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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Talk to...not about

I'm getting increasingly irritated by people who talk to others about others or what others are doing and/or how what others do affects them. I'm saddened by its proliferation too.
Yes, I know this sounds like a mouthful when you're reading this and that's exactly what it is - a mouthful...of no good.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week 4: This is the LIFE!

The "E" in our LIFE acroynm is for:
In living a Lively, Inspiring and Fruitful life, God expects us to Enjoy not endure our lives... Let's read our text again (emphasis mine): 
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10 - Amplified)

The wisest man that ever lived even gave some good advice along these lines:
Ecclesiastes 2: 24 – 26 
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and make himself enjoy good in his labor. Even this, I have seen, is from the hand of God. For who can eat or who can have enjoyment any more than I can - apart from Him? (Amp)
Ecclesiastes 5: 18 – 20
Here is what I have found out: the best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for during the short life that God has given us; this is our fate. If God gives us wealth and property and lets us enjoy them, we should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God. Since God has allowed us to be happy, we will not worry too much about how short life is. (Good News Translation)

You can also read Ecclesiastes 8:15^  and Ecclesiastes9: 7-10.^ When I read all these verses what came to mind was those special dishes we all have. You know what I mean – those ones we have and keep for those very special occasion or for special visitors? Over 2 decades ago when I was going through and sorting out my mother’s things I saw a lot of those “special dishes” – some which they had gotten at their wedding which took place in 1967 – are you doing the math? Yes, she kept some of her special plates for over 20 years. As I picked each one up, most of them crumbled/disintegrated like powder in my hands. So at the end of the cleaning out exercise, we had more powder than plates. What survived I brought out and put into immediate use. I even brought 2 of those plates here and I’m enjoying them – our children are eating from plates that are much older than they are. I know I may not be happy the day they break but I will be delighted that we enjoyed them. Life is too short to be endured...

In Ps 118:24, David tells us that “This is the day that the Lord has made” – and then he decided “I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Rejoicing in each day is a decision we must make daily. You may not have control over what happens to you or what people do or say to you – you have control over how you respond to it/them. In enjoying your life remain healthy and lively.
Og Mandino a psychologist who lived from 1923 - 1996 said
“Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success. Never again. There is a better way.”

Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is God’s gift – that’s why we call it the present. 
~ Joan Rivers
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for life today, I receive my present with thanksgiving. 
As I endure hardness as Your soldier, help me enjoy my family, friends, faith and fellowship.

Thank You for coming so I may have and enjoy an abundant life. Today & always, I receive Your gift and choose to have a lively, inspiring, fruitful and enjoyable life. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Jesus is the KEY - and only Way to Abundant life. When you choose Jesus, you choose Abundant life. Once He opens the door to Abundant Life for you, no one can shut it.* I pray you will make the right (& wisest) choice for your life. God bless.

*Rev 3:7- These are the words of the Holy One, the True One, He Who has the key of David, Who opens and no one can shut, Who shuts and no one can open. (Amplified)



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sing with me...

In the past 12 weeks or so, I’ve heard a particular song twice. Before I heard it being sung the first time, I saw and read the lyrics and they warmed my heart...

After hearing it again, I decided to share it with may very well be one of my songs for the year. I pray that you are also encouraged as you read the lyrics and sing along
Life is easy when you're up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind like you've never known.
But then things change and you're down in the valley.
Don't lose faith for you're never alone.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

You talk of faith when you're up on the mountain.
Oh but the talk comes easy when life's at its best.
But it's down in the valley of trials and temptation
That's when faith is really put to the test.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

This song reminds us that God remains unchanging irrespective of changing circumstances. One more thing this song by Tracy Dartts who I’ve never heard of teaches me was put so succinctly by Benjamin Franklin:

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

This year, wherever you are, make a difference whether or not people know or notice you.
God bless.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tips for living long and useful lives

One of my favourite Bible passages is:
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. (Ps 92: 12-15 - Amp)
To ensure we get it right, God started with the following promise in the chapter before and then expantiated on it in the passage above:

I will give them a long, full life [satisfy them with length of days],
and they will see how I can save [show them my salvation/victory].
(Ps 91:16 - Expanded Bible)

These passages were brought to life in a rather humorous and very human way when I saw this quote in a recipe someone sent to me...(picture mine, author unknown):

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week 3: This is the LIFE!

God expects us to be Fruitful in order to truly live the abundant life. Being fruitful was God's first commandment to man and his wife in Genesis 1:28:          "And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth." (Amplified).
Many other verses expantiate on this command - let's look at a few:
John 15: 1-5 - I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you]. Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. (Amplified)

John 15:16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you. (Amplified)

Max Lucado very aptly said:
"Jesus Abiding isn't idling." 

