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Archive for August, 2015

KinsellaMaubaneTreeProject

Spring is upon us people!! I’m sure you all feel a bit more up-beat than you did during the cold winter months.

Let us share our joy this beautiful season and reach out to those who need a little boost to put the happiness back in their lives.

Want to know how?

For Spring Day 2015, Kinsella Landscaping is planning on planting as many trees as possible at the Maubane Rivoningo Transformation Centre in Temba, north of Pretoria. In order to do this, they will need your help. You can donate the funds that will make the purchase of a tree possible. To make the donation a bit more personal, the tree will be tagged: Donated by …..(your name). This means that, even if you cannot be at there when the trees are planted, the community will always know who their benefactor was.

The cost of the trees are as follows:

  • Fruit tree = R 350-00
  • Other trees = R 695-00

These will all be 100L trees.

By planting these trees, you will become part of an effort to uplift an entire community. The fruit trees will supply food and produce to sell and the other trees would provide shade where the community can get together, where children can play during the hot summer months. The trees will therefore not only be a way to brighten the dull landscape, the growing trees will bring a sense of hope and faith in a brighter future.

The children of Maubane Rivoningo Transformation Centre

You are not only helping a community, you are also helping the environment.

Do you want to be a part of this amazing project?

Get in touch NOW for more information and Kinsella’s banking details.

Complete the form at the bottom of this post or e-mail either myself (click here) or Jessica Uys (click here).

Want to contribute NOW. Click here for the foundation’s banking details (Please use this tag with EFT: Kinsella/Maubane). E-mail proof of deposit to ilzehallidayfoundation.sharon@gmail.com and remember to add your name and contact details.

The Ilze Halliday Foundation supports the social upliftment efforts of Kinsella Landscaping.

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#DailyBread: Psalm 107:14

 

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Psalm 1:1-3 via DailyLifeVerse

In a world filled with conflict it is difficult to find a moment’s rest. Everyday, everywhere we look we only see pain, sorrow and hate in a world that seems intent upon paving their road to damnation and destruction.

In our own lives, in my life, things have been totally out of whack for a long time. I’ve been wandering in the darkness, lost; my heart filled with a deadly mix of fear, anger and sadness. I’ve been confused, disillusioned ….I’ve lost my way. I’m sure that many of you out there feel this way these days. It is normal for any person to fail in faith sometimes….I’ve done this falling down, standing up thing over and over in my life and, hopefully, now I’ve finally learnt my lesson…..never lose hope! It is just harder for us lately, but then, on the other hand, God never said remaining close to Him will be easy. He told his apostles that they will be persecuted, jailed, killed for believing and for spreading His Word.

We live in difficult times, friends, being someone who follow in the footsteps of Jesus can be extremely daunting. We have to be especially vigilant; but remember, Jesus said:

John 16:33: “These things I have spoke to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” [via BibleHub]

I’ve been filled with peace. I feel so blessed to have received this immense feeling of calm. My worries and cares were all-consuming….until I decided to hand it all over to Jesus. I’m just a simple human being, I cannot deal with all these cares anymore. I cannot describe this feeling I have now….the problems are still there, yes, but now I can manage it, because I know I’m not alone and that the answers will come.

Do you need this kind of peace in your life? Do you wish you can just not worry so much?

Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” [via BibleHub]

You will find that, even in a world filled with temptation, with pain and heartache, you will be able to stand strong. If you fill your heart with the love of Christ, blessing others will become easy and through your blessing, you will also receive. Like a tree, you will grow strong, with deep roots and healthy, strong branches. You will provide shelter to all, you will bear fruit that will give life and your words will be the seeds of wisdom that can spread the message of the Lord to the corners of the earth. Never consider this an impossibility…..with God EVERYTHING is possible.

Seek the peace offered now….accept it with thanks and fulfill the purpose that God has in mind for your life.

Isaiah 30:15: “For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.” [via BibleHub]

SOURCES:

1.       BIBLE HUB. n.d. All Scripture Quotes. [Web:] http://biblehub.com  [Date of Access:] 16 August 2015.

 

2.       DAILY LIFE VERSE. n.d. Image. [Web:] DailyLifeVerse: Psalm 1:1-3  [Date of Access:] 16 August 2015

 

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Psalm 18:1-3

As we beg the Lord for mercy, for help when we are feeling low….we shouldn’t delay saying thanks. We should sing praises to the Lord, for we are blessed and His peace fills our souls.

