WALKING THE TALK

Posts tagged ‘Thoughts’

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 🙂

 

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Chloe’s Questions

Mummy, Chloe said,
Why do lines form on your forehead
With a twinkle in her eye, Mummy replied
It shows how many times I’ve gone to bed

Mummy, Chloe said,
If God is real why can’t we see Him
Mummy thought a minute and then replied
He’s like the wind, we experience Him

Ex-peri-en-ce? Said Chloe,
Yes my dear, He wakes us up each morning
And we can see the pretty flowers opening
We can hear the birds singing and to one another calling

Remember Chloe,
in autumn when the wind blows hard
At times its whistles as it rushes through the trees
Fallen leaves brown and yellow filling our backyard
We rake and rake, at times bending on our knees

Ah, said Chloe, about this invisible God
Does He really make the moon and stars to shine at night
With a peaceful smile Mummy gave a nod
Yes, she said and the sun at noonday to shine so bright

God is a Father to us
He gives us food to eat and clothes to wear
He keeps us safe, even when we ride the bus
He is always near because He is everywhere

Mummy, Chloe said,
Why is God in  heaven is he dead?
No, no Mummy said, God is alive and well
He answers my prayers so I can surely tell

Mummy, Chloe said,
My teacher said that Jesus died for us
And, if we want to go to heaven and see Him,
Then accepting Him as our Saviour is a must.

Mummy stood and beamed with pride,
Her happiness distinctly unable to hide.
How right your teacher is dear Chloe,O Yes,
Only Jesus gives us Salvation and eternal rest!

 

God bless, LolaA

 

True Freedom

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

I’m sure many of us have come across one person or another who likes to rant about their freedom.

“I’m a free moral agent, I’m free do what I want to do, when I want to do it and how I want to do it, nobody, nobody tells me what to do and that includes you!”

Sounds good, especially if they’ve worked themselves up into a frenzy and are pouncing around like a tiger newly released from its cage.

One gets the impression they are desperate for freedom and are hoping that if they make enough noise and trouble someone will cut them loose.

The onlookers are also willing freedom on them, for if someone at that precise moment should indeed question their freedom the tiger may decide to bite and no-one wants that now, do they?

What is Freedom?

But what is freedom? The dictionary defines freedom as:

  1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
  2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation etc.
  3. The power to determine action without restraint
  4. Political or national independence
  5. Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery.

So if we live in a country that is politically free, we aren’t in jail and are not beholden to anyone are we free? Can we do whatever we like without restraint? I don’t think so.

If we put our music on full blare at two in the morning we’re likely to get a visit from the cops and if we make a habit of going over the speed limit on the highway our freedom to drive will probably be taken away.

So our freedom seems to be relative, it’s dependent on the laws of the land. For instance there are a number of countries especially in Europe where public nudity is not illegal e.g. Spain and Germany. Of course the authorities are not expecting you to be on ‘Main Street’ in the middle of town baring all, it’s more to do with the beaches and those looking to sun tan without pantie lines. In other words, yea, you’re free to go naked but please do so ‘responsibly’. We see that ‘relative freedom’ all over again.

Mental Imprisonment

Depression, anxiety and fear are ways in which our minds hold us captive.

We are free moral agents, but we are unable to stand up to that bully of a manager and get what rightfully belongs to us.

We are free moral agents that lay awake at night fretting about everything imaginable, things that might happen and things that will probably never happen.

We are free moral agents but we are unable to shake-off that sad feeling of gloom and doom. We wilfully confine ourselves to our houses instead of going outside and enjoying the sunshine because our minds hold us hostage and play games with us.

So just how free are we in this life?

Lasting Freedom

How many of us are truly living ‘the dream’? The dream in my estimation is a carefree life. Not a careless live, but a live free from unnecessary cares and worries.

