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Sunday, March 8, 2009

God's Guidance Works

GOD’S GUIDANCE WORKS
The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire
In scorched places, and give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden, and like a
Spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:11

Isn’t it interesting that we believe God is guiding us as long as we are getting what we want and we’re “living on the mountaintop,” relatively unscathed by the warp and woof of life in the valley below. But we need to understand that the Lord is directing our steps even when it seems things are not going our way. You may be in a stressful situation today. You may be living with a spouse or a child who is difficult to get along with. Or perhaps because of favoritism or politics at the office, you are not being treated fairly, or possibly you are having to work two jobs in order to make ends meet. You may be thinking, This doesn’t seem right. God, I don’t understand it.

The Scripture says, “Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to figure out everything that happens along the way?” (Prov. 20:24) Friend, you are never going to understand everything you go through in life or why certain things come against you. You simply must learn to trust God anyway. You must learn to keep a good attitude in the midst of the chaos and confusion, knowing that God is still in control.

In your Best Life Now, I told the story of two former college basketball players who were headed to Kenya to work on a missions project back in the late 1990s. But they were delayed and missed their connecting flight. They were extremely disappointed, as the next flight wasn’t for eight or nine hours. They were a bit irritated and said so.

When it finally came time for the next flight to leave, there were no seats available except in first class. The airline seated two big fellows right up at the front of the plane, with plenty of legroom, so they were happy about that. But about midway through that flight, the plane took a nose-dive and started streaking toward the ground at full throttle. People aboard the plane screamed frantically as the flight attendants scrambled to keep the passengers from panicking. They thought for sure they were going to die.

The two big basketball players maintained their wits enough to pray: “God, we really don’t understand this, but please use our lives somehow.”

About that time, they heard some noise that sounded like a struggle in the cockpit. A flight attendant opened the cockpit door, and there was a deranged man- a big man who stood over seven feet tall- attacking the pilots and trying to gain control of the plane. The pilots were desperately trying to stop the madman, but they didn’t have a chance.

When the two basketball players saw what was happening, they wrestled the attacker to the ground and pulled him out of the cockpit. By the time they were able to subdue him, the plane had fallen allt he way from 30,000 feet to less than 4,000 feet. Had the pilots not been able to regain control, within seconds the plane would have crashed, most likely killing everyone aboard and possibly people on the ground.

Sometimes God will put you in an uncomfortable situation so you can help somebody else. God delayed those two young men on purpose. He put them in first class, right up front, so they could help save that entire plane. God knows what He’s doing. He can see the big picture; He can see the future. And He has you exactly where He wants you today. Quit questioning Him and start trusting Him. Just know that God is in control. He has your best interest at heart. Trust Him today to direct your steps, and to cause you to be right where you need to be at just the right time.

TODAY’S PRAYER

THANK YOU, FATHER, THAT EVEN IN THE UNCOMFORTABLE SPOTS IN LIFE, I CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF ME, THAT YOU CARE ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME,AND THAT YOU HAVE A PLAN TO BRING GOOD INTO MY LIFE AND THROUGH MY LIFE AS A RESULT.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

God is a Giver

GOD IS A GIVER
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.
John 3:16


“WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?” everyone wants to know nowadays. Many people are blatantly and unashamedly living for themselves. They’re not interested in other people. They wont take time to help others in need. They focus only on what they want, what they need, what they feel will most benefit themselves. Ironically, this selfish attitude condemns them to living shallow, unrewarding lives. No matter how much they acquire for themselves, they are never satisfied.

God, however, is a giver, and if you want to experience a new level of God’s joy, if you want Him to pour out His blessings and favor in your life, then you must learn to be a giver and not a taker. Quit trying to figure out what everybody can do for you, and start trying to figure out what you can do for somebody else. We were not made to function as self-involved people, thinking only of ourselves. No, God created us to be givers. And you will never be truly fulfilled as a human being until you learn the simple secret of how to give your life away.

