Long live the Resolution

New Year’s resolutions are a complete waste of time! You probably don’t want to hear that but you will have to admit it’s the truth…it’s the last day of February as I write and most people will have once again concluded that…

They might work for a few people but for most of us nothing really changes. For one single mum I know those resolutions made a couple of years ago have multiplies her income by five to more than six figures…and its increasing every month… so if she can surely anyone can?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…shes a one off, so be honest, have you or anyone you know actually achieved the New Year’s resolutions that were burning so brightly on the 31st of December waiting for the kisses and the fireworks?

Actually its not all bad and she’s not the only one, surveys say about 8% do see them through to the end; so if you are one of that elite group allow me to congratulate you…and if you were just on the point of lapsing let me encourage you. Even if in previous years you have found yourself among the 90% maybe we can still do something to turn it around this time.

And even if it is too late, if you failed already, who says we have to start on Jan 1st. Every new day is a good day to change if we really want to: you could actually make a March Hare resolution tomorrow if you like, but we all have to stop making excuses. Of course most people don’t have excuses, they have excellent reasons why they didn’t manage to drop that stone in weight or stay sober or finally give up that expensive habit.

A lady told me on December 31 that she was going to read a new book every 2 weeks.. Honestly by the 3rd of January, when I asked her how was it going she already felt it would be impossible because she couldn’t even make their mind up about which book to read first. Said she was too busy on the 1st and too tired after the revelries of the holiday period on the 2nd. Maybe she will try again next year. But haven’t we all found ourselves making resolutions in years gone by just to see them lying in ruins within a few weeks?

“Yeah but 2 days Rob? You’re having a laugh.” Alright I agree, never even starting is an extreme case, and dangerous too, because if we will give up so easily on something like that then we will probably be a pushover in other areas of life as well. But don’t be too hard on my friend because so many are unable to keep up with their resolutions beyond the first few days of the year… Maybe a book a week was too big an ask, what if she had said I will read 10 pages a day and see where that takes me?

Serious studies tell us that nearly 70% of people who make New Year resolutions will have abandoned them within the first two weeks! So if you are not already in that magic 10% how do you get into it? What is the difference between those who actually achieve their goals and those who don’t? None of us set out to fail do we? We THINK we’re on the right track to reaching our goals but then something always seems to happen. John Lennon told his son in the song ‘Beautiful Boy’, “Life is what happens while your busy making other plans”

So what separates those that DO from those that Don’t? The truth is we are all creatures of Habit…and New Years Resolutions are a head on confrontation with what is probably one of our most powerful negative habits. It’s obvious really, the thing we hate most about ourselves is bound to be the accumulated results of our worst, and most deeply entrenched habits. Why else would we want that to be the thing we change on the first day of a new year. Here is the truth of it…

Successful people have success habits. However, they were not born with them, and they probably didn’t just decide to make a change one day and bingo, they were a new creation with a whole new set of habits. It doesn’t work like that. As humans we don’t like change and we are resistant to changes to our behaviour, but that doesn’t mean all efforts to change are doomed from the start. It just means we have to come at it from a different angle. Lasting change can only be achieved through the power of habits.

It is a law of nature that only a new habit can subdue and replace another habit. Bad habits are a slippery slope to certain failure so we must find a way to take on that bad habit and replace it with a new and better habit, one that will serve us and take us toward our definite major purpose in life. It is possible to fail even with well thought out “specific goals,” if we are not aware of or able to make the small changes that need to happen in order to actually achieve them. And what’s even worse, this failure to achieve goals plagues every aspect of our lives, from our relationships with friends and family, to our jobs and businesses!

So if we humans are all creatures of habit we have become what we are through the repetition of our behaviours. Actually experts tell us that more than 40% of all our daily activities are simply routines that require little conscious thought. So if we really want to create different results in your life, it’s imperative that you break bad habits and replace them with good ones.

So how do we get rid of those age-old habits? I promise to carry on with the rest of this discussion in my next blog post in a few days… For now let me give an example of how I changed years of failure into measurable success in only the first three months of 2021.

I was 65 years old in February. I have tried to make the internet work for me for years but if I am honest I have not really tried at all. I have expected a free lunch. I have usually asked my sons to handle the technology and they have obliged in the past as sons do but that meant I have never learned to do it myself and that in turn conditioned my brain to accept I never could learn.

I began to think I was too old a dog to learn this particular new trick even though I have always been a quick learner in other areas. I began to create the habit on January the First. I too had celebrations the night before like my friend who was going to read a book a fortnight. There were days when it got very late at night before I could get free. This time I was pressing through and it was not many days before I had built up a head of steam. I read the tutorials on WordPress, I watched the youtube videos, I googles my questions and worked through the answers and I am building this very site that you are reading even as I write. I wanted to build a parallel site on WIX and I have the design clear in my mind. I asked a lady called Holly and she helped me with the technology on another parallel site on WIX. You can see it at the2020Vision.co.uk…its simple but it does a job I’ve been trying to do for years.

I was learning every single day …never missed a day.

You should know that I have spent thousands over the years on courses. but now I know I didn’t need any of them. Because I am working on it every day I have created a good habit and I have replaced another habit which was hurting me, a habit of always looking for the next thing, flitting, butterflying, call it what you will.

My goal was to create interest in my Network Marketing Business where we have enjoyed a measure of success for 16 years but where we have always had to work hard to find new prospects. I will still have to work hard of course but with automated help to take up much of the heavy lifting.

