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Showing posts from August, 2013

When Were You Last In Hospital?

I recently visited a hospital and was particularly struck with the complete dependence of patients on the medical staff. The patients know their needs and follow every instruction of medical officers. There is trust there with the patient knowing full well the doctor means well for them.
The other thing that hit me was the vulnerability of the patient. There’s no judgement in the hospital because everyone is there because they are sick and in need of help. Therefore the most embarrassing positions in the outside world are accepted as normal. For example, is not unusual for the patient to urinate on the bed and call for help! Indeed, asking for help is encouraged as part of the healing process.
These two things strike a deep cord with me because I once complained to my older brother that many churches are surprisingly unreliable and lack the authenticity one would expect of true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. He helpfully responded, "what do you expect? The church is an hos…

Have you ever watched the Undercover Boss?

One of my favourite television programmes is Undercover Boss. Each episode usually features the CEO or owner of a company going undercover as ordinary entry-level employee in his or her company. The CEO alters her appearance and assume an alias and fictional back-story to avoid suspicion. She spends around a week, working in various areas of her company. This exposes her to the challenges the company faces, along the way getting to know the people who work their, and learning more about their professional and personal challenges.
My favourite part is always towards the end when the CEO summons the individuals to corporate headquarters and comes clean by revealing her true identity. She rewards hard-working employees through promotion, or financial rewards to improve their lives. Others she gives more training, better working conditions or in extreme cases, termination. Almost without exception, those in receipt of the surprise rewards are moved to tears by the act of generosity. As, …

How powerful is God?

The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. (Nahum 1:3-5) A group of kids where asked, 'how powerful is God?'. One said, 'God is so powerful he could break this school in two'. Not an answer that impressed her headmaster! Another said, 'God is so powerful he can be the best pilot'. Clearly with a future career in mind perhaps! Another said, 'God is so powerful he can do anything he wants to'. All eye opening and sober responses! I easily forget the power of God amid many life’s challenges.

How have your prayers been lately?

A very instructive story from Charles Stanley on prayer that honours God : Carl had been praying for months about his rebellious son. His twenty-two-year-old son had left home and was living with some boys in a shack outside of town. Carl knew his son had been involved with drugs before he left home and soon after learned that his son had become a drug dealer. Carl’s two main concerns were that God would bring his son home and that his son wouldn’t be arrested.
One morning while he was praying for his son, God spoke to Carl. Carl realised that this had been a selfish request. He was well-known in his town and would be embarrassed if his son was arrested on drug charges. Carl told the Lord that if the only way to deliver his son from his sin was to allow him to be arrested, then he was willing for that to happen—even at the expense of his reputation.

Are you searching for a better Earth?

George Musser recently wrote a fascinating piece 'The Roadmap to Alpha Centauri' where he discusses the possibility of interstellar travel within our lifetime : "..When it comes to starships, it's best not to get hung up on details. By the time humanity gets to the point it might actually build one, our very notions of travel may well have changed. "Do we need to send full humans?" asks Long. "Maybe we just need to send embryos, or maybe in the future, you could completely download yourself into a computer, and you can remanufacture yourself at the other end through something similar to 3-D printing." Today, a starship seems like the height of futuristic thinking. Future generations might find it quaint...." Musser presumably wants to reassure us that in the end, as George W. Bush once said, "we do not know where this journey will end, yet we know this: human beings are headed into the cosmos". This eagerness of human beings to domi…

Hope

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. (Colossians 1:3-5a). Imagine someone gave you a $1 trillion guaranteed trust fund to cash in at a future day. They also made sure that you are given the best medical care and security to ensure that you do live to see that important day. How would you live your life? With confident assurance and less worry about your present circumstances. Indeed you may even be inclined to be more generous because with $1 trillion waiting for you giving away a few dollars is easy!

10 Tips on Effective Writing

Earlier this year, I crossed  the threshold of writing over 3000 blog articles on the Zambian Economist. I hope to share some thoughts on what I have learnt about blogging and writing. I thought I should start with the top ten tips that has has helped to make my writing as effective as possible. I am no expert but I have more than a million annual readers - so I must be writing right. Okay it is possible people just put up with me. But for what it is worth here are my tips:  
Tip #1: Know your key message. No point writing unless you can answer the basic question, ‘what am I trying to say’? Sum it up in single sentence. Then start writing!
Tip #2: Make it short. Not everyone is blessed with a huge knowledge of English. So make everything short. Make your words shorter. Even more important keep your sentences short by cutting out words. It is also important that you use one topic or idea per paragraph! But make sure you break paragraphs and keep them short too – it makes it easier f…