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Eyes to See


Weekly encouraging messages from our Pastor Ray…..enjoy and be uplifted.

Eyes to See

Jesus gave us a command in Matt.28:19 to Go and make disciples. Most of us become a little concerned when we read this scripture because we think we’re not good enough to fulfill this role – and in extreme cases some begin to feel condemned. We think we need to become qualified teachers, preachers or Evangelists before we can share the word of God with others – not so.

Continue reading “Eyes to See”

Is His Spirit Dormant?


From the day of The Garden of Eden, the Spirit of God dwelt in Adam and Eve. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Continue reading “Is His Spirit Dormant?”

Let this Cup Pass from Me…


Matthew 26:36-44

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.”

 

Why did Jesus make this request of His Father not once, but three times!

Many commentators have offered their versions of what this means and of all those I have read; none really gave an explanation affording me a revelation of why the Son of God should have requested the very purpose of his mission on earth be ‘passed from Him?’

I have long removed myself from making definitive statements about interpretations of scripture; as all to often, after making a definitive statement, I felt that my interpretation might be wrong.

Let me say then, for me this request to his Father from Jesus is a mystery.

Yet, I wonder if it has any link to the last words of Jesus on the Cross, “…My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 

 

Many commentators suggest, and I can understand this; the darkness of the ‘sin of the world’ Jesus bore in that moment was such, He felt utterly abandoned (the Greek root word for forsaken.) In His entire lifetime he had NEVER felt ‘abandoned’ by His Father. After all, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one…” 

Could the request have been an expression of the love of Jesus for His Father, being so eminent in His life; He did not want to experience the state of separation from His Father?

Would that our love for the Father be such as never to sense His abandonment in our lives.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.
If you are worldview inclined see my other site; http://www.sirpeterjames.com.
Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

WHAT I LEARNT FROM “BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT”.


WHAT I LEARNT FROM “BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT”.

HI EVERYONE

HAVE YOU EVER READ AN OLDER BIBLE AND COME ACROSS SOME STRANGE WORDS? LIKE VERILY OR THOU OR THEE.

THEY ALL SOUND SO OLD FASHIONED DON’T THEY?  SO RELIGIOUS.  WE JUST DON’T TALK THAT WAY ANYMORE

BUT YOU KNOW – THAT’S A SHAME. BECAUSE WHEN THOSE KINDS OF WORDS  ARE REPLACED BY MORE MODERN WORDS IN THE BIBLE THEY OFTEN LOSE THEIR ORIGINAL MEANING.

FOR EG JESUS OFTEN USED THE PHRASE TRULY TRULY. WE DON’T TALK LIKE THAT ANYMORE BUT WHAT IT MEANT WAS: “STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND LISTEN CAREFULLY BECAUSE THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT – THIS IS AN ETERNAL TRUTH.”

ANOTHER WORD IS “BEHOLD”.  NOW THAT’S A WORD THAT  SHOULD BE REINTRODUCED BECAUSE ITS MEANING WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY – JUST LIKE THE JUDGES BREATHS WERE TAKEN AWAY ON BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT.

BUT I’M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF.

LET ME SAY A FEW THINGS ABOUT THIS WORD “BEHOLD”  LISTEN TO HOW THE APOSTLE JOHN USED IT IN 1 JN 3:1  “BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HAS BESTOWED ON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD! (1JOHN 3:1 NKJV)” NOW THAT REALLY SOUNDS OLD FASHIONED. .

BUT AS I SAID MOST MODERN BIBLE TRANSLATIONS HAVE EITHER REMOVED “BEHOLD” COMPLETELY OR REPLACED IT WITH WORDS THAT OFTEN LEAVE US IN IGNORANCE AS TO WHAT THE ORIGINAL WRITER INTENDED. WHY DO THEY DO THAT? WELL BECAUSE THE GREEK WORD FOR “BEHOLD” IS A  DIFFICULT WORD TO TRANSLATE FROM THE GREEK TO ENGLISH BECAUSE IT CARRIES SUCH INTENSE FEELING AND EMOTION. IT CARRIES THE IDEA OF SHOCK, AMAZEMENT AND WONDER BUT THERE IS NO SINGLE ENGLISH WORD THAT FITS. THE BEST WE CAN DO IS SAY  WOW!1THE WORDBEHOLD IS THAT  AWE THAT CAUSES US TO STOP IN OUR TRACKS TO ADMIRE A BEAUTIFUL PAINTING, TO GAZE INTO THE STARRY HEAVENS  OR… WITNESS SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY ON THE REALITY PROGRAMME “BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT”   

PERHAPS YOU SAW IT.  A LITTLE MIDDLE-AGED LADY MARCHED  ONTO THE STAGE AND INTRODUCED HERSELF AS SUSAN BOYLE. THE JUDGES TOOK ONE LOOK AT HER AND ROLLED THEIR EYES AT EACH OTHER AND MANY IN THE AUDIENCE SMIRKED, GIGGLED OR HELD THEIR HEADS IN EMBARRASSMENT. BUT WHEN SHE BURST INTO A STUNNING RENDITION OF THE FAMOUS “I DREAMED A DREAM” THE JUDGMENTAL LAUGHTER AND THE SCORN AND THE DOUBT DISSIPATED. THE JUDGES WERE ASTONISHED. THEIR FACES SAID IT ALL. THEY GASPED. THEY GAPED. THEY WERE MOMENTARILY LOST IN WONDER – THEN THEY BURST INTO APPLAUSE. AND THE AUDIENCE RESPONDED TO THE EXCELLENCE AND BEAUTY BY JUMPING TO THEIR FEET AND CHEERING.

