Friday, December 31, 2010

Solomon's first and last words...

Reading the Bible through at least once a year takes a lot of discipline...it's more than reading a chapter or 2 or 3. It's about "sticking with the programme" and ensuring that it is not a "tick the box" exercise because it can start feeling like that especially when you get to Leviticus. God helped me and opened my eyes to so many things - I'd known before and now I was seeing them in another light. I was intrigued when I noticed what I've called:
 "Solomon's first and last words"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ready for change?

Like the saying goes, “The only thing constant in life is change.”* This year, I attended a course where the speaker talked about how many of us just keep doing the same old things in the same old ways without realizing that we're doing more than we need to and that we can do things better if we just accept and adapt to the change.

One example that comes to mind is how some older people just refuse to become computer literate. Well, we need to realise that things are changing so much. I got an email that puts this in perspective... it said:
"This is how our children/grandchildren may end up learning the alphabets..."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wise (wo)men still seek Him...

The star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope: Jesus Christ.
~D. James Kennedy

Never forget the reason for the season - JESUS.

Doing that is as simple as ABC. Acknowledge Him - without Him there would be no Christmas. Be wise. Continue to seek Him and all your expectations will be fulfilled in 2011 and for the rest of your life.
Merry Christmas and God bless.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Think on these...

I found these 2 quotes...which I keep encouraging others to live by:

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.
~Fran Lebowitz, Social Studies

As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it, or leave it.
~Buddy Hackett

I smiled when I stumbled on these quotes. When we visit others, my children are sometimes at a loss when they are asked: "what do you want?" - it's not a question they have to answer often. It always amazes me when parents reel off options for their children and then when the children turn down all the options they start scrambling to generate something else...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The till will tell...

A few months ago, I ran into lady shopping with her children. I noticed that everyone had at least one item in their hand. I casually commented - "I see everyone is shopping." She responded: "The till will tell." That short sentence stuck with me. As I continued to ruminate on it, I kept asking myself if I'd let the till tell or just tell it as it is.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Divine visitor

A lot of christians are so desirous of a "Divine visitation" - well, so am I. Divine visitation was our church's theme for the month of August. When thinking and praying about how to provoke and attract a Divine visitation all through that month and beyond, my eyes were literally opened to a new dimension of divine visitation. Let's start at the very beginning...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12 lessons from 12 angry men

12 angry man is about a 12-man jury that has the responsibility of deciding whether or not a young boy is guilty of murdering his father. If they decide that he is guilty, he will not have opportunity to appeal that decision.
During a recent ladies' Night with the King (vigil), we watched the 1957 edition of this film. The film is old - it's even in black and white and yet rich in content.

We discussed and prayed about what we learned from it.

Here are 12 of the things we learned from it (and not in any order):

Friday, December 10, 2010

Quess what?

If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems.
And that's a big mistake.
~F. Wikzek

Last week, we had a parent teacher conference and my son's teacher was encouraging him - they had the following conversation:
Teacher: "What are schools for?"
Student: "To learn."
Teacher: "And?"
Student: "to make mistakes."

His teacher concluded by saying:
"if you don't make mistakes then you're not trying hard enough" 
- that phrase stuck with me and has been going through my mind since last week so I decided to release it by sharing it. I also felt it would be a good idea to look up other quotes to supplement his comment and what did I find? The quote above and the ones to follow. Life is a school and we must be courageous enough to try and learn from any mistakes we make. While we do not set out to make mistakes, we must all realize and accept that:

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
~Elbert Hubbard, The Note Book, 1927

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. ~John Powell

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. ~Edward Phelps

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. ~ Albert Einstein

If a mistake is not a stepping stone, it is a mistake. ~Eli Siegel
 
All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes. ~ Winston Churchill
 
Success seems to be connected with action. successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit. ~ Conrad Hilton (American Hotelier, 1887-1979)
 
Most importantly (and please never forget this one):
Just because you make mistakes doesn't mean you are one. ~Author Unknown

As the year winds down - 21 days to go - I encourage you to look back at (all) the mistakes you (or others) have made in this year and ask yourself, "what did I learn from that?" I believe that we learn one of 2 things from every situation - what to do or what not to do. Then, take one step forward and purpose in your heart how to apply the lessons learned in your life - as you continue to "live life to the fullest."* (thanks Anya B for that phrase).


