This morning you made me cry
Not because something was stuck in my eye,
but because I realized you were interested in another guy
It started off as innocent conversation and jokes between a mutual friend and I
But I soon got caught up and began to entice
My mind wandered with thoughts of what could be, and no sooner creeped the thoughts of infidelity
My thoughts they were stronger now, plaguing my brain all the time
That no later had I seen her face, had I wished for a sweet embrace
I could no longer tell which girl was mine to be faithful to,
Mine to hold dear and true
Soon my true love or what she should have been
Caught a hint that someway, somehow, I had grown distant
She pondered, she questioned, and tried as hard as she could
To please me in anyway that was imaginable
But you see my brain so confused by what started out as innocent
Could not give her a hint of my allegiance
To our love, our story, our happily ever after
So she sat there sad and alone wondering what If she too found some new attracter
Slowly but surely she drifted away, this is when I started wondering had I made a mistake?
Entertaining all that The Lord had not ordained
My, my, my why did I have to start that conversation with my buddy that day
Now what was once a happy home has a distorted end
I’ve lost my love, I’ve lost my wife, I’ve lost my true happy end
All because I because I just had to entertain my friend.
Many have experienced the emotional pain that devolves from infidelity or a cheating partner. If you choose to be in a relationship, you do stand the risk of getting hurt, but some hurts can be avoided. When two people commit to be in a relationship, they undertake the obligation and expectation of being faithful to each other. Being faithful requires a little more than the words, “I will be faithful” but more so requires great action and responsibility on the part of each partner. For instance, if I were to see an attractive man, and I see him actively trying to engage me with his eyes, I avoid eye contact and try to get as far away as possible just like my boy Joseph did in the face of great temptation with Potiphar’s wife. In some cases, one might find themselves actively staring at an attractive person, to you I would say avoid this! Simply program your mind not to look so hard, besides it being rude, such an action is just the beginning of the future manifestations of our sinful nature.
God’s word already warns us of the consequences of such actions. In Matthew 5:28- But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. We must be careful what we allow our minds to dwell upon because, soon our thoughts turn into actions. I know you may think this is easier said than done, but if you take a step back, and really think about how much you value your spouse, partner, girlfriend, or boyfriend, and your relationship, you will not do anything or think anything that would threaten to destroy such. Before you take the step down the narrow winding road of infidelity think of the expected end, it never ends well. In the other hand, if you are the type of person whose eyes can’t help but stray, it just might be best for you to stay single. As the good book says, “do unto others as you would like them to do unto you,” – Luke 6:31. So my friends today I say go forth and flirt…not with anyone else but with your partner, do a double-take when you look at him/her, remind yourself of why you are with him/her, admire your partner’s physical attributes and say to them (and mean it), “Babe I’m hot for you and you only!”
Love, Ms. B
P.S. Please take our poll about infidelity below. It is anonymous.
“God helps those who help themselves”
I trust many of us have heard this saying, and probably use it subconsciously or deliberately as a life principle. I have been thinking about it a bit more critically as despite popular belief it is not a quote from the Bible yet it is often thrown around in Christian forums as if it was the word of God itself!
First, the extreme interpretations:
God won’t help you if you don’t help yourself first.
I believe this is directly contradictory to Scripture, especially the gospel of grace (unmeritted favour from God). We do not have to perform tasks to earn credit in God’s bank of blessings and help.
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.
5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly,
their faith is credited as righteousness.- Romans 4:4-5
Moreover, as believers, we should trust that God will help us at the times when we cannot help ourselves (which is all the time).
But he said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”…
– 2 Corinthians 12:9
For example, when the 75 year old impotent Abram was told he would be a father of nations, his barren wife Sarai did not believe she would be the mother of these nations but she did believe God’s promise. So she set out to “help God”.
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children.
But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar;
2 so she said to Abram,
“The Lord has kept me from having children.
Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
– Genesis 16:1-2
In the end, many years later, Genesis chapter 21 says
Now the Lord was GRACIOUS to Sarah as he had said,
and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.
– Genesis 21:1 (emphasis mine).
God’s grace, not Sarah’s scheming, helped Sarah! God did not help Sarah because she “helped herself”, He helped her despite helping herself!
Lastly, we cannot really help ourselves without God enabling us. This is explicit in the gospel message from John.
“I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.
– John 15:5 (emphasis mine)
Helping yourself is ungodly and we should sit back and wait on God.
I believe that this is also contradictory to the Word; Specifically, the “sitting back”, not the “waiting”. There is merit in waiting on God. There are many scriptural references to patience but the one that comes to mind is:
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
– James 1:2-4
Patience is important for our maturity. It takes a really mature and humble person to truly believe that “God’s timing is better than mine” (*my struggle*) and to wait expectantly.
On the other hand, there is no merit in doing nothing at all while waiting. Think of a good waiter in a restaurant.
