Hello Purpose-driven friends and followers,
I made a mistake and this post which was specifically written for you guys (as will become apparent once you begin reading), was uploaded to the wrong blog (my Women of Warfare site). Or perhaps God has intervened – who knows!
My apologies for the error. I hope you will pop across to read the rest of it.
Just before starting to write this post, I felt like crying and weeping and crying some more.
I had just watched The Passion of the Christ.
It is something I like to do every year on Good Friday. I do it because I don’t want my relationship with God to be something I take for granted. I don’t want my profession to be a Christian and the life I live as a result of this claim, to be a light-hearted matter.
I want, no I need, to be reminded of what God and his precious Son Jesus, has done for me. And so here I am today having watched Mel Gibson’s dramatization of the last few hours of Christ’s life.
It’s brutal. It’s graphic. It’s thought provoking. And it’s deeply, deeply moving.
I have been moved.
I would not describe myself as a nominal Christian. Someone who attends…
And so, I wanted to share a post to commemorate this.
The following is my response to a Daily Post prompt. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.
The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: FORLORN
My Chambers 21st Century Dictionary gave the following definitions:
Forlorn: 1exceedingly unhappy; miserable.
Have you ever felt forlorn?
The word for me conjures up a picture of a typical Charles Dickens’ character.
I have an image of a poor young orphan child—and I mean dirt poor. She goes to live with relatives who clearly do not want her. She is marginalised from family life, turned into a skivvy and treated abysmally.
The next thing that comes to mind when I think of this word forlorn, is Jesus’ close disciples—apart from Judas of course! How they must have been devastated after his death.
For three years they’d shared his life, heard his sermons, engaged with his teachings, watched his miracles and harboured hope for a life where they’d no longer be subject to the Romans.
But then he dies!
This was not part of their script. They’d bought into the concept of the kingdom of heaven… the righteous rule of a holy and just man—their friend Jesus Christ. And if Jesus was the ruler, and they were his close friends, surely they were going to figure in the leadership team – right?
We know that they thought about things like that… that they quarrelled among themselves regarding who was going to be the greatest. We even hear about two shrewd brothers, who went so far as to get their mother to ask Jesus if he’d grant them the honour of sitting either side of him, in the new kingdom.
Each disciple had hopes – high hopes. No longer would they be the underdogs. Oh No! They would be top dogs!
So when the religious leaders conspired to kill Jesus, when they arrested him and brought false charges against him, when they stirred up the crowd to ask for Barabbas (a murderer and thief) to be released, rather than their friend Jesus (who’d done absolutely nothing wrong, absolutely nothing worthy of death), when they watched him being nailed to the cross, when they witnessed him die and then buried, all their hopes, all their expectations, all their dreams were buried along with him. They were forlorn.
What to do?
Well, go back to their pre-Jesus life. Go back to their trade. Go back to fishing.
However, whilst they struggled with their confusion and feelings of disillusionment, whilst they threw their nets half-heartedly into the sea; their friend, their Saviour, their teacher, their master, their dead and buried hero, appears as large as life, on the beach.
And when they finally recognise him, when they realise that the strange thing he’d told them about (that he’d rise from the dead), had actually happened, their sense of forlornness disappeared. Their hopes were resurrected. Their dreams of a new kingdom were revived.
Their friend, the Son of God, was ALIVE!
Dear reader, have you ever felt forlorn? Have you ever considered yourself to be an orphan, whether literally or metaphorically?
Jesus is longing to be your friend. And he is an exceptional friend, a faithful friend. You can be confident that whatever you say to him will never be shared with anyone else. He will keep your secrets. And unlike your bestie, your BFF, when you share your heart, your hurts, your fears and failures, your desires and dreams, Jesus can do more than just listen, he can actually help you.
Purpose-driven believer, whether you are looking for support or solutions, Jesus is both willing and able to do something about your circumstances. He can heal your hurts. He can transform you into a new person. He can give you hope, a confident expectation that no matter what happens in your life, you can emerge as a victorious overcomer.
Dear friend, Jesus can turn your forlorn hopes into miraculous reality. If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour and friend, I highly recommend him. And if you’ve been acquainted with him in the past but circumstances have caused you to lose meaningful contact, to withdraw from, even abandon him, let me encourage you to mend that relationship, to trust him once again. Do it TODAY.
I decided this week to do a little research and find out when Spring officially starts. I discovered that the date differs according to which definition you choose to use.
If you consider the beginning of this season from a meteorological perspective then the date is always fixed. So, based on our Gregorian calendar, Spring begins and ends at the same time every year, i.e. from 1st March to 31 May.
Simples! (As our meerkat friends would say).
If however you were looking at Spring from an astronomical perspective then Spring starts with the Spring equinox. And because the date is not fixed, the beginning of this season falls on either 19, 20, or 21 March each year and ends at Summer solstice (around 21 June).
Hmmm! Not so simples!
You know what? I’m not particularly bothered. Whether you go with the meteorological definition, or the astronomical perspective, Spring has come. SPRING has most definitely sprung!
And so I say:
Spring, you are welcome!
Come burst into our lives with blossom and buds, soft showers and sunshine.
Purpose-driven believer and dream-achiever are you preparing for Spring?
Now is the time to prepare the ground of our lives with the Word of God, with discipline and diligence, with hope and expectation. Now is the time to sow our seeds of peace and mercy, patience and love.
Dear reader, are there areas of your life which you need to dig up, prune, replant and water, so you’re in good spiritual condition—able to grow and flourish, pursue your purpose and achieve your dreams?
CREDIT: The above CCO image comes courtesy of Karolina Grabowska at Pixabay.com
I’m so very happy to announce 2 new publishing achievements.
My first, is an article which was accepted and published in the Spring 2018 issue of a popular devotional magazine, The Secret Place. This devotional enjoys a worldwide readership of more than 250,000. I even received a small payment – yippee!
My second, is the publication of a guest blog post at an award-winning literary website, Two Drops of Ink. If you are looking to join a friendly writing community, you need search no further!
Those of you who like creative non-fiction, or enjoy reading articles about the writing life, may be interested in my contribution, which was published earlier this week. It’s called: Writing Angst. I do hope you’ll be able to pop over and support me by reading this post and if you are minded to, leave me a “like”, and perhaps even a comment.
And because I couldn’t end this post without acknowledging the One who has blessed me with my writing gift and made this week of rejoicing possible, I would like to give special thanks, plus all glory and honour to my Father-God.
Last (but not least) my thanks to all visiting friends and followers – my love and appreciation goes to you, as always.
“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer
CREDITS: The above CCO images come courtesy of Pixabay.com
I’m sure you will agree with me that there are all types of people in this world, so naturally there will be a reflection of these types amongst the followers and readers of this blog.
At one end of the spectrum there are those who are always positive-minded, who regularly walk the path of success. At the other end there are those who are habitually negative and struggle to achieve. And then there are those in the middle, people similar to King David (in the Bible), who was an incredibly capable and successful warrior, yet often experienced moments of deep despair.
The following is an edited extract from my writing journal in response to a quote, used as a writing exercise. I have however, adapted it slightly to make it less personal and more applicable to followers and visitors of this blog.
Now to all you success-dreamers out there, if whilst reading you feel that the shoe fits, I’d encourage you to use this post as a motivational boost to yourself. In any event, I hope my message will be of help to someone.
The Writing Prompt:
“Taking back control is a wonderfully empowering experience. When you beat your victim self, you feel a sense of victory and you know that anything is possible.”
