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Friday, October 5, 2012

Wow Stef, a motivational story like this is great!
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"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working."

Do you like to read inspiring stories? I do!

I was reading one on the internet[1] about a young girl, Stef Reid from Britain who lost her leg when out tubing and was having fun when disaster struck. This is an extract from the story,

In Canada [where Stef grew up] they have a thing called ‘tubing’ where you attach an inner tube to a motorboat. The point is to go very fast and then you fall off and they come back and pick you up.

I saw the boat coming in the distance and thought they were coming to pick me up.
Too late I realised they had not seen me.

The propellers caught me across my lower back. The water around me was blood red. I thought I had been cut in half. The next issue was that we were three hours away from a half-decent hospital.

Unfortunately the leg was so mangled that it had to be amputated. So I was really thankful to be alive. But with my love for sport, I was absolutely devastated.”

A day of fun turned nasty!

This is the event most of us pray never happens to us isn’t it?

Yet God promises to look after us if we obey him
. Sometimes he needs to get our attention. With Stef this was the case, she needed to be forced to stop and think. Here is how she describes what happened...

I did not know God. I had never asked him what his plan was for my life. I remember praying for a second chance.

It was a complete miracle that I survived the accident.
I know that God had a hand in that.

I also know that by me not dying, I still had a purpose here. There is a reason for me to be here and it completely changed my perspective. It changed me as a person and I committed my life to him in the ambulance.

Now I look at things from the perspective of hope. I have always got hope. I think that is the biggest difference.”

Hope in action is what changes the world.


We can learn from Stef, hope is a motivator to move!
For Stef, it helped her get up on her one leg and get going. How far would we go in this type of circumstance? How far would be willing to move on hope?

Stef went far! She competed in the 2012 paralympics after having competed in the 2008 paralympics and getting bronze for 200meters event. She competed in three events in 2012, 100m, 200m and long jump.

Hope activated can do amazing things.
With God taking away the acid nastiness of resentfulness, we can flow forward with hope and faith into love. With that we can appreciate the world and all that is within it.

What do we do when we meet people who are crushed by life. When a boat comes along and destroys their existence. How do we as Christians respond?

The Bible says;

“A man’s friends should love him when his hope is gone. They should be faithful to him even if he stops showing respect for the Mighty One.”
[2]

We need to encourage others, build them up. In our respect for God, we should know he loves us,

But the LORD looks with favor on those who respect him. He watches over those who put their hope in his faithful love.”

That love we receive is to be used to enable others (as well as ourselves) to grow past their circumstances into a magnificent full life of joy with God our father, enabled by Jesus, the son, and guided by Holy Spirit, the one who empowers us, leads us, and builds our hope.

Let’s have a great joyful day today!
Fri, October 5, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Directing my life to success?
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Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be” ~ George Sheehan

 
In 17 Good Habits For A Successful Life[1], the writer describes a number of good habits that we can use to develop a successful life. These are:

a.    Get on a good schedule
b.    Eat a healthy diet
c.    Learn to exercise
d.    Practice gratitude
e.    Develop good study efforts
f.     Never give up
g.    Manage money wisely
h.   Respect the environment
i.     Strive for excellence
j.     Live the golden rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”)
k.    Practice good hygiene
l.     Always tell the truth
m.  Ask for what you want
n.   Be a regular reader
o.    Be punctual
p.    Respect authority
q.    Tend to your spiritual needs

These are really useful guidelines and so many of us can gain from following them. Interpretation of guidelines however always depends on your view of the world and as a Christian we have a specific view of the world that is slightly different to others isn’t it.

I thought I would briefly comment on each of these items above from that perspective.

a.   Get on a good schedule

As Christians we need to get up a little earlier each day and spend time in prayer meditation and bible reading before our day starts so that we start out our day aligned with Holy Spirit, empowered for the activities that will hit us as the day progresses.

b.   Eat a healthy diet

The bible does classify foods for the ancient Hebrews and starts out by pointing out that we can eat fruit from the trees in Eden. God wants us to eat healthily. Fruit is a good food instead of candies and processed foods that are full of chemicals. God does not say be vegetarian but some followers were. However God did also promote the eating of meat. So overall, God seems to want us to be a balance mixed diet people. Eat healthily and with variety seems to be a good practice.

 c.    Learn to exercise

Not exercising is a modern day phenomenon. Most people in developing and less than first world economies have to exercise their bodies each day to do their work and chores. In this first world environment, we fail to get this exercise and become blobs, sitting in front of various information and entertainment systems. We need to get out, breath clean air and push our bodies to their maximum heart rate a few times each week if we are to be healthy. How often do we exercise each week until we are sweating and exhausted?

 d.   Practice gratitude

This is definitely a Christian attribute. We are so grateful to God for what he did that we want others to have the privilege of the gift God has given us. Similarly we are told by our bible to be kind, loving, and to care for others. Gratitude for what others do and say should be a trademark of our lives shouldn’t it?