While he is waiting for your order, he busies himself serving other customers (blessing others), maybe he’ll pour you a glass of water (service) or converse with you about the options (prayer) until you finally at the right time place your order (God’s order in your life). A waiter who disappears in the back for a smoke break will probably miss when you are ready to order, but a waiter who genuinely serves well and expects your order, will be ready for that order… and may even get an unexpected tip!
So we’ve dealt with the extremes of the quote “God helps those who help themselves”. We’ve found that we should not and cannot truly help ourselves without God; neither should we sit back and do nothing. While waiting, we should pray and serve God and others genuinely. Though it leaves to be explored how do we know what actions we should take, which I’ll discuss in Part 2!
Thinking about the extremes, though, has inspired me to modify the quote:
“God helps us TO help ourselves!”
Have a great day,
- Waiting With Hope (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
On the surface God’s power is not always visible, but the person of faith knows that God is there, no matter what!1
His glory covered the heavens,
And the earth was full of His praise.
His brightness was like the light;
He had rays flashing from His hand,
And there His power was hidden.
Before Him went pestilence,
And fever followed at His feet.
One can persevere by living with a vision1. If you had a vision of a savior that could do this:
He looked and startled the nations.
And the everlasting mountains were scattered,
The perpetual hills bowed….
The mountains saw You and trembled;
The overflowing of the water passed by.
The deep uttered its voice,And lifted its hands on high.
The sun and moon stood still in their habitation;
At the light of Your arrows they went, At the shining of Your glittering spear.
(Habakkuk 3: 6, 10, 11)
But then, when you heard the voice of the almighty this happened:
My body trembled; My lips quivered at the voice;
Rottenness entered my bones;
And I trembled in myself,
That I might rest in the day of trouble.
But I remembered how you have brought me through before so I declared:
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen.
Love, Ms. B
1. Goldstein, C.R. Remembering God’s Fame. Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.Pacific Press Publishing Association, Idaho. p.68.2013.
- A new way to look Habakkuk 3:17 !!! (urymglobal.wordpress.com)
- What Do We Do When Our Circumstances Are Devastating? (Habakkuk 3:17-19) (drtimwhite.com)
- Habakkuk (thebiblescribe.wordpress.com)
It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I haven’t been particularly inspired these days to write, and I would rather the Spirit move me than I just write something random that comes to mind.
Today I just wanted to share this excerpt from a book I’ve been reading: Trusting God day by day (365 daily devotions) by Joyce Meyer. I only picked up this devotional last week, so I’ve been catching up in January while reading the regular daily messages for February. I’m so glad I picked this book up though! (I fully intended to buy a particular sci-fi novel but the store did not have it and I did not want to leave empty-handed.)
Here’s the excerpt from January 31st – Give your Brain a Break
“As we grow spiritually, we have to remind ourselves over and over again to: cast our cares on God, be anxious for nothing; trust Him in every situation. As we are diligent to do these things, we find ourselves resting in the Lord more and more, and that is where we find peace, clarity, wisdom and the strength to face each day.”
I myself have been struggling a bit with completely trusting God. It’s easy to trust God when everything is great in life, but a lot harder when things are not working out like you thought they would! I hope these words encouraged you as much as or more than they encouraged me. I especially like how the devotional says that we should “remind ourselves over and over again”. It really mirrors Apostle Peter’s address in 2 Peter 1:12-15 – he emphasizes that he knows that the recipients of the letter know what the Christian virtues are (vs 5-8) but feels it is his duty to keep reminding them over and over so that the knowledge remains fresh in their minds. It’s so important for us to keep repeating the truth over and over especially when we feel like our trust and faith in God is waning.
Finally, this blog turned 1 on Valentine’s Day. I’d like to thank all those who subscribed over the past year, and all those who just passed through, all those that read our posts religiously and all those that couldn’t pass sentence one, all those that commented or shared and all those that checked out our page on Facebook. We appreciate every one of you!
Lots of love,
P.S. Here’s the associated scripture to meditate on.
1Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Hebrews 6:11-12 11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Hebrews 4:9-11 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Good morning everyone!
I woke up and after praying I felt compelled to write this very short post.
3 Things to Remember
God is with you. He will not and cannot leave you. You are not alone.
A new thing is being created in and for you. God will not create this new thing in an old you or an unprepared you. A broken or depressed you is not a ready you.
God has good plans for you. You don’t need to know what they are unless the Spirit of truth decides it’s time to reveal them to you. Be discerning and keep faith and hope while you wait on God.
I hope this helps someone out there.
There always comes a time in life where you have to wait on God. Whether it’s waiting for a result, waiting for a directive or waiting through a season. Waiting on God is not easy. It’s hard to let go of the reins, it’s hard to wait for a long time for a sign and it’s hard to resist the temptation to just do it your own way. Here are a few of the thoughts I had about waiting on God.
