Thursday, December 31, 2009

ACHIEVE your goals

Abraham Lincoln said: “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” This nicely sets the stage for this piece* (by Donal Daly for salespeople) I got recently...and couldn't keep to myself - as usual, emphasistext in green are mine.

Donal Daly arranged these 7 principles in a mnemonic, so they are easy to remember.
Ambition
Commitment and Resilience
Honesty and Integrity
Inquisitiveness and Learning 
Empathy and Perspective I changed this to: Encouragement
Vision: Innovation and Leadership
Enterprise: Hard Word, Strategy and Execution

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year Resolutions

Or should we call them "New Year Solutions"?

Well, I found 12 quotes (1 for each month of the new year)...they are not in any particular order. I pray we'll find them helpful and inspiring to be the best you can be in this year...

George Lorimer: You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.

German proverb: To change and to change for the better are two different things.

Gary Kelley: There's no better time than the present to be better than we were yesterday.

Duke Ellington: A problem is a chance for you to do your best.

Robert Half: When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine, with God's help.

Monday, December 28, 2009

"The Lord said..."

“The Lord said…” How many times have you heard that phrase?

It’s unfortunate how many times Christians use that phrase in an attempt to make others “surrender” to their desires, which they frame as “God’s will”. If only you knew how many people have gotten married to the wrong people, gotten into the wrong company or even wrong church just because someone came to them and said: “the Lord said”, you will not hesitate to seek out how you can hear God for yourself by yourself.

Now we must make it clear that God does speak to us through others and even things (remember our series on the spiritual tips from a shopping trip). I personally believe that most times, if not all the time, God has spoken to us and we may not have heard so He needs to speak through someone else to get our attention. At other times, God speaks to us and then confirms what He’s said through another person so we are sure we heard Him. The Bible even says: once has God spoken, and we hear it twice* (or maybe more times)

As I was saying too many people have been coaxed or conned into relationships, marriages, employment, ministries, professions and the list goes on just because they relied on what “the Lord said” to someone else.

So how do we know when God is speaking to us?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

BerylSapphire wish you and yours a Christmas like no other.

May you and yours have:

Peace - may the peace that passes understanding rule in your heart - turning every pressure into pleasure as you turn over your worries to Him
Hope - may the hope Jesus came to to bring give you a reason to keep advancing towards the future He has planned for you

Joy - may the joy of the season spill into everyday of your life so you have so muh to spare and share with those who come your way
Love - may His love spread in your heart and spread through you to others
God bless you and yours richly in the year to come too...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

R&R (2)

When Sapphire mentioned to me that she was working on a posting titled “R&R” the first words that came to my mind were “Risk” and “Reward”. After reading her posting, I am still thinking “Risk” and “Reward”.

It occurred to me (I’m sure you would agree) that resting is a risk. Why else do we have all these super executives who are stressed up not resting, when they know the value of resting?

It is because, they risk not being in absolute control of everything when they are at rest. You see, resting simply means “letting go and letting God”. More often than not, mortal man is often too unsure of his positioning with God to really really let go. So he holds on tightly at the greater risk of breaking down physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and eventually spiritually.

The second word in my mind is “Reward”… now, you will also agree with me that “the higher the risk, the higher the reward”. For those of us who refuse to rest, relax, retreat, recreate (and all the other positive “re”s), we are losing the high reward of living in God's "rest-ful" presence, which makes us "inaccessible" to the predators (so says Sapphire…and I agree). It is so simple that we complex humans fail to see and accept it.

Now you can see the connection between “Return and Rest” and “Risk and Reward”. My prayer is that the Lord will give us grace to take the risk of letting go fully, that we may enjoy the higher reward of being in His presence, His will and His purpose for our lives. AMEN

Monday, December 21, 2009

R & R

Return & Rest...I won't be surprised if that's where the term "Rest & Recreation" was culled from. Of course everything - principles and practices - have their origin from the Bible.

God exemplified this principle - He rested on the 7th day and He continues to remind us in different sections of the Bible.

