Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tomorrow...

Just want to share a few quotes as we step into the 2nd half of this year and prepare for another tomorrow...

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
~Author Unknown

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.
~Leo Buscaglia

To worry about tomorrow is to be unhappy today.
~Author Unknown

Purpose to make the most of today so that tomorrow you're not regretting yesterday...and you're in place to continue progressing tomorrow...

Psalm for the season (5)

As we close this series, I'd like to focus on the last few verses. I like these 2 renditions of Psalm 92: 12-15 (italics mine)

Amplified:
The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]. Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God. [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment]. [They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Contemporary English Version:
Good people will prosper like palm trees, and they will grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. They will take root in your house, LORD God, and they will do well. They will be like trees that stay healthy and fruitful, even when they are old. And they will say about you, "The LORD always does right! God is our mighty rock."

If I had only one desire in life, it will be to prosper like a palm tree. Have you noticed that palm trees always look beautiful - in the sunrise or the sunset, in the desert or at the beach. As if that is not enough, palm trees are able to withstand storms, rather than break, they bend. Likewise, it is my desire that the beauty and glory of God are seen in my life in every situation of life. For me, the A & Z of Ps 92 are that: Praising God - as my way of life - will make me a daily testimony of God's goodness and righteousness because "Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place." (Ps 23:6 - Amplified)
How beautiful and glorious - join me in this lifestyle. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What do you see, sense and support?

This morning, during my QT, I read some verses of Hebrews 11. Verse 23 struck me as if I'd never seen or even read it before - has that ever happened to you? Let's read the verse together - in 2 versions... pay attention to the words that jumped out to me (italics mine)

Hebrews 11:23
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. (NIV)

It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command. (NLT)

This verse reminded me of something I keep doing - like Mary did in Luke 2:19 & 51:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Multi-tasking is...

...tasking." I know that phrase seems likes a play on words so let's dig into it some more. Like many other women I know, I "pride" myself in being able to multi-task. In recent times, I've heard quite a bit about multi-tasking. At a conference, the presenter said she has taken the word "mulit-task" out of her vocabulary and life - she just doesn't do it any more. When I heard that I immediately thought: "You don't multi-task?" I couldn't help but wonder how much she really gets done in a day - I was almost empathizing with (actually pitying) her.

Then on a webinar about managing virtual meetings, the presenter asked us to guess the percentage of people who multi-task during virtual meetings. Considering that I was multi-tasking while listening, I guessed 50%. I was almost comforted by the answer - 70% - knowing that I even multi-task during face-to-face meetings so doing that during virtual meetings seemed "easy". Well guess what? At the end of that day, I realized that I made mistakes on something I was working on...due partly to the fact that I was multi-tasking when doing it and listening to the webinar.

The amount of time I needed to fix the mistakes made me start thinking about the real benefits of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is "running number of programs simultaneously: the simultaneous management of two or more tasks by a computer or a person."*

The first thing that struck me was that multi-tasking is first related to computers and then humans. Hmmm! For me, multi-tasking is about doing "more with less" - more things within the same or in even less time. However, I've come to find out that if you do not carefully consider the compatibility between the tasks, you may find out that you've done: "more with more stress" or worse - "less with more stress."

There are some things that we can comfortably multi-task with e.g. if you have your dishwasher and washing machine going at the same time you are cooking. Personally, I've found that working and cooking do not go well together (so not sure how the lady in our picture is coping). While I have not reached the point of "deleting" the word "multi-tasking" from my vocabulary and life, I'm at a point where I have decided to reduce how much I task myself.  I'm giving myself permission to do (& properly finish) one thing at a time...

Like I said at the beginning: "Multi-tasking is tasking." If you want to do more with less stress, like I'm planning do, do the same thing I'm planning to do which is: take my advice and multi-task less. I can almost bet that you'll find out you'll be less exhausted (spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically) and more fulfilled at the end of day.

One more tip: Praising and thanking God is compatible with many tasks...