- Joy, patience and prayer I’ve been waiting (very reluctantly I might add) through a challenging season. I was talking to my mum yesterday and she said to me “If you say you are trusting God, then you are flying in his face when you walk around moping. So look on the bright side. Even though the message may hurt sometimes, God is in it and he is allowing it for a reason”. And it’s true. I am not really trusting God if I continue to worry and cry and be miserable just because God wants to teach me something through a painful situation.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12It’s no coincidence that while I was at church, praying or reading my Bible, I always felt better. I was only using one of the three elements of the above verse. Despite remaining prayerful, I was letting my self be unjoyful and impatient with God. I thank God that my faithless attitude was not making my prayers ineffective, but I’m sure if I continue with this negative mindset my prayers would have become faithless and go unanswered.
- Relinquish control In the early days, when Abram was over 75 years old (Gen 12:4), God promised him he would have an heir (Gen 15:4). Years had passed and Abram’s wife Sarai remained barren so she suggested that he sleep with her maidservant Hagar. I believe that Sarai did not doubt God’s promise to Abram, but she didn’t believe she was the one to fulfil it and therefore tried to fulfil God’s plans her own way. Confusion is what came out of this situation: Hagar despised Sarai (v.4), Sarai mistreated Hagar (v.6), Hagar and her son Ishmael were sent away (Gen 21: 8-11) and the whole matter distressed Abra(ha)m. All this could have been avoided if they had just let God work His plan. God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33) and would therefore be clear in what part he requires you to play if any.
- God’s time is not your time Still on the above example, Abraham and Sarah were over 100 and 90 years old when the true heir Isaac was born (Gen 17:1, Gen 17:17, Gen 21). This is after almost two decades since that promise was made! God may promise you something now and he is faithful, but he will only fulfill the promise when He knows you are ready for it. God also reminds us not to be anxious while we wait, and again to pray and give thanks during our season.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
So these were just a few of the things I want to keep in mind this week and I hope these reminders have helped you out as well. No matter what you are going through trust God, and don’t just have faith, be faithful!
Let go and let God – a survivor who found a blessing in cancer
Five Things I Have Learned Waiting on God (reflectionsofgracehome.wordpress.com)
When God Says, “Wait” (theinnersoulofme.wordpress.com)
How to Cope When the Will of God is Hard (ptl2010.com)
If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you would have noticed that I’ve been writing a lot this past few weeks. The truth is I’ve been going through a very difficult situation with a close friend of mine. It has been a really low point in my life and only by God’s grace can I wake up everyday and still function.
So when I can’t sleep, or am tired of crying, I research and I write. Based on some of the responses I’ve got, people have been blessed by what I have to say, and I thank God for that despite the pain I myself am going through.
Today at church, the speaker discussed 2 Corinthians ch. 4. What particularly touched me was verse 7.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Cor 4:7.
The treasure Paul was referring to was God’s word. What he was saying was that his ministry wasn’t about him but was about God. Paul considered himself just a jar of clay, a servant, carrying the gospel to the world. The symbolism was fantastic. Think of a clay jar: functional yet fragile, possibly cracked, not necessarily a work of art.
I was so attracted to this message from God. These past few weeks I have felt so broken. If I was not working, exercising or praying, I was crying …. or writing. But like a clay jar, through my cracks, the light of God was able to shine to bless others. It’s amazing that God can still use me despite my flaws and despite my constant struggle with keeping faith that my situation will work out in time. I am not a special person, I am a regular person just like you. I have done things I am ashamed of but God’s forgiveness is real and He can use me and you even at the lowest points in our lives…
Keep your head up,
Last week one of my co-workers asked me how my parents were taking the death of my sibling. I told her that they are coping well and their faith in God has really helped deal with the tragedy. She then said to me “But you have to ask, why would God take someone so young?”. My response was a simple smile and a pointed “I do not question God”. She looked at me as if I was foolish and moved along. It probably would sound like foolishness to many people, this “blind faith” that even the death of a loved one is part of God’s master plan. In fact, a defense for unbelief in God is often “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
When everything is going perfectly in your life, it is tempting to forget those blessings are only by God’s grace. Often we have the best intentions: we work hard and are rewarded with success and we believe it is by our own enterprising that this success is manifest. We forget that the ability to work hard in the first place is facilitated by God. We become blinded by pride in our own efforts.
God’s chosen people were allowed to wander in the desert for 40 years because God needed them to be humble when they received their blessing. He did not do this out of spite:
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. Deut 8:17-18
The Apostle Paul also spoke of the thorn given to him to keep him humble. Paul was a well-educated man, his ministry was very successful, and he had many supporters:
6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:6-9
Tests and rewards
Sometimes God chooses to test our faith. Take the story of Job. Job was “blameless and upright” (Job 1:1). He was also blessed with many possessions and a large family. Job had nothing to be upset at God for and every reason to praise him. God allowed Satan to test Job, to see if he was just a fair-weather believer.