WHEN JUDGE PIERS MORGEN WAS ABLE TO CATCH HIS BREATH HE SAID IT WAS “WITHOUT A DOUBT THE BIGGEST SURPRISE I HAVE HAD IN THREE YEARS OF THIS SHOW. THAT WAS STUNNING, AN INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE. AMAZING. I’M REELING FROM SHOCK. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!” EVEN SIMON COWELL CALLED THE PERFORMANCE “EXTRAORDINARY”.  AND FELLOW JUDGE AMANDA HOLDEN SAID “I AM SO THRILLED,”I GOT GOOSE PIMPLES!” 

ONE JOURALIST WROTE “SUSAN BOYLE LET ME FEEL, FOR THE DURATION OF ONE BLAZING SHOW-STOPPING BALLAD, THE MEANING OF HUMAN GRACE. SHE PIERCED MY DEFENCES. SHE REORDERED THE MEASURE OF BEAUTY. AND I HAD NO IDEA UNTIL TEARS SPRANG -HOW DESPERATELY I NEED THAT CORRECTIVE.”

THE WELL- KNOWN THEATRICAL PRODUCER CAMERON MACINTOSH,  SAID HE WAS  “GOB-SMACKED” BY THE PERFORMANCE,

DID YOU HEAR ALL THOSE WORDS?

GOB SMACKED. GOOSE BUMPS. AWE. THRILLING. BEAUTY. BREATHTAKING. INSPIRING..

WHEN I SAW THE REACTION OF THE JUDGES AND THE AUDIENCE I GOT A GLIMPSE OF WHAT “BEHOLD” MEANS. THROUGH THE GOOSE-BUMPS AND THE AWE AND THE TEARS AND THE BEAUTY THERE WAS A CONNECTION – A CONNECTION THAT REACHES RIGHT INTO THE HEART. SUCH HUMAN FEELINGS ARE GIFTS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US, AND I BELIEVE WE CAN SEE THEM AS POINTERS TO THE REALITY OF WHO GOD REALLY IS AND WHO WE REALLY ARE BECAUSE OF WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US, WITH US, THROUGH US AND IN US. 

SO, WHEN YOU SEE THE WORD “BEHOLD” IN YOUR BIBLE DON’T JUST QUICKLY REACH FOR A MODERN TRANSLATION BUT SEE IT AS AN INVITATION TO STOP AND PONDER. AND WHEN YOU READ THOSE WORDS OF JOHN “BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HAS BESTOWED ON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD!” YOU CAN NOW READ IT THIS WAY: “WILL YOU TAKE A LISTEN TO THIS, WILL YOU LOOK AT THIS; AT THIS AMAZING, STUNNING LOVE THAT GOD IS SHARING WITH US? THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD, AND THAT’S WHAT WE ARE. ‘CHILDREN OF GOD’ IS NOT JUST A HIGH-SOUNDING NAME THAT WE BEAR; IT IS A REALITY!IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?  THAT’S BREATHTAKING!  BEHOLD THIS AWESOME LOVE OF GOD!”

WOW. UNTIL NEXT TIME THIS IS GG

Thank you GG for your wonderfully inspiring message.

 

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are worldview inclined see my other site.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

Mishaps


If I look at my life over many years I will recall that there have been many mishaps along the way.

What is a mishap? Webster’s defines it as an unfortunate accident, bad luck, misfortune. In other words, something that has taken place that was not expected, should not have happened. Something that could also have taken place through poor choice, carelessness. There are many ways in which we could see the meaning of the word, mishap.

Often mishaps can lead to disastrous effects which may even last a lifetime after the experience. Sometimes it could be a freak happenstance.

Mishap
Falling from chair accident, falling down stairs, slipping, stumbling falling man vector illustration

I can’t imagine that there is any one of us that hasn’t, at one time or another, experienced a mishap. Some poor souls go on, time after time suffering mishaps.

Many of these souls become angry and embittered at life, feeling that it has dealt them an unfair blow. A great number openly blame God for their misfortunes.

A mid eighteenth century New Thought author, James Allen said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you and you will be tomorrow, where your thoughts take you.”

What James Allen was saying is that our lives are the direct result of how and what we think.

