Monday, 28 December 2009

Isn't it just like our Lord?

Funny how this blog article happened.  I've been feeling anything but inspired to write because I'm going through some personal things (emotionally dark times) and seeking the Lord on that.

The importance of reading the Bible is evident in how the Lord brought this article about though... twice yesterday at different times and in different bibles I read the account of Jesus's return on the clouds in Mark 13.   

 Mark 13:24-27 (New Living Translation)
 “At that time, after the anguish of those days,
  the sun will be darkened
  the moon will give no light,
  the stars will fall from the sky
  and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
  Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory
  And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

At first I didn't see how this passage could have ANY bearing to my situation but then today, I open my Bible at Isaiah 60:19-20 and a little light bulb goes on in this preoccupied little brain of mine.

 Isaiah 60:19-20 (New Living Translation)
 “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day,
 nor the moon to give its light by night,
 for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light,
 and your God will be your glory.
 Your sun will never set;
 your moon will not go down.
 For the Lord will be your everlasting light.
 Your days of mourning will come to an end.

When we are going through dark times, through anguish..when it seems like the sun is darkened, the moon gives no light, the stars have fallen from the sky. etc. (see the Mark 13 passage I quoted in article above)...  It is THEN that you will see Jesus Christ coming in great power and glory.  

When you have nothing else to cling to, nothing else to hope on, nothing else to distract will see your Saviour, the Light of the world, coming to you in power and glory.  What a glorious image! What a wonderful hope!

Just keep trusting in the Lord, waiting on Him, pouring your heart out to Him, reading His word.  He cares, He listens and He's coming!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Let your light shine? What light?

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

A couple of emails and some Bible passages I read really got me onto the topic of “Shining for Christ”.  Well, God surely is not finished on this subject with me yet!

This morning, I journaled a prayer asking God to show me exactly how He created me, as the unique human being Karin, to shine for Him with the personality, gifts and talents He gave me.

God has started answering that prayer.

I came to the realisation that I don’t believe my life is worth much unless I serve and enrich the lives of others.  You know that whole sounding brass, or tinkling cymbal thing. (1 Corinthians 13)

I want my life to make a difference for good.

That train of thought actually made me feel a little depressed, because I got stuck thinking well I don’t do an awful lot, do I? What difference am I making?

Just to illustrate how God can speak to you in funny ways so you make the connection...

I starting thinking of one of my aunts and how her sunny bright personality is one way she serves others because she is focused & interested on them and not herself and her positive energy is quite infectious!

That in turn got me to thinking about how by just being who I am, who God made me, not necessarily doing anything special, I may be serving others.

Answers started coming that showed me how I may be making a difference even though I feel I’m not.

For instance, I usually allow others to just “be”.  Be who they are.  I may not agree with their beliefs or their actions, but as long as no one is being harmed, I let them be.  I think that makes people relax and feel safe in your presence, doesn’t it?

There were more answers I wrote down and I’m waiting for more clarity, but I shared that example above to show you how it can be anything about you that makes a difference in the lives of others... it’s that something that they like about being with you.  For you your gift may be your hospitality, or your sympathetic ear, or just the way you hug people hello.  Take some time to pray and think about it how you may be making a difference in the lives of others. I’m sure God will show you one or two things about yourself that you can do more consistently and use to serve His children.

Of course, God just loves confirming messages so again, online articles/emails spoke about this issue of 1) being a light for Christ and 2) all of us having a special way to shine for Christ.

Enjoy the two pieces below and let them speak to your heart.

Below I share with you an extract of email 1 as well as the full article on LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE.

Subject: Making Jesus attractive to all this Christmas
From Brigitte Petro Petrick

Pastor Deborah had a powerful message this past Sunday, about us being the salt and light in the world.  She spoke about us being the carriers of Christ’s light.  One of the questions she asked was, “Can people tell that you are a light carrier for Christ?”  It reminded me about a scripture God spoke to me about a couple of weeks ago -- a scripture I want to take into 2010 with me as a, shall we say, main focus!

