Saturday, October 31, 2009

Resilient People

We are hard pressed...2 Corinthians 4:8 NIV

When a back injury paralysed Angela Madsen from the waist down, she vowed to do whatever it took to get back up. As a result she started training to be the first woman with a disability to row across the Atlantic. Journalist Denise Foley writes: "Madsen is what researchers call 'resilient' - able to rebound from whatever life brings. She's one of those people who make us wonder how we'd fare if our mettle were tested. Would we bounce back?" Paul writes, "We are hard pressed… but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV).

Resilient people:

1) Take control of their lives:

Drs. Steven & Sybil Wolin write, "It's easy to blame others for your problems and wait till they fix them. But then you never get to rise to the occasion… When you see yourself as a problem-solver life goes very differently. Identify your strengths. Recall those moments when you triumphed over adversity. Focus on what you can influence instead of what you can't."

2) Surround themselves with the right people:

The Psalmist said, 'They… treated me badly all my life, but they have not defeated me' (Psalm 129:2 NCV). Ned Hallowell grew up with a bipolar father, an abusive stepfather, an alcoholic mother, and two learning disabilities - a history that's often a precursor to jail or a mental institution. Today he's a prominent psychiatrist, a happily-married father and a successful author. It happened largely because at boarding school he attached himself to teachers who cared about him and took him under their wing. So in tough times, lean on God, take control of your life, and surround yourself with the right people.

3) They allow pain to spur growth:

At the peak of her career when photographer Linda Joy Montgomery learned she was going blind, an inner voice said, "This isn't the end; it's the beginning." She began writing poetry, discovered her calling as a motivational speaker and created the True Vision Institute, teaching kids to tap into their inner resources. The Bible says: "Though good people may be bothered by trouble… they are never defeated… (Proverbs 24:16 NCV).

Finding purpose in your pain isn't a new idea. Survivors of life-threatening illnesses, natural disasters and the Holocaust, and parents of chronically ill children continually demonstrate how over-comers find the proverbial silver lining by reinventing themselves. Paul talks about being "battered by troubles, but… not demoralised… thrown down, but [not] broken" (2 Corinthians 4:8 TM). Meeting challenges helps develop confidence and a can-do attitude that says: '"I've been there, done that, and I'll survive." Michael Jordan once said, "I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career… lost over 300 games… 26 times I've been trusted to make the game-winning shot, and missed. I've tried and failed over and over again. That's why I succeed."

4) They insist on changing what they can:

Paul says: "Whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord… (Ephesians 6:8 NKJV). Workers digging through the rubble to help rescue survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing, though understandably distressed, showed fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder later on. In concentration camps POW's who routinely gave away their last morsel, proved that you can choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances. How? By drawing strength from God and learning to control the one thing you can control - yourself.

Be Blessed

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Smart but not so bright!

Intelligence can only bring us halfway to success. It is only one of the two sides of our ability. Strong character needs to be combined with it. The person without a good character will fail in achieving stature in his career, community and friendships.

In the spring of 1995, scandals were rocking the Ivy League universities. A Yale student, a month away from getting his diploma, was discovered to have forged his admittance transcripts. The college planned to not only to expel him but also to press larceny charges. Meanwhile at Harvard, the administration was rescinding an offer of admittance to a young woman who was discovered to have bludgeoned her mother to death with a candlestick five years previously. She had lied about this incident during her interview.

There is no doubt that both of these students were brilliant. The girl had an IQ of 150. The guy had been a mediocre student at his community college yet maintained a B average at Yale. Neither problem was a question of intelligence but of a character.

Similar character issues haunt the reputations of some of the most brilliant people who ever lived. Character related matters come to light about public figures on a regular basis - sex scandals, suicide, greed and the like.

We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived in a similar manner. You can have the IQ of a genius. You can be a straight "A" student and high achiever at work. But that's just half of the challenge. If you don't also strive to be a person with an impeccable reputation and a reputable character, then you're just plain wasting your superior intelligence.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Begin to act boldly!!!

Early in the 20th century, Sir Ernest Shackleford made a voyage to Antarctica. He had a dream of crossing the 2100 miles of the icy continent by dog sled. Shackleford's ship, however, ran into an ice pack nearly 200 miles from land, and sank.

He and his men trudged across drifting ice floes to reach land, and then continued on to the nearest outpost, nearly 1,200 miles away. They pulled the only supplies they were able to salvage from their sinking ship in a lifeboat - a ton of weight - behind them as they made their way on foot.

When they reached waters clear enough to navigate, they faced waves as high as 90 feet!! They finally reached South Georgia Island and were told later that the expanse of water they crossed had never been crossed before.

Seven months after they set sail, the group finally reached their destination, the chosen point for beginning their trek across Antarctica. They were so bedraggled that their friends didn't even recognize them.