 e.   Develop good study efforts

Study the bible each day as a basis to our life. This is the start! We should be continually interested in learning new truths and skills. After all, we are here to use our time on earth to serve God in the best way possible. Doesn’t that mean getting to understand how to do this the best way possible?

 f.     Never give up

God knows times get tough! Holy Spirit is with us to help us through. All we have to do is hang in there and let God have his way. We will be winners!

 g.   Manage money wisely

It always amazes me how much the bible has to say about managing finances. Jesus talks of this often. We should remember that the start of managing money wisely is to know it belongs to God, not us and that we simply have use of it for a time. God wants us to tithe to support those in this world that are less fortunate than ourselves and to enable his church to expand and grow. This is the first step. Then God wants us to be wise with our own finances.

 h.   Respect the environment

I think it was God that told us to rule over the environment. “Rule” is not the same as “abuse and plunder”. A ruler cares for those under him because to not do so is skimply stupid. We need to care for our environment or we are being stupid. How much do we do to try and support a healthy future focussed environmental view? It is Christian to be a supporter of maintaining our environment.

 i.     Strive for excellence

Each day we need to focus on doing the best we can for God, others and ourselves. God wants us to love himself and others as ourselves. That is striving for excellence isn’t it? How much do we love those we come into contact with?

 j.     Live the golden rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”)

The LORD has shown you what is good. He has told you what he requires of you. You must treat people fairly. You must love others faithfully. And you must be very careful to live the way your God wants you to.[2]

 k.   Practice good hygiene

God was the first to provide the hygiene rules in the first five books of the bible. I guess he wants us to have good hygiene right?

 l.     Always tell the truth

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.[3] he wants us to follow him so we need to speak truth and support truth.

 m. Ask for what you want

It is worth asking. Sometimes when we touch the concern in God’s heart with our requests, God provides. Here is a story;

29 Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho. A large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the side of the road. They heard that Jesus was going by. So they shouted, “Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!”
31 The crowd commanded them to stop. They told them to be quiet. But the two men shouted even louder, “Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!”
32 Jesus stopped and called out to them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want to be able to see.”
34 Jesus felt deep concern for them. He touched their eyes. Right away they could see. And they followed him.”

 n.   Be a regular reader

This is a good practice and reading God’s word is the only way to personally connect with what God is saying. Having others tell us is not the same and we cannot be sure they haven’t unintentionally changed the emphasis God wants us to hear.

 o.   Be punctual

Being reliable and respected is fundamental to being Christian. Than means we need to be punctual as well doesn’t it?

 p.   Respect authority

Jesus, the son of God respected the authorities while on earth. Should we not do the same? He pointed out what they did wrong, so perhaps we can do this as well. Yet, he also pointed out to give to man what is man’s and to god what is god’s. Here is where we must live as we respect authority!

 q.   Tend to your spiritual needs

It is interesting where this list ends since it was not a Christian listing. Perhaps if this is our focus, the others become easier.

 I trust these thoughts will help us be more successful today. Let’s go apply them!
Thu, October 4, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How do I “clean up” my actions?
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“If we don't do it, we will be spending far, far more than that to clean up the mess of this humanitarian tragedy. . . . This needs to be done and done now.” ~ Bill Clinton

Clinton was speaking about AIDS or HIV as we now know it!

He was urging the United Nations to understand that immediate intervention would be the cheapest course of action in the long run. It needed to be done immediately, not later!

Life has so many of these situations which if we catch them as they start, we can make a difference, but if we leave them, and allow their malevolent illness to spread, then it becomes a monumental task to stop the disease.

Think of the global warming currently!

Carbon emissions a century ago would have been easy to limit and curtail. Now with big business and the huge profit motivation behind the tons of exhaust emissions from cars and factories, it is an almost impossible task. It’s easier to ignore than do anything about.

Nobody wants to be unpopular with their voters, so nobody is really doing anything about it. To change the course means taking away low cost items, introducing costly alternatives and asking the general folk like you and me, to sacrifice. No government wants to have to do that!

While these are global and national items that need cleaning up, we also have things in our life that start out small, and then grow to take control of us and our potential, directing us towards our own disasters.

Desires lead to action! I have blogged about that in the past. See “Can God tempt us?” for details. Desires are the engine that moves us forward in life.

To clean up our life means we must have the right desires.

In the old days of the Hebrew nation of Israel, they used to think that to be Godly, meant to keep oneself clean by washing and watching what one ate. This was a means of being pure.

Jesus comes along and says the following;

“Don’t you understand?” Jesus asked. “Don’t you see? Nothing that enters people from the outside can make them ‘unclean.’ 19 It doesn’t go into the heart. It goes into the stomach. Then it goes out of the body.” In saying this, Jesus was calling all foods “clean.”