10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Job 1:10
After losing his 10 children and all his livestock and receiving sores all over his body, Job says to his wife. “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10). This attitude is one we must strive to keep in the bad times. Job kept his faith through his suffering and God rewarded him:
The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part… Job 42:12
We must take the good with the bad, and know that God will not forsake us in the end.
There are no good people
Many references in God’s word confirm that there is no such thing as “good” people.
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Romans 3:23
We must never think of ourselves as “good” and therefore undeserving of hardships or trials. In fact, since we are not good we should rightly ask God why he allows good things to happen to bad people like us!
Now that we’ve established that there are no “good” people, it’s simpler to see that sometimes bad things are a judgement for sin. Take the story of Ananias and Sapphira. They knowlingly tried to steal from God and lied about it when questioned. As a result, they were struck down dead for their sin.
Often our bad decisions (i.e. disobedience to God) gets us in places of suffering. We need to be honest with ourselves sometimes about why we are going through some rough times. Is it God’s trial or our consequences?
Display God’s power
It’s not always the case that one suffers because of some sin. For example, take the occasion of the man blind from birth that Jesus healed:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3
This was truly a miracle, for the man never saw anything in his life, so it was not a simple reversal of some sickness but an entire new creation of sight in the man. God could be using your hardship as a testimony of his love.
In conclusion, it is unthinkable that God could do wrong; And we could never know all of God’s ways and intentions unless he specifically reveals them to us. It’s therefore left for us to trust God, and have unwavering faith in times of depravity and suffering.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.
Finally, Christians must remember that faith in Jesus Christ may not guarantee a “good life” and definitely does not guarantee a life with no suffering. However, we are certain in the hope of a perfect eternity.
More on this: Questioning God
A friend of mine recently found out her fiancé had an affair and decided to call off the wedding. One thing I admired was how strong and faithful she remained. I remember, when one of my exes cheated on me, how much I blamed myself. Ugly thoughts inundated my mind. She’s so slim and beautiful and fun. You’re so blah – boring, unattractive and fat. No wonder he wanted to be with her… Honestly, there were times I wanted to go further than emotional self-hurt. I wanted to physically hurt myself. It was a low point in my life and out of shame, I did not talk to anyone for a long time. Eventually, after many nights of secret tears, I turned to the Word. I wanted the reassurance that no (hu)man should make me feel this way when my perfect God has my back.
You are not worthless
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Cor 16:19-20
I had to remind myself that thought I didn’t deserve it, God allowed the death of His Son so that I could have eternal life. No one is worthless to God because this gift is for everyone who will receive it.
God cares for you, the individual you
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Matt 10:29
There are countless sparrows on the Earth yet God has ensured us that every single one of them is cared for. We are more than sparrows. Not one of us will fall without God knowing. He knows your hurt. He knows your entire history. Sometimes it’s tempting to think God isn”t compassionate about our human problems:
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
You may not know the answer, but God does.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:10
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
We are not privy to the knowledge of our future or how the situation will turn out. We don’t know what worse hurt God is saving us when we do hurt. But God assures us that he already knows and he has promised us that his plans are not for us to eternally suffer. This does not mean Christians are promised lives with no suffering. Even the Apostle Paul suffered so that he will not become self-sufficient and forget that God is the source of his strength and wisdom.
… in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Cor 12:7
Sometimes these trials are necessary for the growth of our character. How do we learn if we are never tested. How do we remind ourselves of God’s Word if we are never asked to use it.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Do not be foolish
A deeper meaning to the following verse was revealed to me:
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”… Psalm 53:1
I always thought this was directed at atheists/agnostics. But this message is for Christians too. When you disobey God, doubt God, curse God, you are essentially proclaiming in your heart that there is no God. Though in your mind you know God exists, you do not proclaim this in your actions when you say or do things that are outside God’s message about us.
Anyway, these are just a sampling of the messages from God helping us to realize that these times will pass, we will heal, we must keep the faith when the going gets rough!
Beep… Beep…. Beep…
It was so regular, that beeping that meant he was still alive. It wasn’t supposed to end like this, she thought. No, not “end”. Don’t think like that!
It wasn’t a typical Friday night. She wasn’t at home eating alone. He asked her to come with him.
“You’ll like it, it’s a surprise!”
She hadn’t had anyone care enough to surprise her, at least not a good surprise. They put lard in her locker at school. They put discounts for camping stores in her bag with accusing yellow post-its: “Tent is the only size you wear”. They nicknamed her Shibo. It was a pretty creative insult, she thought. Probably someone into anime coined it.
