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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Be Wise With A Good Memory

As you age, your memory may deteriorate. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can still have a sharp memory if you improve memory skills.

Memory has everything to do with brain health. If you don't have a healthy brain, how can you have a good memory? A good memory is an ingredient of wisdom. Therefore, if you want to be wise, have a good memory, But a good memory requires good basic memory skills. So, improving memory skills goes a long way to improving memory, despite the aging process.

Good memory skills are important to having a good memory, just as a good mechanic also needs good tools. Memory skills are your tools to enhance your brain processing, which is what memory is all about. Memory involves processing of information that you already have, and capability to recall it at will. Such processing requires utilization of your senses: sighttouchsmell, or a combination of some of these senses. The capability to utilize these senses means you are not only being aware of them, but also paying attention to them. As a result, they become memory tools for you, so that you can retrieve your information later without any problem.

All disciplines in the brain have some connection with memory, for example, music, writing, and art, among others.

(1) According to some scientific research, music has the capacity to change your neuron activity. Music therapists believe that different sounds from different instruments have different impact on different body organs in the physical body. Specifically, they are capable of breaking blockages in energy flow (the Chinese call it "qi"), which courses through the meridian channels in the body to bring oxygen and nutrients to different parts of your body. Nowadays, there is "psychoacoustics" which is the study of sound on the conscious mind through the use of music. Scientists have used MP3 music and subliminal messages for hypnosis to awaken the subconscious mind to improve memory, enhance learning, heal sleep problems, increase self-confidence, just to name a few possibilities. Music, of course, has to do with sound. Learn to play a musical instrument to boost your brain power, concentration, and to develop motor skills.

(2) Writing is another discipline which can improve memory skills, and hence memory. Writing a journal, a diary, or even writing a blog, can boost memory power, because in writing, or rather recollecting one thought at a time and word by word, may help you with organization and logic. In addition, as you are jotting down the words, the movements of your hands (as you type or write), as well as the sight of the words in front of you will reinforce your memory. Writing is a good example of using sight to improve memory skills.

(3) Art is another field which extensively uses your extraordinary senses, such as visual in drawing, or touch in sculpture.

As you get older, your brain shrinks a bit, and that is natural. The good news is that your can recoup your losses. As a matter of fact, you have about 100 billion brain cells, and you have used up only five percent of your brain cells. Tap into them to improve your memory. Use it or lose it!

Be wise with a good memory!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Spiritual Wellness for Healthy Aging

 Spiritual Wellness

As opposed to materiality, spirituality is always invisible, immeasurable, but present and lasting. It is like the wind—it is invisible and yet palpable. It provides guidance, direction, and understanding to the mind. Spirituality takes the form of love, joy, and peace, and it is often expressed in human actions and behaviors. Materiality, on the other hand, is always visible, measurable, and transient. Humans need both spirituality and materiality: the former to understand the self, and the latter to understand the world and the universe around the self. Spirituality not only inspires the mind but also energizes the body—it is a body-mind-spirit connection necessary for the total wellness of an individual.


The pivotal role of spirituality

Your whole being is composed of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. Your body—the physical—is controlled by your mind—the  mental—which is supervised by your soul—the spiritual. Your spirituality oversees your whole being. Nothing transforms you as much as changing from a mundane to a spiritual attitude towards all your everyday problems.

Living in the physical world is challenging in itself. The challenges often turn themselves into toxins that infest the body as well as the mind. A mind is supposed to control the body, but an infested mind loses much of its control over the body, and thus letting the body do whatever it wants to do, and thus poisoning both the body and the mind. The role of the soul is to provide the mind with instructions and inspirations on how to take care of the body. But the toxins of the mind can also poison the soul, and thus not only stunting the growth of spirituality but also disconnecting the mind from its spiritual source.

There are often times when the mind is at a loss, confused, and helpless, and that is when the soul can be its inspiration and its awakening agent, provided the mind is willing to seek the help of the soul.

Letting go to attain wellness of the soul

Material attachment is a toxic thought that connects material things to the ego of an individual in the physical world. It is the reluctance of that individual to let go of material things that define who that individual thinks he or she is. Attachment to the ego-self and its related material things is the source of human woes, which impact the body and the mind, and ultimately contaminate the soul.

Bottom line: Let go of your ego-self (the gravitational center of attachment). At some point in your life, you have to let go of all your material things because they do not last, and neither do they define who you are. Letting go is the pathway to spiritual wellness.

In addition, emotional attachment is also a toxic thought that is a stumbling block to attaining spiritual wellness. For example, bitterness is a common and rampant toxic thought that batters the mind and bruises the soul. Bitterness cherishes anger, which often turns itself into rage, seeking revenge. Bitterness ultimately devastates the soul.

