Keep the word alive in your family

We are living in busy times, times when families are going through the motions together, the routines, the schedules and the events, but not the Word. Nothing is better than spending time together discussing the Word of God.

Don’t let your dreams and activities rob your family from what is important. Be creative in studying the Bible. We must not ever allow our children to grow up lost and with the impression that living life without intentionally seeking God as a family is okay and it is the norm. It should never be the norm for anyone God has created and as far as I know, He created all men.

My family is currently using the book “30 Life Principles” by Charles Stanley, in our weekly devotions. If you know Charles Stanley, you know he gets deep and practical when sharing the Word of God. Check him out on the internet.

Choose a schedule for devotion or bible study that works well for your family. For us, weekly is ideal at the moment. Every family needs to find a schedule that makes sense for them; one that can be realistically maintained.

“30 Life Principles” is a beautiful text for group study for various groups, whether it is a youth group, ladies or men’s group. It is also fitting for couples and individual study and as I mentioned before, for families.

Having a text presents you with an already designed, prayed upon, God-centered structure that sets the foundation for sound biblical discussions. This is so because the text is based on verses in the Word of God. What do your family do to keep connected together in God’s Word?

Today, I would share the first principle with you and I do hope it inspires you to fall in love with the Word of God as a family.

Principle one – Your Intimacy with God – His Priority for Your Life determines the Impact of Your Life.

From the time of creation, Almighty God desired to fellowship with us. Think about it, He made us in His own image. Because of this we can be intimate with God, we can connect with Him and enjoy a fruitful relationship with Him. From the very beginning, God desired our worship, our communion and our companionship.

Isn’t it amazing to think that God created everything before he created man? Everything was and is provided for us. He then entrusted us with the responsibility of taking care of His creation; a world filled with resources. I believe it is easy to see that from the very beginning God wanted us to be successful in life. But, important to note is that He sees your number one success as having a healthy relationship with Him.

Understanding this truth gives us the freedom and clarity to live meaningfully. There is no reason to go searching outside of God’s ideals for us to find meaning in life; it is clearly presented in the beginning.

With a healthy relationship with God, everything else falls into place.

James 1:17 says “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” We need not become anxious about our needs, God provided everything for us from the very beginning and He would not fail us now.

Keep your family grounded around intimacy and relationship with God as you focus on spending time with Him and in His Word.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that spending time together as a family is outdated and no more useful. Today, more than ever, we need divine connection, wisdom and guidance. Evil has not been irradicated, oh no, it is very much alive and well. This means, we who claim to believe in the resurrected Jesus must constantly remind ourselves of the beginning. In the beginning He created us in His image for a divine purpose.

We were created to exist with God, don’t fool yourself thinking you can successfully face life on your own. Cover yourself and your family with the Word of God and with his presence.

All my life you have been faithful

Reflecting on God’s goodness wakes me up from my gloomy moments, from my sleep and slumber. As I reflected on God’s never-ending faithfulness today, I felt His presence around me, lifting me up and renewing my mind in tuned with my purpose.

One of the most difficult things in life is transitioning, waiting and seeking God for the next step, the next door, the answered prayer or the victory. And yet, I cannot for one minute say that He has left me alone and without guidance. God has always been there. In my successes and in my failures, and also in my transitions.

Walking with God is not a walk in the park, but if often feels that way when I am walking in His presence and I can feel a slight touch of His glory. It is in these moments that I remember the reality of His presence and His availability. He is literally always near.

He is the constant friend who is constantly looking out for me, seeking to protect me from that which can easily distract me. He desires the ultimate best for me. And so I celebrate my friend and my God today, not because of what He has given me, or done for me, but just because of who He is. He is Faithful!

“Your goodness is running after, is running after me…….”

May you too, find Him faithful!

Beautiful you!

One of the blessings I received growing up was a mother who frequently reminded me that I was beautiful. It was a constant refrain, planted in my mind. I heard it almost every day and sometimes more than once.

Maybe this is not your story! If it is not, that’s okay. God has created you beautiful and He has been reminding you since the day you were born. Maybe you have been born with a rare disease or a deformity. Maybe you never knew your parents; lost everything at a young age. Maybe you are comparing yourself with others your age and you feel that you don’t measure up. Maybe you are part of a minority group and you feel unfairly treated.

Whatever your situation, whatever your circumstances, it does not remove that fact that you were created by an almighty, all powerful God, who has loved you from the beginning. Whether you choose to believe it or not, He exists.

Look in the mirror and instead of seeing your flaws, your failures, your competition and your obstacles, see that God has been there all along trying to get your attention. See that God’s hands carved you and permitted you to be alive at this moment. See that God is seeing you as beautiful, wonderful, full of potential, capable, gifted and worthy of His investment. He invested his only begotten son into your life so that you can truly be beautiful. He invested unconditional love and friendship so that you can experience a life of purpose on earth and contribute something valuable to mankind. God accepts your imperfections because He knows that Hs perfections are sufficient for you to live and to thrive.

