WALKING THE TALK

Posts tagged ‘Inspiration’

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!!!

 


 

 

 

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!

 

 

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

GONE WITH 2013!

 

 

Another Year Gone!
As most years are won’t to be the year 2013 had its up’s and it’s down’s. The good times and the bad. Great news that caused us to hi-five brought massive smiles to our faces and for some an excuse to pop open the bubbly. A new birth in the family, a promotion, a new house, a new car, a friend gets married, a really great holiday.

And of course there were the sad times. The times when there was more month than money and you weren’t totally sure how to put the next meal on the table. Redundancies and failed interviews, accidents, sicknesses and homelessness. The death of a loved one.

The Death of an Icon
There was one particular death in 2013 that seemed to rock the whole world. The death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Mr Mandela, who is known affectionately by his clan name, Madiba is said to have died shortly before 21:00 local time on Thursday the 5th of December 2013. A very sad day for the people of his native South Africa.

 

The Free Mandela Movement was Worldwide
Growing up southwest of the Sahara desert in Africa (which of course is not news) I remember local musician after local musician releasing a ‘Free Mandela’ themed song. In fact as the likelihood of Nelson Mandela actually being freed edged towards reality a friend of mine commented, “I wonder what musicians will sing about once Mandela becomes a free man”.

That world changing day did indeed come on the 11th of February 1990 Nelson Mandela became a free man again after 27 years of incarceration for fighting for his human rights and the human rights of many of his fellow countrymen.

I say world changing day because Nelson Mandela was definitely an actor who played on the world stage. The struggle he embodied was a struggle each of us can identify with, a struggle for freedom, a struggle for equal rights, a struggle for the dignity of every human being regardless of colour, class or creed.

Nelson Mandela wasn’t perfect, apparently he was the first to admit it in his autobiography, but I haven’t read it so I can’t confirm. What Mandela did have though was a “super-human” ability to forgive.

What Could It Have Been Like For Mandela In Prison?
Come with me for a few short seconds to consider just some of the things the great Mandela went through. He was in prison, not some fancy western cell with three square meals and more TV channels than most get outside jail, he was in prison in every sense of the word. For nine years he was in a damp cell with a lone window a small stool and a straw mat to sleep on. Think about it… Have you ever slept on a mat in prison before, a mat that barely keeps out the cold of the concrete floor underneath? No, I didn’t think so. Now think of sleeping like that for nine years before a few more items of furniture are added.  It makes me shudder, I don’t know about you.
Have you ever felt lonely and isolated before? For many years Nelson was allowed one visit and one item of mail every six months. Newspapers were a forbidden item, and he was locked in solitary confinement on several occasions for possessing smuggled news clippings.

Things did get slightly better during the later years of his confinement, but can you imagine undergoing those conditions for just a few years. I personally marvel that he survived those twenty-seven years and he was in his seventies before he was finally released. We didn’t even mention the harsh labour of breaking rocks into gravel on a daily basis.

I can only postulate that the Lord had need of him and therefore kept him alive and in good health until the appointed time.

It reminds one of when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and endured bitter treatment until the time that the Father God had designated.

Freedom Finally Comes
The days of incarceration must have definitely seemed endless to Mandela and his fellow freedom fighter prisoners but somebody was ticking off the days. A God who knew he could trust Nelson to do the right think had everything worked out to the minutest detail just like He always does. I tend to believe that the Father God must have had many nocturnal chats with Mr Mandela, creating in him a new heart, a heart after the things of our Saviour.
And when it was time it was time and there was no going back. If a P. W. Botha refused to cooperate then he would be replaced by an F. W. de Klerk. The day of freedom must surely come and it did.

On the 11th of February 1990 Nelson Mandela left Victor Verster Prison, to which he had been moved in 1998, a free man. The event and his subsequent speech were televised worldwide. This was however the beginning of a long drawn out process to secure an election that would culminate in majority rule.