When asked about their experience, each man said that he had felt the presence of One unseen, who had guided them. Each man had a sense that he was not alone and that he would survive.

Hebrews 4:16 says "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Today, if you feel lonely, be rest assured that you are never alone. Begin to act boldly. The moment one definitely commits oneself, heaven moves in his behalf. You will make it.!!! Take a bold step of faith, and watch what God will do.

Be Blessed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Doing God's Work God's Way

Good works... God prepared in advance for us...Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Any time you ask, "What on earth am I here for?" the Bible answers "to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). God created you for a prearranged mission. You're a conscript, not a volunteer. You don't get to decide your calling. And it's a mistake to try and duplicate somebody else's calling.

Remember Moses? God calls him to deliver Israel from Egypt but he tries doing it his own way. Killing an enemy to save an ally's life, he winds up a forty year fugitive. After living in the wilderness and learning his lesson he returns to do God's will - God's way. All of us, not just ordained ministers, are called to do God's work God's way. "But how do I know what my calling is?" you ask.

1) Work with your spiritual gifts. We all receive gifts from God, who "gives them to each one, just as he determines" (1 Corinthians 12:11 NIV). Let God show you through your deepest desires and core competencies where you're best suited to serve.

2) Submit to godly leadership. Your pastor can help equip and guide you. God "gave… pastors… to prepare God's people for works of service… (Ephesians 4:11-12 NIV). We all need help; we can't get there by ourselves.

3) Commit your abilities and resources to building up your local church. God designed our gifts and callings "so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Ephesians 4:12 NIV).

4) Develop a servant spirit. "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others… (1 Peter 4:10 NIV). Don't know your gifts? Start serving, and God will reveal them to you.

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shallow men believe in luck...Strong men believe in cause and effect !!!

A story is told of a farmer who told a friend that he had decided he no longer needed to work. He said, "God will do it for me."

"Oh really?" the friend said...."What makes you think that?"

The farmer said "Well do you remember that old barn I used to have? I have been planning to tear it down for years but lightning struck it last month and burned it down to the ground and then the wind came up and blew away all the ashes."

"And on what basis of that, you're going to let God do all your work?, the friend asked.

"Oh no," the farmer continued. "Last weekend my wife asked me to wash our car, but a big rainstorm blew in before I got to it and then rain washed the car clean."

The friend shook his head in dismay and before he could say anything further, the farmer asked, "Do you know what I', doing out here on my porch right now?"

The friend said, "No, what?"

The farmer replied, "I am waiting for an earthquake to shake my crop of potatoes out of the ground!"

Many time we can relate ourselves to the story of the farmer. We expect things to happen without putting in effort. Galatians 6:7 says "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap". Someone once said that "The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work". Ephesians 4:28 says ".....rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give him that needeth".

Let's do our part by giving our very best in everything that we do and let the continue to enable us to be a blessing to others.

Be Blessed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

True grace begin in our hearts.

We toss the word "Grace" in our everyday walk. Sometimes we fail to realize that "Grace" need to have a genuine action in order for it's effectiveness to be demonstrated to a dying world. Many of us speak grace and don't make much of an effort to integrate them into our personal lives.

In 1987, a pastor's son in Connecticut was shot and killed by another man. When the killer was sentenced to five years in prison, the pastor complained that the judgment was not severe enough. But after the killer publicly apologized, the pastor had a change of heart. The pastor began to correspond with the killer and even appealed to have his sentence reduced. The killer was released in 1991 and wanted to get married in 1994. He asked the pastor to perform the ceremony, which he did. That's GRACE !!!!

The pastor eventually gave the other man his love, acceptance, and a new start at life - things that many of us might not think the man deserved. Sometimes we try to practice grace without actually feeling gracious. We act civilly toward someone, yet in our minds are scenes of what we really would like to see happen to the offending person. Some of us have probably also blasted someone for an offense, only to find out too late that we are accusing the wrong person.

Someone once said that grace isn't the little prayer that you chant before a meal. It's a way to live. I believe true grace should begin in our hearts and flow out through our actions. In fact our willingness to show grace is even likely to become a secret of our success. When grace becomes genuine and frequent, it can be truly amazing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration !!!

Thomas Edison was an well known inventor, scientist and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

A story was told that one day Thomas Edison was invited as guest of the governor of North Carolina. As they talked together, the governor complimented Edison on his inventive genius.

"I am not a great inventor", said Edison. "But you have over a thousand patents to your credit, haven't you?" the governor asked.

"Yes, but about the only invention I can really claim as absolutely original is the phonograph", said Edison. "I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean," replied the governor.

In reply, Edison say, "Well, I guess I'm an awfully good sponge. I absorb ideas from every course I can, and put them to practical use. Then I improve them until they become of some value. The ideas which I use are mostly the ideas of other people who don't develop them themselves."