In two of the many scriptures relating to the issues of thoughts, Luke 9:7 and Matthew 15:19, Jesus alludes to the fact that thoughts result in emotions and actions. He reassures us that the only humans who are not affected by this are children.

On closer examination of the above, what we will find is that thoughts lead to actions, actions produce result and finally result produces consequence. Either consequence for our benefit or consequence for our obstruction.

The Bible is full of stories to support this fact and probably one of the most well known of all is that of David and Bathsheba.

David was the greatest and most loved King in the history of the Israelites. Loved, not only by his people, but more importantly, by his God. God said David was ‘A man after His own heart.’ He never spoke of any other person in this way. Yet, one night David gazed at a beautiful woman bathing on her rooftop and lusted after her.

David & Bathsheba
David was the king who united Israel and Judah. It was through his lineage that Jesus, the Messiah, would one day be born. As a boy, he was selected to be a musician for King Saul. He also killed the Philistine giant named Goliath. David became best friends with Saul’s son, Jonathan. Saul became very jealous of David and plotted to kill him. Jonathan helped him escape. David became King of Israel and made many mistakes. He was married when he saw Bathsheba. He fell in love with her. She was also married. David arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle. He then married Bathsheba. Their firstborn son died, but she later gave birth to Solomon. David had several children with troubled lives. His son, Ammon, raped David’s daughter Tamar. Absalom, David’s third son, resented David. He became king of Hebron. A battle took place between Hebron and Israel. Joab with David’s army killed Absalom. David’s life was filled with sin, heartache, grief, and forgiveness. David ruled from about 1005 to 965 B.C. and was thought to be the ideal king. He was the writer of Psalms.

His thoughts led to him committing adultery and ultimately murder. The consequences of his actions, brought on by thoughts was the death of two sons he deeply loved, unseated from his (physical) throne, and prohibited from building God’s temple. He died a man of great sorrow.

Let’s return to the issue of mishaps. How many of us are blinded to the fact that, what we term as ‘mishaps’ in our lives are in fact, like David, the results of thoughts that led us to do things, or make decisions that, in the end worked against us.

This article was prompted by my realization, a few days ago, that Jesus never faced any mishaps in His thirty-three year lifetime!

What picture emerges from the Gospels, concerning His life?

He was obedient to God and Man. Luke 2:52

He was a man driven by a purpose, from which he never deviated.

He spoke to people and they were healed, He spoke to the elements and the were stilled. He spoke to wine and it multiplied.

He never prayed to the Father asking for help, He simply spoke and it was done!

The issues He faced in His life were the results of His obedience to God

and not His own will. Nothing occurred in His life that could be vaguely

described as a mishap.

Considering these points, we could be forgiven for thinking that He achieved this by virtue of the fact that He was God in a human body. But many places in the Bible testify that he was human in every way, Hebrews 2:17 being only one of these. He was born of the seed of God via a surrogate mother. 

We could be forgiven for suggesting that He was surrounded by divine protection and so avoided all mishaps.

What the Bible tells us however, is that Jesus was a man of prayer, constantly in communion with The Father. He said that the Father and He were one. He gained Godly wisdom, enabling Him to always think like The Father thought and thus make decisions that would always protect Him from mishaps.

Finally, we could be forgiven for thinking that we could never be like Jesus or do the things He did. Again Jesus Himself tells us, “I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father.” John 14:12

Let’s say goodbye to mishaps and live for beneficial outcomes.

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If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

See my worldview site: http://www.sirpeterjames.com. 

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

Encourage yourself and buy my book:  Eerie Silence and Other Short Stories – Click here for printed copy or Kindle

Tears in a Bottle


I WAS LISTENING TO SOME MUSIC THE OTHER DAY AND I WAS SURPRISED AT HOW MANY SONGS ARE ABOUT TEARS AND CRYING “BLUE EYES CRYING IN THE RAIN”  I’M SO LONESOME I COULD CRY, LONELY TEARDROPS, TEARS ON MY PILLOW.” AND  MANY, MANY MORE.

WHY IS THAT? WELL I THINK ONE REASON IS THAT SHEDDING TEARS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR LIVES. LIKE THE COMEDIAN SAID, “IF BROKEN HEARTS WERE COMMERCIALS, WE’D ALL BE ON TV.”

