Faith in the “Vision”

Recently, I held a Christian Writers’ Meet-up and from the responses I have received thus far, I would say it was a success.  The success realised is due to God being allowed to have his way, sponsors who were willing to support and  most importantly Participants who trusted “The Vision”.

I have given some serious thought to the word “Vision”.  I have no doubt that the Vision for this Event descended from God himself.   Here is why:

  1.  The Vision came out of spiritual growth after personally experiencing a spiritual drought, failure and discouragement.  In other words, it represented a revival in my heart following days, weeks and months of searching the mind of God as it relates to what he thinks of me and desires of me in terms of service to humanity.
  2. The Vision was timely; It came after I was inspired to start writing in a big way, right after I started my blog and added to that, when other writers were contacted and the vision was shared with them, they were ready to jump in.  The discussion was not about “if” but “when”.
  3. The Vision did not die, even when I placed it on pause for a while because I wanted to be sure, it did not die; it expanded, added extensions and branches as it took root.  I had no choice but to add water to the roots and embrace the green leaves.
  4. The Vision became reality and has the potential to bear lasting fruit. When God gives us a vision, he uses our experiences to create it, marrying it with his word and his plan for us and for others.  When he gives us a vision, our finite minds are not able to grasp the full extent of it and so we must trust Him that our efforts, sacrifice and risk-taking will be worth it; fruit will come.

Be mindful that we must be first concerned about connecting with God and allowing him to feed us through his word, to build us up and to equip us to the task ahead.  He cannot give us a vision to carry out if we are distracted and unstable in our devotion towards him.   Pursuing purpose is really about pursuing God.

Everyone should be chasing after God’s peace!

Have you ever noticed how many verses in the Bible speak about Peace?

You see, in order to pursue God’s purpose in your life, you need stability, confidence, a sound mind and a clear vision and healthy relationships.   God’s Peace allows us to have all these and more.

Tap into God’s peace daily by reading and meditating on God’s word and talking to him through-out the day about everything that concerns you.

Here are some verses to get you hooked on God’s peace:

Proverbs 16:7

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Psalm 37:11

“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Psalm 119:165

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

Romans 5: 1-5

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

Philippians  4: 6&7

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

These are just some of the verses that would wake you up and help you realise that choosing a healthy relationship with God has awesome benefits.

Real, lasting, peace can be yours today, but you must be willing to let go of the unhealthy practices, habits and relationships that are feeding you conflict, torment and fear.  Instead embrace God’s word daily and allow him to guide you towards a life of true peace that even when storms arise, you would confidently walk through it, knowing that the Master of the sea is by your side.

You can’t pursue God’s purpose for your life if you do not know his Peace!.

Know God, Know Peace!

Happy anniversary to my blog and happy birthday to me…

God has given the gift of life to many, but today I felt as if I was getting all his attention.  I am sure there are thousands who celebrated their birthday today, but yet I felt it was just me.  I felt loved, special, valued and considered.

I woke up with pleasant thoughts, I was just so happy to be alive!  I was excited about reading my bible, I wanted to find a passage appropriate for my day.   I got my wish; Psalm 34 was my passage; I read the most of the psalm (22 verses), soaking in its relevance and comforting declarations.

The verses I really love are verses 1 to 4; This is how I chose to capture them;

  1. I declare – I will bless the Lord always and his praise shall continually be in my mouth
  2. I shall not boast of myself but only about what the Lord has done through me and for me.
  3. I desire for others to magnify the Lord with me. I love good spiritual companionship.
  4. I have sought the Lord many times when I was in desperate situations and he has always heard me and delivered me.

Today is also special because It is the first anniversary of this blog.  Happy birthday day to “InspireMe – the Blog”.   When I started to blog, it created an opportunity for me to breathe into others, inspirational thoughts and considerations, as I expressed my inward yearnings, thoughts and promptings from the Holy Spirit, I too found myself exhaling, releasing virtue and wealth.  As I gave through writing, I gained intimacy with God and a growing bond with the unseen and unmet readers across the world.

Today, I celebrate good success and I offer up a sacrifice of praise to my Enabler, the Holy Spirit himself.

I sincerely say thank you to those of you who subscribed.  Thank you to those who provided constructive feedback which allowed me to get a sense of how you were ministered to, inspired or touched.  Without readers of my blog, all I would have is a conversation with myself.

Thank you for allowing me to touch your lives.

As a new year begins, I can only expect better, further, higher and greater!!

You may be wondering why the guitar.  Here is this, during the past year, I recommitted myself to learning to play the guitar better, to becoming more confident, to practicing regularly.    My relationship with this six string wooden instrument has been renewed and my success with the guitar thus far (though small) has proven that “nothing is impossible with God”.