These days we get so pre-occupied with the sadness and sorrow of the world. Statistics show that depression, suicide, stress and anxiety have risen at an alarming rate over the past few years. We are all, young children, teenagers and adults under enormous pressure from the world, our families and friends, schools, work and even ourselves. We want to be peak performers on every level of our lives and this is slowly starting to take its toll.

Perhaps we should all take some time out and take stock of our lives. You A-type personalities out there will love this! Make a list! Make a list of the things in your life that you are truly thankful for……..remember, all that we have, all that we’ve become, it is God’s doing in our lives. I tried this yesterday…..

Here is the ”short version” of my list:

I’m thankful for –

  • life
  • love
  • family
  • food on our table
  • a roof over our heads
  • clothes on our backs
  • freedom to pray to the God of my choice
  • the ability to help others
  • ………..the list was VERY long……

I was surprised to see that even the little things DO matter….things like having a pet to cuddle or electric light (yes, in South Africa that is a luxury)…it seems so small, so insignificant, but when I imagine my life without any of those things it would be unbearable.

Why don’t you try it, maybe you’ll see that your worries don’t measure up to all the blessings received.

And be thankful….

If you still worry about things, if life still seems too hard to bear…..consider the scripture below:

Psalm 18:6

Stay blessed, friends.

Read Psalm 18 on BibleGateway. Click here.

 

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Ref: @thebiblehub @biblegateway @LogosApostolic @AlivetoGod

Do not keep silent, spread the Word

 Today I’m sharing something that I suppose all of you have heard before, but last night, as I was reading my daily scripture, I came upon these words:

Matthew 13:15: ‘For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes – so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’ [via BibleHub]

Almost immediately the following thought filled my mind: ‘’Time for change, for the hour draws near that the Son of God will return and take home the righteous.’’ It was such a sudden, random thought, that I even wrote it down in my diary.

We’ve been hearing about the rapture, about the end of days, since, well, since forever. I remember sitting in church as a child, shaking with fear at the pictures painted by the pastor about the last days. As a teenager I even had dreams, lots of them, about the final days of earth. I remember one very clearly…I was about 10 years old and in my dream I went outside and saw all these people looking up, into the sky. The sky was beautiful, the sun was turning the clouds orange-pink….like it is at sunset. It was summer, I remember, and their was not a sound…it was very quiet. I walked among the crowd and found, of all people, my geography teacher and I asked him what was going on. He looked at me and said: ‘’He’s coming.’’ And then I woke up, heart pounding. That dream and the atmosphere in it still haunts me. It wasn’t scary, no fire and brimstone, but it was…oh, what’s a good word…’’pregnant’’ maybe,  or ‘’electric’’, as if something big is about to happen.

Blow the Trumpet

Isaiah 2:12: ‘’For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low” [via BibleGateway]

Isaiah 13:6: “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” [via BibleGateway]

People, I have that feeling all the time now….something is coming, something cataclysmic. Do you feel it? Look around you…..I mean, really LOOK! What do you see? Let’s be honest here…when was the last time God, or any other kind of religion crossed your mind? When was the last time you prayed? When was the last time you took scripture to heart? We live in an evil time….people are only focused on their own gratification. They blunder through life, competing with one another….trying to have the best things, the most money, the prettiest face, the perfect body. They think getting standing up, falling down drunk is hilarious, especially if you have to pick your kids up from school right after you got yourself behind the wheel. Everything goes….literally EVERYTHING. It seems as people simply have no boundaries anymore. They call it freedom, but I think they are more in chains than ever. Once you get caught up in this rat-race, once the spider of the world catches you in its web, you can struggle all you want, you will not find your way out. The world has its people in its clutches, closing their eyes, ears, hearts and minds to the truth, to the horror of their ways.

Many people speak of God with their mouths, but their deeds tell a different story. They may look like people of the light, but inside they are dark and rotten.