KING DAVID WAS A MAN WHO SHED MANY TEARS. IN  PS 56 WE FIND HIM ANGRY, EXHAUSTED AND DEEPLY DISCOURAGED.  LISTEN TO HIS WORDS IN V8 AS HE  POURS OUT HIS HEART TO GOD ,

“YOU KEEP TRACK OF ALL MY SORROWS.
YOU HAVE COLLECTED ALL MY TEARS IN YOUR BOTTLE
YOU HAVE RECORDED EACH ONE IN YOUR BOOK.”
PSALM 56:8 (NLT)

I CAN PICTURE DAVID SOBBING AS HE WROTE THESE WORDS WITH  TEARS FLOWING DOWN HIS CHEEKS. DAVID WASN’T EMBARRASSED OR AFRAID TO CRY AND HERE HE IS PAINTING A BEAUTIFUL IMAGE OF A TENDER HEARTED GOD WHO IS INTIMATELY AWARE OF OUR PAIN AND SORROWS AND STRUGGLES. HE TALKS  DIRECTLY TO GOD AND SAYS “YOU – YOU KEEP TRACK OF ALL  MY SORROWS. YOU HAVE COLLECTED ALL MY TEARS…” “I CANT BELIEVE THAT YOU – MY LORD MY GOD– YOU PUT ALL MY TEARS IN YOUR BOTTLE – I DON’T PUT THEM THERE – BUT YOU DO AND THEY ARE MY TEARS. NOT EVERYONE IN GENERAL -BUT MY TEARS.”

THIS IS SO PERSONAL. DAVID COULDN’T BELIEVE GOD LOVED HIM SO INTIMATELY, SO PERSONALLY AND THAT HIS TEARS  WERE SO  IMPORTANT  TO GOD THAT GOD COLLECTS THEM LIKE SOMEONE WHO COLLECTS PRECIOUS AND FRAGRANT OIL AND BOTTLES IT FOR SAFE KEEPING.

WHEN HIS CLOSE FRIEND LAZARUS DIED WHAT DID JC DO? DID HE JUST BYPASS THE TEARS OF MARTHA AND MARY AND TELL THEM TO GET ON WITH THEIR LIVES, GET OVER IT AND JUST TRUST. I ONCE HEARD OF AN 8-YEAR-OLD GIRL WHO WAS STANDING  SOBBING AT THE GRAVE OF HER MOTHER. HER AUNT GOT SO ANGRY WITH HER THAT SHE SLAPPED HER FACE AND SHOUTED “CHRISTIANS DON’T CRY.” THAT IS NOT TRUE!

IN THE SHORTEST VERSE IN THE  BIBLE WE READ JESUS WEPT. I CAN JUST PICTURE HIM SITTING  BETWEEN MARY AND MARTHA, PUTTING AN ARM AROUND EACH ONE, AND SOBBING WITH THEM. JESUS WAS HUMAN JUST LIKE US – IN EVERY WAY. HE WAS SO HUMAN THAT HE CRIED. LATER HE WEPT OVER JERUSALM WITH GREAT HEAVING SOBS. GOD KNOWS HOW TO CRY. GOD KNOWS ABOUT GRIEF. HE KNOWS AND FEELS YOUR PAIN. AND HIS TEARS GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO SHED YOUR OWN. ITS OK TO CRY. SO GRIEVE, BUT THE ENCOURAGING TRUTH IS YOU DON’T GRIEVE ALONE.  

YOU SEE HE DIED FOR OUR SINS BUT HE ALSO DIED FOR EVERYTHING THAT SIN HAS DONE TO US. HE TOOK TO HIMSELF OUR PAIN AND  GRIEF AND MADE THEM HIS. HE INVITES US TO BRING OUR HURTS TO HIM. HE IS OUR BURDEN BEARER. HE IS OUR PAIN TAKER. HE IS THE HEALER OF BROKEN HEARTS – HE IS OUR BOTTLE.  AND HE TAKES OUR TEARS AND TURNS THEM AROUND AND IN HIS WAY AND IN HIS TIME TRANSFORMS THEM.  PETER WEPT BITTERLY BUT RETURNED TO GREATER POWER THAN EVER. I KNOW OF A GUY WHO EXPERIENCED GREAT SADNESS WHEN HIS SON WAS ILL. HE SAID HE HAD ALWAYS BEEN QUITE A HARD PERSON WITH LITTLE EMPATHY OR COMPASSION FOR OTHERS BUT DURING HIS SON’S ILLNESS HE HAD CRIED TEARS LIKE NEVER BEFORE AND AFTERWARDS HE WAS A DIFFERENT PERSON – A KINDER MORE COMPASSIONATE PERSON.  

YOU KNOW ITS INTERESTING THAT THE BOTTLE DAVID WAS REFERRING TO WAS NOT LIKE A BOTTLE WE MIGHT IMAGINE –LIKE A COKE BOTTLE – BUT MOST LIKELY A WINESKIN. WHICH WAS USED TO CARRY WINE. AND WINE IS MADE BY CRUSHING GRAPES. MAYBE WINE IS THE TEARS OF THE GRAPES! AND ITS ALSO INTERESTING THAT JESUS FIRST MIRACLE WAS TURNING, TRANSFORMING WATER INTO WINE. IS THERE A MESSAGE OF REDEMPTION IN THAT STORY. I THINK SO. HENRI J.M. NOUWEN:  “WHEN WE ARE CRUSHED LIKE GRAPES, WE CANNOT THINK OF THE WINE WE WILL BECOME.” SOMEONE ELSE SAID; “ GRAPES MUST BE CRUSHED TO MAKE WINE. WHENEVER YOU FEEL CRUSHED, YOU’RE IN A POWERFUL PLACE OF TRANSFORMATION AND TRANSMUTATION. TRUST THE PROCESS.” YOU SEE, GOD TAKES OUR FAILURES OUR SINS OUR TEARS AND WEAVES THEM TOGETHER FOR HIS GOOD.