We also own a renewable energy business as well as the Network Marketing thing and we are beginning to generate enquiries for that too. Its all about saving the planet and we know we will save thousands in advertising costs while we save our customers thousands in energy bills and get them wholesale prices of better safer grocery products.

I little effort has turned the lights on for this 65 year old technophobe who was wandering around in the dark for years. It’s exciting stuff, I will even stick my neck out and say it’s easy, but only if you commit to make it a habit and that means doing something every day.

The Law that always Replaces Failure with Success.

I may have a different philosophical view to the lady I am about to quote below but I have read her work and wholeheartedly recommend it, particularly Atlas Shrugged which I regard as her masterpiece.

If we only read books by authors who tickle our ears…who we know write in line with our existing viewpoint, how will we ever learn and broaden our horizons? If we are not secure in what we believe and are afraid to debate and discuss then our faith will falter eventually anyway since it is not really faith but dogma. If we dare to believe we already know all we need to know we are sadly mistaken and are in a dangerous place.

“It is the Communists’ intention to make people think that personal success is somehow achieved at the expense of others and that every successful man has hurt somebody by becoming successful.” – Ayn Rand

I wrote in my previous blog post about the power of words and what can happen just by changing even a single word…if you read the post you will remember we had a card on which we wrote a task to be completed by a certain deadline. In the beginning we referred to the card as a “Chore Card” and then we switched its name to “Service Card.” The atmosphere around the card and the task changed instantly and although the goal was the same the personal pleasure derived from good performance was far greater. If I am doing a job to tick a box I can’t get very excited but if I am serving my fellow man, well that’s entirely different.

Ayn Rand’s comment above is not peculiar to communists. I have often heard people who see themselves as unsuccessful refer to those they perceive to be more successful as having cheated in some way, deprived others to gain what they have. Whilst this is not helped by the television soaps who seem to depict successful business people as rogues more often than not it is no excuse because we are all responsible for our own thoughts and the words that follow.

In truth very few rogues have ever made it to the top and stayed there.

I recently heard a quote. “People say, “It’s lonely at the Top” but they don’t know, they have never been to the top because nobody gets there on their own”.

In truth the great majority of people who achieve and maintain success are the people who serve the most people well. They take other people with them on the journey and they recognise that greatness comes with humility and a desire to serve.

The Master Teacher said “if any would be great among you let him first be your servant”

If you are not currently as successful as you would like to be you are the best person to change that situation and you can start right now.  I want you to take action immediately. If you have in the habit of using negative words regarding other people because you are jealous of their success I want you to apologise right now. I understand they are not with you and you may not even be able to name a particular person. That doesn’t matter, you are apologising to yourself for your attitude to others in general. Do you see, you have never been able to affect anyone else by your attitude and you have not diminished their success but you have bound yourself. If you resent someone else riches and say so your thoughts and words have cursed you with poverty.

So now repent…say out loud “I am sorry I have taken such a churlish attitude regarding people who have done better than I…I see now that their success has been achieved because of their willingness to give and serve where I have too often expected something for nothing.  I forgive myself, I ask God’s forgiveness and I resolve to change from this moment on.

I will no longer see my work, even though it may be menial right now, as a chore but I will do it proudly as a service to others. I will guard my heart for out of it come the issues of life, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Then I will guard my lips and ensure that only words of praise and encouragement come from them. If I feel negative emotions or unhelpful thoughts come into my mind I will not try to suppress them. I will use the Law of Substitution and immediately begin to replace them with new thoughts of something good, something great, perhaps I will sing a song of Praise, croaky and difficult at first but rising in tone, clarity and volume. Soon I will be lifted higher. I will get to work and I will do the best I can and I will resolve to read in my profession so that I can do even better tomorrow. I will learn to use positive words. I will eliminate idle curse words from my vocabulary. If I cannot think of something good to say I will say nothing.

Can I promise you if you will do that for even a few days you will feel better, you will soon begin to see better results. People will begin to favour you and if you maintain this new positive attitude of yours for thirty days it will become a habit and will sink deep into your inner man and you will be a new person. True success is available to every person…it is never achieved at the expense of anyone else and in fact you becoming successful will be a service to many around you. You may have heard it said, “A rising tide lifts all the boats”

Can a Single Word Change a Destiny? MKMMA continuation

Early on in the MKMMA course of study we switched the use of just one word and replaced it with another which proved to be so much more powerful. Whilst the thing the two words described did not change at all the attitude towards it and therefore the effectiveness of it changed greatly. Let me explain in greater depth for clarity and to enable me to take the lesson learned to another level.

We had a 3×5 card on which we wrote a promise to do something new each week, nothing too difficult, it was ‘keeping’ the promise that was important for the exercise and not the size or nature of the promise itself: so it needed to be something we could definitely achieve in the timeframe. The idea was to convince the subconscious that “I always keep my promises” by actually keeping each weeks promise. So the promises started simple, like “I promise to tidy my office by Sunday the 4th” or I Promise to wash the car by Sunday the 11th” and they gradually got more challenging like  “I promise to contact 4 people about my opportunity by Sunday 18th” There was no significance about Sundays except thats when we met online to discuss our progress.

Early on we called this 3×5 card “The Chore Card”… and it was a chore that had to be done and indeed was done.  After a few weeks we renamed the card…from that day on it was to be called “The Service Card”.  Everything else about it was to remain the same but the change in name put the card and the promise into a completely different light. Instead of doing a chore we were now giving a service which made it much more pleasurable and felt like we were now making a contribution to ourselves and others instead of simply meeting an obligation. Same job…but done with more enthusiasm and with love.

