Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, August 10, 2012
Why should 'I' cheer 'you' up?
Fri, August 10, 2012 | link
“A happy woman is one who has no cares at all; a cheerful woman
is one who has cares but doesn't let them get her down.” ~ Beverly Sills
you have met them, or perhaps you may be like them...those people who seem to rain sunshine on the
darkest of days
and when you later investigate, seem to have little to smile about!
Amazing attitude we think, don’t we? Don’t we even find ourselves wanting to have that approach to life?
Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to encourage and build people up in
the most difficult of times?
Those types of stories about others lift our spirits!
“But, I’m not like that!”
is the comment we hear.
Maybe it’s simply because our focus is wrong?
Here is what Paul wrote to the Christian Roman’s in the time after Jesus died
on the cross and rose again.
“We who have strong faith should help the weak with their problems. We should not please only
ourselves. We should all please our neighbors. Let us do what is good for them. Let us build them up.
Even Christ did not please
himself. It is written, "Those who make fun of you have made fun of me also."—(Psalm 69:9) Everything that
was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us strength to go on. They cheer
us up and give us hope.
Our God is a God who strengthens you and cheers you up. May he help you
agree with each other as you follow Christ Jesus. Then you can give glory to God with one heart and voice. He is the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ has accepted you. So accept one another in order to bring praise to God. ”
As Christian’s we have faith, but faith without actions
is of little value, isn’t it? It’s the actions that count for others.
faith without actions simply for us... alone?
loneliness is not great is it?
Here Paul in writing to the Romans is advising
a simply thing.
Let’s try to please our neighbours (and by that he means everyone we meet each day).
He wants us to build others up (that’s the opposite of taking them
can that possibly apply in today’s world where in the modern business and academic world it’s more a case of step on others
to get to the top?
As Christians we don’t step on others, we lift them up!
Now sometimes doing that is not easy!
Sometimes the person we are helping resists (some people just love to be the underdog,
don’t they). Some people cannot stop telling us how badly it’s going with them, how horrible
life is. Some people seem to never allow any joy they have to escape in such a way to build another up.
If we are Christians,
we need to look to the good things in life, the small joys in our life that if released, may cause joy to flicker into existence in anothers life.
Say we have been on a camping trip and someone
asks us how it was. Maybe it rained on three days and then was sunny for two. What will we reveal? That we have had to go
into the toilet in the wet bush with rain pouring down (even that can be put across with humour if you have to reveal it),
or rather, would you first ask yourself before answering what part of the experience would build that person up.
Any question to us is a search for help in some way isn’t it?
Help in understanding, or help in being able to connect with us
emotionally, and even perhaps spiritually. Perhaps it is a request for physical help!
People don’t ask for information to get soaked in negativity
do they? They want to
have fun and enjoy life with us. If we are sad, they want to know they are able to make a difference in our lives(so, do we
tell them when they do make a difference?).
Maybe it’s better to explain the camping trip was wonderful on the sunny days after the rain. Everything
was so clean and sparkling. It was great to dry out everything and that that moose or bear that we saw was a gift and memorable.
Maybe the fact that the bear scared us. We grabbed each other in fear and prayed like silly fools. Then the bear ambled away
and we felt huge relief! Perhaps that story could help someone who is sacred, needing relief.
Maybe they will see life has really
hard parts where we all get very scared, but perhaps, if we trust God, pray, cling to those around us who love God, it can work out right?
Maybe this simple story can
help them get the faith to push through their extreme circumstances, all because of that little story.
As Christian’s our stories have more
power! If we allow Holy
Spirit to infuse them with his guidance and timing, we often are totally unaware of how of some simple positive words of ours
are of great importance to others. God speaks to us through his bible, but also through the words of others. God is a God
of love, hope and faith, the greatest is love!
Looking at things spiritually and gaining from God’s word means “The
Scriptures give us strength to go on. They cheer us up and give us hope.”
Our hope, our faith and the actions of love coming
from God’s word makes us powerful people in lifting others up, independent of who we are or in what circumstances we find ourselves. We can always
build another up and in so doing engender a spark of joy for ourselves at the same time!
Sometimes we see no immediate response in the other person, but
God works through us to make small changes inside others. He put’s a “pebble in their shoe” that keeps them
considering how different God’s joy is. God’s joy is attractive isn’t it?
God has accepted and built us up! Let us accept
others and build them up today!
Thursday, August 9, 2012
To cover or not cover one’s head...
There I was in church, and I had forgotten to take of the beret I had put on earlier to keep
the sun from scorching me.
Thu, August 9, 2012 | link
The looks and quite mumbled comments were evident, and I was unaware of why. That is, until my wife explained
decided to see if these mumblings had a biblical basis...and in the past head coverings do seem to.
