Friday, December 10, 2010

Help Me Never Forget

Ever so often I look at Mel Gibson's "the Passion ". One of the best versions of Christ's suffering on film. Today my daughter decided to look at it. I came in when Jim Cavezel, who played Jesus had just gotten the scourging and was standing before the crowd as they screamed "Crucify him!" She was crying and blurted out that she didn't know why she watched the movie since it always made her cry. Got to tell you I do the same every time I look at it.

The whole affair had me thinking that while crying about Christ's suffering was okay, the real thing to cry about would be if we forget or completely ignore why Christ went through all that suffering in the first place.

 He did it so that we wouldn't have to. He did it so that we would not be separated from the Father anymore. He did it because he loved us more than life.
Wow! Someone loved me enough to lay down his life for me.

Lord help me never forget that, amen.

Be blessed,
GretaMichelle

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You Never Know

I haven't been blogging a lot lately. Partly because I have been busy with school work, but mostly because I have been questioning myself and how useful the things I write are. I have probably gone through this phase before, probably written about this before, probably even came up with some sage resolution. The truth is insecurity doesn't care how many times you go through the spiel, How many times you determine to change.
I went onto the blog site during a workshop and found a comment to be moderated, on a post that was made a while ago. The end of it admonished me to keep posting here. someone was inspired.
You never know who you will impact; with  whom your life will intertwine. Don't quit just because things seem a little hard at the moment. The race is not for the swiftest; but for he who endures to the end.
Thank you thesis writer for the reminder.
Be blessed.
GretaMichelle

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hello! I'm Right Over here!

Have you ever felt invisible? Like noone got you or what you were about? Have you ever felt like getting a negative feedback would be so much better than nothing at all; because at least someone would know you were there?
Lately I've felt like that a lot; especially when it comes to my artistic work. I remind myself that I don't paint because I want someone to notice. I  paint because I enjoy what I do. I feel closer to God when I paint.. But there is a downside to that. I want to get better at what I do because I always want to give Him my best. How do I know that my work is the best if noone sees it or pays attention to it? How can I grow if I don't know?
Thankfully I know one thing and this is the reason for this post. My father sees and knows. He knows my heart and yours. You are not invisible to Him. He sees and He knows and He loves you and me still. So keep going; pressing toward the mark of the high calling; pressing toward the reward that is greater than earthly acknowledgement.
Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Traits to be Coveted

I recently had a little accident where someone opened his door on my car and made a little mess. Dents and nicks everywhere. I was a little anxious because you hear horror stories of men being verbally abusive expecially when they're wrong and especially if it's a woman driver. This was not the case. He accepted responsibility, promised to take care of the charges and went the next day to make payments to the straightener. At the time I simply said thank you and went on my way.

The more I think about it the more I believe he deserved more. In an age where it is easier to be dishonest and as we say here 'wrong and strong', he showed integrity and responsibility; traits we seldom get; even from the people elected to serve us and govern. It is nice to know that they still exist. We must follow suit and also seek those who make honesty a part of their lives and affirm them.What they practise is a rare find indeed.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Proverbs 22:1

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Psalm 1

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Mud Pit


I spent the week away from my writing, even away from my bible and communion with God. I was wallowing. Lately I've been feeling a little lost and not in control of my activities. I find myself more often than not doing things I don't want to do and while I know I have to do them now I feel the burden of them strongly. So I wallowed and complained to God and forgot to be thankful in everything, and forgot that all things work together for good.

We all have those kind of days. We all find ourselves in the mud pit. The key though, is to recognise it early and get out. Remaining there robs us of the joy that God has given and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Staying there turns us into inhabitants of the pit and therefore strangers to God. It took me an entire week to get out. To tell you the truth, I wanted to wallow a little bit, because I felt that God was taking too long to make some changes happen. But that isn't healthy especially when you have someone smaller looking at you as the example. So I came out. I am still trying to get the mud off and centre myself once more.

That pit of despair can off set us at any time. The enemy of souls will use any opportunity to turn us around. Be sober and vigilant. Keep your eyes on the hope of your salvation and let your prayer ever be "Lord keep me faithful" Amen.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

1Peter 5:6-11

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Psalm 121

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blessings to you!

May the blessings of the Lord greet you today. Seek for Him; search for Him and you will find Him. Let Him teach you great and wonderous things that you never knew.
Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Monday, April 12, 2010

Arrest the Threat of Atrophy!


The lesson this morning talked about atrophy; a wasting of the muscles and other organs of the body because of lack of use. But isn't it so that it does not only refer to the body but to anything; gifts, talents, relationships that we neglect?
I am reminded of the unfaithful servant who hid his one talent in the ground and made excuses when asked to account for it because he did not want to use it and so, ended up losing it. (Matthew 25:14-30) How many talents and abilities has God given to us? What are we doing with it. I can answer for myself. It is up to you now to do a little self inventory and see what you have to bring to the table and just what you do bring. The simplest, seemingly unimportant of talents can be used to minister to a soul in need whether it is the ability to smile or just listen.

Maybe you're looking for a job and haven't been having any luck. Search history. It will teach you that some of the world's billionaires started with just a commonplace ability. They used their ability to knit to start a clothing business. They used their ability to grow things, the  fruits in their orchard to start a bottled or packaged food chain or a juice company. They used their ability to tinker to start a car manufacturing industry or to build the first aircraft and the list goes on.What gold mine have you been sitting on? God does not leave his creation without some ability. Some have one some have many. It's not the quantity but how it is managed.
Your relationships are also gold mines that if managed and nurtured can bring you much joy and fulfillment. The fulfillment and happiness comes in the love and commitment that you pour out to those that you love without seeking a reward or even reciprocation. Love does not keep score.
Go ahead. Take that inventory. See what you've been sitting on. Today is the best day to start. If you already know and haven't been tending them and helping them to grow, it's not too late to arrest the threat of atrophy.

Be blessed
Greta Michelle



Meditate:
Luke 12:48
...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him
shall be much required: and to whom men have
committed much, of him they will ask the more,

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Matthew 25


Reflect:

On what you have been given and not using. What are you going to do about it?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thank God It's Friday!

Morning Glory

It's Friday! It's time to take stock of the weekly activites and see where you are and what you've accomplished; the mistakes you've made and the ones you didn't. Most of all I believe Friday is a day of thanksgiving. We should give thanks everyday but there is something about Friday that makes me feel extra thankful.

