So, Who’s Afraid of Retirement?

imageHaving attended several retirement parties this past month made me ponder on what many of us look forward to after retirement. Based upon the speeches of the honorees and well-wishers, I’ve found that many of us look forward  to spending retirement years by enjoying quality time with our families, friends and relatives and giving  ourselves the much needed rest and relaxation. However, I’ve also discovered that some have that common  fear of  retirement.

Apparently, money isn’t the only reason why people are afraid of retirement. Even if they’ve saved diligently and amassed a comfortable egg nest, some people think their retirement years will be boring without the mental stimulation of work. I’ve heard many stories of depressed retirees and of course that’s not something to look forward to. On the other hand, the wise retiree prepare for the inevitable transition from the busy life to the well anticipated idle moments. Oh well, plans for life after retirement in the workforce can be endless but here’s the big question – “Have we ever considered preparing for  retirement from this Earth as well? How many of us have?”

I remember vividly what the  Manager of the bank where I worked before told me. On one Christmas party, he gave me the Holy Bible as a present  and said, “Here’s my humble gift to you. It’s the “B-est I-nsurance B-efore L-eaving E-arth.” Yes indeed, the Holy Bible  is the best preparation one can ever have for his retirement from this earthly life.

I glanced at my watch, it’s exactly 8:55 PM,  July 5, 2015. As I was writing this article, I had to stop right at this paragraph as a strong earthquake and several strong aftershocks shook the house and for awhile I got nervous and I prayed. I thought all the more that we should prepare for our “retirement” for we know not when we are called by our Creator to “retire.”

Then I thought, “how can anyone have lots of  time to watch movies and TV, read magazines and books, spend hours and hours in the computer and so little time or no time at all to read the Bible and more so to communicate with God?”

Have we realized we are running out of time? The signs of the times are revealing. The strong earthquake just a few minutes ago is just one of them. Killer floods and heatwaves  have become  common news. Add to that unusual diseases like AIDS, MERS-CoV, SARS etc. So, why then  can’t we stop for awhile and make the necessary preparations to get ourselves ready?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the world should stop spinning  and everyone should stop working for the end is near. I’m not saying that retirees cannot have lazy moments either. For I too, a self-proclaimed retiree at age 44 believe that retirement is payback time – the perfect time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. After retirement, with a sigh of relief we can finally say, “it’s time to relax and enjoy after the many years of dedicated service, sacrifices and hard work.” But hey! Let us also remember that retirement is not  the end of everything. Retirement does not at all equate with lazy, unproductive years. We stiill have so much to contribute to the world and to our neighbors especially to those in need.

So, how do we prepare for our retirement from this earth we live on?  It is not enough that we know the Bible by heart but we should live it as well.

Someone said and I quote, “Retiring is replacing old tires with new tires.” And when you have new tires,  you are ready to  start a new journey.  This time however, you can drive slow and at your own speed and you can have as many stop-overs as you want.

STOP-OVERS

STOP-OVER may mean, visiting or meeting up with family,  old friends, aging relative or a sick neighbor you haven’t had the time to when you were working.

Way back into your working days,  with career and family to look after and  the hectic pace of modern life, it was difficult to find time for socializing. During those busy times, seeing friends and relatives were not one of your priorities but after retirement, making an effort to stay in touch can be important not just for them but also for your own wellbeing.

How could it be beneficial to your health? The reason is that catching up  with family and old friends is the perfect way to ease the stresses and strains of the retiree’s everyday “boring” routine. In fact, that’s one way of relaxation which is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. So, make sure you do it regularly or as per your planned schedule.

So, get to spend more time visiting with friends and family members, near and far. Explore your roots and find relatives you never knew you had. This is quite an adventure that may bring you lots of fun and surprises.

Moreover, as you catch up on life, you will discover a lot of things about them. You can also be a mentor. Find a young person to mentor. Many young people would love the chance to learn from the experienced and successful. Take time out of your week to change the life of someone else.

During these times. you can also do your apostolate by listening to others and bringing them to Christ. Sometimes, even the people who think they are the happiest may have never realized what GENUINE happiness really is. And sometimes, these are the people who tend to forget God because they think they already have everything.