That was to set the scene…we also have what we called the Law of Giving and Receiving and we wrote these out by hand on another card and read them aloud daily.  Obviously the aim was not just to say them but that reading them would influence behaviour from the inside out and cause us to do them. I will get to the Laws themselves in a second but first I wanted to apply the previous lesson to them…A few weeks ago I realised that they were not Laws at all and my calling them laws was putting me in the same mindset as the chore card had done earlier.

We are studying the Masterkey by Charles F Haanel. A Master key will open any lock but it occurred to me that these four sentences we were reading each day were actually not laws but keys each of which would open its own lock .

So where I used to say, “I promise to read the 4 laws of Giving and Receiving 3x daily I began to say…

“I promise to use my four keys to giving and receiving 3x daily…since words carry power the very act of speaking them was using them and then taking action in line with the words was further reinforcing the power of repeated use.

Can I recommend that you write them out for our yourself by hand and also begin to read them out loud each day… faith comes by hearing and there is nothing more powerful than hearing the repetition, with feeling, of our own voice.  The four actual laws/keys are in bold below. The additional writings around the bold letters are from other sources or are my interpretation and what I want my own subconscious mind, my inner man, to hear and believe.

so here is my new reading…

I promise to use these four keys of giving and receiving as a normal part of my life and I read them aloud three times each day…

The first is the key of Generosity…Wherever I go I bring a gift, I may bring a compliment, a prayer, a trinket, a flower, but I promise I will give something to every person I encounter.

The second is the Key of Gratitude  Because gratitude is a cause and not an effect…I promise to be a grateful receiver of the gifts that surround me, noticing nature, kindnesses, smiles and compliments, which I gladly receive with a ‘Thank you’.

Third is the Key of Encouragement…I promise to give the hope for Joy, Affluence, Kindness and Love consciously with every encounter regardless of the brevity.

Fourth is the Key of Faith…I promise to give without expectation of reciprocity from the channels I enrich because I know (I have faith) I am in the dynamic flow of giving and receiving and I know my God shall supply all of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

I always Keep my Promises

I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences these past months…I am not a hearer only but a doer…I have not succeeded on every encounter but I have on very many done exactly what I promise each day to do… I have received some amazed responses and occasionally have caused delight far above the effort I have invested. These keys unlock the treasuries of mens hearts. I bought a box of pens with a torch light on the end especially to give away and although they cost not much more than a pound each some people have responded as though I had given them a gold coin. As the Master Teacher said “It is more blessed to give than to receive”

The City of Heroes: Developing Leaders

I am writing from Manchester on the day 40,000 people turned up to run the annual 10K around our Great City…The newly elected Lord Mayor was one of the thousands of heroes who completed the 10K run in absolute defiance of the ISIS loser who blew himself and 21 innocents up earlier this week. Hundreds of thousands turned up to cheer the runners on. They want us to be afraid…NO FEAR…Our city has so many heroes. We always need heroes, and we certainly need more leaders and today we saw many who were willing to step up to the plate, to take the lead, to show we will neither be oppressed nor defeated. I makes me proud to be a ‘Manc’…

I am honoured to be part of the leadership of a wonderful church that meets in Greater Manchester. A church committed  to produce heroes and develop leaders. This week we held the second of our fortnightly training meetings. People of several generations and both genders, different countries of origin and levels of formal education all masterminding together and  all moving toward one worthy goal.

The first scroll in Og Mandino’s book, The Greatest Salesman in the World was about replacing habits that do not serve us with habits that will lead us towards our Definite Major Purpose in Life. The first of the exercises involved reading the scroll every day, three times each day actually, reading for understanding and reading to establish the very habit of daily reading.

Self development author Brian Tracy says you will double your income if you read in your profession for half an hour every day. I agree with Brian and I would also add that if you read other books and essays not directly linked to your profession they will build you up in every area of life. If you want a reading list The Bible is obviously top of mine and even for non believers there is more wisdom in that book than can be found anywhere else. Steven Covey has been a favourite and I would use him to prove my next point…we will come back to the reading list later

If you want to pass on some of the skills you have learned you will find people are not used to reading and some may find it pretty hard going at first.

That may apply to you who are reading this now so let me ask you to think of it like an athlete. Whatever his sport the athlete will need to learn and perfect skills and techniques: they will need to strengthen certain muscles in order to be better, stronger, faster.  With muscles it is impossible to get more unless you use what muscle you already have and test it, stretch it to its current maximum. Pretty soon the athlete finds what used to be hard gets easier…well it’s exactly the same with learning a new subject…if you read a book that’s ahead of where you are it will be hard, there will be words you don’t understand, it will stretch your brain muscle but if you persevere, one day you will look back and see it as basic, foundational, but by then you will be reading and understanding on a much higher level.

…so back to Stephen Covey…people have told me they started his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and found it hard going so they never completed it. I have to admit I also found it tough but I persevered and now I find the book that’s become his legacy has helped me raise my game. OK so sometimes I have to use a dictionary but now I find things like Emerson’s Essays, Epictetus, Peter McWilliams Charles Haanel have all become staple diet to me now.

So we are looking to develop leaders with the aim of growing the church from the present congregation of 60 or so to what I expect to be 500 within the next four years. That’s a lot of growth and so it means I will have to grow personally, and I will have to develop many leaders, probably twenty or more and be willing for them to take all of the credit and want none of it for myself. I love the sayings of Jesus as he leads up to teaching the disciples to pray in the Sermon on the Mount, he says if men want the credit from other men, they can have it, but that will be all the rewards they will ever get. We know how fickle men are, the adoration will be withdrawn as quickly as it was given. The rewards God gives will be eternal.

