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Joe Spinell at BFSB

Faithless people lost a good chance

Years ago a man named Joe Wright told me that he had a gasoline card that he prepaid and could go to the petrol gas station and fill up his car with gas. The card was going to expire at the end of the year and after he filled his tank there was still almost a hundred dollars left on the card. Since it was the last day of the year, he knew he couldn’t use the money so he walked over to a woman who just pulled into the gas station and asked her if she wanted to use the card. She looked startled and asked him what the catch was. Joe explained to her why he was giving her gas, but she refused. Apparently she didn’t believe she could get something for nothing.

Later a man drove in and Joe motioned for him to roll down his window. The man opened it a crack and Joe asked him if he wanted to use the card for free gasoline. The man said no.

Joe didn’t give up and asked one more man who gladly accepted the offer and thanked Joe profusely. There was still money left on the card, so Joe waited and asked other people. Most didn’t believe they would get something for nothing. A few who had faith got rewarded for their faith.

Do you have faith?

If a rich person came to you and said he would give you a million dollars to write a song, would you do it? I certainly would, but it probably wouldn’t be a very good song. Yet hundreds of people write songs and make millions of dollars off their music. They had to start with the belief that they could write a song that many people would like, they had to have faith. Most people don’t try to write music or books because they don’t think they can do it well.

My blog posts are all about how to be successful in anything. But it all starts with faith. Jesus said everything is possible for one who believes (Mark 9:23). Jesus spoke of the power of faith about 40 times in the Gospels.  Buddha said similar things, so do virtually all the success coaches and many psychologists. .

The problem is that it is very difficult to maintain faith in your ability to reach your goals and dreams. Here are some things that help:

Say affirmations every day.

An affirmation is simply a short phrase that says you have achieved your dreams. Jack Canfield, the writer, used this affirmation daily: “God is my infinite supply and large sums of money come to me quickly and easily under the grace of God for the highest good of all concerned. I am happily and easily earning, saving and investing $100,000 a year.”

Jack went from a very low salary to becoming a multimillionaire with this affirmation and a lot of hard work.

Change happens

Your life can change for the better at any time. Suddenly a goal you have been working on can come to fruition. Stay optimistic, you really can reach your goals and dreams in life!

More on affirmations. http://wp.me/p2rHBL-lb Or scroll down the right hand column to “Posts by category” and click affirmations.

Better to be rich or poor?

Brad Stanton —  November 29, 2012 — 16 Comments

English: President Reagan presents Mother Tere...

English: President Reagan presents Mother Teresa with the Medal of Freedom at a White House Ceremony, 1985. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Russell Conwell was a writer, lawyer, orator, university founder, philanthropist, and Baptist preacher about 100 years ago. He delivered one speech over 6000 times, called “Acres of Diamonds.” This speech was about a man who traveled to the Middle East and heard his guide tell a story about a man who left home looking for wealth. The man didn’t find it and became so discouraged he killed himself. Later, someone else found acres of diamonds on his land, right under his feet. The dead man would have found them if he had bothered to look for wealth right where he was.

Many say this story means that true wealth and happiness are right where you are if you know how to find them. Tens of thousands of people heard this speech and many were so moved by it that they found motivation to seek wealth right where they were. One man, for example sat listening to the speech and saw a lady with a hairpin that looked rather difficult to insert in the hair. The man sat thinking of a way to improve the design.  He did and made a fortune selling the new hairpin.

Another man used the few pennies he had to buy needles and thread to sell on the street. He didn’t sell the products and realized he should find out what people want to buy before investing in the product. He observed that many were buying certain kinds of clothes and he invested in them. He began to sell his wares very quickly and after some years became the richest man in New York City at that time.

Conwell believed strongly that anyone could become rich if they had strong desire and worked toward that goal. He said

 “I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich…. The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community. Let me say here clearly .. . ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money. That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them. It is because they are honest men. … … I sympathize with the poor, but the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is very small. To sympathize with a man whom God has punished for his sins … is to do wrong…. let us remember there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings. …”

I don’t fully agree with Conwell’s statement, because people are poor for many different reasons including poor health, living in an area of the world where everyone is poor, mental retardation, and some choose to be poor to spend time helping people, such as Mother Teresa.

Some feel it is a sin to be wealthy and some people even believe Jesus taught that. I believed that for awhile, but while reading the Old Testament I saw over and over again that God promised prosperity to everyone who followed his commands and did certain things. Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1; Deuteronomy 30:15; 1 Kings 2:3; Psalm 37:11; Psalm 25:12-14 Proverbs 8:17-19; Proverbs 19:8 Jeremiah 29:11 are a few examples of many promises in the Bible. But unfortunately, they have to be accepted by faith, which is extremely difficult. Also, it can take years, and lots of hard work for promises to come about.

I find that in general, rich people can do more good for the world by donating money and time than people who are not rich. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it usually is. Poor people who have lots of free time could become very powerful prayer warriors, but most do not. They could spend time helping people, some do, but I find most don’t. It is usually the wealthier people who do this. Strange, but that is just what I have observed.