You may not realize it, but it is extremely selfish to be dwelling on your problems, always thinking about what you want or need, and hardly noticing the many needs of others all around you. One of the best things you can do if you’re having a problem is to help solve somebody else’s problem. If you want your dreams to come to pass, help someone else fulfill his or her dreams. Start sowing some seeds so God can bring you a harvest. When we meet other people’s needs, God always meets our needs.

We were created to give, not simply to please ourselves. If you miss that truth, you will miss the abundant, overflowing, joy-filled life that God has in store for you. But when you reach out to other people in need, God will make sure that your own needs are supplied. If you’re lonely or down and discouraged today, don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Get your mind off yourself and go help meet someone else’s need. Go visit the nursing home or a children’s hospital. Call a friend and encourage that person. If you’re struggling financially, go out and help somebody who has less than you have. You need to sow some seeds so God can bring you a harvest.

You may say, “Joel, I don’t have anything to give.” Sure you do! You can give a smile. You can give a hug. You can do some menial but meaningful task for someone. For example, you could mow somebody’s lawn. You could go to the grocery store or make a meal for a person who is shut in and unable to get to the store. You can visit someone in the hospital or in a senior citizens’ center. You can write somebody an encouraging letter. Somebody needs what you have to share. Somebody needs your smile. Somebody needs your love. Somebody needs your friendship. Somebody needs your encouragement. God didn’t make us to function as “Lone Rangers” He created us to be free, but He did not intend for us to be independent of each other. We really do need one another. If you want God to bless your life, start being a blessing to others.

TODAY’S PRAYER:

FATHER, PLEASE HELP ME TO GET MY EYES OFF MYSELF AND TO SEE THE MANY NEEDS IN PEOPLE ALL AROUND ME. MAY I BE A MEANS OF HELP, COMFORT, AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO SOMEONE ELSE TODAY.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Law of the Garbage Truck

The Law of the Garbage Truck
Author Unknown

How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what's important. Learned it in the back seat of a Harare City taxi cab. Here's what happened..

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Westgate . We were driving when all of a sudden a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end by just inches! Here's what happened next...

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any Zimbabwean , some words in Harare come with a special face. Now, here's what blew me away..

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, " ...

"The Law of the Garbage Truck."

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it on. And if you let them, they'll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personal. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did. I guarantee it.

So this was it: The "Law of the Garbage Truck." I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, "I'm not going to do it anymore."

I began to see garbage trucks. Like in the movie "The Sixth Sense," the little boy said, "I see Dead People." Well now "I see Garbage Trucks." I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favourite Football players of all times , Ronaldino , does this every day on the football field. With a smile he always jumps up as quickly as he hits the ground after being tackled. He never dwells on a hit. Ronaldino is always ready to make the next play his best.

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting.
Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses.
Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day.
What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks just pass you by?

Here's my bet. You'll be happier. I guarantee it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Power of Three Little Words

THE POWER OF THREE LITTLE WORDS
Author Unknown

Some of the most significant messages people deliver to one another
often come in just three words. When spoken or conveyed, those
statements have the power to forge new friendships, deepen old ones
and restore relationships that have cooled.

The following three word phrases can enrich every relationship:

I'LL BE THERE - Being there for another person is the greatest gift we
can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things
happen to them and to us. We are renewed in love and friendship. We
are restored emotionally and spiritually. 'Being there' is at the
very, very core of civility.

I MISS YOU - Perhaps more marriages could be salvaged and strengthened
if couples simply and sincerely said to each other, "I miss you." This
powerful affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired
and loved.

I RESPECT YOU - Respect is another way of showing love. Respect
conveys the feeling that another person is a true equal. It is a
powerful way to affirm the importance of a relationship.

MAYBE YOU'RE RIGHT - This phrase is highly effective in diffusing an
argument and restoring frayed emotions. The flip side of "maybe you're
right" is the humility of admitting "maybe I'm wrong."

PLEASE FORGIVE ME - Many broken relationships could be restored and
healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness.
All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should
never be ashamed to own up to he has been in the wrong, which is by
saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

I THANK YOU - Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who
enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don't
take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their
friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand,
people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not
have the attitude of gratitude.