I have a message for you…..change your ways NOW, while you still have the chance. This is NOT a game. You may laugh at me, well, I’ve been laughed at before, you may think I’m crazy, I’ve been called crazy before too….I don’t really care what you say about me or to me, because it is not about me….it is about hearing God’s voice and bringing His message and, in the end, the purpose of it all involves YOU. You much choose, you must change (or not), you must look in your own heart and decide…I’m just the messenger.

Remember, though, that back in the day, when Jesus still walked among us, he told the people: ‘’Turn to God and change the way you think and act, because the kingdom of heaven is near’’ (Matthew 4:17 – via BibleHub). He meant that literally….he was right there, sent from the kingdom of heaven, living alongside the people, bringing them the message of hope. Now the message still lives, the opportunity is still there…you can still get your chance to gain entrance to the kingdom of heaven.

I know the doomsdaysayers have been at it for years, for centuries even, but, believe me, the end of days is no closer than ever. And if you do not live to see the biblical end of days, well, in effect you would have your OWN end of days, wouldn’t you? This is something you cannot get away from, you cannot hide from the end. Whether you see the rapture or whether you die naturally (or, in these times, chances are…UNnaturally), you will have to face judgment and eternity one way or the other.

2 Peter 3:10: ‘’But the Day of Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up’’ [via BibleGateway] 

You don’t know what tomorrow may bring. You may not even be here. Ask yourself the question then….where do I want to spend eternity? If I meet my Maker this afternoon, what would He think of the life I lead on earth.

Obadiah 1:15: “The Day of the Lord is coming soon to all the nations. And the evil you did to others will happen to you. The same bad things will fall down on your own head.” [via BibleGateway]

You may wonder why I’m telling you all this (as it is probably boring, old news and, in the words of many ‘’just a story’’)….God wants us all to be saved. Did you really think He sent Jesus to earth just for the (excuse this) hell of it? God knew how fallible human nature is (Adam and Eve proved this point fantastically), He knew that Satan is alive and well and living on planet Earth…deceiving, luring, tempting the people to follow him. He knows that the life of the world is a nice, cozy one, one of recognition, fame, fortune….but if you strip away the veneer, what you’ll see below is your own demise….God knows this too. The people don’t see this anymore, because they did not yet allow God to open their eyes. We chose, friends, we chose the world and the time to rethink this choice has come. God WANTS us in heaven, He WANTS us to be saved. Have a read:

Ezekiel 33:11: “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live…’’ [via BibleHub]

John 3:17: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” [via BibleHub

If you turn your face away from the world, you WILL be accepted and blessed:

John 6:37 :’’..him who comes to me I will certainly not cast out.’’ [ via Logos Apostolic Church of God]

I remember, years ago, in church, our pastor showed us an image (pictured below) to go with his sermon. I share it now with you. Will you open the door and let Jesus in? He is RIGHT there! Please do not turn Him away.

I stand at the door and I knock

Acts 5:20,28: ‘’Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life..’’ [BibleHub]

2 Timothy 4:2: ‘’Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.’’ [BibleHub]

The time is NOW, friends. I’m bringing these words simply because I cannot just ignore it and keep quiet. I am compelled to share the news, so that you can know, understand and consider it. The choice remains yours, I will not judge you on that….know this, though, I have made my choice.

1 Peter 4:6-7: ‘’For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer…’’ [via BibleHub]

I believe that I have been led by the Spirit to bring this message to you today and if you’ve read this far, you probably took it seriously. It is indeed VERY serious. You may wonder what to do…..how do you change your life around. God has the answer to that too…..

Galatians 5:25: “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” [via AliveToGod daily inspiration]

 

 

Stay blessed friends and I invite you to get in touch if you need to talk. Click here to e-mail me directly or find me on Social Media (buttons in sidebar)….and REMEMBER…..

 

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#DailyBread: #Acts 17:27

If you’ve been following my blog, you would know that I’ve been talking about faith, love, understanding trials, questions of ”why”, etc….well,  guess what, the answer presented itself.

Life is often very painful and we do not always understand why. In many cases the suffering become so overwhelming that people simply give up, others fall into pits of despair and depression and some even take their own lives. It is tragic to think that so many people walk the earth with so much pain in their hearts and those of us who know the way never realize this until it is too late.

