Sunday, 25 November 2012

What do you expect from God today?

Have you ever wondered how you react to situations?

Are you normally positive, negative or undecided?

I am often negative when things go wrong. I forget that this is another opportunity for God to help me. I take my eyes off God and look at my problems.

I can say its because I am human or that it is part of my personality - but I have a choice and so do you.

What do you expect from God during bad, difficult or trying times? I believe that God wants us to expect Him to help - remember He has promised to never forsake us, He has left us a comforter and that as our Father He wants to give us good gifts.

The key is to stay focussed on God and not have a pity party!

Psalm 23
Hebrews 13:5
Matthew 7:11

Have faith!

Monday, 19 November 2012

A Poem

The following is quoted from John Cox book, "Googling God", one of the books that I am currently reading:


The flashlight said
I have no need of batteries
And instead became little Emily's piggy bank
Filled with a few measly coins
And never once did it ever
Shine a single ray of light
Through the darkness
To illuminate at all

The car said
I don't need wheels
I feel quite complete like this
And became a shack of sorts
Perched on discarded bricks
And never once moved an inch to explore
The so much more
Beyond the horizon of the road
Outside rusting doors

The man on the earth said
I don't need God
And stubbornly wandered
On his self-guided tour
Stumbling through a world
He failed to understand
And never tasted or glimpsed eternity
Or felt embraced by the love
His heart so yearned to know


What a beautiful poem, just felt like sharing.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

God holds your hand

God holds your hand!
Today I want to share something very special with you.

Most of us have heard of God being referred to as "father", but do we expectGod to act like a Father to us?

When we go through difficult times (petrol prices and food prices are climing, more and more people are being retrenched, violent crimes such as rape and murder abound) do we expect God to be there with us? The good news is that, yes! God is there with us in our circumstances.


Isaiah 41:13 "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." NIV

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Anger

A few days ago I started with a new topic for Bible study. I have been allowing myself to get angry when people drive badly around me, and lately people have been driving very badly ESPECIALLY around me.

I picked up a book and the topic of anger caught my attention, while I work on this I will be posting portions of my progress. And at the end I hope to put up a slideshow or Word document with the whole thing.

Today I want to share a few quotes with you on anger. (I collect quotes and book of quotes by the way)

  • Every moment you are angry, you loose a minute of happiness.
  • When we give others a “piece of our mind”, we have no “peace of mind left.”
  • Hatred is self punishment.
  • Those who look for opportunities to hate, miss many opportunities to love.
  • Anger manages everything badly.
  • People who fly into a rage, always make a bad landing.
  • No matter how long you nurse a grudge it won’t get better.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Keep standing!



Introduction:

Starting strong is important, we make New Years' resolutions on 1 January - determined to make this a better year, to better our lives and the lives of our families and friends.

But any seasoned athlete will tell you that starting out with good intentions is not good enough. Starting out is "easy" compared to the endurance needed during the difficult times.

Each journey has a beginning, a middle and an end. If you decide to run a 100 mile marathon you will need to train continuously. Changing your diet and making a considerable amount of sacrifices. Starting out right, then spending 4 years on the cough will not help you to win the race.

We are talking about apathy, growing tired, giving up too soon.

Some of us seem to suffer from a short attention span, or A.D.D. we seem so distractable. So easy for us to change course... 

Lost the plot

How many people have started down a path, then years later found that they have changed. They started out with the best of intentions, with integrity and then somewhere along the way they lost it.

Newsboys sing a song called, “It's all who you know” and another called, “Lost the plot.” One of the mishaps is of an expedition team that lost direction. “For the one of direction the huskies went off course - took some time to free ‘em, now their on display inside a British museum.” Sometimes even a small deviation, can make a big difference. Consider a luxury cruise liner; if it deviates only 10 degrees off course it will be about 80 km off course after a 500 km journey.

In “Lost the plot” they sing of an apathetic person, someone who is now too tired to get something from the fridge. They make a lot of comparisons of people who started well, and now:

  • too selfish and self centred to care about others
  • cannot follow God any more
  • forgotten their first love
  • can't hear God's voice any more
  • forgot what God did for them

What am I saying? We need to stay strong! It’s May and half the year is almost behind us. For some of us, half our lives are behind us. Have we started out strong? More importantly, have we stayed strong?

A marriage starts with a wedding, a celebration of two people who have sworn to stay together forever. Yet how many marriages don't last? You can't get married today and in 20 years time everything is fine – in spite of the fact that you have never again said “I love you” to your wife or done anything special for her. It simply does not work that way. Relationships are either built and made stronger OR they deteriorate!