Maybe it's the fact that I and my family and those close to me, made it safely through the week. No accidents and very few incidents. Maybe it's the fact that I don't have to face a work day the next day or maybe it's because I know that at sunset on Friday the Lord's Sabbath starts."O day of rest and gladness" I look back at the week and see where God has brought me from and I am glad. I see the mistakes, I see the pitfalls, but I don't dwell on them because I see where God has brought me from and I am thankful.
We spend so much time concentrating our attention on the negatives- and believe me I know- that we lose sight of all the blessed positives.

Why not spend this Friday dwelling on where God has brought you from. I believe the saying "Thank God it's Friday" will take on a whole new meaning.
Make this Friday a day of thanksgiving.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle


Meditate:

Psalm 103
...Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits...

Do take a few minutes to read:

Psalm 103


Reflect:

What has God done for you lately? Yes I want you to make a list and check it twice.
I don't bet but if I did I would bet you you run out of room on the paper and have a really big Alleluia moment.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Have Been Promised


When it seems as if the many activities and commitments are threatening to overwhelm you as they are threatening to do to me now you do not need to go under. The wonderful thing about God's word is that there is a promise for every situation that besets us.

Today I claim for myself Philippians 4:13 because God has promised that through Christ I can do all things. So in the midst of the many deadlines and demands on my time I can be calm because I believe that I can meet them all. I can claim Isaiah 43:2 for the Lord has promised that I will not be overwhelmed by the waters nor the fire. Isaiah 50:7 for I know the Lord will help me.

Why not take some time and get to know God through His word and see a wonderful world unfold before you. A world that unlike our present circumstance promises peace and prosperity, love and eternity.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Reflect:
The verses I have listed above are but a drop in the bucket. There are over a thousand promises that we can claim in the bible.
I urge you to take the time to discover these words of life.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Value

Abandoned,
 12x24, oils

Your value is not determined by what people say about you nor is it determined by the amount of money you make or where you live. It is and has been determined by  the fact that one Man shed His blood for you. He chose to value you with His life. And you are so important, that even if you were the only person who had slipped up; who had sinned, that cost would have still been paid for you.

 If so then you- we all should treat ourselves and place a value on ourselves that shows the world that we are precious; we are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
The next time you think about allowing someone to tell you who and what you are, and what you are worth. The next time you try to depreciate yourself, remember your value.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:
Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Psalm 139

Reflect:

How have you been viewing yourself?
What scale have you been weighing yourself on?
Isn't it time you saw yourself through new eyes?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Things We Take for Granted

Elena Kourenkova




Went off for the weekend. There was no internet-There was dial-up which would have robbed the house of phone communication and in a house where that is vital, it was impossible to use the internet, so there was no internet. I missed it. I missed being able to communicate with cyber people (Is that a term?) since I generally spend very little time talking to the ones I can see. I missed my blog time. It has become so much a part of my morning devotional time  with God that I felt that something was missing.

This got me thinking of all the things I take for granted as being there; as being a permanent fixture in my life. I thought about all the tomorrows I thought I had when I said "Well I'll deal with that tomorrow." This further reminded me of the saying: "You never miss the water, till the well runs dry" and led to the question how many wells have I let run dry? We take for granted that our families will always be there that we will always be able to spend time with our kids. So we do our own thing and practically ignore their needs and sing for them a refrain that has become all too familiar  and all too hated: " Not now dear, mommy/ daddy is busy" We do the same with our spouses and then wonder why they want to leave or, missed entirely, the fact that they have already left, it's just the shell that lives in the house.
And of course, we do that with God. We weigh committing to God against our 'more important' committments and activities and God is found wanting. So He is shelved for a time when we have time; when we are not so busy and sometimes that time never comes.

The reality is we do not have tomorrow. We have today. We have this moment. We have the well right in front of us. Drink deeply. Tomorrow might meet that wellspring dry or tainted or belonging to someone else. Take advantage of the time you have now to meet with God, get to know Him who to know is life eternal (John 17:3) Spend time with your kids. Get to know them. If they have moved from toddler/ child stage to pubescent/ adolescent stage then you need to get to know them all over again. Don't miss that opportunity. It will be gone before you blink and the person you conceived will be the stranger you pay college fees for. Spend time with you spouse. There had to have been a reason you married him/her. There had to have been love there. Take time to fan the flames and keep them hot and spicy or warm and welcoming. If you let the embers grow cold, blow your warm breath over it. It will rekindle. All it needs is effort on your part. Make it. It is worth it.
Taking the time to do the really important things today is worthwhile. Tomorrow is not promised. All we have is today.

Be blessed.
GretaMichelle

Meditate:
IICorinthians 6:2
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted,
 and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee:
behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is
the day of salvation.)

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Hosea 10

Reflect:

Has the potential for a relationship with God been allowed to stagnate?
What have you allowed to die because of too many "I'll do it tomorrow"? 
What can you revive that's worth reviving?

Friday, April 2, 2010

the Power of Grace


The thief on the cross presesnts a dynamic illustration of grace in action. There is Jesus, beaten, bruised, pained by the nails piercing his hands and feet and the thorns still pressing into his brow. Death is slow but not far away that He cannot sense it's icy fingers creeping up. He is weighed down by the oppressing force of mankinds sin; a sin that pushes him further and further away from His Father.  It's a separation that He has not known and cannot bear especially in the last agonising moments of His life. The darkness that surrounds Him causes Him to cry out for His Father. But His presence is not felt. The acrid taunting, ugliness of sin is too thick; too blatant.

Then a voice to His right cries out to Him. It too in pain. It too, close to death; a death that has been earned. "Lord, remember me when you shall come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42) It's a request that in the face of glory recognises its depravity and the nothingness of its life. It knows that it has nothing to recommend it yet, it still cries out; not boldly; timidly; desperate not to let the moment go. Unsure of the answer, but knowing that it must, its only strength-faith.