COUNT ON ME - "A friend is one who walks in when others walk out."
"Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship; it is the
emotional glue that bonds people. Those who are rich in their
relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come,
a good friend is there,
indicating "you can count on me."

LET ME HELP - The best of friends see a need and try to fill it. When
they spot a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being
asked, they pitch in and help.

I UNDERSTAND YOU - People become closer and enjoy each other more if
they feel the other person accepts and understands them. Letting
others know in so many little ways that you understand him or her is
one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship.

GO FOR IT - Some of your friends may be non-conformists, have unique
projects and unusual hobbies. Support them in pursuing their
interests. Rather than urging your loved ones to conform, encourage
their uniqueness - everyone has dreams that no one else has.

I suppose the 3 little words that you were expecting to see have to be
reserved for those who are special; that is I LOVE YOU

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

BETTER DAYS AHEAD

Better Days Ahead
By: Joel Osteen

The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.
Job 42:10

Have you ever felt robbed or cheated by life? You may have experienced some unfair situations in which somebody did you wrong or mistreated you. Perhaps you are having problems in a relationship, or in your marriage, or with a child. Or maybe you’ve struggled financially, and you don’t see how you can ever get ahead. Life has been one setback after another. If that sounds like you, I have good news for you: God wants to restore everything that has been stolen from you. He wants to restore your joy, peace, health, finances, and your family. And when God restores, He doesn’t leave you as you were before bad things happened to you; He brings you out better than you were previously.

For instance, in the Bible, if a thief was caught stealing, he had to repay his victim seven times what he stole. In another place, Scripture commands that the thief repay four times as much. God Himself said through the prophet Isaiah, “I will pay you back double for all the unfair things that have happened.” (Isaiah 61:7)

When you face trouble or somebody does you wrong, instead of getting discouraged, your attitude should be, “Father, I thank you that I’m now in position to receive double. I know I’m going to come out stronger, healthier, and happier than I’ve ever been.”

God does not want to bring you out of your adversities all beaten up and bedraggled; no, you are not simply a survivor, you are “more than a conqueror” (Romans 8:37) He wants to bring you out promoted and increased, with abundance. Beyond that, God wants to make the enemy pay for the wrongs done to you, His child.

If you’re in a tough situation today, you need to develop restoration mentality. Mentally encourage yourself that God is going to turn your situation around. Remind yourself that you are a victor and not a victim. You don’t just defeat the enemy, you gather up all the spoils. You come out better than before, blessed to overflowing.

In the Scripture we read of Job, a good man who loved God and had a heart to do what’s right. Yet in a few weeks’ time, he lost his business, his flocks, and herds, his family, and his health. Things could not get any worse for Job, and I’m sure he was tempted to be bitter. He could have said, “God, it’s not fair. I don’t understand why this is happening to me.”

His own wife told him, “Job, just curse God and die.”
But no, Job knew that God is a God of restoration. He knew God could turn any situation around. And his attitude was, Even if I die I’m going to die trusting God. I’m going to die believing for the best.

When it was all said and done, God not only turned Job’s calamity around, He brought Job out with twice what he had before. He had twice as many cattle, twice as many sheep. He got his health back, and God gave him a new family. God restored double what the enemy had stolen. Amazingly, the Scripture says, “The latter part of Job’s life was more blessed than the first part”

Maybe you need to be reminded today that God wants the rest of your life to be more blessed than the first part. Despite what you’ve been through, or how somebody has treated you, no matter what the medical report says, or what your bank statement says, God is saying, “I WANT TO MAKE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE HAPPIER AND MORE FULFILLED THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE.” God wants to bring you out to a flourishing finish. In other words, God is saying THE BEST IS YET TO COME.

TODAY’S PRAYER:

FATHER, I DARE TO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO TURN AROUND THOSE CONDITIONS IN MY LIFE OVER WHICH I HAVE NO CONTROL, SITUATIONS IN WHICH SOMEONE HAS CHOSEN TO DO EVIL AGAINST ME. I KNOW YOU REWARD THOSE WHO TRUST YOU, SO I WILL CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO RESTORE ALL THAT HAS BEEN STOLEN FROM ME.

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