With respect I would like to refer to a few people from the Bible. I say with respect, because none of us are perfect either - and it is easier for us to look back at them, then for us to have lived through what they did and have done a better job.

  • Solomon built the temple, yet he introduced idolatry for his many wives years later.
  • Samson was strong and made quite an impression, yet he died blind with tons of rubble falling on him.
  • Judas started out as a disciple of Jesus, yet he died having betrayed Him.

Paul has a lot to say on the subject:

Paul is a man who travelled a lot, during a time when long journey's where not easy. He was ship wrecked, stoned to death and imprisoned. Do you think he got tired or maybe even discouraged?

1 Corinthians 10:12 “Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall.” CEV

This is a warning to those of us who feel we are better than others. We look down on them because of what they have done, thinking “we are better than that; we would never do that.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 “My dear friends, stand firm and don't be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile.” CEV

2 Corinthians 1:21 “And so God makes it possible for you and us to stand firmly together with Christ. God is also the one who chose us” CEV

Ephesians 3:17 “and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love.” CEV

The key is to be rooted in Christ's love. What happens to a tree that is not rooted? It will die. (Cross reference with Psalm 1)

Hebrews 12:12 “Now stand up straight! Stop your knees from shaking” CEV

At times we are tempted to shrink back in fear, but Paul wants to encourage us here – don't loose hope! 

Closing words:

Staying strong takes effort and hard work. Without exercise muscles fade. To stay strong we need to continually make time for prayer, Bible study and contemplation. God wants to speak to us, wants to work through us, but sometimes our attention is on other things and we are too distracted to hear His voice... 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

What's holding your life together (work in progress)

What's holding your life together?

This morning I picked up a wheel nut, just lying there in the grass as I made my way to the supermarket to buy some groceries. Then I started thinking about what it was that I had found, and what significant role it has.


My car has 4 wheels, each wheel is held on by 4 wheel nuts (or lug nuts).
All 4 nuts are important and equally special.
Imagine a wheel coming off your car while you are overtaking another car at top speed...

Why do people suffer breakdowns? Why do we sometimes feel like our lives are falling apart? Because we have neglected one or more of these things that hold our lives together.

What are the 4 things that hold our lives together?
  • Faith (relationship with God)
  • Friends & Family (relationships)
  • Job & Finances
  • Rest & Relaxation

These 4 things keep us balanced and when the enemy wants to tempt us; he will often attack one of these 4 points.

* * * * *

Faith

God is our Creator and Source, and if we need to be connected to Him. Otherwise we are neglecting this need in our lives.

You are not an accident, your life is not in vain:

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ESV

Ephesians 1:4
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will”

Temptation: Become distracted by things or cares of this world, loose God as our focus.

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” ESV

Friends & Family

Relationships should be very important to us. We are born into a family for a reason, we cannot raise ourselves and we should not live alone. We become lonely and depressed when alone, this is why solitary confinement is similar to torture.

Genesis 2:18
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” ESV

Genesis 2:24
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” ESV

Temptation: Not satisfied with your spouse

Proverbs 5:15-19
Drink waters out of your own cistern, and running waters out of your own well. 16 Should your overflowing spring be scattered abroad as rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only your own, and not strangers' with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 Like the loving deer and pleasant doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, and be ravished always with her love.” MKJV

Job & Finances

1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” ESV

Temptation: Money becomes everything in your life

Luke 12:16-20
And He spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room in which to store my fruits? 18 And he said, I will do this. I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and I will store all my fruits and my goods there. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat drink and be merry. 20 But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul shall be required of you, then whose shall be those things which you have prepared?” MKJV

(also read the rest of the Chapter)

Money is not everything in life, but we do need to provide for our families.

Rest & Relaxation:

Temptation: No time to rest, or become lazy and no time to work

So, we need to provide – but we also need to rest.

Exodus 23:12
"Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.” ESV

The purpose of rest, is to be refreshed. You have to rest, your body and mind cannot work 100% of the time.

Ecclesiastes 10:10
If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.” ESV

A woodcutter needs to take time to sharpen his axe, otherwise he will have to work harder and achieve less. A sharp axe cuts much easier than a blunt one. You simply have to take time to rest and recharge.

* * * * *

Ecclesiastes 3:1
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” ESV

(also read the rest of the chapter)