Jesus lifts His bloodied head. His strength is renewed for a moment for virtue is reaching out a hand to one in need of a lifeline. He then utters unhesitatingly, words that of all that the thief ever heard would hold, to him, the greatest value. "I tell you this today you shall be with me in paradise." That thief died knowing that even though his life had been one of emptiness and wickedness. Even though he was dying a death of shame because of the wrong path he had ventured and enjoyed for most of his life, today he was renewed and forgiven. God had forgiven him. Grace reached out and cast a lifeline even in death.
That's the power of grace.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Why not take a few minutes to read:

Luke 23,24


Reflect:

 On what Christ did for you, so that you would not have to.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Grace is Life

I hope you missed me yesterday. It was a long and hard day that started at 3:45 am and ended who knows when. But I missed you.
I was studying my bible lesson this morning and and interesting point was brought out. It said that when we love God that He gives us the Holy Spirit and a heart that has a deep sense of gratitude. However, that should not be the end of it. Loving God involves our whole being. It sparked some thought as to the way I love God. Yes I strive to obey Him and spend time in prayer and bible study (more of that can be done) but there are some areas that I have neglected and feel that right now I am definitely living on grace.

I have been a poor steward of my health. I go to sleep very late to get up very early or I eventually zone out on the couch and have to awakened to go to bed. My eating pattern is in chaos and I find myself  having to buy something to eat a lot, (bagging out lunches for everyone else and running out of time to do mine), that has been prepared with pack seasonings that contain untold horrors, instead of fresh herbs. I have very limited free time so exercise seems to be out of the question. I was walking with my mom, now I hardly have time for that. I eke out time to spend with my family; just barely. I am going and going and doing and doing but not putting in anything that will keep me healthy; both  mentally and physically.

As you read this feel free to identify with the parts that sound like you. All of us are guilty of neglecting our health and well-being. We focus on it when it slaps us in the face by failing on us- whether in the form of some serious physical malaise or some mental melt-down. Eventually, we all will have to face the reality of old age or some hereditary illness. It is absolutely not necessary to help them along with our poor habits.
What does these poor habits include in addition to what was mentioned? Yes procrastination too.

Loving God with our whole being involves taking care of our body and mind and setting a good example so others will see how it's done. How do our children and loved ones see us taking care of ourselves? God visits us with grace in the form of life every day. A lot of us now, if we were to do an examination of our internal organs would realise that we are indeed walking on grace, breathing on grace because there is no logical reason why we're alive, the way they are broken down.
I asked God today to help me make better choices for my health. What about you?
Be in health and prosper.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Read and meditate 3John.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grace in Times of Weakness


There is a verse that I claim very often. It has become a lifeline promise on those days when the world seems huge and the problems seem like giants. "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."(IICorinthians 12:9)

Weakness. We all get slapped with it at one point or another. We feel sapped physically because we have been going and going without pausing to take in the much needed fuel. That fuel is both the physical and spiritual. We get to a point where we feel we cannot do anymore, we cannot take anymore and we are ready to call it quits. Then there are the times when it seems as if we can't do anything right. We are battling against long ingrained habits and situations that make us feel as though we are failures. What about dealing with death and illness? Sin has so marred our world that it seems everyday we are faced with loss.

This is where grace comes in. God's grace takes over when we cannot go any further. The famous poem "Footprints in the Sand" says it best: the times when there are only one set of footprints in the sand God is carrying you.
Grace carries us; picks up the slack in our lives; whether it is in the daily humdrum or the major crashes. Grace takes over when we have gone as far as we can go. Grace sees our insuffiencies, imperfections  and scars and loves us anyway.

I have experienced that grace at work so many times that I now cling to God because I know that He will indeed cover me when I am naked and ashamed because of some habit or situation, or feel alone when I face loss and crisis.
Let the grace of God cover you today.

Be blessed

GretaMichelle

Meditate:

footprints in the sand  (click me)

Why not take a few minutes to read:

IICorinthians 12




Reflect:

The times when you felt weak and overburdened and you called out to God and you felt His strength infusing you. Maybe you didn't call out to Him but still felt an inexplicable  injection of energy.
What about the times when you made it through a tragic situation: a death or an illness, divorce or a wayward child running away It just wore you out, and you just don't know how you made it; you don't know how you held it together.
As you reflect on these occasions why not take the time now to say thank you Lord for being my sufficiency; my strength. Thank you Lord for carrying me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gifts are not Entitlements

Jazzy and her first brood

We take for granted that we are entitled to the next day and the next and the next. It is only when death collides with our world that we start to wonder and reflect. We may live differently while we cope with our grief and loss or while we recuperate from the life threatening illness, but more often we go back to the same place where we feel entitled to life. We are not. The only time we are entitled to is the time that we have  right now; the moment that we are in right now. The next minute is a gift just as a new day is. That's the power of grace. Grace gives you and me another day; another minute.

Every day we awaken to should be one lived in total thanks; total praise because we awakened under the grace of God. When we get to a place where we understand that we are not life givers but life recipients; that we are not the ones in control of who gets life, then we will treat the moments we have differently and live our lives differently.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:
Ephesians 2:8
For by grace are you saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Lamentations 3

Reflect:

How have you treated your life up to this point? If, like me you have sometimes walked around thinking that it is owed to you don't you think it's time to take a different view? One where you start appreciating each day as a gift of grace and live a life of thanks for that grace?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

OThat Gift!



Have you ever received an unexpected gift? I imagine you must have been surprised and pleased. You probably wondered what you had done to deserve that gift; that reward. You couldn't think of anything so you wondered if it was really for you and you were assured yes, this is yours. I am sure you must have treasured that, especially if it was something beautiful; something you had really wanted and wasn't able to get for yourself. Someone thought of you and cared for you enough to observe what you needed and provide it without you asking.

There is such a gift, available now, just like that. It's more than something we always wanted. It's something we need because the truth is, we cannot get it for ourselves no matter how much money we have.
Can you imagine doing nothing good; nothing right and someone still loving and wanting you and setting aside a place for you; giving up His place so you could have a place? Forgiveness, for you, even before you ask for it? Mercy extended before you recognise you need it? Will your spouse do that? Your children? What about your best friend?

