Ok so my last post was about 2011 being the best year of my life, now let’s do 2012, I am not one to make resolutions as I never seem to keep to them, in the years past I have found that I set unbelievably high goals for myself and unrealistic resolutions. This year I have decided that, I will not set any resolutions, NOT ONE. I will however make certain commitments to God and to myself, and I will take it 1 day at a time.
1st the MOST important commitment I make is to be a vessel of God’s light and allowing him to shine through me, through my attitude, my deeds, my words I want people to see a change in me, I want them to see how Great God is.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:12)
2nd I commit to reading my bible even if it’s for 5 minutes a day but EVERY day.
3rd I commit to scripture memory; a Christian will not always have their bible handy when in “sticky” situations so being able to refer to them at any given moment is an amazing ability.
4th I commit to improving my prayer life, and spending more quiet time with God.
5thI commit to fasting, whether it be 3 days, 10 days, 21 days whatever it is, I will make this an important part of my life and will do it periodically.
6th I commit to a healthier lifestyle, eating healthier meals, drinking more water etc, start walking… while I don’t drink much alcohol anymore I do have the occasional drink, I want this to stop COMPLETELY I do not want to drink.
7th I commit to being more involved in the church whether it be volunteering as an usher or handing out pamphlets at the door whatever it is I will become more involved
8th I commit to joining a home group in my area, and meeting new people, making new Christian friends that I can encourage and also be encouraged by.
9th I commit to helping the needy wherever I can, feeding the homeless on Christmas day was an amazing experience and I commit to doing it more often not only once a year.
10th I commit to reducing the time I spend watching TV and to use that extra time to speak to God.
11th I commit to standing up for myself and to not let people walk all over me and abuse me just because I do not know how to say NO.
12th I commit to saturate my everyday life with God, whether it be reading Christian books, listening to Christian CD’s, pasting scriptures and verses all over my house, I want my life to be a constant reminder to me that I am a Christian and that I live for Jesus.
Yes so I have 12 “commitments” there are 12 months in a year so 12 commitments is an ok amount I would say. And NO I will not tackle 1 commitment a month they will all be tackled on a daily basis. And by the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 I will be EVEN more amazed at my transformation through Jesus as what I am right now.
The last thing I want is for my Blog to become one of doom and gloom, especially at this time of year, however ever since reading the article on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and the fact that he has not only been imprisioned but ALSO sentenced to death as a result of his faith, has made me was to SCREAM, when will all this voilence end, the attacks on innocent people, people who have done nothing wrong, other than believe in God WHICH IS NOT WRONG.
You know what I find quite strange is that you don’t find many stories on the news much like this one where the tables are turned, where the Christians did the killing of the Muslims and whatever other religion or belief that think it is OK to kill people because their beliefs are different to those of yours. WHY is that?? Because the Bible tells us “Thou Shall NOT KILL” Exodus 20:13.
Should we not ALL as HUMAN BEINGS, strive towards peace, and getting along with one another regardless of our belief system. If you are reading this and you are one of those people that believe you need to kill those that do not CONFORM to your belief system, WHAT JUSTIFIES THAT, WHAT JUSTFIES THE KILLING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE. Because they do not believe what you believe.
How many children have now become orphans because of some sensless killing. How many people who could have become soething more than just their circumstance have now been killed.
Now I assume that I will take some heat for this blog post, to be very honest I DO NOT CARE, I am proud to say I am a Christian, I am proud to say I love Jesus. WHY?? Because even though we too do not believe what you believe we do not go around Killing people because of it. We live our lives according to God’s word.
Now I am not saying that ALL religions or people that are of a certain religion, I am merely stating the fact there are those people out there that are infact part of certain religions that believe in killing people because they believe in something other than your beliefs.
Ask yourself this, if the tables were turned and it was the Christians going around Bombing your place of worship because they do not like the fact that you believe not what they believe, how would you react? How would you react of your son/daughter/mother/father/brother/sister were one of those people who had died in the bombing? How would you react?
So as much as I cannot physically do anything about the Bombing I pray that I can be a voice for those people who have lost their lives for Jesus, and I am doing it through this Blog.
The past few days this thought has been playing on my mind, baptism and the meaning there of, what to expect etc. Now being born into the catholic religion I was baptised as a baby, but growing up we never practiced the catholic ways so to speak, I was baptised again at the age of 17, that was a choice I made at that stage in my life and at the church I was at. I realise now that, back then when I made the decision to get baptized I did it “just because” the option was there and I decided to do it.
Now for a few weeks now I have wanted to get baptised, I always thought that you could only get baptised once in your life, the reason for this is that when I made the choice to be baptised my family had asked me why I wanted to do it as I was baptised when I was a baby so what is the point of doing it again?
I asked my friend what he thought on this topic and whether it was ok to get baptised more than once, his answer was YES, it is ok to be baptised more than once.
