Life is for Living Every Day

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


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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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Looking for an ‘Aaron’ and ‘Hur’

Take my hand

Take my hand

 “The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” Exodus 17:8-12 (NIV)

 

I believe everyone knows the importance of support, whether we are giving it or receiving it. No man is an island and although that may sound like a tired cheesy cliché, it is very true. Think about it. There is no job that we can entirely perform on our own, no child we can raise on our own, no committee we can volunteer to be a part of on our own (if that makes sense), no marriage that can work if only one person is putting in the effort on their own.

In this well-known bible story let’s pay specific attention to the support which Aaron and Hur lent to Moses when his hands grew tired. Here we have one man on each side of him and not for 10 or 15 or 30 minutes but committed all the way until sunset. Based on this help, Moses’ hand with the staff of God remained steady and Joshua was able to win the battle against the Amalekites. Would the battle have been won without this support? No, because we are specifically told that whenever Moses lowered his hand the Amalekites were winning.

Today, is there anyone we can offer to support in some way, no matter how small? Do we know someone who may be physically ill, unemployed or facing a loss of some sort (whether loved one, relationship or significant material possession such as their home or transportation)? Do they need us to keep their hands raised? Or do we ourselves need to find an Aaron and/or Hur to help us hold our own hands up above the waters of life?

Never forget that God considers His children to be keepers of their brothers and sisters. As for me, I will be there to support as needed but in the meantime, admit that I am looking for both Aaron and Hur (not being greedy but realistic – smile) … I know they are somewhere out there.

But what about you? Are you looking for an Aaron or Hur too? Was there a time when you needed serious support and someone was there to lift you over or through the challenge? We welcome your stories 🙂

support


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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)