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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Are you carefree or careless?

One day when I let my children play where I couldn't see them, I briefly questioned the soundness on that decision i.e. was I being careless  or "care-free" (i.e. free of care)?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Do you speed up or slow down...

...when approaching an amber (yellow) traffic light?

A few weeks ago I noticed that I reacted in 2 different ways as I approached an amber (yellow) traffic light.
At the first one, I noticed as I headed to the middle of the intersection that the light had started turning amber - so I had no choice but to go on. It was the right decision in that split second otherwise I could have caused an accident - the person behind me could have run into me. At the second one, I noticed about 100 metres before the intersection that the traffic light was about to turn amber and there was no wisdom in speeding up - that felt unsafe.

After that experience I just asked myself the very same question - which is our topic. Without a doubt, I agree that timing is everything - indeed the Bible says that:
"The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,  nor does food come to the wise  or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all." (NIV)

The Bible also says that:
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives. (NLT)

Putting both verses together, I believe God is teaching us to be perceptive of His leading at all the "traffic lights"* of life. We need to know when God says we should speed up and when we need to slow down. You definitely do not want to speed up and find out that God is not there with you nor do you want to slow down under the excuse of waiting for God whereas God has gone ahead and is waiting for you.

 Whatever you do, always follow God's leading. Remember that, as Marsha Evans says: 
"God will order your footsteps….but that will require that your FOOT takes a STEP" ...which could require you to speed up or slow down as He deems best for you - at that traffic light.* 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More lessons from Noah's Ark

I recently found more "Lessons from Noah's Ark*" that I couldn't resist sharing with you...and as usual my comments are in green font.
  1. Always live a righteous life-even if you're the only one; it will be noticed. We must shine as bright lights** because we are the only "Bible"*** some people will read.
  2. Listen to what God tells you - your life depends on it. Similar to Lesson #10.****
  3. Put action to your faith. Noah could have believed in God, yet still drowned if he hadn't built the ark. Faith without deeds (i.e. works) is dead***** and in some cases, faith without deeds could end up in death - physical, mental and unfortunately marital death among others. Faith is a noun that propels us to into action. 
  4. Finish what you start. God also promises to help us finish what we start.******
  5. Two (good) heads are better than one. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 (one of my favourite Bible passages) says: Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Amplified)
  6. Have patience! The ark wasn't built in a year, and the flood wasn't finished in 40 days and 40 nights. Once you're clear on God's vision for your life - work on and wait for it - it will come to pass.******* This brings us back to Lesson 2 above: our lives depend on obeying and depending on God which means waiting on and for Him too...

**Philippians 2: 15b-16a - Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky  as you hold firmly to the word of life. (NIV)
Daniel 12:3 - 'Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever. (The Message)
***2 Corinthians 3: 2-3 - Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it. (The Message)
*****James 2: 17-18 - In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. (NIV)
******Phil 1:6 - And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Amplified)
*******Hab. 2: 3 - And then God answered: "Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time. (The Message)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Would you prefer a boon or a boom?

I’m also so delighted when I learn something new. Some time ago I was reading an article and saw the word “boon” – my first inclination was to correct it – in my copy. Then I felt the Holy Spirit say: “Don’t be so quick, look it up first.” So I did & decided to share what I learnt.

This experience taught me 2 things:
  1. Don’t be quick to “judge” – in fact do not judge at all. My first conclusion was that the writer of the article didn’t know how to spell (or didn’t even perform “spell-check”) whereas, putting it very nicely, it was my lack of “knowledge” that was showing.
  2. We don’t know as much as we think we do, so keep an open mind that is willing to learn. I have said it before that the only people who are incapable of learning are the dead.* Mortimer Adler aptly said: "The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live." At the risk of sounding morbid, if you "think" you are incapable if learning, check yourself… you may "learn" that you can learn. An undeniable fact of life is that: "You learn something every day if you pay attention."**
Ok let me go back to the point of this posting...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Die empty...

We we were all born full...but it doesn't end there. It is so & more important to live life so fully (and "fulfillingly") that you die empty. Our heart desire must be the same as Erma Bombeck's: "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.""

Today marks exactly 7 months since my father passed...he would have turned a year older this month. Well, that is all now history. When I read Erma's quote, the question I had for myself was: When I pass on (which is not soon), will all those I'll leave behind - including my children, grandchildren (since I'm not going to bury any of them), family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues & even you my readers, also say that I used everything the Lord gave me and left the world better than I met it? More importantly, what would I say to God?

What will the answer to those questions be in your case? What has God given  to you? What are you doing with it (all)? What (more) can you do with it? Please do it...

God is always willing to give more to those who have profitably used what He placed in their hands (& hearts). Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14-30 and Luke 19: 12-28? It does not matter whether or not you have the same/similar (amount/type) or different (amount/type) of talents from others - rather what matters is what have you done with what's in your hand (& heart).

Personally, I'm working on & with it each day...emptying myself, getting refilled by the Holy Spirit and emptying myself again...I'm going back for more so I  can give more.

Dying full = dying unfulfilled...and for that there is no reward.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A bit about love...

Looking through some of my old stuff, I found these 3 statements on love by Jesse Duplantis:

Love is far too amazing and too good to be kept as a private possession.

Learn to be generous with it to yourself and others.

What love is, hate can never be...

Love is a central part of our lives and we must get (& give) it right in order to have a good quality life.

I'll never forget this song by B.J. Thomas: "Using things and loving people."* One of the lines in the song says: "loving thing and using people always leads to misery."

God shed His love in our hearts so we share it with others - not with things...

A bit of love will make a big difference in many lives. Spread His love and spread the word!


P.S. Just researching some more  and found out that BJ Thomas turned 70 a few days ago...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Do not take the name of the Lord in vain...

The 4th commandment is: You shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Ex 20:7 - Amplified)

I know a lot of people believe that this only applies when we use the words "God" or "Jesus" or the more "modern" "OMG" (standing for "Oh my God") or "Jeez" (which refers to "Jesus") as exclamations. For me it is all those and much more.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What's good for the goose... good for the gander. Really?

Yes - to an with almost everything in life (except obeying God) - it depends.