I then did some research and found the following scripture:
Ephesians 4:4-5 – There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
When I read this my first thought was that what I had been told was right that we can only be baptised once in our life according to the bible. I then sent this scripture to my friend and asked him to interpret it and tell me how he understood the scripture
He told me this:
It does not say that you can only be baptised once, the scripture states that there is ONE BAPTISM, meaning that there is only ONE METHOD of baptism.
This then cleared up any confusion about the scripture that I had although I still wanted some sort of confirmation, I then found another website regarding the EXACT SAME Scripture and this is exactly what this piece says.
“The Bible emphatically states that there is “One Master – One Faith – ONE “BAPTISM” (Ephesians 4:5). This should leave no doubts that the believer has but ONE WAY that Baptism can be administered. Only this ONE Baptism could be truly acceptable to the Most High. All other ways are merely traditions of man and Messiah Himself said that such were ‘in vain.’ Baptism based on tradition and not on the Bible, is therefore administered -‘In vain’.
This for me was all the confirmation I had needed about the scripture in question.
My next point I want to make is exactly how you get baptised, when I was baptised as a baby I had water sprinkled on my forehead, however when I was baptised at the age of 17 I was fully submerged into the water,
I looked up the meaning of baptism and this is what I found: a primary verb; to whelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid
Let’s look at the Bible and what is said about baptism and the way it needs to be performed,
Matthew 28:19-20 –“ Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.”
Mark 16:15-16 – .And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
Acts 8:36-38 – Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.”
So the first 2 verses I made reference to both say baptize and as I stated above the meaning of the word baptism means to cover wholly(entirely) with a fluid.
Then the last verse says that they WENT DOWN into the water, it doesn’t say that they went to a puddle.
So it is my understanding that the correct method is to be IMMERSED in the water.
While I still know very little about baptism now as I write this post I am doing research as I go along. So if anything I say is not correct please do correct me. You see I so desperately want to be baptised again I just feel that at the stage in my life that I am now, the time is right unlike the last time.
Acts 2:37-41 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptised every one of you … for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit … So those who accepted His Word were baptised”.
Now this verse for me says so much, it tells me that when you are baptised your sins are forgiven, why then do certain religions perform baptism on infants? I completely disagree with that as an infant cannot understand and does not know sin so therefore there is nothing to forgive. It also says that when being baptised you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This confuses me somewhat; I have yet to fully understand the Magnitude of this gift and exactly WHAT it is. If anyone has a deeper understanding of this please leave a comment below. What is THE GIFT of the Holy Spirit, is it being able to speak in tongues, is it being able to understand it or is it many different things and each person receives a different gift.
I have made the decision to be baptised again, however this time around I need to be sure that the time is right and that I am doing it for the right reasons.
If anyone can shed some more light on the topic please feel free to do so. I have MINIMAL knowledge on this topic so I would really appreciate some feedback, I do not want to go into this and get baptised again and not know FULLY what to expect.
I have recently started reading a book called “walking in your own shoes” by Robert A. Schuller; I have only just finished reading the dedication, forward, acknowledgments introduction and the first chapter of the book and I must say I think I am going to enjoy this book.
After reading the first chapter I felt the need to do this post, now the thing is that I haven’t gotten to that point where I can fully discern when it is that I am hearing from God or when it is Random thoughts popping into my head, nevertheless I will get there eventually where I am able to tell the difference.
I started house sitting last from last night, I quite enjoy it because I get away for a couple of weeks from my everyday life, those mundane routines and tasks that need to get done every day. Sometime throughout the course of the day yesterday I made the conscious decision that while I was in this house looking after it for the owners I would not switch on the TV, that I would take this time alone to delve a little further into the word of God and to try and strengthen my relationship with him some more, then when I got here I did what I normally do when I get home, kicked off my shoes put the kettle on for coffee, tea or whatever it is at that point that tickles my fancy… then to pick up the TV remote switch it on watch my favourite soapie “7 de Laan” for those of you who do not reside in south Africa 7 de Laan is one of our local TV shows. Anyway last night when I went for the remote I suddenly got this thought in my head, it was quite funny actually it was like someone was telling me “no no no put that remote down … remember the promise you made… step away from the remote”. Well I put the remote down and drank my coffee then decided to pick the remote up again and switch on the TV but then again as I picked it up… that same thought popped into my head again, so I decided to switch my laptop on, I started off my reading a few of the blogs I follow, but then I felt the need to do the post before this one.
Let me just tell you one thing, I have never been so honest about anything in my entire life, not even to myself, it took a lot out of me, I felt emotionally spent after writing that post. But glad I did. I felt a sense of release.
So this evening as I sit here and write the post I have a small prayer request, I want to walk in my shoes not someone else’s but mine. So let me tell you a bit about my current situation. Hopefully God will either give me some sort of confirmation or he will give someone reading this post something, some word or scripture or message or something.