In Luke chapter 12 Jesus urges us to live a life free of worries He encourages us to observe the ravens or take a leaf out of the lily’s book:

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Luke 12verse 27

 

True freedom comes when we hand our lives over to the Lord; that is why He said in His Word:

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8 verse 32

The truth is that salvation is in Jesus and in Him alone (Acts4:12)

When we embrace His salvation and hand the totality of who we are over to Him, He gives to us all that we need, He takes care of us so we don’t have to carry the cares.

We give Him our worries, our fears and concerns. He gives us peace, joy and a heart filled with His love that enables us to enjoy life to the full.

When someone else is taking ‘care’ we have the freedom to live life to the full.

We will not need to throw a tantrum, to rant and scream for the chains to be removed. We will just bask in all that the Lord has done, is doing and will continue to do for us.

Because: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

 

I urge you to embrace true freedom; I urge you to embrace Jesus who can truly set you free!

 

See you soon LolaA

 

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

WHO PLANTED THE SAVANNAH’S?

The other day there was a programme on TV about certain animals in the savannah and how they live and survive. I was able to catch glimpses of it as I went about my other chores.

I must confess that my geography is actually quite poor, who’s to blame? I’d love to say it’s the fault of my teachers they didn’t teach me everything there is to know under the sun, but maybe just maybe I might be culpable in the matter.

Anyway the beauty of living in the information age is that any information we need is at the tip of our fingers, via the Internet and the likes of Google. In fact the other day I learnt that one of the most commonly used ‘apps’ is the Wikipedia app, no surprise there I guess. And yes, it was the exact place I was directed to by the search engine when I typed in savannah.

Like I said geography is not my strong point and for some reason I had always thought that there was actually a savannah, as in just a particular place called the savannah and it was somewhere in South America, I wanted to find out exactly where.

Surprise surprise! I was wrong and I was right.

There is a place called Savannah, it is the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia. No it’s not in South America, but in what is known as the Deep South of the United States and its climate is classified as humid subtropical.
Savannah lies on the Savannah River, from whence it derives its name and it is approximately 20 miles (32 km) upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. Savannah is an industrial centre and an important Atlantic seaport.

However the term savannah (with or without the ‘h’ at the end) is used to refer to certain types of landscape.

According to good old Wikipedia:

A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses. The oak savanna is a common type of savanna in the Northern Hemisphere. Savannas are associated with several types of biomes (ecosystems). Savannas cover approximately 20% of the Earth’s land area.
Wikipedia also talks about the different types of savannas such as: Tropical and subtropical savannas; temperate savannas; Mediterranean savannas etc. some of which are famous for their wildlife and/or exotic and varied flora.

Oak Savannas

When you think of the beauty of the savannah’s and how the trees exist equal distantly apart with sufficient room between them to let in enough sunlight to maintain the ecosystem that lives below the tall trees one wonders at the beauty of it all and the definite attention to detail that has been exercised in their development.

The question that comes to mind is who planted the savannahs? Who bore the cost? Who spent the effort and time to make sure everything was and continues to be just perfect? If there is any problem in the savannahs today it’s man-made and not the fault of the original developer.

So in your honest opinion who is responsible for the savannahs, could it be, as some would have us believe, the result of a big bang. A big bang that ultimately led to trees being planted methodically, maybe but it doesn’t really strike me as a possibility.

Okay, I get it; it was all down to nature, a natural phenomenon. But then what is nature? The Oxford Dictionary of English defines nature as: the physical force regarded as causing and regulating the phenomena of the world. It says: it is impossible to change the laws of nature.

A physical force…

And then there is Mother Nature which the dictionary defines as: nature personified as a creative and controlling force affecting the world and humans.

So the physical force behind nature can be personified, not necessarily a human being, but an all-powerful, awesome being. A being who holds the universe in place by the breath of His nostrils.

I believe the savannahs were planted by this magnificent being. This being looks at the forests, looks at the savannahs and sees their unified beauty. He also sees each individual tree and tends to each with love and care. His attention to detail is unequalled, no tree is out of place and each individual ant is accounted for. What an awesome being.