Reference:
* Attributed to Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Word and words on Faith...

James 2:17-18: So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead). But someone will say [to you then], You [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now you show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you my faith. (Amplified)

Faith can move mountains, but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel.
~Author Unknown

Mark 9:23 - Jesus replied, "Why do you say `if you can'? Anything is possible for someone who has faith!" (Contemporary English Version)

Faith makes things possible, not easy. ~Author Unknown

Without faith a man can do nothing; with it all things are possible. ~ Sir William Osler

Heb 11:1 - Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)

Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. ~George Seaton

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
~Martin Luther King Jr.

Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see. ~ William Newton Clark

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Teacup

I got this by email...I searched the internet for the author of this piece and the result was "Author unknown".

This is a great story that we could all benefit from. It is a simple reminder of how "GOD" is the potter of our life and we are the clay. "GOD" is the shaper of each of our lives and when struggles seem overwhelming, we need to remind ourselves that these struggles serve a purpose in making us stronger, wiser, and in the perfect image that "GOD" has for each of His creations.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are you a carrot, egg or coffee bean?


A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.
She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as if as soon as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

From a Lump of Clay

 Diamonds and coal are both comprised of carbon. So why are diamonds so prized, while coal is merely thrown into the fire to burn?

What makes the difference between the glistening gem that is a symbol of purity & strength, worn in the crowns of royalty, & given as engagement gifts or to celebrate 60 years of marriage, & its humble cousin, coal?
It is the amount of heat and pressure that each has undergone.

Coal is formed when a layer of eroding vegetation is compressed under the weight of much dirt, rock, or water above it.
Diamonds are crystals of pure carbon that have been subjected to tremendous heat and pressure in the bowels of the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions.
It takes much more pressure and heat to make a diamond than it does coal.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving....

It's time for another Thanksgiving Day - in the US this time. Once again, the orginal intention of this day-off was to give Americans a day to thank God. Here are some excerpts of the proclamation President Abraham Lincoln made in the middle of the American Civil War:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Caring for our children...

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground,
put some responsibility on their shoulders.
~Abigail Van Buren

I agree...the point is you must not turnover your responsibility (or even authority) as a parent to them - children cannot raise themselves! Prov 29:15 - 'The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.' (NKJV)
Secondly, if you brought them into the world, which you did, you are responsible for providing what they need...and sometimes what they want - if you approve of it (please remember that when buying gifts for Christmas and other occassions).
Finally, children are God's heritage - so He will hold you accountable for raising them to be responsible individuals...now is a good time to start. 

Fun Fact:
Did you know that today is Universal Children's Day? The United Nations' (UN) Universal Children's Day is an occasion to promote the welfare of children and an understanding between children all over the world.* That's one of the responsibilty of parents. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The 33

Time flies...it's been 33 days to the day that the 33 Chilean miners were rescued.

It was amazing to watch the rescue operation and even more amazing and inspiring how they kept their spirits up and what some of them did while they were down there and when the reached the surface...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fifteen facts about failure

1. The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure. ~ Sven Goran Eriksson

2. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. ~ Colin Powell

3. Success doesn't make you and failure doesn't break you. ~ Zig Ziglar

4. Failure is not fatal. Only failure to get back up is. ~ John C. Maxwell

5. Failure is success if we learn from it. ~ Malcom S. Forbes

6. Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. ~ Abraham Lincoln

7. Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street. ~ Zig Ziglar

8. Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. ~ Dale Carnegie

9. Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. ~ Truman Capote

10. Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. ~ C.S. Lewis

11. Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. ~ George E. Woodberry

12. There are no failures - just experiences and your reactions to them. ~ Tom Krause

13. Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. ~ Henry Ford

14. Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn't work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach. ~ Roger Von Oech

15. Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing. ~ H. Stanley Judd

I have one question for you:
"Have you ever seen a toddler who learnt how to walk without failing/falling?" I pray your answer to that will change your perspective and response to failure...it’s just a stepping stone to get up and keep going.