20 He went on to say, “What comes out of people makes them ‘unclean.’ 21 Evil thoughts come from the inside, from people’s hearts. So do sexual sins, stealing and murder. Adultery, 22 greed, hate and cheating come from people’s hearts too. So do desires that are not pure, and wanting what belongs to others. And so do telling lies about others and being proud and being foolish. 23 All those evil things come from inside a person. They make him ‘unclean.’” ~ Mark 7 NIRV

Our hearts, our emotional center is the core of our desires. Wrong desires lead to doing the wrong things.
 
To clean up our actions we need to clean up our heart and that will in turn clean up our desires. Desires when correctly developed will lead to correct actions.

It’s heart surgery we need. Not the type done by specialist surgeons! No! The type done by ourselves, as we ask God to let his Holy Spirit guide us through our daily lives. It comes from reading God’s book and getting to understand what our hearts should be desiring!

How much time in a day do we spend reading God’s word?

Do we realise that is proportional to our ability to deal with daily disasters in an honorable and correct way?

God wants to inject our life’s with success. Yet, for a reason I don’t fully understand he will never push us to accept His help. It is always our choice. God can easily change our hearts, I know, having undergone that type of heart surgery.

With the change, we see life more vividly, enjoy it more daily, and impact the world positively with our actions hourly!

It all starts by accepting we cannot control our lives and releasing that control to God himself. Then by giving ourselves to understanding, connecting with and following our loving Fathers guidelines for our lives, we embrace success (even when we screw up).
 


God cleans up our actions from the inside out!



Now isn’t that a good thing to consider today! Let’s go live Godly lives today!
Wed, October 3, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mockers beware!
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“No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.” ~ Milan Kundera


Mocking another is nasty! Being mocked is difficult to deal with!

The worst mockery is when a person is picking on something which we ourselves are not proud of. This gives it barbs that burrow into our soul and hurts!

What do we do? How can we deal with it? Who does things like this?

The bible says; A proud person is called a “mocker.”  He thinks much too highly of himself.[1]

This is the source of mockery...PRIDE!

Mockers are people who think they are better than others! This immediately disqualifies any Christian from being a mocker. We KNOW we are not better than others. We know our value is built on a true love of God for us despite our failings. All the mockers in the world can stand around us and deride us and God will still put his arm around us and tell us how he loves us and how we are important to him.

That’s what faith builds for us, a place where we are safe from mockery. Always safe!

Those mockers words hurt and there is no-one we can easily turn to in order to stop them. Bullying is taken care of by laws and restrictions in many more progressive communities, but mocking is not restricted. They look to each individual to stand up against their mockers.

Words do hurt! Yet God understands!

People in the world give advice such as laugh with them. That’s hard isn’t it, but if the aspect they are pointing out is a true one, sometimes that’s the only way to release our tension and yet hold our own. It shows confidence in ourself that the mocker doesn’t want to see and so combats the humility the person is trying to pump out at us, doesn’t it?

People say turn their statements onto them. This is not a Christian mechanism! This is a counter-attack with the same tools. Everyone watching will immediately put us at the same level of the mocker. We know this is not good. Jesus is not to be pulled down to these levels and with god in us, we don’t need to respond in this way.

Asking them why they are being mean is a good method of revealing their true personality to all while not attacking them directly. It may bring further mocking statements, but to all around it is evident they are a poor quality person if they continue. This is a way we Christians can use in situations. It of course only works if we add to it those words of Jesus to “love our enemies”. We should pray for those that mock us!

Sometimes, it is good to elaborate on the statement of meanness and explain how it makes us feel. This makes them look even worse if they continue.

Do you know people used to mock the ancient people when they went to Jerusalem?

The bible has a whole psalm about it. Here it is...

Psalm 123

1 I look up and pray to you.
Your throne is in heaven.
2 Slaves depend on their masters.
Maids depend on the women they work for.
In the same way, we depend on the Lord our God.
We wait for him to show us his favor.
3 Lord, show us your favor. Show us your favor,
because people have made so much fun of us.
4 We have had to put up with a lot from those who are proud.
They were always laughing at us.

God knows how we feel and how we are subjected to attention by others. He will look after us. Our strength is knowing God loves us and cares. This removes the barbs of the mockers statements. If we can simply take another brave step and love our enemies, we can not only remove the barb, but sometimes we can turn and enemy in a person who respects us. Later they may even become a friend. With time our handling of the situation may release them from this poor self-promoting habit and enable them to love God. Now isn’t that something to consider?

God will show us his favor!


[1] Proverbs 21:24 NIRV
Tue, October 2, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, October 1, 2012

How do I become a good person?
    
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“What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” ~ Eleanor Powell


“How can I become a good person?” the child asked.


How would we answer that question?

The way it is answered will show a lot of where we are in our maturity in life, right? 