I shared this story to inspire you to live purposefully!

 

Enjoying peace daily! – How is that possible?

Just thinking; Why do I have a Peace of Mind?  How do I normally maintain a Peace of Mind?

Was thinking today of my normal composure even when there is a storm around me.  Usually, if you look across at me from the table or the room, you would see a calm, composed individual.    I am not pretending; I really surprise myself at times.

When others expect me to be heavy-hearted, I am light-hearted, skipping along my way, when others expect me to be disturbed, I am quietly comforted, when others expect me to be angry, I am feeling sad about their current situation.   It goes on and one and the questions is “How come?”

Let me hasten to say, I am not always at peace, there are things that momentarily disturb my peace at times; living down here does not permit us to escape challenges and storms, but still there is peace.

Here are some reasons why I am able to enjoy peace of heart and peace of mind most times;

  1. I practice thinking good about others – No Malice – Daily, I chase the malicious, negative and destructive thoughts of others from my mind. I believe everyone has good qualities and bad qualities but, overall, they are precious and special human beings, loved by an Amazing God who is in the business of patiently working on all of us.   So even though you may have done something I dislike or sincerely despise, I still see you as somebody.
  2. I manage my perceptions of people as perceptions only; often, what seems to be, is not. The worse thing I could do is assume what someone else is thinking or doing when I have no proof whatsoever.  I firmly believe in thinking the best of others.
  3. I seek to be kind and pleasant to people even though they are not kind and pleasant towards me. Why? It is the right thing to do and it makes me feel really cool inside.
  4. I constantly remind myself that I am alive to fulfill a divine purpose and being an agent of confusion, war and slandering, is not part of my divine purpose. I am hear win others to Christ, not to chase them away.
  5. I embrace conflict not as a fight but a way towards resolving a problem and improving relationships. Consequently, forever is not too long to work on a relationship.
  6. I purposely present a peaceful approach when individuals come to me and complain about others; I seek to present an objective view, helping them to think soberly.
  7. I am connected to the Prince of Peace and we speak daily. This peace that I experience daily, is not of my own, it is because of the influence of God on my life.  God represents truth, joy and love, three qualities that would bring you peace.  I try listening to his voice, I really try.
  8. I examine myself daily, acknowledge and confess wrongs and weaknesses.

 

That’s it!  That’s how I embrace peace 😊.

Treasured Lessons from my Mother – Lesson 4

“Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the World.”

Well, my Mother always spoke to the Devil! “Get thee behind me Satan!”  I learnt at a young age that there is evil and there is good but if I would trust in God, who is more powerful than the Devil, I will be fine.   It was more than just saying “Get thee behind me Satan!”.  I learned as a little girl that my mind was always tossing up good and evil thoughts, seeking to fight back against temptations to be disrespectful or disobedient.   I knew at a young age that there was a special blessing of long life, joy and peace if I choose to obey God and not my feelings.   I learnt that the Devil had no control over me, unless I let him.

There was a little song we learnt at Sunday School, which in my view, was quite popular.

It goes like this:

“Get thee behind me Satan, Get thee away.  I don’t want anything to do with you today.   Get thee Behind me Satan, Get thee away.  I want to be a Christian Soldier and I want to learn to pray”.

My Mom, knew the word of God, so she knew that the one who lived within us was mightier than the evil one. She knew that we (those who truly believe in Christ), through the Holy Spirit, can overcome any temptation, hence we can boldly say “Get thee behind me Satan”!

Application: May we be mothers who read the word of God and seek to understand and believe it.   Part of understanding God’s word is applying it when having discussions with our children, when disciplining and guiding them towards safe living, living outside of the devil’s clutches. Assist your children in memorizing this verse: 1 John 4:4;  “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the World.

More lessons on Saturday…..

Worship Expressions – Saviour

 

He was wounded for me and it is touching to admit; he did it all for me.   What a demonstration of LOVE, Sacrificial, selfless love.  For me He endured the pain, the mockery and the shame.

I sing today, I sing out loud, He Arose! My Saviour Lives today!

I worship a Saviour who has gone to the deepest depths to redeem man.   I serve a Saviour who risked it all for me.

It is a Saviour with such love that I speak about, sing about, and shout about.

A Holy God left his glorious comfortable home in heaven and stepped into man’s corrupt environment to connect with us, to reach us and rescue us from a path of destruction.  He desires to call us his children, he wants our company, our fellowship and our worship. I worship a Saviour who has walked this Earth, experienced our pain and resisted temptation.

It is a Saviour with such love that I speak about, sing about and shout about.

He was betrayed by the Evil one, delivered to those who accused him falsely. He was beaten mercilessly, still he came to extend mercy.  I worship a Saviour who extends Grace to every man, woman and child.