The Writer’s Idea Book – Jack Heffron
The Journal Extract:
Indeed, it is a marvellous thing.
When you have lived so long as a victim, when you have lived so long with procrastination, when you have failed to be productive, to follow your dreams, to live life creatively, to explore your potential, to satisfy your creative urges, to express your talent—you have succumbed to the victim mentality. You have allowed your weaknesses, your fears, your indecisions and uncertainties, to take pre-eminence in your life, to dictate how you should live your life, to decide the tenor of your days, weeks, years, even decades. But does it (victimhood) reward you for your faithfulness? Oh no my dear, it does not!
It laughs in your face. It slaps you with the hand of mockery and scorn. It insults you. It declares you have been lazy, that you have lacked discipline. It points its accusatory finger at you, stating in no uncertain terms that you are a failure! You have wasted your life. You had such potential but you wasted opportunities. You failed to make opportunities. You did not seize the day.
Victimhood sends out its subliminal messages of disappointment and disapproval. It hints that you are a failure. You have achieved nothing and just as others decreed, you’ve amounted to nothing. You have wasted time and ability and gifts and calling. You ought to be ashamed of yourself!
And if you are not careful my dear aspirant one, you will pay heed to the voice of these crippling accusations and you will pay heed to your detriment. You will believe it is too late and continue on your path of slothfulness and procrastination, or fear and indecision. You will justify your actions with the usual excuses:
I did not have time
I was sabotaged
No one gave me a chance, or an opportunity
I did not know what to do
I did not know how to do it.
Excuses, excuses, excuses!
Do you think that those who actually use their abilities and gifts and talents don’t have the same tussles, or battles? Do you think you are a one-off? That no one experiences the same, or similar temptations as you face?
They do! But they wrestled and won. They fought off their demons. They overpowered their negative thoughts. They slayed their Goliaths. And now they have creative endeavours to show for their efforts, for their hard-won battles. Now they stand in the glow and aura of success. They fought. They conquered. They won.
Purpose-driven believers – we can do it too.
The Motivational Challenge
You can do it too dear reader. Will you choose the path of success? Will you choose self-discipline? Will you stop making excuses? Will you plan and execute? Will you seek the necessary help and support, apply yourself to the task and refuse to break your focus?
Get back into the game. Pick up the ball. Give despondency (or whatever it is that stops you from achieving), the boot. Give those thoughts and feelings and excuses their marching orders. Take authority. Pick up your sceptre and rule over those immobilizing reasons and excuses.
Rule, aspirant one rule! Rule success-dreamer, rule! Dictate your terms. Summon your inner power and strength. Rise up and be strong. Rise up and be decisive. Rise up and rule!
There is a Joseph spirit (the spirit of a ruler, the vision of a leader) inside of you. There is an Esther mind-set (the mind-set of a victorious overcomer) waiting to emerge. There is a successful dream-achiever waiting to be born.
Do you believe it? Will you walk that path, that journey towards success, or will you remain in your stagnant pool of mediocrity?
Don’t deceive yourself. The power is in your hands!
Fellow bloggers and visiting readers, I trust you were able to gain something useful from the above post, or at the very least that you enjoyed reading it. Why not leave a comment and let me know your response? I’d very much appreciate it.
CREDIT: The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com
For a little while now I’ve been suffering from “passion fatigue”. I’ve written about my ailment and thought I’d share the post with you all over here, since I believe much of what I had to say could be pertinent to someone who follows, or visits this blog, who is committed to pursuing their passion, achieving their dreams, discovering their God-ordained purpose.
Let me know if anything in this post resonates with you. You can leave a comment in the box below. Seriously! I’d appreciate your feedback.
I’ve not written in my writing journal since 1stJuly.
I’ve not worked on my project since 30th June.
I’ve not been actively writing on my two blogs.
I’ve been lackadaisical for 15 days – possibly longer!
Even today, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Didn’t feel like pursuing my passion. Didn’t feel like writing.
At the back of my mind, I’ve known I should push past this feeling and just get on and do. I know when I put my mind to it that inertia flees and the interest returns. Even now as I write, I sense the spark of enthusiasm igniting. And, strange though it may sound, even my fingers feel exhilarated, as they move across the keyboard. I’m back – just like that!
Hello fellow-bloggers, precious readers – today I thought I’d go fun and light-hearted and post my response to an old (very old!) Daily Post Word prompt.
I hope you enjoy reading.
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Daily Post Word Prompt:“I’d like to thank my cats.”
What a weird prompt! What a weird idea.
Cats are notoriously selfish and are not like dogs. They do not return your love. They will not protect you (ordinarily), although as I write this, I recall some news story of the recent past where a cat protected a young boy. I don’t recall the details – just that it happened.
But it seems bizarre to me that someone would even say such a thing. Is this jest? Can you imagine someone accepting a Grammy award (or some such other award) and turning to the audience to say: I’d like to thank my cat?
Could we take such a person seriously? Would anyone, apart from a member of CAMHS, (Cats Are My Heroes Society), take that person seriously?
Now, I am trying to imagine what you could possibly be thanking a cat for?
For being a valuable feature in your life?
For encouraging you when you were down?
For pushing you towards your purpose when you so wanted to give up?
For what, or why on earth would someone want to thank their cat? Beats me!
Well, if I really stretched my imagination, I suppose a business magnate who’d become a billionaire as a cat food manufacturer, might be grateful that the hundreds of recipes tried out on his poor moggy finally turned up trumps. I can’t think of any more justifiable reasons at the moment but I am sure if I were to continue to exercise my grey cells, continue to brainstorm, I could come up with a feasible explanation.
I would like to thank my cat.
Hmm No! No further inspiration at the moment.
Wait! Hold up! (Light bulb moment!)
I would like to thank my cat.
You know, this could actually be the genuine response of a grateful actor or cast member from the musical CATS. Someone for whom Tiddles’s tutoring and mentoring has not only informed their acting prowess but also transferred into indispensable life skills. Yeah. I say, give honour to whom honour is due!
How else have said actors honed their ability to purr with contentment over their capacious container, crammed with cream and crowned with smug success?
Or how else could they have learned to stalk past their gainsayers and naysayers, dismiss lowly plebs with snooty disdain, or pounce without mercy upon unsuspecting rivals with the cunning skill and killer instinct of a haunched-down-low moggie stalking a squirrel, or hunting oblivious prey? Yeah! That’s most likely it.
My friend, if someone had told me that I could relate to a person who chose to thank their cat during an award ceremony, I would have said: Sodom & Gomorrah! I’d have thought: unthinkable – you’ve me got sooo wrong!
But now… from between the start and finish of this post, I’ve had a complete change of heart. I can actually see it now. I can believe it too. And, I’d have absolutely no problem with it!
Go actor, go!
Go accept your award and go thank your cat!
Wanna read more or participate? Then hurry along to:
. . . if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Purpose-driven believers, aspiring dream-achievers, are there mountains in your path which you’ve convinced yourself can never be overcome?
Don’t believe the lies of the Enemy who whispers in your mind, taunting you to give up, to ‘get real!’, to let go of your dream, who brings out the catalogue of past failures as ‘evidence’ you don’t have what it takes.
Listen to what Christian Mihai has to say on this subject:
The mountain ahead is not the real test. The real obstacle. The real mountain is your mind. The sky isn’t the limit, your belief system is.
I recently came across the following motivational post by Mihai, which I just had to bring to your attention.
