WALKING THE TALK

Posts tagged ‘Inspiration’

Hurdles

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It’s summer and the season when many sports come into their own. There’s the tennis at Wimbledon, rugby in New Zealand, cricket at Lord’s and even the London 2017 World Championship in Athletics taking place in August, something to tickle everyone’s fancy so to say.

Our individual life journeys are often likened to one sport or another.

Your Life as a Sport
Do you envision life as some form of team sport where you bounce around with your team members everyone contributing their unique abilities till ultimately the winning goal is scored?

Many assemble on that fine June or July day to see the opposing team humbled and your side erupting into the victory song that will stay with you for many many days. What the crowd often fail to remember is the gruesome training the team members undergo, years and years of sweaty practices, coaching that seems way too harsh and some colleagues who fall by the wayside their hopes dashed.

Is athletics your thing, you go through life like an Usain Bolt sprint. Life must be fast, it must be furious; you must be at the forefront of everything. The first to get the latest gadget, play the latest game, watch the film premiers and meet the stars. For you the end justifies the means, you coming out on top is all that matters. You may have to push, shove or kick, but my jolly you will be at the centre of the photograph if only for a few fleeting moments.

Just one question, at the very end of the day, will the bad name, the bastardised reputation really be worth it?

Sport did I say, you feign a chin scratch, you’re not really into sport, pressed further you come up with marathon. Yea, why not “slow and steady” win the race or so they say. Really! The only race the slow and steady win is the snail race and even then there might be the over ambitious snail who makes a dash for the finish and beats you to the line.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that life is all about the sprint finish, I don’t and will never believe in the end justifying the means, but if you spend life looking out the window wondering what could have been you will never reach the finish line.

Challenges vs Problems
You need some oomph, some gumption, some motivation, something to spur you on when the going gets really tough, and it will do, trust me.

Sometimes I look at life like the hurdles race, I know I’m not the first; I didn’t invent this particular wheel but bear with me.

You start out at the beginning, everyone does, the whistle is blown or the gun goes off and you’re on your way. Be grateful for that start, some never saw the sun rise and others spent their formative years in and out of hospital, but the Lord was gracious to you and you joined your peers as the race of life began.

No sooner than the race started than you came in contact with the first hurdle, in life we often call them challenges. Some call them problems, a Mount Everest and immediately limit their ability to surmount the hurdle. We will refer to them as challenges and by the grace of Almighty God we will overcome every challenge, every obstacle.

Do the Circumstances of Your Birth have to Determine Your Future?
You were not born into a wealthy family you were born on the wrong continent, in the wrong month and definitely in the wrong year. You didn’t get an iPhone for your first birthday, no bicycle when you were five. Your parents didn’t send you to the latest trendy school in town, you didn’t go to university abroad and you didn’t get a BMW for your graduation present.

No, unfortunately you didn’t graduate, heck, you didn’t even finish high school, did I say parents with an ‘s’ what are those? You had a Mum who tried her best but the struggle was too much she succumbed when you were eight; you went to live with an Aunt who really didn’t care.

Life has dealt you lemons and you’ve decided to frame them, put them on display, you have a sob story for anyone who cares to listen. You’ve decided to fall at the first hurdle.

Well that’s easy for me to say, I’ve not had to live your life. That’s very true, not even twins live the exact same lives there will be some differences, we are all different with different experiences. The fact that we tend to smile, hug, backslap and wish our friends and family a happy new year on the 1st of January each year doesn’t necessarily mean we are actually happy to be welcoming in a new year.

I remember one particular birthday a few years ago that I literally balled my eyes out. 50 years but precious little to show for it. “Shattered dreams, wounded hearts and broken promises…” or words to a similar effect the song writer sings.

Inspiration for the Journey
What to do? When life deals us lemons we need to take those lemons and make lemonade, if there are enough off them we can even use them to scale the hurdle and get some respite as we continue in the race.

Yes, we will encounter disadvantages, perceived discrimination or lack of “luck”; we never seem to be in the right place at the right time, we are always pushed over or left out, seemingly.

Or maybe like a colleague of mine once said we need to “make our own luck”. Starting with hard work, being where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there, putting in the hours, the commitment, the dedication, the willingness to start on the lowest rack and work our way up.

As one speaker said ‘John’s’ overnight success was ten years in the making, maybe more.

Dearest friend, there will always be hurdles in life, life is the hurdles race. You overcome one challenge, breathe a little, rejoice a little, enjoy a little and then you’re faced with the next challenge and more often than not it’s a bigger challenge.

Stories abound of people who had to overcome hundreds of challenges before they got their light bulb moment, just ask Thomas Edison. The key that unlocks every door is ‘Don’t Give Up!’

