Archive for December 2013

3 Things to Consider in 2014

Cihan Demirok

Cihan Demirok

This year is about to end, and the new year will begin. If you have to leave things, people, and situations, too, God will take care of you! Exodus 33:1 says, “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’” What will you do?

First, evaluate what is helping and what is hurting you. If something is not helping you to grow, it might be time to go. Tom Stoppard wrote, “Every exit is an entrance somewhere else.” I’m not saying everything has to be positive, but you have a feeling when something (or someone) is stunting your growth! It might get worse before it gets better, but you will eventually appreciate the change.

Establishing new practices and procedures is the key to sustained change. Resolutions typically last for only two-three months. Justin Holcomb noted, “According to research, 80 percent of those who make resolutions on January 1 have given up by Valentine’s Day.” Therefore, we must establish new routines and ways of doing things. For example, I need to make sure that everything is ready before I go to bed if I plan to exercise each morning.

This brings up the third thing to consider in 2014: We need to stop fooling ourselves! I need to create a workout schedule that I can accomplish because every morning is unrealistic. Have you set some goals for next year? If our goals are unsustainable, they will be difficult to achieve! Let’s end this year on a positive note and begin the next year with more promise. What are three things that you will consider in 2014? Please comment.

Man of Honor-December (3 of 3)

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Peace is its own reward.” As a peace seeker, Dr. Kabashiki sought a seat in the Canadian federal parliament in 2002. He ran on an unpopular platform: promoting Christian values, like the sanctity of life. Although he did not win a seat in the Canadian parliament, he believes that he led many to righteousness and wisdom. That is commendable, and I admire his efforts to preserve humankind’s responsibility to protect life!

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As a former bank manager, Dr. Kabashiki has experience in dealing with diversity. He is also the founder of IZ New Consulting. IZ New Consulting is a consulting company specializing in the following areas: leadership development, management consulting, information technology consulting, global business, etc. He said, “I continuously gain knowledge to advance science, improve professional practices, and address societal issues.”

Many problems plaguing our world can be solved peacefully. Dr. Kabashiki believes that all we need is to be willing to address them by promoting international peace and security thru effective legislation and policies. Proper training –formal and informal– is needed; therefore, he is currently pursuing a second doctorate. Dr. Kabashiki will earn a PhD in Public Policy and Administration (with a specialty in terrorism, mediation, and peace).

He said, “I plan to work for the United Nations to make a difference in the global arena. As a social change agent, my passion has been to help people and nations around the world to cultivate peace and brotherhood in spite of their differences. Since my childhood, I have been dreaming of an ideal world where individuals and nations can live in peace and harmony.” I am convinced that Dr. Israel R. Kabashiki will become a global peacemaker!

What do you think about this Man of Honor’s lofty goals? Please comment.

Photo of the Week: Merry Christmas!

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Man of Honor-December (2 of 3)

Research shows that involved fathers can affect everything in a child’s life (from school attendance to church attendance). Dr. Christopher Peterson wrote, “In general, actively-involved fathers provide their daughters and sons with a life-long example of what it means to be a good man, a good husband, a good parent, and a good person, and their children make wiser choices in their own lives as a result of the lessons learned while growing up.”

The honoree, Dr. Israel R. Kabashiki, definitely reinforces these findings. He has an excellent blend of IT and business expertise, a significant experience in leadership development, and an excellent understanding of corporate governance. His expertise also includes policy development and economic analyses. He attributes his success to his father’s involvement as well as his strong foundation in Christianity and positive leadership.

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Dr. Kabashiki comes from a Christian family, and he is the grandson of an evangelist. In addition, he is the son of a pastor. He stated that his father has had a huge impact on his life –academic, social, and Christian. As a well-educated and born-again man, his father taught him by words and actions how to honor God and serve others. Since Dr. Kabashiki’s childhood, his father infused in him the concept of servant-leadership.

He has also learned from his father that to reach new heights, he needs to become a social change agent and a peacemaker. Dr. Kabashiki said, “Our broken world has been in labor for a long time because of a lack of effective leadership.” He would like to make a difference in his neighborhood and in the world. His passion has been to help people and nations around the world to cultivate peace and brotherhood in spite of their differences.

Next week, you will learn how Dr. Israel R. Kabashiki is making a difference on a global level. What do you think about fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives? Please comment.

Truth and Lies about Adoption

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There comes a point in your life when you know! It’s time! Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” When it’s time, it’s just time! If it’s not your season, it’s just not time! How will you know? I believe that you will feel comfortable with your decision, and you will be reassured that you are doing the right thing.

I have struggled with making a decision; so, I do not believe it is the right time for such a major life event. For nearly 15 years, I have thought about adopting a child! I love children, but I would like to have some help in rearing them. Despite my marital status, this tugging at my heart remains. Last year, I attended an event to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month.

I was deeply moved by their stories of being chosen, adopted, and accepted into their forever families. Although I attended such a touching event, I still was not convinced. I also know, at least, ten people who were adopted. Furthermore, several celebrities have shared beautiful testimonies of adoption. I am extremely happy for them; however, I am not sure if adoption is the right option for me.