I'm sure there are many more facts about failure, one more that I found extremely interesting was the flip side - according to John Ortberg (author of: If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat) -"Sometimes people are even more frightened of succeeding than they are of failing."

The bottom line is:
Fear of anything or anyone except the reverential fear of God is bad for your life.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fear no failure

Talking some more about fear, one area of life where it shows is in the fear of failure.
 No one likes to fail but it is in fact one of the ways we grow…yes it is.

Recently I was going through some sad moments because of something I didn’t do as well as I could have. Yes I felt like a failure…but the Holy Spirit kept reminding me that the fact that I failed in something doesn’t make me a failure. “Sure it does” (I thought)…NO it doesn’t!!!! It most definitely doesn’t. The thing to do is not gripe about failing but ask yourself not just the important, “why did I fail?” question but more importantly
 “what can I learn from this incident?”

Friday, November 12, 2010

The tussle

Something dropped in my heart last night...
...I was up late thinking and praying about it...
...I kept asking for a word to be sure it was the Lord

This morning while putting Faith quotes together...the Lord gave me a direct word for me. "When God calls you to do something, he enables you to do it.
 ~ Robert Schuller
Look at it again tell me if you see the word "faith" anywhere...obviously, God predestined that it would be tucked in with Faith quotes so I'd find it today
- talk about a word in due season.
Can't say the tussle is over - you know we always have the 5 Ws & 1 H -
Who? What? Where? Why (me)? When? How?
Irrespective of the answers to those questions and whether or not I accept them, it's clear and I know I have some more (challenging) work ahead of me - please pray for me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beautiful weeds

One day as I was leaving the office, I noticed a lovely plant on closer inspection, it was a weed. The next day when walking to the office, I noticed a cluster of flowers  - actually weeds - then this title sprung up in my heart.

If we want to speak idiomatically we'd say: "Not all that glitters is gold" - isn't that so true. It is even more interesting how many different forms and colours weeds appear in - have you noticed that too? I'll put a few examples here...

So what are the functions of weeds other than to take up space, be an irritation, choke and stifle life out of the plants we want to grow? They may also be there to challenge the plants to be courageous enough to ignore them (the weeds) and keep growing. However, the danger in this is if not checked, the weeds could eventually win if the plants are not properly rooted. (Botanists may put it differently).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cast it into the Sea!!!

My daughter was one of the top performers at the end of her primary school education. She received about 14 different awards for various achievements ranging from Service, Character, Christian values, Academics, Social etc. She has recently moved on to secondary school and her half term result was abysmal to say the least and her teachers complained that she is not taking her work seriously. When I got her score card, I was mortified and the Holy Spirit immediately dropped a rather strange word in my heart – “Cast it into the sea: ref. Jonah”. I had to go read the book of Jonah to understand what the Holy Spirit was up about.
When I sat my daughter down to share these words with her I was also blessed by the words and I want to share my appreciation of these words with you.

In the book of Jonah (we know the Jonah and fish story from childhood), the sea men set out to go to Tarshish (their goal/destination/purpose). Along the way a storm began to rage, the seamen panicked (a very natural response to a storm), but they did not let panic immobilize them (like some of us would). They did some other things to ensure that they reached their destination, achieved their goal and fulfilled their purpose in life. I learnt a few lessons from them…

Friday, November 5, 2010

Think on these...

