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We regret to advise that our new chapter of the story “The Love Dream” will be posted one day late.
We sincerely regret the disappointment. We look forward to continuing sharing this beautiful story with you as it unfolds.
Thank you for your support.
Waiting joyfully is not impossible but it can be tough at times especially when you have been waiting for a while. But there are practical things we can do to help us focus less on “the waiting”.
Seek to live in Gratitude. Living in gratitude helps us to place our mind on the things that are happening for us, the blessings we have received, the lessons we have learned and just the simple things we enjoy every day. We should make the effort not to complain and to ensure that we are emanating a spirit of appreciation that is evident in our interaction with others. We can strengthen our ability to live in gratitude by what we read, the company we keep, the music we listen to and by posting verses, quotes and various statements of affirmation on our bedroom walls, in our offices and even in our vehicles. In other words, saturate your environment with reminders and positive enforcements.
1 Thessalonians 5: 18 says “In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Think about this verse, we are commanded to always be thankful. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are expected to choose gratitude even when things are not going well. You are commanded to choose gratitude when you may have lost your job and you are desperately seeking new opportunities, when you have tried to succeed at your dreams and experienced failure or when you have lost a loved one.
It is a choice that we make daily! It begins with what we believe. If we believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God, we would be able to remain anchored, stable and confident even when we are waiting for answers from God. The joy of the Lord stays in our hearts when we choose to actively believe His promises.
Many of us know what it is like to be on pause. Your foot is on the brake paddle and you have received no directions for moving forward. There are signs that something is happening behind the curtain, you can see a flicker of light every now and then, but it seems like it is taking forever. Despite the discomfort, you know deep within you that your God can be trusted. He has proven it before, not once, not twice, but many times. But no matter your history, it is still difficult to wait.
The good news is there are strategies we can learn that would help us to exercise patience in waiting through-out our lives. If you are able to wait and be joyful and content while doing so, you have accomplished something significant.
Look at your rear view mirror at a time when you planned a date with your girlfriend or a family member. You both agreed to meet at the coffee shop for 8:00 a.m. You arrived 8:55 a.m., it is now 9:20 a.m. and you are still waiting. You are waiting outside of the coffee shop which faces the east, so about that time the sun is hitting you head-on and it is blazing hot. You considered entering the small coffee shop, but it is crowded. On your shoulder is a bag which contains a number of books you are returning to your friend; the bag is quite heavy. In your left hand is your phone and in your right a cold bottle of water. Your hands are getting numb so you are switching both items between your left and right hand. In addition to that, the slippers you are wearing are uncomfortably tight.
You decide to call your friend or family to find out how much longer your wait may be. Your friend/family says to you “I will be there in five minutes”. You waited for an additional twenty minutes before they arrived. The most important aspect of this scenario is that you did not prepare to wait and this made it more difficult for you.
This scenaro allows us to reflect a bit on our behaviour while waiting on God to answer our prayers or to show us what’s next in our lives. We need to be more prepared to wait and we need to utilise our time well, while waiting and while making every effort not to complain or become grumpy. As we experience the waiting periods, we can choose to worship, to reach out to others, to build relationships, read a good book, get involved in “do it yourself projects”, get therapy, work on a healthier you and more, but we must never just sit and wait. It is in the joyful waiting that we grow, learn and are able to influence others positively when we least expect it. Joyful living even through difficult times helps us to cope during the times when we do not have answers or directions.
Let’s make that effort to wait joyfully and never let go of the promise that He (God) will never leave us.
(In part two we would talk more about practical ways to wait joyfully – Please feel free to share tips we can all practice while waiting).
No matter how old we get, no matter how often it happens, losing a loved one through death is no easy experience to get over. However, if you are surrounded with family, friends or acquaintances who are sensitive to your needs, it can make a huge difference.
Here are a few things to remember when seeking to support a friend or family who has lost someone through death.