You, my friend, may be suffering at this very moment…not physical suffering necessarily….but it still hurts, inside, where it counts. You may have a mountain of troubles, a heavy burden on your shoulders and the way out is just nowhere in sight….you may even have considered to find your own way out, which would be a terrible mistake.

These days life is definitely harder than ever before. Life and the world demand more and more of us each day and it is slowly, but surely stealing pieces of our hearts and minds and turning it into dark dust. Oh, I know this sounds terrible, but believe me, there is hope.

You see, these hardships are God’s way of ”priming” us, preparing us to do His work. We may not understand now, while the suffering is at its worst, but eventually we will know the ”why”. The scripture above explains it so clearly….

Let me use a metaphor: we all know that we are supposed to prune rose bushes. Why? So that it can bring forth beautiful blooms. Without hurting the rose bush, physically cutting away part of its stem, the bush will never produce sweet smelling flowers. The same goes for people….it is literally a no pain, no gain situation. Do you really think I would have been able to help people with their problems if I’ve always had a brilliantly easy life? I am a counselor by trade, guiding people through eating disorders, depression, death, trauma, etc….how can I be effective in my work if I cannot speak from experience. Yes, the times when I felt depressed, when I had an eating disorder, when I had to deal with loss, when I had questions about spirituality, it was tough and I, more often than not, felt like there was no reprieve, no rest, no outcome. However, now I’ve been through it. I’m living proof that nothing is ever so bad that one cannot survive it with God by your side. And now I can actually be more effective in my counseling practice…….I can help others, because I’ve been there; I can give them the necessary tools to survive, I listen with empathy….mine is NOT just empty words.

Next time when you feel down in the dumps, when you feel that you are in your “dark well of the soul” and you see no light, remember this……you WILL get through it. And once you’ve made it, it is your responsibility to USE your experience to comfort and teach others, to show them the ”how”. By doing this you will be praising God’s work, the work He has done in you, with you and you will be fulfilling your purpose…..to tell the world about His kindness, generosity, forgiving spirit and everlasting love.

Have a look at these verses:

[Quotes via OpenBible.]

1 Corinthians 10:13: ”No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Hebrews 12:1: “…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”

Stay blessed, friends.

Psalm 68:19

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Human beings often feel lonely, abandoned by others, even if we are in the midst of a crowd. We often feel that we, like a client once said, are standing in the middle of a crowded room, screaming at the top of our voice, but nobody listens, nobody cares.

I have news for you…..somebody does SO care! Even if the world shuns you and you feel that you are the single most unimportant person ever….you are important to someone.

The biggest sacrifice one can give another is to die for him/her, don’t you agree? Think about it; would you die for someone else? Even a total stranger? Would you love another person enough to value their life above your own?

God loved us so much that He sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus didn’t tell his Father that he refuse to do it, no, Jesus went ahead and carried the burden of all our sins, so that we may be saved. Sometimes we feel abandoned, not only by human friends, but by God Himself….the thing is, God never abandons us, we abandon Him. We stop believing in the simple truth….that He loves us beyond comprehension. Would you send your child to die for another person? NEVER….so can you IMAGINE the effort it took for Him to come to this decision?

I asked you earlier if you would consider dying for another person….well, someone died for YOU, you know. Jesus didn’t know you personally, yet he died for your sins. Think about this: God looked down on us and saw our horrid ways, He created us, but Satan tempted us and, being what we are, we allowed him to lead us into darkness. Can you imagine this? God made us perfect, holy, in His image, and yet we followed ol’ Nick into sin….we ignored God’s warnings and simply went off, dancing with the devil, so to speak. God must have been very disappointed (think about how you feel if your kids ignore you, even when you have only their well-being at heart). Like any parent, God saw our future instinctively, He knew that if we follow Satan, we will lead ourselves into more pain and suffering than we can ever imagine…He did try to warn us. In one moment all His good work in us were undone, however, He still loved us, like we continue loving our kids even if they constantly ignore our advice. He loved us SO much that He decided to send His only son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. God decided to give us a choice (again) between good and evil. It is only through blood that we can be saved and returned to the arms of God and Jesus offered his blood in our stead. Sin kills, but Jesus took our sins upon him, died because of it, so that we can live, so that we can be saved from eternal damnation. Can you imagine the love God must have for us? Do you now understand that you are never really alone if you have God in your heart?