He picked her up. He didn’t comment when the car dipped as she got in. Instead he said “You look nice”. He drove for what seemed like 30 minutes and then he stopped in front of a small chapel. The lights were on. She could hear singing.
He said “We’re a little late, but better late than never”.
He opened the door, they walked up the aisle to the front. People from school – there’s Shannon, the paraplegic, and Brent the geekiest guy ever, and Catherine. What is Catherine doing here? She sells herself to guys. She doesn’t belong here. What is this?
The singing stopped and the leader started to speak.
“I asked my youth group to be fishers of men. I said to them, invite someone, anyone that they probably never even said more than “hi” to. Just walk up to them and ask them to join us tonight for Bible study…”
Her mind wandered… The Bible? There is nothing in there for me. I’m fat and ugly and unforgivable… look at him, he’s so handsome… intelligent… perfect.
The leader continued “Most of you believe God exists, but don’t think he has anything for you…”
Does he exist? What God would give me this life…
“But God sent his Son Jesus to die for anyone that will accept him as their Saviour and Lord…”
Anyone? Even me…
“Let us sing…”
He leaned over and whispered to her “Surprise!”
He’s so close to me. Is this a trick. Why would anyone care for me?
On the way home he asked her what she thought. She didn’t make a commitment but she was willing to come back next week. She had a tract clutched in her thick fingers.
“That was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. Thank you.”
Beep… beep… beep
How did this happen she thought to herself. It was four weeks since that Friday night. Tonight was the night she accepted Jesus Christ as her saviour. She had just stepped out his car, before not even thirty seconds passed when she heard the crash.
She prayed simply : Lord, I… I don’t know what this means. You said not one sparrow will fall unless it’s Your will…. Lord, he is so much more than a sparrow to me… please … help…
Beep… beep… beep
This is my first try at some fiction. I hope you liked the story. Thanks for reading.
Okay, so I really meant lessons from da fume hood 😛
The other day I was talking to one of my friends, who is a Chemistry graduate student. She recently did an oral exam as a requirement for her Ph.D. program. Basically, she had to present her results to date to 5 professors , and then answer any question they asked her for a gruelling 3 hours. She said to me:
“You know, you could have published in the best journals, worked in the fume hood 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and got a ton of scholarships…. but if you didn’t read the literature, you would fail that exam.”
What she really meant was that while she was toiling in the fume hood (and getting awesome results!) there was a whole world of people publishing other awesome results that she never would have known about if she didn’t read the literature.
If she didn’t read the literature she couldn’t stimulate new ideas for her own experiments, she would likely waste a lot of time “re-inventing the wheel” and she wouldn’t know the significance of her own results.
So where am I going with this?
Well you can sing in the Church choir, volunteer at the homeless shelter, participate in ministry and a host of other things for God (which is all good), but if you don’t read His Word, all this is in vain.
Without reading God’s literature you wouldn’t renew your mind (Roman’s 12:2), you would waste time trying to do things your way (Proverbs 12:15, Psalm 119:105) and you won’t know where you fit in God’s plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Timothy 2:3-4).
And I especially like the following verse because it’s so comparable to what the literature does for research:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 NIV)
So get out there and read The Literature!
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
Last week, while I was working out, my mind wandered (as it often does these days) about my status at graduate school…
My supervisor is very challenging to work with, I am not excited about my research, I have been rejected for every academic award I have ever applied for in the past 4 years, and there have been days where I have considered quitting my Ph.D. program altogether.
As I refocussed on my bench press set, I surprised myself with how much more than usual that I could lift. My self-proclaimed superhuman feat made sense when I remembered that I did a set of negatives the week before.
In Amp up your workout! I touched briefly on the idea, but as a reminder, negatives are reps where you focus on the lowering part of a muscle contraction (e.g. the lowering movement in a push up or pull up).
- require a spotter to help on the positive movement,
- are done with more weight than a regular repetition, and
- take discipline and focus as you perform the negative movement slowly and carefully.
God is my spotter, these trials are more negatives than I’m used to, and with discipline and focus I can handle more in the future!
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Blessings and negative vibes,
I have a friend who had an exam on Thursday. She spent the week finding any and everything else to do but study for this exam, including going to the cinema on Tuesday. On Wednesday night she crammed some notes and went to sleep. The next morning before the exam she told me “I know I didn’t study, but I am going with God”.
I was a little disappointed in my friend’s attitude – not only from the perspective of a teacher, but from a Christian perspective as well. I didn’t want to judge, but in my heart I felt she could have prioritized better. I told her I would pray for her, and I did, but when she got back her grades yesterday, it wasn’t pretty.
So what does this have to do with God, guys and girls?
Well, so many of us get into challenging relationships and then claim to have “faith” that it will “turn out okay”. Now don’t get me wrong; there are relationship trials that the Lord allows for us to be better, more complete people:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4.