Let's start with Isaiah 30:15 "For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not, (Amplified Bible)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Secret #3: Courage - (7) - Courage to Leave

Courage to Leave

Now this is going to be a tough one...well, I guess it goes without saying that "leaving" is not the easiest thing to do no matter how expedient it may be e.g. when a loved one passes on. I'll try to focus on some areas that I feel are challenges to us as women...please feel free to jump in with your comments and TEA of course.

Leaving a relationship (before marriage)
Now for me this was the first time I had to confront "leaving" with courage. I was in a relationship with a young Christian man - our families knew each other a bit - and we were planning to get married. Somewhere and somehow (in a way I cannot explain), he decided to follow his own paths and desires. Now that was so tough considering that I was young and looking forward to settling down after school...only for this to happen.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Secret #3: Courage - (6) - Courage to Lean

Courage to Lean

What does it mean to "lean"? Hm...you know when you think of leaning on someone or something the first thing that comes to some people's minds is weakness...that could be part of it but not the whole story.

Leaning is about resting on someone or something for support. It could also refer to reliance on someone or something...it indicates a level of trust in that person or thing. Think about it, when you lean on a wall or a person, you "trust" that the wall or person will not "move" or cause you to fall - or isn't that your expectation when you lean on something or someone? Well, that's my expectation...let's go on...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

10 days to Christmas

I found a very interesting piece on the colours  and symbols of Christmas by Glenn Blaylock.
The colours, pictures, emphasis & comments in purple are mine:

There are many symbols associated with Christmas. Some can mean different things to different people. I have a story that appeared in some women's magazine some years back. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the magazine or the author. The upshot of the story was that most of the symbols pointed back to the Savior. Here are some of the symbol (sic) and what they mean.

Red symbolizes the blood that Jesus spilt to redeem us from our sins.

Green is the color of life. Therefore, green symbolizes the potential for eternal life that Jesus' sacrifice made possible for all of us. The evergreen tree used for Christmas trees is green all year round. Green also symbolizes growth, freshness and even potential. Remember the quote:
"as long as you're green you're growing..."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Secret #3: Courage - (5) - Courage to Learn

Courage to Learn

Let’s start this piece with a few quotes – my thoughts follow closely:

“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.”(Mortimer Alder) My colleague said: As long as you’re green, you’re growing, once you’re ripe you start to rot…and it is so true. The only people incapable of learning, no matter how hard they “try”, are those who are dead.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” (Anthony J. D’Angelo) A lot of people over 30 years of age are quick to say: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” – I disagree – vehemently too. You are able to learn anything and all you are willing to…it’s more about your “availability” (i.e. willingness) than your ability. My advice, in Vernon Howard’s words is: “Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.”

Do you know the age of the oldest graduate in the world?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Secret #3: Courage - (4) - Courage to Lead

As we hit the mid point of the Courage Series, I’ll be sharing my thoughts (TEA) as well as using some quotes in this piece.

Rosalynn Carter said: “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be.”

God is so amazing…this quote sets the tone for this piece perfectly…and need I say how pleased I am that the quote is attributed to a woman. Not just any woman…Mrs Jimmy Carter, former First Lady of the US. Did you know that when he was President, she was “her husband's closest adviser*”? And she probably still is. Wow!!! At the risk of going off track, I wonder how many married men can say that about their wives especially Christian men.

Let’s dig into the quote:-

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Will of a Woman

The Bible says that "iron sharpens iron" and it is said that when you strike 2 pieces of stone, there is a spark. That's exactly what happened after I read "The Willing Woman" by Beryl. It got me thinking of my WQ and the will of a woman.

Thomas Fuller said: "Nothing is easy to the unwilling" - now this is a two-pronged quote:
First, for as long as you are unwilling, you will (see challenges and) have difficulty doing anything; (this first part ties to the WQ Beryl mentioned)
Secondly, doing nothing is easy once you are unwilling to do anything - being lazy is an "effortless" activity versus relaxing which starts with a decision and then a willingness to "slow down" ...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hold on to the Rock!

