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Friday 2 december 2011 5 02 /12 /Dec /2011 11:22

504953757_ed339cd740.jpgThree years ago, I had the opportunity to read a most interesting book,  which practically fell into my hands.  Having read several books with biblical suggestions for getting your finances under control, I had not expected this book, "Keys To Financial Freedom" by Phil Pringle to be any different. 

Phil Pringle, the author, is the head of the C3 Movement coming out of Australia, which has begun to spread world-wide.  C3 stands for Christian City Church. Pringle, who started the church with his wife Christine Pringle and several other key people are breaking ground wherever they go with their practical living approach to Christianity.

One of the most successful books that he has written is, "Keys To Financial Excellence," a book that confronts people with the concept of giving, as the basic foundation for abundance in their lives.   In the first key principle, which he named, "The Ways of God Are Not The Ways Of Man," he sums up the key principle of what he is saying with a quote from Sir Winston Churchill, who said, " We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

Pringle is not one those Ministers of the Gospel who is preaching a get rich quick type of religion.  No, this book looks into the generosity of mankind, starting from Biblical days. It is, in my opinion, a fact that wherever men and women have decided to do more than necessary, and live a life dedicated to helping others, that they led or have led successful lives.  Regardless of whether it was or is William Wilberforce, George Mueller, Maria Theresa, George Whitefield, Eric Storm, William (Billy) Graham and many others, they did or  have changed through their  own generosity, some part of society by helping those in need, and their legacy lives on. This premise runs throughout Pringle's book.

There are 52 keys in the book. Keys, which challenge the Christian believer to take God at his word and start living by the principles of tithing and offerings, as it is defined in the Bible.

Although the book is written to help Christians on their journey, the principles applied in this book are also relevant and can be applied in the secular world.  In Key #8 "Prosperity: The Will Of God," Pringle writes about an interview between a reporter, Peter Lalor and Eric Storm, who was at that time a multi-millionaire. Mr. Storm died on 26 February 2000, in Sidney, Australia, nine days short of his 104th birthday.  He was asked the question, "how to become a millionaire," and here was the answer that he gave to Mr. Lalor, the reporter, who asked it and I would like to quote Mr. Storm's answer:

"I believe in giving and helping people," he said.  "I think one of the reasons I keep making money is because I give it away.  It's some divine power, or something, which gives me the ability to pick the right shares."

If you would like to read more about the late Eric Storm and what he left behind for future generations, as well as, what he contributed to different charities and people  while living, you may find an  article on him at the following website: http://www.commoditybroker.com.au/commodity-broker-articles/2000/2/26/eric-storm-am/.

Phil Pringle's book is therefore a 'must read' for those of us who would like to live life, not only to help ourselves, but to reach out and help others. As the saying goes, "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away". (Matt. 25:29 NKJV)


By Pat Garcia - Posted in: Literature - Community: Books That Define Encourage, Help, and the Life Journey
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Saturday 26 november 2011 6 26 /11 /Nov /2011 10:43

4120030196_a89db8f351.jpgIn 2009, I had the opportunity to hear the man, who wrote the book, The Art Of Winning, speak at the Presence Conference 2009, in Amsterdam. Needless to say, I was impressed enough to buy his book.  I was curious to read what he had to say about The Art of Winning.

4802191429_b47e06c2e3.jpgRachmat begins his book with an interesting illustration in his foreword about sports.  He states, " A game of sports that is played fairly and displays high capabilities of technique, whether it is an individual sport or a team sport, is very interesting to watch. But an unfair sport's game, that is hostile and rough will only bring mockery from the viewers and spectators."  Confronting the reader with the question about his or her own life performance, he makes us look at and examine our specific purpose in life as if we were participating in some type of sport.  Rachmat sees the life purpose of the individual in terms of a game, where you are either winning or losing.

IMG 0729-copy-1The Art of Winning challenges the reader to think about how they are living their lives.  Are you a winner or are you on the sidelines, sitting or standing, watching life go by.  Rachmat's hypothesis, is that if you are watching life go by aimlessly, you are missing the boat. You have not found your purpose in life.

Have you ever met someone who is always confused, always fearful of taking a step out of the boat? Do you know people who let their ethnic background, family origin, or their financial status stop them from moving in the direction, where they will evolve into something beautiful? Have you listened to people talk about what they would do if they could start life over?  Do you know people who are just floating around without knowing the where, when, how or the why of their lives?  This book addresses these types of situations in people's lives and offers a solution to get out of the rut.

6277438014_e726e3d766.jpgRachmat equates your satisfaction with life and your life purpose as necessary components to find your true happiness. Therefore, if it is the purpose of every single individual on a football team to win, then it should be the purpose of  every individual to find their life purpose so that they can live a life of happiness.  Finding your purpose makes you a winner.

Hearing Jeffrey Rachmat speak at the Presence 2009 conference, was not only a pleasant surprise but also an enrichment for my own life. He, himself was a successful banker in one of the biggest private bank in Jakarta, Indonesia, before he purposely left his well-paying job to become an itinerant minister. Today, he is one of the Senior Pastors of Jakarta Praise Community Church, which has over 10,000 members. 

IMG 0729-copy-1So, what the man is writing is not dead words to fill a piece of paper to bring out a new book.  Neither are his theses a dead philosophy that has not been tested and proven. The proof lies within the success he is now experiencing.  The Art of Winning, which consists of only 122 pages, is a book that you do not want to miss reading. 

By Pat Garcia - Posted in: Literature - Community: Books That Define Encourage, Help, and the Life Journey
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Monday 22 august 2011 1 22 /08 /Aug /2011 07:51

There are lots of books on the market that claim to know the steps to achieving happiness. From leaving your spouse to going somewhere to live alone on top of a mountain, they present steps that you should follow in order to find fulfilment. Csikszentmihalyi's book is not that kind of book as it dwells on the concept that being involved in life leads to happiness. Below is a review of The Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Have you ever begun a task or started working on a project that you loved and always wanted to accomplish and forgot the time, or the years that it would take you to reach your goal? Have you ever let yourself be stretched far beyond what you thought you could handle, expanding yourself to achieve that impossible dream, even though you may have had body aches and pains or tremendous mental stress?

Optimal experience

If so, then you were in what Csikszentmihalyi describes as the optimal experience, which interprets the concept of flow. Being totally involved in what you were doing, you were impervious to all the distractions, internal and external, that were surrounding you, to include the mental pressures that were trying to evade your mind. This type of involvement evolves into an optimal experience, whereby the individual is experiencing happiness because he is mastering the events of his life.


It is not the dependence on wealth, on the job title or on one's possessions that makes a person happy, according to Csikszentmihalyi. It is dependent solely upon movements that stretch the person to his own individual limits to voluntarily accomplish something difficult and worthwhile, which he or she expected to achieve.

Controlling your thoughts

Reaching the state of optimal experience, however, demands that people overcome the chaos and disorder in their minds by developing flow. Flow is attained by ordering and bringing your thoughts under control. It is Csikszentmihalyi's belief that good things in life do not only come through the senses. Some of the most exhilarating experiences are founded and generated in the mind. Thus, a basketball player who focuses only on his game achieves his shots in the basket because he is in flow. An artist who works on a painting for two days without sleeping and is not tired, is said to work in flow. The flow allows their minds to be in harmony and their creativity to be set free.

Artist in Action / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 20Sigma Silver 3Ddoctor's stuffwriter on the tracks
By Pat Garcia - Posted in: Literature
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