The bottom line: Do not justify your bitterness. The hurt never justifies the bitterness. Any desire for justice (making it personal) stains and blemishes the soul. Just let go of any attachment to bitterness.

”Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:14-15)

Envy is another attachment that tarnishes the soul. Envy is tantamount to rejecting your own blessings because you are counting the blessings of others rather than yours. Envy is about comparing yourself with others. In life, it is important to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you believe in your Creator? One of the obstacles to believing in yourself is comparing yourself with others. You are who you are; don't try to be someone else that you are not. Envy leads to craving: "wanting more and more" (greed) or "wanting more for less" (taking unfair advantage of others).

The bottom line: Be grateful for what you have; rejoice with those who have more. Let go of attachment to envy.

Fear is a debilitating toxic thought for the toxic soul. This toxic thought is manifested in many forms, such as fear of an outcome (disappointment), fear of loss (refusal to let go), fear of the future (lack of self-belief, or faith in the Creator), and fear of rejection (non-acceptance by others).

Jesus said: "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:27)

"Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:6)

The bottom line: Let go of "what-ifs" from your mind; nobody knows the future anyway.

Strengthening spirituality

Spirituality is the wisdom to believe—believe in doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. Many people are spiritual, even though they may not have a religion; they still believe that there is a Higher Being who is in control of the universe and what is happening around, such as the sun always comes out in the east. They are spiritual when they have a heart that feels for themselves as well as for others.

But how does one become more spiritual?

Your soul is your spirituality. Use your consciousness to strengthen your inherent spirituality: be aware of your body-mind-soul connection. Always seek spiritual wisdom.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

Simplify your life. Clear away all the physical clutters in your life as the first step towards freeing yourself from your material and mundane attachments. Material things do not define who you are. Once you have let go of the physical clutters in your living environment, you may then get to know more about yourself, especially your needs and values, instead of your desires and wants. Remember, needs and wants are not the same; your wants often create toxic desires and their accompanying toxic emotions, resulting in your attachments.

Learn to look within yourself for answers to your life problems: you will become more self-reliant and self-sufficient. Find your inner voice: what you love to do, and what touches your heart and your soul. Your inner self knows the truth when you hear it. Nobody knows you better than yourself—just as there is no better physician than yourself, who know what is best for your body. This intuitive wisdom is self-healing, which gives you a healthier body and mind to nourish your soul. Consciously improve your everyday attitudes and feelings, not just about yourself, but also towards others around you. Each and every moment in your day-to-day interactions with people may provide an opportunity for you to become more spiritual, if you consciously avail yourself of that opportunity to see miracles in your life. Using Mother Teresa’s example, begin by conveying warmth to someone who least expects it, and this generous gesture of compassion is a strong testament to your innate spirituality. It is your spiritual thinking that causes your personality and daily interactions with others to become an expression of your soul: your daily actions speak you mind. A healthy mind is full of spirituality.

Feed your mind with positive thoughts to avoid any distorted thinking that may disenfranchise your soul. Consistently replenish your soul with spiritual feelings, such as unconditional love, generosity, gratitude, and forgiveness, among others. Love melts your resistance to change for the better; without love, you simply continue to perpetuate that you resist, such as resisting to letting go. Generosity is freely giving your time and effort to others, as well as to yourself; it is paying others forward without any selfish interest or expectation. Gratitude will not make you compare your current state of health or wealth with that of others; gratitude is a great attitude in overcoming toxic thoughts of envy and greed that you may still attach to at the back of your mind. Forgiveness is a necessary requirement for health and healing of the mind and the soul; forgive yourself as well as others for all the mistakes done by you, or by others to you—mistakes are necessary for the learning process in life and the empowerment of the soul. Never look back in anger. Just let go of the past.

Spirituality, at a deeper level, means a desire to have a personal relationship with your Creator. Learn to pray. Prayers work by altering your brain chemistry. Like anti-depressant drugs, prayers can help you build up the feeling-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin. Prayers restore your hope, strength, and even health.

With the desire to believe, comes the awareness of your inner longings, as wells as your consciousness of an inner voice speaking to you—the growth and development of spirituality. Then, you must persist and persevere in your search and pursuit of spirituality, such as daily prayers and acts of right mindedness. Finally, further down the road, life crises and daily problems along your life journey may, surprisingly, further awaken you to your own innate spirituality.


Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Adultery in Marriage

 



 

INFIDELITY IN MARRIAGE

 Tiger Woods, one of the world’s most famous and wealthiest golfers, was caught with his dark secrets of infidelities and lies in 2009. At first, he vehemently denied and even concealed them. But, eventually, he was more forthcoming and apologetic to his fans and his family at several press conferences:

 "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. . . I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. . . I was unfaithful, I had affairs and I cheated. What I did was unacceptable. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me."

 But Tiger Woods’ serial adultery and cheating made it difficult for his wife to accept his sincerity and true repentance. They were divorced in 2010.

 Maybe in one of his statements to the public, Tiger Woods was telling the truth of adultery:

 “I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled, and thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them.”

 Tiger Woods was awakened to the reality of accountability. With fame and money, he thought he could get away with anything. That was his self-awakening, but it came with a hefty price—a stain on his legacy.

The reality

 The purpose of a married couple is to glorify God in everything they say, do, or accomplish, and to be an expression of sacrificial love, grace, mercy, and justice to everyone—especially to each other and their children.

Biblical Adulteries

King David’s adulteries

In spite of his efforts in seeking God’s wisdom, King David also demonstrated his darker side of the sin of lust.

One night, King David saw Bathsheba, the wife of one of King David’s generals, bathing on the rooftop. Succumbing to his own sin of lust, King David sent for Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. To gratify his lust, King David even purposely sent the general to the war front to have him killed so that he could marry the general’s widow.

King David eventually married Bathsheba. Although penitent for his sins, God punished King David, and their firstborn son died. 

King Solomon’s adulteries

King Solomon, the second son of King David, despite his profound human wisdom, violated God’s standards of sexual purity. His decision to disobey God and marry foreign women with their different gods led to his own idolatry. As a punishment for his sins, God divided Israel, and Solomon suffered bitterness and emptiness at the end of his life.

The difference between King David and King Solomon is that King David always lived in the presence of the Lord. So, King David always turned back to God with remorse and repentance, while King Solomon only distanced himself from God with no contrition and remorse.

So, living in the presence of the Lord always reminds you of your own accountability to Him, without which you will do anything and everything, thinking that you can get away with it.

The reality

Always live in the presence of the Shepherd. Always let the Shepherd guide you in the green pastures. Always let the Shepherd overcome your enemies of pride, lust, and deceit. Always let the Shepherd use His rod and staff not only to protect you but also to restrain and discipline you. Always let the Lord be your Shepherd throughout your marriage journey.

Adultery is a conscious and deliberate act to do just the opposite of what a marriage commitment requires. Adultery is prevalent because it has become the new “norm.” According to many, adultery is just a sin, not a crime, and everybody commits sins of some sort anyway. But adultery is a sin directly against God, who creates the marriage, joining the two as one. So, committing adultery is lack of accountability to God, and is unforgivable without judgment and repentance.

Getting Married to Make You Happy?

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, June 27, 2022

The TAO in Everything

 


The TAO is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago. as 

The TAO has thrived and survived thousands of years for a good reason: what was applicable in the past is still applicable in the present; what was true in the past is still true today. Another testament to this universal truth is that "Tao Te Ching"-- the only book written by Lao Tzu -- is one of the most translated books in world literature -- probably only after the Bible.

The TAO is easy to understand but most controversial. The explanation is that there is no absolute truth about human wisdom, which is all about self-intuition and self-enlightenment. That is to say, your mind is uniquely yours, and your thinking is your own thinking.


The TAO plays a pivotal role in every aspect of your life. With wisdom, you will see the TAO in everything, including the following:


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Solving Money Problems

 Solving Money Problems


Money plays a major role in life. You need money for almost everything in life. Given the importance of money, you need to know the basics of money—what money is all about.

In the past, people could enjoy the blessings of life without spending any real money. Nowadays, to many people, enjoyment of life requires money—and lots of it!

According to Buddha, craving or desire for material things is the source of all human miseries. Jesus also has this to say about money: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven.” (Luke 18:25)

So, what is the value of money? According to author Jonathan Swift, a wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart. 

More importantly, what does money mean to you?

Your perceptions of the value of money determine two of the most important things in your life: how you are going to live your life; how you are going to spend your money.

The value of money is based on your core values in life. One of the core values in life is integrity. Life, at any phase, is all about living—it comes with some hard work and simple integrity. Integrity is an important personal value, which has little to do with money. Integrity is an important value that the Creator has bestowed on each and every one of us, and its availability is the choice of an individual. Essentially, integrity is the value of what life has to offer, not the value of things that can be purchased with money. Your core values affect your attitudes toward money, including your financial priorities, financial decisions, and money management. So, what is the value of money to you?