And then there are trials we put ourselves in due to false faith. Take my friend who did not put in the work for her exam. God told her … “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thess 3:10. She did not put in the work, but thought if she prayed hard enough and had “faith”, God will reveal the answers to her and help her through her trial. Well, God is not a magic wand to wave when we go against His will and end up in trouble, and neither is He subject to our every whim and fancy.
We need to do our part: obey God and renew our minds by studying His Word. When we study his Word , we develop discernment – we are better able to answer the question “Is this trial from God, or from myself?” We are also better able to recognize what actions God wants us to take (Romans 12:2).
So if right now, at this very moment, you are in a challenging relationship or situation with your guy or girl, grab your Bible, find the relevant passage, evaluate the situation and pray. Ask God to guide you, ask him to reveal the truth of your situation – “Is it you Lord, that wants me to persist through this to the end, or am I holding on to something I am better off not having?”
And always pray as Jesus did “not as I will, but as You will“.
More on this topic: Faith or Presumption? (joequatronejr.wordpress.com)
It’s been three months, three months of bliss – three months of pure undefiled happiness. Each moment reminds me of a day spent in paradise, and every time our eyes meet, I cannot imagine a day without you in my life. Slowly it grew, like a vine creeping and crawling, slithering into the heart and mind. A fondness, a feeling, a flame so famed by its well known alias ~ LOVE… but was the feeling and flame the same.
Was it truly love?
I sure thought that it was. A love that formed its roots within the deep recesses of my heart, a love so unexpected, so unique, that I couldn’t tell the end from the start. It certainly was something of an enigma – unknown, uncontrolled, uncanny, unmatched. From sweet slumber I’d rise feeling inexplicable delight knowing that you sir was a part of my life. Smiling every day, feeling no pangs of pain, numb to disappointment, in fact there was no hurtful thing to come my way and if it did, I wouldn’t know its name – for to me before you, life was just mundane.
Oh such a sweet romance, gently idling by the phone listening for your special ring tone, hearkening to your heavenly voice, everything you said was gold, blocking out the world’s noise. Plans made creating pockets of time that could only be shared with you, these would soon become memories to reflect upon when we’d say our “I do’s”. It’s been three months, three months of moonlit walks, and candle lit kisses, savory foods and delectable dishes. It’s amazing how much we’ve connected over the meals shared in spots that are now more to us than just the places that supplied our fare, yes much more, they’ve become a notch on the timeline of our love.
It’s been three months, three months since our first kiss shared in the dark of the universe where there was only us, and I knew, I knew it was true because for me, you were more than a dream, you were the epitomy of what it meant to be a soulmate – you were a soul-me. Three months, three months since I first noticed the way my legs twitched every time I felt your lips. It’s been three months, three months since you showed me what a gentleman truly was, a man who would lift me off my feet just so they wouldn’t have to touch the scuzzy streets. It’s been three months, three months since I first knew what it felt like to be wrapped in the arms of a man who truly knows how to love… three months. Three months and you wait till the clock is about to strike midnight less two on the eve of the new year that crashes through, and you say as you look into my eyes and hold me tight in your arms, “Will you be my boo?” and I respond “Yes” but was I just unleashing the storm all because I chase after the one?
Is he “the one?”
All that’s been said without a mention of God, not a gentle prayer whispered or a request for guidance whistled, no… just an uninterrupted spiral of sentimentalism over the man who seems to glisten. Is he truly the one when there’s no time left to consult with God about the one whom the heart He (the creator) gave you, craves for? THE ONE who made you, who knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), THE ONE who knows what’s best for you, is THE ONE whom you deprive of telling you whom you should allow into your life. God is THE ONE who can help you choose, who knows the inner workings of “the one” you claim is for you. Without His direction, this connection is destined to fail, so save yourself the heartache and please let God’s will prevail. Do not make the mistake of the many before you, mistaking “THE ONE” – Your heavenly Father, for the “the one” – a mere man. Let THE ONE true God lead you to finding “the one” i.e. the helpmeet Jesus-picked and chosen for you – that’s when you will experience true bliss –pure and undefiled happiness. This is the only way you will know a love so true!
Here are some great articles you should check out!
The Book of Ruth describes one of my favourite Old Testament stories. There are such great aspects to it…
- Conversion: A woman with pagan beliefs genuinely converts to belief in the one true God of her husband.
- Tragedy: A mother loses her sons, 3 wives lose their husbands.
- Loyalty: The friendship and love between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law
(Mothers-in-law get such a bad wrap… thanks Hollywood :S ).
- Sacrifice: A daughter-in-law stays and cares for her aged mother-in-law despite being a young widow herself, who could easily find a new husband.
- Love at first sight: A man with good intentions notices a virtuous woman and cares for her.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The complete story
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Angie and Ms. B
Last Thursday was International Women’s day . My Facebook feed was therefore inundated with posts by women proclaiming independence, an ability to do everything better than men, and defiance towards getting in the kitchen and making him a sandwich. This prompted me to write about our roles in relationships as defined by Biblical standards.