Sources:
*http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?lextype=3&search=multitasking

Friday, June 24, 2011

Psalm for the season (4)

I recently listened to a message by Bishop David Oyedepo.* He had a lot to say about Ps. 92.
Here are some of the lessons he shared (some are verbatim). He said that Thanksgiving...
  1. ...grants us access to God's presence...and His presence makes all the difference. Ps 100:4 says: "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!" (Amplified). God's presence is the only cure for all pressures; Ps 16:11 - "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (NKJV)
  2. ...grants us access to supernatural strength. You cannot be grateful without being joyful - the grateful will be joyful. Neh 8:10b says: "The joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold." (Amplified) Joy is a booster of strength. Access to God's presence moves us from strength to strength. According to Ps 84:7: 7 says - "They go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power]; each of them appears before God in Zion." (Amplified)
  3. ...makes us fresh - we shall be anointed with fresh oil. God is always looking for thanksgivers so He can anoint them with fresh oil. In Ps 89: 20 God says: "I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him," (NKJV)
  4. ...leads to flourishing - Ps 92:12: "The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]." (Amplified) Did you know the palm tree is one tree that every part of it is useful?
  5. ...leads to fearful blessings. Ps 67: 5-8: "Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us, And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him." (NKJV)
The bottom line is "You are deprived of God's presence and strength, and all they bring to us, without the attitude of gratitude." Live the Psalm 92 life...it is good to praise the Lord!

Source: 
*Day 1 of the 30 Anniversary Service - http://www.davidoyedepoministries.org/worship#

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Psalm for the season (3)

Let's move on...

Verses 4 - 5 of Psalm 92 give us a few reasons why we need to praise God. Too many times we're all about what we don't have rather than focussing on God's goodness and all He has blessed us with. We truly get more than we desereve form God - at least I know I do. We all should be able to and actually say this:
"You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts." (NLT)

Indeed the depth of His thoughts are articulated in this promise:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
(Jer 29:11 - NKJV)

So, comparing ourselves to others or even worse, envying them stems from deep-seated ingratitude. Ps 92: 6 & 7 go on to describe such people is non-complimentary words:
Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this:  Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. (NLT)

Like Bishop David Oyedepo says, "If you can think, you can thank." Things may not be exactly as you prefer or want...sometimes they are not. However, if you take time to think about how good God has been to you (& yours), you'll realise that it is good to praise and give thanks to God. When you learn to - and live to - praise and worship God, sooner than later the rest of Psalm 92 will be manifested in your life. AMEN!

To be continued... 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers, you're important...

Fathers are so important that the whole world celebrates them on the same day!

I found some quotes that are pretty precise...

The greatest gift I ever had came from God; I call him Dad!
~Author Unknown

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
~ Jim Valvano

When I was a kid, my father told me every day, 'You're the most wonderful boy in the world, and you can do anything you want to.'
~ Jan Hutchins

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.
~ Sigmund Freud 

The Bible is so clear on how critical this protection is:
Prov 1:8a - My child, listen when your father corrects you.*

Prov 4:1 - My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment.*

Prov 3:12 -
For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.*

Prov 6:20 - 23 - My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.*

Prov 13:1 - A WISE son heeds [and is the fruit of] his father's instruction and correction, but a scoffer listens not to rebuke.**

The common thing in these verses is Fathers have to be visible...and beyond that, instruct and correct their children - notice the word "when" not "if". God even likens the way He disciplines us to how earthly fathers (are expected to) behave. 

Indeed, Euripides was right when he said: "Noble fathers have noble children."

Fathers even have a warning: Fathers, don't exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.** (Eph 6:4)

 A father's words are like a thermostat that sets the temperature in the house. ~ Paul Lewis

The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering-galleries, they are clearly heard at the end and by posterity.
~Jean Paul Richter

Every father should remember that one day
                                      his son will follow his example
instead of his advice.
~ Author unknown

The bottom line is: Fathers cannot afford to be slient and/or standby and let their wives raise the children all by themselves. It takes 2 people to "make" a child and molding that child is always better done by 2 people: Father & Mother - that's the way God ordained it. Fathers, you are very important...your presence is more valuable than your presents...