However, before looking at that I thought we should ask the question as to why Jewish men wear the skull cap or yamacha(Kippar)? It seems to not be done by all and
where it is done, is the synagogues.
On digging into this, I found out that it is not for biblical reasons, unless you consider this text explaining
the high priest’s temple/tabernacle attire as a command for all.
“have them make Aharon’s garments to set
him apart for me, so that he can serve me in the office of cohen.
‘The garments they are to make
are these: a breastplate, a ritual vest, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make holy garments for
your brother Aharon and his sons, so that he can serve me in the office of cohen.’”
This is not really
biblical, from my perspective. A jewish website makes this statement... “Wearing a kippah is not a
religious commandment. Rather it is a Jewish custom that over time has come to be associated with Jewish identity and showing
respect for God. In Orthodox and Conservative circles covering one’s head is seen as a sign of yirat Shamayim, which
means "reverence for God" in Hebrew.”
Now, let’s look at some
Christian discussions on head coverings. Paul is the one who in Corinthians makes a lot of these statements. We need to know the background is that
Corinth was a city with trading and idol temple worship. Sex with women for false god worship was the in thing, and women
had fancy hairdo’s to draw attention to themselves.
Paul had the following to say
“Now I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ. The head of the woman
is the man. And the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame on his head.
And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered brings shame on her head. It is just as if her head were shaved.
if a woman does not cover her head? She should have her hair cut off. But it is shameful for her to cut her hair or shave
it off. So she should cover her head.
A man should not cover his head. He is the likeness and glory of God. But the woman is the
glory of the man. The man did not come from the woman. The woman came from the man.
Also, the man was not created for the woman. The
woman was created for the man. That's why a woman should have her head covered. It shows that she is under authority. She
should also cover her head because of the angels.
But here is how things are for those who belong to the Lord. The woman is not independent
of the man. And the man is not independent of the woman. The woman came from the man, and the man is born from the woman.
But everything comes from God.
You be the judge. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God without covering her head? Suppose a man
has long hair. Doesn't the very nature of things teach you that it is shameful? And suppose a woman has long hair. Doesn't
the very nature of things teach you that it is her glory? Long hair is given to her as a covering.
If anyone wants to argue about
that, we don't have any other practice. And God's churches don't either”
This is interesting
because the guideline for men is to uncover their head and have short hair. Woman to cover their heads, and have long hair!
YET, he says “we don't have any other practice” suggesting this was a tradition of the church rather
than a command. When we add this to his earlier statement “You be the judge” ,
it is less a directive from God than a broadcasting of common church traditions. He is not being definitive and is using human
think his attitude is later explained to Timothy where he says
“1 Timothy 2:9 “I also want women to dress simply.
They should wear clothes that are right and proper. They shouldn't braid their hair. They shouldn't wear gold or pearls. They
shouldn't spend too much on clothes.”
This is just after
he says “I want men everywhere to pray. I want them to lift up holy hands. I don't want
them to be angry when they pray. I don't want them to argue.”
If we hold to these with fervour, all men should lift their hands up
when praying....I think this is not always done and we also interpret this as a human guideline not a divine rule, right?
Hey, even more disregarded
this other statement “As in all the churches of God's people, women should remain silent
in the meetings. They are not allowed to speak. They must follow the lead of those who are in authority, as the Law says.
If they have a question about something, they should ask their own husbands at home. It is shameful for women to speak in
I guess what I am
saying is everyone has to view statements like “As in all the churches” to reflect traditions
rather than God’s direct will in a situation. We need to know that those who to choose to not be traditionalists, are
not lacking in love for God or deliberately trying to insult others. Times and traditions change!
If a sign of respect is covering the head
and was for years, then those going in front of the kings in the middle ages when head coverings were in, would not have taken
them off in front of the King, where this was the only thing to do!
I am with Paul! “Judge for yourself!” but then, let’s not “Judge for others”
What we decide is ours to do, not impose when the bible is as
light on a subject as in this case.
So today, let’s realise it’s okay for people to decide to wear, or not wear head coverings in
church. It’s just a outworking of human traditions.
Have a great day!
Exodus 28:3-4 Complete Jewish Bible http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/What-Is-A-Kippah-Yarmulke.htm
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Wrong attitude to going to church?
Wed, August 8, 2012 | link
“Most people have some sort of religion, at least they know which church they're staying away
from” ~ John Erskine
Here is question I have heard parents ask “My teenagers are beginning to resist going to church. Should they be forced, and if so, to what age?”
I guess that aspect of “make disciples”
is being considered by this parent with emphasis here! The first question is what age are they and why do we even think forcing
will do anything. Under thirteen, they are children not teens and parents have the right to direct independent of lengthy
discussion, after that....
There is a quote of Dr. Laurence J. Peter, I like what it says... “Going to church does
not make you a Christian anymore than going to the garage makes you a car.”
