The Simple Life

Real Live Thoughts


Monday 25.02.13

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:

Regardless of your circumstances or the attacks that have caused you to feel insecure or unstable, I am still the Rock of your spiritual foundation, says the LordCome to Me in times of crisis and uncertainty, and I will establish you again in truth and wisdom.  

 1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

 What a reminder.

IMG_20130125_075533A couple of days ago I was at the bank when one of the customer care staff called me aside to let me know that one of them had passed away the night before. Her name is Susan and I realised in that moment that I have loved her as a sister for a while now yet never realised or said it. When I was tired of the bank and wanted to move because of bad experiences at my branch she convinced me not to and to give them one last chance. So I gave them one last chance and she made a world of difference. She found a way to open my account in the names I wanted despite repeated claims that it was not possible. She found ways to cool me down when I was mad at them yet never promised the impossible. When I was told she was gone I came face to face with my mortality once again.

 

You see, Susan is my age mate. She has a son about the same age as my son. She has a husband who loves her. She has family and friends who love her. There were tears in Lydia’s eyes when she told me about Susan’s passing. Her voice broke and she had to stop and take a breath before finishing the story. In that moment I realised that despite her sudden departure Susan is deeply loved. She will be dearly missed. Her absence will be closely felt. I must admit that someone will be hired to replace her. Someone will sit at her desk. However, I will always remember her smile, her warmth of heart, her genuine concern. In this day and age where many are too engrossed in work, she found time to get to know my whole family as we all bank there. She was concerned if my son’s birthday card did not get sent on time. She did more than just her job, she cared for us and her care kept us there and enabled her employer stay afloat. She played her part and so in her memory I will too.

 

That day has made me ask some really hard questions about my life; am I loved by anyone that deeply? Would my colleagues cry for me for more than being the provider for income? Will my clients miss me? How much longer do I have on this earth? Will I have lived to the fullest and had the greatest experience every by the time I leave this earth? Do I give my all with everyone I meet? Am I a positive influence on all I meet? Do I help everyone who comes my way? Do I share what I have selflessly? Am I living up to my calling and reaching the target God set out for me?

IMG_20130125_081240

So I lived the day in a haze and went about the business of life wondering and pondering what my life has been about and what I continue to live for. I choose this day to live with a clear view of heaven and the reality that I am not here forever and have impact and a difference I need to make while I am here.

 

Join me to live our lives to the fullest expression of Papa and with the greatest joy, love and peace. Be a blessing and life changer everyday.

 

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Bird’s Eye View from my mind


Bird's Eye View from my mind

This is Protea Kuramo Waters Hotel on Victoria Island In Lagos Nigeria

About 500m beyond this beautiful place is a village of water people who live in rag-tag plastic and wood shacks over the water.

What has just struck me is how we can live in our different worlds everyday and never meet to talk or interact. This ability to stick to our area of influence is more dangerous than we all think. We each stay in our comfort zone and so we do not grow. The lack of growth and expansion of our minds and thoughts will in the end endanger our livelihoods.

I am learning everyday just how important it is stop and think and make life work better.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Wandering thoughts


SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:

Stay focused.  Your thoughts have wandered from things that are relevant and have brought up the past to instill a sense of failure and condemnation.  There is little if anything you can do about old issues.  Don’t dwell on the past or allow regrets to hinder your walk in the Spirit.  Release yourself from torment, says the Lord, and be free.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

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I wasn’t ready for this one but here it came. Yet it was so true.

Just this morning as the day begun I was really struggling to keep focus on the things Papa has said over and over in my life. It was like life was conspiring to make me out to be a liar. Some of the things that happened may seem normal to everyone else but to me they were big things at that time.

First, I got stuck in traffic. Now you may say that is normal but not for me…I haven’t sat in as much traffic as I did today in over three years. Next, the shop I had felt led to did not have what I needed so I had to shop around. Next, I took longer than it should have taken to find what I needed. The people I asked for help gave me wrong information and all. Urggh!!!! In the back of my mind I am thinking about the document I am working on that isn’t making sense and costs are not adding up and I am so frustrated. I had to deliver one thing, find costs for something else, be at an exhibition and still deliver on my promise to my client.

By, 9.30am I was so tired it was like 10.00pm, yet the day wasn’t even half-way. Then I read the bulletin above and realised that trouble. ‘I was basing my expectation for today on the past and not fully on the word for today. I was so caught up in how it had worked in the past I had not seen the detour sign.’ Based on these happenings my day was a mess and I could not recover it.

I had to come back to the place where I accept that the pace for today had to be different and I had to connect to the message of today and the plan for today and forget the rest. What a relief when it all came into place. The resolution came a conversation with my business partner and an honest expression that I couldn’t do the exhibition. It came from sitting in the car under the shade and decoding my thoughts on paper as I ate an ice cream cone (best part was the ice cream). It came from moments of stillness and calmness even in the deep madness of the day. It came when the nanny said that she had found resolution for her problem.

At the end of the period of calmness, I realised that my focus had shifted and that caused major panic.

I rest in the love of Papa because I was reminded again that He is God and nothing other than what He has allowed can come my way. Amazing start to a very productive second half of my day. In a very limited way I begun to understand the words of Job when he said, Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Job 13:15

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

My Thoughts Drive My Opinion of Me


It is evident in scripture that God’s plan is beautiful and perfect. At the end of the sixth day, he sat down and said it was all good. According to Gen 1:31

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.

My simple understanding of this is that I was created beautiful no matter how I look on the outside or feel on the inside. I am also the beloved of God and a representation of His Divine Nature and so I am beautiful. Many times in life we struggle with this because we may not feel physically beautiful or we may be feeling extremely beautiful.

On the days when I am not so confident I remember the words of David below:

Ps 139:13-14

13 For you created my inmost being;     you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I remind myself again and again that I am wonderful.

There is however a flip side. When we have had a series of great achievements success, we may puff up with pride and begin to figure that we are invincible and better than others. Many times something happens soon after that is meant to cut us to size. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about being confident about our looks, abilities and your calling. The thing I am referring to here is thinking too highly of ourselves that is driven by arrogance and pride.

Paul dealt with it in Romans when he said,

Rom 12:3

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

This is a simple warning to guard our thoughts about ourselves. There are things each of us are good at yet there are things we aren’t good at. Sitting in front of the mirror, should cure most of us of the thoughts of invincibility but often it doesn’t. our minds often block out the ‘bad’ stuff so we convince ourselves that we are perfect or close to perfection anyway. This is so far from the truth and we need to deal with these thoughts.

Arrogance starts in our thought process and then is translated into our lives. It is all good to think and know that we are good at what we do. Yet when we think we are the only ones who can do something so no one will ever catch up with us and we begin to think no one can tell us anything. The harsh reality is that our thoughts can make us lose sight of the big picture and eventually derail us.

It is my simple assertion we must:

  • Think highly of ourselves because that is self-confidence
  • Be sure of what we are good at and work at it with all our hearts
  • Remain aware that there is always room for improvement and growth and pursue it
  • Have people around us who are honest with us and will keep us in check.
  • Accept correction and input from the people we are accountable to
  • Make our lives count

Bottom line is “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.

Grow in this as I do too and we can share notes sometime soon.