God did just that. The bible says that "...where sin  abounded, grace did much more abound." (Romans 5:20 Wow! Imagine that! So no matter how horrible my wrong I have forgiveness. I have the gift of grace. I ddin't do anything to deserve it and no matter what I do I cannot earn it. Yet, I have it, for God has set it aside, just for me. I do not know Him, but He knows meyet loves me still and has set aside mercy just for me. I have, you have, we all have forgiveness, healing, new life, abundant life, eternal life. All we have to do is accept; all we have to do is come.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:
Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Isaiah 53 (Grace in action)

Reflect:

If forgiveness and love from God are things we do not deserve, yet He gives freely, what are we doing to extend the same to others who may have wronged us or hurt us and by human standards, do not deserve our mercy?
If God extends grace to us, shouldn't we be willing to extend it to others?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Ultimate Weapon-- part 2

At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and the prisoners heard them. I can imagine what was going through their minds as they listened to these two men sing praises to God; beaten and locked in stocks in the worst part of the prison for the chief guard had been warned to make sure they did not escape. Yet here they were singing? "Are these men mad?"  "What kind of drugs are they on?" "I need to get me some of that" "They seem genuinely happy and at peace. Hmm..."

Two things must be pointed out about their praise. The first that we learnt yesterday is that God inhabited their praise. (Psalm 22:3) Their praise did not go unnoticed by the person to whom it was pointed. God took note and rewarded their faith.

The second is not only did God take note, but the entire prison. That night when the prison walls shook and the gates sprang open,and the stocks and bands were loosed, the prison experienced new life. The prison guard was afraid. Afraid that all the prisoners had escaped and that no one would believe what he had just experienced. He was prepared to kill himself when Paul called out to him that they were still there. His response to this was: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" That night he and his entire family received the gospel joyfully and were baptized.

Our praise is not just to make us feel better about a situation or to send affirmations of faith up to God. Our praise in extreme experiences; at times when, to human eyes, there is no reason to praise, acts as a magnet for others. It provokes their curiosity and then their desire to know this peace; this joy. Remember joy is not just about happiness. Joy is about being at peace in the knowledge that no matter what, God is in control so I do not need to fret and worry, God has this!

The ultimate weapon is at your disposal today. Today is an opportunity for you to harness its power and thereby be at peace and be the peace that draws others to God. How you deal with your stressors signals a response in others for good or for evil. Do not wait. Take hold of God's promises and arm yourself with His weaponry.

Be blessed
Greta Michelle

Meditate:
Psalm 42:5
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou
disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise
 him for the help of his countenance.
Why not take a few minutes to re-read:

Acts 16


Reflect:

The power we have over others through our actions should always give us pause before we do or say anything.
We sometimes make excuses and say well it's not my fault if so and so does this or that and by right no one should look at another person and blame them for the wrong that the other committed. In reality, though we know that we each look at and model our behavior on others; whether movie stars or artists or religious men and women, and others look at us and model their behavior on us.
How wonderful then, if we would all move responsibly in that knowledge.

What do you think? Please share.

Friday, March 26, 2010

You Have the Ultimate Weapon! Part 1

Worship By Night

One of my favorite stories (Yes I have a lot of favorites) is the story of Paul and Silas. There they are, thrown in jail and enclosed in stocks. Bruised and battered from the beatings they received before and during their forced captivity. Their crimes? Freeing a  servant girl from mental and spiritual enslavement (She was demon possessed), and thereby taking away the income from those who exploited her,  preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. About midnight, by now their pain is probably intense and may have cause some anxiety in their minds. What do they do? They begin to sing and pray and praise.

The bible says that a great and terrible earthquake was suddenly heard and the prison doors were opened.
The power of praise; their praise in spite of  their circumstances. The power of praise; praise because they had counted the cost and found that to suffer for Christ was to gain, caused the prison to be too small to hold them.

Oh how far short of the mark we fall when we complain and curse God for little things; things that in the final analysis will not make us truly happy.
The bible calls praise a weapon of warfare. (IIChronicles 20:22) What weapon are you weilding? The devil does not like it when we praise God. It defeats his purpose because praise says Lord Yes! I'll trust you. Praise proclaims to those around us, who has our allegiance and our heart.
Who has your heart?

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:
Psalm 22:3
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of [Israel]------- (insert your name)
why not take a few minutes to read:

Acts 16

Reflect:

How have you dealt with the disappointments in your life? Have you allowed them to cause you to mistrust and question God's leading, or did you pray and praise your way through?
If you're like me, you've had moments when you doubted, but once you recognised this, what did you do to counteract the effects?
I choose songs that talk about trusting God and about priasing Him.
Why not compile a list of some of your favorite worship songs and hymns and share with us here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kick the Fear Habit!

Homeward Bound

As someone who has experienced the trauma of a break-in, I know what fear is. I have experienced that gnawing feeling in the pit of the stomach that makes you want to run and hide, yet be too paralyzed to move. And even though you know that the thief is not coming back, you're still afraid to enter the house or stay there by yourself; so for days and weeks, you're jumping at every shadow, every creak.

Fear is like that thief. It robs you of your joy. It steals your ability to make sound judgements. It handicaps your ability to take advantage of potentially great opportunities; and to even recognise them when they come your way.

Fear is the opposite of faith. It was fear that caused the Israelites to wander the wilderness for forty more years. When the twelve spies went to spy out the land of Caanan, only two were able to see the potential for victory. The other ten only saw the obstacles while Joshua and Caleb saw the possibilities. The ten saw the people like giants and they as grasshoppers while Joshua and Caleb saw the food that could feed many in a land flowing with milk and honey.

Fear requires an act of will to destroy its hold on you. You have to purpose in your heart that you will not let fear dominate and overpower you. You have to get angry and kick fear to the curb. It's what I had to do to safeguard my faith that God would protect. I recalled the fact that even though someone did break into our home, we were all physically unharmed and alive. God had protected us as He promised. I recalled every single promise that God gave me concerning my ability to believe and move according to His purpose. I deliberately looked fear in the eye and shouted at it to get out.

If fear has you in its grips right now don't give in to it. I have lost a lot of opportunities because I chose to believe the lie that fear told me above the truth that God had shared. God never gave us a spirit of fear. He gave us instead love and a sound mind. (II Timothy 2:7) Hold fast to that promise and go ahead!

