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Friday, January 3, 2014

How good are we at saying NO when we should?


“No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that.

When we don't want to do something we can simply smile and say no. We don't have to explain ourselves, we can just say "No". Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say no expanded my ability to say yes and really mean it. My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice even my no came from a place of love.

Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.” ― Susan Gregg

There are times when the pressure builds and all I want to do is to give way and agree with others even when I have that deep internal feeling that if I do that, I will be doing the wrong thing.

Do you ever feel that way? That need to be the “nice” person that pushes us into areas we should not really go. We know that we should say “No” but somehow the courage to do so seems to be seeping away at the exact second we have to make that statement.

This area of pressure is different for different people as evil tailors the circumstances into our weakest spots.

Here are some examples…

Agreeing to go to a party where there will be drink or drugs to fit in, although we say to ourselves we would never take part in those activities? [Why go…to impress who]

As a teenager agreeing to have sex because ‘everyone else is’…[who is ‘everyone?’]

As a business man, keeping wasted budget figures from a client to create the correct impression…[really?]

Hiding household money from a spouse so that we can “have a nest egg”

Telling white lies to make others feel better…[or is it really to protect our own image?]

I guess these random examples serve to give some of us a twinge of guilt as we recognise issues we have, and others to say ‘I never do that’. Really? Think about examples in your own life as we all have areas where we know we have given into the evil of this world when we should not. Generally we do it for what we think is justified reason. On investigation we find the ‘justified’ reason is a selfish reason and ultimately gets us into worse problems.

The bible says

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12 NIV

We can say “No”

What I like about the quote of today is that Susan Gregg shows us there are ways of doing it that can work and that practice makes it better each time.

Let’s look at some examples…

People want us to help: this is a difficult one for me as I want to help and it doesn’t sound selfish to say “yes”.  This ‘No’ is necessary however as one of the prime ways evil takes me down is by getting me too busy doing more than I can because of the needs around me. I have to remember something Jesus said that sounded almost callous…  “Matthew 26:11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.”

Jesus when he was here did not try to resolve all the problems in the world. He did what God gave him the focus and strength to do. We can do no more. There are times to with love and consideration say “no”.

I don’t want to be rude: Maybe I just don’t want another to appear to loose “face”. I know if the facts are revealed another may be impacted which is a better reason that the normal reason which is that I just don’t want others to think less of me and consider me to be rude.

There are times where it is necessary for people others hold in esteem to face facts. Jesus didn’t cut corners when speaking to high position people when he said “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.~ Matthew 23:26-28” I guess that could be considered rude, but it was really only speaking facts. There is time to say “no” to avoiding speaking facts as they are, even if the words will not be appreciated. It is often important to protect everyone, rather than ourselves isn’t it?

I want to avoid my being alienated by disagreeing: This is part of us wanting to be seen in a good light. God wants truth for us, not security. We need to trust in Him for our security, not in our mumbled words of false agreement. We should reject this fear “1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

I don’t want conflict: sometimes conflict is the Christian way. Letting things go unchecked or un-rectified is not always what is required. Jesus was confrontational at times, even physically Mark 11:15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,” yet let’s also remember Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” anger is allowed, being selfish, nasty and ignorant in that anger is not.

I don’t want to lose out on an opportunity or burn bridges
: Saying “no” can stop me from experiencing or getting what I want. Here we need to ask yourself, if God’s opportunities are better than those we can create for ourselves? Who is better able to engineer the best for us? We ourselves who see no further than the second in which we live, or God who views eternity in a glance?

Saying “No” can be important. We need to consider some techniques to do this.

Sometimes the “no” can be linked to a later timeframe for re-evaluation. Things can be said like, “I hope you can appreciate that I can’t give you and answer now but will be more ready on ….” or “based on what I have to do now, I cannot give this the attention it will deserve. How about…”

Sometimes the “no” can be switched to the maybe, give me time by saying something like “I have to think about that, let me get back to you…”

Sometimes the “no” can be redirected. “Perhaps X could help you with this. They are more qualified”

Sometimes the “no” can be softened as in “Nothing would make me happier than saying “yes”, but unfortunately I cannot”

Sometimes the “no” has to be direct.

Whenever saying “no” remember we need to search our heart first, we need to find out where we believe God wants us to go, we need to have love and compassion for the person we are dealing with, and we need to ensure our body language complies with this attitude we need to have in our heart.

Most of how a person reads the “no” is in our body language, not the words. Let’s ensure our bodies and our words align. Regret must be true not feigned. Love true not just a mask.

God wants us to reject evil, but not the person offering it.
Let’s remember that, it makes the “no” far easier to say.

I conclude by saying I disagree with one aspect of that quote by Susan Gregg.

It should not say Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.”

It should say Love God and others enough to be able to say yes or no.”

Let’s have a great day being truthful to others and ourselves!
Fri, January 3, 2014 | link          Comments

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Paul was quite the man, can we learn from him as we journey through 2014
Noahs_Ark.jpgDo the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.~Lao Tzu

Paul was quite the man!

Having just completed roughly two weeks of traveling continually, I was considering the fact that many of the journeys of Paul took far longer and were far more difficult.