So we are studying together a video course by John Maxwell called “Developing the leaders around you”. At the same everyone is supposed to be reading his book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”.

How we are getting on with the videos can be found on the church website at HGFChurch.org under the developing leaders tag but the personal growth part I want to pursue here.

Last time we looked at the first 5 chapters briefly and though each one was important we thought a bit more about chapter 5 which is called the Law of Consistency. We have to replace habits that are not serving us with new habits that will lead us towards our purpose and not away from it. Habits are things we do every day and are so powerful they can control our lives.

As Christians we believe that God has given mankind free will but it is my belief that we have often surrendered that free will to our habits and addictions.  I personally believe that God’s principles will work for all of mankind but there are certain conditions to be fulfilled. Belief or Faith is the key.

So the free will we have will allow us to choose habits that serve us and honour God.

The first habit as foundation to  many others is the daily reading and it will be easier to do if we set up a conducive environment… which brings me to John Maxwells this weeks edition of Maxwells 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

Chapter 6 The Law of Environment

First you must create your own personal environment to help you learn better. Find a place where you can be comfortable, quiet and undisturbed every day, your den, your office, the bottom of your garden if like.

Then agree with yourself on a special time, even if you have to get up 30 minutes earlier, but whenever it is block it out of your diary, and don’t let anyone take it away. If they try just say, “Sorry, can’t do it then, I already have an appointment”.

Be sure to leave some time for just sitting and thinking over what you have read, make some notes, write it up in your own words… like I am doing right now.

If you learn something new or an alternative way of understanding something you already know…think about how you can teach or at least discuss it intelligently with someone else, you will learn a lot more from teaching. Maybe you can share it on a blog like this one.

The chapter in Maxwell’s book covers all the other environments that affect your life, your workplace, church, associations etc…if you feel they are no longer places you can grow and you can’t affect them positively to change that environment for the benefit of everyone there then you may have to move on.

I like to keep goldfish in a pond, I used to keep them in tanks but it was not long before I noticed they would stop growing according to the size of the tank. When I moved them from the tank to the pond they would quickly double in size. Sometimes we have to change our environment to grow. That may take courage, you may have to push back the boundaries of your comfort zone but you only get one shot at this life. So go for it.

Vive la Revolution

For six months the information has been coming in from all directions.

I have rediscovered old friends like W Clement Stone who’s ‘Success System….’  helped me to go from zero to hero almost 30 years ago at Encyclopaedia Britannica: old friends like Napoleon Hill whose ‘Think and Grow Rich’ has always been on the shelf and has been off it more than most, or like Og Mandino whose works have always been a staple but have never before been read with such fervency. MKMMA has raised the bar that’s for sure.

I have met some new friends too, like Ralph Ward Emerson (well he was new to me) and Peter McWilliams, both fascinating in their different ways and both taking my thoughts into new and exciting areas. The great weekly conversation with Charles Haanel has risen at times through debate to occasional argument but it has been nothing if not stimulating. My favourite book and the eternal benchmark has always been the Holy Bible (currently the NLT), and I am grateful to the aforementioned authors for their having helped open up new understanding to passages previously overlooked or confirmed and enhanced some which I had understood but maybe not completely. (That does not meaning I am claiming to understand them completely now, but I do have more light than I had.)

With information coming from so many diverse sources and with some opening up my understanding immediately and others taking time for ‘the penny to drop’,  there have been times of excitement and even exhilaration but there have also been times of confusion. So now it is time to take stock, organise and begin to apply the distilled wisdom. As Og Mandino said in Scroll I “Much has been filtered and tossed to the wind, only the pure truth lies distilled in the words that remain.”

It would be a great shame to live and die with so much insight but without practical application that would produce the fruit. The thoughts are the cause…we have discussed that at length… but the effect does not just appear by magic. The thoughts must be turned to action and it is the action that will produce the results. Thinking has taken up much of my time, in fact all of my spare time and there has been little left for action. Organised thought is a wonderful thing, I know most people have not experienced even that fully, but organised action is what will move the mountain. I have thought a lot about Jesus’s words and their implications…you can move the mountain IF…If you believe with all your heart, nothing doubting.  You may not know this but the Number One reason for His arrival on Planet Earth was to introduce ‘The Law of Forgiveness’ and make it possible for all men to give and receive forgiveness. Every man is forgiven every sin…it’s no use pretending we have no sin…if we do that the Bible says we call God a liar.  We have all sinned, we have all fallen short, but forgiveness is available to every man and woman on earth and it’s really simple to appropriate it.  The Mountain of Guilt and Shame that stands before all of us at times can be cast into the deepest sea never to be seen again and the rules for its removal have never changed…Only believe that Jesus came to give you forgiveness, paid the price for it so it’s completely free to you, believe nothing doubting, and unreservedly forgive those who have sinned against you. If you can manage that you can walk the earth as Jesus did.

OK. So I am a Pastor with a congregation. Am I to keep them mentally trapped inside some ancient hereditary dogma or am I to show them how Jesus came to give them a more abundant life. How He came to bring physical and emotional healing, to prosper them as they give into the lives of others. How God is always good and that he has provided enough for every single person on earth to have enough, no more than enough. There is no limit to what God has done, what He can do and what He wants to do for every people group on earth.

There is no lack in Gods house…when Jesus said pray “Your Kingdom Come on Earth” he was not proposing a rich ruling class and a great unwashed mass forced to live in poverty and slavery, that’s what men have done.

It’s time for us to organise our thoughts, to begin to Mastermind together, to plan the work and work the plan and to begin to see the Kingdom coming on the earth.