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

II Timothy 2:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,
and of love, and of a sound mind.
Why not take a few minutes to read:

Numbers 13 (Pay special attention to v. 27-33)


Reflect:

Has fear been ruining your ability to trust God? Have you kicked the fear habit?
How were you able to conquer your goliath? What promises have you claimed that can serve to help someone else to kick the fear habit?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leap of Faith

Carl Bloch, At the Pool of Bethesda

The trend of today is to trust in ourselves; be the author of our own destinies; follow our heart. Yet history, our own and that of others, has shown time and again that that course is the road of folly. (Oh no she didn't!) The bible likens it in this wise: "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool..."  (Proverbs 28:26)
To have faith in God and trust in yourself is a contradiction; for faith requires you to believe what your eyes say is impossible. Faith requires you to believe that the Red Sea parted and thousands of people were able to go through. Faith says that the cheque will come even though you see no conceivable way since you just lost your job.Faith says your son or daughter will come back home and your family will be restored even though when they left, they left claiming to hate you and vowing never to come back. Faith believes in a God you've never physically seen or touched.
Faith is like my daughter who when she was younger, would climb up on the front wall or the chair in the living room or any height she could reach and just fling herself off at any of her parents standing close by, laughing as she sailed through the air, unaware of the danger but sure in the knowledge that mommy or daddy would catch her.
That kind of faith is hard especially when you've grown up and you've been around the world and seen what can happen when you put your trust in the wrong things and people but we have a cloud of witnesses both in the Book of Treasures and around you who have trusted in God and found that faith rewarded (in a good way) If you're reading this then you have stumbled upon another witness. Take that leap today.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Proverbs 28:26

Luke 17:6

An the Lord said, If ye
had faith as a grain of mustard seed,
 ye might say unto this sycamine tree,
Be thou plucked up by the root, and
be thou planted in the sea and it should obey you.

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Luke 17

Reflect:

In today's fast-paced, crazy, technology-oriented world, how do I get that kind of faith and keep it?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stand Your Ground!


The Lord impressed me with three words this morning as I wrestled with my little goliath. They are "Stand Your Ground" the title of todays post. Often times we allow the people that matter to us most; big and small to blackmail and compel us to deviate from our God-appointed goal. Now it's important to be able to make allowances and be prepared to compromise for family members but it should never be at the expense of our principles nor at the expense of our relationship wtih God.

My message today is simple and short. If you know that what you are doing is what God asks of you , stand your ground. If God has given you a task or a vision and you are sure that it is from God, stand your ground. If you have to say no to a loved one about something that God has revealed to you could be harmful to him/her, say no in love but stand against the buffeting winds of accusation and whines of betrayal. Eventually they will get it and apologise to you or not, but most importantly, you would have earned God's favor; which is even more than silver and gold.

Your family needs to depend on you to hold fast to the things that are good; the things that are godly, even if that means denying them. (Yes I did say denying them)

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:
1Thessalonians 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Matthew 10

Reflect:

Matthew 10:37 says that if we love our parents or our children more than we love God, we are not worthy of Him. What does that mean? Is Christ saying  that to love them is wrong?
If not, then how should we love them? Why should love to God be first? (Matthew 6:33)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pruning Time!

Donna Schaffer,Pruned Red Grapevines

I was reading the blog of my friend Nicole and she was talking about spring cleaning and how we can view it as God's way of clearing out the clutter in our lives. This got me thinking about the pruning process that Bruce Wilkinson talks about in his book: "Secrets of the Vine"

 I've always wanted to visit a grape vineyard; not to taste the wine but for the experience of walking through rows of succulent grapes, picking a few and tasting its sweetness as the juices spill over my tongue. I want to experience the triumph of a good harvest and the laughter of 'dancing' the grapes which reminds me so much of the cocoa dance here. Of course I want to paint the experience; the vitality and colour of it all.

So much must go into making sure that a harvest is perfect. One important part of that process is the pruning. The cutting away of the unwanted branches so that the vine, when it grows,  grows correctly and yields an uptimum harvest.

I imagine that that's what God thinks of when He allows us to go through our fiery trials. It's a way for us to let loose of all the dead limbs; the habits that are keeping us from reaching our true potential; the unwanted character flaws. The more painful the pruning the more ingrained the habit, the more unhealthy the flaw.

Pruning, I guess, is just another part of faith. We have to be still in order for God to do His work in us. We have to be willing to sing a song of praise through the pain. I know that I have a few that need to go and if this pruning experience is going to make me into a more loving and nurturing mother, a better wife a more inspired artist and writer, and more than just an ordinary servant then I say bring it on.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

James 1: 2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect
and entire, wanting nothing.

Why not take a few minutes to read:

James 1

Reflect:

We spend so much time complaining about the hardships in our lives that we fail to see the potential in them to be blessings in disguise.
What would happen if, just for a moment, we stopped and thanked God for them instead and said to Him
"Lord, do your work in me. Make me perfect and whole"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

That's What Faith Says

Briton Riviere, Daniel in the Lion's Den

There are times when God is silent; when it seems as though He has no intention of answering and He seems literally a million miles away. It is at these times I need Him most and it is at these times I feel as though He is far away and I'm stumbling around in the dark mire that is life with all its hiccups and train wrecks.

What should I do? Should I turn away? Find another solution? What should I do? I'm to be still and know (Psalm 46:10). What do I do? Well, I am not one for standing still. Quiet I can take in huge doses but standing still? Right now that's what He wants me to do. There are many conflicting voices in my head. If I don't stand still I might listen to the wrong one and do the wrong thing; make the wrong move.

So I am standing still. The urge to twitch, to move, to take charge is strong but, my belief that God will speak; that He will answer has to be stronger. I have to see the cloud the size of a man's hand and know that it will rain in the midst of the drought. I must praise God for the deliverance from the thorn in my flesh even while it pricks and pains. That's what faith says. That's what faith does. Faith sits still and rests until the matter is resolved by the God who does not rest until it is resolved.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Ruth 3:18
Then said she, sit still, my daugher, until thou know
 how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest,
 until he have finished the thing this day.
Why not take a few minutes and read:

Psalm 46

Reflect:

Can I honestly say that rushing headlong has been the source of unerring success?
If the answer is "no" Why do I still do it? Wouldn't it just be better to be still and know?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where is It?

I am struggling with an issue. it's a situation that if I approach it incorrectly; hastily, the repercussions could be disastrous, long term. So I must be very careful. The situation is so intense that it's threatening to pull me under. So I have decided to fast and pray today. I asked the Lord this morning to teach me; reveal to me something new. I asked Him to give me direction and comfort and solace. Yet I have been feeling weepy and despondent over the whole thing because I've been going back and picking it up. I took up my Womens' Ministries Devotional book "Sanctuary" and the reading for today was a direct jab at me from God.