Jesus said in the world we will have tribulations otherwise known as troubles, misfortunes, problems, trials, sufferings, pains… but He said we should be of good cheer for He has overcome the world.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16 verse 33

I urge you align yourself with the all-knowing God, the Omniscient and He will enable you to not only scale every hurdle but ultimately be a winner in this race called life and remember – Quitters don’t win and Winners never Quit!!!

See you soon, LolaA 🙂

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The Future, Here I Come!

Forgiving

As I went for a run this morning I thought of the radio program I listened to just before going to sleep. The program was about forgiveness and the importance of forgiving one another, even when it’s not easy. Asking God to help us to release that person(s) to Him so that we can move forward in our lives without a root of bitterness and so that we can receive forgiveness from the Father for our own wrongs.

So I thought about it, had I forgiven those who had a part to play in some of my unfortunate circumstances and I felt yes I had forgiven, some years’ back a friend had given me a book that had helped me to pray through and forgive.

I realised however that now I needed to forgive myself. In a bid to forgive others I had put some of the blame at my own front door, now I needed to get rid of it, forgive myself fully and move on!

I continued with my run, turned where I usually turned and began to head home. Then what I might term one of my worst nightmares happened, I fell, not good I can assure you. I managed to break some of the fall with my hands and came away with a bruised knee and elbow.

I got up as quickly as I could and began walking, hopping on my way. I daren’t look back to see if the people at the bus-stop I had passed a few minutes ago had seen my fall, I was too ashamed to, so I continued in the direction of my travel.

I began to think and ponder, why did I fall, the path wasn’t new to me and I had definitely taken it in much worst weather, ice, snow and frost and I hadn’t fallen? I’m a child of God and He is more than able to take care of me, He could have prevented the fall if He so desired. I wasn’t injured in any way apart from the minor bruises and scratches; I felt there was a lesson for me to learn.

Let Bygones be Bygones

Just as I had gotten up from that fall as quickly as possible, dusted myself over and continued on my way I felt the Lord was saying I needed to leave the unfortunate incidents in my life behind me.

Just as I didn’t look back at the unusually large number of people at the bus-stop to see if they were jeering at me, I should shake off any shame I might feel about my circumstances and head into the future strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

If truth be told, the people at the bus-stop probably never jeered, if at all they saw my fall, if they felt anything it was probably compassion. The devil however always wants us to think otherwise, he wants to put shame on us where no shame is warranted. He wants us to sit down in the mud and puddle and have a pity party, to feel sorry for ourselves and to think we have drawn the worst straw of all.

Well we’ve got news for him, satan, the devil, the pity is over and so is his monstrous party, for we’ve stood up, we’ve shaken off all the shakeables that were holding us back and we’re heading into the future, the glorious future of fulfilled promises, favour of the Lord and victory on every side.

 

Pressing Forward

I really felt the Lord wanted me to leave the past behind and focus on the future, fully assured that He is with me, that He will never leave me nor forsake me and that I’m going to overcome and when the people see me they will call me blessed of the Lord.

I’m not going to quit running or walking because I had a minor fall today, no its going to make me stronger, because I saw the Lord’s hand and heard Him speak on the inside of me, indeed it is very well.

The future is bright, I don’t know if it’s orange but I do know that it’s Jesus!!!

Speak soon LolaA 🙂

 

Winning the Race

 

Outline: Winning the Race

  • Who is in the race?
  • What is the race?
  • How do we run this race?
  • What is the prize?
  • Why do we need to run the race; do we have a choice?
  • What are the obstacles?
  • How do we overcome the obstacles; how can we be victorious

 

Who is in the Race?

Every Believer, every Born Again Christian has been placed in the race by our Lord Jesus Christ. When we receive Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour we become children of Almighty God and we are entered into the ‘race’

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”
John 1 verse 12

“…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”
Hebrews 12 verse 1

 

What is the Race?

As believers we are all running a race, a race to live a victorious Christian life.

The bible commands us to be Holy even as He is Holy… (1 Peter 1:16)

We are expected to be light in this dark and perverse world… (Philippians 2:15)

We are the only bible that many people have to read… (2 Corinthians 3:2)

We are to witness to others; we can only do this effectively if we ourselves are living victorious lives.

We are to follow in the steps of our Saviour, Jesus ran His own race, He went to the cross, our own race is to showcase His goodness to those around us.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12 verse 1-2

How do we run this Race?

We cannot run the race in our own strength, the bible tells us that without Jesus we can do nothing, so we need to depend on Him

There are rules and regulations guiding the race we are involved in and these are found in the Word of God.

“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
2 Corinthians 2 verse 5

Some of the instructions are:

  • We must be Holy
  • We must be examples of the believer
  • We must keep our eyes on Jesus
  • We should not habitually sin
  • We must be malleable and flexible in God’s hands (Living sacrifice)

 

What is the Prize?