It needs a renaissance of thought and a revolution in action but if we are up for it God is able to do a quick work and He is ready to use a willing army of people who desire more than anything to see His Kingdom come.  If we ask anything according to His will we know He hears us and if we know He hears us we already have the things for which we are asking.

Our asking is the cause, so if we do our bit and ask the effect is on the way.


Prayer has been the tool used by millions of people in all cultures to bring about success in their chosen field of endeavour. Regardless of the belief of the individual great gain is made from a psychological viewpoint certainly in bringing clarity and directing a persons ideas, and in the development of stimulating internal forces towards the fulfilment of those ideas.

Van Morrison says it like this in the song “Have I told you Lately that I Love You”

“There’s a love that’s divine
And it’s yours and it’s mine
Like the sun
At the end of the day
We should give thanks and pray to the One”

I don’t think an attitude of gratitude and a few words to express it has ever done anyone any harm no matter what the ‘One’ looks like for them. I am sure most people could tell of a time when they were helped out of a fix as a result of prayer even if only emotionally.

We all experience hard times and most people, when they finally come to the end of themselves, find the only thing left to do is pray: and they are rewarded with an unlikely deliverance even though even the source of their deliverance knows they will soon forget once the disaster is averted. Who things of phoning the fire brigade to say thinks for watching over us once the fire is out?…But if we want success in life why do we need to wait for the hard times to pray? What’s wrong with a bit of a leg up and some good guidance while we are enjoying the good times?

Miracles do happen I suppose, or at least that’s what we choose to call them, but as we have progressed through the Masterkey together I have become less convinced that they are actually miracles but more likely the kind of thing that an all-powerful God can and would like to do as normal part of everyday living if we will only stay plugged in to His frequency and draw on His power. Look what God can do when cry out to Him in desperation.

In 1940 the British Expeditionary Forces were broken and desperately fleeing under heavy Nazi fire towards Dunkirk beach. PM Winston Churchill expected that only twenty to thirty thousand at best would be able to make it back across the English Channel to safety. England was on the brink of defeat.

King George VI called the nation to prayer on Sunday the 26th of May…That did not trouble the German high command who the following day boldly announced ‘The British army is encircled and our troops are proceeding to its annihilation.”

History records three events, each one unlikely in itself, but all three together must surely convince even the most sceptical observer of the intervention of a powerful and good God.

First Hitler went against the advice of his High Command and halted the German advance only ten miles short of the fleeing British army…he believed his beloved Luftwaffe was capable of doing the job before the British could reach the coast.  His arrogance and his desire to showcase his airforce to the whole world as a sign of German might is thought to be the reason why he halted the ground forces, though nobody can ever really know his reason for sure.

But then came the second miracle and at just the perfect time. A storm of unprecedented fury broke over Flanders on Tuesday, 28 May, grounding most of the Luftwaffe squadrons.  The British soldiers, now only eight to twelve miles from Dunkirk, were able to move on foot to the coast under cover of the darkness and violence of the storm. Hitler had obviously not taken the weather into his reckoning, or the One who can control it!

Miracle three, most amazingly despite the incredible storm in Flanders, a great calm such as has rarely been experienced settled over the English Channel, and its waters became as still as a mill pond.

It was this quite extraordinary calm which during the days following, enabled a vast armada of little ships, big ships, warships, fishing boats, privately owned pleasure boats from English rivers and estuaries to ferry back and forth in a desperate rescue operation that saved over 300,000 men who would not die on the beaches of Dunkirk but live to fight another day.

So if we come together in desperation, join our minds, our thoughts and our prayers, God can whip up a storm, calm a sea, halt an army, ground an airforce and rescue a third of a million men….

So can God only operate in times of great disaster or would a people who are desperate for peace, unity, prosperity and equity be able to move Him in better times?  I think the Master Key agrees with the Bible in telling us they would be able and He would be willing.

One way I think Haanel’s Masterkey differs from the bible is in suggesting there is only one mind when clearly as proved by our illustration that cannot be the case. All the mind and will of the Axis forces was dedicated to the annihilation of the British Army, the Allied Forces and eventually mankind as we knew it.

One man, King George VI called a nation together to pray in unity and that engaged the mind of God and invoked His saving power.

Paul in the epistle to the Romans 15:4-6 saysFor everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Great is the nation whose God is the Lord. Those who ask anything according to His will, know that He hears and that they already have the answer no matter how difficult or even impossible the outcome may seem. Nothing is impossible with the God who created the Universe with the words of His mouth and holds it together for His own glory.


Having lived on planet Earth these 65 years I have learned that not much is new but that so much is misunderstood. If you are like me some things you will have seen quickly, you ‘get it’ straight away but with some other things, it may have taken years for the ‘penny’ to drop

The mind is a funny thing…remarkable…unfathomable…the most wonderful thing ever created…but funny: you have to treat it right.
In the physical world there are Laws…one example being The Law of Gravity, try explaining how that works sometime, not even the cleverest scientists can explain it adequately, but you have to admit it does work… every time, for rich and poor alike.

There is the Law of Averages, Thermodynamics, Sowing and Reaping…the list goes on but we should thank God for these natural laws because without them there would be chaos. Can you imagine putting your keys down on the desk and not knowing if they would be there when you went back or whether they might just float off. What if the desk followed suit… chaos!

So if there are physical laws might there also be parallel spiritual laws? Maybe not something many people think much about but I believe they should at least investigate the possibility. Whilst the aforementioned law of Sowing and Reaping clearly works in the physical, for example if you plant onions in a field you are not going to harvest potatoes are you? But all truth is parallel and so the same law works over in the spiritual world in exactly the same way.