However, I’m not a child-orphan but an adult. Nevertheless, when my mother died last year, I felt alone in the world. Even though I have my husband, even though I come from a large family.
I was faced with the stark reality that there would be no more mum to turn to, to share my news and notions, to share my problems and prayer requests.
Even though, if truth be told, things had not been quite the same since mum fell victim to Alzheimer’s disease; and even though towards the end of her life-span, mum was not the strong, independent woman I’d known; at least she was alive, at least I could enjoy some form of connection.
Now her death, our physical separation, left me feeling adrift in the world – without parental anchor.
Is this how mum felt when my father died unexpectedly—left alone with 7 children, in a country that was not her own, that did not really want her? Did she feel somewhat adrift without her spousal anchor, adrift upon the cruel tempestuous seas of grief and bewilderment?
Is this how the disciples felt after Jesus’s death? Adrift from He who had anchored their life to purpose, to identity?
Thank God that was not the end of the story for any of us (my Lord’s disciples, my mother, myself). Contrary to our emotions and initial perceptions, we were not left alone in this world.
Christ’s resurrection from the dead has given us hope and that hope serves as an anchor for our soul. Christ’s resurrection has given us new purpose, a new identity—Kingdom purpose, Kingdom identity. And whenever we need guidance or direction or help, or whatever, we have only to ask.
Whether orphan or not, as children of God, as purpose-driven believers, we are not alone in this world.
Ahoy there landlubbers!
I have a message for you today. I’m not hiding it away in a bottle in the hopes that one day it will be found. Oh no! I’m shouting it loud from the top of my lungs. I’m displaying it clearly from the top of Christ’s mast.
Whatever my circumstances, whatever my concerns, since Jesus is with me and has promised never to leave me—then I am not adrift!
You will note that I’ve adapted this slightly for my challenge, hence the 4Ws (Who, What, Where, Why) and 1H (How).
How to take part:
Answer the following questions:
Who would you like to be for a day?
What flower or plant do you think represents your personality?
Where would you go on holiday if money were no object?
Why did you become a blogger?
How do you measure personal success and have you, or are you on your way to achieving this?
You can write a post linking back to my challenge post here (remember to give the post link – not your blog’s URL), or you can enter by answering the questions directly into a comment box below. The challenge will remain open until Tuesday 30 May 2017.
Re-blogging of this post is not a requirement but would be appreciated.
Please use the tag: Lady Cee’s 4Ws-1H so we can find each other in the WordPress Reader. If you’d like to share this challenge with your social media contacts then please use the hashtag #4Ws-1H.
Please also show some love and support by visiting participants and leaving a comment (non-negotiable) as well as your ‘Like’. At the very least visit the neighbours on either side of your entry or pingback.
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And now for my answers:
Who would you like to be for a day?
A fine chocolate connoisseur and taster. Any longer and I’ll probably feel sick, or go off chocolate altogether!
What flower or plant do you think represents your personality?
One of those sensitive plants that closes if you touch it (No. Not the Venus fly trap!). I looked it up and found the plant is called Mimosa pudica. It has beautiful pink flowers which remind me of the Callistamen.
I chose this plant because I’m a very private individual. Because past experiences of betrayal and mistreatment have made me wary and self-protective.
Since checking it out on YouTube I understand the Mimosa pudica is also called the prayer plant, so I think this reflects me well!
In case you are unfamiliar with this fascinating plant and are interested in seeing what it looks like and how it responds to touch, I’ve inserted a short video below.
Where would you go on holiday if money were no object?
Any exotic island with fabulous weather, stunning scenery and colourful flora would do.
Perhaps Richard Branston’s Nekkar Island?
Why did you become a blogger?
For two (actually three) reasons.
I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a writer
I wanted to start doing something with regards to a motivational ministry for women
I wanted to build a loyal readership as a potential market for a self-published book.
How do you measure personal success and have you, or are you on your way to achieving this?
In a nutshell, success for me on a day-to-day level is making the most of the time and talents I’ve been given.
It means having an ongoing, meaningful relationship with God that brings him pleasure and gives me confidence. I’d like to be known as a woman of godly influence and I’m also aiming to become a writer and self-published author (par excellence).
It’s taking an awfully long time and there are still days when I play the procrastination game but, I believe I’m gradually getting there.
Thank you for visiting and reading and I hope you will support me by taking part.
Participants: (please visit and support them with a comment/like)
If God implants His desires in our heart, then He will see to it that they are completed as we submit to His Lordship and work in co-operation with His Spirit within us.
Edwin Louis Cole – The Potential Principle – Living Life To Its Maximum
For the past 2-3 years I have been beset with fears that I might die before I complete a project I began. Recently those thoughts have visited me almost daily and I have to tussle to oust them from my mind and prevent them from taking root in my heart.
I have been in about 4 car accidents which could have cost both me and my husband our lives. Accidents where the cars were a write-off. Accidents where I still do not know to this day how we avoided a full-on collision, how we avoided careering off into the path of oncoming cars on the motorway. Only the fact that I
(a) serve a mighty, miracle-working God
(b) regularly ask the Lord to divinely protect me, and my husband and my loved ones, in accordance with Psalm 91,
can explain why I escaped terrible injuries, or have not already lost my life.
The above factors, plus other incidences in my life where I know, that I know, that I know, God graciously intervened and delivered me, healed me, are the reasons why every now and again the tentacles of fear seek to asphyxiate me.
During the days when I didn’t know better, whenever fearful thoughts came, I’d try to squash them down or ignore them. Sometimes I even voiced them. Which is the worst thing you can do. Because the Enemy does not and will not give up!
And so those thoughts need to be taken captive. They need to be imprisoned within the walls of faith. They need to be displaced and replaced by the Word of God. And it is necessary to apply this strategy again and again and again and again, as often as needed until you are free. Completely free. Until God’s thoughts (as revealed in his Word) become second nature.
Today, I read the above passage from Ed Cole’s book and it has encouraged me. I believe God has planted certain dreams in my heart. Some of those dreams I would never have considered for myself. And some of those dreams would take only God himself to make them become a reality.
I’m choosing to believe God’s servant Ed Cole and what he has written. I’m choosing to resist the lies of the Enemy. I’m choosing to discipline my fleshly inclinations (to sulk, to be slothful, to bathe in self-pity, or to self-flagellate over missed opportunities and past shortcomings) and submit to Christ’s Lordship and co-operate with His Holy Spirit.
That doesn’t mean the fears won’t come back. That doesn’t mean I won’t be tempted to go off on a tangent and try to do things my way because God’s just not working fast enough (remember Abraham and Sarah?).
But praise God, it does mean that He can (and will) cause ALL things to work together for my good, for my benefit, for my success.
Dear reader, if God has given you a dream which is taking forever to take shape and become a reality, or if you are facing obstacles to that dream left, right and centre, trust God to give you that breakthrough. Trust God to carry you through the storms of opposition, persecution, sabotage or failure. Trust God for whatever it is that is pertinent to your situation.
If you have gone through the WordPress Blogging 101 training course, one of the things the tutors recommend is that you focus your blog on a particular message or theme and write for a specific person, or target readership.
With that piece of blogging wisdom in mind and, as the first quarter of this year draws rapidly to a close, perhaps now is a good time to review our blog’s message and our blog objectives. Are we achieving what we set out to do? Have our motivations changed? Have we as individuals grown since we began our blogs? If so, have our initial reasons for starting to blog in the first place now changed? Do we need to re-brand, or else go back to basics?