Even when we were like puppets in the devils hands, God was watching, waiting, waiting for us to accept His gift of life of friendship of love. The gift that was Jesus Christ, His son. These days, modern man lives in a world of sin and temptation and we think, more often than not, that God doesn’t exist, that God stopped bothering about us long ago. That, friends, is the devil whispering in your ear…oh, yes, of course he wants you to believe your are alone, lonely, without comfort, because then you will continue to seek love, companionship and joy within his world. You will follow him blindly, without question into a life of despair, darkness and death…..you will eat his delicious food and drink his wine, but you will remain unfulfilled, forever seeking more, until you drown in sorrow. That is the devil’s way. He tries to drown out the voice of God by tempting you with lovely looking things, but be careful….it is a trap. Don’t be misled by the sweet temptations of evil, open your hearts, souls, minds….your ears and eyes….look carefully into the darkness and you will find the light; listen closely, and you will hear God calling you by name.  Only YOU have the power to choose…do it now, while you still can.

Will you, lost soul, lonely soul, accept that gift? Accept that eternal love….I know it is not what you had in mind. Perhaps you thought I was going to give you tips on how to become popular in your group at work or how to make friends….well, I can do that, but friends come and go, even family members rarely stick around in bad times; God will always be there. All you need to do is TALK TO HIM…He will listen, because He has always loved you, His creation.

Remember the story of the footprints in the sand? Read the poem below:

[Quote from poem by Mary Stevenson. Click here for original.]

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#References: @AlivetoGod #AndrewRoebert @biblegateway

Psalm 81:7

#Psalm 81:6: ‘Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.’

– The Lord wants to come right now and lift the load you carry.
– His Word tells us to ‘cast our cares on Him.’
– May He lift that load and release you from the weight of it.
– He is a ‘burden removing’ and ‘yoke destroying’ God.

This was my daily inspiration for 11 August. I know  many of you may think I’m going ‘’kinda weird’’ and you may be right. But, frankly, I don’t really care what others think….I’ve been talking about the word of God ‘’speaking’’ to me for a while now and, yes people, maybe it’s just that I’m finally LISTENING!

I’ve been feeling particularly down these past few weeks, as if the weight of the world was bearing down on me. And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, things just kept on going downhill…nothing seemed to work out, everything in simple daily life became a challenge. Friday was particularly trying and all week-end was filled with feelings of depression and desperation, despite my efforts to lighting my mood and seek light in all this darkness surrounding me. I held fast to the hope that God will make good on His promise to help me out of this mess. Last night I started thinking about all the sorrow and troubles again….and said to God that this might be a good time to show me that He really notices that I’m living hell on earth. Maybe He should make an appearance in my life so that I can know He is listening.

Well, HELLO!!! Enters my daily inspiration…..a direct answer to what I’ve been asking God. To add to this, one of my main concerns has just been alleviated…..I finally got my doctor’s letter to the medical aid (remember I told you the aid needs a letter of motivation for my operation?)…it’s been received and already forwarded. Now it’s in the hands of God again, as per request….

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Making sense of life

I need to tell you all something else. Maybe totally off the subject, but not too off, I think. A few years back I saw a movie about Joan Brock, a lady who got an eye-disease and, in time, she became totally blind, which was like a bad joke, because she taught at a school for the blind. In addition to that, her husband developed a brain tumor and died. Her story inspired me so much; to see that during her trials and troubles, she also became depressed and sad, even bitter – I could SO identify; but in the end she survived and became one of the world’s top motivational speakers. She said that she used to think: ‘’Why did this have to happen to me?’’ She sulked around for a long time, feeling sorry for herself, wallowing in her pain and loss, until, one day, she realized: ‘’Why NOT me?’’ You see, she suddenly understood that something bad can happen to anyone, does actually happen to all people, but the difference is, what do you DO about it? You may not be able to choose what happens to you, but you can definitely choose how your react to it.