The prizes that we are competing for are crowns in heaven, commendation from Our Father and from Jesus (well done my good and faithful servant… Matthew 25:23)

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
1 Corinthians 9 verse 25

 

 

Why do we need to run this race; do we have a choice?

Jesus Himself has placed us in this race and just like He did the will of His Father while on earth we are required to do the will of our Saviour

But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
John 5 verse 36

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
John 9 verse 4

There are so many people and beings watching us that it is imperative that we run a successful race and glorify our Saviour. We don’t have a choice, we are in the race and we must endeavour to run it victoriously.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12 verse 1- 2

 

What obstacles do we face as we run this race?

  • Sin
  • Our Flesh – we need to put our flesh under
  • Detractors – People who want us to take our eyes off the ball
  • Enemies – Satan and his cohorts
  • The cares of this world

 

How can we overcome the obstacles, how can we be victorious?

  • By drawing near to God (James 4:8)
  • By spending time in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • By spending quality time reading and studying the Word of God
  • (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11)
  • By spending time in praise and worship (Psalm 34:1)
  • By spending time waiting on the Lord i.e. fasting (Matthew 17:21)
  • By spending time fellowshipping with other believers in a full-gospel church (Hebrews10:25)
  • By surrendering to the will and purpose of God for our lives (Psalm 40:8)
  • By disconnecting from people who hinder our walk with God (Psalm 1:1-2)
  • By having a heavenly focus (Matthew 6:33)

 

May we all be winners in Jesus Mighty Name!

You are the best 🙂 LolaA

Obedience

Plain and simple is your Word
To fathom it I needn’t be a nerd

Lord your Word help me to understand;
Lord for your Word may I be willing to make a stand

Obedience you said above sacrifice
Total obedience to your Word, not being nice

Sacrifice is nice but obedience is better
When I obey you I become a trend setter

Obedience to you is my desire
Obedience is what you require

God, my Father to you is due obedience
And with such deference comes a light hearted conscience

Father great is the joy of obeying your Word, Knowing that I’m right with you and my prayers will be heard

Lord your beautiful in every situation
Obeying you’re your Word leads to a desirable destination

Obedience is doing the Godly thing
When it is neither the happening nor in-thing

For me obedience is not an act of compulsion,  But demonstrating love of an immense proportion

Obeying the Father and doing right
Uplifts a nation and takes us to a mighty height

Disobedience, rejecting Jesus and sin
Lands us in hell the ultimate bin

Brothers and Sisters let’s turn around and walk in light
Embracing Jesus who is awesome in power and might!

My Saviour’s love is all I need
Awesome love that teaches me His voice to heed.

2016 we welcome you with a cheer
Love, joy, hope, success and victory all are here!!!

 

Embed from Getty Images
 

 

 

Generation J

We hear of generation X, generation Y and generation Z
But the more we look the less we see

“Move with the times”, I hear them say
Be liberated, move ahead, don’t be stuck in yesterday!

They think they know it all, have it all, but I’m proud to say,
I know my generation and I proud of it, its generation J

I’m not confused about where I stand
I vote for Jesus to Him I lift my hand

His Word is true and quite infallible
Plain to read and easily discernible.

Some say the bible is outdated
That we need to move on and be liberated

I say His Word is more current than tomorrow
Without it we’ll all be doomed to an eternity of sorrow

The Word of God isn’t dead, it’s alive its living
The Word of God is a gift to us, a gift that keeps on giving.

It’s a privilege to live according to the awesome Word
And when we do we sparkle, we stand out from the herd.

I urge you my brother, my sister, join the ‘in’ group
The happy people, the Jesus people, don’t be left out of the loop!

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

Bless You

LolaA

 

INVICTUS

 

Maybe you have or haven’t heard of the Invictus Games. It’s a four day event presently taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London in the UK.

The international event for sick and injured servicemen and women from 13 nations is aimed at inspiring recovery and rehabilitation as well as highlighting the injuries of service.

The Games is the brainchild of Prince Henry of Wales aka Prince Harry who was inspired to create the Invictus Games after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado, an annual event aimed at rehabilitating injured US servicemen and women in 2013.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Games Prince Harry said:

“Over the past eight years, I have witnessed the whole cycle of life-changing injury; evacuating soldiers and local Afghans to hospital; flying home from Afghanistan with some of those critically injured; meeting others in hospital coming to terms with life-changing injuries; and finally trying to keep up with 12 wounded veterans on our way to the South Pole. I can only begin to imagine how challenging the journey of recovery is, but the admiration I have for these men and women, to move beyond their injuries, is limitless.”

The Games is all about the service men and women who have decided to look their set-backs in the face and declare ‘you will not beat me, you will not hold me down, and you will not hold me in bondage’. ‘I will overcome you, I will conquer you!
Many have taken advantage of the modern day tools made available to them; wheelchairs, prosthetic arms and legs and for some their injuries are seemingly invisible, their minds being the battle grounds.