We have nothing to fear but fear itself ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt    
Nothing is so much to be feared as fear. ~ Henry David Thoreau
 
A life lived in fear is a life half lived. ~ Spanish proverb
 
Faith attracts the positive. Fear attracts the negative. ~ Ed Cole
 
Remember the "acronymic definitions" of FEAR & FAITH - from previous postings?
False Evidence Appearing Real                                            Full Assurance In The Heart

The bottom line is: Fear stops you from achieving your purpose in life while Faith gives you the impetus to pursue your purpose in life with passion. Even in the dictionary, Faith comes before Fear...but it's up to you to decide which one you live by... 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fear no flood

A few months ago we talked about the ability to identify (& utilize) teachable moments that come our way. Teachable moments do not only relate to raising responsible children...it is also very important for adults.  This cartoon a friend shared with me captures it so well...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some more about Purse-onality...

Recently, I was thinking about buying a new purse and it occured to me that our career &/or calling in life have a big part to play in our choice of purses. I'll explain...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another "C" of Purse-onality

So we introduced this next "C" in the last posting (can't promise it will be the last "C" though). Well, it only makes sense don't you agree? It's one thing to decide on the contents-and-compartments combo and the colour of your purse - based on your preferences + personality of course. But I can't help but wonder if our choice on how to carry it is also a reflection of our personality or spirituality. I'll share my TEA...as usual, you're welcome to take as much or as little of it as you want.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The colour of your purse-onality

Another aspect of purse-onality is the colours of purses. Years ago, I was a one-purse lady...in fact I loved every bag once it was black. Yes, black was (& still is) beautiful for several reasons...

For starters, it’s a neutral colour and will go with any and every outfit. I didn’t believe there was any reason to move things from one purse to another just because it needed to match with my shoes. Who said shoes and purses had to match? In fact, who was looking at me anyway? (I got the answer to that question later)
The second reason is: it is dark enough not to be stained...or tainted by dirt or dust - which almost makes it ageless. If and when it ages (and if you must), it's easy to get the right colour of polish - for the edges at least...if you decide not to buy another black bag to replace it.
And then...I met Beryl (another of my best friends); she was (and still is) always so colour-coordinated - don't know how she does it. So I decided to try it out...tried to get more bags to go with my black, brown and navy blue shoes - well who needs more than 3 colours of shoes? Clothes can always be made to fit the accessories - won't you agree? I know more ladies do it the other way around - I guess that's why I'm so unique.  Ok back to purses...

Friday, October 22, 2010

What's your purse-onality? (2)

Talking some more about purses and purse-onality, have you noticed that some ladies have practically anything you'll need in their purses. It's almost like an overnight bag - hmm does that mean they are prepared to spend the night wherever? I don't think so and definitely hope not. Well, when you ask them the last time they used an item e.g. that sewing kit, the response is "you never know when it could come in handy." Again that is so true - but your shoulders and back may not agree with you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

80:20

Some (if not most) of us would have heard of the 80:20 rule in business circles. The interesting thing about this rule is how relevant it is in (& to) our everyday lives.

Essentially the rule encourages people to determine how to live efficiently =>
least effort and most result.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What's your purse-onality?

A few years ago, a dear friend and I had the opportunity of attending a Women of Faith Conference. It was such a wonderful time in the presence of God with a lot of women.

One aspect that I cannot forget is when Anita Renfroe came up and started by asking how many people came to the conference with their best friend...that was tricky and yet a moment of truth - I wonder how many ladies told the truth. It was really funny and interesting to see how ladies looked at each other with that query: "Are you my friend - let alone my best friend?" Even Anita picked up on those looks and rubbed it in. At least I was there with one of my best friends; we looked at each other laughed and boldly raised up our hands. No one ever said you cannot have more than one best friend... I've found that a handful is just enough - we've talked about that before and likely will again.

She went on and talked about women's purse-onalities and how our purses (or handbags -as some of us call them) tell so much about who we are. Now I cannot remember the exact details of all she said - well I was laughing more than committing her comments to memory. So I'll just share some of my thoughts or at least what goes through my mind (& mouth sometimes) when I'm "purse-watching"...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Think on this...