I know many will disagree, feel free to leave a comment expressing another viewpoint.

Happy no matter what

Brad Stanton —  July 19, 2012 — 41 Comments

Ceiling fan (photo taken in an hotel in India)

I once visited an underground house church in a country in Asia where that sort of thing was illegal. I heard that it was a secret church, but I found as soon as I got close to the house where they met, vendors who were sitting near the street selling their wares motioned me over and asked me if I was looking for the house church. I guess it wasn’t so secret after all. About 3000 people met there on Saturday and Sunday in several services. His house was 3 stories high, but not nearly big enough to hold that many people at one time, so he had several different meetings.

I went in, and was warmly welcomed. I sat down on a small stool, sandwiched tightly between other people. It seemed that every bit of space was taken up by stools of eager people waiting to hear Pastor Lamb. The ceiling fans were on, blowing the hot, humid air.

I sat making small talk with those sitting beside me, wondering what Pastor Lamb looked like. I knew that he was in a prison camp for over 20 years because he shared the gospel. I knew he was very old, so I assumed he would look old, feeble, and have lots of pain showing on his face.

Some time later a man sprang out onto the platform. I couldn’t believe it was Pastor Lamb! He looked much younger than I expected. Not only that, his face was radiant, very happy. He looked happier than many other people who had lives much less full of problems than him. But he was an over-comer, he remained happy no matter what happened to him.

To be happy everyday it can really help to sit down and write at least ten things you are thankful for, ten blessings in your life. The more you do this the easier it will become to think of things that are good in your life. For example you probably have someone that loves you. You can be sure God loves you. You probably have enough to eat every day and a bed to sleep in, a roof over your head and maybe even a car to drive. You have your eyes and your ears, many people do not. You may be able to walk, some people cannot. If you’re like most people your health is not perfect, but you can be thankful for the health that you do have. One of the really big things to be thankful for is heaven.  People that have no hope for the future are very sad people indeed. To people with hope, every day can be great.


The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Holy Spirit comes in power beautiful things happen.  People’s hearts are made alive to the Holy Spirit and it can be like a huge bucket of joy is being poured out into people’s hearts.  Sometimes so much love, blessings and joy flow from the Spirit that people want to stay in revival meetings until late into the night because they don’t want the blessings to stop.

God used a young man named Evan Roberts to bring revival toWales in 1904. In late October and early November, Evan facilitated meetings in churches by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead. He talked to the people with great passion. They could hear the urgency in his voice, they could see the sweat beading on his brow, but mostly they felt the power of the Holy Spirit. Most of the people had no idea how long and hard Evan Roberts and others had prayed for revival, he had spent many years praying for it. He often fasted so that he could have more time to pray. He started prolonged and intense intercessory prayer when he was thirteen years old. But he wasn’t the only one who prayed for revival. All around the world people prayed. Some people prayed alone, others formed groups and organized many people to pray.

On a Sunday evening in November of 1904, the presence of the Holy Spirit was so thick and the people were so excited about it, that they didn’t want to leave the church meeting. It was undoubtedly cold outside and the sun set early in November, but the people didn’t care. Even the thought of a cold walk home in the dark didn’t dampen their enthusiasm.  The meeting was still going strong at midnight. This was one of the many times that the Holy Spirit was moving so powerfully that people sat in their seats spellbound, listening to the speaker and drinking in the joy of the Holy Spirit.  It must have been a time of wonder and astonishment.


FAITH part 2 (Continued from yesterday)……………………………….

God could have answered Daniel’s prayer immediately if He wanted to, but for some reason, He allowed the struggle in the heavenly realms to continue for days before the angel was able to reach Daniel. Romans 8:28 says that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. God is certainly powerful enough to answer your prayer immediately if He wants to, but usually He takes some time before He answers it. God is more concerned about us growing spiritually strong than getting everything we want right away. Just as our parents did not give us everything we wanted because they knew it was for our best, God also sometimes does not give us what we want when we ask for it. Every parent has probably had a child who wanted to eat ice cream for supper; however, the parent knew it would not be good for the child and did not permit it.

John 15:7 promises, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” The more God’s Word remains or lives in us, the more our desires will become closely aligned to God’s desires. If we really want God’s Word to abide in us we need to memorize it. Scripture has amazing power to realign your thinking when you memorize it and meditate on it. From the book The Amazing Power of Prayer

John tells us at the beginning of his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” When we memorize the Word, we are making space in our mind for God in a very powerful way. To really increase your spiritual power, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word.
As we make space for God and His Word in our minds, our emotions come into play. Emotions are important to increasing your faith. You have to feel thankful and really enjoy the situation or person for which you prayed. Believe in the answer so much that you start to enjoy it as if you already have received it.
Your emotions are a good indicator of your level of faith. If you feel angry at God because He has not answered your prayer soon enough, that is an indicator that your faith is weak. If you feel any negative emotions fear, worry, guilt, depression, or anger, remember that these are indicators of weak faith. Get rid of them and be happy. Just as the negative emotions bring you away from God, the good emotions, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, bring you close to God and strengthen your faith.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10 (Amplified)

