30 June 2012

Something New Every Day

Life can seem like a battle. Spiritually, emotionally, physically. There have been times when it has been touch and go whether we would end up "losing ground". Times when it was hard just to ensure that our family stuck together, in order to stick to the task at hand. Distractions were everywhere!

However, in looking back this week, one thing in my life has remained constant. Because my Lord never fails to find a new way to bless me every day. And that's one truth that I need to remember. Hence this post!

It never seems to be the same two days running. And why should it? But there is always something every day - it's just a matter of spotting it!

Lamentations 3:23 (New Living Translation)
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

I  wonder what the Lord has in store for me today?

27 June 2012

Target Setting: Update

I've been giving some prayerful consideration to target setting recently (as regular readers to this blog will recall) and have begun priorising, clearing a few obvious stumbling blocks out of the way, in order to see "the wood from the trees". I've been advised to categorise my task list into:
  • A: Urgent and Important
  • B: Not urgent and Important
  • C: Urgent and Not important
  • D: Not urgent and Not important
I've not found this an easy thing to do. I've even found that the very act of sifting through the list again and again can distract you from dealing with the list! However, I wrote my initial to-do list last week and was impressed that I struck off 95% of this by the end of the week! And I had to deal with a Class A task recently, one that I certainly won't forget in a hurry, I'm clearly being led through a steep learning curve in double-quick time!


Psalm 25:5 (NIV)
"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long."

19 June 2012

The Funeral

I went to a funeral today. Steve (not his real name) was someone that I had scarcely got to know. I would have liked to get to know him better, but it wasn't to be.

Steve didn't have any nearby friends, or any family to call on. He was alone, and in need of a friend. So I started to visit. I helped Steve as much as I could. He was essentially a shut in, so I shopped for him, got to know him, helped him to keep his flat tidy. And I took every opportunity I had to share my faith; the truth of the gospel. And I prayed with him.

In the two or three months that we knew each other, we developed the start of a friendship. I don't know whether that made a difference in the end. But I tried.

And I learnt a lot about myself in the process.

Time is short. Take those opportunities where you can. Because they don't come around again...

9 June 2012

Wake Up!

"(Wake me up) Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up) Wake me up inside
(Save me) Call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up) Bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up) before I come undone
(Save me) Save me from the nothing I’ve become."

lyrics from Evanescence - Bring Me To Life (written by Amy Lee, Ben Moody and David Hodges)

Tomorrow is my birthday. Another year older! And I am encouraged to wake up and to set some Life Goals to achieve by this time next year. And they should be realistic and achievable!

Don't get me wrong: it's not that I've been living in some idyllic fantasy dream world, always reaching for the unattainable. No, if anything, I've been dozing off for a little while.. Pottering along, but capable of so much more - with short bursts of frantic activity!

You see, the goals which I set for myself as a young adult are quite a long way behind me. In fact, many of those dreams were shattered by the twists and turns of life. Some said that I needed to lower my expectations. Some hold a contrary view and think that I now need to raise them!

Time to wake up and start again. I've considered those aspects where I've achieved real fulfillment over the past five years and used that for the basis of my renewed target setting.

I also read this quote yesterday on the net - this also resonated something within me:

"How far we are away from achieving our goals or fantasies and whether or not we feel that we are steadily moving towards these goals will determine how happy we are and how much life satisfaction we have."

And here's one final point before I start putting these goals down on paper - and it's to remind me that the Lord needs to be actively involved in the decision:

James 4:13-16 (The Message)
And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, "Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money." You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, "If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that." As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don't do it, that, for you, is evil.

8 June 2012

Target Setting

Do you believe God speaks to His people even today? I believe that He does - but you need to set aside quality time in order to listen. Life gets so busy! Imagine inviting a special friend around for a cuppa and a chat - and then not blocking out that date and time in your calendar... How special would that person feel, having to contend with a whole host of other calls on your time?

The image above? It's something that came into my mind during a recent prayer retreat at William Booth College. A time where many of us in the Corps set time aside to listen to Him. And this is an inspiration to me to remember to keep on target.

What target? There'll be more on this shortly.

7 June 2012

Patience: The Story So Far

"Lord, give me patience - and now!"

This is, I must admit, something that I really struggle with. I don't know whether this is a side effect of the society that we find ourselves in - perhaps it goes with the fast food and email culture - but it really bugs me that so many people think you can pull the stops out and turn something around in no time at all.

It's funny, but when you do 'go the extra mile' for someone, they seem to think nothing of it.

And yet, when I ask for something to be done quickly, everyone seems to invariably drag their feet.

I've been reviewing the number of times I've blogged on 'patience' and find this in the tenth time I've done so over the last three years. Guess I'm not there yet on this one. Yet.

"God's way of answering the Christian's prayer for more patience, experience, hope and love often is to put him into the furnace of affliction." - Richard Cecil

"Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself." - Saint Francis de Sales

4 June 2012

Pushing The Boundaries

It's interesting to read about people stepping outside their comfort zones, or pushing their boundaries to see what happens. Because I've tried it. In fact, I've been trying it for a while now.

In some areas of my life, the whole process can be long, slow and arduous. Scary, even. Fighting strongholds of fear, steadily building up confidence, dealing with minor setbacks which often look like major mountains to climb. Sometimes it feels like I'm simply not winning - it's often a case of not losing ground, not letting myself slide back. It's most challenging, and hard work: no fun at all!

However, it's not always like that. In some other areas of life, you try something new and wow! This is so easy. I can do this. It seems to be second nature; as if I am born to do it.

I'll still endeavour to push through on the difficult areas; but, should I also be trying to understand my obvious 'gifting' in the easy areas?