WE CAN LEARN A LESSON ABOUT PRAYER FROM DAVID. THAT IS OPEN UP. DON’T HOLD BACK FROM GOD. TELL HIM WHAT YOU THINK. HE IS SITTING SO CLOSE TO YOU THAT HE CAN CATCH YOUR TEARS  LIKE A MOTHER SITTING BESIDE HER CHILD’S SICKBED. HE IS THERE IN THE SILENCE WHEN WE CRY LONELY TEARS. REST INTO THAT AND YOU WILL FIND THE STRENGTH YOU NEED.  

ONE DAY ALL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING IN OUR LIVES AND  AROUND US WILL END. KEEP CLOSE TO GOD IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES AND NEVER FORGET THAT WE ARE LOVED BY THE GOD WHO COUNTS AND KEEPS OUR TEARS, WHO TURNS THEM INTO WINE, AND WHO — ONE DAY — WILL WIPE THEM ALL AWAY.

PRAYER
FATHER, THANK YOU THAT YOU FEEL OUR SORROWS AND OUR TEARS THROUGH YOUR SON, JESUS, AND THANK YOU TOO FOR THE HOPE THAT WE HAVE NOW IN JC AND IN THE FUTURE       AMEN

SO UNTIL NEXT TIME, THIS IS GG

This article is generously submitted by GG to whom we are indebted for sharing his God-given wisdom and encouragement. 

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are so inclined visit my worldview site; www.sirpeterjames.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

Make Time to Take Time


 

YOU KNOW, I’VE NEVER CONSIDERED MYSELF TO BE MECHANICALLY MINDED. YES, I’VE WIRED PLUGS AND CHANGED THE OIL IN MY CAR BUT WHENEVER IT CAME TO MORE COMPLICATED REPAIRS – LIKE FIXING BROKEN WATER PIPES OR RENEWING BRAKE PADS  – I QUICKLY CALLED THE EXPERTS. BUT THAT CHANGED ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS AGO WHEN ONE DAY I WATCHED MY FATHER-IN-LAW REPAIR HIS LAWNMOWER. I SAID TO HIM “WOW, YOU ARE SO GOOD AT REPAIRING THINGS. I’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT.” IN HIS USUAL FORTHRIGHT MANNER, HE SHOT BACK AND SAID, “THAT’S BECAUSE YOU DON’T TAKE THE TIME.”

HIS WORDS ACTUALLY CHANGED MY THINKING. 

NOW, WHENEVER I ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM – WHETHER IT IS MY CAR OR MY LAWNMOWER OR WHATEVER, I TRY TO TAKE THE TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT AND MAKE THE EFFORT TO DO MY BEST TO SOLVE IT – AND YOU KNOW WHAT –  IT OFTEN WORKS! BUT OVER THE YEARS I HAVE LEARNT THAT THIS APPROACH IS NOT ONLY APPLICABLE TO REPAIRING PIPES, CARS OR LAWNMOWERS – TOO OFTEN WE DON’T TAKE THE TIME TO SOLVE MANY OF LIFE’S CHALLENGES – LIKE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AND DOING SOMETHING WELL OR CAREFULLY.  

YOU MAY RECOGNISE THE SONG IN THE BACKGROUND. IT’S ONE OF MY FAVOURITES FROM THE 60’S BY PERCY SLEDGE CALLED “TAKE TIME TO KNOW HER”. IT’S ABOUT A YOUNG MAN WHO CAN’T WAIT TO GET MARRIED TO HIS GIRLFRIEND BUT HIS MOTHER PLEADS WITH HIM “SON, TAKE TIME TO KNOW HER. IT’S NOT AN OVERNIGHT THING. TAKE TIME TO KNOW HER. PLEASE, DON’T RUSH INTO THIS THING.” BUT HE DOESN’T LISTEN TO HER AND GETS MARRIED. AND THEN HE – AS THE SONG GOES “CAME HOME A LITTLE EARLY ONE NIGHT….” NO PRIZES FOR GUESSING WHAT HAPPENED!  