Help them find Christ and help them realize that no one is happier than a person who has Christ in his heart. Just a mere show of love and concern is bringing Jesus to them. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your apostolate everyday. Be an instrument of God’s love not only to people close to you but to everyone you meet.

STOP-OVER may mean visiting orphanages, homeless people and anyone who   may need help and sharing what you have with them. Have you experienced receiving many returns after sharing? My husband and I have experienced that so many times. God never fails to return what we share. I’m not exaggerating. Believe me, they almost always come back not only a hundredfold but a thousandfold! Remember, God promises that if we will concentrate on blessing others, HE will take care of our needs. There’s almost nothing that God won’t do for the person who really wants to help other people. And think about this, even the most humble things you share can go a long, long way to the needy.

STOP-OVER may also mean being a volunteer or being a part of an organization that aims to promote the welfare of the people and the environment.

Volunteer. Use your time in retirement to give back. Contact your local church or other charitable organization to find volunteer opportunities that suit your skills. Don’t forget to consider overseas opportunities as well.

If your career was in line with  the medical field, volunteer for a medical mission to far flung areas  or it can be as simple as being a part of the planting tree program in your community. There’s one and a zillion ways to serve God, community and others. Most of the time, volunteer jobs require no educational qualifications only a sincere and compassionate heart and soul.

In other words, STOP-OVER is a time-out from your usual activities to find different ways and means to reach out to people – “people who need people”, as the song goes…In short, it means serving the Lord in your own little way.

Finally, one thing we can say for certain is that it is wrong to retire from serving the Lord because serving the Lord is a lifelong commitment. Even more, retirement is not the end of our dreams and goals. We still have a lot to dream about and goals to attain. Even as we age, it’s still important to hold on to dreams and stir the creative imagination to expand our horizons in order for us to be able to serve the Lord and reach out to others. Sometimes though, we will be faced with unanticipated challenges, those peaks and valleys that mark the road map of our lives will still be there and they still come in all shapes and sizes and at all times and places.

At the end of the day however, feel happy that you have treasured your Gift of life as a precious rare jewel. Feel happy that you have found genuine happiness not in material things but in Christ’s deep and unconditional love for you. Feel happy that you have served the Lord and continue to serve Him the best way you can for the rest of your life. Lastly, feel happy that you have the B-est I-nsurance B-efore L-eaving E-arth. So now, who’s afraid of retirement?

Broken Jars

Originally posted on Inspirational Christian Blogs:

I never cease to stand amazed at Mary Magdalene’s faith – Here a prostitute – a reviled person according to the Pharisaical law – the lowest person – luckily not stoned to death for her sins, changed by the Son of God, and she was never the same again.

This same Mary of whom seven demons had been cast morphed into one of Christ’s staunchest allies, showing courage and bravery far exceeding most of the disciples. She was there at the beginning of Jesus ministry, stood with Him at the cross and was the first one there on that Sunday morning of His awesome Resurrection.

It was my privilege to host a study on Twitter just recently on the subject of Mary’s visit to the empty tomb and it was brought home to me once again the deep faith of this amazing young woman who loved her Lord with everything…

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Kidney Cleanse

maycluis:

Reblogged this on nurturingbodymindandspirit.wordpress.com

Originally posted on ByzantineFlowers:

Got lower back pain and suspect it might be a kidney stone? Try this cleanse before an expensive hospital visit. Small kidney stones can be dissolved a few weeks with a few changes in your diet and large amounts of water to wash out any toxins that have built up over time.

This cleanse is not just to remove kidney stones though. The kidney filters out all kinds of toxic substances from your blood and is particularly sensitive to infections – keeping this organ clean and functioning properly is highly important for your health.

What are Kidney Stones?

A kidney cleanse is a great way to avoid kidney stones, but how do they form? If you are dehydrated or have consumed lots of toxic substances, the urine that passes through the kidney can crystallize, forming mineral deposits or kidney stones.

If the stones become too big they can block urine…

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The Must Read Interview With God: What Is The Gospel?

maycluis:

Just sharing Greg Holt’s article originally posted at Inspirational Chrisitians for Today. May it inspire us to deepen our FAITH in our Lord Jesus Christ and to live by His Word.

