Tuesday, December 17, 2013

5 tips on Giving for the season

It’s Christmas, a season to be jolly. It is also a season to give and receive love. Why do you have to give? You should give because God first gave by giving us greatest gift of all, His son Jesus. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. Furthermore, the very foundations of the earth are built on giving for example. Plants give out oxygen and take in carbon monoxide, while human beings breathe in oxygen and give out carbon monoxide.
This is the same with bees and flowers. Plants produce nectar as a way of attracting bees to stop at a flower. Bees on the other hand gather nectar from the flowers to turn into honey. In the process of gathering nectar a bee, picks up pollen grains and transfers the pollen grains from one flower to another. This is called pollination. The honey and pollen when mixed together provides food for baby bees (larva) while pollination allows plants to reproduce.
Here are some tips to help you with giving this season:
  1. Give thanks: The first thing to do is to give thanks to who thanks is due. God has been faithful and you have so much to be thankful for. Even if you feel otherwise, the fact that you are alive and able to read this article is reason enough to give thanks. Remember where there is life, there is hope.  According to 1 Thessalonians 5v18 “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. This season take stock of all God has done for you and count your blessings.
  2. Give a gift of a lifetime: This season give a meaningful gift that would make a lasting impact in the receivers’ life. For instance you can give a book as a present or invest in a mutual fund on behalf of someone. Furthermore, if you are aware someone struggles with fear or bad eating habits, buy a book that would help the person overcome their fear or eating habits. There is a story in a book about a wealthy woman whose home was burglarized. The thieves stole the typical valuable items like jewelry etc. However, they failed to take her most valuable items which were her books. The thieves failed to realize that the books were what educated her on how to get wealthy.
  3. Creativity always pays: A good way to avoid over spending is to give creative gifts. According to Mother Theresa “It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving”.  A creative gift idea is to give out cards with personal or family pictures printed on the card.  You can also create a calendar with family pictures. It is the thought that counts and not the amount spent on the gift. 
  4. Reach out: This season do not give gifts to only family members, friends or loved ones for it is more rewarding to give a gift to someone that cannot repay you. Different ways to reach out include going to a hospital ward on Christmas morning to sing Christmas carols. Contributing towards paying rent for a widow. Visit a prison to give gifts to the inmates or buy hearing aids for the elderly or impaired.  Visit and pay grocery or utility bills for an old relative. Put a smile on someone’s face this season by reaching out.
  5. Give the best gift of all : According to Kahlil Gibran “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”.  This season give the best gift of all which is you. This is especially effective with kids. We may feel obliged to buy expensive gifts but what kids treasure most is the time you spend with them.  Spend quality time with your loved ones. Bake cupcakes with your kids, sing Christmas carols. Watch a movie in bed with your spouse. Cook a nice meal and have candle light dinner at home. What really matters most is the quality time you spend with your family.

In conclusion, remember to give cheerfully as instructed in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. Also give discreetly as instructed in Matthew 6v3-4 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret and your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you”. On a final note as you give you may just be like the plant who receives a blessing as it makes provision for the bee as stated in Luke 6v38 “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured in your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

In the waiting room

Okay so this afternoon I was feeling kind of down. I've recently taken a huge leap of faith (I would share this later) and I was beginning to second guess my decision. The Holy Spirit led me to check Joyce Meyers website and I saw a link titled "Waiting on God". I clicked on the link and God spoke to me.   I have copied and pasted excerpts of the writeup and have also included her website address. I encourage you to visit her website and be inspired.

What to Do When You’re Waiting on God

by Joyce Meyer

Have you been praying about a situation in your life and found yourself waiting for a breakthrough? Are you wondering why the answer hasn't come yet? Do you feel as though victory is passing you by?

Sometimes when we pray long and hard about a situation in our life without receiving any answers, we just learn to live with it. We go on about our business, wondering if or when God will send the answer. But God does hear those prayers, and He’s working out the answers even though we may not know all the details. Our situation can change suddenly—quickly without warning!

But one thing is certain: Before God moves suddenly, we will wait. Waiting for answers is a fact of life—nobody gets out of it. So the question is not if we'll wait, but rather how we’ll wait. And I believe how will determine how long.