Philippians 1v11: Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. (MSG)

Can you imagine living a life that makes Jesus Christ attractive to all, that leads to getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God?  Awesome, wouldn’t you say!  It is such a huge responsibility we have… carrying the light of Christ into the world.  Have you considered the opposite: if we as Christians reflect the world rather than Christ, would people still be attracted to Christ if they can’t tell the difference between us and the world?  I don’t think so!  I think it is due to us being so different to what the world knows, that we make Christ attractive to the people around us.  Can you imagine showing love to someone you feel doesn’t deserve it, or compassion to someone you barely know?  The beginning of this scripture speaks about us living a lover’s life -– awesome -- showing and sowing love wherever we go!  Now that is what would make Christ attractive to the world!

Let us go into 2010 living a lover’s life, a life that makes Jesus Christ attractive to all, which leads to God receiving all the glory!  That will be my mission in 2010.  Remember to carry Christ’s light into every place you go!

Have a blessed Christmas
Love, Brigitte

Let Your Light So Shine by Marnie Pehrson
This weekend I had the unfortunate privilege of attending the memorial service for a childhood friend. Lamar Combs, who would have been thirty-seven this month, was training his dog to duck hunt, when he was thrown from his boat and drowned. The community of Chattanooga poured out their love and support for the family in a search and rescue mission that lasted for almost four days.
While I hadn't seen Lamar since 10th grade and my memories of him were fuzzy, two things stood out in my mind about him. He was always smiling, and he never made fun of people the way a lot of other kids did. As I listened to his friends and family share their memories of him, it became obvious that this happy Christian young man continued to befriend and love others into adulthood. Individual after individual shared with a large sanctuary packed with people the way he made them feel good about themselves -- the way he took an interest in each of them and cheered them up when they were down. He genuinely loved and cared for other people. He was a good husband and doting father to his four-year-old daughter and was looking forward to the birth of their second child in February.
While I was driving home from the memorial service, I asked myself, What can I learn from Lamar? Surely good must come of every tragedy. Nothing is wasted if we can all learn from it. The admonition of the Savior found in Matthew 5:14-16 came into my mind:
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Lamar let his light shine. He brought glory to his Father in heaven. Sometimes I think I have to do some big or grand thing to make a difference in the world. But I learned from Lamar that an ordinary man, who loves his wife and children, who reaches out to others and shares his warmth and smile, someone who looks for ways to build others up can leave a lasting impact on the world. I was awestruck by the sheer number of people who were touched by the life of Lamar Combs -- someone the world would call an ordinary man, but who lived his life in an extraordinary way.
We each have the light of Christ within us. Jesus Christ is the Light that shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not (John 1:5). We bring glory to our Father in heaven when we let Christ's light shine through us and out to others. We don't have to be someone we're not. We don't need to covet the talents of others. We each have unique gifts, talents and messages to share with the world. Christ's light shines through us when we are who He created us to be. We let His light shine when we give of ourselves, when we truly love others and share what God has given us. Great things happen, people are touched, and lives are changed when we let His light shine.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Why be the moth when you can be the flame?

God's been talking to me lately about shining for Him ever since my previous post His Light Shines.  

I've read scriptures and received emails and read some more scriptures and they all talk about shining for Christ because He shines on us and in us, and wants to draw all men unto Himself.

So bear with me and read through the scriptures and emails I've received...
2 Corinthians 3:7-8 - The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 - But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 5:20 - We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

The email I received:

December 17, 2009
A Star Is Born: Thoughts on the star which led the Magi to the King of the Jews
By Rev. Judy Bauman

Recently I have been asking the Lord some specific questions about the "star" seen by the Magi from the east. It is one thing to see a star and use it for navigation, as astronomers have done for centuries, but this star guided these men directly to one specific house. The star is reported in Scripture to lead them exactly to the house where the Child Jesus (Yeshua) is found with His mother. This was more than men using the stars for navigation; this was a supernatural sign from heaven. (See Matthew 2:1-12)

So what exactly does this mean to us now and how do we apply it to our lives? If you turn to
Philippians 2:14-16a (NIV), you will see a wonderful connection to us as believers and the Star that led the Magi from the east. The apostle Paul writes (emphasis mine):

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life?
People are searching for the King, for their Savior, for a Friend, for the One who eternally loves their soul. They are seeking for the One we know, love and serve. They are looking for Jesus the King of the Jews, but they need a star to guide them! So my question to you is: Will you be one who will shine like stars in the universe and hold out the Word of Life to those who so desperately need to find Christ the Lord?

In Him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:4)
When the Magi saw the Star stop over the house, they were overjoyed. Who will be overjoyed because you shined this Christmas? You were born to be a star - so shine!

May the Father keep you in His love both now and forever,

Rev. Judy Bauman

I've also been reading about Christ as our Light and I'll end of with a few of those scriptures with you too:
Isaiah 9:2The people walking in darkness have seen a great Lighton those living in the land of the shadow of death a Light has dawned.
Luke 1:78-79 - because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the Rising Sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
There are more scriptures that speak of God as the Light.  Go find them!  :-)

Friday, 11 December 2009

His light shines

2 Corinthians 4:5-7 (Nlt)
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
A company driver handed me a pamphlet this morning saying God had laid me strongly on his heart the last time he was at our office.  This pamphlet is for ONE IN CHRIST ministries and they do discipleship training one evening per week.

Then the next applicant, a Zimbabwean, right after the driver had left (and the above driver spoke Afrikaans so this Zimbabwean gentlemen wouldn't have understood what was said) says: "There is something very different about you.  Are you a Christian?" So I say yes, then he just says, "God bless you and your family".

Some days I don't think I'm a good witness for Christ but I'm glad His light still shines. 

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Quick prayers to settle the nerves

A list of a few affirmations by Catherine Ponder. I use them as prayers.

"This situation does not dismay me. God is with me to uphold and sustain me, and to make all things right. I trust everything in my life to the tender care of the Father. I know his will for me is health, happiness, prosperity, spiritual unfoldment and all that is good."

I do not resist this situation. I put it in God’s hands of infinite love and wisdom. Let the divine idea come to pass. If this situation is the divine plan, I bless it and no longer resist it, but if it’s not divinely planned, I give thanks that it is now dissolved and dissipated.

I give this burden of _____ to God and I go free to be ______.

There is nothing to fear. God’s Spirit of love and good is at work and divine results are coming forth.

There is a divine solution to this situation. The divine solution appears now.

Jesus Christ is providing the perfect results in this matter now.

The same God that first motivated this financial transaction is now mightily at work, clearing it up for the highest good for all concerned.

I now bless everyone, everything and every situation in my life.

God doesn’t need any time and God is never too late. With God all things are possible.

I give thanks for the immediate, complete payment of all financial obligations, in God’s own wonderful way. God is the source of my supply.

Friday, 04 December 2009

Follow God's nudges

Trust God’s promptings, His inspiration!

My spouse has her own training company. Business died down after an ex business partner stole training right out from under her even though there was a service level agreement (contract) in place. That is one of the reasons he is an EX business partner. LOL! So she had to deal with the betrayal, and needed new work soon!

God’s been training me for years now to trust Him for our finances because of the fluctuations in income + work due to the nature of my spouse’s work.

So I started trusting Him for our specific needs in this instance and praying for new work opportunities.

I actually remember that right after we started finding out how sneaky the ex business partner really was, that God lead me to a verse in the Bible. That night I prayed for us asking Jesus to be my spouse’s business partner.

This is the verse I read - translated as follows in my New Living Translation Bible:
1 Corinthians 1:19
God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

A little while later my spouse has an idea to call a contact she knows in a large hotel group. She supervised training for his daughter at one stage.

After staying on her case for a couple of days my spouse finally called – and he wanted to set up a meeting.

The reason I stayed on her case to make that call was because I felt that this was a divine connection God brought to her mind.

The meeting went very well but there was talk of the training only starting next year. Nothing confirmed or final yet. We needed income for the end of December!

This is where the goodness of God just overwhelms.

The person in the hotel group phoned my spouse to let her know he had referred one of their hotels for urgent training. They need it this year still! The hotel has already sent my spouse and email requesting a quote.


Remember, when God gives you a hunch, or an idea ---> follow through!!!