A WISE MAN ONCE WROTE; “ONE OF THE TRAGIC CASUALTIES OF OUR AGE HAS BEEN THAT OF THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE—A LIFE THAT THINKS, THINKS THINGS THROUGH…. A PERSON SITTING AT HIS DESK AND STARING OUT OF THE WINDOW WOULD NEVER BE ASSUMED TO BE WORKING. NO! THINKING IS NOT EQUATED WITH WORK. YET, HAD NEWTON UNDER HIS TREE, OR ARCHIMEDES IN HIS BATHTUB BOUGHT INTO THAT PREJUDICE, SOME NATURAL LAWS WOULD STILL BE UP IN THE AIR, OR BURIED UNDER AN IMMOVABLE ROCK.”1

BUT YOU KNOW THIS IS NOT NEW ADVICE! KING SOLOMON WAS SAID TO BE THE WISEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED AND HE WROTE A BOOK CALLED PROVERBS AND IT’S A REAL GOLD MINE OF WISDOM. LISTEN TO SOME OF HIS GOLD NUGGETS ABOUT THIS SUBJECT OF TAKING THE TIME. FOR EXAMPLE, IN PROVERBS 21 HE ADVISES: “BRILLIANT IDEAS PAY OFF AND BRING YOU PROSPERITY, BUT MAKING HASTY, IMPATIENT DECISIONS WILL ONLY LEAD TO FINANCIAL LOSS.” AND YOU KNOW WHAT? SOLOMON EVEN INSTRUCTS US TO STOP WHAT WE ARE DOING, BEND DOWN AND “CONSIDER THE WAYS” OF THE TINY, HARD WORKING ANT (PROVERBS 6:6). THE WORD “CONSIDER” MEANS TO CONTINUALLY TURN SOMETHING OVER IN YOUR MIND AND IN SO DOING YOU BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND. ACTUALLY THIS WORD “CONSIDER” WAS USED OF ANCIENT ASTRONOMERS TO DESCRIBE WHAT THEY DID TO SEEK AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY WOULD DO? THEY WOULD LIE ON THEIR BACKS IN A FIELD ALL NIGHT AND “CONSIDER” THE HEAVENS AS IT UNFOLDED  BEFORE THEM IN THOUSANDS OF SMALL DOTS OF LIGHT.

YOU KNOW, NOTHING RANKS HIGHER FOR MENTAL DISCIPLINE THAN REGULAR STUDY OF GOD’S WORD, BUT HAVE YOU GIVEN UP READING THE BIBLE BECAUSE YOU FIND IT BORING, IRRELEVANT OR TOO DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND? DO YOU RUSH THROUGH YOUR BIBLE STUDY?

THE GREAT ENGLISH PREACHER CHARLES SPURGEON WROTE – ABOUT 150 YEARS AGO – ; “FIX YOUR THOUGHTS UPON SOME TEXT OF SCRIPTURE BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR BEDROOM IN THE MORNING—IT WILL SWEETEN YOUR MEDITATION ALL THE DAY. ALWAYS LOOK GOD IN THE FACE BEFORE YOU SEE THE FACE OF ANYONE ELSE. LOCK UP YOUR HEART IN THE MORNING AND HAND THE KEY TO GOD AND KEEP THE WORLD OUT OF YOUR HEART. TAKE A TEXT AND LAY IT ON YOUR TONGUE LIKE A WAFER MADE WITH HONEY AND LET IT MELT IN YOUR MOUTH ALL DAY. … YOU WILL BE SURPRISED TO NOTICE HOW THE VARIOUS EVENTS OF LIFE WILL HELP TO OPEN UP THAT TEXT…. LET YOUR SOUL BE SO FULL OF THE WORD OF GOD THAT AT ALL THE INTERVALS AND SPACES WHEN YOU CAN THINK UPON IT, THE WORD OF GOD DWELLING IN YOU RICHLY MAY COME WELLING UP INTO YOUR MIND AND MAKE YOUR MEDITATION TO BE SWEET AND PROFITABLE.”

IF BECAUSE YOU HAVE MADE THE TIME AND TAKEN THE TIME TO FOCUS ON A VERSE IN THE BIBLE IN THE MORNING IT WILL HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE WAY YOU HANDLE DAILY CHALLENGES. 

IN 2 TIMOTHY 3:16 WE READ THAT THE SCRIPTURES ARE “GOD-BREATHED” AS YOU READ, GOD IS COMMUNICATING WITH YOU PERSONALLY. SO AS YOU MAKE TIME TO READ THE SCRIPTURES – EVEN IF ITS JUST FOR A SHORT WHILE – ASK QUESTIONS LIKE, “LORD, WHAT ARE YOU SAYING TO ME TODAY, LORD?” OR  “IS THERE SOMETHING IN YOUR WORDS THAT I NEED TO SEE THAT I’M NOT SEEING?” THE BIBLE IS A PRECIOUS GIFT, “BUT” AS EUGENE PETERSON ONCE SAID “ONLY IF THE WORDS ARE ASSIMILATED, TAKEN INTO THE SOUL – EATEN, CHEWED, GNAWED AND RECEIVED IN UNHURRIED DELIGHT.”2

SO MAKING THE TIME, TAKING THE TIME IS A LIFE TRANSFORMING HABIT.

OK THERE’S MUCH MORE TO SAY ABOUT THIS LIFE-CHANGING SUBJECT. BUT I NEED TO CONCLUDE. MY NEIGHBOUR HAS JUST CALLED TO ASK ME IF I HAVE SOME TIME TO HELP HIM REPAIR HIS LAWNMOWER…. 