I was reading a blog...http://www.openbible.info/blog/2012/07/calculating-the-time-and-cost-of-pauls-missionary-journeys/ and there it said that the journey statistics were as follows;

JourneyDistance (miles)Travel Time (days)Cost per Person (denarii)*

* Ship travel only. According to Wikipedia, the denarius from 200, used here, is roughly 22% weaker than a denarius from the mid-first-century.

Notice the long time it took to travel.

Paul was amazing in that not only did he travel, but he maintained a deep relationship with God while travelling and withstood immense hardships along the way.

As Christians we often start to complain the moment that something doesn’t quite go the way we think it should. What would have happened if Noah has complained about building an ark and quit? We need to consider the impact of our attitude.

Paul was not that type of Christian. Lots of things went wrong and yet he grew from strength to strength as he travelled and encountered these challenges.

We are starting 2014. Let’s ask God to enable us to travel through the year with the strength and power of Holy Spirit and with less complaining than the year before.

I think that will make us more Godly and our lives worth more.

Have a great 2014!
Thu, January 2, 2014 | link          Comments

HAPPY NEW YEAR - to everyone
HAPPY NEW YEAR - to everyone
Voorspoedige nuwe jaar
Kul 'am wa antum bikhair
Urte Berri on
Shuvo noboborsho
Sun nien fai lok
Xin nian yu kuai
Stastny Novy Rok
Godt NytÅr
Gelukkig nieuwjaar
Bonan Novjaron
Onnellista uutta vuotta
Bonne année
Ein glückliches neues Jahr
Eutychismenos o kainourgios chronos
Hauoli Makahiki hou
Shana Tova
Boldog uj evet 
Selamat Tahun Baru
Felice Anno Nuovo
Buon anno
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu
Sehe Bokmanee Bateuseyo
Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab
Felix sit annus novus
Barka da sabuwar shekara
Godt Nytt År
Manigong Bagong Taon
Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
La Multi Ani si Un An Nou Fericit
Ia manuia le Tausaga Fou
Feliz año nuevo
Heri za Mwaka Mpya
Gott Nytt År
Sawatdee Pi Mai
Chuc mung nam moi
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Thu, January 2, 2014 | link          Comments

Monday, December 30, 2013

Joy in tough circumstances
helpTheDrowning.jpg Do you ever find you wake up and the day just seems to have a grudge against you?

You know...everything seems to be going wrong...the alarm won’t turn off, the coffee spills, traffic is lousy, the boss unhappy, your peers annoying etc.

It can be really hard to find that joy that we as Christians should have in times like this, right? 

Jesus understood
and even let us know by pointing out that he will make things right when he said...

I have told you these things, so that you can have peace because of me. In this world you will have trouble. But cheer up! I have won the battle over the world.” John 16:33 NIRV

What things had he told them?

Things like “I came from the Father and entered the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

When they heard this I guess that this would have discouraged these guys who were living alongside him. These things are not exactly the thing I would want to hear in those circumstances, and I assume that no-one would like to hear this statement when things are difficult.

Jesus was leaving them just when they needed him.

We can also sometimes feel like God is leaving us alone just when we are needing him. Perhaps we need to remember this situation in which the apostles found themselves. They were about to take an emotional beating. "Their" Jesus would be arrested, falsely accused, then tried and then finally would be executed as a common criminal.

Where would that leave them?

Perhaps they would feel despondent, afraid, feeling as if they had lost the core reason for living.

That’s horrible right? It is nasty when it comes as a surprise to those near Jesus!

Worse, than this Jesus knew it would happen and warned them, but they didn’t understand it and reacted badly.

Do we ever feel like God warns us of how we need to react, we read his warnings, ignore them and then fall into doing selfish, ignorant and nasty things as a result.

We can then get angry with ourselves can't we?

Well what are we to do?

Jesus says “cheer up! I have won the battle over the world.”

What the disciples were still to experience is that God never leaves us without his presence. Holy Spirit was coming.

Now, Jesus could be with one person in one place at one time when he walked on earth, but Holy Spirit can be with everyone always, everywhere at the same time.

How has Jesus won?

Jesus conquered death and sin.

Death is no longer to be feared as we are not going to descend into oblivion, but into another world created by God for us to enjoy. We know God so know just how much we will enjoy that world.

Yet, he didn’t only do that, but he opened up the gates of heaven and allowed Holy Spirit to come and join with us. We can talk to God any second of any day. If we pray and allow God to comfort us, we can experience him in our very bodies and heart, filling us with a confidence, a knowledge that no matter how bad things appear to be, God is always with us. He never allows us to go int experiences alone.

It is however our choice to allow God to work in our lives or not.

We do fail, all of us do, but the real joy is saying sorry, meaning it and asking God to turn the downward path unto an upward struggle that takes onward, upward and out of Satan’s evil area of control.

I thank God for that today.

To step forward on this path takes our faith and trust in God. We engage our minds and make the decision, we ask for Holy spirit to assist us, and we step forward with confidence in the power of the living God.

Now isn’t that joy in tough circumstances?
Mon, December 30, 2013 | link          Comments

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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse.

you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com

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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?



To purchase Kiara's Pursuer ebook  @ $1.99

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To contact the author contact Author@KenXBriggs.com


 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?



Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com
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