We do not necessarily need to do something original in our life in order to succeed. We only need to do something well.

So think about it......Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

Have a great day ahead.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.

What is your destiny? Why do you exist? Is there a reason, a purpose, for human life? These questions have baffled the greatest thinkers and philosophers down through the ages. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. The great Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:14 "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus". What are are pressing for in our lives?

A story once told about a bank in Chicago considered to employ a young African and decided to check out his reference with an office at Boston investment house. The investment Executive who responded to the request for a reference wrote that the young man's father was a Cabot, his mother was a Lowell, in his background was a happy blend of Saltonstalls, Peabody, and the other members of Boston's finest families. The man give his highest recommendation without hesitation!

A few days later, the personnel manager of the Chicago bank called the man who had sent the letter and said, "We'd like to have a work reference from you before we hire this young man." The executive replied, "I told you all about him. Didn't you receive my letter?"

The personel manager replied, "Yes, but we are contemplating using this young man for work, not for breeding purpose."

Our family tree may provide a solid roots from which we can grow, but we alone are responsible for the fruit we produce in our life. Genuine purpose in life does not come because others set it up for us, it comes as we pursue what we desire to achieve and to be.

Humans are not content to simply survive, we are driven to thrive. It’s not enough for us to merely exist; we are compelled to achieve. This drive would not even exist without a concept of time. We understand that each day is not a reoccurring cycle of static events. The human experience is not only that time moves, but that we do too. We have been created with not only awareness but a need for progress.

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Etymology of Bless You.

Today, it is common for us to utter the word "God Bless You" or "Bless You" when someone sneeze. It does seem rather strange thing to say. You contort your face, expel mucus, and onlookers wish upon you a blessing from the big man. Very strange indeed!!! They always says curiosity kills the cat and that is what exactly I did. Did some search in the Internet on this topic. There are lots of explanations given for such a simple and often unquestioned practice.

The origin of the this tradition is not entirely clear. The are a number of reasons given. One involves the belief that a human's soul might escape through a sneeze. Saying "God bless you" wards off Satan while the soul is temporarily vulnerable.

Another reason given was base on old medical information. Once upon an unenlightened time, people believed that the heart stopped during a sneeze. A hearty "God bless you" set the ol' ticker back in motion. We know today that this just a myth. Thank God our heart does not stop when we sneeze. Can you imagine how times our heart would have stop when we inhale the hot spicy curry smell.

Interesting, but the most popular theory comes from the Middle Ages. During the bubonic plague, a sneeze was believed to be a sign of impending death. "God bless you" was "a way of commending his soul to the care of God." The phrase may have also come in handy to protect oneself if someone nearby sneezed.

Today, "bless you" is more a sign of good manners than a shield against death. If only folks were as courteous about other involuntary bodily functions

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Attitude. Appetite. Aim

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that... you may grow... - 1 Peter 2:2 NAS

When it comes to Bible-reading, Dr. Howard Hendricks points out three things we must constantly be aware of:

1) Our attitude. Just as a baby grabs for the bottle, we should reach for our Bible. A baby needs milk to sustain its life physically, and we need the Scriptures to sustain us spiritually.

2) Our appetite. We should 'long' for God's Word. This is a cultivated taste. When someone says, 'I'm not getting much out of the Bible,' that's a greater commentary on them, than on the Book! Psalm 19:10 says the Scriptures "are sweeter than honey… (NIV). But judging by some of us you'd never know that. There are three basic kinds of Bible students. There's the 'nasty medicine' type. To them the Word is bitter, but it's good for what ails them. Then there's the 'shredded wheat' type. To them the Scripture is nourishing but dry. It's like eating a bale of hay. Then there's the 'strawberries-and-cream' type. They just can't get enough of it. How did they acquire such a taste? By feasting on the Word. They cultivated what Peter describes as an insatiable appetite for Scriptural truth. Which of the three types are you?

3) Our aim. The aim of Bible reading is 'that you may grow.' Now you can't grow unless you know, but unfortunately you can know and not grow. The Bible wasn't written to satisfy our curiosity, but to help conform us to Christ's image. Not to make us smarter, but to make us more like the Saviour. Not to fill our head with Biblical facts, but to transform our lives.

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Don't Keep Your Love In A Box!

She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. - Mark 14:3 NIV

Mark records: "A woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume… She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, 'Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold… and the money given to the poor.' And they rebuked her harshly. 'Leave her alone,' said Jesus… 'She has done a beautiful thing… The poor you will always have with you… But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you… wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her'" (Mark 14:3-9 NIV).

Joseph of Arimathea brought a hundred pounds of ointment to embalm Jesus after He was dead, and not a word of praise is spoken about it in Scripture. This woman brought one pound of ointment and poured it on Him while He was still living, and Jesus pointed out two things: a) 'She did what she could.' Acts of kindness are usually not about doing great things, but about doing small things with great love b) 'What she has done will also be told, in memory of her.' What will you be remembered for, a life of service or self-centredness?