5. Hold on to your faith and be Happy while you wait for the answer to come to you.
Luke 18:1 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
In this parable Jesus said that we may have to keep asking for a period of time. This is usually the most difficult part of prayer. It is easy to ask, and it’s sometimes easy to have faith when we ask. But to wait and wait for God to answer the prayer often makes our faith weak. The more faith we have, the more we can relax and enjoy waiting for the answer. We ,know that we have a great reward (the answer to our prayer) waiting for us. Just think how you would feel if you inherited a million dollars, but the court said you could not touch the money until it was probate was completed. You would be sure you would get it, but it might be a bit frustrating at times waiting. However, you would probably spend a lot of time thinking about how you would spend the money after you got it. The certainty of receiving a million dollars would bring you joy and change your attitude. You would begin planning how to spend the money. It might seem that you’d already received the money; it just wasn’t in your hands yet. That is the same way with prayer. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have… From the book The Amazing Power of Prayer

Do affirmations work?

Brad Stanton —  June 28, 2012 — 25 Comments

“Four things for success... work and pray... t...

“Four things for success… work and pray… think and believe” ~ (Photo credit: turtlemom4bacon)

There are probably hundreds of books out there dealing with the power of affirmations. An affirmation is a statement such as “I am losing weight” that brings about change in a person’s life.

But do affirmations work? They have for me! I have used a number of different affirmations during the past year and they have helped me tremendously. Usually I wake up tired and in a bad mood in the morning. I find a good way to improve my mood is to say affirmations. I’ve heard it said many times that we can choose the mood we want to have when we get out of bed in the morning. For a long time I didn’t quite believe it. But after using affirmations, along with thinking of things I am grateful for, I find my day starts much better and it has made me a happier person. Affirmations are one of the things that turned me from a chronic pessimist into a much more cheerful optimist. There have been other things that helped, I write about them in other posts, it is way too much to include here.

I first heard about affirmations over 30 years ago. A psychologist found that if his patients said “Every day, in every way I’m getting better and better” that they improved more quickly than those that didn’t use affirmations. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale starts his book “The Power of Positive Thinking” by telling what happened to him one evening before he gave a lecture. A man came up to him saying that he was terrible stressed out and fearful. He had a big business deal coming up the next day, and he was afraid if he didn’t get the deal, his entire business would fail and that his life would be a failure along with it. Dr. Peale wrote an affirmation on the back of his business card and gave it to the man. “Say this ten times out loud every day and it will give you strength,’ he said. Peale also gave the man a short pep talk.

The man left, repeating the affirmation and began to feel much better. Later he met Dr. Peale again and told him that evening had changed his life for the better. He was no longer worried and stressed out, always expecting the worst. Good things began flowing to him instead of away from him and his business was much more successful. What was the affirmation? It was Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
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If you looked at this ebook on Amazon.com before today, you saw it had a technical problem with the formatting. This has now been corrected.

click here or on the photo above and it takes you to the ebook for sale on Amazon.
This eBook explains how to have powerful prayers that really do get answered. Jesus said faith is one of the main keys to answered prayer and this book explains how to develop strong, unwavering faith which will not only make your prayers powerful, but will add joy and optimism to your life. Don’t settle for a mediocre life, God wants you to have a fulfilling and victorious life. Whether you are praying for success in a relationship, career, overcoming an addiction or anything else, this book will help. I spent many hours researching ideas for this book, and those ideas have made my life much happier, I hope they help you too.
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English: Great Wall of China near Jinshanling ...

English: Great Wall of China near Jinshanling Polski: Wielki Mur Chiński w okolicy Jinshanling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1989 I embarked on the biggest adventure of my life. I quit a good job in Wichita, Kansas, to go to China as an English teacher since missionaries were not allowed there. I had no idea of the joys and sufferings awaiting me. While there, I learned a lot about prayer and saw many answers to prayer. I heard of amazing miracles happening in China. I wondered why there seem to be more answers to prayer there than in the US. I think it is because many people took the Bible literally when it speaks of prayer.

Imagine a country so different and so far away that it is completely unlike the world we live in here in America. China is a country of ancient customs, traditions and religions.    My first four months in China were spent in Beijing. The climate there is much like Kansas. It snows in the winter and is hot in the summer. I lived in a small dorm room with a radiator heater that didn’t heat very well. There were gaps between the wooden slats in my window that let in the bitterly cold December wind. I covered the gaps with duct tape, but the room was still very cold. It felt like I would never get warm, except when I was in bed covered with heavy blankets.

In February I moved to southern China, a city called Canton, at the urging of an American couple who needed to return to the States. They had a house church there and needed someone to lead it. It had existed for several years before they arrived.  It was started by an American young lady who stayed a year.  Then it was taken over by another American for a year before the couple took it. I was the fourth American to teach the Bible there. More in tomorrow’s post. Leave a comment.