Posts

TheLineUL

The LINE

While it is the human nature to look and strive and keep aspiring for something or the other in continuum, we as Christians might find it difficult to actually draw the line (in a Christian way, of course) of where exactly to stop. So how do we draw this line or identify that thin line of separation between contentment and competent. To identify this, we need to explore further into what we actually long for.

Generally we all long for more money, fantastic career, fancy cars and electronic gadgets, right relationships, perfect looking skin (I mean men too!) and societal power.

Isn’t it strange that we more than happily agree to buy a book or a video CD on ‘How to be Creative, Confident, and Competent’ to help us experience what ought to come naturally? We are ready to oblige and nod to the conclusions of the author whom we have not known or shaken hands with or even laid our eyes upon. Aren’t we overlooking the theme of ‘contentment’?  Now, you might say, “Not when we’ve been programmed to compete, achieve, increase, fight, and worry our way up the so-called “ladder of success” (which few can even define).

Face it. You and I are afraid that if we open the door of contentment, two uninvited guests will rush in: loss of prestige and complacence. We really believe that “getting to the top” is worth any sacrifice.

A teacher who is competent, contented, and fulfilled in the classroom is frowned upon if she turns down an offer to become a principal. A man or woman who serves as an assistant or in any kind of support position in a ministry, company, or the military frequently wrestles with feelings of discontentment until he or she is promoted to the so-called “top rung.”

Paul says, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

Now, is it wrong to be rich or powerful or beautiful?

It is not wrong!

The problem crops in, when we shift our focus from being excellent to glorify God, to becoming greedy, which allows one to possess wealth and goods and the ways include subjugating others to obtain it. The intention and deeds are entirely focused on obtaining goods and there is no involvement of God anymore.

That’s when we need to stop and think. God blesses us with what we need. He wants us to be excellent, stand out, to be strong and courageous, exert dominion over all things and glorify His matchless name. In the process of which, some of us tend to side track and starve the spirit. There is the caution line. Watch out!

“If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasure” – Job 36: 11

This is not easy to implement. We will be out-numbered, out-voted and we will have to fight our urge to conform to the world but it is a learning process. It is not enjoyable until we are convinced that we are listening to the right drummer and when we are, our strings are cut and we are free.

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

 

 

-Maggie Gerard

FirstStep

Take that First Step

Matthew 14:22-33 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It talks about Jesus walking on the water. After feeding the 5000, Jesus sends His disciples in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. After He had sent them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.  Several hours later in the night, the disciples encounter a storm. Jesus comes to them, walking on the water. The disciples are terrified not knowing its Jesus. Jesus tells them, “Take heart! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter replies, “Lord, if it’s You, tell me to come to You on the water.” So Jesus invites Peter to come. Peter gets out of the boat and begins walking on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and sees the wind and waves, he begins to sink. Peter cries out to the Lord and Jesus immediately reaches out His hand and catches Peter saying, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  As they climb into the boat together, the storm ceases. Then the disciples worship Jesus, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

We get a lot of things from this passage that we can meditate on. The first thing that struck me is we’re so busy looking at our problems that we sometimes don’t recognize the Lord when He comes to us in the middle of our “storms.” We think we can handle everything on our own, but the truth is we can’t and we’ve just got to hold on to Jesus because He has it all figured out. Peter had the faith and trust in Jesus to walk on water which is truly scary and intimidating. It was in the middle of a storm but he still decided to take a step of faith trusting that God will direct his steps. That is just what God wants from us, unshakable faith.

But later in the passage, we read that for a split second Peter loses sight of Jesus, the one who was keeping him above the waves. He starts to look around at the storm and that is the moment he started sinking. But as soon as he calls out to the Lord for help, he was lifted to the place of security again. Taking our eyes off Jesus, and focusing on the difficult circumstances will cause us to get under our problems. But when we cry out to Jesus, he catches us by the hand and raises us above the seemingly impossible surroundings.

Finally, we see that when Jesus gets in the boat, the storm ceases. When we have Jesus “in our boat” the storms of life will be calmed and we can worship Him.

We all know that life is full of doubts. But many of us try to swim through the problems on our own. We need to realize that the real safety and strength lies with God who charted out the course in the first place. He’s never failed us. We must take a step of faith towards God’s will for us which means we’ve got to trust Him even as we walk on uneven waters.

We will go through difficult, faith-testing circumstances in our lives. But we must not sink into despair. Instead, we must look to Jesus and His miraculous power for help. Let us just trust God with all our heart and believe that He’s going to take care of us along the way.  

 

 

Gracia

IsPrayerYourBackUpPlan

Is Prayer your Backup Plan ?