Fathers, you need to be available to bond with your children - it always makes for a better rounded child.

As fierce lions are known to be, they make out time to have "nose-contact" with their cubs. It's a wonderful feeling -
 try it out.

Happy Father's Day!!!


Sources:
*New Living Translation
**Amplified Bible

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Psalm for the season (2)

"Let's start at the very beginning...a very good place to start" - how many of us remember The Sound of Music? God sure has a way of tying these things together...

In the first part of this post series, I mentioned that part of Psalm 92 has practically become a church anthem...when the song is raised, you need to give people time to sing, take it in and worship God  - it catches on like wildfire. The verses that make up the song are the 1st 2:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening. (Ps 92: 1-2 - NLT)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Marriage matters

I cannot thank God enough for this privilege and as I celebrate my anniversary today, I cannot help but agree with Barnett R. Brickner: "Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate."
I've said this many times too because I know from personal experience that it takes a consciousness and conscientiousness to become and remain the right mate.

As I write this, I recall a joke shared by a pastor on the "definition" of complete and finished in the context of marriage. He said:
When a you're married to the right person, you are complete.
If you're married to the wrong person, you are finished.
If married to the wrong person from the wrong family, the person is completely finished.

I pray that all those who think they are married to the wrong person, make an attempt to "become and remain" the right mate - and you'll see postive changes in your marriage.

Someone wisely said: when you get to the heart of the matter, you'll find out it was all a matter of the heart. Marriage is God's idea, please do what you can so your heart is right with Him and you'll see it will be right in every other area of your life. If you haven't already done so, give your heart to God...you'll be completely complete* when you do. God bless

Reference:
*"...You also are complete through your union with Christ." (Col 2:10a - NLT)

So true...

I couldn't resist sharing when I found this quote in an email:

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in God
that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.' ~ Max Lucado

I cannot say, stress or even shout this enough.
 
The quote reminds me of when I had to leave a relationship decades ago (I wrote about it too => http://sapphire-and-beryl.blogspot.com/2009/11/secret-3-courage-7-courage-to-leave.html). I had no choice but to change my mind about the young man since he changed his mind about Christ. I thank God that I never looked back...I'm sure I would have had a very unhappy marriage or maybe a broken one if I had looked back.
 
Indeed, it's a glorious thing when you are found by someone wise enough to seek Christ...ask happily married Christian couples...
...you can ask me...
In fact today, we rejoice and gratefully celebrate our anniversary of being happily married  
- all to God's glory.
 
Wise men still seek Him...and such men are blessed by God because:
"The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord."
(Prov 18:22 - NLT)
"... a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord" (Prov 19:14b - Amplified)
 
Ladies-in-wating...as you wait for Mr Right*, hide yourself in the Lord...you'll be blessed without a shadow of doubt because God Himself will look out for you**.
 
Further reading:
*http://sapphire-and-beryl.blogspot.com/2010/06/dont-wait-for-mr-right.html
** Zech 2:8 - For thus said the LORD of hosts...for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye. (English Std Version)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Psalm for the season...

I believe this also happens to you...it happens to me often. If you're preceptive, you'll notice that God sometimes gives us an "all-season" word in high doses within a short period of time. God, in His wisdom, ensures that the same word/message is repeated over and over again. My husband repeatedly says that "repitition brings reinforcement" and that is so true.

I know that while God wants us to obey His every word, there are some that He wants to be hard-wired into our lifestyle. I believe that's what God has been doing with me and a couple of other people in the past couple of months. Interestingly, this is not a "new" word - it's just one God needs us to ruminate upon and properly digest so it benefits us - for life.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

T.H.I.N.K. before you speak

Someone blessed me with this by email...so I decided to be a blessing too.

Alan Redpath once formed a "mutual encouragement" fellowship at a time of stress in one of his pastorates. The members subscribed to a simple formula applied before speaking of any person or subject that was perhaps controversial.

T - Is it True?
H - Is it Helpful?
I - Is it Inspiring?
N - Is it Necessary?
K - Is it Kind?

Paul wrote, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." (Philippians 4:8 - NIV)