1. Give them space – Avoid calling during the first two days. You can opt for sending a message instead. This would allow the person to read the message and respond in their own time. When some time has passed and you wish to call, avoid calling too early or too late. Suggested hours are between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Many times when individuals are grieving they may wish to sleep in or just stay in bed. They may also wish to retire early; this is absolutely normal. These adjustments are all necessary as they seek to cope with their loss.
2. Avoid asking sensitive questions surrounding the death such as: the cause of death and how it transpired, funeral plans, family travel plans, whether or not there is a Will etc. Keep in mind that the individual is grieving and may not wish to discuss such details at that point. Your aim should be to make them as comfortable as possible. Keep your conversation along the line of comfort and support. Seek to uplift and assure them that you are available if they need anything. For example: You can say; “I wish to extend condolences on the passing of your sister. I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I am praying for you.”
3. Avoid visiting during this time as we are still experiencing a pandemic. However, if you must, be sure to contact them first to confirm that it is o.k. to visit. Never turn up unannounced. Try to keep your visiting party very small with a maximum of three persons. Be sure to wear your mask and adhere to all COVID-19 Protocols. Keep in mind also that once you decide to visit, the bereaved becomes the Host and would want to be able to accommodate you well. Being a host to visitors requires cleaning, preparation of a refreshing drink and of course the energy to engage your guests. You can consider taking off some pressure of the Host who is also the bereaved by doing the following;
~Offer to help them with a daily chore eg: Cut the grass, wash the dishes or rake the leaves.
~Offer to provide refreshments that they can serve to their guests.
~Call in advance and find out whether there is something they would like you to bring from the Supermarket.
Individuals who are hurting because of the loss of a loved one appreciates our ability to place their needs above our needs. It is a sign of true care and empathy. Having understanding family and friends around, allows us to relax outside of pressure and demands and it assures us that a support structure is there for us when we need it.
(Picture provided by google images)
If we do not know the extent of God’s greatness and we have never experienced His miraculous love we would obviously doubt His power.
If we do not believe that God is the Creator of all things, we would always be searching for our identity in someone else or something else. Sadly, it would never work. He is God and that’s just the way He is.
Our beliefs influences our thoughts, how we relate to others, what we see as valuable in this life and the lifestyles we pursue.
But whether we believe or not, God is the most powerful being, creator of the Universe. He is the Triune One, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is Love and His love is lasting and unconditional. He is also Holy, has never sinned and cannot. This means he cannot tolerate sin even while His grace may extend to all men. Our decision to believe or not does not influence who God is. He is powerful, we are not. We are His prized creation and He desires to commune with us daily.
This triune God cannot be compared to any world leader and should not be. God is a jealous God and doesn’t take pleasure in playing second fiddle. You and I do not fully understand the greatness of God because we are limited in our thinking. He is infinite, we are finite. He speaks and the earth trembles. This God through his Son Jesus has defeated Lucifer by resurrecting himself from the Grave and winning the victory over death. As a babe He entered this world and created a massive spiritual earthquake. Many rejected Him, but he survived the odds. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and the sooner we recognise this the quicker we experience lasting joy and peace.
Job 37:5 “God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.”
Happy New Year! It is by the grace of the one and only Almighty God that we have entered into 2021. I am so happy we both made it.
This is my hope for everyone!
I hope you and I remain or become discipline in setting goals and pursuing them. God created us to create, to dream and to build. Don’t let anything deter you. Nothing must stop you from achieving the goals that God has birthed in you.
I hope you and I mature to understand what true love is. It is not selfish, proud, impatient or unkind. Love is unconditional and allows us to uplift others, sharing when we have much or little. It directs us to put others’ first, to empathise, to listen, to patiently rebuke, lovingly pointing out the implications of poor quality decisions. Love does not divide but mends and unite. Keep this in mind as you relate with your family, friends and even enemies.