Obviously, I am not alone in my struggle! According to The Adoption Journey, “More than 1/3 of Americans have considered adopting, but no more than 2% have actually adopted.” I have considered the numerous obstacles surrounding adoption, including costs of up to $50,000. Other potential problems include emotional, medical, and legal (ex. birth mothers’ changing their minds).

I do realize that many lies and misconceptions are out there. Consequently, I have been researching and praying that I will make the right decision. If you are considering adoption, here are some resources that might dispel myths: 98 Interesting Facts About Adoption and National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey.

How do you feel about adoption? Please comment.

Video of the Week: Bitcoin

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Should you invest in the new virtual currency? I have reservations, but I think it might be worth it. Some people have never heard of Bitcoin; so, I want to share this information. Read “Bitcoin Surpasses $1,000 in Astonishing Streak” and watch the video. Take precaution before you invest. Read the Bitcoin Survival Guide to get a better understanding of the history of Bitcoin, how to spend bitcoins, and more.

Man of Honor-December (1 of 3)

Did you know that the hardest thing for some people to do is to acknowledge others? I am extremely grateful to my parents who taught me the importance of celebrating others, and I don’t have that problem! Read some of my previous series: “Woman of Honor,” “Entrepreneur of the Month,” “Trailblazer of the Month,” and “Trendsetter of the Month.”

I do what I do to uplift others, be inspired, and contradict poor representation in the media. The media is fraught with negative images that might lead viewers to believe that many of the men among us are not worthy of honor! I will continue to counter these stereotypes with positive portrayals. I hope the featured men will inspire you.

The second “Man of Honor” to be featured is Dr. Israel R. Kabashiki. He was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and he migrated to Canada in 1992. This scholar, economist, business strategist and technologist has gained over 30 years of formal education. He is a lifelong learner who understands the importance of education.

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Dr. Israel R. Kabashiki has attended colleges and universities in Africa, Canada, and the U.S. His fields of study are as follows: finance, business, economics, information technology, leadership, and management. As a result of his dedication and hard work, he currently holds six college degrees. He is quite impressive, and I feel blessed to know such a man of honor!

“I continuously gain knowledge to advance science, improve professional practices, and address societal issues,” said Dr. Kabashiki. He is currently working as a public servant for a provincial government of Manitoba in Canada. I appreciate Dr. Israel R. Kabashiki for accepting my invitation to be the “Man of Honor” for December 2013.

Next week, you will learn about his additional areas of expertise, background, and more. What do you think about the honoree? Please comment.

Do’s and Don’ts of Life

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Were you among the (more than 50,000) people to watch the live streaming of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service? He touched so many people with his life, and he seemed to never be in the company of strangers. I think his ability to touch so many lives was evident by the presence of nearly 100 world leaders.

In addition, more than 50,000 mourners endured the rain to pay their respects to such a great man. It is no surprise that so many people attended or watched the service. He welcomed people from all walks of life, including athletes and entertainers. I am sure that many of us can learn from his quiet presence and his ability to smile through adversities.

I am also amazed at the former 27-year prisoner’s ability to be comfortable in large crowds. It would seem that he would have preferred solitude, but Nelson Mandela conquered that too. As an introvert, I would rather a small group instead of a large crowd. Don’t get me wrong; most people would never guess that I am out of my element.

I know how to socialize and enjoy myself once I commit to being with others. I simply enjoy my own company more than the company of others. Many people will never understand this; so, I don’t try to explain. The solitude that I enjoy annoys others, and I will never understand that! I have turned down invitations because I prefer peace and quiet.

As the year began, I prayed for God to help me to grow in all areas of my life. I made a pledge to spend more time with others this year, and I don’t have any regrets. I have broadened my horizon, and I have a better understanding of life. Yet, the easiest thing for me to do is to return to a place of comfort.

I had to check myself recently about being in my own element. My brother invited me to dinner, but I declined. As I was driving home, I thought about my pledge to share my life with others. I called and told him that I changed my mind. I will never forget what a blessing it was just to spend quality time with my brother and my nephew.

What will you do; so, that you don’t have any regrets? Please comment.

Photo of the Week: Believe!

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Having a vision can sometimes become a challenge! I can see where I am going, but I can’t find my way there! Those frustrations have resulted in some people allowing their dreams to become nightmares. Despite all of the obstacles, I am determined to see my dream become a reality! I keep on believing regardless of anything, and I am motivated by people like Mrs. Janet Bragg.

Janet Bragg became a registered nurse, an aviator, and an entrepreneur despite poor opportunities for African Americans. She purchased her own airplane when her flight school did not have any airplanes, and she would later purchase two additional airplanes. She saw the value in ownership over being a renter. As a visionary, Mrs. Bragg accomplished that and more during difficult times. So, I am encouraged to keep on believing in my dream!

Video of the Week: Nelson Mandela

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What will you do to honor Nelson Mandela’s life? Will you go beyond posting photos and/or quotes? I don’t have a problem with responding to the news of someone’s death in that manner. As a matter of fact, that’s frequently what we do! Yet, Mandela’s legacy demands that we do more… I re-dedicate my life to combining my vision with action because it is my destiny to change the world!

I also dedicate this video to two people who struggled to overcome so many obstacles while on this earth! I pray that they are singing and rejoicing on the streets paved with gold. Revelation 21:4 says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”-Rev. 21:7