"A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them."

 Can you guess who said this? I just love the simplicity of the statement; mathematically put:
Love = Discipline
Now discipline and wickedness are not the same thing and discipline is part of our Duty of care. These 2 books continue to help me in that Duty of care:-
A book I got from my mother:
and one I bought last year

BTW, that quote is by King Solomon - Proverbs 13:24 (The Message)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Think on this...

I just heard an interesting car ad...they said:
"For the world you cannot predict,
you need a car you can depend on."

In fact, I know they continue to refer to that brand as
"the star of the road."

After pondering on this, the question I cannot keep myself from asking is:
With how unpredictable life is, who or what do you depend on?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada...

Each time I hear someone say "Happy Thanksgiving" the questions that come to mind are:
What are you thankful for?
Who are you thankful to?
It's interesting - yet sad - how much this special occassion has changed in focus. In fact it has lost focus for a lot of people. If "lost", it helps to check where you are coming from so let's look at the history of Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, occurring on the second Monday in October (since 1959), is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Although the original act of Parliament references God and the holiday is celebrated in churches, the holiday is also celebrated in a secular manner.

On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:
A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”*

The Who and what of Thanksgiving are clear in the proclamation - sad how people have moved away from this initial intention. If you look around you, you see that God has blessed you and yours with bountiful harvests in various areas of life. Like, Bishop David Oyedepo said "if you can think, you can thank." There is a clear promise for all who praise & thank God in Psalms 67:5-7 - tells us the result of thanksgiving:

"May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. 
Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us.
Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him." (NLT) 


Too many of us spend a lot of time asking God for things whnever we pray but "if the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice."**

To wrap up, here are a few wise words...I pray they sink into your spirit and make thanksgiving spring forth from your heart:

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.***

Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day****~neither should you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!  
 
 
Sources:
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(Canada)
** Meister Eckhart
*** Edward Sandford Martin
****Robert Caspar Lintner

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Duty of Care

So what is "Duty of care"?

Duty of care is "a requirement that a person act toward others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would. If a person's actions do not meet this standard of care, then the acts are considered negligent..."* Now that is a mouthful - it is also a combination of simple words. I found it interesting that this phrase came to my mind when I read the following verses in July (comments in green mine).

Proverbs 27:5-6: "A truly good friend will openly correct you. (Gently and kindly too) You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies." (CEV)

Proverbs 27:17  "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." (NLT) (There may be some friction but it's for the good of both of you)

Proverbs 28:23 "In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery. (NLT) (Constructive criticism goes further any time and every time)

Let's tie them in....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Cut your coat...

...according to your size." Have you ever heard this or even received it as advice?  This is one of the worst pieces of advice you can ever give, receive or apply in your life.
I'll tell you why shortly...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Think on this...

Do you agree that ...

P.S. This is an actual church sign - I got it off the internet.

Our prayer is that this blogspot will help answer some daily-living questions.
Feel free to email your questions to sapphireandberyl@gmail.com
- with God's help, we will answer them. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Can you believe it?

Wow!!! How time flies when you're having fun...
Today, our blog is one

We're grateful for how God has used us 
God has truly been good to us

It's been wonderful to have things to share
including things we've learned to bear

Sure, it's not been easy walking on water
But God has been our Guide and made us better

To think that there is so much more to do, but just one thing to say:
Thank you for letting us be part of your life from day to day...