It is being productively busy not a busy-body. Our walk with God must = fruitful work.

Colossians 1:10 - That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]. (Amplified)
Prayer: Lord, I know that You chose me so I would bear fruit and apart from You I cannot do anything let alone bear fruit. Help me live in You, the Vine and experience the Divine life every day of my life.

May I be fruitful in every good work to Your glory.
Thank You for your fruit-yielding seed within me.
In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week 2: This is the LIFE!

God expects us to be Inspiring. Our liveliness should be inspiring. The way we live should attract others to God, not repel them. Without saying the words, our lives should say: “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” (1 Cor 11:1)

Another way we can inspire others is with our testimonies. As you know (well I do from personal experience), testimonies are the "results" of tests. Knowing what others have overcome, empower and inspire us to face and pass our tests. Several verses stress this like:

Rev 12:11: And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing]. (Amp)

Ps 22:22 - I will tell my people about you. I will praise you in the great assembly.
(Easy-to-Read Version)

The Holy Spirit is the source of life. So if you have the Holy Spirit in your life, you should also be an inspiration to others because Job 32:8 says: “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” (KJV)

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others. ~ Plato

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to be a receiver and transmitter of divine inspiration. I desire to be a blessing to all that I come in contact with.

John Quincy Adams said: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. So Lord, help me live my life that inspires others and leads them back to You knowing that You are always with me as I remain a blessing. Thank You for the priviledge of being a blessing and inspiration. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

4 4 U

It’s great when you see/hear someone beautifully encapsulate all/what you are doing. When I was led to start blogging 3 years ago, I wondered what the benefit would be… With each piece, my prayer has been that at least one person is blessed by it – even if it’s me. At times my hands (and sometimes heart) have grown weary. I’m re-energized by that fact that even the 40th President of the USA realized that: “We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Indeed, sometimes I feel like a woman on a mission to ONE...You.

This post on the 40th day of the year has 4 short messages just 4 U (purple font, mine):

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week 1: This is the LIFE!

The "L" in our LIFE acronym stands for "Lively." In "living" an abundant life, God expects us to be lively.

Lively means: to be energetic and active, agile, physically or mentally nimble, full of life.
Have you noticed the different ways people respond when you ask: “How are you?” The way that question is answered says a lot to others. If one person responds: “I’m superbly blessed – couldn’t be better” and another says “I just dey” or “Surviving” - who would you want to connect with? I'd like to connect with the person who's "superbly blessed."

Another part of liveliness is in 3 John 2: “Dear friend, I’m praying that all is well with you and that you enjoy good health in the same way that you prosper spiritually.” (CEB)

Indeed, it is more important to be spiritually healthy but God desires that we prosper in our health too. When you don’t prosper in health by your own doing e.g. poor diet or eating everything in sight, you are not living the fullest possible life Jesus came to give you.

The third part of liveliness is in 1 Peter 2:5 which tells us:
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,
an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (KJV)

We must be worshippers in the way we live - our lives must glorify God in every way.

I found and like these quotes related to "lively-living"

Life lively process of becoming.~ Douglas MacArthur 

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. ~ Voltaire

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of abundant life. Please help me demonstrate my appreciation for this gift in the way I live each day. Help me have a healthy lifestyle and be a true worshipper so I may become all You have in store for me. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

This is the LIFE!

Last month, our theme in church was "I have abundance of life" (Source: John 10:10).

As the month progressed, God kept revealing different aspects of this "LIFE" to me. In fact one day, on the way to work, a verse in the Metro (paper) confirmed that I need to do this... for this month.

By the grace of God, this month we'll have short pieces (now that's not a promise - I'll try)... Ok, let's say, we'll have pieces that start with a verse or 2, some comments, possibly a quote or picture & of course a prayer - so each of us can "enter" into the "LIFE" God has given us.

Let's start the month with the text - John 10:10 (emphasis and italics mine):
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (Amplified)

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.
My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (NLT)

A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came so that my sheep will have life and so that they will have everything they need. (God's Word Translation)
There 2 things to note from the 2 sentences in our text:
  1. The only reason why the thief (the devil) bothers you is because you are valuable and have valuable things within you for your benefit and the benefit of those around you. Have you ever heard of a thief robbing an empty unoccupied house/bank? I haven't.
  2. Jesus came to give us an abundant life that overflows and He expects us to receive it, enjoy it and spread it...
Lord, thank You for giving me a very valuable, radiantly rich & solid satisfying life. I accept it with thanksgiving. Help me live in a way that pleases You each & every day of my life. In Jesus Name I pray.

Every Sunday this month, I'll share each letter in "LIFE" and we'll see where God takes us...