But competitive sport has given each of them a new purpose in life, inspiration to rise above their circumstances, to let go of what inhibits them and embrace their capabilities in a bit to excel in their chosen event. To push themselves to be the very best and then some!

The Games actually takes its name from a poem written by William Ernest Henley 1849–1903 an English poet.

 

Invictus

(By William Ernest Henley)

Out of the night that covers me,

      Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

      I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

      Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

      How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

      I am the captain of my soul.

 

Over 400 wounded, sick and injured personnel are taking part in these games, men and women who have decided to confront their ‘demons’ and take back their lives. Men and women who have decided to give life their best shot, they have decided to succeed and to excel.

If these men and women can do it then surely so can you and I and with Jesus living on the inside we have even more reason to overcome and partake in the victory march.

Our broken limbs, broken relationships, our wounded hearts and diverse impairments may seem life shattering, but if a double amputee can outrun many fully bodied contemporaries then we too must never give up.

For some their disabilities precede them wherever they go, for many of us we wrestle with them of a night-time alone on our beds. But whatever our own particular circumstance may be, there is someone who wants to stand alongside us and coach us on until we arrive at the gold podium. His name is Jesus, He promised that when we embrace Him, He will never leave us nor forsake us. He promised to give us victory if we follow His lead.

I encourage you to be inspired by the 400 plus exceptional men and women taking part in the Invictus Games.

I urge you to place your faith and trust in the greatest life-coach of all time, the Lord Jesus Christ and be a part of the world’s dream team, the team that has been assured victory!

 

Looking forward to seeing you on the gold podium, LolaA  🙂

Jaco Van Gass is presented with a Gold Medal by Prince Harry

Jaco Van Gass is presented with a Gold Medal by Prince Harry

 

SPRING!!!

It’s that period of the year when we spring into action and enjoy the actions of Spring!

Spring

Spring

Spring is one of those words that in linguistics is called a homonym, i.e. one of a group of words that share spelling and pronunciation but may have different meanings.

Let’s see what good old Wikipedia has to say on the different meanings of spring:

–          Spring is one of the four conventional temperate seasons, following winter and preceding summer. There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs. When it is spring in the northern hemisphere, it will be autumn in the southern hemisphere. At the spring equinox, days are close to 12 hours long with day length increasing as the season progresses. Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth.
(The Spring Equinox is the first day of the spring season and occurs when the sun passes the equator moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere. The next one is March 20th 2014)

–          A spring is an elastic object used to store mechanical energy. When a spring is compressed or stretched, the force it exerts is proportional to its change in length. (I would have said more about this but I really don’t want to turn this into a physics lesson).  🙂

–          A spring is a point where water flows out of the ground. A spring may flow the whole year or only sometimes. This depends on the water getting into the ground all of the time (rain) or only once in a while (snow melting).
A spring often sends water down, along the land. This is how rivers start.
Some springs produce water that is good for health reasons. Sometimes towns grow by these springs because many people who are ill come there to get better. Such towns are called spa towns.

 

One thing we see from these various meanings of spring is that they are all positive, and seemingly have positive energy. The sun crosses to the northern hemisphere during the Spring Equinox, bringing warmth, sunshine and a general feeling of happiness.
A mechanical spring stores energy which can be useful in different ways such as in opening and closing doors or in helping us to write with our ball-point pens.

A water spring is probably the one time that water naturally flows up, up out of the earth and then along the ground bringing with it healing powers.

Talking about the season of spring, Wikipedia says “springtime” also refers to the ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth.

It is a time when we can shake off the drab of winter, pack away our dark clothes and brighten ourselves up both inside and out. The days are longer, sunnier and often happier and our hope for a better tomorrow goes up a notch. The flowers bloom, the weather is warm and we can roll down the fresh grass on the hillside, what’s not to like?

Indeed Spring is when we remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Saviour.

Just like we can plant a single seed of corn and harvest hundreds of seeds from one cob, Jesus, one man gave His life that millions upon millions may share the fruit of His resurrection. Awesome!

As we see the flowers open up and the bees, hedgehogs and chipmunks’ come out of hiding. As we see the birds fly home from their winter holiday and we bring out our shorts and flimsy tops let us remember the one with the ultimate power to put a spring in our step.

The Spring Equinox is indeed coming on the 20th of March but there is hope for a perpetual Spring. We can spring into the nest of our creator a place of eternal rest, of unlimited energy, good health and abundance. A place where the sun doesn’t leave the hemisphere and hibernation is not necessary.

Let’s sign up for the un-ending spring, let’s sign up for Jesus!

In-case I don’t get to see you here on earth, let’s make a point of meeting where the sun never goes down!

Catch you soon, LolaA