"Where is your Faith?" That's what He asked me. "Haven't I worked things out for you in the past? Haven't I always been there for you and directed you- when you allowed me too? I promised I would never leave you nor forsake you" (Isaiah 41:17) "I promised that I will go before you to clear a path for your feet" (Isaiah 42:16) "Haven't I promised that I will fight for you?" (Deuteronomy 1:30)

"If I have promised and have fulfilled before, why do you think I will not do it for you now? I know how to take care of my own."

My prayer now is Lord, help now my unbelief.


Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:
Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage;
be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God
is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Why not take a few minutes to read:
Isaiah 41

Reflect:
If God has come through for me so many times in the past, why is it I still can't seem to trust Him with my life?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Claim It!

Sometimes the only thing you can do is claim a promise. This is what I need to claim this morning.

Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:
for we know not what we should pray for as
we ought: but the Spirit itlself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Lord I need your Spirit to pray for me today.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Passion!


Eugene Delacroix
Jacob wrestking with the Angel, 1861

I've been sharing with you this week the insights Dr Barry C. Black, Chaplin for the U.S. Senate, shared with the young  and the not so young on Sunday. We've looked at recognising opportunities, we' ve harnessed prayer and we also recognised the opposing factors. The forth key and a very important one and also the first key, is passion. You must have a passion for change.

Nothing can be achieved without a desire for it. Unless you truly want positive change in your life; whether it be for a job, for a habit you're trying to break for your marriage to work, whatever it is, unless you truly want that change you will find that you are trying to push a huge rock up a steep hill all by yourself. Any action or expereince comes first with desire, thought, dream. Then it moves to action. Desire is the vehicle that is oiled and gassed by action and vice versa. We need each in order for the other to be effective.

Jacob had a desire for change. He recognised that he needed that blessing from God. His words as he held on to the Lord were this " I will not let you go unless you bless me" (Genesis 32:26) His passion brought about the desired results. His name was changed. No longer was he the usurper; he was now Israel: God strives.

If you haven't found your passion yet; that thing that drives you to get up in the morning and shout "Thank you God' for the job or the ministry or the job that is a ministry, it's not too late. God our Father is always willing to give good gifts to them that ask Him. (Matthew 7:11) Find that passion for change. Find that desire to be effective and that desire coupled with prayer and the power that comes in the form of the Holy Spirit will help you to overcome the opposition and not only that, also to succeed.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Proverbs 21:5
The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, ...
Why not take a few minutes to read:

Genesis 32

Reflect:

What's your passion? Is it art or music or writing or science? What have you been doing to nurture it?
If you haven't figured it out yet, what are you doing to make it happen; to tap into that inner valve that releases your true potential and purpose?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Opportunity knocks But So Does Opposition

J.M.W. Turner
The Fighting Temeraire, 1838,oil, 36" x 48"
 National Gallery, London

Key three in our list of how to afffect successful change comes wrapped in an unhappy wrapper. This unhappy wrapper is called 'opposition' Unfortunately, there is always going to be someone who wants to rain on your parade; someone who, because of his/her own failures or lack of drive or goals has decided that no one else must have the 'it'. What do you do? Do you cave and crumble under the overwhelming force that can come as a result of the 'nay sayer '?

Before you make up your mind I want to point out some very important truths. Opposition says no but God says 'yea and amen" through Christ. (2Corinthians 1: 20) With God the word impossible does not exist. (Matthew 19:26) God says He will fight for you and also guide you as you respond to your detractors. (50: 5-7) Most important, the Lord is not out to 'get you' (Jeremiah 29:11-13) There's more but then I wouldn't be able to write anything else so I hope that you search the book of treasure and find others to share with others.

Now that you have these truths in hand and heart, let me put forward this idea. Opposition can be helpful. (What?) The Confuscian saying that nothing worthwhile comes cheaply, is true. We love quick fixes and easy money but in reality, these are as transient as a piece of burnt paper: the touch can cause it to crumble.

When you face opposition, think of it as the crucible; the fire that will purge the piece of gold and thereby increase its value. Think of it as the strengthening of your character; because how you respond to any situation determines your outcome more. Think of opposition as opportunity in disguise; a disguise that you can see through if you arm yourself with the right set of eyes: prayer. Now remember, I said this will not be easy I am still learning the lesson) but if you want to be successful, if you want to affect change that will enhance your life, then be prepared for opposition knowing that you can overcome. (Philippians 4:13)

Dr Black gave as one of his illustrations David. David was only about 17 years when he faced down the mighty Goliath. He never buckled, he never feared. He gave as good as he got. Why? Because he had discovered early, the truths that I have shared with you today. He believed God would do what He said and so he was able to tell Goliath: "You come to me  with a sword and with a spear and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts... This day will the Lord deliver you into mine hand..." (1Samuel 17: 45-47)

So now that you have read this and you have prayed and armed yourself with the power of God, go forth and conquer opposition.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Isaiah 50: 5-7
The Lord hath opened my ear, and I was not rebellious,
neither turned away back. I gave m back to the smiters,
 and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid
not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God
will help me; therefore shall I not ve confounded: therefore
 have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not
be ashamed.
Why not take a few minutes to read:

1Samuel 17

Reflect:

Have there been opposition to your dreams and goals that was so intense it caused to deviate from your purpose?
Now that you can recognise them, are you going to continue to allow them to hold you back?
Maybe you didn't give in, maybe you did set your face like a flint. What did you do? How can you share this knowledge with someone else and thereby empower them?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Opportunity Knocks- Prayer Answers

Albrecht Durer
Praying Hands, study

So, opportunity is knocking. You may or may not hear it and if you do, you might not recognise it as an opportunity for you to achieve successful change. How do you do it? How do you grasp the opportunities presented to you? This brings us to the second key that Dr Black spoke about; harnessing the power of prayer.

The word harness here is an indication as to what is involved. The dictionary tells us that a harness is an armor used for either a man or a horse. This signals protection. So prayer is like an armor that  can be used to shield us and help us discern the opportunities that will aid and enable us positively and also help us discern those that will be toxic to our growth as a person and to our goals.