If you plant thoughts and therefore words of love and hope and joy and kindness wherever you go then you will find that people return the same kind of fruit into your life and you will harvest good things… but if you plant bad seed your harvest will be thorns and thistles spiritually speaking.

So we are talking about the mind since that’s where thoughts originate…as I already said, it is a funny thing the mind, you have to treat it right if you want it to work well and serve you. It is governed by laws in exactly the same way as the physical and the spirit and maybe it is central and the link between both so that’s why it is going to be the centre of this post.

Did you ever think about the way you think? For most people the answer would be probably not…many people do not actually think at all. Not really, choosing what clothes to put on or what to have for breakfast doesn’t count. What sets you apart from the silent majority, (and if you are still reading you have proven me correct) is your willingness to think seriously, to investigate…to seek after truth knowing that only the truth can really set you free.

There was a very well educated man called Paul, I never knew his last name but I know he wrote a big chunk of the New Testament and one stand out thing he wrote was this…”Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

That interested me in a number of ways.
Why would Paul, or God for that matter, want me to become a new person, what’s wrong with the old person?
Why would God even care about the way I think, how does he know me from Adam in all those millions of people
Why does Paul suggest I LET God transform me…does God need my permission? If He is all powerful and He wants to transform me why can’t He just do it?

Actually asking the questions was quite enlightening even in itself. It seems that God does want me to be best person I can be, He wants me to fulfil a potential I didn’t even know I had before I started this six months of concentrated thinking I have been doing. It seems I am capable of doing so much more than I could previously have dared to ask or think.

And God does know me, he knows my name, in fact I heard somewhere that my name is written on the palm of His hand, and not just mine, yours too, so He must have a pretty big hand.

I thought I would check that out if I could and it seems the Hebrew prophet Isaiah (40:12) said “Who has measured the waters of the sea in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens by the width of his hand? So yes that’s a pretty big hand. And a pretty big heart too if he knows you and I by name and even the hairs on our head are counted.

So what about question 3? Why does God not just do his stuff and make us all like He wants us to be? It would be easier wouldn’t it? But it is our privilege to play a part in our own transformation. The material I have had access to these last few months, Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World, Charles Haanel’s Masterkey, Earl Nightingale, Emerson. I am just reading W. Clement Stone’s The success System that Never Fails, all the contributions from Mark and Davene and the MasterMInd Group, my guide Steve Earl. It all adds up to a perfect whole and God is using all of them. Some passed a century or more ago, some are young compared to myself, they are scattered all around the globe and yet we are one. God is love and faith works by love, His love, our faith and maybe that impossible DMP is possible all of a sudden.

One thing I have learned above all else…there are people who can’t believe in the whole DMP yet because they have not walked this path with us. I expected them to see it and that was so naive of me. What they can see is the first step, what would the person I expect to become do next? When they see that first step done they will believe for the next step. The only person who needs to believe for the whole thing right now is me. That is the most important thing I have learned in all of the six month journey.


I saw a documentary film many years ago about a group of colleagues working in a fish market called Pykes Peak in Seattle. They get up every morning at some really unearthly hour like 3.00am and they work for long hours in a freezing cold, smelly environment. The guys on the film talked about the choice they have to make every day…they could complain about their lot and be miserable all day or they can come to work and enjoy it, so they decide every day to enjoy it.

In Scroll 6 of the Greatest Salesman in the world Og Mandino tells us how not just to make that choice but to make it happen.

He says if I feel depressed I sing (I have been doing that for years, seems to come naturally)

If I feel sad I laugh.

If I feel ill I double my labour. If I feel fear I plunge ahead.

If I feel inferior I wear new garments. (I find a new haircut and a smart pair of shoes does it for me.)

If I feel uncertain I speak with a stronger voice.

If I feel poverty I think of wealth to come.

If I feel incompetent I remember past successes.

If I feel insignificant I remember my goals.

After all isn’t that what goals are for…it doesn’t matter about the size of the problem, my God is bigger and the goal…my Definite Major Purpose is the reason he put me here.

Thats why, “Today I am master of my emotions.”

These are all choices…you don’t have to sing…sometimes you are almost choking on the words and it would be easier to cry…but choose to sing.

The Fish Guys make similar choices every day and their philosophy affects literally thousands of people. Crowds come to stand and watch them work just to cheer themselves up, it’s amazing. Can you imagine a person coming to watch you at work because he is feeling depressed and going back to his own job happy. Man that’s a ministry…the Ministry of Fish.

They talk about just 4 things that make their workplace such a joyful place to be every day and the end result is they sell lots and lots of fish, more than they ever would if they all had long faces.

Point 1. PLAY…just have fun, with each other, with the customers, they literally hurl great big fishes and crabs and all sorts of sea creatures across the store and they are pretty good catchers too and as I recall they even get customers in to try and catch a fish sometimes.

2  MAKE THEIR DAY…if you can make someone else happy, if they can go home that night thinking the highlight of the day was meeting you, having some fun with you, laughing with you, wouldn’t that make you day too.

3 BE THERE…it means love the one you are with, give that person 100% attention in the moments you are with them, listen to them and let them go away feeling they were the only person in the world that mattered to you at that moment.  We could all do that in our daily conversations but how often are we thinking ahead to what we will say while we should just be listening… and worse how often do we think about where else we would rather be when someone needs our total attention. How many conversations take place through the background distraction of the television or some other third party interrupter. Isn’t the ultimate KINDNESS just to be there until the person talking to us feels heard and understood.