As we enter the HOLY WEEK, let our sinfulness die with Him and may we all resurrect with Him as transformed Chrisitans. A BLESSED LENT TO EVERYONE…GOD BLESS US ALL!!!

Originally posted on Inspirational Christian Blogs:

Atheism-agnosticism-following God

Man: Lord what is the Gospel?

God:I love you

Man: Could You be a little more specific Lord?

God:I love man; despite man’s sin against Me. Despite the heinous acts committed, crimes committed, man’s defiance and outright disobedience – I love man. Taking My name in vain, disbelief in Me, doubts even among My own children, not believing My Son is God, misinterpreting My Word – yet do I love man.

Man: But what about the Gospel Lord?

God:My love for you IS the Gospel; don’t you see?

Man: We see in part Lord; some saved some not, all understanding some, and none understanding all.

God:I AM who I AM. I have always been, and I will always be. I am the Lord; I am righteous and just, merciful and loving, slow to anger and full of grace.

As I am perfect, so must all of…

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EPITAPH

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imageIt was one of those late noon walk-run exercises I had with my husband. “The trek on the hill  always gives me a feeling of peace and serenity and some kind of euphoria that I couldn’t explain”, I said to my husband. Believe me, it’s a totally different kind of   experience that I don’t usually feel when I’m on the treadmill and so, I’d say . . .  what I often hear is true: “You become closer to God when you are connected with nature.” I just love our “green exercises”, as others call it, because not only am I doing something good for my body but it is also my time to meditate and reflect on how  great the Lord is. They are my moments to appreciate the wonders of nature and to give thanks to God of this beautiful world. I’d always find myself in awe with the beauty of the surroundings – the trees, the birds and all of God’s wonderful creations. My thoughts  wandered from time to time though, as I noticed the other joggers and runners who came in different shapes and sizes and I was just wondering how long  they have been exercising when suddenly,  this thought popped into my mind, “Everyone tries to get fit and healthy to live long, but death could come in an instant even to the healthiest and fittest person on earth. And if that happens to me, how will I  be remembered?  Have you ever thought about this too?

In the Old Testament, book of Chronicles are fascinating stories of famous and powerful people. Some went to their death in disgrace and some in fame and glory. Their life stories finish with a one-line summary. For example, King Jehoram was arrogant and ill-liked. He died at age 32 of an incurable disease. The chapter of his life closes with these words: “He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings” (2 Chronicles 21:20).

What a contrast to another king, Josiah, who lived a few generations later. Of him, it was written, “He was buried in the tombs of his fathers, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him (2 Chronicles 35:24).

LEGACY! Like the two kings mentioned, many of us want to leave a legacy. When we leave this life, we want to be remembered for the good things we have done but does it really matter? Is legacy really that significant? My personal belief is that  what is more important is not how people will remember us  when we are gone but how prepared we are to meet our Creator when our time comes. In life, we do  lots of preparations. We prepare  to go to work, to school, to church, to meet somebody and even before going to bed. Let us not forget though, that the  MOST important preparation of all is to prepare for our souls to meet our Creator as death could come anytime and anywhere. This is a lifelong preparation. However, if you think you haven’t prepared  as of this time, it is not too late, you can start TODAY!

So today, tell yourself, “This isn’t just another day. This is today, the most important day of my life. It’s the only day that I can do something about.”

JUST FOR TODAY, strive to do God’s will, remembering the failures of yesterday are behind you. When you wake up in the morning, learn to say, “God, please walk with me today as though it were the last day of my life.”

Live today as though you would meet your Maker at the end of the day. Paul wrote, “Today is the day of salvation.” (1 Corinthians 6:2). If you have no peace in your heart, reach out to the loving Savior, and invite Him to come into your life and give you the assurance that if you met God at the end of the day, you would not be ashamed to call Him Father.

It has been said that life is a series of todays, that so quickly turn into yesterdays to which some of us spend our time regretfully looking backward. Still others, through worry or procrastination, are always waiting for tomorrow. Focus on today!

How my heart grieves for others who have not yet accepted the Lord in their lives. Especially for those entangled in the web of deception. They would rather seek the pleasures of the world than seek the Lord, “Tomorrow,” they always say. Tomorrow, I hope it’s not too late for us to answer God’s invitation.

