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My Mission Statement

A few months ago I revised my mission statement.  I originally wrote it  in January 2000 after reading Stephen Covey’s Book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

“Acknowledging that I am a special and unique creation of God, made with purpose and endowed with many special gifts, my mission is to realize my full potential and to use my gifts for the enabling and building up of others.

My most important “Other” is my husband. With him I will build up a strong, loving relationship, striving to strengthen and encourage him and to make him supremely happy. We will have fun together and make happy memories, remembering that we will not always be together.

My children will also not be with me for long. I will enjoy them, delighting in the unique characters God has given them, building strong relationships and happy memories, and inspiring them to reach their full potential.

Friends are important to me. I regard people as more important than things or tasks. Listening is more important than talking. When I do talk, may it be more uplifting than tearing down. I shall value my friends and work towards inspiring and enabling them.

I believe words are powerful.  With my words, spoken and written, I shall endeavour to bring encouragement, support and strength to those I encounter, like water quietly seeping into the earth and refreshing flowers.  This applies to my blogs, my books, letters, e mails and even comments on the internet.

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I believe in and admire truth, honour, courage, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, patience and self control and will do my best to incorporate them into my life. However, the overriding principle must be love.

I have invited Jesus Christ into my life. He is my final authority, Lord and guide. The bible is my handbook on right living.

I realize that other people will not have my mission, nor my values, but I accept that they, too, are created by God for a purpose.”

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Distortions and lies

For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know, even as I am known. (1 Cor 13:12)

I find it interesting, when reminiscing with my children, how we all remember the same event differently. The truth is there somewhere, but we all see it through our glass darkly. In this case the memory is distorted by our perceptions, by our reaction to the event. I’ve just been reading Caroline Leaf’s book, Switch on Your Brain, and she constantly emphasises that what happens to us is not important, it’s our attitude to what happens that shapes us.

Visiting a friend recently, I saw the following:

I know very well that the floor is covered with straight tiles, but my perception was that some of the tiles curved and bulged. I cannot always trust my perceptions. The light of truth can be so easily distorted and the devil is really good at it.

When I am tempted to judge someone, which is a temptation I battle with, I would do well to remind myself that what I perceive is not the whole truth, I do not know the whole story and never will.

Paul wrote, “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? for we will all stand before God’s judgement seat.. . so then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore, let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Rom 14: 10, 12, 13)

Beware of trusting perceptions, rather than the truth. God’s word is truth.

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Personalised Place Cards

For Father’s day last Sunday, we were invited to our daughter’s house for breakfast. The three children helped set the table and the girls decided to make place cards. Breakfast was almost delayed because they wanted to finish them. Each one was individual. I got flowers and a butterfly.

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My daughter, who runs an art studio, got a palette of bright colours and paint brushes. The men, my husband and son-in-law, both got balloons which spelled Happy Father’s Day.

Place cards are important. They assure us that we have been invited and are welcome. On this occasion, it also showed that somebody thought about us and our individuality and interests.

The bible says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” …..”Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” ( Rev 17 vs 7 and 9). Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Math 6:29)

We are invited to the celebration in heaven where there will be feasting. I am pretty sure that there will be place cards that will be individual to us and that we will be made to feel very welcome.

Go-away Birds and Crows.

I was enjoying the sunshine outside when I heard an alarm of Go-away birds. I looked at the tree which seemed to be the centre of the ruckus. Was one of the juvenile cats climbing the tree again?

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Then I saw the perceived danger. A pied crow flew away and landed in the fir tree at the far end of the neighbour’s garden. As I watched, another four of five crows circled the tree before flying away.

The Go-away birds identified the danger and made sure the whole neighborhood was warned. Crows eat eggs and baby birds. Take care! Destruction awaits the careless or those who ignore the warning.

Psalm 19 says in vs 8b The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. Verse 11 expands on this, By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Isn’t it funny that the birds know how to act when given a warning of danger, but we humans think we know better. How many of us take seriously the Word of God?

May I be more like a Go-away bird, both prepared to sound the warning and to heed it when others give the alarm.

Bubble-bath

Image by flockine from Pixabay

Eph 1:4-8

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us .

God loves me. Just as I was created for him and I have a God-shaped hole in my heart, so He has a me-shaped hole in His heart that only I can fill. That is so exciting. And it changes everything.

I was looking at my bubble-bath the other night and thinking what a difference it makes to an ordinary, routine bath. It does nothing to change the amount of air or water around, but just by trapping pockets of air, it makes the mundane special.

Knowing I am loved is like bubble-bath. It does nothing to change circumstances in my life, but it brings life to my circumstances. I can look around and see little bubbles of God’s grace all around me. I know He is in control and I can relax in His love. The more the water gets agitated, the more bubbles of grace appear.

May I always keep my eyes open to the wonder of God’s love for me.

Image by Richard Florian from Pixabay

Bread and Seed

Image by Kaloyan Gichev from Pixabay

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous on every occasion, and your giving through us will produce thanksgiving to God.… (2 Cor 9:10 – 11)

I recently heard a preacher discuss these verses at a Worship Celebration.

God supplies our needs. In these verses, two things are mentioned, bread and seed. In case we miss the difference, the bible specifies what they are to be used for. Bread is for eating. I interpret it as supply for our daily needs. Our Father knows what we need.

The seed is for sowing. We are to sow into the lives and the needs of others. In other words, God supplies not only what we need, but enough for us to be generous “on every occasion.”

The preacher stressed that we should not confuse our seed and our bread. We are not to eat our seed – use all of God’s provision on ourselves. If we do, we won’t have any left to sow.

I am not quite sure how this can all work out in my life but it has certainly given me pause for thought.

The Lord is my Daddy

In our fellowship group on Monday night, we were tasked with rewriting Psalm 23 using a modern metaphor. This was my contribution.

The Lord is my Daddy, I have everything I need.

He provides for my everyday needs so I don’t have to worry about them.

He takes me on fun outings and walks to the park.

He teaches me good manners and good habits, like saying please and thank you and brushing my teeth.

Even though bad things sometimes happen, I will not be afraid because I know he will look after me.

When I am naughty, he will correct me and sometimes even give me a smack because he loves me and doesn’t want me to grow up into a spoilt brat.

He strokes my hair and tells me I am his princess. I am so happy I could pop.

I know my Daddy will always look after me and even when I grow up, there will always be a room for me in his house.

Image by Sally Wynn from Pixabay

In my contemplation of these things, I came across the Japanese version of Psalm 23. It is well worth reading.

The Parable of Balloons

Image by Artturi Mäntysaari from Pixabay

The Kingdom of God is like a bunch of balloons. They are different colours, different shapes, different sizes and different appearances but, unless they are inflated, they are nothing but a gaudy mess of limp plastic. When the Breath of God fills them, however, they become a symbol of joy and fun. They denote party, celebration and special occasion.

From the balloons’ point of view, this process might not be comfortable. They will be stretched and they might do everything in their power to resist. It may even be painful. They may be afraid they will pop as they continue being stretched to their limit.

Our loving Heavenly Father knows exactly what He is doing. He will not allow us to be stretched beyond our limit and He is patient and gentle with us, taking time to stretch us a bit before fully inflating us.