We were created to thrive with Him. His original intention was to simply dwell with us, commune with us and enjoy our fellowship. His original desire was to have our full attention! None of the things we desire to feel beautiful are necessary for true and lasting beauty. True beauty begins when we first understand that God’s perception of us should be the crown on our heads, the headline on our posters, the theme of our lives. It should be the foundation we build upon. Once we get that, we become unmovable and unshakable, representers of hope and light. With God as our foundation we are outfitted to bloom wherever we are.

Counting my blessings and choosing well

Today is my birthday and I have been reflecting on the gift of choice. With the gift of choice comes the awesome responsibility to choose. Every choice has a consequence, Good or bad.

As I reflect on my 51 years, I feel blessed knowing that most of my choices in life have been great, yielding results that I can be grateful for, results that can lead me to say “to God be the Glory!.

I may be slow in making decisions and sometimes it is because of doubt, but other times it’s because I am determined to carefully examine the pros and the cons and ensure I am within the protective fence that God has set up for me.

It is a beautiful thing to be able to look back and feel joy because of some great quality decisions you made in the past.

It may be a good exercise for us to think of the blessings or consequence we are enjoying today, as a result of choosing wisely yesterday. Too many times we focus on the opposite, the times when we made the wrong choice. Today, I choose to think on that which is lovely and just and of a good report.

Because I chose wisely yesterday, today I can be grateful to God for the following:

A meaningful relationship with my family

A sound reputation

Emotional and mental stability

A happy home

The ability to be engaged doing something that is fulfilling; writing, designing and contributing to the development of businesses and people.

The convenience of owning a vehicle and having a driver’s license.

Genuine friendships

A large network of individuals from various segments of my life’s journey.

Wonderful memories of ministering to young people.

This list could go on and on, in fact I will choose to keep adding to the list for the rest of my birth month.

As I move forward into my 52nd year, I am reminding myself to keep focused on the principles of God’s word and not to allow my emotions, selfish desires or misdirected passions, to guide me. I must daily die to myself, as tough as it is, I must. It’s another choice I must make to ensure my actions, my decisions and my destination, are fully endorsed by God.

I inspire you today to choose wisely!

Stop waiting on someone else to do it.

Are you constantly thinking of starting a special ministry, planning an event, initiating that important discussion, forming a charity, inviting a particular person to church, starting a business or becoming more physically active, and you constantly find yourself just waiting to start?

What are you really waiting for? Do you expect someone else to start what is meant to be your purpose and your contribution to this World?

Are you the one in the family who always seems to be sentimental, wanting to build and encourage traditions, plan great adventures and capture memories and yet you are waiting for the others to come around? Well that waiting may be as long as your years on this earth!

Consider that maybe it is your place to initiate the action and that they are probably happy and content enough to follow you as you lead. Remember some are meant to be great followers.

The fact that you are unhappy with the current status, while others are comfortable with mediocrity, is indication enough that you need to action. The fact that you can easily identify sub-standard in your society, school, workplace and even church, is an indication that you need to contribute to that change you so desire. The time for excuses is over; you need to step-up.

As I look back over the years I have been blessed with, I am grateful for the many times I took action. But the reality is that there are also those times when I didn’t, simply out of doubt and fear, and I know that I missed experiencing something great as a result. I can be tempted to ask “What if?”, but I have learnt not to look back. Instead, I pick up my bundle of valuable lessons and move forward.

I know better now! I know that the fact that the ideas are repeatedly knocking on my hearts door is an indication that God wants to use me in that area to initiate something good. I must not sit on it contemplating or seeking to understand every detail. It’s not my business to try to see what is not yet revealed to me. It is also not my business to assess the people around me to see who may be better fit to execute my God-given assignment. It’s my responsibility to act, not tomorrow but today.

When we act, great relationships and bonds are formed, victories are realised, hope is re-ignited, death and sickness are defeated, and light and salt permeates our environment. Remember! It’s our responsibility to act, not tomorrow, but today.

The featured picture was taken at a beautiful spot in Levera, St. Patrick, next to “The Pond”, a naturally created pond just below the rocks at the shore line where villagers and visitors alike would enjoy a therapeutic see bath in a somewhat secluded area.

Take action to create wonderful memories with family and friends.

Youth Inspiration – It’s back to school again!

Earlier this week, my teenage daughter walked over to me with an attractive looking notebook and shared the contents with me. When I read it, I saw the acronym “SOAP” used as a devotional tool. I asked her where she got it and she informed that it was shared with her by one of her school mates. After receiving the acronym and obviously understanding how to use it, she wasted no time and was able to plug in her daily verses and watch them unfold into awesome lessons.

I have seen many useful acronyms designed to help us engage with the bible more; most of which I cannot recall. SOAP resonated with me and I decided to put it to the test. My conclusion is that it is very practical. I will continue to use it.

I cannot fail to mention how proud I was of my daughter’s friend and my daughter. I love that they are focusing on investing in the word of God. It is certainly going to provide them with the safety net needed as they begin their last two years of high school, and prepare for more independence.