This weekend, I decided to relax...yes just curl up and watch TV. It doesn't happen often so when I can, I try to enjoy the moment. When talking to my friend about my desire to watch a film, I said to her: I want to watch something and learn from it (or at least "catch" something I can share with others). So we scanned through the channels and found: "On Golden Pond" 

This was a rather interesting and touching film - I enjoyed it and caught one phrase which stuck with me:
"Hold on to the rock!"

The scene: On their way home, the boat hit a rock and the old man fell into the water. The boy jumped in to rescue him and took him to a rock in the water where he encouraged and helped him to hold on to the rock. The boy was exhausted and just as the boy was about to drift away, the old man noticed and instructed him to also: "Hold on to the rock!"

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Peace"...not "Please"

This thought hit me was listening to a message on Daystar TV* online. The preacher made a reference to Mark 4: 39-40 which says:
"Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (NKJV)
Note that in taking charge, Jesus did not "plead" with the situation, He spoke to it; rather than start a discussion about the situation (which a lot of us are quick to), He addressed it. We need to learn to "speak to situations" not plead with them. Jesus reinforced that a few chapters later in Mark 11: 22-24:
"So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (NKJV)
It's really up to you...

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Willing Woman

It is great and (kind of) interesting to read Sapphire’s shopping experience or lack of it. I found it interesting because I could link “Watch It” with God’s word to me today. I had a peculiarly very clear dream of worrying about what to say to a hall full of women, when I had an impression to talk about “The Willing Woman”. While I floundered about this topic, the passage Isaiah 1:19 [If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land] jumped at me. Unfortunately, I did not get around to speaking to the women in my dream about “The Willing Woman” considering I had not quite worked out what to say before I woke up.

When I read Sapphire's “Watch it”, I realized that a willing woman is one who fully yields to the Master – regardless of how uncomfortable the instruction might be. Thankfully, the Master is never tired of giving us directions, we are the ones who [often] hold back.

A willing woman understands the futility of relying on her knowledge of the past and partial knowledge of the present, when she can rely on the Master’s perfect knowledge of the past, present and future. Reading Isaiah 1:19 again, I wondered if it were possible to be willing and not be obedient. So I went back to the Bible – The Bible in Basic English (BBE) translation explained it better… “If you will give ear to my word and do it… It is therefore possible (I guess) to give ear and not do it. For instance, Sapphire could have given ear to “Watch It” and still gone ahead with her shopping.

A Willing Woman therefore hears and obeys.

I have been going through a period of turbulence in my career and I have decided to use a willingness-scale to check my level of WILLINGNESS. God’s word is clear - "If you will give ear to my word and do it, the good things of the land will be yours" (BBE). Do you need to check up on your willingness-quotient (WQ - sounds cool)? Needless to say that the higher your WQ, the more good things you are likely to get (all other things being equal).

I need to do a bit more research on WQ….WATCH THIS SPACE!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Watch it!

Those 2 words capture the "warning" I got from God this morning.

A few weeks ago, I shared how God used a shopping trip to teach me some spiritual tips on Prayer...please read them if you haven't (you can search the blog for topics on "shopping").

Well, let's go on...
In "planning" my next shopping trip, it just hit me that I am becoming "drawn" to shopping because I had a "good" experience. So while "hitting the brakes" I quickly asked the Lord what I can learn from this "attraction". God is always there to help us, if you ASK. This is what He shared this with me...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Aaronic Blessing by Jeff A. Benner

As we enter this month of "giving" as every month should be, I feel it's also a good time to "give" (share) this article I first received by email (and then researched for the source)...it's so good. There's joy in sharing - emphasis mine.

Most are familiar with the beginning of the Aaronic blessing;
"May the LORD bless you and keep you" (Numbers 6:24).
We often read or say these words without really knowing what they mean. The words "bless" and "keep" are abstract words which we are familiar with in English. But, the ancient Hebrews were concrete thinkers who related all things to concrete ideas.

The Hebrew word for "bless" is "barak" which literally means "to kneel". A berakah is a "blessing" but more literally, the bringing of a gift to another on a bended "knee". When we bless God or others, we are in essence, bringing a gift on bended "knee". A true king is one who serves his people, one who will humble himself and come to his people on a bended knee.