Bucket Lists

I think about eternity almost always. About Jesus. About the future of sinners. About the future of the saints. About how life after death would be. About eternal rewards and damnation. I consider how life would be after this tortuous journey on the earth has ended. And the conclusion I draw is similar to that of the Teacher. He said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
In Sonic the Hedgehog, the police officer defined a bucket list as a list of things you would want to do before kicking the bucket. I think it’s an apt definition. Sonic had quite a list, and he had only a few hours to stay on earth before transitioning to the supposed mushroom world.
The point is this: the time is short. What’s on your bucket list? Before Jesus returns or before you walk on in glory, what would you have accomplished for God? The answer lies in the Word: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:11-14).
That’s God’s message to you today. Before you think of that joint you’ve always wanted to visit, consider your state before God. Consider your relationship with Him. Consider your manner of life. Consider your Service before Him. Consider your love for your neighbours. Consider the souls left to be won. Consider the talents you have not deployed yet.
If you don’t know Jesus yet, the first thing on your list should be to receive Him as your Lord and personal Saviour by praying as follows:
“O Lord God, I come to you in the Name of Jesus. I believe with all my heart that you sent your Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for my sins and your raised Him from the dead. I confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life from today and I receive Him into my heart. I am now a child of God! I am a new creation. Glory to God!”
And check that bucket list before you kick the bucket!

How to make and keep making More Money this Decade!

What better way to begin a new decade than to educate yourself about financial Independence! As you may already know, aside time, money is one of the resources that you must manage wisely in order to attain some of your life goals. In line with this, about 20 people converged at the HMI Management Services Training Center to learn about how to set and achieve your financial goals on Saturday, 11th January, 2020.

Know your Present State

The session began with a word of prayer. Mr. Albert Kusi, an experienced investment consultant, began by saying the first step to financial independence is to assess you current situation. Here, he meant knowing your asset base and your net worth at present. In line with this, he said you have to know your net worth which is assets minus liabilities. Under knowing your assets, he made mention of investment, cars, clothing etc. He then continued by asking if clothing falls under assets. In response, a member of the audience said no but then another person said clothing can be considered as asset only if it can generate income for you. Mr. Kusi then said it’s very debatable as to whether clothing is an asset or not. He then continued to say all things you believe are yours (the things you own ) are your assets.
Liabilities are people and things you owe. He then continue to say that owings is not just about loans but can be borrowings and all other things you believe are not yours. He said if even you stay with your parents, it can be considered under liabilities in that the person who has rented his place might have a higher net worth than you. In essence, he said, liabilities are not just owings but all the things that are not yours. So your total assets less your total liabilities equals your net worth. He then gave a scenario by saying you have if you have GH¢1000 in your savings account, GH¢500 in investment, you have a laptop, a phone etc., it’s important to know all these these things fall under your assets. You need not to have all these things in liquid (cash) to become assets. Fixed assets plus current assets equal your total assets, less your liabilities gives you net worth.
Set SMART Financial Goals
In order to achieve financial independence, you need to assess your your asset base currently in order to set SMART goals. SMART, he said, is an abbreviation for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timeable. In order to set SMART goals, your current situation needs to be assessed. For example, if you have GH¢500 in your account, how come you want to end the year with GH¢1m in your account, what are the things you need to put in place in order to achieve the stated goal.
The first step in setting and achieving financial goals is to assess your current situation. When you are able to do that, it gives you a fair idea as to how to set your goals. It’s important to set a goal but you need to be disciplined. He then continued by outlining what you must do to achieve your financial goals:
  1. “You must not put all pressure on your job to achieve your financial goals; get multiple streams of income,” he said. It’s not your company’s responsibility to help you achieve your financial goals; you need to set your priorities right. “Be careful you are not under pressure when dealing with financial goals,” he cautioned. When dealing with financial goals, you must;
  • Avoid pressure
  • Live within your means; don’t spend more than you earn.
  • Avoid unnecessary spending. Desist from buying things you don’t really need. “Don’t change your lifestyle when your income changes,” he cautioned again. Here, he meant upward movement of salary. Plan for unforseen circumstances.
When dealing with setting and achieving financial goals, observe the following;
  • Assess your current situation which has early on been explained.
  • Set a financial target for yourself
  • Devise a plan for your target. Let your budget give you an idea of how to spend, pay attention to your spending.

Save & Invest Wisely

To talk of investment which is the next point, he cautioned the audience to know the difference between investment and savings. People keep so much money in their savings account instead of pushing it to an investment account.
  • Pay yourself. Here, consider ‘pay yourself’ as a replacement for the word investment. Don’t ignore family entirely when dealing with financial goals. He cautioned participants not to be greedy in their quest to earn money and achieve financial Independence in that people look for high risk investment with high benefits instead of low risk investment with moderate income or benefits. “Diversify your portfolio,” he said. Value mobile money because it can cause you to spend more than you have planned.
  • Learn to start small.
  • Get a financial advisor. Find out all your streams of income. He ended by saying participants can invest in collective investment schemes which include mutual funds and unit trust funds. There is less risk in doing this investment in that people pool resources together to do this investment.
The program ended with a closing prayer by a participant.
What a marvelous way to begin a decade.

