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.
Storm: a violent weather condition of strong winds, rain, hail, thunder, lightning, blowing sand, snow, etc.
I don’t know about you but I would not like to get stuck in a storm, I would rather be home snug under a duvet with a good book and some hot chocolate.
So let’s look at the word storm metaphorically: I would think it to be difficulties in life… hardships etc
Every one of us at some point or other face difficulties, financial, emotional, physical, spiritual whatever the difficulties, we need to put our trust in Jesus to calm the storm. Many of us will choose to run away from it to find shelter where the storm cannot reach us, the thing is we cannot keep running, why not go headstrong into the storm, knowing that you will be ok because Jesus is with you, and will calm your storm.
Matthew 8:23 – 27(the message): Then he got into the boat his disciples with him. The next thing they knew they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat and He was sound asleep! They roused Him, pleading, “Master please save us! We’re going down!” Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint hearts?” Then he stood up told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass. The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea come to heal at His command.
I know there are a lot of us that struggle with faith, and find it hard to believe in something we cannot see. The verse above is very powerful; I mean Jesus literally calmed the storm. Even though Jesus had performed many miracles, his disciples still were “Faithless”, and when he calmed the storm they were “dumbfounded.”
Let’s take a look at more scriptures on the topic of calming the storm:
Luke 8:22 – 25(The Message): One day he and his disciples got in a boat. “Let’s cross the lake,” he said. And off they went. It was smooth sailing and he fell asleep. A terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in and they were about to capsize. They woke Jesus: Master, Master we are going to drown!” Getting to his feet he told the wind. “Silence!” and the waves “Quiet down!” They did I,t the lake became smooth as glass. Then he said to his disciples, “WHY CANT YOU TRUST ME?” They were in absolute awe, staggered and stammering. Who is this anyway? He calls out to the wind and the sea, and they DO WHAT HE TELLS THEM!”
The way I see it the bible has been around for MANY, MANY years, my view on it is that it is probably the world’s number 1 best seller, why else would this book still be on the shelves of so many bookstores?? So what does this tell me?? That there MUST be truth to this book so why not use it in our everyday lives, I found an acronym the other day for the life of me I cannot remember where I found it possibly on one of the blogs I follow or perhaps on the ever so resourceful Google.
BIBLE – Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth – BIBLE now if you look at it that way how can we go wrong if we use the bible as our rule book, as our instruction manual. If you believe in your heart that Jesus can calm your storm then HE CAN, but you have TO BELIEVE.
Hebrews 11:1 now Faith IS being sure of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we DO NOT SEE.
This I think is my ALL time favourite Faith scripture, in fact I wear an arm band with that scripture and ever since I bought it, it has not come off my arm. I cannot see Jesus, well not physically anyway, I can definitely FEEL him though, and I can see him working in my life and in the lives of others. So I know and have the Faith that he can CALM MY STORM and he can calm yours too.
Matthew 9:18 – 27(The Message): As he finished saying this a Local official appeared, bowed politely and said, “My daughter has just now died, if you come and touch her, she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, his disciples following along.
Just then a woman who had haemorrhaged for 12 YEARS slipped in from behind and lightly touched His robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned – caught her at it. The He reassured her; “Courage daughter. You took a risk of FAITH and now you’re well.” The woman was well from there on.
By now they had arrived at the house of the town official, and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and the neighbours bringing in the casseroles. Jesus was abrupt “Clear out! This girl isn’t dead she is sleeping.” They told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. But when Jesus had gotten rid of the crowd, he went in, took the girls hand and pulled her to her feet – alive. The good news was soon out, and travelled throughout the region.
Both the local official and the woman who touched His robe had their own storms that they were dealing with, the local official had lost his daughter and the woman had been bleeding for 12 years, but they both BELIEVED that Jesus could do what no one else could. He calmed their storms.
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) – I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
James 1:3 – Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
1 Peter 1: 7 (NKJV) – That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Jesus has infinite power, we have very limited and finite power, there are things we can do but many we can’t. It is then that we need to look to the one with infinite power to change things that we cannot.
Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Remember Jesus LOVES YOU, why would he let you face the storm alone.
Ok So you know when you were a kid there were certain food items that you did not like but now that you are all grown up you find that some of those things that you previously disliked you have now acquired a taste for, or vice versa, I am sure there are many of you whom have experienced this, like when I was younger I used to love Olives…. YES olives, while although I still like them now I won’t go out of my way, or when I was younger I used to hate prawns but I have recently started eating them and I quite like it.
Well that is the only way that I can explain the way I feel, I used to be one of those people that would go clubbing often and come home when the sun comes up, I used to drink and get drunk with my friends, I would knock down shooter after shooter, spend 1000’s on drinks, I remember 1 evening I had gone out with a friend and between the 2 of us we had spent 3000 on drinks.
I would start planning the weekend’s parties on Monday already, I lived for the next gathering of friends whether it be clubbing or just being at their house, one thing that was guaranteed was alcohol… at that stage of my life all of my friends enjoyed a drink, and today most of them still do.
Me however I have had a “Change of Heart Change of Mind” the last time I took alcohol to a new level was my birthday this year, I am actually ashamed that I let myself get so carried away, I had so much to drink that my family would not let me drive my car home and I had spent the whole next day in bed. I realised that I don’t want to do that anymore, for the past +- 3 months I have completely cut those friends out of my life, and it was for many reasons, 1 because I just don’t have the money for a recurring weekend party at friends places and 2 because my mind-set has changed, my heart has changed, and as much as I LOVE my friends with all my Heart, they genuinely are the best friends one could ask for, they were there for me in some of the darkest times in my life and stood by me through thick and thin, in fact just this morning I got a call from 2 friends saying that I have fallen off the face of the earth and they feel like I am shutting them out, while this was not intentional… it happened, I have stayed away from them, when they invite me I just don’t feel like going, I don’t want to live that kind of life anymore, I am far more interested in learning more about the Lord, reading his word, building a stronger relationship with him.
While my friends will always be there, they just do not have the same beliefs as me and being around them is not as fun as it used to be anymore I don’t enjoy the things that I did before. This is just proof enough that the Lord has changed my heart and changed my mind, he is working with me as I type this, and with each passing day I feel closer to him, in one of my previous posts I mentioned that my favourite Author was Lesley Pearse, well 2 days ago I went and bought her latest book, and under normal circumstances this book would have been finished, if not I would have had maybe 1 or 2 chapters left, well the book is still in the same packet that I got it in when I bought it, because the first book I want to pick up and read is the Bible. Things are different for me now, I have God in my life, I want to spend all my time with him, and as much as I love my friends, spending time with God is far more enjoyable.
All of us have suffered pain, loss, betrayal; we have all had someone lie to us, say untrue things about us to others etc. Which can cause us to harbour bad feelings towards these people, the thing is in order for us to truly live the life that God wants us to live we need to let go. It’s not easy, in fact I think I am writing this blog today more for me than anyone else. I still struggle to let go, of past betrayals, past hurts, past lies. We have all made mistakes in the past, some that aren’t so bad and some that we would do anything to reverse.
So I will ask one question… WHAT is the common ground with what I have just written above, the word PAST. That is exactly it… it is in the PAST. All these things have already happened, no matter how much we think about it and how it still angers us it is in the PAST. We cannot go back in time, and change anything; we can’t go back and reverse the mistakes we made.
John 13:34-35 says: A new command I give to you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.
So as hard as this is, we need to let go of our past hurts and past mistakes, we have to forgive those people that have hurt us and forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made.
Let’s take a look at what the bible says:
Proverbs 17:9 – He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.
Mark6:14 – For if you forgive people their trespasses (their reckless and wilful sins, leaving them & letting them go, and giving up resentment), your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Forgiveness is VITAL, you must forgive and let go. As I sit here with tears in my eyes, remembering my past, I have decided to let go, because I cannot change it. I will probably never see most of those people, but I forgive them.
I want my life to change and in order for me to do that I need to start by changing my attitude towards the past and the people in it. It will not be easy but with God’s help I know I can do it.