4 CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE.  Hopefully this is self explanatory. If you don’t think you are in charge of the way you feel, think, talk and act then who is? And you can always use Og’s tools from above to help you reinforce the choice.

Mark Januszewski on the MKMMA commencement webinar said something in one short sentence that speaks of exactly the same attitude, he said, as close as I can remember it.

“I talk to everybody that makes eye contact with me. I treat him as if it is his last moment on earth and I want his last moment to be a great moment, I want to be present in his life.

If the six months or so that we have invested in each other during this course if could be condensed into one sentence that would be it.

If we can live that way for other people just as much as possible how can we not enjoy our own life and know we have lived it to the full. Man, that is the abundant life Jesus was talking about, it’s not about accumulating more stuff. (Nothing wrong with having some nice stuff mind, it’s just not the main thing.)

To be there, and touch people at a heart level, to make their day thinking what if this were their last day is a reflection of what Og Mandino said in the fifth scroll.

“I will live this day as if it is MY last.”

What do you want your last day to look like?


We have almost reached the end of the Master Key and already I am drawn back to the beginning. I have printed the early weeks and am again spending time on each section before moving on to the next. I don’t feel the need to give each section a week this time because the language is no longer difficult and my understanding is greater.

What I have learned more than anything else is how much I don’t know.  It has come to my attention how much I have quoted from great authors past and present and most of all from the Bible which I hold as the benchmark above all other books.  I had thought I understood what I have quoted… (we all nod knowingly to each other as if we are alone are in possession of some secret information to which ‘the outsiders’ have no access.) but now even though I understand it in new, deeper ways: still I realise that there is much more that I have not yet understood. I could give half a dozen examples but I shall write about just one taken from Zechariah 4 later in this article.

This example has been so helpful to me I have made it the conclusion of my last two sermons which can be heard by visiting the website at www.hgfchurch.org or on the podcasts from Hindley Green Family Church where I am the minister.

In starting the Master Key again. I have printed the original on one side of a page and on the opposite side I and am writing my own translation in the more modern language I would use hoping to get the meaning across to a 14 year old.

I have taken the liberty of comparing it with my benchmark (the Bible) and am glad of the times when it has given me new light. There have been other times when I find it contradicts or doesn’t go as far as it should and in these times I allow Mr Haanel his opinion but find it disproved either in the course of time or that it was just wrong in the light of the Bible. I know that may be off putting to some but we either have a benchmark or we don’t, until something else disproves and displaces it I will stand on it even if I die doing so. Many will tell you it is not true but none can offer a fragment of real proof.

Haanel allows no room for the fall of man. He seems not to acknowledge sin and therefore negates the need for a saviour. But Christ said he came to seek and to save that which was lost.  If He is not who He claimed to be  then what right would He have to expect us to believe even a word of His teaching. Yet if every man would only live by His teaching in the Sermon on the Mount there would be only peace and prosperity in this world.

Haanel quotes the Bible and particularly the Words of Christ as often as it suits him and so if I were able to converse with him I should say, “if any of it is the truth then it is all the truth but if it contains even a single lie then we Christians are deceived above all men.”

You might think then that would apply to any book…if anything Haanel or any other serious author or philosopher says is true then everything they say is true and if one thing is wrong then the whole work is of no value…This cannot be so…I believe every sincere human effort is of value and I allow for areas of honest ignorance in an equally honest attempt to find truth. After all it is only the truth that will set us free. (You will notice repeated use of the ideas of honesty and sincerity, this is not accidental, I would like the reader to know that there are those who speak and those who write lies with a definite intention to deceive.) I make no claim to be perfect, I have been wrong many times but not intentionally and I am always hoping to gain new understanding.

William Ellery Channing (no relation)  said back in 1829,   “I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.”

So let’s return to the promised example where Haanel has helped me to get more light on Zechariah chapter 4: verse 6 which says…

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. 

As I said, I have come to understand that verse differently recently… perhaps I didn’t really understand it at all before.

Its one of those verses we quote ourselves and often hear others quote, and it sounds good but we are never quite sure what it really means. This is what came to me as I was meditating on it having earlier been thinking through some points in the Master Key.

Haanel says we are not a body with a spirit but a spirit with a body and we are almost in agreement on that one although I see it slightly differently.

First we must think of ourselves not as a body with a spirit…but as a Spirit with a soul and we LIVE in a body for the duration of our time on earth.

The body is wonderfully made, it is powerful in it’s own right and it has demands of it’s own, in the right place they are good and keep us alive…take one example…hunger…it can be very good…because it encourages us to eat which in the right amounts and the right quality of food keeps us alive and well.

But when it gets out of control, it can be very bad…if it becomes gluttony or some other eating disorder it will make us unwell, bring about diseases and even cause us to die before we should.

There are other lusts of the flesh too as we all probably are aware…so we understand as wonderful a creation as it is… the body has power…physical power. We must not let the flesh… or the body rule us. Ruling is the spirits job.

Then we HAVE a soul…it’s primarily our conscious mind…our emotions…our will, our memories and it too has power and it would seek to rule over the spirit.

Every living person has a spirit…when we die the spirit leaves…or to put it the right way round…when the spirit leaves there is no longer life in the body.

Haanel and I agree so far but here is where we appear to differ, and please understand, differing is not a problem and certainly no reason to fall out.

The human spirit is separated from God because of sin. The Bible calls that spiritual death…

Ephesians 2:1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.

But when he was crucified Jesus paid the price of every persons sin and so all sin is paid for…all debt is cancelled provided…and this is a huge point…provided they acknowledge their need of a Saviour…repent of their sins and receive God’s forgiveness.  They must believe in their heart, (for heart read spirit) and confess that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 2:13 says You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.