SO UNTIL NEXT TIME, THIS IS GG

This article is generously submitted by GG to whom we are indebted for sharing his God-given wisdom and encouragement. 

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are so inclined visit my worldview site; www.sirpeterjames.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

Psalm 27 – A Devotional


Another wonderful encouraging devotional from GG and sent to us by Vivi.

DENZEL WASHINGTON ONCE SAID STAYING POSITIVE DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY ALL OF THE TIME. IT MEANS THAT EVEN ON HARD DAYS YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE BETTER ONES COMING.

I LOVE HIS CONFIDENCE! DON’T YOU? BUT HOW CAN WE BE CONFIDENT IN THESE DAYS OF UNCERTAINY, AND FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. IT IS IN CHAOTIC TIMES LIKE THESE THAT IT IS VERY EASY TO FALL INTO THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR AND HOPELESSNESS. WE NEED AN ANCHOR TO HOLD US FAST.

ONE WAY TO DO THIS IS TO LOOK TO THE GODLY MEN AND WOMEN OF THE BIBLE – BECAUSE THEY WERE HUMAN JUST LIKE US – BUT WE CAN LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM. HOW DID THEY FACE THEIR HARD DAYS?

DAVID IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. HE WENT THROUGH MANY HEARTBREAKING,  FRIGHTENING  AND LIFE-THREATENING TIMES.  WHEN HE WAS YOUNG HE WAS CHASED THROUGH THE DESERT BY JEALOUS KING SAUL WHO TRIED TO KILL HIM AND TOWARDS THE END OF DAVIDS LIFE  HIS VERY OWN SON TRIED TO DO THE SAME THING.

BUT YOU KNOW RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS DIFFICULT TIMES HE WROTE MANY PSALMS. PS 27 IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THAT AND I WANT TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU BECAUSE THIS PSALM IS FOR YOU AND ME TODAY. I JUST WANT TO FOCUS ON ONE VERSE. 

BUT JUST TO GET THE CONTEXT….

27 THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION; (MEANS DELIVERANCE FROM SOMETHING THAT WOULD HARM ME – SIN, SICKNESS, DISEASE – COVERS EVERYTHING) GOD IS MY SALVATION.
WHOM SHALL I FEAR?
THE LORD IS THE [A]DEFENSE OF MY LIFE;
WHOM SHALL I DREAD?….
GOES ON AND SAYS MY HEART WILL NOT FEAR

IN THIS PSALM DAVID WASN’T TALKING ABOUT SLIGHT AFFLICTIONS. LISTEN TO THE INTESITY OF HIS WORDS V3 “EVEN THOUGH WAR ARISE AGAINST ME.  IN SPITE OF ALL THIS I AM CONFIDENT.

WHERE DID THIS CONFIDENCE, ASSURANCE COME FROM? HOW WAS HE ABLE TO SAY IN SPITE OF ALL HIS HARD TIMES, THE LORD IS MY, MY SALVATION, MY DEFENSE, MY LIGHT. HOW COULD HE BE SO CONFIDENT IN UNCERTAIN AND SCARY TIMES?

HE’S GOING TO ANSWER THAT SOON BUT HE CONTINUES…

10 [G]FOR MY FATHER AND MY MOTHER HAVE FORSAKEN ME,

THIS IS LIKE READING DAVIDS DIARY.  HE IS WRITING ABOUT HIS PRIVATE LIFE, HIS PERSONAL STRUGGLES. THIS WAS A TIME OF MENTAL DARKNESS.  A HOPELESS SITUATION. A TIME OF FEAR, CHAOS, DOUBT.  BUT AGAIN LISTEN TO HIS  CONFIDENCE.

BUT THE LORD WILL TAKE ME UP. THE LORD WILL CARE FOR ME. THE LORD WILL HOLD ME CLOSE.

HOW WAS HE ABLE TO BE SO CONFIDENT? HOW WAS HE ABLE TO GET TO THAT POINT IN LIFE? WHAT WAS THAT SOMETHING THAT STOPPED HIM FROM DESPAIRING AND GIVING UP? WHERE DID DAVD FIND HOPE, THE STRENGTH TO CARRY ON.

VERSE 13 IS THE KEY

13 [J]I WOULD HAVE DESPAIRED UNLESS I HAD BELIEVED THAT I WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.

NO MATTER WHAT WAS HAPPENING AROUND HIM AND TO HIM HE DEEPLY  BELIEVED THAT SOMEHOW HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD. AND HE SAYS HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING. NOT ONE DAY WHEN I GO TO HEAVEN BUT HERE NOW HERE WHERE I AM LIVING. I WILL SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD WORKING OUT IN MY DAILY LIFE

HE KNEW THAT GOD IS GOOD. HE BELIEVED THAT. HE WAS ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT GOD WOULD SEE HIM THROUGH HIS TRIALS. 