The following is my response to an old Daily Post prompt, which I used as a writing exercise. I’m sharing it because I think it’s in keeping with what I’m trying to say in this post.
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Daily Post Prompt: BE THE CHANGE!
I would like my blogs, Women of Warfare and A Purpose-driven achiever, to make my visitors smile, feel better about themselves, be encouraged, feel as if they have an online friend who cares about them and empathises with the things they have to deal with.
I would like my blogs to influence women to aspire to a deeper relationship with God, to be a better person, character-wise and perspective-wise.
I would like to encourage women to pursue their dreams and realise their potential. I’d like them to feel there is a place they can go, for the encouragement and motivation required to live their everyday life on a higher plane. I would like them to feel highly motivated, to seize their day, to live abundantly, instead of merely existing, letting life pass them by, feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, or overlooked by the people around them.
I would like my blogs to motivate women to make the most of every day, to see, enjoy and celebrate their lives as something special, rather than dismiss as drudgery, or as run-of-the-mill ordinary, or worse still view with utter dread, because someone or something has marred their outlook.
And just as I would like God to use me, to be that change in the lives of women who come within my circle of influence, so I desire that these women in turn would be the change in the lives of others around them.
Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, whether blogger, Christian, colleague, parent, or whatever, I challenge you – in your household, neighbourhood, workplace, community – be the change! Be an asset in your circle of influence. Be an influence for good.
Have you felt the need to change, or expand the message of your blog, or have you maintained your original theme? Please share your response to this post in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Valentine’s Day has come around once again and in honour of this season of lurve, I’ve dug up one of my exercises written in response to an old Daily Post word prompt.
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Daily Post Prompt: I want to know what love is
I want to know what love is!
That is the title of a song (I know that much) but it is also the title of my chosen prompt today. I want to know what love is! Thus speaks the person whose question implies that s/he does not know what this universal affection is, for which everybody craves.
Surprising! Has nobody told them that love is patient and love is kind? That it does not boast, it is not proud and it keeps no record of wrongs? (Yes, you heard me right!). Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always hopes and always perseveres! This is the famous quote and reading from 1 Corinthians 13. A firm favourite at weddings.
But this love is no ordinary human love. It is not the filial love between husband and wife or parents and children. It is not the love of two friends. It is much deeper, more sacrificial, and infinitely more precious. It is a God-type of love (the Greek word for it is “agapē”). It is unconditional.
Now this kind of love is marvellous if you are on the receiving end. Not so great however, when you are being asked to demonstrate it to someone mean and ugly of character. Because this brand of love demands that you show it irrespective of whether you feel the recipient deserves it! It is a love that calls for, nay requires you to die to SELF – that self-important, sometimes egotistical and selfish person you see in the mirror! Mark my words, it’s difficult to practice and difficult to maintain—because this love is not an emotional feeling, it is a decision, a choice of one’s will.
No doubt in the above question posed, the writer was referring to fleshly love (eros), the love between a man and a woman. If we consider the question on a basic human level, does the individual really not know what love is – in the ordinary sense, or are they being sarcastic? Are they puzzled? Are they challenging the listener?
I can well understand the question being asked in the context of the enquirer being a jilted lover, a spurned partner, or someone suffering from unrequited love. Oh! If only s/he knew that true love, agapē love, is just a whisper away. A divine, sacrificial love where the lover (God the Father or Jesus His Son) looks at the world and its inhabitants with affection and goodwill for no other reason than that their very nature is LOVE and as such, they cannot help but pour it out in abundantly generous proportions, to whosoever will accept it.
If they knew, (the song’s enquirer and all those asking the same question), if they were aware of the height, depth, width of such generous and incomparable love, available to them for the asking, would they call? Would they open their hearts to this precious quality of love, or would they reject the giver, spurn the prospective lover’s charms and turn away from his love offerings?
The following is a post based around an old Daily Post Word Prompt. I hope you will enjoy reading, as well as gain something that will encourage or motivate you in your own life.
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Did you know that the words you speak to yourself and over your life on a regular basis can become a self-fulfilling prophecy? When I first learned this, I was dismayed. Why? Because for years, decades even, I‘d been speaking negatively over myself and over my life. And when I learned this valuable truth, I realised the problem I’d been facing for most of my life, was not perpetual bad luck, not constant ill fortune, but mainly my own fault. The problem was located one or two inches below my nose—yep! My unruly mouth!
“If you don’t choose your daily words wisely, negative words wouldn’t hesitate to choose a painful future for you.” ― Edmond Mbiaka
You see, I had taken to speaking constantly about the bad things that happened to me, or the bad things I believed would take place. And guess what? It usually did! No surprise really, seeing I had given life to them through my negative prophecies. And then when these things happened, I felt justified. See? What did I say? Did I not tell you so and so was going to happen? And so it went on.
Speaking to myself, conversing with my loved ones, describing negative scenarios about what I believed would happen in the future, re-hashing what had happened in the past, created a negative cycle. And so my world would go on and on in this ever revolving circle of undesirable events—contrary to my hopes and dreams—resulting in despair, disappointment, discouragement; despair, disappointment, discouragement. It seemed I was doomed and my life, my future doomed to more of the same.
The Word of God tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21 NKJV). That means I have the power to determine whether my life follows a course of death, or a course of life. That power lies within my tongue. It lies within what I choose to say with my mouth. It lies within my choice of words.
It’s been a hard lesson. But a necessary one. When you have spent decades speaking negatively, it is not easy to re-train yourself to do the opposite. But do it I must. Do it I will. And so I decided. No more self-fulfilling prophecies of the unwanted kind. I choose to speak life, prosperity, victory and success. Does that mean bad things will not happen to me at all? Of course not! But the propensity for my life to revolve around a cycle that’s predominantly bad, will ultimately change.
So, bed of roses, here I come. Ouch! I completely forgot that these blessed roses have thorns!
Purpose-driven achievers and believers – have an abundantly blessed week.
Carol, you are a sweet positive minded soul that I’ve been fortunate to connect with in this place. I would like to thank you for all your support, for your beautiful posts infused with wisdom and love. It’s been a pleasure relating with you. A Bit About Me My name is Carol and I am […]
For those of you who would like to have a personal insight into me the individual, the person behind the blogger, I hope you will visit Jacqueline’s site to read this interview.
If you have not already come across her name on your cyber-travels, I would be most surprised, as nearly everywhere I visit, her Gravatar image is already there amongst the likes, or the comments. As I’m always telling her, Jacqueline is one of the hardest working bloggers I know (as a visit to her site will soon reveal – there are sooo many posts!), and her desire to collaborate with and support other bloggers, is just cause for admiration.
All work and no play? We all need time to relax and unwind. What’s your favorite vacation spot? Why is this your favorite place to unwind? What is the best thing to do here? Where’s the best place to eat here?
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There are some exquisite places within this world and I have been fortunate and extremely blessed, to have holidayed in just a few of these places.
But wherever I go, whether it be on a tropical island, or a country retreat in the British Isles, or even just in my own back garden (during such times when I couldn’t afford to take a holiday, or my sense of obligation prevented me from doing so), the favourite spot for me has to be the wonderful world of an author’s creative imagination. It has to be the world within a new fiction book.