It is a Saviour with such love that I speak about, sing about, and shout about.

So, for me, Easter is not just a memory, it is not just an exciting, religious moment, but it is a reminder of how great a gift I have received, ONLY because my God and Saviour dared to stoop so low, from heaven’s glory to earth’s corrupt domain.  He accepted our faults, our sins as his own, He took the Blame.

Because of such sacrificial love, I can choose to follow Christ and not be controlled by the Devil.   I can choose to be free from fear, resentment and anything from my past, that may keep me back from experiencing meaningful living.

I can worship a Saviour who loves me enough to die for me and I know that he is interested in my affairs, in spending time with me, in helping me to grow and to overcome every obstacle that comes my way.   I can experience true intimacy with the most powerful being of this universe.

I am certainly thankful for what he’s done, what he has given up.

He is truly Saviour of this world and His name is Jesus, the Resurrected King!

Carrots and Cantaloupe are good for us

Last Tuesday I blended carrots and cantaloupe together and enjoyed a refreshing drink; no sugar added.

Why, carrots and cantaloupe?  Well, for one, they were the only available fruits in my kitchen, at the moment, and as far as I knew they were good for me.  Every now and then however, we need to refresh our knowledge of what these fruits provide, so that we can maximise on their use.  So here are a few reminders or, for some of us, this could be news.

Let’s first look at carrots.  How can they be eaten and what benefits do they have for our bodies?

  • Carrots can be eaten raw as a snack (carrot sticks), or in a vegetable salad. They can also be blended with other vegetables to make a nutritious drink (like I did).    They can be steamed with other vegetables and boiled in soups of all kinds.  I have also seen carrots used in cakes and buns.  I love grating the raw carrot and mixing it into the rice immediately after the rice has been cooked.  I am sure there are many other ways to use the carrot, maybe you would love to share.
  • Carrots are great source of fiber. They also provide vitamin A (beta-carotene), one of the B Vitamins, Biotin, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6 and Potassium. By now you should know that fiber is very important to having a healthy bowel movement.  It also helps us to feel fuller longer and can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Vitamin A, helps us to maintain healthy vision and is important for growth and development as well as healthy immune function.  What about Biotin?  It is one of the B-vitamins and plays an important role in the metabolism of fats and proteins. The other vitamins K1 and B6 are responsible, respectively, for bone health and for converting food into energy.  As we say, last but not least, carrots also provide Potassium, an essential mineral, useful for keeping the blood pressure under control.

Let’s look at the second fruit, the Cantaloupe.   I must say, around my family, friends and associates, this fruit is not popular at all.   It is not my favorite either; I enjoy it best when it is mixed with other fruits, as in a fruit salad or blended.

The cantaloupe however, has nutrients for us as well;

  • They provide a range of antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes. The word “phytonutrients” was new to me, so I had to do some further research.  phytonutrients are nutrients found in plants, in fact “Phyto” is the Greek word for “plant”.  These nutrients are really chemicals which help to protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs and other threats.  Sounds like a good pest controller to me and maybe it is the secret to the healthy skin cantaloupes enjoy.
  • Looking closer to the nutrients provided to the body, in addition to the three benefits mentioned (antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes), the Cantaloupe offers much more;

It provides Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, B vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, as well as folate.  It also provides magnesium and fiber.  I believe by now you agree that we need to eat more cantaloupe.  There is even a bonus for you; the seeds are edible, they provide omega-3, fatty acids.

I encourage you to do much more research on your own, but I do hope that this little peek into the benefits of consuming carrots and cantaloupes would inspire you to make healthier food choices.

Sources;

https://draxe.com/cantaloupe-nutrition/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1

https://linwoodshealthfoods.com/ie/2013/11/20/why-dietary-fibre-is-so-important-for-your-diet/

 

Eight take-away’s from Billy Graham’s Funeral

On March 2nd, 2018, I watched the memorial service of Evangelist, Billy Graham and I found myself rejoicing but also shedding some tears as I was touched by a number of the moments shared during the service.  What a lovely service it was!

As a child, who grew up with a vibrant preacher Daddy, zealous about the Lord and his Word, I connected with Billy Graham’s Ministry.  I particularly liked the format of his Crusades and the simplicity of his messages.   He never compromised on the Gospel message, keeping it pure and real; he preached about heaven and he preached about hell.  And yet, he did not make the sinner feel condemned or worthless.   His preaching drew men to Christ.

As I sat and watched the live streaming of the Memorial Service, made possible by NBC News (Thank you NBC for such great coverage), I had to pause the video to grab a pen and piece of paper, so I could take notes; I just needed to capture some moments.  I knew instantly, that I had to write an article about my favourite points of the service, my take-aways. This is what this article is about;

“Eight take-aways” from Evangelist Billy Graham’s Funeral

Take-away number one

The first special item was a hymn sung by four women, the lead singer’s voice was sweet and melodious to my ear, capturing my heart and the song chosen, in my view, was perfect.  The song is known as “Until Then” Here are the words:

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.