If for some reasons, God draws a line at the end of your life tonight, how would you be remembered? No one knows when we should prepare the epitaph for our final resting place. Yet we are remembered both for what we are and what we do. To me, my legacy doesn’t matter. In fact, it isn’t important that I’d be remembered. All I want is that my epitaph will read like this: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

 

Latching The Gate And Starting Anew

imageSome maybe wondering why the year starts with January. Here is the story – way back when, the Romans had a god named Janus. He was the god of doors and gates and had two faces – one looking forward and the other looking back. So, Julius Caesar thought it would be appropriate for January, Janus’ namesake   month, to be the doorway to a New Year, and when he created the Julian Calendar, he made January 1, the first day of the year. Hence, not only is January the start of the New Year but should also be the start of a new life and and a new beginning.

Such that when British former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, was playing golf with a friend on one occasion and they had to cross a fenced area, when his partner pushed the gate closed but did not bother to latch it. George, seeing the failure, went back and secured the gate. Then George told of an old doctor friend who lay dying. After calling his family and friends to his bedside, he gave these parting words, “Close every gate through which you have passed.” David Lloyd George said that he owed more to that bit of wisdom than to anything else he had ever heard.

LATCHING THE GATE

To close the gate on yesterday’s failure will require two things: God’s forgiveness and your “forgetfulness” – His forgiveness and your willingness to close the gate.

The second part – your willingness to forgive yourself – is sometimes harder to do than to find God’s forgiveness. Yet if God has given His Son to provide a way to forgive us, why should we do any less than to forgive ourselves? Learning to forgive oneself is one of the most difficult tasks that confronts a person, yet if we take the first step – acknowledging the fullness of God’s forgiveness, forgiving oneself is possible.

STARTING ANEW

As January – the start of the year is here, we are into a transition once again and transitions in life are never easy. Remember how it was when you were a youngster and moved from one grade to another, or changed neighborhoods when your family moved? That same feeling arises as an adult when you moved from one job to another. As you ponder the transition from one year to another, there’s a trace of nostalgia, a hint of excitement and an element of fear.

Yet in the wise providence of God, there comes a time when you have to close the door on one phase of your life and make the passage to the next. I noticed an interesting phrase in the book of Acts where Luke used the phrase, “Now after these things were finished,” where he tells how it was time for Paul to leave Ephesus and go to Jerusalem.

For some of us, tomorrow is a great big question mark, and even acknowledging it creates fear in our hearts. Closing the gate on yesterday – and latching it – gives hope for tomorrow.  Let us reach out and take the strong hand of God and know He can walk with us day by day through this New Year.

Hey Kids, It Ain’t Clausmas, It’s Christmas!

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imageChristmas trimmings are here, there and everywhere for it’s just a few more days and it’s Christmas. Well of course, Christmas is not complete without  Santa. Santa Claus has been very famous during Christmas as long as anyone can remember.

As a child, I remember scribbling a note to Santa and putting it on Christmas tree expecting a gift the next morning. Do you remember doing that too? And Oh! “Santa” would never disappoint me ’cause every time I would see my gift all wrapped up the morning after.

Yesterday, today and all the years to come, kids adore and will always adore Santa. It’s a joy to see them full of excitement in anticipation of receiving gifts from ol’ Santa. And yet, is it really a good practice?

Well, here’s what I thought: I strongly believe that Santa Claus has gone too far and as Christians we need to correct this. Why?

First of all, Christmas must ALWAYS be a birthday celebration – of the birth of Jesus Christ. But if you notice, the birthday celebrant is completely forgotten! Kids know Santa better than they know Jesus. Why? Because parents teach their children in this manner.

“Hey kids, Jesus was born some 2000 years ago in Bethlehem. . .etc. By the way, Santa is coming today. He is going to give you a gift. He has been watching if you were a good child or not the whole year.” Tell us, which person will your children  be interested in,  a baby born ages ago or some dazzling merry man in red who is here today giving gifts?

Our proper response to this dilemma would be to present to our children who Jesus is. Tell them that Jesus is here today! So, make  this Christmas different, make it  more special than your past Christmases. . .This time, on Christmas eve, why not have a small family prayer meeting? Let the children greet Jesus a Happy Birthday. And for us filipinos, maybe we can do this after noche buena (a filipino tradition where families and friends gather for a sumptuous feast on Christmas eve). And instead of writing notes to Santa, why not let them write birthday cards to Jesus? Sing to Jesus on Christmas eve, Make Him the center of His Birthday – make Him the center of your family.