I hope you and I prosper financially. It is great to be independent to be able to handle your business on your own and in a timely manner. Be wise with your income, spend after thinking carefully about it. Develop a reserve or emergency fund, keep building your savings. Remember always that your finances are a blessing from God and never allow it to become an idol.
I hope our family relationships grow closer. May you seek to appreciate the family God has blessed you with, whether you see them as good or bad. May we demonstrate Christlikeness at home first before we seek to show it to others on the streets.
I hope you and I remain employed or find employment. Whether self-employment or otherwise. May we seek not to offer meagre service but rather our very best. Seek to do your best at work always even when you do not feel appreciated.
I hope you and I consistently seek to keep our mind and body healthy. Exercise is necessary for healthy experiences daily. Find a physical activity or programme that you are comfortable with but would bring you results. Never tolerate toxic thoughts about yourself or others.
Finally, I hope our pride does not hinder us from glorifying God with our lives. May we never be silent when there is a need to speak. May we never speak when there is a need to be silent. May we learn to recognise the voice of God by building intimacy with him. To be intimate with God, we must allow ourselves to find a quiet space where we can communicate with him without distractions. This begins with a relationship with God where we choose to believe what His word says about us:
that we are sinners in need of the gift of Salvation, and Jesus the Son of God died so this gift can be offered to us. We accept by simply repenting of our sins (turning away from lifestyles and behaviours that he does not approve of) and asking him to be Lord of our lives, committing ourselves to obey his teachings, seeking to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit daily.
I hope, and where there is life and a God who majors in doing the seemingly impossible, it is a worthwhile hope. Now let’s do our part to make our hopes reality, starting from this minute.
Unfortunately we are unable to post a new Chapter of our Story today! “The Love Dream”. A new Chapter will be posted on Sunday, 13th December, (tomorrow) instead. We sincerely apologize to our readers for any inconvenience caused.
Please know that we appreciate your support!
Over the last two months, I have been learning to be more practical in my Christian walk, making that effort to apply the principles of scripture to every day life, something I think should be the goal of every believer. In particular, I have been working on trusting God. As I reflected, I realised that I have been speaking more about trusting than behaving as if I truly believe I can trust God. I was praying and pursuing God for a certain outcome in my life but in the midst of all that there was fear, anxiety and sadness. God used a dear friend to help me to really examine myself and ask “Are you truly trusting God?” Because I was willing to honestly say “no” recognizing that I have been desperately trying to fix things myself, I was able to grow and learn to trust God more.
We often find ourselves crying out to God for answers, for change, for deliverance and we say we are “trusting” God but we are not. Keep in mind that trusting God means to have a firm belief in his reliability, his word and his ability to work on your behalf. Let’s look at a scenario to bring this discussion alive. Marsha lives with her Mom and her Mom’s health is deteriorating. Marsha adores her and as the only child she feels responsible for taking care of her. Marsha has to go to work daily and now that her mom’s health is deteriorating she is worried about who would take care of her mom while she is at work. Marsha believes in God and decides to give this matter to God to handle and to pray without ceasing about it. This is what happens in reality. She prays but allows her concerns to place her in a depressed mood, she is often thinking about the situation and feels helpless. She prays, asking God to take control but she she talks about her concerns at work often, to the point that her colleagues become concern. She prays, but she cannot rejoice or enjoy life with her friends. Marsha prays, but she begins to frantically search for a retired nurse who can come home and take care of her mom.
I see no evidence that Marsha is truly trusting God, rather I see evidence of worry and anxiety. These are the glaring signs:
1. She continually allows her mind to dwell on her situation allowing herself to be sad and depressed.
2. She feels helpless.
3. She talks about it at work often.
4.She begins searching frantically for a retired nurse.