What Did He Do With His Freedom?
It is said that old habits die hard, some such habits don’t die at all and pockets of violence continued to rock South Africa, but Mandela was set on a peaceful resolution of processes. Many within the African National Congress (ANC) and other black parties/groups considered his approach weak, but Nelson was adamant that South Africa belonged to all South Africans regardless of colour or creed.

Despite what he had gone through in his life and times Nelson Mandela was on a mission of peace and reconciliation. When he eventually became the leader of the majority elected government he attempted to create the broadest possible coalition in his cabinet. He was about inclusion, notwithstanding the fact his people had been excluded for years.

Nelson Mandela oversaw the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate crimes committed under apartheid by both the government and the ANC, appointing Desmond Tutu as its chair. To prevent the creation of martyrs, the Commission granted individual amnesties in exchange for testimony of crimes committed during the apartheid era. Dedicated in February 1996, it held two years of hearings detailing rapes, torture, bombings, and assassinations, before issuing its final report in October 1998. Mandela praised the Commission’s work, stating that it “had helped us move away from the past to concentrate on the present and the future”.

Forgiveness Seemed to be His Watchword!
Through all these difficult, harsh and very painful circumstances Nelson seemed to have just one word on his mind ‘forgiveness’.

Forgiveness it seems a simple harmless word but is often so hard to implement. It is often so hard to truly forgive and move on. To genuinely reconcile, not hold the dreadful past against your adversaries, instead to let it go and actually work together for the good of other people, for the good of communities, for the good of a nation.

Some will say Mandela had a large heart, I don’t doubt it, but to me it seems more of a heart after the Father God. I strongly believe that Mr Nelson Mandela must have drawn on and received strength from the forgiving power of Almighty God.

Some of us haven’t spoken to our neighbours in years, not since that altercation about the fence or some other matter. And of course we are too ‘big’ to be the first to break the ice. We make a point of actively avoiding one colleague or another rather than supposingly looking weak by being the first to say hi, after the words we had, sometime in the past, over what, we can’t really remember.

Forgiveness is not easy, I know that first hand and Mandela was probably among the limited few who could have proposed it in the Rainbow nation that had more or less had its heart ripped out.

Others would have had a flurry of sarcastic questions thrown at them:

Did your son die?
Was your livelihood ruined?
Did you almost die in prison?
Were some of the best years of your life spent behind bars?
Have you ever endured solitary confinement?
Was your marriage ruined?

To all of these questions and more Nelson Mandela would have answered in the affirmative.
I imagine that many South Africans would have longed to avoid the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and gone about their lives holding their hurts on their arms, flaring into flames at the slightest provocation.

Strong Men Forgive
However, when they looked up and saw ‘Madiba’s’ example (as he was often fondly called), they didn’t have much choice except to down weapons and take up the perfume of peace.

Mandela wasn’t perfect, many of us would have loved him to be, we would have really been able to go to town with our articles – a man so gentle that butter didn’t melt in his mouth – but that wasn’t him. He was like the rest of us a mere mortal, who took many a wrong turn in his time and said many a thing that made him blush, yes, a blush so strong that it showed through his dark skinned face.

He didn’t however dwell on the mistakes instead he plodded on trusting that he could and would make a worthwhile difference.

This is 2014 and sadly Nelson Mandela and many others didn’t get to see the sun rise on this glorious New Year. They’ve served their time, done what they could and are trusting for a nod of approval from their creator.

True we are not all Mandela’s; I for one wouldn’t want to be incarcerated for twenty-seven years I know I wouldn’t survive it. But we can all have the spirit of forgiveness.

If we can hold on to forgiveness throughout 2014 I’m sure we will be the better for it.

When insults, hurts, pains, lies, mud and mischief are thrown at us if we can retaliate with forgiveness I’m positive our lives will be the better for it.

Yes, the world lost an icon in 2013 in the person of Nelson Mandela, but our world will truly be a better place for his having visited if his spirit of forgiveness lives on in our hearts, our minds and our actions.

May your 2014 be all you wish it to be!

LolaA

 

 

Ref. Nelson Mandela Wikipedia page