Life is for Living Every Day

Thoughts on Faith, Family, Friendship; Love, Laughter, Life


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We Are God’s Awesome Delight

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“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

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What a beautiful verse! And I admit I strongly feel the need to really hold on to God’s promises – like in a vice grip of sorts, if only to keep me from tumbling over the cliff of life and into a deep valley of overwhelming despair which means it’s comforting to know that God is indeed living right here among us.

For example, I once travelled to the Dominican Republic to attend a quarterly management meeting with an awesome team of ‘movers and shakers’. As we got started I felt it was truly great to have an infinite supply of ideas, yet my enthusiasm was tempered by this little fact: execution can more often than not become a challenge when resources are finite rather than infinite. We shared our various views around the table and I took as many notes as possible but gradually, I felt as though my poor heart was going to explode out of my chest (quietly however, so as not to disturb the meeting but explode none the less). How would the items on our extra-long To Do List ever be completed within the stipulated deadlines? Continue reading


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10 Rules to Success by Oprah Winfrey

2 kettlebells 20 lbs each

“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

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Do you believe Oprah Winfrey is successful? What’s your yardstick? What do you think is hers? I know that mine is hard work followed by hard work. That’s what it took for me to be able to swing two 20 lb kettlebells at the same time. When I finally got it right it was: “Success folks! Go me!”

I am not as famous as Oprah but here are 10 of her ‘Rules to Success’ – thanks to Evan Carmichael – but do they match yours? Would you add any others? Leave a comment and get this successful conversation started 🙂

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” ~ Golda Meir


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Let There Be Light

Photo by Gale E

 

“Too often, we complain about the darkness, “I don’t like this job. These people are so negative. Nobody has a good attitude.” Ask yourself, why do you think God put you there? They don’t need more light in the bright places. That’s an opportunity for you to shine.” ~ Joel Osteen

Well, do I really have to say how much I related to this word by Joel Osteen? Anyone else agree? If you are still working and not enjoying retirement as yet, it is a fact that we spend more of our waking hours on the job than at home with our families. And we all know how these hours can quickly expand just like that into extra hours when trying to complete deadline-driven projects.

I think it would be great to have a job where everything simply fit into place like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We would get to work on time, take our lunch break on time and leave our office on time. We would get adequate notice about projects and be able to complete them on time. Everyone would be friendly, cooperative and committed as well as supportive team players. Best of all our pay would be unbelievably generous! Yup, that would be wonderful but an ideal job is much like an ideal life: it’s not going to happen.

The world is full of dark places and dark people … as Joel suggests, both need our light. Let’s ask God to show us how we can shine even brighter exactly where He has placed us and by extension to transform a few life negatives into positives.  With Him on our side it can be done.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin”. 1 John 1:7 NIV

Please share your thoughts with us:
– Are there negative people in your life? How do you manage them?
– How is your job right now: good, bad or ugly?
– If you are retired, is there more light than darkness around you?
– Is there anything you could do differently to shed a little more light around you today?


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The Lord Will Provide

Tokyo food

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” Genesis 22:13-14 (NIV)

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Today I am looking back over the past few days and acknowledging that although it was mostly a time of frustration and inconvenience, it was also a time of great provision.  God never forgot me, especially on those days when I literally told Him: “God I have no idea how I am going to manage today; please send somebody (or some bodies) to help me!”  As one day merged into another I didn’t only ask for help but found myself relying on God to make decisions for me.

Have you ever found yourself saying: “Ok God, there are these three things I need to do.  Please ease the tightness in my chest and show me which one is the real priority here while giving me the peace of mind in knowing that this is what I should be doing at this exact time.”  Or maybe you used these words instead: “God, I have absolutely no clue what to do in this situation!  I can’t think straight and I just can’t decide … so you’re going to have to take the steering wheel on this one while I sit in the passenger seat.”  Can you relate?  I am sure it’s not just me that has these types of conversations with our Father.

A friend told me recently that God builds and tests our muscles in the valley so that we will be fit enough to make the trip to the top of the mountain.  She is so right!  I guess all we have to do is focus on being obedient to God while resisting the many temptations that the devil sends to distract us from staying on the true path.

Our heavenly Father is our Yahweh Yireh, a name which means ‘the Lord will provide’ and as I encourage myself to stand firm in the knowledge that God will provide for me whether I am down in the valley or up on the mountain top, so do I encourage you to stand firm and to look for that ram in the thicket just as Abraham did – because it will without a doubt be right there waiting for you.  Do I hear an ‘amen’?

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV)

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How not to be afraid of the unknown

Dessert rose, the journey is the destination

Photo by Gale E

“The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighbouring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.””
Deuteronomy 1:6-8 (NIV)

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It’s the last Monday of February so hopefully you will capitalise on the opportunity to capture moments and not things … but let me share a moment of my own with you.

I met up with a girlfriend recently. She had resigned her well-paying, prestigious, high profile job to work on her own. Things at the office had been going downhill for some time but then it became a matter of integrity as lies were told and grey shadows of doubt were cast upon her work. I watched my friend’s face carefully as she shared. She seemed happy enough and entirely at peace with her decision; I was proud of her.

How many of us complain everyday about our dead-end jobs, unreasonable bosses, selfish co-workers, inconsiderate spouses or belligerent children? And though months and even years may pass, how many of us simply sit back and remain in a situation because in reality we are just too afraid to step out in faith; to step into the unknown land that God has already claimed for us and is trying so hard to lead us into?

Yes, life can be more than difficult and some days find us tired, empty and overwhelmed. For women it’s even more of a struggle as we attempt to juggle our careers with raising our children and fitting in time for ourselves/loved ones while feeding our spirituality. Yet, no matter how long you’ve been struggling or how much it may look as though there will never ever be any light at the end of your tunnel – there is hope! God hasn’t forgotten you! He’s right there with you, holding your hand and encouraging you to come with Him into the land He has waiting for you … BUT it’s going to take faith because you don’t have a clue where this land is, or what it looks like, or who’s going to be in it with you.

Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back from receiving and embracing God’s richest blessings. Don’t extend your stay on the mountain unnecessarily. Break camp and advance! Do something! Go in and take possession of your land because even though you will always have trouble in this world, Jesus has already overcome the world. He is with you.

“”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
John 16:33 (NIV)


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How secure are you?

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“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance”
Ps 16:5-6 (NIV)

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Many of us have started out the year with a heavy burden which weighs great upon our bodies. It could be the loss of a job, loss of a loved one, a ‘wayward stubborn’ child, a terminal illness diagnosis, a divorce. Then there’s the back-stabbing which can happen whether we are at home, at work or even at church. On top of all that’s going on in our lives there can also be the struggle to make ends meet, to find time for ourselves, to donate our time and energy towards positively making someone else’s life meaningful.  The stress of daily living can be overwhelming, and as I maintain: the struggle is real.

However, God knows the path better than we do. He can see way up ahead whereas we only see the part where we are stuck in the rut. Our Father is aware of the downsizing, laying off, divorce, death, illness – it doesn’t matter; He is totally aware of our portion and our cup but yet, He has made our lot secure.  Furthermore, we are told in Deuteronomy:

“You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. “
Deuteronomy 28:6-8 (NIV)

Is that a promise or is that a promise? I say it’s an amazing awesome promise i.e. let all the people say amen! So what’s the word for this week? It’s SECURE. Can we be secure in the knowledge that God loves us right where we are just as we are? Can we be secure in the fact that come what may, He will always be with us? Yes.We.Can.

Just a little something to reflect on as we move out into the year ahead aka Happy Happy Monday.

 

I love Mondays