There’s this misconception that God is sexist. However, in terms of salvation, (probably the most important message of the Bible), God says this:
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28).
Clearly, God views man and woman as equals but He does define specific roles for each gender. This is not sexism, this is just perfect management!
Let’s start at the beginning. Gen 1:27 describes the creation of mankind, both male and female. In Gen 2:21 God took Adam’s ribs to create the woman Eve. This is quite symbolic. The ribs or the side of man’s body corroborates the equality of the genders in God’s eyes. He did not take part of man’s head or foot, so ladies should not laud over nor be subservient to their men. However, God did make females with a purpose:
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Gen 2:18)
Ladies your role is to keep your man company, be his friend, confidante and helper. Unfortunately for us, Eve botched her job big time. We all know the story: Eve was deceived by the serpent in the garden, ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, shared it with Adam and pretty much got them evicted from Paradise.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Gen 3:6)
Adam should have said “No!” He knew the rules, but he trusted Eve because he expected her to look out for him as his friend and helper. Adam was given a huge choice of free-growing food, but he ate from the forbidden tree, and Eve showed poor decision making and by extension leadership skills. God therefore judged mankind fairly: man suffered via having to work to grow his food for all the days of his life (Gen 3:17-19), while woman was destined to be ruled by her man (Gen 3:16). Yes, fellars, you are ordained to rule the ladies. Luckily, Christ has given us the best example of a good ruler:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25)
That’s a huge role guys. To love your lady means you must be patient with her, treat her kindly, protect her and display only good will towards her. God wants you to rule your lady with her best interests in mind. No manipulation, no games and especially no abuse.
Ladies, God did not leave you out:
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. (Eph 5:22)
Ladies, your God-fearing man is willing to sacrifice himself for you. If he has your back, the least you could do is submit to him and respect him. Don’t make his job harder by being quarrelsome, disrespectful or unsupportive. You are his helper – encourage him to seek God and allow him to fulfill his responsibility of leading you as the priest of the home.
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor 11:3).
Once the couple strives to follow this model of accountability, a harmonious and enjoyable relationship is inevitable.
But what if these roles are not being fulfilled? Let’s start with a man in the wrong. A man who is not following God, who is encouraging you to do unholy things, and who shows no interest in Christ as the head of his life has forfeited his right to be your ruler. In this situation pray for your man. Ask God to move him to His will and make suggestions to him respectfully to reflect on his actions. In this case, the lady may have to lead (with Christ as her head) in the man’s stead. An example of this is Deborah, a judge/leader of Israel (Judges 4). Deborah told Barak, the commander of the armies of Naphtali and Zebulun, to march out and meet the enemy and God would guarantee the victory. The commander did not trust God and begged her to go with him. If Barak was an example of the kind of doubtful men that were around at that time, it is no wonder God favoured Deborah to be the leader in Israel despite being a woman!
Now for the “independent ladies”. God did not command your man to be your oppressor. If your man is obeying God’s will you don’t need to get on your I’m-a-strong-woman-I-don’t-need-you pedestal. He is your guardian and is responsible for you. Nothing is wrong with being a strong woman, but remember the same way your man submits to Christ is how you should submit to him – willingly. Don’t be like Lot’s wife, looking longingly at the world, while your man is leading you to the safety and good things of God. A pillar of salt is not a good look for you!
So Guys and Girls, know your role: the guardian and the ruler, the helper and the friend. God has ordained it, so let it work in your life!
P.S. It’s okay to grab him a sandwich now and again 🙂
Have you ever heard the phrase…”Parents just don’t understand”…. I am sure it is fair to say that “Men just don’t understand!” Sometimes I feel as if I am screaming at the top of my voice and no one (especially the one I’m talking to) can hear me. Why is it that men just can’t hear what you’re saying. I mean after all, you call yourself my better half and yet it seems that when I think something – you do not, and when I form this thought into words, you speak a different language. Of course you must be thinking I’m crazy, how can I possibly expect him to know what I’m thinking? Well I don’t, BUT I do expect that we will communicate in such a way that our thinking patterns and understanding of each other’s needs and wants coincide. Unfortunately expectations are funny that way, because while I thought my better half and I would share no language barriers, the harsh reality is when women speak, men hear dogs barking, birds chirping, cats meowing, or donkeys braying…cause they sure don’t hear what you’re trying to tell them. Many of my educated sisters may say “I am at a loss as to what to do because I have tried to dumb it down or intellectually spice it up but it just does not seem to work!” “I could even say it in the three or four different languages I know, but it is no surprise that these attempts to communicate the simplest of things prove futile.” Can you feel the frustration?