I currently work for a company and have been with them for almost a year and a half now, I don’t earn a big salary in fact for the past couple of months things have been really tight, and while the company itself is not the greatest company to work for or the Job I have is not FANTASTIC, some of the people there are amazing people, so let me tell you a bit about them, to my left at the door, is one of the newbie’s… well not necessarily new but he has been there the least amount of time, he also happens to be the youngest, he is the funny one, the one that puts a smile on our faces on a daily basis, when he is stressed out or busy he has his earphones in his ears and listens to music, and says ok time to “Zone” , then at the desk next to me on my left is the “queen in our department” yes I mean the gay one… sometimes he can make you laugh with his antics but sometimes he can also make you angry, he flirts with all the guys and honestly half of them flirt back, but we all know that they are joking and there is no truth to the flirting so to speak, then there is the lady that sits opposite him, she happens to be my bosses sister, while at the best of times we do not get along there are other times where we can have a good conversation, then there is my Boss, in the beginning we got on like a house on fire, but then realised what you see is not what you get, so I distanced myself a bit and stuck to just doing my work, since then I have decided to put all that aside and change the way I thought of her, and we actually get on very well, then there is her Boss who happens to be one of the head honchos so to speak, you would think that all the money he has that it would go to his head but it hasn’t, and I have the utmost respect for him, he truly is one of the coolest bosses I know.
Then as they say save the best for last… J, then there is the man that sits opposite me, I have so much respect for him, he like me has given his life to the Lord, he is a great example and a really good hearted person. He was a key player in me giving my life back to Jesus, he has helped me by speaking of his past experiences, giving me books to read and DVD’s to watch, given me scriptures to read, heck he even bought me a bible, more than anything he has just been someone I could speak to, not everyone understands what it’s like to be a Christian, and it was nice being able to speak with someone who has similar beliefs about Christianity as me. The Lord has amazing things in store for him I just know it, and I don’t consider him a co-worker but instead a friend.
So there you have it, those are my co-workers, while there are many more these guys are the ones I call my work family, we truly are that, when one of us is down the others will all go out of their way to make them feel better, in their own little way they all add value to our little family, the one that makes us laugh, the one that always has medicine for the sick ones J, pain pills he has, flu meds he has, nausea meds he has, not because he is addicted to it but because he likes to be prepared, and let me tell you those meds have come in handy many times. These people are the reason I am still there, the reason why I have not left this company to find a better paying job.
Then I also have my own business, it is a bridal business which I started almost 2 years ago, it does not make that much money, in fact I have not had an order in a couple of months, but I have had a few good orders, but the business never really took off, even though I spent thousands on this business. I was passionate about it and thought that’s what I was meant to do.
So here is my prayer request, I have a Job that is not great and doesn’t pay well but I have a family there that I have not found at any other company, then there is my business, while I worked hard at it and thought that it was truly what I was meant to be doing, and had every intention of resigning once my business has taken off, I find myself now at a crossroads, you see the more I immerse myself in the word of God the more I strive to be obedient to God the more detached I feel from my business, and feel that I need to close shop so to speak, I need to know what is the right thing in these two areas of my life, do I look for a better paying Job and leave the one I currently have, or do I stay, and do I close my business once and for all or do I continue to work on it and make it work.
I am praying about this but if anyone reading this would like to add to my prayers please feel free to do so, if you have any advice or word from the Lord please share it with me as I am still battling to discern what is from God and what not.
Hope you All have a blessed weekend.
I had a conversation with my brother last week, because of my choice of church. We were born into a catholic family and here I am going to (as my brother put it) a “happy Clappy church”. When he asked me why I chose this church and not the Catholic Church, my response to him was that although we were born into a catholic family we never really lived our lives as such hence I am not really catholic.
So here are my views, there are a lot of beliefs in this world when it comes to religion, some people pray to statues, some people pray to Mother Mary, I don’t know much about all these religions and beliefs, what I do know is what I believe.
The bible says in John 14:6: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
What does this Verse tell you? Well it tells me that there is no other way to get to God but through his son Jesus Christ. It doesn’t say pray to a statue and you will get to my Father, it doesn’t say pray to Mary and get to my Father, it says only through me will you get to my Father.
My choice to be a “happy Clappy”, well I have tried many churches and none of them make me as excited as the “happy Clappy”… it makes you feel alive. It makes you want to wake up early so that you can get to church on time.
I have found so many scriptures to back my choice up…
They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, “For He is good, for His loving-kindness is upon Israel forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid…. Ezra 3:11.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever … Psalm 30:11-12.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings … Psalm 33:1-3.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious … Psalm 66:1-2.
I will also praise You with a harp, even Your truth, O my God; to You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; and my soul, which You have redeemed … Psalm 71:22-23.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His loving-kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations … Psalm 100:1-5.
Let them praise His name with dancing; let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre … Psalm 149:3.
Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD … Psalm 150:1-6.
I have not found one scripture that says you must quietly praise God, so why should I conform to that?