Are you one of those people who run to God only after you have tried every possible way of your own to get something? After every method has failed? After every person who you thought was influential have turned it down? Then you are stressed, have no more energy to goahead on your own, so you go on your knees asking God if He is really out there, if He is really watching over you as He promised. Finally you get what you wanted but your way too exhausted by now to dwell and rejoice over your success. Amidst of all this chaos God is looking at you with a smile asking, “Child I would have made this much easy for you. Why dint you come to me in the first place?”

There you go and hey we are not settled with that as yet. We are people who look for ample opportunities to blame it on God again, like God you are supernatural, you are all powerful and dint you know what I wanted? Hmmmm…. Simple as this, did u ask? Of course God knows you in and out but wouldn’t it please your Father who is supernatural and all powerful if you had approached Him in the first place and not merely ask but demand the things you want with all the specification too lol, our God is a God of details. Let me hear an Amen for this.

Kinda convinced now but what exactly is prayer? No no no please don’t tell me its spending hours together sitting with your bible, meditating on the word and being in this weird silence that puts me to sleep. Haha a big Nah to that. Prayer is not this boring monologue or a set of words you keep chanting day in and out. It breaks all the rules and yay I find many of you so relieved here and excited too. Prayer is just a conversation you have with God your Father. I’m sure we don’t go to our parents every time we want something and say, “Dad.. Mom I praise you and thank you for all that you have done for me and Im sorry for my wrong doings…. Can you get me a toy car?” Man that sounds so weird and funny. God might just be rolling on the floor laughing at how innocent or ignorant you are.

Apart from having a specific time studying the word or your Quiet Time, prayer can be as simple as these: Good Morning God, God help me this is gonna be tough and I have to be done in 5, I wanna taxi Dad, Can I have that red dress from Zara for my birthday? If you are glad about this, I have some more good news…. It can even be simpler, super funny, insanely cute, innocent, stubborn, more demanding etc. Doesn’t it sound like so much fun? Sometimes we just ask God for something and run off in our busy schedule like you don’t care what God has to say. C-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n is the word here and don’t put God within your box expecting for answers that you want to hear. It can be a green, yellow or even red.

Every thought as this must be backed up with His word. So let’s see what the bible says about prayer:

           • Pray round the clock – 1Thes 5:16-18

           • Pray when on pins and needles – Philippians 4:6-7

           • Pray for your challenger – Luke 6:27-28

           • Pray because God is all ears for you – Jeremiah 29:12

           • No shilly-shally prayers – James 1:6

           • Pray as if your gift is wrapped already – Mark 11:24

           • Don’t run on with your prayers – Matthew 6:7

God wants you to be a prayer warrior, he wants you to converse with Him, He is happy to hear you, he doesn’t record your bloopers. He is like this person who is so in love with you that He is ready to be up always to listen to all your cries, blabbers, complaints and puts up with all those mood swings and crankiness. Every day is a new day and it takes just 21 days to make something a habit, let’s start today and go on without ceasing. Prayer is your priority not a backup plan.

 

Just for you to LOL…

A prayer of a person struggling with weight

Lord, my soul is ripped with riot

Incited by my wicked diet.

“We are what we eat,” said a wise old man,

Lord, if that’s true, I’m a garbage can.

To rise on Judgment Day, it’s plain,

With my present weight, I’ll need a crane.

So grant me strength that I may not fall,

Into the clutches of cholesterol.

May my flesh with carrot-curls be dated,

That my soul may be polyunsaturated

And show me the light that I may bear witness,

To the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

And at oleomargarine I’ll never mutter,

For the road to Hell is paved with butter.

And cream is cursed; and cake is awful;

And Satan is hiding in every waffle.

Mephistopheles lurks in pepperoni,

The Devil himself in each slice of bologna.

Beelzebub is a chocolate drop,

And Lucifer is a lollipop.

Give me this day my daily slice,

Cut it thin and toast it twice.

I beg upon my dimpled knees,

Deliver me from jujube’s.

And when my days of trial are done,

And my war with malted milk balls won,

Let me stand with Heavenly throng,

In a shining robe — size 30 long.

I can do it Lord, if you’ll show to me,

The virtues of lettuce and celery.

Teach me the evil of mayonnaise,

And of pasta a la Milanese.

And crisp-fried chicken from the South,

Lord, if you love me, shut my mouth!

Amen

Wating

Waiting

We live in a world of fast lane, fast cars, fast food, fast life and we have no time to take things slow. We want everything to be done in an instant… I mean they have even come up with instant loans! No one likes to wait these days.

But when it comes to Christian life, somehow it’s all about the waiting and for some people it’s waiting and waiting and waiting. Does it sound like you? I sure feel that. I mean it’s somehow like God is playing a mean trick on you, making you wait when you are actually looking for an answer. Read more