Chorus
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for a while;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.

Chorus
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

This hymn has another verse, but I chose to share just the two verses sung on that day.  I later found out that the lead singer was Linda McCrary-Fisher, she must’ve sang for the Billy Graham Crusades.  I enjoyed her very much.

As believers, we are travelling upward, and our troubles are just a stepping stone and as we travel and encounter difficulties, we should keep singing allowing the joy of the Lord to be our Strength.  Soon our eyes will behold the beautiful city, Heaven!  That’s where our beloved Billy Graham is now!

That song was beautifully done, melting my heart.

Take-away number two  Poem read by Gigi Graham (Billy Graham’s first daughter).

(It was written by their Mom (Billy Graham’s wife) when she was about 13 years old).  It is my honour to share this poem on this platform….wow!!

Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid, as we are inclined to do.

I do not need a handsome man, but oh God let him be like you.

I do not need one big and strong, or yet, so very tall,

nor need he be a genius, or wealthy Lord, at all.

But let his head be high, Dear God, and let his eye be clear,

His shoulders straight whate’er his state, whate’er his earthly sphere.

And oh God, let his face have character and a ruggedness of soul and

let his whole life show Dear God, a singleness of goal.

And when he comes as he will come, with those quiet eyes a-glow,

 I’ll understand that He is the man, I prayed for long ago.

This poem touched me deeply because it was a little girl’s prayer, that was completely answered.  This Poem describes Billy Graham perfectly. This is truly amazing!

Take away number three Anne’s (daughter) sharing on the significance of the date on which her daddy died, February 21st, 2018:  Her words…..

 “…I found out that February 21st, 2018 is the day when Jews focused on scripture reading that focuses on the death of Moses.  Moses was the great liberator, he brought people, millions of people out of bondage to slavery, got them to the edge of the promise land, and God took him to heaven, and then God brought Joshua to lead them into the promise land, to take them home.  And my father also, was a great Liberator, he brought millions of people out of bondage to sin and he gets us to the edge of heaven, the edge of the promise land and then God has called him home.  And then, could It be, that God is going to bring Joshua to lead us into the Promise Land, to lead us to heaven? And do you know what the New Testament name is for Joshua? It is Jesus!……………and I believe God is saying, wake up church, wake up world, wake up Anne, Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”

I was amazed because, God is very strategic, he does nothing by chance, “Could it be?”

Take-away number four – The passage read by Anne

1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; it says;

“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so, shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

I listened to this passage, soaking it all in; I was more than comforted!

Take-away number five – Ruth’s (daughter) Testimony – “My Father was not God, but he showed me what God was like that day”

Ruth spoke about getting divorced and then running of and marrying again against the will of her parents and her children.  She described herself as willful, sinful and stubborn. The moment for me was when she shared about deciding to return home to her parents, after making a mess of her life, and being worried about what they would say; she felt she was a failure.  Ruth went home nevertheless and was greeted by her dad, who was waiting for her in the driveway.  As she came out of the car, he placed his arms around her and said, “Welcome Home”.  In her own words; “There was no shame, there was no blame, there was no condemnation, just unconditional love”.  Ruth saw God that day in her Father and she was never the same.

This may just be my favourite take-away of all.

Take away number six – Shared by Ned Graham (Son) – F.A.T.

“My Father was F.A.T.”  I thought to myself, ouch, that sounds raw.  But then he explained the acronym F.A.T., he described his father as; Faithful, Available and Teachable!  As listeners we were all encouraged to be F.A.T.

Take away number seven –  Franklyn Graham (Son) His best memory of his father

“I cannot remember my Father without remembering my Mother.” His words.

He admired how his parents loved each other.  He spoke about his Mother’s death, almost 11 years ago, and described it as “a big hole in his (Father’s) heart”.   He reminisced on the last few days of his mother’s life, how his father would come into the room and sit beside her, and they would stare at each other for hours.

“He loved her, and she loved him”

“My mother was a part of my Father’s life at every turn.”

Take away number eight – The Bible, the infallible word of God.

Franklyn shared how his Father believed in carrying his bible to the pulpit and would always preach clearly stating what “the bible says”. What really stood out to me was the simple gospel message presented by Franklyn, Billy Graham style.

“The best news ever declared is that God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish but should have everlasting life”.

“A man Christ Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.”  “Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.”

Check out the link, you got to hear the simple profound message shared on that day.

There is so much more that touched my heart, but I would leave it here.

I will treasure the memories forever!