Forcing a person into church is
likely to be an act perceived as unloving and uncaring! Is that Christian?
It might be better to understand what is dissuading
the teen from going and instead working with how to reveal God to them through that discussion point.
Many teens have
absolutely valid points!
Here is one...
“Going” to church?
taking the word church out of context?
The church is all of God’s people on earth. How do we think we can “go”
to these people?
are joining in a celebration of Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit together with other believers. The building we call a “church” is called that for lack of a better word. It is merely a concrete, wood and metal structure and has no intrinsic spiritual value. The spiritual value
is the people and their value should be evident. If it’s not, if teens have to ask why they should go, then we as a
“church” have missed the mark!
Notice how the bible talks about church in Acts...
When they arrived at Antioch, they gathered
the church together.
But the church prayed
hard to God for him.
The church sent
them on their way
the church welcomed
of God's church.
How many of these can be applied
to a building...none!
We Christ followers, are the church all of the time, every day!
Now and then, we gather for what is now called a service.
you thought about that word “service” ?
What is a service?
It is “the action of helping or doing work for someone.”
what we should be doing! Helping or doing work for someone!
Can I ask, what helping or doing work for someone did you do this week?
Christian work that is!
Work without expecting a reward in any way. Work for the purpose
of blessing the world with God’s presence!
is church!I have found that teens want to attend that type of church! I want to attend that type of church. We should be the true servants
of our world as Jesus our Lord was, and then as his church, the world would be attracted to us, not repulsed.
God is a God of love to everyone,
independent of whether they ascribe to his values and guidelines. God wants to help everyone independent of social, political, economic or religious
then come to know him, they will want to learn from Him. That’s their decision, and then they will find out about truth
and vitality of life.
we are Christians, we know it and have it! All we have to do is serve and allow Holy Spirit to do the rest!
So how about we go and serve someone today?
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The BOLT wins the 100m, a legend?
Tue, August 7, 2012 | link
“London Olympics 2012: Usain Bolt says only
200m glory will cement status as track legend”~London Olympics 2012
We cheered him on! Perhaps more so due to the small island country
from which he came, the humble origins of his home town and the support he provides that small enclave of people. I loved
the fact that he was a churched boy in his home town.
Is he a legend? More a reality than a legend, surely?
How long does human praise last?
Just a few years back(1996) it was Donovan
Bailey (if you are Canadian) or Michael Johnson(1997).
Are Johnson, Bailey and others who won 100m legends as well?
They were touted as such when they won.
Will the Bolt still be a legend in 10 or 20
We tend to forget as soon as the next star takes the world stage and entertains us for a short time. Some hang onto these stars for a little longer
before time wrenches them from our hands.
How many of us remember Thomas Burke any longer? This was the first modern Olympics sprint winner. A legend?
We spend so much time trying to be someone
in the eyes of others, when the reality is that to be someone, we need to be someone in the eyes of God, and we already are!
treats us each as if we were legends in his eyes. He even got his son to die to help us achieve our best!
God takes on our training and coaches us to live life to the full!
God never leaves
us alone to suffer consequences without himself. He says "I will never leave you. I will never desert you." —(Deuteronomy
a Christian, the gunshot signalling the race is to start, is when we realize Jesus is the son of God, what he has done for us, and we start to
love him and follow his guidelines for our life. This means we start living the way the God of the universe designed us to
explains the Christian life in these terms;
A huge cloud of witnesses is all around us. So let us throw off everything that stands in
our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. Let us keep on running the race marked out for us.
Let us keep
looking to Jesus. He is the author of faith. He also makes it perfect. He paid no attention to the shame of the cross. He
suffered there because of the joy he was looking forward to. Then he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
up with attacks from sinners. So think about him. Then you won't get tired. You won't lose hope.
To win a
sprint we cannot be loaded down!
In Christian terms that means we have to get rid of the loads that sin (selfish, nasty and ignorant
things) bring to our life.
Like that sprinter casts off the track pants and jacket before they climb into the blocks, so we need to get rid of sin in
the crowds watch the racer, so those around us in life watch us. They want to see how we perform, what it really means, are we genuine.
to simply be ourselves.
A Bolt, Johnson or Bailey all have different techniques. Each needs to fully use what they have been given as gifts from God
to succeed. We need to use our gifts from God to succeed!
Then, we need to stay in the track.
Life has many deceptive turns that can cause us to deviate from the only correct path. By continually checking
our progress against the biblical course God has laid out for us, we can know that we are still on the track progressing to
is our goal?
To live with Jesus in eternity, without pain and strain. Living fully fulfilled and in the incredible joy of heavenly existence.
To do that we have to
succeed today! We need to cast aside those things causing us to fail and focus on our true success.
Then we will have an amazing day!
Monday, August 6, 2012
Pregnant, unplanned!!!! I want to scream! Do I want the child? What do I do? Will I be okay?