Below you can see how I used “SOAP” to nourish my mind today. As a matter of fact, I found myself singing a song that fell in alignment with the verse and so I added another “S” to the acronym making it “SOAPS”. Only one verse it takes and I am built up, encouraged and reminded of the truths that matter.

I wish to specially appeal to teenagers and young adults, both male and female, to embrace the word of God, it will surely do you no harm. As you face a new term, remember, God is available to you. You can choose to be led by Him.

SOAPS

Scripture

It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

Observation

Man has a chance to change because of a merciful God.  His mercy never runs out; it is available every single day.  That’s how faithful God is.

Application

As I seek to live a life of obedience to God, I must remember that if I do sin God’s mercy is sufficient to forgive me.  I must therefore live as if he is always with me, because He is and will be, through good and bad times.

Prayer

Lord, please help me not to live in guilt or fear.  Help me to remember that you are always near and ready to forgive me or help me through any challenge that may come my way.

Song

He’s always there, when things go wrong.  He’s always there, and He gives a song. He lifts me up when I ‘m in prayer.  He’s never gone when I’m alone, He’s always there.

Have fun with bible verses!

Praise is the magic potion (Part II)

The verse depicted on this poster reminds me to live a life pleasing to God and while seeking to do so keep praising God. In other words I do not need to wait until I am doing enough good to start practicing the beautiful art of praise. There is no graduation that is necessary before I can utter one or two or three or a million words of praise. I can do it now, I can do it every day. It begins with that decision to follow Jesus.

I can also anticipate that as I seek to grow spiritually, the quality and depth of my praise would also grow. My growth is encouraged when I increase my bible knowledge and seek to align my life with the standards of God’s word. You see following Jesus is a daily process. It’s a daily striving to be better but it is also an ongoing discovery of amazing things about God and ourselves.

Keep in mind however, that God does not expect us to continue practicing sin after we have become aware that it is wrong. We cannot be serving two masters. If we choose to follow Jesus then it must be Him only. We must daily guard ourselves from anything that would tarnish our thoughts, our actions and our relationship with God.

Sin, guilt and shame suppresses our praise! Give yourself that freedom to praise God genuinely and consistently, by letting go of the habits and choices that would steal your purity and by guarding your mind, heart and your soul.

Praise is the magic potion (Part 1)

Recently, our family was discussing how powerful praise can be when we are feeling sad, discouraged or depressed. We described praise as powerful, a practical solution and a weapon. Some of us use it often, others are still developing the habit of activating our magic potion :).

It is simple to practice; whenever you feel sad, discouraged or depressed, try to discipline yourself to quickly recognise where you are at, and intentionally switch your thoughts to being grateful. Then begin to thank God out loud for all your blessings and for who He is. Do not stop until your sadness, discouragement or depression is lifted. It works! Try it!

I will be encouraging you along the lines of being grateful and consistent in praise, by creating posters on verses that inspire me to praise God more. This first poster reminds us to take control, and command our soul to activate one of the most powerful weapon, when we need it most, the weapon of PRAISE!

Enjoy the journey towards better mental and emotional health. Choose joy!

Beauty lies all around me – Grenada

This is a view from above the St. George’s Cemetery.
It features part of the City (St. George’s), capturing the main jetty for Cruise Liners.
This second picture captures another part of St. George’s City,
the main port for importation of goods, equipment etc. via ships & the beautiful Carenage.

Grenada’s Athletic and Cricket Stadiums and some of our lush vegetation growing in the midst of the City

I am amazed that this small island can be so captivating! It’s my home sweet home! Beautiful Grenada!

Friendship in Family

Lately, I’ve been thinking of ways to be a better friend to my family. Here are some of the practical ways I came up with, some I have already been practicing, others I intend to start or increase. I am excited about sewing these seeds of friendship and watering those already sown. I wish to inspire you to invest in the relationship with your parents, siblings, children, husband or wife. Don’t keep putting of the need to make amends, pull off that surprise or just plan a lovely evening together.

Do what you can to strengthen your family ties.

  • Create a Birthday Calendar and place reminders on your mobile phone so that you would not forget their birthdays; try to do something special for them on their birthday. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, expensive or complexed. Simplicity can speak volumes.
  • Stay in touch by calling every now and then just to say “hi” and to enquire about their well-being.
  • Be quick to say or send congratulatory messages whenever they accomplish something they are proud of.
  • Be quick to give a word of encouragement when they are going through a difficult period.
  • Listen, without interrupting, when they need to vent.
  • Plan events and activities with them in mind.
  • Offer to assist them on a personal project that is important to them.
  • Accept their telephone calls and when it is impossible to do so right away, return the call as soon as you are able to.
  • Understand and appreciate their personality and where they are in their personal growth.
  • Surprise them by doing something really special out of the blues; no occasion needed.
  • Pray for them consistently.

I believe we often take those closest to us for granted and sit back and allow our relationships to deteriorate, growing distant and insensitive to those we should value the most. Remember to start at home. That’s where true love begins.

Have an awesome day!

Featured picture: My daughter and I