titles like CEO, MD, COO, etc. If it has nit been working for you, make a you turn and partner with people.

12. MAKE GOD YOUR PRIORITY
Guys… if by now God is an option in your life, you are a fool.
It’s time to all realize that God only has the power to increase, inspire, motivate, help and bring all plans to fulfilment.
Make it a plan to draw closer to him more than before and i am sure it will be a worthwhile decision.
It is my wish and prayer that 2017 will bringforth multiple fruit, end fruitless journey and accelerate progress.
For me : it has been tagged a year of NEXT level and GRANDSTYLE..
All these thoughts can be viewed and downloaded on my blog. http://www.aocviews.wordpress.com
I celebrate you all.

Ademola Ogunlade is founder STRIDES Magazine and is passionate about the youths.

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There Are Things To Forget (Part 2)

Continued from previous post.
Forget all evil reports: don’t allow evil reports lodge in your heart-they are faith killers. It was the evil reports of the ten spies in the wilderness that weakened the heart of multitudes of the children of Israel and made them lose sight of God’s power and faithfulness. Pondering over evil reports will hinder you from getting to you desired heights in life. Fill your mind with testimonies of the past goodness of God.
Forget past achievements: while it is important for you to constantly recall Gods faithfulness and goodness in your life in times past, glorying in your past achievements will result in pride, and compliancy. Always remember that you belong to God and the power to do as well as the power to will all comes from him. Whatever you have achieved so far is from God; therefore, there is nothing to glory in. also remember that God hates the proud in heart and will abase them. Paul the apostle realized this, which made him declare in Philippians 3:13, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”

Dear reader, as your journey through life, thoughts will jostle for residency in your heart as you journey towards the fulfillment of Gods purpose for you but you must resolve to allow nothing other than God’s precepts, promises and assurances to dwell in you. Let your mind stay only on God.

Don’t allow old negativities, grudges, worries and fears crowd your mind. Let Gods counsel in Philippians 4:8 be your watchword, “finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Do this always, and the peace of God will never cease to flow in you and through you.

Source: Christian Women Mirror January 2012 “There are there things to Forget”.

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There Are Things To Forget (Part 1)

Anyone desirous of making lasting progress in life, there are many things that must be forgotten, many retrogressive bridges that must be burnt, and many emotional shackles that must be untangled. Failure to do this will not only hinder the flow of God’s blessings into an individual’s life but can also wreak untold havoc on his or her body and soul.
Consider the Israelites. The reason many of them could not enter the Promised Land of rest and abundance (despite God’s numerous promises to them) was their failure to loosen themselves from the memory of their lifestyle in the land of bondage. Exodus 16:2-3 says to them, “And the whole congregation of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness; and the children of Israel said unto them, would God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, where we sat  by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full…” Again in Numbers 11:4-6 we are told, “…and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic; but now our soul is dried ay: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.”
Discontent, restlessness and murmuring became a permanent feature of their lives because they wouldn’t let go of the past and hold on to the promises of God for their present and future lives. Lot’s wife also missed the purpose of God for her life when she refused to forget the attractions of Sodom. Her inability to forget the past made her lose her life untimely (Genesis 19:17-26).

Reader, for you to get the best from the Lord for the rest of your life, there are things you must forget.
Forget and forsake your past sins: remembering and living in past sins will damn your soul in hell. There is no pleasure in sin; it is all deceit of the enemy of your soul and this is very dangerous for you. God is loving and merciful, he is calling you today to repent and forsake your sins. He is ready to accept you. It is your sins that God hates. As you drop your sins in repentance and answer His call, He will not cast your away. Proverbs 28:13 says, “he that covereth his sons shall not prosper: but whoso confsseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” If however you have already repented of your past sins and made restitutions where necessary, then you must not all Satan, the accuser of the brethren, continue torment you with guilt and condemnation. No matter how far you had gone in sinning , you are cleansed and justified by the blood of Jesus and god sees you as an entirely new creature (Romans 8:1; 2Corinthians 5:17). Don’t listen to the whispers of the devil; hold on to the unchanging promises of your heavenly Father.
Forget your past failures. Don’t live on past failures. Don’t mediate on them. Put them behind you and press forward for a new thing. Make your past failure stepping stones to your success. Remember that many people that are celebrated as champions today had at one time or the other recorded failures in their lives but refused to be failures themselves. Rather, they used their past failures to brighten their present and future.
Forget your past regrets. What are those past actions of yours that bring regret to you? Get rid of them because no amount of regrets can undo the past. Instead, pray earnestly and the Lord will turn things around for good for you. The Psalmist testified of God’s ability in this regard when he said, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me this gladness” (Psalm 30:11). If you will let go of past blunders and let God have his way in you, soon this will be your own testimony too!
Forget your past disappointments. Repent of your past trust in men, riches and possessions and accept that it’s natural to face disappointment from any angle in life-apart from God. No wonder David prayed to God in Psalms 60:11, “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.” (Psalm 118:8). Lay all your burdens upon God and he will give you all the desires of your heart.
Forget all past offences and hurts: don’t keep records of offences-it will affect your relationship with God and men and will damage your health. Are there some people who have offended you and you hold their offences looking for ways to revenge? Remember God’s word says in Matthew 6:15 “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”. Forgive your spouse, children, neighbours, colleagues, boss in the office and even your subordinates. No matter the enormity of the wrong done to you, make up your mind to obey God and He will give you the grace to let go, and He will also heal your hurts and aches.

To be continued…

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