Once you know the real value of money to you, you will know what to do with your money, and you will find the money you need.

Spending money is also an extremely important issue in life: throughout history, countries have become bankrupt, empires have collapsed, and families have broken up because of spending much too much money. So, spending money can affect positively or negatively your life, and can be a major stress factor.

Spending money has little to do with whether you have or you do not have much money. Spending money has to do with your attitude toward money. It has everything to do with the practical as well as the spiritual aspects of money and finance.

The practical aspect of spending money is that it may lead to debt—which is the source of financial stress. 

Why do people go into debt?

People go into debt for various reasons: deficit spending,  a result of buying things they don’t need with the money they don’t have; unforeseeable circumstances, due to exorbitant medical bills or loss of employment; personal choice, a consequence of reckless spending or buying on credit, bad investments, wrong financial decisions; ignorance, such as not knowing the meaning of APR or the implications  of “minimum  payments”  on credit cards, lack of knowledge of finance and money management; greed, leading to taking financial risks, or trying to get something for nothing. The list could go and on.

Don’t ever fall into the trap of “buy-now-and-pay-later”! Don’t run up your credit card debt. Consumer debt is the No.1 financial stress factor in life. Don’t let debt devastate your life. Don’t use a credit card if you don’t have control over spending; instead, use a debit card or a pre-paid credit card for the convenience of not carrying cash. Be careful when you use credit-card counseling services to get you out of debt, especially those so-called “non-profit” organizations. Just beware!

The spiritual aspects of spending money include being grateful and generous, as well as being a good steward.

Be grateful. God may have given you much less than others—or so you think! Remember, everything is relative. Maybe less is more: God has given you less so that you will have the incentive to make more.

You may have worked hard, but with little to show for it.  “You plant much but harvest little. You have scarcely enough to eat or drink and not enough to keep you warm. Your income disappears, as though you were putting it into pockets filled with holes.” (Haggai 1:6) Be grateful, instead of whining and complaining; put your time and effort on making money to live a debt-free life. More importantly, be generous with your money.

According to the biblical principle of money, God owns it all! You are but a steward of God’s money. Responsibilities of good stewardship include diligence, productivity, good time management, and self-discipline in matters of money. The money is not yours anyway. That is why you cannot take it with you when you are gone for good.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Believing in Yourself

 Believing in yourself is self-efficacy. Believing in yourself is confidence in your own ability, knowing what you have to do to win or simply to get what you want in life.

Diane Sawyer once said: “Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.” 

Believing in yourself is one of the first steps to success in doing anything that becomes the very substance of your confidence. To have confidence, you must set goals, and achieving your goals helps you build more confidence.

But believing in yourself is not easy, especially if you are getting older. You look back and there are so many goals you have not accomplish. Looking back in the past may create negativity in the form of victimization. In other words, you may find you are a victim of circumstances; this may also lead to bitterness, despair, or even anger.

One of the reasons why sometimes you don’t have self-efficacy is your obsession with your past. You could have been haunted by your past failures that generated regrets, bitterness, and disappointments that you have not been able to let go of. Attachment to the past is always a stumbling block to moving ahead. 

In addition, you may also be comparing yourself with others. Remember, nobody is perfect. Others may also have their failures that you are unaware of. You see only their successes but not their failures. Surprisingly, seeing your own imperfections may be the pathway to future success.

The Wisdom of Letting Go

The wisdom of letting go shows you how to use the ancient Tao wisdom from China to live in the present moment, and, more importantly, to let go of the past. With both  human wisdom and spiritual wisdom from the Bible, you may start believing in yourself again. With self-efficacy, you can do anything at any stage of your life, and the sky is the limit. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Believing in Spirituality

Believing in Spirituality

Believing in spirituality may give you the miracle of becoming and transforming, giving you the happiness wisdom.

At some point in your life, especially as you continue to age, you may begin to sense your incompleteness, your loneliness, your limitations, your disillusions with human vanity, and you may then begin to long for someone or something that can truly fill and satisfy you, or your inner longing. In your youth, you might have turned to the physical world to gratify your needs and wants, such as successful careers, material comforts, and satisfying relationships, among others. At some point in your life, however, you may suddenly realize that your past wayward pursuits were all in vain—much like “chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2, 11)—and that you have deviated from your conscience and distanced yourself from spirituality or your Creator.

Believing in spirituality may enhance your consciousness of your own true self with the deep desire to become wholesome again. Becoming is a miracle of transforming your whole being, making you happier.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Be Wise With A Good Memory

As you age, your memory may deteriorate. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can still have a sharp memory if you improve  memory sk...