Each of us builds up a set of aspiration and goals.

That’s what gives life it’s enjoyment and direction. Without these the landscape of live become forlorn and lonely. With these, we are anticipating, investigating, relating to others and having a life fill of activity.

“How can I become a good person?” for a Christian, is a question of how to become more of the person God wants us to be in this world.

In the old days of the tabernacle this question was answered by God in a very concrete way!

People were divided into groups that increased in holiness with closeness to God.

Now we know God was everywhere, but he specifically set up an area where he provided a special revelation of himself to them.

When those Hebrew slaves left Egypt and God spoke to Moses, he got them to live around a central area called the tabernacle. This was an area enclosed by linen sheets and high posts with a thirty four foot gateway leading into it. The Hebrew people lived in tribes around this area as in the diagram below.

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You can see the tribes surround the area of the tabernacle. The priests being the group closest to the tabernacle. Outside the tribes are all the peoples that did not acknowledge the God of Israel of the time.

Then inside the tabernacle, the area is also divided.

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The outer of these areas is known as the outer court and was the area that the general population and priests came into to sacrifice offering to God. Inside this was the structure called the Holy Place. Here priests were selected to enter and maintain areas for God such as an alter of incense and bread.  Finally after going through the Holy Place, we get to the Holy of Holies.

This was the place that God appeared to a selected priest called the high priest once a year. This was the heart of the Holy areas.

Why do I explain this?


This structured approach to God shows similarity to the method of approaching God that occurs even today.

Outside in the general population of our world are the people who don’t know or care about God. Rather like those other nations surrounding this small Hebrew nation in acient times. Some of us live in that state of ignorance and unbelief in our world. Sometimes it's by choice, sometimes it's by not knowling. That's why Jesus asked those of us to tell those that don't!

Some people live around the tabernacle and in that state get to hear about God. Not the real tabernacle, but some people live their lives hearing about God but not much more. Jesus and Holy Spirit are perhaps moved to a place in our beliefs where we acknowledge God exists, and perhaps we live around in this existence without really getting to the point where it affects us personally, other than by knowing that we are in the proximity of where God operates. Rather like those outermost tribes around that ancient tabernacle.

Then, some of us are willing to dedicate ourselves to God part time. We live in that place of belief where we maybe spend a part of our life with God, but leave a huge part of our lives outside this area of experience.

Maybe we are like priests who lived outside the tabernacle but never really took up their priestly duties inside the tabernacle.

Then, there are those of us who decide we will make sacrifices in our life. We quit the selfish, nasty and ignorant things of life and try to get our lives aligned with what God wants for us. We accept Jesus as the one who dies for us. We chat to God daily and each morning we dedicate our lives anew to our Lord and Saviour.

To some of us, that is all there is! That is the full level of Christianity to which they aspire. Yet there is more out there for us, so much more!

We need to move into the Holy Place with God. We need to go through the purification waters of baptism, confess God as the one who will now direct our lives and commit ourselves to a life of service to God. With this we have right to enter the Holy Place.

Yet to enter the Holy Place we must have not have selfishness, ignorance or nastiness in our lives. The sin needs to be removed! Jesus through his sacrifice has done this but we need to live in that righteousness. This means we try to let Holy Spirit have every aspect of our lives to use the way God wants.

At this point, we are no longer self-focused, or directed at achieving goals for ourselves.

Instead our lives become a love service!


Our love of God increases until we are willing to do selfless service for God. Our joy is doing what God desires, even if it is serving at tables God directs, or praying for others as God directs our minds. The power of God is experiences in a wonderful new and vibrant way.

Just as the priests of old moving into the outer court  would have seen the bright bronze items. When we move towards God, live takes on more color and vibrancy. Then when those preiests moved into the Holy Place, they would see the gold implements and items.
God's light sources provide light.

So for us, the glory and beauty in the world increases as we get closer to God. With our dedication to God comes with a vibrancy and beauty that others often never see!

Yet, there is still a curtain between us and the full Glory of God! While alive we cannot enter the full glory. Our lives of dedication culminate into a passing through that curtain.

At our lives end, we see and live with God in the Holy of Holies.

Together with God’s actual presence in heaven, we experience the full vitality of life in a way that allows for no sorry, darkness or shame. We are joined with our saviour in a heavenly celebration that lasts for eternity!
This is the perfect place!

Jesus made all this possible!

Holy Spirit gives us the tools and guidance daily to get to this place. Father God loves us so much he set all this up for us, to provide us a way to Himself.

Today, as I live my life the best way I can, I pray God will help you and myself move to a deeper and deeper relationship with our wonderful God who loves us all so very much and wants us to enjoy the incredibly glory of our lives of dedication. To the place where our prayers are incense and love is everywhere!

Have a good one!
Mon, October 1, 2012 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?

 

 

 
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