Mon, August 6, 2012 | link
Quote on the loneliness...
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten
by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
~ Mother Teresa
On the morality...
Morality becomes hypocrisy if it means accepting mothers' suffering or dying in connection
with unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions and unwanted children.
~ Gro Harlem Brundtland
The pain of
unplanned pregnancy can be hard and is perhaps somewhat unveiled by these words of pain by “ZhadaMone” of Westwood NJ, where
in “Teen Ink” she says
Yo, how this happen to me? I'm just a kid.
What about school? What about Mom? What about Dad? What about.. me?
minutes of pleasure equals nine months of carrying plus twenty-four hours of labor. A grand total of eternal reprimandation.
out, on the streets. Disappearing family, ghost baby-daddy.
Only the bible by me as I clutch my belly.
God, shower me and my little
one in your blood as we travel these rough streets in this dark hour. God, I know I made a mistake and I come to you for forgiveness,
grace, and a touch of mercy. God, your love for me is greater than my downfalls. As I caress my belly, breath life into this
baby. God, I'm leaning toward you and I'm standing on your word until it comes to pass. God I love you and I know you love
me so I know me and this miniature human will be alright as we rest in your hollow hands. Amen.
I can make it. I'm pregnant...but
that she feels so alone is wrong! It is almost with anger I say these words! Emotion rises in me, and my
fingers shudder as I type.
Why do girls and women with unwanted pregnancy not just KNOW they will be loved, if they walk
into the nearest church?
What is wrong with Christians? Why do we criticise and point fingers instead of love and forgive?
Who of us never sins? Who of us is never wrong
in a decision? Who of us has never loved and had a setback?
So, why can we not put our arms around a hurting person, pray with them, love them,
take them in from the unforgiving world, and help them form a wonderful beautiful family with God the father leading them.
Christian’s it is our duty to God, to love people, not ostracize them!
Yes! They ARE entitled to sit in the
church! Right in front! Bellies large and prominent, proclaiming that Christians CARE!
The emotions these dear woman go through are
so debilitating and strong! The depressions are severe!
Some even have thoughts of abortion!
Killing their unborn child will help them they think... failing to see
the guilt and years of propping up of their poor self-esteem that will follow. Those nightmares and the “If only
I...” that will hound their nights and days every year.
They fail to understand that the children they will see playing innocently will remind
them of the age of the child they killed in the selfish act.
They fail to understand the hollowness and self-righteous indignation which they
will generate to support the disastrous decision they will have made.
They fail to see how they will have to distort their minds to try and gain relief
from the decision. The counselling hours they will waste, both of professionals and of friends.
Abortion in an option, it’s just not a very good one!
Then, if the poor distraught young women takes this option, having an
abortion, what should we as Christians do?
We should cry, put loving arms around them, and welcome them into the church of sinners that we are.
We are no better!
Jesus said; “Those
who hate their brothers and sisters are murderers. And you know that murderers do not have eternal life in their hearts.”
If we hate another who may be a Christian at any time in our life, we are also murderers!
Paul says of any who do evil;
“Don't you know that
evil people will not receive God's kingdom? Don't be fooled. Those who commit sexual sins will not
receive the kingdom. Neither will those who worship statues of gods or commit adultery. Neither
will men who are prostitutes or who commit homosexual acts. Neither will thieves
or those who always want more and more. Neither will those who are often drunk or
tell lies or cheat. People who live like that will not receive God's kingdom.
Some of you used to do those
your sins were washed away. You were made holy. You were made right with God. All of that was done in the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6)
Christians have all done evil at some time or other! Can any of us say we have never done one
of the things mentioned as evil above?
We are a church of people who have done selfish, nasty and ignorant things in our past!
also people who know what it means to be forgiven and loved deeply. We should know how to forgive and love deeply.
A pregnant women, teen or older, is a person who needs to know deep inside themselves, that
not only is there new life growing, but that God is the lover of both themselves and that new life.
With God rejection is NOT an option!
We need to come around them with joy, glad of the new life, and
to try and help this special person who is the reservoir of a heavenly soul that is to be cared for and loved.
Sometimes their families reject them, sometimes
their boyfriends do, but let us make sure we never do!
Please let’s help them understand that while they made a mistake during sex, that the precious child
is not the mistake, but a blessing! Their lives are going to be tough, but we are here to help them in any way we can.
our job as loving Christians. If Jesus could find it in his heart not to even to condemn an adulteress who never even asked for that forgiveness, what should our attitude to wonderful people who have been damaged by evil in this life be?
I think we should surround the person with love, even if those with self-pride
look at us from the pews with distain.
Jesus would be ignoring self-righteous looks and doing the only thing he knew...the Fathers work.
We should do
the same today, shouldn’t we?
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May you be blessed today!