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Friday, January 29, 2010

My favourite Psalm

Just last night, when reading Psalm 23 I was thinking to myself: "this is my favourite Psalm", only to check my eamil this morning and I got this piece - which I'll share with you shortly. It never ceases to amaze me how God caters for us - and this blogspot.

Be blessed as you partake of this rendition...I've added Bible verses too.

The Lord is my Shepherd
          => That's relationship
I shall not want
          => That's supply  (Phil 4:19)
He makes me to lie in green pastures
          => That's rest - remember R&R? (Is 28:12; Matt 11:28-30)
He leads me beside the still waters
          => That's refreshment (Acts 3:19b)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Lord said - 2

We talked  a bit about how we hear God briefly last month. I’m going to base this second piece on Biblical examples…

Let’s look at the youngest person God spoke to in the Bible – yes, Samuel.

In 1st Samuel 3, God called out to Samuel 3 times and each time, Samuel went to Eli. The first thing this tells me (us) is that God speaks to us in an “everyday” normal way. If this were not so, Samuel may have gone to ask Eli if he also heard something. 2ndly, God can speak to & through anyone (& even anything – remember Balaam and his donkey in Numbers 22: 22 - 34) – it has nothing to do with our physical or spiritual age.

Eventually, after Samuel had come to him the 3rd time, Eli who obviously used to have the privilege of hearing God got it & told Samuel it was the Lord speaking to him. He then guided him on how to respond and hear God. The lesson from this is – never assume that those who are older Christians still hear God. Yes, the young prophet in 1 Kings 13…assumed that to his death. We’ll dig into that story later.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Learn from the lion

Lions have been celebrated throughout history for their courage and strength.  I came across some interesting facts about these large cats:
  • Male lions have an unconditional affection for their coalition partners, whether they are blood relatives or not.* Wow, I wish we could also all have unconditional affection for each other…just like God has for us.
  • In the wild, males seldom live longer than ten years, as injuries sustained from continuous fighting with rival males greatly reduces their longevity.** The emboldend portion is exactly the same for us. Too many of us are quick to be offended and live in unforgiveness or desire vengance. Unforgiveness eats you up and injures slowly…it’s definitely not healthy. This is one of the lions traits you MUST not take on…it will kill you before your time. When anyone offends (& yes, it’s when because Jesus promised us that offences will come***), whether or not they apologize, you must forgive them. This is one area of life where you should be selfish…forgive for your own good so you can move on.
  • Lions have good hearing – they are able to hear distant sounds and know which direction they are coming from. All Christians must have good hearing to…so you can hear God above the noise of the world.
  • It is said that a lion's roar can be heard 5 miles (8 km) away.**** As lions are known by and for their roars, we should also be known by and for our fruits. Our lives must bring “pleasure”, not pressure, to those around us and have a ripple effect to those afar.
It’s "easy" to be a lion…follow in the footsteps of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

*** Luke 17: 1 -“It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” (NKJV)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Being a Lioness

We started talking about the 3 creatures the Bible likens Christians to (see other postings under the "Creatures & Christians" label)

We'll focus on the lioness here...there's so much talk about the lion so I looked into the lioness...afterall we're female and as they say - "ladies first". The random facts here are not in any particular order.

The lioness is the "Home maker". She does the hunting (that would be cooking for us) & nuturing.

It's interesting that not only does the lioness hunt, the lion actually gets to eat first...does that sound familiar for those of us who are married? Men get the first (& best)'s almost like asking too much. I agree it's asking a lot... not too much. Think about it? How can any wife "do good not evil to her husband all the days of her life"* if she can't give him the best and first choice of food?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Heads or Tails?

I have separated these transferable traits of sheep because I see them as 2 sides of a coin, or shall I say 2 sides of a sheep? These traits are disparate and should be inseparable in the life of any and every Christian:

Follower-sheep: Closely linked to the fact that sheep are friendly and like to flock is that they are known to follow without thinking. That’s how they are raised from when they are lambs. “Follow without thinking” what a thought!!! Yes that’s what we are to do as Christians – follow Christ without thinking. It’s not our place to rationalise or ask, “how will this be” or turn out. We just need to trust the Maker of heaven and earth that His plans for us are for our good (& His glory). The sheep’s obedience in following the shepherd is what keeps it out of danger; remember it’s defenceless without the shepherd.

Can you guess what the other side of the "coin" is? I didn't even know this "side of the coin" existed until when led to write on why God refers to us as "the sheep of His pasture". The picture may not give you a hint but here it is...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Don't ASK...there's no point!

Did I just hear a "What?!" from you? I can imagine the thoughts & question going through your mind..."What is she talking about?" "Why is she talking out of 2 sides of her mouth?" "What's up?" and many more questions. Well before you close this webpage, please "read me out"...

Have you ever asked yourself why we ASK for things?

Personally, I ASK because I need (& sometimes want) something. That's as simple as it gets.

So what's the point ASKing if you already have (or have access) to what you need (or want)? Stay with me we're going somewhere.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Transferrable traits...