If you think good things about someone, tell them. Go out of your way to fill their lives with joy while there's still time. Those expressions of appreciation, those words of forgiveness, that special gift you've had in mind, give it while you can.

Don't keep your love in a box!

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Cost of Finishing the Race

Someone once said that life is like participating in a marathon race. Not just one competition but many as we journey through life.

Seasoned long-distance runners have learned to focus on endurance, not just speed. They pace themselves so that as they approach the finish line they can pull out all the stops. For dedicated long-distance runners, quitting isn't an option.

Despite some delays and disappointments along the way, they know they'd never be satisfied just sitting on the sidelines cheering for those who have paid the price to run the race. So if you're that kind of person - one who needs to attain your dream and desire - go for it to touch the finish line!

So, what's the secret to enduring the race of life? Never lost sight of where you heading too. You'll only endure the pain when you've something to look forward to. Winning will cost you in terms of pressure, criticism, loneliness and sacrifice. Although we are exposed to opposition and criticism along the way, it will strengthen our character and we won't crack.

Success comes only when you're committed and have the passion to cross the finish line. So the question is: can you endure the race? When the pressure is on will you, my race is too important to stop?“ If your answer is yes, get your eyes on the ultimate goal of life, "run to win," and you're sure to cross the finish line!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When It Comes To Giant-Problems

A champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath...- 1 Samuel 17:4 NKJV

When it comes to giant-problems:

1) Their size can intimidate you. And it doesn't help when everybody around you, including your leader, is running for cover. This is when you need to recall the victories of your past: Red Sea-sized ones, Jericho Wall-sized ones. How big is your God?

2) Their words can cause you to doubt. "When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were… greatly afraid" (1 Samuel 17:11 NKJV). Words like, 'the tumour's malignant,' 'the company's down-sizing,' 'I don't love you any more,' 'our child is hooked on drugs,' 'the bank is foreclosing.' How do you handle such words? By turning to the living, life-changing Word of God which transcends all circumstances and trumps all opinions. "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8 NKJV).

3) There is an 'opening,' look for it. It was said Goliath could throw his spear half the length of a football field, so that's probably how far David was from him. Furthermore, Goliath had body armour protecting him from head to toe, except for a small opening between his eyes and his forehead. That's what David aimed for. There's a lesson here. When you ask God for a solution, it may come as a small opening rather than the size of half a football field! When He shows it to you, trust Him to get you through it. God's response to you is not designed to increase your sense of comfort, but to build your confidence in Him. That way you'll not only be able to handle this giant, but the ones waiting for you in the future.

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd

Monday, October 5, 2009

God's Love

Many lonely sailors have been cheered by the flashing signal from Minot's light off Scituate in Massachusetts. The signal spells "I love you" in nautical code. Several years ago the Coast Guard decided to replace the old equipment. They announced that for technical reasons the new machines wouldn't be able to flash the "I love you" message. The public protested and the Coast Guard weakened. The old equipment remains and continues to send its message of love to the ships.

The greatest message you can ever hear is this: " God Loves You. The message that should be on the lips of every Christian as they move about their world is "God Loves You." The Bible says "God is Love".

God’s great gift of His Son, was a message to this sinful world, “ I love you.” Oh, the wonder of it all just to think that God loves me. John 4:10 says "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sin."

Do you believe that ? Have you grasp that ? Have you allowed this precious truth to pierce your heart ? God loves me, my sin He does not love, but my soul He does.

The God of Eternity loves us ! Be Blessed.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Where's my heart?

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be...Matthew 6:21 NIV

William Randolph Hearst lived in Hearst Castle. It was 90,000 square feet sitting on 265,000 acres. At one time he owned 50 miles of California coastline. And he collected 'stuff' for 88 years. He had 3500-year-old Egyptian statues, medieval Flemish tapestries, centuries-old hand-carved ceilings, and some of the greatest works of art of all time. After eight decades of collecting stuff William Hearst died. Now people go through his house by the thousands and they all say the same thing: 'Wow, he sure had a lot of stuff.'

We go through life, get stuff, then die, leaving all our stuff behind. And what happens to it? Our kids argue over it. Our kids, who haven't died yet, go through our stuff. Like vultures, they decide which stuff they want to take to their houses. They say to themselves, "Now this is my stuff," then they die and new vultures come to get it. Nations go to war over stuff, families are split apart over stuff. Husbands and wives argue more about stuff than any other single issue. Prisons are full of street thugs and CEO's who committed crimes to acquire it. Why? It's only stuff.

This is what Jesus was addressing when He said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV). Now, having read those words, ask yourself the question, "Where's my heart?"

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd