Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, January 3, 2014
How good are we at saying NO when we should?
Fri, January 3, 2014 | link
“No is a complete sentence
and so often we forget that.
When we don't want to do something we can simply smile and say no. We don't have to explain
ourselves, we can just say "No". Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say no expanded my ability
to say yes and really mean it. My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice even my no came
from a place of love.
Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.” ― Susan Gregg
There are times when
the pressure builds and all I want to do is to give way and agree with others even when I have that deep internal feeling
that if I do that, I will be doing the wrong thing.
Do you ever feel that way? That need to be the “nice” person that pushes us
into areas we should not really go. We know that we should say “No” but somehow the courage to do so seems to
be seeping away at the exact second we have to make that statement.
This area of pressure is different for different people as evil tailors the circumstances
into our weakest spots.
Here are some examples…
Agreeing to go to a party where there will be drink or drugs to fit in, although we say to ourselves we
would never take part in those activities? [Why go…to impress who]
As a teenager agreeing to have sex because ‘everyone else is’…[who
As a business man, keeping wasted budget figures from a client to create the correct impression…[really?]
Hiding household money
from a spouse so that we can “have a nest egg”
Telling white lies to make others feel better…[or is it really to protect our own image?]
I guess these random examples
serve to give some of us a twinge of guilt as we recognise issues we have, and others to say ‘I never do that’.
Really? Think about examples in your own life as we all have areas where we know we have given into the evil of this world
when we should not. Generally we do it for what we think is justified reason. On investigation we find the ‘justified’
reason is a selfish reason and ultimately gets us into worse problems.
The bible says
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to
say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present
age, Titus 2:11-12 NIV
We can say “No”
What I like about the
quote of today is that Susan Gregg shows us there are ways of doing it that can work and that practice makes it better each
look at some examples…
People want us to help: this is a difficult one for me as I want to help and it doesn’t sound selfish to say “yes”.
This ‘No’ is necessary however as one of the prime ways evil takes me down is by getting me
too busy doing more than I can because of the needs around me. I have to remember something Jesus said that sounded almost
callous… “Matthew 26:11 The poor you will always have with you,
but you will not always have me.”
Jesus when he was here did not try to resolve all the problems in the world. He did what God gave him the
focus and strength to do. We can do no more. There are times to with love and consideration say “no”.
I don’t want
to be rude: Maybe I
just don’t want another to appear to loose “face”. I know if the facts are revealed another may be impacted
which is a better reason that the normal reason which is that I just don’t want others to think less of me and consider
me to be rude.
are times where it is necessary for people others hold in esteem to face facts. Jesus didn’t cut corners when speaking
to high position people when he said “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of
the dead and everything unclean.~ Matthew 23:26-28” I guess that could be considered rude, but it was really
only speaking facts. There is time to say “no” to avoiding speaking facts as they are, even if the words will
not be appreciated. It is often important to protect everyone, rather than ourselves isn’t it?
I want to avoid my being alienated by disagreeing: This is part of us wanting to be seen in
a good light. God wants truth for us, not security. We need to trust in Him for our security, not in our mumbled words of
false agreement. We should reject this fear “1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But
perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
want conflict: sometimes
conflict is the Christian way. Letting things go unchecked or un-rectified is not always what is required. Jesus was confrontational
at times, even physically “Mark 11:15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,” yet
let’s also remember Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the
sun go down while you are still angry” anger is allowed, being selfish, nasty and ignorant in that anger is not.
want to lose out on an opportunity or burn bridges: Saying “no” can stop me from experiencing or getting what I want. Here we need to ask yourself,
if God’s opportunities are better than those we can create for ourselves? Who is better able to engineer the best for
us? We ourselves who see no further than the second in which we live, or God who views eternity in a glance?
Saying “No” can be important.
We need to consider some techniques to do this.
Sometimes the “no” can be linked to a later timeframe for re-evaluation. Things can be said like, “I hope you
can appreciate that I can’t give you and answer now but will be more ready on ….” or “based on what
I have to do now, I cannot give this the attention it will deserve. How about…”
Sometimes the “no”
can be switched to the maybe, give me time by saying something like “I have to think about that, let me get back to you…”
the “no” can be redirected. “Perhaps X could help you with this. They are more qualified”
Sometimes the “no”
can be softened as in “Nothing would
make me happier than saying “yes”, but unfortunately I cannot”
Sometimes the “no” has to be direct.
“no” remember we need to search our heart first, we need to find out where we believe God wants us to go, we need
to have love and compassion for the person we are dealing with, and we need to ensure our body language complies with this
attitude we need to have in our heart.
Most of how a person reads the “no” is in our body language, not the words. Let’s ensure
our bodies and our words align. Regret must be true not feigned. Love true not just a mask.
God wants us to reject evil, but not the person offering it.
Let’s remember that, it makes the “no” far easier to say.
I conclude by saying I disagree
with one aspect of that quote by Susan Gregg.
It should not say Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.”
It should say Love God and others enough to be able to say
yes or no.”
Let’s have a great day being truthful to others and ourselves!
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Paul was quite the man, can we learn from him as we journey through 2014
Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must
begin with a single step.~Lao Tzu
Thu, January 2, 2014 | link
Paul was quite the man!
Having just completed roughly two weeks of traveling continually,
I was considering the fact that many of the journeys of Paul took far longer and were far more difficult.
I was reading a blog...http://www.openbible.info/blog/2012/07/calculating-the-time-and-cost-of-pauls-missionary-journeys/ and there it said that the journey statistics were as follows;
|Journey||Distance (miles)||Travel Time (days)||Cost per Person (denarii)*|
* Ship travel only. According to Wikipedia, the denarius from 200, used here, is roughly 22% weaker than a denarius from the mid-first-century.
Notice the long time it
took to travel.
Paul was amazing
in that not only did he travel, but he maintained a deep relationship with God while travelling and withstood immense hardships
along the way.
As Christians we
often start to complain the moment that something doesn’t quite go the way we think it should. What would have happened
if Noah has complained about building an ark and quit? We need to consider the impact of our attitude.
Paul was not that type of Christian. Lots of things went wrong
and yet he grew from strength to strength as he travelled and encountered these challenges.
We are starting 2014. Let’s ask God to enable us to travel
through the year with the strength and power of Holy Spirit and with less complaining than the year before.
I think that will make us more Godly and our lives worth more.
Have a great 2014!
HAPPY NEW YEAR - to everyone
HAPPY NEW YEAR - to everyone
Thu, January 2, 2014 | link
Voorspoedige nuwe jaar
Kul 'am wa antum bikhair
Urte Berri on
Sun nien fai lok
Xin nian yu kuai
Stastny Novy Rok
Onnellista uutta vuotta
Ein glückliches neues Jahr
Eutychismenos o kainourgios chronos
Hauoli Makahiki hou
Boldog uj evet
Felice Anno Nuovo
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu
Sehe Bokmanee Bateuseyo
Zoo Xyoo Tshiab
Felix sit annus novus
Barka da sabuwar shekara
Godt Nytt År
Manigong Bagong Taon
Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
La Multi Ani si Un An Nou Fericit
Ia manuia le Tausaga Fou
Feliz año nuevo
Heri za Mwaka Mpya
Gott Nytt År
Sawatdee Pi Mai
Chuc mung nam moi
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Monday, December 30, 2013
Joy in tough circumstances
Do you ever find you wake up and
the day just seems to have a grudge against you?
Mon, December 30, 2013 | link
You know...everything seems to be going wrong...the alarm won’t turn off, the coffee spills, traffic
is lousy, the boss unhappy, your peers annoying etc.
It can be really hard to find that joy that we as Christians should have in times like this, right?
understood and even
let us know by pointing out that he will make things right when he said...
I have told you these things, so that you can
have peace because of me. In this world you will have trouble. But cheer up! I have won the battle over the world.”
John 16:33 NIRV
What things had
he told them?
Things like “I came from the Father and entered the world. Now I am
leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
When they heard this I guess that this would
have discouraged these guys who were living alongside him. These things are not exactly the thing I would want to hear in
those circumstances, and I assume that no-one would like to hear this statement when things are difficult.
Jesus was leaving them just when
they needed him.
We can also sometimes feel like God is leaving us alone just when we are needing him. Perhaps we need to remember this situation
in which the apostles found themselves. They were about to take an emotional beating. "Their" Jesus would be arrested,
falsely accused, then tried and then finally would be executed as a common criminal.
Where would that leave
Perhaps they would feel despondent, afraid, feeling as if they had lost the core reason for living.
That’s horrible right? It is nasty when it comes as a surprise to those near Jesus!
Worse, than this Jesus knew
it would happen and warned them, but they didn’t understand it and reacted badly.
Do we ever feel like God warns us of
how we need to react, we read his warnings, ignore them and then fall into doing selfish, ignorant and nasty things as
We can then get angry with ourselves can't we?
Well what are we to do?
Jesus says “cheer up! I have won the battle
over the world.”
the disciples were still to experience is that God never leaves us without his presence. Holy Spirit was coming.
Now, Jesus could be with one person in one place at one time when he walked on earth, but Holy Spirit can be with everyone
always, everywhere at the same time.
How has Jesus won?
Jesus conquered death and sin.
Death is no longer to be feared as we are not going to descend into oblivion, but into another world created by God
for us to enjoy. We know God so know just how much we will enjoy that world.
Yet, he didn’t only do that, but
he opened up the gates of heaven and allowed Holy Spirit to come and join with us. We can talk to God any second of any day.
If we pray and allow God to comfort us, we can experience him in our very bodies and heart, filling us with a confidence,
a knowledge that no matter how bad things appear to be, God is always with us. He never allows us to go int experiences alone.
It is however our choice to allow God to work in our lives or not.
We do fail, all of us do, but the real joy is saying sorry,
meaning it and asking God to turn the downward path unto an upward struggle that takes onward, upward and out of Satan’s
evil area of control.
I thank God for that today.
To step forward on this path takes our
faith and trust in God. We engage our minds and make the decision, we ask for Holy spirit to assist us, and we step forward
with confidence in the power of the living God.
Now isn’t that joy in tough circumstances?
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