For want of an alternative name we’ll call Him God.
The Awesome Father
The Creator of the Universe
The Alpha and Omega
The beginning and the Ending
The One who changes things but who never changes.

He was there when this world began and when it will all be over and time is no more He will continue to be.

I believe God planted the savannahs.

The beauty of the savannahs, the trees, the vegetation and the numerous animal species are a testimony of the creative awesomeness of this God. A God who loves beauty. A God who cares about the big picture but is also immensely interested in the minutest detail.

He clothes the lily of the valley in beauty and He cares and loves every single being on the face of the earth.

The God who makes sure every tree in the savannahs is correctly planted is surely interested in us as individuals. If we will lean on Him and trust Him like every tree and every creature in the savannah does He will definitely perfect all that concerns us.

The savannahs are indeed marvellous but they pale in comparison to the magnificence and the splendour God wants to manifest in us.

God planted the savannahs, may we allow Him to plant His seed of excellence in us and nurture it to perfection that even the savannahs will begin to envy God’s handiwork in us!

Catch you soon in the realm of excellence LolaA  🙂

“SELFIE”

The English language is indeed dynamic, over the years ‘thou’ has become ‘you’ and ‘saith’ has been transformed into the simple ‘say’.

The dot.com generation seems to be particularly ingenious in coming up with new words. One cannot fault them however; technology is itself so dynamic that new words do need to be continually ‘manufactured’ to describe the rapidly moving technology feats.

‘Selfie’ I understand is one of a few words that have just been officially recognised by the Oxford Dictionary (or should I say the people responsible for keeping the dictionary up to date). Anyway Selfie is now an official English word, I don’t know if the queen is pleased but whoever coined it can give himself/herself a pat on the back. Shame it wasn’t me…

I guess the next question is; what does it mean? For people like me who are not totally glued to social media and the going on’s there the glue is definitely in the word itself. This is what I found under selfie in the Online Oxford Dictionary:

selfie

Pronunciation: /ˈsɛlfi/

(also selfy)

noun (plural selfies)

informal

  • a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website: occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary

 

The last phrase did make me chuckle, all selfie addicts should please take note.

I’m assuming I’m having a bad hair day and therefore cannot add a selfie of my own to this monologue but why am I going on about the novel word in the first place?

As far as I’m concerned selfies are okay, I mean nobody can force me to view their workmanship if I’m not inclined to, but selfie does seem to be a very near cousin of selfish.
Selfish? Yea, selfish as in ‘I’, ‘me’, and ‘myself’. I mean why would anyone want to continuously spend ages taking their own portrait only to then upload it to so called social network sites. I mean apart from one’s own picture is there nothing else worth taking?

I also feel that social networks, as good as the concept is are actually making a lot of people anti-social. Many spend hours on end typing away to friends some of whom they have never met or seen in person and yet fail to interact with their neighbours, colleagues or classmates.

Apart from the virtual world many are becoming loners, they interact with people online and not much else. I believe that selfies originated out of necessity, no one else is available to take your picture so you take it yourself. In its self this is not a bad thing, you have the smart phone or webcam so why not if not.

When we look at the whole picture however we have to ask is this isolation really a good thing. I mean isolating oneself from the physical realm and spending a lot of time Online in a virtual world. A virtual world that is so often harsh, uncomforting and even cruel. We’ve all heard of cyber bullying and how some youngsters have been pushed to suicide by faceless people who exist only in their virtual worlds. We can and should ask, didn’t anybody (parents, carers, siblings, etc.) notice something wasn’t right before it was too late…Maybe people were too busy interacting with their tablets and smart phones and uploading selfies?

So you upload a selfie today and tomorrow you take another one and you begin to compare.

This scenario reminds me of 2 Corinthians 10 verse 12:

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

Man is a social animal, or should I say humankind is made up of social beings. God gave Eve to Adam, because it was not good that he (Adam) should be alone.

Selfies, social media and innovative technology products are indeed an integral part of our modern world. However these products and systems are not an alternative to physical human contact that we all need to live happy and balanced lives.