You see, for me the ultimate in relaxation, in glorious, unashamed revelling at the complete and utter freedom to please myself, to relax and unwind, to not be dictated to by a clock, or monotonous routine, or other people’s demands—but to be able to lie back, or sit in a space where I can absorb the delicious, obliging rays of warm sunshine and enjoy the ambience of my surroundings—has just got to be the joy of reading a new story, of making the acquaintance of new characters, of engaging with the various twists and turns of my vacation buddies’ convoluted lives.
And so, as a measure of my appreciation to the author, and also as a measure of loyalty to these fictional friends, I ride the highs and lows of their joys and disappointments. I empathise with their pains, sorrows and failures. I exult in their achievements and success. Yes, as the plot unfolds, I’m absolutely angst-ing (ok, I admit it – I’ve just made up this word) alongside them. I’m rooting for, and celebrating with them.
In other words, dear reader, the joy of luxuriating in a magical world of creative words and literary phrases is my favourite vacation spot. And if you add to the mix, balmy weather, tasty food, thirst-quenching drinks and melt-in-the-mouth, more-ish ice-cream, then, believe me, I’m in seventh heaven!
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Dream-achievers, where and how do you like to unwind? Please share your response in the comment box below and, if you enjoyed reading this post, don’t hesitate to like, rate, or share it with your social network contacts. My sincere thanks in anticipation.
We all start working at different ages and for different reasons. What was your first job? Where did you work? What was your schedule like? Why did you start working there?
When one of my sisters became poorly and could not do her usual paper-round, I stood in for her for 1 week, so that she didn’t lose the position. And that was my first taste of having a job, being responsible for a role, fulfilling that responsibility to the best of my ability and receiving payment at the end of the week.
I recall returning my newspaper bag to the sweet shop owner each day, long after others had returned theirs. I seem to have taken longer delivering the dratted newspapers to his customers on my allotted route. Whether this was because I was more painstaking than the others I have no idea. I certainly didn’t want to mess things up for my sister.
I remember feeling excited about the role for the first 1 or 2 days but after that the necessity of having to get up super-early and the novelty of the job soon wore off. I couldn’t wait for the week to be over! This paper-round however, was not my true first job, since it was not a position that offered regular employment and was not wholly mine.
Well, I subsequently secured a Saturday job at a local drycleaners. I was so pleased I’d landed this position and the proprietor, Mr Williams, was very nice to me. I believe I held that position for a few years. What I cannot recall is whether I had this post in addition to my day job, or whether it was purely a Saturday job—a means of earning pocket money, since my parents couldn’t afford to give us any. It’s just that I don’t think I could have been less than 15-16years old. Now I come to think of it, I believe it may have started out as a Saturday only job but that I continued working there for a while (at Williams Drycleaners), even after I began working properly elsewhere, as a full-time employee.
Williams Drycleaners had a reputation for offering an excellent service. I did not appreciate it at the time, thinking a drycleaners is a drycleaners. But my own experiences since, of a less than desirable service from other establishments; complaints from my husband about the lack of good drycleaners (who don’t put double creases into his trousers and who return your items looking crisp and clean—not shiny, or in the same unclean condition in which they were handed over), plus the anecdotes from one of my brothers, whose cleaning and mending instructions were not followed to the letter, made me realise this is not the case!
My first full-time job was as a typist in the Civil Service. I worked in the Land Registry Department. My boss, the typing pool supervisor, was most impressed with my typing and presentation skills. I am not surprised because I had learnt to touch type at the age of 13 or 14 years old.
Do you remember when salesmen used to call at your door selling their wares? Well I believe a salesman from the Scheidegger Training Institute had called at ours and my father, who wanted me to have better prospects than becoming a factory worker, decided to enrol me. I learned how to touch type, and earned a Diploma confirming I’d completed the “ten-finger touch method typewriting course including copy and speed typing, use of English and letter writing”. I was very proud of this achievement, especially as I’d achieved it outside of the school curriculum and a good 2-3 years before I actually left school.
Well, dear reader, my civil service job lasted approx 2-3 weeks!
I believe I was one of the youngest in the typing pool. I’d not been there a full week when I felt bored and wanted to leave. My other colleagues constantly moaned about how they hated their job and hated working there. I wondered why they didn’t leave and decided I did not want to turn into someone who stayed in a job they detested, yet moaned to all and sundry about how unhappy they were. So I decided to leave and I did.
Looking back, I can now understand those women. I was young, living at home, with no responsibilities. They were probably married, had a mortgage, plus bills to pay and children to raise. They could not afford the luxury of walking out of a secure job at whim. They had to be responsible. They were adults!
Now because I had this typing ability and because my father had sacrificed to pay for my tuition, I wanted to honour his sacrifice and please him. I did not want his sacrifice, or the skill it had secured, to go to waste, so I decided I’d become a secretary or a personal assistant.
My mother however, wanted me to use the excellent dress-making skills she’d passed on to me and secure a job in the fashion field. I later regretted not trying to pursue this.
Perhaps I would have been a fashion designer now, or held some other position in the glamorous world of fashion. And who knows, perhaps (unlike Meryl Streep), I would have become The Angel Who Wears Prada!
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Tapping into your senses can help draw out memories. What is your earliest memory? How old were you? What happened? Why do you think this is the earliest event in your life that you can remember?
When I first read the thought expressed in the above illustration I did not agree. On reflection however, I believe it is true. Whilst we may not be able to remember some of our memories, I do not think they’ve been permanently erased from our memory banks. I believe they are filed somewhere within the vast reaches of our minds but we either do not know how to access them, or on some subconscious level, we do not choose to.
My early memories are incomplete. They are just fragments of different scenarios. I believe these early memories are from around 6-8 years, then there are a few later ones from when I was around 10-12ish, which is not really early I suppose.
My husband says he has clear recollections of when he was two years old. When he first told me this, I remember being utterly amazed because I can neither recall memories this early, nor so clearly. I had not realised it was even possible.
I understand some people can recall details from just a few months old and some even remember being born. And I hear some people even remember when they were swimming around in their mother’s womb! A-maz-ing!
So my memories are:
Walking up a very long path to the front door of my home. As I walked up the path, high flower borders or hedges flanked me on either side. I believe I was coming home from school but I seem to be on my own. Not sure that would have been correct, knowing my parents, who didn’t give me/us such independence and, considering my age (between 6 or 7?), coming home unaccompanied is most unlikely.
I have a recollection of me sitting in a class towards the end of the school day listening to the teacher at story time. I can recall the class sitting on chairs in a higgledy-piggledy fashion (we were not at desks) and the children in front of and around me listening intently to what the teacher was saying. I was distracted by a beautiful set of coloured pencils that were sticking out of a bag in front of me.
Another vague recollection I have, is of me standing by or outside the gates of St. Mark’s School, looking into an empty playground. I may have been waiting to be collected. I don’t recall anyone else being with me. I believe it was the same school from the above scenario.
At a much later age (maybe around 8-11yrs), I recall having a disturbing nightmare repeatedly. It may not have occurred night after night but I believe I had this same nightmare approx. 4-6 times, if not more. I don’t recall specific details – just what the nightmare had been about.
And that’s basically it. No real detail. In each of the above scenarios, I can’t recall what the weather was like, or what I was wearing. And apart from the story-time scenario, I don’t even remember whom I was with, or why I was there. Have I repressed these and other early memories? Or are they sitting in a certain section of my brain which jealously guards and refuses to release my elusive early memories?
