Monday, March 29, 2010

M 'n' M

After reading "Life Management for Busy Women" by Elizabeth George, I can't but stress that we must all strive to be "M & M" women.

M&Ms* are a popular brand of candy...maybe not as popular as Smarties but that's not the point here. I believe they've made a name for themselves because of their consistent quality.

Likewise, we must have consistent quality and that only comes when we "model what we mouth"...indeed walk the talk. We must learn to only say/commit to things we'll actually do and do what we say we will - yes, be women of integrity. And that includes the ability to say "no" without feeling guilty.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Potter's wheel

Being on the potter's wheel doesn't seem pleasant - it's almost as if you just keep spinning and spinning.

I don't know how it's been for you...for me sometimes when I think I have everything "under control", life throws me a curve ball. It's almost as if despite the fact that I try to live in the "expect change" path, I'm sometimes suprised by change...and the spinning begins.

I've come to realize that the "spinning" is under Sovereign Control - God doesn't put me on the potter's wheel and let any amateur operate the wheel. He's there with me (in His hands) every turn of the wheel.


We need to all learn to relax in the hands of the Lord and trust that He knows what He's doing. Job after all his troubles, and his conversation with God in Job 38 - 42, came to that same realization - God is in total control (see Job 42: 2: "I know that you can do anything. No one can keep you from doing what you plan to do.")

Closely linked to the fact that God is in control is the fact that "we are not there yet" - we're in the state of "becoming". The minute we realise aand accept that we are all Work-in-Progress (WiP), our perspective and approach to life will be enhanced.

I'm just finishing up a book that truly helped me put all this in perspective - I encourage you to get a copy.

When you learn to "live with change", you'll apprecaite the spinning as God's way of preparing you for your next level.

Let's make the most of the spin...and "spin to the top". God bless.

Monday, March 22, 2010

One is enough

This morning, I read Joshua 10: 12-14

"On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said,  “Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day. There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day!"*

Now, this is not a new passage - I've read it several times and even heard sermons on it. Well, today it hit me in a different way -  it only takes one person's prayer for God to do an unprecedented thing - another reason why we must maintain our "Prayer Practice".

God has also said that all He needs is one person in Ezekiel 22:30: "I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one."*

Another thing to note is how short the prayer was - so it's not in the length of the prayer. Remember Elijah's prayer in 1 Kings 18:36-38 & Jesus' prayer in John 11:41-43?

Ladies, the bottom line is that: one is enough - you can be the ONE through whom God does great and mighty works impacting your generation and generations to come. Tap into the "Power of One". Be the ONE - God is with you.

God bless


P.S. Please share scriptural insights with us and other ladies - our email address is sapphireandberyl@gmail.com. We look forward to reading from you.


Source:
*New Living Translation (NLT)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Seven Sayings on Speech and Silence

  1. Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech. ~Martin Farquhar Tupper, "Of Discretion," Proverbial Philosophy
  2. It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and resolve all doubt. ~Abraham Lincoln – this one made me smile I like how Solomon put it too “Even a fool when he holds his peace is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is esteemed a man of understanding.”(Prov. 17:28 – Amplified Bible)
  3. The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. ~Author Unknown
  4. He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees. ~ Benjamin Franklin
  5. The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak” ~Baruch Spinoza
  6. With respect to general conversations and even disagreements: “The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid.” (Author Unknown) indeed “by swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. (Winston Churchill) Remember, the law of kindness should always rule your mouth (Proverbs 31:26)
  7. Talking about disagreements and even quarrels: “Isn't it surprising how many things, if not said immediately, seem not worth saying ten minutes from now?” ~Arnot L. Sheppard, Jr.
 God bless and help us all

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Secret #4 – Communication - Silence

Ecclesiastics 3: 7b: “a time to keep silence and a time to speak”

“Silence is also speech.”(Proverb quote)

“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

All too often we believe that our point is best made when we say or write something; however, “there are times when silence has the loudest voice.” (Leroy Brownlow)

Did you ever have the pleasure of doing the wrong thing for which you expected discipline and your mother or father was silent? Remember how effective that was? Well I do…I just wish I could replicate that quality of silence in my everyday life.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Do you know the right vitamin for you?

Have you ever wondered what vitamins are right for you? I'm not a medical person but I'd be glad to recommend and share the best medicine with you - laughter.

Talking about Vitamins, last week my children were asking for the nice tasting Vitamin C. When I asked for one tablet, one of them said "Vitamin C is for children". Huh? My husband and I wondered where that came from.

Very shortly we got some more clarification when our younger son said: "You should take Vitamin E - it is for Elders - and leave the Vitamin C for us". Now that had us almost on the floor- rolling in laughter...especially as we won't consider ourselves to be "Elders" yet - in a few years for sure.

FYI: we had both bottles of vitamins on the table. It's really interesting how children put things together...and of course how much they can make you laugh.

Do you really know that laughter is the best medicine? Well, look at http://www.umm.edu/features/laughter.htm and see if you agreee.
Bottom line: Laugh a lot to live long...and take other vitamins not just Vitamin E.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Secret #4 – Communication - Signals

Signals comprise actions, gestures or signs

For instance, you could use a side-smile to your friend or husband to know when it’s time to leave a particular place or just change the conversation subject. I remember when Beryl & I were flat-mates. We had our own “signal-vocabulary” and it was a world that everyone else was left out of. When we had guests who we felt had overstayed their welcome a simple eye-to-eye look got the message across and the plans were put in action to “help” the person leave sooner than later (e.g. just stop contributing to conversations or something even more subtle).

Monday, March 8, 2010

Secret #4 – Communication - Script

Earl Wilson said: If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it. Much as I agree, I’d go further to say: “if you don’t want anyone else to see what you have said don’t write it.” And most importantly, “If you don't know it, don't write it.” (Darrell Schweitzer)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Secret #4 – Communication - Speech

Speech is “valuable” and likely to make impact if there is a listener…so we’ll talk about listening as well as speaking. Last year, one of my colleagues said “God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth, learn to use them in the same proportion” i.e. listen twice as much as you speak. This of course ties in with James 1:19 - "Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry." (Amplified Bible)

This is not going to be a crash course on being an active listener – I don’t know that much to run the course so we’ll just build on the words of others and some TEA (Thoughts, Experience & Advice):

A Chinese proverb puts it this way: “To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation”. It's about making the most of the "opportunity" to influence others by our speech or silence.

Some people talk because they have something to say; others talk because they have nothing to say but feel that they must say something. Plato put it this way: “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”

Too many times, while people are talking to us, we’re already coming up with a response…how can you be formulating a response/solution without fully hearing the person out? If you don’t listen, how can you decipher and help those around you? “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” (M. Scott Peck).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Secret #4: Communication

When putting this together, I could imagine you saying to your self: "long time no mention" - I thought the same thing too. Indeed we’ve been chugging along – yes, our mottos are “progress over speed” and “quality over time”. New month, new topic - we're now on:

Secret #4: Communication: When you listen first then speak your heart with clarity and courtesy, you can lead others to change attitudes, behaviours, and situations.*

That is one word that is central to our lives – in fact it’s one you cannot “live” without. Indeed, at the risk of sounding morbid, we know one word used to describe those whose heart is no longer communicating to other parts of their body. That struck a cord with me when God explained it to me that way.

So you see, “communication” is a very important word and an important part of our world.