A harness is also an instrument used to control. It is placed on a horse or donkey and by so doing, one is able to control the animal and thereby allow it to carry load safely; whether that load is human or man-made. A harness does not harm. It is not there to enslave. It is there to focus the potential.  The implication here is that the animal has power and capabilities that would be useful if disciiplined. So too, prayer has power that can be useful to us. Notice I said useful and not convenient.

We harness the power of prayer by using it responsibly; by allowing God to control our wills  (Oh no she didn't!) our desires, our goals and aspirations We harness prayer by being steadfast; not praying only when we have a need or a want, but by fostering a prayer relationship with God. Afterall, how many of us would want to keep a friend that only remembers us when he or she is in need? (Thankfully God is not like man)

Prayer has power that we have not even begun to imagine; to experience. When I was a child and read the stories of the bible of the great and small men and women who prayed and things happened I thought they were just that, stories, until I started taking God at His word and allowing Him to work in me. There are eperiences that I have gone through, things I've accomplished that could only have happened because of  Divine intercession. Thank you God for prayer!

You have power at your fingertips. It takes discipline and a conscious determination but once started, you wonder how you ever lived without it. Don't you think it's time to start exploring the possibilities; the great potential that can be manifested in the right conversation with the right Power Source?

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:
1Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.
Why not take a few minutes and read and meditate on:

1Chronicles 4:9,10

(Very important prayer! You don't want to miss it!)

Reflect:

How important is communicating with God to you? Are you anxious that you will not have an ear?
The bible says that God's eyes run to and fro over his children. He hears even before you ask.
 Why not take a chance and reach out? Let Him know how you feel. Let Him know your concerns.
Take it one prayer at a time.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Opportunity is Knocking!

First major painting I ever did.
 Boy am I thankful that I took advantage of that opportunity




Yesterday was fantastic. I attended, with my daughter, a youth conference in which Right Admiral Dr Barry C. Black, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate was the key note speaker. He outlined for the young people there, four ways to be successful. I thought I'd spend some time talking about each of them with you this week.
The first one was "Be prepared for opportunities" In being prepared for opportunities you would be able to recognise them in whatever form they come even if they come disguised as work.

What I want to focus on today though, is this. Most of the time we allow ourselves to see opportunities but the one opportunity that always presents itself; the one where we can get to know the One who created us and knows us best; and i'm not talking about joining a church or getting religion. I'm talking about simply sitting down and saying "Lord, I don't know you and I would like to get to" Why is it we can open ourselves up to new experiences in foods, clothes, places, people and even jobs but we shy away from knowing God?

Because I opened myself up to the possibility of learning something new yesterday and even the first time I was faced with the invitation to meet God that a lot of the other great opportunities I have had presented themselves. What's holding you back?

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Take a few minutes to read, meditate and reflect on;
Nehemiah's story in the book of

Nehemiah 1-13

It may seem like a lot of reading but if you read 1 chapter a day this week you can let it go over. It's a great story.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What Kind Do You Have?

Kezia Maya Fox (my daughter)
Colour Splash Inter-weave,
digital art

This morning as I read my devotional and studied my lesson for today from my quarterly bible study, one question kept confronting me and that was what kind of relationship did I have with God? I completed my morning devotions and stared the question in the eye, trying to come up with an answer that both God and I would be satisfied with. But the truth was, no matter how I could spin it I had to admit that my relationship track record with God was not that impressive.

There had been too many times when I had disregarded the rules of conduct and told God how He should behave and what He should do. There had been too many times I had ignored Him and gone off to march to my own drum. There had been too many selfish times; too many times of mis-placed moments of mistrust -on my part.

My relationship style needed a serious overhaul. For a moment, I became anxious but then reality shifted back into place I became aware of one very poignant fact. God had not gone anywhere. Through it all He had remained, patiently working in my life; smoothing out the rough edges and teaching me what a real relationship is like.

I prayed this morning that my relationship with Him would be one where I ultimately commit my life to His care and keeping. Afterall who best to keep and care for it than the One who created it and knows it intimately.

 So... What kind do you have?

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Isaiah 55: 6
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Isaiah 55

Reflect:

On your relationship with God: where it is and where it needs to be. What's holding you back from making it a meaningful one?


Do stop by and have a chat. It's lonely here without you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Food for Thought.

Happy Sabbath.
Today I leave with you a link I hope that you will use.
Barry Black speaking at the University of the Southern Caribbean Alumni Homecoming. Enjoy.
Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Time to Take Stock

Elizabeth Lisy Figueroa
Our Inner Clocks

It's the middle of the week already. How time flies. As you move around in your sphere of influence I want you to remember that and make every minute count. Take an inventory of the things you've accomplished. Are they what you wanted to do or were you distracted by the side roads and decided to turn off the course? How many of them were really crucial? How many were just something to do?

Look at the list of still to do. what does that look like? Does it still seem long and endless? Is it still full of the really important? What does that say about your time and the way that you have organised it? I know what it says about mine. Sometimes in making our to do lists we neglect to take the time to prioritise; to put the important things first. In this fast paced world it is important to make sure that we make time to do the things that are surely necessary for our survival like spending time every morning to say "Thank you God", like spending time with our loved ones in prayer, especially our children.

God has given us 24 hours in which to operate.(Ecclesiastes 3) It behooves us to plan our activities in such a way that we make ample use of it so that we go to bed at the end of the day, satisfied and thankful. Why not take that inventory now . Let's make each second count as something meaningful.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Ecclesiastes 1:1
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Why not take a few minutes to read:

Ecclesiastes 3

Reflect:

As you go through your to do list and take note of the not so important, how many of them are you prepared cross off your list?
If we take the step and remove some of them will they really take away from our lives?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

To Every Season

Salvador Dali, the Persistence of Memory, 1931
oil on canvas, 9.5x13"  Museum of Modern Art, New York


My post is late today, due to militating circumstances. Circumstances that were not beyond my control; circumstances that I opened the door to because of the choices I made this morning and how I have been using my time. I was disappointed that I didn't get a chance to do what I have started; post every morning, because, even though I don't know if anyone is or who is reading my posts, I cannot simply just leave it up to ignorance and not post.

This started me on a reflective on how I use the time that I have been given. How much of my time; the time that I lost for one resason or another could have been put to better use; could have been spent with my family; my daughter doing something that would have affirmed her or given her the assurance that what she was interested in was important. How much work- meaningful work could have been accomplished, how many people I could have ministered to in one way or another, how many paintings I could have painted, how many... how many...