So Jesus paid the price for all our sins…so that means that everybody can be reconciled to God and enjoy what Haanel refers to as the “Universal Mind.” For me there can be no mind without personality and so I cannot think of God, Father, Son or Holy Spirit as anything but 3 persons, one God.

So we were dead…and then when we believe on Christ we are made alive.

Some say we are ‘born again’, and actually it was Jesus that coined the phrase but it is over used today; it really only can have one meaning.

So the dead spirit is now a live spirit because it is reconciled to God’s Holy Spirit…it lives in the same body which it now recognises as temple of the Holy Spirit. And the soul is now being brought into subjection to the spirit. This does not happen instantly…it is a lifetime process and we do have to make conscious effort to co-operate with God and let Him transform us into a new creature by changing the way we think. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

OK so lets go back to Zechariah 4  Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

Not by physical might…the body…its strength… it’s skills can all be used to get it’s own way….many men together can use their combined might…the might of an army can take a city captive or even a country…but God says not by military might…

Nor by Power…the soul has its power…will power…even a strong mind can overcome many week minds…coercion…manipulation…intimidation…God says not this kind of power….

Not by might…nor by power…but by MY Spirit…So the universal acts through the individual, regenerated, born again spirit, which is now alive to God, in touch with God’s Holy Spirit…who is the All Knowing, All Powerful, Everywhere Present God.

If you ask anything according to His will…her hears you…and if you ask i His name, nothing shall be impossible to you.

It is not me that does the works but my Father that dwells in me. and to quote Jesus again,   “The works that I do you shall do also and greater works than these because I go to my Father.”


Let me start with a quote lifted from my last post.

“I did a random act of kindness that was bigger than anything I had ever previously done, to a relative stranger, in fact I was surprised myself that my new character would do such a thing… and the person closest of all to me is upset, no, mad at me for having done it, and yet that person is such a generous person, perhaps the act was more fitting for their character than mine and thats where the shock waves came from. Nevertheless I am glad I did it and I am sure it will work out well in the end.”

Thank God it wasn’t really ‘The Last Post’. I mean to say we lived through it, I thought it was going to be a disaster but it wasn’t, in fact everyone concerned prospered in it. It worked out better than even I could have expected it would. Isn’t it true that most of the things we worry about never actually happen. I can’t go into the details now, maybe I will at a later date, but I started a river flowing that has come flooding back to bless me in ways I didn’t even know existed.

And my previously uncharacteristic random act of kindness has moved me toward everything written in my DMP.

Some of the stumbling blocks are still there. Not everyone who needs to be is on board at the moment but I am giving thanks in everything and I am convinced the late adaptors are just God’s timing device for everyone’s benefit. Because of what has happened over the last week I have realised there will be other things I need to know before everything can fall into place. We just don’t know what we don’t know do we.

I confess: I have not been patient. I am sometimes like a dog with a bone. Once I see a clear picture in my mind I can wake up thinking it is already done.  This has sometimes caused momentary confusion, for a brief moment on waking from a dream; believing it has happened already I have struggled to grasp the current reality. I think that is a positive thing because it shows me the belief I have in the eventual victory is really strong and I have no doubt whatsoever that it will come to pass… in fact it has already come to pass for ‘the future me’.

Lately though, having stepped back and tried to be the observer I understand success requires steady but incremental progress and there has to be a process. The daily disciplines we have in place have meant I can practice what might be called “line upon line, precept upon precept thinking.” knowing these small, incremental actions will turn into measurable steps toward my eventual success.

Actually, I am successful even now as I enjoy the journey, I am just not at the final destination yet. I affirm I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving harmonious and happy and I know it is true.

But how can I be perfect if I have not yet achieved the goal?

I can be perfect, and here is the proof. I have a tree in my garden and in the springtime, at the centre of each blossom there is a tiny green ball, they look like little beads but they are actually perfect plums, perfect for the stage in their development but a long way from ready. It will be many months before we can eat them but they are perfect now and will be at every step of their growth until they are perfectly ripe and ready to eat.

So I was perhaps a little disappointed in the reactions of others, maybe even a bit annoyed…though not angry. Nevertheless my emotions were not entirely positive and then along came Og Mandino with the scroll marked six. He asks or rather he has me asking, “How will I master these emotions so that each day will be productive? to paraphrase he says “I see the battle and I have a plan to win it.”

Here is the plan. If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sadness I will laugh. If I feel ill I will work doubly hard. If I feel fear I will do that which I fear. I will dress UP, I will speak UP, I will direct my thoughts to see the victory which is certainly coming.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

I like to sing and I have quite a repertoire of songs old and new…

Not long ago I was whistling a particular old favourite in a supermarket and Steppy, my wife was also in there unknown to me. She heard the whistling and said to herself ‘only my husband would be whistling that tune in Sainsbury’s’. So she followed the sound and found me and we had an inpromptu lunch together…The words of the song go…

I have a mansion just over the hilltop,                                                                      In that bright land where we’ll never grow old                                                       And someday yonder we will never more wander                                               But walk on streets that are purest gold.

Heaven is the ultimate goal, of that I have never doubted but I also know that I have a definite purpose here and I won’t be going anywhere until I have fulfilled it.

So everything will slot nicely into place in His time even if there is pain or suffering on the way… the promise is the promise…”only believe and do not doubt and if you have anything against anyone, forgive them so your heavenly Father can forgive you. Then if you command this mountain to be removed and cast into the sea it will be done.”