“Sheep is a term for selective grazing animals”*. They are selective about what they eat. Did you know that Lamb is the lowest in cholesterol of all red meats – is this a reflection of their healthy eating habits? I don’t know the answer but won’t be surprised if that is a contributing factor. They even say that lamb meat is rich in minerals and vitamins. A lot of authors have made money using God’s commands about what we should or should not eat. ** The point here is that we should eat healthy so we can add value to those around us. The second point is to teach our children to eat healthy – lambs learn from their parents – so they can also add value to those around them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Time to give up or time to go decide

Eagles enjoy one of the longest life expectancy among bird species. They can live for up to 40 years. In order to live long, they have to make a critical decision at the age of 30*.  As they age, like with every living creature, changes occur. The following are some of the changes that occur to eagles:

  • their eyesight grows dims, so they cannot see prey or predators as well 

  • their wings are heavier due to thick & long feathers, making flight more difficult

  • their beaks grow long & curved almost touching their chest making it impossible for them to eat.
At that age, they have 2 choices:
  • do nothing i.e. accept the situation and die, or
  • do something i.e. make changes by putting themselves through a painful transformation and live. The eagles that decide to live need to do specific things - by themselves & away from others. 
Internet sources indicate that: 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Aaronic Blessing (2)

On December 1, 2009 we shared an interesting perspective of this Aaronic Blessing in Numbers 6: 23 – 27: Say to Aaron and his sons, This is the way you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them,

"The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you;
The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually)."
And they shall put My name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.*

I recently heard an interesting perspective of the same passage:

This blessing was God’s idea. It means that He wants to pay attention to me and favour me.
The question I asked myself when I heard this was: Do I pay attention to God?

God desires to favour me (us); there’s no reason why I (we) shouldn’t walk in His favour daily after all we have this promise...

For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12; KJV)
Strive to pay attention to God this year...and you'll be secured with the shield of favour.

God bless us all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Four facts about sheep

The Bible refers to us as sheep so many I went digging for are 4 random facts:

Sheep have good hearing – most likely why Jesus said: “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice. I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,” *

So what go is it not to know or hear God’s voice. We must all desire and train ourselves to know and hear God’s voice. Why rely on 2nd-hand information when God can speak to you directly? By God’s grace, we’ll talk some more about hearing God – I know this is one area a lot of us struggle especially when it’s not the Christian brother you were “hoping for” that comes to propose to you. Did I just strike a chord? Well, more on that later...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

50 Quotes on Prayer – culled from The Power Bible CD

  1. Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude. -Mueller
  2. The most important thing in any prayer is not what we say to God, but what God says to us. We are apt to pray and then hurry away without giving God a chance to answer. -North Carolina Christian Advocate
  3. Prayer is the chief agency and activity whereby men align themselves with God's purpose. Prayer does not consist in battering the walls of heaven for personal benefits or the success of our plans. Rather it is the committing of ourselves for the carrying out of His purposes. It is a telephone call to headquarters for orders. It is not bending God's will to ours, but our will to God's. In prayer, we tap vast reservoirs of spiritual power whereby God can find fuller entrance into the hearts of men. -Oldham
  4. Sometimes . . . God answers our prayers in the way our parents do, who reply to the pleas of their children with "Not just now" or "I'll have to think about that for a little while." -Pearson
  5. Sometimes God delays the answer to our prayer in final form until we have time to build up the strength, accumulate the knowledge, or fashion the character that would make it possible for Him to say "yes" to what we ask. -Pearson
  6. We must remember that "No" can be an answer to prayer. -Pinson
  7. If Christians spent as much time praying as they do grumbling, they would soon have nothing to grumble about. -Anonymous

Persevering in Prayer

  1. On persevering prayer: "I look at a stone cutter hammering away at a rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it splits in two. I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone before." Author unknown
  2. Prayer "is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings." Chrysostom
  3. "Prayer wonderfully clears the vision; steadies the nerves; defines duty; stiffens the purpose; sweetens and strengthens the spirit." S.D. Gordon
  4. "The secret of all failure is our failure in secret prayer." The Kneeling Christian Put another way, he who fails to pray is praying to fail – ouch...that hurt me too.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Prayer Practice

A wise person said: "Practice makes perfect"; indeed it does - and even if you do not become perfect, you sure become better at whatever you practise. This is true and applicable in every aspect of life and even with respect to Prayer. The only way to learn how to pray is to pray; the only way to get better at praying is to keep praying better prayers. The quality of our prayers improve with practice - at least mine have. In summary: "The only way to pray is to pray, and the way to pray well is to pray much." (Anonymous)

Taking on from this, there are at least 7 things I believe can make our prayers more effective...I pray you find it useful:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A quick word

Happy New Year to you & yours...wishing and praying that the Lord Himself will rule & reign in all your affairs.

I listened Joseph Prince recently (actually this year) and felt it was imperative to share 2 things he said as we set out in this year. As usual, my TEA, as applicable, is in green font.

If you are not ready to live in forgiveness, you're not ready to get married*.  Ask any married person and you'll find out how true this simple statement is. We must all learn to forgive others (especially our spouse) whether or not they apologise. In fact, forgiving others is really for your own benefit. Unforgiveness eats one up - please avoid it like a plague! Take the "vaccine of forgiveness" and your heart will remain healthy and whole.

Every marriage needs 2 (Teddy) bears - "Bear" & "Forbear"*. Interesting hmmm? I smiled when I heard this one especially as I'm not a "teddy-person". Well, let's think about this a bit...what do both words mean?

To bear means to tolerate and to support. It goes without saying that for our marriages to be fruitful  (in every area of life) and not futile, we must be tolerant and supportive of each other. 
"Bearing" starts with love...