Time is something we definitely take for granted. We seem to think that it's an entitlement; something we have earned the right to, therefore, something that we can use in an ad hoc manner. The reality is time just as anything else we have is a gift; a gift given by the grace of God. A chance to make right the mistakes of yesterday, a chance to renew our commitment to God, a chance to show our family and neighbours love. The bible says that tomorrow is not promised to us; all we have is the now (Hebrews 4:7).

Are we going to go through life living with regrets because we squandered the time that God gave us or are we going to show gratitude for the gift by making every minute count; by making every minute a beautiful gift to someone else by sharing our time with them, doing something that will make our lives well lived?

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Ecclesiastes 9: 10
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Ecclesiastes 9

Reflect:

how do I use my time? How can I make better use of my time? Am I showing grattitude to God for the time that He has given me by using it wisely and making informed choices that will secure my tomorrow?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Your Assignment this Week

The new week is already one day old. Have you figured out what your purpose  for this is week yet? Why not try these steps. Be creative. Be inspiring. Touch a hand and bring warmth and support. Touch a heart and show care and extend love. Reach one person today with a smile and a hello. Like the little girl who tried to rescue the star fish on the beach one at a time so we too can create a peaceful environment where we are, one smile at a time; one kindness at a time.

Be blessed

GretaMichelle


Meditate:
1Thessalonians 5:15
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good,
both among yourselves and to all men.

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Proverbs 17

Reflect:

How much effort does it take to show kindness as opposed to being angry and unkind? Who really benefits when we are unkind?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Things We Need Most

My Hands are Tied

Progress. The dictionary defines it as a "moving forward and onward"; " advance towards perfection" Are we really progressing? Women fought and gained 'equal rights' yet they are still paid a lower wage than men, in some cases, for the same job. Their contributions to the arts and sciences are still downplayed to a large extent. The work they do in the homes is still called being a 'housewife' and not an all-rounder of great importance. The statistics for abuse and violence against women reads one in every three women. It's 2010. Is that progress?

We now have both mother and father working outside the homes. More often than not our children are left in the care of a stranger or on their own. Their new caregiver is the television and the computer. They wind up in chat rooms where, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, they come face to face with untold evils. They end up plastered over the internet, They wind up in gangs,  or up to their own devices or worse. It's 2010. Is that progress?

The sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s ushered in a new era of freedom. Sex was out in the open; to be discussed and experienced freely. It was no longer necessary to be married. By 2010 to be a virgin past 16 is considered taboo; something to be scorned and scoffed at. Sexual promiscuity and  immorality is a badge of honour. Now we make movies about having sex with multiple partners.Teenage pregnancies are on the rise. There are more cases of STIs and new strains popping up. No cures, just treatments. Have we progressed yet?

School. A place where we learnt values of fair play and industry. A place where we knew our children were looked after. Now our children are being shot at and stabbed by classmates and abused by teachers. Now school is a place where children go to have sex and to buy their pot and coke. We no longer pray there. God has been outlawed; persona non grata. 2010. Progress anyone?

The family unit. The model for all other things; institutions and organizations. People with different personalities, even though they are born with the same dna, working together for a common good; a common goal. The home, a place of solace; a place of shelter. Homes have become  places to sleep most times. Maybe we'll eat there or not. Maybe we'll see each other on the way out- or not.  Divorce is on the rise, single parent households the norm rather than the exception. The ideal home: a father, mother and kids is now daddy, daddy and me or mommy, mommy and me.

The elders had a good idea. They came together as a family to pray, thrash things out. They worked at their marriages because they recognised that at some point one or the other will do something stupid; make a mistake; say something dumb and hurtful. At some point one or the other may not feel the love. So they worked because it was something worth working on. Now it's easy to say "I can't do this anymore. I'm going to talk to my lawyer in the morning. I'm taking the kids and moving out" or "I think you should go" Then we go to therapists and psychologists and ask them why we can't seem to have a meaningful relationship and why are our kids so messed up. Isn't it obvious? It's because we are progressing.

This was not God's intent. God wanted us to prosper and be in health. God wanted us to gain knowledge and be educated. But where is the forward? Where is the perfection?

It's 2010. Welcome to the progressive world.

Be blessed
GretaMichelle

Meditate:

Ecclesiastes 1: 14
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Why not spend some time reading:

Eccliastes

Reflect:

Are we so far gone or can we get back on track? How can we get back to some of the ideals that God wanted for His people from the beginning?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thank God!

Father I thank you. What do you have to be thankful for? The rent is due and you're broke. Father I thank you because I have never had to live on the streets and face the biting cold winds while wondering if  I'll be safe or not wake up because of I froze to death or was robbed and beaten. I know you will provide the rent. You have always provided and you have promised to supply all my needs. (Philippians 4:19)
Morning worship at the Grange in Tobago

What do you have to thank God for? Look at you. You're sick and bedridden. The doctor said that you might not make it. Father I thank you for these limbs that aren't working as well as they should because there are people who have lost theirs. There are people who will never know what pain feels like because they are unable to feel.  I thank you that even though my health is not as I would like it to be I am right now still alive and you have promised healing. (Malachi 4:2) So there is the hope of a tomorrow and if not, then thank you for the years that you  blessed me with  the enjoyment of friends and the love of my family.

Father I thank you. What are you thanking Him for now? Your cupboards are empty, your stomach is empty. You have lost your job and cannot provide for your family.  Father I thank you because my food has been constant. I have never gone hungry neither has my family and I know today will be no differnet. So I say as David did: "The Lord is my shephard; I shall not want." (Psalm 23:1)

What do I have to thank God for? Everything!

Meditate:

1Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Why not take a few minutes to read:

Psalm 23

Reflect:

It is not easy to be thankful in hard times. In fact, it's downright hard. It is however, healthier. How can we rise above our circumstances and be thankful anyhow?
I have found that in the midst of any hardship, if I purposefully look for things to be thankful for that I usually find them.
 My mother-in-law who is presently in the advanced stages of glaucoma, said that during one of the days when her sight was really dim, she sat down and started talking to God and started listing the things that He had done for her. She said she cried when she realised that there were so many things that she ended up spending the entire day in praise.
How do you practise thankfulness?