As long as God keeps inspiring
For your sakes, we'll keep writing

Feel free to invite others
We love to share our TEA (Thoughts, Experience & Advice) 


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maintain your pace

When I was driving recently, I noticed I was the only one on the road – or at least that’s what it seemed like. By the time I stopped at traffic light, there were so many other cars around me - as usual, the Holy Spirit stepped in and converted this to a teachable moment - simply put, He said:

Face your race
Maintain your pace

I'm sure you have heard so many times that life is a race. Interestingly, it is as much a sprint as it is a marathon. We must all remain focussed on our individual races - what people around you are doing could impact you but must not distract you from your race. Despite the fact that there were more cars around me at the traffic light, it was no reason to change my destination and follow them to theirs when the light changed to green. Unfortunately, some people get distracted and derailed from their destination (& purpose in God) because of what is happening around them. Let's take this to another level...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who are you related to?

Got this piece by email...

Curtis and Paul Jones wrote how, on a bitterly cold day in a western city, a small boy stood shivering on a steel grate in the sidewalk. He was very poorly dressed and obviously a child of the street.

A well-dressed woman passerby noticed the lad and began to talk to him. Sensing his need, she took him to a clothing store and had him completely outfitted suitable for the weather
—including cap, scarf, and gloves.


The lad was so grateful he couldn't thank her enough.
 As they parted he turned back to ask, "Are you God's mother?"

Surprised, the woman replied, "Oh, no! I'm just a child of God."
Whereupon the smiling lad remarked, "I knew you were related."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Think on this...

Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket,
then counting your blessings before they hatch.
~Ramona C. Carroll

Definitely the right way to live in calm assurance*...that's the life!

*The author of Hebrews puts it this way: 
And my righteous ones will live by faith.
But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away. (Heb 10:38 - NLT)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Secret # 7: Calm assurance

Secret #7: Calm assurance in the face of injustice comes from knowing that God is in control of the future.*

If I could restate this quotation, I'd say Calm assurance in the face of any circumstance comes from knowing that God is in control of the future. Put even more succintly, "Calmness is the cradle of power."**

Monday, September 20, 2010

How do you describe Him?

He is (author unknown)

In Genesis, He is the Breath of life.
In Exodus, our Passover Lamb.
In Leviticus, our Great High Priest.
In Numbers, Fire by night.
In Deuteronomy He is Moses’ voice.
In Joshua, Salvation’s choice.
In Judges, He is the Law Giver.
In Ruth, our Kinsman Redeemer.
In 1 and 2 Samuel, He is the Trusted Prophet.
In 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, the Sovereign One.
In Ezra, He is the True and Faithful Scribe.
In Nehemiah, the Rebuilder of broken walls and lives.
In Esther, He is Mordecai's (& Esther's) courage.
In Job, the Timeless Redeemer.
In Psalms, He is our Morning Song.
In Proverbs, Wisdom’s Cry.
In Ecclesiastes, He is the Times and Seasons.
In Song of Solomon, the Lover’s Dream.
In Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace.
In Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet.
In Lamentations, He is the Cry for Israel.
In Ezekiel, the Call from sin.
In Daniel, He is the Stranger in the Fire.
In Hosea, He is Forever Faithful.
In Joel, He is the Spirit’s Power.
In Amos, He is the Arms that carry us.
In Obadiah, our Lord and Saviour.
In Jonah, He is the Great Missionary.
In Micah, the Promise of peace.
In Nahum, He is our Strength and Shield.
In Habbakuk and Zephaniah, He is pleading for revival.
In Haggai, He restores our lost heritage.
In Zechariah, He is the Fountain.
In Malachi, the Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in His wings.
In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, He is God, Man and Messiah.
In Acts, He is the Fire from heaven.
In Romans, He is the Grace of God.
In Corinthians, the Power of Love.
In Galatians, He is Freedom from the curse of sin.
In Ephesians, He is our Glorious Treasure.
In Philippians, the Servant’s Heart.
In Colossians, He is the Godhead Trinity.
In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, He is the Coming King.
In Timothy, Titus and Philemon, He is our Mediator and Faithful Pastor.
In Hebrews, the Everlasting Covenant.
In James, He is the One who heals the sick.
In Peter, He is the Shepherd.
In John and Jude, He is the Lover coming for His Bride.
In Revelation, He is King of Kings and Lord of lords.