By all means upload your selfie, but then get out there and interact, check on the people around you how are they bearing up. Get someone else to take your picture for a change and then return the favour.

Go on, get out there and smile to someone who isn’t on a screen for once.  🙂

Let me sign off so I can heed my own advice.

LolaA

Interior Renovation!

Ambrose Uga sat, with his head to one side resting on the four folded fingers of his right hand, in the departure wing of the Jamale airport. Jamale is a rather hot albeit small town in the heart of Africa. The constant buzzing sound of the air-conditioning only served to infuriate him further, it seemed to major on noise and minor on cool air.

Sitting on the un-padded bench provided for customers Ambrose regularly sighed as he thought of the punishment he would have the pleasure of meting out to his assistant for making him late and causing him to miss his flight. Never mind that his assistant had knocked frantically on the door of his two star hotel for about five minutes before he finally decided to get out of bed. Thereafter he took his time in having a wash and ate his breakfast leisurely even as his assistant constantly glanced at his watch. Finally, Kendu, as the assistant was called tiptoed up to his boss to tell him that if they didn’t get a move on they would miss their flight. But Ambrose liked to do what Ambrose wanted to do, and by the time they arrived at the hastily put together bricks and mortar that Jamale airport was they saw the plane taxiing off into the sunny mid-morning skyline.

Ambrose had immediately rained a torrent of obscenities at his assistant and sent him off to the booking desks to secure them a seat on the next flight while he went to sit on one of the far from comfortable seats in a corner of the area demarcated as the departure lounge.

After fixating on his watch for five minutes and unable to stop it even for a split second he reluctantly concluded that time doesn’t actually wait for Ambrose and if he was not careful he would miss his very important four o’clock meeting. With this realisation he jumped to his feet, used his eyes to scout for the direction of the ticket desk and headed off towards it.
He took large determined steps even as a rage began to well up on the inside of him. Kendu his assistant began to walk towards him from the ticket desk. Once Kendu was within earshot Ambrose shouted to enquire if the tickets had been bought. Kendu shook his head and started to explain that he had been told all the flights were fully booked and the booking office would only be able to determine if there was space once the flights began to board.

Ambrose stormed past Kendu almost toppling him over in the process. As he approached the ticketing desk he began to shout “do you know who I am? Have you any idea at all who I am?” Stopping in-front of the first ticketing officer his voice went up a notch as he declared “it seems you guys don’t have a clue who I am… “

The ticketing officers seemed to unanimously think in their minds, “You’re right about that mister”.
As far as they were concerned who he was was immaterial, seats on their aircraft were not based on how much of a ‘big’ man you were or were not. They were based on availability at the time of booking.

Unsurprisingly the Father God just like those ticketing officers does not ‘receive face’, i.e. He is impartial and He is not impressed with the positions that men hold. Galatians 2 verse 6 tells us as much:

Moreover, [no new requirements were made] by those who were reputed to be something—though what was their individual position and whether they really were of importance or not makes no difference to me; God is not impressed with the positions that men hold and He is not partial and recognizes no external distinctions…”

The Father God is interested in our hearts, what is inside of us and whether we are right with Him. At the end of the day that is the determining factor, what God thinks. The anointing of David as King of Israel illustrates this point very well. Seven of David’s brothers appeared before Samuel and they all looked the part of a future king but God who looks at the heart had other things in mind. God chose David a ruddy little shepherd boy whom the family didn’t even bother to invite to come in for dinner (1Samuel 16:1-13).

Today the world may think you are a genius comparable only to Einstein or they make think you are nothing to write home about and whatever you say is neither here nor there. The Lord however is not interested in what the world thinks, He is looking at your heart and my heart, your thoughts and my thoughts, your actions and my actions and He is rooting for us to be more Christ-like.

You are important to God

The World may or may not think you are important

What is seriously important however is what God thinks about you!!!

 

Think about it. Till next time LolaA