SO HE IS SAYING; “UNLESS I HAD SEEN, UNLESS I HAD BELIEVED IN THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN MY LIFE, IN THIS CHAOTIC WORLD RIGHT NOW, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP.” YOU SEE ALL OF D SENSES TOLD HIM IT’S HOPELESS OUT THERE. I’M FINISHED. BUT INSTEAD HE CHOSE TO BELIEVE THAT HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD.

THE GOODNESS OF GOD. IS GENTLENESS, KINDNESS – IT’S THE GENEROSITY OF GOD. IT  IS GODS LOVE IN ACTION. JC CAME TO REVEAL HIS GOODNESS.  IN THE BOOK OF ACTS WE ARE TOLD THAT JESUS WENT AROUND DOING GOOD. JC CALLED HIM SELF THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND A GOOD SHEPHERD PROTECTS PROVIDES FOR HIS SHEEP.

IN PS 23 (WHICH WAS ACTUALLY WRITTEN AROUND THE SAME TIME AS THIS PSALM) DAVID WROTE “SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY WILL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE.” DO YOU REALISE THAT YOU ARE THE FOCUS OF GODS GOODNESS? THE GOD WHO IS GOOD IS AT THIS VERY MOMENT PURSUING YOU TO DO YOU.GOOD AND WILL IN HIS OWN WAY AND IN HIS OWN TIME SHAPE THE CHAOS INTO SOMETHING GOOD.

SO, TURN YOUR ATTENTION FROM FEAR, ANXIETY AND UNCERTAINTY TO GOD WHO IS YOUR HOPE, YOUR STRENGTH,Y OUR LIFE.   ANCHOR YOURSELF IN THE GOD WHO IS SGOOD TOWARD YOU NOW.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, THIS IS GG

STAY SAFE, STAY SANE, STAY TRUE.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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button).

You Are Special!


Vivi has subscribed the below article, be encouraged, as you read it.

Hello Sisters and Brothers!

Have you ever heard the shocking, horrible whisper. “I am not”?

You know, “I am not loved.” “I am not accepted.” “I am not special”  “I am not good enough” “I am not worthy” I am not …. You fill in the blanks.

I’m sure you’ve heard the dreadful whisper before, many times and in many ways.

The danger is that these whispers can become our core beliefs. And when that happens  they change the way we see ourselves, God, everything and everyone in life – which in turn shapes the way we relate or do not relate to the world around us.

But the fact is that the “I am not’s” are lies. God would never whisper these thoughts into your soul.

The truth is you are special. You are loved. You are unique.

You’ve probably heard it before but God never made two snowflakes alike, or an identical set of fingerprints; but not only that –  I read some time ago that every human being has a unique heartbeat. In other words, each of our hearts beat in a slightly different way than everyone else’s.

ISN’T THAT AMAZING? BREATHTAKING! AWE INSPIRING!

David wrote in PS 139 V14  

 I thank you God, I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful.

We are all unique and as such, we all have something to contribute to the church – and when I say church I’m not talking about a building. Listen to how the APOSTLE PAUL USED THIS analogy as he compared the church to a body. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 he wrote; “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body….”

Later on in verses 21-23 he tells us that we are all important, we all have a part to play in the body of Christ— listen to this: “The eye cannot say to the hand, I don’t need you! And the head cannot say to the feet I don’t need you! On the contrary, those parts that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour…”

Listen to how the Passion Bible translates V21-23

21 It would be wrong for the eye to say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” and equally wrong if the head said to the foot, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, the weaker our parts, the more vital and essential they are.[a] 23 The body parts we think are less honourable we treat with greater respect. And the body parts that need to be covered in public we treat with propriety and clothe them.

So, we have no excuse for saying “I’m not good enough or important enough or useful enough.” If that’s true then you are God’s first mistake and God doesn’t make mistakes! HE NEVER SAYS OOPS! He doesn’t love us because we are valuable—we are valuable because God loves us! Our value is established by the fact that He loves us, so we don’t have to earn it.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “It’s not because I am an archbishop that gives me my worth: worth comes from God free of charge!”

God’s love elevates us without inflating us and humbles us without degrading us; how wonderful is that? Don’t let the negative, satanic whispers distort the truth of who you are– trust the voice of the Father – a voice that brings healing to your soul.  Let me conclude with the magnificent words from 1 Jn 1:3. Listen to how God sees you. John wrote: “Look with wonder at the depth of the Father’s marvellous love that he has lavished on us! He has called us and made us his very own beloved children. That’s who we really are.”

Prayer
Our amazing Creator and our loving Father, thank you so much for putting us together so wonderfully; thank you for loving us so overwhelmingly; for drawing us to yourself so amazingly and for the fact that we are precious to you.
Amen

UNTIL NEXT TIME, THIS IS GG

STAY SAFE, STAY SANE, STAY TRUE.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ button).