I did a little research and experts seem to differ in their theory about early memories. Some say that after a certain age children suffer from ‘childhood amnesia’. University psychologist Dr Patricia Bauer says: “…research is showing that infants do not have the sophisticated neural architecture needed to form and hold onto more complex forms of memory.”Others feel that some early memories may have been fabricated after children were shown pictures, slides or video and the material discussed.
On reading various accounts of people’s early memories, I found it truly amazing that one person recalled being in the hospital and talking in baby language to a baby that was lying in the crib next to hers. She said they understood each other. That they had this language from inside their head.
I don’t doubt it. After all, God says that he knew us before we were even born (see Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:13-16). According to Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, we were in God’s heart, mind and pre-ordained plans before we arrived in this world. He says:
Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you!
I still find it absolutely amazing that some children can remember such early memories and in detail. When I do read or hear about such accounts, I wish that I were one of those children.
Purpose-driven believers, before I close, if there are any negative childhood memories, which you know are still impacting your life today, why not bring them before the Lord in prayer and ask him to heal you and set you free? Our Heavenly Father, is a God who both hears and answers prayer!
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If you would like to explore the subject of early childhood memories a little further, you can check out the following links:
Hello Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers. I do hope you are joining me for the second day of this 30-day blog challenge. If you have no idea what I am talking about then let me invite you to visit this young lady’s site for further details. You will learn everything you need to know, to participate.
It will take a little time, so grab yourself a coffee, settle down into your comfy chair and I’ll begin. All ears? Okay!
Once upon a time I had a dream. This dream was a long, long, long-held desire to be a writer. I couldn’t shake this urge, I couldn’t squash this hunger that demanded fulfilment.
At the same time as cherishing this dream, I had distinct immobilising fears and uncertainties that kept getting in the way of my aspirations. I believe it all stemmed from an incident that occurred at secondary school. You see my English teacher had set the class some homework that I was mega-excited about. We were to write a short story! Furthermore, the best one would be read out to the class.
Well, as a proverbial book worm, I’d read hundreds of books and I just knew in my heart that I was going to deliver the best story. My competitive streak and my ego duly assured me that this was indeed going to be so!
I crafted my short story along similar lines to an Enid Blyton adventure. I hugged and hugged myself with a sense of deep satisfaction and excitement, waiting for the homework deadline, waiting for my story to be selected, my story to be read out and held up as an exemplary model. I know it’s a cliché but I waited until then with bated breath.
So when my teacher read out another class-mate’s name and the title of his story, I literally could not believe my ears. Numb with shock and disbelief, as the story was read out, I became even more confused. The story was definitely inferior! Now, whilst I may not make such a claim out of sheer modesty, I certainly don’t say this from sour grapes, or out of malice.
When growing up, in order to teach us humility, my mother often used to say: “Self-praise is no recommendation!” However, dear reader, please believe me when I say that this so-called “best in the class story” was not in the same category as my own. Far from it!
Confusion and dismay roiled in my stomach. Our exercise books were handed back at the end of class and I hastened to see what mark I’d been given. There was no mark! Disappointment deflated me completely and the quiet confidence with which I’d arrived at class was now displaced by a queasy feeling. Why has Mr Williams not marked my story?
I approached him. I asked him.
His response stunned me: “I did not mark your exercise because I did not ask you to copy something from a book!”
Now at the time, I wasn’t familiar with the phrase but he was effectively denouncing me as a plagiarist! I protested. I denied his accusation. I assured him with utter conviction that I had not copied my story from any book. I had used my imagination and I’d made it up. However, I was waved away with contempt.
I walked away from that teacher dumbfounded. All sorts of silent accusations hurled themselves at and deafened me. Cheat! Liar! Shame shrouded me. Low self-esteem whimpered within me and abject misery consumed me.
By way of explanation for this nightmarish occurrence, I subsequently surmised why that teacher had so unjustly accused me. I began to have a suspicion, as to why he was not even prepared to give me the benefit of his doubts.
You see, black children are not meant to be proficient at reading, let alone have such a good command of the English language, as to be able to write a cracking good story. So how could I have written it? Thus goes my theory!
Now I didn’t come to this conclusion until years and years later—having suffered repeated episodes of racial prejudice, having had the benefit of hindsight. I surmised that this broad-framed, dark-haired and knock-kneed English teacher had most probably indulged in racial discrimination against me. To my mind, only an explanation along these lines, could account for his bizarre behaviour, since I knew in my heart and God (who knows all hearts), also knew I had written the offending story.
The rot however, had set in. I’d heard about “automatic-writing”. Had I been taken over by some being? (laugh). But no, I’m positive I’d written it. It was my thoughts, my ideas – wasn’t it?
It’s no wonder that over the many years since that fiasco, although I secretly entertained a dream to be a writer, my crippled ego, my crucified confidence just couldn’t rise to the occasion.
So now you know my secret dear reader. And that’s partly why I started blogging.
I believe God has given me a writing gift. I don’t want to be like the ungrateful servant, who hid his one talent in the ground. It’s perhaps conceivable that fear of once again being falsely accused, contributed to my years and decades of suppressing this ability. Who knows?
I do know that I’m responsible for what God has entrusted to me. I do know that through the sands of time this gift within me may have withered from lack of use but somehow it has also absolutely refused to lay down and die. I do know that blogging provides me with wonderful opportunities to hone this talent, to use and share this treasured gift, speaking into the hearts and lives of others.
Blogging, has given me a new lease of life. Last year, when I started my blog, I committed it into my Father God’s hands along with my writing ability. And do you know, when I started using this gift, just as the protagonist had declared in Chariots of Fire, I sensed the pleasure of God?
I blog because I believe it will become a gateway to the fulfilment of other dreams. I blog because it allows me to write. Writing is my re-claimed passion and writing is an important expression of who I am. I blog because I can!
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PS: since writing this piece, my husband happened to mention he’d been watching a programme where Diane Abbott (MP), a black woman in the same age bracket as myself, revealed she had written an essay and her teacher asked her: “where did you copy this essay from?” Ms Abbott explained: “she could not believe that a chubby little black girl had written it!”
Given my own experience, it seems this may have been the prevailing attitude of teachers in the UK at that time, towards black pupils. Interesting!
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Purpose-driven achievers, precious visitors, have you experienced set-backs whilst pursuing your dreams? How did you recover?
Please share your response in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you. Meanwhile, have a blessed weekend.
Perhaps a white one, so I could generally find acceptance in a white man’s world. Perhaps then I could walk around life batting my blue eyes, flicking my fair locks and use these as a passport to a world of dignity.
Then again, perhaps I should swop my skin for that of a rhinoceros. They often say sensitive people need to develop a hard skin. I imagine that should be hard enough! Toughen up baby! But, is that not just semantic speak for saying you should not get upset when people don’t celebrate you, when because of your colour they doubt your ability, snub you and systematically besmirch your reputation—or (horror of horrors!) even decide their dog deserves better treatment and respect than you? (Now there’s a thought – perhaps I should just get me the skin of a lap dog!)
But if I were to develop a hard skin, such that I didn’t feel it when someone hurts me, would that mean I’d have become an unfeeling, uncaring so and so?
I suppose I could swop my skin for that of a baby’s just for the fun of it, for the sake of having that soft sweet baby smell. But I’m not sure that would work either. Loved ones wouldn’t take me seriously. They’d start conversing with me in that strange baby-speak, tickle me under my chin, and try to feed me with that yucky pureed stuff in jars. Nah!