Second, I remember a friend who told me what his son said right after she and her husband told him  that Santa was not real. Her son told them that he doesn’t believe in God anymore. Of course my friend and her husband got the shock of their lives when they heard this. Then the son continued, “If you could lie to me for several years about someone watching over me to see if I’d been good or bad, why shouldn’t you lie to me about God? So now, if I don’t see something, I won’t believe it.”

So parents, you need to understand that if children catch you lying, they will lie too. And what’s more, they will not believe you anymore, especially if they cannot see  with their own two eyes what you are imparting to them.

A word of caution ‘though. It may not be possible to eradicate all traces of Santa. Everywhere your kids go, they’ll see his smiling red face with the bushy white beard, sometimes even with elves clothed in red and green and huge reindeer like Rudolf, and Prancer and Dancer. . .you know what I mean.

imageFor sure, they will ask you who this character is. Don’t panic. It’s quite alright to explain who Santa is. You could even tell the story of good old St. Nicholas (Our Saint for the Season, who is always mistaken to be Santa Claus)

Just be sure to end by very clearly saying Santa’s make believe. And that even without him, Christmas would exist. For if Christmas couldn’t exist without jolly old Santa Claus, then this Season’s name would have been Clausmas.  Oh! Well Virginia, there’s no Santa Claus but  there’s baby JESUS born in a manger. He is REAL and He’s always  there with us even long after  Christmas is over. In short, JESUS is the REASON for this SEASON. Thus, this Season ain’t called Clausmas but CHRISTMAS, got that kids? 

So, let’s all say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!

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Watch Your Thoughts

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imageJeepneys are the most popular means of transportation in the Philippines, they are twin-benched jitney bus that are known for their crowded seating. One day, while a police officer was aboard a jeepney  he foiled the attempts of four men to rob the jeepney passengers. He did it out of gut feel, they say. But to the police officer who did the heroic act, it was out of pure wit.

In an interview, he said that he already knew beforehand that these men were robbers. For one, they boarded the jeepney and they already took the most strategic seats. As he watched them carefully, he noticed that their eyes were scanning all the “merchandise”, that their hands were all fidgety and that cold sweats was trickling down their foreheads. In a sense, he read their minds by the way they looked.

If wise human beings can read minds, it’s funny how some think that they can hide their thoughts from God!

Nope. God knows our evil, greedy, proud, envious, lustful thoughts – even before we think of them!

Let’s keep our minds to be pure always. More than the daily sacrifices that we offer up to the Lord, let us seek above all else to abstain from any thought that is not pleasing before the Lord.

Ultimately, let us take every thought captive in obedience to Christ.

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WANTED: LIFE SAVERS

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imageDAVID Nankervis says there’s no better feeling than giving someone a second chance at life. As a volunteer surf life saver with Torquay Life Saving Club, he has brought six people back from the brink through his first aid skills. David is proud to be a life saver and part of the vast life saving network which  continues to provide valuable water safety services to communities throughout Australia.

Do you want to be a life saver too? Have you noticed that there are also many who are drowning on dry land? With more and more people finding themselves drowning or near drowning in the turbulent seas of life, what the world needs now are more and more life savers – individuals who can point them to the hope found in Jesus. If you can give someone a second chance at life like David Nankervis, or if you could change someone’s life forever, would you?

Yes! You  can also be a life saver, but not as a rescuer of people drowning in  waters  but a life saver of people drowning in the ocean of life’s problems.

Everyday, we find individuals struggling with personal and social issues – unemployment, family or marital conflicts, homelessness, teenage pregnancies, financial difficulties – all kinds. Name it, someone’s suffering from it.

Just look around you, the people you see represent a tiny tip of a massive iceberg of men, women, boys, and girls, for whom your  life saving stint maybe essential. He or she may be your sick neighbor, a friend who just lost her job, a relative whose business just failed or a hungry stranger. And then there are those who are grieving over the recent lose of a spouse, a child, parent, or a friend… Sometimes, the sadness of those who mourn casts a spell of loneliness too powerful for spoken words or shallow songs to break. In all of those people  mentioned, what is missing? To paraphrase the statement of Oscar Wilde:

“Something is dead in each of them, And what is dead is hope.”