5. She is unable to enjoy the present, to be joyful or to praise God.
All these actions are evidence of worry and anxiety. If Marsha is truly trusting God, she needs to train herself not to think about the situation to the extent where it affects her health. Every time she finds herself worrying she needs to remind herself that she already gave the situation to God and he is able to handle it. If Marsha is trusting God, she would not feel helpless and become desperate to the point that she has to be talking about it often. She would sense God’s support knowing that he would work things out on her behalf and in accordance with his will for her life. If Marsha is truly trusting God her actions would be in faith and not in fear understanding that God would open and close doors as he sees fit, there is no need to become frantic. Marsha would also be able to rejoice and continue to have peaceful, happy moments despite her circumstances.
I always love when I can reflect and see ways for me to grow, to put the scripture to the test. When you and I are obedient to scripture, life is better and we are able to be joyful even while experiencing difficult times.
Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own under-standing”. Psalm 28:7 says “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoice; and with my song I will praise him. Then there is Psalm 37:4-6, “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD, trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”
God has given us sufficient truth to keep us thinking and acting right. Practice trusting God for real and see him work things out for you.
This little laptop represents a significant turn in my Christian walk. I bought it at a time when I was going through a spiritual struggle. It was available to me as God planted a desire in me to write. I never, ever thought of being a writer and here I was full and ready to release what was in my heart. For years I would post random snippets of thoughts on my Facebook page but then after a while the Facebook space grew to be inappropriate. That was when the blog was born, born to #inspireothersonline. This little laptop represents all this and more.
It was a time in my life when I grew impatient and unthankful and as a result my spiritual vision was compromised. I couldn’t hear those closest to me, all I could see was my struggle, my need my pain. What I needed was to welcome the support of others, to embrace sincere friendship and to dig deeper for answers and guidance from God’s word. I have never been in such a place like this. “But” with a capital “B” “God”.
What I have learnt is that when you are in a place of irritability and everything and almost everyone around you seem to be an enemy to your joy or success, you are in a dangerous place. When you become so caught up on protecting your legacy and your character to the extent where you begin to take for granted the people and things that really matter to you, you need to be shaken. I was in that place!
Keep in mind two words, mentioned before “But God”. God’s amazing love reaches where man’s love cannot. God’s amazing love touches us inside, deep inside where the root of our problems sit. God’s amazing love sometimes, forcefully arrests to rescue us so that his way, his will in our lives could take place. God’s amazing love did all that and more for me.
It was during my exodus from this struggle that I found God to be my comfort and my friend. He reminded me that I was not alone. I was embraced, I was loved and I was needed. He reminded me to place my eyes on Him, not on my circumstances, my dreams and my desires. He reminded me to seek Him first.
God kept me through my struggles and chose to plant in me a desire to write. While I had been seeking to encourage others on Facebook with little snippets of writings here and there, this was different, he was asking me to commit myself to a ministry online where I would share my own experiences in a dedicated space where the whosoever will may visit. It was a commitment that required me to step out of my comfort zone, out of my protective space and share from the heart but only to the point where I knew it was right and blessed by the Holy Spirit. Through writing came an opportunity to heal, to spark again, to shine anew. God is still taking me through the process of “shinning anew”. It is no easy, “happy-go-lucky” process, but I am grateful.
I would always treasure my little purple laptop as it represents a significant point in my journey. It was this little laptop that made it possible for me to start the blog “inspireothersonline” in 2017 launching it on my birthday, September 25th. Every year I celebrate God’s goodness to me. His grace and his faithfulness has given me the opportunity to overcome, to blossom in new areas of my life even while I was struggling to hold on to his promises.
I don’t know what your circumstances are today but I know that if you are in that place where you feel you have disappointed God and he no longer is interested in manifesting his glory through you, think again! That’s not who God is. This is the time for you to shut up inside your head and get into the word of God, so he can speak to you. Tell him exactly how you feel and submit to his Word and the prompting of His Holy Spirit. It is a time for you to speak less like a Christian and act more like one. You will be amazed with the transformation that takes place.
Isaiah 43:1 says; “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”