He is the Prince of Peace, the Son of Man.
The Lamb of God, the Great I Am.
The Alpha and Omega, our God and Saviour.
Jesus Christ the Lord.
And when time is no more. . .He still is!
* * * *

How would you describe Him?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Think on this...

Do you realize that:
Everyone has a right to their opinion about you (& me of course) but
the only one that matters is your opinion about yourself.

That opinion can make such a big difference in your aspirations and accomplishments in life once it aligns with God's opinion of you. So who's opinion are you living by? YOU decide...

A verse for you to think about: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov 23:7a - KJV)

Open My Eyes

A (long) while ago I contributed a piece on eye-guidance (remember?)… well that had to do with God’s eyes. This piece is about our own eyes. I found it on an Allworship.com email [italic red letters are my additions].

At some point, we all seem to question our purpose in life. We wonder what we are supposed to do to make the world better. These thoughts can fill us with doubt and sometimes get us down.
But there's good news. God has a purpose for you [so says Jer 29:11].

When He created you, He fashioned you [Psm 139:16] in such a way that you could accomplish things that build His kingdom [indeed God has given each of us different special abilities/gift/talents (Rom 12:6) all for the purpose of the kingdom].

But that's not all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How do/would others describe you?

Several years ago, I read 2 books that gave me a fresh insight into the lives of the women in the Bible. I'm sure there are so many women - in the bible and outside the bible (e.g. some notable Christian women - your mum may one) - we aspire to be like. I recently got this email that summarizes a handful of such women. Personally, I want to be:

* Like Deborah, I will serve the Lord in power and speak His word without fear.

* Like Esther, I will intercede for God's people before the throne.
* Like Abigail, I will humble myself to wash the feet of the servants of the Lord.

* Like Hannah, I will dedicate my children to the Lord.

* Like Priscilla, I will explain the way of God more perfectly to those who are seeking.

* Like the Shunamite widow, I will trust God in the day of adversity.

* Like Lydia , I will be a worshipper of God and open my home to His ministers.

* Like Tabitha (Dorcas), I will always do well and help the poor.

* Like Joanna, I will use my wealth to support the ministry of Jesus.

* Like Mary, I will say be it unto me according to thy word.

I can't help but wonder how I am being described now and how I will be described if I leave before Jesus returns to take us home. My prayer is that we can all be described as...
 Women of Wonder who Walk on Water...at His command.  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thorns in life

Sometime ago we talked about thorns...God even told the Israelites about thorns. He was clear in His instructions to the Israelites in Numbers 33: 50 - 55.

"While they were camped near the Jordan River on the plains of Moab opposite Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: When you cross the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, you must drive out all the people living there. You must destroy all their carved and molten images and demolish all their pagan shrines. Take possession of the land and settle in it, because I have given it to you to occupy. You must distribute the land among the clans by sacred lot and in proportion to their size. A larger portion of land will be allotted to each of the larger clans, and a smaller portion will be allotted to each of the smaller clans. The decision of the sacred lot is final. In this way, the portions of land will be divided among your ancestral tribes.  But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live." (NLT)

While I believe that thorns have some "protective" use - i.e. preserving us from predators, living a life of compromise is definitely a thorny life...and a hard way to live. God warned the Israelites that they will be harrassed if they live a life of compromise.

The Bible puts this differently in the New Testament, friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4b). Friendship with the world leads to compromise and of course a thorny life.

The other thing that can become thorns that choke the word of God in your life are worry* and the love of money which we well know is the root of all evil**.

Much as life is a bed of roses, there are some poisonous and avoidable thorns...identify them and avoid them. God help and bless us as we do...

References:
* Matthew 13:22 - The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. (NLT)
**1 Tim 6; 10 - For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs. (Amplified Bible)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9:11 Challenge

Today is 9.11 - this set of numbers brings different memories and emotions when mentioned. Some people remember with great sadness the number of people who lost their lives on the 11th of September 2001; some others are grateful to God for how He delivered them from that tragedy but still share the sadness of those who lost their family and friends - who wouldn't?