This report was written by Gabriel Narh Tetteh, a level 100 Business Administration student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Angry Birds 2: Flightless Birds Fly High in Leadership

Some people say cartoons are for children. But contrary to popular opinion, some cartoons are replete with useful lessons for life application. That is not to say that our lives should be guided by lessons from cartoons. Nonetheless, I believe that if you will listen to or watch something, you should learn something at the end of the day that will inspire you and spur you on to good works.
Ever heard of Angry Birds? Yes. That game in which enraged birds are engaged in an epic battle with pigs. Well, there is an animated movie based on the theme of the game.
I don’t really recall the plot of the first one I watched but Angry Birds 2 is very interesting, funny, and thought-provoking. If you haven’t watched it, I wouldn’t like to spoil it for you but let me give you a simple 10,000-foot view.
An incensed, sinister-turned eagle that has her own ice island has vowed to take over two other islands- Bird Island and Piggy Island using iceballs filled with lava! 😱 Her plan is intercepted by the technologically-advanced Piggy Island and they make a truce with Bird Island to stop her and preserve the inhabitants of their islands. Red, the egotistical bird, who has been acclaimed hero for saving Bird Island, is not in favour of the idea of a truce with Piggy Island but eventually the truce falls into place and a team is put together to save both Bird Island and Piggy Island. So that’s how the story goes till they save both islands and even the sinister eagle herself.
Here are some valuable cues to take from these flightless birds:
# Teamwork makes the dream work
The Head of State of Piggy Island assembled a team with complementary gifts that came together to achieve the goal of dismantling the weapon aimed at levelling the two islands. The work may be huge but with right team, it will be done.
# Insecurity can be disastrous
As I pointed out earlier, Red was an egotistical character in the movie. Since holding the title ‘hero’, he did not want to let go off it. He was scared someone else would take his place and protested that a truce was not necessary for Bird Island, even though it was clearly needed.
# No matter the opposition, do your best.
Silver, a very brainy bird, invented a contraption that proved very useful during their mission. However, back in her classroom, she was making a presentation about it…and the birds seated were yawning and sleeping- no one seemed interested. Everybody was doing their own thing, but Silver didn’t give up!
# Don’t underestimate the little children
These cute hatchlings gave me a good laugh! 😂 You should see how they ended up in space in their quest to protect their sibling eggs. They did all they could to protect the eggs but eventually the eggs landed on the body of a coiled snake that was sleeping peacefully. How were they going to save their siblings from this predator? Well, they did! And to top it off, they made and wore a hat and a belt of the snake’s skin, having given it a good beating! Better to be a hatchling awake than a sleeping snake!
# Don’t hesitate to make a U-turn
The sinister eagle was Mighty Eagle’s fiancée that he stood up on their engagement day. 😥
As they progressed to go and destroy the weapon, Mighty Eagle retreated, because he was scared. However, he had a change of heart later and went back to help the team to complete the mission. Same goes with when the hatchlings took away the eggs from that sleeping snake. Do you know they rather took away the snake’s eggs, after all the beating they gave the snake? Well, eventually they returned the snake’s eggs and took back their newly hatched siblings! That’s the way to go!
# Let down your ego
Red’s ego got him into a lot of trouble. In a submarine en route to the ice island, they were examining some really sophisticated tech that could help them complete the mission with ease…but then again Red’s ego was in the way. Point is, things don’t always have to be the way you want them to be, especially when a better alternative is available.
# It’s okay to not have a plan; someone else may
One character on the team that really fascinated me was Silver- a very smart bird (no pun intended). She was mathematically astute and was clearly the one to lead the team…well, from behind.
So, the team is on Eagle Mountain, preparing to go and capture the ice island. Red blurts out a three-step ‘unthoughtthrough plan’ (for want of a word) and grins with satisfaction. But as Silver listens, she scribbles in her notepad “There is no plan”. Nevertheless, she points out what the plan should be. In your team, some unassuming folks could be holding the plan that you struggle to articulate but conceal with loquaciousness and verbosity (😅 verbose, innit?)

The One Perfect Gardener

By Herbert Quaye Altar

Did you know that the average gardener does not grow more than 3 million flowers? It’s quite interesting to observe that the gardener who plants and grows his flowers may not be able to care for them equally by giving attention to each one of those flowers. Some may be sun-scorched, wither and die. Others may not receive adequate nourishment and die. Still others may not even be pruned. Nonetheless, the gardener is confident that his blossoming garden, which looks so good at a once-over, is yielding bountiful fruit for him, and he will make some very good potted flowers and bouquets for his customers.

But God is so caring and loving that even out of 7 billion people and more increasing every day, if one person goes astray, His heart is so moved that He literally chases after us, to restore us. Furthermore, when a soul is won the whole Heavens rejoice! Hallelujah!

Now to this why won’t one follow the Perfect Gardener- the One Who is troubled when One of His flowers is gone bad, the One Who rejoices when one of his flowers blooms!

God is the Perfect Gardener!