In a world that says no, we need people who says a constant yes – an encourager, a comforter – a life saver. The world is never short of people to encourage or to comfort. For all you know, the person you might be encouraging now is already drowning in the waters of depression and may have already been entertaining thoughts of ending his or her life. In fact, it has been reported by Psych Central News that depression is now taking a serious toll around the world and it has been found that globally, incidence of suicide is escalating.

Hence, we need more life savers – we need more encouragers! We need more comforters! We all know that the world can never have too many encouragers! To encourage is to inspire someone with hope, courage or confidence; telling someone, “You can do it! Hold on to God. Keep on praying. He will answer. Everything will be fine. . . ”

Encouragement to your heart is what oxygen is to your lungs. Many would criticize you – a thousand who tell you when you “blew it”, who manage to flash that “I told you so” look when things aren’t going well. Yet one person with a word of encouragement can do more to lift you up than the whole lot put together. A word of encouragement can make the difference between success and failure, life and death.

Anyone can be an encourager! You don’t need money, professional degree or special talents. All you need is a caring and understanding heart. You see, God calls each of us to be an encourager. 1Thess. 5:11 says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up.”

So, C’mon Let’s Build ‘Em Up in  a World that Tears ‘Em Down

Develop the art of encouragement by practicing the following:

1. Focus on a positive aspect of a person, and say it. Your comments should focus   upon something positive, leave out negative observations. Mixed messages like, “your sales were pretty good last month, but if you had taken my advice, they would have been better,” don’t qualify as encouragement.

2. Be sincere in what you say. Encouragement is not flattery; it is a decision to say something good that is true. A phone call, a note, a few words in passing – these do a lot to boost others in a world that puts people down.

3. Cultivate encouragement as a habit. One of the reasons, we give so little of encouragement is that our old nature tends to make us look for the flaws and failures of others. In building each other up, we build up ourselves as well.

Just think about this – encouragement is not a difficult task. It can come in the form of a gentle hug, a positive note, a kind word at just the right moment, a pat on the back, a sincere smile, a simple phone call, a listening ear. . . and the list can go on and on. . .

We must admit, much of life seems to be working against us, and that’s not pessimism – it’s a realistic observation. For every person who pats us on the back, there are nine others who clobber us. Therefore, we have to cultivate the attitude of encouragement.

The late Dr. Maya Angelu once said, “Be a rainbow in someone’s clouds” – a metaphor of the simple act of giving others hope and encouragement.

Her own life tells a story of traumas, difficulties and unsettling childhood. She was open about her lack of education. She felt that being poor, black and uneducated meant there was no hope that she would ever have the life she longed for.

Then came the rainbow in her cloud, her paternal grandmother, who told young Maya that one day she would be a teacher to millions and would do so in many languages. Her grandmother’s love and support and steadfast belief in her helped Maya persevere and overcome her feelings of inferiority.

Dr. Angelu used the gift from her grandmother to become one of the most respected and beloved writers, poets and performers. She has given hope and encouragement to millions. Her role as a teacher has taken on many forms, perhaps even beyond what her grandmother imagined.

Dr. Angelu had always been proud to say that her grandmother was not only her mentor but also her encourager – her rainbow in her clouds.

Likewise, as Christians, let us not forget that we have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Let us point to one another the hope that is found in Jesus. We know that without hope, we have nothing in life. Christian hope is what gets us through. And thanks to Jesus Christ, we have LOTS to hope for because He promised us glory. It is comforting to know that no matter what troubles we are currently experiencing in our life, we will always have salvation waiting for us.

Let us remind each other that God the Father is always watching out for us. Christian hope is based on this simple fact – never in our life will we be alone. Jesus Christ walks beside us through our Christian path and this is the reason that we should feel hope.

By giving encouragement and hope through feeding someone’s mind and soul, you never know how many lives you might ultimately touch and save. Talk about being a rainbow in someone’s cloud! An encourager!  A comforter! A life saver! This is the challenge for every Christian.

