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Thursday, January 19, 2017

The good fairy

If there is one thing I appreciate with all my heart it is a good, reliable domestic worker.  When I partner with a lady my first words to her are that I respect her as a person and that the only difference between me and her is the job we do.  I also let them know that there is nothing I am asking them to do for me that I am not willing to do for myself as I have done so for many years.  I simply need the help as I don't have the time to take care of everything.

After parting ways with my previous lady, I asked my neighbours lady to assist me at times when she is not working for my neighbour and we have set things up.  I had worked with her before while my lady was on maternity leave and I was truly delighted to have her come back again for the first time this year.  Having good help is like having a good fairy who waves her magic wand and the house is clean.

Good help is so unbelievably valuable and as Christians we need help to live life too.  That is why God sent us the Holy Spirit.  The word of God says that He is our Helper and our Advocate.  When life gets difficult, the Holy Spirit comes along side us to do the things that we simply cannot do and He stands by us through thick and thin.

Will you call on the Holy Spirit to be your Helper today?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Art of affection

There are plenty of things to love about little miss Topaz. Her energy, she's talkative, she's playful, she's always the first little kitty face I see when I get home, when she is happy she purrs real loud and she loves to eat....tee hee!

For all that though there is one very important aspect in which she is very difficult to deal with. She does not like to be picked up, touched other than at feeding time and cuddling turns into a whining and growling session. It is truly sad for me as I love being affectionate to my kitties. Although Ginger does not like being picked up initially, he has learned that if he just gives in for a few minutes he'll get a nice tickle and that usually makes us both happy and then I'll let him down and give him more tickles. Little Topaz still needs to learn all about the art of affection.

I have resolved never to give up, I will love her, hug her, cuddle her and tickle her every day until, one day (I am hoping) her heart will soften and she will become willing to receive love from me. Do you know what? That is exactly what God does with us. When we come to him and are born again, we too have no idea how to receive the overwhelming love of Christ. It takes much time before we learn to receive the love of Christ in its fullness.

In the same way that my heart breaks for Topaz, God's heart breaks for us! He longs to fill us up with His love but we are often unwilling to receive it. Let us choose today to open our hearts to being willing to receive the wonderful affection and love that Jesus has to offer us, every day.

Monday, January 16, 2017

It is what it is

I'm a very planned and organized type of person,  so when my domestic worker was a 'no show' on Wednesday and again on Saturday after she promised to come in, it really threw my weekend plans out of whack!  

As a result of the disruption I did not get everything done as planned and will only get to finish my Sunday blog on Monday.  I really feel God challenging me to just say, "It is what it is."  Why is acceptance of certain difficulties so important?  Because acceptance brings with it change.  When we accept the situation we empower ourselves to look at the setback in a positive light and find a new path to move forward on.  

Acceptance also helps to eliminate anger.  Anger is a powerful emotion and it is there to tell you that someone has violated your boundaries, but even if they have, staying in the anger zone will not help you to move forward.  When anger is active it traps you where you are.  

I agree there are times when we need to respond with authority to a situation but that reaction should still not be an angry one but an authoritative one, we have the right to insist on good service and to have our rights respected. 

If you want to be free to move and grow then join me in saying, "It is what it is."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The year to get it done

How bizarre! The very day I plan to write about efficiency my office PC crashes, resulting in a totally unproductive day. Now normally such events would send me into a rage but today it was easier to deal with. Luckily I have my Kindle application on my phone, so I managed to fit in some time for reading as I waited during the PC set up process.

I was meditating on efficiency being part of our spiritual disciplines and wondered to myself, can it really be possible to find more efficient ways to live out those disciplines. So I got to thinking about those 5 spiritual disciplines I have written about before as the 5 keys to spiritual growth and after much thought, yes I think we can apply efficiency to those aspects. Let me show you how:

  1. Reading your bible: Reading our bible should be an integral part of our daily routine, but with our fast passed lifestyles, how do you make this happen? I have in recent years enjoyed using a bible application like Bible Gateway.....and would you believe it...they have an audio version. So just hit play and you can listen to the word of God in private while anywhere. If you are a busy parent, how about ensuring that part of the bed time routine includes a bible story for the kids and while they settle you can sit quietly and catch up on a chapter or two.
  2. Prayer: We all find it hard these days to take “time out” to pray. So how about learning to include that in your normal daily routines? This applies to worship too. Washing dishes, walking the dogs or cats, sitting in traffic and doing exercise, can all be times which you can include God in your lifestyle and communicate with Him. Trust me God does not require us to be kneeling at the bed for Him to listen too us. No I think He quite likes it when we recognize Him as our partner in life and include Him in our day.
  3. Reaching out/evangelism: Trying to live for Christ each day is hard when things go wrong, but when we make an effort and display grace in the face of difficulties, people will notice God in you.
  4. Relationship with other Christians: We all hate technology for the distance it puts between people, but honestly if that happens it is your choice. I find technology, especially whatsapp has helped me maintain a closer relationship with my mother and friends. Just a quick text to let someone know you are thinking about them really can make a difference in their lives.
  5. Praying for forgiveness of sins: Include this in your prayer routine. Ask God to make you sensitive to His leading as to when there is sin in your life.

Slightly longer blog for today, but hey, efficiency is not about the length of the text, it's about the clarity of the message. Hope this one helps you to think more laterally about how to include God in your daily life. I can testify that these keys are great help in my life and I pray they will make a difference in yours.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Evening star

A few nights ago while walking the kitties I was amazed at how bright Venus was.  It almost looked unreal, for a moment I thought I might be looking at an airplane tail light but its steady position soon confirmed its identity.  Curious about the spectacular vision I decided to check why it was so bright and learned that its position in relation to the Sun in January this year allowed it to be brighter than other times of the year.

If we plan to be spectacular in life, we have to consider our position.  Are we walking in obedience to God's word?  Have we applied discipline in our lives to achieve greatness?  They say that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

Today I'd like to speak honestly about the spiritual discipline of work ethic.  It is sad to me today to see so many people whom have wonderful dreams and high expectations but they succeed at nothing and wonder why.  The truth is that they simply did not work for it.  Success in life depends greatly on our ability to do what needs to be done in order to achieve and to be dedicated to the task at hand.  If we don't apply ethics to our lives at work or in our spiritual lives, then we will most certainly fail. 

I'd like to encourage you to take honest stock of where you stand with regards to work ethic....Do you do just enough to get by?......Or.... Do you apply yourself to whatever life throws at you with all your heart and soul?  I believe if you do, you will be positioned right and you will be the brightest star around!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The search for happiness

Today was a difficult day, systems just were not playing along and I really struggled to maintain my composure and my irritation levels were visible.  With the "real world" being so tough most of us romantically search for magical happiness and joy and seldom find it. 

I have heard it said that to fight poverty we must learn to live simply, so that others can simply live.  How does that translate in our search for happiness?  Can I challenge you today to simply think....What makes me smile?

Well for me there are many things that make me smile:

- A meow from my kitties when they are happy to see me
- The sounds of the birds chirping in the trees
- The smell of rain after a hot summers day
- When a gentleman holds open the door
- Finding solutions to life or work problems
- The sight of a friend
- The warmth of a hug
- The infuriating chase for a cat round the complex when they don't want to go to bed (Lol)
- Playing with any animals and the joy of watching them play (family time)
- When I turn the corner and I'm almost home

I really could go on and on, but if any of these made you smile, then know that you are well on your way to finding the source of your happiness and being able to hang onto it on difficult days.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The year of the Eagle

I am declaring this year 2017 as the ‘year of the Eagle’, as I believe it is God’s calling for us to soar and rise above that which has held us back, not only in 2016 but in the years before as well.  In order for an Eagle to fly it must first open its wings.  Bette Midler’s song “The wind beneath my wings” comes to mind and as I meditate on what it means to soar and rise above I realize that there are certain necessary components in order for our lives to take flight.

We are no more and no less the sum total of:

Our surrendered will and obedience to God + God at work within us + Those who stand beside us = The person we have become through the result of these choices.  

We must first choose to surrender to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, for God is a gentlemen and will never force His will on us.  Once we have surrendered our will to God, He is able to work in our lives to heal the inner wounds we may carry in our souls, to build character and strengthen us as we grow in Him.  Those whom we choose to walk beside us will either strengthen or weaken our relationship with God dependant on the influence we allow them to have in our lives.  The net result will be a product of the combination of these aspects and how we have allowed them to shape us. 

In order to take flight we need to be:  Surrendered to God; open to His working within our lives and connected to the right people.  When we have this strong combination we will certainly grow in our relationship with God in leaps and bounds and we will see His will beautifully manifested within us.

Will you choose to allow God to work in you so that you can soar to greater heights?