I believe that nothing in this world happens without reason or purpose. We do not understand that purpose, not with our human minds anyway. But, have you ever looked back on a really bad time in your life and went: ‘’Oh, NOW I see why!’’ We cannot, for the life of us, understand the ways of a Higher Power. This brings to mind something that people always seem to connect with love, eternity and the afterlife, heaven or something like it….I’m talking about Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, specifically 1 Corinthians 13:12. Everyone knows 1 Corinthians 13…the one about love, the one people always choose for the scripture-reading at weddings…for me, today, it has a lot of bearing on our daily lives, our everyday problems; a lesson on how to live our lives, but also WHY we will not always understand the circumstances life (or the universe) presents us with. Have a read:

[Via @biblegateway]

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

 1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

When reading this, one would do well to keep in mind that God may have shown you a totally different interpretation of His word, something that has value in your  own life. I believe God speaks to each one of us according to our needs and we should never try to force our own personal interpretation and/or message upon others…I’m therefore only sharing the message I have received or rather, I am COMPELLED to share my message….accept it, or not.

It is all about love, yes? Of course it is, the importance, not only of romantic love, but of love in general. Without love we would be nothing…truth? I’d say so….if Jesus was ‘’just another prophet’’ and he didn’t have love, he would never have considered sacrificing his life for our sins; if God didn’t care about us, He would not have sent Jesus to do his job now, would He? GOD IS LOVE is a saying as old as the universe and if God resides in each of us, we must have love living in our very souls, don’t you agree? I don’t know why I’m telling you this; this is something people are all supposed to know anyway (that is what I – naive, I know – think). Point is, without love, everything is hopeless, everything is in vain; without love we are empty shells (cymbals)…..but love is not really what I want you to focus on today.

Purpose

Read verse 12 and I think you’ll understand what I’m getting at….our lives, or rather the purpose of everything in our lives, be it good or bad, is something we will never really understand. We are placed on earth to be far more than we can ever imagine. God’s purpose for us exceeds our every expectation and we, so often, underestimate ourselves. We look into the mirror, into the reflection and see all the bitterness, sadness, troubles and trials of life. We look upon ourselves as battleworn;  nothing is easy, we have to fight just to survive….that is, in fact, a reality today of how people think, don’t you agree? I know I do…life IS tough and we cannot understand why God seems to be like an absentee landlord. He sets us upon these paths, throw a few choices our way and then sits back to see how the story ends up – that is REALLY what many people (and sometimes even me) think. We get desperate, angry and start thinking that God has finally managed to abandon us. Our revenge? Forget God, let’s live our lives like WE want to…let’s party, let’s forget doing good, let’s just have fun, because, in the end, we will die anyway! Don’t think I’ve been there? Surprise people, I’m fresh off the ‘’anger-scene’’.

What did we do? We looked in the mirror and saw our own despair and thought that we will be able to change it by doing things that goes against the very grain of our souls. What we forgot, though, is that a mirror only reflects what is in front of it….we see our lives only as it is NOW, not beyond what it can become. We try to find a reason within that reflection, a reason why things are bad in our lives….we would never find it, though, not now, not here….it is a mystery (‘’looking through the glass, darkly’’ or ‘’know in part’’). We have to trust that God will eventually reveal that ‘’mystery’’, we do not have to know ‘’why’’ right now. To what purpose do we want to know all the answers, anyway? All that we have to do is to have faith that God, knowing us in full (like Paul said in verse 12), will bring us to understanding in time and that everything will work out. In the  meantime, we have to love our lives as is, despite the horrid details we see reflected in our mirrors, despite the hurt sown in our hearts by other people, despite circumstances NOT working out, despite sorrow, loss, pain, despair….whatever it is…..like Jesus, we have to bear the cross laid upon us, in faith that God will grant us strength and then, someday, we will know all the secrets, all the reasons ‘’why’’.