I encourage you to find someone to encourage today and tomorrow and the next day. Like Dr. Angelu’s grandmother, be the someone that a child or a friend remembers as one of their great encouragers.

Someone once said, “The greatest thing that a man can do for his Heavenly Father. . . is to be kind to some of the Father’s other children!” I cannot think of anyone kinder than those who encourage and give hope. . .Let our hearts be like our Lord Jesus Christ –  the Lord of life savers who walks on water. Sure, we can make a difference – one heart at a time. And hey! Why not now?

 

 

 

The Ultimate Timekeeper

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“God is precisely on time. His timing, however, is different from ours. He is bound neither by time nor space,” that’s what I said to a friend when she told me about the struggles that she and her family are currently facing.

Well, I’m sure most of us will agree that it is impossible to fully understand God’s timing in our lives. 

For when we ask to be lifted above our cares,  He would send us sorrows. . . For when we ask for light to see the path ahead, clouds appear instead. . . Then  when we ask for peace and quiet that we may meditate, everything around us swirls in confusion. . .

But as D. Martin Llloyd-Jones wrote: “He may sometimes do the opposite of what we anticipate. . . Yet it is fundamental principle in the life and walk of faith that we must always be prepared for the unexpected when we are dealing with God.”

Yes, indeed! It is difficult to understand God’s timing but we must remember, God looks at life from a different perspective. He’s the ultimate timekeeper, and when we think He is late, He’s apt to show up, and we learn His time is in His hands.

I repeat. . . His time is in His hands. . .

As you know, when it looked like Jesus was late in arriving. He showed up and raised His friend Lazarus from the dead. God is neither early nor late, He is exactly on time.

When You Are Frustrated

imageSometimes, we get frustrated and impatient waiting for God’s time. But have you ever thought that spiritual giants never get frustrated?.” Take Daniel for instance, don’t you think he was frustrated when he ended up in the lion’s den? The devil must have said, “See, buddy, what serving God gets you into?”

One of the natural responses to frustration is flight – you can quit. You just can walk right out. Essentially, that’s what Jonah did when God told him to go to Nineveh with His message. Jonah did not want to go. His frustrations turned to anger. He couldn’t fight God so he ran away.

So, what’s this all about???

imageThen, you may ask, “Lord, what is this all about???”

When you get frustrated, remind yourself that God is telling you something through the events of life that you’re presently facing.

For a moment, stop. . . and be quiet. . . and listen to God’s voice. Sometimes, God’s voice is soft like a whisper. . .  Occasionally though, He may raise the volume to get your attention. . .God speaks clearly through His Word, but He gets your attention through the events of your life.

Be still – so you can hear God’s voice. Times of quietness are part of His natural laws. God had not promised  to spare us from life’s burdens. Sometimes, God allows miseries because He knows these things will drive us to Himself and teach us lessons through our own life’s experiences.

When we are weak, God does not say be strong but be still“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” – Isaiah 30:15

Wait for God’s Time

imageMeanwhile, patiently wait for God’s time. . .

When we are easily convinced that doing anything is better than doing nothing, waiting seems to be contrary to progress.

Waiting, however is not doing nothing. It is a kind of action that prepares us for the right choice in the future. It means finding God’s timing and avoiding tragic mistakes.

“There is an appointed time for everything,” wrote Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes. Waiting is never easy, but as Martin Luther wrote, “He who waits on God, wastes no time.”

Our Creator designed time and set things in motion. By having faith in God as our ultimate timekeeper, we can live by courage instead of fear. We can experience His great  plans  and perfect timing as we choose to trust Him time and again.

When God’s people are overthrown by the forces of Babylon, many thought that God had forsaken them. Yet God said, “I know the plans I have for you. . .plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11.

God has a plan for you too. Waiting for God is not a wasted time. Rather, it will bring your restless heart in conformity with the Divine and prepares you for what He has ahead.

“All the times of our life are in God’s hands. In His own perfect time, He will cause things to happen for us, that will bring us joy and happiness. Trust God, for He makes all things beautiful. . . in His time.” – Anon

When I told my friend that her prayers will be answered in His time, here is her reply – “I believe so too! God will answer  in His most perfect time.” What a strong faith she has. No wonder, I never see her without a smile on her face.

Will you trust like her?

 

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