So I guess I’ll just have to be content with my own skin. Learn to live in it comfortably. Adapt my behaviour in order to accommodate its likes and dislikes (as opposed to allowing racist rhetoric make me feel uncomfortable within it, or pandering to anyone’s demands, fears and suspicions, as a direct response to it!).
After all these years, I should be able to shrug off the received but unwanted, unwarranted prejudices towards the colour of my skin. I should be able to – right? And, I should be able to ignore the ignoramuses who believe because my skin’s black and because my black skin is stretched over a female form, I don’t belong to the human race… I don’t have a right to speak up… I don’t have the right to be taken seriously… and I certainly don’t have the right to self-respect. Yep, under no circumstances should I show ambition or promise – no siree!
Well dear reader, I have come to a conclusion. A new skin? What good would that do? I just wouldn’t be me anymore!
Now I can’t think of any more fitting conclusion than this song, which confirms and consolidates my convictions on this subject, so I invite you to boogie along with that consummate musician—the inimitable Michael Jackson.
Hello faithful followers and lovely visiting readers!
I’m thinking it’s time I posted another one of my responses to the Daily Word prompts. This is so I can showcase my writing ability in another format and perhaps gain the interest of any prospective commissioning editor that might be roaming around my corner of cyberspace! Anyway, I’m posting the following for fun and trust you will enjoy reading.
Please do let me have your feedback in the comment box below.
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Daily Word Prompt: Tree
The horse chestnut tree stood tall and erect, strong and silent, robed in its green summer finery.
How I hated that tree! Hated the way its leaf-covered branches hogged all the light and sunshine from my adjacent garden, starving my shrubs of light and life.
I hated the way it spread its greedy grasping roots past its fenced boundary—daring to encroach upon my property, spreading its life-sucking roots with quiet determination, caring not one iota that it robbed light and life and nourishment from plants that had a legitimate right to be there.
Its leaves, although green, are severely afflicted with rust splotches – incontrovertible evidence that although it would have you overawed by its might and height, although it would have you believe it is invincible, some blighting affliction had struck it.
Just deserts, I say, for stealing accommodation for its roots, for stifling and strangling the life of my own plants which have a legitimate right to be here!
I didn’t care that it offered a home, a sanctuary to those green parrot-like birds, year after year and I could not care less about the grey squirrels that use it as an escape route from the next door neighbour’s cat that regularly lies in wait, hoping to pounce upon the pesky rodent.
I did care about the huge amount of life and light this arboreal nightmare absorbed whilst denying my own garden the same privilege. And I did care that it dared to add insult to injury by shedding its rotten leaves in my garden, expecting me to pick them up whilst it looks on in haughty disdain, without even so much as a “thank you”!
So, next door neighbour, now you know exactly how I feel, perhaps you will kindly do something about it. And, if you won’t, then don’t be surprised if you, I and your tiresome tree are featured in the next reality series, Neighbours from Hell! Don’t say you weren’t warned.
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Do you enjoy reading? Do you appreciate good writing? Then let me introduce you to another blogger, whom I believe needs wider exposure.
Years ago, when I was a care-free, rebellious soul I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about. I certainly wasn’t going to buy a poppy to commemorate people I didn’t know, or a cause about which I had no regard.
After all, I was born in a country whose people showed me in no uncertain terms that because of the colour of my skin, they did not consider me to be one of their own, so why would I, in fact why should I celebrate these dead combatants, who hail from a nation of bigots… a nation who made my parents’ lives, and then subsequently my own life, damned difficult?
So they want me to commemorate and celebrate people who’d sacrificed their lives, so I can enjoy so-called freedom? What freedom? Nope! As far as I was concerned, Remembrance Day did not mean squat to me.
Fast forward a few decades and my care-laden, much-humbled and enlightened soul has a different attitude. After all, I live in a country where I am not oppressed by a dictator. I live in a country that is run by democracy. I live in a country where I enjoy the freedom to openly worship God, and follow my faith. I am supremely grateful.
Now since God has a divine purpose for me, I have to accept that He has orchestrated certain aspects of my life. I have to accept that certain components of his ordained purpose include the parents to whom I was born and the country in which I was born and raised.
Listen to what Rick Warren has to say in his best-selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life:
Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you!
…God also planned where you’d be born and where you’d live for his purpose. Your race and nationality are no accident. God left no detail to chance. He planned it all for his purpose.
I could have been born in a country within the developing world, facing famine, drought, poverty, dictatorial oppression, or religious persecution. However, God has placed me within an environment where I can pretty much please myself to my heart’s content. But that freedom to do as I please comes along with a responsibility. A responsibility to serve others, to be a voice for the voiceless. It is not a freedom to despise, hurt, or sabotage.
And so purpose-driven believers and aspiring dream-achievers, take heart. Your nationality, even the colour of your skin, is an integral part of God’s purpose for your life. Don’t let the likes of the American president-elect, Donald Trump, colour your view (pun intended) of who you are. Don’t allow anyone’s opinion to personally pigeon-hole you, decide your potential, or dictate your future.
Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, the onus is upon you to know God for yourself and become acquainted with his Word. Embrace, meditate upon and regularly recall what the Bible has to say regarding the matter of your self-worth and your potential success.
The following passage is just one of many scriptures our Father God has provided to counteract thoughts and words designed to undermine our hopes and self-esteem:
“…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…”
(Jeremiah 29:11 – New International Version).
Today, whilst you commemorate those brave men and women, who have laid down their lives in defence of your freedom, let me encourage you to remember another man, who willingly laid aside his royal pedigree and sacrificed his sinless life for you… for the entire world, so that we can know the truth (Jesus is the Truth), and so that our knowledge of and, intimate acquaintance with that truth, will ultimately and irrevocably set us free!
O yes, we both have the same father. We both belong to God’s Holy Order of kings and priests. But that my friend is where the similarity ends. He is far, far superior! He has to be, for he has made me and he is self-existent—i.e. nobody made him! He existed along with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the very beginning. His name is Jesus.
Now he is in Heaven whilst I am down here on Earth. But it wasn’t always so. There was a time that he was here on this Earth and within 3 years he brought much light and love, healing and miraculous exploits to the world around him. Whereas, I have been on this earth for over 50 years and I cannot say that I’ve impacted the world about me, or the people within the circle of my influence in such a marvellous way. Nope! Much as I wish that were true, I cannot say that.
Jesus was self-assured. He was not fooled easily. He did not strike back in anger, or resentment, or any other negative attitude when he encountered opposition or violence. Imagine being the one who made man, yet allowing the creature you created to mock and jeer, choosing to stand silent, dumb as a sheep, allowing yourself to be sheared so to speak. Sheared of respect. Sheared of self-esteem.
He could have summoned a legion of angels to rescue him. He could have opened his mouth and burned his detractors to a crisp. But he didn’t. He humbled himself. He remained silent. He succumbed. Succumbed to the malicious will of those sanctimonious bigots (fellow Jews) and soldiers of the Roman Empire—who breathed lies spawned from envy… who uttered false accusations… who mocked and ridiculed and humiliated him (stripping him not only of his clothes but also of his dignity).
How meek but strong was that to not react, to not use his power and might to blast them to hell? How meek but strong was that to not retaliate? Oh no—instead, he said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”.
Now, if the power had been in my hand, I would perhaps have cursed them with my words. I would have stopped them in their tracks. Or I would levitate myself from out of my predicament. Or I would play games with them and put the ‘fear of God’ into them – disappearing and reappearing, taking on that aura of blazing fiery light so they could not look upon me but would either fall down in terror, or freeze to the spot in fear—and then I’d freeze them permanently!