Just writing, I feel sadness well up in my heart. I pray God will continue to give those who lost their family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours &/or acquaintances the grace to go on with their lives and better yet, make postive impact in other people's lives; that was the challenge that hit me when I read Proverbs 9:11.

Having lost a very, very dear family member several years ago, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to "go on with life" - so I'd like to call this the:
 "9:11 Challenge."         
Let's talk about this some more and you'll see why...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Never give up


What matters is not how many times you fall
But rising up every time you fall and

Never ever give up!

You are not swallowed up yet
But it seems you will be,
If and only if you give up...

So go ahead...stretch your hands
Take strong hold of the neck...
That is waiting to swallow you up

And…………….SQUEEZE it until you are free
 
P.S. Got this by email (author unknown) - amazing how God brings things that tie in with our current topic.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Think on this...

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prov 24:16 For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity. (NKJV)

We will all fail one time or another in our lives...
learning to fail forward is good way of life - this book is a good one.

Friday, September 3, 2010

God's purpose behind your problems

Got this in an email...and my comments are in green and as usual, pictures mine...
Life is a series of problem-solving opportunities. The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you - depending on how you respond to them. I like to see life as full of catalysts or challenges, stepping stones or stumbling blocks - it all depends on your perception and response. Unfortunately most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring. Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in your life:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Think on this...

Does it ever feel like everything is happening at once - from all directions?


Good news for you:
"The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters,
than the mighty waves of the sea."* (Ps 93:4 NKJV)
 Just trust and obey Him and you will walk on water.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Think on this...

We started this month challenging ourselves by living up to the name of this month - yes...be august all your life. We built on this and also touched on different other matters.

I finally found and have been reading a book Beryl recommended last year. As this month wraps up, I'd like to seize the opportunity to encourage us to cease from wishing we were someone or somewhere else. Just be august each and every month- where you are...

On page 43 of his engaging book: “If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat”, John Orteberg says, "At the end of the day, God will not ask you why you didn’t lead someone else’s life or invest someone else’s gifts. He will not ask, What did you do with what you didn’t have?
Though, He will ask, What did you do with what you had?

Comparison is not an adequate excuse for the tragedy of an unopened gift."

Don't be a tragedy - open that gift and be august!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Teachable moments

I touched on this in passing in a prior posting - where I said I watch TV with my children - actually, I watch cartoons with them - like The Flintstones, Tom & Jerry, Jetsons...cartoons I watched as a child.

It's really interesting watching your children watching television - I almost feel it is a divine assignment - you may not agree with me and really, that's fine by me. Well, let's go on...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Think on these...

Source: http://www.great-inspirational-quotes.com/parenting-quotes.html

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Be straight...

It has been said that "a straight line is the shortest distance between 2 points". This is also true in spiritual matters. If you want to get from where you are to where you desire to be the shortest way is by being straight. If you truly want to be straight, you have to be:

  • "candid: making no attempt to deceive or to soften the truth;
  • honest: honest, fair, and upright;
  • consistent: not straying from agreed or published principles or policies"*

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Think on this...

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.*      

When I saw this my first thought was:  "Why would anyone say such a thing?" On 2nd thoughts, it could be true...
A lighthouse is: "a strategically placed coastal building, often a tall round tower, with a powerful flashing light, designed to guide sailors or warn them of dangers such as rocks"**.

When you look at it that way, I'd like to put it differently and say "all churches must be lighthouses to be relevant in any age". Indeed, every church must be a powerful light guiding and warning people from danger (i.e. death) to safety (i.e. salvation). Now seeing that the church is made up of people not pews, may I ask: "Are you a lighthouse?"

Source:
*Benjamin Franklin
**http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?lextype=3&search=lighthouse