Two Ways to Wait

All of us will wait passively, or we'll wait expectantly. A passive person hopes something good will happen and is willing to sit around waiting to see if it does. After a short time, he gives up, saying, "That’s it! I've waited and waited and nothing's happened." The passive person has a lot of wishbone but not much backbone!

The expectant person, on the other hand, is hopeful, believing the answer is just around the corner, due to arrive any minute. His belief is not a passive thing. His heart is full of hope, expecting his problem to be solved at any moment. He wakes up every morning expecting to find his answer. He may wait and wait, but suddenly what he’s been waiting for happens.

Expect It to Happen

It’s just like when a woman is pregnant; it's said that she is expecting a baby. She carries inside her the promise of a baby, and even though she can’t see it, she knows it's there. The moment she learns of her pregnancy, she begins to plan for her baby's arrival. She starts collecting items she'll need and busily gets the nursery ready. She actively prepares for the arrival of the baby because she knows the promise will be fulfilled—it's just a matter of time. She is expectant and she'll wait as long as it takes.

We know the word wait means "to expect" or "to look for." But remember, it also means "to serve" — just like a waiter waits on your table at a restaurant. Our act of waiting isn’t supposed to be spent sitting around passively hoping that something will happen sometime soon.

Be Eager with Faith

Once we've asked God to answer a question or solve a problem, we need to be eagerly awaiting His answer. We need to be serving actively, aggressively and expectantly. When our hearts are eager to hear from God, He loves to rush in suddenly with His solution. In many cases this waiting period actually serves as a time of preparation for the answer. If God answered right away, many of us would be ill-prepared to handle His solution. 

Sometimes we find ourselves in such horrible messes that it's hard to imagine waiting one more second. But we need to keep waiting on God and trusting Him with a sweet and simple faith. Then, in a way we never could've figured out—God moves suddenly! 

Then All of a Sudden...

In the Bible Paul and Silas knew about waiting, and they waited well. Acts 16 tells the story of how they were attacked by a crowd, beaten and thrown in jail. Verse 24 says the jailer put them into the inner prison (the dungeon) and fastened their feet in the stocks. He was making sure they couldn't escape. But about midnight, God showed up. Now it would have been nice if He'd come a little earlier, but Paul and Silas didn’t seem to mind—they just decided to start singing and began to worship the Lord. They began to wait on God.

Verses 25 & 26 say, "But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened." God answered them suddenly!

When people patiently and expectantly wait on God in the midst of horrible circumstances, suddenly God breaks through.

So don't give up! Don’t stop believing! Stay full of hope and expectation. God's power is limitless, and He'll break through for you.
Culled from http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=what_to_do_when_youre_waiting_on_god
My first post. Yay. Praise God. I'm actually beginning to fulfil my purpose.

Basically I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to start this blog as a place of hope for  countless individuals, including myself, looking for encouragement and inspiration.

There are alot of blogs out there but sadly most of the blogs feed junk to the average reader.

Every one of us needs encouragement at some point in our lives and sadly there are few places to find that encouragement.

My entire life is a testimony. The Lord has done great and mighty works in my life and as the Psalmist said in Psalm 35 v 18 I will give thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.      

On the 11th of July 2012, I was inspired to begin to write down my testimonies in a journal and on the 6th of September, 2012 I received confirmation through Rick Warrens purpose driven connection daily devotional to write a book or to always write down all the testimonies in my life. Rick Warren talked about how the people of Israel created a memorial each to remember what God had done for them. In the book of Joshua, after they crossed the Jordan River and were going into the Promise land, God told them to create a memorial to remember what he had done for them. So each person picked up a stone and used it to build a memorial. In the future when their children asked what the stones meant, the Israelites could explain that they were a reminder of Gods faithfulness to the children of Israel.

I am led to write down every testimony God does in my life, to testify of His goodness, to encourage people and to serve as a memorial to remind me of Gods goodness.

He is the same God and is performing miracles daily. I can't wait to share all that He has done and is doing in my life. I will share past testimonies as I remember and will also take you through my journey in my relationship with God.

This is not just about me but about you too. Please send me emails, comments, testimonies, challenges that will inspire spiritual, intelligent and meaningful discussions. Lets stir up hope within ourselves and the greater community. We would be talking about different issues including, spiritual, emotional, career, fashion, entertainment, social, political etc.

Let us be inspired.