Scene: Jane and John sit on the couch, Jane rests her feet on John and says
“Honey I’m stressed out!” John gently touches the soles of her feet.
Jane thinks it is the beginning of a wonderful massage, however it stops there.
Jane is not satisfied and wants more so she gently touches him and says “Can I have a back rub too?”
He responds with a pat on the back, two strokes of her feet and
a touch of four of the five toes God blessed her with.
Jane is left dissatisfied, and stumped as to the disconnect between
the words that left her mouth and those which entered John’s ear.
Lost in translation much?
It seems that in relationships it is truly important that when partners attempt to communicate with each other despite the apparent language barrier, they need to be fully connected to God as were the apostles during the day of Pentecost. When the apostles were preaching to men of different nations who literally spoke languages different from their own, this audience of foreigners was able to understand the apostles perfectly. Through the working of the Holy Spirit, when these apostles who were Galilean spoke, the men in the audience heard these things in their own language (Acts 2:4-12). The apostles through their relationship with Christ received the Holy Spirit who then made their Aramaic/Hebrew words comprehensible to the hearers who spoke Latin, Persian, Arabic and perhaps more. How much more then can the Holy Spirit do for us in our relationships? If we would but commit and consecrate our lives to God and seek to understand His will, what a blessing we would receive when our mouths are opened or our ears are perked. God has the power to give us great depths of understanding and eloquence of verse just as He did for Moses who was fearful to speak before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:10-12).
Daily, we rely on our mobile phones as a constant means of communication, but there are times when we call our significant others and misunderstandings result due to dropped calls or poor reception. No fault of yours of course, but your patience wanes and the decision is made to switch phone services. Well people you should leave AT&T and Verizon, Bmobile and Digicel, and switch to the most reliable communication service there is – ‘Jesus Mobile,’ for there is no service provider more efficient, reliable, and inexpensive as when you dial with or to a Jesus line. Calls are crystal clear, all cell towers function optimally without interruption, dropped calls are non-existent, and an in-service interpreter is always there. When it’s time to communicate with your spouse, significant other, friend, relative, and even your foe, just call on your Jesus mobile because only He can soften the edges of our would be sharp tongues, and improve the acuity of our faulty hearing. Only He can allow us to speak, hear, and listen in love. His is the best intepretation/translation service, whose capabilities surpass Google Translate and Rosetta Stone. He is the only one who can make our relationships stronger via clear, comfortable, communication because He is the one who works on the heart, improves the mind, teaches us love, and cleanses the soul. Listening to, and learning our partners is linked to loving our partners, and the better we love them, the better we can communicate with, and listen to what they say, even when no words escape.
So ladies…. Is it that men are deaf or they just don’t understand or is it that we simply need to switch our lines of communication?
Here’s an interesting link which describes how we ourselves can become language barriers and how we can improve on this ~ Communicating God’s way ~
Hopefully Clearly Speaking,
One Saturday night last year, I got a call from my sister.
Sis: Hey, do you know where your parents are?
Me: No. I didn’t see them on Skype or anything.
Sis: Okay, I’ll call you back.
I thought nothing of it but ten minutes later my phone rings again.
Sis: Hey, what are you doing?
Me: Nothing much. What’s up?
Sis: Can you sit down?
Me: Ummm okay… what’s wrong?
Sis: There was a bad accident…. and…. he didn’t make it….
This is how I found out my only brother, who had turned 25 just days before, died.
Where do I start? I felt disbelief, shock, grief, out of control. My legs physically buckled… I couldn’t even sit up in the chair. I felt deserted by God for a few seconds. Until, for some reason, all I could keep saying, almost mindlessly, was “Thank God, thank God, thank God…”.
But why was this my response? Unfortunately, many people would blame God, ask why He would allow this, wonder what we did to deserve this punishment.
Well let’s look at Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians:
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.
1 Thes 4:14.
Paul also advised for us not to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope:
God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thes 5:18.
It is hard with our limited minds to understand God’s plans but he has promised us a “hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).
Months later, and lucid, I know now what I was thanking God for:
- For allowing us to grow up in a Godly home and for giving us the gift of His son; my brother had given his life to Jesus (i.e. become “saved”) at a young age so I was assured of his fate.
- For sparing my brother, his wife, and my family from a life as a vegetable. I saw pics of the accident online (regrettably) and heard the autopsy reports; if he had lived, he would have been severely brain damaged.
- For granting my brother 30 years filled with true love, amazing travels, a dream job, and unique experiences.
- And selfishly, for letting me talk to him one last time on his birthday.
So for those dealing with the death of a loved one, meditate on the above verses and take comfort in knowing that our multi-faceted God is Jehovah Rowi (our shepherd), Jehovah Shalom (our peace) and Jehovah Raffa (our healer). So lay all your grief at His feet, embrace His peace, and let Him heal your pain.
Finally, give thanks for the time you had!