Aaah, but we are human, aren’t we? Human beings are always looking for explanations and scientific proof and whatnot…it is in our nature. But, if you believe in God, you also believe in a supernatural being, a supernatural way of doing things….you cannot explain supernatural things, you cannot reach out and touch it. My daughter said something to me this week-end that simply stopped me in my tracks, it was shocking to think that she actually convinced herself of something, despite our example and the fact that we raise our children with knowledge of religion. She said that Jesus is not real. She said that He can’t be real, because she’s never seen Him. She wanted to know how it is that I can talk to her about Jesus and God living in our hearts when she knows it is just a fantasy. Why? There is no scientific proof, she said. She was very upset at the time, angry even…she is a very determined little girl and always try to manipulate everyone into getting her own way. Needless to say, we are trying hard to get her to change her ways and that was exactly when the inevitable temper tantrum followed….which, in turn, led me to talk to her about religion again. About how you should think about what you do and say, how you should listen to God’s voice in your heart, how God tells us to love each other, be compassionate, respectful, kind, etc. I ended up, after her claim about God’s non-existence, talking to her about faith.

We look in the mirror and see the mess of our lives, but we need to have faith that all will be well, yes? Like I told my girl; you can’t see faith, you can’t touch faith….faith is when you KNOW something that you cannot prove. For her, faith is knowing that the Jesus and the God that she cannot see, really exist (I asked her: ‘’How do you know there will be a tomorrow?’’ She just shook her head…you can’t really KNOW there will be a tomorrow, can you? But you can believe that there will be.) You see, you don’t need to know ‘’why’’; why does this happen? Why doesn’t God help me? Why am I sick? Why am I poor? Why…why…why… You don’t really need an answer, but if you have faith that all will work out, that all of your issues do indeed have a purpose, hope that tomorrow will be better and if you have love for your life, given to you by God, well….that is all you really need, isn’t it? Live your life with love (for yourself, for others) and, one day, you will be able to reflect on your ‘’battles’’ and you will look back in understanding  (you shall know fully, said Paul).

The Indians have a saying: ‘’All will be well in the end, and if it is not yet well, it is not yet the end.’’

 

Come on people, let us inspire the world, live your ‘’sad’’ lives with love, faith, hope, compassion, kindness and show everyone that there is purpose in life.  Let the light of God shine through our lives…we are  not all pastors and preachers, but we are all creations of God and His message need NOT come via the words of our mouths. Remember…..your deeds speak far louder than your words.

 

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Via @BibleReasons

Isaiah 14:27

[Image found on Pinterest]

I refer to my earlier post about #Surrender. If anyone out there still wonders why we, as honest, good, people, people who believe ourselves to be religious and God-fearing, still suffer under severe troubles and challenges, read the excerpt below. Click here to read the full article.

‘I remember when I said why God, why this, and why that? God told me to wait for his timing. God has delivered me in the past, but when you are going through bad times all you’re thinking about is right now. I’ve seen God use trials to build me up, answer different prayers, open doors, help others, and I’ve seen many miracles where I knew it was only God who could have done this. While I was worrying, the Lord gave me comfort, encouragement, motivation, and he was working behind the scenes. If as believers we’re burdened by when our brothers and sisters suffer, imagine how God feels. Always remember that he loves you and he reminds us time after time in his word that he will never forsake us.

 

Here is what I have learned in my walk of faith. Be on guard because when you’re asking all these questions and questioning God, Satan will try to attack. He will say no he doesn’t love you. Look at those unbelievers who are not going through adversity, but you say Jesus Christ died for you, and yet you are going through the worst troubles of your life. Don’t let the devil give you fear.

Trials can lead into atheism. When your faith is little the devil can rip it out. Don’t let him put you in despair and bitterness towards God. Don’t ever forget the other times God has delivered you because he will do it again. The devil will try to say it was a coincidence, but with God there is no coincidence. Cry out to God. Block Satan off and always remember that we have victory in Christ…..’ Continue reading here.

The author continues to point out the reasons for our trials and, as you read it, like I did, you will notice that it is NOT really news to us….all these are things we’ve known already. The thing is, sometimes life can become so very dark, that we totally lose sight of the truth, the light and we wander aimlessly around, falling over obstacles, walking into walls. We forget which road points forward, to the light…because we are human. But this article really reminds us that, in times of trouble, we should keep our minds and hearts clear and open to the light, because by following the light, however dim it seems, one will find a way.

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