But that is the difference between me and Jesus, the difference between me and the Holy Son of God. Jesus loved me and loved the entire world. He wanted to obey his Father at all costs, so that the world would have a way of escape out of spiritual darkness, and could be redeemed from the hateful hand of his arch Enemy, who also became our ultimate enemy. I speak of Satan (whom I also dub Mr Diablo)!
He is the Christ, the Messiah.
Me? I was just a doomed, rebellious sinner.
Okay, so now I’ve been saved by God’s grace, through his unmerited kindness. Now I’ve been elevated to the position of a saint (according to God’s reckoning). Yet, as his beloved child, his sanctified saint, I am nowhere near the calibre of this awesome man, who loved and sacrificed himself for me, who lived in order to die for me. And as I read his biography and compare his noble achievements with my base life’s record, I cannot deny the fact, yeah, I cannot disguise the truth that between me and Him—there’s a stark contrast!
And, for your further reading pleasure, if you have not already done so, you may wish to read my post on a contrasting character – the aforementioned Mr Diablo (another Daily Post Word prompt). If so, please go to: Satan’s Suicidal Mission
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (Isaiah 14:12a)
The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: MISTAKE
Okay Mr Diablo (aka Satan), so you made a mistake.
You had the audacity to think you could overthrow the Lord God Almighty. You not only had the audacity to consider such a move but you also had the temerity to try and act upon your foolish idea. BIG MISTAKE!
And, to compound your catastrophic error, you convinced one third of Heaven’s angels to abandon their allegiance to the God of Heaven and Earth… to the great I AM, and assist you with executing your devilish desire by mounting an unholy insurrection! BIG, BIG MISTAKE!
You failed! Utterly!
Why, oh why you ever believed such a plot would succeed, I’ll never know. Even I could see this could, and would never work!
Now I realise I’ve not been around as long as you have. I don’t have your twisted wit and cunning. But did you really think that a CREATED being could outwit his CREATOR—particularly when that Creator is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent? I suppose that’s what comes of arrogance, deception and overweening pride. Wow! You are a real textbook example of the term delusions of grandeur, don’t you think? Hush now Mr Diablo, it was a rhetorical question—I was not really wanting an answer.
Was it worth the price Mr Diablo?
Was your evil covetous desire for supremacy worth being booted out unceremoniously from heaven? Was it worth exchanging your prestigious position, as the most beautiful angel in heaven with a highly significant responsibility, for the infernal regions of a dark spiritual underworld?
Granted, your heinous activity and warped influence is fully evident around the world. But for an egomaniac such as yourself, surely it must gall to find yourself confined to exerting influence anonymously, through manipulation and subliminal subterfuge. Surely, it must irk knowing that at the end of it all, you and your cohorts (whom you inveigled), are destined for eternal damnation in God’s Lake of Fire.
Do you ever consider your end Mr Diablo? Have you ever rued the day you decided to usurp my Father God’s throne?
Mark my words Mr Diablo—the time will come when you will have plenty of time to consider your error. Yeah, the time draws near when you will have to face the consequences of your monumental mistake.
(“Dead demon walking…”)
Until then Mr Diablo, let me bid you farewell. Oops delete that—let me say: good riddance!
(For biblical evidence of events alluded to above, please read Luke 10:18; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12b-17; Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 1:6).
In my previous post, I referred to the concept of dream seeds –
pictures from our imagination hidden away in our heart. I mentioned
how these seeds take time to germinate and required the right
conditions in order to flourish. I spoke about dreams and how they
required both patience and dogged commitment if we want to see and
enjoy their manifestation and I concluded with a challenge to
resurrect dead dreams or in the case of deferred desires, to cling to
the hope of eventual fulfilment.
Now some of you might be sighing and I wouldn’t be surprised if others
are thinking: I’ve heard this all before. I’ve tried the
goals/time-management thing and it just doesn’t work! If this is you,
then I suspect you have not read Donna B. Comeaux’s article “Success is a ‘choice’ away”, as recommended in my first post. If that is the case, then I encourage you to read it now before going any further. However, if you have read it (but forgotten the message and challenge of this thought-provoking post), then my advice to you is: STOP making excuses – instead, make opportunities! Become a dream-achiever.
Easier said than done? I both agree with you and relate. But who
said following our dreams would be easy? Experience of everyday life
with its twists and turns should prepare us for the reality, yet still
we can feel flummoxed by the task of discovering and developing our
potential. Still, we expect the process of achieving our dreams to be
Is it because we’ve been brainwashed by bulletins,
deceived over documentaries and seduced with stories about businesses,
celebrities and entrepreneurs that have become an “overnight success”?
But we know better than that – right? We know that there’s no way
these individuals got up one morning and experienced success the
following day, week or month. So if we have somehow fallen into this
make-believe trap, we need to ask ourselves: why should it be any
different for me?
I’ve realized that it takes courage to achieve your dreams. It takes
courage because there will be obstacles. Listen to what the Brazilian
author of best-selling and internationally acclaimed book, “The Alchemist”, has to say:
“I was struggling to establish myself as a writer and to follow my path despite all the voices telling me it was impossible. And little by little, my dream was becoming reality. Ten, a hundred, a thousand, a million copies sold in America.
…The book has been translated into fifty-six languages, has sold more than twenty million copies, and people are beginning to ask: What’s the secret behind such a huge success?
The only honest response is: I don’t know. All I know is that, like Santiaga the shepherd boy [protagonist] we all need to be aware of our personal calling. What is a personal calling? It is God’s blessing. It is the path that God chose for you here on Earth. […] However, we don’t all have the courage to confront our dream.” Paolo Coelho
So there we have it. One dream-achiever’s frank account of his journey
towards success – a journey that required him to overcome overwhelming
obstacles of self-doubt, personal struggles, nay-sayers and
dream-slayers, until eventually the arduous terrain altered and he
found himself on ‘Success Street’.
In “Forgetting Your Past – Turn Your Pain Into Purpose”, Bob Gass says: “The greatest tragedy that could happen to you would be to grow old and know that somewhere along the way you’d lost yourself, and never succeeded at being who God called you to be.”
Another writer believes that a wealth of dreams and unfulfilled potential lies forever lost within burial grounds. The late Myles Munroe, author of “Understanding Your Potential”, mourned the loss of untapped resources within individuals, which result in aimless lives, haphazard decisions and the tragedy of what should have been.
Do you regret wasted years and lost opportunities? Then ask your
Heavenly Father, to redeem the time that you have left here on earth.
He is capable of making you super-productive… of accelerating your
Remember Joseph? His dreams of power and prestige seemed
ridiculous, even impossible when he was sold into slavery and later
imprisoned but he continued to hone his abilities, working for and
serving others with diligence. At God’s appointed season, Joseph was
promoted to the position of Pharaoh’s right-hand man – his dreams came
Oprah Winfrey is credited as having said: “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” My question and
challenge to you is: will you? Will you leave the security of your
comfort zone and embark on that adventure? Will you tap into your
potential? Will you follow your dream?
Congratulations to those of you who have already discovered your
God-given purpose and are fulfilling your dreams – keep going, keep
achieving! For those of us who may be struggling to find that path,
I’ll leave you with this final thought by Janet Autherine, author of “Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters”:
“Greatness is finding your natural talent, fuelling it with passion, planting it in well-nourished soil, and toiling in the garden until it breaks through the earth and reaches for the stars.”